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Act I - Battle of the Crusades against the Slavs 1147

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

Dear performers, swordsmen, friends!

This year's Battle of Libušín will be divided into three acts, which will commemorate three important periods of European medieval history, three medieval wars that significantly affected the fate of our ancestors.

Why did we divide the battle into three acts? For several reasons. Firstly, to avoid scenarios full of fantasies, wizards, caves and dragons. Secondly, to finally place the largest Czech battle in a historical context and offer the audience an educational dimension with a glimpse into history. How to do it when you have Vikings, Teutons, and Landsknechts spanning across different time periods? How to ensure that all participants will be able to satiate their fighting desires and to make sure no one is left out? How to guarantee logic and order for all? We came up with a simple solution, to divide the script battle into three acts, according to the three stages of the Middle Ages - early, peak and late. This idea has many advantages, including the ability to reuse fighters into multiple acts, where under certain conditions and costume adjustments, it is possible for most fighters to participate in at least two scenarios*.

Since it is not in our collective strength to reconstruct such great medieval battles and campaigns very efficiently, we would at least like to try to show the audience the style in which battles were led and fought. It is also a great opportunity to brush up on history of these great wars and time period of the Middle Ages.

Due to the massive amount of fighting particpants, it is our wish that not only the spectators enjoy the spectacular view of the battles, but also that the fighters fully satisfy their quench for battle. In order to do so, after the scripted battle the troops will be divided into two equally large armies with colored ribbons(blue and red), and compete for victory in an experimental team death match. Therefore, we kindly ask you to please respect the scenario battle in the way it was written * and be patient til the end where there will be room for "fooling around" in the fourth battle! The rules of this final battle will be discussed later.

We have prepared specific scripted scenarios *, special props and background scenery for all three acts of the battle seperately. We believe that we will all have a lot of fun, but that there will also be room for an educational historical dimension, which we would also like to preserve in the future.

This year, we have selected three war themes for these acts:

Act I - The Crusade against the Slavs 1147 or "the Disappointment of Bishop Henry"

So let's take a look at the first act scenario*.

The first act of the battle is devoted to the period of the early Middle Ages and the crusade of the Bishop of Olomouc Jindřich Zdík against the Elbe Slavs l.p. 1147, when our ancestors contributed significantly to the spread of Christianity. The story tells of the bishop's great disappointment at the way in which the Christian religion was spread, of humility, of love, and of the pursuit of prey and wealth.

There will be several clashes between the two armies, ritual battles of the Slavic warriors (tournament), there will be sacrifices, the removal of idols, the burning of a pagan shrine, archery and other interesting maneuvers :)

Commanders will move around the battlefield on foot and on horseback. We ask all participants to pay special attention not only to their own, but also to the safety of our four-legged friends. There will be a lot of horses in the battle this year and we would not like to have an unnecessary injury to human or animal bodies :) As mentioned above, there will be enough space in the final battle for everyone to have passionate fights and to release their pent up battle anger.

The commanders will be introduced to you in the beginning of training, which takes place in the morning from 9:00. Please show everyone who wants to cross arms or participate as a non-fighting "extra", ideally in a sober state for training. We will start on time exactly, so ideally please arrive a few minutes earlier. We would like to shorten the training to one hour maximum to share proper instruction. If you want to practice formations with your commanders, you will have time throughout the morning during the accompanying program. However, we need to communicate the main scenario within the first hour before the festival area officially opens to the audience.

Before the performers are divided into three camps, we will give a brief word to the pyrotechnicians, who will explain to you where not to step, what to look out for and where not to enter under any circumstances.

Afterwards, the particpants will be divided primarily into three groups according to the Middle Ages, and to the relevant acts, corresponding equipment, and assigned to their primary commanders. In the rehearsal you will learn where to go if you would like to take part in more than one acts.

The commanders will briefly explain to the fighting and non-fighting performers what will happen on the battlefield, starting positions, and formation of ranks. Commanders will also answer any questions and address comments. Please follow your commanders and their sergeants and their commands and orders. We will be very happy if you study the script of the first act in advance in the file below available for download.

After the scenario training, which should end no later than 10:00, you and your commanders or sergeants can move to the battlefield, where you can train formations and have free time until the start of battle which will begin promptly at 15:00.

Thank you all for participating in the battle, for respecting safety guidlines. We highly reccommend all newcomers to study The Ten Battle Commandments, Battle Participant Terms, Rules for Archers and Shooters and the Instructions on how to behave in battle.

Historical explanations for all three acts of the scripted battle can be found in the article which is not only meant for the audience - Libušínská bitva o třech dějstvích a čtvrté jako epitaf! (soon in English).

*Scenario Act I can be downloaded here!

Download PDF • 3.72MB

*We will gradually add scenarios for all three acts.

If you are not registered, please do so on the Festival Participant Registration page. You will avoid these long queues at the Infostan, you will save your time and ours, which is more than ever very valuable for us organizers. Thank you for your pre-registration!

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