Kelfour Edition volume IV number III
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
_______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | Hot Summer Nights are Here! See Page 2 | @_/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | _ _ _ ___ | | / ) / ) / ) / __) | | / /_/ / ____ / /_/ ( ____ __ __ ____ | | / __/ / __ )/ /( __)/ _ )/ / / // ___) August 1993 | | / /\ \ / ___// / / / / (/ // (_/ // / Vol.4, No.3 | | (_/ \_)(____)(_( (_( (____/(_____((_( | | _______ | |_ / _____\ | / __ / * | | | // \----------\___ /----------------------------- \ | | || | | | | | |___|---------------------------------> | | \\\_//----------/ \----------------------------- / | | \ * |_____ The Kronicles of Kulthea | | \ ______ / _| | _____ _ _ _ _ \ | / ____) / ) (/ _/ ) (/ | | GemStone III(tm) / (__ ___/ / _ ( _)_ ____ ____ | | / ___)/ _ / / ) / / / )/ _ )/ ) | | / (_ / (/ / / / / / / // (/ // /) / | | (_____)(____( (_( (_( (_((____/(_((_( | | | |_____________________________________________________________________| |_____________________________________________________________________| | | | ............... Kelfour's Landing Local News ............... 1 | | ........... August Hot Summer Nights Activities ............ 2 | | Minerals and Gems Lecture ................. Manfred Graupmann 3 | | What Are You Going to Hunt Now? ............. Loque Windsfoot 5 | | To Deed or Not to Deed ....................... Rask X-ForTran 7 | | Good Roleplaying ................................. Amber Kari 8 | | The House of Argent Aspis .......Alagar Darkstalker, Chairman 9 | |_ A Matter of Honor (Part III) .................... Sean2 Lladd 11 | / Art & Poetry Corner | | Untitled Poem ................................ Voltaren Xanax 15 | | Untitled Limerick .......................... Mikhail Minnehan 15 | | The ABC's of Kulthea ......................... Ram Youngblood 16 | | Berek the Lost .............................. Berek Bloodbane 17 | | Rodders ....................................... Bugg Hornwort 17 _| | \ | RoboMagess ................................ Belladonna Atropa 18 | | Monster Chronicles: Steel Golems ............. Jarran Terraxx 22 | | Wish List ..................................... Baphomet Eris 24 | | Riddle Me This ................................. Glynn Nebula 26 | | The Other Side of Glory ....................... Warlok T'lark 27 | | When the Sun Shines: Blight ................ Lloyd Llowd, PhD 29 | |_____________________________________________________________________| | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi | | player role-playing game GemStone III on GEnie. Submissions may be | | edited for space, accuracy and readability. Contact Editor Rasputin | | Santare, Asst. Editors Kalagay Hallatil or Jarran Terraxx, or Pub- | | lisher Lady Phaedra Bleu by GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for details. | | __________________________________________________________________|__ | ) ) \_/____________________________________________________________________/ __________________________ Real Gems During HSN // \ penalty, the bank ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ || + Kelfour Edition + | will soon be offering Money may not grow || | banknotes in exchange on trees, but real || L O C A L N E W S | for large amounts of gems are everywhere. || + + | silver. You can get During Hot Summer \\__________________________/ them from the bank, or Nights Simutronics will be hiding NPC moneychangers, (at a one percent lots of REAL GEMS around the lands. commission), and exchange them back These gems are redeemable for the into silvers when you want to make a REAL things, which will be mailed to purchase or deposit. players once their find has been verified. All of the merchants will continue to accept silver, but some Gems are being hidden in many spots merchants and other NPCs (such as around the land, so use your wits, the flower girl and fortune teller) look carefully and patiently, and will not accept the bank notes. perhaps you will find what you seek. They'll want cold, hard coinage. GMs cannot help or give hints as to gem whereabouts. Type GEM for more New Chests in the Land info. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are many different kinds of New Version in Full Swing chests showing up around the Landing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ now: wooden boxes, dented coffers, Work on the new version of the and many other distinctive contain- GemStone software continues, but ers. This should help when more than the majority of it deals with one container or chest is around. "behind the scenes" changes to Larton's Lockpicking Service has make the software run more also been expanded, so he will be efficiently, and handle a larger able to open all containers -- for user load. One major change is the a fee, of course. virtual elimination of delays caused by other people logging on Treasure System Changes and off the system. Another is the ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ elimination of the "GemStone is A major overhaul of the treasure Full, try again later" messages. generation system has taken place, The old version of the software which has affected ALL monsters. could handle a maximum of 65 users Some critters, which never used to at any one time. Version 2.0 has carry any treasure at all, may carry handled over 90 so far, and can go quite a bit now, and some which used much higher. to be wealthy may seem to have run their tribe into bankruptcy. The Be sure to read the new version important thing to remember here is notes for information on Version 2.0 that further changes will be taking and watch for announcements of up- place on a routine basis. coming changes. Go to Page 931;2 and type L NEWEST. Just because those mummies had a lot of gems last week doesn't mean New Banking System you will continue to find such ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ wealthy ones in the future. And just Both of the town's banks have been because pickings were kind of slim merged into one, and can now be in the Upper Kaldsfang yesterday accessed at the bank on the Town doesn't mean it'll forever be poor. Square. This new system is much faster, and does away with the In general, the more difficult crea- occasional "missing account" bug. tures will probably have accumulated more wealth, while those wimps which In order to allow you to carry are easy to kill probably won't have around a lot of silvers without much. -=1=- ___________________________________________________________________ __\ ____\ \ / / \__| August Hot Summer Nights Activities! | | | | ____________________________________________________/ |__ \___/_________/ \ / | \ Sunday, Aug 1 - Opening Ceremony _| \ Monday, Aug 2 - GM Dunking \ | Tuesday, Aug 3 - New Player Night | | Sponsoring House: Arcane Masters | | Wednesday, Aug 4 - Town Forum | | Topic: Meet the Designer - Bardon | | Thursday, Aug 5 - Merchant Event | | Saturday, Aug 7 - Torkaan Skinning Contest _| | Sunday, Aug 8 - Water Tunnel Races \ | | | Tuesday, Aug 10 - New Player Night | | Sponsoring House: Argent Aspis | | Wednesday, Aug 11 - Town Forum | | Topic: HSN Report - Elvanion | | Saturday, Aug 14 - Lockpicking Contest | | Sunday, Aug 15 - Gladiatorial Games | | _| | Tuesday, Aug 17 - New Player Night \ | Sponsoring House: Silver Gate Inn | | Wednesday, Aug 18 - Town Forum | | Topic: KE (Great Stories & Earn Free | | GemStone Weekends) - Phaedra & Gira | | Thursday, Aug 19 - Dragging Races | | Friday, Aug 20 - Scavenger Hunt (Begins) | | Saturday, Aug 21 - Scavenger Hunt (Ends) | | Sunday, Aug 22 - Bardic Arts Contest _| | Singing, Poetry, Stories \ | | | Monday, Aug 23 - ASCII Art Contest & Auction | | Tuesday, Aug 24 - New Player Night | | Sponsoring House: Paupers | | Wednesday, Aug 25 - Vaar Wey | | Thursday, Aug 26 - Vaar Wey | | Friday, Aug 27 - Vaar Wey | | Saturday, Aug 28 - Auction _| | Sunday, Aug 29 - Player Item Auction \ | | | Tuesday, Aug 31 - New Player Night | | Sponsoring House: Phoenix | | | | September Closing Ceremonies | | **************************** | | Look for daily updates as we confirm more events | | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _| | In addition to announced events there will be special happenings \ | all month long, including REAL semi-precious gems stashed around | | the lands for you to discover; surprise occurrences; visitations | | and other things too horri...umm, numerous to mention! | /_________________ | ||\ \___________________________________________________ ||_| \ | | | \/______________________________-=2=-_________________________________ / Minerals and Gems Lecture ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Manfred Graupmann ________________________________ / \ TONIGHT at 7:00 ! \ the average price, second column is |@/______________________________/ range of prices, and the last column | Meeting in Moot Hall 7:00 | is the number of each specimen col- | | lected, so you can make some sort of | Lecturer: Master Rockhead, | judgement as to the accuracy of the | Manfred Graupmann | first two columns. | | | Assistant: Loque Windsfoot | ITEM AVG SP RANGE # | | | Topic: Values of Minerals | Almandine Garnet.... 49 43- 90 4 | & Gems Native to Lands | Amethyst............ 144 93-198 5 /@| Surrounding Kelfour's Landing | Aquamarine Gem...... 935 915-965 3 \/_______________________________/ Banded Sardonyx St.. 65 41- 98 6 Black Jasper........ 52 26- 90 5 Come in! I did not realize we would Black Tourmaline.... 127 67-187 2 have so many people. We do not have Blue Coral.......... 89 81- 97 2 enough chairs. I do apologize, but Blue Cordierite..... 62 35- 92 5 some will have to stand. Loque! Give Blue Lapis Lazuli... 635 405-865 2 your chair to the lovely lady. (Mut- Blue Spinel......... 180 168-198 3 tering) Stupid fool. Blue Topaz.......... 13 6- 17 5 Blue Tourmaline..... 184 184 1 Ok, let's get moving, lots of infor- Bright Chrysoberyl.. 163 163 1 mation and so little time. (Sigh.) Brown Zircon........ 15 9- 19 4 now for the introductions. I am Man- Carnelian Quartz.... 36 33- 40 2 fred Graupmann, Master Rockhead. My Cat's Eye Quartz.... 55 39- 87 3 friends call me "Man." You folks can Citrine Quartz...... 135 85-185 2 just call me "Master." I won't even Clear Sapphire...... 16 15- 17 2 bother introducing Loque. He didn't Clear Topaz......... 12 7- 17 6 do much anyway. (Frowns at Loque). Clear Tourmaline.... 106 71-167 3 Clear Zircon........ 14 6- 19 10 To the topic at hand -- shh, we are Dark Red-Green Blood Stone.......... coming to the good stuff (cold stare 89 79- 97 4 at nameless person). Until recently, Fire Opal........... 76 68- 84 2 the only gems anyone could identify Golden Beryl Gem.... 130 80-173 5 were the Alexandrite Agate and the Golden Topaz........ 676 335-900 3 Tourmaline Stone. Then a learned few Green Aventurine Stone ............. pointed out a variety of valuable 50 50 1 minerals and stones that have evaded Green Garnet........ 292 285-300 2 our eyes until now. Green Malachite St.. 635 480-790 2 Green Tourmaline.... 171 171 1 I hope my lecture will shed light on Green Zircon........ 171 171 1 what's trash and what's -- LOQUE! Iridescent Labradorite Stone........ DON'T TOUCH THOSE! Get away from the 45 29- 89 6 exhibits (mumble). Now, where was I? Lt. Pink Morganite.. 154 154 1 Oh yes,--and what's worth carrying. Piece of Amber...... 69 69 1 Pink Rhodocrosite Stone............. On with the chart--(looks at Loque). 548 350-920 3 Loque, bring me the chart. Not the Pink Topaz.......... 782 765-805 4 stone case, the flat thing with the Pink Tourmaline..... 71 67- 78 3 writing on one side--thank you. Polished Black Coral 48 29- 89 4 Polished Blue Coral. 59 27- 89 5 How to read the chart: First are the Polished Pink Coral. 788 325-930 7 gems in alphabetical order, to the Polished Red Coral.. 755 755 1 right of which there are three col- Quartz Crystal...... 13 7- 19 5 umns of information. First column is Red Jasper.......... 89 79- 97 4 -=3=- ITEM AVG SP RANGE # This list has over 150 pieces. It ~~~~ ~~~ ~~ ~~~~~ ~ took Loque and me a total of 10 man- Red Spinel.......... 162 162 1 levels to get this far (Loque's were Rock Crystal........ 18 17- 18 2 between 7th and 12th). I will keep Rose Quartz......... 114 82-198 4 adding to the list as I go. All of Smoky Topaz......... 907 820-995 2 these gems came from holders of Star Diopside....... 14 10- 18 2 level 1 chests. It appears that gems Turquoise Stone..... 598 325-995 5 have the same silver restriction as Violet Spinel....... 162 162 1 chests do. I have yet to uncover one Yellow Jasper....... 71 42- 99 5 above 1,000 silvers in value. Yellow Zircon....... 55 54- 55 2 If you get some use from this table, let me know. We would both love to (Whew.) Well, that's the list. Now hear that it is getting used. If you you have graduated to Junior Rock- think you've found a mistake in our heads. chart, or if you have a wild value that doesn't fit, let me know so I My original goal was to get five can try to keep the list accurate. of each gem for a good cross-section of each type. But when I started I will keep adding to this list and recording them, I realized how long eventually publish my book, _Man- that would take. With over 50 gems fred's Mineral Compendium for Junior listed (times five per entry), that Rockheads_. Until then, good col- would total 250 samples! lecting! |\ |\ /| /| |_\ |_\ /_| /_| | | | | | | | | ____|____ ____|____ ____|____ ____|____ [_ - . _] [_ _] [_ . _] [_- -_] | . | | - . | | - - | | . . | |  | | .  | |  -| |.  | | - . | | - . |--_--_--_--_--_| . .| | - - | | . .|--_--_--_-|- . - | | . - |--_--_--_| . - | | - - | . . . | - - | . -  . - | - . | . . .| - . | | - . |  |- .| __________ | - . | -  | - .| |- - | - - | - . | /++++++++++\ |- - | . . | - . | | . . | - . | . - | |**********| | . - |- - -| - - | | - - | - . - | - . | |**********| | - . | - . -| - . | |  | - . - |-  -| |**********| |  . |- - |  . | | . . | . . | - - | |**********| | - - | - . - |- . -| | - - | - . - | . - | |**********| | - - | . . | - . | +-------+----------+-------+--+----------+-+-------+---------+-------+ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| . . . . |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| . . . . .|^^^^^^.^^^^^.^^^^^^^^^^.^^^^ ^^.^^^^^^.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\ . . . \^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\ .. . . \^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^/ . . /^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^/ . . .. /^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\ . . . \^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^/ . . ../^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| . . . .|^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ====================================================================== "The Gates of Kelfour's" By: Cassius Weiser -=4=- ____________ What Are You Going to Hunt Now? / \ __ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| / "| | by Loque Windsfoot | //|"| | _| //=|"| | /@| // |"| |s you may or may not he will turtle and become extremely \_/ ~~ ~~~ / know, a couple months difficult for them to hit. That is ~~~~~~~~~~~ back I wrote about a when you come in and fry him into few of the places that mages could troll jerky. hunt. I mentioned hobs, orcs up on the mine road, mummies in the crypt, For the benefit of the whole party, and spectral fishermen down in the a few basic guidelines should still old sailors haven. be followed. First, remember that your power points are limited, DO Both of the latter are critters with NOT cast anything at the troll until a level six ranking, which could his OB (offensive bonus) drops below easily get you to your sixth year of 90, assuming you are hunting with a experience. However, as it is common party. If you do, you will be out of practice, most of us will hunt that power points and your sword swinging which is beyond our abilities. friends will be displeased. Let them beat him down until they have some Now, in order to make this as easy trouble hitting him, even until he as possible, I will state all of my turtles, then you finish him off. suggestions as if you had at least six years of experience. I will also By this time, you may even be able assume that you know shockbolt and to use a wand without there being can cast it effectively. Other than any danger (even less if you are a that particular spell, I will not brawling type). Your friends will mention any other spells that *I* get full experience for dispatching think you should research. with most of the trolls concussion points, and you will as well for the Perhaps the first area one can hunt kill. With a little cooperation, and dispatch with but a couple foes, cavers can be a great place to gain yet still easily fry your noodle, is lots of experience, fast. cavers. Not only are cave trolls great for experience, but they are Now for the numbers..Cavers have 127 also very easy to hit, especially OB. So you need to generate about a for mages. 140 DB at parry 100 to be safe from a critical strike, you may also want This is because cavers only have a to wear those greaves here if you DB (defensive bonus) of 37, which have taken them off. Cavers are slow makes them barely more difficult to and easily double casted on, even hit, than a hobgoblin. double tagged with a sword when things are running decent. When you use spells against cavers, then keep in mind, that when the Cavers can be hunted alone, I did, caver begins to turtle (which is the but few things are more frustrating equivalent of the caver parrying at than only being able to kill one at 100) his effective DB against spells a time.... possibly two if you get WILL NOT CHANGE. Only those critters good hits. So, ask around for a that can cast directed spells can companion or two. turtle against them, the cave troll is not one of them. After a few levels in cavers, you may be ready for fireguardians. To This fact will make you a valuable even consider hunting here, your companion to the caver expeditions, MAGIC DB must be at least 192 at especially to those that are lower parry 100 to survive the fireballs in experience. The reason being is, they throw around. when sword swingers beat on a troll, -=5=- The easiest way to test your magic will mention grey orcs here quick. DB is to set yourself up like you were going to hunt, DB spells and Grey orcs do carry level II's, they all. Then prepare a shockbolt, be also generate like mad. They are not sure you are at parry 100, then just very dangerous to a mage at all, but CAST. You will shoot at yourself, they are rather difficult for a mage but you will see your magic DB :). to kill compared to a caver. They One thing to remember, your magic DB have 90 DB which makes them more will work regardless of what is in difficult right off the bat, they your weapon hand. So if you are a are also fast, and when they turtle, sword swinging mage but can generate their magic DB goes up as well. a PHYSICAL DB of anywhere from 75-80 without parrying at all, then use a Grey orcs have few concussion points wand if you want. and you can death crit them. So it is up to you, they are only level 10 The best way to hunt these guys is creatures, compared to level 12 for to just cast, wave, or swing away at a caver and level 16 for a guardian. them until they BRIGHTEN. This means Money does talk though, just be very they are preparing a spell, so by careful of the stun clouds that they all means parry up. They also cast can cast. These clouds LOVE to move firebolts which are less dangerous around and follow you, although, I than a fireball, and firestorms. have yet to see a firestorm move. Firestorms are nasty clouds that can If you crave diversity or maybe just rain liquid fire down on you, so the smell of critters wearing metal needless to say, if you see a dark armor, go find a war troll up in cloud forming above you, then you Danjirland. Their chain hauberk make have about 3 rounds to get the heck them an easy target, but the cavers out of there. here have no weapon, which makes YOU an easy target. Also, be careful of Fireguardians have 70 DB, so even us the mountain ogres. If you thought a mages can hit them with a rapier forest troll was mean when he broke sometimes, plus they can not turtle his cudgel... try a mountain ogre. on you. They do not call it Danjirland for nothing. Perhaps the best reason for hunting them is the fact that there is a Lizard men can be interesting for a safe node room in the middle of the bit. They only have a 40 DB but they area, the arch. With a node being are quite fast. They also have a readily available, it is rather easy habit of swinging tridents around to average 1500-2000 experience per with an OB of 80, and ever since one hour here. of them broke my laen shield, I have taken great delight in shattering Just a last couple tidbits of info.. their skulls when I have the chance. Fireguardians are highly susceptible to cold ball, so save those metal The chieftains that run around are a wands! Also, they are level 16, this little more dangerous. They have 65 means you can have several levels of DB, and 95 Ob with a morning star. excitement here. Lastly, death crits They also cast tremors, but do not against them are unfortunately few attack immediately after casting it, and far between. so just stand back up. Lizardmen are level 7 and chieftains are 11th. Neither cavers nor fireguardians can carry level II chests (1000-2000 The possibilities are many, you just coins). My emphasis in adventuring need to choose the areas that you has always been experience first and want to hunt. In my opinion, hunting the money will follow. I know this cavers until you are able to hunt is not the case for everyone, maybe guardians is the best way to go. not even for ANYONE else :), so I Guardians can keep you busy for many -=6=- (Cont'd on Page 7) ____________ To Deed or Not to Deed / \ ____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| /~/~~\\ | by Rask X-ForTran ||~| ~~ | _||~| |==| | /@| \~\__// |ems can be extremely filled up rather fast, then you end \_/ ~~~~~ / valuable, plus a very up having nothing to show for your ~~~~~~~~~~~ nice way of obtaining time and effort. large amounts of cash. As most know, gems can also be used to gain Deeds If you do not care to 'waste' a gem from Eissa. Much to my horror, I that is worth a lot, you may use in have seen (heard about really) many its place several gems together from other people drop a couple of gems 'Category 2: Good For Pocket Cash' down for Eissa and then another one (worth between 100 and 300 silvers). or two gems for good measure. These gems should NOT be overlooked! Although, it takes several of them, You see, death has played a LARGE you are much more likely to find a part in my life, just ask any cleric gem of this quality. I was able to or healer (Lord Strom, Lady Sydna, use two (2) Clear Tourmaline gems to Lord Tory, etc). Because I do die a obtain a Deed when I was at level lot, I need to get the most that I nine (9) and needed a Deed. can from any gems I find no careless offering of gems from me! In closing, I would like to point out several things. One, I am not Originally I was going to figure out very young, Eissa expects expensive what each gem was worth to Eissa, gifts from me - those who are much but due to a number of circumstances younger than me may be able to use I have been unable to do that. What the gems that are not worth as much, I have been able to do, is keep a or use fewer gems to obtain Deeds. careful record of what gems I offer to Eissa, my level, current number Two, from what I have seen, good of Deeds at the time of offering and quality gems are not being found as the number of gems I offered at the often as they used to be, thus you same time. should use your gems wisely, obtain Deeds while you can. (I have gone If you look at "Alyssya's Guide to from having 9 Deeds to having none Gems-The Basics", the best category in a VERY short period of time - let is 'Category 3: Its Worth How Much?' it be a warning to you). (worth 300 silvers or more). Single gems of this quality is good enough Three, as of yet, I have not been for Eissa to reward me with a Deed rejected once when offering Eissa a when I was of the 8th level and I true gemstone. already had eight (8) Deeds! This is ------------------------------------ where most of my information was What Are You -- Cont'd from Page 6 centered. ____________________________________ As time progressed on, I tried other years, but that would get boring. So gems and many various combinations keep your eyes open for my next of gems. For myself, now at level installment. I will talk about areas nine (but the same was true at level for mages with around 12 years of 7), gems in 'Category 1: Not Worth experience or more. Carrying' (which means worth less @ than 100 silvers) are not even worth @*@ bothering with. I have offered up to @@***@@ 6 gems at a time from this Category @@@ @*@ @@@ and have always been rejected. Not *@@@@ @@@ @@@@* only that, carrying around a large *@@ @@*@@ @@* number of gems to obtain a Deed is a @@@@@@***@@@@@@ BIG pain, your locker tends to get @@@@@@@*@@@@@@@ -=7=- _________ Good Roleplaying / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~ | by Amber Kari | |~| | _| |~| | have been roleplaying You could be a vegetarian or a non- /@| _|~|_ | for quite some time now alcoholic, some things like that. \_/ ~~~~~ / and have a few pointers ~~~~~~~~ for those of you that Background: Where did your character might be less experienced at it. grow up? In a rich family, a poor family, or by the sea? What has First, try to stay in character as your family taught you? Were you an often as you can. If you do not have orphan? A person on the street (if much of a character yet, think one you were a thief)? Whether you know up. Take Amber, for example. anyone else in town comes in here. It helps to have a background for Prejudices: Amber might think that your character for reference. Dwarves are disgusting, small putrid things, unfit for the presence of Demeanor: What is your personality? elves. She makes jokes about Hobbits Arrogant, hearty, quick-witted, very being too small to do much, but it's serious, completely non-serious, or nothing serious. She looks down on maybe berserk? Being a turncoat can Wood Elves as being unworthy. These fit in here. You might also give up examples are from the point of view easily or never give up. You could of a Fair Elf. be stubborn or not speak for your- self. Demeanor makes roleplay much Prejudices will most likely also easier. It will help you know what include creatures such as trolls, to say in a situation. orcs, torkaans, and other monsters. Say Amber's family was captured by Likes and dislikes: What is your orcs or maybe a band of Dwarven ban- favorite food? What is your favorite dits. In the latter case, she might color? Can you NOT eat spinach? When might be VERY suspicious of Dwarves you ask your character questions and take any chance to kill them. like these, you will be prepared for She may not travel with them at all situations where you have a choice. or let them fight by her side. It adds more flavor to your charac- ter and is something to do when you If orcs caught a member of her fam- are bored. ily or caused her grief somehow, she would not retreat in fighting them, What would you do if...: and she would hunt them more often than other creatures. Here are some more questions to ask yourself. What would you say to Using all these examples at once someone who asked you out on a date? would probably be too much, so you What would you say to someone who might just want to have a slight offered you money? Would your char- prejudice or none at all. acter refuse? (That could be part of your demeanor, too.) Would you give Special Characteristics: Say Amber someone money if they needed it? had an incident with squirrels some time in her life and catches one for Some closing comments: You do not a pet or tries to keep squirrels as have to do any of this. If you load safe as possible. In a case like your character with too much person- this, Amber might leave battle just ality, he or she might not be as to catch a squirrel or to save one exciting to play as you thought. from an untimely death. In another situation, Amber walks into Helga's Choose a few details and try not to and sees someone eating a squirrel. make your character TOO strong. Just She is horrified and never speaks to be a normal person most of the time. that person again. The same thing goes for prejudices. -=8=- (Cont'd on Page 14) ____________ The House of Argent Aspis / \ _________\ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ||=|=|=|| | by Alagar Darkstalker, Chairman | ~~ |_| ~~ | _| |_| | /@| _|_|_ |he House of Argent leave items in for other members, ie \_/__________/ Aspis is located on amulets, gold rings, drake falchions East Ring Road in a quiet, secluded can be left for a few days. Although section of town. The House can be more special items have a tendency found by travelling east on Windak to vanish sooner. across the bridge, go to the end of the road, turn south and continue We currently have 35 active members, south until you see the entrance on 6 prospects awaiting acceptance and the left. one honorary member. 19 members are on the inactive list. The Council records confirm that The House of Argent Aspis was the first The House of Argent Aspis is highly chartered House in Kulthea and was dedicated to the philosophy of doing built by a group of some of the very its best to helping newcomers in the first residents and adventurers in land. Extending help and assistance Kelfour's landing. through advice, coins, items and of course guidance when the opportunity _________________________________ presents itself. Our history tells / \ \ us that the House of Argent Aspis \@| Current House Executives: | started the first Newbie Nights and | | had in fact a monopoly on the event | Chairman: Alagar | for some time! | Past Chairman: Lord Llorien| | Secretary: Lyrista | We have also taken on activities to | Treasurer: Jarran | make membership in the House both | | more enjoyable and more unique, we | Project and Event Coordinators:| also stress good role-playing and | | character acting. | Hunt Master: Kyreth | | Renovations: Heron | The House schedules 4 members to aid | BB Leader: Lyrista | on our House sponsored Newbie Nights _| Glad Games Coor: Jarran | held approximately every 6 weeks. /@| Newbie Night Coor: Lyrista | Those members working are given a \_/_______________________________/ free flag from 6pm to 8am the next day. We solicit for workers and look The House has three floors with the to share participation in this event top two floors having private rooms with all interested members. of some of these now long vanished adventurers. The main floor has a We are working on a major renovation lounge where members gather for the of our House and have been trying to meetings and organize for the House raise funds to allow renovations and Hunts. set up an endowment fund to resource the features we would like to see. We have a kitchen and formal dining Heron is our chief planner for the room as well and a library. Several renovations and he is taking any artifacts of the heroes of long ago suggestions from the membership for are displayed in the House including all the renovations. an ancient banner and a painting of the House founders. We have agreed on an arboretum, a sunlight plant filled room with a The lower levels, accessible only by pool of some type and a mobile bar, members, includes an informal lounge great for relaxing after a very hard and the house 40 item lockers. There fight or while recuperating after is also a permachest that one can being rezzed. -=9=- More... We are currently checking into the a strong say in any town politics. reorganization of the private rooms, so as to allocate them to currently The House has a Private Category on active members who will be able to the Bulletin Board that is lead by decorate them with their own private Lyrista, our able secretary. There touches. I myself have an ancient are more than a dozen topics in the yew longbow left to me by my father category for communicating the House that gleams with ancient power, I am business, for coordinating events, told it is very accurate, that would passing information and posting the hold a place of honor in my room. results of events. Once a new member has gained admission, Lyrista will In the mean time, you may have heard admit members to the category. or witnessed one of our House Hunts, where Aspis members get together for Interested adventurers can ask for a two hours of party hunting and all tour of the House with a current treasure is donated to the house member, who can take you in and show renovation fund. Kyreth is our Hunt you about or you can either see one Master and coordinates the time and of the executives while they are in place for the Hunt, establishes all town or by sending an Email to me. the parties, quarry and treasure gathers. Alagar Darkstalker, E-Mail A.LUBIMIV Our first Hunt netted us 75000 coins Leave me your Email address in which and is to date, our record to beat! to contact you with and set up a This activity is usually attended by time for a meeting. 10 to 12 members with two parties hunting. We have a great time on Any member can propose a person as these hunts. We have also allowed an applicant for acceptance into the prospects and friends to attend the House. This is normally done through Hunts, we find that it is a good way the BB. A unanimous vote is required to meet interested adventurers in for any new prospective members to joining our fine House and letting be accepted. All members will have them meet the other members. an opportunity to vote over the next week. Should all votes be positive, We just completed the houses first then the applicant is accepted to Gladiatorial Games on the weekend of the House. June 26 and 27 that was organized by Jarran. Many members, most notably The initiation fee is 10000 coins, Llorien, Cray, Odds, Gilthor, and to be remitted at the time of the Jarran donated many of the items initiation. The initiation requires needed to award as prizes. The games two members of the executive to be were run rather well for it being a present and the applicant. Getting first time for our house and I am our schedules together sometimes is sure that we will only get better difficult and patience is needed at with each consecutive game. times. The House members are fiercely loyal We do not have a monthly or yearly towards each other, as readers will fee beyond the initiation fee, but surely recognize this aspect of the we do ask that members to actively house after having seen the actions participate in House Events, where of members of the House of Aspis in they are able. defending Lyrista during her plight against the Dreamer. All can see The criteria for acceptance is that what price we may pay for this, as the adventurer have the spirit of it is rather evident on our gate. helpfulness, enjoy the camaraderie of others, be of good character, and The House can act as a mediator in want to more fully join into the disputes according to the Charters adventure and excitement of Kulthea. granted by the Council and will have -=10=- _________ A Matter of Honor Part III / \ _____ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~|_|~ | by Sean2 Lladd | | | | _| |~| | /@| _|~|_ | was walking down the peculiar way. \_/ ~~~~~ / hall of my grandfather's ~~~~~~~~ castle. Actually, I was Another one, this time a young girl, to find out later that it was only said quietly, "Leave him alone, he one of many places my grandfather is just a child." owned, but this was his favorite and the only place I had ever lived. To "A child!" the first one exclaimed a five year old boy on his first big angrily. "Aye, it is just a child, a adventure, away from his nurse, it child which caused the death of my was a grand castle, enemy fortress, cousin; a child which brought shame shadowy den of thieves, and abode of and dishonor to my house; a child the gods all rolled into one. which proved exactly how stupid and worthless that snivelling mass that Today was my birthday. I was five calls itself humanity really is!" years old -- that magical age where the years of your life are equal to "Where is your mother, little ape?" the number of fingers on one hand. he sneered, turning back towards me, Certainly old by anyone's standards, staring angrily. and surely old enough to show my as yet unseen grandfather my new suit, I stood there completely speechless, without the aid and protection of my suddenly a frightened and scared nurse. little boy again. No matter what, I was not going to let him, or any of Here I was, by turns stalking that the rest of them, know that. I too greatest of all thieves -- Malgenon was a Son of The House T'Maerionnal. the Merciless; then striding forth as the savior of the world, going to "I will tell you where she is!" he meet his reward at the hands of the continued, anger and hatred plainly gods themselves. In effect, doing on his face. "You killed her! You, what every five year old boy has and that piece of human trash that done on his first real "adventure", spawned you. You killed her, so that exercising my imagination fully. when she died, little ape, so did the family's chances at the throne. "Well, well, well," came a jeering All because some feckless piece of voice, waking me from my reverie. I human dung could not control his was just about to receive my reward animal urges." from the goddess Mellonolliar and was somewhat surprised to find that "Leave him alone, Cal," the one who I was surrounded by a number of had spoken earlier said again. young men and women instead. Before she could say anything more, By their clothing and carriage, I the one she called Cal wheeled on surmised that they were my cousins, her and spat, "I suppose you think I was about to greet them properly that this worthless animal is better when the one who had spoken earlier alive than my cousin!?" continued. As soon as his gaze left me, I could "What have we here? Mayhap one of feel the tears starting. I thrust the T'Maerionnal's trained apes? He my way through the gathered figures, is definitely some kind of animal, my only thought being to get away dressed up to mimic its betters." before the one called Cal could see my tears. For some reason it was With the last, he gave me a slight very important that he not know that push and smiled at me in the most his words had caused me to cry. -=11=- More... I brushed through them, running back Finally, the mage simply shrugged the way I had come, tears streaming his shoulders and stated coldly, "I down my face. Tears for my dead have real students to teach. I must mother, and tears for me... ask you to leave my classroom. Or must I compel you?" "Aye, run little ape!" Cal yelled after me. "Run like the cowards that The last was stated with a hint of a all humans are! Run like the coward threat in it, but Grandmother Nolly your father is! Run little ape!!" just continued to stare at him. I ran... "Do you think you can, you wicked little man?" she asked abruptly. The ----------- tone of her voice was neutral and very soft. "He himself could was not "I am NOT an animal trainer!" the able to compel me almost thirteen elderly man exclaimed. "I do not years ago. What makes you think YOUR take animals to be apprentices." power and skill is greater?" "But he is not an animal," my nurse She added something in a language countered with some asperity. "He that I did not understand. From the IS a 'tek T'Maerionnal. He deserves looks on the faces that I could see, the same treatment that all other neither did any of the others in the members of the house receive." room. The mage evidently did. A strange look crossed his face and he The argument had been going on for a made a quick gesture with his right good ten minutes, it appeared to me hand. My nurse smiled frostily and that neither side was going to give nodded at him. in. I was acutely conscious of the stares and smirks from the students "Come Sean," my nurse said flatly, scattered around the room. However, as she turned to go. "I doubt that as usual, such minor inconveniences you would learn anything useful here rolled right off my nurse like water anyway." off an oil-cloth. As we left, I caught the faces of The two were starting in all over some of my "cousins". There was a again. "...is a human. As far as I mixture of hatred, and some fear, in am concerned, he is no better than all of them. Whether it was for me, any other animal. But, before we or my nurse, I was not able to tell. start this argument all over again, I could feel their eyes watching us the answer is no. That is final." as we left the room. "I am not constrained to honor your ---------- request," the mage continued, riding right over my nurse's attempt at a I had been sitting within the small reply. "I serve the T'Maerionnal. If garden next to our quarters for over he comes to me and personally, I say an hour. Grandmother Nolly brought personally, commands me to attempt out some luncheon a little earlier to teach that animal magic, then I and was sitting quietly to one side, will attempt to do so. Not before!" mending one of my tunics. I often wondered why my nurse did all of our The mage drew himself up and stared cooking and cleaning, not to mention haughtily at my nurse. My nurse, or why she insisted on being the only as I knew her, Grandmother Nolly, one to mend and sew my clothing, but merely stood there, staring back at whenever I broached the subject, she my grandfather's senior mage as if would just smile and say "Because." he were a dirt smudge on one of my Which answer left me no wiser than dress tunics. The pause lengthened, when I started. no-one in the entire room so much as twitched. The rejection by my grandfather's -=12=- More... mage, although not unexpected, was could. "How may the House be served, still a raw wound for a thirteen uh, Captain?" year old boy to deal with. I had not said anything to Grandmother Nolly The last was something of a guess, about it, she was letting me deal mostly because I had little contact with it in my own way, so things had with any of my grandfather's troops been fairly quiet the last few days. up until now. He just stood there, To a thirteen year old boy, moping expectantly. in martyrdom was almost as good as being in love. "Oh," I said quickly blushing again. "Please be at ease. It is Captain, "Ahem!" is it not?" The voice broke into my reveries. I "Yes Sean, it is," he replied as he had been so caught up in my own self relaxed. "But I would prefer it if pity that I had completely failed to you call me Callin. That is short note the entrance of another person for Callinthaerion. Callin's easier into the garden. To be honest, no to use on the training field than one ever came into this garden with Callinthaerion." the exception of either myself or Grandmother Nolly. I had just started to relax when the implication of his last statement I looked up to see who would dare to stunned me all over again. Callin consort with an animal such as I and smiled at my dazed look and waited nearly died of shame. It was one of patiently for me to recover. Again. my grandfather's weapon-masters, he was standing rigidly at presentation "Captain," my nurse spoke from where holding a perfect salute. For a few she was sitting. "Just what exactly, moments I could only stare in utter are your intentions towards Sean, disbelief. I had never been saluted and by whose authority?" by anyone, although I should have been, but to have this weapon-master Callin cast a startled glance in standing in front of me doing just Grandmother Nolly's direction. that thing, was more than I could assimilate. "Your pardon Lady, I did not see you sitting there," Callin said. Yet, The look on my face must have been there was a hint of question in his too much for even a veteran such as voice, although his face betrayed no he, because the muscles on one side outward emotion. of his face started to twitch and his eyes suddenly became full of "Indeed," she replied frostily. "Are laughter. The twitching acted like a you often in the habit of NOT taking release, I quickly jumped to my feet notice of things? Also, you have not and nearly going over backwards in answered the questions." my haste. If it had not been for the fact that He reached out quickly and steadied protocol forbade me to turn from a me with surprising gentleness. After request for service, I would have holding me for a couple of seconds turned and stared at my nurse. I had to be sure I was not going to fall never heard her use that tone of over again, he winked, returning to voice on anyone. Oh, she had come presentation and snapped out another close to it when she was addressing crisp salute. my grandfather's senior mage, but this was entirely different. In a low voice, he stated, "My honor to serve, 'tek T'Maerionnal." The Captain stiffened slightly under her tone, and I saw the muscles of "My honor to be served and for the his jaw begin to tense up. Then he service," I replied as smoothly as I relaxed, and gave Grandmother Nolly -=13=- More... a brief salute, as if acknowledging accept me as your teacher?" a successful hit by an opponent. "Do I accept..teacher..you mean..?!" "Your concern for the boy is highly admirable, Lady," he said with a "Yes Sean, that IS exactly what I smile. "But your fears are, in this mean," he said, quickly matching my case, without foundation." burgeoning smile with his own. "I will teach you weapons skills." "My authority is my own. I am under contract, but not sworn to the 'tek "I mean after all," he continued. "A T'Maerionnal. I am not O'lan, merely fighter should fight not make shoes, O'lun. The T'Maerionnal commands my or so I have been told." sword, I command my honor. By my honor, I swear that I mean no harm, [To be continued] nor dishonor, to Sean." I was totally at sea. This entire conversation had totally escaped me, Good Roleplaying - Cont. from Page 8 I felt as if they were discussing me ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ in another language, the only thing that was recognizable was my name. I One is probably enough. Two is good became even more confused when my too, but there aren't enough races nurse came over from where she had to have too many prejudices. been sitting and placed three of her fingers lightly upon the Captain's Remember to have fun. This article forehead. They looked at each other is designed to help you to have more for a few seconds, then Grandmother more fun, but you need not feel Nolly withdrew her hand and nodded obliged to restrict your character to Callin. or do any of this, if you will not have fun doing it. "So that is why you had stayed," she said quietly. "I wish you had come Try to do more than just what bene- sooner. But, what is past is past," fits you. If you are truly being in she continued in a more normal tone. character, you will have fun. Stay "You two will have much to discuss. in character as often as you can. Sean, invite the Captain to join us For new players, do not worry too for luncheon. I will bring us fresh much about this yet. Figure out the servings." game first. But you can if you want, of course! The last was said as she gathered up my untouched luncheon and headed GameMasters are watching, and some- back into our quarters. I was left times if they see you being a good standing with my mouth hanging open roleplayer, they can as much as yet again. DOUBLE how fast you absorb experi- ence. Some good incentive, huh? Callin watched Grandmother Nolly as she left, then turned to me with a rueful grin on his face. CATRISSA ~~~~~~~~ "That, young Sean, is one amazing by Bugg Hornwort woman!" he exclaimed with a shake of his head. "Well, I suggest we do as Catrissa, with magic replete, she says and sit down. We DO have a Is trying to master a new feat. number of items to discuss." She casts a spell like the rest, To pop open a chest, "The first thing we must discuss," Then catches the acid vials he continued after we had both taken in her teeth. a seat. "The first thing we have to discuss is whether or not you will @---'---,---'---,---@ -=14=- ___________________________________________________________________ __\ ____\ \ / / \__| ****** Kelfour Edition -- Art & Poetry Corner ********** | | | | ____________________________________________________/ |__ \___/_________/ \ / | \ Voltaren Xanax, a curious name, _| \ did once attempt to achieve fleeting fame. \ | To the woods he set out, alone yet brave | | fearing he'd Eissa in a dank old cave. | | | | Trudging along, wearing out his boots | | he was all too easily startled by the owl and it's hoots | | Scouting past wolverines and branches of life, _| | he spied a young kobold wielding a knife. \ | | | Unsheathing his gladius and holding his shield, | | he crept quietly forward to ambush his foe. | | A twig underfoot his presence did signal | | and forward he rushed, lest all be lost | | | | Sword against knife, shield against shield. | | Fetid breath, a stench; he gagged. _| | Recovering his wits, his sword he did swing, \ | the poison green cloud towards his foe did wing. | | | | The billowing green cloud cast forth by his sword | | had caused the foul kobold to utter his last word. | | Yet death had not claimed him for he staggered away | | and Voltaren did follow him to end the fray. | | | | The kobold collapsed, the poison had worked. _| | Young Voltaren knelt down and searched the corpse. \ | A few coins, a knife and the foul stench again. | | Voltaren wrinkled his nose and stood back up. | | | | As he stood, pain careered through his body, | | blood poured down his face. He toppled face down. | | The karnelin attacked from behind again, | | crushing his skull this time. | | Farewell Voltaren Xanax. Fleeting fame indeed. _| | \ | - Voltaren Xanax | | | | | | | | A halfling cleric named Bugg | | Was once confused with a thug | | Crying out "There he be!" | | The constable arrested him with glee _| | And bashed him on the head with a mug. \ | | | - Mikhail Minnehan | | | /_________________ | ||\ \___________________________________________________ ||_| \ | | ********** Kelfour Edition -- Art & Poetry Corner ********** | \/____________________________________________________________________ / -=15=- ___________________________________________________________________ __\ ____\ \ / / \__| ****** Kelfour Edition -- Art & Poetry Corner ********** | | | | ____________________________________________________/ |__ \___/_________/ The ABC's of Kulthea \ / ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | \ by Ram Youngblood _| \ \ | A is for the Alchemist, who sells us our potions | | B is for Bards, and their singing devotion | | C if for chests, coins galore | | D is for delving into magical lore | | E is for elves, a hobbit's enemy | | F is for fighters, and their courage and bravery _| | G is for goodbyes, a time for tears \ | H is for Helga's, yell 'Cheers!' | | I is for imagination, makes the world go 'round | | J is for Jarlik, furrier of the town | | K is for the killing, you see it everyday | | L is for the love, nights by Claedesbrim Bay | | M is for the mystic, Council of Light | | N is for our nemeses, show us your might! | | O is for ogres, take their treasure! _| | P is for everyday Town Square pleasure \ | Q is for quarrels, they're unavoidable | | R is for virtual Knights of the Roundtable | | S is for the sunny days in town | | T is for tall tales thrown around | | U is for Unlife, bound to doom | | V is for vermin, they infest the tombs | | W is for weddings, a joyous event | | X is for eXcitement! Party in the tent! _| | Y is for yarns of ages old tales \ | Z is for zealous searches of legendary trails | | / | | | _____________|_________________________\|/_____________________| | | | ----O---- | | | |_________________________/|\_____________________| | |_____________|__________________________|______________________| | | | | /\ /\ /\ /\ \ | | |()|()|()|()| | | | | | | | | | |==|==|==|==| | | | | | | | _ The Near Side | | | | | | | //| ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | |==|==|==|==|/ || ASCII Art by | | \ / Ram Youngblood | | | / | | | | _| | | ________ | \ | |/ / / / /\| The Mystic had bugged me one too many times... | | | / / / / /| | | |/ / / / / | | /_________________ | ||\ \___________________________________________________ ||_| \ | | *********** Kelfour Edition -- Art & Poetry Corner ********** | \/____________________________________________________________________ / -=16=- ___________________________________________________________________ __\ ____\ \ / / \__| ****** Kelfour Edition -- Art & Poetry Corner ********** | | | | ____________________________________________________/ |__ \___/_________/ \ / Berek the lost | \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _| \ by Berek Bloodbane \ | | | Berek lead a party | | a hunting they did go. | | To hobland they did travel. | | himself, Zenjie and Akido. | | _| | Many hobs did they kill. \ | lorcs and even a Forest troll. | | Fate on them was smiling. | | They were on a roll. | | | | But the forest grew too dark. | | The animals had all gone still. | | The party's mood grew somber. | | The hand of death they began to feel. _| | \ | To home they all started. | | But destiny's dice had been tossed. | | No sooner had they departed. | | That Berek noticed they were lost! | | | | Zenjie became quite fearful. | | For he was newly come. | | The party panic grew. _| | As they begain to run. \ | | | Berek stopped for a moment. | | From his backpack some papers he withdrew | | "How could i have been so stupid." | | "Zepath's maps will see us through!" | | | | Soon their course was righted. | | Kelfour's landing was soon sighted. _| | The party became delighted. \ | Berek vowed never to be so shortsighted. | | | | | | RODDERS | | ~~~~~~~ | | by Bugg Hornwort | | | | It's quite easy to miss, don't you see, _| | And the bane of disarming rookies. \ | Iliana found out, | | As have others no doubt, | | That rod traps can fry your cookies. | /_________________ | ||\ \___________________________________________________ ||_| \ | | ********** Kelfour Edition -- Art & Poetry Corner ********** | \/____________________________________________________________________ / -=17=- _______________ RoboMagess / \ ____ ____\ ~~~~~~~~~~ \@| +|~| __ |~|+| by Belladonna Atropa | |~|/~~\|~| | _| |~/~/\~\~| | /@| _|__/ \__|_|ith as often as I stopped to stare at us for a second, \_/_____________/ have been knocked which was long enough to give the down by golems and landed on a pouch other golem a chance to step past. full of wands, I suppose it is not It did not, of course. It did step much of a surprise that I finally to the side, but then turned to see started having nightmares about the what the other golem was looking at. experience... I stopped laughing in a hurry and "Nice shot!" I cried, thumping our yelled, "Doubles, we are leaving." stalwart ranger soundly on the back. I spoke too late. The ranger had I had not realized golems had ears already charged the one golem facing or brains that mattered, but then us, and the swordsman was trying to rapiers never lie, I could not argue maneuver behind the golem we had with the thing lying dead at our almost run into. I began preparing a feet. We searched its chest cavity, blur spell, suspecting we would need but found no coins, no gems and no extra protection long before this chests. fight was even over, but just that quickly, the fight was over. "What is the point of building a golem if you are not going to put One of the golems stomped, shaking anything in it?" I sulked, but the the ground violently and sending us ranger and swordsman, in my company all to the floor. that day, had no answers. I jumped up, shouting, "Up! Up!", I had noticed that the swordsman, as and noticed that the swordsman was he called himself, was rather handy on his feet again, still trying to with a lockpick, but I refrained position himself behind one of the from drawing any conclusions. On the incarnations. The ranger was still other hand, I made a note to myself, lying down, I fired the blur spell that we would let him search the at him in a panic. next golem we found, in case his keen locksmith's eyes might be able It was the wrong thing to do. The to spot something I or the ranger ranger, who had been having trouble might miss. finding the ground, now had problems seeing his own feet as well. Looking The rusting remains of this golem like a fish trying to fly, he was were no longer of any interest to flailing about helplessly on the us, though I had always been curious ground for a second or two. if the things that built golems ever tried to recycle the mess we left Quite suddenly, a third golem came behind. stomping around the bend behind us, literally, of course. The two of us With my two companions close behind, who had regained our feet, fell once I took a wide turn around the next again. corner and almost bumped into one of two steel golems. They were doing a Things seemed to start moving in sidestep dance, each trying to step slow motion. I was trying to stand around the other and continue their again, but my body would not listen. patrols, but being blocked every The swordsman was up once again, but time by the other golem making the seemingly frozen in the middle of opposite move. It would have been a attacking one of the golems. The great show if they'd kept it up, but ranger was still sprawled out on the naturally the one facing towards us ground, facing me, his mouth open as -=18=- More... though he was trying to talk, but no could only mean... sound came out. Noticing my downward gaze, Surtey Then my observations was interrupted announced with satisfaction, "Your quite suddenly, when one of the two new heart. There was enough of the golems we had originally run into old one left, that all I had to do stomped again, his steel foot coming was find some way to plug the holes down on my outflung hands, that was your ribcage made." the last thing I remembered until I woke up... I looked at the ranger, bewilderment crossing my face. "You got stepped I woke up in Surtey's tent. I should on twice," he explained. "The first have known better than to go golem one stepped on your hands, while the hunting when the healers were all second one stepped on your chest. asleep. Looking infuriatingly proud You were wearing an amulet..." of himself, the malpractice expert was beaming at me. "Surtey, what did you use to 'plug the holes?'" I croaked. "See? I told you she would be fine," Surtey said happily. "Well, there were quite a few good sized pieces of that amulet left." I recognized the voice of the ranger before I spotted him sitting in the I rubbed at a pain in my chest that corner of the tent. "Fine? She is I half suspected existed only in my awake. I do not know how 'fine' she mind. There was suddenly a buzz of is going to be when you get through thoughts filling my head. explaining all the little short cuts you took." With an ache of resentment growing by the second in my chest, I pointed Short cuts?! What was he talking an inflexible digit at Surtey and about? What had the butcher done demanded, "Just what the hell did this time? I looked around for the you do to me, anyways?" swordsman, but if he had a hand in the end of the battle, I suspected "Well," he sputtered, seemingly very he had, then he left before seeing surprised by my displeasure, "you me through to recovery. I made a were bleeding. You were practically note to check my pockets, as soon as crushed to death, I needed to do I felt up to moving again. something to keep you from bleeding to death." I tried to rub some of the sleep out of my eyes, that was when I noticed Noticing the look on my face, he the first of the short cuts that had continued on, "You were wearing some been mentioned. kind of hide armor with metal worked into it, that had gotten smashed My hands! Instead of fingers, each into your chest pretty good, it was hand was now tipped with four wands, a steel golem that did the smashing. and an opposable lockpick. I groaned I should mention that the golem was in terror and dismay, then opened my pretty nearly destroyed when that eyes to look again. Instead of index amulet you were wearing exploded, and middle fingers, each hand had which may explain how parts of the two golden wands. A metal wand had golem ended up fused into the mix." replaced each ring finger, two iron wands took the place of my pinkies, "The amulet exploded?" I asked in and a xeno lockpick provided what shock. meager grip I had in either hand. Surtey nodded slightly. For a moment, I thought my heart had stopped. Then I suddenly realized "Then how do you explain the fact that strange feeling inside my chest that when I rub my chest, I can pick -=19=- More... up the amulet?" He was back to beaming again. "We succeeded." "Well, it is rather complicated." He seemed glad that the discussion had I did not feel like such a success, taken a more technical turn. but I did not feel up to arguing with him any more. I stood up and "You see, I had to several powerful glanced down to make sure my legs healing herbs, not to mention my own were still my own, and started to surgical skill, to use what pieces leave the tent. of the amulet there were imbedded in you to repair your heart. When I As I was leaving, Surtey's assistant realized that your heart would not approached me and mentioned the cost beat properly unless all parts of it for the healer's services which came were working, we had to find some to 1,400 silvers. way to get the pieces of the amulet working as well. So we..." As his I fixed Surtey with a hard look. voice trailed off, he looked to the "Did my purse come through this ranger for help. intact or shall I just drop my liver in the collection plate?" "We had to take you up to the moon chamber on Iorak's Reach, and put "No, no!" he exclaimed. "I checked you on the altar to recharge you." that right after he brought you in," He paused for a second, and seemed "Sorry?" I asked in disbelief. to be gathering his thoughts. "Your liver, I mean. It is fine. I did not "You should consider the benefits. find any traces of silvers or a coin As long as you keep recharging that purse in the damaged areas." amulet, it can not blow up. It did that once already. You just have to I looked over at the ranger. "Do not make sure that it never runs out of worry," he said. "I caught the, uh, charges completely. With the wands, 'swordsman' before he disentangled it is not such a big deal. Surtey your purse entirely. Where did you figures the worst that can happen, think your new thumbs came from?" he if they run completely dry, is that asked, grinning. you might not be able to move that 'finger' till you recharge it." He gave Surtey's assistant a couple of gems, then handed the rather "You will probably be the very first depleted coin purse back to me. I magess in Kulthea to use metal armor hefted it carefully and quietly went and still be able to move." he added outside. quickly. The ranger followed, and I gave him "Metal armor?!" my evaluation. "It is pretty light, but I think it ought to hold out at "Well, sort of both, really. There Helga's, for a while at least." is metal and hide sort of all fused together. It should protect you as He grinned in agreement and we made well as both, I am hoping." our way slowly over to the rickety stairway. Fortunately, I had been up "Right. Because if it does not, it those stairs enough times that I will leave me as vulnerable as both. never even glanced at the handrail, Why not just let me die and hope but I made a note to keep drinking Eissa can straighten things out?" to a minimum. I did not want to find out on the way down the stairs just "You were basically dead already. how weak my new grip was. This friend of yours convinced me I should try to revive you. He seemed "So, tell me," I said as we settled to think it was important to at at a table as far from the counter least try. We did better than that." as possible, "what happened up there -=20=- More... after I blacked out? After the thing had kept the thief's laen shield, stepped on my hands?" since he doubted the thief would be needing it any more. It was not my "Well, I am not quite sure, but I color, but I figured for now it was would say there were probably some better than a kobold special. When I pretty confused navigators at that tried to hold it, though, I found it point." almost impossible to keep the thing facing in the right direction. My I fixed him with a blank look. fingers were too inflexible to grip it by themselves and my thumb was "Well, you were wearing a gold ring, too short to control it. if you remember. Anyways, when he stepped on your hands, the golem The falchion was the same problem, disappeared about the same time that only worse. Trying to actually swing ring did." that thing with straight fingers, was like trying to tie a knot using I looked down at my "hands." He was chopsticks. right, of course. I had no ring left, not that I would have had much After a few visits to both Tyron and luck using it anyways, especially Aznell, we were able to find ways with no fingers. around the problems. We managed to work out a kind of cup hilt for the "Then the other golem stepped on you falchion that fitted fairly well to and died when the amulet exploded, the back of my hand. I could bring which left me and the thief against it around almost entirely with my the third golem. He did a good job xeno thumb. for a while, hiding, and jumping out to attack, then hiding again. After The shield straps were modified into a while though, he just hid and then longer, straighter sheaths that I stayed hidden. It was not until could slide my "fingers" into, which after I finally finished the golem gave me much better stability than I off that I noticed what he was up to had with my regular hand. Of course, with your purse. Oh, and thanks for learning to fight this way was a new the blur, by the way. Every little challenge, so I had to spend a few bit helped." weeks fighting kobolds and orcs just to get the hang of things. I smiled. It occurred to me that was my first smile since I had opened my To my surprise, spellcasting had not eyes. "Thank you for helping me." changed much. The same hand gestures seemed to work, even if I could no "I know it did not turn out quite longer bend my fingers into the the way you would have liked..." right shapes. My aim with bolts and blurs was actually better than it "Well, that is not your fault. I had been before. will burn Surtey down for it later, at least as soon as I get all my Eating, counting coins, retrieving fingers fully charged." items from my backpack were all but impossible, I nearly starved before He laughed, which was nice. The I finally figured out to just stick longer we sat and talked, the less I with pasta and skip the fork. That felt like a failed lab experiment. introduced the problem of keeping my hands clean, but that was far from As far as experiments go, there were the hardest thing I ever learned. a few drawbacks. My fingers were much longer than my thumbs, which Waving at friends was a habit I got caused all kinds of problems when I out of in a hurry. I settled for a tried picking things up. smile and hugs for close friends. The ranger had saved my falchion and After a couple of months, I settled -=21=- (Cont'd on Page 23) ____________ Monster Chronicles: Steel Golems / \ ______ \ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| /~/~~\~\ | by Jarran Terraxx ||~| |~|| _||~| |~|| /@| \~\__/~/ |f all the creatures around a corner and whammo, a golem \_/ ~~~~~~ / in the lands that any hit me right square in the chest. ~~~~~~~~~~~ have ever faced, none Naturally, this did not do me any is more frightening than a creation. good, as I quickly discovered that When I say creation, I am referring it is impossible to breath with a to the constructs known as Steel completely crushed chest cavity. Golems, are more commonly known as Steelies. The cleric who came to my aid could have stuck his whole head in the Fearing these constructs is rather hole in my chest. That gives you an understanding. These huge metallic idea just how big these walking tin construct were specifically made for cans really are. people to fear it, though their main purpose is to carry the treasure of Now that you have an idea of what those that made them. Though these they can do, lets go over their OB days they seem to be carrying less and DB, (more commonly known as the and less treasure. Offensive and Defensive Bonus). Enough about their reason for their Golems are one of the most feared existence, let us turn our attention fighters around. The reason for this to what these powerful creatures can is their incredible power. Their DB do. They are not known to have any alone is 105, and it is very hard to brain, however, they are capable of hit them with almost any weapon. carrying out simple commands. One of However, it is rumored that rapiers those commands being, to kill any have the best to hit against them. any adventurers they see. Believe me when I say they do it rather well. Their DB, however, is not what makes them so formidable, instead, it is I am presently in my 16th year of the various forms of attacks they training and I still will not hunt can effectively use. More often than these metal monstrosities by myself. not, I have found myself with some Usually it is not wise for anyone to serious bodily harm because I made a hunt Golems by themselves, as I will mistake in figuring that because I explain why. was safe from one form of attack, that I was also safe from the others As I mentioned, Golems are made of as well. That error has cost me a steel, entirely, from the top of few deeds, not to mention a few body their heads, right down to the tip parts that were necessary to live. of their toes. This metal makes them very hard to hit and do any real So here is a quick run down on the damage to. They also have no need various attacks they can use. They for weapons, in fact, they are the have two weaker forms of attacks, weapon. Getting pounded by a steel one being a normal swing at you and fist from one of these behemoths can the other a pounding fist, usually really ruin your day. at your head. Both of these attacks give the golem a 90 OB. There is Let me tell you about my last run in very little to worry about these with Golems so you can get an idea attacks usually. Unfortunately, this just how nasty these guys can be. I is where most people make their big was walking around up in the steel mistake. They think that if they can halls where Golems hang out, just keep from getting hit by these two kind of minding my own business. attacks, that they are completely Well, I must have been making some safe. This is completely FALSE! As noise or something, because I came I stated before, that is only two of -=22=- More... the attacks they can use. of stuff. Also, be careful when handling these chests they are level The other two, more lethal forms of two chests, and are usually trapped. attacks the golems use, are their So keep caution when opening one. fists as hammers, and they can try to ensnare you. From my experiences So if you are ever out there hunting with golems, I quickly discovered, steelies alone, and they turn you in much to the loss of my life and a to a giant pancake, then do not say deed, that their most dangerous form I did not warn you. However, if you of attack, is the ensnare. I found ever see me hanging out in the Town out just how dangerous, when I let Square, and want to go out steelie my parry down to 10 so I could get a hunting, then ask me, I will be more better hit on a golem, and found out than happy to join you. that when they try to ensnare, they only need a to hit of 40. Well, ________________________________ naturally, that left me completely / \ defenseless as the golem spun me | Steel Golem : | around, causing me to lose my shield | | and my footing. Then it followed up | Towering above even a High Man, | with a crushing blow to my head, and | this evil mockery of mortal life | I bit the dust. | is crafted from steel worthy of | | the finest armor-maker. Given a | However, to make things even more | foul semblance of existence and | exciting, golems have discovered the | animated solely by a desire for | art of stomping. Quite often, the | destruction this terror will not | golem gets sneaky and literally | be stopped by the faint of heart.| stomps his foot down. Well, being \________________________________/ the fact that they are so huge, the whole room tends to shake from this impact and unfortunately, the unwary Robo-Magess Cont'd from Page 21 adventurer usually finds themselves ~~~~~~~~~~~ lying on their backs. Which leaves into a fairly routine existence. I them in a very bad position as the went up to Iorak's once a week and golem comes stomping down on various rested on the altar while I slowly parts of their bodies. It is usually recharged. I was careful to use all not a very pretty sight. my finger wands equally and often, so I never approached the altar It is also not very smart to go out worrying about blowing up my hands to steelies alone. I quickly found before my heart recharged. this out, when I was facing off one golem, and another one came around I had become fairly skillful at the corner, first thing it did was stacking coins and could stack up to stomp and send me falling face down thirty coins, or any multiple of ten on the floor, just in time for its up to that, in a matter of seconds. partner to clobber me a good one. So I had learned how to fight with do not be fooled by them, golems are spells and with my modified weapons, a lot smarter than we give credit to I had even started taking interest them for. in lockpicking. My friends no longer ducked out of sight when they saw me As far as treasure goes, golems used enter a room. to be very rich on treasure, always keeping their masters treasure in I made it. I made the adjustment, I their bodies. However, recently, I had survived my own transformation. have found golems to be very poor and if I find anything at all, it I was finally ready to go back to is usually small trinkets of no real golems, but were golems ready for value. Although, on the few times me? There was only one to find out. that I have found chests, they have been more often than not, quite full [To be Continued] -=23=- ______________ Wish List / \ ____ ____ \ ~~~~~~~~~ \@| ~| | | |~ | by Baphomet Eris | |~|--|~| | _| |~|--|~| |ere are some places, [Kobold-Pitch, End of The Green] /@| _|~| |~|_ | creatures, and \_/ ~~~~ ~~~~ / things I think many You are standing at the end of a ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ of the adventurers well-manicured green that stretches in Kelfour's Landing (including me) for some 75 feet to the south. Every would like to see. five feet the green is marked with a colorful flag. In several places First, some Places: there are dents in the ground where an over - zealous adventurer has [Free Stuff, Main Showroom] pitched his kobold with too much force and not enough grace. To the The shelves filling this room are west side of the green is the pen laden with a startling variety of where justifiably nervous kobolds goods. Enchanted shaalk weapons sit mill around. To the east side sits a next to laen shields that radiate table where the kobold-pitching har- power. Staves of awesome might rest nesses are kept. on the same shelves as potions of untold wonder. Amulets, runes--it is Obvious exits: south a virtual "What's What" of enchanted items of Quellbourne. The incredible Next, Creatures: thing is not the selection, though; it is the price tags on the items -- [Lower Dragonsfang, Path] all are free! The shopkeeper stands ready to give you anything you want. A path runs through the grasslands surrounded on either side by plastic Obvious exits: out pink flamingos. [Power-O-Rama, Main Room] Obvious exits: north, south The only furnishing of this spartan A Snarg ambles in. room is a sign. There are also a red door, black door, and white door. >Describe Snarg Obvious exits: out Standing about 3 feet tall, weighing approximately 15 pounds, the Snarg >Read sign is made entirely of tissue paper! Blazoned across its chest are the The sign reads: words, "Kill Me! I am worth 1,000 ________________________________ experience points!" Obviously, this // Welcome to Power-O-Rama! \ is a sought-after creature for many || ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | adventurers. || Let us Electrify Your World! | || No CHARGE for our services | [Upper Kaldsfang, Forest] || in this non-profit organization | || | The trees here have been decorated || COMPLETE ITEM RECHARGING | ceremonially with liverwurst and || Use the Red Door | headcheese sandwiches tied up with || | leather thongs. Their aromatic smell || COMPLETE POWER POINT RESTORATION| brings joy to your nostrils. || Use the Black Door | || | Obvious exits: south, southeast || COMPLETE LIFE POINT RESTORATION | || Use the White Door | A Gofarth wanders in. || Have a Great Day! | \\_______________________________/ >Describe Gofarth -=24=- More... This unusually strong creature seems cold backs. Their reason for carry- to be wearing armor made exclusively ing the kegs is unknown; and people from small chests. None of them are for the most part do not care, as covering any vital organs, and their long as the Kegworms keep coming! weight causes the Gofarth to move extremely slowly. Finally, Things: [Valley, Narrow Passage] You see a helm covered with strange symbols. Closer inspection shows you You work through a narrow passageway that these symbols are writing in lined with crude and nasty drawings ancient common! They read, "My par- obviously made by goblins. In some ents went to Kelfour's Landing and places, wandering adventurers have all they got me was this helm." left "contributions" as well. >Search Orc Obvious exits: out, up The orc was wearing leather armor, a A Kegworm slithers in. shield, and a t-shirt that reads, "I'm with stupid." >Describe Kegworm Boxer Shorts of Power: When worn, This creature is a constant source give the wearer a +25 to Defensive of joy to the thirsty adventurer. Bonus against any attack involving Relatively easy to kill, Kegworms melvins (known in some parts of Kul- are known for the large kegs of ale thea as snuggies). that they carry strapped to their ___________________________________________________________________ __\ ____\ \ / / \__| | | | | ____________________________________________________/ |__ \___/_________/ \ / | \ _| \ /-=-=-=-Top Fame List for Race & Class-=-=-=-=\ \ | Fighter Waldo2 Ptolomy 26 HE | | Thief Artuero Bresnahanini 34 FE | | Ranger Fxg Lyon 29 HE | | Bard Enegue LionHeart 34 HM | | Cleric Lairaerrykthrok TykilVuul 32 HL | | Healer Strom O'Berin 49 HI _| | Mage Dartaghan Darkstar 33 HL \ | Sorcerer Nixie Trevize 27 HE | | =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= | | High Man Enegue LionHeart 34 BA | | Common Man Dreamweaver Oenothara 17 BA | | Half-Elf Fxg Lyon 29 RA | | High Elf Strom O'Berin 49 HE | | Fair Elf Artuero Bresnahanini 34 TH | | Wood Elf Joquain Denark 20 MA _| | Dwarf Aeklug Baeyenbreghaldt 28 CL \ | Halfling Dartaghan Darkstar 33 MA | | -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- | | Note: 'HI' is High Elf and 'HE' is Half-Elf. | | \=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=/ | /_________________ | ||\ \___________________________________________________ ||_| \ | | | \/____________________________________________________________________ / -=25=- Riddle Me This ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Glynn Nebula Below, are 5 riddles, read them, speak them, search them, seek them, then tell me what they are. _______________________________________________________________________ / \ | 1) I am a foe you can not defeat with a sword, | | But I can be conquered with a single word. | | Yet, men and gods send me to oppose all foes. | | Many will fall perplexed and bewildered as their woes. | | My only weapon is but mere suggestion, | | whereas yours lies before you as a question. | \_______________________________________________________________________/ ________________________________ __________________________________ / \ / \ | 2) Men and their like, | | 3) | | seek a splendor eons old. | | | | Precious to many, | | A field of stones, | | preferred by most. | | in memory of days all in the past.| | It is treated harshly, | | Where all creatures are equal. | | with knifes most sharp. | | Where many stop here to rest, | | They seek not its skin, | | after the long day of tolling. | | made of earth's bone, | | | | but the rainbow within. | | | | Its cold rigid heart. | | | \________________________________/ \__________________________________/ _______________________________________________________________________ / \ | 4) We live at the borders of kingdoms four. | | Our blood is a balance from forces of lore. | | One is used to build a wall. | | One is destined to always fall. | | One is found in an empty hall. | | One is yearning to grow very tall. | | Answer now and name them all. | \_______________________________________________________________________/ _______________________________________________________________________ / \ | 5) I am a chameleon with a silver shell. | | I am often stared at yet rarely beheld. | | I never lie, always telling truthfully what I see, | | no matter how backwards and misplaced it may be. | | My health is fragile and easily broken. | | Reflect now, and let the answer be spoken. | \_______________________________________________________________________/ _______________________________________________________________________ / \ | Answers: 1) ??????? | | 2) ????????, or ???, or ????? | | 3) ????????? | | 4) ?????, ?????, ???, ???? Answers will be published | | 5) ?????? in the next Kelfour Edition | \_______________________________________________________________________/ -=26=- ____________ The Other Side of Glory: / \ _________\ Thoughts Overheard in the Wild \@| ||=|=|=|| | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | ~~ |_| ~~ | by Warlok T'lark _| |_| | /@| _|_|_ | houghts transcribed A mantle of sweat hangs in beads \_/__________/ and re-written here from my forehead, constantly running were originally those of common man, into them." thus were in the simple and ungainly common language. The notes taken at "How could just anyone write an epic the time were then recorded, where story, having been in any type of possible, with great difficulty and fight, how could they ignore it?" forbearance in translating the more coarse common tongue, to the fairer "If the only thing I had to deal language of the Elves. Thus the with was sweat, perhaps it would not crude vocabulary with which it was be so bad. If only.. there were not originally made has been replaced the other things chiseling away at for one of understandability. As a my attempts to blanket my conscious, result this transcription reflects, freshly steamed cloth wound a bit to even in its rendering back into the tightly around your head. Kind of common language, some of the Elvish like men use after a shave, only form and vocabulary. here its around my head, not face, and is completely involuntary. The "Sweat." constant pressure and heat from the helm, the dampness from the lining, "Funny, the Bards never sing of it its all getting to me. Tearing what in their gossamer tales, braggers little is left of my will down piece never talk of it.. What am I saying, by piece." heck the braggers probably never even knew about it." "Strange, I can perceive my thoughts and responses skipping around in my "Perspiration, as much as I hate to head, I know they ramble about the be inflicted with it, I am stuck inconsequential, still I feel unable without recourse. My body is coated to control or channel cover I have with a fine sheen of this irritating enmeshed myself in. concession to the physical morality of the body. I can feel rivulets of The brush and branches of my cover it cascading down my face, coursing so entwined around myself and my along the surface of my insects. One head would create a sound, like a of the insects, a gnat I think, in bear charging through the underbrush its haste, makes a poor decision and a noise I am quite sure would rocket sets down on my face. Before it can through the woods, giving away my fly off again, it is swept away by a position to those who hunt us, me." turbulent river of perspiration." "Damn bugs." "The insect goes almost unnoticed, almost, amongst the parade of other "Oh Gods and Lords what are we doing messages flung at me by my senses. here!" My body and mind crying out for the attention of my consciousness." "The desperation wells up inside me. I so want to wipe my face. To get "You know, it never occurred to me rid of the sting within my eyes, the before, but no one ever thinks about itching sensation on my face, my the sensation of simply sweating. A body, shield entwined around us so talisy tossed aside." thickly is poised to betray. Simple movements like breathing, could give "This condition is more than a mere us away. Give me away." mental impression, already it caused my eyes to become a constant sting. "Breathing." -=27=- More... "Waging a battle, no more immense Jarak. Come back to me Jarak...." than that of simple survival, I struggle to keep my breath quiet. "Alone..." After running as hard as we had to reach this plant created asylum, my "Never again will there be an us." lungs aching and throbbing, my basic compulsion is to pull deeply within. "I wanna go home. Gods and Lords, To lay panting on the ground like curse the unlife, curse the tales of some sorrowful marooned fish." heroism. I wanna go home. Dad, I should have listened up here. In my "Often some tale we had listened to mind it all seems so cloudy and far would mention in Have to push the away. Unreal. A life lived, but not thoughts of sweat and noise from my my life. No, my entire life has been concentration. Must try to maintain crouched here in the woods. Hiding. my focus. Have to stay focused if I With the corpse of the only friend I want to live. What can I focus on? ever had, sprawled at my feet." Will no one help me...?" "Those other memories can not be "Help...." mine. They are not me. Still, if I wish to survive this. I had better "I am not supposed to be scared! The concentrate on that fog. Pull those hero is never scared. The champion memories back in and make the past is never so encumbered that simple life seem real. If...." swallowing is like choking down a whole dry biscuit in one go. Never "I see myself, I see us, Jarak and I scared. Always bold and calm as ice sitting in my fathers shed, mugs sit while the world erupts in chaos atop the oak mantle running all the around him. way around, sit expectant of thirsty customers. Around the pit the tables That is the way it is in stories. are arranged, almost in militaristic The supposed advice as to what I formation....Arranged that is until should think about. No instructions the evening patrons arrive and scoot or words on how to maintain calm. No them around for their own needs." wisdom on what to do to control your mind, yourself. No help." "We used to sit on the ledge around the fire pit and listen to the men "I have got to fight. Do not think who came in for meals or drink, or about it." those who came just to lounge around in the middle of the day. On special "The contest is a losing struggle." occasions, that is where Lords sit. What did I know. I had never even "The past comes unbidden." travelled much outside the inn. True Lords would never even come to such "Jarak's foot is resting against my a simple place as this. At least boot, I can feel him. Strange. So that is what I think now." strange that I can feel the light resting pressure of his foot through "Those false lordlings would sit and the side of the thick leather boots talk for hours. Telling tales of how that I wear. His foot...." they had killed some creature. Some kind of fearsome battle with a horde "Did you not say something you fool! of Manticores and Cockatrices, them You Idiot! Oh Jarak...." alone against the odds. Destroying all those arrayed against them. It "It took so long. I tried so hard. I made our hearts pound and our dreams could not stop the blood. Could not soar. We had wanted to be just like keep the wound closed or hold your them. insides within you when they started to fold out. The blood. The smell. If they had struggled against what I The flies buzzing everywhere. Jarak! had seen this day, and went back. -=28=- More... Awe is what I feel for them. Awe and "Howling in glee at the sight of admiration. I wish now that I had blood, at the sight of victory, the fallen in with a true Lord or Lady. orc did not see what happened next. Someone who had seen the servants of Jarak's body blocked its line of the unlife. Someone who could have sight." trained me or warned me away. I wish that had happened. I wish... "In the few seconds it took to howl in glee, I threw the broken sword at "No, my hatred is for those false it. I was lucky. The hilt hit him on lords. Those cowards, things calling the exposed part of his face. Not a themselves men. Making up stories of serious blow. But the impact between their bravery, but in truth more his eyes stunned him for a second, afraid of the cock crowing at dawn. caused his eyes to tear up, which momentarily blinded him. I grabbed Not on your body, on your thoughts. within him. The muscle wall, damaged On hate. I wonder if talking to by the sword cut, gave way. I just myself is a sign I am crazy? Is it watched as his insides slowly began crazier to ask myself if I am crazy? spilling out, unraveling. Watched as What if I answer yes? Concentrate." he panicked to stay alive. Watched as he cried, then died." "Where was I? oh yes the inn and the tales, the hate." "A slow painful death. I would have been sick, but my mind was numb with "We saved the money my father gave the realness of the moment. Surely to us each day for almost two years. this could not be happening. It is Listening to the yarns the whole never this way in the stories. The time. When we were ready, the men Hero gutted alive. The evil monster took our money and bought us a few free." pieces of cheap leather armor and some old poorly wrought swords. None "Oh Lords and Gods. My Dad warned me ever mentioned how to move quietly." there was nothing else. The heroism coursing through my veins. I do not "In the end I think, I think we were hear the sounds of glory trumpeting lucky there was only one. We. I was in my ears. All I feel is the desire lucky." to go home. To lie down and cry. To wish with the very fiber of my being "The Orc sprang out in front of us. that today had never happened.... Its body unfolding from within the surroundings, as if the land itself "If I make it home, there is a thing had spewed it out." I must do. Some men who need to be repaid." "Our training, which at the time was very little, was brought into play "All in all, I just wanna go home.." with all our concentration. Our very _ _ little training, so far it was just \@@\__/ @| enough to keep us alive. Barely. |/ |@|\\ While the Orc continued to slowly /_ __ ||\__ hammer away and gain the advantage." | o/ / o> |@@\ / /_ __/ | @@\ "We were no challenge to it." \_\/__ / | @@\ ---- / \ | | "Then the bottom dropped out of our /@@@@@@@@@@ | | | chance for survival. My sword broke. |@@@@@@@@@@ | | | | The cheap metal snapping like an | @@@@@@@@ / | | | over dried stick under the force of \ @@@@ |__| / / the Orcs blows. Jarak, seeing what / \ @@ / \ | had happened, moved in front of me, | | /\ | | | the fool, he never had a chance. Oh | | | | | |/ Jarak, I am so sorry...." | | | | | | -=29=- (___)(___) ____________ When The Sun Shines: Blight / \ ___ ___\ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \@| \~\ /~/ | by Lloyd Llowd, PhD | \ ~ / | _| |~| | /@| |~| |ou can tell that it is to strengthen my belief that he is \_/ ~~~ / a hot summer day in completely illiterate. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Kelfour's Landing when you see Lord Elvanion frying eggs on The "official" Gladiatorial Games the stone benches in the Town Square returns once again, the ultimate in to amuse the youngsters. Hot summer backstabbing and slaughter. At least nights, on the other hand, seem to Lord Gallenod vetoed Kree's idea be destined a never-ending plethora that the victors should skin and of the bizarre and dangerous. search the losers in the arena. (The rabid ranger just wants the loser's Rumor has it, the torkaan skinning heads hung on posts on the gate.) contest, usually the mass slaughter and denuding of helpless sheep, will Hobbits are still barred from the be made more interesting this year art contest, as crayon drawings and by the introduction of some random finger-painting are not considered monsters into the pens. One wonders art forms. A new twist in the water if this year's winner will be the tunnel races: those taking a wrong giant beetle that skins the most turn within the tunnels will find adventurers. themselves deposited in Claedesbrim Bay where a Kral raiding ship waits. The Constable, ever-eager to shirk (They are expecting a few rangers.) his appointed duties, was last seen gleefully supervising the laying out All in all I think I shall entertain of a fresh layer of gravel in the myself with a good book this month, streets for the preparation of the rather than participate in the low dragging contest. Wear thick armor brow entertainment that is available for this one. to us. Of course there is a distinct shortage of good literature in this For those of you with insomnia there town. Lady Phaedra suggested I read are the Bardic Arts contests. Of some back issues of the Kelfour's particular note will be the annual Edition to, as she put it "gain some recital of Lord Enegue, accompanied appreciation for the history of your by Kelfour's Canine Chorus. Included new home." in the performance will be J. Bock's aria, "Watchout, Arf!," subtitled I reminded her this would not be my "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie." home if she would only release my family and grant safe passage over Lock up your small pets and domestic the mountains. animals for this; the Bland Bard's voice has been known to inspire a Until then I remain your disobedient mating frenzy in just about every and unwilling serpent. species except humans and elves. * * * (For some odd reason, his voice is ***-*-* the most effective form of birth "Baaaaaaa?" _//* . . *\ control known to humanoids.) *| | * *********** \ \// There should be ample opportunity to **************** - * sleep during the story contests, ************************ though. Lord Gallenod has once again **/_****** *** *********** been threatening to tell stories in ****** *** ***** *** * public, as well as print. Despite my ***** *** *** ** * strongest pleas, the Constable does ) / / ( \ | | / not consider this a threat to public ( \ \| |) || KEV4N3 sanity and safety, which only serves || || || || [end] -=30=- ## ## ## ##