Kelfour Edition volume III number V

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 / \                                                                     \
|   |                          All Hallow's Eve Masquerade!  See Page 28  |
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 |    GemStone III(tm)                                  October 1992   |
 |                                                       Vol.3, No.5   |
 |               _   _           _    ___                              |
 |              / ) / )         / )  / __)                             |
 |             / /_/ /  ____   / / _/ (   ____   __  __  ____          |
 |            /   __/  / __ ) / / (  __) / _  ) / / / / / ___)         |
 |           / /\ \   / ___/ / /  / /   / (/ / / (_/ / / /             |
 |          (_/  \_) (____) (_(  (_(   (____/ (_____( (_(              |
 |                    _____      _    _    _    _                      |
 |    /~~~~~~~~~~~\  / ____)    / )  (/  _/ )  (/                      |
 |   /   _     _   \/ (__   ___/ /  _   (  _) _   ____   ____          |
 |  /   /^\   /^\   \____) / _  /  / )  / /  / ) / _  ) /    )         |
 | |    \_/ _ \_/    |_   / (/ /  / /  / /  / / / (/ / / /) /          |
 | |       <_>       |_) (____(  (_(  (_(  (_( (____/ (_((_(           |
 | |   |\   _   /|   |                                                 |
 | |   \ |_| |_| /   |               The Kronicles of Kulthea          |
 |  \   \       /   /                                                  |
 |   \   ~~~~~~~   /                                                   |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |  Local News ..................................................   1  |
 |  Gorcland: The New Player's Guide to Riches ...... Dayln Grimm   2  |
 |  Successful Thievery: Traps .......  Lord Artuero Bresnahanini   6  |
 |  Puma Chow ................................. Murdoch Ravenlock   9  |
 |  Cartographer's Shop: Kelfour's Landing  ...                        |
 |                ........... Revision by Avondale de|{nightsaber  10  |
 |  We Were Expecting Someone Older ..... Lord Gallenod Varynesti  12  |
 |  Undermining Kelfour's (Pt. 1) .......... Llorien Silivanestii  17  |
 |  The Wight's Revenge (Conclusion) ...... Elminester Sylvanisty  19  |
 |  The Dock Boy .................................... Tapor Lieff  22  |
 |  Untitled Poem ............................. Greywulf Aliantha  23  |
 |  Cycles (Part III) .................... Lord Whilder Planrathe  24  |
 |  All Hallow's Eve Masquerade ................. Your Invitation  28  |
 |                                                                     |
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 |                                                                     |
 | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi-|
 | player roleplaying game GemStone III on  GEnie Information Network. |
 | Submissions  may  be edited  for space, accuracy  and  readability. |
 | Contact Assistant Editors  Kalagay Halatil or Lady Rune Arundel, or |
 | Publisher Phaedra Bleu by GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for details.      |
 |                                             Banner letters by Yonah |
 |   __________________________________________________________________|___
 |  /                                                                     /

               Local News
               ~~~~~~~~~~                         Auction In Town Square
                                              An  interesting  assortment  of
               .`~~~~~~'.                     merchandise was being auctioned
             ,`          ',                   in  a  red  striped tent on the
            :  (0)   (0)   :                  promenade  in  town  square  as
            :      /\      :                  this issue of KE went to press.
             `,_        _,'                   Auctioneer   Gwyllim   ApLorien
                :<||||>:                      (who, to your editors, seems to
                 \____/                       have  more  scruples  than some
     0     ()======()=====()         0        travelling  salesmen  who  have
     |     /       ()      \        /         passed   through   our   gates)
     |    /   ==   ()   ==   \     /          claimed  no  responsibility for
     |  /      ==  ()  ==      \ /            magical  or  other  properties,
      o         == () ==        o             but  had a reasonably nice sel-
                   ()                         ection of things available, all
                 //  \\                       of  which  went  to the highest
                0      0                      bidder,  with  a  limit  of two
                                              each, including:
                                              A flamberge
                                              A laen falchion
 _______________________________________      A diamond rod
/\                                      \     A threk figurine
\@|       Open Essence Spell List        |
  |       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~        |    An embroidered shaalk tunic
  |  No. Name              Duration      |    A plaited straw sunhat
  |  --------------------  ---------     |    An emerald green satin dress
  |  401 Guarding I        1 min/lvl     |    A  shimmering translucent  gown
  |  402 Presence          Immediate     |      woven of  fog  and  mist that
  |  403 Locklore         *1 minute      |      clings and flows  as an image
  |  404 Traplore         *1 minute      |      in a dream.
  |  405 Essence Wave      Immediate     |
  |  406 Guarding II       1 min/lvl     |    A golden unicorn mask
  |  407 Word of Opening   Immediate     |    A dragon mask:  snarling visage
  |  408 Word of Disarming Immediate     |      of a  Red  Dragon with jewel-
  |  409 Essence Blast     Immediate     |      led flames shooting forth
  |  410 Detect Spell      Immediate     |    A sinister black mask
  |  411 Essence Blade     3 strikes/lvl |
  |  412 Bladeturn         10 sec/lvl    |    Gwyllim offered to auction mer-
  |  413 Vulnerability     10 sec/lvl    |    merchandise  on behalf of resi-
  |  414 Guarding III      1 min/lvl     |    dents,  along  with more of his
  |  415 Essence Strike    Immediate     |    own  stock  in a second session
  |  416 Piercing Gaze     Immediate     |    the next evening.
  |  417 Dispel Magic      Immediate     |
  |  418 Gather Flows     *1 min/lvl     |                  __
  |  419 Guarding III      1 min/lvl     |                 / /
  |  420 Imbed Spell       Permanent     |           /~~~~~~~~~~~\
  |  425 True Strike       30 sec/lvl    |          /   _     _   \
  |  430 Guarding True     30 sec/lvl    |         /   /^\   /^\   \
  |  450 Flow Riding       Immediate     |        |    \_/ _ \_/    |
  |                     *Not cumulative  |        |       <_>       |
  |                                      |        |   |\   _   /|   |
  |  For details, enter SPELLS at the    |        |   \ |_| |_| /   |
 _|  Query Prompt in the Tomes on GEnie  |         \   \       /   /
/@|  GemStone III Page 931.              |          \   ~~~~~~~   /
\/______________________________________/            \___________/
                 Gorcland: The New Player's Guide to Riches
 ____________    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
/ \ _____    \                   Part 2
\@| ~|_|~    |               by Dayln Grimm
  |  |~|     |
 _|  |~|  __ |
/@|  |~|__|| | ast  month we covered   tradeoff, but you can get a falchion
\_/  ~~~~~~~ / Hobland, a great spot   cheaper, and a drake gives you those
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  to begin your life in   special hits.
Kulthea.  After  a  very few levels,
though, Hobgoblins  no  longer  seem   Eog gives you a +10 to your OB. This
exciting.  You've  tried  the Trolls   material is  strong, and  the  added
and  have  mastered them, even  when   bonus makes  it well worth the price
their weapons break. The Lesser Orcs   at around 21,000 silvers.
fall to  your  blade  after  a short   Ithloss, I  understand, is  a weaker
battle. It is time to move on.         material and only gives a +12 to OB.
                                       The price  at around  30,000 silvers
Gorcland is  a good  choice for your   is too  close to  laen to  make this
next  hunting   ground.  I   include   purchase worthwhile.
Lesser Orcs  and Cockatrices in this
article. This  area is  much  larger   Laen is  the material  of choice  in
and more  interesting than  Hobland.   Kulthea. You  have probably  already
More dangerous too.                    seen    adventurers    using    laen
                                       broadswords. They  give a  bonus  of
My  articles   are  aimed   at   the   +15 and  are quite  strong. They are
followers  of  the  Realm  of  Arms:   pricey, though, at 33,000 silvers.
Fighters,  Thieves,   Rangers,   and
Bards. I  know nothing  of magic and   Shaalk is  very magical  and gives a
do not  know  the  tactics  for  the   bonus  of   +20.  However,   it   is
other realms. To hunt effectively in   downright expensive at around 65,000
Gorcland, you need to generate an OB   silvers.
of  about  75,  and  more  would  be
better. If you are a little short of   ET'd weapons (weapons with the spell
hitting power,  read the  section on   Enchant True  cast on  them) are the
weaponry.                              most magical items you are likely to
                                       see. You  cannot buy  an ET'd weapon
In my  last article,  I covered what   at the  armory like  the others. You
should be  worn as  armor and  which   must first  buy  or  find  the  non-
weapons are best for your means. The   magical weapon you wish to have ET'd
same holds  true for Gorcland, but I   and then pay a high enough Lord Mage
will cover weapons further.            to cast  the spell.  An ET'd  weapon
                                       has no  added strength but will give
            Weaponry                   a +25 bonus to OB. Prices vary.
By now you should have replaced your   Please do not hound a High Lord Mage
broadsword  with  a  falchion  or  a   to  enchant  your  weapon.  You  are
drake falchion. However, if you have   taking up  his time and enjoyment in
the means,  then  buy  a  broadsword   the land.  If  you  happen  to  find
made of magic material.                yourself with  one, be  polite.  The
                                       cost in  power to  cast Enchant True
In my  opinion, a mithril broadsword   is considerable.
costing around 10,000 silvers is not
much better  than  a  falchion.  The   Traveling Tips:  There  are  2  ways
falchion does  more damage  and hits   to reach Lesser Orcs and Cockatrices
most  armors   almost   as   easily.   and 3 ways for Gorcland.  The places
However, the  magic  bonus  for  the   marked X on the map can be navigated
material (+5  for mithril)  is added   by  going down to Lesser Orcs or  by
to your  DB at  parry 100.  It is  a   climbing up to Hobland.
                                    -2-                             More...
                             Map to Gorcland
         (Back to Town)
               |                                      Map Key
               K           H                  K - Kobland
               |           |\                 C - Path to Hobland
     Kobland   K           H \    Hobland         Lesser Orcs
               |           |  \                   and Dangirland
               K           H   \                 (Choose Carefully)
              /            |    H             H - Hobland
             K             H    |             O - Lesser Orcs and
             |-(go path)    \   H                 Cockatrices
             C               H  |             G - Gorcland
              \              |  H             S - Swamp
               C       H-H   H  |                 (30 sec round time)
                \     /   \ /   H             X - Ridge
                 C   H     H    |                 (down to Lesser Orcs;
                / \ /           X                  climb trail to Hobland
             O-O   C            |--Down/      B - Bridge (go bridge to
             |      \           | Climb trail     cross)
             |      (To)        X             T - Tree bridge (go tree
             O   (Dangirland)  /                  to cross)
             |                O               P - Healing pool (drink pool
             |               /                    to stop bleeding)
             O  Lesser      O                 @ - Cottage (go door to
             |     Orcs       \                    enter)
             |        and       O
             O    Cockatrices  /
 Up/Down--|\ |               O                Always travel at parry 100
          O \|             /
 Up/Down--|  O       O-O--B                   Always hunt with a friend
          T   \     /      \---(go bridge)
(go tree)-|    O   O        B                 Skin your prey
          T     \ /          \
          |      O            G               Pawn the armors
          G--G                |
             |  \             G-G             Be courteous to others
             |   S   Swamp   /   \
             |    \         /     G
             |     S       S      |
             |      \      |      G----to Threks and
             |       S-S S-S      |       Manticores
            /          |/         G
           /           S          |
          /                       G
         /                        /                   N
        /    Gorcland            G                  \ | /
       |                        /                    \|/
       |           G---G---G-G-G                  W---+---E
       |          /       /                          /|\
       |         G   P   /                          / | \
       |        /    |\ /                             S
       G-G-G-G-G     @ G
       |         (go door)
      and Black Stalkers
                                    -3-                            More...
You can fall climbing up that trail.   You  can   fall  into   the   chasm,
My companion  has hurt himself badly   incurring  damage,   and  then  must
trying to climb it, with severed leg   "climb  walls"   to  get   out.   My
and bleeding from the ears, no less.   companion is now 2 for 2 for falling
                                       off the tree bridge. From here it is
From here you are in Lesser Orcs and   a  short   trip  to  the  bottom  of
can get  to Gorcland by going across   Gorcland.
the bridge (marked B). Be careful of
Threks around the eastern edge. They   The swamp  is an area to be avoided.
sometimes appear there, and they are   Every time you take a step you incur
fast and can surprise you.             a 30  sec. round time. If you decide
                                       to chase  a  critter  in  the  areas
The second  way to Lesser Orcs is on   marked S,  then be  sure you  are at
the way  to Hobland.  Be careful, as   parry 100.  The  monsters  incur  no
the entrance  to Dangirland is near.   round time here, as they live in the
You can  also  get  to  Gorcland  by   area and are used to it.
crossing Lesser  Orcs and the bridge
again. Keep  at parry  100, as those   The area  marked P  on the  map is a
Cockatrices can  gaze and immobilize   lifesaver. This  is a  healing pool.
you. This  is still  the safest path   Drink from  this pool  to  stop  any
though.                                bleeding  you   have.  Be   careful,
                                       because a  monster can  come in  and
The  third   way  to   Gorcland   is   hit you.
dangerous  but  fun.  In  the south-
western  area of  Lesser Orcs  is  a   The  place   marked  @  is  a  small
slope and a tree bridge  (Marked T).   cottage.  You  can enter it with the
A  large  elm  tree  spans  a chasm.   command GO DOOR.
Forest Trolls:  We have  2 new types   Just as  you get  into the  swing of
of Forest  Trolls. The stupid Trolls   parry tag  they will  stop  fighting
thought they  would do better with a   and wait.  If  you  drop  parry  and
weapon that  doesn't break as often.   attack they will tag you hard!
The dagger-and  flail-carrying types
are just  asking to  be killed.  Set   A turtled  Greater Orc  is  hard  to
your parry  to a point that they can   kill. Rarely  do Greater  Orcs carry
barely hit  you (0  for  some),  and   chests, but  I  have  seen  them.  I
just hammer away at them.              double parry  tag Greater  Orcs  and
                                       hope for  a stun  (and hope no other
Watch out,  just in case that weapon   monster walks into the room).
breaks. Trolls  have lots of CPs, so
it takes  a while  to kill them, but   Goblins: These  are the jokes of the
they carry  good treasure  so it  is   forest. They  are easy  to kill  and
worth the time it takes.               don't fight  very well.  Their  ring
                                       mail pawns  for about  130  silvers,
Lesser Orcs: These are the same ones   though.
we  killed  in  Hobland.  Parry  tag
works  well,   but  watch   out  for   Cockatrices: At  last a  monster for
wandering     Cockatrices.     Being   semi-low  level   folks   that   has
immobilized at  parry 0  can get you   several attacks  and 2 special magic
killed fast.  Lesser Orcs  do  carry   attacks. The  physical attacks  have
chests but it is rare.                 different MTHTs,  and it  is hard to
                                       judge where  to parry.  This  almost
Greater Orcs:  The challenge!  These   forces you into parry tag. Look out!
critters have  a high  OB and  a low   The gaze  of a  cockatrice will give
DB. This gives them room to parry at   you a round time of about 7 seconds,
different levels.  These  are  smart   long enough  for the creature to hit
critters and  will try  to fool you.   you if you are at parry 0.   More...
/ \                            The Monsters                              \
| @/____________________________________________________________________ /
|                                                                       |
|    Forest Troll (Type A)             Forest Troll (Type B)            |
|    OB = 36/70/60    DB = 29          OB = 40/70/60    DB = 29         |
|    THT = 31       MTHT = 99/66/67    THT = 31       MTHT = 94/66/67   |
|    CPs = 250     Level = 6           CPs = 250     Level = 6          |
|    Weapon - Cudgel/Claw/Bite         Weapon - Dagger/Claw/Bite        |
|    Armor -  Heavy Hide                Armor - Heavy Hide              |
|_   Found above bridge                Found above and below bridge    _|
 /                                                                     \ 
|    Forest Troll (Type C)             Lesser Orc                       |
|    OB = 40/70/60    DB = 29          OB = 60          DB = 50         |
|    THT = 31       MTHT = 80/66/67    THT = 84       MTHT = 79         |
|    CPs= 250      Level = 6           CPs = 60      Level = 4          |
|    Weapon - Flail/Claw/Bite          Weapon - Short Sword             |
|    Armor  - Heavy Hide               Armor  - Heavy Hide              |
|_   Found above and below bridge      Found above bridge              _|
 /                                                                     \ 
|    Greater Orc (Type A)              Greater Orc (Type B)             |
|    OB = 80          DB = 30          OB = 80          DB = 30         |
|    THT = 65       MTHT = 89          THT = 61       MTHT = 89         |
|    CPs = 85      Level = 6           CPs = 85      Level = 6          |
|    Weapon - Scimitar                 Weapon - Mace                    |
|    Armor  - Cuirbouili Leather       Armor  - Chain Hauberk           |
|_   Found below bridge                Found below bridge              _|
 /                                                                     \ 
|    Cockatrice                        Goblin                           |
|    OB = 40/50/60    DB = 45          OB = 40          DB = 30         |
|    THT = 80       MTHT = 83/66/94    THT = 70       MTHT = 89         |
|    CPs = 70      Level = 6           CPs = 50      Level = 3          |
|    Weapon - Pinch/Claw/Charge        Weapon - Scimitar                |
|    Armor  - As Light Hide            Armor  - Ring Mail               |
|    Special attack: Gaze/Immobilize   Found above and below bridge     |
|    Found above bridge                                                 |
|  _______________________________________________________________________
| @ \   The THTs and MTHTs assume use of a broadsword and heavy hide.     \
 \_ /_____________________________________________________________________/
The  Immobilizing gaze  is the  same   makes up for less frequent chests.
thing  but  with a much longer round   Be  careful  with  those  Gorcland
time.  Neither spell changes your DB   chests; many of them are trapped.
(thank the  Gods). I parry tag these
creatures but am careful with attack   All of  the  advice  I  gave  in  my
timing. They  will cast  a spell and   Hobland  article  last  month  still
then if  it is  successful they will   holds true  for Gorcland.  This is a
attack you  immediately. Cockatrices   richer and  more varied area. I have
often  carry   chests.  I  get  more   had many  fine  adventures  and  met
satisfaction   and    fun    killing   some of  my favorite  people hunting
Cockatrices than any other creatures   here. I  wish you  all the  best  of
in the area.                           luck. Happy Hunting!
Chests in  the area  seem to be more    /                                 \
rare than  in Hobland  but have more   |   Earn FREE Weekends in Kulthea   |
silvers  in   them.  All   of  these   |       by Contributing to KE       |
creatures drop  magic items  and the   |            For Details            |
armor the  Gorcs wear is worth a lot   |    Send GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON   |
at the  pawn shop.  That  more  than    \_________________________________/
           Successful Thievery:  Traps and How to Overcome Them
 ____________          by Lord Artuero Bresnahanini
/ \ _________\
\@| ||=|=|=|| |
  | ~~ |_| ~~ | o begin with, a discussion of the  mechanics of finding  and
 _|    |_|    | disarming traps is in order.  A thief must first find a trap
/@|   _|_|_   | in order to be able to disarm it.  The formula for finding a
\_/__________/  trap goes something like this:
       Rf  =  (Disarm Skill Bonus) + (Perception Skill Bonus)**
            + (IN Bonus) + (Other Bonuses) + D100 + (Trap Difficulty)
    ( ** Perception Skill Bonus = .5 or something.  Higher level thieves
   can detect any trap in one try, so this aspect is difficult to verify.)
If Rf is greater than 100, the thief   may include  kneeling, Traplore, and
is  able to  detect the presence and   perhaps even  Locklore.  It does not
nature of the trap.  If Rf is 100 or   appear that  the  possibility  of  a
less, the  thief  fails to  discover   fumble  exists   in  the   realm  of
the trap, incurring  a round time as   finding or  disarming  the  traps on
if there were no trap at all.          chests.   Note that  while the  trap
                                       difficulty is  added  in  the  above
The thief's  disarm skill  bonus  is   formula,  the   trap  difficulty  is
that which  he earns  from training.   always  a  negative  number,   which
His  perception   skill  is   added,   results in a lessening of the chance
although  the   bonus   which   goes   for a thief to  find and  disarm the
towards  finding   a  trap   may  be   trap on a chest.
reduced  by   some  factor.     This
explains why  it is  much easier  to   Once the  thief has  found the trap,
find a trap than to  disarm  it -- a   he may  attempt to  disarm it.   The
thief's perception  bonus  does  not   formula for disarming a trap is much
apply  to  disarming.  The INtuition   simpler  than  that  for  picking  a
bonus is  just that.  Other  bonuses   lock, and is as follows:
         Rd  =  (Disarm Skill Bonus) + (IN Bonus) + (Other Bonuses)
                          + D100 + Trap Difficulty
Other bonuses  may include  kneeling   have a  base of  forty-five  seconds
(+10), and  Lord Moonpie swears that   reduced in  some manner  which  does
Locklore will add to your chances of   seem to  take the thief's skill into
disarming a  chest, either by +20 if   account, at least to some degree.
you cast the spell on yourself or by
+10 if an item is used  or the spell   Should Rd  turn out  to  be  100  or
is cast  on you  by  an  accomplice.   less, the  thief fails.   The extent
I believe that kneeling and Locklore   of his  failure is  based on  by how
help to disarm a trap trap as well.    much Rd  is less than 100.
The authorities  however,  say  that   The thief might learn the difficulty
Locklore does  not help  you  disarm   of the  trap,  should he come  close
traps. Traplore should increase your   enough (my guess: with an 80 or 90).
chances, although that spell remains   Should he  fail badly  enough  (less
unimplemented at this time.            than 0?),  the thief  sets  off  the
                                       trap. Of course, there could be dire
If Rd  is more  than 100,  then  the   consequences  for   the  thief   and
thief successfully disarms the trap.   bystanders depending  on the  nature
The round  time  involved  seems  to   of the trap.                 More...
Types of Traps                         warp.   This is  known as  "rifting"
                                       and is  a rather  enjoyable pastime.
The  Ever-Disarmable  Poison  Needle   Nonetheless,  certain  groups  frown
Trap:                                  upon  the   practice  of  "rifting,"
                                       especially  when   done   by   older
A  tiny   hole  (through   which   a   thieves.    This  trap  has  a  -140
poisoned  needle   shoots)  is   the   difficulty and  can  be  disarmed by
giveaway for  this kind of trap.  It   etching some  extra lines around the
is the  easiest of traps to find and   lock  mechanism, altering the  magic
disarm, having only a -5 difficulty.   of the original markings.
A  thief  blocks  the  hole  through
which the  needle shoots  to  disarm   The only  real harm  this  trap  can
it.   The trap  may be set off by an   cause occurs when the thief is alone
unsuccessful attempt  at picking the   and picking  the chest.  Often, when
lock,  and   results   in   a   mild   he returns to the present, the chest
poisoning of  the picker  should  he   will no longer be there, having been
fail a resistance roll.                taken  by   a  creature  or  another
                                       player.   In any  case, once a thief
The Unpopular Gas Cloud Trap:          is in  a time rift, he can do little
                                       but enjoy it while he wanders around
A chest  containing this  trap  will   in one  direction or  another before
have a  hammer poised  to shatter  a   he pops  out,  dazed  and  confused,
small vial  of liquid if the lock is   into what is now the present.
tampered with.  Disarm it by bending
the weak  metal of the hammer.  This   One useful  aspect of  the time warp
trap  has  a  -30  difficulty.  When   trap  is   that   it   affords   the
this trap  is sprung,  a  gas  cloud   opportunity for  the thief  to spend
spews out  of the chest, threatening   his round  time from  picking a lock
picker and  bystanders.  A thief may   in a  safe situation.   This  allows
"pick around"  this trap,  but if he   the thief  to kneel  and pick in the
fails to  open the lock he will have   field, and  then stand  up before he
to move  quickly  after  his  twenty   is released from the warp.
second  round   time   for   picking
expires before  the cloud  begins to   The Deadly Metal Rod Trap:
cause damage.
                                       This trap  was first  discovered  by
The Disappointing Dark Crystal Trap:   Sagan Necropolis  while  hunting  in
                                       the Silver mines.  Sagan died twenty
This trap  consists of a small, dark   seconds  later   in  an  attempt  to
crystal  embedded   in  the  locking   disarm  the   trap.     This   trap,
mechanism.   If a  thief  fails  his   evidenced by  a small, glowing metal
disarming attempt  badly enough,  or   rod positioned  in the  keyhole,  is
fails to  pick the  lock even by the   often deadly.    It  requires  great
slimmest margin, a hole will open in   skill  to   nudge  the  rod  out  of
the earth  and suck  the chest  into   alignment (-150 difficulty).  Should
the netherworld,  never to  be  seen   a  thief   fail  badly  enough  when
again.   Get  around  this  trap  by   disarming, or  fail to pick the lock
grinding  down  parts  of  the  lock   without first  disarming this  trap,
mechanism  so   that  it   will  not   he receives an electricity critical.
contact the  dark crystal  when  one   Although   the   severity   of   the
attempts to  pick the  lock.    This   critical seems  to have  lessened in
trap carries a -95 difficulty.         recent times,  the metal rod trap is
                                       one to be taken seriously.
The Benign Time Warp Trap:
                                       The Frustrating Explosive Trap:
Strange  markings  around  the  lock
mechanism empower  this trap to send   A "bomb" is the most difficult chest
the picker,  whether  successful  in   to open  successfully. Although  the
picking the lock or not, into a time   trap's difficulty  is  the  same  as
                                    -7-                             More...
that of  the metal  rod trap (-150),   brunt of  the explosion, receiving a
this trap  detonates  regardless  of   fairly serious  and  possibly  fatal
whether a  thief  is  successful  in   impact critical.
picking the  lock.   Thus, this trap
must be  disarmed prior to a picking   Should they  fail to  take cover  in
attempt.   With care  and  skill,  a   time by  making a difficult maneuver
thief may  rub  some  mud  into  the   roll,  bystanders   receive  a  less
white substance  that comprises  the   severe  impact   critical.  To   add
chemical  /  explosive      mixture,   insult to  injury, the chest and its
rendering it  harmless.   Should the   entire contents are destroyed in the
chest explode,  the picker bears the   explosion.
                    A short summary of the trap types
        Trap                Diff.   Pick Around?     Destroys Chest?
        Poison Needle       -  5      Yes              No
        Gas Cloud           - 30      Yes              No
        Dark Crystal        - 90      Yes              Yes
        Time Warp           -140      No               No
        Metal Rod           -150      Yes              No
        Explosive           -150      No               Yes
   At this time, these six comprise the universe of traps in our region.
Now for  an example.   After reading   roll, his  Rd will always exceed the
last month's  article, our  friendly   101 necessary for a disarm.
thief Remus  was able to pick enough
chests to  gain a level.  That would   Realizing that  this  formula  lends
make his level an unlucky number, so   itself    easily    to    a    quick
I will  grant him  another.  Thus he   determination  of   his  chances  of
is now fourteenth level.  Remus is a   success on  each  trap,  Remus  does
"new generation"  thief, and  so  he   some arithmetic, and figures out his
has double  trained  in  his  disarm   chances,  at  fourteenth  level,  of
trap skill  throughout  his  career.   successfully disarming  any  of  the
His thirty-two  ranks of  skill give   other traps.  He will always be able
him a  skill bonus  of +124.  His +8   to disarm a gas trap (+142 + (-30) =
IN bonus  gives him  a total natural   112),  but  will  only  be  able  to
skill of +132.                         disarm a dark crystal trap on 32% of
                                       his attempts  (+142 +(-90)  =  +32).
Remus has just picked a chest with a   The time  warp trap  is only  barely
time warp  trap, and  is in  a  time   within his  range (+142  + (-140)  =
rift.  Therefore, he is able to read   +2);  he  has only  a 2%  chance  to
this article  and I  can write about   disarm this  on any given attempt as
his reading this article.  Remus has   he must  make his D100 roll either a
determined  that  he  will  put  the   99 or  100 to  succeed.  Alas, Remus
information he  has learned  here to   realizes, the metal rod trap and the
use while  he is rifting by learning   explosive trap  are out of his reach
which traps he may disarm.             completely (+142 + (-150) = -8).
Remus decides that he will generally   Remember  that  the  formulas  given
kneel when  disarming a  chest, thus   here are models based on  experience
his total  skill bonus for disarming   and intuition.  They may not be per-
is +142.  Applying this bonus to the   fect,  but  their  predictions  have
trap difficulty  for a  needle trap,   turned  out  to  be  very  accurate.
Remus realizes that he has a +137 to   A  better   understanding  of  traps
add to his D100 roll.  Thus, he will   should lead to a safer world. I hope
always succeed at disarming a needle   this  article  is  a  step  in  that
trap.   No matter  how low  his D100   direction.
/ \      __  \                   Puma Chow
\@|     / "|  |                  ~~~~~~~~~
  |    //|"|  |             by Murdoch Ravenlock
 _|   //=|"|  |
/@|  //  |"|  |
\_/ ~~   ~~~ /  few months ago a new   some sword swingers and/or sorcerers
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  area  opened up right   who can  stun the puma, at least one
outside of town  off the mine trail.   healer, and  a  cleric.  If  you can
One  of the inhabitants in  the  new   find  a cleric who  can blind  them,
area is the puma, a large cat  often   all the better! I've seen some play-
referred  to as a mountain lion. The   ers  hunt them solo, but if  you are
pumas  here live along a  lake shore   new to the area and have an aversion
and along a forest trail (see map).    to becoming puma chow,  then hunting
                                       in a group is the best route.
Pumas  are  parry-taggable  but  are
quick   enough  that  extra  caution      ________________________________
should be  used.  One of  my cousins     / \   Information About Pumas    \
had his stomach ripped out by a puma     |@/_____________________________ /
so I'd stay  away  from  them if the     |                               |
system is running slow.  Pumas don't     | Level 15, speed - med to fast |
carry  chests, but  their hides  are     | Attacks:  Bite OB-150  THT 69 |
quite valuable.                          |           Claw OB-135  THT 66 |
                                         | DB - 70 (max 190)   CPs - 150 |
The best  way to hunt  pumas is in a   /@|   THT with broadsword - 84    |
group.  The group  should consist of   \/_______________________________/
                             Map of Puma Area
                        /   /                 ************************
      FOREST          FP  FP--FP              *        Map key       *
     AREA MAP          |        \             * MT = Mine Trail      *
                      FP         FP           * Va = Valley          *
                       | \         \          * FP = Forest Path (1) *
                      FP  ?         FP        * Fo = Fork in Path    *
                       |             |        * WP = Winding Path    *
                      FP       ?    FP        * FT = Forest Trail    *
                       |        \   /         * LS = Lake Shore      *
      climb           FP  ?      Fo           ************************
    rockslide          | /         \
 MT...........Va--Va  Va            WP--WP--WP..........FT----FT
   (from Mine    /     |                       go trail      /
     Trail)    Va  ?--Va                    (to where      FT
               | \  /                        pumas are)   /
               ?  Va                                    LS
                 / |                                   /  \
                ?  ?                                 LS    LS
                                                      |     |
                                                     LS    LS (2)
Notes: (1) Be careful of Black Bears, Giant Boars and other critters
           that live along the Forest Path.
      (2) There's a waterfall here that is so loud you will need to
          yell if you want to talk.
                  Cartographer's Shop: Kelfour's Landing
                           by Darwynn Ellessur
                   Revision by Avondale de|{nightsaber
The map on these two pages can be taped together to provide a quick
reference for old and new residents of Kelfour's Landing. It provides
accurate directions along the arcs from each location, although some arcs
have been stretched. To use the bridge between banks of the Colewaether,
use the command GO BRIDGE.
  |  ### Exterior Wall     /  NE-SW    <UPPERCASE> Street Abbreviation  |
  |  --- East-West         =  bridge   <lowercase> Place Abbreviation   |
  |   |  North-South       \  NW-SE    XXX         Colewaether River    |
     A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N
 1            WES--LAN--EAS
          ###      gate    ##############################################
         #          |
 2      #     NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG--NRG-------BAW
       #     / |   fur             |   mil   |   hea   |             har
      #     /  |                   |         |    |    |        N     |
 3   #   ---  EOG                 MEW       YAR  JAR  WID       |     |
    #   /     bat                  |         |    |   thi      /|\    |
   #   /       |                   |         |    |    |        |     |
 4 #WRG       SQNW-----SQNE--REA--MEW--REA--REA--JAR  WID--MIR  |    COL
   # |        rti       wea       sta   |loc,eng hel  paw   |   |    ndo
   # |         |\       /|              |         |    |    |   |     |
 5 #WRG        | \     / |             IOR  LAN  JAR--WID  DRA       COL
   #mer        |  \   /  |             bla  hbr  war  kin   |       /war
   # |         |  |   |  |              |    |    |         |      /   XX
 6 # |         |  |WEL|  |        AND--KEL--KEL  JAR--LAE--DRA--COL   XXX
   # |         |  \ | /  |         |         |   war        |   wha\  XXX
   # |         |   \|/   |         |         |    |         |       \   X
 7 #WRG--BLU--SQW--SQC--SQE--HAL--AND       KEL--JAR       DRA       COL
   # |   gro  ban  wel  moo        |         | \         inn,bel      |
   # |         |  /tre\  |         |         |  \           |         |
 8 #WRG        |  |   |  |        AND       CUL  WIN--WIN--DRA--WIN--WCR=
   # |         | /     \ |        con       cat   |        ban        |
   # |         |/       \|         |              |         |         |
 9 #WRG--GRI--SQSW-----SQSE        |        MOO--MOO       DRA        |
   #  \  arm  hpa       gen        |         |   hph         |         |
   #   \                 |         |         |    |         |         |
10  #   \                |        AND--ORH--ORH  HUD--HUD--DRA       COL-
     #   \               |        cle  tem  mus       bak  fle        |
      #   \              |              |                   |         |
11     #   \            FAE       TER--TER                 DRA       COL-
        #   \         scr,keo      |    |                  dre        |
         #   \           |         |    |                   |         |
12        #   SRG--SRG--SRG--SRG--SRG--SRG-------SRG-------SRG--SRG--SRG-
           #       gem
     A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N
                                                                 Map --->
                     Cartographer's Shop (Continued)
Each node has a street name in capital letters: WID (Widow-wart Road);
a place name in lower case letters: paw (the pawnshop); and several
directional lines: N, E, S. This nomenclature is used for sites.  A grid
system is provided for fast look-up from the cross-reference tables for
streets and places.
                     WID--  <-- Street Name
                     paw    <-- Place Name (Blank, if none)
                                    STREET CROSS-REFERENCE TABLE
                                 AND   Andraax Avenue       G6-G10
                                 AQU   Aqua Regia Road      Q5
                                 BAE   Bay's East Watch     Q2
  O    P    Q    R               BAW   Bay's West Watch     N2
                                 BLU   Bluestar Street      B7
                           1     BOA   Boatyard             Q10
#######################          BRI   Bridge, Kelfour's    O8
XXXXXXXX               #         COL   Colewaether Way      N4,N5,M6,N7-N11
XXXXXXXX   BAE          #  2     DRA   Dragonfang Road      L5-L11
XXXXXXXX   cat          #        EAS   East Tower           E1
 XXXXXXXXX    \         #        ECR   East Crossing        P8
  XXXXXXXXX    \ERG     #  3     EOG   Eogsmith St          C3
  XXXXXXXXXX    alc     #        ERG   East Ring Road       R3-R8
  XXXXXXXXXX     |      #        FAE   Faetherquel St       E11
-NDOXXXXXXX      |      #  4     GAR   Garden               Q9,R9,R10
XXXXXXXXXX       |      #        GRI   Grimseer Lane        B9
XXXXXXXXXX       |      #        HAL   Half Senit Street    F7
XXXXXXXXXX AQU--ERG     #  5     HUD   Hudvaark Road        J10,K10
XXXXXXXXX   |   coo     #        IOR   Iorak Street         H5
XXXXXXXXX   |    |      #        JAR   Jarkarn Street       J3-J7
XXXXXXXX   RIV   |      #  6     MEW   Mews, The            G3-G4
XXXXXXXXX   |    |      #        MIR   Mirenna Street       L4
XXXXXXXXX   |    |      #        MOO   Moonstone Lane       I9,J9
 XXXXXXX   RIV  ERG     #  7     NRG   North Ring Road      C2-L2
XXXXXXX     |   bre     #        ORH   Orhan Square         H10,I10
XXXXXX      |    |      #        REA   Reaan Street         F4,H4,I4
=BRI==ECR--RIV--ERG     #  8     RIV   River Ramble         Q6-Q8
XXXXX jet  war   |      #        SHA   Shanty Town          P11-Q12
 XXXXX      |    |      #        SQC   SQUARE Central       D7
  XXXXX    GAR  GAR--HAS#  9     SQE   SQUARE East          E7
   XXXXXXXX     shk  has#        SQNE  SQUARE Northeast     E4
        XXXXXXX  |      #        SQNW  SQUARE Northwest     C4
-----------BOAXXGAR     #  10    SQSE  SQUARE Southeast     E9
           boaXX        #        SQSW  SQUARE Southwest     C9
            | XXX       #        SQW   SQUARE West          C7
------SHA--SHA XX      #   11    SRG   South Ring Road      C12-N12
      sha   |  XX     #          TER   Teris Lane           G11,H11
       |    |  X     #           WEL   Town Well            D6
------SHA--SHA      #      12    WES   West Tower           C1
                   #             WCR   West Crossing        N8
###################              WID   Widow-wart Road      K3-K5
                                 WIN   Windzak Street       J8,K8,M8
  O    P    Q    R    S          WRG   West Ring Road       A4-A9
                                 YAR   Yarlek Lane          I3
<--- Map                           -11-
  ABBR.   PLACE               GRID      DIRECTIONS
  alc   Alchemist              R3       GO HOUSE
  arm   Armory                 B9       GO ARMORY
  bak   Baker's                K10      GO SHOP
  bat   Cheldar's Bathhouse    C3       GO BATH
  ban   Bank, 1st Quellbourne  C7       GO BANK, GO ARCH, GO WINDOW
  ban   Bank, Kelfour Secure   L8       GO ENTRANCE, NORTH, GO WINDOW
  bel   Beldreck's Gaming Hall L7       GO HALL
  boa   Boatyard gate          Q10      GO GATE
  bla   Blacksmith             H5       GO GATE, GO DOOR
  bre   Brewery                R7       GO GATE
  cat   Catacombs              Q2       GO TOWER,GO STAIR,N,GO HID DOOR
  cat   Catacombs              I8       GO CRATE
  cle   Cleric's Store         G10      GO CLERIC
  con   Constabulary           G8       GO BUILDING
  coo   Cooper                 R5       GO SHOP
  dre   Dress shop, (Sarii's)  L11      GO SHOP
  eng   Engraver's Shop        I4       Go SHOP
  fle   Fletcher, (Faeroudh)   L10      GO DOOR
  fur   Furrier, (Jarik's)     D2       GO SHOP
  gate  GATE                   D1       GO GATE
  gem   Gemcutter's            D12      GO SHOP
  gen   General Store          E9       GO STORE
  gro   Grocer                 B7       GO GROCER
  har   House, Arcane          N2       GO GATE
  has   House, Argent Aspis    S9       GO GATE
  hbr   House, Brigatta        I5       GO GATE
  hea   Healer's Tent (Surtey) J2       GO TENT
  hel   Helga's Tavern         J4       GO STAIR
  hpa   House, Paupers         C9       GO GATE
  hph   House, Rising Phoenix  J9       GO ENTRYWAY
  inn   Inn, Frith's           L7       GO INN
  jet   Jetty                  P8       GO FOOTPATH
  keo   Kelfour Edition Office E11      GO BUILDING
  kin   Kintaru's Herbs        K5       GO HOUSE
  loc   Locksmith              I4       GO DOOR
  mer   Merchant's Guild       A5       GO GUILD
  mil   Military Barracks      H2       GO BARRACKS
  moo   Moot Hall              E7       GO HALL
  mus   Kelfour's Museum       I10      GO MUSEUM
  ndo   North Dock             N4       GO WALKWAY
  paw   Pawnshop, Dernick's    K4       GO PAWN
  rti   Raging Threk's Inn     C4       GO INN
  scr   Scribe                 E11      GO SHOP
  sha   Shanty                 O11      GO SHANTY
  she   Shed                   L5       GO WAREHOUSE
  shk   Shack                  R9       GO SHACK
  sta   Stables                G3       GO STABLE
  tem   Temple of Eissa        H10      GO TEMPLE
  thi   Thingul Manor          K3       GO GATE
  tre   Tree House             D7       CLIMB TREE
  war   warehouse,OLD          Q8       GO WAREHOUSE
  war   warehouse, TOWN        J5       GO ENTRANCE
  war   warehouse, TOWN        J6       GO WAREHOUSE, GO DOOR
  war   warehouse, IOLAN's     N5       GO WAREHOUSE
  wea   Weapons, Tyron's Arms  E4       GO ENTRANCE
  wel   Town Well              D7       GO WELL
  wha   Wharf, South           M6       GO WHARF
                     We Were Expecting Someone Older
                        by Lord Gallenod Varynesti
Our  story  to this point:  A caravan led by the dwarven master trader Brugo
Ironhand  is  travelling  through a dangerous mountain pass.  Protecting the
caravan  is a group of mercenaries led by the fighter Andar Trollbane.  Also
with  the  caravan are Algo Stonearm, apprentice to Brugo, and a small half-
ling traveller, Wimby Littlefoot.
/ \ _________\
\@| ||=|=|=|| | hey were a week into   what  happened  to Pelag, a log sus-
  | ~~ |_| ~~ | the trip when  Gaden   pended  from two trees swung down at
 _|    |_|    | reported   something   the front of the caravan and slammed
/@|   _|_|_   | odd ahead.  "There's   into  Gaden.  Algo heard bones crack
\_/__________/ signs of  some  large   as  both  the hapless ranger and his
creature up there," he said, gestur-   horse were swept from the trail.
ing  at the pass.  Perhaps more than
one.   It's  hard  to  tell with all   Then, from the shadows of the forest
this stone."                           and  the  ravine  rose  two  hulking
                                       figures:  mountain ogres.  Big ones.
"You  think  there  might  be a pro-   Carrying  small, uprooted trees like
blem?"  asked  Andar.  "What kind of   clubs, they charged the wagon train.
                                       "Rock Apes!" shouted Andar.  "Delph-
"Well, how about half a dead grizzly   ia,  see if you can slow them down!"
bear." Gaden replied sardonicaly.      Unable  to  turn  his  horse  on the
                                       narrow  trail,  Andar leapt from his
"Only  half?" chuckled Pelag.  "Per-   mount  and  ran  to meet the nearest
haps whatever killed it isn't hungry   ogre's charge.
any more."
                                       Algo could see the ogres more clear-
"It  wasn't  eaten,"  Gaden  replied   ly  as  they  approached.  They were
levelly.  "Just torn in half.  Don't   huge,  well  over ten feet tall, but
know  what  happened  to  the  other   moved  with   surprising   quickness
part."                                 through the underbrush.  Behind him,
                                       Delphia muttered the beginnings of a
That   sobered   the  group.   Brugo   spell. Then Algo heard a dull thump.
reached  back  into  his  wagon  and   Turning  around,  he  found  himself
pulled  out  a wicked-looking battle   face  to  face  with  a  third ogre,
axe.   He  smiled.   "Well, let's do   grinning over Delphia's prone body.
it, then.  We've still got six hours
of daylight to get through the pass.   Algo  grabbed  his  axe and charged,
Perhaps  the  critter's only a night   realizing that their only chance lay
hunter." Setting the darkly gleaming   in  giving  the  mercenaries  enough
axe down next to him on the seat, he   time  to  recover  and deal with the
whistled  for  the caravan to resume   ogres.   The  third  ogre,  however,
their climb up the steep trail.        ignored  him  and  moved to join its
                                       fellows.  The three ogres confronted
Pelgar  was the first casualty.  The   Andar, who they obviously considered
group   heard  the  sound  of  stone   the most dangerous.
grinding on stone.  Suddenly, a huge
boulder  came  from  out  of  a side   The  fighter  was  strictly  on  the
ravine  and  knocked  him  from  his   defensive, as the three ogres herded
saddle.    The  surprised  band  had   him  farther  and  farther  from the
little   time   to  recover.   While   caravan.   Finally,  his  back  to a
everyone  was  looking  back  to see   sheer  cliff, Andar threw caution to
                                   -13-                             More...
the  wind.   He rubbed a dull amulet   air!   The  ogres  laughed, and pro-
at  his  neck  and  then the silvery   ceeded  to  play  a gruesome game of
pommel  of  his  greatsword.  Moving   tether-ball with the trapped dwarf.
faster  than  Algo  had ever thought
possible  for  a  human, Andar waded   With  a sinking heart, Algo realized
into the three ogres like a whirling   he  was  now alone.  The mercenaries
dervish,  sword flashing like light-   were  obviously  down for the count,
ning.                                  and  the other drivers had fled.  He
                                       gripped   his   small  axe  tightly,
Andar's enhanced strength and speed,   awaiting his fate.
though,  weren't  quite  enough.  He
did considerable damage to all three   "Oooh!    That's  terrible!"  shrill
ogres,  but  in  the  end a powerful   voice   chirped.   Algo  watched  in
blow  from  one  of them knocked him   stunned  amazement  as the tiny form
over the cliff. Satisfied, the ogres   of  Wimby  jogged  out to the ogres.
turned  as  one  and  headed for the   They  stopped batting the net, which
wagons.   In  the  back of his mind,   by  now  was  still.   Algo was torn
Algo  seemed  to  remember something   between  hoping his master was still
about  rock  ogres having the brains   alive  and wondering what the hobbit
of  the rocks they were named after.   was doing.
Their tactics, however, belied that;
they  had  taken out the mercenaries   The ogres seemed as confused as Algo
with   military   precision.    Algo   by  the  tiny,  unarmed  creature in
raised  his  axe  and  prayed to the   front  of  them.  Wimby looked up at
Forger  for the strength to survive.   the  biggest  ogre,  eyes  wide  and
But  in  his  heart,  he knew it was   shinning.  "Wow, that must hurt!" he
hopeless.                              exclaimed,  pointing  to the largest
                                       of  the  gashes  opened  by  Andar's
Brugo,  however,  wasn't  giving up.   sword.
Raising  his  axe, edges gleaming in
the  fading  sunlight, he barred the   The   ogre,  surprised  by  the  un-
way  to the wagons.  The ogres stop-   expected sympathy, dumbly nodded his
ped  and stared at him.  Then, amaz-   head.   Wimby  pressed  his opening.
ing  for  a creature marginally more   "Here,"  he  said,  "try  this." The
intelligent than a rock, one spoke.    hobbit  reached  into  a  pocket and
                                       pulled  out  a  small vial of fluid.
"YOU.. HAVE... THING.. MOMMA WANTS,"   Running up to the ogre, he sprinkled
the ogre rumbled.  "GIMMIE!"           the  fluid  on  the wound.  Algo and
                                       the  ogres  watched  in amazement as
If  Brugo had any idea what the ogre   the wound closed.
was  talking  about, he didn't budge
an inch.                               "BETTER!" growled the ogre.  "MORE!"
"You'll  touch my goods over my dead   "YEAH.. MORE!" roared the other two,
body,  rocks-for-brains!" yelled the   jumping  up  and down.  Algo heard a
dwarf.   Brugo charged the ogres and   small   landslide   start  down  the
aimed  a mighty blow at the closest.   slope.   The  three ogres surrounded
The  dark  axe  sliced  through  the   Wimby.
cudgel the ogre was carrying like it
was  a  wet  noodle.  The ogre back-   "But  I  don't have any more," cried
pedalled  in  surprise,  trampling a   Wimby.  "That was all I had!"
small  tree.   Brugo darted forward,
sensing an opening, and swung again.   The  ogres  frowned  and  glared  at
The  ogre,  however,  dodged  with a   Wimby.
speed  seemingly  impossible for one
its size.  Brugo's axe cut through a   "But  I know where you can get some!
tightly   strung   vine  and  a  net   Do you want more?" asked Wimby.
hoisted  the old dwarf high into the                                More...
"MORE!"  roared  all  three ogres in   quietly,  and  Momma won't hurt you,
unison.                                you nasty little hobbits!"
"Okay,  then  listen  up.   You see,   The  hag  glared, energy flared, and
there's  this magic pool," Wimby be-   Algo  felt  his limbs freeze in ter-
gan firing off directions so fast it   ror.  Helpless to even run, he drop-
made  Algo's  head  spin.  The ogres   ped  his  axe  and  stood  frozen in
looked  completely confused.  "You'd   place.
better  hurry.   If  you  don't  get
there  by  sundown,  the magic won't   Wimby,  however,  seemed unaffected.
work!  Now go!  That way!  Hurry!"     "Oh  dear,"  he  sighed.   "I had so
                                       hoped to avoid this.
The   ogres,  completely  forgetting
about  the caravan, thundered off in   As  the enraged hag started forward,
the  direction their newfound friend   Wimby raised his hands and intoned a
was  pointing.   They  weren't quite   single word.  It didn't sound like a
sure where they were going, but they   hobbit's voice; it sounded more like
knew  they had to hurry; sundown was   the Voice of Doom itself.  Then, too
soon.                                  fast  for  Algo's eye to follow, the
                                       hobbit  slammed  his hands together.
Algo  watched  the ogres thunder off   A  blast  of  essence  shattered the
into  the  forest,  and then all was   fabric  of  reality  for an instant.
silent.   He  heard  a  chuckle  and   As  it  washed  over  the  hag,  she
turned  to  see  Wimby smiling up at   wilted like sugar under a waterfall,
him.                                   her  entire  form  vaporized  by the
                                       force of Wimby's attack.
"Boy,"  exclaimed Wimby, "those guys
were  nasty.  Stupid, but nasty." As   Vaporized. Algo's numbed brain echo-
he  regarded the smiling hobit, Algo   ed the word again and again.
remembered  something  about fortune
favoring  fools  and  children.   He   Vaporized.. vaporized.. vaporized...
wondered if hobbits counted as both.
                                       Just like that dragon!
Suddenly, the scene was shattered by
a  loud  screech  and  a  crash like   The   sudden  shock  of  realization
thunder.   The  ugliest  female Algo   broke  the spell the hag had cast on
had ever seen appeared in a cloud of   him.   A  new  fear filled the young
choking   smoke,   glaring   at  the   dwarf, as he slowly backed away from
hobbit.   She  was also the biggest,   the   tiny  form  of  Whizbamph  the
standing well over ten feet tall.      Incredible.
"So!"   she   shrieked,  "you  think   Algo   stammered,  "That  was.. that
you're  so  smart, furball?  So what   was.."
if  those idiot children of mine are
off  on a wild goose chase!  They've   "Incredible?"  chuckled  the hobbit.
done  what's  needed.  Now, where is   "I  guess so.  I just hate having to
it?   I  can  smell it!  I wants it,   do that, though.  It's so  violent."
NOW!!!"                                The tiny sorcerer looked almost sad.
Wimby looked innocently at the moun-   "But  what  are  you  doing  here?",
tain hag.  "Where's what, ma'am?" He   stammered Algo. You're.. you're.."
smiled   sweetly  at  the  huge  old
crone.                                 "The   boss?"  replied  the  hobbit.
                                       "Well, yes, I suppose so.  But I had
"None  of  your  tricks  for me, you   a hunch about this one.  Thought I'd
hairy   thief!"   Mystical  energies   come along to keep an eye on things.
began  gathering around the hag, and   Good  thing,  too.  Ogres are pretty
the clearing grew dark.  "Give it up   stupid  on  their  own, but that hag
                                    -15-                            More...
was  really nasty.  Even got them to   winked; Algo's blood ran cold.
follow   directions.    Quite  well-
organized."                            "You  mean,  no  one else knows what
                                       you  look  like  but me?" Algo asked
"But, you're  not..  I. mean.. I was   glumly.  He could see where this was
expecting someone..."  Algo's  voice   heading, and he didn't like it.
tailed off.
                                       "You  got  it." The sorcerer sighed.
"Taller,   perhaps?"   chuckled  the   "Oh   well,  I  guess  it  can't  be
hobbit.                                helped.  Good bye, Algo."
"Well,"    blushed   Algo,   "older,   Algo  tried  to  back  away  as  the
anyway."                               sorcerer raised his hands again, but
                                       the terrified dwarf tripped over his
"It's  not the years, my friend, but   dropped  axe  as the hobbit cast his
the mileage," smiled the sorcerer.     spell.
"But  what about the others?  Andar,   Algo  stared  around  the  clearing.
Gaden,  Delphia?   And  the cleric?"   The ogres were gone.  And what about
Algo  was  almost panic-stricken, as   the  old  woman.   Old  woman?   Was
events  settled  in  his still foggy   there  an old woman?  Algo shook his
brain.                                 head to clear the fog that seemed to
                                       surround  his  brain.   Where had he
"Oh,   they   did  reasonably  well,   gotten  these  bottles?   He heard a
considering  the opposition.  I hope   groan from the net holding Brugo.
they're  all  right,"  the  sorcerer
mused.   Reaching  into a small vest   "Master,  you're  alive!" Algo stood
pocket,  the  hobbit  pulled out two   up  and  ran  to  cut  the old dwarf
impossibly  large vials and set them   down.  Brugo was bruised, but unbro-
on  the  wagon.   "When  you  get  a   ken.    Further  searching  revealed
chance,  have them drink these heal-   Gaden,   Delphia,   and  Pelag,  all
ing   potions.    If  they're  still   severely  wounded but still clinging
alive, that is."                       to  life.  Without questioning where
                                       he'd  gotten  them,  they  all drank
Algo  nodded  again,  picking up the   from Algo's healing potions.
                                       "Where's   Andar?"   asked  Delphia.
"Oh,  I  almost  forgot." Andar felt   Algo looked at her sadly.  That much
slightly  warm  as the hobbit stared   he  remembered.   He  pointed to the
at   him   intently.   "There's  the   cliff.
little  problem  of what to do about
you."                                  "The  ogres  knocked  him  over  the
                                       edge,"  he  answered  quietly.   The
"Me?" gulped the dwarf.  "What about   group  carefully  crept  to the edge
me?"                                   and looked down.  Ten feet down, the
                                       unconscious  form of Andar hung from
"Well," the hobbit replied, "I can't   the  wrist  cord  of  his sword, the
have  someone  blabbing to the world   cross-brace of which was wedged in a
that  Whizbamph  the Incredible, the   crevice.   Thirty minutes of careful
most  feared sorcerer in nine realms   maneuvering,  with Gaden hanging 300
and  head  of  the largest mercenary   feet  in the air on a rope, and they
organization in the Star Empire is a   managed  to  get  the fighter's huge
cute,  fuzzy, "cuddle-bunny," can I?   body up the cliff.  The little group
Think   what   it  would  do  to  my   used  the last of the healing potion
reputation!   Can  you  imagine  how   to bring Andar around.
much  business  I'd  get if everyone
heard  that?   She  was  a cute elf,   "Where.. what  happened?" the groggy
though."   The  hobbit  grinned  and   fighter asked.
                                    -16-             (Continued on Page 18)
/ \ _________\         Undermining Kelfour's (Part 1)
\@| ||=|=|=|| |        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |            by Llorien Silvanestii
 _|    |_|    |
/@|   _|_|_   | he    disappearances   mention disturbing others' prayers."
\_/__________/  began   nearly   two
weeks  ago.  At first no one  seemed   "Aw, you  sound just like Ignatius,"
to take notice. The flower girl  who   I  pouted.   "But  you   forgot   to
enticed passersby with  her fragrant   apologize to everyone." As the words
white flower  petals stopped coming.   left my  lips, I  realized that  the
The curious mystic who  most thought   brother had  not yet  returned. From
quite mad, seemed to have found him-   the looks  on my  companions' faces,
self a remote  hiding place  to hole   they were thinking the same thing.
up in.
                                       "That's  not   like  him,"  Pterelas
But  then the unthinkable  happened.   noted. "He usually is gone but a few
Brother Ignatius,  the  kindly  monk   minutes. Perhaps his friend needed a
who  kept   the  weary  and  injured   hand closing up shop."
company while  they laid  around the
temple,  had stepped out  just for a   Just  then   a  muted  cry  of  pain
moment to  visit  a  friend  at  the   drifted in  through the  open temple
cleric's shop next door.               door. Penna  leaped to her feet, the
                                       knowledge of another's pain spurring
Pterelas and  I were  engaged in our   her to action.  The blood-splattered
favorite pastime, baiting each other   form  of   the  cleric   shop  owner
to see who  would be left speechless   staggered in  the doorway,  took two
first.  Penna  and  Aegyptia  talked   steps, and  fell  into  an  unmoving
over the healing /resurrection  that   heap.
they  had just completed, a  hapless
bard who thought  that he could lull   Penna sprang  to his  side,  quickly
a grey orc to sleep with a  lullaby.   checking over the inert form for the
                                       extent of  the injuries.  "Aegyptia,
"It's a good thing that your Llorien   he's seriously  hurt and  I  haven't
can swing  a sword, Penna," remarked   recovered enough power to heal him."
Aegyptia. "With  his voice, we would   Aegyptia nodded and closed her eyes.
be picking  up pieces  of him  every   A brilliant  blue arc passed between
time he  stepped  outside  the  town   her and  Penna, who  then  took  the
gates." Penna giggled and glanced in   poor man's injuries onto herself.
my direction.
                                       "Come on Llorien!" Pterelas shouted.
With Pterelas  seeming in fine form,   "Ignatius may  be in  trouble!" As I
I decided  to use an old trick which   drew my  falchion and ran after him,
always  seems   to  fluster  him.  I   the thought crossed my mind that for
whistled a complicated little ditty,   a  bright   young  lad,   he  tended
the sweet  notes  filling  the  air.   towards statements of the obvious.
Pterelas  immediately  took  up  the
challenge and  tried to do the same.   We  sprinted   out  into  the  murky
The tuneless sound that emerged from   night, unslinging  our shields as we
between his pursed lips sounded just   ran. The  faint  rays  of  moonlight
like  that   kobold  we   had   seen   made  deceptive   shadows.   As   we
earlier, the  one that wandered into   approached   the    shop,   Pterelas
the grip  of  a  werebear.  Aegyptia   motioned for  me to stop. He pointed
glanced over in irritation and shook   at the  open door  and signed for me
her head.                              to take  up a  position on  the left
                                       side.  I  quickly  maneuvered   into
"Llorien!"  Penna  admonished.  "You   place, then checked his postion.  He
know how  that bugs Pterelas. Not to   was  nowhere  to  be  seen.  Only  a
                                    -17-                            More...
shifting  of the shadows  showed him   weapons   are  gone!"  Sure  enough,
as he stealthily made his way to the   there  was  no sign anywhere  of the
open doorway.                          holy  weapons  that  are a  cleric's
                                       best friend.
I gripped  my blade  tightly  as  he
prepared to  enter.  Thoughts  raced         (Continued Next Month)
through  my  mind  that  anyone  who
would stoop  so low  as to  hurt  an
unarmed monk was a desperate type. I   =================\\=================
crept closer,  ready to  jump in  if
Pterelas  uncovered   the  criminals
still in the act.                      Expecting Someone Older From Page 16
In a few seconds I realized that  no   "I don't know," shrugged Algo.  "One
sounds of combat came from the shop.   minute,  you're  all  down  and  I'm
I let  my  breath  out slowly, still   surrounded by ogres.  The next thing
wary of letting  down my guard, as a   I   know,   I'm  all  alone  in  the
glow lit the  doorway  and  Pterelas   clearing holding those bottles."
stuck his head out.
                                       Andar  nodded,  examined  one of the
"Looks like  they've been and gone,"   bottles, thumbed a small mark on the
he said, putting down  his lamp. The   neck,  and  looked  at  Delphia.  "I
place  was  wrecked.  Cupboards  had   think  the boss was here; that's his
been emptied, their contents  strewn   mark.  Sounds like he hit you with a
over the floor.  Vials of holy water   Forget spell, Algo.  Nice to know he
lay smashed, their precious contents   was looking after us, though I think
soaked up by the thirsty ground.       Lachmar's  going  to  have  quite  a
                                       lecture   for  us  when  we  get  to
"Any sign  of  Ignatius?"  I  asked.   Pragor."  The  fighter winced, as if
Pterelas shook his head.               he  feared the lecture more than the
                                       ogres.  "Boy, did we get suckered."
"And  they  weren't  common  thieves
either,"  he  noted.  "The old man's   Suddenly,  Algo  stood  up.  "Wimby!
cash is untouched."                    Where's Wimby?"
"Oh?" I asked, raising my eyebrow in   "Oh, poor little hobbit!" cried Del-
his  direction.  "How  do  you  know   phia. "Yes, what happened to him?"
where he  keeps his  cash?" Pterelas   
shrugged  and started searching.       Brugo,  who  had  been checking some
                                       cargo  in  one of the wagons, looked
Penna and Aegyptia entered the shop,   up.  "He's over here.  Sleeping like
the strain  of  healing  evident  in   a  baby."  The grizzled dwarf chuck-
Penna's face.  She  rubbed  a  fresh   led.   "I  guess  what  they  say is
scar on  her  abdomen  and  muttered   true:   the  Gods  protect fools and
something about  the cost  of  scar-   children.    I   wonder  if  hobbits
removing herbs. "How is he?" I asked   qualify as both?"
although  I  knew  that  with  Penna   
looking after him, he'd be fine.       Algo  seemed  to  hear  an  echo  of
                                       someone   else   saying   that,  but
Penna started to reply, but Aegyptia   couldn't  quite remember where.  The
exclaimed, "Where are they?"           memory  quickly  faded  as the group
                                       turned  to  picking up the pieces of
A look  of puzzlement  on his  face,   the shattered caravan.
Pterelas replied,  "Who? The crooks?   
They obviously vamoosed."              Meanwhile,  Wimby  Littlefoot, some-
                                       times known by his professional name
"Not  the  crooks!"  she  exclaimed.   of  "Whizbamph  the Incredible," was
Pointing at  an  empty  locker,  she   dreaming of being cuddled by a whole
said, "The  weapons! All the blessed   host of female elves.
 ____________        The Wight's Revenge (Conclusion)
/ \ ________ \       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ~|~|~~|| |           by Elminester Sylvanisty
  |  |~|_ ~~ |
 _|  |~|-|   | ace  to  face  with a   Spider  Temple,   greater  than   my
/@|  |~|     | wight  lord!  I could   rivals in the evil Monastery. I will
\_/ ~~~~~    / feel  the  perturbing   conquer your  small town,  and  from
  ~~~~~~~~~~~ red  orbs  that served   there I  will send  my great army to
for its eyes focus on me. It floated   conquer Kulthea,  and even  the gods
toward me  silently, and I shuddered   will  fear   me!"  The   wight  lord
and closed my eyes, hoping that when   continued to boast, thinking that no
I opened them the nightmare would be   one could thwart it.
over. A putrefying  hand on  my chin
forced me to look up.                  The old man said, "We shouldn't tell
                                       this mage about our plans."
"Well  Master  Elminester,  we  meet
again, this  time on  my terms," the   The wight  lord's roar  made the old
wight lord  said. I  sensed the evil   man  step   back.  "Don't  fear,  my
power that  told me this was not one   servant! Soon he will be another one
of the  common wight  lords you find   of our  destructive toys."  It moved
in most dark dungeons.                 closer to  me  and  whispered,  "You
                                       will suffer  as the  old  master  of
The  old  man  stayed  back  as  his   this  ruin  did  when  I  stole  the
master made  its appearance. Now the   secret of  the  creation  of  golems
wight lord  addressed him. "You have   from him.  He thought he had escaped
done well, Moshtrol. I told you that   me, but  he was  as much  a fool  as
we had  only to  wait and  he  would   you."
fall into our hands."
                                       The wight  floated away  from me and
The  wight   lord  moved  close  and   clapped its  hands.   From  nowhere,
looked at  my leg.  "Excellent work.   the glowing  steel  golem  appeared.
It still  amazes me what mortals can   "Soon you will be like one of these,
do with their magic." All the time I   and more  of them will be made." The
remained silent,  but  my  leg  grew   wight issued  orders to  the  golem:
numb and  I shifted  it. "You do not   "Destroy anyone  who enters,  except
like your accomodations, mortal? You   for me  and Moshtrol. Come, Servant,
grow impatient?" it sneered. "Always   we must  prepare.  The  steel  golem
in  a  hurry,  even  to  die."    It   will guard the mage until the melted
laughed maniacally,  "Oh, but master   steel is ready."
Elminester,  it  will  not  be  that
easy." With  a  gesture,  the  wight   They closed  the  cell  door  behind
lord  lit   the  furnace  under  the   them. I  had been quiet all the time
cauldron. The liquid in the cauldron   absorbing  information.   The  wight
boiled up,  filling my nostrils with   king planned  to create  more of the
sickly fumes  so that  I coughed and   magic-using   golems   by   trapping
my vision blurred.                     unsuspecting  travelers.   My   mind
                                       raced,  trying  to  find  a  way  to
The wight  lord  spoke  again.  "You   escape.  Then   I  had   it!    Most
will be  another soldier in my army.   controlled     creatures      follow
Soon I will rise to the most favored   instruction but can't make decisions
position among  the wight  kings and   on their own. I struggled against my
servants of Kadaena."                  chains to  see the  reaction of  the
                                       golem.  It   just  stood  there,  of
So, it was a wight king! I knew that   course. It  had been ordered only to
the powers  this  creature  mustered   kill  anyone   entering   the   room
were too formidable even for a wight   besides the wight and the old man.
lord. "I  will be  the  favorite  of
Kadaena when  she returns,"  it went   I reached  into my  pocket  and  lay
on. "Greater than her minions of the   hold of  a rune with the spell "Call
                                    -19-                            More...
Familiar" on  it.  I  couldn't  cast   bolt to  a leg  and another  to  its
spells with my hands chained, and my   arm.   The golem fell to the ground,
head hurt,  but  I  could  hold  the   making the  entire room  tremble. It
runes. I read them, and the power of   started to rise; a final bolt caught
the spell was within my mind. I cast   it full  in the  chest and the golem
the spell,  and the  magic called my   fell still.
                                       I didn't  waste any  time. I used my
A calico  cat  appeared.  The  steel   rune to unlock the door, made myself
golem lifted  one of  its giant legs   invisible, and  moved  quickly  down
to kick  at the  cat,  but  a  magic   the corridors  of the dungeon. I was
shield appeared  that kept the golem   afraid there  might be wards against
from harming  the  ethereal  form of   my gold  ring, so I didn't use it. I
my familiar.  I felt  in  my  hidden   heard voices  from a door as I moved
pockets  for  something  that  would   past. Through  the small  window  in
help  me  get  free  of  my  chains.   the door  I saw  the wight  and  its
Eureka! A  rune with the spell "Open   servant, planning  their next  move.
II". Four  of them.  I  chanted  the   They had  many scrolls  on top  of a
rune; my  chains opened  easily. The   table, scrolls  I had  seen  before.
steel golem  kept  up  its  mindless   They were  the copies  of the scroll
attack on the familiar, and I knew I   that the wight lord had given to the
had to hurry, as the shielding spell   old man  when I first spied on them.
couldn't last much longer.             The wight  king was  talking,  so  I
                                       moved closer.
I  examined   the  cell,  which  was
really a  much larger room. The door   "I have  brought  all  the  existing
was just  in front  of where  I  was   copies of the spell here to  protect
chained. There  was a small table to   them  from my rivals,"  the creature
the right with my traveling sack and   said.  "The mountain hags will  keep
pouch. I  moved quietly  toward  the   them safe."
table while  the golem  was occupied
and  pulled   from  my   pouch   the   "Elminester  will be a good  soldier
medicinal  roots   I  needed,   some   to our cause, Master."
pieces of  Arfandas Stem.  As I  ate
them,  the  warmth  of  their  magic   The wight  king nodded  and  replied
healed my  wounds so  that  I  could   "Yes, soon  I  will  have  Kelfour's
summon all my protective magic.        Landing,  and  those  fools  in  the
                                       Monastery and the Spider Temple will
First, I  tried to call upon my dark   kneel before me as Supreme Master of
powers, but  they wouldn't  work  in   the Unlife".
the cell.  It made  sense; the wight
king probably had enemies within its   I had  to do  something, and fast. I
own ranks,  so it  had wards against   moved away from the door, cast haste
their magic.  I would  have to fight   again, made  myself  invisible,  and
this golem  with my essence magic. I   prepared a  Fire Storm spell. I open
took a  blue crystal  wand  from  my   the door  and  let  the  spell  fall
sack and  one iron  amulet. I rubbed   inside the  room. I prepared a Death
the amulet  and felt my strength and   Cloud spell  and cast  it and then a
agility grow.                          Stun Cloud  spell. All these actions
                                       took less  than  a  second.  Then  I
I was  ready! I cast my haste spell,   blasted the  old man  with  a  well-
and everything  slowed around  me. I   aimed firebolt to the chest.
dismissed  my   familiar,  and   the
calico cat  jumped through the small   The wight  lord moved toward me with
window in  the door and disappeared.   its Slay-knife while one of the hags
The steel  golem turned  just  as  I   moved to  protect the  old man. They
blasted it with a lightning bolt. It   had not  realized yet  that the fire
tried to kick me, but I stepped back   cloud was  almost ready to pour down
and dropped  it with  one  lightning   its deadly shower. I had about three
                                    -20-                            More...
seconds to leave  the  room, but the   I could not find the body of the old
wight king  lunged at  me and  would   man. The  hag that had tried to save
have made me one of their ranks if I   him  was  dead.   I  heard  maniacal
hadn't backed away.                    laughter  and  the  old man's voice.
                                       "Well,  well,  you  are more resour-
I gestured at it and it fell down as   ceful  than  my master thought." The
the ground  under  its  feet  melted   door  I  was  moving  toward  disap-
into lava.  I  called  upon  another   peared.   "I  will show you now what
spell,  and  everyone  in  the  room   power  is!"  A  door appeared in one
trembled and  fell  to  the  ground.   wall and the old man stepped through
The  wight  king  raised  its  blade   it.   He still had the scorched mark
again. I  used the  last of my power   of my firebolt on his chest.
and pointed  at its  Slay-knife. The
weapon disappeared  in  a  burst  of   He  started to gesture; I recognized
fire. I  had used  too much power to   the  words  of the spell.  There was
cast more  spells,  but  before  the   no  time  to worry about whether the
wight lord  could strike me with its   gold  ring would bring me to safety.
life draining  claws, I went out and   I  took it from my pouch, put it on,
blocked the door with a big rock.      and the town gates appeared.  People
                                       stared  and  avoided  me, as I was a
Heat came  through the  door and the   mess.
cries of  agony  from  the  mountain
hags.   Thunder sounded as the death   I smiled  to myself.  Not such a bad
and  stun  clouds  moved  around the   day, nothing  that a  good bath  and
room,  electrical  bolts hitting the   mug of ale couldn't fix. The old man
creatures.   One  bolt arced through   was still  alive,  but  without  the
the window and almost hit me.  I sat   wight king  to help him, he probably
down  to  wait  till  the spells had   was just  a minor  problem  for  the
expired  before  I  removed the rock   brave people  of Kelfour's  Landing.
and  opened the door.  As soon as it   We  still  have  to  deal  with  the
was quiet, I looked inside.  All the   Monastery and the Spider Temple, but
hags  were dead, most of them burned   they have become a part our life.
beyond recognition.  The body of the
wight king lay on the floor, and the   I  went through the gates toward the
scrolls on the table had been turned   bathhouse.
into ashes.                   ........
              .vnmmnv%vnmnv%,.;;;:::;;::;;,  .,vnmnv%vnmnv,
     vnmmnv%vnmmmmmnv%vnmm;' mmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmm;' mmnv%vnmmmnv%vnmmmnv
     vnmmnv%vnmmmmmnv%vn;;    mmmmnv%vnmmmmmm;;    nv%vnmmmmnv%vnmmmnv
    vnmmnv%vnmmmmmmnv%v;;      mmmnv%vnmmmmm;;      v%vnmmmmmnv%vnmmmnv
    vnmmnv%vnmmmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmmmm;;       mmmmmmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmnv%vnmmmnv
    vnmmnv%vnmmmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmmmmm;;     mmmmmmmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmnv%vnmmmnv
    vnmmnv%vnmmmmm nv%vnmmmmmmmmmmnv;, mmmmmmmmmmmmnv%vn;mmmmmnv%vnmmmnv
    vnmmnv%vnmmmmm  nv%vnmmmmmmmmmnv%;nmmmmmmmmmmmnv%vn; mmmmmnv%vnmmmnv
    `vnmmnv%vnmmmm,  v%vnmmmmmmmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmmmmmnv%v;  mmmmnv%vnnmmnv'
     vnmmnv%vnmmmm;,   %vnmmmmmmmmmnv%vnmmmmmmmmmnv%;'   mmmnv%vnmmmmnv
      vnmmnv%vnmmmm;;,   nmmm;'              mmmm;;'    mmmnv%vnmmmmnv'
      `vnmmnv%vnmmmmm;;,.         mmnv%v;,            mmmmnv%vnmmmmnv'
 ____________                  The Dock Boy
/ \____  ____\                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@|~|~~\ |~|~|                by Tapor Lieff
  | |~\~\|~| |
 _| |~|\~\~| |
/@|_|~| \~~|_| ight  mist  rolled in   He would simply load  the ships hard
\_/~~~~  ~~~~/ off the  ocean  as  a   and fast,  hoping to  get  a  better
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  cry   fell   on   the   meal than the  last  for  his  extra
streets.  Not the  cry  of death  or   labor.  The meals he hoped for never
the cry of a woman, but the cry of a   came. Soon  Ben stopped  feeding him
baby. Ben  Tooldor had heard all the   at  all  saying, "If  you can  work,
other cries  in the  night and slept   you can eat."  The  pay Ben gave him
through them.  He had  worked on the   was small, so small  that to survive
docks for  many years and  was quite   Dayln had to find another way.
used to them.  But the cry of a baby
was new  to  Kelfour's  Landing.  It   He would  sometimes find food in the
woke him.                              crates  he loaded  and  would eat it
                                       in the  ship's  hold  while  he  was
Tired and  angry, he  stepped out of   alone. The  sailors would  call out,
the warehouse  where  he  lived  and   "Hey Grim,  what's taking  so long?"
searched  for  the  child  that  had   Then he  would drop  the crumbs  and
disturbed him.  He found  it in  the   rush to get the next crate.
alleyway, wrapped  in a  blanket  of
silvery silk.  He looked up and down   He was living  in fear: fear of Ben,
the alley for the parents, but there   fear of  the sailors,  and  fear  of
were none  to be  seen. As he picked   starvation. He  grew tired of it and
up  the   child   he   noticed   its   started to  plan for  a better life.
features, the color of its skin.       He knew the sailors carried money in
                                       the ships,  and he knew that Ben was
"Great,   a   half-elf,"   he   said   not  as  poor  as  he  let  on,  but
sarcastically to  himself.  Then  he   getting to the cash was the problem.
noticed the cloth it was wrapped in.
"Probably the son of an elf harlot,"   One  slow   morning  he  walked  the
he mumbled.  He walked  back to  the   streets of Kelfour's  Landing trying
warehouse and  took the  child  with   to think. He  walked behind Larton's
him.  The  note  on  the  ground  he   locksmith shop,  and  there  on  the
never did notice. Its ink was slowly   ground he saw some old broken locks.
running in  the misty  night and was   He put them  in his pocket and began
soon gone altogether.                  to work out a plan.
Ben  tried to pawn the  orphan  onto   At night, by the light of a  candle,
everyone, but no one had the time or   Dayln  studied  the  locks.  He dis-
desire. He often thought of throwing   covered  some of  their secrets  and
the brat into the sea and would walk   their  flaws.  With a  thin piece of
to the  end of  the dock.  "Back  to   metal he  could  open them.  "I will
wherever you  came from!"  he  would   never be  hungry again," he thought,
say but never could really do it.      "Ben Tooldar will pay what he owes."
He named  the child  Dayln, for  the   Dayln was patient.  He  still loaded
child woke  him at  the break of day   the  ships, worked their  holds, and
each morning.  For  many  years  Ben   stole small  amounts  of  cash  from
cared just  enough for  the child to   their cabins,  and got better at it.
keep it  alive  but  not  much  more   A little  here and  a little  there,
than that.  When he  was old enough,   he  found  himself with  almost  500
Dayln was  put to  work loading  the   silver coins.  "Now," he thought, "I
ships that stopped at the port.        am rich, and my time has come."
The sailors  would ask  him, "Why so   He waited  for Ben  to fall  asleep,
grim?"  but Dayln would  not answer.   and worked at the lock  on his door.
                                    -22-             (Continued on Page 24)
                               Untitled Poem
                            by Greywulf Aliantha
                 Massive, ancient, rising hundreds of feet
                 above the dry brown weeds, this giant oak
                  for years is slowly dying, bark flaking
                       away like dandruff and falling
                  finding company in the litter scattered
                 over the blackened earth.  Its leaves thin
               and letting through the rain, branches rotten
                   dead and hollow, waiting for the first
                   strong gale, yet in their sickly arms
                  providing for the slender birch a home.
                 He's thinking of his parents now long dead
                  who left the land of heavy cliffs, he's
                  heard the tale, the fairness of the day
                   the sky of sunny cumulus while below,
                the narrow strips of green between the rocks
                   sang promises to windak and forsythia
                        a gentler land far North, of
                 grassy slopes and duir groves, of gardens
                  nestled contentendly among the crossings
              of River and canals, just west of Port Kataine.
                         Those days when first they
                        came were glorious; towering
                    trees shiny with the weight of leaf
                         the water clear and sweet
                 and busy with the land's bustling commerce
                    while atop the hills the nurseries,
                    famed throughout that land and many
                housed silver-haired master horticulturists.
                 What joy, they said, to be a sapling then
                   But looking now through broken boughs,
                     below are waterways gone to swamp
                     barges, big and rusted remnants of
                      once vibrant trade float sickly
                      the rising stench ironic tribute
              for history the birch is too young to remember.
                    Except that summer sky, that scarlet
                  Eastern sky and sparks that shot across
                   the moon, flames flickering high above
               the tops of homes, motheries whispering their
                    fear, the horizon glowing a seering
                symbol of the Woode's violent, fiery death.
                   Paint your horizon red, he thinks, and
                  watch while thousands flee; shoot death
                   across the sky and see familiar faces
                 race the Dawn to North, to South and West
               to anywhere but East or oak they panicked run;
              their lumber packed they leave behind forgotten
                 stumps.  Some stay.  The eldest ones whose
                 hearts deny goodbyes to trees their homes,
                      their friends, whose rings give
                      silent testimony to their lives.
                     Funny thinks the birch, unsmiling
                 while morning rain runs down his shoulder,
                down his arm, his wrist, his clenched fist.
                How funny that in truth it was not fire.  No
               flame did touch the tops of hills or lick this
                 mighty timber's leaves.  It was the light,
                  the rolling, billowing clouds of sickly
                 brightness which poured in from the East,
                   unbreathable air that hid the moon and
                   over all the Woode cast death.  No, he
                   knows no fire touched this oak, it is
                   rotting from within for lack of dark.
                    The Doc Boy - Continued from Page 22
It  opened  without  a sound, and he   "Well, Dayln  Grimm," she  said,  "I
started  to work on the chest at the   think  you   are  gonna  live."  She
foot of the old man's bed.  The lock   laughed and rejoined her friends.
was  good,  not  like  those  on the
ship.   It made a strange noise, and   Dayln  spent  a  few  nights  in the
Dayln felt a pain in his finger.  He   temple listening to stories and try-
felt a needle. His finger felt cold,   ing to understand.  He found his 500
then  his  whole hand.                 silvers  would  get  him little.  He
                                       met  a  lovely  lady named Aegyptia,
As he  realized that he was going to   who  told  him  how to make money by
die,  he  yelled  "Poison!" Ben woke   killing  the  creatures  outside the
and  sat up in his bed, only to fall   city.   She  took  him to the shops,
back as the chest landed on his head   and showed him what to buy.
with  a mighty force.  He never woke
again.                                 Aegyptia  introduced  Dayln to a man
                                       named Winter, who  showed him how to
Dayln  dashed  into  the street, not   use the  sword he now  owned.  Dalyn
knowing  what  to  do.  His head was   braved the  wilds several times, yet
throbbing, and he was getting dizzy.   he  always returned to the temple to
He ran into a temple, the only place   hear the great stories.
with a light at that time of night.
                                       One night a young  warrior  entered.
There were  many people  sitting  in   He  did  not  join  in the conversa-
the  large   room  talking   as   he   tions,  but sat alone.  Dayln joined
collapsed  on  the  floor.  A  woman   him,  and  they  began to talk.  The
asked, "What's wrong boy?" but Dayln   young man's name was Tapor Lieff.
was too  weak to  answer. She  knelt
beside him  and uttered some strange   "I know  not these lands, sir, and I
words and  the throb in his head was   am in need of your help," he said to
gone. "What's  your name,  kid?" she   Dayln. This  surprised Dayln, for no
asked. Dayln  felt  confused  as  he   one had ever needed his help before.
noticed  that the conversation never
even  stopped, and the  woman seemed   "I  can   help  you,"   Dayln  said,
very unconcerned.                      thinking of the kindness he had been
                                       shown in  the temple.  "I can  teach
"Grimm," he  said,  remembering  the   you of  the lands,  and perhaps  you
sailors. He  paused  just  a  second   could help  me also."  Tapor  smiled
then said, "Dayln."                    and a long friendship began.
 _______________             Cycles (Part II)
/ \ ____    ____\            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| +|~| __ |~|+|        by Lord Whilder Planrathe
  |  |~|/~~\|~| |
 _|  |~/~/\~\~| | hilder rummaged in   Whilder finished  his  spell  and  a
/@| _|__/  \__|_| the  small  locker   bubble of force surrounded him.  The
\_/_____________/ again.   Carefully   haze  was   disappearing  from   his
he removed  and  replaced  wands and   vision  and  he  realized  that  the
amulets.  He  sighed in frustration.   militia would  kill  him,  then  ask
He  felt that  he needed  to prepare   questions.   Fighting the  pain that
for  a  great  battle, yet  he  knew   still burned his right hand, he slid
that  all  the spells and  enchanted   a gold ring from his finger and then
items  he  had would  be  worthless.   replaced it.  While the first of the
Blast the dreams  that  plagued  him   guards  were  entering  the  square,
these last  five  weeks!  He slammed   Whilder vanished.
the  locker shut and stormed  out of
Moot Hall, his thoughts in  turmoil.   From the  nearby  shadows  a  figure
                                       stepped out  and looked around.  The
Whilder walked  across  the  central   panic had  cleared  the  square  and
square, his  mind not  on the crowds   caused some injuries, but luckily no
or sights  around him.  At least his   one had  died.   Even  now,  healers
brother's voice  had been silent all   were arriving  to help  the injured.
these weeks.   Or perhaps it was his   The tinkerer  found a  seat where he
brother's  ghost   sending  him  the   could watch the spot where the  mage
dreams.    Dreams  of  falling  into   had been  when he  teleported  away.
nothingness, of being slowly  turned   If the mage returned, well and good.
into  that   same  nothingness.   No   If not...
longer existing,  or  even  ever  to
have existed.                          "If not," he thought, "pray that the
                                       destruction of  existence  is quick,
The steel  statue  kept  its  silent   the suffering of the living short."
vigil  as  the  guardswoman  stepped
through the  steel door.   It  never   She fell, watching a visible wave of
reacted, even  when the very core of   her strength and even a little piece
the mountain  shook with  her scream   of her  soul rip  from her and speed
of pain, anguish, terror.              toward the  far wall.  Through  pain
                                       released  with her  soul-scream, she
Whilder fell to his knees, the world   could see a small black spot growing
covered in  a sudden  red haze,  the   on the wall. She fought to block the
birthmark on  his right hand burning   pain with her  mind  as yet  another
him so  badly that  he almost ripped   wave of  strength  and  another tiny
it off  at the  wrist with  his left   part  of her  soul struck  the spot,
hand.  He  began  chanting his  most   and the spot became larger.  And  as
powerful  defensive spells,  forcing   she lay watching her very  existence
his  left  hand away to gesture  the   being destroyed,  the blank spots in
proper signs.                          her memory began to fill.
The crowd  seemed to stop everything   Memories...  Of wars and battles and
for  an instant, then  it  panicked.   travels  across  a  world...  Of the
It was not the first time a mage had   death  of  her physical body, of her
gone mad  and  begun  casting  great   soul trapped in the armor...  Of the
spells of  destruction in  the heart   mage  releasing  her soul...  Of the
of  the  town.  People  ran blindly,   meeting  with  Eissa  in  the  world
calling on  the  Gods for salvation.   beyond  the  gate...   Of the voices
Pandemonium  spread  throughout  the   that  called her back from beyond...
square. The town militia shoved into   Of  the  body she now had being made
the square, trying to stop the  mage   by the Gods themselves...
before he could cast.                                               More...
The  body   she  was   now   losing.   With  a  sound like  a  heavy  sword
Magically made.  Faster and stronger   striking  unprotected   flesh,   the
than any  mere flesh and blood.  She   tentacles ripped  their  souls  from
needed to  breathe only to force air   their bodies  and drug them into the
past her  vocal chords for speaking,   dark hole.
not to live.
                                       The tinkerer glanced around for what
For the  body was  not real.  It had   seemed the thousandth time.  Talk of
no heart  to beat.  It  was simply a   the mage  was  already  dying  away.
vessel to hold her soul and memories   Many were heading to their homes for
of her life.                           dinner.  The sun would  set soon and
                                       still the mage did not return.
And when the Gods didn't need her on
the  world, they set  her aside, she   He reconsidered the three possibili-
unaware  of  time passing until they   ties  that had been discussed within
needed her again, like a child's toy   the council.
set   upon  a  shelf  awaiting   the
child's return.                        The mage  would succeed  in  sealing
                                       the portal they  knew still existed,
At least  when she  had been trapped   ending that  threat  that  had  lain
in the  armor,  she  knew  time  was   dormant for so many centuries.
                                       The mage would fail, but the trigger
But  the  Gods  thought  it would be   for the  portal would  remain out of
kinder for her to be unaware of  the   the grasp of the Unlife.  What would
time which  passed passing while she   open the portal, they did not know.
wasn't needed.
                                       The mage  would  fail,  and  in  his
She released  another soul-scream of   failure open  the portal.   And  the
anguish  at  her  memories  even  as   world would  know the  true tread of
Whilder teleported into the room.      the Unlife.   That is, for the short
                                       time the  world  would  continue  to
Whilder  fell  forward,  the  second   exist after the portal opened.
wave  of  pain  from  his  birthmark
washing  over  him,  threatening  to   She looked around at Nothingness, at
destroy him.   He tried to block out   a blackness that  wasn't  black.  No
the   pain.   Slowly,   his   vision   sign of  the opening  they had  been
cleared.  He saw Chance, lying there   brought in  through.  She looked for
like a  discarded rag doll, the pain   the mage.
and anguish showing clearly in those
green eyes.                            She saw  the wolf.   Shifting  greys
                                       against the background  of  nothing-
Green, like  the green  of  too-long   ness. Its  grey eyes  shone like two
dead flesh.                            beacons  of  power  flashing  in the
                                       darkness. It seemed to stand in mid-
He forced  himself to  look over  in   air yet to have solid footing.
the direction  she was  staring.  He
saw the  strange black  area  slowly   Even as  she puzzled  on  this,  the
growing on  the wall.   It was not a   tentacle holding  her  released  her
hole  like  any  he  had  ever  seen   and dissolved  into the nothingness.
before.                                A cruel mouth formed in front of her
                                       eyes,  each  fang  being  a  smaller
It was nothingness.                    mouth with  more jagged  fangs.  The
                                       scratching voice  of thousands  rang
And even  as he  looked,  two  long,   in her ears.
dark tentacles  reached out from the
hole.  One slowly wrapped around his   "Thank you, my child, for coming and
body, through and into his soul. The   providing the catalyst.  To open the
second was doing the same to Chance.   portal I  needed a  soul of  one who
thought they  served great good in a   Tentacles, claws,  hands, and  teeth
form that  was not  a living  being.   shifted into being and attacked her.
As your  reward, you  shall watch me   Always she  avoided them, always she
destroy your  world, your  Gods, and   continued to  circle.  She   watched
the many  stars  and  worlds  around   patiently.   These  were  but  small
them. Then  you shall  join them  in   bits of  her enemy.   She  would  be
non-existence."                        patient;  she  would  wait  for  the
                                       right target to attack.  To slay.
She felt  her sanity  slipping away.
The Gods,  in an  effort to keep her   The tinkerer  shifted uncomfortably.
in  their   immediate   grasp,   had   The sun  was setting,  storm  clouds
provided the  very means  to release   gathering off the coast. He wondered
their own destruction.                 if the  storm  would  accompany  the
                                       destruction  of  the lands.
Whilder felt  the  pressure  as  the
tentacle around  him tried to burrow   Whilder ran  on,  dodging,  jumping,
into his  soul-being.  He ran at the   snapping  at   those   things   that
place where  the tentacle  seemed to   attacked him  as he  ran.   The hawk
originate, then suddenly threw  him-   wheeled and  dipped and  soared with
self into a  roll  in  the  opposite   him,  sometimes   above,   sometimes
direction.  Twisting, he clamped his   below him.   He  followed the  scent
jaws down on the part that  loosened   that assailed his nose.
from  his  actions  and  released  a
spell of power from inside his mind.   The scent of death...
The tentacle burst into  flames  and
dissolved.   From everywhere  came a   She  banked   sharply,  avoiding   a
scream of pain.                        grasping hand  as large  as her  own
                                       form. She  did not  know what  drove
Whilder   quickly   looked   up   at   the wolf  to go  in this  particular
Chance.                                direction, but she would follow.
The mouth  evaporated, screaming  in   It waited.   These two had caused It
pain.  The scream echoed in her mind   some minor  pain but  had allowed It
long after it was gone.  She glanced   to gain  access to  that troublesome
at the  wolf and was shocked to hear   world.   It could stop them, destroy
the mage's voice in her head.          them at any moment.  But the anguish
                                       they would  feel when  It  destroyed
"Fight.  Or lie down and die."         them so close to their goal would be
                                       so sweet, so delicious.  And then It
She wondered  how  she  could  fight   could begin  the destruction  of all
Nothing. Whilder saw Chance suddenly   living things.
shift  her  form.  In its  place was
a hawk,  feathers  of  dark  crimson   The tinkerer  looked around the dark
blood, eyes of green.                  square.  The mage had been gone  too
                                       long.   He  must  have  failed.  The
The green of too-long dead flesh...    tinkerer could  smell evil spreading
                                       across the  land.   The  portal  was
She snapped  her wings  and realized   open.   He knew  even though  he had
she was soaring.  She wheeled around   not seen it. The storm moved closer,
the wolf,  then under  it.   Reality   and the  tinkerer felt  a  touch  of
here was what they  made it, and she   sadness.  The storm was hiding Orhan
made  hers a clear, open sky.  Sharp   from view.   He  would have liked to
eyes constantly scanned for signs of   gaze upon it one last time.
something to attack or for something
that might attack her.                       (Conclusion Next Month)
 | /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ |
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