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A random public picture relating to the lorien trust LARP system, taken from Flickr . Click on a photo to visit the full size version.


Here follows the legend of Mad Jack and the High Alchemist.

Mad Jack arrived at the Gathering of Nations in 1104 and there he met a young Elf whose true name, now lost to the mists of time, is forever remembered only as Jo-Jo the Idiot Boy. These two, master of deceit and faithful lackey, commenced a reign of terror the like of which had never been seen in Erdreja, no man was safe and daylight offered no respite from this tyranny. Master and apprentice, they reigned with sticky fingers, Jo-Jo was sweet and pure but in Mad Jack was found a man who feared neither punishment nor dishonour and his rampant pillaging knew no bounds.

Now Jo-Jo had been an innocent of sorts, uncorrupted by the ways of men, but he was to undergo an education at the hands of Mad Jack, whose taste for violence and gold had led him through many a fearsome adventure, and within a short time it became clear that his youthful exuberance was the perfect match for Mad Jack's worldly cynicism.

And so it happened, that they mixed with those who gathered and they coerced, robbed and bludgeoned anyone who so much as turned their backs on them. Until one day when they were feasting in the marketplace, boasting and laughing of the vast amounts of gold they had acquired and generally revelling in their skill and good fortune, they saw a man crossing their path to the latrines. Now this was no ordinary man for he was dressed as one with influence, bedecked in jewels and with an aura of power about his person, he strode with staff in hand, arrogantly towards his place of morning business. Mad Jack cast his well seasoned eye over the local premises and decided that the conditions were favourable for a rewarding escapade. With a nod and a wink to his comrade, he and Jo-Jo set off to intercept this glorious and unwitting prey.

As they casually strolled across the path of this man they offered a genial wave and a heartfelt "Good morning!". But he fixed them with a beady stare and, spying their intent through some devious art, he cried out with an imperious tone ringing in his voice, declaring "You don't want to do this!" Unstoppable, the indomitable Jack replied, "Yes i fucking do!" and then proceeded to go all upside his head with any manner of unspeakable weaponry. Gazing merrily down on their recently pacified chum, Mad Jack and his little friend bent close to carefully examine his person for they believed it would be most unfortunate if they were to pass over any item of significance. As they were about their business, at the foot of the steps to the latrines, the general cessation of the urgent passage of toilet-patrons sounded a warning bell in Jack's mind that was un-ignorable. He looked up into a crowd of concerned faces and without hesitation, ceased his rummaging and stood up sincerely concerned for the welfare of this poor man he had found lying out in the open. With genuine feeling he turned to the watching crowd and said, humbly, "He was like that when I found him...". And, shaking his head in utter disbelief at the cruelty of a world that would strike a man down in broad daylight before he had even had time to make his ablutions, he boldly left Jo-Jo to fend for himself.

Mad Jack was enjoying a leisurely saunter back to his camp, revelling in the fresh air and warming sunlight, when a panicked and sweaty-faced Jo-Jo caught him up. "They were gonna lynch me!" Said Jo-Jo, tones of fear ringing in his voice,"I had to run for my life..." Mad Jack turned upon his young protege an ageless stare and, with infinite wisdom, spoke these words,

"I don't know what you're talking about, I never done nothin'!"

Jo-Jo stopped in his tracks, "How could I have been so blind? Truly I am an idiot boy!", for the words of his master had struck a chord of understanding in him and it was as if a sunbeam had broken through the canopy of an enchanted forest, revealing hitherto unseen pathways that promised to lead him away from his leafy prison and into a world of limitless possibilities. And it seemed to him that he had reached a new level of awareness, it was all so clear now, "We determine our reality by our very persistence in what we believe, my will is nothing more than a part of a Will that is greater still and as such I am merely subject to it. Unless, that is, I become greater than that will and I enforce my ideas onto it therefore shaping all that is to my desire..." The sublime radiance of his new found insights shone from within Jo-Jo and it was as if he were suddenly robed in pure light, his hair was of golden flame and his face became glorious like the sun. And, seeing his apprentice enraptured so, Mad Jack finished untying Jo-Jo's money bag and used it to douse the fires of his enthusiasm with a series of whirlwind, backhand slaps. Picking himself up off the floor, Jo-Jo shook his head and, marvelling yet again at the wisdom of his master, hurried after him.

Some time later that day, after they had sat and rested, Mad Jack and Jo-Jo took it upon themselves to go in search of food and possibly someone to mug. Taking up sword, fencing mask and Yashmak they went off, out towards the marketplace and to riches and spoils unknown, but as they drew farther away from their camp they noticed a large mass of people gathering in the distance. Mad Jack was just about to voice his conclusions about who these people were and what they were about when a terrified errand boy came running up and screamed, "THEY ARE COMING! THEY ARE COMING! FLEE TO SAFETY!". Now Jo-Jo, seeking to impress his master, yelled, "Follow me! I can see a place of safety." And he dashed off through the open gates of the Bears camp. They had not gone more than a few steps past the gatehouse when they ran headlong into the entire armed forces of the Bears faction amassed for war. And there in their midst was a very familiar man, bedecked in jewels and with an aura of power about his person. The High Alchemist of the Bears faction turned to greet the intruders and his eyes widened, he raised a furiously shaking finger and pointed it at Jo-Jo, "You! YOU!", he bellowed and turned to the soldiers on his left, a burly readhead in a kilt holding an axe, a black-clad man in a fencing mask and a tall and fearsome Celt brandishing a scarred war hammer. "He was one of the ones that attacked me in the marketplace this morning!" he said, then turning back to the bewildered Jo-Jo he thrust his reddened face into the young Elf's horribly pallid one and huffed, "Where is your accomplice fiend?". Jo-Jo, now thoroughly terrified looked around desperately for his master but, to his dismay, Mad Jack had managed to vanish into thin air. He summoned all his courage and recalling everything his wise patron had taught him, looked directly into the quivering eyes of the High Alchemist and tried to change reality...

"I don't know what you're talking about. I never done nothin'!"

As he looked into the shocked face of the man he had tried to rob Jo-Jo could almost feel the tension easing around him, everything was going to be ok. "HE'S LYING!" shouted a man in a fencing mask from the back of the crowd, "GET HIM!!!" The spell was broken, Jo-Jo's last hopes of escape were crushed under a weight of sweaty, battle ready Bears and he was manhandled to the gates where the High Alchemist waited, "Nobody attacks a Bear and gets away with it. You shall be punished to the full extent of our laws...TAKE HIM AWAY!"As the angry group of Bears moved away, nobody seemed to notice that, leaving behind nothing but a trampled Yashmak and a battered fencing mask, a black-clad man was sprinting away from them as fast as he could run.

Though he was torn with grief at the terrible loss of his friend and pupil, Mad Jack was not a man to be borne down by the weight of his sorrows. He knew that Jo-Jo would wish him to live on and continue their way of life in his memory and so, summoning all his courage, he tossed Jo-Jo's bail application into the fire and spent the money on beer, women and Blackjack in honour of his lost partner.


-Unknown origins but rumour suggests this tale comes from first hand evidence.

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