Newcomer Guide

How to Get Started

Start by filling out the Newcomer Contact Form. Let us know what areas you might be interested in so we can have those groups reach out to you.

You can, and should, attend a meeting, class, or fighter practice. In the Barony of Darkwater, these meetings are casual and we don’t usually dress in garb, or medieval period clothing.

Most weekly meetings have a planned class or activity. Some people bring projects they are working on, while others just like to hang out and talk with friends. This is a good place to meet the people of the Barony in a casual setting.

Our Chatelaine, or their Gold Key Deputy, has a limited amount of garb and equipment available to be borrowed for events. Please contact them in advance, to ensure they have some appropriately sized ‘garb’, or clothing, that would fit you, and help make it easier to attend an upcoming event.

Terms to be Familiar With

“My Lord” or “My Lady” – For those times when you aren’t sure of how to address someone you are meeting at an event, or other SCA activity.

Garb – Medieval / Renaissance Clothing worn at events.

Period – Any point in time before 1650 CE, the time frame that the SCA operates within.

Persona – A character that might have lived in the SCA period that a member pretends to be at events; personas can be very simple or quite complex, it’s up to the person.

Troll or Gate – The place when you check in and receive registration, when you first arrive at an event.

Reservations – The place at events where you pay any monies due and receive your site token. (It is required that everyone check in at ALL events)

Day Tripping – Not camping overnight, may or may not be eating feast.

Cabin Space – Reserving a bed in a cabin during a multiple day events. Space is usually limited, but can be reserved beforehand.

Feast – Dinner, usually served in the feast hall at events. There is a separate fee and space is limited.

Feast Gear – Dishes and utensils are not provided. You will need to bring with you: A drinking vessel, a plate, a bowl, a set of utensils, a napkin (or two), and something to carry everything in.

Lyst Field – Where the fighters get to fight.

HOLD! – Call of the Marshals for everyone to stop what they are doing and listen for further instruction. Failure to do so may result in someone being injured.

Courtesy in the Middle Ages

The SCA strives to reproduce and recreate the best aspects of the middle ages and renaissance, especially the ideals of courtesy, chivalry and personal honor. We address one another as “My Lord” or “My Lady.” If someone holds a higher title they may gently correct you and tell you their title. When someone wearing a crown walks past, it’s polite to bow your head or give a small curtsy. The King and Queen are addressed as “Your Majesty”, the Prince and Princess as “Your Highness”, and The Baron and Baroness as “Your Excellency,”. If you are unsure how to address someone, just ask.

Choosing a Persona

You do not have to choose a persona right away. Attend a few events first, try out different garb and talk to all kinds of people. You may find something more interesting than you originally planned. Once you pick a name and people start calling you by it, it is challenging to change it as that is who we all met you ! One way to avoid this is to pick a first name that was common to several areas you are interested in, and decide on a last name at a later date. You cannot use the name of a real historical person or a fictional character, or a name that implies a relationship to either. You cannot use a title which has not been awarded to you within the SCA. A good web site to check out for ideas for and the rules of SCA name construction is the Medieval Names Archive. 

Attending SCA Events

When many people think of the SCA, they think of people in medieval clothing, fighters battling, feasts, and dancing. This is actually a pretty good description of an SCA event. It is always a good idea to pre-register for an event, especially if you wish to have feast. For a list of up-coming events, check our Upcoming Events, or the Kingdom of Trimaris Events page.

What to Bring to an Event

If you have not pre-registered, you should bring enough money to cover the cost of the event. You might also want to bring extra money as there are often many merchants with various SCA items for sale. Some feast prices include lunch and breakfast, others do not, check the event announcement/flyer/website to see if you need to bring lunch.

If you are planning to eat feast, you should bring feast gear consisting of a plate, a bowl, a cup, a fork (if you prefer), a spoon, and a knife. Many people bring candles, candle holders and tablecloths.

You should also bring your own drinks and snacks. Please check the site restrictions on alcohol. Drinks should be drunk from your cup, not original containers (no one likes to see a soda or beer can at an event).

A hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant are all good to bring with you. During the spring and fall, it is a good idea to dress in layers or bring a cloak for morning and evening wear when it gets cooler. During the hottest months, you might want to dress lightly during the day and bring a change of garb for the evening.