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Announcements post #424: Let's get this zumjarbread!

From: Feracht Whisperer Soren
Subject: Let's get this zumjarbread!

Happy December, Starmourners!

With December comes our favorite Tukkav holiday, Winterflame!

Five hundred years ago, a Tukkav by the name of Laus Koldain began a new tradition, which he called Winterflame (sometimes also called Winterhearth). The holiday was modeled after traditional Toof Circles, but with a decidedly more inclusive bent. Occuring once every quarter century, Winterflame is focused around togetherness, a way for Tukkav in all corners of the galaxy to extend their natural feelings of hospitality and warmth to non-Tukkav. This multi-racial holiday has become rather popular, with gift giving, story circles, and of course, drinking, as popular mainstays and traditions.

We'll be celebrating Winterflame in a specially arranged festival area behind the hunter's lodge in the Tosmar Preserve. Arrangements for transportation (courtesy of Araxi Lamentation) have been made from Omni to Tosmar for those that are generally unwelcome on Uycheon III.

Don't forget your cold weather gear - though if you do, don't worry, there's some being sold at the festival!

Now let's talk about Giftcatchers.

Giftcatchers are a Winterflame tradition that evolved from the Tukkav custom of hanging gift-laden nets in the doorways of their huts before a hunt. Originally meant to appease the local spirits, the custom became associated with prosperity and generosity over time. It was enthusiastically adopted by offworld celebrants as an integral part of Winterflame gift-giving.

Giftcatchers are available for purchase on the website and you are able to hang them in-game for you or your friends! Once you've purchased them, you can simply HANG GIFTCATCHER FOR ME or HANG GIFTCATCHER FOR <player> and it will be placed in the room! You can additionally add ANONYMOUS to the end to give someone an anonymous gift!

Once hung, they will be filled with gifts sometime during the in-game day! Giftcatchers come in 4 varieties: Simple, Silver, Gold and Platinum, with each tier containing higher and higher values of gifts inside! That's not to say that you'll luck out if you stick with the Simple giftcatcher, as they have a chance to contain all the gifts as well. After a giftcatcher is full, you may OPEN GIFTCATCHER and retrieve your prizes. Check out HELP GIFTCATCHERS to learn more about the workings of these Winterflame specials.

Among the new prizes you can get are:
- Artifact: fantom_intel - Always be prepared for your Xenohunt! The Fantom Intel artifact gives you backdoor intel into Xeno mobs when they are announced on conflict, providing you with a list of the Xeno's affixes.
- Artifact: snow_camo - The new Snowman Camouflage artifact is here! It works just like the camoufoliage artifact, except this one projects a totally-innocuous snowman. As a bonus for those who also have camoufoliage, the two artifacts have separate cooldowns!
- a bag of new Winter fishies! Xenoscanners rejoice!
- an industrial smore maker - Make even more smores, and without having to stockpile the ingredients!
- a snow-kissed bough of loranthoe - Spotted a cutie and angling for a smooch? Try being cheeky and holding up the loranthoe - you might get lucky!
- a sparkly Snowstar Dreams issue of the Galactic Pilot - sparkly new ship customizations!
- the "Naughty" and "Nice" editions of the Winterflame Gazette - whether you've been good or bad, you'll surely find a genecust you like!
- a sled-style snowmobile, for zooming around in the snow!
- as well as many, many more seasonal Winterflame gifts and a ton of artifacts!

Additionally, for every 5 giftcatchers of each type you purchase, you'll receive either a hunter's or tracker's version of that tier! So if you purchase 5 gold giftcatcher you'll get a tracker's (or hunter's) gold giftcatcher. These special versions contain double the reward value as the regular versions! However, these giftcatcher will only be filled on December 25th (tracker) and January 1st, 2023 (hunter). These tallies count over multiple purchases, so if you purchase 5 single giftcatchers over the month, you'll get a special version with your 5th purchase.

We ALSO have something NEW this Winterflame - "a giant gift in rainbow wrapping" which works exactly like a rainbow tesseract for those who are celebrating the holidays with friends! If you open the gift, everyone in the room gets a prize! These are available for purchase on the website, along with the giftcatchers, and the prize table is the same.

The ability to buy missile batteries is temporarily turned off in favor of giftcatchers, but you can still play Mission Control if you have batteries or obtain some during December!

Also also, you might have noticed a large capital ship orbiting certain planets...It seems even pirates take an interest in Winterflame. Nobody knows who captains the mysterious SS Ironbeard, but this enormous ship that flies the flag of the Iron Corsairs emerges from the pirate fleet every twenty five years to make its stately way around the galaxy. When it falls into orbit around a planet, it is always an ominous sight surely, such an immense vessel would pack enough firepower to obliterate a civilization. Instead, however, the SS Ironbeard does nothing but discharge ordnance in the form of harmless gifts, delivered to lucky recipients on the planets surface.

NOTE: The SS Ironbeard will only orbit racial homeworlds (and Scatterhome, since it counts as a racial homeworld. But not Glisal II or Song) and will toss gifts to everyone who happens to be on the surface at the time. You may only receive one such free gift per day. Just remember, you have to be OUTSIDE for him to reach you! (You'll know he's there when you see him in the room!)

You can STARCHART IRONBEARD to find Ironbeard's current location, and check IRONBEARD to see if you got your gift already for the day. He might even bring you a giftcatcher... or maybe even a special rainbow gift?

So what else is there to do during Winterflame?

Go iceskating, build a snowman, make snow angels, and help Guss Tremmin with odd jobs around the festival... at the end of the festivities, depending on how much you helped out, Rohna Guzmas at Omni Station will award you with some very special gifts!

There's a new quest, new wares, and The Icehorn is back to haunt the caves of the Winterflame Festival Grounds. And it's got a whole lot tougher. You might want to bring a group!

We also have two new Snowball events at the Winterflame arena! Snowball Fights and Snowball Royales! Check out HELP SNOWBALL FIGHTS for more information. 4 different honors are up for grabs, so don't miss out! If you played with snowball fights before, they have been entirely redone, so they should work much better this time.

- Factions can now initiate arena events at the Winterflame Arena, including the new Snowball events! Faction members with the appropriate permission can ARENA INIT WINTERFLAME <SNOWBALL|SNOWROYALE> to get them going.

I think that's everything! Happy Flameday, my little void imps!

Your friendly neighborhood Soren
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