Roscoe role players step back in time

Share on Facebook Comments Comments Print Print
Dennis Hines | October 8, 2015

ROSCOE, Ill. -- Don't get confused if it seems as if you've stepped back in time next weekend in Roscoe.

Members of the Dagorhir Rockford chapter will host their eighth annual Here There Be Dragons event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at Roland Olson Forest Preserve (MAP I GPS) in Roscoe. The event will feature simulated medieval battles, weapon checks, combat classes and silent auction.

Rebecca "Sirilay" Glon of the Dagorhir chapter said re-enactors will participate in various simulated battles and medieval-themed competitions throughout the day.

"We will be doing scenarios of all types," Glon said. "We will have people fighting on the front lines. We will have people throwing spears and javelins."

Dagorhir battle games began in 1977 by a group of college students who shared their enthusiasm for medieval history and J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy book series, "Lord of the Rings."

Dagorhir, the word for "Warlord" in Tolkien's Elven language, combines fast-paced, full-contact combat simulation with elements of live-action role playing.

Both a sport and a game, Dagorhir combines elements of history and fantasy, according to the Dagorhir.com.

Glon said the event will include a trading post where participants can obtain new items or trade in items that they no longer need.

"People can acquire gear or weapons or if they had something that they made that they don't want or no longer need, they can trade it," Glon said. "They can trade it in for something else they want."

The festivities will end with a feast, awards ceremony and bardic circle that will include medieval-themed stories and songs.

"People get into a bardic circle, and they tell stories or do performances just like people in the medieval times used to do," Glon said.

Attendance for the event usually depends on the weather. Glon said the Dagorhir group tries to add new activities each year to encourage more people to participate.

"Last year, we had about 30 people show up, and a couple of years ago we had between 60 to 70 people," Glon said. "Usually, people show up for the combat, but now that we're doing non-combative events we hope to get more people to attend."

Glon said members of the Dagorhir group volunteer their time to help make the event a success. She said some members think of battle scenarios for the event throughout the year.

"Members come and set up the scenarios or they do the weapon checks," Glon said. "We also have members who come and set up the classes ... We need volunteers who are trustworthy and knowledgeable of their task. Some people play test scenarios. Some people will make a maze and put certain objects in it and play test the maze.

"For example, my fiancee was mowing the lawn this summer and made a maze out of it."

The cost to participate in the event is $3 and a nonperishable food item. The proceeds will be donated to local organizations.

"We will donate some of the proceeds to the Wounded Warriors Project. We had a former member who was in the Marines who passed away earlier this year," Glon said. "We're also going to donate money to Critter Camp, which is an animal shelter."

Spectators are invited to attend the event for free.

"People can just come and watch," Glon said. "Anyone dressed in yellow is a referee, and you can ask them questions. We're a very open group."

The Dagorhir chapter has about 20 members. The group meets from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Glon said the group also attends community events to obtain more members.

"Most meetings, we go through different scenarios. The first meeting of the month is usually a business meeting," Glon said. "We usually discuss games, wardrobes and garb. We may attend a movie that has a medieval theme dressed in our garb, and that's how we get members. We also attended an ethnic festival in Rockford this summer dressed in our garb to talk about our group."

Members attend Dagorhir-sponsored events throughout the year. Glon said some events attract up to 1,000 people.

"There's chapters throughout the country and in Australia and England," Glon said. "The big national event is in Pennsylvania, and it draws about 1,900 people. Some of our members attend an event in Carbondale, and that usually draws about 300 people."

Some members purchase their costumes, while others make their own.

"Some people can't sew to save their life, so they have someone make their costume for them," Glon said. "Some people are wonderful at it, and they will make their own stuff. Other people can take patterns and mesh them together. People have free range to do what they like. Some people will make their costume based on historic research, and some people will come up with their own ideas."

Glon said she enjoys participating in medieval-themed events because it gives her an opportunity to escape into the past.

"If you have a passion for it, you enjoy it," Glon said. "To live in the modern world and go somewhere where the modern world is hidden, it's a release. You can go back in time to where people took care of others and material things didn't matter. It's a huge release."

Share on Facebook Comments Comments Print Print