Elf Ears mkII; LARP worldbuilding

I know, I know, It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy. I’ve done some work on my novel, and a lot of work on the history and cultures of my LARP setting. I’ve also added to the lore. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

I’ve been on vacation recently to visit family, and I went to a Renaissance festival in Florida. First time going to one. It was a lot of fun, and I met some like-minded people. I also picked up another set of elf ears, this time the long type- as in, six inches. It’s the little things that make life worth living.

As an apology for my long absence, here’s a player handout I wrote about how worship and magic works in the LARP world.

Worship and Magic in Dariad

Most folk in Dariad worship many gods; only clergy and zealots venerate one above the others. For example, a farmer could mainly revere Erisenna and Cerastia, but also pray to Tieran’i or Aelo to keep damaging storms away, Talaira to keep back disease, etc. Any mortal of any race may worship any deity, though their upbringing and morals/ethics make some matches of faith and person unlikely. The highly unusual ones are usually the result of a person searching for the right path, or one who believes a certain deity influenced an important event in their life. Though most faiths welcome any new believers, some do not (or, if they do, rarely) allow certain races, such as orcs, half-orcs, and dark elves. For the average mortal, religion is the primary worship of one deity above-even if just a little above- all others.

How They Worship

Most people embrace a primary deity, and carry some token of that god. Adventurers usually pray briefly to this deity in the morning (if they aren’t in some emergency), as well as in moments of crisis, such as healing a friend. They may offer longer, private prayers at other times- these are usually requests for protection and guidance, and deities sometimes reply with dreams or (rarely) waking visions. These are generally only a feeling of favor or disapproval.

When arriving in a village or town that has an established shrine to their patron deity, many folk attend a service or give an offering. Customarily, this is a coin offering, or something appropriate to the deity. For Cete, hunted game is a good offering, and for Agaron, spoils of defeated foes are favored gifts. Worshippers without these things typically offer information about their doings to priests, or offer to help around the temple. The services asked from them may be anything from “Help move these chairs” to “Help guard the temple tonight”.

A wanderer who stumbles upon an untended or desecrated shrine to their patron deity is expected to cleanse it and pray there or leave an offering. Those in an area with a temple generally attend services at least once every four days.

Every community has a public shrine to most deities, even if it has no temple; the lack of a particular deity in a settlement doesn’t mean that the deity is not honored in the area.

How Magical is Dariad?

Dariad is very magical, as a lot of magic (such as spells, magic items, and permanent enchantments) is always present, and thusly mages too. Everyone has heard of magic, and most city-folk see use or results of magic every day. Many common folk have seen small spells and tricks, such as in the repertoire of traveling entertainers; however, the average commoner has never had magic cast on them, or handled a magic item. Nor have most ever had anyone cast a spell for them, as magic is generally expensive.

Words of Magic

So, I was bored recently, and I decided to revamp the spellcasting for my LARP group. Until now, spell incantations had pretty much been a bunch of nonsense words, but I decided to change it so that mages were actually telling the magic what effect they wanted.

Each spell begins with an activation word that determines the range of the spell.

Fireball would be something like, “þú a Solas”

Solas being ‘burn, fire, conflagration’

‘A’ being ‘small’.

So, ‘One target player+’small’+’conflagration’. + strike (nask)

(I call) a small conflagration to strike that target.

Ice blast is ‘þeír a fu lannar’

Fu= shard

Lannar= freeze, ice

‘distant range’+’small’+’shard’+’freeze’

“(I call) a small shard of ice to freeze a distant target”

Admittedly, it isn’t the best language I’ve ever designed, but then it wasn’t intended for casual conversation.

On the other hand, now players who figure out how the language and which words mean what can create their own spells for use in the game!

It’s snowing wood!

Well, about twelve spruce trees on our property got knocked down by the abnormally heavy snowfall this winter, so as soon as the snow melts I’m going to have all the HGD members here to 1. help clean up, 2. get some of the wood over to the bonfire area so we can burn it as a celebration of summer, and 3. get together the rest of the wood and add to one of our forts, for which I have a new plan sketched out in my head.

Elf Ears

Well, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters today… so to commemorate that, I wore my LARP boots (size 14 medieval warrior’s boots) and my elf ears to school. A surprisingly low number of people noticed. Some people took about a minute to realize that something was odd. People can be funny sometimes.

Anyway, it was kinda fun. I’m not sure if I want to take the ears off yet. Maybe I’ll leave them on until the next LARP meet. Which could be anywhere from now to New Year’s, depending on who can come when…