What is Dagorhir?
Forming a Unit
Aratari Units in the DC Area
Where Are Other Units?
Dagorhir Aratari Handbook
"How To" Pages
Battles & Upcoming Events
Practices & Directions
Aratari Information Line:
Join Aratari's Mailing List!
Dagorhir's National Website
Join our National Community
on the Dagorhir Bulletin
The Heralds cry, "Lay on!" and the Units close on one another,
circling, vying for position. The Elven archers find the range
and begin to drop shafts on the Germanic mercenaries whose mighty
zwiehander swords offer no protection from the rain of arrows. The
Goblin Horde, seeing their chance, charge the distracted archers and
are among the Elves, dealing death, before the archers have a chance to react.
Warriors in the Dagorhir are divided into sub-groups called units
primarily to allow friends to fight together and to make choosing teams easier.
The War Band has always been part of the literature and history of warfare.
Whether it was the Fellowship of the Ring, the Celtic clans who rallied to Boudicca's call, ancient Irelandís Fenians and Fomorians, The Knights of the Round
Table, Jasonís Argonauts, or the Free Companions of Robert Howard's Conan, the
small Unit of warriors multiplies the power of the individual fighter.
So it is in Dagorhir, where Warriors form Units to ensure that close friends
fight together and can support each other on the battlefield - even to making a
last stand over the body of a fallen friend.
HOW TO FORM A UNIT
- Your Unit can have any name you wish and
use any symbol that is appropriate to the
fantasy/medieval genre of Dagorhir. Your Unit's Reason for Existence can be
anything you and your friends wish, such as re-creating the Army of the Roman
Empire, being a band of Dispossessed Elven Royalty, or "Just `Cause We Like to Fight Together."
There was once a Unit that boasted more than 20 Fighters where each claimed to be a
bastard son of King Charlemagne! Units instill a sense of fellowship and
responsibility among members, increase organization at battles, and give every
member a way to have his/her views felt. Dagorhir Units should be tight-knit bands
of warriors who fight together for a reason, are fiercely proud, and are loyal to
the rest of their Unit.
There are a number of Dagorhir Aratari Units with websites.
Note that these links show only the Aratari units that currently have websites;
there are other units and also mercenaries who fight solo or in small bands.
- All Units must have a Standard; a flag, totem, or banner that tells
something about them. Unit Standards should be brought to every battle. What's on
your standard is up to your Unit: Elves might fly a flag showing a Silver Tree; a
Mongol standard might be a Totem Staff topped with a painted horse skull; Pirates
could fight beneath a stylized Jolly Roger; Warriors from the time of King Arthur
might fight under the Welsh Chimera; and an Uruk Hai banner would show the White
- Many units have Battle Cries to strike fear into their enemies (and to
identify one another in the swirling melee that is Dagorhir combat). Some even use
other languages for their Battle-Cry. In Dagorhir, Warriors don't yell, "Bill and
Joanne, I'm over here!" Instead you'll hear, "Blood and Souls!" or "Zabiti!" as
Units commit to deal death upon one another.
- All Units must have a commander. This person does not actually have to be
the sole leader of the Unit (although in many cases they will be), but they must be
a responsible person that Dagorhir can contact to give information to the entire
Unit. The Unit Commander will be the Unit's way of giving feedback to Dagorhir
concerning rules, battle locations, battle types, and event scheduling.
- Unit Commanders or their designated Second-in-Command should ensure that the
Unit provides an up-to-date email address to the Battle Check-In Staff for
timely dissemination of information.
- Units must keep a roster of members and make it available to Check-in
Staff if requested. Your Unit may be organized any way you wish it to be.
Your Unit may be run as a democracy, where all members are equal and get a
vote on group decisions, such as what your Standard will look like or
whether you want to volunteer to run the next Feast. Or your members might
decide it would be fun to declare your Unit to be a "country" with a Queen
or King supported by Thanes or Baronesses. Other Units style themselves
after military organizations, with Generals, Captains, and Soldiers.
- Many Units wear matching costumes or uniforms. Others often wear similar
clothing (such as Celtic War-Bands, who dress mostly in plaid wool) that shows
them to be a united People. Some Units have no standard garb, encouraging each
member to show their individuality and character (like the Fellowship of the Ring).
- Recruiting is important to keep your Unit alive and vital. Over time, members
drift in and out of Dagorhir depending on school and work schedules, moving,
health, family, and other interests. Unless your unit continues to bring in new
members from outside of Dagorhir, it may eventually stagnate and cease to be.
Having a website can be an important component of attracting new members to your
unit in the Information Age. A Unit Website gives you a way of recruiting new
members 24/7; provides you a place to publish the history of your Unit and pictures
of members and your banner, give directions to battle-practices, and provide
contact information (email, phone, address, geographical area(s) where members
are located, etc.) so interested people can apply for membership. You can even
get your web page started for free, using any of the no-cost web hosting services.
Most Dagorhir Chapters maintain websites and will link unit websites onto their
- Finally, all Units should turn in a written outline describing the Unit, why its members fight together, what their standard means, whether they are accepting new members, etc. This does not need to be typed electronically (although it is requested) but it must be legible. If you wish to submit a duplicate copy in your Unit's native language, that is all right. These outlines should be posted on your website, so that everyone can learn about the other Units. Unit outlines can be submitted at check-in or sent via e-mail.
To have voting status, per the Dagorhir Aratari
"Active" units shall be defined as those Units which have:
- Fielded four or more members (participants who have actively
participated in at least six Dagorhir Aratari battles in the previous
twelve months prior to the time the unit is considered is granted Voting
Status on the War Council.
- Have a Unit Banner/Standard, which is displayed at Dagorhir Aratari
- Registered a written Unit History/Description with the Magistrate.
- Requested that they be considered for "Active Unit Status" from the
Magistrate (see below).
- Attended at least two sessions of the War Council in a "speaking
only" (non-voting) status to learn how the War Council operates and to
demonstrate their interest in joining to the other Units represented on
the War Council.
- For new or inactive Units to be officially recognized as Active
Units and gain War Council voting rights, they must request that the
Magistrate evaluate their attendance records and determine their Unit
status. The Magistrate will report the results of the evaluation to the
Unit and the War Council, at the event following the request.
- For individuals to count as members of a given Unit, they must
register as members of that Unit at battle check-in.
- Individuals may change Units, but may never count as a member of
more then one Unit during the same period of time (e.g., one member can
not count toward Unit A's membership one month; toward Unit B's
membership the next month, and then count again toward Unit A's
membership the third month).