Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Knights in July

My wife asked me before the holiday break if I was planning on going to the Kentucky Ren Faire this year. It had slipped my mind, and I hadn’t realized it was nearly at an end. An hour or so later, my father-in-law and I had plans in place to go on Saturday.

This year, we took my daughter along as well, dressed as a peasant girl (though dressed a bit better than a medieval peasant). My wife abandoned her normal outfit due to her pregnancy and went with a gypsy look (also a great outfit). My father-in-law and I dressed as normal – long-sleeve, wool gambesons and pants covered by mail shirts, surcoats, pauldrons, grieves, gauntlets, swords, shields and capes. Along with mail caps and helmets. What else would we wear in temperatures above 90 degrees? When people asked if we were warm, we’d say, “It was much worse in Jerusalem.” (Crusader jokes don’t get old.)

I apparently learned nothing from the history of the crusades because I failed to remain hydrated. Toward the end of the day, I was barely moving and couldn’t even accompany my wife and daughter in wandering the various shops. Instead, I planted myself on a park bench in the shade and tried not to die.

It was a fun experience up to a point, and then it became an experience in fatigue. At some point, I will likely translate this into an armored character trying to survive in hot weather. My hope is that a reader will say, “I really felt the pain and struggles of that guy.” To which I could answer, “That’s because I was that guy.”

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