Catalyst is a unit composed of fighters living within the Babylon Empire. The ethos of Catalyst balances personal growth with unit cohesion and sword fighting development. Bhakdar gathered the founding members at Western Wars 7.
Catalyst 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, teach newbs, 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”
Catalysts focus on being agents of change and creative development in foam fighting. They share a common mission of excelling and diversifying their own skills, training future generations of leaders, and contributing their creative crafts and talents to Belegarth. Catalyst members have served as realm leaders, combat trainers, or event coordinators at regional and national levels. Membership spans across Pyke, Tir Na Nog, Babylon, and the empire's rugged territories. Long term goals currently include establishing an annual Northwest Training Day, developing land as a Western Wars and/or Chaos Wars site, and winning the Chaos Wars banner. Unfolding accomplishments include coordinating Western Wars VII and VIII, growing campus groups across Babylon, co-founding Valkyries (a house for female fighter support & training), hosting a paradigm-shifting Dirty Words rock show at CW XV, claiming awards at consecutive Chaos Wars bardic games, and winning the tank, sword/board, and champion's tournaments at CW XV.
At CW 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 the banner-points unit battles throughout the week. In addition members of Catalyst won several tournaments. Northwest Training Day has also been a success, holding quarterly gatherings for expanding knowledge and skill in swordfighting.
Catalysts balance work and play throughout Belegarth and the everyday as members travel regionally & internationally for consulting work, attend college & graduate school, and act as supervisors in their professions. Catalyst includes two squires, a Headhunter, Orders of the Goblet and Owl, professional and amateur musicians, and a professional graphic designer. Catalyst aims to maintain a diverse roster of loving and invested warriors who are devoted to passionate and creative development throughout life.
Unit Symbol: The unit symbol was worked on and decided upon by all founding members of Catalyst. Several Designs were submitted and a few of those were taken and combined and twisted to form the current symbol used. The Catalyst Tail Spirals. One unique aspect of Catalyst is that there are no "official" colors for the unit. Every member is encouraged to use whatever colors they would like to fill in the tails of the Catalyst spiral to make the unit symbol their "own". Members of the unit have ranged across the rainbow of colors (or none) to form a personal connection to their own belt sash.
Cataclusmos: A mythical beast of destruction that deals clytical damage
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. unit & community attendance
The warrior fights for 20 minutes of consistent battling within a community circle at a regional event. Very short breaks are allowed for water or impairment. (generally 1-2 minutes max in the total trial while the 20 min stopwatch is paused)
The fighter is pitted against 1v1's, 1v2's and in rare case's 1v3's or more.
This is the entry trial for Catalyst prospects to join the unit. All founding members completed their tail trials 2010-2011 and video footage may be found by searching YouTube for Bhakdar's channel or "Catalyst Tail Trial." Kills and Deaths are counted for the fighter in case they wish to retake this trial for improvement of their Kill-Death Ratio. The primary goal is to train such that one can persevere through extreme intensity, mental blocks against top-tier pairs, and overcome exhaustion.
Scale - Water - Team Arena - Knock Out Style Squad Battles 2v2 - 4v4 Catalyst team vs. invited community challengers
Tests ability to work with any partner within the unit.
2-4 unit members participate against a rotating same sized team composed of a community of fighters. Each Catalyst member is encouraged to invite one person who would match or challenge their skill level and one person who they've trained or a representative of a friendly realm or unit. As fighters die on either team, their deaths are counted and members from the respective sides step in to take the place of the fallen. 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. Forming "Kill squads" consisting of top tier pairs or clusters is encouraged amongst the community team. We appreciate a challenge.
Trial duration is a death limit on the Catalyst team side. 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+.
If the 2:1 goal is not met by 80-100 kills total, the competing Catalysts do not complete their Scale Trial. Thus, Scales are motivated to advance and train alongside fellow unit mates who have yet to take the trial. As this is a flexible team trial, present Scales could participate on future Catalyst teams or as a challenger on the community team.
Wings - Air - Individual Field Kill Count - 100 Kills in Mass Melee Battles, Time Limited
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.
Included are the parts of the Cataklusmos 'body' that each member has earned through trials.
- Bhakdar - tail, scale, wings
- Sipris - tail
- Huma - tail, scale
- Acorn - tail
- Rocca - tail, scale
- Dangus - tail
- Sampson - tail, scale
- Sare - tail, scale
- Remy - tail
Catalysts, Catakins & Allies
Catalysts participate in votes on apprenticing members, known as Catakins, and wear a spiral belt flag. Majority votes tend to decide changes to roster, charter, or trials. Bhakdar retains the power as a founder and benevolent dictator to give final approval or veto to significant decisions. Catalysts aim to make themselves available in their own specializations of training, hosting events, group leadership, or developing relationships with other warrior societies. Founding Catalysts at Western Wars 2010 were Acorn, Dangus, Sare, Sipris, Rocca, Samson, Huma, Bhakdar.
Members added since Remy - Chaos Wars XVI
Catakins train with Catalyst in pursuit of full membership. They are expected to attend retreats, events, and develop their unique contributions to the unit and the Northwest region. This is a period of integrating feedback and mentoring from the group that lasts a minimum of one year and may last longer. A Catakin approved for membership takes a tail trial to become a Catalyst.
Allies are welcome to fight and serve alongside Catalyst in pursuit of having a context to train in. Allies might consult with Catalysts to build their own unit/realm/group/title/persona. Some allies may fight with Catalysts as guests at trials, retreats, or in field battles. In this manner, allies may be affiliated with another unit or not. Catalyst seeks to recruit new members not affiliated with other units.