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Club mixes reality with fantasy

Nov. 11, 2005

by ANALIZ GONZALEZ, staff writer

It's no surprise that members of the Baylor High Fantasy Society are misunderstood.

A club that meets in armor, swings padded swords and has members who change their names and wear medieval clothing may strike some as odd.

"I think it's pretty nerdy," said Dallas senior Brandon Orozco. "They dress up. ... I would never come out in public like that."

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Jessie Solomon | Lariat staff
Houston sophomore Ariel Cisne, left, challenges Waco junior Jubilee Bowery to a duel Thursday evening at a battle game for the Baylor High Fantasy Society. Members of the role-playing club create their own characters and costumes.
Besides role-playing, group members meet for battle games Thursdays and Saturdays.

They wear green and gold clothes and use padded swords to score points against their opponent. They also compete in tournaments.

Orozco said he thought they may have been acting out the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings. He said people who don't know what HFS members are doing think they're weird.

McAllen senior Stephanie Zamora said before she learned about HFS, she thought they were a secret club of people who believed they were transformed into the characters they played.

"I just thought that they really did think they (became) that character and would introduce themselves as that character," Zamora said.

But after learning about the group, she said she found it interesting.

"We usually get one of two reactions," said Waco Junior Christa Bowery. "Either 'Oh my God, that's really cool,' or 'Oh my God, what are you doing?'"

When Bowery isn't in class or doing homework, she may be writing on a message board where HFS members unite to create scripts for their characters.

"You go on the message board for story lines and write what your character would do," she said.

Bowery plays the part of an angel, or "celestial," named Elisa. According to the story, Elisa ends up on Earth with her brother after a war took place in heaven.

Bowery compares the group to playing a sport or instrument.

"It's just a game. It's lots of fun. It's not anything serious," she said.

If fighters are struck on an arm or a leg during a battle game, they have to stop using that limb. If they are struck on both arms or both legs, they have to stop playing.

Shots to an unarmored body part "kills" the player. The "dead" player can then act out a 60-second dying scene, Bowery said.

Battle games are monitored by a "Reeve" who serves as a referee.

Squire of Morconor members dress in medieval garb when they meet to elect officers.

Bowery was first exposed to the club when she saw a group of kids dueling in a church camp.

"I heard a clanging noise and saw two guys in whole play armor, a guy in a monk suit and a woman in a Greek robe and I thought, 'what the heck?'" she said.

"I thought I was day-dreaming this or something, so I walked over to them and asked what was going on. They explained it, and it was interesting to me because I love history and I'm from Scottish-Irish background," she said.

A few years later, she came to Baylor and joined the society's Baylor chapter -- The Squire of Morconor.

For more information on the Squire of Morconor, visit http://morconor.tripod.com/ or drop by Minglewood Bowl at 2 p.m. Thursdays.