Once again it was time to pack up my leather armour and sword and head off along with almost 5,000 other LARPers from across Europe to take part in DrachenFest. DrachenFest, for those of you who don’t know, is a week long LARP (Live Action Role Play) that takes place in a large field near the small German town of Diemelstadt. This was my second time there and I was excited and anxious to see how my new improved German skills would hold up. Last year, I really struggled with my limited German and despite having fun, really didn’t understand much of what was going on. I wondered if this year would be any different.
To my surprise, my German skills actually held up pretty well, but at the same time I realised I still have a long way to go before I’m fluent in the language. I really need to work on increasing my vocab, but I was happy with the fact that this year I wasn’t afraid to talk to people in German like I was last year. In fact, I slaughtered the German language every time I had the chance – and had a lot of fun doing so. A week speaking pretty much nothing but German was fantastic and by the end of the week, I actually had problems speaking English, as German words kept creeping on in there. Thankfully my English is now back to normal or as normal as it gets around here when everyone you know speaks German so you use German words here and there when they describe better what you are trying to say.
DrachenFest, itself, was the fantastic mixture of the weird and insane that it was last year, with the added bonus that our camp, Schwarz, won. I got to fight in a couple of battles including the epic last battle, which honestly I wouldn’t miss for the world cause how often do you get to take part in a full scale battle with about 3,000 other people. In fact, the last battle is its own breed of crazy which no words can accurately describe.
During DrachenFest I learned to be totally okay with being completely naked in front of strangers as we all tried to deal with the shower situation with as much dignity as we could. I totally failed not laughing every day at the two brands of toilet paper they used – Happy End and Funny. Pretty much two things toilet paper should never be called, in my opinion. I fell in love with my earplugs which allowed me to sleep in a tent with 5 guys, all of whom snored. I actually had to do homework which involved going to the library (yes, DrachenFest has a library – two in fact) to research magical symbolism in rituals in order to pass my RitualMeister level 3 exams. I felt damn proud I passed not only my RitualMeister, but also my Meditation and Analyse Magic exams – in German no less – and that I could follow (mostly) the lectures on these subjects. I felt pretty badass talking my way into 3 enemy camps on the pretext we were there to meditate as part of our meditation course, but actually we were there to check out their camp layout and weapons. Yes, I got to be a spy. I was privileged to watch one of the Dutch mages propose to his girlfriend in front of the entire camp and to see her say Yes. I was delighted to be asked to party with them afterwards to celebrate. I loved all the Game of Thrones jokes that everyone made practically all week, because these are my people who get me. In all, it was a great week.
Now for some photos…
More photos can be found here.