A View of War Part I:

My Side of the Shield Wall

(We Came! We Saw! We had a blast!)

by Maredudd Cymysglyd ap Cynan, Pencenedl, Ty Bondu
(with commentary by Eric C. Smith)
©1989, Eric C. Smith

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That's right, the second annual Fool's War is over and I have been asked to give you my impressions of the event, as it was my first war as a fighter. If you haven't already heard, we came in second place, with Meridies coming in first (Ha! We beat the Atlantians). A good time was had by all.

The war was held, as it was last year, in South Meridies, near a place called Macon by the mundanes. At around four o'clock the friday before war, Tempus, Becc, Spinaker, Brother Tamas, and I set out from Starhaven for the long trek to the war site (It will be a while before I'll do that again!). By Midnight we had arrived at the site (After zoning out on the freeway and getting lost while looking for good gas, which we didn't find) and checked in. Caitlin MacNessa (you may remember Caitlin the Willful) had reserved a good camp site for us. Of course the problem was to find Caitlin at midnight when there are hundreds of other people around (They wouldn't let me yell for her). We were informed that armor inspection would close at 8:45 on the morning of the war, a fact that we fighters were thrilled to hear (Don't you believe it). The group finally found Caitlin and set up camp. After long and hard contemplation, we all decided to go to sleep so that we would be prepared to take the field the following day and defeat our enemies in honorable battle (Little did we know what was to come).

The day of the war dawned bright and early (and damn cold as well). Our group slowly got out of their beds and began to prepare for the coming battles. As we began to don our armor, I realized that I had forgotten an important part of my armor ( One note to all new fighters. ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR CUP ), but I was fortunate enough to be able to find and borrow a spare from someone (Thank you Tamas, from the bottom of my jewels). Finally, after searching for the inspection point for nearly a half hour (They had a roving inspection point for awhile), all of us in our little group had received our treasured blue dots.

The first battle to be fought was the Beach Battle. The Trimarian army formed at one side of the beach while the Atlantians formed in the middle and the Meridians formed on the far side. Queen Elspeth spoke to the army, exhorting the troops to the hight of valor (Actually, I couldn't hear a word she said, but I shouted with the crowd and made up my own version of her message). Next, King Baldar, urging us to fight with courage and honor, commanded us to take the field. The marshalls finally cried 'Lay On!'.

Let me take this moment to say that I was fighting on the shield wall and will most likely always be on the shield wall. Many of you have seen my war shield and have commented on its size (What can I say, I'm a big person, and no, it didn't come off of a Pinto Station Wagon, even if that is what I was driving at the time ). Rest assured that you are not the only ones. As I moved around the field in preparation for the first battle, more than a few commented on the size of my shield (Is THAT your shield?!!? is a good representation of the typical comment ).

But to get back to the battle. As The Meridians advanced upon the Atlantians, our line moved forward a few steps and the command was given for 'Shields Down'. As the Meridians bore down on the Atlantians, sweeping across the beach, a wave of death and destruction for the Atlantian dogs, their left flank pulled in and, astonishingly, the Atlantians fell in beside them (Scoundrals!!!!! ). The combined line of Meridians and Atlantians moved towards our line ( Wimps!!!! ). The shieldmen prepared to meet the oncoming line (Help!!!!!!). When the two lines finally met, our shield wall held, and indeed threw the enemy back. The fighting was furious as the spearmen and glaivemen tried to take out the enemy. The shieldman to my right fell and as I prepared to cover the gap, an enemy shieldman moved to widen the gap. Unfortunately, in doing so, he opened himself up to attack from me ( Take that! ). That was the first and only kill I got that day, but it felt great! The battle didn't last much longer and the outcome was a little disappointing, for the Trimarians were killed to the last man, or in this case, the last woman ( It took two Kingdoms to bring us down! ).

With the first battle of the day behind us, it was time to move to the next battle, the Bridge Battle. The bridge we were to fight on was a three way bridge. ( The bridge was set up next to the Merchants Field, so I guess the winner was supposed to sack the merchants, I mean that's period isn't it? ) We positioned ourselves on the bridge, once more preparing to meet the enemy in honorable combat (Hahahaha! When will we learn!). The marshalls once again gave the call to 'Lay On'.

There is one thing everyone who intends to fight in a war needs to know. The worst place to be on a bridge battle is on the shield wall. The reason for this is that a majority of the time spent on the bridge is spent waiting for the otherside to attack ( Come on cowards, attack, my legs are beginning to cramp! ). Once they do attack, the shieldmen don't know what is happening and have to rely upon the spearmen and glaivemen to tell them what is going on (Come on guys, how many of them are left? ).

Once again, back to the battle. After the first half hour or so (It seemed like at least a whole hour to my knees ), one side, I don't know which, attacked. Again it seemed that both Meridies and Atlantia would team up against us. When they hit our line, I flew back about 2 feet (Jeez, where did they get a tank from?). Fortunately, none of our shieldmen died as the glaivemen stepped in to wipe out the enemies front line. Our shield wall reformed and the battle continued. On the next charge I was ready. When the enemy hit our line, my shield was set and reinforced. (I heard a story the next day of how a meridian and three of his friends hit this big black and white shield during the bridge battle and the shield did not budge. Unfortunately, the one telling the story was between the shield and his friends. Gotcha!!!!!!!). I sure had a great time during the bridge battle (Even if it was after the fact that I realized that). We lost the bridge battle, but only just barely (It took two Kingdoms to bring us down).

By this time, I was too tired to continue, so I gracefully bowed out of the last battle (More like collapsed). Trimaris went on to be double teamed once more in the woods battle and as might be expected, were defeated. Though we did not win a single battle, we can be proud that our one-hundred fifteen fighters fared well when compared to the combined force of one-hundred seventy fielded by Meridies and Atlantia (Even odds even at bad odds!!!).

I did not enter anything in the Arts/Sci competition , but we can be proud of the fact that out of 22 awards given, Trimaris brought home 17 (Take that Meridies and Atlantia). Nor did I participate in the Live Weapons competition and as I understand it, it would not have mattered. The winner was chosen by the highest single scoreing individual, and as I am not a weapons master, I would have stood little chance (I don't know, things might be a little fishy here). As I said before, we came in second overall, and that was with the other two kingdoms double teaming us.

One of the best parts of the entire war was the night after war. Trimarians gathered around the many different fires that had been lit and reminisced about the events of the day. The War was over and the reveling could begin, and oh how we reveled.

The trip home was rather uneventful (But just as long as the trip up). Everyone was full of stories and impressions about the war. Wars can be fun, for at the least, we all met new friends, friends that we could share the common experience with, friends we could enjoy. But most importantly, friends that we might see at Pensic this year (Oh No, not another War!!!!!!).

Yes, that's right, another war.