Friday, August 30, 2019

Spotlight on: 2019 QoH Foamsmith Tourney

Team Shaowdragon's Entry
Photos and write-up by Arthur "Aiden" Granger

IC:
The swamps of Shadowdragon have seen an escalation of undead from unknown origin coming from it's boarders. As they move to close to the hatchery the dragon whelps are known to practice their hunting. This excess of material for bone daggers seemed a good use of piling-up resource.

OOC:
These daggers were made with 10mm EVA foam, contact cement, modge podge, and plastidip. The blade was carved with hand and Dremel to give it a more rough appearance. Leather wrap and suits were added to add balance and style to the prop. 




Why so many: 
Over 35 daggers were made for QoH to thank many people in the creation of the team. It's not what I expected this year and became a memorable experience I have only grown and learned from everyone from.






Team Serra's Entry - Avendar's Throwing Axes 
by Tom "Avendar" Gallagher 

Wednesday night I received the dreaded call from Derek and Renee. Their team had no foamsmith entry. After a few minutes of cajoling I told them I'd come up with something. I spent that night pitching ideas to my wife Jen and finally came up with one she didn't shoot down. Knowing I was likely going up against new plasti-dipped latex creations I decided to stick to traditional methods.

I focused on safety, clean tape work, and aerodynamics. I drew up a shape that was visually appealing then reduced and tapered any pointy parts for safety. Instead of blue camp foam I use Coleman green camp foam witch is thicker in width, so I only had to cut two pieces. I like to use chrome silver duct tape in most of my pieces and matched it with wood grain duct tape to give it a woodsman's axe feel. Lastly I wrapped the grip with black leather lacing. By wrapping the optimum point for throwing you don't have to find the best place to hold it every time, your hand naturally goes to that spot. 

To be honest with you the accuracy of these weapons was pure luck, my first throw was from about 50 feet and it was a bullseye. After seeing several people try them I was shocked at how accurate they were. I'm glad I got the chance to submit them and proud of the victory. That being said I'm not sure allowing throwing weapons like these into our game is a great idea, they are just too deadly and could fundamentally change the way we fight.

Photo by View Staff


Team Shader's Entry
by Nataliya "Shader" Kostenko

Are you a renowned Feast-o-crat? Known for your culinary creations throughout the farthest corners of the Realms? Do you often have an unruly gaggle of nation members causing a ruckus in your kitchen? Do late adventurers annoy you constantly, expecting to be provided with coffee and crumpets despite being at least two hours tardy to the gathering? Well I have the foamsmith entry just for you: genuine cast iron throwing pans! They’re made out of sturdy stuff--guaranteed to help you crack the toughest recipe and the hard, hard heads of your opponents. There are three, and they all nest, so you can take your foes by surprise busting them out one by one, or just cook a really cute tiny omelet. Whatever the situation calls for.

Honestly I wasn’t going to even make a foamsmith entry, because I had no idea what to do for one and the date of the event was fast approaching. Just in the nick of time, however, Eldritch said it would be cool to have thrown frying pans; and, really, who hasn’t wanted to throw a pan at Aeston every now and then? Long story short I rushed to make that dream a reality, and that’s why the taping job was maybe a bit sloppy. On a craft note, I found out that a heat knife is a really cool tool for cutting blue foam, and that’s what allowed me to put together the design so quick. As for the fact that they pack a real punch (and are definitely not the safest “experimental weapon” on the block), if you’re that concerned with safety, you probably shouldn’t go around throwing cast iron pans at people.

Photo by View Staff

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Spreading Wisdom

Submitted by Mikey "Janus" Donnelly
Written by Stephen "Laika" Sanford


The Magi of the Realms have a number of Tenets that it’s members try to follow. They are as follows: Seek Knowledge for ignorance is death. Spread wisdom, for experience unspoken is lost. Ascertain the Unknown, for life not questioned is wasted. Quest until the last quest is done. And finally to support the role of magic in the Realms. To that end, Spreading Wisdom is the start of a new series where (when able) we are going to get people knowledgeable about known upcoming adventures, and have them share their wisdom. To start with, we will have Laika discussing Teng Hua.

********************


Teng Hua

Map by Jason Rosa

Teng Hua is an island nation to the far east, a nation that has a unique culture not seen anywhere else in the Realms. I will be going over some important information to know for if you should adventure into the lands of Teng Hua.


Government

Teng Hua has been ruled by their Emperor Matsuma Lysis since the year 1000. Teng Hua has a similar feudal system much like some areas of the Realms, except instead of houses governing cities and towns, there are Clans which have a head of the household that leads the rest of the Clan and participates in meetings to help advise the emperor and govern Teng Hua. While I have not seen or know every Clan, each Clan may have different motives than each other in a similar fashion to politics in the Realms.


Culture

Teng Hua is filled with culture, they have their own food, currency, and festivities. I attended the feast they held earlier in the year, and the food is fantastic, I haven’t had such delicious eastern food in a long time. While most of the Realms enjoys eating foods made of wheat and grain; Teng Hua predominantly feeds its people with rice. Rice is so important to their culture that their currency is directly tied to the worth of a single bowl of rice. Teng Hua has a love of the arts, they showed off a couple of their board games at the feast, namely Shiho (https://viewfromvalehaven.blogspot.com/2019/06/shiho-game-from-feast-of-teng-hua.html). Teng Hua loves their flowers ceremonies and tea ceremonies which are highly honored in their culture. While most of the realms fights with swords and shields; Teng Hua values the martial arts and will put on performances for all to see.


Language

Teng Hua has its own language that is different than the rest of the Realms. While many in Teng Hua can speak and understand common, they have their own language and writing systems. Due to the complexities of common and Teng Hua; direct translations between the two may cause some misinterpretations due to cultural differences. Teng Hua’s language does not use a 26 letter alphabet but instead uses characters that will often translate to syllables to a full word in Teng Hua. This is not like a runeset where things often directly translate to common.


Religion

From what I’ve experienced, Teng Hua does not worship gods in a traditional sense found in most of the Realms. They worship the elements themselves. While similar to what the Kathrani worshipped, Teng Hua has seven instead of eight elements. These seven elements are as follows in no particular order: Air, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Void. Do not be confused about Void, the idea of Void from a Teng Hua point of view is not similar to that found in what the Risen Kingdom uses. Void in this sense is more of a spiritual energy or divine/heavenly power. I have made a chart for these elements to reference with the corresponding character of the elements in Teng Hua.




Yousei

Due to Teng Hua’s connection to the elements there are creatures all over Teng Hua knowns as Yousei (Yō-say). Yousei means Fairy or spirit. While some would draw connection to Faeries, these are more like elemental spirits. Teng Hua has a culture of bonding with yosei; some of these bonds could be equated to that of a family pet or deep of a bond of that to ones soul. A person can bond with multiple yosei, but first one must draw the attention of a yosei. During a recent boating excursion, my group received information on how to entice a yosei. It is unclear currently how to bond with a yosei.

Here is the letter we received:

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On yosei

The following details how to entice various yosei to come out from hiding. I hope this work will help future generations to be able to share in the joy that yosei bring. I will briefly go over how to attract some of the more basic types of yosei.

MetalLad - in order to attract a MetalLad, one should find a piece of metal that is tarnished or rusty, and polish it to a shine again. This will be pleasing to the MetalLad.

VoidLad - in order to attract a VoidLad, one should spend time doing one of the following; either draw a picture while blindfolded, or tell a story without using any words. Who knows what might happen if you manage to do both at the same time?

WoodLad - in order to attract a WoodLad, one must collect enough natural wood-like materials and arrange them in a decently large, pleading shape.

FireLad - In order to attract a FireLad, one must create their own coal or ash and use it to draw a sketch. The sketch should be pleasing to a potential fire yosei.

EarthLad - in order to attract an EarthLad, one should make a rock sculpture using at least ten distinctly different size stones. This sculpture should promote serenity. It is especially impactful if multiple sculptures exist near each other.

WaterLad - in order to attract a WaterLad, one should collect water from five distinctly different sources, mix it, then use that water to nourish something.

WindLad - in order to attract a WindLad, one should make a set of windchimes, any material is fine as long as they make sound, and then hang them out for all to enjoy, and to attract the WindLad.

Lastly, there is a type of yosei that is more free spirited in its nature. This very adaptable yosei is only attracted by a collection of all of the other types of yosei.

I hope this writing helps you find yosei of your own. They are wonderful beings, and very resilient. Once you attract them, they will most likely want to stay with you for the rest of your life, unless you choose to send them away, which they won't mind either.

Oku Kyoju

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While this is not all the information of the history of Teng Hua, this is a good starting point for those who wish to explore the lands. I hope this was useful information for everyone and I hope to see you in the lands of Teng Hua.

-Laika en’Naur
Priest of Aurora

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Why I Want to Go--Feast of Folkestone and Folkestone Questing

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

Feast of Folkestone and Folkestone Questing are staple events in the Realms calendar--I’m guessing most of you don’t need me to tell you this. What I would like to highlight is that it can be easy to stick with old formats, leaving even our most staple events feeling a little deja vu-y--and I love, love, love, that this event holding team continues to challenge themselves to throw an event that feels new and different from year to year. I am so excited to see what the team has up their sleeve for this weekend based off of all the hints they’ve shared so far. On that note, I would like to present my excitement in my favorite way--a 3 part list!

1. New Plot: I’ve had the opportunity to attend two events in Teng Hua so far and what I’ve felt about both of them is that there is a dedication to telling (and helping us to tell) an epic story. It is clear that this is a rich world open for exploring, with people to help, problems to solve, but most importantly the team has successfully made this plot and these lands feel very real to the players, which is no small feat.

2. New Mechanics: I love the idea that this event will feature both small group encounters, as well as bringing back an open world adventure. The dedication to creating a fully immersive environment is exciting, and I know that the Realms (and Teng Hua) will be better for it. In particular I love that the team is finding ways for everyone to engage with the magic and lore of the land by providing opportunities for all character classes to learn and explore this “foreign” nation. When trying new mechanics it is crucial to think through how to ensure that all players can have fun, and based off of the clearly explained mechanics such as “High Risk” encounters, I believe that this team will knock the new format out of the park. They’ve asked us to bear with them, but honestly, I couldn’t be more excited, and I bet you are too!

3. Old Traditions: With any hallmark event in the Realms, change is fun and interesting. But there are just some things you come to love and expect at such an event. I’m happy that the team is keeping with some traditions that I look forward to every Labor Day weekend such as an epic feast with great food, the auction, and the ability to explore an event site that just might be one of my favorites of all time. Coming to Feast of Folkestone and Folkestone Questing is sort of like coming home and I look forward to seeing everyone there!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Greyclaw, the Team Shader Artificer entry

This familiar started out as a baby blue large dinosaur which was an in-house item from events by Steve M.  As such, it came with a great back story.  The creature was a necromancer's creation, made with various bits of creatures.  Greyclaw is effected by his current keeper, which will come up later.

Not long after getting the item, I (Kelly) had a dream about what the dragon should look like.  I asked Steve if I could enter his item in the QoH entry, and here we are.

The creature needed to be cumbersome, more dragon-like, and Frankensteiney.  As I had never made a stuffed animal, I purchased several patterns to see how it all worked.  At the same time I was looking at patterns, I was learning different type of fabric manipulations, particularly smocking stitching and Shibori, an ancient Japanese dying technique traditionally done with indigo dye.  I could go on about this, but Ill sum it up.

One of techniques, Arashi, is my favorite.  In it, you wrap the fabric tightly around a pole (or a bottle of wine) with string.

It's like a pole

Another is done with pleating and folding.  The underside of the dragon is the pleating, the tummy is honeycomb smocking inside out, interfacing and a lot of starch to get a paneled look.  

smocking


dyed to look necrotic.  yum

3 different shibori techniques 

As for those patterns I bought?  I never used them.  I drafted the pattern on a LOT of paper bags, then cut the pieces to be patched together.  Going with the story idea that the keeper influences the creature, I used fake plants in a couple areas.  The horns are pieces of a fake cactus, and the tip of the tail has fake vines stitched to it, with a small flower bud at the very tip. Plus, I learned to set glass eyes!              

    
Awww, look at the squishy face

Bulbasaur's cousin?

The creature is just over 3 feet long, and has large washers sewing inside each of his paws/hooves, along his belly, and in his tail. He is held in place with strong magnets under my garb.  He is made to peak over my shoulder.  So far, I am pleased with the end result, but I'll make a few tweaks.   This project took about 2 months, easily over 60 hours.

Photo by View Staff

Photo by View Staff

Photo by View Staff

Photo by View Staff

I also need to send out some love to Wendy (Makayla of Folkestone) for putting up with my insane ideas and drafting mistakes.  She helped me with brainstorming, fabric selection, and gave Greyclaw his adorable underbite.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Spotlight On: QoH Artificer Entry from Team Shadowdragon

Ember the Dragon
Crafter: Shalindra

All photos and text courtesy of Maryanne "Shalindra" English-Bettie


Ember is a completely hand built dragon hand puppet. I did not use any pattern for this.

I started with a 6 mm craft foam base of a muzzle, lower jaw, and forehead. The muzzle is one solid piece that comes together at the end of the snout and glued around the roof of the mouth. I used a Dremel to shape the holes for the nose.

The lower jaw is formed from two pieces glued around the base of the mouth. There is an additional piece glued in between to give the thumb something to work against when opening and closing the mouth.

The forehead is formed from three pieces of the 6 mm craft foam, with the eyes cut out and shaped.

Right now, it looks more like an eagle than a dragon, but that will change.


The second stage was to add ears and horns. The ears are made from 2 mm craft foam, while the horns are squishy pillow foam that was cut and shaped by hand, then had Plastidip applied to make them easier to paint.

This picture shows the nostrils which were added around the holes for the nose. This is going to be covered with Heatform later on, so I wasn’t too concerned about how pretty this looked. I just wanted to bulk that area up.

It’s starting to look like dragon now.










Scales! Always the best way to get that draconic look!

Scales were individually cut from 2 mm cut form. There are approximately 80 scales on the dragon.

After the scales were applied, I used the heat gun to warp the scales, causing them to lift away from each other. This made the dragon look spikier, as well as make it easy to paint later on.

Once done, the dragon got three coats of Mod Podge all over. This creates a smooth surface to apply Plastidip, which allows for a better surface to apply paint. Plastidip also gives the surface a hardened look, perfect for dragon scales.










Plastidip applied, it’s time for paint!

With all the nooks created by the scales parting due to the heat gun, I applied a base coat of black acrylic paint. Once dried, I did two coats of red, adding more towards the ends of the scales, as well as contouring the snout and jaw.

Using a sponge removed the noticeable strokes that paint brushes would leave behind.

Two layers lets me highlight areas I want brighter while keeping shadows for depth.










Now the gold paint!

The tips of the scales were highlighted with gold paint, as well as the base of the jaw, adding more depth.

I used the sponge again to keep the look consistent.











Fully painted!

After a brief trial with gold horns in which my poor dragon looked rather gaudy, I repainted them black, then dry brushed them with white.

When I shaped the horns, I added some “damage” to one of them. It was intentional, meant to give her some personality.














Armor was added to the snout using Heatform. Heatform is a thermo-plastic knock off of Worbla. It’s not as forgiving as Worbla is, there’s a very fine line between ‘too rigid still to work with’ and ‘melting into goo’.

The Heatform was heated up using a heat gun, then shaped right onto the nose. There are several layers in order to achieve that layered armor effect. This gives a really nice profile, while the thermo-plastic protects the seam on the nose.

Once all applied, the plastic got three coats of Mod Podge before being painted with a base coat of black, then dry brushed with silver. This gives a nice contrast to the red and gold, and lends to the armored look.

At this point, the dragon was sprayed with Kamar Varnish by Krylon. This makes it shiny, as well as protecting it from the elements.



I used clear Worbla for the eyes. The plastic was heated up with a heat gun, then put into place and shaped to create the curvature of the eyeball.

Once shaped, the Worbla was allowed to cool then hot glued into place.


















Body! The body is made from performance fabric. It’s a sock comprised of three strips…two of black leather-look material, and one of gold performance fabric (think dance wear).

The black leather-look fabric was also sponge painted to match the dragon’s head. There are two coats of the same red, as well as one coat of gold. Tulle netting was sewn into the center seam to look like a fiery mane.

There’s a small pillow towards the tail, to give the body some bulk when in use so it doesn’t look like a deflated eel. Pillow can be removed easily, and the snake-like body wound through and around a belt for easy carrying.

The battery is for the lights in the eyes. There are LED, cool touch. They even blink in and out, making the dragon blink.


The lights and battery were placed in the head, secured into a small bag over the back of the hand.

The body was sewn to the head, then a slit cut about mid-point to fit my arm. There is a Velcro spot, center of the head in the top to allow access for the light switch as well as to change the battery.

More sponge painting was done on the head and body to create a smoother transition.

Ta-da!










The goal was to create an interactive familiar that went beyond the 4.5” guidelines and would be fun for players and event staff to interact with. This was a bigger project in terms of work than I thought it would be, but I am pleased with the results.



Thursday, August 22, 2019

What You Missed In Photos - Chimeron Questing XXVII

The tiny town appears! (Photo: James Murphy)

Wooden figures used to represent the adventurers in Birch Grove (Photo: James Murphy)

Your friendly neighborhood NPCs enjoying some breakfast (Photo: James Murphy)

Is it a bird? A plane? I have no idea... (Photo: James Murphy)

Negotiating a deal with a "Legitimate Business Shark" (Photo: James Murphy)

A prototype boat design in which the Shark is interested (Photo: Ryan Welch)


King Cecil councils with other adventurers (Photo: James Murphy)
"Win fabulous prizes!" (Photo: James Murphy)

Fire Elementals protecting a forge (Photo: Ryan Welch)

Laying siege to the forge (Photo: Ryan Welch)



Wednesday, August 21, 2019

What You Missed at Chimeron Questing XXVII

by Adrian "Cronin" Cronin

We were a gust of wind, sprinting across the forests of the realms. Wild, beautiful and free. It was the third day of the full moon and our Voranian hunting party found itself within the lands of Chimeron. The roads were clear and the village particularly quiet. The scent of other wolves in the area was troubling, we were unaware of what invading another packs territory may cause within the lands of Chimeron, and weren’t eager to disturb.

As we patrolled the village, we encountered bandits who were foolish enough to try and exact a toll from a pack of werewolves, as well as one of the wolves we had smelled when we arrived. Hygar, our alpha made a pact of non-aggression if the wolf agreed to let us pass.

Shortly after, we encountered “Blue”, and were forced to deal with it. The sword, and the ominous figure who wielded the sword, caused no small amount of panic amongst our party but eventually ran off into the night. We returned to the tavern to a magical commotion. The tiny town had appeared. People seemed excited. I shared in their revelry with little understanding of the magical phenomenon.
With the moon covered in clouds of the coming storm and little to do on behalf of tiny town, we made our way back to camp and laid down to rest.

Early to rise as always, I donned my armor and best garb to see what state Chimeron was in with the return of the sun. I found a tavern, filled with interesting bobbles, potions, and garb for sale as well as food for the weary traveler, and weary I was. I filled my stomach with pancakes, bacon, and fruit and waited to be joined by my countrymen and fellow adventurers of the realms. As they arrived, they too broke their fasts and shared tales of their travels. Eventually, our peace was broken by the attack of some goblins, of which we made quick work of.

With the adventurers ready for action, many of us took to patrolling and “looking for trouble” so to speak. Others lit candles and took naps, how strange. But nonetheless, we helped solve arguments between farmers and interacted with a few strange folks who asked us if we wanted to enter “the dreaming…” This explained the candles. I signed on to become a caravan guard for a caravan that never arrived. Or perhaps I missed my opportunity, I cannot be sure. I was distracted by the truest enemy, the heat.

With a few skirmishes having had taken place, the visible exhaustion on the faces of our compatriots was noticeable by all. As if from divine providence, the guard of life appeared. And we Voranians accompanied by Neden Demons and many others, put aside our differences for some wholesome aquatic fun.

We found the water to be dominated by sharks but their intent wasn’t to harm us but to judge the construction of some boats. At least three boats if not more took part in the competition but I noticed a beautiful vessel with the flags of Stonewood and Northern Alliance upon it. If this was not the winner I will surely be surprised.

I exited the water to change into dry clothes and don my armor and weapons. I returned to hear tales of commotion from the waterfront. Tales of debtors, explosions, and Thoril. But we’ll come back to this later.

For it was time to feast. Dinner was quite the spread, with hamburgers and hot dogs abound. Dinner was accompanied by a show, which I was eager to see. My fellow Broken Spear: Ruthade was standing strong, returning to the stage where he belongs. I first met Ruthade doing street theatre to incite revolution in our homeland. He was known to use the timing of these theatrics to pull off grand schemes against the corrupt nobility. I do not know why I didn’t suspect this to be the case on this occasion, my nostalgia must have gotten the better of me.

For after seeing Ruthade play the best-dammed horse to ever cross the center stage, and the crowd applauded, he and his fellow thespians ran off with a damsel of the court. I quickly chased after them to assure my countrymen’s safety. I found him with a bump on his head and a wide grin on his face. Turns out he took this quest on in the name of Love to help a young couple escape their disapproving parents. I later caught him upon the stage, alone and seemingly unwatched, giving a final bow. He made me proud to be a Broken Spear and proud to be his friend.

After our bellies were full, a lower court was formed to deal with the “misdeeds” of the day. Thoril was tried for blowing up an extortionist, but Dresden made a fine attorney and helped prove the absurdity of the accusation. Thoril paid a small fine to the not so deceased party and we moved on to greater concerns.

We gathered our gear and prepared to retake a mine which was being occupied by werewolves and vampires. Knowing no natural or benevolent force would make these creatures work together, we agreed to march upon the cave to be these beasts salvation. We were also informed that a monolith was causing the townspeople who came too close to change into these creatures of the night. We brought Vandor’s light into those tunnels and battled our way to the monolith.

Extravagant magical fare from Priest Z and his Neden comrades, gave the edge necessary to crush the monolith and send it to the all. Victory was hard-earned as friend turned against friend. Fangs began to spout from the females of the party while the men gave a familiar howl. I was struck down in the back by one of my own countrymen, and it all went black.

When I awoke, I saw most of our party was dead. Luckily we were able to heal our dead and leave that mine with the spoils of victory and a very thankful populace. We returned to camp for a well-earned rest.

The following morning, what adventurers remained got to work. Sir Tao, Gordon, myself and others began embarking on a marathon of dreaming adventures to get resources to help build up the tiny town. Everything from peacefully relocating abominable insects to retaking a forge alongside our Voranian cohorts. I even helped save a group of farmers by building a scarecrow alongside my King. Each victory helped us build up Tiny town, so we hammered away.

Suddenly a flag rose in Tiny Town which would allow us to visit. So we all constructed Tiny models of ourselves and placed them into the town and we were magically transported. I placed my piece in haste alongside Sir Tao as it seemed the town was in danger.

Tao and I stood against half a dozen green warriors, with great weapons and greater tempers. Outnumbered, we were easily overtaken. When we awoke to some cry of life, we stood and gripped our weapons once more. Except now we stood alongside half a dozen more warriors and casters alike. It was time… for vengeance.

We hacked away at the beasts with abandon but to no avail. They would simply return shortly after being put down. A large bird-like humanoid put a stop to the fighting. He hoped maybe we would be able to help them. Eager to find an alternate solution, we agreed to try and help free them and we spirited away back to the tavern in Chimeron.

I had the idea to create a piece for the birdman, that maybe by putting the piece in the town, our friend could use the same method as us to exit. So we entered once more, struck fast and efficiently, and Tao tackled our birdman through the magical barrier.

Upon returning to the tavern, we quickly realized our failure and sought the help of a Seer… to locate our bird friend. Kara learned he was being ripped apart and put back together in some kind of time loop. Tao went on a solo mission and ensured the creature was banished to where it belonged.

Reluctant to return to the town to face those creatures again, we instead set ourselves to the task of building up the town with whatever resources we had produced. This was a joint effort of many talented crafters and artists as well as the spoils of a fine quest grind. But even with the town built up so much, it was clear we needed a ritual to bind the tiny town to this place before it disappeared from the tavern.

I sought Thoril out for help but found him drained of energy both magical and physical. I told him to think on it and brought him some water. He realized he had a reforge spell left and thought with the right magical components, he may be able to reforge the anchor to Tiny town.

I rushed Thoril over to relay in detail what was beyond my comprehension. Amada, not even needing council from Thoril quickly went to work on casting the spell. Calling out to spirits of the land and using what appeared to be rocks and cloth and other components I witnessed Amada tap into the weave. Thoril reached out his hand charged her ritual with his spell and we all felt the magic, that Tiny town had been soaking up, release into the land as the anchor was repaired. We had won.

I gathered my things and prepared for the long journey home to Voraniss. With thoughts of battle, strange dreams and the friendliest abominable bug I had ever met flowing through my brain.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Ask Zarine


Madam Zarine, Thanks for writing these! I have a problem I need advice for. I really love being a part of the Realms and I want to be an important heroic person like a lot of the people I look up to, but if I’m honest with myself, I’m kind of dorky and there’s already lots of jokes about how awkward I am. It’s not like it’s not fun to joke about but I also kind of want to shake off that reputation and become more respected. Any advice?

********************

I am not sure exactly what this 'dorky' is, but it doesn't sound like a synonym for sophisticated. In fact, after asking some of the stable boys it appears that it is quite the opposite. They told me that a 'dork' is something like a 'hank', and now I am quite concerned for your well being.

Have you tried not being so awkward? It's not as difficult as one might think. I was once quite awkward myself. Growing up on the docks and aboard ship doesn't exactly lend itself to high class elegance. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth. In fact most of the world isn't. But that doesn't mean that you cannot elevate yourself and become a person of poise and refinement.

Now of course you are wondering 'how do I do that'. Well my dear, you simply fake the ever living hell out of it until you forget that this isn't even who you are. Now, now, I am not saying to forget where you came from. Never, ever do that. Where you came from made you who you are. I am saying to focus instead on where you are going, because that is what will make you who you wish to become. Who you are isn't all you will ever be. At least, it doesn't have to be.

Take a glance at the people that you look up to. Observing them will give you the answers you need on how to be more like them. Of course, you don't want to be exactly like them. That would be quite boring. You should want to surpass them.

How do they carry themselves? I'm quite sure that they are confident and well spoken. Confidence comes with accomplishments and accomplishments come with time. Go out and become good at something. Become the best at it. Win an award for it. You'll still think that you are terrible at it, but others won't, and that's good enough.

What is it about them that makes them heroic? People don't decide to be heroes and leaders, they just are. And this whole 'people are born heroes' is a load of rubbish. People aren't born as anything other than crying, tiny bundles of annoyance. Your experiences and choices make you heroic or cowardly, follower or leader. Most folks fall somewhere in the middle, though probably closer to cowardly follower if we are being honest. You can't 'want' to be a hero. In fact, that's just the surest way to never be one. Most heroes are humble people who never set out to be important and the best leaders are the ones who never wanted it.

Just live your life the way you want to. You might become a hero or a leader, and you might not. The important thing is that you respect who you are. Respect is earned, and the most important person from whom to earn it is yourself. People will treat you how you show them you wish to be treated. One of my heroes once said that 'no one can make you feel inferior without your consent'. If you feel inferior, then do something about it. If you don't, then don't.

People are always going to pick on you. That doesn't change no matter how well respected you are. The difference is that once you are well respected you can sort your friends from your enemies quite easily because only your friends will continue to do it to your face. If your friends are teasing you, it is most likely that they are well meaning and simply want to include you. But if it bothers you, stand up for yourself. It sounds as if you are alright with some good natured joking, but there is a line somewhere that they sometimes cross. Don't be afraid to show them where the line is. Trust me.

Good luck to you, my dear, it sounds like you are going to need it.



Have a burning question for Zarine? Send it along to areni.daru@gmail.com!

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