The larp

You are a prisoner in a cave.
There are shadows on the wall, and by observing them you try to figure out what happens outside.

Then you break your chains and realize the shadows are cast by people holding objects in front of a fire. They are not the reality. You escape the cave and run outside to see reality for what it really is.

If you go back in the cave and tell the other prisoners about the world outside, will they believe you?

You will portray historical and modern people who will try to escape their prisons, personal, metaphorical, and physical. In the larp you will not only play in our time period but also visit the Fascist Era (1930s), the Arab-Byzantine Era (876 CE) and the Classical Era (405 BCE). The characters portrayed will be from these times and each era’s story will be connected and intertwined with each other.

Trial of the Shadowcasters is a urban larp played out on the streets of Sassi di Matera and at various locations spread out over the city. You will travel between these locations, fighting shadow agents, move into deep caves to do shadowcasting, get purposefully lost, search for your Shadowmate, transcend to be a Shadowcaster, sacrifice yourself and hopefully save the world in the end.


Trial of the Shadowcasters is an urban fantasy larp inspired by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. In the story, people from different times meet in the cave town of Sassi di Matera. They are Pythagoreans from Classical Greece, soldiers, priests and nobles from the Byzantine Era, and a shadow theatre troupe and fascist city officials from the 1930s.
Each character is from one time period only. You do not need costumes for all the time periods, only the one you are from.

During the larp each character will try to escape their prison, personal, metaphorical, or physical. You will cast shadows, eat together, have intricate personal relationships, rebel against parents, priests, and other rulers, take part in rituals, seek enlightenment, travel in time, and explore the city.

We have three accomodation options. Two are hotel/hostel type, one is sleeping in a cave for those who find that exhilarating and not off-putting.

Food during the larp will be fully catered. Before and after the larp you will buy your own food.

The cave town and its houses, caves, churches, museums is where you play. This larp will involve a lot of walking, also up and down stairs, so there may be accessibility issues related to that. Please contact us to discuss accessibility in more detail.

You will bring your own costume for one time period. You can bring multiple costumes (such as common clothes and a party dress) for the same time period if you wish, but you will not be expected to bring costumes for all the time periods.

The World

The characters are people who have escaped their own time periods to go outside of time and space. At the same time they are in modern-day Sassi di Matera, they are in the cave settlement from fifty thousand years ago, and the in-between stage from their own time. Like overlapping shadows. You do not yet know why this is happening.

The characters come from three specific points in the history of the region.

– Classical Era, 405 BCE.
The Pythagoreans are a mystical-political movement in the Magna Graecia, Greater Greece, an area influenced by Classical Greek culture. Not popular in Athens, a group of Pythagoreans have lived in Croton, but have now been exiled from there, and seek refuge in Sassi di Matera. The locals and their Greek overlords are prepared to resist.

– Arab-Byzantine Era, 876 CE.
The Emirate of Bari has been overthrown by the Franks, who have left the area without leadership. The Byzantine Empire has decided to take it for their own, and are negotiating with the Franks over the imprisoned Emir of Bari and the fate of the land. However, the Emir still has some tricks up his slave…

– The Fascist Era, 1933 CE.
The mayor of Matera wants to entertain visiting dignitaries sent by Mussolini. He has engaged a famous Italian shadow theatre troupe to perform. The theatre troupe already been sentenced to death because of earlier rebellious shows, and have one last chance to stay alive: They must make a great show… or die!

During the larp characters will go back and forth from their factions, meeting people from other time periods, casting shadows, visiting each others’ headquarters set in different times, form new alliances, find their shadowmates from other time periods, and forever change reality and themselves.


The event runs June 13-16 where the larp itself is Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th.
The location is Sassi de Matera in southern italy.
The larp is an urban pervasive larp with locations spread out over the city.
Examples of locations: Cave monastery, hilltop mansion and a sculpture museum.

More information on locations to be announced.
You will be larping in public, going on expeditions in the city at private locations and hang out at your headquarter with other characters planning the future of the world.

More information on the specifics of sleeping arrangements will be announced later. You will have a variety of accommodation possibilities for during the larp from a hotel to the floor of an ancient cave.

Thursday from 15.00 will be workshop and larping, Friday and Saturday larping all day. Sunday will be optional debrief and decompression in the city with a larp talks event you can attend.

Price for the larp will be announced later.

Is this larp for me?

We aim for a story that will feel like a philosophical journey through time with high stakes, big emotions and deep introspection.
You will be prisoners of yourself, of your family, religion or country, about to break free.
Some will be physical prisoners in chains, others metaphorical prisoners of their own thoughts.
And many will also be jailers to others.
Characters with strong emotions and a will to transcend and become more than they were before. And doing it together with other characters. It could be a tight knit group of friends or lovers, a theatre troupe, a cult, a military organization, or a family.. You are on a trial you cannot fail

You as a participant must be able to larp in the city with non-participants watching you. You will not have to interact with them but you should be comfortable moving through the city in your character costume. You should love dramatic scenes with strong emotions. The base outline is the Nordic larp style with focus on immersion and inter-relational play.

As a shadowcaster you will of course be casting shadows. This is a highly ritualistic endeavor where you travel to the deepest caves in the Sassi and here you cast shadows on the walls. You will interpret these shadows, and also use them to communicate with others.

You will be cast a character through a series of questions and choices you answer. This will help us generate a character that is unique to you and your wishes. The character will be in a group together with other participants and together have to move through the larp helping each other. The groups can be outside of time like most of the Shadowcasters or locked in time. An example could be the shadow theatre troupe of the Fascist Era or the Pythagorean exiles from the Classical Era.

If you are a person that enjoys dramatic play, philosophy, finding hidden places in a city, you should definitely sign up for Trial of the Shadowcasters.