For just about all of my SCA life I have had the honour of knowing Thorbjorn Osis Brandsson.
He was larger than life, a modern day hero. He lived hard, fought hard and played hard
living every day to the fullest.
I was fortunate to be one of the original five who were asked to join the fledgling household of
this man of SCA legend. Osis of the Livery - he had already gained his reputation as a
top fighter but I don't think anybody would have guessed what a fine teacher he was.
He knew how to gauge his level to that of the person he was fighting and when to start
pushing them to the next. We usually left fight practices with a few bruises - some of them
personally autographed - and as better fighters. "Pain aversion therapy" we laughingly called it,
also known as the "Bang..don't do that...bang...don't do that" technique.
I remember my first Pennsic. Before the field battle started Caitlin brought us each a white
tabard with a wolf's head on it. I don't think I will ever forget the feeling of pride and
honour when I put it on. Even though it is now dirt-stained and battered I still have it.
There was a time when we didn't think that he would ever get knighted, but we would rather
stay as his men-at-arms than leave him to become any knights' squire. That was the type
of fierce loyalty he inspired.
There are many good memories, his knighting at Season of the Wolf, the first Crown victory.
The many roads trips I made with him and Caitlin and my frequent travelling partner Raedmund.
Of course, there were a lot of good times outside the SCA. We wern't just a household, we were
a bunch of friends who enjoyed one another's company. I don't think any of us will forget the
Christmas dinners when Caitlin was able to fill some of the biggest appetites in the known world.
There were burned out blender motors as she made "girlie drinks" and of course Os and his
Some of my fondest memories of Os were when we used to work out together. He was as competetive
in the gym as he was on the list field. Neither one of us could refuse when the other grinned
and asked "more weight?"
My time with the household ended a few years ago. We had our differences but I like to think
we were still friends. I certainly considered him one of mine and I hope the feeling was mutual.
I havn't been doing much in the SCA lately, but on those rare occaisions when I showed up at
an event I always seemed to wind up standing near the bar talking to him.
He knew I didn't drink beer but he always smiled and said "Hey Mike, wanna beer?"
I can't help but think that now Jafar has someone to fight two-stick against.
Damn it, if only he really had been ten feet tall and bulletproof...