The Last Song is a larp (live action role-play) set in a fictional setting inspired by the late 10th century Viking Age history. The larp seeks to balance the authenticity of a historical setting and a high level of player agency to create an immersive experience.
The event’s hundred and twenty five participants will portray Viking Age characters of the northern clans joining together at a grand þing (Thing), to decide what they should do about their king’s questionable actions. Gatherings of this size bring celebration, challenges, and spark conflict. Throughout the larp the characters will be swept up by clan politics, whilst needing to ensure their family honour is upheld. Some will fall in and out of love. They will test each other in trials of strength and wit, tell tales and sagas, unravel secrets and lies, and perform rituals and offerings to the Norse deities or to the new God. The central themes of the larps are the faith and culture of the Norse in the Viking Age, the feuds and conflicts between and within the Norse clans, and the end of that world manifested in the cultural crisis between the old ways of the Æsir and the new ways of Christianity.
Each participant will receive a pre-written character description created for this experience, some of these characters are known figures from the time of Harald Bluetooth, some are fictional relatives to legendary figures inspired by the sagas, and others are completely original, specifically written for this larp. The character casting will be based on player preferences. All character will belong to one of five social standings. Each of these will focus on different aspects of the larp and your experience will be different depending on the social standing of your character.
Sign up to play a Thrall only if you want to play a harsh life in the bottom of the food chain and experience themes of heavy repression and servitude. You will be likely to feel powerless and realize that your fate is at the mercy of your lord. But not every owner is harsh, the Norse valued hard work and loyalty and those were rewarded. You will work, serve, and labour and be under the command of your noble, but will be able to go anywhere as a Thrall is below notice - can you find your freedom, or will you perish?
As a Mystic/Priest your experience will be an eclectic mix of rituals, theology, politics, power, and the struggle between the old and the new.You will perform religious rites, or works of magic and cunning, argue long into the night about the primacy of one belief system over another, and engage in subtle and dangerous politics of words and of power. As a mystic or völva, you live by other rules than your neighbours - including norms and expectations for your assigned gender. Yours might not be the way of the shield and the blade, but your world is every bit as dangerous.
The Warriors’ experience will be quite physical; from tests of strength to competitions and mock battles between house karls, taking your turn guarding the walls, and standing protection over your Jarls, but it is also an opportunity to boast of your prowess and relive old battles. Some warriors have everything to prove, others will be considering their end, and how they can die with a sword in their hand.
The story of the Fólk is the story of the people, personal relationships, debts and vendettas, love and loss. Play here to experience the individual stories of the Norsefolk. As a “Folk” you have the opportunity to undertake historical crafts and cooking, and you will be able to take part in activities led by the mystics and priests, and the warriors will lay on various games tests and challenges to see how you fare in their world too. The Folks’ experience will be the most varied.
The Nobles’ larp will be heavy on the politics. Their position of wealth and power is also the most precarious; if they make the wrong alliance or back the wrong side they stand to lose everything, including their lives. Play a noble if you enjoy the cut and thrust of politics and schemes and if you don’t mind the ever present risk of a knife in the back.
Throughout the larp each character will undertake their own journey. This personal story is central to the experience; as a participant you will have complete control of your character. Your choices and actions will impact the world and characters around you, and they will in turn respond. There will be consequences. The larp is set in a time of turmoil, the supremacy of the old gods and the king are simultaneously being called into question, therefore this will be a drama and conflict heavy experience. Your friends might turn enemies and your lover’s clan might be in opposition to your own.
While this is a historical fiction larp, it is set in a time where the characters truly believe in fate, magic and mythological gods. While there will be no mechanics for magic, no supernatural creatures, nor any divine intervention at the larp, there will be game elements to represent the culture and conviction of the time.
Arriving on Wednesday the 13th, the players take part in a series of workshops to get into character. From Thursday noon to Saturday evening, the participants will immerse themselves into the authentic Viking-age setting, in the surroundings of the replica Viking age village Yxengaard near Hirtshals in Northern Jutland, Denmark. After the game there will be an after-party, and on Sunday morning there will be a structured debrief for those who are interested.
The village buildings will accommodate the players of the local characters, the remaining majority of the players will be accommodated in historical tents provided as part of the ticket and we will provide food throughout the event (including Lunch on Sunday). The players will have the opportunity to cook in the culinary style that fits the setting, or join the welcoming hearth of the Thing’s host. This event is open to anyone of age 16 and above who wants to play along, it requires no previous experience with acting, re-enacting, or role-playing. Please reach out if you have any doubts or questions, either on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.