It's just one of those bizarre events where you get back home and can't quite believe what's just happened. Maybe because it's past 4am and the total amount of sleep I've had in the past 60+ hours amounts to about five, but I feel like I've just dreamt the entire weekend.
Meeting half the forum - some of which I've known and chatted with online on and off for the last fourteen years
yet never actually meeting them before - was worth the trip to Norwich on its own. To see Lords of the Game, something once the subject of comedy fan documentaries and that I'd convinced myself probably didn't even exist anymore. The extended Geek Week pilot that takes what we saw in August and makes it a ton better, adding whole wall monsters and rooms and crucially technically tighter, without the occasional jarring edits of the cut-down version. To be in the actual original studios where they filmed it all in the first place, standing there any imagining every single cast member, contestant etc, every antechamber set, moment, it all happened in this room and all stood on this floor.
Oh hang on, because there's also a massive blue screen there, both original Helmet of Justices and the Eye Shield. How about being in a few rooms of the show and playing the Corridor of Blades as advisor and dungeoneer
in a team made up completely of Knightmare Forum veterans and having your photograph taken for EDP? Striding confidently into the blue only to feel your heart-rate jump up rapidly as the blades increase, only to inevitably meet your death and realise that the teams who actually got through it were bloody good and I'm not just saying that because of who organised it.
And then yeah maybe MEET TREGUARD AND LORD FEAR AND LISSARD AND RAPTOR AND BROTHER STRANGE AND ROTHBERRY AND AH WOK AND SIR HUGH AND SIDRISS AND MALDAME AND GREYSTAGG AND TIM CHILD AND DAVID ROWE. And get pictures of them, autographs, find to your relief that every one - Hugo, Mark, Iona, Cliff, Tim and David - are, thankfully, awesome people and polite to all. Eating, drinking or just generally chilling with them, no barrier between them and you, no nerves or feelings of inferiority from you or superiority from them - just the giddy feeling that you're actually "in a room" - a very special room - with a group of people who made the show happen and exist. Never, ever, did I ever
thought I'd ever get to meet any of them. One would be a life highlight. All? Just...wow.
Not only did I get all of the above to sign my program - something with joins the pilot script as my most treasured KM possession - but at the back I have a special Knightmare Community page featuring as many forum members as I could track down adding their lovely messages to the book. Having been embarrassingly inefficient in promoting the damn thing, not even successfully getting the weekend off work until a few days ago, the least I could do was help out as a Crew member which turned out to be a fantastic choice, the feeling of genuinely being part of it both front and backstage was immensely rewarding and I now own (two!) t-shirts and my mug with pride.
And then there's Lord Fear's Midnight Hunt, which, well, was an experience.
I can say, at least, that I've now 'acted' in a scene with the genuine Lord Fear, even if it consisted of running round Norwich late at night in a goblin mask pretending to kill people to the bemusement of the general intoxicated locals coming out of pubs. Will always remember some of the reactions.
Just...WHAT? That seriously
all just happened? In a community that, as much as I love it, I really thought by the year 2012 had given almost all it had to offer. In all the years I've been posting on this and previous generations of forum, more goodness in the community has happened in the last year and a half than, for me, the twelve prior to that. Last year seemed virtually impossible to match with its Geek Week pilot, repeats and Knightmare Live success. I cannot believe this convention just happened and I'm flabbergasted to think I was there and part of it.
To all the forumers I properly met (including those who had no idea who I was, or perhaps ones who've only just joined now) it was fantastic to meet you. For those not - and there were a fairly surprising number of you I didn't actually see there - am hoping you'll be at a future event. And still I can't believe all that just happened.
The only way is...yeah.