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Hera's Blog

Winter Wonderland?

Some of you have already guessed that I’m not a winter person at all. Now that winter has hit New Zealand I’m feeling very grumpy about the season and very envious of all those mates who send me tells bragging about their hot sunny summer holidays.

A nasty cold snap has hit New Zealand and it is currently snowing where I am. Hera's Garden Snow is lovely if you are inside a warm house watching it fall. Preferably whilst sitting on a couch sipping hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. (Or, even better, sitting in front of a computer pillaging or making a run into Atlantis!) Having to actually go out in it changes snow from being lovely to being horrible nasty cold stuff. Unfortunately, because I have a number of cows and other livestock where I live, I don’t have the option of sitting inside while it falls. I have to go out wading through it to feed out, check electric fences and move stock. Winter has only just begun and I'm already rather tired of suffering the indignities of frozen toes and a red nose. I want my summer back now, plskthx!

So please, you lovely sun drenched pirates, don't brag about your weather too much to me. I may just cry.

Romantic Dinner for Two (the final chapter)!

Yes Cronus!

Dear Cronus

When you asked me that special question last night, you said there was no rush to answer you and that I should take my time and be sure.

After you left, I realized that there was nothing to consider.

There can be only one answer despite all the opposition I know that we will encounter from your mother. If you can put up with Gaea, so can I. (After all, we won't have to actually live with her, right? Right?!).

My answer is here for all to see.

Love and kisses

Hera

P.S. Did you see those pamphlets on retirement homes that I left on your desk? I'm sure your mother would simply love it there!

The Clock is Ticking

Much to my sadness, my summer is coming to an end. I’ve been getting more rain than sunshine and although everything looks lovely and green, I’m missing those long hot evenings. New Zealand Daylight Savings doesn’t end for another month or so, but I’m acutely aware the clock is ticking with Pacific Standard Time switching to Summer Time at the weekend.

Halloween

This month, I was going to post a picture of my broom cupboard office so you could all drool over my efficient work space complete with Dr Who poster and Gorganite action figure! However, my camera has decided to have a hissy fit and is refusing to co-operate (or even work). So that will have to wait until next month. As an alternative, I’ve posted a picture that I forgot to post earlier of my vessel on Malachite. She is all decorated for Halloween and I dressed up to match the decor.

While I'm posting, can I also mention how thankful I was to find that it wasn’t just me who found bilging immediately after speed foraging on Cursed Isle so difficult to do? The first time I did those two puzzles together, I could feel my brain quivering a little in my skull as it tried to cope with the pieces going up rather than down and the different techniques for clearing pieces. The second time, I was mentally prepared for it but apparently my brain still couldn’t cope and I scored a rather embarrassing ‘fine’ on the way out.

My current goal is to score an excellent at bilge on the exit from Cursed Isle. Given that I hardly ever get an excellent at bilge even during pillaging runs, I may have my work cut out for me!

Romantic Dinner for Two continued..

I love Hera

February 16th

Dear Cronus,

I got your urgent PM requesting that I check out your stats on Viridian. They didn't seem to be anything special. However, I couldn't help but notice your new familiars and their rather unique names.

Is there something you want to tell me?

Yours sincerely (and a little freaked out),

Hera

P.S. Do you know anything about how oil got on my steps?

P.P.S. No, you can't see my bruise!

Romantic Dinner for Two?

Romantic Cronus

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! Thank you to all who sent me such lovely Valentine wishes after my postman apparently ate all the ones I was expecting in my mail box! I very much enjoyed the time I was able to spend in game crashing Galene's brilliant Valentine's Day parties on Cobalt and Sage. I'm disappointed I wasn't able to win a date with her, but there is always next year (I hope!). Oh, and if anyone tells you I dressed in orange on Cobalt, I can assure you that it never happened. No way!

This evening I was feeling a little sorry for how harshly I'd been treating Cronus recently. Yes, I can sometimes be a little short with him, and yes I have redecorated his vessels a number of times (but never EVER would I dare touch the paintwork!) So, in an effort to be friends with him again I decided to pop into his shack on Malachite and leave some flowers and cookies by way of apology. I was completely stunned at what I found there

A visual aid to planning a romantic dinner for two, or a cunning plan to add add me to the menu. You decide while I go hide somewhere!

Declaration of War!

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth lately at my house. No, Cronus hasn't been here visiting and been in one of his 'feed me NOW' moods. The end of January has signaled the end of summer holidays and school has started in New Zealand for 2009. The holidays have gone by incredibly quickly this year; I have recollections about never ending summers, being totally bored at the end of them and being completely ready to head back to school. Not so this year. I blinked and they were over much to the distress of all the school aged pirates in my household.

Thank you to all of you who poked me in game as soon as we hit February with /tells of ‘Time to update yer blog!’ I’m very grateful to you for helping me keep one of my New Year Resolutions. I had every intention of keeping them all until I woke up this morning and spotted that Cronus had posted on Twitter that he had redecorated my lovely ship on Midnight. His little eggy face is everywhere. My beautiful purple and blue paint is gone.

I wish to advise that I am now declaring war on that pesky God. I’ve had a number of excellent suggestions given to me on Twitter on how I should get him back. Rats feature prominently. More suggestions would be appreciated as I’ve got at least six oceans to target.

New Year Resolutions!

A rather belated Happy New Year to everyone! Don't you just adore counting in the New Year and making all those lovely resolutions that you are pretty sure that you won't actually keep for more than two weeks? This year, I made three resolutions all pertaining to Puzzle Pirates!

Hera Dog

My first New Year Resolution was to update this blog more frequently. My goal is to post at least once per month, so I'm right on target for January. Feel free to poke me in game if I fall behind. Oh yes, I know at least three of you already do *peers a little*. However, with the way January is already zooming by, I'm sure I will need reminding, especially as January and February are the warmest months here in New Zealand and I'm so enjoying sitting out in the sun whilst pointing and laughing at my fellow Oceanmasters complaining about the cold. Well, when I say sitting out in the sun, I really mean hiding in the shade as it has been too darn hot. Even my dog found the heat too hard to cope with and retreated into the water!

Gaea Deck

Another resolution was to be more patient with Cronus and his in game pranks. Last year he made my life an absolute misery by repainting my lovely purple ship orange and stealing all my purple clothes and replacing them with orange and green ones. For those of you who aren't aware just how tricky Cronus is, just keep an eye on the name of my lovely familiar 'Zeus'. I can assure you that it isn't me renaming him 'Cronus is bestest'. And it wasn't me who renamed his familiar Sickle to 'Hera is perfect'. Oh no. I would never do that. At least, it wasn't me this year.

This year, my final New Year Resolution is to stop playing pranks on Cronus. And maybe Gaea too. (I can't quite make my mind up on her as she never even squeaked when I decorated her ship with some lovely Xmas trees and that was rather disappointing). I had such a fun time last year redecorating Cronus' shack and ship and it is hard to know how to top completely filling the deck of a ship with ice. Actually, I'm fairly certain that this New Year Resolution is the one that will be broken first. After all, there is absolutely no way I can keep all three. I'm only human!

Trick or Trick!

October? It is October already! I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by; I’m already planning Christmas (I’ve drawn the short straw this year and have about a gazillion relatives all coming to my place). While I’m working out festive activities to keep the hungry hordes happy, a lot of my pirate mates are not looking quite so far ahead.

Halloween is, of course, at the end of October. While Halloween isn’t celebrated the entire world over, I’ve always enjoyed the festivities that happen in game to celebrate that holiday. In my time I’ve been ‘cursed’ and have become a zombie, a skeleton and (my personal favourite) a ghost. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked many times what is planned for Halloween in Puzzle Pirates this year. This year, for the first time, I know what is coming! I’d love to tell you all what is planned so I can share how excited I am about it. However, my lips are sealed. All I’m going to say is it is going to be awesome!

I’ve also received quite a few /tells about Cronus and his ongoing tricks. I’m delighted to report that I’m holding my own and wasn’t too traumatized by him renaming Zeus (my familiar) on every ocean to ‘I Luv Cronus’. It would have been better if I had spotted that one immediately rather than a good week after he did it; I would have thought that at least one of you could have told me! I have struck back, I'm just waiting for him to notice what I've done. Perhaps one of you has already spotted it?

Unfortunately, Cronus isn’t the only prankster I have to contend with. Some sneaky person has been leaping aboard all the Oceanmasters’ favourite vessels littering them with Halloween related furniture props – my own 'Watching You' has a huge number of tombstones all over her decks. We haven’t figured out just who the culprit is yet but would love to know! (I'm sure it is Apollo, but Artemis is looking a little too innocent for my liking).

Gaea and Oceanus have also been leaping on the prank bandwagon. To all the fine pirates on Hunter: I am not a robot. Despite what my colleagues are telling you, I am not a new bit of software called OMbot3000. Honest.

The Peacock quoths some more!

Some of you may have noticed that my blog has recently been renamed to ‘Quoth the Peacock’. I had been scratching my head trying to think of something interesting to call it and had come up empty. Luckily, Gaea came to my rescue but in a rather indirect way. During the recent server downtime rather than just constantly refresh her screens (like I did) she multi-tasked and she and Glaucus came up with an idea for a forum event. Gaea wrote an example of poetry parody for this event which featured the line ‘Quoth the Peacock’ and I stole it off her! (Acutally, I did ask permission first because Gaea can be scary when she is cross!).

I’m a big fan of forum events which give players who may not be the best puzzlers the opportunity to shine by demonstrating their other skills. We have some very talented pirates sailing our seas and I’m constantly amazed at the effort that goes into their work. Recently I was completely in awe of the entries in the Zomgrats! Contest in which players were able to pay homage to the wonderful pet rat in whatever fashion they wished. I will be forever grateful that I didn’t have the extremely tough job of judging the entries but very much enjoyed looking through them all and sharing them with non-pirate friends and family.

While we celebrate the winners, we shouldn’t forget those pirates who come up with the ideas for events and the efforts they put in to making those events a reality. Anyone who aspires to running an event should take a look at the Events Workshop forum. There are all sorts of tips about planning and running an event available there and knowledgeable mates who are happy to help.

Hera Ship

To wind up this month’s blog I’ve got a screenshot of my vessel on Viridian. Last time I posted I requested suggestions on how to decorate some of my vessels. A mate suggested that I decorate a vessel with items that you can't usually purchase, so I decided to create an festive Christmas look, complete with an ice maze. I had so much fun, I went on to 'decorate' a vessel owned by Cronus, but in a much more haphazard way. He was delighted with the results (I swear I heard his whoop of joy down here in New Zealand!) and I'm sure he will post a nice screen shot of it in his next blog. With Halloween fast approaching, I think the next ship I tackle will have more of a spooky feel to it. I may even have some bits left over to brighten Cronus' day again, but more on that next time!

A few of my favorite things..

I'm often asked what my favorite past-time is in Puzzle Pirates. Until recently, I would have said it was sailing. Sailing is something I do reasonably well which I think adds to its appeal. I'm a competitive sailor; I like nothing better than getting on a ship manned with excellent sailors and endeavor to best them. Sometimes I can, more often I can't. That doesn’t matter, though. The anticipation of topping the duty report is enough to keep me happy even when it doesn't actually happen.

More recently, however, another past-time has been more enjoyable. Something that strikes fear into the hearts of more sensible pirates! Decorating! When I became an Oceanmaster one of the first things I did was get a ship on each ocean. I then littered its deck with all sorts of odds and ends that I created when experimenting with my new OM powers. Every time I logged on and went to my vessel I'd find myself hidden behind thrones, wardrobes and statues.

With the weather here in New Zealand beginning to warm up slightly, I decided to do a spot of spring cleaning and decorating. (Yes, Kiwis and Aussies, I know it is still winter but the bulbs are all sprouting in the garden and it seriously is beginning to feel like spring!). Spring cleaning on Puzzle Pirates is a lot easier than spring cleaning in real life; far less messy and much more fun.

Hera Ship

I only own one vessel per ocean and most of them are Xebecs. They were originally all named the 'Sacred Peacock' (the peacock was a bird sacred to Hera in Greek Mythology), but they have all now been renamed to 'Watching You'. Goodness knows what I'll rename them all to next month! All of them are painted blue and purple, and most of the furniture I have on board also follows that scheme. The one I’m currently tidying up is on Midnight Ocean and is ported off the beautiful island of Midsummer up in the Ruby Archipelago (although that location is subject to change). I discovered when sorting it's deck out that it was the ideal length for a bowling lane. OM eggs make great bowling pins!

My vessels on other oceans are yet to be de-cluttered, and I'm always receptive to decorating suggestions. So, if you have any ideas feel free to send me a /tell in game or leave a message here!

Why aren't you writing in your blog yet?

So, there I was minding my own business in game when all of a sudden I received a /tell: ‘Why aren’t you writing in your blog?’ was the question. Only a few minutes before I had received an email from web manager Terri asking me the very same thing. It seems that an empty blog page is a Bad Thing and must be filled! So, here I am to fulfill that request.

To start, here are a few facts about me. I’m one of the newer Oceanmasters and have been around now for four or so months. I’ve played for longer than that; I’m an old salt and have fond memories of rum free days, brigands that didn’t shoot back and having to ram to engage rather than grapple. I’m currently living in New Zealand and am feeling rather glum because of the cold weather. I will grumble if you brag too much about the glorious summer weather you may be currently experiencing but I will also brag back louder come December when I’m enjoying Xmas dinner out in the garden. I’m shockingly bad at battle navigation. Don’t ever ask me to take the helm. Not if you want to get to port with anything left in the hold.

I’m often asked in game what it is like to be an Oceanmaster and what part of the job I like the best. Yes, it is fun to be an Oceanmaster, especially the social aspect of the job. I enjoy chatting on the dock to players, but I also enjoy leaping onto pillages and sea monster hunts. I’ve arrived on some ships where not a soul has recognized me, and I’ve gone on others that have sunk almost as soon as I’ve arrived. I’ve had many /tells from Captains who are worried as to why exactly I’m on board and one memorable voyage where a disconnect meant that I had to sail a vessel back to safety (please refer to paragraph two; those on board probably never knew how lucky we were to get out of Atlantis safely!).

Another question I’m often asked is why aren’t OMs in game socializing more often like they used to at the start of Midnight. The answer to this is we are. Now that there are six oceans, our time needs to be divided up between them all so we don’t seem to be sighted as often as we once were. I’m normally only on duty over the weekend, so if you see me wandering about at other times feel free to send me a /tell. I’m more than happy to chat and take challenges (although my sword fighting and rumble skills are at the same level as my battle navigation skills; see paragraph two).

So, there you go. My blog is no longer a page of nothingness! Huzzah!

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