I returned to Pennsic quite late on Sunday night. Even so, Ionnes and Omega were still up, so I chatted with them for a while. I ended up getting maybe four hours of sleep, so I was very tired for the fighting the next day.
For the field battles, our unit was on the downhill flank of the field battles with the 3rd division of the Northern Army. In the first field battle, we did our job so well that even though it was not part of the plan to swing around their flank and push uphill, that’s what we ended up doing. We came around the side and one of their forces took me from the side and killed me. In the second field battle we ended up with more opponents so we were not able to flank around as easily. Again, I got killed from the side. I was just reminding myself to watch my periphery next time, when someone (I can’t remember who) said something to me about it!
I honestly don’t remember the third field battle. Before the 4th one began, my squire brother Joe loaned me a spear to use. Having used a spear in fight practice only once or twice, I was hesitant to use one in a melee. I had one arm taken early in the battle. I walked around the backfield offering the spear to anyone who wanted it, but nobody did. Then a fighter broke through our line and ran right towards me. I held the spear out with my left hand, aimed for his head, and tried to put ad much muscle as I could behind it. And it worked! It was awesome! The 5th field battle was similar to the 4th (without the awesome one armed spear kill).
I loved fighting in the field battles. I loved being able to move without back pain. I silently rejoiced each time I was able to bend over and pick things up at camp. It was a good day and being pain-free was wonderful!
In the evening I was invited to Bricktober Fest for some tasty German food. I had not eaten much German food before (although I LOVED liverwurst as a kid). This food was TASTY! I especially enjoyed the spaetzle and the saurbraten (sp?)!
I had found out Monday night that the woods battles would, at the very least, be postponed until later in the week. It had rained a lot the first week and it turned out the EMS vehicles couldn’t get out of the woods because of all the mud. So the bridge battles were rescheduled for Tuesday.
I went to put on my armor on Tuesday morning and noticed a vital piece was missing — the rigid part of my female pelvic protection (often called a “Jane” or a “Jill”). My first thought was, “Oh Gods, where am I going to find another one in time to fight today?” Someone had mentioned seeing it on the field the day before, so I checked the lost and found. It wasn’t there. So I walked around merchantdom asking all vendors that sold anything fighting-related if they sold female pelvic protection. None did. One suggested getting a rigid piece of leather and padding the back of it. It had not occurred to me, but it was a good idea! The first leather merchant I came to that was open was the Real Leather People (it WAS 9:30am or so). They were AWESOME! They not only told me which leather I wanted, but gave me a scrap of it large enough to use for free!
After that the rest were just details. Borrowing leather shears from Sir Albrecht (Von Halstern). Getting the padding from my car. Finding out the battle start time had been moved back an hour. I even managed to show up to the battle field before the first bridge battle started!
When I got out on the field, there it was, the rigid piece from my female pelvic protection, just sitting on the ground right near where Serpentius had set up our stuff the day before. Doh!
In the grand scheme of combat tactics, Serpentius was given the job of being a reserve unit. Wherever help was needed was where we went. We were positioned between the 4th and 5th bridges for the first two battles.
In the first bridge battle, we started by lining up according to weapon type and running ability. Last year I would have gone to the end of the line. This year, I went to the middle. We waited for about 10 minutes. Then we split the unit up with half going to help each bridge. I ended up on the fifth bridge. As soon as we got there, they were making a hole for the pole arms to charge! I was very excited! Unfortunately, by the time I got to the front line, the charge had ended and they were calling for spears to move up. I didn’t end up killing anyone, but I didn’t die. To be honest, I didn’t get much of an opportunity to do either. At the end, there were only two fighters left, so they requested single combat. They did kill a few of us, but Omega killed one and Deacon (Dimitri) killed the other.
We ended up on the fourth bridge for the second bridge battle. They crammed too many people onto the bridge in the hopes of taking it. The front was constantly pushing backwards and the back was constantly pushing forwards. The spears in front had no room to work. I felt like I was in a mosh pit and tried very hard not to push people back. Someone in command knew that we needed to make room for everyone. A charge was called, so I charged. But I was the only one. As I was killed, I hit one sword and shield fighter hard enough to kill, but they didn’t take the shot.
In the third battle, we were moved up to be reserves for the first and second bridge. At first, they told us to position ourselves by the first bridge and would go to the second instead. Then we were going to the first bridge. Then the second. It seemed like every minute or two our commanders had been given new orders to relay to us. I don’t remember which bridge we ended up at, but I didn’t die or even hit anybody.
The 4th bridge battle was pretty disappointing. I did not even get to the front lines. I was killed by a ballista bolt to the foot. The 5th bridge battle was much more interesting. Joe had borrowed my pole arm because someone else had borrowed his weapon. I found a spear sitting at the edge of the bridge, so I comandeered it. I ended up close to the front lines when there was a push. I got shoved bodily to one side and was forced to sit on a haybale that marked the edge of the bridge we were on. Even though there was nothing impeding me, I had a difficult time getting up. It took me several tries, but I did. I didn’t hurt, so I figured I was fine. I took the spear to the front lines, but because I was unaccustomed to it, my aim wasn’t good. I worked with the spear next to me tying up the spear across from us and he killed him. I had fun playing with the spear and want to get one of my own when I can afford it. There were just sword and shield fighters across from us, so I kept trying to hook the shield of the fighter across from me. They charged and that fighter killed me. I was knocked off of the bridge. I returned the spear to where I found it. By the time I got back to the waterbearers, my back was hurting so badly that sharp pains were radiating down my leg and I was having trouble walking.
I did very little the rest of the day. I didn’t eat lunch because I didn’t want to bend over to get into my cooler. I didn’t shower because I didn’t want to bend over to get the towel from my tent. I was constantly on the verge of tears. People gave me a wide berth, but I am assuming that is because when I am in pain, my face looks like I’m angry instead of hurting.
Tiberius Nautius gave me some naproxin, but it did nothing to take the edge off of the pain. I limped down to House Arindale to find Bjorvig who knew someone who could help my back. But Bjorvig wasn’t there. Sir Tanaka was there and kindly tried to help. I felt a little improvement, which was better than none.
We had our household gathering in the evening. We brought several new members into the household. I was chatting with someone who had stated that earlier in the week, he noticed I was moving better on the field. It was good to know some of my issues were back-related, but it was poorly timed.because of the pain I was in when he delivered his compliment. Omega gave me some pills to try for the pain (I honestly don’t remember what they all were). I also started drinking. I am not sure if it was the pills or the alcohol, but my back was starting to feel better.
The household gathering was fun, but I went to bed early in hopes that more sleep would mean more healing for my back.