Kelfour Edition volume III number IX

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 / \                                                                     \
|   |                                         Epic Battle Poem, Page 12   |
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 |                                                                     |
 |    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!                     |
 _______________           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.
                                       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.                   |
|                                                                         |
|                                                                         |
 _____________            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                         |
 |  _____________________________________________________________________|_
 |  @\                                                                     \
                            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|3 |  |  |  |  |xx|xx|4 |  |  |
        |  |xx|5 |  |  |  |  |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|23|xx|xx|xx|  |xx|8 |  |xx|  |xx|xx|  |xx|
        |xx|xx|  |xx|24|xx|  |xx|xx|9 |  |xx|29|  |xx|10|25|26|  |xx|
        |xx|xx|11|  |  |  |  |xx|xx|xx|  |xx|  |xx|xx|xx|12|  |  |xx|
        |xx|xx|xx|xx|  |xx|  |xx|13|27|  |xx|xx|xx|14|  |  |  |  |xx|
        |xx|15|  |  |  |  |  |xx|xx|  |xx|xx|xx|xx|xx|xx|  |xx|  |xx|
        |xx|xx|xx|xx|  |xx|xx|xx|16|  |  |  |  |  |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
                       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.)
 ____________           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
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
                                                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.           |
 |                                                                        |
 ____________                  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
/ \                                                                       \
\@:  ___________                                                           :
  | \       __  \          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                             |
  |                                                                        |
  |                                                                        |
  |                                                                        |
  |                                                                        |
__|                                                                        |
 ____________            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.
                                       "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.
                                       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!"
 ___________             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.
                                       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.                                                                 |
 ______________             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.
 ____________         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   \________________________________//
 ___________                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    \________________________________/

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