“I obtained this from the King of the Southern Forests who gifted it to me for saving his daughter, Princess Ariana, from bandit kidnappers,” said the man as he held out what appeared to be a simple clear stone. “It is said to hold magical properties, but I have yet to figure out what they are.” He placed the stone on a pile of other trinkets that sat evenly between two teenage boys, an elf, and the corsair.
Magic. Now things were getting interesting, I thought. “Roll the bones,” said the elf.
Every item in the pile of trinkets came with a story and once everyone had placed their bid, the dice were rolled and the winner with the highest numbers took all. It wasn’t winning that made this simple game so much fun. It was the stories imagined for each trinket that helped take us from being two teenage boys walking around a Renaissance Faire to two young adventurers embroiled in a game of bones just outside Black Dragon Pewter with a group of elves and fauns led by a man they called Raum.
The experience was magical to us. So magical, in fact, that we spent every moment since we left preparing for our return trip the next year. We studied history to learn more about the time period. Our creativity led us to create a “bones board” from leather we wood burned runes into, costuming, wooden swords, personas, and stories for many of the trinkets we gathered throughout the year. Raum had sparked our imagination with a simple game of dice that added a layer of creativity and fun to our day. We probably would have had an okay time there, but it was that engagement with grown-ups that made the experience something special as kids.
We hope history does indeed repeat itself.
Our interaction with Raum back in the late 80’s is one of the main inspirations for the high level of engagement we strive for at The Connecticut Renaissance Faire. We want to inspire today’s children with that same fascination we discovered in our youth, so they will want to learn about history, social studies, and the performing arts. We want to spark their imagination and creativity like Raum had done for us, giving them a positive experience and stories they can tell to their children someday. We want them to dream big; to help others; and to see the positive impact they can make on the lives of strangers.
It’s been over 30 years since Raum inspired us and even today we see him at our festivals continuing to interact, to inspire, and to make believe.
Thank you for inspiring us, Raum.