Friday afternoon I am collected from my house by my friends who are also keen to make the trek to Cairnfiall or Ballarat for those not familiar with SCA terminology.
My job, bring air freshener, music and keep the driver awake. I succeed at all 3 and we arrive safely at 11.30 pm. My plan on long car trips is to stay alive, if this means eating loads of sugar and high fat food, so be it. I would prefer to be alive, than be a skinny corpse.
I did enjoy not having to think about what I eat, except as to how much energy it would give me.
We promptly get started putting up our tents. A little difficult in the dark, but with so many helpful hands holding lanterns and offering hammers, it was completed in nearly no time.
My driver, understandably hit the hay, I on the other hand went to be social and joined the crowd in the beer garden, all gathered around the camp not fire. (bloody fire restrictions)
By 12.30am I was ready to sleep, but of course had the usual, not in my bed, can't really sleep properly problems.
The next morning, I awoke at some god forsaken hour needing to go to the bathroom, as is to be expected at any camping event. I then spent a good 15 minutes trying to decide if I really really wanted to get up in the cold morning air, just to empty my bladder. As always my bladder won the argument.
Breakfast was everything someone readying for a day of fighting could ask for. The best thing about breakfast though was the company. It seems that an old friend and his wife were attending the event as well. This completely made my day.
Starting at a rather leisurely hour, was the War. 3 different scenarios run a few times, usually with sides swapping roles, just for the fun of it.
There was a story line, but I don't remember it well enough to relate back to you. The first scenario was in a forest and our objective was to have a single person reach the hill top behind our opponents. We weren't particularly good at this scenario.
Our offense not quite determined enough to reach the hill top position. In defense a fatal error was made. As the attackers approached, we had assumed they would engage, instead a mad dash was made for the hill top. I am really not used to running in armor. The usual giant push off for near instant acceleration is a really bad idea. My gluteus maximus complained sorely after this and for the rest of the day.
The second scenario was a ford and this worked better for us. Our main problem was dealing with the pole man, which our archers dealt with nicely. Or on the 2nd try I dealt with as he made a charge through 4 of us, killing all but me.
The 3rd scenario required us to set fire to the defenders campsite. This one was fun, although I did get a bit confused near the end because I had run out of opponents and wasn't dead yet.
This was a pretty small event, that didn't go too long. Time between scenarios was short and things moved forward at a great pace. All in all a great starter war.
The afternoon was pas de arms. I was terrible. I had fun. I did though spend too much time in armor not fighting. Standing around in the heat, in armor, is not fun. Fighting is fun. I developed a slight headache and decided not to push it. I still had tomorrow to go.
On the other hand, the friend who drove me there, beat almost all comers and when challenged to fight all comers at once, managed to win that bout as well.
Being at a lose end, I went to the kitchen to help, chop and prepare food. Getting in good favor with the kitchen staff is always a good idea.
That night I ate at a delicous feast, with great company and felt extremely welcome.
Helping with the washing up, arghhh, so many pots, but still, everybody has to do their bit.
Again, chatting in the beer garden, listening to people sing. Oh yeah, I love a bardic circle, not that I know any of the songs or can sing.
Sleep, was another cold, uncomfortable night.
Breakfast : Pancakes!!
I packed up all my stuff, except my armor ready to leave as soon as possible.
Sunday afternoon was the rose tourney. The victor of each bout can choose to whom a flower is bestowed upon. I did not get to bestow any flowers, but I did manage to kill an opponent. Unfortunately it was a best of three, my second bout with him was a double kill and he then killed me twice soundly. Still I killed someone.
Ok, it was mostly a fluke shot. I was absolutely amazed as I watched my sword be behind the shield and no longer in front of it. How the hell did I do that?
I went on to have 2 more double kills. I have to say I am completely chuffed. Actually killing someone, anyone, was something I wasn't expecting to do for months.
Armor was then packed. No shit there I was conversations held, waiting for my second friend to finish his archery shoot, early dinner collected from my friends in the kitchen and we were back in the car on our very long way back home.
It was an awesome weekend and I recommend that anyone interested makes the trip. I will be back next year. I think I have promised to be back and to be better.