Kelfour Edition volume III number X
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
_______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | Guide to Gems! See Page 2 | @_/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | | | GemStone III(tm) March 1993 | | Vol.3, No.10 | | _ _ _ ___ | | / ) / ) / ) / __) | | / /_/ / ____ / / _/ ( ____ __ __ ____ | | || / __/ / __ ) / / ( __) / _ ) / / / / / ___) | | ||||/ /\ \ / ___/ / / / / / (/ / / (_/ / / / | | ||||||/ \_) (____) (_( (_( (____/ (_____( (_( | | |||||||| _____ _ _ _ _ | | |||||||||| / ____) / ) (/ _/ ) (/ | | |||||||||||| / (__ ___/ / _ ( _) _ ____ ____ | | |||||||||||||| ____) / _ / / ) / / / ) / _ ) / ) | | ||||||||||||||||__ / (/ / / / / / / / / (/ / / /) / | | ||,"""""""""""",||_) (____( (_( (_( (_( (____/ (_((_( | | |"" (@) (@) ""| | | |.. (oo) ..| The Kronicles of Kulthea | | ", '\____/` ," | | "--------" | |_____________________________________________________________________| |_____________________________________________________________________| | | | | | ................ Kelfour's Landing Local News ............... 1 | | Alyssya's Guide to Gems--The Basics ............ Alyssya Sand 2 | | New Players Tips .......................... Mordstrom Parthus 3 | | Untitled Poem ............................... Loque Windsfoot 3 | | Kelfour Fried Cockatrice .................... Loque Windsfoot 4 | | Learning To Sing ............................... Erion Kulsen 6 | | Wilderness Report ....................... D. Forest Hobgoblin 7 | | The Query ................................ Palance Buckhannah 7 | | RR Spells Vs. Armor ....................... Trachten Hickapod 8 | | Misplaced Darts ...................... Lord Whilder Planrathe 9 | | Slaughn on High ................................ Erion Kulsen 10 | | The Poor Adventurer's Path to Knowledge .... Rasputin Santare 11 | | Crazy Petya .............................. Aleksandr Charodey 14 | | Distant Memories ....................... Baloreik Domarlynnas 16 | | Undermining Kelfour's: Part 5 ........... Llorien Silvanestii 19 | | A Matter of Honor ................................ Sean2 Ladd 22 | | Snakes and Lathers ......................... Lloyd Llowd, PhD 26 | | | |_____________________________________________________________________| | | | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi-| | player role-playing game GemStone III on GEnie Information Network. | | Submissions edited for space, accuracy and readability. Send GE Mail| | to P.HERRINGTON to Editor Rasputin Santare, Assist. Editors Kalagay | | Hallatil, Jarran Terraxx, or Publisher Lady Phaedra Bleu. | | _________________________________________________________________|___ | / / \_/____________________________________________________________________/ ____________________________ |----------------------------| that checking into the Inn carries a // \ tab of 10 silvers per visit. In a || + Kelfour Edition + | bold step forward, the town elders || | have now arranged to have that debt || L O C A L N E W S | automatically deducted from your || + + | purse (assuming you have one), \\_____________________________/ thereby saving a trip to the Debt Collector. The process is now Houses Of Kulthea simplified, if not yet painless. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Houses of Kulthea have been a Bards Sing Out mysterious, enigmatic aspect of ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kulthean society for quite some Bards have always kept us enter- time. If you want to join, who do tained and informed through song and you call? Now, some of the mystery verse. But now something new is will be lifted. Following a new happening. They are able, through decree, all Houses are henceforward unknown, arcane means, to escry the required to post a plaque on their identity and nature of virtually any gates with the names of current item simply by singing. The nature House officers. Finding the House of this magic is not entirely under- (and the requisite silver to join) stood, and experimentation continues is another matter. Of course, for a to produce some startling results. more detailed look at the Houses, Needless to say, Bards have suddenly their entrance requirements and become as popular as a baker at a contacts, you could also take a look beggars' banquet. at Dartaghan's article in KEV3N6. The Roleplaying Award Changes To Lockpick and Disarm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GM's are constantly on the lookout Attempts to pick locks and disarm for players who are engaged in good traps have been a murky business, roleplaying. While the debate over fraught with risk and danger. The what constitutes good roleplaying risk and danger is still there, but rages on, the awards of fame, the nature of the beast has been experience points and "multipliers" made just a little clearer with continue to be handed out on a the introduction of several new regular basis. Both the fame and descriptors. Now successful attempts experience points are immediate at disarming or picking will tell rewards that are applied to your you if the lock or trap is "easy," character's status the way combat "routine," "difficult," and so on. or special skills experince points How effective this new feature will are applied. be remains to be seen. The multiplier, however, works a The Mystery Of Debt little differently. Essentially, a ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ multiplier will enhance the amount New arrivals to Kelfour's Landing of experience absorbed over a are faced with repayment of the certain period of time; higher modest loan they receive to help multipliers given for exceptional them get outfitted and established. roleplaying will last several hours, Once repaid, most citizens expect while lower multipliers given to lead debt-free lives. Instead, for average roleplaying will last they find themselves back in debt, only an hour or so. The thing to wondering how they got there. The remember about it, is that the two most common sources are the timer is only running while you lockers in Moot Hall, and the Inn. have experience to absorb. Relaxing While most people make the con- around town, while your mind is nection between their lockers and clear as a bell, will not have any the rental fees, many have no idea effect on its duration. -1- _________ Alyssya's Guide to Gems--The Basics / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~ | by Alyssya Sand | |~| | _| |~| | 'm sure you are all well Category 2: Good For Pocket Cash /@| _|~|_ | aware of the prolifera- \_/ ~~~~~ / tion of stones and gems Included here are gems and stones in ~~~~~~~~ in *GEM*stone recently. the 50 - 300 coin range, definitely If you've been discarding them, you worth putting in your pocket! Most are making a big mistake; many are of the stones in this list are con- beautiful and worth LOTS of silvers. sidered lesser gemstones, and their price reflects that status. I've noted the prices received for __________________________________ gems and stones, and I'd like to | Gem Name Silvers | share the results with you. All the | ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ | stones were found on the Mine Road, | Golden Beryl Gem............. 62 | in the Kobold Forest, and in the | Blue Tourmaline.............. 63 | Hobgoblin, Lesser Orc, Greater Orc, | Red Spinel................ 71/65 | and Grey Orc areas. I have a +30 | Blue Spinel.................. 75 | bonus in Trading and a +24 bonus in | Almandine Garnet.......... 79/86 | Presence, which some folks think | Polished Blue Coral.......... 89 | affects trading results. | Red Jasper................ 87/90 | | Pink Spinel............. 173/197 | For me there are three categories of | Black Tourmaline............ 178 | gems to be found: | Rose Quartz................. 188 | | Yellow Zircon............... 198 | 1) Not Worth Carrying, | Violet Spinel............... 199 | 2) Good For Pocket Cash |__________________________________| 3) It's Worth How Much? Category 3: It's Worth How Much? Here is the breakdown as I've found it so far. Where more than one price Here are the cream, stones that can is mentioned, it indicates a differ- be worth more than the coins in a ent price gotten from the Gem Dealer Grey Orc's chest! These fall in the (located SE, S, S, W, GO SHOP, category of true gemstones: rubies, from the town square) for a similar sapphires, topazes, and so on. These stone at different times. are the stones that can make or break an excursion to a remote area Category 1: Not Worth Carrying and can make a decided difference in your bank account. In this list, we find the garden- __________________________________ variety gems and stones, the ones | Gem Name Silvers | worth under 50 silvers. If leaving | ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ | these strikes you as wasteful, then | Golden Topaz................ 320 | by all means pick them up and tote | Aquamarine Gem.............. 435 | them back with you! | Green Garnet............ 355/500 | __________________________________ | Star Sapphire............... 700 | | Gem Name Silvers | | Turquoise Stone............. 830 | | ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ | | Polished Pink Coral......... 825 | | Rock Crystal................. 8 | | Smoky Topaz......... 940/895/810 | | Star Diopside................ 17 | | Pink Rhodocrosite Stone..350/980 | | Clear Sapphire............... 18 | | Yellow Sapphire........ 570/1170 | | Polished Black Coral......... 20 | | White Opal............. 530/1275 | | Clear Topaz.................. 24 | |__________________________________| | Black Jasper................. 28 | | Carnelian Quartz............. 32 | It is worth noting that the value of | Iridescent Labradorite Stone. 39 | stones in this range fluctuate. The | Green Adventurine............ 49 | Gem Dealer has given me wildly dif- |__________________________________| fering prices for what appeared to -2- More... be identical stones. I have noticed New Players Tips the variation more on stones in this ____________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ price range than in the other two. / \ _________\ by Mordstrom Parthus \@| ||=|=|=|| | Also, an aspect that seems to affect | ~~ |_| ~~ | prices is color. An unusual color _| |_| | (or lack of it!) can greatly alter /@| _|_|_ |he newer players to the selling price. Two good examples \_/__________/ Gemstone should be are sapphires and topazes--note the aware of a great many things about difference between clear and colored the world in which he/she plays. specimens. In the coral family, too, There are several hints, as a new color makes for significant varia- player myself, that I would like to tions in price. pass along. I have found that the world of Gemstone can be an exciting Please keep in mind that I am not and rewarding game to play IF these including information about which guidelines are followed. stones should be used for getting deeds from Eissa - Train in a weapon so as to be able to use it and survive. In conclusion, although these lists - With this in mind, always use the are incomplete, they should give you advanced character generator. a good idea of what those stones you - Become familiar with the innate are finding are worth. It may also abilities of your profession. save you from marauding misinformers - Become familiar with the certain in the square, who advise you to limitations on where and what you "leave that one -- it's worthless," can fight, initially and later. and then pocket it after you go. - Know when to run! - Become familiar with the lands. How do I know about this ploy? - Do not be afraid to re-roll the Because I have used it myself -- and character. may again, if you let me. - Realize what Deeds are, how you can get them, and how they can Untitled Poem help you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Understand the way in which you by Loque Windsfoot gain experience, and how it is absorbed. Focused - Understand the combat system. Clear of mind - Set MACRO keys for your computer of purpose at home. Focused Battle! The above suggestions are further blood explained in the Gemstone Help files essence located in the Gemstone Library as Sword swings well as a set of maps, of the town essence flies and surrounding areas, exquisitely gods oversee done by Zepath the Ranger. Gemstone Unclear is patterned from role playing games unfocused for a reason, and it is much more drained fun to play if you play your part as Rest realistically as possible. No one learning will make fun of your spelling (Well comprehending not much anyways) and no one should Friends laugh at someone who is trying to Acorns? make his/her character fit in with peace the tapestry of life that makes up tranquil Kulthea. Have fun and role play your Clear of mind guts out (Hopefully not literally) of purpose and I will see you in Kelfour around Focused. sunrise. -3- Kelfour Fried Cockatrice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ____________ by Loque Windsfoot / \ ___ ___\ \@| \~\ /~/ | | \ ~ / | ou know those rather there and get hammered. But you _| |~| | large birds that run have to be careful. Cockatrices /@| |~| | around in the forest have roughly a seven to eight-second \_/ ~~~ / just between Hobland round time, which leaves little ~~~~~~~~~~~ and Gorcland? Yeah, margin for error, or a sluggish the ones most everyone walks right universe. For that reason, macros by on their way to beat up on orcs, are highly recommended. trolls, and hobgoblins. Well, I have another option to consider for The other method is to set your these overgrown poultry products: parry to a level where the bird hunt them. On purpose. I know cannot get a good hit on you, but this sounds drastic, even radical, you can still hit it with some but there are actually benefits to effectiveness. The exact point at treating these birds as prey which to parry will vary greatly instead of scenery. from one adventurer to the next, making it difficult to estimate the For one, they are much easier to precise number to shoot for. But hit. Greater orcs (Gorcs) have a I'll try by using my stats as a Defensive Bonus of 70--unless you benchmark. happen to break their shield--while cockatrices have a DB of only 45. I have a standing DB of 83 without Second, our feathered friends seem parrying at all, so I am totally to carry chests with more frequency safe from the cockatrice. When than the orcs. This is not a wearing heavy hide, only the bird's statistical fact, but my experience best attack could possibly hit me, has been that they'll will drop two and then only one percent of the or three chests per hunting trip. time. So setting your parry to a Third, they are more likely to have point where your DB is 83 would magic items, such as gold rings (a give you the greatest chance of compelling motive to hunt them by hitting, with the smallest chance itself). Finally, and perhaps most of being hit. Since heavy hide can importantly, they give you more take a critical hit with a roll experience than orcs -- and appear that's only 10 above its THT (To with more regularity. Hit Threshold), you could set your parry for a DB of 73 and still have There are basically two different a 1% chance of getting killed. If ways to hunt the cockatrice: you want to remain invulnerable to parry-tag, or no parry-tag. (Gee, a critical strike from the bird, Loque, that's a surprise!) In this without regards to greaves or case, the most effective method is helms, then set your parry for a DB is to parry - tag. (Advice for the of 74. (For a detailed explanation uninitiated: Parry - tag is where of arms, armor and the logic you wait at full parry until a behind the dice rolls, Yashantre monster attacks you, immediately Spleenbender's articles in KE Vol.1, parry down to 0, attack the Nos. 8 and 9 are recommended--Ed.) critter, and parry back up to 100 before it can retaliate.) It seems Now for the one reason adventurers cockatrices are not terribly tend to avoid cockatrices -- it's intelligent; they will never run eyes. With a successful gaze, a away, no matter how badly they're cockatrice can immobilize you for overmatched. So you needn't worry approximately two to three rounds. about scaring them off and having While not as deadly as the gaze of to chase them from one end of the a Basilisk, getting 'statued' by a forest to the other. They'll stand cockatrice produces a couple of -4- nasty side-effects: often than a rapier, but do a lot more damage when it connects. 1. You cannot attack, move, or Because cockatrices are so large, even be dragged by a companion. you will not get stuns or death - strikes against them with 2. Your DB will be lowered by weapons. However, spells such as whatever QUickness bonus you have, Shockbolt, will stun normally and PLUS any shield bonus, including seem to cause death with some magical bonuses for materials like regularity. Laen. You will, however, keep any bonus you have on your armor; and Tactical advice: Be sure to kill you WILL keep your parry--that is, any lesser orcs that happen to if you were statued while at parry. wander in. They can be a nuisance You will also keep any DB gained at best, and can be downright through magical means, like spells deadly if they happen to catch you or statues. With all these factors in the middle of a parry - tag, in play, you should calculate what or even worse, while immobilized. effect this would have on your There's safety in numbers -- groups overall DB and adjust your parry of four are ideal, with at least setting accordingly. Unless you're one mage for those ever-useful parry - tagging. In which case, you stuns -- but hunt in pairs, at the don't want to get caught at parry 0! very least. (A special thanks to Carrentheon, Even if you have the ability to who spent near half an hour testing wear armors other than heavy the effects of immobilization with hide, don't. Hide is the all-round me. For some reason I seem to favorite for Cockatrice territory, be immune, perhaps race or class- so don't leave the square without related, but I am unsure.) it. And finally, always let the lowest - level adventurer in your The best weapon to use against group search the dead chicken. For cockatrices is the rapier--unless some unfathomable reason, the less you happen to have a Laen weapon experienced characters seem to find handy. A Drake falchion is also a chests and useful items more often good choice; it will hit less than those with more experience. ________________________________________________________________________ / \ Map of Lesser Orcs and Cockatrices \ | @/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | (go path) | | X | | \ | | X | | \ | | X (Hobland) (Climb Trail) | | / \ / | | | C-C X C | | | \ / | | C (Dangirland) C | | | \ | | C C | | | / | | Gorcland C C | | \ | / | | C C-C-C | | \ / \ | | C C (Go Bridge) | | \ / | | C | | @\---------------------------------------------------------------------\ \__/______________________________-5-_________________________ More... _/ ________________________________________________________________________ / \ Stats For Gorcs and Cockatrices \ | @/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | Cockatrice Lvl 6 Greater Orc Lvl 5 | | OB 40/50/60 DB 45 OB 80 DB 70 | | THT 70/80 Rap/fal THT 61/65 57/61 Fal/Br | | MTHT 83/66*/94 MTHT 89 | | CP's 70 CP's 80 | | | | *This is the attack to gauge where to parry: the claw. | | All MTHT's (Monster THTs) assume heavy hide. | | _____________________________________________________________________|_ | @\ \ \__/_____________________________________________________________________/ ____________ Learning To Sing / \ __ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| / "| | by Erion Kulsen | //|"| | _| //=|"| | /@| // |"| | roaring outsweep of of the gem. To my surprise, the gem \_/ ~~ ~~~ / news told of local began to resonate with my voice! I ~~~~~~~~~~~ spell weavers learning then gained an insight as to certain the Imbed spell. This spell allowed properties of the gem. Such as the one to imbed, upon certain magically weight and price. Although, this was attuned items, any spell that the not enough, those who could perform magic user knew. Discovering what the imbed spell would need to know items could be imbeded soon proved more. Again, I opened my mouth and to be the most difficult part of the poured forth a song about the gem. spell. A way was needed to tell if As I expected, the gem resonated an item was in fact receptive to again.. yet this time, the gem began magic. Else it would become a very to draw raw essence from me! I could costly process of trial and error. only surmise that the gem was indeed receptive to magic, and imbedable by Rumor had it that bards were able to those who could do so. identify certain properties of items including if an item was imbedable. I passed on this new discovery to Yet for some time, no local bard was all the bards I could find. Soon, able to determine how. I myself had all of the bards were singing unto tried countless times, all of which such inanimate objects. Both Enegue were in vain. After awhile, I began and I found that one could sing of to realize I had no direction in my *ANY* item in hand. This included reasearch. I resolved to go search armor, weapons and many other items the Tomes of Kulthea and determine of unknown origins. if there was anything I could use to apply to my research. I came across Bards best be forewarned of this new one entry concerning the potion used found power! If the gods are not to prepare items for imbeding. In pleased with the lyrics of your this article it mentioned that bards identifying songs.... you may be in had an instilled ability to identify fact be punished! Lord Enegue found certain lore about an item, through out the difficult way, when he lost song. his voice for a time after singing a particularly bad song. As long as a Quickly, I returned to town and took bard is true unto his profession, a gem in hand. Focusing my thoughts, being creative and singing from the I raised my voice in song and sang heart, he has nothing to fear. -6- Wilderness Report ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ______________ by D. Forest Hobgoblin / \ ____ ____ \ \@| ~| | | |~ | | |~|--|~| |i-Ho everybody! This think it's maybe cutie Bregla Hob- _| |~|--|~| | is your new field goblin, y'know the one with the /@| _|~| |~|_ | reporter, D. Forest great moles? So I go over to sniff \_/ ~~~~ ~~~~ / Hobgoblin, coming her out and all-of-a-sudden-like ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ atcha from the wilds this lil short dude with a dorky hat of Kulthea. bashes me on the nose with his shield! Then again -- and again! I If you're a little confused let me can only take so much, so I snatch 'splain; a certain KE editor thought up a stick to teach this brat a it might be wise to get another lesson. I smack him a couple times point of view on life around with my twig, and he's smacken me Kelfour's. So, after searching the with his shield... and then it wilds for someone who could read or dawns on him that he's gotta hit me write besides smelly civilized with his sword. I shoulda known. types, they came up with me! He swaps his stuff and Smack! Right in my leg! And that's not all! Sure, I protested, but what's a Hob When he hits me, his sword-thingy to do when he's got a wand in his goes off like a forest fire in ribs? Heck, they even offered me August! Just like the fires dad and chests as payment every month! Like I used to set. So I'm rollen I need more chests. If only I could around, y'know, stop, drop, and open them. (sigh) Anyway, so here I roll, tryen to get the fire out am this beautiful sunny day, talken and.. Whammo! I'm out like a lite. with my buddy, and all of a sudden this smelly Elf comes through the Lemme tell ya, it's just not safe in brush. He's all decked out in this the forest with you smelly-types fancy-shmancy garb; reds, pinks, around. This neighborhood has really ribbons and all sorts of pansy gone downhill! Looks like a garbage stuff! He looks like a Cockie - you dump with all these trashed weapons, know, those big chickens? Well, we armor, and stupid treasure. Thanks start chucklen at him and then... alot! Ever think about recycling? WHAMMO! My buddy gets it right in the head from this smElf with the Until next time, this is D. Forest big sword! What a jerk! What did Hobgoblin saying, "GET SOME FASHION we ever do to him? I get miffed a SENCE, PEOPLE!" little, only a little, and I start over to talk to this chicken-guy _______________________________ when Blam! -- he's got some loaded / \ fingers or something! Takes my head | | clean off! | The Query | | ~~~~~~~~~ | After a long talk with Elvanion, it | by Palance Buckhannah | seems you smelly-types are after us | | for some silly reason. What is it, | To parry or not to parry | our cash? Our peaceful nature to be | that was the lesson | destroyed? What have WE ever done | That came to my mind | to YOU? | with the orc now in question | | For just when I lowered my | And another thing -- what's with the | parry to swing | creeps hiden in the bushes and | Up came his weapon | smacken us on the back of the head? | and ended the thing! | What are ya, wierd? I'm sitten | | down, minden my own business, and I \_______________________________/ hear this rustlen in the bushes. I -7- RR Spells vs. Armor _____________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ / \ _______ \ by Trachten Hickapod \@| ~| _ ~\ | | |~|_|~ | | | |~ _ ~/ | esistance Roll (RR) In addition, some characters cast RR _| |~| \~\ | spells such as Limb spells: Clerics, healers, and a /@| |~| \~\ | Pain and Blind are ranger or two cast Channeling RR \_/ ~~~~ ~~~/ probably the least spells; mages, bards, sorcerers, and ~~~~~~~~~~~~ understood spells in perhaps a thief or fighter cast the game. Unlike the more common Essence RR spells. Sorcerers, 'bolt and 'ball spells, RR attacks thieves and fighters can learn use two rolls of the die to deter- either type but toward Essence. mine success. The first is the BAR roll which takes into account the See Scroll 1 as to the effectiveness level of the caster and the armor of of various armor types (keep in mind the target. The result of the BAR a positive adjustment to the RR roll roll is a positive or negative num- is good for the target). ber which is applied to the second A few things are worth pointing out. roll, the Resistance Roll (RR). The First, the RR Mod from the table is resistance roll determines if the the average difference in the spell is actually successful, based outcome of the BAR roll for any on the caster's and target's levels. given roll of the die. In other words, if a roll has a result of X By choosing the proper armor, the when using a wooden shield, the same target (you) can influence the BAR roll will have a result of X + 8.5 roll in its favor. The best armor, when using a metal shield, on aver- however, depends in whether the age (for Channeling spells). spell being cast is Channeling or Essence. Types currently cast by Secondly, the failure percentage is creatures in Kulthea are: the chance that a spell will fail the BAR roll (good for the target). Channeling Unfortunately, each level of the ~~~~~~~~~~ caster subtracts 1% from the failure Blind - Monks, Liches percentage, so Liches and Monks (both level 24+) will never fail the Essence BAR roll, even if the target is ~~~~~~~ wearing Metal Armor. Limb Pain - Revenants Dark Apparition Thirdly, for Channeling RRs if you Tree Spirit wear both metal armor and a metal Fear - Death Dirge shield, the shield is ignored. Fin- Specter, Wraith ally, a reinforced shield contains Barrow Wight enough metal to affect Channeling RR Ghoul King spells (i.e., it's a metal shield). Wight Lord __________________________________________________________________ / \\ | Scroll 1 || | ~~~~~~~~ || | Channeling Essence || | ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ || | Armr/Shield Avg. RR Mod Fails | Armor Avg. RR Mod Fails || | ------------ ----------- ----- | ---------- ----------- ----- || | Wood Shield 0 4% | Hide 0 4% || | Metal Shield +8.5 16% | Leather +3.1 12% || | Metal Armor +17.2 24% | Metal +6.0 16% || \_________________________________________________________________// (Continued on Page 10) -8- Misplaced Darts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Or, Never Trust A Furball Offering Free Information) _______________ / \ ____ ____\ by Lord Whilder Planrathe \@| +|~| __ |~|+| | |~|/~~\|~| | _| |~/~/\~\~| | ell, I go off to thiefly ways as well as the spells /@| _|__/ \__|_| far distant (and of the essence realm. He confided \_/_____________/ very cold) lands to several of us that he was for a few months, and what do I find training in the abilities to hide when I return? A stack of Kelfour and ambush. "Imagine it, mageling," Editions! Eagerly I delve into the he would tell us, "ambushing with news from the Landing, and instead shockbolt! I will truely be the of intelligently researched, highly most feared hunter in all the informative articles I find... Lands." Abuse! From a certain Halfling whose This, alas, was not to be. One day, race is so ashamed of him they make after much experimentation, Lord him call himself by some fictional Lythe determined that his ambushing race! I mean, let's be honest, just skill was not working at all. one look at him will prove to you he Angrily, he called for one of the is a halfling. Still, let's look at Gods, Minor (GM for short) to cor- what I am referring to. rect this obvious problem. The GM that answered his pleas for First this mage tries to write an assistance was none other than article on sorcery! Since I am a Elvanion himself. I was in the mage myself, I cannot say for cer- temple when the confrontation took tain that all his article is right place. Lord Lythe explained the or wrong, but if he had only asked I problem. As he saw it, ambushing could have set him straight on the was not working with spells. The ambush skill not work- ___________________ answer from Elvanion ing for spells. / \ was very sympathetic / \ but also very short. My knowledge of this / \ fact requires a bit / || \ "Lythe, the ambush- of history. You / |||| \ ing skill works only see, I knew the mage / |||||| \ with weapons. I am Lythe L'Green whom | |||||||| | sorry, but ambushing some called "mad." | |||||||||| | with spells will not Lythe was, well, | |||||||||||| | improve the chance interesting, but I | |||||||||||||| | of a kill as it does don't think he was | |||||||||||||||| | with weapons." mad. Several things | ||,"""""""""""",|| | I knew that Lythe | |"" (@) (@) ""| | After much discus- was learning made | |.. (oo) ..| | sion, with Elvanion for an interesting | ", '\____/` ," | trying to point out character study. For | ,"--------", | the good points instance, my first | ," ", | (Lythe was trained introduction to | ," ", | in weapons, so it Lythe formally was | ," ,"""""""""""", ", | wasn't a total waste when I had reached | ", |============| ," | of training), Lythe fourth level of | ","------------"," | went on to doing learning, and caught | `;``` ```; | such things as him attempting to | | o | | stalking Lord Fxg in pick my pocket. It | | | | the spider temple, seems the good mage | | |-| | | before he finally was interested in | | | | | | departed the lands. some of the ______| |ooooO Ooooo| |______ More... -9- My point is, before publication of ___________ Slaughn on High his first article, all Dart had to / \ ______ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ do was ask around before sending it \@| /~/~~\_\ | by Erion Kulsen in. I was present when Dart dis- | \~\____~ | covered the error of his original _| _~~~~\~\ | article. Did he admit he made an /@| \~\__/~/ |itting atop a cliff, error? No, he immediately created a \_/ ~~~~~~ / over looking a deep break-in at the KE building by a ~~~~~~~~~~ green forest. To your "Nefarious gang of elves" (KEV3N2, right, the blue ocean stretches out August 1992). And he offers a "tidy as far as you can see. To your left, reward" for this non-existent gang jagged peaks rise up from the valley of elves. Being that I have just below, dusted with snow. Up above revealed the true culprit, I expect you, a lone hawk spirals, ascending full payment of this "tidy reward," and diving over and over. A cry though I suspect the payment is eminates from the hawk, a desperate about as real as the gang was. screech.. carried on the wind. His next article, Houses of Kulthea It is twilight, and a few stars are (KEV3N6, November 1992) has one now visible. Something catches your error that I know of, but only attention. Where one star was, there because he mentions me in this is now two. Waiting a few moments, article. I would like to stress there is only one again. You recall that although I have no complaints the twin stars, circling each other. with any of the Houses of Kulthea, I The first time you noticed them, you am surprised that House of Argent were on a beach, far away. Then, Aspis isn't trying to help the gazing into the heavens you remember halfling grow by hanging him by his someone speaking to you of the stars neck six feet or so above the and the story of thier birth. Yet, ground. The spirit of Lord Erebor as hard as you try, you can not seem must be laughing hysterically at the to remember all the details. What "fact" that he and I "founded" the was the name of the one who had told Argent Aspis. Actually, I never you? Don't fret over these thoughts. kept track of who the founders were They matter no more. Or do they? of each house, as I was too busy trying not to get caught in the Sighing, you once again turn your cross-fire of the House of the attention back to the hawk. It is Rising Phoenix and everyone else. still circling.. still searching for The real fact is, I do not belong to something, someone. After a while, any of the houses, much less having the hawk seems to give up, turning founded any of them. its course towards the peaks beyond. It flies beyond your vision.. one Well, that strange, far-away land more lone cry reaches you from the may call me back before this sees hawk. There is no more. print. Someday, when I return, I will pick up the stack of KE's that RR Spells - Continued from Page 8 await me, and sit down to read the ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ intelligently researched, highly Currently, chain mail is the most informative articles... 'wearable' metal armor. It requires 12 ranks of training and will still And those written by Halfli... cost you 5 points of DB, 5 points of errr... hobbits. OB, and 5 from your QU bonus. Its ________________________________ effective critical THT compares / \ favorably to heavy hide for light | Vacation of Your Dreams! | weapons like daggers and rapiers but | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | is significantly lower for heavier | Contributors to Kelfour Edition | weapons (falchions and broadswords). | earn FREE WEEKENDS in Kulthea! | | Send GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for | Thanks to Soulsvr, Aegyptia, and a | complete details. | dark apparition from Claedesbrim for \________________________________/-10-helping me test various armors. The Poor Adventurer's Path To Knowledge ___________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ / \ ____ \ by Rasputin Santare \@| /~/~~\\ | ||~| ~~ | _||~| |==| | emStone III can be First, to get there from anywhere /@| \~\__// | a big, intimidating on GEnie, just type m1045;1 at any \_/ ~~~~~ / place - populated by numbered GEnie page prompt. When ~~~~~~~~~~ strange and deadly you arrive, you'll see a menu with creatures, inhabited by equally 18 items listed. The only ones you strange characters, and governed by really need to work with at first, the arcane laws of magic and the are numbers 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7. And Flows of Essence. It's a challenge they're really quite simple. for even the most experienced of players. But for the newcomer, it First, typing CAT will list all of can be absolutely overwhelming. the categories in the BB by their number and title. Typing SET Which are the best characters to [number] will activate whichever play? And how do you create them? category you want to check out. What do all the stats mean? What Then, typing TOP will list all of skills should you train in, and the topics available under that what skills should you ignore? What category. about spells? Which characters can learn them and where do you find the Once you've found a topic or three lists? Are all the spells on the that interest you, all you have to lists active, or are some not in do is type 7, then enter the topic play? What are runes used for? number or numbers to REAd them. If And statues? And gold rings? Which you're shy and don't want to post weapons should you train in? Which any of your own messages, select armor? A thousand questions and not NOReply at the parameters prompt; enough time to ask them all, let otherwise, just hit RETURN to alone get them answered. Live and bypass it, and away you go. die and re-roll enough times and Nothing to it. you eventually get the hang of it. But that's the long and winding An alternative approach is to use road. There is an alternative path. the BROwse command instead of REAd. A cheaper path. When you first enter a new Bulletin Board all the messages are marked as Although you can get answers from though they've been read, so you other players in the game, and won't have to wade through a flood learn a lot about the world and of messages. From that point on, customs of Kulthea from reading the to monitor new messages in any Kelfour Edition, the best single CATegory, all you need to do is SET resource is one that's rarely [category] and type BRO. tapped: the GemStone III Bulletin Board (BB). The GemStone III BB is a This takes longer to explain than gold mine of information waiting to to do. Still, as simple as it is, be mined by anyone brave enough to the process can be tedious, tackle its seemingly endless especially when you're trying to categories and topics. But fear not. scan through several dozen topics The BB is on GEnie*Basic, which in four different categories. means you can wander around in it Fortunately, there's an even easier for hours and never pay a cent way to get around. above your basic monthly rate. Better yet, you don't need to be a There are two important commands budding hacker to navigate the hidden in the main BB menu that can area. All you need to know are a make your life a lot simpler: MARk few directions and a couple of and RAM. MARk allows you to mark simple commands. any topic in any category for -11- More... future reference; and RAM (Read with your GEnie name, so others All Marked) lets you read them. To will know which character you're use these commands, you have to playing in GemStone. To do this, first list all the topics in each just type NAM [character name], and category, then type MAR [number] to it'll be included as an ID whenever mark your favorites. That's all you post a message in any of the there is to it. topics on the Board. The next time you enter the BB, Next time you visit the lands of instead of setting each category and Kulthea, take a few minutes and reading or browsing through all the drop by the GemStone III Bulletin topics, all you have to do is type Board to mark a few topics. It's RAM. It will list all new messages an entertaining way to learn more posted in every topic you've marked, about the game, its laws and its giving you the chance to reply at customs. It's a short track to the end of each one. Using these meeting new people, forming new commands, you can get in and out in friendships, finding hard-to-get even less time, and still read items, or even getting resurrected. everything of interest to you. And it's an ideal forum for sharing ideas with the people who design There's one small catch: You need and maintain the game. But best of to visit the BB at least once every all - it's free. 30 days. If you don't, GEnie will reset all the pointers; all the To get you started I've captured messages will be marked as having all the CATegory and TOPic lists in been read, and you'll have to start the GemStone III Bulletin Board, over again from square one. including descriptions to help you choose your topics in advance. Sooner or later, passion will overcome shyness and you'll want to It should be noted that since new add your two-cents worth to the topics are started all the time, discussions. When you do, you'll these lists may not appear exactly want to include your game persona as shown. __________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | @/_______________________________________________________________________/ | | | Category 17 Category 18 | | Learning the GemStone GemStone III Techniques and Tactics | | III Art of Survival | | 1 What's new? | | 1 Getting Started in Gemstone III 2 Weapons | | 2 What's New? 3 Armor | | 3 The New Adventurer - Welcome! 4 Gladiatorial Games | | 4 Communication Programs 5 Experience, Levels, and Skills | | 5 Adventurers Needed! Apply Here 6 Town Forums | | 6 New Choosing a Name for yourself? 7 Statistics - OBs, DBs, Etc. | | 7 Getting Started: Thiefs 8 Understanding the system. | | 8 Round Table Topics! 9 Unique Items (boast of them here) | | 9 Emergency! Resurrection Needed! 10 Special Events Banners | |10 Directions & Maps 11 Healer's Haven | |11 Getting Started: Rangers 12 Quests and Special Events | |12 Getting Started: Bards 13 Kelfour's Edition - The Newsletter| |13 Getting Started: Sorcerers 14 Magic and Spells in Kulthea | |14 Getting started : Mages 15 Staff News and Updates | | 16 New Category Leader | | 17 Newbie Hunting Parties | | _______________________________________________________________________| | @\ \ \__/______________________________________________________________________/ More... -12- ________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | @/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | Category 19 | | Suggestions, Improvements, Bug Reports | | | | 1 What's New? Category 20 | | 2 Priority Lists for Changes GemStone III General Discussions | | 3 Justice not 'just us'! | | 4 Spell list - Cleric Base 1 What's new? | | 5 Monstrous Intentions 2 Connections on "Earth" | | 6 GemStone III - Bug Reports 3 Kulthean Stories | | 7 Command Additions or Changes 4 The Drooping Dragon Pub | | 8 Chests, Picking and Disarming 5 Past Worlds and Glorys | | 9 Favorite Area of Kulthea 6 Want ads-Buy/Sell extra items | |10 Organized Houses in Kulthea 7 Gemstone Trivia | |11 Ideas for new items/shops in town 8 Mutual Warm Fuzzies | |12 Spell List - Ranger Base 9 Goodbyes and Fare Thee Wells | |13 Spell List - Sorceror Base 10 Roleplaying-Heart of the Matter| |14 Spell Lists-Open Ess/Closed Chan 12 Kulthean Conflicts! | |15 Spell Lists - Bard Base 13 Fighters Guild | |16 Discussions with Simutronics 15 Kulthean Cape & Sash Registry | |17 Society Discussions 16 Kulthean Wedding Announcements | |18 The GSIII IBM FrontEnd 17 Kulthean Writer's Co=op | |19 New Item Suggestions | |20 Skill Reallocation | |21 Enchantment True Changes | | _____________________________________________________________________|_ | @\ \ \__/_____________________________________________________________________/ ____________ ,=====@@@@@***` ,=====#######***` ___ ,=====#######*****` _/ \_ ,mm===&&&####%%%****`\_/ * | |mmm=m&&&%%##%%%***++++| __) |\__/mmmm&&&%%%%#%%***+++++|_______/ |___/|mmmm&&&%%%%%%%++++++/ \ /----------\ / .................. /__/ \__\ -13- ____________ Crazy Petya / \ ________ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~~|| | by Aleksandr Charodey | |~|_|~~ | _| |~|-|__ | veryone knew that the thunder that courses through the /@| |~|__|| | old man was insane. I veins as one recounts "How Cay Slew \_/ ~~~~~~~~ / guess even I felt the Dragon" or the gentle introspec- ~~~~~~~~~~~ that way. He showed tion stirred by "Old Favors Are Soon up from nowhere when I was just a Forgotten?" He did not realize that boy sliding down the mud - coated I would not follow in his footsteps, streets of our village. He wore the nor shall he ever. trappings of a wanderer; heavy skins covered his body and a well - used In studying with Simon, I rarely had morningstar hung at his side. The time to drop by and see Crazy Petya. Elders decided he could stay; there I didn't realize that my visits had had been bandit raids and every able any effect on him before, but he got man was needed. more sullen and withdrawn since I came so seldom. Feeling guilty, I He turned out to be a fair hand at stopped by late one evening on my farming. The Elders assigned him a way home from Simon's. I knocked on small plot, expecting him to refuse. the door of Petya's small izba. From He managed to grow as much in his inside rose a tremendous noise, as thin, dry soil as the Surovovs did if an ox and a pig were fighting for in their wide strips of bottom land. the last ear of corn. I pushed open Not that it did him much good. He the door and saw Petya with his back sold almost everything he grew and to the wall, pulling that old morn- spent the money on vodka. ingstar out of an overturned chest. By the time I learned my first notes "They'll never get me!" he screamed on the balalaika, "Crazy Petya" was as he clutched the morningstar and recognized as the village drunk. stared past me out the the door. Despite that, or maybe because of it, I spent a lot of time with old I went in and closed the door behind Petya. My father was always after me me. I didn't want the others to know to spend more time with him in his that Petya was getting worse. He ran local merchanting travels, but I was to me at once and threw his arm over more intrigued by the far journeys I my shoulder. could take in Petya's tales. He claimed to have been over most of "You believe me, don't you Alosha? Kulthea and seen many marvels. You know I wouldn't lie to you?" I didn't ever really believe him, "Sure, I know that," I told Petya, for his tales were too fantastic -- hoping to calm him down and trying and nothing fantastic ever happened to think of a way to take that morn- in my life. As the son of an almost ingstar from him before he hurt one prosperous trader, my life was led- of us with it. ger books and warehouse inventories. I had learned to read and traveled "They are here, Alosha. Here! I locally with my father, far from thought I had outrun them, but they enough to satisfy my curious spirit. are here now," the grizzled old man confided. As he put his mouth to my In time, I came to understudy Simon ear, I could smell the alcohol on Petrovich, our village storyteller. his breath. "They don't know who I My father allowed it, as long as I am yet," he breathed and gave me a kept working for him. He felt that I knowing look. The problem was that I would see the reality of a storytel- didn't know. ler's life and of a merchant's life and make "the logical choice." What "Who is here, Petya?" I asked. "What could my father know of the pulsing do you mean?" -14- Petya's eyes narrowed menacingly at "What?" me. "You could be one of them. How do I know I can trust you?" "Before the unlife invades, there is often an infiltration of living who "It's time you gave me that morning- conspire with the unliving in order star," I said and reached for it. to conquer. They organize secret societies and pledge themselves to "Aha! Trying to disarm me!" he cried lofty goals, but they are in reality as he twisted away and hit me with fronts for unlife invasion. As a the haft of his weapon. Cleric, I had to learn much of these groups, including some of the secret I came to in the morning. Petya had signs they use to identify each put me in his bed, and pulled up a other. Yesterday, Arkady Mechnikov chair beside it. From the look of gave one of those signs to Vasily him, he had not slept all night. I Morozov." don't know which of us felt worse. My head was aching and, apparently, "That's crazy, Petya!" I blurted out so was Petya's. before I thought. "Um, I mean, why would Arkady and Vasily have any- "You are awake, good," Petya mumbled thing to do with unlife? They have as my eyes opened. I did not know good homes and families." what to think. Could Petya have gone off the deep end? He was apparently "That's just it!" cried Petya. "The sober, if hung-over, but he was also people in these groups are usually dressed in his old wandering gear, duped. They are lured with high talk even the armor. and what seems like much for little. Before they are aware, they are in "What's going on, Petya?" I asked as to the point of no escape. It is not I tried to sit up, then thought one step from white to black, but a better of it. stroll through shades of gray, until they suddenly realize that they are Petya sighed, looked at me a long in the pitch dark." time, then spoke. "You think I am crazy. Everyone here does. That does This did not sound convincing, and I not bother me, but it is not true. guess that showed on my face. "Long ago I was a priest. I could "Remember the last land division? It channel the power of essence for was the most fiercely contested in good, to battle the unlife. Don't generations, was it not? And why? laugh, boy, 'tis true! Finally, I Because the Elders, led by Arkady could handle the battle no longer. I Mechnikov, forced the Surovovs to grew afraid for my soul, and I cost give up some of that good bottom the lives of compatriots as I fled. land. Who did they give it to? Why, I traveled as far from the place as the Morozovs, that's who." I could, hoping to outrun my fear, my guilt. I thought I had done it, "The Morozovs weren't the only ones until yesterday." who got some of that land. And the Surovovs have held plenty of it for For the first time I felt that Petya a long time." was being wholey honest with me. Could this sodden old man have been "And the Surovovs have the largest a Cleric? "You fought the unlife?" household, and the most mouths to I asked, sitting up in spite of the feed. Now they struggle to grow pain. Then the rest of what he said enough potatoes and cabbages to eat sank in. "Are you saying that the through the winter, much less all of unlife is here? Now?" the year. Not only that, look at who else came out of this last division "Not the unlife yet, son. Something with more than they need. The Stani- much worse. Collaborators." slavs and the Bakunins. They didn't -15- need that land, but they got it, all to the drunk miscreant. "Oh, yes? because Mechnikov pushed for it!" YOU decided?" asked my father. "You and what army?" It was one of his Those families were unusually close, favorite phrases, and it rings in my and Simon said the last division was ears to this day, but not nearly as one of the most controversial in the much as the response. history of the village. Yet it was hard to believe that these people Constantine's eyes opened with hate that I dealt with every day could be and triumph. "Me and THIS army!" he involved in something so horrid. hissed. As he did so, a taloned hand shot through the door and snapped my "Maybe I am wrong, boy. Maybe I am father's neck, then gently lowered crazy, as they say. All I ask is for his body to the ground. The creature you keep your mouth shut and your filled the door next to Constantine. eyes open. And if anything unusual I knew it well from the tales that happens, you come and tell me." Simon taught me. It was a ghoul. I tried to return to my normal rou- I did not wait to hear Constantine's tine but was only partly successful. instructions to the foul creature; I could not help but notice when a his intentions were clear. I thanked small group of Mechnikovs and Moro- Reann, protector of the night, as I zovs stood in quiet conversation, ran out the back, that I had been far away from passers by. Also Petya awake and dressed. I made my way to began to wear his gear about at all Petya's izba as quickly as I could. times, even in the field. He became the main target of ridicule for many On the way, I heard screams and saw versts; even travelers stopped for a fires springing up all across the look at "the militant farmer." At village. I met Petya as he was com- least he quit swilling vodka and was ing out his door. Rapidly, I told sober most of the time. him what I had seen. Time went on; people lost interest "Blast! I should have known it would in Petya's eccentric ways. It was be tonight! This is a night of power almost harvest, and there was much for the unliving." I saw flaming to prepare. I was so immersed in houses reflected in his eyes as he memorizing verse by night and run- gazed at me. "You must go to safety, ning father's warehouse by day that boy." He pulled a leather thong from I paid little attention to village around his neck and removed from it events. Then, on the eve of All a gold ring. "Here." He put it in my Lord's Day, that changed. hand. "Wear this and you will be taken from here." I was lying on my bed in the dark, still dressed, exhausted from a full As he spoke, the cries grew louder. day, when I heard a loud banging on We both looked up to see a group of the front door. Constantine Bakunin twenty ragged figures coming toward was outside. I pulled on my boots us. Their unnatural gait betrayed and eased down the stairs. I didn't them. At their head walked one more know what he wanted, but this time erect than the others. A wave of of night he was probably drunk and terror preceded him. I was looking looking for a fight. He was talking on a King Ghoul. with my father, slurry with vodka, but he made up in volume what he Petya spoke rapidly. "You can do no lacked in clarity. good here, Alosha. Your father is dead. You can't fight unlife. I have "At's wha'I said. This place belongs spent these last weeks remembering to me an'my family now! We decided!" much that I had forgotten. You are young. You must go on. Just promise My father stood in the door, elbows never to forget what you have seen out, his powerful shoulders squared here this night!" -16- (Continued on page 18) _________ Distant Memories / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~ | by Baloreik Domarlynnas | | | | _| |~| | /@| _|~|_ | still do not understand attack on the town did not help much \_/ ~~~~~ / why, out of all of the either, but in any case, I was still ~~~~~~~~ cities in Kulthea, I had ashamed of myself because I had been to head to Kelfours. I could hardly unable to do anything but watch as recall my trip there, what with all waves of monsters began their attack the incidents which happened before on my home. my arrival, I suppose I am not as surprised as I thought. It seems as I vividly remember both my mother if I was actually drawn to this fair and sister having rounded up all the city by some guiding force showing clerics and mages of the city to me that I had a mission in this attack the unlife, while my father town. Even with such feelings when led the warriors to hold them at the I first arrived in this town, I am gate. Being a far more lazy person beginning to have doubts about my in my youth, my studies with weapons purpose in life. and magic were progressing at an extremely slow pace, and I was told It has already been over six years that I would only get in the way. since I first arrived, although, to a half-elf, the years have gone by Having the highest confidence in my rather quickly. I still have yet to parents and the towns militia, I had see myself closer to finding any decided to head over to the town bar information about my lost family. It and test some of my better skills on seems just this last spring that we the town maidens. It is amazing to were all together. However, it was see how insignificant my life really short lived as an army of unlife had was during those years. come to destroy the whole town. With no place to really hide, it was only As the attack began, the town held a matter of time before the unlife up rather well...at least until the had finally caught up with my family demons began arriving in waves. With after we had left our home to escape the arrival of the demons and a few them. With my mother being a high wights, the militia lines began to cleric of Eissa, I suppose this was crumble due to their fear spells. In to be expected since she was known a very short time the town was being to be quite a thorn to evil forces overun. I quickly reacted by trying everywhere. Still, it all seems so to head home and salvaging any coins pointless now. Perhaps in life we we had left. After grabbing all of really have no purpose but to just the silvers I could, I ran outside live it out and die. Perhaps we do to see the majority of the town in not need to leave our own little flames! The smell of burnt human and dent or mark of accomplishment if we elven flesh as well as the site of only receive death in return. all the slain bodies was unbearable and enough to put me into a sense of I suppose I do not know for sure if shock. After a few seconds, I had everyone in my family has yet been managed to recover from my state of murdered, but having seen my father stupor and began scanning the roads. in his ancient suit of brigantine With a quick glance, I saw that my armor and his great sword, makes me mother and sister were being carried feel ashamed at times. Mostly due to away by flying monsters! My heart the fact that I have not been able began racing as I thought what would to stand up for everything I have happen to me if they left. The town ever believed in, unlike him. Maybe might kick me out since I was not that was the real reason why I left known to be one of the more major my old town. To run away and forget contributors to the city. In shear my old life. Being blamed for the desperation to save my own worthless -17- life and my status in this town, I and almost began chuckling instantly picked up a bow and a laen tipped when I noticed he was probably six arrow from near a fallen soldier and or even seven years younger than me. took aim at the flying beast. Having I grabbed a dark steel rapier from used a wide wariety of weapons, my the ground and began insulting this bow and arrow skill was adequate by troublesome youth. By his looks, he my standards, (far from the guilds seemed to be a thief by trade and standards however...), with a quick the seriousness in his eyes made me glance and aim, I let the arrow fly laugh again. This was until I felt hoping to hit one of the monsters. another of his jeweled daggers cut into me! This time, with quickness As I watched the arrow spew off, I and agility, he was able to stab one began to wonder what would happen if deep in to my right eye! I fell back I did hit the foul beast. Would I be in complete shock and screamed as I rewarded and made a hero? What would felt the pain begin flowing through all of the ladies think? Then it me. With a quick flash, I saw a laen occured to me, what would happen if dagger fly pass me as I fell on my I hit the beast and it dropped my back due to the loss of blood. The mother or sister to their doom? But next thing I remember was waking up before an answer arrived to any of in the healer's house with numerous those questions, a part of my life scars on my body and bandages over died at that very moment seeing that my right eye. My first thought then I had missed the beast. was, what had happened and where was everyone of the city, but most of Instead, I gasped as I saw an arrow all, where was my father? protruding from my sisters chest! My arrow... my heart sank and I quickly looked around to see if anyone had ----------\\------------ watched me fire that dreadful shot. With no one near me, my mind began to go crazy in confusion as to my next course of action. I just knew I Crazy Petya - Continued from Page 16 had to get out of this town. With ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ that in mind, I threw away the bow Saying this, Petya laid his hand on and ran for the gates. There was my shoulder one last time, then still many skeletons as well as some turned to meet the oncoming figures. zombies around, but with the welcome I watched, tears streaming from my departure of the demons, (who seemed eyes, as Petya shaped his hands in more intent on capturing all of the motions unfamiliar to me and cried clerics and mages), the town was aloud for the Lords of Orhan to hear finally beginning to regain control his plea. I held the ring Petya gave even though they were still severly me, undecided if I should wear it. outnumbered at by least three to one As Petya raised his morningstar to odds. Feeling rather ashamed for the King Ghoul, I let the ring slide having mistakenly shot my sister, I onto my finger. tried to head out of town without acknowledging any of the soldiers. The world tilted, and I found myself before a gate to a town I had never Putting my head down, I started for seen before. This town, of course, the town gates, it was not until I was Kelfour's Landing. I sold the felt a deep burning sensation in my ring for enough money to allow me to back that I realized I was actually finish my training as an apprentice being stalked and attacked. Quickly storyteller. I also learned to wield rolling away from the attack, I was a sword, something I never wanted to actually able to lodge the dagger do before that awful night. I find even deeper as I rolled. This forced myself a citizen of Kelfour's Land- a hoarse cry from my lips as I tried ing, making my way as best I can and to stand to regain my composer. I trying to become worthy of the noble now stared at my adversary in rage sacrifice that Petya made. -18- ___________ Undermining Kelfour's: Part 5 / \ ______ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~\\ | by Llorien Silvanestii | |~| || | _| |~| || | row?" asked Pterelas. Nomikos. While there, I came across /@| |~|_// | What is that?" some old manuscripts. It seems that \_/ ~~~~~~ / the dwarves blamed elves for looting ~~~~~~~~~~ "'Drow,' as in 'drow their mines and stealing vast quan- elves,'" said Llorien, shakily prop- tities of mithril. The elves, of ing himself into a sitting position. course, proclaimed their innocence." "Llorien, dear," Penna said, "How The bard seemed to grow dizzy for a are you feeling?" moment, which resulted in another concerned appraisal of his condition "I have felt better," replied the by Penna. After a moment's thought, woozy bard. "I'll be okay once I get she concluded that Llorien's wobble something to wash these cobwebs out was due more to his drinking on an of my mouth, though." empty stomach than the aftereffects of his poisoning. Aegyptia poured tea from the small pot that was brewing on the fire and "And what does all this have to do passed it to him. "What are these with drow?" inquired Inyigo. drow, Llorien?" she asked. "Seems like there were eyewitness Llorien sniffed the steaming cup. accounts," replied Llorien, "or at "Nothing a wee bit stronger? To for- least that's what the manuscripts tify my blood?" He raised an eyebrow imply, of black elves being seen in in Inyigo's direction. the dwarven mines. But in all these years, no one has ever yet actually The ranger nodded knowingly, fished gotten close to one of these drow." a wineskin out of his cape, and tossed it to Llorien, muttering that "Then this is your lucky day, breth- bards have more ways to get a drink ren," spoke a voice from the shadow. than there are windak trees in the Upper Kaldsfang. Llorien unstoppered Pterelas, at the first sound, jumped the skin and took a long pull, wiped to his feet and wheeled to face the his lips appreciatively and began: voice, drawing his sword. A dark figure emerged, tall and lithe, all "Drow elves are nowadays thought to dressed in black, blending so well be no more than a myth. Something to with the shadows that you couldn't scare elfkins with. My great grand- distinguish where his form ended and pappy, Llandien, used to tell me the darkness began. bedtime stories about how drow would kidnap young elves in the middle of "There is no need for that." The the night, should they be so foolish stranger waved a hand at Pterelas, as to wander out of the grove when whose sword glowed hotly, causing they should be sleeping. the thief to drop it with a yelp. At once, painful red blisters began to "He would say that no one ever saw well up in his palm. these drow because their skin was as black as coal and they moved as Inyigo started towards the dark fig- silently as the puma. Where they ure but thought better of his action came from, no one knew. when three others, each holding a scimitar in one hand and a wicked- "Then a few years back I was looking looking dirk in the other, detached into the conflicts and reasons for themselves from the darkness. The the racial anitpathy between dwarves ranger slowly let his hands drop to and elves, and I got a rare oppor- his sides and began to reassess the tunity to go to the Great Library on situation. -19- More... "You appear to have gone to great Hiccup. lengths to enter our world," said the apparent leader of the group. The drow turned their heads, trying "It is only fitting that you should locate the source of the sound. have an escort." HICCUP! At a signal, one of his confederates sheathed his dirk and removed a clay The drow who carried Llorien said, jar from his backpack. "Smear some "It's him," and tapped the now stir- of this on your hand," he ordered, ring form. He unceremoniously dumped tossing the jar to Pterelas, who the bard to the ground. "I think he caught the proferred ointment in his can walk now." unharmed hand. Penna moved closer to help her friend tend his injuries. Llorien worked his way to his feet, using handholds on the rock to haul Now the leader pointed to the glass- himself up. He lurched over to stand eyed bard. "What's wrong with him? beside Inyigo, stepping clumsily on the ranger's foot. Llorien looked up at the drow with a silly grin on his face, the wineskin "Whashup?" he grinned sheepishly. dangling limply from his hand. Hiccup. "He had an encounter with one of the denizens of your quaint little Inyigo shrugged. The leader motioned world," Inyigo replied with sarcasm. for the group to get back under way. The bard staggered on for a few "Ah, yes," murmured the drow. "We steps, then stopped to lean against heard that someone had disconnected the wall. He started to hum, then to our alarm system, so to speak. This sing some mournful dirge, dreadfully fellow does not have the look of a out of key. warrior, though. He looks more like someone who has drunk too much jaga "What is he doing?" the drow leader juice. Is he able to travel?" wanted to know. One of the drow prodded Llorien. The "He's a bard," replied Inyigo, as if bard staggered upright, swayed a bit that explained everything. "Usually to his left, then pitched face for- does this kind of thing when he's ward into the dirt. The drow picked had too much to drink." up the bard and hefted the unmoving form to his shoulder. The rest were Penna looked quizzically at Inyigo, formed into a group and signaled to but nobody seemed to notice. move ahead. "If he doesn't start moving again," Only Inyigo noticed the wet spot said the drow, "it's the last thing where the bard had lain and the now- he'll ever do." Another of the drow empty wineskin. Glancing back at prodded Llorien in the ribs, urging Llorien, slung over the shoulder of him into motion once more. one of their captors, he thought he detected the faintest of smiles and The group got back under way with the slightest of winks. Llorien still singing. Inyigo mulled over the bard's strange behavior and The party was herded down the main listened to the discordant notes corridor, which lead deeper into the issuing from his lips. "That's odd," underground world. Abrupt twists and thought the ranger. "Either I'm go- corners soon had all sense of direc- ing crazy or else his singing has tion turned inside out. They were gotten better." Indeed, it appeared startled from their quiet thoughts that the singer was less often out by a strange sound echoing off the of tune and that his words were walls of the passage. easier to understand. -20- More... The others trudged along seeming eyes. Everyone else had been facing oppressed with the weight of all the down the corridor and were not sub- stone above about to crush them. jected to sudden, blinding light in Penna glanced at Inyigo and then at their eyes. They now turned to face the shambling bard. Inyigo looked at their captors. at Llorien and back at Penna. Then it dawned on him. Pterelas, spying the scimitar lying on the ground, scooped it up with a "Damn it all anyways," he thought, catlike movement and returned it to "I should have known. There's only its owner, blade first. one time he could ever sing on key. He's trying to songspell them!" Inyigo grabbed the arm of his guard and whirled him around, then let him Surely enough, there seemed to be a crash into one of his compatriots, little less caution about the drow. which tumbled both to the ground. They held thier scimitars less care- fully; their countenances looked a With the ferocity and grace of a bit slack. Frantically, Inyigo tried golem, Aegyptia stomped on the hand to figure out how to take advantage of one of the fallen drow, causing of this situtation. him to relinquish his weapon, which she grabbed and pitched to Inyigo. "Penna?" he asked softly, afraid of breaking the hold that was forming The ranger moved among the fallen over the drow. "How's Pterelas's forms, scimitar menacing each in hand doing?" turn, a wry grin on his face. "I don't know," she said. "I haven't Llorien, faced with the last drow checked lately." She looked over to still armed and standing, did what the leader questioningly; he nodded. any unarmed fighter would do in his She laid Pterelas's hand in hers and place. He launched a well - placed seemed to inspect his palm intently. kick to his opponent's lower torso; said opponent folded up and slumped "The flesh is not healing properly," to the floor. Penna explained gravely. She looked at the drow leader and said, "I am a Quickly, they trussed the drow with healer. If you would allow me, I can rope salvaged from one of the packs. heal this in but an instant with a The drow that had been skewered by small spell." Pterelas groaned in pain. Penna tore open his tunic to tend his injuries. The leader, his judgment clouded by the insidious effects of the song- "Penna!" spat Pterelas. "Why are you spell, nodded to her to proceed. healing that scum?" Penna, still holding Pterelas's hand "Because if he and the others had in hers, began to chant the first wanted to, they could have killed us lines of invocation. Inyigo, having long ago," she replied. "Gaining our been the recipient many times of freedom is one thing, but killing Penna's healing, realized at once where we have not even been harmed that this was no healing spell being is another. Besides, as a healer I prepared. As she neared the end of am sworn to help the injured." her incantation, she squeezed the hand in hers, then whirled to cast Aegyptia nodded her agreement. "Per- the full force of her spell into haps they know something about the midst of the drow. Ignatius as well." Brilliance exploded into being; the "Well then," said the suddenly sober drow staggered back from unaccus- Llorien, "Why don't you ask?" tomed brightness. One dropped his scimitar as his hands flew up to his (To Be Continued) -21- _________ A Matter of Honor / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~ | by Sean2 Lladd | | | | _| |~| | /@| _|~|_ | had been standing in What was unusual about this was the \_/ ~~~~~ / the square outside the scarring. Most merc companies had ~~~~~~~~ Guild Hall for about ten healers to take care of that sort of minutes. I knew that I should enter thing. I did not know of any other and get this over with, but an act registered company besides mine, er, that has taken ten years to get up Torvaal's -- would not be "mine" for the courage for is not any easier much longer -- that did not have a for the doing. My freedom, and the healer. return of my honor, are on the other side of those doors, yet I was still "Enemy wouldn't supply a healer?" I unable to summon the resolution to asked. walk through them. That's usually what happens. You get Not many people know who I am. My injured and captured in a battle, so-called "captain" was one who did, and if you're lucky, the enemy is a and he had been holding that secret merc company also, and you get to over me since the first day I had live. Most non-mercs just let us been apprenticed into his mercenary rot, to live or die as the gods see company. If I walked through those fit, forget about a healer. Guild doors and made my complaint, I would have to tell the whole story "Nope," was the reply. He did not -- including why I was in a company even look up. like Torvaal's "Weasels" to begin with. To be honest, I knew that the "But I thought..." I started. Guild was supposed to be impartial, but I was not so sure that their "Look sonny," he replied, looking up impartiality would necessarily apply at me. "The company I was with did to me. I mean, let's face it, not not have a healer. OK? And before everyone can claim that they single- you ask, it was Torvaal's company. handedly put two races on the brink But you probably already had guessed of war. that, didn't you?" he finished as he laid down the pen quill. Anyway, I knew that I would have to face the ordeal sooner or later, so "How did...? Oh, the badge." I checked my gear for what seemed to be the hundredth time, and headed "Yep" he answered, smiling slightly. through the doors. The reception "Now, are you going to tell me what area was a plain room with a desk in the Weasel wants, or do we get to one corner and a map of the Namerik play twenty questions?" territories on the wall to my left. There were two other doors, both of Now that it had come down to it, I which were closed, one opposite the was hesitant again. It seemed that map and one opposite the door I had my backbone was not as stiff as I just entered. had hoped it would be. The man behind the desk caught my "Well. Speak up!" he barked. attention almost immediately. It was obvious that he had been a mercenary "No. It's not Torvaal. It's me!" I at one time. He was missing his left rushed. "I mean, I want to file a arm just above the elbow and he had complaint of mistreatment and con- a long, narrow scar starting from tract violation, under Guild Codes." the corner of his left eye, brushing down past the corner of his mouth The man's abrupt tone had startled and ending in the cleft of his chin. me into replying so fast, that I -22- More... could barely get the words out, but name is Sean 'tek T'Maerrional." it felt good. All the anger and fear and shame that I had been made to The pain that shot through my body, hide for the last ten years was out, as I gave my name dropped me to the and nothing was going to change it. floor, curled up in agony. I could Especially now. Because if I was scarcely force my lungs to pull in found to be in the wrong... Well, I air, each succeeding wave of pain was not wrong, so no need to worry seemed to be worse than the last. about that! Much. Mikel seemed to have floated over He immediately seemed to change into the table. A small part of me noted a different person completely. His that he moved real well for a one- face became totally devoid of any armed old man, but the rest of me expression, and an intent look came was too busy trying to breath past into his eyes as if he had finally the pain to really care. focused on me. He took the papers on his desk, piled them neatly on one "What's wrong?!" he exclaimed as he corner, and pulled a blank sheet knelt beside me. "Is there anything from one of the drawers and set it I can do?" down in front of him. "Curse. It... will..pass." I forced "OK. Name?" was all he said. out. I hoped it would pass soon. "Sean Lladd." I replied tentatively. "A curse?" Mikel was very genuinely confused. Obviously my name had not "Cute, kid. Means 'to kill', or some sunk in. "Who would put a curse like such, in the old tongue, right?" he this on you?!" asked. "Well, before we go on much further, let's get a couple things "Grand...father." I somehow managed straight. First off, sit down. This to force out between gasps for air. will probably take a while. After And the pain did _NOT_ seem to be you have told me your story, then going away. you will have to tell it all over to the Duty Master. Then you'll prob- "WHAT?" came the stunned response. ably tell it to the full Tribunal, if the DM agrees with you. So get "My...grand....father....cursed...my your story straight, now, out here ...name!" with me." He paused for a second and added, The pain wasn't going away, and it "By the way, the name's Mikel." was definitely getting harder to breathe. This must have been ob- "Honored." I replied automatically. vious to Mikel as he suddenly stood, went to the door next to his desk, "If you are going to do this," he and started yelling for someone continued. "You are going to have named "Oskar." He quickly returned to tell the truth... all of it. Now to my side. give me your name," he finished flatly. "Why would your grandfather--did you say 'tek T'Maerionnal?" he asked Well, I had more or less expected suddenly. that. It had been a slim hope at best. Now the truth would come out. I nodded jerkily, trying to breathe. So be it. But I had forgotten one very important fact in the last ten "Well," he mused. "That would defi- years, and I was about to be firmly nitely explain this." reminded. "So," a high, thin voice came from "All right," I answered. "My real behind me. "What seems to be the -23- More... problem? Oh, yes. I've told you being very happy to breathe again, I before, Mikel, I don't do cures, or saw that the mage Oskar was lying on poison antidotes, or--" the floor on the other side of the room. Mikel knelt over him, waving a "Oh, shut up, Oskar!" cut in Mikel. vial in front of his nose. "The boy's been cursed by his grand- father. And you'd better fix him up "Is he--is he all right?" I forced quick. He's starting to turn a mean myself to sit up. The room was still shade of blue." reeling but not as much as a minute ago. I watched the two men across "Cursed by his--I'm working on it! the room. No need to glare at me. What brought on this condition?" Abruptly the mage thrust up a hand to knock the vial away. Mikel evaded "Please--" I moaned. The room began the blow and stoppered the vial in to spin. And I got the distinct idea one smooth motion. "I figured that that this Oskar was like every other would bring you 'round," he said spell - slinger I'd met. He'd ask me cheerfully. "You okay now, Oskar?" questions 'til I was dead, and raise me just to ask a few thousand more. The mage just glared across the floor at me. "Who the frack is your "His name," Mikel responded acidly. grandfather, lad?" he croaked. "That "He gave me his name." is the nastiest curse I've had the misfortune to meet. I wonder what he "Elvish name curse," said Oskar. was used? You wouldn't--? Of course "They're the only ones who use it. not, you're just a fighter." I can remove it. Maybe. Depends." "Well," he snapped, smiling up at "Well," snapped Mikel. "If you don't Mikel. "Don't just stand there, you do it soon, he'll be dead, and the great one-armed lump. Help me up!" Master will have us both doing road duty for a month. Now, fix it!" Mikel reached down and nearly threw the mage onto his feet. He held on "Testy, aren't we?" responded Oskar, for a minute to make sure Oskar was with a slight smile. stable, then let go. Oskar just kept talking to himself and answering his The mage ran his hands over my body, own questions as he staggered out holding them a thumb's span away. the rear door. Mikel watched him go, They began to glow with a weird blue shaking his head and smiling. light. As Oskar's hands came closer to my head, they began to tremble, "He never changes," Mikel said. "He and he was sweating as if under a stood in the middle of a K'zin raid- great strain. Whatever my so-called ing party one time, asking their grandfather had placed on me, it was matriarch what her weapons were made evidently quite powerful. of, how they were made, on and on. I thought for sure that old she - lion Suddenly a large spark arced between was going to take his head off." the mage's fingertips and my fore- head. My brain felt like it was Mikel chuckled, caught up in his being pulled out through my eyes. I memories. "You know what she _did_ cried out involuntarily, my whole do?" he asked me after a minute. body arching up and snapping out of "Offered our C. O. _three_ young its curled-up position. And then gelded males for him. Said something nothing. The pain was gone. about his courage and fearlessness. Seems their people don't have mages. I lay on the floor, drawing in deep, Leastways, not like we do. shuddering breaths. When I could finally focus on something besides "She never realized that he's just a -24- More... crazy mage. As long as Oskar's got a "A-a-h-h," the human mountain softly mystery to solve, he wouldn't care exclaimed. "You must be the other if the entire Troll nation was half of Oskar's indisposition. Well, camped next to him," he grinned. I'm glad to see you survived, son. Given the headache I just took from "But," he said, returning to the Oskar, you ought to be near death. present. "he's a damn fine merc. And Takes quite a lot to inconvenience a he'd give you the shirt off his back master mage." if you needed it." He stepped back from the door and He turned to face me. I'd managed to pointed to a cot halfway across the pull myself back into the chair dur- room. "Lay him down there," he told ing his reminiscences. The pain was Mikel. "After you get his pack, wea- gone, but I felt weak as a newborn pons, and boots off, of course." ferret kit. I guess it was fairly evident, because Mikel came over to "Of course, O mighty healer," Mikel the desk, put his shoulder under my responded. It was obvious from the arm, and hoisted me to my feet. I grin on both men's faces that this felt the steel in his grip, for all was a standing joke between them. that it was surprisingly gentle. "Oh, and Mikel?" "What now?" I asked, wobbling a bit. "I feel like I've been kicked by a "Yes, O mighty one?" pack-mule." "You'd better hurry," he whispered. "Well," he replied. "We're going to "I think your young friend is going take care of that part next. I want to faint." you in the infirmary for the next couple of hours at least." And to my extreme embarrassment, I did just that! (To Be Continued) He led me through the same door that Oskar took earlier. The door opened @@@@@@ @@@@@@ on a long hallway. There was a stair @\\\\\\@@\\\\\\@ going up off to my left and a pair @\\\\\\%%%%%%\\@@@@ of doors opposite each other about @@\\\%//////%@\\\\@ halfway along the hall. The door at @@@%////////%\\\\@ the far end was painted a deep shade @@\\\%////////%@@@@ of blue. Obviously the infirmary. By @\\\\\%//////%\\\\@ tradition, blue was the Healers' @@@@@@%%%%%%\\\\\@ color, and only they wore blue in @\\\\\\@@@@@@@ the field. Even Torvaal didn't try @\\\\\@\ to abuse that. @@@@@ \ \ Mikel guided me down the hall toward \ the blue door. It was a good thing \ he was holding me up. My legs didn't \\ feel connected to the rest of me, && \\ & trying to go off in two different && \\ && directions at each step. When we got &&& \ &&& to the door, Mikel reached out and &&&& \ &&&& gently tapped it with one foot. &&&&& \ &&&&& &&&&& \ &&&&& The door opened on the biggest human &&&& \ &&&& male I ever saw in my life. I &&& \ &&&& craned my neck to look up at him and &&& \ &&& almost fell over backwards. Enor- && \ && mous, he wore the gold-trimmed blue & \ & smock of a master Healer. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -25- Snakes and Lathers ____________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ / \ \ by Lloyd Llowd, PhD \@||~| |~|| | \~\ /~/ | _| \~\/~/ | /@| \~~/ | ermin. How I despise were quite good. \_/ ~~ / vermin. So, you can ~~~~~~~~~~~ imagine my joy at H. VOLKAS turned out to be a female having my premises invaded by vermin dwarf whose idea of flea control was several times within the past month. to dump several spiders in my living In any civilized town we would have room and claim that it was an acci- moved long ago to eliminate those dent. I managed to lock the beasts pests which infest our streets and in a closet, where the spiders made houses: fleas, spiders, snakes, themselves useful by eating moths. dwarves and hobbits. As I pondered my next move, I heard On coming down with a slight injury, a rasping in the water closet. When I turned to our local medical pro- a huge viper crawled out of my sink fession for help. Having seen Lord and a water moccasin reared its head Strom's tender mercies in the Gladi- from my bidet, I determined to have atorial Games, I wanted to find a a word with my landlord. healer who does not use Word of Stun as an anesthetic and a falchion as a Unfortunately, that turned out to be scalpel. I sent my request through Lord Odds, the richest hobbit, or Healers' Guild channels, hoping for inhabitant of any species, in town. Lady Kayla or Lady Woundhealer to He assured me that he and Lord Dart- attend to my distress. (They tried aghan could deal with all the vermin to pawn off a lesser healer on me, in my home with no difficulty. but a person of my station in life deserves first-class care.) They entered my home. Potent spells sizzled the air, followed by the two Imagine my surprise when Lord Care- hairy menaces running at speed from taker appeared at my door. At first speed from the front door. The next I took him for a penniless dwarven thing I saw was the entire building beggar, gave him a silver, and sent blown sky high by the stun clouds, him on his way. However, he did at firestorms, and death clouds cast last convince vme that he was both a inside to rid it of vermin. healer and of noble rank by demon- strating that he had not removed his It worked. No fleas. No spiders. No clothing and bathed for more than No snakes. And, of course, no house. two years. This seems to be a re- Lord Odds was most apologetic, prom- quirement for most of our nobility. ising me new lodgings, rent free, They are always entering Cheldar's until my home was rebuilt. Bath House but never seem to emerge any cleaner. Well, almost no fleas. It seems that both of the hirsute hedge wizards Shortly after Lord Caretaker went on attracted a few hundred or so fleas his way, I discovered, to my horror, apiece during their escapade. The that my chambers hopped with fleas, last I saw, they had been forbidden no doubt members of the dwarf's own entry to House Arcane until they circus. Faced with an infestation of take baths. these proportions, I did what any sensible homeowner would do: I hired Which, knowing hobbits, will likely an exterminator. It was a promising happen around the time Lord Elvanion advertisement: H. VOLKAS, EXORCISM says my new house will be ready: in AND PEST CONTROL. I felt my chances about a year. of reasonable service from a cleric -26- KEV3N10 [end]