Monday, August 31, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Call to Arms - House Griffindor

The View from Valehaven is pleased to announce the start of a new feature series, A Call to Arms, the aim of which is to showcase the different heraldries in the Realms. Every group and many organizations, guilds, and individuals have distinctive and different heraldries, and sometimes the outsider can't help but wonder what those heraldries mean to the people who bear them - what does the heraldry represent? How did it come to be? What is the story behind it? And so started the idea for this series. It is our hope at the View that we can all learn a bit more about each other, our game, and our history along the way. 
[Editor's note: if you are interested in submitting an individual, nation, guild, or group heraldry for the series, please email Jen ( or any other View staff member]

House Griffindor

by Alex "Sir Lucas" Newbold

1) What does this heraldry currently represent? (ie: a nation, an individual, a group, etc)
House Griffindor, a household dedicated to protecting the common folk of the Realms.  Those without someone to protect them. Originally intended to be a team of folks from Chimeron who worked together.  Not a separate nation, or even fiefdom.  But things change when the Queen gives you land. After you announce the household, at royal court, while you’re still on stage, in front of everyone.

 2) Please describe your heraldry for us.
A Griffon, its claws spread and its head lowered in a defensive stance.  With the Chimeron Rowan branch underneath, to show connection to the Kingdom that we owe fealty to. The griffon even has a name, with a backstory from Chimeron history. I’d elaborate more, but a lot of the details are part of the petitioning process to join the team.

 3) Give us some background. How did your heraldry come to be? Who or what created it?
It was a brainstorming session between Jason Rosa and myself.  He drew the Griffin, as I can’t draw. The Rowan Branch was established many years prior.

 4) Why was this heraldry chosen to represent you? What is the symbolism behind it? What was the inspiration behind the design?
I wanted a Griffin, I’ve always liked them as fantasy monsters.  They seem more noble to me than a dragon, and to be honest no one else was using one in-game as their heraldry at the time. The name came about, because I am terrible with names.  I had just gotten a copy of the first or second (I forget which) Harry Potter book, most of my friends had never heard of them (most likely because we were in our early to mid 20’s and not 11 years old).  The series was fairly new, and even some of my perspective household members hadn’t heard of it yet.  So we used the name as a placeholder, and it stuck. But we spelled it differently, just to mess you up.

5) How long has the heraldry been in the game? Has it changed at any time since it was first created?
2001 or so I believe was the debut.  It started as tan on a green tabbard, we had a swell banner too.  Someone stole it at Queen of Hearts that year, we never saw it again. But then the second batch of tabbards were made, and white was used instead of tan (tan hides more dirt than white), plus the Eagle's Rook tower was added as a background due to Eagle's Rook swearing to us that year at Feast of Chimeron.  That has since been removed in the most recent batch of tabards (except for a couple, for personal reasons), but I believe the change to white stayed.

6) What do you hope seeing this heraldry means to the rest of the Realms?
            It has always been my hope, and will always be my hope, that people wearing the tabbard are seen as emissaries of Chimeron.  People to be trusted, counted upon in times of need, and of integrity. 

Members of Griffindor, plus Monique by Jesse Gifford

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What you missed at Voodoo Alyssa E. Weisblatt/Captain Sayeh

Our adventurers were approached by a witch doctor who told them that things were happening on Independent Isle.  Voodoo Daddy had turned all the people who lived there into undead and was building an army, claiming that he was in charge of the island now.

… But some free willed undead knew the truth.

Our adventurers found out that many of them could not use their magic, so they had to find a talisman that was put up to null it.  The talisman was a black glittering skeleton named, Mike. Mike came to life after a while and made a deal.  If the adventurers offered him some entertainment, he’d give them their magic back.  So, with some conjured musical delight, everyone did their best to dance to “The Time Warp”.  Many were too shy, but others let loose and cut a rug!  In the end it was Baron Gherradynne of Fairhaven who was the best dancer and destroyed Mike the Skeleton’s bones freeing his spirit, and restoring the use of magic to the spell casters.

Then, it was time to build boats!  Rafts were maid to help everyone make it to Sapphire Isle where they would be able to complete the first tasks in weakening Voodoo Daddy…  But first… they would have to battle sea creatures of all shapes and sizes.  Swordfish, sharks, mermen,mermaids, it was rough sailing until they made it to shore and found a few undead who followed a voodoo priestess named, Minnie.  She told them, they would have to prove themselves and help her conjure three needles and find the parts to a voodoo doll she was making.  The tasks were to complete the challenges to test their minds, bodies, and souls.

Challenge of the Mind was to make five knots with pieces of rope.  Challenge of the Body was to fight with five different types of weapons.  Challenge of the Soul … well there was some more music.  This time Garharz lead everyone in singing “Minnie the Moocher” and to echo the chorus line.

Once the pins were conjured, everyone set out to find the pieces to make the voodoo doll. While being sewn together buy Fairhaven’s master seamstress, some good viking tunes began to play which lifted the spirits of our adventures … and in some cases also promoted wrestling matches in the ranks of the Northern Alliance between Axel and Kharne.  However, once the doll was complete, three were chosen best in their challenges to poke the doll with the needles. Once this task was complete, everyone got back on their rafts only to face a horrible kraken.  If their bow or stern was taken they would have to float back to the island, luckily everyone made it to the shores of Independent Isle.  First they faced Voodoo Daddy’s general, who told them they have no right to come to the island, when negotiations wouldn’t work, a hoard of undead came upon them.

Finally, when all seemed lost, Voodoo Daddy appeared and teased his sister, Minnie, about her vain attempts to restore the rightful order of things on the island.  Only one could challenge Voodoo Daddy for the right to Independent Isle.  Voodoo Daddy called for that hero to come forward.

There was a moment of stillness, before Captain Axel Nosetti stepped forward, and the challengers met face to face.

The first attempt to kill their enemy was in vain, there were still some ties that kept Voodoo Daddy bound to the land.  Thirteen bones were hidden in a hillside where our heroes scoured and searched.  Once the bones were found, they were attacked once more by the undead army. No one could complete the ritual because of the waves, and when all seemed lost, Minnie let loose her full on Voodoo Priestess Powers to drive the undead away.  She called upon the magic of the Realms this one time to help her raise the dead in a cry of life, and then proceeded to chant into the ground, “I am the Priestess of Voodoo, I call upon the power of this land to move these undead away!”

Axel Nosetti saw her need to make the chant stronger, and got the rest of the heros to chant with her.  As the chants continued, Minnie drove the army away, before getting Axel’s attention one last time before her magic was spent.

“These Bone’s Hold no Ties! I own this Land!”  Axel Cried out, and the challenge to fight was once again made… and this time the captain did not fail!

Defeated, Voodoo Daddy, tried to cut off the hero’s only escape off the island and bargained them for their souls.  Many turned him down, some fought others to protect their friends.  In the end, Loken of the Northern Alliance stepped forward and within moments, Voodoo Daddy was laid to waste.

The voodoo priestess, Minnie then took Axel, and with the aid of his countrymen, mixed his body into the soil and called upon his god to raise him up as the Baron of Independent Isle.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What You Missed: Voodoo Hoodoo, Do You? (photos)

[Editor's note: all photos by Dustin Mack]


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Good Old Fashioned Entrepreneurial Recovery, Part 3

Behind the Scenes:  A Look into Event Holding
By Steven Matulewicz
Event: Good Old Fashioned Entrepreneurial Recovery (The Dragon’s Den)
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2015.
Subject: Event Production (Article 3 of 3)
So…. We were as ready as we would ever be.  Time to see if we could walk the walk.
Phase 5: last minute panic

One of the things we had been relying on had been trying to use pre-existing dungeon pieces for Terrain.  We had been trying to track down the various people and places that had Dungeons.
Turns out, most of the ones we had hoped to use were in disrepair.  In the end, we had the “boat anchors”, which were used for the Bedlam boat event, and some dungeon triangles, which I had not used before.

So in the days leading up to the quest, we also discovered that while we wanted to start unloading and building day of at 8pm, we had accidentally reserved the room for 9am.  So when we got in at 9, we did not have enough time to put together the dungeon triangles.  Also, the Boat Anchor Walls we had thought out really needed more support in order to hold up a wall successfully (the weight of the walls could not be held up by the rope tension alone).

We are VERY thankful that the PCs in the first run were willing to come in and help us with the walls.  Our delay was only 30 minutes.

Phase 6:  The Event.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

10 Questions- Betty "Kara" Marshall

How long have you been playing?
I started playing with Folkestone in the spring of 1992; my first event was The Rathclewyn Spring Quest

How has the game changed since you've been playing?
The aspect of remaining “in character” and “present” in the game was definitely more strict. Some events even had “witchcraft rules”, which meant if you were seen wearing something obviously mundane (a watch, tee-shirt with logo, jeans, etc) you would incur a penalty, for example in Glendale you would be put in stocks…yes…real stocks. This did provide a little more “realism” to the game, however hearing someone scream “DRAGON!!” every time a car went by did get old quickly. There is also a marked decrease in the amount of cloved oranges…

Who have you learned the most from?
Wow…I have had many strong and influential mentors in this game it’s so hard to choose just one. First and foremost would have to be Sir Callin of Folkestone, both before and during my time with him as a squire. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to train with some of the best fighters in Realms history.

What was your best moment in character?
Hands down when Folkestone won the War Tourney at Creathorne fighting the Borderlands against incredible odds….what were the numbers again?? 86 vs 18?? Regardless of the numbers, during that tourney I found my permanent place in the middle of the line alongside my dear friend Milo and have never looked back.

What was your best moment as a NPC/EH/Player?
Playing Death Bunnies with Tanja Johnson…no contest…playing scantily clad bunnies who were immune to most shots, wandered around killing pcs at will, and were worshiped? What’s not to love?!?

What would you like to see changed or developed more in game?
Okay, so this is my horse geek coming out, but I would *love* to see Realms equestrians come together for mounted games…unfortunately this probably isn’t something that would work at an actual Realms Events as the logistics are pretty magnificent, but hey a girl can dream.

What advice would you give new players?
Fight as many different people as you can, not just those you know you can beat. One of the things Sir Callin taught me is not to go for the easy fight. It may be satisfying in the short term when you get the win, but you’re not going to learn anything. Fight players who are better than you, but have confidence – if you go into a fight thinking you’re going to lose then you’ve already lost.

What do you love most about the game?
The strong sense of community; of course the community itself has evolved and changed over the past 20 years, but it remains a pivotal aspect for many players. The Realms has provided me (and many others) with a “chosen” family who have remained an important part of my life even as I have drifted in and out of the game…as this is also where I met my best friend and husband Jarrod, our wedding party had more Realms people than not, honestly it was a pretty formidable line on both sides.

Anything else you'd like to take the opportunity to share?

Not to get all feminist, but I would like to express how proud I am of all the active female players that there are right now, both fighters and casters. When I first started playing a strong majority of female players were either background healers or fire pit ornaments, which was a frustrating stereotype to break out of. I am extremely impressed with everything that the Huntress Guild and others have accomplished in bringing the women of The Realms together.

What You Missed - QoH XXII Banner and Heraldry

While Team Kara worked very hard to bring players together, and reunite friends to honor the Glory Days.  Team Hooray, being made up of newer players, chose to look to the future, to the next generation.  The older members of the team wanted to help younger players learn how to run a team.  Our banner and heraldry was made up by quite a few members of the team, and many skills went into making it.  Many people learned how to do things as they went.

The main banner was scale mail in a less, um, intense color than we see in the usual Saurabia heraldry.   The scale is in the shape of the dino head seen on Saurabian banners and tabards.  It is set on a lizard scale, double pennant leather banner.  The double pennant shape is meant reflect teeth or a jaw. The top part of the banner is three separate layers.  The front clearly reads "Hooray!" and the back features the same fabric as the True Supporter garb.One of the very challenging pieces of the banner was the fanning-out banner pole.  It disassembles for easy transport, and holds both portions of the banner in place for proper display.

The True Supporter garb consisted of a baldric in personal colors of the Mage, Champion, Generals, and Seneschal.  The tabards are made of hand-batiked fabric, with four layers of hand applied dye.  We went with a scale motif on the tabards, for obvious reasons.  

To keep with the whimsical nature of Team Hooray!, we added some fun twists.  The tabards ended in the double point, reflecting the banner.  To this we added felt "teeth" and a google eye. This is meant to be a reminder that Queen of Hearts is for fun.  HOORAY!
 - Kelly "Twenaria" Bonci

The True Supporters

Close-up of the True Supporter garb and baldric

The banner

Hello everyone. I am Matiya and with my partner Rhiannon, we made the heraldry for Team Kara. 

When Kara was a young girl with her gypsy clan, they raised winged unicorns. She would feed them, groom them, and if they allowed it, ride them. Kara grew restless as she became older and decided to adventure out with her two sisters Kalayla and Kreskin. Kara took the winged unicorn as her sigil, placing it on her shield. She found a new place in Folkestone, making it her home.

As far as construction, we used the blue of Folkestone on the front and the back material incorporates the colors of all the supporting nations and individuals. The True Supporters are wearing Gypsy vests with the Winged Unicorn and a letter denoting their position. Each vest has also been lined. 

The banner is 39" x 44". The Winged Unicorns on everything and the Folkestone symbol are made from German buckskin leather. They were hand-cut and the details were burned into them. We also made Gypsy favors for all the supporters. Those also incorporate the colors of all nations and individuals.  - Liz "Matiya" Butler

The True Supporters

True Supporter garb

The banner (photo by Jesse Gifford)

 [Editors note: all photos by View staff unless otherwise noted]

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bardic Circle: Dinosaurs of Saurabia

The winning bardic from Queen of Hearts 22, performed by Swoop and Pilpus during the Bard Tournament on Saturday, August 15, 2015. 

[Editor's Note: this piece is meant to be in the style of Old Norse flyting, or opponents ribbing each other in verse and rhyme]

Swoop and Pilpus perform


Dinosaurs of Saurabia

By Michael "Swoop" Zajac, Benjamin "Pilpus" Lacasse, and Ethan "Jean Baptiste" Goldman

Dinosaurs of Saurabia, 
Dinosaurs of Saurabia! (x2)

When my team comes out to play you know it,
Take over the field like a Cambrian Explosion
Set 'em up, knock 'em down that's a strike, we bowling
Yell out "Hooray!' when we take home the trophy

Team Hooray dominates every damn battle
See me Swoopin' in like a pterodactyl
Leave you in the woods when I stab you in the back
But my boys in green call that a Chimeron trap


Hooray, we an army hurrah (hurrah)
And we gonn' run our pikes right through ya (boo-ya)
With Pilpus on the mic, there ain't even a fight,
Nice try, checkmate, your queen has been Coup'ed yah!

They say Swoop there is it!
Just call me a caster because I'm a bardic wiz
Say your goodbyes cause you will be missed
Cause' when he spit it on the mic the battle's gonna be his 


Looming over you like a stegosaurus
Annihilating everything that stands before us
Causing carnage in a violent chorus
Cause I got a big ego call me Megolasaurus

Dinos eat messy so it might be gory
When we turn Folkestone into Old Folk Story
Ending all those days of glory
When the white and blue weren't white and boring 

[Editor's note #2: Disclaimer: Swoop would like to request that, should any offense to these lyrics be taken, and in the event that the offended party feels the need to take drastic action, said party should please feel free to scalp Jean-Baptiste first.]

What You Missed - QoH XXII Crafting Tourneys

[Editor's note: all photos by View staff except where otherwise noted. I apologize, but I was not able to get photos of the Foamsmith entrants before Sir Wil took them for use in the Champion's Tourney - Areni]

The Trapper entry from Team Hooray

Team Kara's trapper entry

Members of Team Kara perform during the Bardic Tourney

Swoop and Pilpus of Team Hooray perform during the Bardic Tourney

Armourer entrant for Team Kara, by Charwindle and Mayerling

This piece featured detachable pauldrons and shoulder cape

Hand-painted Mayerling heraldry

Armourer entry for Team Hooray by Saegan - each picture tells a story

Garb entrant for Team Hooray, by Twen and friends

The headpiece from Hooray's entrant

Team Kara's entrant - fancy toga dress by Karmha (Photo by Jesse)



Come back tomorrow for a special piece on each team's banner and heraldry!