By Jaye Sudar and Dan Harper
HUERFANO– It was hot, dusty and the wind was dry. The Crusaders traveling to the holy lands to battle the Saracens, baked in their armor. The knights landing at Outremer found the Saracens waiting on the docks to attack. The battle was fierce. Soon, the fighting moved on to battle at Constantinople where the two armies attacked with vigor and many a brave knight gave their all in battle.
No, this isn′t ancient history, but rather a glimpse into the world of the Society for Creative Anachronism. (SCA) Up on the Stroh Ranch, a time warped encampment appeared for six days of sword play, tournaments, melee battles, medieval period arts and crafts as well as good food, socializing and the chance to enjoy life in Medieval times. The kingdoms of Northshield, Atenveldt, Artemisia, Calontir, Ansteorra joined the kingdom of the Outlands at this new event which hosted almost 1,500 people. The individuals in charge of this event this year were the Autocrats Duchess Cainnleach, and Count Giovanni.
Battlemoor, the Mountain Crusades reenacted The Battle of Montgisard, Siege of Jerusalem 1098, Battle of Ascalon, Horns of Hattin, the Siege of Jerusalem: 1187, Sack of Constantinople and Battle of Beziers which were actual battles in period. There were rapier battles, heavy weapons melees and tournaments. On Saturday was the Sword and Shield Tournament, which was one on one combat between knights of six kingdoms. His Grace, Hrothgar Monomakh, of Al Barran won the tournament.
Royal courts were held in the evenings to honor victors, new knights, dancing, and to celebrate a number of events.
However, the SCA isn′t just about knights and fighting. It encompasses all of the arts, sciences and crafts that supported daily life in medieval times. Walking around Battlemoor, one could watch the blacksmith twist iron into forks or handles. Artisans were working with man powered lathes to carve out bowls or other tools from wood. Fiber arts were represented as well with spinning, knitting, weaving and naalbinding. Oh, and one must not forget the brewers and cooks of Battlemoor. Without them, there would be no feasting or drinking. There were classes on belly dancing, various fiber arts and swordsmanship. All aspects of life are to be enjoyed at events like this.
For more information on the SCA, visit http://www.sca.org/. The kingdom of the Outlands can be found at http://www.outlands.org/. If you would be interested in finding out more information on local participation in the SCA, local members have mentioned holding meetings later on this year.