Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What you Missed: Good Old-Fashioned Entrepreneurial Recovery

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

Photo by Michael SWOOP Zajak

What You Missed - Good Old-Fashioned Entrepreneurial Recovery by Michael "Swoop" Zajac

*A slightly charred scroll arrived at the View today, the distinct smell of sulfur emanates from the parchment as it is unrolled*

Dear Readers of the View, 

Greetings from the base of a very active volcano! Quite the adventure was had Sunday assisting a little baby dragon recover some lost treasure from a much larger, angrier dragon deep inside its fiery lair. Adventurers from across the realm gathered to reclaim the lost loot within the volcano and of course, slay a very angry dragon. I, Swoop, will regale you with tales of our adventures as the first group to enter the treacherous mountain and, thanks to a little salamander on the wall, will tell of how the later groups fared in the depths.

Cutting our way through thick spider webs, the group found themselves in a dark room, with a semicircle of statues holding riddles and curious puzzle pieces blocking our path. While answering the riddles caused the statues to drop their puzzle pieces, they would shortly animate and attempt to reclaim their lost possession! Through a bit of luck, our group found certain statues were vulnerable to specific types of damage, and therefore we managed to stop some from attempting to reclaim their pieces. My salamander friend tells me other groups were not as fortunate, but their strategy of answering all of the riddles at once and frantically depositing the pieces into the receptacle worked with only minimal bodily injury. This completion of the puzzle opened a doorway to one of the three separate dungeons within the volcano.

For us, the next room led to a long protracted fight with a hostile goblin tribe. The goblins seemed endless until we realized they were being revived at three points within the room, at which point we realized scalping them was out best option. We also discovered a strange little human, who had somehow risen to a rank of leadership within the goblin tribe after living amongst them and possibly believing he himself was a goblin. He joined us on our quest, offering healing and resurrections via a seed of life that he somehow learned from within the goblin culture. My little friend tells me that the other groups fared similar yet different engagements once they progressed pass the statues. The second group also seemed to encounter a hostile goblin tribe, but after realizing half of their party had been thrown in the goblin ice box, realized they needed a different approach besides brawn. Using a bit of magic and a whole lot of mischief, the boys (and girl) in Green and Black and associates managed to fast-talk the goblin leader in releasing their compatriots and guiding them onto the next section of the dungeon. The third group, however, ran into a very different group of goblins, ones that seemed more intent on partying than fighting, as the adventurers walked in amidst a goblin dance party, quite a sight to see. After completing some competitions against the goblins, the goblin chieftain agreed to guide them to the dragon.

Fighting through trolls and bats and uncomfortable doses of personal space invasion and body odor, all three groups fought through a tight corridor and then quickly sprinted through the door as a rockslide collapsed part of the path behind them. A ring of lights needed to be activated, much to the displeasure of the local populace, which then opened a pit of lava, infested with fire throwing sprites. My salamander compatriot wishes for a moment of silence, as 3 of his brothers were slain here and butchered for their claws that the adventures used to throw the fireballs back at the sprites. May they rest in peace.

After the sprites were dealt with, a terrible roar came from the far side of the room, and the dragon emerged from its den! All parties emitted similar cries of surprise and terror as they lept to their feet. I am unsure how it been concealed from me, but a massive spear was produced amongst the fighters in our group, which required 6 men to wield! The spear was thrust into the dragon’s slithering form, hot blood pouring from its wounds. My salamander compatriot tells me the others fared similar battles, with Neden utilizing its extensive knowledge and weapons of dragon-slaying and the third group empowering the goblin chief to have him tackle the dragon head on! Each group fought a mighty battle, and casting aside the possibility that NedenALMOST took all the loot and were about to leave with the dragon still alive, each group conquered the mighty foe. The dragon’s horde was then raided by each group, a veritable wealth of money, items and trinkets left as spoils for the party. The loot was well worth the risk, and each party managed to escape the volcano with only a few burns from the hot lava erupting around us.

In conclusion, a great time was had by every adventurer! The thrill of danger, the great battles and the gaining of loot always stirs the hearts and gold pouches of the heroes of the Realms, and this occasion was no different. My little salamander friend says that while the mountain is quite for now, who knows what dangers still lurk within the fiery halls.

Yours truly,
Swoop of Clan Riverhawk
*A small paw print has also been dabbed underneath Swoop’s signature*

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WIWTG: Blackwood Tournaments IV

If a traditional back yard barbecue and fireworks with the fam aren't your idea of a great 4th of July, we offer you this alternative:

Head up to Creathorne Farm to celebrate, Blackwood style.  No, I don't exactly know what that means, but it can't be that bad, right?  I mean, they promise a barbecue with burgers and hot dogs (which is always a weiner...I mean winner).  They hint at fireworks.  Of course, there will be tourneys of several types.  I see small war maneuvers, which is a well-loved pastime to celebrate independence, if you are in Blackwood.  Some questing, and light drinking allowed only by those of legal age.  Seriously, don't be that guy (or girl) and drink underage and ruin it for everyone.  Not cool.

Now, I'm not a betting lady, but I'd bet the Casino will be set up someplace, too.

So, this weekend celebrate your independence by doing whatever you want to, it seems Blackwood has everything covered.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fresh Face- Gregory "Daekara" Falconer

Photo by Matt Norris
How did you learn about LARP and what brought you to Realms?

I’ve been sword fighting/fencing for many years and always wanted a more free-fighting system. Seven or so years ago Mike Durocher (Vuel) started trying to get me into it but I didn’t really feel at the time that it would be right for me or that I would have the time to do it. Fast forward to my 21st birthday and I got really drunk and made a promise to a different friend that if he would start going to LARP’s I would join him. After trying a couple, Realms popped back up and I figured I would give it a shot, and since then it has become my favorite LARP

How many events have you been to?

6 so far and I plan to hit as many more as I can this year. (Uncle Cecil’s, Feast of Creathorne, KoEF Tourneys 2015, festival of Pi, Green and Gold, ToC, and Feast of Eagle's Rook).

What is your character like? Where are they from? What is their race? What is important to them?

Daekara is a fairly self-centered but honorable sailor who feels the sea should be free to all men who wish to travel and see the world, to learn what they can from wherever they go, and that a person should be able to reap what they sow without fear of taxes. Daekara is a human from a far-off continent where war is common and sword-fighting is as much a tool of diplomacy as an instrument of killing. The most important things to him are to be a master at whatever you chose to do and to always have enough money to drink, gamble, and eat well with anyone who would choose to join you. For these reasons Daekara wants to join Invictus and learn all he can from them.

What do you remember most about your first event?

Well my first event was Uncle Cecil’s 2014 and I would be lying if I said I remembered any part of that clearly, but the parts that stick out in my head are how friendly people were to me as the new guy, making friends with a few good people that have seen me through my realms career so far and helped me further myself. There were also a lot of invitations to fight for upcoming events and I made sure to make good on all of them.

Photo by Robyn Neilsen

What things have helped you feel welcome in the game?

Mainly the people who kept encouraging me as a newbie that I was doing good and that if I kept at it I would get much better. The near constant presence of gambling didn’t hurt.

What parts of the game do you find most challenging?

Being multiple NPC’s and trying to make them different from each other. Jumping from character to character is something I need much more practice at.

Do you have any game-related goals (as either a player or character)?

As a character I want to join Invictus and grow to be one of the best fighters in the Realms. They are currently petitioning me so I want to show them that I am worthy of joining their ranks and willing to do whatever I can to learn and improve. As a player I want to become a better cook that people want to have on their kitchen staffs, to hop around as an NPC when it’s needed, and to become someone that can eventually teach all the things I’ve learned to new players, though the last one is a long ways away.
Photo by Jesse Gifford

What advice would you give to new players?

Find what interests you most, stick with it, and put yourself out there as much as you can. People with the same interests will eventually pick up and remember you. Even if you have a bad event or practice never give up, it happens to everyone, and above all else enjoy yourself! We come to the Realms to have fun.

What have you enjoyed most about the game so far?

The Order of the List tournaments, the occasional free-flowing drink, and the freedom to lose all my gold in a casino.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What You Missed- North South War by Britny "Kamilla" Fowler

My tales from here in the Realms are few as I have not been on this plane for long, but I could tell of an event that occurred just this past weekend, the great wars between the North and the South. Early in the morning the captain from Mayerling, Charwindle had us load up our supplies, swords and shields, extra swords. Armor, snacks…. Oh I know I’m forgetting something… ah yes, a seemingly endless supply of arrows.

When we arrived at the event and donned our armor and took our place with the Southern army there were people everywhere. I believe that our purpose there had something to do with how we seem to help Rhiassa in many capacities, training the Oaken guard and helping defend their lands, but I digress. Throughout the day we faced battles in many forms. First were the line battles, unlimited to start. Our archers lined up behind Rhiassa due to our familiarity working together, came through their ranks and ran to skirmish with the North before they were close enough to engage in melee combat with our line. The archers ran back, and soon it was time for swords. It became evident quickly that while we had the advantage of numbers the North had the advantage of many seasoned fighters with Grimloch, the newly formed Invictus, and even the Southern Wastes fighting on their side. The Wastes’ decision confuses me, but I suppose they seem to be kind of freelancers in the Realms, traveling and doing as they see fit.

The line battles were all over quickly, both limited and unlimited even with the hilarity of healers accidently raising their friends from their opponents side forgetting that they were fighting each other. As a spellcaster I was worried about being ineffectual during the limited battles as that would normally mean magics would not work, but the Creator graced us with favor and we retained the ability to heal limbs and fire magic missiles at our enemies and found ourselves able to wield larger weapons than normal.

After the line battles we rotated on the field to play a game of “Capture the Flag”. We all found ourselves charging in, killing our enemies, looking for our opportunity to grab the other teams flag when seemingly as soon as the first game began we heard the call of “OVER!” Only to look over and see that there stood Darven of Mayerling, fighting with us on the South holding the North’s flag. Three cheers for Darven!

The next round was unlimited so I sought to delay the North by laying down a Circle of Protection around our flag, but after a couple of spellcasters failed to grab it a fighter was finally able to overwhelm me and thus brought about a victory for the North.

By the time the next game rolled around I was really starting to feel the fact that a horse (OOC: motorcycle) stepped on my foot a couple weeks ago, so as the ballista challenge began I took up station with Kwiddo who also warred with an injured foot at the regen flag. There he bravely sat repairing armor and bows as brave warriors came back to life, I waiting to cast a CoP to defend his forge from a disrupting abjurer but no such interference arrived. The battles were long and hard but eventually they ended, with no one I spoke to actually knowing the victor.

As we moved to bridges at last I felt useful, myself with my Circle of Healing, Kwiddo again with his forge. Together we saw many brave warriors pass through our ranks to return to the fray of fighting that seemed to never end. It took about forty minutes until someone fired an arrow through my circle, breaking it and putting a stop to my healing. The battle itself lasted long, 55 minutes of grueling combat, many picking up pikes for the first time in their lives doing everything they could to defend the line, but alas the North eventually broke through. One of our healers tried with all his might to call a cry of life while our warriors were dead behind enemy lines which would have certainly turned the tide of battle but… well could a bard perhaps give that man a lesson in projection?
From bridges we moved on to alternately besiege and defend a small fort in the woods, fight as we might we could not waylay our besiegers for long. As we sought to gain our own entry we fought valiantly, as fighters died new men and women came forward to grab the pikes and fill the ranks. It took a great deal of strength and courage but eventually we broke through the door shields of Invictus and entry was gained.

As we grew hungry we trooped down to the beach where there stood the final castle. Unfortunately in the tight quarters with spare weapons laid everywhere it was impossible to set up a Circle of Healing. I sat on the front lines holding my shield healing the limbs of pikemen and dragging the dead from under their door shields and knew with dismay the battle would not last long without the greater healing abilities.

As the battle ended a quick point capture battle began. At this point my foot demanded that I begin to make my way back to the tavern, but from what I hear this was a great time. At one point the dock came detached in the middle and the fighters upon it began to drift away, but all was soon restored to order. At the conclusion of this fight occurred a court, unfortunately all I could learn of was the gruesome resurgence of the nation of Rathkeale. Let me see how well my memory serves of this tale,

Lord and Chancellor Hayden Cromwell of Rathkeale the Devourer:
For those of you who DONT know me I am Hayden Cromwell and for the last 6 months or so I have been lording myself around as the Lord of Rockwood let me just say that I am no longer that! But instead I was recently named the LORD AND CHANCELOR of Rathkeale by our great Emperor Artex Bluebane the Unforgiven!  woo isn’t that awesome! Now before I finish this up there have been some men and women that have fought with me! and  I ask that those who BEAR MY Mark the broken chalice step forward and Kneel! (and so they did) you are all BRAVE enough to fight alongside me! now let us see if your Brave enough to follow my orders Drink from this Cup, the cup of my body as a sign of loyalty to me! Inside are FLUIDS drink. These FLUIDS from this cup and it will represent our bond! (and so they did) WOW you are brave I mean those fluids were inside me... it’s cool it was my blood haha! Congratulations brave men and women! you are now all Part of rathkeale and I am inside you! flowing through you and we are bound!

At this we broke for dinner, many grilling food over fires, my friends and I found an excellent local eatery serving pasta and pizzas that we would advise to anyone. Upon return to the event was an excellent bout of capture the flag in the dark in the woods. The whole site was live for this event; each team had 3 flags a large one with bells worth the most points and two small ones with lights attached. Another way for the teams to get points was to kill and scalp those on the other team, these scalpings were not permanent but a just a part of the tournament. I ended up watching from the tavern for most of the game, discussing the outcome with others when two members of Invictus and two members of the South resurrected at the tavern at the same time. An argument quickly ensued over each other’s safety upon leaving the neutral territory. I attempted to use my feminine wiles to distract Wrath, but surprisingly it bore no effect. The two girls from the South unfortunately quickly ended up dead and scalped again right outside the tavern.

At this point the highlight of the evening began for me in the opening of Panther’s Inn. Never having been to this establishment before but having heard many good things I was certainly looking forward to it. I knew some who were looking forward to gambling, I had heard many tales of the dancers and that all abound it would be a good time of story and drink. From the time I arrived at the door I was not disappointed. The… erm, door guard *cough cough* for those sensitive ears who may be around, certainly was not what I expected. She did not care that Sir Panther had expressly invited the nation of Mayerling to his Inn, I was still expected to pay entry. After much objection on my part she went and extracted the honorable knight away from his card table, though much to my shock I was STILL expected to pay entry, note to self, next time bring a pie or something. Well after much stuttering and stammering and inward lamenting over my very light money pouch I agreed to craft for Sir Panther arrows in return for the entry of everyone from my nation, to be delivered by the time the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees.

Once finally inside I can tell you it was a wondrous time. Drinks there were a plenty well crafted by Sir Kaz, Rob Scarlet made an excellent stew. The dancers were quite exquisite… and well Syruss, he wasn’t a bad dancer either. The lockpick training set was available for those who wished to learn this most useful skill, while I did not mess with them at the Inn I can remember from the Feast of Leviathan that they are a difficult but fun challenge that I encourage others to join in. The gambling was fierce, and talk and stories of past battles and friends and family and homelands was aplenty. While the air in the Inn was warm it started raining outside which brought more people in.
Alas and unfortunately the next day which was supposed to be full of squad battles, which Mayerling had been looking forward to until we  were called back home for urgent engagements, was a day of great rain and storms. Only one from the South remained to fight for honor and glory, though the North remained largely en force.

So here our tale ends, with another year of warring between the North and the South now behind us adding to its deep rich history within the Realms. Who knows where the future of this war shall lead, that will only be determined by those who rise to defend their sides honor and seek victory.

What I learned at North/South War 2015 (and years previous) by Gerard "Gray" Chartier

Photo by Robyn Nielsen

1. Bring lots of water and snacks.

2. Also bring sunscreen and bug spray.

3. Bring a change of garb (or at least clothes for under the garb) for the night portion of the

event. You’ll be glad you did when you don’t have to do the nighttime stuff in clammy

smelly garb.

4. It’s a team effort. Everyone can contribute. Certain roles are obviously important – the

shield wall, the pikemen, backpack support casters, healers manning Circles of Healing,

blacksmiths in their mystic forges. Those are the rock stars of a lot of the battles –

particularly the battles contesting limited space (the unlimited bridge battle in particular),

but one doesn’t have to conform to one of those roles to be useful. Numbers count, and

even if you’re not rocking fighter weapons, fighters can’t afford to ignore you, especially in

the more open battles where there’s a significant risk of being rolled from behind. Plus,

there’s always a need for someone to bring dead characters to the Circle of Healing, or

collect arrows for the archers, or even just be a meatshield.

5. Archery is more effective when it’s coordinated. A person is a lot more likely to

dodge/block a single arrow than a volley of 3 or more. A group of archers all firing at the

same target at the same time are more effective than they would be individually firing on

separate targets.

6. If you’re an archer, invest in good arrows. Shameless plug: Mayerling arrows are the best

7. Protection from Missiles + Armored Cloak = virtual immunity to ranged attacks.

8. The limited­area battles are the ones to put down Circles of Healing. Open battles end too

fast to shuttle player to a circle and slow­raise them. Save the circles for the unlimited

bridge battle and for the ballista battle.

9. Site your Circle of Healing in the corner, not directly behind the bridge. It’s a little further

to go, but it’ll make it harder for archers to break the circle with a well­aimed shot.

10. Throw Circles of Protection around your flags in Capture the Flag battles and nighttime

Capture the Flag.

11. Bring a towel, and some weapons you don’t mind getting wet. The water is in play during

the beach fights.

12. Think it’s hard to tell your team from their team during the day? Try it at night. Have a

way to discern your team from their team before the nighttime Capture the Flag. Hint:

Passwords only work until a sneaky member of the other team hears a member of your

team use it.