by Master Liam St. Liam, Pennsic Independent Battlefield Reporter
Like the French army at Agincourt, residents of Pennsic loathe having to cope with rain, especially the heavy thunderstorms that hit Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Merchants found “Midnight Madness” slower than in years past, partly because they had to bring their display tables inside their tents. Thursday morning was also slow, because many merchants open a little later the day after “Midnight Madness.” Food merchants, on the other hand, did a solid morning business, especially at times the rain let up. Later in the day, more shoppers ventured out as the end of the War neared.
The Mountain Pass battles got started but was ended by lightning, which closed the field for much of the day. The third Rapier War Point, the Woods Melee, was postponed at first, with the possibility of an Open Field Battle, but that plan fell victim to another set of heavy showers. The Drachenwald Mixed Pairs tournament was also rained out.
Many people reported problems with water in their tents, ranging from a distracting drip to major puddles and soaked bedclothes. A few even packed up early and headed home. There were no major injuries reported in a static lightning strike. Atlantia’s Wednesday evening court, which was held at the Pennsic Fort, finished just before the rain started. Ealdormere Court in the Barn was nearly drowned out at one point by the sound of heavy rain.
The rain kept archers off the hill most of the day, . That leaves today, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as the last chance to shoot the Mass Archery War Point. There will be children’s archery championships held this morning at the archery field.
Thrown weapons events were rained out after what had been a very successful week. Lord Leonhard Schuwert of the Barony of Dragonship Haven, the East Kingdom Pennsic marshal, said the range has been busy all week prior to Thursday.
He said the beginners’ classes are averaging 35 people a day, and he keeps three ranges going — one for practice, one for teaching and one for competition. He said 15 people from eight kingdoms are part of the Marshal in Training program. Lord Leonhard said between 100 and 200 people use the range daily. He hopes that in the future, the Royals organizing Pennsic will consider a mass thrown weapons point similar to the three mass archery points.
There are three specialty fencing tournaments starting at 10 this morning — the Midrealm Youth Rapier Tournament, the Aethelmearc Novice Tournament and the Seniors (Over 40) Tournament. The Outlands Rapier Tournament is at 1 p.m., and the Ladies Tournament is at 2 p.m. Closing Court is scheduled for 6 tonight at the Barn.