What better way to visit significant times and places in history and culture than as a member of the Time Bandits? This band of multifarious midgets once served the Supreme Being, making all the small things like boulders and shrubs until they angered him by making a particularly smelly bush.
After being harshly scolded they petulantly stole His Map to All-of-Space-and Time and are now travelling through portals therein identified… stealing the greatest treasures ever known at the moments of greatest opportunity! (Just as we have stolen this idea from some of the original Monty Python team, ahem).
Time Bandits – The Mystery of the Fabergé Eggs
Now the Time Bandits are headed off to Imperial Russia, over 100 years ago to see if they can get their greasy hands on some of the most precious treasures known to humanity, the richly decorated and incredible ornamented Fabergé Eggs.
Do you dare to join this eclectic and chaotic band of adventurers? Will your band succeed and achieve impossible wealth and glory…or will it all end up scrambled? Join us for the day and find out the Mystery of the Fabergé Eggs!
Aeoncademy’s Vala program centres around collaborative story telling. We have all sorts of modalities to facilitate telling those stories, which all relate to character play, taking on a character in a place and time different from the participant’s own. This means that in Vala each day we work together to develop a story, a narrative, as a group by piecing together a pastiche of different character experiences.
From our earliest days, Vala’s stories have been developed into written records, with players sending in ‘Character Reports’ to the Vala facilitator to help progress the story, and the way we told stories inspired our current facilitators to where we are today. You can read more about our Vala Facilitators here.
After a fabulously successful First Edition and Second Edition, Aeoncademy is really excited to announce the Third Vala Contributor’s Prize.
The Vala Contributor’s Prize
One free day in the upcoming Aeoncademy Holiday Program – worth $190.00, a Vala Tee Shirt, and publication in Æ°nDawn Magazine.
How To Enter
Create a narrative work in which the key element is writing, this can be a short story, novella, comic book or series of panels, or any other predominantly written work.
Theme – My Character’s Story – A story from a character played during the recent-most Holiday Program. This can be what happened during that day’s story, or the backstory behind the character.
Submissions — Submit your work as a PDF or Word document electronically to the Aeoncademy email address
Entries open on: April 10th 2017
Entries close by: 5.00pm on 30th of April 2017.
Unlimited entries per entrant.
Word limit – unlimited!
Conditions of entry
Entries must be your own original work.
Work will not be returned to authors.
Submit your story by the deadline.
The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Winning and selected works may be used by Aeoncademy, whether on the website, or in print, as-submitted or with modification, in any form Aeoncademy deems fit.
Published entries may be subject to editing.
Entry indicates acceptance of these rules.
Winners of the Vala Contributor’s Prize will be announced, and the prizes will be awarded at the Aeoncademy Open Day, following the Live Action Dramatic Adventure Demonstration, on the 27th of May 2017!
The stories entered in the Vala Contributor’s Prize will be judged by a selection from a panel of judges made up of Vala’s content-developing Facilitators, Mathew Long, Luke Jordan, and Andrew Yallop.
Set sail with great adventurers around the turn of the century as great – and not-so-great – icons go to try and claim new glory. From the southern pole of the world to the bushveldt of South Africa, follow in the footsteps of brilliant scientists, egomaniacal explorers, and shifty soldiers when the Earth is – unexpectedly – invaded.
In the They Came From The Stars set of adventures, Vala Games explores what it was like to be out and about at the end of the 19th century in a story inspired by the thrillers of Verne and Welles, exploring astronomy, chemistry and zoology, alongside courage, the spirit of adventure and tough ethical dilemmas.
Take a job at the royal court of Mary Queen of Scots and experience the flourishing ‘Scottish Renaissance’ of her reign up close and personal. Work hard to meet her expectations, strive to be noticed and become a royal favourite, protect her person and reputation from the manipulation of foreign powers, and become caught up in the great events and vicious politics of Queen Mary’s eventful reign.
In the Court of Mary Queen of Scots set of adventure Vala Games explores the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots, the influences and figures directing events in her court, and the influence and access to the powerful that medieval servants often enjoyed, as well as teaching skills of cooperation, decision-making, and observation.
The Favourites of Queen Mary
Leaping into action as the spring season of royal parties and councils begins, the Court of Mary Queen of Scots find themselves at the heart of the ‘Scottish Renaissance’ as nobles return to Edinburgh and foreign visitors arrive.
Moving through the palace and catching glimpses of deadly politics, foreign espionage, and even open treason against the crown, the members of her Court will find themselves very busy as they compete to become The Favourites of Queen Mary.
The Murder of Lord Darnley
Shock and suspicion rock the Court of Mary Queen of Scots when an explosion one night after midnight proves a clue in the abrupt murder of her husband, Lord Darnley.
Finding themselves at the mercy of the gathering political storm as nobles exploit the situation to their own goals, the members of the Court must be cunning, be trustworthy, and be very careful indeed if they are to avoid misplaced blame and punishment over The Murder of Lord Darnley.
The Rise & Fall of Lord Bothwell
Recently widowed and confounded in her sovereignty by rebellious Lords of all persuasions, it seems that the Queen of Scots needs must settle on a new husband or face a challenge to the throne. Few in her court are prepared however for the events that rapidly unfold as the ambitious and brave Sir James Hepburn literally sweeps the Queen of her feet and sets the Kingdom on a course towards disaster or redemption.
The members of Mary’s Court need to decide one and for all where their loyalties lie during the meteoric rise and fall of James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell.
Counsel and advise King Trisong Detsen of ancient Tibet and vie for dominance and supremacy among your peers as one of the powerful and mystical Ministers of the Tibetan government. Encounter the Indian demigod Padmasambhava, scheme in the shadows to help or hinder him, complete for the Elixir of Longevity, plan the conquest of kingdoms and the capture of their gods, and witness the legendary events by which Buddhism arrived in Tibet.
In the Padmasambhava Comes to Tibet set of adventures Vala Games explores the little-known mythology and legendary figures behind the spread of Tibetan Buddhism, and the historical turning point at which the history and culture of Tibet was changed forever, as well as teaching skills like planning, self-reliance, teamwork, and negotiation.
An Invitation to Padmasambhava
Seeking to raise the profile of Tibetan Buddhism, King Trisong Detsen plans the construction of a mighty temple just outside his capital. But many of the people are quietly opposed, his royal ministers squabble and give opposing advice, and construction is slowed by the hostile workings of untame demons and jealous magicians.
Thankfully, one major Buddhist teacher is able to suggest a solution: consult with a famous Indian demi-god and Buddhist master how to solve his problems. And so, desperate, the King sends out An Invitation to Padmasambhava.
The Great Translator
Buddhism is enjoying a revival all throughout Tibet, as the Mystic Master Padmasambhava and King Trisong Detsen work to enlighten the people. But many still resist, and Padmasambhava suggests to the King that having access to certain magical texts from India would assist him.
A great competition is announced in order to find the wisest people in Tibet, to be trained in languages and mystical powers so they may go and obtain copies of these rare books. And so the King’s ministers begin their search for the man who will someday be called The Great Translator…
The Elixir of Longevity
The King of Tibet, Trisong Detsen, holds a symposium for medical masters from all over the world to help broaden and deepen the country’s famous system of traditional medicine. Privately, however, he has fears about his own mortality and when the visiting doctors cannot find anything wrong he goes to Padmasambhava and learns that he is coming into the last years of his life.
But all is not yet lost as the King returns to his ministers with the good news: Padmasambhava has promised to help extend his life by brewing the famous Elixir of Longevity.
Take up arms and ride out in search of adventure and a better world for all as founding Knights of Round Table. Chase mystery and mischief as young squires, come face to face with legendary figures like Merlin and Morgan le Fey, prove your mettle in battle and your nobility of spirits, pursue legendary quests and strange monsters, and take your place in the story of King Arthur and Camelot’s golden age.
In the Knights of the Round Table set of adventures Vala Games explores a variety of interpretations and variations on the myths of King Arthur and medieval ideas about nobility, wisdom, bravery, honour, and how to build a better world, as well as teaching skills of teamwork, empathy, and good judgement.
The Sword in the Stone
Accompanying their knight-masters to a vital council-of-war in Lodinum, a band of squires witness how the death of High King Uther has devastated Britain and allowed evil to creep into the country.
Their time in the English capital is filled with lessons in knighthood, sneaking out to explore the town, and getting into mischief in the city streets, but through a strange quirk of timing they also end up with an up-close view of the strange miracle of The Sword in the Stone.
Returning from the final hard-fought battles to unify Britain under the rule of High King Arthur, a group of knights get to experience both the merry partying and the learning and civilisation of Arthur’s reign.
But the countryside remains untamed, and they soon find themselves drawn away on a mighty quest that will challenge their strength of arms, their strength of character, and the strength of Arthur’s reign itself as they strive to fulfil the promise of Camelot Rising.
The Broken Sword
Travelling with King Arthur to celebrate the springtime rituals at Glastonbury Tor, the knights of the Round Table find their journey interrupted by a mysterious knight who demands that they defeat him if they wish to cross the river he guards. It takes all their efforts to vanquish the stranger, Sir Lancelot du Lac, and persuade him to join the Round Table and swear his allegiance to Britain.
But the battle is only the beginning of their latest adventure, as they quest across the land in search of a magical lake and a replacement for what Arthur lost in the battle: the Broken Sword.
Study and worship among the priesthood of Ancient Egypt during one of the most dramatic periods of religious upheaval in ancient history. Guide the people through bad omens and great changes, protect the legacy of the many gods of Egypt from book-burners and defilers, learn to survive the rigid rule of the fanatical pharaoh Akhenaten, and watch the rise and fall of the supreme sun-god Aten and the Amarna Heresy.
In the Priests of the Ancient Nile set of adventures Vala explores the rich religious life of the Ancient Egyptians, the everyday lives of their priesthood, and the period where Egypt was caught between its faith in the old gods and the new beliefs of the fanatical pharaoh, as well as teaching skills like teamwork, critical thinking, and empathy.
The Beast in the Sands
Praying for the recovery of one of Egypt’s co-ruling pharoahs, the old and gravely-ill Amenhotep III, the priests of the ancient nile – and the Temple of Amun – are rocked by news from the nearby villagers of a grave omen discovered out in the desert.
With the locals in a state of panic, the priests must go among the people to calm them and give them all the protection and reassurance that can be spared. But at the same time, deep in the temple sanctum, they must ritually struggle to protect the sickly pharoah’s very soul from the demonic force of chaos represented by The Beast in the Sands.
Carrying out their duties to the gods and making their prayers for people, pharaoh, and country, the priests of the Temple of Amun are shaken by news from the capital that Amenhotep IV has renamed himself Akhenaten and banned all worship in the kingdom save that of his new singular sun-god, Aten.
With the arrival of a new royally-appointed district governor forcing their hand, the priests must apply all their wisdom to preserve what they can of the old ways of Amun and help reassure the local people through this transition to Aten Ascendant!
The Book of Going Forth by Day
Years have passed and the temple at the Faiyum Oasis, like all other temples throughout Egypt, now worships the new sun-god Aten. But there are some among the people and the priesthood who still hold out worship of the old gods, and defy the pharaoh in secret.
As winter arrives following a poor harvest, the priests must plunge deep into this landscape of shifting faith as they help the people survive the cold hungry winter, appoint a new high priest who all can agree on, and sadly perform their funereal duties according to the old Book of Going Forth by Day.
Book a berth aboard one of the daring ships that worked the dangerous and lucrative cod-fishing trade along the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in the colony’s early days. Challenge great storms, hunt for valuable seal and caribou meat, haggle with greedy fish-merchants, and brave death and disaster to scrape by and maybe even build a family legacy amidst the blustering weather and icy chill of northern Canada.
In the Colonial Newfoundland: Masters of the Wind and Waves set of adventures Vala explores the most dangerous frontier of the late 18th Century, where men and women came to pit themselves against the elements to make their fortune, as well as teaching skills like teamwork, self-reliance, problem-solving, and determination as they strive to become Masters of Wind and Wave.
As Spring frees the seas for conquest, the Fishermen of Newfoundland are gearing up for their first chance of the year to ply their dangerous trade. Making a profit against the potential of a poor season, reconnecting with the community, and discovering strange maritime creatures and monsters, the Masters of Wind and Wave prepare for a hard year on the sea.
Gather your equipment and set out across the ice to hunt seal and cod alike, when they discover a leviathan of the deep – the Giant Squid. It will take all their wits and fortitude now that they’ve begun The Hunt.
Wave Over Wave
Community spirit is strong and anticipation running high among the fisherfolk of Newfoundland as the warm days of late summer draw in, signalling that the fishing season is finally here. Outfitting their ship, the Windrider, they set out along the Grand Banks in search of a fisherman’s fortune in Atlantic cod, daring savage winds, high seas, and the treacherous weather.
But they may not even reach shore in time to preserve their catch against the lingering summer heat, though they race desperately Wave over Wave for home.
Rant And Roar
Cultural tensions in the town are running high again after the fishing season, due to competition over yields and accusations of poor conduct out on the high seas. The fish merchants have arrived from England and America with a mandate to change their financial relationships and require exclusive contacts, and the town is nervous over the risk of being beggared.
The locals must negotiate the tension between the town’s ethnic communities to put up a strong front and negotiate a better deal from the fish merchants. Then they must pull together to survive the devastating impact of the 1775 Hurricane as it drowns thousands and ruins houses to expose the vulnerable (children, grandparents) to the storm.
To Beat the Winter Wind