A small park along Holmes Run in Annandale was converted to a battlefield Saturday, as dozens of Medieval fighters from the Gwynedd, Knights Templar, Gestiguiste, and other units mixed it up with nonlethal swords and spears.
A combatant from Stafford, Va., who goes by the name “Finn Wyndhaven,” says the battles have been taking place in that park on the Labor Day weekend for at least 10 years.
During a battle, the people sitting down in the field are considered dead, he explained. If someone is hit twice on the arm, they can no longer use their arm. If hit on the leg, they have to drop to their knees.
|The Knights Templar|
Finn is a member of Gwynedd, which is based in Woodbridge. When they’re not fighting, members of the unit hang out at their campsite near Fort A.P. Hill, take part in Medieval re-enactments, make armor, and work on their costumes. The various units in yesterday’s battle are part of the DagorhirAratari realm, which covers Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Taking part in Medieval battles “is like Dungeons and Dragons without all that talking,” says “Faloria Romen” of Leesburg, who is part of Gestiguiste. She says it’s all about LARPing (live action role-playing). Some of the realms do a lot of research and strive for historical accuracy, while others follow a more imaginative interpretation.
“A lot of it is socializing,” she says. “It’s a great social club; it’s like a family.”