|One City, One Land!
The Burning Lands Board of Directors recently intervened in Alamogordo in an attempt to reconcile the two feuding groups. The rationale is that Alamogordo is too small a town to sustain two Amtgard groups, so they must be reunited or they will both fail. It's a good argument, to a point; the BLBOD is certainly to be commended for trying to take care of Alamogordo. Alamogordo isn't the only town out there with this problem, though, and it's certainly the one that waited the longest before it split, so let's see what other small cities have more than one Amtgard group.
Valdosta, Georgia is home of one of Amtgard's most famous rifts. One the one hand, you have the noble, true, honorable people in Dragon's Keep; on the other, you have some guys who took their foam swords to the other side of town and petitioned Goldenvale. These days, Dragon's Keep is in Neverwinter and the splinter group, Griffon's Peak, is part of the Evil Empire. I mean the Golden Horde of the Mongols. I mean Goldenvale. They still fight for king, those barbarians. Population: 43,724.
Johnson City, Tennessee, is the victim of another mad dash to Goldenvale. The two groups are Lochlon and Blacksword, a free hold. Population: 55,469.
Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the Barony of Mystic Glade under Dragonspine, and the coolest guys and best fighters east of the Mississippi. Oh, and it also has a Goldenvale group that formed because people wanted to roleplay or something. That group is named Sleeping Dragon. Population: 173,890.
Glasgow, Kentucky. One group, Mystik Caverns, is part of the Rising Winds. The other is a land named Dragon's Lair that is a member of (you guessed it) Goldenvale. Population: 13,019.
Hurricane and Nitro, West Virginia, are two tiny towns less than 15 minutes apart. That's about as long as it takes me to drive from my house to the park in Las Cruces on a mildly busy day. The groups, Misty Vale and Blackrock Hills, are both part of Goldenvale. Population for Hurricane and Nitro: 8,250 and 6,851, respectively.
Louisville, Kentucky, takes us up into larger-sized cities. It's the home of Madoc's Keep under the Rising Winds and Dragonclaw, a freehold. Louisville is the smallest big city to have multiple groups. Population: 256,231.
El Paso, Texas, is well-known throughout Amtgard as the home of the Burning Lands and of Amtgard itself. But did you know that there's three Amtgard groups in the area? The BLBOD doesn't mind this because they say El Paso is large enough to support all of these groups, although one would think that all groups would be pretty large if this were the case. The lands that share El Paso are the Kingdom of the Burning Lands, a freehold named Bliss Keep, and another freehold named Four Winds. El Paso also has a small SCA contigent that meets at the same park as the Burning Lands -- sometimes on the same day. Population: 563,662.
And just to be complete, the skinny on Alamogordo, New Mexico. Shadowvale has been in Alamogordo for ten years and has, in that time, been sponsored by three different kingdoms, alienated much of the local community (a no-no in a small town like Alamogordo), driven most of its good members to Dragonspine or other lands, and been thrown out of two kingdoms. Some members of Dragonspine who lived in Alamogordo hooked up with some Shadowvalers to form the Shire of Dark Cloud, which meets across town from Shadowvale. The BLBOD says two groups can't survive in a town this small and has taken control of their elections in an effort to resolve the issue. Population: 35,582.
Five small towns, most smaller than Alamogordo. Two cities, between five and ten times larger. None of them have an an active Amtgard population of more than 30. Of the seventeen groups mentioned here, Dark Cloud is one of the largest.
A consistent policy would require the BLBOD to examine the situation in these other small towns, or it will look like they are just picking on Alamogordo... and after that, maybe they'll ask themselves if multiple Amtgard groups in the middle-sized cities are the reason they're all down to shire-level populations. In the meantime, let's see how well things work out for Dark Cloud and Shadowvale and wish the BLBOD good luck in their efforts to resolve the ongoing feud.
[ This article was modified on January 28th, 2003. The author got the Knoxville split and the Jonhson city split mixed up, and forgot to include the Knoxville split. We're sorry about the bad information and have corrected the error. ]
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