Picnics and Renfairs and Pubs! Oh my! Stoneheft remembers …

One of the real characters of Realms is Stoneheft.  He’ll lurk about for a while and then hit you with something that either makes you really think or makes you spit milk out your nose.  I recall with muddled clarity some of the events described here … For those that never attended one of those long ago reunions, we essentially took over a chunk of the Ontario Renaissance Festival for a good part of the day, usually followed by small group activities and finally landing at the Fox and Fiddle.  When the Ontario Renaissance Festival folded up shop and closed its gates the event moved to different public parks and campgrounds.

This series was inspired in part by my disappointment at there not being an organized Realms of Despair Reunion this year due to lack of committed attendees but I hear that the Texas Get-Together may happen.  Huzzah if it does! 🙂  Maybe some of Stoneheft’s recollections might inspire you to answer “YES!” the next time someone asks if you want to come out to a reunion:


“So many years have gone by with so many varying types of reunions. My memories are inaccurate and likely filed out of order, but there sure are a lot of memories. Back in the pre-history days, there were the idirect picnics, or were those io.org? I don’t remember which was first but I remember deciding to go to one because Grace Gemstone was going. Loril and I were curious about meeting the player behind the mother of our favorite characters, so the “Going to these things” had begun.

The venues got better as the gatherings became “Realms of Despair Reunions” rather than ISP picnics. We had fun every year at the Renaissance Festivals, met Edmond, Dria, Kali, and so many others. We played with the swords at the shops, won many pints of beer at the games that were awfully easy, completed the RL quests that Dria put together and got to know the players behind the characters we knew. Absolute tonnes of fun were had, and then we’d head off to that loud bar in Oakville and settle down over a few drinks. We met Destre at one of these old RenFests, in good weather Destre, her husband, Loril and I get together to try out a new or known pub.

After a fairly pleasant day, at a RenFest, way out in Milton, the evening was getting unpleasantly rainy and everyone was getting on with getting home. Making our way out to the muddy field that passed for a parking lot, we merged with the crowd passing through the gate and found Hubris trying to arrange a ride home. It turns out he lives about 25 blocks away from us, so we crammed him into the back seat of the little Volkswagen Cabriolet with Dyrk and headed back to the City. Fortune smiled on us, Hubris likes both beer and the Pub between his place and ours. We hit the patio with him at least once a summer for burgers and beers.

Hoerkin found us. Loril and I were enjoying a RenFest when a big guy with his nametag torn came up and announced “Hey, I’m Hoerkin!”. He was correct, I can appreciate when someone knows who they are, so we added Hoerkin to our little group, then Ceirana, and continued along completing Dria’s RenFest RL quest. We must have had fun. I remember Hoerkin’s nametag was eventually ripped down to just “Ho” and wouldn’t stay stuck to his sweatty shirt. Sweatty Ho became a very good friend. He does, of course, like beer.

The reunions changed when Milton’s RenFest closed. There was the year at the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, and the community camping at Bingeman’s. In the first year, we tented it and had a great time but decided on splurging for a cabin in the following years. Many hours gathered many great memories out on the porch of that cabin. Grishnakh could keep a conversation going, he knew things and had such interesting opinions and ideas about stuff in game and RL.

Alex, oh where do I start. Alex can keep a conversation going all weekend and never drop below fascinating. So long as nobody is eavesdropping we probably won’t even get silenced or banned. Time moves on. The venue changes to Orr’s Lake where Thoric and Jane who does not mud host the gang personally. Loril and I are no longer able to put in a whole weekend, but Bulgroth went and had a good time. Loril and I visit for an afternoon and find Jane’s theatre group putting on a “theatrical swordfighting” demonstration. How awesome was that?

Reunions… Good Memories.

Thanks to all of you, mentioned here or not, the reunions are a great extension of our MUD.

Thanks for 20 years.”

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