Arriving at the Fall Festival on Origin a bit early, I noticed something very strange by the pond, so I wandered over to take a closer look. Yes indeed, someone had abandoned their clothing to take a quick dip before the festivities began. Very curious as to who this brave and obviously naked person was under the water, I sat down to await their exist. Sad part was that they never surfaced and I never found out who took the plunge. But later when I asked who it might be, I received some really interesting suggestions from the EMs. Hmmm..... The first contest of the day was Llama racing. Now this wasn't quite as easy to do as it sounds. Especially given the fact that none of us brought a Llama to the Llama races! I mean, come on, the Super Dragons taking up all our stables slots would have just eaten them anyway. (with or without catsup) But it was Frey Wavestrider to the rescue! As soon as EM Faine and EM Laurana "poofed" up a herd of Rideable Llamas, Frey chased them down one by one taming them, then made sure that everyone that "came to the Llama race without a Llama" had one. (The more I say that, the more I realize there is something just very wrong about that whole picture.) Now that we were all lined up and rearing to go, we were told that it wasn't just a "race around the track", but that there would be "obstacles" to overcome. Yes indeed there were, and the first one was to understand the directions. Now which way do we go first Em Laurana? Clockwise or Counter Clockwise? Clockwise? Are you sure that way is Clockwise? After much deliberation on which way go to get to the finish line,the race was easily won by Lounge Act on his Speed Demon Llama. But, as a consolation prize for us "slow pokes", the Ems conjured up some cows for us to tip. (Really brought back some good memories of growing up in Missouri, that's for sure.) Then it was on to the Dagger Throwing contest. Several contestants had great ideas on what or who we could substitute for the boring old red and white circles to aim at and the EMs left it to our discretion as to whether we acted on those suggestions or not. Smooth move on their part I'd say, although I'm thinking they didn't hear someone in the crowd shout, "Lets use EM Faine and EM Laurana as targets." We all threw our daggers, three contestants at a time, until through elimination, it was a showdown between Falsephrophet and myself. It really wasn't much of a contest at that point given the fact that he had a dagger in one hand steadily aiming and had Gingerbread Cookies in the other hand that "The Brat from KK" had brought for everyone. Those are some powerful cookies I must say and I'm sure it is what cinched the contest for him! (No way am I admitting he beat me fair and square!) Next was the contest I was dying to see, The Mage's Poker. Although I had heard of this, Id never seen one nor participated in one. Once the rules were explained the excitement began. We were told a particular poker hand then had to use the "Summons Creatures" spells to make the hand. Let me tell you, there were varmints everywhere! The hardest part though was trying to tell if it was one you had summoned or if it belonged to another contestant. I'm standing there looking at all them and feeling a bit like Steve Urkel..."Did I do that?" 1st Place: Lord Falseprophet (What? Again?) 2nd Place: Lounge Act 3rd Place: Frey Wavestrider Honorable Mention: Crystal Canyon OK, so UO is not so different from real life and what party would be complete without someone "crashing" it?" Yes, we did have a few "Uninvited Guests", but they were no problem for a bunch of fierce Warriors such as we. (Although I will admit to running in the opposite direction when the first one appeared and spitting out a few choice descriptive words.) Now, everyone must surely know by this time that our EMs, Faine and Laurana are very "Big Hearted" people, but even this was somewhat of a shock to me. (The Llama lost a battle with one of the Uninvited Guests.) The event I had been nervously awaiting was now about to begin, and the butterflies in my stomach were having a "Dance off Contest" in there. It was the "Story Telling Contest" and I could only imagine what the rules to this would entail. As I much expected, it wasn't going to be your average, everyday, "tell a story and get the hell off the stage" type of event. Oh no.... not being conducted by OUR EMS. NO, we were given a bag with three random items in it, and 1 minute to con-cock a story that would include these items, be of a Halloween Theme and be able to tell the entire tale in Three minutes! ( I often wonder how many hours of mind bending EM Laurana and EM Faine spend trying to confuse us poor peasants.) Finally! I won an event after a long day of struggle, but only by a very narrow margin with Xavier tagging my heals. The stories were great and most incorporated our lovely EMs in tales that should not be spoken again, but were none the less, very entertaining! The Fall Festival was at an end, and bidding EM Faine and EM Laurana farewell was hard to do, but knowing they would return soon was a small consolation. As we all were saying our Good byes, they silently disappeared into the cloud in which they had come. Making sure I had the Recipe Book that I had looted off the Uninvited Guest, I turned to leave myself, when I heard someone shout, "Hey, does anyone have one of those Yellow Crystals that summons the Harbinger, we could set one off." I was ready to go then! In fact I was running and hoping with all my might that Baciver didn't hear that. Much to my dismay, he was within ear shot and was already on his way to retrieve one and bring it back! Several deaths later, no durability left on any of my armor, but Recipe Book still in tack, I was headed home. We should all be grateful for all of the hard work and long hours EM Faine and EM Laurana put into these events. They are always, unselfishly, spending their time trying to make our UO experiences just that much better. My "Thanks" to you both for such a wonderful day!