All my LARP kit is unloaded, the washing is set and I'm about ready to collapse. Its been a LARPtastic weekend...
I could not find the enthusiasm for the weekend. Although I wanted to do the Vieral special I was having trouble finding enthusiasm for LARP in general. I was even considering taking a break from SoS for a while. This goes part way to explaining why I took the easy option of commuting to the site which is about 10 away from my house.
I refereed the Friday night dungeon in a torrent of rain and skipped tavern to go home and dry out. I did see an interesting singer I have not seen before on Later with Jools Holland (KT Tunstall I think). The song I saw was basically all performed by her, singing, playing guitar and sampling herself with sample loops. I didn't get to bed as
early as I planned to.
Feeling rested from a good nights sleep we got to the site as the dungeons were about to kick off. I monstered Scott's dungeon, entertainingly based on the on the classic LARP sing-a-long href="http://www.dur.ac.uk/treasure.trap/songs/goblin_song.php">"Three
Dirty Goblins". I threw myself (literally) into the monster parts which got my blood going and gained me a few scrapes. We then started the long battle board prep which seem obligatory for high level dungeons.
Once we started the dungeon my doubts fizzled away. The dungeon started out a little erratically (we had to deal with some Mages which is always tricky for spiritulists) however once we had got over the initial hump it was all down to slaughtering evil undead, demons and other ner-do-wells.
A few of the memorable encounters included hacking through the waves of demons on the way to the gates of heaven. We just did ittm :-D. We also had a long battle with a Balrog which took at least half an hour. There was a dodgy bloke who kept offering us help if we would agree to being marked. As we were all playing highly religious characters we had none of it, shouting "Make
no deals with the devil" intermixed with "Keep hitting it, I'm sure its flagging". Although we started the dungeon with one of the most powerful healers in the system (who had been powered up for the dungeon) we still had to draw on our reserves by the end of the 7 hours of fighting. There were a few moments where we wavered, especially when all of our front line had been blinded and we could not cure them. As waves of demons kept attacking we had no choice but to
suck it up and keep moving forward with the sighted people behind calling out the targets. The mantra of "faith in Vieral" was often repeated on the way to the final showdown.
The final encounter with the up start would-be demon god had us all pumped up. We were not going to spend time allowing him to gloat, we just bundled in assuming we would die while making way for the one guy who had been gifted to defeat him to make it to the target. As it happens the Sir Bedivere got knocked unconscious a couple of times, finally collapsing next to me after our healer has been decapitated. Ignoring the fact I was already missing an arm I just kept pumping healing into him until we prevailed - I was dead anyway
if we didn't defeat Varaak. Victory was indeed hanging in the balance and with a final push we managed to defeat the demon.
Basically I enjoyed the whole thing immensely. The dungeon was very hard but balanced. If we hadn't been the motivated tight unit focussed on a single purpose we would of all died. The role-playing was excellent with plenty of chances to demonstrate our fanatical devotion to our deity. The stories from the dungeon will add to the already rich backdrop enjoyed by the Veiral characters. In short my
faith in what good LARP should be about was restored.
Everything hurt on Sunday. The 7 hours of running around in chain mail has exposed muscles I'd forgotten about and those that are certainly not being exercised with my usual routine. After briefly popping back to help with the tidying the site I headed of to see href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0370263/">Alien Vs Predator with Karen, Andy and Lee.
Its not the worlds worst film. Luckily I don't have a deep emotional attachment to the series so I didn't take it too seriously. The plot has big holes in it, the acting is less than stellar and the film is over quite quickly. However forget about all the usual things that you want in a good film and enjoy it for what it is. The film pays homage
to both the Predator and Aliens prequels in many places. The fights between the Predators and the Aliens were sublime although occasionally bordering on the ridiculous. In short if your a fan of the films and you want to see Aliens duking it out with Predators then go see the film, if your expecting more from it that that then avoid.