Countess Squire Drū-Kära Silverblade of the Desert Winds
Who is Drū-Kära?
Elena Moreno Hansen is the mundane name of Mistress Drū-Kära. She was conferred with the Title of Lady by Queen Emer in September 2008, but Drū-Kära refuses to be called a lady, and prefers Mistress. She was later conferred with the title of Baronetess by King Randall in January of 2013 and later Countess by King Zuryell in May of 2015. She is squired to Sir Rift Gorhan Tele. She is also known as "Piranha's sister" and "Lathara's sister" and that "crazy wood nymph".
Elena Moreno (now known as Elena Moreno Hansen) is from El Paso, Texas, and was taken to Amtgard with her sister, Liz (Lathara) a/k/a =Lilith=) in the Burning Lands for the first time in the Spring of 1986 by high school classmates, Matthew Passmore (Caspin Tree) and Chris Patton. Although the sisters were strangers to the park, the people were colorfully dressed, friendly, and so intriguing.
Elena fell in love with the motley crew, the beautiful park (Memorial Park), and everything medieval. She loved the creativity and the fantasy.
Just before graduating from high school, Elena moved in with a school teacher and her family due to personal life circumstances. This teacher had a son, named Greg (Nikos) and he had a friend named, Sean (then Squire Naes Weisdrake) who were both Amtgard regulars.
Elena and Sean dated, mundanely, until Clan Gathering (Clan) of 1990, because Sean had plans to rekindle a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Wendy (Clover). Although Elena was understanding for the most part, she set off for Clan with a heart full of curiosity.
Drū-Kära's First Clan Gathering
Just before Clan of 1990, Elena created the persona of Drū-Kära along with her history. Drū-Kära is the daughter of a Druid and a dryad. She has a brother, Koric, whom she hasn't seen in over 2 decades.
Anyway, Drū-Kära found transportation to Clan Gathering with Scott Patten (=Eskot=), Kim (=Vamir=), Mike (=Deimos=), his brother (QDink [with a silent Q]), and Shane (=Otter=, who now goes by Otto VonMuller). They were a van full of teenage wanderers, in search of adventure.
This Clan was Drū-Kära's first, and she showed up to Clan without a tent and with a few pieces of garb. She was 18, a former cross-country athlete, and smoking hot.... and so she was not bothered by such trivialities.
Upon Drū-Kära's arrival at Sleepy Grass, she met Ben Passmore (brother of Matt) (Sir Gilos Dawnhope) who was impressed by her natural talents and bright persona. Sir Gilos asked Drū-Kära to join the Far Travellers. She accepted his invitation, and though the group has dwindled down to a few active members (our captain has gone afar travelling), we do our part. Our tabards are dark turquoise with a white star.
Next, Drū-Kära met Rift, (before he was knighted) from the Iron Mountains. This man is memorable because he has always been a lecherous flirt, and possesses a lost talent: the ability to kiss a woman's hand in such a way that she would feel weak in the knees.
Fortunately for Drū-Kära, she then met Quinn (Jeff Spurgeon). He was very nice, and he escorted Drū-Kära around the campground so that she would not be stolen, bound, and tossed in a tent. Also present during this tour were Ghee (Clay) and Kathon (Tom).
On this round of visiting, Drū-Kära met Dame Tawnee Darkfalcon (Michelle Ellington), captain of the Starquesting Dragons. She was magnificent: a female combatant with flaming red hair. She was Eowyn in the flesh. "I am no mere man!" She was breath-taking. She and her dragons were fierce fighters and talented artisans. Tawnee was Amtgard's first Queen and first knight, and back in the day, ( for the first five reigns of the Burning Lands) you won your throne by combat. Drü-Kära was impressed by her personal strength and kindness.
Drū-Kära also met Terarin (Rob Strohmeyer), the Scout.... long before he was knighted. It was doubtful he was even shaving then. He was the epitome of uncompromised friendship.
Terarin would later date and marry, Kayrana (Ester) whom Drü-Kära didn't meet until years later. Kayrana was a sight to behold. She had long, curly, blonde locks. She was graceful, could sing like a songbird, and her garb was spectacular. This curvaceous, earth-bound goddess could make a potato sack look good, but she was striking in green as well as in her black Golden Lion's tunic. Like Tawnee, she could kick butt! Kayrana has gone to the other world, now, but her memory lives on.
Next, Drū-Kära was especially fortunate to be introduced to Baron Alaeric (Gaylord Tigue) and Quicksilver (Elizabeth Hoffheins). They had just chartered the Barony of Dragonspine a few months before Clan. This meeting was helpful to Drū-Kära, because she was going to attend college in Las Cruces (the Barony of Dragonspine).
Alaeric and Drü-Kära shared a special bond: a fondness for baubles and all things purple. They became great friends and Alaeric later introduced Drü-Kära to Iron Paw, F'lar, Whitewolf, Blackthorn, Beo, Cheshire Catseye, Solmoriah, Bertrand, Weilock, Chiz, Trent, Phocion, Alucard, and so many others. These people are still friends of Dru-Kara and hold a very special place in her heart.
Later in her Clan wanderings, Drū-Kära encountered Dame Andralaine (Kerry Hunter) who was Queen of the Burning Lands at the time. Dame Andralaine was taken by the young, Drü-Kära, her fondness for role-playing and joie de vivre that she asked her to be her Amazon daugher, and Drū-Kära gladly accepted.
The last person that Drū-Kära met at Clan was Sir Aramithris. He found Drū-Kära at a campfire, and she was very drunk and very flirty. Concerned for her welfare, he took her to his tent, and put her to sleep, fully clothed.
In the morning, Sir Aramithris attended to his young charge by brushing her hair, and giving her his cloak to wear during Burning Lands Court. It was during this Court that Drū-Kära and Clover (Naes' former love) shared that large cloak while attending Court.
After Clan, Drū-Kära kept company with Sean (Naes) (in mundania) and with Sir Aramithris (J.W. Donnelly) (in Amtgardia) as college coursework would permit. This continued until the early Spring of 1991.
A few weeks after Clan, Elena travelled with Kim (Vamir) to New Mexico State University for freshman orientation and first year of college. Shortly into their college tenure, Aramithris and Vamir were elected King and Consort of the Burning Lands. Vamir's Crown Qualifications poem about Aramithris and Drū-Kära, still brings tears of laughter from those who recall it.
As elected consort of Burning Lands, Vamir was charged with making guard tabards for the new guard. Although minimal in her sewing skills, Drū-Kära helped Vamir in cutting and sewing those guard tabards.
Although not seeking office in the Burning Lands, Drū-Kära sang "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera for Crown Qualifications in the fall of 1990. In the present day Drū-Kära is unable to give those high notes the power they deserve, but back in the day, Drū-Kära was able to hit those notes perfectly, having recently participated in high school and church choirs.
Due to a friendly Freshman year schedule, Drū-Kära travelled widely through the existing Amtgard lands, notably the Iron Mountains and the Golden Plains. For the most part, these trips were typical Amtgard adventures without too much drama. However on one of Drū-Kära's trips to the Golden Plains, she was captured and given to Sir Ivar_Nefarious. Although amused at first, the kind Sir preferred Drū-Kära out of chains and quickly released her.
As the result of this kindness, Drū-Kära may be only one of a few Amtgard women who can boast that she has slept with Sir Ivar_Nefarious AND that she has not been tainted by his sword. Indeed, Drū-Kära's madness comes honestly.
During this time, Drü-Kära would stop by her parents' home and kidnap her little brother, Manny Moreno (Piranha) to attend Burning Lands Amtgard.
Piranha was given his name by Aramithris at a park day. Drū-Kära and Aramithris were sitting alone on one of the grassy knolls at Memorial Park, when Manny (then 8 or 9 years-old), kept trying to remove Aramithris from his sister's side. At this point, Aramithris commented that he was as tenacious as a Piranha.
It was also during this time that Drū-Kära convinced her sister, Liz (Lathara a/k/a Lilith) to start attending Amtgard. This was completely out of necessity for Drū-Kära as the Gathering of Clans was scheduled around the second or third week of July, and her sister's birthday usually fell during Clan.
In the summer of 1991, Elena met and married a mundane, and left Amtgard for 4 years.
Following the demise of her first marriage, Drū-Kära returned to Amtgard with the assistance of Sir Egil (whom she dated for a few months) and Dame Weilok. Committed to service, Drū-Kära earned her first two roses during this period of time (that have been lost to the Amtgard library of the dead).
Although these years were mostly notable for those Drū-Kära dated at the time, Drū-Kära did have a few accomplishments that included being the highest bid person at the Slave Auction in 1996 (bought by Father Thomas. Ironically, she was also the least worked slave that year.
Drū-Kära continued her service to Amtgard upon her return. She could be found assisting in preparation and clean-up at events. If someone needed a ride to event, she would always have room if they were willing to make themselves useful to the event-o-crat.
In this era of her life, Drū-Kära began to undertake more ambitious sewing projects, and received her tutelage, primarily from Squire Ahira who taught her how to make simple garb like tunics, skirts, and cloaks. Because she continued to date J.W. Donnelly on and off for many years, she also received occasional tutorings from Dame Gwynne. Using her growing, yet still limited skill, Drū-Kära continued to make garb for her family and friends.
Drū-Kära also continued her love of singing by occasionally performing with Sir Egil's madrigal group. Regular members of this group included Sir [Alaeric], Dame [Kayrana], and Squire =Gwynna=.
Sir Egil also introduced Drū-Kära to Sarah, the belly dancing instructor. Drū-Kära began dancing at at events and in Crown Qualifications as the result of their combined influences.
MORE FAMILY During this period of time, Elena's youngest sibling, Manny Moreno (=Piranha=) began participating in Amtgard at the age of 14 or 15. Both Drū-Kära and Lathara took Piranha to many interkingdom events to give him more exposure to Amtgardia. Because of Piranha's regular attendance at Burning Lands, the Moreno parents began attending the park as well. Elena's father, Tomas Moreno, started playing the game as G'Kar. Elena's mother, Ruth Moreno, has yet to come up with a persona.
In the fall of 1998, Elena met and married another mundane, and left Amtgard for 7 years.
EVEN MORE FAMILY Elena returned to Amtgard in the Summer of 2006 at Pegasus Valley. Her return was largely due two reasons: her impending divorce from her second husband, and the fact that her eldest nephew, Wesley Keegan (formerly =Cloud= now =Leon=) had recently turned 14, and it was time to bring a new family member to Amtgard. Because of Leon's appearance, Elena's son, Joseph Sparks (=Chief=) and nephew, Alex Keegan began attending Amtgard as well.
Not to be outdone, Manny (=Piranha=) started bringing his wife, Melissa, and their children (now numbering 6) to Amtgard.
Drū-Kära's remergence was at Clan of 2006. She was welcomed by her old friends with great love and affection upon her return. However, it was this year's Clan that Drū-Kära encountered "The Great Imposters."
On her search for Sir Ironpaw and Sir Quicksilver, Drū-Kära came upon two figures who were guarding the entrance to the Sterling Dogs camp. One said that Drū-Kära could not pass, and asked who she was. She responded, "The amazing and infamous Drū-Kära." To which one replied that he was Aramithris (then Squire Jynx_Mercades) and the other replied that he was Ivar (Kenshin). Drū-Kära, having had dealings with both quickly responded, "Well, I've slept with both, and you are neither" and proceeded to walk up to Sir Ironpaw to obtain one of his renowned bear hugs.
Later, one of "The Great Imposters" (Kenshin) attempted to flame Drū-Kära on MySpace, and received a nuclear flame in response. This led to Drū-Kära sharing her story (and the postings) with Sir Glenalth who happened to be an administrator on the E-Sam. Sir Glenalth knew "The Great Imposters" and particularly, the young man who had attempted to flame Drū-Kära on MySpace. Upon his return to his computer, Sir Glenalth changed the moniker under Kenshin's E-Sam name to read, "Owned by Dru-Kara".
Drū-Kära received the Title of Lady by Queen Dame Emer Rustytongue at Drū-Kära's coronation as Sheriff of the Shire of Lost Souls for her service to Amtgard. Although hestitant to receive a title because she declared that she was no d*#@ lady, Drū-Kära accepted the title out of great love for her longtime friend and Queen.
More belly dancing. Drū-Kära received her first of many First Level Order of the Dragons for her performance at Olympiad of September 2006 by Queen Emer at Maize Maize in October 2006. She received her Second Level Order of the Dragon for her performance at Dragonmaster for the Kingdom of Dragonspine in January 2013 by King Sir Randall Andalsa and Princess Liricia la Esfinge.
MARRIED. Drū-Kära and her mundane persona married Warlord Shadow Silverblade (Troy Hansen) at Harvest War of 2011 (September 3, 2011). At that event, Drū-Kära became the Pro-Tem Duchess of the Duchy of Pegasus Valley, and Warlord Shadow became her Champion both on and off the field. They continue to encourage each other in and out of Amtgard.
(From left to right: Sister, Lathara (Liz Moreno Keegan); MIL (Pat Hansen); Son, Chief (Joseph Sparks); Dru-Kara (Elena Moreno Hansen); Brother, Piranha (Manny Moreno); Shadow Silverblade (Troy Hansen); Mother (Ruth Moreno); and Father [G'Kar] (Tomas Moreno).)
Drū-Kära surprised herself and others by receiving her 1st Level Order of the Warrior at the Clan of 2011. She received this award after tutelage from Sir Ilmryn and from Warlord Shadow that led to her fluke wins in the Dragonspine Weaponmaster of June 2011. Apparently, Drū-Kära's luck helped her earn her 1st Level Order of the Warrior twice at this particular weaponmaster.
Drū-Kära, despite physical set-backs, continues to take fighting more seriously for her own health, and to encourage other women and young ladies to participate in the Game she loves.
Drū-Kära participated in her first SKBC in 2012. She was determined to learn, but she did not leave her flurby side at home. She appeared for classes on both days, dressed head-to-toe in Hello Kitty garb and accessories. Her instructors spoke well of her hard work, and so King Ilmryn conferred upon her, her first Gryphon. As a result of her training, Drū-Kära placed 5th overall in the DDragonspine Weaponmaster of Spring 2012; and 7th overall in the Weaponmaster of Fall 2013. I For their service to the Kingdom of Dragonspine and for their love of travel, Drū-Kära received the Title of Baronetess and Shadow received his Baronet from King Sir Randall Andalsa and Princess Liricia la Esfinge in January of 2013. With the permission of King Sir Randall Andalsa, Drū-Kära prefers to be referred as Shieldmaiden Drū-Kära, as it more accurately reflects her recent efforts to take the field and encourage more participation in the martial arts by female combatants.
For her service to the Kingdom of Burning Lands as Regent, Chancellor and member of the Board of Directors, Drū-Kära received the Title of Countess from King Zuryel in May of 2015.
Drū-Kära was paged to Squire Lady Tuhula Gain, who was squire to Dame Emer. Drū-Kära accepted her position as page in March of 2011. Squire Lady Tuhula Gain died of cancer in May of 2012. Drū-Kära retired her page belt on the one year anniversary of Tuhula's passing.
Drū-Kära is now Squired to Sir Rift Gorhan Tele as of September 14, 2013. Together, they look forward to working hard to make Amtgard better in their part of the world.
Kids Quest (Clan 2009)
Gate freak (Clan 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010; Rakis 2011; Harvest War 2007)
Feast of Teliel (This event raised $150 for the NM Veterans Integration Center in Albuquerque)
Memorial Lunch at Clan 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Silent Auction to Raise Money for Cancer Advocacy; Clan of 2013, 2014, 2015
Garb, Garb, and more Garb
- Clan Memorial Lunch
Before Dru-Kara's squire passed away in 2012, Tuhula asked her to remember her at Clan, her favorite event. Knowing that other Amtgarders were also grieving friends who had crossed the veil, Dru-Kara was given permission to host a Memorial Lunch on Fridays of Clan. Dru-Kara serves as the Mistress of Ceremonies, while her husband, Overlord Warlord Shadow Silverblade, serves as head chef. This lunch has been served since 2012. In 2013, they had enough food to feed Amtgarders again for lunch on Saturday.
- Clan Silent Auction
Another request that Tuhula made before she died was to raise money for a local cancer organization: The Tularosa Downwinders Consortium. Dru-Kara created the Facebook group, called, " Compete to Fight Cancer ". The objective of the group is to compete in Arts & Sciences Competitions throughout the year, and to donate some items that were made in competition to be sold at Clan. In addituon, Dru-Kara solicited donated items of the Amtgard variety to include in a silent auction at Clan. The first silent auction raised $400 at Clan XXX (2013).
Together with her husband, Shadow Silverblade, Dru-Kara created the Arts & Crafts Boot Camp, known as AC/BC. Inspired by conversations with Dame Linden Tul, Shadow invited Serpent Knights and skilled artisans from all of Amtgardia to share their talents with others. The inaugural event took place in the Duchy of Pegasus Valley (Albuquerque, NM) over the weekend of September 14-15, 2013.
- House Fierce
The Household, itself, was created by Dame Pebyr ap Cucorin "Pooh Bear" on September 24, 2014. Dru-Kara was the second admin of House Fierce and is credited for the publicity that attracted early members to the group; and for clearing the use of the Phoenix on the household's heraldry with the Kingdom of the Burning Lands Board President and Treasurer as well as with the Amtgard Historian.
Dru-Kara was briefly in Dame Emer's beltline when she served as Lady Squire Tuhula Gain's page from March 2011 until one year after Tuhula died of cancer on May 11, 2013.
- Countess Squire Dru-Kara
- Page Tryggvald Islingr (Page by Nobility)
Amtgard Household of Amazons
- Amazon Mother: Vicountess Dame Andralaine Escuyer of Stonehelven
- Amazon Daughter: Baronet Squire Sttar Reddawn SmokeStuff of the Shire of Savage Highlands, DS
- Amazon Daughter: Squire Scarlet frost currently of the Duchy of Pegasus Valley, DS
- Amazon Daughter: Woman-at-Arms Pumyra Bloodfangs of Iron Mountains Proper, IM
- Amazon Daughter: Page Anaea Rayen of the Barony of Evermore Hollow, GP
- Amazon Initiates: Man At Arms Kitari D'Argento, of Dragonspine
Founding Member & Regent (DSPV), March 2007 - August 2007
BOD Secretary (DSPV), Spring 2007 - September 2007
Pro-Tem Regent (FHLS), September 2007 - February 2008
Regent (DSLS), February 2008 - August 2008
Monarch [Sheriff] (DSLS), September 2008 - March 2009
Regent (DSPV), September 2010 - March 2011
BOD President (DSPV), January 2011 - December 2011
Pro-Tem Duchess (DSPV), September 2011 - March 2011
BOD Member (DSPV), January 2012- December 2012
BOD President (DSPV), January 2013- Present
Regent (DSPV), March 2013- September 2013
Regent (BL), November 2014- May 2015
Chancellor [Financial half of PM] (BL), May 2015 to July 2015