Remy’s Coat of Arms

This summer I decided to do a little art project and create full coat of arms for my SCA persona. It was a cool process. I used InternationalHeraldry.com to help guide my process.

Chevalier Remy Delamontagne de Gascogne's coat of arms (SCA)

No idea what I’ll do with this now, but it’s done.

Some fun details:

  • The Supporters are Rex and the Carolingian Company of Calivers’ eagle.
  • The batons are the Maréchal of France baton.

    I actually found evidence of the batons used in (my) period with a device/coat of arms. Maréchal of France baton is a military distinction/award, not a military rank, but I’m using it to signify my time as East Kingdom Rapier General.
  • Open-visor helm for peerage.
  • The MoD collar is around the gorget of the helm.
  • The white plumes because it’s me.
  • Spres et Ferrum aka “Hope & Iron” (or, in spirit, “Hope & Sword”) is a take on my book series — Hope & Steel — which takes place in early 17th Century France.
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Text for Mistress Eva Woderose’s Provost Contract

Last year at Falling Leaves, I took Mistress Eva Woderose as my provost. We had been working on her fencing over the summer and decided to make the training a bit more official in the fall.

And since I had signed a contract when I was provosted to Master Donovan Shinnok, I figured it’d be fun to continue the tradition by writing up a similar contract for Eva.

Continue reading Text for Mistress Eva Woderose’s Provost Contract

Who Were the ‘Enfants Perdus’?

When we think of early modern military, we typically think of infantry, cavalry and artillery. But once in a while while researching you run into a fun little term that provides some color and character to an otherwise monotone palette.

Enter the French’s enfants perdus.

Battle of Dreux by Jacques Tortorel.
The ‘enfants perdus’ are listed as K (center-left). At the Battle of Dreux (French Wars of Religion), they were arquebusiers used as skirmishers. Engraving by Jacques Tortorel.

Enfants perdus‘s literal translation is “Lost children” but a phrase more typically used as the translation is “forlorn hope.” It’s the equivalent to Dutch’s verloren hoop (which means “lost heap”). French generals of German troops used a more pragmatic phrase, commanded musketeers.

Despite it sounding overly-dramatic, the name enfants perdus were apt. These French enfants perdus were small groups of soldiers, typically musketeers, formed by pulling troops out of various regiments. They were used as skirmishers as well as given specific missions (such as “hold that bridge” or “charge that outpost”). They were also used at the head of regiments to lead attacks.

Continue reading Who Were the ‘Enfants Perdus’?

On Rapier Tournament Headspace

“Tourney Headspace” seems to be on a lot of fencers minds these days. Hardly a month doesn’t go by where I’m not part of some conversation, over drinks, talking about what works and doesn’t for fencing competitors.

For better or worse, a lacking “tourney brain” is often blamed for poor performance in tournaments. That’s definitely part of it. Not being properly focused can lead to early exits. I also think there’s a bit of a proper technique gap, especially in the confines fo SCA rapier, but tourney brain/headspace gets the lion share of blame.

I figure I would present my two cents on the issue.

Thinking about thinking

Note: By all means, I don’t think my way is the way. I think it’s one of the unlimited ways someone can prep themselves for a tournament or their next fight. It’s highly customizable, which is both a pro and con.

I also encourage people who are trying to develop their tourney brain to talk to the top fencers in their area to see what they do, read up on sports psychology, and be willing to experiment and fail while figuring out what’s best for you.

Continue reading On Rapier Tournament Headspace

The Low Line Attack With a Void (VIDEO)

I had a great day of fencing on Saturday at Balfar’s Challenge. Not only did my rapier melee team (Remy’s Angels II: Electric Boogaloo) came in first place, I also finished strong in second place in the afternoon’s Pennsic Qualifer Tourney in which I rolled out with single rapier the entire time.

I had to fight through my entire fencing family tree which was amusing in its own right. This fight against my cadet, Gregori, on the anniversary of his caddeting, was possibly the most memorable one ’cause of how I won — with a low line void & strike under the opponent’s sword arm.

His reaction was also pretty fantastic. We were laughing a good five minutes after this.

Continue reading The Low Line Attack With a Void (VIDEO)

Falling Band & Cuffs for Llewellyn Walsh’s MoD

This weekend was Balfar’s Challenge and one of my fencing friends, Llewellyn, was elevated to the SCA’s Order of Defense. It’s a great honor and responsibility, and is the highest rapier award in the organization.

I was asked to make a falling band and matching cuffs set to go with his elevation garb. Our friend Liadan was making the main outfit, so I conferred with her on what the outfit would look like. She sent me the cuff and collar measurements for the outfit.

  • Llewellyn MoD elevation
  • Llewellyn Blue Steel

As the photos show, she went with black and green as the main colors (based off an extent example she found) and gold trim to accent it all.

Continue reading Falling Band & Cuffs for Llewellyn Walsh’s MoD

The Thirty Years’ War: How Was Peace Achieved? [VIDEO]

DW Documentary released a two-part series on how the Thirty Year’s War ended and the Peace of Westphalia was designed. In fact, it took five years for all the parties to get onboard and led largely by Maximilian, Graf von Trauttmansdorff who represented the Holy Roman emperor.

Continue reading The Thirty Years’ War: How Was Peace Achieved? [VIDEO]

Researching swords, gonnes and garb during the 16th and 17th Centuries.