There was snarling, growling, even a little berserk laughter as the Battle Lords faced off.
Ten members of Dagorhir of Warren met in several skirmishes Saturday on the field of battle at Betts Park.
They bore an array of weapons from a two-handed battle axe to a dagger, even a javelin.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Josh ‘Beefy’ Anderson (right) jabs at Justin Larimer during a melee of the Dagorhir Warren Chapter Saturday at Betts Park.
Some carried shields. A few wore leg armor. They all were repeatedly killed by their friends over a period of about four hours and had a good time doing it.
The national Dagorhir Battle Lords phenomenon is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings being the most familiar works. "It's Dark Ages Europe meets fantasy," Dave Siler said.
The live action role playing attracts those with more than a passive interest in history.
Unlike the Society for Creative Anachronism, whose members pad themselves with armor to protect them from rattan weapons, Dagorhir pad their weapons.
The members make their own weapons and light armor. Sometimes they wear period garb.
Most weapons are 'blue' and cause normal damage. 'Red' weapons are shield-breakers two two-handed strikes from one of those and a shield must be tossed aside. Armor, which absorbs a strike from a blue weapon, doesn't help against a red weapon, either.
A strike to the arm or leg disables that limb. Combatants struck in a leg can continue the fight from a kneeling position. Being hit in the head or torso is fatal.
The weapons, cloth- and foam-padded PVC, caused no major injuries Saturday, though there were some bruises and Jared Johnson tasted tape for a while after a strike from the axe of Josh 'Beefy' Anderson.
The members of the Warren chapter of Dagorhir meet to bludgeon each other at noon on Saturdays.
Joining Siler, Johnson, and Anderson this week were: Mike Battko, Josh Gray, Cody Stroup, Abby Hepler, Sonja MacLees, Nathan Brys, and Justin Larimer. "We've had as many as 18 here," Siler said.
Most weeks they gather at Betts, but sometimes they go to Jamestown to join up with more Dagorhir. Likewise, every month or so, the Jamestown group comes to Betts. The combined group brings together closer to 30 members, Siler said. There are regional, national, and international events that draw far more participants.
Approaching its first winter, the chapter is working on ways to continue their battles indoors.
They welcome visitors and spectators and are looking for new members. "Show up and talk to us," Siler said.
The members bring along extra weapons, just in case.
The group also maintains the Dagorhir Warren Chapter Facebook page.