Echoes of Ragnarök
EoR Series History
EoR Quest Log
What Lurks Beneath
WLB Quest Log
Queen of Hearts
Feast of Leviathan
Questing in Rhiassa
War of Shadows

 


Echoes of Ragnarök Series History

Collected below you can find the historical information pertinent to each of the Echoes of Ragnarök events. Links to the quest logs as well as other plot relevant information can be found in this area. It is our intention as event holders to make sure that all players are informed of the story and can interact with the world even if they have missed any events in the past. Everything you read below you can consider information made available to your character, and you can contact us with any questions by emailing Jason at aeston@giantsquid.net.

 



The Gilded Lion Summer Festival
June, 2015

This event was the official "teaser" introduction to our Echoes of Ragnarök event series. Ostensibly pitched to the Realms as a low-key social and tournament event, we nonchalantly informed our patrons that we would be pitching our new event series here, though the details of how we would do so and what the event series would be about would be left to those who were able to show up and play.

Our format for this event was ambitious. We wanted to create an segue to the plot that would appeal to a wide variety of play styles. Combat, puzzle solving, physical challenges, and role playing. The best solution we could think of was to create a very large variety of types of mini quests and allow players to choose which ones they would have the most fun interacting with. At all times we had eight simultaneous challenges running, all along side combat tournaments to entertain those who were not currently away on a quest.

Though this was, in the end, a questing event to draw players into the new world we were creating, the event also succeeded at being low-key and social as we intended. Players were able to relax, complete challenges together, eat great food, and enjoy the day. We were happy to be able to pitch our new series in such a setting and looked forward to the fall where we would be able to start telling the story in earnest.

Original Event Announcement

Main Quest Log

Map of Norlund

Asgardian Starscript Runes

 



Echoes of Ragnarök
Svartalvheim
November, 2015

Once more into the breach, my friends! After a year's hiatus from doing our yearly questing event, Rhiassa once again returned to throwing a dungeon crawl in Hicks Arena at UCONN. Many aspects of this event were built on the same format principles that we learned through the What Lurks Beneath plot line. One major change for this year was the construction of the dungeon itself. Folkestone, years before, had created a very serviceable dungeon in the arena by simply tying up ropes from the railings and hanging plastic from them. In disassembling our "dungeon L's", we found that the cloth on them was exactly the right size to use for the same purpose. We were very happy with how easy it was to set up and manipulate.

This event boasted some very new ideas. As we wanted the players to feel like they were in an underground dwarven realm, we came up with the idea of having to engage in mining consistently throughout the day. From there the idea of pushing around a mine cart on a track was born, and the mechanic for mining (using picks to break open paper bags), using ore to power spells and items, and smithing event-specific items were derived. Our goal was to have many different ways for the players to interact with the event beyond the combat, which would all be equally valuable to their overall success.

Svartalvheim was also the second half of the two-event-per-year format that we decided to attempt for this plot line. Using the Summer Festival and the yearly questing event both to push the story forward, with the summer event having more of a 'lighter' take on the series and the questing event being more serious and combat oriented. Through this manner we hope to welcome a number of different play styles and perspectives into the series.

Original Event Announcement

Main Quest Log

Forging Guide

 



The Gilded Lion Summer Festival II
Echoes of Ragnarök
Himmelberget
June, 2016

Oddly enough, this event began with a screenshot. Alex Groom, who would eventually transition into the role of the event holder of this episode of our plot, happened to post to Facebook a picture of a level he was attempting in Kingdom Rush, a prominent tower defense game and one that I had spent many hours playing. I happened to comment on it on a lark, "Idea: tower defense Realms quest" then "Start chalking it up, Alex."

From there we began several iterations of design that would allow the concept of a tower defense video game to make an authentic transition into a Realms event. There were a lot of issues of timing and complexity and balance to consider and, given that it was something completely new, we didn't have much of a baseline to scaffold any of those things around. There was, suffice it to say, a lot of guessing. But we managed to distill the rules down to their essential elements, and we put out something that still felt like our patrons were playing at a Realms event, but were also working within the confines of a tower defense scenario.

This event was, for us, an experiment in thinking outside of the box to create our content. Though it is very unlikely that we will do a tower defense event in the future (the idea partially works because of its novelty), we did come to realize that the Summer Festival is a great forum to throw plot for the Echoes of Ragnarök storyline, but to do so in a very new way. We resolved to use this yearly event to test other brand new event concepts in the future.

Original Event Announcement

Main Quest Log

Node Building Guide

 



Echoes of Ragnarök II
Muspelheim
December, 2016

Our Echoes of Ragnarok plotline was now in full effect with the fourth event in the series and we had been finding it to be a very entertaining story to tell. With a rich history of Nordic legend to pull from, it was fun to brainstorm ways of adapting those myths to suit our own style and mechanics. Throwing an event based around fire was something that we had done before in the What Lurks Beneath story, and we were excited to try it again with a new twist.

Something that had become clear to us from our last dungeon crawl is how, even just through regular combat encounters, you have the opportunity to engage many play styles and interests. One of the ways we tried to address that this year was through the pillars, a moving zone defined by lasers that required players to be mindful of where they could be in the dungeon and engaged them by making them constantly manage where it was located. Even more successful than the pillars, however, was the charm crafting system we implemented which required players to constantly be gathering components and doing rituals to put them together to get boons for their characters.

Again we returned to our familiar format of combat rooms alternating with puzzle/challenge rooms, and responding to feedback that the challenge rooms were by far preferred, we tried to include a greater number of those than in the past. Also, for the first time ever we served dinner during one of our dungeon crawls and although it was the simple fare of chili and macaroni and cheese, it seemed like it was much appreciated and we'll make sure to include it in upcoming events with similar formats.

Original Event Announcement

Main Quest Log

Flame Enchantment Circle

Charm Crafting Recipies

 



The Gilded Lion Summer Festival III
Echoes of Ragnarök
Jotunheim
June, 2017

The previous year at the Gilded Lion Summer Festival we thought about doing something really outside the box when we threw an event based on playing a tower defense video game. With that experiment, we felt that we had set a precedent. That our summer festival would always advance the Echoes of Ragnarok storyline, but also that it would be different and focus on fun new mechanics and be 'light' in tone compared to the fall dungeon crawl.

This year the inspiration for the event was the Monster Hunter series of games. We loved the idea of ripping pieces off the NPCs that the players killed and with them crafting weapons and armor and other accessories for battle. It was a devilishly simple idea to implement, it took little in the way of expensive props to do and created a task that was very engaging.

The greater challenge of this event was how to make the giants of Jotunheim actually giant. When we stumbled upon our answer we knew it would be the defining feature of the event, inflatable suits that would be worn not only by the NPCs to make them larger than life, but by the PCs as well as they clashed with them in gargantuan battles.

Original Event Announcement

Main Quest Log

Jotun Crafting Guide



Echoes of Ragnarök III
Helheim
November, 2017

Now three years into telling our Ragnarok story, it was time to start introducing some of the concepts that would take us to the climax of the plot. When all of us look back at the final encounter at this event I think we’re very satisfied at the reveal of what is sure to be on every player’s mind until they return to Norlund to learn more.

There were a couple of departures from how we normally put together our dungeon crawls during this installment. To increase the difficulty of the terrain we added a liberal number of “hell pits” around the floor and created status effects for being blind, mute, and deaf. All of which were conferred from falling into one of the pits. That allowed us to increase the difficulty of slogging through the dungeon without also necessarily making combat too challenging or too deadly.

Again this year we tried to increase the number of rooms that involved puzzles and challenges as opposed to straight out combat. We’d also learned that resource management and crafting systems add lots of extra things to do at our dungeon crawls so we redoubled our efforts to create an engaging system of gathering honor or bones with which to build fetishes. We used 3D printing for the first time to create the props for the latter.

One thing we did not expect to see was the player versus player arguments and rifts that were beginning to develop within the questing party, even within nations, over how to ultimately resolve the face that the PCs were working towards making Ragnarok happen. We look forward to seeing how players react and how those rifts might change as more of the story is revealed.

Original Event Announcement

Main Quest Log

Fetish Construction Book



The Gilded Lion Summer Festival IV
Echoes of Ragnarök
Midgard
June, 2018

When we originally composed the Ragnarok storyline we created what we thought was an interesting subversion of a basic story concept, that in order to save a world from destruction the heroes would have to destroy it themselves. Yet, as a greater number of diverse players joined the plotline, we quickly found that not everyone was so thrilled with the idea of such wanton annihilation. Some players began to deeply question the motives of the characters they had met and the accuracy of the knowledge they were given.

We composed the Summer Festival, therefore, as a way for them to meet more of the people of Norlund and learn more, verifiable information about the state of the world and what was necessary for them to save it. We decided to let the players meet the enemy of the Jomsvikings, the person who was manipulating others behind the scenes to build his own kingdom and a position of power in the dying Midgard.

The event took the form of a festival where the players could engage in traditional viking games of different kinds with members of the Jarl’s camp. We created a diverse range of sports-like games, board games, and lawn games all based off current or ancient games from the Scandinavian region. As the players talked to the different vikings and learned their stories they were able to start piecing together the fact that the world really was doomed and that Ragnarok really would be a path to salvation. Interestingly enough, however, this made everyone even further resolved to find another option. One which would not destroy the world but save everyone nonetheless.

In the wake of this event our staff had a deep discussion about what was important in running a plot and telling an engaging story and we decided that it was our duty to create a narrative that our patrons really wanted to be a part of. We took some big steps back and started to do some rewriting that would give our player base this new option that they were searching for.

Original Event Announcement

The Secret Message

Main Quest Log



Echoes of Ragnarök Legends
July, 2018

The purpose of throwing this event was manifold. In one sense we wanted to throw a quick follow up to the Summer Festival. The players had decided on a new purpose and we wanted them to be able to act on it as quickly as they could so they could help realize the next phase of the plot. Beyond that, with so many newer members of the event staff having become squires, we wanted to give those individuals a chance to orchestrate an event to gain experience in all the aspects of plot holding. Especially monster building, as a giant dragon at the end of the night quest was one of the hallmarks of the weekend.

The event was a traditional quest in format. Players moved from location to location around the site solving puzzles and fighting enemies in order to reassemble the sword of Sigurd. The nightquest allowed them to make a choice about how they would like the plot to proceed. They could use the sword to empower Loki’s ring, granting them great power which would aid them in beginning Ragnarok, or they could use the ring to purify the sword, isolating the last remaining essence of Odin and giving them their fist clues on how they might be able to restore Norlund without destroying it. As we suspected they would, they players purified the sword, thereby formally beginning the retelling of this story on their terms.

Original Event Announcement

The Rise and Fall of Sigurd

Main Quest Log