Friday, June 2, 2017

What You Missed, The Fire Pit

What You Missed, Tournaments of Creathorne 24
by Diana "Kiira" LaPierre
At the Firepit

Tournaments of Creathorne 24 brought with it much of what we see every year. There is fighting, games, night questing, barbecue, social interaction, and a 21+ atmosphere at night. It's been fairly consistent for the last twelve years, sans one for childbirth, that I've been attending the event.

This year, however, something struck me as quite astounding. It isn't me being normally snobbish, though lord knows I am, but I was blown away by the quality of the songs performed for the Bardic Competition. There was a lot of fresh faces and reimagined ones performing. But even people who have in the past performed stepped up their game to the next level.

A tale as old as... well VGA Graphics

I had the honor of judging the bardic competition, along with two others. We had quite a time trying to determine who edged out first place out of three pieces. Inevitably, we did have to chose who won what though.

Let me start by saying that I have heard Kovaks, played by Becky Baron, sing on multiple occasions. After this weekend, I really feel that she really stepped into the role of bard and was astounding with both her song and poem recitation. Her voice was strong, confident, and on key, and her prose was on point. You could tell that she was comfortable there and was well prepared.

Freesia, played by Beth Tozier, sang a beautiful song about lost love and her voice was on key and she sang a beautiful melody where she hit some beautiful low notes, which I personally loved and really impressed upon me. Her performance was impeccable and awarded her fourth place, which I believe would have been first if the competition had not been so close!

Volgund, played by Dave Hawkins, keyed a tune on his guitar that he came up with that day! Seriously, I heard him practice on the tournament field, which was like being personally serenaded all day long. I do not understand the technicality or lingo of guitars or their players, but I know that it was very impressive! I believe, after this weekend, Kiira is a Volgund Groupie. Volgund was awarded a very close third place!

Melethiell, played by Kelsey Miranda, sang a song and displayed a vocal range and power that was quite impressive. She is, as far as I can tell, a fairly new player and the fact that she was able to stand in front of a large number of strangers and sing so impeccably, without any quavering or mistakes, is inspiring. She had the audience enraptured and silent for the entirety of her performance. Very well done, in my humble opinion. Melethiell's performance earned her a second place prize.

Our first place winners were Swoop performing his song about Tournaments of Creathorne, accompanied by Flydian on the guitar. The lyrics were amusing and had everyone around the fire pit laughing. Swoop's voice was loud and controlled, as well as perfectly in key, like always. When there was a slight hiccup, the two quietly discussed and it was resolved instantaneously. I was impressed by there showmanship and teamwork.

In closing, I would like to say that it was a pleasure to judge the bardics at ToC this year. This is an aspect of the game that is hard to artificially produce, so the fact that it's happening so organically is a sign of times changing. Hopefully, this is a glimpse into the future of the game, full of quality music and art.

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