The clash of swords will once again be heard on the lawn of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA) Saturday, June 30, as the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) holds their Muster At The Asylum 2018 event.
The SCA is a practical history society that recreates the arts and skills of pre-17th Century
Europe, and was founded in Berkley, California in 1966, according to the groups website.
Alex Hines, the groups media liaison, described the upcoming event as a more casual event designed not only to entertain patrons, but also for SCA members to get in some combat practice before the groups annual Pennsic War set for August. Pennsic War is the groups largest event and his held annually in Worth Township, Pennsylvania, with more than 10,000 participants some from as far away as Europe and Australia.
Hines explained that the weapons, including swords, maces, axes, and pole arms, used for the melees are made of rattan, a wood similar to bamboo. Hines noted that when rattan breaks it does not splinter the way most materials do, making it a safer choice.
The duals, which also include archery and thrown weapons, are scored on the honor system, with participants ceasing the use of limb if it is hit during combat, with blows to the head and chest counting as “kills.”
Hines pointed out that the SCA recreates a wide range of history, from around the 6th century to the 16th century, so it provides the opportunity to see an 8th century viking take on a 13th century crusader.
“What we do is fairly close to history, but concessions are made in the interest of fun,” Hines said adding that a totally accurate recreation would not be much fun.
Hines also made clear that the SCA was not all about combat noting that they also practice a number of arts and skills including calligraphy, cooking, armoring, metalworking, carpentry, and needle work, among other. However the TALA event will stick primarily to combat.
The event is set to kick off at 10 a.m. on the lawn at TALA, more information on the SCA can be found at SCA.org.