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Household Heraldry
Registered 12/96 (West): Sable, a double-bitted axe and a bordure Or.
Head of Household:Bjorn Tyrsson
Household Seat:Midrealm



What is BLACKWOOD? Blackwood is a mercenary company. Unlike some groups of the same type, we focus on being a service to the SCA as a whole in assisting newcomers in getting in armor, getting in garb, and getting to/ from events with no strings attached. While historically many have joined us over the years, it's never been a limitation on who we help. The focus is on war events, often called Melee Events in the midwest. Blackwood here in the midwest is a child unit of a parent in the West Kingdom and as such some Western culture will bleed through. Specifically a focus on good sportsmanship over winning. Often Blackwood has been "hired" to even the odds on a battle, or paid to fight for the "other" side. Evening the odds for a good day of fighting is pretty common out west. Most importantly we want to have fun, help newcomers, and beat on each other with sticks...and have a hard-earned beer afterward with our opponents of the day. That being said, the Midrealm/ Northshield culture of good tactical and strategic sense will of course be common as well.


CHARTER of BLACKWOOD (Midwest): Blackwood is formed as a mercenary company which functions as a free company when not engaged for a particular War. Our goal is to support people in participation in all forms of war fighting and give them a place to learn how to see the field and developments on it, improve physical war skills, and function as a small unit commander if they choose.

The Colors: The following badge associated with this name was registered in December of 1996 (via the West): Sable, a double-bitted axe and a bordure Or.

Payment: While we play the role of mercenary because it is fun and one of many ways to participate as a fighter on the SCA battlefield, we will be paid in a manner that is respectful to all parties involved. By this I mean that as this “Mercenary Company” is schtick, we will likely be paid in the same manner. We may fight for cookies, brownies or other baked goods. We may get paid in beer (store bought or home brew). We may get paid in any number of minor things that have little to no value, and that is ok. We are not trying to really make coin or get paid in expensive gear. As a group we provide not only a service on the field by holding a line or filling a gap, but we also help newcomers in the society and provide a fun environment for others to play in that is also respectful to the organization of the society, the crown(s), branches etc.

Participation: We will “field” at any war where two or more members attend and are wearing the colors on the field (fighting, marshaling, or in support). We will hold two meetings annually: an End of War season feast (late October/early November – can be pushed to early January if necessary to accommodate other scheduled obligations), and an Althing at Pennsic, for camaraderie and to induct new members, as well as to bring forth any concerns better discussed face-to-face than on-line. We will hold a minimum of three non-event gatherings for training, practice, review of video for lessons learned, making stuff people need (one can be end of season daylong gathering in combination with the feast). One of the primary functions of Blackwood is to help people get started, make garb, armor, camping gear as well as get to/ from events.

Expectation: To be considered to have participated at an event you need to wear the Blackwood Colors for at least two scenarios at an event, minimum. Beyond that, please feel free to fight with your regional group, or your knight, or whoever you like. There is no expectation of spending the whole event with us: we understand many people are a part of other households or groups and being in fealty. Please fulfill your duties.

Commander: Once yearly at End of War season gathering and feast, members will select a Commander for the next year. Any member may nominate another, or themselves, and a nominated member may decline the nomination. The primary duty of the Commander is to keep communication flowing: to negotiate hiring contracts and to designate commander of the day at Wars. These duties may be delegated. The Commander will also assist sponsors with feedback communications with potential new members.

New Members: Any member may stand as a sponsor for persons wishing to join Blackwood. The member should notify the unit on the Facebook group when they have taken on a potential new member (PNM), and make sure that the PNM is mentored. Once a PNM has been participating WITH us for a minimum of three events or meetings, the Sponsor can put them forward for discussion. Once the discussion is without strong negative response, the PNM will be inducted either at the Mid-Season or End of Season meeting, or next war event whichever is soonest. Prior to induction it is the Sponsor's responsibility to communicate with the PNM and to this Facebook group when they will field with us at a particular war, so they can be included in the pay calculations. New members may make their own colors, or purchase from the unit stock, or pay/barter with another member to make colors for them. They will be added to the Facebook group after induction. (There are a few PNM's who will be offered membership and inducted immediately by acclimation between reforming and early in the 2018 war season (or a bit beyond), once they have fought with us and are sure they want to be members.)

Krysta of Starfall Recognition: At the End of War season feast, we will tell stories of epic actions of our fellow unit members. The member found to best embody the War versatility and spirit of Viscountess Krysta of Starfall, OP will be awarded her Mantle to wear or display for the following year.

Other Obligations: There will be no stigma, and no shaming, of those of our members who for reasons of prior or higher obligation do not wear the colors and fight with the unit in a particular battle or at a particular event. All members are encouraged to be mindful of their participation with the unit, and to resign or retire should they find they are under so many other obligations that they can no longer contribute to the goals of Blackwood as a member. They will always be honored for the time given to us.

Blackwood Emeritus: All persons who retained allegiance to Blackwood West or Blackwood AnTir are welcome to wear the colors and fight with us whenever they are attending a War where we field. If they would like to re-activate as full members, they can, if they are willing to take on commitment to our goals and support of each other.

A note on Chivalry and being a King's Man

When Blackwood started in The West Kingdom, we were all unbelted. Over time though many of us have become peers of the realms we live in. Knights, Pelicans, Laurels and that hasn't limited our ability to participate in BLACKWOOD. As a knight (in my own case) I am expected to fight as "THE KING'S MAN" in interkingdom wars. No problem. Most wars aren't between kingdoms, but between smaller branches. In those cases there will be knights on both sides of the conflict: feel free to Merc it up with the best of them. Even if it is an interkingdom war, it doesn't necessarily mean YOUR kingdom's war. Even if it does, it's common to ask permission to fight on the other side for a battle or two with no hurt feelings because let's face it, we're all friends anyhow. Most sovereigns don't care, and a couple scenarios is no big deal.

Even if it is a big deal to the current sovereign, it's no big deal with Blackwood, ever. Uphold your responsibilities. Fulfill your oaths. Blackwood will survive without you for an event. Honestly, becoming a squire, a man at arms, a knight, or some other peer, all enrich the game, and that is what BLACKWOOD is all about. The expectation in being a part of BLACKWOOD is to contribute in some way to the mission of helping people and making the SCA a better place. It requires only a couple events a year and really a couple scenarios per event in the colors. If you can do a couple scenarios and otherwise help out when you can off the field, and take care of your other can still be a part of BLACKWOOD. We'd be glad to have you.


Elisif Leifsdottir (S), Bjorn Tyrsson (F), Aesa Nattfarisdottir (S), Brigid Gallagher Odinkarsson (F), Ottarr Odinkarsson (F), Samson 'Samii' Muskovich (F) (F= Authorized Fighter), (S= Support)

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