The Endgame

David Ethan Kennerly. 3 June 2000.
My journal from an Adventures Unlimited LARP event

The abalone shell replaced sunlight with shadow except for four pinholes where it lay on the dash. Thoughts of Sartre's Being and Nothingness and several Silicon Valley cars rolled down south, toward the bleaching, near-noon sun.

*

Rocks, green bushes, and trees splattered the hillside of Almaden Quicksilver Mines Park.

In a hillside shadow, I carefully slipped on faded black and brown jeans that hugged my legs and hips, and a matte gold shirt. Overdressed for a rot minion? Make-up of bruises and then I'm ready to rend flesh.

[Image of non-player characters charging]

We're non-player characters in the live-action episode entitled "The Endgame." We interact with the adventurers, being what is needed to entertain them. I happily bounced at the edge of a broken bridge, its end being elastic, as if on a trampoline before our scene began.

[Image of players]

Adventurers wore armor, period garb, and fantastic clothing. The daughter of an owner nicely wore a bodice and dress. Mark, another owner, whom I also work with, wore all black. A few green orcs appeared. An obsidian golem and a cat-man did too. We fought, we died, and we ran on to prepare again.

Up the gravel road we saw a deserted cement construct. In unison we planned our next ambush. As before, we fought, we died, and we ran on to prepare again.

I saw Richard, with whom we'd just finished the pencil and paper Fantasy epic on Wednesday. We walked up, preparing to be gypsies. Like a few of the others there, he looked good in the sun. Tanned skin, long dirty-gold hair, and a slender, very small frame, and now a rowed turquoise necklace. We hiked at least a mile in search of the gypsy camp. The fellow who bruised me was radioing for directions as we went. We made up little, male gypsy legends between us on the promise land we were seeking.

We finally found it and set up a quaint gypsy gathering, thankfully in the shade.

A few rot minions, including myself, ran the dusty trail toward the advancing stream of dozen or more adventurers. We stormed the grassy sea and died quickly. I languished in the sun, dead, now an inanimate rotting corpse. Sun poured on my pores and into me. My eyes were closed, but I felt the red-orangeness of its presence and the parched heat for several minutes, lying there.

We returned and were gypsies briefly, preparing food for the adventurers and exchanging goods they'd brought us.

We walked picturesque paths, off to be silly-string shooting "skree" (a type of man-spider). Again. Then, rot minions.

[Image of Sean]

Then the black satyr, Sean, led us on a trek. His large hooves and black fur legs lightly jogged down the hillside. His red bow shook a little about his chest. His long red-blond hair kept up, and his goatee must have had a half-smile. We crossed a final bridge, where I bounced again at the broken end. Up the hill, toward poison oak and hiding place. We waited. Man, we waited: boredom.

A multi-colored line descended the trail on the valley-side far away. They were coming. They stopped and shouted at the base of the hill, unaware of us. "Arise my minions!" the lord shouted from below, so we made ourselves known. Fight, fight, and more. I took a little satisfaction in noticing my sword blocking many blows and putting a couple of adventurers on the defense. Yet again, though, we fought, we died, ... but we didn't need to run: we were back where we started, with the sun a little bowed.

Tired, exhausted, and parched, I walked down the spot-shaded gravel road toward civilization that I'd left behind.


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