Torsteinn Olfuss (Þorsteinn Ǫlfúss)
Years in the SCA: 2
How did you find out about the SCA?
I first heard about the SCA in 1983, when the Smithsonian Magazine published an article. I instantly fell in love with the ideas, but never had an opportunity to do anything about it and could not find a group at first, and then spent 20 years in the Army where constant moves and deployments made it more difficult to become involved.
Where did you start, what was your first event?
I was hanging out at my local pub and a few of my friends were going on and on about how much fun they have at Pennsic, eventually they talked me into going to a local practice. I was instantly hooked and went home that night and joined the SCA, and paid my pre-registration for Pennsic. My first event, beyond local fight practices in the Shire of Hartstone, was Pennsic XLVII, two months after my first practice.
What is your persona?
My persona is 10th Century Icelandic Viking, a son of one of the first landowners, working to make a name for myself.
Why did you pick this persona?
The first bedtime story I remember was the Greenland Sagas. I’ve been in love with the culture and history of the Vikings ever since.
Do you have any group or household affiliations?
I am an active member in the Shire of Hartstone. I am a member of Hus Faerhaga household.
Tell us a little about your life outside the SCA.
I’m a retired Soldier. I have a Nursing degree, but haven’t worked as a nurse and instead have been focusing on my real love of pre-hospital emergency medicine as a NYS Critical Care ENT. I work for a small paid agency and volunteer with my local fire / EMS department where I’ve been a member for 34 years. I’m currently working my way back down the chain of command there serving as a 2nd Asst. Chief after 4 years serving as Chief.
What SCA activities do you like or have you participated in?
Heavy combat is my primary love. I’m also working on an old hobby of knife making (putting custom guards onto production or semi-custom blades), and hope to work that into some A&S presentations. Learning a little about leather working and armoring.
Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.)
I’m the Chatelaine in Hartstone. I’ve also applied my 20 years of Army experience by washing pots and pans at the end of a couple of event feasts.
When you started in the SCA, what goals did you have?
At first, I just wanted to learn to fight and to be able to play with so many wonderful people.
I am on the Path to Knighthood. I am squired to Sir Thorsol Solinauga after the first field battle last year, at Pennsic XLVIII.
What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA?
Getting past my own shyness and insecurities to become involved and find where to go during events. This is a particular challenge to me when there aren’t good signs / maps.
If you could accomplish only one thing in the SCA in the next year, what would it be?
I would like to be inducted into the Order of the Golden Alce; if this plague permits us to return to fighting and traveling so I can meet the standards of the Order.
What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA?
Ask the questions, do the things. And, above all, don’t spend any money whatsoever until you ask someone first for probably your first year. Let someone help you with cheaper or better (often both) products and sources.
If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be?
I would love to magically be able to do good illumination, as detail painting impresses the hell out of me, and is beyond my “natural” talents.
Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else, and why?
In the end, I hope and strive to become a member of the Order of Chivalry, but I recognize that I started down the path rather late in life and am limited a bit by age and disabilities from my Army career. I will be quite pleased and satisfied, however, if I am granted an Award of Arms, as recognition of my presence and contributions from those outside my little group and household.
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