His blood was gushing out of wounds, which burned with poison from primitive spears. He wanted to give up. Turn back. Go home… to his beloved. To his comrades. To his lord who needed his counsel. He longed for life. But living and knowing he'd failed? With shame and contempt? He gripped the hilt of his sword even harder and fired three flares. He gave a clear message to the goblins that he was still there, ready to fight. And to his brothers—that they were not to wait for him and never to forget him.

Knights' Song is an action-packed fantasy fairy tale content larp for 35 players. The most important parts of the game include an autumnal atmosphere; a physically demanding play; and telling stories that give you structure, but not a clear path through that structure.

All the characters are pre-written by the organisers, with a clearly given past, initial relationships, and main topics. How they develop is entirely up to the players. The game is not historical and does not strive to re-enact any historical periods.


He stopped, panting heavily. He was alone. It was still pouring and the display of his watch showed it was two hours before dawn. He pressed his lips together.
"Don't be afraid," whispered the voice of his beloved. Markétka. His beloved, whom they buried two weeks ago.

Even the mightiest heroes must carry a burden in the form of misfortunes that they suffered or conflicts that haunt them. Our game is no different. Every character carries their own unease, which will be present throughout their story. It is up to every player how they will deal with it and what closure they will find. We will also try to give every player at least two major twists providing a new point of view.

 This unease is partly carried by the non-transparent structure of the game. You as a player know what your character’s main problem is and that you need to deal with it somehow. However, the game will provide unexpected plot twists and changes. Sometimes, things that you have been striving for will not work out because of unforeseen circumstances.

Sometimes, victory will be yanked from your hand. It may happen both through scripted events coming from the game and through the actions of your co-players. 

All this is part of the unease of Grimness. Your role as a player lies not in determining the exact fate of your character, but in reacting to any changes, news, and betrayals in a way consistent with your story and your character’s own unease. An example of unease could be Tristan's conflict between loyalty to his lord and his love for his wife Isolde.


The radio crackled. "Flame," the voice from it said.
"Flame!" shouted all the men as one.
That was their signal. Then a beam of light from the sacred floodlight broke through the darkness and the knights finally saw the face of the monster that faced them. Apart from its twelve hideous legs, the sudden light showed the silhouette of an unnaturally beautiful woman.

For about two seconds. Then it started to sizzle.
The monster screamed and charged at them.

 Nostalgia, red leaves, smoke from the campfire, mist, the taste of roast apples. The game is centred around the fall atmosphere of a fairytale fort, for all the senses, communicated through the visuals, music, smell, and touch.

 We also intentionally connect fairytale motives with modern elements. The goal is to create an environment full of heroism and ancient stories about the fight of good and evil.

 What does that mean? For example companies of knights in scratched steel armour with Kevlar parts, carrying their painted shields, fighting against monsters in the night with spears and pistols, aided by floodlights. 


The hammer struck him and he fell to his knees. His head was filled with pain. He was wearing a helmet, but the blow almost broke his neck—as he was falling, he thanked God under his breath that he wore a back protector.
He now saw the ogre double but in a lot of detail. Rotten and broken teeth; hair sticking out in tufts; cancerous growths on his neck; every line of the tattoo on his chest.
He focused on a spot right above his left nipple, where the tattoo artist did quite a good job with a flying buzzard.
The second blow of the hammer knocked him over, face down. He realised he was losing control over his body.
If the third blow came...
... he would have to rely on his comrades-in-arms,
He waited, breathing in the smell of the moor.

Armed conflicts will play a significant role in the game for fighting characters. You should be ready for combat that is quite hard and physically demanding. You will fight by physically hitting people with replica weapons, as one would expect at for example most boffer battles. Your characters’ fighting skills will therefore reflect yours.

 We will be using softened replicas of swords and spears as well as airsoft guns. Swords and spears have unsoftened wooden handles and softened blades (made of foam, duct tape, and laminate cores). Shields (only for the champion characters) are made of wood.

The knights' weapons and armour are adapted for harder fights, meaning all fighters will always be wearing at least a helmet and torso protection for every battle. Armour generally consists of a combination of padded hoods, steel helmets, steel breastplates, Kevlar protective gear, chainmail, and gloves.

If you aren't sure a weekend in armour is your thing, consider choosing a non-fighting character instead.

Roles and gender

Her eyes passed him over like he was nothing and focused on the knights who were soon to stand against him. She even smiled at Jan Jaremiáš.
He had loved her for three years.
Three years ago, he professed his chivalric love undying to her.
He thought of her with devotion every time he made love—and today she didn't even smile at him? Well, then he would prove his worth.
Today he must win. He put on his helmet and weighed his sword and shield in his hands.

 The world of Knights' Song wants to explore the stories of chivalric ballads and Arthurian mythology with their archetypes and stereotypes, their ideals of courtly love, and their often strict and ritualised social division. For these reasons, our larp works with a very clear system of gender separation for the characters. 

The aim is to create deep and interesting stories of different forms of power, duty, and virtue, with archetypes we have seen and read about countless times, including their aspects conditioned by gender and a rigidly structured society.

That being said, it is important for us that players can choose their characters regardless of any off-game characteristics—age, appearance, ethnicity, or gender. We are all in favour of people playing different genders than their own. 

You simply choose the type of character whose story you most want to explore. All groups will have interesting content and we see them as equal in terms of what amount of fun they offer. 

While we understand that sexism is a topic that some prefer not to play on, for us it is a way to explore stories from the source material, including the gender-related aspects that we find interesting. What does this separation mean? Only men can be knights and only men can bear arms or become worldly leaders. Only women can be Venerable Sisters, imbued with miracles and magic, or witches, granted magical powers by Šumava itself. Women are also ladies of the court, who carry the bulk of intrigue and political play at the fort—while knights generally find themselves following the wise ladies’ council.

The game’s story contains no female knights making their way in the man’s world—while our ladies fight to be respected in their own right and power, no characters will aim to break the system of gender separation, as it is a cornerstone of the world. Female characters overall will have fewer expeditions outside the bounds of the fort, although Venerable Sisters and witches will still have plenty. There will be special NPC encounters and additional content for any characters that do not attend expeditions.  

If you’d like to sidestep the issue of gender in the game altogether, we also have one special group of warrior characters who are animals. These players will wear animal masks and the characters have no gender—human characters will not ask nor care whether they are male or female. They will simply see them as animals. While the animal characters will face some stigma for being animals, different from others, nobody will discriminate against them for their gender or lack thereof.

Romance is very important in the game, but it’s only chivalric romance. You can expect a kiss on the hand or a lifted veil—but that's all that will happen at Grimness.

Šumava and its tongues

In reality, Šumava is a region in Western Bohemia, a mountain range, and a national park. It is also known as Bohemian Forest or Böhmerwald in German and reaches into Germany and Austria. It has one of the last primeval forests in the Czech Republic and is well known to most Czechs; a place of local folklore, pop culture, and legend. 

 Our Šumava is somewhat specific—not only is it magical, home to knights and demons, but its names also work a bit differently than in reality. The knights come from real places around Šumava—real villages, living or abandoned—and our world refers to real places, from the famous historical town of Krumlov to the Lipno Dam

But, to make the names more usable and meaningful for our international players, we have decided to transpose some of them into English, while keeping the Czech names of the knights.

In our Šumava, Sir Vít Lukáš, with his very Czech name, simply hails from Snowglade. Some locals might call this snowy glade Sněžná, but that is of no import at the court of knights. 

Nobody questions that, just as nobody questions the fact that Snowglade is in the Czech lands—in our game, Czech will be replaced by English, and so the poetic and often meaningful names of our places are replaced by their English equivalents while keeping some others in Czech.