The fiction takes place during the Cold War, in a time of an arms race, ideologies pitted against each other, and a battle for hegemony. The setting is in Norway, but the world is at stake. Most of the characters are members of diplomatic missions to Norway – many of them spies.
The Cold War
The Cold War is at its coldest. There’s a lot of tension in the world. While politicians use warmongering rhetoric, career servicemen and diplomats do what they can to maintain the fragile peace.
We want to explore the theme of allegiance, at what the driving forces are of the people who are involved in the game of competing political powers.
Spies come in many shapes. Some are motivated by ideology, politics, or patriotism. A surprising number act out of avarice, for the financial rewards can be alluring. Others find themselves drawn into espionage by sex, blackmail, arrogance, revenge, disappointment, or the peculiar oneupmanship and comradeship that secrecy confers. Some are principled and brave. Some are grasping and cowardly.
(Ben Macintyre 2018)
The larp takes place in a time when spies were everywhere. Nobody can be completely trusted. Nobody would be surprised to learn that any diplomat is actually a spy. The biggest threat, however, is someone inside one’s own organization working for the other side – a double agent.
Four of the countries are Nordic – Finland – neutral and with close ties to Scandinavia, but also under heavy Soviet pressure, NATO-member Denmark, neutral Sweden – and Norway, a NATO country with a shared border and special relation to its big neighbour in the East. The great powers are represented by the United States and Great Britain from the West, and from the east the Soviet Union together with two of the Warsaw treaty counties – East Germany and Czechoslovakia.
Double agents – hired as a spy for one side, but actually spying for the other side. Challenging to play, potentially lonely. Deep involvement in plot, tense play.
Residents – diplomats that pretend to have a regular job at the embassy, but are actually spies. Usually working for their own country, but potentially also for another power.
Counterintelligence – Those who work with unveiling spies. Yet, some of them might be spies themselves.
Diplomats – actual diplomats who are not spies, but who work for their country – and sometimes also humanity. Involved in diplomacy on issues such as war, peace, security, arms, trade and culture.
Administrative characters – embassy staff who don’t work as diplomats (but might be involved in some diplomacy nevertheless)
Party animals – people with an in to this community, but they are there mostly for the glamour and the parties.
We are in Skien – a cold industrial town in Norway, which in this fiction is Norway’s temporary capital.
There are parties, which at surface might seem like fun and glamorous events, but which really are scenery for a game on information, power and positions.
Every delegation will have an embassy that is their headquarters. Larger events will take place in private function rooms, but the larp does also make use of the whole city. This larp is a pervasive larp, i.e. the players use the city for meetings, lunches and exchanges of material.