Defending the Gate: All over now but for the groaning

corby's picture

I've had a hot shower and a delicious meal from Barbecue Exchange in Gordonsville on the way home. I've got a glass of wine and a quiet evening, so here's a recap of the day.

I was surprisingly successful at putting all my gear together, considering the number of times I've loaned pieces out since I last fought--which was Pennsic. I don't recommend seven months off and then fighting hard for four hours. Tomorrow won't be fun, but I'm really going to hate Monday.
After rendezvousing with Philip along the way and stocking up on Girl Scout cookies, we made it to the site in typical SCA time: 30 minutes late. But the fighting hadn't started yet. I didn't finish arming in time for the first melee, but only because my fighting pants had lost their drawstring and getting a new one in them took an embarrassing amount of time.
But before the arming up mess, I had a chance to place my Jakks Action Cam at the top of the gate, with Turgeis' kind permission. Having now looked at the footage, it isn't great, but I'll cut a few bits together later and post them to my youtube channel.
Turning on the camera. With my polearm.
As ever, the Gate itself was a centerpiece, the thing that makes the fighting at this event unique. I missed the last year or two, so seeing the gate in its current incarnation was a treat. In the past it was rarely up to the hard use it got, but this gate is, as the builders proudly proclaimed, quite over engineered. There wasn't even a wobble this year. The worst thing that happened with it was my putting my backup dagger and mace on top, only to come back for them later and discover they had fallen inside, where they could not be reached before taking the gate apart.
Luckily it wasn't much of a backup weapon day.
On one attack of the gate defenders, I had a spear & ended up tangling with a shield man, using the haft to pin his arm as I maneuvered closer. Ultimately I ended up completely inverting the spear to face thrust him. But my favorite moment was in the three-sided open melee with the gate as the victory condition. I got behind the Wolfshaven team guys and commandeered them, ordering their remaining forces forward into the warm embrace of my teammates.
In one of the open field battles I misjudged the range of a Galacian warhammer and got hit right off the bat right on the top of my flat helmet. Hardest blow I've been hit with in years. Perhaps the power of the blow was in part due to my having stolen two spears from the fellow earlier in the day.
My brother Justus was on fire today, easily earning a Shark's Tooth from His Majesty.
With the siren call of barbecue to urge us, we took off just as court started, like two dumb stickjocks. Many thanks to Turgeis and Sunniva who offered us fabulous hospitality the moment we arrived, and to everyone who made the event work.
My last thoughts? I should fight more. Unusual melees are fun. Robear's spear tip works great. Peanut Butter Patties are surprisingly good with cheap box burgundy. And I should be in bed.