Blackrune Free Company
Blackrune Free Company
House Blackrune and the Blackrune Free Company were both founded on September 24, 1983 (A.S. XVII) in the Barony of the Angels, during the baronage of Taliesin and Kerridwen. Their area of origin is the Canton of the Canyons, in the Barony of the Angels, Kingdom of Caid, within the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Both groups were founded by Lord Hagar Stromburg Blackrune, Master Gulliver Blackrune, Lord Erickson Blackrune and Lord Hanse Darkona Blackrune, and began meeting at Arcadia Regional County Park on Tuesday, January 3, 1984.
Blackrune's Origin Story. By Master Gulliver
It was AS XVII In those day we were warriors in the service of the Barony of the Angels, and the Company was yet to be a twinkle in our eyes. We had come together in that time and place by many routes, bearing many burdens, finding new passions, and we had no idea of the path we would walk together or what fire would forge us.
Some of us were in the Baronial Guard, wearing the red tabards of the barony, in the Norman Baron's court, and carried the favor of the Norman Baroness on our belt. Some of us were just donning armor and had yet to take that step into service. Others were friends who had not taken up the blade, nor knew that was in their future. And a few knew not that such games were being played but their fates and fortunes lay ahead of them with those of us who gained the Norman's ire and planted the seeds that would grow into black and gold flowers and red drops of blood.
We had different goals. Some aspired to a Roman tradition but the Norman Baron denied all aspirations save those in the Norman fane. Some adored weaponry of a lighter make and the Norman Baron despised them. The Norman Baron demanded weekly tribute and some of us refused him out or principle and some denied him out of an empty coin purse. Some of us were leaders in the making and the Norman Baron placed his favorites above us. Some came and questioned why this Norman Baron had the right to command them. The Norman Baron claimed his position gave him rights to command all manner of those in his domain. Some knelt to him, some trusted him, some denied him. Some of us questioned him.
So one night we took council among ourselves to assemble grievances. No sedition was spoken. We only wished to ask the purpose and the process by which the Norman Baron claimed to rule over us.
But we were betrayed.
He of the Boot, Big Jim, went to the Norman Baron and spoke honeyed lies into his ears. Treason he said. Sedition he said. Dissension he said.
And the Norman Baron believed him. He brought his wordy weight against us.
We who where guardsman, squires, pages, peasants, saw a common cause.
Four gathered together. We spoke of common cause. Of new lands. Of new paths. Of new names
The son of Eric chose the name.
The eldest picked the axes.
The second picked the colors.
The youngest put the blood on the shield.
We tried to be at peace with the Norman Baron and his Court but he would have none of us.
And we agreed. He would have none of us. We would have each other instead.
We were Blackrune, under the axes, in black and gold, with 5 drops for the Blackrune Brothers.
Wherever our path would lead, it began there.
The Blackrune Free Company is a fighting unit designed to give lone fighters and small groups a place to fight, without having to dedicate themselves to long-term service to a territorial group. This flexible design arose when it was noticed that each of the territorial-based groups or larger cohesive groups would receive preferential treatment when it came to the ordering of battle on the field. The lone fighters would be grouped together with little regard for their abilities. Three fighters on the field could have fun, but 20 could change the situation on the field. By combining these groups of two, three or four fighters into one unit, the Company became more effective on the field as a unit.
The colors of black (sable) and gold (Or) may be seen on the warfield at most Caidan wars and events.
Fighters in the Blackrune Free Company could join for a single war or for different terms of service as fit their interests. However, membership in the Free Company does not confer membership in the Household.
Traditions of the Blackrune Free Company
Annals of the Company and the Post of Annalist: The Annalist is the recorder and custodian of the history of the Company. It is traditional that at events he does a reading from the Annals of the company.
First Toast-To Absent Friends : The first toast of a gathering is usually To Absent Friends to remember those not present and those who have passed away. The second toast is frequently To Present Company but others may be offered up as well.
Hand Clasp : The unit has long uses a right arm grasp as a greeting. The practice has many reason amongst which are checking each other for knives, binding the sword arm upon greeting, and because the left hand held a tankard.
Colors of Black and Gold : The unit colors are Black and gold and members are encouraged to use the colors liberally in their attire and accoutrements.
Shield Design : The shield design for war shield was traditionally Per Pale Or and Sable. This was a guideline though and other divisions of black and gold were used. Often various charges were used in various places. The chief section on the gold side has often been filled with personal devices or badges. A lower corner has been often replaced with the blue and white device for the Order of the Crossed Swords
The Blackrune Free Company has had 5 Captains over its history:
- Lord Hagar Stromburg Blackrune
- Master Gulliver Blackrune, OP
- Lord Torin Ribsplitter
- Lord Ivan Blackrune
- THL Caspian Blackrune, current Captain
Many fighters who once participated in the Blackrune Free Company have gone on to form other warbands and gain high honors within the SCA. Some notable warbands that spent time with Blackrune in their early days include the Bloody Harlequins, House Deterioatta, and the Romani.
We traditionally fight in the Third Brigade (the White Lightings) when the Caidan Army is called to the defense of our kingdom. We do hire out as mercenaries for events that encourage the opportunity or when suitable remuneration encourages us to travel to fight foreign foes.
Today the Blackrune Free Company is enjoying a renewal of purpose, manpower and spirit with the addition of the new camping group, the Bjoys of Blackrune, a vibrant, enthusiastic generation of new members.
For information about the Blackrune Free Company contact the current Captain, His Lordship Caspian Blackrune