Pennsic, Battlefield, 1 August 2014. Sir Wilhelm Vom Zwei Kopfheiganfalka, he of the purple two-headed falcon and aged a hearty 70, wishes for 70 deaths for his birthday. So far this Pennsic, he’s only had ten. That may have more to do with muscle memory and innate fighting skill than it does actual defeats, however. You don’t need to teach this old dog any new tricks. He had little trouble battling his fellow combatants on the list field.
“We are so few,” he said, speaking of his Kingdom’s presence at Pennsic, “that I can count the battles, this tournament, other contests, and they’ll add up.” As an entrant in the Pennsic Greybeard Tournament, Sir Wilhelm was the eldest combatant, sometimes drawing entrants nearly twenty years his junior. Bearded or beardless, fighters came from as near as Pennsic’s own backyard and as far as the Kingdom of the West, to meet in fellowship and beat the tar out of each other. Male or female, each engaged in battle for the love of martial combat, each of them a factual or honorary greybeard. As they introduced themselves and gave their ages, it was discovered that the age range was 51 (and 1/8) to 70. While this article went to press before the tournament was decided on this gorgeous first day of August, there can be no doubt who won. They all won. When honorable and wise men and women share their mastery with others, and meet in joy and camaraderie, everyone wins. In fact there was so much win on the field today, it is clear that Greybeard, not orange, is definitely the new black. Dame Aoife Finn. Æthelmearc.