The 1st Goat Division

18 Aug 2015 by gebhard, No Comments »

1stGoatDivThis year I became a member of an unexpected company, the MidRealm fighting 1st Goat Division.  This has already become one of the high points of my Pennsic 44. Allow me to share the tale with all who will listen about how a motley crew of fighters snuck into the backfield and caused havoc among our enemy ranks.

Our tale begins on Thursday of war week. The woods battle isn’t something I often look forward to. It’s a hour long resurrection battle with 3 flags (or maybe 5?). I’m not certain because I’ve rarely seen any flags outside the closest one to our resurrection point.

There are many things about the woods battle I like.  For one, it’s in the woods which means shade and the lack of mundane anything in site. I like having barriers to fight around and make use of.  Unfortunately, for each positive attribute there are many negative ones:  the woods are a long way from camp, there is this crazy steep hill we have to go up and then down to get to our rez point, and there are bees, hornets, poison ivy, and loose debris on the ground to twist an ankle on and so forth.

But worst of all, it’s often a battle that is long and slow. Once lines are set in, there is little to no movement until the last few minutes. I’m happy to say this year, at least this last point wasn’t so. I was certainly always on the move.

The problems started nearly instantly when we learned this year that our rez point would be at the top of the hill, rather than its usual spot at the bottom. Instead of having to climb this stupidly steep hill once, we’d have to climb it each time we rez’d. I can tell you that by the 8th or 9th rez, climbing that hill was the toughest battle I faced at Pennsic.

After much complaining and gnashing of teeth, we took our positions, and the battle started.  We charged out to the 1st flag, which is one of the few times I’ve ever seen a flag in the woods battle. We met at the flag and slowly our line was pushed back.  I rez’d up the hill, came back down the hill, joined the lines and slowly still we were pushed back.  Rez, back to the lines, rez, and back again, up and down the crazy hill.

Everytime I rez’landscape1d, I noticed a few more people sitting without helms.  Our attrition rate was increasing as rapidly as the slope to the rez point.

Soon the Allied army was pushed up against the bottom of the hill under the rez point. This was a horrible position for us to be in.  The road made a choke point, one side against the ridge and the other an even steeper drop off. On the road itself there was no way to get decent footing to fight, it was far too steep too. Charging would have led to an uncontrollable fall. We tried to fight where we stood without sliding or falling, but medical holds started to be called often.

With little hope of breaking through, at least without injury, I heard the call, “If you’re rezzing, don’t go down the hill. Take the path to the right.”

Did you know that of the four or so years we’ve been in these woods, I’ve never seen any more of them than the first flag point and our rez? I thought to myself that I’d love to see something else.  I was sure this 30 foot ledge must ease off at some point to allow us down.

I followed the path along the edge of the drop off, for what seemed like a mile, to find a spot where our troops started to accumulate.

The ledge had markers stuck in the ground and bright pink tape indicating you should not try to descend, however there was a path made by…a bulldozer? Duke Edmund suggested that we try to go down, since the lack of tape meant it was a valid path to be used. However common sense may have another thing to say on the matter, but we seldom let that interfere with a good time. (We do hit with other in the head with bats for fun.)  Thorin and many others looked over the ledge. As they were discussing it, a fighter jumped over the edge and headed down. What the heck, I thought. I jumped down after him. Once and for all proving if all my friends are jumping off a cliff, I will also. Slowly and surely, I was able to walk my way down. It was a lot like doing a limbo given how far I had to lean backwards to keep my footing.

When I got to the bottom of the steep slope, I looked up to see many of our troops sliding down on their bottoms or trying to use their shields like slides.  A far greater number than I expected took on this endeavor.  To those who do more comes greater glory.

Thirty or so of us, mostly from North Oaken, regrouped at the bottom, got in formation and began our hunt. We found a small group of Tu Chux, mowed them down, then moved on to a second group. We were chewing up this group of fifteen or so Tu Chux pretty quickly too, when a brief hold was called. In the quiet, I heard His Grace Edmund say to one of four remaining opponents, “So what about that shot?”.
“It was light.”

When lay on was called, the bold fighter looked like a porcupine for a second when spears from nearly every direction plowed into him all at the same time. (As a side lesson, it’s o.k. to take a light shot when you’re surrounded.)

RezpointeAfter that, we moved onto yet another small group and devoured them, however the allies started to react to our unit, and their troops started pouring in. We put up a hell of fight, taking down three for every one we lost. No matter how bravely we fought nor how well, the numbers just weren’t on our side, and eventually we were overrun by the endless stream of reinforcements.

I had a long walk back to rez point, and I once again drug myself up the steep rez point hill. The battle ended soon after my arrival back at rez point. His Majesty Ragnvaldr held a field court where we stood and awarded those brave souls willing to risk life and ankle to slide down a hill to take our enemy unaware. For that, He award all of those in the newly named 1st Goat Division, the Dragon’s Teeth.  However, it must be displayed on our backsides.

Heroes aren’t only on the winning side, and one of the things that is great about what we do: is history. Our history isn’t written by the victors, but instead by all of those involved. Heroism on all sides can be celebrated at the end of the day.  Maybe my memory has faulted to make us seem stronger, our enemies more bold, our heroism more daring and to make every one of us sound more fierce than we are. Time has a way of mixing what we wish, with what actual was.  If what I wished and how it was becomes blended and the result is to remember all of us as heros; well, that’s as it should be. For every fighter should be remembered as a hero… every fighter already is.


Members of the 1st Goat Division (If you were part, please let me know so you can be recognized and added to the list)

Duke Edmund
Count Cellach
Sir Straum Von Bairzog
Sir Hjorleif Ottarsson
Sir Artair
Syr Calum
Syr Alrekr Eiriksson
Sir Cecil de Tueurleon
Vigilant Wigthegn
Baron Marcus Pinarius
Baroness Constanza de Mendoza
Baron Ermenrich von Duisburg
Baron Gebhard Rauten
Captain Áine Ruadh
Captian Thorin
Sargent Rodrick Hart
Sargent Sigenandus Blitz
Sargent Heinrich Faulkenstein
Sargent Honor von Atzonger
Lady Suzanne
Lord Angus
Lord Miles
Lord Otto von Baden
Lord Ionas Marteel
Lord Tristan Tu’Ha
Lord Metheus Mac Eoin
Lord Lazlo
Lady Fydwyn
Harku of the Ta’an
Magnus Savaricson


Bonus Songs!

Ode to Pennsic 4 (about the wood battle) by Duke Moonwulf

If you have heard the song, listen to the extended length with bonus commentary version, even funnier.

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