16 Aug

Nothing is so simple…

Recently social media sites have been filling up with memes, rumors, outrage and popcorn worthy levels of about some King doing this or that, what Peer said a thing they shouldn’t (or should have), and who is outraged by it all.

Each time something like this happens, many people claim it is the end of the SCA as we know it. I, for one, would like to take a step back.  For a group that studies history, we sometimes don’t allow it to give us the perspective that maybe it should.

When you take the long view on history, the black/white dogma of the day fades away, and what is left is sometimes vastly more complex, and yet more simple. When you get right down to it, very few people in our society do a thing out of malice.  Most are just people trying to get by any way they can, figuring things out with the cards as best as they are able.

To give an example of this, I would like to tell you a tale of SCA history long past, far before my time in the Society. It’s a tale some have heard around the campfire, although it might sound just a like a meme for some post you saw today. Read More »

12 Jun

Paying the Prize

At a North Oaken War maneuvers very early early in my SCA career, my third event, there was a torch light tournament.

As the name describes it was a tournament to be held in the dark, with only a hint of flickering light from which to determine if that thing coming at your head was a sword or paranoia.

This praticular NOWM was also a wedding celebration complete with a tournament.

Prizes were awarded by the newlyweds, but they took recommendations from those participating.

I remember a lot of flailing around in the dark, I can’t recall if I even won a single fight.

All the same, King Felix recommended me for The Mark of Courage for just jumping in to get him.  Read More »

5 Jun


At a recent fight practice, I asked a local unbelt for a few passes. He responded with something to the effect of, “Okay, but are you just going to hit me a lot to teach me a lesson?”

“Certainly not”, I responded. “I don’t fight to, ‘teach anyone a lesson’, I make an opportunity to learn, for myself as well as my opponents.”

Read More »

30 May

A piece of the dream

I love tournaments, meeting your opponent face to face, and taking part in a mutual kinship of competition. This is one of the few venues in life when both parties can walk away improved. As such I have always loved Crown, it is all of that and a lot more.

We put on our fanciest garb, we hang banners, and get bards to boast funny and over exaggerated things. On the side of list is the biggest inspiration of your life, encouraging and watching the entire enterprise. It is a grand thing in deed.

However,  I’m saddened so few competitors entered the list with a smile, while at Crown. Read More »

8 Jun

Bad Vigil Advice

A vigil is an important part of the elevation process, and it has many customs and traditions of its own, one of which is the vigil book Read More »

3 May

Be it known to all

Over the years, the number of people competing in Crown Tournament has gotten a lot smaller compared to days of yore. There could be a number of explanations for this: the disappearance of an Invitational Crown list, the start of the Tournament of Chivalry, and the general addition of a number of other ways an Unbelt can gain word fame without fighting in Crown.

These explanations are not necessarily the causes of a decline in participation, but instead may stem from one common branch. Read More »

27 Apr

Learning to Let Go

When I was Kingdom Youth Officer, I once taught a class on new ways to make Youth Point fun and exciting to all SCA members, not just children. After the class, a fellow caught me leaving the room and wanted to ask a few questions.  He said he was part of some other historic reenactment groups, and nearly every member had a long gray beard.  They just couldn’t get new members to stay.

He wanted to know if I was I seeing this trend in the SCA? What did I think we could do to increase longevity?

Read More »

28 Mar

The Dragon and the Unicorn

On the road down to Gulf Wars, we discovered just how much Knights and Masters of Defense have in common, at least in theory. We all know that what works in theory doesn’t always work in application.

To begin, Azriel had just authorized in armored combat a week before Gulf Wars.  This would be her first armored melee event. I’ve only fought in a handful of rapier melees over the last few years, with most being a negative experience. I was worried that Azriel would end up with a similar experience in armor. I thought we would have fun, but I have thousands of ideas.  Only one or two are any good. Maybe this was bad one? This could all end in disaster.
Read More »

24 Mar

Nightmare on 14th Street

The last picture of hero’s before they head off into the unknown, completely unaware of the danger that awaits.

Our adventures began before getting to site.  As we neared the end of our long drive, we had decided to stop for the night about an hour from site. Azriel brought up the directions to a “hotel near us” on google maps, and it was just a short distance off the freeway. We got off on a standard two lane country road. Read More »

23 Mar

The Country Knight and the City Master of Defense

What happens when a recently made Knight and Master Of Defense load up and drive for 17 hours to an event? You would think not a lot. We couldn’t have much in common or we wouldn’t be in completely different orders?

Our weapons aren’t the same. The armor is completely different. The sides are different culturally. Worse, there is often a negative viewpoint each side views the other through “How good can they be they don’t: “fight with real swords” / “take a real hit”.” Read More »

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