Dear gentlehobbits, gentle-elves, gentledwarves, gentlemen and gentlewomen, you are cordially invited to the fifth Gladden Riddle Race on Saturday the 14th of December, noon U.S. EST, to be held in the Misty Mountains, in celebration of the Winter Holidays season! (For those of you who originally expected this to be December 21st, yes, that was the original plan, but several people including some organizers requested the date be pushed forward so as not to conflict with real life matters.)
- 100 gold apiece to each first place winner, 50 gold apiece to each second place winner, 25 gold apiece to each third place winner, and 10 gold apiece for each member of the best dressed team. There might also be gold prizes to musicians/other people who are entertaining at the after-party. (Thanks Rinil for helping to front this since due to the hasty preparation of this race, Vervain won't be able to earn enough gold in time.)
- One Flawed Symbol of Celebrimbor (level 95 second age symbol) apiece for each member of the first place team. (Thanks to Misadventure for two of them and Rinil for the third.)
- We also have the following prizes available, although we are still discussing how to distribute them. One Tarnished Symbol of Celebrimbor (thanks Misadventure), 50 high-grade Eorlingas ingots (thanks Misadventure), 50 reinforced walnut boards (thanks Misadventure), and several relics -- Sealed Eastemnet Bridle Insignia of Melodic Strike -- Sealed Eastemnet Bridle Insignia of the Steeled Mind -- Sealed Westemnet Device of Agility (thanks Rayla)
- Everyone's a winner! Our scholars and tailors will create the following participation prizes for all who participation prizes for all who attend, even if you only show up for the after-party: choice of dye or dyes, and one of the following cosmetics: Fine Quiver, Finely Stitched Backpack, Elven Prospector's Pack, Fine Woodcutter's Pack, Plain Long-Sleeved Tunic and Trousers, Long-Sleeved Corsair's Tunic and Trousers, Elegant Long-Sleeved Dress, Fine Hauberk, Fancy Hauberk. Note that some dyes, especially Black, Ered Luin Blue, Sea Blue, Evendim Blue, Purple, Navy, Indigo, and White, are limited availability, so you should provide a list in order of preference in case your first choice is not available. These will be mailed after the event. Please allow up to two weeks for your participation prizes to arrive.
When and where
The race will start at Gloin's Camp in the Misty Mountains. We hope that organizers will arrive by 11 AM US EST. People who need assistance getting there should also arrive early. If you do not have a team before coming, you are encouraged to arrive by 11:30 AM US EST in order to have time to meet other teamless people. We should get started explaining everything by noon US EST and be able to start the race by 12:15 US EST. The race will then run for an hour until 1:15 PM US EST, and be followed by the awards ceremony and afterparty.
Rules and regulations
You may form in teams of up to three people, as it will be easier to solve riddles with more heads. Please name your team and let both Vervainbrandybuck of Drunken Hobbits and Rinil of the Eglantine Order know your team name and members. It is preferred if you form your team by 11:45 AM, but you may finalize your team any time before the start of the race. Again, if you come without teammates, or without a full team of 3, you are encouraged to arrive half an hour early so as to have time to meet other people who may be in need of a team.
Riding horses or ponies, fast transportation methods, run-speed buffs, giving false hints to other teams, and other cheating is *allowed*. However, please do not share riddle answers with other teams or in public channels: doing so is grounds for disqualification. Additionally, all racers are asked to be respectful to each other and to the race officials.
The first six race checkpoints, as indicated by the first six riddles, may be visited in any order, and your team does not need to stay together, so feel free to spread out. At each checkpoint, you should trade with a race official wearing a silly hat who will hand you a crafted item as proof that you successfully solved the riddle and made it to the checkpoint (or found it by luck, at least). After that, you should solve the final riddle, if you haven't already, and proceed to the finish line. Your entire team should be at the finish line together when you hand Vervain the proof of having reached the first six checkpoints. (In the event Vervain is unavoidably unable to be there, please hand the items to Rinil instead.)
About 10 minutes before the end of the race, the solution to the final riddle will be announced -- your team should head to the finish line before the end of the race for the awards and after-party, even if you haven't completed the first six riddles. In the event some teams do not complete all riddles, failure to arrive at the finish line before the end of the race and judging may result in loss of your position relative to other teams, even those who completed fewer riddles than yours.
Fashion contest, Awards Ceremony, and Afterparty
We ask that your team stand together, to make it easier for race officials to judge how well coordinated your team's outfits are for the fashion portion of the competition. Coordination with your team is a significant portion of the fashion contest, so we suggest people concerned about winning this part of the contest take the time to coordinate a set of outfits with their teammates. Once the fashion contest has been judged, please feel free to mix and mingle, but when your team is called to accept their prizes, please step forward. Additional prizes may be handed out to people who are exceptionally entertaining at the after-party, such as musicians.