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2004-08-24 - 12:21 p.m.

Back to our regularly scheduled 'No Shit' stories....

Wed was the day of the Bridge battles where the Queen's Spears were to take the field. As the previous day had wore me out between running around the woods and fencing a long tournament, I hadn't had time to get by crossbow and bolts inspected for the third bridge battle. Since I had to go up to the field early, I slepped up my bow and bolts for inspect and my fencing gear for the field battle that followed the bridges. It was nice to see so many folks out for the Queen's Spears. The bridge battles were lots of fun. I spent a significant portion of one keeping Wrangvaldr (sp?) as bored as possible. I wasn't stepping away from the flank support I had from the wings and he wasn't closing into the cup of death. The second bridge was particularly fun after standing around with the shield walls staring at each other for a while, Val finally sent in the spears. I was the second one called in, probably due to standing right next to him as he was calling in folks. It was like sticking fish in a barrel, as their spear support was slow to respond and when it came it was frequently behind their shields and significantly outnumbered. In the third bridge, the missile weapons came out. I decided to do the Yeoman thing having Colin bring my spear onto the field while I had my crossbow and bolts. I unfortunately forgot to bring my half-gauntlets so I had to shoot in my full mittens. A little awkward, but manageable. I'm thinking someone forgot to give some folks on the other side the memo about missile weapons. The number of folks I popped in the first few minutes of the battle due to lack of proper cover was sad. We even had enough folks to start doing volley fires on the siege engine crews. I don't think I ever did get the ranging correct. I either elevated too high and sent bolts into their bored reserves or misfired and dropped a bolt about 15 feet in front of me. My particular moment of amusement was when some guy was telling to suppression fire a line of tightly packed shields on one bridge rather than actually killing a line of Ansteorran knights with spears. I emptied my quiver and ran to fetch my spear. I managed to make it on the bridge right after we'd crushed across, so I didn't actually get to stab anyone up close and personal.

Then it was time to rush off and change clothes for the Rapier Broken Field (aka Town) battle. Despite attempts to just be a minion, I was given a brute squad to take one of the buildings, which turned out to be an alleyway. I was chosen to be in the Allied Champions battle, but the rapier point took too long to get going so Val replaced me with Sir Bryce. Can't argue having Byram replacing me.... A little bummed I couldn't make one of my favorite battles of the war, but such is life.

By the time the field battle started, my unit was up to 6 and I'd already realized my planned objective was pointless. So, I figured we rush to that point and then see where we were needed. After seeing Aethelmark had their street well tended, I decided our street was a little light on reinforcements and we needed to punch through. So, I lined up the Ragnarr squad, who brought their heater and round shields with them, on the far right with Colin, Melchior and myself for fire support and let them loose. We shoved the line back from the alleyway to the end of the street, but a knight on the end cupped our line and suppressed the breakout. I got flat-snapped in the forearm by someone's cane, but I got even and stuck him in the mask with my 40" epee. I finally got stuck in the foot and had to drop, at which point the line started advancing past me. Noting that His Majesty Middle's guard only had dagger and target, I instructed the 2 fighters to my right to get him. The battle quickly resolved itself as Bob and myself dragged ourselves together to form the dreaded Atlantian hedgehog of legged provosts.

My sweetie had shown up on the field by this time, so I bagged out on the additional fencing battles to spend time with my sweetie. My only problem was how to get all of my gear home, since it had come up in 2 rather full loads. I finally put half my armor back on, tossed my legs over my shoulder and hefted my fencing bag while my sweetie carried my bow and bolts. There was much kidding about needing squires and to get off my lazy ass and such not....

Court was in the evening with much nifty awards given. Rain decided to cut things short. Went shopping with my sweetie and then eventually made it down to Caitlyn's vigil for her Laurel from Meridies for cooking. Another former Black Diamonder making good. And apparently, Sparky, aka Wulfbrandr, was elevated to a Master-at-Arms after the woods. Congrats to both!

Thursday was Mark's knighting followed by the Mountain Pass battle, one of my favorite. Unfortunately, the weather gods decided to rain steadily down, but we fought anyways. I had a little moment of personal glory when the Mid forces were pressing in hard and I saw a polearmsman pop through the line with the straight bead on Her Majesty. Colin was already occupied keeping people off, and I was going to be damned if they were going to be able to kill my Queen, so I jumped him. I wasn't going to be able to kill him with my spear, but all I needed to do was buy time. Long enough for a shieldman to come up and deal with him for me. The battle got called when the thunder started, and it started with a big boom. I was amused when camp cheered me upon returning. Something about Theo beginning to stress that I was out playing in the storm..... The fencing woods battle was called due to the rain, which was a bit of a let down. Maybe next year.... Relaxing that afternoon was a bit of a novelty as I'd been running solid since Sunday.

Millacre dinner was that evening, which was enjoyable and came home to find the Free Scholars giving Melchior a goodbye party. Packed out Friday after a morning-long Crusades planning meeting.

All in all, an enjoyable war.


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