Getting there was a complete nightmare, but why start with a negative? The actual event was fantastic; we were with a few friends, John, Nana, Pud, Oz, Mark, Kit, to name just a few, and there were some true highlights to the weekend. I play a healer, and the big battle on the Saturday morning was pure adrenaline-fueled chaos. People shouting for healers on every side, the complete lack of the herb that I needed to fix limbs that had been rendered useless, and a situation where I was literally pressed between two fighting lines. One to my left, one to my right, use sandwiched between them. It was crazy, but kind of crazy fun.
More highlights! We ended up eating quite well, which is great! And I bought two things: A large woollen cloak that was reduced because of a little bit of damage, and a pair of bracers. Sitting outside our in-character tent on the Saturday night was good, in the end, as people came to visit us and we chewed the fat both in- and out-of-character. When I arrived at the camp Sunday morning I was the first there, and it was so quiet on site; looking around, with the first spots of rain starting to come down, it did genuinely feel like I'd been misplaced in time.
Probably the biggest highlight was during the monstering session on the Sunday. Because of the way the event is structured, half the attendees get to fight in-character at any one time, with the other half expected to dress up as orcs and be the monsters for the fight. This way, everyone gets a good experience out of it in character. The fight wasn't going well for us (as it shouldn't! We want the players to win!) and the front line of fighting was moving very very quickly. So, when I saw a young lady in blueish armour go down on one knee (injured or dead in character), I did what I thought was right and took her prisoner. I grabbed the back of her armour and, in my best orcish voice, said 'You're comin' with me,' and marched her away from the battle. Once we were clear, we had a conversation that drifted in and out of character as I had to make sure she was having fun and ok with it all. Unfortunately, when we got to the Orc lines I handed her over to a Ref and he sent her back to her forces injured. No idea why; I guess that's something to ask about next time.
I mentioned that once we were there, things were fine. Our journey there was nightmarish, beyond anything I'd have guessed. A three hour journey that took fourteen hours, as Nina (our VW campervan) broke down in what is possibly quite a fatal way for the engine. Three tow trucks, a really surly AA operative, hotels booked at last minute (thanks Nana!) and a rental car to get us back. It's unfortunate; when you own a classic vehicle, you expect a certain amount of trouble, but for any car to suffer that level of problem is just dire luck.
In the end, we had to leave her in the hands of a mechanic in Studley; hopefully she'll be fine!