All info-graphics are the work of Ashlee Worger, Swordecraft Iron Triangle – Thank you Ashlee!
The Empire is in turmoil. A land united by Sigmar Heldenhammer, since his death the Empire has fallen into petty squabbles. A disagreement led to civil war, with a number of different claimants to the throne. The civil war has a religious aspect in the Empire, it is a war of belief between the cults of Taal, Ulric and Sigmar. Ostermark, Stirland and the northern lands of the Empire are devasted by Vlad von Carstein. Mordheim, the crown of Ostermark and the Empire is destroyed by a Warpstone meteor. Not much is known about Warpstone, except that it is rare and contains many qualities which enhance people and items (some say it is made of evil).
The High Elves, a secretive race leave Ulthuan and their colonies and begin to explore the world again. Finubar arrives and establishes contact with Bretonnia, the Empire and Dwarfs. A trade agreement is made between the High Elves, Tilea and Marienburg. This leads to a trade war between the alliance and the Estalians.
Bretonnia, invaded by Chaos, is slowly rebuilding after being devasted.
Norsca, a land to the far North has seen an expansion of the dread Chaos Wastes, and tales of terrors beyond the wildest dreams. As a result, these hardy raiders and sailors have began looking for new lands to expand into and migrate to.
Kislev, located north of the Empire is a cold land and the most northernmost nation of the Old World. Kislev is ruled by the Tzar and Ice Queen. They know what Chaos is.
Tilea and Estalia. These are made of many rival city states. They are explorers, merchants and warriors.
Sartosa: Small island off the south coast of Tilea, it is ruled by a pirate-king who has created a kingdom and haven for pirates and other criminals.
Dwarfs. There are numerous Dwarven holds, and they have now began to expand and send out envoys and trading caravans throughout the Old World.
The Border Princes, also known as the Borderlands is a vast region within the Old World located between the Black Mountains and Black Fire Pass (The Empire is to the north) and the shores of the Black Gulf to the south (the gulf leads to the Tilean sea). This region of vast wilderness is home to a multitude of petty Human kingdoms which were established by highly ambitious adventurers who sought to create a realm of their own.
Many times, however, these adventurers usually consist of political or religious refugees from lands such as the Empire, Bretonnia, Kislev or any of the other Human Kingdoms. As such, these lands are infamous as the homes of a wide variety of bandits, mercenaries, cut-throats, pirates and other lawless fugitives from many different races. The Border Princes is made up of many abandoned ancient ruins, some which are still full of treasures and deadly traps.
The regional rulers are known collectively as Border Princes or Princesses. Each prince or princesses rules a small realm, which have the prestigious and over exaggerated title of Principality, yet it is usually a realm that would barely qualify as a Knight’s fief in more civilised lands. Most princes and princesses have a court, a group of hangers-on who help the prince to run his principality in return for rewards or until they have enough clout to murder him and take over.
The overwhelming majority of communities in the Border Princes are small compared to other civilized lands. Outside the principalities, there are no communities larger than a hamlet, and the largest settlements of the region would only count as small towns in the more civilised parts of the Old World.
Most principalities contain a large number of villages, with rare towns located between these small kingdoms. Communities in the Border Princes have many features in common with communities elsewhere; homes of varying quality, a Temple or Shrine to the locally favoured God, a marketplace, probably a mill, and so on.
One feature that sets communities in this region apart is the level of fortification. There are no undefended communities, and all villages have at least an earth and wood rampart with a gate that is guarded at all times. Within these fortifications, homes are generally built to be defensible. It is common for the entrance to be on the first floor, for example, and for the ground floor to have solid stone walls or thick earth ramparts with no openings. There are, of course, other equally dangerous regions of the Old World, but the Borderlands is more extensive than most of them.
Communities also have distinguishing features. Some of these are pure colour, as far as outsiders are concerned. Perhaps the blacksmith is very fat, or the villagers are particularly devout worshippers of Sigmar.
The Borderlands are full of perils. War, plague, famine — these kill many of the inhabitants long before their time. But the inhabitants of the region rarely worry about these threats. They are far too busy worrying about the monsters. Some scholars have speculated that the Borderlands have no more monsters than any other region of the Old World but that the absence of government makes them bolder, making the monsters seem more numerous. Scholars who have actually been to the Border Princes know that this is ridiculous; the inhabitants of more civilised areas might think that their actions have no effect on the number of foul creatures plaguing them, but these scholars know better. Without organised hunts, monsters in the Borderlands are far more numerous, and bolder, than elsewhere.
Sudenburg is located in the Border Princes region. It is a frontier town on the Old Silk road (map located above). Sudenburg is surrounded by wilderness, hostile human and non-human tribes, the ruins of ancient civilisations, and rumours of untold treasure.
A town where its ruling Council of 4 Lords and Merchants, are always looking for swords to hire and people are looking to make a decent (or not so decent) living. A town where you are likely to die in battle as with a knife in your guts. A town where bold adventure awaits.
Sudenburg is located near an offshoot of the Blood River, with access to the sea and the Dwarven hold of Barak Varr a couple of days march away.
Sudenburg has seen exponential growth in the past five years as bold merchants have sought to re-open the Old Silk Road and adventurers have made forays into the Badlands to the south.
Realms of Men: Kingdom of Bretonnia (Arthurian knights, Robin Hood); The Empire (Faith, steel and gunpowered in Renaissance Germany); Estalia ( Renaissance Spain and Portugal); Tilea (Renaissance Italy with Roman Empire influences); Dogs of War (mercenary companies); Norsca (Vikings); Albion (Celtic British isles); Cathay (Ancient China); Nippon ( Feudal Japan) Araby (Arabian Nights)); Kingdoms of Ind (Indian subcontinent).
Elves: High elves (Arrogant, good-guy elves); Wood elves (Reclusive, savage, forest worshiping elves) , Dark Elves (Arrogant, sadistic, bad-guy elves who make Machiavelli look like a pussy cat) – only playable with permission of Swordcraft.
Dwarfs: Norse and Imperial/Normal Dwarfs.
Haflings: The Empire (the Moot).
Orcs and Goblins: In this version, they can communicate and are looked down as savage barbarians. Occasionally they form blood crazed hordes and try to wipe out all other races.
Hobgoblins: Half way between an orc and a goblin but with hair. Rule an enormous empire on the central steppes and live like Mongols.
Dark Elves: Sadistic and devious wizards and witches, blade- masters, corsairs and reavers of the seas, hate High Elves.
Lizardmen: Tropical bi-pedal magic lizards, very Aztec inspired. Not common.
Chaos cultist: People who worship Chaos. Hidden threat
Beastmen: Animals who worship Chaos. Hidden threat.
Chaos Dwarves: Dwarves that worship Chaos. Hidden threat.
Skaven: Steampunk rat people…who worship Chaos – unknown to most people.
Ogres: Large humanoid beings, incredibly strong and seen throughout the Old World. You will need to be tall.
The Undead/Tomb Kings: Egyptian mummies and zombies, ghouls etc. Both are very different and distinct. Hidden threat.
Vampires: Classic vampire and zombies. Hidden threat.
More detailed descriptions here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Races_and_nations_of_Warhammer_Fantasy
There is some understandable confusion and misunderstanding with regards to what Chaos is and how this relates to the Warhammer setting.
In terms of pantheons, there are many gods for the races and species of the Warhammer setting, but no devil – the four great powers of Chaos are what amounts to this. While some of the other gods team up, Chaos is not that way inclined. Chaos in terms of a story can be summed up as the prime evil. Chaos may not be reasoned with or bought; its aims and directives are its own with total indifference to others. The absolute uncompromising nature of Chaos appears in the rewards it bestows on its chosen few and damnation it brings to its failed followers.
To the common citizen of the Old World, and the elf and dwarf kingdoms, Chaos is both an apocalyptic force that ravages from the Chaos Wastes and an insidious hidden presence blamed on and causing all manner of harm and misfortune within.
For a close example from real world history on how most folk relate to Chaos, consider the fear of witches from the mid to late fifteenth century. Common people were in a religious terror and believed in the end of days and the devil walking among them. The accusation of being a witch often lead to torture and death – the same is true for an accusation of following one of the Chaos gods.
The physical armies of Chaos include Daemons, monstrous humanoids and twisted beasts. These reside at the top of the world in a place that shares connection to the immaterial worlds that the Chaos powers originate from – akin to Hell. This is a crossover where reality warps and changes to the whim of evil. The four great Chaos powers reach out and actively burden all peoples of the world, which is in stark contrast to the other gods, some of who are silent and most of which have no influence outside their peoples and lands. There is no place that doesn’t feel the touch of these corrupt beings.
The Warhammer world is a large and complex world. Being a terrible person in this world is one thing, but being a straight up embodiment of all things hated is different.
In the Warhammer world there are 6 “big” evils:
Openly following one of the Chaos powers will be impossible to play in the town of Sudenburg (unless you opt to play two separate characters – a non-Chaos one for the town and a Chaos one for the battlefield).
If you wish to play a single Chaos aligned character then the only option would be one who is a member of a secret cult – this could work in the lawless lands of the Border Princes, but think about what will happen when you reveal yourselves? A consideration would be to consider playing the long game with the cult. If you reveal yourself at the first event then every event you go to after you will be hunted and killed and destroyed. Plan ahead and really think about how a cult would try to stay hidden for as long as they could.
In the current time (2019) the Vampire Wars are being waged in the Empire. This means that most people in the Empire who travel into the Borderlands will know of stories of the blood suckers and will do their best to warn others. You will struggle to really play vampires properly in this game unless you act as described above – hidden until the time is right. Remember, there are entire Knightly Orders dedicated to vanquishing the blight of vampires from the world, along with the cult of Sigmar. People will panic when they learn of vampires in the town of Sudenburg.
Like with Chaos, there is the option to play two characters – a mortal for daylight and a vampire for night.
In the setting of Swordcraft, there is still room to play Orcs and Goblins. Think of the Orcs from D&D, World of Warcraft, or the Tolkien universe. Orcs and Goblins in the Borderlands are savage barbarians, not mindless brutes. In saying this, be prepared to be scorned by most of society and be prepared to deal with the prejudice from many who have fought against orcs and goblins in the past.
It is also possible to play a Dark Elf on the battlefield as an alternative character.
The key to playing one of these “evil” races is how covert you will be (if playing a single character). This game will continue on for years to come. Do you really want to reveal yourselves day one? Plan a head and really think about how you want to Role play and enhanced the game.
If you opt to play an evil race as a second character, you will need to make them appear sufficiently different to your non-evil character that other players understand the difference. You will need clearance from the Swordcraft team if you take this approach.
Consequences. Consider this, there will be consequences in this game. You will no longer just be able to go into a store and kill anyone you want. You will not be able to assassinate anyone on the street. If you are spotted, there will be consequences which will be dire and real.
Good afternoon Swordcraftians!
We’ve heard from volunteers, we’ve heard from game veterans, we’ve heard from new players and from families that LARP. Now it’s time to find out what it’s like to be a vendor in the LARP community!
You know them, you love them, you buy almost all of your gear from them! Please say hello to the staff from Of Science and Swords!
Of Science and Swords was originally a bookstore specialising in SpecFic and Fantasy. When Avi and Jas heard that OS&S was closing their doors in 2010, they decided to purchase the business, and give it new life!
At first, Avi and Jas carried on with maintaining OS&S as a bookstore. It had always been their dream to run a bookshop – Jas speculates that repeatedly watching Black Books might have had something to do with this – but after a couple of years of business, it seemed like the book market wasn’t doing so well in Melbourne. However, customers did seem very interested in all the prop and replica weapons that OS&S had mounted around the shop as decorations. In 2013, Avi and Jas decided to terminate their lease contract for the OS&S premise, but continued to sell LARP gear from their website, https://ofscienceandswords.com.au.
Premise and location have always been a struggle for any business owner, and OS&S in no different. With hundreds upon hundreds of costume, weaponry, and prop options, finding a place to display it all can be a challenge.
“People want to be able to look at things, try them on, give them a swing before they commit to purchasing it, so if you want to run a retail store on top of shipping things out from a warehouse, then you need more space again,” Jasmine said. “To give you some idea, if we wanted to have just one of every item we offer out on display, we’d likely need a 200-250m showroom, and we’d have well in excess of 1,000 individual items.”
Avi and Jas believe that the space they have in warehouse in Oakleigh has paid off. Without the space to store and display stock, it might have been impossible for the business to expand the way it has.
“We also think that with that ready availability of stock it has also accelerated the rate at which LARPing has been picked up in Victoria, if not Australia wide, as people no longer have to pay such excessive amounts for shipping or wait nearly as long on shipping turn-arounds.”
Of Science and Swords stocks inventory from several different suppliers, including Epic Armoury and Calimacil. In fact, Avi is the official representative to Australia for Epic Armoury, and works closely with all suppliers to make sure the community gets exactly what they’re looking for at the best possible prices.
Of Science and Swords also attends conventions across Australia, to connect and provide for the Australian LARP community at large.
Conventions are a fun and stressful thing to attend when you’re working. Driving across country to attend a convention that you don’t get to actually ‘attend’ can really get to you after a while, but Avi, Jas, and their staff believe it’s worth it.
“It’s really fun trying to convince people, especially cosplayers, that they want to get into LARP. Depending on who I’m talking to I’ll use lines like “It’s rugby, but for nerds!” or “Can we interest you in Sword Art OFFLINE?” or “But ladies! You get to hit f—bois in a park with sticks!” – Avi
“The best thing about conventions is seeing our customers faces light up when they discover the concept of LARP and battle sports. There isn’t a convention that goes by that we don’t introduce someone to our LARP lifestyle-cult who will express glee at the previously unheard of activity. It’s a great feeling.” – Jasmine
“Conventions are amazing but so tiring. Its rewarding to see the effort everyone puts into their cosplays.” – Tom
Tom has been working for OS&S for over two years now, and loves every minute of it. Tom likes helping players find what they need to complete their kit, and truly enjoys the happiness it gives the customers when they find that perfect piece for their costume.
Kay and Ash feel much the same as Tom, and enjoy interacting with the community, and making people’s dreams come true – their own dreams included.
Kay, who has been with OS&S since 2011, says she wanted to work for OS&S because she’s a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy, and loved the idea of working with things that interested her so much.
“Working for OS&S is equal parts standard desk job and surreal experience. 15 year old me would never have imagined repairing armour, doing a prosthetic tutorial, explaining how to make fake blood, and then sitting down to adjust stock levels being a normal day’s work.
Working here is the same as any other job, it has it’s ups and downs, but not everyone else gets to hit their boss and their customers at least once a week.”
Ash, who joined the OS&S crew just last April, says that it’s like living a dream.
“It’s great being able to help people find what they’ve always fantasised about having.
I started working there because of family since Jasmine is my sister and I wanted to help out with the business but it’s really a lot of fun being able to play with weapons all day too. Best war profiteering job I could’ve asked for!”
Avi and Jasmine have put their heart and soul in the LARP community, and so have their dedicated staff. In our growing community, it’s important for players, volunteers, and vendors to work together to make every game better than the last. Thanks for everything you do, OS&S!
Social Media Director, Editor for Swordcraft.com.au
Good afternoon Swordcraftians! Welcome to this week’s Player Spotlight!
This week we’re focusing on what it’s like to be a family that LARPs together.
Dayan Warna has been playing Swordcraft for about four and half years, ever since he attended a Saturday game at Darebin Park. He plays a character named Rajahdan, “a lazy, greedy mercenary who fights to pay for the luxuries in life.” He sometimes plays as Shamadan, “a crazy shaman, who talks to his dead brother William, his uncle William, and his grandfather William.”
Enjoying his hobby with him are his three children. His eldest son plays the character Rajahaidan, and his middle daughter plays the character Snow Leopard. His youngest son, Tornado, is not yet old enough to play, but longs for the day he can join his family in glorious battle.
Dayan originally ran with the warband The Sisters of Kira Earta, and toured for some time with The Guardians of the Dawn, before settling into his current warband, The 13th Free Company. Dayan’s eldest son, Rajahaidan, joined him in The 13th Free Company a year ago, and Snow Leopard has taken to the field of battle only a few weeks ago.
Dayan says his role as both a member of The 13th Free Company and as a father has not caused him issues at Swordcraft.
“They (The 13th Free Company) were understanding with my part time basis and adjusted to include my family and my friends. It really is a family warband.”
Dayan says the major drawback of playing as a family is, of course, the cost. It’s one thing to suit oneself up in armour and weapons, but it’s quite another matter to get the whole family involved. He doesn’t regret it though. In his own words:
“It really is the best. I can’t wait for my youngest to join in, and he loves the kids events. He really gets into the character and story. Its so very serious for them. It’s also time with the family. Other families go camping, we just add swords and spears to our adventure. It’s also doing things, being in events, making friends, shared cooking, shared meals and the like. It’s a bonding time and its also a sharing time as we have done fund raisers for cancer, local CFA’s groups and other events as time and opportunity presents itself.
And we all have fun.”
Dayan’s advice to other parents looking to get into Swordcraft is to just do it! Dayan, like many other parents at Swordcraft, is happy to be approached by parents looking for advice when it comes to participating and bringing their children into the community. Though you have to be 16 to participate, Swordcraft is very welcoming to families, and at Quest, children have plenty of space to act out their own growing LARP ideas.
“Family and community are big pluses,” Dayan said. “How do you define fun? I’m one of those loitering from about 5.30 on a Friday, chatting to the early arrivals on weekends I don’t have the kids. On weekends I do have the kids, it’s a three hour round trip from the city to Berwick, to collect the kids and back to Carlton to play.
We do it because it’s fun! How do you define fun?”
Social Media Director, Editor for Swordcraft.com.au
Hello Swordcraftians, and welcome to our first weekly New Player Spotlight! Every week we’re going to get to know a new player or two; their names and possible future characters, as well as what drove them to give Swordcraft a go. Without further ado, please meet our first series of spotlighted new players, Jacob and Shaun.
Both Jacob and Shaun first fielded on the 10th of March and were members of the green militia and red militia respectively.
Jacob has been excited to come to Swordcraft since first seeing it at a convention several years ago, in Melbourne. After watching the live stream from the Professional Hobbyist last week, that was the tipping point for this 18-year-old to decide that he needed to come on down and try this exciting sport. After trying Monday night Swordcraft, he came along to Friday to experience the main event. When asked what he loved about Swordcraft so far, Jacob’s response is one we love to hear, and hope that we will continue to hear in every new group of new players: “The players are pretty cool and are a very cool bunch of people. It isn’t uncomfortable to be here and everyone has been extremely friendly. I love the game and the fact I get to hit people with a sword!”
Jacob would love to one day make a character that is a ‘big, meaty Paladin who uses both sword and shield but carries a tome to heal’. He found that the warbands that stood out most to him were The Imperials and The 13th Free Company, “They are menacing in shield walls and Free Co. were really good with us first timers and gave us a chance”. Jacob’s message to those who may want to come try Swordcraft is: “At least come down and give it a go and I can guarantee you’ll have a great time and make heaps of new friends!”
Shaun on the other hand first heard about Swordcraft from a friend, Brett Kagan, a member of The Circle of the Lion. At 29 years old, this was his first LARP experience and he was quite nervous first getting into battle. After being dubbed red militias ‘tank’ due to being lent armour, he fought valiantly against all those who faced both him and his team mates. When Shaun was asked what he loved so far, “I love the sword fighting and it’s a lot of fun being in a shield wall”. Shaun’s ideal character would be ‘a marauder with a sword or an axe or maybe he would be an archer’. The warband that stood out the most to him were The Venators because they ‘look so cool!’ Shaun’s message to people interested in trying Swordcraft is to “give it a go as it is quite energetic.”
Written by Val Kenny, Swordcraft New Player Trainer
Edited by Kayleigh Helm, Social Media Director
Good afternoon Swordcraftians! Welcome to this week’s Player Spotlight!
So far, we’ve featured a veteran player, and a veteran volunteer/player. While people like Al and Jade are long-standing pillars of the community, we know that there are a lot of people who haven’t been with us for very long, but are impacting the community nonetheless. I turned to the Warband Leaders for suggestions on newer players who have really been putting their all into the game, and I wasn’t disappointed! The Warband Leaders rose to the occasion, and I was overwhelmed by nominations. It was hard to choose, and many of the people suggested will most certainly be featured in the future!
So, without further ado, I’d like you all to meet Edward Beaumont!
Though originally a member of the Bloody Rats, Edward is now a member and founder of The Black Arrow Syndicate, a relatively new warband at Swordcraft. His character is High Prince Eidon of House Azgin Kraal, a noble who has fled from his homeland, and brought his criminal organisation with him. Edward draws inspiration from both his time with the Bloody Rats, as well as the Siconze.
“The Black Arrow Syndicate is my dream warband. However before the creation of my own warband I would often run with the Siconze Dominion in Melbourne, as I was really drawn to their excellent standards of kit and costuming, and their fun roleplaying experiences- it’s always fun to put on an accent. So I guess finding a warband and theme I like was quite easy for me because I managed to slide so well into the Siconze’s style, which I then drew upon in the creation of the Syndicate, as well as criminal aspects from the Bloody Rats.”
One of the things Edward enjoys most about Swordcraft is all the friends he’s made, as well as meeting his partner there. He also enjoys the chance to bring fantasy to life.
“In general the SC community and LARPing is a way for me to play out all the fantasy books and games I enjoyed as a child. Its a way for me to use my interest in history in a more practical way. It’s a way for me to beat up other nerds with a sword.”
It’s players like Edward that flesh out the world of Swordcraft. Though he’s a relative newcomer, he’s jumped right in, and worked hard for all the warbands he’s been part of to make a fun roleplay experience for everyone. His hard work has earned him the high recommendations of fellow Swordcraftians. Thanks, Edward!
Social Media Director, Editor for Swordcraft.com.au
Hello Swordcraftians, and welcome to this week’s Player Spotlight!
There are lots of elements that come together to make Swordcraft what it is. From warband leaders to new players, board members to volunteers, there are so many people involved. In this player feature, we’re going to highlight someone who helps make Swordcraft happen every week: longtime player and Swordcraft volunteer, Jade Oakes!
Jade has been attending Swordcraft since October 2012, having never LARPed before that time.
“Swordcraft was definitely my first LARP experience,” she said. “I felt LARPing was a bit too D&D for me, but I was so very wrong. I enjoy the costumes and the fighting most.”
Jade almost immediately joined the Swordcraft volunteer team once she started attending. At first, Jade’s responsibilities as a volunteer were centred around Player Sign-In, but she quickly proved her devotion to Swordcraft, and took on more and more responsibilities. Jade is now in charge of Friday nights, acts as a Game Marshal, organises online registration, and runs the Quest ticketing website. Responding to 2000+ active members on the Facebook group, as well as players on Friday night, can be frustrating and draining, but ultimately rewarding. Jade enjoys the happiness people get from playing, interacting with each other, and participating in the ever-growing community.
“My favourite part is seeing something I’ve put so much time and effort into grow. I love seeing how excited people get when we hit 400 players for a night. I also love to see when people step in to help others even though they gain nothing. That definitely puts your faith into the community and the players.”
Jade works hard to keep the rules of Swordcraft growing and evolving, with the goal of someday seeing Swordcraft take its place on the international stage.
Though Jade spends a lot of her time working for Swordcraft, she’s also a dedicated player. Jade is a member of The Order of the Teuton Knights, known more commonly as The Order, which takes inspiration from The Empire in Warhammer. Jade’s Swordcraft character, Sister Margaret, is a battle priest and healer, and is also heavily inspired by Warhammer.
“My character is the complete opposite of me in almost every way, and I figured if I’m going to pretend to be someone else, they might as well be crazy. Anyone who has experienced her at Quest knows that her surgery can be a blessing. . . or a curse.”
Jade’s dedication to the game and the community is part of what makes Swordcraft so amazing. She’s been instrumental in Swordcraft’s progress, and can’t be thanked enough for all of her effort and hard work. May the blessings of Sigmar go with you wherever you may travel, Jade!
– Kayleigh Helm
Social Media Director, Editor for Swordcraft.com.au