Real history to mix with magic in campaign for Elsie Inglis statue

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It’s featured in popular culture from The Simpsons, to Spielberg’s ET and hit sci-fi horror series Stranger Things.

And now a unique chance to indulge in the imagination busting fantasy role-play game Dungeons and Dragons has popped up in one of Edinburgh’s most atmospheric locations.

Lydia Gschosmann, games master of dungeons and dragons for mercat tours

Lydia Gschosmann, games master of dungeons and dragons for mercat tours

Mercat Tours are holding a games night deep underground in a candlelit tavern in the Blair Street Vaults – the first of its kind in the city and possibly the world.

Tour guide and Dungeon Master Lydia Gschosmann, 30, will lead the game two storeys below South Bridge, surrounded by century old stones that have seen the likes of bodysnatchers, dens of iniquity, crime, despair and destitution.

She has created a unique game tailored to the unusual surroundings. Teasing practised dungeon devotees and dragon newbies Lydia explained: “The game is going to be based on the vault ghosts and the vault back story – the general idea is to mix the real history of Edinburgh with this magical world full of elves, dwarves and magic races.

“There will be a ghost theme woven in with some real life characters from history. The vaults in the middle of the night with silence all around should be a really good backdrop for this unique event.

All profits from the event will be donated to the tour company’s charity of the year – supporting OneCityTrust and the Evening News campaign to raise a statue of Dr Elsie Inglis.

And in terms of social interaction Lydia said it is an interesting way of spending time with friends within a creative storytelling experience as well a brilliant way of backing the Evening News campaign for an Elsie Inglis statue.

She said: “I was incredibly happy when I heard Mercat Tours had started to support the campaign for a statue for Dr Elsie Inglis. I’ve been talking about her on tours for years now because honestly, we keep talking about these great and important men in Edinburgh and Dr Elsie Inglis has more than earned her place amongst them.

The Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew adventure has sold out but

Mercat Tours marketing manager Jean Burke said: “Introducing a games night during 2018’s Year of Young People presented a perfect opportunity to raise money for our chosen charity of the year which is dedicated to raising a statue for local resident Dr Elsie Inglis, working with OneCity Trust. The whole team at Mercat Tours and Mercat Tours International have completely gotten behind the Elsie Inglis initiative; we have adapted our walking tours to introduce Elsie’s story to our visitors and created information sheets about our fundraising.

“We’ll definitely be holding more fundraising events throughout the year and we’re certainly going to hold more Games Nights in our vaults!”

To back the campaign to honour Dr Inglis with a statue in Edinburgh visit, https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?charityCampaignUrl=elsie