"We don't play melee, we fight."
Those were the words that echoed throughout the fields when I first joined the world of melee over 20 years ago.
I crafted my first mace and was unable to fight with it because I was not a certified craftsman yet. I knew it was part of the rules.
I also knew that I could not have a famous historical person be my persona. I could not bear arms nor wear the markings of nobility, knighthood or a guild to which I was not a member.
Until I worked to earn that privilege.
When I established my persona name I went by only that (as much as possible) and called others only by their persona names.
I worked and became a craftsman. I crafted my sword- not just "foam."
When I earned my Blue Lordship belt I wore it with pride. As others before me, I had achieved something.
When I achieved a Barony I upgraded my heraldic arms appropriately with the new pieces that were prohibited for me to use before. I got to add supporters.
Today I see people who don't share the same views. They play "foam tag" and dress as caricatures. Certainly this has always been a part of melee, I do not deny that.
However I ask you this. What is Melee for you? Is it just a game where you get to "hit nerds with foam sticks?" Or is it more?
I encourage all of you to look at Melee like I did and do. There are some things I can't yet wear, be or say. Everything does not come automatically.
There are rules I have to abide by aside from taking my shots.
Heraldry, garb and sumptuary law are important. It is part of what makes Melee a cultural group and not just an intramural sport.
Take your time, earn your privileges. You will find that it is much more satisfying to have earned that new heraldry or Lordship belt than to just buy it.
There are enough stick jock groups out there for casuals. I am proud to be part of one group that finds that happy medium between LARP and sport.
That is why we call it Sports Reenactment.
In Service to the People,
Baron Boltac Lowleaves,
Barony of Nemea,
Kingdom of Praelia.