Thursday, April 9, 2015

Belts of the Eternal Flame

[Editor's Note: this piece marks the last of the Belts of the Eternal Flame series, so we thought it would only be fitting to end with Dave, who is the current Knight Commander of the order. We at the View would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the Knights of the Eternal Flame for both their support of and participation in the series. As the series has run throughout the weeks, we hope that the community as a whole has been able to learn a bit more not only about the insignia on the belts, but also about the knights themselves as people and players, in addition to getting a more personal look the order itself. We hope you have enjoyed the series. A special thank-you also goes out to Jesse "Mestoph" Gifford, for taking many of the belt pictures that made up a crucial part of the series.]

Dave "Sir Vawn" Hayden

1. What year were you awarded your white belt?
It was 2010, at North/South.

2. Who administered "the punch" and-- be honest!!--did it hurt?
Kelly Bonci/Dame Twenaria. I honestly don’t remember if it hurt, I was still a little shocked. She definitely did not hold back though, and I had a very respectable bruise shortly thereafter.

3. Whose belt did you wear until you got your own, and how was this significant for you?
Sir Blade’s. It meant a lot to me because Tom is someone who I respect a great deal. 

4. Please describe your own belt's heraldry.
A simple path leads from the bottom to a white tower on a hill, surrounded by a dark blue sky. The blue then fades into a birch bark pattern on the top. 

5. Why did you choose that heraldry to represent you?
The path, which was inspired by The Realms heraldry, represents the journey that I believe both life and my time in the Realms are – an effort to continually become a better person and do what I can to make the world a better place. 

The tower symbolizes the utopian ideal of “the bright city on the hill”, a place like Camelot which embodies the very best of what we have to offer. A place where virtue and honor and truth and valor motivate people’s decisions and actions.

The tower also, along with the dark blue sky, represents Eagle’s Rook, which before I ever entered the game was designed to be the Realms equivalent of that better place. 

The birch pattern represents the Coupants. The Coupants were part of Janna’s Insectafae plot which ran in the early-to-mid 2000s. That plot was very significant to Vawn’s character development and the ramifications from it help to define how I play him even to this day.
6. Who did the artwork on your belt?
Katie Giasson was kind enough to transform my abstract ideas into a work of art. 

7. What do you remember most about your knighting?
What I remember most is being completely surprised. I know Kelly and Janna and Blade spoke, though I could not tell you what they said other than I remember it being complimentary. I was pretty tired from fighting all day, so I wasn’t thinking too much about who they could be talking about as people tend to do. I think someone had to nudge me after my name was called; I was still trying to process it even as I was walking up.   

8. What does being a KoEF mean to you?
It is unquestionably an honor to be made a Knight of the Eternal Flame – it’s a validation of how you’ve conducted yourself and what you have contributed to the community. But it’s also an obligation to continue to live up to those same ideals that got you knighted in the first place.  

Photo by Jesse Gifford

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