By Peregrine Fairchylde
Staff Writer, Pennsic Independent
The top archers of the Middle Kingdom and its allies found their marks more often and defeated their counterparts from the East Kingdom and its allies to take the Archery Champions War Point on Monday by a score of 708 to 585.
The two teams of 30 archers vied against one another in three formats: The walk-up shoot, the friend and foe shoot, and a woods walk. The Midrealm archers won all three events.
The friend and foe was the most straightforward of the shoots. Archers were faced with a target depicting two warriors: One on his knees with his back to the archers was an ally, one standing beyond the ally and facing the archers was an enemy. The object of the timed shoot was to put as many arrows into the enemy as possible while not shooting the ally. The Midrealm side tallied 84 points while the Eastern side tallied 45.
Once beyond that shoot, however, things took a fanciful turn, with all the shoots having a fairy tale theme.
The targets in the walk-up shoot were Puss-In-Boots and the Seven Dwarves, arrayed in a group a great distance from the firing line - a distance that was unknown to the archers when they started. At that furthest line, some archers could only see the tops of the targets. After each team member shot two arrows, they then moved up to another line an unspecified distance closer. There were six such lines, each progressively closer, ranging from about 120 to about 35 yards from the targets. The Middle Kingdom and allied archers scored 267 points to the East and allies, 244.
The teams then split up into groups of three, with an East and a Middle trio paired together for the 10 stations of the woods walk. The targets, also all at unspecified distances, included such themes as protecting the Three Little Pigs from the Big, Bad Wolf; shooting the poisoned apple from the Wicked Witch's hand; and taking out the troll so the Billy Goats Gruff could cross the bridge. The woods walk had the additional challenge of dappled light and shade, as well as many targets being partially or totally obscured by vegetation, in come cases requiring archers to fire between close trunks of trees to strike the target. Once all the archers had shot all 10 stations, the Middle Kingdom again prevailed, 357 to 296.
The archery range was closed to the populace all day on Monday for the shoot but will be open again for practice from 9-11 a.m. today, and populace War Point shooting will commence at 11 a.m. for the rest of the day.
Gentles wishing to shoot but wanting to avoid an unnecessary trip up Mount Eislinn should look for the range flag - with a yellow square at the hoist and a red pennon on the fly - which is raised when the range is open and down when it is closed.