Tag Archives: stories

The Last Stand: Jim Kraven’s Diary #4

Círdan’s Note: Did you know that Grey Havens YA created its own roleplaying game called The Last Stand? In the game, our young adults (and leaders) get to play as any character they chose, some are original creations and others are personal takes on existing fictional characters. Our very own Jim Kraven (aka 145barbarian) is the group’s chronicler. He travels with his son Timmy as he journals about each gaming session to keeps us all up to speed. We’d like to share with you now the latest entry from Jim’s journal. Note that “limbo” refers to the times when we’ve stopped playing the game…our poor characters get stuck there a lot! 

When you support Grey Havens YA through our Saturday fundraiser at Menchies, you are helping us to continue to provide these young adults with the environment they need to be imaginative in community.  Be sure to read Jim’s latest diary before diving into this one, and check out the end of our post for the Menchies flyer and a FROYO Challenge. Enjoy!

Day 5

I wonder if anyone else here knows about Limbo. We’re all here, stuck frozen in place. Timmy is standing next to me. He looks like he’s about to cry. He can be such a baby some times. I should ask him why Limbo makes him cry. We all just gained these powers. Must be the GM’s (Game Masters) at work again.

Mango MemeWe’re all back now. Timmy’s crying. Calvin is here. He’s on a search for some quality content. Alas, he didn’t find anything. Everyone is doing their thing. We’re all still recovering from the Nightmare attack. Nova still isn’t back. He’s been gone a while. A small party is going out to go find supplies. And by a small party, the GM’s mean all of us. I threw Timmy up into a mango tree. He got some mangos! But he didn’t come back down. He can’t climb down, and I can’t climb up.

We can now read the book to summon the heavenly beings. We need to draw some symbols on the ground……I’m just gonna leave that to the rest of the group. Right now I have to get Timmy down. The two heavenly beings are here. But some rain and thunder followed. Shelter. We need shelter. There’s a cave. Somewhere. The rain is acid rain! We have to get to that cave! Good thing it isn’t far.

We all get there and Feather finds out the cave is incredibly deep. She also found a book tied to Bucky. Some sort of red book that alters Bucky’s mind. Bucky has the bunny though, so we aren’t going to read them yet. Bucky doesn’t want us to have the book. But we don’t want to destroy it. Feather is gonna hold onto it. It appears to be in Russian. Bucky sets down the bunny and goes after Feather’s backpack. Bucky’s aiming a sniper rifle at the backpack. Feather’s lute calms down Bucky. Duke Brilliance found bones rattling around deeper in the cave. The sounds are getting louder. They’re coming our way. They’re murderous. I grab Timmy and position him behind me. I tried to use my newly gained powers, but I still don’t have a handle on it. A couple of us are going to sneak around them. If we can get behind them, then we can have the advantage. I messed up. They noticed me and Feather. I left Timmy behind in the mango tree. He doesn’t need to be here during the fighting. Hopefully the tree protects him from the rain. I dodged it’s attack, then proceeded to hit it. There’s still all five skeletons. One of them lost an arm and a leg. One of the skeletons is dead. One of the skeletons hit Feather and dragged her back to the fight. She looks pretty bad.

We need to kill these skeletons. The skeletons are fighting back now. We can’t seem to kill them. Calvin’s sick roasts made the skeleton more powerful. Skeleton tears. Odd. They seem to heal them. I wonder if we can use that to heal ourselves. The skeletons hit Calvin back and he went down in one hit. He’s laying comatose in a lambo with a skeleton. I’m just watching right now. The skeletons are attacking everyone else. The demon fire flew over and hit us. There are only two skeletons left. The goddess of light is helping, but the dead skeletons are coming back to life. Bucky smashed the stone.

All the skeletons are dead now. Let’s see if our healer can be useful. The healer healed everyone. Calvin is out of his coma, but he isn’t looking good. A couple of us are pretty beat up. We’re gonna go deeper into the cave. At least, that’s what I thought. Everyone is freezing. Limbo is back. Timmy isn’t here still. I’ll write more tomorrow.

Send us an owl: What’s your favorite roleplaying game? 

And now for the promised FroYo Challenge! Visit Menchies in Longont this Saturday August 27th any time between 11am — 11pm and make a frozen yogurt sculpture! Tweet us or leave a comment in the Facebook announcement, and we’ll let the likes judge the winners! Make sure to present this printed flyer during your purchase so that Grey Havens can receive 20% of the proceeds. Thanks, everyone and enjoy! menchie's full pagejp

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The Last Stand (Jim Kraven’s Diary) #2

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Círdan’s Note: It has been quite a busy 2016 already for Grey Havens YA and Grey Havens Group, Inc. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook for the latest news and Phone the TARDIS if you’d like to be added to our email list. We have some exciting news to share with you this April, but for now we want to take a moment to showcase why we do what we do. One of the reasons Grey Havens YA exists is to help foster the creativity of young adults. Not only have they have blown us away with the invention of their own Roleplaying Game, the game itself has also helped to foster community and inclusion among the group, and it’s a blast to get to watch them work. Today, we get the chance again to peak into one of our member’s imaginations as he recounts the recent events of the game through his character’s diary. Jim Kraven (aka 145barbarian) serves as the group’s guard and carries his child around in his backpack. (Find his previous account here.) For this game, we split the party in two and switched back and forth for gameplay. Let’s take a brief glimpse into Jim’s mind and see what he’s thinking while in and out of this strange limbo…

wp-1459125115326.jpgDay 3

Sitting here staring at all these ropes for the last few months has been driving me insane. I say months, but I mean minutes. Feels like it though. Hopefully our GM (Game Master) lets us move soon. I wonder where Timmy is…

Oh goodie. Our overlords started with the base group. Now I’m stuck here in limbo for another couple minutes.

“My throats are at your necks,” the new person said. There you go everyone. That’s our overlord. Thank GM we have such a great person ruling over us!

It’s been twenty minutes. Still stuck in limbo. I can’t help but wonder where Timmy is. I hope he isn’t playing with the dead lion corpses. That would be gross. I might disown him if I find him doing that. That’ll show him.

All I can do is stare straight ahead, right into this mirror. At least my locket popped open. I miss my wife. Looting this place reminds me of when she and I went shopping for our new home. Oh…the good ol’ days. Now I’m here. She’s not. Timmy is though…somewhere.

Yes! Out of limbo!

Oooook. Weird noises outside. I don’t see anything from the windows. Well, nothing but fog…and a mob of zombies in the distance. A figure is running to the hardware store out of the fog. It’s Timmy! And…oh…good. He isn’t covered in blood. That’s good.

Gell went to the supermarket. I’m gonna stick around here at the store for a bit. It gives me a good view of the street incase I need to fire shots at the mob. I’m watching the supermarket with my sniper scope. The zombies are close. Dangerously close.

“Timmy,” I whisper, “Go hide behind the counter.” Timmy goes. Unknown is helping carry everyone up to the roof of the market. Good idea. Those zombies are getting really close. Apparently there is a  ladder inside. I’m gonna stay down here to watch the streets.

Timmy started crying. I got his storybook from him and started reading it to him. He stopped. “It’s ok Timmy,” I whisper, clutching him in my arms, “It’s ok.”

I un-barricaded the door to let Eadlyn in, barricading the door behind her. A loud horn just sounded out. The zombies are leaving! Timmy is gonna use his bone knife to fight off the remaining zombies…at least, he thinks he’s going to. I’m not going to let him.

Well, back into Limbo. I’ll try to write more tomorrow.

Círdan’s Note: No, Jim you can’t end it like that! I need to know what happened!! — Ahem. Excuse me. Well, hopefully we can find out next week as Grey Havens YA returns to gameplay in The Last Stand. P.S. Did you know that sometimes we want to roleplay at Grey Havens YA, but we forget to bring dice? When that happens, our members cleverly decide to use either rock-paper-scissors or a handy dice app to get the job done. We don’t let a silly thing like dice stop us! We hope you enjoy these forays into The Last Stand and all it’s zombie-goodness. 

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Send us an owl: If you were there, can you explain the parts of the story that Jim leaves out? Otherwise, what’s your favorite part about roleplaying games?

Buy a Great Series, Support Grey Havens YA!

You can probably tell that here at Grey Havens YA, we love books, and that makes it pretty exciting when the authors of those books love us back! This holiday season, the brilliant Colorado author Stant Litore is offering readers a chance to buy some great books and support Grey Havens YA all in one transaction. Keep reading to find out how!

fb_img_1448597602611.jpgStant has been a constant supporter of the Grey Havens Group, and we consider him a member even though he doesn’t live in the area. He is a part of our community, and we are honored to know him. Some of you may remember that he was one of our guest authors at the Grey Havens Real Myth and Mithril Symposium last April. It was there that he really started to connect with and experience the magic that is Grey Havens YA. In a follow-up post about the event, he writes: “Talking with these teens who are fully embracing, unashamed, their love of the imagination — all I can say is that I would have given a great deal to be part of such a group when I was a teen.”

Stant is the author of many daring works, but it’s his first series that’ll hook you and reel you in as a fangirl for life: The Zombie Bible. These five* books re-imagine Biblical stories and ancient legends as if they were set in the larger context of humanity’s constant struggle against hunger…. and the hungry dead.

We don’t think we need to say any more than that, because we know you’re intrigued already — but we will! Reading Stant’s series will not only enrich your imagination and engage your philosophical thinking, but when you purchase the Silver Edition Digital Box Set before the end of December, 50% of the royalties will be donated to Grey Havens YA.  All for only $5.99, 60% off the individual price! What a great deal!

Read more from Stant’s post on his website:

GHYA is a shoestring-budget operation, and I want to help by giving them 50% of my royalties for The Zombie Bible: Silver Edition Digital Box Set to GHYA through December 31, 2015. Please help me by sharing the word and, of course, by buying the books! If I can get GHYA just $250, that supplies their book budget for the spring. If I can get them $500-$1000, they’ll be able to increase their membership, or perhaps get equipment to replace the truly archaic and at-the-brink-of-breaking computers and projectors they currently work with.

zombiebibleStant is an incredible human being, and we’re so glad to be able to offer you such a fun and easy way to support us this season. Who knew you could do your Black Friday / Small Business Saturday / Cyber Monday shopping AND support Grey Havens YA at the same time?! Thanks, Stant! Click here to see the other ways you can support us.

*The Silver Edition Digital Box Set includes The Zombie Bible Volumes 1-5. Volume 6 will be released in 2016 — so go ahead and get caught up now! 😉

Send us an owl: Which is your favorite Stant Litore book?

Heroes of Rune Chapter 6

Spock0528 writes: The Wait is over. More chapters are coming soon. No Really, Soon. Read the prologue and chapters 1 through 5 at this link. Enjoy!

Chapter 6

Darius

The next morning Darius awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside his window. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up. Blaise and Murgran, the fellow orphans that lived with him, were already up and were getting dressed. “Morning”, Darius mumbled. “Same to you”, Blaise replied. “What’s your schedule for today?”, Murgran asked. “Kitchen duty”, Blaise grumbled “And I better hurry. Old Wenchel will hit me with his ladle if I’m late again”.

“And what about you Darius?”, Murgran said, turning to him. “I don’t know. Master Pibb didn’t tell me yesterday.” That was unlike him and Darius had been so distracted last night he had forgotten to ask. While he wondered what the day’s assignment would be, Darius quickly pulled on his clothes. He wore a simple cream colored outfit with a belt and satchel. Ready for whatever the day might bring Darius left the house and said farewell to Blaise and Murgran.

He hadn’t made it ten yards when he ran into Master Pibb. “Hello Darius”, he said, his pink cheeks bulging with delight. “Good morning Master Pibb”, Darius replied. “Sorry I didn’t tell you your assignment yesterday. I wasn’t sure what you’d be doing”. He gave a shrill and rather forced laugh. “I just received a message from the king. He would like you to report to him at once.”

“Whatever for?” Darius asked. “He didn’t say”, said Master Pibb. “Now you’d better get going. Wouldn’t want to be late would we?” “No Master”, said Darius. Pibb turned sharply away causing the slippers he wore to clack together. He sped off quickly, his mind already on another matter.

Darius felt fear clasp his heart as he turned towards the palace. “What did the king want with him? Perhaps they had discovered who he was! Perhaps they were going to have him executed or tortured for information!”, he thought. “No, that was ridiculous. No one knew who he was here, anymore”.

During Darius’s first year in Teroh a boy named Mikkel had walked in on Darius while he was in the vasdi, a trance state one performed while honoring Shidiel. Mikkel had ran out of the house looking for a guard. Darius had followed hoping to tackle Mikkel but Mikkel was faster. As Mikkel had rounded a corner Darius lost sight of him. There was then a crash and a scream. Darius ran around the corner to see a crowd of people gathered around the edge of the rampart. Mikkel had slipped and plummeted over the rampart, his body breaking on the spiny rocks that stuck out of the ocean hundreds of feet below. Darius was relieved but acted sad at the memorial service that the city had for Mikkel. That was the closest call he had ever had.

“No, no one could have found out unless Methelga or Faryx had said something… No, they couldn’t have known he was here. Although that did seem like something that Fayrx would do.” Fayrx had only visited Turk manor a few times but his visits always involved making Darius as miserable as he could. Darius was glad he was dead.

Darius approached the North Gate to the palace. As he went to pass underneath the statue of Acosor he was stopped by a guard. “Yes, Darius isn’t it? The king is expecting you. Go on in. We will have a guard escort you to the throne room when you enter the tower. Go on in”.

Darius nodded and went on through. “They wouldn’t let a Zarkaran, let alone the last of the Turks through alone”, he thought.  “They didn’t know his secret. Did they?” On his way to the central tower Darius passed an apothecary, stables, barracks, and a guard tower. Soldiers and official looking people milled about in the courtyard while others walked quickly heading either to the tower or out into the rest of the city. Darius approached the doors to the tower, noting how small they were. Enemies would have to enter single file if they attempted to take the castle and a skilled bowman with a lot of arrows would be just as valuable as 50 men in there. The tower was built for defense, nothing else.

The guard at the door admitted Darius in and had another guard escort him to the throne room. Darius and the guard squeezed through the narrow hallway into the center of the bottom floor of the tower. This was the great library. Shelves of books covered nearly every square inch of the room. An old librarian sat at a table, his nose buried in a book. He didn’t even look up to see Darius and the guard cross the room.

Darius had spent time here working with Barnabas Lessiar compiling information for The Scrolls of the Eastirim. It was one of Darius’s least favorite assignments. The way Barnabas described the Zarkaran gods made him sick.

He had called Shidiel the goddess of plague and disease. It was true she brought these things to those who crossed her but she was also a god of love and life. Zarkaran maidens would pray to Shidiel, asking her to help them find a husband. She was responsible for caring for the baby in the womb, protecting it from danger. She could place blessings on crops and bring people good fortune. She was the protector of mothers and the common man.

Udun was described as a merciless and barbaric war god but Udun led great warriors to victory and taught them the ways of honor. He gave old men and young boys great strength in times of need and he blessed the wives and children of fallen warriors who died in his name.

The way he had heard Barnabas describe them as nothing more than brutal, merciless demons had made Darius want to tell him some of the stories that were told of the Eastirim gods in Zarkaran. But though he had heard such hate from the Eastirim for his people and his gods he could not hate them. They were too much like him, too human. Blaise and Murgran were both good friends and Master Pibb had taken Darius in and was always kind to him. Yet he could not live in both worlds. One day he would return to Zarkaran and if it was the will of the gods to destroy the Eastirim then it must be done. But if there was a way for the people to become one, to unite and…

“No” he thought, angry at himself for thinking such thoughts. “Think of what they did to your father”. And Darius did remember. He remembered his father a man who seemed larger than life, yet was barely over five feet.  A man whose eyes had a special twinkle every time he laughed. A man who let a baby Darius crawl around on him tugging at his goatee. He remembered the night they came. He had been so scared, just a nine year old boy. His father had been fierce that night fighting with two battle axes while Darius hid under his bed. His father had told him to run and then…

Darius’s thoughts were interrupted when he boarded the lift to the throne room at the end of the library. The doors closed and Darius found himself in a small, dark compartment. The lift began to rise, gears and hydraulics clanking and whirring in the background. Both Darius and the guard were silent. Around what Darius thought was 15 minutes the lift reached the top floor, the throne room. It was time to see the king.

The lift doors slid open to reveal what Darius thought was an underwhelming throne room. It was a small circular room with just a few windows that if you looked out them you could see clouds far below you. No decorations were on the walls and only a red carpet covered the ground. The King sat on a small gold throne surrounded by a few guards and advisors. Only the king had a chair. Everyone else had to stand.

Darius stepped out of the lift, noting that the guard stayed behind. He crossed the room and stood in front of the king. He dropped to his kneel like he had been taught. “Rise young Master Darius”, King Alistair said. Darius rose. King Alistair was a man that Darius had only seen on a few occasions. He was a tall, skinny man who had seemed to have a palpable air of nobility surrounding him. He could be stern and threatening but Darius had also seen him happy and joyous, playing with his five year old son on the day of the spring festival. He was an expert military tactician but he also cared deeply for his people down to the last child.

“Young Master Darius”, the king said slowly. Darius’s heart was beating like a drum. “I have some good news to tell you”, the king said. Darius awaited anxiously. “You have benefited greatly from Master Pibb’s orphan program. When you came here you had only a name. Now you, and we, have found that you are quite talented and you are a perfect example of how a young man or woman can turn their life around.” Darius didn’t know where this was going but he was beginning to feel more relaxed. The king continued: “Many of the lords you have served spoke quite highly of you. They said it almost seemed like you had been around nobility before.”

Darius’s chest tightened. “You also made an excellent food taster as I recall”, the king said with a smile. Darius’s chest loosened a little. “ I was quite impressed with you and Master Pibb’s program. I wasn’t sure about it at first”, the king said. “But I am extremely happy with the results. That’s why I am honoring you this next week by letting you squire for Sir Nicholas Snow in the tournament this next week in order to honor Lord Seacrest’s arrival here in Teroh.”

Darius gasped. Lord Seacrest of Sealaurel was the ruler of a neighboring kingdom independent from Eastirim. Sealaurel was home to the finest navy the south side of the River Tywin. King Alistair was hoping to make an alliance with Seacrest so that the Eastirim could have powerful warships in the fight against the Zarkaran. No expense had been spared in the preparations for his arrival.. Minstrels, dancers, a parade, and a tournament between William Gore and Nicholas Snow were all part of the entertainment and Darius would be right in the middle of it. It was an opportunity of a lifetime.

“Thank you sire”, Darius said, bowing. He couldn’t believe it. Squiring at a tournament, especially one as big as this was always one of his dreams. “There is still a lot more you have to learn”, the king said. “So I will have you taken off work this week and have you work with one of my Kings Guard. He will teach you everything you need to know about being a squire. He is waiting for you at the bottom of the tower.” “Thank you my king”, Darius said, barely containing his excitement. “You’re very welcome young Master Darius”, the king said with a smile. “I expect great things from you. This tournament is very important for our country. It could determine the difference between victory and defeat.” Darius noded. “I won’t let you down your highness”, he said. “Good”, said the king. “You are dismissed.”

Darius turned to go but as he did the lift doors slid open and a tall thin man walked out. The tightness in Darius’s chest returned with a vengeance. “Ah, just in time”, the king said. “I was just about to send for you”. “No worries”, the thin man said. He had slicked back black hair, dark skin, and a long droopy moustache. “Darius”, the king said. “This is Ichabod Targearan, He is one of my newest advisors. Ichabod, this is Darius.” “How do you do?”, Ichabod asked. “He’s dyed his skin but he’s still the same man”, Darius thought to himself. “Very well, thank you, my lord?”, he said. “Oh no, not a lord only a businessman”, said Ichabod. He smiled. It was the same smile. The same cruel smile Darius had gotten when the man standing in front of him now had told him to leave his father alone when he was working. For the man standing in front of the King of all of Eastirim was not Ichabod Targearan but Ilixer Targux, the Grand Vizier of House Turk and his father’s right hand man.

Send us an owl: Ooo, what a cliffhanger! What do you think of Heroes of Rune so far?

When Fandoms Collide: The Quest for the Mithril Coat

At the Grey Havens Symposium titled Real Myth and Mithril 2015, Grey Havens YA performed their latest fandom skit. Named “When Fandoms Collide: The quest for the Mithril Coat,” this skit combines some of our favorite characters in a plot so delightful that it perfectly compliments its predecessor “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, When Fandoms Unexpectedly Collide.” Our members devised the plot and wrote this themselves, including the incredible puns at the end. Watch the skit here, and, if you’d like to read the full transcript, see more below the video! #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike

Continue reading When Fandoms Collide: The Quest for the Mithril Coat

Watch our Panel from Real Myth!

Did you miss our panel on Grey Havens YA at April’s Real Myth and Mithril? Well, you’re in luck because now you can watch it in full on our YouTube channel! We hope it inspires you. #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike.

Send us an owl: Do you have a question or comment for our members? If you find our work important, would you please consider partnering with us?

What a Nerd Looks Like: Storytellers and Gardeners

I hope you’ve been enjoying following our #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike campaign. We’ve got some great pictures on our Facebook and Twitter. Thank you everyone for your support. In case you missed it, here’s the essay from Ethan that started it all. You’ll also want to check out our second essay from Eliza here. And now, it is my privilege to introduce you to our third contribution.

This story comes to us from Roxy, Grey Havens YA’s first official member. She’s also our oldest member and will be graduating soon. (We don’t like to think about that, but we’re also so proud of her and excited to see how she takes Grey Havens YA out into the world with her.) Roxy’s story brought tears to our eyes. If it inspires you, please consider supporting us and please share with us your own nerd stories and photos. (You can Phone the TARDIS or Send us an owl by commenting on this post.) Enjoy her tale below the photo. #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike
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Everyday, the gardeners come out to water their land, brimming with flowers.  Their flowers were variegated, with colors whispering through morning mist.  Red and orange and yellow and green–oh! The green!  The green was never ending, roots of effervescent blooms climbing high and expanding thick.

There was a day in which the gardeners were not tenders, and tender were the roots and wilting were the blooms.  Not unlike Hamlet’s unweeded garden of Denmark, the prickly weeds and choking vines thrived in this garden, and the radiant tulips, marigolds, sunflowers could barely soak in the gradient light of day.  Dirt had been splattered up and down the bittersweet undergrowth by the down-pouring of May showers, while the tall, greedy weeds were leaves pristine.

One day, two women, on their way to Denver Comic Con, walked by this garden with knapsacks on their backs and handkerchiefs stocked safely away in their front pockets.  They saw this unapparent garden, and saw a few small buds peeking through the tangle, and shared a look–a look of owls.  Knapsacks dropped to the earth in a puff of smoke and contents within spilled out in a flurry of hands; there was an impossible amount of trinkets and tools alike spilling out, but impossibilities have been known to happen.  Gracious women and their hoes and shovels and pruners cut gently leaves pristine and stems unabated (gently, though  of course, for weeds are still akin to flowers).  Uncovered was the weak yet fragrant and gorgeous garden, planted in ancient times but never grown to their full potential–left to rot.

Together they secured the flowers, piling dirt to their base for support; cutting off the vines strangling them and pulling them back to the earth; and watering them with the purest water, ethereally glowing in the sunlight, and cleaning the leaves sullied.  The sun baked off the water droplets from now leaves glowing and vivid, and the earth soaked up water now available to the flowers.  Slowly the garden regenerated, standing tall and pungent to the women’s sensitive noses.

The women set up camp here, in this garden, and no matter how far they went–whether it be Denver Comic Con or the White House–their home would always be gently bringing life to that garden, ambitiously nurturing them to grow as high as they can and never letting their stems snap.

This is Grey Havens Group: YA; two women who allow and encourage us humble outcasts to survive and thrive.

In Praise of Teachers Who Game (and All Other Geeky Teachers)

It is no secret that, at Grey Havens YA and the Grey Havens Group, we love teachers, but we have to confess that our greatest affinity is for the teachers who also call themselves geeks. We love the teachers who use their own precious time to run a D&D or Magic: The Gathering club at school, who create word problems that utilize sickles, galleons and knuts or teach the science of Doctor Who, the ones who teach Shakespeare and Ray Bradbury, the ones who know without a doubt that teaching is their superpower. We just get you, geeky teachers. In fact, we are here, happy and confident in our geekiness, because of you!

At the end of every Grey Havens YA meeting, we share our “fandom moments” from the week. Again and again, the names of beloved geeky teachers come up. On Saturday, April 11, one of those teachers joined us at the Longmont Public Library to celebrate International TableTop Day!

Check out those looks of concentration. Gaming is good for the brain! (Speaking of brains, it was a zombie game.)
Check out those looks of concentration. Gaming is good for the brain! (Speaking of brains, it was a zombie game.)

Here is one of the accounts of the fun that Robyn posted during the event:

There are so many young adults crammed into this tiny room laughing and playing table top games…. We even have teenagers playing with their teacher on a Saturday night. And at the next table, we have 9 YA’s crowded around an RPG. Then we have Star Wars trivia and Magic the Gathering… and finally, Dixit and Fluxx. Laughter, friendships, excitement, and fandom celebration… We couldn’t feel more at home. What a great night!!

emmettabletop   rjchristophertabletop    peter gaming

Just the Saturday before, at our book discussion meeting, we talked about gaming and how it teaches us empathy and an appreciation of consequences. Members spoke with conviction about what gaming has taught them. They also spoke with conviction about what being geeky means to them, about how important it is to them to have a place where they can share their interests and how their imaginations are ignited by teachers who share their enthusiasm for the imaginary worlds of science fiction and fantasy.

dixit    star wars trivia

As a way to support and encourage geeky teachers, Grey Havens YA and the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center will be hosting a Geek and Cultural Resources Fair, featuring a panel of teachers who use fandom culture to inspire their students. In anticipation of that event on September 20, we created what promises to be a fun and informative Facebook group for geeky teachers who want to exchange ideas. If you are a teacher who loves science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comic books or if, in the words of John Green, you are just “enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness,” this group is for you! The group is open to all educators–teachers at all levels, school librarians and administrative staff, homeschoolers and all who believe that the imagination is an essential component of education. If you fit this description, please join. If you know someone who does, please share.

Geeky teachers unite! Allons-y!

Don’t forget that our upcoming geek culture symposium is free to all Saint Vrain Valley School District employees (lunch for both days is included). Just register online then show your SVVSD i.d. at the door!

For more information about the Geek Culture Fair or to be included in the panel, phone the TARDIS!

Send us an owl: What is your favorite memory of a geeky teacher? 

Heroes of Rune Chapter 5 (finally)

Círdan’s note: Many suns have passed, and I’ve grown no closer to uncovering the secret of the World of Rune. I had begun to worry I would never find any other texts aside from Chapters 1, 2, 3, or 4. But Huzzah! I’ve just come across this scroll from spock0528: “Sorry guys. This one took me a while. New chapters coming soon!” Could it be? See for yourself in Chapter 5 below!

Chapter 5

Farion Stormborn

The soldiers of the Eastirim marched all throughout the night. What was needed was quickly packed up and what was not was left behind. Armor was hastily shoved on, weapons stored, and the massive war machines were loaded up for transport on wooden carts. Renly quickly put on Farion’s armor. Farion was impressed with how efficiently he did it. The armor of the Eastirim was a set of overlapping steel plates that covered the body. The armor was designed to take hits with light and medium weapons effectively but also allowed the wearer to have quite a bit of maneuvering room. It was not the strongest but it would not slow the person wearing it down too much. The helmet covered the entire face except for two narrow slits for eyeholes. The top of the helmet was an iron spike that, if necessary, could be used as a weapon. Each standard Eastirim soldier was equipped with a large sword and a small round shield. The sword was large but it could still be wielded with just one hand by strong warriors. The shield was small but powerful and it was often used to slam enemies to the ground rather than block attacks. In half an hour the entire army was gone from the campsite. Only tents and campfires, still smoking, were left. The men were gone. The battle for the fate of Rune was about to begin.

Farion marched beside Mason and Heimgal the whole way to Pymnimily. Renly had gone to join the rest of the squires. He would meet up with Farion when they reached their destination. The march was a hard one. The Zarkaran had chosen an excellent time to attack. The scout had reported that he had seen a fleet of Zarkaran warships heading for the beach near Pymnimily from the old watchtower stationed there. When the Eastirim arrived it would be in the wee hours of the morning. The men would have been marching all night and in no condition to fight. It was the perfect strategy for taking Pymnimily valley.

Fighting back the urge to yawn, Farion continued to move at a brisk pace. He could not afford to be tired, but it was hopeless. By the time the battle had started he would have been awake for more that 24 hours. He felt his eyelids start to close and his pace begin to slow. He jerked himself awake. He bit his tongue as hard as he could without biting it off to prevent himself from drowsing off again. He had to focus.

Around five in the morning the weary party of soldiers arrived at Pymnimily. The valley itself was a narrow passage only around 20 feet wide and 15 feet tall. It was an ideal place for an invasion because numbers did not matter in such a narrow pass. Here both armies, no matter their size, were equal. On the opposite side of the valley there was a sandy shore and after that the River Tywin. Farion could see around 50 Zarkaran warships closing in. The black sails of the approaching ships fluttered in the breeze. Farion knew that each ship could hold around 300 troops. That meant that the Zarkarans were outnumbered by around 3,000. This, in any other battle, would affect the outcome but this was Pymnimily. It would be anyones guess on who would be victorious.

Pymnimily’s southern side was home to the Great Watchtower. It was an ancient tall structure, built before the time of Drake Furror, and it was where Acosor stood when he separated Rune into two and created the River Tywin. At the very top of the tower there was a telescope put in place by Drake Furror so that when the Zarkarans rose again the Eastirim could spot them from a long way off. The telescope could see for many miles and it was what the scout used to spot the incoming warships. Farion could see General Icarus and his commanding officers ascending the steep stone steps of the watchtower.

Renly approached Farion. He wore leather armor and had a sword strapped to his side. He began to tighten Farion’s armor straps and polish his sword. “You scared, boy?” Farion asked. Renly nodded. “Good, that means you’re not stupid.” Farion suddenly remembered that Diggle had said the same thing to him before his first battle. He had quoted Diggle without even realizing it. “We won’t call you in unless you’re really needed,” Farion said. Serving Farion was not Renly’s only duty. During the battle Renly would assist the archers stationed along the top of the valley along with the other squires. If the Eastirim were losing too many men the archers and squires would be called down to fight and Farion and Renly knew every last man (or boy) would be needed. Farion put his hand on Renly’s shoulder. “May Anirab guide your sword,” Renly said. “And yours as well,” Farion replied. It was the standard warriors farewell, but Farion knew that Anirab wouldn’t be guiding his sword today. Anirab hadn’t guided Farion’s sword since the death of Jeremy. He just hoped he didn’t need it now.

Soon after Renly went to join the archers at the top of the valley a loud horn blast came from the Great Watchtower. General Icarus stood at the top of the tower with the mighty horn he had just blew from in one hand and his sword in the other. The design on his breastplate was that of the Golden Dragon of Acosor and he wore no helmet.

“Warriors of Rune,” he shouted. His voice sounded like thunder. “They mean to destroy us. They mean to take our land. To take our women and children. To destroy what has stood for centuries and what will continue to stand for a millennia,” he bellowed. The men looked up. Suddenly they didn’t feel so tired anymore. They now had energy. An energy no man of Rune was without. The energy of battle. “Well I don’t know about you”, Icarus said with sword raised high in the air. “But I’m not planning on dying on the edge of a sword being held by a Zarkaran dog.” The men cheered. The warships were drawing closer to the beach. The catapults were assembled and were being loaded with boulders. The ships were almost at the beach. The men were forming up. The archers were readying their flaming arrows. Farion tightened his hand around the hilt of his sword. The catapults were ready. The ships were in range.

“Fire,” General Icarus yelled. Boulders flew high into the air. There was a moment of silence where the rocks spun through the air silently like a leaf on the wind. Then the boulders found their targets. Several boulders crashed harmlessly into the water but others found their mark. A warship got a boulder right through its hull and it sank into the river in seconds. Another warship got a boulder right through the mast, knocking the ship over. It swerved into another ship sending the men onboard flying. The first wave of rocks had been devastating to the Zarkaran fleet but there was no time for a second. The first warships had arrived at the beach and the men onboard lept off, ready to fight.

“Archers, nock,” General Icarus said. Thousands of arrows were loaded into their bows. “Draw.” Thousands of bows were drawn back, ready to fire. “Loose.” Thousands of arrows curved up into the air then plummeted into the waves of Zarkaran troops. Many men went down but there were still more coming. The final ships had arrived at the beach. The Zarkarans began to run at the Eastirim, swords flailing about wildly.

“Charge,” shouted the general. The Eastirim drew their swords and the men at the front began to sprint towards the invaders. The rest of the army followed and in a matter of seconds all of Pymnimily valley was filled with troops. It was important to get to the Zarkaran before they put up the shield wall. Zarkaran armor was light but what they lacked in protection on their bodies they made up for with their legendary shield wall. The Zarkarans’ shields were long, heavy, curved rectangles made of iron. The shields could be connected side by side with metal hooks. The soldiers behind raised their shields overhead to protect from arrows and the soldiers on the side turned outward and connected their shields with the men next to them. The result was a wall that was not vulnerable on any side. The Zarkarans’ shields each had small slits in them. Too small for an Eastirim sword to get through but small enough for the Zarakarans to get their thin narrow blades through. The men trying to break the shield wall would have to deal with thin blades stabbing them through the chest, throat, and head. The Zarkarans could kill hundreds of Eastirim without losing a single man. The key to beating the Zarkaran in combat was to get to them before they formed their shield wall.

The two armies ran through the valley, swords raised. Farion ran with all his might. Getting to the Zarkarans before their shields were up would be a crucial part of winning the battle. The Eastirim army was almost to the Zarkarans, but all of a sudden the Zarkarans stopped. They rose their shields and hooked them together. Exhausted, Farion ran with all his might but it was too late. The shield wall was closed. It was too late. Farion tried to slow down to prevent from crashing into the wall but he was going too fast. He rammed into a shield with all his might hoping that it might collapse. The shield barely moved. The other men were ramming into the shields with the same success Farion had had. The Eastirim were now extremely vulnerable to the Zarkaran’s thin blades. Farion was pierced through the shoulder by one of the blades, and he grunted in pain. The man next to him was impaled through the throat with the little blade. All around him men were dropping, pierced by the Zarkaran’s swords. The sword emerged from the shield, like a snake coming out of a hole, but this time Farion was ready for it. He brought his sword up and sliced the Zarkarans sword in two. He then repeatedly slammed his sword into the shield. Farion noticed that Heimgal was doing the same thing. Soon men all around them were working to try and bring down the shield wall. At first there was nothing, but then a shield cracked. Then another. Then another. The Eastirim in front cut down the Zarkaran holding the shattered shields. The men flooded into the collapsing shield wall. They had done it! They had broken through. But not without a price. Eastirim dead lay scattered around them, suffering from multiple puncture wounds to the head and chest. Some were dead, others lay drowning in their own blood. Farion charged into the Zarkaran army. He cut down the first Zarkaran soldier he saw. He never even knew what hit him.

Now that the Zarkaran shield wall had been broken the Zarkarans dropped their heavy shields and drew a second of the light and narrow Zarkaran blades. Their swords weren’t as powerful as the Eastirim weapons but they were fast and they had a nasty knack of finding even the narrowest gaps in Eastirim armor.

A tall Zarkaran warrior attacked Farion, swinging his two swords at him in a flashing arc. Farion parried the attack and stabbed the man through the chest with his sword. He hit him with his shield so hard that his neck snapped and the Zarkaran fell to the ground in a heap. Farion saw Mason battling a Zarkaran. Mason had broken one of the Zarkaran’s swords and the Zarkaran was backing away. Mason moved in but the Zarkaran dropped his sword and lept up. Farion saw a hidden blade shoot out of his sleeve and the Zarkaran stuck it into Masons head. Farion moved towards the soldier who had just killed Mason but he was intercepted by a Zarkaran holding a battle axe. Farion was knocked to the ground and the soldier with the battle axe stood over him, grinning. As the axe flashed down towards Farion a spear went through the Zarkaran’s heart. Gendri stood behind the dead Zarkaran. He nodded to Farion and Farion nodded back. Farion stood up and surveyed the battle. The Eastirim were pushing Zarkaran back. Their progress was slow but they were making it. They were winning! They were actually going to win!

But then there came a horrible roar from the beach. Both the Zarkaran and Eastirim soldiers turned to look towards the horrible noise. The noise was coming from a wrecked ship that had washed up on the shore. Suddenly the ships hull exploded and something lept out. It was seven feet tall and dressed in the ceremonial robes of Udun, the Zarkaran god of war. It wore an elaborate headdress that was decorated in various animal skulls. In its hands were a mace and a sword both as tall as the figure itself. It stood on the beach and shrieked. A noise that would make the hair on even the bravest man’s neck stand on end. The Zarkarans began to cheer and every Eastirim’s heart was struck with fear. It was a Shaman of Udun. The shaman charged, straight at Farion.

There are many legends and myths about the Shamans of Udun. Some say they are men given the powers of a demon by the war god himself. Others say they are wholly demon, the children of Poshrux. Some even say they are the products of Zarkaran experiments on there own troops, experiments designed to create the perfect warrior. No matter what anyone thought, no one could deny that their appearances were extremely rare. They are believed to guard the temples of the gods in Zarkaran, and they rarely ventured onto the battlefield, but it is not unheard of for one to lead the Zarkarans into battle.

The Zarkaran soldiers lept out of the way of the charging shaman, Those that were too slow were crushed under the shamans massive feet. Heimgal gave a battle cry and ran directly at the fastly approaching shaman. With a single blow from the shaman’s mace Heimgal was sent flying. He slammed into a rock and lay still. The Zarkarans cheered again. They knew their savior had come.

The shaman was not slowed down by its massive size. It had gone from the beach to the Eastirim side of the battlefield in just a few steps. The shaman was just meters from Farion. He stared into the eyeholes of the shaman’s headdress. He saw nothing. At the last possible second Farion lept to the side, just out of the creatures reach. As he did so he raked his sword across the shaman’s thigh. The shaman kept running, unaware of the bleeding gash in its leg.

“At least it’ll bleed,” Farion thought to himself. The shaman crashed into the Eastirim soldiers, knocking them senseless. It swung it’s mace and sword taking men out left and right. Farion saw him impale two men at once with its sword and lift them high into the air. Farion had to get its attention. He grabbed a dagger from the ground and threw it at the shaman’s head. The dagger went through the back of the shamans skull and stuck out its forehead. That got its attention. It turned around and located Farion. Then it charged again.

Despite the fact that it had a dagger sticking through its head, it didn’t seem hurt. Only angry. Farion was surprised. That should have killed the creature instead he was its next target. Just as the shaman reached Farion he dove to the side and jumped onto the back of the shaman, his sword raised high. But the shaman appeared to be expecting this. Before Farion could plunge his sword into the shamans back it grabbed him and threw him off. Farion was airborne. He landed hard on a large rock. The creature dropped its sword and grabbed the mace with both hands, moving in for the kill. Farion couldn’t move. His collision with the rock had knocked the wind out of him and he lay there, gasping. The shaman was nearly on him when Farion saw Renly, out of the corner of his eye, stab the shaman in the leg with his sword. They must have needed the squires!

When Renly stabbed the shaman he must have severed some kind of artery. The shaman shrieked and twisted around awkwardly, hitting Renly with the back of his hand. Renly was knocked over and Farion saw blood pouring out of his check. The sword was left quivering in the shaman’s calf.

The breath had returned to Farion’s lungs. He jumped to his feet and ran at the shaman, hoping to get there before the shaman killed Renly. Just as the shaman raised his mace over the collapsed Renly, Farion reached the shaman and swung his sword aiming for his neck. But again the shaman seemed to be expecting it. The shaman grabbed Renly’s sword, ripped it out of his calf, and plunged it into Farion’s side. Farion dropped to one knee. Blood gushed from the hole in his chest. Even though the pain was excruciating Farion climbed to his feet and ripped Renly’s sword out of his side. The wound began to bleed faster but Farion didn’t have time to notice. Using every last bit of energy he could muster, he picked up his sword and ran for the rock he had been thrown into earlier. The shaman followed quickly. He had to get to the rock before the shaman got him or else he would be finished. Just a few more feet. He had to make it.

With one final burst of strength Farion leaped onto the rock twisted around and jumped again. The shaman swung at him with its mace but it had aimed too low. Farion passed over the shaman’s mace and brought his sword down through the horrible creature’s head. The shaman was slammed to the ground and Farion’s blade stuck deep into the earth, pinning the shaman there. The shaman twitched, but, after a few seconds, it finally stopped and died.

A cheer went up from the Eastirim side. The shaman was dead. But the battle was far from over. Farion fell to his knees. He couldn’t see Renly anywhere. Then, to his surprise, the shaman’s body withered away and turned to dust. All that was left was a pile of ash and and a sword, deeply embedded in the ground. The Zarkarans starred in shock. Then they charged forward in one final push. Farion tried to stand but he had lost too much blood. Fighting the shaman had taken him far away from the rest of the Eastirim army. He lay there, without a weapon and completely defenseless. The Eastirim charged at the approaching Zarkarans, but they would not reach him in time. The last thing Farion remembered before he blacked out was a heavy boot of soldier, he could not tell whether he was Zarkaran or Eastirim, coming down onto his head.

Send us an owl: What’s going to happen to Farion? Tell me, I must know! …Ahem, excuse me.  Wow, what a thrilling tale! Please share your thoughts for spock0528 below and keep a lookout for Chapter 6. 

The World of Rune prologue and preview

Cirdan’s Note: By the sea and stars, I have stumbled upon a most fascinating text! Our very own spock0528 has uncovered an ancient scroll that he thought would be of some interest to us. Read his findings below.

Heroes of

Rune

Part 1

 

Prologue

Of Gods and Men

“For the great god Acosor rode on the Golden Dragon from his Kingdom, Fabeu and discovered Rune, land of mortals. He taught the Eastirim, a then primitive tribe of Rune the ways of his kingdom and the ways of his fellow gods. There was Anirab, god of battle and victory, Herarl, goddess of wisdom, and Olset, goddess of the elements. Acosor, god of the sun changed the once small nation of the Eastirim into a mighty empire. The Eastirim prayed to the gods and they answered. For it was a time of peace and of closeness with the divine. But the gods and demons and darkness from the underworld of Ncava wanted Rune for their own. They found the Zarkaran, a tribe willing to do whatever to take Rune from the Eastirim. The dark god king, Azolael lead the Zarkaran into battle against the Eastirim on the Black Dragon. Helping him were his fellow gods, Udun, the dark god of battle, Shidiel, goddess of plague and disease, and the terrible demon Poshrux the Merciless. It was a hard battle lasting many days but finally Acosor and the Eastirim banished the dark gods and drove the Zarkarans back to their home. The final act of the Acosor was to split Rune into two pieces to separate the two nations. The river Tywin was left to be the border of Eastrim and Zarkaran.

All was well until Acosor and the other gods disappeared. Prayers were no longer answered and the great temples of Teroh, Eastirim’s capital city were left unvisited by the divine. Why did the gods disappear? None can say. The gods work in mysterious ways and it is not up to mortals to question them. Still the gods did not reappear for 2,000 years. The two halves of Rune drifted side by side peacefully. The land masses drew near to a new land where new races entered Rune and the noble blood of the Eastirim was all but gone. The gods were remembered as ancient stories among the Eastirim. But then the Zarkarans returned led by Azolael to conquer the rest of Rune. Still the gods did not return. All looked hopeless until the great warrior Drake Furror arose, for he was of pure Eastirim blood. He defeated the enemy in a single swoop with his army of elites and reigned for many years as king. He was as good of a king as he was as a warrior. When he died he was buried in a tomb made of solid gold 10,000 feet beneath the palace of Teroh in the ancient hall of kings.

That was 500 years ago and we have remained safe from the Zarkarans for now. Perhaps they are truly gone or perhaps they are biding their time and preparing to attack again. We cannot be sure but either way we are prepared for war. For we know that the power of the Zarkarans and Azolael are great.”

_ excerpt from The Scrolls of the Eastrim chapter 4 by Barnabas Lessiar and Malistair Huckberry  

Welcome to the

World Of

Rune

 

Follow the stories of four very different individuals in this magical world.

 

Meet Farion

A warrior now forced to live with a terrible curse

Join him on his mission of vengeance

 

Meet Darius

The king’s trusted boy servant who has a dark secret

 

Meet Eastior

A young elf prince who now must take over an elven

kingdom when his father is killed

 

Meet Violet

A nine year old Zarkarvan slave girl who is about to discover her

massive destiny that will change the course of Rune forever

 

New chapter every week

Coming Soon!!!

Send us an owl: Wow! Which story are you most excited to hear about?