The Princess and I pick up one of her best friends, *We shall call him Lance* and we enter a magical world, where imagination rules and nothing is impossible.
Unless Miz Z says it is, because she has the final say in all things Dungeons and Dragons.
My daughter and I love this role playing game. We love exploring new characters, giving them a backstory and breathing life into them by our actions and reactions. We love finding out what will happen if you do knock on that ancient door/attack the white dragon with strange blue fire/wander into that mysterious cavern and thinking up ways to resolve the challenges set to us by Miz Z.
The thrill of trying out strategies to attack creature that don't even exist in the real world, the fun of working together to use our skills best in team work, the triumph of watching the children work out mathematical problems over and over again, without (much) nagging.
Pretty shiny dice of all colours and designs, with glitter encased in their heart or speckles that look like the night sky. Figurines to be painted according to one's personal image of their character or fantastical creatures that we befriend or defend ourselves from. The thrill of walking, every week, into a Realm of Legends that has been decorated to look like the interior of a castle.
Last night, after coming home from the funeral, we got a call saying that the shop where we play has had to unexpectedly and very suddenly close, but to still come in and discuss where to go from here. The sadness of walking in and seeing the scenery and tables dismantled, the tears in not only the eyes of the staff, but so many other players who had made it their second home. Watching one group play on the floor, with pillows brought in and high spirits to share. People were buying the tables that had taken hours of decoration and letting the staff know they were doing it to ensure it would be safe should it need to be returned to a new venue. COMMUNITY!
So many hugs.
So much determination that this wonderful community that had built up would not be torn apart. I walked in, with the plan to take on the Dungeon Mistress's role that had been Miz Z's, and continue to run our games from my kitchen. To find that nearly every gaming class had done the same, very much like the community was decentralising in order to save itself until we could reform.
Miz Z. spent two hours with me, explaining how best to DM for younger children, ways to cope with changing numbers and helping me feel less terrified and overwhelmed. She is wonderful and perceptive and fun and I will not miss her as we will stay in touch and I am so delighted about that.
So onwards! I have much reading and writing ahead of me. Creativity, fun and maybe I'll find the time to fish out my old Dungeon Master's cloak...