Monday, April 30, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions

Arc Sphere Distortions

by Steven "Therian" Matulewicz

Friday, April 27, 2018

The View Retrospecitve - Interview

An earlier version of the popular 10 Questions.

Scanned by Jeremy Grayson
Originally published in The View from Valehaven, 2nd Edition, Volume 3, Issue 2; March 2006

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ask the Editors

I really admire how fancy garb is at feasts, but everything that is fancy seems super expensive. How can I upgrade the way I look but not have to spend a lot of money?

Well, you can go to thrift stores, and find things and modify them. This is really about being patient and a little bit about knowing what you're looking for. Funny story, actually recently I bought a couple of purses from a goodwill because I liked the buckles and studs on them and I wanted to take them apart and use them for future armor projects. Studs and buckles make good accents on leather pieces and if you can find an old purse or leather backpack you can get some really neat pieces.

Beyond the thrift store route, you can learn a craft or make friends that are familiar with crafts that you're not great at. Trading your skills with people is a good fun way to upgrade several characters at once. If you need help figuring out how to learn a craft feel free to ask and I'm sure I can direct you to someone with the skill you're trying to learn, easy as pie.

---Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

The key thing to remember about ‘fancy’ is that it is all in the eye of the beholder.  If you lack the skill ( and patience) to make your own, a thrift store is a great way to go.  You can also ask around, most long time players have extra garb they no longer want and would be willing to part with it for a fraction of the price.  Accessories will go a long way to make you look fancier.  Consider adding a simple headpiece.  Ladies can use an old costume necklace for a pretty circlet, men folk can use some simple copper wire woven together to add a little bit of lordliness to their brow.  Fake fur is big right now.  There are many tutorials on youtube and Pintrest you can watch to find little ways to add trim or alter a garment with little skill.  Slowly, you can build up your wardrobe and skill set.  Of course, the Order of the Peacock is always ready to help!

Kelly “Twenaria”

That really is the question.  Most people when starting out don’t have a lot of cash to put into clothing.  Sometimes you can get lucky:  I once stopped by a Yard Sale of someone who worked at King Richard’s Faire and they had a lot of garb at a fraction of the price.    I mention this because a lot of it is learning where your resources are (and sometimes, it’s a bit of luck).  Thrift shops, newbie bins, friends who can craft are all ways to improve your garb for low money.  Also, many modern styles are actually variants on Medieval clothing: you could get away with some designs out of your own closet.  So research is also helpful.  Being friends with crafters, learning to craft yourself, is a big thing I find.  If you are skillful in a craft, you can barter with other crafters possibly for those accents you are looking for.  Or at the very least, most crafters know where to get the best materials for the cheapest prices (and WHEN s important:  many times, they wait for yearly sales by various merchandise outlets).  Also, The Realms does hold basic crafting workshops from time to time.  Depending on how old you are and where you are, there may be local groups and clubs that can also have crafting days to help people out.

-Steven “Therian”  Matulewicz

I love looking fancy because it makes me feel good when I’m at an event. A lot of my garb I’ve accumulated over time and now I have lots of pieces that I can mix and match to make new fancy outfits. I also really get not wanting to spend a lot of money so I have a couple of tips and tricks that I’ve used in the past that have helped me build my Realms wardrobe. First, you need to have a look in mind that you are going for--trying to blindly sift through tons of clothing options is overwhelming and discouraging. It can be helpful to think about what other people wear that you really like, or to google some medieval outfits. If you can sew in a straight line, you can usually create something fancy looking with just a few simple straight stitches. Some of my personal favorites include a square skirt which can add lots of layers and colors and only really requires some elastic or drawstring and sewing a simple circle (lots of people can show you how to make these!), and making Realms pants seems intimidating, but isn’t so bad if you can find a simple pattern to follow. If you can’t sew, then you have some options, which include scouring bargain stores (second hand stores, consignment shops, and even discount clothing stores have lots of options if you know what you are looking for) or trying to find things being sold at Realms events by vendors. Footwear can also be a great way to dress up a look, and there are often affordable boots, especially this time of year when things are on clearance. If you have a little money to spare, I recommend finding a statement piece that you want to wear all the time and splurging on that. For me, it’s usually a bodice that I can mix and match tons of other simple and affordable pieces with. Finally, doing a clothing swap with a few friends can be a great way to change out your garb for something that is somebody else’s castoff. The moral of the story? When you look good, you feel good, so be patient and build up some outfits that make you feel super fancy when you are at your next feast.

-Lani "Gwen" Jones

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

No Better Life - Chapter 3

by Gerard "Gray" Chartier
[Editor's note: click here to read Chapter 1; click here to read Chapter 2]

The door to the Leaping Trout was still swinging from Darvan’s passage when Gray reached it.  He crashed through the it hard enough to break it off one of the hinges.  He used his remaining momentum to hurl his prisoner into one of the robed cultists Darvan was facing.  The pair went down in a heap as Gray stepped shoulder-to-shoulder with the swordsman, drawing his dagger and summoning a ball of lethal energy to his hand.
“Davan!  Gray!  Wait!”
Charwindle stepped forward, calm as a windless day.  “I understand you and Darvan had trouble with some members of the Crescent Coven.  Soft and I did as well, but we have these three…under control.”
Gray hesitated, taking a closer look the still-standing cultists.  Noticing the bloody slashes in their dark cloaks, he examined their faces.  They had the bloodless pallor of the animated dead.  So did Charwindle, come to think of it.
Gray let dissipate the killing energy he’d gathered. “Soft’s doing, I gather?”
“Yes!” chimed Soft from the back of the common room, a wine glass dangling from the fingers of one hand as he fretted over a bloodstained hole in his lacey silk robe.  “Can you believe one of those louts ran me through from behind?  They didn’t account for my recuperative powers though.”
“I killed three of our four assailants,” Charwindle supplied, “Soft evidently took care of the fourth while I was…incapacitated.”
“Oh, I took care of him, all right,” Soft muttered darkly.
Bemused, Gray sheathed his dagger and glanced around the common room.  “Where are Kamilla and Acorn?”
Eion poked his head out of the doorway to the kitchen.  “We’re back here.  Kamilla’s…calming down our hostess.”
“She’s not accustomed to monstrosities barging into her establishment!” the elf called from the other room.”
Soft sprang up from his seat.  “Monstrosities, please!”  He bounced over to one of the undead cultists and draped an arm over his shoulder.  “They were so rude before, and now they’re nice and polite!  Aren’t you boys?”
“Yes, master Soft,” they intoned in unison.
Soft glanced at the one Gray had bowled over with the unconscious cultist.  “Get up off the floor, lazybones!  And what is this?”  He glanced slyly at Gray.  “Did you get me a present?”
Gray shrugged as Killer jumped down from his shoulder and scurried over to the unconscious cultist Soft’s zombie was extricating himself from under, springing atop his chest and chittering about his possession of him.  “I suppose it’d be more accurate to say Killer got you the present.  I just carried it.”
Soft clapped his hands.  “Oh, goody!  What a clever squirrel you have, Gray!”  He pranced to the unconscious cultist and extended a finger to the squirrel.  “Killer, thank you for-”
Killer snapped at his outstretched finger.  Soft snatched his hand away with an outraged gasp.  “Gray!  Instruct this savage beast to turn his prisoner over to me at once!”
Killer chittered about getting nothing for nothing.
Gray tossed Soft a walnut.  “Here.  Try offering a trade.”
Soft bobbled the catch, but managed to snatch the nut out of the air on the rebound.  He shot Gray a dubious look, but extended the nut to Killer in his open hand.  “Here, Killer!  I’ll trade you this nice nut for that nasty man!”
Killer looked at the nut, then at his unconscious cultist, then back at the nut.  Daintily, he plucked it from Soft’s hand, bounded up onto a table with it, and began chewing happily.
Soft grinned and looked at Gray.  “Did you leave any more of these fellows lying around?”
Gray nodded.  “We didn’t leave them in any condition to speak, though.  We brought that one back to question because he’s still alive.”
Soft waved a dismissive hand.  “Oh, Gray!  He’d just refuse to talk, or try to lie to you.  My boys already told me everything about their little cult!  Haven’t you, boys?”
“Yes, Master Soft,” they intoned in unison.
Soft beckoned to the nearest and next nearest zombie cultists.  “You, come here and help me with this one, then go round up his friends.  Where did you leave them?”
Darvan jerked a thumb over his shoulder.  “Take a right out the door, third alley on the left,.”
The two zombies propped the unconscious cultist up in a chair and shambled out the door.  Soft pointed to the remaining one.  “You, tell Gray everything you told me.”
“We are the Cresent Coven,” the zombie cultist droned, “We are the chosen of the Fell God.  Our ways were old when the world was young.  Once, all the races trembled at the coming of the darkest nights, knowing His power would be at its fullest, and His followers would claim what they willed as is our ancient right.  Centuries ago, the Despot came from realms above and upended this natural order.  He rallied the disparate tribes and led the weak to usurp the strong, banishing the Fell God to an abyssal realm.”
Eion and Kamilla emerged from the kitchen.  The elf’s eyes were wide as saucers as she listened to Soft’s servitor.
“But the Despot failed to completely defeat the Fell God, who even now speaks through his chosen acolytes.  We of the Crescent Coven labor to bring about his return.  After our decades of preparations, the time is ripe.  At midnight on a night of the waning moon, a sacrifice of one of the Despot’s celestial subjects can open the door allowing the Fell God to step into the world once more.   We have patiently waited for the Despot’s celestial subjects to come into the world.  Then the Bronze Man came.”
Gray traded a glance with Darvan at the term their assailants had used as well.
“We could have taken him at any time, but we waited to see if he would draw others to him.  Then you arrived, bearing the Despot’s crest as your heraldry.  Your cries of anguish and despair will be as music to the Fell God, who will twist you into weapons to be used against his hated enemy.  Tonight we will enact our ritual in the ruin of the Despot’s palace.  Brothers and sisters from leagues away will gather for this glorious night.  Lower initiates will guard against intrusion.  They will be watched by Acolyte Boll.  He’s easy to recognize because his ears stick out like…”
“That’s enough, Sparky,” Soft called from the table he sat at, leaning back over the unconscious cultist to whisper into his ear.
Silence reigned as the descended Mayerlingers all shot wide-eyed stares at each other.
Gray slammed his palm down on a tabletop, startling them out of their state of shock.  “We’d better stop dicking around and go scoop up that Scholar!”
“Yeah.  About that.”
Gray turned to see Swift in the door, disheveled and dirty, his shoulder under the arm of a bleeding and barely conscious Reed.
“Oh no!” Kamilla gasped, “We’re too late!”
“Not yet, we aren’t.”
Charwindle’s raised chin was the picture of quiet determination as she continued.  “It won’t be midnight for some hours yet.  We still have time to find where they’re keeping this Scholar and take him away from them.”
Soft sprang to his feet.  “And I have a lovely plan for doing just that!”
His two zombies shuffled back into the common room, between them dragging the three corpses Darvan and Gray had left behind.
“And they,” Soft declared, “are exactly what we need for my plan to work!”

To be continued in Chapter 4.....

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What You Missed: Ush'dui and the Causeway

by Cory "Asharn" Roy

I found myself in the dreaming with a couple of my fellow adventurers. We woke up in a room and were asked what we all had in common. Once we figured something we were brought to more of the adventurers of the realms and the same process repeated until every adventurer who was in the dreaming was brought together. We quickly found a portal in the dreaming that required everyone to chant the same words together. I was still a bit lost as to what was going on it being my first time ever in the dreaming but I went along with it since it seemed like people knew what they were doing.

During our time in the dreaming we had to go through fail-safes put in place by past adventurers. Some of them seemed strange but were usually entertaining. Our first one seemed to be that we were inhabiting people at a wedding and the groom was a no-show. It seemed like we couldn't move forward until the wedding happened. After some time we figured out what the groom was like and we decided that Swoop fit that role the most. It was a beautiful ceremony and the cupcakes afterwards were delicious. I believe this ceremony to have been a fun time for everyone who got to witness it.

The different parts of this dream ranged in a lot of ways and at times I had no idea what was happening. We had an area that we had to make a pizza but the mushrooms were agressive and the slices weighed about as much as boulders. One room where we were chased over obstacles by lava until we got to the end. There was even a room where we where helping a man gather eggs from a garden and some monsters attacked us. One of the strangest times is when we went to a room with a bunch of ghosts and Gordon was possessed by the soul of an adventurer named Gregory Moss who I have only heard of vaguely before this. Luckily they removed that person's soul from Gordon. After all the fail-safes were done we had some time to try and prep and give ourselves a bit of help in the final part of the dream where from my knowledge our goal was to keep this door in the dreaming closed.

Well, we made it to the part of the dream with the door and we were then encountered by someone called batman who is obviously someone's dream version of Bat Syruss. This guy summoned bats and was very annoying getting adventurers to fall on their own swords. While people where busy with him there was also some sort of ritual going on and we had to try and beat 5 people in one on one combat. We started off strong with one win but after that it seemed like we were not doing very well. I'm not entierly sure on the events that transpired after that but I do know that I woke up and something destructive happened and it was enough to effect me outside of the dream world.

- Asharn

Ooc: somehow basically an orbital nuclear strike on the dreaming was called down and while we may have all died we did technically destroy the door so nothing can get out of it. So I guess we won and lost but more importantly won.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions

Arc Sphere Distortions

by Steven "Therian" Matulewicz

Friday, April 20, 2018

The View Retrospective - Drawing and Art

 A piece by Maryanne English-Betie (Dame Shalindra) that gives an overview of medieval/ fantasy drawing and art.

Scanned by Jeremy Grayson
Originally published in The View from Valehaven, 2nd Edition, Volume 3, Issue 2; March 2006

Thursday, April 19, 2018

No Better Life - Chapter 2

 by Gerard "Gray" Chartier
[Editor's note: click here to read Chapter 1]

Gray glanced at Darvan as they walked down a dusty street of broken cobblestones.  “You’ve been fairly quiet,” he said.
Darvan looked at Gray.  “Yes.  Something’s bothering me.”
“What’s that?” Gray asked.
Darvan shrugged.  “I can’t quite place it.  It’s just that there’s something…familiar…about this city.”
“I can’t imagine why that might be,” Gray remarked, “Seeing as you’re from…”  He wiggled his fingers towards the darkening sky.
They approached an intersection, three of the corners occupied by rickety rebuilt half-ruins, the fourth occupied by a sprawling garden bordered by a wall of rubble – probably from the building that had stood there at one point, Gray surmised.
Darvan pointed to one of the stones low in the wall.  “Have you been seeing those?”
Gray took a better look at the stone.  Darvan wasn’t pointing to the rock so much as the figure scrawled on it.  “Huh.  Good eye.”
“I’m a shooter.  I spot things,” Darvan said, “What does it look like to you?”
Gray squatted down to examine the figure.  “Like a burning man under a crescent moon.”
Darvan nodded.  “That’s what they look like to me, too.”
“They?” Gray asked.
“I’ve been seeing them all over this town,” Darvan replied.
Gray straightened back up.  “Gang territory marking, maybe?”
Darvan shook his head.  “We’ve crossed at least two territories since we left the inn.  I’ve seen them in all of them.  Got any idea what it means?”
Gray rubbed the back of his neck.  “Not sure.  It strikes me as kind of ominous though.  Especially considering two things.”
“Which are?” Darvan prodded.
Gray held up a finger.  “One, the man in the figure is painted a metallic bronze color.”  He raised a second finger.  “Two, the phase of the moon tonight is waning crescent.”
Darvan looked up at the sky.  “We’d better get back.  It’s going to be sundown soon, and I’m not confident we can afford to wait for tomorrow to see this Scholar.  Plus, think we want to lose the tail we picked up.”
Gray nodded.  “Two guys in dark cloaks with their hoods pulled up?  Them I noticed.”
Darvan resumed strolling the way they’d been going.  “Take this right with me.  When we round the corner, we sprint and take the next right.”

Gray glanced over his shoulder at the pair emerging from a makeshift stable. “Bugger,” he grumbled, “I hate running.”
Darvan grinned at him as they took the corner.  “It’s good for you!”
Gray didn’t get a chance to deliver his retort, as Darvan sprang into a run.  Gray was obliged to lumber after him to keep up.  They rounded the corner and kept going, Gray following when Darvan hooked a left around a shell of a building no one had yet decided to rebuild and repurpose.  Gray followed as the red-clad warrior darted through a gaping doorway and ducked into the shadows.  He struggled to quiet his panting breaths, envying the younger man’s agility and vigor.
A few minutes of tense waiting produced no shouts or footsteps running after them.
“Think we lost them?” Gray whispered.
“One way to find out,” Darvan replied.
Darvan peeked out of the doorway, then crept out into the street, looking both ways.  His posture relaxing, he beckoned to Gray to join him.  “Keep your eyes peeled for trouble.”

“Always,” Gray agreed.
Unfortunately, Broken Bridge was not laid out in as orderly a grid as the city’s original inhabitants may have intended, with rubble blocking some streets and the later construction sprawling out into others.  By the time Gray was confident they were heading back to the Leaping Trout, they had a pair of extra shadows again.
“Our friends are back,” Gray muttered.
Darvan nodded.  “Just keep going.  We’re getting close.”
They were halfway down a deserted alley when another pair of hooded figures emerged in front of them.
“Strangers,” one hissed as they drew pitted short swords from under their cloaks, “Here for the Bronze Man.  You will not take him.  Instead, we’ll take you!”
Darvan drew his swords and dropped into a fighting stance.  “Watch behind us!”
Gray dropped back a step and pivoted, drawing his dagger as he did so.  Their extra shadows were also advancing on them, rusty blades in hand.  “I’ve got them.”
The pair approaching from behind advanced with more confidence than the two Darvan faced, but only because they failed to reckon with Killer.  The squirrel’s scream of pure rage echoed off the crumbling stone walls of the alley, and he launched himself at the face of one of the hooded men as soon as he came close enough.
Gray didn’t have time to keep track of Killer’s melee, as the other hooded figure came in, raising his weapon high and swinging down hard.  Gray deflected the first blow with his dagger.  Not given enough time to draw in sufficient power to strike the man down with lightning, he instead extended his palm to his opponent and launched a ball of raw magical energy at him.  The man staggered back, gasping as the magic missile exploded against his chest.
Gray risked a half-turn to launch another missile at one of Darvan’s opponents.  The man howled as the energy scorched his arm, flinching away enough to give Darvan an opening, the Mayerlinger’s right-hand sword slashing at the man’s midsection, but bouncing off, ringing against armor concealed under the cloak.
Gray’s inattentiveness to his foe cost him as he stabbed at the mage’s lower back.  His ensorcelled cloak turned the blade, but his back still exploded with pain, the impact dropping him to his hands and knees.
His opponent’s next stroke was blocked by one of Darvan’s swords, giving Gray a moment to draw power.  Dropping his dagger, he launched another magic missile at his foe, blasting a hole in the ring mail shirt the man wore.  Darvan, quick to exploit the opening, ran one of his swords through the hole.  The man gasped, gurgled, and slid limply to the ground.
Darvan’s opponents took advantage of his distraction to press their attack, one of the short swords finding the gap between the sleeve of  his scale armor and bracer and slicing deep into the muscle and tendon of his left arm.  The Mayerlinger cried out, one of his swords dropping from his crippled arm.
Gray rose to one knee, launching a magic projectile that impacted one of the pair’s legs, blasting flesh and exposing shinbone.  The man shrieked and toppled, writhing and clutching at his ruined limb – until Darvan plunged his sword in the man’s throat, yanking it free with a spray of blood.
The last man, suddenly finding himself outnumbered, whirled and bolted.  Gray began drawing power to blast him with lightning, but Darvan beat him to the punch, stabbing his sword into the ground, then drawing his dagger and flinging it with one fluid motion.  The blade found its mark in the back of the man’s neck.  He sprawled face-first just short of reaching the street.
Darvan turned back go Gray and offered his good hand.  “You all right?”
Gray took the offered hand and groaned as his friend helped him back to his feet.  “I will be.  The blade didn’t penetrate, but I think I’ll be pissing blood for a week.  You?”
“My arm’s bad,” Darvan grated, “Can you take care of it?”
Gray nodded, sucking air through his teeth at the cut and the blood pouring from it as he rested his hand over the wound.
“Keeper of the Night I call, for future bright or dim,” he chanted, summoning power through the words that had been passed from mage to mage since probably the first man or woman had learned to shape magic to their will, “I your servant need your aid, restore this wounded limb.”
When he removed his hand, Darvan’s arm was still bloody, but the wound was healed, without even a trace it had been there.
The Mayerlinger retrieved his swords.  “What happened to the fourth man?”
The pair looked over to where the fourth man had been just as Killer emerged from his pants leg and bounded up onto his chest, chittering in triumph.
Darvan’s eyes widened at the squirrel sitting atop his prize.  “Is he dead?”
Gray strode over to check the man’s pulse.  “No, he’s alive.”  He looked the man over – he had a nasty bite wound on the bridge of his nose, his face and neck were scratched, his shirt was partially torn open, and he had a swelling lump at the back of his skull.  “Looks like he lost his balance and hit his head on a rock in the ground.”

“Well, grab him and bring him with us,” Darvan suggested, “If these cultists were able to intercept us on the way to the inn, they know where we’re staying.  And if they’re looking for Mayerling elves for their rituals…”
Gray hoisted the unconscious man over his shoulders and began lumbering down the alley, Killer following and complaining about Gray stealing his prisoner.  “Less talk, more move!”
Darvan pelted past him at a dead run.  For once, Gray didn’t mentally berate him for his vigor.

To Be Continued in Chapter Three....