I've realized that my past two tales were second hand stories and that while they were interesting, I really ought to get back to stories I can personally attest to. To do this, I shall tell the tale of a Gatalop that Mistress Isolde and I will never forget.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Gatalop, the Barony of Osprey holds it each spring (now fall) at the site of Fort Gaines State Park on Dauphin Island. The fort is a nineteenth century fortification which was constructed to resemble a castle. The fighters divide themselves into two armies and alternately attack and defend the keep. The Gatalop that I shall speak of was early in the history of the event; Gatalop II if I remember correctly.
The morning of this Gatalop, Isolde and I were standing on the battlements watching the armies form up when a messenger came panting up and asked if my lady wife was Honorable Lady Isolde. When Isolde answered that she was, the messenger told her that Sir Phelan wished to see her. Isolde went with the messenger to see what Sir Phelan wanted.
Sir Phelan explained that the event had a problem: there was no chirurgeon on site! At that time the Shire of Osprey had no chirurgeon. The autocrat hadn't worried about this because three qualified chirurgeons were pre-registered. All three chirurgeons were no shows, so Sir Phelan asked Isolde if she would be chirurgeon for the event.
Isolde had let her chirurgeon qualification lapse a couple of months earlier because she wanted to do other things. Since they could not hold the event without a chirurgeon, she agreed to take on the job and hoped that there would not be many injuries.
The injuries started even before the fighting had begun. A fighter who was subject to seizures had one in the parking lot and struck his head against a bumper when he fell. The bumper gave him a nasty a scalp cut, so the fighter was evacuated from the site to have the cut sewn up.
Next, a fighter in a tunnel fight suffered a bloody nose when his face plate was stove in by a spear thrust. Normally such a thrust would merely have pushed his head back, but he was against a wall at the time.
They had found Isolde an assistant chirurgeon by this time; a young lady who mundanely was training as an EMT. It was while ministering to the fighter with the bloody nose that Isolde found out that her assistant grew faint at the sight of blood!
The cuts and bruises continued all afternoon long. Sir John the Mad Celt suffered an armor bite which bled rather profusely. Sir John had worn that scale mail for years but it chose that particular Gatalop to turn on him.
At last, the fighting was over and Isolde could relax, or so we thought. During the feast, a messenger came looking for the chirurgeon. Isolde went with the messenger and found the fighter who had been injured in the tunnel fight holding his face.
The fighter explained that he had just taken a spoonful of hot soup when he suffered a pain between his eyes so intense it brought tears. Isolde diagnosed an impacted sinus and called for the second evacuation from site for the day. Meanwhile, her own soup grew cold.
After a day like that, even Isolde's legendary love of dancing flagged and we retired early from the revel. In the middle of the night, we were awakened by a persistent knocking at the door. It was William the Finn, (no relation), looking for Isolde.
It seems that a young man had ingested an illicit substance and was roaming the site, reliving real wars he could not possibly have fought in. Isolde explained that there was nothing she could do because no one knew what the young man had ingested and chirurgeons can not prescribe medications. The only thing Isolde could suggest was that they put the young man to bed.
We had just about gotten back to sleep when William came knocking again. I was inclined to teach William the meaning of that fine old Viking word, "berserker", but fortunately Isolde got to the door first. William explained that the young man was up and wandering around again. Isolde's recommendation was, "Well, have Francois sit on him."
Sir Francois is a true and chivalrous knight and will always oblige a ladies' wish. He stayed with the young man until the drug wore off and we were disturbed no more that night.
Sunday morning, we were packing for the return to Seleone when a young man came up to us looking for the chirurgeon. It seems that the night before he and several friends were playing ninja raid against the fort when the police came by on their regular patrol. The ninja wanna-bes dove for the shadows and the young man landed in a patch of prickly pear cactus. Facing the prospect of a five hour trip home, he was looking for a pair of tweezers to remove cactus spines from his backside.
Isolde had given the chirurgeon kit back to the autocrat so she directed the young man there. After the erstwhile ninja had departed, Isolde turned to me and in a desperate whisper said, "Lets get out of here before anyone else comes looking for me." Hastily, we finished packing and fled what had to be the most injury plagued event we had ever attended.