squeak!: What year did you start Amtgard? How old was the game? How old were you?
Calliope: It was in 1986, but I was pregnant and not allowed to do anything but watch....the game was in full swing and I'm not sure when it all began. I was 23, newly divorced and looking for something to fill my time....boy did I ever find it!!
squeak!: How were you introduced to Amtgard?
Calliope: I was taken to the park by Delphos (who I have known since I was 13, and in fact he was my first husband). Anyway...he said he knew a group of freaks that I would probably like and he wanted me to see them in their natural habitat.
squeak!: Were you initially attracted to the fighting aspect? If not, how did you become so?
Calliope: Oh yeah! Who wouldn't enjoy beating the crap out of someone for fun?! Ok...it was the thought of beating the men. Plus the weapons back then were much safer and you could really wail on people without the fear of breaking bones. And after 3 divorces, I had a lot of aggressions to vent!
squeak!: What was the representation of women on the field? What was the status of female fighters?
Calliope: At that time there were a goodly number of women on the field, 30-40% of fighters were women. I would say that 1/2 the men treated us as equals, the other 1/2 either ridiculed us or ignored us.
squeak!: Were there obstacles for women fighters?
Calliope: Yeah, the half that ridiculed us!
squeak!: I see that you are the Lord of the Amazon household. Could you tell us a little about that?
Calliope: I have really big balls. I had heard that Talinor (then King) was to "Lady" me, I told him I would publicly refuse such a girlie title.....so he "Lorded" me instead. This greatly pleased Andralaine who had this little household she was putting together and needed a Lord to make it official. When she explained her ideal of the Amazons, she felt that I might positively inspire the Amazon membership. I could not refuse!
squeak!: Who were your main influences in fighting?
Calliope: At first it was Ryah and Esuom...need I say more? But then it was Theo who came to my house to work with me 4 nights a week...he made me earn my axe! Finally, it was M'deth who I admired for his skill and agility on the field, he fought so clean and precise and quick...I wanted to learn that!! So I became his squire.
squeak!: What events have been notable or influential in your fighting career?
Calliope: Oh! There are so many!! The whole Dragonspine kingdomship thing...the first spring war (Spud War 1)....all the tourneys I was forced to enter.....but mostly my squirehood to M'deth because he really did force me to work out and practice new styles and skills.....he was a hard knight to squire to (his squires have to do homework!!and essays!!) It was through him that I learned to kick ass on the field and that is such a good feeling!!
squeak!: What are your favorite shot and weapons combos and why?
Calliope: The one that landed! Weapons? Damn..it would have to be that stinking flail and madu that M'deth forced upon me, but again...because of my knight I learned that any weapon will do and any clean shot landed is a victory.
squeak!: How have you changed in Amtgard over the years?
Calliope: I grew bigger balls, became a better fighter. I became a better judge of myself, improved my confidence and greatly matured.
squeak!: Do you think the overall experience of Amtgard women has changed?
Calliope: Yes, with the club's growth and evolution as an independent society the role of women has changed. As with all things, those in the beginning did pave the way for today's amtgard women. Women today have the benefit of roads whereas before only wilderness trails existed. Change is inevitable.
squeak!: What advice would you have to new women fighters?
Calliope: Wear those huge overnight pads and padded bras!!
squeak!: What advice would you give to more advanced women fighters?
"Anyone can beat you on any given day"
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