Laurelen Darksbane, OP, Baron Cleftlands
Elevated by: Duke Sir Andrew of Seldomrest
Date of elevation: 28 Oct, 1978

A biography? I have been asked by various of my Brethren in the Order, "why haven't you written your Bio"? So -- I have now done so:

 I Joined the SCA in March, 1972 while in college; which was 6 months before the FIRST Pennsic War. I was very active but didn't become a fighter until 5+ years later on July 2, 1977 (college and life , etc got in the way of that particular SCA activity). I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to start my training in the way of the sword in 1966 in classical Fencing and Sword under Oscar Kolambatovitch (one of the pre-eminent sword-masters of the 20th century).

Authorized on 7/2/1977. Fern de la Foret (then Squire to Duke Merowald) was my authorizing-opponent. Authorizing marshals were Duke Andrew of SeldomRest, Duke Merowald de Sylveastan, and Duke Dagan du Darregonne. They said I fought like Prince Valiant but they'd let me authorize anyway.

Was invited to fight in Crown Tournament in the ancient days of the Invitational Crown's. It was an incredible honor just to see your name on the list and didn't even know if you would be one of the 32 combattants allowed in the double-elim tournament that day. First Crown I was invited to: November 1977 by King Merowald. I still remember that I was # 22 on the list. I fought for Ithriliel, as I still do today, and became a semi-finalist in that Crown. Outclassed and defeated twice by Sir Polidor, it was wonderful to lose to such a warrior. Master Moonwulf, however, defeated Sir Polidor in the finals.

Was subsequently invited to fight in King Moonwulf's Crown in May, 1978, and fought to the semifinals again. Alen Elegil and Nathan fought in the finals -- Alen yielded due to heatstroke. Nathan became Prince and then King.

I was invited to fight in King Nathan's Crown on October 28, 1978. Alen and I fought to the finals and we were admitted to the Order of Chivalry in between the two fights of the Crown Tournament Finals. Nathan was an unbelted King so Duke Dagan and Duke Andrew held two separate swords and the King's hands and gave the accolades to Alen and I simultaneously. It had never happened before nor has it happened since in all of SCA history. Two Knights dubbed simultaneously. I went on, then Syr Laurelen, to Deafeat then Sir Alen and win the Crown. I was King and led the MidRealm army at the 8th Pennsic War.

Became Earl Marshal followng Duke Fionnvar in October, 1979.

Fought in and won one more Crown Tournament for Ithriliel in May, 1980, and we became Prince and Princess to Talymar and Valmai. i was King with Queen Ithriliel that winter and came off the Thrones in May, 1981, just before the 10th Pennsic War.

Resumed duties as Earl Marshal of the MidRealm in May, 1981, published the 5th Edition of the Marshallate Handbook, and remained in that Office until May, 1985, having served for about 6 years.

Was Marshal in Charge of Pennsic 10, 12, 13, 14, and 15 and devised the Marshal-ID-numbered-sticker and painted-weapon inspection system first used at pennsic 10 and then ever since.

Blessed by the powers that made me with a remarkable constitution, I do my utmost to take care of it since it is a precious gift. I have thus been continuously active and fighting every week, training myself and students, and at events and wars ever since those ancient days. I believe that the journey we Knights undertake lasts a lifetime and we should revel in the discoveries about ourselves that we make along the way.

I have had the privilege of serving as a MidRelam Knight for 35 years now and am proud to remain steadfast in my belief in our MidRelam Oath as a living thing that binds us in a profound and intimate truth. I am also proud that I continuously strive to remain, as that oath requires, and inspired by my Brethren in this Order to ever be a Good Knight and True, ... Shield of the weak, ... and ... Foremost in battle.