Dramatic Adventures – Vala program

Aeon Academy’s Vala Dramatic Adventures program is a unique mode of learning and play. It gives young people the chance to ‘live out’ different lives, times, and places by playing characters in an collaborative, improvised story. These “dramatic adventures” blend oral storytelling, improvised theatre, roleplaying, tabletop games, and live-action physical games to immerse participants in other worlds – whether historical, literary, mythological, or fantastical – and their stories.

The program draws inspiration from many places, but is a wholly original creation that has been exploring the educational benefits of imaginary play for nearly 15 years.

This autumn, we’ll be presenting the following exciting and dramatic adventures:

Week 1 (8th – 12th July)

Monday, July 8th: The Dragons Return

The long-lost dragons have returned to Ancient China, bringing stormclouds with them to end the terrible droughts that have plagued the land. But what should be life-giving rains come in a raging torrent, and floods threaten to destroy farmland that feed the whole country. Muster up your courage and join a group of fledgling heroes seeking to tame the chaotic dragons you unleashed back into the world. But no one has tamed a dragon in generations…

Struggle to contain the raging waters with your elemental powers, seek audience with the fearsome dragons, search the haunted libraries of Fengdu Ghost City, seek the forgotten tomb of Yu the Great, explore a haunted cemetery by night, and learn the Ritual of Taming Floods.

Will you tame the dragons and stop the floods in time?

Tuesday, July 9th: Classic Enemies

A new treaty between England and Spain spells peace in Europe, but piracy and conflict continue to flourish in the tropical Caribbean. Sign up to the fleet of Captain Henry Morgan, “King” of the Brethren of the Coast, and join a crew of buccaneer pirates fighting back against Spanish aggression and trying to get rich doing it.

Capture ships from foreign nations, fight for the best position (and greatest share of profit) in the crew, face adversity and ill luck, plan a daring assault on Spanish territories, face cannonballs and grenades, and look beyond Hollywood to learn about the real pirates of the Caribbean.

Will you all be blown sky high, or take your enemy by surprise?

Wednesday, July 10th: Fall of the Dragon Lord

The ancient mountain kingdom of the dwarves lies in ruins, empty save for dust, ash, and the wicked Dragon Lord who took it from the dwarves and now broods on his stolen throne. Take up axe and sword and join an alliance of orphan dwarves finally ready to confront the terrible tyrant and take back their ancestral home.

Muster your courage, sharpen your wits, keep your friends close, race through the ruined tunnels of the undermountain kingdom, sneak into the throne room, confront the usurper Bael in magical battle, and at last overthrow the Lord of Darkness and of Flames and regain your stolen heritage.

Will you fall at the hands of the Dragon Lord, or survive to reclaim your legacy?

Thursday, July 11th: Moctezuma and Cortes

The Aztec Empire – mighty, wealthy, and blessed – plays host to silver-skinned gods from a land across the sea to win them as allies, but Emperor Moctezuma does not yet trust these strangers. Serve the Emperor and join a hand-picked group of agents tasked to spy upon the leader of these silver strangers when he leaves court on a mysterious errand.

Sneak through the steaming jungles of Mexico, impress powerful new allies, learn the secrets of the silver strangers and their leader Cortes, test yourself as a spy, stab your enemies in the back and fight them in the open, and risk your life to defend the Aztec people.

Can you outwit the silver devil Cortes, or will he get the best of you?

Friday, July 12th: Days of Tyranny

Pack your sword and shield and reply via owl post to your invitation to attend Vala School of Knightcraft and Chivalry for the start of a new year. Old and new students alike come together to to master the arts of the Knights Templar and keep their honour under the tyrannical regime of the new Headmaster and his Enforcers

Ditch and outwit the Headmaster’s Enforcers, continue your training in secret, delve deeper into the ruins beneath Temple College, master the sword, stay true to your fellow knights, watch out for discovery or betrayal, and continue to investigate your mysterious connection with the ancient court of King Arthur…

Will you stick together in these dark Days of Tyranny, or will you fall apart?

Week 2 (15th – 19th July)

Monday, July 15th: Warriors of Tiw

Winter snows blanket the harsh landscape of Norway, and ancient feuding and bloody strife divide the Vikings that live there and turn village against village, tribe against tribe. Take up arms and join a band of warriors sworn to protect their families, crush their enemies, and uphold the justice of the one-armed god Tiw.

Sneak and skirmish in the snowy woods, stand united in a shield wall, steal secret knowledge from the dwarves, defend your home from raiders, ambush your enemies, fight in bloody melees, quest to learn the secret that could end this war, and prove yourself as Tiw’s true champion.

Will you uphold the justice of Tiw, and protect your tribe and village honourably?

Tuesday, July 16th: Bushrangers & Blackfellas

Before there were any wild colonial boys or daring rogues preying on the roads between country towns and goldfield settlements, there were the very first bushrangers. Reject the chains and cruelty of Sydney Town and join a group of bushrangers thriving alongside the local Aboriginal people.

Live wild in the bush, enjoy the land’s bounty, hunt and feast with your Aboriginal allies, raid the outskirts of Sydney Town, sign up with Black Caesar’s bushranging gang, learn the plans of the Aboriginal resistance, make a decision where you stand and how much you’ll risk, and try to survive the firestorm of Pemulwuy’s war on Paramatta.

Will you make a stand against the British, or wait for a better chance?

Wednesday, July 17th: Seven Rings for Seven Thrones

The Dragon Lord is overthrown! The Dwarves have reclaimed their ancient home! Under the mountain, dusty halls ring with cheers and joy for the first time in decades as the orphan dwarves settle into their new home. Cheer in celebration and join them as they turn their attention to claiming their inheritance and filling the seats of seven empty thrones.

Lick your wounds, explore your new kingdom, rebuild what the Dragon Lord destroyed, search for magical treasure, reconnect with your heritage, discover hidden wonders under the mountain, and work together to appoint seven Sovereigns to rule in The Deep once more.

Will you claim a Ring and a Throne, or swear loyalty to a leader worthy of your trust?

Thursday, July 18th: The Death of Guy of Gisburne

Snow melts and flowers bloom across the countryside of medieval England as spring bursts forth across the land, bringing bad news with it. Roam free in the forests of Yorkshire and join a group of outlaws drawn out of the safety of their woodland home to rescue parents and siblings captured and locked up in the dungeons of York.

You’ll have to be brave and cunning if you’re going to leave the forest, get past the high walls of York, avoid being captured yourselves, find entry into York Castle, free your families from the dungeon, lead them back to safety in the woodland, and keep the vengeful Guy of Gisburne from putting each and every one of you back on the gallows-block.

Will you make it back to the forest with your family, or join Guy of Gisburne in the grave?

Friday, July 19th: Quest for the Hallowed Grail

Pack your sword and shield and reply via owl post to your invitation to attend Vala School of Knightcraft and Chivalry for the start of a new year. Old and new students alike come together to to master the arts of the Knights Templar and keep their honour under the tyrannical regime of the new Headmaster and his Enforcers.

Discover the Round Table of King Arthur, re-dedicate yourself to honourable knighthood, delve yet deeper into the mysteries below Temple College, escape out into the Forest Sauvage, explore King Arthur’s childhood stomping ground, and follow your mentors’ guidance on the quest for the Hallowed Grail.

Will you prove worthy of the quest, or will you be judged and found wanting?