Kelfour Edition volume III number IX
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
_______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | Epic Battle Poem, Page 12 | @_/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | | | GemStone III(tm) February 1993 | | Vol.3, No.9 | | ****** _ _ _ ___ | | @| || |@ / ) / ) / ) / __) | | | || | / /_/ / ____ / / _/ ( ____ __ __ ____ | | @| || |@ / __/ / __ ) / / ( __) / _ ) / / / / / ___) | | |....| / /\ \ / ___/ / / / / / (/ / / (_/ / / / | | \||/ (_/ \_) (____) (_( (_( (____/ (_____( (_( | | | | _____ _ _ _ _ | | |""| / ____) / ) (/ _/ ) (/ | | | | / (__ ___/ / _ ( _) _ ____ ____ | | |""| / ____) / _ / / ) / / / ) / _ ) / ) | | | | / (__ / (/ / / / / / / / / (/ / / /) / | | |""| (_____) (____( (_( (_( (_( (____/ (_((_( | | | | | | |""| | | | | The Kronicles of Kulthea | | |""| | |_ /- -\ __________________________________________________________| | // \\ _________________________________________________________| |// __ \\ | // "" \\ C O N T E N T S | | /^^\ | | | | | | Local News ..................................... 1 | | \__/ | A Letter to the Editor ............. Sean2 Lladd 2 | \\ __ // Enemy Mine ...................... Rask X-ForTran 3 | |\\ "" // Crime and Punishment ............... Tanya Nickia 5 | | \\______// Crossed-Words Puzzle ...... Gilinfandorial Lycaeon 6 | | \******/ Monster Chronicles: Cockatrices .... Jarran Terraxx 7 | | The Unlife in Kulthea: Part I .. Lord Maruko Ashimine 8 | | The Lost Temple .............................. Jarran Terraxx 10 | | The First Lay of Haakon ..................... Haakon deStrega 12 | | How to Hunt as a Sorcerer ................ Lord Nixie Trevize 20 | | Tales from the Newbie Crypt ...................... Syr Calden 21 | | Tavern Tale for Tulrach ......................... Eron Kulsen 22 | | Scenes from the Inn ............................. Sean2 Lladd 24 | | Undermining Kelfour's Part 4 ............ Llorien Silvanestii 27 | | Dread and Circuses ........................ Lloyd Llowd, Ph.D 30 | | | | | |_____________________________________________________________________| | | | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi-| | player role-playing game GemStone III on GEnie Information Network. | | Submissions edited for space, accuracy and readability. Write to | | Assistant Editors Kalagay Halatil, Jarran Terraxx, Rasputin Santare | | or Publisher Lady Phaedra Bleu by GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for info. | | __________________________________________________________________|___ | / / \/_____________________________________________________________________/ _____________________________ // \ Auction Announced || + Kelfour Edition + | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ || | The weekend of March 27-28 will mark || L O C A L N E W S | the return of the highly acclaimed || + + | auctions to Kelfour's Landing! \\____________________________/ Items from residents will also be auctioned, so clean out those dusty Rare Gems Being Found! old cupboards and get rid of those ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ heirlooms you never use. Reports have been flooding into KE about marvelous stones and gems. New Merchant Inventory The gem shop near the SW corner of ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ town pays first-rate prices for Brother Wuldreth has expanded his these finds, and according to inventory, and now has custom holy several local mages and bards, many symbols for purchase by the town's have latent magical qualities. citizens. He invites everyone to his grand re-opening, at the cleric Dragging Comrades shop just west of the Temple. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Residents report that dragging fall- Sen Dalatin has new supplies which en comrades is more difficult of benefit local alchemists. Wands, late, particularly when trying to rods, and amulets suitable for drag someone bigger than you are -- imbedding may be special ordered. although extra bursts of unexplained Sen also offers an unusual "grot energy have been cited. Also note t'kel" potion, which, according to that you must have a hand free to unconfirmed reports, has unusual drag things now. abilities regarding gems. ______________________________________________________________________ // \ || Congratulations Gladitorial Games Winners | || ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | || Non-Magic Events | || Levels Singles Melees Teams | || ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~ | || 1-3 Rosetti Rosetti Rosetti, Melody | || 4-6 Daryann Plover Jarran, Daryann | || 7-9 Valinor Alyssya Kree, Alyssya | || 10-14 None Tanya None | || 15-19 Lydrynn Metaboculous Miriya, Lyndrynn | || 20+ Gallenod Stanyon Metaboculous, Maruko, Gilthor | || | || Magic Events | || Levels Singles Melees Teams | || ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~ | || 1-3 Sven None None | || 4-6 Loque Jarran Jarran, Harpo | || 7-9 None Valinor Kree, Valinor, Harpo | || 10-14 None Valinor None | || 15-19 Catrissa Catrissa Catrissa, Ashen, Aeklug | || 20+ Strom Artuero Gallenod, Nimloth, Strom | || | || Grand Final Melee | || 1st Place: Artuero 2nd Place: Gallenod 3rd Place: Strom | ||-----------------------------------------------------------------------| || In honor of the victors who fought their best and won these events, | || who showed all they had, and hope to continue onward on their paths | || to whatever their hearts desire, KE salutes you! | \\_____________________________________________________________________/ -1- _______________ A Letter to the Editor / \ ____ ____\ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| +|~| __ |~|+| by Sean2 Lladd | |~|/~~\|~| | _| |~/~/\~\~| | /@| _|__/ \__|_|hile I am fairly for survival (vs. his greed factor) \_/_____________/ new to the game of is best guaranteed. This is a very GemStone, I would like to take this rational decision that was made by opportunity to express an opinion my character, not by me as a player. that I feel is appropriate to the My character knows that if he stays role playing community. This has to in the catacombs, he is perfectly do with the concept of Role Playing safe, and will go up in experience. and character re-rolling. Heck, I made my first level's worth of experience almost totally in the It is my belief that a fair number catacombs. of role players are missing the main point of Fantasy Role Playing. They At any rate, he slew a few, and came are taking on a character, a chance up with a chest. To make a rather to be someone completely different; long story short, when the chest was to live a different life; in effect, opened for him, inside was a Drake they are escaping from reality and Falchion. My character was ecstatic entering a different "reality" for over this discovery, but one of the a while. However, by treating their other players was "surprised" that I character as a disposable entity, was so excited. His comment to me something simply to be discarded if was that he could have given me one it does not meet their expectations, if I had asked. they are depriving themselves (and others) of a rewarding experience. That is the point. What made it so The chance to take a character that exciting was that my character had may or may not be the "best," and to encountered the wild and unknown, play them is a reward unto itself. had survived and returned with, for him, a great treasure. The treasure I understand that the alter reality was, for those players who have been of GSIII is not supposed to mirror here for awhile, perhaps trivial to our reality. But, by discarding a them, but for my character (my role) character because it is not up to it was a rich reward. Because it was someone's standards (not necessarily trivialized by this other character your own standards, I have seen a (however unintentional), some of the number of newer players just "dump" enjoyment was gone. I realize that a character because it did not meet there was no malice intended in this someone else's idea of perfection), other player's off-hand remark. you deny yourself of the chance to "make it" in this alter world. By That is part of my point. Do not let trivializing something for someone yourself become so jaded or bored else (intended or unintended), you with your life in Kelfour's that you assist in proliferating this type of can not see the wonder from anothers view, that if a character is not all perspective. After all, it is *NOT* powerful, with near perfect stats, the real world; life in this type of then that character is not a good environment should be a challenge, a one. joy, a reason to rejoice. So if by chance, a second rank fighter does a Every character is a good character! dance through the square because of a treasure he or she has found, then This is perhaps best expressed by an dance with that character and share experience that "I" had while in their joy. Role play. Kelfour's the other morning hunting. My character was out in Kobs, mostly For you newer players, think about because he is only a second rank this: If you take the time to build fighter and that is where his chance a background for your new character, -2- (Continued on Page 4) Enemy Mine ~~~~~~~~~~ _______________ by Rask X-ForTran / \ ____ ____\ \@| +|~| __ |~|+| | |~|/~~\|~| | ho doesn't like those things that might lead to _| |~/~/\~\~| | having a friend? conflict. And by so doing we /@| _|__/ \__|_| Who doesn't like overlook the true potential for \_/_____________/ making a friend? excitement. Right now you could Is that not one of the first things easily be thinking that dodging we do upon entering GemStone? We swords and surviving ambushes isn't all need friends to help us slay isn't quite your cup of tea, or monsters; friends to heal us when that I've got more than a few loose we're hurt, to open chests, give us screws. But I think you'll agree money, weapons, and advice; friends with me by the end of this article to save us when we're in trouble, that not only will having (and comfort us when we die, or even making) enemies be more in resurrect us. Yes, our friends are character, it will enhance the to be cherished; for who can live game. without them? I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT YOU HACK, But what about enemies? Do you SLASH, BASH, BURN, OR MELT YOUR have one? Or want one, or need one? ENEMY TO DEATH! Let me repeat that Are they not as important as our to make sure you get the point (and friends? my head stays on my shoulders where it belongs): I am not advocating I know, I know. You're probably wanton violence and murder. thinking, "Who needs enemies? The monsters are bad enough!" And you I AM saying that having enemies may also be thinking that I, Rask, would make GemStone a more realistic am insane. But please, bear with environment; that enemies could me; hear what I have to say before play as important a role as friends. you judge. They could add a certain flavor to the game, which the political I want you to think for a moment development of the Houses could about the way we treat each other in enhance. (Of course, having enemies GemStone. Almost everyone is nice, could enhance the political pleasant and polite: always bowing development of the Houses - but and curtseying, saying hello to that's a different subject). each other, helping each other when we are lost or hurt. Now I want While I admit that not everyone's you to think for a minute about real character would need or want an life - your own life will do just enemy, for those who do, there are fine. Think back in time. Have you some suggestions I'd like to make. ever had a person (or persons) that you would have LOVED to humiliate First of all, you need to choose (or at least severely damage)? your enemies carefully. Take your Something you'd like to avenge time. This is a VERY SERIOUS against someone? Did it not add a decision. Just imagine what could little spice to your existence, happen to you if you chose someone make life a bit more interesting? who was of a much lower, or much Compare the image in your mind with higher level than you. So try to what GemStone is like, and ask stick with characters at your own yourself if there isn't something level, and consider how fast they're missing, something vital, something advancing in comparison to yourself. energizing. Secondly, you need to consider the Yes, I'm saying that we tend to potential side-effects from certain play out of character by ignoring types of characters. For example, -3- More... if your enemy is a healer, don't A Letter to the Editor From Page 2 expect to get healed; if he's a ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ thief, guard your silver well. to develop an identity and a past, Then take a look at the broader then you might be less likely to implications. How will having this discard him/her after a few levels person as an enemy affect your because the character is not moving relationship with the various up the chain fast enough. Give your guilds and Houses? (I'd hate to character a good reason for being in have the Healer's Guild mad at me!). Kelfour's. Sit down and write out a Once you have determined the 2 to 4 paragraph short story on why worthiness of your enemy, you need this character came to Kelfour's and to select a plan of attack (this what things you hope to accomplish need not be a physical attack). with this character. Some suggestions that I have are: relieving them of their hard-won I have done this very thing, and by booty just as they start to reach so doing, I have a better feel for for it; out - bidding them at an what I want from the game, and how I auction, even if you don't need need to go about in order to get any of the items; interrupting their what I want. I fully intend to take conversations, and so on. I think my character to the highest level he you get the picture. You're only can attain. He *WILL* be a force in limited by your imagination (and Kelfour's. He will not retire until Simutronics' guidelines). he is done with everything, till he has been everywhere, seen it all. No Finally, you'll also need to limit he is not perfect, he does not have and time your actions. If you become all 90+ rolls, but he "is." a problem player, always picking on one person, the consequences could My advice to every new player is to be disastrous. Your enemy could do this. Role play your character, change his/her time schedule to make that character the best that he avoid you, or even leave the realm or she can be. Do not get so caught altogether (which we don't want, up in the stats and numbers of the really!), so take things slowly, game that you totally ignore the but be consistent. real possibilities. If you give your character "life" then your character A WORD OF CAUTION: If you do make will give you something that can not an enemy, expect retaliation. This be bought. The true satisfaction of could also include actions by surviving one more day, the know- friends or others whose services ledge that you tried and succeeded, are for hire. and that tomorrow you are going to do it again. Use this knowledge to Cherish your friends and stick enrich your life. You can learn a close to them, and may you have much lot about yourself, if you just let joy with them. But may you have your character teach you. even greater joy in developing an enemy and enriching everyone's In the words of the universe's most world. famous Vulcan, quite apt to the experience of a game such as GemStone: "Live long, and prosper." _______________________________________________________________________ / \ | | | Free Weekends in Kulthea! | | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | Contact Lady Phaedra Bleu for details | | by sending GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON. | | | | | \_______________________________________________________________________/ -4- _____________ Crime and Punishment / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| //|"| | by Tanya Nickia | // |"| | _| //==|"| |ha, Varlet! I have no trial. Guilt or innocence are /@| // |"| |you!" That is a cry irrelevant. The judge immediately \_/ ~~ ~~~ / heard almost daily declares you guilty and charges you ~~~~~~~~~~~~ in Kelfour's - the a fine. The amount depends on the sad sound of the constable dragging crime you were accused of commit- some hapless victim off to jail. ting; some are more costly than others. If you don't have enough Kelfour's Landing may be a frontier silver on you to pay the fine, items town, but it's still a town in which are confiscated instead. certain laws are enforced. And the Constable enforces those laws with If you have any possessions left an iron fist. Even the seedier Lords after paying the fine, they can be and Ladies are no match for him. collected at the constable's office near the temple. You'll find them I am very familiar with the justice in a box on the constable's desk. system in Kelfour's. I myself have If the possessions aren't claimed, never committed any crime, but the they'll eventually be donated to the constable has falsely accused me on poor. Good news for the poor; bad several occasions. I suspect that news for the condemned. he's in on some scheme with the judge who collects the fines. It should be noted that the constable only enforces these laws When you are captured by the within the town limits. Out in the constable, you're tossed into a dark wilds, anything goes. jail cell, where you must wait for a couple of minutes until the judge is This list is incomplete. After all, ready for you. The cell is a nasty the mayor is always looking for ways dirty place, crawling with rats. It to increase revenues, and new fines is a long couple of minutes. are rumoured to be his best source of income. It may be unfair; it may In this town you're given no chance even be corrupt. But it is justice to defend yourself from any of the in the town of Kelfour's Landing. constable's accusations. There is _______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | @/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | Crime How Committed Fine | | ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~ | | Hooliganism Attacking animals, other 200sp | | minor annoyances. | | Petty Theft Picking pockets 100sp | | Theft (Unknown) 500sp | | Assault Fist or spell attacks 250sp | | Assault with a | | Deadly Weapon Attacking with a weapon 1,000sp | | Endangering Casting Tremors/Stuncloud, 5,000sp | | Public Safety and other area affect spells | | Murder Self-explanatory (Unknown) | | High Treason Attacking the constable, 50,000sp | | other treasonous acts | | _____________________________________________________________________|_ | @\ \ \__/_____________________________________________________________________/ -5- Crossed-Words Puzzle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Gilinfandorial Lycaeon ____________ The Silent Ranger / \ _________\ \@| ||=|=|=|| | | ~~ |_| ~~ | his puzzle was taught to me by a travelling mage who _| |_| | considered it good for mental agility as well as for /@| _|_|_ | helping to take one's mind off absorbtion of their \_/__________/ experiences. Answers are on Page 29. No peeking! Have fun, my friends. ___________________________________________________________ |1 | |17| |18| | | |28| |19| | |20|xx|2 | | |21| | |__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|xx|__|__|__|__|__| | |xx| |xx| |xx|xx|xx| |xx| |xx|xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx| |xx| |__|xx|__|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|__|xx|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|xx|__|xx| | |xx| |xx| |xx|xx|xx| |xx|3 | | | | |xx|xx|4 | | | |__|xx|__|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|__|__|__|__|__|xx|xx|__|__|__| | |xx|5 | | | | |xx|xx|xx| |xx|xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx| |xx| |__|xx|__|__|__|__|__|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|xx|__|xx| | |xx| |xx| |xx|xx|xx|6 | | |xx|7 | | |22|xx|xx| |xx| |__|xx|__|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|__|__|xx|__|__|__|__|xx|xx|__|xx| | |xx| |xx|xx|xx|23|xx|xx|xx| |xx|8 | |xx| |xx|xx| |xx| |__|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|__|__|xx|__|xx|xx|__|xx| |xx|xx| |xx|24|xx| |xx|xx|9 | |xx|29| |xx|10|25|26| |xx| |xx|xx|__|xx|__|xx|__|xx|xx|__|__|xx|__|__|xx|__|__|__|__|xx| |xx|xx|11| | | | |xx|xx|xx| |xx| |xx|xx|xx|12| | |xx| |xx|xx|__|__|__|__|__|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|__|__|xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx| |xx| |xx|13|27| |xx|xx|xx|14| | | | |xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|__|xx|__|__|__|xx|xx|xx|__|__|__|__|__|xx| |xx|15| | | | | |xx|xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx|xx|xx| |xx| |xx| |xx|__|__|__|__|__|__|xx|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|__|xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx| |xx|xx|xx|16| | | | | |xx|xx| |xx| |xx| |xx|xx|xx|xx|__|xx|xx|xx|__|__|__|__|__|__|xx|xx|__|xx|__|xx| ACROSS: DOWN: 1. Creature hunted for soft pelt. 1. Very strong weapon material. 2. To bear a weapon. 7. What Sea Hags did to Kelfour's. 3. The most common cutting weapon. 17. The spirit of a suicidal creature 4. Bigger relative of Kobolds. 18. _____ & Poetry. 5. Godess who returns life. 19. To bring back to life. 6. 'Battle' Trolls. 20. Giant sheep. 7. Kelfour's founder's first name. 21. Ancient ones who teach lore. 8. Alchemists Anonymous (abrv.) 22. Pride & personal self worth. 9. Kelfour's Edition (abrv.) 23. An artificial creature. 10. Nocturnal birds of prey. 24. _____'s Reach. 11. Ugly giants who hate sunlight. 25. Creeping Widow-_____ (vines). 12. Only obvious exit from Furrier. 26. To drag something awkwardly. 13. Giant Rodent infesting Kelfour 27. Ranger spell ___Wall. 14. Death _____ (Musical Unlife). 28. Magical Metal. 15. To render weaponless. 16. The Spider Godess 29. Not Out -6- Monster Chronicles: Cockatrices ____________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ / \ _________\ by Jarran Terraxx \@| ||=|=|=|| | | ~~ |_| ~~ | _| |_| |his month we turn our Several tips are good to know when /@| _|_|_ | attention to one of dealing with these overpowering two- \_/__________/ Kelfour's more color- legged dinners. First, never ever ful creatures, the Cockatrice. This hunt them alone on the off chance wonderous, majestic creature for all that this critter will only the world resembles an over-sized immobilize you, without following chicken complete with tail feathers. through with its full attack. It is always nice to know that your Do not be fooled by its looks. That partner will do his or her best to old saying that beauty is only skin kill it, hopefully before it can deep is true where this creature is send you to an early retirement. concerned. It may look like a big However, keep one very important chicken but it is hardly as harmless fact in mind. If this charming as one. Ranging anywhere from four beast happens to charm you into to six feet tall, and going around immobility, you will be completely charging at everyone and desperately at its mercy, as your friend will trying to immobilize you or anything quickly learn when s/he tries to else it meets, the Cockatrice is one drag you to safety and discovers socially unacceptable creature that that you are too busy imitating a would cause any farmer to have a statue to want move right then. nervous breakdown if he tried to get it to lay eggs. A second important fact to keep in mind is if you get immobilized by The Cockatrice has several forms of the Cockatrice, you will soon find attacks that it can use. Its claws out that even though it may not be are sharp and deadly, and it strikes able to hit you while you are freely with an Offensive Bonus (here after able to move, this is not so when referred to as OB) of 50. Its claws you are immobile. After stopping may be sharp, but its pincher (beak) you cold in your tracks and then is much sharper and allows it to hit following up with a friendly little at an OB of 60, which is a little charge aimed right for your chest, better than its claws. you will discover that it has a much better chance to hit you now. The However fond it is of these two reason for this is that your forms of attacks, it prefers a more Defensive Bonus (commonly referred deadly and devious combination. to as DB) will suddenly drop to zero Though this creature may appear and leave you with absolutely no way harmless at first, its most dan- to defend yourself. gerous attack, and one that has brought many an adventurer down, is Many adventurers prefer to avoid the a petrifying gaze. With just one Cockatrice all together, for very look from this monster, if you fail obvious reasons. However, should to turn away in time, you will you survive an encounter against one suddenly find yourself frozen and of them, try to skin it as the tail completely unable to move. You will feather alone is worth about 35 also, unfortunately, find that you silvers to Jarlik the Furrier. are unable to even defend yourself as it follows through with the So remember: when up against a big second part of this attack. Once chicken, try to get rid of it as you are frozen it will launch itself quickly as possible before it has at you, much like a charging bull, time to immobilize you and send you and even though its charge has only on your way to Eissa. an OB of 40, it can still be deadly to one who is immobilized. (Cockatrice description on Page 23.) -7- ____________ Part I: The Unlife of Kulthea / \ __ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| / "| | by Lord Maruko Ashimine | //|"| | _| //=|"| | /@| // |"| |uthors Note: The following is first in a series of articles \_/ ~~ ~~~ /dedicated to educating the populace of Kelfours Landing about ~~~~~~~~~~~ the Unlife. Explanations, a brief history, theorizations, and ancient legends are all forthcoming. The information here and soon to come is the result of extensive research through the Tomes of Kulthea and is dedicated to Lady Wisraith Winterwind, founder of the House of the Rising Phoenix. Knowledge is power - it awaits for those who seek it. I offer you all this knowledge, so when the night has ended, and the darkness recedes, you may awake all the more wise and with the dawn perceive our world in a different Light. Lord Maruko Ashimine Warden of the Keys House of the Rising Phoenix =========================================================================== With the help of the Loremasters, Cults, more so than the Loremasters many civilizations arose on a firm were willing to impart with. Some footing, settling the wide lands and servants of the Unlife impersonated exploring all about them. The world the Loremasters, gaining the trust seemed a peaceful place until the and confidence of the naive cultures coming of the Unlife and the return in this way. The teachings of the of Shadow to the world. false sages were different, however. They spoke of the ways of warfare The Unlife feeds on destruction, and whispered many tales of hostile upon the deaths of individuals and peoples - imagined enemies who were societies with equal fervor. It is readying to attack. Thus were the a thirst unquenched and unslackable. seeds of suspicion sown. The Lore- Indeed, the more it consumes, the masters attempted to rectify those more it seems to require. It has no misdeeds, but they seemed too few source, but it is everywhere, and and were unable (or unwilling) to waiting for a tool to open the door assault the minions of the Unlife and allow it to enter. Through the with force. Some of the many peoples surviving followers of Kadaena, who responded to their warnings, however for long years licked their wounds and the battle lines were drawn for in hidden places, the Unlife found the conflict which would soon end its instruments. These souls, who the Era. are desperate for power - for even a shadow of the strength they had once Almost as a unit, the creatures and had - eagerly accepted the offers of peoples under the sway of the Unlife the energy from the Unlife and grew arose and attacked those people who strong in dark places, gathering to remained free of dark domination. themselves minions of many types and Great Demons and hosts of creatures, creating others to suit their needs. led by Priests, Essence Masters and Cults and Orders of varied origins the elite servants of the Unlife, and membership took form, but their lashed out and attempted to utterly purposes were dark and evil. It was destroy what the Loremasters had also during this time that the Great nurtured for so long. Demons were first fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords. The wars nearly lasted for close to three hundred years, and though the Soon the young mannish peoples were powers unleashed during the conflict presented with choices: they were were as nothing compared to those offered great knowledge by these new used in the battle of the Lords of -8- More... Essence, much was destroyed that had defeated the forces of the Unlife, taken long years to build. though at great cost. There were many valiant leaders in The victory of the Free Peoples had the wars, and many had fallen before a high price: entire cultures and the chill Shadow of the Unlife. Many entire species had been wiped out, terrors unnumbered and unspeakable Ilmaris Terisonen and Tethior the walked the lands and flew in the Smith were killed (along with many high airs. In desperation, some of other valiant Loremasters and Sages) the Loremasters turned from their and Andraax was driven insane. The unspoken creed of refusing to act Lords of Orhan had returned home to directly and matched their strength their Moon. against the minions of the Unlight. Most perished in this effort, though Greatly-weakened survivors retreated without this aid the Peoples would once again into themselves, concen- almost certainly have fallen. In the trating only on the necessities of end the Loremasters and the Peoples survival. This marked the end of the of Light were victorious and had Second Era. ________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ |@/______________________________________________________________________/ | | | "...We cleared the summit and it was as Kirin had said: ahead of us | | lay a wide vale, filled with the green of growing things. Sunlight | | warmed us and reflected off of a long lake ahead. But, scattered | | across the valley were dark patches which raced across the rolling | | hills, sliding like ethereal snakes. They were only shadows cast | | by clouds under the sun, but they gave me a feeling of menace; of | | malignant purpose. Even as I pondered this, one of the dark patches | | rose up the hillside and covered us. The sun went out, and I have | | never been so afraid before or since. We were in the presence of | | the Unlife." | | | | From the Visions of Andraax | | Nomikos Library, Jaiman | | | /@| | \_/______________________________________________________________________/ ______________________________________________________________________ / \ | March Town Forums Scheduled | | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | Hear ye! Hear ye! All citizens are encouraged to attend the Town | | Forums held each Wednesday evening at 10PM Eastern time in Moot | | Hall. Come participate in the future of Kelfour's Landing! | | | | 3 Mar: "Roleplaying and Experience Bonuses" - Hosted by Elvanion. | | 10 Mar: "Ranger Spells" - Hosted by Enoch. | | 17 Mar: "Imbedding, Enchanting, and Creating Runes" - Hosted by Kygar | | 24 Mar: "Monsters and Their Treasures" - Hosted by Giacomo. | | 31 Mar: "Treasure, Loot, and Plunder" - Hosted by Marvelin. | | | \______________________________________________________________________/ -9- ____________ The Lost Temple / \ __ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| / "| | by Jarran Terraxx | //|"| | _| //=|"| | /@| // |"| |few weeks ago an in- Lord Mohrgan with disease. \_/ ~~ ~~~ / teresting event took ~~~~~~~~~~~ place, an event so Having had more than enough of these different that all of Kelfours will godly actions, November and Lord remember it for many months to come. Mohrgan retaliated, screaming their For those of us who protect the fury. Were the gods going insane by land, fighting off hordes of treating them that way? This did monsters, one comment sums it up: not seem a normal way for the gods Kelfour's Temple was lost. to behave. To complicate matters, a great booming voice was heard in It was not the fact that we adven- response to the shouts of the two turers lost use of the temple, it diseased adventurers, simply stating was the reason it was lost that that if we did not respect their stunned us -- in some cases literal- temple, then we should have none. ly. Let us step back to that fate- ful day, at a time that no one sus- Deciding that they would not be pected anything wrong. It seemed to threatened, word was quickly passed be a normal day... over the think-net that the gods had turned their backs on us. This only Several were gathered in the temple, made matters worse, and the gods taking their rest from a hard day of showed very quickly just how angry adventuring, among them Rastur, they were. November and Lord Mohrgan. Although others were there, the entire event The monk started to shake and sweat seems to have focused around these uncontrollably. The elf, concerned three. for the monk, quickly took him to a healer. With all honesty, it just Adventurers in the Temple were be- seemed to be a way to get them both having normally when, strangely out of harms way for what was coming enough, the elf, who had always just next, for that was when magic hushed us, commented about us not stopped functioning in the temple. being respectful. This seemed to start some bickering, but nothing Without warning, the air became warm out of the ordinary, at least not and a feeling of dread filled every- until plaster from the ceiling fell one; something more was yet to come. and nearly hit some of the people Then the gods yelled that the Temple there. That seemed a bit much for was now cursed by our very presence some, and they began shouting and and it was no longer holy. Perhaps generally showing anger. If they crazed from disease, Lord Mohrgan had only known what was to come. challenged the gods. Thus, in a response to his futility, light Without warning, a stun cloud faded within the temple and began to appeared! November and Lord Mohrgan darken, and evil laughter was heard. were injured. Rastur went to began tending these wounds when the elf The next moments were filled with said in a no-nonsense tone, that mayhem as suddenly ghouls appeared, Rastur was not allowed to heal them. WITHIN the very Temple itself! Shock was their first reaction, but Wasting no time, they attacked the despite the elf's warning, Rastur remaining adventurers who, natur- tended them just the same. Once ally, defended themselves. Soon the both were healed, the gods, appar- temple was filled with ghouls and ently thinking that they can do adventurers fighting for dominion of whatever they want to justify their the Temple. Realizing they were reasons, struck down November and severely outnumbered, many of the -10- More... adventurers left, none too soon, for hand. Guards were set up to watch no sooner had they done so, than over anyone there so pick pockets Liches and Ghoul Kings entered the could not deprive them of their Temple. hard earned money. An essence node was directed there as well. The battle raged, both sides taking casualties. And the problem was not Thus ended the day that forever isolated to the Temple, as more changed our lives. Although we lost unlife were found raging around town the Temple as a place to refresh and the nearby wilds, and citizens ourselves through a mighty display were being attacked everywhere. of a capriciousness typical of gods Within the Temple, the main con- everywhere, the Town Square has a frontation was going poorly for charm all its own. It is certainly residents, for we could use no magic more centrally located which will, within its confines. There seemed among other things, benefit those no problem for others using magic arrivals in search of aid who happen there, however, as stun clouds left upon the frontier town of Kelfour's many helpless before the unlife's Landing. vicious onslaught. And once again, our brave adven- At long last, things began settling turers proved that we shall survive. down and the unlife fled the temple -- as did the remaining adventurers, most of whom gathered in Town Square or at Helga's. The latter sat in shocked disbelief, listening to an old priest advise that the only way open to them was to find a new place ****** to gather, for obviously they could @| || |@ no longer use the Temple in safety. | || | @| || |@ However, before any of this could be |....| done, we were set the task of Lute \||/ restoring the Temple to what it once ~~~~ | | was. Many were shocked, and still Crafted by |""| others upset: Had our ears deceived | | us? We were being told to restore Bard |""| something we had not damaged, and | | then informed that we could no Erion Kulsen |""| longer congregate there? Tempers | | flared, and many refused to accept |""| what they were hearing. | | |""| Then, the Mayor, who actually came /- -\ out of his office, joined us in the // \\ square where, along with the old // __ \\ priest, he convinced us that we had // "" \\ no choice but to choose a new place | /^^\ | to reflect on our experiences. | | | | | \__/ | With some reluctance, residents set \\ __ // about getting items needed to purify \\ "" // the Temple. Through a long, and \\______// what turned out to be an enriching \******/ ceremony, it was started on its way to purification. While this was being done, stone benches were delivered to the Town Wquare, and a new place for us to rest was at -11- _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: ___________ : | \ __ \ The First Lay of Haakon | : | / "| | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | | //|"| | by Haakon deStrega : | | //=|"| | | | | // |"| | | | / ~~ ~~~ / fter the fact it was Falchion in backpack and | | ~~~~~~~~~~~ clear when it started. Shield on my shoulder | | I, a poor Thief, name of Tired, I walked towards the | : Haakon DeStrega Temple of Orhan | | Returned I was, in the High-domed, that soars over : | Last light of evening Market and storefront | | Coin in my purse from a Balm to the traveler | | Run through the Kaldsfang Weary and injured. | | | : Tired I was, but Say I this for in Quellbourne | : Unbroken in battle. A sane man learns quickly : : Free of all orc-cut To check and to tend to : | Or other concussion. A wound that is bleeding. : | Lay myself down with a If he be not Healer the | | Mind slowly numbing. Damage is mortal. | | Hoped to return to my An unnoticed wound can be | | Battlegrounds soon. Secretly lethal. | | | | Except for the scars on my To any of Quellbourne | : Face, I was healthy. Such wounds are familiar. | | But as I lay resting, some Even the bite of a torkaan : | Magic attacked me. Can cause them. | | My mind did degrade (If torkaan be lucky and | | In unusual fashion. Parry be lowered.) | | Laceration and bruising So Fear did not blanket my | | Appeared on my chest! Reason, or freeze me. | | | | Instead, I reviewed the Know I that Rastur, the | | Precincts of the Temple. Scarred One's a joker. | | Others were there much more And thought, for a moment | | Wounded than I, and That he was but playing | | Desirous of employing the With me, a poor first-level | : Gifts of the Healer Thief-in-the-making. | : Dispensed by Lord Rastur, who I thought he had Transferred : | Held court at the altar. The injuries to me. : | | | Knew I not, at that moment "Rastur!" I brayed. "Did you | | That this could not happen. Pass me concussion?" | | That Transfer, among other Lord Rastur looked up and | | Gifts of the Healers Examined me, briefly. | | Cannot be employed to I felt, in that moment, | | Pass hurts on to others. Ashamed of my brutal | : So I laughed and called out Assumption that such a great | | To the Lord on his dais. Lord might be Trickster. | | | | Instead, I was suddenly In healing of some sudden | | Frightened that Rastur Phalanx of wounded. | | Might well have exceeded the An excess of damage is | __| Scope of his powers Fatal to Healers! | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -12- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | I thought: "Has he trodden No! Rastur the Wound-Taker | : So close to his limits Spoke out, most gentle. | | That in order to save the more "You must not have noticed : | Greviously wounded, he's This trivial injury." | | Started Transferring their And with meditation | | CP's to others? He took it upon him. | | Battlers whose unbroken A subsequent gesture, | | Bodies can take them?" The wounds disappeared! | : | | Well and good. And--Eissa At that moment, an ancient : | Preserve me!--my gaffe had not Appeared in the Temple. | | Bought me the anger of A priest, long in years, who | | Rastur the Healer. Named himself Duvo. | : Thankful I was, and I Stared he down over the | : Offered him silver. Warriors assembled. | : Rastur, as always, Then called out a message : | Declined with a grin. Channeled from Godhead. : | : | "Oh thee, sacreligious!" He Those who respect not the | | Called to the warriors. Grounds of the Temple | | "Why use you the Temple Have naught but to mock the | | to break open chests? Attempts of the priesthood | | And presume on this ground To hold off incursions of | : For your fighter's retreat?" Unlife and evil. | | Sadly, the chosen of Their blood would soon stain | | Quellbourne did mock him. The zone of the Gods! : | | | Yet still they would mock! Again, I was lucky! My | | And trouble did follow Falchion sung fire, and I | | Me, as I left the Slaughtered my fill of the | | Precincts of the Temple Monsters of Kaldsfang. | | And flew through the city Loaded with breastplates and | | Of Kelfour, at evening Chests, I turned homeward, | | And down into Torkland, Eager for Temple and | | And back into Hobs. Talk with my friends. | | | : Peaceful, indeed, were the Happy, I walked through the | : Fields of fair Torkland. Streets of the Landing. | | Quiet, the gate-square and Blew a kiss to the flower-girl : | Wayfarer's Inn. (She smiled back at me). : | Through Kelfour I hurried Tired, unwounded, I'd | | To Dernick's, and haggled Pass a few moments in | | Little (though prices for Converse with friends, between | | Breastplates are falling.) Battle and Mayhem. | | | | The Temple was filled with With others I lay there | : The usual role-call Arrogant, deadly. | | Of Healers and Fighters and A killer of orcs, trolls, kobs,| | Mages and Thieves. Wolverines, karns. | | Joy that we felt, in the Sword in my backpack, and | | Bliss of survival. Shield on my shoulder, I | | Gladness at healing Lay on my back, and I | | And monsters defeated. Flirted with women. | __| | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -13- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | Sure! There are beauties November was with us, | : among the proud warriors! She, tall and complacent | | Strong women, proud and Blue of eye, blonde : | Secure in blood combat. And exceedingly fair. | | High-level Fighters and Strong in war, brave in death | | Rangers and Bards. She held court in the Temple | | Fair-Elf and Half-elf Lord Mohrgan, her comrade | | Dwarven and Man. He, also, was there. | : | | It was later, they told me To their credit, the Lords did not: | What had transpired Submit to these biddings. | | Words of the Gods had Proud in their power, | | Boomed out, in the Temple. Secure in their grace. | : That Rastur was told not to And Mohrgan among them, | : Heal the war-broken. And Lady November | : Lord Redeye enjoined not to Did curse at the Gods : | Rez back the dead. In a manner unseemly! : | : | I, a poor Thief Yet Gods are oft gentle | | Asleep in the corner When warning their children | | Did not quickly realize And no one was hurt in this | | What Evil had come there. Trivial chiding. | | Gods, in their Fury, are We gathered outside at the | : Often quite subtle. Square of Orhan and | | The Cloud gathered quiet Reviewed the events, in a | | And struck without warning. Moil of confusion. : | | | Had some fool Thief opened But nay! As I lay there | | A chest without checking In deep meditation | | For traps? Wherefrom else On who I thought most fair | | Could this Cloud be a'borning? And most delightful | | The stronger checked inside Then did the Gods strike | | And all was as normal. Without limit or mercy | | We returned to the Temple At all the brave fighters | | Glad to resume. In converse most peaceful. | | | : At first, we who were old Even I, a poor Thief, but with| : Or lived, with our fathers Th' advantage of reroll | | In years before, did think Though only first Level : | It was Newbies Night! And sure Did laugh, at the first. : | The Lords Dartaghan Darkstar A howl! One did not read it | | And Strom had been seen, As threat. In field, one might| | Leading their crowds of But not in the Temple. | | Unblooded warriors. Who could be hurt here? | | | | Then they were upon us! Attacked without warning | : Ghouls! There! In the Temple! We thought someone was joking! | | The home of all peace was That one of the Lords had a | | A field made for war! Magic anew. | | Our Fighters, both healed and And indeed, the first fighting | | Unhealed, grasped their weapons. Was not to be feared of | | The rest stood there, stunned For ghouls only carry | | Not expecting to die. An OB of 20. | __| | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -14- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | Yet as young ones began to I call to you, fighters, | : Take critical slashes To witness this telling. | | We all knew the fighting Haakon, I, am naught : | Was real as could be. But a pitiful Thief. | | I grabbed for my falchion But my father was Fighter: | | And shield from my shoulder Elohim LifeWire. | | And struck at an unlife And my mother a lady | | That threatened at me. Of Fair Elven birth. | : | | As such, I have powers I may be First Level, but : | Beyond your bold newbie. Careful rerolling | | Both strong in defense, and Has given me strength and | | Strong in attack. My My mother's quicksilver. | : Father did cede me I can wear down a wolverine | : Superlative macros Slashing and charging | : And I do really well at the And crush any Lorc : | Old "slash and hack." With stealth and precision. : | : | So be it! I struck at this Horror! I carried no | | Unlife abortion! Cleric-blessed weapon! | | My falchion passed through its' I could not touch ghouls | | Untouchable form! As they fast multiplied. | | In round-time I watched, as the Nor they me, for my parries | : First of the newbies Are fast as my father's. | | In Temple began to take But helpless I watched | | Critical damage. As the children were slaughtered. : | | | November struck out, of So, too, I tried. For my | | Blue eye and laen hammer, Rolls were in order. | | But nor could she touch No Unlife could touch me | | The Unlife aborning! For round after round! | | Poor young! One Drzzyk Thinking Lady November | | Caught her attention. Herself's in no peril | | She caught at his shoulder I tried dragging Drzzyk | | Tried to drag him to safety. Out of the Temple. | | | : The young ones should realize And so, Dryzzyk fell at the | : That if help from their elders Claws of the Unlife! | | Is wanting, then they should (Unlucky, but young, he's : | Have typable names! Reborn in an instant.) : | Imagine -- oh fighters! At this point, all warriors | | The horror of typing But the most keen retreated. | | "DRAG DRYZZYK TO EXIT" November remained at the | | Three times, in a hurry! Portal, defending. | | | | She died there! Accepting the I, for the luck of the roll | : Strikes of Unholy Stayed there, also. | | In favor of letting them Dragging at Dryzzyk | | Free of the Temple! And unhurt by fiends. | | Fair Lady November! A A laugh! And a Ghoul King | | Killer of merit! She fell Appeared in the Temple. | | In defending I ran then, dishonored | | Her warrior friends! In fear for my life. | __| | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -15- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | Those who stayed came outside Many there were, besides | : And told us all, later fair November | | That TWO Ghoul-Kings came Who died in hard fighting : | Along with a lich. With liches and ghouls. | | Me, the horror of fighting To think! They died wondering | | A beast that my falchion Why? In the Temple!? | | Can't touch, did unman me. There but for peace | | Caused pain in my heart. And a healing of souls. | : | | When Lady November (Excuse me Lord Strom pulled a Rularon : | For calling her Lady, when Fal from his backpack | | I know not the Level she's reached) And struck at an Unlife | | Did fall, bleeding And blew it to bits! | : The ghouls battled through Then cast a strong Stun at an| : And did infect the square Unruly Ghoul King and | : Of Orhan, then did we Knocked him to ground : | The survivors give battle. With a casual gesture! : | : | The others fought back! But I caught the green eye | | The ghouls were ascendant! Of a girl, Daryann | | We knew not if Kelfour Who, fighting right bravely | | Was owned by their evil. Was taking some hit points. | | A thunder above us said 'A good time to log!' I | : Godlings were angry! Suggested. I, coward! | | The warriors fought, but That we survived was the | | Could not strike, truly. Result of this strategy. : | | | Those who stayed were the strongest My fear was that warriors | | Of Lords, Clerics, Healers Who died in the Temple | | They drove the incursion Would Depart, and return | | Of Unlife from Temple! To the Holy of Altars. | | Meanwhile, I used the common art But then, be surrounded | | To send my soul into the MPGRT By ghouls and by liches, | | To confer with the souls And torn limb from limb | | Of the recently departed. Be recycled by Eissa! | | | : Death upon Death! But the Confused, we stood, and surveyed | : Fighters were braver than All the wreckage. | | I! There was no-one in The Temple was Deadly : | RoundTable, hiding. The amulets barren. : | Ashamed, I returned to the The Essence had fled from the | | World of our making. Precincts of Quellbourne | | The Lords had already A sacrilege awful had | | Destroyed the vile Unlife. Distorted our World. | | | | So, there stood the Priest "Why do you wonder how this | : A sending of Godlings Cruel event could | | He looked at us, sadly Come to the Temple where | | And bemoaned our fates. Healers hold court?" | | Cruel, some said, of the He said. "When the Gods | | Lives of our young ones. Withdraw their Protection | | But far from ignoring The Unlife rush in | | The deaths we had suffered. To own what is left!" | __| | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -16- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | Still, there were those The priest looked on, sadly | : Who mocked the Priest's teaching. And spoke in a whisper | | Even November, revived and "Come to the Square, and : | Restored to her hammer and laen Hear of the Gods." | | Did scream in a war-voice: We went, we survivors | | "Why kill the weak ones? Strong, though forsaken | | If we are the culprits Ready to battle for | | Then kill us, alone!" Temple and Home. | : | | There did we argue, with At the end, the Priest granted: | Priest and with Godhead That Gods he served, gladly | | And mercy was shown, that we Would grant us the Temple | | Were not struck down. For worship and praise. | : The strongest of Lords But that the vile Unlife | : Did stand up, among us Had fouled its precincts | : And show us their Reason And that a hard Quest : | In discourse, most gentle. Was our only solution. : | : | Seven wands, did he ask for In addition, he said that the | | Of silver, and full-charged! Gods had demanded | | And seven of pelts from the A potion of Wekwek, for | | Species of Unlife: Wounds of the chest. | | Talon of Wraith, Mummy's wrap I thought of my own minor | : Ghoul scraping, and bone Wounds of before, and | | Of Skeleton, Nail of Ghoul King Knew that the heart of the | | Paw of Werebear, and more. Temple was stolen. : | | | Furthermore, he required a We wondered at this, but the | | Mage of great substance Warriors quickly | | To undo a curse with the Divided, among themselves | | Purest of chants. The quests that were needed. | | And then he demanded a Lord Strom himself | | Cleric most vital Of the Rularon Falchion | | To cast resurrection Did volunteer to collect | | Of Life to the Altar. The palls of the Unlife! | | | : Allyssya, too! Killer of Monsters I, a Thief, strong in but | : Did swear to assist the Physical arms, did join with | | Lord Strom, in this duty. The Lady Dreamweaver, Bard : | Others did join them, still Of Bards, in her laen and : | Others did bless their sharp Orichalc armor, to hunt for | | Weapons, and cast magic The wands that are carried | | Protects on their bodies. By orcs and hobgoblins | | In mountains of Kaldsfang. | | | | With us came Daryann Dreamweaver, strong in her | : Warrior maiden Own Bardic Magik | | Killer of trolls Asked that we listen, | | And protector of newbies! Make use of our crystals | | Fast, did we fly through the Reporting on progress | | Streets of the Landing Of other brave parties | | Southwards we wended In capturing that which | | Towards conquest or death. The priest had demanded. | __| | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -17- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | So it was, that in Kaldsfang But I digress. As it happened | : We came upon creatures We found no wands silver | | Killed them with shaalk Or otherwise -- Wait! We : | And with laen and with fal. Did find ONE, but of metal. | | Blood ran in rivers! And then, we returned when the | | I, myself, was right proud Sendings of others | | That with Dary and Dream there Informed us that all of | | I actually killed one! The priest's will was done. | : | | There in the Town Square we Still, we were lost without : | Waited for Lord Strom Cleric of pure heart | | The brave one -- killer of And great power! Lucky we were| | Liches and mummies! That a great one was there! | : He was the one upon whom Chelsea, Resurrectrice | : We could count Appeared, all unbidden. | : To cast the required Holy sign on her breast : | Uncurse on the Altar. For the Unlife to fear! : | : | That Lady knew nought of the Was she of pure heart, as the | | Seat of our troubles Priest had demanded? | | Nor of the horror of Calmly, she answered, and | | Risk that she took. These are her words: | | Gentle and mild, she "Pureness of heart is but | : Agreed to contribute Found in the striving! | | Life, if t'was wanted Part of the process | | Or power required. Of life! Not a goal." : | | | Slowly, the ancient Priest Thence, to the Temple we | | Smiled in agreement. Came, in a body. | | (Wisdom is aught the Dreamweaver, carrying the | | Domain of the Gods!) Vilest of Pelts! Bleys | | Brave Lady Chelsea had The brave joker, his disk | | Spoken a truth that Drawn behind us | | Remains with us still Bearing a Freight of | | In our darkest hours. Powerful wands. | | | : Also came Penna, the So we came to the Altar of | : Weaver of yarns, Mistress of Sacrifice, blessed. | | Distaff and spindle, bearing But broken by presence of : | A potion of Wekwek. True cure Unlife, unyielding! : | For most terrible breast-wounds Here, in the Unsacrosanct | | Demanded, in this instance We stood: warriors who knew | | To heal the very heart That their survival was drawn | | Of the Temple of Orhan. From the unslaked flow of Essence.| | | | The Cleansing began! The old Weeping, we watched, as the | : Priest demanded a pelt Old priest demanded | | From the Unlife dominions. The pelts of the Undead | | In a flash, it had vanished! And wands, in their order. | | A wand, then -- one of seven Warriors, whose wounds | | Charged to the fullest! were still | | With its flare came the sound Smarting, did hand up | | Of the bells of the Holy. These most sacred items | __| And kneel there, in prayer. | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -18- More... _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@: : | A touch of his hand, and the But lo! There were yet a | : Items went missing! Few, still among us | | The clear, tiny altar Who did not believe in the : | Glowed brightly with light! Biddings of priests! | | All of us there knew the Cynically mocked, as his | | Strength of this Master Power flowed through us | | As incense did fragrance And watched as the old man | | The smoke of the Dead. Did stagger and falter. | : | | His life was at risk, in this Then Chelsea, bright Lady : | Cleansing most mighty. Did bravely step forward | | Yet softly he begged that our Still unsure of context | | Lords would not falter. Though strong in her heart. | : "Cast Uncurse!" he ordered "Cast rez!" The priest bade, | : And Strom did not fail him. As the chanting did falter | : The Lord read the runes And Chelsea made gestures : | And his power flowed outwards! And focused her soul. : | : | Cast once! Rolled a failure! Exploding in light! Did the | | No rez was forthcoming! Temple of Orhan | | But Chelsea, the pure-hearted Resound to the outflow | | Cleric, unfazed, Of ritual power! | | Repeated the motions of The clearest of winds did | : Full Resurrection. Blow by the Altar | | Another true cast, and the And whispers from Gods | | Power burned brightly! Were heard on the air. : | | | A moment of silence--then The Temple is once again | | Smiles from all present! Safe from the Unlife | | There wasn't a doubt that The Gods have returned | | The cleansing had worked! To its altars and halls. | | The priest, still alive, though The priests have commenced | | Quite weak and quite shaky An additional cleansing | | Did thank the brave warriors We wait, all the people | | For faith and for fealty. For news reassuring. | | | : Meanwhile, I sing, in my We all were most willing | : Cracked voice, un-Bardic We brave ones, (we cowards!) | | Of all the brave young ones To fight in the service : | Dead in the Temple Of comrades, the weaker. : | And of Lords, and of Ladies Risking all for the sake of | | Who strive in their fashion Resanctification. | | Towards life, and towards light May our blood render Holy | | And towards pureness of purpose. This labor of Love. | | | | | | | | End of the First Lay | : of Haakon DeStrega | | | | | | | | | __| | \_/_______________________________________________________________________/ -19- ____________ How to Hunt as a Sorcerer / \ ________ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|~|~~\~\ | by Lord Nixie Trevize | |~|__/~/ | | |~ __ < | _| |~| \~\ | eing a sorcerer at you cast will be low. From Levels 1 /@| |~|__/~/ | low levels is going to 8, you're a train-once-per-level \_/ ~~~~~~~~ / to be tough. Don't sword swinger. You might actually ~~~~~~~~~~~ try to kid yourself; kill a monster with magic upon you're not going to be powerful. occasion, but unless you're waving Your magic power points will be low. wands, don't count on it. I recom- Your odds of hitting anything when mend spell training as follows: _______________________________________________________________ / \ Order of Spell Training \ \@ | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | Level Spell List : Level Spell List | | ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~ : ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~ | | 1 401 Guard I O/E : 6 702 Touch of | | 1 701 Limpain Sorc : Disruption Sorc | | 2 402 Presence O/E : 7 406 Guard II O/E | | 3 403 Lock Lore O/E : 8 101 Protection I O/C | | 4 404 Trap Lore O/E : 9 102 Air Wall O/C | | 5 405 Essence Wave O/E : 10 103 Aura O/C | | __________________________________________________________|_ | @\ O/E = Open Essence List O/C = Open Channeling List \ \__/ Sorc = Sorcerer Base List / ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After level 10, your spell choice chance of hitting torkaans or rats. will depend upon which spell list Buy laen when you can afford it. you wish to develop first. Train in directed spells twice per level. Level 3-4: Kobolds, lesser orcs, and Invest 10 development points in the goblins on the old mine road. Start spell list each time you train. using Limbpain at level 3; if you cast Limbpain on kobolds, orcs, and Train once per level in wands and goblins, they will sit to tend their once per level in brawling or single wounds. If you get a limb to bleed, edged weapons. NOTE: If you choose hide and wait for the orc or goblin to train in brawling, advancement to sit down. (Hands don't count. will be much harder, but at higher Critters won't sit to tend them.) levels you will be able to use runes Attack at parry 0 from hiding, and without being defenseless. You will if you are lucky, you will stun or also be able to use wands without kill it. removing your shield. Nets that use brawling skills are no longer avail- Level 4-5: Hobgoblins and forest able, so consider carefully before trolls, the richest monsters in the training in brawling instead of one- lands for their levels. The money handed edged weapons. will come in handy for getting your gear improved. Use Limbpain to bleed Train as best you can in first aid, them, then hide and wait for them to body development, channeling, runes, sit down. and perception. Develop climbing and swimming skills as you can. When you reach level 5, you will get Essence Wave. This spell will take What to Hunt you to level 12 or 13. With this ~~~~~~~~~~~~ spell, you can hunt greater orcs to Level 1-2: Rats, torkaans, and sea level 7 or 8, then go to cave trolls nymphs. Use a rapier to increase the for levels 9 to 12. Levels 12 to 15, -20- (Continued on page 23) ___________ Tales From the Newbie Crypt / \ ______ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| /~/~~\_\ | by Syr Calden | \~\____~ | _| _~~~~\~\ | /@| \~\__/~/ |haska is going to kill One more discard, and home free. I \_/ ~~~~~~ / you!" Rama said with took the ring from my backpack to be ~~~~~~~~~~ glee, "and I will if sure of its easy reach. Holding my he doesn't." sword and shield tightly, I intoned the dreaded command, 'Go path!' The glistening darkness and stone walls of the catacombs echoed our Hearing a roar, I spun to see a huge whispered conversation. All I fully black shape descend on me. Suddenly, remember was 'w,ne,sw,e..' and then every adventurer's worst nightmare repeat 'w,ne..' Where were the rats? materialized - die roll, 99, stunned for 10 rounds! "Rats. Rats. Thousands and thousands of rats!" I said. "No!" I wailed through teeth that would not open. "Shut up with the Renfield imitation already," Rama said, as he gestured The beast toyed with me, laughing at to the low ceiling in his 'Why me?' me, before delivering the last blow. pantomime. "It seems you have died..." "It was not my fault the werebear got me," I said, as I backhanded a "They can't get away with this!" I rat that had slunk into the room. fumed. Quickly departing, I ran out of the Temple in my shorts, with the "Rats are so... boring," I said, as shush of the priest trailing after Rama easily finished off the rat. me, till once again I stood in front "Thousands and thousands of rats," I of the dreaded path. croaked. Grab, dodge, and run, I thought to "Shut up!" Rama shouted. myself. Formulating my battle plan. "Try this ring around town a few 'Go path. Get backpack. Go path,' times," Shaska said, as he handed me I typed. Enter! the teleportation ring. "Rama and I will meet you at the temple in an Chuckling, I sat back to enjoy the hour, then we'll try some wilding." triumph of mind over matter. The ring pulsed as I put it on. My "You may only type two commands vision clouded briefly. ahead.." I heard just before a huge black shape descended on me. "Yes!" I shouted, giggling as the priest shushed me as he always did "It seems you have died..." when I entered the Temple. "They can't get away with this...!" Let's see, I thought. 'Making Money the Easy Way' in the last 'Kelfour's "Most people would have settled for Edition' said I can make a fortune one death and gotten help, but nooo, with discarded brick-a-brack. Here I you had to go for three!" Rama said come! as we hunted another rat. "Shaska is going to kill you." After collecting nineteen discards, I found myself standing and facing a "Thousands and thousands of rats," I footpath. 'Werebears!' Shaska had chortled. written and erased the rest of the map. "Shut up!" -21- ___________ Tavern Tale for Tulrach / \ ______ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~\\ | by Eron Kulsen | |~| ||| _| |~| |||eep in the shadows of Shrugging, Eron picked up his mug /@| |~|_// | Helga's Tavern sat a and took a long, deep drink. Wiping \_/ ~~~~~~ / lone listener. Conver- whatever didn't make it past his ~~~~~~~~~~ sation filled the room, lips with his sleeve, he set the mug along with the ravings of drunks and down and stared out the window. the laughter of adventurers in com- Tulrach, looking distracted, glanced radeship. Hours rolled by, folk came around the musty room without really or left on their own or were kicked noticing anything. Eron ended his out by Helga's rather large boot. trance with the outside view and Finally, a small man in a patched regarded Tulrach. tunic and matching hose walked in and went directly to the listener's "By Eissa, Tulrach, spit it out. table. He sat down and a big grin What's bothering you?" spread across his face. "Well, I hope you don't take offense "Then the sighting was legitimate?" to this, and since you haven't said asked the shadowed figure eagerly. why you want to go to Melghoren's so badly--. You see, I kinda made a bet The little man answered, "Aye, that with the other guys that you would it was. I myself even went out to get in. I know you can pull it off the area and saw the sight." and all, but maybe if you bring back some proof? I need something to show Eron leaned into the light and ges- the others that you succeeded." tured for Helga to bring over two large mugs of ale. "So where exactly Fingering the sturdy sword strapped is it then, Tulrach?" around his waist, Eron glared toward an eager listener at another table, "Well, when I last saw it, the tower quickly ending any further eaves- was near the entrance to the cold dropping. A smile cracked across his guardian maze, but it seemed to be face and he chuckled quietly at shifting toward the lava flows on Tulrach. "A sabre," he said. the other side of Blototh," answered Tulrach. "A what?" Helga came with two foaming mugs of "A sabre." ale, winked, and picked up the coins Eron put on the table for her. "What about a sabre?" "Then it is done. I will set out "I'll bring you back a sabre, you late tomorrow afternoon and hope to dimwit!" get there by twilight." "How am I supposed to know you got "Be careful, Eron. Whatever gave you it from the tower?" this crazy idea could get you into a lot of trouble. Remember what Mel- "Simple. It won't be any ordinary ghoren did to the last person he sabre. It'll be a magical sabre. I'm found anywhere near his tower." I'm sure Melghoren can use an ease of the load in his treasury anyhow." Eron stifled a shudder and nodded. "But who says he's going to know I Tulrach cocked an eye at Eron and was even there? I'll be in and out looked completely skeptical. as quick and quiet as a specter." "Well, if you can get a magical "Just as long as you don't become sabre, then I'm sure that would be one yourself," remarked Tulrach. proof enough. Just don't go grabbing -22- More... all the treasure in sight and stuff- How to Hunt as a Sorcerer from P. 20 ing it down your pants! You'll make ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ more noise than Dartaghan complain- you can hunt fire guardians, black ing about his size." stalkers, or pumas. Eron laughed, finished up his ale, At level 15, you will need to start and banged his mug on the table, hunting golems. At this level you nearly shattering it. He shrugged at start relying on magic alone for the cracked mug and tossed it to the damage. You must hunt in a group. ground, sending flying shards of Cast ToD for at least 4 to 6 hits glass all over. Helga looked over at per golem. Use wands if you have the mess and glared, while Eron them, to add to your concussion stifled a laugh. point damage. You can't kill a golem by yourself yet, without using a ton "I told you, one more time and you'd of wands or getting a lucky pay for it!" boomed Helga, stomping critical. over towards Eron. As a sorcerer, you will need to be Eron darted around the table, and creative when you hunt. If you nimbly avoiding Helga's boot, bolted decide to hunt fire guardians, you for the door. He winked at Helga will have to put up with fire rather suggestively from around the phantoms, a level 6 or 8 undead door frame, then ducked back behind monster. You can freeze the phantom the door and was gone. Helga turned to a room by casting 3 successful to glare at Tulrach, but to her sur- Limbpain casts on one of its legs. prise the chair he once sat in was The same can be done to basilisks in empty. Cursing like a banshee, Helga Black Stalkers or, for that matter, walked back towards the bar, silenc- any monster. ing everyone. Levels 6 to 15 are tough without the "Well?! What are you all staring at? Essence Wave spell. If you are hav- You came here to drink and have a ing troubles, find a cleric of about good time, so DRINK!" your level and ask to join up. Most clerics will help, since you help to Everyone left in the bar finished generate more monsters, and your OB their drinks in unison and deposited will not outpace theirs. The cleric unusual amounts of tips, exiting the spells will lower the monster's DB tavern as quickly and painlessly as enough so you can hit it. possible. If you choose to be a sorcerer, you (To be Continued) will learn patience. You will hunt a ________________________________ lot alone. You will learn how to / \ conserve power, because you will | New Descriptions | never have enough. It's still a lot | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | of fun and a lot of challenge. After | Ever wonder what a Torkaan or | you reach level 18 or 19, life is a | Karnelin looks like? Now there | little easier, but not much. | are descriptions available for \_____________________________________ | many different creatures (and \ | other things as well). To see what some of these denizens look like, | | just type DESCRIBE <creature>, for example DESCRIBE COCKATRICE: | | | | A smaller relative of the basilisk, the cockatrice has a serpentine | | body, with feathered head, wings, and legs. Having the cold, freezing | | gaze of its larger cousin, the cockatrice should not be treated lightly. | | A sharp beak and raking claws complete this small but deadly package | | of evil. | \________________________________________________________________________/ -23- ______________ Scenes from the Inn / \ ____ ____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~| | | |~ | by Sean2 Lladd | |~|--|~| | _| |~|--|~| | o, lads! It's good Speaking of which, you lads ready /@| _|~| |~|_ | to see you again. for another round? Oh, wipe those \_/ ~~~~ ~~~~ / Just a minute, looks off your faces, I'm buying. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ while I whistle us Money's the one thing I do have. So up some drink. There's young Miktor. drink up! Tomorrow's another day. Yo, Miktor! Come join us! And bring Aleea! Yes, lass, another pitcher. Aleea with you! Aye, I envy you lads. I have no-one Ah, Miktor. You've accomplished your to go "home" to. And the one place I task right well. Aleea, a pitcher ever felt comfortable in the last (what else?) of ale and the common few years, the one place I could say dinner for me. I'm hungry enough to even came close to being "home," eat an unskinned torkaan. Raw! Any- even that's denied me here. It seems thing for you lads? Well then lass, that the local government has this off with you. crack-brained idea that if they let the guild set up a hall here, we'll Aye, Varnick, it's been a profitable all go hog wild and start killing few days. And what do you think of children and women and such-like. my new blade? Enchanted! Sure, look it over. What's that? Oh, I'm sorry. I was talking about the Mercenary's Guild. Ah-h, that hits the spot. How's the Oh come on! Not you, too! No and no the new little one, Miktor? Mother and no. That's the kind of goings-on and babe are well, I trust. What's the guild works to prevent, not that? Off to her mother's already! promote. Ho, ho, ho! What! Hey, calm down you young hothead. 'Twas but a joke. You see, it's like this. Where I Calm down, I say! Here, have another come from, the Guild is an ale and cool off. I'd like to be established and powerful able to eat my dinner in peace. organization. It's been in business for at least 2000 years and has What's that, Varnick? You think the actually prevented more wars and adventuring life is all ale and gold useless bloodshed than even some of and magical swords? Well, it's not. our religions. And I'll tell you this for a fact, I envy you lads. By my sword, that's Every lad or lass that wants to make true! No, I'm not poking fun at you. a way in the world usually ends up I envy you all. You have wives and belonging to the guild. You see, the warm beds to go home to, some of you guild has rules about behavior, what have children who love you and need you can and can't do, how much you you, and you have families who care can charge in fees for your what happens to you. I have none of services, what your responsibilities these things -- no wife, no children to your employer are, and what his (nor ever like to), and certainly responsibilities to you are. no family. All honest men know that if they go Oh aye, I knew who my parents were, to the guild to hire their guards, but they're long dead. That's right, whether it's a merchant to protect a I told you about them the other caravan, or a householder to protect week. And my mother's father--faugh! his children and home, they'll get He disowned me at my birth, and my honest and loyal service. Why, it's father's family was destroyed by common knowledge that if you hire that same birth. But enough! I grow free-lance guards, non - guild that maudlin, and there's no use crying is, you may pay less, but the ser- over spilled ale. vice is not so "safe," understand. -24- More... Why's that? It all comes down to the a way out of it. You notice I said Guild creed. As it was explained to "sticky OR unprofitable?" Well, a me, there's three basic rules on merc company that gets a rep as con- which all the other guild rules are tract breakers, they don't get hired based. Goes something like this: much. And if you don't get hired, you can't make money. "Honor and obey thy commander; Honor and protect thy comrades; Same thing happens to a company that Honor and defend thy contract." gets a rep as a group of, shall we say, troublemakers. It's worse for a Pretty simple, eh? company like that, really, 'cause the label sticks to the members as Works sort of like this. If you're a well as the company. And it's hard member of a company, like I was, to find work with another company if then you take an oath with the guild you've been labeled a troublemaker. as soon as you sign up. And your dues and such are part of the "cost" To get back to my point. If, and I of your training. mean if, a contract gets broken, for whatever reason, then either party, Why to the Guild first? Easy. If or both, can apply to the guild for there's ever a problem, your oath to judgment. Aye, the system works. the guild takes precedence, and they I've seen it. I was a part of it. are the final arbiter of your behavior and actions. Sometimes you Partly it works due to what one of can have a "problem" with your my instructors called "a lesson in company or your commander, and the the economics of greed." Say a mer- oath to the guild gives you a way chant hires a guild-bonded guard or to, shall we say, protect your guard team. At the end of the job, honor. Not only that, by swearing to he shorts them some of the fee. the guild, you're bound to it and to Tells them that if they don't take obey its rules. That way, even if the smaller fee, he'll go to the you're between jobs, shall we say, guild and file a petition of fault, as a mercenary, you're still respon- claiming the guards were lax and sible to someone or something for troublemakers. So, the guards take your behavior. Makes the town people the smaller fee, 'cause they want to feel safer that way. be able to get another job. Then after you've sworn your oath to But, they also pass the word to the the Guild, you swear to the company local guildmaster who puts the story or the company commander, usually into his report to the guild office directly to the commander. There's a for the region, and so on. If enough number of reasons for that, but the stories start cropping up about that main one is that if there's a con- same merchant, then he gets black- tract problem between the company listed. What's a blacklist? Means and its employer, the problem is that the guild doesn't have to deal with the commander and the employer, with him and no member has to accept not with the whole company, and us a contract unless he wants to. "grunts" don't have to worry about guild fines and fees and all that. So, now this merchant can't find any We just follow orders. guild - bonded guards, so he hires "free-lancers." Only, odds are that What happens after a contract's bro- those free-lance guards are really ken? Well, for one thing, the odds in with the Thieves' Guild, and at against that happening are pretty the first sign of "trouble" they run high. Why? Oh, because most command- away, so the merchant loses his mer- ers take good care NOT to get into chandise. But because he didn't have sticky or unprofitable contracts. If guild - bonded guards, he has no way he does find himself in a sticky to recover his losses. And he can't situation, he'll usually try to work get any sympathy from his brother -25- More... merchants because their goods are the Guild fined the merchants the getting through to market, and they full price of our contract to cover ARE using guild-bonded guards. See, the cash and supplies we were sup- a lesson in economics. posed to get. The Guild refused any services to the merchants for a full Oh, it'll work against a member too. year and fined them fifty percent Remember, I said the guild is set up over the contract price as a penalty to regulate both the duties of an assessment. But -- and this is the employer to a member and a member's good part--the Guild also fined our duties to his employer. I recollect commander all "profit" from the con- the time our commander contracted tract, saying that he entered into with a group of merchants to defend it with the intent to break it. 'em from another group of merchants. Merchant's Guild wars are always a Yep, you heard right. It seems that good source of income for a while questioning our company book- mercenary company, at least where I keeper, the guild investigator found came from. Merchants fight over that our illustrious commander knew stuff like trade routes and supplies all along what the merchants were up like dogs over a bone! to. He entered into the contract to try and weasel out of it later. Any road, part of our contract was for supplies and weapons instead of So you see, lads, the system works. cash. Well, those merchants supplied It protects the individual's honor, us, all right. They delivered a load and it protects the Guild's honor. of rotten cloaks and stuff, mildewed Isn't that what guilds are supposed tents, tainted foodstuffs, and the to do? Fighting is what I do for a weapons -- less than useless! They living. I don't "enjoy" killing. If likely emptied their storehouses of you meet someone who says he enjoys every useless, unsalable piece of killing, you watch him. He's the one goods they had. And they likely fig- who's dangerous. ured that there was nothing we could do about it! If I don't enjoy it, why do I do it? Because it's all that I know. Like I Wrong! When our commander got a good said, I never really had a family, look at what was being unloaded for so I've always been a loner. And I'm our "supplies," I thought he'd have good and getting better. It's the a seizure. He grabbed our contract, same with you. You do the work that marched up to the merchant making you do because you're good at it. the delivery, and tore it up right That's the thing in a nutshell. in his face. Ho, ho, ho, ho. I guess the merchant near died of apoplexy. And besides, if it wasn't for me and Somebody told me later that the guy the others out there like me, you was actually foaming, he was so mad. wouldn't have a place to do what you do. We protect you from the dangers Well, our commander "commandeered" outside the walls, and you provide the wagons and drivers, told us to us with the goods and services we get the stuff loaded back onto 'em, need. and break camp. It only took us an hour to move out, and we headed for Say Miktor, isn't that the missus in the nearest guild hall, straight. the doorway? I'd say the visit to We unloaded the "supplies" in the mother's is over. I guess I'll head yard, and the commander went after for my bunk too. It's gonna be a a guild rep to lodge his complaint. hard day tomorrow. For all of us, one way or another. Ah-h-h. That's good. All this talkin's givin' me a dry throat. No Aleea, we're off to our beds. And here's some extra for the service. What? Oh, what happened? Hold tight, Get yourself something pretty to I'm gettin' to it. To make it short, wear. Good night to you, lass. -26- ____________ Undermining Kelfour's (Part 4) / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~ | by Llorien Silvanestii | |~| | _| |~| __ |eaving the cavern of strode off down the tunnel, cleric /@| |~|__|| | the pehks behind, our at her side. \_/ ~~~~~~~ / brave party of adven- ~~~~~~~~~~~ turers delved deeper, "Hmph!" exclaimed Pterelas. "With- elven eyesight making use of the out us--, without us, they'd be--" scant light coming from behind them. They rounded a bend -- and plunged "What?" asked Inyigo. "Safe?" into utter darkness. "And without them, we'd have been "Okay, I guess we need to break out the blue plate special for that the torches now," remarked Llorien. thing back in the cavern," shuddered He looked expectantly at Inyigo, who Llorien, starting after the ladies. felt the bard's eyes upon him even though he could not see. They trudged on through the twisting passage, rounded yet another bend, "Torches?" asked Inyigo. "Who put me and found the way blocked by a door. in charge of torches?" Not just any door. A big, iron-clad door. Its size suggested that even a "You're the bloody ranger. You guys golem with a hyperactive thyroid explore caves and stuff, don't you?" could use it with no real problems. stated Llorien. "I figured it was part of your standard equipment." Pterelas pulled on the door handle. "It's locked. Just my specialty." He "The only places I have explored peered into what looked like a key- recently are Helga's, the bathhouse, hole to discern which lockpick he and the most current parties," should use and whether there were replied Inyigo, "and they, for the any nasty traps associated with it. most part, tend to be well lit." "Well? Can you unlock it?" asked "Anyone got a gold wand?" asked Inyigo impatiently. Pterelas. "We can always torch the ranger." "Picking is delicate work," Pterelas said over his shoulder. "If you rush Penna sighed and muttered a few these things, you can end up dead." words. A small glowing orb appeared, He returned to his meticulous exami- floating by her shoulder. nation of the lock mechanism. "Oh yeah, I forgot that you knew Llorien nudged Inyigo and mouthed, that spell, dear," said Llorien. "Watch this." He mumbled a few words "It's not one that you've used and gestured at the door. With an much." Although, he thought to echoing click, it banged open. himself, she sure complained enough that it was another useless spell, Pterelas, absorbed in his task, was foisted on her by the teachers at caught and crushed against the wall. the Healers' Academy. The young lad slid to the ground, grumbling, "I hate that spell. It's "Shall we continue?" asked Aegyptia. making those in my trade utterly "Otherwise, we won't have to worry superfluous. Maybe I will change to about saving Ignatius. He'll have something Kelfour's has needed for a died of old age." long time--a bardslayer perhaps." Penna nodded to Aegyptia, threw a Llorien made a rude sound. "You're disapproving glance at the bickering just sore because I can open locks (and in her opinion, mostly inept) like that and not have to worry over male members of the group, and traps," Llorien retorted. He turned -27- More... on his heel, smiled at the ladies, forgetting its prey, and turned to and strode through the open doorway. focus its attention on this new As he passed through, everyone heard threat. a stifled gasp. Blue sparks crackled around Penna's Pterelas, extricating himself from fingertips; then a bright blue bolt the door, asked, "What was that? The of energy shot forth, striking the bard step in some torkaan's mess?" spider square in the chest. Its legs jittered from the overload of energy Penna and Aegyptia, giggling, could coursing through its body, and its only stand and point to the doorway. chest smoldered where the bolt hit. Inyigo, being less restrained, burst out in long guffaws. The spider yowled with rage at the interruption of its meal. Its back "Close," chuckled Inyigo, helping legs worked furiously to prepare Pterelas to his feet. The hapless another web. Llorien was enmeshed in a web. The sticky substance shot towards "This is not supposed to happen," Penna. Pterelas, moving like light- stated Llorien, his words muffled ning, slammed her out of the way, to by the strands enshrouding his head. be entrapped by the web himself. "The spell is supposed to bypass traps if it is successful." Aegyptia, who had taken a metallic- looking wand from her pouch, now saw Aegyptia pondered that for a moment. her opening. She waved the wand at "If it was not a trap on the door, the spider. Nothing happened. She where did that stuff come from?" stamped her foot angrily, and waved the wand again. With a "whooosh!" a The words were hardly out of her ball of extremely cold air rushed at mouth when the strands of webbing the spider, engulfing it and at once tightened. The bard suddenly jerked freezing it into a lifeless statue. out of sight. It hit the floor from twelve feet up and shattered. "Llorien!" shouted Penna. The spider's web, also frozen by the As everyone raced through the door, blast, crumbled and dumped Llorien's they heard a muffled yelp from above body unceremoniously onto the hard their heads. A horrible sight met earthen floor. Penna scurried to the their eyes. A spider three times the limp form and brushed away the last size of the average elf hovered over strands, relieved that at least the the limp form of Llorien. Its fangs bard was still breathing. sank into his chest, and it made sickly slurping sounds. "He's hurt bad," said Penna, "but I think he's been poisoned too, some "Do something!" screamed Penna, as nerve poison that seems to have par- her fingers started to weave an alyzed him." She pulled a small jar intricate pattern. of salve from her backpack and began to apply it to the two punctures on Inyigo quickly unslung his bow, Llorien's chest. "This should leech nocked an arrow, and fired at the out the poison. I don't want to heal spider. The arrow sank deep into the the wounds until after it has left fleshy part of the spider's abdomen his system." She started bandaging. but didn't seem to cause any real damage. Pterelas pulled a dagger out "Mmmpphhh," issued from the sticky of his belt, took aim, and let fly. mess still lying on the ground. The blade flew unerringly towards the arachnid, and imbedded itself in Aegyptia and Inyigo worked carefully one of the creature's eyes. The to remove the webbing that encapsu- spider jerked and howled in pain, lated Pterelas. -28- More... Are you sure you want to remove the and make a bed next to the firepit. poison from him?" asked Pterelas. While Penna patches her fiance, I'll "This may be the only way we can get start some wayfarer's stew." him to shut up for any length of time, you know." But his concerned Pterelas seized a couple of blankets appraisal of Llorien's condition be- and spread them out, and Inyigo lay lied his words. Penna shot him a Llorien down upon them. withering look; he suddenly decided that his falchion could do with a Penna began to unwrap the bandages sharpening and oiling. on Llorien's chest. Satisfied that the poison had indeed run its Aegyptia looked around tentatively. course, she proceeded to heal the "Shall we stay here until Llorien is wounds. Inyigo and Pterelas went healed? It seems fairly safe now." about getting a fire started, while Aegyptia decided that Llorien might "It will take a while for the poison be more comfortable with something to dissipate," Penna said. "If one for a pillow. She spied the last of the men carries him, perhaps we remaining blanket in the corner. can find a small alcove that is better protected." She bent down to take it, then her breath caught in a gasp. The others, "That makes sense," said Inyigo. "We immediately alerted, glanced in her are rather out in the open here." He direction. "Look at this," she said, shrugged out of his backpack, tossed pointing at the spot where the last it to Pterelas, and slung the bard's blanket had been. Scrawled onto the body over his shoulder. The party rock in what appeared to be charcoal gathered itself together and headed was a symbol. on into the passage. "Reann's symbol," Aegyptia mused. After about a half hour with no sign "The sign of the god Ignatius served of spiders, they came across a side with his life." branch. Pterelas motioned for the others to wait and silently disap- And underneath the symbol was a peared down the small tunnel. A few single word: DROW. minutes later, he reappeared. (To Be Continued) "Looks like we aren't the only ones _________________________________ who wanted a place to camp." Inyigo / \\ raised an eyebrow. Pterelas shook | Answers to Crossed-Words Puzzle || his head and said, "No, they aren't | From Page 6 || here now," and led the others down | ACROSS: || the side tunnel. | 1. Striped Veercat || | 2. Wield || The tunnel led round a bend, then | 3. Sword DOWN: || opened up into a small cave. Signs | 4. Orc 1. Shaalk || of recent use were everywhere; the | 5. Eissa 7. Raid || remains of a cooking fire, a small | 6. War 17. Revenant || supply of firewood, a few tattered | 7. Rame 18. Prose || blankets piled in one corner. | 8. AA 19. Resurrect || | 9. KE 20. Torkaan || "Looks like someone's regular rest- | 10. Owls 21. Loremasters || ing place," surmised Inyigo. A groan | 11. Troll 22. Ego || issued from Llorien's lips. | 12. Out 23. Golem || | 13. Rat 24. Iorak || "Better set him down, Inyigo," said | 14. Dirge 25. Worts || Aegyptia. "Let Penna do her work." | 15. Disarm 26. Lug || | 16. Hrassk 27. Air || Inyigo looked for a likely resting | 29. In 28. Eog || spot. "Pterelas, grab those blankets \________________________________// -29- ___________ Dread and Circuses / \ __ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| / "| | by Lloyd Llowd, Ph.D | //|"| | _| //=|"| | nother month dawns Yes, real entertainment is hard to /@| // |"| | grey and dreary in come by around here. Still, I did go \_/ ~~ ~~~/ Kelfour's Landing, to what promised to be an entertain- ~~~~~~~~~~~ and I still fail to event: the Gladiatorial Games. see the attraction this town holds for its residents. This month I Whatever possessed me to think that prevailed upon the publisher to watching our local populace busily devote a little extra space to my slaughtering each other interest me? journalistic endeavors in an attempt Especially when none of them stayed to raise the tone of this wretched dead. However, I sat myself down little rag. I thought everyone would expecting something at least margin- appreciate it, as the only other ally more interesting than the Three entertainments are slaughtering the Card Monte game which the young local fauna, casting useless spells cleric with the pointy teeth set up on the custodial staff of the on Bluestar Lane behind the bank. Temple and killing each other. The first set of fights, single com- Well, at least you used to be able bat without magic, set the tone for to annoy the Temple staff. The the entire day. The fights started blatantly blasphemous attitude of with the youngsters, who were enthu- some of our more callous citizens siastic but offered little in the finally prompted a reaction from way of finesse. I shan't bore you what must be some of the most with the details of what I consider inattentive deities this side of preliminary matches, as the true Slugmound the Eversleeping, patron champions of any given type of com- of laziness and coma victims. bat combat were the Lords, anyway. Talk about your delayed reaction, Unfortunately, the Lords didn't have inconsiderate morons have cast every much to offer either in the way of manner of spell for years on the serious entertainment. I had heard unfortunate monk who looks after the (mostly from the Lords themselves, Temple. Now, after all this time, trumpeting claims of their prowess the Gods notice that their faithful prior to the fights) that our nobles servant looks like the legendary were fearsome fighters, capable of "smurf" and take action? There were prodigious feats of martial skill. thunder - lizards millions of years Fortunately, most of them can afford ago with brains the size of walnuts a great deal of magical armor and that had faster reaction times. weapons, because if they were forced to rely on their skill with normal As it stands, the Temple is all but weapons and armor, Kelfour's landing abandoned. Citizens have deserted would belong to the kobolds. religion in droves, showing the true bankruptcy of their spirits. Now The one-on-one combats with no magic they lounge around the town square were a comedy of errors. I wonder and litter the area with old, empty, why the audience didn't riot on the rotten chests. When they are not spot in some cases. For example, let dropping them from the old oak tree us review the fights of Lord Galle- on the heads of unsuspecting pass- nod, the champion in this batch. ersby. The only thing that livens my days, as I watch from the window of In the first fight, Lady Valeria my room, is the occasional careless awaited a strategic moment and then thief who sets off a trap. Zaps, tried to bribe Lord Gallenod with a explosions, and slicing noises are large sum of silver, a miscalcula- pleasant reminders that some things tion of the first order, as he is so are still foolproof. insufferably pious that paladins get -30- More... nauseous in his presence. Enraged by the foil. Gilthor was apparently so the attempted bribe, the rabid ran- stunned at the tiny pinprick, he ger skewered the insolent thief with just stood there and let himself be his foil, hit her with the bag of cut to pieces. I've heard of glass silver and stunned her, and chopped jaws, but glass bodies? her into small bits with a falchion. This is entertainment? The melees were interesting, if only for the fact that they allowed the Lord Gallenod's second opponent was combatants to show their true feel- Lord Artuero, who holds the ings and backstab every single one distinction of being the only Lord of their "friends" in the Arena for ever killed by a torkaan. The fight silver and glory. In the Lord batch, was marred at the start by Artuero for example, Lord Stanyon won mostly dousing Gallenod with rum-spiked because he was the lowest priority lemonade in a childish display of target for everyone in the ring. disrespect. As they engaged in earnest I saw a brief flicker of The low point in my day came after skill from both until Gallenod the single combats with magic. It is slipped in the lemonade puddle and a sad commentary on those we count lunged forward. This move caught on to defend our town that the Artuero by surprise (one wonders unlimited single combat champion of just how much he'd had to drink Kelfour's Landing is a Healer. Not before this fight) and Gallenod's content with screaming for more and foil impaled the hapless Artuero bloodier wounds from the infirmary, through the heart, a happy accident Lord Strom came out to personally for the clumsy ranger. drum up more business. The sight of a Healer, supposedly dedicated to Unfortunately for Gallenod, he the peaceful, charitable art of car- failed to catch his fall and impaled ing for his fellow beings, blasting himself on the thief's falchion, and hacking apart stunned and prone slicing open his own throat. But not opponents made me wonder how much of before the judge had ruled the lucky his technique he also practiced in (but dead) ranger the winner. An his surgery. He looked very at home. appalling display of blind luck, but it earned Gallenod, once the healers If I could hire competent bodyguards had put him back together, a place around here, I would be headed back in the final match against Lord over the mountain passes to civili- Gilthor. zation within a fortnight. However, given the level of ability I saw in It was an interesting sight as I the Arena last month, I am brushing compared the two of them before the up my Kobold in case the town comes match. Lord Gallenod, a medium-sized under new management. half elf holding a foil marginally ________________________________ larger than a toothpick, and Lord / \ Gilthor, a huge high man carrying a | The Tomes of Kulthea | sword the size of Mount Iorak. | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | Surely, I thought, this will be the | One of the most valuable tools | greatest mismatch since Nimm the | available to the aspiring adven- | Inexperienced, first level cleric, | turer is Tomes of Kulthea on | tried to cast a blue glow on a | GemStone Page 931. Answers to | spectral monk. I confidently placed | thousands of questions ranging | my one and only bet of the day on | from facts about the world of | Lord Gilthor, who had easily won his | Kulthea to tips on weaponry and | other two matches. | spells are there. For example, | | to learn about the NEW Role- | Alas, fate has a sense of humor. | playing Multipliers, search on | While Gilthor was still playing with | the keyword ROLEPLAY. For | the shield that had slipped from his | assistance enter word HELP. | shoulder, Gallenod poked him with \________________________________/ -31- KEV3N9 [end]