Friday, May 27, 2016

Flashback Friday - Tournaments of Creathorne XI, 2004

** All photos by Robyn Nielsen**

Take a step back through the years to May 2004 - maybe you'll see someone you know, or someone you think you know but may not be able to recognize ;)














Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Cautionary Tale, from Neden

ToC of the Town
"The birth of a nickname"
By Editor in Chief of the Kazoo, Dresden "PB" Silverspring


Well it’s that time of year again… Creathorne lands are holding their annual tournaments, and this Editor in Chief of the Kazoo could not be more excited to go. I’ve got lists upon lists of what I need to bring to make it a weekend that will be hard to forget (though some manage it). I always look forward to seeing familiar faces, and reconnecting with those that adventure in far away lands. This will be my third ToC and I can tell you thus far in my experience I have learned:

Be prepared.
Extra socks/clothes/shoes
Rain stuff (ponchos/waterproof bag)
Water
Food that stays good besides peanut butter (jerky/canned/crackers etc)
Money for the store
Don’t forget sleeping stuff
Drink water, so much water.
Try to drink as much water as you are alcohol or  at least 1 to 2 ratio.
Sweating dehydrates you, so if you are active you should be having one bottle per hour of activity, and one within 30 minutes after you're finished
Pace yourself. You definitely want to hit the night quest
Seriously,  did I mention the water?
Bring more than a jar of peanut butter for the whole weekend.
 
Indeed some of you may recall this Editor in Chief of the Kazoo often going by the moniker of “PB,” or “Peanut Butter.” The origin of this nickname is steeped in mystery and intrigue (well not really). I brought a jar of peanut butter (a giant one) and a spoon to my first ToC. That’s it. Gold wasn’t as plentiful and I was still petitioning The Illustrious Nation of Neden, and it being my first ToC I imagined there would be plenty of water and food available. I’m sure there was, but also being green to the gills, it wasn’t easy to approach anyone regarding this grievous error in my judgement. Luckily Neden came to the rescue with plenty of food, water and non-peanut foodstuffs; they went above and beyond to welcome a then-new recruit.

So this Editor in Chief of the Kazoo is delivering a Public Service Announcement to all those new adventurer readers who are traveling to Creathorne lands at week's end:

Don’t be like Peanut Butter.


Ask Soft and Syruss, Tournaments of Creathorne




Dear Soft,
 I'm new to this plane of existence, and I find myself strangely drawn towards warm-blooded heroes of the Realms. They're just, my type, if you catch my drift. This year marks my first time in attending the Tournaments of Creathorne, and I've got some questions about it. I tend to sleep late, very late, and I'm wondering how much of the festivities I'll miss during the day? Also, I've heard that it can be very cold at night, so cold that one can see their breath. How observant are heroes of the Realms? I know they'll notice my wonderful evening formal wear, but will they notice the lack of steam as I breathe? I look forward to meeting the citizens of the Realms, and expect to have a charming good time.

-Signed,
 Frosty-Hearted in Creathorne



Dear Frosty-Hearted in Creathorne,

It will also be my first time in attending the Tournaments of Creathorne, however my...underground connection, let’s call it, has informed me that sleeping late will not be a problem. There are number of activities to participate in after sunset from night questing to socialization and everything in between!  Although the heroes of the realms are observant, in my experience if you dazzle them with your clothing the only other thing you need for people to look the other way to any odd behavior is a small treat for them. A bit of candy or an enthralled being usually works just fine.

P.S
Warm blooded they’re fine, but get them hot blooded and things will be much more fun.

Love, 
Illumier Soft- Nosetti

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Syruss,
I'm new to this plane of existence, and I find myself strangely drawn towards warm-blooded heroes of the Realms. They're just, my type, if you catch my drift. This year marks my first time in attending the Tournaments of Creathorne, and I've got some questions about it. I tend to sleep, late, very late, and I'm wondering how much of the festivities I'll miss during the day? Also, I've heard that it can be very cold at night, so cold that one can see their breath. How observant are heroes of the Realms? I know they'll notice my wonderful evening formal wear, but will they notice the lack of steam as I breathe? I look forward to meeting the citizens of the Realms, and expect to have a charming good time 

-Signed,
Frosty-Hearted in Creathorne


Ok Mr/Mrs Not some sort of Evil-Lich-like-vampire-thing-at-all (OK not my best nick name… my bad),

What I read from you being new to this plane of existence or as we like to call it fun loving Crea-o-thorne. I skimmed most of this vaguely worded letter about your questionable attentions at our beloved ToC, but what I got out of this was three questions…..WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO BRING, WHO TO DRINK ...erm WHAT TO DRINK (although I think you're looking for the latter.)

So you tend to sleep late very very late, LIKE SUN-SETTING KIND OF LATE HMMMMMM, I digress. Don’t worry Sir/Ma’am Sure-to-Kill-us-all-if-you-sleep-late-on-Saturdays, you are in good company a good portion of the event is still passed out drunk..um, resting for the Amazing Adventures that take place at night. That’s right if you sleep all day and miss the amazing Tournaments (which are worth Order of the List points, get you sick prizes not to mention get you entered into the Champions tourney held Sunday) then have no fear there are activities at almost all hours of the day and night.

Things you will see at Tournaments of Creathorne (not limited to*) The Creathorne Casino, Drinking Games, Darts, Dancing, Bards singing their hearts out, Night Time Questing, Pyrotechnics but most importantly Hundreds and Hundreds of people having a grand ole time.

Now you are right it does get cold in the north at night. So not knowing the lands here are some things to consider bringing.

Warm Clothing for night/lighter clothing for the day, extra socks, towels for nearby lake swimming, sleeping equipment with extra pillows (in case I forget mine I always do) and extra blankets in case the sleeping equipment is not warm enough, sun screen for the day time YOU KNOW YOU'LL NEED SPF 9000 or something….sorry sorry sorry, I am usually not his judgmental we just got this Un-Dead thing going on in Neden right now that has me kind-of on edge.

I know you say you have wonderful formal wear but remember you may also want to have something practical on stand by in case of snow. Not Kidding.

Last What to drink...I personally enjoy Whisky and Cider specifically O’Leary Brothers Brewery Cider *ahem cheap plug cough cough ahem* But anything goes as long as you have been adventuring for 21 years or more. Bring something fun to share it is a great way to meet new people, also another important note bring water. Hydrate yourself after a night of libations but lastly drink anything you want but my friends, you undead son of a... hey hey!

Ahem.

It’s like Lord Sir Nymbous O’Leary always says: “Crap it’s almost ToC I need to stretch, how did the stores of cider last the winter? Where is the prize whiskey? Who's seen my traveling goat? SO MUCH TO GET READY FOR!!!!!”

Love you ALL
See you in at TOC
Sir Syruss O’Leary of Neden
Knight of the Blue Rose
Knight of the Potentium
Order of the List
Most relevant for TOC…………Champion of Min


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Feast of Chimeron

 [Editor's note: all photos by Ryan Welch except otherwise noted: (*) taken by Sam Teatum; (#) taken by Steve Sanford. All captions by Ryan Welch]

Construction begins on the beacons

Tangram assembly

Many crafting supplies

Laying out plastic to make the walls of the beacons

Pat calculates the dimensions of the siding

Fitting sides on the beacons

Cutting indicator ports into the beacon sides

Inside the beacon

Interior structure of the beacon assembly

Cutting out the door flap

Beacon frames wrapped in plastic...definitely not a body...

Making door shields for NPCs #

New NPC weapons #

Advanced Zaubermelds under construction #

Assembling the royal throne

Assembling the communication devices

Getting some much-needed help*


Hard at work*

Assembling some of the beacon core puzzles*


Organizing props for The Questening

A peek into the kitchen

Hard at work in the kitchen

Our NPC's are always ready to fight!

Scary monsters!


Setting up for the next module in the NPC hut


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A message from the Arbitration Committee

With the EH Council meeting months behind us and the event season ramping up, we, the Arbitration Committee, wanted to address the community to reintroduce ourselves and clarify a few questions that we've been asked.

The AC was formed at this year’s EH council meeting and charged with the task of “holding accountable, to the Realms-at-large, those who are accused of negatively affecting our community, in a timely manner outside of the EHC meeting.” As a reminder, the 2016 AC includes John Berrini, Jason Gray, Jason Rosa, Dave Hayden, Ben Green, Jeremy Grayson and Henry Giasson.

“Arbitration” within our name speaks to a commitment of conflict resolution, and holds us to a standard beyond rule enforcement. When approached with a cheating charge, our intent is to see any issue resolved at the lowest possible level. One question the AC will ask you is “Did you speak to the event holder where the issue arose?” Or, if the issue is between group members, "have you spoken to your leadership?"

If the time comes where you need to file formal charges against an individual, we have put together some guideline information that we feel is necessary to effectively arbitrate your issue. This information includes:

- Your name
- The offending party's/parties' name
- Names of any witnesses
- The event the issue occurred at
- The issue/matter/something else for us to consider
- What, if anything, has been done to try and address the issue.

Know that in this process one of us will be speaking with the other party involved making sure we understand their side of the incident. At the present time, the Omnibus states that “charges must be brought by an event holder” this means that if you are a non-event holder who wishes to bring charges you must have an EH validate your cause.

In an environment of friends and fun, it is our hope that  the AC will not be necessary, but, if needed, we are willing and ready to serve the community and the good of the Realms. Thank you.

Why I want to go, Twenty Three Years Ago

23 years ago.  I was there.


I was there on the fields, when the strength of man clashed.  I was there in the tavern, when it had no walls.  I was there, when the Port-a-Johns, were handmade from wood over a hole in the ground.

23 years ago, I was at the first Tournaments of Creathorne. Somehow I'm still here.


I was playing Alcar in those days, Keith was Dirk, and Amy was Talia.  We'd hit some events together, had some fun, and my friends wanted to hit "a weekend event" with me.  I took some time between events, scrobbled up my old Boy Scout gear, and we hit the road. Grafton NH, was a dot on the map.  We planned to take the highway north, pay a toll, and then head West until we saw a sign that said "here be dragons".  No really, that was the plan.  Columbus himself was shaking his head at us.

Maybe $75 in cash, as we were college students, a borrowed cooler, with not enough food in it. Let alone water.  My Eureka Timberline 4 man A Frame tent (green of course) and what I hoped was enough blankets.  You see, I'd been a Boy Scout, I knew what that region of NH brought for cold at night.  As for my partners in adventure, I  had no clue what they knew about cold spring nights.


The thing is... this is where my memory fails me.  Not due to age, or the abuse, but due to repetition. Over the years, there were countless adventures at Little Creathorne Farm.  There was the Aspis Fae War (which had no Fae), the Quest into Hell (where Lars screwed the pooch), and a few more ToC's than I care to count.  Drow were fought, Myth Dranor was a bunch of jerks, and Death Knights were dueled at the Crossroads.

After all these years, memory gets weird.  Which year was it that Dol Kugen was there with the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout he'd brewed?  When did I do flaming shots with Eldritch?  What year did the Cadre arrive?  I forget which year that the Brewers Coins were all the rage, but I know that I turned 21 on site, but it wasn't at a ToC.  But it was the same night that King James of Coventry appeared to knight Meerkat on the field in the middle of a pitched battle.


...But that's the thing.

That's Creathorne.

It's not just a site, its not just a Tournament event.  It's a cultural phenomena.  The site itself is as much a part of our community as the people, as the spell system is, as our stories are.

That's Why I Want to Go.  Because of what the idea has become, what it has evolved into.  What it is.

23 years of stories, adventures, and shared memories.  Thanks Andy.

I'll see you on the field.




Details You Should Know
It's NH, it gets cold at night. Bring gear and clothes for this.
It's NH, the sun and wind will dehydrate you during the day.  Drink WATER
Tournaments during the day, Questing at night, other stuff as time goes.
Socks!
No Showers, unless you bring one
Toilet paper, in a ziptop bag.  Just in case.
The land has different magics, be warned about Scalping
Got a horse?