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A green clad figure wearing a plague doctors mask standing in a foggy forest.
GenreLow fantasy
StyleRules light collaborative boffer
Founding locationSweden

Thule-kampanjen (Swedish: the Thule campaign) is a Swedish epic fantasy larp campaign which has been running since 1994, although the first few games were more loosely connected and the campaign can properly be said to begin with the larp Thule i brand (Swedish: Thule in flames) in 1999. Since then, there have been on the average 1-2 games in the campaign per year. The central story of the campaign concerns the war between the revived empire of the evil Prince of Margholia and a motley alliance of smaller kingdoms and peoples precariously united against him. The conflict is fought with both conventional and magical means – the ‘magical war’ is perhaps the most distinctive major subplot of the campaign.

Unlike some long-running Swedish campaigns the Thule campaign does not have a permanent gaming area where all games are set; rather different games are staged in various, widely varying settings and the major themes of the campaign combined with various degrees of emphasis.

Principalist troops on the march, Photo: Kalle Lantz

Participatory culture

As is the case for most Swedish fantasy larps, characters and to an extent plots are largely left up to players to create, in combination with the organizers supplying the background and frame story. Some individual games have been heavily plotted, with quests and mysteries needing to be solved, while others have relied more on character interactions. Players interested in particular elements of the setting have often participated in developing them further, as is also fairly common in Swedish fantasy campaigns. The main organizers have consistently kept creative control, making the final judgments on what fits in and doesn't.

Peasant resistance fighters against the Prince, Photo: Anneli Hårdén

Fiction, themes and inspirations

The campaign is set in Terra Cognita, a parallel world based on medieval Europe and beyond with many countries and cultures having more or less direct counterparts but also featuring many fantasy elements, inspired both by modern fantasy literature and older mythology. The campaign takes its name from the corner of the world where the main story is set, the northern region Thule, which closely resembles a fantasy version of medieval Scandinavia. A number of games have also been set in the nearby Talvala, a land inspired by the history and myth of ancient and medieval Finland. The setting features a number of conventional fantasy elements such as elves, dwarves, orcs and magic, but is also heavily inspired by history – particularly Nordic – and mythology. While the main story looks like an apparently simple conflict of Good vs. Evil, many games have introduced more complex themes and often feature moral dilemmas. It's never supposed to be easy to be the good guy.

External links