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Robin Hood: Walkabout Episode

admin on July 17th, 2008

The Sheriff is dreaming of the pact he has lost. It changes from one place to the next quickly and with no real reason and when the Sheriff awakens, he is in the forest. Gisborne comes to the Sheriff’s room to find a man he has never seen before there. He is the liaison of Prince John who comes every other week to see the Sheriff for his seal that all is well. If it is not well the Prince will send troops to destroy Nottingham. And the man has already sent the message that all is not well and tells Gisborne the troops are on their way.
The Sheriff has apparently slept walked out of the castle, which includes riding on a horse and telling a gate guard to open the gate. He fights off a vagabond only to be chased off from another part of the forest by a woman and her three children. Meanwhile Gisborne sends Alan to find the Sheriff, to no avail. Marion convinces Gisborne to let her try and bring Robin to the castle to help find the Sheriff since she tells Gisborne he would not want Nottingham burned to the ground either. Gisborne consents reluctantly.
Robin and the gang return to camp to find Alan in it with the ring Robin gave Marion to know that he is not lying. Alan tells of their plight and Robin says they will leave immediately. No one is happy about going in, even as a guest. Robin goes to see Gisborne and Marion, and Marion explains the situation. Robin delights in this and makes Gisborne ask for his help. Robin tells everyone what to do but makes Will promise that Marion will survive if no one else does.
The Sheriff realizes he needs shoes and sees a man heading toward him. When the man bypasses him, he follows and robs him. The Sheriff then goes back to the woman who ran him off and entices the four of them to help find Robin Hood’s secret hideout so they can get money to survive and he can retrieve his pact. Of course he doesn’t tell her what the paper is he wants. The liaison tells Gisborne that his cousin will get the job to rebuild Nottingham when it is burned to the ground so any bribe he tries to give him is worthless.
Munch and Robin track The Sheriff’s horse and Robin tells him about his proposing to Marion and her saying yes. Meanwhile The Sheriff is helping the woman and her children come up with an idea to make Robin give them some of his money. Djaq and Little John are counting food in the forest. John wants to find more for the more and more families that are turning into beggers every day. They walk off to give the food to those who need it, instead of looking for The Sheriff, which Djaq objects too. While walking through they find the woman, the Sheriff, and the children acting as if they are dying and grieving over the loss of a child. Of course they do not know who any of them are.
Gisborne wants Marion to leave to be safe and she tells him he didn’t leave her when she was kidnapped so she will not abandon him. So the castle prepare for the troops arrival. Will and Alan exchange words about Alan’s betrayal and walk different directions. Robin and Munch find the tracks again and Munch tries to take a break. Robin says there is no time because the sun is moving across the sky and if they do not find the Sheriff soon, all will be lost.
The group trying to get to Robin’s camp act even worse for John and Djaq. When Djaq wants to get medicine, John says they need to take them all back to the camp instead. Djaq tries to refuse and conceeds when John says they will blindfold everyone that can see, which does not include the Sheriff since he is acting blind.
Gisborne finds out he will be allowed to pass freely since he is a black knight. When he finds out family only, he tries to convince the liaison to let Marion survive. He is informed that is not possible unless she marries him before dusk. Marion herself tries to convince the liaison to let the women and children go and he refuses. The troops arrive and Gisborne says to arm all the peasants in the castle since the guards are all out searching for the Sheriff. Alan and Will make up since they have to be on the same side to survive.
Robin and Munch find the man the Sheriff traded clothes with and when he tells them the rags would help this man find important papers in the forest, they realize he is going to the camp for the pact. They rush to catch him.
Gisborne proposes to Marion, telling her it is the only way to save her. She hesitates, due to her promise to Robin, but tells Gisborne it is because she can not abandon the people. He tells her they must be married by sundown and leaves.
When Djaq tells John she will be back shortly, the woman, Sheriff, and children make their move. Robin shows up as they are looting. The Sheriff says he will not go back to the castle and that Robin can not shoot him or risk Nottingham being destroyed. John, cut free by Djaq, comes up behind the Sheriff and knocks him out.
Gisborne makes one last effort to get Marion to marry him and then prepares to leave. He changes his mind howeverand goes back to fight and die next to her. Robin is racing on horseback with the Sheriff to save Nottingham. As Gisborne asks her one last time to marry him before they die, they hear the Sheriff scream for Gisborne. He puts his seal ont he liaison’s book and tells them to leave right away. The Sheriff says to let Hood go because he has the pact and then realizes that he does not and is furious. John apologizes to Robin for disobeying but Robin says that someone who cares for the fellow man the way John does has nothing to feel bad about.

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Articles on Push for Pennsic

admin on July 16th, 2008

I was going to post the videos I took of the SCA event Push for Pennsic, but since there were these two articles written, I thought these would give you a better idea of what an outsider sees.

Go down a little to read this one.


fairgrounds become battlefield

Having your world hook from a climate or landform approach can have some interesting adventures based on how the land is or isn’t shaped. It can bring up questions as to just why the world is this way and not normal. Piquing your players’ curiosity will get them interested in exploring and they may ask you something you had not thought about, which can help you create an adventure down the road. Here is some in-depth on climate or landform approaches.

If you use an aerial approach most of the action would happen in mountains, ships, and other flying things. In an inland sea or lake approach a major body of water is surrounded by land. This could be from something in the past that caused the body of water to end up this way and be a source of adventure all on its own. Archipelago where there is no real continents but many islands so water would play a big part in your campaign. Again this could be a source of adventure or adventures all on its own. For an oceanic hook there would basically be no land to speak of. It would be all islands, big and small. Kingdoms could exist on a single island or across several that were near each other. Water creatures would abound and anything with sailing would be a prominent profession.

If you want to go another way you could also have arctic world, where it is cold everywhere. This could just be how your world is or again some change that occurred from a past event. A desert land only would be interesting to create since water would be scarce and more than likely a source of wealth for who had the most. Fights to control water would probably happen between rivaling leaders.

Then there is the approach of forest being the majority of your world. In this kind of environment agriculture would be scarce and most people would be hunter/gatherers. In a jungle landform trees again would cover most of the land but this time they would create a hot, humid environment. This again would make agriculture very hard to do.

Mountainous terrain would get your players attention by not having much land to build evenly on. Travel would be more difficult in this kind of landform since it would always be uphill or down and slides during all kinds of weather would be prominent. Opposite of that would be a plains/steppes environment where the land was mostly flat. Great for agriculture but nomads are sure to be abundant as well. So would there really be true cities in this kind of world? A subterranean world would be highly unusual. Creatures are adapted to the dark and light makes their eyes hurt. Other ways to stay healthy without the sun have been adapted. Questions such as where and how would people farm for food would be in the front of your players minds?

Swamps and uninhabitable areas could abound making it difficult for large populaces to thrive as well as unstable areas that constantly change. And even volcanic or unusual weather patterns could make your players wonder just how they will survive anything.

This past weekend was the last local event until Pennsic War for the Middle Kingdom of the SCA. I attended it and of course since it is one of the last events before the war, there are no tourneys. It is all melee practice to gear up for war so the Middle Kingdom will win at Pennsic. Let me just say that since I have never been in a melee, practice or actual fight, it was a new experience.

Most of the fighters were from North Oaken or South Oaken. This is above the barony in the kingdoms. There were other fighters from other areas that are still in our kingdom. It was decided that we would be split into North and South versus each other and the other fighters could choose their side. Of course it was split so that we were as even as possible. Everyone on South Oaken had red duct tape put on the front and back of their helm so everyone could tell friend from foe during the fighting.

We were put in lines with weapon and shield fighters in the front. I had been told originally that since I had not even practiced melee combat to find someone I trusted and stand behind them so I was second line. That did not work out for me as I fight shield and sword. So first line I was. Luckily it was between two experienced fighters, one of which I even know. We received our instructions on where we were to go and then waited for both sides to be ready.

You are told to keep moving in melee combat. Hit the person in front of you and move past them. Let the second line finish them off, very different from one on one combat. First round we moved to the left to flank them. I swung but missed (I think, it’s very chaotic when you are actually fighting against a lot of people at once) and took a pole arm to the helm. Fall down and make sure my shield is over me to protect myself in case there is still fighting around me. The dead are told to get up as the fighting moves away from them and once the battle was over we do it again.

We had two more rounds. Second one was the same as the first, go to the left and flank them. But this time we were told to stay close together. We needed to as part of how I died was I lost everyone in my group in the confusion. We got a little farther that time and again I took a head shot. Although I know I at least hit someone that round. The third round we changed tactics and we were going to the right flank and to kill everyone there. This seemed more difficult as that is where the North Oaken side put their pole arms and spears. This was difficult for me, even being short. Another head shot and I think it was from more than one person this time.

After the third round we took a break. I got out of gear at this point because it was so hot and I am not used to fighting in the humidity, that I had to or I would have passed out. It was somewhat scary going toward so many people at once and not really knowing where to swing or watch out where a hit was coming from. It was fun, however, and I will do it again. The most interesting thing was being told by one of my friends, who was my backup with a pole arm himself, to make sure I swung. Apparently many new fighters forget to.

After receiving The Other Boleyn Girl a few weeks ago via my online rental, I was finally able to watch it. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I know it is based somewhat on Mary and Anne Boleyn and King Henry in real history. I also know it is based off a fiction book of the same name. But being a fan of English history I had to see it.

I don’t actually know much about the Tudor history period. I know that Henry VIII had nine wives over the years and that Anne Boleyn was the second who birthed Elizabeth, the greatest monarch England ever had. Beyond that I have never studied his reign. As a history minor who mostly took Medieval English classes I should have but I concentrated on Renaissance and Queen Elizabeth’s time. I have seen season one of Showtime’s The Tudors but that’s about it.

After watching The Tudors and then this movie, I am unsure what is actually right on how Anne came to be queen. The Tudors has Henry being with Mary and then tiring of her right away and being seduced by Anne who teased and tormented him without giving in for a long time. And in The Other Boleyn Girl, he is enraptured with Mary and has a long tryst with her until Anne returns from and exile and begins to beguile him without originally intending too.

The movie was decent and most of the clothing beautiful. I don’t like the style bodice the women wear nor the fabric covering the upper chest and neck. It existed but I’m used to the Renaissance where cleavage was shown fairly openly. In fact cleavage was nothing to see but ankles were scandalous. I wasn’t even sure how far the movie would go in the relationship of Anne and Henry. But it pretty much followed their whole relationship from beginning to the end where Anne is beheaded. And that is not a secret of the film; she really was beheaded by order of the king.

While watching The Other Boleyn Girl though I kept comparing it to what I have seen of The Tudors. How this part was completely different or instead of something happening one way it was another. I am going to get some books on this period and learn. If you want to watch a movie about real characters from history, I do recommend this one. Don’t rely on it to be completely factual though. Take it with a grain of salt and realize that Hollywood embellishes where it can for a story.

Video on Ohio Renaiassance Festival

admin on July 10th, 2008

The Next Harry Potter Movie Installment

admin on July 9th, 2008

After this past weekend, here are some of my thoughts about the next Harry Potter Movie Installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Harry Potter

Robin Hood: Lardner’s Ring Episode

admin on July 8th, 2008

A messenger arrives at Locksley Manor with a message from the king. Gisborne is having a party there and when the messenger finds out that Robin is no longer the owner, he leaves. The messenger is hurt and slowly making his way through the forest to find Robin. Alan and some of the Sheriff’s men follow him to intercept the message. He hides in the trees but falls and when Alan attempts to get the message, Robin shows up to save him. Robin sees the seal of the king and realizes the message is real. It says King Richard is in need of reinforcements and wants a reply sent by Lardner as to when they can be expected. Unfortunately the messenger dies from wounds previously had.

At Locksley Manor a comic tells jokes and makes fun of King Richard and even Prince John. The Sheriff gets upset by this and wants him locked in the dungeon. The comic makes some predications and even says there is a way to make sure Prince John ascends the throne and it involves Lardner’s Ring. No one believes him even when his predictions begin to come true.

As Marion and Robin bury the messenger, she asks him if he would like say a few words. He asks her to marry him, saying he knew she was right for him just like the first time he held his bow. She says only he could compare her to a bow for love and wants to know who would give her away. Robin replies the king so she tells him if she can get the king back and defeat the Sheriff she will marry him.

When Alan returns, he tells that he heard the messenger say something about Lardner. The Sheriff and Gisborne now want to see the comic, who has managed to escape the dungeon. In Locksley Village, they begin taking all the rings to find the correct one and asking everyone about Lardner. Djaq and Will watch the scene. When Robin and Marion return, Munch tells them the other two have gone to find honey but that means something else. Will and Djaq step in just as Gisborne is going to cut a finger off an old woman because she refuses to give the ring up. They claim they know about Lardner’s Ring but must catch them to get the information. In the chase, Will is caught. And the comic, who has ended up roaming in the forest, is caught again.

Djaq tells them about her uncle who is a pigeon handler and that the best one was called Lar D Ner. She explains to the gang, at the same time the comic is explaining it to the Sheriff, about carrier pigeons and how a message is put in a ring on the bird. Robin and Marion realize the bird must be hidden in a box in the tree the messenger fell out of. Gisborne and Alan tell the Sheriff about the box he was carrying but not found when Robin intercepted them. Before they leave though, the Sheriff sentences the comic and Will to be hanged. However the comic manages to get the key to the shackles from Alan, secretly.

Robin and Marion get to the tree first but as Robin is up the tree looking for the box, the Sheriff, Gisborne, and Alan arrive and Marion must climb to hide as well. A guard is sent back to the castle for reinforcements while the trio stay to decide what to do to get the bird. When the guard arrives looking for reinforcements, Will and the comic kill the men about the hang them. Marion in the meantime tries to come up with a plan to save them by saying Robin has captured her so Gisborne will let Robin go.
After coming up with a message for the king, the gang goes to save Robin and Marion when Will and the comic arrive at camp to tell that the Sheriff and Gisborne have the pair trapped in the tree. Gisborne decides to use pitch on the tree to get Robin and the box down faster. Marion finally talks Robin into using her as a decoy. The gang arrives right before Robin lowers Marion down to show Gisborne he has her, but realizes there are too many guards to fight. They realize they need to make Robin and Marion disappear and the comic says it’s possible in a puff of smoke.

While Gisborne and Robin exchange taunts, Will sneaks in wearing the guard uniform he used to escape the castle earlier to get what the comic needs to create the smoke for Marion and Robin to disappear. When the smoke is thick enough, Will shots an arrow with the plan to get them out. Marion, however refuses to go, saying she will be more help in the castle. He gives her a ring to show his love and then rides his bow down the rope. Marion begins to scream for help and Gisborne climbs the tree to save her. They release the pigeon but the Sheriff has returned with his hunting falcon, who kills the pigeon. However Will has the correct pigeon, thanks to the comic using a decoy bird, and Robin releases it with the message to bring the king home.

King Henry Outfit

Museum Replicas Limited catalog has been around for many years with swords and clothing for fans of medieval and renaissance items. Some of their items they have carried the same for years on end while others have followed current trends. They have expanded their clothing line to follow these trends as well. One of the newest lines is from the hit show The Tudors.

The line has been out for about a year and has expanded from a few outfits and jewels to include more clothing, boots, and accessories of King Henry. This is perfect for those who want to dress like a king or queen or even the king’s mistress, Anne Boleyn. The outfits are not completely period as the show itself is not either but they are beautifully made. And they are recreated with permission of Showtime itself so there is not problem with Museum Replicas selling them.

Anne Boleyn Gown

Jewels or chains of office are available as well for those wanting to complete the look they pick. You can even purchase King Henry’s jousting helmet, although it is not full size, or a letter opener with the ceremonial sword of the famous monarch. And for those who want to own the royal seal Henry VIII uses on the show, there is a paperweight of this seal. The reverse side has the seal of the pope.

There is more of King Henry’s clothing than anyone. I think with the show being about him and Anne Boleyn there would be more of her dresses. But perhaps they are harder to recreate easily since most women’s outfits back then were layers. I would caution that the dresses might not fix exactly as they say. I once purchased a dress and had to return it because while it fit the waist, it was not designed for voluptuous women and thus did not fit me. But if you want to walk around like a queen, get the gown and be the envy of many.

And if you are interested in purchasing them you can visit Museum Replicas at museumreplicas/thetudors

With Independence Day today, I thought a nod to the undertones in movies to this was appropriate. It wouldn’t seem like there would be that many but in fact there are some everyone when you start to look at things in different ways. Many of them are about getting out from tyranny but even that is independence.

BBC’s Robin Hood, one of my weekly posts, is definitely about independence from the evil Sheriff who is abusing his power while the king is away. In other versions it is Prince John who has this role and the Sheriff is just a helper. But Robin and is gang are always trying to thwart the bad person and gain independence for the people from the evil being done.

Movies such as Elizabeth, Krull, and Princess Bride have elements of this as well. Elizabeth may be the ruler of England but she is just a woman. And in the time period she lived, woman were considered inferior so she was not thought to be able to rule properly without a husband. Elizabeth is trying to get her independence from the Lords who want to rule the country for her. Krull has a prince who must save his girl from the evil creature that wants her for himself. The destruction of this creature will also set the entire world free from the vile minions he uses to get his way. Princess Bride is about gaining independence from Prince Humperdink who wants to use the Princess to start a war.

And there are games like Dungeons and Dragons where the gaming group many times is freeing people from this evil Lord or that Dragon who wants slaves to do their every whim. Not all adventures are like this but the majority are. Of course if you have players who like to be the bad guy you will be the one doing this.

Many entertainment forms are about independence in one way or another. They might be subtle but they are there. Some movies are specifically about this while others just have the elements of it.