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Catalyst Symbol



Catalyst is a fighting unit of Western Belegarth composed of members striving to balance personal growth in sword play and everyday life. The ethos of Catalyst was founded by stewards wanting to evolve new generations of regional leaders. Bhakdar gathered the founding members at Western Wars 7. Most members have played a part in founding or maintaining local realms, events, or trainings in the Pacific Northwest. Catalyst is interested in allying with friends of the group who share a passion for evolving their regions by improving themselves and their peers.

Unit Charter

cat·a·lyst: a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.

We focus on simple, proper principles to ensure long-term unit success:

1) Maintain balance between pursuing life dreams & sword-fighting

2) Contribute to local & regional sword-fighting culture through social leadership (event coordination, service, education, etc.)

3) Embody a truly local/regional unit ethos, intentionally blending a balanced, diverse, and moderate sized roster.

4) Encourage skill growth & skill diversity. Intentionally seek a mix of weapon specializations, leadership styles, and craft abilities. (battle command, weapon construction, garb, art, armor, music)

5) Actively contribute your gifts & abilities to Catalyst and Belegarth!

6) Be present at local practices, unit retreats & regional events!

7) Embrace the theme of Sacred Balance in our personal lives, in Belegarth, and in our garb and unit appearance

Motto: “Work hard, play hard, live your passion”


Catalyst and friends winning the Chaos Wars Banner in 2012

Catalysts focus on being agents of change and creative evolution in sword fighting. They share a common mission of excelling and diversifying their own skills, training future generations, and contributing their crafts and talents. Catalyst includes Members of the Order of the Raised Goblet, Order of the Guilded Owl and the Order of the Open Tome, as well as an owner/operator of The Shield Shop. Catalyst members have served as realm leaders, combat trainers, and event coordinators.

Accomplishments include hosting Western Wars, Chaos Wars, and regional 'War College' training events, growing groups across Babylon, co-founding House Valkyries (a house for female fighter support & training), claiming awards at multiple Chaos Wars bardic games, and contributing to winning teams of Battle for the Ring's Bel Bowl in 2012 & 2013. At Chaos Wars XVI, Catalyst won the banner in a tight race with the Uruk-hai after being undefeated in the Jugging Tourney, giving the winning field entrance, and winning banner-points unit battles throughout the week in addition to several tournaments.


Any member may be nominated or volunteer to serve as one of three Captains each year. They are responsible for completing the following areas of work or delegating people to do so:

• Warchief: Battle command, Tournaments, Trainings, Trials, Tactics, Classes

• Regent of Records: Event service, Retreats, Records, Meeting minutes, Event prep online

• Sultana of Swag: Art, Garb, Lore, Appearance, Online Resources, Wiki, Social Media

The Spiral

The spiral as a unifying symbol was developed by founding members of Catalyst. Several designs were submitted and a few combined to form the current symbol. One unique aspect of Catalyst as a fighting unit is that there are no official colors. The Catalyst spirals reflect the diversity of members as warriors, scholars, artists, teachers, and stewards. Every member is encouraged to use colors they prefer to make the unit symbol and belt flag reflect their own spirit, experience, and values.

Catalyst Hand Spiral. Super secret handshake of Catalyst members and allies.


The pursuit of membership entails active contribution to sword fighting culture in one’s local region. Catalyst maintains a gradual path of development for prospective members specifically to preserve the ethos and caliber we strive to maintain. If you see value in pursuing membership, the best way to do so is to 1) Develop relationships with the members and 2) Develop the qualities within you that you most want to contribute to sword fighting. We hope to foster relationships with people who share our core ethos and help them develop, regardless of whether membership is an appropriate path.

Catalysts, Catakins & Allies

Catalysts are full members who participate in votes and wear a spiral belt flag. Majority voting decides the course of most unit actions.
Catalyst and Allies at Western Wars 13. Photo courtesy of Coop
The Captains are accountable for moving forward their domain of unit business and delegate people to help. Catalysts aim to make themselves available in their own specializations of training, stewardship, and cross game relations. The Cataklusmos Trials exist to encourage members to continue challenging themselves to excel in combat prowess & teamwork.

Catakins apprentice with Catalyst in pursuit of full membership. They are expected to attend retreats, events, and develop their unique contributions to the unit and western sword fighting. This is a period of collaborating closely with the group that lasts a minimum of one year and may last longer. Generally, Catalysts are seeking to recruit people into membership that have already developed a relationship with the group as an ally and are not actively affiliated with another fighting unit. The purpose of the Catakin phase is to allow everyone involved to determine if a good long-term fit exists. A Catakin approved for membership takes a Tail Trial to become a Catalyst.

Allies are friends of Catalyst who formalize their social connection with the group. Allies are welcome to fight and serve alongside Catalyst in pursuit of having a greater regional context to grow, train, and network within. Allies might consult with Catalysts to build their own unit, realm, group, title, persona, or house. For example, some allies stay connected with Catalyst while also having formed a local fighting unit or joined a regional house. Our approach is intentionally about connecting western warriors who are prime to grow from each other without pressuring anyone towards unit membership. Catalysts support regional 'cross-pollination' by learning each other's arts, foam craft, sword styles, and stewardship practices. Alliances are one way we can promote an 'open source' atmosphere of sharing knowledge and resources. Along the way, we believe some allies will naturally go on to create their own thing and others may in time pursue full membership in Catalyst.

Cataclusmos Trials

Cataclusmos: A mythical beast of destruction that deals clytical damage

The Cataclusmos is a powerful mythical beast and the guardian spirit of Catalyst. The Cataclusmos Trials aim to provide Catalysts and prospective members with tangible goals in developing their foam fighting skill. Each trial is symbolically linked to a body part of the Cataclusmos and its corresponding natural element.

Body - Element - Format - Challenge

Tail - Earth - Circle of Death - Individual vs. Catalyst & Friends attendance

The warrior fights for 20 minutes of consistent battling within a community circle at a regional event. One one minute break for water or impairment is granted, stopping the 20 minute time clock. The fighter is pitted against 1v1's, 1v2's and in rare case's 1v3's or more. This is the entry trial for Catakins to formally join the unit as a full member. All founding members completed tail trials 2010-2011. The primary goal is to train such that one can persevere through consistent battle intensity and overcome mental or physical blocks against challenging opponents.

Scale - Water - Team Arena - Knock Out Style Squad Battles 2v2 - 4v4 Catalyst team vs. invited community challengers

Catalyst fighting in Bel Bowl at Battle for the Ring 2014

The scale trial tests a warrior's ability to work with a variety of team mates. The format is a 4 vs 4 'knockout' line in which the Catalyst team has 4-6 total members rotating vs. a large sampling of challenging opponents in the opposite rotation. As fighters die on either team in the 4 vs 4 matches, their deaths are counted and members from the respective sides step in to take the place of the fallen for the next bout. While the Catalyst team may only have a few fighters in their rotation, it forces them to fight more consistently, while the community group with a larger pool is able to take longer rest periods. Trial duration is a death limit on the Catalyst team. The Catalyst team must reach a specified kill count on the opposing team before running out of lives. The basic kill ratio goal set at CW XV was 2:1, taking place in a 4 vs 4 format going to 100 kills, in approx 30-45 minutes. Battles were fought until Catalyst had ~53 deaths to the opposing team's 107+.

Wings - Air - Field Kill Count as an individual or pair - 100 Kills in Mass Melee Battles in a 1 hour time limit

The aim of the Wings trial is to challenge an individual fighter to put down lots of damage on the enemy team in melee battles consistently over a time limit. Winning the trial involves accruing 100 kills in 1 hour of live combat during large field battles. Bhakdar was the first to earn his Wings at Oktoberfest 2011 on a battlefield exceeding 200 warriors. 100 kills were acquired in 56 minutes of live combat time. Samson and Huma earned their Wings as a pair at Chaos Wars 2014.


Included are the parts of the Cataklusmos 'body' that each member has earned through trials.
Founding members of Catalyst. (Left to right top: Huma, Acorn, Sare (resigned), Dangus, Sipris) Left to right bottom: Samson, Bhakdar)Missing: Rocca. July 2010




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