Wenches and Swordplay in Murphysboro, Illinois

Andrea Hahn, a reporter for the Southern Illinoisan, visited the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, Illinois recently for a real Renaissance faire experience including bawdy wenches, swordplay, songs and skits. The event was sponsored by the Fine and Bawdy Wenches, and included demos by the Medieval Combat Society.

Steve Nelson was on hand for the MCS demonstration and said:

"the weapons used in MCS are a plastic or graphite base wrapped in camping pad foam. The weapons are shaped generally like medieval swords or other weapons, but safety is the first factor, with appearance less of a concern.

The advantage, Nelson said, is that 'anyone can jump in after hearing a 10-minute rules spiel.'

That is a big difference separating MCS from the Society for Creative Anachronism, Nelson said. Because SCA places a greater emphasis on authenticity and uses wooden weapons, combatants in SCA need to invest in a full suit of armor - plate or chain mail - before fighting."