Audience with the Duke and Duchess

I have wanted to interview Bim and Andor Rasmuson for a while now and a couple of days ago I was finally able to catch them. Bim and Andor are the founders and owners of Chanwood. Birch wrote a bit about Chanwood here but I wanted to write more about my experiences in the Unified Lands of the North – a collaborative of sims in the mediaeval/fantasy genre consisting (at the moment) of Chanwood, the River Lands and the Realm of Vondur.

Shortly after Birch and I went to a role play class on IDI we decided to visit and after our visit jumped right in. Both of us submitted a character application and after we were accepted, started to play. Birch plays a human druid and I, well, a fae healer-in-training. I know, the fae part came as a TOTAL surprise.

This is my first mediaeval/fantasy role play ever and I have since gotten a lot more involved, met the most amazing people, and I’m having a lot of fun.

Apart from hosting regular RP events like Ducal Court, Bardic Circle, and Market Day, Bim is also heavily involved with the new InWorldz Roleplay Hub. That’s where I finally sat her and Andor down for the interview. Well, Andor stood, as it were…

Apparently the chairs needed some work. Wherever I clicked I was seated on one particular chair, and so was Andor. On the same chair. Hilarity ensued.

Bim Rasmuson grins
Leanna Caerndow: wth
Bim Rasmuson: no scripts, it uses your Avi sit
Leanna Caerndow: hahahahaha
Andor Rasmuson: I’ll just stand. -_-
Andor Rasmuson: Before I get in trouble for getting a lap dance from Leanna.
Leanna Caerndow dies! XD
Bim Rasmuson snorts.


useful roleplay terms:
IC – in character (you’re speaking as the character you portray)
OOC – out of character (you speak as yourself)

Leanna Caerndow: thank you both for taking the time to do this interview with me!
Bim Rasmuson smiles, “It is our pleasure!”
Andor Rasmuson nods, “Aye, glad to do it.”
Bim Rasmuson: ((reminds Andor that everything is ON THE RECORD from here on so behave))
Leanna Caerndow beams and laughs
Leanna Caerndow: You two have been in InWorldz for a few years now, Bim a bit longer than Andor. What made you stay?
Andor Rasmuson smiles, “The potential we saw. When we first arrived, InWorldz wasn’t very well developed, but the attitude seemed right for us.”
Leanna Caerndow: The attitude?
Andor Rasmuson: “Yes, the attitude toward building, the culture of creativity and expression.”
Bim Rasmuson smiles, “Yes, we made avatars a number of years ago and returned about every six months to monitor the progress, we were impressed with the culture here and saw much potential for a good fit for our roleplay and this grid”
Leanna Caerndow: Chanwood and the Unified Lands of the North originated in SL. Do you still keep a presence there?
Bim Rasmuson: Actually, only Chanwood existed in SL. We were a small (5 sim) roleplay group that loved to stay completely independent of all other roleplays in our genre. When we moved to InWorldz, we decided to expand and invite sim owners who share our vision for low drama/high fun with us.
Bim Rasmuson: We no longer have a Chanwood in SL, this is our home and will remain it.
Andor Rasmuson: Yes, this is where we “are”, now. We still have avatars in SL, but we don’t stay active there.

chanwood 1

Leanna Caerndow: Wow! That’s amazing. I’m very happy you’re here, hehe.
Bim Rasmuson smiles, “We couldnt’ be happier. This Grid fits our style so much more than Second Life ever did.
Leanna Caerndow: I understand you two met each other through roleplaying, is that right?
Bim Rasmuson: Yes, we did. I was the General of Queen Persephone’s army and this Ranger happened through our lands, we met ICly and forged a friendship immediately.”
Andor Rasmuson: We were in different states in RL at the time, and became friends OOCly over time. Eventually, we decided to take things a little further, and eventually wound up moving in together and getting married.
Leanna Caerndow: That is so awesome 😀 a love story that started in a virtual world. I love it!!
Bim Rasmuson smiles, “Yes, go figure an Elf falls for a human Ranger…”
Andor Rasmuson smirks, “Right. When does *that* ever happen?”
Leanna Caerndow: Well, there’s worse, I imagine… *grins*
Bim Rasmuson shrugs and chuckles
Bim Rasmuson: We had a great many adventures together and battled many horrible enemies, the true forging of love.
Andor Rasmuson: Yes, it’s important to establish common interests….such as killing and looting, for example.
Andor Rasmuson winks.
Leanna Caerndow: Let me take a second to hug the two of you… *cuddles* ❤
Bim Rasmuson me squeezes and is careful of the lovely wings
Andor Rasmuson checks his pouches to make sure the fairy didn’t lift anything…
Leanna Caerndow snorts
Bim Rasmuson: Interestingly, we married at a renaissance faire in full medieval garb.
Andor Rasmuson: Yes, with a sword arch at the end.
Andor Rasmuson: Well…spears, but still nice.
Leanna Caerndow: Wow! I say “wow” a lot but…that’s…
Bim Rasmuson: yes, it was fabulous
Andor Rasmuson: The King and Queen of the festival spoke at our reception.
Leanna Caerndow: I saw that pic in your profile and I squeed ^_^

Bim and Andor RL
Bim Rasmuson: That’s us with King Henry and Ann Boleyn
Bim Rasmuson: Yeah, I just showed Amethyst our wedding dance video the other day LOL
Leanna Caerndow: What a beautiful couple you are!
Andor Rasmuson: And as Bim walked by a little girl in her dress, the girl yelled, “I LOVE YOU FAIRY PRINCESS!” I thought Bim would never stop grinning…hehe
Leanna Caerndow: awwwwwwwwwwww ❤ I am melting!!!
Bim Rasmuson: Yes, it SORTA made up for Andor squashing my idea to wear Fairy wings for the wedding
Leanna Caerndow snickers
Andor Rasmuson: You got to wear a tiara!
Bim Rasmuson rolls her eyes
Leanna Caerndow: Maybe he was afraid you’d fly away
Bim Rasmuson: I’m sure he was LOL
Andor Rasmuson: She nearly did…hehe
Andor Rasmuson: And the dance we performed was personally choreographed for us.

Bim Rasmuson: It was made to look like we were music box dancers
Andor Rasmuson: It took 10 weeks of dance lessons to keep me from looking like a bear trying to extinguish himself.
Leanna Caerndow: That sounds like a real fairy tale wedding
Leanna Caerndow: hahahahaha omg
Bim Rasmuson: He did good and even survived our dance instructor being his female partner a number of times.
Leanna Caerndow: ROFL!
Andor Rasmuson: We still keep in touch with him and his partner.
Leanna Caerndow: that’s lovely
Bim Rasmuson: yes, and go see them perform ballroom on occasion
Leanna Caerndow: wow, I’d love to see that!
Leanna Caerndow: It sounds like you two are definitely devoted roleplayers. Is that something you’ve done before virtual worlds?
Bim Rasmuson: Not at all
Andor Rasmuson: Nothing this sophisticated. I started doing RPGs about 35 years ago, though.
Andor Rasmuson <— old :-/
Bim Rasmuson: I’m the babe to roleplaying, only since 2008 in SL within the Spellfire community
Leanna Caerndow: Bah humbug. I’d call it “good wine” 😀
Andor Rasmuson: Yes, I get to advise on the technical RP issues, culture, history, etc.
Andor Rasmuson: Bim, on the other hand, is unfettered by preconceptions, and gets to be creative.
Leanna Caerndow: Andor, what would you tell a roleplayer who isn’t sure whether to explore VW or not (and specifically IW, of course, heh)
Andor Rasmuson: Hmm…I would say “keep an open mind, and learn all you can”.

chanwood 5 The elf village in Chanwood.

Andor Rasmuson: You get out of a VW what you put into it, so decide how much time and attention you want to dedicate.
Bim Rasmuson: Yes, and find a roleplay realm that fits what they are looking for. We all have different things we offer: Some are more laid back and “light RP,” some are immersive, some are basic social groups, some are combat oriented or “first person shooter” culture, some are hud/vampire based…just find what FITS YOU.
Andor Rasmuson: Yes…any sim worth staying around for isn’t going to change its culture on a whim. Compatibility is very important.
Leanna Caerndow: Well, Chanwood and the UL are incredibly immersive.
Leanna Caerndow: Right *nods to Andor*
Bim Rasmuson: Too immersive for some. We’ve had players tell us they dont’ like having to eat, for example.
Andor Rasmuson chuckles, “Yes, and some that don’t want to wear a meter, some that don’t like our racial choices, etc.”
Leanna Caerndow: Oh…what’s wrong with food that has no calories, I wonder 😮
Andor Rasmuson: We’re happy to recommend other sims that might suit these folks better, and take no offense to such things.
Andor Rasmuson: Heh…exactly, Leanna. I think the food thing is great. Bim will let her food get low before remembering to eat, and we’re treated to a slender elf woman eating enough food to burst a buffalo in one sitting.
Andor Rasmuson grins.
Leanna Caerndow: Well, here’s the thing, when I went to your info class on IDI, I wasn’t happy about your races, either. Or that you need the unity meter. But I decided to check it out and yeah..I love it. As Andor said, keep an open mind *nods*
Leanna Caerndow: hahahahaha
Bim Rasmuson grins and burps a bit

fairy glen4 [Immersive: I’m gathering honeysuckle which is stored in my “lewt” pouch. There are a lot of ingredients to be collected throughout the realm, to be used in potions, foor, or for trade.]

Leanna Caerndow: What’s the main (and best) difference between “normal” RP and RP in IW?
Andor Rasmuson: Well, if you don’t like combat, or meters…that’s totally fine. It just means Chanwood isn’t for you, and that’s okay.
Andor Rasmuson: Well…first you’d have to define “normal” RP…hehe
Bim Rasmuson grins, “And some who come to us and put “non-combatant” on their character application end up being some of the most deadly, dedicated fighters”
Bim Rasmuson coughs and mutters, “aislin and Aisling”
Andor Rasmuson: Oh gods, yes. Once they get a taste for blood…watch out!
Leanna Caerndow: Well uhm…er…non-virtual RP, like WoW, for example
Leanna Caerndow: LOL!
Leanna Caerndow: oh that’s cute
Andor Rasmuson: Ahh…well, I have almost no experience with WoW, personally, but I think I see what you mean. I would say that the best difference is IW’s diversity. It’s completely open-ended.
Bim Rasmuson: Yes, we make our own game here, so to speak
Leanna Caerndow: so no limits to creativity
Leanna Caerndow: Is there anything you found difficult to adjust to when you decided to stay in IW?
Andor Rasmuson: Well…we were used to a certain degree of sophistication of the physics engine.
Andor Rasmuson: In fact, at first, IW didn’t even *have* physics.
Bim Rasmuson: Yes, the physics were a bit unfriendly for our combat scripts initially.
Leanna Caerndow: aye, I can imagine ;/
Andor Rasmuson: Right…first no physics, then only certain types of physics, then jumpy…then jerky…then hesitant…hehe
Andor Rasmuson: Now it’s not too far off.
Andor Rasmuson: But we almost had to completely relearn how to fight.
Bim Rasmuson: then collisions were off…
Andor Rasmuson: Yes, and timing.
Andor Rasmuson: But IW has been really good about staying connected with us about improvements.
Bim Rasmuson: yes, we worked closely with the Founders using the Mantis bug reporting system and now the combat is quite enjoyable. In SL, that kind of personal attention and help would never have been given.
Leanna Caerndow: Bim, you’ve been busy with the RP hub. It’s not open yet but it already looks amazing!
Bim Rasmuson: Well, thank you! I’ve had fun meeting people and building with the team here in Fantasy Genre. It’s quite a challenge to make sure it’s sim/realm neutral here, but I think we’ve done a great job of that. It feels like it belongs to our Community of Roleplay sims, not just to those who built it.
Leanna Caerndow: It definitely does, yes

chanwood 3 The hobbit village in Chanwood.

Bim Rasmuson: I especially want to thank Rathmeous Dagger, Bridget Jennings, Cracker Taggert, Trouble Morgan and Rik Sullivan for their builds, input and contributions.
Andor Rasmuson: That big of a project really gives you some good insight into other people’s builds, motivations, processes, etc. It’s been pretty enlightening.
Bim Rasmuson: And too, I could not have been involved with this project without the help of the Unified Lands owners/admins picking up the slack back at home. I’ve pretty much ignored our own players to put time into this…but it’s worth it for the Roleplay Community as a whole.
Andor Rasmuson: We were very gratified to learn that IW is taking such a specific interest in building up roleplay interest.
Leanna Caerndow: It is and well…if the Duchess isn’t around there’s more opportunity for the…pixies to cause mischief. *nods*
Bim Rasmuson grins and wags her finger at Aisling.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh I can imagine! I know a lot of people had been hoping for that for a a long time
Leanna Caerndow: What is your favourite part/thing about RP?
Andor Rasmuson: Personally? I love developing backstories, motivations, histories, etc.
Andor Rasmuson: Character creation is tons of fun for me…but I’m a literature/writing nerd…hehe
Leanna Caerndow: Hehe, I like that 😀 I can relate
Bim Rasmuson thinks on that, “I like the interchanges in main chat and the social aspects of it. I also get a kick out of how people tease Andor endlessly about his puns and me about my affinity for sweet cakes.”
Leanna Caerndow laughs! Andor and Jim should have a pun contest ;P
Andor Rasmuson: The fallout from such a thing would be devastating…
Leanna Caerndow: meanwhile, I’d beat you in the cake eating competition, Bim >.>
Bim Rasmuson grins
Bim Rasmuson: I sit in court nibbling petit fours and people IM me how hungry they are RL
Bim Rasmuson: LOL
Leanna Caerndow: yup! That’s the one part about court I never look forward to. Because really, petit fours? :/ Yes, please *_*
Bim Rasmuson: small cakes frosted on ALL SIDES
Bim Rasmuson: who could not LOVE THEM
Leanna Caerndow: oh nooo SHUDDUP!
Andor Rasmuson chuckles.
Leanna Caerndow: erm…now I’m going to be thrown into the dungeon…

chanwood 4 The infirmary.

Leanna Caerndow: One more question , then we’re done *grins*
Leanna Caerndow: What are your plans for the future?
Bim Rasmuson: Continue to build our Roleplay community, hopefully add more like-minded realms to the Unified Lands, and continue promoting Roleplay in this Grid.
Andor Rasmuson: As well as consolidating our ideas and additions.
Andor Rasmuson: Possibly…even expansion.
Leanna Caerndow: That sounds fantastic!
Bim Rasmuson: Yes, we actually talked over an idea to promote more combat last night at the Pub on Date Night.
Andor Rasmuson: Yep, we put the “fantastic” in “fantas…”tic…asy…?
Andor Rasmuson coughs.
Leanna Caerndow: wait, Date Night? Is that a RP event I know nothing of?
Leanna Caerndow snickers
Andor Rasmuson: Er….kind of.
Andor Rasmuson grins at Bim.
Bim Rasmuson: We spend a lot of time and energy here making sure our players and community have access to us so twice a week we have a RL date night.
Leanna Caerndow: Sounds good to me 😉
Bim Rasmuson: We go to the local pub and talk about things RL and Virtual over beers and either tacos or burgers.
Andor Rasmuson: Yes….people don’t realize how much of a HUGE energy drain it can be running a sim. It’s important for our RL relationship to recharge and relax.
Leanna Caerndow: Oh hell yes, Andor!

fairy glen2 The Great Mother Tree in the fae glen. The pods are homes for fae.

Bim Rasmuson: It is, and to come back to the sims all refreshed and ready to put the time in needed for our players, owners and admins.
Andor Rasmuson: Plus, we can gossip about the players. 😉
Bim Rasmuson grins
Leanna Caerndow: LOL! I was waiting for a remark like that, hehe
Andor Rasmuson whistles innocently.
Leanna Caerndow: Your attempt at innocence does fail to convince, your Grace.
Andor Rasmuson: It’s a little disturbing, actually, how much we *do* talk about players away from IW. But really, they’re a part of our lives, now.
Andor Rasmuson: They really do get to be like family.
Bim Rasmuson: We truly care about all the players and hope we can help them assimilate into our culture….so yes, we do discuss them.
Leanna Caerndow: Yes, I can imagine, absolutely.
Leanna Caerndow: Well, I for one, am really really glad I came to check you people out. IT’s a great community with amazing people.
Andor Rasmuson: We’re grateful to have the players and support that we do.
Bim Rasmuson: We are too, you are a great fit for us Leanna
Leanna Caerndow grins, extra points for that remark 😀
Leanna Caerndow: Thank you both so much for this interview!
Andor Rasmuson: Thanks for talking with us!
Leanna Caerndow: I’m looking forward to lots of fun 😀
Bim Rasmuson: You are quite welcome, payment can be in Fairy Fizz. It tickles my nose when I drink it
Petite LEWT Pouch: You have given 1 of your Fairy Dust(s) to Bim Rasmuson.
Leanna Caerndow: I have none 😦
Bim Rasmuson grins
Bim Rasmuson: thank you, this works
Leanna Caerndow: sigh
Andor Rasmuson: Fizzless. Tsk tsk tsk…

fairy glen3 Another glimpse into the fae glen. The little pods on the tree are pixie homes.

chanwood 2 Druidic Altar whispers: Beannachtaí, páirt a ghlacadh sa damhsa ar an tíre saor in aisce. ((Greetings, join in the dance of the free folk.)).







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