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October 20, 2004

Taylor Places 4th in BSR Archery Tournament!

The following news was recently posted to the Stratics Baja Board by Theoran of the Society of Archers (portrait separate):

Nearing the end of its third season, the "Best Shot in the Realm" Archery Tournament returned in full force this weekend! The Society of Archers (S|A) Baja Chapter, hosts of the event, announced that there will be a new BSR Tournament every three weeks until the final seats in the season-ending "BSR Tournament of Champions" are filled. This unique event will pit the previous 12 monthly winners head-to-head to determine the land's finest shot, and to compete for a prize never before seen in such an event! With only four seats remaining, and with one up for grabs this past weekend, dozens of the land's finest marksmen gathered at the Skara Brae Fairegrounds on Sunday to test their mettle against the realm's best.

As one familiar face after another arrived at the Fairegrounds, it became clear that the coveted spot in the season-ending finale would be hard earned this day. Many previous competitors, several encrusted in BSR Lore, were at the event, mixing in with a few new faces and a large crowd gathered to observe. You could just tell that something more than the 100,000gp purse motivated these Archers. The excitement could be felt in the air as the event kicked off!

The first round, yet again, proved to be nothing more than a warm-up, as the Archers gauged the wind and made their adjustments for future rounds. With everyone passing the initial round, the bar score was raised, and the games began! One by one the Archers fell out, as the score continued to rise, and the competition intensified. The level of talent at this month's event was jaw dropping, as after several full rounds nearly a dozen Archers still stood.

Taking into account the sheer talent gathered, the Archers were asked to display nothing short of perfection: three arrows all placed in the dead center of the target. What used to be a deciding and insurmountable round in tournaments past, amazingly proved to be nothing more than another tune-up for this gang... as six Archers stuck all their shots in the bullseye, to a roaring crowd's approval! Realizing that this particular group of Archers might fire bullseyes well into the night if given the chance, the remaining competitors were paired head-to-head, one Archer to continue, one who's day would be done.

Ruffus Cahn and Atheina started out the new style of round, and both posted excellent scores. But this was to be Ruffus's day, and he managed to squeak out a close round, splitting his final arrow clean in half, causing a roar that could be heard back at the Skara docks. Hearing their name called, Taylor and Lezander D'flaye, two experienced competitors in the BSR event, calmly took their marks. With a bow of mutual respect the two Archers let fly... Thhwack! Both arrows stuck neatly out of the bullseye. With a nod of approval, the Archers let fly again. And yet again, they matched jaw-dropping bullseyes. After five shots each, these two remarkable Archers were dead even. The noise was deafening as it was announced that they would continue shooting until we had a winner. Taylor quieted the crowd and then let fly another arrow, and yet again it struck gold, burying itself inside the now-crowded bullseye. Many in the crowd thought that shot would be it, but not Lezander.

Lezander D'flaye stared down his butte and choose his shot. The arrow tore through the air, and buried itself in the bullseye, splitting the shaft of a previous shot clean in two. A brief moment of disbelief passed over the crowd, before it roared back up, realizing Lezander had done the unthinkable, Lezander had won the pairing! With near flawless shooting still not being enough this day, Taylor could do nothing but tip his hat to Lezander... and the event continued!

The final group paired two Archers of S|A against eachother, Caelan and Daphne. Both were experienced competitors in the event, and both had been here before. Yet again the crowd was thrilled, as these excellent Archers matched eachother shot for shot. Once again the final arrow would decide the winner of the pairing, as Daphne's shot just missed the mark, giving Caelan a seat in the finals. The Fairegrounds buzzed with excitement, the crowd was exhausted from the cheering, and we had not yet found our winner!

Shooting for score in the final round, Ruffus, Lezander and Caelan went right back at it. Astronomical rounds were posted by all three contestants, and everyone in attendance could feel that this crowd gathered was something truly special. But this was to be Ruffus Cahn's day, as he time and time again delivered in the clutch, and delivered when it was needed.

Ruffus Cahn was awarded the title of "Best Shot in the Realm", and given the hard-earned 100,000gp purse. As mentioned before, Ruffus now also holds a seat in the year-ending "BSR Tournament of Champions", and will be represented in the finale, which will truly determine Baja's finest shot. The S|A Baja Chapter would like to congratulate Ruffus on his remarkable victory! His shooting on Sunday was truly second to none.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 1, 2004

Everything Indeed!

A very familiar face from Avalon’s past has just been interviewed at EA’s recent ‘UO Community Day’. The full report was found yesterday on the Stratics Community News Board. Some of you might recognize her as Crysania, the 4th Captain of Avalon’s old Elite Guard Unit, the Guards of Avalon [GoA]:


Community Day Exclusive Interview: Niobe

At the Community Day, Lady Malynn got to meet a very nice person who is one of the newer members of the UO development team. Her name is Jennifer Lane (Niobe). Niobe has been working exclusively on the Samurai Empire expansion.

Lady Malynn: What is your role in the expansion team?

Niobe: I am a Designer. I’ve been working on the Samurai Empire since the UO development team moved to California in April. So, I’ve been on this project about 6 months.

I’ve done a lot of work with the new creatures in Samurai Empire. I worked on such things as creature tables and the new house objects. I had a lot of input into the new content for Samurai Empire.

I got to work closely with Oaks. That was a great opportunity. I really admire him.

Lady Malynn: What has been particularly challenging for you on this project?

Niobe: I worked on Earth and Beyond before joining the UO development team. But, I’ve played Ultima Online since it came out. I’m a long-time UO player. Working on UO involves a different set of tools and different people. But, it’s been a good experience. It’s nice to get back to a fantasy type game. It’s great seeing it all come together and work.

Lady Malynn: Did you learn anything when developing an Asian-themed expansion that surprised you? Anything you that caused you to think… “Wow! That’s neat!”

Niobe: Oh yes! I did a lot of research into the Japanese lore. We didn’t want to offend anyone in the Asian culture when we made Samurai Empire.

Japanese lore and the feudal Japanese stories behind the culture are fascinating. We chose many of the Samurai Empire creatures based on that lore. The depth of the stories behind some of the creatures is amazing.

Did you know that there are many different types of dragons? Even the number of toes on a dragon has meaning. Did you know some dragons have wings and some do not? Only the most powerful and ancient of the dragons in Japanese lore have wings. Most Japanese dragons do not fly; our Samurai Empire dragons do not fly.

Lady Malynn: If you were going to create a new Samurai Empire character, would it be a ninja or samurai? Why?

Niobe: I think people will pick the ninja initially because it’s cool. But, I think I would try the Samurai first. After people try Samurai Empire for a while, I think they will appreciate the abilities of the samurai.

Lady Malynn: What is your favorite new feature in Samurai Empire and why?

Niobe: I can only pick one? *laughs*

I like that chefs are getting something to do. And I like the new items. I am really excited about all the new craftables in Samurai Empire.

Niobe previously worked on the Community Team for EA's Earth & Beyond and then became a E&B developer until her job on the SE expansion team.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Re-Awakening

Vendira,

Exactly three years ago today, on Oct 1st of 2001, the Freeborn Press Newspaper shut down its press operations to the general public of the Baja Shard of Ultima Online. Today, three years later I am proud to announce a limited re-opening of the Freeborn Press, which will primarily cover news posted to the City of Avalon pages, and the occasional piece of archivable Lumarian news that could potentially cross my desk.

Thanks go out to ‘Nobody’ for providing the communication crystals to get us up and going once more.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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