What is the Brotherhood? Good question.
Its concept started back in 2005 amongst a few geographically dispersed Ren/Medieval festival friends who had met online. For years, they worked on their kits/appearances, all the while talking about building a larger fraternity of like-minded individuals. It took years, five to be exact before the stars aligned and they were able to rendezvous at Fishers Renaissance Faire in 2010.
For a look at the original source traffic that launched this whole effort, you may find it at the following:
Word of mouth helped bring others to that event, and before we knew it, we had a sizable presence at that little festival on a cold, rainy day in October. When we departed, we knew from the overall reactions and praise for our appearance and presence that we had opened a door to something bigger.
The annual event, or to employ terms familiar to those of the Military Orders, the annual General Chapter was developed. The first three being held at Fishers. Realizing that there were still many geographically dispersed brethren who would be unable to attend due to cost or real life demands (we believe Real Life comes first), we approved a concept of a roving annual General Chapter. We believed this would help increase interest and awareness of the Brotherhood, and give us a chance to meet new friends face to face. Our first roving event was held at the Bristol Festival, Wisconsin followed by that of Scarborough Faire in Texas. Future events are discussed and voted upon by a core cadre of Brethren.
So to answer your question, "Who are we?"
We are an international collection (from the USA to Europe, Russia, South America, and the Middle East) of like-minded people, who come from all walks of life. We are historians, veterans, teachers, doctors, professors, authors, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and re-enactors. This is merely a small sampling of our background. As stated, we come from literally all walks of life. But we all have one thing that binds us together into a close-knit band, and that is our fondness for the history of the Military Religious Orders of the Crusading period of 1095-1565.
While our name says "brotherhood," we are also comprised of a sisterhood, having several serving sisters who actively participate.
We strive to create fairly detailed "kits" or uniforms, if you will, and make them as historically accurate as funds permit. Having said that, we exclude no one based on the "quality" of their kit. We recognize that everyone has to crawl before they can walk. Thus, a secondary purpose of our group is to help and guide each other with the outfit of the Order that they have chosen to portray. We attend Renaissance Fairs and Living History Events. We answer questions for the general public and allow people to see what it is like to look through a steel helmet and feel the weight of replica armor worn by Crusaders.
We are always happy to pose for photographs with the public.
Background Art by Cecilia Lawrence