Kelfour Edition volume III number XI
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
_______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | KE Back Issues Reviewed! See Page 19 | @_/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | | | GemStone III(tm) April 1993 | | Vol.3, No.11 | | _ _ _ ___ | | / ) / ) / ) / __) | | / /_/ / ____ / / _/ ( ____ __ __ ____ | | / __/ / __ ) / / ( __) / _ ) / / / / / ___) | | / /\ \ / ___/ / / / / / (/ / / (_/ / / / | | /~\ (_/ \_) (____) (_( (_( (____/ (_____( (_( | | /(o o)\ _____ _ _ _ _ | | (<>\_/<>) / ____) / ) (/ _/ ) (/ | | \<>|<>/ / (__ ___/ / _ ( _) _ ____ ____ | | \ ^ / / ___) / _ / / ) / / / ) / _ ) / ) | | | | / (_ / (/ / / / / / / / / (/ / / /) / | | | | (_____) (____( (_( (_( (_( (____/ (_((_( | | | | ___ | | \ \___/ _ \ | ,--------\_____/-\ \------, 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. | | _________________________________________________________________|___ | / / \_/____________________________________________________________________/ - - _____________________________ - - | :| // \ |: | | :|~~~|| + Kelfour Edition + |~~~|: | | | || | | | | | || L O C A L N E W S | | | | :| || + + | |: | | :|~~~ \\____________________________/ ~~~|: | | | | | | | | | __ | | _| | __ 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]