All the Cool Lords & Ladies are Doing It

Adelhayt Aevia

My First Event

A few years ago, I reconnected with an old friend.  As you do in those situations you talk about all the things you’ve done since you last saw each other.  The conversation invariably fell to the topic of hobbies.  I confessed that I didn’t have many due to the time constraints of my very first radio job, but that I would love to hear about hers so that I might live vicariously through someone else.

“I’m a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, it’s really cool.”  She exclaimed with the kind of exuberance I normally reserve for those times when someone tells me we’re having cake for dessert.  My friend explained to me the concept of the SCA is to recreate the culture before the 17th century, as accurately as possible.  To be honest, I thought they were all a pack of nerds and told her I was glad she was having fun.

A few years later we found ourselves living an hour apart instead of separated by provinces (or a Kingdom!) and I got roped into going to Summer Siege to see what an event was like.  I was kind of nervous, because what in the world do I know about the Middle Ages?  I got to dress up in garb and gave myself a persona (Adelhayt Von Richter) and had a great deal of fun that day.  The Baroness even came over and grilled me like it was the Spanish Inquisition (well, maybe not that bad) about what kind of time I was having.  I was pretty nervous, I mean what do you say to a Baroness?  Somehow, ‘Nice coronet’ didn’t seem appropriate.  Later, I got to try some archery, and to my great success I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else.

My friend, who’s SCA name is Lady Aevia, told me that if I liked it I should attend another event and then think about joining.  I felt sort of silly thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy myself because the SCA calls out to my inner nerd in a voice so loud I thought God was speaking to me (but no, it was just my brain being loud and obnoxious).

* * * * *

“November 7th is Feast of the Hare.  You’re coming with us.”

I’m so glad that my friends boss me around and tell me what to do.  If I had said ‘no’ (sometimes I manage to do that) I daresay I would have missed one of the most interesting things I have ever bore witness to.  The Baroness (who’s not actually as scary as I remembered) asked me if I would like to be a lady in waiting.  This way I would get to meet all kinds of people, ask questions and hey, hang out with royalty (imaginary or not, still pretty cool).  I even let Lady Aevia put me in a dress, I was that jubilant about attending.

I think Lady in Waiting isn’t the right term for that job.  Oh sure, it’s all glitz and glamor what with the red sash and making her Excellency look important.  That having been said, it’s more like being a human shadow.  A human shadow that can carry stuff (whether it be tokens, monies, or the toys of a child).  I learned a lot of things, like what all the different coronets signify (which, as a newbie can be a little confusing.  I recommending bow/curtsy to anyone you’re not sure about).

I saw the King and a Queen, I met a Princess (who will one day be Queen), I saw knights and fighters and fencers.  There were dancers and singers and a very silly jester.  I met cooks and servers (and was a server too), I met Ladies and Lords and a small army of children in garb.  People were making merry, making food, making garb and making friends.  The feast was fantastic, everyone did such a magnificent job preparing a period meal.  I think I had more fun serving it than I would have to simply sit and eat.

Then there was court.  I am in awe of all the wonderful things that people do in the SCA.  The Baron and Baroness received their new Coronets which were beautifully handcrafted by Ælfwyn.  Everyone paid their taxes, except the Caton of Harrowgate Heath, who’s taxes were mistakenly sent off to the Crusades.  Their payment until the taxes arrive back?  Two words:  Bunny Flail.  There were many accolades, hearty shouts of  ‘waes hael’, laughter and even some tears of joy.

It was a day I won’t ever forget.

Adelhayts Top 10 Reasons to Join the SCA:

10.  You get to wear garb and not feel silly because everyone else is wearing it too!

9.  If thou wishest, thou can speak forsoothly.

8.  You can learn to fight in armour, or fence, or become an archer!

7.  Maybe you’re not the aggressive type.  There’s singing, dancing, sewing, cooking, painting, illuminating, writing, researching, crafting and a whole list of things that don’t involve someone chasing you with a rattan sword.

6.  Site tokens.  Not every event has them, nor does every Kingdom/Barony/Canton do them.  They are really neat when they do.  A memento to take back with you into present day.

5.  One day you could be King or Queen!  You get to wear a crown (or coronet)!

4.  The SCA makes history come alive with each event you attend.  You always learn something.

3.  Say your parents were really cruel and gave you a name like “Pepsi Marijuana Smith” (she exists, not making that up) and you hate it.  Guess what?  You get to create a persona and pick your own period name.  Most of the time people will use it over your ‘mundane name’ even outside of events and out of garb!

2.  You make new friends and do something out of the ordinary that always feels extraordinary.

1.  Because all the cool Lords and Ladies are doing it.

Adelhayt

Adelyhayt Von Richter

Take a chance, do something different.  Learn something.  Feed your mind and meet like minded people.  I promise you, it will be an experience you won’t soon forget.

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