Quest completed: Oslo Medieval Festival

A tale of the making of new acquaintances, of the bow and the sword, of fierce knights and brash vikings, dead rabbits, and a whole lot of mud.

Last weekend was the most fun I’ve had in ages! For weeks and weeks I had been looking forward to Oslo Medieval Festival, and finally, Saturday, the 16th of June dawned on us all. Or was there ever a dawn at all? That morning, Jan Tore and myself awoke to the steady thrumming of rain against my window. Things didn’t bode well at all. A few hours later, however, it seemed as Lady Fortune might smile down upon us after all. Rays of sunlight sparkled on the droplet-covered foliage and danced across countless puddles as we waited for bus 34 which would take us to Ladegården and Oslo Medieval Festival 2012.


With Project Barcode rising in the rear, medieval tents and pavilions make for quite a contrast

We had only just entered when we stumbled into the first of Jan Tore’s many predicted encounters for the weekend; Peter and Renate, who turned out to be superb company! The weather, however, turned out to be less pleasant company, and we soon found ourselves well-bunked in the Feast Tent with Virelai entertaining the crowd. Poor Jan Tore ended up just where the water had gone through the tent canvas. Great luck he bought such a good cloak.

No idea what we did to scare those poor fools!

However, one does not simply waste away an entire festival day in a tent. We must away! There are quests to fulfill! Or, armour demonstrations to attend.

Armour demonstration: The foremost guy wears a peasant’s war gear, except for having a pretty good shield, the guy behind him wears what a well-equipped low-noble might wear.

Then it was time to butcher Sir Piggy: A ham was brought into the area, hung up, and dressed in padding, chainmail and leather-covered plate armour and a guy with a sword and a girl with a spear were to take turns swinging and thrusting at the unfortunate beast. Or was he that unfortunate? Spear or sword, the leather was barely broken. Off with the plate! Even chainmail proved pretty good protection, and only the spearwoman was able to actually break through the rings. So far, Sir Piggy would return from battle bruised, but whole. It turned out that padding alone also provided a fair share of protection, but then, the padding was removed. They say a picture says more than a thousand words:

And the moral of this story is: With good armour, you’re quite safe, without, you’re pretty much screwed (Picture by Jan Tore Høyland)

After that, we attended an interactive storytelling session with a guy who was so eerily alike Conleth Hill’s Varys that I was seriously freaked out. He also thought Jan Tore was some guy named Kristian. Does my boyfriend have a dopppelgänger? And what does the Spider want with him? *le gasp*

Derpicorn knows everything; he is the wisest creature in the universe and beyond. (Jan Tore Høyland)

By the time the storytime was at an end, it was time to catch up with all of Jan Tore’s blogger friends. Many pleasant acquaintances were made that moment, and I was finally rid of my greatest burden; Derpicorn the Omniscient, Marita’s new pet.

Before the day was at an end, Jan Tore had bought a really beautiful sword from a blacksmith who looked an awful lot like Gendy Waters (what’s up with these look-alikes, anyways?), and I bought two dead rabbits. The latter turned into a bit of a trend, in fact. Soon, everyone was buying dead rabbits all over the place!

Can’t leave those two alone for five seconds…

I’ll end the report from day one with some pictures from the weapons demonstrations by De Norske Frilansene (The Norwegian Freelances):

Preparing for weapons demonstrations (Jan Tore Høyland)

Tough guy! (Jan Tore Høyland)

Longbowmen out-pwn armed soldiers! (Jan Tore Høyland)

Rogue fight! *squee* These two were really impressive; they kept snatching each others’ daggers all the time, and when one guy seemed to have won, a third guy came and stabbed him in the back with a spear. So typically rogue… (Jan Tore Høyland)

Then, the weapons demonstration was at an end, and all of us were ready to get on with our business, when… The entire tourney grounds was run down by vikings! That was a conclusion to remember!

By the time I got home, I realized one thing was particularly authentic with regards to the period this festival tried to emulate; I won’t even try to explain the amounts of mud I was covered in!

Day two:

The weather gods were very much in our favour today. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping; you get the picture, right? Sunday would also feature the single coolest thing of the entire festival; the tourney. I think I was as giddy and excited as Sansa Stark.

First achievement of the day: Deer sausage with lingonberry! The woman who sold all sorts of sausages proved to be a greatly entertaining interlocutor. I learned that the sausage was based on an old, traditional recipe she had discovered at her father’s old farm. I just can’t keep myself from imagining how far back this recipe might go, and what kind of people who first made it! I also learned a few fun facts about the sausages from my own childhood-region. I’ll save that for some other time, though!

On our way back to the Feast Tent, we met Krijanis, a Latvian guy who had just moved to Oslo and who wanted to know LARP-people. Sadly, we couldn’t assist him there, but hopefully, we made good company all the same.

Me, Krisjanis, Marita and Kama (Jan Tore Høyland)

Back in the tent, the three of us sat down for a beer and I felt safe and comfortable when “SQUAAAAAAWK!!!!” By the Valar, what in the seven hells was that! Turned out it was this:

This guy brought his parrot! How awesome is that?

I was getting impatient for the jousting to start, but first, there was a thing I had to do.

That guy on the right owes me fifty! (Jan Tore Høyland)

I wanted a bow! If Jan Tore were to arm himself, so was I! I ended up with a bit of a beauty, in fact. This long, slender thing still needs a name! I’ve received a couple of suggestions already, but I’m still open for more!

On our way back, we bumped into a couple of really impressive-looking guys in really dashing armour of red-and-gold. Are there Lannister men-at-arms HERE?! Or, were they simply members of Friknektene (the Freeriders)? Not sure if I buy that… And a Lannister always pays his debts!

They were not too lofty to pose for a pickie, though!

A few more pickies before the great tourney:

Renate and Kama (Jan Tore Høyland)

Posing – like bawzes! (Jan Tore Høyland)

Peter and Kama (Jan Tore Høyland)

And now for the great event: Knights in shining armour riding at objects and each other!

This guy looks awesome!

Knights, knights, knights!

Jan Tore and I of course had to find one knight each to cheer for; I chose Sir Birk Steelball who apparently received his dodgy epithet after taking a lance to his private parts. Jan Tore was cheering for Sir Eigil of Hamar (only so he could shout “EIGIL MÅÅÅÅÅÅ!”) Such a shame that Birk won the entire thing. *smug*

The jousting was tons and tons and tons of fun, and made a great conclusion to a great festival. A big thanks and a big hug to Peter, Renate, Krisjanis, Marita, Kama, Frøydis, Camilla Rose, Eva and Martin for making this great festival even greater. Both Jan Tore and I can barely wait for next year!

The aftermath: Turns out several people have tried to contact me on Facebook over the past week, and that I have a doppelgänger as well. Let me make this clear: I am not on Facebook, and I doubt I’ll ever be, at least not in the near future. If you want to contact me or stay in touch, here and Twitter are the places to find me.

Group picture:

Kama, Renate, me, Jan Tore, Eva, Marita, Frøydis, Camilla Rose