Friday, August 29, 2014


I had the pleasure of competing in the first ever Cleaved competition at Queen of Hearts 21.  I have run a similar contest at Tournaments of Creathorne for the past few years, and so was very excited when I heard that the QoH staff decided to do a mystery box type challenge for their cooking competition.  It was set up so that we were allowed to bring any equipment we wanted to use, but could not bring any sort of ingredients.  Each of us was given a work station (picnic table) to work at and a box containing about 20 items.  We then had 1 hour to complete 2 servings of whatever we wanted using only the ingredients in the box. 
What I was able to come up with was:

Soy Sauce & Lemon Marinated Chicken Leg with a Mandarin Orange Reduction Glaze

Sweet potato and carrot Frittata topped with crumbled bacon and sausage

Grilled English muffin topped with cheddar cheese and a deep fried romaine leaf

Romaine lettuce, and carrot slaw served in a lemon cup

Photo by Jana Greene

Photo by Jana Greene

Photo by Jana Greene

Photo by Jana Greene

Photo by Jana Greene

Photo by Jana Greene

Basket Ingredients (listed alphabetically)

10 Questions- Leilani "Gwen" Grayson

Photo by Mike Palumbo
How long have you been playing?
I started attending practice my freshman year at UConn in 2007. My first event was Tournaments of Creathorne in 2008. I waited quite a while before attending an event because I just wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there. As a matter of fact, if I hadn’t been dragged to practice by a friend, I don’t think I would have ever sought out something like Realms. I met Alysha (Kyntela), Heather (Talia), and Christine (Morgana) at that practice, and they are the reason that I kept playing long enough to attend my first event. I drove 4 hours to Grafton, and when I got there, none of my friends had shown up yet, so I kept driving back and forth past the event site until finally I talked myself into checking in. Angie had been given a heads up by Seth that I was coming, and she was the first person I ever met at an event. I had a blast and haven’t missed a ToC since I started playing.

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
I think the game has gotten better since I started playing. The Realms is a community that is constantly evolving and innovating. People are always trying to build on their successes, and it has led to some phenomenal events. Props and costuming at events are beyond amazing. The Order of the List has encouraged a new level of competition in tournaments. And feasts have featured some dishes that I think belong on restaurant menus. The reason I love this community so much is because it is made up of people who are always trying to make the game better. There are always things that can be improved, and there are always people ready to step up and make those changes.

Who have you learned the most from?
Photo by Jesse Gifford
Josh (Shandar) and Jeremy (Nighthawk) have spent the most time training me to become a better fighter. They have patiently trained me for hours and hours, and I have done my best to learn from them. I still have a long way to go, but I would be remiss if I didn’t thank them for taking their time to make me a better fighter.
Diana (Kiira) has helped me hone my sewing skills, and has helped me become a more confident seamstress.
My fellow Rhiassans have taught me just what can be accomplished with hard work and common goals. I am proud to be a part of such a hard-working nation.

Jason (Aeston) as my friend and knight has taught me me the most of all. He has taught me how to find the energy to finish a task, even at 3:00am. He has taught me to distinguish the difference between “good enough” and “Wow!”. He has taught me that the best leaders lead by example. He has taught me to celebrate the successes, and find the areas to improve upon next year. He has taught me that Realms is not just a game, it is a community of people that thrives because of people who are willing to give of themselves. I am grateful that I have been able to work alongside him.
What was your best moment IC?
My favorite time to play Gwen is at Grimloch Questing. This event started right around the same time that I did, and I have been lucky enough to play at every single one. Because the event started out with a fairly small player base, as a first-year-newbie I was able to get really involved with the plot. Ranger and I often spent time pouring over the facts that we knew, and I was excited that I both understood what was going on, but could also help make decisions about what we should do next. There was a scene at one point where a select few people could go and talk to Tanya’s character, who was playing a good guy, to find out more information. I was really proud when Aeston told me that I was going to be one of those select few. It happened at night, and I was really frantic because we only had a short time, and fighting was going on in the background. It was a time that the plot really came alive for me.

Photo by Angela Gray
What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
My favorite moment was on the big night quest at our second Harry Potter event. Jeremy was playing a big snarky spider that had venom that the PCs needed. The PCs were negotiating with him, but not really getting anywhere. Cecil was taking a turn trying to reason with the spider, and asked him what his favorite fruit was. Without missing a beat, Aaragog the spider shot back, “Mangoes!” in a booming voice. Cecil paused, and said, “Really? Mangoes are your favorite food?” and Jeremy the spider responded, “I’m sorry, I thought you said ‘what is your favorite fruit’”. Apparently Aaragog always remembers his manners. I was sitting in the grass watching the whole thing and I just couldn’t stop laughing.

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
I would like to see an increase in people reaching out to event holders to help staff events. Quests aren’t any fun without NPCs. Tournaments need more marshals to help things run smoothly. Feasts need people who are willing to serve food. I think that many event holders are lucky because they have a large nation of people to draw upon to help them. But many players don’t think to ask if an event holder needs help. If you are planning on going to an event anyway, it is always worth reaching out to the event holder to see if they are short on staff. EHs put a ton of time and energy into crafting quality events, but they fall flat without the NPC staff showing up the day of. Some event holders aren’t sure how to effectively reach out to people, but would be ecstatic if you offered to help.

What advice would you give new players?
Try to meet people at events. Networking in Realms can be intimidating, but the community is what makes our game awesome, so if you never get to know people, you are missing out on the best part of the Realms. In addition, if your first attempt to get to know someone doesn’t go particularly well, wait a while and try again. If I hadn’t done that, I would have missed out on a lot of important relationships, including the one with my husband. Find yourself an experienced player who is willing to act as a mentor and introduce you to people. Say hello, tell them your name, ask theirs. Find something out about them. Use those stories as an opportunity to build conversation the next time that you meet. These acquaintances might someday be your best friends, and many of them are excited to share their experience with newer players.

What do you love most about the game?
I will say it again and again. I love the people and the sense of community. I love that I can hang out with my best friends from college every weekend. I love that I have met such a wide variety of people who are just so awesome. This group of people is so incredibly diverse, and yet, so willing to help each other in order to make the game better. I am impressed that the Realms functions solely because people are so invested in it. I am really proud to be a part of it all.

Who would you like to see the next interview be with?
Jeremy Grayson, Ben Hamilton, or Alex Groom

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

I’d like to thank Jeremy for being such a great husband. He works very hard to help me realize all my Realms endeavors, and I am really grateful for his love and support. I don’t say thank you enough for all of the things that he does for me, but I am really grateful for his willingness to help in any way possible: to forgive the Realms tornado that often sweeps through the house, scattering debris everywhere, to build bridges, to plan plots, to hot glue until his fingers are burned, to fry churros into the early hours of the morning, and for a million other things. Thank you.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What you Missed, Queen of Hearts 2014

Photo by David Harvill

Photo by David Harvill

Photo by David Harvill

Photo by David Harvill

Photo by David Harvill
Photo by David Harvill

Artist Profile-Nataliya "Shadar" Kostenko

I’ve worked in almost every basic medium because the magnet arts high school I attended required us to branch out and experiment with all kinds of ways of making art. My favorite medium is digital video/film but I also like drawing, painting and photography a lot.
Have you had any formal art training?
Yeah, as mentioned I went to an arts high school and “majored” in visual arts there.
Where do you find inspiration?
For drawings and painting so far I’ve done mostly only extremely realistic stuff (or at least as realistic as I have the ability to make it), so I look for unusual angles for portraits and interesting set-ups for still-lifes. For films (I’ve only made short films and animations so far—under 15 minutes) I look for inspiration everywhere from books I read to people I meet and even reality TV sometimes.
Has your art been influenced by Realms? If so, how?
My art has not been influenced by Realms, but I believe this is only because I just recently started playing Realms. My art usually reflects many aspects of my life and since Realms is becoming a big part of that life I believe it will start to strongly influence it soon. Realms makes me really want to try drawing, painting or animating fantasy-type stuff, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Where do you share your work?
I’m pretty bad about sharing my work, I’ve even been told that in the past actually. I haven’t been organized enough to make a website or youtube channel for my art which is definitely something I should do in the future. When I was in high school my work used to be shared, through the school, at a few galleries in New Haven but since I came to college I guess it’s really been shared nowhere at all. I should really get to work on that website.

 What project/projects that you've created have you been particularly proud of?
Probably my two longest short films, “Chase” and “The Other Door”. I applied and was accepted to a few college film programs (which I didn’t end up going to) with them and got some other recognition in high school. I’m also pretty proud of the self-portrait and still-lifes I did for my senior portfolio.

What projects do you hope to complete in the future?
I would really like to make another film, but for now I only have ideas on paper. It’s hard to find time, actors and equipment while at college. And like I said before, I’d also like to try some potentially Realms-inspired fantasy stuff.

What other Realms artists work do you enjoy?
I frequently see Carol Eddy’s work all over facebook and it’s pretty amazing; she’s very talented.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What to bring to an over night event.

A Newbie Guide to Overnight Events
By Bethany "Dame Freesia" Tozier

So, you've hit practices and you know how to fight. You know your spells and you have hit a few events, maybe a feast, but now comes the big one... a weekend away!

What do you suppose you need?

First and foremost (and everyone will agree) socks, lots of socks. Oldbie extraordinaire Alex
Newbold said: “Put socks in your car or the car you came in so they are dry”. He’s right! Weather can be unpredictable, especially in our neck of the woods. With those extra socks bring an extra pair of sneakers you can also keep dry.

When thinking about cloths, don’t just pack your garb. Yes, you want to dress to impress but you should also be realistic. A change of clothes if you are going to make a coffee run or for your trek home is a good idea. I am partial to loose yoga or sweat pants and a tank top or t-shirt.

Something to sleep in should be on your list. If you’re a nude sleeper think of this: you’re in the woods, maybe you need something to cover your bum? Moving on....

Next, think about where you are sleeping and what time of year it is. Are you staying in a cabin? A Tent? Each will require different sleeping gear. Both require a sleeping bag and an extra blanket. It may be scorching hot during the day, but you may want that extra layer at night. If you forget your pillow, that’s fine, bring that extra blanket. If you’re sleeping in a tent think about the surface you’re going to be on. Do you want or need a mat to separate you from the ground? Long time player Sara Jessop recommends headphones if you need them, “ I can listen to music while I sleep. Otherwise I can't sleep at an event very well.” The slightest change in a sleeping environment could change you from a deep sleeping to a complete insomniac. If you’re sleeping in a tent, set it up in your yard (or a friend’s yard) a few days before the event.

Not only do you want to make sure you have all the parts but you may want to air out that funk. If you plan to sleep in a cabin (NOT available at all sites) just the sleeping gear bag, blanket, and pillow may be necessary.

Many people will also recommend you think about how you are going to feed yourself. There is usually not a place to cook (unless you bring a camp stove or there is a fire pit). For each day you will be on site think of it this way “If I am active all weekend, I need a snack, I will need a fast breakfast and grab and go lunch. I may need a big dinner, and of course... another snack.” Sandwich fixings are your friend, as well. It’s fast, filling, and all you need is a cooler with ice to make sure you don’t eat sour food. Oh yeah, bring a cooler! Think simple: Poptarts or muffins, Bread, Sandwich meat and condiments, fruit, granola bars. This is where I will add my nutritional two cents: Bring bananas, or apples or another fruit you can grab and go (I do not
recommend grapes). They will help you feel full and will give you real energy during your day.

You’ll want to snack all day if you are active all day. You need to eat, you need energy, make it healthy so you can go longer! Also, Kathy Fey points out “Gatorade or its equivalent.” You’ll want to stay hydrated and while there is water and other drinks usually available, sugars and drink mixes can dehydrate and that may take you out of the quest or tournament early.

There are the basics and the why each may be needed. To give an idea, I have been playing for about 20 years (started in 1995!) and this is my weekend packing list: Socks (2 extra pair per day of the event), underwear (2 extra, and yes I need to write it down sometimes), garb boots and sneakers (or hiking shoes), flashlight, Food (make your own list that goes here), water/Gatorade, sleeping bag, blanket, pillow, cash for a coffee or store run, shower items (shampoo, towel, soap), and other toiletries (toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, etc), garb bin (my garb lives in this bin once it is cleaned).  Also, remember we live in New England, that means bugs and the occasional appearance of the sun.  Don't forget to pack sun block and bug spray.

And there you have it, the basics of overnight eventing. If you forget something, never fret. Most sites are near stores of some variety (most sites, not all). Also, never be afraid to borrow or ask an oldbie what to do. We've all suffered through freezing nights we were unprepared for, we have all gone hungry in the face of saving the Realms, and we have all had to drive home in wet socks and cloths smelling of all the body odor. Good luck!

"I never thought that someone would honestly ask "what do I bring" when it came to an overnight event. When I hit my first, Henry told me what to pack and expect, Nigel filled in the missing pieces, and kept me fed.... so... I never struggled and it never dawned on me someone might not have that insight."

The Words to Temorse's Bardic from Queen of Hearts 21

Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became Lord of a place called Elemirre

In southwestern Banecroft born and raised
On the tourneyfield where I spent most of my days
Chillin' with the Falcons relaxin' all cool
Swingin’ our swords, acting like fools
When a couple of Trolls who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight, Twen gave me a leer
She said your squiring to me in a place called Elemirre'

I begged and pleaded with her day after day
But I packed my things and I was on my way
With my sword in hand and my shield in the other
I put my armor on, said goodbye to my brothers

Well, the cart came in it was clear to see
A shady looking troll looking out for me
I ain’t lookin for trouble, I just got here
I sprang with the quickness like lightning, disappeared

I whistled for a horse and when it came down
I hopped on its back and we were outta that town
I looked back once, almost shed a tear
But I thought 'Nah, forget it' - 'Yo, horse to Elemirre’'

I pulled up to the castle about the fall of night
Jumped off the horse and he was out of sight
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Lord of Elemirre

Ask "Queen" Syruss

Photo by Jesse Gifford
Hey there! You over there behind that bush! Yeah you with the creepy half skull face thing going on! 

You looked lost and confused. Maybe you have a question about combat? How about questing? about courtly etiquette? Or about blood rituals that will leave you sleepless for let’s say 6 days 9 hours and 47 minutes? 
Awwwww you do, but you haven't known who to ask? Ask Sir Syruss. Sir Syruss is a seasoned adventurer with over 10 years of experience slaughtering undead and charming the ladies, beating up bad guys, frustrating good guys, and grossing out the ladies. So if you have a question no matter how bizarre, weird or funny (the funnier the better then we can sell more issues of the View) consider asking the man who loves to tell you how to live your life……..even though no one tells you how to live your life.
Today’s question comes from the heart of Thorn Valley….
Dear Sir Syruss, How should the average adventurer handle "wuv, twu wuv" and other such romantic nonsense in the Realms? From, Not Bitter At ALL First off you might want to see a healer for that speech impediment you got going on, you have the worst case of Sir Elmer Fudd mouth I have ever read…..and that should be an indication of how bad it is that, you are writing the way you speak.
Secondly I try never to touch twu wuv, the stuff it gets too sticky. But if you are going to invest time, gold, and patience in developing this bright little flame into a burning inferno of love, then you might want to do your research. Ask yourself the following: A) Is your true love a necromancer? No? Rock on you Shiny diamond this might be the real deal B) Is your true love an alchemist? No? Awesome! Don’t need to worry about those instant poison breakups
If you answered yes to either of those two questions seek A Seer and A Healer immediately. You may not be in true love at all, you may be under a terrible spell making you feel things in the cockles of your heart that are simply not there. People please coercion through magic is illegal, and is not honest to goodness wham bam thank you ma’am kind of love. They are warping you mind your perceptions and your heart and it is wrong. Combine that with the use of love potions it is just rape. Friends don’t let Friends drink love potions and then walk off with the first person they see. I hope this helps, but probably not. Love, Sir Syruss of Grimloch Knight of the Potentium Knight of the Blue Rose Member of the prestigious Order of the List (2012)

*** The views expressed by Sir Syruss, do not reflect those of the View staff, who would usually give MUCH different advice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Team Iawen's Bardic from Queen of Hearts 21- Classy

Spoken: "Hi, guys! (etc.) I don't recall actually as we didn't have a lot of time to prepare this who all I asked for help with the bardic, and since everyone's here, I guess I must have told one of you no... No? Alright, well... do your thing, I guess, go on."

(Everyone either looks confused or starts BARDIC-ING THEIR WAY, depends who we can beg to volunteer with us that night.) *Editor's note, they mostly all just looked confused.

(if majority look Confused and stand there, apologize and tell them it's okay, then say, "We'll let Saka show you how it's done.")

Saka: puts on shades slow

1 2 3 4

It might seem crazy, singin' for my team
But Ashenmark only gave me three... (spoken) nights
My true supporters said it'd be fine
So I summoned Saka in the nick of time

(spoken) Here's why

(Peeps who helps us) Because we're classy...
Got my friends from North and South, from Folkestone to Coventry (Peeps who helps us) Because we're classy... Run those crazy Neden boys up the hill and through the trees

I've got two generals, they love to fight
One's into "spreadsheets", the other "smites".
Cham-pin's Poseidon, my Mage's fine
And my seneschal, well... never mind


(Peeps who helps us) Because we're classy..
Got my friends from North and South, from Folkestone to Coventry
(Peeps who helps us) Because we're classy... Run those crazy Neden boys up the hill and through the trees

Because we're classy... Watch your blow strength, Grimloch, and we'll battle 'til we're black and blue (Peeps who helps us) Because we're classy... Or you can ditch both those teams; join us, you'll be classy too!

Armor 1, can't hit me
Armor 2, you're swinging too hard!
Armor 3, guess I'm cheating
Somebody come down and heal my limbs
Arm and leg, you can't kill me!

Run those crazy Neden boys up the hill and through the trees

Because we're classy... Watch your blow strength, Grimloch, and we'll battle 'til we're black & blue! Because we're classy... You can ditch both those teams, and join us, you'll be classy, too!

Got my team from North and South, from Folkestone to Coventry
Because we're classy! Run those crazy Neden boys up the hill and through the trees (spoken) Just like Mestoph did! Because we're classy Watch your blow strength, Grimloch, and we'll battle 'til we're black and blue

Because we're classy! Or you can ditch both those teams, and maybe you'll be classy too. (spoken) We out. /crotch X chop/

Why I Want To Go- Folkestone Weekend

Time to hear from Dame Twenaria for the first time on why she wants to go.

Why I Want to Go: Feast of Folkestone

Each and every year for the past few years, the kitchen has served up better and better dishes, each trumping the last.  My stomach isn’t the only one to feel this way, this feast has won Best Feast from the View from Valehaven awards.  Aside from happily gorging yourself, there is the annual auction, so bring your gold.  (it is wholly IC, no cash).  I hear rumors of the Training Pit, a bear pit, and dessert wars. The casino will be going, plenty of character interaction, and sometimes a surprise guest or two.  Who knows?  I just know I want to go!

Why I want to go: Folkestone Questing

The plan is to wrap up the Shadowking Plot.  Players will be facing many challenges from tracking down Jonas Cooke, finding a way to end his shadowy reign, to finding the cure for Shadow Blight,,  I hope players are ready to be busy, theres an awful lot to do.
This series has become one of the most loved plots.  It has been consistently well written, provides players with many choices, and challenges.  Role-playing, fighting and thinking will be integral.  
After seeing how the other events in this plot have played out, how this story ends is in the hands of the players.  What will you do?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Radstar's Bardic From Queen of Hearts 21

It's that time, Queen of Hearts is here again,

where fighters fight, casters cast, and cowards fear,

Three teams enter, the end is near.

Well Rawlin came a calling, and knew that my foes would be falling,

and when it came to fighting, I'd be straight up ballin.

Ahh the things I do for team Rawlin.

Now Rawlin is a magical queen,

and his bad ass self can be so mean,

and if looks counted he could kill the whole team.

His smile is like a sun beam.

Even all of Neden tells me he is such a dream.

Thank you Rawlin and Tallon for letting me on this team,

where we will do things unseen,

wearing black, purple and green.

Here's to Rawlin LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!!

Question of the Week 159

Tell us about your favorite Queen of Hearts Memory.

Not exactly a question of the week, but who doesn't love an opportunity to tell a good war story?

Or kitchen story, or bardic moment, or even about that time that the Team Rat (who of course never existed) did that funny thing.

Friday, August 22, 2014

From the Editor's Desk—News from the View/Reflections on Queen of Hearts

If you are a regular View reader, you’ve probably noticed the recent influx of new staff members. The truth is I learned in June that Dave Dolph, the individual who started the online View back in July of 2011 was going to cease to serve as a staff person in the near future. While I immediately agreed to stay on, I strongly believe in striving to be self-aware and realistic about your weaknesses, and one of my weaknesses is consistency. I knew there was no way I could do as much as Dave has done for the past 3 years on a regular/consistent basis, without there being gaps in content, on my own. So I started recruiting for both contributors and for staff, and I was fortunate to also have people step up and express interest during the same period. With that said, welcome once again to Alex, Kelly, and Jennifer, our new staff for the View from Valehaven online edition.

With new staff members, come new ideas, as well as the rebirth of some older ones. One of Jennifer DeNardis-Rosa’s initial comments to me on the View was that reviving the “Letters from the Editor’s Desk” column that Doug Fisher used to write for the View would, “give a more "human" aspect to the View”. This is my attempt at providing that human element. You can look forward to hearing from other staff members in the future.

We are currently running a series of posts on Queen of Hearts 21. I had the honor of staffing that event this year, and I would like to share some of my experiences. First I want to emphasis the word I chose to use previously, honor.

Rhiassa allowed me to design and run the mages tournament. The plan for the future, is to have a member of the Order of the Magi run the tournament each year. I feel honored to be entrusted with such a significant portion of the event. I was surprised that Aeston had enough faith in me where he didn’t ask for many details of the tournament prior to the event, in fact he seemed surprised when I kept trying to share them and he repeatedly reinforced that he trusted me and how I chose to run it was completely up to me.

I ended up feeling very positive about how the tournament went. We had sections devoted to combat, combat casting, questing, information gathering, runes, research, spell system knowledge, and spell design. The competitors were involved in related activities for approximately 15 hours over the course of two days. The Mages all had amazing attitudes and were a pleasure to work with.

I need to point out what I feel was the smartest thing I did while planning this tournament. It was to recruit Andrew Bancroft/Rorin to assist me. This is the first time I’ve run a tournament this extensive with so many subjective components. His assistance with judging, helped me to develop confidence (our assessments were never far off and in fact almost always matched), and he helped to ensure that the judging was unbiased. More than that, he was a pleasure to work with and made the experience fun. I highly recommend drafting an excellent partner like him if you are ever in the position of running such a tournament. Thank you, Andrew.

The other reason I felt running the tournament was an honor, is that I’m sure I grew as a tournament designer, marshal, and magus, because of my experience running this tournament. When they say you learn by teaching they are right. I learned that you can also learn a lot by judging. Stepping back and observing some quality casters while consciously assessing their performance led to me seeing many things I too can improve upon in my own casting, and I will strive to work on going forward.

The awesome thing is you don’t have to be running or marshalling a tournament to observe in this way, so I highly suggest everyone do it. Spend some time picking out someone you know is strong, in things you want to learn, and watch what they do and don’t do. I can almost guarantee you’ll consider it worthwhile and be better for doing so.

Some other moments that stood out for me was listening to the bardics. There have been quite a few moments in my Realms career where while I’m listening to our performers, I’m overcome with gratitude for experiencing the gift of my fellow Realms members amazing talents being shared in such an intimate setting. This year was one of the times that occurred.

I also appreciate witnessing the evolution of our community and people earning new titles and establishing new ties. Kyro succeeded Kyntela who has been the Champion of Rhiassa for the past four years after winning the honor via combat. He also was squired to Dame Areni in their national Knighthood. In addition, Imari joined the Lion Militia.

I also loved watching Saka, apprentice to Borjid and myself, play the sax and be such a pretty, pretty proxy queen.

In closing, remember magic penetrates.


What you missed, Queen of Hearts

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo by Jesse Gifford

Photo  by Jesse Gifford

Photo  by Jesse Gifford

Photo  by Jesse Gifford

Photo  by Jesse Gifford

Photo  by Jesse Gifford

Photo  by Jesse Gifford

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kiira's Bardic from QoH 21

Words cannot say, I will try anyway to tell you my tale so sorrowful
Of my brother so brave, now gone to the grave though his might and will were powerful. 
Build the pyre, ready the fire. Brother is coming home today. 
For the men he admired said words that inspired my brothers life to go astray. 

Mother did plea on bended knee, "Son do not march off to war. 
Their every breath will bring you death, and I will see you never more."

"Mother," he said, "I'd rather be dead than hide behind your cowardice. 
You stand there and mock and hold no stock in my skill and sword prowess."

Build the pyre, ready the fire. Brother is coming home today. 
For the men he admired said words that inspired my brothers life to go astray. 

He said his goodbyes despite all our cries, though our grief had just begun. 
Brother marched out with no fear or doubt. The path of war was the only one.  

"Mother dear, I sadly fear we'll not see him e'er again. 
He chose a life of war and strife and took a sword for his wife."

Build the pyre, ready the fire. Brother is coming home today. 
For the men he admired said words that inspired my brothers life to go astray. 

The tales revealed his sword and shield were able to triumph in the fray. 
Upon the field he never did yield to any attack that came his way. 

He traveled great lengths and climbed the ranks until he commanded scores of men. 
But hatred arised, sly and green-eyed in the form of a man my brother called friend. 

We've built the pyre, ignited the fire. Brother's body has been burned. 
Through his last written word, on wings of a bird, my brother's murderer I have learned. 

Through flame and smoke, my mother's heart broke. Now I am lost and all alone. 
So I'll channel my hate to retaliate and kill that traitor with skills I will hone. 

Light the fire, let it burn higher! Upon it I shall forge a sword. 
An eye for an eye, that traitor must die! Then I shall have the final word. 

Artist Profile- Zack "Dygen" Reynolds

What mediums do you work in?

When I make something that I consider at least somewhat artsy, I usually arrived at that medium because I wanted to make something specific, and that medium was the best fit. It’s very situational, so I would say I work in many mediums. I find it difficult to refer to myself as an artist, but I do feel I am lucky in the sense that, if I have a vision in my mind, I can usually make a physical version.

Have you had any formal art training?
I have taken the classes you expect to take in standard education, but I haven’t had any further art education. Most of the stuff I try is sort of trial and error. I would love to show some examples of my first attempts, but a lot of them are unpleasant to the eyes.

Where do you find inspiration?
This may sound counter-intuitive, but almost everything I create is fantasy based, but is rooted in reality. If I make something, I almost always want to look at it and think “This is the closest I can get this to look if this were real”. There are a lot of times that is impossible, but I think anyone who saw the baseball bat I made for Grimloch Questing 2013 was probably afraid I had lost it.

Has your art been influenced by Realms? If so, how?
Yeah, of course. The obvious part in this is that a lot of the craft things I do are realms based. It is also clear that the work I create for Realms and outside of the realms is quite different. What is less obvious, I suppose, is the fact that it’s impossible to avoid drawing some influence from the Realms. There is a lot of creativity in the community, and this type of setting can drive that.

Where do you share your work?
If I am proud of something, I post it on Facebook and/or (Noctaire). I post very indiscriminately. If I think it looks somewhat cool, I post it. If I haven’t got familiar with a type of medium, I almost definitely post it, because I don’t know better.

What project/projects that you've created have you been particularly proud of?
The baseball bat I mentioned before was one of the best things I created in my opinion. It looked like one. It was weighted like one. The measurements were exact. Unfortunately... It melted the very next day when we left it in the car, and I didn’t get a great picture. The stop sign was my first attempt at a weapon that looks somewhat real, so I am pretty proud about that. Some of the guns I have made (dieselpunk / steampunk) might not have the most extraordinary modifications, but they have allowed me to try different textures, and I have learned quite a bit from them.

What projects do you hope to complete in the future?
I really hope to make some great stuff for the final year Grimloch Questing. I obviously can’t say exactly what those things are. It’s been all crafting this year, though, so I hope to get some time doing some other things, like drawing.

What other Realms artists work do you enjoy?

Everyone that came before me has done such unbelievable work. I am not just saying this, when I state that every one of them is leagues above me in artistic talent. With just a submission or two of their work, it was clear how talented they were. As much as I wish I could single any of them out, I can’t. Instead I am going to reference someone most of you don’t know, as he hasn’t played the game much, but he is a good friend. He is also, incredibly talented for being self-taught. I tried so many different techniques, but also comes back to the ones that work well. I am going to try and cheat here, and post a link to just one piece of work. His name is Josh Sawyer. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What you missed, Queen of Hearts

Photo by Britini Chandler

Photo by Britini Chandler

Photo by Britini Chandler

Photo by Britini Chandler

Photo by Britini Chandler

As always, don't forget to head over and review the event.