History: Prehistory

In the beginning, there was Ben, born into the family of Roberts.

Clearly forming a pattern from early on, Young Ben experiences the best Christmas ever. Note that he has not yet learned to smile. Ten points if you can name the future Knight of the Scroll playing with the dollhouse in the background.

And Ben was raised on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and Willow, and Dungeons & Dragons, and upon images of brave knights in their burnished plate armor.  And his parents took him to an SCA event called Mayfaire when he was but a small lad.

And in sixteen short years, Ben became . . . well, a sixteen-year-old young man.

Now it happened that as his sixteenth birthday drew nigh, Ben was sitting in his room playing Legend of Zelda with his best friend (also named - curiously enough - Ben), and he said, "My birthday's coming up."

And there was a long silence.

And then Ben's friend Ben said, "Uh huh."

Ben and Ben were not known for their scintillating conversations whilst the great god Nintendo held sway over their hearts and minds.

However, young Ben thought to himself.  He said, "A sixteenth birthday is not a thing to take lightly.  It should be something cool and memorable."  And so saying, he betook it to himself to think of other birthdays he had enjoyed.

And when he thought of his sixth birthday (or it may have been his seventh), he remembered, "I had a Dungeons and Dragons birthday party!  And all my friends came dressed up in home-made capes and stuff.  We went for a treasure hunt, and that was cool."

To which he immediately appended, " . . . for a six-year-old."

But the memory of that party stuck with him, and he said, "Wouldn't it be cool to create that same sort of feeling on my birthday party next week?  But dressing up and going door-to-door looking for treasure would not only be lame for my age, but might also get me thrown into some sort of asylum."

Then he thought, "But going into a nearby park and fighting with mock swords wouldn't be lame - it would be cool and manly!" So he imparted these thoughts to his friend Ben on the following day, whilst they were walking to Diamond Shamrock for lunch.

And Ben's friend Ben said, "You know, come to think of it, I knew a guy up at Boy Scout camp who knew how to make these 'boffer swords.'  They were shaped like swords, but made of pipe and padding, and you could hit people with them and it didn't hurt.  We could make some of those."

And so they went to McConnells'  Hardware the following day during lunch, and bought PVC pipe and duct tape and closed-cell insulation foam.  That afternoon, they built two "boffer swords" and tested them out in the park behind Ben's house.

By Ben's birthday party, six swords had been made - one for each of Ben's friends.  It may be noted that - at only six friends to his name - Ben was never the most popular of fellows.  It may also be noted that anybody who was already thinking that when they read it is a jerk.

And the first six warriors were: Benjamin Roberts, Benjamin Holman, Brian Russell, Andrew McRae, Zachary Mammenga and Jonathan Sargent.

That day, the six played a "medieval capture the flag," during which each team of three tried to steal the other's flag, and kill all the other team besides.  It was very much fun, and Ben kept humming Madmartigan's Theme from Willow, to the endless annoyance of the other five.

It was so much fun, in fact, that as soon as they returned to Ben's house for Nintendo, cake and ice cream, Ben said, "So, when do we want to do this again?"

That was the start of it.
Ben's friend Ben, and also Ben. This garb has yet to be replicated in terms of sheer amount of research and authenticty.



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