Monsters, Magic, and Mutilation: My LARPing Recap Part One

So we survived. Sort of.

After a series of delays, we finally managed to pack up the cars and drive to our very first LARPing adventure. We drove east as the sun began to set, that precious daylight fading quickly. After a quick stop at Tim Horton’s, we finally arrived! The adventure itself only started at 10:00pm, and we were about four hours early. We parked (in the wrong place to begin with), and then lined up to sign in.We were met with a lot of information - from some very enthusiastic, kind people - as we were taught the basics in rapid-fire mode. We then, as the sun disappeared and the night chilled our bones, had our homemade weapons “marshalled”; tested for specific parameters. Of the four items we brought, only one passed. That being said, my greatsword received very high praise for originality and “cool factor”.

After going through all of the administrative stuff, we drove our car down a long, tire-marked road that brought us to Town Centre. We saw some silhouettes from various light sources, but it was pitch black at this point. Being new, we immediately panicked about where we should set up our tent and picked the first spot we found. After getting most of the tent set up, we were told that we had built immediately in the entrance of an Elven church, but we were given help in relocating. When we did move, we were soon plunged into total darkness as my car's battery gave out after providing us light. Time flies when you are clearing space in front of a place of worship!

We got the other car down there and jumped mine, then finished unpacking and setting everything up. Our last stop, after driving the cars back up to the parking lot, was getting weapons to replace our own failed ones. I went with a beautiful two-handed greatsword, my brother went with a bastard sword, and our two friends each wielded a shield with a sword and spear, respectively. We were all prepared to prove ourselves as mighty heroes.

After returning to the town center and warming ourselves by the fire, we quickly began bonding with our fellow adventurers. In a matter of no time at all, I was being given tips and tricks, told about various aspects of the lore of the game, where to visit and where not to visit (NEVER enter the Spider Cave. The people at the hospital won't even heal you for doing something so stupid), and how to make the most of our first time there.

Something I cannot emphasize enough is how welcoming, helpful, and genuinely nice almost every single person was there. Everyone was willing to answer questions, lend us a hand, offer constructive criticism - always followed by a "if I yell or sound mean, it is just me being in character!" - or just go out of their way to help us. The general sense of good will and kindness was one of the best parts of our trip.

That evening we were all on edge; what was going to happen? Were we even going to like this, or was it going to be absolutely ridiculous? And then all of a sudden we were informed that the air around us felt like it was charged with lightning. For lack of a better term, shit was going down.

A monster wandered towards the fire in the middle of town, its glowing lines the only indication of its existence outside of the fire's edge. My group and I decided to hang back, unsure of how to actually proceed with this entity. But suddenly another one appeared, described as some kind of human-spider hybrid, that showed up right next to us! We instantly sprang into action, surrounding this creature and hacking it with our foam weapons, while blocking or dodging its retaliations. A fellow newcomer, a mage, turned the ground underneath it into swampland, to which I audibly huzzah-ed in triumph, only to be told that it had no effect. Eventually we destroyed the enemies, which revealed some NPCs (Non-Player Characters) which had to be escorted home.

Shortly after that, a portal opened up near town and an unrelenting stream of lightning elementals flooded forth. We were inspired by our recent victory, and charged forward, only to be immediately pushed back when we found out that these things hit for upwards of 45 damage with a spell. For reference, that essentially one-shots a new player! So I hit where I could, distracted even more, and carried the wounded and dying back to the fire to be healed. Eventually the elementals retreated, but only after their masters stole a magical prison filled with some of the worst monsters the town had ever seen.

And that was all in the first night!

For the sake of length, I will continue the tale in a second post, this Wednesday, and hopefully that will be able to cover it all. I will leave it at this for now: LARPing was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work, but it definitely paid over and over again. Without giving anything away, my friends and I had a blast, and we are absolutely looking forward to it again!

Stay tuned for the rest of our adventure!