The Founders of the Nest

or "How The Cuckoo's Nest was started" - by Ian Thomas

In the beginning there was the Word.
And the Word was "Wellisposewecouldformasocietyifonlytogetsomefunds..."

The Birth of a Notion

It all started with a couple of freeform games, no rules, no nothing - where a group gathered at Kat Thomson's flat to have a meal "in character." The characters were drawn from all sorts of live role-playing games and tabletop games, including the good old "What costume have I got on hand tonight?"

These characters all sat down to a meal in an imaginary inn - "The Cuckoo's Nest" - so named because it turned up in worlds where it was least expected. You would wander down to your local for a pint, step through the door, and find yourself in the Nest. We needed this excuse to explain the differing backgrounds of all the characters. Kat played Kelyana Wildwinter, the innkeeper.

Io, Vampires, and Sir Philip the Bold

That same term, Ian & Rachel Thomas ran a couple of freeform LRP events for Io, the Science-Fiction and Fantasy society - a Vampire scenatio, and a "Night in the Tavern" - also at the Nest. By this time, people were starting to get seriously into LRP - a number of people had attended the Gathering that year (Ian had enthused to Chris Atherton, she had enthused to everyone else...) as the Jackals, a subgroup of the Wolves, and had had a lot of fun. Io was getting fed up with turning into an LRP society.

So, one Sunday after a weapons practice, the idea of a society was floated. "Just to get some cash to build props." A couple of days later, Ian made his way up to Michael Rennie's flat with a few notes on an LRP system, and the people who happened to be there threw ideas around for an evening. Thus the first committee was formed, and version 1.0 of the rules appeared.

The Founders

The first committee members were:

The Site

They contacted Mugdock Park on the suggestion of a friend, mainly because the Gathering were looking for a new site. Mugdock would have been happy to host the Gathering, but the Lorien Trust weren`t happy with Scotland and found another site. Mugdock were happy to let them play, and there has been a great deal of cooperation ever since - the Nest has even helped out at tourist events for the Park.

The system was playtested by:

A Bar is Born...

Then they wrote a really silly constitution - including the clause that if "during elections, two candidates for High Lord drew on votes, the outcome would be decided by mortal combat." This got past the SRC, and the Cuckoo`s Nest was born.

And onwards...

Over the next year and a half, that committee ran a number of adventures, rewrote the system a couple of times, and things started to take off. The society is now over 10 years old and still going strong, with one of the best rules systems in LARP. With good players, the game turned into very much a roleplay rather than a hack and slash, and there are some truly memorable moments. Here are a few, for long-time Nest members...
"What's in it for us?" "The antidote to the poison you`ve just drunk."
A sense of doom and gloom descends upon the party, as, while they stand over the body of their companion Darren, the last member of the village they set out to protect hangs herself, grief-stricken.
Warbeck the Dwarf, tortured by the lios, is forced to sing for the Queen's pleasure. She likes his voice so much, she keeps it.
"Run past the trolls!"
"Gold and Shouting and Cider and Beer/Gold and Shouting and Cider and Beer..."
"Powers of the elephants..."
"I have the power to grant you your heart's desire... what do you wish for?" "Well, I'd quite like a cheese sandwich..."
"By the powers of the Four Great Gods.... Dipsy, Tinky Winky, Lala and Po!"
"I cannot help but feel partially responsible...."

CategoryOOC | CategorySociety
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