Behavior in Society

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Character Notes for Quest Staff

First, thanks again to all of you for agreeing to be part of this quest. With your help, we are going to create something people across the SCA will talk about for years and years.

Nobles from all over Atlantia are helping with this. Our goddess Minerva comes from the Kingdom of Northshield and one Naiad from the Midrealm. I'm certain there will be a team from the Midrealm too. Prizes, gifts and props came from overseas. We have staff with 20+ years and multiple peerages and staff coming to their second SCA event. The amount of work everyone has done so far humbles me.

There's still all the set up on Friday night and Saturday morning to do.

But the real work starts at the close of First Court on Saturday around noon. When the quest starts.

Shortly I'll post notes for each god, immortal, monster and group of spirits. But there are a few things that are true for all of you who may interact with the questers.

First and foremost: every one of you has the ability to make a quest team succeed or fail, to make the quest itself succeed or fail. For some of you this is explicit–Mars could stop everyone from reaching Venus. Venus could refuse everyone's request that she return to Vulcan. All the Gods and Goddesses may directly order any quester to do any thing. Any quester's death probably slows the team down by an hour, if they choose to try to rescue their dead team-mate. Each of you have some piece of the quest that relies on you. And any one piece may be the one that a team needs to succeed.

You may hint to help questers as you care to, broadly or subtly. And truthfully, it is fine if you are less helpful in the first hour than you are in the last two hours. If it seems that every team is at a loss with an hour to go, it is time to drop some hints!

There is no one way that this quest may be accomplished. There are many ways past Mars to Venus, more than I can count. So no one will have a clear idea how close the quest is to being achieved until, at least, someone gets past Mars. Even then, Venus may send them away.

A few mundane matters:

  • If you need a food, rest room or other break and don't want to be bothered by questers during it, take off whatever quest badge you're wearing.
  • Please try for any one person from your station to have a charged cell phone handy, and please email me that number. (So Triton's station requires 1 cell #, not 10.) I'll compile this and send it back out to everyone by next Thursday. This includes all marshals accompanying teams, please.
  • I'll have a wandering assistant on Saturday who can offer advice or help to the quest staff. He won't have a quest badge on. This is Kirk Gisiner, sometimes known as Lord Lewis Abbott.

All of us have to walk a delicate balance between making the unworthy fail and letting the worthy succeed. Do not hesitate to use whatever "powers" your station or role allow you to punish those who think of this only as a chance to fight all over camp, or who do not act in the spirit of the day. But please put aside ego when considering whether someone has shown the "right stuff," especially on the fighting field. All the fighting gods have such advantages over the questers that they could completely defeat a team in a few minutes. But is that what they deserve?

Nor is fighting the only way that bias can affect things. It is quite likely that some children will be on teams. You have to be prepared to say "no" to a cute little 10-14 year old girl who has just asked you nicely for something that she has not earned for her team. Make her earn it.

I cannot be at every station. I trust you. If you feel you need more information to play your role correctly, please ask. (As I said, I'm starting to post notes for each role, working backward from Venus. These notes will appear on the character's main page.) But I cannot anticipate every odd plan the questers may come up with.

Take on your role, read your notes, enjoy yourself, be fair but don't take crap from questers. By doing that, I think we shall all have a great time and a worthy team shall achieve a great victory for themselves, our soon-to-be Crowns, and Atlantia.

Thank you.

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Corby's Flickr Slideshow

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First Bit of Second Court Business

A heads up for everyone:

Val looks for all the costumed quest staff to process as the first bit of second court business, especially if the quest has been achieved. Well, I guess the goats can decide if they want to or not. But definitely all the gods and monsters!

I'll make sure there's some method of letting everyone know when the quest officially starts, if the goal is achieved, and when it officially ends.

Perhaps we can use the big camp bell. Jonathan? Can we be sure we and only we can use it?

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300 and Gates of Fire

Somehow yesterday I managed to get a lot of work done and make it to a matinee of 300. I helped Eric work on his armor, bought rubber snakes, vinyl balls, whiffle bats, experimented with sculpy bird making, build a very weird polearm and started making a new shield as a gift for someone.

I thought I had read the whole Frank Miller graphic novel years ago when it sat on Aradd's coffee table, but either I'd forgotten most of it or the movie was very different from the original.

Still, I quite enjoyed it. If you like that sort of thing, you'll like this one. It's especially good inspiration for my HeroQuest game.

From an SCA standpoint, I just kept thinking "See, this is why you never want to use two sword in a melee." But if you liked 300 in either version, go read Gates of Fire. I kept thinking of that extraordinary book of historical fiction while watching the movie. Colin introduced me to the book and I've recommended it to many people since then. It still amazes me that the author, Steven Pressman, went from Bagger Vance to Gates of Fire.

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Gifts from Afar from Aaron

Aaron, whom I only know from the Armour Archive, has been following the quest preparations and sent these very cool things from Kuwait for us to use. Aaron will be moving to Atlantia when he's done in Kuwait and wants to support his future kingdom.



It isn't giving anything away for me to show them to everyone, because we haven't figured out what to use them for yet! Thanks very much, Aaron.

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Oracle Clue for Fortuna if Robert cross-dresses

Love of money and nothing else did ruin Sparta,
but gold can earn passage, favor, and some gods' aid.
Praise Fortuna's beauty and hope her skirts carry you to the gold and the gods.
She stands where loutish bashers say the
girly-boys fight.

Really really need a better term than "girly boys".

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Omens of Dread for the Coronation of Valharic and Arielle

Respectful of the traditions of His ancestors, Prince Valharic has called on an Oracle to speak of His upcoming coronation. Those auguries speak of a glorious reign to come, with great things to begin at the coronation of Valharic and Arielle. Yet they also hint at some darker, alarming event on the heels of that joy:

No doubt in the strength of a chain's bond, those unproven prove the day.

Mars and Vulcan strive, so must the brave as a strong hand's fingers.

Ever mindful of the welfare of Atlantia, Prince Valharic asks that teams of five ("as a strong hand's fingers") stalwarts apply to him and be prepared for a quest into the very realm of the Roman Gods. Teams must include at least one armored combatant and at least one non-combatant and must be captained by a non-peer ("those unproven prove the day"). One peer per team, but you may include a multiple peer. List as many of your five and their titles as you have worked out when you apply to HRH Valharic. Email prince [at] atlantia [dot] sca [dot] org to apply.

Valharic handed out many of these this weekend, and it is also now online a the Atlantian Combat Board and on Armor Archive.

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Pennsic Power Napping

After reading this, I don't feel so wimpy about catching naps at the War.

I suppose I should be trying it between rounds of tourneys!

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The Other Parts of Ymir, Good & Bad.


Cold cold cold. Then of course on Sunday it was much nicer.

Lazy-ass me never got around to fixing my second vambrace, so I couldn't do any polearm, even though there were two unbelted polemen standing around during pickups. At least I got to work with Tim from Marinus a bit, showing him some stances and techniques.

Great to see Armand, but the big doof didn't bring his gear so I didn't get to fight him. Some lame excuse about flying in kept him from bringing it.

Susanna was on site, but too sick to come to the field.

Thjora's back bothered her all weekend, keeping her from fighting.

Great to see Thorbrandr, though sad that he's now 90% certain to be moving to the Outlands.

Ragnar Ribcracker's two sword continues to improve. I fought him in pickups and must now remember not to just expect to hit his left leg whenever I want. I think every bruise I have is from him.

Matthew Dredge from Ponte Alto is very new, but much improved from just a few months ago–he's gone from walking pell to decent fighter. Kudos to Sir Thomas or whomever else is working with him.

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The Good Parts of Ymir

Wow it was cold, but the fellowship was warm.

This is one of many good pictures taken by Matthew Olney, aka Kennyth Pyke, that you can look at here.

Congratulations once again to my Brother Roland.

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