The Lords and Ladies of Connacht threw a festival in Oyama last weekend, drawing commoners from throughout the village who were eager to escape the drudgery of the working week.
Swords clashed as knights and their squires faced off in battle, artisans crafted trinkets, and minstrels filled the air with music.
The Duchy of Connacht is the Okanagan chapter of the Adrian Empire, an eclectic group of individuals who share a common interest in all things medieval.
“Without a doubt our biggest attraction at these events is our swordplay,” said His Grace Ruaidhri Silverhand, Duke of Connacht.
Silverhand carried on adding that all kinds of interests are represented in the 45 member Duchy. Weaponsmiths and armorsmiths are a natural fit to support the needs of combatants. Other members choose to focus on medieval sciences or arts. The group in Oyama on Saturday night included luthiers, a harpist, a glass bead maker and more.
The Adrian Empire is a North America wide organization with an estimated membership of 1,500 to 2,000. It is organized into duchies, arch-duchies and kingdoms depending on the membership size of its regional groups.
The Empire distinguishes itself from similar groups in that the sword fighting is unchoreographed. New members that want to learn to fight are taken under the guidance of accomplished knights who have studied the same combat texts that knights in medieval times learned from. Squires, as the knights-in-training are called, start off learning the techniques using a wooden practice sword and depending on their commitment can expect to work their way up to steel weapons in a year or so.
To find out more about joining the Adrian Empire visit www.connacht.ca.
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