Thursday, August 22, 2013

Who will ransom you?

A discussion on a post Sir Rhys made on Facebook made me think of this story. I know many have heard it, but, here goes...

A number of years ago in the woods at Pennsic, I was on a banner detail (yes, the same one as in my Sophia story…). The line had pushed fairly close to the banner, and the fighting was pretty heavy. The Mid made a push for a breakthrough, and they succeeded… sort of. One man made it through. He punched through PAST the banner point, and then turned, heading for the banner. You could just see the visions of glory in his eyes as he came running at us… and then the banner guard turned as one, and he was looking at a knot of spears and polearms.
It was comical… he almost backpedaled as he came skidding to a halt, and fell flat on his back at our feet. Looking up at the points of all the weapons in his face, he stammered “Uh…. I yield.”
Everyone was ready to accept that. Being… well, me… I said “Who will ransom you.”
“Uh… what”
“If you yield to us, you are our prisoner. I will expect ransom for your release. So…  who will ransom you?”
“Uh… my lady?”
“Is your lady wealthy?” I asked.
“Not really…”
Turning to the rest of the banner guard, who are all chuckling at this point, I said “Eff it… kill him.”
They jokingly executed the guy, and then all laughing, helped him up and dusted him off. He started on his merry way, and I called out to him. He turned, and I said “Milord, you know what you just got?”
He cocked his head, and shrugged, expecting smack talk.
“You just got a story.”
He paused for a moment, and then grinned. Saluting, he walked away.

I bet that was some story…

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last Week's Fight Practices

Had the opportunity to have a couple of fight practices this week. Our friends Godric and Cecily were visiting from New Zealand, and Sir Rhys and Jimena suggested we have a fight practice on Sunday so he could fight some different people. We had fun, though there were only a few of us. Godric fights round shield in a style I had never encountered before, so that was cool. I always like to encounter new styles... it is good for my fighting to break up the norm, and can help me kick out of a rut.
We took it fairly easy, and fought till nearly 1pm. I had a decent day, but I felt I was lagging a bit. Feels like I am right at the edge of something, and am about to make a breakthrough.
Tuesday, my family visited fight practice. This was pretty awesome for me... they know what I do, and have seen pictures, but have only seen me fight once, probably close to ten years ago. Maybe it was the desire to make a good showing, but I had a very good night. Several things really gelled, and I got a couple of things to work that I have been stalled with for a while... mainly timing issues.
Setting up a shot and counter punching was one thing, and timing hitting a moving target another. I was also working on controlling my opponent's advance against my axe, and felt I was doing pretty good with that.
Things I will be working on:

  1. Offside targeting and power. Seem to not be penetrating with my offside shots. Need to work the proper form and stop being sloppy about that.
  2. Fighting legged opponents. Yep, I still suck at that. Apparently "kick them over" is not the right answer.

Definitely need to replace my damn gauntlets too... got a fingernail dinged a bit. Thinking of the Bokolo "Cat's Ass" gauntlets... they aren't perfect, but they are damn protective.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pennsic 42: The Gnome

One of our typical ways to spend an evening while at Pennsic is to head on down to the Coldwood/Freehold encampment and hang out with our friends there. Just sitting by the fire, chatting, having a beverage or two... it's a great way to relax and really unwind.
One night this Pennsic, I indulged in a few more beverages than usual, as did Asgar. When Dalla, Arnbjorn and I decided to head home, Asgar decided to head along with us and continue his night over the hill at some party or other. We resolved to walk as far as the merchant area with him before heading up to the Highlands and going to bed.
As we were walking up the street, we came upon a party that had spilled into the street right near the Dark Moon camp. There were people on both sides of the street, and a small knot in the middle who were all very boisterous (and more than a little drunk). Into the middle of this we strolled. The ringleader walked up to me, and said "To pass... you must either skip... or thumb wrestle the gnome!"
I was not intimidated by this challenge, and said boldly "Show me your gnome!!!"
The gnome came forth. He was obviously on steroids... either that or had been cross bred with a mountain gorilla. Not your happy little Travelocity gnome, this... he was huge, and looked spoiling tor a good solid thumb breaking.
"I... SHALL SKIP!!!" I announced.
And skip I did... I skipped like a boss down the gauntlet of party goers, stopping at the end of the crowd to thunderous applause.
Asgar came next... though his skipping took on a bit more of a bawdy tone... a bit more shimmy and pelvic thrust than your standard skip. While he was doing this, the man running the show came up to Dalla and repeated... "Will you skip... or thumb wrestle the gnome!"
Dalla tentatively said, "Um,...skip??"
I intervened... running up, I said "Wait! Wait! I have an idea!!!"
Dalla took off like a shot, running down the road at top speed.
She didn't just run... as she ran, she was crying "Run! Run faster!!!" She continued till she realized that she was well beyond the end of the party, and there were a couple of women looking at her oddly. She collected herself, and said to them...
"You haven't met the gnome."
And then she walked on.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pennsic 42- what we did in week 1

So the initial plan was to type up blog posts while at Pennsic to post when we made our town runs. This lasted precisely one post, so I will do my best to sum up Pennsic, and maybe tell some Pennsic stories over the next little while. This post is just a summary of what we found to keep ourselves busy and not bored the first week.
We went to Pennsic this year without a lot of commitments. Usually we have scheduled things that we have to do, such as classes to teach or people we have promised to help out. We decided to do some different things this year. I committed to help Baron Erik of Munitions Grade Arms move his rattan stock from the freight yard to the Pennsic site, and Arnbjorn and Dalla said they would do it as well. We went on Monday for that, and moved 2 tons of rattan from a tractor trailer to his trailer, then from his trailer into the racks at Pennsic. This was actually far more fun than it sounds... it was very physical, the bales of rattan were something close to 75-100lbs each... but it was a nice switch from working at a desk all day. We were rewarded with three staves of rattan each for our efforts, which was generous for a few hours work.
I had decided I would not be putting in as many hours at marshal's point this year as I did last year. Sir Stephen was marshal in charge last year, and to help him as much as possible, I spent a good chunk of nearly every day down there (though not as much as he or Aiden did). This year I ended up helping the Battlefield staff more... Sulla and Syr Silverthorn were the two primaries there, and we did fun things like move hay bales and put up posts and ropes marking the battlefield. They are almost always short of hands, so they were vary appreciative. Both are fun to work with as well, which makes a difference.
I did end up working marshal's point a decent bit. Duchess Tessa from Aethelmearc was running point this year, and is good to work with.I put in several half days there inspecting, and marshaled the field battles on the first Monday of War Week.
We also helped set up East Kingdom Royal encampment, which was cool. We went and unloaded the Kingdom trailer, and then set up the entrance pavilion, wind walls, etc. Much fun was had, there was a crew of pretty cool people working, and it went pretty well, with only a couple of hiccups. All in all, a fun experience.
I did some pickup fighting week one as well. I ended up fighting a guy from Sweden named Sven who was a fun fight. I noticed the white belt, and that he was a Duke... what I did not realize at the time was that he was also the King of Drachenwald. Needless to say, he did not suck, and was a fun fight.
Aside from these things, we mainly used the first week to relax. We played some medieval games, and visited friends. Hanging out in the Freehold/Coldwood encampment was our regular nightly thing, and we got to spend some time with Gunvar when she came over to visit us, which was also nice. All in all, first week was very relaxing, and we went into War Week rested and ready.
Arnbjorn and I playing Game of the Goose