To camp or not to camp. That was the question that many Chreaggers were pondering in the weeks before Murder Melee XIX. Our original plans to go out on the Friday for the weekend we quashed when mundane concerns (namely the purchase of our first house!) took up far more time and energy than we had. So, our three day camping trip was cut back to a five hour day-trip instead.
We arrived in the late morning, having had no trouble finding the new location. The fact that the ground appeared dry as we drove in was encouraging, as we had driven through several bouts of rain on the way to the site. But the sun was trying valiantly to shine upon us as we drove through the back fields and found a place to park. The ground was a bit uneven and I feared for my little car, but she handled it fine and all was well.
We signed in at troll and received a cool little chess knight on a string as our site token. Colyne’s string, however, was too small to fit over his enlarged cranium (read: fat head <grin>). After paying we wandered through the field, past a few merchants and some pavilions, over to the list field (and right past the 1000 litre capacity cistern that was full of fresh water without even realizing it was there). Up until this point, everything about the site seemed great and had exceeded my expectations. However, the same rolling, bumpy ground that we’d driven in on had continued through each field and the lists were no different. Being a person of weak ankles (sprained one really bad and then broke the other less than six months later one time) I was somewhat wary. However, we decided to head back to the car and armour up anyway.
I felt that calm excitement (is that an oxymoron?) that I always get as I armour up, and in no time we were schlepping our gear and ourselves back to the lists. We gathered with the other Septentrian fighters, some faces I knew, others I did not, and at last the Baron himself arrived and gave us the once over. Some last minute advice was given, and last minute tokens – since I had no bear on my war door, the Baroness taped one of Eirik’s “We want you for the Septentrian Army” posters, complete with pointing Cynred, onto my shield. Before I knew it we were heading on to the field to face our first opponents.
I honestly can’t recall which team we fought first, most of the time all I saw was the back of my war door, so it made little difference. We faced each team with the same grim determination, and left the field the same way each time – not the victors. Unfortunately, we went 0 for 10 and lost every battle. But for a bunch of people who don’t fight together regularly (and many of whom only just met that day) we worked together not too bad. The theory was there (ie. WIN) but it just didn’t quite come across in practice. Regardless, I had a marvelous time, and was very honoured to have been able to fight for my Barony. And I was pleased to note that my Cynred poster had survived every battle without so much as a tear! (Maybe a little folded here and there, but otherwise intact.)
I fought in three of the grand melee battles after the tournament until I stepped/tripped on somebody and twisted my ankle. So, after the three fights, myself, Colyne (who’d had his knee wrenched around) and Brandt (who’d been stepped on – though not by me <g>) hobbled our way off the field and made our slow way back to the cars to change.
We were planning on heading back to his Excellency Cynred’s tent in the
but just as we finished changing and packed all the armour away, the skies
finally opened up and the rain began to fall. For a weekend that had been
forecast for thunderstorms and rain, we had a solid four hours of fighting
without a drop, until a few sprinkles started during the last battle. But this
was heavy rain, and so we climbed into the car and waited for Eirik to make his
way back to us (we’d given him a ride that day) and that ended our day at
Murder Melee. Saxon Village
So, with the exception of the bumpy ground (which I’m sure, with time, will become flatter each year) the site was pretty cool, and had me thinking of the upcoming Pennsic War. It was great practice fighting there, and even though we didn’t get to camp or stay long, I had a great day!