"When I was growing up, my dad wasn't around at all," one fighter tells me. "It wasn't until I came to the SCA that I met father figures. They really taught me how to be a man."

"I think it's about the camaraderie, the brotherhood," another said. "It's not just a bunch of people running around in the woods; it's about honor."

"When you come here, there's honor and courtesy," another told me. "You don't get that kind of respect in the real world. If someone insults a woman in the real world, what's her recourse? What's she going to do? Out here, we play by the rule of chivalry. If a lady is insulted, she'll go find a champion, and he'll throw down the gauntlet."

The author: Medieval badass extraordinaire.
Kyle Swenson
The author: Medieval badass extraordinaire.
Kurn and Eridani, the king and queen of Trimaris.
Kyle Swenson
Kurn and Eridani, the king and queen of Trimaris.

Basically, if you want to fight, if you're going to play the game, you've got to stick to the honor system.

"You might be a frustrated teacher and you want to bash Johnny in the head, but you can't because you need a job to pay for your home and your wife and your kids, so you go out and hit your friends. There's no better relief," Kurn tells me. "But I think it does more than just a sport. It teaches you about what to consider virtuous and moral. In life, we don't get a lot of opportunities to be chivalrous and make the right decisions."

Or, as Gavin put it: "Basically, the first rule of SCA is: Don't be a dick."

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If you think it's impressive in Trimaris, you should see the UK branches. We all use 4-H grounds and sometimes freed-up pastures. They get to rent castle grounds...


Sounds ike some crazy smack to me dude. Wow.


smdrpepper topcommenter

I had no clue that the SCA was here in Florida.  Used to hang out with a group in St Louis and ended up learning how to make chain mail.