The SCA, armour, and overall contemplation of the future
I have been thinking recently. And that is ALWAYS a dangerous prospect since when I think, I tend to come to conclusions and make decisions based on said conclusions. Every now and again, those decisions cost me money.
Specifically, I have been thinking a lot about my current involvement in the SCA. My lovely wife had recently told me that she would like to begin playing more again, and I found that I felt the same way. I think my recent lack of motivation to play was due, in part, to the fact that I knew Jean wasn’t too keen on playing. Now that stumbling block is no longer an issue, I seem to have found a minor bit of motivation again and am working on improving my kit, both on and off the field.
To this point, I am working on obtaining this new helm to allow me to portray a border reiver persona both on the rapier field AND the heavy weapons filed, so I will no longer have conflicting fighting personas.
I will most likely end up modifying this hat also to get a nice heat-blued finish, since I have fallen in love with that look and just can’t stand to see an “unfinished” steel helm. I will also be modifying it to make it rapier legal, since as it is currently constructed, that is not the case. Luckily it should only be a few very simple additions of perforated metal to the buff (the face shield as shown mounted to the helm in the pic above).
To help finance this shift in kit, I will most likely be selling my current heavies and rapier helms (yes, the one I heat blued only last week) along with my custom made Maciejowski styled helm which never fit quite right. Selling the latter hurts the most since it was a helm I commissioned from Carlo Carignan of Truehearth Armouries. In fact my helm is even highlighted on his site as one of his custom pieces: http://www.truehearth.com/cwork02.html
But, I do have to suck it up and admit that this helm would never work for me on the heavies field due to the fact that I could not pad it properly and still have it fit. So I will most likely sell it off since I am also no longer working on a crusader kit and it is just gathering dust in my garage.
I may also need to adjust my leg armour, though I have most all the pieces I would need to do that. As the border reivers didn’t really wear any hard metal armour past their thighs (and even then it was rare for a reiver to wear a full peascod with tassets), I will need to hide my leg armour under my boots and pair of slops (puffy pants) which means adjusting everything so it will fit a bit tighter. It should all be easy enough to do, though I will also need to make a new pair of slops so my nice pair won’t get trashed on the heavies field.
That’s the fun thing about the SCA, there is always a project to do. ALWAYS.
Speaking of which, and ultimately more importantly, I have been thinking about the level of play I am looking to do in the group. I am again coming around to realizing that I may want a more formally defined education within the society. For those of you who play, you already know what I am thinking about; for those that don’t, I am contemplating the possibility of playing at a level once again that would afford me the luxury of entering a formal relationship with someone whom has already earned the accolade of knighthood, otherwise known as squiring.
Yes, I know… pick yourselves up off the floor. I didn’t say I have decided, I said I am contemplating it. Particularly, I was reading through a thread on the ArmourArchive.org site regarding squiring (http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=21607) and realized that there is much more to learn in that role than I had once thought. If you have the time and inclination, I urge you to check out that thread. It is fairly lengthy, but contains some gems of advice from knights, squires, and the common fighters as well. Well worth the read in my opinion.
From my reading, I found myself wondering what it would be like to have that kind of relationship with others in the game we play. Which, of course, got me to wondering if squiring is in direct conflict with my persona (my instinct says it is, but I’d have to do more research to determine if the RELATIONSHIP is in conflict or just the concept of squiring to a knight). It is possible that a Liege/Vassal relationship is quite appropriate and would work within my chosen persona.
While I detest the idea of shining armour for anyone (including myself, which is why I tend to buy stainless, or end up heat bluing pieces) I do understand that there is a great deal to learn through humble service to others. Not exactly a method of lesson learning I would prefer, but one that I could benefit greatly from.
Of course this is all a moot point if I decide that the path of a squire is once again not for me (much like I did 4 years ago when I burnt out just after my stand as part of the Queen’s Guard) or if I have changed substantially enough in the past 4 years to the point where no knight would wish to take me on as a squire. Beyond that, however, is still the point of finding the right person with whom to begin such a relationship. I would need a knight who I respect, admire, and who understands the game in much the same ways as I do. After all, it IS all about the funny. Honestly, at this point, I can think of no knight in the kingdom that currently fits the bill; which is probably a good thing, as I don’t wish to fast-track myself into any decision. Entering into such a relationship is nothing to take lightly and would involve not only myself and the chosen knight, but our spouses and households as well (which is easy for me since I have only a spouse and no household, but could be a deal breaker on the other end of things).
At the least, I think I am in a place now that allows me to be much more open to accepting the burden of humility which comes with the squire’s belt than I was a few years back. I much more confident in myself and the game I wish to play, which would help me to find the proper path much more readily.
Or perhaps I can do what started the thread on the ArmourArchive.org forum in the first place and choose to walk the path without any formally defined relationship to either help or hinder me. The learning process may be longer, but it may prove more beneficial too. Who is to say.
All I know is that I want to play at a different and more focused level than I have been, but not burn myself out in the process either.