Known world royals of cially starting the Pennsic War with the break of the Peace Arrow.
Photo by Sean Sreamach
By: Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton
Editor-in-Chief, Pennsic Independent
“We traveled from lands, as you do, expecting the East and Middle to be locked in fierce but predictable combat. Something has gone wrong… but it is a joy to see.” King Gabriel of Ansteorra’s words, while making his declaration of alliance, sum up what is different about this Pennsic and the Opening Ceremonies that took place last night.
Æthelmearc opened the ceremonies by entering onto the field in front of the fort, followed by Northshield, Atlantia, and the other allied kingdoms—everyone save the East Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and Ealdormere. The Crown of each Kingdom (or their representatives) took their places behind Their Majesties of Æthelmearc, Atlantia, and Northshield. The Kingdoms of the East, Middle, and Ealdormere then entered the field together, the Middle on the west side, the East on the east side, and Ealdormere in the middle.
Once all were assembled, King Timothy of Æthelmearc greeted the assembled Crowns and populace. “Nobody heard me tell people to get off my lawn… so I guess it is to be war. “ After much laughter, he continued. “These are special lands. I can’t think of anywhere else where men and women have died on the battlefield, gotten back up, and hugged their opponents.”
He then thanked the collective Crowns who had gotten together and “planned a grand war,” and wished those who had come from afar “the event of a lifetime.”
The Kha-Khan of the Great Dark Horde then brought forward the War Arrow, which was much longer than usual. King Timothy invited the Crowns of Atlantia, Northshield, East, Middle, and Ealdormere to join him in the breaking of the arrow. It broke into six pieces, with each kingdom receiving a piece. “Mine’s so short!” quipped King Ioannes of the East.
With most of the alliances already known, there was a great amount of levity this year in the declarations of alliances. King Alexander of Caid stated, glancing nervously at the sky, that “the great and powerful kingdom of Caid had come to this cold, wet land fearing death from the sky,” but would still declare for Æthelmearc, Atlantia, and Northshield. Prince Franco of Trimaris extolled the “valor and ferocity of the Trimarian swamplords. Duchess Siobhan of Drachenwald stated that they had sent a tiny contingent of two, and they would fight with friends. “You will see them sprinkled on the fields,” prompting King Ioannes of the East to again quip, “Sprinkles are for winners.” King Steffan of Lochac stated that in his kingdom, there wasn’t often a chance to meet with Royalty, and when the Kings met, “It was wonderful, but boys will be boys and it turned into some shoving, and all was good and well until someone yelled ‘light’ and look where we are now.”
Once all kingdoms had made their declarations, the Tuchux were called forward and materialized from the crowd to make their declaration that they would fight with King Timothy and King Cuan of Atlantia. The Kingdom of Acre honored their ancient treaty, with Queen Vivian declaring for the East. The Great Dark Horde, having “entertained many wonderful offers,” opted to “take up the Middle Kingdom on their most generous offer—and fight with Atlantia.”
House Darkyard then brought forward the War Horn, and Her Majesty Signy of Atlantia stepped forward to sound a high, clear note, signifying the start of War. But King Timothy concluded the ceremony, “Your Majesties, I am pleased to call you and your subjects my friends. Let that thought guide our actions at this War. Will you walk out with me?”
And the Crowns of Atlantia, Northshield, Ealdormere, the East, the Middle and Æthelmearc stepped forward and left the ceremony together.
There may, however, have been a song entitled “Æthelmearc is Awesome” accompanying the recessional.