Well two people have already told me that they’re looking forward to seeing what I blog about this weekend’s LARP. I find that interesting, because it wasn’t my intent to blog about it. In fact I was just going to talk about it on the radio. I did, however, lose my voice this weekend and I don’t have it back in full yet. So… talking about anything is harder than I’d like it to be.
Blog entry it is!
You know that feeling as you move closer to something? Closer and closer and you know that with every step you’re moving closer to home? The drive down to the site was just like that. Seeing the gate at the bottom of the hill brought a little twisting sensation to my chest. Its true to say that I never realise how much I miss the place until I get back there.
I’m won’t go on too much about the Thursday; I didn’t even make it over to the Keepers for the party because I was so tired. I didn’t drink much (though just enough to send me to the toilet, in the dark three times through the course of the night *grumble*).
People were arrived during the course of Friday but pictures were still being taken. Folk were in kit so early, that by about 2pm I started to feel somewhat like an intruder, particularly when the Summer Stars camp looked so beautiful. Seeing pennants, flags, bunting and all the canvas tents decorated in such a gorgeous way, made me feel guilty about my monster of a modern tent lurking behind it all.
In the end I got dressed so I could be in the fabulous pictures Mark was taking (I am a total camera whore, by the way). Mark’s a funny chap and a fantastic photographer from what I’ve seen of his work. He even managed to get some photos of me not making a silly face! A measure of true talent… :p I’ll have to do what I did last time and ask for permission to use some of his (and everyone elses!) images. Hopefully, if folk say yes, you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about.
5pm rolls along. We all gathered under the canopy between tents in the middle of the camp and in an instant I was there and in character. Everybody in their sashes, listening quietly while Kaylen Tarrel Starsong (sp) introduced herself and let us know what would our mission was. Our visitor from the Green Council gave us our objective with regards to Necromancy (NOT Necromantic magic) and so begins the first rumblings of plot which have people twitching in their seats. Particularly Tal who begins to learn that the story of his finding while he was young may well have a particular significance.
For some reason I can’t remember the Friday very well. I just know there was a job lot of tension flowing through everybody as we tried to complete the ritual required to activate our faction skill. And also began writing the next ritual required to restore our Primary to its former glory. Hehee, the Jewelled Pavilion must be sick of me by now; bouncing over into their camp when they’re barely ready and asking for stuff. Sorry ladies!
Things got busy, straight away. So many things kept popping out of our cam, at the same time that things were happening on the plain. Its a good thing that the Summer Stars were so numerous or else it might have been curtains for many players. Even in the evening when an encounter arrived outside our tent things were a little tricky as some of our number were out ‘fruit picking.’ *snerk*
But Saturday is when it all kicked off.
I swear, every time I see that figure in big, black robes, blood running down his face and skin a haunting grey… I know I’m in for trouble. The Zombie of Doom arrives and throws all sorts of panic into the place and I, like an idiot go to talk to him. He recognises me this time, but right in front of my face he destroys the Elixir of Life (HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLY SHIT!!!) and then bounds out of the tavern to start throwing cause mortal like sweets.
This was where I really understood the power of roleplay. Its been obvious before, but when he started cutting people down, I felt my insides clench. Then Irelion popped up out of nowhere with the Sword of Life and just when I thought he might succeed, down he went. Flat on his back (probably in nettles) and not moving. And cure mortal didn’t help. In fact several cure mortals didn’t help.
I’m the faction member who has become the go-to for healing. I love it because its a counter balance to the fact that Trya must occasionally wield a sword, even though its beyond her nature. It gives me plenty to play with. But with all her skill in healing, she couldn’t heal Irelion. She couldn’t do anything. In fact, it took several shouts from Kaylen to get through to her that Irelion was actually dead. Kinda like ‘yes he’s dead, they’re all dead, everybody is dead Dave.’
And, I’ll be honest, I really, really felt it.
Yes… its a game we’re playing and, yes Paul might be pissing himself laughing on the floor, but I, as Trya still felt it. Irelion Sunstrike was dead.
So Trya snatches up her sword, throws herself off the ground and goes tearing back towards the fight happening some distance behind. She’s livid, she’s seeing red… and beneath the act of playing a character, my heart is thudding in my ears like a drum, there’s sweat oozing down my back in rivulets and every single one of my fingertips is burning with the desire to mangle something. That is the power of roleplay.
Then the Captain (Sorry… Captain-Admiral-Sir! – hey, what is your actual character name by the way?) makes it plain that to kill this Zombie of Doom would actually be a very bad thing. This Zombie has a cycle, which takes it through all manner of nasty ghoulishness which makes it tougher and tougher and harder and harder until he may well end up impossible to fight. Eeeps… don’t like liches. Or wraiths.
But that’s not my problem. Currently (if you’re kind enough to put aside that the Zombie of Doom used to be my father). My problem is that I may be able to save Irelion with the Sword Of Life and I have to get it back from the Keepers.
Now… can I just put my hand up and say that despite my ‘true geek’ status, I don’t actually know Elven. Neither Quenya nor Sindarin. I know phrases and choice words; in fact I could probably spit a pretty vile insult or flowery compliment if you asked me to. But somehow with the Sword of Life, the Summer Star, Paul on the floor (still giggling by the way; I had to hold his nose!) and the rest of the Summer Stars behind me, I had to perform a snap-fast healing ritual. On the fly. No script. No pointers; just go!
I don’t know if I can properly express just how much I enjoy it, but making stuff up on the fly – letting the character’s emotions guide me through what needs to happen – is just one of the most freeing sensations in the world. LARP is the ultimate form of escapism; you can do, see, be, feel anything!!! The only thing that comes close is the sensation I get when I’m writing.
This weekend, I felt rage to the point that I stood a bare two inches from someone’s face and shouted until I started to loose my voice (sorry Luke!). I felt fear to the point that I struck out with my bare hands because my weapons were out of reach (sorry Icarus – dude, real name?). I felt anguish to the point that I tossed my head back and screamed to a darkening sky (no wonder I have no voice left!) and swore vengeance on my own father and proclaimed murderous intent on the Shadowsfall. I felt vindictive pleasure at the idea that I could withhold healing from the man who had lead the attack against my sister, knowing full well that he would die without aid (sorry Luke… again! Boy, you got it rough from me this weekend!). I felt joy to the point that actual tears gathered in my eyes, as a dear and trusted friend rose from the dead (even though he was trying not to laugh most of the time).
I haven’t spent much of this entry talking about the actual plot, but I feel its important to express that this Herofest has been the best one yet. I’m using this entry to express deep feelings of love, respect and gratitude, for all of the kitchen staff, crew and the players who made this weekend so incredibly enjoyable. I’m exhausted! My body is recovering, but after the range of emotions I’ve experienced to get from one end of the weekend to the other, its little wonder I feel drained. But, I’ll say again; the fatigue is totally and utterly worth it.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I did suck another of Uglee’s balls. I have to say… it wasn’t as nice as the last one though. :p
Bring on next May. ^_^