The role-playing fans' movement gathers people with different perspectives and goals. And not all of them are "harmless daisies." Of course, frank marginals cannot be found among roleviks, but there are enough of those whose actions cannot be called “hooliganism”.
A small group called "Mushroom Elves", from the very beginning of its existence, gained fame as brawlers and destroyers of other people's games. Members of their movement were at least apprehensive and tried to isolate them. But were the "mushroom pickers" the way rumors describe them, or was it simply "fear has big eyes"?
The origin of the group and symbolism
The first information about the "Mushroom Elves" appeared in 1993. It is known that the group was formed on the basis of the role-playing movement of St. Petersburg and when asked about the name, its members cheerfully answered: "We eat mushrooms!"
The association had its own unique symbolism, which quickly became widely known among role-players. Elves gathered under a black flag with the image of three white Psilocybe semilanceata enclosed in a circle - a symbol of unity and fraternity of the group members. In Russia, this fungus is sometimes called "fun" due to the fact that its pulp contains strong hallucinogens.
Members of the group used music for their "outings." The Mushroom Elf March is a song of three verses interspersed with a Russian mat, which sounds very warlike even with a simple read. Subsequently, many hymns and ballads were written, but only the first song became recognizable by role-players from the very first lines.
"Mushroom Elves" managed to be noted in all areas of activity that could only be available to active young people of that time. They were most active in the following:
- Acceleration of role-playing games held in the open air. Moreover, the nature of the events and the number of participants did not matter. The "mushroom" themselves claimed that they were proponents of the reality of the scenario being played out. Role-players must be prepared for the situation to begin to develop in a direction that is dangerous to them. They should not have the opportunity to step aside and say: "I'm in the house." Soon, the "mushroom" became so famous that they had to hide their names and go to other people's games for 100-200 km. Often, the masters only after the start of the brawl found out who came to their events. Wicked jokes on players were often accompanied by alcohol consumption, bullying, beatings, and appropriation of other people's things.
- Environmental activities in the Committee on Forests (Leningrad Oblast). In 1997, "Mushroom Elves" volunteered to patrol the Polistovsky Reserve. Protecting state property from poachers was closely associated with various atrocities such as the destruction of equipment or the unexpected shooting of a shotgun. In 1999, in connection with the request of the deputies of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg and the increasing complaints to law enforcement agencies, voluntary patrols were disbanded.
- Network space activities. Since the beginning of the 20th century, elves have been actively “trolling” their opponents on the Internet, ridiculed and denigrated them with the help of insulting posts and poems. They created several sites and forums, of which the Mushroom Elf Library is best known.
In 2009, having published a special "Manifesto", the group began to curtail its work "in the field", almost completely switching to the Network. To date, "Mushroom Elves" act as a creative team and do not manifest themselves in either political or social activities.
Composition and leaders of "Mushroom Elves"
According to rumors, a group of hooligans totaled hundreds of members and had branches in all major cities. But this is a huge exaggeration. The basic composition of the "mushroom" totaled 10-12 people, their nicknames and appearance were known to many role-players.
Of course, in 2016, few people already know what the "Mushroom Elves" look like. Photos published on the Web, mostly related to the last decade of the XX century, when they were all very young. At the moment, the following are known about the main defendants:
- Johnny - Ivan Petrovich Faulkner, July 25, 1977 According to friends, he has a good literary talent. A monograph on the adventures of elves has almost completely left his hand. There were rumors (and Johnny himself confirmed this) that in 2000 he was convicted of robbery for a suspended sentence.
- Story - the main "voice" of the group Konstantin Mikhailov. It is this guy in the vest who sings the song "Mushroom Elf March", posted on YouTube.
- Crazy - Anton Ostrovsky, February 11, 1976 year of birth. For a long time he was the leader of the group, but in recent years he began to distance himself, which was noticed by outsiders.
- MacLeod, or Sergey Maklaud Zotov, is still a fan of role-playing games and sometimes takes part in them.
In addition, among the "Mushroom Elves" were such characters as Elephant, Ava, Goblin, Barin, Queen, Crimson and Skive. For some reason, it was believed that the members of the group were marginalized, fit to drink and use drugs. But this is another mistake frightened rolevikov. “Mushroom pickers” were urban guys, and almost all of them either studied or were going to enter universities.
Over the years, the "Elf Mushroom" never revealed full information about itself.
Musical and literary creation
Despite the speech sprinkled with obscene language, bloody bravado and ugly antics, the "mushroom" were and remain creative people. They created a lot of musical works, one way or another connected with the theme of role-playing games. On the current site, "Mushroom Elf Library" published albums "The Unknown", "Steps along a Curve" and several songs performed by Goblin.
But there are many more songs written by the authors of "mushroom", although not all of them can be performed when there are young children nearby. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they put their hand and head to a large part of role-playing folklore.
In addition to music, some representatives of the group became famous for their literary work. In particular, for the authorship of Johnny (Ivan Faulkner) there is a book "Tales of Mushroom Elves", which describes the most striking adventures of hooligan role-players. Despite the abundance of Russian mat, descriptions of drunkenness, debauchery, hooliganism and outright crimes, the work nevertheless describes well the realities of games at the turn of the century.
On the same site you can find the frighteningly evil stories "Holy Greta" and "There is no forgiveness" for the authorship of Olga Slavneisheva (Korolev), who followed the path of fiction.
Implications for Role Movement
By 2016, "Mushroom Elves" had become part of folklore, but at one time they "spoiled the blood of all roleviks." Now it seems strange that only a dozen people could take several hundreds of players to flight and disrupt the event for months. And for this they needed only to appear at the edge of the forest.
"Mushroom elves" behaved in the spirit of that time, and for most role-players this caused a stupor. After all, the latter were not the most socially active people and used games to escape from reality. From the point of view of modern players, they were passive and for some reason never wondered: "And if 40 people take logs for these" mushroom "too? .."
However, by their actions the “mushroom” ones rendered an invaluable service to the role-playing movement of the Leningrad Region, revealing in time its main weaknesses - disunity, lack of forethought and fear of punishment. Already at the beginning of the XXI century the situation began to change for the better. Players established communication between clubs, began to care about security and the exchange of information. A well-known case is when a competently organized guard expelled the “mushroom" from the Slavic games.
So the actions of the "Elf Mushroom" group nevertheless served the benefit of all parties, launching a peculiar evolution of the role-playing movement. And we can only rejoice that in the process no one was killed.