ESTRELLA WAR!

I am sooooo excited to head out to Estrella War tomorrow! I have ants in my pants… It’s been waaaay too long since I’ve relaxed with my Twin Moons and other Atenveldt peeps.

Come see me at war! If you’re reading this blog, I would love to meet you. I’ll be waterbearing on the battlefield, then helping Annwyn out with henna on merchant’s row.

Can’t wait to tell you all about my adventures!

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A Tale of Entertainment and Danger- My First Adventure with the Barony of Atenveldt

So last night was an adventure.

After a grueling day (which consisted of lectures, shooting video, and jump-starting a friend’s car) I headed over to the Barony of Atenveldt fighter practice in central Phoenix.

(Note about the map- you’re gonna have to zoom out to see all three practices. I’m still working out the bugs! Twin Moons is at Gene Autry Park, Sun Dragon is right next to Cheyenne Elementary School, and Atenveldt is at Encanto Park.)

Despite the car issues, I managed to arrive promptly at 7 p.m. The usual, easily-identified SCA crowd was nowhere to be seen.

Note to self: PRACTICE DOESN’T START UNTIL 8. Oopsie.

At least I have some friends that are as clueless as I am. So I had some bonding time with Sir Christopher and Lord Jakob before the crowds started to gather.

This group is so hospitable! The night was chilly, and they provided Dunkin Donuts coffee! What. Even. How nice!

NOW TO THE GOOD PART.

Last night was a melee practice. So that means lots of wipe-outs, loud noises and general chaos. It’s a great time.

However, as crazy as it gets, it is imperative that you fight safely. If you managed to get authorized for hardsuit fighting, you should know the SCA Marshal’s Handbook. If you’re unsure of something, please ask the marshal or a seasoned fighter!

You know what’s not kosher? Flailing around with a GIANT HAMMER and shoving it into people WITHOUT A THRUSTING TIP. (I realize that sounds dirty… but this is serious business.)

It’s not like the movies- you don’t have any dues to pay. You don’t have to impress everyone with your swag. Listen to others and take advice. Your safety is at risk.

Know your armor. Know the rules.

That being said, I had a great time watching the fighting and visiting with my friends.

Life is good in the Barony of Atenveldt.

Battle of the Nations- GO TEAM USA!

Okay, so technically these guys are not a form of the SCA. However, to my knowledge, most of them do cross over into the society, or at least got a start with us.

These gentlemen are a part of Team USA for the Battle of the Nations (BotN), although I know two of them – Simon Rohrich and Bamm Bamm (William) Woodbury –  through waterbearing at several wars here in Atenveldt. They’re both rather charming!

Check out their official website for more personal information on the duo, who visited Poland this past spring to compete in the international BotN tournament with the rest of Team USA. While you’re at it,  watch a video about the team and view the 2013 lineup.

What makes the Battle of the Nations different from the SCA? To put it simply, they fight in full armor with live steel, and they follow different fighting rules than those applied by our anachronistic individuals.

It’s brutal.

Curious? Rohrich and Woodbury told me that people often have a hard time differentiating between the rattan fighting of the SCA and the live steel fighting of the BotN, so you should do your research! Visit their official blog and FAQ list.

That being said, these fellas are hardcore.

Check them out at the Arizona State Fair, and below at the Southern Crusade demo this last week.

Phoenix Magazine ran a story about our local steel heroes this month, although from a different angle. Earlier in the year, The East Valley Tribune featured them as well. However, it seems as though the Phoenix New Times got to them first, albeit before BotN, in 2009. (Well played, New Times.)

So, who provided Team USA with their armor? AESIR Metalwyrks, the brainchild of Dave Demers.

Otherwise known as HE Master Sir Donngal de Buchanan in the SCA, Dave is a genuinely nice guy from the Barony of Twin Moons. I visited his shop last year when I was trying to put my hardsuit kit together, and he was extremely hospitable and encouraging.

There’s my two cents.

Hungry for more? Here are some additional links to various websites that might be helpful. (Check out the SCAtoday, a post explaining about re-creational combat in its many forms, the BotN Wikipedia page, or cut to the chase and contact them directly via their Facebook page.)

OH MY GOD GUYS, FANGIRLING HERE

Okay, so two really great things happened yesterday.

1. I MET PRINCESS MARI OF CYNAGUA! I AM STILL FANGIRLING.

I was at fighter practice last night, and from afar I spot a woman warrior who looks very familiar. I started to fangirl. Too shy, I watched her fighting, until our darling Duke Arthur introduced us. But why am I so excited?

PRINCESS MARI WAS THE PICTURE EXAMPLE IN THE ARMORED ROSE!

Totally fangirling here. The effects haven’t worn off. She is so nice and genuine. I hope I get to see her again soon.

2. I finally finished my video with Baron Bran of Twin Moons!

After several technical difficulties, the final product is up and running. (Note: As creepy as it sounds, watch it in the dark. I filmed at night, so most of the footage is dark.) I hope you like it and leave a comment. :)

Become a Knight in the SCA- The Four P’s

As a newcomer to the SCA, you might be wondering how to succeed in your new community of friends. The secret is easier than you’d think!

According to Sir Giles, the key to reaching knighthood (and indeed to flourishing in the SCA) is to follow the Four P’s- patriotism, participation, prowess and perception. The Twin Moons knight learned the Four P’s from Sir Andrew Ward, then passed this on to the SCAeveryday throughout hardsuit combat training.

Earl Giles, Knight of the SCA, in his late-period kit. Photo provided courtesy of subject. 

Patriotism– Are you supportive of your kingdom? Do you believe in the dream of the SCA, and are you doing all you can to support it? Be a royalist and support the Crown! Trash talking won’t get you anywhere. Sure, there will be people that irk you, but insulting them behind their backs will not help in at all. Staying out of politics and being positive will get you far.

Participation– How often do you attend events? Do you travel outside of your local group and make an effort to meet people from other shires, baronies or kingdoms? When the Crown and the knights of your kingdom are looking for future candidates of knighthood, they discuss your activity within the kingdom. Do you make an effort to get to know other people and visit their lands?

Prowess– How good are you at what you do? According to Sir Giles, “Prowess, for knighthood, is being a fantastic fighter.”Are you one of the best warriors on the field? Do people respect your skill and look forward to fighting you? Actively working to develop your technique will boost your prowess, and as a result, others’ respect for you.

Perception– When your name comes up in the conversation, what immediately comes to mind? While it could have been fun once upon a time, being known as “The Drunken Party Animal” could get little awkward, and it certainly won’t help your reputation in the long run. If your name comes up and people think, what a great warrior- he/she fights hard and always has a good attitude, that reflects well on both you and the community that nurtured your growth in the SCA.

“With these kept in mind, I know I’ll stay true and strong,” Rose Ella Duvanovicha doch’ Sychevna (Rose Halberg), a fighting student of Sir Giles, said to the SCAeveryday.

The Four P’s were created as a guide to knighthood, but don’t be afraid to apply them to your SCA experience as a whole. If you put them to practice, you’ll be sure to win the respect of your friends and your kingdom.

To Make a Favor: Love, Honor and Creativity in the SCA

The SCA world revolves around hardsuit fighting, and not many would disagree. For newcomers, images of daring knights, beautiful ladies and duels to the death come to mind.

Does this fairy tale adventure translate into the SCA? What does it mean to fight for someone’s honor, and vice versa?

In the SCA, tournaments are held for all skill levels. The general idea is that the fighter (hardsuit or rapier) enters the competition, and lists the person who will be his or her consort for the tournament.

Fighters and their consorts approach Their Royal Majesties and prepare for battle at the 2012 Fall Crown Tournament. Photo courtesy of Mistress Magdalen Venturosa. (Monique Berry Lyon.)

But wait! What the heck is a consort?! That sounds frightening!

Your consort is the person for whose honor you fight- this is most often a romantic relationship on and off the field, but it could simply be a friend or someone you asked right before the beginning of the tournament. Your consort should inspire you to fight to the best of your ability, and to always fight with honor.

For a comprehensive list of tournament and consort FAQs, click here.

As a consort, you give your fighter a favor to carry onto the battlefield. A favor can be anything that represents you- a ribbon, necklace, scarf, etc.- but they are most often constructed as belt favors. (Check out the belt favor tutorial here!)

Here are some pictures of the first belt favor created by the author of the SCAeveryday. (Note: the belt favor tutorial above was not used. Perhaps it would have looked better if it had been!)

A simple strip of linen was cut, and the author embroidered sunflowers (they aren’t exactly period, but they are her favorite) on the front. Lacking the best sewing skills, she avoided hemming the fabric- one side is the salvage and the other side was sealed with clear nail polish to prevent fraying. (It’s not exactly recommended, but it works when you’re in a hurry.) Lastly, she embroidered a decorative stitch on the front side to spruce it up a little bit.

Even if you aren’t planning on being a consort any time soon, making a favor is a fun way to get in touch with your artsy side and explore medieval romance.

Please leave a comment and tell the SCAeveryday all about your tournament, consort and favor experiences!