Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WIWTG: Blackwood Tournaments IV

If a traditional back yard barbecue and fireworks with the fam aren't your idea of a great 4th of July, we offer you this alternative:

Head up to Creathorne Farm to celebrate, Blackwood style.  No, I don't exactly know what that means, but it can't be that bad, right?  I mean, they promise a barbecue with burgers and hot dogs (which is always a weiner...I mean winner).  They hint at fireworks.  Of course, there will be tourneys of several types.  I see small war maneuvers, which is a well-loved pastime to celebrate independence, if you are in Blackwood.  Some questing, and light drinking allowed only by those of legal age.  Seriously, don't be that guy (or girl) and drink underage and ruin it for everyone.  Not cool.

Now, I'm not a betting lady, but I'd bet the Casino will be set up someplace, too.

So, this weekend celebrate your independence by doing whatever you want to, it seems Blackwood has everything covered.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fresh Face- Gregory "Daekara" Falconer

Photo by Matt Norris
How did you learn about LARP and what brought you to Realms?

I’ve been sword fighting/fencing for many years and always wanted a more free-fighting system. Seven or so years ago Mike Durocher (Vuel) started trying to get me into it but I didn’t really feel at the time that it would be right for me or that I would have the time to do it. Fast forward to my 21st birthday and I got really drunk and made a promise to a different friend that if he would start going to LARP’s I would join him. After trying a couple, Realms popped back up and I figured I would give it a shot, and since then it has become my favorite LARP

How many events have you been to?

6 so far and I plan to hit as many more as I can this year. (Uncle Cecil’s, Feast of Creathorne, KoEF Tourneys 2015, festival of Pi, Green and Gold, ToC, and Feast of Eagle's Rook).

What is your character like? Where are they from? What is their race? What is important to them?

Daekara is a fairly self-centered but honorable sailor who feels the sea should be free to all men who wish to travel and see the world, to learn what they can from wherever they go, and that a person should be able to reap what they sow without fear of taxes. Daekara is a human from a far-off continent where war is common and sword-fighting is as much a tool of diplomacy as an instrument of killing. The most important things to him are to be a master at whatever you chose to do and to always have enough money to drink, gamble, and eat well with anyone who would choose to join you. For these reasons Daekara wants to join Invictus and learn all he can from them.

What do you remember most about your first event?

Well my first event was Uncle Cecil’s 2014 and I would be lying if I said I remembered any part of that clearly, but the parts that stick out in my head are how friendly people were to me as the new guy, making friends with a few good people that have seen me through my realms career so far and helped me further myself. There were also a lot of invitations to fight for upcoming events and I made sure to make good on all of them.

Photo by Robyn Neilsen

What things have helped you feel welcome in the game?

Mainly the people who kept encouraging me as a newbie that I was doing good and that if I kept at it I would get much better. The near constant presence of gambling didn’t hurt.

What parts of the game do you find most challenging?

Being multiple NPC’s and trying to make them different from each other. Jumping from character to character is something I need much more practice at.

Do you have any game-related goals (as either a player or character)?

As a character I want to join Invictus and grow to be one of the best fighters in the Realms. They are currently petitioning me so I want to show them that I am worthy of joining their ranks and willing to do whatever I can to learn and improve. As a player I want to become a better cook that people want to have on their kitchen staffs, to hop around as an NPC when it’s needed, and to become someone that can eventually teach all the things I’ve learned to new players, though the last one is a long ways away.
Photo by Jesse Gifford

What advice would you give to new players?

Find what interests you most, stick with it, and put yourself out there as much as you can. People with the same interests will eventually pick up and remember you. Even if you have a bad event or practice never give up, it happens to everyone, and above all else enjoy yourself! We come to the Realms to have fun.

What have you enjoyed most about the game so far?

The Order of the List tournaments, the occasional free-flowing drink, and the freedom to lose all my gold in a casino.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What You Missed- North South War by Britny "Kamilla" Fowler

My tales from here in the Realms are few as I have not been on this plane for long, but I could tell of an event that occurred just this past weekend, the great wars between the North and the South. Early in the morning the captain from Mayerling, Charwindle had us load up our supplies, swords and shields, extra swords. Armor, snacks…. Oh I know I’m forgetting something… ah yes, a seemingly endless supply of arrows.

When we arrived at the event and donned our armor and took our place with the Southern army there were people everywhere. I believe that our purpose there had something to do with how we seem to help Rhiassa in many capacities, training the Oaken guard and helping defend their lands, but I digress. Throughout the day we faced battles in many forms. First were the line battles, unlimited to start. Our archers lined up behind Rhiassa due to our familiarity working together, came through their ranks and ran to skirmish with the North before they were close enough to engage in melee combat with our line. The archers ran back, and soon it was time for swords. It became evident quickly that while we had the advantage of numbers the North had the advantage of many seasoned fighters with Grimloch, the newly formed Invictus, and even the Southern Wastes fighting on their side. The Wastes’ decision confuses me, but I suppose they seem to be kind of freelancers in the Realms, traveling and doing as they see fit.

The line battles were all over quickly, both limited and unlimited even with the hilarity of healers accidently raising their friends from their opponents side forgetting that they were fighting each other. As a spellcaster I was worried about being ineffectual during the limited battles as that would normally mean magics would not work, but the Creator graced us with favor and we retained the ability to heal limbs and fire magic missiles at our enemies and found ourselves able to wield larger weapons than normal.

After the line battles we rotated on the field to play a game of “Capture the Flag”. We all found ourselves charging in, killing our enemies, looking for our opportunity to grab the other teams flag when seemingly as soon as the first game began we heard the call of “OVER!” Only to look over and see that there stood Darven of Mayerling, fighting with us on the South holding the North’s flag. Three cheers for Darven!

The next round was unlimited so I sought to delay the North by laying down a Circle of Protection around our flag, but after a couple of spellcasters failed to grab it a fighter was finally able to overwhelm me and thus brought about a victory for the North.

By the time the next game rolled around I was really starting to feel the fact that a horse (OOC: motorcycle) stepped on my foot a couple weeks ago, so as the ballista challenge began I took up station with Kwiddo who also warred with an injured foot at the regen flag. There he bravely sat repairing armor and bows as brave warriors came back to life, I waiting to cast a CoP to defend his forge from a disrupting abjurer but no such interference arrived. The battles were long and hard but eventually they ended, with no one I spoke to actually knowing the victor.

As we moved to bridges at last I felt useful, myself with my Circle of Healing, Kwiddo again with his forge. Together we saw many brave warriors pass through our ranks to return to the fray of fighting that seemed to never end. It took about forty minutes until someone fired an arrow through my circle, breaking it and putting a stop to my healing. The battle itself lasted long, 55 minutes of grueling combat, many picking up pikes for the first time in their lives doing everything they could to defend the line, but alas the North eventually broke through. One of our healers tried with all his might to call a cry of life while our warriors were dead behind enemy lines which would have certainly turned the tide of battle but… well could a bard perhaps give that man a lesson in projection?
From bridges we moved on to alternately besiege and defend a small fort in the woods, fight as we might we could not waylay our besiegers for long. As we sought to gain our own entry we fought valiantly, as fighters died new men and women came forward to grab the pikes and fill the ranks. It took a great deal of strength and courage but eventually we broke through the door shields of Invictus and entry was gained.

As we grew hungry we trooped down to the beach where there stood the final castle. Unfortunately in the tight quarters with spare weapons laid everywhere it was impossible to set up a Circle of Healing. I sat on the front lines holding my shield healing the limbs of pikemen and dragging the dead from under their door shields and knew with dismay the battle would not last long without the greater healing abilities.

As the battle ended a quick point capture battle began. At this point my foot demanded that I begin to make my way back to the tavern, but from what I hear this was a great time. At one point the dock came detached in the middle and the fighters upon it began to drift away, but all was soon restored to order. At the conclusion of this fight occurred a court, unfortunately all I could learn of was the gruesome resurgence of the nation of Rathkeale. Let me see how well my memory serves of this tale,

Lord and Chancellor Hayden Cromwell of Rathkeale the Devourer:
For those of you who DONT know me I am Hayden Cromwell and for the last 6 months or so I have been lording myself around as the Lord of Rockwood let me just say that I am no longer that! But instead I was recently named the LORD AND CHANCELOR of Rathkeale by our great Emperor Artex Bluebane the Unforgiven!  woo isn’t that awesome! Now before I finish this up there have been some men and women that have fought with me! and  I ask that those who BEAR MY Mark the broken chalice step forward and Kneel! (and so they did) you are all BRAVE enough to fight alongside me! now let us see if your Brave enough to follow my orders Drink from this Cup, the cup of my body as a sign of loyalty to me! Inside are FLUIDS drink. These FLUIDS from this cup and it will represent our bond! (and so they did) WOW you are brave I mean those fluids were inside me... it’s cool it was my blood haha! Congratulations brave men and women! you are now all Part of rathkeale and I am inside you! flowing through you and we are bound!

At this we broke for dinner, many grilling food over fires, my friends and I found an excellent local eatery serving pasta and pizzas that we would advise to anyone. Upon return to the event was an excellent bout of capture the flag in the dark in the woods. The whole site was live for this event; each team had 3 flags a large one with bells worth the most points and two small ones with lights attached. Another way for the teams to get points was to kill and scalp those on the other team, these scalpings were not permanent but a just a part of the tournament. I ended up watching from the tavern for most of the game, discussing the outcome with others when two members of Invictus and two members of the South resurrected at the tavern at the same time. An argument quickly ensued over each other’s safety upon leaving the neutral territory. I attempted to use my feminine wiles to distract Wrath, but surprisingly it bore no effect. The two girls from the South unfortunately quickly ended up dead and scalped again right outside the tavern.

At this point the highlight of the evening began for me in the opening of Panther’s Inn. Never having been to this establishment before but having heard many good things I was certainly looking forward to it. I knew some who were looking forward to gambling, I had heard many tales of the dancers and that all abound it would be a good time of story and drink. From the time I arrived at the door I was not disappointed. The… erm, door guard *cough cough* for those sensitive ears who may be around, certainly was not what I expected. She did not care that Sir Panther had expressly invited the nation of Mayerling to his Inn, I was still expected to pay entry. After much objection on my part she went and extracted the honorable knight away from his card table, though much to my shock I was STILL expected to pay entry, note to self, next time bring a pie or something. Well after much stuttering and stammering and inward lamenting over my very light money pouch I agreed to craft for Sir Panther arrows in return for the entry of everyone from my nation, to be delivered by the time the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees.

Once finally inside I can tell you it was a wondrous time. Drinks there were a plenty well crafted by Sir Kaz, Rob Scarlet made an excellent stew. The dancers were quite exquisite… and well Syruss, he wasn’t a bad dancer either. The lockpick training set was available for those who wished to learn this most useful skill, while I did not mess with them at the Inn I can remember from the Feast of Leviathan that they are a difficult but fun challenge that I encourage others to join in. The gambling was fierce, and talk and stories of past battles and friends and family and homelands was aplenty. While the air in the Inn was warm it started raining outside which brought more people in.
Alas and unfortunately the next day which was supposed to be full of squad battles, which Mayerling had been looking forward to until we  were called back home for urgent engagements, was a day of great rain and storms. Only one from the South remained to fight for honor and glory, though the North remained largely en force.

So here our tale ends, with another year of warring between the North and the South now behind us adding to its deep rich history within the Realms. Who knows where the future of this war shall lead, that will only be determined by those who rise to defend their sides honor and seek victory.

What I learned at North/South War 2015 (and years previous) by Gerard "Gray" Chartier

Photo by Robyn Nielsen

1. Bring lots of water and snacks.

2. Also bring sunscreen and bug spray.

3. Bring a change of garb (or at least clothes for under the garb) for the night portion of the

event. You’ll be glad you did when you don’t have to do the nighttime stuff in clammy

smelly garb.

4. It’s a team effort. Everyone can contribute. Certain roles are obviously important – the

shield wall, the pikemen, backpack support casters, healers manning Circles of Healing,

blacksmiths in their mystic forges. Those are the rock stars of a lot of the battles –

particularly the battles contesting limited space (the unlimited bridge battle in particular),

but one doesn’t have to conform to one of those roles to be useful. Numbers count, and

even if you’re not rocking fighter weapons, fighters can’t afford to ignore you, especially in

the more open battles where there’s a significant risk of being rolled from behind. Plus,

there’s always a need for someone to bring dead characters to the Circle of Healing, or

collect arrows for the archers, or even just be a meatshield.

5. Archery is more effective when it’s coordinated. A person is a lot more likely to

dodge/block a single arrow than a volley of 3 or more. A group of archers all firing at the

same target at the same time are more effective than they would be individually firing on

separate targets.

6. If you’re an archer, invest in good arrows. Shameless plug: Mayerling arrows are the best

7. Protection from Missiles + Armored Cloak = virtual immunity to ranged attacks.

8. The limited­area battles are the ones to put down Circles of Healing. Open battles end too

fast to shuttle player to a circle and slow­raise them. Save the circles for the unlimited

bridge battle and for the ballista battle.

9. Site your Circle of Healing in the corner, not directly behind the bridge. It’s a little further

to go, but it’ll make it harder for archers to break the circle with a well­aimed shot.

10. Throw Circles of Protection around your flags in Capture the Flag battles and nighttime

Capture the Flag.

11. Bring a towel, and some weapons you don’t mind getting wet. The water is in play during

the beach fights.

12. Think it’s hard to tell your team from their team during the day? Try it at night. Have a

way to discern your team from their team before the nighttime Capture the Flag. Hint:

Passwords only work until a sneaky member of the other team hears a member of your

team use it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What You Missed - North/ South War 2015 (photos)

[Editor's note: all photos by View staff except those taken by Jesse Gifford, marked with an (*)]

On my honor, I shall try...to give them as good of a fight as I can!

The fierce North*

The tenacious South*

Field Battle

Testing the ballista for the next tournament

Sir Wil stares down the North - "You shall not pass!"

Facing each other down across the bridge

In the thick of the 55-minute bridge battle*

"My pike's bigger than yours." "I don't know if those two inches will help you."

Castle siege and defense

There's more than one way to shoot an arrow*

We want YOU for the Northern Army!

Control point battle and a nice dip in the lake

Storming the beach*

WIWTG: Gilded Lion Summer Festival and G.O.F.E.R.

This weekend is lucky enough to be home to two firsts.  For the sake of brevity, lets just go in order of appearance.
artists concept of elevated burger
On Saturday the 27th of June, Rhiassa presents a new event.  The Summer Festival boasts a variety of tourneys (single combatant and team), carnival games, food, and they even will be testing their new plot.  After the great success of What Lurks Beneath, I think I can honestly say it should be a great time.  Personally, I am very excited about it.  Plus, the event holder used the term "elevated hamburgers"  How could one not be intrigued?

Sunday brings a new day, new event, new site, and a new crew of event holders.  While there is a LOT of experience on this staff, I *think* this is their first endeavor together.  Really, its very exciting.  The short and sweet of this is "Grab 20 of your closest friends.  Or some stragglers.  Head into a dragon's den, and grab the loot.  Run.  Oh, you only have two hours."
Never mind that we got the information from a dragon.  Never mind we are going up against an older, bigger dragon, plus who ever else hangs out in dragon hordes.  It will be worth it for the items, right?
This event is being run in three, 2 hour shifts.  At this point, the event is FULL.  However, Please contact the EHs to find out about the fun in store for those that want to NPC, whether its one shift, two, or all of them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What You Missed- A Night of Living History

By Alex "Lucas" Newbold

Journey now to the thrilling adventures of yesteryear!  Sitting around a fire, swapping stories both old and new, laughing, singing, and spending time with folks. People have said for years, that one of their favorite parts of The Realms, is the community, sitting around the fire pit together. That's what this event was.  A scheduled time to do just that.  It was a great time.

The event started out in the main hall, where Radstar had set up the Museum of Realms Artifacts.  Queen of hearts cards, Event Flyers from the 90's, hard copy photographs (pre digital film!) and all manner of event props.  Suits of armor, defunct blue bladed weapons, obscure magic items, scrolls of raise dead, and all manner of small items. Banners, Tabbards, Heraldry, all on display.  It was a sports museum, but with our type of flair to it.

Then we adjourned to the fire pit, where we introduced ourselves, and told stories.  Panther told stories of stalking people at N/S War, of the chaos of throwing early events, and of how he matured as an event holder.  Lady Anne was there, and she told the infamous story of "oh dear, there is a pair of dead bodies here".  She even sang, and recited her epic bardic tale of the death of Sir Pyr.  Only told one other time in the history of the Realms.  Newer folks weren't shy either, Kovacs sang a song of her own writing, about Uncle Cecil's Crazy Tavern.

Snacks were passed around, smores were roasted on the fire, and a few folks wandered off into the woods to see what adventure hid in the darkness. Next time we do this, lets not need an event to do it, lets just sit around and talk to each other more often.  A sense of community won't come without effort from us all.  I'll see you around the fire pit.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dear Tom, Chapter 4: Looking for Steel

Dear Tom,

Good news,  Baptise Butchery has found a market of willing buyers. Better news, it's in hell. I mean, given the look some people gave me I’m gonna be stuck there eventually so once someone offs me for the last time I should be swimming pretty.

Not sure why we went to hell, someone told us there was a awful person there. Turns out we need a lot more fighters. Which makes me feel bad as a 3-path as I am part of the problem but oh well, it's hard to find armor! I can’t just wear the leather of the undead… or can… no. No I can’t, don’t go down that road.

Turns out hell sucks! Who knew? They even have enslaved a human baby, much to everyone’s horror and my confusion. What’s the point in enslaving a baby? They can’t really do anything. Now you can kill them I guess but why? Death is shallow in the Realms but to define a life by murder will stain you with the same ink. It’s abhorrent, why I only use ‘wild’ meat.

Speaking of Wild Meat I snagged some prime demon cuts. I mean I didn’t kill them and if a body starts to rot the soul decomposes like the corpse.  You know everyone expects this to be spicy, I bet they aren’t, wouldn’t that be a gaff? Like you take a bit outta these and boom it's actually sweet with a hint of an almost whiskey taste?

More importantly it seems we are facing a critical lack of fighters, perhaps it was merely the absence of Grimloch but it’s become apparent that we need more fighters.Something I intend to help with but first I need to cast one last spell.

I did never get to pull off a ritual before.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

On the Origins of North-South War by Mike " Sir Panther" Palumbo

[Editor's note: North-South War has long been considered one of the cornerstone events of the Realms year and one that is always highly anticipated. This article, written by a veteran player, goes into a bit of the history and tradition behind the North-South rivalry and the creation of the event. Even as the Realms continues to change, and these traditional distinctions are less important than they once were, it remains valuable for all of us to know the interesting history of our community.]

The North South War is an annual tournament that is almost as old as the Realms itself. It's name and concept come from a time when the majority of the communities in the Realms were culturally divided into three areas. Back then, nations typically existed in the real world equivalent of where the players lived, and there were many cultural differences between the types of players who lived in the North (NH, VT), and the South (MA), as well as the Southern Wastes (CT). Their differences varied on every topic, be it fighting technique, rules interpretation, role playing, etc. etc. Practices and training didn't happen accorss the realms like it does today, it only happened in select places, and you could tell by watching a person fight exactly where they were trained. The South was more into Role Playing and Plot and the North was more concerned with combat. The differences polarized their event attendance, with few events being able to attract large groups from both sides of the coin.

1992 marked the very last Duke of Glenndale Tournaments and War Maneuvers, after which events fell into two major categories, plot events, and individual tournaments. There were no grand war maneuvers. 1994 saw the first Queen of Hearts, but in its first iteration there was plot and NPCs, which integrated with the tournaments. In its inaugural event, it had yet to reach the heights we've come to expect from it today, and it did not inspire the kind of fierce rivalry that was to come, a rivalry that had been building with no outlet in sight.

In June of 1995, a full three years since the last Duke of Glenndale, Paul Fournier (Decion of Folkestone) and Tom Johnson (Blade of Folkestone) threw their first event, the North South War, with the help of the rest of Folkestone. Unlike Queen of Hearts, there was no registering a team, no organization of true supporters, no individual tournaments; there was just one question: 

Are you North or are you South?

Those who lived in VT and NH were thrown on the North, those who lived in MA were thrown on the South, and those who lived in CT were kept aside until the numbers were totaled. The Southern Wastes were put on whichever team was the underdog.  

That first year, the South outnumbered the North because the majority of the North was Folkestone and they ran the event, and Chimeron was very populous, so the Wastes were thrown in with the North. Tensions were high, contestants had three years of thinking they were better than the other, with no opportunity to prove it, until now. One general for each team was chosen, and for two days North battled South.  The tradition was defined; the first day was filled with line battles and bridge battles, and fort battles, and other ways to pit the whole team against the other. The night time brought a site-wide version of capture the flag, and the second day required teams to be split into squads to participate in a series of battles against the opponent's squads. Everything was done both limited and unlimited. Everything was worth points. Things were intense and bragging rights were on the line. 

When it came time to announce the winners, we were told it was a tie score. No winners. 
What!?  After all that, no one wins!?  Some people believe that given how intense people were taking the event, and the personal stakes people had placed on the outcome, that the Eventholders had no choice but to declare a tie and allow everyone to save face, as well as allow them to leave the site unharmed. 

Since then, the North South War has evolved into the premier just-show-up-and-fight event. Over the years, who is North and who is South and whether people have a vested interest in such identity has ebbed and flowed, as has the line that divides the two regions. Over the course of its existence, cottage industries grew up around the event, including Shalindra's Store (cool stuff all day Saturday), Panther's Inn (the complete tavern experience Saturday night), Blade and Katasha's Kitchen (A real breakfast menu Sunday morning), and the Knights of the Eternal Flame Annual meeting. 

Many things have come and gone, but some things remain the same: The players can still just show up and fight in some of the biggest battles of the year,  Creathorne will be always be North, Chimeron will always be South, and the Southern Wastes will always fight with the underdog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What You Missed - Dragon Master III (photos)

The fourth installment of the Dragon Master series had adventurers battling dragons and searching for the last piece of the Dragnus staff in the lands of Neden. Here is a sampling of the fun you missed this weekend!
[Editor's note: all photos and captions by Casey Lemay]

Opening of the New Eden Casino and Church of Shadow, hosted by Queen Karmha

Hanging out in the New Eden Casino

Clearing Neden House of dragons

Black and green looks good on him...

Adventurers clear out more of the dragons in Neden

Getting rid of a dragon's nest

NPC makeup class with volunteers

The finished product!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WIWTG: Night of Living History and North South War

This weekend we will see two great events presented by Folkestone:

A new type of event that helps us understand what our game once was, who was a part of that world, and some of the relics from that world.
Names from times gone by will be on hand telling tales.  A museum of treasures that once held great power will be around for you to peruse.  (non stealable, of course)  And, supposedly, there are rumors of things crunching about the woods, so who knows what will be found for those prone to wandering about?
You can also look forward to practice time, and demos.  Lets not forget the late night snacks!

North South War is a long time war maneuver that many many people love as their favorite event of the year.  While there have been a few different ways the teams are divided up, the original take was to split the map into North and South.  Hence the name.
There are beach battles, line battles, Folkestone Challenge and my personal favorite, Bridge Battles.  But this is just a small portion of what you will run into.  In the evening, there will be a huge, site-wide game of Capture the Flag.
Bring your friends, blood makes the grass grow!

For more details about each event, be sure to check Realmsnet

Monday, June 15, 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fresh Face- Taylor "Roarke" Struthers

Photo by Jesse Gifford
How did you learn about Realms?

I had first heard of LARPing through a friend years ago. Then in December Phoenix of Folkestone took me under her wing (pun intended). We take karate together and I saw pictures of LARPing on her Facebook. I asked about it and she was surprised I knew what a LARP was.

How many event have you been to?
I've been to 4 events and 2 practices and plan to be at 3 more this month (A Night of Living History, North South War, and Rhiassa Presents).

Have you ever LARP’ed before?  If so tell us about it?
Not officially but I'd played around with my friends nephew with swords, bows and arrows.

Photo by Michael Zajac
What is your character like?  Where are they from? What is their race? What is important to them?
Roarke is torn between nobility and savagery. His father was an honorable Knight and his mother a shield maiden of a barbaric clan. They were exiled due to their union and he was raised in the woods.

What do you remember most about your first event?
It was a tournament event with a lot of good good fighting and fighters. I had lots of instruction and received lots of compliments.

What things have helped to make you feel welcome in game?
My open mind and willingness to learn. It also helped knowing a couple of well established players who helped guide me to meet people at first, after that I started introducing myself to people.

What parts of the game do you find most challenging?
Questing and combat against skilled veteran fighters.

Photo by Jesse Gifford
Do you have any game related goals (as either a player or character)?
To earn the right to fight in the Order of the List Tournament and to eventually become a Squire then a Knight.

What advice would you give other new players?
Just to have fun and be yourself. Meet many people. Don't be afraid to ask for help. People are willing to as long as you are respectful.

What have you enjoyed most about the game so far?
I enjoy the sense of community and the combat.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What You Missed: Feast of Eagle's Rook

When Sir Vawn is away, the Realms will play.  Apparently Vawn took the bacon with him, so we were forced to quest and explore the trails of the capital of Eagle's Rook.  Where we, sadly, found no bacon.  But I bet it was stolen by the bandits that were running around during the day.  Those blasted bandits, the modern day scourge of the Realms.

It has been some time since I have attended a Feast event that was more than simply a sit-down meal.  The first four hours of the event was open-site questing, with unscheduled encounters taking place at semi-random intervals and quasi-random locations throughout the event site.  The staff of the event worked hard to ensure that there was always plot elements taking place during the day.  We dealt with bandits, magically grown cattle, a misplaced corpse, and even had to mediate a dispute between an engaged couple.

But Alex, what was different about this event?  We've all been to events where minor quests take place to keep us busy.  How was this any different?  How was this fun for you?  Well, I'll tell ya how it was fun.  It was immersive, it was cultural, it was thematic, and I had an easy time staying in-game during it.  From the rare out-of-character conversations that I overheard during the day, I think that others had a similar experience as well.

The random encounters that took place fit the mood and theme of the area immediate to the capital of Eagle's Rook.  Nothing stuck out as odd or excessive, and all had a similar level of costume detail and prop inclusion. A good equal mix of effort, intent, and execution.  The militia of Eagle's Rook occasionally joined us, to help dispense justice as needed against a criminal or to aid us in resolving a situation.  Well, let's be honest.  Sometimes they made matters worse, but hey that's Johnny Law for you.

Wasn't there food?  Yes, yes there was.  Portions were large, flavorful, and delivered right to your table.  Folks with dietary concerns received preferential treatment and weren't lost in the shuffle.  The main course was two rice dishes (regular and cilantro) with two meat dishes - chicken and pork.  Dessert was a serve-yourself buffet of small cakes, cookies and other sweets.  Which somehow did not erupt into a grand melee, most likely because space in the hall was limited and our weapons were elsewhere (This was Eagle's Rook after all, no one expected a Faerie Lord to interrupt, or a Liche to crash the party).

Sir Vawn's return to his hall filled with unexpected party goers went a lot better than it could have.  As evidenced by the lack of banishment, fines, or murders.  Of course there wasn't any of that, this was Eagle's Rook, a civilized land of law, order, and polite manners.  Eagle's Rook court was focused on one specific task, the knighting of Squire Hermian.  A display of elegant words, heartfelt gifts, and the knightly belt, in a hall with poor acoustics which I'm sure that the folks at the other end of the hall could not hear half of what was said. Isn't that always the way with Realms ceremonies though? The folks in the ceremony hear it, the two tables nearby hear it and the folks in the back miss out.  But, that's Feudalism for you.

When all is said and done, I'm pleased with how this event turned out.  I think that the staff put a good deal of effort into every aspect of this event.  The NPC's fought cleanly, and marshaled magic fairly with a flair for the dramatic.  Every encounter had proper costuming, and helped keep the flow of the event going for the day.  I look forward to the next event that this crew puts together.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What You Missed - Feast of Eagle's Rook I (photos)

 This past Saturday saw the first running of the Feast of Eagle's Rook. If you weren't able to make it, you missed a fun day of questing and a great night of food, music, and socializing. All in all, a great first run and an event we hope to see again next year! Here's just a sampling of what you missed!

The Eagle's Rook Militia brings a present for Adara to deal with

This guy doesn't look suspicious at all and seems totally above-board

Jace and the Eagle's Rook Militia take a break from chasing bandits

These cows look sweet and innocent but really they want to eat your face*

Hunting boar in Eagle's Rook. There was pork served later on for dinner...*

Lucas, can't you just help a girl out?*

One of the more glamorous members of the Militia....and Mestoph

Zhand's Weapon Emporium, all manner of interesting things for sale

The feast hall is full

The Ladies of  Integrity, Aristocracy, Repute, and Society (LIARS) perform*

The signature drink is served in preparation for the opening toast

Hard at work in the kitchen

Delicious chicken and beef skewers

The Chimeron Royal Casino is open for donations

Having fun at the High Table while Vawn is away

"We got this!"

Dessert platters!

Surprise!!  "Why are all these people in my hall?"

Clan Riverhawk presents their mentors with tokens of appreciation*

Hermian is made a Knight of Eagle's Rook*

[Editor's note: all photos by View staff except those marked with an (*) which were taken by Jesse Gifford]