This year the Beyond the Beyond The Seals LARP held a completely new experience for me: Dishing out a local rainbow press four-page paper every day with only two people.
I spent most of my days in the publisher’s hut, taking ads, bargaining with customers and informants and, of course, writing. I went as Noio who now owns land in the small town of Woodbridge and might become editor-in-chief or CEO sometime soon. It just happened (the old editor-in-chief became the new village judge), I’m still a bit overwhelmed, too.We even stayed awake until six in the morning for our Friday edition but over time doubled the pages to eight instead of four (after the editor-in-chief pulled an all-nighter and I took over in the morning).Things I learned doing that:
writing deliberately ignorant, stupid things is much, much harder than doing actual research and writing something good
printing a parody paper is a thankless job as in that a lot of people will tell you that it’s rubbish, not being aware how much work actually goes into it
people will offer you alcohol to go away when you try to sell them your paper which is incredibly depressing and infuriating when you had to build up courage for a while to come to them in the first place (but it’s hardly their fault)
I’m really not good at selling papers
you can still make a lot of money with it somehow
how to use Corel to set a paper
a two-person editorial staff is NOT ENOUGH
I made it into the tub on three consecutive days and in the end these times were what made the whole thing bearable.
The last one was the best: Thanks to switching appointments with another group we got a jug of free Gin Tonic (the earlier appointments are less popular and due to other commitments the other group couldn’t make that one). When we were already in the tub the bath master told us that he was terribly sorry but there was a group of bards that had confused their appointment – and couldn’t get into the tub later because of the concert they were about to play in the bath yard – so we were asked if we couldn’t get into the tub later.
Which might seem unfair and inconvenient if it weren’t for the little detail that we were invited to wait the hour until we were to bathe in the tub’s sauna area. Isn’t the sauna wagon cute?We had three pourings, one orange and frankincense (my favourite), one lime and one pine. I even jumped over my shadow and went into the icy water barrel. AND we got the big (eight person) instead of the small (six person) tub in the end, too (for four people, which is awesome).Things I learned from doing that:
sometimes little compromises can lead to triple upgrades.
a hot bath before bed is the best way not to freeze to death at night in a tent at 2°C outside temperature
the best spot in the tub is near the oven so you can sit in the corner and put your feet on the bench – that is if you’re as short as I am
you can meet the most interesting people during very spontaneous bath sessions
the bath master actually knows me now
there are very few things that beat the feeling of soaking in the tub while looking up through the opening in the tent into the starry night sky
I didn’t get outside the hut much, really. I took a walk in the forest at some point to have a bit of a break, and I did a bit of leisure shopping done after our last edition was out on Saturday but I didn’t see much of the plot. There was a masked ball going on (we got that covered thanks to one of our informants) and rituals and many other things, but in the end I got the most entertainment I could get from the boxing matches at the arena (to get the results for the sports section).“That sounds rubbish”, you might think now. Well, I don’t exactly beg to differ. I was glad to meet all my friends again before we go on the big Summer campaign again and I met really nice new people. But work was too much, way too much stress for the fun we go out of it. We’ll either need more staff or I’m probably out again already which would be sad because writing about working street lamps and town gossip while blatantly ignoring the big political things going on around is actually pretty fun. I’m a bit quite torn when it comes to my personal verdict.It was fun but too annoying and taxing but I’d probably do everything again, but mainly because I’m a fairly nice person who thinks that a small town needs a local paper (and not just the competition with their fancy global, seal-centered quality journalism).Just by the way: We made the jump from “almost Winter with snow last week” to “definitely Summer” in the five days at Beyond the Seals. During the first two nights it was chilly as if hell had frozen over – I’m usually quite cold resistant at night but this was even more than I am comfortable with – but it became gradually warmer and in the end we got sunburns while taking down camp.
I hope your week was less stressful but at least as fun as mine.
It’s just like every other camping trip – only with orks.
Hey, look at that, I’m back. And I suffered no more wounds than a twisted ankle, a lost bit of one front tooth, a bit of sunburn and several dozen horse fly bites. Of course I fell in battle a few times, and also during the transportation of the cage of Argus, leader – well, former leader – of the ostracised elements, but I got patched up by an army of healers and battle field doctors (and paramedics), so my character and I are all right.
I’m sorry if the following post is a bit unstructured and took me so long. There is so much I want to tell you and show you and so much that happened during the six days I was up there, and my mind still isn’t completely back here yet.
We – that is a friend and I, as most of us were already there – drove up to Brokeloh on Monday late in the afternoon and arrived in the evening. It rained a bit so we decided to pitch my tent the next morning. Conveniently we had another tent already pitched but still empty I could sleep in for that night, as the inhabitants weren’t due until Tuesday. I know now that I definitely prefer tents with built-in groundsheets. I am no fan of eight-legged tentmates, really, and not of winged ones, either.
The tent I camped in was a friends who camped with another friend so she had this one spare. Being alone in a tent on LARP is one of the best decisions one can make (even though in this case it was merely because other people didn’t come). You can come home in the evening and rise in the morning when you want to (both rather early in my case) without waking or bothering or annoying someone, dress without caring about rustling, take good-looking warriors/ healers/ messengers/ mages home with you (if you have the relationship status to match) without it being awkward, all these things. It makes the whole act of tent-living a lot more stress free.
As I mentioned my tent was supposed to be used by two people – I can tell from experience that this kind serves well for two people with lots and lots of luggage – so it actually was quite some waste of space. Time I get my own LARP tent already. I won’t complain, though, as I had an incredible amount of space to set up my stuff:
My bed was incredibly comfy. I actually slept better than at home, but I think it was the whole setting that was so good for me. Scoundrel even said I didn’t look so relaxed ever since he knew me. It’s really a vacation for the mind, too. By the way, yes, there’s a warm sleeping bag beneath that cotton sheet.
I already mentioned in other posts how much I love shopping for groceries. Going camping – or on LARP – isn’t an exception, but most of the time I throw over all my plans in the end and live on stuff from the huge tent town and market or forget to eat altogether except for breakfast. I took a pre-made meal with me for each day spent there, a bit of grilling stuff, a packet of mushrooms, two sweet potatoes (that ended up going home with me again) and a net of lemons that were the best idea I’ve ever had (I ate one entirely with peel after the final battle, several hours in the sun with very little water and lots of moving around after having nothing but a very small breakfast in the faraway morning. Honestly, it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten).
For breakfast I had oatmeal and grain coffee and soy milk and wraps and Nutella, wich is a pretty good selection. The wraps don’t get dry so fast and can be eaten with about everything.
We were a camping squad of fourteen plus three dogs in a camp of nearly thousand (of about nine thousand on the whole event). Earth Camp is really magnificent. I liked the ambience far better than that of Magic Camp last year, and even though it’s considerably bigger the atmosphere seemed far more familiar to me. It’s definitely a place to return to (although this might be difficult after this year’s events. I’ll be able to tell in 51 weeks.). On my way to the gate I came to talk to a little girl (little I say, she’s eleven) who had chosen to be on guard duty with two of her friends this year. How I envy children who grow up in a world like this! I always wanted to be a knight when I was little, I think I would have loved to be a knave for just one week of the year. Somehow I wound up with these three girls during a good time of three of the four days of playing, and I don’t regret it at all. They’re too sweet, and I’m really happy they weren’t too eager to grow up yet. I’m really looking forward to meet them again next year.
As I mentioned we arrived on Monday, but time-in wasn’t due until Wednesday evening. In the nearly two days inbetween I had the chance of meeting up with Scoundrel and Weirdboy who were at CoM too – as undead NSC. We went to town together – the Conquest of Mythodea is set in a military campaign on the fantastic continent of Mitraspera (aka. Mythodea) aka. “the summer campaigns” and as such has its own tent town that is basically a large renaissance fair with several taverns, tub businesses, shops and places to eat at and its own outskirts for the baggage, completely with in-time brothels, gangs, bards and everything the sore adventurer’s heart desires.
We found Weirdboy the ideal coat, a woolen justaucorps Scoundrel and I were adamant he needed. He looked so dashing in it he was a bit dumbstruck himself (he’d never admit that, though). There are just people who look great in these things. Scoundrel tried one, too, but said himself he’d need something more fancy and French-looking (his last name is a French one, it’s a bit more coherent if one knows that). Sadly they only had fancy ones for women, but after I tried on one of them I decided that this would finally be the year I’d sew one! I just neeeeeed one to make winter university days a little less dull…
I’ll make a cut here. To tell all tales of the last week would be a bit too much for just one post, and this is about everything I have to tell from before the summer campaigns started for real. Don’t worry, there will be at least a part two.
I hope all of you had a great start into August, too!