Real Name: Lance Kazmark
SCA Name & title: Baron Magnus de Lyons
Years in the SCA: I believe just over 7 now.
How did you find out about the SCA? Prior to formally joining the SCA I was a fantasy live action role player (elf ears and rubber swords all the way). During the course of that hobby, I had several friends who also participated in the SCA, so It is hard to say who was the first person to introduce me to the SCA. I went to the same college as Duke Christopher of York and was friends with Morgan Elandris for years before joining the SCA. I suspect it was multiple people who finally resulted in my early SCA exposure.
Where did you start, what was your first event? The first event I remember officially attending (and staying for the whole thing) was in Buffalo, perhaps 1989-1990. I think it was a Summers End. I remember the feast was in a little stone building. This event was significant for me because after the event we crashed at Duke Christopher of York’s apartment for the night. It came to our attention that the basement was full or armor making tools and a friend and I spent hours down there banging on metal. This came to an abrupt end when a tall blonde woman poked her head in the basement and told us to pack it up. The noise had provoked the neighbors to call the police. This was the first time I met Baroness Morgan Elandris. Thankfully, she didn’t kill us, and that encounter turned into a decades long friendship. I played for a short time while stationed in North Dakota but was always on the fringes of the Society. The first event I went to and actually fought at was Pennsic 25. Seven or so years ago I decided to participate in the SCA full time.
What is your persona? I am a very generic 14th century Englishman.
Why did you pick this persona? In another life, I was friends with a very young THL Enzo de Pazzi (just Enzo back then). We both played another game together called Dagorhir (a foam sword fighting game). When we met, I was very much the generic “pirate shirt & moccasins LARP guy” and Enzo was a ninja. We mixed liked oil and water at first but slowly became good friends. He started to get interested in making historically accurate garb and armor, and his work so inspired me that I decided I would move to more historical garb as well. Enzo was focused on 14th century stuff so I matched that. I stuck with it because 14th century gear is comfortable, looks good, and the armor is very functional for SCA heavy combat.
Do you have any group or household affiliations? I am a member of the Woodland Watch, the protégé-apprentice of Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, and a proud member of the Rhydderich Hael archery group, the “Hael Hounds”.
Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA I am currently a Protective Security Supervisor for HSBC bank. Prior to that I worked for the government as a Stationary engineer for ten years and served in the Air Force for four years. I have three college degrees in Industrial model making, graphic design, and criminal justice. I have never used any of them to earn a living. Currently I live in the Great Buffalo area and share a home with my Fiancé Lady Thalia Papillon and our two fuzzy cats. I ran my own LARP group, Adventures in Mid-Land for 16 years, and then played in a group called Dagorhir for another ten. I am an avid war gamer, miniature painter, and model maker. I also owned a game store called “Arcane Sanctuary” in Utica NY for a short time before moving to Buffalo.
What SCA activities do you or have you participated in? I am currently an authorized fencer and heavy fighter (including siege) as well as an archer and thrower. I dabble in arts and science as a leather worker.
Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.) During my time with the SCA I have served in the Rhydderich Hael as the Deputy Chatelaine, Demo Coordinator, Chronicler, captain of the guard for Carolous and Isolda (10th Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael), and currently as the historian. I am a heavy weapons and thrown weapons marshal, and by total accident I am a herald (but honestly have no talent for it). Currently I am serving as co-captain of the guard for Their Majesties Maynard and Liadain (though COVID has made that a pretty easy job). As mentioned before, I am the protégé-apprentice of Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin. I am on the staff for ÆLive and until recently I was an editor for the Æthelmearc Gazette. I have run several events and served as staff on a handful of others. I also had the honor of serving as the 11th Baron of the Rhydderich Hael.
When you started in the SCA what goals did you have? I had two goals when I started the SCA seven years ago. I wanted to authorize in heavy weapons fighting again and (having spent so many years running other groups) take on zero responsibility or jobs whatsoever. I succeeded in the first goal and authorized, but totally failed on the second.
What are your goals now? My main goal is to give my Lady the honor of fighting for her in a Crown Tournament. I would also like to fight in the combat of the thirty at Pennsic.
What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA? Hands down it was my first few months going to heavy fighter practice in the Hael. I love fighting but I have never been a great fighter. Heavy practice at the time averaged about four people a night, including me, and everyone but me was a Knight (including a Duke). Everyone was always willing to fight me and I learned a lot, but I suspect I was not the most exciting opponent. I often had to convince myself to get off my ass and get to practice. Thankfully, I kept going and before long got comfortable in my own armored skin.
After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA? I would really like to take time and focus on enjoying the SCA more with Thalia. During her first years in the SCA I was serving as Baron of the Hael and my time was often divided. She was wonderful during that time and I would like to spend the rest of our years in the SCA enjoying it together. I know when my lady and I make it back to Pennsic we are really looking forward to volunteering. We really enjoyed working Troll and would like to try a few shifts as security. I would also like to return to visiting events outside the Kingdom as often as we can.
What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA? Do not be afraid to try everything that interests you at least once. Serve as often as you can in whatever jobs are offered. Not because you want to get an award, but because service is a great way to learn about how the SCA works behind the scenes. It is also a great way to meet people. Respect your limits (physically and mentally), but do not be afraid to push them. Never think you are not important to the SCA because you are new. Everyone was new once. One day you will find out it was you who inspired another person just starting on their own journey. When you are a “veteran” remember to watch out for new people and recognize their efforts in any way you can. Never assume someone else will see it. Most importantly have fun.
If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be? Sewing garb. I enjoy leather work, but honestly the ability to sew garb would serve me better in my day-to-day SCA life.
If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970, 1980, etc.), what “era” would you pick and why? If I had to pick another era it would be the early years (1970). I have a few friends who tell stories of the time and honestly it sounded like a lot of fun.
Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why? When I joined the SCA the award that really stuck out in my mind was the augmentation of arms. I just straight up thought that was a cool concept. Granted I had no idea what most of the awards meant or why people got them, so I had no clue that I did not (and would never) meet the standards to have an augmentation. I am 100% okay with that, but it is still a cool idea, so I am sticking with that one as my answer.
If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be? I would like to see more effort put into improving atmosphere at events. Sometimes the SCA feels rushed, and I think it takes away from what attracts people to the SCA in the first place. Do not get me wrong, I am not accusing people of not caring. The SCA is a busy place, and a lot of people do not have time to breathe during event season let alone take time to “fine polish” their efforts. It is hard to put 110% into an event when you have two or three days before packing up and attending another. I would like to see a bit more quality over quantity when it comes to events.