This past Saturday was the summer one-day event of Cottington Woods, the fairy tale themed campaign boffer LARP. In game, it was the Woodland Fair, a day where all of the characters gathered to enjoy a festival. There were games, performances, contests, singing, dancing, and tons of food. But it wasn’t all peaceful- there was a fair bit of danger as well.
As I mentioned, I decided to create a new costume for my character, Quill, the wind-up doll turned priest (well, priest-in-training. But she has the priest header.) Up until now, I’ve been wearing her priestly garb to all events, but I thought the Woodland Fair was a nice excuse to wear something more festive. The outfit came out very dolly-like, all pink and fluffy with bows and ribbons- and it got a reaction out of the crowd. I think it made a lot of people smile.
At the Woodland Fair, I…
…helped decorate the Summer Tree
…met residents and staff of the Asylum
…bought flowers and gave some to the Prince of Hearts
…learned to play the Game of Graces. (A nineteenth century game played with sticks and decorated hoops)
…watched a shepherding contest run by Blue and Bo Peep. Among the contestants were a scarecrow (the sheep thought he was tasty), a shepherd, a brer sheep, a brer sheepdog, and a wolf.
…helped free the Muse with song, storytelling, and poetry
…signed up for the contest of strength (something like a caber toss) but unfortunately missed it
…helped hunt the silver tusked boar
…helped the Master of Ceremonies get her marbles back
…helped rescue a Riding Hood from wolves
…went into the forest and met the White Stag
…ate dinner where Lord Death and Nevermore the Raven were guests
…learned some traditional Renaissance style dances
…foolishly followed a will-o-the-wisp into the woods
…helped the king the Clublands fight off some angry trees
…helped break a lord free of a sleeping curse
…helped decode a message found in a tomb and return a spirit to rest
…tied for first place in an art contest
I think the highlight of the event, for me, was the dance. One of the bards played the music on her flute, while another PC lead a large group through the steps. It didn’t further any plot or offer any mechanical advantage, but it felt extremely immersive. I very much felt like part of a small community enjoying itself at a quaint festival. I hope we’ll have more of these types of events in the future.
And here are the final versions of the art I submitted to the art contest. I shaded the portrait on the left a bit more.
People actually did seem to recognize the portrait of my friend, which was very nice.
The illuminated poem was quite rushed, so the text is sloppy and I made various small errors in my haste. But I’m still glad I had something in an illuminated style to submit, because it ties in to my character concept.
It’s “This Bridge” by Shel Silverstein, slightly altered to fit the setting of Cottington Woods. I also used this poem in place of a bio in the last Intercon booklet. To me, it reflects some of the reasons why I LARP.
Here is the original:
This bridge will only take you halfway there
To those mysterious lands you long to see;
Through gypsy camps and swirling arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk awhile with me and share
The twisting trails and wonderous worlds I’ve known.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there-
The last few steps you’ll have to take alone.