Thursday, March 26, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 9

This last entry has taken several days to pen, as I rest from my wounds and try to adjust my mind from the mindset of war to the mindset of peace. It is a difficult adjustment, having been on campaign so long and experienced so much in a short time. I am changed because of it, for the better I feel but only time will tell.

What would become our last day of the campaign began far earlier than most of us would have liked. There was great feasting and drinking the night before, celebrating our retaking of the fortrss from the Ansteorran forces, and many of us awoke roughly that day still feeling thepounding  of the wine and beer. Our King commanded us to muster however, so muster we did. It was time to push the remainder of our enemy forces from the land and free it from the grip of the Black Star, and a great offensive of the entire army would occur. I armored up, tried to ignore my pounding head and fell into ranks with my fellow soldiers.

We met at the edge of the ravine, circling around the Ansteorran forces to cut off their escape. Our numbers were mighty and our blades freshly sharpened, but even the experienced fighters amongst us were not prepared for the sight across the way. Barely numbering a third of our forces, the remaining soldiers and allies of Ansteorra could see the writing on the wall and knew that this day would be their last. In the face of such bravery and acceptance of fate, but refusal to yeild, my heart was moved at the display. I felt pity for what our King asked us to do, and looked around and saw a similar look on many in the allied army. So moved, the generals of the Northshield and East armies approached our own and proclaimed that they could not allow these brave men to stand alone. Our general, tied by loyalty to our crown, could not let the Ansteorran forces pass without engagement but allowed out allies to fight for honor and chivalry against us for he too was moved by the Ansteorran display. Hands were clasped and patches of brotherhood sworn, and I stood by and watched as our noble allies offered their own lives to help the brave soldiers leave.

Soon, the most grueling and painful battle of my life began. Our forces poured into the ravine, determined to cut off the advance and escape of our foes, and the Ansteorran forces met us with the ferocity  of a cornered lion. Time and time again we crashed upon their advancing line, and all of our best efforts could not do more than slow down their escape. For every man that died two more took his place in a bid for freedom, and as the hour passed on they pushed and fought through our defenses. Seeing that they would fight to the last, and not wanting to risk any more Trimarian dead, our general called a halt to our battle and allowed them to pass. Will this come back and hurt us in the future, only God will know.

Wounded, I struggled back to camp before collapsing in our wagon. My wounds were tended to, I was redressed and soon rather sleepily we pulled away from the campaign. Our King had declared an end to combat and hostilities in the sake of peace talks, and with myself and Alexander the Plump wounded and exhausted from a week of fighting we took to the long trail back to Trimarian lands. I lay half asleep as the ladies around us spoke of adventures and shared stories, and I was lulled to sleep by the gentle embrace of my own loving wife.

Over the last few days I've had time to reflect on this campaign i undertook, and all that it means. This is not the first war I've traveled alongside, but it was my first fighting war. I will remember those I stood beside, and those who stood for me. I will remember all the new experiences and hold them close to my heart. Combat...satisfied something deep inside. My soul yearns for my art, my heart takes joy at my service, but there was something carnal and truly physical in pleasure to be fighting for my King. It will push me to become better, train harder so I can better satisfy my own needs. 

Until then, I am back to work. My wagon is in need of repair, my kitchen work calls to me and my heart yearns for the quiet solace of art.

But I will not forget the sounds and sights of war anytime soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 8

Today has been a day of great triumph for Trimaris, and a day worthy of praise! Vivat!

My lady wife went to continue her study of glass work, I feel that I may soon have a new craft for her to entertain herself with in our humble home. I don't mind, I enjoy beading and am happy to have the opportunity to play with it myself, so I went to study various coffees before the great battles of the day. Some light shopping with Lady Kolfinna followed by a brief construction project to help a fellow Trimarian. I heard the drums of war ringing out and quickly moved to the ridge to watch the battles begin.

Trimaris, fueled by the knighting of Syr Cherish and love of our Queen and King charged towards the Ansteorran bridge. The enemy, normally fearless, in the face of such a charge began to tremble at the sound of our fury. The Trimarian forces crashed upon the Ansteorran shields like waves upon the shore, and eroded the defenses of our foes with the same lethal efficiency of the sea water to the sand. Our fighters pushed hard and fast, and in just a few short hours we had claimed the bridge. The rapier fighters were ordered to guard the bridge and ravine incase of escaping Ansteorran forces, and rotating guard shifts have been ordered by the Generals.

A brief rest was ordered by the King for the army before the next battle. The next one was a huge battle for us, the fortress was an ancestral building for our kingdom which had been stolen from us by the Ansteorrans and claimed as their own. It is our house, and we would reclaim it. The sun was high in the air as our siege of the castle began. Batista fired, archers shot with perfection and the Trimarian war machine slammed into the gates. The Ansteorran forces had the advantage by defending the sturdy gates, but in the end their forces were not prepared. We claimed the fortress, but then the remainder of te Ansteorran army arrived. The army which had beaten us at the field had made the long travel around the bridge to attack us just as we claimed the fortress. Ballista fired now on us, and our men had to face the fury of an angry army. We fought for hours, holding our gates and in the end there was only one option; victory. The Ansteorran forces yielded the fortrss to ourselves, opting to save lives instead of senselessly throw them at our unyielding shield walls. We reclaim the fortress, vivat!

Tonight a grand celebration for all the Knowne World is planned, to proclaim the triumph of our Caesar and our Trimarian forces. There will be drinking and merry-making, and I hope to find myself well into cups. Tomorrow will be another day of war and God willing it will be our last.

Friday, March 20, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 7

The fighting was fierce today on every field, and yet we continue on with this seemingly endless campaign. When Ansteorra will finally yield is unknown, but it is known that Trimaris will fight every day for every inch. Vivat!

Once again I awoke in the embrace of my wife and to the smell of camp fire and smoking meats in the air. If there is a better way to awaken, I have yet to find it. 

As an aside, I neglected to finish this entry before I went celebrating our victories with my companions so the beer prevented me from writing on time. My apologies.

My duties were to one of my dear friends, an Italian name I have trouble pronouncing but we have nicknamed Crissy, who needed assistance throwing a luncheon for our Pharaoh. It was a great delight to cook for friends, as always, though I did have a small mishap with the fire. Due to wind and poor kindling collections I was unable to start a flame to grill the meats needed, thank goodness the caravan hailing from the Middle East had set down and started a fire pit earlier that week. I bartered my service to the men of Al Mahala and was able to collect a pot of coals to rush back and ignite my own fire with. The rest of the luncheon went off smoothly as each of the various kingdoms hosted a champions tournament for sport.

Before long, word was given that the army was to muster. The Knights would take the field and those of us wielding rapier would sweep the remains of Ansteorra from the town once and for all. The Ansteorran forces did outnumber us as many Knights left to fight with our King, but we held true. Our generals led us as one strike force, focused and determined to shatter the black star foes before us; and shatter them we did. We forced the enemy to abandon the town and freed them. We followed orders and post haste made to guard the ravine for our King.

Our Knights has a greater challenge ahead, to fully remove the Ansteorran forces from the outlaying fields. Our King led our forces valiantly, and two passes through the field saw us victorious. As we prepared for a third pass we saw that the Ansteorran forces had increased in size as well as added siege engines. Our King, seeing that his men's lives were now in danger, brought out our secret weapon; a siege device called a tank. The King of Northshield had made friends with an inventor named Da Vinci, and had commissioned a siege weapon of great power. This moveable take could fire great cannonballs over long distance, and was so shielded only the greatest of trebuchet could smash it. As it rolled onto the field the Black Star trembled in fear, and it wrecked through their lines. It was not enough however, and King Kurn saw that the risk to Trimarian lives was greater than ever. Unwilling to risk any more of his men, Kurn commanded the army to retreat and yeild the field to the Ansterorrans. The army pulled back to the bridge, now penned in both sides but ready to fight the next day.

The King wanted to raise the spirits of his army, so he and Pharaoh held a great court for the Trimarian army. Many awards were given, words of praise offered and soon the spirit of every Trimarian was elevated. Of special note is my good friend Crissy, who for her long term service to the crown and our kingdom was awarded a Court Barony from the King himself. Not a dry eye in the seats was able to be seen and it was a wonderful end of our day. 

Tonight there are many parties and celebrations springing up around the campaign field, and I will be joining them. Tomorrow the battle for the fortress begins and we will reclaim our house

Thursday, March 19, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 6

I live to face another day, and another day of War has come upon us.

Last evening I upset both my sister and wife, this led to me volunteering for a guard duty shift to appease them and calm their fury. I sadly spent most of my morning guarding the edges of our encampment, bored and left swinging my legs as the hours rocked by. Once my shift was complete I dashed away, to prepare for the days battle. On my way to my camp I ran into Lady Kolfinna who was in quite a state.

Her Majesty, our Pharaoh, had gone missing. There was no sight of her, and as Lady Kolfinna was supposed to watch her next to escort her through the merchants and guard her there was obvious concern. We searched high and low over the entire camp and town, unable to locate her. It seems she was as quick-footed as they say and had slipped us durin the day in her own private game of hide-and-seek. Much relief was had when she was finally located and I was able to prepare for battle.

The Knights and archers took to the ravine, to avenge our fallen comrades and clear the Ansteorran forces from the location. The battle was a rousing success, with Trimaris able to push them out of the ravine and back towards the field to gather their forces and lick their wounds. Of special note were our Atlantian allies who held a defensive position and refused to yield the floor to te enemy. The Trimarian forces pushed the Ansteorran forces out of the ravine and back onto the field before the town itself.

Soon after, I received the orders to marshal onto the field and prepare to engage the Ansteorran forces. I was nervous and scared I will admit, this was my first true battle and my fellow men at arms to my left and right depended on me. I was blessed that in our first pass on the field I had Jarl Ari by my side, his courage and calm was infectious in the times of stress. Finally our general called for a forward march, and the bloodshed began.

The Trimarian force had a simple stance: hold the center ground and do not die. Our allies on our flanks were to crush in on the left and the right, and we the anvil would be te surface ok which we broke them. I was scared, but as soon as our enemies were before us I had a sudden rush of purpose. I knew what I had to do, not die and hold this spot, and by God I would do just that. I parryed and blocked, defended my allies and even managed to kill two Ansteorrans. I was wounded, and lost use temporarily of my right arm from the pain, but I battled on and did not yield the ground. Three passes the enemy made at us, and in all three we captured them on our anvil and shattered them. We held the field that day, and I have never felt so alive.

I have heard that some of the Ansteorran forces have tried to retake the town while our forces were harried outside it. We will lead the charge in to retake it, while the bulk of the Trimarian forces finish off the Ansteorrans on the field.

My day after that was tiring but fantastic. I have eaten much, drank much, eaten much and danced till my feet hurt. Goodnight world, my life has gone amazing and I hope that it continues. I am well into my cups, thanks to a fantastic celebration of our victories. Vivat!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 5

The war has begun, and the blood flows. Alliances are declared and the first battle has occurred. Vivat!

The dawn broke with the sound of sweet birds and the smell of bacon and eggs on the air. All of Trimaris rose early to march with our King and Queen, I found myself helping to fill in gaps with their Highnesses retainer entourage which was a delight. Their Highnesses were given special mounts, noble steady which had been trained to walk next to each other, so they could hold hands as they helped lead the army. It was incredibly sweet to see such an open display of affection.

The armies assembled and awaited the word of our King. The sovereign crowns of Gleann Abhann and Meridies both pleaded with the assembled armies and Kings of Trimaris and Ansteorra, asking if there was no chance for peace. Our King, ever gracious and noble of stature, said it was a simple matter for peace and he would happily command his armies to stand down if but the King of Ansteorra would show a measure of respect and friendship to his majesty King Kurn. King Lochlan, sovereign ruler of Ansteorra, took a moment to stop and think on the offer. Many present were hopeful that bloodshed could be forgone, but then King Lochlan gave King Kurn a gesture most rude and unwelcoming to our beloved King. "Let there be war" King Lochlan cried and the armies rattled sword and shield in anticipation.

Before battle could begin, the gathered nobility from around the Knowne World chose sides in the coming fight. Allies were drawn and both sides of the conflict gathered warriors to fight for them. Siding with Ansteorra are the kingdoms of An Tir, Avacal, Calontir, Caid, Atenveldt and Gleann Abhann. Siding with Trimaris are the kingdoms of Middle, West, East, Aethelmearc, Atlantia, East, Meridies and lastly Northshield.

Of Northshield is a special note, as they had made a special request of our King to secure their alliance. They required the aid of our most fearsome fighter to train their troops and wear their colors to is pure their men. Jarl Ari was that man, one of our generals, and with the stroke of a pen and the good nature (and willingness) of Jarl Ari for the duration of the war he fights in the name of Northshield. His wife was rather fond of this contract, as it gives a clause to her allowing her to ignore any grievance her husband may give.

With the announcement of war and the declaration of allies, the armies began their formations. I myself took time in the town to enjoy a wonderful hands-on experience with vinegars and German sword styles, before retiring to the Green Dragon for a pint. As I rested, war began. The drums beat and horses charged as our brave warriors marched to battle. Our war command made the choice to split the army and make separate pushes.

For those not familiar with the lay of the land, in the center of the fortrss. Leading to the fortress is a great bridge spanning a deep ravine, and on the other side of the bridge is a splendid town. A great field leads to the town where many of the armies camp. His Majesty made the call to send the army straight into the town to catch the forces of Ansteorra by surprise, while sending our archers around to try and sneak through the ravine to surprise the fortress. War was met by both forces with varying levels of success.

The archers, small in number but skilled in battle, snuck past the fortress in the rush of battle to make a break for the ravine. We were met by the guards of the bridge itself, Ansteorra had foreseen such a maneuver and placed their own arches the n the other side of the ravine. Battle was fierce and long; while the heart of Trimaris was strong and we would have fought to the last man, our general made the wise choice to pull our remaining archers back to rejoin the rest of the army. The Ansteorran archers held the day, but they bled three for every one Trimarian. 

Meanwhile, our armies laid siege to the town. Trimaris and her forces were mighty and valiant, swiftly striking and scattering the opposing army. Our strength was so great they could not even recover, we had several legions stand down and rest yet still we struck true. Once we had forced the enemy from the town, they rallied to try and retake it from our grasp. This went as well as their earlier defense, they fought hard but did not have the strength. Our heart was fierce and our spirit strong, at the end of the day we held the town and forced the Ansteorran forces split between the field and north towards the bride and ravine. When our King heard of the bloody battle in the ravine he vowed revenge and began to prepare our knights for a battle to avenge our archers. 

While the knights and their squires fought within the town, many of the rapier fighters (myself included) decided to enjoy the sweet tunes and cold drinks of the Green Dragon. As the war began in earnest outside our doors, all manner of thieves and ruffians found shelter within the tavern walls. Things turned into an outright brawl as the thieves began to pilfer from our forces and the tavern itself. We subdued the thieves, but as soon as we finished the last thief off the guards managed to arrive. They saw the litter of thieves on the floor and the blood on our swords, then decided we were at fault. We fought off the guards and made our escape from the Green Dragon to rejoin the victorious Trimarian army.

I rest tonight with family, enjoying a small
measure of camp work with many talks of fun and laughter. There is a small echo of worry, will this be the last time we all drink together? Will war claim one of us? We drink and toast, poke fun but always worry that tomrrow may be the last. Tomorrow, our generals will marshal our rapier fighters to chase the Ansteorran forces onto the field where we will engage half the forces separated. 

This may be my last writing, for I may die tomorrow in my first battle at war. Pray to God and all the saints that Trimaris is kept safe.

Monday, March 16, 2015

War journal of Christopher Köch Day 4

I killed a man today. 

It was different than I thought it would be. There was no dramatic note played, no feeling of superiority or heavenly sent deliverance. There was just the moment, the opening where their hilt revealed the bare heart and time itself slowed as I slid the blade into his breast. His eyes lit up, and then faded. That's the truth of combat really; it matters not what you say or look like in the battle but if you live or die. I fought with honor, I fought for life as did he. My blade simply struck true.

That's not how my day started of course, the bloody light of dawn pierced the trees and awoke the camp in time for breakfast and organization of day activities. Many member of my party were soon hard at work, my lovely wife departed to join the artisans with many other women. I myself made my way down to the camp followers myself, to learn new skills. That's the advantage to such a large campaign, so many camp followers present that many begin to reach their skills and crafts to any who would listen and learn. I learned a great deal on improving my methods of cooking over fire and spit, many Arabic dance styles, water infusion of fruit and other spices and even a class from a court wizard on magic performance for nobility. As an apprentice of course I love to learn and grow, and thankfully there was much opportunity to fill my notebook.

I soon heard that the King had commanded all his army to be inspected and seen fit for battle the next day. Nervously I donned my still shining air and sharpened my fresh blade, and lined up for inspection. I was graced by one of the Generals personally inspecting my armor and deeming me for for battle. I admit, I choked up a bit with pride. It has long been a dream of mine to fight for my King and serve with honor; to have that so soon within my grasp because of a simple marking designating me as inspected for War filled my heart with joy. I left with several of my companions, talking and preparing for our war plans in the days to come when we unwillingly walked into a blood feud between two warring families.

The town outside of the night fortress is a lovely place, and as war has yet to tear into the location it still bustled with people. What we were not aware is that a blood feud between two families has been brewing for generations and finally had spilled over into the streets. Caught in the middle was our Trimarian forces, myself having the bad misfortune of wearing the bright colors marking me as a "supporter" of the opposing house. The fighting was intense, we lost few but had many wounded. We returned to inform our commanders of the fighting and gleamed that our foes were behind the escalation of violence in the town. I hear whisper that we will begin battle soon and the town itself may be an early target.

After cleaning my wounds and cooling down from the battle, my services were required by my King once more. Watching him atop horseback was a regal sight and he continues to be the kind and gracious man every King should be. I served him well this night and he rewarded me with a gold bracket from his wrist, I felt a swelling in my heart and will wear this article of his favor for the remainder of my battles as a token of good luck. I was pleased to witness a very large Kingdom send their personal best fighters to announce their support of our cause. I cannot say whom just yet, but I was pleased by the offer and I can see a great weight off my Kings shoulder at the positive news.

I write tonight from the halls of my favorite tavern, the Green Dragon. Heather of the Dale has traveled a long distance and is currently singing for the crowd gathered, and for tonight we are all friends and brothers. My wife sits besides me, my friends gather near and a pint is shared with toasts and promises of alliance and trust flow freely around the hall. 

War begins tomorrow. Pray to God that our countrymen return, and we are victorious.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

War Journal Christopher Köch Day 3

The fires of war burn around the camps, and I sit here writing around my own fire surrounded by friends and family.

For my wife and I, sleep was restless as each sound perked the ears while we guarded the wagon. As the sun rose and began to burn away the morning fog we both awoke fully, prepared to take on the challenges of the day. We awoke our companions and registered our presence with the army census, then found out way to the allotted camp location. Once again we were placed among friends and family, creating what could have been a cold camp of war to a home away from home. We placed our tents and soon hitched our wagons to the distant burg of Hatties.

The burg of Hatties is a pleasant place, they have wisely decided to capitalize on the war fields nearby and the merchants were selling in full strength. The trip was mostly uneventful, with the exception of Lady Kolfina having pushed her work duties to the point of exhaustion and she was in need of much rest. Thankfully Alexander was more than willing to step up and cover her duties, I may be more swayed to approving their dalliance after that. We returned back to our camp and finished our set up with ease.

I soon became restless, and felt the need to explore the war site. The merchants of course have set up shop and eager to sell to the soldiers and camp followers who have followed along for the campaign. My eye was caught by a number of items, and I'm sure more will appear before the campaign ends. My wife has found an excellent pair of socks and insists on more.

As the sun began to set, my first task of this War began. His Majesty, Kurn, required retaining assistance while on campaign and I was more than happen to assist. He is a good King, honorable and wise but unafraid to smile and become playful with his populous. He is a very particular man on how his tent is to be set, and Kurn has no issue saying how he wants things done, but serving him was still a pleasure. I shall do so again many times this week I feel, and I look forward to every attempt.

The bards began to sing, and my wife approved, so I found myself sitting in the Green Dragon after too long. A cold pint served by a lovely bartender was just what God intended for my evening, and I enjoyed the company of my fellows with a second round. Dinner was soon served however, so I left my new friends with promise of return and returned home. The soup and bread was fantastic, and after a good meal my wife and I enjoyed simply laying back and watching the stars shine above.

Tomorrow the campaign begins in earnest, with several artisans putting on classes and the first war practices amongst the armies. I can sense my wife growing restless, she fears for my safety in the coming battles and has been unwilling to leave my side for much of the night. I finally managed to get her into bed, to give me the time to write a few words.

A note, for future remembrance. I have found great pleasure in planning tricks and tomfoolery with my brother Master Thaalibi. If we both survive the battles ahead, we will have much fun planned.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 2

My traveling partners have been most unique so far, and as I write after a wonderful meal I am compelled to write an account of them.

First in our band is of course my lovely wife Lady Moire Grey. A passionate woman, she has taken the role of matriarch on this journey and has found no issue with vocalizing her desires or guiding the party when we lack direction. A talented scribe, though perhaps it is God's will that she cannot focus on one art at a time and instead feels compelled to become diverse and talented in many. She has taken charge of organization and packing with the caravan, and looks forward to taking time away from her duties in the home to assist the army as best she is able.

Next in our company is Lady Kolfina, one of my most talented retainers for the Nobles of Darkwater. This is her first experience in campaign away from family, and i think she's a little too eager at times to prove herself. She has proven adapt at guiding the horses, she and my wife have grown quite close so far on our journey and they have found a common bond over taste in music (sadly). A young woman growing more confidant every day, I feel she will be of great aide to the war effort this campaign and demonstrate to the visiting nobles the skill of the house staff of House Darkwater.

Also attending his first solo campaign is our solider from An Crosaire, Alexander the Plump. How he became to be know as the plump is a mystery, as I have rarely found a taller or thinner but well built warrior. He is a fine fighter from my second home in the Barony of An Ceosaire and has been on campaign several times in the past but always alongside his father and brother. This is his first solo War, and while his father gave his goodbyes with stoic pride his mother on the other hand fretted and prayed to all the Saints to watch over her eldest. There is a time that all men must leave home and strike out, and I am proud of him for this. He seems to have taken a fancy to our fellow traveler Lady Kolfina, I am unsure if I should promote this fancy or dash it upon the rocks to keep her focused on her works. I will pray to God and seek advice from my Mistress and Baroness on this.

Last, but certainly not least, is Neb Amenhetep from the house of the Pharaoh herself. He and I have grown close over this past year, I have sought his priestly council in matter of religion and he has pryes my mind on methods for taking care of the nobility. This is his first coming, never has he journeyed to the fields of battle in any capacity nor seen the majesty of Trimaris laid out for battle. I admit I am a little jealous, to see it all again with fresh eyes would be a blessing from God Himself. He is a priest to the temple that the Pharaoh seeks guidance from, and will be staying with the Royal entourage for the  duration of the campaign. I pray he is kept safe.

Our caravan had a slow travel along the trails, we encountered several forward member of the Trimarian army and shared a meal in the hospitality of the Baron and Baroness of Oldenfeld. There were several cargo shifts due to high winds, my wife chided me regularly on my less than excellent storage capacity of which I have to agree with her on. Our dinner ended at a wonderful tavern, regional fair that filled even the picky eating ladies attending with us. This Crescent City tavern may have Islamic ties, but I am more than willing to patronize this location again.

My lady and I have decided to stay with the wagon this evening, while the rest of our companions stay in the local inn outside of the war encampment. We sleep restlessly, visions of the days to come keeping us awake.

Pray for us to St. Martin for quick and glorious victories.

Friday, March 13, 2015

War Journal of Christopher Köch Day 1

 Rest is soon upon us, and with it comes the promise of tomorrow and the War to come.

My lady and I have spent much of the day in perpetration for our journey, a greater undertaking than ever before. Our simple wagon would not suffice, through trade we aquired the use of a large caravan capible of crossing both town and country. I had never made such an acquisition before and was confused at the process, thankfully my Lady was on hand to navigate it for me. I would truly be lost without her and I thank God every day she has entered my life.

Much of the afternoon was spent packing very carefully, not only would we be traveling but three close companions would travel with us as well. A loyal retainer to the House of Darkwater, a solider from the Barony of An Crosaire that has taken quite a fancy to her and a priest to the Pharaoh Herself carrying with him a sacred object. Navigating all that is required took much time, but even language barriers could not slow our preparations of War.

I leave in the early hours of the morning, not in the back of the vanguard. This year I March at the front of the caravan, for I am a loyal solider for Trimiaris. My blade and armor may be fresh, but my heart and arm are eager to begin the work. I know my Lady frets for me, but her support on the field of battle allows me to continue my quest. My last major War, I was simply a camp follower and used my services as a Majordomo to help the former royalty. I will continue all those tasks...but add in warrior of the three seas to my profession.

The candle burns low and night escaoea me. I pray to God to keep our royalty safe in their travels, I pray to St. Martin to keep me strong in the battles to come and I pray to my namesake St. Christopher that our own travels be safe and swift.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why I fight

I am very excited, in just two short weeks I will be attending another Gulf Wars with friends and family. I will work hard, learn loads, good off and get some much needed stress release for the week. I am adding something new to the mix this year though, this is my first year as an authorized fighter.

When I first talked about doing combat in the SCA, it raised several eye brows with my friends. Many asked why, many were confused as they hadn't seen any kind of desire or heard me discuss it before. I even managed to surprise several of my SCA relationships the day I was authorized, the Queen Herself pointed out that she was surprised to see me out of the kitchens. Because of all that, I feel the need to blog about my choice and speak aloud my whys and how's.

Short answer:
Because I want to, and I will have fun doing it. Duh.

Oh, that's not a good post...I should probably fill in more of an explanation than that.

Long answer:
Sword fighting, combat and daring warrior antics have always been a part of my imagination and my dreams. Growing up I adored the Power Rangers because they had weapons and weapon combat felt cooler than later pistols. Jedi were awesome, they were just future Knights!my fantasy and play times I cloves saving princesses from dragons or saving the day by beating a generalnin one-on-one combat. These were fun fantasies of mine, but nothing I ever thought would be a reality.

As I grew up I discovered stage combat, first playing with it in stage shows and later moving onto performing at Ren Faires. This scratched the itch that I had felt since a boy, a fun outlet to live out my fantasies as a swashbuckler. In doing such activities I met some fantastic people and one person in particular introduced me to the SCA. At the time her selling point was "wanna swing a sword and hit people for real" and to a young twenty hear old guy that sounds kinda fracking awesome.

I primarily played rattan when I first joined that SCA, that was all I knew, and thought the combat was nice it was like eating a candy bar. Yes a candy bar tastes good, makes you feel full and happy for a short period of time, but it was just temporary. I didn't have an anchor into the group and that feeling along with other factors led me to leaving the SCA for a time.

Upon coming back with my friends combat was the farthest thing from my mind. Service and Art were what was pulling to me, and for a good while I could have cared less about combat within the SCA. Sure I enjoyed the tourneys with my friends and didn't mind supporting my fellows in ther fighting endeavors, but as far as participating went I could have cared less if I fought or not.

Then I went to Gulf Wars for the first time.

There's nothing I can really do to describe my experience with War. It changed me, all for the better, and left marks on me mentally and even spiritually that I'm still uncovering and learning of. One of those marks was rekindling that childhood dream of combat, to fight for glory and honor and to have a great fracking time. After that first war I began to plot out and plan how I would enter into the fighting field, what I would do and how far I would take it.

It took me a while to get everything together that I needed, job changes and life changes like getting married refocused a lot of my priorities, but I finally was as to join in combat. While I still enjoy rattan and can't deny the carnal pleasure of slamming a sword up against a mans helmet, I wanted to follow my dream. My dreams have never been about me fighting alone against the odds, I was always with my friends. My brothers in arms are an important part of this dream, and since my best friends all fight with rapier I had an easy choice to make.

There is always a lot of talk about The Dream when it comes to the SCA, and the importance of following your personal dream to its fruition. For me, this year at War will be a first big step to fulfilling a dream I've had since I was a child. I will take the field of battle and fight with honor to represent my Lady, my King, and my Country. I will finally be living out a fantasy I never thought to be a reality. I am so fracking excited I can barely contain myself. And though I will most likely die pretty regularly during each battle, I dare you to find someone out there on the field or at the whole of Gulf Wars who will be happier than me.