December 2005


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Freaking the Mundanes

Feeling the urge to scribble, but nothing recent worth scribbling about, so here’s this instead:

Many years ago, sometime around the time I was three and my brother was six and starting school, I proudly announced to Mom that my invisible friend and I were enrolling in Sword School. Mom, being the understanding soul she is, took it in stride. She was not surprised, however, when I later found and joined the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Lucky Dog Dave, a friend of mine in high school shared a French class with me. I had a knack for the language and Dave had a knack for hearing my nearly-inaudible whispered hints, so were fast friends. (He got the name from a dog food commercial he could immitate to hilarious extent.)

Anywho, a few weeks into the class he suggested I come down to the Rennaisance Faire that was to be held soon and check out the club he was in. He described it as “D&D-like” and thought I’d get a kick out of it. Sounded like fun to me, so I went.

My hometown of Grants Pass (knowne in the SCA as Myrtleholt) is a small shire, and there were only a dozen or so folks hanging around, but it was a good bit of fun. People walking around in funny clothes, speaking in funny accents, and actually putting on armor and beating on each other. I was wearing a loaner tunic and doing my best (horrible) King’s English accent in minutes.

Later, Dave and some others dragged me to the after-revel at the Seneschal’s house. (A Seneschal is a government official in the SCA.) Then they truly sunk the hook in my cheek: they had sexy bellydancers, and one of them was my age!

Within the next two years, …I became one of the core members of the local club, attending all the local events and hitching rides to any event I could during the summer. I quickly learned that the area marked as “Central Bardic Circle” on any given site map is going to be the best party, and would choose my campsite accordingly. This usually involved finding the Bardic, staggering a hundred feet or so, and dumping my gear on the ground.

This also usually put me smack in the middle of all the rest of the Myrtleholt crew. We were a fun-lovin’ bunch :)

After I officially turned 16, the boys urged me to try on some armor and take the field. Feeling up to the challenge, I rooted around and managed to come up with a suit of armor that (mostly) fit, and trotted into the eric (think boxing ring) with Heimdal Foe-Hammer, Lucky Dog’s dad.

Now, SCA combat is mostly judged by the participants as a game of honor: if someone hits you with what feels to be a clean blow of sufficient weight and force, you acknowledge their skill and say “Good!” while falling over. (At demonstration events like the Ren Faires, it is encouraged that you thrash around a bit as you fall.) Not being very familiar with this, I asked Heimdal to hit me a few times to get the feel of things. The shots to the leg and torso were pretty straightforward, and my armor did a good job of diffusing the force of the blow from “Ow! Sonnova bitch!” to “Hmm, that stung a little.” Feeling prepared, I told Hemi to smack me one upside the head. He shrugged and swung his mace.

Clang! And the world went dark.

I stood there for a moment replaying the last few seconds in my head to try and reason out what went wrong. I wasn’t hurt, but could not see. I was pretty sure my eyes were open, there was just no light hitting the nerves. Then I figured it out. (Dodge, spin, parry, thrust *smack* Got it.)

I really wish I could have seen the look on Hemi’s face as I reached back over my right shoulder, grabbed the facemask of my helm and spun it back around to the front where it was supposed to be. “This helm doesn’t fit so well. Lemme go get another!”

Over the years, there have been several attempts to get me into armor on a regular basis. Once, I had built probably 90% of a complete suit, only to get distracted by other stuff. It was just never meant to be. So, if you don’t fight in the SCA, what do you do?

Well, I ended up becoming a deputy marshal – something like a referee. This turned out to be a pretty good bet. I always had a great view of the fight, but didn’t have to put on 40 pounds of steel and padding in 90-degree heat. I also got to make a bit of a name for myself as a pitch-in guy, but it really wasn’t all that much work. (Status in the SCA is most easily earned by volounteering.)

It also got me invited to some really good parties. I remember one war I went to where they were allowing Light Fighters – these are guys who don’t wear full armor and use thrown weapons. They can kill Heavies, but the Heavies just have to close to hand-to-hand range and say “Light you’re dead.” A good idea for folks who don’t want to get smacked by a broadaxe. I happened to be assigned to weapon inspection that day, and lo, up walks this red-headed guy with about 40 javelins needing inspection. We yakked for the next 20 minutes or so while I went through his arsenal, and he told me to swing by his camp later that evening. That ended up being the best bash of the summer.

Coming from a small Shire where there are more roles to fill than bodies available, you end up odd-jobbing it, and I was no different. I was also our Deputy Constable, filled in for the Chatellaine every now and then, and was a damn good Gate Troll. This led me to develop my Official Persona:

Dalemar Alexand DeKoven Wolfe.

Dalemar comes from a poor family. His father is a wagoneer, and therefore not home much. Family duties kept him home longer than most boys his age, so when he finally convinced his parents to apprentice him out, it was almost too late. The only one willing to take him on was a travelling herbalist. Fighting was never really Dalemar’s main goal in life, so he figured the quiet life of an alchemist would certainly be better than joining the City Guard.

Unfortunately, that old herbalist died within the year, leaving Dalemar without any really marketable skills and too many summers under his belt to find another apprenticeship. He wandered the kingdom for several years, taking what jobs he could and living modestly. An unfortunate incident involving a Sherrif’s daughter left him with good reason to leave town, so he made friends with some Gypsies and left the kingdom for parts unkown.

For eight long years he wandered the deserts of Caid, and had many adventures. Wars in Estrella, rescuing trapped Frenchmen, and survivng sharing a den with the famed Kathlebeast are but a few. Unable to resisit the siren song of his homeland, he returned to his Kingdom of An Tir in AS XXXIV.

He can still be found in the company of Gypsies, namely the Fabritzios out of Three Mountains, where he shares tales of derring-do, a good camp stir-fry and keeps a weather-eye out for that Sherrif.

2 replies to “Freaking the Mundanes”

  1. BtNG (formerly BtFR) Says:


    You really WERE bored Friday, weren’t you? Next time call, we went out to see Narnia, you could have gone with us.

  2. Graumagus Says:

    Most of the SCA folk in my area are friggin’ idiots. Not ripping on the organization as a whole here, but in this locale?

    Serious twats.

    Don’t get me started on the Avalon numbskulls.