Kelfour Edition volume II number III

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 / \                                                                     \
 |  |                                            Special Ranger Section   |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |    GemStone III's                                     August 1991   |
 |                                                       Vol.2, No.3   |
 |               _   _           _    ___                              |
 |              / ) / )         / )  / __)                             |
 |             / /_/ /  ____   / / _/ (   ____   __  __  ____          |
 |            /   __/  / __ ) / / (  __) / _  ) / / / / / ___)         |
 |           / /\ \   / ___/ / /  / /   / (/ / / (_/ / / /             |
 | /~~~\   %%%/  \_) (____) (_(  (_(   (____/ (_____( (_(              |
 | ~~~\ ~~~^~~\         _____      _    _    _    _                    |
 |    |        \.      / ____)    / )  (/  _/ )  (/                    |
 |    :          ~~\  / (__   ___/ /  _   (  _) _   ____   ____        |
 |     \ %%  %% |~\ \/  ___) / _  /  / )  / /  / ) / _  ) /    )       |
 |      |##  ## |  \/  (_   / (/ /  / /  / /  / / / (/ / / /) /        |
 |      |       |  (_____) (____(  (_(  (_(  (_( (____/ (_((_(         |
 |      \       /                                                      |
 |      | &  & |         The Kronicles of Kulthea                      |
 |       \&  &/                                                        |
 |______  \__/ ________________________________________________________|
 |                                                                     |
 |   Local News .................................................   1  |
 |   Editorial: Conflict ...................... Lady Rune Arundel   2  |
 |   Bird's Eye View of Kulthea .................... Phaedra Bleu   3  |
 |   The Question of Earth ...................... Flint Thalassar   4  |
 |   Special Things ................................... Anonymous   5  |
 |   Special Section: By and About Rangers                             |
 |     Building a Better Range ....................... Kenner Boh   6  |
 |     Forest Trails ...................... Cameron SilverMask II   8  |
 |     Of Mice and Half-Elves, Pt.1 .......... Gallenod Varynesti  10  |
 |     Pools of Healing ............. Nastorm Trevin and A. Otter  12  |
 |     Findings From the Arcane Ranger Masters.. Landreth deLorde  15  |
 |   The Abandoned Inn ........................ Melda Farthrimnur  16  |
 |   What To Hunt ............................ Michaelos Duradero  17  |
 |   The Sword Bearer's Tale ................. Gilthor In'Glorion  19  |
 |   Deadly Game ................................. Twyndle Majeer  22  |
 |   Ode to a Spectre ......................... Amelda Heronheart  23  |
 |   Pwyll, Prince of Annwfn, Conclusion ............ Eron Kulsen  24  |
 |   Song for Rhys ............................ Amelda Heronheart  25  |
 |   Letters Home ............................. Belladonna Atropa  26  |
 |   The Bearer of Tales ................. Miss Louvella Parsnips  27  |
 |                                                                     |
 | Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the multi-|
 | player roleplaying game GemStone III on  GEnie Information Network. |
 | Submissions  may  be edited  for space, accuracy  and  readability. |
 | Contact  Editor  Lady Wisraith  Winterwind,  Assistant Editor  Rune |
 | Arundel, Stringer Samwell Hawkholder, or Publisher Phaedra Bleu by  |
 | GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON for details.            Banner art by Yonah |
 |   __________________________________________________________________|___
 |  /                                                                     /

                                 Local News
 _____________                   """"""""""
/ \ ____   ___\
\@| ~|~|  /~/~ |                        Topics for MPGRT August Conferences:
  |  |~|_/~/   |ulthea's August Fes-     ________________________________
 _|  |~|~\~\   | tival was beginning    //                               \
/@| _|~|  \~\_ | just as  we went to   || August 6th topic:               |
\_/ ~~~~  ~~~~/  press. KE will have   ||   August Festival               |
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~  coverage of  many of   || August 13th topic:              |
the  forthcoming  events next month,   ||   Level Bonuses/Level Balancing |
but  we  couldn't resist teasing you   || August 20th topic:              |
with this list from the First Annual   ||   PC Scenario Development       |
Scavenger Hunt which was underway as   || August 27th topic:              |
passed through the square on our way   ||   Beginners: Build a character  |
to the KE Building.                     \\_______________________________/
   When  we  scanned it, here's what                              /~/~~\~\
we saw. None of the items was Xed on                             |~|    ~~
it as being found at this point.            SORCERERS             \~\____
     _______________________                """""""""              ~~~~\~\
    / \                     \          Resident sorcerers are    |~|    |~|
    |@/_____________________/       sporting  six new spells,     \~\__/~/
    |                     |         a result of the implemen-      ~~~~~~
    | some gnollish runes |         tation of  the first part    ________
    | a wooden stake      |         of  their list.  See  the    ~|_|~~|~|
    | a giant cheese      |         Tomes or MPGRT BB for de-     |~|  |~|
    | a Kraalish coin     |         ailed information, or any     |~|==//
    | an oar              |         any sorcerer.                 |~|
    | some tergon teeth   |                                       |~|
    | a bookmark          |           701 Limb Pain              ~~~~
    | a silver ring       |           702 Touch of Disruption    _________
    | some crisp parchment|           703 Word of Bleeding       ~|_|~~~||
    | a hawk's egg        |           704 Forget                  |~|__ ~~
    | a bloody dagger     |           705 Lock Joint              |~|--|
    | a quill pen         |           706 Mind Jolt               |~|   __
    | a wooden bucket     |                                       |~|___||
   _| an opal ring        |                                      ~~~~~~~~~
  /@| a dwarf's beard     |                 We understand        _____
  \_/____________________/                                       ~|_|~
                                             *         *          |~|
   Three  clever  winners  will walk          \       /           |~|
away from this Scavenger Hunt richer      *---  RANGER  ---*      |~|   __
and  wiser.   First place prizes in-          / SPELLS \          |~|___||
clude  an item from I.C.E plus 5,000         *          *         ~~~~~~~~
Experience  Points  and  5,000 Fame,                             _____
second  place  gets  3,000 each with           are next!         ~|_|~
third place winner taking home 1,000                              |~|
point of each type.                                               |~|
   ___________________________________________________________    |~|   __
  //                                                          \   |~|___||
 ||                  * * * BULLETIN * * *                      |  ~~~~~~~~
 ||   Wedar Trevize, Strom O'Berin and Airioch Ramthanodox     |   ______
 ||   won the Scavenger Hunt on its second day of operation.   |  /~/~~\~\
 ||   C'mon, GMs! Gotta be more clever than that.              | |~|    ~~
 ||                                                            |  \~\____
 ||     Hall of Fame will appear in the next issue of KE.      |   ~~~~\~\
  \\__________________________________________________________/  |~|    |~|
                                     -1-                           ~~~~~~
                           by Lady Rune Arundel
 ___________          Asst. Editor, Kelfour Edition
/ \  ______ \
\@| /~/~~\_\ |
  | \~\____~ |itting  here  at  this   have  the  murders of Lythe and Laeg
 _| _~~~~\~\ | lump  of  wood   they   to  keep  us entertained.  And there
/@| \~\__/~/ | call a  desk  in  the   would  be  others.  If this were all
\_/  ~~~~~~ /  overheated   newsroom   private,  things  would be decidedly
  ~~~~~~~~~~  of the KE Building, it   boring.  Yes, controversy is good.
occurs  to  me  that  this month has
been  one of the most wretched I can   Furthermore,  members  of  a certain
recall.                                controversial  group may be in for a
                                       surprise  as an  opposing  force  is
Perhaps the fact that I'm stuck here   apparently  making  its  way  toward
with   Louvella  Parsnips  breathing   Kulthea.   Eyebrows  will go up when
down my neck and Wisraith expounding   it hits town.  Now THAT's conflict.
her  virtues  from the next room has
something to do with it.               Wisraith, misguided as she is, seems
                                       to  feel  that  conflict  is bad and
Last  month  I had to suffer through   denying  your  beliefs  and  walking
Wisraith  babbling  about the nature   away  is an act of strength, whereas
of  peace,  what disrupts it and how   I  find  it  an  act of weakness.  A
to  regain  it.   She  can't seem to   sense of honor, moral conviction and
write  without  bellowing at the top   integrity  would  surely  prevent me
of  her  lungs  and  I  didn't get a   from  walking  away from an argument
single thing done.                     if I truly believed I was right.
"Unrest arises when an individual or   Aye,  conflict is good.  Conflict is
group  demonstrates  -  by  word  or   exciting,  stimulating,  educational
deed - that which  diverges from the   even.   Without conflict, life would
ideas   of   someone   else,"   said   become  mundane  and no one would be
Wisraith from  the  lofty  height of   able to argue good and evil as there
her soapbox.                           would  not  BE any good or evil.  We
                                       would  all be the same.  How boring.
To  give  her  credit,  she's  right   Because  we -are- different, because
about  that.  Differences of opinion   our   opinions   differ,   we   have
(which  is  what  she said, but in a   conflict  and  I  feel our lives are
lot more words) are more than common   that much richer for it.
in  Kelfour's  Landing, and the Gods
know I've had my share.                So  what's  my  point?  I wrote this
                                       purposely   to  infuriate  Wisraith.
If  everyone thought alike and acted   That,  of  course,  will result in a
alike, then  we  would all BE alike.   bloody  conflict  in  which  I  will
Which  means  I  would  be just like   likely   be   vaporized,  (who  said
Wisraith,  perish the thought.  Con-   good?) but my death will have served
flict  is  good.  Conflict is neces-   a  purpose:   when Wisraith sees her
sary, and public conflict is best of   sworn    mortal    enemy   (me)   is
all.                                   destroyed,  then  mayhaps  she  will
                                       realize this simple truth, the point
What  would  Kulthea  be without the   I  have  been  trying  to  make  all
battles  between the Dagmar clan and   along.   Conflict  is good.  It gets
Valeria?  Peaceful?  Maybe, but we'd   you what you want.
                        Birds's Eye View of Kulthea
                             by Phaedra Bleu
  / \                                              \
  |@/______________________________________________/  This  is  not  a  road
  | ...   .                  .    ............   | map,  but  if you've ever
  |  ~~\  ~  Cladesbrim Bay  ~   /~~~~~~~~~~~    | wondered  about  an  area
  |     \..                   ../    ___  Ocean  | people are talking about,
  |       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     |   \ View   | or  become separated from
  |          Coastal Cliffs       Tree           | your hunting party in the
  |                   \             | Rockslide  | wilds, you'll be  glad to
  |                    \             \ /  \      | have it in your backpack.
  |                     \ __Dinghy    |M  Valley |    This  map in hand, you
  |               ______. .______     |I   /     | can even adventure out on
  |              /   / /         \    |N  Mines  | your  own,  especially if
  |     Lower   /   | | Kelfour's |   |E         | you  have a gold ring set
  |      Kaldsfang  | |  Landing  |   /          | to  teleport  you back to
  |       Forest    | |(Catacombs)|  |R   Spider | safety  in  case of emer-
  |Storm   ___|     |  \_________/   |D___Temple | gency.   But  take  care:
  |Giant  /   |     |               /            | Even   at   full   parry,
  |Cave  /    |     |    Climb Bank/   Graveyard | monsters abound which can
  |    \|     |    / \       |         /         | kill anyone at one swipe.
  |     |     |   |   \___Bridge___Maze          | The prime hunting grounds
  |  Castle   | Grass-                           | below   are  listed  VERY
  |Cladesbrim | lands                 ^    ^     | GENERALLY   in  order  of
  |   Ruins   |   |    Hobgoblins    ^ Blototh ^ | danger.
  |           |Iorak's |\              Mountain  |
  |           | Reach  | |                |      | Primary Hunting Areas
  |            \__|    | +     Danjir-    | ^    | """""""""""""""""""""
  |                \  /         land    Trunk    | Coastal Cliffs
  |                 \/         & Tower    |      | Loop around Grasslands &
  |               __/\    Old   \*/       |      |   Lower Kaldsfang Forest
  |              |    \   Inn    |        |      | Hobgoblins
  |    Upper     |     \___|_____|/\Rocks/       | Catacombs (in town)
  |     Kaldsfang|               |               | Mine Road
  |      Forest  |                               | Upper Kaldsfang (G'Orcs)
  |             _|       /                       | Old Inn (Hill Trolls)
  |            | +\ Bridge                       | Castle Cladesbrim Ruins
  |            |   \/    \                       | Danjirland
  |          Tree        _|_                     | Mines
  |            |_Swamp  /   |                    | Blototh Mountain
  |            |      \|    |____Stonehold *     | Smatoth
  |            |            |    (Crevice)       | Spider Temple
  |            |      _____/                     | Graveyard (Unlife)
  |            |_____/  |                        | Stonehold (Dwarves)
 _|        Smatoth      *                        | Storm Giants' Cave
/@|       (Clearing)  Cottage                    |   (No Man's Land)
\_/_____________________________________________/           ______
  Drink from pool to stop bleeding [*]                    ||   N   |
  Shortcut: Hidden connections [+]                        || W + E |
  Jousting Arena & Wedding Glade just outside town gates  ||   S   |
  Old Inn: Crystal to check magical charges                \\_____/
  Recharge magic items on Iorak's Reach                     )))|((
  Earth Nodes: Temple, Helga's Tavern & Wayside Inn      __//__|__\__
                           The Question of Earth
 _____________               by Flint Thalassar
/ \ ____   ___\
\@| ~|~|  /~/~|
  |  |~|_/~/  |ulthean  philosophers   recent events on 'Earth.' These ale-
 _|  |~|~\~\  | have long  been vex-   swilling   degenerates,   who  spend
/@| _|~|  \~\_| xed by the so-called   leisure time at Cheldar's Bath House
\_/ ~~~~  ~~~~/ "alternate dimension   and   earn   their  livings  through
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~  issue."    This con-   murder  and scavenging, are not what
sists  of  the  claim  that  another   we  can  consider reliable witnesses
world,  in some  respects similar to   in any event."
our  own,  exists  in  some parallel        Local  healer Surtey Akrash has
dimension,  and  that some Kultheans   his   own  doubts.   "I  just  don't
actually   travel   back  and  forth   know," he says.  "Things that happen
between the two.  Even skeptics must   here  on  Kulthea  at  least  can be
admit  that the idea, while strange,   verified.   If  a man claims to have
cannot really be disproved.            slain  a  troll,  he can produce the
     It  is  significant  that those   skin, and produce witnesses who have
who   make   this  claim  come  pre-   seen the actual deed.  Earth?  Well,
dominantly  from  the  ranks  of the   if  you  ask somebody about what one
"adventurer  types."  The  lifestyle   of  his  fellows did on 'Earth' last
associated  with  such  persons  may   night  --  to  see  if  the  stories
cause  their  claims to be dismissed   match,  you know -- you're likely to
out  of  hand  by  serious scholars.   get  some  excuse  about  living  in
Some  of  those  who  have  listened   different cities.  Right."
theorize that adventurers, subjected        Still,  the alternate dimension
to the constant trauma of danger and   phenomena   are   too  pervasive  to
death, are actually suffering from a   ignore  entirely.   I  would suggest
stress-induced   psychological  dis-   that there may be different kinds of
order.   E.  Borlees, in his "Alter-   reality.   Though  we  do  not  have
nate  Dimension  Psychosis:   A Case   evidence  to  say  that  Earth is as
Study,"  explains:   "It  is natural   real  as  Kulthea,  certainly  it is
that  an individual exposed, both as   very  real  in  the minds of some of
witness and participant, to repeated   our  citizens.   Are not experiences
violent  acts  would  develop a need   of  Earth  --  regardless  of  their
for  an  escape  mechanism.  In this   source -- just as valid and meaning-
case,  the subject has conjured up a   ful   as  our  experiences  here  in
fantasy world in which life is safe,   Kelfour's  Landing?  As someone once
secure, and predictable."              said,  "there are a lot of realities
     In   terms   of  evidence  sub-   going around these days."
stantiating  the  belief in "Earth,"
we  can  look to the mysterious dis-    __________________________________
appearances  of adventurers, some of   |                                  |
whom  go  missing  for weeks on end.   |      Visit Us For All Your       |
Admittedly,  such  evidence is peri-   |       Carbohydrate Needs!        |
pheral  and circumstantial.  Santrip   |                                  |
Ralkar,  in his scathing report "The   |    KELFOUR TEA ROOM & BAKERY     |
Earth  Hoax," writes:  "Just because   |    *************************     |
someone  cannot  be located scarcely   |    Stop in for fresh donuts,     |
proves  that  they have flown off to   |  cookies & other tasty treats!   |
some alternate dimension.  I have no   |                                  |
doubt  that  these  pranksters  have   |  Don't forget to try our world   |
simply  taken unannounced vacations,   |     famous KULTHEAN COFFEE!      |
or  (more  likely)  are deliberately   |                                  |
hiding  -- all the while laughing at   |  Birthday cakes our speciality!  |
serious society and arranging to get   |__________________________________|
their  stories  straight  concerning
                               Special Things
 _________              Anonymous: Inspired by Kyanna
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |
 _|  |~|  |if you are new to GemStone, you  should know what items do what.
/@| _|~|_ | Here is a description of  rare and common treasures that can be
\_/ ~~~~~ / found on your adventures.  Bartered and sometimes sold by resi-
  ~~~~~~~~ dents, these  items are often  carried by monsters.  They may be
obtained by slaying and SEARCHing dead beasts.
Crystal    A crystal amulet expands  the mental awareness of its owner when
Amulet:    worn and rubbed.  You will be able to  send and receive thoughts
"""""""    to and from others who also happen to be using it.
           When the effects wear off, rub again. Has 40 charges (rubs).
Ruby       So called  because of  its deep red  color,  the ruby  amulet is
Amulet:    similar to the  crystal amulet only in terms of weight and size.
"""""""    When  worn and  rubbed, it  surrounds the  owner with  a magical
           wall of force which is highly impervious to all forms of attacks
           for a brief period of time.
           Has 2 charges, each of which lasts for 5 seconds per level.
Gold Ring: An intricate gold ring which, when worn, transports you from one
"""""""""  point to  another in  the blink  of an eye.  First, you turn the
           ring at a designated place of return, then when the need arises,
           simply  remove and  wear it for  transport to take place.  There
           should be caution involved  when using rings as they are said to
           belong to the Navigators  who will not hesitate to repossess the
           rings (along with  whatever silvers you are carrying) if you are
           unfortunate enough to be caught by them.
    Usage: To set the ring, WEAR RING, TURN RING. To go back to the place
           where you set the ring, REMOVE RING, then WEAR RING.
Small      This  statue  resembles that of a  powerful  figure,  possibly a
Statue:    deity of some sort.  When held and rubbed, it surrounds the per-
"""""""    son with an aura  that makes  him look a lot  more powerful than
           s/he is, giving extra protection temporarily.
    Usage: You must be holding the statue then RUB STATUE for +25 DB that
           lasts for 30 seconds per level. Has 4 charges.
Drake      Once in a while  these strange weapons are found.  They are much
Falchion:  like normal falchions  but are they flare up  every now and then
"""""""""  inflict nasty burns on your opponent.
    Usage: Just like any other weapon; cannot be edged nor blessed.
White      Little is  known about  these weapons  but it is rumored that it
Blade:     will strike your opponent  with coldness  in a manner similar to
""""""     the Drake Falchion.
    Usage: Similar to the Drake Falchion.
                                     -5-               Continued on Page 11
                         Building a Better Ranger
 ___________                  by Kenner Boh
/ \    ____ \
\@|  /~/~~\\ |
  | |~|    ~ |onsidering  becoming a   runes,  and activating staves/wands.
 _| |~|    _ | Ranger? Good for you!   Put your 4th lowest roll here.
/@|  \~\__// | The  path of a Ranger
\_/   ~~~~~ /  is not the easiest to   The  next  5 stats are your Develop-
  ~~~~~~~~~~  tread, but in exchange   ment  stats.   The higher these are,
our  versatility is unmatched by any   the more development points you get,
profession  in Kulthea.  However, to   and  the  more  skills you can train
take  advantage of this versatility,   in.
the  prospective  Ranger  must  know
which  abilities and skills are most   COnstitution:  Aids in body develop-
important.   With  that in mind, let   ment.   Put  your second lowest roll
me  share  my  thoughts  with you on   here and take the automatic 90.
creating a good Ranger.
                                       EloQuence:     One   of   the   most
STATS and the Character Manager        important   development   stats,  EQ
                                       determines  the amount of experience
The first five stats are the primary   you   can   accumulate  before  rest
stats.   They do not affect develop-   becomes necessary.
ment  points,  but  rather influence
many of your skills and activities.    REasoning:   As  important as EQ, RE
                                       determines    how    quickly   field
STrength  &  QUickness:   These  are   experience   is  converted  to  real
probably   the  two  most  important   experience.   If  you have low stats
stats for a Ranger.  The ST bonus is   here,  you'll get to know the Temple
added to your OB and the QU bonus to   very well.
your DB.  You should have potentials
of at least 90 in these stats.         Self  Discipline:   The  bonus  here
                                       applies  to  Hiding  maneuvers.   It
INtuition:  This determines the num-   also  adds  (or  subtracts)  to your
ber  of  power  points  you  receive   ability to resist some spells (fear,
every  level.   Also, the bonus from   immobilize,    etc.)   and   special
this  stat is applied to attempts at   attacks (gaze).
disarming   traps,   picking  locks,
perception  and  (maybe) channeling.   AGility:   AG  may  aid in climbing,
I  suggest  putting your lowest roll   swimming  and stalking maeuvers.  It
here  and accepting the automatic 90   will   also   be   your  DB  against
the  Character  Manager  gives  you.   directed  spell  attacks  unless you
This  probably  won't  give you many   get some directed spell training.
power  points  so  you  may  want to
reconsider    if    you    plan   on   After you've chosen what roll to put
specializing  in  spells.   However,   with   what   stat,   the  Character
many  Rangers  don't  have  a lot of   Manager  displays  your stat scores,
expensive,   high-level   spells  to   along  with  their  potentials.  The
worry about.                           potentials  are  more important than
                                       the  current  stat  scores  for they
PResence:   Helps  in  your dealings   represent  the  best  a  character's
with merchants, but other than that,   stats  will  ever  be.   The current
I  have  no  idea what it does.  Put   stats,   unless   they   match   the
your third lowest roll here.           potentials,  are  only temporary and
                                       will increase to match potentials as
EMpathy:   The  least necessary stat   you advance in levels.
for  a  Ranger,  next to PR.  The EM
bonus  is applied to riding, reading   RACE:    Certain  races  are  better
                                     -6-                            More...
suited to be Rangers than others due   maneuvers in the swamp.
to  distribution  of  racial bonuses
and  penalties.   Most  Rangers  are   Riding:  So far, Riding is only used
Half-Elves,  Fair Elves or High Men.   in  the  jousting  tournaments which
I  would  not  recommend Common Man,   don't happen that often.
Wood   Elf,   High   Elf,  Dwarf  or
Halfling    because   their   racial   Disarm  Traps:   A recent innovation
bonuses are not as suited toward the   in  trap  technology  has added Stun
ranger profession as the others.  Of   Clouds  to  the the battery of chest
course,  if  you have your heart set   traps, turning a minor nuisance into
on  playing  a  particular race, the   a  major  one, and making this skill
disadvantages add challenge; they do   more  useful.   A good complement to
not make the task impossible.  In my   lockpicking skill.
opinion,  the  Half-Elf  is the best
overall.                               Pick  Locks:   This  skill is useful
                                       when you want to open a simple chest
SKILLS:                                and  don't want to go to the trouble
                                       of  finding  a  thief.  On the other
Maneuvering in Armor: The only armor   hand, why spend precious development
category  that  is worth training in   points  learning this if you can get
at   this  time  is  Rigid  Leather.   a thief to do it for you?  You might
Leather   breastplates   offer  some   prefer  to  save your points for the
protection    against   clawed   and   spell lists.
toothed  attacks and you may be able
to  purchase  AT10  armor  later on.   Stalk  & Hide:  A semi-useful skill.
Any  other  armor  in  this category   When  used  in  conjunction with Am-
carries maneuvering and QU penalties   bush,   this  can  be  an  effective
which  negate  their  advantages.  I   weapon  against your foes.  However,
suggest  training  once per level in   it can be difficult to hide or stalk
this, until you acquire 12 ranks.      in  the  presence of characters with
                                       training in perception.  Speaking of
Weapon   Skills:   One-handed  edged   which...
should  be  the only skill you train
in  here.  This weapon type includes   Perception:   Perception  will  help
broadswords,   falchions,  handaxes,   you find hidden objects when search-
etc.  The other weapon skills cannot   ing,  protect  you  from pickpockets
be  developed  enough  to be useful.   and,  more importantly, annoy people
Train in this twice per level.         who are attempting to stalk or hide.
Brawling:  Related to weapon skills,   Spell  Lists:   If  you  are serious
brawling  is useful for self defense   about  learning spells, then you are
since  it  allows  you to parry non-   going  to  have to pour the majority
magical  attacks  without  having  a   of  your  points  into  this  skill.
weapon  in  hand.  Fairly expensive,   After  training  in One-handed Edged
however.                               weapons  and  Body Development, most
                                       of   your  points  should  go  here.
Climbing:   Train  in  this once per   There  are two different spell lists
level.   After 6 ranks, you may want   to  learn from:  Open Channeling and
to  stop.  In the other hand, having   Ranger  Base.   Right  now, only the
a lot of climbing can be convenient.   first  three  spells  in  the Ranger
A  very  skilled  climber  can,  for   base  are  functional,  so you might
example,  scale  the  graveyard gate   want  to  switch  to Open Channeling
without getting killed.                after you learn those.  On the other
                                       hand,  when  the Ranger Base list is
Swimming:   Currently,  there  is no   implemented,  it may be the superior
place  where swimming is needed.  It   list.
is   rumored  that  it  may  aid  in
reducing    the   round   time   for   Runes:   No  runes  have appeared in
                                     -7-                Continued on Page 9
                              Forest Trails
 ___________             by Cameron SilverMask II
/ \ ______  \
\@| ~|_|~\\ |
  |  |~|  |||ecided  to  make   your   skills  you must WORK at in order to
 _|  |~|  ||| home  in  the  forest,   excel and survive in the wilderness.
/@|  |~|_// | eh?  Well, I can't let   I  will  break  these  into  primary
\_/ ~~~~~~  / let you loose to wreak   skills and optional skills.  Some of
  ~~~~~~~~~~ havoc  on my wilderness   these  skills  are  common sense and
so  I have decided to make available   really  do  not need to be mentioned
this  guide  on  how a proper Ranger   but  for  the sake of thoroughness I
should  develop  his  skills.   If I   will   add  them.   As  one  of  the
feel  you  have  an aptitude and are   Warrior class, you must learn to use
deserving,  I  might  be  tempted to   a  weapon.  Many are the choices but
instruct you on the proper codes and   the  easiest  and  most effective by
behavior  a  Ranger  should exhibit,   far  is  the Edged weapon.  I myself
but  that  must wait until I am sure   train  as  much  as I am able to and
you are ready.                         can  boast a considerable skill with
                                       these weapons.
Basic Stats and Race
                                          You  should  maintain  a rigorous
   For  now  let  us  start with the   system of exercises so as to develop
training  you  must  undergo  to  be   your  Body  to  it's  fullest.   You
ready   to  be  a  guide  to  others   should  also  learn  how to maneuver
through Kulthea. First off, you must   and wear armor properly so as not to
be  Quick  and Strong, these are the   restrict  your  movements.  Although
most  important  of your vital stats   how  much  work  you put into it and
if  you  wish  to  be  an  effective   what types you learn is up to you, I
fighter/protector.  Next you must be   will  say  that  I only train in the
Agile  so  you  can pass through the   more  Rigid  types of leather armor.
foliage  with  ease.   It is natural   I  would  also  recommend  that  you
for Rangers to have a strong Consti-   train in the arts of stalking/hiding
tution and and keen Intuition.  They   and  ambush as that is part of being
must develop their ability to Reason   a  Ranger.   Rangers  also  have the
and  act  Eloquently.   Develop  you   ability  to cast spells which should
other  abilities  as  you  will  but   be  developed but I will devote more
these  I  have  listed  are the most   attention to that later.  You should
important.                             also  study  the Channeling of power
                                       as you will undoubtedly need it.
   You  must realize that not all of
the  races have an aptitude for for-      For  those optional skills I men-
estry.   One  of  the best Rangers I   tioned  earlier, I find lock picking
know  of  is a Fair elf.  I, myself,   useful  for  those chests you happen
am  a Half elf, the most able of the   upon  now  and then.  The ability to
races  for this line of work.  Still   render  first  aid  is useful, as is
others   are   High  men  and  other   skill to bargain with the merchants.
varieties  of Elf.  Hobbits lack the   You  must  be  able to find what you
strength needed, Dwarves lack a love   seek  and so must sharpen your sense
of  the forest which comes from liv-   of  perception.   The last two I re-
ing  underground.  You may try other   commend are swimming and climbing.
races,  of  course, but it is a toss
of  the  dice as to whether you will   Spells
have the necessary ability.
                                          As  yet,  the  gods have not seen
Rangerly Skills                        fit  to  release  all  the spells we
                                       Rangers   are  capable  of  casting.
   There  are  a  number of specific   We have hopes of seeing them soon. I
                                     -8-                            More...
recommend  studying  the first three    hide as well.  If you don't train in
spells on Open Channeling:  Level 1,    this  just  about  every  level, you
Protection  1:  adds to your magical    probably  shouldn't  train  in it at
defenses;  Level  2, Air Wall:  Adds    all.
50  to your defense but subtracts 50
from   your  offensive  skills;  and    Trading:   This  skill allows you to
Level  3, Aura:  +10 to your defense    bargain   with   vendors  with  less
without an offensive skills penalty.    chance  of making them angry at you.
After  that study the Ranger list as    Extensive  training  is probably not
they   are  designed  just  for  us.    worth it.
Three  are  available now:  Level 1,
Hues:  Adds 15 to your defense for a    Pick  Pockets:   If willing to spend
short  time;  Level  2,  Cold Resis-    the development points, a Ranger can
tance:   Makes  you  withstand  cold    become very good at this.
based   attacks   better;  Level  3,
Resistance   1:   Adds  10  to  your    Body Development:  This skill deter-
defense for a greater amount of time    mines your Concussion Points, or how
than Hues does.                         much  damage you can take before you
                                        bite  the dust.  You should train in
   Do you have what it takes to be a    this twice per level until your BHPT
Ranger?   I cannot give you the ans-    approaches  its  maximum,  when  you
wer.   Look within yourself.  Should    should  train  once  per level.  The
you  decide  this  path then what is    maximum BHPTs are:
written   within  these  pages  will
offer you considerable help.              High Man...150  Common Man.120
                                          Fair Elf...120  Dwarf......120
                                          High Elf...110  Halfling....80
Kenner's Ranger Continued from P. 7       Half Elf...150  Wood Elf...100
the  land  yet.   Development points
would   probably   be  better  spent   There are a dozen or so maps of town
elsewhere.                             in the MPGames Library.  Downloading
                                       one  of  these will make your life a
Staves  &  Wands:  There just aren't   lot easier.
enough   development  points  to  go
around  to  make it worthwhile for a   The  first thing you should do is go
Ranger  to  train  in  these.  Leave   to  Tyron's  Arms  and buy a weapon.
them to the pure spellcasters.         The  handaxe  is  the  best  against
                                       heavily  armored opponents, a rapier
Channeling:    This  allows  you  to   is    best    against    non-armored
transfer  power  points  to and from   opponents  (although  rapiers  break
your  person.   It  is  a  difficult   easily)   while   a   broadsword  is
skill  to master; you'll need around   probably  the best all around weapon
15  ranks  in this before you become   in terms of versatility and damage.
proficient at it.
                                       Next,  go  to  the General Store and
Directed  Spells:   With this skill,   buy  a  backpack.  Then head over to
you  can  increase  your  DB against   Anzell's Armoury and buy heavy hide,
elemental  attack  spells.  Also, if   a  reinforced  shield,  arm greaves,
you  ever  get  the  Open Channeling   leg greaves, an aventail and a helm.
spell Flare, this plus your AG bonus
will   equal   your   OB   with  it.   Finally,  go  to  the Temple and ask
Unfortunately, this skill also costs   about    hunting   parties   needing
15 points/rank.                        members.  There are often people who
                                       will  take  you  around and show you
Ambush  increases  the  severity  of   the  ropes.  Once in the wilderness,
critical  hits when you use it on an   REMEMBER TO HOLD YOUR WEAPON IN YOUR
opponent.   If  you  train  in this,   RIGHT  HAND  AND YOUR SHIELD IN YOUR
keep  in  mind that you need stalk &   LEFT! Good Hunting!
                       Of Mice and Half-Elves, Part I
 _________                 by Gallenod Varynesti
/ \ _____ \
\@| ~|_|~ |
 _|  |~|  |am a lone wolf by nature.   they were attacked by an orc raiding
/@| _|~|_ | I prefer hunting  alone,   party.   She  barely had time to cry
\_/ ~~~~~ / trusting to  my skill as   out and reach for a wand when an orc
  ~~~~~~~~  a Ranger to keep me safe   stunned  her.  Other orcs surrounded
in  the  wilds.   I  am much like my   the children, preparing to net them.
father in that respect.  It's diffi-      You are assuming, of course, what
cult  to break the habits of a life-   happens  next:   My father rushes in
time,  but  I  have  learned a great   and  saves  the  day.  Well, almost.
deal  about the value of friendship,   There  was a loud CRACK -- the sound
teamwork and loyalty since coming to   of  a limb being broken from a tree.
Kelfour's   Landing.   There  is  no   My father, who had been stalking the
greater  joy  than finding that spe-   school  group  unbeknownst  to them,
cial  someone  roaming  the wilds of   sprang  from cover and -- using this
Kulthea,   whether  they  be  combat   crude   cudgel  --  nailed  the  orc
shield-mate  or  the  love  of  your   threatening my mother to the ground.
life.  Or, better yet, both.  Let me   Quickly   snatching  its  sword  and
tell  you of how my parents met, and   shield,  he turned to do battle with
how I came to be.                      the  three  others.   That's when he
   I  was born, much to my surprise,   tripped over my mother.
some  33  years ago, child of a high      Although  he  had never spoken in
elven  mother  and  high man father.   her  presence,  they had met before.
My  father  was  a human Ranger some   How  surprised  and  embarrassed  he
elven   scouts  had  found  mortally   must   have  been  to  find  himself
wounded  amid  the  corpses  of four   spread-eagled  on  top of one of the
grey orcs.  They kept him alive long   loveliest  females  in  the village.
enough  for  a  healer  to  tend his   Completely  forgetting  the  desper-
wounds   but   not  soon  enough  to   ation of their situation, he dropped
prevent horrible, permanent scarring   the  sword  and  shield, went to his
of his face.  He was many months re-   knees,  and  said  fervently, "I beg
covering, and was so ill he suffered   your pardon, m'lady, we haven't been
from  an  almost  complete  loss  of   properly  introduced.   My  name  is
memory.   The elves despaired of him   Gifford Oakhand." Then his eyes went
ever  regaining  his  full mind.  He   wide,  as  the  realization hit him.
would  wander  in the woods for days   "My  name!"  he  cried, "My name!  I
on  end  living  off  the  land, and   remember my name!"
rarely talked to or showed awareness      The  orcs  stood  there  in  awe.
of  anyone except the village child-   They'd  been counting their chickens
ren,  whom  he  adored.  After over-   (or  elves, as the case may be) only
coming  their  fear  of  the "great,   to  be  rudely  interrupted  by this
ugly man," the children returned his   meddling  wild-man who now seemed to
affection,  treating him like a big,   have  lost  all sense of proper com-
cuddly toy.  He was only truly happy   bat.   What  really  unnerved  them,
when  buried  under  a pile of young   though,  was  when  he ran up to the
elves pretending they were wrestling   biggest  of  them, grabbed its hand,
a bear to the ground.                  and pumped it furiously. "Hi there!"
   One  day  my  mother, a healer of   he  shouted.   "I'm Gifford Oakhand.
moderate  skill  and headmistress of   Pleased  to make your acquaintance!"
the  village  school, took an outing   That  was  too  much for orcs.  Con-
with  some  of  the  children.   She   vinced  they'd  met  a madman with a
planned a short nature walk close to   curse or a god, they broke and ran.
the  village,  so  she  didn't think      Alone   and  unarmed,  my  father
they  needed  an  escort.   Ah,  how   stood  there  in  that clearing sur-
wrong  she  was.   Half  a mile away   rounded  by  the elvish children and
                                    -10-                            More...
with  my  mother  still lying on the   spur  her  on.   In  desperation, my
ground.  He told me all his memories   father  finally  headed out into the
rushed back in that one instant; his   wilds, determined to escape her.  In
life  literally  passed  before  his   determination,  my mother headed out
eyes. As he slowly realized where he   into  the  woods  to  deal  with  my
was,  what  he  had done, and how he   father's desperation.
had  come to this place and time, he      No  one  but them knows what hap-
touched  his maimed face and quietly   pened out there, but two weeks later
said, "I'm Gifford Oakhand.  My com-   they  came  back  arm  in  arm.   My
rades are dead.  I am the last of my   mother had a scar running the length
line  and  family,  and I am alone."   of  the  left  side  of her face, my
Then, he collapsed to the ground.      father  had  acquired  leather armor
   My  mother  said she fell in love   and a battle axe from somewhere, and
with him at that very moment. With a   they   stared   lovingly  into  each
twinkle  in her eye, she'd say, "Any   other's  eyes  like  courting  basi-
man so unfailingly courteous that he   lisks. I was born nine months later.
introduces himself in the midst of a      You  may  have  noticed, however,
life  and  death  struggle is a rare   that  I carry Varynesti as my family
being indeed!" She also occasionally   name, rather than Oakhand. It is not
referred  to him as "the only man on   that I do not honor the memory of my
Kulthea  who  can scare away orcs by   father.   I  loved my father dearly.
shaking their hands."                  He taught me honor, as well as love,
   She  took charge of him from that   courage,  and  how to fight and live
time  on, despite pleas to leave him   in the wilds.  No, there is a tragic
to  his  misery,  that  he was ugly,   reason  for  my  choice of name, but
clumsy,  and  completely unworthy of   that is another story, best left for
her  attention.  That just seemed to   another time.
                      Special Things Continued from P.5
Iron Wand: This magical implement casts  shockbolts at  who(what)ever it is
"""""""""" aimed at.  Like all wands, the  iron wand requires  training  to
           operate correctly.  Those who  generally learn to  control wands
           are the magic using professions.
    Usage: Hold the wand in hand (left, usually) and WAVE WAND AT <target>.
           Has 10 charges. ALL WANDS ARE USED IN THIS MANNER.
Silver     Identical  to the iron  wand in all  but appearance, the  silver
Wand:      wand also  casts shockbolt.  These  two wands  require the least
"""""      skill to use, but still may be ineffective in the hands of inex-
           perienced magic users.
Gold Wand: Though a  few rare wands exist which are more powerful, the gold
"""""""""" wand is the most potent of the  commonly  found  wands.  Casting
           firebolt at the  target, these  wands can spell the quick end of
           foes.  More difficult  to use than iron or  silver wands, it may
           take several  levels  before magic  users  can  consistently get
           results from this wand.
Metal      Doing less concussion damage than a gold wand, the metal wand is
Wand:      the most likely to kill an  opponent outright.  The coldballs it
"""""      produces are more likely to  hit the target, especially  armored
           ones, making it even  more deadly.  This is  the most  difficult
           wand to master.
Oaken      Oaken wands relieve stuns. Simply wave it at the stunned person.
                           The Pools of Healing
 ___________          by Nastorm Trevin and A. Otter
/ \  __     \
\@| |  \     |
  | |~|~\    | small spring joyfully   impression,  this  is  the place for
  | |~|\~\   | bubbles into the tiny   it.   And  if you're a newcomer, get
 _| |~|=\~\  | rock-lined  pool.  It   ready for some tall tales.
/@| |~|  \~\ | gently  caresses  the      "Speaking  of tales reminds me of
\_/ ~~~   ~~/  rocks before sloshing   a story.  But, mind you, this one is
  ~~~~~~~~~~ over a ledge  where  it   absolute   truth,"  Nastorm  smiles.
seems  to  dangle  in mid-air before   The  Lords and Ladies grimace at the
plunging  down  the embankment, dis-   thought  of another of his whoppers,
appearing into the misty haze of the   but no one objects.
tree-shrouded darkness.                   "I had tracked and hunted Greater
   This  restful  sound  of  running   Orcs  all  day,"  Nastorm continues,
water  attracts  the  attention of a   glancing  around  with  mock  indig-
passing  Ranger.   He approaches the   nation  as someone chimes in.  "More
pool  (an  obscure  virtue beckoning   likely  they were hunting you." Soft
him)  and notices something gleaming   giggles  fill the room as he pauses.
in the water.                          "You're right," he mutters.  "Before
   He  reaches  in  and fishes out a   I regale you with my tale, suffer me
small  object.   The  touch  of  the   to  say  what  springs and pools do,
water  is refreshing.  The air above   and provide directions to them."
the   spring   is  sweetly  scented,      He  flourishes  a  map  from  his
driving  the  oppressive odor of the   pocket,  advising  newcomers to take
surrounding  forest  from his memory   note as they gather round him.
as  his  mind is filled with visions     "Drinking  from one of these pools
of love and caring.                    stops blood loss," he says, pointing
   Suddenly,  a  hideous gnashing of   to   the  map.   "Even  if  you  are
teeth,  followed by a burst of rush-   bleeding  severely  you  can  perma-
ing  feet  and  the  clank  of armor   nently  stop  the blood from leaving
echos  around  the  spring.   An Orc   your  body.   All  you have to do is
crashes through the undergrowth, its   get there and DRINK POOL."
face  twisted  with  rage.   Its red      "Directions  from inside the town
eyes  fill  with  malice as it spies   gates  the  pool  by  the cottage in
the  Ranger.  "DIE, Ranger, DIE!" it   Greater Orc Land are:
shrieks.  "I have come to cleave thy
head  from thy body and hack thee to   GO GATE, GO PATH, S, S, S, S, S, SW,
bits  for  my  stew." With lightning   S, SE, S, SE, S, S, S, SW, S, S, SE,
quickness it falls upon the Ranger.    SE,  SW,  W, S, S, S, S, SE, SE, NE,
                                       NE,  E,  E, GO BRIDGE, SE, S, SE, S,
   The  Ranger  reaches out to block   S,  S,  SW,  SW, W, W, SW, NW, DRINK
the  mace  as  it whisks through the   POOL.  TOUCH POOL.
air,  but  the  shaft cracks solidly
against  his arm.  Bone shatters and      "Another  pool is in  Danjirland.
the  Ranger  howls  in  pain,  blood
seeping  from  his wounds.  Maddened   GO GATE, GO PATH, S, S, S, S, S, SW,
by  the  smell,  the Orc frantically   S, SE, S, SE, S, S, S, SW, S, S, SE,
swings its mace again...               SE,  SE,  SE, SE, E, E, NE, E, E, E,
                                       GO  PATH,  NE,  N,  NE,  RINK  POOL.
                                       TOUCH   POOL.
   "The temple makes any storyteller
glad,"   says   Nastorm,  his  voice      "And  a  third pool is located in
echoing through the halls.  "Indeed,   Stonehold.   If you can get there, I
a  captive audience is almost always   presume you can find it.
present.   Lords  and  Ladies gather
here,  so  if  you  want  to make an     "Now, where was I?" he asks. "Ahh,
                                    -12-                            More...
yes.  I had tracked Greater Orcs all      The Otter gives a jolt, as though
day  when  I  found  a spring, one I   someone   had   snuck   up   on  it.
must  have  passed  a  hundred times   "HMMPFF!"  it replies.  "What do you
before.   Perhaps  it  was  a  small   think I am, blind?"
noise that drew my attention..."          The  Ranger holds up the glisten-
                                       ing  object  he  had fished from the
                                       pool  earlier,  and waves it towards
   The   Orc's   dark,   pasty  skin   the  Otter.  "You wouldn't by chance
glistens where small droplets of the   be  the  owner  of  these fine spec-
Ranger's  blood  have  splattered on   tacles, would you?"
it.  Its fierce red eyes gleam as it      The  Otter turns, squinting.
raises its mace and steps forward to      "Come now," says the Ranger, "you
deliver the final blow.                have  nothing  to fear.  I skin only
   But  as  swings,  its  foot comes   vile creatures, not Otters." He sets
down  in  the  water  of the spring.   the  glasses  on  the grass near the
Shock and pain shoot across its face   pool and steps back.
as  steam hisses from the water and,      "Well,   I  never,"  mutters  the
with an anguished scream of pain, it   Otter,  moving  forward.   It grasps
limps    quickly   back   into   the   the glasses and places them squarely
underbrush.  Whimpering cries slowly   on  its  nose, finally peering up at
recede into the distance.              the Ranger.
   The  Ranger  breathes  a  sigh of      "Hmphff,"  it  says.   "I see you
relief  and immediately begins tend-   really  fought that Orc off.  You're
ing his broken arm.  He wonders what   bleeding  all  over  my  grass."  It
hurt  the Orc, and then realizes the   sniffs    the    ground,   obviously
pool is magical.                       bemoaning the mess, and peers at the
   He  looks  up in surprise moments   Ranger  over the top of its glasses.
later  to see an Otter roll out from   "Drink   from   the   pool  and  the
the  tall  grass.  It hits the water   bleeding  will stop," it says indif-
with a loud splash.                    ferently.
   Watching in amazement, the Ranger      The Ranger remembers the agony of
sees  it spew a jet of water towards   the  Orc  as  it  touched  the pool.
a nearby clump of rocks.               "Come   now,  you  have  nothing  to
   A  few  choking  sounds and obvi-   fear," the Otter mimics. "The spring
ous attempts  to  clear  its  throat   only  poisons  vile  creatures,  not
later, the Otter places its hands on   MOST  rangers."  The  Otter  pauses,
its hips, looks sternly at the rocks   "Maybe I SHOULD talk to rocks.  They
and begins a lecture.                  are about as fast as rangers."
   "Silly  rangers,  always  mucking      The  Ranger  chuckles and takes a
about   and  attracting  Orcs.   Why   careful  sip  from  the pool.  As he
don't  you  leave  well enough alone   swallows, his arm stops bleeding and
and  stay  away?  Hmmpff!" It glares   his  mind  again  vaguely fills with
at the rocks and stomps its foot.      distant memories of love.
   "Psst,  over  here,"  the  Ranger      "What  is  this place and why did
grins.                                 my  arm  stop bleeding?" he asks.
                                          The  Otter  sighs, "I suppose you
  ______________________________       won't  leave until I tell you.  It's
 //                             \      an  old story and everyone knows it.
||    File #248 in the MPGRT     |     Hmppff, everyone but rangers."
||  is an INDEX of all articles  |        Then,  clearing its throat again,
||    in KE Volume 1, Issues 1   |     the   Otter  begins  to  sing  in  a
||  through 12. Crossreferenced  |     surprisingly sweet voice.
||  by topic and article, every  |
||   GemStone III player needs   |     "Once when the world was young,
||   this valuable refercence.   |     The world heard only sweet songs sung
 \\_____________________________/      Sorrow was unknown.
                                       Evil had no place to roam.
"Once in a kingdom far far away,
Did live a people whose hearts ne'er betrayed
The love of another, the kindness of friend,
With true love their lives would begin and end.
"Their King and Queen fair beyond any means.
Happiness to all their love did bring.
The Queen was a healer powerful and true
No wound could she not undo.
Beautiful she was with stately grace,
A light of love shown cross her face.
The King stood proud, with a shimmering gem across his brow,
Burning sword in hand, which no evil could withstand.
"The darkest of demons did arise and from his pale cast forth his eyes,
Upon the living he despised.
In darkest cold the eyes did rove, dank and deep its cold
Heart steeped an anger of life that could not be quailed,
So the demon cast himself from his pale.
Creating a shadow across the land where his dark minions did stand.
As endless dark waves they did mass
Before the kingdom's gate on the great plains of grass.
"The darkest demon did bond with cold forged flames of hate,
And rendered a part of his being to make, a sword of deadly fate.
From those flames a blade he made to slay
And raze all that barred the way.
At the kingdom's gate the darkest demon
Welded his sword of fate and smote the gate asunder,
Across the plains rolled great thunder,
Inviting the dark minions to enter and plunder.
"But barring the way strong as the day
Stood the King and Queen without sway.
The King's brow burned a light so bright
That it drove the darkness from the night.
All wounds the King endured the Queen did quickly cure.
Then at last the king did cast a spell
That shook the earth and split it deep
And wide beneath the demons feet.
The demon just before he teetered and fell, swung his great black tail
And did impale and drag the King into the deep;
Leaving the Queen stricken with grief.
"Forever, far, the Queen did wander in search of her King and lover.
But the King's body she never found,
And in the places her tears touched the ground
A spring bubbled forth, giving comfort to all that drink from its course..."
   Snoring  erupts  from the Temple.   his  bear skin rug onto the floor he
Not  one  to be put off by those who   snuggles  his head against his back-
fall asleep during carefully crafted   pack. Drifting off, he mumbles, "Bet
tales,    Nastorm    looks   around,   they  can't wait til tomorrow when I
bemused.  "Hmm.." he remarks.  "Must   finish  it."  Soon his note is added
be  later  than  I thought." Rolling   to the chorus of snores.
                Findings from the Arcane Ranger Masters (tm)
 ___________               by Landreth deLorde
/ \  ______ \
\@| /~/~~\_\ |
  | \~\____~ |ometimes you're satis-   your  right  produces  a  high  pure
 _| _~~~~\~\ |fied with your origin-   note.   Everything worked well as we
/@| \~\__/~/ | al results.   In  the   tested  non-magickal items but later
\_/  ~~~~~~ /  cast  of  the strange   that  same  sash  produced  a shrill
  ~~~~~~~~~~   blue  crystal  in the   note.   We, as Arcane Ranger Masters
old   abandoned   Inn   just  before   (tm), just muttered  obscenities and
Danjirland,  I  was  satisfied until   formulated some hypotheses.
Sauren  asked  me to demonstrate it.
I  obliged,  being  a polite ranger,   (1)  The  crystal has some technical
having  no  idea  it would change my        difficulties  and  wasn't fully
perfected theories.                         prepared for some items.
   My underlying principles remained   (2)  The  crystal  works  fine, it's
the same; the crystal is a measuring        just  every  item we touched it
device.   Hold  an item in your left        with doesn't work.
hand, keep your right hand free, and
touch  the  crystal.  The higher the      This wasn't for us.  We concluded
note  it  produces, the more charges   that while it functions well for the
left   in   that   item.    It's  an   most part as a measuring device, its
excellent source for seeing how many   best use is as a musical instrument.
uses   are  left  in  your  amulets,
wands, statues, etc.                      That's  right,  by  assembling  a
                                       harmonious  group (special thanks to
   But  there's  more!   Weary  from   the dark orcs who participated) with
travelling  the lands widely, Sauren   each  of  us  holding  a differently
always   packs  some  stout  on  his   charged   item   and   touching  the
journeys.  Yes, this amazing crystal   crystal at the proper time, we  were
will also tell you how many sips are   able  to  play THE KULTHEAN NATIONAL
left  in  your  drink,  and probably   ANTHEM!   I  guess  you  had  to  be
how  many bites left in what you may   there.  It was a blast.  <grin>
be eating.  The higher the note, the
more  sips/bites left, the lower the      Minor  notes,  errrr..   problems
note   and  it's  time  to  hit  the   aside,  however,  the  crystal is as
refreshment stand again.               stated:   It is a magickal measuring
                                       device.   It  measures how many uses
   However,  we  did  find some dis-   are  left in wands, amulets, statues
crepancies  with  other  items  mea-   and  other  objects  of that nature.
sured.  We tested an edged scimitar,   Yes, even food and drink.
and  from  the  first  swing  to the    __________________________________
last, the note was high and pure.      |                                  |
                                       |  Surtey Akrash, Renowned Healer  |
   Sauren   and   I   went  further.   |   and Nutritionist Presents      |
We  wanted  to  know what caused the   |                                  |
colors  of the beams, why some items   |      SWEATIN' WITH SURTEY        |
that  had no magickal qualities made   |      ********************        |
high  notes, and why we didn't bring   |                                  |
enough  liquor  to finish the exper-   |    Overweight? Out of Shape?     |
iments  with.  Liquor aside, we dis-   |  Surtey's new "Mangle That Fat"  |
covered  some  items, such as a gold   |      program can help YOU!       |
doeskin sash, variate the notes.       |                                  |
                                       |  Visit the tent for information. |
   Holding  the  sash  in  your left   | Not responsible for major damage |
hand while touching the crystal with   |__________________________________|
                             The Abandoned Inn
 ____________              by Melda Farthrimnur
/ \      __  \
\@|     / "| |
  |    //|"| |s  summer  reaches its peak and  the sweltering heat, hot even
 _|   //=|"| | for  Quellbourne, makes journeying  the lands yet more weary-
/@|  //  |"| | ing, you  might  seek  an inn in  which to  spend an evening.
\_/ ~~   ~~~ / There is  one such inn, however, that  none should dare enter
  ~~~~~~~~~~~ lest they  be prepared to test their  steel against giant mar-
mots, dark orcs and  wraiths.  "The Hanging Inn" is  now a  mouldering ruin,
overrun  by  hostile  monsters.   It is located on the north trail where the
hill trolls roam, just before the well-known "Danjir" sign.
                     Ye Olde Map of The Hanging Inn:
          Entry Level                          Cellar Level
          """""""""""                          """"""""""""
[ ]---------[ ]------door-----[b]              [d]--[ ]--[c]
 |           |                                / |    |
[ ]-curtain-[a]--windak door--[ ]            / [ ]  [ ]
             |                              /
        battered door                   trapdoor   Creatures:
             |        Creatures:          /        Giant Marmots, Dark Orcs
        [wilderness]  Giant Marmots     [e]
          Second Floor                         Attic
          """"""""""""                         """""
 [ ]--[ ]--[h]                                [j]
        \                                      |
        door                             [ ] passage
          \ [ ]  [ ]                      |    |
           \ |    |                      [i]--[ ]
            [g]--[f]                      |
             |    |                      [ ]
            [ ]  [ ]                      |       Creatures:
             |                          mirror    Giant Marmots, wraiths
            [ ]   Creatures:              |
                  Giant Marmots          [k]
  Ye Olde Map Key
  a: Entrance area from the hill troll wilderness; stair up to second floor
  b: Trapdoor to cellar level
  c: Trapdoor up to entrance level
  d: Trapdoor to magical workshop; openable only from within.
  e: Magical workshop (see below)
  f: Stair back to entrance level
  g: Stair up to attic
  h: An old map of an ancient land called "Elanthia" is here
  i: Stair down to second floor
  j: Trysting Room
  k: Mirror Room (see below)
                                                         Continued on P.21
                                What to Hunt
 ____________               by Michealos Duradero
/ \ ___   ___\
\@|  \~\ /~/ |
  |   \ ~ /  |ou  have   arrived  in      I  shall  refer here to all sword
 _|    |~|   | Kelfour's    Landing,   swingers   as   fighters,  including
/@|    |~|   | bought your equipment   Thieves,  Bards  and Rangers.  These
\_/    ~~~   / and   figure   you're   Fighters  can move to the Level 4 to
  ~~~~~~~~~~~ ready to  hunt.  While   6  section  below  when  they  reach
you   can   use   the   ADVICE   and   Level 2 because they can train twice
DIRECTIONS  commands, they only work   in  weapons,  which  gives  them  an
while you are Level 1, and there's a   advantage  in OB over other players.
little more to this game than that.       Torkaans  have  a  low OB, but be
   Before you go out you should com-   careful as they also have a claw and
pute  your  Offensive  and Defensive   bite   attack.   Kobolds  use  short
Bonuses  (OB  and DB).  Look at your   swords  and  have  an  OB  of 10 but
stats  (enter  INFO)  and write down   their DB is also 10 so you should be
your bonuses for STrength, QUickness   able  to  kill  them  easily.   Next
and AGility.  If you  are a fighter-   comes  rats with their OB of 30 plus
type  and  trained twice in weapons,   claw  and  bite  attacks.   They are
you  should  have  an  OB of 20 plus   more  difficult  because they have a
your   STrength   bonus;   non-sword   DB  of  30,  so wait till you get to
swingers  should  have  an  OB of 10   Level 2 or 3 to hunt them.
plus  your  STrength  bonus.              Some  monsters  are about just to
   Next comes your DB; here you will   make  your  life  more exciting, but
add  your  QUickness  bonus  to your   you  should  avoid them.  Wolverines
shield DB which should be +20.         probably  account for 2/3 of all the
   If  you  are a Mage you can train   deaths  of  starting  hunters.   Run
twice  in  directed spells and wands   away   from  them!   Next  come  the
while Clerics, Healers and Sorcerers   karnelins  which  are  level one and
can  train only once.  As a Mage you   can  be hunted if you have a mage or
should  have  a directed spell OB of   a  big  DB and OB.  They use a stomp
20  plus  your  AGility  bonus.   At   attack,  I  recommend  leaving  them
Level  1, the only spells you should   alone, too.
have  are  Sleep1 and Shockbolt, and
they   work  differently  from  each   Levels 3 to 6
other.  Shockbolt uses your directed
spell  OB  while  Sleep uses the Re-     Once  you  reach  Level  3 you can
sistance   Roll  table.   Resistance   hunt  hobgoblins  and goblins.  They
Rolls  (RR)  are  calculated by com-   live  in  an  area  SE  of the town.
paring   your   level   versus   the   They  are not the only things there,
monster's.  More information on this   however,  so  you  will have to deal
available in KE7 and KE9.              with  Lesser  Orcs and Forest Trolls
                                       as  well.   Here  is  where  you are
Levels 1 and 2                         going  to  get  most  of your money.
                                       Hobgoblins  have  lots  of treasure;
   At  Level  1, you should begin by   they  carry  chests, cash and wands.
hunting  torkaans, rats, kobolds and   Hobs  come  in  three types, and you
nymphs.   Nymphs can be found in the   will find some with metal breastplate
Coastal  Cliffs  NW  of town (Map in   you can sell in the pawnshop for 166
KE2-2),  torkaans  in the grasslands   coins.   Others have leather breast-
and  forest  around  town.   Kobolds   plate which is worth 66 coins.  They
live  in the forest along Mine Road.   have an OB of 50 and a DB of 25, and
See  the  Bird's Eye View of Kulthea   are  not  too  dangerous.   You  can
Map in this issue for these areas.     fight  them  at  lower levels if you
use  parry  tag.   Fighters can hunt   coins  a  pound, so a Laen shield or
them  solo without much problem, and   broadsword costs 33,000 silver.
mages  can  slay those wearing metal      Shaalk  is  a  clothlike material
breastplate with sleep and shockbolt.  giving  +20 to the item.  It is used
   Orcs  are a little tougher.  They   mostly for weapons.  (Shields breaks
have  an  OB of 60 and DB of 60, and   too  easily.) Costs is 6600 a pound,
you  shouldn't  fight  them alone if   thus 66000 for a Shaalk broadsword.
you are not a fighter until you have      Back  to greater orcs, you should
more  OB.   Mages  can cast sleep on   parry  so your DB doesn't fall below
them  and their OB goes to 0 if they   81  and  they  won't  have chance of
fail the resistance roll.  Sometimes   hitting  you  with  a critical.  You
they  fail it so badly their OB goes   can  parry  tag them.  GOrcs have an
to  -50.   Lesser  Orcs  don't carry   OB  of  80  with a mace, short sword
much  treasure and are mostly hunted   or scimitar. Some wear chain hauberk
for experience.                        that  can  be  pawned  for  over 200
   Forest trolls have a DB of 25 and   silvers.   Their  DB  is 50 and they
OB of 40. They carry cudgels and are   can  kill with one blow.  They carry
not  dangerous  until  their  cudgel   chests,  many  of which are trapped.
breaks, when their OB will jump from   Like trolls, once you hurt one badly
40  to 60 and they can claw and bite   it  will  "turtle"  so  if you don't
you.   Sometimes  you will hurt them   have  a high OB you will be swinging
so  badly they will parry 100.  This   at it for a while.  It might run and
is what is called a "turtled" troll,   sit  so  just  wait  for  about  ten
and  the only way to kill it is with   seconds and go after it.  If you are
the  help  of  a mage.  If you don't   not a fighter you should use magical
have  an  OB  of 80 or more they are   weapons  and  armor  here.  You will
almost impossible to kill.  Look and   also  find  goblins, hill trolls and
see  if it is bleeding or let it run   wolverines in the area.
to  the  next  room and wait till it
sits,  when  its  OB  will  plummet.   Levels 8 and above
They often carry cash, treasures and
chests.  Just be careful when trying      The  last monster to be discussed
to  open chests, as many are trapped   here  is  the cave troll.  It has an
with stun clouds.                      OB  of  127 with a mace and 160 with
                                       claw  or  bite  attack.  Cave trolls
Levels 6 to 8                          are  slow  with  a  Round Time of 12
                                       seconds;   their  DB  is  37.   They
   It's time for big game now, and I   turtle,  and if their maces break be
am  talking about greater orcs.  You   ready   to  run.   They  carry  good
should have made enough money to buy   treasure  but  the  chests are often
yourself new equipment that will add   Trapped with stun clouds.  Parry tag
to your prowess. Weapons and shields   and  swing  only  once if you have a
made  from  special materials can be   low  DB.   If  you are a fighter you
purchased from the town's merchants.   should  have  enough OB to parry and
   Mythryl  is a hard material which   still  hit  them hard enough.  These
adds  +5 to the item.  Eog gives +10   trolls  live  in the dungeons of the
and  is good for weapons but shields   Castle, and the caves in Danjirland,
break  too  easily.   It  costs 2200   SW  of  the  forest.  There is a fog
silvers  per pound, so an eog shield   area  in this cave where you can see
or   broadsword  runs  22000  coins.   your  DB  go up by 30; unfortunately
Laen gives the item +15; it, too, is   the  troll's  does, too.  Other cave
a  hard  material and makes the best   trolls  live  in  the mines but they
shields, although it is occasionally   are  a  bit much for most players at
used for weapons, too.  Cost is 3300   this level.
                         The Sword Bearer's Tale
 _____________            by Gilthor In'Glorion
/ \ _________ \
\@| ||=|=|=|| |he  white  robed  man   The man rolled  to   the side as the
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |crossed the room from   blade descended again, smashing into
 _|    |_|    |doorway to bedside in   the ground where he  had been just a
/@|   _|_|_   |the blink of an  eye,   moment  before.  Quickly,  he  swung
\_/__________/ yet never  seemed  to   his  sword  at the unbalanced creat-
have moved.  He   looked down at the   ure. It sensed the blow, turning  to
sleeping man. "So, you're  the sword   avoid  it.  The glowing sword missed
bearer now,"  he  asked  quietly. He   the creature's mid-section, but str-
leaned over  and  gently  placed his   uck a glancing blow to its arm.
hand  on the sleeping figure's fore-
head. The man stirred, then  settled   The creature howled in  agony as its
back  into  a  deep  sleep. Suddenly   flesh smoked  and  burned  where the
their  surroundings  changed and the   glowing sword  had  struck,  then it
sleeping man lay on  hard, blackened   recovered  and  attacked.   The  man
ground. The white robed man  started   raised his sword in defense, but the
with  surprise, then whirled  around   howling creature beat it aside.
in a defensive posture, peering into
the  blackness around him,  a black-   Chanting  could  be  heard   as  the
ness darker than night can be.         creature  swung   a    killing  blow
                                       towards the man's  unprotected neck.
A raucous laugh echoed  around them;   A bright  light  suddenly surrounded
a  dark  form   separated  from  the   the creature  and  it  vanished, its
blackness and moved towards  the odd   sword  falling  harmlessly   to  the
pair. A look  of  fear  crossed  the   ground, only an outraged bellow left
white robed man's face and he shout-   to linger in the man's ears.
ed: "sword bearer, awaken!"
                                       The sword bearer turned to the white
The man awoke and leapt to his feet,   robed man who said:  "I banished it,
a sword in  his hands.  His  warrior   but I have  used  too  much power. I
instincts took over and he immediat-   must go. Come to me, sword bearer, I
ely sensed the danger approaching.     need you. I have shown you the way."
                                       Gesturing slightly, he vanished.
The white robed figure quickly mutt-
ered a chant and touched  the  man's   The world spun and Gilthor sat up in
sword. The blade blazed with a white   his bed, drenched  in  sweat. In his
glow that pushed  the darkness back.   hands  he  held  his  jewelled  two-
The dark  form  paused for  a moment   handed  sword,  and  in   his  mind,
then charged the two with a howl.      images of  a   road he must  travel.
"Protect me, sword bearer, or we are   Gilthor sat alone  in  the back room
both lost," said  the  man in white.   of  Helga's  Tavern.  It   was  dark
The sword bearer never hesitated, he   inside, all the  lamps  and lanterns
stepped  towards the charging creat-   having  long   since    burned  out.
ure. It raised a dark blade over its   Gilthor sighed and  sat  back in his
head  and suddenly  swung  it  down.   chair, moving his body for the first
The  sword  bearer  lifted  his  own   time in  hours.  He  reached for his
blade  and  barely managed to  parry   goblet, holding it up and looking at
the   fearsome  strike.  The  blades   the last swallow of  ale left at its
crashed together,  the  force of the   bottom. "A  final   toast  then," he
blow knocking the man to his  knees.   said  quietly  to  the  empty  room.
                                       "Fare   well,   Kelfour's   Landing.
The creature howled  in  triumph and   I wish you the best."
raised its blade for  a second blow.                                More...
With that,  he  drained  the goblet,   what?  By  whom?"  he  asked. "Good,
letting  the  last  of  its contents   evil, who knows what?"
drain  down  his  throat, then eased
out  of  his chair and stood staring   "That's  what  we  journey  to  dis-
across the empty room.                 cover," Eowynn  replied,  then   she
                                       laughed. "Gil,  we   had  this exact
Gilthor turned towards  the  door as   same discussion  last  night, except
he heard light  footsteps  coming up   we've traded lines now."
the  stairs.  A  small  smile  crept
across his  face  and  he whispered,   Gilthor pulled Eowynn into his arms.
"no, I'm not  alone  now and I never   "Is it any wonder I love you so?"
will be again."
                                       "I don't  wonder  about  it at all,"
The door opened  inward  and a woman   she said.
in a blue tunic with a silver corded
belt around her  slim  waist stepped   Gilthor embraced her a moment longer
through.  The  sun's   morning  rays   then released her,  though  he still
sparkled through  her   long, golden   clasped  her  hand  tightly.  "Well,
blonde hair.                           it's easy  for  me  to go. Kelfour's
                                       Landing won't miss a  simple fighter
"Gilthor?" the woman called out.       much, but you - many  count  on your
                                       healing magic."
"Over here, Eowynn," he said softly.
                                       "Don't worry, dear, though  it pains
She searched the shadows of the room   me to go when there is such need for
from where she had heard his  voice.   my skills, I have spoken with others
"Oh,  there  you  are,   love."  She   of my order and they have assured me
walked towards him with  a concerned   that all will be well here."
expression on  her  face.  "Have you
been here all night?"                  "Can you be so sure with that Spider
                                       Temple they discovered?  Having such
Gilthor sighed and  nodded  his head   a  powerful  enemy  so close to Kel-
slowly. Taking her  hand  in his, he   four's worries me. I seriously doubt
sighed, "yes, love, all night. I sat   all   the  combined forces  in  Kel-
here thinking.  It's  harder  to say   four's could  rebuff that evil force
goodbye than I imagined.  For all of   if it chose to attack."
its  wildness  and  sometimes harsh-
ness, this  little   village  is the   "If that's true, then  our  presence
only home I've ever had."              would  make  little  difference.  In
                                       fact, we may be better off leaving."
"I know, love, that's true for me as
well, but we'll return before long."   Gilthor's face hardened and his body
                                       tensed. "I do not run from a fight."
"Now you're trying  to  reassure me,
after it took hours to convince  you   Eowynn laughed.  "Look  at yourself,
we must depart for a time."            Gil, hand  on your sword,  your face
                                       set,  your  body  as tense  as a bow
Eowynn smiled. "You convince well, I   string. You look as if you're  ready
guess...Not to mention your dreams."   to go  charging  off  and  tear  the
                                       Spider Temple down single handedly!"
The smile left his face."Nightmares,
more like," he sullenly muttered.      Gilthor's face  flushed   crimson as
                                       his stance  relaxed.  "I  guess I do
Eowynn  sighed. "Now Gil, we've dis-   look rather foolish," he  said, then
cussed this. Your dreams about  the    smiled ruefully, "it's  not  as if I
sword are a calling."                  could  take  on  even   the  weakest
                                       denizen of the  place  and expect to
"Yes, but  a  calling  to what?  For   come out victorious."
"Oh dear, are  they  really as tough   wilderness that surrounded the small
as everyone says?" Eowynn asked.       frontier village.
"Tougher," Gil replied with a grunt,   Making it outside the  gates without
"but  let's  not  dwell  on  it." He   meeting a soul,  Gilthor  led Eowynn
looked  out the doorway.  "It's full   down a little  side  path beyond the
sunrise.  Are you ready?"              gates where  he   had  stashed their
                                       horses and packs the night before.
Gilthor   led   her  out  the  door.
"Let's hurry.  I hate goodbyes."       After  helping   Eowynn    into  her
                                       saddle, Gilthor  mounted   his horse
Keeping  pace  with  Gilthor's  long   and let  his hand rest on the pommel
strides, Eowynn asked, "Are you sure   of his two-handed sword. Thoughts of
they  won't  wonder what happened to   the white robed man spun through his
us?"                                   mind. Gilthor shook his head to  rid
                                       himself of  the  unbidden  thoughts,
"Our  friends  will,  but  I've told   then without a  glance   back at the
were  thinking  of  taking  a  trip.   little village that was his home, he
They'll figure it out."                rode off with only a vague notion of
                                       where he  was  heading,   but with a
The pair walked briskly  through the   determination to follow  the dream's
streets  of  Kelfour's  Landing  and   path to its end.
approached the gates that led to the                      To Be Continued
The Magical Workshop: Continued from P.16
   This  chamber  contains  an  odd crystal with strange magical properties.
After  much  study  it  was  determined  by  ranger Landreth deLorde that by
holding  a  magic  item in your left hand and touching the crystal with your
right, it would emit a tone which varies based on how many charges remain in
the item.  The higher the tone, the more filled up with charges the item is.
(See Landreth's story elsewhere in this issue.)
The Mirror Room
   Here  one  can  find  a  crystal  sphere which appears to be some sort of
scrying  device.   If  one  looks  into  it, you will see the trysting room.
Apparently the owner of this inn was a sophisticated voyeur.
The Innkeeper's Treasure
   The  night  that  this  inn was discovered, a note was found telling of a
great  treasure  hidden  somewhere  in  the  inn.   The adventurer Fnord was
skilled  enough  to find that by following a series of hidden notes, each of
which  he  had to read in order before he could lay his hands upon the cache
of  silver,  jewels and magic trinkets.  A separate treasure, a lovely piece
of jade, was found hidden in the magical workshop by Wedar.
The Creatures
Dark Orc: 85 OB scimitar, DB 95, wear studded leather, level 11.
          Skinning yields an orc ear.
Marmot:   65 OB claw, DB 70, disease, animal intelligence, level 10.
          Skinn is a marmot pelt.
Wraith:   90 OB short sword, 80 OB pound, 90 OB cold ball and lightning bolt
          85 DB; also casts word of stun and demonic fear.  When its
          talon is extended, a strike from the wraith will result in a life
          level drain.  Unlife, level 14.  Skin is a wraith talon.
                               Deadly Game
 _________                     """""""""""
/ \ _____ \                 by Twyndle Majeer
\@| ~|_|~ |
  |  |~|  |t was  a  lovely  morning   sipping a brew and spinning a tale.
 _|  |~|  | as I awoke from  a  less      I  clambered  down  the  hill and
/@| _|~|_ | than fulfilling night at   there  it  was, sitting in the grass
\_/ ~~~~~ / Threk's Inn and, with my   tending its wound.  I howled in glee
  ~~~~~~~~ trusty  drake falchion at   and  drew  my  weapon  for  a mighty
my  side, stepped out into the morn-   blow,  but I hesitated - I wanted to
ing sun.  I felt the hunt call to me   toy  with  the beast, to play a game
and  my  elven  blood tingle, for in   with it.
the  distance I heard the howl of my      Seeing  its  chance, the creature
most  feared  enemy,  the Karnelain.   leapt  up  and scrambled up the hill
The game was afoot!                    towards the wooded hillside.  I fol-
   I  strode  down  the path leading   lowed quickly for I was not about to
from  the gates of Kelfour's Landing   let  my hunt escape.  I was enjoying
and all too soon the forest began to   this  game.  I soon caught up to it,
loom  over  me.  I hesitated - was I   for with its injured leg, it was not
up  to  tackle  this  Karn?   I felt   moving with much speed.
myself  take a step back.  But no, I      With  one fierce blow, I finished
would  strive  forward!  My sense of   the little game we had been playing.
honor bade me take this challenge.     It  let  out a horrible scream, then
   Quickly  I  drew  my falchion and   fell to the ground, dead.
readied my shield.  My plans were to      I sat down to catch my breath, my
run into the forest, attack and head   sword leaning at my side.  Suddenly,
south to ready my defense.  I took a   I heard noises from above and looked
deep breath then tore into the woods   up to see two bloody Karnelians come
and soon spotted the creature.  With   charging  down  the hill towards me!
a vicious swing, I brought my falch-   I  was  on my feet in seconds, sword
ion  down  upon  it.  My blow struck   in  hand,  ready for the battle that
and  the  creature  reared  in pain,   was sure to follow.
licking its left leg.  It was wound-      The Karns sniffed at their fallen
ed, but certainly not vanquished.      comrade,  then turned to face me.  I
   The  Karnelian  quickly  overcame   had  successfully  vanquished one of
its   surprise  and  made  ready  to   these  evil  creatures, but two were
strike.   I sped down the path - not   beyond me.  I turned to run, but one
to escape, but to prepare myself.  I   of  the Karns leapt at me and clawed
took  a hasty breath then spun about   a gash in my shield arm.  I could no
ready to parry a vicious attack, but   longer  hold  onto  my prized shield
none came.  Where had it gone?         and  dropped  it in pain.  Luckily I
   Something was wrong.  Karn's were   was not stunned and able to retreat.
not  that  intelligent  and  usually      The   other   Karn  followed  me,
chased  their  prey relentlessly.  I   planning  to  finish  the  job.   It
slowly  began to make my way back up   attacked,  its claws tearing open my
the  path.   Had  I  injured it that   torso.    I   fell  to  the  ground,
badly?   As I reached the fork where   stunned  and  could  only  lay there
the  road  branched  off towards the   helplessly  as  the  other Karn came
hills,  I paused.  Which way was the   running.    Both   looked  me  over,
Karn?   Had  it stayed north of here   licking their  lips in  anticipation
where  I  had  first attacked it, or   of  the  final  blow.   For they too
had  it sought refuge in its retreat   were playing a game with me.
in the hills?                             That  split second was enough.  I
   I   sniffed  the  wind,  my  keen   sprang  to my feet.  Running was out
senses  picking up a familiar scent:   of  the  question;  I had to make my
Karn  -  and  blood.  I smiled, this   stand here at the base of the hills.
kill  would be easy and I would soon   My  left  arm  was  bleeding  and my
be  sitting  by the fire at Helga's,   chest was all but crushed.  Although
                                    -22-                            More...
my  strength was gone, I reached in-   but  with it came pain and I knew my
side for that extra something.         time  was  short.   My eyes saw only
   With  new  power, I swung my fal-   the  precious  falchion  and I leapt
chion.   It  struck!  And what a hit   for my blade.  The Karn pounced, but
it  was!  The sword slashed into the   I  had  my  falchion in hand and the
Karn's neck and it died instantly.     creature  leapt onto it.  A burst of
   I  smiled,  forgetting  the other   flame  from  my  falchion struck the
Karn  for a moment.  It struck at me   Karn and in moments it lay dead.
in  a rage but I defended the attack      My  lungs  were  on  fire,  I was
with  ease.   I  brought my falchion   dying.  I had one thought - my ring!
down  with  all my strength once and   I  fumbled  at my finger and finally
again the gods guided my blow.         managed  to  slide  it  off.   As  I
   Unfortunately,  I was too weak to   replaced it, a flash of light trans-
deliver   a  critical  hit  and  the   ported  me  to the Temple.  There my
vicious  Karn  remained  a very real   friends were quick to tend my wounds
threat.   It lunged and tore open my   and  call  a  healer.
leg.   I  fell to the ground holding      I  survived  that  day,  but also
my thigh in pain and something in me   learned  a  valuable lesson.  Making
snapped.   I  lost  all  control and   hunting  a  game  was  a sure way to
pounced at the beast.                  lose  it  all, and that was a game I
   I felt reason starting to return,   no longer wished to play.
     ._. ._  ___   _____ ._.      ^     ____ ._  ___ ___ _____ ._  ___
     | | | \ |       |   | |     / \    |    | \ |   |     |   | \ |
     | | |  ||==     |   | |    /===\    \== |=/ |== |     |   |=/ |==
     |_| !_/ |__     |   |_|   /     \     / |   |__ |__   |   | \ |__..
                                          /                       '
                      A LEGEND OF THE   ~~   DRAGONSFANG
                             by Amelda Heronheart
        %%%                              *                *
/~~~\   %%%                                    *
~~~\ ~~~^~~\                           *
   |        \.                                       *
   :          ~~\                           *   *
    \ %%  %% |~\ \                     *      *
     |##  ## |  \/                                *
     |       |                   *  *   *  *
     \       /                       *  *     Beware
     | &  & |                     * *         Oh, loathsome killer sheep
      \&  &/                     * *          Safe in your lair
       \__/                   / *    *        Ye think ye sleep
        ###       =.i_       /                But halt thy dreaming
        ###       / .)      /                 Test the air
        ###      /_  >     /                  The Spectral Mage
        ###    /~  ;~-----/)                  From his hearthside creeps
        ##%   /|    |~~~~/                    To meet thee in thy slumbers
        #%%  /*/;   |
        %%% /   )===)                         Have care
        %%%/   /   " \                        Within thy briary keep
        %%%  /[      |                        No more will fair
        %%% / (     .)                        Adventurers weep
        %%%" .{       \.                      For companions lost
        %%%  ./        \                      To thy noxious scheming
        %%%  /          \                     With spell prepared
        %%% /  /        |                     His skill engaged
!!!!\\\\%%%|. //; \|///!!!!AH!                The Midnight Mage
--^-^^!!//\\\\/////!!!^---^--^                Toward thy haven sneaks
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&               To lessen thy vile numbers
                          Pwyll, Prince of Annwfn
 _____________         by Eron Kulsen (Conclusion)
/ \ _________ \
\@| ||=|=|=|| |
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |his is a story  to be      "Lady," cried Pwyll piteously, "I
 _|    |_|    | sung by all bards in   did not know who he was."
/@|   _|_|_   | the  lands from this      "He  is  the  man  to  whom  they
\_/__________/  time forth. It tells   wanted  to give me against my will,"
of  a time before the great lords of   she said. "His name is Gwawl, son of
the  undead  had let loose all their   Clud,  and  now  you must honor your
mignions and evil creatures.  It was   word   lest  some  worse  misfortune
a  time  of peace, which in turn was   befall you."
only  granted  from  war.   It  is a      "How  can I honor my word when it
story  of  bravery  and  magic, best   will kill me?"
told  from  the  strings  of a harp.      "Perhaps  there  is  a  way," she
Hear then, if you will, the story of   said and bent to whisper to his ear.
Pwyll, Prince of Annwfn...                "I  am growing old with waiting,"
                                       bellowed Gwawl.
                                          Pwyll's   countenance  brightened
   No   sooner  had  Pwyll  and  his   and   he   said,  "Wait  no  longer.
lovely  wife  Rhiannon  sat down for   Though  it  grieves  me  deeply, you
their  wedding  feast  than a large,   shall have what you ask." And he got
noble  looking  man  walked down the   up and left the hall with his host.
hall.  He came directly to Pwyll and      Gwawl laughed loudly and bragged,
saluted  him;  Pwyll  said  to  him,   "Surely,  never  has a man been more
"Welcome to you friend, find a place   feeble-witted than him." And he took
to sit."                               Pwyll's  place  beside Rhiannon say-
   "I  cannot," replied the man.  "I   ing,   "Let   my  wedding  feast  be
am suppliant and must do my business   served.   Tonight  I  sleep  with my
first."                                bride."
   "You had better do it then."           But  before  the  feast  could be
   "As you say, lord, my business is   served,  a  commotion  arose  in the
with  you;  I  have  come  for a re-   back  of  the  hall.  "Who is making
quest."                                such a disturbance?" Demanded Gwawl.
   "Ask  it then, and if it is in my   "Bring  him  here so that I may deal
power  I  will  grant it gladly, for   with  him." And a man dressed all in
this is a joyous day for me."          wretched  rags  was dragged forward.
   "No!" shouted Rhiannon.  "Oh, why   "Ha!   Look  at  him,"  said  Gwawl.
did you respond so?"                   "What are you doing here beggar?"
   "Och, he has already done so, and      "If  it  pleases you lord, I have
is the presence of the whole court,"   business   with  you,"  replied  the
said    the    stranger.    "He   is   unfortunate one.
honor-bound to grant my request."         "What  business can you have with
   "Friend,  if friend you are, tell   me  that  the  toe of my boot cannot
me   your   request,"   said  Pwyll,   discharge?"
feeling sick at heart.                    "It  is  a  reasonable  request,"
   "You,  sire, are sleeping tonight   replied the ragged man, "and one you
with  the  woman  I love most, and I   can  easily  grant if you will:  one
ask  for  her  to be my wife and for   small  bag of food.  I ask only from
this feast to be my wedding feast!"    want."
   Pwyll  fell silent.  There was no      "You   shall  have  it,"  replied
answer  he could give that would not   Gwawl  haughtily.   And  he  spied a
break his heart.                       small leather bag at Rhiannon's belt
   "Be silent as long as you like my   and  snatched  it  up.  "Here is the
lord,"   snapped  Rhiannon  angrily,   bag,"  he  laughed,  "fill is as you
"there  is  only  one  answer  to be   will."
given."                                    The  beggar  took  the  bag  and
                                    -24-                            More...
began to fill it.  But no matter how   when  it  cam  time  to  go to sleep
much  he put into the bag it grew no   Pwyll   and  Rhiannon  went  to  the
fuller than before.  Gwawl signalled   bridal  bed  and  spent the night in
impatiently   to  his  servers,  who   pleasure and contentment.
arose  and  began stuffing food into      The next morning they returned to
the little bag, but it remained just   Pwyll's   realm   where   the  feast
as empty.                              continued  for  seven  days with the
   "Beggar,  will  you  bag never be   best  men and women in all the realm
full?" asked Gwawl angrily.            in attendance.  And no one went away
   "Never, until a lord rises up and   from  the  feast without being given
tramples it down saying, 'Enough!'"    some  special  gift, either a brooch
   "Do  it  Gwawl,  and  you will be   or   a  ring,  or  even  a  precious
finished  with  this business," said   stone...
Rhiannon.                                 "So  began the reign of Pwyll Pen
   "Gladly,  if  it  will  rid me of   Annwfn  and Rhiannon, fairest of the
him." Gwawl rose up and put his feet   fair, and so ends this branch of the
into the bag, and the beggar twisted   Mabinogi."  The  last  notes  of the
it  so  that  Gwawl  fell  head over   harp died away on the night air, and
heels  into  the bag, then closed it   the  bard bowed his head.  The fires
and  tied up the strings.  Then from   had  dwindled and the torches burned
beneath  his rags he produced a horn   low.   And  the  bard  stood  up and
which  he  blew.  Instantly the hall   removed  himself from the spellbound
was  filled  with  a fierce warband.   crowd.
The  beggar  threw  off his rags and                 The End
there stood Pwyll Pen Annwfn.             ______________________________
   "Help  me!"  cried the man in the
bag.   "What  is  this  game you are              Song for Rhys
playing?"                                         """""""""""""
   "The  game of badger-in-the-bag,"           by Amelda Heronheart
said  Pwyll, whereupon his men began
striking  the  bag  with  kicks  and   There's a healer who has a
blows.                                   wondrous way
   "Lord," said Gwawl, "if you would   Of keeping telltale scars at bay.
listen to me, killing me inside this   It's Rhys, our friend (and, too
bag is no death for me."                 a Lord)
   A   man   stepped   forward   much  Whose curing potion be a sword.
chagrined  and  said, "He speaks the   For "terrible permanent
truth,  lord;  killing  him inside a     mutillations"
bag  is  no death for a man.  Listen   He'll save the cost of
to him."                                 preparations
   "I am listening," said Pwyll.       (Of that shocking Alchemist's
   "Then  allow  me  sue for peace,"     libations).
said Gwawl.  "State your terms and I
will agree."                           Watch Rhys's practiced hand and
   "Very  well,  pledge  to  me that     eye
there  shall  never  be  redress nor   As he lets his faithful falchion
vengence  for  what has befallen you     fly.
and your punishment shall end."        Plastic surgeon extraordinaire,
   "You  have  my  pledge," said the   His sword arcs flashing through
man within the bag.                      the air
   "I  accept it," replied Pwyll and   Depending on a perfect crit
called to his men, "Let him out."      (It *REALLY* doesn't hurt a bit.)
   Thereupon Gwawl was released from   And then he does his healer stuff
the  bag  and he departed to his own   "WHAT scars?" says he.
realm.   The  hall was then prepared     "They weren't so tough!"
for  Pwyll  as  before, and they all
sat  down  to  a  wonderful  wedding      ______________________________
feast.   They  ate  and reveled, and
  / \                                                                        \
  |                                                                         |
  |  Dear Dad,                                                              |
  |                                                                         |
  |  I was  beginning  to  wonder  if  my  letter got through when I yours  |
  |  arrived.  What  a  relief,  but I am sorry about Mom.  She signed the  |
  |  contract and  I never read it, so how was I to know she would have to  |
  |  fulfill it  when  I  left the caravan?  If she'd been so worried, she  |
  |  shouldn't have signed me up for a twelve-year deal. Besides, I'd have  |
  |  written earlier if I'd had any idea the dwarves were going to let the  |
  |  ox tender  go,  but as it was I only heard they didn't still have him  |
  |  the same  week  I  got  your letter.  This  won't  surprise  you, but  |
  |  dwarves aren't as regular with their correspondence as we might wish.  |
  |                                                                         |
  |  How is  Mom  holding  up,  or have you heard from her?  I remember my  |
  |  first few  months  on  that  job,  and  you  don't have much time for  |
  |  writing.   But oxen aren't very communicative, of course, so when she  |
  |  does  get  time,  I imagine  she'll be ready to write to everyone she  |
  |  knows.  I'll let you know when I hear from her.                        |
  |                                                                         |
  |  Remember that  fair  elf  I  mentioned in my last letter?  I know you  |
  |  would not have approved  of  him,  Dad,  since  he  didn't  ask  your  |
  |  permission or anything but you wouldn't have seen him recently, would  |
  |  you?   I know  it's  hard to single out one elf, what with the entire  |
  |  village being of the same family, but you'd know him because he wears  |
  |  brown.   He hasn't  been  seen  around  Kelfour's Landing in a while.  |
  |  Don't  worry, Dad.   There's  no special reason I'm asking.  I'm just  |
  |  concerned because he's been gone so long.                              |
  |                                                                         |
  |  Things around  here have been pretty slow.  I haven't found a job yet  |
  |  since I lost track of the caravan, and you're right about magic. Most  |
  |  of these yokels don't understand how easy it is. Even that shock bolt  |
  |  spell  you  taught  me impresses  them  more than if you made the sun  |
  |  disappear.   At  least if that happened, they'd have no idea what was  |
  |  going  on, but it would never occur to them to blame you.  They'd say  |
  |  one  of the  moons was jealous and was blocking the sun, or something  |
  |  silly  like that.  Anyway, I'm earning a pretty steady income keeping  |
  |  the  subhuman hordes  away  from  the  city.  Hobgoblins are always a  |
  |  problem,  but they're  more  easily confused than some people I know.  |
  |  Magic frightens them  worse than it would a  normal fighter (if there  |
  |  is such a thing.)                                                      |
  |                                                                         |
  |  Anyway, I  have  to run.  The debt collectors around here are kind of  |
  |  annoying, and  someone's always providing you with service they don't  |
  |  get around to  telling you till  afterwards they're  expecting you to  |
  |  pay for. You know how it goes.  Write me if you hear from Mom, and if  |
  |  that ox-tender comes looking, send him my way. Helga is still waiting  |
  |  to collect on his bar tab.                                             |
  |                                                                         |
  |                                       Your loving daughter,             |
 _|                                       Belladonna                        |
/@|                                                                         |

                           The Bearer of Tales
 _______________        by Miss Louvella Parsnips
/ \ ____    ____\
\@| +|~| __ |~|+|e have  been  keep-   Naturally,  both  parties  deny  any
  |  |~|/~~\|~| | ing our eyes  open   type of relationship, but  -we- know
 _|  |~/~/\~\~| | and  our  ears  to   better, having  spotted  them locked
/@| _|__/  \__|_| the walls this mo-   in a passionate  embrace  behind the
\_/_____________/ nth, and have dis-   arch in the Cladesbrim dungeon.
covered some  deplorable  doings  in
Kelfour's Landing.                     Following this clandestine  meeting,
                                       our thief  went   running   off to a
A certain  wood-elf  lady  thief has   clandestine  tryst  with our wraith-
earned herself the  title  "Tramp of   like lady  mage,  who is, of course,
Kulthea."  It  appears  this  coyote   rumored to be  vying  for sainthood.
faced  harlot   has    been  getting
around, to say the  least. Her first   We find  this  peculiar,  to say the
victim, er..betrothed,  was  a young   least,  being  that  the  pair  have
ranger with a strange accent,  maybe   hurled public slurs at each other on
Spanish? It seems that  this  ranger   numerous occasions. We  wonder which
did  not have the  stamina to handle   of the two  was  seeking the perfect
our newest trollop and she threw him   opportunity to stab a  dagger in the
aside in favor of Kelfour's favorite   other's back. Which indeed.
mad mage, whom she actually married.
                                       A  quick  glance  through  Kelfour's
Naturally, this  strumpet   does not   records department showed us  that a
confine herself to  any  one fellow,   certain ranger may be filing divorce
regardless of how virile  he may be,   papers against his  wife,  a certain
but she has also  been seen entering   bleu robed  lady  mage.  The grounds
Frick's Inn  with  all  sorts of odd   given:  Numerous affairs and refusal
companions, among  them   a muscular   to  wear  a certain  kind  of  belt.
lordly fighter  of  half-elf origin.   There was, of course, much more, but
                                       we are not  so  callous as to reveal
While  we  are  on  the  subject  of   these personal  items  to you,  much
strumpets,  we are  delighted to in-   much as we would relish the idea.
form you that a young thief who just
happens to be the sister of our lady   We have received word that our kind-
cleric of  the olde speeche has been   hearted  lady  healer has forced her
seen  in   the company  of  a grumpy   betrothed,   Kulthea's  most  famous
dwarf fighter.  We would not  be the   lordly mage, to wear a certain  belt
ones to ruin the surprise by  saying   himself. This follows our  announce-
that this unlikely couple has become   ment last month of our mage's liason
betrothed, but  we  may  be  hearing   with  a  manly fighter type. Perhaps
wedding  bells  in  the near future.   we were mistaken  and  she  isn't as
                                       blind as we once thought.
For  those  who were wondering about
the  mechanics  of  such a relation-   Remember that  hearsay,   gossip and
ship,  we  are  under the impression   tattle can all be sent to MISS.SNOOP
that he stands on a chair.             (via GEmail) where it will reach our
                                       eager eyes  and  will  certainly  be
Another odd couple is that of a lady   spread all over next month's column.
ranger who is always jolly  and  gay
and an outspoken thief who has  ties   Until  next  month,  gentle readers,
with a secret evil organization.       happy snooping  and  tra-la for now!
                                                                    KE V2N3

See Also: