The morning sun had barely peeked out over the horizon; birds were chirping, butterflies were fluttering, squirrels were being squirrely and I was steadfastly ignoring all of it as I worked agitatedly at My forge, a scowl marring My otherwise Divine complexion. It was a disturbance to the north that had Me so riled up… I could not place precisely what it was, but neither could I be distracted from crafting my latest masterpiece (aetherspace powered oven mitts, I believe they were) to personally check. It soon became a moot point, however; a dark presence was swiftly making its way towards Me, and I laid aside My hammer to deal with it directly.
…Lisaera is right, writing this way is much more difficult than it looks, so I must copy Her and ask that you imagine that the following is sprinkled with forging metaphors, Dante references, and multi-coloured flames.
Since my forestral compatriot did not manage to vanquish the Enchantress, I had the pleasure of hosting Her as She visited Washington, DC and Philadelphia. It was a whirlwind of Elders, players, museums, and architectural appreciation stops, and it was an absolute blast.
Day 1: Wherein the Lady Enchantress meets Her fellow Gods and Her adoring masses, and is subsequently shot by them all.
Drocilla arrived DC upon the back of Her winged monkey with a minion in tow quite early. So early, in fact, that they were unable to catch public transportation until several hours later. At long last we were united, and I was greeted with two sets of eyes which hinted at the untold horrors they had encountered on their harrowing trek down south. To this, there was only one cure: coffee and pancakes. Two things, thankfully, which the local diner had in abundance.
Refreshed and nourished, We parted ways with Drocilla’s travel companion at DuPont Circle after we picked up Raezon, who so kindly informed us of his location using astronomical terms and the three of us wandered about for a bit (I did not mistake north with south, nope nope nope) before heading to the planned God brunch at Kramerbooks and Afterward café, a really great bookstore/café combo that I will loudly recommend to anyone and everyone. Also attending this godly meeting were the Anomalies Sior and Saesh, the Ephemeral Zyrlen, Shikari, and one who I could only assume was Iriki. Though we fully intended to discuss Our favorite zapping techniques, I’m afraid that bloody maries and banana French toast were sufficient enough to distract us.
Once brunch was finished it was not QUITE time for us to head to the main event, so we upheld a fine god meet tradition and temporarily took over a bar for more chatting, chillaxing, and planning future events and plotlines. Even though I talk to most of these people on a weekly if not daily basis, it’s always great to have Lusternia-altering discussions in person and see firsthand the sudden expression of joy and exhilaration as one of us thinks of something particularly clever or devious.
At long last, it was time for the player meet (why yes, this day WAS filled with lots of food, why do you ask?) and those of us who were attending rolled on over to Nando’s, another fine Lusternia tradition. Though the Divine element arrived first, we were soon joined by Kelly, Xena, Neos, and Revan, with the zoo crew of Orventa, Llirriov, Iosen, Tyrad, Tremula, and Arimisia walking in some time later. Last to arrive after heading first to the wrong restaurant was Daevos, but his tardiness can be readily forgiven due to his genius suggestion for a post-dinner activity: LASERTAG!
I just have to say…wow. I have not had that much fun in a long time. Despite some minor issues getting there (damn you red line!), playing Lusternia laser tag was an absolute blast. A hot, sweaty, smoky, and occasionally bloody blast. Following My master plan, I was placed opposite the Enchantress in an attempt to exercise My vengeance against Her. Unfortunately, She beguiled some poor fool into protecting her, which succeeded precisely 50% of the time. After 2 rounds of 4 games each, we emerged exhausted, yet in awe of Daevos’ raw laser brutality.
Day 2: Wherein We experience firsthand how deceptively massive the national mall is and how terrible it is to walk it during the DC summertime
Unfortunately, the Enchantress and I were unable to make it to the O Street Mansion where the rest of the remaining players had congregated due to SOMEBODY apparently requiring up to 18 hours of beauty sleep to maintain Her façade of elegance. As such, by the time We were ready, the event was well underway. Instead, we grabbed a quick breakfast and made our way to the National Mall for some first-time-in-DC sightseeing.
For those of you who have never been, the DC national mall is large. Huge, in fact. But every building and monument lining it is also incredibly large, thus it is provided with an illusion of manageability. Using the Washington Monument as an easily findable reference point, we trekked to visit my man Lincoln, the Vietnam, Korean, and World War 2 memorials, and the little lake next to the reflecting pool before ending up at the eponymous obelisk and deciding that a rest in its shadow from the oppressive eye of Brother Sun would be a grand idea. And this was only the western half of the mall.
The eastern half of the park is dominated by the Smithsonian museums, so we picked two to visit before once more meeting up with those players who remained for dinner. Unfortunately, our first choice (the Botanical Gardens) were only a few minutes from closing when we arrived (seriously, what self respecting museum closes at 5 L), so our visit there mainly consisted of dashing through those few halls we could reach with an occasional ‘ooh, pretty’ scattered throughout.
The second selection was the Air and Space museum, and it was here that we were reunited with Kelly, Neos, Revan, Xena, and Iorwen. Though the exhibits are quite interesting and I recommend the place to anyone who visits, I’m pretty sure we spent most of the time talking (kvetching) about aetherspace in some form or another. Further, though we saw plenty of airplanes and space shuttles and gliders (oh my), but the true star of this museum was the thrice-blessed air conditioning. It. Was. Glorious.
All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Iorwen, and the rest of us made a quick stop at the White House (Kelly was excited to see snipers, as I recall) before we all took part in that fine American tradition of barbeque. Though the food was amazing, it turns out that the fearsome Kelly McCloud and the dreaded Enchantress have hang-ups over proper table etiquette. Perhaps there IS some chance for Magnagoran/Celestian reconciliation after all. After dinner, the glorious Divine and wee mortals parted ways, and thus ended the DC segment of the weekend.
Day 3: Wherein an attempt is made to explain to an 85 year old women what exactly it is that we do.
Though I had not originally intended to be part of the Philadelphia meet, a combination of Neos’ puppy dog eyes and My not having anything better to do convinced me to join in the merriment. Driving the three hours to the city was as much a joy as it always is, doubly so since Marissa (my GPS) decided to spontaneously go senile on us as we neared our first location: Reading Terminal Market, a huge collection of food counters and delis of many nationalities and styles. Alas! We did not eat for at this point we hoped to introduce the Enchantress to the joy (and horror two hours later) that is the Philadelphia cheese steak.
Four of us (Revan, Neos, Droc, and yours truly) embarked upon a fantastic quest to gaze upon every fountain, ogle at every pretty building, and stare at every statue on the way to the Philadelphia art museum, location of the iconic Rocky stair climb and victory pose. Yes, the climb was recreated, and yes, there will be a montage posted.
At this point, we still had not met up with Dynami, who had promised to meet us for frolicking and faffing about yet foolishly put his trust in the historically spotty public transit, and it made no sense to continue on without a full party, so I took us to my grandmother’s apartment to wait it out. Not only does she love company and have a bottomless selection of candy and pastries, but she also happens to have one of the best views of Philadelphia that I have yet to see; a win-win for all involved (plus, we needed the rest).
There was, of course, one price to be paid for this oasis…it appears that I had neglected to tell Grandma Yomoigu that I had been playing and working on an online text-based fantasy game. When she asked how we all knew each other, there followed a rather hilarious attempt to explain to a woman who has trouble understanding how Candy Crush works just exactly what it is we do. Then when, in a supreme lapse of judgment, I mentioned that I and Drocilla play Gods in the game, she starts mock-genuflecting, I realize that it may be time to never mention this particular hobby again.
At long last, Dynami met us outside the art museum, so we took our leave of Grandma Yoyo and we were off to the final leg of the trip: the Liberty bell and China Town. I steadfastly refuse to recreate the puns and comments that accompanied the viewing of the bell’s mighty crack, and thus I shall simply say that linner was scrumptious and we were all too full on the trip to the train station to crack any more terrible, terrible jokes..
Some of the most memorable moments of the weekend, listed in no particular order, include:
Planning potential future areas and god roles with my fellow Haven dwellers, including such gems as the Dread Realm of DATA REDACTED and the awesome idea of NOT A CHANCE the NOPE NOPE.
Walking the Silver Spring farmers’ market with Drocilla and Revan, dog watching and berry buying.
Realizing that my perfectly laid plan for having access to my car for laser tag was ruined by the capricious nature of the dreaded red metro line.
Taking down Tremula during the aforementioned laser tag and subsequently laser-blasting his Mistress.
Belting out Disney classics with Revan, Neos, and Drocilla on the drive up to Philadelphia
Telling Iorwen not to worry about carrying her drink into the museum. Her being yelled at for carrying a drink into the museum mere seconds later (oops)
Occasionally steering Drocilla away from light poles and other obstacles as she admired the Washington architecture.
Watching Kelly tap into her inner Shikari and devouring a plate of ribs in a disgustingly visceral manner.
Wondering how the zoo crew, who were one metro stop away, turned a 15 minute trip into an hour long one. Fretting over the probable escape of the polar bears and how they would put a real kink in our merriment.
Drocilla and I embracing our inner Olivia Pope and consuming popcorn and wine while I had the pleasure of introducing her to Zombieland. I subsequently learned that a pair of disembodied hands gripping a steering wheel are enough to get her to jump in fright.
Realizing that the Botanical Gardens closed in ten minutes. Sneaking in anyway and poking a Venus fly trap.
Grandma Yomoigu breaking out the baby pictures. Oh god why.
With all said and done, it was an absolutely amazing three days, and definitely one of the best meets that we’ve had. I want to sincerely thank everybody who joined Us in either DC or Philadelphia, and I hope that you all had as much of a good time as I did.