Watch out for the water!” cried a man in half a mask as I exited Lecture Hall. I looked down at the concrete and realized I wasn’t at Binghamton University anymore because I had entered the magical, medieval world of Live Action Role Play (LARP) where Lecture Hall is a nacropolis; all the buildings inside the Brain become ruins and I become a Viking Princess named Gabija.
Each semester the members of LARP follow a basic story line that is created every semester by the E-Board members. Every Wednesday and Saturday the members of LARP go on quests created by a quest board, which will bring them closer to solving the main story.
This semester, during a feast, one of their characters named Faceless died. Their mission is to figure out why he died, who killed him, where his body is, how to bring him back (resurrection can occur in LARP) and other various questions.
The first part of this particular quest was to solve a puzzle within the trees between Lecture Hall, the Library Tower and the science buildings, which were separated into columns by magic walls. As we tried to find our way out, I met a traveler named Rowena and a scout named Ehru who kindly guided me throughout the quest.
To exit the puzzle, we had to land on the back left tree where three gargoyles awaited us on the fountain.
Teseroth, a mischief-maker who controls the magical occurrences during the quests, brought the gargoyles to life so they could deliver a message. But a battle ensued. The more courageous members of the group fought the gargoyles relentlessly with their foam swords until all of them were lying on the ground.
After the wounded members of the group were healed, one “undead” gargoyle announced, “Teseroth brought us life to deliver a message. Follow the river. Down there, there will be a wooden sculpture on your left and you’ll know where to go.”
When we reached the Fine Arts Building, where artists and philosophers once resided, we met a character named Bob. Bob admitted she had some information regarding a great treasure, but refused to share with us.
Because of her suspicious behavior, I deemed Bob untrustworthy and suggested we tie her up and torture her.
“Why Gabija! You’re more bloodthirsty than I had imagined!” Rowena said.
I couldn’t help myself but get into the role-playing.
Suddenly, a monster, a non-playing character, threw a boulder at us and we headed to the ruins for cover. As we walked down the stairs with lanterns, from a balcony we saw Orcs eating Bob’s friend (a figure drawn on a piece of paper with “Bob’s friend” written across it). We immediately ran down to kill them.
Again, I was apprehensive about battling since the Orcs were so big and are very aggressive. I lent another character my sword for combat. He rewarded my generosity with a red jewel — a piece of LARP currency.
Many members of the group took hard blows. Only two characters had healing powers so it took a while to rehabilitate everyone. During this battle we discovered half of a map pointing us to the next place, until a giant boulder came down and forced us into the basement.
While we crept to the end of the hallway, a “daeusexmachina” (hand of god) mortally wounded me. I fell to the floor and began counting my mortality until the elf healer, T’sarra, took over and wrapped a bandage around me to restore my mortality rate.
The others who made it to the end of the hallway encountered Teseroth, who said, “you need to find The Chalice of Life and the Fire of Souls to get Faceless back.” This was the first time we learned the purpose of the quest.
The other half of the map was posted on the wall next to us, showing us where we would find the Chalice. The Chalice was being guarded in a dark room by a slug that poisoned a member of the group (with bright green duck tape).
While we waited for the members of the group subjected to the slug, we heard demonic chanting, which sounded strangely similar to the Binghamtonics.
Then we headed back upstairs to a hallway behind the stage, where we encountered more Orcs and Bob’s second friend. The Orcs called in a cave troll. His weapon was a six-foot-long axe wrapped in duck tape. This battle was more gruesome than the last. The scout tried to protect me, but I was headstrong and chose to fight these Orcs, which only led to me being mortally wounded again, near death.
Our penultimate challenge was to limbo under twinefire (thin rope) and to avoid being attacked by monsters. Finally, we made it to the lobby of the Anderson Theater where we fought our final battle against a Nacromancer who had obtained the Fire of Souls and used it to bring zombies back to life. I excitedly participated in this final battle, killing a zombie and wounding two others.
Once we had defeated the Nacromancer and his zombie army we had to get the Fire of Souls, which was burning from a purple speck of ember on the Nacromancer. The reeve instructed us to use the Chalice of Life to get it. One character realized what this meant he had to open the Chalice (an empty bottle of wine) to suck up the Fire of Souls (a piece of cardboard in the shape of fire, with Fire of Souls written across it).
To finish off the quest, we had to tiptoe on a narrow cliff (between two lines of duck tape on the floor) with a treasure chest at the end. Many characters weren’t graceful and stepped out of the lines, falling over the cliff and dying. At this point, the healers did not waste any time resurrecting the dead.
After an hour and a half of role-playing, it was time to sign the sign-out sheet, our exit from the world of LARP. After my first quest, I was able to see the appeal of LARP. The enthusiasm and dedication of the characters to this fictional world makes us forget mundane realities where our skills consist of writing essays and taking tests, instead of battling monsters with foam swords and healing the wounded.