- Title: Would-be 'witchers' battle with occult forces in Polish castle
- Date: 18th October 2019
- Summary: MOSZNA, POLAND (OCTOBER 10, 2019) (REUTERS) POND IN FRONT OF CASTLE BANNER WITH IMAGE OF WOLF'S HEAD ON SHIELD PARTICIPANTS IN 'WITCHER SCHOOL' FIGHTING WITH SWORDS INSIDE MOSZNA CASTLE PARTICIPANTS FIGHTING WITH SWORDS, ONE PARTICIPANT FALLING TO THE FLOOR MEMBER OF 'WITCHER SCHOOL' TEAM PIOTR KUCHARSKI LIGHTING CANDLES WOLF'S HEAD PENDANT (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF 'WITCHER SCHOOL' TEAM, PIOTR KUCHARSKI, SAYING: "The story we tell here, it takes place 200 years before Geralt of Rivia and it is about the fall of the Guild of Witchers. The starting point of the story is the point in which the witchers are very popular, mainly respected, they have a lot of influence and then, as the story evolves, well, they go down and things get worse to them." HANDS LACING LEATHER CORSET PARTICIPANTS AND ORGANISERS GETTING READY, RACK OF SWORDS IN FOREGROUND WOMAN FIXING LEATHER ARMGUARD ONTO ARM MAKE UP ARTIST PAINTING SCAR ON 'WITCHER SCHOOL' TEAM MEMBER MAKE UP BRUSHES 'WITCHER SCHOOL' TEAM MEMBER GETTING MAKE UP DONE, SEEN IN MIRROR (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF 'WITCHER SCHOOL' TEAM, PIOTR KUCHARSKI, SAYING: "People who come here, mostly come back. They like the experience and they want to see how the story goes on, because it is an episodic tale so like a TV series, it gets more and more complicated with each episode and the story is continued." PARTICIPANTS STANDING IN COSTUME OUTSIDE CASTLE / ORGANISERS INTRODUCING THE SCENARIO PARTICIPANT WEARING FACE PAINT LOOKING ON ORGANISERS TALKING TO PARTICIPANTS PARTICIPANT WALKING WITH SWORDS IN SHEATHS ON THEIR BACK HANDS FIXING SHEATH OF DAGGER / PARTICIPANTS STANDING IN CIRCLE HANDS HOLDING SHIELD / PARTICIPANTS TALKING PARTICIPANT FROM ITALY FUOCO MARIA BALDUZZI (CENTRE) TALKING AND LAUGHING WITH OTHERS BALDUZZI SMILING / BALDUZZI'S COSTUME (SOUNDBITE) (English) 'WITCHER SCHOOL' PARTICIPANT FROM ITALY, FUOCO MARIA BALDUZZI, SAYING: "I think it's therapeutic in a sense to for, like, three days just forget who you are entirely in your life, your problems, work, stuff and just leave it all behind, come here, literally be somebody else for three days with people that you love and trust. And explore things about yourself, explore things about others."
- Embargoed: 1st November 2019 10:42
- Keywords: fantasy books and games Andrzej Sapkowski Moszna Witcher game Witcher school live action role play cosplay Poland Witcher fans Book series video game series
- Location: MOSZNA, POLAND
- City: MOSZNA, POLAND
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA001B1MITKP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As anticipation builds for the launch of streaming giant Netflix's 'The Witcher' series later this year, fans of the book series of the same name gathered at a castle in the author's native Poland to take part in a live-action role-play game.
The adventures of Gerald of Rivia, a 'witcher' with supernatural powers tasked with hunting and slaying monsters and the undead, started as a series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski in the 1990s and found fans across the world, boosted by an award-winning video game trilogy.
Polish and international players have come to 'Witcher School' events at castles in Poland's south west since 2015, to role-play as trainee witchers in stories created with the help of dozens of organizers, including writers, costume designers, make-up artists and experts in sword-fighting and blacksmithing.
"For three days you just forget who you are entirely in your life and just leave it all behind, literally be somebody else," said Fuoco Maria Balduzzi, an Italian filmmaker and fan of the series.
In the game, players create their own characters who learn to banish evil creatures and spirits using swords and sorcery over four days - all in full costume.
Balduzzi, who traveled from London for the game, plays both male and female characters when role-playing. This time she has taken on the role of a young nobleman sent to learn to be a witcher by his family.
Witcher School organiser Piotr Kucharski said the scenario in the game takes place 200 years before the events of Sapkowski's books and is told in episodes, with players often returning to develop their characters and find out how the story has evolved.
Speaking of the upcoming Netflix TV series, Balduzzi said she was excited and curious to see it. "I know it's definitely going to be interesting," she said.
'The Witcher', starring Henry Cavill in the title role, is expected to premiere on Netflix before the end of 2019.
(Production: Natalia Dobryszycka, Dominik Starosz, Lewis Macdonald)
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