A question on War

Leslie Miller miller at pp.okstate.edu
Tue Jul 18 10:26:54 PDT 1995

> > Ok, so they're fun for you.  I can accept this with no problem.  It may
> > just be that as a Scholar I have little use for wars, other than as a topic
> > for later study. 
> > I suppose what concerns me is that I can't afford to go to ONE
> > war, let alone any of the others.
> >
> > Let's see.
> > We are involved in the Gulf Wars. We've got contingents that go to Pennsic, 
> > Estrella, and Lillies.  Now rumor (probably baseless, but it's what brought 
> > the question to mind) has it that we are now looking to go to war with the
> > Outlands, Calontir, and/or Meridies.
> > 
> > Am I the only one who thinks that this is a bit extreme?
> >
> > In any case, what good are they?  Ok, now from the non-heavy weapons
> > fighters :)
> > 
> > Diarmuit
 Well, I'm a heavy weapons fighter, but I get this butterfly-like 
 feeling in my stomach whenever I think about war, so I'm going to 
 tell you why _I_ like them, anyway.  Ah, let me count the ways...
 Moments, magic moments:
 There was the first Outlands War when the shire made an effort to get 
 as many people there as possible in Mooneschadowe tabards... lots and 
 lots of compliments all weekend on how good we looked... There was 
 the morning I woke up in the freezing cold and sleepily asked for 
 help putting down my tent.  My ever-so-obliging companions immediately 
 supplied a chorus of insults to my tent, thoroughly putting it 
 down...  There was the bridge battle when the call to charge was 
 given... My knight, Sir Hildebrandt charged ahead and I dutifully 
 followed (yes, one of the few) only to trip and die a glorious (and lonely) 
death as the Outlands' shield wall closed behind Hilde...
 At my first Pennsic (XX)... after a 24 hour drive with no sleep, there was
 Lady Gitana and I singing "Black Widows in the Privy" in the middle 
 of the Ansteorran encampment at 4:00am.  _We_ had a wonderful time, 
 and we hadn't had a drop to drink... I don't think I've laughed 
 so hard since then, either.  The most awesome merchant rows (and rows 
 and rows) I've ever seen.  There was the field battle where we 
 stopped the Tuchuk (sp?) charge and held the left flank.  When the 
 cannon went off and the Tuchuks charged forward screaming at the top 
 of their lungs, all I could think was, "Oh my God oh my God oh my God 
 thank You this is all for FUN!"  The day previously, I had so 
 severely sprained my ankle in the Woods battle that I could hardly 
 walk.  From the minute the cannon went off, I swear I never felt my 
 ankle.  Never even registered in my brain.  It was a battle 
 rush!  I was one of the last eight Ansteorran fighters left, and when I 
 finally died, as I walked back along the ropes, the spectators were cheering 
 "Ansteorra!  Ansteorra!" for _me_.  And they weren't from Ansteorra..!  
 After the battle, King Inman gave my squire sister Kat a Sable 
 Falcon.  She was one of three Ansteorrans who survived the whole 
 battle.  I was so happy for her, I was almost in tears.  Then Inman 
 started saying these wonderful things about another "fighter" out 
 there, about how this "fighter" had stopped the Tuchuks from flanking a 
 group of Ansteorrans and just generally going on about this person.... I 
 remember thinking, "God what a lucky SOB to have Inman saying things 
 like that about them..."  Then Inman called my name. I was stunned. That is 
 my fondest memory of any SCA event.  And it wouldn't have happened 
 anywhere but at a war.  That was also the event where Sir Keif was 
 knighted, and that had to have been one of the coolest knightings I've 
 ever witnessed.  When the King of the West took off one of his 
 spurs... What a moment!
 There was Pennsic XXI when I tripped in the middle of a Field battle 
 melee. (You notice this theme of tripping going on? Well this one 
 probably saved my life in that particular battle...) When I finally regained 
 my feet, the Ansteorran War Banner bearer handed me the banner as she died.  
 I dropped my shield and carried the banner for the rest of the battle.  (Of 
 course, I carried it in the next battle too, and got promptly got killed, but 
 that provided the opportunity for Sir Kein to lead a glorious charge to get 
 it back... :-) )  Hours and hours of evening singing... Meeting 
 people from other kingdoms... King Bear telling me after the Lady 
 Fighter's tournament, "I'd give you a Sable Falcon, but you've 
 already got one."  Oh yes...!
 Gulf Wars I, Woods battle.  Sir Hildebrandt and the Mooneschadowe 
 contingent find and take and hold the war point banners for the duration.  
 This was a moment to be remembered for the new fighters in our group.
 During the fortress battle, the Bryn Gwylad archers were awesome - 
 just awesome to behold, and they really gave new meaning (to me) to 
 historical battles such as Agincourt.  Oh yes, I can see what 
 happened, now.  
 The gathering of large groups of people from different kingdoms (I'm 
 still good friends with a lady armorer I met at Pennsic XXI. We 
 e-mail each other almost daily), the merchants, the bardic and the dancing... 
 the classes and the fighting... all of these things combine to make wars 
 very special to me.  I've been lucky to be in the right place at the right 
 time to experience some truly miraculous moments (especially during the 
 fighting), but they were all moments which would never have occurred 
 at a "normal" event.  
 I really hope you can make it to one, sometime, so you can see (and judge) 
 their merits for yourself.

Leslie Miller                    
Safety Training Coordinator
Environmental Health and Safety
(405) 744-7241
miller at pp.okstate.edu     

"Not what the stars have done, but what they are to do, is what 
detains the sky."  - Emily Dickinson

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