What the heck are all these people doing?


Frequently Asked Questions

Are you in a play?

Believe it or not, this is the most commonly asked question of our members. Since we frequently travel to events and patronize local businesses while dressed in "garb", we routinely get stopped and asked if we are in a play. The real answer is kinda yes. We are in "costume" and we are "playing" at living in medieval times, we just don't have a stage or audience. We enjoy re-enacting the Middle Ages as a hobby. So the next time you see a 14th century nobleman buying ice at the local convenient store, it just may be one of us. Say hi!

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What is the SCA?

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a not-for-profit educational organization devoted to the study of Pre 17th century Western Culture. It concentrates on the European Middle Ages, Renaissance, and members work to recreate the arts and skills of that era. An "anachronism" is something out of its proper time frame. "Creative anachronism" takes the best qualities of the Middle Ages and selectively re-creates them for our modern world.

Geographically, the "Knowne World" refers to all of the regions on earth that have active SCA chapters (kingdoms). Chapters cover all of the United States, Canada, Japan, and parts of Europe, Australia, China. There are 20 kingdoms, each with its own King and Queen. Kingdoms are independent of each other. Each kingdom has a body of written "law" established by the Crown to define specific rules it follows. Locally accepted customs give each kingdom its unique personality. All the kingdoms build their laws and customs on a framework called Corpora, which sets overall rules for the Society.

Kingdoms are divided into local and regional chapters called principalities, baronies, shires, marches, cantons, colleges, and riding. The names of these divisions reflect the size and organization of their membership.

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What do you do?

We attempt to re-create the enjoyable aspects of medieval life during our tournaments, wars, and "events". We teach classes and hold workshops. Each member gets involved in different ways. A large part of our Society revolves around the study and re-creation of medieval combat. Artisans research historical costuming, brewing, dance, leather working, wood working, metal working, heraldry, calligraphy, illumination, and many other skills.

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Can I play?

Absolutely, we are always glad to meet new friends. The activities offered through our Society satisfy a wide range of interest and anyone should find no problems finding some way to play. Now we do have certain safety and age restrictions on the full tilt fighting we perform, but do offer youth combat activities for our younger generation. The SCA is a wonderful place to get the entire family involved in an active outgoing Society dedicated to education and research. Come on out and join us.

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How much will it cost me?

The SCA is a non-profit organization that does not require participants to pay in order to play. There are benefits to being a registered member of the Society, but again there is no requirement. Members who wish to purchase an annual membership receive the Kingdom newsletter from the region they register in as well as a discount on event fees. Weekend events hosted by our groups do normally have a per person door fee that varies depending on your length of stay with us. Please see the "event flyers" on the Calendar link for more details.

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What about my kids?

The SCA is a wonderful place for families to enjoy themselves. Being an educational society, we pride ourselves on teaching the younger generation about the history, life, and times of the medieval ages while being able to have fun re-living them. We are a hands on society so our youth get the opportunity to participate in family oriented fun while actually learning something about history. So, if you have kids and are interested in what we do, feel free to bring them on out for some fun.

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What's an "SCA name"?

You're encouraged to choose a "period" name and use it at events. "Period" just means appropriate for our medieval time period. You don't need an SCA name at your first event, and people called heralds can help you pick a name. But that's why you'll hear a lot of people going by Norse or French or Italian names at events.

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Why are y'all dressed so funny?

Members create characters that would have lived during the middle ages. Part of playing this "persona" involves wearing clothing appropriate to their time period. We call our clothing "garb" and attempt to make it as historically accurate as possible.

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What is a persona? Do I have to have one?

A persona is a character you can choose to develop. If nothing else, picking a time and place within the SCA period to focus on gives you a starting point to figure out your clothing, your name, your armor if you want to fight, and it can also lead to some really fun research and artistic and scientific experimentation! You don't have to choose a persona, and if you do, you don't have to dive deeply into it. It's entirely up to you and what makes you happy. But if you want to go all in and start talking in an accent, you won't be alone!

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Why are people wearing crowns? Should I treat them differently?

Crowns are "regalia", special articles of dress which represents SCA honors given for service or acheivement.

The polite behavior when you meet royalty is to bow or curtsy, and greet them as "Your Majesty" for the King or Queen, and "Your Highness" for the Prince and Princess.

Dukes and Duchesses (ruled as King or Queen more than once) should be addressed as "Your Grace,". Counts and Countesses (ruled as King or Queen once), Barons, and Baronesses should be addressed as, "Your Excellency." You can always refer to someone wearing a coronet as "Your Excellency", and be considered polite, if you can't remember the correct form of address.

The default position for absolutely everyone, even YOU, is that you are minor nobility at least. You will also be referred to as m'lord or m'lady by people, and you should be treated with common courtesy and respect. There are no peasants in the SCA, except for those who choose a rogueish character for themselves.

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What are awards? Who are Peers?

Kings and Queens recognize people for outstanding service, or combat skill, or arts acheivement. There are Awards of Arms, and Grants of Arms, and both come with regalia in the form of plain metal circlets.

Peers exemplify the best in their respective fields of interest, as well as having served their kingdom and populace. They divid into four groups. Knights excel at armored combat. Laurels excel at arts and sciences. Pelicans have given exemplary service. The Order of Defense (MoDs) excel at rapier combat. Peers have special regalia. Knights wear unmarked white belts and gold chains. Laurels may wear wreaths of laurel leaves on their heads. Pelicans and Laurels may wear medallions or cloaks or coats with their respective badges on them. MoDs wear a white collar bearing their badge and may wear a cape with the same badge on it.

Knights are called, "Sir", and other peers are addressed, by default, as "Master" or "Mistress". Some peers may use other titles that are more appropriate for their personas. You can always, always, always refer to someone as m'lord or m'lady, and be considered polite, if you can't remember the correct form of address.

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What are associates? (Squires, Apprentices, Proteges, Provosts)

Peers can take associates. The peer-associate relationship is individual to each pair of people, but generally speaking, being someone's associate means that you're learning from that person, they're acting as a mentor for you, guiding you on a path to being peer-like, yourself. Being someone's associate does not guarantee that you will ever become a peer yourself, but it can be a great way to grow as a person, within the SCA, and form a strong bond with someone you like and trust. It's recommended that you have a clear understanding of expectations before agreeing to an associateship.

Knights take squires. Squires often wear red belts and, sometimes, unadorned silver chains. Red belts are not reserved except by tradition. Laurels take apprentices. Apprentices often wear green belts. Again, green belts are not reserved except by tradition. Pelicans take proteges. Proteges wear yellow belts, which are also reserved by tradition. Masters of the Order of Defense take provosts. Provosts often wear a red collar.

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What are households?

Households are unofficial groups of people who have a common goal or interest. There are peer-led households, usually comprised of the associates of a peer. Those households may have further common interests or goals, or they may just be a way for a peer to keep track of their people. There are service households, which do a lot of volunteer and organizational work. There are fighting households, which organize war units or training units. And there are mercenary households, which often fight, but not necessarily aligned with the kingdom in which the members reside, and they may have other goals or common interests as well. Households are not regulated, and are not isolated to individual kingdoms. Some households are small, with a handful of people. Others have chapters in multiple kingdoms and can have over a hundred people, across the Knowne World.

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Where can I find out more?

If you want to check us out, come by one of our weekly practices or our monthly meeting. Current information on these activities can be found on the Calendar page. If you are not in the Athens area and want to find a group local to you, please visit our Kingdom website if you are in the Southeast, or our Society website if you are farther afoot.

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How do I join the SCA?

To find out how to join the SCA either online or via mail, just visit the SCA website.

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