Thursday, November 26, 2015


Michael Zajak "Swoop"
Agency, the ability to enact change on the things around you. When we talk about empowerment, we talk about people having an effect on something tangible in their lives. Whether it be themselves or a situation around them. Many situations in games, not just plot points, give me a feeling that I can help make people's lives better by using my powers and actions. A lot of real life is not like that, you get told what to do and thats all there is to it. Being released from those confines every week is liberating.

David Hayden "Vawn"
I'm grateful for having been given the opportunity over the years to face and deal with a wide range of situations in which the worst potential outcome was my having to make up a
 new character. Skills like confidence and leadership translate directly to the real world, and it's hard to be intimidated by some uppity mid-level bureaucrat after facing down the likes of Black Annis swinging 'Wayland' and a wave of Bedlam threatening to swallow you up.

Also Dave
I'm grateful that the game allows me to occasionally kick the ass of someone half my age in a 'sport'.

Sam Teatum "Ezra"
I'm grateful for all the amazing people in our game. When I joined the Realms I was never
expecting to find a second family, but now that I have, I can't imagine life without them. We have an amazing community of people who help support each other as we learn and grow, and that's wonderful.

Aaron Metzger "Rel"
I'm grateful Realms is more than just a game, but a real community which cares and looks out for each other.

Steven Matulewicz  "Therian"
What I am thankful for the the opportunity the Realms gives me. This microcosm can help us work on our personal character and honor, can help people learn skills and crafts, how to run a business on a starter/ small scale, and can even influence our jobs and lives with planning events, organizing teams and figuring out puzzles, as well as moral dilemmas. I am thankful for the opportunity it gives to become more than I was, and be part of more than I am.

Alex Megapainintheass Newbold "Lucas"
I am glad that Kelly doesn't edit and I slipped this in here.  Its a good thing that part of this community is good nature joking with and on each other.  Or else I'd be in a world of trouble here.  I
mean seriously, how much would this stink if I'd done this in an official business meeting?  Wow, she's gonna be so mad at me.
    PS-She does edit.  -K

Ed Drummond "Tuilli"
I would say the community itself. In this game I found some fantastic mentors. Some for role
play some for fighting and some for fun and shenanigans. It's a blend of all of these things, along with a personality is as I get to encounter through this game that make it great. I don't social much, but this game gives me a great feeling of community.

Kelly Bonci "Twenaria"
We see all over this page how grateful we are for the community. That means we are grateful for each other. For most of us, this game has become more than a community of people, it has become a way we have found close friends and family. Some of us have literally found our family here, but we have also created our family out of the bonds found in this game. I know my family isn't just who I am related to. My daughter has so many Uncles and Aunts, and most of them are not blood. I am grateful so many of you allow me to teach my daughter about what love is, and how key it is to true happiness.

Nick Quardrini "Raynor"
I'm thankful to live in a country where there are lots of stupid people, and many kind hearted ones - and I'm thankful to know many in both groups.  I'm thankful for my health, and my family's health.  I'm thankful for the Realms - where I have met so many wonderful friends and had opportunities I would never have had outside of this community.  And of course, I'm thankful for turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What You Missed - Echoes of Ragnarok: Svartalvheim (photos)

[Editor's note: photos by View Staff]

Jomsvikings Ulric and Sigrid greet the arriving adventurers

The Vanfrost to Svartalvheim is created

Tools of the trade, as important as weapons in this realm

Many nodes were scattered about the walls of the caves

Having fun with the mine cart

Tracks were blocked at times by doors that were opened by various means

Putting the picks to good use mining ore

Traversing the caverns and corridors

Adventurers encountered undead dwarves, controlled by evil black elves

Working on a control panel to make switch the track in the right direction

More fighting

Placing ore into the proper receptacle to clear the track going forward

Looking out over a pit of lava

The dwarven forge

Using ore to forge weapons

Lava golems would burn up any track they walked upon

Capturing the lava golem to allow track to be laid

Adventurers found themselves in a room full of dwarven robots

Robots needed to be manipulated onto the panels to clear the track

Fighting black elves from the stonghold of the good dwarves

Single combat using the  newly-forged god weapons

Fighting against the black elves with the evil version of the god weapons

Adventurers pour out of the stronghold

The final challenge, using Mojolnar, the Hammer of Thor

What You Missed: Rhiassa Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok: Svartalvheim

What You Missed:  Rhiassa Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok: Svartalvheim
Written by Master Sir Therian of the Felwood and of Chimeron

This is a personal chronicle of the events that transpired on the 21st of this 11th month, in the year known as 1015.

I hate traveling to other realms.  I am a priest of Gaia.  That means my connection to her is usually best served while within her sight.  If and when being given the choice, I tend not to go to other Realms, since my job is usually on this world, in this time.  But from what I am told, these people, these Jomsvikings, came to us.  And so, we will help them.  You may ask how it is that I am considered a priest, since I have no spells, I serve no temple and I sermon no followers.  It is true that I am a fighter presently.  My name, “Therian” means Hunter.  Many think the function of Gaia is only in creation, that she is always about healing and life.  That would make you mistaken of many things.  Gaia is the cycle.  For a world to live and create, that upon and within it must also die.  And so my gift is death, so that the cycle may continue.  I bring this up because my experience and perspective will be my own.  There are others that may know nuances that I have missed.  I suggest you seek them out, for it is clear this is but one chapter at the beginning of a story.  And as it has been requested of me, I will tell my tale so as to honor the past, and remind the future.  I swear the tale is as true as I can make it, to my recollection.

We came at the behest of a man named Ulric.  A portal that was called the Vanfrost was opened to a part of his realm: Svartalvheim.  It was explained to me that this was an “earth” realm and that our task on this day was to gain the alliance of the dwarves.  It was their task to make weapons for the gods, and so having them as allies to bring about the end and rebirth of their cycle, Ragnarok, was necessary.  But their fate was unknown since the attack of the “Black Death” which we called Bedlam.  And so, it was not clear what we would face on our journey.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why I Want To Go: Dream Weaver

On Saturday, after a few days trapped with your relatives, you can escape to Mine Falls in Nashua to experience a different type of tourney.
Team of five, with fun names you get to choose yourself, compete to gather different portions of a dream catcher.  Teams cannot assist each other, in fact, it seems they are the competition you need to defeat to gain the pieces of the dream catcher.
A few clues have been released this week, check out the Realms Facebook feed for the map hints.

This event shows creativity in the approach of 5 man tourneys, in that it is a questing tourney.  Not the standard sword vs sword, but competing against whatever the other teams have put together, plus worrying about what the Dreaming has in store for you.

Sweet Dreams

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ten Questions with Kelsie "Keela Loveguard" Fantasia

1.) "How long have you been playing? 
Although my birth announcement was featured in the 1992 View From Valehaven, my first legal event was in 1998. I guess you could say i'm pretty old by Realms standards... : )

2.) How has the game changed since you've been playing? 
I think the game has had many obvious changes since I began, however , one of the more important changes to me would be the increase in female fighters over the years. Due to my affiliation, I only knew of a few established female combatants who paved the way for future Iron Maidens. (hehe). These people included but not limited to, Betty Marshall, Tanja Johnson, Angela Earle Gray, Miranda Collier-Amend, and Kristy Heighes. Though, now,  with fight practices being held on college campuses, and the resurgence of the Huntress Guild thanks to Alysha Metcalf, I see women making a more dominant presence in combat.

3.) Who have you learned the most from? 
Jarrod Marshall has been one of the most influential people for me in this game.  He was the first one to teach me that fighting had a strong mental component. Jarrod was the first to tell me to "Never go into a fight thinking you can't win, because if you do, you've already lost". That really resonated with me, and I still think about that whenever I prep for battle grin emoticon  He taught me how important respect was in the game, and from my time in Folkestone, how nations went beyond in character.  My dad, Joe Fantasia, has also played a major role in developing who I am in the game today.  From introducing me to the game at an early age, to conducting all of our after school backyard fight practices, to bringing me to all of my events in that large blue van with no back seats, but only a wooden bench attached to the walls of the van. (PJ Gray and Ray McGurik Jr know of what I speak). Getting to see him in combat all the time was what helped develop my liking for fighting.

4.) What was your best IC moment? 
My best IC moment had to be in 2011 when I ran for Queen of Hearts during a hurricane.  Malakai's introduction was as epic as it was embarrassing for me. Temorse and Phoenix were my incredible generals and Mestoph was my hard working champion. (Sorry you got stuck with that) . Karmha made my winning heraldry entry, and I remember it being one of the closest Queen of Hearts to date. Overall, I couldn't be more thankful to my entire team who supported me to make my running possible and gave me an experience that I won't ever forget, #DolphinMoonSparkleHeart heart emoticon

5.)  What was your best NPC moment?
My most memorable NPC moment was during the Sunday night nightquest at Folkestone Questing 2010. There was a castle seige of epic proportions!  We had a big drawbridge come down and the first thing that greeted the PC's on the other side was the Folkestone shield wall. There was non stop fighting, PC's and NPC's were flanking all sides of the castle, and I think the NPCS did a great job of intimidating the players, making them unsure of whether or not they could win. The ambiance was incredible that night. We had pyrotechnics, just the right music for the setting, and torches everywhere. It was hands down the best castle siege I have ever had the privilege of being a part of.

6.) What would you like to see changed/ developed in game? 
Currently as a spellcaster, I would like to see a bigger variety of spell paths/ spells available. I'd like to see more crowd control and support magic such as buffs implemented for player use. As NPC's , we've experimented with Root effects successfully for example.  In terms of buffing, like we have Enchant Armor already, a support 7th circle (to avoid rogues and other casters giving themselves free armor) could possibly be a spell giving fighters 1 additional point of armor in 1 hit location.  Another buff  I think would be interesting to try would be a "Shield of Thorns " spell (perhaps a 5th or 6th circle , 1-2 calls). The spell would not absorb the weapon blow. Instead, upon getting hit successfully, the person under the enchantment could call "Thorns" and then their hit location, and the attacker would recieve a mirroring effect in the same hit location.

7.)  What advice would you give to new players? 
To all new players : Read the Omnibus, and understand basic rules/ calls in the game.  You won't feel so intimidated at an event going in with prior knowledge.   Definitely attend all types of events. Every style of event has a different atmosphere to it. You won't know for sure what event type you like best until you've experienced them all, and meet people there with similar preferences.
To all new fighters: If you have the means to attend a weekly practice, do it. You're going to lose a lot.  Don't get discouraged,  understand that there will be people who have been fighting in the game a lot longer than you.  Stick with it, because the only way to improve is to fight better people. Show your interest and initiative and don't be afraid to talk to people for advice.  We have a very welcoming community, if you ask, there will be plenty of people who are willing to spar with you on the side, at a practice, or event, and help train you.

8.)  What do you love most about the game? 
The game is filled with diverse people. I love that I get the chance to meet people in one place  with both similar, and different interests that I normally wouldn't come in contact with in my day to day life.  I enjoy the fact that the game is as fun as you make it. There's always going to be times where you're at a smaller event, or an event with some down time. However, when you're surrounded by company you enjoy, there's really never a dull moment.  (Also, Kelly Bonci's Buffalo Chicken  Mac and Cheese needs to appear more at events).

9.) I'd like to nominate Kevin Weeks, Nataliya Kostenko, and Michael Zajac

10.) Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
  Well since I was asked my best and most memorable moments, I'd like to write quickly about one of my most embarrassing moments to date. (more to come i'm sure) .   It was Queen of Hearts  2008, running team Sean Aengus. I along with Andrew Fantasia, and Kevin DeSousa (Kwartz of Folkestone) did the dance bardic entry.  Andrew and I had custom "Vote for Sean" Tshirts  made (play on from Vote for Pedro Shirts from Napolean Dynamite) In Folkestone colors.  I made us wear these ridiculously large sunglasses that we couldn't see out of with the lights shining right in our faces.  I started off trying to throw some mardi gras beads to the crowd. Due to my lack of vision, I ended up throwing them 2 feet in front of me so nobody could get them, and got booed. Our dance was hardly choreographed, and if Kwartz wasn't there to carry the performance, I don't know if I ever would've shown my face in this game again tongue emoticon .  I'll never forget the dead silence after our performance and the infamous heckler, Rob Riley shouting " Thank you for stopping". To this day, I cannot listen to Weezer's Pork and Beans, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and The Time Warp without cringing to my core.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Vendors of Valehaven, or, How to Get Your Yule Shopping Done

This time of year is a flurry of thing-to-do.   Not only are we dealing with our normal day to day endeavors, but we need to cope with the added lists of being joyful, decking halls, and gift giving.
Sometimes, those gifts are for very special people involved in a Secret Santa style gift exchange.  (Do I need to go over this?  Oh, yes, please!)
Each year, for almost a decade, the Realms is treated to its version of the office holiday party.  People get together, (mostly) set aside differences, and have a wonderful time.  Questing, gambling, eating (so much eating), imbibing, helping charity, visiting Father Yule, singing carols, and the gift swap are just SOME of the activities for you to partake in.
In case you have been under a rock, or just ignoring the notifications, the gift swap is a wholly in character gift swap.  by answering simple questions, and sending your name and answers to a specialized team, you are signed up.  Soon after submitting your name, you get a match.  It is up to you on what you get your giftee.  Maybe this year, things are a little tight.  Home made goods are very popular.  This year was good to you?  Be generous.  Spoil your person with an absurdly amazing gift.  Ive seen the gamut, from super impressive, customized perfect gifts, to sad store bought cookies.  With the price tag still on.

Im not telling you what to do, but don't be the cookie guy.  Instead, turn to one of these amazing vendors in our community.  With these folks alone, you can make anyone's Yule a truly merry thing.  Here is a list of who does what, and how to get in touch with them.

  • Vandoria's Vestments- garb of various styles.  She is very popular, so be sure to get Jen your information and requests ASAP to guarantee your giftee has something to open.  Please contact her at Vandoria's Vestments on Facebook.  

  • Jana Green- Turns out, Jana Green has another talent she has kept hidden from us.  She makes stunning wooden boxes in all sort of styles.  Contact her via Facebook for information and pricing

  • Michael Zajac (Swoop) This talented music student will custom write a song or poem in one of many styles for you.  I bet he would even perform for you, for the right price.  Contact Michael via Facebook for information on how to be famous, or how to really make someone's Yule shine.

  • Ethan Goldman (Jean Baptiste)- jerky.  All kinds of jerky.  Beef, pork, mushroom and some we don't ask about.  Ethan will work with you to ensure you get the flavor and ingredients you want to bring joy to someone's tummy.

  • Britny Fowler- We all know how well dressed the Meyerling crew is.  We all wish for half the style of these crimson clad couture kids. (too much?  I can never tell)  While time is running short, if you get in touch with Britny soon, you can get added to her list for some amazing garb, and while this is to help with gift swap ideas, its ok to spoil yourself, too.

  • Erin Martin- Erin has many talents, and one of the most incredible is what this woman can do with yarn.  Hats, blankets, scarves in many styles.  She is also happy to help with tunics, cloaks and mantles.  Feel free to contact her on Facebook for examples and pricing.

  • Becky Baron-  Here's a neat one, for the special scholar in your life.  Becky makes rune books.  There is no way to elaborate on how amazing these are, you need to see for your self.  Get in touch with Becky soon, these books take time.  Becky's email is

  • Josh Fitzgerald- Look, we all have an ego.  Josh will help stroke that ego by custom painting a miniature for you or someone who deserves to be spoiled.  He is quite artistic and can show you previous examples of his work.  He can be found on Facebook.

  • Megan Matulewicz- Theres hardly need to cover this talent with you all.  Realms Outfitters is well known for quality goods.  Right now, due to materials on hand, Megan is willing to make some pretty sweet cloaks for your lucky giftee.  

If you do not have Facebook, or a friend with Facebook, feel free to contact me at, Ill help you out however I can.