Monday, March 31, 2014

March 30, 2014

A total of 18 people hit the field on this first somewhat warm day for the spring. It started off a little chilly, but was a balmy 55 degrees by the time we packed up and went home.

And what a day it was! We had a new sinkhole in our field, but we just wandered away from it so that it wasn't in our way and kept right on fighting.

Sixteen people took to the field, while two watched.

We started off with two different class games. With eight on each side of the field, the first game went rather quickly. The uphill team was simply slaughtered, but that is mostly because Prada decided to play a fairy.

Yes, there are monsters in Amtgard. And Prada decided to play the first one on our field: the fairy.

The fairy, denoted by the orangish wings that Prada is wearing in the picture, is meant to be nothing more than an annoyance: something that dies quickly and has a lot of escape mechanisms to its name. And it was fun.

In the second mutual annihilation game, Prada returned as his normal healer self, and the game was a little more balanced. That game lasted for a good, long while with a healer on each side throwing resurrect spells around like they were made of candy.

After that second game, we paused for a water break. Then, we came back with a vengeance and rolled into one of our favorite game types: the minion game.

Fully clad in our class garb, we chased each other down through three rounds of minion, until everyone belonged to the same team. We took another water break after those three rounds, then switched out into an old favorite of everyones: the gun game.

Once the gun game ended, we set up a ditch line and wore ourselves out in battle after battle for a good 45 minutes.

Finally, exhausted, the brave warriors headed home until the following week.

Want to join us? Click the joining Amtgard link above.

What's coming up for us?
April 5 - travel to Charleston to welcome a new park!
April 13 - our crown qualifications for the summer term.
April 25-27 - Feast of Fools, the spring event in Maryland with hundreds of people in attendance

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23, 2014

Although it was a little chilly outside today, 22 people signed in at the Valley of Smoke!

Our field has finally dried out from the soggy soup it has been all winter, and we celebrated by running and laughing all day long!

We started the day off with two class games. The first one went rather quickly, but the second one lasted for some time.

We had five new players today! Combined with our other new-ish players, we have had a wonderful increase in new members lately. Which is always helpful - new blood keeps the game really fresh!

During the second class game, both teams pushed hard and played for all they were worth. At one point in time, Adahay, who has a habit of going all-out in any game he's in, ended up taking a dive. Literally. He died a terrible death a few seconds after this shot, but he really enjoyed doing so.

After a water break, we decided to play a game of capture the flag. One team decided that the best way to fend off the other team, which was notedly larger, by running at them in an all-out attack that ripped through their ranks... for a minute. When they recovered, all hell broke loose on the field.

When capture the flag was over, we took another break. Running around the field chasing a flag is a lot of cardio!

Then, we circled up for several rounds of a minion game. The starting circle was so large that some players started in the middle, back-to-back with each other, so that everyone could be close enough to get the fight going quickly.

The day ended with the formation of a ditch line on the side of the field.  Once again, Adahay defied gravity in a picture (he's really good at doing that) as he took on one of our new players, Eniau. 

Eventually, the ditch line needed a little shaking up. As Riken stood on the sidelines and yelled "Everyone on your knees!" ...everyone listened. (I'm still not sure why). But when lay-on was called, there were many giggles and plenty of laughing as the game went on.

If you would like to join us at Valley of Smoke, come on out! We meet on Sundays at 1 p.m. Click the "Join us" link above to find out how you can come, and what you can do at Amtgard.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 9, 2014

Today, we at the Valley of Smoke welcomed our Lord Prada Forell back to the world of the fight-able with a grand 21 people on the field.

We had visitors from all over today, with the knight Tosc coming up from Charleston to play with us. Members of Black Widow Lake came up to play with us today as well, including Zedd, Valinessa, and a new member named Skylarr. Finally, our Lord Tungdil came home from college to visit us as well, bringing his bow.

We started the day with a simple ditch line. Two sides, each going against the other in all-out combat. We held this for a dozen rounds or more, with much laughter and literal mud slinging.

The field is a little muddy after a hard winter. Anyone thinking of joining us in the next few weeks should bring water-proof shoes!

We've played throughout the winter whenever weather permitted. But now that the weather is breaking, it was great to see so many out on our field today.

When the ditching was over, we split up into two teams of ten and played two class battles while our feet churned up the mud on the field. Riken launched an amazing shot with one of her throwing discs that sailed over two people's heads and casually floated in to kill the archer in the back of the pack. It was quite funny.

Amazing archery skills ruled the field today. Both sides rallied into all-out attacks, leaving dozens of three-inch-deep gaps in the mud on the field.

After two mutual annihilation class games, we took a break and held our monthly Althing meeting. There were several topics that were discussed, but only one vote held.

Afterwards, we held a few rounds of minion game, with class abilities being allowed. After several rounds of this, we took another short break.

Tosc introduced a game called kill your killer, wherein players who die remain dead until their killer is in turn killed. We played this game until people started getting tired, then most of us packed up and headed home.

Several of us stayed late to spar a little bit in the parking lot. After we all got tired, we broke up and went home for the week to scrape the mud off of our clothes.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oct 20 - Nov 17 - A Recap

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What happens when the webmaster gets really sick and ends up having emergency surgery to have her gall bladder out?

Why, the website goes unattended for an entire month!  Oops.

So, backing up. Backing *way* up...

October 20th - Coronation Day!

On Oct 20th, the members of the Valley of Smoke gathered in anticipation of the long awaited coronation. A lot of our usual members showed up, along with seven guests from our neighboring park to the south, Black Widow Lake.

The day started out with a couple of class games, while Riken, Kecia, Hunter, and a few others helped with the final quest set-up. Inside the nearby building, a buffet line was slowly growing, with dishes of all sorts available for the players to enjoy.

The quest was the highlight of the day. The evil necromancer Kanlin, played by Prada this time around, stole all of the food stores for the coming winter. After his ransom expenses couldn't be met, he instead turned the Valley of Smoke patrons and visitors against a group of ice giants who had stolen his pumpkin spell ingredients.

The brave heroes had to negotiate with a witch to get a special shield to protect themselves from the ice giants. But the witch needed seven hydra scales, which were owned by a very rude Jeweler nearby. The jeweler, played by Grainmag, forced the heroes to fight each other to the death, and entertain him, in order to get the scales.

Necromancer Kanlin eagerly points out a survivor of the mass slaughter

Once only one hero remained, Velinessa from Black Widow Lake, she was able to read a scroll of mass resurrection. She brought the other players back to life. They got the scales, and then attacked and killed the rude jeweler.

Next, the heroes ventured into a cave and were accosted by albino bats while they crossed over a narrow bridge. On the far side, once they moved a magical crystal, a mighty cave bear attacked. The bear was played by Tungdil.

After disposing of the bear and collecting its pelt to appease the witch, the heroes collected the pieces of the bridge leading to the ice giants, and moved on to the next challenge: a group of goblins protecting a chest! These nasty little goblins, played by Adahay, Ollie, and Zedd from Black Widow Lake, gave the heroes a run for their money.

Three goblins vs. a mass of angry heroes.
Eventually, though, the goblins were taken down, and the final piece of the bridge claimed. With the three goblin heads in hand, the heroes bought the magical shield from the witch, played by Kecia, and went to face their final task: the ice giants themselves.

While the ice giants, played by Grainmag and Henry, hurled magical, indestructible pumpkins at the group, the heroes built the bridge, dodged the attacks, and raced across to join the battle. Once the ice giants were defeated, the proud but exhausted warriors returned the magical pumpkins to the Necromancer Kanlin, and the Valley's winter food stores were returned.

Hungry warriors made short work of the buffet, followed by court and awards. The following players accepted the positions they had run for:

Riken - Sheriff
Grainmag - Regent
Seran - Champion

Oct. 27 - Two Days In One!

On October 27th, seven members of the Valley of Smoke made the hour-long trek south to pay a visit to Black Widow Lake on their Midreign. And they accidentally took over for a portion of the day!

At BWL, Valley of Smoke's seven man crew, consisting of Riken, Adahay, Grainmag, Zwik, Reaper, Sento, and Rogue, broke out the Version 8 games at BWL. After three class games, a tournament was held. Some more class games culminated in everyone enjoying a feast under BWL's pavilion. Several more class games and a little ditching finished off the day, with Valley of Smoke's soldiers packing up and fleeing north with the setting of the sun.

Meanwhile, back at Valley of Smoke:

Ten people came to the field, despite half the group going for a trip. Several hours of class games and ditching ended earlier than normal, with several people needing to head home early for various reasons.

November 3 

Everyone gathered together on the field with a special task - to wish Riken a happy birthday! Because we enjoy the excuse to party any time we can find it, Kecia brought a cake to the field and Riken was forced to wear a "birthday girl" pin all day long. We also welcomed Sir Tosc, a refugee from Crystal Groves Dutchy who had moved about an hour and a half south of our park. Tosc will be joining Valley of Smoke when the opportunity presents itself henceforth.

The goblin troops hatch a plan...

Several class games started off the day, with many of the younger players getting their first ever experience on-field with the anti-paladin class. Since the weather is cooling down, water breaks aren't needed quite as often. Once rehydrated, the players returned to the field for one of Prada's evil version of Amtgard soccer, where players must chase down and retrieve a large yellow ball in order to score a point.

After this, players decided to reenact the original land battle for our new All The Glisters game. A large group of goblins, led by Riken, took on Zwik, Prada, Tungil, Henry and Owen put up a good fight, but with the verbal commands of Riken in the background, the goblins managed to win the day by a narrow margin. The goblins had two lives left when the heroes were finally picked off!

After a few games of Fox and Minnows, Riken broke into her birthday cake and got everyone's sugar back up to a hyper state.

The day ended with several rounds of ditching

November 10

With Riken out for the count, after her gall bladder decided it hated her, the proud members of Valley of Smoke carried on in her absence.

Unfortunately, no one has yet told Riken what went on on this day, so there is no information to plug in for the day. But when the information becomes available, it will be put in here! But there was Amtgard to be had!

November 17

It poured the rain today. All day long, the downpour didn't seem to end. Because of the cruddy weather, it was a fairly short day at the Valley of Smoke. 11 dedicated warriors braved the elements to swing swords and sling spells at others.

A new game was introduced, designed to part people from their comfort zone. Grainmag's random class game puts players in a random class for a single game, forcing them to play in a manner that they normally never would. Played in free-for-all style, everyone had a lot of fun. Among the random classes were two assassins, a disgruntled bard, a few peasants, one barbarian, and one druid. Everyone played with two lives to call their own in a free-for-all style.

While the rain continued to pour, everyone returned to their normal classes. A druid and a high level scout decided to take on 5 peasants in the rain. It took the druid and scout a while to kill off all of the peasants, but they eventually won the day.

The day ended with some waterlogged ditching, before all of the wet and tired players went home to dry out and warm up.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 13, 2013

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Coming up on Oct 20th: Our Coronation! Featuring the long awaited quest run by Riken Eclipse, you don't want to miss this day!
Today saw a grand total of 20 players show up in the autumn humidity to face the challenges of the day. Three new players came to our park to participate in the fun, brought by Sento. It was Sento's first day at the Valley of Smoke, but as a former citizen of Drifting Winds from the Dragonspine kingdom, he fell right back into the swing of things and quickly made himself at home in our small village.
 As we always try to do, we got our shade tent set up and settled in for the day, then began with our favorite style of game: the mutual annihilation class game. With so many players on the field this week, the game went a little more quickly than it usually does. Laughter echoed as we played our hearts out and welcomed our newest members.
 Finally getting his own bow, Adahay stormed the field this week with his single arrow. More will come, but the one he made is safe, legal, and flies true. Even with only a single arrow, he tore the field up during our games this weekend.
 After a water break, we decided on a Capture the Flag game. Thanks to actual flag poles, one with a red flag and one with black, we were able to have many laughs. The teams were divided, and one team focused more on defense while the other was more offense oriented. Although several great scores were had, including Gainmag's casually strolling behind enemy lines, grabbing the flag, and taking off, as well as Hunter's capture that was so epic, he casually walked back to his base to score the point.
 Another mutual annihilation game saw the tentative return of Prada to the field. Feeling well enough recovered from his ACL surgery to walk with confidence, he chose to play his usual harmless healer self and simply took a death whenever anyone got near him. But he was happy to return to the field after so long!
Today saw the first land-based attack in our participation as a test park in the soon-to-be kingdom hex game, All That Glisters. Zwik decided to attack an empty stretch of land and try to take it as his own. Unfortunately, the land was inhabited by a crazed group of goblins who weren't going to give it up without a fight. Upon realizing that he would be facing nine goblins with a shared life pool of 54, Zwik employed the mercenary services of Henry, Hagari, and Prada at his side for the battle. Henry, Hagari and Zwik held the line successfully against the goblin attackers, while Prada called out combat changes from behind them.
Following a water break and plans for next week's feast and coronation, four rounds of the minion game were played. People then decided they were tired, and went their separate ways to wait for next week's anticipated coronation activities!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 06, 2013

Thinking of joining the Valley of Smoke? Click the Joining Us link above to find out how! It's free to join up! 
October 20th will be Coronation for Valley of Smoke! With a massive quest planned, everyone needs to show up! It's the perfect day to get a free meal and find out more about our game. You're invited!
A total of 13 players braved the strangely out of season heat on this October day. Several of our usual players went on vacation this week. We await their return eagerly!
Starting with our favorite type of game, the mutual annihilation, the two teams broke up evenly with intentions on slaughtering each other. But a twist was introduced to make things more challenging! Henry Greatwing became his own team. Armed with a pole arm, he stood in the center of the field, determined to kill anyone who crossed his path. Serving as a game item in this manner, Henry had infinite lives, but drained the other teams of theirs at an increased rate. 
 After the game and a water break, the teams took the field again together, their ranks unchanged. This time, another twist was added. Riken Eclipse took to the section of gravel covered grass as a neutral healer. Anyone who could reach her could be healed, from either team... if they could reach her! Henry Greatwing stood guard over Riken, determined to stop others from reaching the gravel for their heals. 
Once this game was over, the wind began picking up. This made life entertaining, not only from the viewpoint of the shade tent attempting to become a kite, but also for Riken as she set up a new maze game she had created. Once she was finished marking off the field with tape, teams of three were invited to challenge the maze for the prize of 100 gold pieces to be split between them. 
Henry Greatwing was picked on again in the role of a vicious goblin with plenty of armor. Armed first with two swords, his favorite way of fighting, and then later in the maze with a pole arm, Henry forced the teams of three to use teamwork in order to get past him and claim their gold. All of the players earned their 33 gold each, and, when challenged to bet their money on an all or nothing competition, turned the offer down. 
Several minion based games took place while Riken, Prada and Henry rested on the sidelines. Riken took her version 8 reeve's test for a second time while the three discussed the upcoming special event on October 20th.
 The day ended with another mutual annihilation game that featured Prada on one side of the field as a neutral healer, and Hagari Ironforge on the other as a neutral druid. Henry Greatwing ran back and forth, trying to prevent players from reaching both men at the same time. With the increased enchantments, the game lasted much longer than usual. Here is a brief video of the dual-neutral game fun!

As people began running out of steam, and the wind attempted to blow the shade tent away yet again, we packed up and called it a day. 

September 29, 2013

During this week, there was no report made by our trustworthy Prime Minister, Hagari. Without that official report, the website can be updated, however, it has now been beyond a week and Riken doesn't fully remember what happened on this day!

It did start out as a beautiful day, though. Not too warm, but not too cool either. Amid an astonishing amount of newcomers to the field, we set to work playing our first of three mutual annihilation class battles. It was a lot of fun, with large teams on both sides burning through life pools quickly.

One of the water breaks saw an Althing vote for various kingdom positions. Once business was finished, we returned to playing.

One of our new players, the assassin called Hunter, came up with a game called Flood. One player starts out as the rising flood water, and hunts all of the other players down. As each player succumbs to the rising waters, they join the flood's team and help hunt down others. Several rounds of this saw much roleplaying on the field, with laughter all around.

A few other games were played, including Fox and Minnows, before we packed it up and called it a day.