Pinkies will fight knights and monsters will battle dark elves when Blackwater, a Belegarth realm representing Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, joins hundreds of fighters from across the western United States at Battle for the Ring this weekend in Irvine, CA.
Belegarth is a role playing sport in which spears, javelins rocks, bows, swords, shields and other weapons are used to kill opponents. Different weapons have different colors indicating their damage level or how they can be used.
Near 500 people from more than a dozen states across the western U.S. are expected to attend the three-day battle, said Event Coordinator Anastasia Nagel.
"Belegarth's presence in the western US hasn't always been very big. It's really a Midwest and East Coast thing. Battle for the Ring has grown to be one of the biggest events in the United States and it's drawing tons of people out here, which is really great," said David Powers aka Daggar of Imperial Beach.
Powers was a co-founder of Splinter, the former Imperial Beach group.
"I grew up in Imperial Beach, and I'd previously run a realm near Southwestern College, but it was difficult because it was far from where I lived. I wanted to bring Belegarth to my hometown," he said.
Splinter and Blackwater merged in late 2013.
Blackwater started in 2007 at Marina Park in Chula Vista. The realm earned its name from the South Bay Power Plant.
"The water near the power plant was always really muddy," Powers said. "The symbol of Blackwater was also a modification of the power plant. It was kind of historic for us to see it destroyed last year."
Blackwater meets periodically at Veterans Park in Imperial Beach on Thursdays or Sundays. For more information visit Blackwater's website.
Allen Hale aka Blackheart Ark is the leader of Blackwater.
"I never see myself stopping," he said. "These are my everyday people."
"I plan to bring my kids into it in the future. And I know a lot of people who have brought their kids into it."
People sometimes break bones, get bruises and enjoy the camaraderie, atmosphere and occasional feasts.
"You just want to hit people. We don't force people to role play. Role playing is on them. Either you're going to come out alive or you're going to be on the floor dead," he said.