Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors
by the Editors
Episode 2

Hello and welcome to Episode 2. We appreciate you coming back for our second attempt to show you how awesome asking us questions can be. If you don't think it's awesome, please send all complaints about this episode to George Lucas.

We only have one question remaining in our question vault, which means two things. 1 – That we are going to answer it. 2 - That people need to ask us more questions!

This weeks question from the notorious “Question Box” sparked a couple of great responses from some people very knowledgeable on the topic of guarding the Western Flank, which is apparently located in the kitchen.

Why don't people NPC as much? (We keep seeing the same folks burn out...)”

Lets get some answers shall we?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...

… In Public

Let me preface this article by saying that I love my friends, but my goodness can they be uncouth ruffians. I recently went out in public with a large group of compatriots and let me tell you, it was a test of patience at times. Not just patience with them, but with the public as a whole. It seems that people either don't care or don't know how to act while out and about. Fortunately I am here to remind them.

I previously wrote an article on general feasting etiquette which can be found here: I Can't Even... Social Etiquette  Please review it. It's apparent that you all need to.

This goes beyond dinner table manners though, and into the general way that we act as groups in public. I tend to focus more on how an individual can improve upon themselves, but what about how a collective can better each other?

When we gather in groups, the public's perception of you will be based off of your party as a whole. All members of your company are not weighted equally, however. The less well behaved among you will have a greater impact than than the most mannerly. (Mannerly means the one who has the best manners, not the one who looks most like a man). This is because annoying people are far more noticeable than polite ones. No one notices the family in the corner with the kids who are well behaved, but we all see the family with the screaming brats who are completely undisciplined and running amok. It is the same with ill-mannered adults. People aren't going to say “look at that fine gentleman who is sitting up straight and using a fork”, they are going to say “look at that barbaric moron who is spilling things all over and using his sleeve as a napkin.”

“But Zarine, we don't have an uncouth pleb in our group...”. Oh, yes you do. Every group has at least one, and if you don't think yours does, then it's probably you. You're dragging your whole group down with your filthy mouth, inappropriate clothing choices, and lack of decorum. Think of other people for once. Do you want your friends to be looked down upon because of your uncultured vulgarity? I think not, dear reader!

Groups of friends don't exist to tear each other down, but rather to build each other up, or so I am told. If that is the case, then start doing it. You may not be meaning to disgrace the group with your actions, but intent is not really what is important here. If you are one of the more respectable people in your group and you sit and stew while your friends tarnish your good reputation then you are not helping either. You need to work together to bring the whole group to a more civilized position. If someone is humiliating your gathering, say something to them, preferably in a productive manner that will help rather than hinder your goal. If you are the problem, the first step is admitting it, realizing you need help and accepting it.

I know that I used my own friends as a point of departure, but really they are not all that bad. Over the years, we have all grown into responsible adults and have helped each other come to a place of respectability. We all have to elbow each other now and then to remind us where we are, apologize to servants for someone having a bad day and being rude, hand someone a napkin, or clean up a friend's mess (See: I Can't Even... Be the Sober Friend). It's part of being on a team or in a group. You look out for each other. My friends let me use them to make valid points on Tuesdays, but they are becoming less of an example as they are more influenced by myself and others who are more socially refined. And even I had to become cultured at some point, and it certainly didn't happen on a pirate ship or living with Trent. So if you think you cannot change yourself or your social circle's public perception you're wrong. You can. It takes some work, but aren't your friends worth it?

See you next Tuesday.

Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, an award winning author, and has 36 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

10 More Questions with Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee

Photo by Dave Harvill

  1) What achievement either in or out of character are you most proud of?
OOC -  getting hitched, having children, completing three different certifications (Art, Business, CPR/AED) within five years of each other.

IC - getting asked to become KoEF, and then also re-entering the Knighthood years later.  *thinks*  I'm also still really super-proud of Tiptoe through the Tulips, which was over a decade ago at this point.

2) Are you a fighter or a caster? Have you always been? How did you choose?
Caster with everyone; Iawen, though, just unlearned some spells for her commander so she's a 1-path Seer at the moment.  I have not always been a caster throughout the time playing different PCs, and I love to fight, but casting is somewhat easier for me to choose since I'm older.  ^_^;

3) Have you ever owned an artifact, memento, or magic item  that has meant a lot to you, and why?
For Bouquet, there was a few: a jade pendant from Krythron, a necklace that was the essence of Mab...there were a lot of things, and they've either been given to other PCs or lost to time, unfortunately.

Iawen has a key ring (literally) from Soft, and an amazing Shape-shifting mask from Syruss, a True Name from The Gray Man...

Certain there are more but Player 4 is keeping me busy as I type. ;)

4) What group of people do you spend the most time with and why?
Iawen is able {at the moment} to surf between groups, although currently sworn to Eagle's Rook after a five-plus year stint in Coventry, and spent some time within the Kingdom of Chimeron, too, at the beginning of her existence.

5) Who is your best friend in character and why?
Iawen has had bad luck where if she mentions publicly whom she deeply loves or considers Family or a best Friend, they end up dead permanently.  (Don't believe me?  See example Valas, Shane, Airavarri, etc.), so... she ADMIRES many in Folkestone (Quazar, Mathias & Matiya, Lord Malaki, Mestoph, Rubis, Piper, Sasha, Borjid... there's a lot), many in Chimeron (Dame Brynn, Sir Wil, Sir Rel, Warlord Saka, Sir Rosetta, Indana, Ser Kovaks, Rekees... hmm... Chimeron and R names, Folkestone and M names... trend?), Blackwood (Sir K, Jinx, Sir Tao, Sir Cronyn, Toah, Tolf, Flydian, Pilpus, and more... and Blackwood has T names?).  I guess there are a lot of folk, and they all impress her with their strength AND wisdom of character.

Photo courtesy of Facebook
6) What event or moment had the greatest impact on you as a player?
Pass... they're worth speaking about face-to-face, so I encourage folks to talk to me (or even to ask this question of one another!).

7) What event or moment had the greatest impact on your character?
See above answer.
8) What is your most embarrassing moment, either IC or OOC?
I cannot currently remember *the* most, so I'll do an OOC recent one - not hearing a fellow player correctly caused me to publicly scold/rant/get angry over the words, and then come to find out I was 100% wrong about what I thought was said.  Make sure you understand a whole story before you jump to conclusions!
9) What is the best piece of advice you'd give to other players?
Actually talk to folks.  Even shy characters/introverts can learn something from it in the Realms, both IC and OOC.

10 ) What is the most important thing you've learned through the game?
This year, this month?  Patience.

BONUS QUESTION #1: Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Gideon/Jacob Valeri, Bright/Ian Pushee, Rosetta/Eric Willison, Jinx/Jana Greene

BONUS QUESTION #2: Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print.
A lot can happen in five years; it's a good thing to go back and peek into the past every once in a while to remember the roots of this game and its community so that in the future, we can make it better.

Photo by Cara Zajac

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors
Episode 1

Hello everyone, and welcome to the very first episode of Ask the Editors. Much like another famous Episode One, this one is likely going to be quite bad. Stick around though, because I feel that by Episode Four it should get really good.

As of now, we do not have many questions to choose from so we have decided to start with a fun one to break the ice. This one is from our Question Box:

"How fabulous is the name Valley Girl? The story behind it is unimportant."
~Rani Valley

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

To Cast off Death's Embrace

To Cast off Death’s Embrace
by Dav(id, e) "Vawn" Hayden

Sometimes people will talk about heroism in terms of "a calling", as in one's destiny being to do great things. In the warrior culture far to the North and West of the Realms, known as the Vaargha, there is a similar concept known as "a growling". For, honestly, nothing embodies the beckoning one feels to accomplish a particular task or goal quite like the gnawing emptiness of true hunger and the quest to end it.

Of course, sometimes a growling is just a growling, the sound one's stomach makes when it's been four or five hours since one's last meal and the threat of perishing from starvation is both real and imminent.

Sometimes the two growlings collide...