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Asheville Get Invaded + Giant Freaking Catapults

Hail, friends and warriors!

Another Celticfest is in the books with a minimum of broken bones, and I must say that this was the best one to date. For one, there was an actual trebuchet--one which this writer was regrettably not allowed to operate. But then we also had warriors visiting from such faraway lands as Johnson City, TN and Greenville, SC. They came with their swords and their axes and their fierce fighting spirits to seize the Festival of Heroes title away from your beloved Warriors of Ash. How could we possibly prevail against such worthy foes? More on that later.

Look at that beautiful trebuchet

First, though, I have to say that Celticfest reminded me once again why I love this sport so much. The people you meet are truly the best people in the universe. I've made a slew of lifelong friends through HEMA--ones that bless me with their wisdom, ones that show me what real strength looks like, and ones that show tremendous support and love to their communities. And then we all hit each other with swords. What's not to love about it? Big shout out and thanks to all the warriors that showed up to make this such a fun and competitive tournament. It's one I'll never forget.

Besides my fellow HEMAists (HEMAniacs, perhaps?), one thing I always look forward to at our events is sharing what I love with the merry festival-goers that visit our booth and talk to us about what we do. There's a special look in a person's eye when they pick up a real sword for the first time. It's like watching a kid who just discovered candy. Young or old, when somebody picks up one of our weapons, you see their imagination and wonder come out. It's a real joy to behold. I was one of those people once, and now I can't seem to put the swords down. If I met you at our booth in Celticfest, I hope to see in one of our classes real soon.

But back to the bloody battling. Like I said, we had some talented warriors that made the trek to Asheville, and they all had a real hungry look about them hoping to become champion of the Festival of Heroes. They had all obviously been training hard with all manner of deathsticks: longswords, sideswords, halberds, and even a Hungarian thrusting shield (look it's a most excellent weapon). The festival rang with the sounds of steel on steel all day long. Warriors fought hard, warriors prevailed, and warriors fell. In the end, our very own Dane Skeggox was able to defend his title as Festival of Heroes champion with his mastery of the deadly bardiche and keep the crown with your beloved Warriors of Ash. Congratulations to Dane and all the fighters that came out. It was a well-fought affair.

Dane Skeggox holds his axe high in victory
Festival of Heroes Champion, Dane Skeggox

Feel like going toe-to-toe with a fellow swordsperson battling in front of a live audience is right up your alley? Come join us as a Warrior of Ash by tickling your screen here. We welcome all, and now is a great time to join up. We're adding new classes soon (stay tuned for those updates). You'll have plenty of time to train and prepare to knock off Dane Skeggox and become next year's Festival of Heroes champion at the Asheville Celticfest.

Until next time, train well. Skål!

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