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The Thirteenth Year

Crusade to Rescue the King and Queen -- Tarnmist
July 15-16, 1978 (AS XIII)

From The Page (July, 1978):

On June 3rd, the Principality of Caid contrived, by the devious and unheard-of ploy of becoming a separate Kingdom, to place the King and Queen of the West under the domiinion of a Foreign Crown. Any true subject of the Crown of the West must view this with outrage!

We, as Warlord of the Principality of the Mists (The Warlord of the Mists is Sir William the Lucky, Sir Steven MacEanruig, and Sir Lorin Sur La Roche -- see Chronicles for the explanation of all this -- Ed.), demand that our King and Queen be released forthwith! Further, as just reparation for this dastardly deed, we demand that the Kingdom of Caid cede to us all those lands of which we are currently Champion: the Barony of Calafia, Darachshire, and miscellaneous Cantons of the Barony of the Angels.

Expecting that our righteous demands will be rejected, we have declared a CRUSADE to Rescue our King and Queen. On the 15th and 16th of July, in the Shire of Tarnmist (the area around San Juis Obispo, CA), we shall sweep to Victory.

TAKE THE LEAF (Laurel, of course)! SOUTH TO VICTORY!

POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES: Single (?) Combat: The Warlord of the Mists vs. the Champion of Caid (Sir Mary of Uffington); A Bridge Fight; An Unbelted Fighters' Melee; A Belted Fighters' Melee; An Un-Armored Cloak and Boffer Melee (primarily for non-fighters); A Specialized Melee (wherein each side has one fighter with each of the following: broadsword and shield, axe and shield, mace and shield, great sword, pike, short sword and shield, double broadsword, and "other" (some combination not already in use, e.g. banner and sword, double short sword, etc.)); and FULL BATTLE. (If Caid is victorious, His Majesty will take on the survivors in an attempt to cut His own way to Freedom.)

Further information, including exact site directions, can be obtained from either: The Warlord of the Principality of the Mists -- Sir William the Lucky (contact info omitted); Sir Steven MacEanruig (contact info omitted); or Sir Lorin Sur La Roche (contact info omitted); The Champion/Captain of Caid: Sir Mary of Uffington (contact info omitted); or the Seneschal of Tarnmist: Lord Colin de Wyndmere (contact info omitted).

From The Page (September, 1978):

THE CRUSADE TO RESCUE THE KING AND QUEEN OF THE WEST FROM CAID: In the cold grey dawn, we packed our armor and began the journey to the Shire of Tarnmist, where war was breaking out that day.

Caid, in it scunning, had become a separate kingdom, thus taking the King and Queen of the West as captives. The Warlord of the Mists reacted to this outrage by raising an army to free Their Majesties.

It seemed as good an excuse for a war as any: we'd fight to rescue their Majesties! we'd fight for honor! for glory! for anything else we could think of! (Has apple pie been invented yet?)

With the sun rising high in the sky, fighters assembled to sign waivers and choose their sides. There were approximately forty fighters for the West and fifty for Caid.

As the armies marshalled about their leaders, we surveyed the battlefield: flat and treeless. We could forget about using terrain as part of our strategy.

I armed up for my first war with a feeling of anticipation. Proudly, I donned the tabbard of Dom Ostrov, previously worn only for the ceremonies and revels of my household: I hoped to bring it glory in combat that day. On the front and back of my helmet, red tape was attached, and a red ribbon tied to my belt, all to identify me as a soldier of the West, and to symbolize the fire of our Grand Crusade and the justice of our Cause.

"Isn't green our color?" someone asked. We ignored him.

Both armies gathered to hear the explanation of the war's point system. All was now in readiness and, with the harsh sun glinting on the duct tape of our swords, the war began.

The first engagement was a bridge melee. As the West was technically the invader, Caid held the bridge. Their defense was good; the first rank was the men of Rieslingshire in a classic shield wall. As I looked at that solid line of large, rectangular, interlocked shields, one thing was clear to me: we might be on the bridge, but we were still up the creek.

The Warlord of the Mists called for volunteer berserkers, to hit the enemy line two at a time and break their wall. In the army it is said that there are three kinds of fools: plain fools, damn fools, and volunteers. I was one of the latter: eight who agreed to flail away at the enemy line. Two by two.

Somehow, though, our plan changed, for when we attacked, all bersekers advanced in a single line, with the Western army right behind us. The bersekers had no room to flail away and our second rank had no organization against the pole weapons of the south. It was one of those very pole weapons which convinced me that I didn't really want to break any shield walls. As one of the first casualties of the war, I watched from the sidelines as our attack fell into disarray.

But the resulting confusion was not totally disastrous -- with individual effort possible, several heroes of the West hit the Caidan line and broke through. After that, it was a battle of attrition: the initial defense and superior numbers of Caid gave them a clear advantage and when the bodies cleared for the final rush, thirteen Caidans stood against four Westerners.

At this point, Duke Andrew of Riga gave the Caidans one last chance to surrender but they, unappreciative of the mercy of Duke Andrew, proved their ingratitude by stomping the stalwart Westerners remaining.

Victory in the bridge melee and thirteen points to Caid. The West gave three cheers for Caid and Caid returned the honor. It was a friendly war.

Next came a series of specialized weapons routs: broadsword and shield was fought by Sir David Westerville (West) vs His Royal Majesty, Armand Sebastiane de la Foret de Sauvignet -- Sir David won.

With mace and shield were Sir Martin the Temperate (Caid) vs. Sir Steven MacEanruig, one third of the Warlord of the Mists, who, though wounded, claimed victory.

Axe and Shield were used by Sir Lorin Sur la Roche against Sir Rand of Dunbar. Sir Lorin won for the West.

Prince James Greyhelm bested the brave soul from Caid whose name I do not know, in the test for pikemen.

The battle of short sword and shield brought Caid its first point in the specialized weapons category, when Duke Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh slew Karl of Clan Colin.

Frederic of Woodland fought for the south with double broadsword against Duke Paul of Bellatrix, who won.

Greatswords pitted Ragnor of the Icy Wastes against Caid's Sir Douglas Longshanks, who won.

"Other" -- any weapons not previously used, was fought by Sir Mahie McFergie (Caid) bearing axe and mace against another one third of the Mists' Warlord, Sir William the Lucky, fighting with sword and banner. After two double kills, Sir William at last bested Sir Mahie.

A melee of specialized weapons followed, the end of which saw the Western liberators two points nearer their goal.

During a break between battles, I discussed war cries with Sir Lorin. The foe has a cry both simple and effective: "Caid!" and I recommended something equally simple, such as "The West!" but Sur Lorin informed me that we already had a war cry, "Kidney to kidney!" But it seems to me that by the time you could shout "Kidney to kidney," a Caidan might be getting his pike acquainted with your face plate.

In the unbelted melee, our army was divided into groups of five, with the idea that we could take corner positions and surround the advancing Caidan line. I was in the "bait" group whose job was to lure the enemy into the trap: so it was that I stood in position thinking, How do you get out of this chicken outfit?

The battle began, the foe advanced. "I'm nervous," I confied to the helmeted face beside me. "Me too." he answered. It was reassuring.

The Caidans moved right, away from where I stood. Seeing them moving from my striking range, I took a step forward and let go with the best rising right cross I had. The jolt told me the blow had been good -- my victim's companions called to him, but, "I can't," he repiled, "I'm dead," and walked off the field.

I turned to fight again, but everywhere I looked, there was a waiting list. The Caidans had tried to form a circle but were overrun by our army. Ninteteen unwounded fighters and two wounded were counted as points for the West; marched before King Gregory, saluting him one by one and receiving from him congratulations.

The battle of belted fighters, next, was fast and confusing. The West started with twelve fighters; Caid with eight: the result was nine points added to the tally of the West.

As the sun sank, the armies prepared for the grand melee. Western strategy involved forming three waves, with three groups to each wave and five fighters to each group. The King chose a small personal guard, in case the time came that he would have to cut his own way to freedom.

My commander was Duke Andrew, who led the third group of the first wave. We were instructed to push through the enemy line without stopping to engage them. All was ready.

The armies advanced cauthiously at first, and the tension mounted. At the cry of "Riga, let's go," I sprang forward and pushed through the southern line, only to be creamed by a Caidan who had faded back and let me have it when my momentum and my guard were down. However, when he tried to return to his line, Sir William was waiting for him. (It's good to know I did not die in vain.)

By the time I could make out who was winning, there were five Caidans and only one fighter for the West: Sir William the Lucky. Gleefully, we cheered from the sidelines, shouting, "Kidney to kidney!" and, "Attack, SIr William, you've got them surrounded!"

The King and his guard entered the field and held up the war to listen to Caidan protests -- they left the field.

Bravely the Caidans held their formation against the crushing troupe of the West. When a stray blow cut Sir William's leg, the army of Caid, in a daring maneuver, attacked. Though outnumbered one to five, they swept the field.

Now was the time for the King and his guard to fight! So what if his army had already won the war -- Kings like to have fun, too. As two Caidans stood against King Gregory, a problem arose: the Caidans had sworn loyalty to Gregory and did not consider it honorable to strike him. Nobly, the King released them from their vows; just as nobly, they still refused to fight him. His Majesty crawled proudly across the border, bringing ultimate victory to the West.

Once across the border, he turned to the Caidans and asked if they would fight him just for sport. "Sure," they said, and slew him.

Closing court saw the two Kings and two Queens seated side by side. Her Majesty Queen Bevin offered compliments to both sides. King Armand told King Gregory that "he could turn in his green card; it would no longer be necessary." Duke Aonghais suggested that Western Allies would be welcomed in the upcoming war with Atenveldt.

Three cheers for Their Majesties, three cheers for their Highnesses, and three cheers for the closing of court. The next day held challenge lists, melees, and the long ride home, spent discussing tactics. It was a good war.

     The Late Kallun of Tybermonde, Serf

Photo Album

Description of this event, from The Page.

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