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Have you heard about: Case Dagorhir?

Brian Slayton

Issue date: 10/17/08 Section: News
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Founded by Case senior Nikhil Sriram, Case Dagorhir gathers near Leuther to stage mock battles using foam weaponry and shields.
Media Credit: Courtesy Case Dagorhir
Founded by Case senior Nikhil Sriram, Case Dagorhir gathers near Leuther to stage mock battles using foam weaponry and shields.

On a Friday afternoon at the end of a long week, many students just want to relax and nap before the weekend begins. But senior Nikhil Sriram, the president and founder of Case's Dagorhir club, grabs his sword and heads out to the field behind Leutner dining hall to do battle.

Dagorhir is becoming increasingly popular across college campuses. Participants use handmade padded weapons to fight with one another in a variety of games, such as capture the flag and kill the target, with an emphasis on athleticism and eye-hand coordination.

Dagorhir dates back to 1977 when a group of college friends who shared an enthusiasm for Lord of the Rings and medieval history organized the first battle. Weekly fights were held, and friends were encouraged to come out and test their skills. Over the next few years, Dagorhir was showcased on a number of local college radio shows, and the sensation kept growing to the world-recognized state it is now.

Sriram revealed the sport to the CWRU campus during his sophomore year. He actively fought in high school and was not willing to give up a large part of his life prior to college. As he explained, "I was involved in a strong group in high school where ex-Marines would fight." Under his leadership, membership has steadily grown over the past two years.

All weapons used are assembled to be safe and can be swung with any amount of force, and all imaginable types of weapons are legal as long as they are handmade. PVC pipe, foam, and creativity are the sole ingredients of a Dagorhir weapon.

"No weapon should cost more than five dollars to make, and all materials can be found at your local store," Sriram added.

Even though it is not a role playing game, fighters are encouraged to dress up. You may have already seen Sriram wearing his all-metal shirt or someone else in medieval clothing. The emphasis is on fighting, but Dagorhir is largely a spectator sport. The purpose of the clothing is to entertain the audience as much as it is to benefit the fighters. "Armor and clothing add a new element to the fight and make it feel more realistic," he said.
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