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The Barony of Shadowed Stars

sca
The Society for Creative Anachronism
Official Website: SCA.org
sca
The Middle Kingdom
Official Website: Midrealm.org

Shadowed Stars Regular Activities

Armored (Heavy Weapons) Combat

heavy

The When and Where

Our fighter practice (heavy weapons) takes place every Sunday from 2:00PM–6:00PM at the Dolnick Center on the IPFW campus, Which is located on the Ivy Tech side of the grounds. When it's nice out, we meet up in the parking lot and fight on the grass, and when it's cold, we meet indoors in one of the dance studios. We also have a practice on Thursdays 6:00pm–9:00pm at Brookside Church, 6102 evard rd. Fort Wayne 46835. Check the Calendar for which Thursdays, and for any possible changes/cancellations

FAQ about Armored Combat

What is Armored Combat?

SCA armored or "heavy weapons" combat is one of the few activities that's been around as long as the SCA itself has been. It's a martial art based on the baton and waster tourney fighting practiced throughout the Middle Ages, such as the English sport called Singlestick. We wear full armor and fight with rattan weapons ranging from sword and shield to polearms, great weapons, and spears.

There are two main venues for SCA armored combat: tournament and melee. Tournaments are most often one-on-one contests, whereas melees are mass battles with anywhere between a handful to a few hundred warriors on a side. There's a great deal of pageantry surrounding this discipline, and it is both one of the most participated-in and one of the most esteemed parts of SCA life.

What are the basic rules?

SCA armored combat is a moderate contact sport, about as intense as football, but with far less risk of injury. The basic rules are pretty simple. We fight as though armored in a simple maille hauberk and Norman helm, accepting blows that land within a standard of sufficient calibration.

With most weapons, blows may be dealt with the cutting edges or with a thrust from the tip. Legal targets include the legs above the knees, the body, the head, and the arms to the wrists. A blow to the arm disables the arm, and a blow to the leg disables the leg (causing the fighter to kneel). Head and body blows are considered completely disabling. You can read up on all of the rules by downloading the Middle Kingdom Armored Combat Handbook.

What equipment do you use?

Standard protective equipment for SCA armored combat includes elbow, knee, kidney, groin, and neck armor, as well as a helmet. You can find the exact specifications for these in the SCA Marshal's Handbook. Beyond the bare minimum, Virtually all armored combatants add shoulder, chest, hip, thigh, and other armor for comfort.

Re-purposed football and hockey padding is often used (covered by tunics and tabards, of course), and most pieces of armor can be constructed from inexpensive plastics. Fortunately, the Barony of Shadowed Stars is home to an extremely accomplished armorer, Gian Di Fauro, who opens his shop on a fairly regular basis and freely teaches others the art of armoring. You can contact him at (260) 402–8780 or email him at .

As mentioned above, our weapons are constructed from rattan, which is easily found at various SCA events throughout the year. Weapons construction does have to meet specific guidelines, which are outlined in the SCA Marshal's Handbook. Gian is also well equipped to help you construct your arms as well as your shield, and many of our other armored fighters will be happy to help you get started.

What do I need to bring to my first practice?

That's a lot of equipment, right? Lucky for you, you really don't need much of anything to get started in SCA armored combat here in the Barony of Shadowed Stars. Before we put you in armor, one of our experienced fighters will run you through the basics and teach you some valuable safety tips. And when you're ready to start sparring, we have loaner armor of various sizes that you can use to try out this amazing sport. So, for your first visit to our regular fighter practice, you'll want to wear some sturdy shoes, groin protection (an athletic cup), and comfortable clothing.

If you need help finding the place or have any questions beforehand, give our Knights Marshal Fergus a call at (260) 466–9462, shoot him an email at , or get in touch with us on Facebook at the Fort Wayne SCA Fighter Practice Group.

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Archery Practice

archery

The When and Where

Our regular archery practices are held from 6:00PM–8:00PM every Wednesday during the spring and summer at Lord Alfairin's house, 16670 Winchester Rd. Ossian, IN 46777. In the fall and winter, we meet on select Wednesdays out at Hook & Arrow, located at 7536 Winchester Rd. Fort Wayne, IN 46819. All practices run from about 6:00PM to 8:00PM. Check the Baronial Calendar for exact practice times and locations, or email our Archery Marshal at if you have any questions.

FAQ about Archery

What is SCA Target Archery?

All archery in the SCA is form of primitive archery, we use equipment based on the technology available in the Middle Ages. Our shoots range from precision shooting at distances as close as five yards to clout shoots at 50 yards and beyond, and the challenges are never ending.

What kind of equipment do you use?

We shoot longbows, recurves, and crossbows. While we do allow fiberglass bows, we don't use modern compound bows of any type. Likewise, with the exception of rear sites on crossbows, aiming attachments and counterweights are not allowed. As for arrows, wood shafts are a requirement for nearly all SCA competition archery, but we allow carbon as well as more affordable fiberglass and aluminum shafts for practice.

What equipment do I need to get started?

To get started with SCA target archery, all you need to do is show up to practice. We have an assortment of loaner equipment we're happy to let you use, including bows, arrows, and hand/wrist protection. That said, you'll have the greatest success using a bow that's appropriate for your draw length and strength with arrows to match. When you're ready to buy your own gear, we'll be happy to help you find the right archery equipment. Local places to look include Hook & Arrow (where our indoor practices are held) and Three Rivers Archery

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Rapier Combat (Fencing)

rapier

The When and Where

Practices are every Sunday from 2:00PM–6:00PM at the Dolnick Center on the IPFW campus, which is located on the Ivy Tech side of the grounds. When it's nice out, we meet up in the parking lot and fight on the grass, and when it's cold, we meet indoors in one of the dance studios. we sometimes join up with the armored fighters on Thursdays, Check the Baronial Calendar or the Rapier Facebook Group for current practice dates/times or if you have additional questions.

FAQ about Rapier

What is SCA rapier combat?

SCA rapier combat is a form of historical fencing that focuses on the civilian defensive and dueling sword arts from the 14th century through the 16th century and slightly beyond. Our primary focus is on the combat forms surrounding the rapier, though we also practice an advanced style called Cut and Thrust, which better accommodates earlier side swords.

How is fencing in the SCA different from modern fencing?

SCA fencing is much more closely related to the arts practiced in the time period where the sword was the primary civilian weapon of defense, our rules are primarily for governing safety, while modern fencing has more restrictive fighting parameters.

For example, the rapier blades we use are much sturdier than anything used by modern fencers, which reduces the likelihood of breaking. We're also not restricted to movement on a narrow strip, the way modern fencers are. We're free to move where we will within the given boundaries that day/location. we have added equipment options including dagger, a second sword, bucklers, cloaks, other defensive objects meeting the construction criteria in our rule book, which can be found here: Midrealm Rapier Handbook in addition to thrusts, SCA rapier allows the use of non-percussive draw cuts. Valid blows to the limbs disable the hand, arm, or leg struck, and blows to the head or body are considered debilitating. While much of SCA rapier combat focuses on one-on-one tournament play, we also engage in multiple opponent scenarios and melees.

What is Cut and Thrust fencing?

Cut and Thrust is an advanced style of rapier combat that adds percussive cuts to the list of valid blows. This in turn adds to the required armor, and opens up more weapons and fighting styles used in the middle ages.

What kind of equipment do you use?

As we mentioned above, the weapons we use are quite a bit different from modern fencing sword. Rather than foils and épées, we use blades specifically manufactured for historical fencing, which meet a specific set of criteria. These can be purchased from reputable manufacturers such as Darkwood Armory, Alchem Inc, Castille Armory or Zen Warrior Armory.

On the armor side, there are three types of rapier armor, rigid, puncture-resistant, and abrasion resistant. For rigid armor, we require head protection (most often a standard 3-weapons fencing mask), neck protection (called a gorget), and male groin protection. the rest of the head, body, torso, and groin must be covered with puncture-resistant material roughly equivalent in density to a standard fencing jacket. Everything else must be covered by a minimum of a single layer of snag resistant fabric.

Due to the addition of percussive cuts, Cut and Trust fencing requires additional rigid protection on the back of the head and over the knuckles, as well as thick padding or rigid materials over the points of the elbows and knees. You can find all of the equipment specifications and other rules in the Midrealm Rapier Handbook.

What do I need to get started fencing in the SCA?

Thanks to our store of loaner equipment, you don't need much to get started fencing here in the Barony of Shadowed Stars. Before we put you in armor and toss you into the action, we'll spend some time drilling and going over the basics, and ongoing drills and exercises are a regular part of rapier practice. You'll want to come dressed in comfortable athletic clothing, including full-length pants and long sleeves. The only things we can't provide are gloves, so please bring along a sturdy pair of your own — gardening gloves usually work well. Men will also need rigid groin protection (an athletic cup).

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Dance Practice

dance

The When and Where

Our semi-regular dance practice meets on select Mondays at 7:00PM–9:00PM. Check the Baronial Calendar for times and locations, as these can vary. or check our group page Shadowed Stars Facebook Page for the most up-to-date info. We practice many common period dances, from English to Italian to Russian and beyond.

FAQ about SCA Dance

What is SCA Dance?

The dancing that we do in the SCA starts with the very first dances to be written down in the late Middle Ages and extends up to (and a little past) the end of the 16th century. We practice dances from all over Europe, from the English countryside to the courts of Italy and Germany, and as far as the halls of Medieval Russia. Most dances we perform are associated with a piece of period music, and the forms can look like anything from modern folk dance in the round to country line dances. In fact, the dances we practice are the ancestors to these and other forms of modern dance. Some are simple and easy enough for children, others are elegant, complex, and athletic. But all of the dances we do are a great deal of fun to learn and our dance instructors are patient, kind, and enthusiastic.

How much experience do I need to join you?

You don't need to know a thing about Medieval dance or dancing at all in order to join in the fun. Just like all the rest of the regular activities we offer, dance practice is there so we can learn and have fun together. So come on out, bring your friends and make new ones by learning something new and exciting.

What should I wear to dance practice?

We'd recommend a comfortable pair of tennis shoes and either street clothes you can move in or athletic clothing. Garb certainly isn't required, and unless it's a special occasion, we typically don't wear it to practice.

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Bardic Arts

Bardic

The When and Where

We meet in conjunction with dance practice on Monday nights at 7:00PM. If you ever dreamed of being a medieval bard, troubadour, minstrel, jongleur, or storyteller, this is the perfect group for you!

FAQ about Bardic Arts

What exactly do you do?

We rehearse well-known Society and Kingdom songs, spoken word pieces, and original compositions. We are an audience for each other, and we also help each other out by giving feedback and encouragement on performance techniques.

What are the basic rules?

Generally, the pieces we perform must be from before the year 1600, about the Medieval era, or original pieces done in period style.

What kind of performance is done?

We practice stories, songs, poems, plays, etc. it is primarily dependent on each members preference. If you play a musical instrument, feel free to bring it to practice.

What do I need to bring to my first practice?

You just need to bring yourself. We will have a selection of period and period-style pieces available for you to choose from (mostly songs), or you can bring your own selections as well.

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Equestrian Activities

equestrian

the When and Where

We practice at Greenmarch Farm, located at 1774 County Road 68, Auburn, IN 46706. on occasional sundays, so keep an eye on the Baronial Calendar for our next equestrian practice.

FAQ about Equestrian

What exactly do you do?

Riders wield weapons while mounted in historically documented styles and techniques in ways that knights would train for battle. Here is an example of some of the skills-at-arms we compete in.

Advanced riders can compete in mounted archery, cart or chariot driving, crest combat, mounted combat, and foam jousting.

What are the basic rules?

Safety is paramount for both horse and rider. To begin, we suggest you read the current SCA Society Equestrian Handbook. You should also read at least the first two sections of the current Middle Kingdom Equestrian Handbook, which cover general regulations, equipment and many of the games. Each standardized game that we play has it's own set of rules outlined in the handbooks listed above. In some cases speed is the goal, but most often accuracy determines the winner of each game.

I have my own horse, where do I start?

If you have your own horse, try to attend local practices (with your horse if possible). Neck-reining is an important skill to possess because you will be holding a weapon much of the time. Riding in straight lines and weaving through posts (as in pole bending) will get you through most SCA equestrian games, and your horse should also get used to the rider carrying things, and dropping/throwing things. Your horse will need to get accustomed to all the new sights and sounds at events such as clanking armor, people fighting loudly nearby, and colorful banners just to name a few.

What if I don’t have my own horse?

If you ride but don't own a horse, there are opportunities for horse rentals and loaner horses. Contact the Equestrian Marshal in Charge of practices and events to ask for details. A great way of thanking someone is offering to help with physical chores and care of the horse or assisting with travel costs. Volunteering to help ground crew at events or practices is a great way to learn the games and get to know fellow SCA equestrians. As they get to know you and your experience, you may be offered the opportunity to ride. Horse enthusiasts who do not wish to ride are always encouraged to assist around the horses. Ground Crew is a job for setting up the games and giving/taking weapons from riders. Photographers are a great asset to those of us competing or running the games. Equestrians who drive carts or chariots can allow passengers to wield weapons and compete in the games.

What equipment do you use?

Equestrians have several standard weapons: the wooden/waster sword, mace, the ring lance, the quintain lance, javelin/spear, archery bow, and jousting lance. There are usually loaner weapons available, so you don't have to worry about having your own right away. When you are ready to make your own weapons, there are specifications listed in the Middle Kingdom Equestrian Handbook, section four. All modern and period tack, including saddles and bridles are acceptable. Some riders mask their equipment for a more period look.

As for clothes and rider safety concerns, you will need to 'make an attempt' at pre-17th century dress (garb), which can be a simple tunic over your clothes at first. Safety comes above all else, so a helmet is highly recommended, and required for minors (many riders cover them for a more appropriate appearance). Modern heeled boots are required only for minors, but always recommended. Heavier protective gear is required only for some of the advanced activities and is outlined in our Handbook.

What do I need to bring to my first practice?

If you wish to ride, you should be dressed to ride in pants and appropriate riding shoes. Minors will need helmets, heeled boots, and parents immediately available. Everyone will need to sign waivers and paperwork. There is a $10 per practice fee for the use of lesson horses. Non-riding ground crew and photographers are always welcome! If you wish to bring your horse, just let us know prior to the practice or event.

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Business Meetings

business

The When and Where

We meet once a month on the 4th Monday (with the occasional exceptions based on scheduling conflicts) at Indiana Tech, 1600 E Washington Blvd, Fort Wayne, in the Academic Center building, room 234. Meetings officially start at 7pm, so plan to arrive a few minutes before that to get seated, etc. All are welcome to attend.

FAQ about the business meeting

What goes on at baronial business meetings?

The purpose of baronial business meetings is to collect officer reports, plan activities, and discuss/vote on changes in group policies, officer elections, etc. Business meetings are broken down into three parts. First are the officer reports, during which each baronial officer announces changes to scheduled activities, additions to the roster, any new authorizations or awards. Next, we open the floor for the discussion of old business. That's where we discuss past events or continue to discuss the planning of events started at previous business meetings. Finally, there's the new business portion of the meeting, at which new ideas and plans for upcoming demos and events may be introduced for the first time. All told, the format is fairly simple and rarely changes.

What do baronial officers do?

There are over a dozen baronial officers, each in charge of an activity or an aspect of how Shadowed Stars functions. Some of these positions include the seneschal, who makes sure we're following SCA rules, the chatelaine, who schedules demos and welcomes newcomers, and the exchequer, our treasurer. Other offices such as the knight marshal, rapier marshal, and the minister of arts and sciences are responsible for specific activities . You can read all about our officers on the contacts page.

Who can attend baronial business meetings?

Our business meeting are open to anyone interested in baronial affairs, and all citizens of Shadowed Stars are invited to attend. If you're new/still thinking about becoming a member, then attending will offer you some insight into the decision-making process. many of us regularly go out to eat after the meeting, so you can hang out and get to know other members of the barony.

What can I do as a new member?

The first thing you'll want to do is come to our business meetings and just get a feel for the processes in general. you can contribute to discussions, and vote on things as they come up. You don't have to be an officer to bring up ideas. If you'd like to eventually become an officer yourself, you might want to consider becoming an officer's deputy. As a deputy, you'll get to learn about the job and often help take care of regular tasks. It's a great way to get involved.

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Classes/Open Craft Days

arts

The When and Where

Classes are held on occasional Sundays in conjunction with armored and rapier from 2:00PM–6:00PM at the Dolnick Center on the IPFW campus, Which is located on the Ivy Tech side of the grounds. Check the Baronial Calendar for what classes are being held next. Open craft days are when there are no scheduled classes.

FAQ about Classes/Open Craft Days

Do I need to bring anything?

Each class varies in what equipment/supplies to bring, so check the class description each time. Open craft days are for working on projects, both individual and group.

Does it cost anything?

Usually not, some classes have a materials cost if you can't bring your own supplies.

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