ednesday night the Seventh Dalaran Magical Faire offered something new, at least new for me. Following Wilfred Cobblepot's lecture on fel magic (aptly named "Fel, No!") which included sentences about sucking out peoples souls and I think I heard something about pustules as well - The Adamant Scholars hosted an interactive storytelling event, The Idugnar Manor.

The Setup

Caught in a magical mansion. Trapped. Just wanting to escape. Unfortunately, you are guided by a hopeless audience. That is the situation poor Adrienne found herself in as the story started. Why she was stuck in the mansion, how she got there, all that stuff - I'm sure it was explained, but honestly, it just was not important. What was important was the concept of it all and the execution of it. The basic concept was a story build up with a few challenges - and as the crowd moved from room to room, magic, illusions, and trickery blended well with the story.

The story

The story did its job, it propelled the action forward and had a series of challenges. Each time Adrienne was facing danger the audience was offered two choices. Which ever choice most of the audience picked decided what the heroine would do and in which direction the story would go. The writing and the choices were maybe a bit too much tongue in cheek at times. At least if you expected it to be scary or suspenseful. Like when she was facing down the mighty bird creature "Edgar Allan Crow" and the audience was given the choice between throwing jewels at the monster, or making the creature lose its mind by using bad grammar and sentence structure.
The Narrator: So. Throwing jewels or … Ah ? Trying to make him lose his mind using the most grammatically incorrect sentences ? Interesting. Anyway. Speak up : JEWELS or GRAMMAR ?
Of course, the audience picked the grammar option and I admit the sentences which followed killed me a little inside:
I is no scaring of youse ! You is the very most ugliestest thingy ever, dude ! RL STAIN BE THE BESTEST HORROR NOVEL EVER, MAAAAN.

Job done

Besides the tongue in cheek options and story writing, which included ending on their own parody on a well-known musical piece, turned into being about the "Smooth Narrator" then everyone who attended the event seemed to have a good time. Maybe I just hoped for something more grim or deep. That is on me. This was a family friendly event, and I think that was fully intended. The options where easy to pick from, most people seemed to have a favourite picked quickly, no moral dilemmas or ethic conundrums build in. It did what it seemed to have set out to do. Entertain. Even when the audience made the protagonist "fight" the big bad by flirting instead of fighting it managed to do so with the same tongue in cheek style which was a thread you could easily see through the entire production, a production which clearly looks like it took a lot of work, and for that alone I applaud the Scholars. Between the magic illusions, the writing and the acting then it was quite well done.

The verdict

As I mentioned, I expected something else than it was. But that does not mean this was a bad event. It had a lot of things I like. A good story, the writing changed slightly depending on the opponent the protagonist faced, making references which reached out of the story and into our real lives, yet doing so without it being too blaring. Well, maybe except the ending musical piece. It was something new, which I have only seen once before - when Zhakariah did "Boozeventures" in the Golden Keg, but where Zhakariah improvised and most challenges also included drinking a bunch of booze, then this was clearly far more planned, far higher production value, and far more entertaining as a spectator. I like when people do new things, try out different concepts. It keeps things fresh, and as someone who has attended a lot of these social and cultural events, then I am all for switching it up and seeing people host things we have not seen before, or not seen often. For that alone Id give "The Idugnar Manor" a bunch of top hats, but it was also just a good fun time. So the four hats are well deserved.