Location: Shire of Trisel, Trimaris

I am in my late forties, a proud husband, father, and a bard. I am a book pedlar by trade and a bookman by vocation. I am a romantic, a realist, and a Believer. I like a good joke, and a bad one even better. I admire all ladies for the innate beauty that is in each one, but my heart is sworn to the fair and gentle Lady Lorelei, who has consented to share my life and my name.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Pennsic Prologue

In July, when the summer sun burns hot,
Reducing all the foliage with drought;
And it seems that all mundane humanity
Is staggered by wretched humidity;
And those with common sense attempt to reach
The comfort of some pleasant sandy beach,
The Knowne Worlde finds itself in an uproar,
For that's when SCAdians go to Pennsic War,
Packing all their goods and gear to make
The annual pilgrimage to Cooper's Lake,
Where for two weeks they'll live and fight, and play,
And drink to excess in the SCAdian way.

Within one shire a very harried man
Endeavors to arrange a caravan
Of all his local groups inhabitants,
Their nobles, artisans and miscreants,
Loading up their wagons and their cars
With all they'll need to see them through the wars.
He bellows and gives orders, left and right,
Making sure all bungee cords are tight,
And everyone has maps to let them know
The best way to the war the group can go.
For all his efforts, mostly he's ignored;
At best an irritant to every Lord.
It seems they pay him no respect at all.
And why should they? He's just their seneschal.

Behind the wheel of his SUV,
A noble knight fumes most impatiently,
Eager to arrive at the affray,
Engage in Tourney, Combat, and Melee;
Making sure that all around is felt
The honor that is due to his white belt.
His squires fetch and carry, load his gear,
His shield, his sword, his armor and his beer.
Determined not to let his Lady down,
He promises this fall to fight for Crown.
She'ld like the throne, but given half the chance,
She'ld rather have him finally learn to dance.

A merchant loaded up his merchandise,
For Pennsic is a merchant's paradise
Where newbies stand in line with cash in hand
To purchase weapons made in Pakistan,
Feast gear manufactured by Chinese,
And garb from sweat-shops somewhere in Belize.
Upon his tables one can plainly see
A global medieval economy.
For two weeks he will barely leave his door.
His first priority is "Mind the Store!"
He'll miss the parties, fights and tournaments,
But stay until the final penny's spent.
His hobby is his business, he will say.
He works so hard he never gets to play.

A newbie got in line without a clue,
Elf ears held on with some spirit glue,
His pirate eyepatch wrapped around the hilt
Of his katana, rolled up in his kilt.
He has his twelve page alt-identity,
Based on what he plays in D&D,
Some cloven fruit to offer to some maid,
In hopes that he might finally get laid.
Into his hat he's tucked a jaunty plume,
Given to him a a lass with whom
He'ld like to share a pleasant night or two.
She hasn't told him why the feather's blue.

A gruff barbarian of the Tuchux Clan
Stuffed bottles, furs and weapons in his van.
In battle he wears but the minimum,
And fights till all extremities are numb.
His camp garb is a loincloth and a knife,
And a bunny fur bikini for his wife.
He plays the big barbarian to a T,
Living out his Conan Fantasy,
Taking part in every major fight,
And hitting all the parties every night,
Until it's time to go back home where he's
A neuropathic surgeon named Maurice.

A laurel's minivan was loaded down
With all that she had made to win renown:
Four chests of garb up on the luggage rack,
A case of home-made mead stashed in the back,
An illuminated manuscript she's made
Of a period recipe for marmalade,
A tapestry she's woven on her loom
Depicting fallen knights with arrows through 'em.
And if that's not enough to make you flinch,
For two weeks she'll speak naught but Norman French.
It fills her with a secret prideful glee
To know there's none more period than she.

Behind a stack of notebooks walks a bard,
Who finds that memorizing is too hard,
So everything he's written's safely kept;
But at finding what he needs, he's quite inept.
Sorting photocopies takes all night;
And they're doubly hard to read by firelight.
He has some skill from high school on the flute,
And he pretends his guitar is a lute.
Cough drops are secreted in his coat
To soothe the reedy virtues of his throat.
From dusk until the early morning light
He'll troll the campfires singing through the night.
His only disappointment though, so far:
He wonders where the cute bard groupies are.

Under a hat with many feathers goes
A fencer dressed in netherstocks and hose;
A bag of weapons slung across his back,
A book on Capo Ferro in his pack.
Night and day, he eagerly imparts
His theories about Western Martial Arts;
The authenticity his fight depicts;
Looking down his nose at rattan sticks.
He and his ilk will spend their time at War
In the rapier ghetto, fighting for
Their own acclaim, and separate from the rest;
Assuring themselves that their game is best;
While oblivious heavy fighters aren't aware
That the rapiers are even there.

Above the tumult glides a Pelican,
Adding conributions where she can,
Offering suggestions with some tact,
Making sure the cooking gear is packed;
Assuring that all necessaries fit,
Most especially the first aid kit;
Convincing stick jocks, who just want to fight,
To show up for the dance on Friday night;
And handling and organizing all
of this while planning her event this fall.
Still, everyone agrees he greatest skill
Is cleaning up the random ego spill.

The vehicles all loaded, all set forth;
A dozen cars and vans, all headed north;
The beginning of an eighteen hour drive,
At the end of which they will arrive,
Not just at Cooper's Lake, but back in time,
To an age when Chivaly was prime,
To which they pay homage with courtesy,
To live with honor and nobility,
And justifies the effort that they give
To make the Modern Middle Ages live.