Well first off, I should be lashed repeatedly for taking so long between posts! I will try very hard to not let that happen again. Before Ragnarok, I ended up dislocating a rib pole-dancing. I had originally thought it was a strained lattisimus, but it just wouldn’t get better. So I went to a Physical Therapist and she informed me that I had gained so much upper body strength so quickly in pole that my back muscles had latched onto my rib and pulled it out of place! A lot of therapy, exercises, and (pole) rest later, and I’m almost back to normal.
The dislocation threatened my good time at Rag, but my PT was awesome and got me up and running again so I was able to go and fight, though very, very carefully. Ron was able to outfit the Stagger Inn (the Poisoners Guild’s bar) with two poles for dancing. More on that later. I was cautious and arched for the first half of the week, but by the end I was back to my sword and shield, which is definitely where I’m more useful.
This year was absolutely fantastic! There were a lot of dear friends who couldn’t make it, but plenty who did, including our friends from Japan. Their real names are James and Keiko, Dag names Zagar and Rio. Ron and I are Mikar and Baast, and by the end of the week I was no longer answering to Megan. It took some getting used to. It’s so funny; when we tell our Dag friends our real names they look at us very strangely and say, “But you don’t look like Ron and Megan. You look like Mikar and Baast.” Those fantasy names start to become a reality.
The fighting was great this year. Really great; there were a lot of people out there and whomever was in charge of designing the games put some real thought into it. There was a great variety of battles. Some used just the open field and others used the castle. At one point, all of the Army of Mordor (AoM) was guarding a gateway into the castle. We lined our swords and shields along each side of the door. When people tried to come through, if our swordsmen missed them, our archers at the end of the “Murder Pocket” simply picked them off. It was exhilerating, even though I was definitely the only woman in the murder pocket.
I also love arching with our soft padded arrows. Arrows and javelins are the only weapons for which head-shots are permitted in the game. There is almost nothing more thrilling than hitting a dude dressed as a Roman in the face with an arrow! I ended up hitting one poor guy again and again. I’d hit him, he’d die and go get resurrected, come back, and I’d hit him again. I didn’t mean to keep hitting the kid, he just made himself such a good target.
We camped in Dajur-gah, an offshoot of Mordor also known as “Mordor Heights.” It got that name because last year the older, quieter people camped there (across the street from Mordor Proper itself.) A lot of people brought huge multi-person tents so it looked like we were living in the wealthy subdivision when compared to the small one-man tents in Mordor. The name stuck, and we even had a gate for our gated community this year. What’s pretty funny is that last year so many people came by wanting to hang out with us, that a ton of folks who camped in Mordor Proper this year came to the Heights. It made for a lot of really fun conversations and hang-outs by the campfire.
Our biggest bonding activity that we do at all events (and often more than once at Ragnarok) is our Baby Burning. Keep in mind, we play evil orcs, ghouls, goblins, giants, pirates, etc. So we are not friendly with the human/good elf types. To show our characters’ contempt for the “good” guys, we buy a few baby dolls, destroy them during the week, and then burn them in a bonfire while we chant various evil chants together. One of our guys — character name Odd — often plays the role of Master of Ceremonies, and he really gets into it. This year’s Baby Burning was fantastic. He had us shout out the names of our friends who were not there and gave us general pep-talks, promising that our “Lord Sauron” would take care of us and such. It’s really one of those things you need to see to believe and understand, but it’s a major blast.
The Poisoners Guild threw a great party on Tuesday night of Ragnarok and it was a tremendous hit! (In fact, the bar was tapped after about two and a half hours.) That was with the main bar mixing plus all of us little satellite Poisoners who mix our own concoctions and walk around the party passing them out. Ron got two poles installed in the Stagger Inn and there was definitely some great dancing. I was able to do some good spins and general dance moves, but I had to favor my right side because of the rib. One of our female fighters — character namy Vythyl — is an amazing climber so she was able to do some great entertaining as well. At one point, she climbed up to the top of the pole and posed while I did spins underneath her. It was quite a hit. Some of our guys even gave it a go! I was jealous watching them do amazing tricks and inversions that need a ton of upper body strength, but it was so cool to see. It was also great to see people coming out of their shells and trying something new for the first time.
All in all, Ragnarok was beyond amazing. There were so many amusing moments and so many good fights. We’re still only halfway through Dagorhir’s season, so I know I’ll have a lot more stories for you coming up.