Friday, August 16, 2019

What You Missed at Rhiassa Presents: QoH XXVI (photos)

Team Serra/ Goldenduck
 
Team Shadowdragon

Team Shader

Field Battles
 

 
Individuals
 
Antonine Wall (aka Jinx's Tourney)

One Woman

Rhiassan Cub Care
 
Kids venture off on a quest

Aces Tournament

Aces Tournament

Newbie Tourney
 
Targetball

Castle  Battles

Water Missile Melee

Mogar goes into a berserker rage

Rhiassan Cub Care

Cleaved Tournament 

Performance Tourney

10-Person Field Battle

Challenge Race

Challenge Race

Challenge Race

Grand Teamwork Tournament

Bridge Battle

Queen Aidan says his thanks

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Why I Want to Go: Chimeron Questing XXVII- Big Trouble in Little Chimeron

by Adrian "Cronin" Cronin


Chimeron Questing last year, in my opinion, created some of the most memorable moments of the season. The purification of people and old artifacts like Wrake's finger bone and the fall of Artemis from the heavens announcing the coming Strangers War. A dreaming quest whodunnit murder mystery party with some of the greatest RP I've seen from people and NPC's. Not one, but TWO trials from adventurers committing crimes within the lands of Chimeron, again stoking some INCREDIBLE role-playing and stories that I still tell around the campfire. And the final push against the Risen Kingdom to name a few.

The best part is that this is only a summary of SOME of what I experienced. Not to mention other adventurers left with far different tales to tell. I remember the car ride home, breaking down our experiences it sounded like we hit different events, but all with grand smiles on our faces.

This is what open-world Questing is about. Lots of things going on all at once. Where your choices affect the outcome and chance encounters are everything.

I can't wait to return to the lands of Chimeron as Cronin. To talk strategy against the Risen Kingdom alongside Orion. To unravel the mysteries of the fae alongside my fellow adventurers. To check in on intrigue from last year and see what lasting effects our efforts have made. And most of all, to adventure in a classical style and make some memories.

I also hear there will be a lifeguard on duty for swimming which is very exciting.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Queen of Hearts 2019 Tournament Results


The three teams this year were Team Shader, Team Shadowdragon, and Team Serra/Goldenduck

War Maneuvers

Grand Teamwork
Shader

Bridge Battle
Shadowdragon

Targetball
3-Way Tie

Challenge Race
Shader

Antonine Wall
Shadowdraon

Kill the Queen
Shadowdragon

Castle Battles
Shadowdragon

Water Missile Melee
Shadowdragon

Field Battles
Shadowdragon

Live Chess
Shadowdragon

Team Grand Melee
Goldenduck

Luck of the Draw
Shadowdragon

Queen's War
Shadowdragon


Individual and Small Group Combat 

10-Person Field Battle
Shadowdragon

10-Person Bridge Battle
Shadowdragon

10-Person Folkestone Challenge
Shadowdragon

10-Person Castle Battle
Shadowdragon

One Man
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

One Woman
Lupa (Shadowdragon)

Couples 
Wrath and Lupa (Shadowdragon)

One-Path
Saka (Shader)

Two-Path
Vesper (Shadowdragon)

Three-Path
Sibyl (Shadowdragon)

Newbie
Thayet (Shadowdragon)

Knight/ Squire
Shandar and Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Spirit / Steel 
Vuel and Aidan (Shadowdragon)

Single Short Individual
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Florentine Individual
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Sword & Shield Individual
Wrath (Shadowdragon)

Hand & Half Individual
Tark (Shader)

Single Short Squad
Shadowdragon

Florentine Squad 
Shadowdragon

Sword & Shield Squad
Shadowdragon

Hand & Half Squad
Shadowdragon

RAT
Damien (Shader)

Duncan's Challenge
Wrath (Shadowdragon)


Non-Combat and Crafting

Strategist
Zatarra (Shadowdragon)

Loremaster
Kovaks (Goldenduck)

Performance
Raynor (Shader)

Banners & Heraldry
Tazzia (Shadowdragon)

Cleaved 
Raynor and Umbra (Shader)

Gambler
Tao (Shadowdragon)

Foamsmith
Avendar (Goldenduck)

Armourer
Hyger (Goldenduck)

Garb
Miyumi (Goldenduck)

Artificer
TIE - Twen (Shader) and Shalindra (Goldenduck)

Marksman
Ranger (Shader)

Athlete
Vee (Shadowdragon)

Boff Archery
Tao (Shadowdragon)

Jester
Merix (Goldenduck)


Honorifics

Team Camaraderie
Shader

Team Spirit 
Goldenduck

Best True Supporters
Shader

Ace of Clubs
Saegan (Shadowdragon)

Ace of Diamonds
Tor (Shader)

Ace of Hearts
Shader (Shader)

Ace of Spades
Rillan (Goldenduck)

Queen
Aidan (Shadowdragon)

On Marshaling

by Angie "Phoenix" Gray


We have a problem in our game. Discussion around the code of conduct has convinced me that our problems are best dealt with by open conversation.

We have very few people who have extensive experience marshaling the super fast combat of today. The small number of people who are confident in their abilities in this area frequently want to play at the same events. This frequently leaves event holders relying on a high percentage of marshals who are newer or out of practice.

Before you misunderstand me, while I do think this is a problem, the quality of marshaling isn’t the problem I think we need to be talking about. The bigger issue to me is how the people who do step up to marshal, understanding they aren’t the best but rather the best available, get treated.

I’ve opted to rotate in and marshal at Queen of Hearts multiple times throughout my two decades in game. I do this understanding it is an event that our strongest combatants love to play at, and it is an event that requires a large dedicated marshaling staff. It was a disappointing experience.

Prior to this event, I hadn’t fully comprehended that we have people who value winning to the point where they are willing to publicly complain and make snide comments about calls made by community members who are providing a needed service to the game to the best of their ability. To be clear I’m not talking about single incidents where an individual responds in a heated manner, and I absolutely think it is appropriate to tell the head marshal if there are concerns about a staff member's competency.

At one point on Saturday, I could hear someone repeatedly questioning marshals' calls throughout a tournament. Late in it I could hear them complaining about a call I made and trying to have it reversed loudly enough to be audible from across the field. I’m a veteran and was confident that my call was consistent with how the tournament was being marshaled. It still gave me pause. How do we expect to have newer players step up and be willing to take on these type of roles when the community accepts them being blatantly disrespected.

Some may voice a perspective that Queen of Hearts is intended to be the most competitive event of the year. That it is a time where it is appropriate to be highly invested in winning and it’s understandable that people get extra competitive. While that was historically true, a high percentage of the Realms community has moved away from wanting it to be that type of event, and more than that Rhiassa has made it clear that that is not the type of event they want to be throwing at this point in history. Again they as a group, giving service to the game, deserve to have that respected. If you don’t want to play at the type of event they are trying to throw, support them in an alternate way.

If we want to have people continue to be willing to step up and invest their time and money in throwing events or people continue to donate their time so that others can play we need to not just have a rule saying that we need to listen to the marshals, but we as a community need to treat them in a way that reflects valuing their service.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What You Missed- Rhiassa Presents: Queen of Hearts XXVI

by Renee "Kindrianna" Booke


My feet are on fire, my muscles are sore,
But I can still tell you a story of war.
Three teams took the field for a chance to compete
But to win Queen of Hearts is no quick easy feat.

First was Team Shadowdragon, all warriors true,
Their shields all stood tall and their thrown weapons flew.
The swift Athlete Vee ran as fast as a deer,
And One-Woman Lupa pierced through foes like a spear.

Shandar commanded a Legion united,
And over the weekend Daekara was knighted.
Elizah, an Ace, broke restriction and won,
And Wrath took on challengers until there were none.

Next was Team Shader, a fun and fierce lot,
They picked up their pikes and threw shot after shot.
Temorse kept friends safe from behind giant shield,
And Damion’s role as the Rat was concealed!

Raynor told us the story of a three-legged pig,
And Eldritch’s mantle hid a drink for a swig.
Twenaria had a dragon she could wear on her back,
While Tor inspired the team to lead the attack.

Last was Team Serra, who became Goldenduck!
Full of talented people, some spirit, and luck.
Kingslayer Kyomi remained true to her name,
And the Mayerling archers watched the field and took aim.

Janus took on a fighter and the crowd made some noise,
While I got pulled into squads and “stuck in with the boyz.”
Soarin sewed chaos with a clutch Cry of Life,
And Muursha made paintings, giving legends new life.

In the end, it was Aiden who won the day.
Team Shadowdragon triumphed and held us at bay.
With tears in his eyes, he thanked every friend,
And Queen of Hearts Twenty-Six was brought to an end.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Why I Want To Go (Part 2)--Queen of Hearts XXVI

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

Renee wrote a beautiful Why I Want to Go this week, but the spirit moved me to share with you all why I’m beyond excited for this year’s Queen of Hearts, so here is a late week addition for your reading pleasure.

I’ve had a range of emotions about this event for the past eleven years. Reflecting on my earliest QoH memories, I can say that I approached my first event with a healthy mix of anxiety and excitement, representing Queen Sean Angus as the newbie. What I remember most about that event was being part of a team, who, despite regularly getting our butts kicked in war maneuvers had an absolute blast. I got to play with Alysha, prep non-stop for the newbie tournament, and meet people who would become life-long friends. I’ll always remember Betty showing me the importance of a bandana in preventing coif-hair-pulling disasters. As the years passed, the shine of that first QoH wore off, in particular because I realized that sometimes highly competitive events can bring out the not-so-nice parts of the people and community that I love so much.

In recent years, the QoH staff (myself included) worked hard to address some of those tougher parts of Queen of Hearts by radically changing the event--making a conscious choice to focus more on fun and less on the unhealthier aspects that competition can bring out in us. Slowly but surely, I began to regain my love for the event that ushered in my commitment to the Realms. I can honestly say that this year I’m approaching the event with the excitement I had as a wide-eyed newbie. It’s because so many of you showed me that, when we commit to having fun with one another, this event really can be special.

In that vein, I’m appealing to all of you--please, come to this event with an open mind and an open heart. Competition is a blast, and I can’t wait to see the martial and crafting prowess that you all bring to the field this year. But please, don’t forget what we come here for--to spend time with our friends, to make new ones, and ultimately, to support and celebrate all of the things we each do so well.

You can help by keeping a few things in mind this weekend:
1. We Should All Be Doing this to Have Fun--If you came here to prove something, or to show that you’re better than someone else, I think you might be missing the point.
2. Your Marshals Are People Too--it can be easy to yell at the ump when they make a call you disagree with, but if you start arguing with people who are volunteering their time to help you have a better time, you’re kind of like a parent yelling at the little league referee--and I know you don’t want to be that person.
3. I’m a Hufflepuff--If you mess with my friends, if you’re ruining other people’s fun, if you’re not acting like your best self, I’ll have to put you in your place (it’s part of the ‘Puff guidelines). So, just, you know, don’t do that.

Thanks for supporting this event for 26 years, for being a part of something that is evolving and changing and getting better each year. Thanks for giving me back my joy, and for letting me meet you on the field to have a genuinely good time.

Rumors for August 1019

[Across the Realms]

Across the Realms: A tall, male elf with a brilliant demeanor has been wandering with an entourage, teaching commoners and creatures alike a new game called The Terrific Triumvirate Tournament. If anyone shows much potential and promise in playing, the elf bestows on them a small magical book, where the words contained within change every so often. He claims that's the magic from his god, who loves a bit of sport.
~~~
((For Fae-Touched, or those who claim a type of Fae as a PC)) A sing-songy, yet sorrowful voice of a child can be heard during the witching hour. Focusing on the voice leads one in circles (mentally and physically), and yet even when one is asleep or trance/meditating during the hour, the voice (now more ethereal) is still there. It disappears at the toll of the first bell for those in the Realms.
~~~
There have been reports of Drow loyal to Lloth finding ways into Fae and Deep Fae. When Pressed for answers, the leaders of the squads  have answered it is "for Harlequin and the Oracle" as support to contain the armies in the Ashenfields.
~~~
A rather unsavory fellow has been offering powers of historic nature stating they will be available to bid on a few days after 2 full moons. "They have to bake, they have to shake, want to heal? Want to deal? They will be steady, they will be ready, want to see? Want to be?" Those that tried to enter into negotiations with the fellow have not been seen again.
~~~
The people are most grateful to the heroes that saved the city of Durgar these few days ago. However there have been reports of carnivores attacking and rampant diseases. They think it might have something to do with all the dead bodies that were torn apart and hung in trees.
~~~
Throughout the Realms talk of a new shop has been spreading. Named the Bottle & Dagger, this shop supposedly sells a lot of miscellaneous goods, from playing cards to potion bottles and jewelry and even crafting materials. Villagers claim it worth the look to see what new things pop up for sale. Some have begun speculating at how the seller came across these items, some ponder perhaps stolen and redistributed while others believe the sellers story of finding these items on his travels. Perhaps it best to locate the store and find out for yourself?

[Chimeron]

The grander pylon is near its completion for the Black and White of 1019. M.R., although no one has seen the foremen in months. Skilled workers are still following the plans as best as possible, as there were drawings besides the common words. The so-called "portable" pylon has not yet been unveiled.
~~~
Chimeron merchants have reported a string of small break-ins while running errands. It appears small trinkets and alchemical supplies have gone missing.
~~~
Reports have come in from Chimeron and the surrounding area of a tiny model town appearing mysteriously and disappearing the next day. Weak magic practitioners in the area of the sightings report their magics were disrupted by the incidents and several have said they felt very ill around the time of the model town's appearance and disappearance.
~~~
A director has been seen lately at the local bar crying into their drink, muttering something about the perfect show, but no available actors.
~~~
Two young teens have been seen sneaking around the woods together lately. Their families are  known longtime enemies with competing taverns. If one of their fathers caught on it might turn bloody.

[Eagle’s Rook]

Six soldiers along with their captain, were lost to ever-more dangerous portals/gates that appear, disappear, and reappear without warning. The portals, if they can truly be called that (although all magical identifications claim it to be so), are getting "bolder" in that they have started to exit the forests and show up in lands near to it. People are warned if they should come upon one to stay away, get away however you can, and if possible report to the nearest guard.

[Teng Hua]

Abuse of Tenghuanese spirits is highly frowned upon, but not illegal. It is rumored that the land turns on those who perform these acts. Blights, disappearances, forest fires, or the land swallowing cities whole- the lands are spiteful, and will not hesitate to cut themselves to pass their judgement.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Throwback Thursday - Ten Years of Queens

The winning queens of Queen of Hearts from the last ten years!
Results courtesy of Dave Hayden's QoH Legacy Project

2008 
Team Illy

Photo by Angela Gray



2009 
Team Dygen




2010
Team Yipp

Photo by Douglas Fisher



2011 
Team Dell

Photo by Angela Gray



2012
Team Imari

Photo by Casey Lemay



2013
Team Tria

Photo by Robyn C. Nielsen



2014
Team Syruss

Photo by Casey Lemay



2015 
Team Kara 

Photo by View staff



2016
Team Eris

Photo by Josh Learned



2017
Team Jack

Photo by View Staff



2018
Team Phoenix

Photo by View Staff



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Why I Want to Go: Queen of Hearts XXVI

by Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

For twenty-five years warriors of the Realms have gathered to test their combat prowess, their knowledge of strategy, their craftsmanship and their love of pageantry at Queen of Hearts; and this coming weekend they will gather again for the twenty-sixth time. Teams will compete for the honor of their respective Queens, and dare I say…legends shall be born!

Queen of Hearts has been a staple of our community for at least as long as I can remember. It features a combination of traditional team war maneuvers (ex. Bridge, Castle and Field Battles), unique and fun team tournaments, (ex. Targetball, Water Missile Melee, Rhiassan Live Chess) Individuals, and small group combat tournaments, as well as a variety of non-combat tournaments (Strategist, Loremaster, Foamsmith, and Armourer etc). The diverse array of tournaments keeps competitors on their toes and allows opportunities for teams to play to their different strengths. It also makes the tournament enjoyable for folks who may want to help or contribute to a team but don’t necessarily enjoy the demands of combat.

Personally, I love to go and witness the creative efforts of fellow craftspeople and cheer on my friends. I adore having the opportunity to push myself to achieve personal bests and encourage others to do the same. Queen of Hearts is a great venue for all of these things, but it is also a wonderful place to see the triumphs of people you may barely know and celebrate them anyway. This tends to be one of those events that people tell stories from years later, so you’ll never know what epic moments you might miss.

I also hear that this year Queen of Hearts will be offering entertainment for the younger adventurers through Rhiassan Cub Care. Kids can create themed craft activities and/or go on an adventure as part of the Page’s Tournament. Parents take note: Your children may or may not be traveling back to the time of the dinosaurs by way of a magical treehouse!

All in all, it’s going to be a fun time with lots to do, friends to fight, creations to behold, and court to witness. This continually evolving event has something for everyone. Can’t wait to see you all on the field!


P.S. If you want to see more detailed information about the tournaments and scoring, head on over to Rhiassa's Website!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

What you missed: Aide For Aranea


by James "Tao" Murphy


OOC
I love new sites; I love not knowing what is around the next corner. At this point in my realms experience I don’t get that very often. I got it at this event. Unfortunately this site was not quite ready. I am very impressed with the work that had gotten done. I can see where this will be an amazing questing site in the future.

This event did have the fatal flaw that many new event holders/staff have fallen into, not enough staff. The Event holders, were doing all the roles pretty much themselves. It unfortunately also had the problem of not enough players. Friday night there were only 4 PC’s.

IC
I think we accomplished the goal, I think we did good, I think.

I set off to Arenea on Friday night. We were met by Alucard and were informed that there were elementals out that were causing problems, and that some vine corruption had happened. The four Adventurers that attended Friday night were: Squire Vesper, Squire Thoril, Clove, and myself. Alucard introduced us to a shaman that would be accompanying us and showing us which way to go. While his name was given soon we were calling him Moth Daddy and he seemed very ok with this.

We climbed a hill in the dark and found an old road that had a few bits of light here and there but it was very dark under the trees. We encountered some air elementals? Some vines, some wolves, many of them were only effectable by axes, fortunately I still had my axe which was a gift from Red the foremen of the woodworking crew I hired last year. We found a wizard which helped us with a puzzle to open a barrier where we found more monsters.

In this next section we found a creature that was only effectable by something, not sure exactly what because we were all hitting it with different things at the same time. It dropped a small treasure chest, which Thoril was able to open, but it was not a chest but a very small mimic that bit and killed him. We were able to get him back up. We found some local currency, some jewelry, and a key.

Now the wizard was a little further down the path, and said that he had figured out how to make a barrier that could only be removed by stating a specific word. He of course had a riddle to give us a clue to the word. It was soon solved and we were back to camp.

We split up the coins, jewelry, and Thoril tried to raise and make a pet of the mimic. While it came back to life, it bit and killed him again.

At this point Squire Vesper had to leave, but Sir Magus Rosetta arrived and joined the conversation. At this point, Thoril and Rosetta starting talking magic theory and I decided to go to bed.

In the morning a few more arrived, the first couple to swell our ranks, were Sir Elwin O’Bearikin and an adventure that I had never met named Arder (?). We related all that had happened the night before when the wizard from the night before held an auction for a gold five foot axe. The opening bid was 75 gold, however as I was the only bidder I was able to talk them down to 65 gold. I passed off my normal axe to Ardur(?). While this was going on, a few more adventures swelled our ranks, Laird Sir Magus Rel, Sir Lady Aymisara, and Priest Laiken en’Naur. It was starting to look like very competent group. We were still lacking in a specialized healer, and had no blacksmithing except for a very few spells from Thoril.

At this point we decided to set out, someone had learned that we needed 50 coal coins, (new currency?) and three small bottles. We wandered along the road for a while encountering more vines and timber wolves which somehow where also able to throw fireballs. We found the first bottle very quickly; the other two did take some magic to locate. About 3 PM we had gathered all we needed.

We brought everything back to camp and the wizard was able to make a “coal”dren, add the potions and was able to magic the key so it would open something. He let us know that the something would be ready at 9PM.

Alucard showed up first he tried to auction off a golden spear with a skull at the end which no one was interested in. He also let us know that the promised feast would probably happen around 5pm and that he expected nothing else to happen between.

At this point I received word that I was temporarily needed back in Blackwood. As Stonewood was on the way I asked Elwin to accompany me. On the road we ran into Kang of Creathorne who was in the area.  While we were able to travel West without any issues, the rest of the party learned that a local city was under siege by bandits. Before they set out to save the city they were joined by 2 more adventures, Your friend Jean C’est Magnifique Try Baptise, and a newer adventure named Sk..(cough cough) who you might remember for winning the obstacle course at Blackwood tournaments.

From what I understand the party ran into several waves of bandits, a puzzle that had a potion of repair armor, a chaos puzzle (higher or lower) and a bit of gold. At the castle was a hard fought battle where the bandits had strong magic support but the party prevailed.

We were able to return to camp at about the same time the party got back from saving the city. We got a chance to hang out in the prepared bamboo groves that protected us from the sun and were much cooler than sitting in the sun. About an hour later Alucard presented us with a competition. Each of us was presented with a 24 ounce can of tea that appeared twisted. The completion was to hold the can out in front of us without bending our elbow. If we bent our elbow we were supposed to drink the tea.  Clove was able to last the longest and was presented with a drinking horn and a throwable gold leaf.

A bit after the competition dinner was served, some of my favorite things, breakfast for dinner; bacon, eggs, English muffins, and pancakes.

A while later after it got dark we set out to stop the corruption. Unfortunately several of the party had had to leave and we were down to seven; Myself, Thoril, Clove, Rosetta, JB, Sk..(cough cough) and Kang was able to join us.

In the dark the path was difficult. Sometimes it felt like I was swinging at darkness, also our lack of proper healing, or a blacksmith definitely hurt.

We fought wave after wave after wave of vines or wolves, or shadows in the darkness. We finally came to the barrier that the key was going to open. We had two obstacles; first we had forgetten the key back at camp, and two the key by itself was not all we needed as the lock was actually a puzzle. Fortunately Rosetta was able to cast some Magus level magic that created the key from a stick on the ground. After some divine aid requested by Thoril, several people trying to work on the puzzle in the dark, a few interruptions by more vines and a monkey, and about 30 minutes later Kang was able to figure out the puzzle and open the lock.

Inside the last area, we found an undefeatable monster that killed most of us. Rosetta was able to hide from the monster and get us back up momentarily, but the undefeatable monster dropped us again. Some force that I did not recognize, raised all of us, and fixed our armor. At that point we were told that in near total darkness we had to move black boulders to a particular spot in the circle, all while the undefeatable monster was swinging at us. Kang was amazing at keeping the monster busy, while the rest of the party found the boulders in the dark, and moved them to the spot. After all the boulders were in place we also had to hit the boulders with axes to stop the monster.

In the end, we preserved.

Sir Duke Tao Ya Kang

Friday, August 2, 2019

Ask the Editors: Armor

I’m sort of new to the game. I’ve been playing off and on for a couple years and just recently I started playing more. Up until now I’ve been borrowing armor from friends or using loaner armor from the armor bin. Are there cheap options for buying or making two-point armor that I can put together for my own use?

Cheap is a relative term, because it's sort of dependant on what you have for disposable income. The answer to this question is “yes there are”.

We see some armors pretty commonly, because they hit the right crux between cost and skill level to make. Neoprene chainmail for example, using the Japanese 4 in 1 style weave, if you make it on your own, can cost you in the ball park of $130.00. I say ball park because if you go in on a bulk order, I think you can probably get it for cheaper than that, and it also depends on the size shirt you're making. Tucker Noyes made an awesome tutorial on how to do this some years ago, that’s still posted in the Realms Facebook group’s documents section. Another common armor piece we see is the assassin’s helm. You can order those online for about 65.00, last I knew.

Now can you do better than that? Absolutely. It all depends on how creative you are, and how much you're willing to do in terms of crafting. If you have access to a sewing machine you can make yourself some brigadine armor for the cost of a bunch of washers. As a community, we can be pretty lenient with our armor rules so long as they look okay, or it seems like you're trying to meet them.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for help in armor making, we have a plethora of really skilled craftsmen in the game that can give you advice if you just let them know you're looking for it.

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn



Welcome back to the game! Are you a particularly crafty person or do you have very crafty friends/acquaintances? Learning to make your own armor can help cut down on costs but it can be pretty time consuming; and without knowing your specific situation I’m afraid I can’t give you exact advice in that regard. If you do want to try crafting, the neoprene chainmail is one option that tends to be widely accepted in the Realms. You won’t bake alive in it, and if you go in on a ring order you can cut down prices like Keith mentioned.

Leather armor is also an option. You can get entire cow sides for less than $100 when Tandy or Garlinn-Neumann have sales and probably make yourself a suit of leather squares attached by rings while still having leather left over for other projects. Leather looks amazing and gives you a lot of options for customization if you get into the tooling, but it is pretty warm and probably heavier. Just something to keep in mind. If crafting isn’t your thing, check out the wide variety of shops in the Realms. Some of them do take gold for armor or armor pieces and try to be accomodating. If that also fails you, https://www.medievalcollectibles.com has a lot of differently priced armor pieces and I’m sure it is not the only website where you can find similar stuff. Hope this helps!

Renee “Kindrianna” Booke



I probably shouldn’t start out by suggesting that Armored Cloaks are pretty cheap to make, huh? Kidding aside, I do remember when I was a newbie at UCONN a lot of my fellow Oaken Guard members had leather armor that was studded. From what I understand this was pretty cheaply done. Jason had taken everyone to a biker store where they all bought clearance leather vests for less than $20, and then he had bulk purchased a bunch of leather studs online. Attaching them is easy, you cut a couple of very small slits with a knife, stick the metal tabs through and fold them over with some pliers. It took several hours but it wasn’t very expensive at all.

Something else to keep in mind is to look around at auction sites or used item sites. I know at least a couple of people who got their armor off of eBay.

My best advice, however, is to make use of the Realms’ best resource. Community! There are lots and lots of extremely skilled crafters in our game and I’d bet just about every single one of them would happily give you a couple hours of their time to teach you how to weave chain mail or bang together rivets into leather. Materials are usually a lot cheaper than finished products (especially if you get them used as well). Don’t be shy about asking for help or even asking who to ask. This game is full of people who like to help and love to share their expertise.

Lani “Gwen” Jones

Thursday, August 1, 2019

O'er The Lands of the Realms: Neden

by Jason "Aeston" Rosa



Description by Cal "Syruss" Marsden

Welcome friends to the Land of Neden.

Neden has remained almost unchanged since it’s initial settlement with only a few structures rising over the years. However, in recent years since Previous Lord Nymbous took over and now more so under my own regime, we have seen a vast increase in population as well as a rise in structures and habitats.

Braving the wild north you may find yourself weary and in need of rest, we hope should you ever be this far north that you come and visit Neden and enjoy our local customs and delicacies.

Neden Castle is the central hub for the Neden Boys, these are the members that don the Tabard; both petitioner and full members reside here. Recently a small town has been built for some of the non-tabard workers who help keep things running smoothly here in Neden. Now while most of Neden’s workforce is undead there are those who are not and they were clamoring for a small settlement by the castle. They asked for this for two important reasons; first so they did not have to travel far for work and second so that they could be close by when one of the famous Neden House Parties kick off. The Town is called Tavern Town and there you find various restaurants, shops and you guessed it taverns. Also, located right below the castle area is the largest building in the nation, the headquarters of the Neden Kazoo, the local Neden newspaper.

If you start to head South West you will run into Neden’s largest city, Shady Falls, home of the Lord’s Retreat. The Lord’s Retreat is where former Lord Nymbous enjoys his retirement on the peaceful riverbed near our magical waterfall.

Further south still and you will run into a small town which is really more of a merchant's bazzar, Neden Emporium. Here we have the Neden Forge which produces all of Neden’s beautiful weapons and shields, Jean Baptise’s butchery where you can get all your exotic meats, and Priest Z’ bakery home of his famous chocolate chip cookies. There are also many other shops with Magical artifacts, books, and every other odd and end you can think of.

The Neden Emporium also rests upon Neden’s premier watering hole Neden Lake. Neden Lake is also home to the Neden Marina where Darkin of Neden makes handcrafted boats for the Neden Navy. The Neden lake connects to two rivers; The Sneaky River and LTD River. The LTD River is home of the annual Neden Regatta a prestigious race where the winner is crowned Prince of Neden Lake for the Day. There they are celebrated with fancy food, fine drink, and an amazing party.

Neden’s lands, while fertile, only grow during a short harvesting season. Neden utilizes Sir Naj’s portals (located around Neden) to help with distribution of Neden’s goods in order to trade for things the lands have trouble naturally producing.

Three churches currently reside in Neden; The Church of Darkhaven dedicated to the Dark One, the Church of Harlequin dedicated to the aforementioned god, and the Church of Shadow founded by Jayce when our member Shadow ascended to godhood. The Church of Shadow has a soft spot in the hearts of all the Neden boys as it is a direct link to our god brother.

Another Neden attraction is the Neden Traveling Carnival. This is set up in various locations throughout Neden and even takes to the Road to bring you the people challenging games, amazing sites and stories, fun food, and fabulous prizes. If you would like the Neden Carnival to come to your to town let a local Neden Boy know and we will make magic happen.

This is just a glimpse of Neden, for more information on your favorite Neden boys head over to our Neden Welcome Center (http://www.thenationofneden.com/). There you can see a local town map pointing out various stores and locations, read some issues of the Neden Kazoo or get to know some backstories of some of your favorite Neden Boys or hire Neden to set up one of their various shops and games.

Hope to see you all soon in the Lovely Lands of Neden.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Why I Want To Go: to Aide for Aranea, by Saegan

Sometimes I think Eventholding is a dying art. It’s sort of sad to say that, because it’s literally what makes the game go, but it’s something that sits at the back of my mind sometimes. I feel like it’s my responsibility to encourage new people to step up and tell their stories, for us to play in. To help them sort of find their way.

So it’s just really interesting to me when people seem to come out of nowhere, maybe 10 or fewer events and just from my perspective, dive right in. Like kudos to you for that, seriously.

Just get in there.

Aide for Aranea promises to be an interesting event full of new. New lands to explore both in, and out of character, as the event holding team presents the game with a new site to develop and play on. New in character lands to adventure in, as Aranea invites the realms to come explore their lands for the first time. And a team looking to test their storytelling mettle to the game.

Based on everything I’ve heard, the event should consist of some really wild monsters ready to go absolutely ape on a would be adventurer. The players should be read for a heavy forest environment, and be prepared with their axes for the monsters that aren’t likely to be cut down by anything else. And they should come prepared for revelry and games as the action fades to night, because the gracious hosts come ready to party.

Honestly the amount of effort it seems that’s going into this event is what’s really perked my interest, and is the main reason why I want to go.

So hopefully I’ll see you on the field,

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Community Post #1 - Results

 The results from the first Community Poll!

The results from the first community poll, in which we start to take a closer look at our origins




How did you come in to the game?
  • Saw people at a fight practice
  • SMAC
  • Friends (11)
  • WPI/ WPI SMAS (6)
  • I worked with Kathy Journeay/Queen Meg
  • Famliy friend Joe Fantasia
  • College friends who had just started playing.
  • I was brought in from another LARP and I liked this one more
  • Started dating a Realmsie
  • Some friends had played years before and suggested trying it
  • Someone in my art class happened to bring in some boffers to make and I asked them about it. We became friends and he brought me to my first event
  • I saw Hillary Fotino walking down the dorm hall with a foam sword, and I followed her
  • Andrew Adams (Emperor Lysis)
  • Through DnD friends who play
  • My boyfriend, now husband, told me about the game. It sounded like fun and I wanted to go to an event. 
  • Husband 
  • Got curious looked online and one had practice in my backyard basically went over got hooked
  • Henry Giasson
  • Swoop
  • On foot after a decent car ride.
  • River Hawk practice, then 3 years later a coworker brought me to my first event.
  • My dad, Decion
  • Joe Poepora aka reb brought to folkstone practice 
  • I sought out Chimeron's practice. Shortly after they brought in much of the WPISFS.


What was your first event?

  • Sca light weapons event 1981
  • Tournaments of Rhiassa, 1997
  • Black and White
  • Creathorne, I think
  • Feast of Blackwood 3
  • QoH and Feast of Leviathan
  • Technically TOC 16, but when I came back, Feast of Creathorne 
  • Black and White '98
  • FoChim 1997
  • Water war
  • North South war
  • Big Game Hunt
  • Black and White 2005
  • (sigh) Chaos Remembered
  • ToC in 93 or 94
  • Uncle Cecil’s 
  • Black and White 2018
  • Tournament of Blades
  • ToC
  • Black & White 2007
  • A Midnight Breaks In Storm
  • Nedengiving 2017
  • Tournaments of Creathorne 7
  • Black and White
  • ToC
  • I NPC'd the Event Which Must Not Be Named II
  • Neden BBQ 2018
  • Feast of Blackwood, 95
  • Feast of Leviathan 2014
  • Black & White 2014
  • Tournament of Tunics
  • That Which Escapes Us
  • Queen of Hearts 2
  • ToC 2016
  • Feast of Leviathan
  • Tournaments of Creathorne 1997
  • Storytellers 2012
  • Beyond the Hag and Hungry Goblin
  • I seriously don’t remember the name of the event... and the archive on RealmsNet doesn’t go back that far.  It was at UMass Amherst in 1991.
  • Fall 1990 Lackey's Plague Event.

Friday, July 26, 2019

The View Retrospective - Short Story

A short story by Steve Matulewicz (Sir Therian)





Originally published in The View from Valehaven, 2nd Edition, Volume 3, Issue 4; May 2006

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

What You Missed-A Rafting We Will Go (Again)!

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

We arrived a smidgle late to the questing party on account of the fact that I can’t seem to locate my gear in any reasonable timeframe, even when Aeston very kindly organizes and labels it for me (what a good brother I have). However, once we arrived, we were met by our Rhiassan friends, as well as Avendar, Ranger with a trio of new adventurers, Muursha, Thoril, and my old friend Kahlenar. At the outset, we were besieged by pirates who were searching the woods for treasure in the form of valuable sigils that contained scripts that seemed very interesting to say the least. I spend a lot of my time making sure Aeston stays out of trouble, and it occasionally ensures I miss a little bit of the WHY I’m doing something, but I've learned in my old age that when you see a pirate swinging at you with his sword, you probably should do something about that (with the exception of Kahelnar, of course). So we hunted for buried treasure, defeated a seemingly endless band of pirates, stole more treasure, and used the aforementioned sigils to unlock the current which would lead us toward the disturbance that was disrupting the river of Kawa no Oza.

We intended to traverse the river together, but the current had other plans for us. It was clear that the forces disturbing the natural order were fierce, as there were many rocks and shallows to contend with along the way. Luckily, Aeston’s pike served our two-person craft well as a force to propel us onward, and we developed the patented Rhiassan “butts up” maneuver to save our dierrers. Along our journey, we were met with more rouge pirates who we attempted to defeat, but were largely unsuccessful due to our oversight on bringing a shield to defend against their merciless cannons. Despite our initial struggles, we successfully landed on an isle that was home to a water spirit who sincerely wanted to aid our party in ridding the rivers in which she inhabited from the pirates and larger forces of evil that were disrupting the harmony of the once scenic and peaceful area. However, it’s hard to trust those whom you do not already know, and she felt that she needed to understand and connect with our party before she offered her aid to us all. Surprisingly she seemed to already know Aeston, which (as I learned later) was because he was honored as a "Keiro-rei" at Feast of Teng Hua for his attunement to the element of water during his days of being a Kathrani. She asked us to share our unique bonds to each other, through our kinship with Aeston. We were able to connect each individual in the party together in a meaningful way through Aeston, ultimately ending with Thoril who was gifted an orb that would guide us to the source of the corruption. What stands out to me most during this interaction was that the water spirit shared a piece of wisdom with us all, that the end of a chain is no less significant than the beginning. I’ll bear this advice in mind in the future when I’m helping to create such chains.

After a short lecture directed at Thoril, we departed, and journeyed once more down the pirate infested waters. However, our initial work may have benefitted us, as we had smoother travels (specifically fewer rocks meeting bums). Upon docking, we found much needed sustenance, followed by Thoril being led by the orb (in all manner of walking, spinning, skipping, and tree-hugging) to a treasure that clearly the pirates sought. They challenged us to a duel of pirate volleyball to control the treasure and the lands. After a few unsuccessful volleys, the adventurers of the Realms were able to soundly defeat the pirates, embarrassing them so much at their own game they were forced to flee out of shame. After their defeat, the water spirit reemerged to share with us a blessing for our efforts on her behalf. She indicated that while we had successfully chased off the invaders for a short time, that a larger evil was still looming and that we would again be called to aid the river and the lands of Teng Hua to protect the harmony of nature that they hold so dear. I for one cannot wait for the opportunity to rise to the challenge as it was a pleasure and gift to be able to aid our allies in their time of need.

Overall I walked away happy with our success, excited about future adventures in these lands, and a lot redder than when I arrived (even for a Rhiassan!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Thirsty Wolf Grand Opening

By,
Madam Zarine



Last weekend at the annual Tournaments of Blackwood saw the Grand Opening of the Thirsty Wolf Tavern. As much as I would love to take all of the credit for such an endeavor, many hands helped in the effort. Trent had the idea to have a tavern where folks could come and go, give us their gold, be entertained, eat, drink, and other wise be merry (or married, as the case may be). A few others were interested in conceptualizing such an idea, so Trent, Daekara, Zatarra, Runaris and myself got to work planning and constructing.

A lot of ideas were thrown around, and sadly we could not implement them all at once so really you only saw a small portion of what we will eventually be offering. We decided to start with the simple things: food, drink, fun, and games. The games unfortunately fell by the wayside as I honestly forgot about them in the rush to get everything decorated and set up for everyone but I promise you they were there and maybe next time they will even be available to play.

The d├ęcor was of course amazing. We hung tapestries, strung fancy lighting and placed decorative knickknacks about. The bardic troupe that we hired, Cu Dubh, was quite shy and asked to play behind the scenes, but if you enjoyed the music you can find them being less shy in other places. (https://www.cudubhtribe.com/ )

If you missed out on the food then you should know that it was quite delicious. Daekara made some beef stew that while not the fanciest of dishes, really hit the spot. Runaris offered up his sausage which people eagerly paid for and seemed to enjoy putting in their mouths. He also attempted to make fried dough, which was a learning experience for future evenings and I truly hope he tries again. I put together some of my favorite meats, cheeses and olives in small charcuterie samplers that were well received. We hope to add new food to our menus as time goes on so check back in and see what we are cooking up. Well I mean, not me, I'm not allowed to cook.

Trent mixed up his now famous Achorian Seawater which was very popular amongst our hosts and guests of honor. Thaddeus (who you may know simply as T-Main, but he for sure is actually named Thaddeus) made one of his signature 'pour a lot of booze into a container and give it a name' drinks called Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Freesia can't seem to resist the lure of selling delicious intoxication and jumped behind the bar to help out, assisted by T-Main's love interest who we call 'She-Main'. Apparently she has an actual name, but really we don't care. We also had mass manufactured beer which seemed to garner less interest than the fancy mixed drinks, and Trent purchased a humidor and had cigars for sale.

We had more guests than we anticipated on Friday evening, and we really weren't the most prepared of business owners, but we made it all work and most importantly all of our visiting plebs had an enjoyable experience. Drinks were flowing, stories were being told, food was being consumed, and Kharma and Rhage got married in the middle of it all. None of the folks that I actually hired really worked out, but a lot of folks with limited funds jumped in and helped for drinks and food as payment, and some of them just did it for the fun of being involved and assisting folks in need.

Overall our grand opening was a success! We are so grateful to the folks who came out and christened our big red building with their joy and revelry and we can't wait to do it again, but even better with all of the ideas that we had and the lessons that we learned. We hope to see even more of your smiling faces next time, and if you just can't wait until the next big gathering you can stop by our more permanent location in Invictus and pull up a chair, just ask myself or Trent to add you to our guest list. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/467472024029494/ )




See you all soon!