Killing Me Softly from Handshake Magazine on Vimeo.

Killing Me Softly

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Handshake assembled a posse of our meanest members and sent them down to the Ragnarok XXV event in western Pennsylvania. Here, they suspended their disbelief until they found themselves stuck somewhere between the Middle Ages and Middle Earth. They crossed cloth-taped swords with 1,358 of America’s best foam blade slingers in an event that is equal parts Renaissance fair and Jerry Springer episode.

The Gestiguiste, a unit who fights in the Dagorhir (pronounced “Dagger-here”) Battle Games, welcomed Handshake with open tents and sheathed swords. Hailing from as far as Washington, DC, Michigan and Florida, these historic fantasy buffs practice year-round for their equivalent of the Super Bowl. The only rule: “Have fun.” The only other rule: “Tent is consent.” We never figured out if that was a promise or threat, but Editor Matt Millham slept with his flail just to be sure.

Be sure to check out the Stick Jockeys photo essay in the September issue of Handshake.

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7 Responses to “Killing Me Softly”

  1. avatar Rayne of Gestiguiste says:

    Thanks for coming out to Ragnarok XXV. Where can I see more pictures and video of our event from your crew?

  2. avatar Warthog of Gestiguiste says:

    Hi guys, Thanks for documenting Ragnarok with pix and flix. I hope you guys can come back again next year and camp with us again!
    – Warthog of Gestiguiste

  3. avatar Kevin Morris says:


    We are discussing ways to share all the media with you guys. It’s a lot of files, many of them very large (video and high res pics and all that).

    But we’ll figure something out. And, also, we don’t want to make you guys angry. Even if we weren’t at Ragnorak, we’ve seen the vids.

  4. avatar Kevin Morris says:

    Mr. Warthog:

    Thanks to you. Ragnorak is an awesome event.

  5. Nice job, Handshakers! Well produced article/video, and a very cool magazine!

  6. avatar Kevin Morris says:

    Thank you, sir. I worked on the online side, so I can say (relatively) without bias that the print folks did a great job (in just six weeks, no less).

  7. avatar Justin O'Neill says:

    Thanks for the positive comments everybody. Glad you like the video. Matt, Paul, Renée, Meghan and myself had a great time at Ragnarok and worked hard to reflect the commitment and fun you guys have with the event.