This season I'm back with a whole new team: The Sidequest Players. We are a team of seven: Rosie, Yuzuha, Peter, Clover, Query, Nestor, and myself. We got together to play some games with the people of the village. Everyone is our new friend. We come from a place called 'love.' And we are here to spread some charisma, intellect, wisdom, and most of all fun and joy.
How do you play?
One of the new games this year came from Peter. He was doing a performance bit last year where he would ask people to play 'Unruly Chess' with him. Since our team occupies the space that was once known for chess, it makes this bit especially interesting. Several people coming up to the space saying "Do you have chess?" - but then the magic would happen of a game of Unruly Chess. Their first move was usually moving a single pawn, yet I was defeated in various games by a Lego Millennium Falcon that fired Lego lasers at my king, A zombie apocalypse, and A water-witch queen who flooded my fire-based king.
I find four-leafed clovers like it's nobody's business, so I made it my business card. I have found upwards of 500 four-leafed clovers in the last three years. Over the weekend, two different friends came up to me and lamented they had never found four-leafed clovers before, despite the time spent trying. I had given each of them findings a year earlier. The first woman, I brought to an area where I had found several. I told her the 'secret:' look for the white chevrons on a grouping of clovers and odd-shaped or odd-sized leaves - these are indicators of mutations and because that's what four-leafed clovers are, you are more likely to find them among other mutations. Then, you look for squares among the triangles. It's not random, it's science. A moment later, she spotted one, and before me. The look on her face was pure joy.
The gentleman, his wife, and I were standing on some grass in another area and while we were speaking, I dropped something. I didn't notice it at first. He pointed to where I dropped, and at the same time, we both saw the four-leafed clover at my feet.
For both of them, we found a way to save their clovers for them until they were able to get home and properly preserve them long term.
Sometimes beauty and magic come back in the most unexpected ways. In The Sidequest Players, we are a new team in a new spot, there is more traffic, more sound, more people. In this space, I am still looking for the quiet, intimate moments. There was a moment where a patron found me for one. He approached and began his verse. I didn't recognize it at first; I thought it was Shakespeare. I still had to push away the outside sounds to hear him. I had to push away the intrusive thought: don't cry, don't cry, you'll ruin your make up. And he recited a long poem by Rabbie Burns (Best known for Auld Lang Syne) for me. It was unexpected and out of nowhere. It took everything to go around the counter and not vault over it to hug him. I told him, "I didn't think a rouge to attack with charm. You rolled a 20 double damage!" His wife enjoyed the joke and his reciting of the verse just as much as I did.
Right at the end of the day on Sunday, there was a young boy, maybe 8-10 years old wearing black fur gators around his legs. He was on his way out of the gate with his family. They were talking about how to wash them for wearing them in the future. He had a tail along with a fox-printed fabric, but I didn't want to assume he was supposed to be a fox. I approached him and walked by his side with him and showed my fur-covered ankles like his to show him I was like him too. I asked him, "When the ears come in, what kind will they be?"
"Fox ears. I'm a fox."
"I hope you show me when you come back again, forest friend."
He had the biggest grin on his face.
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is Magic. And I get to make more of it for six more weekends with the most incredible people I know.
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