Long time ago (I believe it was at Double wars 2004) I decided I must go to Rent-a-Don. Unfortunately it has never been possible, until now. I live in England what could possibly stop me from going to an event here.
So last week I resolutely packed my bags and picked up my tickets (Sponsored by my friends Andreas and Mackan) I had a bit of run in with the british anti terrorism force that stopped me and searched my bags at Victoria rail station.
– What is in the bag sir?
– Swords ….
Arriving on site and quickly settling into a room my excitement starts to build. Renowned fencers from near and far starts arriving to the site and the ever present oohing and aaawing over new swords and armour begin.
After this we had to pick our style, I went for Fabris, which I thoroughly enjoyed (even if my legs hated me for the choice) The Fabris class with Master Logos was fantastic and I enjoyed it immensely. Master Logos was a fantastic teacher and the style fit my way of thinking even though it hurt my body to find the proper stances (I still have pain in my back leg five days later).
Very tired I stepped off the field and started to prepare to faint towards bed. But only after receiving a neck massage to salvage what was left of my neck and arms.
The next day of course I was supposed to teach a three hour class on Fiore and my plan was to not only do the Longsword but to show of the Fiore system as a complete martial art with grappling and dagger to. The workshop went really well ad I think I might even have taught my very best Fiore seminar ever. Much owed to the enthusiastic audience but also due to the fact that it has been my dream these last few years to bring Fiore and the Longsword into the SCA. With the new Experimental Cut n Thrust Longsword rules, this has become a possibility.
We whizzed through the Fiore system, and the three hours passed like it was mere minutes and I hope a good time was had by all. I enjoyed myself thoroughly at the very least.
The classes where then concluded to prepare for court and feast. For me this would be the first time in the SCA that I would be called up in court (the only other time was when I was picked as the crown princess guard by Honour at double wars 2004).
This time I was not called in front once but twice, both as a teacher at Rent-a-Don but also to be awarded the rank of Provost in the Drachenwald Academy of Defence. I was awarded a beautiful braid made by Baroness Kambreda the Quiet. Although it was hard to let go of my Free Scholar braid lovingly made by Gytha North of Brighthelm, I am now proud to bear this new braid.
After court followed a fantastic feast with plenty food and good company. As the shadows grew longer we assembled a makeshift stand and had the opportunity to do some cutting with a sharp sword. For me it was actually the first time I got to try and for a brief period of time I actually felt no pain as my body was saturated with endorphins and general happiness (Like a child on Christmas eve/morning).
There were many spectators wishing that they had abstained from alcohol that evening as they longingly watched the few of us that did cut our way through an army of milk and water bottles.
It is amazing how easily a proper cut just glides through an object with little or no resistance, a bit like cutting through air.
As excited and exhausted as I was I could not possibly just totter of to sleep but got caught up in a late night story telling session that ended well into the small hours of the morning and limping back to my bunk I realised there were precious few hours until breakfast.
Monday morning started with slow breakfast packing and the joyous news that I have finally transcended my eternal MIT status and had now been made a Period Fencing Marshall and on top of that authorised as a Cut n Thrust Marshall to enable me to follow my dream of integrating my Love of the Longsword with my commitment to the SCA.
All in all it was a fantastic time and I hope to be able to come back to Rent-a-Don soon and maybe even return for a visit to Raglan (I hear it is a fantastic event and possibly the best sword fighting event in the known world).