Off to ConQuest

I’m sorry it’s been so quiet during the last two weeks here but I did little more than sleep, work, eat and prep for my favourite week of the year: ConQuest.

When you read this I’m either already on the road to Brokeloh or most probably running in circles, flailing and shouting because I’m not sure what I forgot to pack.

I hope you have a most wonderful week (after which I’ll hopefully throw post after post at you showing off all the things I made lately) because I know I will.

I love you all and I’m looking forward to see you after this adveture.

Hugs and kisses,
Hedge ♥♥♥

 

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Beyond the Seals 2017

106_2047I’m back from LARP! This was probably the most exhausting event I’ve ever been to and the one that definitely had the potential to make me stop going to Beyond the Seals altogether as well as stop writing the in-character newspaper. Thanks to the wonderful people around me though I want to keep doing this – making silly news for everyone, giving people the chance to get information, supporting the gameplay. My team was wonderful. By the time the event was over we had transitioned from rainbow press-like BILD der Stadt to the still somewhat silly and satirical but far more informative and independent Stargazer under the patronage of my beloved Western Seal. We also have an English section now for the international players which got us so much lovely feedback that it made all the trouble worthwhile.
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I didn’t really get into character – staring at a screen 15 hours a day, being annoyed by the printer and coordinating stuff does that to you – and next year I’ll give out the PSA that plot and especially emotional play is to be kept away from me, thankyouverymuch. I can either run a working newspaper for the game or I can play, I can’t possibly do both.
Noio doesn’t have as much of a profile as I imagined when I first wrote her, but that’s okay. She’s the mask I don to not interrupt others’ game when I come out of the office.
106_1951I didn’t take anywhere near enough breaks. I was stressed out of my mind. I forgot to eat. I didn’t sleep enough. And of course I didn’t take all the pictures I wanted to take and didn’t film at all. But surprisingly, after all this, I’m okay. I didn’t expect that, really.
106_2069There was little time in-between issues and character play and avoiding breakdowns (my own as well as those of others) but I actually managed to buy a new non-disruptive byro for my character (sometimes quill and ink are too messy, especially when you take interviews or have to scribble something down for someone else) and one of these pretty pendants that open up so you can put something interesting inside. I’ve wanted on of those for ages!
The die was left in our office when we were done packing and nobody claimed it, and the matchbox was left as a calling card by the O’Gradys whose in-game bank/mafia advertised in our paper.
The coins are but a small part of what we made during the game – those are only the pretty ones I wanted to keep for my collection as well as actual foreign money (for some reason there is always something like that. It’s two British pounds and ten cents from the bank of Uganda this time).

106_1936To say I’d be absolutely looking forward to Beyond the Seals 2018 would be a lie. But I’m not dreading it, either. I’m curious what will happen next year, I learned a lot, and I’m ABSOLUTELY looking forward to ConQuest.

Beyond The Seals Behind The Desk

IMG_0363This 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.IMG_0352We 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).IMG_0370Things 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

IMG_0321I 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?IMG_0330We 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).IMG_0323Things 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

IMG_0355IMG_0354I 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).IMG_0334“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).IMG_0319Just 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.

Back from Battle and still alive

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Even though I don’t really look the part.

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I’ve got a horrible sunburn, an empty bottle of fake blood, more bruises than I’m willing to count, mosquito bites, and I just want to go back.

I’m trying to wash out at least some of the stains from my clothes, I’ll be back with more pictures once I’m done (and have them all).

 

 

Off again

When you read this I’m already on the road to Brokeloh.

We originally wanted to go yesterday but due to difficulties we ended up with today. Not the worst thing, though, this way I had more time for my weapon and cinnamon buns.

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I made eight pounds in an oven the size of a microwave. I’m proud of that if not of anything else!
And I can’t wait to show you all the new stuff I made once I’m back again. But for now,

I’m going on an ADVENTURE!

Have a great week, too. ♥

Beyond the Seals

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I’m back from my second LARP this year (the next one’s in a fortnight), and even though I got my first sunburn of the season and more than one mosquito bite I can say that I had a great time.

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This was my home for five days, from Wednesday to Sunday. We were lucky to have a tent pitch next to a tree so it was shady during the day.

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I had made three kilos of cinnamon buns the night before we left and we managed to eat all of them. Also, do you recognise the candles?

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Stuff hanging from the tarp poles is always a good idea to make a camp seem more “real”. I’m already looking forward to ConQuest where we’ll do so much more with the place!

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The Chochloma ware is so pretty! It’s traditionally Russian and fits the aesthetic of our group very well. And the chest it’s normally stored in can be used to store modern everyday stuff outside of the tents.

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I didn’t even take my sleeping bag with me this time which resulted in a wonderful in-character bed. I’ll have a new sheepskin by the time ConQuest comes around, I’m already looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll invest in some military wool blankets, too.

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Beyond the Seals is a pure ambience LARP which means partying, conversing, character development, watching fights – gladiators, brawlers and wrestlers – in the arena, a bit of shopping (I needed a small wrought-iron meat skewer – a LARP alternative to forks -, and new copper pieces) and, yes, more partying. Singing with the West, deep in-character conversations during walks in the woods nearby, drinking with friends, writing for the in-character newspaper and the obligatory evening in the hot tub were enough to keep me busy.

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I finished my new tunic and jacket in time, and I think I could manage to snap a few character pictures when I’m at my mother’s place next time.

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It was nice to be in character without being alert for enemy attacks all the time and I learned a great deal about her. I had such fun and met great people, but I’m even more excited to fight alongside them at ConQuest! I’m already counting the days.

I hope you had a great week, too. ♥