WEBSITE UPDATE OCTOBER 4th 2021
SIGN UP is closed but if you want to be on the waiting list email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This part describes everything you can expect participating in HEX: The Great Exhibition! It will give you an idea of what we want to achieve and what we expect you to contribute with. It is required reading before signing up.
What is LARP?
LARP (live action roleplay) or LAIV in Norwegian is an interactive theater experience where participants portray characters in a fictional setting, as both audience and performers working together to create a story through improvising.
We will use larp terminology such as OOC (Out-Of-Character), IC (In-Character) and In-Game/Out-Of-Game to differentiate between what you as a player need to know or do (OOC/Out-Of-Game), and what you as the character knows and can do (IC/In-Game/IG).
HEX: The Great Exhibition is a one day Nordic larp style game, which means its a traditional larp where you are physically portraying your player character in a fully immersive larp. The Great Exhibition is both a stand-alone event as much as it concludes HEX Letter Larp. This means that your character was either part of the expedition into Hollow Earth or that your character is interested in the expedition and exhibition in some way.
HEX is international and open to anyone from around the world. Everything will be in English but don’t worry, your English is good enough!
Sign Up, Flagging and Casting
HEX: The Great Exhibition is suitable for both inexperienced and experienced larpers.
When sign up for HEX: The Great Exhibition is finished we will do a flagging process. More about the flagging in Practical Information.
When the flagging process is finished we will do a casting based on player diversity. We will have a limit of 50 players. Because of the larp’s theme(s) you need to be 18 to participate (players under 18 need parental/guardian permission).
Genre, Setting and Atmosphere
HEX is Gaslamp Fantasy (also known as Gaslight Fantasy). It’s the cousin of Steampunk. Where the latter is deeply rooted in sci-fi with industry, steam and clockwork as important elements, Gaslamp is connected to Historical Fantasy with magical, mythical and fantastical elements, themes and subjects in a late 19th/early 20th century setting. It has a lot in common with Romantic Fantasy and Gothic Horror for example.
For HEX this means that world history up until the expedition is the actual world history in the setting. Everything appears as it does in our real world history books, but if you dig a little deeper you encounter bigger-than-life heroes, exotic places, strange, mysterious villains and secret societies and organisations, all of whom have a vested interest in the Hollow Earth.
The Fantastical and Magic
The world on the surface of the earth (topside) will be Victorian semi-historical. We will not be sticklers for historical accuracy, but do require some effort to be made. The Hollow Earth itself is where the fantastical elements of our setting will be found. You can still be a believer in the fantastical, a hunter of the abominable snowman or Atlantis but it’s based on faith and not facts. The findings from Hollow Earth are however fact! Its alien (as in strange – not necessarily from outer space but hey, who knows?) and as fantastical as you want it to be.
Gender and Sexual Equality
The Victorian Era is infamous for its repression and oppression. We acknowledge this, and has chosen an alternate history route where society is more LGBTQI+ friendly and accepting. All genders are equal and sexual diversity is a fact. Women can do whatever men can do. Discrimination against gay and gender-diverse people, be they trans and/or non-binary, is not socially accepted and not allowed on HEX.
Imperialism and Class
There will be no play on imperialism, instead we will focus on class. It is still a class divided society but it is independent of (but not limited to) ethnicity, gender and religion. You still need to get married to secure your privilege and position but the gender of your chosen one (or even ones) doesn’t matter.
This is an alternative our world in the Victorian Era (1837-1901) where the journey into Hollow Earth takes place and where the magnificent findings will be on display in a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition afterwards.
HEX: The Great Exhibition begins right in the middle of a two day festive event hosted by the The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in October 1895. We open the game onto the second day of the exhibition where we will celebrate the heroes and their findings of Hollow Earth! Rivalries will flourish, wits and sharp tongues battle, evildoers will skulk in the shadows and people will dress up for this year’s main event!
The Heroes returning from Hollow Earth can’t wait to share their news and findings with the rest of the world! There will be stands and short lectures throughout the day. These are provided by you the players so you will need to prepare something to say and show as a team (there will be solutions for those of you who can’t create (10 thumbs and all) or are uncomfortable with public speaking). More on this further down under Costumes and Props.
Your next adventure will need a new team and financing, and winning the famed prize of the evening would make all the difference. Who will take home the mantle of Explorer Extraordinaire!
In-game the venue for HEX: The Great Exhibition is the headquarters of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (which in fact is a real thing!). More about the venue in Practical Information.
Playstyle and Atmosphere
Although the Hollow Earth is fantastical and alluring, this is not a comedy. It can be light-hearted but mainly its light drama.
The exhibition itself is an extravagant and glorious celebration with darker undercurrents. There will be no outside threats, no Non-Player-Characters (NPC’s) coming in to disrupt, only player character driven drama. Some of the things brought back from Hollow Earth might influence or affect people though.
Theft and Sabotage
There will be thieves, spies and rivals at the exhibition. You are only allowed to steal and sabotage items specified by the organisers.
Combat and Duels
There will be no combat or combat system as fighting indoors is not allowed. We encourage shouting matches and (gentle) glove slapping across the face or glove/fan thrown down on the floor in challenge.
But what would this setting be without settling quarrels in a more genteel fashion? We will be using 1777 Irish Code Duello as inspiration for this! No duels will actually be fought during the larp but instead will be planned for execution the next day (Out-Of-Game). The dueling system is explained in the Game Rules.
Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth from 1864 is definitely the main inspiration. HEX isn’t about playing out that journey. It’s about YOUR journey! The book does not exist within our setting, so neither do the characters and their discoveries within.
Gaslamp Fantasy wasn’t coined until 2006 so lots of fiction have retroactively been recognised as gaslamp. Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works are examples of that.
Other notable mentions are His Dark Materials (1995-2000) by Philip Pullman, the movie Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton, 1999), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen(1999-) graphic novels by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill, Stardust (1997) by Neil Gaiman, The First Men in the Moon (H. G. Wells, 1901), Showtime TV-show Penny Dreadful(2014-2016), and the 2006 Pulp roleplaying game Hollow Earth Expedition (Exile Game Studios).
Characters and Archtypes
All characters for HEX: The Great Exhibition will be written by us. They will be part of a team of at least three members or have three key relations.
All characters will be an archetype from the list under. Under each type we have suggested examples. Some examples fit under more than one but you will still only belong to one archetype.
For example: You can play a noble who is either the leader of the expedition team (archetype Explorer), a famous journalist covering the exhibition (archetype Cultural Elite) or just the one financing the expedition (archetype Benefactor).
Another example: You can play a scientist who is either the leader of the expedition team (archetype Explorer), part of the team as an expert (archetype Academic) or as an infiltrator with an agenda (archetype Secret Society).
Benefactors are people or organisations funding the Explorer’s adventures. They may or may not participate in the adventure themselves but they will most definitely want to have a say in what goes on, and even put their name on whatever shiny and interesting stuff you come back with.
The Crown (an agent of rather than a Royal), Nobles (old money), Nouveau Riche, Government Officials, Organisations, Secret Societies (any one from that list), Cultural Elites (any one from that list) , Museums/ Galleries, Universities, Banks, Lawmen (lawyers) or the Church.
Explorers are the ones leading the team from early preparations throughout the strenuous journey and getting everybody back safe with great treasures. They may be experienced and weathered or young and blue-eyed.
Examples: Nobles, Nouveau Riche, Academics (any one from that list), Secret Societies (any one from that list), Big Game Hunters, Soldiers (former?), Survivors, Cultural Elite (any one from that list), Missionaries, Occultists, Mystics, Outcasts, Criminals or Lawmen (police).
Crew Members are the people who do the hard work in the team. Who get up bright and early and are the last ones to bed, the ones who do the heavy lifting or digging but who rarely get the credit they deserve. Some are happy and some dream of leading their own adventure some day.
Examples: Soldiers, Sailors, Workers (factory workers, Butchers etc.), Lawmen, Cultural Elite (any one from that list), Natives to Hollow Earth, Aeronauts, Submariners, Occultists, Mystics Criminals, Secret Societies (any one from that list) or Spies.
Academics are the experts in the team. They know their sciences and history; either it is human, natural or fantastical, and they can easily spot a new discovery.
Examples: Scientists, Researchers, Professors, Occultists, Doctors (medical).
Cultural Elite are the famous and trendsetters. They might be up for an adventure themselves or more likely, they want their face and name associated with new and shiny discoveries. They decide what’s talked about, who gets the attention and who is forgettable. They can make or break a hero!
Examples: Benefactors (any one from that list), Academics (any one from that list), Journalists, Editors, Actresses/Actors, Musicians, Writers, Artists, Occultists or Spies.
Secret Societies are the secret movers and shakers of this world. They will have a hand in everything going on and are not afraid of using whatever dark means necessary to get their way.
Examples: The Crown (an agent of rather than a Royal), Government Officials, Academics (any one from that list), The Church, The Military, Mystics, Occultists or Spies.
Costumes and Props
HEX: The Great Exhibition is not a historically accurate larp but you are allowed to go All-In when it comes to costumes and props!
Costumes: Victorian or Edwardian fashion is definitely the way to go. The costume threshold is set at medium to high, so you do need to make an effort. We have made a Pinterest Board you can use as inspiration.
Can you buy a costume, yes of course. Make sure it looks authentic and not a cheap Halloween outfit. Can you use modern materials? Yes, as long as it doesn’t stick out as modern. And remember that anyone can wear a dress or a suit in this setting! If you are unsure if your costume will fit in, please contact us!
Hairstyle: People can sport their modern hairstyles! If you want to wear a wig, sure go ahead but you can also show of your blue curls if you want to.
Piercings and Tattoos: These are also okay, unless the latter is distinctively modern and noticeable.
Props: These can be anything your character needs during the larp. It’s a one day larp so hopefully you won’t need too much personal stuff. What you do need, at least if you are a hero returning from Hollow Earth, is whatever you have found and brought back. Explorers will be in teams so you are not going solo on this.
It can be drawn/painted/printed charts of creatures, plants or landscapes, a jar with fluorescent goo, different types of bones or dead insects, you name it! You might even have found other civilisations, like Atlantis. So go crazy!
You can be as tech savvy as you want but it should not be obvious. Your team will decide, plan and make, and then perform together at the exhibition. Please do converse and collaborate with your team before the event! If you need help getting things started with this, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Craftmanship options: This larp is not only for those creative geniuses that can handcraft anything out of thin air! You can choose between 3 craftsmanship options when you sign up. Your teams will be put together based on these options. More about props and stands in Practical Information.
1) Soft. When choosing this option your character was either not part of the expedition but is still interested in Hollow Earth in some way
if you were among the explorers; your team’s findings were on display the first day. The exhibition is a two-day event IG but we will only play the last day. Riveting LARP will provide your findings and it will still be a topic on the last day.
2) Medium. When choosing this option your character is part of a team deciding, designing and creating a small stand of your findings in the mingle area with other stands. It should not be big or too fancy. People will walk around and have a look. You will need to explain and answer questions together as a team.
3) Hard. When choosing this option your character is part of a team going all-in in deciding, designing and creating something really spectacular! You as a team are holding a lecture (10-15 min) displaying your findings in front of an audience. Size is still an issue because of venue but please impress!
As your organisers, Riveting LARP promises
….to answer all your questions as quickly as we can, to send you the information that you need in a timely manner, and to do everything that we can to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience with us. We expect that you read the materials we provide to you, and ask us if you do not fully understand them. We don’t bite and love to have contact with our players!
This part describes everything you need to know about the practical elements of HEX: The Great Exhibition. It is required reading before signing up. Some of the information here is also described under Expectation and some will be new information. Updated information will be sent out with the character emails.
HEX: The Great Exhibition is a one-day larp Saturday October 1st 2022.
Game start will be at 12.00 (12 noon) but we expect participants to be there earlier (10.00/ 10 a.m.) for briefings and preparations. The larp will end after the banquet around 23.00 (11 p.m.) with a following Afterparty.
Where: Trondheim, Norway. Our venue is in the city center. Closest airport is Værnes.
There are parking spaces close to the venue. More about parking and prices here.
Participants: We have a limit of 50 players. We are also looking for approx 10 staff.
1) Player Character. Full ticket price: 1000 NOK paid in two installments.
2) Player Character. Sponsor ticket: More than 1000 NOK paid in two installments with the same due dates as the regular ticket. By paying more you are helping other players attend by subsidizing their tickets.
3) Player Character. Subsidized ticket: 500 NOK (limited). You can decide to pay in two installments. We are hoping we can offer at least 10 subsidised tickets by applying money for this specific reason. Unfortunately we don’t know how many we can offer at this point.
4) Staff: Free of charge (limited). We are looking for approx 10 staff to help us out with practical stuff and serving throughout the day. You will get a character name but no plots. You will work as staff at the venue as doorman, servants and porters. Costume required: a long sleeved white button up shirt and black pants. We might be able to provide a top hat and coat for the doorman.
NB! Sleeping accommodations are not included in the tickets. We will try and get a deal with a local hotel.
Sign Up: Sign up is closed but you can send an email to email@example.com if you want to be on the reserve/waiting list
Original sign up was in October 2019 through March 1st 2020.
2nd sign up was September 1st to October 1st 2021.
Flagging Process: We want to make this a safe larp for everyone and we need your help to do that. To achieve this we have decided to run a flagging process. Shortly after sign up ends we will email everyone a name list of all who have signed up. You will be given the choice to flag names ORANGE and/or RED before a deadline.
You can share your flagging with either Jen or Christine. For administrative purposes we will need to share the name flagged with each other but it will be kept confidential by Riveting LARP, as will any reasons for flagging that you choose to share with either one of us.
ORANGE means that you are okay with this person attending the larp but for personal reasons you are unable to play closely with them.
RED means that you believe this person is unsafe to larp with. Someone who has been red-flagged will not be allowed to attend the larp.
If your name is flagged ORANGE we will do our best to make sure your characters aren’t connected.
If your name is flagged RED you will not be allowed to attend the larp. We will tell you that you have been flagged red but not why or by whom. We will make an exception if the flagger is concerned about potential repercussions etc.
Casting: We will do a casting shortly after sign up ends. You will get an email with a reserved you-shaped spot or a place on our reserve list.
Characters: All characters will be written by us. All characters will be part of a team of at least three members or have three key relations.
Sign Offs: We understand that life happens and that you may be forced to cancel, possibly even at the last minute, and that is okay. However, we ask you to respect the effort that we put into creating larps for you and sign up because you know you can attend. Can you afford it? Can you get the time off from work/obligations? Are you willing to travel to Trondheim? We would be grateful if you consider these questions before you sign up.
Briefing on Site: We expect all players part of an explorer team that are showing of their Hollow Earth findings to be at the venue from 10.00 (10 a.m.) Saturday October 1st 2022. This is your time for setting up your stand and making sure everything is in order before the larp starts. NB! Everything needs to be made beforehand, only light assembling of components is allowed at this point. OOC storage of equipment during the larp is not possible. More under Props below.
Everyone who is playing staff needs to arrive at 10.00 (10 a.m.) in their costumes.
Everyone else can arrive at 11.00 (11 a.m.) in their costumes. We will have a short briefing outside from approx 11.00 (11 a.m.). More information about this will be in the character email.
The Exhibition: In-game the event is two days; Friday and Saturday of October 1895, but we will only play out the 2nd day (the Saturaday). This means that the characters attended the first day Out-Of-Game. Characters will arrive In-Game the 1st after the briefings.
You will be greeted with canapes, bubbles and a welcome speech by the host(s) in the parlour before the doors to the exhibition in the banquet hall open.
Mingling around the stands before the short lectures are held.
The exhibition in the banquet hall closes as we serve Afternoon Tea at around 16.00 (4 p.m.) in the parlour.
The banquet hall will open its doors for the formal dinner party at 19.00 (7 p.m.).
The formal dinner party (and larp) end approx 23.00 (11 p.m.).
Stands and Lectures: We will provide the stands themselves (unless something else is agreed upon) and give you measurements and more information about them in the character email. The findings, the exhibition items, will be created by you – the players.
You need to decide, design and execute the exhibition items (choose option 2. MEDIUM in the sign up) displaying your findings or a 10 minute lecture (choose option 3. HARD in the sign up) of your findings together with your team.
If you are not a creative wizard, don’t know how to make anything, or don’t want that kind of attention, don’t worry! Choose option 1. SOFT in the sign up and you will either have had your stand/lecture on Friday 16th (which will not be in play) and have everyone talk about your excellent discoveries during the larp or play a character that didn’t participate in the expedition.
More about these options in Expectations.
Debrief and Afterparty: A short debrief will follow straight after the larp ends. We will do a quick tidying up and then we will have an after party until 01.00 (1 a.m.).
Venue: The play area is the parlour and banquet hall on the 1st floor (or 2. etg. in Norwegian) at Vår Frues gt. 4. It is the Befalsforeningen (Officer’s Union) who own it. Their Norwegian website is here.
It is the 3rd oldest building in Trondheim. The earliest traces of the building are from 1709 but its known history is from 1782. From 1856-1916 it was a chocolate steam factory, patisserie and café owned by Trondheim’s most famous connoisseur Ernst Erichsen. It has been modernised but still kept some of its old time charm.
Unfortunately it is not wheelchair accessible.
Costumes: We are setting the costume threshold at medium to high so you will need to make an effort. Victorian or Edwardian fashion is definitely the look to go for so anything from 1830’s-1910 will do but remember that genders are not limited in this setting!
HEX: The Great Exhibition is a red carpet event so you should dress to impress! Have a look at our Pinterest for inspirations!
There is no place to change at the venue. You have to already be dressed in costume when you arrive. There is an IG changing room for outerwear only. We will bring fabric to cover up any modern outwear and things stored here.
Props: We want to see some really fantastical things at the exhibition! There will be no time for making things on the day of the larp, on site at least. Only light modifications and assembly are allowed. You need to bring everything you need for this yourself.
We will provide the stands (unless something else is agreed upon) and give you measurements and more information about them in the character email.
Those who are putting up their stands need to arrive at 10.00 (10 a.m) on Saturday. You have one hour before briefings start. Other arrangements can be made.
There is no place to store equipment or OOC items at the venue. Only necessary things are allowed. Make arrangements with the organisers if necessary.
You will need to take everything down and with you when you leave the venue the same night.
Weapons: There will not be combat during this larp. You are however allowed to wear appropriate weapons as part of your costume. These shall under no circumstance be drawn or used to threaten anyone before, during and after the game. If you need to take a break and go outside, you will need to leave the weapon inside. We follow Norwegian Law so make sure they are correctly stored and transported.
Theft and Sabotage: There will be thieves, spies and rivals at the exhibition. You are only allowed to steal and sabotage items explicitly mentioned in your character. Make sure to let us know if theft or tampering of your stand is okay for you.
Food and Drink: The ticket includes canapes, Afternoon Tea and a banquet in the evening. Coffee, tea and water will be served all day. We will serve bubbles when you arrive IG. There will be a non alcoholic option. The ticket does not include alcohol during the banquet but you may bring your own.
We will post the menus when they are decided.
We will have a vegetarian option but are unfortunately not able to cater to all special dietary needs. If you have a serious food allergy which may result in requiring medical attention, we want you to register this during sign up.
Alcohol is allowed but this is not a boozy event. Your characters may be drunkards but any player found to be too intoxicated during the larp will be removed from play.
We follow Norwegian law, so under-aged (18) serving/drinking and all drug abuse is forbidden.
Smoking is allowed but only outside. Do not bring any alcohol or weapons outside.
This part describes the world of HEX: The Great Exhibition.
Although your characters can be from anywhere in the world, and The Great Exhibition will be set in Trondheim (Norway), Britain and Queen Victoria are very much at their height of influence in the wider world.
This is straight Victoriana and, although we are not intending to be too rigid when it comes to historical accuracy, it is important to get the feel of the Victorian era correct.
Do remember that our topside world is a mundane one; yes, you may find people who spend their lives hunting for the abominable snowman, and you may find secret societies dedicated to exploring magic and the occult. But these people are very much in the minority, and may well be looked upon as eccentric or downright mad, depending on economic and social standing if anyone were to find out about their leanings. At least they might until weird and wonderful findings start coming up from the Hollow Earth – even then, there may be those who are skeptical to the whole Hollow Earth enterprise, even with scientific proof!
Victorians put great stock in social class. The theory was that class reflected indefinable but substantial differences in individual breeding, which therefore could be passed from generation to generation perpetually justifying the existence of relatively rigid classes.
Though libraries have been written on the subject, for the purposes of our game we define three fundamental divisions in late Victorian British society; Upper Class (aristocrats, landed gentry, high government officials, those who have amassed great wealth), Middle Class (professionals, merchants, a few exceptionally skilled tradesmen), and Lower Class (the working and criminal classes.)
An aristocrat inherits their breeding, and therefore their title be it Duke, Baroness, Baronet or Lady/Lord. The minor noble or person elevated to the peerage during their lifetime is also Upper Class, but of distinctly lesser status, because their breeding has not yet proven true.
Social class also affects one’s occupation. While those of higher status might enter any occupation of status (doctor or lawyer would be respectable; dance-hall singer would not be), the Lower Class was locked into basic and usually demeaning occupations such as servant or unskilled laborer.
THE STATE OF THE WORLD
Europe – The final years of the Victorian era were when innovation, exploration and invention were at their height in England. Victoria’s reign was marked with great changes that were to impact and influence the political, economic, religious, and cultural scenes of the world for decades to come. During this Queendom the British Empire became the largest empire in history.
This period in time was also one of relative peace in Europe, no major war had occurred on the continent since the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. That conflict had dealt the death blow to Napoleon III’s Second Empire in France, ushered in the Third Republic, and confirmed the strength of a now mostly-unified Germany and its Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Internally, the question of Irish independence was a thorn in British politics, and there was much unrest in the conglomerate Austro-Hungarian Empire as well as in the Balkan provinces of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
In Britain, the Dynamiters, notorious for leaving nitroglycerin bombs on underground trains and other public places, still made grisly headlines. The Fabian Socialists and similar groups called for social reform and an end to the monarchy.
Although Britain’s absolute lead in manufacturing had, compared to Germany, France and Russia, declined relatively from the 1870’s, the British Empire was at its peak. All the continental powers traditionally fielded larger armies than the British, but at sea Britannia still ruled the waves.
While Anglo-German friendship was at its height during the early Victorian era, thanks to blood and marriage ties between the royal families, in the 1890’s the British perceived a growing threat from Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm encouraged an aggressive program of naval expansion from 1894-1900 driving together British and French interests.
The Americas – Across the Atlantic, the United States had become a world power, having recovered from the Civil War and grown extensively in territory, industrial and agricultural output, and in world prestige. The 1890’s saw the United States emerge as a major power, political and civil unrest was the rule in Latin America.
The Far East – Japan signaled its new status as an important regional power by its invasion of the Korean peninsula and subsequent war with China in 1894. Japan’s swift victory indicated her growing strength and China’s prostration. In 1903 Japan would establish its position as a dominant power in the Western Pacific by resoundingly thrashing the Russian armies in Manchuria shortly after destroying most of the Russian fleet.
Japan’s star shone as China’s waned. The Western powers pushed for greater influence on the mainland and, without the interference of the United States in 1899, China might have found herself carved up between the Western powers. Reacting to Western interference, various Chinese reform groups and secret societies flourished, designed to preserve the old Chinese ways and to reject Western ideas.
Eastern Mediterranean and Africa – Here conditions were even more unstable. In 1986 the Cretans rose in final revolt against the Turks, achieving autonomy under Turkish suzerainty two years later. The Turkish Ottoman Empire had been shrinking throughout the 19th century, and continued to do so. Although Egypt nominally belonged to the Ottoman Empire, the Turks paid it little attention, allowing Britain greater influence and finally gaining control along the Nile.
A number of revolts in Egypt and the Sudan spelled trouble for British forces. Quietening Egypt by 1883 the British did not intervene in the Sudan until 1896, by which point the Dervishes under the Mahdi, who had massacred the British General Gordon and his forces in 1885, had subjected the land to a reign of tyranny leading to the death of most of the Sudan’s people. In 1896, Lord Kitchener headed British and Egyptian troops at the battle of Omdurman, routing the Dervishes and restoring peace to the Sudan.
France grew jealous of the British influence in Egypt and in 1898 sent an expedition to Fashoda on the Nile under the command of Commandant Marchand, nearly provoking war between France and Britain before the French wisely withdrew.
In 1896 the British were forced to swiftly put down the final uprising rebellion of the Ashanti tribe in their Gold Coast colony having had to send forces to restore order in Uganda only six years earlier following uprisings and the murder of Christians there.
Italy fought with Abyssinia over the small colony there and in 1895 full scale war broke out which resulted in a crushing defeat for Italy, and full independence for Abyssinia.
South Africa is largely under British reign in this era. However, due to the Treaty of Pretoria which ended the First Boer War in 1881, the Boer Republic of the Transvaal was self-governing under British suzerainty. British settlers in other areas of South Africa resented the treatment their countrymen receive in the Transvaal gold mines, however, and plot to overthrow the Transvaal government and seize power from the Boers. In 1896 a small force led by Sir Leander Starr Jameson raided Johannesburg, expecting the British workers to rise up in support. That support never came and Jameson’s forces found themselves surrounded and captured. Jameson’s Raid led to Boer incursions into Britain’s Natal and Cape Colony in 1899, sparking the Second Boer War. This war would continue for the next two and a half years.
THE BUSINESS OF EXPLORING
Royal Geographical Society
Founded in London 1830, the club’s original name was the Geographical Society of London. It absorbed the older African Association, as well as the Raleigh Club and Palestine Association. In 1859 it was granted its royal charter from Queen Victoria and became the Royal Geographical Society. At the time of our game, the Royal Geographical Society is meeting at 1 Saville Row, an address that quickly became associated with adventure and travel.
The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters
Founded in 1760 and based in Trondheim, it is the oldest scientific and scholarly institution in Norway. At the time of our game, it is the northernmost learned society in the world and was established at a time when Norway did not have universities or colleges. It is also the host of The Great Exhibition in-game.
The Exploration Society
A precursor to what would become the Explorers Club; New York City found herself host to regular informal social meetings of the USA’s most adventurous. Although the Society was only about thirty strong, it would expand to fifty in a day when noted journalist, historian and explorer, Henry Collins Walsh decided to create a formal organisation to unite them in purpose and funding in 1904.
The Exploration Society have been meeting in public places since about 1870 and are places where explorers can go to discuss ideas and tactics, as well as give and receive hints on the best way to go about securing funding for one’s latest venture.
They are a Fraternal order of men of ‘good standing’. Heavily ritualised, the Masons are known to exist but what goes on within their walls remains a closed secret. In 1882 Maria Deraismes was initiated into Freemasonry. Having failed to gain acceptance from any masonic governing body, she and Georges Martin started a mixed masonic lodge that worked masonic ritual. Disagreements over ritual led to the formation of exclusively female bodies of Freemasons in England, which spread to other countries.
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Is a secret society dedicated to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities. The Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic were inspired by the Golden Dawn. Founded by three Freemasons, the system was based on hierarchy and initiation; however women were admitted on an equal basis with men. In 1888 the first temple was founded in London so it is a fledgling organisation in the current time of the Hollow Earth expedition (letter larp), but by The Great Exhibition in 1895 the Golden Dawn had reached its Golden Age with over 100 members from every class of Victorian society.
Other notable mentions
The first American Rosicrucian Order (the first Fraternitas Rosae Crucis in 1858) was founded by Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875), an African American medical doctor, occultist, spiritualist, trance medium and writer.
Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O/ Order of the Temple of the East/ Order of Oriental Templars) is an international fraternal and religious organisation originated in Germany/ Austria between 1895 and 1906 intended to be modeled after and associated with European Freemasonry but was reorganised around the Law of Thelema as its religious principle under the leadership of Aleister Crowley from 1925.
Intelligence Agencies and Committees start popping up mid 1900’s. Although they are not considered secret societies now (because their motives are public safety and not for themselves) their early beginnings were not as clear. The Crown, military and Governments have active spies working for them.
“Is the Master out of his mind?’ she asked me.– Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Jules Verne
‘And he’s taking you with him?’
I nodded again.
‘Where?’ she asked.
I pointed towards the centre of the earth.
‘Into the cellar?’ exclaimed the old servant.
‘No,’ I said, ‘farther down than that.”
The Hollow Earth was a concept notably suggested by Edmond Halley in the late 17th century. It proposes that the planet Earth is either entirely hollow, or contains a substantial interior space. It is a concept that reoccurs throughout our folklore and is the premise for a lot of subterranean fiction and adventure stories.
In 1889 the Hollow Earth was again on everybody’s lips. Rumours about a letter from its depths was whispered about in quiet meetings of exploratory types, of entrances mentioned and maps carefully marked. For a long time most people believed that getting into Hollow Earth was a difficult if not impossible thing to do. After all, if it were easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? But in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Entrances to Hollow Earth are common, people fall into them all the time! The problem is that these entrances often look mundane; cave systems, volcanic vents and deep sea fissures can extend far deeper than anyone realises.
Several explorer teams rushed out on a great adventure! But what lies beneath the surface of the Earth? Rumour abounds of dinosaurs and great oversized vegetation, of lost civilizations and technology beyond your wildest dreams. In Hollow Earth lies great potential for discovery and fame, are you the one who brings back the artefact that could change everything?
This part describes the Game Rules we are using on HEX: The Great Exhibition. This is required reading for everyone – the safety rules are something that everyone should know by heart. These rules exist to ensure the fun and safety of everyone. Please follow the intention of the rules, not the letter. Do not look for loopholes to ‘win’. If you break the rules, there will be consequences.
Safety and Security
Most of the time people look out for each other and play nice, and things are fine, so don’t worry! But sometimes things don’t go the way we would like them to, and that is when we need these simple keywords. Learn them, use them – there is never any shame in ensuring your comfort and safety.
Time-In and Time-Out
The larp starts and ends with these commands by the organisers.
Cut, Brake and Green
CUT is to be used to disrupt the game. If a scene is too much for you, if someone gets injured for real, if a dangerous situation is about to unfold and people are unaware, you should loudly and clearly say CUT! This means that all surrounding play stops, immediately. Check in on each other, fetch an organiser and fix whatever is wrong. Play resume once everyone is ready.
BRAKE can be used as a softer version of cut. If someone is playing too hard, yelling too loud, but you do not want to stop play, just calm things down – then you can say BRAKE. Everyone stay In-Character, but ease down and take it slower.
GREEN is simply a way to let others know that you are okay, that you can take it. It can also be used as a question, to ask others if whatever you do to them is okay.
You can always do a time-out sign with your hands (form a T) to show that you want to say something OOC, such as: “Your character has offended me greatly, can I slap you with my glove?” or “Can we have a shouting match in a couple of minutes?” You can also use this sign to signal the organisers that you want to talk privately. Keep it subtle, but do it if you need it.
Combat and Weapons
There will be no combat during this larp. We encourage shouting matches and (gentle) glove slapping across the face or glove/fan thrown down on the floor in challenge. You are also allowed to challenge each other to duels.
Weapons worn as part of your costume shall under no circumstance be drawn or used to threaten anyone before, during and after the game.
If you decide to step outside, leave any weapons inside and respect that we have neighbours and passersby who don’t know about larping.
You are allowed to challenge each other to duels (pistols or swords). No duels will actually be fought during the larp but instead will be planned for execution the next day (out-of-game). We will be using an intricate Dueling System for this!
We are inspired by the 1777 Irish Code Duello, the most formal way to fight for our duelling system. More about this later.
There will be no deaths at this larp.
Some of the findings from Hollow Earth may influence or affect people in a certain way. You will get instructions from the organisers if this happens.
We have a system that ensures safe and considerate play while enforcing the need for clear consent. It is a technique known as Ars Amandi.
The technique is widely known, easy to play, and surprisingly intimate. The way it works is that one will touch and/or stroke arms and hands (and nothing else) in different ways to simulate sexual interactions. Eye contact can be added to increase intimacy.
The most important rule of all sexual interactions is that all parties feel secure and are actively consenting. Trying in any way to force, coerce, or otherwise pressure someone else into playing out or escalating a sexual encounter is never acceptable!
Any and all play on sexual violence is prohibited under all circumstances!
Off-Game Physical and Mental Safety
This is only a one day larp but the play can still become intense. Unfortunately we don’t have a secluded OOC room but if you need a break from the game, you can go out to the landing or even step outside for a bit of fresh air.
If you decide to step outside, leave any weapons and alcohol inside and respect that we have neighbours and passersby who don’t know about larping.
The organisers can join you and chat, give you a hug, drink, snack, fetch a friend, or just leave you alone. Let us know, we are there for you.
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