A Midsummer Night’s Mystery

In early July, 2018, on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year (44c humidex), I found myself in the middle of an event that would challenge me in every way. The heat was unbearable, the players a constant distraction for everywhere I looked there was another amazing image, and my gear was constantly overheating and wanting to cool off. I can’t imagine what some of the heavily costumed players must have been going through in that heat, but play-on they did and with great zeal!


Alchemists, knights, fair ladies, and bankers all gathered to celebrate the betrothal of their noble King to an elfin Princess. The evening would bring vendors and subjects of the realm together for what should have been a wonderful meal with drink and grand merriment. However, there festered a sinister plot and their lovely Princess will fall before the evening’s end.

The mystery was many fold: to find the conspirators, to apprehend the assassin, to identify the poison and, with that hopefully, the antidote as well. Their task was steep and the conditions were brutal, but the heroes and subjects of the realm combined their efforts to best the evil doers. Alas, the plot was so well executed that the poor Duchess was subject to false accusations and subsequent wrongful conviction. In the end, she was vindicated and her honor preserved by way of a judgement by battle.

LARP (Live Action Role Playing) and COSPLAY (Costume Play) games are an amazing spectacle. They often involve complex plots, highly developed characters, and weaponry, as well as costumes that can rival both the detail and period accuracy of Hollywood’s best films.  Many of the players are expert self-taught students of history primarily for re-enactment and portrayal! They have an intimate understanding of the social structures of both the royal court and the peasant public houses of days gone by.

Then there’s the fantasy element that is somehow kept in harmony with the historically accurate bits. There’s a continuity to the whole thing that completely defies logic, but provides a visual feast like no event I’ve ever attended. Clearly the subjects of the realm had great fun the whole night through; King and commoner, mage and mythical miscreant, each with their own agenda brought together to bring a loose script to life.

Sadly, the assassin escaped conviction and his patron remained unknown. In the end, not enough evidence or clues were discovered to save the Princess as such,  the realm will likely be torn by war for years to come…

Perhaps the next chapter will bring justice to the Kingdom, on a cooler day of course 🙂

A Midsummer Night’s Mystery

The Cast

King and Company

…and Everyone but me (as it should be 🙂 )

Were you there? Did you survive the heat and merriment? Here’s two galleries, one of the activities and the other of the introductions. These are the better images from the evening. These medium resolution images can be downloaded without charge, but please take only what is of you or of significance to you.

If you would like a high resolution print, please use the contact for and quote the file number of the image and the quantity you would like, my prices are:

Printed on rich colour metallic paper for a luminous effect and finest detail – 8.5 x 11 $10.00

Please understand, I tried my very best to get shots of everyone there, however in the hustle and bustle I fear there will be some that were missed. To those I missed, I am truly sorry.

From the Shadowside,



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