War Week of Pennsic

Monday
Having not had secured anyone to fight with (although several people have told me “you can fight with us” and then I never heard from or saw them again), I decided to just show up to the battle and fight. I woke up uncharacteristically late, so I got there just as the battle was starting. It worked out well for me. It was the town battle. I just found who was wearing the blue tape and joined in. However, as I was just walking out onto the field, they called a hold. After a long wait, I walked further out onto the field. As soon as I arrived they called “hold” again. We were on the attacking side. I didn’t get to do anything. Then there seemed to be an extremely long wait between us attacking and defending. Finally, the battle started. I hung back at first because the directions started with “Go with your unit.” Eventually, I found a hold in our defense and plugged it. Then I felt someone tapping on the back of my helmet. I turned around and he said “you’re dead”. I most certainly was not dead, so I hit him in the head. He either ignored my shot or didn’t think it was good and he moved on. Then he thrusted the side of my helmet over a hay bale. He walked away, assuming I was dead, so I hit him in the head twice more. I can’t imagine none of my shots were good, but he looked at me and told me I was dead. I was so dumbfounded by his stupidity that it rendered me speechless for a minute. In that time, someone else hit me with a good shot and I walked away. The more I thought about this idiot, the angrier I got. I realized that I shouldn’t continue fighting so I just walked away.

I don’t know if that guy truly didn’t know the rules or he was just trying to see if he could get anyone else who ho didn’t know them, but it was amazingly ridiculous. Everyone out there, especially if you’re new, read the Pennsic melee rules. Read the marshal’s handbook. Know your rules. And above all, don’t be an asshole. Okay, there’s my public service announcement for the day.

Tuesday
I awoke and started armoring up, but I had stomach problems. I also never was a big fan of the bridge battles, especially since my back had always acted up after getting thrown over a hay bale in the past, I decided to sit this one out. Instead, I decided to go and do some pickups. My boyfriend and I went out to the pickups field. He asked me what my main form was, because he wanted to fight me using that. I told him I really didn’t have one. Sure, I spent a lot of time using a sword and shield, but I switched which hand was considered my dominant one, I switched up my style more than once, so I never really got good at it. Everything else I fought so sporadically, that I really couldn’t consider them to be my main form either. I decided to fight with two swords. I did okay. He instructed me to keep my “threat hand” back. The problem is, I really don’t have a threat hand. I’m better with my right, but my shoulder is currently messed up. Shiro stood by watching us. When I needed a break, I took a minute to go over and talk to her. She advised that I try and cross-block some of his hits. When I do that, I can turn and have access to most of the back of his body to hit as I choose. It was a really neat idea. It worked when I was practicing with him, but I couldn’t quite get it to work much when we were fighting at full speed. I’m not sure if I just need to practice or if he countered the possibility because he knew it was coming. Shiro also mentioned that female fighters tend to just hold their swords out in front of them and that they tend to isolate body movements rather than use their whole body naturally as most guys seem to do. I wonder why. It is interesting because I know I have that problem. My boyfriend and I practiced what she taught us. He said I learned rather quickly.

We got lunch and returned to fight some more. This time I picked up the pole arm. He was rather aggressive with his fighting style so I started fighting very defensively. It was probably a little too defensive because I really didn’t hit him all that much. Then he managed to dig a thrust into my shoulder socket. While trying to demonstrate something, he did it again. It hurt so badly that I was done for the day.

Wednesday
I didn’t fight today. I mostly just hung out, went to herald’s point and submitted a badge, and hung out in camp.

Thursday
The woods battle was cancelled and was replaced with something else. I don’t remember what, because I never got to fight it. I armored up and blew a rivet in my leg armor. I took it to Nightshade Leather who fixed it for me and solved one of my other armor problems for me as well. Unfortunately, I missed the first half hour of the battle and by the time I got back to my camp, armored up, and returned to the battle, it would have been too late. The battle was scheduled to last for 90 minutes, so I was surprised when I heard the cannon go off at about an hour into it. I found out later that it was so hot, there were at least four people carried off of the field for heat-related ailments. They shortened the battle and closed the battlefield to all martial activities.

Friday
I had to pack because something came up in the real world causing me to leave early. I had to leave on Saturday morning. I did my best to pack as much as I could and said my goodbyes. We slept in my mundane tent tonight so it would be easy to just pack up and go.

Saturday
I woke up early and left. Pennsic seemed so short this year. I didn’t get to see even half of the people that I wanted to hang around with. I knew I would miss it, but it seems to be different every year. This year was good, but it went so fast! I hope next year will be good too!

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~ by Gunnvor on November 6, 2016.

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