Monday, August 31, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, August 28, 2020

Home Questing: Task 16

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly

Here is the form for you to submit the item that has changed the most over time:

If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to



Hi all, Janus here, and welcome to Home Questing: The Sixteenth Task.  This week I am going to ask you to find a place or object that has changed the most over time due to external forces.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts now.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Why I Want To Go: A Questing We Will Gi

By Ryan "Orion" Welch

I have been watching my friends in RTC work their collective butts off to create A Questing We Will Gi. I know that they are using the same framework as RealmsCraft Questing, and I am really looking forward to being on the player side of those mechanics for once!

The Risen Kingdom plot has been very compelling over the past few years, and this newest phase promises to be particularly interesting as we explore the ruined world of Gi and the sociopolitical landscape of its inhabitants. The last time we went to this place at an event, the staff did a terribly good (and I really do mean terrible — I’m looking at you, mango candy) of creating an immersive atmosphere. I can’t wait to see what they are capable of accomplishing with the worldbuilding tools of Minecraft at their disposal.

If you haven’t already yet registered, you should fill out the registration at If you are interested in playing but don’t already own Minecraft, there are a couple of loaner accounts which you can borrow for questing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Does Jonas Cooke Still Matter?

I wrote this in 2017 but never finished. Thanks to Dave Hayden for looking at the final draft. 

by Michel "Jace" Venne

Does Jonas Cooke still matter? 

I have been away from the United States for almost 5 years (Or more, I am not keeping track, you are) and I have been meeting different people from across the globe. Occasionally I tell stories about this cool thing called LARP or roleplay. Sometimes I have to explain in detail what these experiences are like. Yet why when I think back to my short-ish time in the Realms to tell my stories, I think back to the villains that defined the conflicts which were inevitably encountered during quests.

During my time in the Realms, there were only a few great overall antagonists which my player character Squire Jace Moonshadow of Eagle’s Rook, had the (dis)pleasure of interacting with. In order of my initial encounters; first was the Shadowking Jonas Cook and his Shades, second was the immeasurable force of Bedlam, third are the Metal Lords of Grimloch, fourth are the Forces of Hell, after which there are a smattering of other monster-of-the-week baddies. Also let's not forget Lord Voldemort :). Of these big baddies mentioned, the only two villains which were relevant during my time in Realms was with Jonas Cooke and Bedlam. Both quest lines were at their respective penultimate moments and I got to experience both of them during my first event, Feast of Chimeron 2013.

With regards to Bedlam, I received, what I would kindly call, an information overload for the two days of the event that followed. Details about Bedlam’s vast and storied past which frankly still does not make 100% sense to me to this day but was impressive nonetheless. It was all everyone was talking about both positive and negative. I never really had a passion for this quest line though because my personal investment, both as a player and a PC, was in support of my new friends and allies and not the actual threat itself. There was no time where I felt personally attacked by Bedlam because it was consuming everything, irrespective of who or what it was.

So that leaves Jonas Cook. Why then does some dude stick in my mind more than Metal Lords, Voldemort, Forces of Hell, or even Bedlam? The short answer is that I had more space to think critically about how Jonas Cooke the villain affects me personally as a PC and a player.

Back in 2014 I wrote a small op-ed on Jonas Cooke (which you can find here). In it, I lay out what kind of character Jonas Cooke is portrayed as, how well-developed as a PC and NPC the character is, and how many players/PC’s can fall into similar traps of insecurities and laziness. Here I want to focus more on the questline, also better known as Shades Plot, which gave the depth to the character.

From my own Shades Plot experiences, I attended Feast of Chimeron 2013, Folkestone Questing 2013 and 2014, plus I NPC’ed for an unofficial event as a roaming Shade Squad. I partied up with Eagle’s Rook during Feast of Chimeron 2013 with the intention of just having a fun time when I came to realize that Eagle’s Rook and Blackwood were at war with Jonas Cooke. Eagle’s Rook had declared the war against Jonas Cooke due to a mind scalping attack on Balthazar at Fern’s Grove. So, while I was absolutely frontloaded with a conflict already in play, there were online resources which were easily accessible to learn and stay up-to-date on the major plot points (linked here). There was also a community-driven excel sheet for Vene Potions and their composition which was a very fun activity to do in our spare time at events. So even when you were not playing Shades Plot, you could still play Shades Plot in an interactive and critical manner.

 During Folkstone Questing 2013, Eagle’s Rook and friends (TV show pending) were tasked with raiding the Shadow Realm to retrieve the secret to Jonas Cooke’s ability to bind himself to Shades, making him essentially unkillable. The challenge to retrieve this document was great and we succeeded to return in time for the Siege of Blackwood. During the downtime, I initially though that Jonas Cooke, whom everyone was calling the Shadow King at this point in the questline, was similar to Bedlam and was just an ‘unstoppable force.’ In between the retrieval mission and the Siege of Blackwood, I had enough time to understand why this was all happening and that the Shadowking had a name, family and even some friends. Yet he had done all these terrible things to gain power.

The threats that made this plotline personal, even if you were not invested in Jonas Cooke’s story, were used as a way to remind us that Jonas Cooke was not a ‘clown’ pretending he has power. In fact, his action affected real change. Shadowblight and mind scalping were two ways that ensured the phrases “Shades” or “Shadowking” evoked a real threat to you or someone affected by above mentioned afflictions. Mind scalping was essentially a brutal invasion of privacy and personal space by stealing your memories while Shadowblight was an illness of the soul which must be spread to prevent your death. These two mechanics created personal narratives which encourages player engagement. You were also left wondering, “Why on earth would a normal human do these things?” It feels so much more personal since the leading figure behind these attacks to the PC’s physical and mental well-being was one of us PC’s (a point which I raised in my last article).

All of the points about Shades Plot allowed for many different types of engagement across the board which supported a number of playstyles. I also critically thought about how to best use my knowledge and skills and apply them in real-time to help my friends and colleagues excel at what they were good at. I was able to, in my capacity as a fresh newbie, hold a wall of a Blackwood castle to allow the more skilled players to defend the weaker gates or prepare Vene potions in my spare time. As I gained more knowledge and skill, I was eventually able to not only follow instructions but also serve as a leader when needed during the last Shades event. Many of the things which Jonas Cooke wanted to be recognized for through no work, I achieved through my own hard work. Hell Yeah.

So why does Jonas Cooke still matter? It is because the villain, the quest line, the challenges that we were faced with encouraged engagement at all levels with a villain who had an origin story like the rest of us PC’s. Now that we are all stuck inside, now is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the challenges and trials you or your PC have faced to understand why these events have left such an impact on you.  You might be surprised at what you find!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 4

Whereas the previous week Realmsies chose their stomachs over their feet, it seems that last week the bulk of you chose your feet over your stomachs. Maybe we're just all getting older and want to walk less. No, that's definitely it. Here's what the bracket looks like now.

This next contest is a little different: It's about what small pleasure you'd prefer on a day of questing!

Option A: Numerous convenient spell resets.
Option B: Ample coinage on all of the monsters.

Vote on Facebook with your choice!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, August 21, 2020

Home Questing: The 14th Task - Results!

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly 

Hello, and welcome to the 14th edition of Home Questing.  I challenge people to try and attract an Yosei Arborisuto.  Let’s see what people did.

From Cressida was this:

From Del’Hemar submitted the following:

I planned three seeds.  One in the forest near my local nature trail, (no photo) one beside the trail with the benediction "child of the fruit bearer, grow strong beside this trail,  bring shade to the traveler and respite to the weary. Grow tall and bear fruit for the travelers,  and when you're ready,  join me in in my fight and bring peace to my friends."

The third seed i planted in a planter to transplant if/ when it grows.  With the benediction "little cherry seed,  fruit bearing brother,  grow strong in my sight. I keep you close so I may watch over and protect you.  Grow tall,  and bear fruit,  and when you're ready,  join us in our struggles."

Jerrick Jerrickson had his own approach:
A Jerrickson born,
A new apple tree planted.
To grow through their life.

It heralds the life,
A forest of family
Together always

And death follows life
I know where I'll be buried
An orchard graveyard

Apple trees bare fruit
That loved ones can still enjoy
And feel family

So I plant this tree
And when your ready, welcome,

And finally from myself came this:

Earlier I mentioned that there wasn’t going to be a normal judging this week, and that is still the case.  For this week, the doing is more important than the being.  But, everyone who has participated this week shall earn 10 points.  In addition, I feel those who participated may be getting a small visitor in the near future.

Oh, and for those wondering about the current scores:

Laika en'Naur
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen
Jerrick Jerrickson
Luc-Dubois Coupant
Sagart Hawkshade
Tarun Ul-Sikar
King Alexander Cecil
Kara Nithisdottir

See you next week!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Throwback Thursday - Spotlight on: Armourer Tournament from QoH XXIV

The following post originally ran on August 15, 2017.

Spotlight on: Armourer Tournament from QoH XXIV

[Editor's Note: scroll down for pictures of each entry and commentary from each team's armorer. All photos by View Staff.]

Team Iste - Mouse and Higer (Renee and Derek Booke)
** WINNER **

In many ancient cultures the stag stands as a majestic and complex symbol of regeneration, and the cyclical nature of all life. His antlers grow in the spring, and fall off when autumn comes. These creatures are no strangers to change, and stand for the ability to move through life and all of its trials with grace and dignity. It is for these reasons, that we believed the stag to be an appropriate symbol for Queen Iste’s armor entry. The Queen herself proudly wears antlers upon her helm, and is also a Changeling by blood. As such, she is keenly aware of her own personal cycles of being. This piece is a celebration of her life and Sylvan nature, but also the perseverance and strength of our team.

Throughout this piece you will also see the use of oak leaves between the pauldron plates, and laurel up top, just like what is depicted on the tabards of the true supporters. In many ancient cultures, laurel and oak were used to make wreaths and crowns. These crowns were given out to acknowledge martial victory and strength in competition, as well as heroic acts of protection and valor. Many people speculate that because oak trees were honored for their endurance, stability, strength, and noble presence, using their leaves in rituals and military awards became common practice. The oak, just like the stag, represents a powerful figure and tends to stand taller than the other trees around it. 

Now that you understand some of the ideas and symbolism behind this project, we can talk about how it was made. We started construction with a lengthy design process. Hygar doesn’t work from patterns, so even the basic shapes and plates of the pauldron had to be created from scratch, and then tested together to see if they would fit and flow. We knew we wanted more curved edges than straight or pointed, and believed this would give the project a more Sylvan feel to better reflect the Queen’s heritage. Once the initial design was done, we hand drew the shapes and leaves, and cut them out of a six ounce hide. Once this was done, we moved onto sanding and preparing the leather; which took over eight hours alone even with two of us working on it.

Front detail

After our shapes were cut out we soaked them all in water to begin the tooling process. Every individual plate on this project was struck hundreds of times with a stamp to give our background and empty space a more detailed and textured appearance. Then you have the plate borders, which are completely freehanded with a sculpting knife. We chose this intertwining vine work pattern not just because it looked Sylvan, but because it highlighted interwoven strength and grace, one of the concepts the stag stands for as mentioned above. Visually, we thought it lent credence to the original symbolism. Altogether, this portion took a little more than twenty hours.

Trim and stamping detail

For the next part, we moved onto the oak and laurel leaves. Each one of these is hand tooled with the same sculpting knife used on the vine work. No patterns were used here either, and Hygar drew out each line in the leaves using his own creative intuition. One aspect we are particularly pleased with here is the molding of the leaves and how we curled them at the ends. This allows them to better hold their shape, and gives them a relatively natural look. This entire process ended up being a minimum of around thirty minutes per leaf.

Side of armor with individual leaf details

The neck guard/collar was another separate piece that had to be cut, measured, and shaped. Believe it or not, this piece started as a flat rectangle. Hygar soaked it in water and folded it by hand, molding it into what you see now. This was a gradual process, and involved jury-rigging the neck guard onto a mannequin form overnight as it dried. After that, it was strong enough to hold its shape on its own. If you look at traditional plate armor and pauldrons, they often had a neck guard of some kind, or what is called a “sword breaker.” This small piece had the very important job of preventing a sword from decapitating you.

Back of piece with neck guard and detachable cape

With all of this done, we could finally move onto dye. We chose the colors of green, brown, and gold because of the already established nature/Sylvan theme we had going on. Each plate used both a green and brown oil based dye that was applied via paintbrush, and received at least two coasts. Once these coats were dry, we went back and started to paint the vine work. For this we cut a gold acrylic paint with water and applied in light, thin layers to help reduce cracking, as well as wear and tear. Every piece was also treated with leather lotion and sealant, which cleans, polishes, and preserves the leather and colors below. This step took about 3-4 hours if you ignore the time in between waiting for the pieces to dry.

Once all these artistic aspects were complete, we arrived at the assembly part of the process. We started by riveting all of the leaves to their respective plates, and then attached the lower plates to leather straps. What this does, is allow the plates to collapse in on themselves as the wearer moves. Fighters need that extra flexibility in the arms, and this design gives them that while also giving them adequate coverage. After that, the uppermost small plates were riveted to the larger plates on the top of the pauldrons; and all the remaining pieces were riveted to each other. Connecting the pauldrons to a chest/back base in this manner allowed us to avoid straps that go under the arms, something people frequently complain is uncomfortable if worn for long periods of time.

Individual plates help the pauldrons move with the shoulder

The last step was what we like to call “fancification.” With everything in place, we wanted to add a little extra just to make our project pop. This involved adding conchos on the main upper plate towards the front side, as well as adding matching d rings on the back. The conchos add a much needed splash of color where they are, but also provide a more pleasing visual symmetry from the front side. The d rings, on the other hand, play an important part in allowing these pauldrons to not only be appropriate attire on the battlefield, but the feast hall as well. Using snap hooks, you can attach and detach a cloak to the d rings as you see fit! Your armor just became that much more versatile, and you can make it a garb centerpiece.

Shoulder leaf detail with cabachon

All in all, it took several weeks of work to get this piece done, and we were quite pleased with the results. It was my first time designing pauldrons, and Hygar’s first time doing such an in depth creative collaboration. Neither of us had made a full set of pauldrons before, so the challenge was a welcome and rewarding one that tested our ability to work as a team. We hope you enjoy the outcome as much as we did. If you have any questions about our process, please feel free to ask! - Renee Booke

Front of armor

Team Saegan - Aiden Penclaw (Arthur Granger)

So what we made was a piece entirely made from scale and chainmaile. It is approximately 5000 scale, 1000 ring, and incorporates seven different forms of jewelry weaves into an armor format. Without the coin bag the entire project has a weight of one lbs in total and is a fully flexible piece to your arm and shoulder in combat. On the artistic end of things it shows two large skulls in scale (a throwback to the planar shield stone), a 3D Chaos wheel in a byzantine weave, a smaller section of scale in a Knights of the Steward shield, and Iron Lotus pendant. The project took my fiancee and I four months to design from scratch and piece together. - Arthur Granger

Aerial view

Side view of the piece

Small scale in detail

Close-up of detail work

Skull pattern worked in scales

Attached maille pouch

Team Jack - Dan Neville 

This is a set of scale pauldrons made from blue and black anodized aluminum scales and rings. It incorporates two sizes of scales, extra large and large. It is attached with leather straps and collar. I tried to make sure this would fit snugly to the wearer and not shift or slip in combat. This item and custom ones like it will soon be available on my Etsy shop Forge And Fleece. I make chainmail and scale mail armor and jewelry for costumes and Larp. I greatly enjoy working on custom projects. Please feel free to contact me at or on my Etsy shop. - Dan Neville

Close-up of shoulder scale detail and strapping

Aerial view from the front

Side view of scales, front chest strap, back adjuster plate

Side view close-up

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 3

There can be no doubt that Realmsies love both clean socks and amazing dinner breaks with friends, but in this contest between the two most of you chose your stomachs over your feet. Here's the bracket so far:

Food being so important to everyone, this next contest primarily concerns feasts!

Option A: The various butters at a feast are at the consistency for perfect spreading.
Option B: There is ample parking adjacent to the feast hall.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, August 14, 2020

Home Questing: Week Off

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly

Hi all, Janus here.  For a few reasons I am taking this week off.  But I am interested in what types of tasks people would be interested in participating in.  Do you want me to try to tie in to your current plot?  Is there a type of talent you want to be judged on?  Do you have an idea of what would be an amazing home quest?  If so please, either email me your suggestions at or leave your comments on Facebook.  See you next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Cross the Realms 2

If this is not displaying properly in-browser or your mobile browser is having an issue, click here!

Hello everyone! Below is a classic crossword puzzle where all answers come from past Loremaster questions from Queen of Hearts!

See how many you can answer before you have to start looking things up... or asking your very oldbie friends.

Tell us how you did in the Facebook comments!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Rumors for August 1020

[Across the Realms]

If you Dream, you may recall this from a recent night.

You see a small child sitting on a beach, playing with a sand castle. They add ever more lifelike details with their small hands. The walls are sculpted with battlements and buttresses. As you peer more closely into one of the windows, you feel a sudden, cold splash. The sand begins to slough off the front wall of the castle as the seawater recedes from it. Another wave roars up onto the beach, slamming against the sand castle.  The front wall crumbles and collapses, the foundation underneath washing away. As the child looks up at you with tears in their eyes, the waves engulf the sand castle and it sinks into the ground.


You become aware that you have been dreaming. You still are, and it has been going on for a very long time.

Many of your dreams have included a feeling of weight all around you. This makes sense, considering the sand. But still, you reach out through it, passing the old bones, the crematorium, the book, until you can almost reach the sunlight. You dream up another polyp, and watch it wander away. Your arms don’t get tired, and as your mind wanders off into a deeper dream, you see the conjoined gold circles that were present when you formed, and the blue shadows that stole you away.

Then you wake up. You become aware that you have been dreaming.


Within Idaris, an old man has been asking for anyone who has seen his tide, and saying that he needs to find it before the mountains. 


Several messengers have been complaining that the Prince has been sending too many letters to Tao and demanding haste in their delivery. One cheeky messenger says he had it on good account that it’s just about games so really a waste of the taxpayers money. 


There have been several accounts of a figure that has been described as tattered and crippled, begging in silence. The tatters the broken and the poor are nothing new, but several places have had terrible things occur days after their leaving.


Say weren’t you here last month child, yes, yes you were, how have you been, good, good, care for some more tea. Well let me tell you, that boy finally figured out what he wanted, and the pretty ones just don’t seem to come around anymore. Did you hear about the Bormer boy, turned out the bear was a person, and he is still there, asks the family not to come around none, does not want anything to do with the humans, I wonder if he is charmed, in love, or just stupid; probably a bit of all three. Somebody sometime is going to have to get the bottom of that, of course they would still have to deal with the bear and all. Is that thing still kicking around, would you do me a favor and go burry that someplace, crossroads or something like that would be best. O thank you so much, just don’t get out much anymore. Remember that cake, funniest thing, one day it was just gone, no one saw it leave, but then its just gone, when we asked the baker about it, he said “what cake”. I don’t know why he would lie about such a thing, but there you go, not sure what to think. Grojo? Well he and I had a disagreement, and he took off, I suspect he is around here somewhere, but no idea where. If you see him tell him I would welcome him back no questions asked. I just hope he has not done anything stupid. Well as I said the Blacksmiths wife was not careful enough, everbody knew, but the blacksmith, I suppose, now I heard when she was kicked out, she took a few thing with her that he wants back. Not that it’s any of my business, but if you are going to a bad person, I guess you are just a bad person. That short and tall couple I told you about, they keep buying sweets from the baker for each other. Its so funny to watch them even walk down the street, each looking to make the other one smile, I swear it’s good to be young and in love. Did you come by way of the forest? Just asking cause of all the noises and such, I sometimes get to wondering what is going out there, but I am not the type to go find out. Now Philip, he was the type, he was always off to find adventure, come back with treasure or something weird. I wonder what he got up to, left a bunch of stuff lying about, always giving gifts of the stuff he brought back, have not seen him in a bit. Well don’t let me hold you up, or would you like some more tea?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

View Special Edition: Emergency EH Meeting and Unofficial Player's Meeting Dates

(The following message was sent to the Realms OOC email list yesterday. It has been reposted here with permission from its author.)


As you are hopefully by now aware, there will be an emergency EH meeting soon to discuss how to react to the small number of events talking place this year.

There has also been a request to add to the agenda a discussion on possible Realms-wide rules for the pandemic, such as mandatory masks or even cancelling all events. So far, fewer than 50% of EHs have reached out to me to express support to add this to the agenda, which is the number needed before it can be discussed at the meeting. If that 50% number is reached at least two weeks prior to the meeting, it'll get added to the agenda. (If it's reached later than that, there'll be another meeting.)

A week before the emergency EH meeting, I'll be hosting an unofficial meeting open to all players, to give players a chance to voice their concerns and suggestions before the EHs meet. This meeting is unofficial, and there will be no binding votes.

The first meeting open to all players will be September 12 starting at 6 PM. The second meeting just for EHs will be September 19 starting at noon. Some more details are on the RealmsNet calendar. These were the first two consecutive weeks without other Realms events taking place, and they also conveniently accommodated the individual requests I received related to scheduling.

As with typical Players' Meetings and Event Holders' Councils, the meetings will end when we get through everything, but RealmsNet asked me for a time, so I picked 4 hours. I'm hoping neither meeting takes that long.

To join the meetings, there are URLs in the RealmsNet event descriptions. A few days before each meeting, I'll email the respective mailing lists with passwords to join the meetings. You should be able to join the meetings via your web browser without needing to install anything.

Yours in service,

Pi Fisher

Small Pleasures Bracket - Round 2

Well the community spoke loudly in the last round. Despite the inescapable horror of watered-down red drink, Realmsies much prefer to pamper their derrières with flush toilets.

This next round might be a little tougher of a decision however:

Option A: Putting on a fresh clean pair of socks after questing all day.
Option B: Going out to dinner break to that amazing restaurant everyone in your group loves.

Vote on facebook to determine the winner!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Meme Mondays

by the Meme Team

Friday, August 7, 2020

Home Questing - The Fifteenth Task

Here is the form for you to submit your slogan for the war against the Risen Kingdom:

If you would prefer to send something to me directly rather than uploading to youtube or some other video hosting site, please email it to


Hi all, Janus here, and welcome to Home Questing: The Fifteenth Task.  This week we are asking you to write the best slogan for the war against the Risen Kingdom.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts now.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

View Special Edition: Regarding the Emergency EH Meeting

(The following message was sent to the Realms OOC email list earlier today. It has been reposted here with permission from its author.)

Fellow members of the Realms,

On Monday, an emergency EH meeting was called to discuss how to react to the serious issue of the number of legal events that are likely to be thrown for the calendar year 2020.  Since then, the required number of EHs have reached out to me to express their support for such a meeting, so I will be organizing one.

From reading posts on Facebook, I've come under the impression that there are many people who are not EHs who would like to have their voices heard on this topic.  To that end, I will also be organizing an unofficial meeting open to all players, including event holders.  This meeting will not have any binding votes, but it may influence the minds of event holders as they go to the official meeting.

On Monday, I'll be announcing times and (virtual) locations for both meetings.  If you have any requests for when they are scheduled, please reach out to me privately before Monday to let me know.  While I can't promise to act on everyone's requests, if a lot of people are all busy on the same day, I'll try to avoid that day.

Your Administrative Meeting Organizer,
Pi Fisher

What You Missed: RealmsCraft Questing 2 - A Pond of Ice and Faerie

IC: After action report, Vee Woodson:

This is the second report I have written regarding a quest, bear with me if I start to wander. To start, we were in a tavern. Always a good spot to begin, the tavern. Though this one was a bit odd, in that there were no tables, chairs, or even a bar… It did however, have some unusual features; chief among them being a banner workshop. A good deal of banners were made and put on display, showcasing the abilities of the Realms quite well. More importantly though, was the arena, something I believe every good tavern should have (take note Zarine, they can be multifunctional). Toah, Viktor, Kwido, I, and a surprisingly familiar face from across the sea, Gep, all met up and decided our best set up for our upcoming quest. I had a surprising number of potions on me, to the point that I could not wear my normal heavy armor without breaking them. As such, I was relegated to the role of healer. One healer amongst three fighters and a full mage, not the best set up, but we were determined to make it work. With our plans thus laid, we followed Orion out to the forward camp. Upon arrival, we received our briefing. It was rather… brief, all things considered. The lake was frozen over, and a tunnel had been opened to get underneath. We were being sent down to locate the problem and if possible, fix it.
Upon descending into the tunnels, we quickly found a room of skeletal warriors with weapons in surprisingly good condition. Making quick work of them, we were joined by Larrysaurus who had missed the carriage to camp. Feeling emboldened by the appearance of a second healer, we pressed deeper into the caverns. Reaching the main cavern, we encountered a Fae named Fern. They came over to try and save the fish frozen in the ice and recruited us to aid in this endeavor. Fern promised us Potions of Fishy Freedom and Potions of Gill Generation in exchange for gathering the materials and help in freeing the fish. It was at this point that I noticed Toah was missing and not responding to shouts. With this in mind, Kwido and myself split from the main party in an attempt to find our missing compatriot.
We found a frozen alcove that required us to jump from platform to platform. Any time we missed our jumps, we quickly found ourselves breaking through the ice and submerged in icy water. After more than a few close calls, we found our way into an antechamber with more skeletal warriors. Kwido and I were coaxing them out one by one, taking time to heal up between each fight. Then the archers came into play… their bows set fire to us, and in an attempt to extinguish myself, I made a break for the river. Unfortunately, I did not make it in time and burned into unconsciousness.
This next part was relayed to me after the fact. While Kwido and myself were moving through our athletics competition; our compatriots had found a trader who sold hot rocks. How he found his way down into the caverns, I’m not quite sure. However, those hot rocks proved invaluable as the other party used them to melt the ice covering a crystal in the trader’s cavern. Gep dove into the water and destroyed the crystal, costing him his life. With no healers present, the trader was asked to retrieve his body and keep it safe until one could be procured.

After bringing myself back; Kwido, Larry, and I found another crystal in the cavern that had resulted in my death. After destroying it, we made our way back to the main chamber and proceeded in the same direction as the main group (who had managed to find Toah). In following them, we found the body of Gep and brought him back. He filled us in on our way back to the main cavern, and we found everyone… well, not hale, but alive. After topping up, we found our way to the last sub cavern. There, we navigated a series of floating icebergs over a freezing river and found our way up to the last crystal. When we destroyed it, we had an intense urge to vacate the premises… This urge was further backed up when we reached the main cavern to find it flooding. Thinking quickly, we made a break for our entrance, only to find it had filled in with gravel. Fortunately, there was a smaller tunnel that we used to escape as the water rose. Upon reaching the surface, Orion greeted us and bid us to see the lake as it melted.
We’re still not exactly sure what caused those crystals to form and freeze the lake, but at least it is seemingly back to normal.

This was a great fill in, in my opinion, for an actual quest. It brought all the elements you typically find in the Realms; with combat, puzzles, and athletics all being tested and rewarded. Obviously with Covid ruining in person events, this was a fantastic way to bring the Realms into your own house. The design of everything was absolutely fantastic. During the first RealmsCraft event, I was a little concerned when I saw a sparsely decorated tavern… but the rest of the set blew me away. The builders deserve all the credit in the world for what they built and coded, the idea was brilliant, and altogether the atmosphere was perfect. As someone who loves building and designing structures in Minecraft, I found myself repeatedly distracted by the details placed into each area we were in. Altogether, it was an excellently designed and put together quest. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

View of the Vanfrost - Episode 4

by Nataliya "Shader" Kostenko

Our noble squadron of Ashenmark forces arrived at the Gilded Lion Pavilion to meet with Ulric and Aeston and get the lowdown on what we needed to do with this whole Vanfrost thing. In attendance were Twenaria, Stripes, Grindin, Temorse, Umbra, Raynor, and yours truly. We were informed that the Vanfrost had a tendency to spit people out anywhere it saw fit, and so we’d really have no idea where we might end up after entering. While our brave crew spent a few minutes investigating the portal and pondering in what order to pass through it, I was mostly preoccupied with how alike Aeston and Ulric look. Seriously, has anyone ever noticed that before? If I hadn’t seen them in the same place at the same time this once, I would’ve started to get real suspicious.

Anyway, we jumped through the portal and ended up in a small stone room with a giant statue of a Jotun. Some members of our party examined this towering monument for clues, while others scrambled over some rubble on the other side of the room to discover a horde of hostile lizardfolk. Stop! Lizard Time. Temorse advised patience and tactical maneuvering in fighting the lizards, but being impatient and impulsive I ran in and was gravely wounded quite quickly. I have the infallible support casting of Twenaria, Stripes, and Grindin to thank for pulling me back from the brink of death then and throughout the rest of the excursion.  

We put down the lizards eventually and proceeded on through the halls of stone. Everywhere along the way, we found shattered stone tablets which, upon reassembly, displayed pictures of different animals. Between those, the lizards, and the crocodiles that would eventually plague us, the Vanfrost was practically showing us a real-time, interactive nature documentary. Crikey. On our first few attempts we had trouble distinguishing many of these animals’ heads from their derrières but by the end of our time on this journey we were real pros. If you ever need a zoology lesson, don’t hesitate to call Ashenmark.

After several tiles were solved, more lizardfolk slayn, and a few giant snakes dispatched, we reached an interesting room with levers. We were again tested on our animal assembly skills when pulling all the levers in unison trapped half our company in a walled room and the tiles in the hands of the Jotun statues revealed several strange shapes and forms. We were able to rearrange the shapes (into more animal imagery) in the appropriate positions, releasing the other half of our group and revealing the way forward. We didn’t leave the room without claiming some souvenirs first, though: there was a nest of giant snake eggs in the corner of the room. Snake Cult Baby Shower in a few months, anyone? You’re all invited.

Up next, we stood on the edge of some crocodile-infested waters. Some ingenious member of our party (don’t remember who, unfortunately) came up with a perfect plan--wade into the swamp waters carrying the corpses of the lizards we had slain previously. Surely, these crocodiles would prefer to snack on freshly killed, juicy, plump lizards than on a spindly, sinewy adventuring party. For the most part, this assumption was correct and we were able to get through this part of the swamp unscathed. Grindin took an even easier route, throwing the egg he had picked up to a crocodile, and while it worked out for him, I would personally never do that to a future proud citizen of Snake Cult. After clearing the crocs, we ran into (or rather, accidentally stepped on) an enormous lizard: the biggest thing we had encountered yet. Luckily, we quickly discovered its weak spot--a gem on its tail--and Grindin and Stripes weakened it there while Temorse thrust his sword through its brain, dealing the decisive blow.

A couple more animal encounters down the line, both of the trying-to-eat-you kind and the gotta-assemble-it-out-of-tiles kind, we arrived at a great big stone door. The door had on it...wait for it…you guessed it--animals! We had to organize the animal tiles we assembled according to symbols that appeared on them, which turned out to be written like Teng Huanese numerals, adding strokes to increment the number. If I was more cultured I might have known that--and how to spell “Teng Huanese”. However, the more cultured and quick-thinking members of our party were able to organize the animals and deduce the correct order for inserting the tiles into the slots on the door. The door opened to reveal a great big acorn. This may or may not have been what we came here to find, as right after we collected it, we ended up being transported back to Rhiassa. Personally my shiny new snake egg was definitely a better prize, but I’m glad we were all around successful on our Vanfrost mission.

--Shader, Champion of Ashenmark