Putting the ”N” in News
Dresden O’Leary back at the Helm with this months exciting edition of the Neden Kazoo! Feels good to be back at the desk, although I really need to teach Lord Syruss how to use a coaster.Ring stains do not look very becoming on mahogany. Other than that though, a big thanks to Lord Syruss, and everyone that helped out in my absence, and kept things rolling along smoothly. Once again be sure to visit the Neden website to read back issues of the Kazoo. (http://www.thenationofneden.com/neden-kazoo.html)
PS -If anyone knows how to get these stains out of a desk, please send a raven to your frustrated N’editor in Chief.
Gods, Strangers, and the Garm Talk
Hello there! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Mouse; and I hope you’re all doing well as preparations for winter begin. A lot has been happening in the Realms lately. The annual Black & White Masquerade just took place in Chimeron and I found myself in what felt like an endless sea of meetings; chief of which was a meeting about what to do with Garm.
This got me thinking about the other Gods as well as the abundance of new and confused adventurers. There were a lot of fresh faces in that gathering, many of which may not be familiar with some of the more spiritual lore of the Realms or what we were talking about. So I thought to myself…why not look into exploring some of that information in the Neden Kazoo?
In the Realms, there are many different types of Gods and Goddesses and they are categorized in different ways depending on who you ask. Frequently we refer to what is known as the “Pantheon of Greater Gods.” This is made up of some of the more major and widespread deities of the Realms. Then you have lesser Gods, demigods, regional gods, and even alternative pantheons. Depending on your beliefs you may worship all, none, one, or a select few of these Gods or Goddesses; but nobody can say that you don’t have a lot of options.
In Voraniss, our pantheon consists of four deities: Gaia, Luna, Vandor, and Siltana. We believe that together they reign over the earth, sky, and spirit of mortal kind; protecting and nurturing us as we go about our lives. Other countries are influenced by different faiths. In Rhiassa for instance, their way of life is heavily influenced by Justari down to their knightly code which espouses the idea of justice as a knightly virtue. In Neden, I’ve found that people seem to primarily worship The Dark One, but I’ve also come across a Harlequin follower or two as well as “The Church of Shadow.”
Garm, the God that was being discussed at Black & White, is known as the God of Balance or the “Enforcer” of the Gods. His symbol, as described in the Library of Ivory, is a horned helmet with two crossed swords under it engulfed in flames. Primarily operating out of the Crossroads, Garm has traditionally ruled over the underworld as a patron of demons and devils. Mind you, this was all before he was pinned to a chair by a magical sword. Currently, Garm is not fully operational. He is alive, but unable to act on his own to the best of our knowledge.
You may find yourself asking: Why are we talking about Garm? What’s the big deal about Garm? What prompted this conversation? I’m glad you asked. You see, currently, the Realms is facing a threat that you will hear us refer to as “The Strangers From Beyond the Stars” or simply the “Strangers.” They have the powers of Gods, but they are not from our Realm nor our universe for that matter. They want to infiltrate our world and gain footing and power here. They have a habit of worming in and assuming the Aspects of Gods that already exist in the worlds they wish to conquer, which brings us back to Garm.
Some adventurers believe that we need Garm fully functional so he can police the pantheons and resume his role as Enforcer. Some believe it is a terrible idea. Now that you have this information you can begin to ask questions and decide for yourself. As is frequently said within the Realms: Knowledge is power. Arm yourselves with it and be prepared for the battles ahead.
I Can't Even
I Can't Even
Recently I witnessed such a breach of social protocol that I literally could not. I watched someone, someone who should know better, re gift something not five minutes after receiving the gift! And not only that, but the original gifters were there to witness it. I could only imagine how they must have felt, watching their beloved gift passed off like some sort of cheap tchotchke. And no that's not a typo, it's a word. It means 'knick knack'. Why didn't I just say 'knick knack' you ask? Because I'm not uncultured swine.
Anyways, this wasn't some common pleb receiving a gift from another common pleb and then regifting to yet another common pleb. Oh no, these were esteemed members of their respective communities. Folks who knew better than to commit such an atrocity, and folks who know to be offended by it. Of course, it was amusing to the rest of us, but as I shoveled more Blackwood Meatloaf into my mouth I wondered to myself what would make one think that this is acceptable behavior. Then I realized that perhaps no one has taught them when and where is the appropriate time for regifting.
I am sure that most of you are thinking that the answer is 'never' and 'nowhere', but that is simply not true. I have regifted many things in my lifetime, you just need to do it properly.
The first rule of regifting is that the person who gave you the gift must never know that you passed it on. And in order for them to never find out, no one can know. People like to gossip, and if anyone knows that you regifted that sculpture that used to be on your mantle that was either a recreation of bedlam or a horse (you never were quite sure), the person who gave it to you will find out about it. And never, ever, ever give a gift back to the person who gave it to you in the first place! Make sure you think before you pass that thing on down the line, and make sure that there is no way that the person will ever find out. This may require killing a couple of people, but I am told you need to crack a few eggs to cook bacon, so sometimes it's just necessary.
Second rule is that the gift should be something that the recipient will want and not just something that you don't want. Giving a gift shouldn't just be an obligation, but something that you put time and thought into. Or at the very least something that someone else put time and thought into. I have received plenty of gifts over the years that are simply something that I don't need or won't even use, but someone else could use it or would really enjoy it, and in that case it's totally fine to pass it along, as long as you follow rule number 1. A guideline for this is to think 'if I weren't so cheap, would I buy them this gift?'. If the answer is no, then it's probably not an appropriate gift.
Thirdly, make sure that the gift is in good condition, as in new. And I don't mean, 'like new' condition, I mean actually new. Like, never used. Maybe you got an article of clothing in an ungodly color, like chartreuse, but you didn't have the heart to tell the person who gave it to you that you hated it and it's been hiding in the back of your wardrobe for the past half a century. But you have a friend who loves vintage clothes in tacky colors, in which case it's completely logical that you would have it cleaned and pressed and then gift it to them. Make sure it still has it's original sale tags and any packaging that it may have come with it, but be sure to remove the previous gift tag and re-wrap it.
Fourthly, regift within the appropriate time frame. While some things go out of style, or quite literally rot, and need to be regifted relatively quickly, pawning off your gift within a matter of five minutes is likely to earn you some nasty nicknames in certain social circles. A basic rule is don't re gift something at the same party that you received it at. You'd think that would go without saying, but here we are.
So, dear reader, as you can see, it's really not that difficult. I am quite sure now that you've read my handy rules that no one will make any of these faux-pas ever again. But you've disappointed me before, so I won't hold out hope.
‘N’ Local News
Local Pint Size Legend Sir Al is at again at thet The GroggyAle Craft Cidery. This time Al is doing a one gnome show based off the story of his life. “Casting a 30 foot shadow the story of a 2 foot gnome.”
Sir Naj’s Brother, Doc, is open a new haberdashery in Neden. Top Hats for Top Folkes is making all the rave in local fashion.
Ditch is BACK…...and he is gone again. Maybe one day we will get words of wisdom from the ever loving Neden Boy Ditch.
FROM THE LORDS DESK
By Lord Syruss O’Leary
The turkeys are growing and the potatoes are being harvested ingredients from all over the lands are coming in Daily and my brother Sir Nymbous and I are back in the cidery brewing up a storm.
We here in Neden look forward all year to opening our doors and inviting you guys in for a Nice Holiday Meal. This year's festivities take place on Sunday, November 25th starting sharply at noon with delicious snacks while we await our main meal.
A Cider Review
By jean Baptise
Well folks I, your illustrious savior of the waking world has come upon a problem.
All of my cider reviews prior are “Weird Yuppie shit” they are pricey weird variants of drys. Who wants one of those? No today we are gonna have a people’s cider. A DRINK OF THE MASSES.
So behold the drink of the masses.
Woodchuck Hard Cider is a mainstay cider of choice, not only cause it comes in 24 bottle variety packs, but look at how happy that cute little woodchuck is. Truly this is the chosen cider of Brenda. And everyone likes Brenda right?
Woodchuck is a northern cider company that’s been around roughly 27 years or so with a large variety of cider choices. They have over ten flavors, including Raspberry, semi drys and Ambers.
Now what makes a Dry cider is something called a cider apple, which is a incredibly bitter apple that can be fermented without being too sweet from the excessive sugar, it is essentially a step further into the baking apple category. However unlike most “Small time” ciderneers, Woodchucks doesn’t go too deep into the Dry Side, where you end up with ciders that frankly are only not apple wines for taxation purposes.
Curse you Lord Syruss, for your incessant taxing of competing cider makers! Give Angry Orchard a chance! They have gumption!
Now I can go on a trend about this, but lets save that for the Citizen Cider review. Anyway Woodchuck avoids this and keeps all their variations at least a little sweet. Even this Granny Smith flavor.
The granny smith cider is interesting because it’s the most “Natural” tasting cider I have, in that it doesn’t taste like a apple juice or a wine, it tastes like a raw granny smith. Its more sour then bitter, with a nice bite.
This makes it one of the few ciders useful for cocktails, and you can use it as a mixer in more fruity cocktails. I like to take a dash of Fireball in it and make a cocktail I like to call “Gaia is Dead” but feel free to try your own.