Sunday, September 11, 2011

Northern Outpost Fall Frolic

We just got home from the day trip down to Potsdam for the official unofficial weekend event. We had a great deal of fun, good company, and great food. It was a fine day and the site was lovely. It was a small event with only 30 attendees counting the land owners, with 14 of those being heavy fighters and about the same for fencing.

It was tedious crossing the border with a 30 minute line up and the guard asking to see our "swords". We told him sporting equipment for a Medieval event and he insisted on seeing the equipment and asked specifically about seeing the swords. Once he was convinced we weren't hiding real steel inside the duck tape he asked us a few standard questions and let go on our merry little way.

The site was the back field of a members farm which is absolutely beautiful. Plenty of room for camping, archery, heavy fighting, rapier fighting A&S classes, and even some children's fall faire type games. There was also a large wooded area but due to the recent wind storms and rain it was unsuitable for battling, though the plans are to have a woods battle next year. Apparently there is also plans afoot to bribe, blackmail, or otherwise convince the owners to build a small palisade or crenellated tower for future fights.

The event was by donation to help pay for the port-a-lou, which I was very appreciative of and donated accordingly. The day board was potluck and was open from the time we arrived which was close to 11 am. The selection of foods was wonderful and who ever makes the bread down there is fabulous. There was Icelandic chicken, a new treat for me, several potato salads, quinoa salad, pickles, cheeses, pasta salads, breads, a delicious honey butter, apple butter, pickled eggs, venison pottage, spicy sausage, pulled pork, and another meat dish which I think was also venison.

The fighting began around 12:30 with 14 participants, including PeterC and myself. It was a double list bear pit that lasted an hour. It was also the Northern Outpost's championship battle. At the start of the fighting there was a 3-5 minute wait between bouts, 5 -8 minutes if 4 of the more experienced players were in the lists. Towards the end of the hour, as more and more people took breaks or dropped out completely, the wait was 1-2 minutes with the occasional walk off the field, to report to the Mistress of the Lists, and back onto the field.

PeterC lasted most of the hour and won 3 or 4 bouts, against some of the long time fighters.I am proud to say I lasted most of the hour with my last 4 bouts being turn arounds, off and immediately back onto the field. I even managed to win a bout with a lucky thrust.

I also had some tremendous trips. Once landing flat on my face, without a blow being swung. I'm blaming the terrain and maybe the sun for that one. Another resulted in my being flat on my back after taking a blow (which resulted in the winner "insuring" the kill with some playful stabbing). The last, and most impressive, was a stumble, tuck and roll, and arrival in a defensive position on my knees in one swift, and completely unplanned, move. I have to figure out how I did that one cause it looked spectacular.

After the fighting we ate lunch and sat in the shade chatting and listening to war stories from Pensic, current and past. We were also invited to attend an upcoming event in October, which we think is a wonderful idea and will be great fun. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures. I remembered to bring the camera this time but I was so busy listening and fighting that I simply forgot to use it. Maybe I'll get pictures at the next event.

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