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What is the Mercenaries of Shadow and Light?

The Mercenaries of Shadow and Light is a small group fo individuals in Colorado, which is mostly dedicated to having fun. Our "meetings," are somewhat irregular, but fun. The basic concept that started the Mercenaries was that swordfighting is cool, but not everybody can afford to make armor for the SCA.
Our "meetings" in the past have mostly consisted of lots and lots of forest-battles, but also include feasts, wars and other fun stuff.
But let's get on to some more specific information.

How did the Mercenaries come into being?

Well, it all started back on the week of February the 15th in 1994. Ben Roberts (one of the founders) was turning 16, and wanted to have a sort of medieval "capture the flag" game for his party. His friend, Ben Holman (spooky, isn't it?) had been friends with an SCA member, and had learned the "art" of making boffer swords.
Boffer swords are lengths of PVC pipe (usually schedule 80) that are covered with closed-cell foam--available at any hardware store. The foam is covered in duct tape, and cross-hilts, usually also made of PVC, are taped on to the "blade".
So six of Ben Roberts' best friends came to his party and duked it out with padded swords in the valleys of Palmer Park. It was a blast.
It was so much of a blast, soon everyone wanted to do it again.
And again.
And again.
And after a while, more people started coming to the fighting games, which were scheduled for virtually every weekend.
After a few more people had joined the group (the original group consisted of Maelgrim, Owen, Treylane, Roland, Vagnad and Zodzarikk), some rules got established for fighting. Heads, knees and elbows became off-limits for hitting. Many people started to make costumes--or "garb"--to attempt to look medieval.
The Mercenaries of Shadow and Light has gained many "members" since the original six party-goers. But the spirit of it remains essentially the same.

Is there any kind of organization to this madness?

Sort of.
Unlike the SCA and other groups (i.e. Amtgard, etc...), there is not yet a King or Queen.
There are no kingdoms.
That is due in part to the fact that there are not enough people in the Mercenaries to necessitate an organizational figurehead like a King or Queen. Supposing there were enough people, it might be feasible.
There are no kingdoms, etc..., because there is only one area where the Mercenaries meet--at the moment. There's not much point of dividing up into smaller regions when the base region is small enough (i.e, one city).
There are a few Knights in the Mercenaries of Shadow and Light, however, who are the four main organizers of the whole thing.

Sir Maelgrim Cedaur o Lan Filan o Pouis; a Welshman from Powys (Pouis in the old spelling), Cynara's husband, and a citizen of Dragonsspine (because he's also in the SCA).
Lady Cynara de Wakely; an English lady from Sussex, Maelgrim's wife, and a citizen of Dragonsspine (she's also in the SCA).
Sir Lance Truewater; a Saxon wanderer, and a great asset to the Mercenaires.

In addition, there is a Mercenary Company headed by Maelgrim Cedaur called the Black Falcons. To see and hear the Song of the Black Falcons, click here.

Beyond that, there's no further organization. Here is a listing of the organizational tree as it will look when the Mercenaries of Shadow and Light grows to a respectable size.

So, the basic idea is to fight and have fun at it? Sounds kinda weird. Anything else I should know about?

If you think that's weird, then this next part might sound a bit far out, too. (No, I don't really say "far out.")
Part of the game is trying to make it seem like we're in the middle ages. This means wearing medieval/Renaissance clothing, eating medieval/Renaissance food, and listening to/singing/playing medieval/Renaissance songs, among other things. The fun part about the Mercenaris of Shadow and Light is the atmosphere.

Got it. I'll be a.) Happy to learn more about this or b.) running from this weirdness now.

Right, then. Have a peachy day.

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