ConQuest 2014: A Diary – Part I

Well, hello there!
After a week of being outside, both houses and myself, I’m back home again. And while it’s rather indescribable what and how this last week was for me, I’d like to share the diary I kept through these seven (actually eight, but I didn’t keep the diary on the second Sunday which was practically just tearing down the camp and driving home) days with you. At first I wanted to do one long post, but after copypasteing it to Office and seeing that it was eight pages long I decided not to post everything at once. Well then, off to part one!

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DAY I
(Sunday)

Lying in my tent after a warning from the referees about a storm to come in a few hours. Beautiful starry sky, the faint noise of all the people wh have already set up camp, too. There are surprisingly many here already, but why should I complain?
Very few mosquitos this year.
We started off in the morning, around 9 AM, when Genya picked me (and all of my stuff) up to drive the three to four hours up to Brokeloh. It’s lovely to see the beloved scenery of Lower Saxony fly by outside the window, knowing where I’ll be so soon.
A small brook runs near our campsite at the far end of the Unity Banner (our campground’s name, as opposed to Adamant, Free and Explorer’s), and the flora surrounding us is lush and green: oaks, tall grass and reed, holly bushes. After dinner – garlic butter baguette and seitan sausages with hummus prepared over a campfire – we go and shower to de-stickify ourselves. Being dry and unsweaty is a great feeling after the four-hour drive, setting up the tents, pavilions, tarps to the dark beats of S.A.M., all in the stuffy, damp heat.
We stroll back through what is to become the market, the retinue and guilds’ turf, later and what is now but a seemingly random assembly of tents and vacant claims with signs telling us what shop will open its doors here during the next days. The segments of an inn are being assembled, pieces of wooden walls, stairs, benches, while a few parallel ways away another pirate tavern is already being warmed for the season.
I fall asleep, the voices of the conversations, discussions, storytellers as my lullaby, and in the quiet conscience of someone who finally finished the embroidery on their London hood.
Barely noticeable, it starts to rain.

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DAY II
(Monday)

It has rained all night, and in the morning there’s a nice little puddle/swimming pool in front of my tent entrance (I’m glad the tent has a sewn-in floor).
I’m the last of my group to crawl out of my tent after I decide to go back to sleep for a few hours. I just sleep so well on con, thanks to all the fresh air and the stressless environment.
We go shopping for groceries, stocking up on mushrooms and feta cheese and sweets, more that I’ll probably eat here, because I go for medieval-ish fast food in the retinue anyway most of the time.
I work on my second tunic which still needs embellishment when we get another storm warning about an hour in advance, and during the rain I sleep some more, adamantly determined to stop the headache I’ve started to get during the afternoon.
Being the second day of “early arrival”, the camp starts filling up, and while it isn’t stuffed yet – this is still to come tomorrow – there aren’t so many claims left on the turf of Unity.

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DAY III
(Tuesday)

When I wake up I can see the raindrops running down on the outside of my tent. Where I could see the milky way the evening before are only grey clouds. Slowly but steadily everything starts to feel damp – clothes, paper, my skin -, but I just love this place and even too much to let this bring me down. Also, the sound of rain on tent canvas is beautiful.
Somehow the day passes, and the clouds disappear. I get known to a few people – my part is a very passive one in the whole progress -, and once I get applause from a whole hot tub of people, which is really nice for my self-esteem. I also make a few purchases, copper pieces for in-character currency and a piece of amber I wrap in wire to hang from one of my earrings.
After a shower I meet up with some of the Natron & Soda girls who are here, too, after my mobile’s battery dies and I don’t have any means to secure they’ll find me. It’s the evening before time-in (stepping into the play and into character), so there’s the annual pre-event party going on in the retinue. There’s a gig by Mister Hurley & Die Pulveraffen (who aren’t half as bad as I imagined them to be, I must admit), and I have incredible fun dancing the night away with Meara from the forum (who’s playing an aspiring pirate with the most beautiful justaucorps ever).

 

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