Last night an announcement on our Kingdom Facebook page came to my attention.  Issued from the Society Marshal, it was shocking news:

On Saturday, October 6, a brother in arms to many of us lost his life in the pursuit of our game. The Society’s Equestrian Marshal, Master Terafan Greydragon, died while competing in an equestrian game at an SCA event in Kentucky. The Society is investigating the matter and is fully cooperating with the authorities. The Society Marshal is conducting an investigation to determine what might have led up to the accident, and what specific measures should be taken to ensure that this does not occur again. Upon the completion of our investigation, the SCA will make the results available to the public. We have reached out to Terafan’s family to express our support for them at this moment of loss. We ask that Terafan and his family be held in your hearts.
– Alan Gravesend, Society Marshal

I’ve received a couple of messages asking me if I had any details; apparently since I was the first to compile a cohesive story on the Trimaris Controversy, folks figured I might know what was going on.

I only know what everyone else knows:  There was a tragic accident during an equestrian demonstration at an SCA event in Williamstown Kentucky.  A local news website covered the story, but there are not many details available.  The local NBC affiliate posted a story stating that he was airlifted to Cincinnati and was declared dead on arrival.

The Society for Creative Anachronism, as well as the relevant authorities, is investigating the incident and will report on their findings at the appropriate time.

I’ve also gotten a second-hand statement from a Reddit post, and while I have not been able to verify it, it purports to be the statement of a family member and contains some more detail:

It comes with great sadness that my younger middle brother, Peter Barclay has died. 53 years old, raised in Las Cruces NM. He was at an equestrian/medieval event in Ohio, when his metal tipped lance, used for catching rings (not jousting), hit the ground and flipped. It impaled him under his sternum killing him. He was air lifted but died in route. He led a distinguished career as a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Army. He leaves behind his wife Deborah A. Barclay, and daughters Amy and Taryth. Survived by his father Jack Barclay, older brother John Barclay and younger brother Charles Barclay. He died doing what he loved, but will still be missed. 😥. RIP Peter aka: Terafan Greydragon

The SCA, as I’ve observed before, is not a large community.  And over the course of the day it’s become clear that, while I myself didn’t know the gentleman, Master Terafan and I have many mutual friends and acquaintances.  Some of them were even present on Saturday, witnesses to what appears to be a tragic accident.

I’m not going to speculate about this incident beyond the bare sharing of what facts are known.  Like everyone else in the Society, I’m shocked by this event and will attentively await the results of the investigation.  And while it sometimes seems almost rote and formulaic to say it, I genuinely extend my sympathies to Master Terafan’s family and friends.  If you need a shoulder or someone to talk to, just ask.

I was going to write this post earlier, but I spent this Thanksgiving Day with my mother and my aunt.  Several weeks ago, we lost my uncle, my mother’s elder brother, to a sudden cardiac arrest.  Today was the first day I’d seen my mum and aunt — his wife — since the funeral.  I had several hours alone in the car today, to and from, to contemplate the suddenness of loss and the effect of bereavement.  I wish I had some pearls of wisdom to dispense to ease that could ease the pain of suddenly losing someone, I really do.  I’d have spread them freely today if I had.

As I observed in the wake of a different tragedy our community suffered more than five years ago, bad things happen to good people.  It’s a truth about the world, and I wish I knew how to fix it.  At least… At least, unlike the murder of Melissa Richmond, the loss of Master Terafan is the result of terrible mischance, not an act of deliberate malice.  (I had opined at the time that I feared for our community in the wake of Melissa’s murder, although five years later I’m relieved to note that fear proved unfounded.)

I don’t have any fears for our community in the wake of  Master Terafan’s loss.  It’s been a tough summer for many of us in the Society and sometimes it feels that it’s all coming apart at the seams… but it is another truth of the world that, when tragedy comes suddenly, people pull together.  They support each other.  In facing this adversity together, the community grows stronger.

It’s a bittersweet strength, but it’s a strength nonetheless.  And it’s a strength that the Society for Creative Anachronism has always had to draw from, like a deep well.

I never had the chance to know him directly so I don’t want to cause offense with a stranger’s sympathy, and I don’t know if there’s any comfort in this for his friends and family… but it seems that Peter Barclay died doing something he loved, surrounded by friends.  He made an impact in the world and helped build a community and touched many lives.  His loss is a shock and a grief that is resounding through the reenactment world.

Give his family the space and support they need in this difficult time, and take care of each other, everyone.


Lord Fulk Beauxarmes
Kingdom of Ealdormere