Ho ho ho... hoo boy...
It's been a weird month since the last update, both in-game and in the real world. All sorts of craziness at home and abroad, some worth discussing and much of it not. Not to mention a certain post-apocalyptic video game proving a powerful distraction... What matters is another month has come and gone and we're still here (more or less).
Columbiana has not been immune from the craziness of recent weeks, but given the nature of its existence this pre-holiday chaos has taken on a different form. Secret battles between creatures undetectable to even most Mages, expeditions into realms best left alone, and terrible artifacts finding their way back into the open. Atop all this, the increasing political tensions both within the Valley and the secret world of Mages as a whole have proven a distraction to all but the most dedicated of watchers of these sorts of events. To say that things might soon get ugly is likely to prove an understatement.
That said, a period of relative calm is settling over the Valley as the Holidays approach. The snow has begun to fall, blanketing the forests of the Valley in a serene white. The cold winds blow to be certain, but roaring fires in both homes and the common rooms of the Academy have been lit to keep the chill at bay. Holidays both modern and ancient are close on the horizon and the people of the Valley turn to their loved ones. Even those who have lost friends or family in recent months find small comfort in coming together for food and pleasantries (or have mounted expeditions into horrific realms to bring said family home). It is truly unfortunate that everyone knows that something
will inevitably interrupted the peace and tranquility of the season, and probably sooner rather than later...
Outside the realm of the Valley, and into our own world, I have yet another monthly contest
for players to take part in this month. Last month's participation was quite minimal, but no worries! It will take more than a slow (both for the event and in general) month for me to abandon the idea. These sorts of events will be around, offering extra XP opportunities for at least the immediate future.
Additionally the current SWP is going strong, and while it is somewhat past the point for new people to jump in anyone can feel free to check it out and see what's going on. For those of you who wish to join a SWP but missed the current one, no worries! Another will certainly be starting within the next few weeks (whether we finish the current one by then or not...).
Finally, an update on the maps: The rough drafts have been completed and have been shared amongst the Admin team. Within the next few weeks we should have them ready to be shared with players, so you can make claims on your character's individual territories (be it the location of their home/apartment, or even just a portion of the woods they call home...). If all goes well, the player-ready drafts should be up in the next week or two and the final (i.e. "prettied-up" version) should be up by the first of the year!
As always, if anyone has questions/comments/criticisms, please feel free to let us know!