Kelfour Edition volume III number IV

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  _______________________________________________________________________
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|   |                                 The Key to Lockpicking!  See Page 6 |
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 |    GemStone III(tm)                                September 1992   |
 |                                                       Vol.3, No.4   |
 |               _   _           _    ___                              |
 |              / ) / )         / )  / __)                             |
 |             / /_/ /  ____   / / _/ (   ____   __  __  ____          |
 |            /   __/  / __ ) / / (  __) / _  ) / / / / / ___)         |
 |           / /\ \   / ___/ / /  / /   / (/ / / (_/ / / /             |
 |          (_/  \_) (____) (_(  (_(   (____/ (_____( (_(              |
 |                    _____      _    _    _    _                      |
 |                   / ____)    / )  (/  _/ )  (/                      |
 |                  / (__   ___/ /  _   (  _) _   ____   ____          |
 |                 / ____) / _  /  / )  / /  / ) / _  ) /    )         |
 |                / (__   / (/ /  / /  / /  / / / (/ / / /) /          |
 |               (_____) (____(  (_(  (_(  (_( (____/ (_((_(           |
 |                                                                     |
 |                       The Kronicles of Kulthea                      |
 |                                                                     |
 |_____________________________________________________________________|
 |_____________________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                     |
 |  Local News .................. 1   Hall of Fame ...............  9  |
 |  Hobland: The New Player's Guide To Riches ....... Dayln Grimm   2  |
 |  Untitled Poem ...................................... Greywulf   2  |
 |  The Bard's Lament .......................... Enegue Lionheart   5  |
 |  The Key to Lockpicking ............ Lord Artuero Bresnahanini   6  |
 |  "Charming, Disarming You" ..................... Thellra Dumas   8  |
 |  Armaments: A Guide to Weapons .............. Melchior Merdaen  10  |
 |  What's in a Name? ....................... Lightning Blackhawk  11  |
 |  A Newcomer's View of Kelfour's ............ Palance Buckhanna  12  |
 |  along the ridge .................................. Coll Furze  13  |
 |  Quest ........................................... Tapor Lieff  14  |
 |  Hunter's Stew ............................ Silvanestii Family  16  |
 |  Begginings .................................... Thellra Dumas  17  |
 |  We Were Expecting Someone Older ..... Lord Gallenod Varynesti  18  |
 |  Revelations ................ Elyria Blythe & Jhembryn Durrock  23  |
 |  Cycles (Part I) ...................... Lord Whilder Planrathe  25  |
 |  Sailor's Woe ..................................... Rhea Sibex  28  |
 |  Murder and the Poisoned Pen .......... Miss Louvella Parsnips  29  |
 |_____________________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                     |
 | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi-|
 | player roleplaying game GemStone III(tm) on GEnie's online service. |
 | Submissions  may  be edited  for space, accuracy  and  readability. |
 | Contact Assistant Editors  Kalagay Halatil or Lady Rune Arundel, or |
 | Publisher Phaedra Bleu by GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for details.      |
 |                                             Banner letters by Yonah |
 |   __________________________________________________________________|___
 |  /                                                                     /
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Local News:                                               Kelfour's Landing
~~~~~~~~~~                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          Quest of the Loremaster
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  
Everyone who completed this exciting   Lord  Gallenod  Varynesti  and  Lord
quest received a bone ring, fame and   Mikhail Minnehan, in that order.
experience    points;   role-playing
winners received nifty boomerangs as   You'll  find several Bardic Competi-
well.   Six  top-scoring individuals   tion winners in this issue including
took home merchandise prizes includ-   Greywulf's  untitled  poem which won
ing real gems and I.C.E. boxed sets.   the  short  poetry contest, Enegue's
Role-playing awards went to:           "The Bard's Lament" which took third
                                       place,  Rhea's  1st  Place Bard Song
 Place                                 "Sailor's  Woe,"  and Part 1 of Lord
  1st   Kelryn Greyblade               Gallenod Varnesti's story which took
  2nd   Nerilka Ferine                 1st place in that category.
  3rd   Moalanfaidh Maolmadhog
  4th   Sharissyl Falinoriel           KE  encourages  others to send their
  5th   Althea Cassidy                 works  via  GE  Mail to P.HERRINGTON
  6th   Trachten Hickapod              should they honor us with permission
  7th   Slohan Quickheart              to publish them.
  8th   Greywulf Alliantha
  9th   Thex DRAGONSBANE                  Residents Enjoy Free Weekends
 10th   Aredhel Marathys                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                       Citizens of  Kelfour's Landing often
Groups placed in the following order:  enjoy the wilds  (both in and out of
                                       town) for  full  weekends at no cost
      Place  Group                     to themselves. This is made possible
       1st   Levels 5-8                by contributing to  this newsletter,
       2nd   Levels 9-12               Kelfour Edition.  Interested parties
       3rd   Levels 13-16              should  inquire of  Phaedra Blue  in
       4th   Levels 17-20              the game, or send GE Mail to  her at
       5th   Levels 1-4                the address P.HERRINGTON.
       6th   Lords
                                               Local Residents Wed
Hot  Summer  Nights  competition was           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
keen.  Winners of the Scavenger Hunt   Kalagay Halatil  and  Laeg  Cearnach
were  Nixie  Trevize  in  1st Place,   were wed in  a dramatic  ceremony in
Lord Maruko Ahsimine in 2nd and Lord   late September. KE wishes them happy
Zhuge Liang in 3rd.  The best Assas-   and  prosperous  lives on  behalf of
sins turned  out  to  be Lord Zhuge,   the entire community.
  
                 ________________________________________
                / \                                      \
                \@|        Sing-Along-With-Glitch         |
                 ~|        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         |
                  |  by Glitch Talesitall, Bard at Large  |
                  |                                       |
                  |  Ten Lost Lords.                      |
                  |  Ten Lost Lords.                      |
                  |  In circles they did run.             |
                  |  In circles they did run.             |
                  |  They all went out on a quest to do.  |
                  |  Even taking along Lord Hobbits two,  |
                  |  But hack 'n slash was all they knew. |
                 _|  Our Ten Lost Lords.                  |
                /@|  Ten Lost Lords.                      |
                \_/______________________________________/
                                    -1-
  
  
    
  
  
  
                  Hobland: The New Player's Guide To Riches
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 ___________                   by Dayln Grimm            ________________
/ \  ______ \                                           /                \\
\@| /~/~~\_\ |                                         |    *Caution!*    ||
  | \~\____~ |o, have  you read Nat-   The two-handed  | These Tactics Can||
 _| _~~~~\~\ | asha's   No  Nonsense   sword is a mas- |   Get You Killed ||
/@| \~\__/~/ | Guide  to   Rolling A   sive weapon that \________________//
\_/  ~~~~~~ /  Character?   Are  you   does great damage       |    ||
  ~~~~~~~~~~   killing  kobolds with   and criticals. It is  ~~~~~~~~~~~
ease  and are torkaans becoming bor-   much  easier  to  hit most creatures
ing?  This is a guide to the richest   with this weapon than any other, but
newbie  AREA  in  the  lands.  Where   there's a trade off.  The loss of 20
chests  are  common,  creatures drop   DB for not using a shield can be the
magic items  in  their last moments,   difference  between  life and death.
and  the  experience  gained both in   I  have  seen  a 1st level character
game  context  and  reality  is  far   fighting  along  side  a  4th  level
beyond  what  you  will  achieve  in   party  match  their  damage blow for
kobland or on the cliffs.              blow using this weapon.  I have also
                                       seen  that same character die from a
I  am speaking of course of Hobland.   single hit from a hobgoblin.
As  a  lowly  3rd (almost 4th) level
thief,  I  have hunted here from 1st   The  drake falchion is the weapon of
level -- and you can, too!  I am not   choice  in Hobland.  Not only do you
going to presume to teach anyone how   get  the  shield  bonus and a weapon
to  roll a character, there are good   that  hits easier than a broadsword,
articles   in  previous  KEs  or  in   drakes flare up occassionally and do
Natasha's  Guide.   If your STrength   special   damage.   Ask  around  the
is  in  the  90s and you have double   temple.   Many  people  have spares.
trained  in a weapon, or you are 2nd   If  you  can't find one, be patient.
level  and  have  single  trained in   I  have  found two drakes in Hobland
weapons,   you  should  be  able  to   so far, you may just find your own.
effectively  hunt  in  Hobland.  You
should  wear heavy hide, arm and leg   So  you're  ready,  but  how  to get
greaves,  visored  helm and a wooden   there?   You  need a map!  I suggest
shield  (except  for  two  handers).   you  down-load Zepath's maps in  the
For  a weapon you need a broadsword,   GemStone III Library, but here's one
falchion, two-handed sword, or -- if   for now.
you   can  get  one  from  an  older                      More next page...
player -- a drake falchion.
  
            Weaponry
                                            Untitled Poem by Greywulf
The  broadsword is a fine weapon for        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hobland.   You  get  to use a shield   She waits
and  it  is fairly easy to get a hit   for me I'd like to think
on those hobgoblins.                   even then
                                       in the passion of her fury
The  falchion  is  a slightly better   her willful rending of flesh and earth
weapon  than  the broadsword.  It is   my dark eyes flaming
easier  to  hit creatures in Hobland   in the heat of her defiance.
with  it.   The problem is that they   In stone
are  not  sold  in  the weapon shop.   she waits the gate
You  can  sometimes  find a falchion   my soul's sweet slayer
from  a Lord returning to the temple   wait not much longer;
from the Monastery.  Ask!  Lords are   each dawn
usually  happy  to  give  one  to  a   every noon
courteous newbie.                      holds twilight's promise.
                                    -2-
  
  
  
     
   
  
  
                         From Temple to Hobland
                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    K-(go path)--G
    |      ......|-(go gate)...................        MAP KEY
    K      .     T                            .
    |      .     |                            .       T = Town
    K      .   T-T       Kelfours             .       G = Gate
    |      .   |             Landing          .       K = Kobland
    K      .   T                              .       C = Move carefully
    |      .   |                              .       H = Hobland
    K      .   T                              .       X = Don't go down!
    |      .   |                              .
    K      .   T-T-T-T-T /------\             .
   /       .           | |Temple|             .
  K        .           T \------/             .
  |        .           |    |-(go temple exit).            Tips
  K        .           T----T                 .
   \       .                                  .   Ready  your  weapon  and
    K      ....................................   shield, and Parry 100 at
    |                                             the Gate.
    K      ................
     \     .              .                       In  the areas marked "C"
      K    .   Hobland    .           N           move   cautiously.   One
      |    .              .           |           false  step  can put you
      K    .      H       .        W--+--E        in a dangerous place.
      |    .      |\      .           |
      K    .      H \     .           S           In  the place marked "X"
      |    .      |  \    .                       you  can go down.  DON'T
      K    .      H   \   .                       DO IT!  I have also seen
     /     .      |    H  .                       creatures  come  up here
    K (go path    H    |  .                       from below!
    |-on the way   \   H  .
    C  back only)   H  |  .                       There  is  a shortcut to
     \    .         |  H  .                       Hobland  but it puts you
      C   .   H-H   H  |  .                       in the path of very mean
       \  .  /   \ /   H  .                       Werebears.
        C . H     H    |  .
         \ /.          X .                        Always  travel  at Parry
          C  ............                         100.
  
  
          Now for the Monsters! You will find 4 types in Hobland:
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hobgoblin (Type A)                      Hobgoblin (Type B)
    OB - 50        DB - 25                  OB - 50        DB - 25
    THT  (broadsword) - 31                  THT  (broadsword) - 57
    MTHT (heavy hide) - 79                  MTHT (heavy hide) - 84
    CPs - 60     Level - 3                  CPs - 60     Level - 3
    Weapon - short sword                    Weapon - battle axe
    Armor  - metal breastplate              Armor  - leather breastplate
  
    Forest Troll                            Lesser Orc
    OB - 36/70/60  DB - 25                  OB - 60        DB - 50
    THT  (broadsword) - 57                  THT  (broadsword) - 57
    MTHT (heavy hide) - 99/66/69            MTHT (heavy hide) - 79
    CPs - 250    Level - 6                  CPs - 60     Level - 4
    Weapon - cudgel/claw/bite               Weapon - short sword
    Armor  - heavy hide                     Armor  - heavy hide
                                    -3-                            More...
  
  
  
     
  
  
  
All  of  these monsters usually drop   him   to  attack  you  again.   This
treasure (when they die) in the form   allows  you  maximum  protection and
of  small  chests,  silver coins and   maximum  attack power.  It has draw-
magic items.  The THT is the roll it   backs  though: the monster can't hit
takes  for  you  to hit the creature   you  and  often  runs  away.   Also,
using  a  broadsword.   The  MTHT is   another  monster can come in and hit
what it takes the monster to hit you   you  while  you  are  stuck in round
wearing heavy hide.  CPs is how many   time.   I use an even more dangerous
Concussion Points a monster has.       method.  Double parry tag!  I attack
                                       twice  at  parry  0  and just barely
The  first  thing you will notice is   make it back to parry 100 before the
how  easy  it  is  to  hit  a type A   Hobgoblin strikes.  (This tactic can
Hobgoblin.   This is your main prey:   get you killed!)
Easy  to  hit,  high  MTHT,  lots of
treasure,  and the metal breastplate   If parry tag is not your cup of tea,
he  carries  is worth 166 silvers at   or  if  you are faced with more than
the pawn shop!                         one  creature  then use this method.
                                       Parry  down to a point (use your own
Type   B  Hobgoblins  are  a  little   math)  where  the  creature can just
harder to hit but not much.  This is   barely  hit  you  (a  roll  of 95 or
prey  #2.   Go  after them for their   better)  and then attack as often as
treasure  and  the  leather  breast-   you  can.   This  is  a  much  safer
plates  that are worth 66 silvers at   method  and  will  protect  you from
the pawn shop.                         those beasties who like to jump into
                                       the middle of a fight.
The  Lesser Orc is hard to hit.  His
high  DB  and  that heavy hide (just          Other Things To Remember
like yours) make him a tough target.
His  short  sword is better than the   Use  Macros  for  parry  and attack.
others  so  watch out.  At parry 100   You need the speed!
you  should  be  okay.   As  you hit
them,  they will parry up generating   You are in a far more dangerous area
a  DB  of  up to 120!  I suggest you   than  Kobland.  Learn to fight there
parry  100  and  don't  fight these.   first.
They  don't  carry much treasure and
usually aren't worth the time.         Don't  hunt alone!  If you insist on
                                       hunting alone, don't parry tag!
The  Forest  Troll  is both the most
worthwhile  and  most dangerous mon-   Skin  your  prey.   Hobgoblin scalps
ster  in Hobland.  While he uses his   are  worth  35  silvers, Troll hides
cudgel,  he is easy to hit and can't   are  worth  55.   Sell  them  at the
fight worth beans, but when (not if,   furrier shop, south of the Gate.
WHEN!) that cudgel breaks he becomes
a  fighting  machine  that will make   Search  dead  monsters  soon.   They
short  work  of you.  They have high   decay  quickly  and  you'll lose the
CPs  and  will  parry up.  Until you   treasure.
are  very comfortable with Hobland I
suggest you leave them alone.          Hobland is a well traveled area.  It
                                       is  often  crowded.   Be  courteous,
            Tactics                    don't   attack   a  monster  already
                                       engaged  with a character unless you
When  faced  with  a lone Hobgoblin,   are  invited.   Say  hello to fellow
you  can parry tag.  That is to wait   adventurers, bow, smile, etc.
at  parry  100  for  the  monster to
attack  first  and  then  drop  your   Wear  your  shield  to get treasure.
parry to 0, attack the Hobgoblin and   Put  it in your sack or backpack and
then  parry  back  up to 100 at then   then  remove  your shield.  At parry
end  of your round time and wait for   100  with  your weapon in your right
                                    -4-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
hand  you  have more protection than   Check  your  EXperience  often.  You
your shield alone can give you.        are  fighting good monsters and will
                                       max your mind out fast!
Watch  your  RoundTime.  As you pick
up metal breastplates and chests, it   If  a Forest Troll or other nasty is
will  increase.   If your it's long,   standing  over  your treasure, parry
don't parry tag!                       100 and wait.  When he sees he can't
                                       hit you he will usually leave.
If your shield breaks, many monsters
drop them.  Pick one up.               If  the  fighting gets tough, leave.
                                       (I  have  been  in  a  clearing with
If you are out of room to carry that   three  Hobgoblins,  two Lesser Orcs,
last  piece  of  treasure, drop your   and  a Forest Troll).  Remember:  He
greaves  (arm  and  leg) you can get   who  fights  and runs away, lives to
new ones on your next kill.            fight another day.
  
  
                   The Bard's Lament: by Enegue Lionheart
                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      We gather here but once a year,
                    To tell of tales both far and near,
                    Of Kingly quests and creatures dire,
                    Of maidens fair and loves hot fire.
  
                          Unfortunate a Bard I am,
                     Who gathers tales but second hand,
                        Embellishment is what I do,
                     When bringing ballads home to you.
  
                    Much rather would I join the fight,
                       If only I could use the might,
                     Of lute or flute or rousing song,
                     That from a Bard is magic strong.
  
                    Once more I'm taught a magic spell,
                       I raise my voice as I do well,
                   Out pours my song in warm gold tones,
                       Yet not a bit of magic flows.
  
                  And while some day our powers will make,
                   That damned Inn's crystal seem a fake,
                   Tis hard as Bard to see in the lands,
                Items cast spells only Bards should command.
  
                   I search the Lands, I read the Tomes,
                     And see my spells in others homes.
                    It brings me grief that what I seek,
                 Appears in spell lists foreign and cheap.
  
                     With heavy sigh and hopeful mein,
                   I cross my fingers each time I train,
                  And look to the day I may ply my trade,
                As tis my heritage beyond weilding a blade.
  
                      A Bard of Kelfour's, that I am.
                      I hope one day to join the band,
                    Of warriors, theives and mages too,
                   who enjoy their powers thru and thru.
  
                                    -5-
  
  
     
  
  
  
               Successful Thievery:  The Key to Lockpicking
               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                       by Lord Artuero Bresnahanini
 _______________
/ \ ____    ____\
\@| +|~~\  /~~|+| uch to the delight   Enough time  has passed  since  the
  |  |~\~\/~/~| | of thieves and all   introduction  of this new system to
 _|  |~|\~~/|~| | who  double  train   allow for an educated discussion of
/@| _|~| ~~ |~|_| in  the  skill  of   its mechanics.
\_/ ~~~~    ~~~~/ picking   locks, a
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  new    lockpicking   Basic  Determination  of  Success or
system was  implemented a few months   Failure:
ago.  This new  system de-emphasizes
the importance  of the  lockpick and   The  formula  used  to  determine  a
makes an adventurer's skill the det-   thief's success in picking a lock is
ermining factor in picking a lock.     as follows:
  
                ["Result"]       ["Modified Skill"]
  
                  R  =  ((Base Skill) * (Lockpick Factor))
                             + D100 + Lock Difficulty
  
If R  is greater than 100, the thief   R < 25       The thief fails to pick
is successful  in picking  the lock.   the lock and learns little about it.
The time  it takes  to  successfully
pick a  lock is  determined  by  how   R =  25-75   The thief fails to pick
much R is  greater  than 100.   If R   the lock,  but gets the feeling that
falls between 100 and 150, the thief   it is within his abilities.
takes twenty  seconds  to  pick  the
lock.   If R is between 150 and 200,   R =  75-90   The thief fails to pick
the  lock  is  picked  in  only  ten   the lock,  but learns how  difficult
seconds, and  if R  is greater  than   (in thief-lingo) the lock is.
200, the  thief picks the lock in no
time at all.                           R =  90-100 The  thief fails to pick
                                       the lock,  but gets a better  under-
If R  is 100 or less, then the thief   standing  of  how the lock works, as
has failed  in his  attempt to  pick   well as determining how difficult it
the  lock.     There  are  differing   is  to pick.  This result  adds 5 to
degrees of  failure in  picking  the   the picker's next roll on the chest.
lock.   Fortunately, I  do not  fail
enough to  make a confident estimate   The thief  may also fail by fumbling
of  the   thresholds   for   failure   the attempt completely. This happens
results,  but   my  guesses  are  as   when the  D100 = 1. A fumble results
follows:                               in total failure with no round time.
  
Base Skill                    * * * * * * * *
  
Now let us examine the factors which   believe it  provides  an  additional
go into the lockpicking formula.  To   +10 to the picker's  skill.  On  the
begin with,  a thief's base skill is   other hand, certain injuries,  espe-
made   up  of  his  skill  bonus  in   cially   head   or   nervous  system
picking  locks  plus  his  INtuition   injuries, subtract  from  a  thief's
bonus.  In  addition,  a  thief  may   skill.  You  will  be aware of it if
augment this natural bonus by either   your injuries have made picking  the
casting  locklore on  himself (+20),   lock more difficult.
or by having locklore cast on him by
an  accomplice  or  an  item  (+10).   Base Skill  =  Pick  Locks  +  IN  +
Although the existence of a kneeling         Locklore [+10 or +20] + Kneel-
bonus  is   disputed,  I  personally          ing [+10] - injury penalty.
                                    -6-                             More...
  
  
    
  
  
  
Lockpick Factor                        is added  to the  other factors, the
                                       chest difficulty is always expressed
The thief's  base skill  is modified   as a negative number, decreasing the
by the  quality of  the lockpick  he   final result (R).
chooses.  The  lockpick  factor  for
lockpicks  generally  in use  is  as   The lock difficulty can vary greatly
follows:                               from lock  to lock,  ranging from -5
                                       on down in increments of -5.  Chests
Common Lockpick                 1.10   carried by creatures are supposed to
Good Lockpick  (approximation)  1.30   be generated  so  that  a  character
Professional Lockpick           1.50   double trained in picking locks with
Lore/Laen Lockpick              1.90   no additional  bonuses  can  open  a
Xeno Lockpick                   2.50   chest found  on a  creature  of  the
                                       character's level  on the  first try
Multiplying the  thief's base  skill   fifty percent  of the  time  with  a
by the  lockpick factor gives us his   pick appropriate  to the character's
modified  skill.  Improving his mod-   level.   However,  it  appears  that
ified skill,  through  training,  by   this is only a nominal standard; the
buying  a   better  lockpick,  using   difficulties are  "tweaked" to reach
locklore, and kneeling, is as far as   a  desired   result  in   terms   of
the thief  can go  in bettering  his   attempts/successes.
ability to open a lock.
                                       Examples
The rest  is left to the chance of a
D100  roll and the shrewdness of the   Now for  some examples to illustrate
maker of  the lock  he is attempting   the  workings   of  the  lockpicking
to pick.                               system.   Let us  postulate the case
                                       of  Remus, a twelfth level thief who
D100 Roll                              is double  trained in  picking locks
                                       with an  INtuition of  84.   He will
The thief's  modified skill is added   have 28 ranks of skill, giving him a
to his  D100  roll.    As  mentioned   skill bonus  of +114.   His IN bonus
earlier, should the D100 roll result   is +8,  giving him  a total  natural
in  an   unmodified  1,   the  thief   bonus of 122.  He has not trained in
fumbles his  attempt.  The D100 roll   spells, so he will be unable to give
may  also  result  in  extraordinary   himself a locklore bonus.
success   because   the   roll   for
lockpicking is  what is  known as an   Suppose  that  while   hunting  cave
"open" (for  open-ended) D100  roll.   trolls in  the  silver  mines, Remus
This means  that should  the D100  =   slays  an  unhappy  troglodyte.   He
100, a  second D100 roll is added to   cannot  skin  it,  so he searches it
the first.  Should this  second roll   and  finds a  chest.  Although Remus
result in  another 100, a third D100   does not  know this, the chest has a
roll is  made and added to the first   lock with a difficulty of -190.
two, and  so on.    Thus,  at  least
theoretically,  any   lock  can   be   Thinking this  will be an easy task,
picked by  any adventurer.   When  a   Remus  pulls  out  his  professional
picker does  roll a  100,  he  feels   lockpick. He first disarms the chest
especially lucky.  (Note:  This roll   (which is  beyond  the scope of this
is not  truly open-ended, because it   discussion)  and  finding  no traps,
cannot be negative.)                   attempts to pick the lock. Multiply-
                                       ing  his skill (122) by the lockpick
Lock Difficulty                        factor for a professional pick (1.5)
                                       yields a modified  skill of 183.  We
The difficulty of the lock, commonly   add in his  D100 result  of 75 for a
referred  to  as  the  "mod",  works   total of 258.  Finally,  we  add the
against the  thief.   Do not let the   -190  chest difficulty  which brings
above formula  mislead you: although   down to 68. Too bad for Remus. He is
it shows  that the  chest difficulty   unable to pick the lock; however, he
                                    -7-                             More...
  
  
    
  
  
  
does  get  the  feeling  that  it is   pick a lock (where you  learn little
within his abilities.                  about the lock) may result in damage
                                       and even outright  breakage to  your
Remus puts his professional lockpick   pick. A damaged pick is less effect-
away  and  retrieves a lore lockpick   ive than a new one, and a broken one
from his sack. Determined to succeed   is of no use  at all.  I do  not yet
this  time,  he  asks a mage to cast   have a  theory on  the mechanics  of
the locklore spell on him, and risks   breakage except  to the  extent that
life  and  limb  by  kneeling.   His   it is based on a relationship of the
natural  skill  of +122 is augmented   difficulty of the  lock to the pick-
by  his friend's casting of locklore   er's natural skill, and the strength
(+10), and his kneeling bonus (+10),   of the lockpick.  Laen picks are the
resulting in a base skill of +142.     strongest normally available.
  
The lockpick  factor for a lore pick   Hopefully  this  discussion of lock-
is 1.9.  Multiplying  the base skill   picking has enlightened you. Keep in
by this factor results in a modified   mind that the numbers  discussed are
skill of 270.  Adding his  D100 roll   for  the  most  part  approximations
of 95, and the -190 Lock Difficulty,   (the  exception  being the  Lockpick
Remus's  result  is  a whopping 175.   Factors for all but the good  pick),
Success!  Not  only is Remus able to   based on  experiences  and intuition
pick the  lock, but  he does  it  in   of myself and other notable thieves,
only ten seconds.                      as the  actual formula is hidden.  I
                                       believe you  will find it  to be  an
Let  us suppose that Remus wishes to   accurate model even if not perfect.
determine the range of chests he can
pick  under   normal  circumstances.
For  him,  that  means kneeling with       "Charming, Disarming You"
his green laen pick, but without the       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
locklore  spell.   His base skill in       (or Thellra's Chest Blues)
this situation would be +132 (114 +8
+10),  and his modified skill is 251       When we first met,
(132 * 1.9). Because the lowest roll       Not so long ago,
he  can  get  on  the D100 is two (a       You desired to touch me
fumble  will make him miss no matter       And promptly did so.
what),  it  will  take  a  lock more       You rushed blindly, Thell,
difficult than -150 to thwart any of       As some will do,
his attempts (251 + 2 + (-150) = 103       So it's no surprise,
Success!).   Thus, barring a fumble,       That I captured you.
Remus  will be able to open any lock       With that first touch,
easier than -155 on the first try.         I knew it was fate,
                                           You'd never let go,
However, he also wishes to know what       It was much too late.
chests are  too difficult for him to       Your heart fluttered,
attempt.  Even if Remiss rolls a 99,       As we locked in embrace,
he will  be not  be able  to open  a       I saw the sparks fly,
chest more  difficult than -245 (251       They haloed your face.
+ 99  + (-250)  = 100 Failure!).  So       Your tingling body,
his range  runs up  to  about  -245,       Was trapped, my dear,
although  with   luck  he  may  pick       You couldn't escape,
higher.  Remus is a careful  person,       And your eyes rolled in fear.
so  he  will  not  attempt  to  pick       Your hair stood straight up,
chests he  knows are  more difficult       Your clothes were singed, too,
than -225,  as he feels a 25% chance       Since an electric current,
of success is reasonable enough.           Was surging through you.
                                           You collapsed to the ground,
A Word On Breakage                         Fell right on your head,
                                           You finally let go of me,
A fumble roll or complete failure to       Too late, you were dead.
                                    -8-
  
  
    
  
  
  
  __________________________________________________________________________
 / \                                                                        \
 |@/________________________________________________________________________/
 |                                                                         |
 |-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 |     FIGHTER        Lvl      THIEF           Lvl |===========COMMON MAN==|
 |-------------------------------------------------|Snikt Masrach        27|
 | Waldo2 Ptolomy     23  Mikhail Minnehan      27 |Enoch Madriaax       20|
 | Gilthor Longblade  22  Snikt Masrach         27 |Beolost Lamontt      19|
 | Ise Ikiryo         22  Moonpie Legend        24 |Sauren Tessar        13|
 | Benar Stormarm     21  Artuero Bresnahanini  24 |Silent Mydnyghte     10|
 | Garret Faerghhail  20  Winter Moorsland      23 |=============HIGH MAN==|
 | Sylphe Woodcrest   16  Valeria Deering       22 |Gilthor Longblade    22|
 | Angeleyes DuLac    15  Camorra Amandaus      21 |Benar Stormarm       21|
 | Peat Sallixto      15  Griffun Skyborne      21 |Queron Kinevan       20|
 | Dirac de Montegilt 14  Stanyon Sting         20 |Luke Medivac         17|
 |_Eyashusa Donestaya 13  Feckly Fecund         20 |Mordue d'Arti        16|
  /------------------------------------------------|=============HALF ELF==|
 |     MAGE                    CLERIC              |Kayla Kyndhart       29|
 |-------------------------------------------------|Fxg Lyon             29|
 | Dartaghan Darkstar 29  Lairaerrykthrok Tyki..28 |Mikhail Minnehan     27|
 | Odds Bodkins       27  Taarna Wayfinder      27 |Rhys Corwinson       27|
 | Whilder Planrathe  26  Redeye Kielsson       22 |Taarna Wayfinder     27|
 | Gira Gavilan       25  Zinderin Paxton       21 |=============WOOD ELF==|
 | Certain Justice    24  Bashir Mskshadhvar    21 |Baram Lightclad      23|
 | Baram Lightclad    23  Lohann McCloud        21 |Zhuge Liang          21|
 | Elminester Silvan..23  Ardneh Cormorant      20 |Joqain Denark        20|
 | Griffin Skywave    22  Edrom Atheling        20 |Rena Oakhallow       19|
 | Karel Tasavalta    22  Rena Oakhallow        19 |Mithil Wyerla        17|
 |_Rhone Yarrl        22  Michealoos Duraderos  19 |=============HIGH ELF==|
  /------------------------------------------------|Strom O'Berin        38|
 |     HEALER                  BARD                |Soulsavr Truespel    12|
 |-------------------------------------------------|Eol Elmoth           11|
 | Strom O'Berin      38  Enegue LionHeart      21 |Aquarin Howenthorne   6|
 | Kayla Kyndhart     29  Vshaal hiJneksha's    16 |Maia Moonsong         6|
 | Rhys Corwinson     27  Mendle Seldagrave     16 |=============FAIR ELF==|
 | Chardros Grax      25  Balladeer Carpentere  12 |Whilder Planrathe    26|
 | Caretaker D'BoldH..23  Damiano Faustas       11 |Chardros Grax        25|
 | Unum LUX           18  Llorien Silvanestii   10 |Artuero Bresnahanini 24|
 | Woundhealer Odlaw  18  Elladan Palarran      10 |Certain Justice      24|
 | Luke Medivac       17  Ringo Hobson           9 |Airioch Ramthanodox  22|
 | Vesitsa Talchild   17  Rasta Farian           8 |=============DWARF=====|
 |_Penna Dulaney      16  Darksaul Payne         7 |Caretaker D'BoldHome 23|
  /------------------------------------------------|Vesitsa Talchild     17|
 |     RANGER                  SORCERER            |Vshaal hiJneksha's   16|
 |-------------------------------------------------|Alberich Albenherrs..12|
 | Fxg Lyon            29  Airioch Ramthanodox  22 |Brand Brandenburg    11|
 | Nastorm Trevin      25  Mnesilichus Exitii   22 |=============HALFLING==|
 | Maruko Ashimine     25  Enigma Sirillian     21 |Dartaghan Darkstar   29|
 | Yuri Hanbidt        24  Queron Kinevan       20 |Lairaerrykthrok Tyk..28|
 | Gallenod Varynesti  22  Isei Ikazuchi        20 |Odds Bodkins         27|
 | Talon Elessidil     21  Enoch Madriaax       20 |Griffin Skywave      22|
 | Rune Arundel        20  Finndall Bobbins     18 |Mnesilichus Exitii   22|
 | Arborius Draginson  20  Mithil Wyerla        17 |=======================|
 | Artaq Congress      19  Vlad Drakulya        16 |  -------------------  |
 | Beolost Lamontt     19  Fallon Slaaon        12 |  -------------------  |
 |-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
/@\    Shadow World Current Rankings as of Mon Sep 07 06:01:26 1992        |
\_/_________________________________-9-___________________________________/
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                Armaments: A Guide to Weapons in GemStone III
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            Part I: Edged Weapons
 _____________               By Melchior Merdaen
/ \ _________ \
\@| ||=|=|=|| |here's a  variety  of   ing results.  Hopefully, this infor-
  | ~~ |_| ~~ | weapons available in   mation will make it easier for a new
 _|    |_|    | Kulthea, and the se-   character  to  choose  his/her first
/@|   _|_|_   | lection often  comes   weapon,  and  more  advanced ones to
\_/   ~~~~~  / down to what  is most   pick  the  right weapon for the job.
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  affordable or conven-   Let's begin with skin-based armors.
ient.   I  spent  some  time  (5 1/2
levels,  to  be exact) recording the   The numbers to the left of the slash
To Hit (THT) and critical thresholds   represent the THT while those to the
of different weapons against differ-   right  are  the lowest number needed
ent armor types, with some interest-   to produce a critical hit: THT/CRIT.
  
  ARMOR:     Rapier  Falchn  Sh.Swd  Br.Swd Scimitr HandAxe B.Axe  2H-Sword
  Robes      56/67   54/75   52/73   52/73  57/78   57/78   49/70  46/67
  Skin       66/77   76/87   71/82   76/87  81/92   81/92   76/87  71/82
  Lite Hide  70/81   80/91   75/86   80/91  85/96   85/96   80/91  75/86
  Hvy. Hide  74/85   84/95   79/90   84/95  89/100  89/100  84/95  79/90
  
The rapier and short sword yield the best results of all one-handed weapons,
while the two-handed sword beats the battle axe.  Now, on to Soft Leather:
  
  
  ARMOR:     Rapier  Falchn  Sh.Swd  Br.Swd Scimitr HandAxe B.Axe  2H-Sword
  L.Leather  47/68   54/75   52/73   52/73  57/78   57/78   49/70  46/67
  
The  rapier  still tops the list in single handed, while the short sword and
broadsword  tie for second.  The 2H-Sword still out-performs the battle axe.
Next we move to rigid leather.
  
  
  ARMOR:     Rapier  Falchn  Sh.Swd  Br.Swd Scimitr HandAxe B.Axe  2H-Sword
  LeatherBr. 61/82   53/74   62/83   57/78  62/83   54/75   51/72  49/70
  Cuirboli   69/90   61/82   70/91   65/86  70/91   62/83   59/80  57/78
  
The  rapier and short sword prove much less adequate against here, while the
falchion  and  the hand axe move to the top of the list.  The 2H-sword still
maintains a slight edge over the battle axe.  Chain is next.
  
  
  ARMOR:     Rapier  Falchn  ShSwrd  BroSwd Scimitr Hand Ax  B.Axe  2H-Swrd
  Chain Hau  61/111  57/107  71/121  61/111 66/116  56/106   48/98  51/101
  
Surprisingly  here,  the  hand  axe  is  the  best  single handed performer,
followed  by  the falchion.  The battle axe has eclipsed the 2H-sword in the
two-handed category.  Lastly, we'll cover plate.
  
  
  ARMOR:      Rapier  Falchn  ShSwd  BroSwd Scimitr Hand Ax  B.Axe  2H-Swrd
  Metal Br.   49/120  27/98   41/112 31/102 31/102  26/97    18/89  21/92
  
Again, the hand axe gives the best showing in its category, followed closely
by  the  falchion.  The battle axe again proves itself to be the better two-
handed choice.                                                       More...
                                   -10-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
Conclusions                            Once  you  move  up  to higher armor
                                       types,  the  falchion or hand axe is
There's  the  information; use it as   a better bet.  For two-handeders, up
you will.  However, since this is my   until   chain   armor   types,   the
article,  I  have  some  recommenda-   two-handed sword is the best choice,
tions.   For  lower level characters   after  which it may be worthwhile to
who  spend most of their time in the   grab  that  hobgoblin's  battle axe.
forest  fighting  kobolds  or on the   If  you  want to get a weapon and be
Mine  Road,  I  recommend  the short   done  with  it, the falchion is your
sword.   The  Rapier has better num-   best  bet  as  an overall performer;
bers,  but  its  price  and the fact   even  better  if you can get a drake
that it breaks easily make it a poor   falchion. The big loser?  The scimi-
choice.   Granted,  the  short sword   tar.   It  only comes close to being
causes less concussion point damage,   competitive  in one category; plate.
but  its  THT  and  crit numbers are   Everywhere  else  it's  a  dog.  I'd
lower,  making hits and crits easier   stay  away  from  it.   I'm checking
to  get.   Of course,  Crits are the   special  order materials and magical
name of the game when it comes right   enhancements  and  will  cover  them
down to it.                            later.  Til then, good hunting!
  
  
  
                              What's in a Name?
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                           by Lightning Blackhawk
 _______________
/ \ ____    ____\
\@| +|~| __ |~|+ |hat's  in a  name?   Now  on  to  something  a  bit  more
  |  |~|/~~\|~|  | Well, besides the   serious.  In choosing a name, try to
 _|  |~/~/\~\~|  | obvious,    there   avoid beginning letters that are the
/@| _|__/  \__|_ | are  quite a  few   same  as commonly found creatures in
\_/_____________/  things. Lets take   the  wilds  of  Kulthea.  Especially
a  look  at the easy part first.  In   avoid having the first three letters
the  world  of  Kulthea, we are for-   match.   For  instance, Hobart would
tunate  because  we have a chance to   be  a  bad  name  to have if you are
choose  our  own  names.  This being   hunting hobgoblins.  You should also
the case, our names have our person-   avoid  a  name  that starts with the
ality etched in them.  Sometimes our   letters  GOL  or  even  GO.   In the
pofessions  can  be  identified from   beginning  it  may not seem too bad,
our  names,  or sometimes our racial   until  you  get  old enough to start
background  can be ascertained.  Our   hunting  golems.   And remember that
names  give  us  style,  that flair,   there  are  more than one species of
that  pizazz,  that whatchamacallit.   golems  living  in  our  lands.   It
<smirk>   But   you're   saying,  "I   would be sad indeed if a golem stomp
already knew that." Okay, okay, bear   knocked  you down and a fellow party
with me.                               member  hit  and  killed you by mis-
                                       take.   Also  keep  in  mind that if
Another  point  that I would like to   someone  typed  in "kil gol" or "att
make  is  that you "look" at someone   gol",   they   will  always  hit  at
before  you address them as either a   another  character  first, no matter
he or a she. A lot of names could be   how  many  golems may be in the same
used by either gender. For instance,   room.
my  own  name could be attached to a
person  of  the  female  persuasion.   So  take care in choosing your name.
This one simple thing could save you   Chose   one   that   is   not   only
a  very  embarassing situation.  And   descriptive  and colorful, but keeps
believe me, I wherefor I speak.        you out of harms way.
                                   -11-
  
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
 _________             A Newcomer's View of Kelfour's
/ \ _____ \            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ~|_|~ |                 by Palance Buckhanna
  |  |~|  |
 _|  |~|  |  grew  up  deep  in  the   that I  could "think"  to him  if he
/@| _|~|_ |  fields  of  Grondor and   was needed.  Such generosity  amazed
\_/ ~~~~~ /  came to Kelfour's green   me,  and   I  thanked  him  for  the
  ~~~~~~~~ as the springtime grasses   precious gift.  Never before  had  I
of  Lyndia.  Like  my  Elven  Healer   seen  such   magic,  and  I  quickly
forefathers, I was taken at an early   rubbed the  amulet.   Immediately my
age  deep into the woods to practice   mind buzzed  with strange  thoughts,
the family craft.  With no more than   talk of  Lords and  Ladies, of Great
I could  carry, I left home  to find   Orcs and Wolverines  and  Quests  to
adventure.  In spite  of  cautionary   make  my  head spin.  I  almost lost
tales  of  cutthroats  and  bandits,   my  balance, but  the gentle  cleric
I came to the  "big  city" wide-eyed   caught  me  and  helped me sit down.
and ready for anything.                He grinned at me and told me that it
                                       would take  a  little  time before I
I  have   always  been  a  religious   got  used to having others' thoughts
person, so I thought it best to give   in my head.
the local  Temple a  call.   A  warm
greeting   from    the   adventurers   Just then  the kind  healer returned
lounging in  the entranceway met me.   and handed  me a small pouch. Inside
A weathered old thief with a missing   was a variety of herbs, grasses, and
eye  and  several  nasty  scars came   roots.   I had  never been  able  to
sauntering over.  "First  time here,   afford such  as this  although I was
kid?"  he grinned.                     aware of  their use.  I thanked  her
                                       for such  a wonderful  gift but  she
I was both scared and impressed with   told me  to think nothing of it. She
this smiling  rogue and uncertain as   only requested  that I use the herbs
to where  the encounter  would lead.   to do good and to help others as she
My  fears   faded,  however,  as  he   had  helped me.  The Cleric told  me
regaled me  with stories  that  even   that  the   Lady  Klara  helps  many
one as  naive as I couldn't believe.   people the  way she helped me, and I
A lovely maiden, recognizing me as a   told him  that I  would  do  exactly
fellow healer, rescued me.             what she asked of me.
  
She was  so stunning  in  her  azure   He   then   introduced   me   to   a
robes that even the boisterous rogue   formidable looking  fighter who  had
fell silent  as she approached.  She   just entered  the Temple.    Balinor
seemed frail,  but  had  an  air  of   looked like  a man  who got  exactly
dignity and respect. I bowed and she   what he wanted and he was definitely
responded with  a  gracious  curtsy,   not one  to anger or to trifle with.
asking my  name and  of  the  events   He joked with the old Cleric, saying
which  had   brought  me  here.  She   "Are you  doing charity  work  again
quizzed me  thoroughly on  the state   old man?"
of my  experience and  whether I had
acquired any  healing  herbs  on  my   Before I  could  decide  whether  to
journey. When  I told  her I  had no   laugh  or   get  mad,   the  fighter
money  and   was  not  sure  how  an   reached into  his mountain  pack and
aspiring Healer  began  to  make  an   pulled out  a brilliant falchion and
honest living, she bade me wait, and   handed it  to me.  I was awed by the
left quickly and quietly.              exquisite weapon's  shape and  size.
                                       He laughed  loudly and  asked  if  I
During  my  wait, the  oldest  of  a   could heal  arm wounds.   I told him
nearby group  of clerics  introduced   that I  was  studying  just  such  a
himself and  offered his assistance.   thing now  and would soon be able to
He  handed   me  a  shining  crystal   heal him.   He shouted to a mage and
amulet to  wear around  my  neck  so   a bard  that were  close by and then
                                   -12-                             More...
  
  
    
  
  
  
turned to  me and  told me  to  come   I  waved   as  they  left  and  then
with him.   I  said goodbye  to  the   wandered aimlessly for about half an
Cleric and  headed out of the Temple   hour until I finally followed anoth-
with Balinor.                          er hunting   party to  the  gates of
                                       town. Once there, I  went  to Temple
The Bard  was a  quiet fellow with a   and rested as Balinor had said. As I
slight limp  and a  dark scar on his   sat in there  thinking  about all of
neck, while  the mage  was tall  and   the new  and wonderful things  I had
dark with a deep voice and a variety   seen that day, my new ring caught my
of wands.  We left the town and were   eye. I rubbed its smooth, shiny sur-
walking  south   when  I  spotted  a   face and took it off so I could have
Wolverine coming.  I grabbed my  new   a good look at it.  It was a beauti-
falchion and readied  myself for the   ful piece of jewelry  and once again
assault.  Balinor looked over  at me   thought  of the  mysterious  Balinor
and  said, "Friend  Palance,  didn't   all of the other  kind folk  who had
you tell  me  that you  were  right-   helped a newcomer in town. Just as I
handed?" I told  him  I was, and  he   was about to doze  off, I thought to
asked  me  why  I  was  carrying  my   put  my ring  back on before  I lost
new prize in my left  hand.  I  gave   it...
him  a weak smile  and swapped hands
as I  watched  him quickly  dispatch           along the ridge
the charging Wolverine.                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                               by  Coll Furze
We walked  on until  we came near  a
Cemetery.   Balinor  said  that  the  tis almost dark and belly growlin
hunting would be good today and that  close to trees 'most black as night
I should  do nothing  but parry  and  when there 'long path scoots lil furry-
stay out  of the  way  until  I  was  in arguin wit head, me stomach wins
needed.      So   I   watched   this
incredible party destroy group after  he can't me see lil furry
group of  undead creatures.    After  quiet now and smart so slow i creep
each battle,  I would do what little  been rollin in that yonder torkaan
I could  to heal  the party and then  anway, the wind e's at yer back
we would  start off  again.  After a
couple of  hours things were slowing  quickly now i raise me lil blade
down, so  Balinor took  us back to a  swoop in close and swing it down
worn  old  bridge.    He  removed  a  and hit it, hit it -- hmm I wunner
golden ring from his finger and gave  throw it in th'fire, or eat it raw?
it to me.
                                      hear the twig snap turn aroun then
"Put the  ring on and turn it to set  see the tall one big sword in his hand
its location,"  he said.  "Then when  look to left now, look to right now
you remove  the ring  and put  it on  gulp and fart and wish i'z in me cave
again,  you   will  return  to  this
spot." I  put the ring on and felt a  swings i first i swings and misses
magical pulse  in  my  finger,  once  knows i'll never see me home agin
again  stunned   by  such  startling  laugh, his sword clangs on me breastplate
magic!   I thanked  him for the ring  hardly feel it, laughin, cut em down
and asked  him where  we were off to
now.   He told  me that  he and  the  thirsty now run down th'path
others were  headed for a place that  sees another tall one in the shade
would surely  be lethal  to  me  and  laugh -- no shield and seez no armor
that I  should return  to the Temple  amble down th'trail to this fresh meat
to relax and ponder the things I had
seen and  learned.  He asked me if I  ack, he burnt me shot bright light me
knew how to get back to town and not  look around but nothin looks the same
wanting to appear foolish I told him  stare at hand now, stare at arm now
that I did.                           sky she spins and nightime falls at last
                                   -13-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                                   Quest
                                   ~~~~~
                               by Tapor Lieff
 _________
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~  | am on a quest, one that   honor  and  truth,  courage and hum-
 _|  |~|   | is far beyond my skill,   ility.   "Always defend against your
/@| _|~|_  | and may never be achie-   weakness," he would say, "for every-
\_/ ~~~~~ /  ved.  A  quest  that  I   one  and everything has a weakness."
  ~~~~~~~~  will never leave or for-
get.  My name is Tapor Lieff, though   This  confused  me.   I could see no
that was not the name given me at my   weakness  in  him, he was invincible
birth.  If you will hear my story, I   in my eyes.  When I asked him of his
must begin then.                       weakness,  he only repeated, "Every-
                                       one  and  everything  has  its weak-
I was born in the Lieff family home,   ness".   When  I  reached the age of
within  the  great  walled  city  of   fifteen,  my  grandfather  showed me
Balini.  A home of wealth and power,   his  collection  of weapons.  It was
for  my  father  was a member of the   an awesome sight, filled with blades
high  council  of the fellowship.  I   and  hammers and spears, all studded
was  given  the name Surri Lieff II,   in  gold  and  embedded with jewels.
after  my  father.   For  I  was the   My  eyes  were  drawn  to  the sword
first  born  male  and  was  to be a   standing  upright  in  the middle of
scholar, to take my father's seat in   the  collection.   A sword that from
the fellowship council when the need   hilt  to  tip  stood  nearly  a foot
arose.   The  fellowship  was once a   taller  than my grandfather.  A two-
powerful  tool  in the taming of the   handed   sword  with  a  blade  that
lands  and  creatures around Balini,   seemed  to  give  off its own light,
but  the  land  was now tame and the   and a hilt fashioned in the shape of
creatures  dead.   Fabulous  stories   an  angel whose wings were spread to
were  told by my grandfather, Tapor,   guard the wielder's hands. My desire
of the battles it took to tame those   for  glory  was  overwhelming, and I
lands.  Stories that stirred in me a   told my grandfather that.
desire to follow, and meet the chal-
lenges of which he spoke.              He  frowned, and taught me his final
                                       lesson.   As we walked away from the
With  the  land  empty  of dangerous   display  he  said, "You, Surri, will
beasts,  the  fellowship  turned its   never be a master of arms.  A master
attention   to  the  dangerous  men.   of  arms  needs  no glory.  He needs
They  became  the  protectors of the   only  a reason of virtue, a quest to
city of Balini, and did a far better   follow.   Without it, he is nothing,
job  than  did the constable and his   and  you have no reason but your own
men.   "The  fee  the  people pay is   greed for glory. I will teach you no
small  in comparison to the services   more."  I asked of this quest and if
they  receive," my father would say.   he  had  completed it.  He shook his
"Soon  the  fellowship  will protect   head  slowly saying only, "Not yet."
the entire realm."                     We  did not spend much time together
                                       after that night.
My schooling in the way of a scholar
came  from  the mages of the fellow-   I  continued  my  schooling  for the
ship  council,  but  I  was  slow to   fellowship,  for I knew that without
learn;  my  mind  would  wander to a   a  quest,  my  destiny  was  to be a
place of battle and glory.  Each day   member of the fellowship council.  I
after my teachings, I would sit with   began  to  study  harder  but  could
my  grandfather  and hear his teach-   still  barely  read.   One night the
ings  in the ways of chivalry that a   bells  of  the  guard tower rang out
master  of  arms  must  have.  Those   and woke me. Soon, guards carried to
lessons  I  learned well, lessons of   the  house  the  body  of  my grand-
                                   -14-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
father.   His  back  was  burned and   done. I left Balini that morning and
split  with a force that I knew must   never  returned.  I now had a quest,
have  been  magical.  Now I knew his   but to complete it I needed to learn
weakness,  and it terrified me.  His   the  ways  of  arms,  to  master the
weakness   was  a  single  word  and   skill and follow the teachings of my
gesture  from  one who knew the ways   grandfather.   I  cast away the name
of  magic.  After the funeral, I was   of  Surri  Lieff II, and adopted the
surprised  to learn that the fellow-   name Tapor in his honor.
ship   was  not  searching  for  the
murderer.   My  father  told me that   I  wandered many years before I came
the  council  decided that the fiend   to  the  city  of Kelfour's Landing.
would be long gone by now.  Although   There, I met a young half-elf by the
I  was  not allowed into the council   name  of  Dayln Grimm.  He showed me
meetings  themselves, I had seen the   the  wild lands surrounding the city
fellowships army at work under their   and how  to  survive them and learn.
orders.   They  were  relentless and   I  have  now decided that this place
could  achieve  nearly  anything.  I   will  serve  well  my needs, until I
knew the fellowship would search for   have  mastered  the  art of arms and
the killer, and I was going to help.   the  teachings of my grandfather.  I
I  stole into the fellowship council   will,  someday, crush the fellowship
chambers  early  one morning when it   itself and groups like it, or die in
was  empty.   I searched the records   battle trying.
there  looking  for  any information
they  may  have  discovered  of  the   I must go now, to hunt -- and learn.
killer.   The  words were difficult,
but what I could read crushed me:                =======\\=======
                                          ___________________________
Orders to ransack towns that did not     / __________________________ \
pay  their  dues,  plots  to upheave    | /                          \ |
towns that did not yet belong to the    ||             _              ||
fellowship,  and  orders  of  assas-    ||            / \             ||
sination  for  those who opposed the    ||           ||  |            ||
fellowship.  It was among these rec-    ||           ||  |            ||
ords  that  I  saw  the  name  of my    ||           ||  |            ||
grandfather,  Tapor.  I struggled to    ||           ||  |            ||
make out each word.                     ||           ||  |            ||
                                        ||           ||  |            ||
"By order of the High Council of the    ||           ||  |            ||
Fellowship  of  Balini, for speaking    ||           ||  |            ||
openly  against  the  fellowship and    ||           ||  |            ||
questioning   our   wisdom,   it  is    ||           ||  |            ||
decided  that Tapor Erad Lieff is to    ||           ||  |            ||
be  executed  outside  of  the  city    ||           ||  |            ||
walls at the earliest opportunity."     ||           ||  |            ||
                                        ||           ||  |            ||
This  document was signed by all the    ||           ||  |            ||
fellowship   high  council  members,    ||           ||  |            ||
including  my own father.  I sat for    ||           ||__|            ||
hours in that empty hall, crying.  I    ||          //    \           ||
thought  of killing every fellowship    ||         //______\          ||
member  I could, but then remembered    ||            | |             ||
something  my grandfather had taught    ||            | (             ||
me.   "If  you  want to kill a tree,    ||            | (             ||
you  do  not  attack the leaves."  I    ||            |__)            ||
needed  to  destroy  the  fellowship    ||                            ||
itself.   Then  I remembered what he    | \__________________________/ |
had  told  me of the quest.  My mind     \____________________________/
cleared,  and  I knew what was to be
                                   -15-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                              Hunter's Stew
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      A gourmet recipe from the world
 ____________     famous kitchen of the Silvanestii family
/ \  ______  \
\@| /~/~~\~\ |
  ||~|    |~|| kay,  class,  pay at-   In  the  meantime, dig out Grandma's
 _||~|    |~|| tention.   Here's  an   old 20 gallon cauldron.  Not the one
/@| \~\__/~/ | intricate recipe pas-   she used to mix the devil's brew in,
\_/  ~~~~~~  / sed  down through the   either.   Grease the inside with the
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  ages in my family.  I   torkaan  bacon,  and  then brown the
I  recently made this at a gathering   bacon  in the bottom.  Next, add the
of  my beloved Penna's clan, to rave   6 gallons of Helga's Blackgrog.  (If
reviews.   In  fact, they enjoyed it   either  Odds  or  Whilder  have been
so  much, they insisted that I share   invited to partake of this sumptuous
it with all of Kelfour.                feast,  you may consider asking them
                                       to  ET the cauldron 3 or 4 times due
A most important thing:  All ingred-   to  the  highly  acidic and somewhat
ients  MUST  be fresh.  Spoiled meat   explosive nature of Helga's brews.)
does  nothing  to enhance the exqui-
site flavoring  of this mouth-water-   When  the  mixture  is bubbling, add
ing treat.                             the cubed puma. Cover and simmer for
                       ______________________________    an hour. Meanwhile
A note on gathering   /                              \   rub  steaks liber-
the Puma Haunch. It  |          Ingredients           |  ally with  garlic.
is considered bad    |          ~~~~~~~~~~~           |  Then find a spell-
form to use a level  | 1 Puma Haunch                  |  caster  with  fire
one cleric as bait.  | 1 Rasher of Torkaan Bacon      |  bolt   to  quickly
A two week old can   | 2 Black Bear Steaks per person |  sear the  meat  to
of tune is just as   | 2 cups of ground Boar Tusk     |  seal  in   juices.
good, provided you   | 6 gallons of Helga's Blackgrog |  Add the  steaks to
have a ranger on     | Akbutege Leaf                  |  the cauldron.
hand to cast Airwall | Edram Moss                     |
to protection those  | Garlic                         | When mean is tender
sensitive olfactory  | Salt and Pepper to taste       |  add  ground Boar's
nerves.               \______________________________/   Tusk (for thicken-
                                                         er), and  salt and
Preparation                            petter to taste. Stir constantly un-
                                       mixture thickens.
The  key is quick and timely prepar-
ation of the meats. Enlist your din-   Serve  over  wild  rice,  and with a
ner party to give you a hand.  Makes   tossed  salad.  Best wine?  Erebor's
the  time go faster and conversation   Tipple  of  course.   Chilled  to 43
pleasant.  Get that burly fighter to   degrees.   No  refrigerator?  That's
tenderize  the  steaks  with his war   what cold ball spells are for.
hammer  while a healer cuts the puma
haunch into nice bite size morsels.    Enjoy. And bon appetite!
  
  
    Someone asked why Akbutege Leaf and Edram Moss were included in ingre-
    dients.   I  thought  it obvious:  When the guests aren't looking, eat
    them  to patch up the injuries you got while gathering the ingredients
    so no one will see how inept you really are at hunting.
  
  
  
  
  
                                   -16-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                                Beginnings
                                ~~~~~~~~~~
 _________                    by Thellra Dumas
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |
 _|  |~|  | remember my first day in   "Well, I NEVER!!"  I huffed, aghast,
/@| _|~|_ | Kelfour's  Landing  with   and stomped toward the door.
\_/ ~~~~~ / much melancholy.  It was
  ~~~~~~~~  one of the finest days I   "Well,  maybe  you  should!" I heard
can  recall,  yet much has been lost   the  gnome  guffaw  before I slammed
since  then.   After  many  weeks of   it -- hard.
hard   travel,   I   walked  wearily
through  the  gates  into a bustling   Muttering to myself, I launched away
city, the likes of which I had never   from that place and promptly slammed
even  imagined.   Being  from a tiny   into   someone  rushing  around  the
village,  I  had  never seen so many   corner.   The breath was knocked out
people  in  one  place.   I pulled a   of  me  and  I  gasped  for  air.  I
worn   scroll   from   my  pack  and   opened  my  eyes  and  found  myself
carefully  unrolled it.  I read (for   staring  up at the most handsome man
the hundredth time):                   I'd  ever seen.  A bard, by the look
           ____________________________________________________
          / \                                                  \
          \@|_                    WANTED              //        |
             /                                                  |
            |  Brave Adventures to Aid in Battle Against Evil.  |
            |          Treasure and Fame Your Reward.          _|
           _|    Raging Threk Inn. City of Kelfour's Landing.  \
          /@|                                                   |
          \_/__________________________________________________/
  
I  got  directions  from a mystical-   of his merry outfit and the tin horn
looking old man, and practically ran   tied over his shoulder.
to  the  Inn.  I waved the scroll in
front of the sullen gnome behind the   "Oh  dear,  miss!  Are you alright?"
counter.    "Where's  the  boss?"  I   He seemed genuinely concerned.
asked eagerly.
                                       Still  gasping,  I managed to reply,
The  gnome  stared  at me for a long   "I'll be fine in a minute."
moment,  taking in my disheveled ap-
pearance.   Its eyes then glanced at   He  helped  me sit up, glancing past
the  scroll  I  had  spread  on  the   me  every  few seconds.  "Is someone
counter  and  an evil grin split its   after  you?" I asked, looking behind
ugly face.  "YOU!?" It sneered. "The   me.  I took his hand as he helped me
boss  might hire you to serve drinks   stand.
at the bar but NEVER to fight in his
company. You're just a little girl!"   "Nooo,  I'm  just  a tad late for an
It  practically  spat that last word   appointment,  but  I want to be sure
at me like an insult.                  you're really  okay," he blushed. "I
                                       apologize for running into you."
I  snatched  up  the  scroll, took a
step  back,  and  cleared my throat.   "Accidents happen," I smiled.  "I've
"Just get the boss!" I sneered back.   been  hit  worse." I stooped to pick
                                       up my pack and caught him staring at
The  gnome  rolled  its  beady eyes,   me  out  of  the  corner  of my eye.
continuing  to  ignore  my  request.   Grinning  inwardly,  I  straightened
"Come  back  when  the bar opens, my   and  blurted  out,  "Can I come with
sweet.   I  have the perfect job for   you?"
you," it said with a leering wink.                                  More...
                                   -17-
  
  
  
    
   
  
  
At  that  exact  instant  he  asked,   "I'd better liven things up a little
"Would  you  like  to  accompany me,   now." He smiled wonderfullly, sat on
milady?"                               the  edge of the platform, and began
                                       a  tale.   He spoke of famous people
We both burst out laughing.  "I'd be   living  in  the  lands  and revealed
honored,"  we  said  simultaneously,   many  adventures  they'd  had.   The
and we laughed so hard tears came to   bard  actually  became the people he
our  eyes.   After  the laughter had   spoke  of.   One  minute an innocent
subsided  into  little  giggles,  we   maiden  was  telling  a silly story.
looked  at  each  other  and I said,   The next, a terrible ogre stomped on
"Great  minds..."  "...Think alike,"   the stage in a horrifying temper.
he finished with a grin.  He offered
me  his  arm and we hurried down the   When  he was done, the crowd cheered
street   towards   a   large   crowd   wildly. He smiled, nodded, and bowed
gathered at the town square.           again.   Picking  up  his  pack,  he
                                       walked toward me and took my hand.
"By  the way, my name is Lorien," he
said and tipped his hat to me.         "You  were  wonderful!"  I whistled.
                                       "You'll  get a spot in that festival
"I'm  Thellra."  I  pointed  to  the   for sure."
crowd.  "What's going on?"
                                       "Thank  you for saying so." He said,
"It's my appointment." He explained.   seeming doubtful of his own talent.
"I'm  auditioning  for a spot in the
summer festival."                      We then walked to the bakery and ate
                                       cookies while we told each other our
A  loud  voice  called  out  "Lorien   histories.  So began our friendship.
Silvanesti!  Lorien!  You're up!"      Things  were  definitely looking up,
                                       my first day in the Landing.
"Here!   Here  I am!" Lorien yelled.
Smiling  at  me,  he bounded towards   (Apologies  to  Llorien  and  Penna,
the makeshift stage. "Wait for me!"    this remembrance being long ago.)
  
I   squirmed   through  the  tightly     _________________________________
pressed  crowd and made my way up to    /                                 \
the front.  Lorien took his place on   |                                   |
the  wooden  platform  and  began to   |                                   |
speak in a quiet but very commanding   |          Helga's Tavern           |
voice.   "I  will begin by playing a   |          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           |
new  song.  Just finished it today."   |                                   |
He  took  a beautifully crafted dark   |   For the finest in all things    |
cherry  flute  out of his pack, drew   |   Kulthean,  visit  the world-    |
in a breath and started playing.  It   |       famous Helga's Tavern.      |
was  such a hauntingly sad tune that   |                                   |
told  of  such  grief  that a goodly   |                                   |
portion  of  the audience was wiping   |   The BEST Drinks in the Lands!   |
away tears before long.  Even though   |                                   |
the tune was so very sad, it touched   |     Tastiest Torkaanii Stew!      |
something deep inside me and somehow   |                                   |
comforted me.  Such a sharing of woe   | Best Companionship in the World!  |
seemed  to  connect  everyone in the   |                                   |
crowd to one another, making us less   |     Up the stairs, two blocks     |
than  strangers.  Lorien came to the   |       South of Surtey's Tent      |
end  with a clear high note and then   |                                   |
his  flute  fell  silent.  I saw him   |                                   |
wipe  away  a tear of his own before    \_________________________________/
he bowed to the crowd.
                                   -18-
  
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                       We Were Expecting Someone Older
                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 ____________             by Lord Gallenod Varynesti
/ \      __  \
\@|     / "|  |
  |    //|"|  |lgo!"  bellowed Brugo   "Alright," grumbled the trader, "the
 _|   //=|"|  | Ironhand.  The dwarf   little  thief  has rich friends.  As
/@|  //  |"|  | looked     extremely   long  as  the  passage is booked and
\_/ ~~   ~~~ /  cross,  his  already   paid for, we might as well take him.
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  craggy  face  further   But  I'm holding you personally res-
creased  by a ferocious squint as he   ponsible  for  his behavior, appren-
inspected his wagon.                   tice."  Brugo  glared at the younger
                                       dwarf.   "If he causes trouble, I'll
"Yes,  Master  Trader?" Algo shifted   have your hide for a saddlebag!"
his   weight   and  waited  for  the
inevitable   tongue   lashing   that   With   that,   Brugo   stomped  off,
preceeded  any trip with his master.   leaving  Algo  thanking  the  Forger
He knew that the trader was happiest   that the old grump had taken it that
with  his wagons empty and his purse   well. With a sigh of relief, he tur-
full, not the other way around.  So,   ned  back  to the wagon and the hob-
at the beginning of every trip, when   bit. Two bright little eyes returned
Brugo  had spent the majority of his   his gaze.
ready  cash on goods, he was usually
in a foul mood.                        "He  doesn't  seem  to  like hobbits
                                       much,  does  he?"  the  small figure
"What," Brugo asked through clenched   observed.
teeth, "is THAT doing in my wagon?"
                                       Algo  sighed  as  he  looked  at the
The  object of Brugo's attention was   hobbit.  "Well, he doesn't appear to
a  small  figure curled up asleep on   like  anyone  much,  but it's just a
top  of some expensive carpets.  The   front. He claims if he looked frien-
tiny figure seemed blissfully uncon-   dly,  people would take advantage of
cerned  that the massive dwarf star-   him.   He's really very nice.  For a
ing  down  at it looked ready to eat   master trader, anyway."
raw oak.
                                       "He's  not  very  nice  to you," re-
"I can explain, Master Trader." Algo   marked the hobbit.  "He yells at you
shuffled  again.  "A gentleman asked   all the time."
if  we would take this little hobbit
over  the pass with us.  He paid for   Algo  chuckled.   "Yes,  he  yells a
his passage, Master Trader."           lot.   But  he  also drove all night
                                       through  a blizzard to a healer when
"Paid?"  snorted Brugo.  "With what?   my youngest son was deathly ill.  He
This hobbit doesn't look like he has   spoke  the  burial  service  for  my
two coins to rub together.  At least   father when  he died."  Algo sighed.
not  yet.   He'll  steal  us  blind,   "He  was my father's apprentice, and
Algo!   Don't  you  know all hobbits   inherited the business from him.  As
are  natural  born thieves?  It's in   I  will inherit from him in 80 years
their blood!  And you've just booked   or so when he leaves us."
passage for one on MY CARAVAN?!?"
                                       Algo sighed, and then grinned.  "And
Algo  blushed,  and stammered:  "But   he really is a very good trader.  He
the  gentleman paid in gold, Master.   may  be surly, but he's honest.  And
Here."  With  a nervous flick of the   very  careful, which I hope helps on
wrist,  Algo  handed a bulging purse   this  trip."  The young dwarf's face
to Brugo.  The old dwarf's eyes wid-   darkened.
ened  and  his face relaxed a little
as he considered the weight.           "Why is that?" asked the hobbit.
                                   -19-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
"Well,"  replied  Algo,  "the  route   going  were  no  business of a green
we're  taking  has  had some strange   apprentice  barely  into  his beard.
happenings  of  late.  Some caravans   He   smiled   at  the  small  figure
have gotten through with no trouble.   perched on the wagon and said:  "I'm
Others  have  disappeared  without a   Algo  Stonearm,  apprentice  trader.
trace.   Master  Brugo intends to go   And  what might your name be, friend
over  the  mountains  to Pragor, and   hobbit?"
this  is  the  only  route.  So he's
hired mercenaries to protect us."      The  little  hobbit grinned.  "You'd
                                       better  not  let your master see you
Algo  pointed  to four lounging near   being  so  polite,  Algo,  or he may
the front of the caravan. One appea-   decide  you're  not  suited for this
red  to be a ranger, dressed head to   business."  Algo blushed slightly.
toe  in camouflaged hide armor.  The
second  was  a  female  elven  mage,   The  hobbit  chuckled and continued:
lithe and graceful.  The third was a   "I'm  Wimby  Littlefoot, scholar and
cleric of the Order of Reann.          traveler."  The hobbit smiled.  "I'm
                                       afraid   my  family  was  very  dis-
The  last  member  of  the group was   appointed in me, as I've never had a
apparently   its   leader:   a  huge   talent for thievery.  Your goods are
fighter with a shimmering greatsword   safe from me."
slung  on  his  back.   "That," said
Algo,  indicating  the  fighter, "is   Disarmed  by  the hobbit's cheerful,
Andar  Trollbane.  Got the name when   innocent-looking  grin,  Algo smiled
he  killed a giant cave troll at the   back.   "Well," he chuckled, "I hope
age  of  12.  Single-handedly." Algo   so. I'd make a terrible saddlebag."
shuddered.
                                       "Yo,   dwarfling!"   boomed  a  loud
"Most  impressive," said the hobbit,   voice.   Algo and Wimby looked up to
nodding.   "Your  master  apparently   see  Andar  approaching  on  a  huge
hires  the  best.   This  must  be a   black  horse.  He looked even bigger
valuable caravan."                     close  up,  almost  seven feet tall,
                                       with  muscles like a classic statue.
Algo  regarded the hobbit carefully,   With him, riding a grey palfrey, was
remembering his master's words about   the elf.
thieves and hobbits.
                                       Andar  grinned  at the dwarf.  "Your
The hobbit chuckled.  "Have no fear,   master said we were to see you about
my friend, I have no designs on your   supplies,  and  such."  Despite  the
goods.   I  am but a poor traveller.   fact that Algo was over 50 years old
How  could I steal even a single rug   and  the  human  was barely 30, Algo
from  this  stack?  They outweigh me   felt  like  a  gawky  youth  in  the
10 to 1." The hobbit grinned.          presence of the massive fighter.
  
Algo  chuckled at the thought of the   The  elf put her hand on Andar's arm
tiny  hobbit trying to even lift one   and  smiled.   "Andar, please.  This
of  the  fine  Hulgar carpets.  How-   poor   dwarf   has  enough  problems
ever,  he  was  still  wary,  as his   without  you  grinning  down  at him
master   didn't   always   tell  him   like a huge baboon."
everything about their cargo.  Could
they  be  carrying  jewels,  or some   Andar    softened   his   expression
rare magical items?  Considering the   slightly.   "You're  right, Delphia.
body guards  Brugo   had  hired,  it   That  Brugo is a tough bugger.  I'll
seemed this trip was far more than a   lighten   up."   Andar  shifted  his
simple journey to sell carpets.        attention  back  to the dwarf as the
                                       other  two  mercenaries rode up.  He
Algo  put  such  thoughts  from  his   smiled   at   Algo.   "You're  Algo,
mind.   Any  secret  deals Brugo had   right?" he asked.
                                   -20-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
"Yes  sir," replied Algo.  "What may   mercenaries   were   all  completely
I do for you?"                         straight-faced, while the hobbit had
                                       the  perpetual  look  of  bemusement
Andar nodded.  "OK.  We'll need room   peculiar to his race.
on  a  wagon  for  supplies  for our
horses  and food for ourselves.  You   "Well," sniffed the dwarf, "you must
can handle that?"                      admit  it does sound a little silly.
                                       Whizbamph.   What  kind  of  name is
Algo  nodded.   "Already  done, sir.   that?   And  the  other bit.  Sounds
Your  agent was quite specific about   like   a  name  for  a  cheap  stage
your requirements."                    magician.    After   all,  how  many
                                       people can go around adding the word
Andar  nodded  again.  "Yes, Lachmar   `Incredible' to their name?"
is most efficient.  As is anyone who
works for our employer."               Andar smiled grimly.  "He didn't.  I
                                       believe  the  the Duke of Allond did
Algo  was  puzzled  at  this.  "Your   that  after  a  medium-sized  dragon
employer,  sir?"  I thought you were   vaporized in mid-air in full view of
working for Master Brugo."             the entire population of his castle.
                                       This  was  one  day  after  the duke
Andar  seemed  about to speak again,   inked  a  contract  with Lachmar for
but Delphia  laid a hand on his arm.   Wizbamph to get rid of the beast."
They   exchanged   a  silent  glance
before Andar answered.                 Algo,  who's  only  contact  with  a
                                       dragon  came  when  he  saw  a tooth
"Yes,  we  have  an employer," Andar   twice  his  size in a museum, nodded
replied guardedly.  People like your   dazedly.   "Okay,"  he  mumbled.  "I
master   contract  through  him  for   guess that qualifies."
mercenaries.   Depending on what the
job  is,  he then sends Lachmar arr-   "But  what does he look like?" asked
ange  the details.  The boss prefers   Wimby.  "Did anyone see him?"
to remain anonymous."
                                       Andar   looked  at  the  bright-eyed
"You mean you don't know who he is?"   hobbit  and  shook his head.  "Nope,
piped  up  a  small  voice  from the   not  that  I  know  of.   He's  been
wagon.   Wimby's bright eyes flashed   credited   with  a  few  spectacular
with interest.                         deeds  like that.  To the best of my
                                       knowledge,  though,  there's no one,
Upon   seeing   the   hobbit,  Andar   including  his  main agent, Lachmar,
chuckled  and  Delphia  smiled.  The   who really knows what he looks like.
elven  magess  moved  closer  to the   No one living, that is."
wagon  and  gently  patted  the tiny
hobbit on the shoulder.                Algo  shuddered slightly at the tone
                                       in  the  fighter's voice.  "Well, we
"Greetings, little one," she smiled.   seem  to  be  leaving.   Should  you
"Yes, we know who he is.  We've just   require anything else, please let me
never actually met him."               know." Algo bowed, and climbed up on
                                       the  wagon  next  to  Wimby.   Andar
"Well?   Who  is  it?"  chirped  the   nodded, the four mercenaries assumed
hobbit.                                their  posts, and the caravan slowly
                                       started moving out the gates.
The ranger answered in a dour voice:
"Whizbamph the Incredible."            "Do   you   think  that  was  true?"
                                       squeaked  Wimby.  "Did this Whizbang
On hearing the name, Algo started to   really zap a dragon?"
chuckle.   Then,  he  noticed he was
the  only  one  who thought the name   Algo shrugged.  "Well, if Andar said
sounded  at  all  funny.   The  four   it happened, it probably did.  And I
                                   -21-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
think the name is Whizbamph.  Anyone   him feel very safe.
who can vaporize anything, I want to
get   his  name  right."  The  dwarf   Wimby  turned out to be a delightful
grinned.  "Not that I'll ever get to   traveling   companion.   The  little
meet someone like that.  I'm impres-   hobbit could sing and juggle as well
sed enough with Andar and company."    as  any  professional  Algo had ever
                                       seen.  He even brought an ocassional
The  hobbit grinned back.  "They are   smile   to  Brugo's  normally  gruff
big,  aren't they?  And smelly, too.   countenance.   "Funny little thief,"
Except  for the lady elf, of course;   Brugo   chuckled  one  night,  after
she's kind  of  cute."  Wimby smiled   Wimby  had  asked  for  a volunteer,
wistfully.   "Ah well, wishing won't   selected  the  gruff  master trader,
make us  any bigger, will it."  With   and proceeded to pull gold coins out
that  the  hobbit  sighed,  burrowed   of his ear. Of course, all the coins
into  the  carpet pile, and promptly   had come from Brugo's purse.
fell asleep.
                                       But  Brugo didn't seem to mind.  The
The  caravan  moved farther into the   little halfling had charmed everyone
mountains  as  the  days progressed.   with his stories, songs, and tricks.
The late fall air was crisp, and the   Particularly Delphia, who, to every-
weather perfectly clear as the wagon   one's  great  amusement had taken to
train  moved  ever  deeper  into the   hugging the hobbit at any excuse and
mountains. Gaden, the ranger, scout-   calling  him  her "little fuzzy cud-
ed  ahead  ocassionally  to look for   dle-bunny."  Wimby thrived under the
signs of trouble, but found nothing.   attention,  and  snuggled  up to the
Pelag,  the  cleric,  cast a warding   elven magess at every opportunity.
spell  on the camp every night.  The
cleric  was  alerted by his spell if   Day  after  day,  the  caravan moved
any  creature larger than a squirrel   deeper  into  the  mountains with no
approached the camp, and the mercen-   sign  of  trouble.   Little did they
aries  investigated  every incident.   know  the full extent of the dangers
Algo  was  thoroughly impressed with   that awaited them.
their   professionalism   and  quiet
efficiency.   Seeing  them work made          Conclusion Next Month
  ________________________________________________________________________
  I                                                                      I
  |                                                                      |
  |                )/                                           \(       |
  |   .    .   ____|'  .          .       .                .    `|___    |
  |     .     /\  l\     .    )/        _____|/ ^^^^^^^^^       //  ==   |
  |  .      .        .    ____|'    .  /\  |\ '^^^^^^^^^^^^^      .    . |
  |       .     .        /\  /\                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  .    .   |
  |                  .            .     .     .  ^^^^^^^^^^^^            |
  |           .             .         .             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^      |
  |                    ,                         .         ^^^^^^^^^     |
  |  .              O  Y                                        ^^^^     |
  |               /-l--|      D  )                                     . |
  |                 l  |    /-l-/        .             .                 |
  |      ,_,       / \ |      l                                          |
  |    q  O                  / \                .               .        |
  |     \/^\_p                                                           |
  |      l_l                       .                                     |
  |      | \           .                                     .           |
  |                                                                      |
  |                                                                      |
  |                      +-----------------------------+                 |
  |                      | Cave Painting -- 'The Hunt' |      Kelfour    |
  |                      |_____________________________|      Museum     |
  I______________________________________________________________________I
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
 ___________                   Revelations
/ \ ______  \                  ~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ~|_|~\\ |      by Elyria Blythe & Jhembryn Durrock.
  |  |~|  |||
 _|  |~|  ||| ying   several   times   that  it was Jhembryn's  father  and
/@|  |~|_// | recently and  losing a   her own late love.  Soon afterward I
\_/ ~~~~~~  / cherished  weapon  has   left to meditate on this revelation.
  ~~~~~~~~~~  made me start thinking   My friend  joined me  in my hunt for
about life  and  death  and  family.   greater orcs,  and welcome he was. I
                                       drank in  every feature  of his face
My mother died long ago in a  battle   and soon started laughing quietly.
against disease which she could  not
win.  All I remember of her is flow-   "Are you all right Elyria?" Jhembryn
ing white hair and  sparkling violet   asked. "You seem a little bemused."
eyes, soothing voice and warm hands.
I was  only  five  when  she  passed   I laughed even harder, remembering a
away, not nearly enough time to know   particular  confidence  of  his.  He
her. My  father,  inconsolable, sent   once told  me that  before he became
me to  live with  a maiden  aunt. He   engaged, he  had had  a  feeling  of
passed  away  several  years  later,   reaching  toward  me  and  had  felt
still never  quite recovered from my   something holding him back.
mother's death.  My aunt died in her
sleep a  few years back, quietly and   He  stared  at  me,  confused,  head
painlessly, a  victim of old age. No   cocked to  one side.   "Elyria,  are
one  was  left  me for family, and I   you sure you're all right?  What are
was often lonely and sorrowful.        you laughing about?"
  
As my  grief lessened,  the numerous   "Jhem,  I'd   like   to   show   you
men    of    Kelfour's--suave    and   something I  hold very  dear, and  I
handsome--came  to   my  notice   as   think it  will explain everything to
though I  were seeing  them for  the   you.   At least,  I hope it will.'
first time.  One young  healer quite
attracted me,  yet  the  bond  which   I removed a small weathered  drawing
drew us  together seemed  to part us   of my mother and father from my pack
too. I  came to  love Jhembryn,  yet   and handed it to  Jhembryn.  Awe and
something always  held me  back from   comprehension  dawned in his eyes as
saying so.  When my fiance, Bolivar,   he gazed at the picture.  Finally he
swept me  off my  feet  the  strange   looked up from it and smiled.
bond, although  not  forgotten,  was
pushed into  a  dark  corner  of  my   "I always wanted a sister, you know,
mind. We three were best friends and   but I  never dreamed  I actually had
enjoyed  our   hunting   expeditions   one.  To find that it is you--!  And
immensely.                             to think that I had a crush on you!"
  
In time,  my friend  and I  began to   He started laughing, then kissed  me
reminisce about  our lives, reviving   resoundingly on the cheek and winked
the  dim  memories  we  had  of  our   at me.
families.   His father had died when
he was  about ten,  but  his  mother   "I guess it's okay for me to do that
still lived, a charming human  lady,   now that I don't have to worry about
striking - looking  even  after  the   Bolivar hitting me.  After  all,  we
passage  of  years.  I  visited  her   were only great friends before.  Now
often,  as I  so much missed my  own   we  know who we really are."
sweet  mother.
                                       He  then  held me  in  an  emotional
On one visit, a tattered  drawing of   embrace, saying through  his  tears,
man  caught  my eye.  Shock  icicled   "I'm so happy we found out.  At last
through  me; I  quietly  asked whose   I have a true family.  Will you tell
picture it was. Proudly she told  me   me about our father?"
                                   -23-
  
  
    
  
  
  
We went  to the cottage for a while,   One in  particular stood  out  among
so that  we could share the memories   them, and  this  I  shared  with  my
we held about our father.  I  hadn't   brother.  "It  was  right  after  my
known where  he traveled  during the   mother died,  and father  and I were
years after  my mother's  death, but   walking along  the river.    He  was
now I did.  Unable to face the child   very    preoccupied    and    looked
that reminded him so of his wife, he   strained.   I remember it so clearly
found solace  in the arms of another   because  of  the  startlingly  vivid
woman. Had  I met  Jhembryn's mother   blue of the sky and the cries of the
while biased by painful knowledge, I   sea birds wheeling overhead.
would  have   hated  her  and  hated
Jhembryn.   But my maturity and time   "We stopped at the river's edge, and
in these lands serve me well. I love   he turned  to  me.    His  face  was
my  brother  dearly, and  his mother   weary, his  eyes dull.   He  kneeled
as well.                               before me  and held  me close, and I
                                       could feel  his warm  breath against
I  told  Jhembryn  about  the  happy   me.  Holding me back away from him a
times I  had spent  with Father, and   bit, he  looked  into  my  eyes  and
he in  turn shared his life with me.   smiled.   'I have something for you,
Neither of  us had  many years  with   little one.   I  want you to keep it
him, but  they were special ones for   always, and  think  about  the  good
both of us.                            times when  we were  a  family.'  He
                                       pulled a drawing from his pocket and
"My father--our  father--was  killed   handed it  to me.   It was the one I
in battle  at a storming of the town   carry now.
gates on a dark evening,  during one
of  the  periodic  Unlife  uprisings   "Not long  after that  he sent me to
against the  citizens  of  Kelfour's   my aunt's.   I saw brief glimpses of
Landing,"  Jhembryn   began.  "But I   him in  the ensuing years before his
remember  before  he died,  when  he   death,   but    never    with    any
first taught me to wield a sword.      regularity.   I  guess  it  was  too
                                       painful for him."
"I was  rather clumsy  with it, only
about nine  years old  at the  time,   Jhembryn and I sat for a few moments
but I  still wanted to be as good as   lost in  thought.  Finally, I smiled
him."   Tears  began  to  flow  from   and  pulled   him   to   his   feet,
Jhembryn's eyes.                       indicating the  door of the cottage.
                                       "Shall we?" I asked.
"I really  don't think  he cared how
good I  was, but  I wanted to please   We  continued   our  hunt  and  were
him so badly.  He had little time to   joined there  by my love.  A rash of
teach me because of the many battles   giggling, winking, and nudging broke
he was called to fight.  I long felt   out  between  Jhembryn  and  me,  as
that there was  something  he wanted   Bolivar looked  on in  confusion.  I
to tell me, but never did.             finally introduced  my love  to  his
                                       soon  to   be   brother-in-law   and
"He  died  when I  was ten. I  don't   watched the  fun.  Strangely enough,
really remember  very  much,  but  I   my brother and I are getting married
cherish the memories I have."  After   within days of each other.
a  long   pause  Jhembryn  went  on.
"Stories  of  how  our  father  died   Not all  the revelations in life are
helped me  decide what to do with my   good, and  not all  are bad.    This
life. At the  age  of 19  I began to   revelation heartened  me  after  the
study the  healing arts.   Now every   recent sorrows  of  repeated  death.
time I heal someone, I wonder why no   The laughter  and love  we  feel  is
one could have healed Father."         genuine and gives me back a family I
                                       thought lost.
I sighed  and thought about the very
few clear  memories I had of Father.            ======\\======
                                   -24-
  
  
    
  
  
  
 ___________                  Cycles (Part I)
/ \  ______ \                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| /~/~~\_\ |           by Lord Whilder Planrathe
  | \~\____~ |
 _| _~~~~\~\ | lowly her world  came   small,  wide-mouthed  jug  that  had
/@| \~\__/~/ | into    focus.    She   been sitting  at her  feet all  day.
\_/  ~~~~~~ /  blinked  once, clear-   She shook  it vigorously  and a loud
  ~~~~~~~~~~   ing  the  glazed look   rattling came  from it.   "Inside of
from  her bright green eyes.  For  a   this jug  are 10 dice.  Each die has
moment  she  could  not remember who   10 sides.  Each side has a symbol of
she was, nor why she had come here.    one of  my choices.  The symbol that
                                       is seen most often on the first roll
Then she saw the steel statue...       shall  be  my  choice.    If  it  is
                                       required,  I  shall  roll  a  second
Memories.  Ages past. Worlds ago.      time."
  
She sat  at the  table  outside  the   (How had she kept a straight face at
small cottage.  It was her birthday.   their looks?    She  suddenly  burst
And on  this day,  she would have to   into laughter.    Better  late  than
choose  the   path  her  life  would   never...)
follow. The  crowd  gathered  around
was not  the  well-wishers  who  had   Again she  had to wait as they edged
attended her parties before, but the   closer, jostling  each other  for  a
teachers who  would help  her  along   view  of  the  table.    After  they
the road she  would soon choose.  Or   seemed to have settled into position
rather, the life chance would choose   she glared  along the  edge  of  the
for her.                               table.     More  movement   as   the
                                       spectators tried  to move  away from
(Chance!   Her name was Chance!  She   the table  edge yet  still  maintain
remembered it now.)                    their view.
  
She looked  around at the gathering,   Finally satisfied  that nobody would
trying her best to remain solemn.  A   bump against  the table,  she  shook
difficult task  since it  seemed the   the jug and poured the dice onto the
entire world  was there,  trying  to   table top.   The sound of each stone
convince her  to  follow  their  own   as it clattered onto the wood roared
paths of  learning or  trade.   Long   like thunder in her ears.  Her heart
hours ago they had began telling her   seemed to  climb  into  her  throat.
of the wonders of their arts, of the   Breathing seemed  impossible.    She
necessity of  their crafts.  But she   lost focus  on the  crowd, the table
knew.  Gods how she knew!  They only   itself.       Only   the   eternally
wanted her  for the  fame of  having   tumbling, spinning,  skittering dice
the Luck-Child as their apprentice.    existed.   And ages later, they came
                                       to rest.
She waited  politely.   No more came
forth   to   petition   her.     She   She  waited   as  the  crowd  surged
straightened her  back and waited as   around, murmuring  to themselves and
the talking  died to  a murmur, then   each other.  She waited as they left
to a  silence.    "My  friends"  she   to spread  the news, to be the first
spoke "I  have decided not to decide   to tell  those who could not attend.
for myself."  She politely waited as   As  the   sun  began   setting,  she
the roar of disapproval crested over   realized   that   only   two   elves
her, then slowly subsided.             remained near the table.
  
She continued,  louder to  be  heard   She looked  up  at  the  first  one.
over the  few remaining  voices,  "I   Nondescript, even  for an  elf.  His
have     decided      on     several   clothes   could    fit   in   almost
possibilities."     She  lifted  the   anywhere.    Not  flashy,  yet  nice
                                   -25-
  
  
  
      
  
  
  
enough to  be worn in a royal court.   She looked up in surprise.  Send for
He could  be  mistaken  for  someone   him?  She had sent a request for him
working  their  way  up  the  social   to attend,  not a  demand.  Then she
ladder or  someone who  could fit in   remembered that  she was  the  Luck-
with common society.                   Child.   A request  from  her  might
                                       seem a command to others.
She watched  as  he  slowly  reached
forward and  picked up  a die with a   She   recovered   her  composure. "I
soft-looking hand.  Her slight scowl   asked for  you to  come for I desire
did not  bother him  in  the  least.   to learn from the one I think is the
Carefully, lightly he turned the die   best.  You   have   many   years  of
on his  fingers, studying  each side   experience, and  are still alive and
and then  placing  it  exactly  back   even recently were in combat."
where it  had been, each side facing
exactly as  it had  been before.  He   He seemed to consider her statement.
picked up a second die, examined it,   Slowly he  nodded.   "Very well.  Be
and placed it exactly as before.       at my  home an hour before dawn, two
                                       days hence.   Be  neither  late  nor
"Not loaded," he said, in a voice so   early. And  bring little  with  you,
quiet she almost didn't hear him.      for I  do not  believe you will stay
                                       long."   He then  turned  and  left,
"No" she whispered back.               leaving her kneeling in the grass.
  
"Why is there one face of white, the   Memories ended.  The Present.
other of black?"
                                       She  looked  again  at  the  rusting
"What do you think?" she answered.     statue.   She had  come here  for  a
                                       reason. There  had to  be a  reason.
"Why do you think it is as clear cut   She was  no longer  a guardswoman at
as that?"  he  answered.   Then   he   the keep.   The master had died ages
walked  away  from  the table.         ago.  She should have died ages ago.
                                       Yet there  were great  blanks in her
(Gods, she had been foolish thinking   memory.  She couldn't recall how she
good and evil was that clear cut.)     got here,  or the  trip here.    She
                                       frowned.   The last  memory she  had
She looked  over  at  the  remaining   was of  her meeting  far  from  this
elf, and  suddenly felt  very small.   place, with  the mage Wild Luck.  Or
He  was  the  armsman  from  another   Whilder, as he seemed to prefer.
village, and  had only  come at  her
request.   She looked  back  at  the   And somehow  she knew  that had been
dice. All  ten had  stopped with the   five weeks ago.
picture of a sword on the top face.
                                       Where did five weeks of her life go?
She stood  up and walked over to the
old warrior.  She then knelt down in   She was  still  trying  to  remember
front of him.                          what she  had done for the last five
                                       weeks  when  the  golem  charged  in
"Master of  Arms, I would learn your   through   the    eastern    archway.
ways.  Will you take me and train me   Without a  bit of hesitation she ran
in the way of the warrior?"            straight at  the magical  construct,
                                       her rapier  seemed to  leap into her
He looked down upon her, considering   hand.   She swerved to her left just
his reply.   For  long  moments  she   out  of  its  reach.    Clumsily  it
feared he would reject her.            grabbed for her, almost as though it
                                       was trying  to hug her.  She saw the
"Why did you send for me?" He asked.   opening   she   needed   and   leapt
"There are  many  others  who  would   straight at  it,  her  rapier  going
train  you,   who  are   faster   or   straight through  its eye,  into the
stronger than I am."                   brain,  the   metal  of  the  rapier
                                   -26-                             More...
  
  
    
  
  
  
disrupting  both physical being  and   And the  new aches,  pains, bruises,
magical energies.  And even  as  the   cuts, and scrapes, the  cracked  and
golem fell, she looked at the rapier   broken bones...
in her hand, and memories came back.
                                       She remembered  the day  he did  not
Memories. Ages past.   Worlds ago...   arrive on  time to  begin  the  days
Flood of memories. Short, jumbled...   session. She  started  the  routines
the endless days of training...  the   and continued on until well into the
endless  repetition  of  exercise...   morning, and  was just  beginning to
the  endless  swing of over-weighted   worry  when  he  arrived.    He  was
swords...   the endless running with   dressed in ordinary clothes, not his
more  weight than she could carry...   usual practice  armor, and  she knew
The endless climbing in full armor..   it was  the last day of her training
                                       with him.
The  endless aches, pains,  bruises,
and cuts...                            He sat upon the bench, and indicated
                                       she should join him.
She remembered  the time  he  showed
her  the   trunk,  overflowing  with   "Would you be as a snake?" he asked.
medals, decorations, proud proclama-
tions of honor and bravery in  fancy   She was  puzzled, for  he had  never
script.  He  ignored her  questions,   said anything like this before.  She
simply stating  that the  chest  was   thought for  a moment, then realized
full  of  worthless metal and parch-   what he had asked. "No," she replied
ment.  Things that impressed others,   "for  the  snake strikes quickly and
but not a true armsman.                kills by poison.  It stays, striking
                                       only  a  smaller  or  weaker foe and
She remembered his words...            runs   from   the  stronger,  larger
                                       ones."
"Many fight  for the  glory  of  the
battle.   The bards  sing often  and   He nodded. "Would you be as a bear?"
tell many  tales about  their  great
battles over a mug of ale.  Yet what   "No, for  a bear  depends  on  brute
of the  one they  speak of?    Often   strength and size."
dust, for  the greatest  battle they
ever fought was always their last.     He nodded  again.  "What is the best
                                       way for you to fight, then?"
"Many use  strength  to  beat  their
foes.   Yet that  very  strength  is   She puzzled  over the question.  But
their greatest  weakness.   For when   she had no answer.
they  meet   a  foe   stronger  than
themselves, they fall.                 He waited patiently.  The sun passed
                                       its  zenith  and  began  its descent
"Many use  speed to  defeat another.   into  afternoon.   Still,  she could
Yet battles  must  be  fought  where   not answer him.
movement  is   restricted,  or   the
footing treacherous.                   Finally, she gave up.  "How should I
                                       fight? What is the best way for me?"
"Fight not  for the glory of battle.
Fight  not  for  the  first  strike.   He turned  to face  her.   "You  are
Fight not  to  show  your  strength.   indeed wiser  than you believe.  You
Fight only to win."                    asked for the best way for yourself.
                                       Not for  the best way.  The best way
She  remembered  the training...  in   for you."
barehanded   combat...    with   but
daggers  and  simple  clubs...  with   She fidgeted  under his  stern gaze.
many swords and maces...  with long,   His black  eyes caught  her and held
clumsy pole arms...                    her attention as never before.
                                   -27-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
"Be as  the  Hawk,"  he  said.  "The   the brisk morning air.
Hawk  knows it gets  but one strike,
one  chance  at  life  or death.  It   He was there.  Awaiting her.
will circle  and  circle,  patiently
watching and  waiting. And  when  it   Without a word he presented her with
strikes, it  will strike  true.  The   a rapier.   His  visage as  stern as
Hawk strikes  to slay, not to battle   ever. She  watched his  back  as  he
gloriously."                           walked  to   the  doorway,  then  he
                                       stopped and turned to her.
He stood  suddenly.   "In the  morn,
one  hour   before  dawn,  you  will   "Your cycle  of childhood ended when
leave." And  before she could react,   you took the path of a warrior. Your
he walked away.                        cycle of training ends now with this
                                       dawn.  Begin now the cycle of life."
She spent  the rest of the afternoon
preparing to  leave, packing the few   She remembered  the small, sad smile
things  she  had  brought  with  her   that played  across his  lips as  he
along with  the few  items  she  had   closed the door.
acquired during  her (had  it  truly
been  so   many?)  years  under  the   Memories ended.  The Present.
armsmaster's instruction.
                                       She glanced  around, unsure  of  how
She slept  fitfully that  night  and   much time  she  had  spent  thinking
lay  awake  in  her  cot  until  the   about the  distant past.    Her  eye
appointed hour  had  arrived.    She   caught the  open steel  door and the
slowly walked to the door and looked   room beyond  it.   Without realizing
around,  but   her  mentor  had  not   what was  happening, she followed an
arrived to bid her farewell.  Slowly   urge to enter the old lab...
she opened the door and stepped into           (To Be Continued)
  
                        Sailor's Woe:  by Rhea Sibex
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          A sailing man a Nymph did meet, one day upon the shore.
                      He knew she was no normal lass,
                      For only seaweed twas she wore.
  
                 "Come here my beauty",the sailor cried...
                 Ne'er such lovliness has been at my side",
                       he reached his arms for more.
  
           Anxiously she viewed the man, great hairy ugly beast.
     Her mermaid friends had warned her, never travel alone the beach.
 "Begone foul demon - you whiskered thing, only a waterling can be my king"
  
                       Whereupon she began to sing...
                              Hoh Lah la-laaa
                              Eee Yah me-meee
                              Hoh Lah la-laaa
                     "To my song your ears shall ring"
  
                And the sailor's eyes did stop their shine,
                  As upon that shore his fate was signed.
                  No more the Nymphs ran through his mind,
                       As her song did make him stay.
  
                     And to this day the sailors know,
               That Nymphs might be chased, but never caught.
                     Fair of form but for sailors not.
  
                                   -28-
  
  
    
  
  
  
                          Murder and the Poisoned Pen
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _______________           by Miss Louvella Parsnips
/ \ ____    ____\
\@| +|~| __ |~|+|e have just return-   in the  near   future,   but we have
  |  |~|/~~\|~| | ed  from  a rather   serious doubts  as   to  the wedding
 _|  |~/~/\~\~| | lengthy   absence,   ever taking place. We do indeed.
/@| _|__/  \__|_| brought    on   by
\_/_____________/ several   attempts   A very  young   wood-elf  magess has
on our venerable  life,   and   have   also  announced  her  intentions  to
discovered the same decadence,  cor-   marry a  half  elf   fighter with an
ruption and moral instability  still   equally sharp blade.  Of  course, we
still rife  in  Kelfour's   Landing.   would not be as  tacky as to suggest
                                       that this fighter seeks  to gain the
We  wonder  if the depraved inhabit-   best of two worlds  and that the two
ants  of  Kulthea  will ever change,   brides know nothing  of  each other.
especially  those  few  who  thought   We are sure  the  wedding night will
to rid the lands permanently  of our   be rather interesting.
exalted  persona.  We have no  doubt
that  the  culprits  will be brought   The dark patch has  overshadowed the
to  task  in   the very near future.   impending wedding(s) also as  he has
We have no doubts indeed.              been  seen  deep  in  the  Kaldsfang
                                       forest  locked   in    a  passionate
Of course, just  because  we were in   embrace with one  of  the brides-to-
absentia does not mean  our eyes and   be. We are  much too genteel to ever
ears  were  closed  to  the  henious   mention the name of  the trollop who
activities  in  the  land.   We  are   has been dallying around, but we did
delighted to inform you  of a rather   happen to notice she  seemed very at
dark patch  on  Kulthea  of late. It   home in the forest.
seems  a   young   thief    has been
antagonizing everyone from  the most   A hastily  scrawled  missive  in our
pompous lordly type to  the youngest   mailbox  has  brought  to   light  a
(and  still   somewhat    naive)  of   vicious and cruel  murder  which has
adventurers.                           hence gone  undetected.  It  is this
                                       which convinced us to  return to the
Naturally some of the more abhorrent   Landing, as  no  crime  this henious
members of the landing  took justice   should go unpunished.  Who better to
into their own  hands  and attempted   discover  the murderer (and call for
to stop this half-elf.  He, however,   a  public  hanging) than us? We have
refuses to have anything  to do with   our suspicions that the murderer  of
the pompous  lordly  types,  and has   one   of   Kelfour's  prominent  (if
continued his  offensive  activities   rather tarnished) adventurers, might
while  mocking  those  who  seek  to   be the   same   fiend  who tried  to
drive him from the  lands. We do not   silence our malefic pen for eternity.
know which  is   the   lesser of two
evils, the dark patch on humanity or   We are still investigating this rash
the pompous lordly  types  who think   of crimes and will keep you informed
they have a right  to dispense moral   as to further developments. We would
justice. What nerve.                   advise  all  adventurers to  develop
                                       eyes in the back  of their  heads or
Speaking of offensive activities, we   at least to watch their backs.
have noticed a young couple spending
a great deal  of  time au natural in   Until   next   month,  dear  reader,
Frick's  best  suite.  The  half-elf   remember to send gossip, tattle  and
fighter with a very  sharp blade and   hearsay to  MISS.SNOOP (via GE Mail)
his  short  and   hairy  bride-to-be   where  it   will   quickly reach our
insist they will be married sometime   eager eyes. Tra la for now!
  
                                   -29-
  
                                                                     KEV3N4
                                                                      [end]

See Also: