Route 431 Trout River to Woody Point

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Its more than a drive – its an experience!  Twenty minutes of incredibly beautiful scenery that changes on a daily basis and varies in extremes from one side of the road to the other.

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These photos were taken at the Wallace Brook Parking Area of Gros Morne National Park

Right now the snow drifts are too deep to make it down to the brook itself but in the warmer months this area will become an intoxicating backdrop for LARP photography sessions, pre-game battle training and phases of Dramatic Intent – our 6 day group pkg.

Tomorrow I am heading back to the Trout River Pond, where I forgot to bring my camera this morning and could not capture the fingernail sized fish I spotted swimming in a sun melted spot along the shoreline.  Just hoping the fingerlike frost on the trees there will remain as they are for tomorrow’s walk, so I can share their beauty with you all.IMG_20180301_131441

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Faerie Bells & Elfin Spells Spoiler Alert

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The setting for this LARP is 900 AD, west coast of Newfoundland. Vikings have docked their larger ship in the harbour and wandered by smaller “rib” from the river to the lake-like pond guarded by an mountain in the form of an Elephant Head.

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There will be only 8 initial Viking characters available, so if you wanted to play as a Viking, our early bird, online $49 registration would be the best bet.  Now, that being said, there are other Vikings in the storyline, that will become available as character options through gameplay.  They have been taken hostage and transformed.  Without giving a whole lot away, those 8 Vikings have stepped into a beautiful land that is waging a war amongst its magical inhabitants.  There will be 20 character openings for Indigenous Peoples.  There are 5 character openings for Straylings.

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Faeries Bells & Elfin Spells will each have 30 character spaces available.  Preferably, people of shorter stature will choose to be faeries, but LARP is a game of choice and I am sure that the odd, taller faeries will be wittingly handled as part of the gameplay.  Elfin are closer to human height, but more distinctively nonhuman in their features than faeries who can be mistaken as children.  Coming to play LARP as a family?  I would suggest putting the kids down as Faeries. 0ab51c31040c13790a4b4c1aa102ac25

Newfoundland Faeries have gotten a reputation for being tricksters that use their childlike appearance to fool intruders and leave them lost in the woods. Many tales also described “elf blasts” in conjunction with “fairy memory distortion” and wings were disputed.  Elves were described in some stories as if they were the adult fairies, but a lot of alcohol was also involved, so I am sticking to Winged Faeries and Elfin Peoples as separate species that often cohabitate the same area and work together against common enemies.

 

 

This will be a game of hide and seek, treasure hunts, character swaps, fight and flee battles.  It will be high energy and also educational.  Players will need to learn battle moves, blocking moves, certain plant’s medicinal properties, translate messages from Elvish to Runic, and form protective Faerie Rings.

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On another topic, I noticed Uma Thurman promoting some adorable slippers that resemble Fairy Bells Plants that look extremely comfy and help Habitat for Humanity that were really neat and for a great cause.
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The Two Sides of You

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LARP offers you more than a chance to exercise, interact with new people, get outdoors in different surroundings; it offers you a chance to get YOU back, by ironically playing someone else. I know it seems illogical that a fictitious story plot, characters that are not always even human, extravagant costumes, makeup and wigs could somehow magically set your soul back into plain sight but it works.

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.When you don a costume with the intent to portray a specific character, you put thought and energy into getting the look right. You need people to instantly recognize what you are, for the game sake. Your physical stance, movement, choice of words, battle methods all tie in to the character. This is your freedom from the everyday stresses of the world. You are no longer you, while larping. You are whomever you choose to be. And therein lies the wisdom.makeup-art-performance-street-163852.jpeg

Life is an open script, much like a LARP event. What character you choose, depends upon YOU. It may not seem that way, on a day to day basis, but if you can stop for a WEEKEND LARP and be someone more enjoyable, why can’t you switch into someone more enjoyable for your everyday life. YOU can be as charismatic, fabulously dressed, or physically assertive as YOU chooses to be.

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Mountain Trolls

Mountain Trolls are part of Scandinavian legends, but looking at “Troll Sightings” you will notice their Mountain Trolls are often huge! These are not the “fit under your kitchen chair” variety of beings. They are more in line with Bigfoot or Sasquatch sightings.  Though human like in some ways, their distorted features and plant or rocklike qualities make them curiously appealing.

The paintings above have storylike quality to them and are painted by Swedish artist John Bauer.  Note the large noses, small eyes, large feet and hands and how they blend with their surroundings.  They seem humanlike but more a part of the forest.

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https://tonkosti.ru/Фото_Флома (Above photo courtesy of blog left)

Norwegians proudly display their belief and love of trolls.  Not quite as large as the real troll documented by RECON pilots during WWII, these are popping up in prime tourist locations due to their popularity.

(photo below courtesy of blog: http://flickrhivemind.net/tags/oslo,troll/interesting)

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More and  more trolls are  mingling with humans, albeit in the form of statues.  They’ve even made it overseas to America and taken residence under bridges in Seattle.   Forget the negative internet trolling and get out to do some trolling for fun.

You can come be part of Newfoundland’s very own upcoming Mountain Troll Festival in July 2018.  Enter our fun contest where YOU decide what a MOUNTAIN TROLL looks like, or perhaps you dabble in costumery and would like to enter that part of the contest.  We’ll be needing models too, for the MOUNTAIN TROLL STROLL.

 

 

 

Wicca and Vikings?

How do herbal products fit in with Viking themed adventures?  Well, let’s think back to the Allfather himself, co-creator of the Scandinavian and Celtic peoples.  This warrior god was very much into what was considered “female magic” – the magic of plants and energies.  In fact, he was temporarily banned for a time because he refused to give it up.  Fortunately, writers produce their best work when thrown into unfamiliar territory, because it gives them a story.  Think of “The Hanged Man” story – really an excerpt from The Havamal Saga – and how Odin turned his ordeal of being hung on “that windy tree” into an infamous tale that has inspired fortune tellers and cardmakers for thousands of years.

Odin, aka the One, aka the Allfather, aka the Warrior or Wotan, aka the Wise One, was son, father, grandfather, brother, husband, leader and a poet and writer of epic adventures….he was not all powerful, or all seeing, or all good, like some the gods of some religions.  In fact, he and his brothers Vili and Ve, created mankind (northern peoples) not for some higher purpose but just because they felt like it.  They used trees, not clay, and abandoned their creations, only to find them in bad shape later on and realized they needed someone to tend on them.

The gods and goddesses of Odin’s family were not immortal.  They owed their youthfulness and longevity of life to Iddun’s Golden Apples.  Without this precious fruit they aged. In fact, Valkyrie Freya lost her love Dur (an immortal Sun God) when her adopted family lost their ability to obtain more of Iddun’s Golden Apples for a time.  Dur didn’t like that his love was transforming into an older woman, so he left her!

Plants are very much a part of Scandinavian and Celtic culture.  The Tree of Life, often pictured encircled by The World Snake is a symbol of knowledge and pride in ancestry.  The runes – which are the basis of modern day English – have tree counterparts for every letter.  Many of the remedies used by the Celts who immigrated to North America were confirmed by the native indigenous populations there.  Consequently many Atlantic Canadians are of mixed Irish/Native ancestry, because of their mutual respect for nature and the spirit world.

Newfoundland has many wild growing natural herbs with marvelous properties for all sorts of situations.  There are food and vitamin sources abundant but unnoticed because it isn’t what you’d see in a supermarket.  All purchases of herbal products will also give you HEALTH and WISDOM points, should you play in our LARP adventures.

 

Of vampires….

woman-gothic-dark-horror-39628.jpegThe first LARP we will be holding as a WEEKEND LARP experience is Vampires on The Rock.  The Rock is Newfoundland’s nickname.  Anyone who knows me personally, knows how much of a vampire fanatic I am.  I have a vampire novel underway but couldn’t resist putting them into a LARP game as well.  What I wanted to do is create some base players for the staff to portray that really set the mood for our visitors.  Without revealing too much of the plot and undercurrent for side missions, I will just warn you all that those who know their vampire histories will be at an advantage.

That being said, those histories are legends and anthropological accounts told from the human side of the spectrum.  Do I really believe in vampirism? Yes, I really, truly do.  Am I offending any real vampires with this LARP?  I truly hope not.  In fact, I hope some of my customers are genuine Sanguinarians.  They do not have to disclose this to anyone.  So long as no humans really attack any vampires and no vampires really attack any humans we are good.  Gaming is gaming.  And in the world of gaming, all are equal, except of course, those who are better gamers.

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Beautiful Newfoundland

(above photo courtesy of Jason Blair Rogers, staff photographer)
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I cannot say enough about the area we call The Gulch, here in Western Newfoundland.  It is a route of the highway that connects coastal community Woody Point to coastal community Trout River.  Mountains loom on either side, rock filled streams gurgle past, caribou hop through ponds, the occasional moose wanders past… and it is just incredibly beautiful.Power BI Online Training by Edureka

The Gros Morne National Park is a place like no other.  There are flat mountains, like the Tablelands, plantless outcroppings of orange rocks, stunted, little, wind-warped trees, pitcher plants and juniper shrubs, pyramid-shaped mountains like Point Hills, large, tree covered cliffs, bubbling rivers and waterfalls.

It is so expansive and so different from one section to another.  The villages and towns interspersed within and around it are physically remote from one another.  It gives you the feeling that you have stepped back in time.  You can breathe the salty air, listen to the wind, pluck berries from the ground and just be.  That’s the gift of Newfoundland.  You can just be.
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Aviking By Hoof wants you to have time to experience Newfoundland on your own terms. We offer weekend LARP events, that you can book admission for morning, afternoon or the entire day(s). We have workshops that take only an hour. We’ve got group packages for your family, team or business colleagues that span up to 6 days with fun, Live Action Role Play themes that are based on the beliefs of the Viking peoples who discovered this island and its indigenous populations before England, Spain, France or Italy. Plus, we’ve got neat souvenirs to bring home to your favourite people, inspired by the beauty of this magnificent place, lovingly known as The Rock. GeekBuying.comWhether you are planning your vacation or already here on the island, we hope you come spend some time learning about the writings of Odin, trying some Wiccan remedies for nightmares or anxiety and perhaps, donning a costume and trying out your acting skills during our Live Action Role Playing events. Aviking means exploring. We hope you come aviking with us.Geekstore

Stomping on Stereotypes

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All too often we see Vikings portrayed as mindless brutes, jumping off boats and thrashing their way through villages with mindless savagery….but lets stop and think for a moment about the peoples the Romans referred to as Barbarians.

They were physically fit, intelligent, clean, believed in male/female equality and were well groomed.

They had their own language system, writing system and traded with people across the globe, thereby expanding their understanding of foreign languages.

They weren’t godless heathens – they had gods and goddesses of their own. The Allfather, Odin, also referred to as The One; Baldur, the handsome healer and protector of humans, son of Odin; Vili and Ve, co-creators of the Northern Peoples, Odin’s brothers who he banished when they tried to seduce his wife; Thor, the sun of an Earth Giant and Odin, ruler of the Middle World (Earth); Hel, daughter of Loki, Odin’s adopted son, ruler of the realm of the dead; and the list goes on.

They were skilled farmers, carpenters, metal workers, leather workers, with a knowledge of harnessing wind and water energy.

The All Thing in Iceland, the remains of which are visitable today, was an ancient, democratic gathering place for all residents to voice their concerns and make decisions.
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First for Newfoundland

I have several theories for Newfoundland – one being that its name is actually a misspelled version of Neufeld Land and there are families of Neufelds living in Newfoundland to this day.

I also have my own theory of why there is a pink, green and white version of the Newfoundland Flag; I believe it stems from Italian explorers plunking down flags of Italy that then faded with time from red, white and medium green to pink, white and moss green.

I have found large rocks with Runic carvings upon them, spotted large ravens with white beneath their wings and mused as to the genetic background of Newfoundland Ponies compared to Icelandic Horses.

This is because I grew up in Cape Breton.  To me, this place is a new place to discover.  One with legends of Vikings and Faeries.  And of course, there are the bad stories, of how European greed wiped out an entire tribe’s existence.  I search for proof of their existence too, comb the beaches and forests for some remnant no one else has noticed.

I am bringing LARP here and hopefully in doing so, am bringing Newfoundland to LARP.  Imagination is a form of freedom. Play is the best method of teaching.  Action is the best method of learning.  Shape shifting or dressing up in costume does more than affect the way you look – it affects the way you act.
By acting, we end up reflecting. And suddenly, something that seems like a whole lot of fun, has profoundly increased a person’s ability to look at other’s with new respect and understanding.

VAMPIRES ON THE ROCK WEEKEND LARP

 

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