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Origins 2008 Game Fair

admin on May 30th, 2008

Origins is a 24 hour gaming convention held every year in Columbus, OH. For the area it is one of the largest and attended by many big name people. It is a five day convention that never stops so someone that attends has to choose wisely what they want to see and do. There is just about anything that a gamer could want. And this year it is being held June 25-29th in Columbus, Ohio. If you are interested in table-top role-playing, live action role-playing, miniatures, seminars, or other gaming areas, this is the place for you.

This year however the name has changed. Also changed this year is the extension to five days of gaming fun. The fair has signature events for all fans of games, fantasy, various shows, etc. I in fact got a signature from the actor who played Badger on Firefly. You just never know who will be there.

If it is your first year to Origins, they have created a new special pass for $3 per person or $10 per family. This pass lets you explore the Exhibit Hall, the Art Show and the demonstration booths lining the main corridor for this low price. They can only be purchased for Saturday and Sunday and only at the show. There are no advance special pass tickets.

It is $70 to attend Origins but it is well worth the trip. Of course if you want to get in free, you can volunteer to help with the event. Not only can volunteering get you in free, but it can also give you free hotel stay.

And this year is in memoriam of Gary Gygax who passed away earlier this year. The founder of Dungeons & Dragons helped get fairs like Origins started with the creation of D&D so it is very fitting for this. The man will be missed but his ideas and creativity will last forever thanks to the millions of players.

If you would like to find out more, visit the Origins website at

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SCA Spring Crown Tourney – Lutr Wins

admin on May 29th, 2008

Last week I posted about the lost of the current king and queen of the Midrealm. This week I have the priveledge to show the last fight that King Lutr won to become the king again.

Who’s Who in the SCA Hierarchy

admin on May 28th, 2008

CrownSCA society is modeled around medieval society, including the hierarchy of leaders.  As a new person in the SCA it is sometimes hard to tell who is important and who is not.  While people win the right to wear a circlet on their head, some wear a more elaborate one than others.  This is more difficult for new people because the duke might be wearing a more elaborate crown than the princess.  Personal taste dictates what circlet someone wears, not what rank they are.  Here are the different ranks you will find in SCA society.


King and Queen: Chosen by tournament combat. As the rulers of the entire Kingdom, they can make or change laws except where the new law would conflict with the Society’s rules (the Corpora) or the laws of the governments responsible for the area. They are addressed as “Sire,” “Your Majesty,” “My Lord King/My Lady Queen.” Remember that it is courteous to bow or curtsy when speaking to them or passing by them.  Prince and Princess: There are two types of Princes and Princesses–Crown and Territorial. The Crown Prince and Princess are heirs to the kingdom, chosen by combat in the Crown Tourney. They are addressed as “Your Royal Highness.” They hold these titles until their coronation as King and Queen. A territorial Prince and Princess rule over a Principality, a territory which is a subdivision of a kingdom. They are also chosen by combat. Their form of address varies from kingdom to kingdom.  Duke or Duchess: They have served at least twice as King or Queen. Call them “Your Grace.”  Count or Countess: They have served once as King or Queen. Call them “Your Excellency.” Some alternate titles are Earl (Jarl, Iarll) and Graf.  Viscount or Viscountess: They have served at least once as territorial Prince or Princess. Call them “Your Excellency.”  Baron or Baroness: They oversee a large local group called a Barony and act as representatives of the Crown. Address them as “Your Excellency.”  Court Baron or Baroness: The title is a reward from the Crown, often for exceptional service. However, they are not the heads of territories as are the other barons and baronesses. Address them as “Your Excellency.”


If you are in doubt of who you are speaking with at an event, call them “Your Excellency.”  This is acceptable for any rank and will not offend anyone.  One thing to remember though is that the design of the crown can vary from kingdom to kingdom.

This post was sent to me after I had orignally closed my carnival blog submissions but the site did not set the date properly. So since I do not want the person who sent it to me to not get credit, here is the other submission.

Lee said: Reflecting his position as one of the foremost figures of the Renaissance, Leonardo’s versatility is revealed as an artist, anatomist, mathematician and architect.

Friendship – Short Story Part 2

admin on May 26th, 2008

“I still don’t understand that. You have always thought Golim’s practice wrong. His worshippers uneducated and lost, just needing a guide in the right direction. How could you do such an about face?”
“I can’t tell you it all. Trade secrets,” a malicious smile contorted her features. “But I was wrong. We were raised wrong. I learned that on my travels. I could show you. They would let me keep you alive, unharmed. I am so high in rank. In time you could even control your own troops. Of course it would be under me, but still with a nice rank. I can see you know something about defending, fighting, war.”
“I will never join you. You have let the dark path seduce and corrupt you. Life is worth keeping, people are worth saving. Oppression is wrong. You are not the Valeria I grew up with. You are something else entirely!”
“If you won’t surrender, I will have to kill you. I can’t allow you to let my secret out.” Valeria raised her weapons, preparing to strike.
A sigh escaped Anna’s lips as a shadow crossed her face.
“I do not want to fight. But I see reason will not prevail with you.”
“What reason? You are still going through life with blinders on. Not seeing beyond that backward place you were born in.”
“Backward place? You know nothing about that town! Did you ever I wonder? Did you grow up not truly seeing how it was there?”
“I learned what it was like when I got to Tivia. The races that would come and go, the market with so many things we never dreamed about when we were naïve children; the sea so vast, blue, full of strange and wonderful creatures. Some of which I have never seen again.” A child-like wonder made Valeria look as she did at their parting more than five years ago.
“Soria is not the small town it was. When I returned as the war rumors started, it had doubled in size. I didn’t even recognize the Valeria Inn. And yes your parents still run it. They have help. Your brother and his wife returned in our absence and settled in town. Torake misses you and hopes you will return one day to see your nieces and nephew.” Anna didn’t know what effect her news would have.
“Torake is an idiot for going back. That stupid inn is not worth the ground it’s built on! And I can’t believe he has offspring. They didn’t name any after the inn too did they?”
“No. They are Shala, Sharia, and Tyveek.”
“Shala and Sharia?”
“Well at least they have their own names.”
“They are adorable. Crea dotes on them.”
“I bet she spoils them. How old?”
“The girls are four and Tyveek is two. Well when I left they were. By now they are five and three.”
“You have been fighting that long? And survived?”
“I have been in the war that long, but not fighting the entire time. I thought my talents could be better used to save lives, not destroy them.”
Valeria narrowed her eyes.
“What talents?”
“Healing people. Not as a cleric, “ Anna said quickly when she saw Valeria’s face, “but other ways. I learned how to use herbs and medicines when I traveled. And people sometimes just need someone to talk to.”
“See you would be useful in my regiment.”

The entries for my blog carnival were not as good as I would have liked. But here is the one I received. Enjoy

Lee presents The visage of a ravishing, young woman appears again and again in the art of Sandro Botticelli, Early Italian Renaissance painter. It is a face that is almost as familiar to art lovers all over the world as that of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Botticelli’s model for his most famous art work, The Birth of Venus, was the beautiful Simonetta Vespucci. She was once nominated “The Queen of Beauty”. … read the whole story here…

Simonetta Vespucci – The Face That Launched A Thousand Prints | eArtFair . com posted at eArtFair . com.

How to Paint Role-Playing Minatures

admin on May 22nd, 2008

In honor of the new 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons coming out, I wanted to get people ready to play. If you never have and like to use your imagination, give it a try. There are lots of things you can do with table-top roleplaying. One thing is have a minature be your character in the game. This is a represetation of the Player Character, or PC, you are in the game. And the most fun to create that character is to paint a minature. So watch this video on how to paint them.

Robin Hood: The Angel of Death Episode

admin on May 21st, 2008

Our beloved legend series starts this week with Robin and the gang using the forest to ambush some people for money to give the poor. They use the trees, leaves, mud, anything to hide themselves and scare the people into a net so they can be robbed. Once in there it turns out they are poor people themselves, Will Scarlett’s father and brother in fact. Once back in the hideout, Alan watches Robin writing a letter and begins to ask questions, doing his spying for Gisborne.

The Night Watchman delivers food to some poor and leaves to visit the Sheriff. It turns out to be a fake. The Sheriff has poisoned some food on Pitt street so that it appears the pestilence is there alone. The next day the same lady sees Robin in Nottingham and asks for his help with her sick child. The Sheriff makes Marion announce that the pestilence has come to Nottingham and that it is confined to Pitt street only. The people are to ignore pleas for food, medicine, anything. When Will’s father speaks out, the Sheriff has him killed and Luke and Will must be restrained. After his death, the Sheriff has barricades put up so no one can get in or out of Pitt street.

Robin and the gang make sure they end up in Pitt street to help the people there. Djaq knows they are sick but do not have the pestilence, so Robin makes sure to take command. He orders beds and medicines to be brought to one location so they can help the sick. Many want him to leave so he does not catch the disease but he knows better and ignores them. Joseph, the Sheriff has act as the Night Watchman, is “caught” on Pitt street and upon meeting Robin, offers to help.

Marion has her own thoughts on how to help and when a helper arrives, not her normal one since that woman lives on Pitt street, Marion tells her she needs her clothes and medicine to take to the people of Pitt street. When she mentions foods, the helper tells Marion that the people have that already because the Night Watchman gave them food the night before.

As Robin takes care of the people, one man dies and Robin is furious. When Joseph asks if he suspects foul play, Robin says there is no other kind in Nottingham. He begins to speak with people who do not know each other and finds out the food has been poisoned which is why the people are sick. Marion arrives with medicine and she and Robin speak briefly about what the Sheriff is trying to do by having the Night Watchman give out bad food but not say outright to the people that the Watchman is to blame.

Joseph is seen by Marion and tells Robin that he is an advisor for the Sheriff. Robin now knows who poisoned the people. He catches him before the gang can eat the food he prepared to kill them and he reveals the poison is from a mushroom called the Angel of Death. Then he gets away. Since there is no cure Little John figures out a way that might save the people, deadly nightshade. When given to a child, she is fine quickly after. Unfortunately for Joseph, he is double crossed by the Sheriff for his poison to kill the king, not the weak ones Joseph wanted to cleanse the land of.

Will has taken his brother to get out of Nottingham but does not come with him. Instead he sneaks in the castle to kill the Sheriff. Alan also tells Gisborne about the letter Robin wrote and how to get it so the King never sees it. Then Robin and the gang take Munch, acting as a dead body, to the castle saying that Joseph wanted it. When the gang gets in to stop Will, they find the Sheriff dying from the poison itself. Since Will has poisoned the Sheriff, Robin makes a deal to save him. Unfortunately Djaq finds Will first and he locks her in a room. When Robin pretends to drink the poison and get sick, everyone runs off to let Djaq out and give the Sheriff and Robin the cure. The people are saved and the Sheriff tries to capture Robin Hood without fulfilling his vow of telling the people he caused them to be sick.

SCA Monarchs: Some Rules and Advice

admin on May 20th, 2008

Every kingdom in the SCA has a king and queen that reigns for six months at a time. The king and queen go to many events within their given kingdom. They hold court at events and give out awards to those who deserve them. It is an important role to have in the SCA.

In the spring and fall the SCA monarchs are crowned to be the ruler over that kingdom with only the SCA board of directors above them. The monarchs are picked by a crown tournament where the possible king fights other potential kings in heavy weapon combat. The men fight for their ladies as well. The tournament is regularly scheduled for this but not at the exact same time. Some kingdoms have them earlier than others because their wars are held at different times. There are always exceptions to how this works in the SCA.

I am in the Middle Kingdom of the SCA. We are one of the biggest kingdoms in terms of members who participate and such. Pennsic is the biggest war with the most attendance and longest running of the five SCA-wide. So our king and queen are known. However even the king and queen must adhere to the rules of the SCA.

The SCA has a rule that you can not lapse on your membership if you hold any kind of office. This can be the seneschal, knight, and of course the king and queen themselves. If you let your membership run out, you lose your title. I am unaware of it happening often but it is a rule and the board of directors upholds the rules for all. It is a good thing to do even when these rules seem unfair.

Unfortunately for our new king and queen, who were just crowned in mid-April, they had the misfortune to let their membership lapse. It was unintentionally, especially since it was partly due to the queen breaking her arm and having surgery to fix it. Life took a toll because her health was more important, as it should be, than it was to remember to mail her SCA membership renewal. While the board of directors does not necessarily want to denounce the king and queen, the rules say they must since the SCA rules say they must be members to hold office.

They have already set up the tournament for the next king and queen. Actually it is the tournament that would decide the fall coronation but will first be used to decide our current monarchs. Just a lesson that you should make sure to renew your membership in a timely manner because no one is exempt from the rules. Even when you are only three days late, you lose out.

Friendship – Short Story Part 1

admin on May 19th, 2008

They stared at each other, not talking. It had been years since Anna had seen Valeria, but it seemed like only yesterday. So much had changed and yet time appeared to have stood still. Valeria didn’t look much different, a little older, but still the friend she had been all those years ago. How had she ended up on the wrong side?
“What are you doing here?” Valeria asked.
“Me? What about you? We go off to see the world and you end up following the dark god!”
“It wasn’t supposed to happen. I got caught in an abandoned building. It was their headquarters for that region. It was join or be killed.”
“I would have taken death!” Anna looked grim. “You go against everything you were raised to believe by doing this!”
“I once thought so too. But this is the life I was born for. My own troops to command, people who listen to me, knowledge that has helped me become a great and wanted leader.”
“Knowledge that should not be in their hands! You will destroy Soria with this knowledge. Your childhood home!”
“A home that never appreciated me!” Valeria seethed.
“What are you talking about!?” Anna’s sword point dipped slightly.
“No one wanted me to learn anything about fighting, fencing, archery. I had two choices, learn to cook or become a cleric.”
“Rafile asked you how many times if you wanted to help with his swords.”
“Yes to clean them, sharpen them. Not teach me how to use them.”
“You are wrong. He taught me. He wanted to teach you. He liked you. He wanted to marry you.” She spoke the last barely above a whisper.
Valeria relaxed her stance, lowered her weapons.
“He told me right before I left. I told him you would be back and he could take his chance then. But you didn’t return. War broke out. At first no one wanted to believe it was coming, but too many things changed. And so we prepared. Rafile taught me everything you should have learned.”
“And I suppose married you too,” a sneer spread across Valeria’s face.
“No. I had no desire for it and he still waits for you. He will be disappointed to know he has waited in vain, that you will not return.”
“I plan to return. If for no other reason than to get revenge on that town.” She tensed, raised her sword and gauche above her head.
“What revenge is there to get? Nothing.”
“I told you no one wanted to teach me anything I wanted to learn.”
“But Rafile…”
“Fine Rafile did, but no one else!”
“You are still wrong. When you didn’t return so many feared you to be dead. Killed by the goblins. A slave to the Orcs. Or worse even. No one wanted them to be true but with more people chased from their homes and stories of death and destruction, it seemed the only possibility. This is the last thing any of them would have thought.” Her deep blue eyes narrowed. “What in Zam’s name were you thinking!?”
“I told you death or join,” Valeria clenched her teeth.