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fredag 24 juli 2009

Happy days in Lund - Gunnery and storming the Dean's house

Sunday, the last day of the event. We were to show off the same combat display as Saturday and then we had a gunnery display a well.

We started off with the gunnery. Johan held an excellent lecture on early fire arms. He has been fine polishing the same lecture for years, and it is getting better everytime. Me and the others waited to load and fire - Guffe and Roger from Fraternis Militia Carnis were posing as gunners as well. Guffe felt kind of naked without his full plate, but I believe he had a good time anyways. He smiled a lot, although not in that picture; he and Roger are far too concentrated keeping up with the loading speed of the rest of the gunners.

Johan finished the lecture and ordered us to load and fire. It's all caught on tape. The gun teams all load up really quick and fire even quicker. I felt it was a splendid display, which showed that we have been growing better - the practice in Morimondo payed off. It is always more fun to shoot the guns than you remember, so I was quite happy with it. That's me in the big helmet by the way.

After lunch it was time for yet another combat display, but this time, we weren't as many; some of the guys had gone to the Dean's House ("Dekanen") to prepare for our storming. They brought a couple of handgonnes and waited lazily at the top floor, scouting our display out from a window. Johan was supposed to give them a sign, and then they would fire on us. We would take our stuff and storm the place with the ladder via the balcony. Simple enough.

Before the display was quite finished, the first shot was fired. We stopped in the midst of everything, glancing at Johan. He shrugged. The second shot was fired. We pushed our way through the audience and ran towards Dekanen, with a huge tail of spectators following us. As we came up to the building we were taunted from the balcony by the enemy. We told them our minds and reached for our sturdy ladder, only to discover that we had forgot it... Me and Simon ran all the way back to get it, only to discover that it wasn't in our camp. I was a bit confused. We ran back. And there was the ladder. I was two bits confused. It turned out that the helpful blacksmith of Kulturen, Robin, plus Stefan, an old friend, had seen us leave the ladder behind. The promptly picked it up to help us out. Funny.

We put the ladder to the balcony and I started to climb. The first step of the ladder broke. Then the second. Then the third. And the fourth. Then the left side of it collapsed. I hung onto it like a rat to a piece of wood in a stormy sea, but was forced to let go. The ladder was tested! I couldn't understand why it just crashed at that moment, but I soon realized that it wasn't tested for armoured people...

Simon, the smallest of us, took point, and scaled the remains of the ladder. We pushed him up to the balcony, but there were the defenders. Simon later told me he was inches from falling to his near death, as Ville pushed a sword in his chest when Simon tried to climb the banisters. He managed to "fight them off" and to gain ground on the balcony. The crowd cheered, while we stood wondering how on earth we were supposed to pull Simon's stunt off, once again.

We decided to charge the "locked" door, and to take the fight to them. I was first up the stairs, and put my shoulder to the heavy door, it slid open, and I barged in. My first sight was Simon, sitting on a bench, resting. He was dead tired and grinned at me when I pushed him on his feet - we were supposed to clear out this nest of cut throats once and for all. We stormed out on the balcony and smashed into the defenders. It was a relentless fight, real close quarters, with precious little space to manouever. Me and Alex pushed our opponents up the stairs, side by side. The stair case was so narrow that we more or less stuck there. Simon pushed us upwards by pressing his shield in our backs. Me and Alex were assaulted by Guffe and his heavy pole axe. Alex helped me to keep my shield raised, as we little by little took the stairs. The crowd roared and my muscles were aching like crazy. Sweat was in my eyes, but we were pushed up by a screaming Simon. There was no turning back.

At the first half landing some one cut down John. He was hanging over the banisters, playing dead. He later told me that he had done such a splendid job, that his saliva slowly had started to run out of his mouth, dripping in long strings scattering a group of kids underneath.

At the last half landing, we stood face to face with Guffe and Ville. I can't remember what happened, but I think Ville cut me down. I stumbled and fell, out of harms way. Or so I thought: Guffe did the same, landing on my shield arm. I was pretty sure it broke.
"Guffe! Pleeease roll off!"
"Dammit! I can't! It's too narrow here. I'm stuck!"
Don't ask me how, but I managed to wriggle out of that hellish position. I was relatively comfortable until the fight ended, and we stood up to enjoy the cheers of the audience.

After that, it was fighting time, just for the fun of it. Most of us had never fought indoors, and Dekanen gave us a perfect excuse. So we fought until I was too tired to lift my arms. We were grinning like children when we threw each other over tables, kicked each other into corners, used daggers, wrestling techniques and what have you. It was so funny! I don't think I have had as much fun since my first fight in Azincourt 2003.

After this, the event was drawing to its end. We packed up and wished John and Hannah a pleasant honeymoon in Sweden, before we jumped in the cars and drove back home.

All in all I had a great weekend, and we already have great plans for the next storming of Dekanen!

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