It is a period of civil war, Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory…
Wait. That’s the wrong fandom. This is supposed to be about the SCA.
My first introduction to the Society for Creative Anachronism actually happened a few years before my first event. I was in Iraq in 2007 looking at swords on the computer and ran across a picture of a big group of people sword fighting in a field. I thought it was neat so I sent an email out to the Chatelain of the Barony of Stierbach. They were excited to hear from me but since I was deployed I’d need to wait until I got home. Naturally, being busy doing war stuff, I lost track of it and didn’t follow up.
Fast forward to 2010. By this time I was working as a Military Police Officer at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. That fateful afternoon I was assigned to Sector 3, which included the training area and the Hunt Lodge. As I was walking out of the police station, the patrol supervisor told me that “there were a bunch of weirdos out in the back 40 dressed up and running around with swords”. Naturally this had to be the first place I checked out.
As I pulled up in my patrol car I was amazed at what I saw. People fighting in armor, archers shooting at targets, lords and ladies wandering around bowing and curtseying to each other. I knew I needed to find out more.
Getting out of my car I looked around for whomever might be in charge so I could give them my official spiel and let them know I’d be the first on scene if something happened, etc. I spotted a woman walking by with a fancy looking crown on her head and I asked her, “Ma’am, are you in charge around here?” She sort of laughed at my question and replied, “Well yes, but not really. The person you want to talk to is that gentle coming up the hill”. I thanked her and she walked away chuckling a bit to herself. I later found out she was the Queen of Calontir.
Coming up the hill was a gentleman dressed like a medieval friar in a brown robe. His garb was excellent, from his accessories down to his shoes. He introduced himself as the Honorable Lord Francis and explained he was the seneschal of the local group, which meant he’d be my point of contact. After giving him my information and asking if he had any questions it seemed as though the conversation was at an end… until I asked “So what is all of this and how can I get involved?”
Lord Francis informed me that I was visiting the Shire of Dun Ard’s annual event Celidh and proceeded to give me a tour. During the tour he introduced me to several of the local group’s members and explained some SCA basics without leaving me completely overwhelmed with information. When we were done with the tour he invited me to the Shire’s next business meeting and gave me a leather belt pouch he had made. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to learn more.
Fast forward two years and I was knee deep into the SCA. At my first business meeting I was elected as Knight Marshal for our local group. Luckily I was able to authorize as a heavy fighter and marshal within a few months. I also met a local armorer in our Shire who had a lot of experience making 14th and 15th century armor. More than anything, the idea of making things out of metal brought me into the SCA and the fighting was an added bonus.
During my time in Calontir I was fortunate enough to go to the Lilies War twice, make several friends who I still talk to today, and establish a fairly good base upon which to start my SCA “career”. As luck would have it however, the US Army decided it was time for me to transfer to Fort Hood, Texas, in the Kingdom of Ansteorra. So, with a bit of a heavy heart, I left Calontir for Ansteorra, not knowing what my next group might be like…
While in the process of writing this post, I found out that the Shire of Dun Ard has gone defunct and been absorbed into the Barony of Forgotten Sea. The featured image is a map created by Hugo Van Harlo.