By Colyne Stewart, Nov 2002
I think like many others my allure to fighting began as a child. My brothers and I had always been infatuated with tales and movies of knights and dragons and we had many costumes and homemade swords. It was only natural to hit each other with them. In fact, with some friends of ours we even began our own live-action role-playing game when I was fourteen. Of course, wearing nothing but a life jacket as armour, and getting hit with swords made of broom handles hurt like hell. That didn’t last long.
Eventually, and I don’t know why it took so long, we made some boffers and we actually began to do some ‘real’ combat. I had heard of the SCA a few years before (early to mid 90s) and perhaps this new boffering pushed me hard enough to look it up. I knew I wanted to try SCA armoured combat and immediately fell to it, getting taught how to make armour and being taught to fight by anyone who would give me the opportunity to pester them.
After I began fighting I realized something. It was more than just fun. There were many more aspects to fighting as well. Firstly, I noticed the camaraderie that the fighters shared, which in many ways was more honest that what I sometimes see in those who only watch. It is said that the only real love is between soldiers and being shoulder to shoulder with someone as many more someones try to take you out does build a bond. This sense of community and belonging is one of the reasons I still fight.
The other is honour and duty. Yes, yes. I know the SCA is only a game, but I place a lot of emphasis on honour and duty. My word is my bond. So I don’t fight for myself, I fight for Septentria. I consider it my duty as a fighter who resides within her borders who has no other military duties. Perhaps some day I may fight directly for the Kingdom, or another barony, or even a household or citie guard. Who can say. If that should happen I would place as much emphasis on my duties then, to that entity, as I do now. I fight because I love my homeland, because I love my country folk. I want to do the Bear proud, protect her, bring her glory. That is why I fight.
Permission is given to print this article in any SCA publication as long as the author is contacted by email in advance, proper credit is given and the author receives a copy of the newsletter. Please credit the author as Colyne Stewart (mka Todd Fischer), who can be reached at email@example.com