Annual enemies, eternal friends – that’s the motto of the largest SCA event of the year.
Pennsic War 44 was held in the Kingdom of AEthelmearc at Coopers Lake Campgrounds in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, U.S.A (approximately 50 miles/80 km from the Pittsburgh Airport). It ran from Friday 24th July to Sunday 8th August 2015. 10,556 people attended the 17 day long event.
73 camped in the Lochac campsite – the highest number in Lochac’s history – with an additional 5 Lochacians camping in other campsites. The King and Queen of Lochac (Steffan and Branwen), the Baron and Baroness of Rowany (Miles and Ameline), the Baron and Baroness of River Haven (William and Katherine), and the Baron and Baroness of Aneala (Damian and Leonie) were all in attendance.
History Making Moments
- 2015 had the highest Lochac attendance rate in 44 years, with 2013 holding the previous record of around 52 people in camp.
- For the first time in Pennsic history, Lochac commanded one of the sides (around 650 people in the AEthelmearc and Allies side) in the heavy wars. Sir Brusi Anderson of the Shetlands was named Warlord in charge of the three bridge battles by Their Majesties Lochac, with Duchess Liadan ingen Fheradaig and Sir Bain of Stornoway nominated as second in charge. Under Lochac leadership, they won all three available war points.
- Lochac’s heavy fighting force represented the 6th biggest Kingdom army at Pennsic 2015.
- A rare combined Court between the Crowns of Lochac and Calontir occurred in order to see Slumlord Mikail made a Pelican by both Kingdoms in unison.
- Lochac’s fourth Master of Defence was made with the elevation of Don Wolfram Flammenhertz.
Peace Week (week 1)
Peace Week was a more relaxed week of Pennsic (also referred to as ‘Party Week’) where attendees focussed on setting up camping, learning their way around the enormous site venue, and meeting friends new and old.
Lochac hosted a Kingdom Party in the campsite on the Thursday, drawing many a visitor from a wide variety of Kingdoms for a drink, some nibbles, and a chat.
Earl Master Ruslan and his household brought some delicious American BBQ foods to the Lochac campsite for the annual combined dinner. In the past, the dinner was hosted in Master Ruslan’s campsite, however, this year the Lochac contingent was so large that it made more sense to host it in Lochac’s campsite.
Lochac hosted a ‘Whack-a-Roo’ tournament on Thursday 30th July. It was a challenge tournament aimed at familiarising Lochac fighters with the various Kingdom styles of heavy fighting that they would encounter throughout Pennsic War, and gave them the opportunity to meet-and-greet various heavy fighters at the event. The tournament ran for 2 hours (despite the 28-30 degree heat and 50% humidity) and drew 31 fighters from 8 Kingdoms that contested around 20 Lochacian fighters.
War Week (week 2)
War Week began with Opening Court on Sunday 2nd August, 2015 in front of the fort.
Lochac processed from camp to the fort to the dulcet tones of Sir Gregory of Loch Swan’s bagpipes. Songs played included Waltzing Matilda, Scotland the Brave, and the Star Wars theme song. The procession for Lochac was atypically large given the significant increase in attendance for Pennsic War 44, and the size and presence of the Kingdom was cheered loudly by those groups who were already assembled before the fort.
The three pairs of Crowns from the East Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and AEthelmearc hosted the Court and provided the context for the war. AEthelmearc is surrounded by the borders of the East and the Middle, and the latter two Kingdoms wanted to invade the so-called ‘Disputed Lands’. King Timothy of AEthelmearc interrupted the two other Kings as they debated on how the invasion was to proceed, taking the war arrow and breaking it before the assembled populace. The breaking of the arrow is symbolic that peace was now broken, and war would result.
The remaining SCA Crowns in attendance at the War (including Their Royal Majesties Steffan and Branwen of Lochac) swore their allegiance to stand with and protect AEthelmearc from invasion. King Steffan made the longest declaration speech of the opening ceremonies, pun-ishing all who heard it. His speech was received exceedingly well and continued to be brought up fondly for the rest of Pennsic.
Approximately 38 heavy fighters and 5 fencers represented the Kingdom on war fields or in tournaments. Several archers competed in target and combat archery activities, some Lochacians taught A&S classes, and King Steffan represented the Kingdom in the acting scene.
Lochac representation was again pivotal for the Watch (i.e. for the various levels and durations of security shifts at Pennsic), with many volunteering for tasks such as golf cart shifts (roaming constab), Deputy on Duty, and Point Control.
On the Tuesday of War Week, a large contingent of Lochac attended the West Kingdom’s annual Viking Luau party, where attendees are encouraged to wear Hawaiian print-Viking hybrid outfits.
During Pennsic, there are numerous war points up for grabs by each side in the War. These points can be won from participation and/or victory in various martial and non-martial activities.
In Pennsic War 44, Their Royal Majesties Steffan and Branwen nominated the following Champions to represent Lochac and Allies:
- Unbelted Champions – Duchess Liadan ingen Fheradaig and Magnus.
- Belted Melee – Duke Niall inn Orkneyskii, Sir Ariston Hegelochos, and Count Kinggiyadai Ba’atur represented Lochac in the 40 versus 40 melee of Knights, winning their battle and corresponding war point.
- Heroic Champions – Count Berenger of Nancy represented Lochac in the paired heavy battles.
- Century Champions – Duchess Liadan ingen Fheradaig, Magnus, Duke Niall inn Orkneyskii, Sir Ariston Hegelochos, Count Kinggiyadai Ba’atur, and Count Berenger of Nancy represented Lochac in a battle with unlimited resurrections at regular intervals. Lochac’s side was victorious, claiming the war point.
- Rapier Champions – Baroness Ceara Shionnach represented Lochac in the 20 versus 20 rapier melee. Lochac’s side was victorious, gaining AEthelmearc and Allies the war point.
- Rapier Heroic Champions – Don Alessandro won his bout in the one-on-one rapier championship. This was a tournament where each side in the war nominated 20 combatants each to pair off and fight to the death, with the side claiming the most victories winning the war point. This year, though Alessandro won his bought, the two war sides tied and no war point was given.
King Steffan and Queen Branwen were extremely supportive of the Lochac champions and war teams, with the pair of them either entering or spectating all of the battles/wars/champion tournaments.
Closing court and war results
Closing court was held in front of the fort immediately after the three rapier field battles (i.e. rapier wars in an open field) concluded in the afternoon of Friday 7th August 2015.
Pennsic War 44 was declared a tie, with the war points listed in the table below (obtained from the official Pennsic Wars website).
|War Point Results||East/Mid Alliance||Æthelmearc Alliance|
|Armored Castle Battle||–||2|
|Rapier Village Battle||1||–|
|Thrown Weapons Champions||–||1|
|Armored Bridge Battle||–||3|
|Rapier Manor Battle||–||1|
|Siege & Combat Archery||–||1|
|Arts & Sciences Champions||1||–|
|Archery Champions Shoot||–||1|
|Rapier Heroic Champions||Tie – point not awarded|
|Armored Woods Battles||1||4|
|Rapier Woods Battles||2||1|
|Armored Field Battle||2||1|
|Rapier Field Battle||3||–|
|Populace Archery Shoot||6||–|
|Service War Point||1||0|
The Crowns of the East and Middle Kingdoms decided not to invade AEthelmearc any further, given that AEthelmearc and Allies had not conceded victory. An unbroken peace arrow was brought into court, signifying that the war was over for another year.
As a final piece of business, a herald from each of the three aforementioned Kingdoms stepped forward and began counting backwards from Pennsic War 44. Those who had attended each of the Pennsic Wars were asked to keep their hands raised, signifying attendance. When they got to Pennsic War 10, the few remaining people with raised hands were asked to step forward and clapped, particular the one person who had been to Pennsic War 1. It was a wonderful bit of theatre – something that is repeated at the conclusion of each and every Pennsic War.
Lochac Kingdom Courts
During Pennsic War 44, the Crown of Lochac held two Royal Courts.
The first was held on Saturday afternoon on the rapier lists, where Don Wolfram Flammenhertz was elevated as Lochac’s fourth Master of Defence.
The second court was held in the Lochac campsite, and it was a joint court with the Crown of the Kingdom of Calontir. At the second court:
- Baroness Erin the Red presented a gift of largesse to Slumlord Mikail Azadan Askoldovich for his work in organizing the Lochac campsite,
- Congratulations was given to the Warlords who captained Lochac (and sometimes the whole Allied forces) throughout heavy combat war, including Sir Brusi Anderson of the Shetlands, Duchess Liadan ingen Fheradaig, Sir Lorcan of River Haven, Sir Bain of Stornoway, Baron Saunooke, Master Hanbal al Barbari, and Duke Alfar of Attica.
- Tassels were given to the many who served and attended Their Majesties for the two weeks of Pennsic War,
- Boy (Baron Antarcus Valentior) was awarded the Cross of Lochac,
- Lord Miles Warde was awarded the Golden Sword,
- Master Denys the Decadent was awarded the Cross of Lochac,
- Lord Sean le Bastard was made a Court Baron,
- The Baron and Baroness of Aneala, Damian and Leonie, presented Lord Lokki Rekkr with a Baronial award for fighting. He, in turn, presented spoils of war to the Crown and the Baron and Baroness, and
- Baron Mikail Azadan Askoldovich was elevated by the Crowns of Lochac and Calontir to the Order of the Pelican.
Due to the enormous size of the event, it is not uncommon for Pennsic War to be mentioned in various local news reports.
In 2015, representatives from Lochac featured in various news videos, including:
- Pennsic War 44 – a 4.19 minute long video with King Steffan of Lochac speaking from 2.17 to 3.11.
- Pennsic Wars Begin – by ABC News America, with various members of Lochac pictured at various points.
- At the Pennsic War’s, Plays the Thing – by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, King Steffan Glaube and THL Christine Bess Duvaunt are both mentioned in text.