Kelfour Edition volume III number XI

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|   |                               KE Back Issues Reviewed!  See Page 19 |
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 |    GemStone III(tm)                                    April 1993   |
 |                                                      Vol.3, No.11   |
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 |     /~\  (_/  \_) (____) (_(  (_(   (____/ (_____( (_(              |
 |   /(o o)\           _____      _    _    _    _                     |
 |  (<>\_/<>)         / ____)    / )  (/  _/ )  (/                     |
 |   \<>|<>/         / (__   ___/ /  _   (  _) _   ____   ____         |
 |    \ ^ /         /  ___) / _  /  / )  / /  / ) / _  ) /    )        |
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 |     | |     ___                                                     |
 |      \ \___/ _ \                                                    |
,--------\_____/-\ \------,                 The Kronicles of Kulthea   |
<--- - (o)-- - -  ) )-- -->                                            |
> - - --  -  --  ( ( - -- < -------------------------------------------|
"-----------------\ \-----"--------------------------------------------|
 |                 ) )                                                 |
 |                 \/                                                  |
 |  Local News ..................................................   1  |
 |  The Beginning of a Difficult Path ........... Loque Windsfoot   2  |
 |  Monster Chronicles ........................... Jarran Terraxx   4  |
 |  Obsession ........................................ Kenner Boh   5  |
 |  The Legend of Necropolis of Etrevion .............. Anonymous   6  |
 |  Rambling Rememberings of a Newbie ............... Simon d'Ker   9  |
 |  A Green Garnet ................................ Shiloh Strong  10  |
 |  Wilderness Report ....................... D. Forest Hobgoblin  14  |
 |  The Looking Glass War: Part 1 ........Lord Gallenod Varynesti  15  |
 |  To Download or Not To Download .................. Sean2 Lladd  19  |
 |  Once a Thief, Always a Thief ............. Pheonix Stronghold  21  |
 |  Undermining Kelfour's: Part 6 .......Lord Llorien Silvanestii  23  |
 |  Ram's Guide: Acronyms & Emoticons ........... Ram  Youngblood  27  |
 |  The Lords of Orhan ....................... Aleksandr Charodey  28  |
 |  Lletters to Lloyd .......................... Lloyd Llowd, PhD  30  |
 |                                                                     |
 |             ...with local limericks by Bugg Hornwort                |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |_____________________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                     |
 | 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.           |
 |    _________________________________________________________________|___
 |   /                                                                    /
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            |  :|~~~|| +     Kelfour Edition      + |~~~|:  |
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       New Area Discovered!
       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~            as much  chance  of dragging  a High
The  source  of  the  ominous hooded   Man out  of  danger, as he  would of
figures encountered  in  and  around   flying  by flapping his  arms up and
the    Landing   lately   has   been   down at a high rate of speed.
discovered.   It  is   a   new   and
unknown  area  known  as  the Man'Ta            Blinded by the Light
Pn'Tairken (don't try  to  pronounce            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
that  with  a  mouthful  of  torkaan   Apparently,  idiosyncrasies  in  the
stew) -- which translates into  'The   Blinding  spell and the  Stun Relief
Home Of  Broken  Lore.'  Not much is   cast by oaken wands, which  resulted
yet known about the area, save  that   in  immunity to  blinding, have been
it  is  limited  to  those  who have   corrected.
achieved  the  status  of  Lord   or
Lady,  of  the 28th rank or greater;              Slipped Disks
and  that it cannot be reached  with              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
rings. Additional  background infor-   Speaking  of  immunity,   it   seems
mation can be  found in  the  Tomes,   certain individuals suffered from an
under article 1156: The Broken Land;   immunity  to   the   Floating   Disk
keyword WAR.                           Spell.   The  spell  would  be cast,
                                       the disk would  appear.... and  then
Some are already  holding  this  new   promptly  disappear.  The  Gods have
area  up as one of the most exciting   now   corrected  this  oddity,  thus
and challenging to be discovered yet   relieving  the potential for  damage
in  our  fair  land.   (Speculation,   resulting  from   disk-based  infer-
theories  and  revelations  can   be   iority complexes.
found in the  GemStone III  Bulletin
Board,  Category   18,   Topic   10,          Visit Town Frequently
starting at message 153.)                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                       Attention!  Residents staying out of
           It's a Drag                 Kulthea  for  more  than 90 days run
           ~~~~~~~~~~~                 the risk of not being recognized up-
Anyone  who  has  attempted  to drag   on return. Details in GemStone III's
someone  (or  something)  over  hill   Policy Statement on GEnie page 931.
and  under  dale  recently  may have
encountered some difficulty.    That         GemStone III Resources
is  because  the Gods have activated         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
a new set of factors that  take  the   * Town Forums every Wednesday Night.
weight  of  the  person/object being     Residents meet in Moot Hall.
dragged, plus  the  encumbrances  of
the   person   doing  the  dragging.   * Newbie Night, last Tuesday of each
Generally  speaking  --  assuming  a     month. Personal help in the game!
moderate  encumbrance  --  you  have
roughly  a  50-50 chance of dragging   * Multi-Player Games RoundTable
someone  or   something   your   own     GEnie*Basic Bulletin Board. GSIII
weight, not counting a modifier for      Categories 17-20. Keyword: MPGRT
strength.  In other words,  a Hobbit
with a full pack  would  have  about   * Back Issues of Kelfour Edition.
                                    -1-
  
  
  
  
  
  
                      The Beginning of a Difficult Path
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  _____________             by Loque Windsfoot
 / \ _________ \
 \@| ||=|=|=|| |
   | ~~ |_| ~~ | hese last few years   During  the  first few years of your
  _|    |_|    | have been difficult   training,  I  would  avoid  the orcs
 /@|   _|_|_   | for me--a fact that   and  trolls  that  also dwell in the
 \_/__________/  has prompted  me to   area--especially the orcs. They  are
put quill to paper.  As a researcher   much  more dangerous and much harder
of  the  flows  of  essence, I  have   to  kill.
spent many hours  buried  in ancient
tomes and manuscripts, attempting to   Although  I  believe  you  can  gain
learn  new  ways  to shape the power   more experience fighting hobgoblins,
that  surrounds  us into forms  that   another  excellent area for the less
may   benefit  me,   and  my  fellow   experienced mage is the  Mine  Road.
adventurers.  But what I write  here   It  is safer than Hobland, and seems
will  not  lead  to enhanced magical   best-suited for  those  with  around
abilities;   it  will  instead  help   three years of experience.  By  that
those   who   follow   the  rigorous   time,  mages  have usually developed
profession  of  the  Mage  have   an   their skill in  aiming the shockbolt
easier  time  of  it  in  the first,   spell,  and have bettered themselves
most   difficult,   years  of  their   as  much  as  time  allows  in their
training.                              chosen weapon.
  
Due to the  number  and  variety  of   The  main  attraction  on  the  Mine
spells  each  mage  may  research, I   Road is the Lesser orc. Unlike their
will not try to address the  subject   richer  cousins in the forest, these
of  spellcasting.  Instead,  I  will   orcs   are  destitute.  They have no
offer  advice  on the  creatures and   armor or shield, and the  best  they
areas  best  suited  for  mages   to   can  do  for  a  weapon is a cudgel.
hunt. However,  please bear in  mind   The  best  way to handle  them is to
that  these  are  only  my  thoughts   make  them bleed, either by spell or
and opinions,  based   on   personal   physical   attack,   and  then  hide
experience rather  than  any law our   in  the  shadows. Thinking  you have
good constable could enforce.          left,  Mr.  Orc  will  sit  down  to
                                       tend   his   wounds,  giving  you  a
Although  there  are  several  spell   chance to attack from hiding,  and a
lists  to  choose  from,  most young   significant  advantage  for  two  to
mages tend to have knowledge of  the   three rounds.
Shockbolt  spell,  and  possess  the
skill  to  cast it  effectively.  As   These orcs can be a bit difficult to
long  as  the  mage  understands the   hit.  Since they only carry cudgels,
basic workings of  physical  combat,   the  best  weapon for the job is the
I  believe  it  best to utilize this   rapier. A rapier hits and stuns them
spell to its full advantage in  that   with   relative  ease,  and  there's
part   of   the   forest  where  the   little  chance  of  breakage against
hobgoblins tend to roam: Hobland.      a cudgel.  If you're a mage that has
                                       been   blessed  with  above--average
Some  of the hobgoblins in this area   strength, the  Drake  falchion  once
wear   metal   breastplates,   which   again  makes  an excellent choice of
almost  guarantee  a  successful hit   weapons.   With  its  potential  for
with   Shockbolt.  As  for  weapons,   inflicting  extra  damage,  it could
unless  you  have  access to a Drake   prove   valuable  in saving  some of
falchion I would suggest  using  the   your all-important magical power for
hand-axe.  Both  have a very low THT   other targets.
(To  Hit  Threshold) -- although the
Drake  can  produce pyrotechnics not   Once you tire of  the  orcs  on  the
found in common  weapons.              Mine Road, and feel you are learning
                                    -2-                             More...
  
  
        
  
  
  
nothing  new, it's  time  to move on   the key.  Your magic alone won't  be
to  something  more  exciting. While   enough.  Keep  an  eye  out  for the
the   options   for  excitement  are   more   experienced   clerics    that
plentiful  indeed,  by  far the best   reside around Kelfour's.  They  will
choice  in  my opinion--assuming you   usually bless weapons for  you,  and
have a gold ring and several blessed   the  effects  will  last  for  quite
rapiers--is the Graveyard.             awhile.   The  clerics  you  may  be
                                       fighting  next  to  in the graveyard
In  the  Graveyard,  your   interest   need their power more urgently,  and
lies  with  the  mummies  that dwell   the  effects  of  any blessings they
inside  the  crypt. They are just as   can  provide  usually  do  not  last
difficult  to hit as the orcs on the   very long.
Mine  Road,  but  you will gain much
more  experience for the effort. You   If you are unable to  find  a  ring,
will  need  blessed rapiers to fight   or  lose  it,   there   are   undead
them.  Ordinary  weapons  don't work   aplenty  down  in  the  old  sailors
against  the  undead;  but remember,   haven along the Coastal Cliffs  that
your offensive magic  IS  effective.   are  equal  in  almost  every way to
You'll  just not  be  able  to  stun   the  mummies  in the Graveyard:  The
them  the  way  you  can stun living   Spectral Fishermen. These characters
targets.  Nor  will they tend to any   wield tridents which  will  break  a
wounds  that you inflict (apparently   rapier  with ease, so my advice here
loss of blood does not  trouble  the   is to use  a  short sword.  Although
undead at all).                        short  swords  break  as  well, they
                                       cost a lot less to buy  and  can  be
A   gold   ring   is  necessary  for   found  lying  around  Hobland,  free
traveling to and from the  Graveyard   for  the  taking. Just make sure you
without  having  to  deal  with  the   bring   along  several.  Other  than
gate  more  than   once.  (Once   is   that, the biggest problem  with  the
enough -- unless  you  have a lot of   fishermen  is that occasionally they
strength and endless  patience,  get   don't want to  come  out  and  play,
help.)  The  rings teleport you from   which  can  lead  to  a  frustrating
one location  to  another  when  you   hunting trip. Hunting in groups will
take  them  off  and  put  them  on.   usually solve that problem, however.
Just make sure your ring is  set  to
a  desired safe destination, such as   Please remember that these are  only
the Tree in the town square  or  the   suggestions;  some  mages are better
Temple,  before  you  venture inside   suited  to   certain   things   than
the Graveyard.                         others--due to training,  attributes
                                       or  disposition.  I  do  hope  that,
(A  note  about rings:  They  belong   either  by  taking  this  advice  or
to  the  Navigators,  an alliance of   ignoring it completely, the aspiring
very powerful beings who  will  seek   mage  will have gained some help and
them out  and  reclaim them.  If you   guidance. And that their early years
use  a ring, sooner or later you are   are less of a struggle than my own.
going   to   get  intercepted  by  a    _________________________________
Navigator, who will confiscate  your   /                                 \
ring  and  any  silver you happen to  |            A Mild Case            |
have on  you at the time,  and  then  |            ~~~~~~~~~~~            |
unceremoniously  dump   you  at  the  |          by Bugg Hornwort         |
gates of the town--a process  fondly  |                                   |
referred   to   by   many  as  being  | We know fever's a part of malaria,|
"Navved."  The  warning,  therefore,  |          And the symptoms         |
is  to  make sure you don't go about  |        that mark dysenteria.      |
'ringing'  in   and   out   of   the  |   But if you've been to the pawn, |
Graveyard--or  anywhere else--with a  |   And now your coins are all gone,|
lot of silver in your pockets.)       |     You've just had a mild case   |
Fighting the undead is a  challenge;  |             of Valeria.           |
having  access to blessed weapons is   \_________________________________/
                                    -3-
  
  
  
  
  
  
 ____________                 Monster Chronicles
/ \ _________\                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ||=|=|=|| |               by Jarran Terraxx
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |
 _|    |_|    |
/@|   _|_|_   |here are a variety of   why they never bathe.  Being a  good
\_/__________/ trolls  that  inhabit   ranger myself, I can smell them from
the lands  of Kulthea.  We will look   a good distance away.
at the Hill Troll,  one of the  most
dangerous of their kind.               Hunting them is sometimes  worth it,
                                       as during one of those  rare moments
Before  taking on  one of  these big   when  you find a chest on one.  On a
creatures it would be a good idea to   few  occasions,  their  chests  have
have eleven years of experience. The   contained a rare item or two, though
Hill Troll is  noted for its awesome   the  are usually filled with a  good
strength. But more importantly, they   amount of coins and a few, sometimes
are  well noted  for  being  able to   worthwhile,  gems.  Usually,  though
break even laen shields  and swords.   all  they have  is their  equipment,
So before taking them on, you should   however,  occasionally you will come
consider taking them on  with normal   across one  of  the Hill Trolls that
equipment and  protect the  valuable   wears an augmented breastplate, they
stuff.  Unless, of  course, you  can   are known to  be pawned  off in town
handle buying new laen equipment.      for over 200 silvers. A few of these
                                       will equal a nicely filled chest. So
The Hill  Trolls have  a  relatively   do not pass them up if you see one.
high Defensive Bonus (also known  as
DB) of 70.  Plus and Offensive Bonus   As you  will quickly  find out  when
(also known as OB) of 90. The strong   facing these big opponents, you will
combination of their OB and DB makes   have a much better chance of hitting
the Hill Troll a rather powerful and   a Hill Troll  that wears ring  armor
fearful  adversary.  However,  it is   than you  will with  one  that wears
not their OB and DB that  would make   augmented breastplates.  There is an
normal men  cower in fear.  In truth   easy  way to  notice which armor the
it  is their large size and powerful   troll is wearing, this is noticeable
damage  they can  inflict.  However,   by the type of weapon it is using at
trying to  hold a conversation  with   the time you come up against it. The
one of these beasts, is  like trying   troll that uses the spear is the one
to discuss history with a rock. They   wearing mail armor, the troll with a
only know one thing,  and they do it   two-handed sword is wearing the more
very well, they kill.                  expensive armor.  You will also note
                                       that  the troll with  the  augmented
These critters are extremely ugly to   breastplate  has a much lower to hit
non trolls, and they  never come out   when you swing  at it, than  the one
from under the shade of  the forest.   wearing the  mail armor.  However, a
Like all Trolls, sunlight turns them   drawback to this is  that the  troll
into stone.  Which is a good  reason   with the two-handed sword can easily
   ______________________              break your weapon or shield. So make
  /                      \             sure when facing this one, that your
 |  DESCRIBE HILL TROLL   \            expensive weapon is safely away.
 |                         \______________________________________________
 | Huge, massive and dangerous, the Hill Troll towers above even a tall   \
 | high man. Grey skin so thick that it serves quite well as armor covers  |
 | most of the monster with here and there tufts of thick hair sprouting   |
 | like weeds between cracked paving stones. A hideous grin splits its face|
 | displaying for you fangs crusted with dry blood and less guessable      |
 | matter. No light of intellect glows in its piggish narrow eyes. Lust of |
 | slaughter and a thirst for blood and mortal flesh are all that animate  |
 | this hulkish beast.                                                     |
  \_______________________________________________________________________/
                                    -4-
  
  
      
  
  
  
                                 Obsession
 ___________                     ~~~~~~~~~
/ \  _______\                  by Kenner Boh
\@|  ~~~|~|~|
  |__   |~| | ohn?" He pretended not   around.  "But -- that's -- it."  She
 _|||   |~| | to notice.               turned  and  walked  out of the den,
/@| \\_/~/  |                          slamming the door behind her.
\_/  ~~~~   / "John...!"  the  voice
  ~~~~~~~~~~ repeated,  just  a  bit   Breathing   a  sigh  of  relief,  he
stronger,  a bit more insistent.  He   turned  back to the monitor.  Within
typed  faster,  keeping   his   eyes   a  few   moments   he   was  staring
glued to the screen.                   intently at the  flickering  screen,
                                       watching  the parade  of text  march
"JOHN!" the  voice  barked  angrily.   steadily  upwards.  Occasionally, he
Reluctantly,  he  typed  the letters   would attack the keyboard, adding to
AFK, hit the return key, and  turned   the  procession.  Then  sit back and
to face his wife.                      wait, watching for a response.
  
"Yes, dear?"                           Something interesting caught his eye
                                       and  he  began to type another quick
"We   need   to  talk,"  she   said,   message.   But   before   he   could
crossing her arms.                     finish,   he  heard  the  door  open
                                       behind  him.  He stopped and turned,
"About what?"  he asked,  trying  to   irritated at the interruption.  What
keep  one  eye  on  his wife and one   now?
eye on the screen.
                                       "Well?"  she demanded.
"About  that."   She  unfolded   her
arms  momentarily,  gestured  at the   "Well what?"
screen, and recrossed them when  she
felt  her  point  had  been made. He   "Well, aren't you going to quit?"
used the opportunity  to  turn  both
his  eyes toward the monitor and see   "What?"  he said, startled.
what   was   happening.   Good,   he
thought,  the  Games  haven't  begun   "It's been two hours!"
yet.
                                       He  glanced at his  watch.  Already?
"What about it?"                       Impossible.  He  had only started  a
                                       few moments ago....
"You've been playing for hours  now.
I want you to stop."                   "Look."  She pointed at the  window.
                                       It   was  pitch  black  outside.  He
He  tried to think of a good excuse.   scratched  his  head,   staring   in
He failed.  "Um, I'll be done  in  a   disbelief. It hadn't been that long,
couple of hours, okay?"                had it?  It sure hadn't  seemed that
                                       long. Where had all the time gone?
"You  said  that  a  couple of hours
ago."  She pointed  at  the  window.   "John,"  she  said  softly,  helping
Outside,  the  sun had begun to sink   him   out   of  his  chair,  "you're
toward the horizon.                    becoming a little too involved  with
                                       this  game.  Look  at  how much time
"But this time I mean it."             you've  spent  in  front   of   that
                                       computer!"   She motioned toward the
She  stared  at him  in silence.  He   window  again.   "It's  becoming  an
stared back at her.                    obsession."
  
"Alright,"  she said reluctantly. "A   He   looked   at  the  screen,  then
couple more hours, then." She headed   looked out the window, then back  at
toward the door,  stopped, and  spun   the  screen  again.  Had  it  really
                                    -5-               (Continued on page 8)
  
  
        
  
  
  
 ____________           Part II The Unlife in Kulthea
/ \ _________\      The Legend of Necropolis of Etrevion
\@| ||=|=|=|| |     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |
 _|    |_|    |
/@|   _|_|_   | he   Legend  of  the   this small fiefdom.  Although a fair
\_/__________/Necropolis of Etrevion   and evenhanded  ruler, his heart had
is  numbered  among  the tales  that   yearned for  still  more adventurous
emerged from the devastating Wars of   undertakings.  Kestrel organized the
Dominion that ended  the  Second Era   group of  elite warriors chosen from
of Kulthea.                            among the best in the land,  and had
                                       formed a naval fleet whose very sole
Two brothers from the eastern region   purpose was  to conduct long-ranging
of Jaiman had set off to join in the   and lucrative raids,  plundering the
struggle and  to seek their fame and   islands, the coastal settlements and
fortune in the earlier  days  of the   shipping routes of Claedesbrim  Bay.
Wars.  Of  undistinguished  lineage,   He ordered fast streamlined warships
the brothers soon  realized that the   fully  built and equipped  and began
quickest  means to power  and wealth   a series  of protracted sea journeys
was  to cast  their lot in with  the   that kept him away  from the kingdom
forces of  the Unlife.  The elder of   for many months on end.
the  two, Bandur Etrevion, was  very
obsessed with  pursuit  of  esoteric   Lord Kestrel's raids had  filled the
lore  and  forbidden knowledge.  The   lands royal coffers with much booty,
younger, Kestrel  Etrevion, was more   precious  artifacts, legendary  holy
practical and a carefree sort, a man   relics and many fabled and enchanted
of action.  While  Bandur,  a gaunt,   treasures.  Yet the  kingdom  was in
intense and frail figure, often felt   total disarray due to his  very long
envy  of Kestrel's exceeding beauty,   absences.  Although  Bandur, who was
his charisma  and courage in battle,   left, in de  facto, charge  of  this
their  bond of  brotherly  love  was   territory,  had  built  a  large and
fierce.  Bandur used  his black arts   very loyal network of shadowy spies,
and his warped intelligence  to take   along  with  well-placed  informants
advantage of the chaos that the Wars   throughout the  entire  land, he was
of  Dominion caused  and had devoted   so  totally immersed in his  studies
himself  to masterminding  the rapid   and writings that  he did not notice
rise of Kestrel in  the ranks of the   the  chaos  developing in  the  land
warriors of the Unlife. While Bandur   until it reached the breaking point.
remained a shadowy  presence in  the
background, and gathering  dangerous   Bandur's obscure quests, hobbies and
knowledge, subjecting  himself  more   whims  filled  his  days and nights,
and more totally to the foul aims of   giving him neither rest nor peace of
the Unlife.                            mind.  He wrote  several widely read
                                       volumes on  the varied  ways of  the
Kestrel came to be  rewarded for his   Unlife,  including  his most  famous
service after  a  particularly  hard   work, "Servants of the Shadow: Power
fought campaign (which was  actually   through  Thralldom."  For  this work
pulled from the very jaws of certain   he was recognized  by the College at
defeat by  Bandur's  black sorcerous   Karilon and  was permitted unlimited
intervention) with a small territory   access to the Library  at Nomikos to
carved  out along the  west coast of   continue his research.  But, to  his
Jaiman, along  the craggy  shores of   everlasting  bitterness, his library
the  Claedesbrim Bay.  This  is  the   privileges were  revoked when he had
part of  the  land  that  forms  the   tripped  an enchanted  alarm  system
windward edge of the High Plateau in   and  was apprehended trying to leave
the  region  now called Quellbourne.   one of the  Library's vaults with  a
Lord  Kestrel reluctantly  left  the   rare  speaking  crystal concealed in
camaraderie  of the  battlefield and   the folds  of his robe.  After that,
the  exhilaration of combat  to rule   he occupied himself  with  eccentric
                                    -6-                             More...
  
  
       
  
  
  
pursuits and  vainglorious projects,   the Unlife, in which all inhabitants
all seeking to appease the ever more   were strongly urged to join  if they
voracious demands of the Unlife upon   wished to keep their heads connected
him.  He commissioned daring  thefts   to  their necks  for any  period  of
of many rare manuscripts, relics and   time. The state cult filled the need
scrolls from private  collections as   of  the  people for  leadership  and
well  as seats  of learning from all   direction,  thus Bandur  usurped the
the farflung corners of Kulthea.  He   throne of Kestrel,  transforming the
had depleted the royal treasury with   land into an evil theocracy.
this  undertaking,  as well  as with
the construction of various demented   The  history  of the  cult  deserves
edifices  and  terrifying  monuments   some discussion here.  Early in  his
around the countryside  in homage to   servitude  to the Unlife, Bandur had
the Unlife.                            pledged to the Empress  Kadaena, the
                                       first  Lord  of Orhan, to follow the
Kestrel's maritime  forays took  him   ways of  the Unlife.  He  turned his
yet farther  and farther afield from   own  bondage to  her into the  state
his unquiet kingdom,  while Bandur's   cult, which he called The Dark Path.
depraved obsession and extravagances   Followers of  The Dark  Path engaged
caused the  citizens  to resent  and   in  many  heinous  ritual  practices
rebel  against  the  restrictions of   beneath a genteel facade of  prayer,
civilized, orderly society. The very   meditation,  contemplation  and  the
spirit of the  Unlife was strong; it   cultivation of  physical perfection.
pervaded and corrupted  the land and   They were ostentatious in their many
its  influence  was felt everywhere.   devotions, carrying long rosaries of
Bands  of armed brigands and  rogues   windak  beads and reciting  out loud
were  free,  kidnappings  and ritual   the  Iylarian phrase  "Kadaena Throk
slaughter became  commonplace,  wild   Farok."  True followers of  the cult
creatures roamed the towns in search   of Kadaena  who  recited the  phrase
of  prey, while enemies  raided  the   with  great  fervor  and  dedication
borderlands  at  frequent intervals.   were promised  everlasting existence
Many  fragmented, sinister cults had   by Bandur, and after death were then
risen up to  fill the vacuum left by   transformed  into various  levels of
the deterioration of law  and morale   undead creatures.
in the land.
                                       While  all this  was transpiring  in
Finally, just after one particularly   the land,  Kestrel returned  from an
gruesome incident, (too hideous even   extended sea voyage. Appalled at the
to  be repeated), Bandur's  advisors   condition of his kingdom and angered
pleaded with him to take some action   at  the  seizure of  his  throne, he
to  restore a  semblance of order in   exchanged many heated words with his
the land. Bandur roused himself from   elder  brother.  Before  the dispute
his arcane  pursuits  and  concluded   had been  resolved,  an outbreak  of
that  something  needed  to be  done   hostilities along the lands northern
to suppress  the  wanton  bloodshed,   marches called Kestrel and his still
cruelty  and disorder  in the  land,   loyal armies were away to defend the
but  not for the  sake of  peace and   borders.  Demoralized and anguished,
tranquility but more to allow him to   Kestrel failed to vanquish the foes,
continue  to exploit and  divert its   and was beaten back  to retreat with
resources to the  efficient services   the few surviving weary and mutinous
of the Unlife.  Bandur  relentlessly   troops. In desperation, Kestrel used
eradicated  pockets  and strongholds   the Amulet of Summoning which Bandur
of  resistance  in order to  central   had enchanted for him when they were
rule with  a dedicated force of well   mere lads.  Bandur, who was a rather
paid soldiers  and  an  assembly  of   formidable channel for  the  Unlife,
foul creatures of his own  creation.   sent  minor demonics  to drive  back
Once all  opposition in the land was   the enemy.  Once  the outside threat
crushed, he formed  an official cult   was quelled, the two fell to arguing
dedicated strictly to the worship of   violently  again in Kestrel's  field
                                    -7-                             More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
tent.  Bandur, now  hopelessly under   of  the high-ranking  priests of The
the control of the Unlife,  slew his   Dark Path,  who  ran the  day-to-day
brother  in a fit of  possession and   affairs of the land. Pronouncing the
hatred with  a  Spell of  Absolution   words,  "Kadaena  Throk  Farok,"  he
Pure.                                  told  them,  "There is  a place that
                                       calls me, where I  must go.  For  my
When he came to his senses, Bandur's   brother awaits me there. Seek me not
first  instinct  was to  conceal his   if you value your lives. Find me not
terrible transgression.  As  the new   if you value your souls!"
day  dawned, he  appeared before the
remaining troops and  announced that   With  that,  he uttered  a Spell  of
Lord  Kestrel died during  the night   Returning and transported himself to
of his  battle wounds.  He dismissed   the crypt, within  the gates  of the
the  pitiful  remnants of  Kestrel's   necropolis  he  had  built.  Sealing
army, who  gladly  scattered them to   himself  up in a sarcophagus of  his
their homes without question. There,   own  devising, he muttered  one last
in a quiet and  remote corner of the   black  spell  under  his  breath and
land, Bandur created  several golems   gave up his soul  to the powers that
to build  a burial mound to hold the   it had been promised to long ago.
remains of his  brother  along  with
some of his few remaining  cherished   The  necropolis  was  used  over the
possessions.                           millenia by the-much-debased line of
                                       descendants of  the family Etrevion,
Bandur returned to the capital city,   and by some unsavory local folk from
consumed  with guilt and  remorse at   time to time. It is also a haunt for
having  slain  his  beloved  younger   intrepid adventurers  and  predatory
brother. Troubled by evil dreams and   beasts.
ominous omens,  he  began concocting
mind-warping spells as  well as very
powerful potions to drown his mental      (Obsession, cont'd from page 5)
anguish.  Nothing helped to ease his      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
mind, and the Unlife fed on him with
unbounded glee as his inner conflict   been  two  hours...?  "Maybe  you're
tore  his soul asunder.  Finally, he   right," he said worriedly.
could contain himself no longer.
                                       "Of course  I'm right."  She led him
He returned  to the site of his foul   out into the hallway  and  into  the
deed,  and there planned and ordered   bedroom.  "Why  don't  you  get some
a great  graveyard  and crypt to  be   sleep,"  she suggested, helping  him
built in the  wilds.  He oversaw the   off with  his  clothes. "Things will
entire project himself, using  magic   look clearer in the morning."
powers and conjured hordes to finish
the undertaking. He enclosed a large   "I  guess  so,"  he  said,  climbing
area, the  burial mound  forming the   into  bed.  He  suddenly  felt  very
northern perimeter,  with high  rock   tired. She's  right,  he  thought. I
walls  and a  huge gate.  Inside the   shouldn't  be  playing so much.  I'm
gate, he  commanded  a marvelous and   taking   it  too  seriously.   After
perfect crypt to be built. Once that   all, it's only a game....He began to
had  been completed, and all  of the   snore.
enchantments  and magical traps were
placed  around the graveyard, Bandur   Satisfied,  she  tiptoed  from   the
placed all  his valued  possessions,   room,  and  made her way back to the
manuscripts and holy relics in rooms   den.  "At last,"  she  said  with  a
within the crypt.                      smile.
Finally,  he was  satisfied that the
work  was finished according to  his   She  sat  in  front  of the computer
grand design. Now totally mad and in   and looked at the screen.   "I  hope
failing  health, he  returned to the   the  Games   haven't   ended,"   she
capital to appear before an assembly   muttered, and began typing.
                                    -8-
  
  
      
  
  
  
 ____________
/ \ _________\         Rambling Rememberings of a Newbie
\@| ||=|=|=|| |        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |                 by Simon d'Ker
 _|    |_|    |
/@|   _|_|_   |he Lords  and  Ladies   I would die - oh, would I die ALOT -
\_/__________/ of  grace are  beyond   but was always given another  chance
the fumblings of a newbie.  However,   and another and another  by the Gods
I still remember well.  I was  first   of GemStone.  I was graced with many
level  for  many a month, with death   wonderful  friends who  were willing
always an inevitable part of playing   to take the time to examine my stats
GemStone III. Most of the time lost,   and "suggest" I reroll. I did. I DID
penniless, ignorant and shy. Knowing   listen to all the  advice about what
not how to fight or even where to go   to  be and why, discovering that  my
to fight.  What is a  stat?  An  OB?   chosen profession was definitely for
DB? Parry? No, I had not even played
D&D.                                   me, a mage.  Listening and watching,
                                       practicing on fighting and parrying.
I loved  it, the  conversations, the   Learning about the  weapons,  armor,
scenery, adventure  and  the people.   maps,  monsters  and wonderful wands
I  loved learning slowly and was  in   (WONDERFUL  WANDS!!!).  Feeling  the
no hurry  to  conquer  everything at   wonder of the crystal amulet and was
once.  Meeting  many  wonderful  and   fascinated with Mi' Lord's Familiar.
helpful  people, who were willing to
take their  GemStone time to help me   I made great progress, achieving the
decide what to be  and how to be it.   astonishing rank of Level 8 and then
Gallant Lords and Ladies smiling and   rerolling  again.  Finally beginning
hugging me.  Successful fighters and   to  understand  GemStone  enough  to
thieves helping me to gain knowledge   know a  future of success depends on
and directed me to outside help that   your stats and mine  were still weak
was located in the Tomes  of Kulthea   in several areas.
and to  the Libraries.  Experiencing
the thrill of  hand  to hand  combat   I am again at second  level but with
against  ferocious monsters.  Seeing   very good stats.  I am very busy and
the wonderful magic of resurrections   do not get to play quite as often as
and healings.  Listening to  resting   I would  like to  but I still  visit
conversations  amongst  many  fellow   GemStone with the same  enthusiasm I
adventurers  and  their experiences,   felt from the very beginning.  Still
allowing myself to enjoy their sense   feeling a sense of dance at watching
of humor.  Feeling  the kindness  of   the healers, clerics  and thieves go
healers and dedication of clerics.     about their business of helping many
                                       others.  I love  the hunt,  the kill
I was  experiencing a whole  new and   and  the power of magic.  I love  my
wonderful  world  with adventure and   clothes, and yours. The imagination,
kinship and creativity.  One  of the   the freedom of imagination.  I love,
joys I found  of  newbie-ness is the   love, love the sense  of  humor, the
noncompetitiveness of the adventure.   romance, surprises, the new  friends
You only compete with the monster.     I always meet and EXPERIENCE POINTS!
 ________________________________________________________________________
/ \                            At the Forum                              \
| @/______________________   by Bugg Hornwort     _______________________/
|                                                                       |
|                 "Did you miss me?" Lord Artuero grinned,              |
|                    As he returned to the forum again.                 |
|   >>>----------/       Replied Elvanion with wit,       \-------->    |
|                         "Yes, I did.  By a bit,                       |
|                   But next time I'll allow for the wind."             |
|  _____________________________________________________________________|_
|  @\                                                                     \
 \__/_______________________________-9-___________________________________/
  
  
      
  
  
  
 _____________                 A Green Garnet
/ \ _________ \                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ||=|=|=|| |               by Shiloh Strong
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |
 _|    |_|    |
/@|   _|_|_   | he Hobgoblin swung a   a lot of blood though  and was about
\_/__________/  short sword at me. A   to pass out.
                clean miss.
                                       An unfamiliar face peered down at me
"Ha, sucker!"  I said,  dropping  my   as the  haze disappeared.  Above  me
parry and  diving in with an all-out   stood a  beautiful young  woman. The
offensive attack.  The Hob  fell  to   sun  was  shining  behind  her  long
the  ground  screaming  in  agony. I   golden-colored hair,  and she looked
finished it off quickly and searched   at me  through lovely  blue eyes.  I
the dead body.                         sighed softly  as I  realized I  had
                                       died and  was in the presence of the
"Nothing. Drat,  I'll  never  get  a   Goddess Eissa.
laen shield at this rate," I said to
myself, as I swung my shield over my   She said  in a  sweet voice, "You're
shoulder  and  retrieved  the  metal   okay now, Shiloh. Stand up."
breastplate from the ground.
                                       I stood  up, eager  to see  what the
Just  as I was  slinging the  shield   afterlife would be like. A large oak
off my back, a Lesser Orc ambled in.   tree and  some  stone  benches  soon
In my hurry,  I fumbled  and got my-   showed me  that I hadn't died; I was
self caught up in the leather straps   still in  the town  square.  I  felt
attached  to it.  The Orc  swung his   like dancing  and hugged  my savior,
sword at me. I felt a sharp pain in    who was  not a goddess (although she
my chest as he yelled in delight. I    looked much  like one)  but a  young
removed  my  shield,  went  into  a    woman by the name of Mara Tallow.
defensive  posture, and  got out of
there as fast as possible.             She hugged  me back  and I  gave her
                                       some silver  for her assistance. She
I headed  south until I was sure the   said that  it was unnecessary, but I
Orc would not  follow, then  checked   insisted because  of  the  price  of
my chest. I  had a  deep  slash that   herbs these days. If she hadn't been
bled freely. I felt light-headed and   there, I told her, I would have been
knew  that  I  was  losing a  lot of   dead. She said if I found a nice gem
blood.  It was beyond  my puny first   to keep  her in mind. I then quickly
aid  ability to  tend, so I  quickly   ringed back  to hobs  in search of a
looked in my  backpack  for  Pasamar   pretty gem  for Mara.  I  found  one
Grass. Nothing.  I thought  of using   after about  my third  Hob, a  Green
my teleport ring  but recalled  with   Garnet. Green  is my favorite color,
dread  that it was  set for  Hobs. I   so  I  returned  with  the  Gem  and
groaned and started the long trek to   handed it to her. She thanked me and
town, knowing  that  my  chances  of   told me  that it reminded her of the
making it back alive were slim.        forest. She was a Wood Elf.
  
I reached the  town gates  dazed and   I felt my throat knot up. I blurted,
staggering  and collapsed inside  at   "My father was a Wood Elf." I gazed
Land's  End. I struggled up and con-   at the Gem in her hands and thought
tinued walking  till I  reached  the   back on my past....
town  square. As  I fell  again, the
world started to dim slightly; I was   ....My mother was a human Mage named
not going  to make it. Then  someone   Kelina.  I   remember  always  being
thrust Grass  into  my  mouth  and I   fascinated with  the  way  that  she
quickly ate the disgusting stuff. My   could make  our  pet  cat  (Roberto)
chest  felt better, and  I knew that   fall sleep  with a slight gesture of
it was going  to be okay. I had lost   her hand, or the way  that she could
                                    -10-                            More...
  
  
    
  
  
  
make doors  fly open  with  a  word.   Strong, mage-to-be.  I lived happily
Magic fascinated  me from birth; but   with my  parents until  I was  about
whenever I  asked my  mom to show me   four  or  five.  That  is  when  the
how to  do these  wonderful  things,   Di'Fashi found  my father.  His past
she would  always reply,  "Not  now,   finally caught up with him.
dear. You  are much  too young. When
you get  older, I  will  show  you."   I clearly  remember the  day he  ran
Sadly, I never got the chance.         in. It  was nearing night; my mother
                                       was  cleaning  the house  while  she
My father  was the  problem. I loved   waited for  my father to return from
my father  very much.  He was a Wood   his hunting rounds.  Birds  chirping
Elf named  Whiploh, and  he knew the   in the twilight suddenly fell silent
forest better  than  anyone  I  will   at the loud yelling outside. I could
ever meet.  He had lived with a clan   not  understand any words, but  they
of Wood Elves called Di'Fashi, which   did not  sound  pleasant.  My father
in the  Elven  language  means  "the   came  in clutching  his  shoulder in
Shadow Dwellers." My father had been   obvious pain.
found by  the Di'Fashi  when he  was
very little.  They  raised  him  and   He said, too calmly, "They're  here.
taught him their evil ways. See, the   Get  Shiloh  away."  He knew  he was
Di'Fashi considered  themselves  the   about to die.
Keepers  of  the  forest,  and  they
deemed all  Humans as  refuse to  be   That is  when we heard the crackling
dealt with.  My father did not fully   noise. At  first I  didn't know what
agree with  Di'Fashi, but  he had to   it was, but then I smelled the smoke
go along  with their  ways  or  they   and began  to cry. My mother told me
would kill him.                        to be  quiet and  my father  started
                                       yelling something  about not hurting
So he  grew up  sleeping by  day and   the family.  Flames were  racing  up
ambushing  human caravans  at night.   the sides of our house, and we heard
Then  one evening, when he was about   a snapping  noise  from  above.  The
twenty-seven, a  group of  merchants   massive beams  of our  house started
were  passing though the forest; the   to  splinter.  I dove  under a table
Di'Fashi and my father ambushed them   just in  time to  see my mother look
and took some  prisoners.  One was a   at  me  sadly  and  disappear.  Then
young  woman, my mother.  My  father   blackness  as   the  roof  collapsed
liked her  from the start; her long,   around me....
dark hair and  deep blue  eyes  were
just a couple of the reasons that he   ....Mara was looking at me strangely
visited her  daily. He  sneaked  her   and  I  realized  that  I  had  been
pieces of  his dinner  and sat up at   staring at  the gem in her hands for
night talking  to her.  Soon the two   quite some  time.  I  blushed,  gave
had fallen  in love.  One night they   her a hug and left the square.
decided to run away together, but as
they were escaping, a Di'Fashi guard   I didn't  go hunting  any more  that
spotted them. My parents ran as fast   day.  Instead, I  headed  up to  the
as they  could.   My mother used her   costal  cliffs. I gazed out over the
magic to  defend them, and my father   sea from atop a high rock. No nymphs
used his Ranger skills to guide them   bothered me as I  sat  and  recalled
safely through the forest.             my past....
  
They ran all night. Finally, as dawn   ....I  couldn't  hear the Elves  any
broke, the  sounds of  pursuit  died   more, and assumed they'd left me for
away. The  two fell  asleep together   dead and gone on their way. I sat in
by the  side  of  a  creek  bed.  My   the dark under that table for nearly
parents built a one-room  cottage at   a day in unbearable heat. With  only
that spot  and decided to live there   three feet of room,  I was unable to
for the rest of their lives. About a   rest;  I could not stretch  out.  My
year later  my mother had me, Shiloh   throat  was  getting  dry,   and  my
                                    -11-                             More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
stomach  was  rumbling.   As my body   trapped in there for a long time. He
started to cramp up, I realized that   patted me softly and said everything
I would never get out and started to   would be  all  right. I  nodded  and
scream and yell.  I tried to claw my   asked him who he was.
way  out of the three - foot prison,
but I was too small to get anywhere.   "My   name's  Jeremy  Thistlewillow,
Nobody came to help.  Crying  softly   wandering wonder. I go from  town to
to  myself,  I  thought  how I would   town telling people stories."
never see my parents again.  Then  I
heard a scratching sound above me.     "You're a bard?" I asked him.
  
Di'Fashi!                              "Yes, I suppose you could call  me a
                                       bard, but I like to keep a close eye
They must  have heard me. I tried to   on the forest. I saw the smoke  com-
hide.  Where was I  to go? The sound   ing from  your house, and I  came as
slowly became  louder as  pieces  of   soon as I could."
burnt wood and ash flew aside. I saw
a thin light peek though, and I felt   The old man and I became very close.
for sure  that I  was done for. Then   He raised me  from age six to eight-
an old man stuck his head though the   een  and taught  me the  ways of the
hole.                                  forest. I learned that the woods are
                                       part  of us and  that without  them,
"Anyone in here?" he yelled.           life would be nothing.  He taught me
                                       how to fight, and a friend taught me
I whimpered  softly. He  turned  his   to cast  the ranger spell, Hues.  As
head in my direction and squinted at   the  son  of a  mage, I  learned  it
me. "Why hello there, little fella."   really quickly.
I didn't respond.
                                       When  I was  eighteen, the  old  man
"Why not come on out of there?"        became very ill  and passed  away. I
                                       mourned  the old man for  a time and
My father had told me never to trust   then  decided that the woods I lived
strange people,  but I  could  smell   in were  getting  too  small. I left
the flowers  and the  open air.  The   my birthplace  and travelled  around
sunlight streamed  though the little   the country for  a time. Then when I
hole that  the old man had made, and   was thirty I heard about the settle-
it looked very inviting.               ment called Kelfour's  Landing. What
                                       a wonderful adventure that would be,
"Come on out, little one." He smiled   to live in a town filled with danger
at me  in a friendly manner. " Don't   at every  turn.  Soon that  would be
be afraid."                            the place for me.
  
I made my decision and  clambered up   When I first arrived in Kelfour's, I
though the opening. The warm sun hit   did not  know  anyone and  was over-
my face and I  could feel  the vast-   whelmed  by  the  many  streets  and
ness of the windak  tree surrounding   different people. But because  of my
me. I was free of what I thought was   uneasiness in a town, people did not
going  to be my  grave; I felt  like   accept me well.
hugging the man. From that day on, I
cannot stand being in small rooms or   One time, while I was hunting in the
crowded places.                        Catacombs, I  met a young  man named
                                       Finrod. He had just recently entered
He looked  at the  burned remains of   Kelfour's  and was having  the  same
my house with a concerned air. "Now,   feelings as  I was,  so we joined up
tell me what happened."                and fought the rats as they came.
  
I told  him about  how these  people   Later the  same day, we  met another
had come for my  father and about my   man in the Catacombs, named Gandalf.
mother  disappearing, and  how I was   He had adventured in Kelfour's for a
                                    -12-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
short  while   and  knew  the  ropes   house. Could she actually be alive?
better than Finrod and I did.
                                       It turned out that she was alive. In
I traveled  with my  friends Gandalf   those few frightening seconds  while
and Finrod for the first few years I   the  roof collapsed, my  mother  had
lived in Kelfour's and became a pro-   managed to  slip on a gold ring that
mising young  Ranger.  Yet that  was   she had in her apron  pocket. Sadly,
not my destiny.  I knew from the day   she  was caught  by Navigators,  who
I first  watched my mother casting a   took away her few  coins, along with
spell that I was to be a Mage.         the ring.
  
I left Kelfour's to search the coun-   She was  teleported  to some strange
try for a school that would teach me   town  that  she  knew  nothing about
the ways of magic. At last I found a   where she lived on the  streets  for
one called the Mages' Hamlet.          a time on the small amounts of money
                                       that  her  spells could get for her.
Soon the  teachings  of  my  mentor,   Then she  met a  man.  His name  was
Jeremy Thistlewillow, were pushed to   Kajo  Klemnick. He  was very kind to
the  back of my  mind as new, inter-   my mother  and offered her  his hand
esting  magical formulas  took up my   in marriage.  She had nowhere  to go
attention. I was a Mage at last.  My   and  no money, and  winter  was just
love for the forest remained, though   setting in.  She agreed  to wed  the
my ranger skills did not. It took me   man.  About  a year  after  she gave
three  years to fully comprehend the   birth to  his child,  Kajo ran  away
workings of magic, but in  the end I   with the infant.
was  able  to  weave  the  flows  of
essence as well as any other appren-   That  child  was  Pheonix.  He had a
tice  Mage. I returned to  Kelfour's   rough  time living  with his father,
Landing, this time planning to stay.   but his story is his to tell.
That is when I met my brother.
                                       My new - found  brother and I hunted
I was wandering around town one day,   together. He  was a thief  who hated
when I noticed a man about my height   thievery, but his father forced  the
with long  brown hair and light blue   trade  on him.  Pheo became adept at
eyes. He seemed like someone  I knew   lifting  my silver  from me. I spent
or had  known, but  I couldn't place   most  of my time running though  the
him. Then I realized that  he had my   streets of Kelfour's trying to catch
mother's eyes. He  was looking at me   the little prankster. I still do.
in  the same  manner, and  we  stood
staring  at each  other for a while.   Pheonix  told me  of my  other half-
Then  he said in a  confused  voice,   brother, whose  name was Zabo.  Kajo
"Is your name Shiloh Strong?"          had gotten my mother pregnant before
                                       he took  off with Pheonix. My mother
I blinked.  How did this man know my   gave birth  to Zabo Strong,  and  he
name?                                  was raised by  her.
  
"Yes. Do I know you?" I asked him.     Pheonix  ran  away from  his  father
                                       and  went  to  live with Zabo and my
"My name is Pheonix Stronghold."       mother. That is how he had gotten my
                                       description and was able to find me.
"Sorry. I cannot seem to recall your   Pheonix  went  back for Zabo, and we
name, but your face looks familiar."   were all united at last in Kelfour's
                                       Landing....
"I was  always told  I had eyes like
my mother's," he smiled. "Our mother   ....I rose from my sitting position
spoke of you often, Shiloh."           atop one of the coastal  cliffs. It
                                       was getting  late and I was  dread-
I was  stunned. I  had considered my   fully tired. I stretched my cramped
mother to  be dead,  crushed in  our   legs and began the long trek home.
                                    -13-
  
  
      
  
  
  
                              Wilderness Report
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 ______________             by D. Forest Hobgoblin
/ \ ____  ____ \
\@| ~| |  | |~ |
  |  |~|--|~|  | i-Ho all!  This  is   stupid look  on yer face?  What's up
 _|  |~|--|~|  | is your wily  field   with  that  look?  Y'all  look  like
/@| _|~|  |~|_ | reporter, D. Forest   yer  thinkin'  too hard for it to be
\_/ ~~~~  ~~~~ / Hobgoblin, comin to   healthy.  I  never  think  and  look
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ya  from  the wilds   where it's got me...!  So I puts one
of Kulthea.                            on and I get this weird  feelin'  in
                                       my  head...like  somethings working,
I've  been  wanderin'  around, up by   ya  know?  But  that's  it.  Nuthin'
the old mine-road-cave, and I  found   more.  I think  yer  all  a bit nuts
some  pretty   neat  stuff.   What's   anyway,  so  I  just  use  them   as
with  these nifty  metal rods?  Some   skippin'  rocks  down  at  the pond.
sorta new - fangled tooth pick..?  A   Looks real pretty when the sun  hits
really energized flosser...?   I was   'em!
tryen  to get at a peice of squirrel
stuck way in the back  and  ZZZAAAP!   Some  of you have been writin' in to
the  peice was shot clear across the   me 'bout the cracks on your lack  of
glade, my hair was on end,  and  boy   fashion  sence.  No,  it  ain't just
was I smoken'!  That  reminds  me...   those Elves and Hobbits -- it's  all
....The  other  day  my  mother  was   you  smelly  weirdos.  Like,  what's
scolding  me  with  one of those rod   up with those suits of armor and  no
thingies about  "galavanting  around   clothes  unnerneath?   Ever  take  a
outside  the  city   walls"...   and   look  at  yerselves?  First  off,  a
"watching  those  gladiator  games".   breastplate  and  leg  greaves  look
She  was  really  gettin' into it --   pretty strange when  you  ain't  got
wavin' her arms all about  like  she   no shorts on! At least get a robe...
does,  and  then  WHOOSH!    A  ball   there ARE children  around!  Sheesh,
o' fire the size of  a  wearbear and   you  smellies...  always in  such  a
she's  gone!   Probably  scared  her   hurry to get out to the fray.
off... but  why   the    smell    of
pot - roast?  We  had  lizzard  that   Until next time, this  is D. Forrest
night...                               Hobgoblin  with  some timely  advice
                                       for all  you CRITTERS out there:  If
Speakin' of dissapearing;  I've seen   they were  beaten' on ya  just a sec
those   rings   you   smellies  'ave   ago, DON'T SIT DOWN!
got.  I've got me a bunch  too,  but   ____________________________________
I  can't  seem  to  get  'em to work  /                                    \
just  right.   Like  the  time  this |       The Latest on Louvella         |
lady's  beatin me up with her little |       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         |
sword and I wanna  get  the  <grunt> |          by Bugg Hornwort            |
outa there!   So I remove it -- wear |                                      |
it...nothing, great....remove it  -- |    Louvella Parsnips has of late,    |
wear it... <she's really hitten hard | Been locked in Cheldars with a date. |
about  now>... removeit -- wearit... |  'Though there's cause for concern,  |
removeitwearitremoveitwearit...BAMM! |       It was recently learned,       |
So  much  for  your   craftsmanship. |         On the third night           |
They would make  nice nose rings.... |       the poor troll escaped.        |
Brelga   thinks  I'd  look  smashing |                                      |
with  one. I  wonder  if  those  rod |         Though Louvella says         |
thingies  would  work  as a piercer? |        she ne'er lost control,       |
                                     | Such events claim an undeniable toll.|
Hey,  now, those fancy necklaces are |      Like the hours Strom spent      |
pretty neat!  But  why  is  it  that |     Healing claw-marks and rents     |
whenever  you guys start rubben' 'em | In the hide n' backside of the troll.|
you end up walken around  with  this  \____________________________________/
                                    -14-
  
  
       
  
  
  
 ____________          The Looking Glass War, Part 1
/ \ ________ \         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ~|~|~~|| |             by Gallenod Varynesti
  |  |~|_ ~~ |
 _|  |~|-|   | ate  is a fickle com-   leather  armor  creaked  as  I  bent
/@|  |~|     | panion as we wend our   almost double to squeeze through one
\_/ ~~~~~    / way  down the road of   section.  Then I was through.  There
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  life. We can  rarely,   were only three buildings inside the
if ever, predict the turns our lives   wall: a three - story tower, a stone
will take. One thing we hold as con-   gazebo  with  a  well  inside, and a
stant,  however,  is our  past. Once   small,  squat  building that  looked
set, our  prior paths are immutable.   a bit like a crypt. I drew my rapier
Or so I once thought.                  as a cold chill crept up my spine.
  
I was  scouting east  of Danjirland,   "I'll just  check the well," I  told
hunting for the source of the plague   myself,  "and then I'll head back to
of  reptiles  recently  seen in  the   town and get a full group out here."
Landing. Airioch had sent us all far   While I'm not one to  shy away  from
and  wide looking for a "well with a   danger, I  know  my  limitations. If
dark hole."  So  far,  we'd  had  no   the  crypt contained Unlife, I would
luck.  But I knew  of a small stream   be hard pressed to deal with them by
that led back through the area,  and   myself.  Perhaps  I'm too  cautious,
thought I might find along its banks   but  with the  nearest  cleric three
some old town or keep with a well.     days  away,  I  will  always  choose
                                       discretion over valor.
I  was  alone,  as  is my  habit  on
occasion.  Most would  consider wan-   The  well looked  unremarkable.  The
dering through the wasteland without   inside  was choked with old, rotting
without  a large party  foolish. But   vegetation. I poked  my  rapier  and
Danjirland and  I are  old  friends;   stirred  the vines a  bit.  Nothing.
I'd spent a great deal of time there   This trip had led to a dead end.
in  my  youth,  and  the  ogres  and
trolls, stupid as  they are, knew me   As  I moved  away  from the  well, I
from  old.  They  watched me from  a   slid  cautiously  towards  the small
distance, but  only that. They  were   building. Inside was a  single room.
not the prey I sought, in any event.   In the dim light from the doorway, I
                                       saw a  huge stone  tomb centered  in
The  snakes that  invaded  town were   the room. On  the far wall  was what
starting to pose a real threat. Many   looked   like  an  enormous   silver
of the vipers I'd seen before at one   shield, well  over two  meters tall,
time or  another.  But when  serpent   polished to mirror brightness.
kings  and other, even more powerful
oddities  began  to  appear,  I knew   The  tomb's inscription  read: "Lord
that  something more serious loomed.   Alexander  Blalock,  Knight  of  the
Thus my expedition into a previously   Middle Kingdom." The features carved
uncharted sector of Quellbourne.       on the tomb were of a common man.
  
On the third  day past the  signpost   An old  legend tickled  my memory. A
marking  the entrance to  the waste-   story about a lord  from an  unknown
lands, I spotted a small keep in the   land who  appeared one  day  out  of
distance  not  far from  the stream.   now where and helped a small band of
Upon closer  inspection, it appeared   settlers  carve a  freehold  in  the
to be deserted. The  wooden beams in   wilderness. A thousand years ago, in
the portcullis had long since rotted   another age. Now I was in his tomb.
away, leaving  the iron bands twined
like a huge, rusted spider web.        I  moved closer to  the shield.  Its
                                       surface was so clear it shone like a
I carefully  picked  my  way through   mirror.  But  I  could  not  see  my
the ragged skeleton of the  gate. My   reflection  in  it.  Where my  image
                                    -15-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
should  have been, a  shifting  gray   which appeared to be a cooking area,
mist stared back at me.                as well.
  
Too many mysteries. I'd come looking   In the  middle of  the room  stood a
for snakes,  not more  puzzles. Best   long table,  benches down  its sides
to return  home  and come  back with   and a  huge chair  at one  end.  The
others to help solve the mystery  of   wall behind the chair  had an  eagle
this place.                            engraved  in it.  An eagle identical
                                       to the one emblazoned on my shield.
As I left the crypt, though, I heard
sounds of life  outside the walls. I   I was  so surprised I almost dropped
moved quietly to the  portcullis. In   my ring. I'd won  the shield after a
the woods  outside the keep, a large   protracted argument with a lich  and
group  of some  kind  seemed  to  be   a  lucky  die  roll  while  dividing
approaching the keep with caution.     treasure  after the battle. But  I'd
                                       never found anything that matched it
Not  wanting  to  face a  number  of   until now. The eagle had a dark body
unknown  adversaries  in  the  open,   with a white head  and tail.  Shield
I decided to drift over to the tower   and wall  both  displayed  the eagle
entrance  and  see  what  I  was  up   rampant  (in  an oblique  right pro-
against. Better that than the crypt,   file) stooping on prey, wings spread
from   which  I   had  no   possible   and claws  open.  I'd never  seen or
retreat.  I  cloaked  myself  in the   heard of such a bird on Kulthea, but
shadows of  the  entry hall  just as   it seemed a noble creature.
the others reached the portcullis.
                                       Another  mystery. But one I'd  worry
Greater orcs. Six of  them, accompa-   about once  I'd assembled a group. I
nied  by a war  troll who  obviously   slid the ring on my finger.
lead the group.
                                       In theory, I should  have teleported
They  made  no  attempt at  subtlety   to the center of  Kelfour's Landing.
when  they  entered.  The  war troll   The ring just pulsed. With a sinking
twisted  two of  the old iron  bands   feeling, I  realized the  tower  was
from the portcullis and they entered   probably teleport - proof. My amulet
as if they  owned the  place.  Maybe   didn't  work  either. I wondered  if
they did. Then I heard a  voice from   Dartaghan  had days  like this  as I
above me.                              considered my options.
  
"Go away!  I just sent the other one   I could fight the troll's group. But
through, and I'm  not ready  for you   what  would the  owner of the  voice
yet!" A male  voice, it spoke Common   upstairs  do? I chose instead to  go
with  an  accent  I  couldn't  quite   farther  into the  tower. I wanted a
place. The  war  troll  didn't  look   closer look at  that engraving.  The
pleased, but it herded the orcs back   orcs and the troll could wait.
out through the gate to set up camp.
                                       The eagles on the wall and my shield
Interesting. Someone that could give   were twins, right down to their tail
orders to a war troll. And have them   feathers. A sixth sense told me this
obeyed  without  question.  Too many   was important.  I just  didn't  know
mysteries. Alerting  the war troll's   why. I started up the stairs.
group  to my presence would also tip
off the  one upstairs. As I  removed   The second floor of the tower seemed
my  teleport  ring, I inspected  the   to be living quarters. The furniture
first floor of the tower.              was old  but solid, the bed  unmade.
                                       As I stood  there, I heard  steps on
A narrow  spiral  staircase  on  the   the landing above. A  wizened figure
wall  led to the second floor, which   descended  the stair. It was a gnome
was held up  by four  massive  stone   of incredible age. He peered  around
columns. There was also a fireplace,   the  room,  his gaze  sweeping every
                                    -16-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
corner. "All right," he  called out,   Most Pensics would just rush the war
"come  here where  I can see  you. I   troll  and get their  heads cut off.
won't hurt you."                       Yet you stepped  out to face me with
                                       no fear. Typical. You are a mystery,
He wouldn't  hurt me?  Then I remem-   Pensic. Well, since you're here, you
bered how  quickly the war troll had   might  as well  come up  and see  my
moved to obey  this voice. I stepped   workshop.  Perhaps  you  could  even
from my hiding place in the shadows.   help  with my  project." The  astro-
                                       loger's eyes gleamed.
Our eyes met. Then his gaze  fell on
my shield and he gasped.               I was a mystery to him? I dredged my
                                       memory for  any reference to  Pensic
"A Pensic  Knight!  After all  these   knights  but remembered nothing. I'd
years!  Oh my,  what a  wonder!"  he   just have to go on improvising.
wheezed. "This is rare!"
                                       The gnome led me up to his workshop.
Having no idea  what he  was talking   On one wall was a huge silver shield
about, I  kept silent,  hoping  he'd   that was  a twin to  the one  in the
tell me more.  He seemed  both drawn   crypt. There  were also a variety of
to and repulsed by the  emblem on my   scrying crystals and apparatus.
shield, as though he desired  it but
was afraid to touch it.                "I watched  you enter  my keep,  Sir
                                       Knight," the gnome said. "You seemed
"So, Sir Knight," the gnome went on,   to be doing what  you said you were.
"dost thou have a name?"               Searching. Why the well?
  
"Lord  Gallenod  Varynesti," I said.   I explained about the snakes and the
"You have the advantage of me, sir."   clue  about a well with a dark hole.
                                       The astrologer nodded. "Maybe  I can
"Polite  to a  fault,  you Pensics,"   find it later, after this project is
the  gnome   cackled.  "Some  things   done.  It'll  cost  you,  though.  I
never  change.  I'm  Gordun,  Master   don't work cheap!"
Astrologer." He bowed.
                                       I nodded.  Astrologers probably  had
An astrologer!  I had thought that a   ways  of divining  things that could
lost art in Quellbourne. It appeared   ferret out  the source of the snakes
that at least one  remained. I bowed   plaguing the town. As he busied him-
in return. If  this ancient creature   self among his  crystals, I  studied
was an astrologer, he was a power to   the shield.
be reckoned with.
                                       Unlike the shield in the crypt, this
The  gnome  eyed   me  suspiciously.   one was alive with images. The scene
"Well,  Lord  Gallenod, what  brings   was of two small armies  facing each
you to this  keep?  It's strange  to   other in a field. They looked  close
find a knight of your rank  skulking   to starting combat.
about in bed chambers."
                                       "Be careful there, knight!"  snarled
Trying to maintain an air of noncha-   the gnome. "It's taken me three days
lance,  I  replied,  "My  apologies,   days to set that properly. Don't you
Master  Gordun.  I found  your  keep   touch it!"
while exploring this area. It looked
deserted from the outside and I came   "What  is it?"  I asked.  To my sur-
to investigate  it. The  arrival  of   prise, the  figures  in  the  mirror
the group  outside your gate gave me   surface seemed  to be  moving closer
some pause, so I decided  to proceed   to each other.
with caution."
                                       The gnome chuckled. "It's a window.
The gnome frowned. "Odd bird you are   And a door. To your past. And other
for a  Pensic. Caution and  stealth.   things."  The gnome's eyes gleamed.
                                    -17-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
I turned slowly  from the mirror. No   Pensic." The astrologer's hands spun
point in provoking the astrologer at   in the air.
this point.  He seemed quite willing
to  talk, and  I wanted to  learn as   Another second  and I'd have  had my
much as possible about  this strange   sword in his ribs. He  got his spell
situation  before I committed myself   off  just before I could  attack.  A
to a plan of action.                   blinding  sphere  of  light  erupted
                                       around  him.  Large dots  swam in my
"My past?" I asked. "I'm afraid I've   vision, and I stumbled backwards.
never taken part in such a battle as
I see in  that mirror."  The  armies   I heard  running up the stairs; pro-
were very close now. Individual mem-   bably the  war troll  or one  of the
bers were engaging in single  combat   the orcs. I groped  blindly; my eyes
in the  space  between the two.  The   were clearing too slowly. Across the
main clash would begin soon.           room, I heard the gnome laugh.
  
"Oh,  not  you  personally, my  Lord   "Nice try,  Pensic,  but too slow by
Pensic,"  replied   the   gnome.  He   half!" I heard him preparing another
sounded less friendly, now. "Rather,   spell and steeled myself to face the
the  founders  of  your  order.  The   next magical  attack.  Then, several
humans  who  established this keep a   things  happened  at  once.  As  the
millennium ago.  The ones  who wiped   gnome cast,  someone knocked  me out
out the  native inhabitants of  this   of  the  spell's  path. I  heard the
area. The orcs and  kobolds. And the   sizzle of  melting stone. I felt my-
gnomes."                               self  fall through what seemed to be
                                       a doorway, and landed on soft earth.
He stared darkly  at me from  across   Soft earth?  As my vision cleared, I
his table. "I intend to change that.   found myself in  the field  I'd seen
I intend to strike while this parti-   in  the mirror, in  the  middle of a
cular group is young and vulnerable.   battle between two armies.
Before  they can invade and  destroy
my people.  If I succeed, you  and I   And I hadn't a clue which side I was
may cease to exist, but my race will   supposed to be on.
still hold these lands."                         (To be continued)
                                        ___________________________________
He was  obviously  mad. "What  about   / \                                 \
temporal  paradox?"  I queried.  "If  | @/_________________________________/
you  changed the past, how  could we  |                                    |
still  exist?" I edged closer to the  |          Charred Squirrel          |
the stairwell. And the mirror.        |          by Bugg Hornwort          |
                                      |                                    |
"Pish  tosh!"  exclaimed  the gnome.  | Twas evening in Kelfours' town park|
"You know  nothing of  time, Pensic.  |     That strange time between      |
Once  the creatures  I send  through  |         twilight and dark.         |
effect the  change, we'll  never see  | When a squirrel filled with scorn  |
any difference. If we still exist in  |     Set to chuck an acorn -        |
the new  time line. It matters  not.  |         Delrin frowned,            |
The  time has come."  He grinned. "I  |  and then torched the whole park.  |
suppose  you'll  try  to  stop  me."  |                                    |
That was it, then. "Yes, I suppose I  | As often occurs through the ages,  |
must." I was thankful that I'd  cast  |      Parents harp and repeat       |
defensive spells  before coming this  |          certain phrases.          |
far. I moved in front of the mirror.  |    They remind boys and girls,     |
His Mind Shout took me  by surprise.  | "You'll wind up like that squirrel.|
It felt like a huge wave slapping at  |      Don't let me catch you        |
my brain. I barely resisted  it. The  |       playing with mages!"         |
gnome seemed surprised.               |  __________________________________|
                                      |  @\                                 \
"So, you are tougher  than you look,   \__/_________________________________/
                                    -18-
  
  
      
  
  
  
 _______________       To Download Or Not To Download
/ \ ____    ____\      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| +|~~\  /~~|+|              by Sean2 Lladd
  |  |~\~\/~/~| |
 _|  |~|\~~/|~| | any   of  you  are   myself). I have also put in a synop-
/@| _|~| ~~ |~|_| new  to  Kelfour's   sis of each one. Articles are listed
\_/ ~~~~    ~~~~/ Landing, as  am I,   by volume and number, then by title,
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ and are understand-   author, and page.
ably perplexed and somewhat confused
by the  complexities and  subtleties       "Prices! Prices! Prices!"
of our new - found home. This may be        by Thantis Azzurn
rectified by careful  perusal of the        Vol. 2, No. 12, Pg. 5
useful articles found in back issues
of the Kelfour's Edition.              As the  title  suggests,  this  is a
                                       summary  of prices  for all "common"
To that end, I have  compiled what I   goods  sold in  the various shops in
hope is a useful listing of articles   Kelfour's. Nice to know  what things
from past issues that  are available   cost in  advance and  helps us  new-
in  the GemStone  software  library,   comers budget better.
accessed from the menu that gets you                -----
into GemStone. The rest of the early       "GemStone III Commands"
issues reside in the  MPGRT library.        by Elminester Sylvanisti
If you are  a new  resident,  invest        Vol. 2, No. 12, Pg. 6
the time and dinero to  download all
the back issues you can find.          Somewhat  out  of  date  but  a good
                                       place to start. I hope to see an up-
Is it  worth it?  You bet your  last   date from the Lord  Mage sometime in
silver  piece it is,  if for nothing   the near future (hint).
more than the articles listed below.                -----
These are "how-to" articles, techni-       "High Sorcery Part II: Guide
cal or directly game-related, that I                             to Power"
feel would be of the most benefit to        by Dartaghan Darkstar
the new  player of  whatever  class.        Vol. 3, No. 2, Pg. 6
And  of course,  there are  also the
stories,  the poetry, and the  ever-   Good beginner's guide  to building a
popular  gossip  columns  (ask  Lord   Sorcerer character.
Gallenod  about  the  latter -- then                -----
duck!). The  stories and  poems also       "Guided Tour of the Graveyard
contain insights  into the  workings                              w / Maps"
of the world around us, and into the        by Aegyptia Nyctadaemus
characters that inhabit that world.         Vol. 3, No. 2, Pg. 20
  
Now, I do not present this as a com-   Nicely done article about the Grave-
plete index of articles, nor is this   yard, good for beginning clerics, or
a condemnation of those articles not   those who are merely  interested. If
included  in my  listing.  These are   you go  there, take a friend or two,
the articles  that I myself refer to   or three, or...
whenever I have questions.                          -----
                                           "Monsters of the Graveyard"
For the beginner, some of the arti-         by Aegyptia Nyctadaemus
cles are more "gooder" than others.         Vol. 3, No. 2, Pg. 27
Ahem...
                                       Companion  article  to the  previous
As  I said  before,  the  compendium   entry.  "Must"  reading  if you  are
below is a listing of those articles   going to hunt in the Graveyard.
(IMHO) that have the best  presenta-                -----
tion of information and would  be of       "The Etiquette of Dying"
the  most  interest to  the  younger        by Aegyptia Nyctadaemus
members of the  community (including        Vol. 3, No. 3, Pg. 8
                                    -19-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
Includes the  formula  for how  much   Lots of examples and details.
deeds cost and what to do if you are                -----
killed.  Read this  one carefully! I       "Monster Compendium"
can practically guarantee you'll die        by Xca Thedra
at least once.                              Vol. 3, No. 6, Pg. 20
             -----
    "Tips for Healers"                 List of  monsters with level, defen-
     by Jhembryn Durrock               sive bonus and critical type, nicely
     Vol. 3, No. 3, Pg. 10             laid out. Useful to know.
                                                    -----
A concise,  practical guide  to run-       "Successful Thievery: The
ning a low-level  healer (and we can                       Deadliest Skill"
always use more healers).                   by Lord Artuero Bresnahanini
             -----                          Vol. 3, No. 8, Pg. 7
 "Hobland: The New Player's Guide"
     by Dayln Grimm                    Lots of  examples and details  about
     Vol. 3, No. 4, Pg. 2              ambushing (characters OR monsters).
                                                    -----
Of all the articles of the where-to-       "How to Hunt as a Sorcerer"
hunt variety, Dayln's are the  best.        by Lord Nixie Trevize
For my  money, Dayln is the Fodor of        Vol. 3, No. 9, Pg. 20
of Kelfour's Landing.
             -----                     Covers  the class  from inception to
    "The Key to Lockpicking"           Lord level. Good tips for beginners,
     by Lord Artuero Bresnahanini      plus things to look forward to.
     Vol. 3, No. 4, Pg. 6                           ----
                                       I consider  the above articles to be
About  lockpicking,  with  formulas,   MUST  reading  for any  new  player.
explanations,  and   good  examples.   Even if  an article  does not affect
Useful for all classes.                you directly, it helps to  know what
             -----                     goes  on  around  you  and lets  you
    "Armaments: A Guide to Weapons"    understand  other  players'  motiva-
     by Melchior Merdaen               tions, if nothing else.
     Vol. 3, No. 4, Pg. 10
                                       The two articles listed below I have
Hitting and damage capabilities of     found to  be useful  but not  really
weapons commonly used in Kelfour's.    "necessary" to survival:
Also useful for figuring the damage
monsters can do to YOU.                    "Of Arms and Their Evolution"
             -----                          by Melchior Merdaen
 "Gorcland: The New Player's Guide"         Vol. 3, No. 3, Pg. 12
     by Dayln Grimm
     Vol. 3, No. 5, Pg. 2              Concise history of weaponry.
  
Can't say enough about these. I hope   If you really want to get a feel for
we will see more.                      how  your favorite  weapon  looks, I
             -----                     will make a  shameless plug here for
    "Successful Thievery: Traps"       "Museum Replicas  Limited."  Catalog
     by Lord Artuero Bresnahanini      #21 (worth the $2.00) has full-color
     Vol. 3, No. 5, Pg. 6              pictures  of swords, daggers,  axes,
                                       falchions, claymores, helmets, chain
Examples,  details, and descriptions   mail,  armor, and  so on. "MRL" also
of the  more  common traps.  Hope to   has period  clothing,  jewelry,  and
see a follow-up on the newer traps.    accessories. Address and 800-number:
            ~~~~~
   "Successful Thievery: How to             Museum Replicas Limited
           Pick a Pocket"                   2143 Gees Mill Rd., Box 840
   by Lord Artuero Bresnahanini             Conyers, GA  30207
       Vol. 3, No. 6, Pg. 5                 1-800-883-8838 (Anytime)
                                    -20-             (Continued on page 26)
  
  
      
  
  
  
 _______________         Once a Thief, Always a Thief
/ \ ____    ____\        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| +|~~\  /~~|+|           by Pheonix Stronghold
  |  |~\~\/~/~| |
 _|  |~|\~~/|~| |
/@| _|~| ~~ |~|_|y name  is  Pheonix   walk by, then he would send me up to
\_/ ~~~~    ~~~~/Stronghold, this is   beg from them while  he stole  their
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ my life.  I am  not   money.
proud of it, that  is not the reason
for which I am scripting this story,   He forced  me to  sit on  the street
the truth is for  the simple  reason   corner while he gambled, robbed,  or
of getting it off my shoulders.        drank...in all my memories of him he
                                       was always drunk.  All of my life he
At present I am twenty-nine years of   usually ignored me. When he did give
age. My mom's name is Kelina Strong,   me attention,  it was when he caught
my father's is Kajo Klemnick. I have   me going  against his rules.  During
a brother, Zabo Strong and one half-   those years I feared my fathers fist
brother,  Shiloh Strong.  When I was   more than anything in the world.
born  my parents  gave  me the  last
name of Stronghold because my mother   To put it bluntly, I did not love my
did not want  to  give  me the  same   father.  Right from the start. I had
last name  as my brother Shiloh whom   always known I would run away when I
she had thought was dead.              had become  old enough.  I would run
                                       away to find my mother and live with
I do not think  my parents were ever   her.
actually in love...no...far from it.
Kajo was an elven man who came to my   When  I was  ten going  on eleven my
mother when she was most vulnerable,   father started to teach me how to be
after her  first  husband, (Shiloh's   the  perfect thief.  I  hated  every
father) had died.  Kajo came to  her   minute of it.  We practiced  picking
with money to support her family and   pockets,  and took  apart  locks  to
gave her someone  to love.  They got   examine the best ways  to pick them.
married and soon after had me. Their   It  is unusual  to  have someone sit
half-elf son.                          down and  tell you the correct  ways
                                       of  stealing from people.  I used to
After about fifteen months of a good   pretend that I was interested and he
life,  Kajo  got  into  the habit of   loved that, I could see the gleam in
drinking.  My life seemed to go down   his eye  and I knew  he was thinking
hill  from  then on, my parents were   about what a great thief I was going
fighting quite a bit.  I do remember   to be.  I hated that look. I learned
waking up in the middle of the night   a lot about thievery however.
to  the sound of  vases and  glasses
being thrown. I crept out of my room   By the  time I  was fifteen I  could
to find  them yelling at each  other   pick locks,  pockets,  disarm traps,
and  throwing  things.  These little   and I was pretty handy with a sword.
incidents got so bad that eventually   Kajo was proud of me and said that I
my  father  took me  and  left.  You   would make a perfect thief.  What he
might  wonder why my uncaring father   did not  understand was  that I  did
would take me with him, and I always   not want to be  a thief all my life.
thought it was because he  loved me,   I hated being a thief, but Kajo  had
but now I know I was wrong.            taught me  all the  secret tricks of
                                       the trade and  I knew that there was
When I  was a  child he  used me  to   no way I could ever forget them.  If
help him con people you see.  He was   my  father had known how much that I
a thief by trade and loved having me   despised  thievery,  he  would  have
as an  excuse  to beg.  I remembered   killed me.
learning to pick pockets at the  age
of five.  We would sit on a sidewalk   One night during my fifteenth year I
until we  saw  a rich man  or  woman   decided it was time.  I was going to
                                    -21-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
run away.  We had been in  this  one   "Come on!"
town  for about  a week now and Kajo
had said  that it was  getting about   Before I realized what was happening
time  to leave,  (the town constable   he charged at me with his weapon.  I
was getting  to know him  better  in   sidestepped him and swung lightly in
other  words),  and I  knew  we were   return.  He ducked, thank the Gods.
within 50 miles of  where  my mother
lived so  I decided to take a chance   He turned to face me, eyes squinted.
and leave.  Kajo kept a close eye on   My blood ran cold but I stood coolly
me most of the time, I knew  I would   before him. I slowly raised my sword
have  to leave during the night.  We   into a fighting position...he merely
were staying  at a hotel on the out-   smiled.  You have  not  seen a truly
skirts of town for  the night.  Kajo   ugly smile  until you have seen Kajo
had  been out  all night  long and I   Klemnick smile. He swung, I blocked.
figured he had had his share of ale.   He stabbed, I parried. He chopped, I
Soon  after  he got back  he plopped   dodged. We continued like this for a
onto the  bed and  I figured he  was   while until he  became so frustrated
out cold for  the night.  However, I   that he began swinging wildly at me,
waited  until I guess around  one in   seeming unable to stop.  It was hard
the morning before  creeping out  of   work keeping him at bay.  He finally
my bed, slowly getting my packed bag   got one  good hit in and pain seared
and heading towards the door. At the   through my  left  arm.  I could feel
instant  I was  opening the door and   blood dripping down my side.
thought I was finally  free, until I
heard  the unmistakable sound  of  a   He chuckled. I snapped.
sword unsheathing behind me followed
by my fathers grovel voice.            Screaming  wildly  I  lunged towards
                                       him.  That had caught him off guard.
"Where do you think you're going?"     With tears streaming down my face, I
                                       pierced through his sleeping clothes
My heart sank and  my palms began to   and hit him in the right leg.
sweat... but I still had the courage
to turn and face him.                  He was still snickering.
  
"Thought you could fool your old man   It was then that it really struck me
didn't you?"                           that  he was crazy.  I  mean,  I had
                                       known he was crazy all along but  it
I just looked  at him.  I knew I was   was  not until  that moment  that it
caught.  I knew that he was drunk. I   really  dawned on  me.  A crazy  elf
figured I was dead.                    thief with  a  crazy half-elf  thief
                                       son. No!  I was not going to be like
"You  know you  are not going to get   him.  I was not  going  to  screw up
away without a fight."  He smirked.    other peoples lives  by thievery and
                                       cheating.  He had used me and he had
I raised an eyebrow at him.            used  my mother.  Anger  was  raging
                                       throughout my body.
"Here,"  he said  as he  tossed me a
short sword. While he  had his  laen   I charged towards him...I stabbed...
broadsword.  Kajo  kneeled  into his   I hit something and heard a groan. I
fighting stance  and tightly gripped   did not  look  back to see if he was
his gleaming weapon.                   hurt. I left that hotel so fast I do
                                       not think  he even  knew I hit  him.
I shook my head.
                                       All I know is  that he  had  stopped
"What? Come on!"  he  yelled. I  did   laughing...at me and my life.
not answer.
                                       I do not know what  happened to Kajo
I  just  looked  at  the sword in my   Klemnick.  All  I know is that I had
hands.                                               (Continued on page 26)
                                    -22-
  
  
      
  
  
  
                           Undermining Kelfour's
                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _______________           by Llorien Silvanestii
/ \ ____    ____\               (Chapter 6)
\@| +|~| __ |~|+|
  |  |~|/~~\|~| |
 _|  |~/~/\~\~| | ell, let  Pterelas   "Yes,  that's   him,"     chimed  in
/@| _|__/  \__|_| handle  the inter-   Penna.  "You haven't harmed  him  in
\_/_____________/ rogation,"  Inyigo   any  way,  have  you?   He's  a good
said. "He's  always torturing  those   friend of ours, and  I  don't  think
poor  little  squirrels   and   baby   the  men would take kindly to anyone
torkaans. Maybe  he'll  finally find   hurting him."
a use for his, um...talent."  Inyigo
winked  at the young thief,  as one    "Harm him?" asked  the  drow  Leader
of the drow visibly blanched.          incredulously.  "Why  would we go to
                                       all the trouble  of  retrieving  him
"Maybe  these   won't   scream   and   from  the  surface  world,  only  to
chitter    like    the   squirrels,"   kill him?  We  could  have  just  as
smiled Llorien, taking up  the  bait   easily accomplished that there."
and embellishing  on it.  "And those
black  skins  would  make  excellent   "Then why  did  you take him?  He is
camouflage   leggings,   don't   you   a monk at our temple, and has  never
think?"                                done  harm or borne ill will towards
                                       anyone,  much  less  you,"  Aegyptia
Pterelas smiled and pulled  out  his   said angrily. "He  is  probably  the
thin,  razor sharp stiletto, the one   kindest and gentlest soul in all  of
he  favored  for skinning.  Checking   Kelfour's Landing."
the  edge  on his thumb, he grinned,
and licked the trickle of blood  off   "But  he  is a holy man, is he not?"
his  thumb,  and approached the most   asked Joran.  "He  is  knowledgeable
shaken of the  captives.  He  seemed   in  the  use  of  the  holy weapons?
to   be  sizing  him  up  carefully,   And magicks  that  can  be  used  to
perhaps  measuring  the  amount   of   chase away evil spirits?"
useful  material  he might gain with
a   certain   cut,   when   Aegyptia   At  the  mention  of  evil  spirits,
stopped him.                           Aegyptia  stiffened.   "What  manner
                                       of spirits are you talking about?"
Turning   to  the  drow  leader  she
said,  "My   friends   are   a   bit   "Hmm,  I  had  forgotten  about  the
over-zealous, I'm  afraid.   Perhaps   weapons  that  were  stolen,"   said
if you just answer a few  questions,   Inyigo.  "Why did you rob the cleric
they  might  be  persuaded  to  stop   shop? Not to mention severely injure
their gory game."                      the shopkeeper?"
  
The leader hung his head,  obviously   "I  can  only  answer  one  question
beaten.  "I  care  for my men.  What   at a time,"  Joran  protested.  "The
is it that you would know?"            shopkeeper   was   an    unfortunate
                                       incident.  We  did  not mean to hurt
"Well, for starters,  who  are  you?   him,  but he attacked  us,  and  our
And    why    have   you   kidnapped   need was  great.  We did what we had
Ignatius?" queried Aegyptia.           to do."
  
"My  name  is  Joran  of  the   clan   "That is past,  and you will  answer
Nightstalker," answered  the leader.   for  that  yet," fumed Llorien. "Now
"I  am  a  patrol  leader,  guarding   what  about  the weapons?  Why  did
and  checking the tunnels leading to   you need them?"
our  city.   As  for  this  Ignatius
you speak of, I take it that you are   "To  combat the spirits, of course,"
referring to the holy man?"            said Joran,  thinking  that  it  was
                                    -23-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
rather obvious.   He cocked his head   "What  about  your  own  priests and
sideways,  looking  at   the   bard,   holy men?   Why  haven't  they  done
wondering  how  such  a slow thinker   something?"  asked Aegyptia.
could have  incapacitated  his  men.
"Our  weapons,  as fine as they are,   "We  have few such people,  and none
have had no effect on them.  We  had   possess  the  necessary   knowledge.
heard  that  there  existed  on  the   Our  loremasters  speak  of  a  time
surface world, weapons of  a  nature   when  we  worshipped   gods   living
that  could  be  used  against  evil   among  the  stars,  but since few of
spirits."                              us  have  ever   seen   the   stars,
                                       well...let  us  just  say  that most
"Okay,  so you got the weapons.  Why   believe   in   something   that   is
take  Ignatius?"   demanded   Penna.   understandable  to  them.   Most are
"Surely  you  had  gotten  what  you   followers of the Great Wyrm."
came for."
                                       "But  the   Great   Wyrm   has   not
"We  thought  that  a holy man might   answered   our  priests'  calls  for
possess magick knowledge that  would   aid.  Many began doubting,  but  the
aid us in our fight," replied Joran.   priests'  influence  was  great.  It
"The war does not go well."            took a long time  to  convince  them
                                       that   we   should  venture  to  the
"War?  What  war?"   asked  Llorien.   surface world.  They said  that  all
"And  what  are  these evil spirits    surface   dwellers   are   like  the
that you speak of?"                    spirits, evil.  They even said  that
                                       these  spirits  are themselves souls
Joran  looked   grave.   "They   are   of dead surface  dwellers,  come  to
ghouls,  evil  creatures  that  feed   wreak  upon  us a fate and vengeance
on living flesh.  They came upon  us   that they could not do in life."
unexpectedly  one  day, when a group
of miners  penetrated  a  rock  wall   At  this  point  Joran  looked   the
that  opened into a hitherto unknown   party   over  carefully,  appraising
cavern.   Not  one  of  the   miners   each  of them.  "But the priests may
survived.  They  must  have  died  a   have been wrong," he said,  smiling.
ghastly death,  their screams echoed   "Although you  have  threatened  us,
all  through  the  tunnels.  It  was   you  have  not killed us. And in one
their cries  for  help  that alerted   case,   you   even  saved  a  life."
one  of  our  patrols.  They went to   He  smiled  appreciatively at Penna.
check  on  it,  and discovered these   "The  one  you  saved was my younger
creatures   feasting  on  the  flesh   brother."
of  their  friends   and   brothers.
They  attacked  and  tried  to drive   "Well,  my  next  question was going
off the demons,  but  were  repelled   to be, why didn't you just  come  to
by  some strange gas which left them   us and  ask for help?"  said Inyigo.
choking and helpless."                 "But I  think  you  may have already
                                       answered it."
"Since  then,  these  foul   spirits
have  ventured  closer and closer to   Joran nodded  to  the  ranger.  "The
the city, always seeking victims  to   priests    only    sanctioned    our
satiate their  hunger for flesh.  We   expedition  on  the  promise that we
have tried driving  them  back,  but   would  not be  seen.   They  do  not
our weapons  do no damage.  And more   want  any  contact  with the surface
of our people  die.  If we do not do   world,  or its people.   I  can  see
something  soon,  our city will soon   now  why.  If  the  truth were to be
become  a  graveyard."    The   tale   learned about  the  true  nature  of
seemed  to  have  taken  its toll on   those  who  dwell  above   us,   the
the  drow  leader,  as  he   slumped   priests' power would be broken."
forward,  the  remembrance  of  lost
loved  ones  etched  deeply  on  his   "Well, what do we do  now?"    asked
face.                                  Pterelas.  "There's still the matter
                                    -24-                            More...
  
  
      
  
  
  
of getting Ignatius's freedom."        wear  this,  no  member  of the clan
                                       Nightstalker will harm  you  or  any
"Your   holy   man   has  been  well   of  your  clan.   And  you  will  be
treated, young man,"  stated  Joran.   accepted  as   one   of   the   clan
"If  you  wish,  I  will take you to   itself."
him."
                                       Inyigo   looked  over  at  Joran,  a
"Yeah,  right,"  laughed   Pterelas.   puzzled  expression  on  his   face.
"With  the  love  that  your  people   "Just   how   is  that  supposed  to
feel for  us  surface  dwellers,  we   protect her,  and  the  rest  of  us
wouldn't  stand a naked man's chance   for that matter?  I mean,  we  don't
against  golems,  of  surviving  and   exactly look like you."
returning home."
                                       Joran chuckled.  "You have  much  to
"I  can guarantee you safe passage,"   learn.  Since  we  live  so  much of
replied  Joran.  "I  am  the  eldest   our lives in the dark, we  have  had
son  in  my  clan,  and  as such  am   to  develop other ways of discerning
empowered to speak  for  and,  if  I   friend  from  foe. We  rely  on  our
feel I have to,  bind my clan to any   sense  of  smell,  which has evolved
promise  I  may  make."   The   drow   as highly, if not higher,  than  our
struggled to his feet, and turned to   sense  of  sight.   We can smell the
Penna.  "If  you  would  release  my   blood of each other, and  each  clan
hands, I will show you."               has  a  unique  odor.  The vial will
                                       give that same smell."
Inyigo  and  Llorien   both   stood,
weapons drawn and levelled at Joran.   "And  as  for  the rest of you,"  he
Penna   turned   to   Pterelas   and   chuckled  again.  "I  hope  I do not
motioned  for  him to cut the bonds.   insult you,  but to us,  all surface
Although not sure of the  wisdom  of   dwellers   smell   quite  the  same:
this  action,  Pterelas figured that   They all need a bath."
this  one  drow  could  not  do  any
harm,  and deftly slit the rope with   Turning  to   his   brother,   Joran
his stiletto.                          nudged  him  in  the  ribs.   "Don't
                                       just  sit  there,  you  lummox,  say
"If you would lend me your  dagger?"   hello to your clan-sister."
Joran  looked   at   Pterelas.   The
thief  looked  at  the  others   for   Struggling   to  his  feet,  Joran's
guidance.   Penna   nodded,  and  he   brother   then   bowed   to   Penna.
tossed the stiletto  into  the  dirt   "Greetings,  and   well  met,  clan-
at the drow's feet.                    sister.  I am Brethor,  of  the clan
                                       Nightstalker."
Joran  scooped  up  the stiletto and
then,  digging  around  in  a   belt   Penna   smiled   and   curtsied   to
pouch,   fished  out  a  small  vial   Brethor.  "Greetings and  well  met,
attached to a  leather  thong.    He   clan-brother.   I  am  Penna  of the
made  a  small  gash  in the palm of   clan  Dulaney."   She  giggled,  and
his  hand,  and  blood  welled   up.   said,   "And   now   of   the   clan
Tilting  his  hand,  he  let  a  few   Nightstalker, I suppose."
drops trickle into the  vial,  which
he  then   sealed.   He  handed  the   "These  others,"  she indicated each
stiletto  back  to  Pterelas,   hilt   in turn, "are my friends,  Aegyptia,
first, then turned to Penna.           Pterelas, and Inyigo.  The  would-be
                                       singer is my betrothed, Llorien."
"I  make  this  vow  to you, milady,
since you are the one  who  saved  a   As  each  was  introduced, Joran and
clan member's  life."   Solemnly, he   Brethor bowed. When Penna introduced
took the vial  and  hung  it  around   Llorien, Joran hesitated, then bowed
Penna's   neck,  brushing  back  her   deeply.   "You  are   certainly  one
curly  red  hair.  "As long  as  you   fortunate man,  to  be  betrothed to
                                    -25-                            More...
  
  
        
  
  
  
such a lovely lady."                   young  adult life with my mother and
                                       my brother Zabo.  It also seems that
Brethor laughed, and turned  to  his   before Kajo had left with me  he had
brother.   "Better  luck  next time,   gotten Kelina  pregnant  a 2nd time,
Joran,"   he  teased,  receiving   a   and she had given birth to Zabo.
well-placed  cuff  across  the  head
for his troubles.                      When  I reached the  age of  twenty-
                                       seven, I left home in  search  of my
Penna blushed,  and  turned  to  the   fortune and  arrived at  the town of
others.  "Don't  you  think we could   Kelfours Landing.  There I  found my
release them?  After all, they  have   half-brother  Shiloh who had thought
given  their  oath."   The three men   our  mother to be  dead.  After Zabo
conferred amongst  themselves,  then   graduated as  a healer he joined  us
Pterelas  spoke.   "I  guess so, but   here  and now we journey  throughout
we  don't  think  that  it  would be   Kelfours looking for adventure. I am
wise  to  return  their weapons just   glad to be a part of this land where
yet."                                  the people are nice.  I plan to stay
                                       for a long while.
Joran  nodded.  "Yes,  the  mistrust
is still   there.    Trust  must  be   All my life I have always  wanted to
earned.  We have no problem  if  you   be something  else, but all my  life
wish  to  keep  our  weapons for the   I  have  been a thief.  It  is all I
nonce."                                know how to be.  This curse is  left
                                       by my father.  I would  give all the
Apparently satisfied,  Inyigo  moved   silver in the world to be of another
over  and  cut the ropes binding the   profession, but I know I will always
other prisoners, then  sheathed  his   be a  thief in search  of money.  If
sword  loosely, making sure the drow   you ever see  me sitting next to you
had seen that his weapon  was  ready   in the town square and are afraid of
to  be  drawn  at  the first sign of   losing any money; do not worry about
treachery.  The  drow  rubbed  their   keeping  a tight hold on your purse,
wrists   in   an  effort  to  return   I  would never steal from  anyone in
circulation to their hands.            this  land.  I am here  not to  gain
                                       riches but to gain friends.
Everyone  assembled  their   things,
and made  ready  to  leave.  Judging   To  Download,  cont'd  from  page 20
that all  was  in  readiness,  Joran   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
pointed  down  the  tunnel.  "It  is       "The New IBM Front End"
still close to a day's march  away,"        by Altor Arlington
he  said.  "Our city,  that is,"  he        Vol. 3, No. 3, Pg. 13
added, seeing their looks.
                                       Nice review  of the GSIII Front End,
"Well  then,"   said Llorien, taking   with a quick "tour" of its  capabil-
a position close  to  Penna's  side,   ities. If you  use a  Big Blue  or a
"Lead on."                             clone, I  recommend  downloading the
        (To Be Continued)              GSIII Front End.
                                       New players  should also immediately
Once  A  Thief,  Cont'd from Page 21   download "Taluk's Armor Guide". This
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   can save you  many wasted  points in
killed  him.  He may still  be alive   armor development. Also  recommended
somewhere, but in  my mind I  killed   is the latest copy of Zepath's maps.
him and that is what counted.          Not  only  are  the maps VERY handy,
                                       but  the  file  also has reprints of
I do not know  how  long I ran  that   articles that will be of use to  the
night, until I collapsed, exhausted,   new (and not-so-new)  player.
and was unconscious till morning.  I   That concludes my synopsis. You  may
spent a month  and a half journeying   find others  that  better  fit  your
in the  wild before I finally  found   style  of  play.  After all,  that's
my family.  I spent the  rest of  my   what the game is about - YOU!
                                    -26-
  
  
      
  
  
  
 _________                    Ram's Guide:
/ \ _____ \         Acronyms and Emoticons for Newbies
\@| ~|_|~ |         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _|  |~|  |know that being a newbie,   tabletop  FRPG system that GemStone
/@| _|~|_ |you  often  run  into ab-   is based on.
\_/ ~~~~~ /breviations  and acronyms
  ~~~~~~~~ that  you can't decipher.   IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
They may be in conversation,  on the
Bulletin  Board,  or in  many  other   KE -  Kelfour  Edition;  what you're
places.  Let's  see  if I can  help.   reading right now.
  
First, acronyms and abbreviations:     LOL - Laughing Out Loud
  
AFK -  Away From Keyboard. Used when   NPC - Non  Player  Character(s); the
someone has to  get  a  drink,  etc.   extras on the street and others run
They tell you this so that you don't   by the system.
think they're ignoring you.
                                       OB -  Offensive Bonus;  an important
BB - Bulletin Board;  it's  a  place   part of combat.
where  you can post messages on many
different  topics;   the  categories   OOC - Out Of Character
for GemStone are on page 1045;1.
                                       OTW - On The Way
BRB -  Be  Right Back;  when someone
needs to  get  something,  they  use   PC - Player Character;  a  character
this,  usually  when they have to do   run by real people.
something or go somewhere.
                                       ROTF  -  Rolling   On   The   Floor;
BRT - Be Right There                   hysterical laughter.
  
BTW - By The Way                       RR -   Resistance   Roll;    a  roll
                                       determining  whether  and   how   an
CM - Character Manager;  where  your   attack  will  affect  the caster and
character is made and advanced.        the victim.
  
COL -  Council of  Light;  an under-   RTC - Real Time Conference; a  place
ground society in Kelfour's.           in  GEnie  where  you  can  talk  to
                                       people live and in person;  the  one
DB - Defensive Bonus;  an  important   for GS3 is on page 1045;2.
part of combat.
                                       Those were  the  acronyms.   You may
DISCO - Disconnect                     not have  heard  of  emoticons,  but
                                       you may  have  seen  them.   Because
FRPG - Fantasy Role-Playing Game       you can't smile, cry or frown on the
                                       BB,  symbols  are  used to represent
FYI - For Your Information             expressions. They  may look  strange
                                       from  a normal angle,  but  look  at
GM  -  GameMaster;  the  people  who   them sideways and...
run the game and keep it orderly.
                                       :) smiling
GS3 - GemStone III                     ;) winking
                                       :D wide mouthed grin
GY -  Graveyard;  a  popular hunting   :P sticking out your tongue
ground for clerics.                    :( sad
  
IC - In Character                      Then  you  can  get  some wierd ones
                                       like (:-0  and  ;-)
ICE - Iron  Crown  Enterprises; the
company that makes Rolemaster,  the    Be creative! Invent your own.
                                    -27-
  
  
      
  
  
  
  __________                The Lords of Orhan
/ \  ______ \               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| /~/~~\_\ |            by Aleksandr Charodey
  | \~\____~ |
 _| _~~~~\~\ | o,  young  ones, what   affairs; although, 'tis  said, he is
/@| \~\__/~/ | is it? I've just come   not  entirely  indifferent.  He  can
\_/  ~~~~~~ / from the wilds and was   bend the  forces  of  nature  to his
  ~~~~~~~~~~ and was looking forward   will,  changing  the  very  weather.
to a quiet rest on this bench before   Perhaps we  shall hear from him more
I must leave again. This business of   often now  that the  common  meeting
the temple has got you curious about   place is outdoors!
the Lords of Orhan, has it?  Why not
ask these  questions of the Clerics?   Married to  Kuor is Valris the Wise.
Oh, well, children, I  cannot  blame   Perhaps 'married' is  too  strong  a
you. When they  are not rushing from   word, but you talk to the clerics on
one fatality to another, the Clerics   that. I do not wish to be accused of
can be an imposing  lot. And who can   corrupting the young!  But among the
blame them, after they spend all day   Lords, marriage is  not as exclusive
fighting death and unlife?             as it  is  with  mortals.  There  is
                                       almost a sense that the Lords regard
Here, let me sit while you  children   marriage as a deeply rooted partner-
gather  'round.  I shall tell you of   ship.  One  could debate  that point
the Lords of  Orhan. But do not  ask   forever, and I do not care to do so.
me  whence they  came or if they can
create rocks  larger than they them-   Valris is the patron of learning and
selves can lift. I am no seminarian!   wisdom.  Not the  casual ABC's, mind
                                       you, but deep, scholarly stuff.  She
First, know  that the Lords of Orhan   delights in developing the powers of
are not the only beings called gods.   the mind, and it is said that in far
It is possible  for lesser 'semi' or   away lands she has taught mortals to
'local' gods  to rise up.  Again, do   use their thoughts to alter reality!
not ask  me how. 'Tis a question the   Sounds  too  fantastic even  for me,
theologians  have punted around  for   but who can say?
ages and I don't care to think about
it! Just know that it is so.           Reann is a name familiar to you all,
                                       I am  sure.  No doubt  your  mothers
Now, know  that the  Lords of  Orhan   tuck  you in  each  night  with  the
are the only gods we know of who are   assurance  that  the Lord of  Dreams
recognized all across Kulthea. There   will  watch over you.  Reann is more
might be  minor variations  in reli-   concerned  with the  affairs of Kul-
gious communities  from one land  to   thea  than most of the  other Lords.
the next, but in every Kulthean land   It is said of  Reann that he patrols
there  is a following  for the Lords   the night  astride  a great  unicorn
of Orhan, even the broad steppes and   with a luminous silver horn, to bat-
forests far  to the east that are my   tle the forces of unlife.
home.  Their purposes are their own;
Clerics will be  happy to discuss it   Such a burden  weighs down  even the
with you.  But oft the Clerics  seem   spirits of a Lord, and  Reann can be
to forget that not all of the people   dour  at times.  He further  burdens
know who the Lords are.                himself by associating with Jaysek.
  
Kuor, for instance, is  the Ruler of   The twins  Jaysek and Kieron are all
the Lords of Orhan, yet you probably   but  identical  in  appearance,  yet
have not heard 'Kuor' as many times    quite unalike in temperament. Jaysek
as you have fingers. That is because   is the patron of visual  arts and of
he is generally unconcerned with the   magic. He is  always  clad  in solid
goings  on in  Kulthea.  He is  more   black and is given to writing morbid
concerned with moderating  conflicts   prose--I  can  not  call  it poetry!
among the  Lords and seeing to their   He further likes to cheer everyone's
                                    -28-
  
  
      
  
  
  
day by riding forth on a dark  horse   physical prowess. He is the unparal-
in a  dark  cloak and  speaking dark   leled  master   of  unarmed  combat,
prophecies to his followers.           capable of  besting even  Kuor. Only
                                       Kuor can best him  if weapons are in
Kieron, Bard  of  the  gods, is  his   the fray.
opposite  in every particular. He is
the patron of festivals and the per-   Shaal, the  Destroyer, is the patron
forming arts, invoked to  bless wine   of the seas and late fall. He rarely
and ale--and to aid in recovery from   takes his human form,  preferring to
hangovers.  It was Kieron who taught   appear as a  merman. Seldom does his
my  forefathers  to  make  'precious   interest turn  to the land,  usually
water,'  or  'Vodka' in your tongue.   in vengeance.
Sadly, the  brewmaster of  Kelfour's
needs further  education, for I have   Teris is  the Messenger of the gods,
yet to have a taste of it here!        the  fastest creature  in existence.
                                       He runs  barefoot,  holding  his rod
Kieron is also a great prankster. At   of office  that records  the message
times he dresses  as his brother and   he is to bear.
rides to Jaysek's followers to spout
nonsensical  prophecies. Jaysek then   Iloura, the  Earth - Mother, is  the
is  forced to ride  about  again and   patron of field and forest.  We give
insure that his folk are gloomy over   our  thanks to Iloura as the harvest
the proper set of grim foretellings.   is safely  brought  in and  Autumn's
                                       work  is  done.  She  is  married to
Eissa  is a famous  Lord to us here,   Iorak, Smith of the gods.
guard of the the Gates  of Oblivion.
Not one of us would dare go into the   Legend  holds that Iorak  had a hand
wilds  save we  had paid our  proper   in  building the  area south  of the
respects to the Lord  who holds life   Landing  which  bears  his   name. I
and death in her hands. Decisions of   don't know about that, but I do know
the  Lords are  reversible  by Kuor,   that the fine  things that the Lords
save one; and that  decision belongs   use were crafted by Iorak. There are
to Eissa.  Nevertheless, she is  not   mighty  tales to be told of how  the
without compassion. Eissa is willing   Lords each  commissioned  the reclu-
to allow those  who have missions on   sive  Iorak  to  work  for  them, in
Kulthea  to  fulfill, and  who  have   particular,   how  Oriana  persuaded
been properly respectful, to  return   Iorak to  make her a pair of  golden
from the realm of spirits.             wings.  It seems-- ah, but that is a
                                       tale for another time.
Phaon is  the patron  of summer.  He
swaggers on his  winged horse, which   Well, children,  those are the Lords
has a  flaming mane and tail, bring-   of Orhan.  They each have  their own
ing warmth to all. He  is married to   affairs and  concerns -- and  all of
Oriana, goddess  of spring, love and   them  touch on  you and  me in  some
fertility.   It  is  Oriana  who  is   sense or other.  Talk to the clerics
invoked  at weddings  and name - day   if you want to know more about them,
parties, as  well  as when we  greet   or go to the library and  search the
the  new sun in  spring.  Both Phaon   Tomes of  Kulthea.  Off with  you, I
and Oriana  have taken the  practice   must rest  now.  Hmm?  What's  that,
of fertility  rites  quite literally   boy? You come back when you can grow
to their followers by--  Good day to   some stubble on your chin and I will
you, my Lord  Zinderin! What? No, my   tell of Iorak and the Golden Wings.
good sir, just discussing matters of     ________________________________
history and whatnot with the urchins    /                                \
here.  Yes.  Yes.  Of  course.  Good   |     Vacation of Your Dreams!     |
hunting to you, m'Lord.                |  Earn FREE WEEKENDS in  Kulthea! |
                                       |   Send GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON   |
Where was I? Ah yes, Cay the Strong.   |      for complete details.       |
Cay  is the  patron of  strength and    \________________________________/
                                    -29
  
  
     
  
  
  
 _______________              Lletters to Lloyd
/ \ ____    ____\             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| +|~| __ |~|+|            by Lloyd Llowd, PhD
  |  |~|/~~\|~| |
 _|  |~/~/\~\~| | ell, I  have  been   portray  me,  the  most  experienced
/@| _|__/  \__|_| provided with  new   Healer in  Kelfour's  Landing, as  a
\_/_____________/ lodgings   by  the   bloodthirsty butcher. Although I did
plutocratic hobbit of Kelfours, Lord   slay  several of  my fellow citizens
Odds.  After  he and his  accomplice   in the Gladiatorial Games, they came
fried my  home during  a "pest  con-   to no permanent  harm. You paint  me
trol" project, he gave me a new one.   as a sadist who inflicts pain simply
                                       to further my advancement.  I intend
I am  less than  satisfied, however.   to charge you with  libel as soon as
It turns  out that  Slum  Lord  Odds   it is  made a  criminal  offense  in
owns  Shantytown, that  motley  col-   this town.  Signed:  Doctor Death."
lection  of  huts in  the  southeast
corner  of  town.  He's  given  me a   Dear  Doctor  Death:  If  you  are a
squalid  hut with stick walls  and a   pacifist   then  I  am  an  unwashed
dirt floor. The highest  authorities   hobbit.  Do  you   deny   forming  a
will hear of this.                     personality cult whose  members hyp-
                                       notically   repeat  a  litany  about
In the  meantime, the  publisher has   self - inflicted pain?  And that you
requested that I deal with the veri-   encourage these brainwashed fanatics
table  mountain of  mail she's  been   to go out and injure  themselves for
receiving on my behalf. After Larton   you? The only situation in which you
defused  several  of the  letters, I   might  refuse to inflict pain  would
feel it is  my duty as  a journalist   be  if a  masochist  begged  you for
to publicly answer some of the slan-   pain, to whom you would reply: "No."
ders contained therein.                And smile.
  
In the interest of fairness to these   The third letter was a "poem:"
writers,  (I use  the term " writer"
loosely,) I  have  created  aliases,         "Violets are blue,
which  extends  all  the  protection            roses are red.
these infamous authors deserve.            If I catch you out of town,
                                             You're gonna get dead.
Our first letter reads:
                                       Signed:  The Lyin' Bard"
"hey loud, yu  stink. yu  must  be a
smely  elf. i hate  smely elfs.  and   Dear  Lyin' Bard:  Most  psychopaths
tall peepul  too. yu must be  a tall   just talk  to  rocks;  you  sing  to
smely  elf.  yor  rotin.   sined:  a   them. Seek professional help.
famus hobit."
                                       This last letter is a change:
Dear Famous  Hobbit: That  smell you
so despise is called "soap."  If you   "Dear Dr. Llowd:  It is rare to find
used it occasionally, fewer monsters   a scholar  of  your caliber  in this
might keel  over as  your  call wind   cultural backwater. We more intelli-
spell  wafts your excruciating  odor   gent beings  must support each other
in their direction. And it is a pity   in these  troubled  times. I applaud
that  while investing  so much  time   your efforts  to bring  to heel  the
learning  to cast  spells, you still   less   responsible  members  of  our
have trouble spelling "cats."          little community. Signed: The  Grand
                                       Poobah."
The second letter showed improvement
in style, if not in substance:         Strangely  enough, that  is how  he
                                       actually signed his letter. Too mod-
"Mr. Llowd: I must protest my treat-   est to sign his real name, but a man
ment in several of your columns. You   of quality nevertheless.
                                    -30-
                                                                    KEV3N11
                                                                      [end]
  

See Also: