Kelfour Edition volume II number VI

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
  
  _______________________________________________________________________
 / \                                                                     \
|   |                 Monster Concussion Points (P.4) & Claw Law (P.15)   |
 @_/_____________________________________________________________________/
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |    GemStone III'S                                   November 1991   |
 |                                                       Vol.2, No.6   |
 |                     _   _           _    ___                        |
 |    _____________   / ) / )         / )  / __)                       |
 |   --------------- / /_/ /  ____   / / _/ (   ____   __  __  ____    |
 |    \*.:.*:.*.:*/ /    _/  / __ ) / / (  __) / _  ) / / / / / ___)   |
 |   //\.*.:*.:*./\\ /\ \   / ___/ / /  / /   / (/ / / (_/ / / /       |
 |  ll  (// // /)  ll  \_) (____) (_(  (_(   (____/ (_____( (_(        |
 |   \\ (/ // //) //  _____      _    _    _    _                      |
 |    \/^^^^^^^^^\/  / ____)    / )  (/  _/ )  (/                      |
 |    /<>[]<>[]<>[\ / (__   ___/ /  _   (  _) _   ____   ____          |
 |   /__ __ __ __ _\ ____) / _  /  / )  / /  / ) / _  ) /    )         |
 |  l|@/|@/|@/|@/|@/l__   / (/ /  / /  / /  / / / (/ / / /) /          |
 |  l|__|__|__|__|__l__) (____(  (_(  (_(  (_( (____/ (_((_(           |
 |  ll              l                                                  |
 |   \        //   /         The Kronicles of Kulthea                  |
 P.14 \___________/                                                    |
 |_____ ---------______________________________________________________|
 |_____________________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                     |
 |   Local News.................................................    1  |
 |   To Absent Friends .......... Editorial by Lady Rune Arundel    2  |
 |   Land of the Rich and Famous ............... Elzbeth Collins    3  |
 |   Not Quite Dead Yet ......................... Dec Carfa'shon    4  |
 |   Galauriel ............................... Mustafa Pillsbury    5  |
 |   Confessions of an Ex-Con ............ Elminester Silvanisty    6  |
 |   Ethics in Kulthea ......................... Flint Thalassar    7  |
 |   Winter Waiting .............................. Dane Redlance    9  |
 |   The Cobra ................ Inyigo Montoya/Amelda Heronheart   10  |
 |   Everlong ................................. Atremis Al~Anhir   11  |
 |   CSS Unravelled: Claw & Reverse Claw Law ....... |<enner Boh   15  |
 |   The Armor of the Keep, Part I ...... Lord Whilder Planrathe   16  |
 |   Gwaelin in Hand ........................... Kalagay Halatil   21  |
 |   Of Mice and Half-Elves, Part III ....... Gallenod Varynesti   22  |
 |   Evil Owdown ........................................ Raksha   25  |
 |   Song for the Sky Dragon ................. Amelda Heronheart   26  |
 |   Erys' Saga .................................... The Watcher   27  |
 |   Brothers .................................. Damiano Faustas   28  |
 |   Letters to Louvella ................ Miss Louvella Parsnips   29  |
 |_____________________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                     |
 | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi-|
 | player roleplaying game GemStone III on  GEnie Information Network. |
 | Submissions  may  be edited  for space, accuracy  and  readability. |
 | Contact  Editor Lady Wisraith Winterwind, Assist. Editor Lady  Rune |
 | Arundel or  Publisher Lady Phaedra Bleu by GE Mail to  P.HERRINGTON |
 | for details on submissions.                 Banner letters by Yonah |
 |   __________________________________________________________________|___
 |  /                                                                     /
 \_/_____________________________________________________________________/
    
  
  






  
      Unique Items Discovered           ____________
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         _(  Kelfour's )_   Art Museum Opens
The  next  time  you  search  a dead   (____________)    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
monster  take VERY good care of that    |          |    A gala  celebration
chest  it dropped.  Reports of fabu-    |   Local  |  was  held  this month
lous  finds  in treasure chests have    |          |  at  the grand opening
been   verified.   Inside  could  be    |   News   |  of  Kelfour's Museum,
anything  from  a  flask  of chicken    |          |  located   one   block
soup to a shaalk falchion!  Ecstatic    |  Edition |  east  of  the Temple.
hunters have returned to the Landing    |          |  A dazzling collection
with all manner of wonderful prizes.    |    /\    |  of  new  and historic
Lockpickers  should  note,  however,    |  /    \  |  sculptures,  drawings
that chests are now frequently trap-    |/        \|  paintings  and tapes-
ped  with  deadly  explosives.  Dis-   tries  were  unveiled and are now on
arming  before  trying  to  pick the   permanent display in several differ-
lock is a must.                        ent wings  of this impressive build-
                                       ing.   KE  regularly publishes like-
It has also been observed that these   nesses of these priceless treasures,
unique  items  are only found inside   but be sure to visit the museum soon
chests  from  monsters for which you   to enjoy the originals.
would earn experience hunting.
                                          Kelfour's Vaudeville & Variety
   Spells, Spells and More Spells         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~      It  is  becoming  apparent to ye old
Don't  worry  should you encounter a   editors  that  our  frontier town is
gruesome eye-ball or sleek grey wolf   entering  a  new stage in its evolu-
as you  hike  the  wilds of Kulthea.   tion.   Not only is Kelfour's Museum
Sorcerers   and   mages  alike  were   an  indication that residents hunger
pleased  to  discover  that a recent   for  culture,  but  the formation of
shift  in the essence was apparently   Kelfour's Vaudeville & Variety group
reponsible  for the functionality of   leads us to the same conclusion.
their  Eye  Spy  and  Call  Familiar
spells respectively, permitting them   Although  specific entertainment has
to  do  such things as peer and even   yet  to  be  announced,  Rhea Sibex,
speak  in areas at a great distances   manager  of  KVVV  has issued a call
from their personal locations.         for talent.  Props and backdrops are
                                       available and interested theatrical-
Also  working  properly  now are Air   types are encouraged  to contact her
Wall and Major Pain spells, although   for details and to arrange times for
an  alteration  in  the  Duplication   rehearsals.
spell  almost produced  altercations
on the MPGRT bulletin board.                   Steel Golems Return
                                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Bulletin Board Action Takes Off      Back  from  a  brief  but  obviously
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~      rejuvenating  vacation reportedly in
Confused  about  how the position of   the Bahamas, although we were unable
Orhan    affects   your   mood,   or   to confirm that, the steel golems of
influences  the  siren  songs of the   the  ruins  of  Blototh Mountain are
Sea  Nymphs  along the cliffs north-   sporting new skills.
west   of  town?   Well,  wonder  no
longer.  Information about these and   Most  noticeable of these changes is
other, more  practical  subjects  is   that  they  are  considerably faster
yours   at   no   cost  now  on  the   moving.   Daring  sword-slingers who
Multi-Player   RoundTable   Bulletin   brave   the  climb  up  Blototh  are
Board  because  it  is  available on   hereby  warned that hunting them may
GEnie*Basic Services.  Check out the   be  hazardous to your health, moreso
GemStone  CATegories  17  through 20   than previously. In particular, note
tonight!                               elapsed time between their attacks.
                                    -1-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                            To Absent Friends
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                     Editorial by Lady Rune Arundel
 _______________
/ \ ____    ____\
\@| +|~| __ |~|+| ith Kulthea  being   were  written   about   those  brave
  |  |~|/~~\|~| | the harsh world it   adventurers. Some are tales of valor
 _|  |~/~/\~\~| | is, there are many   and bravery, some  will  bring tears
/@| _|__/  \__|_| who have been for-   to even the driest eye. But all  are
\_/_____________/ ced to leave their   representations of real people, your
homes for distant parts.  Some  will   companions  and comrades, the adven-
return to delight  our hearts again,   turers  who forged their  way  in  a
others  will journey to Eissa's com-   brutal  world and helped make things
fort forever. And some  will  vanish   easier for those who would follow in
one day, and never be seen again.      their footsteps.
  
It is  those   last   that fade into   I was indeed saddened  (and prompted
obscurity as the months and years go   to  write  this) when, during a con-
by. It is  always  painful to lose a   versation with a  young ranger, over
dear companion and friend, but it is   an ale in  Helga's back room, I men-
that much  worse  when  one's friend   tioned the name Vesitsa Talchild. My
disappears into the  dark  void with   companion replied, "Who is that?"
nary a word.
                                       Though  Vesitsa  still  occasionally
For many years, I,  and others, have   visits the Landing  on  her travels,
tried to  keep  the  memory of those   she has been  gone  many years, lost
departed ones alive. It is not easy,   in the study  of  things arcane. Her
because   there    are    many   new   deeds are well known  to some of us,
travellers to Kulthea to  whom these   but when those  who  keep her memory
names mean nothing. The bards try to   are also gone, who will remember?
keep the memories  burning  in songs
and tales  of  long   ago valor, but   There is no  greater  honor a friend
like the  tapestries  once  woven to   can do a  friend  than to record the
commemorate great  deeds,  these too   deeds and tales in  a medium such as
fade into obscurity.                   this one.  Whether by word, by song,
                                       in tapestries, paintings or mime, we
When I arrived in  Kelfour's Landing   must,  all  of us, keep the image of
long ago, I learned  my lessons (the   our departed ones alive.
hard way) from Skullcrusher Hamilton
and his  brother  Tasslehoff, Kyliri   It is up to all of us, bard and non-
Avendar, and  from  Shalzarr Mulena,   bard, to pass on the tales  of these
my first  love.  And  Enist d'Eleni,   forgotten  heros   and to keep their
who  taught  me  the   ways   of the   names alive in the hearts of all who
ranger. All are  gone  now, and only   walk these ravaged lands, and of all
their memory remains, in my heart.     who are destined to follow after.
  
Ishmael Dellamar, beloved  sorcerer,   And, in the silence  of Helga's back
vanished one day, taken,  some  say,   room, I raise my flagon to those who
by an uprising of the Unlife, and it   have gone and those yet to leave, to
is his  memory that has prompted  my   those who's great deeds have brought
words. For how many  still  remember   me  many  hours  of learning, under-
Ishmael? Is it only I?                 standing and great respect. Join  me
                                       here some time and drink a toast, if
And then there were those who played   you please, to absent friends.
with powers they did  not understand
and were  driven  from  Kulthea into   Fare  you  well, dear ones, and know
the soulless  darkness.  Great tales   you are not forgotten.
  
                                   -2-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                         LANDS OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
           A level-oriented exploration of the Island of Quellbourne
  
 ____________                by Elzbeth Collins
/ \ ________ \
\@| ~|~|~~\~\ |right moon               In ages past, during the great
  |  |~|__/~/ | over calm water      Wars of Dominion, when evil was upon
  |  |~ __ <  | rising               our world, a group of the faithful
 _|  |~|  \~\ | Silvery Specter      fled north and west across the
/@|  |~|__/~/ | on a dark sea        continent of Jaimen. Pursued by the
\_/ ~~~~~~~~ /  shimmering           servants of the Unlife. It was to
  ~~~~~~~~~~~                        the Claedesbrim Bay that they came,
            Orhan rises.             at the mouth of the Colewaether
                                     River. There they made a final stand,
            Golden waves             against that dread enemy. On the High
            from a bright source     Plateau they gathered their strength,
            flowing                  the prayers of their Clerics brought
            Powerful fingers         them to a hidden cavern, and while
            through a curtain        the people lie hidden within, the
            reaching                 Clerics and spell casters sent their
                                     power against the evil forces.
            Orhan rises.                  Through power and ruse they were
                                     victorious, and on that spot was
(From "The Song of Orhan")           founded the ancient city of
                                     Quellbourne.
  
                 ( )-( )-( )                   ::::::::::::::::::::::::::
             climb|         \                  ::       MAP TWO:       ::
              tree|climb     ( )-( )-( )       ::The Old Mine Road Area::
                  |pine               |down    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::
                 ( )    rock         ( )
                /       slide           \hole
             ( )     ( )-----( )         ( )
              |       |     /               \chute
             ( )     ( ) ( )                 ( )
                \   /     | \               /    The Kobolds, Goblins and
             ( ) ( )      |   \          ( )     Lesser Orcs throughout
                \ |       |     \         |      this area are very poor,
                 ( )     ( )------\------( )     and for the most part are
                  |       | \       \   /        unable to afford any sort
                 ( )      |   \      ( )         of armor or weapons.
                /         |     \   / |            This is an excellent area
             ( )          |       X   |          for low level adventurers
            /             |     /   \ |          to hunt.  While there are
         ( )         ( )--|---/--( )-( )         not a great deal riches
          |       door|   | /                    and treasures to be
         ( )      into|  ( )                     found, the creatures are
        /         mine|                          easy marks, and brave men
     ( )-----( )                                 and women will discover
      |       |                                  an abundance of good
      |       |                                  experience.
      |       |                                    Be wary of wandering down
     ( )     ( )                                 the path leading to the
        \   /                                    evil temple of the spider
         ( )-----Trail to Temple of Hraassk      worshipers, and avoid
        /                                        entering the mines for now.
-----( )
Climb bank back
 to map one.                       -3-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                             Not Quite Dead Yet
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  ___________                 by Dec Carfa'shon
/ \  ______  \
\@| /~/~~\~\ |ne day  while  getting   problem,"  I  thought,  slinging  my
  ||~|    |~|| experience for a sev-   shield  over  my  shoulder  and  un-
 _||~|    |~|| enth  incarnation.  I   sheathing my manly two-handed sword.
/@| \~\__/~/ | passed the lean-to in      Whack!  45  concussion  points of
\_/  ~~~~~~  / Hobland and ran  into   damage. Whack!  50 concussion points
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  a forest  troll.  "No   of damage.  "Wow, I  must  be really
      ________________________________________________________________
    //                                                                \
    || Barrow Wight:  210    Basilisk:      120   Black Stalker    205 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Bone Golem:    110    Bounder:        45   Brown Bear:      180 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Carrion Worm:   40    Cave troll:    285   Cave Worm:       150 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Cockatrice:     70    Cold Guardian: 200   Crystal Golem:   150 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Dark Apparit.:  65    Dark Orc:      130   Deathwode:       *** |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Death Dirge:    80    Fire Guardian: 200   Fire Phantom:     75 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Frost Giant:   255    Forest Troll:  250   Greater Ghoul:    65 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Greater Orc:    85    Grey Orc:      130   Goblin:           50 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Hill Troll:    205    Hobgoblin:      60   Ice Skeleton:     60 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Karnelin:       65    Kobold:         30   Large Ogre:      *** |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Lesser Ghoul:   25    Lesser Orc:     60   Lesser Spider:    80 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Major Spider:  280    Mamm. Arach.:  ***   Manticore:       150 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Marmot:        105    Moray Eel:      65   Mountain Ogre:   200 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Otter:          75    Phantom:        40   Ranger Gnoll:     55 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Red Centaur:   320    Revenant:      115   Sea Nymph  :      45 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Sea Witch       75    Shad. Assass.: ***   Skeleton:         30 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Spect. Fishrmn: 80    Steel Golem:   300   Storm Giant:     *** |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Tatzelwurm:    135    Threk:         110   Titan:           *** |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Torkaan:        35    Tree Spirit:   ***   Troglodyte:       55 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || War Troll:     180    Wight Lord:    ***   WereBear:         90 |
    ||                                                                 |
    || Wolverine:      50    Wraith:        110   Zephyr Hound:   1000 |
    ||                                                                 |
    ||-----------------------------------------------------------------|
    ||  *** Hard to fight, no one who can get experience for them can  |
    ||      kill them, or killable by clerics who disintegrate them.   |
    \\________________________________________________________________/
                                   -4-                              More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
  
good.   Not  only am I going to kill      I know there are several monsters
him,  but  I'm  going  to  kill  him   I  have  accidentally  left  out.  I
before  he even gets an attack off,"   apologize  to them.  If you are one,
I  thought.   Whack,  35  concussion   or  know of one, and know the number
points  of  damage.  "Wait a minute,   of concussion points, please tell me
its not dead yet?!?" Then...           and I'll update my list.
   Plink!   "3  concussion points of      This list is more helpful than it
damage. Brutal puncture through both   seems.  If you have two people hunt-
kidneys.  An agonizing way to die."    ing  a  monster,  then experience is
   "Not only did the troll kill me,"   given  out  to those who do half the
I  thought  on my short journey down   necessary damage to kill it.  If you
to  the  quickly rising ground.  "He   are  in  a  hunting  group  of seven
did it with a weapon at least 5 feet   people,  full experience is given to
shorter than mine!" Not very manly.    those  who  do one/seventh the total
   I  couldn't  believe it.  There I   concussion  points  of  damage.   No
was,  a  troll kicking my dead body,   need  for  everyone  to go crazy and
spitting  on me, and looking through   forget to parry, just stop after you
my backpack for some loot, and I had   do  enough  damage to get your share
broken  most  of his limbs before he   of experience, and let everyone else
even got around to me!                 hack  away.  I have seen this system
   At  this point I had two options:   used  consistently, and with success
switch  from a two-handed sword to a   for all types of monsters.
dagger,  or  regain my manliness and
figure  out what went wrong.  I went
back  to  the  lean-to to find a few              Galauriel
relatives  of  that  forest troll to              ~~~~~~~~~
tell  them  exactly  what  I thought        by Mustafa Pillsbury
about their ex-brother. I found one.
This  time  I did the unmanly thing,    Beyond the gate the trees
raising my parry before it attacked,    which lift their leafy branches
then lowering it after it swung.  To    high in long forgotten song
my  surprise,  I  found  that forest    of soil and rain and urgency
trolls   have  over  200  concussion    to grow, upward, into light
points!                                 and warmth and free borne air
   I  knew my system of not parrying
wouldn't work in say stalkers, but I    South
felt   confident   that  for  sheep,    The wild perfumes of flowers
hobgoblins,  and  forest  trolls,  I    softly floating on dawning breezes
could  take care of them before they    while Torkaans dance in peace
knew  what  had  sliced them in two.    and nibble the green goodness
This was not the case.                  of grasses damp with morning dew
   For  those  of  you  who've  won-
dered,  "How many licks does it take    North
to  get to the end of a (fill in the    The clouds asail, whipped by winds
blank),"  I  hope  this  chart  will    above the Kelfour sky which
help.  Here are my guesses (I either    lash as well the shore beneath
attacked  all these monsters to find    with salty, frothy waves
out,  asked  a  reliable  source, or    the sand cool between my toes
watched  others  attack  them) as to
how   many  concussion  points  each    To these my mind doth turn
monster  has.  I find that they tend    when in the gentle darkness
to  be within plus or minus 5 of the    the cleric calls; Enwrapped
number I have given, and may in fact    in blessed, eternal blankness
always  BE  the number I have given.    I consider the beautiful, the good
Remember,  some of these figures are    but most of all Galauriel
hear-say,  and  therefore may be off    and come
by fifteen or twenty.
                                   -5-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                         Confessions of an Ex-con
                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _____________           by Elminester Silvanisty
/ \ _________ \
\@| ||=|=|=|| |here you are,  Elmin-   silvers. I did not have any money so
  | ~~ |_| ~~ | ester," the voice of   they sold  almost all  of my belong-
 _|    |_|    | the  constable  rum-   ings. They  told me that I could get
/@|   _|_|_   | bled.   Flashing   a   whatever was left in the constable's
\_/__________/  piece  of  parchment   office.
before my  eyes he  said, "This is a
warrant for your arrest."              Entering  the   jail,  I  asked  the
                                       constable where  my things  were. He
I'd been dreading this, and now that   ignored me  and kept  doing his job.
the moment  was upon  me, I tried to   Looking on  the desk, I saw a carton
escape. I didn't think he'd have the   labeled "Elminester's  box." I broke
audacity to  take  me  from  Eissa's   the seal  and opened it to reveal my
Temple, but  the  deputies  standing   heavy hide,  my  sack  with  a  dis-
behind him  proved me  wrong.  As  I   charged wand,  and a  chest  that  I
lunged for  the exit,  the  deputies   took from  a steel  golem and  which
wrestled  me   to  the   ground  and   nobody could  open. They  had  taken
manacled my  hands behind  my  back.   and sold  my gold  ring, three metal
The  constable  wisely  checked  the   wands and  two golden  wands. Appar-
security of  the bonds  to ensure  I   ently, they  felt this  was equal to
could prepare  no spells.  As I  was   my 5000 silver fine.
dragged to the city jail, I pondered
how I had arrived in such straits.     My experience  taught me  something.
                                       If you  ever get  a warrant for your
My life  as a fugitive began the day   arrest, get  a friend  to hold  your
I learned  the spell  tremors.  Anx-   valuables.  Next   collect  as  many
ious to  test it  after so much time   oaken wands  and agates  as you  can
spent in study and combat, I grabbed   and then turn yourself in. This way,
a friend  and asked  him if  I could   they feel  your debt  to society  is
try it on him. Because it is an area   paid  but  you  lose  none  of  your
effect spell  I had  never witnessed   VALUABLE possessions.  Better  still
any  mage   cast  it.  Choosing  the   is not  to  get  in  trouble:  don't
cleric's office  in the  temple  for   attack anything  in town. NOTHING at
our experiment,  I cast  the  spell.   all. Not  with spell, wand or sword.
The entire  office seemed  to  shake   Many of the residents in town are so
and my  friend, predictably, fell to   fearful of magic that you can cast a
the floor. Before either of us could   protective spell  on them  and still
move, a town busybody stuck his head   they cry  in terror  that  you  have
in the  door, looked me right in the   attacked them.  The exception  seems
eye then ran to get the constable.     to be  spells which the target has a
                                       chance to resist.
I had been running from the law ever
since: always looking over my shoul-   Now I'm  a man  marked for life by a
der and  having a  spell  stored  in   small mistake taken the wrong way by
memory to  blast any  who came after   a  meddlesome   citizen.  If  you're
me. When  I entered town I'd run for   going to  break the  law in town, be
the safety  and sanctuary  of the of   careful and  try  to  minimize  your
the temple.  Well, so  much for  the   losses.
protection of Eissa.                    _________________________________
                                      //                                 \
I was taken to a dirty, smelly cell. ||             It's True!            |
The deputies took all my possessions ||             ~~~~~~~~~~            |
and  left  me naked in the cold cell || Kelfour Edition contributors earn |
to  keep  company  with  some  rats. || FREE WEEKENDS in  GemStone!  Send |
After  a  while  they took me to see || GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for info. |
the  magistrate  who  fined  me 5000  \\_________________________________/
                                   -6-
  
  
    
  
  
  
                             Ethics in Kulthea
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _________                   by Flint Thalassar
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |n order to discuss ethics   Sample  ethical   statement:  It  is
  |  |~|  | in Kulthea  we must rec-     wrong  to  kill  other  people (in
 _|  |~|  | ognize  that  there  are     real life).
/@| _|~|_ | different levels for the
\_/ ~~~~~ / consideration of ethical   Level: Earth, Author (EA)
  ~~~~~~~~  questions.  I propose  a   Perspective:  this   perspective  is
model which  has six perspectives on     fairly rare in  American  culture,
reality and  an abbreviated notation     because  most  of us think that we
for each.                                are  our  'characters'  and   that
                                         what happens on  Earth is real.  I
Level: Kulthea, Character (KC)           include  it for the sake of  comp-
Perspective: the  character believes     leteness. The best example of this
  that what  happens on  Kulthea  is     perspective  I can  think of comes
  entirely real.                         from Buddhism.
Sample factual  statement: Yesterday   Sample factual  statement:  What  we
  I killed a torkaan.                    experience on  Earth  is  illusory
Sample  ethical   statement:  It  is     the 'veil of Maya'.
  wrong to kill other Kulthean citi-   Sample  ethical   statement:  Though
  zens (because it is murder).           what takes place on Earth is illu-
                                         sory, still  certain  actions  may
Level: Kulthea, Author (KA)              result in the accumulation of neg-
Perspective:  the   author  realizes     ative karma, slowing our  progress
  that what happens on Kulthea is  a     toward escaping the cycle of death
  work of fiction that s/he is help-     and rebirth.
  ing to  create,  according  to the
  'rules' that govern this universe.   Level: Earth, Designer (ED)
Sample factual statement: My charac-   Perspective:  this   perspective  is
  ter's OB is 115.                       concerned with  changing (or want-
Sample  ethical   statement:  It  is     ing to change) the rules  by which
  wrong to have one's character kill     the universe operates. It is some-
  the  character of  another  player     what surprising how often ED ethi-
  (not because it is murder, but be-     cal statements are heard in  daily
  cause it inconveniences other real     life.
  people and may cost them money).     Sample factual  statement: The force
                                         of  gravity  is  inversely propor-
Level: Kulthea, Designer (KD)            tional  to the square of  the dis-
Perspective: the  designer  is  con-     tance.
  cerned with changing or wanting to   Sample ethical statement: People who
  change the rules which govern  the     cheat  at  cards should  be struck
  universe of Kulthea.                   down by lightning.
Sample factual statement: There is a
  bug in mage spell 903.               Since we  are mainly  concerned with
Sample  ethical   statement:  It  is   ethical statements,  the notation KC
  wrong for the game to work in such   will be  used to indicate an ethical
  a way that it is possible for  one   statement at  the  KC  level.  Where
  player  character to  kill another   used,  factual  statements  will  be
  (perhaps because  it  sets  a  bad   shown as, for example, KCF.
  example).
                                       Confusion of levels, when it occurs,
Level: Earth, Character (EC)           can   cause   disastrous   misunder-
Perspective: this is the perspective   standings.  Perhaps the best example
  of 'ordinary daily life.'            is when  a statement such as "I hate
Sample factual statement: I had eggs   you (KCf)" is interpreted as "I hate
  for breakfast this morning.          you (KAF, ECF)."
                                   -7-                              More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
Talking about  ethics in Kulthea can     e.g. Trolls do not exist on  Earth
also be  very  confusing  because it          (EDF), therefore they  should
is often unclear which level of ref-          not exist in Kulthea (KD).
erence is intended. Indeed, the same
statement can take on many different   Arguments of  the type  _D -> _C may
meanings depending  on the  intended   be characterized as "amoral,"
level.  For  example,  consider  the
statement: "People  should not  kill     e.g. The game allows  the  killing
otters." At  KC, this means my char-          of other   player  characters
acter thinks other characters should          (KDF), therefore it  must  be
not kill otters in the game.  At KA,          right (KC).  Another  example
it means  I as  a player  feel  that          it is possible to kill people
other players  should  not  'script'          in real life (EDf), therefore
their characters  in such a way that          it is right (EC).
they kill otters in the game. At KD,
it means I feel that the game should
not allow the killing of game otters     e.g. The game does not allow me to
as a  possible  action.  At  EC,  it          carry more than twenty  items
means I  don't think  people  should          (KDf),   therefore   carrying
kill otters in real life.  At EA, it          more  than  twenty items must
means I  think it  is harmful  to  a          be evil (KC).
person's long-term  spiritual devel-
opment to kill otters on Earth.  And   Arguments of  the type  _C -> _D may
at ED, it means I think it should be   be characterized  as (for  lack of a
physically impossible  for people to   better word) "totalitarian."
kill otters on Earth.
                                         e.g. My character feels that it is
Ethical  argument   makes  the  most          wrong  to  kill  people (KC),
sense when  it is  confined  to  one          therefore the game should not
level. Somehow  it can seem "ungram-          allow  it  (KD),  or,  it  is
matical" to  mix  levels  within  an          wrong  to   tell  lies  (EC),
argument.   Arguments which mismatch          therefore it  should  not  be
levels  can   range  from   sounding          physically  possible:   let's
fairly reasonable to sounding wildly          surgically   remove  people's
insane. Keep  in mind that it is not          tongues (ED).
necessarily the conclusions of these
arguments that are incorrect: rather   Now  that   we  have  established  a
it is  the process  of  arriving  at   notational system, let us proceed to
that conclusion that is flawed. Here   examine a  particular ethical  prob-
are  some   amusing  generalizations   lem.   A few people I have talked to
about mixed- level arguments:          feel that  it is  wrong to  kill sea
                                       nymphs. The majority of players feel
Arguments of  the type  K_ -> E_ may   that there is nothing wrong with it.
be  characterized  as  "insane,"  or   Suppose, for  the sake  of argument,
resulting   from   a   "delusionary"   that the  game  awarded  points  for
thought process.                       raping sea  nymphs. I  suspect  that
                                       most readers  will react with revul-
  e.g. The  game  allows the killing   sion to  this idea -- even those who
       of other humans (KDf), there-   thought that  it was  fine  to  kill
       fore  it is OK to  do this in   nymphs.   Why is  this? Isn't murder
       real life (EC).                 "worse" than  rape?    (Our  culture
                                       seems to  think it  is, at  least in
Arguments of  the type  E_ -> K_ may   the sense that it usually results in
be characterized  as  being  "overly   longer jail  terms.) Isn't murder at
literal,"  or   resulting   from   a   least "as bad as" rape?
thought    process    which    lacks
imagination.                           What if  you witnessed another char-
  
                                     -8-                            More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
acter raping a sea nymph?  How would     depth and realism to the imaginary
your  character   feel  about   that     world of Kulthea.  2) In real life
character (KC)?   How would you feel     people commit murder/rape. It only
about that  player (KA)?   How would     stands to reason that  such people
you feel  about the  fact  that  the     would exist  in Kulthea,  too.  3)
game allowed  such an action to take     You  get   points  for  murdering/
place (KD)?                              raping nymphs. I am  interested in
                                         advancing my character.  4) It  is
I will  now present, for each of the     only  a game.   Writing about evil
first three  levels  defined  above,     acts is not itself  an  evil  act.
some questions and possible justifi-     Was  Shakespeare "wrong"  to  have
cations concerning  the  murder/rape     some of his  characters die at the
of sea  nymphs.   Ask  yourself  the     hands of other characters?
questions.  Examine  the  justifica-
tions. Do  you  think  the  justifi-   KD level  questions: Is it wrong for
cations are  valid for the murder of     the game to allow  murder/rape  of
nymphs?   For rape?   If for one and     nymphs and encourage it by  award-
not the other, why?                      ing points?   What about allowing,
                                         but not  encouraging it (no points
KC level  question: does  your char-     would be awarded)?
  acter think that it  is  wrong  to   KD level  justifications: 1)  It  is
  murder/rape nymphs?                    only  a  game.   None  of  this is
KC level justifications: 1) They are     really  happening anyway.  2) Mur-
  not sentient. 2) They commonly at-     der/rape happens in real life.  By
  tack adventurers so  they  must be     allowing it in the game, the  game
  evil.3) The experience gained from     becomes more realistic.   3) Free-
  murdering/raping  nymphs will help     dom  of choice is important.  This
  me in  other  ways, such as allow-     includes  the  freedom  to  choose
  ing me to  learn new spells  which     evil actions. If one cannot choose
  I can then use to help people.         evil, then the fact  that one does
                                         good is meaningless.
KA level question: is it wrong for a
  player  to have his character mur-   This notational system will not, and
  der/rape nymphs?                     cannot, solve  the ethical  problems
KA level  justifications:  1)  I  am   that exist  in Kulthea.   However it
  role-playing  an  evil  character.   may help to at least clarify what we
  What could be more typically  evil   are talking about when we talk about
  than murder/rape?   This will  add   these issues.
  
  
                    Winter Waiting by Dane Redlance
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
           I silently ponder this Winter night
             Signal of an end to this Summer's yield
               A merchant returning with a lighter load
                 The fallow field awaiting the plow
           Older and Wiser to the ways of our Landing
             Places explored and smelled and seen
               Becoming like the familiar woods of my old home
                 Every trail rising up to spur me on
           I worked on strength, and quickness, and skill
             But found something more valuable during my travel
               Learning secrets of survival from experienced friends
                 Delighting in old ways seen through new eyes
           In this reflection, I offer my thanks
             The help and friendships have spun these months
               And now I wait for the Spring to come again
                 I have breathed you, Quellbourne, and I have enjoyed.
                                   -9-
  
  
  
     
  
  
                 _____      ___    ___ ._. ._  ._      ^
    Artwork:       |   |  | |      |   | | | \ | \    / \        Poetry:
    Inyigo         |   |==| |==    |   | | |_/ |=/   /===\        Amelda
    Montoya        |   |  | |__    |__ |_| | \ | \  /     \   Heronheart
                                           ;_/    '
    *********************************************************************
    *********************************************************************
    ***************************.::::::\../::::.**************************
    ***********************/.:::'   *  \ \  '::::.***********************
    *********************/.::::.  ___    --__ '::::.*********************
    ********************/.:::::: (   \ . o     o':::.********************
    *******************/.:::::::. \   \(_________::::.*******************
    ******************|::::::::::  |   ))\    \)):::::*******************
    ******************|::::::::::: (  // \\   //::::::*******************
    *******************\`:::::::::: \ '   \\  '\:::::'*******************
    ********************\`:::::::::: \_____\\__|::::'********************
    *********************\`::::::::::.. ____\\.::::'*********************
    **********************\`:::::::::::::::::))::'***********************
    ***********************\`:::::::::::::::/:|'** *** ***  ***  ***  ***
    ************************\`:::::::::::::/::|*** *** ** **** **** *****
    *************************)`:::::::::::::::)***     ***  ***  ***  ***
    ************************/  ===========   /**** *** ***** **** **** **
    ***********************/  ===========   /***** *** **  ****  ****  **
    **********************(  ===========   /*****************************
    *******[===========================================]*****************
    ******(XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)****************
    *****)X( )XX( )XXXX( )XXXXXX( )XXXXXX( )XXXX( )XX( )X(***************
    ****(XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)**************
    ****(( )X( )XXX( )XXXXX( )XXXXXXX( )XXXXX( )XXX( )X( ))**************
    ****(XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)**************
    *****)X( )XX( )XXXX( )XXXXXX( )XXXXXX( )XXXX( )XX( )X(***************
    ******(XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)****************
    *******(X( )XXX( )XXXXX( )XXXXXXX( )XXXXX( )XXX( )X)*****************
    ********(XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)******************
    *********[=======================================]*******************
    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
     *          He basks amid shadows, forsaking the light             *
       *        Does the shiny brown cobra of Kelfour's              *
        *       "Sliced neatly in two" with a sword edged true     *
         *      Is the fate of most cobras in Kelfour's           *
         *                                                        *
        *       I wanted to take one alive from the fight          *
      *         For I'd killed enough cobras in Kelfour's            *
     *          So through the dense forest we entered the night      *
     *          Of the gloom of the graveyard of Kelfour's             *
      *                                                                *
        *       We pushed through the gate, Inyigo and I             *
         *      Past the crypt to the dolmens of Kelfour's         *
          *     A revenant wailed; I noticed a tail               *
          *     Slip under some logs outside Kelfour's            *
         *                                                         *
       *        "Take him alive!" I cried with delight               *
     *          And produced a fine basket from Kelfour's              *
    *           Woven of windak and smooth upon sight                   *
    *           'Twas the pride of a weaver of Kelfour's                *
     *                                                                 *
      *         Inyigo cast "Calm," to the serpent's dismay           *
       *        As it hissed one last time outside Kelfour's         *
        *       We retrieved its limp body and tucked it away       *
         *      In our basket and brought it to Kelfour's          *
  
  
  
     
  
  
  
                                 Everlong
                                 ~~~~~~~~
 _____________              by Artemis Al~Anhir
/ \ _________ \
\@| ||=|=|=|| |he candles burned low   made no  move toward  me and in fact
  | ~~ |_| ~~ | t our table, casting   did  not  even  seem  to  notice  my
 _|    |_|    | a  sputtering  light   presence. It  was then  that  I  saw
/@|   _|_|_   | on four battle-weary   that she carried not a dagger in her
\_/__________/  adventurers recuper-   right  hand,   but  rather   a  rose
ating with some of Helga's best ale.   crafted from  shimmering crystal. It
Merle, Jarel and I were sipping from   also seemed  from my  vantage point,
our flagons  and watching Dec finish   that she  was whispering  to herself
his story with a flourish.             for her  lips moved but I could hear
   "So  there I was...  two of three   no sound.  Intrigued, I move closer.
Steel  Golems   dead,  but  with  my   I was  not more  than five feet from
Shaalk Greatsword and Shield broken.   her when  I realized  that  she  was
Golem  number  three  was  advancing   calling out  a name.  yet so faintly
towards  me   confidently...  evily.   as to be barely audible even at such
Endowed with incredible intelligence   close proximity.
as  well   as  godlike  strength,  I      "Eron, Eron," she called  sorrow-
quickly realized  what I had to do!"   fully. Suddenly,  as if  noticing me
Dec paused dramatically and reaching   for the first time,  she  looked  me
across the  table he savagely ripped   straight in  the eye  and  began  to
the drumstick  off a  roasted cocka-   sing that  dreaded melody  which has
trice.                                 doomed many  an  unwary  adventurer.
   "I rolled  away  as  the  Golem's   Cursing my carelessness, I attempted
pounding fist  missed me  by a hair.   to  retreat  but it was too late:  I
Then I  tore the leg off of the fal-   was  completely  paralyzed.  Much to
len monster and used it as a club to   my surprise however, this Nymph made
pound  the   Golem's  brain  into  a   no  move  to finish me off.  Instead
gelatinous pulp!" Dec punctuated his   she  spoke to me.  "Halfling...  tis
narrative by  bringing his drumstick   not  your  life  I desire but rather
down on  the table with a force that   your  ear.   Listen  to my story and
sent cutlery and ale flying.           learn well by it.
   "Well that's certainly one way to      "Long ago before Quellbourne fell
get a  leg up  in the  world!" Merle   to Zenon's treachery, there was born
snorted and  elicited  a  collective   a girl.  Her father, the founder and
groan from the rest of us.             head  of  one  of  the most powerful
   "A  truly  remarkable  tale, Dec.   trading  houses  on  the  continent,
But  methinks  I  have one even more   named her Mathilde, meaning Promised
astounding,"   I  said,  wetting  my   One.   And  promised she was, for on
throat  with another draught of ale.   the  very  day  of her birth she was
"You  see my friends, my quest for a   betrothed  to  the  heir of the most
grappling net took me by the coastal   wealthy  mercantile  family  on  the
cliffs  yesterday.   As  I rounded a   Emerian  continent.  Mathilde's mar-
bend  on Merchant's Road, I encount-   riage  was to be the masterstroke in
ered a Sea Nymph of great beauty."     her  father's  carefully  cultivated
   "Oh no! Not another Hobbit-Meets-   plan   for   the  consolidation  and
Nymph-Nymph-Falls-For-Hobbit Story!"   extension  of  his  financial empire
Jarel groaned.                         across Kulthea.
   "No,  this isn't one of those!" I      "But  Mathilde  spent  her  early
protested and began my tale:           years  unconcerned with such weighty
                                       matters.  In the silent gloom of her
   You see this was no ordinary  Sea   father's  estate, she was a burst of
Nymph.   Oh, of  course I thought so   light  and  air.  Quick to smile and
at first  and had  even  unslung  my   quicker  to  laugh, she skipped from
shield  and   readied   a  spell  in   room  to room like a butterfly flit-
preparation for  an attack.  But she   ting  from flower to flower, filling
                                   -11-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
each  place  with  noise  and color.   to  the foaling area of the stables.
Her  exuberance was rarely dampened.   She even succeeded in getting him to
Most found chiding and scolding only   build  her  a makeshift altar carved
served  to  increase  the volume and   from  windak  wood.  Faithfully, day
frequency of her smiles and giggles.   after  day,  she  knelt  in the soft
Only  her  father held any real sway   straw  of  the dark stable, placed a
over   Mathilde;   one  disapproving   single  white rose on the altar, lit
glance  or stern word enough to send   a  candle to Oriana and offered up a
her   scurrying   away   in   tears.   prayer.   Not one to be awestruck by
Mathilde   feared   and  adored  her   the  rich  and  powerful,  Eron  was
father.   He  in  turn  displayed  a   nonetheless  affected  by the beauty
fierce  devotion  towards  his  only   and grace of the visitor who came in
child,  a  devotion  that might have   every   afternoon   breathless   and
been  mistaken  for love were it not   smiling  and  smelling of roses.  He
for its coldness.  It was a devotion   would  sit  on  top  of  the foaling
a  soldier might feel for his favor-   stall   wall  and  watch  her  pray,
ite sword or a farmer his best plow,   thinking  it was nonsense yet unable
a  devotion  present only as long as   to   take   his   eyes   away.   For
the usefulness of the accoutrement.    Mathilde,   Eron   was  at  first  a
   "As   Mathilde  approached  early   distraction,  sitting  there  a  few
womanhood,  her beauty grew to match   paces  away staring at her as if she
her sweetness and enthusiasm.  Soon,   had  lost  her mind.  But eventually
word   of  her  breathtaking  beauty   as  the  weeks passed she found that
spread  throughout  Quellbourne, at-   his presence seemed as indispensable
tracting all manner of suitor to her   to her ritual as did the rose or the
father's  door.   Yet  each  was re-   candle. He had a handsome face and a
buffed  with the words, "Mathilde is   cocksure  manner  and  wry  wit that
promised."                             irked  and  delighted  her  in equal
   "The  closer  she  came to woman-   parts. Several years older than her,
hood,  the  less  her father allowed   he  would  tease  her,  calling  her
her  to  venture  out  into  public,   'Spoiled  Brat'  or  'Papa's  Girl'.
until  by her sixteenth birthday she   She  in  turn  would laughingly tell
was,  like  some  rare and beautiful   him  he  would  be  infinitely  more
bird,  cloistered  and  caged in the   attractive  if  he  washed  the dirt
estate.   It  was  at this time that   from  his  face and the stable smell
Mathilde  began  to  understand what   from his clothes.
the  future  held  in store for her.      "As   time   passed,  her  ritual
She   had   seen  paintings  of  her   became theirs.  Eron would clear the
betrothed  --  an  ugly  man  twenty   altar  and place the white rose upon
years her senior -- and despaired at   it.  Mathilde would light the candle
the prospect of a loveless marriage.   and  pray.  She no longer closed her
But  never  did the notion enter her   eyes  while  doing  so  and  instead
mind  to  oppose  her father's grand   gazed  at  Eron  as  he knelt across
design;  such an action was unthink-   from  her.   After the offering, the
able.   Instead she dreamed that she   two  would sit and talk for hours or
might  somehow  be  granted  just  a   playfully  chase  each other through
taste  of the love that would surely   the  bins  and stalls of the stable.
be  unattainable  once  her  wedding   Soon,  her  afternoon  visits to the
vows  were  spoken.   Each  day, she   stables  became  Mathilde's favorite
decided,  she  would  light a candle   part  of the day.  She was no longer
and  offer a rose to Oriana, Goddess   sure  if  it  was the ritual or Eron
of  Love, and pray;  each day, until   that  drew  her  there.  On the days
her wish was granted.                  he was away running errands or doing
   "Knowing  her  father  would  not   some  chore, her ritual became half-
allow   such   frivolous   activity,   hearted,  somehow incomplete without
Mathilde used her considerable charm   him.  It was not quite one year from
to convince Eron, a stableboy in her   the day she had lit her first candle
father's employ, to allow her access   to  Oriana  that  Mathilde  realized
                                   -12-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
with a start as she gazed across the   stableboy.   The  flames  of revenge
flame  at  Eron that her prayers had   burning  hot  in  him,  he  demanded
been answered.                         Mathilde  reveal the location of her
   "Mathilde had not envisioned that   lover.   She refused.  Having failed
Oriana's  gift  would  be granted so   with  wheedling  and bullying words,
subtley, imagining instead that Love   he  used  his fists.  Still Mathilde
would  come like some lightning bolt   refused, yet not quite as surely.
from   heaven,  during  some  chance      "Never  having  defied her father
encounter  with  a dashing and noble   before,  she  slowly wore down under
stranger.  But her surprise  did not   the  incessant  attack.   But it was
diminish the  transcendency  of  the   only  when  her  father vowed not to
feeling  and  she  embraced  it with   harm  Eron did Mathilde disclose the
abandon.   Eron,  who  had fallen in   whereabouts  of  the fishing village
love  with  Mathilde  the moment she   Eron had fled to.
walked into the stable, returned her      "The  very same night, Mathilde's
love with the same sweet intensity.    father had his revenge.  Once in the
   "Alas,  the  fresh  innocence  of   village  it  had been easy to ascer-
their  passion  was  matched only by   tain  Eron's  exact location.  A few
their  carelessness.  So it was that   bags  of silver in the village coun-
during  one  of their secret trysts,   cil's  hands saw to that.  With cold
they  were  discovered by one of her   and  deliberate  fury,  he  and  his
father's   retainers.   Fearing  the   henchmen  dragged Eron to the cliffs
worst,  Mathilde bade Eron flee from   above  the  village,  bound his feet
the city and hide.  He told her of a   and  hands,  and  threw  him  to his
friend  he  had in a fishing village   death.
southwest  of the city, a friend who      "Mathilde  knew  the instant Eron
might  be willing to take him in.  A   died; it felt like her soul had been
storm  was  brewing as they made the   ripped  from  her  body.   Realizing
hasty    preparations   for   Eron's   what  she  had  done, she was driven
departure.   When they said goodbye,   mad  with  grief.  She stumbled into
it  rained  in torrents, each drop a   the   fierce  teeth  of  the  storm,
mirror of their own tears.             unmindful  of the wind and rain that
   Eron  tried  to comfort his love.   painfully  lashed  at her.  She knew
"Fear not,  Mathilde,  for isn't our   not  where  she  was  going, but she
love  a gift from the Gods?" He held   felt   drawn   onwards  nonetheless.
her  close.  "We  shall be reunited.   Hours   later,   she  found  herself
Until  then,  remember me by this; I   standing on the very cliff where her
was  going  to give it to you on the   lover had been murdered.
anniversary  of  our  meeting, but I      "Rain  fell  like  tears from the
this is as good a time as any."        sky  and  lightning  arced down like
   "With  a wry grin, Eron then gave   accusing   fingers  from  heaven  as
Mathilde  a  rose fashioned from the   Mathilde,  holding her crystal rose,
finest  Jaimani crystal, the cost of   hurled herself off the cliff to join
which,  Mathilde  was  certain,  had   Eron in death.
completely  depleted his hard-earned      "But the gods, their gift of Love
life's  savings.   One last kiss and   squandered  so  brutally,  had a re-
he was gone.                           venge  of their  own to exact.  Mat-
   "When  Mathilde's  father learned   hilde's  father  lost  that which he
what  had  transpired it seemed that   cared for the most, not his daughter
his  rage  would shake down the very   of  course,  but  his  wealth.  Mis-
walls  of  his estate.  He railed at   fortune  after misfortune befell his
Mathilde  as if she were a carefully   financial  empire,  and  he  died  a
hoarded   treasure  suddenly  turned   pauper.   The  fishing  village that
into trinkets  made  of fool's gold.   had betrayed Eron for a few sacks of
She was ruined in his eyes, and more   silver also died.  From the night of
importantly   in  the  eyes  of  her   Eron's  death, not a single fish was
betrothed.   His  grand  design  had   ever  to be caught in the villagers'
been  unravelled,   destroyed  by  a   nets;  all  that  remains  today are
                                   -13-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
rotting ruins. As for Mathilde, hers           splendored thing,
was  a  punishment  truly godlike in     Though elusive and ne'er seen,
its  severity.   Oriana decreed that    Binds the heart of God and King.
her form and soul be recast upon our
world  as  a Sea Nymph, sentenced to        That wondrous state so
forever  wander  the  cliffs  of her            flower fragile,
death searching for, yet never find-   Yet strong enough to cancel speech.
ing, the lover she had betrayed.           That wondrous state so was
   Her  story  was over.  I realized              I granted,
then  that I was able to move again.      Till its unyielding contract
In  fact,  the paralysis had left my             did I breach.
body  many minutes before, yet I had
been  unaware,  so  transfixed had I       Day upon day, dawn to dawn,
been  by  her tale.  Even then, as I        Must I wonder hither yon.
looked at her, I was unable to move,       Half with  madness, half in
such pity did I feel for her.                   sorrow's grip
   With a smile that was all sorrow,    Sweet Eron's name e'r on my lips.
she  said to me, "Go then, Halfling.
But forget not my story...forget not      "And  that,  my  friends,  is  my
a  girl who was too young to receive   story,"  I  said,  draining the last
a gift from the gods."                 drop from my flagon.  Looking about,
   I  turned  away,  my  heart heavy   my  companions  were silent, staring
with  sadness.   As I walked away, I   at  the  candle flames or into their
heard  the  Nymph begin to sing.  It   drinks.   Was  that  a tear I saw in
is a song that haunts me still.        Dec's  eye?   Surely  'twas  just  a
                                       trick   of   the  flickering  light.
        Everlong, everlong,            "Well,   what   do   you  think?"  I
     Must I wander hither yon.         demanded.
    Sweet Eron's name but ne'er           As  if  a  spell had been broken,
            his form,                  they regained their casual airs.
    Invoked by my siren song.             "Nice  story,  Art,"  Jarel said.
                                       "But did I ever tell you of the time
   Great Oriana did I beseech,         I  was  about to be cooked and eaten
      To grant hold of that            by trolls?"
  
                  ___________________      ______________________
                 /                   \    ------------------------
                |   Ceremonial Vase   |    \ *..*..*..*..*..*..*/
                |    (Threk design)   |      \ . : . : . : . :/
                |    Circa 4800 TE    |     // \.*.:.*.:.*.:/  \\
                |                     |    //    (// //  // )    \\
                | Original on display |   ll     (/ //  // /)     ll
                | in Kelfour's Museum |   ll     ( //  // //)     ll
                 \___________________/     \\   /^^^^^^^^^^^^\    //
                                            \\/<>[]<>[]<>[]<>[]\ //
   ____________________________             /__  __  __  __  __ //
  //                           \          / |@/ |@/ |@/ |@/ |@/ |@/\
 || Don't let the cold Kulthean |        l__|___|___|___|___|___|___l
 ||   nights get you down...    |       ll                       _, l
 ||     Heat things up at       |       ll           />   ,_____/   l
 ||                             |       ll           ||___|  ; /    l
 ||        FRITH'S INN          |       ll ,        ,/     ,--'     l
 ||        ~~~~~~~~~~~          |       ll |\_  /--/       |__,,    l
 || * Pleasurable surroundings  |       ll  \_'---'      /-----'    l
 ||     to suit every taste     |        l    '-------, |           l
 || * Ask about our group rates |         \         <___/          /
 ||     and discounts for       |           \ __________________ /
 ||     frequent bookings       |            l__________________l
  \\___________________________/   -14-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
               CCS Unravelled: Claw Law and Reverse Claw Law
 ______________
/ \ ____  ____ \                by |<enner Boh
\@| ~| |  | |~ |
  |  |~|--|~|  |ere are tables derived from the  Condensed  Combat  System
 _|  |~|--|~|  | (used by GSIII)  showing  the  effectiveness  of  various
/@| _|~|  |~|_ | armor  types  versus  "natural"  (i.e.  non-weapon,  non-
\_/ ~~~~  ~~~~ / magical) attacks.  In order to  reduce  the size of  this
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ article I left  out those  armor  types which  I felt were
less effective. However, if you don't trust my judgement (and you probably
shouldn't) the complete charts are available in the MPGRT Library.
  
                                      Claw Law
                                      ~~~~~~~~
   Armor Type              4       6       10      12     13       17
   Training                0       4       12      19     12       15
   QU Penalty              0       0        5      15      5       10
   Maneuver Mod            0       0       -5      -7.5   -5       -7.5
  
   Beak/Pinch BHF          3.4     3.3      4.3     4.3     4.5     4.6
   THT                    83      62       84      95.5    35      -3.5
   'A'   Criticals        93      82      104     115.5    84      66.5
   'B'   Criticals        98      94      115     126.5    98      80.5
   'C'   Criticals       104     109      130     141.5   109      88.5
   'D'   Criticals       115     122      146     157.5   119      95.5
   'E'   Criticals       133     141      158     169.5   128     100.5
  
   Bite BHF                2.5     2.6      2.7     2.7     3       3.2
   THT                    69      62       77      88.5    29       3.5
   'A'   Criticals        79      82       97     108.5    78      73.5
   'B'   Criticals        84      94      108     119.5    92      87.5
   'C'   Criticals        90     109      123     134.5   103      95.5
   'D'   Criticals       101     122      139     150.5   113     102.5
   'E'   Criticals       119     141      151     162.5   122     107.5
  
   Claw/Talon BHF          4.7     5       5.3      5.3     5.4     5.9
   THT                    66      66      80       91.5    33       4.5
   'A'   Criticals        76      86     100      111.5    82      74.5
   'B'   Criticals        81      98     111      122.5    96      88.5
   'C'   Criticals        87     113     126      137.5   107      96.5
   'D'   Criticals        98     126     142      153.5   117     103.5
   'E'   Criticals       116     145     154      165.5   126     108.5
  
   Horn/Tusk BHF           2.9     3.1     3.2      3.2     3.4     3.5
   THT                    67      65      74       85.5    31       4.5
   'A'   Criticals        77      85      94      105.5    80      74.5
   'B'   Criticals        82      97     105      116.5    94      88.5
   'C'   Criticals        88     112     120      131.5   105      96.5
   'D'   Criticals        99     125     136      147.5   115     103.5
   'E'   Criticals       117     144     148      159.5   124     108.5
  
   Stinger BHF             9.3    10.4     9.7      9.7    10.8    11.5
   THT                    65      72      66       77.5    14     -18.5
   'A'   Criticals        75      92      86       97.5    63      51.5
   'B'   Criticals        80     104      97      108.5    77      65.5
   'C'   Criticals        86     119     112      123.5    88      73.5
   'D'   Criticals        97     132     128      139.5    98      80.5
   'E'   Criticals       115     151     140      151.5   107      85.5
                                   -15-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
   Tiny Animal BHF         8.3     9.6    10.4     10.4    10.9    10.3
   THT                    60      63      77       88.5    30       1.5
   'A'   Criticals        70      83      97      108.5    79      71.5
   'B'   Criticals        75      95     108      119.5    93      85.5
   'C'   Criticals        81     110     123      134.5   104      93.5
   'D'   Criticals        92     123     139      150.5   114     100.5
   'E'   Criticals       110     142     151      162.5   123     105.5
  
   Trmple/Stmp BHF         3.1     3       4.2      4.2     4.7     4.6
   THT                    49      49      68       79.5    16      -7.5
   'A'   Criticals        59      69      88       99.5    65      62.5
   'B'   Criticals        64      81      99      110.5    79      76.5
   'C'   Criticals        70      96     114      125.5    90      84.5
   'D'   Criticals        81     109     130      141.5   100      91.5
   'E'   Criticals        99     128     142      153.5   109      96.5
  
   Fall/Crush BHF          2.4     2.8     3.1     3.1     3        3.6
   THT                    41      32      54      65.5    -1      -16.5
   'A'   Criticals        51      52      74      85.5    48       53.5
   'B'   Criticals        56      64      85      96.5    62       67.5
   'C'   Criticals        62      79     100     111.5    73       75.5
   'D'   Criticals        73      92     116     127.5    83       82.5
   'E'   Criticals        91     111     128     139.5    92       87.5
  
                                    Reverse Claw Law
                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   Armor Type              1       5       6       9      13       17
   Training                0       0       4       9      12       15
   QU Penalty              0       0       0       0      -5      -10
   1/2 Maneuver Mod        0       0       0      -2.5    -5       -7.5
  
   Gp/Gs/En/Sw BHF         5       6.4     6.4     9.2     8       12.4
   THT                   105      86      80      59.5     8      -36.5
   'A'   Criticals       115     106     100      79.5    57       33.5
   'B'   Criticals       120     118     112      90.5    71       47.5
   'C'   Criticals       126     133     127     105.5    82       55.5
   'D'   Criticals       137     146     140     121.5    92       62.5
   'E'   Criticals       155     165     159     133.5   101       67.5
  
   Ram/Butt/Bash BHF       5.7     5.8     5.8     6.3     5.9      6.8
   THT                   103      89      83      63.5    13      -34.5
   'A'   Criticals       113     109     103      83.5    62       35.5
   'B'   Criticals       118     121     115      94.5    76       49.5
   'C'   Criticals       124     136     130     109.5    87       57.5
   'D'   Criticals       135     149     143     125.5    97       64.5
   'E'   Criticals       153     168     162     137.5   106       69.5
  
  
Key:
Training: Number of ranks needed to receive the minimum maneuver mod penalty
1/2 man. mod: Half the maneuver mod penalty, which is already included in
    calculations. This represents the amount taken away from your DB and
    OB. Depending on what percentage of your OB you are using to parry,
    the penalty may increase.
QU Penalty: This will reduce or negate your QU bonus; however, your QU bonus
    will never fall below zero. This is not included in the calculations.
BHF: This determines the amount of damage the attack does. The lower the
     BHF, the more damage the attack will do.
                                   -16-
  
  
  
       
  
  
  
                          The Armor of the Keep
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _________           by Lord Whilder Planrathe, Part I
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |
 _|  |~|  | stand  in  what seems to   round for us, something nagged at me
/@| _|~|_ | be a Grand Hall, located   that he was not what he seemed.
\_/ ~~~~~ / in  some ruins  near the      "Young  mage," he said, sliding a
  ~~~~~~~~ peak of Blototh Mountain.   fresh mug of ale across the table to
Twenty niches are set along the wall   me. "You seem distraught.  Perhaps I
I face.  The door set into the niche   can fix your trouble?"
closest  to  me  has  collapsed some      I managed a weak smile.  "If only
time   ago,  revealing  a  lifesized   it were that easy.  About a week ago
steel  statue.   Though  its face is   I  went  with a friend to some ruins
devoid of features it seems to stare   in  Blototh.   Since then I have had
at me, awaiting some word or action.   dreams.  I cannot remember them upon
I   hesitate   and  my  mind  drifts   waking  yet  I know they hold terror
back....                               for  I  am  drenched in sweat and as
                                       exhausted  as  when  I  lay down." I
   Helga's was  almost  deserted for   drained  my  ale and reached for the
once.   Most of her patrons had left   fresh  mug.  "Have you magic glue in
for  the  night  and I was expecting   your pockets to repair dreams?"
her  to  close at any moment.  I sat      "No,  no  magic  glue, but one of
back  in  the  chair nursing my Ale,   the  stories  I've  heard  of  those
afraid  to  sleep  for  fear  of the   ruins  might  help," he replied.  "A
dreams  that had visited me previous   traveler  such  as myself hears many
nights,  yet  knowing that sooner or   tales, and this one I remember quite
later  I would sleep.  The few other   well."
patrons me seemed equally subdued as      No  use in being bored and tired,
though  they,  too, shared my night-   I  thought, although I failed to see
mares,  my fear of sleep.  I scanned   how  a  story  would help.  "I'm not
the  room  and  took  another sip of   doing  much else, so let's hear it,"
ale.  When I looked up he was there,   I  said.   "As  long as it is enter-
sitting  across  from  me, yet I had   taining I will buy the ale." I hoped
not seen him just a moment ago.        his  tale  would  at least be better
   "Buy you a drink, young Master of   than  sitting  around  feeling sorry
the Essence?" His tone held respect,   for myself.  He nodded and began.
and  his  voice  though  quiet had a      "I won't bore you with details of
commanding quality.  A Bard or poli-   how  the Keep was built, or the many
tician, I thought.                     contradictory tales of who built it.
   "You flatter me," I said, "saying   I'll  call  the  Lord  of  the  Keep
master  when  I am among the weakest   Anrelus  to  prevent  confusion with
of  my  peers." I quickly looked him   other stories you may have heard."
over,   having  recovered  from  his      I sat back and relaxed.  This was
surprise appearance at my table.       going to be good if he was making up
   Well-worn  and many-times patched   things from the start....
clothing  with  dozens of pockets on
the  vest  alone,  each  bulging  as      Anrelus was a genius, a master of
though to burst.  A small sack which   many   abilities.   Mage,  sorcerer,
he  placed  upon the table as though   alchemist,   metalurgist,  etcetera.
it  held  most delicate and valuable   Many  claimed  he  was a God walking
treasures.   Amazing,  I  thought; a   the  land  as a mortal.  Others said
tinkerer has come to the Landing.  A   he  was  the  Unlife in mortal form.
man  who  could and would fix almost   All were wrong. Anrelus was a rarity
anything,  often for only a place to   that   happened   once  a  millinium
sleep  or  a  meal  or material with   despite,  or perhaps because of, the
which  he could repair yet something   meddling of those calling themselves
else.   However,  as  he  ordered  a   Gods.   His  one  love  was  experi-
                                   -17-                             More...
  
  
  
     
  
  
  
mentation,  discovering  new powers,   mused  Anrelus.   The  guardsman did
metals,  combining  things  which by   not  mention it had been almost four
their very nature should never meld.   months  since  he  had  received his
His  one  fear  was  that  of  being   orders.
interrupted in his work.  To prevent      "Very    well,"   said   Anrelus.
this he hired 20 guardsmen, for that   "Gather all guardsmen together for I
was  all  he could fit into the Keep   am  about  to  make you the greatest
and  not  have  them  getting in his   armor   that  ever  existed  in  the
way.  But Anrelus realized they were   land."  Puzzled,  the  guardsman ran
just  flesh.   If he were to protect   off to gather his compatriots for he
his  Keep  he  would  need more than   wished  to  find  out  what  Anrelus
flesh,  for there were many who were   would gift him with.
jealous  of  his  abilities  and his      Shortly  thereafter  the  guards-
discoveries.   With  typical  deter-   men were gathered in the Grand Hall.
mination,  he  set  about to correct   Many   had   watched   the  work  in
this fault in his defense.             progress  for there was little to do
   And  in his unique style, he dis-   but practice their arms in the small
covered the answer.                    area  just  outside  the  steel door
   "Guardsman"   Anrelus  spoke,  "I   which protected  the entrance to the
have a task for you.  You see this?"   Keep.   And the wild tale of Anrelus
He  pointed  to a solid steel block,   making   this  one   guardsman   the
as  long as a man, waist high and as   greatest  armor  in  the  lands  had
wide  as it was tall.  The guardsman   piqued  the  curiosity  of  even the
nodded, having learned long ago that   most   bored  among  them.   Anrelus
speaking  was  a waste of time since   directed   the   guardsmen   to  the
the   Lord  of  the  Keep  acted  as   positions  he needed them in.  Then,
thought  he  were  deaf  to those he   in a rare moment, he addressed them.
thought  inferior.   He  would  have      "I have worried that there may be
continued  even if the guardsman had   sorcerous and magical attacks on the
told him no.                           Keep  which  even the enchantments I
   "You will, according to the plans   have  set  will  not defend against.
I  have  here, fashion a statue.  It   After  much  work  I have solved the
will  be EXACTLY as I have drawn up,   problems.   The  first  was  that of
and  ONLY  YOU  will  ever touch the   sorcery  and  channeling.   The best
block." Anrelus turned and left, not   defense is metal, the more metal and
doubting   for  a  moment  that  his   purer  the  metal,  the greater  the
instructions  would  be carried out.   defense.   In the heart of this very
The guardsman had no doubts about it   volcano,  I purified steel to resist
either,  for  he  was  not  about to   the  channeling abilities of no less
discover  the  price  Anrelus  would   than  the  Gods themselves." Anrelus
extract  should  he fail.  Using the   ignored the murmur and quick prayers
tools  he had provided and carefully   of   the   guardsmen.   "The  second
following  the  plans, the guardsman   problem  is  one  of  magic attacks.
set  to  work.   It took many weeks,   The  spells  I  will  weave  and the
but  soon a crude statue was formed.   alchemical  additions  I  have  made
It  stood  as tall as a man, yet the   will  make  this  steel resistant to
face  was  almost  featureless,  its   all   but  the  magic  of  the  Gods
arms  and  legs  mere cylinders.  It   themselves."  Again, stunned murmurs
was   jointed,  albeit  crudely,  as   and  prayers from the guardsmen were
though  to  be  posed  in  different   ignored.   They  were  not oblivious
positions.  Yet it was formed from a   that  Anrelus was speaking as though
solid  block  of  the  purest steel.   he  were  reciting simple facts that
And  only  that single guardsman had   were  known  to  the smallest child.
ever touched it.                       They  all expected to be struck down
   The  guardsman approached Anrelus   at  any  moment  by one of the Gods.
and  asked  where he was to move the   Or perhaps all the Gods at once.
statue.   "Finished  already?  I was      But  fate would not be so kind to
sure  it would take you two months,"   them.
                                   -18-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
   A thunking sound broke my trance.   room,  he dabbed the liquid first on
The tinkerer was indicating that his   the  head of the statue, then on the
mug  was empty by tapping it lightly   head   of   the   seated  guardsman.
on   the   table   top.   I  quickly   Finishing his incantation, he opened
finished  mine  and  ordered another   a  third,  and smallest vial.  "Take
round.   "You  spin quite a tale," I   this,"  he told the seated guardsman
said.  "Are you a bard, perhaps?"      "and  drink it in one swallow when I
   He  laughed.   "No,  I  am  but a   tell  you  to." The guardsman looked
traveler.   A bard would surely tell   at  his fellows across the room.  No
this tale much better than I can."     help  would  come from them.  Mutely
   I  smiled.  For the first time in   he nodded to Anrelus, though Anrelus
a  week  I  had  forgotten my fears.   would  have  found  it impossible to
Yet something in the back of my mind   believe that the guardsman would not
kept   saying   "politician"   as  I   do as he said.
glanced at him from over my mug.          Anrelus   began  a  third  incan-
   "Tell  me  something.  Of the few   tation.   It  built  to crescendo of
obviously despondent people in here,   pure  noise,  unintelligible  to any
why did you pick me?" I asked.         within the room.
   "Well,"  he  responded.   "I  was      "NOW!"
thinking of this very tale as I came      Anrelus  slapped  his  left  hand
in.   And  in  a  way  you look like   onto  the  statue,  his right on the
Anrelus was described."                guardsman's shoulder.  A pyrotechnic
   "He was of the Fair Elven race?"    display  engulfed all three and none
   Another laugh.  "No, no.  Anrelus   present  could  look directly at the
is supposed to have worn nothing but   three figures.  Then suddenly...
grey  colored  clothes, and kept his      Silence.
head  cloaked  so none could see his      The silence of the void.  Not the
face.  Much like yourself." He indi-   sound  of  their  own  breathing nor
cated my grey cloak, its hood folded   heartbeats   were  audible.   Slowly
back.   "No  one  seems  to know his   everyone's  eyes  adjusted  and  the
race  or heritage.  There is nothing   small,  everyday  sounds  taken  for
to  indicate  that he wasn't Dwarven   granted  returned,  followed  by the
or  Halfling,  for  that matter.  Or   low, quiet voice of Anrelus.
even  a  combination of the two.  In      "Guardsman, move your right arm."
fact,"  he  mused, "there is nothing      Slowly, the statue moved its arm.
to say Anrelus wasn't female."            "Guardsman, move your left arm."
   Interesting.   "Pray continue," I      More  rapidly,  the  statue moved
said,  even  as  I  ordered  another   its left arm.
round.   I did not believe this tale      "Gods   of  Orhan  preserve  us,"
but wanted him to stay until I could   muttered one of the guardsmen across
puzzle  out  what  it  was about him   the  room.   His  eyes  had adjusted
that bothered me.                      more  quickly  than  the others, and
                                       what  he  saw was enough to make him
   Anrelus  looked  at the guardsman   weep.
seated  next  to  the  steel statue.      The   guardsman  sitting  in  the
"Now   guardsman,  I  will  keep  my   chair  next  to the statue no longer
promise  to  make  you  the greatest   had  a  face!   And  the  statue had
armor   ever  seen  in  the  lands."   taken   on   the   features  of  the
Anrelus  removed  several vials from   guardsman!
the  pouch  he  wore.  He delicately      "He   can   return  to  his  body
unstoppered one containing a yellow-   anytime,"  said  Anrelus.  "Once the
greenish   substance  and  carefully   link  has  been  made he is the only
poured  it  on  the  statue, all the   one who can use this particular body
while  muttering an incantation.  He   and  this  one statue." He turned to
then opened a second vial containing   face  the guardsmen at the far wall.
a  dark  blue, almost black, liquid.   "I will make blocks for each of you.
Carefully,  as  he  spoke a language   Only   the   individual  using  that
not  recognized  by  any  within the   statue   is   to  touch  that  steel
                                   -19-                             More...
  
  
  
     
  
  
  
block."  Anrelus  turned back to the   his  body,  taking  up  arms  and  a
living  statue.   "Guardsman, return   defensive position within the Keep."
to your body."                            I was beginning to believe...
   "H-h-h--o-o-o-o-o-w-w d-d-o-o..."      "POLITICIAN" screamed the back of
the guardsman stammered.               my mind.  But I still did not hear.
   "Simply   will   it."  instructed      A  story.   A  tale  heard  by  a
Anrelus.  "Think of returning home."   tinkerer in his travels.
   This  time there was no sound, no      I  suddenly was wary.  Why?  "So,
light.   Just  a slow melting of the   Anrelus  died,  the  guardsmen left,
new   face  on  the  living  statue,   and   the   Keep  fell  into  ruins.
returning  to  its blank mask, while   Right?"
the  face  of  the  guardsman in the      "Would   be   that  it  was  that
chair  slowly  developed back to its   simple." he replied. "Anrelus didn't
normal shape.                          seem to age as others do.  Guardsmen
   "One  last item I will tell you,"   grew  old, or tired of being pent up
spoke  Anrelus.  "There are two ways   in  the Keep.  Anrelus would destroy
to  stop you from using this armor I   their  armor  and  hire  new guards,
have  created.   The  first  is  the   making  new  armor.   The story goes
death  of your body, whether you are   on,   in  brief,  that  one  of  the
in  it  or  not.   The  second  is a   guardsmen  who  left  told  of  this
special  command,  known only by me,   wondrous   armor.    Naturally,  the
which will prevent you from entering   Unlife heard of this and used agents
the  armor or force you back to your   in  an  attempt  to buy, bribe, then
body  should you be in it.  And fear   threaten the secret of its  creation
not;  while  in your armor your body   from  Anrelus.  They failed at every
is   held  in  time.   It  will  not   attempt."
require  air,  food or any attention      "So what happened?"
though it can be killed as easily as      "Remember:   Anrelus   used   the
any  normal  being.  Perhaps easier,   guardsmen for every task.  Though he
since  it  will  be unable to defend   was able to pay well, some guardsmen
itself."  Anrelus walked to the door   resented  his treatment of them.  If
and stopped.  "I will expect the new   parts  of  the story are correct, he
armor  to  be  finished soon after I   even  used the guardsmen to make the
have completed the rest of the steel   alchemical  mixtures  and recite the
blocks.   I also have drawn up plans   simple  spells  needed  for  several
for storage space -- niches -- which   routine tasks around the Keep.  Even
you  will  construct  as  quickly as   without  magical  training they were
possible.   I  will  not  have  your   able  to  accomplish these feats due
armor underfoot."                      to Anrelus' power."
                                          "And   that   proved  to  be  his
   I  sat  forward and stared at the   downfall."
tinkerer.  "So, his guardsmen built,
carved  or  however  it  was done, a      His name was Ertrewior, though he
statue for each of them?"              was  never  addressed  by Anrelus as
   "Of  course,"  he replied.  "They   anything other than "guardsman."  He
trained  in  their  new armor and in   had been at the Keep for almost four
time  they could shift in and out of   years  although  he  had been fed up
it  as  easily  as  you and I change   before  his  first  four  days  were
boots."                                done.   The  few times Ertrewior was
   "Unbelieveable power there.  Were   able to go with a group for supplies
they as good as Anrelus thought?"      he thought about running off, but he
   "Oh  yes,"  he said.  "Maybe they   was afraid the Mad One, as he called
wouldn't  have  stopped the power of   Anrelus,  would  hunt  him  down and
the  Gods, but they were more than a   destroy   him.   Thus,  in  the  few
match for anything that attacked the   outings he could manage, he consoled
Keep  -- they  proved  that  several   himself in local taverns.
times.  If one was severely damaged,      And the agents of the Unlife made
the guardsman would simply return to   a friend.
                                   -20-                Continued on Page 24
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                               Gwaelin in Hand
                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 ____________                 by Kalagay Halatil
/ \      __  \
\@|     / "| |
  |    //|"| |fter   two  weeks   of   of fostering communication.
 _|   //=|"| | hand feeding a squir-      One  thing  seemed  obvious, how-
/@|  //  |"| | ming, yelling,  brown   ever.   The  kitten was not going to
\_/ ~~   ~~~ / spotted snow  panther   pine  away  and starve in captivity.
  ~~~~~~~~~~~  kit  every  3  hours,   There  was nothing at all wrong with
Kalagay  was  ready  to  acknowledge   her  appetite  for rich torkaan milk
that she may have erred in taking it   sweetened  with  the boiled sap from
from its mother.  The kit was called   pelma trees.
Gwaelin -- Cloud-Shredder; she could      "You're   getting  heavy,  little
easily   have   answered  to  Sleep-   one," Kalagay told the finally sated
Shredder  instead, assuming that she   kit.   "Time  you started using your
learned to answer to anything.         own  feet  to  get  around.  Yes, no
   "Ohhhh,  baby,  please go back to   point  in  getting  fussy.   Oh, all
sleep,"  Kalagay  groaned  into  her   right,  I'll carry you up the stairs
pillow.   But  baby  would  not,  so   this  time.   Just  a  sucker  for a
Kalagay scooped her up and staggered   pretty  face."  Gwaelin  was solidly
down the stairs to the kitchen.        asleep  by  the time Kalagay reached
   The   imprinting   process  which   her  room under the eaves and placed
would  link  Gwaelin  and Kalagay to   her burden on the sleeping cot which
each  other  depended on their being   they   shared.
near  each  other all the time until      Time   for   the   next   feeding
the  kit was weaned.  That happy day   arrived.   With  a  screech, Gwaelin
remained   another   month   in  the   clambered  pudgily  from her spot at
future,  though  soon  she would not   the   small  of  Kalagay's  back  to
need  feeding so often.  Until then,   thrust  nose  and  whiskers into her
only   Kalagay  could  feed  her  or   face  and  pat  at  her mouth with a
supervise  her  tiny  blind  rambles   ludicrously oversized paw.  However,
outside Alais' greenhouse.             this  time  when  Kalagay propped up
   From  the  beginning  Kalagay had   her eyelids she looked straight into
known   exactly   how   Gwaelin  was   Gwaelin's  newly opened eyes, into a
feeling,   if   she  was  hungry  or   grey-green  unfocused version of the
frightened  or  angry,  if  she  was   mother's  icy  stare.  To Kalagay it
sleepy  or wanted to play.  Not only   was like being hit with forty pounds
eyes  and ears informed her; she was   of   feather  pillows.   She  smiled
aware  on  an  emotional level also,   idiotically as the kit nosed her and
exactly   the   way  a  mother  snow   bestowed a rasping purr.
panther would have been.                  Kalagay  hugged the wiggling kit.
   There was nothing going the other   "How  beautiful  you  are.   And how
way,  however.   So far there was no   funny and how soft.  And how hungry!
indication that Gwaelin was aware of   Again!"
anything  or  anyone outside her own
downy  skin and small circle of per-      Kalagay  almost  missed  the next
ception.    However   hard   Kalagay   development.   She  and  her mother,
worked  and  however  many  hours of   Alais were walking in the garden, on
sleep   she   lost,   there  was  no   one  of  the  few  occasions she had
guarantee  that she would be able to   left Gwaelin sleeping by herself.  A
share  a  tie  with Gwaelin, such as   sudden  uneasiness came over her and
Elvanion  Darkholt  had with his war   she  looked around with rising panic
panther.   The  two felines had sim-   though there was nothing to be seen.
ilar  ancestry, but war panthers had      "Mother!" she cried, "Something's
many generations of cooperation with   wrong  with  Gwaelin!" She flew into
humans.   A  great  deal  was  known   the  house with her heartbeats chok-
about the art as well as the science   ing  her.   Alais  was  right behind
                                   -21-                Continued on page 24
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                     Of Mice and Half-Elves, Part III
                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _________                 by Gallenod Varynesti
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |
  |  |~|  | am  a very inconspicuous      Chief among them was Lord Azreal,
 _|  |~|  | person. Oh, not conscio-   a high elf of great age and wisdom.
/@| _|~|_ | usly.  I  just  tend  to      He had been a great adventurer in
\_/ ~~~~~ / naturally blend in,  and   his youth, over 1,500 years earlier,
  ~~~~~~~~  people don't really not-   who  had retired to this village be-
ice  me.   It has its advantages, of   cause  he grew sick of the slaughter
course.   In  team  sports, opposing   and  carnage.   His command of magic
players  sometimes  forget  entirely   was  incredible,  but  his power was
that  I'm  there, and seem surprised   beginning  to  wane  with  age.  His
when  I  appear  out  of  nowhere to   assistant  was  Father  Andralon,  a
score.   In combat, monsters tend to   devout (bordering on the  fanatical)
attack  other,  more flamboyant tar-   wood  elf.   Andralon  was  a  was a
gets;  they seem to consider me less   competent  administrator, but almost
of a threat because I'm not swinging   completely  without humor.  He had a
a   huge  sword  or  crackling  with   stare  that  could  crack rock and a
essence.   More  than  one troll has   personality  to match.  For some odd
made that mistake and never lived to   reason, though, we liked each other.
regret it.                             I  found  he had a sense of honor as
   Being  inconspicuous has saved my   deep  as  the seas of Kulthea, and a
life  on  more  than  one  occasion.   great  love of obscure knowledge and
However, there are times when every-   trivia.  I'm not sure what he saw in
one must stand up and be counted, no   me,  except  that  I would talk with
matter  how much they wish to remain   him  for  hours on obscure points of
in  the background.  Herein lies the   history, psychology, and music.
heart of the Second Mouse Tale.           Our  other  cleric  was Fariel, a
   In my previous stories, I've told   female  wood  elf  who  was the com-
you  a  little  of my background, my   plete  opposite  of  Andralon:  rad-
family,  and  my friend Mouse.  This   iant,  sensitive, cheerful, and nur-
tale begins a year after Mouse and I   turing.  She tended more towards the
had decided on our courses in life.    spiritual  side  of  clericism,  and
   I  was  just  completing my first   healed  more  souls with smiles than
year as a teacher, and Mouse was now   she did magic.  Which is why I could
"Father  Mouse,"  rapidly  earning a   never  understand  what  she  saw in
reputation  as a skilled, and caring   Gilthorien,   a   brash,  hot-headed
cleric.   Life  in  our  village  of   fighter with a slightly crooked jaw.
Glynvaryn,  however, was complicated   If  you remember Part II of my tale,
by  the  growing presence of evil in   I  was the one who had broken it for
the  surrounding  area.  Before, the   him,  as a boy.  He never forgave me
only threats we had to face were the   for  that  and grew from a childhood
relatively  stupid  orcs  and trolls   bully  to  an adult one.  We ignored
that plague much of our world.  Over   each  other  as  much  as  possible,
time  though,  newer, deadlier types   though  he  would sometimes taunt me
of  creatures  appeared.   It was as   by  saying:  "Real men are fighters,
though some evil, maleficence entity   not  teachers, Mordleg." He spat out
was  working  night  and  day on new   my  childhood  nickname as though it
ways to threaten our fragile hold on   would  cure  his mutilated jaw if he
life.                                  expelled  it  violently  enough.  He
   Most dangerous were the new mani-   was  a  fine  warrior,  though,  and
festations  of  the Unlife.  A rela-   appeared  to  love Fariel as much as
tively  small  village,  we only had   she  loved him.  Village law forbade
four  clerics  and  my friend Mouse,   that we should ever fight, which was
whom you've heard about already, was   good  for me, as he could have slain
one.                                   me  easily.   Words,  however,  were
                                   -22-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
fair  game,  and I used to infuriate   about   accepting  this  human,  the
him by pointing out that for all his   first  he had seen in many years, as
prowess at arms, he had never killed   a  battle-friend.  Before they could
anything   more   dangerous  than  a   speak,  though,  the elves, ecstatic
forest troll. I regret this, now, as   over  their victory, surrounded both
it  may  have driven him to whatever   of  them  and  bore them back to the
rash  action  led to his death.  And   village for a celebration.
on  the  day  he  died,  the fate of      He   introduced  himself  as  the
Glynvaryn was sealed.                  Master,  a  cleric  who  had devoted
   I  remember when they brought his   himself   to   learning   about  and
body  back.   He'd  been the advance   fighting  the  Unlife.   He  did not
scout  for  a  party investigating a   introduce  his  acolytes, explaining
new  manifestation  of the Unlife in   they  had taken vows of silence.  He
our  area.  The party never saw what   offered to teach us the magic of the
got  him.   They  heard his war cry,   signs,  which  he  said  were parti-
and  then his scream.  The body they   cularly    effective   against   the
brought back bore little resemblance   Unlife.   Most jumped at the chance;
to  the  proud elf we all knew.  The   only  three objected.  My father was
front  of  his  heavy  hide had been   the first.  "Friend," he said, seem-
ripped  open,  and  his insides were   ing   unwilling  to  call  this  man
shredded.   A shaken Lord Azreal de-   'Master,'  "I recognize those signs.
clared that Gilthorien's life levels   They  are of the Unlife.  Though you
had  been  drained, as well, meaning   have   helped  us  this  day,  I  am
that  a  creature  of the Unlife had   reluctant  to  use  the tools of the
done  this.   While  all  of us were   enemy." Andralon, upon hearing this,
shocked,   two   were   particularly   immediately  sided  with  my father,
affected.   Mouse  was in shock, re-   citing at great length the perils of
cognizing   this   as  the  work  of   delving  too  deeply into the nature
whatever  had  killed  his  parents.   of  the  Unlife.   My  mother, also,
Fariel was the hardest hit, however.   voiced  her  doubts.   To  this, the
The  light  of  life  faded from her   Master  replied:   "I  respect  your
eyes  when  she saw what was left of   ethics,   good   people.   But,  you
Gilthorien's  body  and she fainted.   cannot  defeat  this menace with the
She  became  withdrawn and listless,   tools you have now.  I offer you new
rarely  speaking to anyone.  We sent   weapons and new hope."
fewer  patrols  out  after that, and      It  was  Fariel  who  swayed  the
worked  on  improving  our defenses.   village.   Her  impassioned plea for
It  was  during  this  troubled time   vengeance  for  the  death  of  Gil-
that the Master arrived.               thorien   brought   many  to  tears.
   He appeared at our gates at dusk,   "Oakhand,"  she  finally  said to my
a portly human in a ramshackle wagon   father,  "my  love  was destroyed by
with two grim assistants in tow.  As   the  Unlife.   None  have  been more
he  drew  up  to the gate, he cried,   valiant  than  you  in  fighting the
"Help  me,  help me!  I am pursued!"   Unlife,  but even your great prowess
Sure  enough,  zombies,  ghouls, and   has not abated this menace.  We have
other Unlife were streaming from the   no  choice  but  to  grasp  this new
forest   in  pursuit.   The  clerics   opportunity." Then she turned to the
blessed   weapons,  and  my  father,   Master.   "I  will  follow you," she
older  now,  but  still the greatest   pronounced  with a gleam in her eye,
warrior  in the village, led a force   "even to the Gates of the Dark Lords
that  drove the Unlife back.  Seeing   to  seek vengeance for my love." The
he had allies, the Master joined the   Master  rose and took the now crying
fray, making mystic signs in the air   Fariel  in his arms.  "There, there,
and  doing  almost as much damage to   child.  You shall have the vengeance
the  Unlife  as my father.  When the   you  deserve." There was little more
battle  was  over, my father and the   debate.
Master turned an regarded each other      A majority of the village decided
warily.   My  father  seemed  uneasy   to  allow  the  Master  to teach his
                                   -23-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
arts  to  whomever  was  willing  to   Gwaelin in Hand:  Cont. from Page 21
learn   them.   Victories  over  the   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unlife  were  numerous.   Our scouts   her,  and  managed  to  grab her arm
reclaimed  vast  areas  of  infested   before she burst in on the kit.
territory using the signs to bolster      "Wait,  ma chere, don't grab her,
their  abilities.   Soon, almost all   hush.   Come  back  out here with me
in  the  village  had  some training   and calm down.  Come now, good.  Now
with  them, and half had 'graduated'   you  can  look but _don't_ wake her.
from the Master's school.  He always   That  would  be  a mistake you would
took  great  pride  in  staging ela-   regret  for  a  long  time.  Let her
borate  ceremonies for these events,   sleep.   She  will let you know when
and proclaimed it a great honor.       she is hungry again.
   Fariel  was  the  first, and most      Kalagay   looked   down   on  the
talented of his graduates.  A few of   quietly  breathing kit.  Slowly, her
us didn't train though.  My parents,   pulse  returned to normal.  "But are
of   course,  and  Andralon.   Mouse   you   sure  she's  all  right?   She
didn't  train  either, mostly out of   should  be howling for her bottle by
respect  for  my parents.  I was too   now,"    her   voice   trailed   off
busy  at  school,  working  with the   dubiously.  "I believe you can trust
children,  and  I  cared  little for   me  on  this,  darling.   It happens
combat  in  any  event.   I  was, as   with  half-elf babies too.  One fine
always, ignored by all the principal   day they sleep through a feeding and
players, until I made my discovery.    life is a lot simpler after that."
                                          Kalagay   hugged   Alais  as  she
   Continued in the December KE        looked  at  the kit, sleeping curled
                                       up  with her tail over her nose.  "I
       =========\\==========           think I will have a nap myself. I've
                                       some  catching up to do."
Armor of the Keep: Cont from Page 20
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   It  was  simple,  they  told him.    __________________________________
Anrelus   had   all   his   defenses   |__________________________________|
pointing  out, stopping any attempts   |                                  |
at  looking  in.   But, if Ertrewior   |           MERCHANT MALL          |
would  just read this parchment from   |__________________________________|
the  inside  it would become part of   |                                  |
his defensive spells.  Anrelus would   |     Helga proudly presents       |
never know that they could look into   |   Torkaan Mud Wrestling now at   |
the   Keep.   Even  if  he  detected   |                                  |
something,  he  would  assume it had   |          HELGA'S TAVERN          |
come  from  outside  the  Keep.   He   |          **************          |
hired   armsmen,  not  spell  users.   |                                  |
Ertrewior  would  never  be suspect.   |   Plus the finest ales, meads    |
And all they wanted was to watch, to   |   and wines in all Kulthea!!     |
make  sure  Anrelus was not plotting   |                                  |
against   them.    The   thought  of   |   Admission 50 silvers. Tunics   |
getting  back  at  the  Mad  One was   |     and boots must be worn.      |
good,  was it not?  A revenge better   |      No pink orcs allowed!       |
than  any  Ertrewior  could  hope to   |                                  |
accomplish  by himself.  And Anrelus   |__________________________________|
would never suspect.                   |                                  |
   Ertrewior agreed.                   |/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\|
                                       |\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/|
   Continued in the December KE        |__________________________________|
  
  
  
                                   -24-
  
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                                 Evil Owdown
                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~
 ____________                     by Raksha
/ \  ______  \
\@| /~/~~\~\ |
  ||~|    |~|| ne evening, as Raksha   hunting cave trolls in the darkness.
 _||~|    |~|| sat in Helga's Tavern   They  were  in the midst of a fierce
/@| \~\__/~/ | sipping  honeyed  tea   battle  against  an  enormous  hairy
\_/  ~~~~~~  / and contemplating new   Troll  when a sudden coldness closed
  ~~~~~~~~~~~ spells, she was inter-   around  Hilga's  body,  causing  the
rupted  by someone entering the back   hairs  to  raise along her arms, and
room.                                  at  the back of her neck.  She began
   Glancing   up,   Raksha  spied  a   having great difficulty swinging her
Dwarven lady, gold braids flung over   sword,   her  movements  stiff,  her
her back.  "Hilga!" she cried, leap-   reactions   slow.    Hilga  felt  an
ing  off  her chair and flinging out   electric  presence,  somehow knowing
her  arms  to  give  Hilga a welcome   it  to be there.  An itching crawled
hug.    Hilga   smiled  tiredly,  as   through  her  mind,  and she heard a
Raksha's bubbly gaiety was catching.   spiritual   cackle,  and  a  snicker
She sat down at the table and rubbed   whispered  by  her ear.  Hilga found
her eyes, her face pale.               it  harder  to  concentrate  on  the
   Raksha  stood  on  her  chair and   Troll looming above.  Her mind cried
waved her arm wildly at the barmaid,   "why?"   as  she  fell  back  behind
calling  for  ale, and causing Hilga   Zinderin  and Westley at this point,
to chuckle at her antics.              knowing a terrible wrongness.
   Raksha  grinned  and plopped back      Three  voices  spoke in her mind,
down  down  in  her chair.  "What is   ones   she   shuddered  at  hearing.
it,  Hilga?" she asked, noticing her   "Syst,"  cackled  the first, "Emsl,"
friend's  exhaustion.   Hilga's face   sneered   the   second.    A  moment
grew  grim.   She sighed and brushed   passed,  coldness  touched her mind.
whisps   of   hair  from  her  eyes.   The  third  and  last spoke its name
"Would  you like to hear about it ?"   harshly.  Hilga backed away, fearing
she  asked  (though she already knew   "Owdown"  the  most.  Unfortunately,
the answer).  Raksha nodded eagerly,   it had chosen to "toy" with her this
her curiosity mixed with concern.      night.
   Hilga  rested  her  arms  on  the      As  Hilga  stepped back, the eyes
table,  and  was just about to speak   of  the  Troll  glimmered redly.  It
when the barmaid came by and clunked   lurched  past  Westley  and Zinderin
a  foamy  tankard of dark ale on the   towards her, swinging its weapon low
table,   slopping   froth  over  the   and  hard.   Seeing the blow coming,
sides.   Hilga  smiled gratefully at   Hilga  desperately tried to bring up
Raksha,  her  eyes lighting up.  She   her   shield  and  sword  in  parry.
grabbed  the tankard with both hands   Gleeful laughter drummed through her
and   raised  it  to  drink  deeply.   head.     Invisible   clawed   hands
Raksha waited patiently, perhaps all   gripped  her  arms and legs tightly,
of  a  minute  which is a long time    immobilizing her.
for a Hobbit.                             The  blow  struck  hard, glancing
   When  she  could  wait no longer,   off  her  thigh and she cried out as
Raksha leaned forward, elbows on the   the   bone   fractured.   She  leapt
table,  chin  propped  on her hands.   sideways, away from the troll, still
"Well?   she blurted.  "Tell me what   on   one  good  leg.   Zinderin  and
happened!"   Hilga   laughed,  color   Westley  battered  it back from her,
again  in  her  cheeks.  She put the   as  Hilga  tore  off  her  sash  and
ale  on  the  table  (keeping a firm   wrapped  her  leg  tightly, stopping
grip  on  it) and raised one hand as   the  bleeding.   She  leaned dizzily
she began telling her story.           against  the wall and watched as her
   She  had  been  adventuring  that   companions   cut   down  the  troll,
evening  with Westley  and Zinderin,   wincing   when  it  clawed  Zinderin
                                   -25-                             More...
  
  
  
     
  
  
  
deeply just before it fell.            amulet and began walking towards the
   Hilga  stood  awkwardly,  feeling   pile, a gleam in her eye.
useless,  watching  as  her  friends      As  Hilga  brushed past Zinderin,
searched  the  troll.   Of course it   he  impatiently  grabbed  her by the
had  nothing.   Westley came over to   arm, eager to revenge himself on the
her  and  gave  her his arm, helping   trolls.  Zinderin dragged her out of
her   walk.    Zinderin   was   also   the  Temple,  Westley running after,
wounded,  so  they  left  that  dark   all  of  them  in  full stride (that
place,  heading back to town and the   mindless  running  pace first taught
Temple,  hoping  to  find aid there.   by  Macro  Swift).   The adventurers
   Westley  helped Hilga through the   were heading back to hunt "Cavers."
Temple  doors and she leaned heavily      Towards Hilga's death.
against  the  wall.   Sighing  pain-      Hilga   stopped   her   tale  and
fully, she slung her shield over her   shivered,  her  face pale once more.
shoulder,  and  slid  her broadsword   She  stared sightlessly at her empty
into  its sheath.  She looked around   tankard,  the  flow of words halted.
then, her gaze lighting on Strom and   Raksha itched to know what happened,
Caretaker,   meditating   over  each   and,  knowing of no better solution,
others wounds.                         she  waved  the  surly  Tavernkeeper
   Strom glanced up, whispered some-   over.  "A  full  bucket  this time!"
thing  to  Caretaker, and turned his   she shouted.  Helga held out her ham
attention to Zinderin, examining his   sized  fist, "Pay up," she scowled.
ragged   chest   wounds.   Caretaker      Raksha  reluctantly  dropped sil-
looked  up  to  see  Hilga  slumping   vers into Helga's hand.  She stomped
against  the  wall, one leg bandaged   off, sending a servant back with the
and bloody.  As she swayed from loss   ale.  When the bucket thumped on the
of blood, he leaped up to catch her,   table,  Hilga  'woke up,'  her  nose
hugging  her  to  his  chest.  Hilga   twitched and she eagerly  turned her
smiled  bravely  as  Caretaker eased   attention to a bit more brew.
her  gently  to  the floor, knelt in      As   Hilga   slaked  her  thirst,
front  of her and unwound the bloody   Raksha    scowled    and   fidgeted,
sash.   She  winced  but kept quiet,   drumming  her  fingers on the table.
trying  hard  to be calm.  Caretaker   Hilga  smiled crookedly at her small
closed  his  eyes,  and  placed  his   friend,   and,   gulping   her  ale,
palms  close over her leg.  He began   started  talking again before Raksha
chanting,   drawing   her  wound  to   bounced right out of her chair.
himself.  She watched in wonder when             To Be Continued
he  chanted  anew,  healing  his own
leg, leaving it whole.  Healer magic       Song for the Sky Dragon
always amazed her.  Strom called for       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
him  then and Hilga hugged Caretaker         by Amelda Heronheart
tightly,  kissing him before letting
go.   He  winked at her, murmured an        This be the tale
endearment in Dwarven, then motioned         Of a dragon bold
her to wait.                                  Who flies the skies
   Hilga  turned  to  look  for  the           On wings of gold
others.   She  saw  Westley waiting,            His brilliance shines
arms crossed, by the door.  Zinderin             The planet round
was  tying his heavy hide around his              And never does he
shoulders,  his  chest  wound  fully               Make a sound
healed.   She  stood  and tested her        He'll grace the air
leg,  finding no pain.  Then her eye         From night to night
was   drawn   to  the  altar,  where          And when he sleeps
several  people  had  left items for           There is no light
others in need.  On the floor before            I ponder often
it  was  a  pile of assorted things.             On this beast
She saw rough agates, used clothing,              Who sleepeth West
even food.  Hilga thought she saw an               And waketh East
                                   -26-
   
  
  
     
  
  
  
                                Erys' Saga
                                ~~~~~~~~~~
 _________                    by The Watcher
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |
  |  |~|  | view this time and times   dle bags,  he removed  a  packet  of
 _|  |~|  | to come.  I observe this   iron  rations.   The  meal  did  not
/@| _|~|_ | reality   and  realities   appear very appealing as he sat down
\_/ ~~~~~ / far, far removed. Once I   beneath a  strong oak.  He was prac-
  ~~~~~~~~  looked through the  win-   tically invisible  between his elven
dow  I  use  to see what goes on and   camouflage  and  his  slow,  careful
happened  upon  one  by  the name of   movements.
Erys Belanger.  His mind was open to
me,  as  all  minds  are.   His soul   Erys was  exhausted from his travels
cried  out  to  me, as all souls do.   yet  had  many  more  miles  to  go.
This man wanted refuge from reality,   Thinking of  his  journey,  the  elf
from  himself, but I am the Watcher.   began to  doze. When  he  awoke,  he
I watch. I could do nothing for this   once more  looked over his surround-
elf but observe and tell his tale.     ings and  noticed that his steed was
                                       gone.   He looked  for it  but to no
Erys resided  in the wilderness town   avail. Somehow  it had  slipped  its
of  Kelfour's   Landing.  He   found   harness  and   disappeared.  I   was
friends  there,  good  friends,  and   surprised by the elf's next actions.
more. Erys found love. Her name lies   First came  just a  chuckle. Then  a
buried deep  in his mind, closed off   smile. Then  he burst  out laughing.
in pain,  unreachable  by  me.  This   'Twas a  sad thing  to watch:  a man
woman he  knew for  only a few short   completely break  down.  He  laughed
days but  those days he remembers as   this  way   for  no  less  than  two
the best  of his  life. They  didn't   minutes. I  caught myself smiling at
last long  for this woman was merely   the cruel irony of it.
an emissary and when her message was
delivered, the  only thing  left  of   "Why?" he  managed to  chuckle  out.
her were Erys's dreams and memories.   He got  off the  ground, shaking his
                                       head  as  he  chuckled.  "I  do  not
I  saw  him  riding down a path on a   understand," he smiled as he brushed
weary brown horse.  He wore a camou-   himself off.  "Do you  hear  me?!  I
flage  cloak  with  the  hood pulled   don't get  it! What  did I do?" Erys
over his face.  Erys wore the camou-   erupted towards  the sky, "Why don't
flaging colors of his elven brothers   you  answer?!!?"   He  clenched  his
well,  and  his weathered boots also   fists,  becoming   angrier  by   the
boasted the elven trademark.  A war-   second.
chipped  drake  falchion hung in the
straps of the camouflage iron shield   Tears began  to flow down his cheeks
tied  to  the  saddle  horn.  In his   as he  looked up  at the  now starry
right  hand  he  held the reins.  He   sky. "ANSWER!!!!!" he cried out. "If
rubbed the engagement ring, which he   there is  some god  I  offended...or
wore   on   his   left   forefinger,   demon...or  wizard...or  whatever...
thoughtfully  with  his thumb.  This   I'm sorry!!!  Do you  hear me?!"  he
ring  he  had intended for his love.   tried to  yell, but  his voice broke
He  looked  up  at the sky, checking   with  the   last  words.   The  once
the  time  of  day.  I saw his pain,   powerful figure of strength now fell
his anguish and wondered what he was   to  the  ground  sobbing  uncontrol-
like before.                           lably. "I'm...sorry..." he mumbled.

From the  sun's position,  Erys knew   Erys cried a while before  he sat up
it was  noon and  he dismounted by a   again.   Dragging the saddle towards
nearby tree. His movements were slow   him, he  began to  unpack it. Taking
and deliberate.  Going into his sad-   only what  he needed,  he placed his
                                   -27-                             More...
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
gear  in  his  camouflage  backpack.   He smiled:
Then he  paused,  as  if  struck  by                    Why?
sudden inspiration.   He fell to the           why he ever worried
ground, tracing  these many lines in         she wipes away his tears
the muddy field:                                  she holds him
              He sits                              he holds her
              staring                                he sits
             at the sky                           forever loved
              a glint                                staring
             or a tear                              at the sky
              sparkle
             in his eye                He smiled  again.   Wiping his eyes,
                                       he  thought  about  his  friends  in
Here he  paused, looking  up at  the   Kelfour's Landing. He thought  about
sky before proceeding:                 his cousin Twyndle. He thought about
            Deep breath                his homeland and if he would make it
              no taste                 there without  a horse.   He thought
              weakness                 of these  things  then he  walked to
          fills his chest              the beginning of his poem and wrote:
             the stars
           they taunt him                         Wish Upon a Star
          their communion                      by A Lonely Traveler
              cruelty
            at its best                Picking up  his backpack,  he walked
            the pattern                towards  the   Whilter  Woods.   His
            reminds him                journey was  a long one, a hard one.
             of the one                The  trials   he  faced  tested  him
                                       greatly but  that is  another  story
Then he  paused  again.    His  eyes   for another time.
became  misty  again  as  he  stared      ________________________________
dreamily  into  the  distant  woods.
Then he  fell with  determination to               Brothers
his work:                                          ~~~~~~~~
          the one he loves                    by Damiano Faustas
           then she comes
              they sit                    My Brother was wroth with me
              together                    I said to my Brother
      a pair of nesting doves             "What angers thee
                                          "Thy skin's color is wrong
Another pause,  followed by  a  tear      He said to me
and another sudden  burst of inspir-
ation:                                    My Brother was wroth with me
              he cries                    I said to my Brother
              his head                    "What angers thee
      wedged gently in her arm            "Thou dost worship the wrong god
                she                       He said to me
            understands
              hugs him                    My Brother was wroth with me
            consoles him                  I said to my Brother
            protects him                  "What angers thee
        from any ill feeling              "Thou art Different and Evil
              or harm                     He said to me
A last  pause.   Another  tear  fell
gently upon his work.                     My Brother was wroth with me
             he smiles                    "I love you, my Brother
            and wonders                   I said to him
                Why?
  
                                   -28-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
                            Letters to Louvella
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 ____________            by Miss Louvella Parsnips
/ \      __  \
\@|     / "| | mysterious    missive   Approached by a certain lost ranger,
  |    //|"| | made its way into our   as well as our Spanish speaking ran-
 _|   //=|"| | niche  by   the  town   ger fellow, he refused to  part with
/@|  //  |"| | gates this month.  We   the much-coveted banner. However, he
\_/ ~~   ~~~ / are suspicious of the   was recently accosted by a  hussy of
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~ letter   writer,  who   a mage wearing nothing at all  under
insists on remaining anonymous  (but   her familiar bleu robe.
not for long), but have decided that
his  information  is  indeed in  the   Of course, this   strumpet  managed,
interests of the  public at large.     after   some   seclusion  behind the
                                       closed door of Frick's best room, to
It seems that our  favorite mad mage   coax the banner out of our collector
and  his  coyote  faced   wife  have   and smugly presented it to the house
entered  into  a  new  business.  Of   in  question. They, in turn,  gifted
course, we would not go as far as to   her with a pair of ruby slippers  in
say  they  have  been  assassinating   gratitude, which may or may not have
others for pay,  but  to all intents   been their way of telling  her to go
and  purposes, they have been dabbl-   back to wherever she came from.
ing  in   the dark art of extortion,
something we   find  disgusting, but   We have also learned that  the  same
typical, to  say the least.            lost  ranger fled Kulthea after mak-
                                       ing the same proposition as our bleu
The victims of this  ignoble twosome   robed   mage  and, not surprisingly,
were  some   of    Kelfour's  newest   being hastily turned down.
adventurers,  as  yet  innocent  and
untainted. They were accosted by the   We  find that  art   collecting  has
insane  mage,  who   gave    them an   taken  on  new   meaning, and wonder
ultimatum between handing over their   exactly what our bleu  robed  mage's
silvers or their  lives  to his well   ranger  husband thinks of his wife's
armed and foaming-at-the mouth wife.   new bartering system. And especially
                                       what he thinks of the new tattoo she
We also discovered  a  sinister plot   is sporting in a quite unmentionable
hatched  by  Kelfour's  most  famous   place. What indeed.
ranger fellow. It seems  that he has
been desperate for attention of late   As an aside to our special reporters
and has initiated  a  barter system.   may we remind you that your contract
His "barter"  is  rather  costly and   states that  you are  not  to reveal
magical items to  which  the sullied   yourselves  to anyone  under penalty
maidens of  Kelfour's   Landing have   of  becoming permanent stalker bait.
been flocking with  bells  (and very   The fact that you six,  cat,  mouse,
little else) on. Among the most used   bird, orc, hobgoblin  and especially
of these  strumpets is  a wraithlike   otter, have revealed yourselves   to
lady mage who is  completely without   our naive and primitive citizenry is
morals (and silver).                   enough to make us  lose  our temper.
                                       And  one  wouldn't  want   that   to
We  are  shocked at  the  disgusting   happen, WOULD ONE?
goings on in Kelfour's art world. It
appears that a certain banner was in-  Remember,  dear  reader,  send  your
advertently sold at the last art auc-  suppositions, tattles  and  hearsays
tion to a prominent and rather blood-  to MISS.SNOOP via GE Mail.
thirsty  art   collecting  sorcerer,
causing  an uproar among the members   Until next  time,  happy  prying and
of the house which it addressed.       tra la for now!
                                   -29-
  
                                                                       V2N6
                                                                      [END]

See Also: