Gulf Wars XX Part 1   Leave a comment

Well, damn, that was some war…

Sunday – The Battle of I-59

Letia and I trucked over to Raph’s house on Saturday night, where we promptly fell asleep on his couch, so that we could wake up, minus an hour’s sleep thanks to the vagaries of Daylight Saving Time, too bright and damn early to hit the road.

Thus the three of us, bleary eyed and stuffed  in a van full of fencing and camping gear, and funk (3 adults, 12 hours, yeah…), made our way southerward.  We arrived as the day was trending towards dusk, setup our tent, and headed down to the Green Dragon Inn, where we found Greylond and his cadet, Marius, holding down a table.  Here was where Greylond’s pet tiger first reared its head, but it would not be the last (“So, Greylond, ever use ‘I’ve got a pet tiger’ as a pickup line?”  “Ohhhhh yeah”).  Also, here we found out about how Gulf Wars does alcohol: Full of southern hospitality.  “Donate what you want, and here’s a beer!”  Often times, “Donate what you want” would be left out.

Monday – The Battle of New Orleans

We roused ourselves the next day, and, minus Raph, but plus Matheu, Alric, Countess Kari, Sir Theron, and a whole slew of others, set about a quest: beignets at Cafe du Monde and martinis at Muriels (the BEST 4 dollar martini I’ve ever had) summoned us to take a little trip down the mighty Mississip, and we arrived to be greeted by the sparkling, effervescent odor of New Orleans on a warm morning.  Beignets and Muriel’s had, it was time to set about the serious business of a dipsological tour of New Orleans, and this we did.  Most of us were stout of gut and able to drink steadily through the day.  Letia was not.  Eventually there was a “One drink every two hours” rule put in place, but not before Matheu developed a barnacle in the form of a giggling hippie.

Thus, as four Free Scholars loose upon New Orleans, Alric, Matheu, Letia, and I toured the bars and art galleries of the French Quarter, and generally had a swell time of it until the cash ran out and we began to sober up.  Countess Kari, our DD, swore that she was not driving a car full of sober people back from New Orleans, and we had best do something about it.  So we scrounged together the meager wealth expected of Free Scholars of Atlantia, and headed back to the bars as the sun sank low in the sky.  The first one we hit was devoid of decent alcohol, and women, though the Bud Light tab was festively painted in rainbow colors.  The second one we hit was also devoid of decent alcohol, and women, and possessed of a rainbow colored Bud Light tab.  “My lads,” sayeth I, “I believe we may not be the target audience of these fine establishments, for they glare at us and our female companions invading their sanctum, and, indeed, are not of a mind to associate with us Breeders.”  “Wot?” quothe Alric.  “Yay, verily,” sayeth I, “Let us adjourn back to that Boondock Saints bar with the cute brunette.”  All agreed, and so did we hasten to a bar we’d previously visited (and done some recruiting for the SCA in; this shit happens, I don’t know how).

Worn out as the day darkened, Countess Mama Kari led her heard of buzzing uppity fencers back to the van, we piled ourselves into the seatless rear end, and went to sleep as we whisked back up the interstate to camp.

Tuesday – The Tournament of Trimaris

Gulf Wars is hallowed ground.  This is the only explanation I can come up with.  As mentioned, alcohol flows freely within its precincts and environs, and yet I had no glimmer of a hangover, no hint of a headache, the entire war.  How this works, I have no idea, and can only assume it is a blessing of Spike upon his warriors in far lands.

Rousting ourselves Tuesday morning, the four Free Scholars of the Apocraphypse, plus a Marius and a Greylond, hied down to the rapier field where we discovered something: Atlantians like fighting.  Everybody else seems to be more enamored of chatting.  So we fought each other in pickups until the rest of the Knowne World came out to play in a slow trickle.

Then it was time for the Trimaris Tournament, in which I learned that I like bearpits.  I reeeeeeeeally like bearpits.  Something about having just one pass with opponents so they don’t have as much time to figure out my weaknesses, combined with whatever level of stamina I may possess, means that bearpits go high on the preferred tourney format list for me.  Also, because I am of a mind to be ready for combat whenever it should offer, I grab space on the field to start the pits, and again the stamina and whatnot pays off.

But first we introduced ourselves to the Queen and Princess of Trimaris.  I introduced myself as a proud Atlantian Free Scholar, but also a native son of Oldenfeld and Darkwater, and was honored to fight for them.  Then it was killing time.

I started a bit, and rode it for 13 wins before being ousted by Azrael, who thugged me like, well, like Wistric.  I jumped back in line, and grabbed another pit, which I rode for 7 or 8 before being ousted by a Black Tiger, Haio.  Third time through, I targeted another fighter, Don Sylvane, who’d been holding his pit a long time and attempted a strategic assassination.  It didn’t go so well, so I was back in line.  Next time I got up, I was able to take him out, but only through a double, and then the tourney was over.  It was about then that I realized Tora had sat a pit for a good 3/4 of the tourney.

Fighting Sylvane and Haio led me to a realization: Constant retreaters are a fighter type I need to work up my skills against.  Part of me wants to rail and thrash and insist on the rule from Agrippa (you back into list fence, you lose).  But, really, I think I just need to become more proficient in baiting them, or legging them (I did that later to Sylvane, it worked, until he legged me back).

At the end of it, Tora had the most wins (26), I had the second most (20).  A prize for the most courteous fighter was given out, and, to everybody’s shock, they called my name.  Yeah, the guy who posted “I need more people to come kick my ass” on the Rapier Net.  Yeah, the guy who’s working on an ego hadouken so I can end fights without using my swords.  Yeah, me.  Still, I like to think I’m a decent fellow on the field, or, at least, the tourney field, when it’s called for.  It probably helped that the marshals wouldn’t let me obey Silver’s first rule.  And, it wasn’t the most surprising courtesy prize given out.  But it still got an identical reaction from everybody I told.  “YOU?!?!”  I now have spiff bling from Her Maj and Her High Trimaris, and got a gift certificate to Reconstructing History and a bottle of some damn fine mead, which I promptly put to good use getting myself drunk.

Wednesday Early AM – The Fire Ships, less the ships

Wednesday did not, as is often the case, start with the crowing of the rooster as Apollo pulled his burden above the horizon.  Instead, it was more a continuation of the drunken stupor begun on Tuesday night, as the clocks zeroed out and a new day began.  The Four Free Scholars of the Apocraphypse, along with Greylond, Marius, Raph and Caitlin, staggered back to camp and, after some drunken shenanigans, went to our respective beds (except, maybe, Greylond).

And I had just been peacefully embraced by Morpheus, or thumped on the head by a bag of sand, not sure which, when my sleeping ears heard a cry.  “Fire!”  “What?” says my sleeping mind, “This is a strange dream.”  “Fire!”  “Curiouser and curiouser.”  “FIRE!”  And here my waking mind began to pay attention.  “FIRE!” coming closer, and the sound of running feet.  “Did he say ‘Fire’?  Nah… that’s not what he said.”  Then Letia nudging me.  “Wistric, did he say ‘Fire’?”  “Nah, I already told me, that’s not what he said.”  “Fire!” shouts the voice again.

Now, at this point, I don’t mean to sound like a total dickass, but I was drunk on my courtesy prize, and sleepy, and I really did think, “It sounds like they’ve got plenty of help, they don’t need me.”

Then, as Raph puts it, Letia shot up like a rabbit.  Somebody had yelled “There’s a gas fire, get some water!”  Not wishing to miss the stupidity this entailed, we all three filed out of our tent and looked towards the parking lot.  “Ohhhhh,” says we, “It’s a car on fire, must’ve been talking about the gas tank.”  “Ohhhhhh,” says we, in mutual agreement.

“Hey,” says I, “where’s the van?”

“Over that way,” says Raph, pointing off a ways away from the burning car.

“Oh, good.  Hey, isn’t that Alric’s car?”


“The one right between us and the fire, parked just this side of it.”

“Oh, yeah, looks like it.”

“Oh shit,” says Alric, passing us at a dead run, “That’s my car!”

Wistric then inquired of himself as to whether he knew anything about putting out a car fire, realized he didn’t, and went back in the tent to get a cloak.  He joined the spectators (hey, it’s human tragedy, there’ve got to be spectators) and ran into Alric, who said, “My car’s far enough away,” and so we all gathered to watch a car burn down in the cold night.  I briefly adjourned myself to the men’s room (I’d been drinking, after all), and when I returned the fire trucks were pulling up.  Lumberton’s Bravest hopped out and, in their cutoff jean shorts and tank tops, hosed down the car, which was at this point little more than modern art.

The SCA rallied round, and a number of fund raisers were held, so here’s hoping that the people whose car it was were able to recover somewhat from the horrible loss.

“Hey,” says Raph, “don’t we have a field battle in the morning?”

“You mean this morning?” says Letia.




Posted March 23, 2011 by wistric in Events

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