Rhiassa Presents: Queen of Hearts XXVII

August 13 - August 14, 2022

Site was Swift River Sportsman's Club - Belchertown, MA.

Event Holders were Jennifer DeNardis-Rosa, Lani Jones.

Event Description
All event information can be found in the following document:


The information in this document supercedes any information on rhiassa.com


As the summer quickly approaches, I’d like to notify the community about some large-scale adaptations that we are making to Queen of Hearts this year to make the event more feasible after a year (or two) that has been very abnormal. These changes are a temporary measure for the sake of this coming August. It is our intention to return to our traditional format in 2023.

We are working off of the reality that, while Realms is unquestionably back in session, there has been a slow start to the season and the normal months of planning that people put into planning a queen of hearts team have simply become an afterthought given the many competing pressures we’ve all had to endure over these past months and years. Therefore, Queen of Hearts is designed, for this year, as an event that will require little to no preparation other than the desire to go.

A full reworking of the rules and how things will function is forthcoming for those who like to delve into all the details. For now, here is a simple explanation of how things are going to work this year.

The things that are changing:
- There will be two teams.
- The two team organizers are Matt (Cecil) and Travis (Elwin). They have been asked to build teams from everyone who wishes to play at QoH this year but also to work together to make sure that the rosters of both teams are pretty close to balanced going into the event.
- If you and your group want to play at QoH you should reach out to either or both of them. I will help facilitate that as needed.
- People that show up at the event day-of will be randomly sorted onto the two teams.
- There will be no pre-event crafting/non-com competitions. All of these tournaments will take place wholly at the event with all materials provided by the event.

The things that are staying the same:
- All traditional war maneuvers and combat tournaments will function much as they always have.
- All cards, points, scoring, awards, and prizes will be mostly unchanged.
- There will still be a presentation of non-com and performance tournaments after dinner break.
- You will still get to fight in epic fights with your friends all weekend long.

I recognize that a lot of this is a departure from what we normally do, and if others were hatching Queen of Hearts plans that run concurrent to these adaptations then I deeply apologize. Keep those plans on hold until next year when the format will become traditional again.
As I’ve said, we feel that these changes give the best opportunity for the event to be successful this year and to give as many people as possible an incredible Queen of Hearts experience. I’ll be happy to answer any questions people have though I’ll tell you that not every detail has been worked out yet, so there may be some things I do not yet know.
Thank you all for your patience and your trust.

In service,
Jason Rosa
Event Wrap-up
I’ve been involved with throwing Queen of Hearts for the great majority of my adult life. The first time I was on staff for one was in the year 2000 and the first time I was an event holder for the series was in 2005. My point being, I’ve seen a very substantial number of Queen of Hearts unfold from the staff side of things and over the years, as you can imagine, I’ve been able to keenly discern the difference between when one goes well and when one is rocky.

The last time we were able to throw Queen of Hearts was 2019. I suppose on one hand that wasn’t that long ago, but in a more practical sense, as we ramped up towards this past weekend, it felt like forever. There was certainly a lot of rust to shake off. There were new expenses and the expenses we were familiar with had largely increased. We hadn’t seen the inside of our storage shed since the last time we closed it in 2019… there were a lot of concerns. Truly, while I had faith in our passion and our work ethic, I expected this year to feel like a rocky one.

And, of course, there were a lot of wide pivots as well. The prescripted two teams, the on-site crafting competitions, reinventing the format of many of the tournaments, there were a lot of irons in the fire. Add to all of this to the community still fighting it’s way to completely recover from the pandemic. I’ll admit it freely now, I had concerns.

And then Saturday came and almost instantaneously all of my worries felt ridiculous. Because the community turned out in impressive numbers to do exactly what you’ve done time and time again for almost three decades, you came to do a Queen of Hearts. The war maneuver fields were instantly full of eager combatants, the crafting tables burst to life with people’s creative energy, teammates were cheering one another on, and everyone was celebrating one another’s achievements. Queen of Hearts was back, and in a very real way it felt like it had never really been gone.

Not only did we throw a Queen of Hearts this year, I truly feel like we threw one of the best ones I can remember. And this did not happen magically or coincidentally, it happened because of the significant and substantial effort by a great many people that were on our staff. From marshaling to setup, to cub care to all sorts of miscellaneous tasks. We, the event holders, would like to thank those people now.

Ben Hamilton, Katie Skeggs, Cory Roy, Siona Gouthro, Jen Gallagher, Laura Bushaw, Christine Poulin, Tucker Noyes, Pi Fisher, Nick Quadrini, Alyssa Lee, Ben Pepper, Nataliya Kostenko, James Murphy, Cal Marsden, Darell Gray, Sara Jessop, Joe Sims, Hannah Blood, Janna Oakfellow-Pushee, and Sabrina Wierzchowski. To each and every one of you Lani, Jen, and I offer our deepest and most heartfelt thanks for everything you did to make the event a success. Further, a specific thank you to Greg Falconer, Neil Kusleika, and Noah Capucilli-Shatan for helping to set up even though you were players. And even though I cannot possibly name everyone who pitched in at the end, we deeply appreciate everyone who helped us clean up the site afterwards as well.

And of course, the other reason Queen of Hearts was a success is because of all of you. As I mentioned before, you came to the fields of Swift River ready to put the best of yourselves on display. You came to compete with spirit and honor and in celebration of who all of us are as a community. You rose to every challenge we presented to you and embraced all of the changes in stride.

I’ll never tire of saying it. Rhiassa doesn’t throw Queen of Hearts, we only host it. All of you throw Queen of Hearts together when we show off the best of who we are and the best of what the Realms can be.

Thank you all for coming to Queen of Hearts XXVII. It was a great pleasure to see you, to watch you compete, to laugh with you, and to cheer you on. We are already looking forward to doing it all over again next August.

In service,
Jason, Jen, and Lani
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