WARNING: This blog contains high drama.
The Garden Fight Club crew, Frank, Tom and I, set off from London bound for glory at Larpcon. We chattered excitedly up the M1 about what the day might bring.
This was to be my first chance to duel with an audience. No.. wait that doesn’t sound right. There was an audience to the duelling? I fought bad guys in front of good guys.
(If you read my posts often, you may have fathomed a way understanding what I am trying to say.)
An audience garbed in mystical and mythical costume.
A metal pole listing under construction.
An entourage of fighters and support.
A green box of shining armour.
A bout of nerves.
A ticking clock.
The hours of kit preparation and training had all come down to this. The experienced fighters of the UK fed attired themselves for combat with ease. I was all fingers and thumbs, trying to lock my shins into the greaves and steady my quivering wrists into wraps. All the while feeling the heat surge, degree by degree, under the gambeson.
Not to mention mastering the art of thonging under pressure is a thankless task. You tie and tighten and realign and tie again. But the gaps in the armour are still there, your shoulders are sitting too low and sections of your muffin top lie exposed.
Looking on back on what I perceived to be 90 minutes of putting armour on was purely torturous.
My thoughts swam back in time to high school ‘speaking and listening’ examinations. The burning flush in the cheeks, jellied legs, resulting in inaudible mumbling and a mouth drier than the Sahara.
For further dramatic visuals, think Eminem – 8 Mile in 15th century armour.
(If someone can mock that up please send me)
Finally, I had my helmet on and was ready for battle. My breathing was rapid already. I took sharp inhalations of noxious fencing paint from the makeover my squire had given the bucket in the week preceding the inauguration. Needless to say, it did nothing to allay the nausea.
The crowd was now terrifying.
I yearned for the safety of the lists.
Barney and I fought one on one with longswords. Despite my previous misgivings my perspective realigned when we knights touched blades and heard the words.
“To the fight!”
I threw my nerves into those first three strikes and pushed on. My memory of the fight is mostly a blur but I felt strong and defiant.
A poorly placed foot turned my back to my enemy, giving him the opportunity to fell me as I lost balance. I was back on my feet within seconds. I had to strike back at him. I could tell that all the hard work over the last 6 months had paid off. I was physically poised, my focus concentrated and the enthusiasm of the crowd willed my determination.
My opponent attempted a kick to the groin. I stepped back, avoiding the low blow but it still ignited a frenzy in me. I had to suppress a fierce desire to throw down my weapon and go crazyfists on his visor.
It was a successful day all around although a bit bloody.
Another arena debut for our youngest team member and fellow shield-maiden, Ez! She doesn’t do things by halves and so challenged the captain of the UK fed, Kurgan, to a duel. She then took on Edd, a warrior twice her height and probably ten times her weight. She certainly made a loud and confident entrance onto the stage of medieval combat. She’s ruthless and fearless, a perfect combination for a warrior prowess.
There was a wealth of interest of new recruits. It was awesome getting to meet new people. You know who you are if you spoke to any of the team. We are eagerly waiting to hear from you. If you didn’t get a chance to speak to us or see us at the event, then any questions will be answered right here!
Comment below, use the contact form, or find us on facebook.
Good night, Jo
Facebook: UK Federation: Public Group (Battle of the Nations)