Every person who journeys to Pennsic has their own incredible story of their travels or of their perils in surviving the thunderstorm squalls, the incessant drumming from "The Hill", offerings of drinks called "Strawberry Surprise" (what's the surprise? it has no strawberries!), heat stroke, Pennsic Plague, or the ever dangerous Shopping Bug.
These are stories submitted by folks over the years; you will find many, many more throughout the Web... just search on "Pennsic War".
The Birth of a "New" Kingdom
Whilst out reveling at the ever enjoyable Corn Party myself and Shaelyn caught a mischevious eye. That eye was seen wandering about in his own camp across the way. It belonged to none other than Skylar himself. He was indeed preparing for a night out wandering this eve.
After a few short moments and discussing the nights plan with him we found ourselves forming a group of about 15-20 other folks who were in search of a similar goal. (What that was we still don't know.) So lead by Sklar, Shaelyn, myself and "Corn Boy" we started off a wanderin.
Roughly around 2:30 in the morning we found ourselves infront of Trimaris Royal. Gates wide and unchecked. So what do we do? The natural thing of course...INVADE! While our merry band had now grown to around 50 people, strolling in was somewhat hard not to miss. A few folks in the camp also noticed this and so did the Queen.
So what were we to do now? Elementary my fellows...disburse the crowd and barter a deal. The deal that we had come to was that for us to leave peacefully and respectfully (our minion now standing outside the gate mind you) we would need a fee. Out of seemingly nowhere she offers us the King! While it was late and he was not to be found we agreed to come back a later time to pick up our prize. (still not sure what we were going to do with him once we had him though)
With the good news in hand we marched off in search of other camps to invade and pillage. For the night was still young and we had given birth to a "new" Kingdom...the Kingdom of Skymaris!
Bells A' Ringing
Two or three years ago at Pennsic I was sitting on the ground at a party (Lusty Wenches I think ?) and was chatting with a group of cool people..when I noticed I kept hearing a sound like a little bell jingling..I ignored it at first then must have looked puzzled cause someone asked me what was up.. I said " I keep hearing a little bell noise and can't figure out where it's coming from" then this really hot blonde guy named Gabriel smiles at me and says to me"give me your hand".. um ok.. so I give him my hand..he puts it under his kilt..and he has a Prince Albert piercing with a bell attached.. I could not resist.. I laughed so hard I started to cry and said " every time a bell rings..an angel gets his wings" then laughed and cried some more.
That's got to be the funniest thing that's ever happened to me at Pennsic.
On the dignity of kilts
Anyone who has ever worn a real kilt knows instantly that there is no dignity to be salvaged from kilts. I am not talking about those wimpy little kilts that you simply buy and strap on. Bah! I am talking the real deal here. Why do we wear them? Because the women wants us to. Actually, a pretty good reason. So after much consideration and soul-searching (and a few friendly polls) I decided to join the ranks of kilt wearers.
What were the Scots thinking? Were they even thinking at all? No wonder they got the shit kicked out of them on a regular basis. They were probably late for all their battles. I think it is all a huge cosmic misunderstanding. Someone on the armourarchive has this tagline that I think explains the kilt admirably:
Kilt is a verb, as in 'I done kilt him'
Somehow women got us all fooled into believing it is actually a skirt and supposedly soooo sexy. Oh, and that guys wearing a skirt are extra cool.
First there is the shocking purchase of the kilt itself. See, there is no such thing as a period kilt. It is actually not a garment but rather 10 yards or more of very itchy wool. I know the sheep were glad to get rid of it. Once the price shock has faded and a normal color has returned to you face you break down and buy the darn thing under the watchful and appreciative eye of your lady on account of whom this whole escapade came to be in the first place.
Lugging the mass of fabric back to your pavilion you are now faced with an even greater affront to you highly esteemed dignity. The kilt application. A kilt requires some serious preparation to put on. First you put down a belt. On top of this belt you then lay the evil fabric itself. It must then be carefully pleated. Yeah, pleated. Makes you feel really warrior-like and battle ready. "Don't start without me, guys, I am pleating my kilt!" The proper length of fabric must be left at the ends and folded properly. Now comes the real humiliation. In order to actually get the infernal garment to stay on your body you are now required to lay down, take of your pants, and underwear if worn, and then roll around lifting up the ends of the kilt. This procedure is invariably observed and judged by your lady's smug eyes and smirking face. She can't believe she got you to do this. All she had to do was mention Liam Neeson and Mel Gibson and off you went to the store. And now, here you are, 20 minutes later with you dangly bits flopping around crazily while trying to get the thing to not look like you are wearing hotpants.
Now the fun really starts. Having properly festooned yourself with yet another belt, a dagger and a huge claymore hanging on your back from a baldric you feel ready to face the world of Pennsic head on hoping that you won't meet any really short people. Walking around you think of all the advice people gave you regarding your thighs rubbing together. Somehow you couldn't get yourself to smear olive oil on the inside of your thighs and walk around Pennsic leaving a trail like a slug. This is when you realize that it is not the thighs you have to worry about. It is the fact that in a matter of minutes you will find yourself in possession of a hairless scrotum. As much as this may intrigue your lady you really don't want the other Scots to get the wrong idea. Not to mention upsetting the sheep. Since you are already tired from walking back up from the bog you decide to take a quick rest on the slope in front of the Spotted Pony and consider this new disturbing turn of events.
This is the moment when you realize a few other facts regarding the kilts. You sit and realize how wonderfully cool it is. So cool! You lean your head back and relax for a moment. You look at the people passing by. They are all looking at your kilt. Maybe this thing isn't so bad after all. You look down and realize that you are at this point completely and fully expose to the environment. Not just a little exposed. Not the kind of exposure that could be explained away as a trick of light. Part of your anatomy is severely and irrevocably protruding into the hot Pennsic day. You suddenly remember that somebody once explained to you why the Scots have those pouches hanging down in front of the kilt. You lean forwards and scramble to once again enclose the offending member. At this point you also realize that sitting down with a heavy claymore on your back has solidly staked you to the ground. Your embarrassment now closely matches the entire getting-dressed event.
You hastily retreat back to your pavilion hoping no one saw your face. Which is probably a good assumption in this case. You take off the kilt while shaking your head. You vow to never wear dreadful thing again. You then look up at your lady and notices how she looks at you removing the kilt and realize one thing: Yeah, you'll probably wear it again.
Capture the Flag
It was Pennsic XX, and Syre David was middle kingdom King.
So what is so great about this story?? Well this was only the primer to the funny.
Remember the newbie caring my banner?
Well like I said this took 10 mains for her to finally be killed. Well in that 10 mins she had effectively rendered the Group ineffective and out of the battle allowing the majority of the midrealm army to turn the east and move the battle away from that area. Oh and when she was finally killed and they asked who's banner.
Royals are not necessarily Noble...
No sh*t there I was, Pennsic 25. I had attended the rather BORING Men without Pants party and found myself wandering around Trimeris Royal (who were having an open party with wonderful Kool-Aid) Well, I am outside the party answering the call of nature (in a Portacastle!!!). As I return to the party, I spy Her Majesty of Ansteorra with retinue in close proximity. I had spent some time with Her Majesty earlier on at the Ansteorran Chili night. They were discussing going to the Men Without Pants party. I stepped forward to try to inform her that the party sucked and the one at Trimeris was far superior.
Just as I almost got to Her Majesty, this short man steps up to me and tells me to "Get Away from My Wench!" I looked down on this short man and thought to myself 'That's a rude way to refer to Her Majesty!" So in a drunken voice I proceeded to inform this knave what I thought of him and his attitude and how I was completely ready to wipe the floor with him, but I would! n't, 'cause I don't fight unless I am in armour. Then, proud of myself, I proceeded to leave this little man and returned to the party.
Anyways, the next day as I am reading my Pennsic handbook, I realized who the little man was. He was, in fact, His Majesty of Ansteorra.
Oooooops. Needless to say, I stayed away from Ansteorra Royal for the majority of War...
How I spent my Pennsic War
How I spent my Pennsic War,
Arrived on Wednesday, pre-war week,
Roving Resurrection Point?
I’ve been waterbearing for three years but this is my first chance to attend Pennsic since taking up the calling. It has provided me with a wonderful (if exhausting!) experience. With no desire to fight, waterbearing lets me support my Kingdom as I wage war against dehydration and ensure our fighters remain on the field, rather than in the chirurgeon’s tent.
There is no greater joy than seeing the relief on a fighter’s face as he spots you and the beverages you offer. However, during the Woods Battle, I encountered another reaction. As the first fighter finished drinking, he glanced back towards the fighting with a wide grin and said in a cheerful voice, “Am I alive now?” I hated to disappoint him but replied, “You’re well watered but you’re still dead and must go to the bottom of the hill for resurrection.” I have never seen a cheerful face turn to despair so quickly! He looked down the hill and said, “You’re kidding!” I regretfully informed him that I was not. I then watched him trudge down the hill, his enthusiasm quickly drained.
So waterbearers were both welcome bearers of liquid and hated enforcers of resurrection. Several fighters swore the point kept moving farther away and had a love-hate relationship with us throughout. I can only suppose they thought (and hoped) that we were some sort of roving resurrection point. I, for one, am glad we were not for I would not wish to be dragged, armorless, into the battle to serve as such! I must also admit to a devilish amusement at the situation. For, while waterbearers are non-partisan in their duties, I was also waterbearing the “enemy.” So although the waterbearer in me felt for the plight of the fighters, the Atlantian in me found evil delight!
The Blue StuffDetox
Way back at Pennsic XIX I decided to introduce The Blue Stuff to war. After a long, arduous town trip, we came back with in exess of $700 worth of "fixin's," and I began to mix. We wound up with over fifteen gallons of the Stuff (6 2 1/2 gallon water jugs plus some that was appropriated for taste-testing...), and I was so woozy I almost knocked down my tent trying to get out.
The party itself is something of a blur to me, but all went wonderfully well. Save for the occasional report of a fallen way-farer found half-in and half-out of a nearby port-a-castle, the rather irate complaints of the Rogue women regarding their missing men (only one made it home), and the ringing in my head (never, EVER play with a three sectional staff while drunk, it's impossible not to hurt yourself...), the morning was shaping up quite nicely.
That is, until the young dragon bearing two chiurgeons came down the road, with tidings of the many unfortunates under their care which could only murmur "Blue Stuff..." before returning to blissful unconsciousness. Needless to say, they only had one question: "What is in the Blue Stuff??"
I hemmed and hawed for a bit, the One True Recipie being something of a secret among the MacDonald clan. I was originally going to tell them nothing, until they asked me if there was pure alcohol in it (someone WAS running around with a personal supply of anhydrous ethyl alcohol colored with creme de menthe, but it wasn't me), and I stood firm with this: There is nothing in the Blue that would not be found in a trip to a well-stocked liquor store. Well maybe if you stopped at a grocery store along the way. Certainly," and on this I was, and am adamant, " there is nothing contained in the Blue which is over 100 proof."
Strangely enough, they were satisfied with this (perhaps because of the shock and dismay on my face regarding their supposition as to the Blue's contents), and went on their way. I have to say that's the greatest compliment I've ever received for a party.
The Ballad of the Pants That Make One Wise
T'was during Pennsic twenty-nine,
A Tale of Two Pennsics
Pennsic 24, my first War, and engaged, yet single. For those that remember, War Week was a Heat Wave with a Heat Index over 120 degrees. The Serengheti was impossible to bear and spent much of the day finding ways to cool. One of which was the swimming holes. After the first few days, I mustered up the courage to visit the Classic Swimming Hole. I came to the final path that would lead me to that spot, I looked down to see with shear horror a butt the size of a horse's bottom with the sun glaring off it. My first reflex was my jaw hitting the ground, my hands covered my eyes, and I yelled out "AHHH, MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!!" And laughter erupted from the surrounding camps and those wading in the hole.
I moved on, to only return this past year Pennsic 30. It was dark and I was wandering the Swamp for a party. Since the Classic Swimming Hole was moved a couple years ago, I wasn't aware I was coming upon it. I rounded a corner to see a Lord and two Ladies Cooling in the water. One of the Ladies got up from the water, glistening in the neighboring camp's torch light, and approached serenely and struck up a conversation. She invited me for a swim and backrub, but respectfully declined as I admired the view before me.
I did not decline due to a lack of beauty or desire, in fact I had to fight the urge. I declined on the admirable grounds that I was married by this time with three children showing her the band on my finger. I also mentioned how it was my night out while my Lady watched the children. She thanked me for my honesty with understanding, and we began discussing parties. She directed me around the bend to a mellow bardic that was growing. We bid our farwells and I went on to that bardic where I had a very relaxing evening without the Wife and Kids.
My second War I spent most of my time at the Chiregon (spelling, I know) point by registration. I worked the overnight shift, which we dubbed the Pennsic detox shift, and with good reason. One night a beautiful belly dancer (dressed in one of the most incredible dancing outfits I have ever seen; it even had little bells all over the fabric, she "chinged" as she walked) came in dead drunk. Actually, she was almost dead. Her alcohol level (surmised by an emergency room nurse also working the night shift) was approx. .4 or one or two more drinks from death by alcohol poison. She probably didn't even drink that much, as she was only 5' 1" or so and around 90 - 100 lbs.
We went to work. She was placed on her side to prevent her from chocking on her vomit. I'm glad we did, as she yakked quite a few times that night. I was the chambermaid with pot - ugh! We took turns checking her vitals and measuring her responses to variuos stimuli. We would shake her hand or shoulder and talk to her. None of these invoked a response. There was one rule: If she didn't react to us twisting her ear, she was falling into a coma and needed to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, she did react to that, and we didn't need an trip to the ER.
She finally came to at around 9 AM. I stayed longer then I was required because I wanted to around when she came to. We were very glad, but at the same time really pissed she did that to herself and us. So we invoked the no ride rule: if we had to treat you for alcohol piosoning, you had to walk to camp the next day. As she was so hungover she could barely stand, she was not thrilled to hear this. We stood frim and she began walking to her tent. It was at this time her dress betrayed her. Everytime she walked, her dress made noise, excacerbating her hangover. Thus it was step-ching-groan, and again. She must have learned her lesson, we never saw her again.
Let's go camping
My VERY first even was Pennsic XI, when a college friend of mine asked me to go "camping" with him. Since we were both old Boy Scouts, I figured it would be a week of hiking in the woods. We drove from Long Island, and for the most part, Keith was quiet about where it was we were actually going. We finally pulled up to the gates after midnight. He then turns to me and says: "By the way, while we are here, you need to wear these odd clothes and act like a 'Courtly Gentleman' to folks." I looked at a man wearing a cloak coming towards the car with a clipboard, and I decided to 'play it cool' and keep my mouth shut while we paid our fees and got directions as to where we could park and set our camp.
A short time later, we had shouldered our gear and started our trek. Before me lay the park, with thousands of campfires, looking as if the stars had fallen from the sky. Beautiful. Suddenly, from the fog, there came a line of folks dressed like Druids, chanting!They passed by, and faded into the night. I looked back at the parking lot, then out again. My friend stood there grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I had but one response; "OH GOD! I'm in the friggin' Twilight Zone!"
Needless to say, we had a blast, and my fiance (now my wife) was PISSED when we got home and told her all about our adventures. Time passes, and now we bring our family to events here in California. My daughter and her friends have decided that when they graduate High School in 2003, they can't be bothered with a lame Class Trip to Disney. They plan to head East for 2 insane weeks of Pennsic Fun. So, if you see an orange banner with a green goose on it, flying in an encampment of "Westies" from Cynagua, that's us.
An un-Pennsic, Pennsic story
I have been in the SCA for over 15 years, and dwell in the lands of Lochac, mundanely known as Australia. My family still think me slightly odd, but are now resigned to my hobby. I haven't actually been to a Pennsic war, but am hoping to go this year as my recovery after running Lochac's first Coronation.
But, a year or so ago, I received a postcard from my mother and father. A Pennsic postcard. Strange enough since my parents are not in the SCA, stranger still because they have never been to the USA.
It seems that my parents were on holidays in the south of Australia, doing a tour of some of the spectacular islands. While on the tour they met a really lovely family from the US. They got to talking with my mum and dad, who found out that the family manage a campground, where every year a big medieval event is held. You guessed it, the Coopers.
The world is a very small place is it not!
So there I was at Pennsic XXX. My first. What's more, there I was at Ravenspittle's Party. Many of that inebriate crew I know from other activities, so I felt safe. And there, perhaps, lay my gravest blunder. Stumbling back to camp, I had realized that my vision played about 3 seconds behind where my head was actually looking. The Rat in the boathouse did well that night. So there we were, stumbling back, my Lady (who was in even more dire a condition) and I when she looks up and says "My God, is that a Squid?" Looking ahead in the darkness I told her she was obviously very drunk indeed. Then my vision focused. Just in time to see a 30' squid shuffle behind a camp.
At that moment, the slogan came to my mind: "Welcome to Pennsic."
The Sterilization Parade
This last pennsic a bunch of My friends and I were riding the Hay wagon just relaxing as we exited the bog passing the EK royal encampment the Fertility Parade went by! See this wouldn't be a big deal to most people but the thing was on the hay wagon there were my group of friends which consisted of about a dozen Teenagers ranging in age from 13-19 and a Couple of Little kids about 5-9. and of course as they went by the had us halt and bless the wagon and everyone on it with fertility.
and as they continued on every teenager in the group turned around and one of us Screamed back" But wait no! I want to be sterile I can't get My girl Pregnant My Folks would Kill me Bring on the sterilization!" and from than on My friends joked about How we should start a Sterilization parade and bless all the teenage guys with Sterilization just for the week of pennsic.
I have been to every Pennsic since Pennsic 10. For 17 of those Pennsics I was a monk named Brother Maynard. The last three I have been a wench named Bernadette. The SCA has never considered transsexuality a big deal. I am thankful for that. I live and work as a guy and spend my SCA time as female. It is an intersting life. In my new persona I have cleveage that makes real women jealous.
So a couple of days later I go to the men without pants party. I got my nicest dress on and maximum cleveage. You know all the jokes about what guys would do if they had breasts. They are true. I got em and I flauted them. I get to the party and they ask for ID. I am 45 years old. I have not been carded in decades. I walk back around the camp, get my ID and walk back. By now it is dark. I get in line to have my ID checked. My ID is from 3 years before of a guy in a leather jacket with a full beard. The lady checking ID's shines her flashlight on me, then on my driver's license, them me, then the ID, then me, at least a half a dozen times. Then she says, "This is a joke right?" I say no and if she wants to do a without pants check she will find the truth. She just shakes her head and waves me in at that point. So I go get in the line with the guys. About 10 seconds later a girl grabs me and says, "No, you get in the inspection line. This line is for the men we need to check." I tell her, "I know. I need to be inspected." She says, "No, you don't understand. We inspect the guys." I say, "No, you don't understand. I need to be inspected." We went back and forth about 5 times before she did a quicky inspection and dragged me through the gate to stand with the inspection que. I don't think she ever did get it.
Men Without Pants
Down in Gypsy Camp, we have a few of those crazy Scots camping with us. On the night the famous Men Without Pants Party was to be held, the boys in Gypsy Camp were all making ready to go. This is the party where men are forbidden to wear pants and the women in the hosting camp "make sure" the gentleman is regimental under any long tunics or kilts he may be wearing. They do this by braille, if you get my drift. One of the gypsies had gotten a can of spray cheez-whiz and was hosing down one of the Scots under his kilt.
They say you could hear the screaming all the way down in Darkside....
At Pennsic XXVIII, I was working the ridiculously late (2 AM - 6 AM) security shift on the Thursday morning of War week. As I'm shivering in the cold, a lonely lass comes in, looking quite distraught.
I asked her what was wrong, and she said that she had a family emergency and had to leave right away, and wouldn't be back this year, and had only stopped in the security tent briefly to resettle her things as she was trekking out to the parking lot.
She then turned and made the comment that will forever be in my mind: "I'm going on a town run, be back in 50 weeks."
All I could think to reply was "Pick me up some ice, would you?"
Never did find out who she was, and never did get my ice either.
It was Pennsic XXV. A friend and I were out wandering through the night looking for some fun parties. We ended up at the Swamp block party soon after our journey began. We reveled there for a while and headed back out to the Hawaiian party up on Runestone but we were too late. Following the nearby sounds of drums, we ventured into an encampment that had a few drummers, a dancing girl and some others milling about, one of which was this real tall gentleman.
We hung out there for only a few minutes before we started talking to this man. I forget his name now but he was at the time a Prince of Trimaris. He was real funny and seemed to be a nice guy so we invited him to come with us out and about. He had decline because he was there with the King who was standing across the camp talking to some others. My friend and I thought about it and headed out the gate. I went back in and asked our new friend if he could come look at something real fast. He excused himself, apologizing, saying he would be right back.
When he came out, my friend and I each took and arm and started leading him away towards the Swamp. He didn't really resist persay but asked what we were doing. We told him we were kidnapping him but would return him later on. He got a good laugh from it and put up a very mock fight and we all went and had a hell of a time. We never seen him after that night. I always wondered what happened to him.
The Story of Bart the Ditch Dweller
I am Makoto of Atlantea, and the tale I have to tell is that of Bart the ditch dweller. At Pennsic last year, my first, my colleagues and I made an intense effort to enjoy ourselves more than any other band at the war. One night however, the fortunes had it that we were separated from each other, perhaps at Vlads, but we all managed to stumble back safely. Well.. All but one.
Bart is an Scotsman, and like any good Scotsman has two sides to him. At home, when leading his mundane life he is quiet and thoughtful. Oh, what a change occurs at War! His eyes light up with a strange fire, and his grin streches from ear to ear. He sleeps with his eyes open and drinks in a Herculian manner.
I digress, The next morning when I awoke, freezing cold (I had lacked the coordination to cover myself with blankets) at eight in the morning ! I noticed that Lo and behold, Bart had not returned. Slightly worried, but hoping for the best I went to the port-a-castle to vent poisons. On the way ther I noticed a pale Bart, still grinning walking into the camp.
He looked like a victim of Oliver Cromwell, and I asked him to tell me his story. It seemed that the night before, Bart had drank a wee bit much o` the sweet liqours that are abundant at pennsic. He had decided that, around the time we all returned to camp that he was not so drunk or tired, and was ready for Round Two. This is obviously the thinking of a man who is pervaded throughout with liquor, and a madman to boot. So out bart went and drank until he could drink no more. Then he had one more drink. It was very late so he finally wished to reurn home. However, Bart was challenged to a battle of the will, and the alcohol won. His exact words that morn were, `the ditch nearby looked mughty comfortable, and next thing I knew I was being wrapped in a metal blanket and given something warm to drink.
Bart had been saved from Hypothermia, found in the ditch by a passing partol, who obviously didn't know how comfortable the ditch was.. Bart learned from his mistakes, and the next night returned home, having avoided ditchs successfully. A warning to those who would drink more than their fill, be careful or you may wake up in a ditch, or not at all!
(name not given)
My first Pennsic was XXIX, and our camp (Clan of the Arctic Winds) volunteered to guard East Kingdom Gates...not realizing that it was coinciding with the Fool's Parade. So here comes the crowd, storming the gates wanting to have an audience with their royal majesties to give them battle plans. The Major Domo on duty had a plan for this. He locked the gates and left us outside to deal with the fools. We did not budge, and so the fools, after throwing candy at us, decided it the effort was futile. So they impaled the plans on my pole-arm, threw one last piece of candy at my head, and moved on their merry way...
A Silly Tuchux Story
This story was told by Master Gabriel, the former herald of the shire that takes in all of Korea. He recounted it at the bardic circle we held after we crowned a new Palatine Baron/ess of the Far West.
Master Gabriel is a PA with a specialty in Emergency Medicine. He was meandering back to his camp after a party at Pensic, and saw a group of guys in loincloths gathered around something, beating at it with rattan swords. Thinking it might be a snake, he went closer.
There were four of them, busily beating the crap out of one of those blue glowrings (maybe they thought it was radioactive smurf?), and chanting a litany: "Bad magic! Bad magic! Kill! Kill!". Unfortunately as one of them lifted his sword to get maximum force, the guy next to him moved slightly--and got the sword right in the head. He dropped like a felled tree.
Gabriel came running over, announcing, "I can help--I'm a PA--" And then he heard them muttering, "Possible Subdural hematoma--" "Check his pupils.'' They explained that they were respectively, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon and an internist--from Johns Hopkins,. Their buddy on the ground was a radiologist. He came to, they checked to make sure he knew the important stuff like what day it was, who was President, and who was king of Atlantia, and having discerned he was OK, they went back to beating on the glowring, chanting, "Bad magic hurt friend. Kill. Kill."
(name not given)
Every Pennsic since three years ago, the Shire of Misty Highlands and House Cyclonus have a border war, decided by a water-ballon fight. It's a lot of fun and we've been getting more and more people every year. This could at least be partly due to my camp (Misty Highlands) bribing any and all comers with brownies!
Anyway, I and three friends thought "Gee, wouldn't it be great if the King and Queen of Aethelmarc came?" So off we went. We got to the gate, and since I was the spokesperson, I asked the first person we saw at the royal encampent if we might speak with her most Royal Majesty. Well, the lovely woman I was speaking to, dressed in ordinary camp garb casually says, "yer talking to her!".
My face went beet red and I swear me and the ground met in the fastest curtsey I have EVER executed! Having never seen the queen up close before, I had had no idea that this lady was her!! I finally stammered out our request and turned to leave.
But this wasn't the worst part..! as we leave, me with my face an unbecoming shade of magenta, I bang my
head against a nearby porta-castle in frusteration and emberassment. Sigh,
little did I know that her majesty had managed to get around us and was
in_that_very_one. Needless to say, noone in camp let me forget this for
the rest of war. For the rest of war, though, I managed to keep a very low
profile whenever I saw her majesty around...didn't want to remind her of my
faux pas...makes a good story though!
Gregorio de Sicilia
I wonder if EMS has...
We had just finished a hard fought bridge battle, when we received word that due to the fickleness of the weather, if we helped the marshals move the hay bails off the field, then we would take a quick 30 minute break and then fight the last field battle. Since it was threatening to rain all morning every one was more than happy to sling bails.
As our unit (EK) began to move one of the last bails a terrified field mouse ran out, apparently the night before he had thought he had found the perfect spot to set up house keeping , unfortunately he chose the middle of the most northern bridge. I wonder what mouse like fears had ran through his head as the battle raged around him? Then, silence, dare he move? Where upon, his home began to move and he made a mad dash hoping for safety, one of our fighters, God bless her ( I can't remember her name, but I know she was a veterinarian student) said: "we cant just leave him out here, he'll get crushed in the field battle!"
So our unit launched operation save a mouse; chasing this poor field mouse who probably thought he was now on our dinner menu or something we finely scooped him up into a gauntlet and the good lady (being a veterinarian student , and thus properly vaccinated against rabies) carried him off the field and out of harms way. Who says fighters aren't sensitive? Hey, for a bunch of guys who were just clubbing the daylights out of each other, as we waited for the field battle to start we all wondered about what effect we had on the mouse, if one day after he settles down, would he tell his children about PENNSIC XXIX?" ...yep, there I was!" I wonder if EMS has one of those "I SURVIVED THE WAR" T shirts in Extra, Extra, Small?
Lord Leon Jeronimo Suarez
I never did believe the stories from Pennsic until I went to Pennsic this year. I went to a Party wearing my nicest late period clothes and after many tankards of Porter and a sampling of green, I found that I forgot how to undress. My lady who did not attend the party was already asleep so I decided to wait for someone in our encampment to return to help me undress. After concentrating on standing someone appeared and helped me with my buttons. I managed to retire for the evening and another great day a Pennsic.
I relay this true story from the Bog on the lands of Pennsic. ...It was here withthe clan together in numbers that did bring about the newest addition to the Clan. The secondary mascot. It was a bright morning with the sun directly overhead as the Campbell's crawled to their feast tables to begin anew the daylight hours. With all theire heads still a ache, there came noise and shouting from the street beyond the gates of the camp. Warriors Weasel and Talorc did make haste to Deaden this uncalled fore volume of pain from the streets. They did see it naought a true commotion, but a weak (very weak) damsel in fear of a night creature all but lost in the bright of the sun. This Deflattermous was clawing its way up the side of a pavillion that stood across the Bog Bypass from the Campbell gates. it just trying to get out of the heat. Weasel and Talorc did laugh loudly though theire heads did hurt so. This did bring the Laird Alasdair himself out into the stret shirtless in naught but lower kilt and boots for this be as awake as he had gotten!
I don't know maybe it was the blackwatch that did bring a rise to flight unto the black flying gnat eater. it then took to the wing and did collide with the mass of the Lairds kilt and left leg. It clung there as if to suggest it had a purpose, as it slowingly clawed its way up the side of the kilt toward the Lairds great bare belly. The Laird took a second to balance morals, decency and modesty versus the sharp fangs of this black bringer of plague. The seconds ticked on as the bat continued to climb up the kilt, Suddenly in a flash ther be a naked laird in the middle of the Great Highway Junctions, those being the Middle and Eastern. Thus proving what all true men know, there is nothing worn under a true kilt, Everything is in perfect working order. And with that a new mascot was adopted: Anghous the Regimental Checking Bat.
I have a story from Pennsic XXVII. Having thourghly enjoyed our first war the year before, my Lord and I volunteered to do land grab for Calontir. It was early in the war, only about 12 of us were in our encampment on the Seringetti.
I, being of that certain age, must rise and report to the privy at least once during the night. I had reported and was heading back to our tent when I heard a rustleing in the trees overhanging the fence. Now you must understand that I am very hard of hearing and, as I had been asleep, was not wearing my hearing aids. My first thought was "my they have big squirrels here." Being of a curious nature, I turned to see this magnificent creature. Much to my surprise, hanging out of a tree was a pair of blue jeans that appeared to be filled and wearing boots. Concluding that this was probubly not the recomended entry to the war I decided to take action. In my best Herald's voice, with an exagerted ozark drawl, I exclaimed "my they shore do have big squirrels here! That one could feed the whole camp! Where's my crossbow Pa?" The legs disapeared back up into the tree and a thud, followed by the sound of a scramble up the hwy bank was heard.
Now I debated just going back to bed, but thought security should be informed. The poor sleepy security people at the point were greated by my 6', 260lb, red flanel plaid nightgown self shuffeling into thier midst in my cow slippers. I waited politely while they finished their conversation and one asked if I had a problem to report. I introduced myself and admited I was there with a security concern. "Y'all have the bigest damn squirrels I have ever seen and they wear bluejeans!" After we all stopped laughing, I went on to explain what had happened and where. They thanked me and dispatched a patrol to the area.
The camp had a good laugh about it the next day and it soon became part of the welcome to war stories. I thought it was over and done with until a security patrol pulled up to our camp and asked for me. Fearing I had violated some regulation, I hesitantly raised my hand. Where in I was handed a bottle of brew and informed that all the security staff had liked my description of the potential gate crashers so much that, at least for that war, the term "squirrels" was to be used for anyone attempting and unauthorized entry on to site! Alvira MacDonald - Calontir
A number of Pennsics past, my friend Ian and I were hanging out with friends in a neighbor camp in the slow, relaxing first week of Pennsic in the north-eastern section of the Serengeti. We were eating something when we noticed the wind suddenly picking up... But oddly it wasn't effecting our camp. Across the road from us, someone had left their brand new $1500 pavillion about half way set up. Suddenly the flaps and the unfinished areas began to lash around violently... We then realized that a dust devil had touched down by the column of dust that was rising way up in the air. The pavillion soon began to shred, and the poles and rope were getting strewn all about. A tarp got caught up in the air current and sailed up to about 100 feet or so in the air and traveled along with the devil as it moved.
In our camp, we looked on this destruction with amazement - the kind of amazement you get when you are watching something like this on TV, not the kind of amazement that would happen if you realized this happened across the road from you.. :)
We soon came to our senses as we saw the mini-tornado heading right for the front of our friend's camp. We all got up and ran to the tents there (a couple were not quite setup yet). One person dove on top of one tent as it began to lift off, saving it. Another tent, a 4 man dome tent with a sleeping bad and some clothes inside (which hadn't been staked down yet) shot up like a rocket into the devil! As quickly as the devil hit the camp, it changed direction and started barrelling out towards the parking area. The tent was hovering about 10 feet or so off the ground, travelling with the devil when Ian and I ran after it. We hurdled through a few encampments after it when we came to that trench that lies along top of the serengeti. I had never before really looked into that trench to see what was there, but Ian was about to find out for me. He, in his heated pursuit, lept from one side of the gully to try to clear it... but failed. Instead he got about 3/4 of the way and sank thigh deep in this nasty black, viscous, foul smelling slude that lived in there. (I am sure the last couple of day's rains had helped to make the gully nastier)
While he pulled himself out of there, I decided to go AROUND the gully, and continued pursuit with Ian on the other side. The devil was slowing down, and it finally came down to an altitude low enough for poor Ian to jump up and grab it.
Ian, his legs coated in black slime, and I
returned to our friend's camp victoriously holding the tent, thinking we had
saved some poor soul's pennsic by making sure he wouldn't have to buy a new
tent in the middle of it. We soon found out that the dome tent was an extra..
and a temporary one at that. It had been set up to keep some stuff dry during
the rains the day or so before, and was going to be taken down anyhow.. :)
2 Damn Far Road
Well do I remember the NW40. The first year they opened up the area north of the north gate I accused our campleader of crimes unspeakable to get us exiled to that far land---this was the year that they had not named the road yet, (now Jehan's Bounty, AKA Jehans Botony Bay).
I was helping out with the iron smelting and after we had destroyed the bellows during one run I offered my hand cranked forge blower and so got to trudge from near the barn to the NW40, pick up a pretty hefty blower and trudge back. After the smelting run I once again shouldered my load and trudged "home".
Being of unsound mind I decided to make my feelings known and post my own road name at the telephone pole stub where our road met the north exit, about 30' from the security post ,. So I forged a running iron and burnt *MY* name suggestion onto a piece of firewood, I looked around for a nail and decided it was faster to forge one than find one. After that was done I snuck down after dark and nailed my sign up: 2 Damn Far Road.
I figured that as soon as daylight revealed the sign it would be removed by security; instead it lasted to the end of the war and people were actually using the name. When it came time to pack I went down to retreive my sign, only to find it missing. To my surprise I later found out that our campleader had removed the sign *and* the hand forged nail and taken it home with him.
I still have the sign, (and nail), and still hear some folk call that long lonely road---2 Damn Far.
While splashing off some of the previous evening's revels with a few other intrepid souls at the classic swimming hole, a herald came by to give the morning's announcements. We all watched in amazement as this dedicated soul proceeded to remove all his garb, fold it carefully in a pile, then resumed his herald's tabard and enter the water. He then cried the day's announcements to an appreciative (and shivering!) small crowd. We gave him a standing ovation after he finished. He bowed, removed his tabard, retrieved his soap, and performed his morning's absolutions! Talk about situation-sensitive etiquette.... ;-)
This happened at Pennsic 25. One of the members of our camp brought a beach sling shot to play with. We spent the day shooting waterballoons at the clout shoot on the archery range from our camp site accross the road. After awhile another of our group came up with a plan.
"Hey, do you guys know what works better than balloon?" She had noticed that the balloons were not all that aerodynamically sound and tended to go off target more than they went on.
"No," we replied, "what works better than balloons?"
"Condoms. They hold their shape better and the ribbed ones fly straighter." She had a large supply, obviously to help those of her friends that needed them, and let us have some.
We quickly learned that the unlubricated ones were the easiest to handle. They did fly straight and true and we got very good distance. Then in the midst of our enjoyment night fell, promising to cancel our fun till the next day.
However, I had obtained a supply of one inch cyulume sticks. Inside of the condom and fired into the night they looked like tracer rounds. We enjoyed shooting them for some time and the libations were flowing when we struck upon the idea that we should shoot some into the tuchux camp area.
We quickly implemented the operation riding to the proposed area and setting up quickly. One of our assault team stayed in the trunk of the transport vehicle while I and the other member of the team jumped outside to support the slingshot. With efficiency and verve we launched two rounds into the midst of the Tuchux encampment and sped off into the night.
We always wondered what kind of sign this portended for the Tuchux, did it bring on some strange fertillity rite or what? All we know for sure was that it was a lot of fun and no one was hurt in the process.
I will always be left with the vision of one of the Tuchux starring into the night as flaming condoms arced over his campsite. What wonders did he think were his to behold?
I went up to Coopers' Lake for Pennsic and had, for the first time, a pavilion of my very own. So the first night after we pitched the pavilion, my lord husband stayed with me and all was well. But the second night, he went home, and left me, my 6 year old daughter, and one friend to occupy our campsite, because it was setup week when only the truly lucky get to be at War. And that night I put my daughter to bed in her miniature Viking tent, which lay next to my pavilion, and then later after the fire died down I put myself to bed as well.
As I got ready to go to bed, I remembered it was inevitable that every night that week I would wake up at 4 a.m. and have to go to the privy in the pitch black dark. And since the pavilion was not yet completely organized inside -- there were boxes and bags still scattered across the floor -- I thought I should leave a night candle lit, so I wouldn't fall down and break myself or worse yet run into an upright and bring the pavilion down on my head.
I had in my possession a number of candle lanterns, including one I'd bought just a few weeks earlier in a thrift shop. It had a wooden frame, with a little door that opened to admit the candle, and plus I'd test-lit it earlier and verified that the plastic didn't get even a little bit warm, so it seemed okay. I put my little votive candle in the lantern, lit it, set it down on a decorative brass tray, and went to bed.
I woke somewhere between 4 and 5, in that early morning hour when the grass is cold and soaking wet, even the heartiest partiers have gone to bed, and the stars are just beginning to fade. And I grabbed my robe and went out to the privy, but this time I closed the doorflap and tied it shut behind me. And when I came back to the pavilion, the candle was burning very low. I thought to myself, I could blow that out, because it's just starting to get light. And then I thought no, if you do that, you'll have to scrape wax out of the lantern, whereas if you let it burn down, it'll be clean for tomorrow night. And I hung up my robe, laid down and went back to sleep.
About 7 a.m., I was lying in bed warm and snuggly, and the parts of my brain were arguing. One part was thinking how nice it was to be asleep, and not to have to get up, and the other part, the little reptilian hindbrain that never sleeps, was screaming "IF YOU DON'T WAKE UP YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!!" and so I sat bolt upright in bed and there, on the side table, up against the wall of the pavilion, was a pillar of flame two feet tall.
I leapt out of bed, reached through the flame, grabbed my husband's sword and scabbard and threw it across the tent, and then grabbed the metal tray the whole flaming mess was sitting on and set it down on the floor where it could burn straight up and not reach anything. Then I untied the doorflap, grasped the tray, crouched down and -- no other word for it -- waddled backwards out of the door, holding the tray low in front of me as far from the top of the door opening as possible. Threw it down on the wet grass away from the tent and said burn there! you son of a bitch. Grabbed the fire extinguisher, pulled the pin, pulled the trigger, and ... nothing happened. So I dropped the extinguisher, grabbed a bucket, filled it from the ice chest, threw the water on the flaming mess, and as the flames died realized that I was standing in the middle of camp stark naked.And that is how I became the founding and thus far only member of the Pennsic Naked Fire Fighting Squad.
Bury me at Pennsic, for that is where I'll die,
Adventures? A few minor ones.
My lord acquired a medieval pavilion last year, which he stored in his trailer, which was not waterproof. When we took it out, we found it had acquired an interesting pattern of mildew on walls and roof. Not a bad tie-dye look, actually, but there were a few pinholes which let raindrops in. One of them was over the bed (his side).
Ring toss, anyone? While browsing the merchants around the Street of Gold area, I was invited to play ring-toss by a young lord, garbed as Pan. I took a second look, and did a(n unnoticeable, I hope) double-take. The young faun sported elf-ears, a leather loincloth, a smile, and a long, thin unicorn's horn rising up from where he stored his family jewels. Successfully toss a metal ring onto the horn, and you got to keep it--the ring, not the horn, naturally (although, from the looks of him, you never know what he might have had in mind! :-) Sorry to say I didn't take him up on his offer.
Going home, well, that was an adventure. We decided to leave Saturday night, stopping at a motel along the way, as we had a nine-hour drive ahead of us. We thought we'd stay at the motel we stopped at on the way over. Surprise, surprise! No room at the inn, anywhere. We ended up on the road for about sixteen hours straight, including rest stops where we parked and caught naps. Didn't get back to my place on Long Island until Sunday afternoon.
Shopping? I spent a small fortune. We were responsible for about $2K of the East Kingdom's $33K won in Shopping for War Ponts. I'll be paying off my credit cards for a few months to come.
[Alexander's note: the "faun" is actually a member of my home barony, and he does the ring toss each Pennsic War.]
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