Friday, July 29, 2016

QoH 23 Crafting Special: Armourer Tourney

2016 Category: Bracer/ Greave Combo 

 Team Umbra Armourer entry
  • Steve and Meg Matulewicz
  • Original design created by combining Umbra's personal heraldry with Ashenmark heraldry. Hand tooled and dyed veg tan -circle and flames have a gold frost shimmer. Steve sized the pieces and added the hardware. This was my first attempt at tooling. -Meg 

Bracers with Umbra's heraldry

Close-up of tooling detail

Matched Set

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Queen of Hearts 23 What You Missed, Photos!

Hat Dad endorses this photo.  Photo by View Staff

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

QoH 23 Crafting Special: Banner and Heraldry

  Team Eris entry
  • Diana LaPierre
Eris's heraldry inside the laurel wreath

Bottom trim

True Supporter sash

Embroidered heraldry

More embroidered details

Queen's tabard with embroidered logo

Mage True Supporter garb item

Reversible to be re-usable

Team Umbra entry 
  • Tucker Noyes, Ryan Welch, Kelly Bonci
Team Umbra's banner

Stained glass effect

Close-up view

True Supporter tabard

Trim detail

Each supporter had his or her own symbol

Tabard detail

Team Snake Cult entry
  • Alexa Lecko


Heraldry close-up, vinyl on rip-stop

True Supporter tabard, forked tongue to go with snake theme

Tabard details

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bardic Circle: Kiira's Winning Bardic from Queen of Hearts 23

by Diana "Kiira" LaPierre

Come and sit with me child and I'll sing you a tale
Of a man who had thought he was too great to fail
Take heed in these words and learn his mistakes
For a fool of a king his men he forsakes

Just a sad little king on his crumbling throne
For all of his sins he makes others atone
Does he not see that the laws that he writes are his doom
The Kingdom he builds are the walls of his tomb

Now this monstrous king was once a great man
But the power that he grasped was too great for his hand
And that power, well you see, it went straight to his head
Now that once great man is shriveled and dead

Started off as a soldier, turned into a King
Of his battlefield skills the bards would all sing
When he heard their tunes, his ego would grow
There's nothing a prideful man doesn't know

Just a sad little king on his crumbling throne
For all of his sins he makes others atone
Does he not see that the laws that he writes are his doom
The Kingdom he builds are the walls of his tomb

Though others advised him to take things in stride
"They're jealous of me and traitors" he cried
Soon all the good men around him were few
In fear of his wrath their silence just grew

Empty and shallow their words had become
To the hubris within the king had succumb
The kingdom he'd built was not built to last
All the things that the king could cling to had passed

Just a sad little king on his crumbling throne
For all of his sins he makes others atone
Does he not see that the laws that he writes are his doom
The Kingdom he builds are the walls of his tomb

Friday, July 22, 2016

What You Missed W.I.G.O.H. 2 By Swoop

“What you Missed” – W.I.G.O.H. 2
By: Michael “Swoop” Zajac

Welcome all, I hope everyone had a nice sleep or whatever you odd bunch do in the evenings.
Last night I had such a weird dream that involved so many of you I thought I would share my trials
and tribulations in this strange dream realm I visited. It definitely gets hazy at some points, but strap
yourselves in, for as the Neden boys too often say, “It’s about to get weird.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What You Missed - W.I.G.O.H 2 (photos)

 [Editor's Note: all photos and captions by Michael "Swoop" Zajac]

Young adventurers prepare to enter The Dreaming

Site rules being announced

Crispin identifies our new-found friend SeFlicia

Flydian and company buy last minute scrolls at the scroll shop

SeFlicia, with time snarl

Sir Saegan waits to be guided through a treacherous maze

Throwing stuffed animals at people knocks them out, who knew?

The final few remain in the stuffed animal fight

The brave few who guided the blind through the maze on the right, with only *minimal* death!

And your prize for being the last standing in the stuffed animal fight? A new car! *ahem* I mean large cat!

Also a sweaty guy in leather who could use a water balloon induced bath

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

You're Doing It Wrong

Queen's War: You're Doing It Wrong.
By Mike "Panther" Palumbo

Photo by Jennifer DeNardis Rosa

Queen's war, a combination of gladiatorial showmanship and individual prowess and the closest our fighting comes to a spectator sport (or Thunderdome depending on your perspective). Two men enter, one man leaves. At least that's how it's been in recent years. If there is a third team, they typically aren't in the running very long.

But with this year's team caps, we will return to a time when three or more combatants enter the ring. In my time, I've seen a shift in the general etiquette within Queen's War. These days, if there is a third combatant, some seemingly noble warrior will gesture to the other two suggesting they fight first, and not backstab nor take advantage of any opportunity made by the battle between them. Not only is this wrong, but it was never done this way in the days of old (by that I mean early QoHs). Before you scream foul, no honor, old man, etc. etc. consider this:

It's a melee not a series of one-on-one fights.

When you treat it like a series of one-on-one fights it ceases to be a melee and becomes a bear pit, the loser of the first battle keeping their wounds for the next. We don't do it this way when we do team melee, we don't take turns. We expect teams to be opportunistic. It should be no different in an individual melee.

And let's examine that seemingly noble person who "lets" the others go first. That person gets a bye to the final round, so to speak. If there are three people, he only has to beat one to win, whereas the other has to beat two. And if the opponent has any wounds from the first fight, it's even easier for the "noble" warrior. Any odd number creates this scenario. Suddenly their noble intentions seem self-serving don't they? The truely noble thing would be to let the weakest (if that were obvious) have the bye while the big bad fighters duke it out first. But frankly, in this case, now you are insulting someone, having assumed them weakest. The only solution is to simply fight. Everyone just fight.

As the third man, I'm not saying you have to backstab, but you should be putting the pressure on the others and be within striking distance. Each combatant should be attempting to pinch one of the others while avoiding being pinched. You should be poised to take advatage of opportunities created by the engagment of the other two.

Queen's war is a melee, and melee tactics should be employed. No one should get a free pass because they suggest it. If that's not what the community wants, then it should be called Queen's Bear Pit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Why I Want to Go: Queen of Hearts DCXX (or 23, which ever)

Queen of Hearts is a landmark event for our community.  It is a time for people to work with their friends to show off skills.  The skills might be anything from finesse with certain weapons, working with large groups in a field battle, serving up a tasty dish, or showing off your artistic talent, be it drawing, singing, or sewing.  Sometimes, that skill is being bad ass enough to fight in a hurricane.

At Queen of Hearts, you never know!

So head over to a wonderful event in Western Massachusetts to show off any of your amazing skills, feel envy at your peer's skills, and, most importantly, have fun!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

What You Missed - Neden Zombie Clean-up

by James "Sir Tao" Murphy 

 It was a tournament, it was a test of skill, it was a social experiment, it was an exciting day. We started the day outnumbering the zombies; this did not last. So in small groups and in singles we set out to kill zombies. It did not take long until we started to notice that some of the zombies had familiar faces. As our friends and companions fell to the horde they eventually rose and helped track us down. Every two hours the available space to fight and hide would get smaller and smaller. 

My plan was to be an early victim and transform into a record-keeping role. But I did find a very comfortable spot, and it was quiet, and well, I may have napped a bit. When I awoke there were not many of us left. As my napping spot was close to zombie central, I was able to overhear that only three of us were left. Congratulations to Vesper, who was the only one to survive all the way to the end, and to Sir Temorse, zombie killer extraordinaire. 

 [Editor's Note: photos by Dustin Mack]

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why I Want To Go: WIGOH2

This weekend, take a stop into the Misty Hills to help someone named "Sees Many Stars" with a strange problem they have been having in their village.  The elderly cannot sleep, but the children won't wake.  (I know we have the opposite problem in my house)
Interesting marks are appearing on some of the folks, just to add to the mystery.

One of my favorite aspects of this event series is that is it geared towards new adventurers!  If you have been playing a long time, and feel like you've seen it all, please consider showing the next generation a good time and NPCing.

Auroran star?  Chaos wheel?  Why not both?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Take-Away from the Fight-A-Thon for TakeThis

The Fight-A-Thon
Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee
    When the members of our community come together for a common cause, the response is nothing short of astounding. Recently, we lost not only a player in our community, but a kind-hearted friend to many. Buddy Wolfhope, also known as Sir BrightHammer IceBreaker, Arg the Pirate, and Doctor Slashblight, was a well known and well respected player in our community, a Knight of the Eternal Flame, and a great friend. As a once new player to the game, Buddy was a welcoming, warm player that I looked up to for his role-playing, his fighting dedication, and his attire. My memories of my first few years of playing were speckled with Bud’s smiles, his winning attitude, and his contagious love of having fun. He was an endearing individual to his friends and acquaintances alike.
    When someone leaves us so abruptly and unexpectedly like Buddy did, often times we search for a way to express our appreciation for them in a way we could not when they were amongst us. On Sunday, July 3rd, 2016, we came together as a community to honor his memory and raise money and swords for a cause that was near and dear to Buddy’s heart: the TakeThis Foundation.
    The Fight-A-Thon was held at Tournaments of Blackwood, and all money raised was donated to TakeThis. The Fight-A-Thon was a 3-hour-long endurance battle against the heat and will power. Competitors continuously fought 1-on-1 fights, switching competitors between fights, where they were sponsored by generous members of the community, workplaces, and self-funding, paying per fight, per win, per loss, and a few other combinations. People fought cleanly and calmly for the full three hours, while others tallied wins and losses, and others kept competitors and their counters hydrated.
    The Fight-A-Thon was long and challenging, but it was done with so many people coming together, including the Event Runners, Competitors, Counters, On-the-field Helpers, and Donors, that the process went seamlessly and wonderfully. Below, I have interview some of the competitors to get their take on the Fight-A-Thon:

Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay

Player: Sean Finn
Character: Eamon Azzameen
What was it like to fight in the Fight-A-Thon?
Fighting in the fight-a-thon was hot, tiring, difficult yet also so very rewarding and just fun. Loved being able to fight with everyone and help to raise money for a good cause.
What was your most memorable fight?
I think my most memorable fight was in during the second half of the fight-a-thon, Tazia (Eren Pils-Martin) had just handed me some water and I saw Drike was looking for a fight, so I challenged him to an impromptu Corsican Mug fight. That was a lot of fun and I ended up winning that fight to boot.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
I would say that it both an immense amount of fun while at the same time being seriously challenging as well a wholly worth it.
If you raised money for the fight-a-thon, how much and from whom?
I got a $20 backing from the KOEF since I didn't have any sponsors ahead of time, I hadn't actually planned on fighting originally as I was mostly at Blackwood as staff, and I got an extra $2 donation from John Berrini for a somersault resulting in death, that was the only time I got a win on Shandar.
What were your wins, losses, and total number of fights?
As I hadn't initially planned on fighting and didn't have any sponsors ahead of time, I didn't keep track, instead I just did my best to make sure everyone was getting as many fights as humanly possible.


Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay
Player: Ray McGuirk Jr.
Character: Radstar Falcon
What was it like to fight in the Fight-A-Thon?
My experience of it was great. Like, always not only was it like the endurance thing at pressure point, but with an extra hour and all for charity.
What was your most memorable fight?
I didn't have any real memorable fights. I was just happy I made it through the 2 hours and 45 minutes that I could do.
If you raised money for the fight-a-thon, how much and from whom?
I made 200 from Nex Gen for my wins and from Pat Bobell (Saka) was giving me 25 cents a fight for some were around 150 something and with John Berrini (Jack) and the two things I won on his board I made like 360-362 for charity.
What were your wins, losses, and total number of fights?
My totals were 200 wins 432 losses 632 fights.

Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee

Player: Eric Marques
Character: Randalf
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon?
Very tiring, at least for someone that doesn't do CrossFit.
What was your most memorable fight?
Probably against Vawn with his crazy hat. I kinda just wanted to knock the hat off.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
I would do one once a month if it was available.

Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay

Player: James Murphy
Character: Tao Ya Kang
What was it like to fight in the Fight-A-Thon?
It was exhilarating, exhausting, and humbling
What was your most memorable fight?
Right after Shandar had beaten me, he had a 6’6” I had marn and stick. He told me why he was using the 6’6”. “It was what Bud always used.” Right after that I got one and used one for most of the rest of the time. At one point I grabbed a bunch of the npc 6’6”’s and announced a .25 per win sponsorship for the next 5 minutes. This resulted in 98 wins.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
It broke me, I was not able to stay in the fight the entire time. I would like to blame my hands but I ran out of gas. I had to sit for a bit, twice.
If you raised money for the fight-a-thon, how much and from whom?
Yes I raised money, $125 the Murphy family giving account was primary on the amount contributed
What were your wins, losses, and total number of fights?
Wins-223, Losses-267, Total-490
However, I was keeping track myself, I did not have any per/ sponsors, so my numbers were self-recorded and most likely very wrong.

Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay

Player: Danielle Guimont
Character: Elizah Reynolds
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon?
Fighting in the fight-a-thon was a lot of work (especially for this newbie.) It was exhausting, but also a new sort of exhilarating. I got to fight against some of the best fighters, got my ass kicked a lot but also came out with some wins and met new (to me) fighters who taught me tons of resourceful things.
What was your most memorable fight?
My personal most memorable fight would have to be any of the dwarf fights I had to do. Swoop was sponsored by Jon Landerfin (Zatarra) to win 15 dwarf fights, and since swoop got injured the day before I decided to champion him In a way and took on that challenge. The fights were pretty great, I only won 5 of them put I still got the donation.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
My first experience was amazing and I'd do it all again if offered the chance. I learned a lot, and lost a lot be I'll be back for more, Elizah still has tons of fight left in her.
What were your wins, losses, and total number of fights?
385 fights - 160 wins/225 losses  

Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee

Player: Keith Cronyn
Character: Saegan
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon?
It was fun. It was important. I had never heard of Take This before reading about it via the fight a thon, but it's an organization that is important to me now. I've worked in various parts of the mental health field for many years now. I've seen lives changed. I've known people that could use a little extra help from an organization like Take This. I think we all have. So for me, fighting in the fightathon was important. I was only looking for penny donations from people per fight, because I felt the idea of it was to show you're surrounded by people who would support you. It felt symbolic that way. When people were offering me more than a penny per fight, or win, I felt like I had to push forward to earn it. It drove me on. Nothing was going to stop me from making it through. Who knows what lives those pennies may change.
What was your most memorable fight?
There were too many fights to have a single most memorable one, for me. There was a series of fights that I won with my off hand because I'd lost an arm, and I just remember Trent yelling from the corner "that was a good run for just one arm". It felt like it had been too.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
When you have a cause to fight for, to champion, it's just easier to keep pushing forward. You might not think you could fight for a 3 hour block. You might surprise yourself too. I'd do it again, for sure.
Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee
Player: Greg Falconer
Character: Daekara
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon?
The fight-a-thon was some of the highest energy fighting I've ever been in, and by far some of the most fun. There was no caring who won or who lost it was just fighting for the joy of fighting. My most memorable fight was against Neil Tozier. First time I've ever fought against him and he was a lot faster than I expected.

Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee

Player: Tyler Main
Character: TMain
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon? What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
These are the same question, so they're getting the same answer. The fight-a-thon is a great way to experience what realms combat should be at its most basic. Clean, honorable, and conducted with excellent attitudes and sportsmanship. No wasted time sitting around in between fights, no half hour talking about it. Just good, clean fights, until we're done for the day or you're too tired to fight anymore. Add in that it's a good cause, and it is something I HIGHLY recommend to all players
What was your most memorable fight? Dave Hayden’s hat, followed by my spear fights. Spear is not an easy combination to make work at the best of times... and is probably the most physically demanding style. My shoulder did not appreciate those fights.
If you raised money for the fight-a-thon, how much and from whom?
30 dollars out of my own pocket. I'll be finding sponsors next year.

Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee

Player: Michael Durocher
Character: Vuel
What was it like to fight in the fight a thon?
It was a unique experience that can't be replicated. There's a level of dedication I saw on the field from everyone that you normally don't see at events. People put themselves out there and pushed themselves to new levels that I haven't seen a lot of the combatants who were out there reach before. There wasn't a single, “I have to stop now attitude,” but rather everyone had the same presentation of, "Let's do this and we're not stopping until they tell us to.” People put themselves out there and they paid for every fight with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I don't have a single memorable fight but rather the experience as a whole was memorable. It's one of those moments you have in this game that stays with you. It made me proud to be part of it and this community.

Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay

Player: Josh Learned
Character: Shandar
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon?
It was a great experience. Everyone seemed to be extremely excited and pumped to participate. Almost losing a close friend who struggles with mental health issues and helping them work through I learned the importance of organizations like Takethis and having an outlet in general. It’s something I’ve learned is a lot more important recently and I’m glad I was able to do something to help. Everyone seemed to understand they were participating in something bigger than just some fights, and respected it as such. And it did feel bigger than any tournament that I can remember recently because the goal was different. It wasn't about winning or losing, the goal was different for everyone. You not only wanted to complete your own sponsor goals, you wanted to make sure everyone else got there’s. And you saw people fatigue, fighting lefty cause their right arm was dead, but not giving up. The attitudes were great. People got tired and shots were off the mark, face, groin, little hard at times. But everyone understood why and kept going without any issues. It was an a special moment to be a part of.
What was your most memorable fight?
Early on the first time I turned, saw and fought Eris. Being able to participate in something like that, while at the same time spreading the fun of the game and fighting with my daughter was and will always be a highlight experience. And I think her being so young but getting excited and having fun is something that would've made Bud happy.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
I covered this a little at the start, so I’ll skip some. It felt faster than 3 hours. It takes a lot of people to make something like this happen. My participation is one of the smallest parts. I showed up at an arranged time and date and did something I do all the time. I love to fight, so this was great for me. The real people who deserve praise are the sponsors. No matter how big or small. The guys who gave up the funds to make the donation we'll submit possible. My fights, wins or losses, won’t help anyone in the end. The donations they are giving will be put to good use helping those who desperately need it. I’m glad I helped give them a reason to donate, but they truly are the heros here. So, thank you to everyone who donated any amount.
If you raised money for the fight-a-thon, how much and from whom?
Thank you to my Sponsors who were Kyle B./Kaz, Andy W./Nymbus, Jon L./Zatara and Jon J./Trent
My total was $1,120.
What were your wins, losses, and total number of fights?
1273 Fights 1104 Wins 169 Losses
Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay

Player: Dave Hayden
Character: Vawn Coupant
What was it like to fight in the fight-a-thon?
Exhausting and exhilarating.
What was your most memorable fight?
I'm not sure I can call any one fight most memorable as they're kind of blurred together, but right around when they called 15 minutes left I was able to rally a bit and had a short string of wins I was pleased with.
What would you like to say about your experience in the fight-a-thon?
I drove up to Creathorne on Sunday unsure of what the turnout would be. It was promising to see so many take the field at the start. It was inspiring to see how many just kept going, and how other people stepped in when someone had to hydrate or rest or just to give us some different faces to fight. It was downright unreal the way everyone hung in there as we got toward the end, the way people dug deeper even the closer we got, although I think everyone had blown away their goals by then. And the response from the community this week as the pledge totals have rolled in has just been amazing.
If you raised money for the fight-a-thon, how much and from whom?
My total was $600, and it came from non-Realmsie gamer friends who thought it was a great cause and that we were all nuts for fighting in the hot summer sun for 3 hours and from my company's charity matching.
What were your wins, losses, and total number of fights?
810 fights, 327 wins
Jack's Board - Photo courtesy of Janna Oakfellow-Pushee

After the three hours was up, the competitors cleared the field and what they had done made a difference. Whether being sponsored or not, everyone fought toward a common cause. At the end of the day, there was approximately 11,694 fights, give or take. The amount of money raised by pledges and donated to the TakeThis Foundation was $5,502.41. On behalf of our community, let me say thank you to everyone who contributed to this event. You all did an amazing job.
The smallest competitor.  Photo courtesy of Casey Lemay

Editor’s note: If you haven’t gotten to contribute and would still like to, the KoEF will be throwing an event on October 8th called In Bud's Honor: A Fundraiser for TakeThis, Inc. All earnings will be donated to TakeThis, Inc. Hope to see you all then!

Click here to read up on TakeThis