Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

The 15 rules of larp

The following 15 rules (warning: strong language) were written some years ago in Great Britain, and have been pretty much generally accepted on the British larp scene. Especially popular is rule 7 - widely known by its number and commonly considered to be the most imortant rule of all (and I agree). Even the biggest British larp forum has taken Rule7 as its name.

The rules have been originally created by the Drunken Monkeys and edited by Rick Wynne who added some extra stuff in the explanations to make them more understandable to international audience (it still contains some British larp lingo though), more work-safe and to throw in his two cents. (copy of the original wording is available here)

1. Don’t play a mighty warrior; play a warrior and be mighty.
Don’t label your character. As soon as you say that you are the best swordsman in the land someone will come along and kick your ass. Just get into the mindset of the person and role-play it out.

2. No one cares about your character b…

These 10 Easy Steps Are All You Need To Start Larping!

"How to become a larper? How to start larping? Where do you begin? How to join a larp? How to prepare for your first event? How to gear up? What do I need to know for my first larp?" Etc.

These are all questions that people interested in larp ask all the time. And in over three years of writing this blog and over 350 posts on it, I just remembered I haven't written any decent advice for new and potential players. And that's why it's harder than it seems. Not preparing for your first larp, but writing about it. Different larps can be quite different, and can be even more confusing to existing larpers (used to another style) than to those who never larped before.

However, I decided to do it - and write a comprehensive guide about it, with a catchy Upworthy-style title that's sure to catch the attention, right? After all, it did catch yours. Below you will find a 10-step guide that will answer the most fundamental questions about larping that you might have.


World of Darkness Berlin and Enlightenment in Blood

How do I even start this article? Fair warning: it will be long (TL;DR - best larp experience of my life). It will be emotional. Sometimes rambling, or jumping from one subject to another. It will include both what took part on the con, before it, after it, and some of my own thoughts and reflections on it. And it will not include a lot of photos of the larp itself, because of the photo policy I signed.

Last weekend I took a part in World of Darkness Berlin convention - first of its' type in Europe. Unfortunately, it was in the same time slot as SFeraKon in Zagreb, but when you have an opportunity such as this - well, you don't miss it. The convention, most of it taking place in Mercure hotel MOA Berlin (with several events in other venues), had covered almost every possible expression of World of Darkness, it's licensees and IPs - tabletop role-play, larps, V:TES collectible card game, and more.

Let's be frank - if you're reading my blog, you're probably in f…