Sat Aug 20 – First, some background information for the non-SCA types who read along:

This middle ages re-enactment club that I participate in holds events that are modeled after the tournaments of the knights in history. Sometimes the event has a theme around our other marshal arts, not just the “knights in full armor.”

So today’s event was for the champions of our entire Kingdom (like holding a “Regionals” competition) for the whole year, in both Rapier (which is similar to fencing) and Archery. One of the advantages of Rapier is that they really are using metal swords, unlike the heavy armored combat which simulates heavy swords with solid rattan (a type of bamboo).

My fun 20-something new friends from the “Inn of the Crimson Spade” (a fictional back-story for why the three of them hang out together) invited me to spend the day with them. We got a slow start, loading trucks, buying ice, filling up with gas, but we got there just in time for one of the guys to sign up for the rapier competition (called “entering lists”) for the day.

It was actually kinda fun to be loosely associated with a real “household” for the day. It’s been years and years since I haven’t just traveled to events by myself, and it was a bit of déjà vu unpacking and setting up together. Diego and I got the pavilion staked and set up, and I found some decorative flags to tie to all the pavilion ropes. Seems they’ve borrowed this pavilion before and never tied all the cute red bits to the ropes before, but they loved the effect. They also have a really huge table in the household, to look like they really are an Inn with a table for guests to sit down and eat, drink, and play gambling and/or board games.

Once everything was set up, I took a number of photos from the “melee” combats—scenarios when all the fighters take the field at the same time and battle in teams against one another. The household called the “White Star” fought together, along with Raphael (my carpool buddy), and so I got some lovely photos of all my friends fighting together. I still need to send the photos off to my friends so they can put them up on their own household websites, but later when they are sent, you can see them at crimsonspade.com.

Afterwards I handed the camera off to Diego and later to Raphael since I was busy volunteering on the field and could no longer take pictures. I often work as a “Herald” at events—shouting announcements in a formalized sing-song way so that everyone knows who’s actually meeting in combat, who won, and what the announcements of the day are. On top of that, I’m getting certified as one of those people *on* the fighting field who help keep everyone safe, called a “Marshal.” Marshals are never “referees” in the classic, modern, American sports sense of the word, but help keep the fighters from tripping over the boundary ropes, keeping small children from ducking under the ropes and running out into danger, and watching that their armor or weapons do not fail. So I stood in the sun all day, being helpful. *grin* (And yes, I wore sunscreen. Yea me.)

The archery took longer than the rapier to complete, so we had nearly an hour to lounge around in the grass, in the shade, and with friends. Raphael and I got to play a game of backgammon over lunch (he kicked my butt), and then later I got to hang out with all of the White Star household. They’re a fun, affectionate, enjoyable household, and my roommate Melissa is also a part of this household. So these are the folks who came to our apartment-warming party. I’m really enjoying their company immensely, and had a *lovely* time at the event. (Even though it was extremely hot and muggy all day, blech.)

Afterwards over a dozen of us went to a lovely hawaiian-themed burger place and had a fantastic dinner together. Finally I hit the road to head home (exhausted and pleased with the day) to collapse in bed.

All in all, worth repeating!