One week since I came home from ConQuest and I still feel just a tiny bit out-of-place.
It’s weird to say that I came home – I feel nowhere as at home as under the starry sky on the fields there, between tents and campfires.
It’s not that I don’t feel at home here in Marburg, it’s just so different. I feel taller there, with more space to grow around me, probably because that’s what it is – a place to grow and experiment and test yourself.
I’ve got a coming-home routine by now.
It includes hand-washing my garments before I shove most (but not all – silk and wool aren’t fans of that kind of treatment) of it in the washer.
I do inventory of all the food I brought back with me – I always buy too much.
The first shower will wash away the first few layers of dirt and dust and fake blood, leaving dark suds and residue at the shower floor, and I wonder how it always comes to be so much because I shower on-site every day, but then again I get dragged through the dust, too, and what dust that was this year.
It filled the air when we arrived and settled unseen on our tents and tables until the rain came or somebody moved a bottle or dish for the first time in two days. Then it became visible, dark streaks and dots, or white circles.
I brought back a tin of Brokeloh soil with me, almost black and fine, to remember the dust. It’s boggy around there so the soil is almost peat, and it smells rich and deep and like home, too. I filled a small bottle with it, a very small one, so I can always carry a bit of my happy place with me.
At some point we had 45°C in the tent – that’s 113°F – and in earnest thought about making it into a sauna.
It was so hot point that my collodium boiled over – none of us knew that the boiling point for that stuff was so low.
Gladly it rained, and the last day had perfect weather. I just got a sunburn when we were packing on Sunday, together with a mean mosquito bite (Brokeloh mosquitoes are a special brand of I-hate-them) five minutes before I got in the car.
I also bought the first fur of my life that’s not from an animal I’d also eat but he was just so cute and I fell in love. His name is Fjodor and he used to be a beech marten. And I bought a new hat for my character. I’d been eyeing the cap for two events now and decided to take it home this time. I got the copper coins as an extra, and I found the sable part on the battlefield (one day I’ll make a post about things found on the battlefield).
I’m a little weirded out by the fact that everything I bought at CQ was either a dead animal, adorned with fake dead animal or used to make a person look more dead (read: fake blood in different forms). ConQuest is also the one week per year where I just don’t bother with a vegetarian diet.
The strangest bit of the routine is the changing of pendants. I take my character’s pendant – a gift from the person most close to her – off, store it in an heirloom box, and put my own pentagram necklace back on. That’s the point when the game is truly over for this time, when I change back completely, putting Sasha Makarov away until I take her out again.