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With the breaking of the arrow War has begun
Photo by Master Phillip the Pilgrim

by Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

Banners flew in the early evening sun, and the sound of song, of drums, and of pipes filled the air. From the eldest—the West Kingdom, preceded by an enormous banner—to the youngest—the Kingdom of Avacal, attending their very first Pennsic as a Kingdom, the realms of the Known World gathered once again on the fields of Pennsic to declare alliances. “We welcome you in the spirit of fellowship and joy,” said King Byron of Æthelmearc, “But we hear tidings of conflict, and that the East and Middle have gathered here to resolve their differences.”
“We heard rumors of a horde gathering on our western border, and raised an army to meet it, but it looks as if we will meet them on the lands of Æthelmearc,” said King Kenric of the East. “We hope to not damage your lands too much, and we will take nothing unpaid for.”
Said King Cameron of the Middle, “We are just one day’s march from the border of the Middle, and sought to secure our own lands, but we find ourselves with our army here as well.”
“Surely, you can work it out?” asked King Byron. “Uhhhhhh…” said King Kenric, “We’ve done a lot of talking. Diplomacy has accomplished all it can. There will be war.”
“Then, Cousin, let us meet upon the field,” replied King Cameron.
The War Arrow was then brought forward by the Khan of the Great Dark Horde, who presented it to TRM Byron and Ariella. Both King Kenric and Queen Avelina of the East and King Cameron and Queen Amalie of the Middle seized it and broke it.
“Oh, dear,” said King Byron, as cannons sounded marking the beginning of hostilities.
Kingdom by kingdom, the royalty stepped forward to declare their alliances. First came the West Kingdom, who chose to stand with their brothers of the East. Æthelmearc, presented with two armies on their lands, chose to place their trust in the East, their parent. Caid declared their allegiance simply: “Pretty words. East.” They were joined by the Stellar Kingdom of Ansteorra and the kingdom of Lochac
The Queen of Atlantia, noting the progress of the alliances, declared for the Middle, stating “We like these odds.”
“We have no quarrel with the East or Middle,” stated the King of Calontir. “We will fight with our cousins of Ealdormere. The Kingdom of the Outlands then declared they would fight with Calontir, leaving Ealdormere to determine the alliance of three kingdoms. “We stand with the kingdom that has shown us courtesy, respect, and honesty. We stand with the East,” said the Queen of Ealdormere.
The silver tongue of the Queen of Trimaris, and the words of Prince Edmund of the Middle led the Kingdom of Trimaris to declare with the Middle. The King of Gleann Abhann also noted the persuasive powers of Prince Edmund in making their alliance with the Middle. “We had intended to fight with our brothers of Calontir and Ealdormere,” said the King of Northshield, “but we will fight with the Middle to even the sides.”
The King of Drachenwald, noting that that kingdom had lost several dukes and spearmen to the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, made their alliance with that kingdom.
The newest kingdom at Pennsic, Avacal—their royalty in attendance for the first time—cited oaths taken to the King of the West and the King of An Tir, and declared they would fight with the West.
The Holy Kingdom of Acre, honoring their longstanding treaty, also declared for the East. The Khan of the Great Dark Horde, when asked to declare, stated that after much deliberation that they would stand alongside Northshield, and presented the King with an arrow. Finally, the Tuchux came forward to lend their steel to the Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
Alliances declared, the war horn was brought forward by House Darkyard and presented to King Kenric, who presented it to his Queen. Queen Avelina then sounded a clear and resounding note. “Armies of the East, Middle and allies,” cried the herald, “This is War. Go and prepare yourselves!”