Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year!

 Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy New Year from the View Staff!!!




Wednesday, December 30, 2020

15 Gold Equipment Build

 

Tell us your questing party choices in the Facebook comments and justify your answers!


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A Blue Tale: An Attempt to Set it Right


by Daniel "Baron Diamond" Diamond


In part one of this tale, I related how, in an attempt to save Gwen’s soul, I’d led a party which was accidentally responsible for releasing Blue, the malevolent extra-planar entity which takes the form of a magic two-handed sword to trick hapless people to their doom. Now hear the tale of how a few of us narrowly failed to return it from whence it came. It was a target of opportunity in the middle of a completely different major crisis: The Furies Unleashed!

Decades ago, partly because of machinations of the Blackstar Guild, the seven blades of Wayland were drawn together in one place. Unwittingly we had as separate questing parties each escorted them to their fateful rendezvous. As most of the parties combined into a large army in a clearing, the adventures of Banecroft were growing increasingly ill at ease as more of the swords gathered together. Leaving some of our party crouched in a hollow, Myrddin and I rushed to find out more. We rapidly learned that only one sword was outstanding, and we consulted with that party outside the clearing on the wisdom of continuing. Using the Sable Dragon knightly power, I pondered, “Is it a bad idea to let this Wayland Blade into the cleaning?” Instead of the expected “yes” or “no”, I was told that “it is inevitable.” That answer disconcerted me momentarily, and while I was on the back foot the bearer of the final Wayland Blade entered the clearing.

There was a blinding flash of light. The seven furies descended upon us like wolves in the fold. The army broke with impossible speed: even against invulnerable enemies I’ve never seen an army of the Realms break so suddenly. I have no knowledge, but suspect some trick of magic, as scores of armed adventurers were being run down like hares. The rout was swift and complete. Myrddin and I were among the first slain, but after the initial onslaught the rest of our party emerged from their hollow and rescued us and we joined everyone else in the deadly game of cat and mouse that was our retreat from that place. 

In the light of the next day we one and all set upon the task of figuring out how to deal with these Furies. It took time to learn their different weaknesses, so early in the day they hunted us not unlike how they had done that night. During our initial scouting attempt, I saw two things unrelated to the Furies but of definite interest to me. There was a gate in the woods, which after asking around we learned was to the Rainbow Plane.  And in a cave on the far end of the land, there was Blue, lying in wait in his sword form for hapless adventurers to pick it up. While most were dealing with the Furies, I hit upon a plan to get rid of Blue while we could. 

Separated by fate and the furies from my close comrades, I gathered the most experienced and capable adventurers as I could see, most prominently Sir Tetch and Sir Callin. Sir Tetch was the key to my plan: the rest of us would escort her to where I had seen Blue, her magics would ward her from Blue’s death effect, and we would escort her to the gate to the Rainbow plane where she would throw it in. They agreed the plan was worth trying, but my plan was fatally flawed: “protect the soul” would not be enough to thwart Blue’s fatal contact. 

We set off, and halfway to our goal the Furies caught our scent and closed in on us. Some of us fought and died, some of us escaped but were separated. Sir Tetch and I stuck together, and decided to press on alone. Large concentrations were what the Furies seemed to zero in on, and indeed the two of us reached the cave without further incident. We entered the cave and found Blue where we expected it. Sir Tetch put the plan into action and died instantly. Knowing from hard experience that I’d need magic to stop Blue, I fell back before his onslaught. 

Meanwhile, Sir Callin had rallied the rest of our party and came up in the nick of time, and together we counterattacked to reclaim Sir Tetch. In that we were successful, and while we beat Blue back into it’s dormant state, we’d attracted the attention of a Fury, in particular the one possessing Prospero of the Blackstar Guild. As our party carried Sir Tetch away, in the rear guard I saw the Propero-Fury pick up Blue and resist it’s death effect, putting Blue in the Fury’s belt! And when Prospero-Fury attacked the rear guard, it fell to my perfectly ordinary sword. By the end of the day the army in general and an academically inclined Chimeronean mage in particular had catalogued what each Fury was affected by, and we’d later learned that this specific Fury was proof of anything but the ordinary. Thus, it could carry Blue. As our party fell back, I had an idea, and experimented: I found I could drag the rapidly regenerating Prospero-Fury without being slain by Blue, and I hatched a new plan.  

Sir Callin was intent on restoring Sir Tetch, and as large concentrations were as much a liability as an asset, I took my leave of them as they fell back to base. As the Prospero-Fury came back to life, I performed a fighting withdrawal towards the gate, then slew it anew, then carried it at best possible speed towards the clearing where the gate to the Rainbow plane lay. Having seen how long it took it to regenerate, I’d drop it and step away just before it caught me unprepared. I repeated the process three times, gaining nearer the gate each time, but the third time I took a wound. Seeing me hard pressed, two other adventurers ran to my aid and we soon had the Prospero-Fury in the clearing which contained the gate to the Rainbow plane. Only one more iteration would be necessary to allow me to throw Blue through the gate as it slew me. However, this help drew the attention of two other furies, and when they descended upon us my final attempt unraveled. 

There have been many attempts since to get rid of Blue, ranging from the wild to wise, from crass to clever. Only a few years ago we learned the true way to banish Blue, a difficult ritual for which some of the components have been gathered. In that effort, Lord Temorse is the most knowledgeable.



Monday, December 28, 2020

Meme Monday

 by The Meme Team




Thursday, December 24, 2020


 Happy Holidays from the View Staff!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


What do you hope to find in your Yule stocking this year?


Head on back to the Facebook page and let us know!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Search the Realms

Below is a word search. Within there are the names of twenty different Realms Deities whose existences have spanned the years of our community. Most are extremely well known, but with a couple less known ones in there just to make it a challenge.

If this is not displaying correctly on your device you can click here.

To select a word, click on the first then the last letter and the whole word will highlight. Words can be going in any direction, forwards or backwards, diagonally or orthogonally. A message will pop up when you've gotten all twenty!

Report your success on the Facebook comments if you can get them all!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Bonus Among Us Meme: Part 10 (finale)





Friday, December 18, 2020

Morning Coffee Break


Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


What was the best gift you ever received at an Uncle Cecil's?



Head on back to the Facebook page and let us know in the comments!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Throwback Thursday - The Hats of Cecil's

Though we couldn't see one another at Cecil's this year, let's turn back the clock to look the Hats of Cecil's form years past.

https://viewfromvalehaven.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-12-hats-of-cecils-photos-by-jesse.html

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cross the Realms 4

 If this is not displaying properly in-browser or your mobile browser is having an issue, click here!


Hello everyone! Below is a classic crossword puzzle where all answers are spells in our spell system. They are all spells that are either a single word or two words with the space removed in the middle. Each clue is the name of that spell that has been scrambled.

See how many you can answer before you have to start looking things up... or using an automatic descrambler tool found on Google.

Tell us how you did in the Facebook comments!


























































Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Indana's Kitchen: Baked Brie

 Today we'll be looking at a holiday favorite, baked brie!

There isn't a recipe per se, more like some steps to follow that will lead you to cheesy success.

To make your baked brie, you'll want:

  • A wheel of brie
  • Pre-made puff pastry
  • A topping of your choice (orange marmalade, red pepper jelly, caramelized onions, or whatever you have on hand that is sweet and spreadable)
Optional:
  • Flour
  • An egg



Monday, December 14, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Bonus Among Us meme Part 9:





Friday, December 11, 2020

Rumors for December 1020

[Across the Realms]


The Black Dagger thief was recently reported captured and locked up to await trial, however recent rumors state that guards are on the hunt again after a possible escape. It's likely the thief is now laying low, guards have asked for citizens to report any suspicious behavior.


[Chimeron]


The mountains and forests near the Faedraw River have been engulfed in thick and heavy fog. Animals can be seen fleeing from the forest. Scouts have tried to investigate the area but have not been returned.


[The Dreaming]


Dreamers who took interest in the Forgotten Grove and its melody dubbed "Empty Rain" may find themselves revisiting the Grove more frequently, be it for the duration of their dream, or just passing through on their other quests.

Those who delve deeper into this place may end up speaking with one of the statues

But its words always seem jumbled, or backwards.

Lately dreamers have been hearing the same message.

"Ollp uli gsv Yilpvm Szmw."

It is apparent that the Statue wants dreamers to investigate the Grove further...


[Neden]


Large colorful explosions can be seen above the Neden Castle as its denizens and other creatures who inhabit the lands surround the castle to see what the commotion is about.

Sir Naj can be seen using Portals to come and go from the castle with various boxes. Dresden O'Leary Esquire is on the scene with a pen and and taking quotes from the onlookers for the Neden Kazoo. Most people are trying to answer this Demons questions but are a bit Distracted by Cevaris and Darkin trying to squeeze elephants through the side entrance of the castle.  Lord Syruss can be heard yelling various things as different explosions take place.

"No the lions go in the other room" "Yes, of course that's what the piƱatas are for" "Naj I swear to the Dark One himself no more experimental portals without the proper wards up" " Has anyone seen my fuzzy anti magic slippers....we need those STAT!"....."Oh man I can't WAIT FOR OUR FRIENDS TO SEE THIS ONE...not that one that's gross banish that..."

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Why I Want to Go - A Very Merry Virtu-Yule at Cecil's Uncle's Crazy Tavern 3

By Cal "Syruss" Marsden


Hello friends, 

Cal here aka Syruss I am going to forgo my usual IC cheeky writing style to talk to you about an event that is near and dear to my heart. I have been going to Uncle Cecil’s tavern since its conception, which correct me if I am wrong, is in its impressive 13th year. I have had the privilege and frankly pleasure to watch this event evolve over the years. This year is going to be its most drastic evolution to date. 

But here is my take away. First, after experiencing the virtual event Black and White ball this year that Chimeron put on early this year I am extremely excited and hopeful for the content that I know can be provided in a virtual context. I will attempt to keep this a “Why I want to go” and not so much a “What you missed” but for those who missed this unique experience then let me tell you this, it is the bar currently for virtual Realms content. They provided an immersive setting with a copious amount of activities ranging on a multitude of medias and most importantly allowed us to be with each other during a year that seemed determined to keep us apart. While Uncle Cecil's isn't a Chimeron event, I know its staff cares just as much about our community and creating a festive atmosphere for us all to share.

Which brings me onto my next point: What is the True Meaning of Uncle Cecil’s Tavern??? Togetherness!!!!

Now don’t get me wrong there are a ton of great things that make up this event. This is our annual Holiday Party. This is where for the most part we let our hair down (for those of you with hair...lucky jerks that you are.) We come together to celebrate the year, bask in revelry, recount our happiest moments of the year, sing songs, exchange gifts, partake in libations(if that is your fancy), exchange gifts, eat tons of delicious food, and just be merry in the moment. It is the combination of all those things that make it great, but without the company surrounding us those activities would suffer all the more for it. Sure all that stuff is individually pleasing and we all appreciate it but when we experience it as a community it resonates and impacts us greater. The school of Positive Psychology shows us that when we witness joys in others it greatly impacts our brain to increase the pleasure we are having in the experience. So take a room filled with all your favorite people experiencing bliss coupled with your own holiday merriment! This my friends is a truly special time of year.

That is why this year is so important. This year more than ever we need to be surrounded (even virtually) with those we love and cherish. With our comrades, our peers, friends, allies, frienemies and even your friendly demon scallywags always looking to increase the cheeky fun times. So come to the event. If not for the cool mystery box, if not for the fun recipes we usually get to eat that we now get to create, if not for the fun gift swap, then to see the smiles that you put on your friends faces when they see your holiday cheer after a long year.

I can’t wait to raise a glass with you all remember table 2 is where the fun is at.

See you under the mistletoe friends

Love and Respect

Cal/ Lord Syruss


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

15 Gold Dungeon Building

 


Tell us your dungeon building choices in the Facebook comments and justify your answers!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Uncle Cecil's Favorite Yuletide Recipes

 It’s time for another exciting year at Cecil’s Uncle’s Crazy Tavern! What would our Yuletide tradition be without good food and drinks? It would be a dang shame, that’s what. Thankfully, we have a few recipes to help keep your bellies full and your cheeks warm until we can gather in person again. If you can’t make them for the party this weekend, give them a try some other time. It’s never a bad night for a cocktail and holiday food.

Do you have any questions? PLEASE reach out to Cecil. He is more than happy to talk about food and drink prep with you.

Cocktails and Mocktails


Yuletide Mocktail

Not everyone wants to hit the booze, and that’s fair. Our Yuletide Mocktail balances seasonal flavors into a memorable, refreshing drink.

Ingredients:
  • ice
  • cranberry juice cocktail
  • apple cider or apple juice
  • orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • ginger ale
Directions:
  1. Fill a tall glass with ice
  2. Add juices in equal measure and stir
  3. Top with ginger ale
  4. Serve with garnishes of your choice
Notes:
  • Fresh squeezed citrus juices make a big difference in cocktails, and an even bigger difference in mocktails. The flavor profile is more complex than what you get from bottled juice. To emphasize the fresh notes of the juice, you can garnish with a twist of orange peel.
  • You see cranberry, apple, and citrus commonly combined in recipes for this season. Yule straddles the line between the end of the apple and cranberry seasons, the start of citrus season. Before mass refrigeration and climate control allowed for long-term storage on fruits, this was the only time of year you might have access to these flavors together.

Cranberry Gin Fizz

Herbal flavors from the gin and thyme play nicely with sweet-and-sour cranberry syrup. This cocktail takes a little bit of prep time, but the end result is worth it.

Ingredients:

For the Cranberry Syrup:
  • 1/2 c. cranberries
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
For the Cocktail:
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 3/4 oz. Cranberry Syrup (see below) 
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. elderflower liquor
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Fresh cranberries, to garnish
  • 2 sprig fresh thyme, to garnish
Directions:

Make the Cranberry Syrup:
  1. Simmer cranberries, granulated sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and cranberries break down, 10 to 12 minutes
  2. Stir in 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  3. Cool to room temperature
  4. Strain; discard solids
Make the Cocktail:
  1. Combine gin, Cranberry Syrup, fresh lemon juice, elderflower liquor, and ice in a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake until chilled; strain into 2 glasses
  3. Top with ice and club soda
  4. Garnish each drink with fresh cranberries and 1 sprig fresh thyme. 
Notes:
  • Elderflower liqueur is ideal for this cocktail, but you could substitute an aromatic berry or floral liqueur. Chambord is something you might have handy.

Apple Whiskey Ginger

Apple Whiskey Gingers are a great way to relax after a long day. Make it sweet or make it strong - this drink can accommodate a wide range of tastes. It’s an easy cocktail that tastes like you worked hard to make it.

Ingredients:
  • ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon, whiskey, or honey whiskey liqueur
  • 3 ounces apple cider
  • 2 ounces ginger ale
  • Orange slice, thyme sprig, or apple slice brushed with dilute lemon juice as garnish

Directions:
  1. In a shaker, pour alcohol and cider over ice
  2. Shake and strain in a highball glass filled with ice
  3. Top with ginger ale
  4. Garnish and serve

Notes:
  • Jack Daniels Honey is a great choice to keep the drink sweet and playful
  • Wild Turkey 101 will keep the drink feeling strong as the ice melts
  • Any dark liquor works well in this drink. Avoid the clear liquors - they either add no substance or have the wrong flavor profile.
  • It’s ok to not shake this if you don’t have a shaker, but seriously get a shaker for the future. It’s a simple tool that can really improve your cocktail experience.
  • You need to brush the apple slice with diluted lemon juice to prevent it from browning

Holiday Food


Papa Cecil’s Soy Garlic Wings

This recipe was an involuntary family secret for over 20 years! I wish I was joking. No one but the Cecils could make it right. I promise that you can succeed, just do not try to get fancy and make the dish better with high-end ingredients.

Ingredients
  • 20 Chicken wing parts (10 whole wings)
  • 1 bottle La Choy soy sauce
  • 1 jar garlic
Materials
  • Gallon zipper bag or bags, depending on the size of your wings
Directions
The day before you bake:
  1. In a zipper bag, combine wings, La Choy soy sauce to cover them, and TOO MUCH garlic (see Notes)
  2. Marinate the wings overnight in the refrigerator
The day you bake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place wings in a single layer in a disposable baking pan and cover with foil. Discard the marinade.
  3. Roast the wings, covered, for 1 hour
  4. Take the wings out of the oven, uncover, and drain all liquid from the pan - this is easiest with a turkey baster
  5. Return wings to the oven uncovered until browned. Maybe 20 minutes, but it can vary widely
Notes
  • The garlic in this recipe is one of those ingredients where I cannot give you an exact measurement. You are going to just add a ridiculous amount of garlic. When you catch yourself thinking, “There is no way a marinade could use this much garlic,” double it. You think I am joking, but I am deadly serious. There should be no half-inch by half-inch square of wing where there is no garlic. If you can poke a wing and not touch garlic, add more. Most areas of that size will have multiple pieces. I promise the final product does not have an overpowering garlic flavor. Pinkie swear.
  • Whatever you do, not try to improve this recipe with higher quality, healthier, or off-brand ingredients. It will not taste the same. Fresh garlic does not work. Real soy sauce does not work.
  • You do not need to use a disposable pan for this recipe, but it makes cleanup much easier.

Mama Cecil's Crabbies

This is always a party favorite. The crabbies at UCCT 2019 used a horseradish cheese spread instead of Old English Spread for an added kick. That was a hit, and you may want to make the same substitution at your home. 

Ingredients
  • 2x 6 oz. canned crab meat (usually 4.25 oz. drained weight, each), drained
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 5 oz. jar Kraft Old English Spread
    • Alternatively, use 5 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, orange if possible
  • 6 English muffins, split
Materials
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon or rubber spatula
  • Cookie sheet
  • 1-gallon freezer bag
Directions
A day or more ahead of time:
  1. Mix all ingredients except the English muffins
  2. Spread evenly on the English muffin halves
  3. Freeze in a single layer - using a cookie sheet or plates is helpful for this
  4. Store frozen crabbie rounds in the freezer bag until needed
When you want some tasty crabbies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Cut each frozen crabbie rounds into 6 wedges
  3. Bake frozen wedges on a cookie sheet until bubbly and lightly browned, usually 10-12 minutes
Notes
  • Kraft Old English Spread is a highly processed cheese product that is becoming increasingly hard to find. It is often dairy-adjacent in the grocery store because it does not require refrigeration, like Velveeta.
  • You can use real cheese in this recipe. Choose a bag of pre-shredded sharp cheddar. You want pre-shredded cheese because the starches they use to stop the shreds from binding will help emulsify the melted final product. Choose orange cheese just to give your crabbies a bit of color.
  • Get the cheapest canned crab meat you can find. It’s usually called “Pink Crab Meat”. This is not a recipe that benefits from more expensive crab. The nicer canned lump crab meat can change the texture of the dish in a way that not everyone enjoys.
  • If you are not really into crab, just use 1 can. The end product will still be ooey-gooey goodness.
  • You can make this dish and bake it right away, but freezing it gives you an appetizer you can pull out and bake any time with almost no effort. I was going to point out that means you can save some of your Black & White crabbies for later, but Lady Lindsay (my OOC wife and fellow Feastocrat) pointed out to me that Realmsies have never failed at finishing every crabbie that comes out of our kitchen, no matter how many we make. You should take that as a challenge.

Uncle Cecil’s Best Turkey Yet

I have spent years perfecting my roast turkey. This recipe uses techniques gathered from famous chefs, BBQ pitmasters, and old-school cooks. If you want crispy skin, succulent meat, and drippings to make the most flavorful gravy, this recipe is for you. Herb and spice measurements for the rub are approximate, but the salt is not. Use the same amount of salt even as you change the other seasonings to meet your needs.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole turkey, turkey breast, turkey leg, or large chicken
    • NOT a Butterball, kosher, or pre-salted turkey
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt per pound of bird
  • Fresh poultry herbs - ideally sage, rosemary, and thyme
  • 1 tsp. chopped per pound of bird
  • 2 additional sprigs of each for a whole turkey, 1 sprig for a breast or leg
  • Black pepper - ⅛ tsp. per pound of bird
  • Ground allspice - ⅛ tsp. per pound of bird
  • Ground ginger - ⅛ tsp. per two pounds of bird
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 apple, halved
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 if only doing a breast or leg
  • Canola or other vegetable oil
Materials
  • Roasting pan with rack
  • Butcher twine if roasting a whole bird
  • Aluminum foil
  • Meat thermometer
Directions
1-3 days before you roast:
  1. Combine salt, chopped herbs, black pepper, allspice, and ginger
  2. Rub ⅔ of the salt mixture underneath the bird’s skin on the breast and legs and in the cavity
  3. Rub ⅓ of the salt mixture on top of the skin
  4. If roasting a whole bird, truss it and tuck the wings under the shoulders (see notes)
  5. Chill bird in the refrigerator covered for 1-3 days, longer is better
  6. Remover the cover 24 hours before you intend to roast the bird
The day you roast:
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  2. Rub a thin layer of cooking oil over the skin of the bird
  3. Make a 2-layer foil shield to cover the breast of the bird, but do not put it on the bird yet (see notes)
  4. Stuff the apple, onion, and cinnamon sticks in the cavity of the bird. If roasting a breast or leg, place underneath or next to the meat as you feel is appropriate
  5. Place the turkey into your roasting pan with 2 cups of water in the bottom - add water later in the roast if this fully evaporates (see notes)
  6. Roast bird at 500 for 30 minutes
  7. Remove bird from the oven. Place the foil shield over the breast. Insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, or the thickest part of the thigh if there is no breast.
  8. Set oven to 350 and put the bird back inside
  9. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN AND BASTE THE BIRD. Basting is not needed in this recipe, and it will not improve your end result.
  10. Roast until the thermometer reads 150 in the thickest part of the breast or 170 in the thigh
  11. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before carving
Notes
  • Trussing a bird is tying the leg ends together so the legs rest closer to the body of the bird. This helps the birds cook evenly and not dry out. Exactly how you truss a bird is largely a matter of choice. Many turkeys come pre-trussed. Watch a couple of youtube videos and you will be a champ in no time.
  • This recipe is my own take on Alton Brown’s famous brined turkey. It uses a dry brine, which is easier and yields a more flavorful bird in the end. Watching his video from this episode of good eats can help you understand how to cover the breast of a turkey with a foil shield.
  • Dry brined birds release very little water as they roast. You need water in the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent the drippings from burning. Those drippings can make one heck of a gravy or improve the broth you make from the carcass, so don’t let them go to waste!
  • This technique works on whole turkey, whole chicken, or the parts of either.
  • Fun Fact: Cecil will pretty much always be thrilled if you call or message him to ask about cooking a turkey. Seriously, a good turkey is one of the most delicious dishes you can make for a holiday. You’re thinking, “Oh, I don’t know him well enough to do that.” Yes, you do! You are Realms family, and family gets to learn how to make a good turkey.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Bonus Among Us Comic Part 8




Friday, December 4, 2020

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


It's almost winter-time, what is your favorite memory of eventing in the snow?


Head on back to the Facebook page and let us know in the comments!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

15 Gold Questing Party



Tell us your questing party choices in the Facebook comments and justify your answers!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Escape the Dream Part 1


Welcome to a new View Miniseries: Escape the Dream.

Each week we will share a link to a short (10-15 minute) virtual escape room, each with only one or two puzzles to them. Each installment will have an episodic story that goes along with them.

You'll need to be logged into your Google account to access the escape room, primarily because it will allow us to keep track of who completes which chapters so we can release a tally at the end of the story.

Best of luck, you can get to the first chapter by clicking: HERE

Snowy Path by David Stevenson

Monday, November 30, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Among Us Bonus Comic Part 7




Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

On behalf of all of us here at the View from Valehaven, we'd like to wish you all a very happy holiday!




Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


Fill in the blank:

Thanksgiving is best with ___________________.


Head on back to the Facebook page and drop us a comment to let us know what you're thinking!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Oh My Omens 2

 In three nights you have three dreams, each dream is different, and you can barely remember it the next day. 


After the first night, you wake and you're all itchy like you've slept in the sand of your favorite beach, and you remember this scene:


and it reminds you of a concert from your younger days. 

After the second night, you awake with the horror of pins and needles all up and down your body, and this haunting image etched in your mind. 





After the third night, you wake up with the pleasant sensation that you've just gotten away with a terribly smelly, but uncomfortable fart, and no one noticed, and this image tickling the back of your mind. 


Shaking it off you know you're late for market, and rush get to the road. As soon as you open the door to leave, you're greeted by the knocking fist of a lady and her five adventuring companions. She's got a Mary Sue about her, and you're sure she did the ropes course better than you in your academy days. With her is a Creature you're sure is made of fur alone. A person that can only be described as a crooked nose. The wild. Someone who's eating and that's the important bit about them. And the infamous Taco Goblin. 

Mary Sue Speaks for the bunch. "You are an Oracle! They told us, but I wasn't convinced, but you must have known we were coming, you answered the door before I could even knock. So it's true then, it will kill us all if you don't help us...please, tell me what we have to do?"

You know her words to be the truth. It's not even Market day, it was three days ago, and you'd gotten your favorite spice. You know your dreams to be the omen. What do you tell them?

Let me know in the comments! 












Monday, November 23, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Bonus Among Us Comic Part 6



Friday, November 20, 2020

Home Questing: Taking a Break!

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly




Home Questing is going on a hiatus until the new year.  Use the break to hone your questing skills!  See you in 2021!


Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Distant Blessing

 An original song by Mark "Sakalai" Villanueva


A Distant Blessing
Traditional Brighton War Hymn
Contributed by: GR Sakalai Barnhart

Verse 1:

On the long dusty road far away from my home,
As I lie with my blade by my side,
I look back on the crossroads that brought me this way,
And I wish that you all were near by.

But until I come back to your comforting presences
Soft, murmured prayers must suffice

May the rays of the dawn break through blackness of night.
And the moments of sorrows be few.
And although for awhile space and time must divide,
Please remember my blessings for you.

Verse 2:

I look back on the smiles and the laughs that we shared,
We were brothers and sisters in war,
And I smile at the thought that we someday may be,
Re-united from places afar.

But for now I will pray that your honor precedes you 
And follows wherever you are.

As the stars up above, may your fortunes shine bright,
May your words and your sword blows strike true,
Even though for the while you are not by my side,
Please remember my blessings for you.

Verse 3:

May the kindness of others be easy to find,
In the difficult battles you face,
May the peace of the Ancients envelop your mind,
And your footsteps be guided with grace.

I will join you again on a new field of battle,
Til then I’ll be with you in mind.

May the rays of the dawn break through blackness of night.
And the moments of sorrows be few.
And although for awhile space and time must divide,
Please remember my blessings for you.

As the stars up above, may your fortunes shine bright,
May your words and your sword blows strike true,
Even though for the while you are not by my side,
Please remember my blessings for you.

Don’t forget my blessings for you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Small Pleasures: Winner / Coffee Break

 And here it is, after many grueling rounds of small pleasures competition, the final results of the bracket!

The Realms has spoken and it has decisively chosen "A communal campfire on an evening with a slight chill" as the ultimate Small Pleasure that brings all of us joy at Realms Events. Though some ballots are still being hand recounted the small-pleasure-elect is sure to remain the victor even if flush toilets are refusing to concede the race.

In celebration of this small pleasure championship, please reply on facebook with a short comment telling us what your favorite moment around a campfire was from all your time in Realms.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Small Pleasures - Final Round

So it seems it wasn't that close of a contest after all in our last match. When it comes to gathering together in character or gathering together out of character I suppose in character was always going to prevail. With the entire bracket almost finished heres where it stands.


So it all comes down to this, a clash of two titans. Prometheus versus the porcelain god. Which one will emerge as the supreme small pleasure of our community? It's a classic tale, as old as time of fire versus water. Only you can decide the victor!


Option A: Flush toilets on site.
Option B: A communal campfire on an evening with a slight chill.

Determine this contest once and for all on Facebook!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Bonus Among Us comic Part 5



Friday, November 13, 2020

Home Questing: Task 20 Results!

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


 Hello, and welcome to Home Questing, the 20th task.  We received 3 submissions this week where people attempted to make the most impressive throw of a piece of paper into a bin.  So, as always, in order of submissions, here they are:


First up is Cressida with what she dubs the “drop it like it’s hot”  maneuver:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOqiIvoECUB8ljoWfNGXrd7436uGrfH9nZJDpDjtUx3hw1q4r_Q6OPL2rwu25YDLA/photo/AF1QipP3WTpGQ7_-ovKhJ8kdweFgury_0xSuEod9c_1u?key=NGVmNEFiX0l1LXB6RWV4RnJndTUzV1A4MlZrSjBn


Next is DelHemar, let’s see what idea he developed and implemented:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xeibv_iRm2blHNbXJJJKMJVnEzp-_ZwR/view

(and the final result is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xeibv_iRm2blHNbXJJJKMJVnEzp-_ZwR/view


And finally from Janus is this epic throw:

https://youtu.be/pQ4XPWfbXsg


So, for something like this, I was wondering who would be a good person to to ask, and Rekees immediately came to mind for how often her steady hand has solved puzzles have left me in awe...and really, isn’t that dexterity essentially the same as I’m asking for here?  Take it away Rekees.

Scoring:

1st: Cressida (5 points)

Adherence to instructions: Paper to bin, as requested.

Efficiency: 2 seconds to paper disposal, highly efficient.

Coolness factor is at “too cool to look at explosions”

2nd: Janus (4 points)

        Adherence to instructions: Paper to bin, as requested. Some points lost for not recycling.

Efficiency: 20 seconds to paper disposal, fancy magic tricks slow it down a bit.

Coolness factor is “oooo was that maybe some magic levels?”

3rd: DelHemar (3 points)

        Adherence to instructions: Is a photo a piece of paper? Is a pan of liquid a bin? Darn those mages and their “creative interpretations” of the mission.

Efficiency: 76 seconds to paper disposal. Tsk, tsk

    Coolness factor: the surprise development is cool but possibly unrelated to throwing paper.


Thank you so much for that Rekees.  You definitely took more aspects into account than I did (efficiency never even came to mind).  Oh well, I suppose it’s now time for me to reveal my side of things:

In first place (5 points) is DelHemar.  The throw was the most impressive, along with the surprise development that came along at the end.

In second place (4 points) is Cressida.  The throw was unfortunately more of a drop, but knowing paper, I was actually impressed that it managed to land in the pin.

And finally, of course, Janus gets disqualified once again.  It appears that there was no throw, and it was all done via trickery.  Poor form Janus.  Poor form.

That brings the totals for the week as 10 points to Cressida and 9 points to DelHemar.


Since it’s an even week, let’s take a look at the total scores:

DelHemar - 195.5

Cressida - 177

Laika en'Naur - 39

Saka - 22

Iawen - 20

Aeston, Areni, and Gwen - 18.5

Kovaks - 15

Orion - 13

Bart - 19

Vawn - 10

Syruss - 10

Jerrick Jerrickson - 10

Luc-Dubois Coupant - 9

Osa - 8

Keras - 13

Kwido - 6

J'reth - 5

Nalydros - 5

Rosetta - 5

Sagart Hawkshade - 5

Tarun Ul-Sikar - 5

Thayet - 5

Vanduke- 4

King Alexander Cecil - 2.5

Jace - 2

Kara Nithisdottir - 1.5

Thoril - 1.5


It appears that there is a strong race between first and second, as well as 3rd-5th being competitive as well.  As a reminder, there will be a prize for the top 5 finishers, so there is still a chance for next time.



Thursday, November 12, 2020

Rumors for November 1020

[Across the Realms]

The Black Dagger thief was recently reported captured and locked up to await trial, however recent rumors state that guards are on the hunt again after a possible escape. It's likely the thief is now laying low, guards have asked for citizens to report any suspicious behavior.

[Chimeron]

A strange symbol seems to keep appearing around Gabriel's Tavern, depicting a circle bearing a diamond inside and a line running vertical through the center.

This same symbol seems to be frequenting a nearby library and a few merchant stalls. Talk of the symbol states that it appears and disappears shortly after.

However, there is one location where the symbol hasn’t been disappearing and with it stands strange lettering that no one can seem to translate.

[The Dreaming]

A strange melody seems to be passing through the dreaming. It holds no lyrics but those who claim to have heard it feel like they know the words. 

It holds a soft, gentle tone bringing a sense of loneliness, cold rain, emptiness and sorrow, but a glimmer of sunlight. Many agree that the songs title should be "Empty Rain"

Those who attempt to follow the sound are often led to a hidden grove where an old forgotten temple lies. Overgrown with plantlife and its stonework crumbling.

There appears to be some sort of puzzle upon its door that requires an oddly shaped item and two large statues guard it on either side. One standing tall and proud but covered in foliage, the other a crumbled ruin.

The Forgotten Grove seems to call people closer, but denies entry to its temple. 

To those who wish to follow this, they should keep an ear out for further rumors about "Empty Rain."

[New Verai]

Back in February New Verai shut down their borders to all travel due to an outbreak of an unknown disease. Since that time, little news has come out about the situation inside the walls. Those traveling past the borders see smoke from chimneys, sometimes see a sentry at a distance patrolling, and some sounds can be heard of people going about their lives. No one can confirm if this mystery illness has been cured or curbed as sentries stay at a distance or fire arrows at those getting too close to the New Verai borders.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Oh My Omens 1

 In three nights you have three dreams, each dream is different, and you can barely remember it the next day. 


After the first night, you remember the sound of twinkling crystal, the smell of fresh bread, this scene:


and nothing else. 

After the second night you remember a child's laugh the strobe of lightning in the distance and this scene:



After the third night, you wake with the taste of old milk and feathers in your mouth, and this image crisp in your mind:


And as you rise to tend to your necessaries, there comes a knock at your door. Staving off the call of your bladder you answer the door, still bleary eyed, and before you stands 5 youthful adventurers. A brawny steel suited fellow. A lithe wiry haired waif. A jaunty hat thoughtful type. A mashup of a thing. and some guy who must be named Bill, you're sure of it. 

Bill speaks for them all. "We've been sent on a quest to find the Oracle of well..this hovel. And we know it to be you. Our last Oracle told us you would have our answers. Can you tell us how to save our home?"

You know their words to be true. You do have the answers, your words will invariably lead them to save their town, your dreams were the omens for them. But what do you say? 

Answer in the comments!




Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 14

Was it possible? Did not getting rained on truly get defeated? The Realms was resolute in deciding that they'd accept having water over them if they could also make sure they had access to water underneath them. Here's where the bracket stands right now:


In the second match of the semi-final rounds we have another two behemoths facing off:


Option A: Going out to dinner break to that amazing restaurant everyone in your group loves.
Option B: A communal campfire on an evening with a slight chill.

As always, vote and discuss on Facebook!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Meme Mondays

 by the Meme Team


Bonus Among Us meme, part 4



Friday, November 6, 2020

Home Questing: Task 21

 by Christoper "Janus" Donnelly 



Here is the form for you to submit your most impressive feat of strength: 

https://forms.gle/fg8wrjQTQoceiCA77


If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to techiemikey@gmail.com.


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

Transcript:

Hi all, Janus here.  And welcome to Home Questing, the twenty-first task.  This week I am asking you to perform your greatest feat of strength.  The most impressive feat of strength wins.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts now.

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


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Ask Zarine #7

 by Sara "Zarine" Jessop


Dear Madam Zarine

It has been quite a long time since we have all gotten together in our normal questing and feasting fashion. I miss everyone terribly as I had just become accustomed to this new land and culture. Which means it will be even more amazing and joyous when we all gather again! But I am starting to get to my wits end. I have completed all of the tasks I have wanted during this separated time. Improved clothing, weapons, and trinkets. Even taking up journaling. What would you recommend to do to pass the time?

Sincerely,

Bored And Crawling Up The Walls


     *************************


Dear Bored,

I can completely sympathize with your problem. At first I was quite content to stay at home and finally have some time to myself. Constantly entertaining others is quite rewarding work but it can also become a bit tedious. You know what's more tedious though? Listening to Sven and Miguel argue over soup seasoning for the forty-seventh consecutive day. Yes, my household has become stir crazy and they are all acting like fools.

Did you know, my dears, that 'stir' in the term 'stir crazy' is slang for 'prison'? Well, if you were using your recess from normal life to study the etymology of phrases to use while dispensing free advice maybe you would have. Learning new things is a great way to pass the time and as someone who will need to listen to you all on a regular basis when things are once again routine, improving your vocabulary would be a fantastic place to start. As someone who has to read what you all have to say while we are socially distancing, grammar would be an even better place to begin.

Since you mentioned journaling I assume that you like to write. There are many places where your prose could be useful. The folks here at The View are always looking for content and accept all sorts of features in a variety of mediums. You could start your own publication if you desire more freedom, though I warn you with too much freedom comes much postponement of actual work especially if you are easily distracted. I find that having clear goals for writing can help you procrastinate less, which is why I like a combination of writing for multiple publications with varying degrees of expectations and deadlines.

While the above are great suggestions to help battle your ennui (which is pronounced like ahn-wee by the way, you uncultured harlequins) they don't do a lot to battle the loneliness caused by isolation. If you don't live in a home full of vibrant and entertaining people like I do you may find yourself craving social interaction. And even if you do, you might find yourself craving it with different people than the ones with which you have been sequestered. I suggest finding a way to still be social but from a distance.

Have you considered having a pen pal? I know what you are thinking, 'pen pals are for school children'. Well, my darling, you are wrong. Letter writing is an art form, my dears. It is also an excellent way to get to know someone new! Someone should start a pen pal program, like a matchmaking service for aspiring letter writers. Maybe I'll start one if the boredom becomes too much to bear.

You mentioned that you are new to these lands, and what better way to learn more about them and it's people than by helping me with my new project. The Public Information Society is always looking for folks to add to our archives. Many people seem reluctant to gossip lately so we could use a social, friendly person to convince them to do so. Perhaps if they don't like writing and you do, you could offer to write down their information for them. You'd be getting to know people from a distance and helping out with an ambitious new project that could use some more hands.

There have been a number of successful socially distanced gatherings in The Realms in the last several months. We seem to have found a way to project our voices and even our images across great distances. I have no idea how this is done from a technical standpoint, but I'm sure it's some kind of magic. There is one coming up in just a few weeks. The annual Black and White ball will be happening, presumably from the respectable distance once should stand from their dance partner. I wouldn't know, I've never been one to maintain a proper waltzing distance. But while these gatherings may be different than we are used to, they are nevertheless a way for us to maintain some sort of normalcy in a very abnormal time. I plan on attending and you should as well. If nothing else, we should support the folks who are trying their best to alleviate our boredom.

All of this seclusion can be hard on folks. Even introverts need some outside interaction from time to time and can struggle with long term isolation. Those magical means of communicating I mentioned previously have gotten far more advanced in recent years, presumably due to running out of the elves who used to deliver all of our communication. Find some friends to communicate with regularly, and make sure to have a trusted group that you can contact if you are having a really tough time. Visit the Realms Tavern and have a chat with other folks who are likely just as desperate for interaction as you are. You never know who you might meet there.

Just remember, you are not truly bored out of your mind unless you randomly cause a scene on the town common. Shouting obscenities, posting controversial opinions on the job board, removing other people's postings or just tacking your own directly on top of theirs, digging through the trash pile for last years arguments to rehash, and my favorite; reminding people that we should all just get along in the way most likely to cause an altercation. You should try it, it's great fun... I'm just kidding, please don't. In fact, stay away from the common. There isn't a lot of sense there.

I hope that some of these suggestions were helpful. Even if they weren't, reading it took up some time out of your already self described monotony, I suppose. I am nothing if not a reliever of people's dull and uninteresting lives, after all. Happy to be of service. 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 13

It was a close contest between a moonlit night quest and an evening perfect for a campfire, but the later was victorious through it's second round. You might say that the option is really heating up! Here's how the bracket looks as we move into our semi-final round:


Now things really start to get exciting as the competing options have all been vetted multiple times and are for-sure crowd favorites. It's up to you to decided which small pleasure is the greatest small pleasure and things are about to get real!


Option A: Flush toilets on site.

Option B: There is no rain for the entire event.


Debate and vote on Facebook!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


What is your favorite Halloween candy? (or, conversely, what is the worst possible Halloween candy you would never want to find in your bag?)


Head on back to the Facebook page and drop us a comment to let us know!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team



Bonus Among Us Meme Part 3




Friday, October 30, 2020

Home Questing: Task 19 Results

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly

Hello, and welcome to Home Questing: The 19th task.  Halloween is tomorrow, so we asked you to write the most spine chilling story in two sentences or less.  So let’s see what we received.


First, from Bart:

I'm not a monster because I must drink blood to survive... I'm a monster because I CHOOSE TO ENJOY IT FRESH.


Next from Cressida is:

Nightmares don’t care if you are young or old, charming or cunning, or if you have the strongest magic or quickest blade; Nightmares care only for the sweat trickling down your temple as you hear the voices of those who judge you for everything you are and are not. The hard truth is waking up and realizing the Nightmare is here and that sleep is the only true escape from it.  


From Keras is this:

It was by the Stoneway we found them; fresh blood drained from their distorted bodies, flowing as a rill into the nearby river. The Dragonfly had returned for the final deal, trading dreams for nightmares. 


The penultimate submission is DelHemar’s:

The old woman had said to follow his shadow home, but as the umbral hand moved on its own to open an unfamiliar black door, he realized he should have asked whose home he would be led to.


And finally, from Janus is this:

It was easy to ignore a child’s screams when you could contribute it to a fisher cat in the woods.  But that comfort is gone now that you have moved to the city, and the screams still follow.  ( IP)


So, I was thinking, who is one of the scariest people to be angry at me, so I asked Iawen Penn to help me out.  Take it away, Iawen.

In first place (5 points) is DelHemar.  OH SNAP.  Super eyebrow raise!  Nothing becomes Scary when one believes themselves to be solo, and, suddenly, supernaturally, are not. This one is my favorite.

In 2nd place (4 points) is Bart.  HAHAHA, whoops.  Settle down, Diskordia.

In 3rd place (3 points) is Janus.  Nope nope nope.   I actually find myself more angry than scared by this one. Parental nature. That said, Janus thinks I’m scary when angry, so invoking a strong emotion within also works.

In 4th place (2 points) is Keras.   This reads more sad, defeated, or fated, as opposed to scary.

In 5th place (1 point) is Cressida.  It reads more in the style of an adventurer’s report than a story.


Thank you so much Iawen.  Now, for my series of judgements.

In first place (5 points) is DelHemar.  I could imagine myself in this situation some day, and being able to transport myself there, definitely leaves a chill in my spine.

In second place (4 points) is Cressida.  Many of us have done things that still haunt us to this day, so I’ll give this to the horror that is humanity.

In third place (3 points) is Bart.  It’s amusing, but not quite what I see as leaving a chill in my spine.

In fourth place (2 points) is Keras.  I am not familiar with the Dragonfly, so I feel I am missing a piece of the story.

And finally, disqualified is Janus.  It isn’t spine chilling.  It’s just what happened when I moved.


So, including the point for participation that brings the scores to:

DelHemar - 11

Bart - 8

Cressida - 6

Keras - 5


And finally, to add some levity after those scary stories, Cressida also dropped this off for us:

Q: Why did the ghost go into the Tavern? 

.

.

.

.

.

A: For the Boos!     


BOO THAT STAR! ...and yet I love puns.  <3 (this comment was added in by Iawen when I wasn’t looking)


See you next week!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

WYM Black and White 2020

 Black and White has a place of legend within the Realms community. Oldbies will all have a story about it. Whether they talk about picking up blue, passing around oranges, or some rendez vous with death. People tell stories. 

Further more, it’s the sort of event that has so many things going on, its impossible to do everything. It just doesn’t happen. 


But this was the virtual Black and White. So maybe you skipped out because of the notion that it might be watered down. Or lacking in some way. It wasn’t. 


I can’t tell you all the things that went on. You just missed them. There were quests, virtual perhaps, but quests all the same. I took part, in a way, in one that skirted the dreaming. I observed some nerthewells that were trying to really cause a fellow named Jack some trouble. There were ships, and weapons, and maps. It was a confusing dream observation, and I wish I had more to tell you. Honestly I think I spent most of my time observing a man working the engines and fighting off a weird tentacle monster destroying the engines, while also living inside them. Dreams are weird. 


I participated in a council about Jack, the Dreaming, and the Risen Kingdom. We asked important questions, and got cryptic answers. We learned secrets and stories. And we were left to wonder more, like who were the people that we dubbed “the cultists?” and “Why would anyone ever ride the space worm to certain doom?”


There were other quests going on. There was dancing. And an auction for fabulous prizes. Gambling, with various games. I should have done more, I should have joined the games and activities.


I should have done more but I was engaged.  I just parked myself at a table. I parked myself at a table, with some friends, and had a conversation. People came and went, joined the conversation, and left. I learned about unicorn farms, and what sorts of people can be redeemed. And the choices that a King must make for his people. But it was mostly what I needed. To hear my friends, enjoy their company, check in on their trials and tribulations, and just sort be with them. 


Honestly, I’d say that this event set the standard for what a virtual event should be. For what an event should be. And that’s just what I’ve come to expect from Black and White. 


And that is what you missed.


I’ll see you on the field, someday, 


Keith “Saegan” Cronyn