The Battle of the Dens Site in Amtgard. Wayfarers: Quest for the Cure
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The Battle of the Dens Site

   Posted by: admin   in Amtgard

This past weekend while some of the Wayfarers were off on a training walk, I went home to Sudbury for a visit with my family.  My parent’s property also happens to be the site of Battle of the Dens (BotD), the largest Canadian Amtgard event.

Since Dan discovered a nice app that can track our walks on our phones, I decided to do something I wanted to do for years:  walk all the trails on the site, as well as walk around the tenting areas, parking areas and the open field we use to fight in order to get an accurate map of the area. You can find a link to my walk here.

Battle of the Dens is an event that is now being run yearly (it happened more than once a year when it began) that has been run since 1997.  In the past BotD was run at different locations, but since the summer of 2001, BotD has found a home on the Grylls property.

In order to fit the 150 people that have come to the event in the past two years, a lot of the forest in the area had to be cut down to provide room for tents, cars and fighting.  This map taken from my walk shows the state of the area that most of BotD is spent in. 

Two separate areas for camping have developed over the years.  The one closest to the road is now known as the ‘family camping zone’ since it has space for RVs and is furthest away from the fire pits and the nighttime noise.  A larger tenting area is found on the opposite side of the ditch which holds most of the attendees.  Between every event some site work is done, and for next year, I expect the ditch field to be widened a bit and the family camping area to be extended as well.

An orange dot on the map indicates the ‘storage bus’.  This bus was found on the property when my parents purchased it, and is a great place for Wolven Fang to keep items that BotD can use year after year.

Most people who’ve been to the site can picture this area without help from my GPS assisted map.  I’ve even drawn up a map that almost looked exactly like this one, and I’m horrible at drawing things.  The main purpose of my walk was to map out the trails and locate all the structures in the forest that we use for quests, but most importantly, for Battle of the Dens’ main event:  Capture the Flag.

Over the years, the trails have expanded greatly.  The first few BotDs on this site featured just three bases, named Base 1, Base 2 and Base 3 at the time.  Now they are, in order:  Eagle’s Point, the Ruins and Duchy Base.  As you can see from the proximity of the three bases, the field was much smaller then.

The Hut was the next base that was built.  Standing on the rock between Eagle’s Point and the Ruins, a new trail was made that lead directly to the Hut.  As time went on, Base 2 was ignored (the base in the middle got the least use) and fell into disrepair and earned the name Ruins.  The Hut often battled against the forces of Wolven Fang, which used Base 3, so that base gained the name of Duchy Base.

Magnus Blackeagle spent some time and resources on the site and built up Base 1 with some impressive walls.  Since he went on to do so much work on the base, he got to name it and chose Eagle’s Point.

In 2008, the idea came up to try a different sort of CTF game where each team would have to defend two bases.  The Ruins were located poorly and needed too much repair, so Fort  Goldenleaf was born to be
the partner to the Hut.

A couple years later, Fort Goldenleaf would face off against Eagle’s Point (using the Hut as Nirvana) and a new trail and the Control Point were created.  The Control Point was simply a zone that teams could gain points by holding and never earned itself a true name.

This past year, the autocrats did the site a small disservice by severely limiting the amount of field that was useful to play in.  The game was the Hut versus Eagle’s Point with the Ruins as the Nirvana base.  So many more trails and areas could have been used.  Even so, the game itself was still an entertaining defensive game.

It is my hope that future BotD autocrats take this map and use it to help plan their CTFs and their quests.  The BotD site has a lot to offer, and with more hard work and love, can be expanded even further.

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