It’s been two weeks since the first fest LARP of the season, and I think I’ve finally calmed down enough to be able to talk about it.

First of all, the weather (I am British, the weather is something we talk about a lot): It was much better than last year, but last year was the coldest Easter on record for 70 years, so it was always hoped it would be. We had some sun (enough to sunburn me and my pale skin mildly) and a bit of rain, but other than that it was fairly spring like weather: couldn’t make up it’s mind whether it was hot or cold, bit of wind and some cloud cover. All in all, my perfect weather. Also one of my friends lent me this fur neck piece/scarf thing and it was so lovely and warm around my neck, it was gorgeous. And I had my lovely big cloak of course. Cloaks are the best for keeping you warm and mostly dry.

Camping: Me and my boyfriend got our first tent together, and it was lovely and big and we can actually stand up in it. I know! No more awkward trying to get kit on in a place where sitting up means you brush your head against the ceiling. And because we are now a couple we shared sleeping arrangements as well, so had one double air bed, and five duvets. One of the bottom, one of each of us, one over both of us, and one spare. We were toasty warm.

RaewynnCostume: My own costume didn’t change too much from last year. I had to make a couple of repairs, which is pretty normal when you spend three/four days straight in the same outfit, running around like a maniac and skidding on your knees fairly often. About the one thing I did add was a new belt, because my mum gave me this brown plaited one with a wooden buckle and it fit really well with the thematics of my costume and nation. I play Navarr, who are kind of like woodsmen/travellers, we wear very natural and practical clothes, and we like out belts. Belts are great for everything. One thing I will need to get for next event is a couple of new small pouches. I have a big pouch, but I now have too many things to put in it and it keeps falling open! So I need some new small ones. I also want to try and do something more interesting with me hair, maybe puts some beads or copper in there (which is something else very common in my nation).

The Mage Game: Half of my game is about me being a mage, and I get to go to the hall of worlds and play around with other magical people and the magical beings known as Eternals (not gods though. definately not gods). This event we had a new system in place for how we ran things and I have to say that it is So. Much. Better. than the old one. People get to put items on the agenda (paying one crystal mana to do so) and then they get exactly one minute to speak about it. If they want to speak any more, they have to pay one crystal mana per extra minute they want. Anyone who wants to respond has to pay a crystal mana to speak for a minute as well. It keeps things short, sweet and to the point, and means that instead of taking three hours, Conclave meetings (aka mage meetings) are taking just a little over an hour instead of three. It also means that we get to heckle people when they go over time (there are sand timers so everyone knows) and we shout “Mana. Mana. Mana.” at people who keep talking after their minute is up. It’s great and the environment in the conclave has really perked up from last year when people would groan and sigh at people who liked that sound of their own voice.

My striding mate (striding: a group of Navarr who have no regular home and travel the walkways know as Trods around the empire) managed to buy an invitation to talk to an Eternal: Mazen of the Many Faces, and Autumn Eternal of Pride, greed and manipulation. So he went and talked with him and got some interesting things and now he might be acting as an emissary of Mazen to go and talk to another Eternal that Mazen wants to deal with but that Eternal won’t talk to him. It’s interesting and weird and complicated, but Autumn Eternals are very good at schemes and plots. It’s kind of their stick. While he was away I got to witness a Winter Eternal turn up and a swapping of children took place, but that was a Varusken thing so I only watched. It was cool to see a Winter Eternal though, with all the smoke and blue lights that accompanied her.

DayI also might have found myself a coven ( a group of mages who get together to cast the big rituals that single mages by themselves do not have the power to cast). A bunch of Navarr day mages were looking for another person since they are one person off being able to cast some of the bigger divinations rituals, and I’m going to learn day lore this downtime (magic is split into six realms: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Day, Night) so I should be able to join them and actually cast my first rituals. one of the rituals I’m picking up is about sending things to a celestial library, which sounds really cool and I would love to get to interact with that, so I’m definitely going to try and cast that next game. I just need something really cool to send to it. (Day Rune ->)

The Healing Game: The other half of my game is all about healing, since my mundane skills, and most of my magic skills, are focused towards healing. This involves going out on the battlefield, not dying, and getting in there, pulling people off the front line, taking them to a space and then healing them up with herbs or magic as appropriate. Having played someone with only Chiurgeon (the most basic healing skill which lets you stop people dying) being a physick (the advance healing skill) is so much more useful and you can do so much more for people. So I went out on the battle field, only got hit by one arrow (through a crowd of twenty people, so just bad luck really, and I could heal myself since it didn’t put me on the floor) and healed up a bunch of people. True Vervain is the herb used to heal people from the floor to full, and out of the 20 I had, I used 19. Then spent the rest of the event getting more and I now have 27. Bet I’m going to use it all in the battle next time!

Of course there was another big battle, but you only go on the one with your nation (you monster the other one to help out the crew running the event, since an army of 500 is way more impressive than an army of 100, and the keyword for battles is EPIC). However there were a number of skirmishes, which are small parties of around 30 warriors who go and try to accomplish a smaller task. They don’t tend to take pure healers with them (Or rather, they don’t take the squishy healers like me) so we stand around the portal (The portal gets opened and transports us to wherever we need to go to fight, it’s really handy) and wait for them to get back and fix them up when they topple through the portal. Another reason it’s so good is because a friend of mine is another healer, so when we hear about a skirmish, we go find the other one, and then stand around the portal and chat to the other healers who might have turned up and wait for the warriors to come home. We got a bit of a reputation doing so. Well, she more than I, but she has blue hair and thus is far easier to identify and remember. See the picture of us waiting around for a skirmish to come back.

Healers United

Cakes: Because I like baking, this event I decided that I was going to bake a bunch of cakes/biscuits/treats and sell them. In part this was because I saw a market opportunity – only mages can get into the hall of worlds where we have all of our meetings, so the competition is low, and the market captivated. So I spent Thursday baking my little butt off, took everything and sold it in the Conclave every night.

I made SO MUCH MONEY. I mean, this is in the context of someone who doesn’t deal with money very much, gets the standard 18 rings at the start of each game and some mana (20 rings to a crown, 8 crowns to a throne). I think I made a throne in that one event, and I was selling my cakes for roughly 2 rings a piece. I mean I spent some of it on various things (like massages, tea and cake, and more herbs) but I still had a good five crowns left at the end. And believe me, I plan to do the same next event. It’s going to be excellent, and I have learnt that tray bake cakes are the most popular out of everything, so I’ll be adjusting my menu slightly. My mother was also fantastic and bought me the wooden tray which I use to sell everything off, it’s a such a nice tray.

Next Event: I had already booked my ticket for the next event, but alas, I do not think that I shall be able to get the time off, so I shall have to time in late. Considering it’s another four day event, taking advantage of the May Bank holiday, I don’t mind too much as long as I don’t miss conclave that evening. I mean it would be nice to have the day off, but I do realise that sometimes these things just don’t go your way. Thankfully the boyfriend does have the day off, so he can go up early with the tent and get it set up with the help of friends, and then I can just drive up with the non-essential stuff, dump it, get changed and time in. It should be fine. Either way, I am really hyped for it, and am making some more in character stuff, including a guide to the Eternals, because it’s really hard to keep track of everything with a terrible memory like mine!