Last night I attended an introduction to Roleplay at Ancient Order of Centaurs (AoC). I’ve written about this place before, most recently covering a couple of their Fantasy Faire events.
This intro was about the type of RP they do there, both formal and informal, along with an introduction to their roleplay HUD based on the Unity system.
They have lots of different races at AoC, but mostly all are variant of “taur” which is usually a mix of human upper body and animal lower body.
We had a chat to begin with about who had what kind of roleplay exerience as well as about the different races and houses that you can be a part of at Centauria. Next we were taken to collect AoC Roleplay HUDs, based on the Unity Maxim system.
If you can just about read the text above my avatars head, I chose for now to be Merchant Class, but we shall see if a story develops along that line or not, but it’s easily changed.
The system allows the use of items and currency that we can exchange and use in Roleplay, this is currenty what I have after yesterdays induction:
Every year the Faire features a Quest. This is usually part treasure hunt, part mystery, part puzzle and of course a lot of fun. (with a bit of head-scratching frustration along the way.)
This year I actually completed it, for the first time. Now I’m sure there were plenty of people that didn’t try it, so for those that didn’t; I did it a Second time so I could take pictures to show you all. I know there’s lots of pictures floating around of the treasure chamber, but there’s a lot more to the Quest than that.
The first task is to find “Cheeky” at the entrance to the Clouded Mountains.
After a quick chat it’s off to see the Bard Queen
Her task for us it to track down a number of animal residents of the Clouded Mountains that have come down into the Fairelands. There were three in each participating region of the Faire and which one would respond positively to a particular avatar was somewhat random.
[12:06:46] forest cat: "So the Bard Queen sent you?" A guarded smile crosses the forest cat's face. "Well then, perhaps I can trust you. I've heard good things about her."
[12:07:06] forest cat: "Nicely done," the forest cat says. "So now I'm going to rely on you. Please deliver this to the Clouded Mountains."
[12:07:07] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The forest cat has given you: Alembic of Zosimos
[12:07:11] forest cat: This tool I'm giving you — it has to get back to the Clouded Mountains, to our wisest alchemists. They sent some of us out to find these special tools for them, the best in all the many realms. They didn't tell us why, only that it was very important. But when I tried to get back home, there were these… I don't know… war creatures? They were huge, and cruel — they shot at me! They were all around the mountains. I couldn't get through. So I have to depend on you. You look strong enough to get past them. You'll help me, I know.
[12:16:22] gray fox: The gray fox looks at you suspiciously. "Did you say something to me?"
[12:16:31] gray fox: A smile crosses the gray fox's face. "Looks like you're my best chance to get this home. Treat it carefully!"
[12:21:14] cat: "8,347…8,348…8,349... what? Oh, now you’ve made me lose count! Go bother somebody else!" The cat sighs. "1…2…3…"
Some of the animals were rather unhelpful, so there’s a Hint button on the HUD to help you find the other animals from the Clouded Montains in that region.
[12:23:24] The Dreaming Cat HUD:
1. Making a bed in a wagon bed.
2. Under the willow, checking out the horses.
3. Ahh... a cool drink on a dusty day.
[12:24:45] stoat: The stoat regards you coolly. "I might need some help but how do I know you're the right person?"
[12:25:16] stoat: The stoat sighs. "Nice to find a friend so far from home. I can't get back there, but you must, and carry this with you."
[12:25:16] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The stoat has given you: Lutum made of clay from the banks of the River of Eternity
[12:28:05] stoat: The stoat looks hopeful. "I could really use some help, if you're truly a friend."
[12:28:17] stoat: The stoat looks resolved. "Thanks for that. Now take this to the alchemists at home for me — you musn't fail."
[12:28:17] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The stoat has given you: Copper-forged Kerotakis
[12:31:49] rabbit: "You've come all this way to help me?" The rabbit pauses. "That says a lot."
[12:31:57] rabbit: "Thank you," the rabbit says. "I think I can trust you now. They're waiting for this tool at home, take it and good luck."
[12:31:57] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The rabbit has given you: Bronze-bound Tribikos
[12:32:02] rabbit: I'm going to trust you to carry this tool back to the Clouded Mountains — they say it's vital for something or other. I tried to get home with it but there were barricades everywhere, and very unpleasant outlanders waving big weapons around. Oh, it's some kerfuffle or other, no doubt, but it shouldn't affect us folk in the mountains. Surely the Dreaming Cat will prevent any serious harm. He's always looking out for us — kept us safe for years now, and will for years to come, I'd bet my left foot. But for now, you're an outlander, you'll be able to get through. When you get to the mountains, just tell them Bengen sent you.
12:40:35] red panda: "You've come all this way to help me?" The red panda pauses. "That says a lot."
[12:40:40] red panda: Do you have anything else to offer?
[12:40:43] red panda: Sorry, that’s not my sort of thing.
[12:40:46] red panda: The red panda's expression changes. "Maybe you're alright after all."
[12:40:46] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The red panda has given you: Balneum of Maria Prophetissima.
12:46:22] duck: "So the Bard Queen sent you?" A guarded smile crosses the duck's face. "Well then, perhaps I can trust you. I've heard good things about her."
[12:46:33] duck: The duck looks hopeful. "I am going to trust you — lives are on the line."
[12:46:33] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The duck has given you: Firesilk Bellows
[12:48:29] The Dreaming Cat HUD: You feel a nibble. A small sea creature peers at you.
"The Bard Queen asked me to keep an eye out in case you ventured to this realm.
It's beautiful, but none of the mountain residents have come here."
[12:52:19] flamingo: The flamingo regards you coolly. "I might need some help but how do I know you're the right person?"
12:52:52] flamingo: A wave of longing passes over the flamingo. "That reminds me so much of home. So… you'll take this there for me?"
[12:57:35] barn owl: The barn owl looks hopeful. "I could really use some help, if you're truly a friend."
[12:57:48] barn owl: The barn owl looks resolved. "Thanks for that. Now take this to the alchemists at home for me — you musn't fail."
[12:57:49] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The barn owl has given you: Avicenna’s Tongs
The Hint messages also helpfully told you if none of the animals were in the region.
[13:00:28] The Dreaming Cat HUD: You feel a nibble. A small sea creature peers at you.
"The Bard Queen asked me to keep an eye out in case you ventured to this realm.
It's beautiful, but none of the mountain residents have come here."
[13:03:20] red panda: The red panda looks at you suspiciously. "Did you say something to me?"
[13:03:24] red panda: Thank you, that’s very kind, but I’m not really in the mood right now.
[13:03:28] red panda: The red panda looks hopeful. "I am going to trust you — lives are on the line."
[13:03:32] red panda: I tried my best to get past those cursed outlanders. I can be very quiet and sly when I want to — just look at me, you can see that, right? But I couldn't do it. I think it was because this tool was rattling around and making noise. Yes, that had to be it. Anyway, I'm going to rely on you to deliver it. Take it to the alchemists of the Clouded Mountains, it's important to them, and maybe now I can see why. Something dangerous is going on, clearly. But I'll bet those big brave outlanders haven't reckoned on getting past the Dreaming Cat. I can hardly wait to see them try!
[13:48:30] raccoon: The raccoon looks hopeful. "I could really use some help, if you're truly a friend."
[13:48:36] raccoon: "Thank you," the raccoon says. "I think I can trust you now. They're waiting for this tool at home, take it and good luck."
[13:25:40] flamingo: The flamingo looks at you suspiciously. "Did you say something to me?"
[13:25:44] flamingo: "Nicely done," the flamingo says. "So now I'm going to rely on you. Please deliver this to the Clouded Mountains."
[13:31:12] black rabbit: "You've come all this way to help me?" The black rabbit pauses. "That says a lot."
[13:31:21] black rabbit: A wave of longing passes over the black rabbit. "That reminds me so much of home. So… you'll take this there for me?"
[13:31:21] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The black rabbit has given you: Scales of Siddhar Tamil
[13:36:18] red panda: "So the Bard Queen sent you?" A guarded smile crosses the red panda's face. "Well then, perhaps I can trust you. I've heard good things about her."
[13:36:26] red panda: The red panda sighs. "Nice to find a friend so far from home. I can't get back there, but you must, and carry this with you."
[13:36:26] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The red panda has given you: Thaumaturgic Fuel
[13:45:20] forest cat: The forest cat regards you coolly. "I might need some help but how do I know you're the right person?"
[13:45:44] forest cat: The forest cat looks resolved. "Thanks for that. Now take this to the alchemists at home for me — you musn't fail."
[13:45:44] The Dreaming Cat HUD: The forest cat has given you: Eversweet Bees
Once you visited all the regions and collected their goodies, it was time to go see the Bard Queen again.
Our next task was to return all the tools and items that the animals had given us to three alchemists in the Clouded Mountains.
[13:56:07] Ortolanus: Greetings, Outlander, I am Ortolanus. I sent our countryfolk to the outside realms to find the tools I need. I will take from you the Alembic of Zosimos, the Cucurbit of Wei Boyang, some Lutum made of clay from the banks of the River of Eternity, the Copper-forged Kerotakis, and the Bronze-bound Tribikos. They are the finest tools of their kind. With them, I can begin to distill the potions and substances needed to heal the damage already caused to our country and its folk.
[13:56:19] Ortolanus: By now, you understand that our land is under siege. But our situation has become even more dire. The evil forces that surround us have done what we thought could never be done. They have found a way to harm the Dreaming Cat — they have poisoned his Well of Dreams. And now the Cat is lost in his dream, it is all darkness and terror, and he can no longer find his way. His power is drained and will drain further still. If that happens, the evil ones will drown our mountains in fire. Each creature here will die, and all our work will be lost.
[13:56:31] Ortolanus: Please, it is vital that you take the remaining tools to the other alchemists who need them. In parting, this is the deepest wisdom I can provide. It is an ancient alchemical precept; you will find it applies to things you may not expect:
"One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth."
Go now with all speed, Outlander, and thank you.
[14:00:13] Valmiki: Thank you, Outlander. My name is Valmiki. I see my countryfolk chose well when they selected you to bring these tools to us. I will take from you the Balneum of Maria Prophetissima, the Lead-crystal Beaker, the Flask of Agathodaemon, Ibn Umayl’s Retort, and a hive of Eversweet Bees. They are all the finest of their kind. With them, I can transmute elemental substances to try to protect and defend our land and citizens.
[14:00:25] Valmiki: My work is crucial, because our great protector, the Dreaming Cat, cannot come to our aid now. His dream is poisoned and he has lost his way. If this continues, his loss will be permanent, and a great disaster will befall us. Word has reached us that our enemy — whom we have never harmed — will set fire to our forest and destroy us all. We cannot understand such anger and hatred. We understand only that it may well be our fate if the Cat cannot be restored.
[14:00:37] Valmiki: Now, please take the remaining tools to our wisest alchemist, Theosebeia. She is waiting to see you. I will leave you with this ancient knowledge, the wisest I can provide. You may find it useful:
"Join a thing with its opposite, and you will find what is sought."
Cat's blessing on you, Outlander. Go well.
14:04:14] Cheeky: This looks familiar — the alchemist's place is around here somewhere. I know because it's not far from some fantastic berry bushes.
[14:05:00] Theosebeia: Thank you, Outlander. I am Theosebia, the eldest of our land's alchemists. I will take from you the Crucible of Salamandria, the Firesilk Bellows, Avicenna’s Tongs, the Scales of Siddhar Tamil, and the Thaumaturgic Fuel. They are the finest tools of their kind. With them, I can begin to refine the metals and materials to protect and defend our land and citizens.
[14:05:12] Theosebeia: We in the mountains are not used to relying on outsiders for our needs — but we have come to that point now. You see, although we understand what has happened to the Dreaming Cat, we cannot help him. We are of this realm; if we try to enter the Cat's dream, we too would be lost.
[14:05:24] Theosebeia: So while it is true that we need these tools you brought, the real reason we sent our fellows to the outside world was to find an outlander with the strength and determination to enter the dream and save our land.
We sent them to find you.
And you have come. As an outlander, you can go into the Cat's dream and survive. You can purify the Well, so the Cat can regain his power. If you would be our hero and our friend, you alone can prevent our absolute ruin.
Theosebeia: To be that hero — to accept the task — go to the west of our realm and find a cluster of three huts beside a rocky beach, at the foot of a waterfall. Follow the coast to the north, and look for a stone arch. That is the entrance you seek. This potion will allow you entry.
Theosebeia: Good luck, friend, go speedily and well!
The Cats Dream..
This was a dark space that you had to navigate by a lot of blundering into walls and none of the usual tricks of showing transparent items gave you any clues.
The Well Room
Tempting…. but we had a puzzle or two to solve before we can proceed!
[14:15:56] The Well of Dreams--: Cheeky's whiskers twitch. "Remember what the alchemist said? 'Join a thing with its opposite, and you will find what is sought?' Hmm, I wonder...."
Clicking two symbols that were mirrors of each other at different points around the circle of stone pillars made a triangle linking some together. Also a fireball appeared next to each stone.
14:21:25] The Well of Dreams--: Cheeky's paw pats your shoulder. "Well done! Now, what did that other alchemist say? Something about one becomes two?"
Looking at the ring of fireballs from above, you could see that some had one on the opposite side of the circle, others did not. So I clicked each fireball that had an opposite one, they turned purple as I did (if you clicked the wrong ones, they just all went orange again).
When I clicked the remaining orange fires as well..that was it!
The Well became purified and I was teleported to a corridor leading to the treasure chamber of the Dreaming Cat.
Also about then you would have received a few inventory offers…enough that they become scrollable across the width of the screen!
Thankyou to all those that contributed to the creation of this years Quest, it was a lovely story and lots of fun and to those that donated prizes too.
Tonight the Fairelands faded into the mysts for anoter year. There is a tradition I’ve only just become aware of, which is Creators, Worldbuilders and other Backstage folks gather on Fairelands Junction to watch the Fairelands fade (when Linden Lab switch the Regions off).
This Backstage group also includes the Chroniclers so I decided I had to stay to the very end.
In my previous Remembering post from last year, recalling the Faire of 2020, I mentioned the region Kurak where the roleplay with Loki and his friends took place. However I never featured the images I had of the events, so I’m sharing them this year instead.
Trying to pick a selection of phots from the number I’d taken, was tricky, but I hope the ones I have chosen will evoke fond memories for those involved.
“How in all The Fairelands are we supposed to protect something we can’t even LIFT!”
The two are stood in the chamber looking at, what is to them, a giant jewelled egg. “There’s a Collector out to steal them all or sommat, we’ve gotta be extra protective of it and stuff..” says the second. “Well lets hope they don’t come for this one while we’re on duty then, or there will be trouble!” replies the first.
Credits: Both avatars are wearing the same mesh petite body and clothes, just in different combinations of ear types, hands and optional parts.
The title says it all. One of the “Blogger Challenges” on the Fantasy Faire website is to take a picture of your avatar in the Fairelands alongside the Faire Emblem. A chance glimpse as I flew in front of the light of the Hunros Mines, made me stop and pause for a moment to put the logo in place and it was perfect!
From her vantage point above the city of Opet she watches the masses of tourists ebb and flow like a tide. They think the city is a relic, its occupants long deceased and the houses turned to shops for their perusal. They are so wrong, its facade. It was decided long ago to let it fall into disrepair and it’s people to fade into myth and legend, to protect all the races of this world.
There is a polite noise behind her and she turns to see her handmaiden stood in the doorway, holding up the old dumb phone used for emergencies.
She takes the phone and reads the message, once again wishing she could ward her home against the modern radio waves. Glancing at the tourists again, it’s their fault, there would be uproar if their brain-sapping devices didn’t function.
“I think we have another Collector, deal with it” along with the approximation of where the moving Sphere was last stationary.
Another Collector already? It was only a matter of two and a half decades since the last one and he’d almost been successful. It amused her how the relations team had dealt with it; making a movie about a Temple of Doom to pre-emptively dispel any rumors that may have surfaced.
The Spheres needed to remain in their allocated places, guarded in secret by each fae race or magical community.
The occupants of Opet had chosen the best way to hide them was in plain sigh but their history forgotten. Turning their city into a museum had been fairly easy, just don’t touch it for a few millenia.
Explorers and archeologists took the clues they’d left and made a reasonable story about what happened. Even if the time frames really didn’t work. Certainly others came closer to the truth, but were called conspiracy nuts, despite their theories matching the evidence better. The “experts” telling the story didn’t want to be embarrassed and make an entire history that had been taught in schools for decades to be wrong.
But enough dwelling on the past, they’d returned and closed the pyramids to the public for “safety reasons” and restored them to working order. Having left their Sphere hidden with local loyal followers it was returned to its place in the pyramid and protected there.
Somehow remnants of the truth had emerged again and she must take action. She’d been called on simply because she was the closest of the Guardians.
Down to one of the display cabinets she goes, removing her weapons stored in plain sight and replaces it with a photograph and sign preporting the item removed for cleaning. Next was some slightly more modern clothing, her regular clothes that the public assumed was simply a costume, wouldn’t be appropriate.
Modern being a relative term. If she walked down a western city street looking like this, attention would definitely come her way. Here in the desert country a wide hat and a mask against the dust wouldn’t draw a second glance.
Once she was changed, it was time to go on the hunt..