Bloody Valentine Thank you!

I just wanted to write a quick post saying thank you for the wonderful weekend, most importantly the wonderful GMs who make the game so very personal, which results in you often running around madly all weekend. The wonderful crew who not only make the world come to life but are such a pleasure to face in battle (and I loved the strange looks I got when inhaling the dead demon smoke :smiley: ). Then there are my lovely fellow players, you guys are such a pleasure to fight alongside, with a few special mentions:
Bryn and Lucy, my wonderful siblings, it felt like I never got to spend enough time with you, but it’s so wonderful at least knowing that I could rely on your support.
Team demonologist - we were pretty kickass this game, let’s admit.
Sophie, Jess and Rebecca - you guys were great, you know all the reasons why, my interactions with you guy was one of the highlights.
Hannah M- it was hilarious to meet moss for the first time, and you trying to set me up with Leaf was great comic relief not sure if it will ever happen, but feel free to keep trying :slight_smile:

It was a great weekend! All praise to the GM’s for their hard work and delight in traumatising their friends.

Great moments (in no order) include realising that the Zebulon 6 Control box was gone (almost dooming Lancaster Camp), to having her cat stolen and mysteriously returned, visions, friendships with homuncli, suddenly being in charge of Zek’s tongue and having to convince everyone that it wasn’t going to randomly teleport him to hell (“Well Samera says it will and she just came from hell.” “What? I go to hell all the time! I have a lot more experience with hell than her! Besides, hell makes you more insane, not more trustworthy, why are you listening to her because she went to hell?! Wait…”) then panicking because it started making him talk in Gaelic, and it really wasn’t meant to do that.

Learning that Valencia ripped out the heart that Jane had gone through her worst nightmare to get and crushing it so that she couldn’t be rebuilt… Partial memory reconstruction of her time with Professor Goldcrest (shudder) and spending some quality time traumatised in a corner (thank you #74 for getting Jane through THAT) then slipping in to conversation that it was an honour that the 3rd greatest creator of automatons was taking an interest… ("… you mean the the greatest, Miss Flowers") The look of almost relief on Jasper’s face when it became very public knowledge Jane was an automaton ("So that explains how you spend so much time in hell, ya) and all the doctors who were a part of that scene (sudden realisation that you are the only mechanic on the field of battle, while being a crippled automation… priceless). Zek freaking out at at us for not being quiet during Margaret’s funeral…because we were dealing with #74 being tortured. And all of the other stuff that happened which I keep forgetting and then remembering because SO MUCH STUFF HAPPENED. Like the graverobbing to get the parts to fix Orpha. (Well… it’s not really robbing if you ask first… and you know, the heart was burned to ashes and that was the important part… and Zek said it was probably alright… It’s just like disassembling a machine to get parts right… it was Orpha’s in the first place anyway…)

EDIT: Standing awkwardly nearby Margaret’s body just in case Margaret rose, clutching her never before used sword and feeling like an intruder while Leo and Moss tried to comfort each other (unable to make herself interrupt because she was too scared of getting yelled at and hurting them further for interrupting their grief with questions like "are you sure she’s been properly treated for demon bites?) Then killing the Margaret-Zombie right in front of Leo when the zombie lurched towards the grieving couple. And standing there in awkward confusion as Leo thanked her for letting him have the final decapitating blow and cried brokenly on the bed.

And of course the highlight, the happy kitten fun-time mission with Kali, Ivy and Samera (which went really well… nothing but good will come of it I’m sure) and the ensuing tea-party with Ivy and Kali. :confused: Yeah… Ivy, are you SURE…?

Thanks again to everyone!

So many thinks to think. It’s not that I haven’t had the words so much as I’ve had so many words and so many of them completely contradictory.

I love you all. I may not love all your characters but Moss likely does (if she’s met them) and probably will (if she hasn’t met them yet). I appreciate what you all bring to the game as players and NPCs and who’ve spent hours thinking up and sewing or sourcing costumes and props and set dressings of all shapes and sizes. To see your tiny hand-cut pattern in your belt that goes almost unnoticed on your costume until I get up close in this exact light? That makes our world so real and I’m so grateful to you for that. When you spend the last $5 of your paycheque bussing to opshops to wrangle costumes? That makes my game as well. When you’re tired and you’re among friends and it would be the easiest thing in the world to drop out of character in an in-character area but you remove yourself from your friends to talk pop music elsewhere? That also makes my in character experiences so much stronger and I love you for it and miss you all at the same time and look forward to your return. We have different out of character backgrounds and budgets and we can’t all buy every item of every character from Armstreet (though by the gods I want to sometimes). Even so, that you’ve contributed what you can and brought yourself and your gear and your enthusiasm to this game is fantastic and a fantastic effort and I thank you for it because it makes Hanover home.

I love our NPCs who give breath and life to this game and give up their time to attend meetings and read character sheets and (after all the hours of prep) spend a weekend throwing themselves into characters that are going to be cut down (sometimes repeatedly) or characters that will bring others to tears (hard to do as well as hard to watch when it’s your friends that you feel are suffering). I love our crew. I love our cooks. Late night scones and crumbles??? What a world. There’s always something hot and smelling of deliciousness coming from the kitchen that permeating the Skye air and breathes hope across the paddocks. We are so blessed to have you!
And our GMs! We love you too! Whether it’’s for concept design and the creation of this world, or the day to day emails you get flooded with, or the groundwork on the day of running scenes and wrangling newer crew members. I play in this game but you work in it and I salute you. I salute you all be you crew newcomber giving of your time and energy to make our player games bigger and better. I also especially salute our senior and returning crew members who help guide this game and provide so many extra hours of online planning and plotting and shaping to give us the game you’ve hoped for…until we players arrive and ruin it :wink: But seriously, crew and GMs you are the driving force behind this game and we wouldn’t have one without you. For you I take off my hat, and my hatpins, and even Esther’s hair pins (and believe me there were thousands).

To my fellow players and returning Skye characters? Oh how I missed you. I was terribly upset to miss session 3 and the day games and felt soooooo left out on so many levels. It isn’t the same world that Moss and Leo left, but it’s still home. My thanks to everyone that I had the privilege of playing alongside. I won’t single out everyone here because I am genuinely atrocious at names and I can’t actually remember all the names of the NPCs and PCs that I met for the first time in this session. But to all the stalwards that I’ve played with before: I love you. Moss loves you dearly and getting to love you and worry about you and worry about what worries you is a privilege. It’s an honour to share in your struggles and your joys and your lives and I miss you when you’re not here when these weekends end. Trying to find a glimmer of hope or happiness among our tested and tormented lives is something that keeps Moss going…alongside your love and Leo’s obviously.

To those I got to play with for the first time: THANK YOU. It was lovely meeting you. And that some of you booked flights and luggage wrangled to come and join us on Skye in Wellington is fantastic. Thanks for making the trip and thanks for making Skye what it is and for extending our Skye family.

In saying that, there were times when I was miserable this weekend. Whether you’re ‘pretending’ to be or not, in very many ways it feels the same. So maybe it isn’t ‘fun’, but we choose to be here and we choose the path of the dramatic so I applaud Russ for his decision this weekend as I would to Bryn for Flint’s in a previous game. Tis the hard choice but I believe it’s the right choice, no matter how absolutely shattering your deaths may have been in game for the player as well as all those who’ve had the privilege to play alongside.

And yet…I feel compelled to say something else here. I was genuinely miserable at times this weekend, but that wasn’t to do with the plot.

I had a really rough time at session 2 (the last session I was able to attend) when a lot happened in game that was followed by Mihai’s death (Mihai who had been Moss’ best and first friend since she was about 5 years old, her first lover and the one she believed to be her soul mate who Moss was inseparable with and was meant to marry…until he was married off to her sister. Long story) When Mihai died that was…pretty traumatic. There were a lot of tears on Moss’ part. And I didn’t regret that because I (as myself) felt that was a tribute to both Mihai’s player and to Mihai, and that in crying as Moss did that could maybe could go some way to setting a tone that said “this is a person who was very loved and this is a very sad thing”.

So, after the game, when I’m met with eye-rolling and comments about how I cry in every game or always over-do crying or have to be the loudest cryer or have to out-do everyone (with many of said comments not being said in jest and at times not said when the speaker thought I was in ear shot) well that gets me thinking. And so in session four, when Moss’ beloved sister-in-law dies, a sister-in-law who is the little sister to Leo who is the beat of Moss’ heart, Moss is wrecked not just because dear, sweet, kind-hearted, and loyal-infirmary-serving Margaret has been brutally murdered by someone working alongside Moss that Moss had the possibility to prevent but didn’t and prevented Leo from preventing also (another weight she will carry), well let’s say Margaret’s death was a pretty solid blow. It was incredibly upsetting for Moss and a devastating blow to Leo, which then made it a devastating blow to Moss.

And then to lose Zek less than 24 hours later? Moss decided she was going to be fast friends with Zek at the beginning and Zek became Leo’s right hand man so again the loss for Moss was not just the loss of Zek as the friend she loved, but knowing how his loss would compound on Leo who also loved him and Esther who loved him and everyone else who loved him. And the healers feel this on a different level again when they feel they should be able to save a life…but can’t. So again, sad events. Many tears.

I always wanted Moss to be a character who loves openly to all that she meets and loves deeply to those she gets to know more, and loves most to those who are family, or as good as family in this Skye family of ours. So when I feel like my reaction (in allowing Moss to cry as she does for her lost ones) is being made fun of, that hurts me personally. To again finish a game (only moments after the second funeral) with eye rolling and derogatory comments about my fake crying…? Because I wasn’t bold enough to say it to you at the time: it’s not fake. We may be playing pretend but they’re not LARPsafe tears of rubber leaking out and slapping the floor. I look upset because I am upset and if I’m acting really upset I’m probably feeling really upset. So what a person (regardless of their character) probably needs at that moment is a hug, not a criticism. Thank you to everyone who offered hugs. You are the reason I continue to LARP when I have so so often considered giving it up entirely over the last year in particular. It feels right up there with the “don’t vote for her , she’ll just win” comments I started getting at Hydra and Chimera a year back. If you don’t want to vote for someone, don’t vote for them. If you don’t like the way a character or player cries, you can probably leave that out of your ‘thank you’ list at the end of the game. It’s probably not necessary to mention it to them or to others in a mean-spirited way that risks ruining their weekend or bringing them down about themselves when they’re likely to already be undergoing a pretty emotional time.

If you feel like I’m disrupting your game or hindering your enjoyment… by all means, PM me and let’s have a conversation about it. There are fight practices and archery training sessions but from what I can gather, there’s no ‘LARP practice’ beyond playing and learning from experience, from seeing, hearing, reading and doing. I’ve been doing this for what must be 3 years now and I’ll be the first to admit I still have so much to learn. We can probably all do better… if encouraged in the right way.

That seems like a really negative way to end a post but it seemed like a really inappropriate way to start a post so I’m not sure what to say about that but it’s been grating on me increasingly for sometime so I feel like I need to say something. And yet, that’s a small part of the weekend and a very small part of our very accepting, very tolerating, and very welcoming and loving community. I love my Skye family. I love our players, our crew, our GMs, our scene runners, our chefs, our photographers, our life partners and friends and flatmates and family who put up with our absence not just when the game’s on, our friends who can get out of work on Friday to help set dress before everyone else arrives, our friends who drive back and forward to the wops multiple times to get everyone there, our friends that can’t be with us for most of the weekend but still drive all the way back to us just to help us pack down, our friends who (in whatever capacity) turn up and get involved in 33AR. Thank you all for all your work. To those I was fortunate enough to play closely alongside: thank you for including me and letting me be part of your world (I mean that…but not in an Ariel kind of way).