Battle for Vilegis
Vilegis: “From ashes to victory.”
I’m using the Radiant camp’s motto not only because that faction gave me the warmest welcome ever but also because it expresses precisely what happened to the previous edition of Vilegis, when a fire destroyed the former location but didn’t stop the guys involved in this project. There’s still a lot of work to do to restore the old splendor, that unfortunately I’ve seen only on photographs, but what I’ve just witnessed was so entertaining and brilliant, from the setting up to the great job of non-player characters and the whole team. Can’t wait to come back there!
Let’s clarify a few points: what is Battle For Vilegis?
Battle for Vilegis is a 5 days live action role-playing game that takes place in Testa di Lepre, near Rome. The place is a huge playground and it’s totally in-game, where you are your character no-stop. Several buildings were built here like a citadel with academies, LARP costumes and manufactured items shops, diners for every tastes and budgets, four fields with fences, entrances with watchtowers and a Fulcrum, a place for healing wounds and bringing dead characters to life. The desire of the organization to make the most captivating game experience is already evident by splitting the main zone in two areas: in the out-game zone, the LARP is suspended and you don’t have to tent properly and accordingly with the rest of the playground which is totally devoted to bring our chosen character to life, constantly.
A bit of History.
An island, or New Gem, has just emerged from the astral sea. Its name is Vilegis and it’s connected to a multitude of other different worlds and eras. On this new land, four Houses ( Altea, Brandis, Radiant and Soldraconis) will fight to take command. Every House has its code and values embodied by their own Guardian. A ritual battle has been declared to channel the enormous forces that have created this particular Gem and its cascade-like power to shape all the worlds connected to it. Guardians have great power in this land, they can heal mortal wounds of its visitors and even bring them back from the dead. The main role of every Guardian is to call all the people who agree with his House’s principle and invite them to join war from every accessible plane of existence. A dream, a sudden glow, a deep desire, everyone answers the Call in his unique way but the effect is always the same, Guardian calls you and invites you to join him. With a positive answer you’ll be summoned to Vilegis’s battlefield. There’re two prizes, the winner House can echo its influence over every other world otherwise it can defend the Fracture, a mysterious place where ghastly creatures known as Nexus come from. The apparent purpose of these creatures is one and only: to destroy every life form in every reachable world.
I was there.
My name is Rios Salemberg, I come from the realms of Magnamund. After my apprentice in the magic art of wound healing, my mentor Melchisedek foretold me that a sign would guide my steps to my destiny and so it was. One night, I dreamt the Phoenix of Radiant rising from the flames and the voice of Onofrius called me to his side. I felt the desire to answer the Call thus I crossed the threshold of Vilegis.
I saw the Nexus spreading out at night, trying to stop the ritual, attacking the couriers who were coordinating several camps’ rituals to the main one in the middle of the heath. I fell into Death’s embrace by those abominations’ hand. Back to the Fulcrum my very comrades took my weapon off and, with swords on their hands, they ordered me not to move worrying about those restless ghosts possessed me.
We broke into the Fracture, a place out of time and out of every logic, to rescue a precious book. Nine comrades and me, unaware of its power. After some time I finally brought together all the pieces and I understood how perturbing the sole existence of that text was.
I saw a couple got married just before she went on a mission and he prepared for war. I cried tears of joy for the touching ritual, for the love that bonded them, for the simple act to help them making this important step.
I witnessed people shocked by the Void crawling inside and outside the Fracture to annihilate the existence of every single person of this and others Gems. I saw them crying and trembling and I tried to calm down their shocked minds in terror.
I stormed the gates of other camps at the first light of dawn. I knocked on those same gates acting as an escort. I started some relationships with people who had my same ability and knowledge to heal the wounded, without caring about under which banner we chose to serve.
I escorted an Onofrius Radiant’s legation and I could see with my own eyes the Phoenix he stood for and how it cloaked him up with its strength at every steps he made but it left him humble and inclined to scold who’s wrong nevertheless to give advices to whoever asked for.
I was a team reserve on the Judgment Arena, a very interesting and spectacular sport, where pitch invasions are more frequent than the tries and a throwing-knife or a spell makes more interesting matches and more profitable bets.
I experienced firsthand with sharpened ears how some rumors, we heard at the tavern, could be alarming. More than once, trying not to be noticed, some comrades of mine and I snuck off the crowd towards our campsite to talk about possessions that could destroy even a Guardian.
I answered my Guardian’s Call just for curiosity, I can say. I’ve never imagined our destinies could tie so strongly then.
Phoenix called. And it keeps doing even now I’m back to my homeland. I will answer to every Calls of its. I swear.
Vilegis is based on the achievement of two distinct roles, the High Guardian and the Keeper, by controlling the battlefield and more. How can you do that?
For what concerns the first role, High Guardian, everyone can start a battle and its winner will gain some points called Higher, Medium, Minor or House’s Pivots. You can gain Higher Pivots winning a previously arranged open field battle after a set and signed War Agreement between two Guardians. Medium Pivots can be gained with a not previously arranged battle. On the other hand, Minors ones can be gained with the siege and capture of an enemy camp or performing the most appealing, aesthetically speaking, ritual among all other Houses’ ones. The House’s Pivots can be gained by winning some battles with previously arranged special rules such as set number of fighters, magic restriction and so on.
Other Pivots or other kinds of bonuses, concerning different roles, can be achieved by kidnapping the Lieutenants, who are elected in each field and are always recognizable by some emblems they wear around their necks.
On the fifth day, the two factions with more gained Pivots, will face their forces in an open field final battle. The winner will earn the role of High Guardian and its ability to echo its authority throughout the worlds.
For what concerns the Keeper I need to make a short introduction: the Fulcrum, where characters can be healed or even come back to life, is also a fallen record book. Every bloodshed can draw the attention of the Nexus. The more a House spills blood, the more the chance to unleash these monsters out from the Fracture that connects their world to Vilegis and spread indiscriminately terror and destruction becomes real. That’s why those who have the ability to heal or even just to hold the dying souls into their body has an important role: they can actually make a difference by preventing the House’s score of Oblivion to raise up so much to attract the Nexus. This role will be granted to the winner of an open field battle between the two Houses with the lowest score of Oblivion. The winner will monitor the Fracture in order to keep the Nexus under control.
Speaking of how the game mechanics work, I can truthfully say that they work great whether during a clash between armies or in terms of individual role-playing. Every character can actually be important and his freedom during both his preparation and his evolution gives the chance to create him and grow him as a handyman, ready to play different roles as necessary, or raise him like a well-defined specialist. The thing that impressed me the most is that, due to the high number of participants, a proactive attitude is paramount: raise your hand, take part in discussions, search for information first-hand. You have to be proactive, to venture a step closer to fully enjoy this event and to feel more involved. In the end, the most beautiful stories are not written by themselves, are they?
In the Radiant House I found a great fellowship, I followed a just crowned Guardian who anointed king every person who’d answered his Call. He defined himself a brother among brothers and so he called us. In that House no one bowed to no one, except to help each other, there were no titles but only one big family always ready to help. So I can say that even if the first time I’ve live role played was important, this is the best event I’ve ever taken part so far. For this reason and for all the people I’ve met I will be there again.
I highly recommend it!
Alessio “Rios” Serra
The author of this article
Alessio “Rios” Serra is a healthcare provider in real life and recently in-game too. He lives in Tuscany and about five years ago he began Live Action Role Playing, after spending too much time just imagining it. A Gallehault indeed was the friendship with mutual friends that led him to dress in leather with sword and shield. Since then, Vilegis has been his return to that hobby that time and money unfairly took away from his life.
This review was translated from Italian by Luca Moretti.