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Chronicles of Demgard 2015/2 - Trail of Ages Past review

The Sterrenfels fencing school students

The Hungarian Chronicles of Demgard larp series is played twice a year. One event is strictly for people who speak Hungarian, while the other is for both locals and international players, and a lot of people make an effort to speak English and translate stuff for us. All docs exist in English too. And since last year's event, the international Demgard larp has been played in the more attractive summer term.

The story revolved around the recently discovered dig site. The Empire - a nation inspired by both Warhammer's Empire and the historical Holy Roman Empire - was once again the center of the larp's setting and story, but this time players explored the academic life of a fantasy country. The majority of players played students or professors of the Marengart Academy of Free Arts. Some of the faculties were mundane, while others were magical. There were also several tribal groups, a local noble and his entourage, and our group - the Sterrenfels fencing school, a rival to the Academy's fencing school.

My character was Markus Muller, a student of the school and a son of a minor noble, part gentleman, part asshole. Our group did group relations in advance, with shared google docs and online group development similar to the Ball of Yarn method, and agreed on a standard gear (hand and a half sword Bellator, a short sword and a dagger). However, two people canceled, and there were only four of us in the group left, and during the play our rivalry was not played on as much as we originally planned.

Still, there was a lot for us to do. The first evening, a portal in the ruins opened and some lizardmen came out. Which was quite significant, because in the in-game lore lizardmen (who call themselves Gwehnir) ruled the world in ancient times... see the connection to this year's larp name here?

The Arch-Chancellor of the academy on the road defusing
a situation between the school and a local duke

The second day started slowly, and we, as a school, had some training - both combat practice with a hand and a half sword, and some more "showy" practice because we were going to demonstrate our school's fighting skills for some nobles. Then of course I stirred up trouble by claiming we didn't work out enough, and the entire team was rewarded with a run around the terrain, where everyone sang:

The best fencing school around here // Run by Claus the Reiter // Fuck you Markus for this run // It's your fault that here we are.

After that we went on several duties, trying to increase the reputation of the school. However, our herald ran into some trouble with the local duke (whose advisor looked suspiciously like Varys from the Game of Thrones), and instead of the school rivalry we soon had trouble with the Duke himself. The things got more complex as we started to work with the local inquisitor, and found ourselves the targets of the local Chaos cultists... but in the end, we lived, and our opponents found themselves dead.

These are absolutely no lizardmen feet behind
the screen on this Chaos portal. Honest.

The portal in the ruins had some electronics in it, which caused it to react (by flashing lights) to two keys which existed in game. These keys were eventually brought together, and we gathered for the mages to do a ritual to close them and banish the lizardmen forever.

But of course, they betrayed us, and made a deal with the lizards. After the battle, a pact was made - and a new/old - civilization was released on the world of Demgard. To what end? We'll see next year, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

But the play wasn't done yet. Although majority of the players went into a sort of a soft end, I played some more with the barbarians, and I've done some rituals with them. These were some really nice moments of play. And at the same time, another group was also still in game, messing with the portal.

The game was fabulous, and I had an awesome time. I experienced a lot of bleed on this larp and after. Both larp bleed and actual bleed because I poked myself on a thumb tack when I helped another player with a backpack. I ran, climbed trees, fought, engaged in diplomacy, betrayed others, was betrayed, trained, engaged in rituals, did some Ars Amandi... it was glorious, and if I have to choose this was my favorite Demgard larp and my favorite larp of this year (so far). Its' pacing worked, it was not cut short, and I had loads of fun - of course, my story is my own, everybody else had something else to do, something of their own, and their own pieces of story they engaged with.

Looking forward to the next Demgard larp.


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