A Pennsic Royal Journal

Her Majesty Mary-Grace, Queen of the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann, shares Her account of Her journey to Pennsic 35.

Her Majesty writes:

Good People of Gleann Abhann,

Herein follows the journal of Our Journey to the great Pennsic War. We know that many of you traveled with Us in your hearts and We felt your presence there with us. We hope that you will gain some joy from hearing the tales of war and from knowing that all those gentles in the Knowne World wish us well.

Photos may be found online. (Click "original article")

Gleann Abhann's Journey to Pennsic

It is the duty of the Crown to travel to aid Our Cousins in times of War. We stand by their side, shoulder to shoulder in the shield wall knowing that if ever We are in need, they too shall come to Our aid. The King, having many duties to attend too in Gleann Abhann, sent Us, His Queen as an advance party to be the voice of Our Kingdom, until His Majesty Could arrive and lead Our forces into battle.

The journey was long….two days it took for Us to travel northward, beyond the boundary of Gleann Abhann, and through Meridies and Atlantia and finally into the Sylvan lands of AEthalmarc.

As We arrived at Pennsic, We were welcomed by many people who too had heard the call of War. Upon reaching Our destination, it was time to establish Our presence and carve out a little piece of Gleann Abhann on AEthelmarc's soil. The Great Dark Hoard came to Our aid and hoisted our tents with swiftness and ease. Our small band began to unpack Our trunks and try to make ourselves as comfortable as one possible can be at War. We planted Our banners and hung Gleann Abhann's colors for all to see. As our colors flew, many who passed remarked on the beauty of Our camp.

During Our first few days, the merriment and friendship that was seen among the people at Pennsic made us certain that Our Cousins of the East and the Midrealm had settled their differences and rather than a War, we would have a celebration of Peace.

We met many new people and we re-united with old friends. As our populace began arriving at war and filling up our camp. It was good to have Our friends around Us.

While the fellowship and spirit of friendship abounded, We did have a very close call with the Pirates of Ravenspittle and were only saved due to the quick wit and courage of His Lordship Peregrine. He blinked not an eye when faced with the pirate Captain and his crew and saved Us and Our lady from these rogues.

As the first Saturday dawned, We were invited to course the hounds and meet Our fellow Queens in the spirit of Peace and fun and support for these wonderful animals. Not only were there grey hounds, there were also Irish Wolf Hounds, one of which has been deprived her leg due to cancer, and she runs on three legs as well as any animal does on four. My good Cousins the Queen of the Middle and the Queen of the East did seem so happy and were so kind in their words, none would have thought that war could be on the horizon….but it was.

Later that day a call went out to all the Crowns of the Knowne World, to gather their heralds and their populace and to appear along side their Royal Cousins before the populace and declare for whom We would fight. His Majesty Havordh had sent word to me that Gleann Abhann had secured the support of the Mercenaries of Anglesey in order to reinforce Our Army. On Sunday the great and magnificent procession began. Our guards raised the banners of Gleann Abhann high and Our Herald sent a call so that all would stop and observe the glorious site of the people Gleann Abhann as we passed before them. People bowed and gasped with awe as we passed. They knew they were seeing the newest Kingdom of the Knowne World, but one steeped in as much history and glory as even the oldest Kingdom of the West. We processed in a sea of red as the Midrealm and Eldemere and the Great Dark Hoard were before Us. As We approached Our Good Cousins of AEthalmarc on the stage, We felt the excitement and anticipation of yet another landmark in Gleann Abhann's history. They welcomed Us as Their Cousin and friend. As Their Majesties of the Middle and the East did break the arrow and indeed declare that a War was upon us, it was then time for each Kingdom in turn to declare who they would support. Each Crown did then go in their turn, until finally it was Gleann Abhann's turn to speak… as your Queen, We mustered up as much breath as We could and declared for the assembled populace to hear, "We are Mary-Grace, ..Queen of Gleann Abhann and though Our numbers are few, our passion is greater than any force that shall take this field. Today, We speak for Our King, Our Kingdom and for the Brut forces of Anglesey and we shall fight with our mother Kingdom of Meridies, and with the Middle!"…..a cry of joy went up among the crowd, and for a brief moment, it was as though all the people of Gleann Abhann were on the stage with Us. The Dark Hoard then announced they would fight for the Middle, and the Kingdom of Acre then did declare for the west. The Great War Horn was brought forth by Dark Yard and The Tiger King of the East and the Dragon King of the Middle sounded the horn…the cannon sounded a mighty boom, and the War had begun.

The King's business in Our Lands lingered and he would not be arriving to fight in the first battle. A town was being attacked and our enemies of the East took up their Rapiers ran through the streets trying to seize gold belonging to the Middle Kingdom. As your Queen and the sworn ally of the Midrealm, I too took up my Rapier and ran to the aid of Our Cousins. The fight was hard but our sprinters were swift and the majority of the gold lie with the Mid at the end of the battle. Two more battles ensued in the town, and in the end it was a draw with many valiant efforts on both sides.

Many other skirmishes broke out, including in the forest. This woods battle was brutal and long. We stood at the fringe of the fighting to aid the injured and water the thirsty. Each soldier taking comfort from Us, from the newest recruit to the most seasoned generals fought with all their hearts, but alas, no clear winner could be named.

The armies of the allies took to the open field to try and force some movement in the war to one side or the other. The allies were to capture the banners of our enemies and claim them for our own. This battle was one hundred against one hundred,…but they fought as though there were thousands. It was a breathtaking show of courage and valor. The allies of the East were victorious, but the allies of the Middle made it no easy task for them.

As day by day the fighting carried on, merchants opened their shops and began selling their wares. The variety of goods to be had were a sight even for this experienced shopper. Cries of those selling the Pennsic Independent could be heard through the hustle of the shops while enterprising youngsters with carts filled with ice rolled by making their deliveries. The smells of the food wafting through the air of the food court made mouths water and stomachs grumble in anticipation of Pennsic classics such as sweet potato fries, steak sandwiches, cobbler, fried rice, and bread bowls. And in the heat of the day, many could be found taking their ease in the shade with an Italian Ice or an Ice Cream. Wednesday afternoon saw Gleann Abhann hosting the Knowne World Ladies of the Rose for an afternoon of relaxation. The evenings brought cooler weather and people donned their cloaks and huddled around fires to sing songs and tell stories of battles of the day and of years gone by. A dinner was held for all the Crowns of the Knowne World so that we could relate the magnificence of each of our Kingdoms to one another and to share the gifts that we had brought for all of Our Royal Cousins provided by the generosity of Our populace.

As the day dawned on Thursday, the war drums beat louder than ever. The Armies were called to meet each other on the open field. This was to be the battle to determine the war. The streets were suddenly filled with soldiers in armor clanking their way to the battlefield followed by banners of their households, shires, baronies and Kingdoms. So too did the colors of Gleann Abhann fly, and under his banner did His Majesty Havordh gather his soldiers around him and shared with them the strategies of the Generals. The army of Gleann Abhann had their assignment and prepared for battle. The Queens took to the reviewing stands to witness this bloody sport and to try to keep their Kings in their sight among the many on the battlefield. We too watched Our King and prayed for His safe return to Us after the battle. The Midrealm and her allies fought as great heroes of legends. Our King plowed through Our enemies as a knife trough butter leading his troops behind him. But while the efforts were mighty, the war was not to be ours. The Tiger King and his troops overtook the field and the day was theirs.

That night, We thought it right to hold a court and reward those gentles who actions had been outstanding to Us. We first invited into Court Duquessa Isabel of York of the East Kingdom and were presented with mounds and mounds of items donated to the people of Gleann Abhann. Everything from books to fabric to sewing machines. It was truly overwhelming. We thanked these gentles for their generosity and continued support of Our Kingdom.

We then gave a special token to Herr Sixtus from the Outlands who camped with Us and had been Our guard. We gave tokens to all those from Gleann Abhann who had traveled to be in attendance at the war. To Lord Gaston du Valmont, we awarded the Citizen. This gentle has traveled to Gleann Abhann events to support Us and Our Kingdom. We also saw it fit to Award Arms to Merewen (Northover), and to recognize Lady Honora with a Jeweled Ring for her efforts before and during Pennsic to coordinate Our Schedule, our Retinue and work with the Royalty Liaison's Office to ensure we had all the information and tools (literally and figuratively) we needed. After Court we gathered to socialize and be merry and enjoyed spending some time with our brethren from Meridies. Songs were sung late into the night and the thoughts of War were far from our minds.

As the sun peaked out over the hills, again the Armies prepared for battle. Again did their horns sound, their drums rumble and their banners fly. Again did they take the field one against the other in the name of the East and the Middle. The cannon sounded and the clashing of swords and armor echoed across Pennsic just has they had for 34 years before. But when the dust cleared and the armies left the field, removing their helms as they went, you could see smiles on the faces of all. While victory did not smile on us,…the fun and camaraderie of the day made us realize that the prize is not in winning the war. Rather, the golden ring that was grasped by all was that of friendship. In the end the Tiger King and the Dragon King decided that friendship should triumph over all and that the War should now be at a close. Again, a call went out to the Crowns of the Knowne World to assemble and witness the forging of the friendship of the East and the Middle.

When it came time for Gleann Abhann to be heard, We thanked the assembled Crowns and populace for their support of Gleann Abhann over the past year and made sure that they knew that if the ultimate goal of the war had been to end in friendship and in fun, that it had indeed been a most successful campaign. And then of course, we invited everyone to come to Gulf Wars next year! As each King and Queen went in their turn, saying their farewells, We thought about how lucky We were to be among those most esteemed nobles.

We returned to camp and packed up our trunks and prepared for the long journey home. It was bittersweet to leave the fellowship of those at Pennsic, but the call of Our Kingdom was great and we hurried on our way to return to Our home, knowing that we had supported Our Cousins well and that everyone far and wide will remember this Pennsic 35. The first Pennsic that saw Gleann Abhann among the Kingdoms of the Knowne World.