My recent enthusiasm for LARPing. Part 1, an introduction and Reunion.

I’ve yet to do a proper account of the fun that I had Kapcon this year; but it also occurred to me that the LARP is usually one of the major highlights for me and coupled with the fact that I recently participated in The Black Hart of Camelot, LARPing is what’s on my mind at the moment.

Prior to this year, I pretty much only ever got involved in one LARP a year and that was at Kapcon. I would justify this based on the fact that I loved the larger scale LARPs where everyone puts in effort to bring awesome costumes and character portrayals to the game, The LARP crew doing the same to bring the scenario to life with set dressing and an excellently written game. For some years now, this has been true but in recent times, more and more opportunities have started to pop up. I can safely say that my hunger for awesome LARPs has increased substantially!

I’m still a bit picky about what I’ll sign up for, I tend to like LARPs with quite an emotional or heroic quotient and failing that, the setting and other people involved also tend to influence my decision. This year, there are four major LARPing opportunities that I’m interested in so far. Two that I’ve played in already: Kapcon: Reunion and The Black Hart of Camelot. The next two games I’m involved in are coming up in the next few months and I’m really looking forward to them, these being: Masquerade on Fleet Street and St. Wolfgang’s Vampire Hunters: Revelations

To each event, I’ll give some consideration in the next few posts that you’ll see here. But for now (and long overdue) is the first half of my report from the Reunion LARP. This is mostly just the set up as my character had a whole bunch going on to take into account before going into the actual evening.

Reunion took place in a Sci-fi setting where many different nations had populated the galaxy as a result of a certain of technological advancements. What connected them all were a series of interstellar gates controlled by AI that had mysteriously closed down and left each of these nations isolated for 500 years. Each nation was presumably suffering from their own problems and the Reunion LARP is set when the gates open for the first time and the first delegations from each nation are reunited.

My character was Stephen Le Grange, an adventurous, humanitarian doctor who travelled the galaxy helping those in need. Prior to the gates closing down, I was married to Marianne Ambrose (Jenni), a beautiful woman with a particularly amazing secret. Her family had learnt the secret of immortality by way of gene therapy/magic science. I was fortunate to have also been given this treatment after our marriage and together we travelled around being dashing and awesome.

After that, Marianne got fed up/jealous of the fact that I spent my time focusing on the plights of others and not on her. We fought with each other more and more, our relationship becoming somewhat bitter. My work was something that I was unwilling to compromise on and we agreed to spend some time apart.

That’s when the gates shut down and I ended up trapped on the Cigani homeworld. In a nutshell, the Cigani people are pretty much space gypsies. They are quite an insular society and if I was going to be accepted as one of them, I would need to become one of them. So I became Mircea, a helpful and reliable doctor. The Cigani people were smugglers, traders and scavengers, never staying in one place too long and always managing to stay one step ahead of the authorities. This inspired the expression ‘The luck of the Cigani’. When I came to the Cigani, it was after they were ‘gifted’ a big hunk of rock to call home, as an attempt to tame these allusive and trouble making people. The hunk of rock, orbiting a gas giant, proved to be an incredible source of wealth and they became very rich. They also mysteriously stopped aging.

When the gates shut, the Cigani thought this was the best thing ever as it meant that invaders or disgruntled debtors could not touch them, but it quickly became apparent that the negatives far out weighed the positives. The people soon found out that what was causing their eternal youth, also prevented them from bearing children. The Cigani homeworld also suffered and it became difficult to sustain crops and they could not trade for food now that the gates had shut. As result the Cigani population dwindled dramatically over the 500 year period before the gates would re-open. It was literally at the point where the handful of people from the photo below were all that was left of the Cigani, and I wasn’t even a true Cigani!

From the right hand side front, people in my story: Aishe, Nadya and Farkes. I'm there in the back!

I had a few major concerns going into the LARP, most were to do with my foster homeworld.

-I knew why it was that the Cigani people ceased aging. It was an effect of the radiation from the gas giant and this effect was also directly responsible for them not being able to bear children. Being immortal, I blended in quite well which was very fortunate! I could not mention this to anyone else however and I certainly couldn’t offer a treatment as this would raise too many questions about who I was and would likely out me. The consequence of this I feared, would be my death. Apparently Cigani are crazy like that.

-I had developed some feelings for a Cigani girl, Nadya. I had met her some time ago when she was in a bad way and with child. Her brother Farkes convinced me that she was drug addled and did not have the capacity to raise a child. Farkes told me that he knew of someone who could care for the child. To this end, I delivered the baby and handed her over to Farkes. I told Nadya that the girl had died during child-birth. When I came to the Cigani people I was shocked to see that Farkes has adopted the young girl as her own daughter Aishe and when I confronted him over this, he effectively blackmailed me into keeping this secret from Nadya. If I reveled our part in this deception to Nadya, Farkes would reveal my secret. I wasn’t sure whether I started to fall in love with Nadya, whether I felt sorry for her circumstance or whether there was something more to it. I knew for sure that I had to look after her though.

-The thought of seeing Marianne again intrigued me. I didn’t know whether she would still want me after all this time, but given that we were at such odds when we left each other, surely not…

-I knew other bits and pieces too, but my evening at Reunion was mostly focused on how to help my people and how unbearable it was to keep such an awful secret from Nadya.

How it all played out in the end was all so incredibly emo and amazing, but you’ll have to wait for my next post, so tune in again soon!

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2 Comments »

  1. Jenni Said:

    Looking forward to the next entry šŸ™‚

  2. Jon Said:

    Ditto. Nick is blogging again, yay!


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