Anniversary Party 2004

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Anniversary Party 2004
Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date May 21-23, 2004
Local Liaison Raevyn Tsornin, Raina Tsornin

Jump to: Events and Conferences | Previous Year (2003) | Next Year (2005)


TarValon.Net held its 3rd Anniversary Party in Chicago, Illinois, USA, May 21-23, 2004.


By: Kyla Sterling in the Tar Valon Times

The 3rd Annual Tower Anniversary Party was held May 21-23 at a KOA Kampground outside of Chicago, IL. Members began rolling in at 2 on Friday, and much hilarity (and much mud!) ensued.

Friday seemed to pass very quickly for the 60-or-so members who attended this year's party. A good part of the day was spent pitching tents and making introductions. There was even an international member in attendance—Manora Sedai flew over from England just to be with us! Around suppertime, the first of the weekend's rains started, putting a damper on the fires that the Gaidin had worked so hard to build and maintain.

The first two rounds of the Great Gleeman Competition were held Friday night, and the rain, oddly enough, cooperated. The part that needed to be held outside was surprisingly dry (except for the waterlogged sponges members tossed at each other), and the rain poured while the surviving teams stretched their minds around some very tricky WoT-themed trivia. Who knows the words to "Goodman Picket's Pipe," anyway?

After Mother's official welcome, the Tower members dispersed—some to their tents, some to the shelter of cabin porches or even in the road outside during lulls. All did not remain quiet for long, however, when Novices Kyla and Yelenia abandoned their tent as it began slowly filling with water. Karassa Sedai and Ban Gaidin were kind enough to share their tent with the two shivering Novices from the Aquarium (as their tent was dubbed after it was found upside down in two inches of water the next morning).

Not quite two hours later, the effects of that night's storm (tornado weather… w00t!) were beginning to be felt all across the camp. Several heroes were made that night: Mother, Ban Gaidin, Micah Gaidin, Valorian Gaidin, Katarianna Sedai, Daria Sedai, Seraphim Sedai, Karassa Sedai, and those members sleeping in the Brown Cabin all spent their night either running around in the storm moving people to higher ground or opening their tents to refugees. (If I have forgotten anyone's name, I sincerely apologize!)

Storm damage that night displaced several Tar Valon members. Katina Sedai and her daughters were awakened by knocking on their tent. When they got up to answer, they realized that their tent had filled with at least four inches of water—something they hadn't noticed because their air mattresses were floating on top of it. They were relocated to the Brown Cabin. Three other members were taken into Ban Gaidin and Karassa Sedai's tent, making for a very cozy seven people in a six-person tent. Many other members fled to the safety of their cars for the night to avoid the rain.

The next morning, cleanup efforts began. The hosts of the KOA very kindly offered to let us move our campsites to higher ground, and the flooded sections of camp were officially abandoned. The day itself, except for one minor shower, was beautiful. The sword class, taught by Valorian Gaidin, was able to find a dry spot to impress the ladies with their moves and their leader's *ahem* rear end. The sewing circle, taking place at the same time, sure didn't seem to accomplish much in the way of actual needlework…

We were also missing several members for most of Saturday as there were some car mishaps befalling those members of the errands/food committee. Raina Sedai and company spent approximately six hours in the parking lot of Sam's Club attempting to fix Raina Sedai's car. New citizen Jer Kegan was finally able to fix it after replacing a pump.

The weather was kind and allowed several members to eat their roasted chicken suppers outside, but the skies opened up again almost the second they finished. The rain was a constant throughout the Party, slackening only when Mother ordered it to. (No, really!) The Goldschlager toast went around the room, with many tears and much laughter as more than 60 people swore devotion to Tar Valon and Jodea Sedai's husband announced that he was joining the site. Drawings were held throughout the night, and the top prizes of a Great Serpent Ring, a Dragon Pin, a copy of New Spring, and a beautiful stool with a carving of the Green Man from our KOA hosts went to Aryawnah Federov (not present) and Gerrok (he won three!) respectively.

The Sa'sara competition was held next, with top honors going to Katarianna Sedai. Novice Yelenia Hylraren took second place after a spur of the moment decision to compete (and some liquid courage, as well), and Novice Kyla Sterling took third with an impression of the dancing girl in everyone's sig. Ubahsur Sedai took fourth place with an amazing bellydance routine.

Four members were raised Saturday night: Shana Rider was raised to Accepted of the Gray Ajah, Taylor Rider was raised Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah, Gerrok was raised to Soldier (no company yet), and Arisaema Draconis was raised to Accepted of the Blue Ajah. After Raisings there was a lovely first-sister ceremony when Ubahsur and Branwyn Sedai (both of the Yellow) made their commitment to each other as first-sisters.

After many tears and much laughter, the finals of the Great Gleeman Competition were held. The final round consisted of songwriting skills given a place, a style and a title of the song. Third place honors went to members of Company SDS (Ban Gaidin, Wil Gaidin and Soldier Darian) for their Borderland love song "What My Darling Said to Me." Second place went to Derrin Gaidin, Ninya Sedai, and Recruit Atane for their Tairen battle song called "If I Only Knew What I Know Now." Top honors went to Alanar Gaidin, Rhuarc Gaidin, and Recruit Bakure for their Two Rivers drinking song, "On My Way Out The Door."

The final order of business for the night was the slave auction, postponed from the day before. Bidding was tough, but profitable for the Tower. There was a tie this year for the most expensive slave. Ninya Sedai went to Derrin Gaidin for $300, and Ban Gaidin went to Accepted Arisaema for the same price.

Almost everyone collapsed into bed at the party's end, waking up early Sunday to help break camp. Everyone left exactly on time, with all tents packed, all leftover food distributed, and our campsites clean (except for the mud). Nearly all 60 of us then descended on a local IHOP, and we were handled very well. The staff was ready for us since we called ahead, and the food, service, and bonding were wonderful. A pie was thrown as Accepted Shana was officially welcomed to her Ajah, and some tears were shed as members began leaving for various airports. Pictures were taken in the parking lot, and more tears were shed as people began driving home.

Fortunately, the party still wasn't quite over as many people waiting for flights were relocated to the nearby apartment of Sataere Gaidin and Rissa Sedai. Apparently, they spent a lot of time making necklaces and bracelets out of the craft supplies Recruit Bakure brought with him.

Finally, though, the members of dispersed to their real-life homes, but only to immediately log-on to the site and continue the fun online!

By: Eleyan Teyal Al'Landerin in the Tower Parties Forum on the Old Boards

Review One - 3rd Anniversary Party

I must admit, this has been my favorite event to date. Approximately 60 of us (including children) decended upon a semi-unsuspecting KoA near Chicago to celebrate three years of existence. It was "eventful."

The weather... good lord... the weather.

Somehow, we managed to camp just as gigantic storms (huge red swathes on Doppler radar) decided to hit the area. We enjoyed torrential rain, flooding (much of the Midwest was declared a disaster area), feet upon feet of mud, gale force winds (apparently toppled some semi-trucks on the highway not too far from us), and tornado warnings (about 16 of them hit down in the Midwest that weekend). Between us we had 4 cabins (designed to sleep four), only a couple of tents that proved to be resistant enough to water for people to sleep in, a motor home, and a few vehicles. You do the math. ;) Needless to say, about 11 pm on Friday night we launched the largest rescue effort I think we've ever faced, and managed to somehow get all members into some place safe and dry (if crowded), even if the tents and luggage were not so lucky. We also, fortunately, had access to a shelter where we could hold our main event and where we could cook on some fortuitously brought camping stoves. And even if the shelter did have a tin roof (have you ever tried to project over 60 people and god pouring bucket after bucket of water over your head onto a tin roof? I don't think I've projected that much in my life), we had an admirable time!

It required flexibility, but we were more or less able to feed everyone on time (well.... excepting lunch due to car disasters... but we had snacks!), hold all of our events, and have a wonderful time.

Our dance class was well attended (although I must admit, I enjoyed my waltz with my Warder most of all!), the practice yard managed to happen outside, and the sewing circle had a couple of knitters, but mainly we just hollered with Valorian did some sort of sexy move. We enjoyed seeing a lively spar between Valorian and Ban Gaidin (sans shirts!) and I am seriously considering making it a "traditional" event. ;)

Our official party was a great deal of fun, our Gleeman competition winners quite entertaining, the awards and raising and first sister ceremonies were fantastic. We suffered a bit for not being able to hear one another, but a grand time was still had by all.

Sunday's IHOP breakfast came off without a hitch and we received probably the best service I have had in a restaurant for years.

Thanks to everyone.... it's never goodbye. It's always "see you soon."

Review Two - TarValon.Net Survives Flood/Tornado's at Party

TarValon.Net members showed their true colors while camping the the stormy Midwest this past weekend. Apart from the rare lucid moments of sunshine, we were pounded with heavy rains, gale-force winds and flooding. Half of our camp became lake-front property, and the other half became a lake!

Through it all, our members rose to the occasion. Whether it was running from tent to tent in the middle of the storm to aid with evacuations, finding ways to stuff 10 people in a 4 person cabin, using cars to pull other cars out of deep mud, or repairing vehicles that were used to transport hot meals to us, we clearly showed that even the elements cannot dampen our spirits.

Despite the weather, we were still able to enjoy each of our scheduled activities. Dancing, sparing, sword fighting lessons and demonstrations, sewing circle, competitions and ceremonies all happened to our delight. While we're all certainly happy to be clean and dry, we all miss our most memorable weekend yet.

By: Darian Coralis in the Tower Parties Forum on the Old Boards

LOL Wow.. The weather... Wet.. No other word Just wet

Alright.. When Derrin, Ninya, and Alenya *hopes he got it right* picked me up it was good.. Fun and we had a great time.. Met Adolla, Bran, Bran's husband *sorry not sure of your name.. Brad?? :/*, Kara, and Ban.

The trip out there was full of laughs and stuff.. Until Chicago Traffic.. That sucked.. Then we got lost.. So of course me being 1 of the Tower's scapegoats.. It's naturally my Fault.. :p

We get to the Camp ground, hug everyone, check in, kick Morni *I wish :p*

Dinner time.. Hamburger was cooked Vegetables were burnt :|

Then we had announcements and stuff.. Gleeman Contest!! Me, Wil, and Ban representing SDS as The Stable Rats. We joined forces with the Browns to advance to the next round then beat the Browns to advance to the last and final round.

Time for bed.. OR so I thought.. Laid down in the tent and was falling asleep and the Tent started to cave in. *too much water on it* Moves to the Raina's Cabin and laying on the floor.. And it turns out everyone's tents were flooding so me with out thinking runs out there short and a t-shirt yes with my shoes as well. Pulling everyone's stuff out of their tents and stuff.. and getting soaked.. Which I never minded.. it was fun.. til the next morning... waking up shaking like I was in a massage chair. LOL

Breakfast after that.. and chit-chat Then Daria and Sera telling me to go back to bed.. *slept 3 hours in 48 hours. And after them threatening to get Mother on me. Slept.. Missed the Dancing, sword fighting, and stuff.. wake up in time for dinner.. Chicken.. *drools*

We did the toast. :D I wish I said more in mine *shrugs*

Slave auction: Ninya and Ban both went for 300 dollars :O Kati went for 225 :O it was fun and a lot of laughs.. Warning: NEVER go against Derrin for Ninya YOU WILL LOSE

Gleeman competition final.. Were songs.. Yes I sang :p.. Even though I can't.. We wrote a good song.. A love song. And I was the beat.. I used something that would be better as handcuffs and I beat it on my leg.. LOL Rhuarc, Bakure, and I THINK Alanar did a drinking song.. It was funny.. They won.. They deserved it.

To think SDS and love songs.. But they were right sounded more like a battle song. lol

I won Best Soldier Project :D

I had a blast! I can't wait until I can do it again! *dances around*

Ok done.. :p

By: Adolla Ceryia in the Tower Parties Forum on the Old Boards

I figured I'd do a quick run down of my weekend because I'll never remember it if I don't. Robert, the elusive hubby, dropped me off at Branwyn's house Wednesday evening where Nadine and I ate pizza and fell asleep before either of them got home. Branwyn stayed up practically all night on call at the hospital. We started out packing all our crap into two cars. I couldn't figure out how we plan on driving two cars the whole way but we set off down the road. After awhile of play "Spot the RV," us two Brown's not getting the hint, we pull into the RV lot and "Surprise" we're traveling in style to Chicago. wOOt!!!

We finally get everything packed into the RV and head off down the road. We stop for lunch before getting on the highway and get the worst, or so we thought, service in the world. After awhile the three Aes Sedai fall asleep leaving Brad, Branwyn's husband, to drive alone. We get into Cleveland for a late dinner of Chicken/Veggie Marsala with Ban and Karassa. Very delicious!!! The girls start chit chatting and the guys go off for a walk. Ban comes back soaking wet. Apparently he went for a dip in the pool next-door while Brad played look out.

In the morning Ninya, Derrin, Aleyna, and Darian met us for a "caravan." Derrin, aka speed demon, quickly left us in his dust. After awhile we stopped for gas and Ban and I switched. I drove with Karassa for a while and learned that there is another adult in this world who knows all the words to Aladdin. :D In the afternoon we pull off for lunch. A severe thunderstorm blows up and we decided to take shelter for the duration. This storm blows over an 18-wheeler up the road causing major traffic delays. But we eventually make it into the campground.

Our arrival barely proceeded the storms. We got the tents set up just in time to get thoroughly soaked. I spent the evening in a pair of wet shorts, very bad idea. :( The evening was fun. We showed that apparently Brown's do very poorly in trivia when under duress. :P I settled in for the night in Branwyn's nice, dry, comfy, RV. :look But my clothes spent the night in the Brown's cabin so when I awoke I headed down to find them. I come down to the tent sites to find no one up and about so I figured I'd take a shower.

I didn't think too much of the puddles around till I opened the cabin door to find wall-to-wall people. I found Kati lying in the middle of the floor and hopped into bed with her. She informed me that she was awoken early that morning to find herself, Shana, and Taylor floating on their air mattresses. I hugged her and went out to inspect, since I couldn't find my clothes in the cabin till more people woke. I walked down to the tents and found several with newly installed pools. I decided to sleep another hour and got up and chopped potatoes with the breakfast crew.

After breakfast I showered and put on dry clothing. I tried to hang my shorts out to dry but it didn't work to well. At noon I went with Wil to Sam's club. Arisaema and Arn came with Raina in her SUV and Jodea and her husband Jer, followed in their vehicle. We ran around Sam's happy to be dry and warm. The bag checker at the door insulted Jer so we got him fired. lol Wil and I were sent back with the food for lunch while everyone else stayed behind to replace a belt on Raina's car and proceed to the grocery store to pick up a few items we still needed. Little did we know they'd be in the parking lot for the next three hours. :(

We stopped and picked up some sodas and got gas. I fell asleep only to wake up awhile later to release we were back at Sam's. Some how Wil drove us in a big circle. To my tired mind this was utterly hilarious. :P Sorry Wil, I didn't mean to laugh so hard. lol We dropped the food off at the little theater area that became our kitchen for the weekend. I joined the "sewing circle" in not sewing for a bit before we decided to find a laundry matt, the one at the KOA flooded. We gathered up a small pile of clothes to be washed or dried and Kati, Wil, and Yelenia headed out in Old Blue to find the alleged laundry in Union. It wasn't there but we headed down to Marengo. We stopped at a store and found directions to the laundry from there. I realized that I should have written the directions in my own hand but we managed to find it eventually.

After we got back I joined in a game of Apples to Apples. It was an interesting game but it broke up shortly after. We changed into our formal gear for the party and all had much merry making. It was a bit hard to hear anything over the wrath of God pouring down on the tin roof. In the end it turned out to be the most enjoyable part of the weekend. After we were kicked out of the theater people broke off into smaller groups and carried on. I retired back to the RV with Branwyn and Ubah and we chatted for a bit longer.

The next morning everyone helped break down the camp and after much confusion we headed out to a different IHOP than we planned on. Fortunately they saved a room for us and everyone sat together. The service was great and everyone scrambled to sign books, which finally got handed out. We moved the leave taking into the parking lot and eventually headed out on our way. Some time in the evening we stopped at a rest stop. Everyone commented on how funny it would be if Ban and Karassa caught up with us at the rest stop. We were sitting there and suddenly Nadine and I started freaking out and pointing out the window. There getting out of the car was Ban. After much yelling and scaring the locals we got Ban's attention. Karassa was tired so she joined us in the RV for a bit while Branwyn drove the car. We pulled off at the next rest stop to switch. Not far down the road the signs told us off a major accident that closed the entire turnpike. We braved the back roads and made it out of Indiana before Derrin and crew who started before us.

We spent the night at a rest stop and ate at Panera's in the morning. We were muchly surprised at decent turnpike food. @,@ The rest of the way home was pretty uneventful until we had to stop and deal with the loud screeching noise from Hades. While trying to figure that out we found the worst service in the world at a Perkins. But I did get my meal free. :D So home and dry we finally are. I wish it wasn't over. :(

By: Katarianna al'Leya in the Tower Parties Forum on the Old Boards

The third anniversary party was awesome. There was not a single person there I didn't want to visit and talk to. The entire feeling of the party! And that is awesome. Even the weather helped out. It showed how easy it was to bond us all together. I left that weekend with a deeper love of many people and an even deeper love of itself.




Main article: Anniversary Party 2004 Raisings




Main article: Anniversary Party 2004 Attendance List

At least 38 people attended Anniversary Party 2004.


Main article: Anniversary Party 2004 Picture Gallery