[Northkeep] Home from Gulf Wars
Ld. Cian Rhys Gravenor
metaldog00 at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 21 07:23:20 PDT 2010
The archers of Northkeep have returned from war, road weary, battle tested and found not wanting. This being our first ever Gulf War we had on amazing week, or rather, a STUPENDOUSLY AWESOME week! The Ansteorran army and her allies laid waste to our enemies. During the ravine battle, I and my fellows followed the Royal Huntsman into the fray fearlessly. Our shots were true and many. Anger, fear and trepidation were seen in the faces of our foes that fell before us. And when the battle was over and the smoke had cleared, we stood before our king victorious. I recall a moment after the fighting had ceased and was climbing the slope out of the ravine when I looked over my shoulder at the battle ground. The sight I saw, to me, was a glorious one. Across the entire field lay a veritable multitude of combat bolts and arrows.Proof that a fantastic battle was waged here, one that will stay in my memory for years to come.
But as awesome an experience as this first ever battle was for me, it pales greatly by the thrill of what I witnessed at the Grand Exhibition Tournament that was the pinnacle of the archery competitions at this war. Lord Samuel ap Dewi and our Royal Huntsman, Lady Adelaide verch Dewi, were the champions for Ansteorra to go against teams of 2 from other kingdoms like Calontir and Trimaris to name a couple. Myself and Thomas ap Dewi were lucky enough to join them in this competition as our names were drawn at random as Wild Card entries. The format of this competition was an 8 foot tall back stop with a balloon roughly the size of a boccie ball hung close to the top. From the balloon was hung a square frame roughly 12" X 12" attached with a short length of string. This target was placed at a distance of about 20 yards or so away. The object was for the team of 2 archers to shoot simultaneously, one hitting the balloon to release the frame and the other catching the frame with an arrow there by keeping it from hitting the ground. Timing had to be precise. A feat that looked all but impossible. And their majesties Ansteorra were now in attendance.
2 by 2, each team took their turns in the first round of this event. Some were actually able to pierce the balloon but were unsuccessful at catching the frame before it dropped. The Ansteorran Champions and our Wild Card team were among those fortunate few. To our shock though, it was the Trimaran team that first succeeded, but only after the frame bounced off the ground once did they catch it with their arrow. A consensus was taken form the other competitors and it was agreed that since this task seemed all but unattainable, the Trimarans could keep their score.
Round 2 however was a completely different sort. Each team shot again trying to learn what they had misdone in the first round. The Wild Card team of myself and Thomas came a bare inch away from succeeding, but alas it was not to be. However, when the Calon team shot this time the amazing happened. The balloon was struck and the frame was caught midway down the back drop. They had done the seemingly impossible. A great cheer erupted from the spectators. Ansteorra, though, were not going to let their success go unanswered. Lord Samuel and Lady Adelaide took the line one more time. Lord Samuel struck the balloon, the frame fell. So focused was he on his part that he had no way of knowing if Lady Adelaide had or would succeed in hers. Lady Adelaide loosed her arrow and moments afterward with shocked unbelief the realization dawned on her. The thunderous roar that came from the crowd quickly allowed Lord Samuel to realize what happened. They had succeeded! And in front of King Owen and Queen Genevria!
After the Tourney was over, his majesty, King Owen called all 3 teams that had accomplished the nearly impossible to come before them, the Trimarans to the right of him, the Ansteorrans front, and the Calons to the left. After cautioning Lady Adelaide to not get too close to the Trimarans, ("Don't let any of that get on you," ) praise was given to Trimaris and to our honored allies, Calontir. But to the team of Lord Samuel ap Dewi and Lady Adelaide verch Dewi, high praise was given indeed. They had honored Ansteorra with their victory and with such a display of skill and grace, his majesty bestowed unto our champions one of the highest awards in archery, The King's Archer!
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