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E-Samurai Interview: Heartwynd
[02/20/2009] [The Interviewer]

State your full Amtgard name for the record.

Baronet Heartwynd of Doomwind, Board of Directors - Western Gate, Kingdom of the Rising Winds

How and when did you get mixed up in this craziness?

In 2004 I found out that my youngest son had lied his way into some sort of combat game and I had to go investigate. Yep, Xander of Doomwind (that's why I am "of Doomwind") had told them that he was 16 and forged my name on his waiver. Yes, he got in trouble, but I also became involved in the game he was willing to lie for. Though he had entered it the wrong way it soon became clear to me, as a parent, that Amtgard was keeping him far too busy to get into trouble. That alone made it worth my effort and interest, but once I put on a healer sash and hit the field I was hooked. Before long two more of my sons (Durf and Sanjar) and my husband (Debain) had joined. The sons are all adults out on their own now and Xander is in college. Amtgard keeps us communicating as a family to this day.

What would you say is Amtgard's single greatest purpose?

To reach the kids that slip through the cracks of organized sports and help them become better men and women. I know this is an ideal and some folks might see it as hokey but I have seen it work this way over and over again. We have the special privilege of actually being able to make a real difference. There are certainly jerks and people who will take advantage, but the good far out weighs the bad.

Tell me the name of someone in the Rising Winds who is totally awesome.

It's a tie between Io and Maera; both women do incredible work time and time again, year after year. Marvelous service, too.

What's your single fondest Amtgard memory?

Oh gosh, so many! I thought of three that vie for the position right off the bat, but seriously, just too many good times to point out one as more special then any other. Here is one of them: Watching a fully garbed banshee who had tried to cast Doomsday and failed, running full out across the field of Western Gate being chased by about forty guys out for her blood. Her garb was flowing and fluttering behind her. She was fast and pretty... It was poetry in motion!

What's your worst Amtgard injury?

A cored out sword cracked my orbital bone just above my right eye during a bridge battle at WG way back when. Very nice black eye and a mild concussion from that one; went to my very first out of town event with that shiner.

Why does Western Gate deserve to be a kingdom?

Because we are simply too big to stay a duchy. Also, there are all these little freeholds in Missouri that deserve to be part of a kingdom that is close enough to attend. Most attend our duchy events already but have to travel pretty far to attend a kingdom event right now. We'd like them to be part of the larger Amtworld and WG being a kingdom will help them do that. Sadly, although, they do try, Rising Winds also is a little too far east to be more effective in guiding these smaller parks towards positive growth. Western Gate is in a great position to further the game to the west of St.Louis.

What makes a good squire?

A good squire has a sense of fair play, dedication to the game, dedication to their knight, and integrity. I would like to be able to rely on their word as good. I realize that this is asking a bit much.

Who do you most admire in Amtgard and why?

I have two: Sir Tanath Lagoon and Sir Johann. Tanath kept me going when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and stupid drama had me down about the game. He made clear the puzzling aspects of the game and has just been a total inspiration to me. He never decided that I was too old to teach rudiments of swordplay. Johann also never decided that I was too old to teach and has always treated me fairly, honestly, and with respect. I may not always see eye to eye with either gentleman but I number both among the people I admire.

If you could visit only three kingdoms, which three would you pick and why?

Burning Lands to meet the folks who started this mess. Goldenvale to see who the Rising Winds looked to before becoming a kingdom of their own [Editors Note: Rising Winds was sponsored by, and operated under, the Emerald Hills before becoming a kingdom. -B]. Wetlands because they are located in the area of my childhood home.

Do you have anything you'd like to say to the readers of e-Samurai?

Don't believe half the drama that you read and remember that newbies are the lifeblood of Amtgard so cherish them whenever you can. It's a great game and a great dream, so enjoy it.

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