By THLaird Colyne Stewart
The day was cold. There was a fairly strong breeze blowing, and it brought an unseasonal chill to the air. However, for those of us who had attended the Sir Osis Memorial Fighters’ Day last year, who remembered how hot and humid the hall ha
d been, we
welcomed the chill.
Once again Sir Evander MacLachlan stopped at Drew’s Keep to pick up Þorfinna and myself, this time accompanie
Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus and Lord Cameron MacGregor. We quickly stowed
our gear and headed out, already running behind schedule as the good knight and
his two companions ha d been held up
by a very slow waitress named Wendy at her inn.
We arrived on site around eleven of the clock, and found that most people were still arriving so we had not missed anything. Like at Pikeman’s the week previously, we woul
fighting in a hockey arena. We quickly armoured up and I walked out on the
field and grabbed the first person standing on their own to warm up with. As
fate would have it this was Lord Stevan Ulfkellson of AEthelmearc, who I
had warmed up against at this event the year before.
After warming up with a few more folks I made the aquantaince of the Wandering List Table and the Fencer’s Melons. THL
Gwerydd verch Rhys—with a sign saying ‘List Table’
on her back—walked around the arena, looking wistfully at the fighting that was
going on without her. Ladies Rusalka Galbraith and Jocelyn Cranewell plied all
fighters present with their melons (watermelons, you dirty minde d buggers) as well as orange slices, crackers and
Something was in the air that morning, and I was not the only one to remark that they were finding it a little hard to breath.
As last year there were several out of town guests, including Sir Rurik and Master Ruslon. This year we had an extra-special guest in the form of Duke Paul of Bellatrix, who had come to take part in a Scola Durus Maleus, organize
d by Lord Derfel Mallory. For a sum (to cover the travel
expenses), several fighters—going in in pairs—each got twenty minutes of
instruction from the good duke. This lasted most of the day, while the rest of
the fighting was taking place.
The first organized activity was a session of Meet the Chiv. All members of the Order of the Chivalry present scattered themselves around the arena, and all other fighters interested in taking part could walk up to a knight or master-at-arms and talk. I joined Master Worgen along with Streonwald Hlaford, Lord Leod, Lord Bjarn and several others. Worgan talked to us about the mental aspect of fighting, and then ran us through a bear-pit. I fought him at least four times, and each time he legged me with the exact same little under the shield wrap that gave me a nice series of stripes that grew together into one large bruise by the next morning.
After around twenty minutes people moved to a new member of the Chiv, but as I was off talking to someone by this point I missed the announcement.
A shark pool tournament followed, with each pool growing up around a member of the Chivalry. Since I had never fought Master Trumbrand the Wanderer before I joined his pool, along with Arminius the Footsore, Lady Dagmar Halvdan, Lord
Baethan, Lord Bjarn and THL Etian du Naval. We quickly ran through a round
robin, best two out of three, where I only managed to score two victories. The
victor of each pool then went on to form a new pool, but I did not watch these
finals. Instead I went in search of more pick-ups.
I found Sir Konrad Matthias Jaeggar von Dubrau looking lonely, having just emerged from his Scola with Bellatrix. With his mind awhirl with new knowledge to try and apply we went at it. We had some goo
d bouts, with one standing out in my mind. I managed
to get a head shot in on him that popped his visor out of alignment. We must
have made an odd sight as Konrad hit himself in the head with his basket hilt,
while I pushed up on the grill to try and get it back into place. When we were
done, Konrad told me that I had some good stuff, which I take as a high
Next we fought a warlord tourney. My first draw was my raven-brother
Hamish Gunn, armed
with a pole arm. I defeated my brother, to become a warlord for the first time
ever. He and I faced a team of two, and I quickly dispatched their pole arm,
but was slain by their sword and shield. Undaunted, Hamish
took out their shield man, and we went on in search of a team of four to face.
This battle we lost, and I was a warlord no more. After that, details get
foggy. I do remember one battle where I was killed, but as I fell I got
entangled with a person beside me who had died at the same time. The battle
surged over us and our tangled limbs, and I found myself lying on my back, with
my shield flat out at my side. Someone stepped down on the edge of my shield
and twisted my arm (which is still sore as I type this five days later). I am
not sure who in the end won, but the battles were much fun.
At this point both Þorfinna and I were feeling a bit unwell so we went outside. I know now that this was the onset of a stomach flu that would plague us until Wednesday. I considered stopping for the day. However, when we went back in the arena I saw Etian talking to a group of fighters and went over to listen. I asked
what was going on and he said, “ Unbelts,”
and dragged me by my squire’s chain into the circle. Etian, new captain for the
Unbelts this year, gave some
rousing, enthusiastic talks, and then had us all split into mini-units of five
fighters, each with specific functions within that unit. We then ran through
several melees with all the other fighters present. We started out a little
slow, but as we went on we improved, and at the end of the last battle Etian
called for all dead fighters to take a knee. His point here was to show the Unbelts that we had killed two-thirds of their
vastly more experienced team. At the end of each battle Etian would go up
and down the line praising what we had done well and gently pointing out what
we needed to improve. He was an inspirational man to fight under.
When the Unbelt practice was over,
ran a Kill the Warlord melee. His Majesty Aaron
and His Highness Roak each collected fighters to be on their teams. As I stood
talking to Dagmar and Emma of Greenhithe, Aaron
walked up and swept out his arms and carried us to his end of the arena. Once
both sides ha d been set, we had our
helms taped, and the Warlords took their place in the creases (from which they
could not leave). The battle woul d be
a limited resurrection battle, with each team having one hundred lives total.
The object was to kill the opposing Warlor d before
they could kill yours. At one point in the melee that followed I was legged
(likely by Trumbrand who legged me at least five or six times throughout this
battle), and one of the opposing fighters yelled at his comrade to “Ignore the
guy on his knees!” His comrade listened, and I killed him for it. Eventually,
my back gave out (as it sometimes will) and I had to leave the battle and watch
from the side lines. Our two teams were fighting very differently. Roak’s team
was being very defensive, setting up a long line in front of him, letting Aaron’s team throw themselves onto their weapons. If
Aaron’s side had made a concentrated
assault to break through the line we might have had a chance, but going in in
little groups just ate away at our numbers.
When the first Kill the Warlord melee was over (with Roak’s side victorious I believe) I took over marshalling for THL Dafydd ap Sion who was preparing to leave. The Warlords were changed (so Roak and
Aaron could get more fighting in) and the number of
resurrections was dropped to fifty. In all I think we ran the scenario three
During the thir
of Kill the Warlord Rattanicus dropped his gear, and went to Dairy Queen in
honour of his squire-brother Lord Eirik Andersen. (Eirik, who could not be
present that day, is known for taking trips to DQ when at events.)
Many fighters ha
this time begun to drop their kits, but since we still had the field for fifteen
minutes, those that remained fought an unlimited Resurrection Battle to run out
Once we had all changed, we went upstairs for an Osis-style feast: wings an
d beer. Master
Worgan, not content with just his wings, had a friend smuggle him in a
hamburger from Lick’s, which he had to protect from many other hungry fighters.
During the mass consumption of wings,
toasted the memory of his good friend Osis, who had passed away after a car
accident while he was reigning as king of Ealdormere in 1999.
There then began another Osis tradition—the signing of bruises. Those with nice bruises would unveil them for all to see, while those who had given them the bruise would sign it with a pen. Emma of Greenhithe went first, with a very large purple bruise on her upper thigh. Worgen then drew me over so I could drop my pants and show the similarly place
d bruise that he had given me. People seemed shy
this year, but soon they got into the spirit of things and many bruises were
oohed and aahed over.
When the event was over, many retired to the keep of
Berus and Marion for a post-rev.