THERE really was a little magical other-worldliness the moment you cross the moat on the drawbridge.
A huffy dragon – seemingly related to Donkey’s wife in Shrek – greets you inside the entrance, then you are off to explore the fantastical Land of Kryal.
Sport in the middle ages, like modern times, draws the crowds and it is recommended to get to the jousting yard early to watch head jouster, Sir Baldwin Silverhand, pummel his opponent with splinters flying everywhere.
If you are lucky, you can meet these brave knights and their noble steeds afterwards – that is, if you can dodge the swooning ladies (the visiting kind, not the Kryal natives).
Opening day drew all the big names in the Land of Kryal to ringside for the headline joust.
This reporter caught a glimpse of King Arlen and Queen Cordelia and was lucky enough to gain an audience with The Fairy Queen, Libby McKew.
The Fairy Queen is usually found overseeing the fairies and goblins’ workshop but ventured out on this special day for a post-event dance in the jousting yard.
“My role is to walk around making sure everything is in its place, dancing all the while,” she said.
Town crier Gavin Barker gets to attend all major Kryal events, but admits he does not have to be across all Kryal happenings like The Fairy Queen.
“I herald anything. I just have to be very good at blaring,” Mr Barker said.
Nearby some knights gathered at the Round Table, deep in discussions about politics and sport but took the time after to pose for The Courier.
One was particularly intrigued at the “magical device” this newspaper used to take pictures of them.
Sir Thaeddeus of the West and Sir Cyrus of the North undertook four months’ solid sword training to earn a spot at the Kryal Round Table.
“We are to maintain the peace and protect the king,” Sir Thaeddeus said.
“We perform in weapons displays and help out with the joust.”
Music lovers should meet French hurdy-gurdy player Alek of Kryal as he strums away.
Alek said the stringed instrument, with a keyboard, is like combining the sounds of piano, trumpet and a drum-like beat.
Sometimes, when the King’s dining hall is hopping, he can even rock out and play Daniel Johns-style with his teeth.