Party like it's 1399
edited: Thursday, July 14, 2005
By Divinity 11 11
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Become a Fan
Battle makes for great exercise
The sun shines on another warm lazy Sunday at Cherokee Park's frisbee field. People toss frisbees, play drums or stretch out on blankets scattered about the field. Suddenly, the serene setting is momentarily disturbed as someone yells, "3-2-1, cut throat!" All out battle ensues, and it's every man for himself as a group of people playing a sport called Belegarth chase each other down with medieval weaponry.
Belegarth is a full-contact sport that involves battle. The players wield weapons made from pvc and foam including swords, scythes, glaives, bows and arrows, daggers, maces, flails, spears, giant hammers, and axes. Some carry shield and weapon combos. To some, battle may be called a sport. To others, it is considered an art. Everyone that plays agrees on one thing - it's fun!
"Cut throat" is usually the first battle of the day and is fought until there are only two left standing. These two become team captains and choose teams for the rest of the battles that follow. Depending on the size of the group of players each week, there may be more than two teams chosen.
During team battles, the teams congregate on their part of the field, and at the call of "lay on", the battle begins. Other battles fought include bridge battles, tournaments, Valhalla, Kill your Killer, and a few others. Belegarth has also been meshed with more traditional games like football and capture the flag.
To some, it may seem that the players are running around hitting each other with sticks. Upon closer observation, it becomes clear that it is much more. The players spend a lot of time designing, making, and even decorating their weapons, shields and garb. Sundays are actually practice for them, as some of them travel to events in other states.
Players are asked to dress in period appropriate garb. The garb seen on the field includes tunics, medieval dresses, wrap pants, kilts and even armor. Armor ranges from leather armor to chainmail and the occasional full metal armor suits.
How does one get past the armor? Everything is based on the type and number of hits a player takes from a weapon. Death is achieved by one hit to the torso, two limb hits, or a head shotfrom a projectile weapon (arrow, javelin, or rock). Armor adds one extra hit, meaning the attacker would hit once to break through the armor and then again to inflict damage.
There are also different categories of weapons on the field which are noted by colored tape on their handles. The weapons are seperated into blues, greens, reds, and yellows. The colors dictate how the weapons can be used and what amount of damage they can inflict. For example, red weapons can destroy a shield and inflict damage on the first hit, regardless of armor. They iclude glaives, axes, and katanas. Yellow weapons are projectiles, can pierce armor, and are also the only weapons legal to aim at the head.
Boffer fighters, as they are also known, have many different reasons for participating in the Belegarth sport, including stress relief, exercise, self expression, and honing skills they have learned in other forms of fighting. They are all different ages and come from a wide variety of professions that range from cashiers, artists, and welders to engineers, and IT technicians. Outside of fighting, the group gets together from time to time for cookouts, weapon making workshops, and travelling to events. They are a family of sorts, even though they are usually busy beating each other when they get together. At least they have a blast doing it. Passers-by often stop to watch, and some even join in, taking the opportunity to vent a few aggressions themselves. Others spread blankets out with their families to watch the battles. There are also some who stay on the side lines belly dancing and playing musical instruments, and when the sun goes down, fire throwers came out and put on a show.
Some of the Belegarth fighters think that everyone should check it out and that it could be beneficial to anyone.
One of the fighters offered a simple and enticing reason for participating. "Who would pass up the chance to be able to beat apon your friends and random people you just met without being sued?"
For more information on the sport known as "Belegarth", visit www.belegarth.com