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The Victory Circle; A Nano-Larp • 2017 rpg

Jason Morningstar •

Stand in a corner and say: “Rhode Island. July, 1676. We’re English farmers who have been at war with the Wampanoag Sachem Metacom. Some have lost everything. With our native allies the Mohegan, we’ve captured 40 of Metacom’s warriors. The Mohegan are uneasy. They desire a captive. We are reluctant to disoblige our allies.” 
Decide together: Give them a man who boasted of killing nineteen Englishmen [go to 1] or refuse [go to 3].

[1] Say: “They form a jubilant circle and hack off the warrior’s toes”. 
Stop the torture [3] or step forward and be complicit [4].

[2] Say: “The Mohegan invite us to bash in his skull to revenge ourselves.”
Swing your clubs [5] or decline [7].

[3] Say: “The Mohegan furiously break their alliance and join Metacom’s confederacy. We’ve doomed the New England colonies.”

[4] Say: “The Mohegan make him dance and then sever his fingers.” 
Stop them [3] or join the circle [6].

[5] Say: “We beat the captive to death.”

[6] Say: “They break his legs and prepare to kill him. He remains expressionless.”
Take up clubs yourselves [2] or stop this [3].

[7] Say: “They beat the captive to death.”

Author Comments

Inspired by an incident recounted by William Hubbard in his “A Narrative of the Indian Wars in New England, From the First Planting Thereof in the Year 1607 to the Year 1677: Containing A Relation of the Occasion, Rise and Progress of the War with the Indians, in the Southern, Western, Eastern and Northern Parts of Said Country.”

And the point is not to be scandalized by the Mohegan rules of military conduct, but to demonstrate that the dominant voice is often complicit in what we’d consider unfathomable cruelty, and holds no moral high ground (contemporary narratives generally make it clear that the English didn’t consider natives completely human). There are only soul-staining paths to survival here. To call King Philip’s War a war implies certain things that were patently untrue; to call it Metacom’s Rebellion implies fealty to rebel against, the winners wrote down what happened, organized violence is fucking awful, the end.

Read Hubbard’s account:

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