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  What We Do!

 

What do we do? (And why!)

 

Why first.

We are an educationally oriented, not for profit group dedicated to advancing the knowledge of sword fighting and its surrounding culture from the Renaissance Period (circa 1450-1800), so that people today can see what that era was really like.

 

We feel that the Three Musketeers and the like are a starting point to whet one’s appetite, but they are entertainment first, and not as accurate a portrayal as could be. Therefore, we have banded together to show what the duel really looked like, what swordsmanship means, why the weapons evolved the way they did, and to have a great deal of fun whilst doing all of this!

 

At our shows, we educate the audience, let them see the various weapons of the times and their uses, and entertain them (or die trying!) We show not only the sword weapons, but even (event permitting) a black powder duel using state of the art (1640) flintlock pistols! We perform about 8-10 shows a year (we have done as many as 20 shows in one year, and loved it all!), and are always looking for a new venue.

 

At our tournaments, we have a great time with many different competitions, and are looking for more. We hold House Wars, in which Houses intrigue to poison, bomb, kill, or simply influence the other Houses to give up their letters, so that the House who holds the most letters at the end of the tournament weekend wins. Think Borgias and Medicis (real Machiavellian stuff, that!) and you will get the idea.

 

Now, if you are getting the impression at this point that anything goes, you would be wrong. Our whole event is based on honor and chivalry. A person can do everything wrong, but if done with honor, can still be a winner. We give awards of honor throughout. As has been said many times, Honor gets you noticed, dishonor gets you noticed even quicker, but do you really want that kind of attention.

 

For fighting, we have the normal double elimination tournament, which is a to the death (twice!) duel, with the fighters choice of weapons.

 

In a nod to Highlander, (so forgive us!), we also have There Can Be Only One. This is a fight to hit the head only of your opponent. Other damage against counts, but of course, there is only one way to stop an immortal…

 

We have the Poisoned Blade fight, in which the first touch anywhere wins (and double kills let the Listmistress win!) a basic early epee fight.

 

All tournament long, the competition of Duello goes on. The Duel was of course outlawed, so dueling had to be done on the sly. Each fighter is given a life ribbon or other token, and has to defend their honor against all others. If you have been impugned, call the other guy out. Seconds, formal challenges, throwing down the gauntlet all greatly encouraged, but don’t get caught by the Constables, or you both lose a ribbon. Fighter at the end of the tournament with the most ribbons wins.

 

Maidens Plight is one of the more challenging fights we do. This involves a Maiden, a Hero, and some Thugs. The maiden may be either good or evil (drawn at random for each bout) and takes our hero out to retrieve her gold that was stolen from her by the thugs. Is she working for them, or innocent? The hero must keep the maiden alive and unharmed if she is good, (doesn’t matter if she’s evil, but you can’t kill her until she makes an overt evil act) and fight off 2 or more thugs…

 

Blind fighting. To first touch while blindfolded. You have bells attached at the wrist and ankle, so stealthy movement is possible, but you better be smooth or your opponent will hear you and come and get you. Very challenging, forcing you to focus on what is not seen.

 

Froth and Slosh is interesting to say the least. This got started as a joke years ago, when we were doing practices in the park, and someone suggested that we line the picnic tables up as a pub. Then we got the water involved, and it went downhill from there. Seriously, this game teaches balance and smooth swordfighting, as you try to get your opponent (or his mug) before he gets you. You fight with a mug of water (simulates ale or beverage of choice) and keep it from spilling as much as possible. No cupping your hand over the top of the mug, either. Person who wins is person who lives and has the most water left. Sounds simple, but what a challenge for a rough and tumble fighter!

 

Torch Fighting is an eventime event when it gets dark, the torches are set in a ring, and we fight by fire light. The biggest challenge (other than low light) is making sure the equipment is up to snuff and that the fight area is totally clear of obstacles that would be easy to see in daylight.

 

Bear Hunting, a fighter and an archer hunt another fighter (the bear), if the archer is closed on, he loses. This is an archery competition.

 

Battles and Melee. As part of the House Wars, we can hold battles, and in doing so, use archery in place of firearms (ease of making materials, safety on the part of the participants, and marginally in period, as the battles were actually fought with longer swords, gunpowder, and archers…) Archery is a convenient way of simulating ranged weapons, so we use it when doing the house battles and melee. Captains set up units of from 5 to 20 people per side, and fight it out on the battle field. We will mix in last man standing, capture the flag, or hold the ship; a boarding exercise, wherein there are only one or two planks between two ships, and one team has to board the other teams vessel and neutralize them.

 

To all the fighting, we also have bardic singing and revelry (what’s fighting without a good tale), feasting, and great comradeship.

 

In conclusion, we are always looking at having new people to join us and play, as well as learn something (and also share what they learn with us!) We do not discriminate with regards to race, national origin (although if you are French, you may get picked on!), religion, handicaps (one of our original officers was bound to a wheelchair, and a mean stick…). The only thing we discriminate against is dishonor and unchivalrous behavior. That would cause a problem. But, who wants to be around that anyway?

 


All content copyrighted '99 to present  by Hutchinson R. F. C.