Kelfour Edition volume IV number V

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 / \                                                                     \
|   |                       House Paupers' Fall Festival -- See Page 29   |
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 |     _   _         _   ___                ___                        |
 |    / ) / )       / ) / __)              (  _)       October 1993    |
 |   / /_/ / ____  / /_/ (  ____  __  __ _(__   )      Vol.4, No.5     |
 |  /   __/ / __ )/ /(  __)/ _  )/ / / // ___)  _)                     |
 | / /\ \  / ___// / / /  / (/ // (_/ // /        )                    |
 |(_/  \_)(____)(_( (_(  (____/(_____(( /  0   0  )                    |
 |                                    (      <>    )                   |
 |_       The Kronicles of Kulthea    (             )--_  _            |
  /                                    (    \_/    )     \ \           |
 |              GemStone III (tm)      /                     \__       |
 |                                  __/                         \\_ _____
 |                      ____     __/        __           )\__       -- --)
 |                     (--  --__/   ___/\      _--____  )     \ ___---___-)
 |                    (--___ ______     _   _   _   _ --               |
 |                          /  ____)   / ) (/ _/ ) (/                  |
 |                         /  (__  ___/ / _  (  _)_  ____  ____        |
 |                        /  ____)/ _  / / ) / / / )/ _  )/    )      _|
 |                       /  (__  / (/ / / / / / / // (/ // /) /       \ 
 |                      (______)(____( (_( (_( (_((____/(_((_(         |
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 |   ............... Kelfour's Landing Local News ...............   1  |
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 |   A Beginner's Guide for Fighters ........... Gilthor Longblade  2  |
 |   That #@^%&*! Orc Broke My Shield! .......... Ducwiz Blackwood  5  |
 |   The Broken Land ............................... Lord Trachten  7  |
 |   Courage ......................................... Xero Ulwane 10  |
 |_  New Beginnings .................................... Anonymous 15  |
  /  Stalking Giants At Twilight ............. Imric of Troyhadwyl 16  |
 |   The Land of the Frost Giants ............................ Map 18  |
 |   A Matter of Honor (Part V) ...................... Sean2 Lladd 19  |
 |   Unlife of the Party ............................ Glynn Nebula 23  |
 |   Keys (Part 2) ..................................... Anonymous 25  |
 |   Frey the "Flameous" One ...................... Voltaren Xanax 27 _|
 |   The Ingrate Escape ........................ Lloyd Llowd, Ph.D 28 \
 |   House Paupers' 2nd Annual Fall Festival ... Lady Phaedra Bleu 29  |
 |                                                                     |
 |                       *** Happy Halloween ***                       |
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 |                                                                     |
 | 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.    |
 |   __________________________________________________________________|__
 |   )                                                                    )

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      |              / (_  / (/ / / (__   / (/ / / (_            ||
      |             (____)(____/ (_____) (____( (____)           ||
      |                 ____   ____  _  __  _  ____              ||
      |                /    ) / __ )( \/  \/ )/ ___)             ||
      |               / /) / / ___/  \      / \___ \             ||
      |              (_((_( (____)    \_/\_/  (____/             ||
       \______ _ ______________________________________ _ ______//
              |:|                 |:|                  |:|
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Take the GemStone III Survey           Delaying Tactics
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Take the  time to take the  GemStone   If the inactivity timer  was  giving
III  Survey, located on the GemStone   you  fits,  you'll  be happy to know
Page 930 on  option 7.  There are no   that  you  can  now   increase   the
CONNECT charges  while answering the   amount   of   time  before  you  are
survey  questions,  and  the results   automatically logged  off  GemStone.
will guide future design efforts.      Just type SET INACTIVITY to increase
                                       the time  to  30  minutes.  You will
New Land Discovered                    then get an inactivity warning at 27
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                    minutes, and be logged off after  30
Long  obscured  by  dense overgrowth   minutes.
and bushes, a lush valley  has  been
found   in   the   Seolfar   Strake.   Celebrate Fall Festival with Paupers
Details are sketchy so far, but  the   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kral  appear  to  have made the same   House of Paupers -- known throughout
discovery, so be prepared  for  more   the Lands  for  gala events -- hosts
incursions.                            their _2nd_Annual_ Masquerade Party!
                                       Your invitation is on page 29!
Carry That Weight
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                      Special Surprises
Take  note  that  the encumbrance of   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
silver is being standardized.  Coins   During the month of  October,  watch
will now weigh more than before, and   for  fun  happenings and unexpected,
the added weight will likely  affect   impromptu scenarios -- a  mysterious
Round Times. Silver found in chests,   wandering   merchant,  a  damsel  in
however, is still not accounted  for   distress, or a strange  new  region.
and  this  will not change until the   You  never know when something might
encumbrance  overhaul  modification.   pop up.  So be prepared, and stay in
                                       touch with the Land  and  its  noble
Of   course,  once  you  remove  the   (and  not-so-noble)  inhabitants, or
silver from the chest...               you might miss out.
                              Town Forums
     DATE                        TOPIC                         CHAIR-GM
     20 Oct    Are You Just Dying To Understand Combat?          Raemus
     27 Oct    The Event Horizon, What's Beyond It                 Fawn
     Town Forums are conducted each Wednesday Night in the Moot Hall,
     Assembly Room at 10pm Eastern time.
 ___________          A Beginner's Guide for Fighters
/ \  ______ \         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| /~/~~\_\ |             by Gilthor Longblade
  | \~\____~ |  
 _| _~~~~\~\ | o you think  you want   raised to 90, so I recommend placing
/@| \~\__/~/ | to be a  fighter, eh?   your lowest number here. This tactic
\_/  ~~~~~~ / I bet someone told you   allows  you to save  your high rolls
  ~~~~~~~~~~  it  was   the  easiest   for more important slots.
profession to follow in GemStone. It
is  true  that  being a  fighter  is   Agility:  Affects maneuver rolls and
fairly straightforward. That  is why   Defensive  Bonus  against   directed
I  recommend  that  every  beginning   magical attacks. Right  now, this is
player  try out  a fighter to  learn   not a particularly  important statis-
some of the basics of the game.  You   tic for  fighters. However, that may
get  a tough character that can stay   change when/if the engagement system
alive while you watch other players,   is added to the game. At present, it
interact with other professions, and   helps  you resist  magical  attacks,
figure out just what it is you want.   helps you skin creatures, helps your
At the  very least,  you  will learn   climbing skill,  and is  supposed to
something  about  bashing  monsters,   aid your stalking skill.
which every character has to do. Few
professions  can  match  a fighter's   Self  Discipline:  Helps you to hide
ability in combat at low level.        and may aid you against gaze attacks
                                       of some  monsters. This  statistic's
If you  decide that you want to be a   main importance  probably is that it
career fighter, getting the most out   is one of the developmental stats.
of the class and making sure you can
be a capable  adventurer at all lev-   Eloquence:  Determines the amount of
els is more of a challenge. Now, I'm   experience (exp) your mind can  hold
not saying you have  to have 100s in   before  you  must  rest.  A very low
every attribute. You do need to know   number here could be  a problem, but
where to  place  your  better  stats   there is  no  need  for  exceedingly
(statistics) and the skills you need   high  numbers either.  It is  also a
to train in. I do not believe there    developmental statistic, and I think
is a  "best way"  to  train. I  will   it  is a  good deal  more  important
point out the strengths of the class   than self discipline.
and show the results  of the choices
you  have to make; I will also  show   Reasoning:  Determines  how  quickly
you other directions you can take.     the exp  you get while fighting will
                                       be turned into "real" exp  and clear
First thing in the character manager   your mind.  Just like Eloquence, too
are  personal  characteristics, com-   low a number here  could cause prob-
monly called "stats," and  the first   lems.  I rank  it about the  same in
five are your "developmental stats."   importance as Eloquence. This is the
The  numbers placed  here  determine   last of the developmental stats.
your character's development points,
which you assign to the  skills you    Strength:  Adds  to  your  Offensive
intend for your character to  learn.   Bonus (OB). It is  a fighter's other
                                       prime  statistic. An automatic 90 is
Constitution:  Determines the number   put here  unless you put in a higher
of  concussion  points  (CPs)  added   number. Without a doubt, this is the
each time  you train and the maximum   fighter's  most important statistic.
CPs your character can have. A large   I  recommend  putting  your  highest
number of CP's gives you the ability   number  here. A high bonus will help
to take some licks and still stay in   your character, no matter what other
the  fight. A  fighter always  has a   choices you make.
good  constitution,  as it is one of
the classes' two prime statistics. A   Quickness:  Another  very  important
number placed  here is automatically   statistic for a  fighter, it affects
your  Defensive Bonus (DB). However,   the diversity  of weapons available.
there are some choices you  may make   You will  quickly deduce from the DP
later that will have a direct effect   cost listings  that a  fighter has a
on  this  statistic.  I will discuss   hard time  learning  about  anything
them in the race and skills section.   dealing with magic.
Presence:  I do not know of any real   You should  have the DPs to train in
advantages this  statistic offers. I   several weapon  types. Single-handed
do know  that a  high  presence  may   edged weapons are the most common in
have adverse affects on your ability   the game. One-handed crushing weapon
to hide.  I recommend  one  of  your   skill is less popular but is still a
lower numbers going here.              good weapon class. I strongly recom-
                                       mend that you  train in at least one
Intuition: If you  plan to  train in   of these two classes.
lockpicking, a decent number in this
statistic  is a big  help; otherwise   Two - handed weapons  are  fearsome.
it is nearly useless.                  They  mete   out  large  amounts  of
                                       damage  and are  truly  a  fighter's
Empathy: This  statistic  determines   weapon, as  the fighter  is the only
the number  of power points you will   profession allowed to double - train
have. Though it is not likely that a   in them.  However, keep in mind that
fighter will  be casting  very  many   you cannot  use a  shield with  one,
spells, you  may find  a use  for at   and that  loss  of  defensive  bonus
least a few power points sometime in   could be fatal. I use  two-handers a
your career.                           lot and I  like them, but many times
                                       I find I cannot do without a shield.
The next thing you need to decide is   I will  also note  that this  is the
your race. For details you can refer   most expensive of the weapon skills,
to listed racial bonuses / penalties   so you  may find  a better  use  for
in the Tomes or on - line documenta-   those points elsewhere.
tion.  Constitution,  Quickness, and
Strength and a high concussion point   Bows and  thrown weapons  are not  a
maximum are important for a fighter,   part of the game at present. But who
so look  at races  with good bonuses   knows? Some sacrifice now may really
here. Races with penalties  to these   pay off  after they do come into the
stats could be  harder to play. How-   game (though  this will  not  happen
ever, race is an important aspect of   soon).  Pole arms are powerful weap-
your character. You  may find  your-   ons but they require both hands. The
self  choosing a  less than  perfect   fact  that  you  can only  train one
race for role playing reasons.         rank  per level makes  these  nearly
                                       useless for  anything but  the occa-
The half - elf is one  of  the  most   sional jousting tournament.
advantageous races  for the  fighter
profession, with good bonuses in the   Brawling is  also  a  good  "weapon"
three most important stats. However,   skill to  consider. Though your fist
the high  man and  dwarf can also be   is not  a particularly  good weapon,
excellent fighters. The only problem   there are a few  actual weapons that
with these  two races is a quickness   use  this   skill.  Grappling   nets
penalty. When I discuss armor in the   occasionally come on the market, and
skills  section, I will tell you why   there is  no  finer  weapon  to  use
this may  not be  much of  a factor;   against a  heavily armored opponent.
therefore these races may be an even   The other brawling "weapons" are the
better choice than the half elf.       rare unique  or  magical  ones  that
                                       turn up sometimes.
Now we  come to  the training  phase
and skill  selection. A  fighter can   No matter what weapons you choose to
train  cheaply  in a lot of  skills,   train in,  remember to  train  every
particularly weapons; and one of the   level. If  you miss  out on training
main advantages of the profession is   in a weapon, there is no way to make
it up.  You need  to double train in   It is important to learn exactly how
all the weapons you  want to be able   many  ranks  you  actually  need  to
to use every  level from the charac-   train in each armor type. Going past
ter manager on up. Exceptions  might   the point  of minimum  penalty is  a
be brawling and the  missile skills.   waste. I  will list  the maximum you
You might  train in brawling just to   need in each  class, but remember it
give  yourself  some weaponless  DB.   may not  take that  much for certain
(So if your sword breaks and another   types of armor within each class.
isn't handy  you  aren't  a  sitting        ___________________________
duck.) As  for the  missile weapons,      // soft leather ......... 7  \
they are  unimplemented skills.  ANY     ||  rigid leather ....... 19   |
training here will be more than most     ||  chain ............... 21   |
folks have.                              ||  plate ............... 24   |
The  armor  classifications  in  the
game range  from light armors to the   The good  thing about armor is  that
very heavy plate armors. I recommend   you don't have to train  in it right
that you  train in  several  of  the   away. In fact, I recommend that  you
armor maneuvering skills. Start with   not bother  with it until you gain a
the rigid  leather,  putting  a  few   few levels and perhaps learn exactly
points in  at every  level, and move   what you want to get.
on to  the heavier types after that.
You may never want to wear the heavy   You may  want to  learn some  of the
armor; but, at the  very least,  you   subterfuge skills. Next to the thief
should train  in some rigid leather.   class, the  fighter is  the best  at
It  has   very  low   penalties  and   learning  these skills. Lock picking
against certain creatures is a great   and disarming  traps can  be  useful
deal more effective than heavy hide.   skills.  However, it would require a
I do  not  recommend  soft  leather.   lot of development points to be very
Heavy hide is  better in all regards   good and  with the  tough locks  and
and  requires no training.  The high   tougher traps these days, it may not
penalties placed  on chain and plate   be worth it. Stalking / Hiding  is a
armors  make them very  hard to use.   good  skill. I recommend  getting at
They may become  effective  when the   least one rank per level in this due
engagement system goes in, however.    to its low cost.  Perception is what
                                       catches  that thief with his hand in
The heavier armor  types have penal-   your pouch. ;) I recommend  training
ties to your Quickness bonus. (Refer   at least one rank per  level in per-
to the tomes and on-line  documenta-   ception. Picking pockets is a fairly
tion  for detailed information.) The   straightforward skill, but  you bet-
Quickness penalty can take away part   ter be good if you dare try it or be
or all of your QU bonus. So it won't   prepared for the consequences ;).
do you  a lot  of  good to  place an
extremely high number in QU and / or   Ambushing can  be a very good skill,
choose a race with a great QU bonus,   but to ambush something  you must be
if  you intend  to wear  armor  that   very good  at hiding or the skill is
will  nullify  those  bonuses. It is   nearly useless.  With learning  both
this consideration  that  makes  the   hiding and ambushing, you're looking
high  man and  dwarf very attractive   at a serious investment of DPs. How-
fighter races.                         ever,  if  you  successfully  ambush
                                       something and make  a critical  hit,
I myself am  trained in every  armor   you add the number of ranks you have
type, and someday  I intend actually   trained in the skill to the critical
to use each one. For the time being,   roll.  A lot of  training  here  can
armor is severely  penalized  in the   have deadly results.
game, and the very heavy armor types
are death traps.  I strongly  recom-   At least  some training  in climbing
mend that everyone  start  out using   and swimming is required to get to a
heavy hide.                            few  places in  the land.  Riding is
                                   -=4=-                (Continued Page 14)
                      That #@^%&*! Orc Broke My Shield!
 ____________         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
/ \      __  \               by Ducwiz Blackwood
\@|     / "|  |  
  |    //|"|  |  
 _|   //=|"|  |  
/@|  //  |"|  |fter  you  leave  the   In  our  world,  physics and actions
\_/ ~~ ~~~   /relative safety of the   are  explained  by comparing them to
  ~~~~~~~~~~~ catacombs to hunt out-   the   probability   of  certain  die
side of Kelfour's, you find out that   rolls.   Most  actions  can  be  ex-
weapons and shields break.  Kobs are   plained  with a single die roll, but
good  instructors  in  this  lesson;   more complex ones need an open roll.
they  break  shields,  rapiers, even
short  swords.   As  a newbie, I did   The  rules  for  an open roll are as
not  know  how to gauge the relative   follows.  A 100 sided die is rolled.
likelihood   that   something  would   If  the  number  generated  is 96 or
break in the field, so I carried two   greater,  a second roll is made.  If
shields and two swords at all times.   96  or  greater  comes  up  again, a
There  were  a  couple  of nights in   third  roll is made, and so on until
Kobland  where  I went through three   95  or  less  come up.  All of these
or four shields!  (Fortunately, kobs   rolls are added together and that is
drop  their short swords and shields   your total.  Most of the time (95%),
when  they  die, so there are always   there  will  be only one roll, but I
plenty lying around Kobland.)          have  seen  values  over  300 when a
             /                                              \
            |  OB: 0 vs DB: 30 = -30                         |
            |  THT 76, d100 roll: 38, modified: 8            |
            |  Weapon clash!                                 |
            |  [STR/BF: 75/160 vs. 8/130, (open)D100 = 186]  |
            |  Its cudgel breaks!                            |
Once  I  got a little money ahead, I   weapon   or   shield   were  broken.
decided   to   buy   a  shield  that   Considering  how many swings we take
wouldn't   break.   Looking  at  the   during  a typical outing, 5% happens
choices of materials, I saw that you   a lot.
can have a shield custom made out of
iron.   This sounded stronger than a   The rules comparing STR/BF are fair-
simple  reinforced  shield, so I had   ly simple:
one made and used it along Mine Road
quite happily.  But on my first trip   1) If the weapon swing does not
to  Hobland,  an  orc  with  a short      connect, a roll determines a
sword shattered it.                       weapon/shield or weapon/weapon
                                          clash, or a clean miss.
I've  since  learned  the physics of
weapon/shield  breakage,  and how to   2) If there is a clash, an open roll
read the numbers.  A typical example      is made. We'll call this number
is in the box on this page.               the breakage probability (BP).
The abbreviation STR/BF in line four   3) The BP is compared with the
stands for strength/breakage factor.      breakage factor (BF) of the item
Every weapon and shield has a STR/BF      with the lower strength (STR).
rating.  In this example, the 75/160      If BP is greater than BF, the
is  my drake falchion, and the 8/130      item breaks.
is  the  orc's  cudgel.   The remark
"(open)D100  =  186" means there was   4) If both items have the same STR,
an open roll of a 100 sided die, and      the BP is compare to each of
the result is 186.                        their BFs. Either or both items
                                   -=5=-                            More...
   will break, if the BP exceeds       areas,  against  poorly  or  unarmed
   their BFs. It is possible that      opponents.    Rapiers  are  a  great
   another roll is made if both        weapon for hunting along Torkaan Row
   items have the same BF, to de-      or   Mine  Road,  but  venture  into
   termine whether one, both or        Kobland  or Hobland with one and you
   neither breaks; I don't have        best have a spare in your pack.
   an exact answer for this con-
   dition. The important point of      You  will  also  notice  that  it is
   this rule is that it is possible    impossible to make a shield shatter-
   for both items to break!            proof,  even  with  laen.   Making a
                                       shield  out of iron, although it has
So  what  you  want is a shield (and   a  higher STR, actually results in a
weapon)  with a better STR than your   shield  that will break more easily;
opponent's.   The  list below covers   an iron shield has a lower BF than a
all  common weapons, plus a few with   wooden one, and both have lower STRs
custom materials:                      than  most  of  the weapons you will
                                       encounter. There is not much differ-
  Item                  ST/BF          rence between laen and mithril, with
  ----                  -----          laen  having  a one weapon advantage
  Cudgel                 8/130         (the  mace).   But both of them have
  Dagger                18/195         almost  the  same chance of breaking
  Staff                 20/140         against  a  short sword, so you have
  Rapier                30/100         to ask yourself, is the extra +10 DB
  Wooden shield         45/155         and a little better STR/BF worth the
  Reinforced shield     45/165         extra 23,000 silvers?
  Mithril rapier        50/140
  Laen rapier           54/165         Maybe  the  answer  depends  on  how
  Iron shield           55/120         likely  it  is  for a laen shield to
  Steel rapier          55/120         break.   To  help you decide, I com-
  Scimitar              60/150         puted  the  probability  of a shield
  Morning Star          60/145         breaking  depending  on the material
  Flail                 60/150         it  is  made  from.   These  figures
  War hammer            60/155         should be close but, then again, I'm
  War mattock           60/145         no mentalist:
  Mace                  65/250
  Mithril shield        65/195           Shield Type         Breakage
  Battle axe            70/155           -----------         --------
  Laen shield           70/220           Standard             1.95%
  Hand axe              70/160           Reinforced           1.45%
  Short sword           70/185           Iron                 3.30%
  Two-handed sword      75/200           Mithril              0.24%
  Broadsword            75/160           Laen                 0.18%
  Falchion              75/160  
  Mithril broadsword    95/200         You could conclude that a reinforced
  Laen broadsword       99/225         shield  is a bargain, I'll take two!
                                       Or that mithril is almost as good as
Laen  adds  24/65 to the STR/BF of a   laen, and a lot cheaper, so I'll buy
weapon  and 25/65 to the STR/BF of a   one  and not cry when I must replace
shield,  while mithril adds 20/40 to   it.   Or you could say that it looks
both.   Iron  and  steel  substitute   like it's almost impossible to break
their   STR/BF  of  55/120  for  the   a  laen  shield,  here's  my  money,
material  they  replace.   For  more   Aznell  (you optimist, you).  Or you
information on custom materials, see   could  say,  Tyron, how long will it
Kenner Boh's article in KEV4N1.        take to forge me a laen broadsword?
As  you  can  see,  rapiers are dan-   I'd  like  to  thank everyone on the
gerously  weak against most weapons,   MPGRT  Bulletin  Board who helped me
no  matter  what the material.  This   with this article, especially Kenner
is why they are used in only certain   Boh.
 _______________              The Broken Land
/ \ ____    ____\             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| +|~~\  /~~|+|             by Lord Trachten
  |  |~\~\/~/~| |  
 _|  |~|\~~/|~| | an'Ta  Pn'Tairken,   still  unsolved  puzzle  involving a
/@| _|~| ~~ |~|_| or The Broken Land   power-sucking dome. You can feel the
\_/ ~~~~    ~~~~/ as it is more com-   effect of the dome even upstairs, as
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  monly  called,  is   it draws power from you at one point
an area  for characters of  level 25   per  minute. The  closer you  get to
and greater. The  entrance is a rune   the dome, the faster you lose power.
stone  located in the  Misty Chamber   Some  claim that  you will even lose
of the Monastery. To enter, you must   charges from magic items. Apparently
read the  runes on the  stone, which   you must  feed  the dome so  that it
you cannot do until you are at least   it will quit drawing power (and fog)
level  25. Even  at that  level, you   on  the plain.  So far,  no one  has
must have rune skill to get  in. The   found how  to do this. In the fogged
25th level character with the lowest   rooms,  everyone's  Defensive  Bonus
skill yet  to gain  entrance had  20   (DB) goes  up  +30,  yours  and  the
ranks. If you have little or no rune   hooded figures'. (For more detail on
training, you may have to wait until   the fog and power drain, see map.)
level 28, when  anyone can  read the
rune stone, regardless of skill.       Moving  around   on  the   plain  is
                                       enormously unpleasant. There is a 15
The  area  is  broken  up  into  two   second round time each time you move
parts, the  upstairs and  the plain.   to a new room. Climbing skill lowers
Getting from  the  upstairs  to  the   this  round  time.  Some  think that
plain is a puzzle, different in each   perception helps as well.
direction.  On the plain, there is a
/ \                                                                      \
\_@|                     - Map of the Broken Land -                      |
   |                                                                     |
   |         UTHEX'S ABODE                     THE PLAIN                 |
   |                                                                     |
   |                                                     sharp           |
   |                                                     crystals        |
   |   runestone -> 1                           3--3--3                  |
   |   room         ^                          /|\/|\/|\                 |
   |                |                         / |/\|/\| \                |
   |               go                        4--4--4--4--4   '6' marks   |
   |            1 arch, 1       unscalable  /|\/|\/|\/|\/|\     dome     |
   |             \ out /          cliffs   / |/\|/\|/\|/\| \             |
   |              \ | /                   3--4--5-(5)(5)(4)-3            |
   |               \v/                    |\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/| '()' marks |
   |                1                     |/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|  fogged    |
   |                |                 +-->3-(4)(5)(6)(5)(4)(3) rooms     |
   |                |                 |    \ |\/|\/|\/|\/| /             |
   |                |                 |     \|/\|/\|/\|/\|/              |
   |            1---1---1       out,  |     (4)(5)(5)(5)(4)              |
   |                ^          go open|      |\/|\/|\/| /      boiling   |
   |     getting    |                 |      |/\|/\|/\|/       mud       |
   |     stairs to  |                 +->   (4)(4)(4)(4)                 |
   |     appear     +-------> 1 <------+|     \ |\/| /                   |
   |     is a      go stair             |      \|/\|/  +----------------+|
   |     puzzle        finger-                 (3)(3)  |numbers indicate |
 _ |                   shaped                          |pp's lost per min|
/ \|                   boulder                         +----------------+|
Hooded  figures take criticals  from   even if  you are not in the room! It
the  Normal Critical tables, have no   is  important  to find  the  figures
critical  resistance, and  are stun-   quickly when they arrive; otherwise,
nable. However,  their perception is   their DB rapidly rises by +25.
very  high, and they  have  quite an
arsenal of offensive spells.           You will need to generate as much RR
                                       (Resistance Roll)  protection as you
The list  of weapons is  incomplete,   can, since both types of figures use
but  you get the  idea. The  figures   RR spells.  Metal  or leather  armor
use all kinds of one - handed  edged   will  help here, as well  as certain
and crushing weapons, as well as the   dissipating gestures. Versus casters
two - handed staff. I have  not seen   of level 30 and greater,  leather is
them use other two-handed weapons or   better  over all  against Essence RR
polearms. The figures wear all armor   spells than  metal.  Either  type of
types except AT 19 and 20.             armor is  an improvement  over plain
                                       hide, as far as resistance goes.
Hooded figures  come in  two  types:
Sorcerers and Mages. Both types know   The figures are  very fond of Dispel
the Open Essence spells given above.   Magic,  which causes  you to  lose a
In addition, Sorcerers know the Sor-   random spell that you currently have
cerer and  Open  Channeling  spells;   up. Fortunately, if you have a spell
Mages know the Mage spells.            prepped, that  one is lost  instead.
                                       It is important to keep a spell like
As the figures walk unmolested, they   Hues or  Guarding I prepped to avoid
cast defensive spells on themselves,   losing your Wizard Shield or Alkar.
/ \                                                                       \
\_@|                    Hooded Figures (Upstairs)                          |
   |                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                         |
   |     Level:       30                 CP's:        Approx. 350          |
   |     Attacks/OB:  Weapon/178         AT:          See armor list.      |
   |          Directed Spell/224         Skin:        None                 |
   |     DB:          193                Treasure:    Level IV Chests      |
   |     Round time:   6 seconds         Special:     See spell lists.     |
   |                                                                       |
   |     Weapon List                          Armor List                   |
   |     ~~~~~~~~~~~                          ~~~~~~~~~~                   |
   |     Dagger            Robe                2     Ring Mail         11  |
   |     Falchion          Light Hide          3     Scale Mail        12  |
   |     Hand Axe          Heavy Hide          4     Chain Mail        13  |
   |     Rapier            Light Leather       5     Double Chain      14  |
   |     Broadsword        Full Leather        6     Augmented Chain   15  |
   |     Short Sword       Reinforced Leather  7     Chain Hauberk     16  |
   |     Mace              Double Leather      8     Metal Breastplate 17  |
   |     Morning Star      Leather Breastplate 9     Augmented             |
   |     Flail             Cuirbouilli        10           Breastplate 18  |
   |     Staff                                                             |
   |                                                                       |
   |     Sorcerer List        Open Essence List      Mage List             |
   |     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~~~             |
   |     Limb Pain             Guarding I            Shockbolt             |
   |     Touch of Disruption   Essence Wave          Waterbolt             |
   |     Word of Bleeding      Guarding II           Displacement          |
   |                           Essence Blast         Firebolt              |
   |     Open Channel List     Essence Strike        Coldball              |
   |     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     Vulnerability         Fireball              |
/ \|     Aura                  Dispel Magic          Lightningbolt         |
/ \                                                                       \
\_@|      Hooded Figures (Plain)             Fog Beetles                   |
   |      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~             ~~~~~~~~~~~                   |
   |      Level:       35                    Level:        35              |
   |      Attacks/OB:  Weapon/186            Attacks/OB:  Pincer/207       |
   |                   Directed Spell/236                                  |
   |      DB:          201                   DB:          155              |
   |      Round time:   6                    Round time:   6               |
   |      CP's:        Approx. 420           CP's:        Approx. 400      |
   |      AT:          See list.             AT:          AT 4 (-1) *      |
   |      Skin:        None                  Skin:        Carapace         |
   |      Treasure:    Level IV Chests       Treasure:    1000 silvers     |
   |      Special:     See Mage and Sorc     Special:     Poison Jet       |
   |                  spell lists.                                         |
   |                                                                       |
   |                Additional Spell - Blade Turn                          |
   |                                                                       |
 _ |    * modified AT, THT of AT 4 minus one (eg. 83 vs. falchion),        |
/ \|      critical range and concussion point damage of AT 4.              |
Figures  also  cast Essence  Wave, a   altogether (maneuver  roll).  If you
spell which  knocks you  down with a   miss the  gas, you get  a 5 - second
20-second round  time, lowering your   round time; if not, you get a RR vs.
DB by 50. Meanwhile, the figure gets   poison. The best defense is the True
two or three swings in.                Breath  spell from  the  CC  (closed
                                       channeling)  list. With this  spell,
Fog beetles take criticals  from the   you automatically avoid the gas with
Large  Critical table, have critical   no round time. The OC (open channel-
resistance, and are unstunnable; but   ing) Poison  Resist spell  is not as
their defenses are nothing  special.   effective, merely giving a second RR
The real danger is their poison  gas   roll if you miss the first. Finally,
attack. It is a level 52  attack, as   if you miss the RR  vs. poison,  you
follows:                               better  have access to the OC Unpoi-
                                       son spell,  which  will  remove  all
  RR threshold = (50 + 52 - level)     traces of poison from your system.

The resistance  roll (RR) for poison   The best places to hunt on the plain
is  1d100  + COnstitution  bonus. If   are the  western and northern edges.
that is greater than your RR thresh-   That is where the power drain is the
old, you  are okay.  If you  fail to   smallest, and  the  rooms  are  fog-
resist, you are in deep trouble. The   free. The  figures and  beetles move
poison hits at up to 55 cps/rnd with   around a lot, and have no round time
a dissipation rate of 1.               for climbing. With a group  of three
                                       adventurers, you  can  just wait  in
The poison  gas comes  out in a jet,   one of  these  rooms for the figures
which  you have  a chance  to  avoid   and beetles to show up.
           __                 __                 __                 __
          / /                / /                / /                / /
   /~~~~~~~~~~~\      /~~~~~~~~~~~\      /~~~~~~~~~~~\      /~~~~~~~~~~~\
  /   _     _   \    /   _     _   \    /   _     _   \    /   _     _   \
 /   /^\   /^\   \  /   /^\   /^\   \  /   /^\   /^\   \  /   /^\   /^\   \
|    \_/ _ \_/    ||    \_/ _ \_/    ||    \_/ _ \_/    ||    \_/ _ \_/    |
|       <_>       ||       <_>       ||       <_>       ||       <_>       |
|   |\   _   /|   ||   |\   _   /|   ||   |\   _   /|   ||   |\   _   /|   |
|   \ |_| |_| /   ||   \ |_| |_| /   ||   \ |_| |_| /   ||   \ |_| |_| /   |
 \   \       /   /  \   \       /   /  \   \       /   /  \   \       /   /
  \   ~~~~~~~   /    \   ~~~~~~~   /    \   ~~~~~~~   /    \   ~~~~~~~   /
   \___________/      \___________/-=9=- \___________/      \___________/

 _________                       Courage
/ \ _____ \                      ~~~~~~~
\@| ~|_|~ |                   by Xero Ulwane
  |  |~|  |  
 _|  |~|  | learned a lot  from Papa   one  would deny she was a hobbit. In
/@| _|~|_ | besides  hobbit history.   fact, no more than a handful of hob-
\_/ ~~~~~ / Hobbits aren't fighters,   bits ever  would have questioned her
 ~~~~~~~~   he told me any number of   being a warrior, but Papa was one of
times, but he did teach me something   that  handful.  She  held   a  sword
about hunting.  I doubt I will  ever   firmly, she moved quietly and confi-
match his eye for archery, and traps   dently, she  knew how  and  where to
are still a mystery in  spite of his   strike, how to  parry a blow, how to
best  efforts. Staying out of sight,   avoid what could  not be  stopped. I
getting close to the target, letting   can't guess  where she learned those
the target  come to you, even, these   skills, since  no one in  our commu-
he drilled into me out of necessity.   nity could have  taught her, but she
I insisted on  following along  when   certainly  had learned.
he  went  out with his  bow, and  it
would  hardly have done any good for   She  was the topic of many conversa-
him  to stay  out of  sight  while I   tions with  Papa: I would not  argue
trailed noisily in his wake.           with him, but I never understood, if
                                       she trained  as a  fighter and moved
On occasion, the Hunes,  our nearest   as a fighter and acted as a fighter,
neighbors, joined us. They were Lun-   how Papa  came to be so sure she was
dor Hune, his oldest son, Brech, and   not a  fighter. "She's a hobbit," he
two  worthless dogs. Less often, his   answered,  and   though  that  never
daughter, Vrise, would appear at our   explained anything  to me, it always
door at the  end of the  day, and we   ended the conversation.
would  plan an evening's quiet walk.
In  reality, a quiet  walk with  the   That disagreement  may  explain  why
Hune hounds was a practical impossi-   she accompanied us so  infrequently,
bility; and though Brech  was by all   as she always appeared to enjoy her-
accounts  a very respectable farmer,   self when  she came  along. She wore
his  woodcraft  was  worse  than  my   her sword and a  dagger and a shield
archery. If  dogs  in time  come  to   slung  over her shoulder as casually
resemble their  master,  then  Brech   as anyone  else might  wear a cloak,
must  have  been the  master  of the   and she proved an invaluable ally on
Hune household, for in every respect   those  occasions when  I could think
those dogs  reflected his attitudes,   of no new ways to curse the dogs. In
his  character,  and  even,  depres-   fact, that evening marked one of her
singly enough, his grooming.           triumphs: she proposed that the only
                                       fit punishment for those  dogs would
Papa  always  strung  his   bow  and   be for  them to die and come back as
took a  full quiver, although at the   themselves again in the next life.
time I had the  impression  the only
things worth shooting  we were  ever   We had  been walking for perhaps two
likely to see, with the  Hune hounds   hours when  the  dogs had a  barking
chasing each other in circles around   attack.  Squirrels triggered more of
us, were the dogs themselves. But in   these episodes than all other causes
time there  came an  evening that at   combined,  but as  usual  Brech pan-
least  partly changed  my impression   icked, eyes  popping  as he  spun in
of those dogs. That reader will earn   circles to see what had set the dogs
my gratitude who will at least feign   off and  looking  desperately  for a
surprise  when I mention that  Vrise   good stick he might use for defense.
was with us that evening.              Vrise let out a  few  oaths I  don't
                                       think  I'd ever heard from  a hobbit
Vrise would have argued with my Papa   before and began  walking in an out-
endlessly  on  one  point: she  con-   ward spiral  to intercept  the dogs,
sidered  herself  a fighter,  and no   who were running circles around  our
party and stopping every few seconds   dogs seem  to think whatever  is out
to turn  and bark  into the  forest.   there is getting closer to you."
Vrise slapped  the flat of her blade
against her shield, shouting between   "Get  the dogs  out of here. If they
blows, "Walker!  Rummy! Heel! Rummy!   come  at  me,  the  dogs   will  get
Get over here! Walker! Shut up!"       tangled up in it."
And then she stopped and very slowly   "Brech," Papa  directed, "don't  get
moved sideways, eyes  fixed on some-   past that  first tree. Just call the
thing  I couldn't pick  out. Step by   dogs. If they get  mixed up with the
step she circled, slowly, carefully,   wolves, I won't be able to tell what
to  bring herself between the  party   I'm shooting at."
and the thing  she saw. The dogs ran
in circles, but now they seemed con-   "The first tree?" Brech sounded mis-
fused,  stopping  from time  to time   erable.  I couldn't  blame him.  His
and staring  outward, as though they   dogs and his  sister amongst wolves,
had forgotten why they were barking.   and all he could  do to  help was to
                                       walk in the  same direction and hope
"Vrise--." Papa cut me short, clamp-   nobody had missed any wolves.
ing a hand down hard on my shoulder.
I  probably made  more noise jumping   "Come on,"  I volunteered,  "I'll go
up and landing again than I had been   with you." My  hands  tightened con-
about to make, but I gave up immedi-   vulsively on my walking stick as the
ately on  the injured look I started   words left my mouth.
to give him. He was tense, trying to
watch the dogs and Vrise at the same   "Xero," cautioned  Papa,  "not  past
time, and he had an arrow nocked.      the first tree.  I want a clear line
                                       of fire."
"Do you  see  anything?"  asked  old
Hune, staring into the forest behind   "I know."  It sounded stupid.
Papa.  "Vrise does.  I can see where
she's looking,  but I can't see what   A step  and a  half ahead  of Brech,
she's looking at."                     who  seemed to have even less confi-
                                       dence in  my  walking  stick  than I
"Now what?" I could hear the lump in   did, I walked slowly and  quietly to
Brech's throat.  He had given up his   the tree, crossing behind it to keep
search for  a stick and was  looking   Vrise in sight.  Fifteen feet was as
towards Vrise and  the two dogs, who   close as I could come and  still see
finally seemed agreed that  whatever   in  most  directions.  I twisted  to
was out  there was  fairly close  to   pick  up Brech out  of the corner of
her. I'd had  a walking stick  since   my eye. Looking from me to Vrise, to
we left the farm, but it wasn't till   me, to the  dogs and back to  me, he
my fingers hurt that I  realized I'd   inched closer. "What do I say?"
had  a death grip  on it ever  since
Vrise stopped chasing the dogs.        "How  should I know?"  My voice  was
                                       not as  calm as I would  have liked.
"How  far  am  I  from  you?"  Vrise   "They're  your   dogs."   I  waited.
called without turning around.         Silence.  Half  turning  my  head, I
                                       hissed, "Brech!"
"I don't  see anything  behind you,"
answered Papa.  "You're about half a   "The wolves will hear us."
bowshot, probably less."
                                       "They already know we're here!"
"I've only seen one so far, but from
the way  the dogs  were  acting  I'd   "Well, what are we doing here?"
guess there are a few more."
                                       We were  taking too long.  Vrise was
"Could you tell us what you've seen?   inching very slowly back towards us,
We don't see any of 'em yet, but the   but she'd covered less than two feet
in the  time it had taken us to move   dog  until I saw the bushes  come to
to the tree. The wolf  she saw would   life on Vrise's right.  Vrise turned
not be the one  who moved first, and   a quick circle but  nothing else was
and she was the only one who saw any   moving,  so she charged  the rolling
of them.  I saw  she  had slung  her   mass of the wolf that had come after
shield  again and  had her dagger in   her and the dog that came between.
her left  hand. How much  good would
that  do her  if she didn't  see the   As she turned towards that tangle, a
wolf coming?  Maybe we  should leave   shadow left its  tree and shot right
the dogs  out there.  At least  they   for  her  from  behind.  "Vrise!"  I
had an  idea  where the  wolves were   shouted and  ran toward her, realiz-
and how many there might be.           ing as I did that hobbits  don't run
                                       fast and I was a long ways away.
But Papa  wanted a  clean shot.  And
Brech certainly wasn't going to give   "Xero, hold!" Papa has a way of put-
it to him. I drew a  deep breath and   ing  enough  ice  in  his  voice  to
let  it out. Three  times I did that   freeze an entire lake. I stopped ten
before I  finally  felt like I could   feet beyond the tree and stood, use-
call the dogs without my voice shak-   lessly  wringing  the  clout  that I
ing. "Walker!" I called, but I doubt   knew wouldn't have made  any differ-
that Brech  heard  me.  He  couldn't   ence.  The wolf rushing Vrise's back
have; he wasn't laughing at me.        suddenly  sank  to  the  ground  and
                                       stopped moving. I took one more step
"Walker!"  I  called  again,  louder   forward and  stopped, turned a quick
this time and a bit steadier. One of   circle and made my  way quickly back
the dogs looked briefly in my direc-   to the  tree, turning to watch  with
tion.  It occurred  to me  I had  no   my back pressed against it.
idea which  dog was which. At  least
one of  them had turned his  head. I   Vrise was  as close as she dared get
supposed that  meant he  was Walker.   to the wolf-dog  turmoil that seemed
"Walker, come  here," I  enunciated,   to have more than two sets  of teeth
wondering how  clear  diction  might   snapping  shut  at  all  times.  She
help. I stopped  to listen.  I heard   sheathed her  dagger and unslung her
something behind me but for a moment   shield, turning to  see if  anything
couldn't make  it out. I very slowly   else  was coming. She looked back at
turned  my head  to find the source.   something past  me, then  nodded and
Then it came  to me:  that was  the    tossed her sword to the side.  Hold-
sound of Brech inching his way back    ing  her  shield  by  its  rim,  she
towards Papa and his father.           swatted it down on  the furry whirl.
                                       There was a snarl and a yelp, though
"Hold still! All I can hear is you!"   I couldn't tell which came  from the
I hissed.  I turned  back  to  Vrise   wolf and which from the dog.
just  in time  to see  a grey streak
flash from  the undergrowth, driving   As soon as the shield hit something,
straight towards  her back.  Another   Vrise dropped it and did a backwards
wolf feinted a frontal charge.         somersault.  Another   whisper  from
                                       behind me and one of the shapes sank
"Behind you!"  I yelled.  One of the   down  and lay still. Vrise rolled to
dogs ran headlong at the wolf charg-   her knees and eyed the survivor over
ing Vrise  from behind. Wolf and dog   the blade of her  dagger, but it was
met in  midair,  each  lunging  with   reassuringly friendly. She  rose and
jaws open.  Vrise turned to meet the   retrieved her shield.
attack, and the wolf that had veered
away from her sword now circled back   I heard Brech  groan as what left of
towards her legs. I heard a reassur-   this dog  charged  into  the  moving
ing whisper  from behind  and to  my   bush. Vrise scooped up her sword and
right, and that wolf suddenly yelped   edged  closer.  "Not  too  close," I
and jumped  back,  to limp  into the   breathed. She stared into the under-
forest.  I couldn't  find the second   brush,  and I started forward again,
feeling Papa's eyes on me the moment   Whatever it was, she put  her sword,
I left the tree. Suddenly, something   dagger, and  shield in a small trunk
yelping  exploded  out of that  same   in  one basement  of the  Hune home,
bush and headed straight for Vrise's   and I'm told  they stayed  there for
sword. She drew her shield in tight,   two years  before she  went back for
brought her  blade back,  and braced   them. She did  go back though, and I
for  impact. The  limping shape of a   don't know  of anyone I grew up with
dog veered off and ran around Vrise,   who faced down a  tougher  challenge
who let out a sigh I could hear from   than that.
thirty yards  away. The dog  twisted
closer to  Vrise,  whining, but  she   Papa had  a few  questions about  my
was locked on the bush again.          own common sense after that evening,
                                       which  I thought  was  hardly  fair.
"Rummy!"  Brech  shouted and  ran up   He'd told Brech to go call his dogs.
behind  me. The dog  limped  towards   I just went with him.
Brech for  sympathy instead. Another
yelp and some growls and snarls, and   "I told him, and you, not to go past
two ripples snaked along the bush in   the first tree."
opposite directions. The ripple that
emerged  close  to Papa's end  was a   "We did  stop there, and  called the
short-lived  wolf. If  what came out   dogs like you asked. I've never done
the other end  was really Walker, he   such a stupid thing in my life as to
didn't do much better.  He staggered   walk into a pack of wolves and start
twenty feet  clear of the bush, then   calling, 'come here.'"
turned to Vrise. He fell, picked his
nose up off  the ground, and dragged   "You did  that part well enough, all
forward a few inches.  Then the nose   things considered. If you'd actually
sank again.                            managed to get the dogs to come--and
                                       don't take it I'm saying  you should
We couldn't have carried Walker back   have--then things might have  been a
with us  if we'd  wanted to.   Brech   little different."
insisted on burying him on the spot.
Since we  didn't have  a shovel,  we   "I think they might!  Who would have
laid him  in a  narrow depression we   taken that first wolf?"
found near where he died and covered
him as  well as we could with  rocks   "Vrise would have, son. She'd turned
and branches.  Rummy managed to limp   to take  it already, hadn't she?  It
all the way home, and  while it took   was the  wolf coming  from the other
him some  time to recover,  I had no   side that was trouble, and I had him
reason  to  complain.  His prolonged   with my first shot."
convalescence  served admirably  for
an  excuse to check in  almost daily   "One would have got past."
on Vrise.
                                       "She might  have been  hurt.  Likely
She survived  the  adventure  almost   she would have  been. But  she knows
unscratched,  but it  was some  time   a few  things about  staying  alive,
before I saw her smile again. I have   and I know a few  things about kill-
yet  to learn  exactly why,  since I   ing wolves."
could  never bring  the night  up in
conversation  without  her  becoming   "So,  wouldn't  you  say  she  is  a
suddenly fatigued or feeling a head-   fighter, then?"
ache coming on. After a while I gave
it up.  Maybe she  failed to live up   "I'd say  she  knows  a  few  things
to her own  expectations  of a  true   about  staying  alive.    She  knows
warrior.  Maybe  she  felt bad about   herself pretty  well, which is good.
the things we'd said about Rummy and   But fighters  have to  know not only
Walker,  even if most  of them  were   themselves,  but   what  they're  up
true.  We'd  never  questioned their   against, and  she walked  into  that
character, only their  common sense.   pretty blind,  didn't she?   I know,
it was  the dogs  again.   Still, it   "So  I   need  the   courage  to  do
wasn't just her walking into it that   nothing?"
convinces me  she's not  a  fighter.
It's that  she was  too small to get   "Do  you  know  of  anything  that's
out  of  it  again.    Sure,  bigger   harder to  do?   And in  this  case,
fighter,  bigger  target,  but  also   that was exactly what you needed."
bigger  sword,   bigger  sweep,  and
fewer strokes to finish the job."      I   think    that   was   the   only
                                       conversation  we  ever  had  on  the
"Then against a giant, an elf is too   subject that  didn't  end  with  him
small?"                                reminding me Vrise is a hobbit.  I'm
                                       not  sure   I  would   call  it   an
"I suppose.   But  there are  a  lot   improvement, but  it gave  me a  bit
more things  a hobbit  is too  small   more  to  think  about  than  usual.
for, than an elf."                     Don't tell  Papa, but  I  still  say
                                       Vrise was and is a fighter.  And I'm
"You weren't  too small.   You stood   still working  on his second kind of
half a bowshot away--"                 courage.   He had  one thing  right:
                                       nothing is very hard to do.
"But I  wasn't trying  to fight  the
wolves, was  I, son?   You  were the   (from "The Tales of Xero Ulwane: or,
one who wanted to try that."           Where Did I Put My Shield?")
"It seemed  better than  leaving her   -----------------------------------
out there alone."
                                         A Beginner's Guide - from Page 4
"It would  have made  things  harder   ___________________________________
for me,  son.   Who would  have made
more of  a difference,  you  in  the   another skill that is unimplemented,
middle of things with your stick, or   except for  the occasional joust :).
me at a distance with my bow?"         First  aid can  come in  handy for a
                                       fighter. Even the best of us get cut
"That's hardly  fair.  Of course you   up from time to time. Your first aid
would do  better with  your bow, but   skill also  adds to your  ability to
it's small  comfort to  her.   She's   skin creatures.
still standing there alone."
                                       There is  a trick  you can  do  with
"No she  isn't, son.  I had nearly a   body development  that can  free  up
full quiver.   She  wasn't alone, as   needed  development points for other
long as  I had  her in  sight."   He   skills. Only  train in  it one  rank
smiled at  me  patiently.    "You're   per level. There is a maximum to the
confusing two kinds of courage.  The   number of  concussion points you can
one you  have plenty  of, and that's   have  and you will  eventually reach
the kind  that tells  you if someone   it. If you plan to go to high level,
is  in  trouble  you  should  be  in   then don't  waste points doubling up
trouble, too.   Well,  that kind  of   on this. You  may choose to do so at
courage  winds  up  getting  you  in   the  lower levels  just to  get your
plenty of trouble, all right, but it   concussion points up  to a more for-
doesn't really  do anybody else much   giving number quickly.
good.  The other kind you still have
to work  on, and that is the courage   That about covers most of the useful
to do  what needs to be  done. Never   skills for  fighters. Be diverse. It
mind what you want to do. Never mind   is one  of the biggest advantages of
what  you  feel  you  must do.  What   the profession. Have fun, and remem-
needs to happen, and what do  you do   ber one last  thing. Despite popular
to make it happen? In this case, you   opinion,  fighters don't  have to be
needed  to stay  out of  the line of   dumb. Making a  fighter that is suc-
fire. And you  did, reasonably well,   cessful at high levels is one of the
with a little encouragement."          challenges of this game.
 _________                      New Beginnings
/ \ _____ \                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ~|_|~  |                      Anonymous
  |  | |   |  
 _|  |~|   |  
/@| _|~|_  |t  felt  the  attraction   it  was gentle and  pure.  The globe
\_/ ~~~~~ / and  glided down to  the   slowly  dissolved,  its  life  force
  ~~~~~~~~  large pulsating light, a   already gone.
kaleidoscope  of colors  and sounds,
the  familiar and  warm presence  of   He lay  there  unblinking,  enjoying
Eissa.  The  globe hovered,  waiting   the sight of trees, the path to  his
patiently.                             right, the  smell of  the wilds, the
                                       lush grass on which he lay.  Sitting
"Spirit!"  thundered her voice, "Thy   up he noticed his human form.  Again
time has come again!"                  the rush of  memories, but with more
                                       coherence and meaning now.  For sure
The globe struggled for the meaning,   he had been an elf, a fair elf. Now,
wishing  to return to  the  peaceful   he was just a common man.
void from which it had come.
                                       "This looks so familiar," he quietly
Again  the voice.                      murmured.  Heading over to the path,
                                       he  followed its  twisty  route  for
"Spirit!   Thy  time  has  come. You   several hours, finally  exiting  the
shall be returned to that which was,   maze of trees. In the distance lay a
which still is.  Thy original vessel   city, a walled city, a city he knew.
is  long  since dust,  but a fitting
vessel has  been found for you.  Now   "Kelfour's. Why would I be sent back
remember that which you once were."    to Kelfour's?"
                                       In good time, he arrived at the main
Fast, fleeting  images - an  elf, an   gates of  the city and was hailed by
apprentice,  a depth  of  knowledge;   local militia.
faces friendly, then hostile; a dark
presence, threats, the loss of loved   "Stranger!   Where do ye hail from?"
ones; a funeral  pyre, sacrifice,  a
name: Aspis.  More names, old names:   "I do not know," he shouted back.
Jamel, Ilstar, Ruttger, Taarna, Fxg,
Mmorfo, Valeria.....                   "What  do you mean, you do not know?
                                       Are you an idiot?"  asked one guard;
"Spirit!"  interrupted  Eissa,  "you   the rest doubled up in laughter.
lose yourself!"
                                       "No." A simple reply.
A wild  flicker lit the  globe, then
it waited silently.                    "Well you must be if you do not know
                                       where  you  came  from!"  Again  the
Eissa  spoke once  more.               laughter.  "Let us  see now,  do you
                                       even know your name?"
"Thy vessel has been chosen for thee
but  the   powers   which  you  once   "I think..."
mastered have long since dissipated.
Choose  only the lesser magics,  for   "Speak up man!"
the  magic  that  you  had  formerly
mastered  will  only cause you hard-   Hesitation, confusion.
ship,  and  lead  to  your disaster.
Learn  the  greater  magics  last of   "I think my name is Erebor
all. Now prepare yourself!"            Bordeaux."
Quietly bobbing, the globe signalled            ****************
its  readiness. The glow that bathed
 ____________             Stalking Giants At Twilight
/ \ _________\            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ||=|=|=|| |             by Imric of Troyhadwyl
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |  
 _|    |_|    |  
/@|   _|_|_   |he chill winds of Mt.   the  frost  giant's, then  returning
\_/__________/ Blototh  buffeted  my   the swing in kind,  slicing it  deep
chapped and swollen  face, making my   in its left leg.   Blood stained the
hair  whip and lash at me as  though   snow,  turning  it a pinkish  orange
it was alive. The snow sucking at my   where it splattered.  The giant made
velvet boots so that they  felt like   no sound, nor did it stop.
cold iron  weights to my aching feet
and legs.                              It swung again,  the lumbering thing
                                       was  easy to  avoid.  I had  trained
I  pulled my cowl  even further down   well, I  slashed it again and again.
over my face trying to block the icy   Never receiving,  always giving.  It
gale. Trudging ever onward. Three of   performed other maneuvers, trying to
Kulthea's  moons had  risen and were   shake my perfect form.  Slamming its
shedding only  meager light, but  my   feet to knock me down, hoping that I
elven eyes were not  hindered in the   would not notice, but being light of
slightest.                             foot, I  would spring  back  onto my
                                       toes, anticipating  my next opening.
My hands  gripped weapon  and shield   A final  blow and it  slumped to the
in a numbing embrace. The heavy wool   ground, blue  skin glistening in the
gloves  helped  some, but  the  cold   cool night.
came still  managed to seep through.
The path that I  was following began   I set to work hewing the best of its
to change from rough stone and heavy   its toes from its  foot to keep as a
snow to slickened  ice.  When I felt   souvenir or perhaps  to show  off my
the change through my boots I knew I   abilities.  I next searched what was
had come to the lands of my greatest   left  of his home/drift  and managed
enemies, I  was now  in  frost giant   to find a  large  sum of cash and  a
territory.                             few useless chucks of frozen meat (I
                                       think it was meat).  I soaked in the
My steps quickened as energy coursed   feeling  of  triumph,  knowing  that
through my veins, mixing with hatred   others of its  kind   would  fall as
and fear.  I knew their  destructive   surely as this one did.
malice  from tales and sights  I had
seen with  my own eyes.  I knew they   Hiking onward at  a slight incline I
were the ones meant  for me to bring   slowly worked my way deeper into the
down. I knew that all those years of   glacier.  I came to a  deep crevasse
training, I was unconsciously honing   of  which  I  have  no idea  of  its
my body to defeat this  creature and   depth.  The glacier  went around the
it's ilk.                              crevasse on either side.  I took the
                                       westernmost  side  and  followed  it
Spells I  whispered in  the air,  my   northward.  I spotted another  frost
fingers  dancing.  My blade  gleamed   giant as it attempted to  camouflage
with bright  intensity as  though it   itself  within  the  icy wastes,  no
were anticipating the coming battle.   doubt hoping  to spring  on  me from
The surroundings held life frozen in   behind.
it's grasp, the  air was  silent and
there was nothing around.              When seeing that I  had noticed  it,
                                       while I  was advancing,  it issued a
A snow drift exploded into a million   howl of anger and dug into a sack at
tiny flakes as  a giant  burst  from   its  waist.  Drawing  forth a  large
its  hidden  slumber, shattering the   chunk of ice which it threw with all
stillness like a  pane of glass.  It   its  might in my direction.  The ice
swung at me,  I  avoided  its  blade   shattered  easily  against my spells
easily, clashing my  own weapon with   as I closed in upon the frost giant,
unscathed.  Drawing  a  short  sword   warily, in case there was a mate  to
(though it looked more like a dagger   the one I had just silenced,  though
in its  hand)  from its  belt,  then   my caution was proven unneeded.  The
charged at  me.  My eyes blazed with   cave  was  empty of  inhabitants, at
an  inner fire as I leapt at  it and   least living ones.  Bones were piled
plunged my weapon, to the hilt, into   in a hopeless mass of confusion amid
its exposed stomach.                   torn tunics  and brittle  armors.  A
                                       pile of  branches  was shoved in one
The frost giant gurgled with pain as   corner, no doubt a bed for the thing
I  tore the blade free, but it still   I thought. A glint of polished metal
managed to hold  itself together and   caught my eye, not rusty  or cracked
return a  weak swipe with  its blade   like the rest. I went to inspect it.
in my direction.  Two deep slices to
its  left  leg  and  it fell  to the   With some  shoving and pushing I was
ground in pain as the leg  was shorn   finally able to wrestle it  clear of
free.  Even  though it  was so badly   the  rest  of  the  junk.  It  was a
wounded, still   it  fought  on.   I   shield and obviously of fine make. I
slashed at it with relaxed ease, for   stifled a  yawn as I bent to examine
all  the poor beast  could do was at   it  more  closely, and  almost  fell
best pathetic.  It died only minutes   asleep  right  there.  However, with
later. I slashed a toe from the dead   firm resolve I dragged myself to the
giant, then searched  around for its   make-shift bed and with my cloak was
home/drift.                            able to  become at  least marginally
                                       comfortable  before I drifted off to
I  found no drift, but a cave nearby   sleep....
beckoned me to  enter.  I approached
/ \                                                                      \
\@|                                                                       |
  |                             Frost Giants                              |
  |                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
  |       Lvl:             19                                             |
  |       OB:              145 (Short sword)             THT: 79          |
  |       Spell OB:        100 (Cold Ball)               THT: 15          |
  |       CP's:            280                                            |
  |       DB:              100                                            |
  |       AT:              4                                              |
  |       Round Time:                                                     |
  |       Skin:            Toe (worth about 100 silvers)                  |
  |       Treasure:        Level 2 chests                                 |
  |       SPecial:         Unstunnable, though they  can lose their       |
  |                        extremities.  Won't tend but will bleed.       |
  |                        Can  stomp (knock  you  on the  ground).       |
  |                        Not sure  if they are resistant to cold,       |
  |                        though fire seems to work fine on them.        |
  |                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
  |       My recommendations in  fighting these  creatures, is have       |
  |       about a flat 175 DB (if you wear heavy hide) because they       |
  |       have no round time  when casting the  cold balls, though I       |
  |       have fought them with less.                                     |
  |                                                                       |
  | ______________________________________________________________________|
  |@\                                                                     \
/ \                                                                      \
\@|                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
  |                 Map to the Land of the Frost Giants                   |
  |                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  |
  |                                                                       |
  |                                                  _                    |
  |                                                 [ ]                   |
  |                                              _   |                    |
  |                                             [ ] [ ]                   |
  |                                              |   |                    |
  |                                             [_]-[_]                   |
  |                                                /                      |
  |                                              [ ]                      |
  |                          T: Titan area       /                        |
  |                                \----\---->[T/G]                       |
  |                                 \    \     / ^                        |
  |                                  +----+->[T] |                        |
  |                                  V    V /    |                        |
  |                                  [T]-[T]   Frost Giant area           |
  |                               u/d :        Type (GO GLACIER)          |
  |                                  [ ]                                  |
  |                               u/d :                                   |
  |                                  [ ]                                  |
  |                                   |                                   |
  |                                  [ ]                                  |
  |                               u/d :                                   |
  |                                  [ ]                                  |
  |                                 /                                     |
  |                               [ ]                                     |
  |                                 \                                     |
  |                                 [ ]                                   |
  |                                  *                                    |
  |                                  |<------- type (GO TRUNK)            |
  |                                  |                                    |
  |                                  *                                    |
  |                                 [ ]                                   |
  |                                  |                                    |
  |                                 [ ]                                   |
  |                                  |                                    |
  |                                 [ ]                                   |
  |                                  |                                    |
  |     Dangirland Sign             [ ]                                   |
  |     Type (GO TRAIL)             /                                     |
  |       |                       [ ]                                     |
  |       |        _   _           |                                      |
  |       |       [_]-[_]         [_]                                     |
  |       |      /       \ _   _ /                                        |
  |       |    [ ]        [_]-[_]                                         |
  |       V     |                                                         |
  |       S<-->[_]                                                        |
  |                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
  | ______________________________________________________________________|
  |@\                                                                     \
                        A Matter of Honor (Part V)
                              by Sean2 Lladd
 / \                     Cast  of  Characters                              \
| @/_______________________________________________________________________/
|                                                                        |
|               Sean - Fighter, Mercenary (Junior Journeyman Class),     |
|                      Our Hero                                          |
|              Mikel - Guild Receptionist, Fighter, Mercenary            |
|                      (Master Class)                                    |
|              Oskar - Guild Mage, Mercenary (Master Class)              |
|         Theophilus - Guild Healer, Mercenary (Master Class)            |
|            Torvaal - Captain "Torvaal's Weasels", Mercenary            |
|             Miktok - Mage, Mercenary (Senior Journeyman Class)         |
|   The T'Maerionnal - Sean's Maternal Grandfather, Elf Lord,            |
|                      Mage/Sorcerer (Master Class)                      |
|     Callinthaerion - Weapons Master and Guard Captain for House        |
| O'lun T'Maerionnal   T'Maerionnal                                      |
|            Lyrinda - Guild Healer, Mercenary (Senior Apprentice Class) |
|  Grandmother Nolly - Sean's Nurse/Housekeeper, (Mage?)                 |
|                                                                        |
|  _____________                                                         |
| / \ _________ \ he story so far:  Our hero,  Sean 'tek T'Maerionnal, a |
| \@| ||=|=|=|| |  half-elven mercenary, reported to the local mercenary |
|   | ~~ |_| ~~ |  guild  chapter  to press charges against  his company |
|  _|    |_|    |  commander.  When asked to state his true name, he was |
| /@|   _|_|_   |  incapacitated by an elvish name curse placed upon him |
| \_/__________/   by his maternal grandfather.                          |
|                                                                        |
| After nullifying  most of the  curse, the resident  guild mage  placed |
| Sean into a spell - enhanced rapport with a  memory recording crystal. |
| Sean's memories and past  experiences were recorded,  but not the ones |
| that Theo,  guild masterhealer, nor Oskar, guild mastermage, expected. |
|                                                                        |
| The story picks up as Oskar starts to break the memory trance, releas- |
| ing the spells that bind  the three men's minds to  each other and the |
| Jer'myin crystal.                                                      |
|                                                                        |
| @\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\
|   |                       The  story  continues ...                      |
Oskar leaned  back  and  opened  his   definitely ready  to be  promoted to
eyes. He  saw the slender third beam   journeyman status."
linking the  crystal to  Lyrinda and
smiled to  himself.  He muttered  an   The master healer quickly placed one
incantation  and, with a  quick ges-   hand on  the girl's forehead and did
ture,  dissolved the  links  to  the   a light  surface scan.  He sighed in
crystal.  Lyrinda shuddered lightly,   relief  and  sat  back.  "She'll  be
but Theo just  opened  his eyes  and   okay," he said. "She just needs some
straightened up.                       rest. She's not used to drawing that
                                       much  power,   and  she   gets   too
"I think  you had  better check your   emotionally  wrapped   up   in   her
prodigy," the  mage said quietly, as   monitoring. That's not necessarily a
Theo stretched  with obvious relief.   bad thing,  mind, but  it draws more
"I'm not  sure how,  but she  linked   power than is needed."
herself directly  to the crystal. My
guess   would   be   that   she   is   The healer stretched the girl out on
the cot  that she was sitting on. He   retrieve that sword." the mage said,
placed his  hand on her forehead and   with an unholy gleam in his eye.
muttered a  quick  spell.  The  girl
visibly relaxed  and settled  into a   "All right,  Oskar.  You  stow  that
more normal sleep.                     crystal, I'll  talk to  the  master.
                                       Oh, and  you can  tell Mikel he gets
"That's what  must  have  happened,"   to  carry  that  sword  again.  That
the healer  mused. "She  got wrapped   should light up his face."
up in Sean and couldn't release. Her
empathy IS  nearly off  the scale. I   "Theo, what do you have against that
think she'll  have to  work on  that   sword?   Is it  because it  has more
some more  before she's  truly ready   power  than   the  both  of  us  put
to  be  promoted.  Oh  well,  that's   together, or is it that you're angry
another day."                          that it won't talk to you?"
Theo  gently   patted   the   girl's   "Honestly, Oskar?  It's  the  power.
shoulder and  pulled a blanket taken   That sword could probably split this
from the  foot of  the cot  over her   planet and not even work up a sweat.
sleeping form.  He  then  turned  to   I know,  I know. You keep telling me
Sean, still  tranced, lying  on  the   it's probably  one of  the five Lost
cot between  Oskar and  himself.  He   Gods, but  that doesn't make me feel
stared down,  concern obvious on his   any better  about it being used. But
face.                                  that's a  different subject, and one
                                       which we're like not to agree on any
"I just  sealed  the  crystal  on  a   time soon, so--"
temporary basis," the mage said in a
thoughtful voice. "I gave it a brief   "Yeah,  you're  right  about  that,"
scan to  see what  Lyrinda  captured   Oskar replied  with his impish grin.
with her  link. If  what she  did is   "And you're  wrong about stowing the
natural, she's  got a very efficient   crystal."
mind. Her  readings of  all four  of
us, plus the monitoring of the wards   "Oh?"
will make  some very nice additional
testimony.                             "Two reasons. The first is that if I
                                       take the  crystal out  of the wards,
"Speaking   of   testimony,"   Oskar   I'll have  to put  the final Seal on
continued,   looking    at    Sean's   it. We  both know that either one of
sleeping  form.  "Sean  has  a  very   those two  could get  to the crystal
ordered, logical  mind. I  would say   unless  it's   fully  sealed.  Well,
his mage  potential is  high, albeit   maybe   not    Miktok,   but    that
untrained,  and   that   factor   is   grandfather of Sean's could.
probably why  you can't  get the old
man's  spell  completely  out.  I'll   "The second reason is Sean. He needs
warrant  that   the  spell  is  tied   to review  the crystal. Right now he
tightly to  that sword-bond--and  to   has no  active memory of what's been
Sean's latent  mage potential.  That   done to  him, or by whom. I think he
will make it very hard to remove the   deserves to know, and the sooner the
spell without  doing  some  kind  of   better. So-o-o,  because  Sean  will
permanent damage."                     have to  stay here due to the wards,
                                       the crystal  will have to stay here.
"So what  CAN  we  do?"  Theo  asked   And  anyway,  there  isn't  a  safer
somberly.                              place in this building right now."
"Well, for  starters, I'm  going  to   "You  are   probably  right,  Oskar.
need that  cursed sword  he's bonded   Okay, I'll  bring Sean  out  of  the
to. Once  I've got that, I'll have a   trance,  although   he'll   probably
better idea of how to continue.        sleep for another four to six hours.
                                       Then I'll  talk to  the master about
"And I know just the three people to   us three  going to  get  that  sword
from Miktok  and Torvaal and let him   Suddenly one  of the  darting globes
know that he can review the crystal.   struck the mage in the face, causing
I'm sure  he'll be mighty interested   him to  start slightly.  A  look  of
in what we've gotten so far."          irritation creased  his brow, and he
                                       made a  quick gesture  with his left
"Right," replied  the mage  crisply.   hand. A  small  black  "nothingness"
"I'll modify  the door wards so that   appeared  and   drew   the   darting
the four  of  us  can  come  and  go   spheres into  itself.  As  the  last
safely. But  only us four - you, me,   sphere disappeared  into  the  black
Mikel and  the master.  Your prodigy   void, the  mage made  a quick  left-
is going to have to stay put for the   handed  gesture  of  dismissal;  the
duration. Besides,  Sean  will  need   nothingness shrank  down to  a point
someone to talk to.                    and winked out of existence.
"As soon  as I  get the  door  wards   Oskar's face  grew thoughtful  as he
reconfigured, I'm  going to  need  a   watched the  outline of  a  gruesome
couple  hours  of  rest,"  the  mage   visage  begin   to   form   in   the
continued. "I  suggest that  we  put   glittering field  of the door wards.
hostile  engagement   procedures  in   Then  he  chuckled  to  himself  and
effect. Let  Mikel know  on your way   nodded. He turned briefly to wink at
to the  master's, will you?  I don't   the   thunderstruck   healer,   then
think Sean's  grandfather is  stupid   returned  his   attention   to   the
enough  to   resort  to  a  physical   grotesque apparition  inching slowly
attack,  but  Torvaal,  he  IS  that   towards him.
stupid. And Mikel hates surprises."
                                       The mage  raised his  right hand and
The healer grinned an acknowledgment   made a pushing gesture. The outlined
as  he   bent  over   Sean's  supine   figure seemed to be pushed back, but
figure. He  raised both  hands  over   only a  small amount.  The obviously
Sean's    head    and    began    to   demonic form  increased its efforts,
concentrate.   Sean   muttered   and   surging  forward in  response to the
shifted  slightly.   Theo  held  his   gesture. Oskar watched this activity
position for  a  few  more  seconds,   closely and  nodded to himself as if
nodded to  himself, and  pulled  his   confirming an earlier supposition.
hands away.  He then looked over to-
wards the door and stiffened.  Oskar   The   healer    stood,    awestruck,
stood some four feet from  the door,   watching the  unfolding drama.  What
with  a scintillating  dome of force   made the  scene so grotesque was the
around  himself and the door. Half a   fact  that   the  only  sounds  were
dozen blue-white spheres alternately   Sean's soft  snores and  the moaning
pushed  at  the  dome's barrier, and   cries of  the  sleeping  apprentice.
attempted to attack the mage.          There was  no sound  from inside the
                                       mage's dome  of protection,  and the
As the  spheres seemed  to be having   healer could  only  guess  what  was
no effect  on either the mage or the   going on inside it. He unconsciously
protective dome, Theo was not overly   reached out  a hand  to  soothe  the
concerned with them.  What  did con-   girl's  dreams,   never  taking  his
cern  the healer were the two  large   attention   off    the   monstrosity
claw-like appendages trying to force   outlined in the door.
their way into the room,  stretching
the  mage's  door  wards as  if  the   The mage once again raised his right
claws were forcing their  way into a   hand, palm outward, fingers slightly
pool of mud.  While it appeared that   curved, and made a pushing movement.
the wards were in  no immediate dan-   Left-handed he traced the gesture he
ger  of  collapse,   they  did  look   used against the spheres. The black-
tightly stretched.                     ness reappeared, grew in response to
                                       his gestures,  and  filled the space
The  mage  stood  absolutely  still,   between  him  and the ever - nearing
observing   the    claws   intently.   apparition.
Theo's gaze was drawn to the roiling   to be  alive!   That old  man almost
cloud of darkness, and he was forced   had  me.   If  it  hadn't  been  for
to   wrench    himself   from    the   Miktok's meddling,  I'd be on my way
compulsion it  exerted. He performed   to  some  demon  lord's  keep  right
a brief  mental calming exercise and   about now."
returned his  eyes to  the conflict.
This time,  however, he  focused  on   "What--how--who--!"    the    healer
the mage,  deliberately not  looking   sputtered. "What the blue blazes are
at the darkness.                       you talking  about?  What  was  that
                                       thing? And  what, in  all  creation,
Oskar gestured  once  more  and  the   did you do to it?"
blackness moved  to within inches of
the form  in the  doorway. The  mage   Oskar placed his hand lightly on the
then moved  his right  hand as if he   healer's  chest.   "Calm  down,   my
were trying to force the figure back   friend. I'll  tell you  all about it
through   the   door.   The   figure   later. Later.  I'll have to put this
gathered itself  to fight  back. The   little episode  into the  crystal as
tableau  held  for  what  seemed  an   testimony anyway,  so you  will hear
eternity, and then the mage acted.     all about  it then.  Mikel will also
                                       want all the gory details.
He pulled  his right  hand back  and
made a  curt gesture  of  dismissal.   "Which reminds  me,"  he  continued,
The figure  outlined  in  the  wards   yawning. "I  want Mikel  to ask  his
seemed to  howl in  triumph  as  the   sword if it--no, she--Mikel says the
door wards  began  to  dissolve;  it   sword  definitely   has  a  feminine
surged into  the  room.  Oskar  then   personality. At  any road,  I've got
made a  sweeping  gesture  with  his   to find out if she can identify that
left hand  and the  blackness  leapt   demon lord."
towards the  form as  the door wards
disappeared. Just as they collapsed,   "That thing  in the  doorway  was  a
he gestured  again, chanted briefly,   demon lord?  How do you know that?"
and yanked  his right  hand  towards
him. The  glowing form  of the demon   "Simple, really.  First, no ordinary
kept moving  and was pulled directly   demon could  touch those  wards.  No
into the swirling nothingness.         brag, just  fact. Second,  it called
                                       out to  Sean's grandfather in formal
Oskar then  released  the  blackness   demonic court tongue when it thought
with a  chopping gesture of his left   it had  beaten me.  And we both know
hand. The  blackness collapsed  to a   that only demon lords are allowed to
point and  snapped out of existence.   use the formal court tongue.
As the  point disappeared,  all that
was left of the demon was a two-foot   "So," the mage continued in his best
section of glowing tail that flopped   lecture tone.  "So,  that  not  only
about like  a  fish  out  of  water.   confirmed that  it was a demon lord,
Suddenly the  tail section  exploded   but that  Sean's grandfather  made a
with a brilliant yellow-green light;   pact with  it.  And  THAT  piece  of
and when  the healer could focus his   information  will  make  the  elvish
eyes again, the mage was standing by   high council very unhappy.
the door laughing quietly.
                                       "And I  have definitely got to sleep
"Well Theo,"  he said,  catching his   now," the  mage said  suddenly,  and
breath. "That's  the most  fun  I've   collapsed in  a heap  on the  floor,
had since  Mikel and  I tangled with   snoring softly.
one of  those snake-god  sects  they
have down south.                       Theo stood  for  a  moment,  looking
                                       down at  the sleeping  mage  with  a
"Whoo-o-o boy!"  the mage continued,   startled expression,  then chuckled.
shaking  himself  like  a  wet  dog.   He  bent   over   and   effortlessly
"It's things like that make you glad   scooped  up  the  snoring  mage  and
                                   -=22=-               (Continued Page 24)
 ____________                Unlife of the Party
/ \ _________\               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ||=|=|=|| |                by Glynn Nebula
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |  
 _|    |_|    |  
/@|   _|_|_   |he town's  Captain of   Stepping  through the  gates,  I saw
\_/__________/the guards watched the   the  Lady Mylene Tuttle - a fair Elf
flow of  people as they entered into   with long  golden  blond hair,  dark
the meeting hall, until it  dwindled   eyes, and fair  skin.  She  was well
to a trickle.  He then stepped forth   dressed, but not for combat. She was
onto the  stage and  loudly  cleared   wearing a  sleek emerald  green silk
his voice, drawing the attention  of   gown, taupe  slippers,  a sheer silk
the assembled citizens.                surcoat edged in dark green and gold
                                       braid, and  carried  a  tiny  golden
In a commanding voice, he starts, "I   satchel.
called you all here to discuss  pre-
cautions we need  to make before the   I  ducked back  inside to  ready  my
next  unlife  attack  upon Kelfour's   sword and shield, when  suddenly she
Landing!"                              came through  the gates swinging her
                                       emerald-hilted falchion at me. I was
Interrupting,  one of  the merchants   only nicked  once as  I back-pedaled
asked, "What actually happened? Most   down the  north  ring road trying to
of us had already  turned in for the   ready my shield and sword.
                                       She  chased  me a little ways before
The town  baker  answered, "I  heard   turning  around to head back  to the
tell that a  demon, disguised as  an   front  gate.  I, having  had time to
adventurer, called forth a legion of   catch my  breath,  followed  her.  A
unlife!"                               small group of people were gathering
                                       there trying to  understand  why she
"In  answer  to  your question," the   was acting so hostile.
Captain  interjected  loudly  before
the meeting got out of hand, "I have   Mylene claimed boredom and spit into
invited an  eyewitness  to  give  an   Jarran's face,  then threw a useless
account of the  unlife attack on the   punch.  Erek  was trying to talk her
town that night."                      into coming along peaceably, but she
                                       would have  none  of that. Suddenly,
Motioning to an elf seated nearby to   Ryden  faded  into view  and swung a
stand, he continued.  "Glynn Nebula,   blue morning  star,  striking Mylene
a  bard who  has  been in  our  city   in the chest, destroying her heart.
since early summer."
                                       As we  were all  staring down at her
Turning the stage  over to Glynn the   dead body, she started to bubble and
Captain sat down in a  chair  off to   swirl into a steaming, foul smelling
the side.  The bard rubs his fingers   miasma. Then she  vanished without a
along  his chin  a moment, gathering   trace. Lodin stated in surprise that
his thoughts before  launching  into   she must  be lich!  Without  warning
his tale.                              the unlife  attack had  begun; three
                                       Dark  Wisplings charged those of  us
"It was near the  hour of midnight,"   at the gate.
he said in a low clear voice, "I was
just  inside the city gates when the   Overhead, a  grotesque vision of the
constable  began  yelling  a warning   Lady Mylene appeared, calling out to
about a thief and a  murderer on the   the  gods of  all that  is  dark  to
loose, who was wanted dead or alive!   avenge her death! The adventurers at
Then suddenly, I sensed  the shocked   the front gate dispatched the unlife
thoughts  of  Exadorn  in disbelief,   as a cry went  out  that people were
asking why Lady Mylene was attacking   under attack everywhere  within  the
him just outside the town gates.       town.
As  we entered  the gates and headed   the town square  just in time to see
south,  a Dark Apparition  attacked.   Mylene  fade into  view looking pale
It  was quickly  dealt  with by  two   and weak.  She looked at Mikhail and
well  placed blows of Benar's sword.   Artuero  and  said  'there is  still
I  quickly made  my way to  the town   time...',  then she  walked  towards
square where  I had  hoped to get  a   the  old oak  tree and then vanished
cleric to  bless  my weapon for  me,   without a trace.
unfortunately, the only weapon I had
was a drake falchion, and that could   Taking  a breather, I walked over to
not be blessed.                        the  town  well  and  discovered two
                                       Phantoms and a Dark Apparition.  The
I quickly dashed  to the bank to get   Dark Apparition managed to magically
some coins and  then  headed  to the   blast  my  jaw as I  sent out a call
Arms shop.  Outside the shop a Death   for assistance.  Shortly thereafter,
Dirge accosted me, transforming into   Strom  appeared followed by  Warlok.
an image so horridly grotesque, that   After a short battle, the unlife was
I  dropped  everything  in  hand and   no  more.  I  searched  around,  but
bolted.  Quickly recovering my wits,   encountered  no more  unlife  within
I returned to  the door  of the Arms   Kelfour's."
shop,  snatching  up  my falchion in
time to parry the Dirge's attack.      The elf  bard returned  to his chair
                                       as the captain stood up saying "Now,
I dodged into the  Arms shop where I   as I  see it, to be prepared for the
hurriedly  purchased  a  broadsword.   next attack, everyone  should have a
Time  seemed to be  moving in a sort   blessed weapon stored away somewhere
of slow  motion.  As I  emerged from   safe.  Also, during  the next attack
the shop, a Shadow Assassin was busy   small groups of three or four should
battling a stunned Amber.  It made a   be formed to patrol the streets.  If
few gestures then suddenly vanished.   anyone  runs into something they can
I retrieved my shield on my way back   not handle, call for assistance.
to the  town square  where I found a
large crowd, many of them wounded.     Finally,  it would help  if  some of
                                       the  people  would  voluntarily  buy
It seemed  like everyone  was trying   extra  weapons to be blessed  at the
to talk at once.  Over the confusion   town square  during the next attack.
I  could  make out  the  thoughts of   Once blessed the  weapons  should be
Mylene; that  her love will join her   placed on  the stone  benches in the
in death, and we will know him then.   town square for anyone to grab." The
I managed to  get my weapon  blessed   captain ends the  meeting by saying,
during the confusion and  set off in   "That  was not  the first attack  on
search of unlife.                      Kelfour's by the unlife, nor will it
                                       be  the last  time.  YOU NEED TO  BE
The streets were full of debris from   PREPARED!  THE  UNLIFE  WILL  ATTACK
unlife  and adventurers alike.  Just   KELFOUR'S AGAIN!"
inside the front gates I came across   ------------------------------------
a Death Knight. My call for help was
quickly  answered,  and  even though      A Matter of Honor, from Page 22
Sydna immobilized the  foe,  it took   ____________________________________
many blows by skilled adventurers to
end the foul  thing's existence.  As   placed him on a cot in one corner of
the brave heroes  were  grabbing the   the room.
treasure, a Shadow Assassin appeared
out  of  nowhere,  called  fourth no   Suddenly, a  looked of consternation
doubt by the demise of  the now dead   crossed his  face. He  looked at the
Death Knight.                          door and again at the mage.
The Assassin  was quickly dispatched   "If you didn't reset those wards--,"
by the  powerful blows  of those who   he muttered.
were still  present.  I returned  to            [To Be Continued]
 _____________                 Keys (Part 2)
/ \ _________ \                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ||=|=|=|| |                  Anonymous
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |  
 _|    |_|    | he  story  so far: A   startled to find himself  in a cave,
/@|   _|_|_   | young  adventurer in   the  object of his  chase nearby. It
\_/__________/ Helga's Tavern  meets   looked  like  a  small  rat  made of
some new folks to the town. He tells   rock. A rock rat! No wonder it could
them of a mysterious cloaked elf who   run through the thorn bushes without
offered him  information. The adven-   injury. With another squeak, the rat
turer  asked where  the keys  to the   ran further into  the cave. The Lord
chests that creatures carry could be   Ranger  decided to explore  the cave
found, and the elf began a tale of a   when he was in better shape.
Lord Ranger who finds a small valley
while out hunting -- by falling into   Outside the cave entrance the ranger
it. As the ranger explores for a way   turned to  make sure  he could  find
out, he spots movement in some thorn   the cave again and saw--
bushes.  The ranger  draws his sword
and prepares for battle.               --thorn bushes, rocks, and the steep
                                       valley walls.
The Tale, Part 2 
                                       Bravely the  ranger reached  out  to
With a loud war cry, the Lord Ranger   touch one  of the  bushes,  and  his
thrust  his  sword at  the  movement   hand went right through it. An illu-
that had  attracted  his  attention.   sion!  No wonder he  missed the cave
His  blade plunged through  the bush   entrance  earlier!  The Lord  Ranger
and struck  something as  solid as a   turned toward the end  of the valley
rock.  Yelping in pain and surprise,   to search for a way out.
the Lord Ranger pulled his sword out
of the  bushes, leaving  behind  the   Three days later, the ranger found a
bandages from  his  elbow  down  and   way  out  of the  valley.  Two  days
opening up several new wounds on his   after that,  he was  found wandering
right arm.  However, he was rewarded   in the  upper  Kaldsfang  Forest and
with a loud squeal and more rustling   was led back to town.
among the  thorn bushes. He followed
the noises and  flashes of movement,   The  healers   celebrated  the  Lord
plunging  his sword  in and  hitting   Ranger's safe return, and two of the
what felt like a rock each time.       younger ones actually learned enough
                                       from tending him  that they  discov-
"I know I'm hitting it," thought the   ered the ability to cast new healing
Lord Ranger. The chase went  on down   spells. The clerics were barely able
the valley, and the Lord Ranger left   to  hide  their  disappointment  and
behind more and more bandages, flesh   surprise that  the  Lord  Ranger had
and blood in the thorn bush. Finally   made it back alive.
the movement stopped.
                                       His tale  of the  mysterious  valley
"I have you now!" Grasping his sword   and  the unknown cave set  off shock
in both hands like a dagger stabbing   waves. Suddenly everyone was running
downward, the Lord Ranger threw him-   in  to join  the  party  that  would
head first  at the spot  he had last   explore  the cave and  discover  its
seen movement. As the sword  entered   secrets and treasures.
the bushes,  the Lord  Ranger braced
himself for shock and pain.            For a week people argued.  Who would
                                       lead?  The Lords and  Ladies finally
He  slammed to  the  ground.  A loud   decided that  the Lord Ranger should
squeak  near his ear told him he had   lead, once they got  him back to the
missed his target again; but, oddly,   upper  Kaldsfang  Forest. In another
he  did not feel any  new scratches.   three days,  they  finished  casting
Carefully he opened his eyes and was   spells of protection on everyone and
felt  they were ready to go. Many of   Quickly  and  confidently  the  Lord
the Lords  and  Ladies  whispered to   Ranger took the lead. The Lord Thief
each other, making  bets on how long   stepped from the shadows, whispering
some of  the newer adventurers would   quickly  to many of the adventurers.
stay with the group, when and  where   Some whispered back and shook hands,
they would  drop out, and whether or   others  whispered  back   and  shook
not the  Lord  Ranger  could  really   their heads.  As the Lord Ranger led
find the valley again.                 the group  away, the Lord  Thief sat
                                       down and chuckled to himself.
Seventy - two adventurers, all races
and  skills, moved out  the gate and   For almost  two days the Lord Ranger
toward the  forest. They  were still   led them. Many times he stopped  and
along the  outer wall  of  the  town   carefully examined a rock  or a tree
when  the rangers spotted  a torkaan   or the trail. The few younger adven-
grazing  nearby.  With  screams  and   turers that stubbornly remained with
shouts the rangers and fighters fell   the group, mainly because  they were
upon the  animal, and  after  twenty   lost themselves, admired the way the
minutes it finally escaped. "I think   Lord Ranger seemed to understand the
I  hit  it  once,"  said  a fighter.   outdoors.  Suddenly, he stopped. "We
"That was a bard  you hit," answered   are  getting  close,"  he announced.
a healer.  The mages  explained that   "This area is familiar to me."
they  were out of power from all the
defensive spells they had  cast, and   "It should  be," came  a voice  from
the halflings  huddled together  for   the shadows.  "You've been past here
protection.   "We thought  youse wuz   four times." Quickly the Lord  Thief
attackin' a halfling since it wuz so   stepped forward to collect his bets.
short and  furry."                     The Lady Mage handed him some coins,
                                       and  he  whispered,  "I know  you're
The clerics and healers told  people   married to a  ranger, so why did you
that they were holding themselves in   bet on one?" and  went on collecting
reserve in case anyone was killed or   his winnings from the others.
injured.  The sorcerers claimed they
were  holding  back  to protect  the   Of the  thirty-one adventurers  that
clerics and healers in case whatever   were  still  with  the  group,  five
it was broke  through. All the bards   immediately left  and headed back to
were busy  taking notes for  ballads   town since  they now knew where they
and  tales  of  the  battle.  Almost   were. "No one here less than Lord or
everyone noticed that there wasn't a   Lady," snorted the Lord Thief, as he
thief in sight. Quickly they counted   collected more  coins  from  another
their coins.                           bet he had made earlier.
The Lord  Thief stepped  out of  the   The determined Lord Ranger continued
shadows and  tapped the dwarf on the   to lead the ever-shrinking group. He
shoulder. "Pay  up,"  he  whispered.   ignored snide whispers from the Lady
The dwarf looked around in surprise.   Ranger  and  traveled  ever  onward.
Sure  enough,  fourteen  adventurers   In only four days, the group of fif-
had left the group. "And we're still   teen came to a  spot the Lord Ranger
in sight of town," sighed the dwarf,   recognized.  "It's  just  ahead!" he
handing over some coins.  Chuckling,   called  and started to  run. Immedi-
the Lord Thief disappeared back into   ately, everyone took up the pursuit.
the shadows.
                                       At the edge of the cliff overlooking
Patient  clerics explained  that the   the  valley,  the Lord  Ranger  spun
group was not to stop and attack any   around and proudly pointed downward.
thing that  moved, as they wanted to   "I told you--," he began.  All four-
find the cave before everyone passed   teen  pursuers   burst  through  the
away from  old age.  So it  was that   foliage  and smashed  into  him. The
two days later,  forty-three  adven-   entire group tumbled over the cliff.
turers reached the upper Kaldsfang.             [To be Continued]
  __\  ____\                                                             \
 /    / \__|                                                              |
|    |     |         ____________________________________________________/
|__   \___/_________/                                                  \
 /                                                                      |
 \                                                                     _|
   \                      Frey the "Flameous" One                      \
    |                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                       |
    |                        by Voltaren Xanax                          |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |       The young fighter Frey arose on an overcast day             |
    |       wishing for sun and a hint of spring.                      _|
    |       "Merchants today," he sighed happily                       \
    |       as he loped off to the town square.                         |
    |                                                                   |
    |       With a fortune so paltry and his needs so great             |
    |       He searched for merchants, fearing he was too late.         |
    |       Charging round a corner he spied a long table               |
    |       and he dashed into line as quick as he was able.            |
    |                                                                   |
    |       "No queues!  No Lines!  Here the fates decide,"            _|
    |       shouted the merchant, his assistant by his side.           \
    |       Boxes and boxes, all sizes, colors and shapes,              |
    |       their owners and contents to be decided by the fates.       |
    |                                                                   |
    |       He waited and waited, 'til the Gods did decide              |
    |       to call forth young Frey and ensure his pride.              |
    |       His box he did choose, his silvers he paid                  |
    |       all the while thinking the wrong choice he'd made.          |
    |                                                                  _|
    |       Opening the box, carefully peering inside                  \
    |       a large laen flame lying askance he spied.                  |
    |       The flame he did grasp, lest the item be lost               |
    |       and he waved the torch happily, not realizing the cost.     |
    |                                                                   |
    |       A firestorm appeared and the folk there did scream.         |
    |       "Idiot!  Buffoon!  Tell me this is a dream!"                |
    |       His head hung in shame, home he did race                    |
    |       Those that chased him, couldn't match his fast pace.       _|
    |                                                                  \
    |       His heart pumping furiously, his face glowing red           |
    |       all the while names racing round in his head:               |
    |       Flaming Mad Frey, Redhot Frey, Flameous Frey...             |
    |       In truth, he thought he'd be better off dead.               |
    |                                                                   |
    |                          ************                             |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                  _|
    |      (This poem is based on the recent "death box" event ran     \
    |      by a group of merchants in the town square.)                 |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
   /_________________                                                   |
  ||\                \___________________________________________________
  ||_|                                                                    \
  |  |                                                                     |
   \/____________________________________________________________________ /
 _________                  The Ingrate Escape
/ \ _____ \                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
\@| ~|_|~ |                by Lloyd Llowd, Ph.D.
  |  |~|  |  
 _|  |~|  | n this,  the 12th  month   wagon, Lord  Mikhail told  her  that
/@| _|~|_ | of  my indentured servi-   it  contained nothing but some rugs.
\_/ ~~~~~ / tude  in this  miserable   To illustrate his point, he began to
  ~~~~~~~~ town, I have done my very   shove  daggers, rapiers, and stilet-
best  to get  fired  for  subversive   tos though the carpets! Only by some
behavior, but  for some  reason  I'm   miracle  did I escape serious injury
told that my radical (yet completely   or  death as  the  black-clad  fiend
truthful) editorials  actually  help   riddled  my carpet with  steel. How-
increase circulation.                  ever,  his  ploy  worked,  and  Lady
                                       Phaedra  fell  for  his  story.  The
(You people  read this  column,  but   wagon  passed through the gates, and
I'm  sure   the  subtler  points  of   I was free!
philosophy and culture escape you in
your  quest  to  see  who  got  dirt   Ten miles  outside of  town,  I  was
dished on  them in  any given month.   released from  my rug.  While paying
Philistines, all of you.)              Lord Mikhail  the rest  of his money
                                       (from  a  pickpocket - proof   money
In any  event, my  morale sank to an   belt), I  told him  in no  uncertain
all-time low  when I discovered that   terms what I thought of his actions.
Lord Artuero  was  still  alive  and   Seemingly contrite,  he offered me a
not, as  I optimistically reported a   trinket:  a  small silver  medallion
few months  ago, a  victim of ritual   with a lyre engraved  on it.
sacrifice. It seems he had just been
laying low  since  his  real  estate   I was assured that the medallion was
fraud  operation.  (Negotiating  his   magical   and   extremely  valuable.
payoffs to  the  Constable  to  keep   Indeed, it  contained a  very  high-
from getting arrested, no doubt.)      level  spell  when  I  detected  for
                                       magic!   Mollified, I  accepted  the
I resolved  to leave  town at  once.   trinket and bade him farewell.
Thus far, my attempts to  escape had
been thwarted  by the fact that Lady   Unfortunately,  when  I  rubbed  the
Phaedra lives in the Wayside Inn and   medallion it turned out to cast Word
seems  to have  a permanent  ward on   of Recall,  which deposited  me back
the front gate to warn  her should I   at  the   front  gate,   where  Lady
try to get away. This time, however,   Phaedra then  made sure  I was  soon
I had help  from the only  person in   very attached to my work. (Mostly at
town with a shadier reputation  than   the wrist and  ankles.)
Lord Artuero. 
                                       And so  I start  my second  year  in
Yes, I  was  so  desperate,  I hired   Kelfour's Landing,  here  to  expose
Lord Mikhail to help me escape.        the  rotten  underpinnings  of  what
                                       passes for our society. Thank heaven
Lord Mikhail  is a  complete profes-   Lord  Harcourt  is  still  here;  at
sional.  (Professional what, I shall   least  there's   one  decent,  noble
leave to your  own judgment.) When I   citizen of  refinement in  this town
broached  the subject of  a fee,  he   to commiserate with.
told  me I had  already  paid.  Sure    _________________________________
enough, my  pockets  were empty, and   /                                 \
he was explaining that I  would make  |     Vacation in Kulthea FREE!     |
my  escape  rolled  up in a  rug and  |     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     |
hidden among  a trader's wares after  |   All residents can earn _FREE_   |
one of the summer merchant sales.     |   WEEKEND vacations in Kulthea    |
                                      |   by making contributions to KE.  |
When Lady  Phaedra appeared  at  the  |   Send GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON.   |
gate  and  demanded  to  search  the   \_________________________________/
 | /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ |
 |/                                                                        \|
 |\    (                                                            *      /|
 |/     )              You are Cordially Invited to the                    \|
 |\    (                                                               .   /|
 |/     )     ___________________2nd Annual_____________________           \|
 |\    (     |                                                  |          /|
 |/          |  *                                            *  |          \|
 |\          |            F A L L   F E S T I V A L             |          /|
 |/          |                                                  |          \|
 |\          |  _  _       __  __        __  __       ___   __  |          /|
 |/          |  |\/|  /\  (_  /  \ |  | |_  |__)  /\  |  | |_   |          \|
 |\          |  |  | /~~\ __) \__/ |__| |__ |  \ /~~\ |__| |__  |          /|
 |/          |                  `                               |          \|
 |\          |___________________________________________)______|          /|
 |/                                                     (                  \|
 |\      .                                               )    .            /|
 |/           At Pauper's ...                           (                  \|
 |\                                        ___  __ ____             .      /|
 |/     *              |__|  /\  |  | |\ |  |  |_   |  |                   \|
 |\                    |  | /~~\ |__| | \|  |  |__  |__|                   /|
 |/            (                                                           \|
 |\             )                                   ... House!             /|
 |/         .  (                                                           \|
 |\             )             Open to Everyone!                 *          /|
 |/            (              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                            \|
 |\             )            -11PM Eastern Time-                   .       /|
 |/                   Saturday Night, October 30, 1993                     \|
 |\                                                                        /|
 |/                                                                        \|
 |\     Free Masks for Guests!       Bobbing for Apples with Prizes!       /|
 |/     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~       \|
 |\     Live & Unlife Entertainment!         Have Your Fortune Told!       /|
 |/     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  )    \|
 |\     Surprises!                                                   (     /|
 |/     ~~~~~~~~~~                                /\                  )    \|
 |\                                              /  \                (     /|
 |/     Prizes for the Best Costumes!           /   /                 )    \|
 |\     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~          /    \                      /|
 |/      Watch for Special Merchants          /      \              *      \|
 |\      Prior to the Party who (for     /~~~~--------~~~~~~~~\            /|
 |/      a fee) Will Make Unique         \/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`            \|
 |\      Costumes to Order!                 ,( /~~~~~   \\\                /|
 |/                                        /   \@..>    /\\/\_             \|
 |\     Free Refreshments!                /   ,        //\/\\__            /|
 |/     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~               (__/-'        \\\///\\--          \|
 |\      Bloody Marys!                       /~~~'     ///\\\//\\___       /|
 |/      Zombies!                           (_o___/   ///////\\\\\---      \|
 |\      Boobury Tarts!                           ~~~~///////\\\\\\--      /|
 |/                         *                         \\\\\\\\\\///\\\--   \|
 |\                                                    \\\\\\\\\//\\-      /|
 |/    .                                                                   \|
 |\                                                  *                     /|
 |/                             .                                          \|
 |\                                                                        /|
 | \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ |

See Also: