From Originally published in BoP #1, just before the 1st War of the Lilies was actually held, by Earl Edward Cire of Greymoor. Republished in the Online Bird of Prey, Volume 2 (Beta Edition) 2001
This is the edited draft of a proposal to institute a regular intra-kingdom war within Calontir. It is intended to define the type of battle, the participants, and the benefits from this event. This proposal is the foundation upon which the War of the Lilies was built.
It is the opinion of the author that it would be desirable if more of our fighting population were exposed to “War-type” conflicts, than are able to travel to Pennsic, Estrella, or any of the more distantly located wars in the Society. To this end, I propose that we hold a war in Calontir.
For a war one must have at least two sides, in order to have conflict. One might ask, who would we fight? I believe that it would not be in the best interest of our kingdom to do battle with any of our neighboring kingdoms on a regular basis. I will address each of our neighboring kingdoms in turn with my reasons for not warring with them.
I believe that is is too soon, after recent departure from our parent kingdom, for Calontir to war with the Midrealm. I believe that our relationship with the Middle is to tenuous to take the stresses of competition, and the possibility of “losing” by either side at this time.
In a war with Meridies logistics could pose real problems, for both kingdoms, with the border between the two kingdoms being small and the population range of the two kingdoms reaching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Plains (half way across the Continent!). Also, the possible participation of significant numbers of Ansteorran and Midrealm fighters would cause difficulties with alliances; which are some of the same problems as experienced at Pennsic.
I believe that a war with Ansteorra could possibly damage our relationship of “brotherhood” and our recent years of “alliance.” There is also the distinct possibility of Inter-kingdom events in the future, being altered from their original intent, or abandoned altogether.
Population and logistical problems, concerning 500 miles of basically unpopulated areas in western Kansas and Nebraska, combined with the same in eastern Colorado and Wyoming, make this a most unlikely prospect at this time. Add to this the possible participation of Ansteorra, and a three kingdom war could develop; the inevitable outcome being two kingdoms against one, a delicate situation at best.
For this reason, I propose a friendly Intra-kingdom war in Calontir, utilizing our own melee conventions. This would entail dividing the Kingdom so that two opposing armies could be formed. There are ususally two methods employed in doing this, geographical, and “pick-up-sides.” Both of these have disadvantages. The geographical split can cause very real and long term divisions in the kingdom. The “pick-up-sides” approach does not seem to have this problem, but there is seldom if any strategy and planning involved in these type of melees.
I propose we adopt the good points of both styles, in trying to divide the kingdom. I propose that we randomly split the Royal Peers, Chivalry, and local groups into two basically even sides. To promote a feudal feel to the war, squires would fight with their knights, cantons would fight with their baronies, and all “non-aligned” fighters would fight with their local group. Each year, the sides would be randomly drawn anew. This should help keep factionalism to a minimum. And to promote strategy and planning, announce the next years alliances at the conclusion of the current year’s war.
Fighters from other kingdoms who wish to participate are welcome, and may choose which side the would like to fight with (as long as the sides don’t become too terribly uneven), for everyone will be fighting for Calontir.
The site for the war should be in the center of the Kingdom, in order to keep travel times to a minimum, and to promote attendance. It should have a large central field bordered by woods. This would be beneficial to field and woods type battles. The site should also have generous space for camping and other activities. The site should have running water, a kitchen facility, and a covered shelter area for holding courts and assorted activities.
The timing of the war is critical in an already crowded event schedule. It should avoid conflicts with Crown Tournament, Coronation (although this might appeal to those wishing a battlefield coronation), university final exams (again, to promote attendance), and extreme weather. I would propose late May or early June for these reasons. There may be other times that are even better.
The two armies will have to be identifiable on the field. I propose that we utilize the numerous falcon tabards in the kingdom, for one of the armies, and anything else worn as the opposing army. This would give the effect of “shirts vs. skins” identification. This also looks classier than sticking different colored tape on everyone’s helms. For scenario purposes, let’s call the army in the falcon tabards the “Royalists,” and the other army the “Loyal Opposition.”
The individual who will be Sovereign at the war will command the Royalist army. The Sovereign’s Successor (or if non, the previous Sovereign) will be the commander of the Loyal Opposition.
This war would not be divided into standard battles, rather it would be more of an all encompassing war, with the availability of field, bridge, woods, fortification, and other conflicts. There will be two activities involved in the conducting of the war, archery and fighting, involving three war points.
Each team will have a fortification equipped with a banner to defend. Each fortification will have a moat with one permanent bridge and one drawbridge. The object of the war is to capture the opposing team’s banner and return it to your own fortification. The fortifications may be stormed, sieged, or undermined, as stated in the conventions below.
There will be three war points associated in this war, defensive, offensive, and total kills. The team that successfully defends their banner will receive one war point. The team that captures the banner of the opposing team will receive one war point. And the team that kills the most fighters from the opposing side will receive one war point.
All fighters, except Royal Peers, Ruling Nobles, and members of the Chivalry, who are killed in combat, will report to the resurrection area to be registered as killed, they will then be allowed to re-enter the combat every fifteen minutes as resurrected fighters. Royal Peers, Ruling Nobles, and members of the Chivalry who are “killed” are in effect taken captive. They must report to the opposing team’s safe zone to be ransomed.
A team holding a Royal Peer, Ruling Noble, or member of the Chivalry, may send a herald to parley with the opposing team to determine ransom terms. The terms of the ransom are up to the two negotiating commanders. Those fighters being held for ransom, may elect to be “insulted” if the ransom offer made by their team is too low, in their opinion, and change sides. This is done to keep a fighter from being forgotten and left in captivity for the duration of the war. If a captive fighter changes sides, and is subsequently killed, they are dead for the rest of the war.
A timed shoot will be held before the combat begins, at targets set at varying distances, and representing different classes of fighters. There will be at least one target wearing a coronet and representing the Royal Peers and Ruling Nobles. There will be at least one target wearing a white belt, representing the chivalry. And there will be at least one target representing the rest of the fighters present. All wounds sustained by the targets will be assigned to real fighters fo the appropriate class, in a random fashion. These wounds will be retained for the start of the combat, and all kills will be recorded as if accomplished during combat. The commander of each team will be exempt from this.
Only members of the Chivalry may ford the rivers or moats, and then only on their knees. They may be attacked while fording.
Each Fortification will have a supply of provisions to last one hour. Each half hour the marshalls will call a five minute rest hold, and during this hold will remove half hours worth of provisions from each fortification. If a fortification runs out of provisions, all fighters in the area bounded by the moat are dead, and must report to the resurrection center. Supplies of provisions may be obtained at the resurrection center and added to the supplies in the fortification while combat is engaged. This necessitates keeping supply lines open, in order to hold defensively and enables a team to “starve” another team into submission.
Each fortification will have objects (such as hay bales) surrounding the walls of the fortification, which may be removed by the opposing team. If a significant number of these objects are removed, that section of the wall is undermined, and the marshals will topple that section of the wall. This allows for the functional use of sappers to gain entry into the fortification.
The commanders of the two teams may send heralds to parley for them during the battle. Heralds must wear at least the minimum armor allowed for combat within Calontir, and are immune from attack, if they have a white diamond shape on their helms. Heralds must wear tabards plainly marked with the crossed trumpets of the heralds office.
Each team will have a safe zone near the combat area, in which to keep prisoners held for ransom, and where fighters may go to rest and get water. This area will be marked with list field ropes and no combat is allowed in or near them. This is for safety reasons and the intent, not the letter of the law will prevail. Shade will also be provided if possible.
This will be a time limit type of war. The time may be set in advance or the event, or it may be decided just prior to the start of the battle, by the two team commanders. I would recommed that it be from two to four hours in duration, with five minute holds, every thirty minutes. Other options may be experimented with, and prove to be better.
This proposal was the instrument that started the War of the Lilies. It has been edited to some degree, to keep current with the information published in the MEWS. This is being printed in this newsletter to inform Calontir’s fighting public how the War of the Lilies came to be. As this is being printed before the war has occurred, the success of this project remains to be seen. I invite you to share your ideas about this proposal and the war itself, in future issues of this newsletter.