Pennsic IX Field Battle

From MiddleWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

The great Field Battle of Pennsic IX was held upon what is now known as Runestone Hill at Coopers Lake Campground. Even if in these days, the field is full of tents and the lodgings of great kings and men, then, it was an empty and grassy slope, descending downward to the treeline at the bottom of the hill, beyond which various baronies had pitched their camps.

As would be imagined, this sloping field held some advantages for those who could retain the top. So it was that to secure the heights the great kings of that year planned a fight that would commit vast quantities of men (and those ladies who only a few years before had come to fight upon the field).

The Midrealm anchored its left side at the top of the slope with the Barony of the Northwoods, and placed there behind a reserve force, kneeling upon the ground, higher upon the hillside, from the Roaring Wastes, lead by Duke Dagan. Farther down the hill, a mass of other men were slated to toil through the darkest corners of the fight, anxiously looking to the top of the Runestone Hill to see which of the forces would prevail and, in doing (so most recognized without much humor), would then beset them from above in a dramatic charge downward to crash into the flanks of the remaining men and to decide the day.

As happens in many great battles, there is a tendency for the lines to rotate strangely in a counter-clockwise fashion. Each side's left corner tends to fall backward, while their right end of the line advances strongly. Perhaps this is due to the right-handed nature of battle, with the great blows swinging around the right side and the left defending, falling back under pressure -- such it is even with individual men who meet upon the list field, and many can see that they will cautiously rotate around each other in a counter-clockwise fashion as they size up each other's weaknesses and plan to make their first attack. I mention this here in that the field thus presented a difficult problem for the Midrealm, which had to avoid such a rotation, as this would put their backs down the hill and give the enemy the advantage of attacking from above. Thusly, the great knights of the Northwoods, Sir Aldric of the Northmark, Fuyuzuru Tadashi, Baron Thorvald inn Grimmi, and Sir Elestron an Tor Howlsedhas advised that it was essential that the Northwoods Shieldwall hold the line at all costs and not back up even a foot.

As the battle was joined, it was seen across the field that the Dark Horde was arrayed in black and red in the attack against the Northwoods. This would pit the two great rivals of the early days of the Midrealm directly upon each other at the opening of the battle. While today, the Dark Horde is seen as just another group of warrior men and their followers, in those earlier days of the Kingdom, they were far more menacing -- standing for everything Mongol. It was not such a well-kept secret that the Northwoods and the Dark Horde had hated each other from the earliest days with great passion, with the former seeing it as its duty to eliminate the scourge of the Harley Mongols from the joyous, brightly lit halls and castles of the Civilized Worlde.

Now it was that the Dark Horde thundered across the field, numbering seeminly over 400 men (perhaps I overstate...) against the 40 of the Northwoods Shieldwall (the real number) that were standing shoulder-to-shoulder to anchor the top of the hill. As they charged, their motorcycle leathers and chains rattled and wasped, making a horrific din, their grunting and barbarian howls came to a crescendo.

And with a crash the two sides joined.

The Barony of the Northwoods did not give even an inch as the Dark Horde was simply repelled back from the great Shieldwall.

Soon, the dark work of the first fighting began. Yet it wasn't long before half of the Northwoods squires and men held the upper hand such that they took a break for tea and cookies and some retired temporarily to cut parsnips for the greatest Duchess, Caellyn FitzHugh, to help with a small feast that she used to prepare for that Pennsic War night for the Barony of the Northwoods.

Despite the hard work of the fighting, the light-hearted songs sung by the squires of the Northwoods could be heard over the roaring and bellowing of the Dark Horde's black and red biker gang.

It was not long before the Dark Horde was nearly entirely vanquished. Many of the fighters of Northwoods claimed half a dozen or more of the Horde to their blades and axes. Tadashi's senior squire, Jean Charles d'Avignon, whose right was covered by the squire Roxanne (one of the Midrealm's first women fighters), himself survived the entire battle and claimed seven of their number to his broadsword -- a good count for his first Pennsic War.

Just as it would appear that the battle was to be so handily won (and the parsnips were nearly all cut in any case), suddenly there was a grinding crash into the right corner of the Northwoods Shieldwall. House Elandris, under Morgan Elandris, who would later be Baroness in the East Kingdom, had come as the East's reserves were committed to win the fight.

It was a terrible moment.

Half of the Northwoods squires were still cutting parsnips and, more importantly, nobody had ever encountered the unique organization and attack of Elandris before. They were frightening to look upon, dressed all in nothing but black (which momentarily meant that they were not seen to be anything more than a few more Dark Horde fighters joining the fray), except for one man, Robeyon, who was dressed particolored in red and yellow (and was known as the "red and yellow sheep" of Elandris -- he would later leave Elandris and emigrate to the Northwoods, bringing with him all of the training and ideas of Morgan Elandris). In this unique organization, for every three sword and shield men, there was one man (or woman) with a spear, working closely together as indeed perfectly drilled. The spears were the great killers upon the field, something which was unfamiliar to the fighters of that age.

One after another the squires and great knights of the Northwoods were succumbing to spear thrusts. Indeed within seconds, the once great Northwoods Shieldwall, which had suffered almost no casualties at all in the destruction of the Dark Horde upon the battlefield that day, was reduced to just six men and one woman, the Lady Roxanne. Moreover, the purest of the parsnips were rightly trampled beneath the feet of the enemy.

The last seven Northwoods troops were suddenly standing in the middle of the hill, still having not retreated a foot against the enemy, but they now found, turning to look over their shoulders, that House Elandris had simply cut through them, continued on, and was now turning in place, in a nearly perfect battlefield square formation, to come back and finish the rest.

But then it happened. From atop the highest point of the Greate Runestone Hill, Duke Dagan du Darregonne stood up, hefted his black mace upon his shoulder, and lead his force downward in a deathly charge right into the left flank of House Elandris. Cutting through the few shieldmen defending the sides of the battle square formation, he was soon committed and in the very heart of Morgan Elandris' forces and spears.

Not five seconds passed before the bulk of the spearmen were vanquished and the House Elandris battle square formation was shattered and in disarray. With little coordination left, they were falling like dominos under the blows of Dagan's men.

Just there, as sometimes happens in the greatest of battles, the leaders of the two opposing forces were met. Duke Dagan had come face-to-face with Morgan Elandris in the midst of the field, she carrying her spear versus him, armed with his mace and large shield. She stepped backward and then with a fierce look in her eyes, she lunged forward with her spear.

But Dagan would have none of it.

He twisted aside and stepped past the point of her spear. A second later, his trademark mace hanging from its wriststrap, he reached down and grasped the shaft of her spear tightly into his fist.

For a moment, there was a stillness upon the field. Many thought that they could hear the distant calls of the blue birds and warblers on the light wind.

Yet this did not last.

With a deep bellow, Duke Dagan simply overpowered Morgan's grip upon her spear. With one hand, he ripped it suddenly away from her, twirled it once over his head and, before anyone could even say a single Hoobah, he thrust the spear into Morgan and drove her to the ground.

Thusly, the battle was won -- though no great charge was made from the top of the field downward into the hopeless mass below. It had ended differently. Instead, across the field, the Midrealm prevailed all as one and the East was finally defeated in the Greate Field Battle of Pennsic IX upon the Runestone Hill.

It had been a great battle.

This I, Jean Charles d' Avignon, have written from my memory, now long faded with the Ages. Your corrections and addendums are always welcome. With some shyness, I admit to only slight embellishment of the tale.

Personal tools