Gulf Wars XX Part 4   1 comment

Friday – The Rose

Every opportunity I have had, I have taken to make this apology, and I will do so here as well: Duchess Padraigin, I am deeply, deeply sorry and mortified at my mistake.

To explain to the audience: I had asked Her Grace if I might serve as her representative in the Rose.  I interpreted her response as saying, very, very politely, “No.”  In fact, the first two sentences were her saying “Yes!” and the rest was her saying, “I only regret that you cannot fight for me again in the Tourney of the Golden Rose in Atlantia.”  But I had read it as “You cannot fight for me again – full stop.”  Why, yes, I did get a 790 verbal on my SATs, why do you ask about my reading comprehension?

Instead, I lined up the sponsorship of Countess Bera.  Then, on Sunday, when I stopped by Glynn Meara, Her Grace said, “So you’re on my team for Rose, right?”  And thus the groveling and scraping and apologizing began, and it may not end until next Gulf Wars.

Back to Friday and the Rose: They fed us nummy nummy crepes, which I ate, because I’m one of those people who prefers fighting with food in his stomach.  As for the Rose itself…


Lots of great fights, everybody giving their best under the eyes of those who inspire us.  My third round was against Sylvane (the previously mentioned).  Remembering that he backed away and kept range, I eventually managed to leg him.  Closing in to deliver a killing shot, I missed through his armpit, and he drew my ankle.  I sat down, then said, “You know what, I will restore your legs so that we may stand and fight with a true art.”  So we stood, lay on was called, and shortly thereafter he threw an offline lunge that landed on my chest, and that was my first loss.  At the fifth round, the last “shotgun round”, I realized almost all of the Atlantians were still in the fight, including Alan, Giacomo, Raph, Letia, Matheu, and I think Alric (and if anybody remembers better, let me know).  But after that fifth round I think it was just Alan and me left.  He went out in the 6th round, which left me as the only Atlantian in the quarters, where I drew the Dreaded Lord Bye.

The Dreaded Lord Bye was aka Don Blayde.  He came by before the fight and we talked, and he said, “Yeah, they told me I can’t give you a pass.”  I said, “I’d kill you if you did.”  I like to lose (except, you know, I hate it, too).  We fought, and doubled, me with a sword to his ribs, him with a point to my forehead.  We fought again, and this time he landed the shot and I didn’t, and that was my second loss.

All in all, I can’t complain about my performance (I mean, I could, Spike knows I’ve got enough self-critical chatter going on in my skull), and will cross my arms and be satisfied.

Friday PM – Dinner at Glynn Meara

It was ribs night at Glynn Meara, and Gaston invited me.  As I mentioned, TPTB eat there, and I was next to the Kingdom Seneschal, at the other end of the table from the King and Queen, and across the aisle from Sir Forgal.  Seriously, this is pretty much the bullseye for “Wistric will now fuck something up.”  But there were ribs.

Great Spike’s Phallic Horn, but Val cooks a damn good rib.  Like, some of the best I’ve ever had.  Halfway through the rack, Alric comes in and heads over to His Majesty.  I go back to my ribs.  Then Cuan stands up and heralds Their Majesties’ court.  And then they call me in.

“All week long,” says His Majesty, “We’ve been hearing about the great deeds of this fighter.  8 people have come up to us already, not all from our kingdom.  In fact,  it’s gotten to the point that when somebody comes up and says they want to talk to us about one of our fighters, and we say, ‘Is it Wistric?’ and they say, ‘Yes it is!'”  Then they awarded me the Shark’s Tooth, and Alric took his shark’s tooth off his neck and handed it to me (and whispered “Now you can’t say only Dragoons get it”).

It was awesome, and I turned around and saw that the entire Atlantian Rapier Army was standing in the audience, and Duke Ragnarr was guarding my ribs from Gaston, and… yeah, my thanks to all who arranged that, it was so wonderful, and I still tear up a bit thinking about it.  And, yes, I wore it to work on Monday.

Friday Night-Night – The Knowne Worlde Party, and I Have a Vision

The ARA and the other Four Free Scholars of the Apocraphypse headed off to get gyros while I continued to work on the ribs, with us agreeing to rendezvous at the Fort, or so I thought, for the Knownie Worldie Party.  I went there, and seeing none of the other FFS of the A, sat down on a hay bale.  Then, my belly full of Val ribs, I fell asleep.  I woke up a while later, looked around, still didn’t see the FFS of the A, and decided maybe I’d missed them and I could just go back to my tent and sleep and be satisfied.  Headed back, I ran in to Raph, who said they’d been waiting for me at camp.  We met up with them again, and jumped in line for the Knownie Worldie Party.

Then I saw it.  The sexiest thing I have ever seen that was not attached to or worn by Sunneva.  The thing that turned me from “I’m Wistric, I’m here to piss on your dream” to “The Dream… I has it.”  Under a tall torch, at a barrier, two men in 16th century armor fought with basket-hilted broadswords.  Not rattan, cut and thrust swords.  Then they picked up two-handers and fought.  Then they picked up poleaxes.  POLEAXES!  I could think of nothing more to say at that moment than “THIS!!!!!   THISSSSSSS!!!!!”

Two months ago I was telling Dante “One day, 10 years from now, the Arte of Defense tourney will include all the period forms, intermingled: Broadsword vs. two-hander, rapier vs. poleaxe…”  1o years nothing.  Turns out, Glenn Abhann and Meridies are running an experiment.  I’m now pursuing the ruleset to send to Giacomo for an experiment in Atlantia.  1 year.  On Saturday, Alan inspired the Dream further: C&T and rattan sharing the same barrier, trading off.  The FFS of the A had already been talking about a rapier pas, here was the bridge that would make it happen.

In the days since, I’ve been kicking around in my brain the how-soon and who-with of making it happen.

Saturday – The Fort Battle

The appeal of Gulf Wars was that it was a war where I’d have no obligations except to show up and fight.  This I did.  I woke up Saturday and said, “You know, I don’t need to fight today.”  It meant a few people I’d promised to fence, Corbin and The Awesomest Lady Ever (she was in a wheelchair, and fighting melee!), I did not get to, and instead I marshalled the fort battle.

The fort is cooler than La Rochelle.  The gate’s about the same size, but the dirt underneath is less rocky; the parapets can be scaled; and there are two sally ports.  The scenarios were no rez for the most part, which meant more could be run.  I think, in total, they ran 6.

There is no better vantage point for Monday Morning Quarterbacking than that of the marshal.  From that perspective I got to watch a couple of things:

A number of times, the sally port was only under assault by one attacker (sometimes legged), where a single gun shot would have put them out, and the defenders could have sallied out and attacked the rear of the force attacking the gate.  A few times, also, coordinated scaling of the parapets would have gained localized numerical advantages which could have been held long enough to get more fighters over the walls and into the fort.  Yep, they were ad hoc, non-warpoint fights, but it still seemed like a bit of coordination could have been managed.

That said, it wasn’t like nobody tried.  Greylond was in command of one half, and he put Letia in charge of one of his sub-units.  As she observed later “It’s easier to command idiots who don’t think they know anything.”  Her force was generally attacking a sally port, and she did a great job of sergeanting them into the fight and into openings when they occurred, even when legged.

When the provosts went inside to defend against all the non-scarves, she learned another lesson.  “Hey,” I whispered to her, “Rally your troops.”  Which she did, gathering them about her and setting out a plan, which they totally failed to follow.  Her field commands were also largely ignored.  Without the moral authority given by being appointed by a white scarf, nobody listened to her, and this would probably be the case for any non-scarf.  It goes back to Rule #5 which will have a new corollary now: If you don’t speak up first, obey the person who did unless you can convince them to let you be in charge.

Overall, it was fun to watch, but I had no desire to fight it.


That night we took down the Zen Warrior tent and slept on the floor of the Zen Warrior hotel room.  Woke up the next day, ate at the greasy spoon across from site, and rolled home.  It was a great damn war.

Posted March 23, 2011 by wistric in Events

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  1. Pingback: Pennsic XL Part 5: Which contains almost no rapier melee « Wistric’s Weekly Warfare

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