Friday, September 28, 2018

What You Missed: Feast of Blackwood IX

By Adrian "Cronin" Cronin

On Friday I arrived at the Voranian encampment. It was already set up and looking like home. If you haven’t paid us a visit before, we welcome you to do so, it’s quite a sight. Having packed the carriages for efficient travel, I realized too late… that my armor was in a carriage that would be arriving late. When I told this to Arch Druid Hygar, he simply smiled and told me not to worry. But something in his smile made me do just that.

Once everyone was ready, we made our way to the tavern to see what adventure was in store for us. We met up with many adventurers from the realms and then entered the tavern for a drink while we waited for things to begin. It was at this point that Hygar took me outside, rubbed dirt all over me and began to chant. When he was finished, again he smiled. When I looked down at my arms and hands I realized my skin was coated in stone. I felt heavy but otherwise quite durable. How strange indeed.

This was done in the nick of time for our attention was called by a resident of New Verai, a familiar face from just a few weeks before. He informed us that we should feel encouraged to to explore and see what adventure we could find. Also that we would be mending tears in reality and would need needles from our previous visit to these lands. Some turned parts of their bodies into needles or so I heard, in order to make up for the lack of resources. All of this confused my delicate sensibilities, but I was eager to crush some evil doers with my rocky skin and so we were off.

We entered a field with a giant bird that was harassing people. Well maybe people were harassing the bird. Either way he was flying too high to be hit with Azurewrath so I turned my attention towards the death eaters and found the action I was looking for.

We fought our way to a beach where we found more death eaters and a strange entity sitting on the ground demanding water. I was told to take the beach so that people could fill their cups, and so that’s what we did. It was here that one of the baddies hooked their weapon in my companion Asher’s axe and tried to pull him into the water… knowing that I had an extra pair of boots back at camp, I bit the arrowhead and rushed into the water to slay the would be drowner. He owes me a beer.

After a lot of fighting we ended up getting stuck, needing one more cup of water to move on but no cup was in sight. So Thoril used his magic, and his wit to shrink the container just enough for us to pass without the final cup. And then it was back to hack and slash on the road.

Once we made our way out completely, we doubled back around. At this point I was feeling a bit tired from the journey, and with so many enemies only affected by magic, I made the decision to hand if Azurewrath to one of my most loyal warriors, Elowen. For the rest of the evening I fought with Florentine axes at my own pace and had a blast clashing in the field. Except the enemies we faced had a special surprise, they exploded and killed those within reach upon death. Which made it quite tricky in strategizing how best to take them down.

Lako informed the group that we could use the exploding enemies to pave a way forward. At this point my memory gets a little fuzzy, because I was essentially just fighting enemy after enemy and trying not to explode. It was glorious and great fun.

Once the battle had concluded, we made our way to an amphitheater where an apparition of a dragon appeared. You’ll have to forgive my ignorance but I was far to mystified by the appearance of a dragon to catch everything that was going on. I know that it was the dragon whose soul the adventurers had saved from the grey lady weeks before. Also that we would need to aid the menders with elemental orbs to stop the Grey Lady from destroying our reality. I took this time to rest and sit in awe of the beasts visage before retiring to a potluck feast prepared by the members of my nation along with stories told by Lady Kindrianna and guests Pilpus and Lako before finally heading to bed.

The next morning, I attended to my usual tradition of walking the grounds to get my blood flowing. I was pleased when my adventures, as the first awake, led me to pancakes at the tavern. I scarfed down a few alongside my fellow Druid, Wynn before going to wake the sleeping wolves for the adventures ahead.

Once awoken and deployed, we headed to the tavern again. Thoril and I recruited a few of our nation members alongside some strangers to enter what was described to us as a “training matrix”. As Thoril has an obsession with “Forbidden Knowledge” I figured I would join him to keep him from blowing everything up… and uh ya know support him.

Inside we faced a few standard enemies who gave us mana which we then used to forge “mana bolts”. I use the term “we” loosely here because I mostly just fought and died in equal standing. This only increased when we fought a small fire drake who shrugged off my steel. The water bolt Thoril forged was able to take him down after a few interactions. Thoril learned how to forge mana bolts. I learned always bring a backpack caster into a portal.

Once this was complete, many adventurers took advantage of the training matrix and learned many different magical patterns which could yield various magical effects. The casters of the realms were seen sharing these patterns and working together which was a wonderful sight.

At this point I broke off from my main group alongside what Voranians felt like accompanying me. We fought more death eaters on the road and made quick work of them. Until the dreaded, let’s call them “Silver Shields” showed up. These were by far the most infuriating enemies I had ever faced. Their shields needed to be hit in certain ways to change the color of the shields to gold in order for them to be affected. Facing them, alongside with regenerating death eaters, became quite the chore. Once we killed them and looted them, they got back up and we started the whole thing over again. May were killed, a Spear was broken, and then Shandar leading an Invictus cohort showed up.

I was all to happy to leave these infuriating Silver Shields to get slapped around by Invictus for a 
while, and so we made our way to the tavern to hydrate and recover. And of course… eat pickles.

It was here that things got dark for me. While eating a pickle no less, I was stabbed in the back and things went dark. When I opened my eyes, Azurewrath was leaning on the table next to me and all of my companions were gone. As I tried to move, or even control where my eyes trained I found myself paralyzed. It was then that my body began to move on its own. The smell of sulfur and the sinister laughter inside of my head told me everything I needed to know.

I heard my voice call out to Evie, my magistrate, and one of my dearest friends. Again the demon laughed and taunted me. He told her to grab Azurewrath and asked to borrow her dagger, a true testament to our friendship, she gladly did as he bade. The demon led her off to “find the others”, training the dagger on her as she looked around for the others. But they found us first. I wanted to call out to them, to beg to be slain. I felt my skin burning as the thoughts entered my mind.

Hygar looked upon me, no longer carrying the angel blade, and greeted me cautiously. My body began to sweat, the heat boiling over as the demon angered. Kindrianna asked me if I was ok, the demon spouted lies in hopes of escaping. It was then that Artair used his Magic’s to identify the demon, after which the demon tried to run but it was the last act of desperation for it was very much surrounded by my kin.

My body was slain by my countrymen, which the demon made sure I felt a hundred times over. When I awoke I felt a deep hole where my soul should be. Enough of me remained inside to weep in the arms of my pack. Tears of pain, sadness and of gratitude though part of me felt as if on fire. Lady Kindrianna put half of her soul into mine to give me strength. It bonded us in a way I didn’t know possible. With friends like these…

And so, I handed Azurewrath once more to Elowen for I didn’t feel worthy of the blade, the taste of sulfur still on my lips. I needed to hit something.

Our group reunited, alongside Sir Rillin and the Neden Boys, after being bribed with pickles, tracked the scent of the nightpack master who we had battled weeks before. He was sitting on the beach, with a rather large hulking beast at his side. He insulted us as he usually does but carried a bit more sadness in the exchange than we had expected.

We fought him and his mutt for a few minutes before slaying the pup and disarming the Master. At this point the Night Pack Master And Rillin began arguing over whom the righteous one was and debating the events of the past. With a bit of pressure from the Neden boys we raised the slain wolf and brokered a peace with the Master, one dependent on his cooperation in the battles against the other masters. Many of us question this decision, however for the time it was the only course of action without giving into baser desires of revenge.

Departing that encounter, we ran into yet more deatheaters on the road but kept a steady pace before fighting some trolls that were in front of the fort. This became another drawn out encounter with little reward or purpose. But we gathered ourselves and made for camp to tend to wounds both physical and emotional.

Once my armor and boots were off, we started a fire to warm our bones. But quickly were alerted to the presence of the Grey Lady on the field. And so, without me, all of Voraniss marched to meet the threat. Once returned we ate, relaxed and made tactical decisions for what we knew would be another long night.

It was decided that Hygar, Lady Kindrianna and myself would sit out the night quest. For our injuries and exhaustion were just too much. We instead shared a bit of respite about the fire and placed out faith in our companions and the realms heroes to do what was needed.

After an hour or so of relaxing. An exhausted Tempest burst into the camp, out of breath but full of purpose. Earlier in the day she had a vision and walked through the spirit realm alongside death. She saw our doom and left us all a bit shaken by the proclamation. What she told us now is that her vision was coming true and that our people were in danger.

Hygar and I locked eyes and nodded. He began to transform, growing large claws and a thick hide while I fastened my armor and grabbed the biggest axe I could find. We marched to meet the heroes of the realms in a large mass. All making preparations, with Lako, Janus and Rillin and many others taking charge of the army.

Hygar and I stood ready alongside the rest of our forces and we marched to meet the Grey Lady once more. The dimension she had been banished to earlier provided her with the means to reach her full potential. And as a weaver herself, she broke into our Realm to take vengeance against us for the slight. She stood twenty feet tall, with large weapons that would crush and decimate any who came too close. With her, a small army of cultists, some of whom called upon her power for strength.

The battle we faced was glorious and hard fought. With our smartest working to weaken her defensive barriers which we could not cross. After hours of battle and some of the greatest cooperation the realms has ever seen, we finally struck the Grey Lady down… and crumbled her stoney visage to dust for good measure.

Some broke off to meet with our dragon friend after this. Lako informed me that Aerst, as he is called, confirmed Erida was dead and the pocket dimension we built for her was repaired with her death.
Aerst offered Lako a choice at this point to return to his original form or stay the way he was, this choice had to be made that night. After some contemplation, Lako offered to become his Herald in this Realm and keep the Scales as a mark of that. Aerst accepted.

Many others asked the dragon questions regarding the time assassins, death eaters and nightpack before retiring to well earned rest.

Of course Voraniss held court beneath the night sky as is their tradition, so close to the fall equinox. Helkias, Elowen, Tulkan and yes… Thoril became full members of the pack and villagers of Voraniss. Each having proven themselves loyal to the Circle.

I also adopted Elowen, who will be known as “Elowen Barbaria” from this day forth. I gifted her the blade Azurewrath as it is dear to me and will become an heirloom of our line.

Then we participated in a wild hunt in which Mogar was possessed by a spirit and then hunted by his compatriots. Victory and the Forest Spirits Mask went to none other than Stewhart, the Druid of the Hunt, worthy of the name.

Finally we retired to stories, food and fine company of the pack before laying our heads to rest.

We awoke to our camp in a bustle, everyone getting ready to look their best for the feast. The day would be a day riddled with diplomacy, great food and greater company as we all told tales and celebrated unity and prosperity.

Wizard duels, rituals and a meeting of Realms Druids took place.

Invictus held Gladitorium, their traditional court which many had the opportunity to witness and enjoy.

Highlights of Blackwood Court included the formation the first all female Knighthood “Lunar Aegis”. The formation of the “Artisans Guild”. An alliance between Blackwood and Voraniss. And some beautiful music performed by Pilpus and Evie, brother and sister estranged but now united.

Cronin tasted soup for the first time. It’s food you drink. Brilliant!!!!

-Cronin Barbaria

Commander of the Broken Spears

Druid of the Mountain of Voraniss.


This event was incredibly immersive and very good fun. People roleplayed hard, fought harder and treated each other with more respect and kindness than typically seen at most events. It was a blast and I can’t wait for next years. Cheers.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Legends of Voraniss: Vangrim, the First Werewolf (Part I)

By Renee "Kindrianna" Booke

It is not a coincidence that Voraniss has an abundance of werewolves running wild and free throughout her forests. They are more populous now than Elves or Men, but this wasn’t always so. Before Vangrim arrived the Animal-kin were still suspicious of those that walked on two legs, even if they had the best intentions for the land they began to settle after the War of the Giants. How could those who did not speak the language of the forest understand what she needed? The Animal-kin had already defeated one tyrant in King Velindahl, so they found themselves very wary of his smaller counterparts; especially when their victory had come at the cost of Monghora and Sariandi. Further loss was not something they wished to intimately acquaint themselves with.

 The Elves tried the hardest to win them over, seeking to learn the language and harmonize their respective ways of life; but sometimes it felt as though they put themselves above nature. There was a sense of superiority about them, an entitlement that the Animal-kin couldn’t grasp. The Men meant well, but they were always building and striving to fill a void within their hearts instead of being content with the bounty all around them. For a while, there was an uneasy peace, with the groups tending to stick with their own flocks for fear of sparking conflict. Most of them were content to live separate lives, but there were also others who were victims of their own dark ambitions.

Vangrim first came to Voraniss during the time of this tenuous peace. A lost soul, Vangrim was a displaced noble from the west who had cast off the titles and glamour of his former life after his Uncle had tried to kill him during a political power struggle. Incensed with rage that Vangrim should inherit what he believed to rightfully be his, the Uncle had framed him for the murder of his own father and depicted him as a greedy heir who couldn’t wait to take up the mantle of the family lands for his own gain. Vangrim had been sent to prison to await execution, but a guard still loyal to his father’s legacy had freed him and helped him escape. That night Vangrim had vowed never to return to that life. If nobility and the desire to lord over other men was something so toxic that it could turn family against family; against their own blood, he wanted no part in it.

It took a little getting used to, but Vangrim found that he felt free without the confines of the luxuries he had once known. Instead of sleeping in a bed where he was pampered with expensive sheets and blankets, he could sleep beneath the stars with a pine bough for his head; committing to memory the many sights of the night sky. It was an education that he never would have been privy to in the civilized world of Man. He learned how to walk like the fox and the stag, careful where he set his feet down upon the earth; and from the birds, he learned how to sense an impending storm or find water when he was thirsty. The most important lesson in his repertoire he learned from the river otters. They taught him about joy and learning to find happiness in even the simplest of things. But Vangrim was still a man, and he was lonely for companionship; desperate for others to talk to and share his new life with.

The Elves didn’t want him because he was a Man. Other Men didn’t want him because he looked like a wild savage running around between the trees with no ambition and no goals; an uncomfortable drifter. All that was left were the Animal-kin. Vangrim decided to get into the deep forest to meet with them and see if they would give him a chance but he didn’t know what to expect. They had mostly kept to themselves out of precaution for being conquered or harassed again; what would they think of a wild man looking for friends? He wasn’t without a sense of humor for the whole situation. He had seen his reflection upon the surface of the river. His hair was unkempt and his beard was bushy. He smelled of earth and campfire smoke and looked nothing like the man he once was. He would have cared long ago about being presentable but that was the wonderful part about living in the forest; the wilderness was the great equalizer. A rich or poor man living out here would have the same chances. Nature was fair and didn’t care what you looked like or what you had in material possessions. Survival focused more on the present than hoarding luxury for a time that would never come.

It was the wolves he met with first. He heard their calls to the moon and followed the sound deeper and deeper into the trees until he found them gathered about a clearing that he hadn’t expected in the throng of this oaken maze. When they sniffed him out they began to circle him and sniff curiously, talking amongst themselves.

“What is this? It looks like a man but it smells like one of us,” one of the Wolves announced to the rest.

“Maybe it’s the Forest Walker,” another Wolf piped up. “He who strides between the trees on two legs. I heard there was one of them about.”

Vangrim humbled himself and lowered himself to his knees. He bowed his head and didn’t make eye contact with the great wolves. “I am called Vangrim,” he said softly towards the ground. “I am without a home and without belonging. I was hoping that the Animal-kin could grant me what other Men or Elves could not. Please, I mean you no harm. I just need a friend out here.”

The wolves chuckled and bared their teeth as they smiled. “You could not harm us even if you wanted to little human. You are but one and we are many. It is the lesson our kind can teach you. Community is mighty. The Pack comes with many responsibilities to others, but it always rewards those who give of themselves and treat such connection with priority.” One of the Wolves nudged Vangrim’s chin with his face in an effort to urge him to look up. “The Bear is strong, but he fights and dies alone. Wolves fight together. Pack is strength. Pack is family.”

Vangrim slowly lifted his head to look into the ocean of golden eyes before him. “I must ask…why are you so willing to give me what my own people have denied? Why not just eat me?” He knew it was a foolish question to ask, one that tempted fate, but he needed to know. What was behind the altruism of the wolves?

The largest of the wolves sat before him, tilting his head. His fur was white and surprisingly clean. The other wolves sat around him out of reverence, listening to what he had to say. “The Elves have many superstitions about our kind,” he said with a chuckle. “They put out talismans and charms depicting our faces, telling stories about what we will do if we are not appeased. Some of them believe we have great secrets of medicinal rituals, while the Men see us as great hunters to be worshiped by that quality and that alone.” He let out a heavy sigh and took a moment to lick at something that had been bothering him on his left leg. “The truth comes down to instinct. I do not smell the stench of evil about you and so I feel it is appropriate to show you mercy.”

Confused, Vangrim leaned forward in curiosity to seek clarification. “You can smell evil?” he asked.
The wolves chuckled amongst themselves and began to rise. “You will just have to come and learn our secrets for yourself,” they teased, before running off into the forest as Vangrim desperately tried to keep up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Neden Questing 3

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

Looking for a fun lighthearted day of questing? This Sunday, Neden has you covered in their third installment of Neden Questing. In character, you can expect to face bandits, who have been pestering Neden, stealing their most prized possessions. Band together to help Neden reclaim their goods, and hop through some portals in the process.

The hallmark of a Neden quest is an atmosphere of good fun, and I know this event will be the same. The EH’s have some interesting new mechanics for you to interact with, and they take Rule Number 1 very seriously. This event is guaranteed to keep you engaged and is designed to make sure that you and your friends are having a great time throughout. Neden has a strong track-record of providing content that is well-received by players, and if you are free this weekend, you should absolutely make the time to come see what they have in store for you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Did I Read That Right?!?

By Josh "Lako" Fitzgerald
Mystic Forge:

So this request actually hits a bit close to home for me, I love mystic forge and feel it has taken some hits in the past years with the speed of combat and the high access of healing.

The question was raised are we using the spell correctly, can someone have one foot out of the circle while casting? I am going to open this up to another similar spell, Circle of Healing.

As per the wording in Circle of Healing and Mystic forge, separated at the bottom of the page, you must be standing in the circle to gain the effects of the spell, this doesn’t clarify if you must be standing fully in the circle.

The way I read this sadly is that you must be standing fully in the circle to use the spell, if the spell had said you must be touching the circle I could see our current use of this, however it is clearly stated you must be standing within the circle.

Circle of Healing (5th Circle)

Uses: 1 - Verbal: 25 words - Material: 10-foot rope - Active: Touch the rope - Caveats: Circles, Suspension

This spell allows the spellcaster to create a Circle of Healing. The spellcaster may name the circle with Cure Disease, Heal Limb, or Raise Dead, chosen at the time of casting.

-Until the Circle of Healing is broken, the spellcaster need only stand in the circle, touch the recipient of the healing spell, and recite the named spell’s VC to cast the spell.-

 This does not use up any castings of the named healing spell, and can be done as many times as desired. No one but the spellcaster may use the Circle of Healing in this manner. This spell is broken if a weapon crosses the plane of the circle. For this purpose, a weapon is considered to be anything with a legal striking surface - therefore, swords and arrows are weapons, although bows and shields are not.

Mystic Forge (4th Circle)

Uses: 1 - Verbal: 25 words - Material: 10-foot rope - Active: Touch the rope - Caveats: Circles, Suspension

This spell allows the spellcaster to create a Mystic Forge. The spellcaster may name the circle with Enchant Weapon or Repair Item, chosen at the time of casting.

-Until the Mystic Forge is broken, the spellcaster need only stand in the circle, touch the target item, and recite the named spell’s VC to cast the spell.-

Monday, September 24, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Neden Kazoo

Thoughts and Secrets behind the Blackwood Playtest.

I’ve had the pleasure of organizing playtesting at Blackwood for the last several years, it can be a hard job, because people are all passionate about this game, and we all have ideas for it. It can be hard because I have to try and incorporate all these additional rules and mechanics into encounters, when I don’t really necessarily know how they will interact with our current rules. It can be hard because people have general ideas, that need a little developing in order to make them come to fruition, and it can be hard because people have conflicting ideas, and I have to pick one of them, or opt to do neither.

Generally speaking I have a few rules for what we playtest:

If I can playtest it, I will try to.
If it will kill someone, or seriously maim someone, I cannot playtest it.
The less work I have to put into making it playable, the more likely I can playtest it. I only have a limited amount of time to work on things, and if I have 20 playable proposals, and 5 that need modification, and or some parameters or development, some or all of those 5 aren’t going to make it.

And it’s as simple as that. I really do my best to recognize my own biases within the game and system, and allow for playtests of any type. But sometimes those biases slip through; its sort of natural, I’m only human.

Now while this is a large part of my process, after I get through all of these things, I have to bring it to my fellow eventholders, core staff of my event and get their thoughts too. I do my best to make it as easy for them as possible because they’re very busy people, and I need them, but they have super important perspectives on these things, so it’s important. But without any further dithering, my thoughts on this year’s playtests:

⅔ Foam Covered Weapons: For people who check into the event with weapons that have 2/3rds coverage of foam, those items are considered to be under the effect of the protect item spell.

The proposal, simply put was giving a boon for people that use 2/3 foam covered weapons. The only work I needed to do was come up with a reasonable boon. This playtest is a little bit outside the standard for us because it encourages people to playtest something specific by giving them a boon. These weapons, provided they follow the construction guidelines, the goal here is to get perspective on whether or not it changes combat significantly.

Tithing Jar- At set locations around the event site, players may place “Tithing Jars” to their gods. The jars must be themed appropriately to their god, and must incorporate one or all of the god’s symbols.  Everytime a designated magic marshal finds 20 gold in one of the tithing jars, the a divine aid to the god will be triggered. All ritual magic done by the god’s followers will be enhanced. 

The tithing jar proposal is awesome, it fits in well with some of the goals of the folkewood initiative because it aims to provide more depth to the world, it encourages people to be incharacter and immersive, and it is a simple mechanic. This proposal was an easy plus for me, because I like content that gives the players options to provide content for each other.

At set locations around the event site, players may repair weapons and armor by holding the object with both hands and counting to 200 seconds. For armor this effect is based on hit location, so after 200 seconds a the chest armor of a chain shirt would be repaired, and then after an additional 200 seconds, the right arm section of the same chain shirt would be repaired. Etc. 

This proposal combined a couple of proposals; so I got one proposal that called for real world skill abilities to happen at a home base, and one wanted to playtest the idea of fighters being able to repair any item in the same way as a bow. This sort of split the difference, and expanded it to everyone. That being said, I think this will just allow people to play with their abilities and powers more often, and that will expand specifically to newbies, which is nice. I don’t expect this to really break the flow of the game at all, unless people start marching back to these sort of “item spawn points” to get things repaired, and get super separated from the content in the process. I guess we’ll see.

Prepared Shot- Anyone armed with a bow may take 10 seconds to prepare their next shot with an arrow from their bow. If the archer takes 10 seconds, then on their next shot from the bow they may call “double strike.” They may only have one arrow prepped at a time. 

So last year we playtested the idea that every arrow could call double shot. Personally I didn’t think it was that broken, but I guess there were some instances where people could shoot two arrows, and effectively one shot someone.  Personally, I’m still not sure that’s broken when paired next to lightning bolt, or machine gunning, but so it is.

So this was an update to the proposal to incorporate the ability from last year in a perhaps more balanced way. I like it a lot, I hope to see it in action, and get some feedback on it afterwards.

New Weapon Types-
Throwing Weapons: Throwing weapons will be allowed on a case by case basis. They must be clearly labeled as throwing weapons, they must be coreless, and they should be minimally 1 inch in thickness.

Honestly, we allow these sort of weapons a lot of the time anyway, someone asked us to playtest is officially, so it wasn’t hard to say yes.

Slings: No hard or sharp parts for sling - soft leather, string / thin rope, and cloth for construction. Sling must not be longer than ~3 feet. Slinger must be responsible for having nobody nearby (especially behind / in front) when they swing it; other players should be directed not to approach in a manner that will get them hit. The slinger must stop firing before an opponent is close enough to be contacted by the sling. The sling and throwing arm should never hit another player. Anyone swinging it in an unsafe or inappropriate manner can be told by marshals to give up the weapon for the remainder of the event.

Slingshots: For the purpose of this playtest, we are allowing this slingshot.

Sling and Slingshot ammo: For this run of the play test, we are requiring that the ammo for these weapons be uncovered foam, untaped, open cell foam. Minimally larger than an eye socket. 

So for me this was perhaps the most debated playtest of the year. I check in a lot of weapons throughout the year, and I’ll be candid and admit I’ve seen some real nightmares at some events, and practices. For me, the idea of this playtest comes with the most risk, because I have no idea how many people will latch onto it, and give it a try, and I have no idea how many of the people who will latch onto it will be safe with them. I think in that sense, this playtest probably came with more restrictions than the proposer intended, and I’d have to apologize for that. Additionally, I have to admit that it never occured to me that this playtest may be for 3 paths as well, and made the call that it was under the assumption that it followed the bow rules. I think that was probably the right call in terms of balance, but it also show some inherent bias that I might have. I think it’ll be generally fine at the event, but I have some reservations about it too.

At check in a player may designate an element which they are aligned to, with the magic marshal. This may have a benefit at some point during the event.

We’ve playtested that people could change the names of their spell calls to reflect elements that they feel their characters are aligned too in the past, it comes back every time with mixed review, some people end up a little confused, some people really like it. Over all, it ends up pretty neutral, in my opinion. This is in the spirit of that, but hopefully with less player confusion. I’m not sure that it’ll satisfy the players in the same way, but we’ll see.

Spell System Changes:
Dance Component: At check in for any one spell with a verbal component that allows for the caster’s feet to be mobile, that spellcaster may choose to substitute the verbal component with a number of dance steps equal to the number of words required for the spell, with the addition of a flourish at the end, and minimally the name of the spell being cast as a marshaling component. All other components of the spell must be satisfied.

So every time I think about this proposal I chuckle. I think there is a lot of players that will have a very fun time trying to mess around with this mechanic, and I may even hear some belly laughs over it. I hope people take into consideration the people that are around, and are generally nice to each other about it, but we’ll see.

Spells with Changes:

Assassin’s Blade:
Uses: Unlimited, one at a time - Material: A cloth, and either a single weapon up to 3' long or an arrow, labeled with "Assassin's Blade," "Event-Stealable," and the spellcaster's name - Active: Wipe the entire length of the blade 5 times - Caveats: Combat Calls, Enchanted Items, Weapon Calls
This spell allows the spellcaster to prepare their MC with the spells Armor-Piercing Weapon, Enchant Weapon, or Create Poison, without expending a casting, although a use of the spell must still remain in order to prepare it. To prepare the weapon with one of the listed spells, they must wipe the blade of the weapon with the cloth 5 times. Only one spell may be prepared at a time onto the Assassin's Blade. Anyone may use the weapon, but only the spellcaster may utilize the special call with it. The weapon is one-handed, and may be used in conjunction with another weapon or shield by the spellcaster up to their restriction. If the MC is IC broken, it will retain its magical properties if repaired.
In addition, any scalping blow dealt by an Assassin’s Blade counts as two blows dealt.

We had a couple of suggestions about this spell, and I think that this one was the more balanced of the suggestions, generally I’m a fan of giving people options with their spells, so I’d like to see how it plays out.

Protect the Soul 
3rd Circle
Uses: 1 - Verbal: 30 words and an explanation - 
Material: Spell Sash - 
Caveats: Enchanted Items, Spell Sash
This spell will protect the recipient from possession, Animate Undead, and the like. When targeted by any spell or effect against which Protect the Soul immunizes your PC, you may call "Protect the Soul!" Additionally, if the recipient of this spell has a spell with the undead caveat cast upon them, they may opt to rise as a free willed undead. 
 The spell will last until the sash is disenchanted or removed by the spellcaster. The spell will not function if the recipient is scalped or their soul is not within their body for any other reason.

So I have a soft spot for protect the soul. When I was a newbie I wanted to work it into my spell build so badly, but mechanically its very situational. In a lot of ways, it’s geared against PVP, and our game has shifted away from that sort of game in the last some odd years. So for me, protect the soul needs a little bit of a boost in order to really be viable. In that, I also think that necromancy had been becoming more accepted within the game in the last, well long time, so with that in mind, I figured I’d try out an idea wherein protect the soul allows people to opt to be free willed undead, and see if more people take it for that.

New Spells

Reclaim Missiles
3rd circle 
Uses: 2
Materials: 15ft of rope
VC: 10 word chant
AC: hold one hand to the sky
Circles, chant, spell failure
The caster must create a circle with their rope with the ends overlapping and begin chanting. Once one circuit of their chant is complete they may raise their hand in the air and leave the circle. While they continue to chant with their hand held to the sky they may not cast any other spell or make any attacks but they may call pass through on all incoming attacks. They are allowed to move through the battlefield with the purpose of retrieving any missile props they have been granted express permission to, including magic props that cannot be touched otherwise, before returning to their circle.  

The spell ends as soon as the caster steps foot back in their circle. At which time they may interact with the world again and hand out any collected missile props to their owners. 

If for any reason the casting ends before the caster returns to their circle they are dead and must return to their circle. Any knowledge gained while outside their circle is lost if the spell is not completed by successfully returning to their circle. Examples of things that can end the casting are: the spell is disrupted, the circle is broken, the chanting is stopped (see chanting caveat). This ability cannot be used to block or shield players or pathways.

This is a smart attempt at a fix for common problem with a balance mechanic in our game. The mechanic being that you can cast a spell so long as you have the prop for it, the imbalance being the somewhat common situation where you can’t get to your props because of well, dying. This spell, hopefully just eats at that problem by taking up a spell slot, but we’ll see how it plays out on the field.

Touched by Death
2nd Circle
Uses: 3
VC: 30 words, and a description of the spell. 
Materials: Sash with the words “Touched By Death” on it. 
AC: Touch the recipient while reciting the verbal.
Caveats: Undead, Enchantment

The recipient of this spell is touched by death. While they are enchanted by this spell, they are able to be returned to the greatest status of undeath that they have achieved post the casting of this spell, by casting animate lesser undead, animate undead, animate undead general, or embrace death. This ability persists through the living status. Additionally, if any of the aforementioned spells are cast while the being is under the effects of this spell, they may use one of the previous listed spells to heal between 1 and 4 of their limbs. 

I think this spell may imbalance the game in favor of one path necromancers. Like for serious. But we’ll see how many people even try it out.

Dancer’s 1st Blessing:
3rd Circle
Uses: 3
Verbal Component: 20 Words
Dance Component: 10 steps, while having two hands on the recipient. 
AC: Recite the Verbal and touch the recipient of this spell. 
Caveats: Spell Failure. 

The next 3 times the recipient of this spell is raised, the armor they are wearing is repaired to full. There can be no weapons within 10 ft at any point while casting this spell ( except ghost bladed weapons. ) 

I’ve loved the idea of new spells for support casting for a long while, and I thought this was a super smart one that incorporates the fun dance mechanic. I had to give it some meat from its original idea, so it may have stepped a bit away from the first concept, but it needed a little balance in order to be playable. I think overall though support casters would be wise to try it out.

Dancer’s Rally:
4th Circle
Uses: 3
Verbal Component: 20 Words
Dance Component: 10 steps, while having two hands on the recipient. 
AC: Recite the Verbal and touch the recipient of this spell. 

The recipient of this spell has their next attack imbued with double strike. Alternatively, the caster may choose to use a casting of the spell “Armor piercing” to imbue that weapon call instead of double strike, this use of the spell uses both a casting of Dancer’s Rally, and Armor Piercing. 

I’m not sure I like where this fell circle wise, I think it may actually end up being under powered compared to Dancer’s Blessing. I guess I’ll have to see what people do with it.

Dancer’s Charm:
6th Circle
Uses: 5 uses one per person at a time - 
Verbal: 30 words 
Dance Component: 10 steps, while having two hands on the recipient. 
- Material: Spell Sash -
 Active: the recipient must kneel or lie on back, no weapons in hand 
. - Caveats: Enchanted Items, Spell Sash
The recipient of this spell is protected from any damaging attack for 1 hit. The call for this is "Resist Death." The recipient of this spell can choose when to utilize this effect.

I think this may have been a bit broken at unlimited uses. I think if a support caster takes it as 5 uses, they’ll be able do some smart support casting and might be able to change the course of a fight because of it. Also, the mix of the dance component and mechanics for casting resist death makes me laugh every time. I really hope I see this cast at the event just because of that. I hope people have fun with it, and just enjoy themselves.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

From the Editor's Desk

First and foremost, I’d like to extend a big “thank you” to Angie for filling in on the View staff while I’ve been on maternity leave. It’s been such a comfort to me to know that things have been in good hands while I’ve been focusing on the new addition to our family. A few weeks have passed now, and while life still hasn’t gotten back to “normal” around here (or what will pass for the “new normal” I suppose), I’m ready to step back into my role with the View from Valehaeven.

One of the things that we hear consistently from players is that they consider the Realms to be a community, and that this is one of the things that people love most about the game. A community contains many facets, and many different things contribute to making a community rich and vibrant. I believe that the View is an important part of our Realms community, with its own long history in the game, and that it fills a unique role within the Realms. This includes serving as a creative outlet for players who want to write or otherwise submit content, a source of event information, a way to release plot/ teasers, a platform to present ideas, and a showcase for crafting and other talents within the game, among many others. It is a newsletter for the community, run by the community. It is a vital part of the fabric of our game, and I am eager to return to the View and help continue the important work that it does for the Realms.

You can be a part of this too! We are always looking for writers for the “What You Missed” series, and “Why I Want to Go” is also a great opportunity to try your hand at writing if it’s an event you’re particularly looking forward to. These features help the community by promoting and summarizing events. If you’re interested in writing one or submitting other articles, stories, poems, or pictures - let me know!

~Jennifer "Areni" DeNardis-Rosa

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fireside Chat, The Magistrate of New Verai

This interview took me far from my comfort zone, in a couple of ways.  Fortunately, it was high summer, the best time of the year, and I enjoyed every moment of my trip.  Some say New Verai is a backwater nation, but what I saw was quite a lovely landscape.  I had so many questions about how the country worked, but very limited time with Lord Adio Eristu, the Magistrate, that I stuck to questions I found to be more interesting.  His home, of course, is stunning.  There are servants scurrying around.  They seemed healthy and happy, but I still do not know if they were slaves or not.  The two of us sat down to talk over tea.   Let me make a confession to you right now:  I was nervous.  This was a very new situation for me, a new country with new customs, and someone I didn't know very well.  I dove right in with questions.

"Tell us about your title and position in New Verai.  Please"

"As you already know, Lady Twenaria, I am the Magistrate of New Verai, a title I gained after the passing of my father, the former Lord Eristu. Together, we built this estate that you see before you - lovely, is it not? Not unlike yourself, if I may be so bold to add. I understand that we have already discussed that the title of Magistrate of New Verai was not passed on by inheritance, but I shall repeat it again for your readers: the title of Magistrate of New Verai was not passed on by inheritance. I worked for many years until I was the most appropriate selection to take the place of my late father. My older sister was given to Sultana at a young age, and she forfeited any claim to the estate at that point, meaning, that I was the only one left to bear the heavy burden of the most prominent house in New Verai. Hence why you take tea here New Verai with me this lovely day. How do you take it, do tell."Did he just.....I am sure I was blushing like an idiot at this point, but pushed on.

"Where do you live?"  

"Why, I live here, of course," he said, gesturing to the grand manor all around. "As I said, my late father - gods bless him - and I built this place from nothing over the course of many years, albeit at my behest. I had to persuade him that if we were to ever be taken seriously by the Royal Family in Old Verai then we had to look the part of distinguished Verai citizens. He eventually saw things my way and our partnership allowed this desert flower to bloom. Did you want to take a tour of the grounds, my lady? I daresay you would enjoy the menagerie, the baths, and I think you'll enjoy what I did to the master bedroom since my father's passing."

"Tell me what a normal day is like for you."

The Magistrate laughed at my question. "There is no such normal day in the courts of New Verai. Why, ever since we opened the borders to outs-- ahem, the fair folk of the Realms, I have heard the most extraordinary happenings. Oh, you were looking to find out my daily routine, perhaps? Well, I suppose the most interesting part for your readers may be about my position as Magistrate of New Verai. I am in charge of the courts of New Verai. Now, what that means is a bit of a - how would you put it? - a mixed bag. I hold municipal court, anything that doesn't require the Steward's - that would be Nertail - attention would fall under my jurisdiction. Land disputes, arson, larceny, you understand, right? Not only that, but I also have a strong hand in organizing the guards since they often have to apprehend suspects needed for my courtly investigations or to answer for justice passed in my court by the testimony of others."

"You have accomplished a lot in your life.  Tell me, what are you most proud of?"

"Most proud, you ask? Perhaps it would be best to answer with my greatest accomplishment. In the absence of the last Steward of New Verai, Cinnabar, I had this small backwater land in the palm of my hand. Sure, there was a moot of the religious leaders to decide the greatest affairs of state, of which I was one of them as a Priest of Ma'at. See, all the lawmakers are priests of Ma'at, sworn to serve justice, balance, and all. I was the utmost pinnacle of law in the land until the new Steward, Nertail, was appointed by the royal family. I made this small nation what it is today on the foundation laid down by my father, of course."

"Do you have personal heraldry?"

"Personal heraldry, you say?"   He pulled his shirt aside to show me a tattoo.   It is a black gavel ensnared by a coiling snake on a field of red. "The adjudicator's gavel and the asp, noble serpent of New Verai."  

"Rumor has it you are looking for a wife.  Are you lonely, or is this a requirement in your station?"

 "Lonely? How laughably wrong. I am what you might call "lone." Now, there is a great distinction between the two, my lady; one that often goes misunderstood. Feeling pitiful at your absence of companionship, depressed and incomplete? That is lonely. No, I am quite comfortable being my own person, content with the lack of peers in an exalted position such as my own. I am this way by choice, hence why I am lone. It is not required by any such law that I am to be wed, however, the prospect of a wife has much merit, whether it be for political purposes, love, or entertainment. Why, are you suggesting something?"

My ears were on fire, I am sure of it.  I managed not to stutter for the next question.  

"How do you spend your free time?  What do you do for fun?"

"There are many things I do for fun.  Why, I have quite a hand for cards - cribbage in particular - and I find it personally enjoyable to train with a blade in hand. Nothing like keeping the body fit to keep the mind sharp, eh? Sometimes I take long walks through New Verai, just to see the hardworking citizens continue to make this wonderful land into something greater than it was before."  He took a sip of his tea, and added  "And slave auctions can be fun. It's interesting to see how high one will have to bid to win the healthy slaves. To give them a better home than the common man at the auctions will be able to provide them, of course."

Ah, we had arrived at the elephant in the room. "What are your thoughts on slavery?"

He took a moment to answer.  Choosing his words carefully, I think.

 "Slavery is a time-honored tradition here in New Verai. I understand that many of your readers take offense to our peculiar institution, but they simply fail to understand its place in our society. That being said, if we are to trade with certain nations of the Realms at large, we must temper our traditions to garner new wealth and usher in an age of prosperity. Unfortunately, until that time has arrived, I cannot simply pardon all slaves and turn them out on their own without a coin to their names. There are current measures in place to bring us closer to that future, such as the Ima Charity and the New Verai Pickle Industry."

"If you and your father worked so hard to make this nations what it is, why do you not rule?  What does the Prince bring to the table?"

"The Prince, as you say, brings with him the blessing of royal blood of Old Verai. Without their support, this nation is little more than a defenseless backwater ripe for plundering. I don't rule it because Old Verai does not wish it - not for lack of trying. So the Steward is Nertail, but I run the day-to-day affairs that he couldn't be bothered with - what with his lofty position and all." 

He grew silent, and his body language told me one thing, very clearly.  He was done talking about this.  This is when I realized I may have crossed the line.  We chatted a while longer, speaking of the pickle trade, of card games, and other discussions I will not bore you with.  What I do know is this.  Hopefully that the people of Valehaven can help New Verai find firm footing as a trade partner.  The cultures are different, of course, but I think enlightenment can go two ways.  And, of course, I look forward to many more discussions with The Magistrate.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Feast of Blackwood IX

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

I’ve had the great privilege of attending this event both as a player and as a member of staff, and I guarantee you will have fun this weekend, because that is the quality of event that this staff provides. If you’ve never been before, this event is one of those special events that seamlessly ties together food, questing, and tournaments in a form that ensures that everyone will enjoy themselves.

The staff is continuing to pull out all of the stops with a plot that is enthralling to so many players. They consistently offer PC’s high-role play experiences, phenomenal props, and choices that genuinely impact the story. One of the things that always stands out to me about Feast of Blackwood is the opportunity to playtest new and interesting mechanics, which really helps guide the direction of the whole game. This event will provide PC’s with the opportunity to make the kind of memories that years later we will all be discussing around the campfire saying, “No shit, remember when…” You definitely don’t want to miss it.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t wax poetically about the food at this event. Saturday night before the nightquest, the staff will fuel you up with a classic spaghetti supper that I promise you will hit the spot before you venture out into the woods. But the real amazing stuff will come out on Sunday. I’m talking Realms famous meatloaf, Rueben pizzas, and so much more. When this staff cooks, they do it with love and excellence. You will be impressed by the variety and quality of the food that is set before you.

There was once a time in the Realms that I could find myself bored at a feast, especially if I wasn’t in the kitchen. But Blackwood has us covered--there will be tournaments and gambling to keep you more than entertained between delicious courses. If you are looking for an event that excels at bringing us all of the best that the Realms has to offer, look no further than this weekend and make it a point to come out to Feast of Blackwood.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued....

By the View Staff based on Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, September 14, 2018

My Thirst for another man's pickle: A love Story by Lord Syruss

AKA What you Missed Folkewood Questing

I am dead...Yup as of reading this I am dead but that jumps the story ahead a bit I think let's go back to the beginning.

I was full from the feast the night before, needed some rest.

I took out a vile of green liquid and swirled it about...

"What's that stuff?" Tyruss Meatbag inquired

"That's raw portal magic" Jean-Baptise interjected "Naj created a few of these for the lord so he could port home to Neden should he on another plane somewhere or you know drunk in a pub"

"JB is correct brother, Naj never ports drunk..that's how you end up in a volcano or at your ex's house at 2 am"

I threw the vile on the ground and a swirling purple portal appeared before me...

"Huh this color is new," I said trepidatiously.

Darkin, JB, Jayce, Tyruss and Myself were ported away to neden.

***Zip Zap Blorp Portal Sounds****

Falling is a funny feeling. It feels like everything is passing you by all while feeling free. That was the exact feeling we were experiencing now...

Swooooooooooosh the air rush by us as we came tumbling towards the ground. 

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" we screamed collectively.

As I was carefully calculating a safe way to land Tyruss Meatbag came shooting down past me like a swift aerodynamic arrow.

***Bammmm*** Tyruss hit the ground with a sickening thud... Standing up and dusting himself off he seemed no worse for ware..."That wasn't so bad" He exclaimed. "O look my shadow is getting bigger....wait ...what?!?!"

Bang crash kaboom we all came tumbling down on top of Tryuss Meatbag as if he was some sort of safe crash pad waiting for our inevitable meeting with the ground.

Meatbag exploded in a gross epic fashion like someone set of a firecracker in a mag of loose meat and parts.

"Dammit" JB exclaimed..." It will take me all week to put him back together. I am not even sure I am going to get the same shape....maybe less hair on this one..or scales..."

We landed on the Castles front lawn. I thought that Sir Nah still has a ways to go before we can start selling these portal potions to the public.

The Neden Boys was nowhere to be seen (See the Latest Misadventure of the Neden boys

Jayce offered to get Dith and Cabby and look for our missing brethren.

We all got a good night sleep before attempting to return to Folkstone in the AM.

***Zip Blorp port****

"This isn't Folkestone" an observant Darkin had stated.

He, of course, was right it had appeared we were now in New Veri. But we knew Sir Naj was having some portal trouble so we decided to make a day of it.

We decided to try our hand at agriculture helping plant many crops that were apparently destroyed by last years venturing party. We um stopped bandits from stealing things from our friends and even started a roving trading company making coin which we needed for my favorite part of the weekend....PICKLES

There was this merchant with these delicious little delectables, pickles like I never had before and man o man, were they top notch.

I found myself compelled to buy more. Was it the crunchy goodness? The sweet yet salty combination? Were there magical forces at work here or was the pickle brine that good... I don't know and I don't want to know, all I know is I loved this man's pickles.

He was attacked a few times while selling his goods, to which Darkin and I sprung into action slaying any would be pickle murdering menace.

There were plenty of other things to do for sure. There were these magical way lines people seemed interested in, this grey lady causing a menace, the Voranis puppers were fighting with these other puppers but for me, it was the pickles.

Pickle after sweet pickle, killing bandit after bandit for that sweet sweet pickle dosh until tragedy struck.....THERE WERE NO MORE PICKLES!!!!!! What were me Darkin and JB.....Hey, where is JB? I thought as now that my pickle crazed state of being started to pass.

Turns out he had a heck of an adventure with his Knighthood the Knights of the Steward. But, you will have to ask him about that.

Nope, no Pickles no Syruss is what I thought!!!! I activated one of the temporary portals again to take me and Darkin back to Neden for libations, pickles and a rest. Surely the vendors stock will be filled tomorrow it thought, as I slowly drifted off into a deep sleep.

***Cock a doodle Grahhhhh screach AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH****

Ah the sounds of Mornings in Neden majestic, peaceful gets the blood going in the morning.

I was up and ready to seize the day like I seized all those orbs and sold them for sweet sweet pickle money. But today I would just bring a bunch of coins so I could stay close to Pickle Guy and get my belly filled with his awesome goodness (I said what I said)

****Zip blop pop portal sound****
Back in New Veri.

This time I ventured out with just Jean-Baptise as he never left and Darkin did not want to return to "That crazy backwater slaver nation.." The man has a real hangup on slaves, who can blame him?

I searched and searched but it has seemed the merchant kart moved on to other lands.

This was upsetting as I had my heart set on a day of pickle fulfillment.  Instead, I was left with helping the adventures of the realms with the Puzzle Problems.

First, the heroes of the realms were losing their weapons trying to attack this wall of corpses. So I reminded them they can't lose their weapons if they are the weapons. With that my magical slinging sorcerors made start throwing everything, they had into this puzzle literally.

I use my detective brain to solve the very complicated pattern that allowed us to proceed, no matter what they may say about me just randomly guessing.

After we worked past these curse ribs of this dying dragon we entered the foul beast. Now, Darkin and I have tried to kill things from the inside before and each time we found out that skin is equally thick from the inside as it is from the outside.  This time however....was no exception.

We walked for hours in this dragon until we eventually reached its heart. Now not all of us could go in...Well, I went in, I'm Syruss I do things.

There we were attacked by the dragons antibodies until we overwhelmed the heart till it stopped.

Then we all escaped by beating the everliving strings out of the rest of the dragon.

Last room we were met by this cool grey statue lady nailing some top-notch ventriloquism.

The day ended with us doing the right thing or not. Neden's Little Buddy Chester was blown up in an incident by a certain misjudgment from a butcher, but we won't talk about that.

We then all held hands in a friends circle to get him back. We were told he is on his way but has little legs so it may take some time.

Well all in all New Veri is only slightly better than Old Veri and I might have a pickle addiction...

Tune in next time faithful readers.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Making of the Grey Lady

By Beth "Freesia" Tozier

For FolkeWood questing, I was tasked by Neil with creating a living statue costume. And by tasked, I mean I jumped at the chance to do it.

So, how did it all come together? Well, it was weeks of research, planning, and execution with the aid of several people.

I feel that the Realms would benefit from knowing how things were made when it comes to big costumes and props. I also hope that with this, we can up our costuming game.

Let’s start with the dress. We knew the look we were going for was pseudo Greek. I scoured Halloween costumes for the right piece. I found this:

As you can see, it is not in the least bit grey, nor was it in any way stiff. With help from Jana “Jynx” Greene and a little more research we found that the next step was to cover the whole dress in Liquid Latex. Jana found the Rub-R-Mold Liquid Latex. She also had the idea to stuff some shopping bags under the waist of the dress to keep it from pulling down/losing some shape.

Armed with Rubber Gloves, a little starch, and a lot of Rub-R-Mold, we went to work one Friday night. We went through a whole container of the latex and needed to order another another to ensure that the whole dress was sufficiently covered. We didn’t get any pictures of us actively applying the latex, because it was a messy job. At one point, I had to cover my left arm in cellophane to keep from having to pull my arm hairs out (so messy).

Once the latex set (it took a couple of days because of the humidity) I was able to start painting - Dano “Piper” Knoble was a huge help with the first few coats of paint.

Every piece had to be hand painted to match and the paints had to be mixed as well to get just the right grey. We did a full two coats of paint to get the right texture.

We even went so far as to touch up the paint while I was wearing the dress. Just the latex and painting took two weeks to complete. But, we were pretty please with the stiffness of the material, and the look.

After the dress was painted, Danielle “Elizah” Guimont did some work with the Makeup. We tapped Danni, even though she was playing, because she has a background in theater and really knows her makeup. She did her own research and we did a test run in my dining room.

We had to be sure that the makeup was water based. I have seriously sensitive skin, so any old makeup would not have worked for me. We discovered that the Mehron brand was perfect and also gave great coverage.

Finding the right wig was the last touch, and likely the easiest step for me. With a little patience and hairspray we managed to get everything set.

Every minute making this costume was a learning experience. I am excited I was able to make this and play the role. I have ideas for how to improve the process, so one day I hope to play this NPC again! (Or something similar)

I really believe that we, as a community, can take our NPC costuming to the next step. We have a lot of creative minds, and talent in our community. Armed with that, we can create almost anything!

Some of the things I learned about this process:
More Latex! Really, I wish I had done a full second coat of the dress.
Maybe making a top/arm cover to cut back on makeup costs would help.
The first layer of makeup may have gone faster with an airbrush. We’re going to test that.
Making a full costume like this is a real labor of love. I hope other EHs take the leap to do it as well.
Hand Painting the dress was better than the alternatives, which was spray paint.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What You Missed- Tournaments of Chaos

By Natalia "Shadar" Kostenko

I can sum up my experiences at my very first Tournaments of Chaos in 3 haikus. Why would I do that, you ask? Well if I learned anything this weekend it’s definitely that we don’t have to answer that question anymore.

A goose, a minion,
A meatball...the table flips
Webbed squishy bits

Banana bana
Na banana banana
Bananana. Fight

Finally I have
More than zero list points. Suck
It Tucker and Kyle.

Unfortunately I skipped the night quest to hang in the tavern and play many rousing games of Beirut, complete with the musical stylings of several dying cats (or maybe my fellow tournament participants? A few beers in I couldn’t tell). So no haikus about that. The tournaments themselves, however, were conducted in a very fun, sportsmanlike, and of course chaotic fashion. Everyone had a great time, even when some of us got turned into thralls. This situation was handled effectively with a combination of temporary undead-living segregation, and Trent telling the thralls to get off his lawn. Overall, a very wholesome event to fight your friends at.

After a long weekend of tiring competition and Syruss brutally mispronouncing his name, Torolf (Trolf? Toorf? Trollof?) emerged overall victorious as our Chaotic Champion (while also somehow being most lawful). A huge congratulations to him and all the winners of the other categories too! A big thank you to the event holders as well for giving me this opportunity to be super confused and super entertained for a whole weekend. They also donated all the proceeds from their event to the Betie family fundraiser, so major props for helping our fellow Realms community members in their time of need.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What You missed at Bicolline August 11-19


Bataille de Bicolline is a participative event in the heart of the biggest medieval-fantasy gathering in North America, and where more than 3000 participants will be part of an epic battle!”

  People from Realms attended and represented Realms as a whole and their nations in a setting under an Embassy Banner.  As a group we attended many meetings, gatherings, social events, War preparations, dinners and of course drinking gatherings.

  5 of us attended the Thoarsday celebration at Ragnarok  where you must wear blue (we are the first Americans to ever have been invited to this celebration last year and again this year) . Thoarsday is a big family Dinner with more food than you can eat ,we provided cupcakes  made by our repetitive from Chimeron, a member of the order of the spoon  “Mel”, Freedom cupcakes chocolate cake, blue icing, maple drizzle and bacon chunks on top.  We also brought and launched fire lanterns with our Family when it was dark to finalize the magical evening before we went to listen to music

 The Bards that attended with us were asked to play for a dinner on a pirate ship captained by Calysto . Although it rained pretty hard the bards persevered and played longer than they were hired to play and have been asked to play the pirates dinners for years to come.  Some of the new members of the embassy from lands north east (BC) also played and sang.

The members of the Embassy Received 3 awards Swoop and Ferren were knighted by the Emperor and Sir Shean received a medal for his kills on the battlefield with a bow.

Sir Shean's Award in English reads "To the imperial heroes that made blood flow by way of steel fist and true faith. Their sacrifice and their hostility made the Empire March towards victory. Glory to heroes !"

(12 people who are not part of Realms have asked to join with us at Bicolline 3 from British Columbia, 2 from, NY, 2 from NJ and a Family from Tennessee)

Sir Shean O’Quinnlin
Lord of Creathorne
Ambassador of the Realms Embassy