Friday, May 26, 2017

A Dryad Fair

A Dryad Fair
By Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee


I once heard a dryad fair
singing to the trees
her hair was red mahogany
her laugh a summer's breeze

I then espied rosy lips
skin like milk, em'rald eyes
held a secret I couldn't fathom
held above, a lofty prize

"Hail, well-met, you dryad fair!
What forest came you be?
What pretty bark shares your skin
where doth live yonder tree?"

She smiled at me, oh joy of joys
Her presence quite a treat.
She said a name, we played a game
and thus fell fast asleep.

"My great sorrow, dryad fair,
I must now take my leave.
I have my duty new at dawn
tho' here I'd rather see...

See you singing, see you smile
see you safe without a care."
She smiled at me, gave tenderly,
a lock of mahogany hair.

Thus home I went, returned to king
My country went to war
For months the fae my sword did sting
my heart by fae was torn.

I ran to her, my dryad fair,
I came to our precious place
to save her from the battles,
to put myself back in her Grace.

But under the tree, she was bent
A slice across her heart
Her em'rald eyes devoid of life
No longer works of art

I gathered her, my dryad fair,
into my warming hold
It took me but a moment then
to find that I was old

To Fate I cried my case of love
I begged the open air
For surely I caused this death not
Who'll raise my dryad fair?!

"My love, my soul, my bond to Light,
let me now duel with Death!
For if I best him in a fight,
He shall return thy breath!"

And Death comes, but not for me,
and Fate is by his side.
He will not sway, he steals her 'way
and smiles with sick'ning pride.

"Then sing you shall, my dryad fair,
below the earthen mold!
Sing past Death to light above,
Bedecked with crowns of gold!

Sing of Fate, who's cruel and kind
that war that's rent ye in two
Sing of the armies, the slaughter of kin
and love we only both knew.

Do not leave, my dryad fair,
whose voice doth sway the trees!
I love with my heart and soul,
O dryad sing for me!"

...But she is silent, lying still
There is no breath in her breast.
Her rich-red blood runs down her gown
I know whom Death loves best.

The elves doth come, with sword and shield
but upon my blade I'll lay.
What madness is this that I have lost
my everything to fae.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ask the Editors



Ask the Editors
By, 
The Editors 
Episode 6




Welcome back, fellow Realmsies, to the great articles series about questions and answers! This week's question comes to us via email and boy is it a doozy!

"What makes an event NOT enjoyable for you?"
~Anonymous


Well, this has the potential to create some flavorful responses. Lets see what we get, shall we?

Lets start with Lani “Gwen” Grayson:

“In order to answer this question, we decided to focus first on what makes events fun. Events are fun because you get to see people, and because you get to see people having fun. It’s fun to interact with the world that event holders provide, and even if that is occasionally lackluster, there is always a way to make your own fun. Nighthawk, he’s a collector, and it cracks me up to see him at the end of the event covered in event schlock. Ultimately, every event has the potential to be fun, but only if the player enters the event with the right mindset.

When events aren’t fun for me, it is usually because my mindset isn’t in the right place, or the people around me are generally grumbling. I think sometimes we get in a very critical mindset when we are at events, it can be easy to critique each and every detail. However, as an event holder, I know that even the best laid plans go awry sometimes, and that even a struggling event can be saved by PC’s who are willing to approach situations with a positive attitude. So ask not what your event holders can do to improve your fun, but what you can do to improve the fun factor at each and every event you attend.”

So, Nighthawk is a hoarder and we should all work together to make things fun, got it!

Speaking of Jeremy "Nighthawk' Grayson, he didn't write anything this week so we'll just leave this photo of him here...

He took up more space than usual this week


Next, we hear from Alex “Lucas” Newbold:

“Inconsistencies

That’s what ruins an event for me.

Does one Combat Marshal call someone out as dead for a toe over the line of the bridge? Does the Marshal on the other side of the bridge let people slide back and forth over the line? Does an NPC regenerate at a 60 second count? Does the next NPC regenerate, after counting to 60?

I know that “there is a gray area” when it comes to making Marshaling calls, but how often do major war maneuvers end in bad blood and angry glares over a single call? If you’ve never had an NPC regenerate in an eye blink and wreck you, you’re a liar.

NPC’s are often briefed about their abilities and “their fighting level”; but sometimes they can get over powered, or overzealous in their application. It happens, most of the time NPC teams reign themselves in, usually when a more experienced NPC says something.

Bad plots, and poorly planned tournaments are part of the game. Experimenting with new ideas, and new concepts, sometimes it works, and sometimes it stinks on toast. Both have a happy medium, which can be obtained by communication from the Head Marshal and the Head NPC/EH to their staff. Long running event series, tend to get a better turn out as their reputation often precedes them. Knowing that in the past, Marshals have been consistent in their calls, or NPC’s have been consistent in their behavior, makes it more likely for me to attend an event.”

Very consistent answer! And as an added bonus, it all fit on one page.

Next, let's see what Sara 'Zarine' Jessop has to complain about:

“There are a lot of little things that make events not fun for me. By themselves they may not be a big deal, but when a lot of them start to add up the whole quality of the experience begins to decline. Some of these things are outside of anyone's control: bad weather, lack of attendance, travel time to site vs time spent on site, poor sleeping accommodations, etc, are all things that an event holder can't control but can suck away some of the overall fun of the weekend and make me decide to stay home.

There are a lot of things that are in an EH's control. Marshals and/or NPCs are their own people but they need to be managed properly. I have known some great people to do a poor job at these due to lack of leadership, lack of communication, frustration, not enough help, etc. Plots need to be engaging, inclusive, and consistent, otherwise people get bored and start talking about OOC things because there is nothing IC holding their attention. Tournaments need to be marshaled consistently, run efficiently, and interesting and engaging to both participants and spectators (though more important for the participants, many single/limited combatant tournaments have more spectators then participants).

I think we all know that I am a very critical person. I tend to focus on the negative side of just about everything. So some of what makes events 'not fun' is my own fault. I could focus more on the good things and encourage others to do the same rather than sit around grumbling about how much everything sucks. Negativity spreads quickly, and we should all actively try to be better about curbing that and trying to have fun instead. Unfortunately some of us are just old and curmudgeonly and it's not the easiest thing to do, but we could certainly do better.”

Don't be a whiny brat, got it. Next we hear from Jen “Areni” DeNardis-Rosa

"There are a few things, such as too much downtime/ long "loading screens" and not enough NPCs, that can decrease the enjoyment of an event for me that I think would be true for most players. But there is something else that bothers me that may not be as noticeable, and that is when players don't appreciate the hard work of others. Realms is a community-based game; events are thrown by players and groups, not by a central governing body, and there can be as many different plots as there are event-holders. People put differing amounts of time, money, and effort into their events according to their means, their level of experience with event-holding, and their vision for how they want it to run. Some people/ groups may have it down to a science, and others may still be learning. Regardless, people throwing events means people care about the game and want it to thrive, and we as a community should do what we can to show our support.

Whether through event attendance, EH mentoring, NPC'ing, providing feedback or reviews, lending props, etc, it all has a direct benefit on the continuation of the game.
I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend where people can be quick to dismiss the effort that others put into making our game run. Not everyone is ultimately successful every time they try to create things and throw events, but I believe people are trying hard with good intentions because they love our community."

Don't be ungrateful. Excellent advice. 

Thank you for joining us this week. It was a very good question to hopefully help eventholders and event goers alike in how we can all have fun like the Omnibus says we are supposed to. It seems a common theme in our responses is that each and every one of us has some control over how much fun we are having and how unhappy we are. Like Bing Crosby once told us, “You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative...” And we as a community can all keep this in mind and make an effort to add to the fun, rather than detracting from it.

Join us next week when we explore the question "Define what a questing event is, in your eyes....”

Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email (Sarajjesop@gmail.com), facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors


















Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why I Want to Go… Tournaments of Creathorne 24

By Becky "Naralia" Garbos (not a writer)

Do you like tournaments? Maybe you prefer a great night quest? Or is a feast more your speed? Well,
Tournaments of Creathorne has all three, plus so much more. At ToC we have something for everybody.

For our Tournament loving guests, we have all kinds of tournaments to participate in. We have combat tournaments in both limited and unlimited styles for you to test your physical strength. You can look forward to tournaments such as Dinky Weapon of Doom, Florentine, Corsican Mug, etc. Do you prefer to have your friends fight with you? Join the 5 Person or Spirit & Steel. We have several live steel tournaments for those of you who like to play with sharper things in life. Are you more of a lover than a fighter? We have tournaments for you too. These tournaments require a lot of thinking. You can look forward to Chess, Monopoly, Risk, and Jenga. We also have lots of card tournaments as well. Munchkin and Magic the Gathering are favorites among the card players.We have tournaments to keep the gamblers and sneaky folks busy as well.

Our Plot Master has an amazing night quest planned. I can’t go into details about it. But just know… it’sgonna be AMAZBALLS!!!

We have a feast on Saturday. No need to worry about cooking your own. We do it for you. We have burgers, dogs, chicken, salad, and pasta. Also on Sunday, we will be having a breakfast for a suggested donation of $5 made by the Gamblers Guild. Every year we give the donations to a worthy cause. In the past we’ve done the Step Out:Walk to Stop Diabetes and Bud’s cause.

This is an event that seems to bring out everybody. Newbies and Oldbies alike. People from all over the Realms seems to make sure they have the time off for this event. It is filled with history and tradition. It’s the first event for a lot of people.

So, why do I want to go to ToC? Well, besides being the EH and Having to go, I would want to go because it has so much to do. And a lot of my friends are there. It’s relaxing and loads of fun for everyone. ToC is the reason I started playing this game.



Some pictures from last year:
Live knife throwing

Individual tournaments

Checkers tourney

Monopoly Tournament

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Can't Even



I Can't Even...
By, 
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… Unnecessary Necessities



Hello again plebs! I apologize for last week. We had some big changes at the bathhouse and I just could not find the time to write a witty article. But that is all cleared up now, and I am back with you this week. As luck would have it, there is quite a large event coming up this weekend and I have advice to dispense!

The discussion has already begin on the Argument Board about all the necessary items to bring along with you this weekend. List upon list of what people think are the most important things to pack in your already overloaded carriage. Socks, undergarments, socks, bedding, socks, tents, socks, food, socks, etc, etc, socks.... You get the idea. Things you will actually need to survive the weekend in relative comfort. Well, dear reader, I have a completely different list for you: Things you absolutely do not need but should totally bring.

Just because something isn't necessary for your survival doesn't mean that you shouldn't bring it. I remember, long ago when I was a green adventurer in these Realms, that I would pack up my carriage with whatever clothing I grabbed last minute, my spell book and dagger, and like no less than eight people. Not a tent or sleeping bag between us, we somehow all slept in that tiny carriage like sardines in a can (and trust me, after three days of that we all smelled like them too). Well, I am not as young as I used to be and now I bring every creature comfort I can fit in my compact sport utility carriage wherein I am the only passenger. I also shove things I don't even need and will probably never even use into Trent's very large carriage just to have even more stuff. Better safe than sorry, right? 

We're gonna need a bigger horse

What could you possibly need to transport besides the bare necessities you ask? You didn't ask? Well, I'm going to tell you anyways, because you never know when one of those unnecessary items will become the most necessary thing on site.

Alcohol. “But Zarine, this is ToC!” Yes, yes, I know that most of us consider all the booze we can find to be totally crucial for this weekend. Yet there are people who attend this annual event who do not imbibe at all. We have a special word for those people: Losers. But, we should respect their decision to be such and concern ourselves only with not being such. If you think you've packed enough hooch, yet you still have space in your carriage, then pack some more. There is always someone who either forgot, couldn't afford it, didn't have room for it, is just a freeloader, or many other reasons where they may have need of your extra stash. And of course you can always contribute to the League meeting or the Fine Ladies Society's tasting.

Horse reviving cables. You know that awkward moment when you are ready to leave for breakfast but your horse is dead? Well, they make these magical cables that transfer some of the life force of a healthy horse into your totally dead horse. Simply hook them together with these special clamps, and voila, your off to breakfast. You would be amazed at how many times only one person on site has these special cables. If you own a horse, you should have them.

Cosmetic face paint. Yes, I know that this is a war tournament, but that doesn't mean you can't look nice. This is mostly for the ladies, but some gentlemen prefer to wear it as well. You should probably stick to a minimal amount while actually fighting and don't be cheap; get the expensive stuff that isn't going to sweat off into your eyeballs and make you question your poor life decisions.

More food. Think you packed enough to not starve all weekend? Well you may have, but someone else may not have. The less fortunate among us need sustenance as well and being part of a community means taking care of everyone in it. Be a good Realmsie and feed your friends. Be an even better one and feed your enemies too.

Extra tents and bedding. Someone will forget theirs. Someone's will get wet for whatever reason best not known to the rest of us. A couple may have a fight and a gentleman may need new accommodations. These things happen and these desperate souls will now be forever in your debt for your timely assistance.

There are many other completely needless things you can bring along. I use maybe a quarter of what I tote to the lands of Creathorne, yet I fill my carriage up anyways. People are always asking me for items that they may have forgotten as they know that I am a storehouse of useless paraphernalia. So please, bring lots of things so that they have someone else to mooch off of.

You see, dear reader, things that seem completely unnecessary can be of great use in certain situations, and wouldn't you like to be useful for once?

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, May 22, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Memory Shard

Memory Shard
Performed by: Janna "an unknown Fae Bard" Oakfellow-Pushee 

Feast of Chimeron XVII
Date: May 2nd, 1002 M.R.
(An Innocent Man base lyrics - Billy Joel) New Tune with Filk Lyrics

Some mortals stay far away from the lore
If there's a chance of it screwing them up
They hear a voice outside their windows
And hope that it just goes away
Some mortals live with the fear of their touch
And the anger of having to be fae
They will not listen to any tale
So nobody jinxes their fate
I know you're only defending yourself
I know you're thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors 
by, 
The Editors 
Episode 5 

Hello, and welcome back to our fun little column where you ask and we answer. This weeks question comes to us via email: 

How do you handle your in-game and your out-of-game romances and relationships, if they're not to the same person? (The Hawks, Stromgates, and Harkons are together, but Kiira and Shandar are not IG, for example)
~Anonymous

An excellent question! Unfortunately only a few of us felt comfortable and/or qualified enough to answer, but hopefully you will find them to be fulfilling answers none-the-less. 

First, let's see what Sara 'Zarine' Jessop has to say:

"Game relationships vs real life relationships can be weird. I have had two IC/OOC relationships. My first was with Cole, who along with some other friends introduced me to the game. We decided before I came to my first event that his character, Dhamon, and mine were married. It happened 'off screen' and we never really had to RP anything different than our normal relationship. When we separated I took an extended break from the game, and when I came back Dhamon had moved off to the Southern Realms. I decided that the best way to handle that was for our characters to be 'divorced', and it turns out that Achorian divorce is handled just like everything else in Achoria: by Trent's whim. His whim of the moment was, "sure, whatever", so viola, we were divorced and Zarine was a single woman once again. 

Now, I was not single, I was solidly in a relationship with Lord Sir What's His Face's alter ego Jon. But Zarine was single, so how to handle that? At first I really didn't. At the time I wasn't overly worried about RP as long as I wasn't ruining someone else's so I just let it go as it was, with most of the Realms assuming that Trent and Zarine were a couple. Recently I became far more concerned with the RP aspect of the game (someone has to be, right?), therefore I have been thinking a bit more about what our IC relationship actually is. We spend a lot of time together when we happen to be on the same event site, as do most OOC couples whether they are together in game or not, and I needed a reason for that. So I decided,  without consulting with Jon of course, that we were more like 'friends with benefits' than just friends. Does Zarine want more than that? Well, of course she does, but Trent's not nearly as romantic as Jon, which should tell you all you need to know about just how much of a dried up old shrew Trent is. 
Why is something I just associated with Trent so damn cute?
The hardest part of being in a OOC relationship that is not also IC is that it seems to be impossible to get into an IC one. I've spent a lot of time spreading the word that Zarine is single, but no one seems to want to court her (including my own OOC husband). I often wonder at the reason and the biggest one I can settle on is that people are afraid of OOC consequences. Would it be easier if Trent were the one to court Zarine? Of course it would! I wouldn't have to worry about anyone else's feelings or comfort level with an awkward situation. But I would be willing to have an IC relationship with someone else provided that everyone involved could be mature about it an it did not effect anyone's OOC relationship." 

I feel like she is trying to tell someone something....

And second, how does Lani 'Gwen' Grayson feel about the subject: 

"Ah, Realms relationships. How do you separate OOC and IC? Nighthawk and Gwen did recently get married IC (that ceremony was only slightly shorter than when we actually got married), but Jeremy and I have been together much longer than that. It was a challenge to explain in a meaningful IC way why I would spend so much time with Nighthawk and why on earth he would want to do so many of my dishes. In order to give my character a reason to be hanging around Nighthawk so much, I decided that I would spend time trying to court him IC. Mostly this meant following Nighthawk around and giving him presents. My personal favorites include the heads of plant monsters, the book The Night of the Hawk (which I rescued from a library I visited at Ashenbounty and carried dutifully all day in the rain under my cloak), and pickle rolls that were made for him at a Leviathan held in his honor (To Catch a Hawk).

This courting took many years, in fact, Father Yule once gave me the ability to marry Nighthawk, but that ended in a Borderlands annulment (read: scalping). For those years that we weren’t together officially, but before I began my courting, I didn’t always do a great job of roleplaying the difference in our relationship. By making a conscious decision about how I wanted to play my character’s relationship, I was able to develop my character, have fun, and explain why I would want to spend so much time around Nighthawk."

As you can see, balancing an OOC and IC relationship can be difficult even if it is with the same person. It seems that the most important thing is that everyone involved is comfortable and having fun! We are playing a game after all, and we should be having fun. It's in the rules.

Join us next week, when we answer the great question: "What makes an event NOT enjoyable for you?"

Questions can be sent to Sara “Zarine” Jessop via email ( Sarajjesop@gmail.com), facebook messenger, or in person. The question box will also be making the rounds at various events. Please note if you'd like your question to remain anonymous and/or if you would like to address specific editors