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By Lord DonalBane of Blakmers
Battlefield Reporter, Pennsic Independent

A perfect summer morning at the Pennsic Fort provided the backdrop for the Opening Ceremonies Sunday. Some pointed fashion displays helped provide the impetus to officially start Pennsic XXXIX.
As is custom, Æthelmearc came to the dais first, about 20 minutes before the two belligerent kingdoms arrived. When the Midrealm and East arrived, they marched in side-by-side with a host that included royalty from nearly every kingdom in the Known World.
When all the royalty and populace had assembled, HRM Malcolm of Æthelmearc gave warm greetings to the crowd.
“Greetings and welcome to these fields of Pennsic!” HRM Malcolm said. “Never in my experience before have I seen the joy and friendship between my cousins and the people of the Known World running so strong.”
HRM Malcolm then gave way to HRM Edward the Grey of the East, who also greeted the populace, but noted he had a question for HRM Radagaisus of the Midrealm. HRM Edward noted he loved the blue Tyger, which is sacred to the East.
“How came you thus to have a blue Tyger upon your shoulder and on the floor in your court?” HRM Edward asked.
HRM Radagaisus responded that he knew the Tyger was a versatile creature, such as the pelt he wore upon his shoulder.
“We noted there were unusually large Tygers unusually close to our borders,” HRM Radagaisus said. “We thought they were a threat to us. We thought it best to eliminate the threat.”
HRM Radagaisus then noticed HRM Edward was wearing a cape of what appeared to be dragon skin.
HRM Edward noted that in his travels, he could not put a foot down without stepping on a dragon. He noted even the smallest ones had value and went so far as to toss a basket of dragon skins to the crowss.
HRM Radagaisus took offense at this, but HRM Malcolm interceded. His Sylvan Majesty noted he had been “greatly impressed” with both his cousins and encouraged them to “look beyond certain historical differences.”
HRM Edward said he would like to move beyond such differences and presented HRM Radagaisus with an arrow. As he was accepting the arrow, however HRM Radagaisus accidentally broke the arrow, causing the cannons to sound.
“Having been in this situation before, I believe this means War!” HRM Malcolm said, drawing huge cheers from the crowd.
The roll of the Kingdoms then began with Æthelmearc declaring first for the Midrealm.
HRM Tristan of Atenveldt announced that a “Western Coalition” had been formed. For the first time in memory, Atenveldt, Caid, the West and An Tir will fight as one, and on the side of the East.
HRM Jean Paul of Ansteorra then broke with tradition and declared his kingdom would ally itself with Trimaris. Trimaris would later declare for the Midrealm.
All three of the Midrealm’s former principalities will fight for the Dragon, as Ealdormere, Northshield and Calontir declared for the Midrealm. The Outlands also declared for the Midrealm, honoring its alliance with Calontir.
HRM Jason of Atlantia said he would honor his kingdom’s long-standing brotherhood with the East. Drachenwald, Artemesia and Lochac also declared for the East
Meridies and Gleann Abhann did not declare at the ceremony.
The Holy Kingdom of Acre, which is celebrating its 30th year, said it would continue its long alliance with the East.
The Great Dark Horde spoke last and presented an arrow to the Midrealm to cement its alliance.
House Darkyard then brought forth the Pennsic War Horn to the dais. HRM Edward then took the horn and let forth two breathy blasts to open the war.
Their Majesties then addressed the crowd for the final time.
“People of the kingdoms of the Known World… “ HRM Edward said.
“… Let there be War!” HRM Radagaisus completed.
The belligerent kings then escorted each other’s consorts off the dais to close the ceremony.
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