One Knight at Pennsic

Once More Unto the Breech

By Sir Guillaume “Rain Stops, Everyone Buggers Off” de la Belgique

When do you know the war is really over? When your pavilion hits the ground? When your armor is in its bag? When you begin to wonder where on earth you parked your car?

For me, it’s that moment when, at the edge of Hwy. 422, I reach forward and turn on the radio. I’m always astonished that none of the local stations carry any information about who won the castle battle, or what the King of Æthelmearc had to say at closing court, or who got knighted on the field. All they’re talking about are obscure issues like the Presidential campaign, the standings in the National League or reviews of the movies that opened yesterday. The reminder that the world goes on despite the events at Pennsic is always somewhat of a shock to me.

But, to be honest, it’s a good thing to be reminded that the SCA is just a game. For two weeks we’ve been focused on war points, A&S classes, court politics and peerage business. We need to remember that our universe is but a small drop in the ocean of humanity. We need to keep in mind that unless we take something with us as we leave the gates of Cooper’s Lake, all our time and energy here is wasted.

We need to leave here recharged and refocused. We need to bear with us a sense of honor, fair play, decency and respect. When we leave here, we become the standard bearers of noble behavior and ethical principles, even though we may be venturing out into a world where those things seem to be in short supply. Although it may be concealed beneath our business suits, our work clothes or our uniforms, we need to carry a part of Pennsic with us every day.

We need to look forward to Pennsic XXXIV not by planning greater embellishments to our campsites or crafting new pieces of armor, but by working to bring the ideals of the Current Middle Ages to those poor, benighted individuals who live outside the boundaries of this place.

As many people will remind us today, it’s just a 50-week trip into town. Remember, our quest during that trip is to leave the places we visit a little better than we found them. Fare well.

Miss the chance to get Guillaume’s books and audio CDs at Pennsic XXXIII? Don’t forget, you can always buy (and enjoy more original stories) on-line at


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