by Peter Munro
The Sydney Morning Herald
Having greeted Emperor Gavin, unpacked the axes, supped strawberry mead and listened to laments on the hurdy-gurdy – songs of cold nights and warm wine and the love of a monk for a choir boy – we settle in for the evening.
The morning brings rain and bull horns trumpeting in the gloom at the Rowany Festival, Australia’s largest gathering of pre-17th century “re-creationists”, set amid the eucalypts and scrub near Mittagong.
Novice fighters with swords and shields study the rules of combat on the “village green”. “Every time you die, figure out why it happened,” instructs Sir Gabriel de Beaumont (aka Alex West, bureaucrat).