A Mile in a Another Man’s Helm

11 Jun 2015 by gebhard, No Comments »

buckethelm1There is an old adage that says: “You do not know a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”  But, do you any more about a person after walking a mile in his helm?

I’m sure those in Cleftlands would disagree, but those of us here in Middle Marches have always considered Sir Nikolai to be a Tirnewydd Knight.

When Sir Nikolai moved away, he left behind a green bucket helm. It was added to our loaner gear and nearly every new fighter we’ve had since is part of an Order: the Order of the Green Bucket Helm.

Made deep within the mines of the Hocking Hill in a time long past the knowledge of mortal men (1989) Baron Larmorak of Dunsinane forged helms within the bowels of great iron keeps of old, and one of these legendary helm was forged for Sir Nikolai. 

When it passed to me for a time, I found that it had a small eye slot that never lined up with my eyes, so I couldn’t see very well, and especially not up. Whenever I was legged, as if that wasn’t bad enough, I couldn’t see the blows coming in from above me. Then, there weren’t enough air holes, and I often would feel faint from sucking all the available oxygen away.

I think one day I may have complained about the Green Bucket Helm and someone told me that it belong to Sir Nikolai, a knight who had moved to a far away land. He had fought in Crown in that helm, and has been fighting in Crowns ever since. He cared so much about his home group, he left this helm behind, so that young fighters could follow in footsteps.

“Wow…….” I realized I’d been thinking about this all wrong.  Since then, I authorized in that helm, attended most events my first year in the SCA in that helm, and I think I even met my wife wearing that helm (link).

As covered in this article…. I sucked when I started fighting. I spent a lot of time getting knocked out in the first round of a tournament, or in the initial charge of a melee. I had time to think, and I would imagine amazing tales of this fabled knight and the adventures he must have had in this helm.

buckethelm2I would, on occasion, ask about Sir Nikolai and people in my group who knew him would tell me tales, not just of him but of also his lovely and intelligent lady who created a legendary pentathlon entry. She had raised silkworms to make silk, to spin and to create a article of clothing for display.

I started to write these tales down.  Over my first year in the SCA, I created a number of short stories based on the works of Sir Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, about the legends Sir Nikolai left behind as he traveled in his helmet.

The project, code named “The Chronicles of Nick the Green Bucket Helm” was started in the Spring of 2006, with tales slowly being added over time, and last updated in March of 2014.

Due to this odd small bit of history we’ve shared, I’ve always admired Sir Nikolai, and I’ve been cheering for him to win Crown since I learned what Crown was and that it was his helm on my head.

What did I learn from a year in his helm?

That it’s a sad pair of feet that lets an ass take a kickin’.
I learned to always pick myself up and get back into the fight.
That Endurance and Perseverance are Princely Values.

That no fighter is in the list alone, when they have a great inspiration in their corner.

That all dreams are achievable no matter the odds.

Top Pic: Gebhard and Sargent Cellach at the OSU RenFaire Demo – 2006
Bottom Pic: Gebhard, Lady Katayoun, Sir Ullr, and Sir Diglach at Push for Pennsic – 2006


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