Real Name: Sean Nguyen
SCA Name & title: THL Gunnlaud Leifsson
Years in the SCA: 8 Years
How did you find out about the SCA? In Middle School, by my teacher who was in the SCA who hosted the school’s annual History Faire. As a 7th Grader I created my own chainmail for my medieval “Garb”, and that was when He recommended me the SCA.
Where did you start, what was your first event? February 2014, Barony of Calafia, Kingdom of Caid (San Diego, CA). First event was a Sunday Fighter Practice where I was able to suit up and fight.
What is your persona? 14th Century Timurid Empire “Gurkaniyan-u-Turan” (Medieval Uzbekistan). A Islamic Mongol Successor State founded by Emir Timur Gurkani “Tamerlane”, 6 generations after Genghis Khan.
Why did you pick this persona? Originally my persona was Kievan Rus, but many times people kept commenting how they love my “Samurai / Mongolian Armor”. So out of humor & spite I doubled down to go for a Mongolian persona, “Going full Mongol!” I would say. Over time I settled with the Timurid Empire for its rich & unique history.
Do you have any group or household affiliations? Corvus Warband; from the Barony of Calafia, Kingdom of Caid.
Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA: Outside the SCA I like hiking, nature walking, & running. And like many young folks I play video games, watch anime, and paint miniatures.
What SCA activities do you or have you participated in? Heavy Fighting first & foremost, and recently getting invested into Rapier fighting and Archery.
Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.): I have been and currently am the Deputy social media Officer for the Barony of Calafia (San Diego, CA) and the Shire of Coppertree (Rome, NY) respectively. I would run and manage the Group Instagram accounts, taking pictures and videos of events and posting them online.
When you started in the SCA what goals did you have? My starting, and still current goal is to achieve Knighthood in the Order of Chivalry.
What are your goals now? To promote the SCA to the younger generation, and to inspire them to join our community and family.
What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA? Particularly in Heavy Fighting, the most intimidating thing is controlling your emotions, your Ego. Always be humble when you know you have lossed and never express hubris whenever you win. When we all don the Helmet and enter the field; there is always a greater opponent to fight and there is something new to learn.
After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA? With the shutdown nearly uplifted, I have returned to traveling and fighting again. It has been back-to-back events across New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maine.
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?
“Do not ever think that you are not good enough: You’re fighting was not good enough in the battles, your garb or armor is not of good quality, you are not contributing enough to your group or the SCA at large; and never be afraid to seek assistance. Your presence in attending and your commitment in improving yourself in any capacity at any pace is all that matters. We are reminded of ourselves when we first began, and we would be more than honored to assist you in any way we can.
If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be? Blacksmithing or calligraphy.
If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970, 1980, etc.), what “era” would you pick and why? I would say the 1960’s, from A.S. 1-10. It would be interesting to see the origins of the SCA in person and to see its growth.
Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why? The award I seek to achieve is Knighthood into the Order of Chivalry. For many Fighters we walk the Warrior’s Path: the years of training & learning, and the hundreds of opponents we fight in battle. The White Belt of a Knight is not only the symbol of the martial prowess, knowledge, and wisdom that a Fighter has achieved, but it also represents the duty that a Fighter has in aiding and teaching other Fighters along their own journey on the Warrior’s Path.
If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be? It is always great to see more young individuals joining the SCA, attending events, and volunteering or running positions.
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