Stories from the Dragon lands (DF 2019 pt. 2)

This post is going to be about two of my in-game highlights from the Dragon lands, otherwise known as the Drachenfest 2019 LARP festival in Germany. If you haven’t already, I suggest you read my Drachenfest 2019 blog post first, as this one will only contain my two favourite game events stories from 2019 that I could not fit into the general post without making it too long.

SHORT RECAP: Drachenfest is an annual live-action-roleplaying (LARP) festival in Northern Germany, where players join one of the dragon camps with their chosen characters and try to help their dragon win the festival through battles and quests for dragon eggs over the course of 5 days. The dragon camps and their ideals are: Blue (freedom, basically pirates), Gold (justice, lawful good) Silver (grace and courage, basically paladins), Black (everything must end, power-hungry mages), Green (nature and life cycle), White (faith, religious fanatics), Red (war, relentless fighters), Grey (knowledge), Copper (order and discipline) + the camp of Alteration/Eternal Change (ex chaos and everything weird) and the Orc camp. As you can imagine, strange things occur when you mix all of these together and here are some of the results:

#1: Limbus for breakfast

As mentioned, dragon camps can battle each other to try and steal the enemy’s banner and sieges are a large part of that. Every camp has a gate that can be besieged by a rival army and possibly even breached by a siege weapon or a golem in order to get the banner. One of my favourite moments of Drachenfest 2019 was the morning siege of the Grey camp on the fourth day with our fellow warriors from the Black camp. At about 9 in the morning when most normal people were still asleep, the Greens decided to attack the Grey camp and, since the Black was allied with the Green, we were called forth to help them. The Grey had an alliance with the Gold and we were supposed to lay siege to the Gold gate and prevent them from coming out to help the Grey, or in the words of our Austrian neighbour “you don’t need any gear, we’re just there as moral support”.

The dragons are always watching (photo by K. Čotar, from Drachenfest 2016)

The assembly bell rang and rang and after about 30 minutes or more, a total of less than 30 epic Black warriors and some healers, in what was by no means full gear, stood ready to march out of the Black gate. Most of us, including me, hadn’t had breakfast yet, so we made it to the Gold gate a bit grumpy but in spectacular spirits nonetheless. After they run out of arrows we casually advanced to the gate hiding behind a grand total of 8 shields and blocked their windows and arrow slits with our shields (that is the beauty of LARP unrealism, the gates are only one storey high and you can block a whole window with a foam shield). We stood there trying to squeeze into the gate shade (the sun was brutal that year!), when one of the Gold guards goes: “Yoo-hoo Schwarz! How long are you going to stay here?”. True to form, our commander claimed we came to renovate their windows, while one of our other guys was shouting we came for breakfast. The Gold guard seemed to consider that for a bit and ended up asking him what we wanted for breakfast, which sparked off a flurry of breakfast orders, from fruit, scrambled eggs with ham, to a full spit-roasted pig.

Some of the non-fighting Gold people wanted to go out to the city, so we kindly let them leave the camp unharmed and we even stood in a row and made an arc with our weapons in the air for a lady to pass through. Apparently we did it classy enough, as our commander ended up negotiating a no-fire truce with the Golds after that and they were given orders to stop shooting arrows at us. They even gave us water and some dried fruit-nut mix, so we actually did get breakfast in the end and a healer for someone who got hit by a stray arrow. All the while the banter between us and the Golds continued and it was hilarious beyond words. It took a while too, as the Greens somehow managed to lose against the Grey, despite being the larger army (it turned out the Gold army was already inside the Grey camp before we even got there, but we did manage to hold the Gold gate closed at least!).

After it became clear the Green camp was retreating in defeat, we were given the choice between going home to finally get breakfast or charging into the Grey camp gate meatgrinder just for the sake of it and probably dying. We heroically chose the latter of course, and about 15 of us run straight at the open Grey gate shouting the Black slogan “Alles muss enden! Everything must end!” We were dead within seconds and had to proudly and laughingly proceed to Limbus.

In the Dragon lands one does not die and stay dead, but has to go to Limbus, a dark and mysterious place, where dead souls receive a second chance at life, if they can safeguard their soul lights from the creepy ghostlings and the lost souls wandering its shadowy depths. So, we got Limbus for breakfast and as we were waiting in line to get in, our fellow Blacks broke out in a very hip-swinging, booty-shaking “Limbus, Limbus, Limbus!” dance, randomly shouting “Schwarze geister, tot und laut! Black ghosts, dead and loud!“.

#2: The summer uniforms of the City Watch or how we got addicted to fairy dust

The next one was a night encounter with some lovely Chaos Alteration camp people. As my friend and I were coming back from the tavern late at night, appropriately drunk and in a good mood, we came across three rather unusual characters, who stopped us in the name of the City Watch. They definitely looked more ragtag voodoo and less City Watch, as they were dressed in black, with lots of bones, curious ornaments and generally shady-looking. Given that, I of course had to ask if they really were part of the City Watch, because they didn’t even have uniforms. I was told they were wearing the summer edition of the uniforms and my friend felt that was totally legit, so he even had the lead guard do a little twirl to check it out. After he was thoroughly convinced, I still had some doubts about all the bones and things hanging off their clothes. Apparently the City Watch decided to implement a new policy, where everyone was required to carry their own food supplies with them at all times, so I felt quite silly for questioning it afterwards.

After we established that these strangers were indeed official representatives of the City Watch, they started questioning us about our activities and I had to swear I hadn’t done anything illegal (today – even though we did do something slightly illegal that same day). We then had to prove we weren’t drunk by walking in a straight line and jumping on one foot, which we passed with flying colours, so I asked if we get a prize. In retrospect, that might have been the wrong thing to ask, because the female City Watch guard started offering us some kind of shiny dust to lick. Now, back in our lands, our mothers raised us to know better than to take candy or shiny powders from strangers, even if they are the City Watch, so we demanded to know what it is and if they would lick it too, to prove it wasn’t dangerous.

Kiran the fairy (photo from N. Diego Falagan).

She told us it’s City Watch approved and that it won’t affect her, because it is a part of her. Turns out, she was a fairy, so I told her I’m not eating any parts of dirty fairies I don’t know, at which she got offended and the other guards told me I was being racist. Not wanting to spend the night in jail, I quickly asked if being racist was now illegal, while my friend got quite excited at the thought of licking a fairy, so we ended up taking the dust along with all the Watchmen. Afterwards they told us it would make us insanely happy, then give us nightmares and leave us craving for more the next day, so we’ll have to find her again to get more. The lead guard assured us she was the cheapest provider of quality fairy dust, which didn’t sound right to us, since, you know, you get what you pay for…

The City Watch guards were soon busy with a new case of night-time wanderers, as two guys tried to steal their supply of fairy dust and they had to run off after them. My friend and I were feeling real good by that time and started plotting how to get more fairy dust or even sample different types from other suppliers, perhaps. To that end we decided to laughingly knock on the Alteration camp door at 4 am, asking for fairy dust. Unfortunately the guard on duty was rather unimpressed and told us to go away, or he will come out and shove that fairy dust up our behinds. We decided to kidnap the City Watch fairy instead, and bring her back to our lands for an unlimited supply of the good stuff. We couldn’t find her again the next day though, so we had to leave the Dragon lands with a horrible itch and go cold turkey to quit our one-time fairy dust addiction back in our fictional land of Belesija.

*I’ve tried to remain faithful to the actual in-game events, but since they’re taken out of context I’ve had to shorten them a bit and adapt them for clarity. All of it was of course just acted out during the game and is purely imaginary.

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