Gulf Wars XXI (aka 2012) Part 4: In which Wistric doesn’t fight   1 comment

Dawn came eventually, and a worn and weary Wistric stirred from his slumber to lay hands upon coffee and brekkies, because these things make the morning worth living.  He settled down with the Book of All Goingson to look at the schedule: Ladies Tourney, Everyman Tourney.  Nada else.

“Well,” thinks Wistric, “They seem to think I no longer fall into the category ‘Every Man,’ and yet also don’t fall into the category ‘Lady,’ leaving me in a strange purgatory of gender and personal identity which can really only lead one to decide screw getting armored, I’m wearing flip-flops all day.”

So I did.  I’d decided that, though I could not fight in the Everyman Tourney, I would nonetheless have my Shady Spot, even if it meant standing in it and marshalling whatever fighters came there.

In braies sans chausses and a tunic I headed down to the field to watch the Rapier Champions battle.  We arrived a little before it started, and I was milling behind the thrones when the herald in charge said “Royals, send your heralds to me!”  Her Majesty Atlantia looked around, realized she didn’t have a herald, saw me, and her eyes brightened.  Then they traveled down to my footwear.  Her face fell and her shoulders slumped.  “Alric’s loud, your Majesty,” I muttered, then in shame went off to put on my boots.

I got back before the fighting started (Gulf Wars is partially so awesome because everything’s close, not a damn hike like Pennsic).  Caitlin was standing as champion for Atlantia, and fought well, landed a couple of shots that looked good from the cheap seats, but eventually lost.

I headed for the rapier field to watch the fighters and shoot the shit.  My feet began to swell, though, for some ungodly reason, so at lunch I headed back to camp and changed back in to the flip flops (Getting my boots off took effort, getting my chausses off strained the seams.  Not sure what happened but my feet had gained two sizes somehow).

Back to the rapier field, where I was in time to watch Letia come in second in the Ladies Tourney (woot!) and to find out that the Everyman Tourney would not be in the Fort, as it had been last year, but would be on the rapier field.  There would be no shady spot.  I teared up a little.  All of my desire to marshal was gone, and I was left with no purpose in life.
“Hey, Raph, let’s go waterbear the armored ravine battle,” I suggested, and he said that sounded like a good idea so away we went.

I found out later that Armand came in second in the Everyman.  Not too shabby.


The Armored Ravine Battle

From our front-row seats, I was both glad not to be fighting this one, and felt horrible that I wasn’t out there with the army.  It was a shit sandwich that all Atlantia got a couple of bites out of.

The uphill-both-ways rez run that the fencers had last year?  The armored fighters had that this year.  And it was, as the war had been, hotter and muggier than last year.

Fighter Mom-in-Charge Kari was there marshalling, so she covered for Raph and me (“They’re totally my MiTs!”) as we came up to the rez point (without eye protection) to get Atlantia-Brand Ice Water to the fighters.  One of The Puppies, Evan, was there also so the three of us (and some other gentles whose names I didn’t catch) were the water bearing crew for the left side of the line.  And we were busy.

The enemy had about four times as many archers against Atlantia as we had.  They suppressed our archers and our spearmen, making it difficult for any effective gains against the enemy to be held. We got the flag a few times, but never for long.  Our fighters walked those hills over and over and over again till they were falling down.  Giacomo was almost insensible by the ¾ mark, he’d just walk up, we’d squirt water in his mouth, and he’d walk back up to the line (at one point I heard him mutter something about his 47 year old ass being too damn old for this shit).

On top of the heat, the rez walk, and the archers, injuries were a huge toll.  I saw more scratches, abrasions, and generally bloody wounds than after any other battle.  Talorgen got his arm jacked hard, and His Majesty’s elbow was torn up in a charge so that he ended up at the hospital after.

At the ten minute mark, Padraigin stood in front of the worn out fighters lying down behind rez point gasping for water and said “YOUR KING AND YOUR QUEEN CALL UPON YOU TO ARMOR UP AGAIN AND FIGHT FOR ATLANTIA!”  Or something to that effect.  It was a good bit of “Once more unto the breach, good friends…” and the zombies stirred, armed themselves, and headed back to the killing field.  Raph said to me, “I almost went out there, too!”

The hilltop around the flag had been completely denuded of vegetation by the tramping feet and was just dirt and dust.  It rose up in clouds when fighters hit the ground dead.  And there was a moment of “Oh, that’s what it must have been like on every battlefield ever, except times a thousand.”

Somehow, Spike knows, Trimaris pulled out the win by 10 seconds.  It was really an “Atlantia takes one for the team” sort of battle.  But that happens.

As a result, two things will happen next Gulf Wars:
1) I will have my heavy gear with me.
2) I will get a crossbow (from Argh) and bolts, and those will also go with me.  Put twenty bolts into the enemy, then pick up a spear and kill.
This will also come in handy for another project, to be named later.

Also, I’m recruiting armored water bearers (wear armor, stand immediately behind the line, serve up water, spare the walk back to rez point for fighters who aren’t dead but need a drink), because damn.  Applications can be filed in the comments section.

Posted March 27, 2012 by wistric in Events

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