The New Varangian Guard has a number of garrisons around Australia. The garrison in Sydney NSW is Miklagard Garrison, "Miklagard" from the Norse for "the Great City" (Constantinople).
In 1997 Miklagard adopted a new focus for the group which concentrated our attention in a more specific area without undoing our efforts to date. The focus is on the interaction between Byzantium and the Kievan Rus' in the period 969-1015AD. This period of two generations covers the triumphant reigns of the General Emperors John I Tzcimisces and Basil II Bulgaroctonos (Bulgar-Slayer). In Rus' it is the long reign of Prince Vladimir the Great, who ruled all Rus' from his seat in Kiev, and although a devoted pagan, converted his people to Orthodox Christianity. It is the time when the destinies of these two great realms collided.
|Miklagard Garrison trains in Ashfield on the 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday of each month. Training starts at 1pm. Please write or email for further information. Miklagard also regularly gets together with Ecce Normanni and NVG Mountains Garrison for interclub training. For some Picture's from the last display we did with the "Mountain Garrison, click on this link. This means we get to fight different people and use tactics applicable for the larger number of combatants.|
|Considerable emphisis is placed on non-combatant activities as not all of our members fight. Costuming is the most obvious activity, while research into and cooking of period recipes is a popular pastime, and skills learned are put into practice at the feasts (both organised and totally disorganised) that the club holds. Other non-combatant activities include leather working, archery, tablet weaving, pottery, wood and metal working. If you are interested in doing something else, then we will at least be able to give you an idea of where to start. To facilitate these sorts of activities and spread knowledge around, Miklagard holds workshops on the 5th Sunday of the month (as well as at other suitable times), the topic of which is decided apon by the membership. That means that if people are in dire need of a pair of period shoes then a workshop will be organised with appropriate materials, reference sources, and people who've done it before, so that new shoes can be succe ssfully constructed. Several times a year the club organises camping weekends. These may be a large interclub events or smaller, low-key weekends, and are always popular as they involve target archery, large feasts, mass battles, combat archery, and general socialising. Being out of the city is also a perfect opportunity to experiment with activities such as making bread and firing pottery.|
Miklagard produces a newsletter for all members called Havamal (meaning 'the sayings of the high one'). Included in the Havamal are articles (both technical and otherwise), event reports, and any other work contributed by the membership. Also in the newsletter are articles of interest from other sources, as well as a calendar of upcoming events and any other information pertinent to the membership. Lengthy or highly technical articles are usually submitted to the Intergarrison journal, the Varangian Voice.
Miklagard has implemented a 'newbies' policy to actively help new members get some gear together and become part of the club. New members are given a probationary membership which typically lasts for six months, during this time they decide in which area their interests lie, accumulate some gear, and start training (if they wish to be a combatant). There are no club fees during this time, however new members will still be required to pay NVG Inc insurance costs (as all members of NVG Inc do). There are starter kits to help you get going and more experienced members are always willing to assist you.
Miklagard places a strong emphasis on the historical accuracy of all articles produced by its members. Making a costume involves considerable research and discussion with others before a single stitch is sewn or rivet hammered. All articles of the costume are made to fit in with the culture that the costume is based on. If all this sounds pretty heavy, don't worry, there's always someone happy to share their knowledge and know-how. Pictures of several costumes are given in the links below along with references, patterns, and general information. If the links are not active yet, then I'm still setting up the pages.
|Master-at-Arms:||Christopher (Quarf) Morgan|
|Common Member:||Christobel Ferguson|
PO Box 3003, Marrickville NSW 2204 AUSTRALIA