Utumno was a larp set in Tolkiens Middle-earth and was played in a quarry outside of Botkyrka, Sweden.
Setting and Themes
Utumno was set in Tolkiens Middle-Earth, or Mordor to be more specific, and focused on exploring the chaotic nature of orcs in general and the systematic evil that is "the machine". Much of Utumno was about social status and the social- and power dynamic of orcs. Lessons from the larp are easily transcribed to our real world, like school bullying or penalism within hierarchical structures (like conscripts in the Russian army).
The backdrop was a boot camp of sorts in the wilderness of Mordor, where orcs from all over Mordor had been press-ganged into service and were now to be trained to become soldiers in Mordors army. The larp focused heavily on social interactions between groups and individuals, conflicts arising quickly and settled even quicker, and the overall process of "breaking down" the unruly orcs and reshaping them into a fighting unit. Much of the game was about being just a cog in some great, destructive machinery.
Much work and research was put into the background material, going back to Tolkien himself and keeping everything true to the original vision. Much work had to be made to clear out the modern take on orcs, like the image you get from the LOTR movies. In line with all this research Björn Axén also reinvented the "black tongue" used by many Swedish orc larpers since the 1990s, putting in an enormous amount of work and linguistic knowledge to create a working language that stays as true as possible to the source material.
The game was played for 24 hours, starting in the evening, and was a rather high-paced and physically exhausting experience.
- Blank-firing Firearms
- Honor System
- Safewords (Kutt,Brems,Check-in)
- Slow take-off & Slow Landing
- Narrative Voice-Over