Somebody yells, “Form a wedge! Form a wedge!”
This is my last chance to experience something I’ve craved since reading Ronald Welch’s Sun of York back when I was twelve. I love my plate armor, but I’m now in my forties, a dad, and my days of hitting the road with my armor are numbered. (“Write what you know”, they said. So I had set out to know what I wanted to write about.)
“Let me go first!”
I take my place at the front of the knot of my friends in armor from different periods. Everybody jostles around and, without the benefit of NCOs, forms a rough triangle with me at the point.
Ahead, the Viking ranks stiffen, dress their shields. Locals mostly, and many of them students, so there’s a lot of quilted armor and even some linen shirts.
I grin into my visor. We’re older, heavier in build. One-to-one we outweigh them and we’ve concentrated our weight into a human battering ram…
…and yes, it’s a small multi-period medieval faire at St Andrews, Scotland. The weapons aren’t sharp. It’s not real.
But read on, because the experience was illuminating…