Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

GOFER TWO: Tarja's Tale

by Britny "Tarja" Fowler

[Editor's note: Tarja's accounting of recent events, of which Syruss already wrote. Please pardon her spelling, as she is just learning how to read and write.] 

I have been asked by many sens it happened to tell my tale from this past weekend. So I will do the best I can. I am only now learn to write the runes of this world, so sorry my words are bad but I try.

Two dragins came to us and hired us to travel to a dragin hord near us. They gave us three hours. They made a portal, we go throu, and in three hours we return or not.

Me, Tuilli, other Blackhearts, many of Gau Dring where I spend much time and have been offered home, and some of Chimeron travel together to raid this hord. It had been much time since I have gone on a good raid, and I was ready and much exited.

As we enter, we are met by strange men in long white cloaks, there is a cold, smooth, voice in the air saying “welcome to the Sanneetoreeum” and there are strange papers on the table. We are told not to touch by the strange men in white cloaks, but others read them and they said if we signed we would give up all our things to these people. Next thing I knew, I felt a strange pinch in my skin and knew nothing.

I dreamed strange dreams, but was not in the dream world. It was as if I slept. I woke, not knowing how long I was asleep, to find me in a small room with Lako, Kayara, and other people but not all our party.  The door to this room was locked, but as we solved odd puzzles a code of strange runes was found. Lako was able to use this code and some knowledge in him to open the lock.

Leaving our room we found two other rooms, with the rest of our people. One other escaped as we did and we helped the others escape as the locks all were the same code.

We found a spirit being by the door out of the hall who helped us open the door and bringing her with us we escaped into the “faculty lownj” they called it. They were throwing leeches at our people to knock them out in an effort to return us to the rooms, I think it is how they took us in the first. After much effort we stopped them and the spirit being kept helping us enter doors.

Next was a long hall with glowing beems crossing it. If you touched one it was as if a sword hit you. Some died in this hall but we made it throu. Next hall had swinging swords, they came in a pattern swing.  Pause.  Swing. Pause.  Always same but each sword not same. Those of us with shields helped others cross, but it was easiest to find the pattern and run in the gaps. I lost a leg telling others across but the next hall was a pit with small stones across to jump on. On one foot I could not make it, Tuilli was dead beside me along with a young healer. I called across to the others who were in for us and they sent back a healer, but then as they come to help everyone was suddenly running back across the pit and we had no room to move.

Ston beings with swords were chasing us back and there was no path front that way. Those of us with armor fight the ston things, but, my memories fade from there.

When I again remember, I am in the “faculty lownj” and ther are rotting dead around me. I pick bits of odd goo off my armor and fight off my own, lost thoughts to find others arowned this snake with little snake hair. The snake is angree his hair is tangle and our people try to help. Many tackle him and are hurt by his fans, but our healers bring them back. Fee days we should make the snake happy and less scared but finally Tuilli holds it down and we get tangles out of snake hair and snake leaves us alone.

We enter a large area then it comes, the dragin. It is big, I see a large claw, a claw bigger than me come down. Then next I remember, dragin is dead, as are others. I was not in sam place as when claw came down, do not know what happened, but have little time to think. Large many headed snake, others said called hidra, comes out and we fight. Only wepins of magic could kill this beat. Once we do, we pass throu its body and there is room of tresur. I get to room and large chest of gold is there attacking our people. I fight chest, others call a mimic. Fill my hood with tresur and leave.

There was little tresur I saw, I got cloths and scarves, and pretty drawings and a few gold. There is rumor those in first took all the gold. But in the end as we were in the rim, we saw issue the portal open. We got all the trezur and got all people out. Some we dragged throu as near dead, some were goo we cary how we could. But we got all out who cam, and after all were alive when we parted ways. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Horoscopes of the Realms
by Janna "Sir Iawen" Oakfellow-Pushee

A long time ago, the races of the Realms have looked into the stars and wondered, "What if?", never realizing that in some places, in some planes, those very stars were looking right back at us, wondering the same thing.  There's a lot the stars can tell us, if only we show a humble want for knowledge.

In past years, a man visited the Realms who was not a man at all, but a fallen star who took on a human persona as Hesperus Star-keeper. As it is, a Star Person named Orion Mars still walks with us from time to time. Both have names, both have houses, both have a purpose and a drive.

And, if you're willing to listen to the what the stars have to say, you might just find yours, too.

These are thoughts on how your Autumn/Fall, heading into Winter, might be turning out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

G.O.F.E.R. T.W.O: A Tale of Mystery and Malpractice

by Cal "Syruss" Marsden

Hello there, I am Syruss O’leary…Knight..lover..detective for hire..and sometimes a Dragon Hunter.

"She walked through my door like a lioness walks into a meat orphanage — strawberry blonde and legs for hours. No dame her age could afford armor like that, and the kind of war paint she had on gave me a good idea how she got it. She had bad news written on her like October of '29, the year before the Bedlam Wars.

“Are you Sir Syruss O’leary?” she asked

“ I am,” I replied, curt and aggravated. Don’t know why, maybe I was ready to head home, maybe I didn’t like the look of this Dragon Lady's face, maybe I am just an old grump…maybe.

“I was told you're the type of fella who helps out poor souls for a fair price,” she clambered on.

“That depends on how 'fair' of a price,” I told her.

She went on to tell me about some sob story of a missing dragon sister being held captive by evil Doctors who were up to no good. Apparently Ms. Salina Dargoneesee, that’s her name, had this half sister, being held against her will all while having rotten experiments done on her….like draining life force experiments awful. It was the typical tale with a few new twists: dragons, kidnapping, treasure, mystery and a lost love. She went on and on for what seemed like hours. The more she talked the more I listened and the more I felt compelled to help.

I don’t know what it was about her sob story that got to me: maybe the lost half-sister, or the sad look in her eyes. Perhaps it was the hundred rowan she laid on my table. Whatever it was, I was on the case.

I haven’t felt this excited since Grebinar and I started the S&G detective agency. Now maybe was our time to do some good. We loaded up the wagon and went to case the joint. This was a miserable looking cave entrance with too nice of a door. When did bears get into reinforced carbon steel door engineering, am I right? There were a few windows around this cave entrance but nothing large enough to see in. Heck, we were lucky enough to get glimpses of what was on the other side of the door, nothing helpful just a hallway. We cased the joint Friday night for 48 hours until it was OUR time to enter on Sunday.

Over the course of our study people kept coming in and out of the facility like a popular Chimeron Deli on lunch hour. We watched some groups go in, most come out, some who came out with less people than when they went in. While we weren’t sure what was going on in there, we were sure we would need a team to accomplish this feat. We gathered the usual muscles for hire. D and Quayloth from Folkestone were willing to lightning-bolt their way through anything for some coin; after that, the rest of our crew could be bought with whiskey and the promise of a good time.

We projected we would need at least twenty coin-hungry adventurers. What we got was over a half-dozen hung-over meatheads. Lovable meatheads, but meatheads all the same.

We entered the facility and were immediately greeted by what appeared to be friendly hospital staff. The boys were a mixed bag of Blackwood Trail Mix on whether or not we should trust them. Half the boys thought: “What the heck, let's sign these blank Doctors/Patient forms. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Well, I knew better. It was something in the air. I never quite trusted hospitals, not after the experiments of 1008 but that’s another story. No, there was something off in this room. How did they have all our names? Why were they so friendly? WHERE DID HALF MY GROUP GO??? That was my last question before I felt that unforgettable prick in the side of my neck. Yup, I had been tranquillized…..

I woke up in a small room with my fellow Neden Guys, like our B squad...heck, who am I kidding - in this situation there were few others I would prefer to have. We were stripped of all our possessions and the door was locked. I immediately scanned the room before the others woke up. I had a room with one small window (too small to escape), a door with a lock and a note in a language I was unfamiliar with, plus a whole heck of a lot of puzzle pieces. Whoever these guys were, they sure went through a lot of trouble to keep us in here and to keep us entertained while we were here. I mean, I am used to having an old magazine or two but these puzzles would be a much better use of my time in this perpetual waiting room.

It was time to asses my resources - like I said, I had a cracker-jack squad. We had the incomparable Siff of Neden (who had the only means of combat magic missile) and Rawlin the Clown (he would be able to distract most opposition or at the very least provide the knock-knock jokes for the next however many years we would be stuck here). Then there was Razmith and our petitioner Gumbo. Now Gumbo was only good for cooking, but I knew Razmith would be able to crack this code and get us out before it was too late.

The rain was coming down like all the angels in heaven decided to take a piss at the same time. When you’re in a situation like mine, you can only think in metaphors. I knew this weather was an omen of what to come and I knew we had to do something quick.

“Eureka!” Razmith exclaimed.

With that resounding statement we were free, and we left that room with zero regard for what was on the other side. We left that room like schoolchildren running from the building on solstice break. Before we knew it we had located our comrades equally stuck in other rooms. I had the notion that the facility didn’t think to change the combinations to the doors. Minions, am I right? Smart enough to practice medicine poorly but not smart enough to change a four-digit code.

We were out of there in no time...well, actually like fifteen more minutes than we needed. Nymbous insisted the doctors were not that dumb. No way it was the same code…right?!?!?!

After we convinced our fearless leader to try one more time we were on our way. Then, without warning a Specter of a Dragon appeared and you could tell she was the missing sister the dame who hired us was missing. She went on to help us navigate various rooms with various puzzle traps. We decided the best route was to set off all the traps with our more resilient crew. We may not be able to kill all these doctors, but we can send wave after wave of regenerating meatheads at them until they get bored or we get the upper hand. We all tried something different with the doctors until we found these cool sleeping agents that could knock out the doctors, along with some empty syringes and all these colorful pills that most of us were forced to take…some of us not so forced…

After what felt like days and with various visits from specter lady (who was always magically on the same treasure chest that I am pretty sure we weren’t carrying), we made our way through all the doctors to this warden guy, a head honcho.

He was conducting weird experiments on a few tree-looking folk. Not any of my business. Some of our group that had gotten separated, or had fallen into the cavern, or wandered off alone were in the room and getting the ugly end of this guy’s business mace - and that, my friends, was my problem.

I busted in there like a flesh tornado with arms and legs and teeth just tearing into anything in my way. After bashing on this guy for ten minutes, I noticed it wasn't working. I pulled the old classic “What’s that over there?” and dove behind a pile of dead bodies when he turned his back, until he passed. I found Siff, Razmith and Lord Nymbous all bogged down with these huge boulder-like chains. Grebs and I were busy treating our friends like they were hot new bardic songs “off the chain” and we freed them. Well, not the tree people……..

We still had Mr. Smashy-Mace swinging his thing around like a toddler with a rattle.

“Hey Nymbous!” I shouted. “If their chains were strong enough to contain your awesomeness to the ground, maybe just maybe it will work on this mook.”

With that said, Nymbous and I sprang into action, hurling the chains together with four hands onto this guy’s back. It worked, he buckled under the weight like my belt and pants after a good Nedgiving Dinner. Naj got a cool pair of shoulders and Jean Baptiste wore this man’s face (note to self: watch JB more carefully...) We got another key to the Specter Dragon Lady who kept appearing like smoke on foggy morning. It would have creeped me out, but that wasn’t even the weirdest thing that happened to me this day. No, I was much too busy collecting keys to care or wonder about why.

The next room was a Mastermind Doctor, presumably the Mini Mini boss, like your direct supervisor. Sure he can make you work late, but he can’t make you come in on Saturdays kind of boss. This loony tune was using his own blood to create the undead and generally cause mischief and malpractice with “patience”. He even replaced my liver with paper plates and other stuff. I think??? To which I responded by ripping open the sutures and self removing the plate and adding my liver (along with a few others) back where they needed to be for this Friday’s Karaoke action. I tried using the syringe to fill one of those poison vials of blood and inject it this Creepy Doctor Doom…and it failed. Like horribly, comically failed…

Then I noticed Mr. Mini Boss was missing some fingers and there were all these jars of blood everywhere.

“Where did you get all these jars of blood?!” Naj yelled.

But it didn’t matter where he got them from, only that they were important for solving whatever this disaster was.

I noticed the Mr. Mini Boss was missing fingers and started opening the jars with fingers in them……Yikes that was a painful idea. Good thing I practiced mortification in the Church of Darkhaven. The pain was nuts but not all that unbearable. After opening 16 out of the 18 bottles I knew the next bottle was sure to be a winner. I was wrong. But, BOOM 20 had the solution. I drank the blood because I’m a Demo..…er I mean because at that point I was sure it would either kill me or give me super-powers. If you guessed it killed me, well then you’d be wrong - I got the super-powers. I was a Lich Bane swinging son of a lich (not really, my mom was a beet-farming saint I tell ya).

After enough smashing of the Lich he dropped a key which unlocked more of Rubyious’s (that’s the Dragon Specter, which you know because I have mentioned a million times I am sure) chains. Which led us to this poor soul snake person who had a killer headache (which I could relate to, having spent the first part of the quest listening to Siff tell me a great idea for a Harlequin Comedy Club). We helped this guy. Sort of, well not really, but we definitely got the key and we definitely DID not trap this guy inside a cage forever.

I couldn’t help but feel like this key, the presumably last key, was in fact not the end of our adventure. I could attribute that to the fact that all the hallways were suddenly eerily empty or the fact that I am a cracker-jack detective, but I guess ultimately it was because we had not seen a dragon yet and you know, that was the main purpose of this thing.

We unlocked the last of the Specter’s Box and just like I predicted, this Dragon Lady turned on us like out-of-date milk. She immediately turned from an adorable damsel dragon in distress to a dangerous dragon of doom. Just when me and Grebinar were getting pumped up to go in and kill the dragon super-duper big time, the rest of the team got it done…..Like super-fast.

It was all over...or so I thought. The room went dark - darker than Bedlam on a moonless night - and the walls came crashing down like all of Grebinar's previous relationships. Behind them was a three-headed super-duper dragon.Time was ticking; we had to have been in there for a year now. How long did we have? Three hours? That can’t be right. We slept...we many rooms, so many pills...what did the doctor say about side effects???

Anyways, we crack the code of the dragons by making them crack their heads against each other….silly triplets. After the Wytherin was down, I gutted its stomach and dove in and out the other side…

“Syruss, how did you know this was going to lead to the treasure room?” D asked.

“I am a cracker-jack detective, D. That, and diving head-first into things has literally never backfired on anyone in the history of ever.” (That’s a fact, look it up)

Well, we got the treasure and a cool Mimic pet named Stevie McPherson….and four new dragon heads to add to the wall.

So the dame set me up, so the guys took 90% of the loot and left me to deal with the mimic - I still solved the case, and by that I mean I killed a bunch of stuff and got free healthcare.

We ended up escaping the area with nine minutes left to spare…or we did it in nine minutes flat….one of two...Time was weird there…Did Jean Baptiste get taller???? Are the colors going to go back to normal…Did I get all the plates?????

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...
 By Sara "Zarine" Jessop
...Adventuring Gear

            This weekend I joined with my fellow Invictites and some friends from Blackwood as we delved into, um, I'm not even sure where. I am going to call it “a place with dragons.” We fought our way through puzzles and undead to kill a couple of dragons and take their rather unimpressive hoard of treasure. While doing so, I of course took note of people's adventuring gear and realized that the only place some of them should be questing to is the clothing market.

            I don't know a lot about adventuring gear. You'll need to remember that I do not adventure often. Saturdays are a very busy day at the bathhouse, so I don't often get to join you all. But this rare Sunday adventure has opened my eyes to the obvious problems. I may not know exactly how to fix them, but I do know how to point them out. Now I know that adventuring is quite different than a social gathering and calls for a completely different type of outfit. It calls for function over form, which is a concept I tend to struggle with. So, dear reader, I shall try very hard to keep that in mind while doling out my advice this week. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

From the Editor's Desk: On the Subject of Event Reviews

 From the desk of Jennifer DeNardis-Rosa (Areni):

One of the most important aspects of our game is how players interact with events - after all, the game only exists because people throw events in the first place. Without events, what would we have to occupy our weekends? Laundry? No thanks!

When throwing an event, our hope is always that the players who show up are able to engage with the story, mechanics, puzzles, and overall content for the full duration of the event and that by doing so they are able to enjoy themselves and have a fun day. Beyond that, we hope that those players would be open to coming to more events from that particular team because they genuinely were entertained and impressed. It would stand to reason then: if there was a way to make all events more enjoyable then more people would want to go to them and it would have a large positive impact on the game as a whole.

Isn’t it lucky that such a method already exists?

While throwing and attending events is what makes our game exist, something that has the potential to make every event as good as possible exists alongside them. That something is feedback.

Feedback can take many forms, but the most common and most easily accessible is the event review. Event-holding teams don't want to throw events that players won't or didn't like, or that people don't or won't want to go to in the future. That’s the main reason that feedback is so important. An event review is a critical tool for EHs as it allows them an important window to how players felt about the story, mechanics, food - every aspect of the event that they interacted with. Reading event reviews and altering future events because of them is vital to EH teams improving upon their past work, and raising the level of all events throughout the game.

Yet as important as reviews are, taking a look at the event archive on RealmsNET, one can see that some events get a handful of reviews while some get very few; some even get none at all.

Let's explore some possible barriers to leaving event reviews/ feedback.

1) "I don't want the EH to get upset with me if I say that I didn't like something about the event."

Don't think of feedback or reviews in terms of good or bad. If there was an aspect to the event that you did not like or enjoy, or that you thought could have been done better, you should be honest about it - the event staff would much rather that you said something so that they could take it under consideration for the next time they throw an event. EHs want to know what the players did and did not enjoy. But while you are being honest, you must also remember to be considerate. Think in terms of constructive criticism, rather than negative feedback, and make sure that your words are kind. Think about how you would want to be told, if it was your event, and go from there. If you really can’t bring yourself to say anything negative, then its okay to just highlight the positive things that you did enjoy and that were done well. That way the EH is more likely to include those aspects in the future.

2) "The event was fine, I liked it, I really don't have much more to say."

If you had an overall good time at an event, or really liked a certain aspect or mechanic that the EH/ staff was using, then tell them! People want to hear when they are doing well, too! EHs and staff often put a lot of time, money, and thought into planning, prepping for, and throwing their events, and it is gratifying to hear that people enjoyed those efforts. Sometimes, the absence of feedback can be misconstrued or misinterpreted as negative feedback where none was actually intended, or mistaken for general ambivalence on the part of the players. "Well, no one said anything, so they must not have liked it." That is why feedback and event reviews are so important, even if you only write a few lines saying something such as: "I liked this event, and the widget puzzle was really cool." It can give the EH/ event staff the boost they might need to consider throwing an event again, and helps them to feel that their efforts were appreciated. If no feedback or reviews are received, whether positive or constructive, they may not be willing to try again - especially newer EH/ staff groups. (It is important to note here that the opposite can also be true - lack of feedback can also be taken as a sign that people liked the content that was provided to them. But wouldn't it be better to know for certain?)

3) “I’ll give feedback if they ask in person but I really don’t like to offer unwelcome advice.”

Thank you for being well intentioned to give feedback when asked, but please remember that in the wake of an event it can be hard for an EH team to go back to every person who played and solicit their feedback. The event review system is there so they don’t have to. Think of the review system as a preemptive “asking for feedback” that every event holder does every time they throw an event. Advice is always welcome. When people throw an event they are doing it for you. They are doing it to give back to the game and make their players happy. They want to know if you were happy because that was their goal in the first place.

So what can you do? We have all been guilty of meaning to write a review but never quite getting around to it. Here’s a simple solution - set a small goal and build from there. Make a resolution to review the next event that you attend, and stick to it. When that’s done, set another goal - review every other event you attend, maybe. That way you don’t feel pressured to write something for every single event you attend, but you’ll still be able to contribute what you can to some of them.

A lot of event reviews are written as long narrative paragraphs explaining whole sections of an event. Sometimes when players look at those and the obvious time put into crafting them, it’s easy to think that you just don’t have that much time. That’s okay. Writing something short and to the point is also a perfectly good event review format. Some players have taken to making a pro-con list, short and to the point. That’s a great format too. But if you’re really having trouble getting started, copy and paste the sentence starters below into your review and just complete as many of them as you feel you are able to. It’s okay if you don’t write a lot, just make sure your voice is heard!

One aspect of this event that I really enjoyed was:

One thing at this event that I would like to see back next year is:

The part of the event when I felt most engaged was:

One aspect of this event that was very innovative was:

One thing that might be considered for revision for next year is:

And that’s all there is to it! Four or five sentences and you are done. It will only take you a few moments and the impact on future events from that team will be immesureable.

Again, always make sure to think in terms of constructive criticism rather than negative feedback, and always try to include suggestions for improvement if you have any. Always try to balance constructive criticism with positive statements as well. If there were certain things you really liked, make a point of mentioning them. Try to be as specific as you can, but even if you just make general statements regarding the event, it’s better for EH/staff to hear from players than not. Event reviews benefit everyone in the game, not just the event staff they are directed towards - by encouraging/ making suggestions and acknowledging the time and effort put in by EH groups, they help us to continually strive for improvement in our events which in turn can help elevate the content and quality of events, and therefore the game itself. 

So what are you waiting for? Review the next event you attend!
 [Editor's Note: do you have something to say on this or another game-related topic? The View welcomes editorial/opinion pieces from the community; send all submissions to any View editor: Jen, Diana, Alex, or Kelly]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What You Missed - Ashen Bounty V (photos)

[Editor's Note: all photos by Jesse Gifford except otherwise marked; all captions by Jason Rosa]

Fighting against the soldiers of the Imperium

The Imperial leaders were powerful fighters.

Ashenmark never fails to disappoint with its ample native belligerent flora.

The heroes stand at the edge of a deep chasm that required a bridge of boulders to cross.

A "beautiful maiden" that needed rescuing from the Imperium's prison islands.

Rock monsters threw boulders and defended their cliff-dwelling domain.

The Canary, leader of the Murderous Maidens, temporarily deceased.

The Adventurers journey to the heart of the Imperium's forces.

The bridge being built across the bottomless chasm.

One boulder at a time the heroes made their way across.

The leader of the Imperium's forces tempted the heroes with a job offer before disappearing when attacked.

Dame Umbra, Knight of Ashenmark (photo by Nataliya Kostenko)

Busy crew in the kitchen (photo by Jason Rosa)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Arc Sphere Distortion

Arc Sphere Distortion
by Steven Matulewicz

Why I Want to Go, G.O.F.E.R. T.W.O.

Why I Want to Go, G.O.F.E.R. T.W.O.
by Diana "Kiiara" LaPierre
Gold Estimate May Vary

The glow of gold and gems is a mesmerizing sight, full of gleaming glory and wonder. It can entrance all kinds-- especially Dragons. Those large, winged reptiles collect and hoard treasures of all kinds. It fascinates and binds them to the caverns in which they keep it.

Dragons, however, are not the only ones to be driven to lust over trinkets and riches. This Sunday, many will journey into the heart of the Dragon Hoard and quest for innumerable prizes! Will you be there?

I want to go to GOFER TWO because last year was most excellent. The Event Holder of the event has thrown quality events for decades, some of which enraptured the Realms for years and were at the forefront of Realms discussions. He and his staff put a lot of time and effort into prop making and mood setting, and the events are immersive, entertaining and challenging. There is always fun NPCs to interact with and puzzles to solve.

Not to mention the untold treasures that lay at the end of that cave, awaiting anyone who can best a giant, deadly dragon, complete with deadly claws and mashing jaws! Just a bit of fortune and glory.

What you were expecting a dragon?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I Can't Even

I Can't Even...
 by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
… Social Etiquette

            Lately I have been delving into the world of fashion rules with you, and this week, dear reader, I need a break. Not a break from telling you all what you are doing wrong, you won't get that lucky. Just a break from fashion. Besides, I think you all need some time to let all of my recent advice really sink in and percolate in those dull minds of yours. 
            This week I want to talk about something very important: social etiquette. Let's start first with a definition of the very word: Etiquette: a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. Now, I know there were a lot of big words, but I have faith in you.. alright, that's a lie. Just buy a dictionary.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

To Tabard, or Not to Tabard

To Tabard, or Not to Tabard?
by Rosemary "Kyara" Campbell

To tabard, or not to tabard? THIS is the pressing question of those intrigued by nice garb in the Realms! In Gau Dring, we love looking fancy. It feels like for every event we’re making a whole new wardrobe, but is that really such a bad thing? Apparently, a lot of the Realms used to like being fancy, but that appears sorely lacking nowadays, although, I must admit I’ve seen some turnaround at the feasts. While there has been visible improvement thanks to Newbie bins, the No Jeans Initiative, and various shops, we still see fighters running around in wife beaters and basketball shorts. For this I give one word: crusty.

          I have heard the debates about garb, and by far the most commonly used excuse for lack of garb is this: why am I going to spend the time and money on garb when it’s just going to get covered by a tabard? I get it, you want to represent your nation, but doing so will hide all your garb anyways...sort of. Well, if that’s all that’s holding you back, why wear the tabard? Take a look at Gau Dring’s heraldry. We do have tabards for petitioners, but place more emphasis on creativity and good garbing than wearing our colors. We do this by not requiring them to wear their tabard, but to at least have it on their person, and full members get to design a garb piece based on their character to show off heraldry.
Behold, our garb, it is our heraldry!

           From left to right we have Enlon in classic crappy fighter garb aka what not to wear. Then Asharn with his headband, Lako with the overcoat, myself with my skirt, Neko is in the back so it’s hard to see but there’s purple there! Redd with his cape, and Crystal with her tabard around her waist. Please disregard the munchkin.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I Want to Go, Ashenbounty

    Why I Want to Go, Ashen Bounty
by Diana "Kiira" LaPierre

    The weather is getting colder and, this year at Ashen Bounty, it looks to like the weather will be sunny... finally. Five years of tradition has brought about a quality event with both a feast and questing. Plus, miserable weather. This year, the event is at a beautiful site that offers cabins and multiple ovens. Trust me, that's a great asset.

     The event staff, year after year, provides the players with well-thought-out NPCs and plot lines that both entertain and intrigue. They provide a challenge and fun for the questing party. The questing takes place Friday night, Saturday daytime, and Sunday, and you can bet you will be both captivated and excited!

     The "Bounty" part  the event is provided Saturday evening and can be described as a plethora of food. The usual Feastocrat is momentarily occupied with wonderful tiny things, so this year, the Feastocrat will be The View's very own Jennifer Denardis-Rosa, the master chef behind the Gilded Lion Summer Festivals! You can expects delectable treats and savory meats!

I want to go to Ashen Bounty because it's a weekend chock full of fun and something new: Sunshine!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What You Missed photos - In Bud's Honor (KoEF Tribute Event)

[All photos by View Staff]

The Clontarf Casino is live

The hall

More gambling going on 

Live Auction table 

Arg and Brighthammer bears

Vandoria sets up shop

Arg dreamcatcher, made by Janna

Extensive ticket auction items

Commemorative weapons

Busy in the kitchen

Iawen samples the appetizers

The dinner spread

A few rounds of bingo 

Mestoph destroys the pinata 

What You Missed - In Bud's Honor (KoEF Tribute Event)

by Jason "Aeston" Rosa

We lost Buddy Wolfhope far too soon in his life. Many of us remember tromping through the woods alongside Brighthammer, beset on all sides by danger, or joking with Arg as he responded with his trademark phrase and a shrug, or loving to hate Dr. Slashblight and the villainy he sought to inflict on the Realms. Those of us who were lucky enough to spend many years with Bud remember a man who was funny, caring, and joyful pretty much every day of his life. He spent a long time giving his friends the best of himself and trying his best to do well by this community.

So this past Saturday we did our best as a community to do well by his memory. Bud believed very heavily in the Take This Foundation and the good that it could accomplish for the groups that he felt closest to. It was a fitting tribute to him to try and do just a little more for them in his name.

In Bud’s Honor was a community effort in the truest sense of the word. The auction tables (and there were eight of them) overflowed with items from people all across the game. Even if people couldn’t personally be in attendance, they took it upon themselves to contribute however they could. Individuals donated expertly made weapons, garb, and crafts, all kinds of services, event certificates to pretty much everything, and much, much more. From the planning stages to the execution many different people cooked food, organized activities, helped to set up and worked together to make the night successful. People from all across the Realms attended - after all, Bud’s friendship and character knew no national border. People came to gamble, to buy auction tickets or bid on the live auction prizes, to play Bingo, to whack at a pinata, to drink and to eat a delicious, hearty dinner in the style he loved, and to write on The Wall of Bud, sharing memories of who Buddy was and what he meant to us.

We were successful at two goals on Saturday. The first of which was to raise money for the Take This Foundation. To that end the community raised over $5300 that night. To put it together with the very successful Fight-a-Thon that ran at Tournaments of Blackwood, the total that the Realms has put together for the charity that Bud cared so much about is in excess of $11,000. That is a stunning, significant number that will, no doubt, accomplish a lot of good.

The other goal we had, and one that I feel was equally accomplished, was to simply remember our friend.

As I drove home from the event on Saturday I couldn’t help but reflect. Our community has been around a very long time. I’ve been lucky enough now to have seen the majority of its existence, if only slightly so. During those many years we’ve celebrated engagements and graduations, marriages and births, all as a group of friends and companions. These are all great, happy occasions and it speaks well of who were are that we can rejoice in them together even across cliques and nationalities. But there are also times like these, where as a community we experience loss. In those times, however, we have also unfailingly come together. We’ve come together to grieve, we’ve come together to honor our departed friends, and we’ve come together to accomplish good, charitable things in the name of those we miss. Much more than celebrating the happy times, uniting together in the hard times shows the character, the true depth of who we are as a people. It’s during those moments, I think, that we should take the most pride.

Our deepest gratitude to all of you who contributed to or attended In Bud’s Honor. There are certainly those more worthy to speak for Buddy than I am, but nonetheless I thank you on his behalf as well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fashion Has Rules, You Know

I can't even …

… follow the rules all the time
by Sara "Zarine" Jessop

            Recently I have been approached by plebs a plenty asking me a plethora of questions. And not queries of the normal variety. Usually I get questions like, “Which cream should I use for this rash” or, “how much for that blonde in the window?”. However, lately I have been getting wonderfully refreshing questions like this one: How do you reconcile the fact that white shouldn't be worn after Folkestone questing with A: white appearing in the heraldry of multiple nations, and B: the traditional colors to wear at the black and white masquerade being, as expected, black, and white?”

            Well, you see dear reader, fashion is a fickle thing. It's full of all sorts of rules and some of them can be quite conflicting. Sometimes what's fashionable one season might be to completely ignore the rules and be a rebel. Of course, conforming to nonconformity has it's dangers. If one of your friends suddenly acquires a taste for flannel, puts his hair in a man-bun and starts acting like Drike, seek a medical professional immediately! They are clearly coming down with what we in the medical field call “being a hipster”, which is a quick moving disease that will completely kill off all of your hopes and dreams of being fabulous. There is a cure, but it's quite complicated, and... oh dear, I have gotten completely off topic.
            Even in fashion rules are meant to be broken and it's important to know when and where it's acceptable to break them. Unfortunately there are very few guidelines on such things. Rebellion has no defined rules and as such is very treacherous terrain to traverse, but I will do my best to dredge up some common sense answers to the aforementioned question. I will even give some unasked for advice as well, because I'm so giving!
            Patriotic colors are always fashionable regardless of season. Many nations of the Realms use white as part of their heraldry. So of course you can't just put away your flags and tabards after Folkestone Questing, that's just plain ridiculous. However, just because there is white on your nation's tabard doesn't mean that you need to wear white pants with it. White, like black, goes with any color, which likely explains why both colors get used so often in heraldry. No one's flag is just a plain field of white, else they would be surrendering every time they took the field. So chose a different heraldic color to represent in the clothes you'll be covering up with your tabard.
            Any individual social event can call for the breaking of any number of fashion rules by it's very nature. The Black and White Masquerade, for example, happens after FSQ and calls for costumes of... wait for it... black and white. Therefore, wearing white is not only acceptable, it's required. Wearing colors other than black and white or appearing unmasked are the only obvious rule breakers. Of course other rules could still be broken, like not matching your shoes to your handbag. On the other hand, perhaps somewhere there is a party where the whole point is to have completely clashing purse/handbag combinations! Or maybe there is a gathering of socialites having a socks with sandals convention, though I wouldn't recommend attending such a ridiculous debacle. Some rules exist for the safety and security of our dignity and should not be messed with.
            White should never be worn at a wedding by anyone but the bride regardless of season. Dear reader, even an unmarried single lady like myself understands the sanctity of the brides special day and her desire to be the center of attention. And as much as I love to be the center of attention, weddings are one of those times when even I stand aside for someone else. Likewise, white shouldn't be worn to funerals either. Once again, you aren't the center of attention, the deceased is. Everyone should be staring at the cold, dead, bloated corpse, not your tacky arse.
            Gentleman's dress shirts and women's chemises are always an exception to the white rule as well, provided something is being worn over is, like a doublet or vest for a man, or a corset or dress for the ladies. Of course, winter white is always a better option in the winter months, but a nice crisp pristine white works as well. 
            Remember that these rules are for social events and gatherings. Wars, rescuing villagers, raiding weaklings and such have different rules where fashion is concerned. I hope, dear reader and concerned citizen of the Realms, that these words have cleared up some of the confusion surrounding my previous advice. Some rules are meant to be broken. How else would fashion ever evolve if it weren't for the few brave souls who successfully challenge and change the status quo? People of great importance who innovatively move the world forward? Just remember, most of you aren't actually that important.

Zarine is the proprietor and Madam of Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, and has 35 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Live Action Reaction Players

 From the Editors Desk

Alex "Lucas" Newbold

Realms isn't Live Action Role Playing, it is Live Action, Reaction Participating.  Now before you go and correct my grammar and bicker over my choice in words, hear me out.  Or rather, read on...

The Realms, is unlike most Larps.  Some say it is because we are more Fighting System based than anything else, which I believe we are not.  We are a streamlined combat and spell system, designed to not upset the flow of combat and a scene.  Very little math is involved (armor 2), thrown spell attacks are the same predictable thing, with the same predictable game mechanic call to it.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What You Missed - Black and White 2016 (photos)

[Editor's  Note: all photos by View Staff]

The glorious spread

Doing some shopping

A chance meeting upon the road


Blue makes his annual appearance

Fighting the Risen Kingdom

Victory...for now

Death imprisoned

A mystery of sorts

Shandar picks up Blue...

More food!

Their Majesties begin court 

Order of the Peacock business...and fancy garb!

Oliver and Cimone are made Prince and Princess of Chimeron