Estrella XII

Trip of Pain II

This trip, unlike most of my others, I decided to not start off by going to Valens's. Instead he came here. But, I get ahead of myself. Hufta and I were going to Estrella in his parents' large RV. We invited Valens, Ursala,Kian, Conrade, a mundane and Duncan. Only the RV turned out to be broken, So..... Hufta and I thought "we will take Hufta's Jeep and Kian's truck. But, Kian's truck sprang a leak in it radiator, So.... We would use Hufta's Jeep and my van. This did not sit well with Fionna , So..... I used all my levels of guilt, bank shot them off of Gilliagan into Craig and... We had Master Craig's land whale and trailer.

Only now we didn't have as much room so I had to tell folks they couldn't come in the order they were invited.

The final load was Hufta, Valens, Kian, Ursala, and Myself.

Valens, Ursala, and Kian showed up at WrenHaven late Tuesday night. On Wednesday, after some minor repairs to the trailer, we were ready to launch. On the way out of town we stopped at the local Brew Pub and picked up 1.5 gal. of the local beer for our friends in the Abby. The trip out was a dream. Great company, good speed, and clear roads. A true joy to live though.

We arrived mid-morning on Thursday. Set up our camps in the warm Estrella sun. Met all the Calontiri already there and got into garb. I could tell this was already a good war. We then went to our dear friends of the Abby. The beer from Grimfells was well received. Edric of the Abby had been made a court baron just a few weeks before. He did not yet have a cornet. I have had my cornet for almost 10 years. So... I made a oak box to put it in and presented it to him with all of its juju. Since in the Caidian tradition Court Baronial cornets are smaller than mine we ok'ed it with the king of Caid. He was very willing for one of his subjects to wear the old cornet of mine. It has a good home and will give Edric many years of good stories to tell.

The Next day I didn't fight as I was on a mission from the crown. I had to get the kingdom some chicken. I went to a local supermarket with a deli. Mistress Arial and I arranged the chicken for 4 o'clock pick up. Back at camp I watched the Army practice. They split up into two groups and ran different tactics. I helped a little by being a marshal and making a few suggestions. The Army was looking pretty good.

At 3:30 I gathered a vehicle, Hufta and Countess Leadren and went off to get the kingdom chicken. Once at the store we found that we had to wait a few for the last of the chicken to be ready. While we were waiting Hufta found 2 one liter bottles of Bombay Sapphire. The best Gin in the world. It was less than half the price it was back home in Grimfells....So I declared it a night of Gin-Sake (Hell, Yoshi was at the war, it was kismet!) We arrived back at camp with 216 pieces of fried chicken and 20 loafs of bread fresh from the oven. Their majesties held a court and at the end turned the kingdom loose on the food. By best guess the food lasted 2.5 minutes. It just vanished. Everyone agreed that it was a good thing their majesties had arranged.

After the chicken it was time to do Gin-Sake. I gathered Yoshi and Hufta together and we made 4 litters of Juniper Juice. The next two hours were a bit of a blur of toasts and stories. Many joined us in the celebration and all seemed to enjoy. Hufta became so Joyious that he 'was momentarily knocked unconscious' :). The rest of us wandered about and shared our joy with the world. (Though there were reports of Damiene dragging Yoshi to their tent muttering words of my 'attributes' :) )

The next morning was the first day of the war. After the night before many felt that the day would break painful. But, No my friends, for Gin burns clean! So as Baron Bran played Song of the Shield wall on his tin whistle at an ungodly hour (Was one of the best ways I have been awakened at a war. It was just the right touch Bran.), I rose feeling ready to fight and sing! I left my tent to visit the other waking war gods. Hufta and Yoshi met me with large grins on their faces as they too were feeling great! It was a glorious day for battle.

After mustering at the great throbbing purple erection, we marched to the field. The first 3 battles were to be field battles. We were to anchor the center of the line in every battle. As a old shield grunt from way back I invoked my rights and took the center shield of the Wall. (When I announced that I was the center shield I could have sworn I saw some of the old Dragoons get a little misty eyed.) Valens then informed everyone that if I held the center that he would be my right flank shield man. With such a start a truly powerful wall was formed. It was the most experienced and high ranking Wall I have ever seen. Kurt, Fernando, Gabe, Later in the war even Cire. We had the cream of the Calon army on the Wall at this war and it showed with our fighting.

The first field battle saw us moving to engage the center of the foe's line. We advanced at my best wattling speed The units of Caid that were supposed to guard our right flank were caught still in court at the start of the gun so our left flank was sucking wind. We still hit the foe a good blow to our front and I was the vanguard of our line. A little aside here, My support was Hufta with 7.5' glave and a new spear fighter. Before the battle I told the spear fighter that I didn't like my back cold and that he was to stick with me were ever I went. In the press of the battle I felt Hufta's chest against my back as we fought the foe with heart and joy! But Hufta went away after awhile and I was killed from behind. When I found out that my arty man had out lived me I was a little peeved. (I should only die after my arty is gone.) He came up too me and complained that I had gotten too close to the foe for him to be effective. I was a little shocked as he explained that he didn't feel the need to support me when I was in the middle of the foe. Rolf had been listening and came over and fired him. He told him to go to the rear and be reserve. He replaced him with Kian. A Good Arty is worth their weight in Bombay Sapphire Gin. We won the battle despite the flank.

The next battle I again was the center of the Wall and we moved to meet the foe. This year there was not much of the running and gunning of earlier wars. Most units advance with a very deliberate pace. We anchored the center of the line again only we were supplying the flank support for the far right unit. I was proud that they never had fear of the flank we were guarding. (I have had too many units leave my flank open to ever let a unit that is depending upon us fear for theirs.) This time we pretty much just ran over the foe and the battle was over very fast.

The third battle was mostly like the second. Only this time we came up against the best of the Heavy units of Caid. They gave a good account of themselves. As our two lines were meeting at a steady walk, there was much exchange between the two lines of shields. Right before the lines met I shouted the Huscarl Cheer. It stunned all who had not heard it before (Including HL Diotrick, young Huscarl. Catch me around a fire after a few and I will sing the cheer for you.) I was knocked down this time and after awhile was uncovered so that I could be in on the end of the action. We did not get involved in the baby seal kill at the end. But while we were waiting for the atrocities to end I saw one of the most unhonorable action of this war. Two fighters came though the lines with their weapon held over their heads. We assumed that they were dead and let them though. As they got to the rear, they whipped their weapons down and started to kill Calontiri from behind. Before they were killed, they stabbed Adelith in the back. This display of honor makes me glad that we do not have the evil that is killing from behind and the attitude it fosters in our fair kingdom. (One of the fighters was happy that he had blackened what little honor he had with this act.)

I did not fight in the broken field so someone else will have to tell of those battles.

That night I helped with Gillian's vigil. It was funny with half the peers being Calon and half being Aten. The Aten peers who had never been at a vigil ceremony before all whispered their parts. I was the first Calon peer to speak. I did the black tabard. Imagine that. :) The vigil went well. The next morning he was knighted on the battle field. Was good thing.

After the vigil I came back to camp to help entertain at the party. There was snack food and lots of beer (2 kegs + mead and wine.) We sang and told stories till the wee hours. Was a very relaxed and fun party the kingdom did.

Next morning was a little more relaxed than the last. We were once again awakened by Bran's tin whistle. I can't tell you how nice it was.

Today's battles would be 3 bridge battles, a castle and a castle resurrection. I once again took the center scutum in the Wall. The talent on the Wall was once again very impressive. This might have been the most experienced Wall we have ever fielded. At one point there was over 160 years of fighting experience on the Wall. Was a pure joy to fight in.

In the first bridge we were the third unit in. The object was to take 60% of the bridge. The two units in front of us were all light cav/ skirmishers. Before the beginning of battle at Valens's prodding I declared this battle to be for our lovely Queen and my dear comrade Adilith. (She cried and made us cry when she heard.) At the gun they ran full tilt into the running units from the other side. Both sides took horrendous loses at the half way mark on the bridge. After about 3-4 minutes of fighting we were the front rank. We pushed the foe back a step until the bodies got so thick that we could not advance. (No holds called for clearing the dead. We grounded the shields and started to kill the foe in great numbers with little loses. But, we could not advance over the bodies. Gilliagan called for the shields to retire so that the dead could be drug out of the way and we could get at the foe. Of the original 8 scutums that went in ,6 retired to the rear. We formed a reserve unit to the rear of the bridge. The dead still kept either side from advancing. Great carnage ensued but neither side could push the other so the battle ended as a draw. %50 of the Calon army survived the battle.

The next battle we were held in reserve. After about 12 minutes of a 30 minute battle the overall commander asked us to supply a break through. We went up the right flank in a column of 4. Our commander asked that the first 4 scutums be of the highest quality. He hand picked them. They were Count/Duke Valens, Duke Gabe, Count Cire and Old, Fat, Slow Pavel. (I was/am very proud to have made that cut.) As we advanced the right two Scutums (Valens and I) were jammed up on the 4 ranks of spear fighters that were engaged. Cire and Gabe took their two columns to the fore and were causing some damage to the foe. But they needed a strong right anchor. I was beginning to dispair of getting among the foe when Valens recognized the leader of the spearmen blocking us. (Duke Veron I believe.) Valens got his attention and told him that if he would let us through we would get him to the foe. He took one look and moved his fighters with the call of "Move over boys the Pro's are here." As I advanced I noticed that our other two columns were heavily engage with the middle of the foe's line. I chose the gap in the two shields nearest the right side of the bridge. Leaping two dead bodies (Pavel leaping, kinda boggles the mind a little doesn't it. :) ) I landed, on my knees , blowing the outside shield off the bridge. Valens jumped right into my hip pocket with his scutum. So we have two scuti hard pressed into the right flank of the foe. A mixed column of Veron's spear and Calon troops is pressing hard on Valens's and my left flank. Valens and I are throwing hard wraps into the unprotected sides of the troops crushed in front of us. (the marshals commented on the ferocity of our attack. ) The Foe's line was weakining every second. Right as they started to really break a giant of a man decided that I was too dangerous to live. He stepped to me, ignoring Kian and Hufta's pole shots. Grabbed the top corner of my Scutum and my left knee. Picked me up like I weighed nothing (270lb of Pavel was mildly disconcerted by this. ) And threw me from the bridge and out of the fight. Our forces went on to carry the bridge. I swam to shore to prepare for the next battle.

We were once again to play last reserve. The Outlands were our Allies for this one. We did not fight as the Outlands carried the bridge with no help from us. They fought well. We stood in a tight formation to give the catapult a good target. It fired at us to the last of the battle. With us not dodging and packed into a good target it got one kill, Kian (the biggest target.) Still the siege weapons added to the feel of the battles.

Next was the three way castle battle. We were with the Outlands. Our plan was to attack to our right and ignore the left. The Thiegns of the Outlands (Sorta a Hyrd.) were to attack all out and hold back their scumishers. ( I thought they would have been better used as leavening for the men at arms and Red Company of the Outlands army. The Outlands has plenty of Chiv to use as fire and forget weapons.) At the gun the army took off at fast run. This quickly left me behind. My two dedicated arty (Hufta and Kian) stuck with me. When I got to the line it was a mess. Many of the scuti had died because of the confusion of our attack. I moved to the center of the foes line and dropped. Was able to get quite a few good clean kills on folks who extended past me. Hufta and Kian we wreaking great damage to the ranks in front of me. We soon had pushed them to their gate and were trying to push them out. I looked to my right and there was Adilith with her little roman center grip trying a unassisted charge. I lumbered to my feet and jumped to cover her left side, with Kian and Hufta still with me, as we advanced into the foe's right flank. We were making great head way. Then a man larger than Kian did a full bore charge and caught me with my legs among the dead. The strike bowled me over and gakked my knee pretty good. (ouch. OUCH!) As I was going down I was doing a damage assessment. I had decided that I was hurt about the time the large fighter landed on top of me. (As he knocked me down he un-masked the twin firepower of Hufta and Kian with 7.5' glaves.) I then decided that I was indeed hurt and started to politely, but with great conviction asking for a hold. (screamed my bloody head off.) Calon troops carried me to the side of the battle in the resulting hold. To keep my fighting pants from being cut I had them strip them off. The Chirugan commented with suprise that I was wearing purple underwear. Bronwyn and Adilith assured them this was a right a proper thing as I was a Calon soldier. (no lace, KSCA wear lacy frilly undies, we MSCA just wear colorful but plain undies. Catch me at an event in the right frame and I will tell you the whole story. :) ) After a little discussion the chirugan agreed that I was going to the Calon camp and not churgain point. Her Gracious Majesty rode with me to camp. To distract from the 'slight discomfort' of my mangled knee we sand 'No Nobeas' all the way. I'm not sure how that battle ended or the resurrection battle. Some other will have to tell of those.

The last night was upon us. Everyone leaving left food and drink for us braving the last night. It was a great night of story telling, drinking and eating. Was very good to be Calon then as folks kept coming up and telling us what a great job we did.

Before I forget. Our logistics troops did a great job this year. The water and gatoraid were never far from a thirsty lip. The soup was hot and plentiful. There were fighter biscuits, dried apples, jerky and oranges for the taking. Our support troops did a great job. Thanks guys.

I will not bore the reader with the story of the trip home. suffice it to say that it took us 60 hours, over $700 in repairs and two separate forced layovers. *sigh*

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