[Loch-Ruadh] Scarlet Letter - The War Issue

Terry Sikes tdsikes at prodigy.net
Tue Mar 23 22:29:58 PST 2004

Ok, I'll volunteer, seeing as no one else has reported on the results of the war.
After packing hurriedly all week prior to leaving, I met the group bright and early Saturday morning in the rain at Rip Griffins, where we sat about and had coffee and breakfast buffet before leaving.  Then we formed up and took off for Meridies in caravan.  The trip was mostly uneventful and I could count on someone's bladder being smaller than mine, so that I didn't have to worry about being the one to initiate a rest stop.  Somewhere in Louisiana we outran the rain and stopped and had a quick lunch at a roadside rest picnic table, then went the rest of the way with only a few short stops for gas and nature calls.
We arrived in Hattiesburg in the afternoon, tired from the drive and proceeded to make the room arrangements, then ordered out from a steak place that delivers.  I went out for some alcohol and other stuff I thought I might need for the week, then came back and we all slept Saturday night in the relative comfort of a hotel with hot showers and comfy beds.
Sunday morning it was clear the rain was catching back up to  us, but we had some breakfast continental, then drove to the Kings Arrow Ranch, the site of Gulf War XIII near Lumberton, MS.  Just a short time after we got there it started to trickle, then rain as the staff of Gulf Wars let the merchants onsite.  Since we were among the first, we volunteered to do some traffic detail, and the staff even supplied a couple of rain coats to augment the army pancho I had loaned Ducky.  After standing around for a while, they had arrangements to pre-troll us, then tuck us away into a pre-troll parking/camping area and let us on first next morning.  Baroness Dana and company were on staff and went ahead to mark out the campsite for tent placement, but the rest of us went to pre-troll parking.
After I had parked and we put up an easy-up to stay out of the rain, I realized that there weren't any toilet facilities, so I walked down to the gate and asked if I could use the toilet.  The people at the gate let me on the site and pointed me to the nearest little-john by the landcrat's office.  On the way there I realized that I was still wearing the rain coat I had been given for traffic detail, and thought maybe it would be better used by the people unloading the trailer, so I finished my task at hand and walked the rest of the way into the site looking for Baroness Dana and the Mac family to give them my rain coat.  It took me a good while to find them, in fact I had walked almost the entire site looking.  They were a little suprised to see me.  I was covered almost completely by the rain coat and a ball cap and they didn't even recognize me, in fact.  Sometime while I was helping them unload it dawned on them who I was.  But they said they didn't need the rain coat so I
 walked back to the pre-troll camp ground in the rain and gave the coat to a woman sitting parking detail at the crossroads.
Back at camp a line party was starting.  A group of mercenaries, Wolf Star house from Moonshadowe had pulled in next to us and put up an easy up and we sat around in the rain swapping stories.  One of them related a frightening story about a horrible creature known as Yellow Fang, who lurks in the forest at SCA events and preys on unsuspecting drunken men.  I don't remember what he said her name was, but he told me to watch out for her.
That night I sat up a bit late, having a drink or two, then crawled into the back of my van and fell asleep to the sound of rain beating on the roof.
Ducky banged on my door Monday morning and said they were letting us on site, so we lined up in the road, after having to pull a car and trailer out of the mud from the all night rain, and also give my van a shove to make it through a puddle and we headed off for the camp.
The rain had abated long enough to put up the tents and unload, but only just.  Sometime in there when we were setting up the wall and gates Lord Godwin came by looking for volunteers to do traffic duty and I went.  When I came back the walls and pavilion were up and looked quite fine.  The rain began falling again about supper and we all crawled into the tents to be seranaded by spurious downpours throughout the night.
Tuesday morning my friend woke me up early and I couldn't go back to sleep, so I  got up and put on some hot water, since I didn't know how to put on the coffee.  It was misty, but the rain had stopped, and during breakfast the clouds kept trying to break up and it started looking nice.  I went off to a class on casting jewelry, then to another on drawing Celtic Knots, then another on making a viking box.  When I came back to camp I was alerted to the fact that a huge dragon had crept out of the woods looking for virgins to devour.  Finding none in our camp, he had slithered under my tent, no doubt to lay in wait.  Vigulf and others, myself included, emptied my tent, then picked it up and moved it a few feet and moved enough tarp to expose the terrible beast.  A huge battle ensued.  We were finally able to lift the monster with a stick and drive it away into the forest, never to be seen again.  Then to celebrate, the Mac family took me to the camp of the Wolf Star and we had a party.
  I think someone slipped something into one of the thirty or forty drinks I had that affected my mental composure.  They kept giving me something called "Loki's Revenge,"  but I hadn't done anything to Loki, so I  don't know why had it in for me.  Aingeal loaned me her drinking horn which happened to be full of Belgian Sour Ale, and not wanting to be inhospitable, I took it and drank it.  Finally, I decided it was after my bedtime so I said goodbye and walked to the Axemoor gate, which took a very long time.  I had just passed the gate when I began thinking that I had forgotten something.  My flashlight!  So I went back to get it, and while I was there I had some more ale.  Then I set off again and made it as far as the Axemoor gate and started thinking that I had forgotten something.  I had my flashlight, but I had forgotten my mug.  So I went back to get it.  While I was there I had some more ale.  Then I started walking to camp again.  I did fine for about three steps, but every
 fourth step someone would move the ground.  Maybe it was Loki.  I didn't know they had earthquakes in Meridies.  I got on the main road and a group of dancing girls walked by jingling.  They were walking towards camp, so I just followed them, since following the noise was much easier than seeing where I was going.  Two of my campmates saw me and asked if I needed help, at which time I told them "Oh...all I can get."  They helped me to camp where Baron Armand was visiting.  I apologized for my condition quite vociferously, although I was wise enough not to try saying vociferous.  After a while I went to bed.
Wednesday morning dawned very nice.  My friend woke me up early and Loki didn't seem to bear me any ill will.  Since I learned how to make coffee, I put some on and had breakfast.  Then I went to a class on sandcasting coins. Afterwards I had lunch from one of the vendors and spent most of the afternoon shopping.  When I came back to camp it was almost suppertime.  Polydore, Padraig, and I all were wearing green shirts for St. Patricks day.  We dubbed ourselves the green shirt gang and made chili for dinner.  Then we had a bardic circle for a bit and sang a played some.  I went for a walk with a bottle of wine and looked over some nice camps.  The Seven Deadly Sins encampment was having a slave auction.  I went back to camp and then it was bed time.
Thursday morning was also very nice.  My friend woke me up early and I got up and made some coffee.  The kitchen was out of Maxwell House and had Folgers instead, so I threw a couple of bags of it in the pot and made something resembling coffee that could also be used to etch glassware.  Baroness Dana thinned it enough to be drinkable and we had breakfast.  I ran off to volunteer to help with the list field, but wound up waterbearing instead at the ravine battle.
Most of the other waterbearers stood about weakly moaning "water...gatorade," so I decided to have some fun with it.  "WATER," I yelled at the top of my lungs, "DRAWN AT THE HANDS OF THE FINEST VIRGINS FROM THE CLEAREST POOLS!"  I got enough laughs to embolden me, so I started saying anything I could get away with.  "FOUR OUT OF FIVE CHIRUGEONS RECOMMEND...WATER!!"  Someone asked me what the fifth recommended and I said whiskey, but he was Irish.  One of the girls got into the swing of things and loudly proclaimed that she had the nicest jugs of any waterbearer at the battle.  Once a warrior woman took my bottle with the top popped open and when she grabbed it, it squirted her in the face.  I told her "Pardon, milady, sometimes they squirt prematurely like that."  I think I just missed making water come out her nose.  All in all it was a fun morning and Ansteorra won the battle.
Later Thursday I went into town and bought some things at the market, then volunteered to sit at the troll booth for 2 hours, although I think I drew the ire of a few women since I didn't tell them I wouldn't be there for supper.  When I got back I dipped into my treasure trove of beef jerky and canned aerosol cheese and got plenty to eat.  I was a little tired from running about all day, so I went to be early.  The next morning they told me that the King and Queen visited just after I turned in and I missed it.  Oh well.
Friday was a very nice misty cool morning.  My friend woke me up early, but I let someone else make the coffee after the fiasco the previous morning.  I had a bite, then dressed and ran off to another casting class with a wax figure to try casting for a chess piece.  The mold broke however when we tried to mold it, so I was out of luck.  I did some more shopping and then shot bow a bit with Sluggy and Lady Gabriella and got back to camp in time to have some spaghetti for dinner.  Afterwards we dressed and went to court, as Baron Armand had recommended we attend that evening.  
It is with a heavy heart that I must report the loss of Humphrey.  While at court and during a speech given by Her Majesty the Queen, Humphrey began making rude noises.  Baroness Dana would have stopped him, but she was several rows back and could not shoot fire from her eyes effectively at that distance.  The King graciously made light of it and court continued.  Afterwards Aingeal went to the court and begged audience with the King, seeking forgiveness for Humpheys actions.  The King was quite gracious with her apology, but sentenced Humphrey to death.  Arrangements were made.  Baron Armand visited camp and expressed his sympathy.  I went to the known world silly hat party and watched the dancing girls.
Saturday morning was another nice cool, misty morning and my friend woke me up early.  We sadly had coffee and breakfast, and then Humphrey was hung by the neck until dead.  Alas poor Humphrey, I knew him well, Horatio, a dog of most infinite ability to..well, you know.  I had breakfast and coffee and ran off to waterbear the rapier field battle and then the fort battles.  It was a sad day, for Trimaris won both battles.  I did my final shopping, then returned to camp for an excellent dinner of chicken.  The Baron and Baroness, their children, and the Lady Stella graced us with their presence at dinner.  Afterwards I  attended the Great Court at which it was announced that the war was a tie.  I sat about afterwards while the volunteer tickets were drawn for prizes.  I had 10.25 points, but didn't win anything until the third drawing for the unclaimed prizes where I was the last name called.  I won a book on costuming.  Then I went back to camp where we had several visitors to our
 bardic circle and we had a wake for Humphrey.
Sunday morning was nice and cool and only a little misty, but we sadly packed camp and loaded.  I tried to help a bit after I finished drying my gear and packing, then left about 10.  As soon as I could I visited my friend Ronald of the Clan McDonald.  After using the little-john all week I availed myself of his big john with great gladness.  Then I ordered a burger for the road and started driving.  The trip home was long, but mostly uneventful.  I fought a little traffic.  A big traffic jam near Tyler only let me do 12 miles in an hours time, but I had a good laugh when four friends from Bradleah wound up right behind me, and the traffic was slow enough that I could actually get out of my van and share some snack food with them.  A guy wanted to cut in our line of traffic and cussed and threatened us because we told him we were staying together and later we all pulled off and had Bodacious Barbeque.  
All the while I was thinking "do I really want to come back to this?"  I wish everywhere could be more like our view of the middle ages, where people lived together and tried to help their neighbors and the highest ideals were graciousness and honor.  But then I wouldn't want to go through dental work without anesthesia or have a 35 year lifespan with mostly nothing but bread to eat.  Those are the things I would want to change.  I guess that's why I'm in the SCA.  The middle ages as it should have been.
Terrence adte Syke
Padraig Ruad O'Maolagain <padraig_ruad at irishbard.org> wrote:
Time for the War Issue of the Scarlet Letter!

I need letters home from the War, stories, songs, poems, Ruadh Noises (the
more the merrier), letters from the Home Guard, etcetera. Please have all
input to me NO LATER THAN Bardic this coming Saturday, 27 March.

Also, who got photos? I would like some to put up on the web page - the
old ones are nice but they're getting kinda repetative. :-) I would
especially like to put up a picture of the camp gate.

Nunc est bibendum.
Politicians prefer unarmed peasants.
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