This past weekend, Night on the Town went German and I as well as Rachael and Lucy went down to Atlantia Friday night for the event. Rachael’s uncle lives down the street from the event so we stayed at his place and drove over the next morning. The morning started out a bit gray especially with the rain making everyone a bit damp but a little rain couldn’t dampen the morale of the East Kingdom contingency especially when the rest of the group arrived. We all decided to take a stab at the Blacksword (single elimination tournament) that started off the day. Half our group got paired against fencers out of their weight class (new fencers taking on gold scarves, white scarves, and MODs) but everyone fought really well. I drew a fencer from Atlanta who fought with the same fighting style with dagger that I did which was really cool to see and even though I lost, I put up a good fight and it was a lot of fun.
After the tournaments got everything warmed up, the sun had finally come out so most of us decided to grab lunch and do some shopping. The fencing started back up with 4 prize fights (a tradition in Atlantia that I’m not really familiar with but what I gathered is it’s for those being raised from blue scarf to gold scarf or gold scarf to white scarf and they fight everyone who challenges them). I knew two of the fencers in the prize fights, Bumi and Terasu who I’d met at War of the Wings last October (Terasu is one of the reasons I got into fencing in the SCA after watching him fight at my very first event years ago). I got in line and fought Terasu with sword and dagger which was a lot of fun. I took is hand pretty quickly and then he took my leg before we double killed.
After the prize fights and the ceremony to elevate them to their new ranks, Master Connor also known as “The Damn Gypsy” (I’m not kidding, just ask him or anyone who knows him) explained how the melee scenario would work. It was a really cool idea where the group on top of the hill (made up of about 8-12 fencers and half a dozen combat archers) created a “house” while everyone else had to get into the “house” and kill them all. Each group got 5 minutes to set up their house and then it was on. Being from the East where we don’t have combat archers in rapier melees, the group of us decided to let the Atlantians with bucklers and shields lead the charge. Elizabeth managed to narrowly avoid a combat bolt though hit her skirt but missed her legs under it (to which we decided her skirt midget was dead but she could continue fighting) and I got clipped with an arrow to the head and watched the house get routed. In the second round with a new group take the house, this time creating a hallway of doom that their fencers could slow down the onslaught and the archers (who had a 15 ft minimum range) could pick off people from the back of the “house.” I got hit in the ankle right outside the “house” so I had to knee-walk down the hallway into the fight. I moved like a herd of hurtling turtles and got there just in time to watch the last one fall but it was still fun. Then it was our turn in the house and the Atlantians loved this. We built our house with a small hallway the opened up into a kill pocket. Malcolm and I started out on our knees to make ourselves small targets while taking out the first to enter the house. We’d lost an archer who decided to join the aggressors and put the rest at the back of the house where they’d have enough range to shoot those coming in. I didn’t last long but in the end, we’d taken out half of their forces which was really badass (Go East Kingdom!). In the last round, we rejoined the mob (and the absentee archer returned) I switched out my dagger for a borrowed buckler and acted as part of the shield wall. I managed to deflect some of the bolts and arrows but Rachael caught an arrow in the throat after it was deflected off her gorget in a freak shot (this, lords and ladies, is why you always wear your gorget) that put her out for the rest of the day. It should be noted that she was and is fine with no bruising from the incident and that it was just a freak accident but her gorget quite possibly saved her life.
Rachael was understandably done for the day and some of us went into the woods battle which was cool but the heat, the holly trees and the poison ivy made for a short battle (plus the combat archers just complicated things a bit especially when it became hard for them to know 15 ft when on uneven terrain. Malcolm and I decided to join the last of the organized fighting (while others did pick-ups) which was a Valhalla battle. The rules were simple, every fencer for themselves and when you die, you’re out until the person who kills you dies. The only way to win is kill everyone else (or if time runs out, be the last man standing). I looked at Malcolm and asked if he wanted to team up for the mean time (why kill each other when we can work together) and he agreed and then proceeded to sit back and let me kill 3 people in a row. It was a blast and in the end Malcolm won the whole thing (they finally caught on that he was the equivalent of a white scarf even if he didn’t wear a scarf but by then it was too late). Overall, the event was a ton of fun. I wish I could’ve seen some of my friends from Black Diamond (the barony I started in) but I got to meet and fight new people, have fun and learn a ton. Plus, Master Connor said he’ll help me expand the EK Fencing Practice Map into Atlantia as well so that it can grow which is really exciting. Yesterday (Sunday), we went to Southern Region Sundays fencing melee practice in Iron Bog which I’ll post about later in the week with tomorrow and Wednesday’s practices. Until then, keep fencing, keep learning, and keep having fun!