Angela Chauvert (Angela Carling), Garhre and Oz (Adlai Rae) speak for the community of Roleplay: Piltover & Zaun. They sponsor the Literary Festival, each of them with different amount of years of Faire sponsorship behind them. They share their reasons to join the Faire, introduce us to the roleplay in the cities of Piltover and Zaun, and talk of their love for the Fairelands.
Some of you have been sponsoring Fantasy Faire for years, some of you are just starting. What calls you to Faire sponsorship?
Angela: This is my fourth year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. I discovered Fantasy Faire in 2012, and immediately fell in love. Creators would save their best items to sell at the Faire. The events and the dancing were great fun. The people were the most kind, warm and welcoming people I have ever met…. And that is still true. The deep desire of my heart was to be a part of making the Faire a reality every year….but I have no skills at building or creating. Then I found out I could be a sponsor! And an encourager! So that has been my role ever since.
Garhre: This is my second year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. My first Faire was last year (2018) and my interest in Second Life (SL) was waning, as I had not discovered any place or group that really suited my interests, weird, I know. When I heard about Fantasy Faire my interest was rekindled, when I arrived I was hooked! As I explored and chatted with the friendliest people in Second Life, i discovered FF was a RFL event! I was thrilled to see all this art and creativity doing so much good for so many people and I HAD to find a way to contribute more.
Oz: This is my first year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. I’ve been a longtime enthusiast for creatives in Second Life. Fantasy Faire is handsdown, the biggest celebration of creativity, artistry, life, and a showcase of humanity at its best! Angela and Garhre suggested that we connect our RPZ community with the Fantasy Faire community. I will probably be thanking them for years to come for their suggestion. What a tremendous gift this has been. I’ll be back as a sponsor next year!
How did you begin roleplaying in Second Life? Did you roleplay before coming to Second Life?
Garhre: As a lover of theatre, the idea of playing an impromptu part in an ongoing roleplay was exciting and intimidating. Luckily, many in the roleplay community are nearly as welcoming as the Fairegoers! I stumbled often, and still do, but that is part of the thrill, the unexpected twists and turns of a story you can not only follow, but create with others!
Oz: Ohhh boy. This was in 2006 – I had moved for academics and was missing my old community of friends back home, and with my course load, was not having the same opportunity to create that I had enjoyed before my move. I was looking for online open format roleplay, and found the suggestion of Second Life in some forum. I had participated in tabletop RPGs and have a background in theater. Character development and story had long been a part of my life in different ways. Second Life was a new avenue of creative exploration, but even more, an unexpected opportunity to make lifelong friends.
Tell us about Roleplay: Piltover & Zaun?
Oz: The essence of all sci-fi fantasy genres, be they steampunk, cyberpunk, or aetherpunk is how we explore the answer to a question that starts “What if …. ?” We break this down further here:
In Piltover and Zaun, we explore these answers in two settings: Zaun – a massive “anything goes” metropolitan dystopia that’s been around for thousands of years, and Piltover – a utopian urban city that was built by Zaunites (now Piltovans) only 100 years ago – right on top of the city they left behind. There are no good guys or bad guys, ultimately. In the end, Piltovans and Zaunites are both progressive, driven, hardworking, and proud. They want they same things in life but their deployed methods are what sets them apart.
The community of Piltover and Zaun is hands down, the most artistically giving and supportive group of players that I’ve ever known and their collaborative enthusiasm is essential for the spirit of Piltover and Zaun. We’re not beholden to a certain time in history. We can play with story, technology and fashion, answering questions that start “what if…” while we pull from all sorts of genres to create a sharable world that is truly special.
Chapter One of our story explored the darkness of humanity: A terrorist attack in Piltover that claimed tens of thousands of lives, with number one suspects presumably from Zaun. Tension between the two cities was at an all time high and the threat of civil war was upon them.
Chapter Two (launching 5/11!) steers us away from this darker “us vs us plot”, and towards innovation and progress. The worst of tensions are behind us, and now, it’s time to rebuild. Our world in RL desperately needs to heal, and it feels right to host an environment that celebrates growth and possibility. There is still a darkness in the shadows in both these cities for those that still enjoy those themes, but it’s not our main focus right now.
What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?
Angela: I first encountered fantasy as a child when I read “A Wrinkle in Time.” As a teen I discovered “Lord of the Rings.” I have read the entire trilogy 10 times! Then I found Second Life and medi-fantasy roleplay. For the first time, I really COULD be…. Anyone or Anything I wanted! So of course I became a dragon! In real life, I slowly began to take on the character of the best dragons. As Angel grew stronger and more courageous, she taught me to be the same.
Garhre: I’m not sure what calls me to fantasy (and speculative fiction), but it was immediate and has been long-lasting. I still own many of the early books that set me on my path, Tolkien, Moorcock, Bradbury, Wells, Clarke, Gibson… I could go on. I guess i admire and take heart in the stories of a characters dealing with issues head on coming together in common cause.
Oz: Folktales have been a part of my childhood going back as far as I can remember. I have a nostalgic place in my heart for films like The Secret of NIMH, The Neverending Story, Willow, and Star Wars. Stories where characters are plucked from their ordinary lives and called upon to do extraordinary things.
Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?
Garhre: As this is only my third Faire, I am still amazed by the beauty and the work of people who create it. The performances are a major highlight and I eagerly anticipate each one I will attend. Oh, the hunt is another Faire centerpiece that has always been a prized experience.
Angela: My favorite Faire memory began two years ago, when Fantasy Faire sponsored the Kenyatta Hope Hostel, in Kenya. A few years ago my sister’s cancer was terminal… but she was still doing chemotherapy. I would drive her to her appointment, bring her home, tuck her in bed, and fix her her favorite food – half of a grilled cheese sandwich. Those people in Kenya…. Going through the same horrible treatments….and then sleeping on a piece of cardboard under a tree…often with no food and no one to take care of them. Hits me as hard now as it did two years ago. We WILL beat this horrid monster, Cancer!
What am I looking forward to this year? Grins wide. Those big parties where the Fairelanders challenge each other and encourage each other to keep filling those RFL Kiosks with lindens. Every Fairelander cheers at even the smallest donations. And we dance and jump and clap and have the best time ever!
Oz: I sometimes settle into predictable comforts in Second Life but for good reasons: I fall in love with particular environments and remain, or hold onto friends and visit our same regions or creators over and over together. Fantasy Faire invites us all as creators or enthusiasts to explore the unknown. And in that, we’re given tremendous opportunity to discover new artists, make new friends, and explore wondrous regions before they fade away. I can’t pick a favorite memory … I feel as though I’m in the middle of an expansive collection of memories that have not yet turned their page.
Thank you, Angela, Garhre and Oz, for taking the time to chat with us. Thank you for bringing your community into the Fairelands and sponsoring their return!