Memorable Moments
Experiences from players that they will never forget.
  I had just come back from the local healers guild when I bumped into my friend Ramses and Jake Picks Smith (I swear this guy is everywhere I go) anyway, as I walked back to town, Jake came up to me and said he was going to see an alchemist.  Being the crazy hobbling alchemist I was, I said let's go and started leading the way.  Well, I had no idea which way we were going so I guickly turned and followed Jake.  We all traveled on the road until we came across a small opening leading into a cave.  Of course I was supposed to be doing something else this whole time, so I was just pushing people through this whole adventure.  So I was just being pushy, when we got into the cave we noticed there were all these little undead like creatures that were just walking around going "nak nak" (mars attacks, really weird, huh?).  It took us two fights to figure out these undead were only affected by daggers, we pooped out the daggers and just began to carve through these things as we went down the cave.  We traveled for a few minutes down until we came to a door (I could remember the marshals saying 'let's see how they get past this').  As a rush that I was in I said, "I have not time for this, Ramses, destroy the door!".  So Ramses charged up some magical energy and toasted the door, "I summon a force to destroy the door." (The marshal said 'What?' so Ramses repeated himself, the marshal shook his head and opened the door).  We walked in and quickly took out two more crazy guards.  Then we found a box with a face on it.  At first I said can you speak to the box, it could, and I told it to give me what it had inside.  It laughed at me (and I heard the marshal's giggle too) but then again I was in a hurry, so I said once again, "We have no time for this, Ramses, destroy the box!"  (The marshal's jaw dropped)  Ramses charged some more energy and shattered the box.  We quickly collected what was inside and took off back up the cave until we reached the top and walked back to the tavern.  There we marveled at the things we got from the box.  (Man, when we want to get through a module fast, we can do it! Bwa hahaha).

Koncholey: Hobbling Alchemist Extrordinare
NERO Alliance Seattle
    Way back in the day when I had only been adventureing for a short while and was not very experienced (only 4th level ) I had traveled to Twilight Vale with several friends of mine.  While there I saw and experienced ALOT of things.  On Saturday night three vampires attacked the town with dominates and then vampiricly charmed everyone.  I had been charmed this way but then they told me to act of my own will and so I went to seek help for the ills that had been placed upon me.  I was killed and lifed and then escorted back to town.  I found that the vampires were gone so I went back into the tavern and had some drinks with friends, but soon afterward the vampires came back and I hastily made my way into the back room.  Within moments the vampire and three of his charmed cohorts came around the corner.  I was shaking, angry, scared and outraged all at soon as he started approaching me I unleashed a plethora of magics (5) at which point the guy playing it who was a cheese monkey in genral stated that I had flubbed a couple missed with one and the other two hit.  I asked him if he's dead and he said yes.  To which I replied "THEN I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!".   I was pretty pissed out of game too.  He died and his three minions stood in shock.  I don't think they knew I was inexperienced because I was not from their lands.  I quickly ran up to the dead vampire and thrust my sword through him as they were trying to drag him off to have him healed.  They looked very scared of me and I pinned one of them that was in my escape path and roared "IF YOU TOUCH ME... YOU DIE!!" ... to which they were very adamant about not touching me in any way.   I made my way out of the side door to the building and shut the door... at which point all of my nervousness and fear showed... and the only words I could speak were "Must run away very fast, must run away very fast, must run away very fast...".   I was shaking even more now and breathing unevenly because of how scared I was... I ran into the night and did not come back for some time.

Derek Ironhammer
NERO Alliance Seattle
  May 1998 - I think - at NERO Ashbury
    My first weekend... AKA  Tournament weekend.  I had been actually having a pretty crudy weekend.  Locked behind a ward... confused and suffered from sun stroke.  Then I was picked to be in a contest.  All because I could they said.  I was pasted with a magical Black King chess piece.  At first I was going to not accept it... (cause they never really touched me to spirit link it), but I decided to play it out.  The ChessMaster arrives and we play the game later that weekend.  Duke Aramis has the white and the ChessMaster has the black (great).  Each person, when moved to counter the other, has to "fight" it out.  It's living chess.  We were starting to lose (that's was bad), but then I was picked to go against a white piece...Baron Agnar of Ashforest.  (Hmm...1st level against a MUCH higher level...not good).  Needless to say...I lost.  I was dropped...possum is a wonderful strategy.  I stood up and the context of the entire weekend hit me and I started to cry.  I mean I CRIED.  Duke Aramis (Patrick) came over to comfort did many others.  Most said they never saw anyone who had more guts (cause I stood proudly and did all I those 35 seconds against the Baron).  That made me smile...and I felt great.  One of the reasons I like NERO is the adrenaline rush and emotional outlet.
     Now my gypsy can really say "But I AM the gypsy king."

Susan M. Bard
Kheritana (Gypsy)
NERO Alliance Ashbury
   Feb. 25, 2001 - NERO NJ
    My other tale is from NERO Mystic Wood Elf is from there and has been desperately trying to get home for over a year.  At the end of the weekend, they break free of the dark fae realm (she HATES fae) and her homeland of Moria can be seen through the mists, she sags to the muddy ground and puts her forehead down.  Grabbing fistfuls of mud she cries out in joy, relief and finality...she has never cried in her entire 127 years of existence.

Susan M. Bard
Wildescent "Wilde" Nightwolf  (MWE)
NERO Alliance New Jersey
  The year was 1981 and I was in Seventh Grade, a short, skinny, nerdy runt...the easy target of the school's many bullies...and I was ALWAYS in trouble with the nuns...back then it was still okay for nuns and priests to beat little kids and I got my share of whacks.  Girls were a wonderful yet scary mystery who possessed mystical powers that caused strange reactions in my little body...but I didn't know how to talk with instead I played pranks on them or made them laugh.  For years I struggled with matters of my young boy's heart for I didn't know how to tell that one special girl, Elizabeth Rollo, that I had a crush on her since the 2nd was enough for me just to be in her company.  Sadly, I never did tell her and it turns out that she had a crush on me too!  Life's lessons can be harshly eye-opening! 
     My parents presented me with a gift that, though I didn't know it at the time, was to change my entire life.  I opened the wrapping and there I saw a cardboard box, slightly bigger than a large picture frame.  Upon it's surface was a painting depicting several fantasy adventurers in an underground cavern suddenly faced with a large dragon rearing angrily from atop a Tolkien-like mound of treasure.  The box had a title: Dungeons & Dragons.  Now my parents had no real understanding of what it was that they had given me...they assumed that it was just another board game I would love and not an innovative game that would unlock all the powers of the imagination, give me a vocabulary that normal schooling never would (Dexterity, Miscellaneous, Ballista, name a few) and thrill the heart for countless hours.  Intrigued, I opened the box and found a red rules and source book, something entitled B-2, "The Keep On the Border Lands" adventure module (what the heck was a module?!?) and 6 of the WEIRDEST dice I'd ever seen.  No adults we knew could figure out the rules...or were willing to put in the lengthy effort to attempt to discern my friends and I started playing with whatever rules we could figure out and just winged the rest.  Eventually, we met others who filled in the gaps.  What joy! What joy!  What secret world I had found!  Here I could escape, for a time, the bullies, the nuns and priests and I could even speak with girls (yes, they were all imaginary...but it was progress!) and be heroic.  The gift had come at a perfect time; it was June and school was out for the rest of summer!  Every day of that summer of 1981 my friends and I would gather and just play all day until supper time.  Eventually, I even got my sister to play and she has played in every campaign I've run since.  The years past and the game and myself matured...I grew both as a gamer and as a person.  I learned enough martial arts and street toughness to knock bullies down so badly that they forever left me alone.  I even learned how to talk with girls (real ones the time!).  But I never quite learned how to NOT get into trouble.  I was kicked out of my first High School (freshmen year!) and was later kicked out of college.  Then a friend told me of something spectacular.  She told me that some wonderful, ingenious few had taken the fantasy role-playing games to the next evolutionary step...something called a "LARP" (not to be confused with a Lark).  She told me that you actually dress up as the characters...that you actually interact as the characters, fighting and role-playing.  Even thought hat brief description could not successfully convey the full wonder of the Larp Experience, I was sold.  We decided to give it a try.  Now it was early January of 1996 and the NERO weekend events were shut down for the winter.  Instead, modules were being run every weekend at Ashbury's Brooklyn site (how I miss that place!).  We decided to go down to the site as a team for a module (by now I understood what a module the gaming sense).  Braveheart had come out the previous summer and that majestic epic was forever embedded in my Celtic heart.  My first character was to be a human fighter...a highlander just like William Wallace.  I even had the kilt ready.  The character's name was to be Finn McGrath (my real life Irish clan name).  However, my friends managed to convince me to play something I had thought ridiculous and would never have considered playing in the first place...a Gypsy.  They even had the outrageous and garish material to make my first costume: an orange and steller mess that a NERO player would later describe as "...a comet that threw up".  Thus Findrago Malreaver the Gypsy was born.  I arrived at the Brooklyn site in full costume and nothing else on Saturday morning during the onset of a blizzard.  There I was introduced to the wonderful world of Larping.  It was like a Ren Faire that I got to participate fully in!  It was only one module and a day's worth of role-playing unfortunately...however, I got lucky.  The blizzard hit NYC harder than any in recent history.  The city shut down.  But fortunately, I was trapped with about 15 other role-palyers for the weekend and we gamed ALL weekend until Tuesday morning, when the snows cleared enough for the subways to start running again.  My life would be forever different after that.  NERO had brought my life many wonderful things such as friends, adventure and healthy escapism.  What I really love about this game is that I have had such moments never to be found on the path of an ordinary life.  For each special weekend of a NERO event, I make the IG world all very real in my mind and I am rewarded by having such epic and dramatic moments like none other.
     NERO is a place where the imaginations of people from many walks of life come together to meet and mix.  The results of said mixture is a wonder that is practically indescribable to a mundane (web master note: those who don't play).  At the start of EVERY event...or when I feel burnt out by the silly squabbling and petty politics within the game...I take a moment and tell myself, that someday, all of this will be gone from my life... and I pretend I am too old to play and wishing that I could have JUST ONE MORE weekend  of NERO.  That gets my excitement going again.  I realize, again and again, how fortunate I am to have found such a magical thing as NERO.  Like anything I love, I strive never to take it for granted.  In the real world, there aren't many arenas for a "freak" like me to eenjoy or thrive in.  I've foolishly toiled and struggled in the joyless abyss of the Corporate World before coming to my senses and arranging to have myself fired.  But in NERO I have found an arena I love and can do wel in.  Personally, one of my life's accomplishments that I am most proud of is having entertained a bunch of nice and imaginative players...a few have even siad that our Committee has given them gaming moments they will never forget!  How cool is that!  As a writer, there is nothing quite so rewarding as seeing what you imagine come to life...and be enjoyed!  I can't imagine why anyone would quit NERO or not give it there all to make it the best experience possible EACH and EVERY Event, Faire and Module (now that I know what a module is in the gaming sence, I marvel how there was a time when I didn't know what that was).  If we just make an effort to make each battle, each encounter as real as possible in our minds, well then we would never have a dull time...ever.  I promise.

Findrago Malreaver / Duke Aramis Llyrr
Ptrick Von Raven
NERO Alliance Ashbury
  At the Toronto event, I was playing my high-orc, Athgar.  The sun was just starting to set and many of the townsfolk just came out to talk to us adventurers and try to sell us a few items.
     About 10 minutes after they came in, a large black figure carrying a sickle walked into town and started to look at the town's people.  Everyone went nuts calling him death and tried to run away.  "Death" walked past most of the people in the town, pointed a finger at a merchant and killed him.  "Death" then proceded to attack the rest of the town's people who tried to fight him and, of course, "Death" killed them.
     As soon as most of the towns people were dead or ran away, "Death" backed me into a corner, pointed his sickle at me and pronounced, "Death comes for you tonight!!".  At this point I turned very pale (as pale as you can get in high-orc makeup) and fainted (IG).  When I came to, I was soo scared of death that I had to go be by myself and put on a dry pair of pants.

Dave Young
NERO Alliance Rochester
  I had been approached by a young woman concerned about the health of her father.  I am the steward of this chapter of the Healer's Guild, and took it upon myself to see what I could do.

     I went with her and brought along my three elite members, Eldor, Tantarus, and Tayia.  Tantarus and Eldor for experience known and Tayia for the experience gained.

     When we approached the man, he was very weak and had waining life signs.  He was clueless, but his daughter said that his employer had changed.  He had become a vampire.  Not a happy thought.  The old man was slowly being turned undead.

    We needed to put a stop to this, but had to figure out a way to save the man's reputation.  Not easy.  We ended up hiding the old man in out home until we could figure out a way to heal him.  After an hour of debating, we decided to try and find a different way.  Perhaps fate took pity, but at that time I came across Gregor, who had a Ritual of Woe scroll.  I was the luckiest elf in the town that day, for I had the primary component and the skill required to cast it.

     I began preperations when the old man reached out from under his cover with fear in his eyes,  "He is coming, He will be here soon.".  Panic set in.

     I assembled an elite group - we had nine people in the circle, six of whom who could cast 9th level spells.  We had to pick six who the ritual would target.  We picked myself, Tantarus, Eldor, Gregor, Daylinn, Thorn and Tayia.  As we started the ritual, the vampire walked up to the edge of the circle, "Whatcha doin??".

     Fear engulfed everyone.  The beast we had gathered to fight had met us at the very place of out gathering.  He watched intently as a group of people cast a ritual he could not see.  As we were finishing up and our thoughts turned toward the unclean outside, something went wrong - the ritual flawed.  As the stake was completed all the casters could feel their power to cast sucked into the time.  No one in the circle could cast spells for the next day.  We lost the magic of seven Healers, five with 9th level spells as well as two celestial casters who also had 9th level spells.  I thought I was going to die.  I was almost sure of it.

     After the panic calmed, we turned and exited the circle and our fighters attacked the Vampire (we had now become aware that it was a vampire lord - adding to the dread ).  Traps exploding, weapons clashing, but a lack of spells on our part made for a very interesting battle.  The Vampire Lord and his minions battled valiently - a Death's Head came in for a visit as well.  I turned cheek and made haste for the Inn to awaken the other casters to the situation, while Gregor chased the Vampire in a frenzy of combat and darkness.  The Vampire turned to face Gregor in his final moments and then fell to the ground, beaten and cut from the blade of the valient Gregor Orpheus Dimitris.  Tantarus staked the beast and it turned to ash.  His tirade over a potion maker was over, but out perdicament was not.  I was yet to cast more than four spells and Gregor was yet to cast any when we were stripped.  It was a very long and scary night.

Shane Macomber
NERO Alliance Seattle
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