Real Name: Shane Phipps

SCA Name & title: THL Gwydeon ap Arden, Order of the Gage

Years in the SCA: 35 Years

How did you find out about the SCA?

Growing up in Alaska is the last place you would probably think to find the SCA back in the eighties. Originally my mother wanted to go to a renaissance faire when I was very young. After some time, Dad said okay, and we all loaded up in the car and went to my first ever faire. I fixated on everything, the sights, the smells, the acting, and as we walked around the local Barony of Eskalya was doing a fighting demo, which immediately caught my eye. I stood there beside my mom entranced watching Heavy fighters clash each other and fight. The sounds, the movements, the shiny metal helmets, the applause to the victor. I looked at the heraldry on the shields, and then, as my mother and father were talking to one of the Chatelaines, I watched my first fight ever between two Knights, Sir Kylson Skyfire, may he Rest in Peace, and Sir Brendan Shimmeringstar. As I watched something just clicked, and I excitedly began to interrupt my mom and dad. When my mom finally pried my hand from her shirt sleeve she bent down and asked me “What is it?”

And with big dinner plate blue eyes I looked up at my mom and said, “I know what I want to be when I grow up.”

Amused the Chatelaine smirked as I excitedly pointed to the field, “I wanna be a Knight!”

With that being said, my dad looked at the woman and said, “So how do we join?”

And the rest they say, is history

Where did you start, what was your first event?

1980s? Summer Coronet in at the time the Shire of Selviergard, now the Barony of Selviergard.

What is your persona?

Originally Arthurian. When I was younger I was heavily enthralled by the Knights of the Round Table. And I chose Gareth as my name. When I was finally old enough to fight heralds would butcher Gareth, and I was be called Garth. So Gwydeon was born. A Welch bastard child of a Viking raid.

Why did you pick this persona? As I grew older my area of interest changed, from Knights to Vikings

Do you have any group or household affiliations?

Well, a few to be honest, Rolling Thunder, Oldcastle, Prydeskeep, and the list just keeps going.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA. 

I spent a collective eleven years in military service between two branches. The Marines out of high school, and the Army. After which I went to school to become a high school history teacher, but due to job climate I was unable to secure employment. Shortly after graduation I received my complete disability from the Military, which classed me as unemployable, and I retired five years ago. The majority of my mundane life is spent training and tending to my furry compatriots and being a house elf.

What SCA activities do you or have you participated in?

Fighting, blacksmithing, blade smithing, leatherwork, fighting, fencing, Calligraphy and Illumination, Queens guard, Bardic…. Did I mention fighting?

Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.)

I have held various offices in my time in the SCA. Primarily, I am the Knight marshal of the Shire of Sterlynge Vayle, but I have held the offices of Herald, Chatelaine, Constable, Chirurgen, and Baronial Champion.

When you started in the SCA what goals did you have?

Well, I was a kid, I had one goal at the time I wanted to fight, and I wanted to be a knight. But as I grew up I began to understand the path is more than just putting on armor going out into the list field and fighting.

What are your goals now? Oh I still want to be a Knight, that dream has never changed.

What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA?

Standing in front of people, I play it off well due to past experience, but deep down inside? Quaking in my boots

After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA?

Find some of my friends, drag them out of hibernation, put on the armor, beat on each other until we can’t lift our arms. Rest. Go to the forge and pound out a blade.

What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself what question would you ask and who would you ask it of?

There is always someone with an answer to your question, and if I don’t know the answer, I can point you to the person that does.

If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be?  Scrimshaw  (scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory)

If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970, 1980, etc.), what “era” would you pick and why?  I don’t think I would pick a different era, than the one I came into to be honest.

Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why?

Well, who doesn’t want to be King? And in time I may even achieve that station. But my one true goal and dream would be to attain Knighthood. That hasn’t changed from the time I was a little kid. And I wouldn’t mind becoming a Laurel or a Pelican either, but my main focus currently is to achieve Knighthood.

If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be?  Camaraderie, there is too much darkness in the world for us not to be friends and enjoy this wonderful hobby and dream.

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