Fire and Steel Dark Age Re-Enactment Society

Fire and Steel Dark Age Re-Enactment Society is a re-enactment group based in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Fire and Steel is a group with its primary focus on the Dark Ages, but has two secondary or sub-groups: Kingmakers (15th Century Re-Enactment as men-at-arms and soldiers under Richard Neville, The Earl of Warwick) and Collonel Manus O'Cahan's Regimente of Foote (17th Century Irish troops during the Civil War in England).

It is part of the Australian Living History Federation.

Fire and Steel was formed in 1989 by people who had found the local alternatives unacceptable. This was primarily the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Shortly after formation, a member from another, Sydney based group (1066) joined and became the training officer, injecting the club with experience.

The club grew and expanded, but a schism saw some members leave to join The Huscarls, also Newcastle based. A later disagreement saw the split of more people to form another group in Maitland that called themselves, Samildanach.

Since that time the club has remained stable in politics, but growing in numbers. A lull in the mid-nineties became a growing club that maintains close ties in order to retain a small, friendly group feel.

About Fire and Steel
The club maintains close ties with nearby Sydney groups, the New Varangian Guard: Miklagard Garrison and the New Varangian Guard: Mountains Garrison attending numerous events together and participating in many interclub activities and training days.

The club attends a number of multi-club events including the biannual New England Medieval Arts Society (NEMAS) Easter Gathering in Armidale in northern NSW (referred to as simply Armidale) and the Australasian Medieval Conference/Convention (usually referred to as Conferention) which location changes every time it is held (on the off year for Armidale).

Fire and Steel maintains a firm belief in the idea of taking re-enactment, but not themselves, seriously. Members have various talents and skills, ranging from the musical or martial to the craft or artistic.

Members are encouraged to pursue their own interests in the group, be it simply combat of producing gear and equipment of high standard, and efforts are rewarded within the group with encouragement and praise.

A sense of fun is invoked by the group, and the club is more concerned with keeping re-enactment fun than expanding.

Despite being relatively uninterested in doing many shows, the group does participate in shows every year, either singly or with other groups, and members have participated in film and TV projects to varying degrees.

Combat Rules
Fire and Steel's combat rules were derived from the ones used by 1066. As such, Fire and Steel are one of the few remaining non-head blow groups in Australia.

They have held true to this tradition in their own training and only break it when, doing shows (displays) and for major events. For these events they train before the event to refamiliarise themselves with the technique. Fire and Steel, in this situation, will only deal a blow straight down to the top of the head and never from behind.

Even when doing head blows, Fire and Steel does not substitute blows. Blow substitution involves dealing one type of shot to simulate another due to that blow being too dangerous under their combat system. E.g. A Wrist flick shot to the top of the helmet which is supposed to represent a slash to the face.

Other blows not used include the 'wrap' used by some groups. This blow involves a step up to a person and flicking the blow around the back of some to land on the back or helmet, and shots to the forearms and lower legs, as well as shots to the joints. In addition the group limits thrusts from armpit to just above the knee (excluding the groin).
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