What’s with all the funny names?
Almost everyone in the Society creates a persona – the person that they are being in our recreated medieval ‘known world’. A persona can be as simple or as detailed as you wish. Some people only go so far as selecting a name, while others create and write entire histories of the person, their family, and how events of their time period affected them. A persona is the person that you could have been in the Middle Ages (note: not someone who actually lived then – you can be Richard of Canterbury, but you can’t call yourself Richard Lionheart!).
Your local Herald will be happy to assist in the creation of a name/persona. Start by thinking about your interests. Are you intrigued by Queen Elizabeth’s court? Perhaps your interests lie in the Persian Empire? Maybe you are a big, bold Scotsman from the Highlands? Whatever your interest, a persona can incorporate them.
When you first begin attending events, one of the first questions you will be asked is
What is your name? Many people give their real given name until they decide upon a name and persona. This practice is perfectly acceptable. In fact, some people decide to stay with their given name or a variant (a woman named Beth may use Elizabeth as her SCA name, for example). Some people have long complex names, and others decide to keep it to a given name, or a given name and their place of origin, for example, Elizabeth of Southron Gaard.
All participants in the SCA are assumed to be of noble birth but you may not give yourself a title of any sort; in the SCA, titles are awarded by royalty for achievements in various fields within the SCA. You can adopt a coat of arms, but it’s best to first chat with some knowledgeable person, such as the Baronial Herald, about how the SCA handles armory. When wishing to talk to someone whose name or title you don’t know, it’s always acceptable to address them as “m’lord” or “m’lady”. (This is not the same as the titles “Lord” or “Lady” and, because of that, you never put their name on the end. Thus – use “Lord James” for someone who has that title, but don’t use “m’lord Carrock” for someone who does not — just use “m’lord” or “Carrock”).