The SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronisms, and it tries to recreate the best of the middle ages by learning and doing the arts and skills. (I copied that from their brochure.) They had a booth at BabelCon, where they displayed some really cool stuff that they had created, such as lace, metal work, leather work, furniture, and my personal favorite: weaponry.
You all know that I love weapons.
One of the members passed my table and we started talking. He was wearing chainmail. (Okay, it’s really called “mail” but if I say, he was wearing mail, then half the world is going to wonder if he was dressed as a postman considering people do dress in costumes at these conventions.) We started talking and I asked him about who made his mail, etc.
Now, I write about guardian angels and its very important for me to hold and experience the weapons they carry so I know what they feel like after a hard battle. And chainmail is very important because it’s heavy and therefore would impede flight. (Davian tells Gabriella all about it in A Prophecy Forgotten.) Now, I’ve picked up a few swords (see my pics of me with a broadsword), but I have never actually tried on mail.
And I must admit, I have been dying to get my hands on some so I could try it on for quite some time.
Somehow, it came up in conversation, and the SCA member let me try on his mail.
That stuff is pretty heavy! Although, I have been told that chainmail fit for me would be lighter. Also, the middle ages dudes would wrap a belt around the mail and the belt would actually add support and make it feel lighter.
Then, some other members of the SCA let me try on their breastplates (Eek! Two secret dreams fulfilled in one day!)...
...and a helmet.
You can check out pictures of this in my “Fantasy Conventions” photo album.
As I talked with the SCA members, I realized something. I think that we 21st century humans don’t give those who lived before us the credit they deserve. Many of the things that they did and created were absolutely brilliant. I got to look at different breastplate designs as well as chainmail designs, and the people of the middle ages took so much into account. I was definitely impressed with what people of the Middle Ages were able to do without computers and science grants.
Now, if I can just convince Roger Clemons to hit me in the ribs with a 95 mph fastball… (Hey, I’m a big believer in letting the players take care of pitchers hitting batters themselves instead of getting the umpires involved, but I want to know what it feels like to get hit with a fastball before I go spouting off.)