- 1 Origin
- 2 Notable Events
- 3 Heraldry
- 4 People
- 5 Unit Details
- 6 Awards
Prior to the Lion Dragon Guard, there was the Mooneschadowe Militia. They were known for the bullethole/eclipse tabards. Mooneschadowe Militia had strong presence at Outlands Wars and first Gulf Wars. I believe it was after the good showing at first Gulf War that Treschen and Talen started talking about forming a more structured and formal unit, the Lion Dragon Guard, and as I recall they wanted to base it on the Roman Legions, perhaps because Craig Farrow, whose SCA name escapes me, was pushing that in the Militia at one point.
Anyway, Treschen and Talen devised the structure, divided units into Lances, and they determined that the captain would rotate... i think they also developed the initial swearing in language. I was present for a lot of the discussion around the creation of the Guard, but Treschen and Talen were the driving forces and creators of it, almost completely. My role might have been: “Guni, does this sound good?” And I might have said, “Yes! That sounds great!” I was a cheerleader, but not a creator. But now you know who was.
We really had the idea that a shield wall didn't have to be stationary. A well trained shield wall could move and I mean MOVE. Like run full tilt up to the enemy and not dissolve into chaos on the way. That we could retreat the same and not get flanked like everyone said was a shield wall's weakness. The idea was really based on Alexander the Great more than the Romans. We spent a summer studying Alexander the Great and having classes on his tactics for all who were interested. Quite a few militia members came to those (including you, Leslie Miller, I think) and the enthusiasm for the idea grew. We all thought we could do it, so we started training. We decided unit building was the first step and drill and ceremony would achieve that plus make us sure to look good no matter what. I was a former high school drum major and a twirler going back to grade school. So, I knew a little bit about strutting and D&C. I teamed up with Wehrner (?? Can't remember his full name), a Major in the Army who was there in Mooneschadowe at the time and he helped me develop a marching style that emphasized militia more and less marching band. We taught that to the guard and I think it was then when everyone saw how cool we could look and sound marching around the park that the spirit of the Liondragon guard was born and it was no longer an idea of a few people.
Before the LDG, there was the Mooneschadowe Militia. This was the fighting citizenry of the Shire, and it campaigned in the Outlands Wars and the Gulf Wars up to GW V. I became Seneschal a few weeks before GW V and I watched them head out for that conflict. I wasn't yet in armor, but the desire was there. Talen von Marienburg was Knight Marshal at this time, and that position was also responsible for the Militia. The Militia was fairly informal, though the tabards were already in use. Talen related an anecdote later that summer that a customer at his business had seen a folder marked "Militia" on his desk and that he'd had to explain. Militias were in the news in that era, and not in a positive way.
This incident gave me an idea. We wanted to stand up with the baronies of the North, and we wanted to stand out. The term "militia" was a bit of a hot potato. There was an opportunity. At this point, Mooneschadowe was primarily known for it's cooking, through our awesome Cook's Guild, with it's peacock badge. I felt if we wanted impact, we needed more. In discussions with Talen and others, I learned that actual, well organized units were...lacking in the Ansteorran armies of that day.
I admit I was influenced by fantasy writing as much as by historical records in choosing the name Lion Dragon Guard. There are fantasy military units that in their worlds are famed by their names. There are real world units that hold equal fame in the real world. The Black Watch, The Death's Head Hussars, The White Company. I pitched the idea to the Trimvirate and to the Officers at I think the Officer's meeting for October 1996. We proclaimed the Guard at the Business meeting for November.
Talen and Treschen hammered out a structure based on Hundred Years War era military organization. The Lance, or Lanze in German, was the basic squad unit of the time. 3-5 strong, it was based around a spear or two and two or three shields. It was small enough to be controlled in battle, and easily combined to form the line.
The idea was popular with the Shire. We trained incessantly. We lacked seasoned troops, so we worked often with Northkeep. Our wall was well nigh impenetrable, they had lots of polearms. It was a very good match. We proved that a shield line could move quickly, even run, without losing formation. We practiced the SCA tactics of the time, even the memorable and never used by us "Beta" until they were second nature. Every Guardsman knew their place in the structure, so we always had command hierarchy even with casualties.
At GW VI, the Guard took the field at a war for the first time. Thirteen strong. Talen had become the first Northern Regional Warlord and had command of the forces of the North. Treschen stepped up as interim Captain and Gunhilda became Lieutenant. Frankly, Ansteorra lost. A lot. We were vastly outnumbered. But the Guard fought GLORIOUSLY! We held the Gate against the pride of Trimaris, and we bled them white in the doing. They had to take the sally port and flank us to get the castle. On the field, ours was the last banner to fall. His Majesty Mahdi was impressed. Very impressed. We went from an unknown to a pillar of the army. And with our battle brethren in Northkeep we shared being principals of the King's Battle Ribbon, the unit citation that was created to reward our exploits.
Time is inexorable, tactics evolve. The Lanze structure is no longer used, Scutums are now standard equipment. This is as it should be. The Lion Dragon Guard has changed and endured for more than Twenty years! I am glad to have been part of it.
(Ranks provided were their ranks at the time of guard formation)
- Centurion Treschen von Asselen
- Centurion Talen Gustaf von Marienburg
- Herr Alarich Iarngard von Thorn
- Lady Gilyan Clonmacnoise
- Lord Owen ap Aeddan
- Honorable Lady Gunhilda Amberstar
- Lord Oxlade Lachlainn McKinnon
- Lady Alix Sigri von Ravensburg
- Berengar von Kummerland
- Lord Blaiddistaw ap Blaiddu
Later Members from the Early Days
- Herr Gunther von Schwarzwald
- Lord Grimkel Gormson
- Honorable Lord Marke von Mainz
- Lord Danulf of Mooneschadowe
- Victorio de la Rossa
- Lord Ewan Connal MacKenzie
- Lord Godryck Jameson
- Savage Silverwolf
- Chontalle de Normandie
- Hugh of Mooneschadowe
- Andrew Talbot
- Jean Paul le Quintain
- Angus MacDhaid
- Moune Silverwolf
- Lord Haldane Sparhauk
- Wehrner von Coburg
- Khalid Abd al-Mahdi Jamal ibn Hakim
- Ivo of Mooneschadowe
- Conner MacKenzie
- Antonio Zinfardino
- Giovanni de Veniz
- Willem vom Mooneschadowe
- Ben Fornow
Talen notes: "Wehrner von Coburg did not join until February 28, 1998; he was swamped with processing soldiers for the real Gulf War time period, but he deserves a lot of credit for what he did to get us working together as a team."
- Fall/Winter 1990: Talk of forming a guard begins.
- July 1991: The Lion Dragon badge is approved, and planning gets really serious. David M. makes the first tabard.
- 1993: Haldane moves out of Mooneschadowe and back to Tulsa, but remembers that at this time, small unit drills were ongoing, and talk of tabards for all Guard members were underway. Haldane notes, "I clearly remember that the matching scutums and the shield wall came later, though." Treschen adds, "Scutums came after Talen and I moved to Tulsa. We weren't in favour of them because we thought they would cut down the mobility that we were working so hard to attain. I think a couple of them had been made and were seeming to work OK, but we were very sceptical and encouraging smaller squares. That being the standard shield happened after we left."
- Gulf Wars, 1997: This is the first, official appearance of the Liondragon Guard at Gulf Wars.
Gulf Wars VI:
Gunhilda writes: "I remember holding the sally port at GW VI. Their intent was to storm out and sweep away the rest of the army. Our little line was tasked with stopping the bulk of their army from getting out. When “lay on” was called, they stormed forward.... and bounced. Our spears braced us from behind, and they could not break us. I was in the front line with Owen next to me or very near me. After the bounce, as the enemy was retreating into the fort to regroup, Owen screamed, “Bad dog, no biscuit!” As you know, when Owen wants to be heard, he can be heard. The entire line broke out laughing. It was a glorious moment, one of the most glorious for the Guard. Truly, we sent them back with their tails between their legs."
Alarich adds: "that was the second castle battle. The King personally sought us out to hold the Sally port because we knew they would try to break out. We held them, it was fun and glorious. Both sides laughed at Owen's taunt. Eventually they had to go over the walls and kill the main gate defenders because we broke them time and time again. We entered that war green novices, we came out battle hardened veterans."
Owen writes, "The interior castle battle where we held the gate, right at the beginning, Gulhilda screamed out to the guard, “Mooneschadowe, do not retreat! Do back up, do not run. You will die here heroes! Then she took a rock to the head. Dying where she stood. We never left the main gate we fought till the surrounded us and we all died at the same time. If you look at the picture that was posted between the battles, the experienced fighters are all smiles because they knew how awesome what we had done was all of the new fighters were we just lost again. Such a epic time and I am lucky to have been a part of it. HAIL MOG!"
Berengar von Kummerland remembers: "A little background. I was authorized to fight less than month before this war. Didn't have gauntlets. My kit could be called serviceable at best. What the LDG has become from these humble beginnings is such a amazing thing for these much older eyes and to this day warms my heart. My favorite memory was defending the main gate. I was a shield man on the far left Gunthar was to my right and Oxlade was behind us. For this battle this was My Lance. For those who know, it is enough said. For those that don't. We stood to the last having faced waves of charges Column, pulse wave, and full frontal assaults. We endured what seemed continuous spear barrages. I remember one time being pull forward and bent almost in half and Guthar table his shield 90 degrees and keeping me alive. The only respite we received was when we stacked our dead foes before us in grim wall and we still dared more to come. There were times when I was facing up to three hooks on my shield. I remember believing this is my time to only be saved once again by Gunthar knocking a hook off or Oxlade foul shots and them working the enemies before us. We were finally felled by enemies who had breached the Sally port. I remember asking OX how did the Sally port fall. He replied "It was not being held by us." A Trimarian Responded 'True Story' and "Don't worry kid you may have lost the battle but you kids just won the war." This is may favorite battle of the war and I don't think I threw an offensive shot for it's entire. It was my job to stay alive and keep my lance alive. I could not stand the thought of having one them die because I reached for glory. For reference Duke Inman MacMoore whom I had never meet before was fighting spear and grabbed me during the res battle and told me I going to be his personal shield men. My young self not knowing any better responded. There are my other two lance members we can wait and go together. One of our commanders telling me that is Duke Inman you go and do what you are told. I felt exposed without my lance members. Turns out that Inman dude was very good with a spear and had a lot of knowledge to share. While I learned a great deal and have found memories of the rez battle. Including my first kill of the war. It comes in a distance second to defending the main gate with the Lion Dragon Guard. Hail MOG!."
The following badge associated with this name was registered in July of 1991 (via Ansteorra): (Fieldless) A lion-dragon statant contourny Or.
The Liondragon badge was designed by Haldane Sparhawke. He worked with the group to select the colors and get it submitted for approval. Why a "Lion Dragon"? Per Haldane: "The shire wants to act like a Lion, but it's always Dragin' its tail."
Talen remembers: "Without Haldane keeping us focused and getting a livery and badge when everyone still wanted the old, rejected badge, the LDG just wouldn't have been the same. Haldane was an awesome herald for us - even when I growled and complained!"
Please see: Liondragon Guard Captains of Mooneschadowe .
The original tabard did not have the black collar/sleeves. This change came about from a brainstorming session with a group including Treschen and Estril.
The People's Plates
Please see MOG Cog.