The Event In General
Frostbane 2019 was an FFA event (Florida Foam Fighter’s Association). It is run 100% by volunteers. We help with some of the upfront leg work but foam-fighters like you make everything good happen! Sir Teknowe planned some fun new games. Squire Trevor (I’m sure he has a tougher fighting name!) was head herald all weekend. Teej heralded and videotaped most of the weekend. And countless volunteers helped check weapons, refill water bottles, and mark the ground for maps. I would not have been able to enjoy any of this without the awesome work that Optimo of Padded Battle Games did to make digital troll very self-sufficient. Troll volunteers are the hardest to find. Using Eventbrite for waivers and requiring payment online made it so easy to check people in without counting cash or double-checking signatures. I highly recommend it!!! I’m also thankful that the campsite had wifi because good mobile data is sparse in the woods!
The Gorg The Blacksmith Store
Mike aka Spanky the Unicorn ran the trailer store for Gorg The Blacksmith. The trailer is not as big and impressive as our panther primitives tent but the convenience of driving in and out is inconceivable! We delivered pre-orders with ease and sold a surprising number of 65″ carbon omniglaives and weapon recovers.
While the event and store were well taken care of I took a nap! I couldn’t believe it!!! As a homeschool mom and a small business owner this rarely ever happens!!! Afterward, I grabbed my bow and arrows, had them spot checked on the field (I’m one of THOSE archers SORRY) and then participated in the games.
I hadn’t arched since, honestly, summer slaughter last August. I’ve been too busy with business affairs to enjoy the sport lately. I also don’t feel like it’s fair to arch at a small practice. Early on in the fights, I found myself frustrated by many things. My super cool looking quiver was too big and clunky. My arrows kept tipping off my bow. My shots either fell short or went way to the left. I felt kinda like I was hobbling blindfolded while others were running a marathon. GAH!
But the tides changed after help from three different lovely experienced archers: Molly aka Kida of Kotos, Sheye of SOT, and Rain of Kotos. They each have different body builds and fighting styles so I related to them uniquely. Here’s what I learned:
- Don’t be afraid to full draw if you really are over 20 ft away.
- Use your chin as an anchor point.
- Knock the arrow under the golden ball on the string.
- Aim higher than your target – like playing angry birds 😉
- Keep you elbow up while pulling the bowstring back.
- Try to use your shoulder muscles.
- It’s okay to abandon your quiver and just hold an extra arrow in your hand.
- Keep moving around… it makes your much scarier!
- Don’t shoot your last arrow until you have another within close reach.
- If someone is charging you, then shoot their feet!
- Let them and leave them is a good game to play.
After class and practice, I had the most fun of my life! It was amazing!!! I feel like I’d heard all the tips before but sometimes it takes hearing, “anchor on your chin” 100 times before you actually understand and do it! Wow, what a difference! I can’t wait to fight again and I am so thankful to see the volunteers work together in a way that allowed everyone to enjoy the event together 😀
Frostbane 2019 Tournaments
The tournaments were all held on Saturday night. We made the sickest belt flags ever! Molly of Gorg the Blacksmith designed a digital image and we had the fabric custom printed. The sewn tournament prizes were on display at troll until awarded after Tournaments. Everyone was beyond impressed! It really built hype and excitement about the contests.
Confession… I slept through the single blue and sword and board tournaments. I am rarely so full of regret. I do suffer from FOMO “fear of missing out” but now I know why. Sir Atog cleaned swept the sword categories and I barely caught the finals of only the florentine match. Next time I’ll skip the nap or snooze earlier in the day.
The other tournaments were exciting and remarkable! Spoiler alert… Troan did not win the spear tournament. I could not believe it! Troan of SOT is so good with a stab that I honestly think he’s the reason Dagorhir red tournaments are now split into short red and long red. Speaking of red tournaments, there was heated debate over if there should still be a long red aka polearm tournament. Many red fighters stood on the sidelines in protest and did not join in on the polearm tournament at Frostbane this year.
Team tournaments felt so different on an open field. I’m used to the tight arena of Eastwind’s fighting pit. With such an open space, the energy and attack were different. As a videographer, I wasn’t sure where to look or how to catch it all. If you watch the footage, you’ll notice I’m standing somewhere different at the start of each fight. And then all of a sudden it was over. I was like, “WHAT? We’re done!” I don’t know how it happened so fast! And the wargod was as good as ever! All armor on. All effort in. Every man for himself. These are good fights! Check them out!
OH!!! And the dragon battle!!! It was just a fun game but really it was intense, exciting, and impossible to win. Spoiler alert…. we gave the archer the “dragon slayer” belt flag LOL
Frostbane 2019 Raffle
Finally, you should know about the Raffle. Barnabe donated an intricately plasti dipped shield. Meal plan master Scott made beautiful wooden spoons, and Mary of Good Basic Garb donated a sleeved cloak. We offered $85 store credit or a secret bat. When Dirty Dan won, he quickly used his gorgbucks to buy an 8ft armored carbon omniglaive. He said he’d rather the store credit than a specific item. I wonder which direction we’ll go for future giveaways….
I should also mention that we carry a big barrel (actually a clean trashcan) of orange loaner weapons. This is a great way to help new fighters participate. Also, the orange covers are easy to spot and easy to clean up. It’s so nice to say, “hey buddy, want to join us? grab one of the orange swords over there and I’ll help you out!” Easy! Amazing! And i particular enjoy quick clean up and color coding whenever possible.
Having loaner weapons also helps people that travel by plane. This was the second time a visitor from Peru flew in to join us. He participates in a Modern Sword Fighting organization and enjoys seeing how other people do it. He kindly gave us a t-shirt and I was blown away by their art and logos. Hopefully, the FFA will have a new swanky logo, inspired by our friends in Peru, before the end of this year.
Well, thanks for recapping with me. Frostbane was fun. The FFA‘s next event is Summer Slaughter. And I think I might even start prioritizing day battles because personally, I want to beef up my archery skills.
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Photographs by Vishual Art