The February 2009 Chesapeake Great Treasure Hunting Race was held Saturday evening, starting off in Britain. Hosted by EM Tailspin, EM Dudley and EM Faine Morgan, contestants and spectactors were soon anxiously milling about the Counselor's Hall in Britain. Dragons seemed to outnumber the people as they were "parked" all about the outside of the building, circling it in it's entirety. No small wonder that one of them didn't get a funny idea in it's reptilian head to share with it's kin that they could just as easily besiege the building and forget their masters! Fortunately, this did not happen, and as the starting hour arrived, the EM's were busy giving directions and answering questions. An extended-life moongate was created linking the hall with the chessboard in Nujel'm and the party soon moved there. Each team was given a bag containing a team registration book, team-colored doublets and a similarly colored cloak for their designated treasure hunter. I joined a team of some fellow United Sosarian Alliance members and we were given the distinguished color of pink and dubbed the Pink Panthers. Once all the teams were registered and had donned their team garb, rows of seats on the Nujel'm chessboard were assigned to each team, complete with a colored insignia at the end of each row indicating their team bench. It was then that EM Tailspin invoked his demi-godly powers to evoke forth from the Pirate's Paradise of the afterlife the late Captain Bloodrum. The faint scents of fine rum and perfumed flowers of the warm south seas filled the air as the scowling, old buccaneer was a bit surprised to suddenly be dragged back into the world of the living, shaking his fists at the skies. He eyed the assembled teams grudingly, muttering under his breath about being summoned so to this world where snow still covers much of the land. Accepting his immediate situation, he issued a challenge to the assembled teams of treasure hunters to see who were the best of the lot. Promising fame(but not so much fortune) to those who would demonstrate their skills of teamwork, knowledge and speed to reign supreme in digging up hidden treasures, he also laid out the rules of the contest. In essence, each team would be given a map and, on his word, all the teams would be set loose to dig up and recover the all treasures of the map. Each team also had to defeat all the chest guardians and then return and be seated back at the Nujel'm chessboard in their assigned team bench. After each round of digging up a map, the last team to return would be eliminated from the contest, til there were only five teams remaining. As there were nine teams, there would be a preliminary four rounds to winnow down the would-be's to the could-be's. The maps were soon handed out(level 2 maps for starters as a warm-up) to each team and on the word of the former brigand of the seas, the contest was soon underway. The Pink Panthers! - Myself, Lord UO Automap, Lord Champion Killer, james robinson and Night Shade. As the preliminary rounds played themselves out, the teams were quickly narrowed, although each time the teams returned pretty close together. The difficulty of the maps also increased as well. In the penultimate round to the final map, the Pink Panther team lost a member on the way gating back after completing the map and we were eliminated. We graciously took our bows as our team insignia was retired from competition and we moved to the sidelines to cheer on our fellow competitors. The final map was a real challenge - an Ingeniously Drawn Treasure Map(Level 6!). Such chests are almost overflowing with lost treasures but are lethally guarded by hidden legions of Ancient Wyrms, Balron, Blood Elementals, Poison Elementals and Titans. It was at this point that the best of the best shone forth as the Blue Barracuda team made quick work of the chest, defeating all the guardians, recovering all the chest loot and returning together to be seated. When the last team had returned, the old pirate laughed heartily and congratulated everyone on their best efforts before naming the Blue Barracuda team the winners of the contest. Keeping to his word of rewarding the winners with fame, Captain Bloodrum walked over to a pedestal upon which rested a Golden Treasure Map. On the plaque at the base of the pedestal, he inscribed the names of the winners for all to see with his otherworldly pen as promised. Congratulations to the Blue Barracuda team! This was an exciting event in which each team put forth their best, frantic efforts. At the end of the day, while the competition was heated and fierce, the winning Blue Barracudas aptly shone forth, although they barely edged out the Red Jaguars by less than a single moment! A big thank you to the EM team for putting together this great event as well!