The first question the people of this land ask of me is my name. They give freely of theirs, as if the free knowledge of it were not dangerous. They say this is the reason why the lands of Caledonia (of old our neighbour) became the barren and lawless wastelands upon which the monster and the slaver prowl, indistinguishable from one another.
If you must know my name, then I will give it: Sable. This is not my true name.
It is not the fear of magicians which imposes such secrecy; magic is not true knowledge and thus does not frighten a student of the Seeker. Mages and priests alike bleed and die when run through by the blades of murderers. I was barely a woman when the sea-borne raiders barged into our peaceful homes and laid them to waste; taking all they could find a use for and discarding the rest without care.
Much time has passed since then; but I have not been able to drive the memory of that evil day from my mind.
I’m back from another LARP adventure – bruised, mud-splattered, thorn-stung and still wiping various colours of face paint from my eyes; but guess what? I’m loving it.
This LARP business is fast becoming an obsession for me. When I first dipped my proverbial toe into the world of Durholme and its surrounding environs it was an incredibly strange experience. Though it was definitely entertaining I still felt overwhelmed by and separate from the action, like a cinema-goer who’s wandered through the invisible barrier of the screen. At first all I could do was gawp. Now I’m finding my feet and getting into it a little bit more, I can honestly say there’s nothing quite like LARP for filling your Saturdays.
Two weeks ago Sable returned to Durholme and went on an expedition into the surrounding area of Rovac, in which she met the True Elves of the Hidden Valley, helped to free them from the tyranny of invading dwarves and tried her best not to get killed. Climbing up and down the wooded hills surrounding Durham, I must admit I was impressed by the system; a huge crowd of extras playing NPCs or ‘non-player characters’, who did their bit and then quickly ran on ahead to the next designated encounter spot, then changed character completely. The thought and depth which is ploughed into the game behind the scenes is staggering. Thus I was overjoyed when I arrived this morning to be told that I was to be part of the ‘monster’ crew and playing an NPC.
Last night was, well… interesting. Last week, I would never have imagined that I would spend the evening in a darkened tavern, playing a wooden board game with an orc, a warrior monk and a high priest of the Sordanite faith. We struggled to see the dice under the feeble light of a single candle. With our counters mostly captured the orc roared his approval at a game soon to be won; that is, until a cold breeze and shrill cackling on the air announced the presence of air demons! One swirled around our table and blew out our light, then disappeared into the darkness as the sound of chairs scraping backwards and swords being unsheathed left our game completely forgotten.
Oh, and did I mention? I was an elf.
“It was definitely a very close thing – I can’t believe I fell 1,000ft and did not have any broken arms or legs. It really sunk in when I was in the helicopter and one of the guys said they thought they were just going to pick up a body. They told me I had gone over three major cliffs on the way down, each one over 100ft.
I think I was knocked out by the end of it, and kind of lost a bit of my memory. I wasn’t sure if I’d gone over one hill or two or what, so I was trying to get my bearings. I think I’d gone into autopilot. I remember thinking I didn’t really want a helicopter – I’d already tried to put my rucksack back on to climb back up and carry on. But when I tried again to lift it on to my shoulders, that was when I realised the pain I was in.”
Climber Adam Potter from Glasgow who fell from the 1000ft Sgurr Choinnich Mor mountain in Ireland – and stood up afterwards
When I first started this blog I was fairly sure that I wouldn’t end up writing a post relating to the online world of Second Life; but just this week I discovered something that impressed even my inner ‘virtual world veteran’.
Though far from unique, Second Life is a 3d platform and social tool which can be used to create all kinds of things; however in reality it’s quite rare that you come across something in-world which shows real spark.