Last week was amazing in Austin for both Portalarium and the SotA community! Many on our team had the pleasure of attending HoBLotH III, which stands for Hearth of Britannia: Lifeblood of the Hearth. The event generated a huge amount of activity for over five days at Castleton Village near the office.
Dancing, storytelling, and LARPing quests and contests occurred throughout each day with many events extending well into the evenings. Tuesday was the official kick-off day with the real fun beginning on Wednesday with a bunch of quests that included testing one’s knowledge of Britannia, a scavenger hunt, fishing, and fighting for valor in LARP combat!
Lazarus Long and Jack “SinAssist” (Laz & Jack) from NBNN were in attendance, leading several community quests on Wednesday. Kacey Cupcakes also had a Wednesday workshop where you could learn how to create your own etched shot glasses, mugs, and even style one right there on the spot! Blake Blackstone, Doc Holiday, Goldenflame, Minerva, Shamus, Sir Edward Virtalis, Winfield, and many other active community members also ran quests during the event.
Here are just some of the quest highlights involving team members from Portalarium:
The Great Debate: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
The infamous Darkstarr attempts to stand his ground against the might of Lord British! In a contest of wits and courage, the two faced off on Friday evening to defend their character’s philosophies. Spectators cheered on each side while questions were taken by the Unseen Order guild. Can you guess who won the coveted trophy from the event?
Lord British’s account: “Fridays Great Debate between myself and the honorable Lord Darkstarr brought together by Unseen Dragon was a rousing event! I was very impressed with Lord Darkstarr’s framing of the case for Chaos, personal freedoms, and personal responsibilities. Had the event ended soon after our opening remarks, I have no doubt the votes would have strongly favored Chaos over Virtue. Fortunately, through a series of cross examinations, the people ultimately saw that having Virtue as a guide in one’s decision making, was not antithetical to personal freedoms and responsibilities, but could rather augment it, and thus Virtue rightly won the day! But, I must remind thee all, Virtue and Chaos are not in opposition. Vice is the opposite of Virtue and Order perhaps Fascist Order is the opposite of Chaos.”
Capture the Keg – A Battle of Virtue
As HoBLotH hit the height of the weekend, Lord British and Darkstarr each started searching around the grounds to recruit fighters for their individual causes. The newly formed armies fought each other in a themed boffer battle of epic proportions that shook the core of Britannia itself, and sent waves of both victory and the cries of defeat from one end of HoBLotH to the other.
Watch the battle unfold (thanks Noni for sharing this video!):
Lord British’s account: “Last year at HoBLotH 2, my forces of Virtue won the day at the Capture the Keg battle… but I am embarrassed to admit, that this was largely the fault of my side and our alcohol induced forgetfulness causing us to short-cut some of the resurrection rules and such. Rightly, Chaos should be acknowledged as the winner of last year. Similarly this year, Chaos…under Darkstarr’s leadership… was winning. Yet, when it came to the attention of Lord Darkstarr that his forces outnumbered those of virtue, he virtuously granted a few combatants across the sides… to his own demise! Chaos once again, this time “officially”, lost. It is interesting to note that Virtue was Chaos’ undoing, and that twice they deserved to win!”
Stone Soup with Lady Minerva
A day’s worth of questing goes perfectly with a hearty meal at the end. Lady Minerva dished up a special soup of hers on Thursday evening. Actually, it was the Stone Soup event, so everyone in attendance had a chance to toss in something delicious!
Lord British’s account: “Lady Minerva invited Princess Kinga and myself to attend a making of Stone Soup. Not only was the soup itself a wonderful meal for the evening, but she gave the princess a copy of the book Stone Soup, which we read before the meal. I should also point out though, that while it cooked, the princess attacked and killed no less than 3 attendees and placed their body parts in the soup! You can tell that she is lobbying for cannibalism in New Britannia. Kinga made Stone Soup again, on her own, in the final hours before we left the site.”
Fishing with Winfield
Everyone knows that Winfield is one of the most famous fisherman in all of Britannia. He was at HoBLotH throughout the week at the fishing docs, telling tales of old fishing times, while keeping a watchful eye on his fishing pole for anything that might bite. The week’s light rains favored his fishing spot, for he happened to catch a real beauty of a fish!
Lord British’s account: “While Princess Kinga and I arrived too late for the official “Fishing with Winfield” Event, Kinga did take up a pole and in fact caught two fish! She proudly took both to Lord Winfield and to the Pirates with whom she spent much of her time at HoBLoth. Many of the Hospitallers participated by preparing the fish, which she joyously shared with her friends! Winfield kindly granted her a pin from fishing with Winfield, as well as one for telling the story of catching a fish. For all this, we are grateful!”
Werewolves at Buccaneer’s Den!
Berek, the new community manager for Portalarium, was also in attendance. His favorite animal being the wolf, he couldn’t help but participate in the werewolf game at Buccaneer’s Den. For those who do not know the game, you either play as a villager, werewolf, or seer. Werewolves know who their kindred are, prey upon the villagers each day. Villagers can suspect who is a werewolf and end up voting to hang supposed werewolves. In the end, the werewolves will win if they are equal or greater to the population of villagers.
Was Berek a menacing werewolf or a simple villager? You decide :).
GOOD TIMES HAD BY ALL
Perhaps the event’s peak was when Lord British led the renewal of wedding vows for multiple couples. Vows were also said between Kazyn Phoenixfyre and Jenny Phoenixfyre of the Phoenix Republic guild. Congrats to all!
So many other events are not covered here, that we encourage anyone interested in learning more about HoBLotH to visit: www.hearthofbritannia.com.
Good times were had by all attendees, both community and developers alike. A special thanks to Joseph “Rustic Dragon” Toschlog for coordinating and driving such a fantastic event. The memories shared will be fondly remembered by attendees for years, and perhaps, if we are lucky, they will share those stories again when the next on-site event for the community is announced!
If you are interested in learning more about other community events, visit www.shroudoftheavatar.com!