Saturday morning was bright and clear – a fine day for a battle. Ansteorra and her allies started on the west side of the field. Meridies held the center, with Ansteorra to our left and the Midrealm to our right. Meridies would stop the Trimarin army in the center, giving the others time to roll through the enemy flanks. In this first battle, the plan went well: we stopped the center, doing plenty of damage, and the Trimarin line folded. The second battle did not go quite so well, we didn't commit our reserve soon enough in the center, and the Trimarins were able to hit the flanks hard, rolling up our line from the ends. In the final battle, though, we committed quickly and tore the Trimarin center wide open to roll their lines out from the middle. That's how it looked from where I was standing, anyway. Unlike in some previous years, I managed to avoid getting myself killed early in any of the field battles.
After the field battle, I actually went back to camp, took off my armor and other gear, and packed it all up. I was done fencing for the week, but I did go back to the field to put in some time as a marshal. I met up with Quentin at the rapier field, where he was entering the Novice Tourney. I was part marshal and part herald for the tourney. Quentin fought pretty well, and did a better job of remembering to die dramatically (when his time came) than most of the participants. I think he was in the semi-final round, although I’m not positive. A good showing, regardless.
The rapier fort battle is really just a friendship melee for the fencers at the end of the war. We split off into teams, and one side tries to take the fort while the other defends, then change sides. Sometimes we include ranged weapons, sometimes we don’t. This was my first time attending the fort battles as a marshal; I wanted to get in some experience marshalling large melees, and I was able to help out for several changes of side before they brought out the rubber-band guns, at which point I had to retire due to a shortage of safety glasses for marshals.
Le Jeu de Pomme
On my way back to camp, I passed Warder Phillipe from the Barony of Shattered Crystal. I’d seen him playing Jeu de Pomme – an ancestor of tennis – next to the Green Dragon with Warder Brigid earlier in the week. We’d already discussed meeting up for a game ourselves, and he gathered the equipment and met me by the tavern, where he taught me the game. It’s actually rather tricky. After the serve has been returned (an unreturned serve doesn’t count), play continues until the ball bounces twice without being hit. There’s a goal line, with the server defending and the other attacking; the attacker scores points any time the ball passes the goal line. When the ball first goes dead, its position is marked as “the Chase”. Thereafter, when the ball goes dead, the attacker or defender gets points depending on whether it stopped closer to the goal than the chase or farther away: also, the chase moves to the new position.
I really wasn’t very good at this. We served by knocking the ball onto the tavern roof, but after that you could play it any direction. Nonetheless, I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head that I should keep playing toward the roof of the tavern. Oh, well, I at least managed to luck into winning one game of three. After that, I introduced Phillippe to Guillaume from Tal Mere; when I left, Philippe was showing off his “tennis” gear and Guillaume was showing off his period golf gear – I’m sure they got on well together.
Gleann Abhan Ball
Rose Eriksdottir hosted the Gleann Abhan Ball on Saturday night, and she worked a little kingdom fundraiser into it by auctioning experienced dance partners, something that worked fairly well at the last Saltare. In retrospect, though, the last night of war is probably not the best night to hold that sort of fundraiser – people tend to have used up all their spending money by then.
Seven Deadly Sins Party
After the ball, I wandered over to the Seven Deadly Sins Party at Marshin Fayne for a while. I’m not entirely sure what was different, but this was the first time that I went to that party and really enjoyed it. There was a lonely bottle of muscadine wine on their serving table that I was able to claim, sharing it with Ginevra while chatting with assorted old friends and new ones from this war. I did manage to take myself off to bed before it got exceedingly late though, knowing I would have a long drive home.
Salutes and Thanks
Hellos and Thank Yous to Duchess Katrina, Ginevra, Bast, Debbie, Zoe, Quentin, Cortney, Sybil, Antonello, Theodora, Master Octavio, Maire, Rose, Faelen, Amalie, Hawk, Zofeia, and all those who helped me get through the week as well as new friends whose names I can’t remember yet.