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May 23-25, 2003


rag_title_sm.gif (3305 bytes)
June 22-28


  • Ragnarok is the largest Dagorhir battle in the world.
  • Ragnarok is the largest padded-weapon fighting event anywhere.
  • Ragnarok is the biggest Tolkien-inspired live-action event in the world.
  • Last year we had more than 300 participants.
  • In recent years, we have been filmed, photographed and interviewed by newspaper reporters and professional video documentary crews from as far as Canada and New Zealand.
  • Ragnarok is the oldest “National” Dagorhir event, having run every year since 1986.
  • Ragnarok is a good time: a full week of fighting, feasting, and fun!

Wait till you see the jam-packed schedule of events!


Nope! Just join in the events and scenarios that sound like fun to you!

Shopping at Merchants’ Row

With hundreds of Dagorhir members camping out for the week, there are lots of opportunities to socialize with new and old friends. You’ll often find yourself becoming fast friends with the fighter who tried to skewer you with a spear that day. After the fighting is over, many people love to visit other camps or to host people in their camp, sharing a beverage and retelling war stories that get more grand and heroic each time they are retold. There are also a number of merchants at Ragnarok, so take the time to wander through the merchant areas and at least window shop. There is a wide variety of items available, from garb and armor, to weapons (real and padded) and many other useful things for Dagorhir or camping. Another fun idea is to go swimming in the pond, sliding down the waterslide, or just sunning by the beach. So bring your swimsuit, on a hot sweaty day you’ll be glad that you did.

In the evening, when the sun goes down, Ragnarok becomes a magical place, lit by the light of torches, candles and campfires. Dagorhirrim in costume wander from camp to camp, meeting friends, telling tales and reveling in the freedom of Ragnarok. Often as dusk falls, the sound of drums and the jingling of gypsy bells are heard as the warriors and wenches, nobles, gypsies, knights, and knaves of Dagorhir come together by the bonfire to celebrate another glorious day. On several nights, there will be light refreshments and snacks for the revelers to enjoy, including major parties on Monday and Saturday nights. On Thursday, there will be a feast sponsored by the Elite Blood Falcons, a veteran Dagorhir unit with members from several chapters. 


The groups with the most pre-registrations will get first choice of campsites. 
Merchants may have up to 4 adults over 18 camp behind their booths.
For everyone else, it’s first-come,, SERVED, so either pre-register or get to Rag XVIII early to get the choicest spots. 

Don’t worry -- there’s lots of room at Spring Valley!


Yes: the Battlefield, the parking area, and much of the wooded areas are off-limits to camping. Please check in with the folks at Troll Booth to check on campsite availability. 

Some friendly advice: Don’t camp too close to stream at the center of valley - if we get a strong rain, all the water runs to the middle of the valley, and you might find everything on the floor of your tent WET.


No.  Ragnarok XVIII starts Sunday, June 22, 2003.


Don’t be an idiot. 
Okay, that isn’t really written on the campground rules, but it should be.
Respect Spring Valley Campground and don’t do stupid things. If you behave in a stupid manner, you will be asked to leave Ragnarok -- and that would suck. Examples of stupid things people have done in the past require us to point out the following commonsense rules (in addition to any other commonsense rules posted by the campground):

If you get covered in mud during Mongolian Wrestling or any other activity, clean off by jumping in the swimming area of the lake -- DON’T trash the shower-house and clog the drains with mud. 

DRIVE SLOWLY ON SPRING VALLEY PROPERTY. Dagorhir is renting the entire rear half of this large campground, but there are “regular folk” camping at the front of the campground. When you arrive onsite, drive at a snail’s pace -- 5 MPH. The fighting will wait until you park.

No public nudity. If you’re swimming at the lake, don’t let your swimsuit or towel fall, no matter how funny you think your butt looks.

No pools/tubs in camp. Spring Valley gets their water from wells. At Ragnarok XVI, someone brought a sizable above-ground pool and filled it...draining the wells and leaving Dagorhir without water for most of a day. (DUH!)


After vehicles are unloaded, they are to be moved to the dedicated parking area.

If you wish to keep your car in your camp, you may purchase an in-camp parking permit for $20.

If you are handicapped (demonstrated by your driver’s license), you are entitled to a FREE in-camp parking permit. 

Each Dagorhir Chapter will be given one FREE in-camp parking permit to facilitate transporting members to their cars or making food/ice trips into the nearby town.


Everything! Gasoline, hotels, groceries, camping supplies, beer store, a Laundromat. There’s a K-Mart and a gas station across the road from the entrance to Spring Valley Campground. The town even has a small airport. 


Dagorhir has asked the campground to arrange to have block ice delivered to the Camp Office. 

We’re negotiating to have firewood, hay bales, and hopefully ice delivered directly to camps (probably for a small fee). Currently, these items can be bought at the Camp Store.

You may not cut down any trees or brush for campfires.


Every Dagorhir Chapter is required to provide veteran heralds according to the following scale, based on the number of participants attending Ragnarok:

0-4 Participants from the Chapter -- no Heralds/Weapons Checkers required

5-20 Participants -- At least One Herald and One Weapons-check staff person each day

Each Additional Increment of 20 participants (21-40, 41-60, etc.) -- At least One additional Herald and One additional Weapons check person.

Ragnarok is a big event. To ensure its success, we must all pitch in.


Every morning, the Head Weapons Checkers will review standards and procedures with any newly arrived weapons check staff, to ensure consistent application and interpretation of the Dagorhir safety rules. 

Every weapon must be checked for safety at Ragnarok before it will be allowed to be used.
Weapons will need to be re-checked according to a schedule decided by the Weapons Checkers.
All missile weapons will be checked every day.
Armor will be checked to ensure it meets Dagorhir safety and construction requirements.

Plan on going through weapons check every day

COSTUMES will be spot-checked for adherence to minimum Dagorhir requirements by Heralds. If your costume doesn’t meet the minimum standards, you will be directed to modify it or leave the battlefield.

-- SUGGESTION: Mark all your weapons with your name, Unit, and Chapter, to ensure you always get them back from Weapons Check or if you drop them on the field.


If your weapon fails safety check, the Weapons Checkers will tell you why it failed and give you advice on how to fix it. Bring foam and tape with you to weapons check for on-the-spot repairs. 

If you feel your weapon has been failed unfairly, you may appeal to the Head Weapons Checker for a final decision.


New teams and commanders will be chosen each day. Sometimes, new teams will be chosen several times in a single day as scenarios require. 

As fighters arrive on the Battlefield, the Heralds will write down the names of each Chapter or Unit, and the number of fighters they brought to the battle. 

Generally, Heralds will then ask for volunteers to command armies. If we have more volunteers than are needed, the volunteers will fight in a free-for-all; the last two alive become commanders.

All the Chapters/Units will form up so the commanders can pick teams. The commander from the Chapter with fewer fighters picks first and continues to pick until his team has more members than the other commander’s Chapter. After that, the commanders take turns; whoever’s team has fewer members picks next, until all Chapters/Units have been chosen. Fighters who aren’t in units (mercenaries), will be used to balance the teams. 

For some scenarios, especially during Dagor Dagorath on Saturday, the Heralds may choose teams based on arbitrary criteria, such as “all Chapters older than 10 years on this side,” or “all Chapters East of the Mississippi vs. all West of the Mississippi.”


YES! Tourney prizes will purchased from the merchants onsite.


Dagorhir always needs help marking weapons and running errands. Kyrax is looking for participants who would like to help out by carrying messages and announcements to the outlying camps. If you’d like to help out, speak up to the Heralds, Troll, or Weapons Check staff!


There are flush toilets at the Bath House, and “portajohns” throughout the camping and battle areas (we’ve contracted for more porta-johns than last year, and to have them cleaned more frequently!)

If a porta-john runs out of toilet paper, see the Troll Cabin - we carry spare supplies there.


Endangering anyone’s safety through negligence or deliberate action.
Endangering Dagorhir’s use of Spring Valley Campground.
Violations of the campground rules (especially speeding onsite) as noted above.
Violations of the Dagorhir rules.


ABSOLUTELY! All groups are welcome at Ragnarok. Make sure your friends understand the Dagorhir RULES. Some non-Dagorhir groups attend Ragnarok for the chance to have their whole group fight TOGETHER as one team! When you’re used to fighting against people regularly, you know exactly how they fight -- and that makes them a very strong ally when you have the chance to all fight together! 


Yes, pets are allowed at Spring Valley, but you must clean up after your pet and keep control of your pet at all times. Pets must remain in the “Dagorhir” camping area (not allowed at the Lake).


Yes and no. All missile weapons must be checked every day, but hand held weapons and equipment like swords, shields and spears need to go through weapons check every second day. So if your sword is checked on Monday, you need to have it rechecked on Wednesday and Friday. All weapons will be rechecked on Saturday before the big battles at the end of the world. Of course, every participant in Dagorhir is expected to check their own equipment before each battle, as you are responsible for your equipment regardless of who checked it and when. Checking them
yourself also gives you a chance to catch problems and fix them before they go to weapons check. 


In essence, it is the same as at your local event, just on a bigger scale. Every day at Ragnarok hundreds and hundreds of weapons are checked by a team of experienced Dagorhir weapons checkers. The first step is that your weapons and equipment will be measured for compliance with the rules, for example blade and pommel length, tip size, flail chain length, weight, etc. The foam will be hand tested for overall safety. The weapon will then be hit tested: the checkers will hit each other with every weapon that seems safe, and the foam on shields will be tested for safety too. Then if it passes, it gets marked with a
sticker or symbol for that day’s check. The passed weapons are then tossed into a pile with other weapons that pass. Weapons that fail at any stage of this process, measuring, foam check and hit testing, will have all marking tape and stickers removed and will be tossed into a FAIL pile. 


You should pull your weapon out of the FAIL pile and first look it over to see if you know why it failed: exposed core, ripped weapon cover, foam loose on the core, foam breaking down in spots, loose pommel, low weight, etc. You can then ask the weapons checkers why your weapon failed. While they are extremely busy most mornings, you’ll often be able to talk to the person who failed your weapon and they can tell you exactly why it failed. Sometimes it is something simple to repair, like
a ripped cover or a spot where the foam is breaking down. In that case, if you have time, you can repair the weapon quickly and have it rechecked (if weapons check is still open by the time you are done). The best thing to do is to check it yourself first and do any repairs BEFORE bringing it to weapons check in the first place. If the weapon cannot be repaired or you don’t have the right foam, glue or tools, ask your friends for help or if they have a weapon to loan. 

The important thing to remember is that every weapon must be officially passed by weapons check before it may be used at Ragnarok. If your weapon fails and cannot be passed before Weapons Check closes, then you cannot use that weapon or shield that day, period. Anyone who is found to be using unchecked or failed weapons is subject to being expelled from the event. Weapons check is a primary safety procedure for Dagorhir, so violating or evading these rules is a very serious violation of the rules of Dagorhir and of Ragnarok. So if you cannot get your weapon or shield passed in time, you will need to make arrangements to borrow a passed weapon from someone. 


Take a look at the Ragnarok Schedule for all of the fun events that are scheduled. A typical day involves getting up and putting on garb, then heading over to weapons check if needed (see above). When you and your friends are ready, grab your passed weapons and form up on the battlefield. Before the announced battles start, there are often fighters willing to spar. As the time to fight approaches, the Heralds will call the armies to form up on the field. Any special rules for a
particular battle will then be explained, whether it is the Battle of Five Armies (see the Schedule for details) or a unit battle. Once the rules are explained, the fighters will again be called on to prepare for battle, and then “LAY ON” will be called out, and the fighting begins. Like local events, things sometimes start slowly and other times happen quickly, but with hundreds of fighters the battle will rage on, with action in every direction and comedy and heroism in large measures. Every Dagorhirrim loves the glories of fighting on the battlefield at Ragnarok with hundreds of fighters. There is nothing that compares with seeing a wall of warriors advancing towards your line, or being in that wall and charging the foe. 

If this is your first really big battle, the best advice I can give is to keep your eyes open and stay close to your friends. Things happen quickly in battle, and where your ally was a second ago can be a charging barbarian a second later. So look around, pay attention and be ready to move, fight or die in an instant. 


People of all ages attend Ragnarok, from little babies to grandparents. So yes, fifteen year olds are welcome to attend the event, but they must have a Waiver signed and notarized by their parent or legal guardian. Persons under the age of eighteen who do not have a waiver signed by their parent or guardian will not be allowed to attend Ragnarok, period. While you can attend Ragnarok, you are not allowed to fight in any Battles or Tournaments at Ragnarok, including the Orc Assassin or Hunt for the Witch King’s Ring (Highlander) Tournaments. 
While this may seem unfair, Dagorhir fighting is a full contact
sport, so this rule was enacted for safety reasons. But even without fighting in organized events, Ragnarok can be a lot of fun. There are lots of people to meet and things to learn and do. There are merchants to purchase neat stuff from and if you see something neat, just ask the
owner about it and I’ll bet that they’d love to tell you about
it and how it was made. 


No, there are many nice motels very near the campground, but whether you camp or stay in a motel, every person who attends the event must pay at Troll upon their arrival. The Fee is a sliding scale based on when you arrive. See the Registration page for more details. There are no rental cabins, but the large number of local motels should take care of those who don’t want to camp out.


If your father or another person is doing more than dropping you off and picking you up, then yes he will need to pay the site fee and sign a waiver. Everyone who will be at the event must pay to help us cover the costs of renting the site for a week, pay for things like the porta-johns, refreshments at the revels, supplies for weapons check and battles, and running the event. Signed waivers help protect the participants as well as organizers and hosts of the event. 


Other than journalists and documentary film crews, the rules of Ragnarok are that all persons attending the event must meet the minimal costuming requirements of Dagorhir. If a relative or friend wants to come and watch the fighting, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to toss a simple tunic on them. The important thing about Dagorhir is that we do it for each other, not as a spectator event like a Renaissance Faire. Part of what makes Dagorhir special is the atmosphere of being away from the regular world, and costuming is a part of creating that atmosphere. 


No. There are many Dagorhirrim who don’t drink or who aren’t old enough to do so. Despite some of the stories, most people don’t get sloppy drunk, and those few who do have friends to look after them and get them back to their camps. There are plenty of other things to do at Ragnarok, so don’t worry about that. Besides, with the heat at Ragnarok, you’ll have an advantage over those foolish enough to be hung over. 


Dagorhir participants range in age from teenagers up into their fifties, so your child and their friends will find plenty of others in their age range. At Ragnarok, there will be small children, other teenagers, young adults and even parents who participate. Many of the participants are teenagers and young adults, so your teenagers will find lots of friends their own age. They will also have a chance to meet and get to know wide range of people, from fellow students to professionals who participate in Dagorhir. The neat part is that on the
battlefield and in the camps of Ragnarok, all of those external barriers are removed. Your teenager will find themselves talking as an equal to a college student, lawyer, soldier or government official. They’ll be trading blows and then war stories with people from all over the country and from all walks of life. Many of your other questions can be answered in this FAQ, or on the Dagorhir Bulletin Board

See you at Ragnarok XVIII !!


Aratari Champions Tournament & Feast
Saturday, February 23, 2001

Friends in War: As Winter's icy chill grips our land, and Ragnarok seems far away, do not despair! Whet your blades, strap on your shield, and pick your straightest shafts, for the time has come to determine the Champions of the Aratari!

YOU are invited to the Second Annual Dagorhir Aratari Champions' Tournament. Even though this will be a Tournament event, there will be two team and pick-up fights going on throughout the day. This year, the event will be held in conjunction with a Feast! The heated hall will provide a place to stay warm in between bouts, as well as a place Feast after the Tournament event is over. The highlight of the Feast will be the awarding of J'tai to the winners and to the participants with the best characterization and best death in the Tournament. 

  • Location: Wheaton-Claridge Park, in Wheaton, MD. 

  • The cost for the Tournament event will be the standard battle cost of three dollars.

  • Check-in is from 11:00-12:00. Tournament events will start at 12:30 sharp!

  • Each event is planned to take 30 minutes max to complete. 

  • Tickets for the Feast will be sold separately. 

  • We will have the hall from 10AM until 11PM.

  • Sorry, but alcohol is not allowed at the Wheaton-Claridge Park facility.

    The Tournament Events are as follows:
    1 - Weapon and Shield
    2 - Red Weapon
    3 - Two Weapon
    4 - Archer
    5 - Blue Weapon
    6 - Green Weapon
    7 - Unlimited
    8 - Four-Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    9 - Rookie Armorless Unlimited

The winner of each event becomes the Aratari Champion of that weapons class, for one year. Titles will include: Aratari Weapon and Shield Champion, Aratari Red Weapon Champion, Aratari Two Weapon Champion, Aratari Archer Champion, Aratari Blue Weapon Champion, Aratari Green Weapon Champion, THE Aratari Champion, Aratari Four Man Team Champions and the Aratari Rookie Champion.

There were some changes, due to adding the parallel Rookie events. (Except for Archery and 4 person team.)

To all the warrior women out there, we will have a ladies unlimited if there is enough interest.

Aratari Champions' Tournament Information

You may enter as many Weapons Classes as you wish; but if you win one class, you must drop out of all other classes except Unlimited, Four-Man Team and Rookie. Example: You enter all weapons classes, you lose Weapon and Shield, you lose Red Weapon, then you win Two Weapon. You must then drop out of all other contests until Unlimited, Four-Man Team and Rookie. Thus, you might reign for the next year as both the Aratari Two Weapon Champion, The Champion of the Aratari and so forth.

Event Rules:

  • Each Champion will be decided by single-elimination events. If you lose once, you are out of that class.

  • In each class, warriors will be allowed one weapon of that class (no backup), except Two Weapon (any two hand-held melee weapons - no projectile weapons, shields, or slung weapons allowed) and Unlimited (anything goes, including armor and missile weapons).

  • Weapons used in class-specific events may only be used for their "classification". (i.e. If you enter the Green weapon class carrying a thrusting axe, hacks are not permitted. Only the pokey-tip would count.)

  • In the Weapon and Shield category, any weapon may be used in conjunction with any type of shield.

  • If a weapon breaks or becomes unsafe during a bout, the warrior may exchange it for a comparable weapon, from the sidelines. (Otherwise, the fighter forfeits the duel.)

  • Archers may carry as many arrows as they wish, and may re-use arrows from the field.

  • Armor will only count in the Unlimited and Four-Man Team Categories. 
    In the event of a simultaneous "kill," fighters will re-fight the dues. (Healed of all wounds and damage.)

  • Any fighter that does not appear when a round starts, forfeits that round.
    Once an event starts, no additional fighters may participate in that event.
    We will use multiple fighting "rings", until the semi and final rounds. 

  • The Archer duels will also be fought to the death. 

  • Contestants may move about their "ring" as they fight. 

  • Stepping out of the defined fighting area will result in a forfeit for that round.

  • Failure to engage a legged opponent for twenty seconds total will result in a forfeit for that round.

Duel Selection and Progression:

  • In all events, duels will be fought simultaneously, until the semi and final rounds. 

  • Individual duels will not have specific heralds assigned.

  • Pairs will be randomly selected for each duel. Each fighter will have equal chance of facing any other fighter.

  • No exceptions for re-selecting pairs will be made.

  • In the event there are an odd number of fighters, one fighter will get a "bye" for that round. 

  • Once the field is narrowed down to 5-7 warriors, the field will be reduced to 4, for the semi-finals.

  • This will be done by selecting 2 * the number of fighters above four.

  • This may result in 1-3 fighters receiving a semi-finals reduction round bye.


  • Heralds will be on hand to observe the duels.

  • In the semi-final and final rounds, ideally at least one herald will be from a different unit then both contestants.

The Heralds will only intercede if a dispute occurs. 

Directions to Wheaton-Claridge Park :
11901 Claridge Rd. Wheaton, MD 20902
0. Take your best route to the North side of the 495/Capital Beltway
1. Take Exit#31, MD-97/Georgia Ave, North 
2. Continue North on Georgia Ave for about 2 miles 
3. Veer Left onto Viers Mill Rd. and go 1.5 miles
4. Turn Right onto Claridge Rd and go 0.1 miles 
5. Turn Right into the park entrance.

Footnote: This annual event will always be held in February, in an attempt to maintain interest and attendance in Dagorhir through the leanest months of the year.

Aratari Champions’ Tournament FEAST
Saturday, February 23
6:00 to 11:00 
Wheaton-Clairidge Park Rec Center
Wheaton, MD


Bread (baguettes plus homemade loaves)
Cheese (cheddar & pepper jack) 
Fruit (apples & pears) 
Apple-Onion Soup by Briar Rose
Ham slices 
Quiches by Sgt. Mom
Cous cous with raisins and stuff Margit
Mixed cooked vegetables 
Pies by Kain the Killer Kook…er, COOK. 


- Presentation of Tournament Awards (professionally engraved J’Tai!) 
& Dagorhir Aratari Annual Awards (including Roasts)

- Brutha Henry’s Dagorhir Fighting Evolution Song (reprise)

- Special Guest Singers

- Dancers & Drummers

- “Baubling” (dicing for trinkets, junk jewelry, drinks, etc.)

- Dagger fighting outside on the porch, with gambling on the winners

- In-character scavenger hunt. If you wish to play, you’re given a list and have to interact in character with the other people at the feast to find Guests who fit the criteria on the list. Players write down the name of the people who they found to match each clue. 

Late in the evening, the Scavengers are asked to call out their answers to each clue. 

The Scavenger Hunt gives people a chance to interact in character, and announcing the answers at the end lets everybody in the Hall learn names and history on some of the other people in Aratari.

Schedule for the Tournament & Feast:

10:30 - 12:00 noon -- Check-in for the Tournament 
and set-up of the Wheel and Rose Tavern 

Feast Tickets will be on sale at Check-in: As usual, the Feast is $10 for adults, $5 for children 8-15. BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS. This is a “dry” site, so there will be no keg nor alcohol as part of the feast. 

12:00 - 12:30 Set up the Tourney

12:30 - 4:30 -- Aratari Champions’ Tournament, Pick-up Fighting

Running W&R Tavern (serving light fare and drinks including hot cider inside the Hall)

Will there be “baubling” (betting using junk jewelry or tavern food as stake) on, well, EVERYTHING, but especially on the outcome of Tournament Bouts? 
Bring your Mardi Gras beads to help get the ball rolling.

4:30 - 5:45 Aratari War Council (Unit Leader Business Meeting in one corner of the hall) 

Attendees are encouraged to go on their drink runs at this time, and to set up their tables with tablecloths, candles, and feastgear.

Dagorhir videos running in a corner of the hall until 5:45.

5:45 All non-Guard are asked to step outside (under the covered porch).

Guard serve the tables with bread, cheese, apples, and pears; light the candles; and turn off the electric lights. Guard will pass among the Guests outside on the covered porch, handing out pens for filling in the backs of tickets, and handing out Character Scavenger Hunt forms.

6:00 Guests are invited back into Hall.

As they enter, Guests will hand their tickets to the Guard Masters-at-Arms on either side of the door. Masters-at-Arms will Announce Guests as at a Formal State Dinner: Tickets have blanks for name, rank/titles, and unit. 

EXAMPLE: “Presenting General Sir Erekose of Gestiguiste and his daughter the Lady Lexy,” as Erekose carries his daughter into the hall. 

As each table is filled, Guard will come to the table and serve Soup.

7:00 (or earlier, if schedule permits) - 8:00 -- Main Course & General Mingling

Two roast chickens, sliced cold ham, cous cous, assorted cooked veggies, and quiches to each table. 

Extra food is placed on table outside the kitchen window for people who want seconds. 

8:00 The Brutha Henry Singers Perform Dagorhir’s National Anthem

8:05 Graymael presents Dagorhir Aratari Winter Awards & Roast

Recognition of new Units and Members for their contributions and characterization; making fun of veteran members for the foibles which we love so well.

8:30 (plus or minus) Erekose presents Dagorhir Aratari Champions 2002

Last year’s champions will present the ENGRAVED J’tai to the new winners; 
Erekose will present the awards to the Novice Fighters.

9:00 Serving Kain’s Homemade Pies, 

Followed by More entertainment (still finalizing the entertainment list:

Fire Eater
Singers (Including Surprise Guests)
Baubling and Scavenger Hunt continue
Dagger tournament outside on the porch for those who haven’t had enough fighting

10:00 Read Results of Character Scavenger Hunt

General Mayhem continues

11:00 Throw Everyone Out and Clean Hall



Aratari Yule Feast
December 5, 2002
Saturday January 5, 6pm and on!
Admission: $10 Adults $5 4-12 Years Old
Come join us for a night of feasting and fantasy!
Bring whatever spirits you wish to imbibe and revel the night through!

Grilled Venison
Sautéed Red Potatoes
Venison Stew
Breads & Cheeses
Vegetarian Lasagna
Fresh Baked Pies

Gypsy Drummers / Belly Dancers
Men are slaves game (women only)
Foam fighting evolution song
Kids activities and more!

CBS-WUSA 9 in DC and FOX 45 in Baltimore have announced that they intend to film the Traditional Post Thanksgiving Battle at Lake Frank!  (War coverage permitting.)  FOX intends to do a cover story featuring one of the Kutriguri, showing him at work, then at home as he packs up and travels to THE WAR.

This is always the biggest local battle of the year; the combination of last month's Washington Post article, this month's FHM Magazine article, and having two networks filming the battle should make it HUGE!

Tell your friends about the times shown below.  We're starting AND ENDING check-in early, so arrive on time.

Parking is limited; PLEASE carpool. Aries of the Guard will be heading up a van relay to shuttle drivers to a
nearby overflow parking lot.  Please offer to help him if you have a high-capacity vehicle.

Lake Frank Thanksgiving War Itinerary and Notes

10:00 to 11:30 Check-in
11:30 to 12:00 Rules Review, Pick-up Fights, Choosing Teams
     Everyone on the field by noon.
12:00 to 1:00 Field Battles
    Unit Free-For-All (twice)
    Two-Team Grand Melee (Twice)
    Whatever the networks want to see or we want to do
1:00 SHORT second check-in for latecomers (who will pay an
   additional $2 battle fee).  If you're not checked in by then,
   you DO NOT PLAY.
1:00 to 1:45 Fort Sieges for the cameras
    Divide into three teams; each team takes turns defending the
        old Kutriguri “Lincoln Log” Fort against the other two teams
2:00 to 3:00 Battle of Three Armies (Scenario described below)
3:00 to 3:30 Bridge Battles on the "old fire road"
3:30 to 4:30 Return to Field; do more Field Battles

OTHER RESTRICTIONS OR FINES.  Anyone who is caught trying to sneak onto the field more than once will be permanently banned from Dagorhir activities.

If a player knows they will be late and can get someone to register them in absentia (including checking their equipment), they can play.  Everyone else can watch us fight.

Note that the Wheel and Rose will be operating to serve snacks to the hungry troops both on the battlefield and at Valhalla.


Dagorhir Scenario for Lake Frank Thanksgiving War 2001
(and a first-test of the concept for the expanded “Five Armies” scenario for Ragnarok XVII) 
Based on ideas developed by Sven, Kyrax, and myself, copyright 2001, all rights reserved…;)


  • One hour timed woods capture the flag(s) battle.  Three armies each get a fort/base area with different advantages and disadvantages.

  • Objective: to have fun.  Also, to score the most points by holding other Team’s flags for the most minutes.

  • When you die, wait until there is no fighting within 120 feet of you, put on your white headband (or hold your sword over your head), and go to Valhalla to resurrect.

  • Unlimited resurrections.

  • Valhalla will be centrally located between the three Teams’ base areas/forts.  When you die, go to Valhalla, check in with your team’s Valhalla Herald, and you’re free to “return to life.”

  • No fighting within 200 feet of Valhalla (to allow “resurrected” fighters to get away without being stomped as they leave).

  • You cannot carry away another fighter’s equipment (arrows, javelins, rocks, etc.) without their express permission.  You may shoot a “gleaned” projectile weapon back at the enemy, but if you move away from that fighting area, you may NOT carry the projectile away with you, nor may you attempt to hide it from its owner.

  • Each team will be designated by a different color headband.  You are strongly encouraged to wear your team’s headband so that you don’t get killed by your comrades.


  • Each team starts with a flag.

  • You cannot remove your own flag from your fort; if you recapture your team’s flag from another army, you must return it to your fort as quickly as possible.

  • No hiding flags -- each flag will be held by a Flag Herald, who will have instructions to remain in plain sight.

  • Flag Heralds will QUIETLY go with whomever tags them and says, “Come with me.”  If a flag is captured by a raiding party and the raiding party is subsequently wiped out but no one bothers to tag the Flag Herald, the Flag Herald has to stay put, but may should jump up and down, wave his/her arms and shout, “Flag over here!”  :o)

  • Be polite when tagging Heralds.  Don’t grab their arm or get into a tug-of-war with another team over “possession” of a Herald.

  • HERALDS: Try to keep up when the person who tagged you is running.  This is a fairly small battle area, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have to run more than a few hundred yards at a time.

  • HERALDS are not allowed to deliberately give tactical advantage to a team;
    this means you cannot yell, “Hey, I’m being stolen!” when a scout tags you
    and says, “Shh!  Come with me.”

  • HERALDS you will be given a pad of paper, pencil, and a watch.  Whenever you arrive in a Team’s fort, write down the time you arrived and which team’s fort you’re in.  Whenever you are removed from a fort, note that time also.

  • EXAMPLE: You start the Battle with the Islanders at 2:00.  At 2:10, you are captured by a raiding party from the Forest Folk.  You jot “2:10 cap” (captured) on your pad as you run off.  At 2:13, you arrive at the Forest Folk’s base/fort.  You write, “2:13 FF” on your pad.  The Forest Folk hold you for the rest of the battle (47 minutes).  You note “3:00 battle over” on your pad.


City Dwellers: Get the Lincoln Log Fort, and may alter it or improve on it during the few minutes before the battle begins.

Islanders: Get the strip of woods overlooking the battle field above the lake.  The cleared “fire break” separating this area from the main woods will be a “river” that can only be crossed on a bridge (marked with rope) or forded on one’s knees.  Islanders may build fortifications in the few minutes before the battle begins, or use existing structures.  There will be a herald assigned to help patrol the "river" and answer rules questions

Forest Folk: Like Lothlorien or Rivendell, their “fortress” is a (horseshoe-shaped) “safe” area marked out in the forest with yellow police tape which they can enter from any direction, but which players from the other teams may only enter from the “open” part of the horseshoe.  FFs may build fortifications in the few minutes before the battle begins, or use existing structures.  There will be a herald assigned to help patrol "Rivendell" and answer rules questions there.

Each army’s base/fort area gives them a different type of advantage:

City Dwellers have sturdy walls, but everyone on the other two teams will have just finished attacking and defending this fort, and so will know its strengths and weaknesses.

Islanders have a bridge and a “moat” (fordable “river”) protecting their land, but it’s a LONG area to defend, so a clever enemy may be able to sneak raiding parties across.

Forest Folk have a “safe zone” into which they can retreat where the enemy can’t follow them (although both sides can launch missiles into or through the “safe zone”) but they have no major obstacle (like the River or the Fort) protecting their Flag.

Whichever Team held the Lincoln Log fort the shortest time in the previous “Fort Siege” scenario gets first choice as to which Army they will be (City, Islanders, Forest Folk).  In other words, the team who “lost” the Fort Sieges gets first pick.

Each Army’s flag must be placed in plain sight in their “base” area.  This is “Capture the Flag” not “Hide and Seek.”

All teams must be inside their fort/base when the Battle begins.


One point will be awarded for each minute a team holds a flag inside their
fort/base.  One point per flag per minute.  Thus, if your team captures two
flags and holds them for 5 minutes before another team takes them away, your
team will get 10 points.

- There will be a bonus to the team that suffers the most casualties (dead
players checking into Valhalla).  This will encourage tactical risk-taking
and give the newest people a “little something” to offset getting wiped out
again and again -- at least they’re TRYING!  Before we start the Scenario,
the amount of the bonus will be decided upon by the Unit Leaders based on
the number of attendees at the event, but will probably be something around
100 points.


BRIGDE & RIVER: If you fall off the “bridge,” you must drop to your knees
and may “wade” through the “water.”  You can’t drown, even in full armor.

RIVENDELL: The area marked out with yellow tape as the base area of the
Forest Folk is nicknamed “Rivendell” after the Elf Haven in “Lord of the
Rings” that only Elves and their guests could enter.

Rivendell will be shaped like a fat letter “C” -- a thick horseshoe shape
something like this (if my “ASCII art” works):

CC      <===  (opening other armies may use)

Only Forest Folk may cross the “safe zone” marked by the yellow tape.  The other teams must enter and leave through the open part of the horseshoe, which will be about 30 feet wide.  Thus, the Forest Folk can “hide” inside the “safe zone” (Elves disappearing into the forest)
-- BUT the other Teams may enter through the open part of the horseshoe, take the FF’s flag, and retreat back through the open part of the horseshoe.   As long as no part of their BODIES crosses the yellow tape,  other teams may attack the FF’s who are inside the “safe zone” (most likely with spears, arrows, and javelins).  The “safe zone” will be no thicker than 20 feet at its thickest point.

White (dead) and colored headbands will be issued to all players

"I'd Rather Be Fighting My Friends."
Dagorhir Battle Games

copyright 2001 by David Vierling




Dagorhir Aratari Fall Campout and Battle
Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7

Marietta Mansion in Glendale, MD (Directions at the end of this message)

Primarily field battle scenarios, camping, and general mayhem. Schedule below.

Event Costs $5 for all adults and $2 for kids under 15. This includes people who are just partying but not fighting.

Entertainers who are just there for the evening are free, but must sign a waiver like everybody else.

There is some water onsite, but you should bring your own just to be sure.  Likewise firewood -- a little extra couldn't hurt, no?

6:00 PM Event begins.  Pickup fights and camping.

Check-in from 10:00 to 11:30 NOTE: This is earlier than usual!
Please provide help to Brother Henry, Shade, Laithe, and Krugilla.

Fighting from 12 - 5
  Rules for some new scenarios are listed below.

The Wonderful Wenches of the Wheel and Rose Tavern will be serving
reasonably priced gatorade, water, fruit, cheese, and bread during breaks in
the fighting.

Scenarios will include
  - Unit Free-For-All
  - Grand Melee
  - "Dagorhir Snowball Fight" (Rocks and Javelins only)
  - Pass Battle
  - Dragon Battle (squads of 3-4 fighters vs. 7-fighter "Dragon" -- Dragon
"keeps" wounds from one fight to the next)
  - Ford Battle
  - Boat Battles every hour, including some w/Sea Monsters (Sharks, Sirens,
and possibly a Kraken) and others including a bridge/river/boat battle (Lots
of room for strategy!) and an "Island Resurrection" Battle (20 minutes, two
teams, when you die or drown, you return to your team's island to
resurrect...but then you have to swim to a boat or "wait for a ride" [or
bribe a sea monster for a lift] to get back to the fighting.  The Wheel and
Rose will be serving drinks on the islands.  Non-fighters can get into the
game as sea monsters.  Bring your sun block and your towel -- Surf's UP!).

6:00 Fine dining, partying, camping, dancing, drumming.

Pickup fights starting at 10:00
  Including "Sea Monsters vs. Sailors" scenario
  How about an ocean-going Dragon?

Pack up and head for home after noon.

1. Be prepared for something different.
2. "Boats" are PVC tube frames in the shape of boats.  Some can hold 10-15
3. Fighters "get in" boats, hold onto PVC, and manuever at will around the
"ocean" areas using Fred Flintstone Foot Power.
4. If two boats "ram" (one touches or overlaps the other), all fighters drop
both frames to the ground, and fight across the "decks" much like a bridge
battle.  If you can get fighters onto the enemy's boat, you can "free" your
ship from the other.
5. If you fall in the water wearing any armor (including helm or greaves),
you drown.  Noisily.
6. If you fall in the water wearing a shield, you have five seconds to drop
your shield or you drown.
7. If you fall in the water with no shield or armor, you may "swim" (walk on
your knees).  When swimming, you may fight with any melee weapon (no missle
weapons) or grab the sides of boats for a ride or to board them.
8. It's okay to hang onto the sides of a boat and "ride along" (on your
feet) as long as you're wearing no armor.
9. Weapons that hit a boat on or below the PVC frame are considered to have
"hit the hull" and do no damage.
10. If you die in a boat battle, put your weapon over your head and walk to
the side of the ocean.  If it's a resurrection battle, you may then walk to
your side's Valhalla Island.  Either way, you're shark bait, chum.

SEA MONSTERS are intended to keep the game fun.  If the sea monsters
overstep their boundaries and start affecting the outcome of the game, the
heralds will pull them from the field.

DOLPHINS - Can't be attacked by any weapons.  They can provide rides to
stranded sailors, or rescue drowning marines, even in armor.

SHARKS - Lawyers of the deep, they smell blood and go for it.  If a shark
touches you on a limb, you lose that limb.  Sharks may only be hit with
weapons by fighters who are in the water.

SIRENS - If you get too close to the Siren's island and hear their call, you
must go to them -- either by running your boat aground, or by jumping


Take the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495) to exit 20.

Take 564 east (Lanham Severn Road) briefly to 450 east (Annapolis Road).

Stay on 450 for approximately 4 miles, then take 193 north (Glenn Dale

Turn left onto Bell Station Road, and the Marietta Mansion Historic Site
will be on your left

You may unload your car in the camping area (the "lower field" farthest from
the mansion), but you must park at the top of the hill near the entrance. 
Fighting will be on the "upper field" nearest the mansion.

Slay you there!

-- Dagorhir Aratari Board of Directors


From your President, August 27, 2001


Saturday's Battle at Hammond Park brought in more 70 fighters (including 5 who made the trek south from Taurendor!) and a small army of spectators. Rumor has it that three of the elusive Shindar were spotted wreaking their special brand of havoc, as were a handful of Gwynedd warriors making the long haul from Prince William County VA.

Some items worthy of note, in no particular order:

Everyone pitched in to help with check-in, ensuring that nobody was overwhelmed by their battle-duties, and that everything was done more or less on time.  This will be particularly important as Aratari continues to grow in the months to come.  Thanks to all who helped!

Chief Herald Brittanicus administered the Herald's test to veterans with 24 or more battles' experience, and units rotated herald duties throughout the day to ensure everyone who wanted it got a chance to fight.

Dunnotar of Caledonia donated a hand-carved staff as a prize to the last fighter standing when Battlemaster Laithe called "Cut-Throat!" (the signal for an unscheduled every-fighter-for-themselves free-for-all).  Thanks to Dunnotar for the fine donation, and for treating us all to his "Knight to King's Pawn Four" berserker charge during the No Missile Weapon Bridge
Battle.  Dunnotar leapt diagonally one space left and two spaces ahead, from the "shoreline" over the "water" and onto the bridge to charge into the Black Team.  If *I'd* tried that move, I'd have been sleeping with the fishes for sure!

Krugilla of the Kutriguri made new wooden signs that say "DAGORHIR" with movable arrows on them, to direct people to battle sites.  Thanks, Krugilla -- and thanks also for setting up Aratari's bank account.

Gurrundi of Rome and Barloff of Gestiguiste both had spectacular deaths during bridge battles.  Barloff also took several well-acted wounds and then died in the "water" in the "Ford the River" Battle (called by the Romans the "Aqueduct War").  As ever, Khan Zamrach of the Kutriguri died with style ("ZABITI...ARGHHH!) when someone was able to take him down.  Take a lesson from them, fighters.

Quoretl of the Guard proposed an ammendment to the Aratari Bylaws: War Council Meetings are not allowed to last longer than the battle they follow.

Graymael proposed an ammendment to that ammendment: War Council meetings should be held at the nearest restaurant with beer, instead of at the battle site.

Please notify Graymael and your unit leader if you are willing to help with advertising, such as putting up Dagorhir posters around schools, in libraries, or in bookstores.

Mark your calendars for mid-December: when "Fellowship of the Ring" hits theaters, the Aratari will be handing out Dagorhir flyers to people outside every theater in the DC-Metro area.  We'll need EVERYONE to help.

The winner of the Highlander Tournament held at Althyng received a pewter mug engraved with "Highlander Tournament 2001" and their name.  Next year, this mug will be engraved with the name of the 2002 winner, and passed on to that person. "There can be only one...and this is his beer mug!"

We are holding a contest to design an Aratari Realm banner and will pay someone to make it.  If you are interested in bidding on the job of making the banner, please email Graymael.  A prize (to be determined) will go to whoever creates the winning design.

The best thing about Saturday's battle were the attitudes of the fighters.  People obviously enjoyed themselves.  I witnessed a lot of very good sportsmanship, including Gaius of Rome dropping to one knee when he mistakenly thought an arrow had hit his leg, and Dominus of Rome exchanging witticisms with Brother Henry of Gestiguiste as they battled each other (for at least 5 minutes) for control of the bridge-head.

Well done.  As Hadrian used to say on the Voice of Dagorhir: "A good time was had by all."

MT Graymael
The Guard
Dagorhir Aratari