Part way through the armoured woods, Ger and I answered a call for aid, and found ourselves on the banner point. They asked for someone to hold the banner… there had to be a hand on it at all times, or it would be considered contested, and no points would be awarded for the count. I dropped my spear, drew my scramaseax, and told them I would hold it or die in the trying. (A flair for the dramatic is one of my weaknesses)
The fighting was very close to the banner, and it was a hotly contested point. Fighters were dropping out of the line for brief periods of rest, and I was being my usual smartass self, making jokes to entertain and keep the mood light. This was the first appearance of “The Reverand”... my caricature of a revival preacher there to “Baptise our enemies in the name of Odin and Thor and Loki”! Basically, we were trying to not get overly bored, and keep the banner detail fun.
Ger and I sang a song by The Cruxshadows called “Winterborn”… a song about a group of warriors preparing to stand and die fighting. We thought it fitting, given our duty at the time.
Right after this, a fighter comes back from the line, exhausted, and sits against the tree in front of me, at my feet. He looked up at me, and I realized it was the Prince of Atlantia. I told him to rest, that we had his back. He smiled and thanked me. At this point, one of the Atlantian warriors mentioned to him that we had sung “Winterborn”. He grinned, and said he was sorry to have missed it. His Highness asked “Have you heard 'Sophia'? It has what I consider to be the perfect knight’s oath.”
When we confessed ignorance of the song, he stood eyes bright, energized… and recited the chorus as if it were poetry, an oath to do what is right and good, no matter what, set to verse.
Do not injustice to another
Defend the weak and innocent
Let truth and honor always guide you
Let courage find a life within
Stand up when no one else is willing
Act not in hatred or in spite
Be to this world as a perfect knight
Even if it means your life
To have the heir to their Kingdom reciting this, while the battle swirled around us as we stood to our duty, was an incredibly powerful thing for me.
|Ger and I in the rapier woods.|
Later that night, His Highness made us welcome in his camp and shared a beer with us, introducing us to his consort, and telling her that we had stood fast by the banner and protected him during the battle. We were not asked to disarm in the Royal presence, as is custom in the East... in fact, the Prince had me show the Princess my steel scramaseax, telling her I had protected him with one just like it (a bit of an overstatement, as only one enemy got within striking range, but who am I to complain).
This is one of my most powerful Pennsic experiences.