The Forbidden History is a larp about a college for the intellectual elite. It is about secret societies, academic aspirations, romantic entanglements, twisted power dynamics and subjects most taboo.
It took place at Castle Czocha, 6-9th of December, 2018 and will run again 16-20th of October, 2019.
The Official Story
The year is 1986 but in some places, it is as if time has stood still.
St. Theodora’s College itself is located in a castle in Poland, shielded from the public. There, the political turmoil of the outside world passes without notice. At the college, hand-picked students are faced with two very different, and sometimes conflicting, realities.
The official story, the facade that everyone upholds, is that the school is strictly focused on academia. That it is through dedicated excellence that the enrolled students shape their future and their path ahead. The students are encouraged to engage in philosophy and ancient literature, in Latin and Greek, in architecture and art. They are also encouraged to have close and personal relations with the eccentric teachers, hand-picked by the school staff for their original and thought-provoking teaching methods. Only through these connections can the students find themselves and find a place in a world that has been placed at their feet.
Student clubs and study groups are common and many of the students themselves have a passion for discussion and debate.
But, there is another part of the school that no one speaks about in the open.
The Forbidden Story
The Forbidden Story, the one that everyone knows about but everyone keeps secret and hidden from the outside world, is a very different one.
Every freshman at the college are quickly introduced to the concept of the Societies. The Societies are where your path is truly chosen, or chosen for you. They are secretive and often occult in nature, dedicated to exploring the depths of the human psyche and the limits of human societal rules. Many of them are designed to free their members from societal taboos or constraints that would hinder them in their studies or their lives after college.
Each society has their own criteria for letting new students in, and their trials and initiation rites are often taxing and scary, but without one, you will not be allowed to stay at the College. The school board knows that the student societies are but a stepping stone into the conspiracies that rule the world outside.
Each society will select a group of students that are prospects, and some are prospects for several societies, resulting in painful choices and betrayals.
The Forbidden History seeks to explore the lives of its students in a very respectful manner with a focus on a polished outside, where everything strange or taboo happens behind closed doors. Here, hidden secrets clash with the mundane, forbidden romances clash with public expectations. The students are caught up in their own journeys, discovering themselves and their darkest aspects as the years at the school add up. Outside, the normal word awaits, and many older students cling to the strange refuge that St Theodora’s provides.
Even if the year is 1986, the students dress as they please and often take inspiration from a range of historical eras. It could be gothic or historically themed, eccentric or strange but always stylish. Think historical gowns, cravats, gloves, riding boots, accessories, and so on.
The larp is inspired primarily by the atmosphere of The Secret History by Donna Tartt but also by movies like Dead Poets’ Society and Cruel Intentions.
Should I go to this larp?
You should go to this larp if you are interested in exploring the themes mentioned above in a respectful and realistic way. The play style is immersive and with a focus on your own personal journey. We want our participants to engage in close relationships and in safe exploration of boundaries, thoughts and philosophies.
You should go to this larp if you have always wanted to experience academic decadence, romance and secret societies at a fantastic castle with hidden passageways and ritual chambers.
It is not a requirement to know the school topics to participate in the larp, and the academic levels will not be at real college levels within these topics. We hope that many of you are interested in exploring them at least on a basic level along with an interest and passion for the other themes of the game.
What is it not
It is not a larp about bullying or direct conflict between students to any greater extent.
It is not a larp about being shut out or being ostracized, but rather about being part of something.
It is not a larp with public scandals or great upsets to the status quo.
It is not an 80s larp. We picked the 1980s because we wanted it to be modern without having mobile phones. These people do not dress or use make-up in any normal 80s fashion – rather, they are inspired by timeless classic fashion and historical eras. It will not deal with the political events of the 1980s in Poland either – in the larp world, the college is for a kind of elite that were unaffected by such things.
It is not a larp where anything magical or divine will be proven true. However, the experiences of the characters might very well resemble the divine or the mystical.
It is not a College of Wizardry larp or connected with that fictional world in any way. It simply takes place in the same off-game castle.
6-9th of December. Participants will need to be on location at 16:00 at the latest on the 6th.
Participants: 100, including teachers.
There will be a bus transport from Berlin directly to and from the larp that you can buy alongside your ticket. The exact times will be given at a later date.
The larp is full, but reserve list sign up is open. We do not follow the date of sign-up for the reserve list, but instead aim to preserve a balance of genders and preferences as well as judge the individual applications.
1. Send in an application.
2. If the application is approved, you will be redirected to a ticket page.
Applications will be handled on a first come, first serve basis. However, in order to avoid rushed applications, anyone who signs up during the first hour will be treated as having signed up simultaneously and will be randomized between.
The application is there to ensure that we get a good distribution of players for teachers and students, as well as to ensure we have a safe play environment for all of our participants. More information will be provided in the sign-up form.
Tickets will have a standard price of 475 euro. There will be subsidized tickets for those who cannot afford the full price as well as sponsor tickets for those who want to help others afford the larp.
Sign up will open on 4th of March.
What you will get:
* A close, personal and carefully designed larp experience
* A detailed pre-written character
* A 3-night stay at the fantastic Czocha Castle including in-game sleeping quarters and meals
* A masterfully written fiction that weaves through your characters and their relationships and engages you in the twisted world that the students have to live in
* Experienced players as teachers, helping you immerse in the college experience
* Workshops on Thursday evening
* A voluntary debrief on Sunday
The Forbidden History is created by the following people:
Simon Svensson – Project Lead, Game Design
Agata Swistak – Practical Lead
Jonaya Kemper – Character Lead, Fiction
Carl Nordblom – Aesthetic Lead
Linnéa Fredin – Prop Lead, On site safety lead
Kjell Hedgard Hugaas – Fiction, Writer, On site safety
Petra Lindve – Quality Assurance
Freja Gyldenstrøm – Fiction, writing
Dajo Vande Putte
The Larp is designed and run by Atropos and produced by Dziobak Larp Studios
Anna Lanna Harringer
Characters & Relations
Karijn van der Heij
Kjell Hedgard Hugaas
Safety and support on site
Anders Gredal Berner
Kjell Hedgard Hugas