Friday, January 20, 2017

Soft's Lullaby

Soft's Lullaby
written by Swoop and Pilpus

As dusk turns to dark and night blankets the world
Come lay your sweet head, listen close to my words
In lands full of danger with monsters abound
My cold sweet embrace will keep you safe and sound

I'll keep you protected oil your final rest
For blood of the cov'nant lasts even through death
While glamour and glitter turn to dust in time
The love of a family will always survive

So choose your friends wisely they'll help you survive
For in the hearts of family mem'ries never die
While glamour and glitter turn to dust in time
The love of a family will always survive 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What You Missed: Arisia

written by Rachel Downing

Hey, guys! I’m back. Did you miss me?

… Do you remember me? I wrote that one What You Missed post two years ago about the Arisia event, The Mountain Citadel. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

Done? That was pretty quick. You really expect me to believe you read that? You know what, here’s the gist: I’m the person who wrote a View post about a Realms event without participating in said event, or participating in any other Realms event, or knowing any of the people who ran the event, or being involved in Realms in any way, shape, or form. Because Pi asked me to.

Okay, that’s out of the way. Now strap in, because this account of “Excursion to the Boundry Summit”, this year’s Arisia event, is going to be absolutely amazing. Despite the sleep deprivation from only getting five hours of sleep the night before because there was an unavoidable party in my room until 3AM, and needing to be awake at 8AM, and missing most of the event due to prior commitments I hadn’t fully understood at the time but couldn’t back out of, and… Yeah, this is gonna be great.

It started out strong, with a whole gaggle of children excited to run around whacking each other, before the scheduled start time of 9AM. Of course, it was necessary to train them all in basic Realms combat, i.e., lightest touch, take your hits, don’t put anyone’s eyes out. All this explanation was made much more interesting by the interruptions of a very small and very energetic child with a helmet and molded foam sword, who would become crucial to the PCs later. Probably. For some value of crucial, anyway. For now, he was simply very, very bad at taking hits.

While the PCs were getting themselves sorted out, and hitting each other with things (probably crucial to the getting-sorted-out), the combat NPCs huddled ominously in a corner, probably plotting something really evil. One of the PCs lost his lemon, and then found it again; we
discovered that the very small child was also very bad at the concept of lightest touch. The PC lost and found his lemon again.

The time was now 9:45AM, and the plot was trying to start happening. Some goblins were mad at the PCs, and were trying to air their grievances, but someone still needed to be combat trained. Fortunately (ironically?), the very small child cut through the distractions and raised the alarm, shouting, “GOBLINS!! YOU GUYS!!! GOBLINS!!!!” The goblins departed without battle, but with a threatening parting shot - “Be ready!  … er, please don’t be ready.”

It’s at about this point in time that I was forced to depart the event, because I was working tech staff for a separate event rehearsal at the convention. Luckily for you, dear reader, your intrepid reporter (that is to say, yours truly) has an account of the ensuing events from a confidential informer, who will remain nameless. Back to the action, from my notes:

The PCs discovered that the goblins were mad that the humans built a giant tower in their land. (SPOILER ALERT for the impatient reader - it wasn’t a tower after all! It was a spaceship!) The PCs encountered a traveller who spoke gibberish. They beat up a dragon. I’m not sure where the dragon came in, but I’m sure it made sense at the time. They eventually got into the spaceship, née tower, and discovered some real weird things behind glass doors in the cargo bay, including an ithilid, and a giant worm from three years ago. They beat up the weird things. Some scared strangers, speaking gibberish, shot at the intruders--er, I mean, the PCs. Who were totally not intruding. 

The PCs got into an electronics room with a closed-off reactor giving off radiation. I think the radiation is what was bothering the goblins. The PCs solved some puzzles to turn on the room’s computer, which was then able to translate the gibberish. The PCs fixed the spaceship, which was apparently broken, and flew it home. The end, probably.

(Now, personally, I feel like if the goblins hadn’t wasted their time being so mad about everything and blaming stuff on innocent people, they could have fixed their own problem and not bothered anyone at all. But hey, that’s just my opinion.)

To sum up, it seems like it was a pretty good event, and you should have been there, but you weren’t. We’re all very disappointed in you for not showing up. But I’m sure you can join your fellow nerds running around hitting each other with foam-covered sticks another time.

And that’s what you missed in Realms!

What You Missed - Feast of the Leviathan XIX (photos)

Friends and comrades brave the cold and gather together in Rhiassa (Staff)

Spending time (and coin) at the Chimeron Casino (Dustin Mack)

The new carnival game, Knock the Knights (Staff)

Sir Lysis tries out the Castle Siege carnival game (Dustin Mack)

Playing giant Carcassone (Dustin Mack)

Intrepid adventurers tackle the Gau Dring Big Game Hunt (Dustin Mack)

The Guild of Honorable Service at court (Dustin Mack)

Aeston and Areni present their firstborn son, Aeryk Stromgate (Dustin Mack)

The feasthall at large (Dustin Mack)

Heroes of the Western Flank auction - useful NPC gear plus magic items (Staff)

Camaraderie and gaming (Staff)

Perusing the quests available through the Adventurers Guild (Staff)

Merchant tables laden with goods (Staff)

Making some amazing wire sculpture (Staff)

The Chimeron table (Staff)

Very intent on these papers (Staff)

Shader, First Lieutenant of the Huntress Guild, accepts a View Award (Staff)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recipe Box: Feast of Leviathan Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Lani "Sir Gwen" Grayson

 Baked Ricotta Macaroni and Cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated or cut into small cubes 
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta  
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley 
  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta 
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs 
  • ½ cup finely grated romano cheese
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking dish.
  2. Mix together the shredded mozzarella, ricotta, ¼ cup of the romano, and seasonings.
  3. Boil and drain pasta. Mix together in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. As the dish is baking, prepare the crumb topping by mixing together the rest of the romano, bread crumbs, and melted butter. Add the milk to the pasta dish and stir. Then add the crumb topping. Bake until heated through and topping is browned.

 Leviathan twist: served with variety of toppings and mix-ins so each guest could customize their plate -
  • Marinara sauce
  • Sausage crumbles
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Chopped artichoke hearts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...
 by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
… Dinnerware

            This weekend, like many of you, I traveled to the lands of Rhiassa for the annual Feast of The Leviathan. I was pleased to find a plethora of good manners and fancy dress. People were on their very best behavior it seemed. I even overheard many people who you would never expect speaking of fashion! I was having a wonderful time catching up with friends and listening to people enjoying themselves. I could see and hear my influence all around me and I felt such pride in you all, but mostly in myself for being such a good purveyor of advice.

Photo by Jason "Hat Dad" Rosa

            I was a little disappointed when I first got to our table to discover that there was already a sprinkling of crumbs and globs of various butters smeared across the tablecloth. The general population has made vast improvements on their attire but clearly not in their ability to masticate without making a mess. Of course matters were not helped by the lack of a bread plate. My spirits were lifted when the first course arrived: breakfast. I love breakfast foods. Every meal should be breakfast. Sir Gwen knows what's up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2016 View From Valehaven Award Winners

Best Special Effects
  Winner: Feast of Blackwood VII
  Runner-up: G.O.F.E.R. T.W.O., Rhiassa Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok 2
  Honorable Mention: The Event Which Must Not Be Named V
Best Props/Costumes
  Winner: Monster Island, Rhiassa Presents: Echoes of Ragnarok 2 
  Runner-up: Feast of Blackwood VII
  Honorable Mention: G.O.F.E.R. T.W.O.
Best Night Quest
  Winner: The Event Which Must Not Be Named V
  Runner-up: Folkestone Questing 2016
  Honorable Mention: Feast of Blackwood VII
Best Plot
  Winner: Risen Kingdom
  Runner-up: Echoes of Ragnarok
  Honorable Mention: Daemons (Blackwood), Hell (Folkestone)
Non-feast Event for Great Food
  Winner: A Very Merry Yule at Crazy Cecil's Uncle's Tavern 2
  Runner-up: Black & White 2016
  Honorable Mention: The Event Which Must Not Be Named V
Best Feast
  Winner: Feast of Blackwood VII, Rhiassa Presents: Feast of the Leviathan XVIII
  Runner-up: Feast of Highbridge IV
  Honorable Mention: Nedengiving

Arc Sphere Distortions

Arc Sphere Distortions

by Steven "Therian" Matulewicz
There's no kill, like overkill.