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HRM Caoilfhionn of the East feathers her crown with the broken War Arrow
Photo by Master Phillip the Pilgrim

By: Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

The inclement weather that soaked Pennsic town and drove Opening Ceremonies into the barn could not dampen the welcome provided by TRM Tindal and Etain of Æthelmearc to the assembled Royalty and populace of seventeen kingdoms (as well as Acre, the Great Dark Horde, and the Tuchux.) “It is once again our honor to host the Pennsic War and to provide you with Our hospitality. Thank you all for making the journey, and we wish passion, inspiration, and glory to all the kingdoms here today,” said His Majesty Tindal.
His Majesty Brennan of the East then addressed the crowd. “Good morning, all!” After the audience returned his greeting, he continued. “It’s a great day for fighting! Her Majesty and I look forward to a week of fun, honor, and glory on the fields, range, and classrooms. Nowhere do we have the chance to be better than at Pennsic.”
At His Majesty Cameron of the Middle’s greeting of “Good mooorning, Pennsic!” the hall resounded with cries of “Draco Invictus!” Shrugging apologetically, he stated “We can’t help it!” before continuing “This is a showcase for the Society. We can walk down these rows and have magic moments of honor and chivalry, remembering our inspiration. Let’s have a fun competition!”
“My cousin,” said His Majesty Brennan, ”It seems every year we get in carriages. I ride west, you ride east. Because we must….I say, we fight!”
“It’s a family tradition,” replied His Majesty Cameron. “Let’s have a War!”
The War Arrow was then brought forward by the Great Dark Horde to curious cries of “Meow!” (Perhaps the ears worn by the Khan were a clue). This year, the Queens had the honor of breaking the War Arrow. Her Majesty Caoilfhionn of the East and Her Majesty Amalie of the Middle then each grasped an end and snapped the arrow. Her Majesty of the Middle held the larger piece, but Her Majesty of the East held the fletched end, which she then stuck jauntily into her crown as a feather.
Each kingdom was then asked to declare their alliances. As host Kingdom, Æthelmearc had the honor of declaring first. “We stand with the Imperial Tyger of the East,” stated HRM Tindal.
The kingdoms then declared in order of precedence. “Our blades will fight alongside those of the East,” stated HRM Conor of the West.
“We have few warriors, but the Sun is on our side, and we declare for the East”, said HRM Craven of Atenveldt.
No Royalty from Meridies was present, but it was declared they would also fight with the East. HRM Agrippa of Caid also declared “with heart and soul with his brothers of the East.”
The Stellar Kingdom of Ansteorra broke the trend, with HRM Sven declaring for the Middle. The trend continued as HRM William of Atlantia declared, “Long have we traveled with the Tyger. This year we will enjoy the view from the heavens and fly with the Dragon.”
HRM Strykarr of An Tir declared “We have traveled far from the north and west. The Dread Tyrant of An Tir and I , her husband, stand with the East.”
HRM Agamemnon of Calotir then declared for the Middle “The Falcon will fly with the Dragon.” HRM Gunnar of Trimaris then split his declaration. “In the spirit of parity of numbers, our armored fighters will fight with the Dragon and our rapier fighters will fight with the East.”
HRM Walrick mentioned his friendship with Calontir. “We will fight alongside our friends for the Middle.”
The Kingdom of Drachenwald, represented by Their Highnesses Sven and Siobhan, also declared for the East, as did Artemisia. “Each of our small band of fighters normally fights wth the strength of a thousand, but we have scaled it back to a hundred to keep the sides even.”
HRM Siegfried of Ealdormere then declared for the Middle, stating “We will fight with our forebearers.”
When Lochac was called upon to declare, no one responded, setting up a shouting match between supporters of the East and the Middle. It was announced that Lochac would decide on the field.
HRM Siegfried of Northshield also declared for his kingdom’s Dragon parents, Finally, HRH Caillin of Gleann Abhann declared for the East.
HRM Damian of Acre, stating that his people were “pilgrims in a sacred land,” allied with the East. Once again, cheers of “East! East!” rang out, followed by equally loud cried of “Draco Invictus!”
The Great Dark Horde then came forward to more sounds of meowing, and declared that they were on vacation. Shouts of “Party! Party!” rang out. Finally, in a move seldom (if ever) seen before, representatives of Tuchux came forward to present war arrows to Æthelmearc and the East, thus declaring their alliance.
As is tradition, House Darkyard brought forward the War Horn, stating “This is a symbol of what is best and most special. It is a gift of chivalry between kingdoms.” The Horn was given to HRM Brennan of the East, as the East had prevailed at Pennsic XLII, :”This is a sacred moment. I will not spoil it by my lack of skill. There will be War!!” said HRM Brennan, before handing the horn to his Champion to sound. The cheers of the crowd blended with the sound of the War Horn.
“Alliances have been declared,” said HRM Tindal of Æthelmearc in conclusion. “Go forth, and promote honor and fun!”