Questers face the dark knight

Teams will encounter riddles, goddesses and sword-wielding fighters in a role-playing game at Treadwell

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2002

Actors and ananchronists will transform Treadwell into a realm of mystery and imaginary danger this weekend.

A game of Quest will be played Saturday amid the ruins of the historic mining town of Treadwell, just south of Douglas, and along the forested trails inland of Sandy Beach. Bill Thompson of Juneau organized a group of volunteers to stage the role-playing game, which is based loosely on the computer game Quest. The event is free and open to the public.

"You're part of a group of characters, five to seven people, and you work through a series of stations with questions and puzzles, which develops the game," he said.

Thompson is active in the Society for Creative Anachronists, a national group with local chapters. The SCA stages jousts and medieval-style tournaments. The game Saturday is not an SCA event, Thompson said, but members of the Juneau chapter are involved.

Thompson has enlisted the help of a number of actors and the Eastern dance group Daughters of the New Moon. Costumed volunteers will run the different stations including storyteller Becky Bear, who will challenge players with riddles with a Celtic slant.

The Daughters of the New Moon will have a station set up as the Acropolis, one of the favored hangouts of gods and goddesses of Greek mythology.

"He said he wanted goddesses - he's getting goddesses," said Kathleen Gamble of the Daughters of New Moon. "He'll give us a tent - goddesses don't like to get wet - and we'll probably have to wear long johns under our finery. We'll be asking the questers riddles."

Taimhyr Ensor-Estes, a teen-age actor who most recently played a Moorish prince in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" at Perseverance Theatre, has organized a group to play "Otherworld" animals in the forest during the game.

"We're basically going to be around the game to give it more atmosphere," she said. "So you're not just walking through the woods in Juneau. You're walking through a different place that's not Juneau at all."

Other actors include Ed Christian, Doniece Falcon, Ibn Bailey and Rory McMann.

After working their way through the various stations set up along the trails, players will arrive at a medieval tavern. Thompson said organizers are setting up the old shell of the Treadwell mine office as a mock tavern.

"That's where you'll pick out one of the fighters and which weapon you want them to use, just like you would in the (Quest) game. Then they go fight the dark knight, and you go with them," Thompson said. "This is an actual full-contact sword fight, enacted by members of the Society for Creative Ananchronists."

The SCA fighters battle in proxy for the gamers. Fighters will use rattan swords, the standard wooden sword used by SCA members at jousts.

Thompson said people interested in participating should meet at the large shelter at Sandy Beach before 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. The game begins at 1 p.m. and will last about two hours. Participants can come with a group of five to seven other players, or come alone and organizers will set up teams.

For more information contact Bill Thompson at 780-4160 or Sheila Griffin at 789-4781.

Riley Woodford can be reached at

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