Return to the Gate

Two weekends ago, Fifth Gate held the second Silverfire event.

Lady Sabri, aka Cricket, archer and Disciple of the Tempest

It seems strange to talk about spoilers for a campaign LARP; usually, avoiding spoilers is the domain of one shot LARPs that run multiple times. But Fifth Gate is unusual in its structure in that there are two sub-campaigns, Silverfire (the high fantasy one) and Wrathborn (the post-apocalyptic Steampunk-ish one), and the two will be combining into one large event this winter. Since some Wrathborn PCs are trying to avoid learning about the world of Silverfire (and vice versa) before actually coming face to face with it at the winter event, I’m going to put a warning here: there are spoilers for Silverfire below.

I thought the second Silverfire event was even better than the first. The weekend kicked off with a baron announcing that the Silverfire King (aka the Silverfire Tyrant, a moniker the PCs bestowed upon him at the first event) wanted to parley with us but would be demanding hostages in order to ensure the conversation remained peaceful. He listed off a considerable number of the PCs to stand as hostages and said that if any wished to declined, he would accept two more in their place. The alternative was be annihilated by his army. The second name on the list was Sabri.

I thought it was a brilliant bit of plot and an excellent way to kickoff the weekend. Without requiring more than a single NPC to read off the announcement and the list, the staff had the PCs very busy discussing the situation amongst themselves, speculating on what the king wanted to say, why he chose those particular people as hostages, and were the hostages even going to be the group in greater danger? We debated who should go and who should send replacements, whether or not it was trap, and if so, should we decline altogether and face his entire army in battle? (Sabri was of the opinion he was likely bluffing.) It made for excellent fodder for roleplay as PCs fretted over giving their companions over as hostages and offered to go in one another’s stead.

In the end, we sent a group as hostages (including Sabri), and while extracting oaths of non-violence from us, one of the NPCs gave the slightest nod to my character’s history. It was just an offhand comment, but somehow, it really made my weekend. We spent part of the afternoon in a building set up as a court of the Silverfire kingdom. We learned a bit about the culture at court, and many of our NPCs guards had ties to the PCs present, which made for interesting reunions and conversations.

Besides a parley with the Silverfire Tyrant and a tense afternoon in court, the weekend also involved fighting necromancers, recovering an artifact of the Golden Temple, protecting a sacred grove (fog machines nicely created the effect of the grove appearing to be on fire from a distance) and fighting off spiders in the woods to free an ensnared Horned One in their webs. Whenever the spiders paralyzed someone, the cure was to douse them in the juice of a sacred fruit — that is, throwing water balloons at them.  During that battle, I avoided getting splashed with sacred juice, but I did earn the biggest LARP-related bruises I’ve ever seen by tripping over one bench and landing on another.

Dolor temorarius, gloria aeterna.

I also enjoyed more training at the animal themed monastery of Stormcoast; this weekend, we trained with the Viper Abbess, and the Shadow Leopard Abbot came by to teach us an exercise in awareness and finding opportunities to strike. We were supposed to be trying to clip clothespins on one another’s clothing without being noticed. I failed to pin anyone, but at least I was never pinned myself. I thought it was a creative task; I’ve certainly never tried anything like it in a LARP before. Definitely an interesting (if somewhat paranoia-inducing) challenge.

There was a big battle on Sunday, divided into three separate fights before combining into one large one. I joined the part of the fight that was designed to highlight ranged combat. As Cricket is a dedicated archer, I very much appreciated the mechanics of the enemy. It doesn’t hurt that I had a brand new boffer bow to play with, and a new homemade quiver to show off.

After the event, I managed to find a moment to take a few shots of my costume (the first of which is above.) Wish I’d thought to wear the conical straw hat that makes us Disciples of the Tempest so easy to identify across a battlefield, but other than that, I think I like how the pictures came out.

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About Fair Escape

I've been LARPing for years in all different styles, including both boffer and theater. I love classic LARP but I'm always happy to try something new. I have a sort of "gotta catch 'em all" attitude towards experiencing LARPs. I'm currently serve as a board member of NEIL, a member of proposal com for Intercon, the largest all LARP convention in the US, and as en editor for Game Wrap, a publication about the art and craft of LARP. I was also con chair of Festival of the LARPs 2017, and I'm on staff for NELCO, the first all LARP conference in the US. I'm
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2 Responses to Return to the Gate

  1. gaylord500 says:

    Barring injuries, sounds like a pretty good time. (My worst injury kept me from walking properly for three months or so.)

    At Silverfire, we’d barely spoken much in the game, so other than the fruit/spider mod we were on together, you’ll probably not be surprised to know we dealt with very different plot. I saw something about fighting demon princes, math hell, some family matters hitting various other characters, and new/old theological practices. Doing the not-in-a-Warband thing still continues to make for some interesting interactions. (I’d asked to be put with different groups, if possible, when doing housing.)

    Sadly, too much of my Silverfire (and now that I think about it, NPC Cottington) experience was coping with bleed in problems from outside the game, but it’s nice to know how much good stuff is happening all around.

  2. Pingback: Crossroads | Fair Escape

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