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Under Rocks
A community driven journalism project where listeners get to ask the big questions: who, what, when, where and why. Under Rocks host(s) will attempt to get to the bottom of these unexplored oddities, neglected anomalies, and little-known place-makers of our region.

A LARP in the park with Belegarth | Under Rocks podcast

How would you handle yourself in a medieval melee? Do you know what realm you live in? In the latest Under Rocks podcast, our team joins up with Team Belegarth in a Kane County park. When the herald cries "weapons up," these foam fighters really "lay on!"

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Susan Stephens
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WNIJ

Admit it. The term “LARP,” short for Live Action Role Playing, has made you chuckle a little over the years. It has been portrayed in ridiculous ways in film, from 1982’s "Mazes and Monsters" to "Role Models" in 2008. But for thousands of players, it’s much more than kids hitting each other with sticks in backyards. It's a sport, it’s an art, it’s a social outlet, it’s a showcase for their creativity and competitiveness.

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Susan Stephens
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WNIJ
Silo

Still not on board? Then listen to this episode of Under Rocks where we met up with members of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, representing several northern Illinois chapters, or “realms,” as they battled in a public park in Kane County one sunny July afternoon.

Interested in a deeper dive? Check out Belegarth’s Realm Finder, which includes chapters in Rockford, Aurora, Rochelle, and Northern Illinois University. And don't miss our action-packed preview video!
Thanks to our generous guides for this episode, including Jeff “Mekoot Silo” Hamilton, Pippin, Eagan, and the rest of the Belegarth warriors. As always, kudos to the Under Rocks crew Spencer Tritt, Jared Ortega, Susan Stephens, and most of all, Dan Libman for taking the hits for this story.

Under Rocks celebrates the quirky, compelling, and just plain odd people, places, and events in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. If you have a bright idea for an episode, let us know at rocks@niu.edu. Under Rocks is produced by WNIJ at Northern Illinois University.

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Susan Stephens
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WNIJ