The Story of a Cape

Some of you know or saw that I wore a majestic purple cape at the 2014 ENnies award show. When I committed to this ridiculous bit of clothing, little did I know that it would be a small part of a joyous and historic moment for the ENnies—as pictured here, with John Adamus’s marriage proposal. I can tell that the cape wants this story to be known, but as it has no voice, I am to be its bard.

It all started with a tie of the wrong color.

I was ordering a couple neckties to try out for my wedding outfit. My unifying groom color is royal blue, but for one of the ties, I accidentally ordered one of them royal purple. So I shrugged and decided that would be my ENnies tie, and started pondering the outfit to go along with it. At some point, a phonemonously ridiculous idea popped into my head:

I could get a matching cape.

I laughed and dismissed the idea. Later, I was talking with someone in the office, and fateful words were uttered:

You could probably find one on etsy.

Curiosity struck me, so later that night I started hunting around. Not long into searching for “purple cape,” I hit upon this gem by this awesome seller. (Well, not exactly that one, but the one I got is out.) I emailed the seller to see if it could be altered, as a 62″ cape would drag too much on a crowded party floor, and they said that they’d be happy to alter it. I talked the idea over with my tailor, and he gave me a good measurement, I passed it along, and a couple weeks later I had this fantastic and absurd component for my ENnies outfit.

Seriously, niriah is a fantastic etsy seller and I highly recommend them.

cape betaCape and tie in hand, it was time to disappoint a few people by adding other clothing to the mix. I went thrift shopping to find a long-sleeve collared shirt that would go well with a purple tie and cape, as well as work when I wasn’t wearing the cape. I didn’t quite find was I was looking for, so I hunted in my closet and found a purple shirt that could work. I took some pictures of “the outfit’s beta” (see right), because I wasn’t sure if all that purple would look lame.

I was told in no uncertain terms that it rocked, and to go with it. Apparently because the purple shirt was of a very different shade and sense of texture, it worked out.

I added my cane to the outfit for good measure—which, incidentally, is effectively a mace. Click on that link if you want to see someone destroy a cinderblock with my cane. No joke, this is from a weapons manufacturer. (Incidentally, I do occasionally need to walk with a cane, but that cane is really bad for support. If I’m walking with that cane, then I’m probably okay.)

Beyond the Outfit

Once I had the outfit, I hatched a plan. Should I go up on stage, I was going to make the Dungeon Bastard hold my cape and cane. Then I was going to tip him by sliding filthy lucre into his sweatband, treating him as my valet. If I was to go up a second time, I was thinking about just making him wear it and walking off-stage without it.

If you’ve seen the video, you know exactly how according to plan it went. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the same video as I did my acceptance speech against bigotry:

I start walking up at the 2:53 mark. The lighting isn’t great at that angle, but gets better.

Behind the scenes: I did warn him right before the show started about the first bit, while we were all mingling at the cocktail reception. But I didn’t know about John Adamus’s marriage proposal. Only Bill Cavalier knew of these things, and even then only mine at the last minute. By utter kismet, I walk up for Best Rules along with the rest of the Fate Core family, hand Bill my cape and cane, and then he denies returning them. He said “If you want them back, you’ll have to win again,” to which I shouted back “Sold!”

Here’s the thing: I legitimately didn’t know if I was even up for anything else. I asked a couple people to be my backup if they went on-stage, because I seriously didn’t know if I would be again. Turns out that I would be, but more importantly, it turns out that Bill was going to make that unnecessary.

Intermission happens. I walk up to him as he’s carrying my cape, and I flat-out refuse to have it merely carried. So I put it on him and made him walk around with it. Wade Rockett took a photo of me looking forlorn as Bill’s prancing around like a damn prince.

The the award ceremony begins again. Bill begins by talking about auctioning off my cape and cane, and I have absolutely know idea what the hell is going on.

I could keep writing this story, but the end is better viewed than read:

I did eventually get my cape and cane back, after the ENnies pictures were taken. But as I like to tell it, I didn’t really get my cape back.

What I got back was a shimmery piece of cloth that looks like a cape, but its majesty was harvested by John and Erica. Which, in the scheme of things, I’m okay with. Perhaps it will regrow by next year.

My cane, though, it still legit. You can’t mess with the cane.

I wish John and Erica the best, and glad that the silliness that started with accidentally ordering the wrong tie added to their magical moment.

Edit: A Development

On Friday, August 29th, 2014, I performed a quick wedding ceremony while wearing the cape. I believe by completing a circle, some of the cape’s mojo has been restored.

– Ryan

P.S. I never got a picture of me in the cape at the award show. If anyone has one, please share it with me! :)

Edit: There’s one on the Paizo blog for the Gen Con 2014 costume contest! (Wherein I got “honorable mention” for cosplaying as… myself.)

Ryan in Cape