Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Arioch Tales

A Blue Tale: It Begins
by Daniel "Baron Diamond" Diamond

Ok “Blue”, the magic sword / extraplanar malevolent entity / trap for the greedy, was spotted at Feast of Chimeron recently. More importantly we know how to end the threat, but it won’t be easy. So it is only right you know how the it all started: You still get to choose how it ends. I’m Baron Diamond, and I’m the only one left active who was there and I bear more responsibility than most for what happened. So I’d appreciate it if we can fix what went wrong that day.

It all started in March of 996 with a rose, offered with evil intent and accepted in innocence. Accepted by the caring Lady Gwendolyn, who later went on to lead Thorn Valley.  Black rose, nice tournament.  But no day is nice when you lose your soul, and we soon learned that is exactly what happened to Gwen.  When that happens to one of your own, you do something about it, so that’s what we did. First, we had to figure out what had happened, so divinatory magic was needed. We asked for help, and got it. To that end, Meerkat of Chimeron was critical. We learned who had taken her soul and where it was. “Red”, and in a closed off plane of darkness which acted as a prison. We took steps to get there, and by June we had everything in place.

Gwen, Darwin, Veros, Bardin, and myself of Banecroft. Meerkat of Chimeron, and Sir Gonvf of Eagle’s Rook whose knightly power was our way in. We were joined at the last moment by Sir Randal, whose wisdom was a welcome addition. We found ourselves in a shifting, impenetrably dark area. Pools of colored light were the only landmarks, and they gradually drifted into and out of sight.  I was worried about Bardin: he’d been having signs of multiple personalities and had chosen to wear all black in a plane of blackness.  Better for sneaking, even better for being lost.

Each pool of light had a tricky entity which wanted out. We pretended to listen to Green’s lies, we overcame Blue’s Savage attack. We needed magic to affect these color creatures, so I put Blue’s sword in Sir Gonvf’s hands, but I made it clear we were not to take it out of this plane. We’d been warned the colors wanted out, and we were on to the trick.  If I’d planned on taking it out of the plane, I’d have been tempted to keep it myself. I should have kept it in hand temporarily to keep an eye on it.

White fancied himself a leader, and had the minions to prove it. When diplomacy failed, we beat them down, but White didn’t go down and the minions kept getting up. So I swiped his papers and we fell back. The crowd of minions hid the fact that Barden was missed in the darkness. When we regrouped and realized this, only a few feet away, it was already too late: the light went out and it was impossible to navigate back to him.

Red had Gwen’s soul and was willing to trade, but only for another’s soul. I was contemplating doing a lord’s duty, but at that Gwen flatly refused and threatened resignation if I didn’t drop it. I thought she was being heroic, she actually couldn’t open tell me she’s already recovered her soul while the rest of us had distracted Red. When negotiations ended, he attacked. Sir Gonvf and Blue kept Red back while others frantically searched frantically for the soul, and Gwen called for us to retreat. I didn’t want to give up empty handed and after another’s loss so close to our goal, and was immensely relieved when she revealed it hadn’t been in vain.

I’d given White’s papers to the wisest among us, and their conclusion was that the remaining colors were very bad news. It was time to contemplate escape. I’d been given to understand that Meerkat or Randal had the power to get us out, and when I asked them to get ready to do so I was flatly told that they couldn’t. That was bad. If we couldn’t get out, we had no choice but to go on. Hopefully we’d find Barden.

Big mistake. Of the colors that remained, we reluctantly set off towards the one whose White’s Papers described as marginally less dangerous. I began as I always did, by talking. That was a step too far: I was drawn into the light and completely paralyzed. I could hear plainly as the rest of my people fell into the classic trap: each one tried to save me and ended up in the same boat. Darwin’s plan had the most common sense: as talk had doomed me, he tried to simply silently carry me off. Veros and Gwen had their turn and shared our fate. Meerkat tried too, and his magic barely protected him. Finally, they decided to cut their losses.

I could hear them decide to leave, and that they could in fact leave the plane. They further debated my statement on leaving Blue behind, and decided otherwise. Of course, once they were back in the Realms proper Blue revealed himself from his sword form and escaped to wreak bloody rampage across the Realm. Those few who escaped the Rainbow plane spread the word and later organized a successful rescue effort, for which I am grateful.

For part 2 I’ll tell of our efforts to return Blue back to captivity. Until then, know that we finally have hope to end Blue’s bloody temptation. And of course may Arioch enjoy the tale. Let’s handle that obligation quicker than that of Blue’s, whose reckoning is 20 years overdue.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Note from Mage Janus

To the People of the Realms:

As some of you may have heard, during the tournament at New Verai on the 10th, Nadia Cooke made an appearance.  She led an attack to recover a Bane Sword that was stolen from her.  After several spells being cast, we finally figured out what occurred and why.  It appears this is not the Nadia Cooke that was previously killed, but one from a reality where Jonas died in her place.  It appears that the Nadia Cooke from another reality, who I will refer to herein as the ‘Shadow Queen’ had her Bane sword stolen from her, and the Shadow Queen and her Shades simply chased the thief through a portal to recover her property.

We do not have too much information on the group that stole the blade from The Shadow Queen, or their overall goals, but after speaking with Chronos as well as interrogating the spirit of the one who stole the Bane Blade we were able to discover a few things.  First and foremost, this group is a threat to The Realms.  Next, the group seems fond of travelling between alternate realities, the one time we saw it was through a giant silvery portal.  If this group is left unchecked, all realities may become one.  I am not sure if this is a side effect or their final goal.  Finally, the least important information: the spirit we spoke with seemed to have a slight hiss in its speech pattern.  That is all we have discovered so far.

What does this mean for you?  Spread the information through your people.  Be ready to fight already vanquished foes once more.  Carry tools that were helpful in the past, as well as try to brush up your knowledge on how things have happened in the past.  You never know when finding the discrepancy will help us figure out what is going on.

 ~Magus Janus Kil'tra of Clan Rua Thar Cinn 
Court Mage of Chimeron

Arc Sphere Distortions

Arc Sphere Distortions

by Steven "Therian" Matulewicz

Friday, June 23, 2017

What You Missed at: The Gilded Lion Summer Festival III

by Pat "Saka" Bobell

The following is a summary of my experiences this past Saturday, by the Realms’ reckoning of time the 17th day in the sixth month of year 1017, recorded on the 20th day of that same month and year by my own hand, and submitted for public record as requested by Dame Areni of Rhiassa.

His Majesty, several of my fellow Chimeronians, and I journeyed southward to attend the now-annual Gilded Lion Summer Festival in Rhiassa. Upon our arrival, we were pleased to join many friends from other nations there, and expressed our gratitude to our fellows heading out to the Western Flank, and to our Rhiassan hosts. As expected, we met Ulric and journeyed across the Vanfrost to aid the Jomsvikings in setting their worlds back on track toward their Ragnarok. Our mission that day was straightforward, and befitting such an assembly of Heroes such as we: Go Somewhere, and Kill Lots of Things.

There was, of course, a reason to go kill everything we came across. The power which is resisting the natural death and renewal of Norlund’s Ragnarok, the same which had controlled the minds of the dwarves in Svartalfheim, had somehow tamed, broken, or bewitched the denizens of Jotunheim to serve its unnatural purpose. At least, so we have been told by Ulric, and one of the untainted persons of Jotunheim (whose name I may or may not have forgotten, but who was kind enough to bring us several special weapons to use in the fighting).

The only catch was that most of these things to be killed were rather large, averaging about thirty feet in height. Apparently, just about everything in Jotunheim is gigantic, including their beasts and monsters. To face them in battle we needed to bolster ourselves with “hex” magic from that land. Since many of party’s mortal forms would be hard-pressed to contain such power, the strength and magic comparable to that of a Jotun had to be distributed across at least three of us: one to become the enormous Body, at least one to contain its Life force, and at least one more to contain its magical Might. We performed the magics and started with four Jotun Bodies - His Majesty, Sir Wil, Sir Oliver, and Captain Orion each filled that role, and there were enough of us remaining for each of the four to have redundant Life and Might supporters. Later in the day, Enlon and Slade became Jotun Bodies as well, with their own Life and Might supporters. Power split three ways, go slaughter monsters. Simple enough.

Well, we were unable to safely approach our enormous friends, and had to stay a significant distance back as they fought. (They were new to the scale of their actions, and if I might say, somewhat clumsy.) To heal them, the Life supporters could channel healing magic from a distance by suffering the same wound as the Body they were tied to, and having it healed. The Might supporters could join their Body in combat, and their magical or mundane missile attacks would be appropriately amplified to deal mortal damage to their enormous foes. The Bodies themselves were very durable, and could withstand a full weapon blow before suffering any appreciable damage to their heads, limbs, or torsos. Unfortunately, their physical strength and size were such that they could not use any of our normal equipment. Since the friendly Jotun (who definitely has a name that somebody probably remembers) brought a giant earth sword and six enormous wooden clubs, this didn’t seem to be much of a limitation.

Ulric provided us with a representation of Jotunheim, and we were able to “teleport,” or instantly move to, specific areas of Jotunheim as we desired to fight the monsters assembled in each area. This effort took us all across the world, with different large regions being inhabited by creatures with specific elemental alignments. The majority of Jotunheim was filled with earth-aligned monsters, the exception being some impressive cliffs which were home to lightning-aligned creatures. Humongousness is apparently contagious, because the creatures just across the worldly borders into Muspelheim and Nivlheim were just as formidable as those in Jotunheim proper, and they were fire- and ice-aligned, respectively. In each of these four regions, there was a stronghold housing the mightiest beast of the corresponding elemental nature, and a fifth stronghold held a chimera of all four elements. This was starting to sound like a full day of fighting rather than a leisurely interplanar jaunt, but at least we had some clear objectives and could just get down to business.

“Why do these elemental traits matter?” one might ask. “A sword by any other name would stab as deep.” About that…

They matter because each was weak toward another, and resistant toward a third. Ice was particularly damaging to Fire, which could easily dispatch Earth, which grounded the power of Lightning, which broke apart Ice. It made a nice little circle, and going backward, for example attacking Fire with Earth, was next to useless. (I still have trouble understanding how it was that Ice could cripple Fire, but Fire couldn’t hold a candle to Ice.) As it turned out, the fiercest beasts, in the strongholds, could only be damaged by the element they were weak to. To take full advantage of these interactions, we needed harvest body parts from monsters of each element to forge elemental weapons and armor that our own Jotun could wield and wear. We started with the earth region, but did not yet attack the stronghold, not having an advantage and not knowing what to expect from it. We built what we could with the earth monster guts, scales, tusks, gems, bones, and other materials we gathered, and attacked the lightning stronghold with the advantage our earth equipment gave us. It then became a rinse and repeat operation: collecting and building lightning equipment, assaulting the ice stronghold and surrounding area. Collecting and building ice equipment, assaulting the fire stronghold and surrounding area. Collecting and building fire equipment, and assaulting the earth stronghold.

In each encounter, while we watched and facilitated the battles of our Jotun against the locals, we were set upon by some native creatures more our size. Thankfully, with Eagle’s Rook, Torolf, and Lord Malaki on one flank and Grimloch the other, we were more than up to the task of holding those forces off from our Life and Might supporters. There was one point at which a particularly motivated creature managed to slip through and break our mobile Circle of Healing, but otherwise the fighting progressed fairly smoothly. The great monsters in each stronghold were significantly fiercer than the others, even among creatures of such great size. It took an astounding amount of damage to bring each of them down, and in order to damage them at all, out Might supporters needed to hit them with missile attacks that were magically empowered with the element of their weakness, then our Jotuns could use weapons of that same element to hack them down.

With all the fighting and crafting of new elemental equipment for our Jotuns, we were running short on time to get through all five strongholds before dinner. Laika and Jamie each used particularly powerful regional magic to destroy two of the strongest enemy Jotun, which saved a lot of time, effort, and resources. Their magic did, however, result in such thorough destruction that it took several attempts each to Call their souls, with some divine magic thrown in to improve the odds. Indana was invaluable throughout the day with her Circles of Healing, empowered by Rosetta’s Intervention to be transportable. She worked with the Life supporters of our Jotuns throughout the day to keep everyone in the fight.

In the end, we were successful in destroying a significant number of the enemy Jotun, including each of the four primary elemental monsters and the chimera, a monster that seemed to be a combination of each fo the four primary elemental monsters. Once we were finished, we returned to Rhiassa for the rest of the evening enjoy some food prepared by Taliea and the other members of Rhiassa who weren’t fighting on the Western Flank. Many options were provided to us for dinner, and I expect they were all as good as the ones I had. After dinner, we did some talking and some magical investigation toward the unusual encounter we recently had at the end of the day in New Verai. Magus Janus will be publicly communicating a summary of our findings to the Realms sometime this week. Similarly, details on the construction of Jotun equipment and the magics we encountered in Jotunheim will be submitted to the Library of Ivory if they are not already recorded for public use in the Rhiassan archives.

All in all, it was an great day with good friends. I would like to again thank our Rhiassan hosts, and all those who spent the day serving on the Western Flank. I always enjoy spending time in Rhiassa, and the recent forays into Norlund have consistently presented new and interesting challenges for us to deal with. I look forward to the next such journey.

Sakariasvafnir Redwing of Clan Rua Thar Cinn
Warlord of Chimeron

[Editor's note: for photos of the event, click here]

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What You Missed (Photo Edition): The Gilded Lion Summer Festival III

Photos from 

The Gilded Lion Summer Festival III: 

Echoes of Ragnarok: Jotunheim

(all photos are by View staff)

Ulric of the Jomsvkings and the Jotun, Bors, speak to the adventurers about their task.

Ulric shows the heroes the lay of the land on the Jotunheim map

Wil and his allies receive the power of the Jotun. 

Not to be outdone, Orion and his allies Jounize

Heroes that have grown to the stature of giants are ready to do battle.

The giant adventurers take on an evil Jotun and some Troll Titans.
A pause in the action for some delicious lunch,

Armor is fashioned out of the scales of the slain beasts in order to better  protect the Jotunized heroes.

The giant adventurers team up to attack the Sky Fish, one of the greatest of the monsters they would face.

Surrounding the dreaded V-Rex is the only way to survive it's onslaught.

The ever-challenging Loki Boxes returned to the event once again.

There were some... odd... creatures in Jotunheim.
Not just giant monsters to fight, the heroes found many enemies to face of a regular stature.

More crafting of arms and armor from the harvested viscera of their slain foes.
The Flame Dragon approaches, ready for battle.

The Jotunized heroes, ready for their final battle.

Finally, the battle against the Chimera of the Four Elements

Nothing left but to cook and serve dinner. Look at all those delicious skewers!

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors
The Editors
Episode 10 

Welcome back and thank you for joining us for a big milestone, our first double digit episode! Thank you for all your questions and for listening!

This week's questions comes to us via email once again, and it's a good one.

“What's your opinion on bullying in the Realms, IG and OOG?”


Anonymous always has such great questions!

Let's hear from Diana 'Kiira' LaPierre:

“My thoughts on In-Game bullying are definitely skewed. My groups and compatriots have been accused of In-character bullying. Oftentimes, they may have been bullying, but it was for In-character reasons. It's difficult because we are a role-playing game. Roles aren't always "good-natured". People can play an in-character bully. I don't take any issue with that.

Out-of-game bullying, however, is fairly common and not much is ever done to prevent or stop it. People, usually specific ones, cry over the internet about it and people make a big to-do, but ultimately it never gets really resolved and the bullies just keep on keeping on. People would have been kicked out of the game, temporarily or permanently, by now if these issues were actually addressed. On the other hand, people now-a-days are more often to "Cry Wolf" then previous generations were, and ofttimes folks overreact to things. So, do I think bullying is a terrible problem for us Out-of-Game? No. It does exist, though, and will continue to do so unless more people stand up to that behavior.”

Thanks Diana!

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

“In order to address this question we must first define was 'bullying' is. It's a word to me that has lost a lot of meaning because of it's overuse. People use it to mean all sorts of things, from simply being laughed at when they didn't want to be, to actually being beaten up for their lunch money. I am in a group that often gets called bullies simply for being physically better at fighting. Just because someone beats you over and over on the field, and/or takes competition more seriously than you does not make them bullies. Bullying to me means 'harassing someone, either verbally or physically, over an extended period of time who does not deserve it to a point of oppression.'.

IC bullying to me is fine as long as both parties are okay with it OOC. This is a game, and we do not all need to play good guys. But it's also a game in the sense that people should be having fun a majority of the time. If you are making their OOC lives miserable, or their overall game experience miserable, then perhaps you should reevaluate your play style. On the other hand the person/group being bullied needs to understand that it's a game and not to take it OOC personally as well. If it's really bothering them, they should find a way to communicate that to the other person in a respectful and productive manner. You cannot control how other people treat you, only how you react to it.

OOC bullying is a different story. Sometimes I believe that it is deserved. Not everyone is a victim, and oftentimes the person being 'victimized' started or at least was complicit in the beginning of the whole situation. If someone is completely undeserving of it, I would hope that people would stand up and put a stop to it. Whining and complaining doesn't stop bullying, action does. If you see someone being treated poorly, help them. If we as a community show folks that bullying will not be tolerated, then the bullies will go away.”

Thank you, Sara!

Now let's hear from Jen 'Areni' DeNardis-Rosa

“Long story short, my opinion on in-game and out-of-game bullying is that it is unacceptable and should not be tolerated on any level. Personally, I have always felt that the game as a whole welcomes all players with an overall culture of tolerance. While I don't feel that bullying is a major issue in the game, I would be concerned if people felt they were being subjected to it and would hope that those affected would be able to talk about it with nation leaders or someone they trust so that issues could be addressed. The Realms in general is a good mix of players from many different backgrounds and experiences and it is the players that make the game so unique. We are all responsible for setting the tone of the game and the dynamics of the events, and that is a very important task. I think that we are fortunate to be part of a community that is generally open and accepting, where people can be themselves without shame or fear. One only has to look at the margin by which the "update pronouns" proposal passed the EHC this year for proof (by the way, it was 30 - 0). It should be one of our top priorities, as a group, to strive to maintain and nurture this type of atmosphere.”

Thank you, Jen!

Seems that a common theme here is stepping up and preventing bullying. We are a diverse group of people with varied interests and we all want to be free to be ourselves and most of us seem to want the best for each other. Sometimes the best thing is being truthful and letting others know that what they are doing is unacceptable.

Thank you for reading! Next week we will be taking a little break,but join us in two weeks when we answer the question "What's the one Realms "thing" you've always wondered about, but have personally never tried(and why haven't 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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why You Should Go to Songs of the Abyss

by Eve Windsor (Alyssa Weisblatt)

Well, for starters …  Sea monsters, sharks, Bounty Hunters, jellyfish, whales, and of course sirens.

Still not convinced?

The plot surrounding Songs of the Abyss has been building up to this pivotal point since The Event Which Cannot Be Named, when a Loch Ness Monster and a Kraken hooked up and somehow produced two eggs.

Since then these two eggs have been slowly incubating and putting their caretakers - Axel and Grebinar - through the loop.  Both eggs are very protective of their “fathers”, and soon they will hatch.

But besides that, there have also been a few black bottles showing up, some have been found, some have been lost.  However, the important thing is that there’s a map!  Yes every grand sea voyage needs a map, and an “X” to mark the spot.  A voyage now begins to get to that point and with any luck the heroes of the Realms will try to destroy a threat before it gets any worse.

There are also whispers of a mysterious goddess who calls her self “The Divine Harlot”, and she’s been singing… a lot.  Placing songs in people’s heads to try and tell them what dangers are making their way to the Realms.

If you plan on taking this voyage, meet up with Axel, Tuilli, and Swoop at Sapphire Isle where they are trying to find a brave captain who is willing to put their life and ship at stake to sail to the North Sea where the map tells us to sail.  It might take some convincing, but most captains will take on a job… for the right price.

A word of caution though, a siren’s song is deadly, it will either sound like nails on a chalkboard and cause your ears to bleed, or it can seduce you to protect the siren and kill your fellow heroes if they stand in your way…

And as always… Don’t die at sea!  For the lovers of lost sailors are the most common to fall victim to the siren’s curse.

This event has been a huge collective effort of many great contributions from fellow community members.  For example, if you want to see a new chapter of monster building, you should come and see what Josh Fitzgerald and his Gau Dring team have been working on, don’t wait for pictures.

Also, please give a warm welcome back to Amber (Haley) Borowy who used to play Lady Yipp of Val Dara.  She will be in charge of NPC “Monster” Camp.
Photo by Alyssa Weisblatt
 Sir Axel Penn Nosetti with his Kraken/Loch Ness hybrid egg, (Lochen? Krackness? The debate has been going on for a while)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… Tourney Fashion

Armor Created by

It's that time of year again, when our weekend activities tend to focus more on the competitive side of things. War maneuvers and one on one competitions are a fantastic way to get your body moving and get in shape. Unfortunately people also seem to think that it's a perfect opportunity to pull out their grimiest and most ill fitting clothing. Tournament fashion doesn't have to be terrible.

Now, you'll be fighting and running around all day, so formal wear is out of the question unless you are only there to spectate, and even then you'll likely want to dress a bit more comfortably for the summer weather. You'll want to keep practicality in mind while choosing your outfit as you are not looking to win a fashion competition, but rather a war maneuver. However, you can look good while dressed to kill, and I am here to tell you how.

Footwear is the most important thing. You'll want to be able to run, cut, jump, and stop quickly. You'll also need good ankle support as no one wants to deal with carting you and your disconnected foot off of the field. Boots are the obvious choice, though make sure you try them on with your leg armor before purchasing an expensive pair. And yes, you get what you pay for with footwear, so pony up and take care of your feet. The rest of your body will thank you. If your footwear is falling apart, either get it repaired or purchase a replacement. You will both look and feel better.

Pants and Shirts. Wear them. Of course there are all sorts of shirts and pants. You'll want something easy to move in, in a breathable and durable fabric, in a color that won't show stains. I prefer something tight for both as it won't get snagged on anything or anyone, specifically a weapon because before you know it your whole damn arm has fallen off. Of course the menfolk have some extra equipment so perhaps they prefer something a little baggier in their nether regions. There are pants out there with what is called a 'drop crotch'. I am not a big fan of them in a more formal setting, but for fighting they are fabulous. Others opt for shorts as they allow for more airflow. However if you are the type to spend a lot of time on your knees perhaps shorts aren't for you. Shirts can be sleeveless, but just remember that the armhole should not extend to your waist, giving us an unhindered view of your naked torso. It's not attractive. If your shirt has an attached hood remember to bring hair clips of some sort so that it doesn't fall off while running or due to wind. That's assuming that you have hair. If not, I hear that duct tape works. Just because clothing needs to be practical does not mean that they have to be boring. They can have interesting pockets, embroidery, and laces. Just make sure that none of the decorative items are going to interfere with your fighting skills, or lack thereof.

Belts. They hold your pants up, so they are quite important. They also can hold belt favors to denote your team or role, extra weapons, spell components and pouches. They allow you to display your pride in your knightly order. As an added bonus, you can also slap people with them, just remember to tuck it back in so that you don't trip over it while marching across the field. I imagine that would be quite embarrassing.

Armor. It should all match. It's understandable with folks new to competitive fighting, but don't be that guy who's been around for years and still looks like he got his armor from the loaner bin. And if you are a part of a nation your armor should all look similar enough that one of you doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. It should be well fitting both for practicality and visual appeal. And please for the love of whatever god you worship do not use duct tape on any portion of it. There are enough leather workers and ring crafters in the Realms for that not to be necessary. In an emergency it's understandable, but get it fixed as soon as possible. Clean it and care for it regularly, for it will both last longer and look better.

Tabards. Don't forget, lose, or otherwise not have your tabard. You'll never hear the end of it. Most nations in the realms don't have an official military uniform other than a tabard. On the field, it denotes who you fight for and represent. It's important and you can all learn an important lesson from me at ToC this year: be more careful with the important things and less worried about superficial ones. Take pride in your national heraldry and repair rips, remove stains and just keep it in over all good condition.

All of your clothing worn at such events should be cleaned immediately upon returning home. Do not leave it in your carriage for weeks, especially if it has gotten wet. Mold is not an attractive look on anyone and it could ruin your expensive leather armor. Metal armor can rust. Rust causes tetanus, which is something you do not want. After washing put it away in a way that will not cause it to become a wrinkled mess. You don't want to show up the next weekend looking like you just rolled out of bed.

And for goodness' sake wear clothing! I know it's summer and that it's hot but that is no excuse for running about in your skivvies. Make sure that the clothing you have chosen to wear is lightweight and comfortable enough so that you won't feel the desire to strip right on the field. Clothing protects you from scrapes and cuts, bug bites, and the harmful rays of the sun. And there is plenty of clothing that is not actual undergarments that will expose quite a bit of your body to the elements if that is what you so desire.

We have all gotten better at dressing up for formal events, but this progress has not extended into other events and it needs to. So I challenge you, dear reader, to not only improve your combat skills but your combat fashion as well. Find a way to look good while still winning. After all, don't you want those gold medals to rest on a chic background rather than a unstylish piece of cloth that looks like it came from the rag bag?

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, June 19, 2017

What You Missed at: Neden Questing

by Paul "Grindin" Tilton

Naj, Temorse, and I go back, waaaay back to when we were Blue Falcons. We’ve since parted ways but those bonds aren’t so easily broken, so it should come as no surprise that we were amongst the many people who showed up to help Neden when Naj called for help. The Neden boys seemed to have something wrong with them- they were more glassy-eyed than usual and had affected all manner of hat, despite the sweltering heat. 

We quickly uncovered that mind controlling slugs (purple, green, and red) had found almost an entire nation to infect. The gathered heroes of the Realms set about the wholesale slaughter of all the infected. We continued on this gory path for quite some time, until we found Duke Nymbous, who had also been infected. Then we killed him, scalped him, and brought him back from the dead. This appeared to have done the trick, but unfortunately we likely did not have enough call the souls to heal all of the infected… so we kept killing them instead. 

Duke Nymbous told us of his uncle’s cabin which would likely contain some information on how to deal with the plague, so we slaughtered our way to the cabin where we retrieved information on which each slug type did: purple slugs could cast horrible spells, red slugs would berserk at the end of their host’s life, and green slugs could do something else, I don’t remember. We also received information on how to create the antidote: we needed baby slugs, scales, and vials of an elixir. We ended more lives until we got enough of the ingredients, then went to return to camp when we were beset by a “Breeder.”

This monster had a tentacled face, and threw acid bolts- by far the most nefarious of all of the destructive spells that were thrown at us. It was a hard-won fight, but in the end we prevailed. Beleaguered and extremely low on our reserves of magic, we were extremely pleased to see Naj, who said that we could call upon the gods to revitalize us. 

 While we were preparing for the ritual, Naj asked us for the ingredients for the antidote, so we placed them at his feet. Then Sir Tao plead to some God, and our prayer was answered- our magic was restored, but while this was happening, roots took hold of us and we were held in place… giving Naj the opportunity to remove his hat, reveal his own brain-slug, proclaim glory to the Breeders, and abscond with our ingredients. It seemed that the slugs had even gotten to my old friend. 

Thus commenced a tremendous battle, with the gathered heroes of the Realms facing down the brain-slugged Neden Boys, along with various other brain-slugged foes. The fighting was fierce, and it was made even worse when it became apparent that yet more of our comrades were infected: only revealing themselves at the most inopportune of times. The fighting continued unabated, until someone somehow got the ingredients and created the antidote- I don’t remember this time, as I had become infected as well, and only regained my memories after having the slug removed from my neck. 

Finally the day was won and we were able to return to camp, where Neden held court- announcing two new Knights of the Potentium (Sarix and Dalamar, if I remember correctly?). Additionally, Duke Nymbous announced that while we had succeeded in destroying the majority of the threat, there were still threats lurking in the woods in Neden, and that the Realms would be invited back to continue cleanup in just a few weeks’ time.

Arc Sphere Distortions

Arc Sphere Distortions

by Steven "Therian" Matulewicz

Friday, June 16, 2017

What You Missed at....North/ South War 2017

by Ryan "Orion" Welch

After Action Report
Events of 10 June 1017 (BMR)
War Maneuvers with New Verai

About a month ago, representatives from New Verai appeared during court at the Feast of Chimeron to invite the Realms at large to participate in a day of friendly war tournaments. His Majesty the King accepted the invitation on behalf of the Realms while expressing his appreciation for the long and rocky history between the Kingdom of Chimeron and New Verai.

The tournament opened with a ceremony to the chief divine powers of New Verai who (to my knowledge) were not named anything but simply “The Sisters”. The ritual consisted of a young soldier offering his willing but aged father as a blood sacrifice to the Sisters. At all times the representatives from New Verai maintained their awareness of the difference between their culture and ours and repeatedly informed each of the representatives of the Realms that they did not have to participate in the ceremony if they were unwilling. This in fact set the tone for the rest of the day: New Verai was welcoming and openly presented various aspects of their culture while we somewhat cautiously interacted with them.

When the fighting commenced, I took the field with several of my countrymen as part of a diverse army that included the colors of Rhiassa, Folkstone, Creathorne, and Invictus as well as several independent adventurers. The first fight of the day was a traditional field battle, which, like most of the events, was conducted twice. Here are the summary results of all of the fights to the best of my recollection:

    Field Battle - Realms/Realms
    Flag Bearer - New Verai/New Verai
    Corsican Mug Field Battle - New Verai
    Bridge Battle - New Verai/Realms
    Donut of Death - New Verai/New Verai
    Donut of Death Variant - New Verai
    Castle Siege - Realms/Realms
    Point Control - Realms by a landslide

Describing each battle in strategic detail would be a great undertaking, so in the interest of keeping this report readable, I will call out a few of the highlights. First of all, the event that I referred to as “Flag Bearer” (I couldn’t figure out what New Verai called it) was a new format that I have never seen before. Each team had two flag bearers; one was the “Queen” and was a walking respawn point that our dead bodies would move towards. The other, the “King”, was basically a mobile, fast-acting Mystic Forge–touching the the King’s flag would instantly repair all of your armor. The King and Queen were both unarmed and unarmored and would fall to a single blow. The objective of the battle was to kill the entire other team. The two runs of “Flag Bearer” did not go well for the Realms, which I would say was mostly due to our diversity and and lack of experience with fighting together as a group. However, I thought the concept was very interesting and would not be surprised if it appears again in some of the other upcoming summer war tournaments.

After the Corsican Mug Field Battle, King Cecil was invited to the New Verai side of the field to sit with their Prince. He accepted the offer, but a short while later, as the bridge was being set up, an apparent assassin attempted to attack the tent under which the pair of royals was sitting. The Prince’s guards stopped the attacker we deadly force and two of them were killed beyond recovery in the process, but there were no other casualties. It was not clear to us from our side of the field who the intended target was. Shortly after, we were informed that the assailant was apparently a dissident civilian. Scarce more information was given as the leadership of New Verai seemed happy to brush off the incident, which lead us to speculate on the nature of their rule and their domain. Research on the subject is ongoing.

The bridge battle felt like a big turning point in the day. As I said, being the multinational fighting force that we were, coordinating our overall strategy between groups proved challenging, although they day would not have gone nearly so well as it did if Warlord Wisakachikwa had not been in charge. The first round start off well enough. Invicus established a steady shield wall over which Rhiassan pikes stayed the opposing line. Unfortunately, our second line was not as strong as it could have been and we did not have many seasoned combat support casters, whereas New Verai has a very strong support corps, so after a drawn out duel, our line eventually eroded and we were pushed back to the shore where we were scattered and cut down. Promptly after that defeat, the leading strategists of Invictus rallied our support casters and second line fighters so that when the second round began, we had a much more efficient battle line. Our strength had so improved that when our shield wall fell, our pikes held the line and our healers quickly moved in to get everyone up and restore the shield wall.

Our rally from the bridge battle was only slightly put off by three quick defeats in the Donut of Death, but we still had our energy as we lined up on offense for the first castle battle. Our lengthy siege nearly drained us completely, but we finally broke through the doorway after a couple of our teammates regenerated inside the castle and ripped up their line from the inside. With our resources all but expended and a long day of fighting already on the books, we approached the castle defense round with more caution. Supported by little more than a single Circle of Healing, our shield wall wavered and our pike line kept getting picked off, we still managed to overwhelm the better-supported line of New Verai.

There is very little to say about the last scheduled battle of the day, which was in a Point Control format. There were five flags placed in a small area of the woods beside the tournament field. The Realms claimed one as a starting point, New Verai claimed another. The battle was supposed to last for fifteen minutes, with points being awarded for number of flags controlled each minute, but the Realms army spread out so quickly that we controlled four of the five points by the first minute, including the point from which New Verai had started. I had been ordered to lead a squad to capture the point directly behind our starting position and secure it as our last resort, so I was not on the front line nor was I keeping track of time while my teammates forced New Verai into a corner. I am not sure if the time passed quickly from my perspective or if New Verai conceded the battle, but either way, the Realms score a decisive and resounding victory.

Despite the invitation being for “friendly” war maneuvers, we (at least the present Chimeronians) remained wary of the New Verai army all day and between tournaments kept our weapons close at hand just in case the war tournament suddenly stopped being a tournament, so we were not caught off guard when portal opened in the woods and injected a third group of combatants into our midsts after the Point Control battle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, New Verai was also ready to participate in unregulated combat, and our two armies almost instinctively joined forces. The thing that did surprise us was that the uninvited guests were Shades being led by none other than Nadia Cooke, the sister of the infamous Jonas Cooke and an individual that many of us thought to be very dead. The Shades were eventually dispersed (although with great effort because they were not vulnerable to light in the same way they used to be), but like the hidden politics of New Verai, this is most definitely not the last we will be seeing of them. Nadia Cooke is back, and boy is she mad.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors
The Editors
Episode 9 

Welcome back faithful readers. We really appreciate all five of you joining us again this week.

This weeks questions comes to us via email, once again:

“What's the 'worst' thing that the Realms (the game and/or its community) has taught you? I figure the older the editor, the more cynical the response. ;)” 


What an intriguing question, Anonymous! Lets get some answers.

First up, Diana 'Kiira' LaPierre:

“The Realms has taught me that they are people out there who would pretend to have scruples and morals, but would ignore bad happenings in favor of not putting themselves in uncomfortable positions. So many people in roles of authority and power have been confronted with very blatant wrongdoings, law breaking even, and have ignored it in favor of letting it go so as not to make any waves. My advice is don't expect other people to resolve issues for you. Take action yourself, no matter who you would go up against. Don't expect any noble knights to have your back, because they won't.”

Thank you, Diana!

Next up, Alex 'Lucas' Newbold

“I’ll admit, I struggled a lot with this question. Because, I’ve seen a lot of really rotten crap in the Realms in my time. Some bad stuff back in the day (“Ow, cloth!”) and some blatantly illegal stuff going uncontested these days. In fact, this question has really hung out in my head longer than I wanted it to. This one really made me THINK about the Realms as an entity, and it made me sad, angry, and not in an old man curmudgeonly way. So, I’m going to take a page from Zarine, and Can’t Even for a moment.

Event Specific Rules… I Can’t Even

Let’s talk about the rules. Rules are simple things, written down and often using proper grammatical structure (and if not, we have a committee for that).

There are two types of people in the Realms.

People who read the Event Specific Rules. These are considerate people who like to be informed, understand what is going on, and like the flow of the game to be uninterrupted. These are the kind of people you want in your life. They show up to parties on time, they save seats for you at the movie, and they don’t order breakfast sandwiches at the coffee shop drive through window.

People who don’t read the ESR. These people suck. I’ll tell you why they suck. They force the flow of the game to be interrupted, they are inconsiderate and are denying you and your community the ability to have fun at this game. These people you don’t need in your life, they order multiple breakfast sandwiches at the drive through window, they spill their drinks at the movie theater, and they don’t bother to RSVP to the party.

If you can’t be bothered to read the event specific rules, you are in effect, cheating. You are also showing the members of this community that we so pride ourselves on being, that you don’t value them, their input or their place in the game.”

We can't even either, Alex. Thank you.

Speaking of Can't Even, next up is Sara 'Zarine' Jessop:

“This is a tough question because it forces me to think of the larger question of 'what has the Realms taught me', and then break it down into which of those things is the worst. Surprisingly none of them are nearly as bad as I was expecting them to be. In fact, most of them are things that I learned elsewhere in life that the Realms has just reinforced as truth.

The worst? Nerds are just like everyone else. I hear constant put downs of people who like things that they don't, disgust in their voices when you aren't interested in something that they enjoy, sideways glances at people who they think are more attractive than them so therefore they must be terrible people, or put down people that they think are unattractive. People who are into tournament fighting and the competitive aspects of the game are looked at as 'ruining roleplaying' and are shunned by questers as being too competitive and taking fighting to seriously. Questers are called 'paste eaters' and are laughed at by the more fighting oriented for taking the story too seriously. We give crap to the people who aren't garbed or garbed poorly while rolling our eyes at the people who are putting in an effort to dress up the game. We talk about how much we hate the popular nation because they are all a bunch of bullies and don't deserve what they have, but if asked to join them most would in a heartbeat and become exactly like them.

Sounds like a high school cafeteria, doesn't it?

When I was in high school I didn't belong to a clique. I was one of those people who was friendly with a lot of people because I had varied interests. I never really let a whole lot bother me because I knew that eventually we would all grow up and become more mature in how we handle interpersonal relationships. I often imagined how each little social group would end up. I always assumed that the nerds (who I probably knew the best since I was dating one) would grow to be more compassionate since they spent so much of their formative years being picked on and tortured by others. Unfortunately I was wrong. The nerds didn't become better people at all. They are just like everyone else. Unfortunately they don't seem to think so. They still think that both they and their culture are somehow better than 'mainstream' people and culture. Well, we're not. So stop.”

Very interesting...

Last, but not least we hear from Lani 'Gwen' Grayson:

“So, I’ll preface this response with the idea that Realms has had a very positive impact on my life. I’ve built many skills through this game, some small, some great, but the Realms has helped to shape me into who I am today. But one thing that I’ve learned from the Realms, which I really wish I hadn’t, was that aspects of our game bring out the worst in people. Specifically, that certain types of events bring out a very competitive nature in people, which can turn ugly really quickly. This isn’t specifically a tournament behavior, but rather, when competition is a key aspect of the event, some people regress into behaviors which are unbecoming of them. I’ve seen people escalate situations, throw tantrums, and whine, and ultimately it makes me sad to see, because on the whole, the Realms is a strong community of people who get along well and work together for a common purpose, which is to have fun. Using this platform, I’ll challenge you, the reader, today to consider how you respond when you are frustrated or upset? These situations can be trying for everyone, but instead of assuming the worst of the person you are upset with, try assuming the best. Maybe that person across the field who seems not to be taking any of your shots doesn’t really need to be hit harder to feel them, consider that maybe there is more to the situation. Perhaps they are overwhelmed, maybe they are new to calling shots, or maybe there is an in-game reason they are not taking your shots. Swinging harder is probably not going to solve any of those problems. In any case, the only actions you can control in a frustrating situation are your own. Make sure you are playing by the golden rule, even if it appears that others are not. Your honor is more important than the fight. “

Thank you Lani!

We have all learned different things, both good and bad though our little community. We all spend so much time here that we are bound to see the world through our experiences within the Realms. Let's all try to make more positive than negative experiences, shall we?

Thanks for joining us. Next week, bring a friend, and see what we have to say when we address “What's your opinion on bullying in the Realms, IG and OOG?”

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, June 14, 2017

Why You Should Go: Gilded Lion Summer Festival III

by Jason "Aeson" Rosa

There is a world not so different from our own. A world of men and gods and joy and sorrow. That world, Norlund, was all but destroyed by Bedlam as the blackness tore its way across the multiverse. Three years ago, at the first Gilded Lion Summer Festival, the last vestiges of the tattered warriors of those lands found their way to the Realms, seeking the aid of the heroes that vanquished Bedlam once and for all. The heroes of the Realms, they thought, would be able to save their ravaged world. By destroying it through the holy battle of Ragnarok.

This event will be the fifth installment of the Echoes of Ragnarok storyline, the third summer festival. We encourage those interested to come to this latest chapter of the story to challenge the gargantuan monsters of Jotunheim and stop the mysterious enemies who are trying to prevent Norlund from being reborn.

The Summer Festival has become Rhiassa’s forum for testing out some new, innovative, and somewhat whimsical playing mechanics and event concepts. This event emphasises fun and neat concepts in contrast to the gravity of our fall dungeon crawls. We have a set of very new ideas to try out this year and we’re looking forward to our players experiencing them. And of course those develsome Loki boxes will be back for those who dare challenge their mysteries.

Besides a fun day of light-hearted questing our event happily provides both a filling lunch and dinner for our guests.

We’d love to have you in attendance at this year’s Gilded Lion Summer Festival. You can register for the event over at RealmsNET and if you’re interested in reading up on what has happened in the past, a complete writeup of each adventure in the series can be found at rhiassa.com!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...
Sara 'Zarine' Jessop
… Stanky

Now that warm weather is finally upon us it is time to talk about something very important: You all's nasty smelling selves. Whether it's a balmy day full of tournaments or a sweltering day of adventuring through the woods saving some village we've never heard of before and never will again, your body will produce a foul stench brought forth by your strenuous activities.

They have invented a wonderful product for just such an occasion, and all other occasions as well, called Deodorant. It does exactly what its name says: removes offending odors. Often times this is combined with an antiperspirant, also doing exactly what its name would imply: preventing perspiration. You can both prevent sweat and stanky smells? What will they come out with next, you might be wondering. Well, hold onto your facinators, cavaliers, and fedoras, plebs; because wait, there's more!

Soap. Soap is a wonderful thing. It rids your body of all the dirt that it has collected throughout the day. And yes, it should be used daily and not weekly like we are some uncouth street urchins. In fact, some uncouth street urchins bath with more regularity than some of you appear to, which is quite sad. Those street urchins are going to grow up to be successful, great smelling entrepreneurs and you'll still be living in a carriage down by the river. So wash yourself regularly.

Perfumes. Perfumes can be a great addition to your scent repertoire. I am going to tell you a little secret about perfumes, however. They don't cover up the smell of Tourney Stank. Or Adventuring Stank. Or Slept In The Creathorne Tavern Stank. They just add a new smell on top of it. Ever hear of Shitrus? The combined smell of your citrus air freshener and whatever just came out of you in the bathroom? Yeah, that's what you''ll succeed in making yourself smell like if you pour a bottle of cologne over your putridly odoriferous self. And pro-tip: If you can smell your own perfume, you used too much.

“But Zarine, my natural scent is delectable...” Ew, no. Just... no. Your 'natural scent' makes me want to vomit up my own delectable breakfast. Trust me, I work very very closely with people and things often get quite sweaty. I'm pretty persnickety about who I consort with and will refuse service to foul smelling suitors. Yet some people do not have 'resting stank bod' and only produce noxious fumes when introduced to physical activity. No one wants 'surprise stank'. No one. When someone says they want to be gagged, that is one hundred percent not what they mean. 

Fart Squirrel strikes again with smelly adorableness 
Washing oneself is not a difficult concept. Seriously. Neither is applying some deodorant and an appropriate amount of perfume to assure that you will continue to smell pleasant throughout the day. Of course it's understandable that at the end of a particularly strenuous day that you'll not smell your best. None of us will. But there are steps to take to not smell your worst either. If you're going to be away from sanitary facilities for a weekend you can bring soaps, deodorant, and perfume with you. You can also bring a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash for your foul mouth. Baby wipes make an excellent field bath if used on your whole body and can leave you feeling quite refreshed. They are meant to clean a baby's poopy posterior, so they are quite heavy duty and can certainly clean a little dirt and sweat from your personage.

Please, for the benefit of us all, follow this advice. I promise that I will look more kindly upon your other transgressions if only you don't smell like you spent the night smearing feces on the walls of a latrine. Stop the stankiness. Start the fragrant bouquet of cleanliness.

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.