Last Saturday I went to the annual Role Play Convention in Cologne, together with the Captain and Genja from Vodgorod, our LARP group. It’s a 2½ hour drive, but I had met both of them only briefly since last summer, so time went by quite fast.
During the last three years we’ve always stayed both days, but this year Captain hat family matters to attend to, Genja didn’t need more than one day and I also was rather happy to be back home in the evening with a Sunday to relax instead of more convention hustle.
The RPC started wonderfully as I bumped into AyraLeona first thing in the lobby. Ayra runs Ruffles and Steam and is probably one of the sweetest, bubbliest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. She’s incredibly active in the mid-German Steampunk and Lolita community, has her own Steampunk explorer’s crew and is the biggest possible Coppelius fanatic one could imagine. It’s a bit funny that this was the first time we actually met – Captain and I had recorded one or two podcasts with her as a guest, we’ve had a bit of contact via E-mail and facebook and we’ve been in the same room for quite some time – not only at the RPC (where “room” means in fact “giant fair hall”) but also the cozy Creole kitchen restaurant from the first Steampunk Soirée I attended. Alas, we’ve always been missing out on each other, but glady we managed to finally meet up this year. Ayra had been so nice to get me one of the limited Coppelius records that were only sold on their current tour. I couldn’t make it to any of the concerts, so I wrote her (as I mentioned, she’s a major fan and attends most of her favourite band’s gigs), and she was kind enough to do me the honour.
The Captain was even busier than the years before as his main reason to visit the fair was to promote: His first work of fiction has recently been published, and he had a reading on Saturday. Not only have I read it already (it’s a bit like Iron Sky‘s little cousin), I also illustrated it (thanks to Captain for asking me to do this. I’m honoured.). My first illustration deal. Wow. It’s so strange to see my drawings in an actual, published, printed book. I can but hope to get the chance to get used to it.
Apropos drawings: I made the little illustration of the Nurglings having tea above as a thank-you thing for Helge who was exhibiting in the artist alley and was nice enough to give me a leftover ticket he had. He’s been illustrating for Games Workshop a lot lately, among others, and minor
nuisances minions of one of the chaos gods having a tea party with an Ultra Marine soldier of the imperium of mankind struck me just as the right thing (I have no complete scan of the picture yet, so you’d just have to imagine the space marine sitting daintily on an armchair far too small for him, spreading his gauntletted little finger from his tiny pink cup). Gladly, he liked it.
The fair itself was nice, but as I said before, one day was enough. After three years I know what to look for and where to look for things I haven’t seen before.
One new thing was the stall – or should I say: set? – of the Amt für Ætherangelegenheiten (bureau of æther affairs), an upcoming German Steampunk webseries. Among the founders of the Evil Kraken artist collective that is responsible for the idea are Anja (seen on the picture above), author of the Annabelle Rosenherz novels, and George of microrebels and Gentle Zen studios. Here I met up with Ayra again who introduced me to an incredibly pretty young lady wearing a sailor-collared, petticoat-puffed dress, telling me that she also came from my fairy tale town. And there I was, staring unbelievingly, because finally I found another Lolita around here. We were quick to exchange contact details, and I can’t wait to take tea with her soon.
And of course, even after three years, I can’t withstand the stalls and vendors. The major point on my shopping list were dice – the yellow d6 seen on the picture of the Coppelius record. I’ve needed Shadowrun dice for some time now, and I was glad to find some resembling honey in their colour. Not only is yellow one of my favourite colours at the moment, my character’s nickname also is “Goldilocks”, and she has a thing for bears (surprise. More on that another time, maybe).
The other dice are from Q-Workshop. I can’t escape them, really. The Japanese design is new, and they don’t even have the black colourway with the sakura blooms on their website. Maybe I’ll get another one next year to make it into a necklace, but this one is a souvenir I brought for a friend. The other two were just too funny to leave them there, and one is already engraved with a tiny 2014.
It’s a bit strange, but I think I like the outside part of the fair best. It’s not as crowded there, it has fresh air (I tend to get a headache every time I enter this building), it has the nicest stalls, oh, and most of the food vendors are there.
Sadly they didn’t sell the mushrooms in pide like last year, but they were great anyway.
The “renaissance fair” part with its stage is also the part were you get the most absurd pictures. This is probably my favourite moment of this year’s RPC, a bit funny and a bit sad, a sandtrooper in the rain. We hadn’t the best weather in our town lately, almost three weeks without a dry day now, but in Cologne it was just as rainy. Good thing I like rain.
But my favourite thing to take home this year was this:
It’s a very small drinking bowl, like a flat, tiny porringer, that is filled by the charge of a single shot glass (oh, it came filled, by the way). It’s called a Skøllchen. This could either be translated to “little skål”, like in the Scandinavian toast, or to “little Sköll”, referring to the son of Fenrir of Northern mythology fame. Both make sense, the first one because it’s a drinking vessel, the second because the smith who makes and sells these calls his business Wolfswürger, “wolf strangler”.
All in all I look forward to next year.
I’ll be back next week, probably with part two of my Dead Romans adventure, but for now there’s a visitor from up North arriving tonight.
Have a great week. ♥