Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Falling Prey to Archers (Late Winter Shoot, March 13, 2004)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

From the journals of Cap'n Bloodfox, written while incarcerated in the Illi Gaol, Petrea Thule.

So it would appear that me famous luck has run out at last.

For ya see, me and my crew had planned one more daring raid against them Thuligans what live up in the 'rocky north'. Our plan was simple, and simple plans often work the best, or so me parrot always told me. We were to sail the Interceptor and the Clever Wife--the ship of me woman, Cap'n Widow--into a channel close by a barracks, and sally to the barracks on foot. We had heard that them Thuligans stored provisions and weapons at this barracks, but that they only manned the place for one day of the week. We split up into two teams, one led by meself and Mister Andrews, the other by Widow and Mister Tibs. We reckoned we'd just sidle up to the barracks from two sides, slip in the doors, and help ourselves to some booty.

'Twas a good plan. Except for one small detail that somehow eluded us all, and has led to our current sorry state of imprisonment.

For you see, them Thuligans had gone and sent out invitations to archers from across the land to come to the barracks that day and participate in several types of shootin'. By the time we got close enough to see that the barracks was crawling with over sixty archers, they had seen us too!

Well that constable from Bastille du Lac was there, as were them Iron Companions, AND the Thuligan Guard! Well, me and me mates scampered for it. Arrows were coming in at us from all directions and me men were dropping all around me. Finally we was cornered, and a team of six archers came and captured us. And I swear by all the gods of the deep that one of them archers was Widow her own self! Captured by me own woman, posin' as a Yeoman of the White Arrow from Ardchreag way!

I tell you truth, if Ol' Barney, whose plan this was, hadn't taken an arrow in the eye and saved me the trouble, I woulda slit his gizzard for this here debacle! As for Widow, well, I been talking to the guards o' this here gaol, tellin' 'em where they is likely to find the Clever Wife. Soon me woman will be sitting here beside me in this cell, and her feet will be swinging beside mine when I go.

If I go.

For there has not yet been a prison that can hold Cap'n Bloodfox.

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On March 13, the canton of Petrea Thule held the sixth annual Late Winter Shoot. Archers and crossbowmen from across Ealdormere came to participate in several types of shoots, including Winter rounds. Many good gentles won prizes for their skill with bow or crossbow, and everyone was stuffed with food thanks to the legendary generosity and hospitality of the Thule. The highlight of the day for many (based on the giggles, grins and enthusiasm I witnessed in the participants) was the novelty shoot. The archers were split into six teams of six to compete. Each team was shooting at a board with sixteen balloons set in a grid. Behind each balloon was a picture of a pirate. Fourteen of the pictures were generic pirates. One was of a captain (either Bloodfox or Widow) while the last was a first mate (Mister Andersen or Mister Tibs). The game was much like bingo. The object was to get a completed line of four pirates that included the captain and the first mate. It was possible to get them in the same line, or you could get a separate line for each (your strategy would of course depend on what balloons you had so far managed to pop before uncovering a captain or first mate). Each member of each team shot one arrow, then they would all scamper to the targets to see what pirate they had caught. Even after the first, second and third place prizes had been handed out for the shoot, archers kept at it until every balloon one very target had been popped! It was a most enjoyable day.

The following day Thule hosted a Septentrian Baronial Fight Practice which attracted fighters from Ben Dunfirth and Skraeling Althing (including three knights). Approximately fourteen fighters met on the field in one on one challenges, and many participated in the spear class taught by Sir Nigel MacFarlane and Baroness Adrielle Kerrec.


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