Friday, November 30, 2018

Humanizing the Realms: A Player Interview with Edward "Red" Lynch

Edward "Red" Lynch - Photo by Edward Lynch
1. What do you do outside of the game? What would you like to be doing? (Work, school, projects, etc.) 
Outside of game, I work work at a thrift store. It's not the best job, but I do find tons of useful garb bits here! I would like to go back to school eventually. Probably for art, maybe for computer science.

2. What hobbies do you enjoy other than LARP? 
Other than LARPing I draw and paint, and play video games. Mostly RPG's

Red teaching an NPC about a twig? - Photo by Robin Neilson

3. Favorite meal, dessert, and drink? 
Cheeseburgers, general Tso's chicken, coffee

4. If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would it be? Would you bring anyone? 
I've always wanted to visit Ireland! Maybe Josh and Rose? Maybe a boyfriend? Who knows?

5. Are you working on any life goals that you’re willing to share? 
Hmm... Nothing really comes to mind tbh

6. Favorite outfit other than garb? 
Black jeans, blue flannel, yellow beanie, blue peacoat. Best

7. Do you have any professional or personal skills you’d be willing to talk about? 
I'm a pretty good artist?

8. What drew you to the Realms, and what keeps you there? 
A friend brought me to a different LARP, and people from that LARP brought me to the realms! I stay bc I have a lot of friends in the game and tbh it's most of my social life haha

Red at ToC 24 - Photo by Michelle LaPlant

9. Favorite movies/shows/books? 
Batman Returns is my favorite movie... As for show, the Batman Animated Series, Futurama, and Bob's Burgers. My favorite book is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

10. If you happened upon 3 wishes, what would they be? (Wishing for more wishes doesn’t seem to work...) 
I only need one really. I'd wish for a book with endless pages that made anything I wrote in the book come true. Boom. Infinite wishes. #likeaboss

Thursday, November 29, 2018

My Order of the List Experience

by Nataliya "Shader" Kostenko

Hey Realms squad, picture this: 

Five years ago. It was my third, maybe fourth event. I was but a bright-eyed, wee Oaken Guard Newbie, just come to the (metaphorical) big city for Order of the List. In a totally not dweebie way, I thought all of the competitors were SO COOL, and I wanted to be just like them. (I even later asked to squire to the winner of that year!) So then, while I was watching all the super fast shots flying back and forth, I heard my name get called for the newbie tournament. I was all like “yo, this is my chance to start down that path!” So, I walked over, squared up against my opponent, heard my fellow Oakies cheering for me in the background, aaand 

Lost immediately. And then I lost the next fight after that. And the next one. And the next one. And then I lost again, and again, and about a thousand more times after that. And then a couple more resounding defeats and several crushing losses. For a while you wouldn’t even have to hit me, I’d just flinch away from a swing, close my eyes, and accept my death before I felt anything touch me. It pretty much took me until the next Invitational’s newbie tournament--a whole year--to learn to keep my eyes open when a sword started my way. 

So that was year one: learn to keep my eyes open. 
Year two: get my arms strong enough to be able to swing more than like once in a row. 
Year three: lift a shield for more than a minute? 
Year four: Step forward? Stand on one leg? Be more aggressive? (Just kidding, I can’t do any of those yet--still working on them.) 
And each one of those years I tried my best to get into the Invitational. First, no points. Then, not quite enough points. Then even back to no points again, though I entered every tournament I could make it to each of those years. 

Progress was slow and frustrating. It’s still slow and frustrating, as I’m sure my awesome OOTL coach Mike “Panther” Palumbo will confirm after having to watch me make some of the same mistakes over and over in almost every fight (don’t worry, I’m sure by around year 15 I’ll be able to back up in a circle). 

So why am I telling you all of this? Not because I have a lot of time on my hands, but because I think you shouldn’t give up. If you’re a newbie, or young, or a girl, or maybe older, or not particularly athletically gifted, but you’ve always wanted to get better at fighting, I think you should try. Even if you’re none of those things. Even if what you want to excel at is some other aspect of our game--casting, feast-o-crating, crafting, throwing events. If you aren’t naturally predisposed to be gifted at it, or if you’ve never tried and don’t know, you should give it a go. You won’t get to the top in a month, or a year, or maybe even ever. There will be lots of frustrations, off days, difficult moments, stressful and nerve-wracking situations. It won’t be easy, but I guarantee you will get better than you were when you started. 

I know you will. 

Aaand you’ll make new friendships and strengthen old ones along the way as your fellow Realms community members step up to help you out. And they will--I know this too. I had so many people help me along the way: countless trainers, supporters, cheerleaders, coaches, role models, and rivals. And I’m thankful to them all. As just a small sampling I’d like to thank my knight Eldritch, who coached me and trained me tirelessly through lots of frustration and poor listening skills; my day-of-coach Panther, who handled everything but the fighting so I wouldn’t have to worry and often trained me at practice as well; all my Ashenmark fellows, who have trained me along the way and supported me, whether from nearby or far away; Aeston, who called in with a motivational speech to help me get over my nervousness (is this in character? Did he send a raven or something?); and Kyntela, Gwen, Illy, Lupa, Kiira, Umbra, Keela, Phoenix, Freesia, Kite, Kara, Nhadala, Quinn and all the other amazing women who excel in leadership and combat and inspire me so much (that’s by no means an exhaustive list). 

Then you have all those people to celebrate each achievement with along the way. At first they’re gonna be small--keeping your eyes open, holding our shield up--but then they’ll get just a bit bigger--getting faster, making top 16, coming in 8th at the end. You gotta take the time to celebrate with your friends, but try not to let it make you late for next week’s practice. Don’t worry, just show up with the hangover. 

And then, who knows what next year’s accomplishment will be? Maybe improving my armor game for me, and probably something even cooler for you! I look forward to seeing what we all accomplish, yo.

Photo by Rachel DeRosa

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What You Missed - Nedengiving 3

by Keith "Saegan" Cronyn

The more I write these, the more PELs I fill out, and the more reviews I write, the more I find myself wondering what makes a good event.

I've decided I can only really judge an event based on what they provide for their players. It wouldn't be fair to judge an event on what the players do unprovoked. I ask myself, does this event meet what it promised. Is it a feast, if it said it would be? Is it a quest, if that’s what it lead me to believe? So on.

Feast Hall - Photo by Hannah Blood

It’s hard for me to like Feasts. They go against my play style.They want me to sit down, and relax, and eat things and, I don’t know, talk to people maybe. Where I’m really more geared toward running through the woods, hitting people and things, and then completely forgetting about food for, I don’t know, a day or two. That sounds right. I’m not sure why I do that to myself either, but it’s how I enjoy the game, and sort or irrelevant for now so let’s move along. All that considered, no, feasts are not how I really enjoy the game. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize a good feast when I’m at one. And that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize them as good events, when they are.

Poker Tournament - Photo by Hannah Blood

Nedensgiving was both. It was a good event, and a good feast. And shame on you if you missed it.

The food was just really excellent. I mean that earnestly. While they did slip in some cheeky shenanigans as they literally served Zarine canned cranberry sauce on a silver platter, all the rest of the food was what you might hope to find at a big family thanksgiving, with some really sort of unique, within the realms, dishes, like gumbo, for the more adventurous to delve into.

Custom Neden Barrels - Photo by Hannah Blood

It can be hard to entertain people at a feast, you might think it’s enough to just sort of serve food, and let people enjoy that, but within our game feasts have sort of evolved beyond that. Now we need to have activities as well to entertain the masses, and Neden provided. The carnival was up and running throughout the day, with various options of games to be played, I myself got sucked into cornhole, and certainly had a good time with that, but beyond that, we had a handful of tournaments go off, and there was a good turn out for a poker game as well. And to bring it a step further, they had a museum filled with little oddities and histories of Neden’s past. It was a really nice touch, with some plot flavor, that was really held off on its own. It let people engage, and sort of fall into the world of the realms, but at their own relaxed pace, which was perfect for this feast setting.

Auction Tables - Photo by Hannah Blood

I would be remiss to ignore the charity work that went on at this event. This year the realms has been challenged by the sort of bad luck that has hit it’s people, but with each passing event its become more and more clear that we rise to the challenge each time, and this event was no exception. Neden’s own Dresden’s father has been recovering from surgery and the Neden boys did right by their own and dedicated a lot of effort in gathering items and event entries for cash auction for him. It’s always touching to see a group gather around it’s own and find ways to dig deep and provide. But there’s more, each year Nedensgiving runs a can food drive, giving people who bring canned food in tickets for another auction, and helping out the world at large. I mean it sincerely when I say they outdid themselves with this event.

Neden Head Table - Photo by Hannah Blood

With service to their own, the realms, and the community at large, Nedensgiving was an excellent event, and that it what you missed.

I’ll see you on the field,

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Why I Want to Go - Tournaments of Artemis VII

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

This Saturday, you should make time to support the ladies of the Realms as they show off their stuff at the 7th annual Tournaments of Artemis. This event is near and dear to my heart, and it pains me to say that due to personal reasons it will be the first time I’ve missed it since it began. However, I can tell you that Shader has put together an excellent tournament, and I know that you will enjoy the combat and tactical challenges she has set forth for the generals and their teams.

If you would like to participate but still haven’t joined a team, that’s perfectly alright because all participants will be welcomed onto teams the day of the event. In addition, if you yourself are a huntress considering running a team, I have it on good authority that if you get in contact with the EH’s by the end of the day today, you still can! This event always features good-natured competition, and I love the spirit that the huntresses bring forth every year. I hope that you will consider coming out and competing to support a very special guild in our game.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on the Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Holiday Question

We hope everyone had a great holiday yesterday! To extend the holiday feeling a little bit, we have a special feature for today's post. The View editors asked various people the IC question: "What are you thankful/grateful for this year?" Below are some of the answers we received, enjoy!

I’m thankful for feast halls lit in warm, fall colors,
and for the sprawling battlefields of victorious summers,
For the glow of the fire on my companions’ faces
And for the tipsy nights like this wasted.
I’m thankful for the coaching, teaching, laughing and screeching,
For all the castles we got down to besieging.
Thankful for dreams, memes, and Queen of Hearts teams,
For shorter night quests, lit up with moonbeams,
For best friends, some who wear my tabard and some who do not,
And for shots--be they flaming, maiming, or careful aiming.
I’m thankful for dancing while holding your hand,
But most of all for the chance to know all of you in these lands

Ezmerelda Chandler
This year, I'm grateful for the same things that I'm grateful for every year. I'm grateful for the family I found. I'm grateful that we're still here. And I'm grateful that the friends that I've lost are still only a seance away.

Laika en’Naur
I am thankful to my Goddess, Aurora, for protecting my body and soul. To the faithful that ever walk in her light together and protect us from the darkness. To Steward Nertail for freeing the slaves of New Verai. To Boom and Nighthawk for reaching a temporary solution to the issue with Garm. To Avendar who has given me the guidance when I needed it most.

As you gather with your friends and family under the hearth and home; there are many who are not so blessed. Consider sharing your table with someone less well off and learn of their life over a warm meal and merriment.

Thoril Chorster
I am thankful for those who I cherish and hope I can continue to keep them safe.

Elric of Rathkeale
I am thankful for the trust Hayden has put in me to let me lead our nation.

I am thankful to have found Voraniss, and that they so lovingly accepted me as one of their own.

I am thankful the encroaching darkness has yet to consume us all, and that there are a few that choose to stand with the light.

...I am thankful I know how to roll and didn't shatter my arm.

This year I'm grateful for you, yes you, the person reading this. You're amazing and deserve great things. Now pat yourself on the back for being awesome!

I'm thankful for the people who inspire me to push myself, be they knights whom I am squired to, other members of Blackwood, the people shoulder to shoulder with me on a quest, or even my opponents at a tournament. They all help me become a better version of myself.

I'm thankful for all the members of Rhiassa. They have all been like family and helped me find out where i want to be.

Her pack being happy and healthy and together XD and chocolate cake!

I’m thankful that the realms kept my meatbag alive…

The free will and the opportunity to control one's own destiny. And pikes. And Tao's Candied Bacon.

I am thankful for those I call friends and family and thankful for the times I’ve spent and will spend with those people.

I’m thankful for my home! I have shelter, and am constantly surrounded by a beautiful ecosystem that provides for me year round. In that ecosystem my dear friends and noble countrymen weather every year by my side, and we stand together as a pillar of unity that even in our darkest hours never waivers or crumbles. I am forever thankful that the gods placed me here and now so that I may enjoy life with the people I can now never imagine living without!

The threads of fate are tangled and their course easiest seen looking back. When I was first stranded in the Realms, I believed myself dishonored and banished, because I thought Midgard needed every sword to fight against Bedlam. Now I know that mere steel was useless in that battle. I have been able to accomplish more for the Norlunds by advocating its cause here in the Realms. I am now thankful that I have had that opportunity. Having outlived almost everything and everyone I knew during the opening days of Ragnarok, and the following attack of Bedlam I felt cursed and unlikely to enter Valhalla to join my ancestors. But in my years of wandering these Realms, seeking another road to that fabled hall, I have found a new home and new comrades and kin. Instead of the honorable death I sought, I have been given new causes and duties to uphold. For all these things I am thankful. I do not pretend to understand the workings of fate or the designs of the gods. But I am thankful that my journey albeit winding, has seemed a worthy one thus far.

Evitta "Evie" Jainrose Blackthorn
This year, I am thankful for the camaraderie I have with my friends of the Realms. At this time last year, I felt sort of lost. I didn’t know many adventurers, and I wasn’t sure which path I wanted to follow. Being welcomed with open arms by so many friends has really shaped who I am today. I’m also thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given this year to grow as a healer and a person. I’m always striving to improve myself, and being surrounded by such supportive people definitely helps.

I’m eternally thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with the members of Rhiassa over the years, to teach them, to learn from them, and to accomplish great things because of how we work together and care about one another.

This year I'm thankful to have been able to watch Higer and Kindriana, who are two of my dearest friends, develop Voraniss into a great force for good for the realms. I'm thankful to have been able to spend time with my good friends in Rhiassa and Folkestone. I'm thankful to have gained new friends like Cronin, Arturr, and Sir Gwen to name a few.

I'm thankful for the great friends and mentors I've made along the way, who have always been there for me and have pushed me to be the best version of myself.

The thing I'm most thankful for this season is our community. As Neden is preparing for its annual veterans can food drive this is the time of the year I get excited about the most. I get to see our community at its best show up and help those less fortunate have an amazing holiday season. As someone who used to work for Veterans' Northeast Outreach Center, I know personally that each canned good raised is used for someone in need so it's something spectacular to witness when every year we raise a little bit more. Besides our community, I'm truly thankful for my fellow Neden boys who continue to support and help me with all our event holding and merriment throughout the year.

I’m thankful for my friends without whom life would have been short and lonely. For all of the love and support and basically fabulous people i’ve had the honor of having in my life.

I'm always more grateful for people than things. This year I'm grateful for those people from my past, the present, and the future.

Past- My 3 former squires/apprentices (Kaelkatar, Rubis, Saka) who stay active adventuring and continue to contribute to the Realms.
Present- Matiya who has recently taken the position of Regent of Folkestone and whose leadership I'm confident in.
Future- Watching those who have moved from being members of the community to emerging leaders of the community (Shader, Kindriana, Ndahla, and Elouan)

I am thankful for the home Rhiassa has provided for me and the lessons they have taught me about what can be accomplished through teamwork.

I'm thankful for the (mostly) wholesome community that is Rhiassa ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

On behalf of all of us here at the View from Valehaven, we'd like to wish you all a very happy holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What You Missed - Order of the List Invitational 7 (photos)

All photos by Rachel "Katya" DeRosa

What You Missed: Order of the List Invitational 7

As you might have expected, The Order of the List Invitational 7 was a tournament event. We had sixteen competitors, each of whom had participated in some tournaments earlier in the year in order to have been invited to the event.

Throughout the day we participated in various tournaments, starting off with a curveball of  armored single combatant. This was a curveball because traditionally we start with limited tournaments, going through the various weapon styles.

We went into that right after, so we had to strip off our armor. The fighting throughout the day was largely clean. Everyone misses shots sometimes, and from my perspective the marshals did their best to keep people honest.

The tournaments went as they usually do, where the winners stuck to the top, and the other competitors were at the bottom of the rankings. This can be frustrating for people at the bottom, because they can get caught fighting the same person over and over again that they have trouble with. This should not be taken too much to heart, though, as it’s sort of the nature of the tournament. If you win, you get benefits. You should want to win at order of the list. It’s kind of the point.

There were a few new tournaments, one called “V-Power’s Vendetta” which was actually pretty interesting. Each competitor got to choose what their opponent would use for a weapon, between the styles of mixed florentine, sword and board, and hand a half. This created an interesting dynamic because you needed to be aware of the advantages the style had with or without armor, and you had to be aware of your opponents’ skill level with each style. Over the course of the day we did this with armor, and without, and at the invitational I personally chose the type of weapon my opponent got based more on whether we had armor or not, and not their skill level. It was a fun tournament.

Round two of the tournaments consisted of us doing less common tournaments, like 5 points to victory, 3 lives, and ones and twos.

So something I should mention is how things were scored. Once we got to the Invitational our points were erased, and the seeding was used to determine our opponents. We got a point for every round within a tournament we won. If that match was best of three, and you lost but got 1 round of it, you got 1 point. If you won, you got 2 points. If it was something else, you could get more points, like for example, in 3 lives, you had 3 lives per opponent, so you might get 2 kills before losing, and you get 3 for winning. Make sense? After each cut, we maintained our seeding, but reset the scores to 0.

Seeding mattered though, because if you were tied in points you got the benefit of the higher position if you came in at the higher position at the beginning of the day. Trust me, this was a bane for me throughout the day.

The second cut lead us into the wild card. There was a change to the wild card this year in that, winning the wild card just got you the opportunity to fight the person in 4th position for the 4th position spot. The person in 4th at that time got the opportunity to fight in the wild card, and potentially earn the right to fight himself for his position. It was Daekara, and he did step into the wildcard and fight, but he sat out a little over halfway through, for reasons I don’t really know.

Rillan won the wild card, he and Daekara fought, and Rillan overcame Daekara, thus taking the 4th position going into the final 4.

The final 4 was all armored fights. It was, in my opinion, a weird mix of tournaments. We did mixed florentine, and then went into armored sword and dagger, V-Power’s Vendetta, and Single Combatant. Now we’d already done single combatant at the beginning of the day, mixed florentine is somewhat different from either of them being separated, but I don’t think any of us went without the marn. V-Powers Vendetta lead to me making different choices while wearing armor, but I still stuck with them throughout. These were fun fights, so don’t think that I didn’t enjoy them, but it was still an odd mix of things we’d more or less already done.

The final cut lead to Drike and V-Power being the two competitors vying for victory. Now, on paper this may not seem like it was a hard day, but these two fighters had been pushing themselves hard all day. As has happened in previous years, the fighters locked up, cramped up, and were just broken. At times watching them fight was like watching a couple of drunks fight as they pushed their muscles beyond their normal tolerances, needing to be carried off the field or tended to in the brief down times that they got.

It was a close match too. V- Power had started with a strong lead, but over the course of the grand slam, Drike began to overtake him.

Not enough though, because in the end the V was the victor.

If my rendtion of what you missed didn’t catch enough of the action, I have some good news for you. Alyssa “Sayeh” Weisblatt, did several live broadcasts throughout the day. She along with Michael “Swoop” Zajac, and Josh “Enlon” Whelan, having watched and witnessed some of the video, I can say it is well worth a gander.

That’s all for now though!

I’ll see you on the field!

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Why I Want to Go-Nedengiving 3

by Lani "Gwen" Jones

One of the things that I love the most about the Realms is how willing we are to support each other and society. Nedengiving has always been a time to give back, but this year, in addition to their charity for the Veterans’ Northeast Outreach Center, they are also hosting an auction for Dresden’s dad, who is working hard to battle cancer. By coming out to this event, you’ll have a very real impact on bettering both the Realms, but also the greater community.

 But, and again, you’re probably not surprised at this point, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the food. I’ve worked a feast hall or two in my time, but one of the first kitchens I ever worked in was with the feastocrat, Naj. I know that he is going to knock this feast out of the park, and let’s be real, who can resist a perfectly roasted bird with all the fixings? (Unless of course you’re a vegetarian, in which case, enjoy the fixings?)

 Some of you may be unaware, but I’m also a big fan of carnival games. And the Neden carnival is one of the most fun in the game, not just because of the great games, but because of the charm and excitement of the people working it. There’s nothing quite like the fun and nostalgia of playing games of skill and luck and collecting tickets to win fabulous prizes. And if you are looking for higher stakes games of skill and luck, try your hand (pun intended) at the New Eden Casino.

Tournaments, food, fun, and giving back to the community? If I haven’t convinced you yet, I’m not sure how. After a long holiday weekend, come relax with your friends and make a difference.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on the Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, November 16, 2018

The View Retrospective: Kathy's Bardic Circle

Scan by Jeremy Grayson. Originally published in The View From Valehaven, 2nd Ed, Volume 3, Issue 5. June 2006.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Neden Kazoo - October 2018 Issue

For the full text, please click here to access the Neden webpage!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why I Want to Go -Order of the List Invitational 7

by Keith "Saegan" Cronyn

Why do you play the game? What lured you in?

Did your parents bring you in? Were you a theater kid that liked Lord of the Rings, and the idea of improv got you? Were you a D&D kid that just wanted to take it a step further? Maybe you had some friends that said they loved it, and you just went along for the ride?

I don't know. But I'll tell you how it happened for me. When I was a young 4th grader, my dad brought me along one night to play Shadowrun with his coworkers. He promised me characters and adventure, and roles. Elves and machine guns. Ninjas and dragons. You know, the good stuff. My wild imagination lead me to believe we’d be playing in some warehouse, that was set up in a way that was not unlike a paintball course.

Imagine my surprise when we sat around a table, rolling dice.  And yet, there was love. I fell in love with role playing. Absolutely, unabashedly, unrelentingly in love. It was formative. And I've never turned back.

Later, perhaps sixth grade, I discovered LARPing because my best friend’s uncle was dating someone that played the Realms. He showed us the swords, and we spent hours in the backyard hitting each other, with little concept of the rules.

Later yet, high school, my friends played Realms in their backyard, running mini quests almost every weekend, until eventually those mini quests lead to real events.

I took some time off for college, but then after that I felt a longing to adventure, and I found my way back to the Realms.

All stemming from that one seed of imagination that was some weird paintball warehouse in a child's mind. A seed that has grown into a savage hunger for combat and adventure.

What's more, I look for the challenge. I look for the moments where I feel like I could win, but there is a strong likelihood that I'll get beaten. The best fights for me are the fights I have no business winning. The rough part being the more fights like that I win, the harder it is to find them.

Enter Order of the List. Now while this has been a wild tangent, the truth of it is, it's all lead up to why I want to go to Order of the List. The answer; it's the best place for me as a fighter to go if I want to challenge myself. It's the best place to go if I want to spend my day getting roughed up, beat down, and challenge myself to stand back up again.

It's the best place to go to see the pinnacle of fighting in our game. It's the best place to go to learn how marshaling should be done. For the competitors of order of the list it's the culmination of a seasons worth of hard work, fighting in tournaments, going to practices, making weapons, and doing whatever it takes to hone their skill.

Why should you go if you're not one of those competitors? Well you can watch. You can gamble on them. There are newbie tournaments to participate in if you're new enough to the game. This year the order is doing a donation bucket for Wreaths Across America, which they intend to match donations too.

I hope to see you there, cheering on your favorite fighting, filling the stands. It should be a good day.

See you on the field

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From the Editor's Desk - Welcome to View Staff!

The View staff would like to welcome three new editors - Renee Booke, Ryan Welch, and Hannah Blood-  to our ranks!

Renee "Kindrianna" Booke
A talented writer, Renee has made her mark on the View as a contributor through her regular submissions of poetry and fiction. Always well-received, her pieces bring a creative and dramatic touch to the body of View content and are a refreshing change of pace from our regular features. Hailing from a prominent nation of role-players and questers, Renee will bring a unique voice to the staff and we are excited to work with her.

Photo by Casey Lemay

Ryan "Orion" Welch
As a regular contributor to our "What You Missed" series, Ryan has demonstrated his talent for writing and attention to detail time and again in the quality of his work. Descriptive and complete, his pieces are always a good read. His gathering and self-publishing of monthly rumors is a great initiative and important service to the community. As an active quester and member of a storied nation, Ryan brings his own perspective to the staff and we are eager to see him grow in his new role.

Photo by Dave Harvill

Hannah "Nhadala" Blood
Having contributed a variety of submissions over the years, Hannah has consistently demonstrated her ability to produce well-thought out and well-written work that time and again proves to be popular with all of our readers. As someone possessed of a strong voice, we look forward to her perspective in our regular features such as "Ask the Editor" and we look forward to the many other ways her ideas and initiative will add to the View.

Photo by Casey Lemay

The support of each of  these people has been invaluable to the View in the last few years and it brings us great pleasure to welcome them aboard!
- Jen, Lani, Keith, and Kelly

Monday, November 12, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on the Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, November 9, 2018

On This Day

Once again on this Flashback Friday lets take a look at what was published on the View in years past on this date!

2015 - An Atypical View

The Silent Scribbler took on the idea of monster weapon immunity, pulling no punches... er... slashes.

2012 - Happenings on the Emerald Path

Nuptials, birth announcements, and more important happenings within our community were announced this day.

2011 - What You Missed - Feast of Blackwood II

To say you missed just a little bit of snow would be an understatement. Here are a few pictures from the event.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

What You Missed - Pick Up Realms II

by Ed "Tuilli" Drummond

*a letter is intercepted on the road to Voraniss*

I hope this finds you in good times, but I bring interesting news.

I recently spent some time in Ivory, where a new game was afoot.  The Terrific Triumvirate Tournament was going on, which was a particularly advanced game of “put the ball in the hole”.  For some reason, while we were playing, our power varied from my usual, I was able to swing a 5’, but also had some very rapid regeneration at other times.  That said, while in the middle of this tournament, we were ambushed mid-game by a pair of werewolves. They seemed to be beyond reach, reason or speech. Someone managed to identify them as “super-werewolves”, but I’m unsure as to that meaning. There appears to be some flavor of stone that has been changing people into other things like said wolves.

I don’t sense forces like that of the Night Pack, but I fear this new force could be dangerous. Some of those ambushed had blood drawn by the attackers, so I worry about that as well…

I should be to your lands in a few days, I sent this message ahead to warn you.


We all had a pretty solid time playing what felt like a pretty fleshed out game.  Felt somewhat similar to Jugging, only with spells.  The sudden ambush of werewolves was a great touch.  Chim casino was there, the Noodle emporium, solid variety of puzzles about as well.  All in all a good, solid event, good use of the space and glad kiddo and I were able to make it!  Thanks to Becky and Janna for a fun day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

From Katasha's Kitchen

Grimloch Beef Pho (6 servings):

Served at Feast of Grimloch
Recipe created by Tanja "Katasha" Johnson

(2) beef shanks and/ or oxtail (approx 2 1⁄4 pounds total)
(3) onions, halved
(1) 6” piece of ginger, halved lengthwise
(1) head garlic, halved crosswise
(2T) veg. Oil
Kosher Salt + 1 1⁄2 T
(1T) Coriander Seeds
(6) Whole Cloves
(2) Cinnamon Sticks
(1T) Sugar
(2) Star Anise Pods
(1T) Fennel Seeds
(3) Qrts Low Sodium Beef Broth
(3) Qrts Water
(1/3C) Fish Sauce

Additions When Serving:
1⁄2 lb very thinly sliced (against the grain) brisket/flank steak
1 lb Rice Noodles
1 bunch thin sliced green onions
Basil leaves, torn in small pieces (Thai Basil if available)
4C Bean Sprouts
Hoisin Sauce
Sriracha Sauce

Preheat oven to 450 Degrees. Toss shanks, onions, ginger and garlic with oil and spread in a single
layer on a sheet pan. Sprinkle salt lightly over the pan. Roast 30 min, flip over items after 15 minutes.
While roasting items in the oven, toast the Cinnamon Sticks and Anise pods in a small pan over
medium heat for 4-5 minutes.

Transfer roasted items from oven and stovetop to a large stock pot. Add beef broth, water, broth spices,
fish sauce and sugar. Bring pot to a boil over medium high heat then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer
1 1⁄2 -2 hours, skimming foam and oil from the top if it gathers.
Remove from heat, strain broth in a very fine mesh strainer. Remove shank beef etc. pieces and shred
beef. Add shredded beef back to broth. Broth can be made up to 2 days ahead of serving. Broth also
can be frozen for future use (thaw overnight in refrigerator before reheating).

Cook noodles according to package directions. Run noodles under cold water after cooked. Place
desired amount of raw beef, basil leaves, noodles, sprouts and green onions in each serving bowl. Pour
hot broth over the items in bowl. Add hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce to taste.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What You Missed - Carnage 21

by Jon “Trent” Jessop

First a little bit about Carnage. Carnage is a gaming convention held annually for the past 21 years, most recently at the Killington Grand Resort in Vermont. Carnage attracts gamers from across the country, and includes prestigious championships for many board games and war games. Estimates for this year were 1200 people spread across multiple large rooms, in multiple buildings. This year felt full, it felt busy, but it never felt too crowded. As you can imagine, not many people are into playing tabletop games outdoors, which gives us a lot of freedom to use the paths and trails. (Disclaimer, this year, due to snow, rain and severe winds, we stayed indoors as much as possible,especially during Saturday afternoon). Carnage has a wide age range, from the youngest of children playing board games to the older folks playing war games with minis they've had for decades.

This year's concept for the convention was Space/Sci-Fi, so what could we possibly do to fit Realms into that theme? We had an idea but first, we needed to recruit. We drew people in with our fancy garb (OK,  mostly Sara (Zarine)'s fancy garb), fliers that we distributed in various gaming rooms bumping into old friends and making new ones, great looking poster boards at our info table that was staffed by Andy Disbrow and Alan Skumautz, and our great crew that was willing to basically do whatever the con-goers asked, be it fighting displays between seasoned combatants, showing them the importance of support casters (Zarine, in her fancy garb – I don't how she didn't fall and die) and showing the new people the basics of our combat system, and magic system.

Eventually we had a well trained crew, The Green Mountain Militia, a good group of folks that were ready to defend Carnage from all enemies. Which, low and behold, was a good thing, because while we were on a break a portal or gate of some sort had opened and Carnage was being infiltrated by what I can only imagine were scouts testing our defenses for a major invasion.

It was time for the Green Mountain Militia to put all their training to good use, and prevent that from happening.

There are many stories that will be told about the time fighting the aliens, I'm sure much of it that I didn't see. (Seriously, this Con is huge). But some highlights were fighting up the stairs in the hotel lobby, a plant being knocked off a table in the hotel lobby and the hotel staff not getting mad (thank you hotel staff), two families adventuring as families, flanking the Aliens using the hotel elevator, Eric Marques possibly falling into a storm drain to stop a kid from falling into the storm drain, and the best story to tell of all, a bunch of smiling kids.

At the end, the Green Mountain Militia drove back the Aliens, closed their gate permanently (but not before it summoned an alien monster that was much tougher then the scouts) and saved the weekend at  Carnage. As I thanked them for their hard work and service to Realms I was told that they didn't work for free and that they should get paid. So not only did they have a great time, but they left with heavier pockets and many memories. (and also website addresses and Facebook groups to maybe get them to come to more events.)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Arc Sphere Distortions Continued...

By the View Staff based on the Steven Matulewicz series

Friday, November 2, 2018

On This Day

Once again on this Flashback Friday lets take a look at what was published on the View in years past on this date!

2016 - Sorcery 101

The third part of Gerry Chartier's primer to casting Sorcery magic ran on this day, along with links to the first two installments of the series. This issue discussed different options for Sorcerer builds.

2012 - Realms Pick-Up Lines

If you're in the mood to groan a lot, take a look at this humorous and punny post.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

What You Missed - Black & White 2018

by Katie "Hildegard" Cannamela

Captain's Log - October 27th, 1018

I was wet in the most unpleasant of ways. A cold kind of wet. A sweaty cold kind of wet.  I'm an inexperienced captain who forgot to properly waterproof her boots for the cold wet season. Yuck.

You know, I've never done much adventuring at Black and White. Not since the first time I attended, before I got my ship and crew, when I was Elouan's tagalong, got cocky with a sword I didn't know how to wield, and was killed by a silver-masked bandit. I've been a coward since then.

However, it's been several years and many more adventures. I no longer wield a sword, but my miniature lions. I have a ship and a crew, and even brought along a potential new member. I was ready for adventure. I was even ready and willing to face Blue. I was ready to show my friends and allies that I am not Hildegard the Cowardly, but Hildegard the Captain!

And then the rain.

Avoiding cold rain is not cowardly. Avoiding cold rain means avoiding potential sickness, and avoiding unhappy lions with quickly matting fur. Unhappy lions can be more dangerous than fever sometimes. Even if they're miniature.

Once we arrived, we immediately set up space in a corner of the tavern. Food was already coming out, so we sampled. It was amazing. My favorite course was probably the tomato soup and mini grilled cheese sandwiches. Those hit the spot and chased away the chill. Much appreciation to the kitchen staff!

Knowing that, once again, I wouldn't be outside adventuring, I wandered in the tavern. There were shops, tables for gambling, and the raffle tables. After the cold I experienced, I had my eye on the fuzzy socks, which someone else won, and the Rhiassa-red blanket, which my new potential crew member Benadetta won.

Order of the List happened, though I didn't watch any of the matches. Major kudos to those who braved the weather to compete.

Blue appeared, as per usual. I heard rumors that Thoril wanted to absorb his power somehow. So, once again we sigh and say a resigned, "What the heck, Thoril." Except without the "heck." But you know how rumors are.

There was also a meeting about what to do about Garm. I didn't attend that meeting, as I worship no gods.

New adventurers were called to go into the Dreaming to find out about a missing village. I opted to pass, but Elouan followed Kara and witnessed the adventure.

Court was held. The Order of the peacock announced next season's color (scarlet) and Elowen is now being mentored by Hyger.

The knights of Eagle's Rook knighted Sir Iawen (hooray!)

The Lunar Aegis, a knighthood for/by women, presented themselves and their intent.

Lako of Gau Dring announced he was stepping down as lord, ceding power to Consulars Kyara and Enlon.

Rosetta was fostered into the Chimeron family,  and Tyrvanel was made a full member of Chimeron.

This year, the general raffle was held before dancing. The black ticket one was held after, but my companions and I decided to leave early, as we all felt the effects of the cold.

Well, I need to end this log abruptly. Napoleon was trying to be a magic missile instead of an implement and spilled ink everywhere, now he, Leofy, and Cleopatra all need baths.

And now we sail again.

~ Captain Hildegard, squire of Rhiassa, and her lions Napoleon, Leofy, and Cleopatra.