(Ballad of the good gardener is inspired by Brudpris, it is written and performed by larp participants Severin Rast and Anni Tolvanen.)
Clothing and gear
Brudpris borrows the dress styles of Scandinavian folk wear in the 1800’s. Think of long skirts with aprons and headscarves. For the men it’s long trousers, vests and collarless shirts. All in dark and discrete colours. You should avoid being noticed. Both men and women braid their hair to show how they refuse to tolerate any disorder. Quite a few choose to cut it short to make sure.
Boys, especially after they return from the year Beyond, might dress in what amounts to flamboyant ways, compared to the rest of the Mo. They might put on feathers, colourful shawls or discreet embroideries. Men and boys will need to have a stick. You can bring one, but sticks will be provided for all who need one, at the larp.
The people of Mo know that the world outside have different ways of dressing and very different technologies, but have no great interest in these things.
Deserters will wear uniforms or parts of their uniforms. Uniforms should be green without camouflage, that would fit approximately in the 1910-1950 eras. English No.2 uniform, WW1, WW2 and present, Danish M47, M44 or Swedish M39 are good examples of these. The war is fought by many nations on many sides, so individual variation or detail is not a problem.
Deserters might also want to bring a change to civilian clothes, for a female at least a skirt and a scarf to add to their costume before or during play, depending on how they plan to dress as they become part of Mo society.
Remember that this larp is less about historical accuracy and more about the moods and feeling of a fictional traditional rural lifestyle. Don’t worry about the details if the overall image fits inside the style of the larp.
The pressure cooker (style of play)
There is a lot of drama in the stories of this larp. Our intention is that the drama should appear in the form of subtexts. We visualise play as happening inside a pressure cooker. On the outside everything is calm, but under the lid everything is hot and under pressure. Rather than violent outbursts, we want to see meaningful glances across the dinner table; quiet but intense play in the privacy of the home; crying into pillows and secretive rendezvous behind the woodshed. If and when the emotion run hot, it will be met with shock and terror from everyone watching.
Among the Mo it is wrongful behaviour that is punished, not what a person feels or experiences. As long as you manage to keep your emotions suppressed or your flaws hidden no one will notice. Honour must only be regained when you lose face. A whole town might know about a case of infidelity, but as long as no one speaks openly about it, it can continue for as long as the involved parties are discreet. Once a secret is revealed, it can no longer be ignored and must be dealt with. Honour demands it. Losing face is unthinkable for a man and it is his responsibility to make sure it never happens, by being in charge of the behaviour of the whole family. Everyone in the household is expected to help the man in keeping the honour unblemished.
We will use part of the workshop to help you calibrate your expectations and fine tune your individual and collective styles of play to build a coherent and subtle powerful form of expression.
- 1800 country behaviour
- Honour based violence
- Strict rules
- Using woman as an insult
- Being in charge of others
- Little details
- Heteronormativity (for the grownups, less so for children)
- Rebelling against the culture
- Lack of understanding of the culture
- Norm critique
- Listening and respect
- Caring for other players
- Queer and non-queer players
- Discussions of society
- Using woman as an insult
- Sexism and derogatory jokes
This is a larp for you if you:
- Value cultural and relationship based play
- Want to be a full part of the story
- Want to explore the people of an honour based culture
- Are interested in playing in a tight group
- Love relationship drama.
This is NOT a larp for you if you:
- Want adventure and monsters
- Want to fight and be a hero
- Think that equality has gone too far
- Have issues with organizers casting and picking players for the larp