History: Resurgence
A melee at Mercenary Wars 2. Can you spot the two people actually wearing garb? I thought not. Garb-wearing started to be more highly encouraged after this, I swear.

For Zane had been inspired - whether by the Mercenary Wars or his own fencing experiences, it is not known.  And he gathered together many of his own friends and founded the fighting group known as Parable.

And it was, to Mælgrim's eyes, both strange and wonderful.  For in his despondency, and his need to sate the sword-fighting bug, he had sought out other groups - SCA and Amtgard.  And though each had some bit to recommend it, Mælgrim yearned for his own Mercenaries of Shadow & Light.

 So when he beheld Parable - like his own group in rules and spirit, but unlike in weaponry and approach - he was filled with amazement, and marveled.  And he said, "This is great!  People sword-fighting again!  And this time, I don't have to organize anything!"

At this time, Mælgrim had just received a book for Christmas for Cynara called "Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated Methods and Techniques."  This was a book that literally (no pun intended) changed everything about the way Mælgrim viewed swordsmanship and the approach to historical fencing as a whole.

He began to study the book voraciously, and then to seek out other, like-themed publications.  And his mind sought authenticity and accuracy in all things medieval or sword-related.  He began to read books with titles like "Infantry Warfare in the 14th Century."

When the fourth Mercenary Wars arrived - with a year's gap since the third - it was joint effort by both the remaining members of the Mercenaries of Shadow & Light, and Parable.  Many new friendships were made that weekend, and the interest in sword-fighting took hold on even more impressionable young minds. 

Early snow-fighting encounters were always great fun. Lance, Ralamean and Rhyse vie for traction.

By the time the fifth Mercenary Wars rolled around, Mælgrim had attended a seminar in Atlanta about medieval swordsmanship, hosted by the Historical Armed Combat Association, with head of fight interpretation at the Royal Armories John Waller as guest, as well as Hank Reinhardt, the founder of Museum Replicas.

Cynara and Mælgrim with their daughter Gwen. It's totally a family affair these days. Our garb is better, too. Ten points if you can name the film that inspired Mælgrim's look here.

It should be no surprise, then, that Mælgrim's mind was filled with ideas of studying medieval swordsmanship as a legitimate martial art, and not just as a weekend hobby.

By this time, the Knights - the senior members of the Mercenaries of Shadow & Light - numbered as follows:  Mælgrim, Cynara, Lance, Flynn and Ralamean.  Owen had long been in Kansas, where he went to college, but was also still counted an absent number from the Knights.

So Mælgrim called together the Knights, and said to them: "We could really make something of this group.  We could all be really good swordsmen, or," he added with a glance at his wife, "swordswomen."

The next few years were marked by slow change in the Mercenaries of Shadow & Light.  Parable diminished, and some of its members were absorbed in the Mercenaries of Shadow & Light.  Ideas and approaches to both medieval swordsmanship and historical authenticity in general grew more focused.

In these areas, new recruits Snorri and Thomas were especially influential, as they provided not only support, but also served as living test subjects for Mælgrim's new ideas and approaches.

At Mercenary Wars VI, a return to the old "three hit rule" was announced.  Three hits by a well-aimed sword with decent power behind it should be enough to kill or incapacitate an opponent, it was reasoned, and the tendency to "swat" with swords had been greatly diminished with the introduction of flat-bladed sparring weapons that no longer held the ambiguity of round-bladed "boffer swords."

And so, the process continues.  As the Mercenaries of Shadow & Light continues to grow in both depth of research and scope of vision, who can foretell what the future will bring?  Even the very wise cannot see all ends . . .



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