It was about 5 a.m. that Sunday when Brennan shook me out of a sound sleep. About an hour later, after much fumbling, many muttered curses, and a can of Coca-Cola, we were on I-55, heading to St. Louis.
It was February 13, 2000. The Duchy of Rising Winds was set to raid the Barony of Western Gate, and naturally our barony, Far Woods (Memphis, TN), was more than willing to help Western Gate defend its territory.
I had been out to a couple of fighter practices, but shyness had kept me off the field. Also, I had never been one for physical stuff, being more the bookworm type. But Brennan was remarkably patient with me. He was a sixth level healer, and partly because of that - and also because I felt more in tune with a less aggressive persona - I chose to play healer.
All the way to St. Louis, he drilled me in the healer spells, especially the healing spell. Following much tongue twisting and amused looks from Brennan, I finally learned the spells by heart. Good thing, too. At about 11:30 we arrived in St. Louis.
After eating a frugal lunch and changing into garb (I'll never forget walking out of the restroom at Mickey D's holding a ring belt with one finger, a piteous look on my face, saying, "Please, tie this on for me!") we proceeded to the park. We signed in, and with much nervousness, I headed onto the field.
"What do I do now?" I asked.
Well, for the most part I did what he said, managing to pull off a heal here and a mend there. It was a rout - Rising Winds was sorely beaten - and at the end of the battlegame I proudly accepted a belt favor from Lorax, the Baron of Western Gate.
Unfortunately, both the belt favor and Brennan are history, as he threw it out in the aftermath of a turbulent breakup. (Never leave your garb with your significant other, lest you break up and lose it along with said significant other.) The persona name has changed, and I am much more into actual combat now, ditching and sparring with the big guys. I still play healer, though, and I look back on my first battlegame with a smile. It's been nine and a half months since that trip to St. Louis, and since then, nothing has been the same.
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