It was a war filled with tears of pride and tears of laughter. So many things made this a memorable and magical war. It will long by vivid in the memory of those of us that were lucky enough to attend. With that said, here is one more story of the final day of battle at Gulf War XIII
Siridean's Breach: A Waterbearers View
As a waterbearer on that beautiful first day of Spring I worked my way around the list field to be as close as I could be to our Calon Warriors. I found myself standing almost directly in front of the Waterbearer Station on the far side of the field.
I watched as the our brave and noble fighters stood in the full sun waiting for the archers and the siege weapons to run out of ammunition during the first segment of the fort battles. It was hard to see much of anything that was going on inside the walls, but I wasn't about to give up my spot.
After a bit of a break, our brave Calontir army took its place outside the walls of the fort, facing Blackwidow's Breach. Patiently our army waited while the archers of our united forces sent arrows over the wall of the fort to help prepare for the siege. When time came to rush the sally port I watched as the walls of the fort seemed to swallow the men and women our army. One by one, they slowly dwindled from the field as time went by.
It was then that I saw the fighting tabard of Siridean, Lion King of Calontir, at the back of the fort. He was moving in and out of my sight as he fought off our foe. With a somewhat larger step backwards our King came fully into my view; it was then that I realized he was on the field alone and fighting for the honor of our beloved Calontir. I caught the movement of a few Calontir soldiers as they stepped toward the borders of the field, and next the entire army moved forward at once. It was then that I heard the singing begin. I stood watching and singing with the army as my heart pounded; not caring that I was the lone Calontiri standing along the edge of the field singing with our brave and glorious Calontir Army. I watched our King dance with one opponent after another with finesse and grace.
I finally heard the words, "Waterbearers In." Free from the restraints that kept me off the field, I found myself running across the field, running toward our King. As I arrived at that noble spot of land, the strong and graceful Siridean had just finished speaking with his opponent, but refused to let exhaustion overtake him. Then he began to share one last dance with sword and shield for the glory of our Calontir. As he dodged and swayed the purple and gold tabard that he wore seemed to take on a life of its own, poetry in motion one might say. Our King had faced many opponents and the grief of lost shield mates and fatigue finally became overwhelming and the battle ended for Siridean, King of Calontir. It was then that the people of Calontir produced a Scutum onto which Siridean was placed and carried forth with honor and dignity on the strong shoulders of Calontiri, followed by the cheers of everyone that remained watching in and around the fort.
After the scutum had been lowered and the present Calontiri had grown in close around Their Majesties it was time to learn the rest of the story to speak for those of us not on the field to witness it first hand. It was then that we learned of the strength that Banba and Ian had shown, and of Siridean's reply when asked if he would yield the field of combat. Our King could not, would not relinquish, the field of his men that had made him swell with such pride that it couldn't be contained at times during the week of Gulf Wars XIII. He would fight as they had fought the previous battle after he had been removed from the field by a ballista: With Skill, With Determination, and With the Heart of a Lion. After all, he was Calontir.
Upon returning to the fort later that evening for Closing Court, Their Majesties were led not to the staging area for entering court, but to a small sally port at the side of the fort that had once read "Blackwidow's Breach." The sign over the entry now read "Siridean's Breach," and in the entrance was hanging The Crown Banner of Calontir. There was no short supply of pride as Their Majesties were ushered into court, followed by the rest of us in song.
The evening was filled in friendship with our Calontiri brethren and visiting dignitaries from other kingdoms sharing food, drink, and of course a song or two: Under the Purple Pavilion, The Calontir Way.
(who still has verses of muster songs rolling through her head, vows that she will be in armor at her next war, and will be picking up her pictures as soon as they are available tomorrow afternoon)