I apologise for the dearth of posts lately. I started summer quarter on the second of July, and the re-adjustment has been kicking my ass. My city is also in the midst of a terrible heat wave, and my lack of air conditioning isn't agreeing with my computer. As a result, I've only been able to log on for an hour or so at a time before my laptop overheats -- not really conducive to MUD-ing! I should be catching some sleep before class tomorrow, but I'm bound and determined to squeeze out a post before I crash for the evening.
There has been quite a bit going on in Achaea over the past couple of weeks, as another centennial celebration has come and gone. You see, in the game, time is measured on its own calendar. Years are counted from the fall of the Seleucarian Empire -- a major event in the game's lore -- and every half-century, a big celebration occurs in commemoration. There are auctions, and lotteries, and special commemorative items sold by various NPC-merchants, but the highlight of the festivities is the competition for the Staff of Nicator, which is an artefact of historical importance as well as contemporary power.
This time around, the Gods upped the ante a bit and gave the winner not only the Staff of Nicator and the usual financial compensation, but the keep at Nicator's Crossing -- a castle, complete with a staff of servants that can be bossed around, a drawbridge that can be raised and lowered, a moat stocked with a rather unpleasant water serpent in order to deter your unwanted visitors, and all sorts of other amenities that can't be found anywhere else.
The competition is comprised of a series of events, which include a hunting competition, a tumble race, a quiz, a bandersnatch hunt, and finally the twins combat tournament, where teams of two face off in the arena to test their martial prowess. Given the high stakes this time, the events were ferocious, but Sothantos de l'Evanoir, a dear friend and ally of my character's, emerged triumphant.
After the awards ceremony, Sothantos held a celebratory feast for his friends in his new domicile. It was seriously awesome -- nothing makes for a good time like demanding more wine from NPC servants!
I also had my own moment in the spotlight during the Year 600 festivities, but I will write about that later today. It isn't quite as exciting as Sothantos's victory, but it illustrates just how far the Gods in Iron Realms MUDs are willing to go in order to facilitate roleplay within their games.
It's another real-life year and a half until the Year 650 celebration, but trust me, you'll need that much time to prepare. If you go and create a character now, you might just be ready in time.