Wednesday, February 20, 2019

What you missed Feast of Creathorne

I think I love feast of creathorne for the weird meats that they serve. It’s really kind of the selling point for me, because I just sort of like to tell people “Oh yeah, I had bear this weekend.” Or what have you. I tried a lot of the different foods, and I enjoyed them all, but the venison was probably my favorite for this year. Also, I’m not sure if bear was on the menu this time, as I just sort of put tasty things in my mouth without asking what they were.

That might be a habit I need to break before I get into trouble. Or worse.

Feast of Creathorne showcased a new quest series, I was largely on the western flank, but what we saw was brutish armies coming through portals, speaking a harsh and incomprehensible language. It showed them trying to gather a sort of arcane battery in order to power their portals so they could invade our realms. It showed them having massive sky ships, that could teleport people down into the world. This finally lead people into visions of a mass destruction, the likes of which, well the Realms has been able to narrowly avoid many times in the past.

Outside of that, people were gambling and playing games, and researching the problems that were going to be coming down on them in the near future. People were practicing their fighting, and learning spells. People were engaging in our world, and enjoying the people they hadn’t seen in a while.

It was a good time, and I look forward to it again next year.

I'll see you on the field

Keith "Saegan" Cronyn

What You Missed - Feast of Creathorne 2019 (photos)

Photo by Dustin Mack

Photo by Jason Rosa

Photo by Jason Rosa

Photo by Jason Rosa

Photo by Jason Rosa

Photo by Dustin Mack

Photo by Dustin Mack

Photo by Dustin Mack

Photo by Dustin Mack

Photo by Dustin Mack

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Legends of Voraniss: Othorion Elderheart, King of Calandia (Part I)

by Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

There is another old legend in Voraniss; one that predates the reign of Mon’ghora or the selfless sacrifice of Riel’iefyr. It takes place in the years prior to the golden age of the Elves documented a mere four hundred years in the past. This was a time before Human settlers had ever set foot within the forest, and the Animal-kin were less organized and wilder. Calandia became the seat of Elvish power during this historic period, making it the oldest city in our beloved country. What many outsiders do not know was how Calandia came to be built, or how the Elves managed to flourish in such a hostile and untamed wilderness.
Before Othorion Elderheart was a King, he was a Ranger. In the early days when the Elves had just begun to lightly settle the lands and worship in the groves, he could be found walking the forests with a bow in his hand. He tried not to eat meat, so the bow was mostly for protection. He was content to scavenge for nuts, berries, edible plants, and greens to sustain himself when he could. When he really wanted a treat, he’d find a way to boil the rootstocks of Purple Avens, adding a little milk or dried fruit for sweetness. This made a tasty beverage that had some resemblance to what we now know as the flavor of chocolate. Othorion had a plethora of knowledge like this, and if a plant had both edible and medicinal properties to it, even better.
He put himself to use, stockpiling the food and herbs that he found like a squirrel preparing for the winter. People grew hungry during the hard times so it didn’t hurt to prepare. Sometimes he was even called upon for medicines to treat livestock, for you see…Elves do not get sick in the same ways that other peoples do, but their animals certainly did. Othorion loved animals and always hoped he would be able to help when he was asked to come and make an assessment. Beyond the fact that livestock were a valuable community resource for food and livelihood, the Elves believed that the animals were blessed by the Goddess Gaia and to celebrate them was to know her love.
One day, Othorion was out in the forest, as he usually was, when he ran into a problem. His favorite tree for acorns had a pack of wild pigs rooting about the bottom. He ducked into the brush nearby and watched them, waiting. Wild pigs in other parts of the world stood about four feet high off the ground if they were on the higher end of height range. Wild pigs in Voraniss stood four feet high off the ground minimum. Everything was bigger here, and scarier. It was like nature had never imposed her limits on the wildlife and they had grown beyond what was typical or customary. It was the same with the plants too. This place just had its own magic and the flora and fauna reacted to it.
Othorion didn’t want to make any loud noises and startle the pigs, so he couldn’t leave to go find another oak tree, and he certainly didn’t want to attack them for no reason. Patience seemed like the best course of action. He would wait them out. Unfortunately for Othorion, he had no idea that this pack of pigs was home to one particularly ornery old boar who didn’t take kindly to his watching.
This boar was not a solitary creature despite his age and maturity, but he certainly showed some hermitlike behavior. He didn’t get into the fray with the other pigs or stand next to them. He kept mostly to himself on the outskirts of their foraging area and would grab at any rogue acorn that found its way to his feet, chasing off any pig that came too close with an angry squeal or grunt. Othorion assumed that all the pigs were content with their snacks and had no idea that the boar was watching him as much as he was watching it.
At some point, he lost track of that particular pig and shrugged his shoulders thinking that it must have wandered off for a nap. That was a mistake, and he soon realized it when he heard the rushed plodding of cloven feet from behind him. The old boar had circled around Othorion in order to attack him from his vulnerable side. How was such a creature so remarkably intelligent? Othorion didn’t have time to ponder such mysteries with his life in danger.
As the boar charged, Othorion attempted to dive to the side and roll out of the way. It wasn’t enough, for the angry creature would come at him again and again, giving frenzied chase. He sustained several wounds as the wild pig gored him with its tusks, biting and snapping at him. Othorion knew his best bet was to climb a tree and get up where the boar could not follow, but his legs were quickly filling with lacerations and stinging wounds. Being charged didn’t give him a good shot of the creature’s broadside or shoulder area where he knew he stood the best chance of piercing the vitals or lungs. No, the only way out was to climb like his life depended on it or pray that the creature would tire of the chase. Othorion decided to put his faith in the trees.
He scrambled to a nearby Elm and started to pull himself up, relying on his fear and the strength of his arms to get him to safety. His fingers worked their way into the deep furrows of the grayish bark as he climbed, hoping to get hold of one of the lower branches or the break in the trunk before he lost his momentum. The flat ridges that separated the furrows in the bark had a strangely corky texture to them that he felt every time his thumbs pushed hard against the tree. His legs ached so badly that he didn’t dare look at them. He knew he was losing blood and he didn’t need to know how much until he was in a position to do something about it. Othorion had underestimated his wounds, however, and mid climb his hand slipped when he paused to wince and fight through the pain.
Down, down, down, he fell; closing his eyes as visions of the end of his life flashed through his mind. He kept waiting for his back to hit the ground and for it all to be over, but he never felt the impact. Maybe he was already dead and Gaia had been merciful enough to spare him the extended pain of a violent and embarrassing death. He finally cracked his eyes open, daring to see what might have happened when his curiosity got the better of his dread.
Much to his surprise, one of the branches of the tree had moved and reached out to catch him by the cloak as he dropped. He was dangling there in the air now, the ends of his cloak pinched between what looked like branchy fingers. He blinked a few times, hesitating before he reached up with his hands to grab hold of the branch and pull himself up to safety.
“You should be more careful, little one,” came a low and rumbly voice. It was friendly and calm but appeared out of nowhere causing Othorion quite a scare.
The Elf fell back onto his butt, reaching for an arrow in his quiver with trembling hands as he collapsed upon the branch. “Wh-who said that?” he gasped.
“I did,” came the voice again.
“I don’t see anyone!” Othorion insisted, looking around the trunk of the tree back towards the ground. His eyes also scanned the branches looking for other Elves that might have been hiding there too.
“How can you not see me? You are sitting right on me.”
The tree began to shake a little, and the leaves rustled all at once like a playful breeze was tickling them. That was when Othorion finally figured it out. The voice was coming from the tree.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Humanizing the Realms: Steven "Torolf" Nelson

 Steven "Torolf" Nelson

Steve Nelson - as seen on Facebook!
What do you do outside of the game? What would you like to be doing? (Work, school, etc.)

For work, I’ve had a couple of career changes over the years. But I’ve been a programmer for a long time now. Sometimes I feel like I’m still not sure what I want to do when I grow up. Maybe something a little more creative.

What hobbies do you enjoy other than LARP?

A big hobby I’ve picked up over the last three years or so is riding a motorcycle. It’s something I wanted to do for a very long time that just never seemed practical. But my wife and I took the three-day course through the state that ends with taking the test and if successful getting your license. I highly recommend it if you’re thinking about learning to ride. Initially, we just did the class as something to try, but it was as much fun as I always imagined so we ran out and got bikes right afterward. We’re still not riding the major highways like 495 yet, but we’re getting braver every year.

Favorite meal, dessert, and drink?

Hmmm, I’m not very particular about food, except where some of the more evil vegetables are concerned. So I’m not sure what I’d consider a favorite. Certainly, a good steak or barbecued ribs would be pretty high on the list. But I also really enjoy Mexican, Thai, and Chinese food. I do enjoy spicy food in general and am not above putting salsa and hot sauce on things like eggs or mac and cheese. And as for drinks, what I drink most of would have to be coffee. But I’m not sure that counts as a favorite.

If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would it be? Would you bring anyone?

The timing for this question is kind of funny. This past summer I think that I actually took that trip. I traveled to Denmark with my wife and youngest son. Aside from seeing some great and historical sites we also visited the region that one side of my family came from originally. With the help of a relative, we found the home where my great-grandfather, who immigrated to America, was born on the farm that many generations of my family lived before him. Some other amazing highlights were getting to help row a traditional Norse styled ship into the Roskilde fjord from the museum there, and getting my first tattoo in Copenhagen. We also went to Switzerland to visit with both family and a very good friend from college. This was a bucket list level trip, and I haven’t figured out what to put on the list to replace it.

Are you working on any life goals that you’re willing to share?

Well, I’d like to retire early and maybe travel more. So far not much progress on the retire part, but I do buy an occasional lottery ticket. Other than that I’ve struggled a little with trying to get into better physical shape. A couple of minor injuries set that back a little, then life and stuff gets hectic. Next thing I know it’s been a couple of weeks without a workout. I also feel like I can still improve at Realms combat. Every year about this time I start thinking about how to push that further.

Favorite outfit other than garb?

I live in blue jeans and Tshirts. If it’s chilly, I add a flannel shirt or sweatshirt.

Do you have any professional or personal skills you’d be willing to talk about?

I guess people are starting to find out that I used to be a pretty serious artist. I dabbled in a lot of media including things like bronze casting and carving with a chainsaw, but I was primarily a painter and photographer. Over the last few years, I’ve started doing some online stock photography. It doesn’t bring in meaningful amounts of money, but it’s fun and pushes me to get better at post-processing images and looking for pictures to take. Also, Realms has managed to get me painting again, things like shields, banners, belt favors, and tabards. I’ve even broken out some of my silk screening equipment recently.
Tournaments of Artemis 2018

What drew you to the realms, and what keeps you there?

Some of you have probably heard this story a few times. But what first drew me to Realms was a flier in a local pizza shop. Steve Johnson had started a practice in a park in Methuen. It seemed like something fun to try with the kids so we went. It was a very kid dominated practice so my kids loved it. Eventually, we started hitting some events which were mind-blowing. A while later, I think around 2012, Steve asked me to help him Dave Hayden, and Mike La Bossiere start a fight practice at Umass Lowell, which eventually became the Riverhawks. That was when I first really saw Realms as something other than an activity for my kids. I started getting more interested in combat and began sneaking off to tournaments by myself. This was around the time that the Order of the List started, so there were lots of them. I was pursuing OoTL points for a couple of years and wanted to get better which brought me to the Nashua practice. That was a turning point for me when I got to know more people and started getting involved in things. I think I got a little better at fighting too. And if you hadn’t guessed I still enjoy the fighting a lot. So that’s certainly one of the things that keeps me in Realms. But the other, even if it sounds a bit cliche, is the community. I’ve made a lot of friends in the Realms, and I enjoy spending crazy weekends with you people!

Favorite movies/shows/books?

I enjoy both major genres, Science Fiction, AND Fantasy. For TV shows I’d have to say all things Star Trek. Also Firefly, Vikings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer come to mind. Movies I’d say most of the Star Wars films, and Lord of the Rings, I also like most of the Marvel movies. Books are harder, I’ve read a lot, but not so much lately. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein may be my favorite, and almost everything written by John Scalzi or Neil Gaiman are also very high on my list.

If you happened upon 3 wishes, what would they be? (Wishing for more wishes doesn’t seem to work...)
Oh my, I’ve read and watched so much dystopian Science Fiction and Fantasy, that I could get seriously lost in a question like this. But rather than a long answer full of hypotheticals, and trying to avoid Twilight Zone outcomes I’ll say this. Like most of us, I have a number of friends and family dealing with health issues. If there were some way to help them and not bring about an apocalypse, I would jump at the chance and feel like I made good use of the wishes.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Realms Embassy: Tavern Night Hosted in Canada

by Andy "Sir Shean" Disbrow
[Editor's Note: photos by Eric Dubé, photographer for Bicolline]

January 26th 1019 

The Realms Embassy hosted a tavern night, “Mereth Isilnarvinyë” to Celebrate the full moon of new fire. Although with the weather, the moon was not visible it was still a great evening. An Announcement had to be made, that we could not allow any not reserved to attend, would not be granted admittance due to capacity of the Tavern. A shop nearby was opened to accommodate the extra people. All of the rooms in the amberge were booked as were many of the rooms available nearby in close surrounding places with accommodations. The Embassy had 13 in attendance to greet and entertain invited guests for the evening. Swoop, Mel, Olya, Bart and some others preformed music. We had planned on having Krystos dance and do some fire-spinning but it was too cold to do that outside and spinning fire inside a tavern that is overfull would not be wise. 

The usual Tavern refreshments and foods were available along with some of the Embassy Cookies, cakes, Bacon and Freedom Cupcakes (cupcakes with blue frosting, maple drizzle and Bacon) . The Bar offered their mixed drinks, ciders and beers, I do not believe there were any special occasion drinks available. Some Merchant shops were doing some trades and sales while there. Some dignitaries were discussing Undead armies on the move and how they should deal with them very soon, where they are, and how they are already in “Terres du Sud.” It is believed that those armies are being controlled by a lich in the desert lands. 

Later in the evening there were a few Librarians that came through the Tavern selling used books but would only sell to people who had libraries in their lands. They were The Van Eyk Family from Kintzheim. I spoke with Eva Van Eyk about the books and how they were being sold, quality of the books and types of books that they had. 

In the Wee hours of the morning (about 430am) there were a few people doing what appeared to be a knife fight on the main floor near the bar, but many people had left so it was down to 10-20 people. It appeared that no innocent bystanders were harmed by that which was going on. In the morning we had breakfast in the Amberge and watched as the weather was quickly changing from snow flurries to about 2 inches of snow in less than an hour when we departed for home… 

Sir Shean O’Quinnlin 
Guildmaster of the Realms Embassy

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Why I Want to Go-Feast of Creathorne 2019

by Lani "Gwen"  Jones

Feast of Creathorne is always a great time, and I’m looking forward to seeing you there this weekend. Whenever Andy and I discuss food, he always highlights his plan to serve the Realms the comfort food they desire during this season, and I guarantee not only will you not leave hungry, you’ll leave with that happy, contented feeling that only a day feasting on Creathorne classics will bring. I feel lucky to be part of a great kitchen crew every year who gives it their all keep the food coming all day long with a variety of hearty meal options and an array of delectable desserts.

In addition to the food, Feast of Creathorne offers a ton of entertainment options. Tournaments, gambling, shopping, and the Golden Ticket auction provides a little something for everyone. If I weren’t in the kitchen, you can be sure you’d find me participating in a Stacked Deck tournament. Vandoria’s Vestments will be there as well, and I guarantee it’s worth your time to check out her amazing work, especially since she’ll be donating part of her earnings to a great cause this year! And the return of the Golden Ticket is a great way to pick up some fabulous prizes. It’s also just a lot of fun to see friends old and new and spend some time catching up. I love the easy going pace of the day and watching everyone enjoy the great hall, great food, and great company.

One new addition this year that I’m particularly excited about is Rhiassa Cub Care, which will feature structured activities for our youngest Realmsies. Providing entertainment for all ages is a great way to ensure that the next generation finds friends and fun in our community.

Honestly, this event has become a staple for me over my Realms career, and I look forward to the friendly atmosphere, great food, and great friends that will be there this weekend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Spirit of Steel: Guidance

With Pat "Saka" Bobell
Introduction by Ryan Welch

The weapons with which we quest are so much more than instruments of combat, more than foam, cores, tape, and socks. The blades that adorn our belts and our closets are defining features of our characters. Some weapons have names, shared as one might share the title of a novel, and our eyes glitter with excitement when a new adventurer asks “what’s that?”. Other weapons have no need for names and are simply identified by the lineage of hands which have wielded them. In this series, which I am calling The Spirit of Steel, I will explore the bonds we form with our weapons. This is not a catalog of magic item powers, nor a “look behind the curtain”, but rather a collection of stories and legends.

My dagger was named "Guidance" by Rel, Janus, Rosetta, and Tria (the full membership of Clan Rua Thar Cinn at that time), reflecting my inclination to lead and advise others both on and off the field of battle, as well as a knack for ushering my enemies to their deaths. I have carried it since the Yule celebrations the night of December 22, 1012, when I swore to follow my Laird, Sir Magus Rel Zhirah, as a member of Rua Thar Cinn, and thereby also as a citizen of the Kingdom of Chimeron.

Guidance was originally made for me by Rel, and silvered by the Clan's collective force of will. Its silver has been restored since then by myself and others, and I reforged it myself in June of 1017 as it had by then seen several years of heavy use. It is an 18-inch silver-bladed dagger with a wide and sturdy blackened-steel crossguard. A stone of polished hematite is inset on one face of the crossguard, and the reverse face is emblazoned with the heraldry of Clan Rua Thar Cinn in white. Each member of Rua Thar Cinn carries a silver weapon inset with hematite such as this. While they are not unique among us, this design is unique within the greater Realms.

Starting before my arrival in Chimeron and continuing through to the Bedlam War's bitter end, members of Clan Rua Thar Cinn dedicated themselves to the task of eliminating a powerful type of Bois from the field of battle. Called Soul Leeches, these monstrosities consumed the souls of the living. They were invulnerable to all weapons but Swords of Light, the Northern Light blades from Pater Yule, and silver weapons that were wielded while holding a hematite stone. The first two types of weapon could kill Soul Leeches only for them to reappear nearby soon afterward. The only permanent solution was to channel the souls, one at a time, by stabbing the Soul Leech with a silver weapon while the weapon or wielder held fresh hematite. The soul contained in each stone could be Called out or put to rest with last rites. (In cases when we were short on hematite or a Soul Leech had consumed a great number of souls, we had to extract a soul, Call it out while in combat, and use the refreshed hematite once more to free another soul.) Once the Soul Leech had been drained of its prey, it could be killed like any normal Bois. We have thankfully not encountered enemies with such power since the Realms defeated Mad Tom, but members of Rua Thar Cinn still carry our weapons should the need arise.

My dagger is a symbol of my allegiance to my Clan and my Kingdom, and its name serves to remind me of the role I fill within my chosen families and the Realms at large. It is the product of Rel's and my own skill and effort, a relic of the Bedlam War, and a vessel that has held and saved countless innocent souls. It has been a release from pain for those beyond healing, and a source of torment for those who deserved it. It has seen me through thousands of conflicts in the last six years - from small skirmishes to battles that seemed they would have no end. More than any other possession of mine, Guidance has seen what I am capable of and is fully a part of who I am.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Rumors for February 1018

[Across the Realms]

"The Black Dagger" thief has been spotted again, some townsfolk claim that they saw a tail and horns. Others claim they saw the thief using magic. Guards are issuing warning for folks to protect their pockets and keep an eye out.


Another small group of refugees have come begging for the higher ups in Chimeron to grant them asylum and work; a few bear what look like dull-shaded emeralds in odd places (back of the hand, or side of the neck, or middle of the forehead, etc.).  They hope to meet up with 'their kin' who have been let into the kingdom nearly a year and a half ago.

[Eagle’s Rook]

Another patrol has returned, three out of eight well and truly mangled, from the blue forest.  The healers available have noted it will take some time for the patrol to return to active duty as all eight were downright disturbed or "shaken until they were sick" at what transpired.
A heavily armed column following a group of knights flying the banner of the Sable Dragon was spotted traveling the roads North of Eagles Rook. They appear to be headed towards the stronghold of the ancient lands of Blackavar, from which little has been heard for some time.


From Ivory's tall walls, one can see some of the peaks of the lower mountains, where strange lights (discolored and in random ribbons or trails) are appearing, disappearing, reappearing on clear nights.  They are brightest when the moon is Full, and hard to spot when it is New.  This is making some travelers uneasy, and most are choosing wisely to park it in the Blessed City of Light for the rest of the winter.

[Lost Kingdoms]

Travelers have been passing near the area once known as the Lost Kingdoms. They have reported increased activity in that area. Those who’ve dared to get close enough and those who have entered the borders have noted there are camps being set up and structures being built. None are reckless enough to venture close enough to see who or what is building them.

[New Illinar]

While one might find borders on a map via the cartographer, when traced by foot one is finding activity on said borders (which, originally green after the end of the Bedlam wars, are now overrun by Nature).  Mostly, that what appears to be a tall outpost is being erected in the blistering cold and wind. To any ranger or engineer, this would seem folly, and yet there it is.  No one has seen whom or what is constructing the outpost, however materials are moving around nonetheless.

[New Verai]

The people of New Verai are hard at work preparing for the upcoming feast. They are excited to welcome the people of the Realms back into their borders.
There is news of a new counsel. The Guildmasters Counsel is said to be making it premiere soon as soon as all officials are elected. The people are excited to get the chance to be represented in Government.
There have been some families from New Verai that are said to be headed west to Gau Dring. They are hoping to start anew and make a name for themselves or at least live a comfortable life.
There is still an arsonist on the loose within New Verai, but authorities say they have some leads.
Dame Twenaria and Lady Zarine have been seen in New Verai, though their business is not known.


Many of the ships that surrounded the island of Vanguard in Rathkeale have departed. Reports state the ships sailed southward, but no one saw where they came ashore, if at all. A few ships have remained to defend the fortified island.


The remains of a child have been put to rest via pyre, along with two other bodies that were found with no identifying markers.  The governor has commented that, gods forbid, anyone else ends up meeting their makers in the winter that pyres or burials will have to wait until spring.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Winter/Spring Horoscope 1019

By Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee

A long time ago, the races of the Realms have looked into the stars and wondered, What if?, never realizing that in some places, in some planes, those very stars were looking right back at us, wondering the same thing. There's a lot the stars can tell us, if only we show a humble want for knowledge.

In past years and recent months, a man has visited the Realms who was not a man at all, but a fallen star who took on a human persona as Hesperus Star-keeper. As it is, two Star People with the names Orion Mars and Cressida still walk with us from time to time. All have names, all have houses, all have a purpose and a drive.

And, if you're willing to listen to the what the stars have to say, you might just find yours, too.
These are thoughts on how your Winter, heading into Spring, might be turning out.

House of:

Capricorn: Eclipses across the Cancer/Capricorn axis throughout 1019 amplify themes of family and security versus your reputation and place in the Realms. Many will begin new casting spells around the Wolf Moon's Lunar Eclipse, which aligns perfectly to your own plans, Capricorn. This eclipse means business and offers you the potential to move mountains. This eclipse in particular will be eye-opening, and casting a harsh light upon the cold truths that Winter had buried. Expect a sudden, material windfall to occur if you've done the work of securing your place in the Realms. If you're a Healer, this is actually a terrible time to adventure, so double-up on all those mundane and magical components; you'll need them every time you go outside.

Aquarius: The stars predict a quiet and relaxing season for the Aquarius natives. Necromancers, Seers and Assassins: you are going to defuse the tensions from your lives, giving you a greater degree of freedom. This season will allow you to reap what you sow, after all your efforts and perseverance. The year 1019 announces unexpected events as well further down the line, but these announcements will be unable to shake that calm atmosphere that rules your life this season. The professional life, free of big conflicts, seems to be characterized by a few successes devoid of greatness, but stable. Basically, keep doing what you're doing, because you're doing fine.

Pisces: The stars square off in your House, which might lead you to be hopelessly unrealistic about a situation and that may, ultimately, lead to disappointment. When others can't fulfill your pedestal version of them and they remind you that they are only human after all, it can be quite disenchanting. The same might happen if you're working on a project that you have high hopes for. If you're only working on faith and forget the brass tacks, the happy ending you're hoping for might never materialize. Fortunately, the Realms will provide a simultaneous opportunity for you to ground all of this idealism into something real -- as long as you remember to keep your eyes open. A Necromancer will make a supportive spell and plan not previously considered before the Spring thaw. Let a heavenly body help you focus your blurry lens of naïveté that Winter is forcing on you, causing that glassy-eyed look.

Aries: Bouncing back and forth between ecstatic and combative is great if you're a newly-made Fighter. For all others, however, it can feel like a whirlwind melee, where armies are all chasing each others' tails upon the field until the clash in one hectic middle heap. For Fighters of all types, though, once again this is your time to shine. A Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is hanging near to the Leviathan, marking the Feast as a tumultuous political power field and yet a tremulous time for newer adventurers. The stars are begging the more rambunctious Sparks to note their surroundings and attempt not to spook off those that dare to follow where you are walking. Not leading, just walking. You're not leadership material...yet. If you were toying with leaving your magic behind, however, do it the "boring way", that is to unlearn, because come the Equinox the decision will rear its head to stay Fighter or go back to the Magic, which you can't do if you decided to get rid of it "the stupendous way" instead

Taurus: For all those in this House, especially for those who practice the necrotic arts, the way of the alchemist/herbalist, or healing off all sorts: Fear Not. It will be alright. You have weathered many a storm before and for now, while it may look like a storm is brewing on the horizon, it is not meant for you specifically to get rid of it. In fact, one has a few options: to weather it alone until February, a type of 'hibernation', if you will; go silent, and prepare yourself for the revealing of the groundhog instead. Second option: be like that of the Hermit, and follow your lantern, your truth, to the top of any mountain to wait out the storm, and bring those who are searching for truth with you to wait it out as well. Or Third, you can add to the Storm by gleefully and some might say, obnoxiously, adding in your two gold here and your Cantrip there and your trusty silver dagger here. Whatever you choose, it's all on you. Take responsibility for it.

Gemini: In the house of duality, partnership matters might have never felt as fulfilling to you as they do these days. Believe it or not, this season it's likely to get even sweeter thanks to things moving into your relationship that are exciting, enriching, and other E-words. Until the beginning of February, you'll be in the rare and enviable position where you've got blessings from many other stars and Houses, as they all have to keep moving through the same area of your existence, therefore nothing escapes your eye, your ear, your touch, your smile. Expect blessings, support, and if you need one, a miracle. A good connection will become great, and a troubled one might be rescued now. It's all about your intention. If you're a Healer or a Fighter of any type, THIS is your time!

Cancer: A major Solar Eclipse took during the first seven days of the year; the stars might unexpectedly turn your adventuring career in January. An evil mage will throw one final lightning bolt to you and your best laid plans. There might be a sense of urgency on your part now to "get it right" when it comes to your ambitions. Remember, as long as you're honoring your individuality and need for change, you will succeed. A stale, suffocating path won't survive -- and it shouldn't. Fulfillment is likely, as long as you lean out of your comfort zone. Just do it!

Leo: Too keyed up to roar, those is this House will find that a sharp and simple growl will get the point across. Stress is at the forefront of everything being conducted by Fighters and Casters alike. In the muddy waters of Spring, the Leo is loathe to get their pads anymore cold and wet, and chooses instead to hunker down with their chosen Pride and learning the lay of the land as the warmer winds blow.

Virgo: Where do you feel a sense of “home,” Virgo? Whether you move to a new nation, discover a favorite adventuring spot or deepen your emotional bonds, 1019 finds you craving deeper roots. This year, connecting from the heart could bring luck and new adventure. Shake off your perfectionism. Remember: It’s your authenticity that makes people respect you, enjoy your company, and/or fall in love with you, not a polished public mask that you don.

Libra: Family first! There is no way you can go into 1019 not knowing that your family life will be a focus. You've already got a pretty good idea about the obligations you have to take on with your clan. One of your leaders or role models might need your help as he or she ages out of the adventuring life, as one example(it happens!). Another possibility is that you have moved or are planning to move(whether that's a national move or a guild move, the stars do not say). The changes, however, are sobering and may include a downsize of the material, but at the same time, you'll build your foundation in a way that is more solid than ever. It's like you're building your own brick house this year, and you're doing everything in your power to make sure it can withstand any element -- as well as the Big Bad Wolf. And boy howdy, will there be a lot of wolves this year.

Scorpio: Ready to stab with light and precision? That doesn't mean become an Auroran, or even fling lightning bolts. Light can mean many things: light words, light garb, and I'm certain you can come up with many a use for 'light'. As for precision, your adventures carrying all the way into Spring require your attention to detail. Listen well, keep quiet, strike true.

Sagittarius: Get ready to take 1019 by storm, Archer. This is poised to be one of your most dynamic years in more than a decade—and it starts from Day One! Forget about "business as usual": Welcome novelty and fresh starts, which just happen to be a few of your favorite things! You can map out a brilliant strategy for making your hard-earned money work overtime for you. With some deep digging, the stars have you focused on the Sun, and this may require you to shed old perceptions of yourself. Let those limiting beliefs and scarcity thoughts go already!

No matter what you believe, have a wonderful 1019, and be well. - Iawen

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Summary of Proposals Going to the EHC

Compiled by Pi Fisher

Editorial Changes (15)

  • Remove Arrows from Weapon Construction Chart
    • Remove duplicate wording that’s repeated two paragraphs later
  • Clarify How Bow Poundage Is Determined
    • Bow poundage is full draw weight, not your draw weight
  • Move Regional Magic out of Basic Magic Effects Everyone Should Know
    • Move Regional Magic and Alchemy into new section
  • Clean up choosing spells.
    • Replace outdated wording
  • Clarify Regeneration Caveats
    • Advanced Regeneration only bring you back from being scalped if specified by the spell. (Specifically, if specified by Regenerate the Scalp.)
  • Strange Brew Wording Fix
    • Record potions chosen in your spellbook, rather than writing them down wherever you feel like
  • Put "Event-Stealable" in MC for Embrace Death, Familiar
    • The spell descriptions say the MCs are Event-Stealable, but the MC requirement at the top doesn’t mention this.
  • Remove pointless sentence from Light
    • The last sentence of Light tells you that it’s a first circle spell?
  • Remove duplicate construction rules for Lightning Bolts
    • Lightning Bolt construction is covered both under weapon construction and under the spell description.  Keep it under weapon construction and remove it from the spell description.
  • Modify Cantrip, Implement, Strange Brew interaction
    • Makes bad wording good. (Look, I’m not getting paid by the word or anything.)
  • Move Death Watch's spell description out of the AC.
    • Death Watch lasts until you stop being dead. That’s how the spell works. It’s not part of the AC. Also update the wording in Implement to match.
  • Fix Circle of Healing
    • Circle of Healing says you can cast spells, but it doesn’t quite say you need to follow the rules for those spell, I guess? Make that more explicit.
  • Reword Alcohol Policy
    • Replace bad wording with good wording.
  • Magic Item Check In
    • Magic Items have to be checked in, but a lot of people don’t show up before the start of an event, and a lot of events let you check in part-way through the event (most often on multi-day events). Also, some EHs allow magic items with modifications, rather than just allowing or rejecting. Update the wording to reflect that.
  • New section heading between spell chart and spell descriptions
    • It may seem silly, but I have a reason for this. The formatting in the Omnibus is currently very inconsistent. To make it more consistent, this would help.

Editorial-ish, but with Choices (4)

  • Clarify how many times familiar may be learned.
    • Currently it says you might have up to 15 points, but it never says it can only be learned 3 times. Either make it 20 points, or specify it can only be learned up to 3 times.
  • Clarify Resist Magic on your stuff
    • If I use Resist Magic, can I bring my Magic Item through a Circle of Protection with me?
  • Material Components for Group Healing
    • Currently says “in most cases” for something that applies in 1 out of 2 cases.
      • “In most cases”, Group Healing only needs one MC for spells that have MCs (this is how Cure Disease currently works)
      • The “exception” is that Immunity to Poison requires one MC per recipient.
      • Both MCs are disposables.
    • Part 1 is a vote “should we make this more consistent”
      • Option A makes it work the way it currently works “in most cases”
      • Option B makes it work the other way
    • Part 2 (to be pulled if Part 1 passes) fixes the wording while making no changes.
  • Define Legal Event Holder for Emergency EH Meetings
    • During an emergency EHC, who can vote? Everyone from the previous EHC, or everyone from the previous EHC plus any EHs from the current calendar year?

Props/Garb (5)

  • Adding Clarification to Leather Armor thickness
    • Specify what weight of leather counts as 1 point vs. 2 points
  • Define thickness weight to what defines leather armor
    • Same as above, with amendment to fix wording
  • Allow small throwing axes and throwing daggers
    • Allow people to carry 2 10”-24” throwing weapons
  • Updated Cloth Armor Rules.
    • Allow for 2 point cloth armor
  • Larp arrow update
    • Allow for newer LARP arrows that don’t need strapping tape

Compiled by Pi Fisher

Language Changes (1)

  • Scalping Overhaul
    • Instead of “scalping” a body, you destroy it to render it soulless. No mechanical change.

Administrative Changes (4)

  • Make the Magic Item List public
    • Let players see the list so they can remind themselves what their items do.
  • Events Must Be Advertised on RealmsNet
    • Remove View from Valehaven and Creathorne Chronicles as options for event announcements. Leave RealmsNet and email to all known EHs as only two options.
  • Clarification on AC responsibility to inform EHs of punishment
    • If the AC levies punishment against a player, this proposal will make it so the AC has to notify the EH list.
  • Yearly Status Report From The Arbitration Committee
    • This would require the AC to make a public report including the number of reports received, the number of investigations performed, and a summary of each investigation that resulted in a punishment, including the punishment and the recipient.

Spellbooks and Learning Spells (3)

  • Add requirement that all spells granted by learned spells be listed in the players spellbook.
    • If you have Cantrip, you must write down all pool spells in your spellbook, because you’re able to cast them, so you should be able to reference how they work. Similarly for other spells that give you the ability to cast spells you might not have in your build.
  • Require Power Potion to be Labeled with level
    • If you have Alchemy, you must have different sigils for different circles of Power Potions. It’s fine to use the same sigil plus a number for the circle.
  • Set rules for filling open spell circles
    • If you unlearn spells, you might have holes in your build in weird places. This proposal first asks if we should specify the order in which these holes should be filled. If yes, we pick one of four options.
      • Example: Suppose you have 3 full paths, and you choose to unlearn the following spells (PXCY = Path X, Circle Y):
      • Option 1: If you have holes in your spell build, you must fill all holes in path 1 before filling holes in path 2, and you must fill all holes in path 2 before filling holes in path 3. With the example, you choose from the following two options for how to fill the holes:
        • P1C3, P1C5, P2C4, P3C3
        • P1C5, P1C3, P2C4, P3C3
      • Options 2: Same as above, but if you have multiple holes in a single path, you fill them from weakest to strongest. With the example, the order you get to relearn the spells is:
        • P1C3, P1C5, P2C4, P3C3
      • Option 3: If you have holes in your build, you fill them starting with the lowest circle of spell. With the example, you choose from the following two options for how to fill the holes:
        • P1C3, P3C3, P2C4, P1C5
        • P3C3, P1C3, P2C4, P1C5
      • Option 4: You can pick any order you want, and we specify this in the Omnibus. There are 24 options with the example, so I’m not going to write them all out.

Spell Changes (10)

  • Undead Revamp V3!
    • Get rid of Animate Undead General. Change Animate Lesser Undead and Animate Undead, with most of the wording taken from the old ALU.
      • Animate Lesser Undead: 15 uses, makes someone a Kobold.
      • Animate Undead: 10 uses, can’t use spells or armor.
    • Remove a lot of text from Basic Magic Effects Everyone Should Know and update some of the other text to match the new spells.
    • Adjust Alchemy costs for potions for these two spells.
  • Combine the Purity spells (pick one effect)
    • Single spell, you choose which one you get. Two options:
      • Option 1: you pick when you learn
      • Option 2: you pick when you cast
  • Move some 3rd circle spells to 2nd circle
    • Enchant Weapon, Protect the Soul, Disenchant
  • Move call the soul to 3rd circle
    • Does what it says on the tin
  • Clarify Transformation Miscellaneous Abilities:
    • There are some spells you can spend Transformation points on. Do you get to cast them once, or do you get the full number of castings the spell gives? Also, is it once per event, or once per transformation? (Remember, Transformation has two castings.)
      • Option 1: one use per event
      • Option 2: one use per transformation
      • Option 3: full uses per event
      • Option 4: full uses per transformation
  • Enchant Weapon/Assassin's Blade Clarification
    • I guess this isn’t editorial, because it technically changes Enchant Weapon.
    • Currently, you can cast Enchant Weapon on a weapon or a bow. If you cast it on a weapon, it does stuff when you swing the weapon. Even if you think arrows are weapons, I hope you agree you don’t swing arrows.
    • For Assassin’s Blade, the MC is “either a single weapon up to 3' long or an arrow”. So if you think an arrow is a weapon, this spell disagrees. This spell lets you cast Enchant Weapon on your Assassin’s Blade for free. So, uh, what happens if your Assassin’s Blade is an arrow and you cast Enchant Weapon on it?
    • This proposal changes Enchant Weapon to say that you can also cast it on an arrow, and it’ll work. Also, f you have an enchanted bow and an enchanted arrow, and you shoot the arrow from the bow, one call from each is expended, but you only call one effect.
    • And if you think Raise Dead defines what weapons are, remember the first three words in that sentence: “For this purpose, a weapon is considered to be anything with a legal striking surface - swords and arrows are weapons, although bows are not.” But, uh, Lightning Bolt and Magic Missile talk about when they count as weapons, and I think I have a proposal for next year. I also have two more commas for the OEC. This rambling is definitely the quality content you’re all looking for, right?
  • Fix Protect the Soul glitch
    • The only reason this might not count as editorial is if you think “possession, Animate Undead, and the like” is different from “possession, compulsion, and similar effects as determined by the MM/EH”. I’d put it under Editorial, but Dave thinks it might be a power boost to the spell, and I suspect a bunch of people will ignore something if I say it’s editorial. Blame Dave for this long blurb.
  • Bring Back Animate Limb
    • Make it so Heal Limb doesn’t work on you if you’re undead
    • Make a new spell that works on undead
    • This is different from the spell that was removed last year. Last year’s spell had limited uses. Embrace Death specifies that Heal Limb doesn’t work on you, but other undead spells don’t specify that. My belief is that the intention was to nerf Embrace Death by preventing there from being an unlimited-use spell to quickly bring back limbs. The current two ways to get back limbs under Embrace Death are: remain stationary for 30 seconds or die and come back
  • Double Seed of Life
    • You get two props. You can’t chant to double the regeneration speed, but you can give the corpse the second prop to double the speed.
  • Remove Transmute Self
    • The name is a little misleading. The first part failed at the PM, but a second part was added as an amendment, and that part passed. This proposal will let you have your eyes open while you’re transmuted, because “you can’t look and you can’t move” is potentially unsafe.

Friday, February 1, 2019

What I Learned from the Players' Meeting

by Matt "Vesper" Hewitt

What I learned at the Players' Meeting is:

  • Before making any proposal be sure to check with older players in the community to get some context and history on previous rulings 
  • Be clear and concise with the wording of your proposal; any vagueness or typo could kill the proposal 
  • Present your proposal to others before the meeting as a way to prepare common clarifications people may need from you 
  • Keep answers or clarifications short and focused. Rambling will make people lose focus on the topic being discussed 
  • Do not hold onto your blue card for later, if you have something you believe must be addressed do not be afraid to make sure you are heard 
  • Take your breaks fast or you could get back to the meeting in the middle of a proposal you care about 
  • When making a vote do not look around the room too much; it may sway your choice to go with or against the larger group 
  • Vote for what you want no matter what those around you choose. Your vote could make or break a proposal 
  • Be careful with how many proposals you put up especially if proposed in a row or you could end up giving a lecture to the entire meeting 
  • Be sure to stand and stretch regularly; restlessness could cause irritation 
  • The meeting will be mentally exhausting and tiring, be sure to get a good night's sleep and plenty of caffeine to stay awake and alert 
  • The longer a discussion takes the more likely people are to hold up orange cards and cut the discussion short so be sure to say your part but not give a speech 
  • Do not get defensive when discussing your proposal, aggression and curtness is not productive to the game or conversation 
  • Be polite - people will be more willing to listen to what you are trying to say, which could be enough to get your proposal or amendment through the meeting 
  • At the end of the day everyone who attends is trying to improve or better the game; whether we all agree on the execution or not, we all have the same goal