Yesterday we went up to Endewearde for The Tourney of Love. It was a good time, with not many people I knew well but quite a few nice people that I'm glad to have met and to have spent more time with. And, largely in reaction to events like Birka and Twelfth Night that I had had no real interest in at all, I wanted to go to a classic SCA event, in a hall, with fighting and feasting and performance and stuff. And this was just what I wanted.

And so, I went to Wednesday's practice to make sure my armor was alright putting it on the first time since... uh, Pennsic, probably. Neither day was a large number of bouts, but my kit and I were both noticeably creaky, and I'm currently pretty damn sore and bruised. I won a neat 50% of my fights in the tourney, but I've got some work to do if I don't want 24 rounds to wipe me out. I suppose, as E remarked on Wednesday, at least I'm not finding this state of affairs in May...

Oh, yeah, and at the event Alethea awarded me a Burdened Tyger. That was very sweet.
Twelve hours of sleep and a depacked car go a long way toward Pennsic recuperation. I'm also pretty happy that "work" tomorrow means going to the company's summer outing. Very tidy scheduling for me.

Did normal war stuff. Fought well with my brothers in arms (the Pike Company killed the opposing king in the first field battle and were the first to reach the enemy shore in the last stand battle); spit-roasted a couple of eggs; got challenged to a duel by the Midrealm rapier champion; played in a pair of commedia del arte shows; discovered that scotch and cigars really are a potent combination; came home nearly every night between two and three wondering why the war was shutting down so early this year (well, it was unseasonably cold).

I know only second-hand information about the firing-the-chirurgeons fiasco, though quite a bit of it. It's certainly ugly, and I think dire things are inevitable for a couple of people at this stage. I got lucky through laziness and didn't do any preparation to actually work as a chirurgeon this year, or I would be much more put out than I am.

There were a couple of things that, despite my unit's freshman success, left me with a sour taste relating to heavy list fighting. Undecided what to do about them, might be a good time to take a step back for reexamination.

Weight seems to have stayed exactly the same as before I left, unusually. I didn't eat lunch often, but I did eat quite well in the evenings, which perhaps balances out. I may also have reached an equilibrium point, since I'm 30 lbs lighter than a year ago.

I'm not sure where my Leatherman went. It should have been in camp somewhere, but I didn't find it when packing or unpacking. I guess I can get another, but they don't make the Flair anymore, and for all its fopishness I'm actually pretty fond of it. Ah well.
Mm, sore all over and bruised down both sides. Signs of a pleasant afternoon out.
Went to the investiture beyond the mountain: wet. Really wet. More wet than that. On balance it probably had enough good points to make up for not just going to D's 33.3rd birthday instead, but it was a near thing. Stopping at Rein's en masse for dinner after definitely helped, particularly since I hadn't actually eaten anything all day. (Still wet.)

In my continuing string of bizarre electronics behaviors, my cell phone has gone completely bloody insane. I pulled it out to check the time (since I haven't been wearing a watch of late), and noticed that it claimed to be in mid-call to A. When I opened the call logs it got stuck in that screen, and after a minute of me jabbing at random buttons went dark. After I turned it back on it seemed to be fine for a while - and then started repeatedly calling random people from my address book. While closed. And, apparently, leaving voicemail. If I left it kicking around for a few minutes it would call someone, end the call after a random period of time, call them again, ad infinitum. It also identified A as "number withheld" (which it is not normally) when he called to mention that I had phoned him 14 times, and then promptly disconnected that call and started another with R. So... yes. Very brokenified.

(Starting to become dry.)
Both the SCA event and the con bits of Birka have been exceptionally Interesting and Informative this year. Aside from royal court, which I mostly avoided, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I should do it all again next year.


Oct. 15th, 2005 11:28 pm
learnedax: (mask)
That was a weird tournament. The ground was treacherously muddy from the overnight downpour, but the weather was otherwise perfect. Since the winner will be reigning during Pennsic, in an East-hosted year, for a nice round number, there were naturally a lot of entrants. All summer Lucan had been telling us about his insane training regimen, and we heard rumors that Brion really wanted to win, which he would neither confirm nor deny. There was also the usual gang of heavy hitters, but no one else seemed to be putting in the massive effort Lucan was. From these data, most of the tournament unfolded roughly as you would expect. Throughout the day Brion fought a lot of bouts involving staring at each other for a while, throwing a shot, staring some more, and eventually the guy who wasn't Brion falling down. Lucan, on the other hand, almost invariably took his opponent's legs, after which the other fighter stood no real chance of killing him, but was frequently able to keep him at bay for an extremely long time, eventually sucumbing to the inevitable.

The semi-finals were a small surprise in that while the expected Brion, Lucan, and Thorson were in them (the first two undefeated, the third with one loss), Conrad beat Kenrick out for the fourth slot. Conrad was doing well, but he was too eager; he faced Brion, who waited for him to reveal all his tricks, then killed him. Lucan faced Thorson, legged him relatively quickly, and then spent a very long time unable to kill him. Eventually Thorson gave it up as a lost cause, and just sat there saying "come on, just kill me already."

Which brings us to the entirely expected Brion vs. Lucan finals. The format was best of three, fighter's choice, with all of the usual problems one gets from that. These were two patient men, who were not prone to making mistakes, and who wanted to win quite a lot. They were very friendly and courteous, just extremely cautious. The first two rounds ran twenty-five minutes each, the third a total of fifty minutes, not counting a ten-minute break while Balfar's head was tended to (a stray shot caught him across the eyebrow, but he appears to be fine). Lucan's usual pattern of legging and eventual victory played out in the first round, but in the latter two they just kept throwing single shots, an exchange about once a minute, until Brion snuck in a flat snap and killed Lucan.

So Brion's the new prince, after about 100 minutes of single combat with Lucan. It was as close to a perfect stalemate as any of us had ever seen.
learnedax: (mask)
A day of recuperation later, I retrospect.

This was an unusual Pennsic for me in a number of ways (spent no cash, did no dancing, attended no classes, worked about 90 min at Chirurgeonate), and half as long as most, but very enjoyable. My first day there I was awake for about forty-two hours, and I didn't eat a meal for another full day after that. Not that I really caught up on food or sleep throughout the war; I doubt I had a single lunch, or ever got to sleep before 1 AM, but that's pretty typical.

On arrival I was almost immediately plunged into work on the show. Marshaling actors, props, and intermezzi in a hurry at Pennsic can be a headache, particularly when the performance arts coordinators are so particularly unclear on the idea of reserving rehearsal time. Nonetheless, the show came off quite well, I think, with only a couple of moments that threatened to give me heart attacks. It was nice to get that out of the way by Sunday night. I still had a bunch of bureaucracy and kitbashing to do before I was ready to fight the next day, but at least no one else was depending on me for that.

It was definitely a fighting heavy war for me. With the exception of Wednesday, when I was involved in [ profile] lakshmi_amman's delightful Laurel vigil, war week followed the pattern of 'Get up. Drink lots of water. Get in armor. Go fight. Come back and get out of armor. Drink lots of water. Shower', which meant that the non-fighting part of my day typically began around 3:30, which combined with the one week stay to make it feel like I didn't get much else in. It was worth it. I personally fought a lot better than last year, and as an army we had a remarkable level of energy and spirit despite more than two-to-one odds against us, no real leadership, and precious little strategy. We lost every battle, but each of them was quite close, mostly because we simply fought harder than we have in years. The feeling of fighting an epic struggle was tangible. It was also the most inter-kingdom friendly Pennsics on and off the field in a long time - certainly in my memory.

Most of the rest of my time was spent socializing, as is my usual wont. I hung out with a bunch of friends I only see once a year, met a bunch of new and interesting people (a surprising number of whom were former Carolingians), and had the requisite few new and different experiences. I still did a bunch of party hopping, but they were more likely to be interesting bands of people I knew running the party, rather than some fratlike bog camp. The party thrown by our hosts on Thursday night was especially nice.

As always, I had to leave Pennsic eventually (it does not end, of course. It is an eternal presence). Normally I try to cram in as much Pennsic fun as possible the last night I'm there, and fail to be satisfied, but this year [ profile] new_man and I accidentally engaged in a diplomatic quest instead. It was a great way to end a great war.
learnedax: (mask)
Well. Record high temperatures, a run in with the local constabulary, and a tree fell on the kitchen. But overall, the event went pretty well.
It is now exactly one week until Il Palio. (If you aren't already coming*, why the hell not?)

Golly, this autocratting stuff isn't like in the brochure at all. Enjoyable as many aspects of it may be, I will be very glad to have it over with.

*and are in the SCA, in New England, and not flying to Australia that day (a surprisingly common excuse)



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