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Saturday saw my return to Nerd East, a convention of all things good and geeky run by students at Durham University. Covering a wide range of interests from table top role play, through to card games like Magic: The Gathering, onto catering for the larpers and larp systems across the region, this is the third year of a growing convention that draws people from across the region.

I went along to represent the larp system Fools and Heroes and spent the day talking with members of the system, meeting interested people and attended a couple of writers talks – not to mentioned browsed the wide selection of kit and trinkets on sale.

I attended last year’s event as a wide-eyed keen newbie of larp, out to wax lyrical about the fun things we get up to in the world of Ithron. I’m still a newbie, though a little wiser to the system, able to explain a little more about the world setting, the game mechanics and provide examples of cool characters and adventures I’ve encountered.

I also have awesome kit to show off – though I think I scared off a few people with my “war paint”.

Some traders and cool people I want to highlight from the event:


Nordavolk are a group of local artisans and crafters who create a range of items from leather masks, hair accessories, wooden combs, medieval games, belts and leather armour.  Some of their work is truly breathtaking and I advise you to check out their wares. I couldn’t resist purchasing a subtly decorated leather hair slide and will put up a decent photo in due course.

Saxon Violence

Makers of larp weapons for a range of systems, with wares ranging from dark age through to renaissance weaponry, shields, spears and other stuff. I highly recommended their work.


The owner of Wuzzle! makes some adorable critters with fuzzy bodies and polymer clay faces and feet, not to mention a selection of antlers and horns on hair grips. One of her creations has found a good home with a member of Fools and Heroes (though I cannot guarantee how “good” he will be after a few months of being Abraxis the demonic Konnish War Weasel …) and a beautiful pair of green dragon horns came home with me. I’ll need to get a good photo of these taken so I can show you some of her work.

Russell Smith

Author of the soon to be released “Misery’s Tear” and one of the event’s guests, Russell gave a talk on writing, the sub-genre of urban fantasy, and a little bit on how gaming can help in the process of world building.


Adrian Tchaikovsky

Author of the “Shadows of the Apt” series and another of Nerd East’s guests, Adrian gave a talk on writing and gaming and how it links together (and makes for better writing), before taking part in a Q&A session alongside Russell.

These pair of talks were interesting and made me feel positive about working towards becoming a published writer, not to mention that it’s great to know I’m not the only author who’s characters sometimes like to take over and run riot through the plot to leave it far far behind. If they want to investigate that dark mountain looming on the horizon, don’t stand in their way!

And the best quote from the event 

A plot rarely survives contact with the players!

How true.