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Letter From Your Editor

Hoods and welcome back to Questaholic!

It's been a while, hasn't it? I'll be honest with you all, this new schedule has been an adjustment for me; it's a very different vibe only getting to share every few months, rather than every four weeks. But I like to think we at the Questaholic team have made the best use of that time, and I'm happy to once again share the results of our efforts!

I really couldn't be happier with how this issue came together, and I think we've got a little something for everyone.

As always, this wouldn't be possible without our passionate, talented, and charming production team, so let me extend a heartfelt "thank you" to all of our regular writers: Choto, Darkestnight, Derp, Francine, Shiro, and Tyco; and to Questcaping, as ever, for the incredible cover art; and to Duke Juker, for kindly agreeing to endure Choto's interrogation be interviewed for this issue!

Finally, an extra-special "thank you" to Cyan Ryder, our special guest writer this issue. I put the call out last issue for anyone interested in writing a piece, even a one-off, and I couldn't be happier that you took me up on it! So I'm going to repeat that call this time, if anyone reading this would be interested in contributing to a future issue, either on a one-off basis or as a recurring feature, please don't hesitate to reach out to me on Discord or send me a private message on the offsite. I'd love to have you!

With that, unhoods, and enjoy the magazine!

Article by Xurdones



An interview with Duke Juker

by Choto 3000.


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What are you currently studying?
I have finished school for the time being so I guess that makes me a studier of life. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science. Why history? History has always been one of my favorite studies, in particular American history. I love learning about famous people and events that have shaped the world around us. I guess that makes me a sucker for a good story. Eventually, I’d like to go back to school for a masters, probably an MBA or something in the vein of management or operations.

What do you do for a living?
I am a human resources office clerk for a government entity. I do a lot of the grunt work of our department including onboarding new hires, handling medical leave requests, data entry, responding to verifications of employment, answering various emails, etc. To put it simply, I’m an office firefighter. My job is to put out the little fires that come up so they don’t turn into a full blown blaze and burn the building down…metaphorically, of course.

What's your favourite sport?
Definitely Basketball, though I do enjoy MMA, Boxing, and Baseball. As a kid, I played soccer, hockey, and baseball. As I got older, I took a liking to basketball. One of my older siblings played which made me interested. I was also tallish in high school (6’ 4”) which had its advantages. I like that it’s a sport where the more you learn and the practice, the more you effortlessly play. You gain awareness, you exert yourself when needed and reset when not, and there’s always enjoyment in competing against people of various skill levels and expierence.

Which are your favourite childhood cartoons?
Oooh, that’s a tough one. I was big on Cartoon Network back in the day. Never thought I’d every stop watching cartoons. I remember watching Dexter’s Lab, Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Dragon Ball Z, Johnny Bravo, and Samurai Jack. They also had Boomerang which was an early morning spot where they ran old cartoons like Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny, Wylie Coyote) and Tom and Jerry. Can’t forget to mention Adult Swim, too. Being introduced to shows like Bleach, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, and every gundam show under the sun was awesome as a young kid.

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If you could have any super power other than invincibility, what would you choose and why?
I’ve always been partial to invisibility or teleportation. With invisibility, the idea of being able to sneak around without being seen seemed like a useful skill. Plus, I could get into places others could to see what was actually happening. Not that I was use it for bad. Just to alleviate curiosity. Teleportation well…you’d just save a lot of money on flying or driving. And you could visit anywhere you wanted in the world. Who wouldn’t be a fan of that? Ironically though, the superhero I most like is the Flash. Being able to go fast pretty much means you can be invisible or teleport. So maybe that’s just a lengthy way of saying being fast like the Flash.

What are your favourite outdoor activities?
I’m more of an indoors person. But when I venture outside, I enjoy going for walks, swimming, playing Spikeball/Pickleball/Basketball, and watching sunsets.

Which is your favourite movie?
Stranger than Fiction (2006) with Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Dustin Hoffman. It’s such a well done story that I can’t help but cry every time at the end of it (which I don’t do for most movies). Would highly recommended to anyone and rewatch in a heartbeat.

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What sort of music and artists do you listen to?
My favorite genre is Disco, though I love all sorts of music. I’m an oldies guy at heart, but I love hip hop, jazz, modern, and pop. If it’s not heavy metal or country, I probably listen to it.

Which books would you recommend?
I don’t do a lot of reading. But of the books I have read, I’d say you can’t go wrong with The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. Also, the Book of Proverbs from the Christian Bible is very insightful. Even if you aren’t religious, there is much wisdom to be found in Proverbs

What's your favourite type of food?
My current favorite is sushi, but I also enjoy Thai, Italian, and Chipotle.

Do you prefer mom's food or restaurant food?
Both have their strengths and weaknesses. I think it would depend on the occasion and the dish. I will say my mom makes an awesome meatloaf that I’ve never found equaled at any restaurant I’ve been to.


Which are your favourite games?
Currently, I play mostly Runescape (shocker). I have ebbed and flowed over the years with games. I used to play a lot of Counter Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Frostpunk, Rome: Total War, Tropico 4, Yakuza 0, and Assassin’s Creed. All of them are great for different reasons.

What are your favourite video game genres?
Real time strategy, turn based strategy, first person shooters, MMOs, and mini-game based games.

Which was the most difficult video game you ever beat?
That’s a really good question. I haven’t played a lot of difficult games because I think things that are too difficult takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the game. Now that I think about it, I do have one that comes to mind. Donkey Kong (1994) on the Game Boy. You played as Mario. There was just so many stages and levels you had to get through, it was nuts! But I stuck it out and finally beat it. Obviously, I don’t recall how much time it took, but it was a lot of time. And being a teenager at the time, spending a lot of time at anything felt like forever.

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What's the toughest thing you've ever accomplished in a video game?
Honestly, beating Nomad in Runescape. I can’t remember how many times I’ve died, but it’s been a lot. I’m not a bossing player by any stretch.

When playing with friends, do you prefer video games or tabletop games, and why do you prefer one over the other?
Depends on the friend and the game. I think in general, video games, just because they are more action oriented and dynamic. Board games can be tons of fun, too. But if my friends know how to play a video game, I’d definitely pick that. Way more fun imo.


What's your favourite skill?
Firemaking. There’s just something about it that makes it fun to train even though it’s relatively useless. I finally achieved 120 after years of persistence.

What's your favourite quest?
Beneath Cursed Tides. Returning to Tutorial Island brought back so many fond memories. It really was an all around fun quest.

When did you start playing?
Early 2005. I think the rubber chicken was my first holiday item I obtained.

What was your very first accomplishment?

You get 30 seconds of full attention from all employees of Jagex. What do you say?
FU Jagex! 2 seconds. Thanks. JK I’d thank them for the work they have put into the game over the years, but also encourage them to keep going. Find ways to improve it while also removing aspects of the game that are detrimental like MTX and such. Just a pep talk really.

You get a ticket to visit Gielinor IRL. Where do you go first?
Drunken dwarf’s home 100%. No better way to start an adventure than getting lit!

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What are your biggest dreams in life?
I would like to have a family some day and to be a politician. I’ve always enjoyed government and I want to show people that you can have good politicians…and not just in movies.

If you could have any 3 animals in the world (only real animals, not fictional), which would you pick?
Manatee, cockatoo, and a Bernese mountain dog.

If you had to give up one of your senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) which one would you pick?
Probably smell. There’s some really nasty smelling stuff in this world I could live without.

How would you describe yourself to others?
Introverted, quiet, observant, deliberate, talkative, friendly, having integrity, trustworthy, competitive, reliable, honest, and chill.

What is your most used item in your daily life?
Smart phone or computer

If I were to visit your country, what do you think I should do first?
Definitely get some good food to eat. Then go sight seeing!

What are your favourite cities/locations, both in RS and in real life?
In real life, I love going to parks. I really enjoyed visiting Washington, D.C. and Kansas City. In Runescape, can’t go wrong with the Maxed guild, particularly the bonfire pit.

Do you have a motto or a favourite phrase? If so, which is it?
Take things one day at a time. Also, from my mother and late grandmother “Let it roll of your back like a duck.”

Do you play an instrument? If not, which instrument/s would you like to learn?
Not currently, but I used to play snare drum. I’ve tried my hand at piano and guitar as well. I definitely would like to learn the trumpet, saxophone, or guitar.

How many languages do you speak? Which one would you like to learn?
Just English, but I took Latin and Russian in high school. I would like to learn Spanish.

If you had to escape your country immediately, what's the one thing you'd take with you?
Passport or smart phone would probably make the most sense.

What's your first memory of Clan Quest?
I believe it was MsKonnan10 brining me in as a member and giving me a tour of the citadel.

Coffee or tea?
Both. If I had to pick just one, probably tea.

Best thing of Clan Quest?
Me! :D jk It really is the people. I’ve talked to and met some really great people. I’m glad to be part of a community that enjoys questing, but also enjoys the company of others. Can’t think of a better place to be.


Did you find it yet?
Do you think I would tell you if I did?

Where was it?
If you know what it was, then you knew exactly where it was.

Are you going to take good care of it this time?
I always take good care of the things that come into my possession.

Do you have a new place for it?
Yes, but I will probably move it a few times to make sure it’s not easily found again.

Is this place safe?
Depends on who you ask. Some think it is the safest place to have something while others might think it the least safe. It’s a matter of perspective.

Would it last a long time if it stayed there forgotten?
Barring the natural laws of the universe in regards to decay of matter, I should think so.

Do you need help?
At times yes, though I tend to rely on myself and not bother others with my problems. I might vent or complain from time to time, but I don’t usually need help. I’m pretty self-sufficient.

Is this a good idea?
Many things are a good idea at least once

Can you say that with confidence?
I have the utmost confidence that speaking with confidence makes up for any lack of confidence.

Is this how it's going to be?


As many before (and after) you, your arrival to Clan Quest is tied to RSBandB. Do you have a favourite episode or moment of the podcast?
Hmm, it’s been a while since I’ve listened to the pod. I have guest appeared a few times on the show which was a really fun opportunity. I think the clips shows are some of the best. It’s a great roundup of the best sound clips from the year in case you missed out on any episodes.

And as follow-up: Who’s your favourite host?
He probably won’t believe this, but I would have to say trekkie. There’s something about his personality that makes the podcast very entertaining at times. He makes awkward remarks and interjections that makes the podcast engaging to listen to.

Do you still live in Washington? If so, aren’t you afraid that you might be abducted by the canadians?
Yes I still live in Washington, but I am not afraid of my Canadian compatriots. I’ve actually been to Canada a few times and have yet to be kidnapped into staying. If that were to happen, my only request is that I eat at Tim Horton’s every day. Grant me that, and I’d be more than happy to remain a prisoner

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DId you ever get to check Europa Universalis IV?
I have played it before, though it is a little too time consuming for me. It’s hard for me to stick with a game that could easily outlast my lifetime. Europa is definitely an in-depth game that is well put together. It’s just a little too broad for my tastes. But good nonetheless.

I’ve always been curious about your other name, Moochmaker. Are you a Maker of Mooches or am I reading this wrong?
That is the correct way of reading it. Yes, Moochmaker is my favorite and preferred user name (or simply Mooch as many people call me). In truth, I think we all are mooch makers at some point in our life. Other people expect things from us at times and we oblige them even though we may not need to. Our enabling someone to mooch therefore makes us a mooch maker. Of course, there can only be ONE true Moochmaker and that is me. But I allow you all to consider yourself an honorary one when such an occasion arises or occurs.

I’m also actually curious about the name ‘Duke Juker’. Care to explain its origins?
Sure! I actually do explain it on my Clan Quest wiki page! “The name "Duke Juker" was forged in the tempestuous mind of an 8th grader. At the time he created his account, one of Duke's older siblings was obsessed with the word "juking" so naturally Duke thought being known as a juker would be a cool thing. As to the "Duke" part, he thought a formal title to go along with being a juker made it come off way cooler than it actually was (and still is to this day). Though he moved onto other usernames in his gaming career, Duke would always hold a special place in his heart for his RS name as it was his first username he ever came up with.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen you using a different profile picture than the one you have right now. What is that picture?
I actually needed to look this up. It’s from a 1942 World War II poster. During the war, people were encouraged to ration and conserve on what they commonly used in order to support the war effort. Since TV was brand new and radio was king, posters were a common sight back in those days for people to visualize how to help. If you want to learn more about this particular poster, here is a great link for you to check out from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Why this particular image though for an avatar? There’s just something fun and old timey about it that I enjoy. It’s quirky in a way that I think speaks to my personality and attitude about life.

I see you enjoy RTS games. You should enjoy history, then, right? Where and when would you travel with a time machine?
As mentioned before, I am a history major so I guess that makes me an enjoyer of history. I think if I had a time machine, I would go back to the time between graduating high school and entering college. I would want to talk with myself. Partly to admonish and warn, but also to give myself some tips on what to invest in. :P You know, help me help myself. But if the goal is to visit another cool time in history, I would say visiting Colonial America. I’d like to know what America was like back then and meet famous people like the Founding Fathers.

Tell us your darkest secret that would make us all start making mooches.
I can’t really think of any amazing dark secrets that I have. But as it pertains to making mooches, the key is to never let on that you need or want anything. If it doesn’t seem like you need or want anything, everyone just assumes you have it all…so now they want what you have. If you ever want to make mooches, just act like you have arrived (even if you really haven’t).

What is the meaning of life?
Ah yes, save the easiest to answer and least thought provoking question for last. Kidding, of course. I think the simplest answer to the meaning of life is to live life to the fullest while fostering meaningful relationships with other people and doing the most good you can. It’s no complicated, but it is personal and different for each person. Enjoy life and the people you meet along the way. We are only here for a short time so make the best and most of it while you can.

I gotta tell you, had we been classmates, we would've ended up good friends, you and I. Your answers are pretty much exactly what I would've answered. Thank you for this interview!

Article by Choto 3000

The other Chess World Champions

Hoods! In the chess section of last quarter's Questaholic, we talked mainly about the current Classical World Championship cycle. As was noted there, however, there are a number of other World Championship titles that you could hold in chess. These other titles are the subject matter of this article! When you start reading through the list below, something might catch your eye: there's often a 'regular' version of every title (which I will refer to as the open title), and then also a corresponding women's title. I should note that this open version is not a men's version; in theory, anyone regardless of gender could hold this title. However, it's been the case historically that men have had many more opportunities to get better at and succeed in the game of chess, and so these open titles are most often, if not outright always, held by men. We can debate endlessly about this split between an open version and a women's version of titles, but I'd just like to say that I find it a very good thing that we celebrate women's achievements in chess as well through their own equivalent collection of Championship titles. Without further ado, let's get into it!

Women's World Chess Champion

Ju Wenjun

The Women's World Chess Championship title is widely regarded as the crowning achievement in women's chess, much like the Classical World Championship title currently held by Magnus Carlsen. Although the format of the Women's World Chess Championship title has varied wildly over the years, and particularly the last decade was quite messy, it seems the format has now 'lined up' with the open Classical World Championship cycle. That's to say, this title will also be decided upon on a biannual basis, where players qualify to a Candidates tournament first, and the winner of the Candidates tournament gets to challenge the reigning Women's World Champion. The current Women's World Chess Champion is the Chinese Grandmaster Ju Wenjun, who claimed the title in 2018 after defeating her compatriot Tan Zhongyi and successfully defended the title in 2020 against the Russian Grandmaster Aleksandra Goryachkina.

If you were to go to the Wikipedia page for the Women's World Chess Championship title, you might be surprised to see that this title has existed for quite a long time already. The first Women's World Champion was the Russian-born player Vera Menchik, who claimed the title in 1927. In context, the open World Chess Championship title has existed since 1886, but I reckon I will delve into the history of the open title in future installments of Questaholic. The title of Women's World Chess Champion has been held by predominantly Chinese, Russian or Soviet players.

World Rapid Championship

Now that we've looked at the Classical World Champion titles, it's time to look at the faster time controls. The first title this brings us to, is the title of World Rapid Champion, which is again divided into an open section and a women's section. These titles are decided in an annual tournament, the last of which was held in Warsaw, Poland at the end of 2021. The open section was won by the 17 year old Uzbek Grandmaster Nodirbek Abdusattorov, which is an incredible achievement for someone of his age. Unfortunately, this didn't go without its controversy; at the end of the tournament, which is a Swiss-style tournament with 13 rounds, four players ended up at the top with 9.5 out of 13 points. These four players were Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. However, due to the specific regulations regarding tiebreaks in this tournament, only Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Ian Nepomniachtchi were allowed to play the tiebreaks for the gold medal, which was subsequently won by Abdusattorov. Carlsen, feeling angry after losing out on his chance for the title because of seemingly arbitrary tiebreak rules, critised the format extensively, going so far as to call it idiotic. This did lead to change, though, as big tournaments since have made sure to adjust their tiebreak regulations to avoid situations like these.

On the other side of the isle, the women's section was won incredibly convincingly by Russian Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk. This section was also a Swiss-style tournament, although it only consisted of 11 rounds. In an incredible showing of strength, Alexandra Kosteniuk had already amassed a 1.5 point lead going into the final round, so she had already won the tournament with an entire round to spare. Those who enjoy watching chess content online are likely to be familiar with Alexandra Kosteniuk, as she's probably one of the most famous female chess professionals due to her relatively frequent appearances in online chess content.

World Blitz Championship

The World Blitz Championship is much like the World Rapid Championship; it is also held on an annual basis, and it was last organised just after the World Rapid Championship at the end of 2021 in Warsaw, Poland. The major difference between the two is that blitz is just a faster time control than rapid. For context, the players start with 10-15 minutes on their clocks in rapids, whereas they start with 3-5 minutes on their clocks in blitz, generally. The open section was won by French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, much to the surprise of many chess fans, as his performance in tournaments in 2021 hadn't been incredibly impressive up to that point. The women's section was won by Kazakh International Master Bibisara Assaubayeva. Interesting to note here is that Alexandra Kosteniuk ended up in second place, which only goes to show that Kosteniuk had an impressive performance during these two tournaments.

World Bullet Championship

Hikaru Nakamura

Unlike the previous two sections, there is no official World Bullet Championship. However, the chess website hosts an annual unofficial bullet championship, which might as well be considered the official World Bullet Championship. Unsurprisingly to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time watching chess streams, this title is currently held by the American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. Hikaru is a famous chess streamer and is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, chess players when it comes to the fastest time controls. Other players who have historically performed well in this event are French-Iranian Grandmaster Alireza Firouzja and American Grandmaster Andrew Tang.

World Junior Championship

For players under 20, there is also the World Junior Championship. This was first organised in 1951, and the next edition is set to take place in Italy in late 2022. The current World Junior Champions, who got their titles in 2019, are the Ukrainian Grandmaster Evgeny Shtembuliak and the Russian International Master Polina Shuvalova. The winner of the open section receives the Grandmaster title, and the winner of the women's section gets the corresponding Women's Grandmaster title. These titles, not to be confused with the World Championship titles we've discussed in this article, are kind of confusing, and so it's best if you have a read through the related Wikipedia article if you're interested in knowing what's up.

One last interesting thing to note about the World Junior Champions, is that four players who have held the title of World Junior Championship later went on to win the Classical World Championship. These players are Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand. Although all four of these players are still alive, only Anand still actively plays chess at the highest level. Recently, Anand participated in Norway Chess, a prestiguous chess tournament held annually in Stavanger, Norway. After a very strong start, where he even led the tournament for the first few rounds, he ended up finishing in fourth place (out of 10), which is a good result considering the field contained many of the world's strongest chess players, including Magnus Carlsen (who ended up winning the 2022 edition). Now, you might ask, hasn't Magnus Carlsen ever been the World Junior Champion? The answer is no, and the reason for this is actually quite comical; Magnus Carlsen never played in a World Junior Championship because he was already getting invites to stronger tournaments. Man, that guy is pretty decent at the game, huh?

World Amateur Championship

Max Euwe

Now, I have to be honest here; the only reason I'm including this title, is because it was held by the Dutchman you see in the picture to the left. The story of the World Amateur Chess Championship is actually quite weird. It was originally only held twice, in 1924 and 1928, both times coinciding with the Chess Olympiad. The 1928 version was held in The Hague, a city in the Netherlands, and it was won by perhaps the most famous Dutch chess player, Max Euwe. He went on to win the World Chess Champion title in 1935, which makes him the only Dutch World Chess Champion to date. After 1928, the World Amateur Championship was effectively cancelled, only to be revived in 1995-1996 by FIDE to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Hastings International Chess Congress. There's not really world titles connected to this tournament anymore, although it does fit with the convention that there is an open section and a women's section. The top finisher in each section receives the (Women's) FIDE Master title, while the silver and bronze medalists in both sections receive the (Women's) Candidate Master title.

Article by Derparnieux

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Ah yes, Lego and Star Wars; two great loves of my childhood. Put them together and you have one of the most iconic games of the mid 2000's. Ever since its launch in 2005, and the subsequent games releasing over the next 2 years, Lego Star Wars kickstarted an entire franchise of Lego games. But personally, no other Lego title holds up to the galaxy far, far away. 2011 brought about a Lego Clone Wars game, and 2016 gave us Lego The Force Awakens. From then, I patiently waited until the Lego Sequel Trilogy was announced, however, what we were to be given was far more than I could have imagined.

2022 gave us the latest Lego Star Wars title, not the sequel trilogy, but the entire Skywalker Saga, 9 films of pure joy to play through in all its bricky goodness. It was so different to any of the other Star Wars games that consumers were used to, and it gave a fresh new perspective and entirely new ways to explore the galaxy.

Let's get the obvious out of the way; The Skywalker Saga places much more emphasis on exploration rather than just grinding levels over and over again. With 24 planets in total to explore, you'll need to know which character and ability (more on this later) to use for each situation if you want to reach every nook and cranny and reveal all of the maps secrets. The focus on exploration is a good thing, it brings a breath of fresh air to the Lego Star Wars formula and gives a new, engaging way to play and complete collections, while also keeping distinct levels that are reminiscent of classic Lego Star Wars.

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The fight against Darth Maul is another classic level

The levels themselves are fun, and surprisingly different from those in previous titles. We have some classics of course (Podracing and Trench Run levels are a must!), but also some levels that I can honestly say were unexpected. Because of the way planets can be utilised for exploration alongside levels, it leaves room for the playable levels to be something entirely different. There are some grievances for me here though. There are less levels per episode now, down to 5 from the previous 6, and the levels we do have are surprisingly short as seen by only having 5 minikits down from 10 per level. Obviously having 9 episodes to play through still means there are a whopping 45 playable levels in the entire game, but I can't help wanting there to be more. There are also some levels which I would consider to be classic and popular levels that weren't implemented into the game (specifically the Battle Over Coruscant at the start of Episode 3). There were some levels which would have been great to see in an updated game, so I can't help but feel a little bit robbed of what we could have had.

I've got to be honest, when I originally saw the updated combat system they showcased for this title, I wasn't particularly fond of it. Third person targeting for blasters? Chaining lightsaber combo's? What's wrong with the classic just spam the button and kick ass? Well, it turns out that I was completely wrong. Over the shoulder targeting is a fun system to play around with (especially when combined with explosive barrels), and it often essential for galactic exploration. Different types of lightsaber combo's and combat is actually quite fun to play around with, especially when you're able to get to higher chains, and you're nicely rewarded with studs for your efforts too.

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Each class gets its own skill tree, and one for all classes

Let's go back to characters and abilities. We have the classic Jedi, Dark Side, Bounty Hunter, Astromech and Protocol droids as part of the roster, but there are several new types of character class, each with different abilities that will aid in exploration and levels. Hero, Scoundrel, Scavenger, Villain are all added to unlock hidden doors, find hidden paths, reach new heights and throw explosives, all in the aid of saving the galaxy of course. There is also a character class called 'Extras' but this is just where we find anyone who doesn't fall into that category, and they have no special abilities of their own. One of the things they didn't bring forward from older titles are small characters that can use small passageways to reach new areas. Instead they gave that ability to protocol droids, for some reason. Small characters still exist in the game, and are definitely different size from their tall counterparts, but the fact that they chose not to give them their signature ability is quite disappointing.

The final addition that I want to touch on regarding characters and abilities is the new system of skill trees that has been introduces. Each character class has a set of 4 upgrades that can be bought as you play through the game. So it would be wise to purchase for the characters you use most at first. Alongside upgrades for each class there is a skill tree for general character upgrades to increase health, scan for collectibles and to increase the power of your stud magnet (not that I needed that one, of course). The skill tree system was a pleasant surprise when I loaded up the game, it made me feel like I was genuinely getting stronger as I played though the game, and all my adventures in the galaxy were paying off.

In general, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was an incredibly fun game to play, and for me anyway, was well worth the wait. Was it without its flaws? No, of course not, there were some things I felt they missed out, and there were several bugs and many times when my game crashed. Did this take away from my overall experience? No, absolutely not. I had a blast playing this game and I highly recommend that any fans of previous Lego titles or the Star Wars franchise pick this game up and give it a go.

Article by Cyan Ryder

Introduction to Wintertodt


Hoods to all noobs reading this article, RS3 and OSRS players alike. It’s me, Francine, here again with all you need to know about the current firemaking meta, or at least what people say is the most favored way of gaining Firemaking experience.

This new Firemaking strategy has been used as a meta in two OSRS Leagues. It became very convenient for GIM to receive their quick levels and high leaderboard status. For all Ironman modes, it is the meta to get firemaking, construction, and maybe fletching levels freely and without much effort. Rewards include a permanent wieldable light source, a 50% more magic damage on fire spells, and rarely, a pet or Dragon ax. More frequently, raw materials based on current levels are given.

Overall, some may think it is over-rated, but the experience rates and rewards are no joke. Now, if you live under a rock, or don’t pay attention to OSRS, this method is not a minigame or new type of log to be cut and burned, but a skilling boss. The player trains firemaking more predominately than any other skill while having a goal of defeating the winter storm known as Wintertodt.

Wintertodt Lore

Released on September 8, 2016, Wintertodt, or Todt, considerably made Firemaking more rewarding. Located in the Kingdom of Kourend north of Arceuus, Todt is locked behind the Doors of Dinh with the help of a special group of Arceuus mages, called Pyromancers. Not until recently, did the Doors of Dinh have begun to fail creating small holes in the doors, making Wintertodt drawing a small amount of power into the prison. In order to keep Todt at bay, the Pyromancers need skilled adventurers to assist in fixing, lighting, and feeding the braziers, and most importantly, healing pyromancers when weak.

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Requirements and Recommendations

The only requirement is 50 firemaking, but there are many recommendations to get hit for less damage, better rewards, and more experience. First, there are three ways that Todt can cause damage to the adventurer, but by taking precautions, a player can take the least amount of damage. One way of taking damage is unavoidable, the cold climate, this can interrupt and stop your player from fletching roots and adding roots to the brazier, however, this can not stop you from chopping roots. A brazier explosion and the 3x3 area snowfall attack both can be seen a few seconds before and be avoided as long as you are paying attention.

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The damage is calculated by the player’s firemaking level, hitpoints level, the number of braziers lit, and the number of warm clothing worn. So the strategy is to go to wintertodt with 10 hitpoints in order to be hit with the least amount of damage by the cold climate. As your Firemaking level increases to level 60, you can have at most 18 hp and still be hit by the cold by 1 damage at a time, however, damage from the other attacks will double. Refer to the Calculator for more inquiries.

There is a long list of warm clothing, and some are assumed to act as warm, like earmuffs, but do not work in the prison. The easiest of items to get ahold of on a brand new account are the top, bottoms, gloves, and boots of the clue hunter outfit by digging on certain tiles, refer to the old school wiki page.

It is also recommended to bring food of any kind and ways to regenerate hitpoints faster to sustain one kill or multiple kills in one trip. Other than the obvious of a Regen bracelet and Hitpoints cape, Rapid Heal and Redemption Prayers are commonly used, as well as POH restore pool and jewelry box back to camp. This is an unsafe place for all hardcore ironmen, dying here will lose your status as hardcore. Be prepared and dress warm!

Secondly, rewards of raw materials are based on your level in Herblore, Crafting, Farming, and Fishing. Higher level players are more likely to get higher level herbs, gems, seeds, and fish. To have a chance to receive Mahogany, Yew, and Magic logs, you must have at least level 25, 36, and 50 Woodcutting respectively. To have a chance to receive Mithril, Adamantite, and Runite ore, you must have at least level 14, 39, and 60 Mining respectively. It is advised to reach a higher level in these skills to be given better raw materials as rewards.

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Lastly, the experience can be gained in Construction by just bringing a hammer and buying a house before entering the prison. When the brazier does explode, make sure you're far away enough not to get hurt, but close enough to then be fast to fix it with whoever you are with. The experience gained is 4x your construction level, because it is such a large multiplier, it is advised to take advantage of the free construction experience. Just be sure you have bought a house, or you will gain no experience. It is one of the cheapest ways to level construction and extremely beneficial to do so on the side while on the road to 99 firemaking.

If you choose to train Fletching, the experience gained is 0.6x your fletching level per Bruma root turned into kindling. Putting the kindling in the lit brazier gives more than double the points and 0.8x more firemaking experience than just a root. Fletching is only recommended if you are going for the most points because of these rates. Some players rather just put roots into the fire as it is sufficient enough, as long as by the end of the kill you reach enough points for rewards. Since fletching can be interrupted by the cold climate, at a certain point if not retaining your focus, roots may be faster than kindling. In time with this strategy, “Why Fletch” has become a common phrase of this playstyle.

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(Prezleek Comic “The comic is poking fun at how frustrating it can be when the Wintertodt interrupts your fletching several times in a row, and that you’re forced to go there because “it’s warmer” than the entrance when taking the damage says otherwise.”)

Locations & Points

The highlighted green tiles of the entrance is a safe space, you will take no damage. You may not fletch here or you will get a message it is too cold. It is ironic since you take no damage from the cold climate inside the space. If you are just one square outside, you may fletch, but still take damage.

In solo games, it is advised to use this space to begin the game once all braziers are lit for the first time to be safe from the constant damage taken while Todt is still high energy. You should also chill here while letting Todt heal back to 20% energy after you have the next load of roots in inventory.

The map of the prison

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White - Wintertodt
Red - Braziers
Orange - Pyromancers
Yellow - Bruma Roots
Green - Herbs to make Rejuvenation Potions
Blue - Vials of Rejuvenation potion (unf)
Pink - Ax, Tinderbox, Knife, Hammer
Black outline - Safe Space

Shortcut requiring 60 Agility
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Once you enter the Doors of Dihn, at the top of your screen you will have displayed Wintertodt’s current energy percentage and the current state of the braziers and pyromancers.

In the photo
NW brazier needs to be lit
NE Pyromancer needs healing
SW Pyromancer needs healing, brazier fixed, and lit

SE is in a perfect state. (It has the brazier lit and the Pyromancer is dealing damage to Todt)
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The points given to a player during the kill are:
30 for Healing a Pyromancer with Concoction
25 for Repairing the brazier
25 for Lighting the brazier
25 for adding Kindling to the brazier

10 for adding Roots to the brazier


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How many rewards are given is based on the points that you accumulated during the fight. You must collect at least 500 points in order to be rewarded a Supply Crate and always roll two rewards once opened. At the time of opening the crate, your level in skills listed before will be considered. These crates are not stackable in the bank, but you can choose to keep them closed until higher levels. For each extra 5 points gained, you have a 1% chance to roll for a third reward, which means at 750 points you have a 50% chance, and at 1000 points you are guaranteed to gain a third reward. Every 500 points will guarantee another roll.

Unique rewards include the Pyromancer outfit, the Hood, Garb, Robe, and Boots, giving a Firemaking experience boost of 2.5% when all four pieces are worn. The Bruma Torch and Warm gloves are not part of the outfit, but once you have three of each banked, you have unlocked the chance to get magic and torstol seeds. The Torch is an equipable permanent light source and can light braziers instead of bringing a tinderbox inside. All six pieces are considered warm clothing.

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One of the most sought-after unique is the Tome of Fire and the Burnt Pages to fill the tome with charges. This tome requires 50 magic, is held in the shield space, and while casting any fire combat spell will increase the damage by 50% while also acting as a source of fire runes. This does not include the following spells: Ibans Blast, Flames of Zammy, Undead Grasp, Deamonbane and Smoke Spells. If casting a non-combat spell requiring fire runes, it will not consume charges. Therefore, combined with a Bryophyta Staff, you have a 1/15 chance to save nature runes and use no fire runes. Also the only inventory spot taken is one of noted alchables.

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On a rare occasion, you have a 1/5,000 chance of receiving the phoenix pet which can be recolored with 250 of one color firelighter. Even more rare is the chance of a Dragon Ax at a 1/10,000 chance. Overall, because of the raw supplies and the tome of fire as a reward, plus the passive experience in multiple skills, Todt is the first place many new ironmen go to.

Solo Kill

The maximum of 28 rewards from one supply crate requires 13,500 points. This can be achieved with a solo kill by letting Todt heal and then damage Todt back down, repeating this over and over again until you reach 13,500 points and finally decide to kill him. This strategy is not recommended if going for firemaking levels, as you are losing the 100x firemaking experience reward at the end of each kill. A solo game for max points can take you at least an hour or more. A mass world and respawn time takes about 5-8 minutes combined. The same amount of rewards can be achieved within an hour. The only benefit is that you are the sole person to fix braziers and guaranteed construction experience. No race to get to the brazier and miss the opportunity. Also, the brazier is more likely to break when Todt’s energy is low, and in a solo kill, you must keep the energy lower than 25% to reduce the frequency of the cold climate damage.

Playthrough on a Mass World

Equip 4 warm clothing, your best fashionscape, and the best ax you can wield. Rub your games necklace, teleport to the camp, and go through the Doors of Dinh. Once inside you can grab a tinderbox, hammer, and knife from the crates. Hop to a wintertodt world and wait for Todt to die and people run like maniacs, then we will begin in the next kill.

An optional start, is that before Todt respawns grab a concoction (unf) from the crate and run to herbs. Once Todt respawns you can pick the herb, make the potion, and then begin chopping roots. The completed potion will stay in the inventory as long as you stay in the prison and until you use all four doses. At least one potion is a good precaution if staying for multiple kills as many people rely on that one person to heal the pyromancer. You must heal the Pyromancer before you are able to relight the brazier if both happen to occur. If no one heals the Pyromancer and the brazier is not lit, players run to another brazier to get more points.

Another place to start is at the brazier so when Todt respawns you can instantly light the brazier for a start of 25 points, then run to the root coming from the wall. It is recommended to stand in a tile where the 3x3 snowfall can not reach. It is usually the closest to the wall and near crates.

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It may not matter to you, but choose one of the four braziers to begin. North braziers I have found to be more pleasant chats and players are there to sustain multiple kills per trip, then teleport with the games necklace back to camp. I’d advise you just to turn off the public chat if you are at the south braziers, it can be more crowded. This could cause you to miss construction opportunities.

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100% Energy

If you don’t have a dragon ax, start chopping the root, and type Chop Chop! Then once inventory is full, run to one tile away from the perimeter of the brazier and start fletching. This way, if the brazier does explode, which is unlikely at this stage, but still can happen, you are not in its perimeter to be damaged. Instantly fix, light, and walk one tile away again and continue fletching. With sounds on, where you can hear your own damage splat, you can quickly get back to fletching after you hear it. Once you have all kindling, deposit it into brazier.

Remember if you are damaged, your action will be interrupted.

You will take frequent damage from the cold climate at this stage, so if prioritizing firemaking XP, add roots into the brazier instead of kindling. This will give a small amount of points, but will give you two loads of the same firemaking xp rather than one load of kindling before 50% health.


Once at this stage, if you are currently burning roots, I would start making kindling. Every 4 kindling is 100 points and if the brazier breaks or needs relit, both give 25 points. At this stage of Todt’s energy, you won't be interrupted as much as before from the cold climate, which makes fletching a bit easier. Also, the brazier is more likely to break, so still keep your distance when fletching as stated before. The rate of receiving points at this stage will be faster than at the beginning if you keep watch on the brazier to fix and light it. Still, 3x3 snowfalls deal the most damage, so take precautions to avoid them.


Braziers will need your help constantly below this percentage, so continue to keep a close eye on it. The Pyromancers may also become weak or be damaged by their own snowfall more often at this stage. If you are on the same tile, this type of snowfall will not harm you. If you have finally reached 500 points, I’d still chop a few more roots until I see snowfall on the brazier. I would run over to fix and relight it. Then add the roots to get extra points. Every point and experience drop counts and is worth it until Todt is killed.

Killed and Respawn

You will then get an experience drop of 100x your firemaking level and a supply crate in inventory. If you decide you can stay for another kill, make sure you don't open the crate to save space, and heal back up to full hitpoints if you have enough food for that and another kill. You take the most damage at the start of the kill, so this is preparing for that.

If you do want to bank between kills, you are given a random amount of time before Todt respawns, between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The best way is to use a game necklace to camp, bank, and run back to the brazier. If you have a healing pool and a jewelry box in your house, those are also useful between kills.

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Thats all I have to say about the winter storm. I think I covered everything. For more refer to the wintertodt page on the OSRS wikipage.

I will be writing more Questaholic articles, so I would like to hear from you what Oldschool Runescape Content you are curious to learn more about. It could be Questlore that may be different from or not in RS3. It could be skilling bosses that are only in OSRS. It could be about training methods that are only in OSRS. Please let me know, so then I can write another informative article that lets you know more about the other and oldschool side of Clan Quest.

For any other questions or inquiries, you may contact me on discord @Francine1225#2877

Until next time, unhoods

Article by Francine1225

Xurdones Reviews:
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

It's hard to think of an actor with a stranger career than Nicolas Cage. He's been in pretty much every kind of movie you can imagine over the course of his four-decade career, from historical dramas like Captain Corelli's Mandolin to summer blockbusters like National Treasure to...whatever you'd call Left Behind. He's an odd mix of movie star and working actor, where he's had consistent work since the 80s, everyone seems to know his name, but only a handful of his films have really become embedded in the popular consciousness. In many respects he's more famous as a meme, as a hammy actor or an immortal or an incredulous rage comic face (does anyone remember rage comics? Does that reference scan?). And this is the context into which we are delivered The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

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Does anyone remember this? No? Just me? Okay.

The main character is, of course, Nick Cage, a lightly-fictionalized version of the Nicolas Cage we're familiar with: his career has been more-or-less the same, but he only has one ex-wife, Olivia (Sharon Horgan) and a single daughter, Addy (Lily Sheen), with whom he has a rocky relationship, and he's been having a difficult time finding work. Desperate for money to pay off his mounting debts, Nick takes the slightly-humiliating job of appearing at the birthday party of wealthy olive merchant Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) in exchange for a million dollar payout. Despite an awkward introduction - Javi is obviously a massive fan of Nick's, and makes a lot of "first time meeting a celebrity" faux-pas - the two men become fast friends, which becomes very awkward when Nick is kidnapped by two CIA agents (played by Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz) and informed that Javi is actually an international arms dealer and vicious crime boss. Nick is press-ganged into spying on Javi, and shenanigans naturally ensue.

On paper, this is a movie I didn't expect to like, and it has a lot riding against it: it reads like a one-joke concept, "isn't it wacky that Nic Cage is playing himself"; long and pretentious titles annoy me (one of the reasons I haven't seen the Birds of Prey film); and it's almost painfully meta, in that "movie about making movies" way that would have delighted me as a teenager but now mostly leaves me cold. Truth be told, the casting of Nicolas Cage is pretty much the only reason I saw it, because Cage is such a memetic actor and prone to giving 110% to every role, regardless of whether it deserves it, that I thought novelty alone would make it at least tolerable. And yet, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a really good movie.

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It's not quite this meta...but it's also not not this meta

Don't get me wrong, it's super meta. Much of the second act features Nick and Javi workshopping a movie (Nick's excuse to stick around on Javi's compound), and most of their scenes feature some less-than-subtle foreshadowing for how the rest of the film will go. And, of course, a substantial portion of the runtime is dedicated to fluffing Nic Cage's career: the very first shot is a scene from Con Air, about a half-dozen of his more famous films are referenced in dialogue, mostly from characters talking about how life-changing they were, and Javi's secret room full of props and memorabilia (including a deeply unsettling wax sculpture of Castor Troy from Face/Off) is given a suspicious level of prominence. And the film's self-awareness works against it at times, particularly where it comes to Javi.

It should surprise nobody that Javi isn't actually a criminal mastermind, it's so obvious that I didn't even feel the need to give a spoiler warning, because come on. But, strangely, the movie agrees with me; although Nick learns this information in a very tense and emotional scene, the audience is told in a single line of dialogue during a scene beteen Javi and the actual kingpin, his cousin Lucas (Paco León). That scene is tense and emotional for other reasons - Lucas has discovered Nick's duplicity and forces Javi to kill him to prove his loyalty - but the actual reveal is almost a throwaway; it's not even in English, the two characters speak subtitled Spanish for most of the scene, which makes sense in-universe but means that it's entirely possible to miss if you happen to not be looking at the screen (and how many of us aren't multitasking while watching movies these days, be honest).

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Not pictured: a believable cartel boss (sorry, Pedro)

The film's ending is also hit-or-miss, culminating in Lucas taking Nick hostage at gunpoint, his family helpless to assist, before seamlessly transitioning into the finale of the film Nick and Javi have been developing, which is now being premiered in Hollywood in front of a totally unharmed Cage family. This might be a personal gripe, but these "it was all a dream" endings (which, conceptually, is what this is: the entire film you just watched is in-universe fiction) annoy me, because they undermine the narrative I spent the last hour-and-a-half getting invested in. Dialogue in the epilogue implies that the events we witness are true-but-embellished, but the audience is given no indication of where the embellishment begins or ends. So, did Nick and Javi actually have a tearful armed standoff? Did Javi actually have a creepy shrine of Nick Cage memorabilia? Was Addy actually kidnapped by Lucas? Were any of the stakes in the rest of the film real at all? The fact that I have to ask these questions does not spark joy. That was the lowest part of the film for me, which is a sad note to end on.

Nevertheless I'll recommend it on the strength of everything else, which is excellent. Nick and Javi are both very fun characters, for very different reasons, and Cage and Pascal have great on-screen chemistry. It's just viscerally fun to watch the two play off one another, even as the hijinks increase in wackiness from "get drunk and cry through Paddington 2" ("It made me want to be a better man" remains an incredible line and an impeccable delivery) to "trip out on LSD and sprint through the streets to escape imaginary pursuers" to "impersonate a Mafia don to infiltrate Lucas' fortress."

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The bromance we both need and deserve

But my absolute favourite thing, which I will trumpet from the heavens because it feels like so few movies get it right, is the way the film balances humour and drama. This is a very difficult thing to do: it's all too easy to fall one way or another, on the one hand sucking all tension out of a scene by refusing to allow anything to linger, or on the other hand draining out the comedy by making the rest too serious. To Talent's credit, the stakes and drama are real, and are almost never undercut by the humour, but at the same time the humour is allowed to co-exist with the drama. There's a very illustrative scene about midway through, where Nick is infiltrating Javi's security system with the CIA on an earpiece, and everything goes wrong when Nick accidentally doses himself with tranquilizer. That scene is a masterclass in blending drama and comedy, and it simultaneously makes you feel the risk of Nick being discovered and shot, while also letting you laugh at the absurd physical comedy of Nick trying to get to the antidote while his body slowly shuts down. The scene culminates in Nick lying unconscious on the floor, passing out moments away from injecting himself with the antidote, sure to be discovered by a patrolling guard, only to reflexively jerk awake and inject the antidote when one of the agents shouts "ACTION" into his earpiece. I love it.

Final analysis: this is a weird movie. It's not perfect, but it's better than I expected and genuinely enjoyable on its own terms. Give it a chance, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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Let the Cage flow through you

Article by Xurdones

The Clan Quest Test Kitchen

Hoods, and welcome back to Questaholic's Test Kitchen! I hope you had fun trying out last edition's recipe, as boy do I have an out there recipe for you today!

This recipe's difficulty ranking is more based on obtaining ingredients than it is actual skill, so I'll be presenting optional ingredients if you wish to follow what I myself covered as well as the main ingredients if you want to make something similar at home. The simplified version is a solid one Dwellberries out of five, the version I made is two Dwellberries out of five. Today... we are making Arrav's Canopic Jar. I told you it was out there!

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So Dark, tell me how we're going to be freeing the enslaved hero of Avarrocka today. Oh I am so glad you asked! To begin, we'll cover a little bit of background on the canopic jar that is used in both "The Curse of Arrav" and "Dimensions of Disaster" (the infamous quest, rattle your bedroom shackles in appreciation folks!).

The Canopic Jar itself is a solution presented by the Pharaoh Queen, Senliten, in response to the troubling situation the fallen hero of Varrock finds himself in. As Senliten puts it;

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"If the heart continues beating, this prevents the remaining person from having the 'spirit' that would otherwise compel them to fight against it".

By preserving Arrav's heart while having him as his Wight, Zemouregal has removed Arrav's free will and has created himself a puppet warrior. The Canopic Jar we use in the quest is merely the vessel in which we carry the heart, it is the preservatives within that allow the Adventurer to sustain the heart outside of its prison; a Ring of Life, Sacred Oil, and three Dwellberries.

Now, as a Teragardian human with limited access to Gnomish delights and Runes I have a few substitutes for all things mystical and magic. Our recipe today will be focusing on the making of Arrav's heart, but if you want to join me in trying to recreate the actual Canopic jar then you are very welcome to do so.

And with that friends, it is time to save Arrav, and to earn your quest requirements for Ritual of the Mahjarrat!

Arrav's Heart

Ingredients (Makes 6)

  • 100g Cooking Chocolate (White Chocolate works better with Cocoa Colouring if you plan on changing the colour, otherwise Milk Chocolate works fine)
  • 5 Cupcakes (Store bought or homemade is acceptable depending on your preference/time constraints)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of buttercream (depending on the size of your cupcakes you may need more. Any flavour of buttercream is fine)
  • A mould to set your creations in (a silicone mould will be easier to pry your creations from. If you're attempting to make the creation heart shaped, a silicone heart mould is easy to find online)
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Optional Ingredients

  • Cocoa butter colouring (this is like food colouring but for chocolate)
  • Basil leaves
  • Some blueberries
  • A mason jar to place your creation in
  • A ring (Proposing to your loved one? Well how about with an undead warrior's heart! Please do not eat the ring, in the name of all that is holy do not put the ring in the food or near your mouth. Unless it's a Haribo ring in which case go nuts)
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  1. Step one: begin crumbling your cupcakes into a bowl, and mix with your buttercream. This will be the filling of your heart treat. Feel free to adjust the ratio of cupcake crumbs to buttercream as you prefer, so long as the crumbs are incorporated into the buttercream that's all that matters.

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    Set aside your crumb and buttercream mix, and begin melting your chocolate. If you're choosing to use the cocoa butter colouring then white chocolate will work more in your favour. If you're using the colouring, begin warming it up. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the bottle (this may be placing the bottle in warm water, or putting it in the microwave). Use as much colouring as you need with your chocolate to achieve the colour you want. For example, I chose to use milk chocolate and used a deep red cocoa butter colouring, achieving this result:

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  3. Next, using a pastry brush line your silicone mould with melted chocolate. I recommend doing one layer to start off with, placing the layer within the fridge, and doing a second later after the chocolate has set to give the chocolate case more structural integrity. How thick your layers are may affect how much time it takes to set the chocolate, so check periodically.

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  4. Once your chocolate cases have set, begin loading them with your buttercream crumb mix. Be sure to leave some space at the top to seal in the mix with chocolate.

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  5. Using your remaining melted chocolate, seal the crumb mix into the case. Be sure to make sure all the edges are covered by the chocolate to prevent holes. This may look messy, but once the hearts have set solid you can tidy them up afterwards as the thinner parts of chocolate will be easy to remove. Place the tray of hearts back into the fridge and allow to set.

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  6. After making sure your hearts have set, remove them from the silicone mould and begin tidying them up to a presentable stage. Congratulations, you've just made a heart!
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  8. If you were looking to go the full monty, now is the time to break out the mason jar and your other optional ingredients. Place your heart with the mason jar, and tactically place a couple of basil leaves next to it. Position 3 blueberries upon those basil leaves to make your very own set of Dwellberries. A ring may also be placed beside the heart for the full effect (and photos because let's be honest, we're all taking photos of our handiwork here). I haven't placed any liquids within the jar as a sacred oil substitute for practical reasons, although should you want to have a drink with your heart then I'd say that should cover it!

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    And voilà! You have made (several) Hearts of Arrav! Was that easier than breaking and entering a fortress in the Wilderness filled with gassy zombies or what?

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    We all love a cross-section, who would we be as cooking enthusiasts without a cross-section? So feast your eyes upon the contents of my (his) heart!

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    You can see the chocolate on the base is uneven, but this shouldn't matter so long as your chocolate cake creation tastes good.

    Thank you once again folks for joining me on another tasty adventure, who knows what we'll make next time? If you take a stab at making this recipe then let me know, I'd love to hear (and see if you take pictures) how you get on!

    It's been wonderful being your chef today, I'll see you and your taste buds again very soon. Unshood for now!

    Article by Darkestnight

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Shiro Applies Math

Welcome to the second edition of Shiro Applies Maths. For the people new to this article, it's all about the applications of mathematics in the real word. Many people have and still wonder why mathematics is so important. During my short time as a mathematics teacher, my students would often ask me the same question: " Why would I need to know this if I'm not going to study anything remotely related to it?". I can think of many reasons why people should learn maths, but my main argument is that maths is literally everywhere. If any of you can come up with a profession that is not related to maths, please do contact me. Secondly I'd argue that maths is fun, when you obtain the results. That's what this column is all about. Without further ado, here's the second issue of Shiro Applies Maths!

Last issue I promised you something with a one meter ruler. Honestly, I may have forgotten to buy one, nor was I able to obtain some other equipment I was planning to use. Therefor I'd like to share my other hobby with you all: Music. Music theory contains a lot of mathematics, more than I expected. A while ago I've done some research on the history of mathematics of music theory and I'd like to share it with you. Slight note though, it's rather long, so I'll end up in splitting it into two or three issues. I sincerely hope you'll enjoy it!

Music Theory

The definition of music theory is: "The art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds to produce beauty of form". Such sounds are propagated by vibrations of different frequencies through the air. The higher the frequency, the higher the pitch. A pitch can be described by its frequency, however, it can also be described numerically by comparing it to other pitches. The latter numerical representation is most commonly used in this and the next article and is basically how temperament comes to exist.

To study music, it is important to understand the concept of intervals. An interval is the distance between two pitches. It can either be harmonic (two pitches played simultaneously) or melodic (two pitches played after one another). The size of an interval can be given by the ratio of their frequencies. It has always been clear that some ratios sound better than others, where the ratios that create pleasant sounds are called consonances, and the ones that are not pleasant are dissonances. It is good to observe that these preferences are not personal, but common for everyone. This universal likeness is what makes musical theory possible. You could wonder what it is that distinguishes the consonance-generating ratios from all other ratios. Many scientists have tried to find an answer to this question, however, it remains unanswered to this day.

Musical notation establishes seven basic pitches to which the letters A to G are assigned, although sometimes these notes are represented by the vowels do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti. These letters are repeated when higher (or lower) pitches are generated. When two pitches of the same frequency are played together it is called a unison interval, these sounds are so similar that it appears to be one. Another such interval with this characteristic is called an octave interval. This is when two notes are played simultaneously but are an octave apart. Both the unison and octave interval are called perfect intervals. A perfect interval is an interval described by simple whole number ratios. For example, an octave is described as a 2:1 ratio. This means that if a note is played by a string of length $a$, then an octave is obtained by ½a. Besides the unison and the octave, there is also the perfect fourth and perfect fifth, respectively described by the ratios 4:3 and 2:3. As mentioned before with the unison and octave, a characteristic of a perfect interval is that they sound perfectly consonant to our ears.

Perfect intervals, however, indicate the existence of imperfect intervals. The second, third, sixth and seventh are such intervals, which can be either major or minor. Major intervals are half a step higher than their minor equivalent. The distance between these intervals is described by these half steps in the table below. A musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone apart, form a chromatic scale. Starting at note C these half steps result in a C-major scale.

Halfsteps between intervals
Interval Halfsteps
Perfect Unison -
Minor Second 1
Major Second 2
Minor Third 3
Major Third 4
Perfect Fourth 5
Perfect Fifth 7
Minor Sixth 8
Major Sixth 9
Minor Seventh 10
Major seventh 11
Perfect Octave 12

These half steps are easily seen on a keyboard. The notes A through G correspond with the white keys. The flattened notes of A, B, D, E and G correspond with the black keys on a keyboard. Flattened in this sense means that they are half a step lower than the original. The visualisation of a keyboard is shown in The Figure below. Major chords are often experienced as cheerful, while minor chords are dark and grim. It can be noticed that some intervals do not have a separate minor state. These intervals, the fourth, fifth and octave exist in only one form. This does not mean that they cannot be flattened but it simply means that their acoustics are `perfect’ as-is. The reason that makes them so perfect is because of their ratios. A perfect octave has a ratio 2:1, a perfect fifth has a ratio 3:2, and a perfect fourth has a ratio 4:3. The other intervals have more complex ratios what makes them less perfect and slightly less pleasing to hear.

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The origin of music

The origin of music is very hard, maybe even impossible, to pin down. The investigation of the history of music is restrained to archaeological excavations. The first of these excavations date back to 40,000 B.C.E. and consist of animal bones with holes drilled into them, which could indicate that music already existed so many years ago. However, the lack of writings from this time make it hard to put it in historical context, as we do not know if they used it in the same way as we do it presently. The first musical writings that have been found date back to the end of the prehistoric period. These writings of music were on clay tablets and include wedding songs, funeral laments, dance music etc., and appear to be similarly used as we do today. These writings are considered to indicate the start of the history of music.

The origin of tuning can be pinned down to the ancient Greek philosophers. They defined notes within an octave that were pleasant for the ears and tuned instruments accordingly. Three of the most influential figures in this area were Pythagoras, Aristoxenus and Claudius Ptolemy. These Medieval theorists defined only the octave, fifth, and fourth as consonant. However, later on also the major third and minor third were considered consonances using the simple ratios 5:4 and 6:5.

Pythagorean Tuning

Earlier it was mentioned that a pitch can be described by its frequency but also numerically by comparing it to other pitches. For this, the actual frequency of the pitch is not needed, as ratios are used in comparing these pitches. Musical intervals are (combinations) of ratios. The standard pure ratios are 1:1, 2:1, 3:2 and 4:3. With these ratios, all other ratios can be produced by simple arithmetic.

Pythagoras discovered that the small integer ratios 2:1 (octave), 3:2 (perfect fifth) and 4:3 (fourth) were consonances. He observed this by experimenting with the monochord as depicted in the Figure here below, which is "a musical instrument consisting of a soundboard with a single string and often a movable bridge, originally used [especially] to teach the intervals of plainsong, now used chiefly for mathematical determination of musical intervals". For example, a string divided into two parts, where the bridge is placed at this midway point, gives a ratio of 2:1.

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Pythagoras was convinced that the universe could be explained according to simple numbers and ratios. For the Pythagoreans, the most important intervals were the unison, octave, fifth, and fourth. A tuning system solely based on octaves would not contain enough variety in notes, as the diversity of tunes would be extremely limited. Therefore, Pythagoras decided to base his tuning system on the perfect fifth, the second-simplest ratio. In Pythagorean tuning, the intervals were calculated by subtracting or adding the original four intervals in different combinations.

Constructing a Pythagorean Scale

In order to create a scale based on Pythagorean tuning, start with a single tone with frequency x1. A next tone with frequency x2 is then given by multiplying x1 by ³⁄₂. This gives the fifth note in the octave. The following note with frequency x3 is yet again given by multiplying x2 by ³⁄₂. However, now x3 > 2x1$ and thus x3 is divided by two to remain in the same octave. This is done recursively in order to get the first six tones. The seventh tone with frequency x7 is given by x1 divided by ³⁄₂. However, then x7 < x1 and thus x7 is multiplied by two to remain in the octave. This may sound a bit confusing, so I've take the liberty of visualizing it below. By constructing the system this way, the octave, fifth and fourth remain pure.

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The Circle of Fifths

A chromatic scale can be constructed by using Pythagorean fifths, by starting with the interval C to G and continuing through the circle of fifths for all twelve pitches, returning to the original note C. In other words, the chromatic scale can be constructed by starting at a note C and raising it with fifths until all twelve pitches are reached. This creates the "circle" of fifths. However, it is not possible to create a twelve-tone scale that is internally consistent and generates a closed circle. Therefore, it is not so much a circle as it is an outwards spiral. After proceeding through twelve fifths from the starting C, the final C is seven octaves higher. The mathematical result is that the sum of the twelve fifths is greater than the sum of the seven octaves. In other words, the circle of fifths cannot be completed. The Figure below shows a visual representation of the circle of fifths in equal temperament (our current system) and Pythagorean tuning. This tuning discrepancy between the seventh octave, that results from using Pythagorean tuning as opposed to the actual seventh octave (so between (³⁄₂)^{12} and 2^7), is what we call the Pythagorean comma. In general, this is called a "wolf-whistle". This Pythagorean comma arises because it is mathematically impossible for any power of two to equal any power of ³⁄₂.

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The problem with Pythagorean tuning was that it did not accurately reflect the pitches in the harmonic series. Ptolemy’s solution to this problem was to tune with pure intervals only. This is known as just intonation.

Just Intonation

Just intonation only works with the pure intervals shown in the Table below. Most singers preferred this tuning system, as it allowed them to keep harmonic intervals perfectly in tune. However, musical instruments such as woodwinds and harpsichords cannot easily adjust to any pitch. In order to be able to play along, these instruments would need to have impractically many keys. As a mathematician named Barbour beautifully says: "This is only possible in some musical fourth dimension". We can conclude that for either way of tuning, Pythagorean- or just intonation, some compromises need to be made in the acoustical purity of some intervals for instruments to be able to play in some sort of assemble. These compromising tuning systems are called temperaments.

Perfect ratios
Interval ratio
Unison 1:1
Second 9:8
Third 5:4
Fourth 4:3
Fifth 3:2
Sixth 5:3
Seventh 15:8
Octave 2:1

As already mentioned at the end, both Pythagorean tuning and just intonation have their problems. Later during the Renaissance a change was made in the form of Meantone Temperament. Even more further into the future Equal Temperament was introduced, the system which was first rejected, is exactly the one we use today. However, since the article is already fairly long and maybe even a bit intense to read, this will have to wait for the next issue. I hope you've enjoyed reading about Music Theory and Mathematics so far, see you all next time in the Renaissance!

Article by Shiro_Shana

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Adventurers and lorehounds of clan quest! I hereby invite you all to Clan Quest Winter Holidays! what I want to say. Not yet, but hopefully soon. And it is therefore I present to you the signup of interest for Clan Quest Winter Holidays!! Expect a snowy landscape, Xmas-themed activities and the opportunity to be closer to Santa Clause's workshop than you have ever been before. So get your thickest coat ready because this winter Clan Quest is going north!

So what is this about?

Clan Quest Winter Holidays is a real-life event that will take place in the Nordic Lands. It's estimated to be 5-7 days long, somewhere between the 16th of December 2022 - 8th of January 2023. The goal of this event will be to create wonderful memories together through a theme that will offer activities and exploration! The theme will either be one of two things: City or Wilderness. The difficulty level will be adjusted to the level of the participants.

What can we expect?

Expect a range of activities at different paces, from watching movies indoors to riding a dogsled over frozen lakes. Depending on the final destination as well as the final theme of the Winter Holidays the planned activities may differ. Examples of such activities are as listed below:


  • Museums.
  • Visiting a variety of shops: Cosplay, antique, clothing and more.
  • Xmas dinner at a fancy restaurant.
  • Recording a short Clan Quest movie. Those who have seen the Clan Quest Movie Trailer or the Clan Quest Summercamp know what I'm talking about.


  • Hiking with snow shoes with aurora in the sky!
  • Skiing, slalom and/or cross country.
  • Dog sled over frozen lakes and snowy forests.
  • Watching movies in a cabin with a crackling fireplace, with snow falling outside the window.

What do I need to do now?

If you like what you are reading, fill out the questionnaire below in order to show your interest. Send the answers to me (Tycoelf) either through Offsite or the Clan Quest Discord. You have until the 5th of August to reply. Showing interest does not bind you to anything. A more detailed plan will follow after the closing date, along with a confirmation of your interest to participate. For the Clan Quest Winter Holidays to be hosted a minimum of 3 people need to participate.

  1. Are you interested to attend the Clan Quest Winter Holidays?
  2. Will you be able to participate within the suggested dates as well as the length of the event?
  3. Do you have any opinion on the theme or activities?
  4. Do you mind surprises or do you prefer to know everything beforehand?
  5. Do you mind being contacted through Discord? If not, what is a reliable way of reaching you?
  6. If participating, is there anything we should know about you?
  7. Are you HYPED?!?!?!?!

Thank you and see you this winter!

Also in the last issue of the Questaholic I gave you all a crossword to solve. I'm herby proud to announce that the winner is....


As promised, the Francine will hereby be the director of the next Clan Quest GIF. What evil plans does this lorehound have in mind? Wait and find out.... Meanwhile, feel free to look over the answers!

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Article by Tyco elf