The Lord of the Rings
Similarly to the May invitation to photograph the largest Italian larp „Battle for Vilegis“ I received another invitation to photograph Moravian boffer battle „The Lord of the Rings – Battle over the Middle earth“.
And I must say – it was really interesting! I didn’t visit any boffer larp since about 2002. The last boffer battle I remember was also The Lord of the Rings, but its Bohemian incarnation (probably the biggest larping event in Czech history ever). A lot has changed since then.
I remember when people came to boffer battles in jeans and t-shirts. That was in 1999. When I’ve stopped participating, around 2002, they had costumes, but they couldn’t be compared to the costumes nowadays. Weapons are softer (not so much as in Italy) and there is much bigger variability amongst them. Also the size of in game/in costume camp became much bigger; it isn’t ten percent like it was, but more like fifty. But the most significant difference was that there weren’t any string locations (strings stretched between trees with description on a paper hanging from a string). Also it wasn’t Battle for Vilegis with its fully wooden, rain proof houses, but it was much closer to them than to a string with a strip of coloured paper. It’s clear that we’re moving in the same direction as Italy (and other countries, but I was only in Italy so that’s the only place I can really compare it to).
There were about three hundred players and the game lasted for eight hours. During that time many characters died ten times or more and they walked for more than a dozen kilometres. But in end the only thing that really counts is that it made them happy.
My attention was captured by a group of players who had a sun eclipse on their flag, the same as the Italian group Tribù de Sole Nero. There were some details that are different in their suns but the idea is the same. They’ve told me that they had no idea about some other group using the same sign, but they were curious and spoke about getting in contact and possibly travelling to Italy to meet the members of Tribù de Sole Nero.