Friday, February 26, 2021

Home Questing: The 25th Task

by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly




Here is the form for you to enter for trivia:  https://forms.gle/5sWxNahPWRrfc2WC7

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 techiemikey@gmail.com.

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Transcript:

Hi all, Janus here and welcome to Home questing, the 25th task.  This week I’m asking you to answer some trivia.  You have until Friday at noon to sign up, and your time starts now.

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Acrostic the Realms 1

The below puzzle is an acrostic. The clues correspond to each numbered row in the puzzle. Some boxes have small numbers in the upper right. Every box that shares the same number also shares the same letter.

If you are on mobile or your browser is having trouble displaying this puzzle click here.

Detestable Commestables

What do trolls end up doing to adventurers who casually wander into their lairs?

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Summary of Proposals Going to the EHC

 by Pi Fisher


Hello, Realms,

The EHC is coming up in just over a week. We haven't had any in-person events with the 2020 Omnibus, so we don't have any proposals aimed at gameplay changes. However, we do have a whole lot of proposals aimed at changing how the Arbitration Committee does things, including one that completely replaces it with a new group. Even though you won't have to make any changes to how you play, you still might be curious about how the rules might change after the EHC this year.

Some of the AC-related proposals are very small in what they do. Every year, the AC is supposed to present a report of cases to the EHC and then put it on RealmsNet. Some of the proposals seek to require that the report be written, how soon it needs to be published, and how long it needs to remain available for. There's also a couple proposals to clarify who gets to set AC policies and what those are, such as how long after an incident a victim has to report it, what to do when several AC members recuse themselves, and how much to communicate with EHs when cases take a long time. There's a few more AC proposals, but most of them are short enough that I can't really make my summary shorter than the proposals.

The big proposal this year is the one to replace the Arbitration Committee with a Complaint Review Board (CRB). The idea here is that the AC puts some difficult decisions into the hands of just a few people. Not only does the AC need to figure out what happened, but they also need to decide what, if anything, should be done about it. The CRB would be in charge of the first part of the process, but the rest would be put into the hands of all EHs. If someone has a complaint, they tell the CRB, who then investigate what happened, including by talking with people involved and witnesses. After they've finished their investigation, they contact the EH list with a description of what happened, and it's up to the EHs to decide how to proceed. If the EHs want to deal with it quickly, they can call for an Emergency EH Meeting. If they think it can wait, they can put it off until the EHC. At that meeting, the EHs will discuss whether and how to punish anyone based on this. The proposal is very long, mostly because it's very specific about how this process should be handled.

The next proposals I want to talk about deal with Emergency EH Meetings. This past year, we had our very first Emergency EH Meeting, and it was to discuss Covid restrictions. We noticed from this that the Omnibus really doesn't say a whole lot about how they should be run, so one of the proposals adds more structure to them, both in the topics they can cover and in the way to call for one. Another proposal seeks to make explicit that it's acceptable for Emergency EH Meetings to be handled remotely. There wasn't anything saying this couldn't be the case, but sometimes it's worth being extra clear with things that are allowed.

Sort of on the topic of EEHMs, and sort of on the topic of Covid restrictions, I have a pair of proposals to create a framework for Standing Policies. EEHMs are not able to change the Omnibus, but sometimes it's important to be able to make temporary rules. For example, we wouldn't want anything in the Omnibus saying "no more events", but we probably do want a temporary rule that bans events until it's safe to have them again. We sort of did this at the EEHM where the EHs resolved to not have any in-person events for a while, but my proposals would codify a way to do that in the future, including for any other types of temporary rules people thought were important to have.

The last proposal I want to talk about is about how to handle when an EH decides they need to ban a player from their events. If the proposal passes, EHs who want to ban a player from their events will be responsible for notifying the EH mailing list and also the Realms Announcements mailing list of this. Further, depending on which option passes, there will be a way that they are allowed to include names of banned players in their event announcements. The reason for sharing the information with the entire Realms community, rather than just with the EH list and the banned player(s), is so that players can make informed decisions about which events to attend. If a player has been victimized by someone in the past and doesn't feel safe attending events with that person, that player should be able to find out whether the person will be allowed at events without needing to reach out to every EH and talk about why they're asking for the information.

Finally, something that's not a proposal. At the Emergency EH Meeting in September, we agreed that we would discuss Covid restrictions again at the EHC. If my proposals for Standing Policies pass, I expect the discussion will be a short one: "we like this thing we passed? yes? okay, good." If it fails, I expect we'll discuss other options. But no matter what happens, we'll definitely be discussing it, as our current covid restrictions end at the EHC. If you have strong opinions about how we should handle this, I encourage you to bring it up with this year's Players' Representative, Crystal Welch. (I'd appreciate it if you first read my relevant proposals. 🙂 )

That's all for now. I'll probably write another article after the EHC, but I'll hopefully keep it shorter than this one, so that I don't wind up repeating myself.


-- Pi Fisher

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Animal Companion Competition: Strength Challenge

ACC Challenge B - Strength (puff up they hate that)


The second challenge tasked to our competitors… 


Strength Challenge: You have been charged with watching your person’s back while they are dealing with solving a particularly frustrating lock puzzle. Over the course of waiting for them to figure out the puzzle, you are beset separately at various points by a goblin, a limb zombie, and a suspicious sounding voice (is it something invisible near you, or in your head? You’re not sure.) How do you keep them from interrupting your person and making this wait even longer when they forget where they were in the process?


Per usual, the responses were fantastic this week as the animals took on some fierce enemies! Up first this week…


From Jharru:


Hmmmm. Defend Aranel? Unfortunately I'm not a particularly good fighter, I'm too little still. But, I am an inherently magical creature, so I'm pretty good at spells at least. After all, I helped Aranel with all her spells at first. So the first thing I would do would be to cast circle of protection. I used to do that for Aranel sometimes, and I still remember how. With that at least, she'll be protected from magical beings while she solves the puzzle. I would try breathing fire at enemies too, but I can't shoot very far. I'd do my best to protect her though. Here's how I imagine fighting a goblin would go.” 


And here is the practice video against a very intimidating goblin:





We also have this great picture of Jharru and their circle of protection:


Cressida: Jharru coming in with a very strong circle of protection! Those monsters are gonna have a hard time getting to Aranel now, but will that circle work on the mysterious voice?

Cimone: oh man, and looks like you might have gotten a magic sword out of the deal with the practice run. I like that you have a backup plan of breathing fire in case any of your foes aren’t stopped by your circle.  


Our next entry is from Aara:


“Oh no! Monsters! Kovaks fights with this 6'6" halberd all the time. How hard can it be?”

Cimone: I guess it’s a good thing weapons aren’t sized in part on the size of the wielder like I hear they use to be. Not sure how high you can lift it, but kneecapping enemies bog monster style is always an option I suppose.

Cressida: I know I couldn’t fight with a 6’6” Weapon of any kind, literally I am a little too focused on magic for that, but this is a great strategy for keeping monsters at a distance. 


Next up we find out how Malcom would deal with monsters:


“Hello Judges. This week, your prompt is asking how would I defend my clueless pet Bogen, when he is solving a puzzle, when a Goblin, a zombified limb, and some invisible voice.

First, dealing with goblin is simple. I have Bogen carry me around in his pouch, and as such, I have access to his money. Just toss away something small and shiny, like a Rowan perhaps. That coin is smaller so is probably worth less. I don't know how this currency thing works though. But goblin runs away with this coin. Then then next easiest is the Voice. Once again I am a water fowl. While I am not as vile as my cousins the Geese, I can make a Ruckus if I need to scare something away. Attached is video evidence. Zombie is harder, it is mindless, so I can't manipulate or scare it, so First I would see if there are other adventures I could alert to the problem. If not, I suppose I would have to get dirty. Ugh. But I would peck and grab at the limb to prevent it from reaching Bogen, but alas, I'm not sure if I could kill it. But prevent it from being a problem until Bogen can kill it? Of course.”


And check out exactly how he makes a “Ruckus”:





Cressida: I would run for the hills if I heard that terrifying ruckus. Who knew such a petit creature could make such a huge fuss! I also appreciate the blatant theft of Bogen’s money in order to keep him safe.

Cimone: Bribing monsters, always a classic - especially goblins.  And I certainly would think twice about tangling with an angry waterfowl.  


Cleopatra is up next with some clever ways to deal with enemies:


“Puzzle? Like a jigsaw puzzle? I love jigsaw puzzles! When Hildie-guard does one on the ship, Napoleon and I like to chew on the pieces! Then Hildie-guard yells at us! It’s so fun! But I guess I’m not playing with this one. Hokay. Goblin and limb zombie? I’m kind of like an orb with legs, so maybe I could fool them into thinking I’m a magic missile! I just need to get up high enough and land on them while screaming “magic missile” loud enough and maybe they’ll be fooled. As for the voice? I’m gonna growl. I’m gonna growl as loud as I can and be louder than the voice wishes it could ever be! Maybe even roar. It’ll be so scary that the voice will run away!”




“In the attached video, you'll see me practicing my magic missile trick on Ello-wan! See how good I did? I do need to practice my aim though.”


(Special thanks to Elouan for putting up with Cleopatra's shenanigans)


Cimone: Tenacity with the magic missile claim seems to have done a good job of selling it to Elouan - I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for actual monsters as well.  Well done.  (If you ever encounter mothriders, you should chat with them about good pretend magic missile tactics)

Cressida: Much like the quacking Malcom would use, a loud growl would definitely give me a good scare and make me think twice about messing with Cleopatra! Plus any enemy is bound to give up after enough “magic missiles” to the head and chest. 


Our next competitor, Kedol Maas, is always ready to help Janus:


“Janus is solving puzzle, time to keep him safe.  He trained me for this!  Distract!  I have been taught things for this.  Goblin comes!  I run around and lead him away for others to kill.  I do good job.  Oh no!  Limb zombie snuck up on me!  Luckily armor protected me!  I can take one more hit!  I distract limb zombie and get out of way.  It still goes to Janus though!  So I get in the way.  He attacks and I do the thing.  I be not where the sword is!  I be on the other side of it.  I do this to annoy him!  I lead him away.  Far away.  Then I run fast back to Janus.  But voice appears.  Bark at it.  Bark at it away from Janus.  Go far away.  Distract.  Oh, Janus is done.  Time to go!”


Cressida: I make other people stab monsters for me all the time so acting as bait is a Cressida approved strategy!

Cimone: good use of armor, and solid questing choice of luring problems over somewhere others can stab it for you.  


Our final entry this week is from HelperPink! and DaniDanger:


“HelperPink uses the legs to defend, cover my ears, fight, and wrap up the limb zombie until it gives up.”


Cimone: Tentacle earmuffs, solid idea for handling the mystery voice.  Seems like Helper Pink’s many tentacles help them with multitasking as well.  

Cressida: HelperPink is truly ready for any and every challenge! Securing the limb zombie with one tentacle, while another one earmuffs DaniDanger, and yet another attacks the Goblin... I need to get me more arms. 


We were very impressed by the competitors' various and clever approaches to dealing with a variety of challenging enemies! They all displayed great strength and we are excited to see how they continue to tackle these challenges. Now that you’ve seen this week’s challenge responses tell us what you think in the Facebook comments. How would you deal with these fierce enemies? Will you try yelling at your enemies in the future? Let us know!


Next week come back for the Surprise Challenge! 


Monday, February 22, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team



Friday, February 19, 2021

Home Questing: The 23rd Task - Results!

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly


Hi everyone!  This week will be a short week because the judging was done by our community on Facebook.  I asked you to provide your funniest pick up lines, and boy did you deliver.


Starting in 5th place with 7 points is from Axel with “Are you Creathorne? Because your borders are endless and protected by machine gun wielding angels.”  

In 4th place, but quickly disqualified is Janus with “Did I just drink love poison, or are you really that beautiful?”  He got disqualified for joking about poisoning people.

In 3rd place, with 9 points is Cressida with “Hey, have you seen the Day Board? Because you’re a snack.”

In 2nd place, with 10 points is DelHemar with “I've got a circle of protection and a circle of healing that say I can keep you up all night. “

And finally, in first place (11 points)  is Tuilli with “If I told you you had a beautiful body, would you hold it... (obnoxiously loud chorus from the rest of the room "HOLD")”


I will see you next week.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Morning Coffee Break

 Got your morning cup of coffee and a few minutes? Great! We're trying out a new feature at the View - we're going to be asking a series of questions and we want to know your answers! The question is posted below. So while you sip your morning beverage of choice, ruminate on this one:


What's a memory you have about fighting your way through the snow to get to/from an event?


Head on back to the Facebook post and let us know in the comments?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The View's Gauntlet: Gwen's Challenge


by Lani "Gwen" Jones

Welcome to our 2nd installment of The View’s Gauntlet. For more information on this series, please check out Saegan's kick-off challenge.

The Inspiration: As many of our community members may know, I love to cook. I enjoy the challenge of creating interesting dishes with lots of flavor. However, as we have not seen each other in many months, many of you may not know that I’ve decided to follow a Pescetarian way of life. However, having spent many happy years as a meat eater, I often get cravings for traditional meat dishes and look for ways to recreate them, plant-style. And, unpopular opinion, I’ve just had a really hard time adjusting to the meat substitutes available on the market these days, so I really take pride in recreating these dishes with “real” ingredients--including homegrown mushrooms, legumes of all leagues, and whatever else I happen to have on hand in the house (I hate the grocery store these days!)

The Throwdown: I bet you, the community of the Realms, that I can create a delectable vegetarian version of your favorite comfort food, which traditionally includes meat.

The Parameters: The recipe I create should replicate the feeling and best parts of eating the traditional version of the dish. Additionally, although it will be plant-based, the recipe won’t be vegan, as cheese is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Whenever possible, I’ll try to use ingredients that are easy and inexpensive to source.

How You Can Help: Challenge me with one of your favorite comfort food meals, so I can put my imagination and food knowledge to the test. (Then, feel free to try the recipe and let me know what you think--or offer suggestions!)

We hope you are inspired to take up your own Gauntlet. If you have an idea for a challenge or skill you’d like to bring to the community for a View Gauntlet of your own, let us know!





Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Animal Companion Competition: Stealth Challenge

 ACC Challenge A - Stealth (Sneak, Sneak, Sneak)


The first challenge tasked to our contestants was...


Stealth Challenge: You are passing through a village when a shepherd approaches you and your person looking for help! Their child has been captured by monsters and being held in a nearby camp between a mountain, a river, and a sprawling forest. Your person wants more information to avoid being spotted by the enemy. How do you sneak into the enemy camp, find out how many enemies there are along with their locations, locate where the captive child is being held, and return to your person with the info undetected? 


We had a lot of great responses! First up...


From Cleopatra:


“Oh noes! Not a kidnapped child! I’m not used to sneaksing around, but I think I can make this work. See, I’m super small, and children think I’m a toy (I’m looking at yooooou, Lordling Aeryck and Ladyling Aliese!) so maybe I can use that to my advantage. I think I’ll get to the camp by running and hiding behind trees, and when I get to camp, I’ll freeze and play dead whenever I hear someone nearby. If the monsters see me, they’ll think I’m the child’s toy that got dropped. Maybe I’ll cover myself in dirt and mud to really sell the illusion. I’ll escape the same way I entered - hiding in small places and pretending to be a toy. Nobody would suspect a toy, right?” 


She also provided a recording of practice sneaking:



https://youtu.be/aP-hSe-93Dk


(Special thanks to Carms for being such a good sport in the attached "practice sneak" video)


Cressida: What was that huge tiger thing that Cleopatra snuck onto?! I hope Cleopatra had an exit plan too!

Cimone: It didn’t seem to be buying she was just a lost child’s toy anyways.  I could certainly imagine it working while she was playing dead though, good thought there.


Our next entry is from DaniDanger and HelperPink!


My pet floats down the river until they see how many people are in the camp. They use their cameoflauge to blend in like river plants. They then find the kidnapped person and come back. Finally my pet draws me a picture to show me. That is how my Helper Pet helps me.





Cressida: HelperPink is a mud artist! Also good thing they have so many tentacles to count monsters with.

Cimone: Wait, Helper Pink can change colors?  Or are they just covering themselves in mud and socks?  Either way, pretending to be water weeds does a good job of playing into their natural shape in a sneaky way. 


And now we’ll hear from Aara!


"I know that my armor, while protective, is quite conspicuous, so I need to take advantage of my soft fuzzy feet to move softly between hiding places to stay hidden. Fortunately I'm small and that means I have access to a lot of different hiding spots: 


Under furniture, 

wrapped in bedding, 


behind foliage, 

among clothing, 

and even using the natural environment to conceal myself. 

I hope the smell of wet dog doesn't give me away when the snow starts to melt."


Cimone: Knowing when armor is more of a hindrance than a help can certainly help out, as it seems it might here.  I certainly had to pay attention to spot some of her hiding places.

Cressida: Snow pupper! So cute and sneaky! Cactus Pupper! Danger Zone!



We got this video entry from Malcom Mallard...





https://youtu.be/xOiLOB8SHCs


Cressida: I love Bread too! I miss feast bread right now… Oh wait, not about the Bread Cressida. Focus. Malcom’s ability to quack is less sneaky and more distracting, but I think if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is clearly just a duck.

Cimone: *cough*DoYouWantToBuyADuck?*cough* Hiding in plain sight, always a classic.  I’m glad he had a fly away plan for if he got into trouble or I’d be worried what would happen if someone in the camp decided that perfectly normal duck would be a great addition to their stew or similar.  


Here we have this recitation with photos from Kedol Maas


“Kedol Maas is a good boy, and will help Janus.  First, need to find spot.  Mountain was easy.  Then it was about finding forest and river. 

Lots of places to pee!  Janus taught me that’s a forest!



Oh!  Looks like place where lots of people peed!  That’s the river!



I smelled around and found their trail (the kid had messy hands and the monsters stink!)



Now it’s time for me to sneak!  I am good at that!  I’m light and leave no tracks, and match pee places, and rocks and things!  A monster was coming by, so I hid well under pee place!


It gone!  Time to keep following trail.  Wait...what was that?  Time to spy!



Was nothing.  Just a fetch stick falling off a pee place.  I found many other places to hide on my trip when monsters are near by!




Oh...I smell something.  Time to get look from on top of pee place.




Found child!  Must report back!  Hurry, hurry, hurry!  Oh no, monster, but no hiding place nearby!  How can I hide?  Oh, I hide good!  Time to dig!



That was close.  Time to find Janus!  I saw seven and smelled two others.  “Nine!  Follow!”  Janus pets me because I’m best boy!”


Cimone: Seems like some solid tracking and hiding skills there from Kedol Maas.  I see he and Arra had some similar ideas for hiding places.  Wise wolves think alike?

Cressida: Snow Pupper! Wait, Deja Vu… Also please don’t pee in the river!


Our last entry is from Jharru…


"Stealth? Exciting! I'm small (maybe the size of a house cat) because I'm still a baby (smarter than your average baby though) so that will help. Unfortunately, I'm a bit... shiny. And purple. Not really good for blending in. (Still the best color anyway.) So the first thing I would do would be to go roll in some mud at the river bank. Get myself nice and dirty. (Aranel says I'm NOT allowed to go practice right now for the sake of a portrait because then she'd have to wash me. Booo.) Maybe with enough mud and my wings pressed down I'll look like a stray dog or a cat? I'd sneak into town that way, staying low and trying to stay out of sight as much as possible. If I needed to I can try to fly up on rooftops as well to get a good look around. Or maybe climb. I'm only a baby, I'm not a great flyer yet. Anyway that's my best bet for moving around undetected. I'd peek around that way, and then report back to Aranel with any info I could gather."



Cressida: Jharru really is purple and shiny, but he does a great job disguising himself! Super impressed by the lengths he would go to to save that child!

Cimone: Possibly avoid hanging out next to any dogs or cats while actively sneaking though, unless you find one more willing to share its extra fur.  


Overall a stealthy field of competitors all with clever ways to save the day.  You’ve heard our thoughts on everyones showing this round, now we’d love to hear yours over in the facebook comments! Who do you think was the sneakiest companion? Any comments on what they did well? What surprised you or made you laugh? Let us know!


Tune in next week for the Strength Challenge!




Monday, February 15, 2021

Meme Monday

 by the Meme Team



Saturday, February 13, 2021

2021 Players Meeting

 by Pi Fisher

Today is the day of the 2021 Players' Meeting! The meeting will be held over Zoom. To get the Zoom URL, please fill out and read through this Google Form. It's a way to take attendance, and it's also got some useful information about how the meeting will run. 


Please click HERE to access the Google form!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Home Questing: The 24th Task!

 by Christopher "Janus" Donnelly



Here is the form for you to submit your cutest snowman: https://forms.gle/Pj1fS8ibtUZHP9F8A

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 techiemikey@gmail.com.


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Transcript:

Hi all, Janus here and welcome to home questing, the twenty fourth task. It’s cold out right now, so I’m going to be quick.  I want you to make the cutest snowman you can.  You have until Friday at noon, and your time starts now.

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Rumors for February 1021

[Across the Realms]

The Chimeron Militia has been contacting knowledgeable Realms cartographers, geographers, and asking the general public for assistance with tracking down what area is depicted on a patched-together map in their possession. The map was assembled from fragments collected by three groups of adventurers in Earlmont this past weekend. (A reproduction of the map is shown below.)


[Chimeron]

One of the trash cans at Gabriels tavern in Chimeron is filled to the brim with crumpled up parchment. Anyone reading them would find extensive theories or well..ramblings about colored pickaxes and what purpose they served, especially the purple one that seems to have absolutely no purpose, at least from what the writer proclaims.

~~~

A solar eclipse has been observed for a few minutes occurring on January 30th 1021. The cause of the solar eclipse is unexplained and local astrologists are scattering to figure out what had happened.

~~~

A group of Adventurers ventured from the Aerie to the Faedraw River, reporting back that there was a village destroyed called Red Water. All scouts who had been sent to explore the area were not recovered, they are presumed dead

[Earlmont]

Folks who were on the recent quest in the port city of Earlmont may have spotted Viktor trying to bargain and barter with the townsfolk towards purchasing Ferret the fish as a pet.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

What You Missed: Trial of the Gods

By Hannah "Saryun Goldscale" Boucher


A complete account of the events at Red Water by Saryun “Ryu” Goldscale

At the behest of Captain Orion, 14 adventurers, George Tatesman, Cressida, Garen Elesgar, Saegan, Gordon Lightfoot, Rita Thunderwalker, James Swift, Griffin, Libelle Stuart, Alias, Thoril, Sir Tao ya Kant, Baron Diamond Banecroft, and myself, Ryu Goldscale, set out to look for a few scouts that had gone missing. In my mind, 14 was a bit overkill for this mission, but being as new as I was, I appreciated the chance to get to know some more seasoned adventurers. After a day of travel and searching, we spotted smoke rising above what appeared to be a small town. We hurried toward the town, hopeful that we could help in some way. It wasn't long before those hopes were dashed.

The town of Red Water was a grisly sight to behold. Signs of death and destruction occupied every corner. The only building left standing was in the center of town, a large ornate hall that appeared somehow unscathed. In it we found a large crystal pulsating with light and a single survivor named Clara. At first she mistook us for demons, but after explaining that we were adventurers from the Chimeron Militia, she eventually told us what she knew. Red Water had been the target of a group of demons that destroyed the town and murdered all the villagers. She then pleaded with us to save the village however little there was left, and used the last of her strength and the power of Chronos to open a strange portal. Out of a desire to save this town and perhaps slay some demons along the way, we all entered the portal.

Our surroundings appeared to be Red Water, but the buildings were intact, the streets were clean, and a thick menacing mist blanketed the entire town. This was no ordinary mist, however, this mist swirled and grasped at my mind, making my thoughts sluggish and my memory hazy. Even stranger were the houses, each one labeled with the name of one who was in our party like we had lived here our entire lives, or had we? It was honestly hard to remember. After exploring our new yet familiar surroundings, we all found our way back to our houses and settled in for the night. As I sat alone, I had the sinking feeling that danger lurked among every shadow and had an overwhelming urge to write down my thoughts and final wishes should I die. Young though I was, I wrote out my last will and testament. 

My sleep was anything but easy. I dreamed of another life, of demons emerging from the mists to rip me to pieces. Just before they reached me, however, a sword, jagged and broken, materialized in my hand and a glowing ankh burned away the scene. I heard a voice claiming that I had been chosen by Arius to banish the demons from Red Water. By invoking his powers of truth, I could instantly know the true identity of a person I asked him about during the night. I had no more dreams that night.

The next morning we awoke to find Clara dead. In her house we discovered her final words and a dire warning, “Beware the snake among you.” One of us was a demon. With this troubling revelation, Saegan, our chosen village elder, led us to the Trial of the Gods in order for us to debate and vote on who among us was actually a demon so we could then cast them onto the pyre and rid Red Water of their evil.

I wish I could say finding the demon was as simple as it seemed, but the demon was not the only thing we had to contend with. Fear turned us against one another and sowed mistrust between even the closest of allies. Through the course of the next few days, we uncovered some dark secrets. Griffin, the chosen of Luna, was revealed to be a Werewolf after the unfortunate death of Alias. The chosen of Dionin, Tao, poisoned several of the villagers before he was sent to the pyre. Most shockingly, though, was the discovery that our village elder, Saegan, was the chosen of the Rexan. I’m afraid that in our haste to root out the evil, we sent many innocent lives to the pyre including my friend Libelle, but with every morning bringing a new victim, there was nothing we could do but vote. 

Eventually, there were only six of us left. I’m not sure how I managed to escape death, but the vote came down between Saegan and Cressida, who claimed to be the chosen of Vesta. The vote was close, but in the end it was Cressida who was sent to the flames, but this time was different. As she spoke her final words, those remaining were shown a vision. It was a vision of Red Water before the mists came, a vision of the hard times it encountered that led to acts of violence and desperation, it was a vision of outsiders being cast into the flames, it was a vision of the origin of the Trial of the Gods developed to limit the wanton killings, it was a vision of a young demon being cared for by a woman, a vision of Aurora choosing to give a demon a chance to live among the people of Red Water by altering its form. Cressida was actually the chosen of Aurora and a demon that did not know she was a demon. As the flames died down, we heard a voice pledging it would not abandon its daughter. Suddenly, the sunlight intensified then faded and we found ourselves back in the center of town. All 14 of us, alive and well. I believe Aurora has given us a second chance. Whether we use it wisely remains to be seen.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Animal Companion Competition: Introductions

 With the entry period closed, and the Challenges sent out to the contestants, it’s time to open the first ever Animal Companion Competition! We’re your hosts and commentators, Cressida and Cimone! Join us over the next 5 weeks of challenges as we see these brave and bold competitors take on a variety of challenges - from Stealth to Style, there is something for everyone! Each week we will be introducing one of the challenges while we show off each of the contestants’ unique interpretations of it.  We’ll give our thoughts on their entries and ask you to share yours in the comment section.  At the end of the competition, the final call is yours as we ask the audience to decide who is declared Best in Show!


This week, we meet the competitors and learn a little bit about them.  We have six very talented entrants this year. 

First up (in no particular order) meet Kedol Maas!

Kedol Maas was sent back in time to help protect Janus from a villain. Now that the threat is gone, Kedol Maas has been helping Janus cast a few small spells. When not questing, Kedol Maas often ends up enjoying cuddling various Chimeroneans.


Introducing our second competitor, Cleopatra!

"Henlo! My name is Cleopatra, and I'm Hildie-guard's familiar! I'm a teeny red lion with a black mane and black eyes. When Hildie-guard takes me questing, I usually stick with her. She's what you call a healer, but I'm the one that does most of the work! See, she goes to a hurt friend and touches them and says a rhyme, but actually I jump off her belt and perform CPR and then the friend is ok! Don't tell her though - she thinks she has magic. Leofy and Napoleon, my two lion companions in the picture, do the same thing. But this isn't about them - Hildie-guard chose me to be in dis competition! I'm so excited! I hope to make friends with you all! And if anyone gets hurt, remember that I know CPR! Okay, that's all I have to say. Bye-bye now!"

(Hey, Hildegard here. Now, don't tell Cleopatra or the other lions, but I know about the CPR thing. They, especially she, take so much pride in hiding how they help me, and I just can't spoil their fun. So, if you can, please don't let her know that I know. She's a bit silly and unobservant, so it shouldn't be hard. Thanks!)


Next up, meet Jharru!

Jharru is Aranel's first dragon. He came with her when she left home and was her only friend for a time. He has very strong magical abilities, and supported Aranel while she learned magic. 


Now introducing HelperPink!

DaniDanger of Folkestone tells us, "HelperPink helps defend my ladder, so no one can crawl up onto my bed without permission. She has many arms and can do many things."


Our next contestant (with a video introduction) is Malcom Mallard!




https://youtu.be/9hgepxqYIik


Malcom Mallard is a serious and calm friend, who tends to be very particular and cautious about things, and attempts to act as Bogen's impulse control. But as Bogen is not in much risk of hurting himself at the moment, he is looking for something to do.


And last, but certainly not least, is Aara!

Kovaks says, “Meet Aara, a second-generation time traveling spirit wolf. She or her predecessor have been with me since I was a newbie and have come with me on all of my adventures. Her favorite things are cuddles, table scraps, her glow-in-the-dark armor, and saving the world with her friend. She asked me to add that ‘In the future there would have been a war. We spirit wolves were sent back in time to warn the adventurers of the realms about this war, and from the way things have gone, it looks like we did our job! We deserve to be rewarded with lots of ear scritches, beef bones, and winning contests like this one. If you don't want to vote for me, then definitely vote for my brother, Kedol Maas. He's also a very good boy.’”




And that’s everyone! Best of luck to all of our fearless competitors - we look forward to seeing them show off over the next 5 weeks. Tune in next week for our first challenge: Stealth!


Monday, February 8, 2021

Meme Monday

by the Meme Team

 


Friday, February 5, 2021

Home Questing: Task 22 Results

 by Christoper "Janus" Donnelly

Hello and welcome to Home Questing: the twenty second task.  I asked people to make the most delicious looking food they could, so let’s see what we got.


First, from Cressida is a Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Ring she made:




Next from DelHemar are these lemon tarts:




From Aeston, Areni, and Gwen is this classic they made from Feast of Leviathan: 





And finally from Janus is a Fried Egg Overhard on top of a white bread baked by monks:




WIth this in mind, I figured I would be best served by asking a member of the Order of the Spoon to judge these dishes.  So I invited Demetria Highwater to help with this.  Take it away Tria!

******
Happy to help, Janus, though I must say it’s very rude of you to show me food but not feed me food. I’ll be making a note of that. 

Anyway, onto the judging. 

In fourth place (2 points), I sadly have to put the spread from Feast of Leviathan. While it is a charcuterie board, which, as we all know, is the particular form of fae trap that will best ensnare the likes of me, it doesn’t follow the spirit of the rules here. Part of the challenge for the week was to make the delicious-looking food and capture it, and this is just digging up a portrait from over a year ago. That said, it looks maddeningly sublime and had this been a “find a picture of the best thing you ever cooked” contest, it would have won easily. 

In third place (3 points), I’m going to put DelHamar’s lemon tarts. I love the star shape, but the dough itself looks very thick and I would’ve liked a more even and smooth spread on the lemon curd topping. If it’s homemade lemon curd, though, I do want to say great color on it. Very bright.

Second place goes to Eggs a la Janus. At first, it was going to be in third place because it’s rather straightforward, but then I noticed that the egg has everything bagel seasoning on it, and that is madness. So, as the high priestess of Luna, I of course had to give it a boost.

And that leaves (5 points) darling Cressida and her pot pie ring. Wow. Gorgeous even coloring all around, and I am highly impressed by how much of the filling stayed in place despite the intentional slits in the dough. The sections could be a bit more even in size (it looks like crescent roll dough was used, so maybe some just needed more cutting/stretching), but honestly it’s the kind of thing I would be happy to set out at a feast in lieu of a traditional pie course. 

I will now be taking more submissions, directly to my mouth. 

Back to you, dear clansbro. 
******

Thanks Tria.  I’ll see what I can do to get you some food, but it might be a little bit before I can safely deliver it.  Anyway, time for my rankings.

First off, I am going to have to disqualify Janus yet again.  His submission reminded me that he spoiled the answer of “which came first, the chicken or the egg” to me last year, and that still upsets me to this day.

Anyway, in third place (3 points)  is DelHemar and his delicious looking tarts.  I would absolutely be willing to eat all 3 of them there, but there was a slight lack of refinement that could be improved upon to make them look even more delicious.

In second pace (4 points) is Cressida’s Chicken Pot Pie.  It essentially has everything that I love within it.  Carbs?  Check.  A nice amount of sweet fats?  Check.  A few vegetables?  Check.  Looking at it, I can already taste it and am jealous that I didn’t get a bite.

And finally in first place (5 points) is likely to be the most controversial of my selections: The charcuterie board from Leviathan.  I looked back at the wording and they were asked to make a delicious looking food.  And they are the ones who made it.  And I am a priest of Chronos, so linearity is a little fuzzy to me.  And almost most importantly...I ate it, which was as good as it looks.  Sometimes, bribery can get you far with the judges, and in this case it paid off.

So, after the point for participation, that was Cressida with 10 points, Aeston, Areni, and Gwen with 8 and DelHmar with 7.  For our overall scores, this is what we have so far:


Name / Total
DelHemar - 211.5
Cressida - 198
Laika en'Naur - 39
Saka - 22
Iawen - 20
Aeston, Areni, and Gwen - 26.5
Kovaks - 15
Orion - 13
Bart - 19
Vawn - 10
Syruss- 10
Jerrick Jerrickson - 10
Luc-Dubois Coupant - 9
Osa - 8
Keras - 13
Kwido - 6
J'reth - 5
Nalydros - 5
Rosetta - 5
Sagart Hawkshade - 5
Tarun Ul-Sikar - 5
Thayet - 5
Vanduke - 4
King Alexander Cecil - 2.5
Jace - 2
Kara Nithisdottir - 1.5
Thoril - 1.5


See you next week!



Thursday, February 4, 2021

Why I Want to Go: RealmsCraft Questing 3

By Edward "Dagger" Veno 

In our current global landscape of lock-downs and reduced social contact, one could not fault themselves for searching for alternatives while the world fights to emerge from tunnel into a new day. Many have found online gaming communities, video calls and even online role-play as a substitute to stave off that hunger for human contact for another day.  So, imagine my delight when members of the original Realms Craft team announced that they would be hosting Realms Questing in a Minecraft rendition of the Realms.  

Having already had years of role-playing within a minecraft setting, I knew that Realms Craft had potential to deliver on what was promised.  I had the pleasure of running with my Blackwood peers from across the sea in a quest which included an exciting and memorable moment where a natural stalagmite bridge collapsed while I was on it crashing into a lava stream.  The moment was completely unexpected and nerve racking to say the least; but in a good way. The puzzles faced on these quests can range from well-thought-out riddles to combination collection quests which push exploration and team work.  Even combat has elements of this within it as puzzles are often built into quest areas filled with enemies bringing a flavor of many live Realms Quests that one has come to expect in their questing experiences.

There was one feature that I found particularly interesting for immersion which was an area chat linked to the Realmscraft Discord server which makes it so the quest group's discord chat is not always allowing a player to be heard.  If the player's character in the game is too far away from other characters, Discord will not transmit the player's voice to their fellow players.  This serves to add to the immersion and Realms feel to the game while also adding just that little bit of extra difficulty further pushing the usefulness of teamwork. 

In closing, Realms Craft Questing advertises an immersive-puzzle and action filled-online quest experience complete with its own slimmed down version of the Realms Magic system and it delivers.  Constantly improving, players never know what they are going to get when they walk into the Realms Craft rendition of the Realms and set off on an epic quest with fellow questers.  It brings the community closer together in a time where being close is difficult at best and even serves as a platform to allow Realms players who are not within the New England area to role play and interact with their comrades in a Realms setting from wherever they are no matter how far.  That is why I want to go to RCQ3 and I hope now you do too.

Gary (Dagger) Heinstrom 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Siding Picture Puzzle 2 - Savage but Sovereign

 If your mobile device is having trouble displaying this puzzle click here.

The image below is a mixed-up puzzle of an image from a Realms event. The numbers on each rectangle show the order that the pieces of the puzzle are arranged in when it is complete. Clicking on a rectangle will move it into the blank spot. Continue to click around, rearranging the pieces until you complete the image. 

One you're done, tell us on Facebook how many moves you were able to do it in and what your time was!