A brief history of Mythlore.
Personally my first experience was in GM magazine (see gallery). As a wee young thing looking at possibly going to an LRP event,examining the reviews of various systems. Many Iron Maiden T Shirt systems with gaffer broomsticks beckoned until the issue with the Mythlore review came in. This was something truly special, the costumes looked like something out of a film and the beasties were incredible. It is with regret that I never actually made a full event, just seeing them at Summerfest. So I pass this section to Mr Cordory who will give you his version of the history of Mythlore…
An exclusive interview with the enigma of
a man mountain, Mark Cordory,.
When did Mythlore start/ Whose idea was it?
After I went to Treasure Trap during college at Nottingham (I did 'Theatre Design'). I did my dissertation on "The Importance of Fantasy and Escapism". I got a 2:1, apparently it would've been a 1st if my dissertation wasn't so bad ;) I'd been a first generation D&D player at school and the idea of doing it 'for real' in a castle was too good to miss. I went there for 'research' and loved it. After I left college in '84 I decided to run an
adventure (complete with paint weapons) for some mates in the forest of Dean later that same year, (Ade Lane among them - he played Raven the thief, and as he's still alive I guess he's the oldest character in the system). It went well enough, and we ended up running another a few months later at the caves in the forest (travelling to the 'Planes of Chaos'). After that we ran one at a nightclub in Gloucester managed by a mate of mine ('Victoria and Queen's Rock Nights'). It was during those events (about 4 of them), that I came up with the name "Mythlore' purely to identify the particular plane of existence the players had to return to. It also introduced Prince Salca (later changed to 'Salkor' because I realised I'd named him after a dance!).
Who was involved and in what capacity?
After running a few 'Victoria's' adventures a group of about 7 of us decided we'd like to start up a company running events, eventually most of them realised it wasn't going to make much money, but Ade Lane and Deborah Sims stuck with it and we went on the 'Enterprise Allowance' scheme run by the government at the time. Basically we each put up £1000 and in return got a minimal wage per week (about £50 each as I remember). By the the end of the first year the Enterprise Allowance funding ran out and Ade and Deb decided to go and get real jobs instead, but I stayed on helped hugely by Steve Kingston and his brother Paul (who were our first 2 paid-up members), together with a core of regular monsters/refs who supported us each week for the love of it.
Where did you run stuff?
At first it was all in the forest of Dean, which I knew pretty well from years camping there as a kid. We branched out into the Brecon Beacons after our Welsh players decided to run an event for us there, we liked it so much we did our longer adventures there. However, after the event that was partly reviewed in GM, the one that had to be called off due to f*cking appalling weather (including one almost case of hypothermia and one actual case! I woke up on the morning of the adventure, in my teepee, in the middle of a stream - it got worse), I decided that it wasn't the job for me anymore. (I'd been running Mythlore in all weathers for about 2 1/2 years, 50 weeks a year with about half a day off a week (Monday mornings - a lie-in after the weekend's adventures) and was a bit knackered by this point - but f*ck it, anyone who's tried to run LRP as a proper job will have similar stories I'm sure). As a result I was approached by Mike Lees and his mate Gary with a view to take over the running of adventures, leaving me to run the Studio side of stuff. Basically the plan was that I'd make stuff for the site we found in Derbyshire and the mail orders of costumes/masks etc, while Mike and Gary ran the adventures. We went into a partnership where I supplied all the Mythlore kit and they put up some hard cash to set it all up.
Mike, Gary and myself set up the 'Dragon's Lair' site in an old WW1 Bomber Command bunker outside Derby. We built a tavern (the Dragon's Lair Tavern), a small street and a few shops on the upper level (including 'Shemesar's Bazaar From Afar), and a small labyrinth (no relation) of rooms in the lower levels. It managed to run for approximately 6 months before a combination of things led to us severely/terminally running out of money. The site closed, I left the hobby, (for good, as I naively thought at the time!) and the entire Mythlore kit got sold for the price of a one-way train ticket to Devon (not my ticket I hasten to add).
Or was it...?
What was the high point?
Probably the first 10 hour event was one of them (including the first appearance of the demon costume and the mass real-life teleport), other than that, the 48 hour in the Brecons with the London players was pretty damn good! The Games Days events were fun too.
What was the beginning of the end?
See "Cancelled Brecons adventure and Hypothermia "
What was the end?
See "a combination of things"
Where are they now?
I'm here, Ade works as a surveyor for the Land Registry, Deb became a teacher, Mike became a minor deity and went into the slightly more profitable area of computer programming, Gary vanished into somewhere unknown.
Thus ended the interview as he slipped back into his swoon.
Why and how a reunion now?
It was a young/fresh/faced* Will Knight that dragged Mark kicking and screaming back to a live role play, to the shambles of a sham that is Burnt is Clean. Something was stirred that weekend, old tingles in parts that had not tingled in a long time. Mark came unto us and asked if we would run him and a few friends an adventure, a bit like the old days, so from the darkest corners of LRP history the banner is once again raised and Mythlore rises again. Something that has been spoken of for many years but is actually finally happening.
*not young or fresh