Kelfour Edition volume IV number V
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
_______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | House Paupers' Fall Festival -- See Page 29 | @_/_____________________________________________________________________/ | | | | | _ _ _ ___ ___ | | / ) / ) / ) / __) ( _) October 1993 | | / /_/ / ____ / /_/ ( ____ __ __ _(__ ) Vol.4, No.5 | | / __/ / __ )/ /( __)/ _ )/ / / // ___) _) | | / /\ \ / ___// / / / / (/ // (_/ // / ) | |(_/ \_)(____)(_( (_( (____/(_____(( / 0 0 ) | | ( <> ) | |_ The Kronicles of Kulthea ( )--_ _ | / ( \_/ ) \ \ | | GemStone III (tm) / \__ | | __/ \\_ _____ | ____ __/ __ )\__ -- --) | (-- --__/ ___/\ _--____ ) \ ___---___-) | (--___ ______ _ _ _ _ -- | | / ____) / ) (/ _/ ) (/ | | / (__ ___/ / _ ( _)_ ____ ____ | | / ____)/ _ / / ) / / / )/ _ )/ ) _| | / (__ / (/ / / / / / / // (/ // /) / \ | (______)(____( (_( (_( (_((____/(_((_( | | | |_____________________________________________________________________| |_____________________________________________________________________| | | | | | ............... Kelfour's Landing Local News ............... 1 | | | | 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 *** | |_____________________________________________________________________| | | | | | 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. | | __________________________________________________________________|__ | ) ) \_/____________________________________________________________________/ ________________________________________________________ / _ _ \\ | / ) ____ ____ ____ / ) || | / / / _ ) / ___) / _ ) / / || | / (_ / (/ / / (__ / (/ / / (_ || | (____)(____/ (_____) (____( (____) || | ____ ____ _ __ _ ____ || | / ) / __ )( \/ \/ )/ ___) || | / /) / / ___/ \ / \___ \ || | (_((_( (____) \_/\_/ (____/ || \______ _ ______________________________________ _ ______// |:| |:| |:| |:| |:| |:| ____________|:|_________________|:|__________________|:|_______________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. -=1=- ___________ 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 -=2=- 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 -=3=- 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. -=6=- _______________ 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 +----------------+| \@/______________________________________________________________________/ -=7=- 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 | \@/_______________________________________________________________________/ -=8=- _________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \_@| 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 -=10=- 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 -=11=- 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, -=12=- 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, -=13=- 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. -=14=- _________ 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...my name is Erebor all. Now prepare yourself!" Bordeaux." Quietly bobbing, the globe signalled **************** its readiness. The glow that bathed -=15=- ____________ 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, -=16=- 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. | | | | ______________________________________________________________________| |@\ \ \/_____________________________________________________________________/ -=17=- ________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ \@| | | | | 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<-->[_] | | | | | | ______________________________________________________________________| |@\ \ \/_____________________________________________________________________/ -=18=- 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 -=19=- 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 -=20=- 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. -=21=- 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. evening." 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. -=23=- 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] -=24=- _____________ 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 -=25=- 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] -=26=- ___________________________________________________________________ __\ ____\ \ / / \__| | | | | ____________________________________________________/ |__ \___/_________/ \ / | \ _| \ 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.) | | | | | /_________________ | ||\ \___________________________________________________ ||_| \ | | | \/____________________________________________________________________ / -=27=- _________ 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 \_________________________________/ -=28=- __________________________________________________________________________ | /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ | |/ \| |\ ( * /| |/ ) 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! ~~~~///////\\\\\\-- /| |/ * \\\\\\\\\\///\\\-- \| |\ \\\\\\\\\//\\- /| |/ . \| |\ * /| |/ . \| |\ /| | \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -=29=- KEV4N5 [end]