When Sir Vawn is away, the Realms will play. Apparently Vawn took the bacon with him, so we were forced to quest and explore the trails of the capital of Eagle's Rook. Where we, sadly, found no bacon. But I bet it was stolen by the bandits that were running around during the day. Those blasted bandits, the modern day scourge of the Realms.
It has been some time since I have attended a Feast event that was more than simply a sit-down meal. The first four hours of the event was open-site questing, with unscheduled encounters taking place at semi-random intervals and quasi-random locations throughout the event site. The staff of the event worked hard to ensure that there was always plot elements taking place during the day. We dealt with bandits, magically grown cattle, a misplaced corpse, and even had to mediate a dispute between an engaged couple.
But Alex, what was different about this event? We've all been to events where minor quests take place to keep us busy. How was this any different? How was this fun for you? Well, I'll tell ya how it was fun. It was immersive, it was cultural, it was thematic, and I had an easy time staying in-game during it. From the rare out-of-character conversations that I overheard during the day, I think that others had a similar experience as well.
The random encounters that took place fit the mood and theme of the area immediate to the capital of Eagle's Rook. Nothing stuck out as odd or excessive, and all had a similar level of costume detail and prop inclusion. A good equal mix of effort, intent, and execution. The militia of Eagle's Rook occasionally joined us, to help dispense justice as needed against a criminal or to aid us in resolving a situation. Well, let's be honest. Sometimes they made matters worse, but hey that's Johnny Law for you.
Wasn't there food? Yes, yes there was. Portions were large, flavorful, and delivered right to your table. Folks with dietary concerns received preferential treatment and weren't lost in the shuffle. The main course was two rice dishes (regular and cilantro) with two meat dishes - chicken and pork. Dessert was a serve-yourself buffet of small cakes, cookies and other sweets. Which somehow did not erupt into a grand melee, most likely because space in the hall was limited and our weapons were elsewhere (This was Eagle's Rook after all, no one expected a Faerie Lord to interrupt, or a Liche to crash the party).
Sir Vawn's return to his hall filled with unexpected party goers went a lot better than it could have. As evidenced by the lack of banishment, fines, or murders. Of course there wasn't any of that, this was Eagle's Rook, a civilized land of law, order, and polite manners. Eagle's Rook court was focused on one specific task, the knighting of Squire Hermian. A display of elegant words, heartfelt gifts, and the knightly belt, in a hall with poor acoustics which I'm sure that the folks at the other end of the hall could not hear half of what was said. Isn't that always the way with Realms ceremonies though? The folks in the ceremony hear it, the two tables nearby hear it and the folks in the back miss out. But, that's Feudalism for you.
When all is said and done, I'm pleased with how this event turned out. I think that the staff put a good deal of effort into every aspect of this event. The NPC's fought cleanly, and marshaled magic fairly with a flair for the dramatic. Every encounter had proper costuming, and helped keep the flow of the event going for the day. I look forward to the next event that this crew puts together.