"It's sort of like time travel," Brocious said.
This weekend, the Shire of Montevale, otherwise known as the society's southcentral Pennsylvania chapter, gathered at Renfrew Park for its annual Renaissance Faire. Events included fighting, fencing, archery, herb walks and even a wedding.
"It's just fun, it really is. It's just a heck of a good time," said Dean Brocious, husband of Lori Brocious.
In the world outside of the society, Dean Brocious runs a drug and alcohol treatment program in Carlisle, Pa. Inside the society, he is better known as Lord Galen of Armagh from Northern Ireland.
"I'm just kind of a wandering minstrel," he said, wearing a tunic, breeches and boots.
Society members can create their personas using actual names that were used in any known culture in the world from about A.D. 800 to 1650. They can be a Welsh lord, an African princess or a Mongolian warrior.
"I can step outside of everything I do and be someone else," Dean Brocious said.
Marcia Kyle, a.k.a. Tirza bithe Reaboughes, came dressed in an Elizabethan gown she made herself. The Blairs Mills, Pa., resident didn't complain about wearing such a bulky garment, supported by a hoop petticoat, beneath a hot afternoon sun.
"It's not bad," she insisted.
Kyle said the society provides a great a family atmosphere. She noted that her 18-month-old daughter Malinda, known in society circles as Bethea, was wearing her house's coat of arms, which had both aesthetic and practical uses.
"If she gets lost, we will get her back," Kyle said.
One of the highlights of the fair is the heavy weapons combat, a full-contact reenactment of Medieval European martial skills. The combats are not choreographed and appear mildly dangerous.
"Actually, it's a lot safer than high school football," said Jeff Dyer, who came from his home in Trenton, N.J, to participate in the fair.
The fair, which is open to the public, also includes vendors selling period jewelry, clothing and other merchandise. Events continue today with bouts and duels from 9 to 11:30 a.m.