At this point of the narrative it is February A.S. XXVIII and Seleone is beginning to wonder when Axemoor is going to start gearing up for the War of the Pearls. We needn't have worried.
At the feast of Saint Bogdatious, Axemoor presented us with the "original" banner of Seleone which figured Bill the Cat instead of our golden sealion. They later published in the Bayou Tapestry an early proposed device for Seleone, supposedly submitted by Daphne of Colchester, which featured a Chihuahua holding a laurel wreath.
For a while it looked like Lord Wil Erinson might be throwing live weapons for Seleone during the war. Axemoor had failed to accede to Wil's request that the Baron officially state that the phrase, "Fire at will", be banned from use in Axemoor. The necessary condition was met in the April Bayou Tapestry, however.
Thorwald Ingme published an open letter in the Bayou Tapestry which referred to me as Isolde's chief sycophant and my wines as vinegar. In reply I threatened to cut off Axemoor's supply of Viking Vineyards wine, (vikings fight dirty) and challenged Thorwald to a duel, his long bow against my cross bow.
While Axemoor had caught up to us on shtick, they were still far behind in the number of fighters they had allied to their cause. The way that imbalance was righted was most curious.
On the weekend that we had set aside for The War of the Pearls there were two other events scheduled in the kingdom. Unfortunately, one of the groups hosting an event that weekend came under sanction and was therefore prevented from holding the event. That left only one other event in competition with The War of the Pearls.
About ten days before The War of the Pearls, Isolde received a phone call from the seneschal of the other group, informing her that they had had only seven pre-registrations for their event. This indicated that they would loose their shirts, so they were canceling the event. The War of the Pearls was now the only thing on the kingdom calendar that weekend!
Their Majesties Gareth and Juliana were already scheduled to attend the war, and royalty is always a big draw, so the war began to take on major proportions. Good gentles started pouring in Friday evening, and the final, official headcount was 296 on site!
Many of the fighters who showed up for the war were not pre-reserved since they had probably intended to go to one of the two other events that had been scheduled. Since they had not declared for either Seleone or Axemoor, they asked who needed fighters more. These fighters were directed to Axemoor, so when it came time for the battle the sides were of roughly equal size. This made the war more fun for everyone.
Of the war itself, I can tell you very little: you see, that week I had come down with a virus. I was bothered by body aches, a low fever, night sweats and I tired out quickly. I did shoot in the archery and throw in the live weapons, both very poorly. Thorwald and I never got to resolve my challenge. I probably should not have attended at all, and if it had been another group’s event I would not have. I am fond of saying that I did not attend the War of the Pearls, but I did send my body.
I am told that the melee field was quite a site that morning. It seems that they tried to take care of the fire ant mounds on the field by burning them out with kerosene. There were many jokes about the smell of napalm in the morning and a new definition for "fire" ants.
While the number of fighters were roughly equal, all but one of the archers had enlisted on the side of Axemoor. Because of this, the melees and battles began to resemble the battles of Crecy and Agincourt, with Seleone on the French side. By the time the day was over Axemoor had been awarded four of the five war points.
At court that evening the dispute between Axemoor and Seleone was settled by giving the lands between the Pearls to Count Francois Duvant. This conclusion had been agreed to beforehand, but there was one final twist. It seems that an un-named viking had suggested at a Seleone shire meeting that the lands be given to His Excellency to administer as a frog preserve.
In this way amenity between Seleone and Axemoor was restored, and may it ever be so.