Interview by Lord Bova and Simic, goblin of Urk Kuldar.
The Contention of Leeds Circle, a story marked in intrigue and discourse. I got to sit down with the most unruly goblin, Simic of Urk Kuldar to hear their tale of the events leading up to and following the grand battle.
Photos by Nick Tosta. See the full album here.
Spin me a tale, what happened at Leeds?
“I come to Hearthlight for a variety of reasons. I like the combat, I enjoy our arts and bardic (performance) events, but really I go there for the community. Saturday evening (at Leeds) when everyone is decompressing from a day on the field, people really bond in a way that's hard to find elsewhere.”
What made this event different?
“So this is the second time we've held this particular event, and it's still being polished, but I enjoy how it's a change of pace from the standard events we hold at EMR (which is an outdoor paintball arena in PA). So rather than a handful of scenarios, each about an hour- the entirety of Saturday is one long campaign, which really changes the experience.”
“We also decided to thematically design our bardic competition, rather than having it be freeform, which is new. Our two categories for bardic were an in-character story, real or fictional, and a story about a cryptid. We were in the Pine Barrens, home of the Jersey Devil, so that definitely felt appropriate.”
So what was the story of the campaign? Was there a central theme or plotline?
“This year was a continuation of the events from last year. Basically, there's a point of great magical power hidden deep in the Pine Barrens, which was seized last year by the Undead Armies for their own terrible purpose.”
"With the dissolution of the Legion of the Dead, the Circle (the point of contention) returned to a neutral state, and different factions returned to fight for it. This year’s leading factions were the Lionheart, the Hellenic Bandits, the Changeling Fey, and the Companions of Sovngarde."
"My faction, fighting under the changeling being known as Briar, made a pact with the Companions of Sovngarde in order to join our forces and gain control of Leeds Circle.
The reason for this, which was hidden from the other leading factions, was that Briar was enslaved by fey contracts to High King Greybush of the Unseelie Court (the faerie king) in exchange for the power of the Circle. He was willing to dissolve their contract, allowing Briar to earn their freedom."
"Briar, freed from their bonds, reintroduced themselves as a Companion of Sovngarde, and proposed marriage to Dunkin, King of the Mountain Irregulars. Their politics are theirs.
So then we formed the Briar-led by Briar of the Changeling Fey. Briar's 1st in command was Dunkin, King of the Mountain Irregulars. As a result of their victory, Briar is free to marry Dunkin as payment for their alliance. "
"They were backed by Sovngarde-led by Jarl Logain of the Companions. Is a unit of excellent fighters who may or may not be werewolves (it's unclear). They allied with Briar and the Briar-Led in order to share the victory, and as such, half the power of the Circle."
"So then there are the Hellenic Bandits-led by Agalon. A Hellenic league of Athenians, Carthaginians, Syracusi, and Corinthians, they fought hard and dirty to take what they saw as theirs."
"Finally the Lionheart-led by Leif. a masterful fighter, who, despite leading a minuscule faction and being dealt a losing hand, maintained his honor throughout the conflict."
"As a goblin myself, which are fey aligned, I was conscripted to fight under the command of Briar's faction the Birar-led, as a result of latent magicks cast by High King Greybush last year. My function, as both a spearman and a somewhat fleet fighter, was line support. My reach granted a huge advantage in holding any chokepoint, and my small size and speed let me move around the battlefield to where I was needed most."
So how was the Circle won? With battle?
"So there were several control points across the field of combat. The Circle was one of them. Throughout the day, non-player characters (NPC’s)'s moved through the world to check on the control points. If they were uncontested, the faction that held them obtained points (which were checked at the end) and in-game currency, which could be used to obtain the aid of roaming monsters, wandering healers, or weapon enchanters. This was all summed up into “victory points”."
"If there were no hidden agendas, the leading faction with the greatest number of victory points would win the event and gain victory over the Circle at the conclusion of the battle. (However, due to Briar's and Jarl Logain's hidden motivation, all they needed was control over one of the three or four control points of interest, the Circle itself.)"
The Circle itself!
"Right, we accumulated power throughout the day by holding the briar patch as well (another control point). But when the last few minutes came, we abandoned that control point, consolidating all our fighters from both leading factions (the Briar-led and the Companions) on the Circle. The other two factions could fight over the other two control points, but they no longer mattered. "
And the day was won! Thank you for your time you foul creature of magic and mayhem!