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Welcome to the WARRIORS FEAST SITE! This is a medium primarily for the members of the WARRIORS FEAST community. If it serves to interest or introduce you to the world of living the Way of Steel, of Barbaric Romanticism and Recreation of Medieval Martial Art, it is just as well.

This site is about fun, friendship, swordfighting and Heavy Metal. It is just the same about integrating the code of Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, as our Western European forefathers might have understood it, into modern life. It is this part that you will find covered more extensively on my personal website www.meredyth.de or on MySpace, where I publish some thoughts about martial philosophy and discuss them with people from all over the world. At this place we are presenting some photography, artwork and articles connected with our regular WARRIORS FEAST meetings.

What is the WARRIORS FEAST? It is a regular meeting of friends and associates, celebrating barbaric and warrior-like ideals, like friendship, abandon and hand-to-hand combat. It is accompanied traditionally by Heavy Metal music and vast amounts of beer and mead.

When did the FEAST start? The first event took place on December 1st 1990. We were nine, clad mostly in silk pyjamas and car seat furs. Our shields and weapons were spent on that day. We learned from then.

What inspired the FEAST?   Different things. I had been introduced into a medieval society earlier, the Le Chevalier e.V., which had derived from the early S.C.A. in Germany. I was fascinated by their fighting style as well as several aspects of their community. Just the same I was taken aback by certain hierarchic structures I regarded not - fitting. I wanted a company of equals and I never wanted to recreate medieval history, really. But I wanted to fight that way. I had several years of Kendo training, but it was the feeling of sword and shield I craved. For the FEAST crew, movies like Excalibur, Highlander and Conan served as inspiration. But most of us had read and imbued the myths & legends of old a lot earlier: Homer, the Edda, Arthur and his Knights... And Tolkien, of course. Most of us had been Fantasy Role Players. We breathed legends long before we laid with women. And then there was the music of Manowar.

What happens there? Quite simply, at a certain time at a picked location there meets a bunch of people dressed like barbarians, roasting meat, drinking like hell and fighting, having a good time. There are tents and banners, smells of roast pig and garlic, fireplaces and wild men and beautiful women and really heavy music all around the place. It is outside, either around Lughnasad (early August) or the dead of winter. Either time, we have contests, games, and free fighting all the time. It is a unique atmosphere.

Do all participants fight at the FEAST?   Absolutely not. There are fighters and those who prefer not to, who just drink and party and have a good time. Yet for most of the fighters, the FEAST would not be the same without it, and there is some distinction between the warriors and the others. Fighting at the FEAST is not about winning, it is just about fighting. You perceive everything different afterwards, like being a different person. Everyday problems are cut down to adequate sizes. Everything is turned down to moderate volume. When you drive home from the FEAST, other drivers hate you for being so relaxed, driving at moderate pace.  Yet anyway, many chose not to fight. It’s their problem. It’s all up to you.

Is the WARRIORS FEAST medieval reenactment?   No. We have no historical approach, alas we use some historical equipment. Yet we have no level of authenticity. There is no haggling over welded helmets or “historical correct” stitching methods and all that crap. We use steel helmets if we chose to wear helmets at all, but we usually use foam padding for it is easier and faster to construct than traditional inlets. We go for the look and for the usefulness rather than for the detail. Probably some things might change in the future, but we believe that the feeling is more important than the equipment.

Who is behind the FEAST?   We are three who organize the events; that is Jens, Richard, and me. Somehow we got to be called the Warlords. Jens is managing money and technical equipment, I am responsible for invitations, art, music and ideology, the whole idea of the FEAST. Richard is talking us down if we go to far, and he is constantly rehearsing the stories and characters to anyone who won’t listen if he’s got drunk. No really, he takes charge of anything left, including management of food. We get along quite fine. Mostly because we are really good friends.

What is the Music to the FEAST?   The music is essential. The primary music of the FEAST is not medieval or in any way traditional music, it is true Heavy Metal. That defines the FEAST. It is not about the past, not about reenactment. It is about freedom, about an alternative way of life, about defiance. We are not another historical group, we do not try to feel like people, say, living in the 13th century. We live today, yet we chose to wield the means and weapons of ancient times to compete with modern standards. We sport leather, steel, and freedom of decision. Swords and armor are our tools and symbols. Listen to the music of Manowar, Virgin Steele, (epic) Bathory and the like to get the feeling. It is freedom, power and courage. There would have been no WARRIORS FEAST without MANOWAR.

What does the Term WARRIOR mean in the 21st Century?   This is a crucial point. We do not wear swords and fight to celebrate war and bloodshed in any way, nor to glorify some imagined “better past times”. We do not recreate historical warfare, though it can be fun to do . In my opinion, the term Warrior stands for determination, courage and self-reliance. There is a lomg tradition of such a point of view, most closely associated with far eastern martial arts philosophy, especially Bushido. It’s emphasis is on equilibrium of character, free assessment of situation, and determination of action. A warrior should be capable of making his own decisions regardless of circumstance and prejudice, and act according to it.

Although the term Warrior derives from a military setting in general, it should never be confused with the term Soldier or associated titles. Our imagined Warrior in history is no medieval knight, fighting in foreign lands for his church or liege lord, he rather is the ancient German freeman, or the more recent Celtic clansman, or the Swiss Eidgenosse, defending his family and ground, following the leaders he himself has chosen only as far as his own reason accepts. It is a very democratic approach, as only free will and fearlessness constitutes democracy. To execute your own free will, you need awareness, the ability to overcome your illusions, your social programming. You have to overcome fear.

This is the prime aspect of the Warrior. You see, in war people are motivated by fear. It is never courage, it is fear for your own life that drives you to kill another man. Fear may drive men into something lesser than animals, raping and killing and performing atrocities he would never dream of in normal times. The Warrior knows his fear, he controls it and transforms it into energy to serve his cause, to overcome his opponents. You need to train with your aggressions to resist the surge of fear in dire times, and you need love to counter it, for love, not courage, is the opposite of fear: Love for your families, your comrades, probably even your foes. Thus, you do not need a weapon to be a Warrior. Hektor of Troy, Spartacus, Beowulf, Musashi, yet also Gandhi, Che, Malcolm X, even Jesus Christ I might recognize as Warrior.

Of course, this is philosophy, but it matters a great deal and is something of a foundation for the Feast idea, even though I could not express much of that in words the time we started. For the Feast, the Warrior ideal is closely connected to taking your stand, sticking to your word and friendship, as well as fighting. For the worth of it... let’s wait another 15 years.

Who participates at the FEASTS?  As the joke goes, we are a no-colour-wearing, fighting, not necessarily academic society. In the beginning, all members knew each other from school or military service, and all had been Fantasy Role Players. Most of us have been through legends and mythology, or at least enjoy motion pictures like “The 13th Warrior” or “Braveheart”. Most of us like Heavy Metal, beer, and roast meat. A lot are very creative.  Some of us are very good friends.

It is not easy to get into the FEAST. We had good times and some bad ones. We have been kind to newcomers and at one occasion we have been cruel. It is hard to describe. You’ve got to come and get the feeling. Test it, as the saying goes. Test us, and we shall see.

The WARRIORS FEAST is still evolving.

May the barbaric-romantic Spirit reign.

 

Meredyth 2003