Several scattered warriors surrounded Kyle Wentz of The Weeping Angels. Armed only with one arrow in defense, Kyle faced numerous attackers from every side wielding shields, spears, and swords. He fought valiantly, but in the end was charged upon and killed at 8:27pm
“Apparently it’s true. One man can’t beat twenty Spartans,” Kyle declared loudly after his death, while marching to the graveyard. “If there was 2 of me, I would have won!”
As many in Homer may already know, Dyllan Day and others scheduled Live Action Role Play (L.A.R.P.) for May 15th, Mother’s Day. People of all ages were invited to‘The Point,’ West Hill Road, to battle in teams of 1-8 people with padded weaponry. Each team had their own names, often uniforms, and an assortment of healers or warriors. However, just a couple hours before the event, it was discovered that ‘The Point’ was actually private property, and anyone who trespassed would be fined by the police. This was hardly a deterrent for L.A.R.P. however, and everyone gathered at Karen Hornaday Park instead.
At 7pm, Dyllan Day, organizer of L.A.R.P. and member of the team The Brimhaven Titans, stood on top of a vehicle in the parking lot to address everyone who showed to play. The rules were clear- No headshots. ‘Warriors’ could have any type of weapon, but were not allowed to revive fallen teammates. ‘Healers’ were allowed to heal dead or wounded teammates in the graveyard (the park’s barbeque pit), but were limited to knives or daggers for defense. If an enemy taps one of your limbs, that limb is rendered useless, and can only be restored in the graveyard.
“You’re all here on your own! If you get a bruise or a scrape, go cry to your mommy, not to me!” Dyllan declared firmly, to much hooting and applause from the assembly. “And wish your mom a happy Mother’s Day while you’re at it!”
While the event hosted around a hundred players, many people cancelled last minute to attend Mother’s Day celebrations. The Weeping Angels lost four of their eight teammates on account of mother’s day celebrations. Their new plan for their small team was to stick together, take the high ground, and not to actively engage other teams.
“I’m not excited to fight the football team,” said Jacob Mayforth of The Weeping Angels.
Another team of four, The Wolfpack, had their own strategies just across the parking lot. “Dynamite comes in small packages,” said Cameron Corbell, much to the agreement of his team.
Meanwhile, there were several teams who had reached the eight-person limit, and had their own strategies.
“Guerilla tactics! I’m like Katniss, but less of a chick,” said Justice Sky, of The Snow Leopards.
“I live! I love! I slay! And I am content!” said Joseph Resetarits, of The Blood Angels.
“Our game is military tactics,” Anthony Resetarits, Joseph’s older brother said. They planned to employ “what the Greeks and Spartans did, and evolve from there.”
Not all players at L.A.R.P. were youth, however. The Warriors of Old, a group consisting of men who had long since graduated high school, said that their tactic was to “have as much fun as possible,” (John Brant). “Also, kill or be killed.”
After Dyllan Day’s opening address, there was a brief countdown, and then a sudden scattering of teams. Some ran to take the high ground in the trees, while others hid behind cars in the parking lot or hovered in the field.
Three people were abandoned by their team in the graveyard, waiting to heal, within the first twenty minutes of gameplay. Travis Smith of Dragons With Gucci Purses was killed by an arrow, and Tayler Downs, from the same team, had all of his limbs cut off. Dyllan Day had already lost a leg by 7:50pm, and was forced to hop on one leg in battle.
The Blood Angels, easily the loudest and most excitable clan, hollered from the field and lowest trail of the park for teams to challenge. After watching several different teams peek at them from the trees or trails with higher ground and retreat, The Blood Angels decided to take the fight to everyone else. They boldly settled into an organized formation and marched uphill, following the main road to Hornaday’s campsites. With shields lined up to fend off strikes, they pursued the rag-tag remains of The Weeping Angels, and several others.
In an incredible show of organization and quick thinking, the majority of the other teams in the area called a temporary truce, and worked together to completely surround The Blood Angels. One by one, archers with padded arrows picked off the Angels at the back of the formation, using higher ground to get around the shield defense. Once their numbers were cut in half, warriors on even ground charged from all sides with swords and spears raised.
“We killed a lot, but there were too many. If we had our backs against a wall, we could have taken them,” said Joseph Resetarits of The Blood Angels, after his team had been completely demolished. “That was like the 300 Spartans.”
At 8:02pm, everyone migrated to the main field of the park inside the fence for a traditional ‘Spartans versus Persians’ clash. On one side of the field several teams gathered, including The Weeping Angels, They Have a Cave Troll, and The Wolfpack. On the other side was a smaller group, including the now revived Blood Angels. Soon each side was hollering for battle, and teams ran toward each other in a sprint with weapons ready. Forced into the far corner of the fence, the smaller group was quickly killed in a crowded, brutal fight.
“I got sat on,” said Sam Nielson of They Have a Cave Troll, after the attack. “Some tall dude killed me, and I went down and got sat on.”
By 8:11, everyone was lined up at either side of the field again, ready for a second clash. This time, each side of the field was equally as numbered and aggressive, and charged to the center of the field until the majority of players were killed or wounded. Sam Nielson, in a show of fun, stole The Blood Angel’s emblem flag and ran away with it, inciting chase. The field was reoccupied for yet more attacks after most teams visited the graveyard to heal.
However, at 8:15pm, the air filled with a mild sprinkling of rain and snow. By 8:20pm, the wind had picked up significantly. Observers of the battle huddled on the sidelines against the cold, and one mother was seen distributing warm sweatshirts on the field for players dressed only in short sleeved t-shirts. Despite the sudden change in weather, the players seemed completely undeterred.
“My morale is as high as it ever could be,” said Tayler Gonzales of The Nords, in response to the snow.
“This was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen,” said Tiyana Hill, an observer. She, Molly Bowen, and Kristie Mastre all stood together outside the field to watch the event while eating fries and drinks they’d brought with them. “I’m surprised at how into it everyone got. It’s snowing and they’re still here.”
“We think it’s great! It’s great that they’re out here doing something fun and imaginative,” said one mother from the sidelines of the battlefield. Another agreed, and admitted to having helped her daughter make shirts for their clan.
L.A.R.P. wound down to an overall success around 9:30pm as people wrapped up their weapons and migrated to the parking lot.
Because the event had inadvertently been scheduled on Mother’s Day- resulting to so many cancelled attendees- as well as the bad weather, a second half of L.A.R.P. will continue on Sunday, May 20th. The location is still under debate, due to the ‘Build Week’ at Karen Hornaday Park, but will be announced on the Facebook page for the event soon.
“I’m coming back next week to play,” said Samual Luchao, an eleven year old observer. He’d attended with siblings, but hadn’t prepared to participate on account of the age limit of thirteen years old. However, after seeing that several youth under the age limit had attended anyway and not been scolded, he plans to return.
“I hope this becomes a Homer tradition,” said Homer Olson, of Irone Head.