Didn't you ever wonder where the Masquerave references to flood and fire came from in the Risley Lexicon? You know, right there with the rumors of penetration?
I helped organize the first two Mraves and being a reference person in Olin with some free time on my hands, I pulled some old Daily Suns to bolster my memory. The first Mrave took place on Saturday the 28th, 1995. Cowcliffs was a polka-dot room, CLR was Babylon, I can't recall what the TV room was, and of course Tammany was Sodom.
Sodom was the source of those pesky unfounded rumors, the police visit, the "put a shirt on" request, and the really fun editorials in the Sun and Review. (A half dressed priest chained to a toilet, a topless lady being whipped, hot wax and various toys...it got a little out of hand when some of the party-goers decided to join in the theme).
We had a little over 500 people, which isn't bad considering we didn't advertise very well and it was the first ever Mrave.
The second Mrave was Saturday the 27th and lasted only 2 hours. I don't have an exact attendance count, but we managed to break even (within a dollar or two) before the "smoking materials" put a damper on things. So in my mind we would have done fine if we'd been able to run more than two hours.
During the early hours of MRave II a few people were upstairs smoking...ummm..."smokable things" (you can figure it out on your own, and no, I'm not going to tell you who they were). One of them committed an oops and threw some still burning items into a trash can. The fire was small and was confined to that room, but there was water damage to two other rooms on 2nd Main (flood).
In one room (Russ and Rayhawk's) all of the dirty clothes on the floor actually soaked up the water coming under the door and saved their TV set, which was also sitting on the floor. However, their door was kicked in by the fire fighters, so for a little while you could wave at them through the "so-called door".
I don't recall the names of the two girls in the other room with the most water damage but they did cause me a certain amount of guilt...I was running the Gypsy Caravan and had begged/borrowed/stolen every print scarf, tie dyed sheet, wall hanging, and "ethnic" looking print item in the building to cover the walls and tables. During the fire, one wall hanging was torn off the wall and damaged. It happened to be the wall hangning these girls had lent to the gypsy cause. Stacey Papa (a true goddess of fiber arts and the only reason I passed my one education class...I taught a belly dance class each week in the dance studio and she signed a nice official form as "Risley Building Program Assistant" agreeing that this was "student teaching" to fulfill a requirement for the class) fixed it for them, but I still felt pretty icky telling them that the one item from their room that escaped the water damage had been ripped up instead.
Cowcliffes was a Twin Peaks room (the theme reappeared in 2001), CLR was a "Rusted Metal Surgery", the TV room was a most amazing Tron room, and Tammany was a nice, safe, innocent "Heaven/Hell room" with happy angels playing with balloons on one side and cage dancers/lord of hell on the other. Oh, and the main hall was a Gypsy Caravan (my room BTW).
Many people thought this was just a really rottenly timed fire drill so a lot of the "guests" were also waiting in the circle. A couple hundred people in various stages of undress bouncing around in the cold. Despite what you may hear in all the better books, chainmail is NOT a good choice for cold weather adventuring and bunny fur needs to be applied in MUCH larger quantities to get the whole warm-side-fur- side-inside effect. No flames leaping through windows or anything dramatic like that though the rain coming through the light fixtures in the CLR /was/ pretty kodak-moment-ish (right up till we thought "Gee, the power is still on, and those wires are live, and should we really be standing in this puddle in a room filled with rusted metal?"). The best part was watching David DiBene (then RHD) direct the fire folks wearing his Carmen Miranda outfit (which earned him eternal fame on the Risley Purity Test). David had been having nightmares for weeks about the slim chance of having to do something "official" while in drag, and that added a certain extra something to the whole surreal vision of Carmen Miranda bossing around various firefighter types. (For those who don't know him, David is tall, the dress was tight, the heels were high, and the headpiece! A vertiable masterpiece of fruit standing a good foot or so...you couldn't have missed him if you tried.)
The fire and flood ended MRave II, the party-goers went home, the Risleyites went back inside (there was a meeting in the great hall later when a nice fire guy and David explained what had happened), and the Sun ran a short story. Not nearly as much press coverage as the first MRave, but still and all, not a bad event.
And of course, for those who like to check facts (as a reference librarian type I heartily approve of fact checking) the story (with spiffy quotes and a very nice picture of the Gypsy Caravan with Fia the PA and Adam the GSA telling fortunes) is in the Daily Sun. It's not online, but you can find it at Olin Library.
"In retrospect our decision to go as the four horsemen of the apocalypse may have been a mistake." -Laura Kline B-TTo the front hall.