What are you?
~I am a thousand stories. I am the best and worst of all here. I am the spirit of Adventurer’s guild~
Tonight I was honoured to play a monster role. When you are told your world of 4 years is ending you have to wonder how it goes down: I never thought it’d be with a moment of silence. The refs asked me to play The Spirit of the Adventurer’s guild: the guild we’ve blundered and bashed bad guys for for hundreds of years. Every victory and defeat incarnate. It was in this incredible role I found the best summary of why you should larp.
Flash back 4 years ago! A lost little lass in a russian tank driver hat, some smears of green and some crushing chain mail heads down to a society. The idea is to larp. I have seen this nonsense on the telly and it is literally why I am at this uni – if this turns out to be shit I am sunk. A lot of other people awkwardly stand around in some jeans and leather odds and sods and wait for someone to look like they know what is going on.
They walk us down to this pitch dark lakeside with foam beaty sticks in hand – it was… a sight. I’m still kinda shy so this is… a bit of a bridge too far. But hell – walking off with this shit on is probably theft so time to stick it out!
Some guy with a tiger skin on his back is claiming to be a king. He is asking for people to hold the flank and the thickest silence hits: hard. And so I spoke my first epic words as a Live action roleplayer: ‘Yeah, alright then.’ So glad I did.
From that single sentence I was catapulted into leading the blind with my blindness. My little orc who could helped ‘lead’ the guild as it was through slow advance after slow advance to finally stare down the lord of demons and take him to the mat. Rai wouldn’t have made it but for her friends. The plane hugging healer, the cunning scout, the comrade who stood through the ages – these people are still some of my nearest and dearest and the eight know we all conquered our own personal mountains playing them.
It was an incredible year where I went from a bit meek to swinging from the front. Courage forged in necessity and tempered with a desire to get everyone home.
That wasn’t the only blessing I took from Larp. It prepared me to grieve and helped me get through some awful deaths out of character. It helped me realise my strengths: I am a middle manager at heart with a keen eye for logistics and planning – realising I had it on the field helped me grow off the field and now I use those skills in getting people halfway across the country to events as well as keeping them alive when they get there. It taught me how to lose; I was a good scapegoat when things went wrong. Learning to accept due blame and discard unfair criticism was a hard won lesson but it lead to me being a robust little thing from then on. And dear Gods the people – I have met every walk of life and way of thinking under the sun. Larpers are some of the most accepting, weird and wonderful people I have ever met. Also – fitness! I do the outdoor, run around style of larp and I have never been in better health with all this fresh air and sword fighting.
Most importantly larp gave me a voice. Our uni system taught me to command a band of 30. It has translated to all sorts. When speaking for our class fake trial in my law degree to running for positions on committees it helped me find an out of character confidence buried deep in me.
And that voice is not just a loud noise – it conveys meaning and passion. Live action role play gives you every emotion: strife, victory, loyalty, terror, passion, rage, desperation, joy, disgust – you name it. Larp gives you a platform to whisper death curses and scream at the stars. If you want to connect with others throw yourself into this land of fantasy and learn how to feel: I guarantee with your day to day life you are muting yourself and Larp is the one medium that will draw out the fire in you like no other.
For four years of my life our Union system has given me a place to toy around with aspects of me. From the wannabe hero that was my orc, Rai, to my go-with-the-flow chaos hunter, Mayatt, I’ve indulged in finding out who I am by letting the voices in my head run riot every so often. In this world we so often stick to what is safe and liked – sometimes it pays to use a medium where people will forgive your characters to see if you like being a side of you. (The less said about Marigold – the prostitute flouncer – the better.)
I was there since the start. This world’s birth as it was. This system has been my greenhouse where I went from a kid to a badass. While there have been other factors and other systems this got the ball rolling. This was my beginning. The continent is called Beginnings and as I stood, as the Spirit of the Guild, it was hard to say goodbye.
The darkness of the past 4 years, tainted by the sin, stood. Their stories so well told that while the Guild stood to fight them they would remain to be fought. For the cycle to cease both heroes and villains had to end their struggle.
The Spirit had to die.
So with the most sincere speech I have ever mustered I had to ask to be killed. For all this good to be finished. For all those memories to be closed and ended. For this setting to fade to happy memory.
With one last war cry they brought their blades down.
Then a moment of silence fell for what we had lost. The game world and everything it meant to us.
Think not of me as a madman. Think of every TV series you have ever loved, any video game that captured you, any book where the pages turned themselves: Now imagine living it. Larp has driven me to tears of laughter, anger and sorrow. It has helped me meet people worth knowing for a lifetime and changed all of our courses for the better.
In short: Larp – a hobby to bring out the best in you. Try it sometime :]
~Rai Heavyfoot. Marshall of the Fourth. Von Pan Pirit. (With Ozy – turned out to be a necromancer bad guy – never trust anyone in all black and guyliner)
~ Ferrick Greygrit. Honour in stone. (With my partner in business and fine inventor BH)
~ Mayatt – Hunter of Dervus, drowning in madness and drum rapping her god back to the stars. (With me is the wonderful sassy grendi and Lucio, our resident fire mage/demolition expert)
~ The infamous Marigold T’Flora – dam her fabulous air rituals to hell and back.
As soon as I can find a guild photo expect to see it. By gods I love those guys ^-^