Friday, June 30, 2017

10 More Questions with....Andrew "Lysis" Adams

Photo by Lexie Mitchell

1) What achievement either in or out of character are you most proud of?

I am the most proud of having brought, or been a part of bringing in, a number of well known people into the game, in multiple different decades. I don't want to name names, because that would seem boastful, but it means a lot to know that I made an impact on the game, through those that are still involved.

2) Are you a fighter or a caster? Have you always been? How did you choose?

I have three characters. Lysis-fighter, Enricho-fighter, Braemor-caster

When I first started, I was with a group of people that started their first event complete with tabbards, flag and heraldry. (The group was called The Sons of the Phoenix) Within the group, we had a mix of different types of casters, but it made the most sense for me to be a fighter, since I had a martial arts background.

I stayed a fighter because I really wanted to hone that one skill and it wasn't until I felt I was a very accomplished fighter (yes, back in my day, I'd say I could hold my own. Now a days.....not even close) that I was ready to start a new character, Braemor, whom was a spellcaster.

3) Have you ever owned an artifact, memento, or magic item  that has meant a lot to you, and why?

I've owned many different magic items and momentos throughout my career. Mostly they were just that, items. None held much significance to me, Andy, but two hold some significance to Lysis. The War Banner of Teng Hua and Kedamono. (Story to follow in answer #7)

4) What group of people do you spend the most time with and why?

Not sure if you mean IC or OOC, but the answer is likely the same. Jason and Angie Gray. Jason and I have been friends for longer than I can remember, and I formed a friendship with Angie starting at one of her first events. He was the best man at my wedding, they housed me when I was homeless for a couple of months, and I ended up living a block away from them. We are also all students at the same dojo. IC, I feel like I get along with, and can hang with just about anyone. 

Photo by Jesse Gifford

5) Who is your best friend in character and why?

My best friend, IC, would be Da'oud. He is my sworn brother and he took my family name of Matsuma. I have to be honest and claim old age, but I'm not 100% positive of the situation, but I believe we were both trapped somewhere and by becoming sworn brothers it helped us escape. I could be TOTALLY wrong.  It was a LONG time ago.

6) What event or moment had the greatest impact on you as a player?

I have two of them, actually. It was my first event, Silverquest 1995. My group was out questing and as the fighter, I challenged Jeremiah Darksparkle. A daywalking vampire only effected by silver. Well, we had none, and I didn't know, so I died.  The NPC (played by Scott Rodlin) probably assessed that we were no match and didn't decimate the party, but I died.  The group wanted to get me raised, but many healers of the time would only raise you if you paid them (I'm glad that changed). Since it was our first event, we had no money. I eventually got raised, but it took quite some time.  Later that night, I was hanging by the fire, alone. A person walks up and sit and strikes up a conversation. He asked how I was doing. I told him that I was bummed because I was the best fighter in our group, and when I died, I couldn't be raised because we had no money. He reaches into his pocket, and hands me a stack of gold. I was having such a horrible time at my first event, that I was considering if I wanted to stay or not. This one gesture kept me in the game. No joke. This person was Matt Spakoski. (His character was Sebastian Grey, the Lord of the Sloths)

The other was being Knighted into the KoEF.  It was the Feast of Chimeron 9. This event was to be the culmination event to fight the war against Pathos. The event holders thought it would be cool for the players to have bagpipes playing while the war happened. So they made sure that I was there (was it a ruse just to make sure I showed up?) and I also brought two bagpiping friends of mine.  During dinner, I'm sitting with my friends. The KoEF get up and start making speeches about someone that is going to get Knighted. I vividly remember turning to my friends and saying, "Woah. This is a big deal. They haven't knighted anyone in 3 years. I wonder who it is." When I got called up I was stunned. I had been running The View from Valehaven for a few years at this point. This was when The View was an actual printed document. I was just so surprised that the Order felt like I had given back to the game enough to be recognized for my service.

7) What event or moment had the greatest impact on your character?

It would have to be becoming Emperor. (Here is the story associated with question 3) At the time, the nation of Teng Hua had been vacant for many years. Emperor Stone Dragon had left, and the country was in ruin (Meaning, the player left the game and nothing happened to the nation). Folkestone decided to start a plot to find a new Emperor. The plot was: In order to become Emperor, you needed to find an Item of Regalia. There were 7. One for each Province. Items were: No-dachi (5' sword), Katana (3'8" sword), Wakisashi (3' sword), Tanto (18" dagger), War Banner, Samurai armor, and the Coin of Wealth. In order to claim the throne you needed to present an item to the ancient, along with your army. Then each army will fight to determine who will gain the throne. For the whole year, people who were vying for the title were searching and searching. Needless to say, I wanted to win, and the only item I was able to secure, was the War Banner.

The final battle day came up, and there were a number of people trying to win. Sebudai (played by Lackey), Shadow (played by Steve Hinkle), a Demon NPC (played by Jeff Maki I believe), and a character played by Colin Campbell (Can't remember his IC name). This character was the former warmark for Teng Hua, and the item that he acquired was Kedamono, the No Dachi, which had been his weapon to begin with, as warmark.

After the war was over, it had been tabulated that I won by 1 point. At this time, the event holders placed all 7 magic items in front of me, and allowed me to keep only 1. The other six would go to the other provincial governors to help them hold their seats. (Meaning they were taking them out of play). I, as a player, wanted to keep the armor because it would have been the most useful, but I felt character wise, it would make more sense to keep the No Dashi and give it back to Colin's character so he could continue to be my warmark. However, when I did so, he informed me that he was not going to stay on. (IE: He was just an NPC that he was playing for the year to help the plot). So this meant that I was allowed to keep Kedamomo. It is no longer a backed item, but it still has significance to Lysis as it is a reminder to him of how he gained the throne.

8) What is your most embarrassing moment, either IC or OOC?

I know this will sound pretty lame, and honestly I wasn't really embarrassed , but it was funny. At the coronation of King Pyr, I was outside sitting on my throne. My girlfriend, at the time, was there and she wanted to give me a back rub. I turned my throne around, sitting on it backwards, and she proceed to give me a back massage.  Unbenownst to me, Talon (John Berrini) had taken her place and I was getting a massage from him (Nice hands John). During the massage, my girlfriend comes around to the front and asks if I'm enjoying the massage.

9) What is the best piece of advice you'd give to other players?

Unless you have a medical issue stopping you from doing so, fight. Learn to fight and learn fight well. With all weapon styles. It is the one skill you will be able to use with any character you play. Even if you decide to play a spell caster as a new character, learn to fight. And not just with a 3'. Even if your character can only use a 3', learn to fight sword and shield. Learn 2 handed. Learn flourintine. If you know how to fight these styles, you will be able to better defend against them. Trust me. Fight.

10 ) What is the most important thing you've learned through the game?

Fair play. I know it seems cliche, but it's true. There is truly nothing to be gained from cheating. When I started, there were a few players that were blatant cheaters. And not just not calling shots. And it was widely known. They may have gotten a brief immediate reward, but the long term damage they did was something they couldn't really overcome. It's just not worth it. Call your shots, and don't cheat. If you die, big deal. It's just a game.

BONUS QUESTION #1: Who would you like to see the next interview be with?

I think it's great to interview newbies.  Yes, they may not have as many, or as long stories, since their playing career is much shorter, but it can be very meaningful to them, and can be quite an honor to be asked for an interview. I couldn't give you exact names, since I'm not involved in the game as much any more.

BONUS QUESTION #2: Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?

Not really. I think I've chatted your ear off enough. lol

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tao's Bardics from ToC 2017

If I had my life to live over, 
I'd live it over a bar.
At closing time, I would never have to go far, 
a few steps across the floor, 
up the stars to bed.
If I had my life to live over, 
that's where I would be instead.

Song [to the tune of summertime:
Summertime, and the questing is easy, 
tourney fighting, questing at night, 
well your healer's dead, and your blacksmith is missing, 
come on front line, don't you die.

[Free-form scat. I think I mentioned head armor, heal limb, while also doing some "De de de's" and "bah bah bah's"]

Come on front line, don't you die....

Ask Syruss

Ask Syruss!
by Cal "Syruss" O'Leary

Sir Syruss is a seasoned adventurer with over 10 years of experience slaughtering undead, charming the ladies, beating up bad guys, frustrating the good guys, and grossing out ladies. SO, if you have a question no matter how bizarre, weird or funny (the funnier the better, then we can sell more issues of the View), consider asking the man who loves to tell you how to live your life; even though no one tells you how to live your life!    

Dear Syruss,

It seems as if hats have taken the Realms by storm. I want to fit in but I'm not sure what hat choice is best for me. Since you're always sporting fashionable toppers - how do I get my hat game on par with yours?

Hoping for Haberdashery

Dear Hats are the best thing on the planet thanks for asking,

             First things first I’m the realist realist….er, hem, I mean, first things first the thing you need to know about hats is, well, hmm...let me think, I got something for this… 
            Hats are like love. There’s a hat out there for everyone…and once you find it, you’ll know. No, hats are more like badass vigilantes always watching over your head, protecting you from the Dr. Harmful Sunrays and evil Baron Bad Hair day.

Now some say pair the hat with the shape of your face! Here are some examples.

Man, that’s a lot of different shapes. I often forget how many different walks of life require hats.

With that said, picking a hat is all about the individual. Take those guides and throw them out of the window. YOU SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND, wear what makes you feel great, wear what makes you feel fashionable, maybe wear some head armor from time to time.

You could go around being the guy with no hats or you could wear ALL THE HATS.

Remember it is like Sir Lord Nymbous O’Leary always says: “Wearing a fancy hat is like having a baby or a puppy; everyone stops to coo and talk about it.”

I hope this helps, sorry if it doesn’t.

Love Always loyal readers - 

Sir Duke Syruss O’Leary
Neden Pogs Champion
Hat Aficionado
Knight of the Blue Rose
Worlds Greatest Detective
Knight of the Potentium

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Songs of the Abyss: NPC Perspectives

by Keith "Saegan" Cronyn

The following is a collection of perspectives of creatures that have passed on after the series of events known now as ‘Songs of the Abyss:’ 

Bae Wingman, Seagull Extraordinaire-  It had been days since I'd last seen real food. I'm not really sure why me, and my flock had let ourselves drift so far out to sea. I was so tired from flying and I'm sure my compatriots were as well.

I needed a place to land, and something to eat and this ship filled with humans and other such things was floating out there.

One of them warned me “not to be a dick,” I flew in to try and give her a piece of my mind, but then suddenly, it was just inky black.

Carson Crably, Crab twin and Body Builder.- Oh man, like there were these guys, y'know? And they were floating around under the water like totally not where they belonged. I was gonna go ahead and give them a good pinch. Y'know? Just like send them packin’. It turned into a real turn war though. I just had to get them off my land. Good thing my sister was around to back me up. They didn't know what was comin’.

We woulda won too, if it weren't for there bein’ so many of them. And one of them did somethin’ to me it just slowed me down so much. I just felt like everything weighed so much more, it was just embarrassin. I mean don't tell anyone I said that y’know, I got a reputation to keep with folks. But whew I was just exhausted.

Jasper, the Nearly Near-Sighted, Howler Monkey of the Thumb Council- I can't tell you how long I'd spent around that fire. It could be days, it could be years. But however long it was, there must have been something in the water that night.

Actually it was jellyfish apparently.

People come and go, y'know? Most of us don't really talk to each other. But most of us don't all come at once either. It was odd, different, unusual.

It made things seem more real in a way.

I'd spent a long night talking to new people. They were all interested in what I was looking for, which was an odd thought at first, that I was even missing something.

Eventually I realized I hadn't seen my glasses in I don't know how long.

Eventually I ended up sitting next to a fellow named Borjid, I believe was his name. He, like many of the others, had been killed by some terrible horde of jelly fish.

I asked him what he'd done in life, and he was kind enough to tell me about it. He had ended his life as a healer. But I guess he was led through life by some animal spirits, that guided him to his professions.

It seemed a bit strange, and I didn't know much about it, so I asked him if he thought he would choose to become one in his afterlife.

That seemed to spark a new life in him though, because then we started talking about what animals he might become spiritually. Starting with raccoon, and moving through squirrel and sloth, and eventually winding our way back to raccoon.

This came with the battle cry “chitter!” Which promptly followed either the stealing of some precious object, or the hurling of light spells or leafy bits.

And it was all because of the thumbs.

Eventually a lady named Karl ( pronounced Carol) joined us, and a man named Redd.

We all enjoyed the mischief of the raccoon and his thumbs. And spoke of other possibilities for spirits, I mentioned a Howler Monkey, and it's call, which in my impression sounded like a hearty “oooo-ahh”

Karl suggested the mighty Bonobo, with the mighty “bonobo sounds”

And Redd suggested the Platypus, which actually doesn't have thumbs, but the toxic talons were close enough for us. The sound he chose was a majestic “growl-quack”

Before we knew it, we had formed a council of thumbs. Judging people with our noises and our thumbs.

Soon enough, the other folks around the fire offered Karl a mirror, and she saw herself. She had a love letter of sorts which she gave to the adventures who had succumbed to the jellyfish. .

I'm not really sure what happened after that, everyone just sort of left. I never found my glasses, they must be around here somewhere. I hope the rest of the council moved onto a better place.

I guess I'll just tend the fire until they come back.

Curban, the Scourge, Lost Soul along the river of the dead.- Who the hell do they think they are? They're not any king of mine! Coming along my river and not giving me passage or tariff on their ship. If I ever see those bastards again I will cut them down!


Well now, that is quite the mix! I hope that the adventurers who passed through the Songs of the Abyss brought back some stories to share as well.

Why You Should Go to: Neden Monster Clean-Up

by Ethan "Jean-Baptiste" Goldman

Why I want to go:

Well you SHOULD go because you love me and want me to succeed in my ventures. But I suppose that may not be good enough for SOME of you (I’m not naming names, so long as I get my thirty signatures at least) so why else should you go?

You’re an adventurer, probably have a few years under your belt, you’ve been to hell, helped usher in the end of the world, you may have even met a god, thrown a dartboard at a knife, got shouted in the ear by Sir Sean, and even a stay in the stocks!

No one? Just me? Wow that’s embarrassing.

Point is you’ve seen it all, there is almost no wonder spectacular enough to wow you.

So do something different for a change! Why not go help a nation with lawncare! Be a difference maker. It’s not REALLY summer without a good mow-down.

Though instead of mowing down grass why not mow down the hordes of feral undead! It is the Realms after all. And while you are at it why not stab a fellow adventurer! It IS the Realms after all.

Neden’s Front Lawn, a veritable No Man’s Land of wild animals, brain slugs, and everything else you find there. We are offering valuables to the best of the best who help us?

Kill the most monsters! Have one of Neden’s mystical ribbons, guaranteed to make any item as magical as friendship! (Only valid in select Neden establishments).

Survive the end of the event! Well then have one of the even BETTER ribbons that will let you take some little Neden magic to go! (Why are there so many ribbons in Neden you ask? Well look at you with the nosy questions)

Kill the most of your friends, okay wow that’s a little messed up. Look we’ll give you some gold just don’t stab us, geez, some people.

But we got more than just violence we have… MORE VIOLENCE.

This isn’t some happy little kingdom, this is Neden's Front Lawn, some of the more unsavory monsters and lowlifes have been causing trouble, and we will pay handsomely for their capture if you are up for it. If.

We also have left a lot of things in chests along the area, if you find them they are yours, we got spare armor repairs, extra lives, all sorts of things.

Speaking of extra lives, Neden's willing to provide some old magic to help out those who help us out. If you are a mage of two or three paths you can use a 3’8 in battle. That’s a full 8 inches or more! If you don’t think eight extra inches matter, ask your girlfriend.

For you fighters or one paths we have magical INVISIBLE armor you can borrow, it's so light it's like you are wearing nothing! If you don’t think not having to wear your chainmail matters, ask your back.

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