The Purpose of our Quest
A Word from Matthew Darragh
There is a moment in each mans life when he is called to greatness. For some, that moment may involve helping a friend overcome hardship or doubt. Others are called to create works of great beauty. Only a very few hear the call to be king. That was my calling and this is my story.
Why was I, and I alone chosen to perform this task? I was always different from the other boys at school. While they wasted time and made immature jokes that weren't even funny, I strove for seamless perfection in everything that I did. Sometimes I would arrange all the items on my desk, pencils, rulers, erasers in various ways that they could be picked up and brought to the middle of my piece of paper in the least possible time. While the others grunted and chased each other around the fields with their stupid rugby balls, I spent my lunchtimes conquering the hostile realms of Middle Earth with my level 7 Ranger.
The others were threatened by me of course. Sometimes they would push my face in the dirt and deliberately kick the Dungeons and Dragons board over. I pitied them because I knew that I was destined for greatness and they weren't. I just wasn't sure what form my greatness would take, or when it would reveal itself. Then, in one glorious moment in the summer of 2004, in the prime of my manhood, as I was about to decimate an army of goblins in the mountains of Caldor with my +3 sword of Orc Slaying, I realised with breathtaking clarity my lifes purpose. It was magnificent in its simplicity. I and a hand-picked band of fellow gamers were to follow the actual path of the Fellowship of the Ring by walking the length of New Zealand! But not as ourselves - this was the brilliant part. We would do it in character. Sleeping under the stars as the fellowship would have slept. Eating as the fellowship would have eaten. Saying only what the fellowship would have said. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it had to be done, and that I was the man to lead it. I would be king.
Six months later, and my vision had become a reality. There we were, ready to make history. We were ready to do something that had never been done before. Ready to follow the actual path of the Fellowship of the Ring.
For these three months, we few, we precious few, would leave our 21st century luxuries behind, and become living breathing creatures of Middle Earth. I would be Valencia, the young rash half brother of the king who would always sleep with his sword. I had no doubts as to my own ability to maintain character, as I'd perfected acting reading the works of Victor Boal. But I was worried about my men. They had neither my vision, nor my dedication, and they hadn't read about Victor Boal. Yet as I looked at them, and they looked back at me with open, trusting eyes, I felt no doubt. I realised that wherever I would go, they would follow and that they would probably die for me.
Did I lead them to glory? Was our journey indeed the single greatest role playing act in the history of mankind? Well, let's just say that history is full of great men have been let down by the incompetance of those around them. Napolean. Jesus Christ. Yoda. Only I can truly understand how they must have felt.