No UFO Friday today, I’m sorry. I still haven’t started crafting again since I’m back. Instead you get part two of my LARP diary. This time with in-character adventures!
No rain! Our camp is still quite muddy (and will continue to be), but this won’t ruin my mood: Today’s the big day, today, the play begins. The camp noises have changed a little, most of the campfire guitar songs are being replaced with flutes and other instruments that fit the ambience. We somehow pass the day until we go to hear the ref speech heralding the play. It’s far more entertaining than last year, but there is too little structure in our camp to find the place where the in-character speech is supposed to be made this time.
I’ve donned my kit in the morning, having no problems to slip into character as soon as the “time in!” commando echoes over our heads.
A few words about the world, so you’ll know at least the rough shape of the things I’ll be writing about:
The continent of Mythodea – or, as the native people there call it, Mitraspera – was discovered a little over a decade ago by seafarer Paolo Amatio. The pioneers who came there after him soon found out that this world was ruled by the five elements: Ignis, Aqua, Aeris, Terra and Magica. On their way into the inland of the new continent they didn’t only encounter the tribes of the elements like the fiery Lona and Akata (the latter being lizard people who’ll play a role later in my records of the week), the Linesti of the deep waters, the swift, white-clad Naldar, the singers of the depth of the Boro’Madar and the short-lived, beautiful Edalphi. They also found seals, locking away the perils that had haunted Mitraspera in older days. But, being curious and not knowing enough, they broke the seals an thus freed the Forsaken, who work against settlers and elements alike. The four Forsaken forces we know are the Undead Flesh, the Void, the oily Pestilence and the Black Ice. Under the fifths and last seal, another force lay dormant: The Ratio, and with it, the first sceptics.
This year, we took a first step into the Ratio’s own world, the Mirrorworld, which is a barren, unfinished land, only inhabitable for a few days per year. And with this first step over the blue, crystalline threshold that parts Mitraspera from the Mirrorworld, our new story begins.
(For more information, please refer to the ConQuest website.)
From now on I’ll write about my character and her adventures, more than about my own. Her name is Aleksandra Elananowa Makarov, Elanite war mage from Vodgorod. Close friends may call her Sasha. Which means nobody calls her Sasha.
The day starts out rather frustrating, but with porridge with feta cheese and a shower I feel better already. Sasha finally gets to fight in two skirmishes, after she missed what was going on last night (I’m not a big fan of fighting in the dark, and the firm that was supposed to supply us with floodlights for the battlefields screwed up).
The first skirmish goes well – not good, but well -, but the second one is definitely a losing battle – the enemy lines are far tighter than ours -, and thus, we retreat.
But then, after I meet Scoundrel (who’s fighting on the NPC side again) and Sasha walks up a hill in expectation of a battle never to happen, suddenly there’s plot all around.
She meets the other Vodgodians there, at least most of them, rather coincidentally, and they go to look at memories of the Ratio people – provided by a fascinating contraption built by the sceptics who can’t dream and thus use memory-charged energy spheres to remember things. Intrigued by what the Vodgodian party sees, they go on a treasure hunt, just to find a small bag full of those spheres that the Ratio uses as currency as well, and a ring, resonating with magical energy.
Sasha finally gets to do a little more hermetic analysis magic on the ring, something I’ve never done before during my last nine years of LARPing. It’s a great experience, and I find a way to display doing magic by simply forming a cat’s cradle to make Sasha’s manipulation of the magical structures around her more visible. Later I got told that it looked pretty convincing and cool, and that’s one of the best compliments one can get in that regard.
The magic on the ring is too complex to understand for Sasha – or any other given mage -, though, but she now knows that there is some sort of finding spell bound to the jewel, at least.
The Vodgodians (and their players) go to bed, curious about the things to come tomorrow, and the plan to find out more about that artifact.
In the morning, the Vodgodians drop by their allies’ camp from the West of Mitraspera. Greifenhag – the name of their tenure – has a very adept arch mage with whom Sasha discusses the ring again. He analyses it further, with a finding spell of his own. The power of the artifact blinds him for a few minutes, even causing him to cry blood. They now know the general direction of the fining spell the ring is bound to, and after another memory it is definite that what they’ve got there isn’t mere jewelery: It’s the signet ring of one of the highest in the ranks of the Ratio, the Rikan Of Blood.
During the day we all go to the hot tub together. It’s my first time, but there’s nothing to be scared of. It’s practically like a sauna. With hot water instead of air. And gin tonic. And a neck massage. And a hookah. And people actually talking. So, basically it’s like a sauna but more fun as a group activity.
While they can’t do anything right now, Sasha goes back to the battlefields to defend the settler’s camp against the Ratio, the Black Ice and the Undead Flesh. Suddenly, a tall, strange-looking woman appears in front of the enemy lines – she’s the Herald of Doubt, avatar to one of the big aspects of the Ratio. With just a small gesture, she bewitches the spellslinger, luring her across the no man’s land between the phalanges. Some faceless soldier from the settlers’ side lunges forward, grabs Sasha’s wrist and tries to pull her back, but the first servant of the Herald, beautiful but terrifying herself, curses him with a pain spell, and he lets go.
Sasha walks on, slowly, to the Herald, like a sonambulant.
I know the player of this NPC, I’ve seen her before. She looks me in the eyes, big, yellow contact lenses, pointy teeth, and a hint of a very likable smile, and asks:
“Are you up for some plot play?”
And my immediate answer is:
“Of course I do”, and I’ve got to hold back the big grin that tries to sneak up into my face, because, let’s face it, this situation is everything but pleasant for my character.
The Herald bends down a little and kisses Sasha on the forehead, gently, barely noticeable.
“I’ve given you the arcane mark of the Akata”, she whispers.
“Go now, child.”
And Shasha stumbles back into her own front line.
Over the course of the evening, her skin will become a little bit scaly and more reddish around her scorch mark, and her temper will shorten. When the guards at the breakout gate will not let the Vodgodians in after a skirmish in the dark of night, with another one besieging the main gate, she will curse at the guards, telling them what she thinks of their interpretation of a so-called Unity of settlers. The mark will grow, and Genya and the Ataman (leader of the Cossecks of Vodgorod) will ask her if everything is all right.
And she’ll say that everything is all right, that everything is great, and better than ever.
She feels the flame of Ignis burning inside her in this barren world where the Elements are weak and don’t reach the settlers’ souls properly, burning up all doubts and fear, empowering her, even though it wears on her magical powers – based on ice – a little.
But the flame burns, and that is what matters.