Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Here's What You Missed at Black and White 2014

Here's What You Missed At.......
Black and White 2014!

No matter what you're into, this event always has a little something for everyone, and this year was no different!

The event started off with a large tournament to determine the new Champion of Chimeron.  Many Chimeronians entered, and the fighting was fierce, but in the end, Sir Oliver emerged with the title.

Following that, the event began in earnest.  There were multiple quests available for those who wanted to do some fighting, including multiple plot teasers from different event-holders.  Of course, the event would not be complete without a newbie tournament, which all of the new folks seemed to enjoy!

Father Yule's mailbox made it's magical appearance again this year, though those wishing to drop a letter into Father Yule's mailbox had to hike a bit to find it, hidden off in the woods - but the walk was nice, and the trip was well worth it. The paper ran out at least once, so this seemed to be a popular "quest" for many, and it should be interesting to see what wishes are granted when Father Yule makes his appearance at the end of this year.

There were also an area for carnival games set up outside the tavern,  which gave participants a chance to test their physical and mental skills in a variety of challenging and entertaining ways. Prizes included dance cards and various colors of tickets which could be used for a chance to win items in the auction.  The games included:  an obstacle course with increasing levels of difficulty (including the top level,  in which two individuals ran the course simultaneously, tied together!);  a puzzle game called "Curse", wherein players were given half the pieces to a 3-D puzzle and had to attempt to assemble the puzzle by obtaining pieces from others via "cursed" words spoken by those people (according to the games marshal, only two completed puzzles were turned in -but this was not from lack of trying!!!); a traditional scavenger hunt; an exploration game in which participants had to find various ley lines around the site (represented by white boards) and "attune" themselves by writing their name on said board; and various types of board games, including a cooperative race-type game which pitted one half of the event site against the other to  get each team's pieces across the board first. The games were well-run and seemed to be drawing a good crowd consistently throughout the day.

Let's take a moment to talk about the food - because Black and White always has some terrific food.  People who pre-regged got a punched card which allowed them to drink the Poison Punch, which was a delicious concoction with just the right amount of sweetness.  Some of the food offerings included:  strips of beef which you got to cook in a hot pot to your desired doneness; a selection of hot dips with assorted dipping items; sweet and sour meatballs and wieners; pigs-in-a-blanket; deli roll slices; French onion soup with toppings; and a risotto that was delicious even though I'm not sure what was actually in it. These are just the items that I sampled - I'm sure there was more I missed. The food, as always, is put out consistently throughout the day, so there's always something else coming out if you find that you've missed the last item. This is on top of the staples that can be found on the tables most of the time, such as bread and butter, cheese and crackers, cut veggies and dip.  There was also a selection of cookies and other desserts near the end of the event.

Once the day-time activities wound down, it was time to change into the fancy garb (and there was a lot of beautiful garb on display this year!) and settle in for Black and White court. A great many things happened this year - so here is a brief run-down of what you missed at court:

  • Lady Hope announced the top winners of the carnival games
  •  Squire Taliea of Rhiassa announced that invitations would be going out to individual Huntresses to participate in the annual Tournaments of Artemis
  • Sir Shandar of Grimloch presented Sir Lucas of Chimeron with a gift of new, hand-made weapons to repay the kindness shown to him by Lucas many years ago
  • Dame Twenaria of Ashenmark announced the re-launch of the Order of the Peacock with the focus of promoting good garbing practices by all. Belt favors were given to those who were seem by the Order as consistently upholding these ideals
  • Lord Sir Aeston of Rhiassa and Khalenar of Ashenmark presented Oaken Guard favors to those members who had graduated to other nations, so that they might always remember their roots. 
    • A patron's favor was also given to Jayne Wrath of Grimloch, for his support of the Guard over the years. 
  • Squire Monique of Chimeron sang a beautiful bardic to honor fallen comrades
  • Koshka of Myerling presented a gift of furred cloaks to Squire Taliea, Squire Gwen, and Sir Kyntela of Rhiassa, which mirror those given by Myerling as gifts to Sir Aeston and Dame Areni on the occasion of their wedding
  • Dame Freesia of Folkeston presented Bohis Nossetti and as new Page to the Knights of Creathorne
  • The Knights of the Eternal Flame presented two Fireball favors, one to Squire Gwen of Rhiassa and one to Saka of Chimeron
  • High Lord Sir Temorse of Ashenmark announced the founding of a new order, the Knights of Ashenmark, and named Khalenar, Killian, and Grindin as Knights Progenitor
  • Sir Hall named Sir Faelinn and Knight Commander of the Knights of the Crown
  • Phoenix and Borjid of the Magi of the Realms released Saka of Chimeron from service as their joint apprentice, having nothing further to teach him, so that he might make his own magical mark on these Realms
  • Lord Sir Tara Harkon, accompanied by House Griffindor, welcomed new members into said House 
  •   King Sir Cecil of Chimeron named Raynor of Ashenmark as Chimeron's Royal Patisseur for the coming year, the second consecutive year he has held this honor. The winning dish: pear and chocolate tarts

Following the end of court, it was time for the annual Black and White Auction, which is always a source of much excitement.  The tables were heavy this year with many different types of prizes. These included  mystery boxes, cookie towers, decorative items, garb items, weapon supplies, vouchers for items handmade by different skilled artisans in the Realms, and dream-catchers, along with various other interesting and useful items. A particularly hot item this year was a furry canteen shaped like a scorpion, sure to be a classic and undoubtedly destined for much use. All in all, the auction is always well-received, and this year was no different!

After the auction came the event that many people had been waiting for -- the dancing! Under the capable and lively tutelage of Dame Bynn of Chimeron (assisted by Freesia, Faelinn, and Cimone) and accompanied by the musical stylings of Sir Makhta, dancers were lead through a variety of different period dances.  Some of the most popular dances were Toss the Duchess, a circle dance in which the ladies are twirled or "tossed" from partner to partner, and Hole in the Wall, a line dance which has a couple dancing with each other and with the couple next to them before being "tossed up the hall" to the next couple. This dance was the one that ended the night and it was a good choice because of a unique occurrence called "sharking," in which people not actively engaged in a dance couple could step in and take the place of one of the dancers in the couple, leaving that person outside of the line and free to "shark" another couple.  People always seem to enjoy this aspect of the dance as it adds an extra layer of excitement, and by the end, there was almost as much laughter as dancing happening! It's also great to see people dancing who would not normally be thought of as dancers.

The Chimeron Casino also made its debut during this time, and the usual suspects were seen around the tables.  Another activity to participate in, and very well-received!

So there you have it. Look at all this great stuff you missed! Don't you wish you'd come now? Well, don't worry - there's always next year - so try not to make the same mistake again! :)

1 comment:

  1. Here's a shout-out to Swoop, the other dance musician, without whom we would've had no rhythm! :)