The Empire of Chivalry and Steel
Members: 24 Meet-ups: Most Sundays
Cost: Free, but organizers request a $30 yearly donation
Perfect if: The Treaty of Verdun is a must-read for you
Most days, Mina Turner plays the part of a 26-year-old Lakeview resident, but on Sundays she transforms into Mina LaVigne, a French commoner living in a vineyard in 14th Century France.
Turner runs the Chicago chapter of The Empire of Chivalry and Steel, a Medieval recreation group that she formed after moving to Chicago about four years ago. Turner met her husband in the Arizona chapter of the group.
The organization, which meets at the Good Shepherd Christian Assembly in Norwood Park, studies Medieval times while employing personas from the era. Members create art and occasionally participate in sword fights. “We really focus on the academic aspects. We’re not just out there dressing up and hitting each other with sticks,” Turner said.
As people look for alternative and affordable way to enjoy themselves, they look a bit more to fandom. Chicago Jedi and the Empire of Chivalry and Steel’s Chicago Chapter both got their chances to shine in the pages of RedEye.
The (Illinois) Chicago Jedi Group, is a 30 member group devoted to immersing themselves in the ideologies and fighting Style of an order of futuristic Knights sprung from the Star Wars Universe.
The group, which connects through Meetup.com, seeks to make their world better and improve their bodies and minds. They practice martial arts and meditation and learn correct weapon use. If, in fifty years, this group evolved into a full-blown religious order, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
for more information about their 2009 Michigan Meetup: go to http://www.jediresourcecenter.org/smf/index.php?topic=3552.0