History: The First Year or So

It was not long after Ben's sixteenth birthday party that he and his friends were going into the hills of Palmer Park just about every chance they could get, armed with padded boffer swords and wooden duct-taped daggers.

Ben, having found his calling (beyond the one he still pursues of finding the midget assassin who killed his good twin), immediately started engaging in behavior that was most unlike his habitual silence; he sought out and talked to people of this strange new hobby.

Many scoffed, and some threw him into a trash can and backed over it with their trucks, and still more pretended to hear a distant friend calling their name down the hall.  However, a select few - of similar mental illness to Ben - found this idea interesting and compelling.  And so the group grew.

About this time, Ben decided that it would be fun to come up with "medieval" names for the people in the group.  Probably this was influenced by the countless hours Ben had spent poring over his old Dungeons & Dragons books, though he later learned that the SCA engaged in similar madness.

And so, Ben became Rillion, and his friend Ben became Pyridan.  Brian, Andy, Zack and John became - respectively - Roland, Treylane, Vagnad and Zodzarikk.  These were the names of legend, shouted across the stony hills of Palmer Park on summer days. 

As the group grew, Rillion thought that it would be a nifty idea for everybody to not only use "medieval" swords and names, but dress in like fashion as well.  It should be noted at this point, that Rillion had little idea of true medieval history beyond what his woefully inaccurate high school history class taught him, and so his ideas - and those of the group in general - were highly skewed as far as authenticity was concerned.

Nope, the garb's still not so great. Pyridan, Cynara, Ceolmhor & Rillion get ready to go. Cynara soon found that black eyes were habit-forming.

Lance and Flynn joined the sword-fighting group, as did Cynara and Aldric and Farlin.  Cynara distinguished herself early on by being not only the first girl fighter (besides Ben's sister Laura, who was still only a now-and-then "member"), but also the first knowledgeable seamstress (and to general knowledge, still the only one) to join.  She was therefore set upon at all sides by requests for garb.

The rule at this time was that if a fighter was hit three times in any manner, he was considered to have been slain.  This seemed to all, at first, to be quite fair.

However, as time progressed, it was found that - due to a lack of proper understanding of medieval sword-fighting technique - fighters had a tendency to swat each other in one spot three times in quick succession.

Much complaining was done, and finally, it was decided that a new system was needed.  According to TV and fantasy literature and movies, sword-fights were supposed to be long and epic!

Rillion in his first armor, weeks before suggesting the first war. Still no smile.

And so an eight-point system was devised, whereby each warrior was considered to have eight "hit points" (a number taken from the original red-box Dungeons & Dragons game) and that each location on the body would be worth a certain number of hit points.  Legs equaled one point, arms equaled two, the stomach equaled three, and the chest and back equaled four.

This certainly dragged the fights out for a much longer period of time, as fighters had a tendency to aim for the legs.  Therefore, it seems prudent to those concerned to count stabs as doing "double damage."  There was even a point when a stab to the stomach would give a fighter only ten seconds to continue fighting before he "died." 

This was the system - strange as it seems - by which the group fought for many a year.

For two years the group fought and dressed in quasi-medieval garb, and experimented with all manner of PVC weapon.  Swords, daggers, axes, quarterstaves, bows, crossbows and javelins all found their way into regular use at one time or another.

Things were going peacefully and quietly until one day, just before his high school graduation, Rillion was sitting in the computer lab at school with Pyridan, Aldric and Farlin.  And he said, "We should have a war."



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