Pennsic 42 (part 2)

On Monday of War Week we had the field battles.   There were five of them.  I believe the opposing side was out-numbered because I didn’t even get to swing my pole arm at someone in the first and third battles.  I didn’t die either.  Something interesting happened in the second battle.  A guy broke through our line.  I gave him a pretty decent shot to his head.  I saw his head move and heard the characteristic “crack” that comes with a good shot, but he didn’t take it.  Then he closed in on me and hit me with a significantly lighter head shot than the one I had just given him.  He assumed that he had killed me and walked away to fight someone else a few paces away.  I figured, logically, that if the head shot I gave him was light, than so was the one he gave me.  I threw my entire body into the next shot and nailed him in the back of the head.  He took THAT shot.

The sides must have been really uneven, because both Aethelmarc and the Tuchux went over to the opposing team for the fourth and fifth field battles.  Now they had the superior numbers.  I somehow ended up in the front of the line.  I was less than a spear length away from the opposing line, but more than a pole arm length.  I tried to back up and someone behind literally shoved me into a spear.  What I later realized was that we were surrounded and there was no place to back up.  I later wondered if I should have just charged into their line since I had no choice.  Would a heroic death have been better?  Hell, it might have even created a hole through which we could pour and change the tides of the battle.  Note to self, be more aggressive.  A similar set of events happened in the fifth field battle.  We were all surrounded and killed.

On Tuesday was the Woods Battle.  This was always my favorite battle.  I spent a significant amount of time in the woods as a child, so it feels like my natural habitat.  Our unit, who was fighting with the 3rd division of the Northern Army this year was broken into three groups, for strategic purposes.  The unit I was part of was the last to go in and was led by Omega (or as he is calling himself now, Tribune Omega).  As we neared the front line, there was a small unit trying to flank us on the hill to our right.  Omega called for one person to follow him and told the rest to rejoin the unit in the opposite direction.  Nobody followed him, so I did.  I had fun.  I killed the few of them that were in range for me.  Then I managed to tie up a guy’s pole axe.  It was a full minute before one of the other spears on our side figured it out and killed him.  I forget not all spears know how to work with other people like that.  After a few more kills, they started focusing on killing me and I died.   It was a LONG walk back to resurrection point.  It seemed to be a good ten minutes to walk there and back.  I theorized that we must have been fighting up against their resurrection point.

The rest of the battle was pretty dull.  It was our job to keep the line in a specific area.  We were strategically placed directly behind a set of fallen trees.  At one point, I desperately wanted to climb on the falle tree and fight from there.  I have good balance for things like that.  I did climb up, but was told by our side to get down.  I was disappointed.  There were a few more deaths and a few more long walks to resurrect, but nothing significant.  I did actually stop and take my helmet off to rest for the first time ever during a woods battle.  I think the long walks really got to me.

I also learned a valuable lesson.  Don’t repeat random orders.  On one of my walks to resurrect, someone yelled the order, “Get off the road!”  Assuming an EMS cart or something was coming, I repeated the order loudly until people started listening.  Nothing came.  I guess they were trying to clear the road so the resurrected people could get through more easily.  Another valuable lesson I learned during this battle: be sure of who you’re talking to before you open your mouth.  Someone behind me warned me to look out for a very obvious terrain flaw ahead in the path.  Because his voice sounded like someone in our unit, I responded with, “Dude, you know I grew up in the woods, right?”  A perfectly adequate response for someone one knows.  Only then he picked up his pace and I saw a knight I know by sight, but not by name walking away.  A perfectly inadequate response for the actual situation.

Near the end of the battle, I got killed. As I walked back, I heard the 10-minute warning. When I got to the resurrection point, they were calling out the 5-minute warning. I walked back in the woods. As soon as I could see the fighting in the last push, the cannon fired, ending the battle.

That evening we had our Serpentius gathering.  Usually we have it on Thursday of War Week, but due to the time constraints of having to leave a day early, it was changed to Tuesday this year.  Both the household and the militia attend the gathering.  I have a new squire-brother, Deacon.   We also added a few new members of the household: Kitt (whose SCA name escapes me), Fionn, and Aiden.  Then, to my surprise and delight, Argent Fist officially joined the Serpentius household!  It was a fun night.  I got to chat with good people and discovered the card game Cards Against Humanity.


A photo taken at the Serpentius gathering at Pennsic this year

Disclaimer: All I have written was true to the best of my memory at the time it was written. My memory can be poor and my point of view can change with time, so please keep that in mind as you read.


~ by Gunnvor on August 3, 2013.

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