My career as an SCA fighter lasted a little over two years. I was never very good at it and I realized that I enjoyed the camaraderie more than the fighting. In light of this, I decided that camaraderie could be had in other ways and I should leave the fighting to those who truly enjoyed it. I did, however, have one or two moments of glory before I lay down the sword.
During my first year in armor, I was not a good melee fighter and I dreaded the end of fighter practice where we split up into melee teams. Win, lose, or draw, I never seemed to last longer than sixty seconds and I felt that my contributions to the team were minimal at best. All that changed after I participated in the Jefferson Parish Renaissance Faire.
The Barony of Axemoor had been asked to provide color and do fighting and dance demos for the faire. The SCA did two large fighting demos each day and ended each with several team melees followed by a grand melee finale. By the end of three weeks, not only had my overall skill as a fighter improved but, I had a much better grasp of melee tactics.
The final team melee of this particular Ren Faire day was “belts against the world”. I was on the left flank of the world’s line, along with Lord Volsungen Redebeard of Kimaden, who was also left-handed. As the lines closed, Sir Starhelm Warlocke detached himself from the belts’ line and tried to run around our left flank. Volsung and I immediately detached ourselves from our own line and intercepted him.
With his flanking maneuver cut off, Starhelm tried to get back to the main body of the belts. Again, Volsung and I blocked his move and continued to close on him. Confronted with two corry-fisted fighters acting as one and cut off from the aid of his fellow belts, Sir Starhelm tried one more rush around our left. Volsung and I again blocked him and this time I couldn't resist calling out,
"You can run but you can't hide, Starhelm."
My greatest moment by far had occurred a few weeks before the Ren Faire at an Axemoor fighter practice. As usual, we were finishing up with some melees and the team I was on faced one led by Sir Beorn Collenfehrth. Squire Cedric of Yorke, another left-hander and I anchored the left flank of our line. I don't remember what my part in our original plan was but I do remember that Cedric was to engage Sir Beorn.
When the lines clashed, Cedric was struck down in a matter of seconds. Realizing that this left Sir Beorn free to run around our flank and wreak havoc, I leapt over Cedric's prostrate form and started flailing away at his Excellency.
The onslaught caught Sir Beorn completely by surprise, and he gave ground as I pressed my attack. A long- hidden berserker urge sang in my blood as I realized that I had a belted fighter on the run! All the while, the small, quiet voice of reason in the back of my mind asked,
"What in heaven's name are you doing?"
Alas, this state of affairs was not to continue. Squire Esteban came to my aid and, relieved that now there was a much more skilled fighter to face Sir Beorn, I slacked my attack. This gave Sir Beorn the opening he needed to regain his equilibrium and he slew us both.
Still, if the martial tales of Finn Normansson should last a thousand years, (a highly unlikely situation), it will be said that this was his finest hour.