Society for Creative Anachronism Recreates Middle Kingdom at Liberty School

 11/24/2014 - 20:33

The Queen and King hold court at the royal presence in the gym at Saline's Liberty School. A herald reads from the 'Boke of Ceremonies.'

VILLAGE OF SALINE, Barony of Cynnabar, Pentamere Region, Midrealm, November 15 – A new Baron and Baroness were installed today as the King of the Middle Kingdom held court at Liberty School. A Grand Day of Tournaments, demonstrating the prowess of fighters in the barony, accompanied the joyous event.

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) has been recreating medieval festivals and tournaments since 1966. The members take on personas and relive the era “between Jesus and Shakespeare,” said Wendy Gouine, known to fellow SCA members as Daeg ingen Aeda or just Daye.

SCA is an international organization divided into kingdoms. Midrealm is the kingdom including Lower Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana, Gouine explained. It is ruled by a king and queen.

The region consisting of the Mitten and a bit of Ontario is called Pentamere – the Five Seas. In the southeast corner of that region is The Barony of Cinnabar. Cinnabar is near the center of Midrealm and includes southeast Michigan from Flint to the Ohio border.

Members may aspire to three peerages: the position of Laurel in arts and sciences, the Pelican in service and the Knight in combat. Knights have squires who are learning combat skills and the other peers have protégés. It is possible to become a triple peer, though this is rare.

The centerpiece of nearly all SCA events is combat. There are heavy fighters and fencing. The heavy fighters wear armor often very much like that of medieval knights. A suit of steel armor weighs 60 – 70 pounds. Many members opt for leather or aluminum armor.

The most common weapon is a “broadsword” made of rattan that is several feet long and about 2 inches in diameter. Fighters also bear shields and wear helms.

Not all fighters are knights, only the ones with white belts. Knighthood must be earned in combat. Kingship is also determined through combat in a Crown Tournament. The king produces an heir “by right of arms,” i.e., by another tournament.

Chivalry is of utmost importance in the society. Evidence of thievery or deceit will quickly get a member expelled. Fighters who have forced an opponent to his knees by striking his legs will often get on their knees as well so as not to take advantage of the wounded fighter’s plight.

For those willing to travel a few hours, SCA has events every weekend of the year. Now and then, Saline’s Liberty School is their venue of choice.

Robert Conradi
Bob Conradi Is a retired pharmaceutical scientist who has redefined himself as a photographer and journalist. He has lived in Michigan for 36 years and in the Saline area for 10. He enjoys researching and learning about new ideas. Follow him on Twitter at @RobertConradi.