Pennsic XL Part 6: 51 weeks to heal   1 comment

Friday morning I rolled out of bed (by the way, this was the first year we didn’t sleep on an air mattress, but instead had a real bedframe and futon mattress. It is so much more comfortable and our sleep was deeper and more restorative than it’s ever been), picked up my phone, and sent Raph a text message: “I’m your huckleberry”. All the previous afternoon he’d been worried about whether or not I’d be able to fight Friday, especially with the champions fight that afternoon, and wanted to know if he should have me on his list or not. I told him repeatedly that I’d be fine, but he still wanted reassuring on Friday morning just in case things changed overnight, so I made sure he could rest his pretty little head.

The night before, when our in-camp nurse was looking at my foot, I explained that I was very rationally deciding to do something stupid and self destructive. “There are 5 days of war week, and I will not sit out 20% of my vacation. Tomorrow happens once a year, I have 51 weeks to heal afterward. I will be fighting tomorrow, so what do I need to do to make sure I do as little damage as possible?” So she and I talked and, basically, it came down to “If it hurts too much, stop.” It didn’t hurt too much, I armored up, and it was time for some field battlin!

The Armored Field Battle

The war was won, so the King had given leave to his fighters to take a break, but still the vast majority of Atlantia turned out to fight the field battle. It’s the field battle, how often do you get to run at a thousand enemies and try to kill them all?

The East put Atlantia uphill on the left, to do what Atlantia does best: Go downhill, turn right. We were opposed by a Liliputtian unit with a large gap on either side of it. Given our numbers and the moot-ness of victory, Duke Jason the Warlord wanted to experiment with a formation they’d used at Gulf Wars: Shields in column on the left, spears and poles in column on the right, targetting the left edge of the enemy. While the spears kept them occupied, the shields would hit the flank and plow through. He’s been hanging out with fencers too much if he’s gotten this innovative and flank-happy. But as a fencer, I approve.

As a polearmsman, though, this meant I was dangling out there in the breeze with no shieldwall to protect me, and fully expecting the enemy to counter-charge and annihilate all of us long pokey-sticked fighters while we bought time for the shieldmen to have some glory. It was an interesting role reversal, and I prepared to die on a mountain of enemy dead (or under a mountain of enemy dead, more likely). At the gun, we trotted across the field, then charged at our target, preparing to come to a crashing scrum with the enemy. The enemy, for their part, did absolutely nothing. No counter-charge, no significant reaction. Our polemen just swarmed in on the point of contact. The shieldmen charge faltered a bit as lead fighters broke off to engage rather than continuining according to the plan, but still we rolled the enemy unit into a little ball away from the rest of the fighting, and I was in their backfield before the first shouting was done. I called Corby’s attention to the exposed backsides, then stepped in on their one rear guard, and died. The East and Atlantia mopped up the field and it was over pretty soon.

The initial contact on the second run went the same way. They collapsed back, though this time I was still in front of them fighting until they disintegrated. A Tuchux back-checked me as he tried to push past me, right as I was taking a step, and strained my injured foot, but I kept on going, up the field, through engagement with another group of spearmen, where another Tuchux shoved me from behind, and into the dogpile on the last of the Mid army until they were gone and the fight was done.

Thanks to those two Tuchux (who I sincerely wished to punch in the cervical vertebrae) I was really hurting and just about to the point of the “Hurts to much so stop” limit. I rested for a while, though, and the pain went away and I was able to fight the third run. I have no idea what happened in it, though. Can’t recall a single detail. Not sure why.

Three field fights, Tuchux and all, and my foot still felt good enough to fight on it. Which was great, because that was about when somebody came up and said “Hey, you’re in the rapier champs fight.”

Champions (cue the Drag Race music)

I’ll start with saying I lost. Such is the way of things. I will now describe what I felt happened, but I was not in my opponent’s armor. And, his kill shot was clean.

He was fighting 36-ish and cloak, in a very weight-forward stance, I was fighting with Stabby and Choppy (45 and 30) in the best Italian I could manage on my feet.

We traded a bit of play, then I pressed and hit his cup-al area with Choppy.

He called leg, and thrust at my stomach as he went to the ground,

which I blocked up with my recovering Choppy and stepped in to draw his neck (repeatedly) with Choppy.

He thought he drew his sword on my stomach (though I think it was on my blade instead), and the marshals were horrified that I had “collided!” with my opponent (That’s what happens when the East interprets the rules). So we reset to fight again.

(Many thanks to Kel for the photos)

We played a little again, and I took his sword hand. He discarded his cloak, I discarded Choppy, and somewhere Gaston and Roz cried out in pain. There is a long tradition in that teaching tree that you do NOT surrender an advantage earned. My opponent lunged across Stabby, and landed a cup shot as he stepped in to close.

(From Facebook)

As Dante put it, “Wistric was busy being a hero and forgot to win.”

I figure I gave my Queen the violence she so loves, and even got to display a little bit of an over-active honor gland.  But yeah, I forgot to win.

And then it was all done, except for the drinking and taking down camp and loading up cars and driving home. Many, many times over the week I thought, “Geez, I’ve got to be in better shape if I’m going to Iron Man next year effectively,” and was looking all forward to getting running as soon as I was back home. And then I was at the doc’s a week later, getting my blood pressure checked, and he said, “Anything else going on?” “Well,” said I, “I hurt my foot, I think it’s sprained.” “Well, let’s check it out.”

That line there?  Not a sprain.  The next few months may be “Wistric’s Weekly Wishing He Could Fence”

Posted September 2, 2011 by wistric in Events

One response to Pennsic XL Part 6: 51 weeks to heal

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  1. Pingback: Pennsic XLI: Part 5 – Big morning woods « The Weekly Warfare

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