Friday, February 28, 2014

10 Questions - Ray "Radstar" McGuirk

Ray "Radstar" McGuirk 

How long have you been playing?
Photo by Angela Earle Gray
Playing- 21 years first event was lady dees feast oct 31st ( you were playing raven) 

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
since I have been playing lots more players, event holders, events , and event sites 

Who have you learned the most from?
I learned the most from pj grey, joe fant,jarrod Marshel, and Dave dalph, and Tom Johnson 

What was your best moment IC?
best ic moment was when I was in my first war tourney and we beat 65 with 17, was my first day in folkestone and Dave dalph came up to me and said ray I should have voted yes 

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
best eh,player, npc moment was being called up to be a knight of the eternal flame 

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
what I would like to see changed is the fighting style it seem like more people care about how fast they swing or who can hit who first then calling there shots 

What advice would you give new players?
advice for new players don't ever give up and always talk to the older players they will help you , teach u and even let you use weapons and armor, etc 

Photo by Robyn C Nielsen

What do you love most about the game?
I love the people that play this game the most how you end up just meeting to being close friends to being like family 

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
if he hasent yet jarrod Marshel 

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?
And I would like to say that if your throwing in event for the first time please ask the veterans , koef, and kor for any help cuz the will help with what ever you need

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Picture Puzzle - Who Is It?

Today's challenge is to tell us who this is? After the break is the full picture but before that we only provide a small portion of that picture. So give us your best guess in the comments and then check the answer for yourself. (photo by Angela Earle Gray)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On the Order- Order of the Blue Rose

What year was your knighthood formed?
Photo by Casey Lemay
circa 980 (1980)

What does your knighthood stand for?
Our order is primarily an OOC knighthood and has two main goals. First to promote the game through either throwing events or helping others to throw their events. Secondly to train squires and potential squires to both fight safely and throw their own events.

Photo by Angela Gray

What are your tenants?

Knights of the Blue Rose Work Hard:
                        • We find value in putting forth true and honest effort in everything we do.
                        • We find value in service to others and service to the whole community.
                        • We find value in throwing quality events and in helping others to throw quality 
Knights of the Blue Rose Play Hard:
                        • We find value in having fun and contributing to those around us having fun.
                        • We find value in spending time with our friends while also interacting with the 
                           whole of the community.
                        • We find value in the time spent around the fire for its stories and camaraderie.

What is your symbol?
Photo by Angela Gray
Either a blue rose with a green stem and leaves against a black background or a blue rose (just the open flower) against a white background.

Do you have a traditional knightly power?
Yes, a Raise Dead we could use once an event.

What do you look for when selecting squires?
This can vary as it is generally left up to the knights to choose their squires, however often our

knights do confer with each other when considering someone. Examples of traits we consider are: the character of the person, what do they bring to the game, do they have the potential to contribute to the community in a positive way.
Photo by Jesse Gifford
What is your squiring process like?
Our squires undergo a process, a path as we call it and it takes a minimum of three years to complete.  Often other knights take a part in teaching the squire what we feel he needs to accomplish in order to reach the end of the path. Training involves martial arts, marshalling, NPCing, and learning the history of our order among other things. Squires are expected to NPC our events and other's as well, and take turns being an event holder for our event, Tournaments of the Blue Rose.

Photo by Angela Gray

Who is our current Knight Commander?
That is Sir Sean Aengus
Who are are current active Knights?
A: PJ Gray (Sir Pj), (Ray McGuirk,JR.) Sir Radstar, (Jesse Gifford) Sir Mestoph, Matt Daviault (Sir Zula, Retired), Eddie Reed (Sir Qualoth), Kyle Vaihinger (Sir Caspian), Nik Thouin (Sir Corinth), Jason Rosa (Sir Aeston), and Jeremy Grayson (Sir Nighthawk).  As we consider ourselves an OOC order as well, if someone opts to retire their character we consider their new one a Knight of the Blue Rose as well.

Photo by Robyn Nielsen


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blast From the Past - View August 1992

Here we have August 1992. The controversies from the last couple of months are slowing dying down. There are a few other issues brewing, or that had just happened, but they are not specifically addressed in this View (though there are enough hints floating around, especially about the Knights of the Realms/Knights of the Eternal Flame). We have a good article on being a "black knight" and other interesting ones from that time. [Thanks to Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee for the scans.]

Monday, February 24, 2014

Question of the Week - 133

How old were you at your first event?

Friday, February 21, 2014

What You Missed- Knights of the Eternal Flame Tourneys 2014

Photo by Angela Yang - 2014

Photo by Angela Yang - 2014

Photo by Angela Yang - 2014
Photo by Jesse Gifford - 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Picture Puzzle - Who Is It?

Today's challenge is to tell us who this is? After the break is the full picture but before that we only provide a small portion of that picture. So give us your best guess in the comments and then check the answer for yourself. (photo by Angela Earle Gray)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On the Order- The Unseen

Amid the many orders of knights and heroes of The Realms, there exists secret orders, unnoticed by the population at large, that function much like the upstanding orders, but with less noble and more corrupt motivations. Often the inner workings of these dark orders remain a well-guarded secret, but via spies, outcast members, and sometimes sadly, their victims, we have been able to uncover some of their secrets. We publish this at great personal risk, but the world must know.
--Entropolonius Explainus

What year was the Order formed?
Circa. 1995, The Unseen was officially formed by a small group of independent thieves and assassins that had been operating in The Realms and avoiding prosecution by living in the largely ungoverned Southern Wastes. They came to the conclusion that individuals with their talents can only go so far on their own, but as a guild, there would be no limit to how much they could accomplish. Their only hurdle was being able to trust one another. The order is founded on that trust, with the understanding that, if you are always looking within the circle, questioning motives, you will be blind to threats outside the circle. Unconditional trust frees everyone up to look for threats and opportunities beyond the circle.

What is their symbol?
It was once assumed that all the WasteRunners of the Southern Wastes were members of this order, and therefore the Symbol of The Wastes was their symbol, but exhaustive research uncovered that The Unseen have some members that are not residents of The Wastes, and in fact, hold positions in other nations of the realms, sometimes even leadership roles. Additionally, it was revealed to us that there are WasteRunners that are not members of The Unseen.

Did they have a traditional Knightly power, if so what was it?
The Unseen do not have a traditional power, other than their finely honed skills in their respective trade. Knightly powers confer a special power on a group's member that makes them uniquely powered, as compared to other individuals not in that group. So, if The Unseen have anything close to a knightly power, it's that their membership runs up into some of the finest nations in the realms. Your most trusted comrade might be one of them, which by definition, makes them uniquely powered.

What do they look for when selecting squires?
While they don't refer to them as squires, they have a long list of associates that they do business with. The order maintains relationships with these associates and involves them in their nefarious activities until a certain level of competence is displayed, and some level of trust is established. It's a harsh environment with gruesome work, so it breeds harsh, thick-skinned members. Inclusion is not for the meek, squeamish, or those easily offended.

What is their squiring process like?
The process to become an associate, as described above, tends to be fluid, but full induction is very
formal. We were lucky to have recounted for us, a description of a rare initiation ritual that they use
to bestow full membership. Many Bothans died to bring us this information:
Initiates were made to stand in a circle, back to back, at dusk in a remote location. As they did, full members appeared from different directions, all hooded and anonymous, and encircled them. Some of the leaders removed their hoods while others preferred to remain anonymous. Then they addressed the initiates. The most interesting part was their use and description of the circle. An excerpt appears below:
"When you give your brother your unconditional trust, when you give them your back, you are free to see things outside the circle. You may see things that threaten the circle, or opportunities for the circle to profit. With unconditional trust, each member of the circle can look outward. There is no limit to your success. The circle has no back, no weakness."
Then they were made to turn and face each other.
"When you question the trust, you are constantly looking inward at the members of the circle, you refuse to give them your back and they respond in turn. With every member of the circle facing off against every other member, the circle cannot see outside itself. It cannot see opportunity. It cannot see threats. The circle is vulnerable from all sides. The circle is all backs for the taking."
At this point, the other members started to leave. And the initiates, still facing each other were told the following:
“You will not leave the circle until you have established absolute trust between you. Let this be the last time you face inward, the last time you question the trust. When you finally turn around to leave, do so with unconditional trust between you. And never turn back."
And then the full members left the initiates completely.

Who is their current Knight Commander?
Again, not using the same titles as traditional Knightly Orders, they don't call it such, but instead have a series of guild masters. Though they publicly deny it, Sir Rob Scarlett and Sir Panther are rumored to run the day to day dealings of the organization. Anyone looking for the services of this kind of order would be quick to find that out, but in all our investigations we were not able to determine the identity of who they answer to. We did confirm that there is, in fact, a single guild master above them, but that name seems to be known only to Rob and Panther, even the other members did not seem to know the identity.

Who are their currently active Knights?
We have a list, though it's impossible to know if it's complete. The ones that reside in The Wastes are easier to pinpoint, even if we can’t be completely assured of our findings. Sir Kazmar appears to The
Realms as a friendly, benevolent KoEF, but it’s been said he lends his healing powers to The Unseen during their operations. Vax the Smith keeps them outfitted with equipment and the latest gadgets specific to their trade.  A tavern wench named Isolde manages a large portion of their legitimate tavern and gambling business, but rumors of her prowess with a bow suggest she’s received a kind of training that goes beyond serving drinks.  Others like Kaleb, Lurch, Lion, Donavan and Saskia have not left the confines of The Wastes in years, either retired or in hiding, we’re not sure.
The ones that do not reside in The Wastes, however, are not so easily identified. We will not publish that list here out of fear for our safety, as well as the safety of the individuals on that list. Corrupt as they may be, no one deserves death by an angry self-righteous mob.

Do they have any interesting stories from their Knighthood's past?
By the nature of their work and existence, the actions that give rise to stories tend to be unobserved, and thus shared only within the group, but occasionally, given enough drink, tales can be coaxed ou
t of them. Particularly, if you frequent the establishment known as Panther's Inn, which as you might guess, is owned by one of the masters, and serves as a haven for them and their associates. Some of these tales have been passed around enough that they have been recorded in the annals of history, though when sober they deny any involvement whatsoever. A collection of those tales can be found in another publication:

Anything else?

As is true of any extensive research, by the time this is printed things may have changed. Our awareness of their size, power, and impact is tempered by the very nature of a secret society. While on the surface it may appear that their numbers dwindle, growth is never obvious until its impact is felt. Our latest research suggests that their numbers are on the rise.  Be wary of the impact.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why I Want to Go - Feast of Creathorne 2014

Feast of Creathorne 2014
February 22, 2014 (Saturday 11am) - February 22, 2014 (Saturday 7pm)
Event Type: Feast

The origin of this feast lies in the early days of the Realms. Now is your chance to attend a feast like those once held "back-in-the-day". In addition to the excellent food, it will have combat tourneys (Order of the List points are available) and a large number of non-combat tourneys and games. There is a 65 person cap so check before you head down to make sure there is still room for you.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Question of the Week - 132

Should a player pay if they will only be NPCing an event?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Blast From the Past - Guidebook/Rules 1992

For those who are curious what the rules were like years ago, here is the Guidebook from 1992. This was before they were renamed the Omnibus. Much is the same, or at least similar. However, the magic system is very different and of interest; there are even a couple of charts at the end for it. [Thanks to Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee for the scans.]

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Picture Puzzle - Who Is It?

Today's challenge is to tell us who this is? After the break is the full picture but before that we only provide a small portion of that picture. So give us your best guess in the comments and then check the answer for yourself. (photo by Angela Earle Gray)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On the Order- Knights of Garm

What year was your Knighthood formed?
Sir Gideon with Squire Killian
Photo by Jesse Gifford
The Knighthood was formed at Queen of Hearts in 1998

What does your knighthood stand for?
Making the choices, that might not be popular, to cause the outcome that keeps the balance.  This can be done through direct action or subtle manipulation.

What are your tenets?
Maintain the Balance
Kneel before no man or God
Prepare souls for their final destination
Safeguard the gates of Hell
Enforce the laws of the Pantheon of The Greater Gods

What is your symbol?
Did you have a traditional Knightly power, if so what was it?
Transfer wounds - ability to transfer the knight’s negative state unto another via touch.

Sir Nighthawk
Photo by Robyn Nielsen

What do you look for when selecting squires?
This is a knight’s personal criteria, although generally a discussion about the squire is brought before active knights.

What is your squiring process like?
This depends on many factors, such as, the individual personalities involved.  At a Basic level, the knight tries to instill their own understanding of balance  (through deeds or teachings) upon the squire.

Who is your current Knight Commander?
Sir Gideon

Who are your currently active Knights?
Rob Scarlet
Founding (also Ascension War Team):
Blak (Original Knight Commander)
Sir Duncan
Photo by Melissa Fitzgerald

Do you have any interesting stories from your Knighthoods past?

Anything else?
Our Knights may have drastically different methodology and understandings of Balance, but that in itself promotes balance.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why I Want To Go - Knights of the Eternal Flame Tourneys 2014

Knights of the Eternal Flame Tourneys 2014
February 15, 2014 (Saturday 12pm) - February 15, 2014 (Saturday 6pm)
Event Type: Tournaments

[Disclaimer: The author of this post is a member of the staff for this event.]

This is a full day of tournaments, both combat and non-combat. There will be Order of the List points available for participants. Some non-combats will include Bardic, Improv Ritual and Pickpocket tourneys. Note that characters are able to break their weapon restrictions for limited tournaments. There are some tourneys you may want to prep for such as the Crafting Challenge. Overall there is usually a lot to do at this event for everyone.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Question of the Week - 131

What location in New England do you wish we could hold an event at?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fresh Faces- Nataliya "Shader" Kostenko

Photo by Jesse Gifford
How did you learn about Realms?
I joined UCONN’s fight practice club, SMAC. Someone ran up to me at the involvement fair and asked “Wanna hit people with sticks?!” Sure, who wouldn’t?  

How many events have you been to?
Four so far—Black and White, Order of the List, Uncle Cecil’s and Tournaments of Artemis.

Have you ever LARP’ed before?  If so tell us about it?
Nope, I hadn’t even heard of it.
What is your character like?  Where are they from? What is their race? What is important to them?
My character is, not coincidentally, a lot like me because I’m no good at role-playing. Shader is a regular human person from a poor family in the Southern Wastes. She traveled to Vinehaeven and joined the Oaken Guard, seeking a life of adventure and wanting to make a name for herself.

What do you remember most about your first event?
Wandering around confused with the other UCONN newbies until someone—usually Aeston—yelled “Oaken Guard! Do this thing,” at us. And then we failed to properly accomplish the thing. It was Black and White so the little team fighting tournaments and archery competitions were also really fun and memorable, along with the masquerade and dancing part at the end.

What things have helped to make you feel welcome in game?
All the veteran members of SMAC have been extremely friendly and helpful at every turn—I really appreciate their guidance and caring. I don’t even have to ask for help; when they see me inevitably messing up they take it upon themselves to give me pointers on my fighting technique. The greater Realms community is super welcoming as well. I don’t remember who it was, but someone at my first event said something like “Realms is family,” to all us newbies; it was a really cool sentiment.
What parts of the game do you find most challenging?
Photo by Jesse Gifford
Fighting is my absolute favorite, but I’m not very good at it yet—I think being aggressive enough is a big challenge for me. And as mentioned above, role-playing is also still a bit beyond me.

Do you have any game related goals (as either a player or character)?
I want to get better at fighting and maybe win a hand and a half tournament. I also want to try out the other weapons combos. As a character, hopefully join a nation eventually.

What advice would you give other new players?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification—a lot of people seem terrifying but are actually very nice. Don’t forget to think about what you’re doing with your feet and legs, not just your arms and torso, while fighting.

What have you enjoyed most about the game so far?
Getting better at fighting and seeing slow but steady improvement in myself. I also like the people experience and the socializing.

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to put into print?

Nice to meet all you cool people. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Funny Pictures

In this series, we're posting some unique pictures of us as we play in the Realms. The challenge we present to you is to provide us with funny captions for the pictures in the comments section. Try to keep 'em relatively clean and fun. (Photo by Jesse Gifford)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On the Order- Knights of the Red Branch

What is your Knighthood?
Photo by Jesse Gifford
The Order of the Red Branch

What year was your Knighthood formed?
First player knighted was on Oct. 18th, 2003 at the Black & White Masquerade

The result of a “one year” plot, that started at the Black & White in 1998, designed and developed to create a new knightly order within the game.

What does your knighthood stand for?
Promoting each individual to form their own opinion and act on it accordingly.

What are your tenants?

"To always do what YOU deem is right, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks."

What is your symbol?
A red rowan branch of 15 leaves on a black field.

Did you have a traditional Knightly power, if so what was it?

Not from the olden days, but we do have a recognized power when the Chimeronian "Trappings of Civilization" are in effect. It is called "Force of Will", and as the name sounds, it allows us to exert our will upon our surroundings to allow us to accomplish feats that might not otherwise be possible.

What do you look for when selecting squires?
Photo by Angela Gray
Each knight looks for something different, but it boils down to:

Having a good positive attitude towards the game and meshing well with at least one knight’s way of doing things.

What is your squiring process like? 
1. If a knight identifies someone they would like to squire, they talk to them about the order and about the possibility of working together.

If as potential squire approaches the order, the knights hold a meeting to discuss whether the candidate would be a good fit with one of them.

2. They are then either squired to the Order itself or to a specific knight and given a red belt with a black rowan branch on it.  Either way, as a squire of the Order, they can expect to be charged with tasks by any of the Knights.

3. The Squire will then spend years working with their Knight or other members of the Order growing and developing as an individual until one day they are recognized by the order as a whole.
Who is your current  Knight Commander?
Dame Brynn Colteor McKrye - Princess of Chimeron

Who are your currently active Knights?
Photo by Jesse Gifford
Dame Brynn Colteor McKrye
Sir Magnus Heavyhammer
Sir Rorin Akanar
Sir Laurante D'Rhian
Dame Makela DarkWillow
Sir Chan Ottokar

Away with the Fae Court:
Sir Ged
Duke Zula of the Fae Courts
King Owen ap Cuchulain of the Fae Courts

Leave of absence:
Sir BrightHammer IceBreaker

Do you have any interesting stories from your Knighthoods past?
Photo by Angela Gray
I think the single best knighting I have ever been to or done was the knighting of Sir BrightHammer.  It was when my character Owen was still a PC and he was leading a Realms wide war effort to re-take Fae from the false King Oberon.  BrightHammer had always been a great asset and friend to Owen in this and I had named him one of my lieutenants; however, he had decided to throw his lot in with Robin the Duke of Monstrosity who was leader of a third faction in the war.  I called him out on this in the middle of court at a Feast of Chimeron and took back the badge I’d given him as a lieutenant.  Bud (who played BrightHammer) was so dumbstruck and with shock/anger/frustration he couldn’t say anything….which was good in that it prevented him from interrupting when I then pulled out a knightly belt of our order and offered it to him in replacement.  Meanwhile, as this happened, the other Knights who of course knew what was going on had quietly come up from behind to be ready to welcome him into the Order.  To see the look on his face as his emotions did a complete 180…transitioned from shock of anger…all the way to stunned with joy…priceless.

Anything else?

Additional factoids:
Another name for the Order is “the Order of the Raven”.  This is due to a plot mis-que at the first event which launched the quest to found the new order.

The quest started at a Black & White Masquerade Ball in 1998 and as such the event holds a particular importance to the Order.  We now attempt to hold and annual meeting there each year IC & OOC.

The first person knighted to the Order was Owen Colteor McKrye, who later became known as Owen ap Cuchulain (aka Cuchulain).  He was knighted in silence by the spirit of the previous Knight Commander after finally being put to rest.

The “youngest” (ie. newest) squire of the Order is given the lineage squire belt, which bares the names of all the squires before them, until such time as another squire is taken in the order or they are knighted.  In each case they’re knight is responsible for providing their new belt.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Blast From the Past - View July 1992

Here we have July 1992. A lot of this follows up on one of the articles from the previous month (which you can read here - the article most of July is talking about is Tempest in a Pothole, the second to last scan). There sure was a lot of controversy back in the day. I haven't seen it as bad as it was back then in recent years and that is a good thing. There are also a bunch of other good Realms related articles including a View From Valehaven Best Article winner that introduced the concept of backed currency to the Realms. This issues is an excellent slice of life of how the Realms was working "back-in-the-day". [Thanks to Janna "Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee for the scans.]

Monday, February 3, 2014

Question of the Week - 130

What is the weakest 7th circle spell?