Friday, June 10, 2016

Where Has Annabelle Been???

The Blades of Brendoken and Queen Serena

Since November of 2014 I have been out of Heavy Fighting. In November 2014 I tore my ACL in my right leg while trying to ride one of my friends horses. It didn't end so well. I ended up having it replaced in Feb 2015 and then began a long road to recovery.

Now I wasn't completely gone from the SCA but i was out of fighting for a while. So while I was out of fighting I worked on some other aspects of the SCA including becoming a Rapier marshal and even doing some scribe work.

Then in June of 2015 I was cleared to fight rapier from a seated position. Not much fun but at least I was able to get some fighting in. I was so rusty it was all bad LOL. But I kept working on it. I started getting better with time and was getting really confident.

All this time I was still going through Physical Therapy and getting better with movement. In August I was cleared for normal fighting and released from physical therapy. Finally I had my freedom back! I was still super rusty and slow getting back in to movement. My first comeback full blown fight was Melee at the Knave. I was still weary about fighting and my brothers and Sisters in the Blades of Brendoken helped make sure i was safe. I was so happy to be back fighting!

From that day I have busted my butt to get better and better to get ready for the coming Melee season. Then January of 2016 came Maidens and SLAMDOWNFEST. I was so honored to be fighting in SLAMDOWNFEST. This was (in my mind) going to let the rapier community know that I was back and taking names. I did well in my fights and won my SLAMDOWNFEST fight. Annabelle was back! I was on top of the world! I couldn't wait for melee season to come!

I kept training and working on rapier things trying to better myself. I took some concerns to heart and at Unicorn worked on several things with some of the members of the Order Of Defense and was able to correct a couple of things here and there.
Unfortunately My work schedule didn't allow me to go to practices but I worked on point control drills and footwork. I started to plan my return to Heavy fighting and was talking to the Knight who first got me in armor on what I could do to make sure I was as ready as I could be for my return.
Then it was time for Northern Oaken War Manuvers! The event I had been waiting for to fight in some melees and prove once and for all i was back! We got camp set up in the daylight (That in and of it's self is an accomplishment) and then i gathered my stuff and went to go fight in the Torchlight Tourney that I have been waiting for years to participate in. I didn:t do so well in the first bear pit and Then came the Grue tourney. I was determined to do better in this one and thought about what weapon I would take. I decided to go with dagger because I am halfway decent with it and figured it put an interesting twist in the tourney.... Well Interesting it did get.  When it became my opponents and I's turn I walked in confidently. Yes i was questioned about taking a dagger but I was confident in my decision. When lay on was said we fought and I won the first bout, then in the second bout there was some questions so we refought. My opponent won. So now we were at the 3rd bout. I needed to win this one to continue. Layon was called, I lunged for my opponent Then Disaster! I heard/felt a pop in my foot and a pop in my knee..... In my good leg. I went down screaming and rolled around for a minute or 2 in agony trying not to cuss. I was vaguely aware people were talking around me saying stuff to get my gear off. After a couple minutes i was able to sit up and take my mask off and was asked what happened. A few of the brendoken blades were there to help and everyone was concerned. We removed my gorget and was asked if i could walk over to a bench. A brendoken Heavy fighter helped me up and when i went to put weight on my good leg my knee popped again and i nearly collapsed. he helped me hop over to the bench where I was questioned again and assisted and given ice. Eventually a squad was called and i was taken to an ER where they said i was fine and there was nothing to be concerned about.
The next Tuesday the pain became unbearable (it had been going from 5 to 7 since that friday) and the bruising was awful to where many many SCAdians say I go to the ER. I went to work and got some paperwork then went straight to the ER where I spent most of the day. I had xrays of knee/ankle and foot done. Then had a CT of the foot done because they found an abnormality for the foot where they found I have a Lisfranc injury that will need surgery.

We still dont know what is going on with the knee(s) as the foot is the more pressing issue of everything. Recovery is estimated at 6 to 8 weeks for the foot. Once the foot is figured out we will then figure out what needs to be done about my knees.
So I am out of fighting once more for an undisclosed amount of time. I am still going to help marshal and support my barony however I can and will be working on scrolls and some other projects once again. Hopefully this will be the last injury I receive for a while as I am quite done with everything.
In the meantime I wish all my SCA friends, Fighters and Non fighters alike, Fun at 50 yr and at Pennsic.

Monday, August 25, 2014

How I have changed as a fighter

I remember Last September catching wind that my sisters were authorizing in heavy fighting soon. i had talked of it but never made a commitment to doing anything about it until I heard that. Then everything changed.
Our prince at the time Sir Cellach(Jesse Weber) was having a fight practice at his house. I expressed interest in trying it out. I had just met him (during court LOL) a few weeks prior so I went to Columbus to at least fight rapier..... Hes a better rapier fighter then I first thought too. I admit I was nervous for a few reasons. #1 being I had just been involved into a horseback riding accident a few weeks prior and had just been cleared of my concussion a few days earlier. I fought at the event(melee @ Roswell) before but I was mostly trying my hand at commanding the rapier unit because I didnt want to push myself. Needless to say when it came to playing heavy for the first time Sir Cellach was very nice and encouraged me even though I was getting slightly frustrated I couldnt throw a shot ( I was expecting myself to be a natural.... Im not). After that practice I wanted more.

Fast forward to October or November. 2nd time in armor after a break. Sisters came to play with brendoken. It was great fun to see snipets of them fighting but for the most part I was working on rapier. Then one convinced me to get into her armor which I did. I did work with someone but wasnt quite ready for the hits they gave and almost quit. In part I got bruised pretty good because the armor didn't fit right. Enter Sir Cellach again. We discussed it and he talked me out of quitting and invited me to Tirnwedds practice. many months passed and I pretty much refused to practice with brendoken for the longest time. I got better slowly during the winter months and learned a ton of other things.
 In January I started putting my armor together and by march most of it was done.  March 1st was the day I authorized. I was so nervous the previous night I didnt get hardly any sleep. I kept running through everything in my head to do the best I could. Prior to the authorization someone came up and gave me a belt favor to use for as long as I was fighting. I think she could tell I was nervous. I asked Cellach to be there for my authorization (by this time he was king so was usually pretty busy at events) and I was super happy that he agreed. At one part of the autorization I was "legged" and went to go down but then remembered I wasnt supposed to and ended up hurting my knee pretty decently but I fought through it. and wouldnt you know it..... I Passed! I was on top of the world and ready to take on everyone! Prior to the fighting opening there was a morning court and our old baron made it quite clear I was to try my best at authorizing.....

Fats forward to April. April was a month of heartache and triumph. At the beginning of april my family attended an event called Spring Training. It was my first event being authorized that also had a sort of melee type thing. needless to say.... I was very confused on everything. But I did ok. Later that day the procession into court was getting ready to enter when my mom got a call and rushed out of the room. after a couple of minutes a friend and I went after her and when I approached her my heart sank to the floor. My grandfather had just passed away. The following will be in my mind forever. Seeing that we were distraught the King and Queen (Cellach and Vukasin) stopped the procession and they, as well as our baron and baroness, Zsoph and a few others came to comfort us. This will forever be with me and has changed how I view people in the SCA. I cannot thank everyone who was there enough.

Fastforward to Grand tourney of the unicorn. I have never been so upset in a fight I cried except for that day. I was still new to this whole fighting thing and was frustrated enough as is that I wasn't doing well or getting a single hit in on anyone. A person fighting 2 stick finally got to me and I ended up storming off the field and throwing my helm down and bursting into tears because of how frustrated I was. My sister and I ended off going to some steps and one of our friends saw us and greeted us and saw I was frustrated. after having a very long talk with her I went and fought some more feeling a bit better.

then there was blackstone.... The first full scale melee I have been a part of. At this point I have never called a hold..... NEVER. I also finally had my armour all together (YAY ME!) So as the day goes Im introduced to all sorts of fun stuff.... Like not getting killed and falling over a comrade. He asked if I had been hit. I said no so he told me to get up and keep going. So I get up.... Look around and see NO midrealmers. finally I find one left alive so I tell him to stick together.... he doesnt. so im looking for an oppoent and I see this guy legged..... I really should have killed him.... He asked if I was dead and I say no.... then he starts shouting " SHES STILL ALIVE..... SHES STILL ALIVE!!!!!" so I look up to see this mass approaching and start backpeddling trying to find help, I see the other guy go down and still no ones coming to help. I end up tripping over someone or something and as I roll over to get up one of the people comes up behind me and fouls (i think thats what it was) my weapon and I have 3 guys asking if I yield and I say yes. Complete fluke But I got congratulated quite a bit for being the last midrealmer alive at the end of the battle.
then there was the gated banner battle or something like that. Really fun. I got caught up in something called a column charge and amidst all the pushing and shoving my helm had become loose and the chin strap was choking me. I managed to call a hold, removed myself from the field and fix the helm. Then I went to the res point and waited for layon to be called. Well I was standing by the banner and had literally taken one step forward when I was crashed into like a freight train. I flew backwards into the straw bale and I admit I panicked. My weapon and shield was behind my back and i kept having more weight of people pile on me. I literally couldnt breathe and was starting to see stars. I squeaked hold probably 5 or 6 times before it was repeated and people actually stopped and got off. I totally panicked.... One of my friends said he could hear me squeaking hold from 10 ft away (he has a video too :P) Still it was immensely. I think some people call me squeaker now because of that.... I cant be sure.

Over the course of time and events I have received some compliments on how I am progressing. I am happy some people see it. I am trying to get better always and am working on keeping my frustrations in check. I often have to go back and think of where I was and where I am and keep focused on my goals. I look forward to continuing to improve and fight new people. I am eager to see where I am at in another year. I have a long way to go yet but I have the people to get me there.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me and continues to do so!

PS You cna see my auth videos on my facebook page.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why are we here???

I don't have any recent pictures so none are being posted this time.

I'm going to cover a couple thing in this post since I haven't posted in a while. real life issues have kept me away from the SCA for a little over a month. but I find myself asking many questions along my journey.... Why am I here? Who am I???? What do I want to accomplish???? The questions are simple. The answers are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Sure at first it's easy "I'm here to fight and to show everyone I am awesome! forget about fun! I want to win it all!! I want to be a bronze ring and a knight and laurel etc etc etc" I have had an eye opener this year and it has caused me to look back on several things I have done in the SCA.

Why am I here? Well at first the answer was my parents dragged me into this lame thing where I can't do anything and it's incredibly boring and I hate it. That's when I was much much younger. As i got older I noticed these groups that had shiny swords or big thumping sticks and I grew increasingly interested until I said I wanted to learn this stuff. I watched the heavy fighters smack each other and clash together and thought that was a group I wanted to stay away from. I didn't associate with them and barely even acknowledged them. sure you can hear the crashes and the yells from the rapier field but in my opinion they were just a bunch of thugs. Then there were the rapier fighters. still aggressive but not to the point they were throwing people around. they had a certain refinement about them and seemed much more welcoming and a lot less scary (you have to remember I was 13 to 14 yrs old) so I thought " I definitely want to be one of these guys" and a few days after the event started working on that. Then you had the pointy crowns.... barons baronesses, kings and queens, princes and princesses etc. I thought they were a bunch of stuck up snobs not worthy of my attention. Some were and others weren't. At the time (again I was young and didn't realize the way things worked) I thought children of royalty took over for their parents when they were older. so again.... I wanted nothing to do whatsoever with royalty. sure i bowed to them whenever they passed but for the most part they were ignored. later on someone suggested retaining which i did a few times and it was boring. As I got more into the SCA I started water bearing when I wasn't fighting (which was very very often as there was practically no one i could fight as a youth). Finally I turned 16 (before the rule about 16 yr old fighting with adults) and I said screw it and left the SCA for a year. I completely dropped off of radar. I attended 1 event so my auth didnt expire but that was pretty much it. To me there was no point in continuing to go to events if there was nothing I could do. I wasnt into any a&S type stuff then either. then when I turned 18 I started my come back. I wanted to win in rapier and prove to them I was back. That failed quite horribly. I am still working on getting past the going out just to win issue I am stuck on. Fast forward another year. many trials, lessons blood sweat and tears and i am getting better on the rapier side. At this point I had grown interested in Heavy fighting and that interest grew and grew. Then I caught wind my 2 sisters were playing heavy and authorizing soon. I surely did not want to seem weak compared to my sisters! So I got in armor for the first time last year at one of the ,then princes', practice (GASP I'm hanging out with royalty.... and this royalty forever changed my outlook on royalty). After that practice I wanted more. the second was not as fun but with lots of help I have gotten better. I authorized heavy so i could fight my sister and am finding myself with the same issue as on the rapier field..... I want to win!
Now don't get me wrong... winning is fun and all but after several conversations with rapier fighters they all agree.... You are not always at your best when you are out there to win. Once you get this winning out of your head and you say screw it and just go out to have fun... you will do much better. On a good day when i am in a fair mood I say screw it, go out, have fun and actually end up killing people. only when I am focused on winning does my game truly suffer.
So Why am I here??? Why are you here???? The answer is for YOU yourself to decide. It may not be the same every time you go back to this question. We all have different goals and as we grow in the society the answer changes.
What do I want to accomplish? Again it all depends on your interests and what stage in the society you are at. I just wanted to be a fencer when I started out. Now I am a fencer and a heavy fighter and I am looking into A&S stuff. On the rapier side I want to become a bronze ring. On the heavy side I want to become a knight and eventually Queen by Right Of Arms. Both of these goals are going to take a lot of work and I know that to become a knight a knight has to notice something in you and ask you to become a squire (at least this is my understanding) I am very much up to the challenge and look forward to learning all that I can to obtain these goals.

If you start out with small goals you are sure to achieve them one way or another. The road may be long and hard but it will be very rewarding in the end.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Many Things to Ponder

Chaos @ the Castle
This weekend had me pondering many things about the SCA and fighting. many left me puzzled and others left me feeling rather proud of myself.  My long term goal in SCA Heavy fighting is to become a knight. That goal is one of the many things that keeps me from giving up on fighting.
So because I have a few aspects I would like to cover this blog maybe longer then the others.

First I would like to cover something every SCAdian must think about all the time and that is "What event do I go to next?" for me it has always been "whichever event has fighting and food and merchants of course!" That was when I had just newly authed in rapier and wanted to expierence everything about fighting. As I have gotten older I have realized there is more to the SCA then fighting. Just recently I started paying more attention to the merchants, bards, and A&S activities. I am slowly starting to expand my SCA experience. But Alas I cannot attend every event! there are so many good ones its often hard to choose. Then there is work in real life you must plan around. As is often the case it winds up being " Does the event has something for everyone? WHat are you most interested in with the event?, How much will the event cost?, Is it a camping event?,will you be able to car pool with someone? And finally how far are YOU willing to go for an event?" Ultimately the choice is yours on where you want to go. Go to an event that you KNOW you will have fun at either rain or shine. Do what makes you most comfortable no matter what.

Me at chaos (I just realized one of my pantlegs was pulled up)

The next point I would like to bring up in the blog is something that happened to me this weekend, Something that has opened my eyes to how people can be that i had ignored for ages. I think in a way it changed me as a person and helped me grow as a fighter.
This past Weekend (may 30th) I had the opportunity to go to Chaos @ the Castle with one of my friends from our barony. We spent Friday night at a friends house and we headed to the event on saturday morning. Upon arrival to the event site I saw my sister and her group of fighters who I had practiced with earlier in the year. I was happy to see my sister again. Then I went and trolled in. After we trolled in we started unloading stuff when my friend realized that he had left some essential equipment at our friends house including his tabbards. I quickly offered for him to use mine but he said no and he probably wouldn't fight. I quietly listened to him vent his frustrations feleling sad things had turned out this way. After he ran to walmart he came back and found his midrealm tabbard. All was good once more! We geared up and got ready for battle. The first battle was a long trail battle in the woods with something to do with getting crates from one point to the next. I was a shield person so in a way it was the least of my worries. I wound up tripping backwards (while defending off 3 guys) down hill and my shoulder landed on a tree root. it hurt but not bad enough to take me out of the fight. then later I got a wrapshot that left a lovely bruise. (I forgot to mention we were on team bacon with clovenshield and some others :D) I think team bacon won the trail battle. Then there was a half hour break til field battles. The field battles were interesting and hot. at one point there was a shield charge and i some how got through the other teams line and flipped around trying to get back to my team. At that point someone from team mustache came up and said mustache? at which point I was like "What??.... Oh crap" and 2 others joined him so i started running backwards to where I was hearing Bacon being yelled. That was an interesting experience!                                                                                      
SO after a few field battles my friend and I had to step out because we were overheating. My friend went to go do the town battle but came back a few minutes later and said he couldn't do it because he wasn't cooling off. I sat out the town battle and rested so I could do the castle battle. While I was getting ready my friend came and offered me words of encouragement and told me not to push myself to hard and if i started getting too hot to step out. When I returned to the rest of the clovenshield group my sister asked me what he said so I told her and said he would not be joining us as he was overheating. Upon hearing what he told me she started laughing and went up to her CO and said " Her CO just came up to her and said....." and told him everything I had told her. While she was telling him I kept saying hes just looking out for me and trying to make sure I will be ok. When my sister finished he said "He has no right to be tired. The only people who should be tired are that guy whos 3 x your age, this guy who has been training less then 6 days and just authed today and me who is 4x your age" Upon hearing that I gathered up most of my stuff and took it back to the day camp. Whe i went to get the last of my gear he asked " what are you not fighting the castle?" At which point I turned and said " If you cannot respect my friend, my people and my group, you have no right to fight with me." then I turned and left. I could hear them making fun of me and my friend but I ignored it and took off my armor.

My sister and I at Chaos

The reason this is important to me is because it helped me see what kind of person I really am. I am a fierce fighter and loyal to my barony. I believe these past few months has really helped me see this. My barony and other SCAdian friends are my second family. I know they will try to be there for me if I need them and I will be there for them if they need me. I look forward to many more adventures and learnings in heavy fighting.

Me and Ack fighting pick ups @ chaos

Which brings me to another point. One of my more frustrating fights occurred this weekend as well. I fought a few pick ups against my sisters CO and the way they have been trained is no matter what you only stop when a hold is called. I have always backed out of range to take a quick break and look things over. If i tried to back up he would always follow me back in range and often killing me and frustrating the heck out of me. I only got a few shots in but he was always immediately back up in my range giving me no chance or very little chance to evaluate the situation. It didnt get better when he went to 2 stick either. I was almost in tears I was so frustrated but I worked on channeling that into some attacks and was able to hit him a few times. I have learned when faced with this situation the best thing to do is not to give up and just go all in for it. Fighting Ack helped me realize that every fighter is trained different and you cant bring the same game to every fight all the time. I have realized that being a new fighter is an excuse that I can still use in a new situation but I cant use it as much as I did in march. I am growing as a fighter and I continue to look forward to this growth. I am working harder to bring a better game to my opponents and I can already feel a difference in my hits as have a lot of fighters I have fought before. I feel different in a way. I hope to bring everyone the best game I can each time i meet them and I hope to get better each time too.

Aiden (white and red tabbard) and I on break after a field battle

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The difficulty with being a crossover fighter

Some Brendokeners @ AWP 2014
 I am slowly starting to learn the difficulties in being a crossover fighter. I honestly have no idea how people do it. As a newer heavy fighter I always want to be on the heavy list But I am part of a rapier unit called the Brendoken Blades and I have an obligation to be there when they need me. In this process I usually miss some sort of fun somewhere. This past weekend at AWP was the biggest descison on where I need to go and where I want to be. It was not easy to pick and choose either.

This past weekend I was able to attend Aethaelmarec War Practice. Since i will not be going to Pennsic this year (Pennsic is a really big war that lasts 2 weeks.) I wanted to make sure i hit this one. I had a lot of fun with it last year on the rapier side with my friends and met some really cool people In the process. Last year was also my first woods battle in rapier as well and I had a ton of fun with that. The difference between this year and last year was that this year I'm a new heavy fighter.

you can see my purple cowboy boots behind the red and white shield

The day started out with me looking at the schedule. 10AM Rapier woods battle and noon was when the heavy stuff started. Ok I can do this I thought. SO I went up and did my thing with the rapier unit then they broke for lunch around 1 ish. So I went back to camp to get my heavy stuff together. In the time it took me to get all my armor on, get to the field and signed in and inspected I had missed the field battles which is what I have enjoyed thus far on the heavy side. At first I didnt see any midrealmers so i started to inwardly panic. Newer fighter fighting with people I don't know thats in a different kingdom did not please my mind at all. Sure it's a good way to get to know people but I dont think I would have fought the bridge battles if I was the only midrealmer. Then I saw the colors in my barony Green and Black with a yellow star. Needless to say that was a sigh of relief.

For most Bridge battles arent confusing. they just go in and do their thing and when they die they know how to do the certain thing to die and they are done. Being a crossover makes things a bit more confusing for me. The rapier bridge battle works the same as heavy but its different at the same time. when you die you try to step over the bales (smae as heavy) but when we have res battles shields immediately take Precedence and get to the front as fast as they can. In the heavy as a shield person you are told to give the spears room to work and as a new fighter I have no idea where im supposed to go so before too long I am shuffled to the back and really only there to support the people when there is a charge. For me it's far more complicated then it should be. That and I think I am a bit of an over analyzer. Also another thing that hinders me that I am going to have to fix soon is I dont have contacts or sports goggles so when I take my glasses off my vision is limited. I can see clearly for maybe 2 feet or so until everything becomes blurry so then I start relying on what people are yelling/saying etc.

This is all a great big learning curve for me and I am finding you cant really do bridge battle scenarios unless you have a large group of people So i am just going to have learn as I go and talk things over with the people who are teaching me. Overall it is fun being a crossover fighter but There are decisions that must be made and some of those decisions will be hard.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Understanding The Game

I have been fighting for Many years on the rapier side of the SCA and sometimes consider myself a decent fighter. Sure I'm not Awesome but I am better then most new people and am always working to up my game.

I have only been fighting heavy for roughly 5 months and authorized for 2 1/2 of those months. I have learned a lot But just like in Rapier it takes me a while to learn something. Occasionally I learn something really quick but others it takes a while.... like how to properly throw shots. That is taking me forever to learn.  Its a process and a long one But I am willing to accept this challenge head on and I have great teachers helping me along the way. Some I regularly practice with, and others I meet on the field.  All have their merits and I am always happy to learn from them But there is only so much info a person can take in before the brain becomes mush @.@. The rapier people are really good at doing this.

I had a crash course in melees last year on the rapier side and again this year on the heavy field. Melees are so much different and It has taken me over a year to understand why. Then it hit me after Mugmort which was a smaller event and gave me some time to think things through.

The biggest difference between melees ad singles are the amount of people and the mind set. In singles (for me most of the time is) How can I win this fight..... This is a BAD way to think for me..... why? because I get to focused on thinking how to set up the fight and before I know it I'm usually out of the fight. Thats mainly how I think on the rapier side. I am getting a little better at this. In heavy it's "ok im a newer fighter. I dont know these people so I don't yet know what they are going to do" Often times I end up dead.... Instantly. Again Its a work in progress.
In melees (and man has it taken me a while to learn this) I am not the only one on the field! There are team mates there to help you if you need it and you need to be there for when they need you. Rapier melees are a little less chaotic then heavy melees and thats because we stop at swords length. In heavy we go charging into the enemy and then its really hard to tell whos friend or foe. Yes they have tape on their helms but for blind people (like me) it can be hard to tell until you are all up in their face. I usually have a couple feet to tell but still it can be difficult...... And there is a reform word chosen at the beginning of the fight. Biggest downfall I have seen thus far is if your in a cluster of people and yell your reform..... well soon you have enemies figuring you out and it doenst always end well...... especially for me.  In the shield wall you are usually the first to be hit.... actually you WILL be hit first and the shield walls main job is to stay alive to protect the pole arms and spears and anyone else who is behind you.
In rapier....its a bit \more complicated but you have your shields and bucklers in the front the long weapons behind them, then everything else behind them. My favorite part about rapier melees are the bridge battles with res. Because one you die and res you get a free pass to the front line :D
Blackstone 2013 (brendoken Invasion)
Overall Everything I "should have" learned last year is slowly starting to make more sense this year as I get more familiar with the melee side of things and work on improving my mind set. I have a long term goal for heavy and I think I have a goal for rapier and I expect it will take me a while to get there but with hard work and dedication (and people to help me) I can accomplish anything!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fighting In a Melee

Blackstone Raids

This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending Blackstone Raids in the kingdom of Aethaelmarec. It was my first really big melee as well. I will admit when I first got there I was nervous as all get out but as the day went on I started to understand some things. I will tell about some things I witnessed throughout the day.

 First off the bat were inspections. Those take a very long time with as many fighters as we had that day. I got there around 9 AM and helped unload some stuff then got armored up for inspections. At first my weapon did not pass and the reason was because it has a rubber tip on it and rubber tips are not supposed to be taped. So I had to go pull the tape off of the tip.  Once inspected all I could do was wait. At this point anxiety was starting to get the best of me and I needed to release some of the energy so I went off to do a few pick ups. after which I felt a bit better but still anxious about the melees.

Field Battle

Then came the field battles. It was very very hectic and I am quite glad I was not in the first rank at all during the event. I died pretty quickly in the first 2 because i didn't realize the spears were that long. in the 3rd field battle I was the last man standing and that happened because I had fallen over someone. That person asked if I was ok. I said yes and he said to get back up if i hadn't been hit, which i hadn't. So I slowly got up and as I look around I realize there are enemies all around me so i quietly snek back out and once I am clear i start looking around for friendlies.... Most of which were dead. I found one guy alive and told him to stay with me and we started advancing on the enemy.... 2 of us... quite a few of them. One of the enemies was legged so I go over to him and get ready to fight. at which point he asked "Are you still alive?" I reply "yes" He gets ready to fight and then starts yelling "THESE TWO ARE STILL ALIVE......THESE TWO ARE STILL ALIVE." at which point a bunch of them turn around and come running back. Let me tell you. It is scary as all get out when you are a new fighter and see a bunch of people come charging at you! I see the other person on my team fall so I naturally start running backwards thinking "ShitshitSHIT!" then I fall over someone or something and when I go to get back up I see someone put their weapon in front of me pretty much blocking me from attacking then i see 3 or 4 pole arms or spears pointing at me and someone ask "Do you yield?" at which point i say "I Yield". As I was walking back to the line I heard a few congratulations for being the last man standing and to be honest I feel pretty darn proud too!
Bridge Battle

Next were our Bridge battles. I only stayed for 2 of them before I had to pull out or black out. What I noticed here was it is very....Static.  Shields were at the front for the initial charge but after that it was clear the way so the spears could work. I found it very boring. So I can't really tell much about it. Shields are pretty much there til a spear can come in i think. Also There was a charge from the enemy but almost immediately there was a hold called for an injury on the field. The chargers did make some people mad because it appeared that they weren't stopping and several of our guys had to jump in front of them to get them to stop.  over all it was interesting to watch and a couple things were learned from this. Like to give the spears plenty of room to work.

Gate Battle

Gate Battle

The Gate battles were a little more interesting. There were Resurrections allowed which means when you died you immediately got to go to the res point and be undead. It was hectic as any good melee is and I found myself often standing back and watching the battle and learning. At one point we had to counter charge and I was in the middle of it. I had to call a hold because when we counter charged the person who was bracing me got under my helmet and almost caused it to come off. It seemed like it took forever for everyone to stop so I tucked my head to try to keep my chin stap from sliding back and choking me as well as to keep my helm from coming off. When everyone finally stopped they asked who called hold and I said I did because my helm was coming off. So they cleared a path where I could get out and once out of the way I re tightened my chin strap and got back in the fight and a few minutes later I had to call another hold. This time was because I was towards the front when the enemy charged and I fell backwards into a straw bale with my shield at a weird angle so I could not get it over me, then someone fell on me with another person on top of him. I was able to get my shield out from under me enough to cover my chest but I still called hold and When everyone stopped I heard someone yell "We have an injured fighter over here and felt him tap my shield." While I was waiting for the dead to get off of me I checked myself mentally and made sure I was ok. When everyone cleared out I was asked if  I was ok and I said yes. Because of the way I had landed i could not get up so someone grabbed my weapon and helped me up. Then I was out to kick butt. We finally cleared one of the gates and started to wrap around when we paused and looked at each other like "Is this allowed?" at which point his Majesty came up and said "yes its allowed" and then we charged. I managed to get 2 peoples attention and kill them (at this time it was last man standing)before someone realized we were behind them and turned and came at us. I started blocking a bunch of spear shots when a member of my team came up behind me and said "we are going to charge this spear when I say. Ready?" without even thinking I said "Ready" and when he said charge I threw my shield up against his spear and ran at him. I swear I had a good head shot (this was a tuchuck I charged) and thought he was dead and went to turn to go after someone else when he killed me. As you can imagine I was quite livid and went over to where the dead were. when I got there our baron could tell I was mad and asked what happened and when I told him he said "Hit him harder next time" Finally it was the last battle. We were able to clear one of the gates again and wrapped around them again and again they turned to engage us. we started backing up and I found myself net to his Majesty. I blocked a spear shot and when it hit my shield my shield hit me and threw my had back and he asked if i was ok. I nodded and continued to back up blocking shots. Im not entirely sure what happened but the next time I blocked a shot someone got me with a groin shot and pretty soon the battle was over.

Over all it was an incredibly fun filled day. I learned a lot that I hope to carry into next battle. I also learned people are more susceptible to rhino hide in a melee situation simply because your not sure where the shot came from. That or you just dont care and/or wont take shots from newer people.

I seriously cant wait for my next melee!