Recently the Irish Games Association, in conjunction with our charity partner Helium Arts, the Children’s Arts and Health Charity, were delighted to run a two-day live-action roleplay (LARP) event for CanTeen Ireland, an organisation working with teenagers and young people with cancer. Taking place on the grounds of All Hallows College in Drumcondra, the extensive grounds and old-fashioned buildings provided the perfect setting for a fantasy LARP.
Assisted by very generous members of the wider Irish gaming community who volunteered their time, effort, and equipment, we transported the twenty-five CanTeen service users and volunteers to the otherworldly Keep of Conarrige. Here these Visitors were expected to make themselves useful learning the skills of the warrior, defender, sorcerer, or healer.
After receiving training in these arts by the Masters of Conarrige, a number of missions scouted the surrounding area for threats and dealt firmly with some upstart bandits! Meanwhile the more scholarly inclined Visitors were pondering the riddles of the Master Sorcerer and teaching the Loremaster about their own world.
Later, tragedy struck! The Seneschal of the Keep, known for his commanding voice and abrasive attitude, proved to be a traitor. He murdered not only the Lord of Conarrige and the Master Sorcerer but also, against all law and custom, the gentle and well-loved Master Healer! Having made his escape, the Visitors to Conarrige, guided by the surviving Master Defender and Master Warrior, planned their defense against his inevitable assault on the Keep.
The next day the Keep was a tense place: morning scouting missions revealed a large force massing under the outcast Seneschal. A visiting noble, Laird Lachlan, threw in his lot with Conarrige and helped organise the defense. In preparation for the final battle, a number of Visitors who had shown great skill and courage were appointed to fill the vacant roles of Master Healer, Master Sorcerer, and Seneschal.
Meanwhile research was conducted on how exactly the Lord of Conarrige had been murdered, and how the Seneschal had grown so powerful. It appeared he had drawn power from the mysterious magical stone that protected the Keep of Conarrige … fragments of which the Master Sorcerer had gifted to several of the Visitors before his tragic death. Could they be the key to destroying the fallen Seneschal?
The final battle was a fierce and bloody one. The outcast Seneschal strode the field with a voice of thunder, seemingly invincible, and his armies had no end. The noble defenders of Conarrige threw back wave after wave of enemies, but it seemed certain they would fall. Then, at last, a group of Visitors ambushed him with fragments of the stone, keyed to spells of protection. Cast into confusion, he was struck down and finally slain by a band of warriors. Seeing this, his followers fled.
What a triumphant return these heroes had to Conarrige! Exhausted, battered, but unbowed, they returned to a Keep they had protected when all else failed, and they were justly honoured for it by the Masters and Laird Lachlan, new Lord of Conarrige. At a reception in the Great Hall of Conarrige the otherworldly Visitors were proclaimed not just guests and friends but Heroes! In preparation for their departure to their own world, they were presented with armlets of braided precious metals to show their status and as keepsakes of their time in Conarrige.
After all, who was to say they would not return?
Conarrige may well need heroes again.
Helium Arts – www.helium.ie
CanTeen Ireland – www.canteen.ie
Armlets by Adreanna Robson Designs – http://www.facebook.com/AdreannaRobsonDesigns