Sorry it's been so long...
During the weekend, as several people reading this will know, I had my first LARP experience. Some of you will be asking an obvious question here. What is LARP?
Live Action Role Playing is the full term. Think of it like an RPG that's not played on a computer. (RPGs, or Role Playing Games, include Fallout, Skyrim, Lord of the Rings Online and World of Warcraft - the last two of which are examples of "Massively Multiplayer Online" or "MMO" RPGs)
The difference here was that we were in costume as our characters and acting out scenarios in the real world. Swinging convincing looking axes and swords at fairly convincing looking bad guys and monsters, telling NPCs (and player characters) about events involving other characters portrayed by the same people, using shouted keywords to use character powers. These include "knockdown" while striking someone with your weapon, where you "call" the ability to send them tumbling to the ground with the force of your strike... or "resist" to counter a call such as "knockdown" or "stun."
So... I arrived on Friday, quite early. There was setting up happening and a guy called Mike gave me a bit of a lesson on LARP sword use - partly how it differs from the actual sword use I've done before and partly how a single handed sword works differently than the double-handed one I used before. Other people arrived, many greetings were exchanged, lots of setting up happened, then we all got into costume for the first event.
During the previous event some time ago, the world had been overrun by a hitherto unknown race that came from underground and enslaved or destroyed much of the continent. So we started the adventure as a group of slaves, in a transition camp part way along the route to an infamous mine where we were to be worked to death. The order of the day was tattered slave clothes, manacles and a heavy fatigue that prevented running or using any character abilities. Oh and magic-suppressing tattoos so that any characters with magical abilities were completely cut off from magic.
My character was a Felidi (cat-like humanoid) from a human/Felidi civilisation who live in underground caverns. As a cat-like creature, he got physical abilities such as hand-to-hand combat skill (claws) and agility - twice per day, I could call "leap" and raise my hand to indicate I was no longer present in character, landing up to six feet away from where I called. But that came with a limitation that it couldn't be used to enter or exit combat, but could be used to get the drop on an opponent during combat. As a Delver, he got some survival abilities, including Danger Sense (which works a lot like the Spidey Sense - a short-range "there's danger near me somewhere") and Sneaking level 1, which enabled him to be invisible to NPCs if at least 75% of him was hidden behind something. But he also got some flaws. He's allergic to the Escari, the dog-like race who work as soldiers for the Scourge. He sneezes when he can smell them and it becomes more difficult to use his abilities. Related to that, he also has a "dark secret" about how he was enslaved that, if discovered, would cause some harm to his reputation and possibly see him disowned by some of his people. Then he has a minor phobia of exposed spaces, also due to his capture, but will walk into an exposed space if it's necessary - he just doesn't like it. (Why flaws? Because they're fun to roleplay and, for every point of flaw I take at character creation, up to a max of 5, I can add an extra point of abilities too)
Three of the organisers were acting as the dog-like Escari guards as we all sat round the fire eating our gruel (which was actually a rather delicious vegetable soup) and the other two organisers were in our midst, also dressed as slaves.
Without going into too much detail of the story here, one of the two dressed as a slave was also "game managing" (often abbreviated to GM) and occasionally called out situational things that couldn't be simulated exactly. (For example, the first of those was "those of you with endurance 2 or higher are now beginning to feel more normal") and we talked in character. Many of them already knew each other, but were meeting for the first time since they'd been captured ten years prior. Others, like my character, knew none of the others and were getting acquainted as best as is possible when everyone's subdued and under guard.
But the two organisers dressed as slaves were actually infiltrators from a resistance cell. Lockpicks were distributed and manacles were sneakily removed, then quite suddenly, it was eight unarmed slaves and two heavily-armed infiltrators against three complacent armed guards, with the element of surprise going against the guards. Plus one more unarmed slave who was less than enthusiastic about claims of a rebellion so remained cuffed and seated.
We had a couple of other encounters with passing patrols wondering why they could see humans chilling out without guards... so it wasn't long before we had a selection of weapons and armour. Then the real fun begins.
As well as visits from the Escari and the resistance, the majority of the evening was spent roleplaying in character, getting to know each other in a sense. Or catching up, for others. There was forming of plans, there was convincing of the dubious extra who had apparently chosen to run the last time he'd met the others, while they fought off invaders. Just before the first patrol arrived, someone finally uncuffed him and, after the second patrol, someone gave him a sword. Since there was one going spare, like, from the pile of imaginary corpses forming under the table ;-)
The resistance gave us two vials of a potion that would remove the magic-suppressing tattoos from one person each (although very painfully, in character) and there was a bit of a discussion on that since we had three magic users and the resistance couldn't spare any more potions. Then we found another vial through luck and some ingenuity, so all three of our magic people were back in action.
Finally, with all the evening's story done and the Resistance informing us that a selection of weapons, armour and clothing would arrive early tomorrow, the GM called "time-ish," which means it's technically time out but players are free to interact in character or not and can go to bed without missing anything vital.
On Saturday morning, "time in" was called towards the end of breakfast, with all of us now in our main "heroing" gear instead of slave costumes.
Since my character had been mining with a pickaxe for ten years, his lack of any combat experience was offset by his skill there, so I could wield an axe with an extra ability. (I picked "knockdown" for this ability, which meant that once a day (or until my abilities were refreshed by magic) I could call that keyword as I struck someone with an axe and, unless they used an ability that would resist it, they lost their footing. So I acquired a rather shiny axe, borrowed from the friend who invited me to the event.
I'd started the evening as "I'm a talker, not a fighter," but my character was also itching to see if he was allergic to Escari blood too.
The Resistance showed up with information on things that needed to be done, asking if we could take care of it. So we laid a plan. During planning, the GM declared, "anyone with Keen Senses now feels like you're being watched from above." Cue about half of us looking suspiciously at the ceiling. "Anyone with Sense Scrying has that sense tingling now."
The other non-human character (an aquatic Shujin) declared loudly, "we're being scryed," then began reciting a counter-spell, as the guy sitting nearest me pointed his face down and gave both middle fingers to the ceiling. After a few moments, the spell was complete and the GM declared, "you no longer sense you are being watched."
Our Shujin lady grinned and commented, "I don't envy the headache I just gave whoever was scrying on us."
So some of us had to go out on a mission... two people were picked to stay behind and watch the camp. Of course, what actually happened was they went into the "monster room" and kitted up to help in portraying some of the NPCs we'd encounter.
On our first daylight battle with the Escari, one of them managed to score 3 hits on my right leg, flooring me completely. Fortunately, our healer was there with her magic ability, so she "dragged" me back from combat, fending off one of the Escari as she did, then recited a spell to heal me. Able to stand again, I weighed back in on the fight. We had a minor real-life injury during that battle, when one of the players lost their footing and tumbled face-first into an opponent's staff. The game was frozen for a minute or so by a call of "man down" and a brief verbal investigation ensued. Accident victim was fine, just a little bump on the nose, professing "it was my own silly fault." So the GM called "three, two, one, time in" and we got on with the battle.
The point of this expedition was to find more of the flowers used to create the potion that removes the magic-suppressing tattoos. They grow in a jungle to the south-east of the camp... which the Escari were now helpfully burning. So we were out searching for the flowers and/or a way to put out the fire. Amaya, the Shujin among us (being a water elemental) was finally able to sense a large body of water near the fire - very large. And it felt wrong, as if it had been a river until recently. Then we came upon a group of Escari (and some human collaborators) whom, the GM kindly informed us, were standing atop a large wooden dam, with a swollen lake to one side. Combat ensued, as Amaya called out a spell. When she completed it, the GM called out "there's a loud boom and everyone loses their footing." We all fall down. "The dam is cracking and water is beginning to leak through it," says the GM.
Amaya shouts that we need to run. We run, as the GM tells us there's a wave of water cascading towards us. Then he calls out, "the water catches you and anyone without a suitable perk loses their footing."
Reminded that I picked Surefooted, I call out "immune" as everyone else drops.
On the way back to camp, one of the group cracked open a cola can and, in character, declared his delight at the taste of the sap from that strange jungle tree. Given that I was playing a character from a civilisation that will never damage a living tree (on account of the fact the trees where he lives might kill you or at least bear malice towards you and your entire family line if you do) it occurred to me that my character would probably object to that, so I commented that "I still can't believe you cut into a living tree." Someone asked me how else they could quench their thirst and I cat-growled and said, "plenty of puddles." LOL
I think we accomplished all the objectives in that mission, so returned triumphant with a handful of jungle flowers... and very wet clothes. There was another objective that didn't involve going far, which we'd had since the night before but hadn't managed to accomplish yet, so one of our number cast an invisibility spell on himself and went out on a search. That made for an interesting conversation with the Resistance...
"I see you haven't re-assembled the obelisk outside yet, so the Scourge can still scry on you."
"Our mage is out searching for the pieces now."
"What, by himself, old chap?"
"Oh. Jolly good, then."
We did find all the bits and re-assemble the obelisk, then we stuck a severed Escari head on top of it for the lols. (We later started referring to it as the Dogbelisk) Then we had to activate the obelisk with a ritual, which would cost a magma crystal (fortunately, Amaya had one) and would regenerate the abilities of anyone within a few metres. So we all stood round it to get fresh calls of our perks and to restore any magical abilities.
After lunch, we got some more missions to go on... so out we went again. This time, with some fairly high odds against us and only six of us, we decided to opt for stealth wherever possible. Three of the six who went out (including myself) had the Sneak ability, so we ducked out of sight pretty much every time there was an encounter. Some of the encounters were friendly, so we were just watching from the background. Other times... well, the first encounter was with a large group of Escari who demanded to know why three humans were walking about without escort. The answer came in the form of me calling "knockdown" as I brought my axe down on the back of one. (Obviously, I didn't actually hurt her - you pull the hits, just so that they know they've been hit... also, it was her axe really!) Suddenly, the four or five Escari (and human collaborators) weren't the larger group - they faced three humans on one side or two humans and a Felidi on the other. Whichever way they faced, they had their back to an enemy with a sharp pointy object. For my part, I had to parry a few blows from a sword, while my comrades dealt with other targets, but I got in two good hits and then someone finished him off with a sword to the back.
We apparently missed a few secondary objectives with our sneaking past encounters, but it didn't make a big difference. Just something to remember next time - if the enemy is willing to let three unescorted humans pass so long as they do so quickly, they must be guarding something.
Of course, all our actions didn't go unnoticed. Upon returning to the camp, someone from the Resistance arrived to inform us that the Scourge had despatched a reaper to deal with us. Reapers, the unkillable monsters that broke through the walls of the city of Ilac and laid waste to what was widely considered the mightiest civilisation on the continent. The monsters that defeated the gods ten years ago, without one single loss. We'd earned a visit from one.
So out we went, in search of a way to defeat them, following a rumour of a free clan of woodland folk that have a reaper's arm.
Along the way, we found the remains of a caravan from the Wastes, apparently attacked and slaughtered by Escari and left to burn. But one of our number with the Ranger 2 perk was informed by the GM that the Escari tracks looked wrong somehow. Too wide and lumbering, as I recall. A mystery with no obvious solution, as the tracks doubled back on themselves too often to follow. Shortly afterwards, we encountered a group of Escari who were preparing to kill a human family. Needless to say that didn't sit right with us, even when they told us to just walk on by. One of our number tried to goad the three Escari to ignore the family and come at us... she made a comment about their competence not knowing of the Waster caravan incident, then finished the sentence by calling "Taunt," which is one of the other special abilities. Sadly, the result was that they killed the family on the spot and then came at us :-(
Still, those Escari got pwnd. Then we moved on... with darkness almost completely upon us, we heard a reaper's call in the distance. Actually, it was the GM making the sound, but it was pretty convincing. He described as it passed on the tree line, all of us standing perfectly still and silent, since the Resistance had informed us that reapers seem to have motion-based vision. After it was gone, we walked across an open area, coming face-to-face with four other creatures. Green distorted faces, high-pitched voices calling, "food?" There was a brief debate between us about whether they were orcs or goblins, then fighting ensued. They apparently weren't convinced by a Felidi telling them in their own grammar that we weren't food, so it came down to weapons talking. This is where I really started to come into my own with the battle side of things. I couldn't match them on weapons technique, any parry on my part only opened me up to an alternate attack, so I went for agility instead. They can't hurt me if I stay just out of their reach until the end of a swing, then duck in to put my axe into their torso and back off fast :-D
The next encounter, both in character and out, was a bit of a WTF moment. Some kind of demon that stalks the forests and, despite being unkillable, doesn't seem interested in doing his own fighting - his rather dumb followers insisted that we talk to him and he offered us a way to kill the reaper if we would kill the leader of the tribe we were going to see. By now, one of our number was taking a leadership role (though reluctantly, as I understand it) and did a lot of the talking from here on. He was understandably less than keen to agree to kill someone he'd never met, especially on an empty promise. He said something about us not being assassins for hire and made an aggressive move towards the demon... demon raised his arms and the GM called "time freeze." What's that? Everyone stops moving, shuts their eyes and hums or sings to themselves. Then, "three, two, one, time in." We open our eyes, demon's gone. It was actually quite believable too; somehow, the memory just glosses over the seconds spent in time freeze and it feels like he's literally vanished before your eyes. Then his followers got rowdy and got cut down.
So we went to see the woodland folk. The Ru'paku, I think was their name. Well, myself and our not-exactly-a-leader went, while the others stayed behind to heal the injuries sustained fighting orcs and demon-followers. After a rather boisterous and aggressive 3-minute hello (I got quite into issuing a cat-like hiss or otherwise not flinching as they ran up and shouted in my face LOL) we were greeted as fellow warriors all led back to their camp to meet their leader.
He wove a colourful tale, though initially offered no explanation as to how the reaper wasn't invulnerable. While we were looking at the severed arm, Amaya declared that it smelled like spiders. There was almost an unexpected side-quest to hunt the giant spiders that lived in the forest, to harvest their venom and coat our weapons with it... but one of the other Delvers smelled bullshit and used one of his Keen Senses abilities on the arm, discovering that it seemed to have been made rather than grown. Brief debate as to whether this means the reapers are made, or whether it means the arm is fake... they took the arm back and there was some arguing, where they eventually admitted they'd made it from the limb of a giant spider, to bolster hope that the Scourge could be defeated. We didn't part on the friendliest of terms, but there was no fighting... then the smaller girl on our team (literally, she must be about 5 feet tall) got our attention and said, "guys, guess what I've got." She then produced the 4-foot fake arm from under her cloak. She'd actually nicked it - and not using her character's Conceal ability, she'd "hard-skilled" the theft and concealment. Earlier in the day, she'd also stolen a hostile wizard's staff right out of his hand as he was casting a spell at us, although she did use a character ability there... this wasn't even her last theft of the weekend, though it was by far the most audacious. She didn't actually know the arm was a fake at the time she nicked it LOL
We had another brief encounter with the forest demon. Heppuwey, I think. He was less than impressed that we hadn't killed the Ru'paku leader... but, before he could do anything about it, a white-haired woman emerged (seemingly from nowhere) and quite literally bitch-slapped him back to hell. She informed us that the potion that removes the magic-suppressing tattoos would also remove a reaper's invulnerability. Just pour a dose on the reaper and it's mortal. So now, this already-rare substance suddenly had a much larger demand!
Later, I ended up on the NPC team for the second night mission. That made for a change. So Myrnrr was one of the two who stayed behind to watch the camp while the rest went out on a mission... to get ingredients for a spell to scry for the location of the new Oracle, so that she could be rescued. Essentially, it meant playing several NPCs, generally having to run ahead of the group to prepare for the next encounter - either while they organise, dicuss or heal wounds... or, if we need more time, the GM would tell them "trundle" to mean that for the time being, their characters are travelling even though they're standing still. Then, when the NPCs are ready, they're told "un-trundle." So before heading out, there's a short briefing on the encounters and we gather what we'll need to "phys-rep" (physically represent) the characters and objects in the script. We get a series of "if" scenarios for foreseeable player actions. For example, first up were the wood elves, who were guarding the valley where the ancient woodland spirit was sleeping through the winter... the players needed one of his horns. The elves were to be friendly and inquisitive, fun-loving but no-nonsense "you're not going in there without a good reason" and would turn hostile if the players tried to pass them regardless.
This is when you realise how long the players can take to sort themselves out between encounters - when the NPCs are all ready for the next encounter but the players are still healing at the site of the previous one.
But I got to spend some time as a wood elf, then some time as an orc guard, then a fair bit of time as a zombie, rising from the grave again and again to fight the players as they disturbed the grave of a long-dead Oracle, for the final ingredient in the spell. I could hardly see a thing in the zombie mask, but I scored a hit on someone during one of my three attacks...
One of the group had to placate the ghost of the oracle by promising to bring it back afterwards and join him in the grave. That someone was our dual-wielding berserking bard.
Meanwhile, we all ran back for one final change in the monstering room, as the players made their way back to camp. Their mission: perform a ritual at the Dogbelisk to find the Oracle. Our mission: be an Escari patrol that would rather they didn't. Of course, we got pwnd and the ritual was a success.
So Sunday morning started with time in after breakfast (some players still weren't up after time in was due, so one of the organisers went about banging a pot and declaring five minutes to time in... turns out two of them had just really over-exerted themselves, so time in was declared without them. The Resistance arrived and told us that they could get us out of the camp this afternoon. But first, there was a very important mission for us. They couldn't join us, as they had other support roles, but we had two important things to do. In opposite directions. At the same time.
Rescue the Oracle... and light a beacon that will be seen across the continent, signalling the rebellion to rise up as one. That beacon... was a frelling big volcano that we climbed yesterday morning. Fortunately, a witch we met along the way had convinced us to leave a large green rock at the summit. It turns out that rock was one of a pair that would bind two locations. So a team had to go to the other one and perform the volcano-erupting ritual there - much safer than actually causing a volcano to erupt while you're standing on it!
That meant splitting us into two groups. It turned out that four of the nine had the Sneak ability - though one was still unable to get up, so she was staying behind. Since the rescue mission involved sneaking into a large and heavily guarded slave camp, it was decided that one team should be just the three sneaking people. But the other mission would involve proving your purity of heart to a guardian of the ritual site. Cross, the guy who had initially stayed in cuffs, was something of a mercenary - he was working with us because he figured we were his best chance at survival, not because he wanted to save the world. That meant he'd have to come with us, even though people from the Duchy of Archion are known for their flamboyance and swagger, rather than their stealth. Plans had to be made... although we also had to sell the mission to him as rescuing a damsel in distress, since the character was something of a chauvhinist. (The guy himself is great, but he often has to apologise to all the female players for his character's behaviour LOL - why? Because playing an asshole can be fun. Just ask David Hewlett or Chris Barrie... or Tim Curry)
We decided we were going with infiltration instead. We grabbed the uniforms from a couple of our kills (well, really, we just asked the organisers for them) and one of the nature crafters skinned an Escari head to make a mask (again, provided from the monster room) that would fool most people unless they got too close. Off we went, while the other team geared up to be NPCs.
Not two minutes into our journey, "those of you with danger sense can feel something." We looked at each other and someone said, "sneak past." Myself and Varus went straight into stealth in the bushes to our right, while Trax and Cross made for a path just up to the left. Trax took cover near the corner, but Cross was off at a run. Just then, an Escari patrol passed us. After they passed, we had to call Cross back and then we carried on. Trax was the one with the Escari mask and Cross was wearing the other uniform to look like a collaborator, but they didn't want to test the disguises until they had to. (We'd joked all Saturday that if an Escari walked in while someone was wearing the mask, their first words would be, "Dave, what happened to your face?")
Shortly after that, with Trax wearing the Escari mask in case of unexpected company, we came across a cluster of bodies. Our investigative skills (and the GM) told us that they'd been ripped to shreds, as if by claws. Then we heard the shriek. Everyone knew, everyone froze. Cross and Trax each had a vial of the potion, but dare we use it? Could we four hope to fight the reaper even after making it mortal?
The reaper walked up from somewhere ahead of us, shrieking as it came. It stalked about, looking for a way past us - oh, yes, their vision (or at least their hunting) is motion-based, so it saw us only as obstacles rather than targets. I literally came face-to-face with it - I could have nutted the reaper in the face, except I'd be dead. It pushed past me and I moved aside like an inanimate obstacle might. Then it came back and clawed some more at one of the bodies, then it stalked off. I turned my head just very slightly to see a convincing look of terror on the others' faces.
A couple of encounters later, we were at the gates to the camp. Trax was to hand Cross the sheet with orders and stand back while we infiltrated, then he'd find a way to sneak in. Luckily, myself and Varus were posing as the slaves - and both of us wore big cloaks. So although slaves weren't traditionally allowed weapons, we were able to hide ours within our gear. Hardskilled concealment again :-D Cross bullied us both up to the gate, where a pair of Escari wanted to know what was going on. Freshly captured slaves for processing was the basic gist of Cross' answer. So they took us and let Cross wander into the camp unescorted. We were taken a few paces up to where a female Escari (who looked a lot like Amaya in a mask!) was dealing with two other slaves - one of whom looked a lot like our healer and at least one other slave we'd freed. (Suspension of disbelief is a wonderful thing) So the Escari inspected Varus' wrists and asked him if he'd been tattooed yet. He said no, so she pointed to where the other two were seated and told him "sit there." She repeated the inspection on me, until I hissed lightly and, clearly holding my breath, informed her that I also have no tattoo. "Over there too."
As I was looking for a spot to sit, there was a commotion. Someone shouted "fraud" back at the gate and Trax was running up. Varus freed his wrists, grabbed his swords and berserked past the female Escari to help Trax and Cross deal with the two at the gate. That left me facing an Escari who was now charging at me with a rather large sword. In my hurry, I actually broke the plastic manacles instead of unlocking them... "fuck it," I thought, my cloak opened and the axe dropped neatly into my hand. There are two photos on Facebook showing how that fight went... I scored my second confirmed kill of the weekend there :-D (It's often difficult to know who actually dealt the final blow because once they're on the ground, they might have three or four blades hitting them LOL)
At that point, the battle was won, we were all in and there was no point in keeping the Dave mask, so that was discarded. The other two slaves were freed and sent back in the direction of our camp. None of them ever seemed to get there, for some reason ;-)
We proceeded through the camp, there were other little encounters... we tried to just walk past, even when that was really really hard to do. And I got taken down by a Scourge. How? The Escari obviously found our handywork at the gate and spread the word - so they started slaughtering all the humans, slaves and collaborators alike. Saving them seemed, sadly, a little bit pointless since the whole camp was going to be wiped out anyway when the volcano erupted. And we couldn't take on a whole camp. So... Escari killing humans all over the place, we were set upon from behind by one - Trax was at the rear and was first into defending, against just a single Escari but he wasn't at full health. I was next to him, Varus and Cross apparently just kept running until they realised we'd stopped. I came up to present the Escari with a second target, but definitely couldn't take a hit since my torso was at 1. So after he turned his head to me and thought about swinging his weapon, I figured I'd been enough of a distraction for Trax to land a blow. I called "Leap" and raised my left hand to indicate my character was no longer present, then dashed behind him as he turned his attention back to Trax. Spinning to face him, I dropped my left hand and then dropped my axe into his back. Then there was an impact on my shoulder. There was only a bloody Scourge behind me, wasn't there? Down I went.
Luckily, the others came back and they defeated that Scourge then came for me. Trax did some healing that would allow me to carry on, but my torso hit points remained at 0, meaning I was now subdued. No running, no abilities. That makes things interesting when you're in a fight...
Next encounter, having entered a cave, was with a group of fire elementals we'd encountered on Saturday. At the time, we just saw potential hostiles (who were giving off a lot of heat) getting up from the ground and groggy-angrily asking why they'd been woken as they staggered in our general direction. So we'd opted to run like fuck. This time, they were in our way and much more awake. They wanted to know why we would wake them with our digging. One of the others gave them a weak "that's not us" and I decided this was the perfect time to bring out Myrnrr the diplomat. So I addressed them... "We do not do these things and you may see from our wounds that we have done battle with many of those who do." That was more like it. The passageway was hot and they were giving off heat that was uncomfortable for the human characters - one of them (who looked a lot like our healer!) stepped close to me, perhaps testing how into the role I was... and I did my best purr as I half-closed my eyes and declared, "warrrrmth." (Well, what can I say, it was a cold weekend during which I had twice actually curled up on the floor in front of the fire LOL)
We managed to come to an agreement with them. We would stop the mining, or they would come for us. Then one of them told us that the new Oracle was being held in a chamber below us... and he put his hand to where the GM said the cave ended... and declared, "I've melted a tunnel to her for you."
So we had a short walk down a tunnel (really a woodland path, but yeah) that opened out into a cavern. Two Scourge, an Escari and a human female who was chained to a pedestal. Needless to say, combat began. Each of my three comrades engaged an enemy and I decided to help Trax, who was the least well-off of the others. He did most of the actual interaction with this Scourge, I just served as a distraction (I couldn't run, but neither could the Scourge - I just had to stay out of reach of his weapons when he turned them my way, giving Trax an opening to score some hits. Which he did. I actually got in a couple of hits of my own, too. Finally, he dropped and one of the others borrowed my axe to cut the chains of the Oracle.
She talked of being able to do more good "on the other side" and refused to come with us, describing some of her intentions. Then she said something that was obviously a spell and the GM called "time freeze." Eyes shut. "Three, two, one, time in." Eyes open. She's gone. Cross declares something like, "great, we come all this way to rescue her and she ends herself." GM calls "time out."
Lunch happened, then we went into the monstering room for the other team to do their mission. First up, we were a group of Resistance scouts waiting to inform them that the Scourge seem to know they're coming and the journey ahead will be significantly harder than anticipated but we have other efforts to aid.
The girl who played Amaya (and the female Escari) got into two more sword fights with me on the mission... once, I was an Escari with 3 hit points (she won) and the other time, I was a Scourge with 20-30 hit points... she did score a couple of good hits on me, but I was taken down by Lucas, the not-the-leader LOL (We seemed to come up against each other a lot)
Finally, they made it to the ritual site (which looked a lot like the front of the camp LOL) and Amaya started her spell. So a couple of Escari and a couple of Scourge (one of which was me) came to stop them. Our brief was to harry them and make it scary, but not actually kill anyone. So we put on a good show - the guy who played as Lucas has since told me the reason he and the mage came after us was because they were terrified and didn't want to be stuck on the defence and surrounded. In the end, good prevailed. With the monsters beaten and the runes all laid, Amaya finished her spell and the GM called that a large quake knocks everyone off their feet.
They had one more encounter - the long-dead warriors of Ilac rising from their graves to fight the Scourge. Meanwhile, I was practicing sword play with the chap who played Varus LOL
One more thing after that... we all went out in our teams again in opposite directions with separate GMs... our GM told us we got out of the cave in time, then saw the volcano explode. The air is thick with ash, but we're fine. Time for our triumphant return to camp. By *complete coincidence* we met the other team coming in at the same time ;-)
We all got caught up quickly (and Veil, our kleptomaniac, finally managed to wake) then our Resistance contacts returned. They weren't impressed that we didn't rescue the new Oracle, but accepted that it was out of our control and were quite placated by the news that the Knights of Ilac had left their graves to join the fight, at the command of the Oracle. Especially since one of our contacts was also a Knight of Ilac.
So now it was time to get us to somewhere safer. We gathered our things and left. Time out.
All in all, a wonderful weekend from start to finish. I hope to attend more of their events, even knowing that most of them are in Scotland... I certainly can't make it every month, but I'll bloody well try LOL There are also other LARP groups down here that I'm going to be checking out.
If you enjoyed the tale, I strongly suggest you consider checking out LARP events in your area. If you're in (or willing to visit) Scotland, check this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecuckoosnest/