PI Web Edition -- Thursday, August 19, 2004

This is the Pennsic Independent web edition for Thursday, August 19. Please see the table of contents below to read today's top stories.

Photo by Lady Mary: The Janissary Band returns to Pennsic.

East sweeps bridge battle, claims the war

By DonalBane of Blakmers

Pennsic Independent Battlefield Correspondent

After 16 war points: Eastern Tygers 14, Midrealm Dragons 2

Wednesday proved to be the decisive day for the war as the East Kingdom and its allies were able to sweep the day's battles (including the rapier melee) and claim overall victory in Pennsic War XXXIII.

The day began with the Great Armies of the Midrealm and the East taking the field for the bridge battle. Needing to turn the tide of war, the Midrealm turned in a good fight among the five bridges. While the lines weaved between battles movers, the Midrealm assigned Calontir to the northern bridge, Ealdormere, House Darkmoon and others to the north central bridge, the Darkyard Legion and others to the central bridge, the Oaken army and others to the south central bridge and Trimaris and the Midlands army to the south bridge, with Ironlance and other elements in reserve.

The East looked to press its advantage by assigning Black Talon to the north bridge, the Northern Army to the north central bridge, Atlantia to the central bridge, various other Eastern elements to the south central bridge, and Maarkland and the Great Dark Horde to the south bridge. The Bloodguard, Rome and the Tuchux were held in reserve and the Tuchux would have a major impact on all three fights.

The first fight saw the Midrealm press forward on all bridges, attempting to sap the will of their enemies, but the strategy did not work as the East carefully picked out fighters and thinned the Midrealm's ranks. The end came when the depleted Midrealm forces on the south central bridge got a full, fresh charge from the Tuchux and were nearly driven off the bridge. At the same time, Bloodguard and Rome also charged forward on the southern bridge and the two forces eventually broke out and proceeded to sweep the field, giving the East the win. Hasdrubal's Marines were the only Midrealm allies left standing when the cannon went off.

The second fight saw a more cautious approach from both sides as neither group wished to charge themselves to death. Once again, it was Tuchux who pressed the issue, nearly driving their Midrealm opponents the whole way across the south central bridge before breaking out. While the breakout occurred too late to sweep the field, the East's forces had enough bridges in hand to claim a decisive second win.
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The third fight also involved combat archery, which many gentles used to their advantage. Post-battle, the battlefield was so littered with arrows and bolts, it appeared that Agincourt had been revisited. The East did not waste time in this battle, pressing the Midrealm and breaking them early. The Tuchux led a breakout from the southern bridge, while Black Talon spearheaded a breakout on the north. The two pincers combined forces to grind down the remnants of Darkyard in the center.

After seeing his army triumph again, HRM Kelson of the East refused to be boastful in victory.

"We still have yet to win the war," Kelson said. "The Midrealm has the ability, the chivalry, and the prowess to win this yet. We will not allow ourselves to become overconfident Tygers."

Allied Champions' Battle

The Allied Kingdoms of the East helped put His Majesty's mind at ease. The allies of both the Midrealm and the East assembled near the force with the allied champions and put forward their usual hard-hitting, wonderful display. The battle was a 30-minute battle with unlimited resurrections. The sides fought over possession of three banners with possession being recorded at 10-minute intervals.

The southern banner was largely a contest between Ealdormere and Atlantia, while the central banner largely was fought between AEthelmearc and Calontir with a conglomerate of Allies contesting the northern banner.

It was a rollicking fight, but when the final whistle sounded, the East's Allies had seized the banners for five points, while the Midrealm's Allies claimed three points. One point was contested evenly and declared a tie. Thus, the war point went to the East.

Thursday's featured Melee

Mountain Pass battle: 11 a.m. (two battles, three points each)

This will be a full resurrection battle with three banners being contested over two one-hour battles. Each banner is worth one point. Full combat archery will be allowed for this battle.

What to watch for: Incoming arrows! Seriously, combat archery means spectators will be asked to stay at least 10 feet behind all hay bales. Expect the lines to waver much, with major charges in the final five minutes of each fight.

Eastern fencers get the point

by Liam St. Liam, Pennsic Independent Battlefield Reporter

Even the Eastern commander was surprised at how quickly and effectively his forces and their allies handled their opponents in Wednesday’s Fencing Melee War Point.

“The Central Region wasn’t supposed to break through like that,” Don Antonio Patriquin said with a smile, nodding at Central Region commander Dona Nataliia Evgenova Svatislovina . “That wasn’t part of the plan.”

Planned or not, the breakthrough was followed by another from the allied Atlantia units. Aethelmearc’s Northern Region Glory Hounds broke through a Midrealm unit commanded by Count Peter van Doorn, and allowed the Southern Region break through the final street, setting the stage for the East’s victory.

“I couldn’t have stopped them if I had wanted to,” said Dona Nataliia, whose unit was backed up by the Northern Region, including Princess Svava. “They were going right through.”

The East won the Fencing Champions’ War Point Monday, and the two sides will meet again for the final fencing War Point in the Woods Battle at 2 this afternoon.

Wednesday’s battle was the first mass fencing melee of its kind, and the East went into it with a 150-105 advantage in number of fighters. The field was set up as a town battle with four streets and a single avenue running through them, but it quickly turned into a bridge battle because of the speed of the Eastern advance.

Don Antonio said advance planning was the key for his army. “The command staff communicated with each other for the last month and worked as a unit . We made it clear that this was a battle, not an individual fight. The units worked well together, and we have Princess Svava out there, and she’s an inspiration to fencers from the East to everywhere.”

King Felix of the Midrealm also fought and addressed the fencers both before and after the battle, urging them to respect each other and be friends afterwards. Warder Maximilian von Zauberer was the Middle Kingdom commander.

Prince Rurik of Aethlemearc was part of his kingdom’s Northern unit, which was commanded by Duchess Dorinda and included Duke Morgan and Duke Yngvar. Aethelmearc’s Southern Watch followed the Glory Hounds across the field.

The Midrealm side was down to one fighter, Don Robert McFarland of Ansteorra, and he was granted single combat and killed by Duke Ragnar Blackhammer of Atlantia.

After the War Point, the East and Middle combined to defeat the rest of the participating kingdoms in a second battle, and the Allies won the third battle, which included rubber-band guns.

Dona Marion of Oaken Glen was still bouncing after the battle and spoke for many of the Easterners and their allies. “I am still on an adrenaline high,” she said. “The fact that everybody came together was great. We had a good battle plan. People knew what they had to do and did it.”

Photo by Master Liam St. Liam: The Fencing Melee war point.

One Knight at Pennsic

Royals Beware! (Please Ask Your Chamberlain to Read This to You)

by Sir Guillaume “You Look So Domestic” de la Belgique

At the risk of creating a Pennsic-wide panic, I must warn the populace of the Known World about a dreadful plot to destroy our Royalty. This is an ongoing issue, although Pennsic is one of the main places where this nefarious scheme is put into action. Even now the perpetrators are lurking among You, Your Assembled Majesties, and I urge You to be vigilant and wary.

I am referring, of course, to: Your chamberlains.

The chamberlain or chief-lady-in-waiting is the person who is responsible for the maintenance of the King and Queen — arranging Their schedule, keeping Their obligations, coordinating Their correspondence, changing Their oil every 3,000 miles, etc. But lurking among all of those duties is a horrible plot to undermine the Monarchs’ ability to take care of Themselves in any way, shape or form.

In short, Your Majesties, Your chamberlains are out to turn You from intelligent, responsible adults into blithering idiots.

At least, that’s what happened to Felinah and I during our two reigns. Sure, our two chamberlains, Ceridwen and Veronique, always claimed they were “simply trying to help,” but in retrospect I understand how this plot took shape, and I can see that a great deal of the damage took place at Pennsic.

Now those of you reading this who are not Royalty may have no idea what I’m talking about. You see those processions of Princes and Kings walking past at the head of a column of guards, courtiers, heralds and ministers, and you think, “Gosh, it must be wonderful to be in command of a whole kingdom.” With no disrespect intended to any of the Monarchs here at the war, let me just say, “Ha!” Those people wearing those impressive Crowns and marching around with all those entourages have not been in command of anything, including their social calendars, their dining preferences, or their ability to use the privy since about 22 seconds after the final blow was struck at Crown tournament.

As I said, this is a very subtle, pervasive plot. I remember having a tiny inkling of this conspiracy after the Midrealm Royal dinner during our second reign at Pennsic XXXI. Felinah and I had been at Pennsic for nearly a week, going to meetings, battles, teas, brunches, courts, parties and all manner of delightful but hectic activities. As we were walking home from the week’s Major State Dinner, we skirted past the edge of the merchants’ area where the “midnight madness” sale was winding down. I recall thinking, “Hey, we don’t have any other commitments tonight! I’ll duck out of this procession just for a moment and see if there’s anything I want to buy.”

Which, of course, shows you just what a moron I was. Even as I stepped away from the column of attendants, the Crown of Caid began emitting high-powered radio waves, like some kind of Royal “Lo-Jack” device. Then, a random, wandering duchess rushed over to my chamberlain, pointed directly at me and shouted, “Careful! He’s getting away!” causing the entire procession to stampede into the merchants’ area just to make sure I was not actually lifting an item of merchandise with the Royal hand.

Yes, there was once a time when Felinah and I could pack our own clothes, take care of our own equipment, set up our own pavilion and cook our own meals. That was before our chamberlains launched their plots. Now, all we can do is stand there, looking helpless, with a vague notion that someone else is running our lives and hoping they don’t hurt us too badly.

So, Your Majesties, I wish You all better luck in surviving Pennsic with Your self-reliance intact. Beware those professionally organized appointment calendars, those neatly arranged Royal meeting rooms, those eternally filled goblets...those thing are Your downfall. And Your Majesties don’t need to thank me for pointing this out to You. Trust me, I’m simply trying to help.

From fighter practice on the edge of a swimming pool, to winning a lady’s heart by hitting her with a piece of rattan, to cheerleaders at Crown tournament, Guillaume’s books and audio CDs are full of hilarious stories about life in the SCA. You can find them on sale in Ceridwen’s Closet, space 122 in merchants’ row.

Shire members from the Holy Land make a Pennsic pilgrimage

by Master Liam St. Liam, Pennsic Independent Battlefield Reporter

In the past year, Lord Yehoshua ben Haim HaLevi and Giovanna Luparelli have met through a forwarded e-mail message, which he received the first week after moving from Boston to Israel, helped organize the first SCA group in Israel and joined in running five events.

In the past three weeks, they have gotten married in New York City and joined that group, the incipient Shire of Beit Ariyeh, in its first visit to Pennsic.

“This is our honeymoon,” said Giovanna, who has two daughters, Tzipporah and Sara. Other shire members attending are Naomi bat Yehezkel and her husband, Alter, and Rana, who has recently moved back to the U.S. from Israel.

The shire members said there are five paid members in the group, which is part of the Kingdom of Drachenwald, and that there are about 30 people who take part, including 15 who regularly attend events.
Lord Yehoshua moved to Israel last September and almost immediately received e-mail from a friend, who had seen Giovanna request to form an SCA group on another list.

The shire, which has a Hebrew name meaning “House of the Lion,” is planning an “Eighth Night” event, in December and has invited members of the nearest SCA group – in Greece – to the event. The group is also working with a friend who is a travel agent to organize a “SCAdian’s Tour of Israel” next June.

Alter said he had tried once before to get together with someone to start a group and added that the latest effort has seen the shire members involved in fencing, bardic arts, brewing and period games. “We are hoping to get heavy fighting going,” he said.

One of the difficult aspects of having a shire in Israel is that at least half the members are religious Jews who observe Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

Considering that in Israel most people work a half-day Friday, have Saturday off and go back to work on Sunday, Thursday nights have become the easiest time to have events.

For Pennsic, Lord Yehoshua contacted a friend from the Atlantian Barony of Storvik who he knew kept kosher. The shire, the three people from Storvik and three other religious Jews from Lord Yehoshua’s former barony of Carolingia are cooking together at the war, making separate meals from the 40 others in Storvik.
The family will be leaving Pennsic today to visit New York for another week before returning to Israel.

Photo by Master Liam St. Liam: Lord Yehoshua ben Haim Halevi (with Lady Genvieve Fletcher, Drachenwald Herald) is one of seven members of the Incipient Shire of Beit Ariyeh — the first SCA group in Israel — attending Pennsic.