Real name: Gavin Keith
SCA Name and title: Lord Godzimir the Golden
Number of years in the SCA: Six
How did you find out about the SCA? Baron Snorri Skyti Bjarnarson, aka David Haldenwang introduced me to the idea.
Where did you start, what was your first event? War Practice 2016. It was a great time and a wonderful introduction to the game.
What is your persona? Godzimir the Golden is a Rus boyar from 10th century Kyiv. As a boy, he enjoyed watching the archers in his father’s employ. The grace and athleticism of the archers fascinated him. Godzimir wanted nothing more than to be as skilled as them one day. To that end, he picked up his bow and left his home in search of adventure.
Why did you pick this persona? I wanted something more exotic than the usual Viking persona. It also roughly matches the style recurve bow I use.
Do you have any group or household affiliations? I am a proud member of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, and of my household, Ætt Skyti.
Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA… I live in Pittsburgh and work in the steel industry in the steel city, get it? I like reading, lifting weights, playing video games, and, especially, practicing archery. I have a lovely wife, Reilly, and two cats, named Aegon, or ‘Egg’, and another named Possum. They are adorable gremlins.
What SCA activities do you, or have you participated in? Archery and thrown weapons are my favorite activities and the bulk of what I do in the SCA.
Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.) I run the Archers Guild in the barony of the BMDL. I also co-lead my household, Ætt Skyti.
When you started in the SCA what goals did you have? I wanted to expand my knowledge beyond that of the Viking age. I wanted to meet new people and see new perspectives. The goal was to really enjoy this goofy hobby of dressing up with my friends in the woods.
What are your goals now? Reach the rank of Master Bowman in archery. I’m very close. I would like to teach a class on spear throwing, having been a javelin coach. Beyond that, I’d like to learn a new skill. I’m thinking woodworking, cooking, or sewing.
What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA? Going up against such skilled opponents from Æthelmearc and other kingdoms!
After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA? Oof, this question did not age well. I’d like to get new people involved in archery. I’d especially like to bring more people over to the ‘period’ style of archery. That’s my jam.
What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself, what question would you ask? Be bold. Be humble. Be kind. Why are some long-time members of the SCA not these things?
If you magically woke up with an SCA talent that you do not have, what would it be? Sewing or cooking. One would save me a lot of money, the other would make me and other folks happy.
If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970,1980, etc.) what “era” would you pick and why? None, I like where the SCA is currently.
Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why? It is my wish to join the honorable ranks of the Scarlet Guard, Æthelmearc’s elite group of archers. I would also like to join the Order of the White Horn, for those in Æthelmearc who show great prowess in thrown weapons. An invitation to the Order of the Golden Stirrup would be neat too. Hey, you said not to be modest.
If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be? (and why)? More advertisement and ease of access for newcomers. This is an expensive hobby, and it’s easy for new folks to be overwhelmed by our excitement for what we do.
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