Community:Hearth of Britannia
The Hearth of Britannia is a website run by Joseph Toschlog, also known as Rustic Dragon or Lord Vitralis the Blue. Originally created with the sole purpose of crafting a cookbook of Ultima-themed foods, the Hearth has grown into a center of the Ultima fan community.
In addition to his plans to craft a cookbook, Rustic Dragon also hosts semi-regular Dragonsmeets via Google+ hangout. Topics during a Dragonsmeet may include "Tales from a Britannian Noob", where someone relates their first steps into Ultima, "Celebrity Spotlight", where fans can interact with the personalities who made Ultima happen, "Treasures from the Origin Museum", in which Joe Garrity shows off some of the many collectables therein, and a regular "SotA Roundtable", during which those attending discuss Shroud of the Avatar.
The Hearth of Britannia has been featured on Portalarium's Community Spotlight. On August 24-25, 2013, Rustic Dragon hosted the Telethon of the Avatar, a 24-hour event in which he and other community members offers prizes to those who created or increased their pledge level. Portalarium recognized this with another Community Spotlight, as well as a special Reward for anyone who purchased a special donation package during the event.
Rustic Dragon cooked for and entertained the guests at the first Lord of the Manor event, held on October 5, 2013 at Britannia Manor in New York City. He then recreated the feast for other fans at his own Lord of the Hearth event (sometimes known as the HoBLotH) on November 16, 2013 in Indianapolis, during which Tracy Hickman visited to play his new boardgame Sojourner Tales and read the prologue for Blade of the Avatar.
In December 2013, Rustic Dragon joined Portalarium as a web and systems developer. He also assisted with community relations, allowing Gina Dionne to work on writing for the game. In July of 2014 he was let go.
On November 15-16, 2014, Rustic ran a Legends of the Hearth event, set on Richard Garriott's Castleton property in Austin. This second HoBLotH was immense, with quests, a tournament, a massive capture the flag bout, and many rewards. The Space Bards threw a concert at the Curtain Theatre. Many friends and former developers were on hand, playing as NPCs (but more than willing to talk about their own endeavors), including Richard Garriott (as both Lord British and Shamino), Starr Long (as Lord Blackthorn), David Watson (as Iolo), Kathy Flatt (as Katrina), David Shapiro (as Dr. Cat), Talzhemir Mrr (as Penumbra), Dallas Snell (as DeSnel), Mike Nystul (as Nystul), Denis Loubet (as Monsieur Loubet), Jeff Dee (as Arturos, King of the Gypsies), Scott Jones (as Lord Nimrond), Dale Flatt (as Captain Elad). The quests culminated in a trek to "Stonegate" (the sole completed tower of the under-construction Britannia Manor III), followed by a closing ceremony in which the attendees were knighted as Legends of the Hearth by Lord British. A truly epic undertaking!
- Portalarium. "Community Spotlight ~ Rustic Dragon & The Hearth of Britannia". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-05-06.
- Portalarium. "Community Spotlight ~ The Hearth of Britannia’s Telethon of the Avatar". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-08-23.