As I prepare to move from Texas and my Amtgard home of Irongate for the state of Illinois, I cannot help but wonder what sort of things will be different in Amtgard's northern frontier than in the established southern end. All too often I hear different comments about Amtgard outside of the Texas-New Mexico-Colorado region. Things like "Their fighters suck" and "Amtgard is totally different up there" are fairly common. Regardless of what superstitions and lore I have heard, I do have some of my own preconcieved ideas about the North. And like all good e-Samurai, when I have an idea, I write about it. I decided to make this a two part series, the first part giving my ideas and reasons for them, the second coming around half a year later, once I have had a while to experience Amtgard in the North and compare my orgininal opinions to what I think then. So here are my "Northern Expectations."
1. Different Fighting Techniques. While I highly doubt I wil find that Northern Amtgardians "suck" at fighting, I believe I will find they fight differently. I expect this because of the heavy Dagorhir and NERO influences in the North. I have noted some of it in my few trips up there, and I believe that some of the fighters I faced could easily hold there own in any tourney in the South.
2. More Role-Play. I am not saying everyone in the North is a flurb, but I notice a lot more roleplay in the northern half of the Amt-world than in the southern hemisphere. I am all for more roleplay. I joined Amtgard for the roleplay and was almost driven completely away by the stick jocks when I first started. But then Sir Euric came out to the Golden Plains field, and bellowing and growling, played one of the best barbarians I have ever seen. I admit I am a flurb, I am proud of it, and I am looking forward to the roleplay.
3. More Indoor Events in the Winter. Or, at least, I hope this is how it will be. Granted, it can get damn cold down here - just ask Randall about the Golden Plains Coronation in March 2002 - but I know it can get worse up there. Plus there is the whole multiple feet of snow to deal with. I can handle camping in one or the other, but not both at the same time.
4. Less Bickering. Amtgard is much younger in the North than the lands I have dealt with in the South, so there has been less time for the deep-seated vendettas to grow. From my dealings with northern Amtgardians, I have noticed a much more open-minded attitude than I usually get in the South. To me, less bickering equals more fun, and I am all for more fun.
5. More Stress. Lots more stress... I am moving from a place where my title is a relatively common one to have, to becoming the second-highest titled individual in my state. (Thank god for Baroness Sir Katlina.) We are starting a shire that already has commitment from ten people, most of whom are older Amtgardians jonesing for their game. Also, for those who don't know it, Illinois and Southern Wisconsin are slowly beginning to work towards gaining a kingdom for their own. This means raising newbies, establishing good relations with other groups and the public at large, demos, advertising, promotion, etc. So, much more stress than I had holding office before.
I agree that moving North is going to change my outlook on Amtgard as a whole. I agree Amtgard is going to be different than what I was raised to think it should be here in Texas. But I believe change is generally a good thing. Starting this new shire will be just one of the challenges ahead of me, but I have always liked a good challenge, so I am anticipating my move to the North.
Stay tuned for Part Two, same e-Sam time, same e-Sam channel!
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