And here we are back with Rift’s Chronicles of One Telaran, yet another week closer to Christmas. The days are flying past faster than the singing careers of reality show competition winners. The shopping crowds are turning feral, and the kids more and more demanding as the boredom of the holidays sets in and the threat of Father Christmas not bringing them presents when they are doing naughty things (like speaking) is having less and less effect. In short, it is Hell, my friends. Hell, I say.
But we can always turn to Rift in these times of troubles, yes? Rift is an escape from the world, a refuge from the insanity of the holiday season, a place to unwind, to take part in quests and cut down members of the Dragon Cults. No matter what is going on in our own lives, with the children’s demands becoming increasingly ludicrous and selfish, (like, asking for food. And attention. I mean what’s with that? They can fend for themselves can’t they? Haven’t they read Lord of the Flies? I haven’t read it myself, but I hear it’s about a jolly group of youths who get shipwrecked and come to form a perfect little society free of adults. I think I’ll buy it for my eldest. Show her what self-sufficiency really means.)
But what do I find when I log in to Rift? My quest to steal the crown from Prince Hylas’ head?
Nope. I find Christmas in Telara.
My children rush in to my office. “Why are you screaming, daddy?”
I tell them it’s just my old war wound acting up and send them off to play with the babysitter (i.e. the television) and turn back to my computer. Oh well. Nothing else for it. In I go.
Christmas decorations festoon the trees and structures around Sanctum. Lights are flashing and flickering everywhere I look. Fae creatures are walking around wearing Father Christmas costumes. Satyr’s are staggering around Sanctum drinking odd bowls of growing green liquid. Yes, Christmas has definitely come to Rift.
So? What’s occurring, as they say in Wales. (At least, I assume that’s what they say in Wales. I saw it on television once, so it must be true.)
It seems that a long time ago, a shy Elven Huntress would bravely step into the winter woods every year, snow falling majestically from the grey skies, coating the branches and boughs of the trees. This Elven huntress would wander around the forest, placing candles everywhere to light the way for travelers. (Fire hazard.) Today, she is remembered as the Yulemother, and her festival—supposedly marked by candlelight, compassion, and joy (yeah right)—is a balm for Telarans tormented by rifts and invasions.
And the Fae, being the quirky, fickle party animals that they are, have decided to put all this nasty business with Prince Hylas, Lord Twyl, and their god, Greenscale, behind them, and do what they enjoy the most. And no, I don’t mean posing for photographs for small girls in Victorian England. I mean, P.A.R.T.Y. With a capital P. (Well, and a capital A. And an R. And a T. And a Y. So all capitals. What I’m basically saying is that they want to party. A lot.) Merry faeries like Grandfather Frost are trying to urge their former enemies, the devout Guardians and studious Defiant, to join them in their celebration of being released from servitude.
The only reason Caedryn is not running screaming from Sanctum right now is that the rewards for completing these Yuletide quests are these unique snowflakes that you can use to trade for epic gear.
Like a mount.
Yes, I’m still without my mount, still running everywhere I go. I haven’t saved enough pennies yet, but if I complete these quests I might be able to get my hands on a fancy vaiyuu mount. And apparently, during this lead up to Yuletide, we will also be able to fight against a new wintry Zone Event featuring Yuleogon, the Yuletide Treant, so that’s something to keep an eye out for. As long as I get my mount I’ll be happy.
But it seems not everything is flippant. With the coming of Winter Dark, Crucia, cold-hearted Dragon of Air, is on a mission to enslave the Fae anew, so that will probably have to be stopped. Or, you know, that could put a damper on things.
I start my first Fae Yule quest by arriving at Sanctum and stopping off to get my photograph taken with Father Christmas. Unfortunately, he seemed to be on a break, so I slumped into Sanctum to be confronted by a huge Satyr called Atrophinius who wasn’t happy because all the good booze was finished.
I know how he feels.
Atrophinius stole all the festive decorations and is holding them hostage until someone gets him some proper drink. I heroically step up to the place. “Don’t worry, big fella,” I say. “I’ll get you your booze so you can drink yourself into a stupor and sleep until the holidays are over. It’s the least I can do.”
So my first quest is to wander around Sanctum gathering up all the good stuff that people have been hiding for themselves. I have a sneaky taste of one and it was pretty good. It left me feeling like a different person.
I completed the quest and Atrophinous was pretty happy. At least, he looked happy as he grabbed the stuff from me and lumbered off to gulp it down. He gave the decorations back, so I suppose he must have been.
Which led to my next task. Putting the decorations back up around some of the taverns in Sanctum. That was easy. I wander around a bit more but no one seems to have any more quests. Oh. Not that I’m disappointed or anything, you understand. Not that I’m starting to like the twinkly lights and presents that litter the ground. Definitely not that my Grinch-like heart is starting to reluctantly thaw or anything.
No. Definitely not that. But I’ll log in tomorrow and see if there are any more Yule quests.
So I can get the mount, you understand. That’s the only reason.