The first time I’ve heard about the Beast was so long ago, I don’t really remember when it was. I don’t mean the legend of La Bête du Gévaudan; I’m speaking about the larp. It had already been played four times before I visited it with my camera. It was always in collision with something else in my calendar, but this time, I’ve kept the dates free for the fifth premiere of the Beast. I’m saying fifth premiere, because it has changed a lot during the years, and not only because different of groups of players but also in the game design.
It was late October, and the dusk came much sooner that I would have prefered. That means a big part of the game took place after dark. I could have taken some lights or flashes, but that would have made me slow and it would be disturbing for the players, so in the end I just brought a tripod. I hoped that would be enough to take few pictures during the night.
Even now, I’m not sure if it was the best option – I had problems to see the Beast when I first met her, and my camera didn’t see, well, anything. So I don’t have many pictures from the night scenes, but I still think it is better option than to annoy the players with flash.
The larp itself took place at the castle Valeč, less than a hundred kilometers from Prague. Valeč is beautiful, I don’t understand how it’s possible that I hadn’t heard about it before. There are beautiful statues from M. B. Braun in the castle gardens – and they’re not copies; they’re originals. Well the rest of the gardens was also beautiful, but these statues…
Yes, it’s true, this castle would deserve a lot more money to be repaired properly, but what property as big as this one doesn’t? Regardless of the state of the castle, I still think it’s a beautiful place to visit any day.
People (well some of them) who created De la Bête also make larps like Obora 2p915, Borograv, Kvest or Legion. But there are a lot more people helping in the background. And one of the background crew activities was the preparation of the Saturday feast – I really hated my lactose and gluten allergies when I saw all those things I wanted to taste…
But now it’s picture time.