|Top Ten Most Famous Amtgarders 2004
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been asking people a straight-forward question: Who are the most well-known Amtgarders? The answers have been enlightening, but not nearly as much as the questions that inevitably follow. Do you want famous or infamous? Local or Amtgard-wide? Now or throughout all of Amtgard’s history? And, most of all, can I list more than ten?
That last question is heartening. Our game has grown in the last couple of years, but as it’s grown up, it’s grown apart. Local forums and local events are all the rage, while the traditionally large events that used to draw people from all over the game are becoming less significant. It is therefore good to know that, even as the game expands, people in it are becoming more and more cosmopolitan. Folks are more aware. They might not be able to always pick ‘em out of a line-up, but they know the names that make Amtgard the game it is today.
So, after sifting through the data, we’ve narrowed it down to ten names and six runners up. Without further ado, here’s the Electric Samurai’s Ten Most Famous Amtgarders for 2004.
An old warrior, Kurse is the new face of the Burning Lands today. His continued leadership has helped keep Amtgard together; he is known as a proud, reasonable, and frank representative of his kingdom. His company, Esydra, also helped change and modernize the Burning Lands as they filled the offices of the kingdom. For his efforts, Kurse has accumulated titles – including a crown knighthood and the title of Warlord – and has also earned respect from Amtgarders everywhere.
A sword knight from the Iron Mountains, Thor is a consistent and qualified fighter that most people rate among the game’s five best. He has a quiet presence, but he’s nonetheless well regarded throughout Amtgard and has brought his empire glory in battles all over the game. This, coupled with a constant online presence (and perhaps an assist from WaffleCam, where he is Thor and you are not), makes his name familiar to people in every kingdom.
Squeak! has emerged as one of the most well-liked women in the game. Although she is most familiar to people on the east of the country, her prominence in the emerging Principality of Winter’s Edge under Neverwinter, along with her participation in House Lionesse, makes her a role model to many Amtgard women. Squeak! is a Knight of the Crown and the Flame, but her accomplishments extend to fighting as well; she holds the title of Defender. Most notably, on a list of men, Squeak! stands out. She is arguably the most famous woman in all of Amtgard.
Snicker. . .
Pretty much all of what can be said about Snicker was said in 2002, when he landed on the Top Ten list. His inclusion as a runner up indicates the continued importance of the internet in Amtgard. The Amtgard Atlas remains one of the most important resources in the game, and even got its own domain name in the past two years. Snicker also helps put together Amtgard’s most successful online comic, The Fink.
. . . and Dalos
If the internet made Snicker famous, than it is the ditch field that has worked for Dalos. That’s why these two share a space on the runners up list. While Dalos is sometimes given grief for being a shameless self-promoter, the thing that is sometimes forgotten is that his antics, spins and smack-talk work. He’s also helped raise the profile of the Celestial Kingdom with his dedication on the ditch field. Dalos has left an impression in every kingdom he’s visited and has let nothing – not even tournament success or injury – slow him down.
As people rattled off their top ten lists, they’d get near the end and pause for a while before finishing, "And Guy." The man with three knighthoods from three kingdoms has kept on helping Amtgard grow with his work at ‘Rakis and SKBC. He’s also the founder of Bellator, a company that includes many of the finest members of Amtgard. Guy continues to be a positive force wherever he shows up.
Top Ten Most Well-Known Amtgarders
Controversial and frank, Brennon (or Brennon EH, as he’s known to many for clarity’s sake) changed in the last two years from a familiar face in the Emerald Hills to a sword knight known throughout the game. Although his criticism of his home kingdom’s standards is well known enough, it is his work on the 7th Edition Rulebook that has made him famous. As a key member of the committee, he has helped guide the project closer to completion than it’s ever been – and with most of Amtgard behind him. Combined with extensive travel and heavy activity online, Brennon represents many of the new trends in modern Amtgard.
The other half of the Celestial Kingdom’s embassy to Amtgard, this regular on both the forums and the ditch field is hard to miss. He is a loud, loud man. He’s the sword-and-border who’s traveled everywhere to spread his gospel: stab, stab, stab. A repetoire of spins rounds out Arthon’s unique and high-energy fighting style. He’ll happily teach too, and was there as an instructor at the first SKBC. Arthon’s flamboyance on the field makes him one of the most memorable warriors, so remember. . . there’s no shouting at the ‘Rakis reeves, unless you’re Arthon.
Roger Shrubstaff – gotta have the Shrubstaff – continues to be a prominent voice for interkingdom cooperation in Amtgard. This flame knight from Neverwinter is one of the architects of the 7th Edition Rulebook and an online regular. His name consistently winds up on the lists of people in the east and travelers in the west. Hurricanes, rules committees and intense online debate haven’t stopped him; Roger’s still a major part of Amtgard.
Ivar’s fame has evolved over the years as he’s changed from a reality into a legend. Still, Amtgard.com is there, most of the time, and Ivar continues to somehow appear at a myriad of Amtgard events. His name and fame holds a firm grip on the collective consciousness of Amtgard’s old guard, and you can’t go far at a camping event without hearing a story about Ivar and the old days of the game. He’s the original man with a knighthood from three kingdoms and the guy who made a certain piece of Arabic headwear famous. If the game’s lucky, it’ll be years before Ivar becomes a mere fairy tale, a myth that suddenly appears in the flesh at a camping event before drifting away yet again.
Another Amtgard legend that has slowly drifted into the real world, Bolt nevertheless continues to play a part in the game. This knight still maintains a strong web presence throughout Amtgard and can be found now and again swinging foam with the new kids in the Burning Lands. Although working as a firefighter takes up most of his time, Bolt still offers friendly advice on everything from fighting to founding shires, and is still a fixture for many people in the pantheon of Amtgard greats.
Okay, so he has Forest War every year at Clan, his one-man war against anyone he can raise an army against. Okay, so he's got RedHawk Radio every week, even if he's a little retired. Okay, so he's one of the most famous Emerald Hills flame knights. As if all that isn't enough, the man's gone and spawned. Amtgard's biggest child just had a child of his own. Hopefully, that won't keep this bard away from the game for long. . . whether he's at Clan with a remote video camera on his head during a war, or at 'Rakis tossing top ten lists with Rift, Forest is part of the game for hundreds of Amtgarders and a solid part of the Top Ten.
"Can I put infamous people on my list?" Everyone asked it because everyone wanted Spyn in their top ten. This knight from the Wetlands is well known for many reasons -- a top five fighter, an atomic clocker, a former monarch -- but it's as the captain of Rogue Company that most people remember him. Even so, Spyn's a dedicated Amtgarder with more than just a sword belt around his waist. He's known in every kingdom, especially so in east Texas and the Atlantic coast. And as the leader of the bad boys of the Wetlands who everyone loves to hate, he'll be on people's minds -- and their top ten lists -- for a long time.
The father of Amtgard is sometimes more famous for what he isn't doing than for what he is. The talk these days is about how he wasn't at Clan, or isn't posting online, or isn't very active in the Burning Lands. Of course, he's still as much a part of the game as foam is, even if his computer hasn't been working for a few months. One of only two four-belted knights on the list, his legend in Amtgard continues to grow. Everyone's heard of Aramithris or 'J' in every corner of the game. In the old top ten, he was #1, and you could still argue that he's known to more people than anyone else. . . but the game's getting bigger and more spread out, and opportunies to meet the man that is Aramithris have become scarce. Take them when you can.
Sir Michael Hammer of God, or Mhog, as he's known to many, is Amtgard's most well-known and well-regarded four-belted knight. He's joked that he barely earned a serpent belt before the the fifteenth-year cutoff, and his knighting at Olympiad was one of the most spectacular events in Amtgard's history. Many people also know him because of his quest to visit twelve kingdoms in twelve months, a journey that was chronicled in a series of articles for e-Samurai. Michael's been a mover and a shaker in Amtgard for years and a solid supporter of the idea of interkingdom cooperation. After all this time, he's still putting on the garb, getting on the ditch field, going to feasts, and participating in the game at every level. Michael's enthusiasm and dedication have made him famous in every kingdom of the game.
The past two years have been a great time to be an Amtgard fighter. We've seen the birth and expansion of SKBC and we've seen ditch fields all over the game full of Amtgard's finest. In a combination of travel and service, Amtgard's growth has been driven by its sword knights. So it makes sense that, at the top of the list like an exclamation point, we have Lief. Fighters young and old in every park in every kingdom know his name. Stick jocks all over the game want to be him. Everyone's got a story of some impossible move he pulled off, and they all grow more outlandish in the telling. . . and then you meet the man, and he does not disappoint. He's been called Amtgard's best fighter, but he's also continued the tradition of service. Like nearly every sword knight on this list, he proudly wears a flame belt and has served in the highest offices of his kingdom. In an age that has been dominated by Amtgard's fighters, Lief is an example of what it means to be great. We believe he is the most well-known man in Amtgard.
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