Armed villagers, soldiers and archers converged on Eagle Park in Rohnert Park, California when Amtgard's Duchy of Crimson Wood took on the Barony of Thor's Refuge recently for a fantasy battle. Mary Callahan of the Press Democrat interviewed members.
But there is no blood. The “clash” of swords more closely resembles a smacking sound than the clang of steel. The stricken rise to fight again — multiple lives being an advantage in the fantasy world of Amtgard. That may explain how adherents to the medieval-combat-based, role-playing pastime manage to be so serious about their fighting skills, personal honor and the rules that govern Amtgard, and still be among the world's cheeriest folk. They're having a blast.