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Swordcraft: Melbourne’s Hidden Warriors

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You’re strolling through Princes Park at around 7pm. It’s dark, cold and there’s a horde of fiercely dressed people charging at each other with rubber foam swords and plastic spears.

Welcome to Swordcraft.

“Think of it as paintball meets medieval/fantasy battle,”  says Jeff Krins, co-founder of Swordcraft.

Swordcraft is a Melbourne based organisation that hosts Medieval Live Action Battle Games or live action role-playing (LARP) and is inspired by historical and fictional narratives such as Lord of the Rings computer games like World of Warcraft.

The group hosts weekly meetings in Princes Park where they separate into Warbands and prepare to do battle. Warband’s have names like Bandits of the Black Talon, Blades of the North and Black Legion, and feature taglines like ‘followers of the forces of darkness’. New members get to choose who’ll they’ll fight for.

“There is nothing quite like donning a suit of armour and taking the field. It is like being part of history or a great fantasy novel like Game of Thrones. You have all these individuals, each with their own objectives, who come together and create this incredible atmosphere,” says Krins.

The battles have strict rules that each player must follow. How you can be ‘hit’ and ‘injured’ is determined by factors including your armour, weapon, character’s level of status and skill. However: the imagination, creativity and characterisation that each member embodies also help to construct the Swordcraft fantasy world.

Krins, who currently leads a Warband, says he takes on the role of “a stern warrior seeking to bring light to the unbelievers. Perhaps the most important part of Swordcraft is that we all have a sense of humour and laugh at ourselves as much as our opponents on the field!”

There are currently over 150 members who participate in Melbourne’s Swordcraft. If you’d like to have a bash don your best makeshift armour and head on down to Princes Park for a battle like no other!

To find out more about Swordcraft visit swordcraft.com.au


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