Kelfour Edition volume I number X
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
__________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | Kelfour's First Houses, Page 2 | @/________________________________________________________________________/ | | | XXXX XXX XX XXXXX | |xXX XX XXX XX XX XX | | XX XXX XX XX X | | XX XXX XXXXXXX XX XX XXXXXXXXX XXX XX XX XXXX | | XX XXX XXX XX XX xXXXXXX XX XX XXX XX XXX XX | | XXXXX XXX X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XXX | | XXXX XXXXXxxx XX XX X XX XX XX XX XX | | XXXXX XXX XX XX XX XX XX XXX x XX | | XXXXXX XXXx XX x XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XXX _| | XX XXX XXXXXxx XXxXX XX XXXX XXX XXXX XX \ | XX XX XXXX XX | | xXX XX xX XX The Kronicles | | XXX XXX xXX of Kulthea: Vol.1, No.10 | | XXX X March 1991 | | XXXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXX XX XXX """""""""" | |XX XX XX XX XXX XXXX XXX | |X XX X XX XXXXXXXX | | XX XXXXXXXXX XX XX XX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX | | XXXXXXXX XX XX XXX XX XXX XX XX XXX XX XX | | XX X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XXX XX | | XX XX XXX x XX x XX x XX x XX XX XX XX | | XX XX XX X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX x| | XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXX| | XXXXXXXXXXX | |-------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Local News .............. 1 First Houses of Kelfour's Landing 2 | |_ Behind the Shops ................................ Martin Kinzan 4 | / On Critical Hits .............................. Valeria Deering 5 | | Is There a Healer in the House? ................. Maia Moonsong 6 | | Wilderness Creatures .......................... Ilstar Darkedge 9 | | The Mystery of Resistance Rolls ................. Lythe L'Green 11 | | Looking Painful? The Effect of Scars ........... Rhys Corwinson 13 | | The Bardly Way .................................... Dec Lanthar 15 | | Lively Combat ................................... Dane Redlance 16 | | News of Kulthea ............................... Alton Alianthas 17 | | Merchant Match .................................. Maia Moonsong 19 | | Think About It ................................. Drasin Dracull 20 | | From VampAres to VampYres ....................... Vlad Drakulya 21 | | Uncovering The Silence (Conclusion) ............... Chad Eberle 24 | | Pwyll, Prince of Annwfn ........................... Eron Kulsen 26 | | The Putrescent Parchment ............... Miss Louvella Parsnips 28 | | Poetry: Warrior Bard by Eron Kulsen (P.1), Ranger's Rhyme by | | Wisraith Winterwind and Shadow of Death by Raven Brightwing 19 | |-------------------------------------------------------------------------| | The Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the game | | GemStone III on the GEnie Information Network. Submissions are welcome | | and may be edited for space, accuracy and readability. Contact Usul | | Lu'Nak Editor-In-Chief, Eron Kulsen Reporter, or Phaedra Bleu Publisher | | or send GEMail to P.HERRINGTON for more information. Banner by Dagger | | ______________________________________________________________________|__ \_/________________________________________________________________________/ Wayside Inn Opens _________________ """"""""""""""""" o=(_________________)=o The Wayside Inn, located just outside the town gates, | | opened recently. Chill spring nights are warmed by | ===/=== | the roaring fireplace therein. Adventurers may rest | Kelfour | assured that they are recovering as rapidly from | Edition | hunting expeditions here as they are in the Temple | ===/=== | and Helga's Bar, although your editors have due con- | | cern at the portent of a messaged carved in the table. | | Reports of an inn and castle remains on the old road | Ye Olde | to Danjirland have yet to be confirmed. | News | | Deske | GemStone Resources Relocated | | """""""""""""""""""""""""""" | | Residents are advised that numerous scrolls contain- | / | ing priceless information about GemStone have been | /^\ / | transferred by the all-powerful GEnies from the Games | / \ | RoundTable to the Libraries and Bulletin Board on the | / \ | on the Multiplayer Games RoundTable on page 1045. | / \ | Local MPG Representative Lythe L'Green has details | / \ | not only about this transfer, but about conferences | / \ | with the gods and designers, and upcoming classes for |/ \| beginning hunters. ' ` Essense Slamming Discouraged Auction Adjustments """""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""" The local gods are discouraging a Last month's auction resulted in some practice called discoing (or slam- citizens being bitterly disappointed ming, as it is also known) in order with the special items they purchased. to prematurely terminate encounters KE is glad to report a gratifying with monsters. Be it known that response to these complaints by local monsters often make unseen attacks gods, which culminated with the sil- upon perpetrators of this method- vers being impounded from the appar- ology, and you could return to dis- ently unscrupulous auctioneers. They cover you have bitten the dust. are prepared to address any further complaints about such items (directed to GemStone Feedback) either by re- The next issue of KE will be avail- funding silvers or, when appropriate, able in early April, complete with adjusting the item. current Hall of Fame listings ________________ / ______________ \ Warrior Bard / /| | | | | | | \ \ """""""""""" ( ( | | | | | | | |\ \ \ \| | | | | | | | \ \ The minstrel boy to the war has gone; \ \ | | | | | | | |\ \ In the ranks of death he will find him. \ \| | | | | | | | ) ) \ \ | | | | | | |/ / His father's sword he hath girded on; \ \| | | | | | / / And his wild harp slung behind him. art \ \ | | | | |/ / by \ \| | | | / / "Land of song," said the Warrior Bard; Eron \ \ | | |/ / "Though all the world betrays thee. Kulsen \ \| | / / _____\ \_|/ /_____ One sword at least, thy rights shall guard; (__________________) One faithful hand shall praise thee." -1- First Houses of Kelfour's Landing """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Three Houses are under construction in our town, each dedicated to serve its members in various manners. An interview with the City Building Inspector (one Toadeus Openpalmer, obviously a member in good standing with the local bureaucracy), revealed scant information as to completion dates. Inspector Openpalmer, having consumed numerous overpriced cups of strong Kulthean coffee and scandalous two dozen donuts during our chat, claims all building codes shall be followed to the letter of the law. However, we were able to locate in the Tomes only laws about forming houses, none on construction of same. KE is currently considering an investigation into the disposition of the hundreds of thousands silvers paid for local building permits. :) House of the Argent Aspis """"""""""""""""""""""""" Reported by Lord Erebor Bordeaux _____________ HOUSE OF THE / \ _________ \ \@| ||-|-|-|| | he House of Argent ARGENT ASPIS | ~~ |~| ~~ | Aspis was conceived /\ /\ _/\ _| |~| | amidst the flowering / --/ | /\ _/ > /@| |~| | blossoms in the Kel- / \ / \/ > \_/ ~~~~~ / four Gardens on a / * > / _/ > ~~~~~~~~~~~~ warm autumns's eve. / --) > / _/ > Whimsical discussions of palaces, / / / > /_/ / ^^^ \ mansions and other exotic buildings (^^ / / / > // ( __ ) gradually materialized into what is (__/_| / >// < ( ) > soon to become our humble abode. We / >| < > / > spoke briefly about our preferred / ^ \_\ _ ^ _ ( \/ / style of governing and quickly ( ^ ^ ^ ^ \ \ \ / agreed that we did not desire some \ | \ | \ \_/ \ \/ bombastic dictator forcing his/her \ \ \ \ \ \_\ will upon other members. A _\__\ | _\ | / ^^ democratic form of 'rulership' was ( ___( |___/ chosen; decision by consensus. \(_(__( \(_(_(__| The most pressing task was to solidify our aspirations into a (Art by Lady Taarna Wayfinder) definite plan. Ilstar Darkedge took it upon himself to hire some of Kelfour's finest architects and together they quickly designed plans The house has six founding members: that promised to be pleasing to the Delvian Kel'Bathian, Taarna Way- eye of it's founding members. The finder, Jamel Kailli, Caroam Thien- plans submitted to the local son, Ilstar Darkedge and myself. To bureaucracy were for a building appease the local bureaucracy, we closely representing a tudor developed a statement of purpose and mansion. The locality will be the house by-laws and this rapidly garden of Kelfour, a 'middle class' quelled any anxieties that they may area. The building itself is large, have had. The purpose of the house consisting of a couple of lounges, of the Argent Aspis is a simple one. storeroom, wine cellar and bar, ten We seek to assist and provide bedrooms, kitchen, courtyard, etc. A guidance to all adventurers who are quick estimate for the cost of the new to Kelfours. Of course we will building came to 1,300,000 silver be offering the 'usual benefits', pieces, a veritable fortune! locker space, herbs, wands etc. -2- More... House of Paupers House of the Rising Phoenix """""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""" Reported by Phaedra Bleu Reported by Lythe L'Green ____________ ____________ / \ _____ \ / \ ________ \ \@| ~|_|~ | ocated conveniently \@| ~|_|~~|~|| erhaps the House of | |~| | on the square in the | |~|__|~|| the Rising Phoenix is _| |~| __ | heart of Kelfour's _| |~|--// | best described by the /@| |~|__|| | Landing, the House /@| |~| | bylaws under which it \_/ ~~~~~~~ / of Paupers offers \_/ ~~~~ / operates: Established ~~~~~~~~~~~ membership to all ~~~~~~~~~~~ for the purposes of adventurers of Kulthea regardless preventing the furtherance of the political or religious affiliation. goals of the Unlife, education of others in the promotion of Truth and Its purpose is to provide a relaxed, organizing those devoted to such social club atmosphere for its goals for their mutual assistance members with comfortable areas for and camaraderie. conversation and contemplation. Member services will include loans, The House accepts with open arms all storage facilities, dispute arbi- those who reject the Unlife, and is tration, hot tub and swimming pool, completely open in all its dealings. and the services of a masseuse, the To become a member of the House of latter by appointment only. In the Rising Phoenix, one must swear addition to a plush reception area, to have NO allegiance to any society members and their guests will enjoy or cult in league with the Unlife, a furnished commons room with a huge and be accepted by general ballot by fireplace in addition to a library all members of the House. The and no-host bar. initiation fee is 20,000 silver, with monthly dues of 5,000 silver. Founders of The House of Paupers include Chairman Silent Mydnyghte, A large citadel which will serve to Treasurer Kirc Bloodguard, Secretary protect and house the members of Dextor Malthorn, Phaedra Bleu and Rising Phoenix is now under con- Karel Tasavalta. struction. Membership at this time consists of the following esteemed A substantial number of Kelfour citizens of Kelfour's Landing: residents have already elected to Wisraith Winterwind (Chairman), Lord join The House of Paupers. The Riverwind Entreri (Treasurer), Lythe initiation fee is only 5,000 silver L'Green (Secretary), Aleric d'Goth, pieces, and dues are an affordable Anika Shanna, Maruko Ashimine, 500 silvers per month. Lifetime Neander Ofolde, Strom O'Berin, memberships are available for an Siegfried dieMiesterToten, Swifthawk additional 15,000 silvers. Guided Lyonsbane, Lord Talon Elessidil, tours will be available during the Tourock Zephher, Twie Montecristo, grand opening. Wacha McCollett, and Waldo2 Ptolemy. House of Argent Aspis (continued) """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" It is our intention to remain Current house officers are Taarna apolitical (which is why I will not Wayfinder as Secretary, Jamel Kailli be chairman for long). We will not as Treasurer and myself as Chairman. attempt to coerce any members or These are interim positions; potential members into a certain elections will take place once the belief, ideology or set of actions house is habitable. Contact a simply for them to become eligible member for a copy of our by-laws. for our house. Tours will be offered upon opening. -3- Behind the Shops """""""""""""""" by Martin Kinzan _____________ / \ _________ \ \@| ~|_|~~~|| | ver wonder what's in The easiest way to get these things | |~|__ ~~ | the backrooms of the is to ask someone with access to the _| |~|-| __ | shops in town? You appropriate backroom. It's not like /@| |~|___|| | know, where certain the custom stuff where choose the \_/ ~~~~~~~~~ / customers are well- color or material but some of it is ~~~~~~~~~~~~ received, when you very nice and can be picked up at can't see anything at all? the time you pay for it. Out of curiosity I bribed and If you insist on getting back there cajoled my way into all of them, and yourself, I remind you of that old let me tell you, it was an expensive adage, "Money talks." You don't have and sometimes frustrating trip. to buy alot, but be persistent about Here's a list of the hidden things I it. Those merchants may start out found. Oh, there aren't any back- acting cold, but they'll warm up! rooms at the Alchemist Shop, the General Store or Sarii's Clothiers. They make great gifts, too! Aznell's Armory Backroom Sarn Keltain Gems Backroom """""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""" Augmented Metal Breastplate Armor A Strand of Black Pearls AT 18: A metal breastplate with These rare, grey-lustered pearls are smaller plates and leather to cover perfectly matched to Sarn's own ex- legs and arms. 1237 silvers acting expectations. 27500 silvers Half Plate Armor A Golden Dragon Medallion AT 19: A suit of plate armor backed A heavy, gold medallion in the shape up with double chain mail at the of a flying dragon. 27500 silvers joints for flexibility. 5625 silvers A Diamond Unicorn Pendant Full Plate Armor A fanciful pendant in the shape of a AT 20: A complete suit of plate prancing unicorn, encrusted with armor, suitable for knights and tiny, flawless diamonds. jousting! 11250 silvers 48125 silvers Gert's Bakery Backroom """""""""""""""""""""" Tyron's Arms Backroom A Strawberry Ice """"""""""""""""""""" A refreshing, slushy drink made with A Claidhmore ice, dairy cream, and fresh straw- A great sword, almost longer than berries. 60 silvers Tyron himself, with a plain handle inscribed with beautiful scrollwork Larton's (Locksmith) Backroom on the blade. 4500 silvers """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" A lore lockpick A Naginata Made of mithril, this very rare tool A long curved blade upon the end of is very good at picking locks and a sculpted silver pole. A beautiful resists breakage. 3800 silvers weapon! 6750 silvers -4- On Critical Hits """""""""""""""" by Valeria Deering _________ / \ _____ \ \@| ~|_|~ | n the Rolemaster system, roll to hit exceeds your THT (To Hit | |~| | it is more often the Threshold) plus the armor type of _| |~| | crits than the hits your target. See Chart I. /@| _|~|_ | that will take you down \_/ ~~~~~ / in combat. Those evil For example, say my THT against you ~~~~~~~~ geniuses at I.C.E. have is 84. I have an OB of 211 and your developed countless charts listing DB is 150. You are in heavy hide creative ways to die, and if you (nude). My die roll is a 66. have always wondered how critical 66+211-150 = 127 adjusted die roll. hits work, read on. This exceeds the THT by 43, which is more than the D-Crit threshold (32) Each time a blow connects, two types but less than the E-Crit threshold. of damage are inflicted. The first Therefore I inflict a D-Crit on you. is the concussion damage, a number of straight concussion points (CPs) A hit will inflict at most one which are marked off of your critical hit, which is determined by opponent's total. The second is a the highest critical threshold you possible critical hit. Critical exceed with your roll. If you do hits inflict additional CPs; they not exceed the 'A-Crit' threshold, can tear open wounds and cause no critical hit is inflicted. bleeding, put you into a stun or knock you down, or simply kill you instantly. Straight concussion damage inflicted by weapons has been [Notes on armor: When selecting dealt with in a previous article and armor for personal use, while this thus will be ignored here. chart may initially appear to give considerable benefit to the heavier When a hit is scored, either a armor types for purposes of critical hit is inflicted or it is resisting critical hits, realize not. (Real deep, eh?) If a critical that wearing heavy armor will give hit is inflicted, it may be one of others a _lower_ THT against you and five severities: A, B, C, D or E thus improve their chances of level. An A-crit is the mildest and scoring a critical against you. an E-crit is the most severe; Take everything into account before however, even an A-crit can deciding on armor to wear! There potentially be fatal. are also deviant armor types: Crystal and steel golems are Determination of whether a critical considered to have a variant of hit is inflicted and its severity, heavy hide armor, despite their if so, is based on how much your bizarre THTs.] More... _______________________________________________________ | | | Chart I: Critical Hit Thresholds | | -------------------------------- | | | | Armor Type A-Crit B-Crit C-Crit D-Crit E-Crit | | Nude 10 15 21 32 50 | | Soft leathers 20 32 47 60 79 | | Hard leathers 20 31 46 62 74 | | Mail 49 63 74 84 93 | | Plate 70 84 92 99 104 | |_______________________________________________________| Once it has been determined that a Certain creatures do not take normal critical hit has been scored, the critical hits; instead they take dice are rolled again to determine LARGE criticals which are less exactly what critical it is. The severe. The majority of monsters dice rolled are percentile dice with level 10 and up are considered the following modifiers: 'large' and thus use these tables. (Notable exceptions are black A Crit: -20 to roll stalkers and mountain ogres.) Note B Crit: -10 to roll also that a number of monsters are C Crit: no modifier immune to stun and thus stuns from D Crit: +10 to roll these tables are totally ignored! E Crit: +20 to roll Most 'large' creatures are immune to Striking from hiding: stun. Therefore stun results in the +(skill level in ambush) above chart may be inaccurate. It is widely believed that using a Acknowledgements: Data for this claidhmore lends +20 to your crit article was taken from I.C.E.'s hit roll as well. Rolemaster Companion and Middle Earth Role Playing Combat Screens. Several different charts are used Some data may be in error (I haven't for critical hits. Those I am aware personally witnessed every one of of are Puncture, Slash, Crush, these crits) and your mileage may Impact, Grapple, Electricity, Cold, vary. and Heat. There is also a poison More... critical chart which, to my know- ledge, is dysfunctional at the time ============\\========== of this writing. The determination on which chart is used is based on what kind of attack Is There a Healer In the House? is being made. Here is a breakdown """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" of such attacks, followed by the corresponding critical hit tables. Heard by Maia Moonsong Swords/Axes: Slash, Crush In Frith's Inn late one evening Rapier/Dagger: Slash, Puncture I have a scar across me face, Mace/Mattock/Staff/Fist: Crush,Impact A nasty bruise upon me knee. Morningstar/Warhammer/Flail: Crush, A left me own poor arm someplace, Puncture (Impact?) I am a sorry sight to see! Whip: Grapple, Crush While convulsing spasmodically, Polearms: Puncture, Crush I bled upon the mayor's blouse. Spears: Puncture, Impact I mangled me leg terribly, Arrows: Puncture Is there a healer in the house? Beaks/Pinchers: Slash, Crush Bites/Claws/Talons/Horns: Slash, My lover has gone and left me, Puncture Me mother cries all the time. Stings: Puncture, Poison I am weaker than I should be, Charge/Bash/Trample/Stomp/Fall/Crush: I canna even hit the chime. Crush Gods forbid! I am fading fast! Shock bolts: Electricity Me heart's beating weaker than Water bolts: Impact a mouse. Ice bolts: Impact, Cold My lungs have almost breathed Fire bolts: Impact, Heat their last! Lightning bolts: Electricity, Heat Is there a cleric in .... Impact Cold balls: Cold =========\\======== Fire balls: Heat -6- CRUSH CRITICAL HIT TABLE """""""""""""""""""""""" Die Roll Result <05 Weak grip, no extra damage. 06-20 Rib fracture (first degree chest wound, +5 hits) 21-35 Blow to side (+4 hits) 36-50 Blow to forearm (first degree arm wound, +5 hits, 1 rd stun) 51-65 Shield strike (Ignored if target using shield. If target without shield, second degree left arm wound) 66-79 Breaks bone in leg (second degree left leg wound, +12 hits, 2 rds stun) 80 Strike to forehead (second degree head wound, +30 hits, 20 rds stun) 81-86 Weapon arm broken, tendon damage (second degree right arm wound, drop weapon, +8 hits, 2 rds stun) 87-89 Knee shattered (second degree leg wound, knocked prone, +9 hits, 3 rds stun) 90 Blow to back of neck (third degree neck wound, +25 hits, 10 rds stun) 91-96 Blow to side of head (third degree head wound, +20 hits, instant death if without helm, otherwise 20 rds stun) 97-99 Ribcage sent through lungs (third degree chest wound, death) 100 Jaw bone driven through brain (third degree head wound, death) 101-106 Hip broken (second degree leg wound, knocked prone, +15 hits, 3 rds stun) 107-109 Throat crushed (third degree neck wound, death) 110 Hip crushed (second degree leg wound, +35 hits, 2 rds stun) 111-116 Weapon arm elbow shattered (second degree right arm wound, drop weapon, 5 rds stun) 117-119 Chest cavity crushed (third degree chest wound, death) >120 Heart destroyed (third degree chest wound, death) SLASH CRITICAL HIT TABLE """""""""""""""""""""""" <05 Weak strike (no extra damage) 06-20 Minor calf wound (first degree leg wound) 21-35 Blow to upper leg (second degree leg wound, +5 hits) 36-50 Chest wound (first degree chest wound, +3 hits) 51-65 Slash right forearm (first degree right arm wound, +4 hits, 1 rd stun) 66-79 Left thigh slashed (second degree left leg wound, +6 hits, 2 rounds stun) 80 Cartoid artery severed (third degree neck wound, death) 81-86 Slash muscle and tendons in right arm (second degree right arm wound, drop weapon, +10 hits) 87-89 Left eye blinded (left eye out, +10 hits, 10 rd stun) 90 Disemboweled (third degree abdomen wound, death) 91-96 Strike to side of head (third degree head wound, +15 hits, instant death if no helm, otherwise, 20 rds stun) 97-99 Lower left leg severed (third degree left leg wound, knocked prone, 10 rd stun) 100 Slash side (second degree chest wound) 101-106 Abdominal wound (third degree abdomen wound, +10 hits, 4 rd stun) 107-109 Weapon arm severed (third degree right arm wound, drop weapon, 10 rd stun) 110 Impaled heart (third degree chest wound, death) -7- 111-116 Left hand severed (third degree left hand wound, knocked down, 6 rd stun) 117-119 Spine severed (third degree neck wound, knocked down, 10 rd stun) >120 Brain annihilated (third degree head wound, death) PUNCTURE CRITICAL HIT TABLE """"""""""""""""""""""""""" <05 Glancing blow (no extra damage) 06-20 Glancing blow to side (+3 hits) 21-35 Thigh strike (first degree leg wound, +3 hits) 36-50 Forearm wound (first degree arm wound, +2 hits, 1 rd stun) 51-65 Strike along side of chest (first degree chest wound, 1rd stun 66-79 Strike to lower leg, tendons torn (second degree leg wound, +3 hits, 1 rd stun) 80 Strike to neck (third degree neck wound, instant death) 81-86 Strike to weapon arm (second degree right arm wound, +10 hits, 3 rd stun) 87-89 Strike through lower leg (second degree leg wound, 3 rd stun 90 Strike through lungs (third degree chest wound, death) 91-96 Strike to side of head (third degree head wound, +10 hits, instant death with no helm, otherwise 20 rd stun) 97-99 Spine severed (third degree neck wound, death) 100 Strike through eye (death) 101-106 Abdominal wound (third degree abdomen wound, +10 hits, 4 rd stun) 107-109 Nailed in lower back (third degree back wound, knocked down) 110 Shot through heart (third degree chest wound, death) 111-116 Shot through leg, artery severed (second degree leg wound, knocked down) 117-119 Shot through kidneys (third degree abdomen wound, death) >120 Shot through ears (third degree head wound, death) LARGE PHYSICAL CRITICAL HIT TABLE """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" <05 +10 hits (Don't ask me why) 06-20 +6 hits 21-35 +12 hits 36-50 +18 hits 51-65 Staggered (+20 hits, 2 rd stun) 66-79 Fine leg strike (first degree left leg wound, +18 hits, 3 rd stun 80 Jugular severed (third degree neck wound, death) 81-86 Hard blow (+25 hits, 2 rd stun) 87-89 Leg artery severed (second degree left leg wound) 90 Forelimb artery severed (second degree right arm wound, monster goes to full parry, +20 hits) 91-96 Leg strike (first degree leg wound, +15 hits, 3 rd stun) 97-99 Strike to head, skull fracture (second degree head wound,+ 30 hits 100 Strike through heart (third degree chest wound, death) 101-106 Shatter right shoulder (second degree right arm wound, +15 hits, 3 rd stun) 107-109 Vicious crossing strike (right eye out, 2 rd stun) 110 Strike through cheek (third degree head wound, death) 111-116 Strike to chin, jaw shattered (second degree head wound,+60 hits, 20 rd stun?) 117-119 Strike through eye (death) >120 Strike through ear destroys brain, unfortunate lummox dies instantly, ear wax removed (third degree head wound, death) -8- Wilderness Creatures """""""""""""""""""" ____________ by Ilstar Darkedge / \ ___ ___\ \@| \~\ /~/ | ou may have seen him Kelfour's Landing: | \ ~ / | wandering the lands, _| |~| | wearing modest cloth- Having traveled for almost six /@| |~| | ing and an expression months, I have finally found a land \_/ ~~~ / of quiet thought. He with more unusual beasts. A talk ~~~~~~~~~~~ obviously finds inter- with Helga, the local barkeep, has est in more than just his magic. convinced me this area might be pro- Cinjin journeyed about the wilds missing. I shall stay about for some letting his curiosity lead him to time and see if I can verify some new and always more dangerous tracts of the tales I just heard. where he could find beasts which few come across. His insatiable curios- Sightings: ity has taken him to other lands in search of even stranger animals and BASILISK: These beasts seem to be spirits to add to his immense tomes weaker relatives of the basilisks I of personal sightings. He is obvi- saw long ago. I will now call those ously driven to experience things; a greater basilisks. Like its appa- man for whom stories will not do. rent relatives, it has a body similar to a serpent with two clawed I used to talk with him about things legs, feathery wings, and no arms. he saw before he came to Kelfour, Its length is similar too, around 25 and I think it was this interest feet with a wingspan of about 28. which prompted him to hire a local Both have a feather covered head scribe to copy his tomes. He left with a sharp beak, though these seem them on my doorstep the morning he less reptilian. One would still set off to journey to lands far from look at them and think of a cock Kelfour's, no doubt in hope of mixed with a small dragon. Their quenching his continuing curiosity. eyes can turn one to stone, but that doesn't last as long as the His tomes contain many strange greater's hardening gaze. Also they beasts. In them he describes their don't seem to desire to crack one to appearance, what they are called by pieces as the greater ones do. They local inhabitants, and sometimes lack both the ability to breath their abilities. Interested more in poison and secrete it from their seeing the beast rather than fight- skin, thus one does not lay in air ing it, he usually failed to docu- full of deadly fumes. Though still ment all of their actions in battle. intelligent, they seem very unpredictable almost verging on I still find it hard to believe in insane, their crazed wailing can some of the beasts he has supposedly drive fear into the bravest seen, although many feel I have an barbarian. They use their sharp open mind on such matters. So, to beaks and talons effectively. The avoid any fables, I will only show feathers are usually white or entries of those beasts I have seen sometimes a medium brown, and the myself, or heard about from trusted body is always a deep green. eyewitnesses. Therefore, most of these creatures are within a few BROWN BEAR: Bears are common all days journey of Kelfour's Landing. over the lands, but for some reason A few lay beyond, those I saw before these in particular are much larger I settled in this area. than those I have seen elsewhere. Their fur is softer and a little I have taken it upon myself to trickier to skin than others. organize Cinjin's tomes a bit as the Otherwise just a common bear. monsters are entered in the order in which he sighted them. -9- More... WEREBEAR: These werebears seem to their head. These sacks allow them enjoy staying in their bear form, in to flatten the neck into a hoodlike which they are difficult to form when approached. distinguish from a regular bear. They are more vicious and seem to be COCKATRICE: Another beast closely unaffected by normal weapons. Only related to the basilisk. They are with the aid of a god or the flows more common than the others and, of essence should one tangle with luckily, less dangerous. They seem them. One distinguishing marking is to fly about more than basilisks, that their eyes are deep red in and they prefer to nest in trees. color. If you haven't heard the The greater basilisk puts his lair tale, a werebear is supposedly a in a cavern and prefers walking to creature of the darkness that once flying. This is probably due to the was a humanoid. Werebears can poison that the greater basilisk can infect with their bites, and the emit that both fills the air of his victim is then cursed and lair and covers the floor with a periodically changes into a bear deadly clear slime. The feathers of form and wrecks havoc. these beasts are softer and larger and seem to be desired by those with BLACK STALKER: These beasts are certain odd desire to tickle. hard to describe since they like the Beware of the cockatrice's gaze and shadows. From what I have been told their talons. They stand anywhere they are warriors or assassins who from three to twelve feet high with have been possessed by some evil a wingspan of about eight feet and a spirit. They are quick and tail of about three feet. Their excellent swordsmen. Their whole feathers are white over a brown purpose is to kill, and nothing will skin. deter them except their own death. Be wary of the dark forests south of DARK APPARITION: Dead spirits with town. They shy away from light as the ability to alter their appear- darkness invigorates them. I have ance, dark apparitions use this heard that sometimes they are used ability to look like horribly as assassins. If this is true be mutilated corpses, some humanoid, careful if you are the target. They others not. All their forms have a will let nothing stand in their way sort of ghostly appearance. Their and they carry blades forged entire purpose is to spread fear specifically with you in mind. into anything that they encounter. Death is the only thing that will stop them, either yours or theirs. DEATH DIRGE: These forms with very dark eyes seem to be spirits bound BLOODBEAST: One of the most hideous to this world by music. Quiet, things I have seen. I can believe haunting tunes can be heard when the tale that these beings are they are about. Their voices can created when a victim dies a bloody make you stand frozen or run for death. They appear to be a corpse your life. I always hear a distant, completely covered in blood. Almost depressing funeral march just before unrecognizable, their arms usually I meet one of these. Still, they look like bloody tentacles. They seem to come up without warning, use them to fling an acidic blood at since the music does not seem real. you. Similar beasts that I have Their size is varied as are their seen actually draw the blood away shapes. They always have dark eyes from your wounds. Luckily these and equally dark music. don't seem to have that desire. DEATHWOODE: The animate spirits of COBRA: A large snake with a slain trees are deathwoodes. They poisonous bite, they can be are vindictive and ruthless in their distinguished by large semicircular goal to rid the forest of travelers. sacks that hang on each side of Some will ignore those who would not -10- (continued on page 12) The Mystery of Resistance Rolls """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" by Lythe L'Green ____________ / \ ________ \ \@| ~|_|~~|~||erhaps the least under caster. They then roll a hundred | |~| |~|| stood rules in Gem- sided die, modified by the RR | |~|==// | Stone are those sur- modifier that was determined from _| |~| | rounding the resis- the BAR, as well as any special /@| |~| | tance roll (RR>. RRs modifiers (usually racial). If the \_/ ~~~~ / are an important as- RR is greater than or equal to the ~~~~~~~~~~~ pect of the game, and RR threshold, then the spell has are useful if you understand them. been resisted. Here is an example Resistance Roll: Lythe gestures. Essentially, an RR is the chance for BAR: D100 70 + 19 = 89, general a victim to resist the effect of a RRmod: -50 Target RR threshold: certain spell. A variety of spells 50, d100 32 + -50 + race_mod: -5 = allow for an RR: Sleep, Calm, -23, resistance failed! Unbalance, Repel Undead, Word of Stun and several others. If an RR In the above example, the target is failed, then the spell will have rolled a 70 on a hundred sided die. some effect on the intended target; Their level, 19, was added to this if the RR is failed by a lot, then roll, to result in 89. This high the effect is often worse. roll resulted in an RR modifier of -50, to be applied the the next An RR takes place in two parts: an roll: the actual RR. The target initial Base Attack Roll (BAR) which also happened to be 19th level, so determines how well the spell was using the chart, we find the RR cast. The higher the roll, the threshold to be 50 (it is always 50 better; if you are a mage, cleric, when the caster and target are of healer, or sorcerer, then your level equal level). The victim rolled 32 is added to this roll. The on a hundred sided die, modified by 'modified roll' due to this level -50 due to the caster's effective bonus may never exceed 95. An BAR, and further modified by the unmodified initial roll of 96-100 target's race by -5 to result in results in extraordinary success. -23. This is well below the threshold, so the target failed to The result of the BAR is then resist the spell. cross referenced with an obscure table (which won't be discussed here Some races are highly resistant to for it is of lesser importance) magic: dwarves and halflings are which is based on the armor the granted large bonuses to their RRs, target is wearing and the realm of whereas elves are given are given a magic the spell comes from. In any slight penalty for being somewhat case, the higher your BAR, the susceptible to magic. larger the negative modifier the target will suffer when they make This Resistance Roll table is also the RR. A low BAR will result in useful to determine the level of a the target receiving a bonus to creature you haven't met before. If resist. you can cast a spell on it which requires an RR, then you can look up After the BAR is completed, the their RR threshold against your victim is given a chance to resist. level, and cross reference that with The target has an RR threshold based the target level. on their level relative to the More... -11- +-----------------------------------------------------------+ | Table of Resistance Roll Thresholds | +------+-----------------------------------------------------------+ |Target| Caster's Level | |Level | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15| +------+-----------------------------------------------------------+ | 1 | 50 55 60 65 70 73 76 79 82 85 87 89 91 93 95| | 2 | 45 50 55 60 65 68 71 74 77 80 82 84 86 88 90| | 3 | 40 45 50 55 60 63 66 69 72 75 77 79 81 83 85| | 4 | 35 40 45 50 55 58 61 64 67 70 72 74 76 78 80| | 5 | 30 35 40 45 50 53 56 59 62 65 67 69 71 73 75| | 6 | 27 32 37 42 47 50 53 56 59 62 64 66 68 70 72| | 7 | 24 29 34 39 44 47 50 53 56 59 61 63 65 67 69| | 8 | 21 26 31 36 41 44 47 50 53 56 58 60 62 64 66| | 9 | 18 23 28 33 38 41 44 47 50 53 55 57 59 61 63| | 10 | 15 20 25 30 35 38 41 44 47 50 52 54 56 58 60| | 11 | 13 18 23 28 33 36 39 42 45 48 50 52 54 56 58| | 12 | 09 14 19 24 29 32 35 38 41 44 46 48 50 52 54| | 13 | 07 12 17 22 27 30 33 36 39 42 44 46 48 50 52| | 14 | 05 10 15 20 25 28 31 34 37 40 42 44 46 48 50| +------+-----------------------------------------------------------+ Note: For each level over 15, the attack level raises the result by 1, and the target level lowers it by 1. Wilderness Creatures (continued from Page 10) """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" harm trees, but those about the Fighting dragons is always dan- forests near Kelfour's desire to gerous. Not only are they more than slay every traveler. Bitter and capable fighters but if you manage prolific, I have never before come to cut one, you will learn they have across so many. Typically, they are corrosive blood. large trees with black eyes and They usually nest in cavernous large mouths filled with teeth. lairs, the entrance to which is often a tight squeeze for them, but DRAGON: I have seen only one dragon inside of which they can stretch in this area, and heard of another their wings and even fly about. nesting somewhere up in a mountain. There body length is anywhere from These beasts of the drake family are 30 to 90 feet, and their wing span intelligent and deadly foes. They from 50 to 150 feet. vary vastly but appear to be Dragons have developed sleep to a enormous, enchanted reptilians. art form. Unluckily, they rest best Some can fly while others crawl, on large hordes of treasure. They dig, slither or swim. Most are able are perceptive and possessive, and to breath jets of water, fire, ice, I've never heard of one being robbed acid, or poisonous fumes at will. and not waking. They are long slender beasts with Different varieties of dragons powerful bodies, captivating eyes, may be distinguished by their two wings, sharp teeth, a long neck coloration. The only one I have and tail, one to six horns, seen in this area is the red dragon. scalelike body armor, a row of It is the largest variety of the spikes or sharp plates along the drakes I have encountered and is spine and a generally softer capable of breathing blasts of underside. Most have four legs but enchanted fire. some have none at all. -12- Looking Painful? """""""""""""""" (The Effects of Scars in Kulthea) By Rhys Corwinson ____________ / \ _____ \ \@| ~|_|~ | ast month, my friend Dec, having had numerous twitches, | |~| | Dec Lanthar received arms, and organs replaced by my _| |~| __ | an illicit request prayers to Eissa, just hasn't lived /@| |~|__|| | from that mortal long enough with them to provide \_/ ~~~~~~~ / enemy of healers, valid information. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Surtey Akrash, AKA the Quack. "Dec," he said, "There are As I've mentioned before, there are too many healers in the land to make only two ways to get scars: From an honest living in this dear old the Quack or by eating herbs to tent. I think it's time to change reduce an injury. Since Sen-Dalatin strategy. Let's try selling my has promised to let me into his service using what that nasty Rhys backroom if I endorse his sales, I himself says: SCARS ARE BEAUTIFUL. will only condemn the former. I'll give you points in the rush of Generally, however, a Quack visit business I'm sure to get, Dec. Just with a level 2 or 3 injury (refer to get the message printed, good old Caretaker's chart) is akin to misery buddy old pal." after the bleeding's over. There is no guaranteed way to escape a fully Well, that bard did write a dandy healed injury and thus a non- article to spec for the Quack, and removable scar once you lie down in the results have been horrifying. the tent. Period. Black and blue eyes, faces looking more like those from an old episode Here are some, but not all, of the of the Twilight Zone than the mighty effects you may expect from his heroes of Kulthea, and rashes of Quackness' ministrations: questions asking whether or not I can fix that scar have convinced me Level 3 Head injury (Mutilation to revise what I had said: Scars wounds): The definite worst wound are beautiful, but only for healers. for any player. You cannot search - No, I'm not seeking to incorporate either rooms or dead monsters. the healers guild to drive Surtey Severe modifications to all per- out of business, although I wouldn't ception rolls. I dare you to try to shed a tear if he did quit. pick a chest with this, especially since you can't search for traps. Frankly, scars are a pain, and the You cannot cast any spells beside only reason you see healers wearing healer base list. You cannot level one scars are because only channel. If I have this one, I will Vesista has developed the healer accept donations until I get it base list to level 15 and thus is fixed, only because I can't exist able to eliminate all of those scars outside of town. The only cure, given a few power points. "In good Bursethalas potion, is extremely shape" is a realistic term; scars DO expensive. have negative modifications. Be- sides lengthening your description, Level 2 Head injury (Facial Scars): you can have your activities Mod rolls still apply, but you can curtailed immensely if you're marked at least attempt to search. Don't up enough. Having experienced every expect to be sucessful. You cannot single possible wound known to channel. You still cast all spells. half-elf, I feel I can give a slightly more qualified opinion of Level 1 Head injury: Some minor which scars you can survive with and perception mods. which absolutely must be removed. More... -13- Level 3 Limb injury (missing limbs): expect if you can only see a lock If you are missing your right arm, I with one eye. Not recommended for hope you enjoy the remainder of your anyone possessing a lockpick. days in the Landing. You can't fight, can't climb, and you are Level 2 Eye injuries (bruises) do pretty much doomed to eating much the same, but at slightly lower chocolate chip cookies in the temple mods. unless you get some siran clove at a prohibitive 2K silvers per bud. The Level 1 Eye injuries (black and same goes if you are missing your blue) also give you a negative mod right hand. If you are missing your on a perception roll. If you're a left arm or left hand, you cannot picker, you really should avoid all use a shield or climb. You also three. cannot wield a two handed weapon. Lotsa luck. Oh, by the way, if you Level 3 Nervous damage: Ugh. No can't hold a weapon or a shield, how spells, no channeling, no life. If do you think you're going to pick a you overcast again, you are dead. chest? Add that one to the No ifs ands or buts. Even healers prohibited list. Missing legs seem have reported problems casting base to only to prohibit one from lists with this scar. climbing - swamp moving seems to be unaffected. It's my bet that if the Level 1 Nervous damage: This one engagement system ever gets seems to only be a cute note to your implemented, you'd have a heck of a description. I haven't confirmed time disengaging as well. However, anything else, but don't think I've never tried to go outside the slurred speech is going to help you temple missing both legs. Methinks cast any spells. I couldn't even get up, but that's sheer speculation. To the best of my knowledge, these are the only major effects from Level 2 limb injuries (mangles): scars. I have been unable to You can fight, but you will still confirm reports that abdomen, neck, have a tough time climbing if your chest, or back scars do anything legs are mangled. You cannot pick besides look very ugly and perhaps locks or climb if your hands are modify trading skill. Please check mangled. Mangled arms are a bit the bulletin board for late word on strange. One mangled arm allows you this; some may modify skills that to climb at a mod. If both are are currently unimplemented or that mangled, you can't climb at all. have hidden rolls. Good luck, and You also will have a tough time find a healer for that broken arm. picking chests, especially combined Oh, and has anybody noticed Dec has with hand wounds. recently become a bard? ___________________________________ Level 1 Limb injuries: Yes, those | .---. Lost your key? _ | old battle scars do affect you. | | o | Need a lock picked? (_) | Climbing mods apply for each limb | `. .' l | damaged, and hand and arm wounds | | | If so visit l | affect your ability to pick chests. | | | - LARTON'S LOCKS - l | You can fight fine, but enjoy trying | |_| =l | the hobland hill or picking a chest | ___ Corner Reann Street | near your max. | // /`\ and Yarlek Lane | | // / /| __ ___ | Level 3 Eye injuries (blind): Blind | // / / | // /`\ /'\ \ | eyes do very nasty things to | /~~~~\ /) | // / /| |\ \ \ | perception rolls. They also will do ||~~~~~~| / /~~~\ / | | \ /~~~\ | horrid things to attempting to search ||Yonah | / |~~~~~| / \ |~~~~~| | chests (a perception mod), and ||______|/ |_____|/ \|_____| | picking is a wonderful task to |___________________________________| -14- The Bardly Way """""""""""""" by Dec Lanthar _____________ / \____ ____\ \@|~|~| |~|~| pon receiving crit- Second on the Bard Base List is Song | |~| |~| | icism for my last of Holding. This is dandy to sing | |~| |~| | article (not be- to monsters that are just a bit too _| |~| |~| | cause it was bad, tough. It affects their offensive /@| \~\-/~/ | but because I didn't ability (-10 OB), making it harder \_/ ~~~~~ / have scars myself) for them to hit you. Especially ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I decided it was nice about this spell is the fact time I wrote about something I knew that monsters do NOT get a re- a little more about. So, I sat down sistance roll; it works every time. to think. What do I know a lot about? Well, that stumped me at I only know up to the fourth song on first but then it finally came to the Bard Base List, and Enegue may me. Hey, I'm a Bard! know more than that. The third one is Song of Sounding which extends "You're a what? Maybe you should the effects of other songs, followed think about rerolling. Again," by Item Assessment I, which lets you commented fully half of Kelfour at determine special benefits (charges, one time or another. Other members pluses, spell effects, etc.) of an of my family had tried the common item. The only disadvantage is that professions, magic and thievery, so these songs require 15 seconds to I decided to try something dif- take effect, which (as far as I can ferent. I learned to sing! tell) doesn't decrease as you grow. Nine years (and no scars) later, I Also available to Bards are the Open now know that this is the profession Essence Spells, the only ones being for me. It's passed by many people implemented thus far being Pro- because little is known about it, so tection I, Presence, and Locklore. I am here to reveal the secrets of Among our other skills, we are good Barding so you may be the judge. at climbing, swimming, picking pockets (although of course, none of First, Bards are very apt with us would ever think of doing that) swords. Not as good as fighters, of trading, hiding, first aid... the course, but we can train in swords a list goes on and on. The only major couple times each level. We can disadvantage is that we train wear armor if we want. Time needed slowing in opening locks. to learn to wear it appropriately may take a little longer than it Finally, everybody likes a Bard. would a fighter, but hey, who wants People come from miles around for to be like fighters anyway? our stories and songs. (Whoever is coughing in the background, stop Bards also sing spells. Although it.) It all depends on what your only two spells on the Bard Base dream is. If you're one of those List are implemented, both are un-manly types who can't stand the useful. The first is Value Assess- sight of blood, become a Healer. If ment. Apart from the obvious (cast you have the intelligence of a rock, it on your shield so you can be sure be a fighter. Like trees? Then how much you paid for it), this Rangering is for you. But next time spell is useful on quests. Singing your son or daughter asks for career it while holding a sword, a bard can advice, tell them to be different, tell instantly if it's normal or and mention being a Bard. He or she special just because of its value. will lead a happy, unscarred life. That's something no one else can do right there! -15- Lively Combat """"""""""""" by Dane Redlance ____________ -->=============- / \ ______ \ \@| /~/~~\~\ | ne consequence of warriors of Kulthea, our fateful ||~| |~|| choosing to be a calling lies in the lusty, spurious ||~| |~|| fighter in this day pursuit of challenging foes and _||~| |~|| and age is that you adversaries. So, have pride in the /@| \~\__/~/ | can never stay in one grandiose task we have chosen, for \_/ ~~~~~~ / place for long. My ours is not the soothing duty of ~~~~~~~~~~~ crusty old mentor told Healing, or the enchanting and me long ago that a fighter's work is mystical world of the Mage. I say in the field, and when the battles we should rejoice at each chance we are ending, and the monsters have have to squelch the legions of foes been cleared, it's time to move on. the Gods send at us each time we (I will admit, however, that old leave the comfort of the Landing. Farchek taught me that it's better to have a bottle in front of me than Pray tell us, brave RedLance, how we a frontal lobotomy, and I would have been lacking? I would never venture to say that 'socializing' is say to my friends here that you lack a good fighter's secondbest friend!) in any battle-sense or any bravery. One important consequence is that Nay! I have met men and women who every so often, I and my brethren- are more cunning and courageous than in-arms must become strangers to a I could ever hope to be. But the new land. question remains that when two or more are a-hunting together, we And so it happened that I was a should spur each other on, give unto newcomer to these parts. I must each other shouts of rejoicing in admit that this Kulthea holds a the glory which we seek together. I special place in my heart, for it is take for a positive example a hunt my first time from home, getting that I was on not long ago. I was away from the grueling training I with a brave adventurer recently have done since I was but a lad. I well-met named Aromir and an equally welcomed the change and the certain brave if somewhat less experienced challenge of live combat, instead of friend Asia. Together we may not the sparring between pups I had have had the stout blows of a Lord, become accustomed to not so long but we made up for it in our zeal ago. and exuberance. Battle-cries rang out as each creature began its But I know my place, and so it was fateful dance with death; shouts of that I spent the first few days here 'Good show!' and 'Excellent, biding my time, slowly absorbing the friend!' we spread unto each other local customs and culture. Not equally and without abandon. Ah, it wanting to offend any of my esteemed felt good to be alive! colleagues, however, I have held out until now about a certain subject Sadly, very few other times have I dear to my heart. I speak of the experienced the close-knit feeling glorious comrade of battle! of a fine battle. Mayhaps it is because I have not made the Friends, the sleepy yet quaint town acquaintance of every warrior here, of Kelfour's Landing is the place of and I will attest that there are pleasantries and manners. And, yes, areas that because of my lack of we know that the far-flung fields experience I have not been to and so and the deep forests surrounding our may have missed out on true new and wonderful home are the adventurers who love the battle and places where manners and traditions the friendship it develops. So take must still be observed. But, my words with a grain of salt, -16- (continued on page 18) News of Kulthea """"""""""""""" by Alton Alianthas ______________ / \ ____ ____ \ \@| ~| | | |~ | elga's, as always, "Really now. Calm down and I'll buy | |~|__|~| | was filled to cap- everyone a drink. Perhaps I'll even | |~ __ ~| | acity. Boisterous tell you news of events in the _| |~| |~| | adventurers, each greater world," he said as a flicker /@| _|~| |~|_ | trying to outdo the of a smile crossed his face. \_/ ~~~~ ~~~~ / other, told and re- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ told tales of their The pronouncement cut through the grandiose achievements. crowded barroom, and immediately silenced everyone, except for the "There I was! A hob on either side, aforementioned mage who muttered and a troll moving in behind..." something about his money being used to support everyone's bad habits. "Pshaw, thats nothing, let me tell you about the three stalkers I The prospect of news, and of course fought to a standstill this morn..." a free drink, quelled the hostile feelings of the Kelfourians. They As if by magic, all conversation ordered, and waited eagerly for the came to an halt as everyone turned promised news of the greater world. to examine the stranger who had just entered through the swinging doors. "Well, my friends," the Navigator began, "As you all know, the lands A tall, stately elf, dressed in of Quellbourne are isolated from the green surcoat with gold trim, had rest of Jaiman." The Navigator moved entered the pub and taken an seat at to the center of the room, sipping the bar. His bearing and grace were his drink before continuing. enough to get their full attention, but what really interested them, as "To the east, past the High Plateau, he turned to flash an aloof smile, are ill rumors that, with the coming was the medallion on an gold chain of spring, the Dragonlord Sulton hung around his neck. Ni'Shaang will march his well-feed and rested Lugroki army into Lu'nak It was the medallion, if nothing and overwhelm the hapless settlers else, which marked this elf as a in that dark and shard-infested member of that mysterious guild land." There were scattered oaths called the Navigators. It was and exclamations at this piece of formed in the shape of a small disk ill-omened news. about four inches across, with an convex crystal covering an intricate "Deep from the Zor wastelands come mosiac of jewelry that served as the reports of a group of adventurers compass. trying to gain entrance to the blasted and ruined city of Verzor. The commotion following the stunned Seeking treasure most likely, but I realization of who had walked into would venture to say that all they their midst couldn't have been will find is the incurable wasting greater had Helga announced all sickness that has claimed all who drinks were on the house. venture too deeply into that accursed land." "That's the one! He took my ring and 10,000 silvers this morning!" "Why is it cursed?" piped one of the exclaimed a usually quiet, reserved younger kitchen boys. mage. This was met by an uproar as everyone tried to tell his or her "That, my boy, is a long, sad tale story at the same time. best left for a day when it is not -17- quite so dark and cold," sighed the There were murmurs of awe at the Navigator. mention of the powerful artifact and the legendary Loremaster. At the "Happier news comes out of Tanara same time a ring upon the that the cloudlords once again ride Navigator's hand began to glow. forth to destroy the unlife." "Well, friends, one of your com- "I had thought all their steeds patriots is preparing to use a killed many years ago," remarked a ring," said the Navigator as he merchant. stood and began fiddling with his compass. "Goodbye!" And with that, "Well, if the reports are true, it he disappeared in an flash of light, would seem that some of the Steardan leaving the patrons of Helga's to escaped the poisoning that claimed discuss the portent of what they had most of them," responded the heard. Navigator. "In fact, scholars at =========\\======== Nomikos are spreading that tale, and I tend to believe that fine group of Lively Combat (From page 16) scholars." """""""""""""""""""""""""""" friends, because I say this only to Murmurs of agreement from the crowd tell others that there are a few met this opinion. here that enjoy a good, spirited, raucous battle, and hope that none "What is the news of Rhakhaan and dare be afraid to let loose the fire Frelik the Usurper?" queried a within their chests, at least while stocky fighter of some renown. my compatriots and I are around. "Aahh, you have heard. Frelik's Old Farchek once told me that a armies have broken camp and are battle-cry to a good hunter is like moving toward the city of Prevan. a second weapon. With it, he can Duke Kalen is moving with armies to spur not only himself, but any who intercept Frelik, but without aid takes heart at the spirit shown by from Emperor Jerrin it is doubtful the one who bellows it. I can tell whether Kalen can win the day." you that when I was introduced to a brave soul named Wing, who took a "Why hasn't the emperor mustered his like-minded adventurer called own armies to help Kalen?" Hothgar and me out for instructions questioned the same fighter. on attacking the dangerous wol- verines, we were spurred on each The navigator let an wry smirk cross time good Wing would yell out his his face before answering. "Politics satisfaction for his own good cut or of course, my stocky friend, there praise us for a lucky swing. He and are many nobles at the emperors others like him make each hunt that court who covet Kalen's land. They much more exciting, while also wouldn't mind seeing Kalen making it easier to swallow the con- destroyed, while at the same time he structive criticism directed towards reduces Ferlik's army, so that they yourself after again killing another can grab the rich land of Praven." hunter's tracked-down creature! ;) "Cursed politicians," mumbled the I would end this respectful musing fighter. by asking only one thing more: If there are others who feel the way I "Speaking of Emperor Jerrin, it do, show it, to a person! I hope to seems that he is considering donning learn even more about the peoples of the Helm of the Sea Drake at the this land, and pray that my words advice of Loremaster Andraax, who are taken as the encouragement they has been seen at the Emperor's are meant to be. May the creatures court." of Kulthea tremble at your Cry! -18- ______________ Merchant Match / \ ____ ____ \ """""""""""""" \@| ~|~| |~|~ | by Maia Moonsong | |~|__|~| | _| |~|--|~| | ere's a little quiz to see how much you know about the town /@| _|~| |~|_ | you live in! Should be easy if you've been around a while. \_/ ~~~~ ~~~~ / Just match the description to the name of the proprietor. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Description Proprietor ----------- ---------- 1. Herbs and potions, healthful notions. A. Sarn Keltain 2. Have something to sell? He'll pay you well. B. Surtey Akrash 3. An out-of-the-way inn, a quiet place within. C. Megorn Mell 4. A wheel spins, and everybody wins. D. Frith 5. Satins and lace, an elegant place. E. Sarris Dulcheen 6. Cookies and tea, never hungry will you be. F. Aznell 7. Flowers aplenty, for ladies and gentry. G. Sen Dalatin 8. Silver and gold, and jewels untold. H. Beldreck 9. To shield that chest, put his armor to the test. I. Tyron 10. A pouch and backpack, he's got what we lack. J. Gert 11. With a mace and dagger, out you will swagger. K. Dernick 12. Ale and beer, a place of good cheer. L. Raging Threk 13. A bump or a bruise? To him you should not cruise. M. Helga 14. A locked or trapped chest? His picks are the best. N. Tessie Brin 15. You'll find a room, some ale, and many a tale. O. Larton Quickhand Answers on Page 28 -- NO CHEATING! :) ___________________________________________________________________________ | | | | Ranger's Rhyme | Shadow of Death | | """""""""""""" | """"""""""""""" | | For those with house | | | payments to make | | | | | | by Wisraith Winterwind | by Raven Brightwing | | | | | | | | O hobbie, you're my darlin' | I follow you with every stride | | O hobbie, you're my joy, | You cannot avoid me. | | For you have treasure silver -- | I am with you, you cannot hide. | | Come to mama, pretty boy. | You will never be free. | | | | | O goblin, little goblin | I exist everywhere | | In your chain mail hauberk fine | Yet still cannot be seen. | | You're worth a lot, so tarry not -- | I may not be fair | | Come to mama, goblin mine. | But my sword's edge is keen. | | | | | O golem, graceful golem | I will take your life's breath, | | With your dainty pounding feet, | My cut will be clean and true. | | Let me help you with that chest -- | I am what you call Death | | Come to mama, golem sweet. | And your fee for life is now due. | | | | |______________________________________|____________________________________| -19- Think About It """""""""""""" by Drasin Dracull ___________ / \ ______ \ \@| ~|_|~\\ | uring a time in the to trouble to help me. I am grate- | |~| ||| Temple meditating, I ful to each and every one. I have _| |~| ||| began to think of my also helped others, asking no /@| |~|_// | life in Kulthea. And payment. I know I will be repaid in \_/ ~~~~~~ / of all my adventures, kind. No need to worry about it. ~~~~~~~~~~ friends and challenges, I kept returning to something that Therein lies the point. Why worry disturbs me greatly. about it? There is plenty to go around and the object is to strive That is courtesy, or lack thereof, for it, not take it. Picking as the case may be. Allow me to pockets and cutting in on someone's offer an example. One day I was quarry won't get you fame and hunting alone, content in mind and fortune of any substance. It may spirit, and had just engaged a get you points, silver, and a higher fearsome creature when along came OB along with a reputation as Greedy's group, by number three, and untrustworthy. This has already proceeded to attack this creature. been taken into account by many and They killed, skinned, and searched the choices made. it, picking what they wanted before they went merrily on their way. I certainly can't tell you what you should do, Greedy. You've already I stood stunned, not wanting to made that decision. Our differences believe what I had seen. There was stem from the way we perceive our nothing I could do. Had I pro- world and our lives and how we tested, it would have made no function within in Kulthea. We have difference, because we all have to be allowed, no matter how something in common, regardless of painful, to develop freely. our levels of performance: Freedom Curtailing that freedom would change of choice. Greedy and his merry men this world into something different. had made their choice knowing, full Something that would ill serve us. well, the alternative. There is, however, another pos- That alternative is showing respect, sibility. Consider this, Greedy. I courtesy, and a sense of to- find you in the wilds. You're getherness. We all strive for many stunned, bleeding from the ears, of the same goals, although in your beautiful shaalk sword laying different ways. When something is in the dust just out of reach. The taken from someone, it diminishes beast towering over you is about to their efforts, and wastes the one deal a death blow and you realize treasure that cannot be replaced, your sword will disappear. If you time. The problem may be that the leave, you lose it. If you die, you level of competition is too high and lose it. Your only hope is that I there are those whose ONLY object is get it and drag you to safety. You to get to the top as quickly as have NO choice. possible. I'm sorry for those people. They`ve missed something. I, however, do have a choice. I look at you, the sword, the beast, I would be remiss if I didn't rub my chin and think, "Hmm... mention of the other side of this Greedy was more than willing to help issue. I have had wonderful himself when he took my kill. Maybe experiences as well. Times when he can help himself now, as well." friends (and strangers) have come to my aid, giving their time, and gone Drasin just went South. -20- ____________ From VampAres to VampYres / \ _____ \ """"""""""""""""""""""""" \@| ~|_|~ | by Vlad Drakulya | |~| | _| |~| __ | ately there has been Sometime during the end of the first /@| |~|__|| | much confusion as to era, certain changes were made in \_/ ~~~~~~~ /exactly what a VampYre the basic design of the VampAre, ~~~~~~~~~~~is. Yes, that's VampYre resulting in the next generation, with a Y. Everyone seems to confuse the VampEre. This particular gener- ME, Vlad Drakulya, King of the ation was created with a combination VampYres, with those mundane of both magic, and the minds of VampIres. So, I have graciously dieing mortals. The net effect was decided to take the time to that VampEres were no longer as enlighten you poor susceptible to magic, mortals as to the .:::::::. _ .:::::::. and some had the history of the .:::::: : ^:::^ : ::::::. ability to Vamp races. .::::::: : ::::: : :::::::. think. .::::::::: ::!:: :::::::::. .::::::::::: :!: :::::::::::. .::::::::::::: .:!:. :::::::::::::. .::::::::::::::. .:::!:::. .:::::::::::::::. .:::::::::::::::::. ..::::::!::::::.. .:::::::::::::::::. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::!::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::!::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::: :::: ::: :: ::::::!::::: :: ::: :::: ::::: ::::: ::: :: : ::::!::::: : :: ::: ::::: :::: :: :: : ::!:::: : :: :: :::: ::: : : ::!::: : : ::: :: : : ::!:: .::::. : : :: : :!: .: : art by : The first : ::. .: : Eron Kulsen : of the Vamp ' :::: V races was the VampAre. They were created by one of the They also had the same shock Masters Of The Flows, sometime capability in combat, as they during the First Era. How they were absolutely rEVELed in killing created has been lost in history, (something to do with being created but they definitely were of magical from the minds of dieing mortals). creation. It is rumored among our For thousands of years at the end of race that these ancestors of ours the First Era, these killing were mindless creations used as machines spilled blood across the shock troops during the wars of the world until, by chance, an opposing First Era. They were so shocking mage happened to cast an Unpain because they would PARE there spell upon a VampEre by accident (it opponent down to nothing (quite was intended for one of his own grisly in fact!). Being mindless in fallen comrades the VampEre was nature, one could not really say cleaving to bits). Somehow this whether VampAres were good or evil, spell had a profound effect upon the they were simply EVALuation copies, mortal part of the VampEre, re- so to speak. VampAres, being leasing it from its agony, and creations of magic, were thought to destroying the VampEre in the be immortal. They were only sus- process. So ended the reign of ceptible to magic attack. Unfor- terror caused by the VampEres. tunately, this weakness was even- tually discovered and they started During the Second Era, not much dwindling in number. No new happened for many, many years in the VampAres were created due to their saga of the Vamp race. A few underlying problems versus magic. VampAres and VampEres were still -21- "alive" and killing, but they were innocent, and spreading the ways of slowly hunted down. Sometime during the Unlife. They are without a the Second Era though, a very doubt EVIL through and through, and powerful Necromancer managed to should be killed whenever given the capture a VampAre, and two VampEres. chance. VampIres are susceptible to Over the course of 25 years, he garlic, fast running water, and any studied them carefully, learning as sort of holy relic. They can only much as he could of them. be killed by pounding an oak stake through their EVIL hearts. The During these years, however, he original VampIre still walks the unwittingly never allowed any of Earth, and it is rumored that if he them to kill anything, and the were to die, all the others would Vamps' lust for blood grew, altering die too. This may be true, but he the various measurements the Necro- is now powerful beyond the dreams of mancer made of them. Finally, the men, and adequately protected by the Necromancer thought he had found a Unlife itself. way to make a superior, self repro- ducing Vamp. The process required During the first 300 years of the destruction of one of the 3 VampIre terror, a Loremaster Vamps he had, so he chose the stumbled across the Necromancer's VampAre for his first attempt. tower, and studied his works in Having husbanded his powers for the hopes of finding a way to defeat the last 25 years, the Necromancer threw VampIre. Realizing some of the everything he had into his spell, Necromancer's errors, he changed the and was successful! Kind of. spell somewhat, and cast it upon one of the two, still captive, VampEres. His creation was the first of the And thus was created the first VampIres. Everything about it was VampOre. The VampOre happened to be multiplied many fold. It had the a very smelly creature, sweating all ability to think (genius IQ), it had the time. magical powers (shape shifting and the ability to affect others minds), The Loremaster helped the relatively and it had a 25 year lust for blood docile VampOre, teaching and alter- multiplied a hundred fold. The ing it with spells as needed. Necromancer was the first to fall to Eventually, this one and only his hideous creation, in a blood VampOre EVOLved into a VampUre. The bath that killed an estimated 50000 VampUre was a living, breathing, mortals over the course of 300 thinking, and most importantly, GOOD years. being. Unfortunately for the Lore- master and the VampUre, most At this time, the VampIre didn't everyone had great feelings of realize how to create new VampIres, rEVULsion towards the VampUre, for so none of these 50000 became new reasons the Loremaster could not ones (thank all the Gods for that!). fathom. Also, the VampUre was After about 300 years though, much unable to reproduce itself at all. of the VampIres thirst for blood had Realizing that he would be unable to been quenched, and it grew more complete his self given task of cunning. It discovered how to creating a new generation of Vamps create new undead like itself (3 which would be able to defeat the bites on the neck, followed by the VampIres, the Loremaster passed his victim drinking the VampIres blood), task onto other Loremasters. and eventually, it was discovered by Research continued, off and on, with the Unlife itself. A match made in no new finds right through the end hell, if ever one was made, could of the Second Era, and into the not have been worse than the Third. All this time, the VampUre alliance between the Unlife, and continued studying both itself, and VampIres. To this day, VampIres the still captive VampEre (the only scourge the world, killing the one known to still exist). -22- More... Finally, about 300 years ago, an establishments with no problem. incredible breakthrough was made. Many of you misinformed Kelfourians Many Loremasters rejoined the also think you can kill me with a project, learning of the new infor- wooden stake (why you would want to, mation. Experiments were made, and I have no idea). Well, I will let time passed. Everything had to be you in on a secret. The only way I perfect, as there was only the one can truly be killed, in a permanent remaining VampEre (the thought of fashion, is with the death of all using the VampUre had never even VampIres. I look forward to this occurred as it had spent SO many day with longing, and you can all years attempting to help). Finally, speed me along my journey by about 30 odd years ago, the spell greeting me with the phrase "Dye was cast. In front of the Lore- Vampyre" whenever you meet me. The masters eyes, the VampEre swirled sooner I die, the sooner the scourge into streams of essence, power of VampIres shall end. flowed in from many sources, and one Half-Elven Loremaster restarted his I am capable of creating new life, for the spell to succeed. VampYres, although 3 bites is not When the spell was complete, a baby enough. I must tell you that you Half-Elf lay crying in front of the are a VampYre. Only I can create Loremasters. Thus was born Vlad new ones, and a VampYre created by Drakulya, first of the VampYres. me cannot make others. Currently, the only VampYre I have made is I was raised among the Loremasters, Thalassa, although I fear she may and chose to become a mage so as to stray from our true path at times. be better able to combat the magic Such is the way with children. Just of VampIres. For 25 years I learned remember: Kill all VampIres on as much as I could, and then I had sight, and greet all VampYres with to leave, in order to learn the ways the words "Dye Vampyre." of the world. My one and only duty is to ultimately destroy every last ============\\========== VampIre, including my namesake, Vlad Dracula, the very first VampIre How I go about my duty is up to me, and The Curious Mystic the risks are great. I will have to infiltrate many organizations of //////////////////////// EVIL in order to seek out my arch ___________________ /// enemy, and may have to commit acts /+++++++++++++++++++\ // that others may view as EVIL. But /+/ \+\ // the ends must justify the means, and /+/====== ======\+\/// I shall do what is necessary, 'til /+/ ___ ___ \+\// the end of my time. /+/ (_O_) (_O_) \+\// /+/ / \+\ I have retained many of the powers \+\ / /+/ of the VampIres, such as the ability \+\ / /+/ to shape shift, and the strength of \+\ ' ' /+/ many men. Many of the citizens of \+\ /\ /+/ Kelfour's have been disgusted at my \+\ / \/\ /+/ occasional drink of blood, for which \+\ /\ / ^ / \ /+/ I apologize, but it is a necessity \+\/ \/ ^ / \+/ of my race and helps me seek out the \< /\ \ / /\ > VampIres. As to my biting others, art by \ \/ / / that too helps me discover who is a Eron Kulsen \ \ / < VampIre, and who isn't. There is no <__\/_______\ other way to tell, as the story of VampIres not liking the sun is pure "You are one of the few chosen. fable. Some of the more powerful Seek your fortune in Cheldar's ones can even enter religious Bath House..." -23- Uncovering The Silence """""""""""""""""""""" Conclusion by Chad Eberle ___________ / \ __ \ \@| / "| | gain I soared through My progress was quick as Tii had | //|"| | the universe and saw powerful legs, and soon I was at a _| //=|"| | the planet grow. We bend in the trail which snaked into /@| // |"| | dove toward the same trees and dense brush. They worked \_/~~ ~~~ / land formation, the well as a blinding barrier, for when ~~~~~~~~~~ same valley, to the I came through, I saw I was back in clearing on the trail where the that horribly familiar clearing. mayhem was earlier held. I saw a man running, as we arrowed closer. I stood and gaped at what lay before He was tall and muscular, with long, me. Everything was I remembered, dark brown hair that bellowed behind the bushes which Mauk and I hid in, him. We arrowed closer. I could the twists in the trail. But in the see his look of elation, joyous with center... Oh, in the center was a his ability to speed. I knew this pile of limbs and bodies impalled by was Tii, and collided with him. that spear, all face down. I could see the shock on their faces, as if The black curtain rose, and I was they weren't certain that they were now seeing out of Tii's eyes. The dead. But of Mauk, nothing. long grasses waved and shimmied in the wind, cut by the trail that went Then, as the wind shifted, I caught before and behind me. the stench of death and retched whatever Tii had last eaten. "Turn around and follow the trail." I heard the gods say. Recovering, I drew reluctantly near the mound of bodies. On the top of It was a different experience, the pile was a thick rope tied in a walking in another person's body. I knot onto the spear. The loose end was now taller, my feet looked trailed to the other side of this further away than I've ever seen death-heap. I moved to investigate. them. The roughness of the terrain didn't seem hurt on my bare feet, Mauk looked up and saw Tii then, and but I supposed that was because Tii began to wail and shudder. He had a had probably never worn shoes, and rope around his neck and was bound thus had thick soles. I thought of arms-behind-back, laying against the the possibilities of what might be compost of his family. I sucked in before me, and followed the path. a breath, then quickly stepped for- For a while, I walked. Then I ran. ward, lifting him with the ease of Tii's strength. As I did, the knot An object lay on the trail at some slid up and off the spear, revealing distance. Nearing it, it looked that Mauk was not tall enough to like a head, and then with a start I remove it himself. realized it was the mask the assailant had worn when he played Untying him, I found a freshly his ghastly game on Mauk's family, burned scar on his right palm, a and possibly Mauk. Fear stabbed at scar ghastly similar to an eye. As me, my pulse doubled, and I slowed soon as his arms were free, he clung to a cautious walk. I began to feel to me, sobbing as I tried to calm vulnerable since the wind swishing him. Lifting his slight weight, I in the grass would cover the noise carried him away from the dreadful of anyone stalking me. Out of scene and sat down, rocking him. terror, I ran again. Finally his sobbing stopped. More... -24- "Mauk," I said, surprised to hear Mauk stood shaking, then gestured at someone else's voice, and in another me and signed, "Tii comes with me?" language. "Who did this to you?" Their silence spoke volumes. No reaction. I waited, hoping he had understood, and just as I wished Mauk signed again, frantically. "I I had never asked, his head shot up cannot leave Tii. He saved me." and he looked directly at me. His red, sorrowful eyes nearly killed "It's all right, Mauk," I said com- me; his jaw jittered as if he were fortingly. "Your new protector will about to say something, then he be good to you, and I will be fine." lowered his head, and gave a shrug. He looked at me for a long while, We camped there that night, and Mauk then turned to the real me on the sat staring silently into the fire screen. He grappled me with his for hours. Finally, he slept. arms in a final hug, then moved to the device. He kneeled with a "You understand his silence?" sorrowful glance over his shoulder, inquired the gods. But I was dazed and placed his hands on the glass. and could not answer. * * * The gods guided me to the temple the next morning, Mauk following me And that is how I came to know Mauk silently. As they had said, the Mey. Funding for the excavation was time there passed quickly. I depleted upon my return. I sold all watched as Mauk matured into a man, of my possessions to buy the device. all the while learning the skills I taught him under the guide of the With it, I can still contact Mauk, gods. Thrilling it was to watch and help him adapt to his new life Mauk loose a barrage of arrows at a in Kulthea. I take occasional con- small target and watch them impale trol of him when something goes it within inches of each other. wrong, but never for long as it Soon he was as big as Tii, and I was requires godly power for more than a bit envious that he had learned moments. I can also experience his more skills than I would ever know. thoughts and feelings. The years flew past. Mauk's 26th The identity of the murderer? I birthday past without celebrated as have theories, but let me tell you was his custom, and then came the of a dream I watched Mauk have time to take him to Kulthea. through the device the other day. "It is time," came the chorus. We were in the clearing where Mauk "Take Mauk to the Holy Room." and I had met, only Mauk was not tied, and he had a bow and arrows. In that room was a device like the The masked man danced around Mauk's one which had brought me here. It's dead family, stopping as he saw glass glowed, while Mauk and I Mauk was there. He stood there a watched in amazement. It took me a moment, then threw his head back and moment to realize that the face on laughed, resuming his death dance. the screen was my own; it had been Mauk notched an arrow into his bow so long since I had seen it I barely and effortlessly drew it back. knew myself. It caught the man square in the back and he tottered, falling back dead. "Mauk Mey," the gods boomed. "Look into the glass and behold your new Mauk went to him, knelt on one knee. guide and protector. He will take With a cry of rage, he tore off the you to a new land where he will the mask and looked into the shocked guide you through many adventures." pale face of his cousin, Tii Mey. -25- Pwyll, Prince of Annwfn """"""""""""""""""""""" by Eron Kulsen _____________ / \ _________ \ \@| ||-|-|-|| | his is a story to be heard the cry of another pack, far _| ~~ |~| ~~ | sung by all bards in different from his own, coming /@| |~| | the lands from this towards him, their cry a chill in \_/ ~~~~~ / time forth. It tells the wind. He rode to a clearing ~~~~~~~~~~~~ of a time before the and entered a wide and level field great lords of the undead had let where he saw his dogs cowering at loose their minions and evil crea- the edge of the clearing while the tures. It was a time of peace, other pack raced after a magnificent which in turn, was granted from war. stag. And lo, while he watched, the strange dogs overtook the stag and It is a story of bravery and magic, bore it to the ground. best told from the strings of a harp. Hear then, if you will, the He rode forward and saw the color of story of Pwyll, Prince of Annwfn... the hounds, and of all the hunting dogs in all the world he had never before seen any like these: the In the days when the dew of creation hair of their coats was a brilliant, was still fresh on the earth, Pwyll shining white, and that of their was lord over seven cantrefs of ears red. And the redness of their Dyfed, and seven of Gwynedd, and ears gleamed as bright as the seven of Lloegr as well. (These whiteness of their bodies glittered. places are now among the lands of Pywll rode to the shining dogs and Kelfours and it's continent.) In scattered them, choosing to set his Caer Narberth, his principal strong- own hounds upon the killed stag. hold, he awakened one morning and looked out upon the wild hills As he was feeding the dogs, a horse- abounding with game of all kind and man appeared before him on a large it came into his head to assemble dapple-gray mount, a hunting horn his men and go hunting. And this is about his neck, wearing a pale gray the way of it. garment for hunting gear. The horseman approached him saying, Now the part of his realm that Pwyll "Chieftain, I know who you are, but wished to hunt was a lower forest he I greet you not at all." named Glyn Cuch; and he set out at once with a great company of men and "Well," said Pwyll, "perhaps your they rode till dusk. Arriving just rank does not require it." as the sun was slipping into the western sea, beginning its journey "Eissa knows," exclaimed the horse- through the underworld. man. "It is not my dignity or the obligation of rank that prevents They made camp and slept, and at me." dawn the next morning they rose and entered the woods of Glyn Cuch, "What else then, lord? Tell me if where they loosed the hounds. Pywll you can," said Pwyll. sounded his horn, mustered the hunt and being the fastest rider, set off "Can and will," replied the horseman behind his dogs. sternly. "I swear by the gods of heaven and earth, it is your own He followed the chase and in no time ignorance and discourtesy!" was lost by his companions, far outdistancing them in the thick- "What lack of courtesy have you seen tangled woods. As he was listening in me lord?" inquired Pwyll, for he to the cry of his hunting pack, he indeed could not think of any. -26- "Greater discourtesy have I seen in ness became that of the king's so man," the strange horseman replied, that no one could tell them apart. "Than to drive away the pack that "See?" said the king, "You now have killed the stag and set your own my shape and manner; therefore, go upon it. Shame! That shows a into my realm and take my place and woeful lack of courtesy. Even so, I rule as you will until the end of will not take revenge upon you - the year from tomorrow, when we though well I might - but I will shall meet again in this place." have a bard satirize you to the value of a hundred stags." "As you will, lord, but though I succeed in your place for a year, "Lord," Pwyll pleaded, "If I have how will I find the man of whom you committed a wrong, I will sue dir- speak?" ectly for peace with you." "Gorr and I are bound by oath to "On what terms?" asked the horseman. meet a year from this very night at the fjord of the river that "Such as your rank, whatever it is, separates our lands. You will be may require." there in my place, and were you to give him a single blow he would not "Know me then. I am crowned king of survive. But though he may beg you the land which I hail." to strike again, do not - however he may plead with you. For I have "May you prosper with the day! fought him often and have struck him Which land might that be, lord?" many a mortal blow; yet he is always wondered Pwyll, "For I myself am whole and fresh the next day." king of all lands here-abouts." "Very well," said Pwyll, "I will do "Annwfn", replied the horseman. "I as you say. But what will happen to am Arawn, King of Annwfn." my kingdom while I am away?" Pwyll thought about this, for it was The king of the Otherworld spoke ill-luck to converse with a being of additional ancient and mysterious the Otherworld, king or no. words and his shape changed to that (Annwfn, a land in the far reaches of Pwyll's. "See? No man or woman of the Otherworld; revered as heaven in your realm shall know that I am to most.) But he had already pledged not you," said Arawn. "I will go in himself to redeem friendship with your place as you go in mine." the horseman, he had no choice but to abide by his word if he would not And so they both set off, Pwyll rode bring greater dishonor and mis- deep into Arawn's realm and Arawn to fortune to his name. "Tell me then, Pwyll's... O King, if you will, how I may redeem our friendship, and I will do To be continued it gladly." ============\\============ "Listen, chieftain, here is how you will redeem it, " began the horse- man. "A man whose land borders mine makes war on me continually. He is ______ Gorr, a lord of Annwfn, and by ._._._._._ _//____\\_ ridding me of his oppression - which (._._._._._| :: | T| you can do quite easily - you will \___\\\/_|| have peace with me, as will your descendants after you." Tara's Chainsaw of Orc Slaying And the king spoke ancient and mysterious words and Pwyll's like- -27- The Putrescent Parchment """""""""""""""""""""""" By Miss Louvella Parsnips _______________ / \ ____ ____\ \@| ~|~| __ |~|~| e were delighted experiment, eye operations. We | |~|/~~\|~| | to learn of a very wonder how this fellow can pick _| |~/~/\~\~| | public tiff betwix pockets with any grace at all if he /@| |__/ \__| | one wraithlike continues to mistake our lovely (if \_/ ~~~ ~~~/ lady mage and a slightly tarnished) lady cleric of ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ red-haired, bad- the olde speeche for a troll. tempered lady ranger. It seems these two did everything but stick The bridal trade appears to be hot daggers in each others' eyes. In picking up in Kelfour's Landing, to fact, blades were drawn, but the delight of Saaris and Threk (who unfortunately no blood was spilled. has newly renovated the honeymoon The object of this spiteful spat suite) and two of our most prominent appears to have been a once virtuous bachelors, a decadent bard and a common man ranger. Naturally, the caring healer, have announced their lily-livered fellow was nowhere to engagement. We always thought there be seen during the cat-fight. was something odd about those two, especially in light of our decadent Apparently our execrable ranger bard's new plumed chapeau. accused the supposedly scrupulous mage of participating in lascivious A motley gypsy band recently made acts with said ranger fellow. This, its way to Kelfour's Landing and of course, was vehemently denied by fleeced our always greedy citizens the mage (although, of course, we for all they were worth. Of course, know better). Nonetheless, the we are not trying to rub anyone's entire argument was overheard by nose in anything, but we would just (among other people) our mage's like to remind our dear readers that admirer of the month, a long winded, WE knew better than to attend such lordly thief who publicly berated an auction. both participants -- or, to be more specific, the strumpet and harlot as For those of you who are STILL he most eloquently put it. The leaving notes in the niche near the entire affair seems to have ended gate, we glaringly remind you that with the ranger in temporary you should send them to MISS.SNOOP banishment from Kulthea and our mage via GEMail, where they will reach displaying a new pair of tres our eager eyes promptly. And please expensive earrings. make sure not to tell anyone else about the rewards. After all, we We were scandalized to hear tales of wouldn't want EVERYONE getting a a certain bleu robed, newly married piece of the action, now would we? lady mage au natural behind the bleachers in the arena. Naturally, Until next time, happy scandal- her husband was nowhere to be seen, seeking and tra-la for now! and it appears she was enjoying the __________________________________ attentions of the winner of the |Answers to Merchant Match, Page 19 | recent jousting tournament who |1G; 2K; 3D; 4H; 5E; 6J; 7N; 8A; | was reportedly practicing with his |9F; 10C; 11I; 12M; 13B; 14O; 15L | lance. | SCORES: | | 1 - 5 Where have you been? Emer? | Our mailbox has been filled with | 6 - 10 An average run-of-the-mill | juicy tidbits and we are delighted | adventurer. (Yawn) | to inform you that a certain |11 - 15 An adventurer about town! | half-elf thiefly fellow is a good | Been too busy to kill trolls, eh? | candidate for Surtey's newest ----------------------------------- -28- KE V10N9 [end]