The Forbidden History
RPG system: LARP
Dziobak Larp Studios (2018 run), Atropos Studios (2018, 2021, 2023 run)
2018, Czocha, Poland
|Ania Gerborsk (2018 run)|
|Ben Books Schwartz (2018 run)|
2021, Czocha, Poland
|Linnéa Cecilia (2021 run: Emotional Support T, Scenography)|
|Stefan Lunneborg (2021 run: Helpers & GM)|
|Agata Świstak (2021 run: Practical, Logistics)|
|Freja Gyldenstrøm (2021 run: Runtime, Fiction)|
2023, Czocha Castle, Poland
|Julia Woods (2023 run: Characters)|
|Ann Christensen (2023 run: Economy and Administration)|
|Freja Gyldenstrøm (2023 run: Fiction and GM work)|
|Mikolaj Wicher (2023 run: Logistics, Local organizer)|
|Linnéa Cecilia (2023 run: Safety and Fiction work)|
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.
6. - 10. December 2018, Czocha, Poland
3. - 7. November 2021, Czocha, Poland
18. - 23. April 2023, Czocha Castle, Poland