Thunder Guard Belegarth Medieval Combat Society
Story by Wendy Wright, Photos by Kay Lee
On Wednesday and Saturday evenings until there is a bit too much snow on the ground for safety, you can find the group Thunder Guard Belegarth Medieval Combat Society practising medieval battles. Full costume and regalia are part of the action and combat is rendered with handmade weapons made of safe materials. The battles last for approximately two hours and the public is welcome to come out and see what this group is all about.
Thunder Guard was founded in 2006 as the first Canadian Belegarth Realm. “The Belegarth Medieval Combat Society is a live-action battle game organization devoted to simulating Dark Age and medieval combat. Participants may focus on history but are also free to include elements of fantasy, such as those from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings,” explains Miranda Mihalus-Thomas, the vice-president of the local chapter.
Belegarth has chapters worldwide, with an array of members from students to professionals, and is distinctly inclusive. There are numerous other aspects of the society as well; it is not just all about fighting. The medieval arts and sciences encompass art, music, cooking, costuming, organizing, support, and all things you can imagine when role-playing a medieval world.
Kayla Harris (a.k.a. Squire Antoinette Finnrsdottir, the Moosewitch), an elementary school teacher who has been involved with Belegarth for nearly 15 years both locally and internationally, gives insight into non-combat roles. “We have three guilds where fighters and non-coms alike can gain Masterhood status in a chosen craft. I am a Master Senechal, which is our service-focused guild, and my Masterhood is in Event Planning,” says Harris. “These guilds have opened so many doors for people in our community whose contributions often went unnoticed. Our other two guilds are the Artificers Guild, for arts and sciences (sewing, leather working, embroidery, cooking etc.), and the Chroniclers Guild, for everything that keeps track of who we are (photography, lore, history keeping, videography).”
There are large battles that take place internationally, some which local members have participated in. Imagine four hundred combatants in medieval garb coming together to wage their battle and all the peripheral happenings that bring together an old-world scene.
Thunder Guard is an incredibly dedicated, talented, and charming group.
For further information, find them on Facebook @Thunder Guard-Thunder Bay Belegarth.