What do you think of when you hear the word war?
You may be imagining Afghanistan, Iraq, Viet Nam, WWII or even the trenches of WWI. Quotations like "War is hell" may spring to mind. Or perhaps the memories are personal, and involve physical trauma or the loss of a loved one.
For re-enactors and recreationists, war is more heaven then hell. In the SCA, a war is a fun event, involving hundreds or even thousands of people. These are "largest events in the SCA, with participants attending from many different locations" (sca.org) For a truly major war such as Pennsic or Estrella, people may travel from Europe or even Asia to the United States for a week or more of "living in the Current Middle Ages."
Those who fight may have spent months training for the event, developing strength, agility and skill at weekly fighter practices or rapier practices and traveling many miles to refine strategy and team skills at kingdom war practices. Equestrians have trained their horses for the difficult sport of jousting. Archers have shot thousands of arrows to prepare for the competition; artisans have completed amazing works for competition or display; musicians have spent hundreds of hours practicing. Dancers are preparing for formal balls, or perfecting their belly-dancing moves for an evening of revelry by the fire.
What's at stake here is honor and glory. There will be two alliances of SCA kingdoms, two sides competing for the all-important war points, and at the end of the war, winners and losers. Is it worth it? You bet!
Major Wars in the SCA
For a list with approximate dates, click here.
The next major war: Estrella War
February 26, 2013 through March 4, 2013at Schnepfs Farm in Queen Creek AZ"Medieval Glory, Honor & Chivalry in the Warm Desert Sun"