Kelfour Edition volume IV number VI

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 / \                                                                     \
|   |                               Secrets of Enchantment True - Page 5  |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                     November 1993   |
 |    --___ _   _         _   ___                        Vol.4, No.6   |
 |         / ) / )       / ) / __)                                     |
 |        / /_/ / ____  / /_/ (  ____  __  __ ____                     |
 |       /   __/ / __ )/ /(  __)/ _  )/ / / // ___)                    |
 |      / /\ \  / ___// / / /  / (/ // (_/ // /                        |
 |     (_/  \_)(____)(_( (_(  (____/(_____((_/                         |
 |                                                                     |
 |_                                                                    |
  /                    The Kronicles of Kulthea                        |
 |                             GemStone III (tm)                       |
 |                                                                     |
 |                     --___ ______     _   _   _   _                 _|
 |                          /  ____)   / ) (/ _/ ) (/                 \
 |                         /  (__  ___/ / _  (  _)_  ____  ____        |
 |                        /  ____)/ _  / / ) / / / )/ _  )/    )       |
 |                       /  (__  / (/ / / / / / / // (/ // /) /        |
 |                      (______)(____( (_( (_( (_((____/(_((_(         |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |                                                                     |
 |   Kelfour's Landing Local News ...............................   1  |
 |   House Paupers 2nd Annual Fall Festival .... Lady Phaedra Bleu  2  |
 |   Home ............................................ Simon d'Ker  4  |
 |   Enchantment True ....................... Lord Pan True-Silver  5  |
 |   Justice in Medieval Society ................. Geoff Stonehand  7  |
 |   A Matter of Honor (Part VI) ..................... Sean2 Lladd 10  |
 |   Live by the Sword (and the Mace and the Axe) ... Gildas Laogh 14  |
 |_  From the Notes of The Apprentice Mage          Darkraven Grim 16  |
  /  Dreams Sacred and Profane - Part I ....... Gallenod Varvnesti 18  |
 |   The Prince of Aquebar ................... Wisraith Winterwind 23  |
 |   Oblivion Is a Place of Sorrow ........... Bleys Airelious III 26  |
 |   Owed To A Pest ................................... Skye Serge 26  |
 |   Keys (Part 3) ..................................... Anonymous 27  |
 |   Orc Lunch ................................... Jerusha Montjoy 29  |
 |   The Moaning After .......................... Lloyd Llowd, PhD 30  |
 |                                                                     |
 |       Editor             Assistant Editors          Publisher       |
 |   Rasputin Santare        Kalagay Halatil       Lady Phaedra Bleu   |
 |                         Lord Jarran Terraxx                         |
 |                                                                     |
 | Kelfour Edition, the Kronicles of Kulthea, is devoted to the multi- |
 | player role-playing game GemStone III on GEnie.  Submissions may be |
 | edited for space, accuracy and readability.  To learn about earning |
 | FREE WEEKENDS in the game, send GE Mail to P.HERRINGTON.            |
 |   __________________________________________________________________|__
 |   )                                                                    )

                 [[[]]]   __________________________  [[[]]]
                  |  |  //                          \  |  |
                  |  |=:| o    Kelfour Edition     o = |  |
                  |  | :|                            | |  |
                  |  | :|    L O C A L    N E W S    | |  |
                  |  |=:| o                        o |=|  |
                  |__|  \\__________________________/  |__|
BACKPACK BUG BAGGED                    already extensive list available  to
According  to  official  sources,  a   adventurers.   Now,  you can ASK any
bug in the encumbrance system  which   NPC  about  (or  for)   just   about
allowed   folk  to  carry  unlimited   anything.  Usage:    ASK  <creature>
weight in some containers, has  been   ABOUT / FOR  <subject>.  There's  no
fixed.    The   fix,   however,  has   telling  what  you  might  learn  or
affected many typical backpacks  and   discover.
made  it  difficult to carry as much
as you thought you were able to.       A change has been made to  the  GIVE
                                       command.   In  the past, it required
To solve the problem, a new type  of   you to hold the item being given  in
backpack   has  been  added  to  the   your right  hand.  Now, you can give
general store's inventory:  a  heavy   an item to another  adventurer  from
backpack.  This  pack can carry sub-   either  hand, but you must stipulate
stantially more than its less sturdy   the  item  and  include  the  branch
counterparts.  The old leather back-   word TO.   Usage:    GIVE  <item> TO
packs are now  called "leather knap-   <person>.
                                       TRAPPER SIGHTED
If  you  find  that  you  can't tote   A trapper has been spotted wandering
around as many  items  as  you  used   the streets of our fair town lately.
to,  you  should  head  over  to the   At  first, his  presence was  viewed
general store and  pick  up  one  of   with some suspicion, but it soon be-
the new  heavy backpacks.  The price   came apparent that he was no threat.
is  reasonable  and  the  pack  will   In fact, reliable  sources inform us
allow  you  to  carry the maximum of   this  trapper is actively recruiting
items.                                 folk for hire on behalf of a certain
                                       town merchant.
This is a quest in which  you  WON'T   Unconfirmed  reports  indicate  this
die... of boredom,  that is!  Called   labor  may  involve a mine near town
SCEPTRUMORTIS,  it is  scheduled for   and the  search  for  ore.    Anyone
December.  Sign ups, original sched-   encountering  the trapper is encour-
uled for  November  15th  have  been   aged to pause and hear him out about
temporarily  postponed.  A new sign-   this apparent apprenticeship.
up time hasn't  been  confirmed  at
press  time, but updated information   CLERIC WEAPON MOVED
will be posted in the log-in NEWS.     Weapons  made from white eog -- long
                                       a favorite of experienced clerics --
NEWCOMERS REJOICE                      are no  longer available by  special
House Aspis will be  hosting  a  New   order  from   Tyron's  Weapon  Shop.
Player  Night  on  Tuesday  November   Reliable  sources report the weapons
30th.   The  savvy  crew  at   House   are  still available,  but  only  to
Aspis  will  be  conducting tours of   those  who  can  gain  access to the
the  lands  of   Kulthea   for   new   back room at the Cleric Shop.    The
adventurers    all   evening   long.   pious  proprietor, nonetheless holds
They  will  depart at  frequent  in-   a certain fondness for his more gen-
tervals from inside the Town Gates.    erous  clientele -- those  folks who
                                       are  content  to  pay listed  prices
NEW COMMANDS                           rather than engage in haggling.
A  new command has been added to the
                     House Paupers 2nd Annual Fall Festival
 ___________                  by Lady Phaedra Bleu
/ \ ______  \
\@| ~|_|~\\  |
  |  |~|  || |
 _|  |~|  || | ecorated  to the  hilt,  House Paupers was  resplendent  with
/@|  |~|_//  | gargoyles at the  front door  (greeting all comers,  not just
\_/ ~~~~~~  /  House  members)  and spiders in the balloons -- all for their
  ~~~~~~~~~~  gala  2nd Annual  Fall Festival,  held  this year  on Saturday
night, October 30, just southwest of Town Square on the grounds of the House
itself.   A  revoltingly thick red substance filled the hot tub and swimming
pool,  while concoctions like blood-red wine and iced cobra venom filled the
guests even as they bobbed for apples in a barrel in the Commons Room.
There were bats in the belfry and undead in the attic -- which turned out to
be harder  to get  into  than out of as attested to  vehemently by  numerous
corpses when they landed in the bonfire in the courtyard!
That  crackling bonfire (stoked from the nearby woodpile by many a strangely
garbed  guest)  was  the scene of this year's Costume Contest.  Twelve brave
souls  were  somehow  persuaded  to  enter, possibly since the prizes looked
nearly  as  grand  as  last  year's entrants.  Three Runners Up were awarded
10,000  Silver  Coins  each, with three Grand Winners receiving certificates
for valuable prizes of equipment!
   /\                                                                \
   \@| This certificate entitles the bearer to ONE of the following:  |
     |                                                                |
     |   1. A permabless on any weapon by a participating merchant.   |
     |   2. An enchantment of +15 by Odds on any item.                |
     |                                                                |
   /@| Congratulations!                                               |
The Grand Winners were...
Rasputin  Santare, KE's Editor who tickled onlookers and judges alike with a
hilarious  rendition  of  former  KE  gossip-monger  Louvella Parsnips.  His
presentation  came  on  the heels of a deadly exploration of Paupers' attic,
from  which  condition  he  had  just been resurrected.  Get a load of those
 You see Rasputin Santare the Half-Elf.  He is holding a libation of iced
 cobra venom in his left hand.  He is wearing a large canvas sack, some
 scuffed black leather boots, some shaalk spurs, a black leather gown with a
 silver studded choker collar, long blood-stained fingernails, a mask
 sporting a large hooked nose with a dagger-shaped wart and horn-rimmed
 glasses and a black porcupine quill hat.
Rasputin exclaims, "Well, gentle readers. We are back. And we are not happy.
What a despicable display of disgusting debauchery!"
Rasputin  says,  "The  highlight  of the evening, other than a certain dark-
haired  cat-lady's  graceful  apple-dunking...  was our untimely death.  Not
surprisingly,  it  occurred  during one of Gallenod's jokes.  We are glad we
were spared the rest of his act."
                                   -=2=-                             More...
Rasputin  says,  "Rest  assured,  we will report this to the Society for the
Preservation  of  Moral  Decency,  just  as soon as we, leave this
happy little village."
Rasputin smiles and brandishes a poison pen.  Hunching over his notebook, he
scribbles  furiously,  causing  smoke  to rise from the dog-eared pages.  He
catches you sneaking a peek and quickly slams the notebook shut!
Lord  Gallenod  Varynesti  verbally attacked nearly every class of Kultheans
during his original presentation, cleverly hiding behind the shield of humor
to escape with his life.  Portions of it follow, to protect the guilty.
 You see Lord Gallenod Varynesti the Half-Elf Ranger.  He is wearing some
 gold rimmed spectacles, a red mail sack, a pair of gloves made from the
 living hide of a firephantom still glimmering with intense flame, a cloak
 formed like a firephantom, swirls and vortexes of flame whirl and rage all
 about the wearer and bright red tongues of fire leap out and a mask in the
 fearsome form of a firephantom, liquid fire gushing outwards glowing
 brightly sheathed in waves of deadly heat.
Gallenod  puts  on  some  fake  glasses  with a bulbous nose and bushy black
moustache attached.
Gallenod exclaims,  "Thank you, thank you.  I just flew in from Blototh, and
boy, are my arms tired!"
Gallenod asks, "What's the difference between an onion and a hobbit?"
Gallenod exclaims, "You cry when you cut up the onion!"
Gallenod asks, "What's the difference between a high man and an elf?"
Gallenod exclaims, "The high man burns longer!"
Gallenod asks, "How do you get two Bards to sing in unison?"
Gallenod exclaims, "Vaporize one of them!"
Gallenod removes a large fake cigar from inside his mail sack.
Gallenod asks, "Why do fighters leave two-handed swords on their horses?"
Gallenod exclaims, "So they can park in handicapped zones!"
Gallenod waves a large fake cigar around.
The inimitable Bugg Hornwort once again mostly pantomimed himself to glory.
 You see Bugg Hornwort the Halfling Cleric.  He is wearing a harlequined
 jester's robe in red, black and yellow, with sleeves that drag upon the
 ground, a golden Kieron medallion and an oversized red-and-white
 polka-dotted ratskin vest that drags upon the ground.
Bugg removes a huge tin badge engraved with the words "SHERRIFF WANNABE"
from inside his ratskin vest.
Bugg puts on a mask that resembles the sneering face of Lord Artuero
Bresnahanini, complete with black eyeguards, sloping forehead, and a flame
red torkaan fleece wig.  Bugg raises an eyebrow.
                                   -=3=-                            More...
Bugg removes a plain gold chest from inside his ratskin vest.
Bugg says, "Got this from the Bent Lands." Bugg taps a plain gold chest.
Bugg removes a rubber pickle from inside his ratskin vest.
(Bugg settles into the difficult task of pickling the lock on a plain gold
Bugg smiles, then...CLICK! It opens! 
Bugg just opened a plain gold chest. 
Bugg yells, "AAAAHHHH!!!!!" 
Bugg drops a plain gold chest. 
Bugg went through the wrought iron gate. [Ed. Note: Moments pass]
Bugg came through the wrought iron gate.  Bugg bows.
Three Great Runners Up!
You  see  Manny  Revilla  the Common Man Thief.  He is holding a libation of
iced cobra venom in his right hand.  He is wearing a pair of fake cockatrice
feet and a cockatrice costume.  
You see Leera Chrystl the Wood Elf.  She is holding a libation of Deathwoode
Tipple  in  her  right  hand.   She is wearing a silver wedding band, a gold
ring,  a  white  silk  backpack, a crystal amulet, a skin tight snow leopard
bodysuit,  a  pair  of white leather hip boots with leopard spots which look
like  the  hindquarters of a cat, some leather gloves with leopard spots and
claws, a snow leopard mask and some snow leopard ears.
You  see  Morgana Fyndrale the Half-Elf.  She is holding a black cat of nine
tails  in  her right hand.  She is wearing a black leather backpack, A black
skin-tight  leather  bodysuit  with  a black tail, a black leather cat mask,
some  black  leather  gloves  with  silver bloodstained claws and some black
leather thigh-high boots with silver bloodstained claws.
Other talented contestants included Gillaume d'Clans in a great black cloak,
the  executioner  Hagar  Redbeard,  Palma  Smyth  with  a fascinating staff,
sinister Erek SnowMane, Unum LUX featuring no specially purchased items, and
Gillian Gisthorn dressed as a puma.
 _________                         Home  
/ \ _____ \                        ~~~~  
\@| ~|_|~ |                    by Simon d'Ker  
  |  |~|  |  
 _|  |~|  |'m  coming home; I see at   I look  on the bench  and  grab some
/@| _|~|_ | once  several   familiar   runes and  leave  a chocolate cookie.
\_/ ~~~~~ / faces.  Town  Square  is   A healer is busy with cuts and welts
  ~~~~~~~~  full, the weather's bad,   and one more  seriously injured. The
the Lord  is selling an  item. Manna   net is calling a cleric to help, and
drops, squirrels go "kerzopp," and a   two more  die just  this  moment. An
newbie  asks a  question.  A whisper   eye  flies 'round; I give it a frown
here, another there,  hugs and grins   and watch as  it zooms  to the exit.
and chuckles.                          A familiar wanders in, a sleek black
                                       cat, requiring a bit of petting.
"Will you open my chest?", gathering
coins,  "Where   did  you  get  that   Counting  coins, an  acorn "boings,"
item?" A  gypsy weird,  a  constable   and  "Where's  the latest marriage?"
feared, a Lord asleep in the corner.   Dragging here, hiding there, singing
Someone rings in, someone rings out,   at an item. A joke, a nudge, a wink,
and someone  is picking your pocket.   a nod, a hug, a dance, a tickle.
A group goes through,  a group  just
left, another is rapidly forming.      Home.
 ___________                    Enchantment True  
/ \ ________\                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ~|_|~~|| |              By Lord Pan True-Silver  
  |  |~|_|~~ |  
 _|  |~|-|__ |  
/@|  |~|__|| |nchantment True,  more   There  are only 4  potions currently
\_/ ~~~~~~~~/ commonly  known as ET,   available for tempering. All of them
  ~~~~~~~~~~ is known by most people   are expensive and  the Mirtok potion
throughout the land  as the spell by   is the  most costly  of all, ranging
which one's armor, weapon or special   WELL over 100,000  silver. Different
item may  be magically  enhanced  in   potions have  different wait periods
either  its  offensive or  defensive   for the  temper to set  in,  ranging
capabilities.                          from  several  hours to over a week,
                                       depending  on the  strength  of  the
While  almost  everyone has heard of   potion  and the current  Plus of the
it, and has at one  time  or another   item.
benefited from its  power,  not many
know  exactly  how it  works.  To my   Once  an item is tempered, it cannot
knowledge, there have been only four   be worn, and if  it is  a weapon  or
mages  in history  to have  acquired   shield, then  its  strength/breakage
the spell: Lord Odds, Lord Lose (now   factor is reduced to 1/1 thus making
gone from the  lands), Lord Whilder,   it  extremely  dangerous to  use  in
and myself.  The  reason for this is   combat.
clear.  In order to  learn  it,  one
must stick  steadfastly  to the Mage   The mage must be careful to not wait
list of  spells, and  bridge  a long   too long after  the  time limit  has
spell gap to  get it.  This takes  a   been  reached, or even worse, trying
great  sacrifice  as the  mage  must   an Enchantment before  the tempering
forego  spells  in the  other  lists   is done. Destruction of the item and
which are greatly beneficial to them   mage may result in a miscalculation.
for hunting and survival.
Before any item can be Et'd, it must    /                                \
first go through a tempering process   | Tempering an item looks like this|
in order to prepare it for the great   | to the mage:                     |
power of the spell. The Potions that   |                                  |
are available at the alchemists  are   | You pour your potion on the hide.|
the only  current means  by which  a   |          (D100(open): 78)        |
mage may attempt to temper  an item.   |                                  |
These potions also determine whether   | The liquid oozes over the surface|
or not an item is a candidate for an   | of  the  hide,  creating a  faint|
enhancement.                           | aura of steam. With a soft cloth,|
                                       | you work the potion in well until|
If an item is not  enchantable, then   | you hear a faint  crackling noise|
the potion will react in  one of two   | coming from  it, and  it  appears|
ways.  Bubbling  and  hissing  means   | faded.  The hide  should be ready|
that some other magic is  on it such   | for more work in about 2 Hours.  |
as  a bless  or  an enhanced crit or   | Round time: 60 sec.              |
damage  capability  which  indicates   |                                  |
that it could  be enchanted if these    \________________________________/
magicks were not on it. A brief glow 
that quickly  fades is an indication 
that the  item  is  not  capable  of   The  item is  now  tempered  and the
being  enchanted.  What we  all hope   waiting period has been reached.  It
to see instead, is the potion oozing   is  time for  phase  two, the actual
over the item and joining  with it's   casting  of the  spell in an attempt
structure.  When  this  happens, the   to enhance it.
mage  quickly rubs it in and presto,
the item is tempered!                  Various  factors come into play when
                                   -=5=-                            More...
the actual  Spell is  cast upon  the     ________________________________
item.  These factors are:               /                                \
                                       | Or (hopefully not) this: Injury  |
1. The  location:  Some  sites  give   | and loss of all power points.    |
better chances  of success.  Best of   |                                  |
all is the  private workshop if  the   |   You gesture at an eog sword.   |
mage is lucky enough to have one.      |          (D100(open): 14)        |
                                       |                                  |
2. The item itself:  If it has magic   | You concentrate on casting your  |
already  on it,  then the  mage will   | magicks at the sword. Suddenly,  |
not  recognize it  and  the odds  of   | a  blue flame  erupts from  the  |
success are much lower. This is true   | sword  and  strikes  you  down!  |
for  the first  attempt only.  After   | Knocked down by  fiery blast to  |
the first  attempt,  the  mage  then   | left leg.  Extra 10  concussion  |
forever  recognizes the item  unless   | points of damage.                |
another mage tempers it with potion.   | You are stunned!                 |
3. The potion  applied:  The greater
the  strength (and the cost) of  the     ________________________________
potion, the  better the  chances for    /                                \
success.                               | Or (even worse) this:  A Loss of |
                                       | Enchantment, reduced by 5.       |
4. The  power of  the  mage:  As the   |                                  |
mage  advances in level, so does the   | You  recognize the leather from  |
potency of his spell.                  | when you  worked on it  before.  |
                                       | It currently has a bonus of +5.  |
5. The roll of the dice: This is the   | As you  concentrate  on casting  |
bottom line  determining  factor  of   | your  magicks  upon  it,  faint  |
success/failure.  A  high roll  will   | sparkles surround and embed the  |
certainly guarantee victory, while a   | leather but then begin to pulse  |
low  roll could  result  in no gain,   | strangely. The structure of the  |
loss of potency, cursing of the item   | leather  is in a  state between  |
(by  which it is blackened  and also   | normality and magic pliability,  |
reduced  to a -5 bonus), or worst of   | and begins to warp and crackle!  |
all, the destruction of the item and   | Hurriedly, you struggle and try  |
(or) the mage. Fortunately, most  of   | to withdraw or dispel the magic  |
the time there is  either no gain or   | from the  leather.  You finally  |
enhancement.                           | succeed and manage to force the  |
                                       | leather  to keep  its form, but  |
  ________________________________     | it  feels weaker somehow  after  |
 /                                \    | its ordeal.                      |
| Casting the spell looks like this|    \________________________________/
| to the mage:                     |
|                                  |     ________________________________
|            Failure               |    /                                \
|                                  |   | Or (Worst of all) : Destruction  |
|  You gesture at some heavy hide  |   | of the item.                     |
|        (D100(open): 62)          |   |                                  |
|                                  |   |  You gesture at some heavy hide. |
|  You concentrate on casting the  |   |          (D100(open): 28)        |
|  magicks  at  the  hide.  Faint  |   |                                  |
|  sparkles surround and embed it  |   | The  hide  shakes  violently and |
|  and  try  to  bond  with   its  |   | blossoms into an intense ball of |
|  structure.  Something  is  not  |   | white flame, which then explodes |
|  quite  right  though,  and the  |   | in a shower of sparks!  The hide |
|  sparkles fade.                  |   | burns to a crisp and disappears, |
|                                  |   | right before your eyes.          |
 \________________________________/     \________________________________/
                                                       (Continued Page 9)
 ____________            Justice in Medieval Society  
/ \ ________ \           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ~|~|~~|| |               by Geoff Stonehand  
  |  |~|_ ~~ |  
 _|  |~|-|   |  
/@|  |~|     |rom  time to  time  in   would tend to put it into the 900 to
\_/ ~~~~~    /the  town of Kelfour's   1200 A.D. range, which appears to be
  ~~~~~~~~~~~ Landing justice -- or    based mostly upon Anglo/Saxon/Norman
lack  thereof -- is a topic of heavy   society.  This  was based  upon  the
conversation which  often transcends   types  of weapons,  armor, clothing,
roleplaying, usually resulting in  a   et cetera, which is available to the
great  amount  of  Out Of  Character   adventurers  in  the Landing.  It is
comments and actions. In a review of   the availability of  these goods  to
material from  my library, so  as to   all of the  participants, which thus
give  Geoff  the  proper  attitudes,   places them above the  rank  of mere
superstitions and background for the   peasants.
time  period and  the  culture  from
which he  came,  I have  produced  a   Peasants, were very rarely given the
brief summary of that material as it   opportunity  to obtain  the  weapons
relates to justice, behavior, and to   and armor which are easily available
Lords  and Ladies (I will trust that   to  anyone in the  Landing  with the
no offense  is taken if  I hereafter   necessary coin.  This suggested that
use  the term  Lord  as a genderless   there were a great many  adventurers
term).  This is  offered as a  basis   which were  of noble  birth,  or  at
for further debate and comment,  and   least a freeman  from a very wealthy
as a perspective on some  additional   family.  Everyone in theory  has the
roleplaying.                           chance to become a Lord.
When a certain adventurer decided to   The Medieval Lords were the absolute
take justice into (his) own hands in   masters of the  geographical area in
regards to  some petty thievery, the   which  they owned  or managed  for a
administration  of justice  resulted   higher Lord. They answered only to a
in the unintended death of the young   higher political personage such as a
thief.  This  also resulted  in  the   King or sometimes  grudgingly to the
ostracizing of the older  adventurer   high Clerical Lords.  Not having the
by  the clerics and  healers of  the   chance for  resurrection was  a very
land.  It was a disappointment to me   serious matter in  those days, as is
when the  adventurer  chose to leave   now in Kelfour's,  and it would be a
the lands (although I am glad to see   rare Lord who would openly  defy any
close  relations  of the  adventurer   high level cleric.
have  returned to the  Landing).  An
excellent opportunity for  fantastic   Lords many times were either knights
roleplaying was lost.  Although  the   or  warriors which  had  excelled in
adventurer  may have had  additional   battle and often times had  held the
reasons  for choosing  to leave  the   land and their position by virtue of
Landing, (his)  original actions, as   their  fighting abilities  and their
well  as  the actions  of the  other   ruthlessness towards enemies. Celtic
adventurers,  were not uncharacter-    traditions almost  always  had their
istic of medieval society.             holy  men  and women as  an integral
                                       part of the warfare and, indeed, the
Our small  society within  Kelfour's   mace accompanied a great many of the
Landing  has some of  the aspects of   clerics on to the battle field.
an actual medieval village, and some
very important differences. The main   Many times the great holdings of the
difference is  the distinct lack  of   clerical  community were  won on the
peasants, which were a large part of   battle field rather than from piety.
the time period. If I gave Kelfour's   The Bill of  Rights grows out of the
Landing a comparative time  frame in   medieval time period, but it did not
regards to the  actual  Dark Ages, I   exist  at that time.  Even the young
                                   -=7=-                            More...
nobles were subservient to the Lord,   this time  period,  was the 'hue and
and it was recorded that even simple   cry'.  Where upon observing or being
rudeness was on  occasion dealt with   the victim of a crime, a hue and cry
great severity.                        was raised, which  required everyone
                                       in earshot to  stop what  they  were
In  a text from the  time period,  a   doing and render aid.  To not render
medieval author suggested that there   aid when the hue and cry was raised,
was a fine line between a Lord and a   often  times  resulted  in  a  heavy
Tyrant. The Lord was responsible for   fine.  Similarly,  raising a hue and
those  individuals  under  his care.   cry without provocation  resulted in
Many Lords  and heads  of clans were   a fine.
forcibly removed from their position
when they  had transgressed too much   There  is a bit of justice prevalent
against the peoples  over which they   in Kelfour's Landing in that certain
had been Lords.                        crimes committed in the Landing will
                                       result in the town constable hauling
Justice  in that  time period  shows   the guilty  party off to  jail and a
the  roots of what eventually became   fine being assessed.  This, however,
modern legal traditions.  Many court   does not  cover  all the  injustices
documents of the time period gave us   which sometimes occur,  and does not
interesting  insight into  different   really  require much  in the way  of
aspects of medieval justice.           roleplaying.
In  some of the villages it had been   How much more  interesting  it would
recorded that at least twice  a year   have  been if our  errant adventurer
a Hallmote was held  so that various   had  accidentally  killed an accused
crimes and many other transgressions   thief, was brought before a group of
could be  handled.  Usually presided   his peers or a council of Lords, and
over by a Lord or his designate, the   required to pay a  heavy fine to the
cases handled  ranged anywhere  from   injured party  and perhaps  required
petty theft to slander. A great many   to  do a penance before  the clerics
times the  punishment was a fine or,   would again help him.
in the cases of crimes that involved
clerical matters, penance might have   On the other hand, I have seen Lords
been required in the  form of a deed   and Ladies so rudely  treated that I
or work.                               was  tempted to  administer  a sound
                                       thrashing myself because I found the
More serious crimes  were handled at   behavior offensive.  From all that I
the higher  levels and almost always   could  glean  from my texts, failure
involved the Lord or group  of Lords   to  show proper respect,  or failure
for  a  decision.  In the  Hallmote,   to use proper manner when addressing
although presided over by a Lord  or   a Lord,  could result in  banishment
his designate, the judges were peers   at the least and death at the most.
of  the  accused  (often  twelve  in
number, but sometimes as few as 6).    Conflicts in Kelfour's Landing among
                                       adventurers  will  be rare, and this
In the case of a perceived injustice   would  be the  case  in  a  medieval
committed by a Lord against a lesser   fortified town which is often  beset
the injured  party had  the right to   by a rather varied force of nasties.
sue the  Lord through the  Hallmote.   Landing  inhabitants, for  their own
In as much as winning a case against   preservation,   help each other, and
a Lord  could be  detrimental  after   cooperation is often demonstrated.
this was a rare occurrence. The more
serious offenses  committed by Lords   Adventurers  who  have  reached  the
were many times handled by groups of   level  of Lord are not immune  to an
higher level lords, or  higher level   occasional death.  Even  one of  the
clerics.                               more  cruel  Lords  in  Kelfour's is
                                       rather mellow  when compared to some
An interesting  aspect of justice in   of the beasties outside of the town.
                                   -=8=-                            More...
Conflicts have occurred  and offered   as compared  to the English medieval
some interesting  possibilities  for   traditions) and incidentally, Henryk
roleplaying.                           Siendkiewicz was  the author of "Quo
I  hope this  brief  discourse  will
help  to  give fellow adventurers  a   "The Horse Goddess" Morgan Llywelyn,
historical  perspective on  handling   Houghton-Mifflin 1992, Keltic tribes
the conflicts within the confines of   of 8th Century B.C.
their characters.
                                       "Bard - Odyssey of the Irish" Morgan
The following bibliography represent   Llywelyn,  Houghton - Mifflin, 1984,
some of  the more  easily obtainable   more  of the  Keltic  wanderings 4th
texts from  my personal  library, of   Century B.C.
which  those  who  are  so  inclined
should be  able  to find at a  local   This dissertation  was submitted for
bookstore or local library.            the author by  Geoff  Stonehand,  in
                                       the  hopes  that it  will  stimulate
"Life in a Medieval Village : 1066 -   some roleplaying  and  provide  some
1485."   Frances  and  Joseph Giles,   reference  material for the medieval
Harper & Row, 1990                     time period.
"Life in a Medieval Castle", Frances   ____________________________________
and Joseph Giles, Harper & Row, 1974
                                          Enchantment True - from page 6
"In  Search  of  the  Dark  Ages, to   ____________________________________
1066"  Michael  Wood, Facts on  File
Publications, 1987                       ________________________________
                                        /                                \
"Portable Medieval Reader" Edited by   |  Or success! (Yay!)              |
James  Bruce  Ross and  Mary  Martin   |                                  |
McLaughlin, Penguin Books, 1977 (the   |  You gesture at some heavy hide. |
actual texts from the time period)     |         (D100(open): 77)         |
                                       |                                  |
"A World Lit Only by Fire - Medieval   | You recognize the hide from when |
Mind  and the  Renaissance" William    | you  worked  on  it  before.  It |
Manchester, Little  Brown & Company,   | currently has a bonus of +5.  As |
1992-93                                | you concentrate on  casting your |
                                       | magicks  at it,  faint  sparkles |
"A  Distant  Mirror - the calamitous   | surround and embed the hide, and |
14th  Century"  Barbara  W. Tuchman,   | join  themselves  to  its   very |
Ballantine Books, 1978                 | structure.  The  sparkles  pulse |
                                       | brighter, and in unison.  A very |
"Warlords and HolyMen-Scotland  A.D.   | bright  aura suddenly  surrounds |
80-1000" Alfred  P. Smyth, Edinburgh   | the  hide and  seems to  consume |
University Press, 1984                 | it!  After  a  moment  the  glow |
                                       | fades and then the  hide returns |
"The  Celts - Uncovering  Mythic and   | to normal.  The enchantment  was |
Historic Origins of Western Culture"   | successful.                      |
Jean Markale, Inner Traditions, 1993   | Round time: 20 sec.              |
Fiction based on historical research
"With  Fire  and  Sword"  by  Henryk   I hope this  writing clears  up some
Sienkiewicz 1883, and translated  by   of  the misconceptions of one of the
W. S. Kunizcak, 1991 (the setting is   greatest and most  mysterious spells
16 - 17th Century  Polish-Lithuanian   in Kulthea.  May the Gods  bless you
Commonwealth,  representing  the end   all!
of  the  medieval  time  period, and            ****************
gives a different picture of justice
                       A Matter of Honor (Part VI)  
                             by Sean2 Lladd  
 / \                      Cast  of  Characters                             \
| @/_______________________________________________________________________/
|                                                                        |
|               Sean - Fighter, Mercenary (Junior Journeyman Class),     |
|                      Our Hero                                          |
|              Mikel - Guild Receptionist, Fighter, Mercenary            |
|                      (Master Class)                                    |
|              Oskar - Guild Mage, Mercenary (Master Class)              |
|         Theophilus - Guild Healer, Mercenary (Master Class)            |
|            Torvaal - Captain "Torvaal's Weasels", Mercenary            |
|             Miktok - Mage, Mercenary (Senior Journeyman Class)         |
|   The T'Maerionnal - Sean's Maternal Grandfather, Elf Lord,            |
|                      Mage/Sorcerer (Master Class)                      |
|     Callinthaerion - Weapons Master and Guard Captain for House        |
| O'lun T'Maerionnal   T'Maerionnal                                      |
|            Lyrinda - Guild Healer, Mercenary (Senior Apprentice Class) |
|  Grandmother Nolly - Sean's Nurse/Housekeeper, (Mage?)                 |
|                                                                        |
|  _____________                                                         |
| / \ _________ \ he story so far:  Our hero,  Sean 'tek T'Maerionnal, a |
| \@| ||=|=|=|| |  half-elven mercenary, reported to the local mercenary |
|   | ~~ |_| ~~ |  guild  chapter  to press charges against  his company |
|  _|    |_|    |  commander.  When asked to state his true name, he was |
| /@|   _|_|_   |  incapacitated by an elvish name curse placed upon him |
| \_/__________/   by his maternal grandfather.                          |
|                                                                        |
| After nullifying  most of the  curse, the resident  guild mage  placed |
| Sean into a spell - enhanced rapport with a  memory recording crystal. |
| Sean's memories and past experiences were recorded. Upon completion of |
| the trance, the mage was attacked by a demon lord, supposedly sent by  |
| Sean's grandfather. The mage banished the demon and all returned to    |
| normal.                                                                |
|                                                                        |
| It is now a few hours later, after Sean "reviewed" the crystal.        |
|                                                                        |
| @\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\
|   |                       The  story  continues ...                      |
"Well," asked  the  healer  quietly.   my life as naught; but  the lives of
"What do you think?"                   two innocent  lovers, one  destroyed
                                       by  his  refusal  to  help, and  the
Truthfully, I  didn't  know  how  to   other by his  machinations--this was
answer.  All the  things I had done,   a debt  that required  settlement. I
the lies I  had told, the "truths" I   silently swore to pay it in full.
had believed for the last ten years,
seemed for naught, a facade  created   I could not tell  how I knew that my
to foster an  old man's hatred and a   grandfather had caused my parents to
mercenary's greed.                     die, or  how I knew of the manner of
                                       their deaths.  The  information  fit
Of the  two,  I hated  the  old  man   with my  other new-found "memories;"
more. Not only did  his hatred twist   I accepted the knowledge as fact.
my  life, but  possibly my  parents'
deaths could be laid at his feet. In   I looked up at the group surrounding
my confusion and  anguish, I counted   me. The healer,  whom I had jokingly
called a man-mountain, stood  to one   of the charges laid by Torvaal. This
side, the  concern and compassion he   was all I wanted  to do. My "appren-
felt  obvious. Every  healer  I have   ticeship" with Torvaal was over, and
ever known has been honest and  car-   I hoped to  be able to join  another
ing, and I  expected Theo  to be the   company at the same time. The rest--
same. It's why  Torvaal never  had a   sword, lies, my  grandfather's  part
healer in  his company; they are too   in  it  all, these  things I  had no
honest by half for his "tastes."       knowledge of. I swear."
Mikel: a one - armed man  carrying a   "Well," Mikel said thoughtfully, "as
sword. His  presence was comfortable   for Torvaal, the guild, knowing him,
and familiar, but for no reason that   never  accepted his  story. But they
I could  recall.  The  sight  of him   have been unable to find evidence to
carrying a  hand-and-a-half  was  as   contravene his testimony, until now.
incongruous as I had  ever seen, but
the sword  made it even more so. The   "And," he  added with a smile, "That
sword  flickered at the corner of my   is probably why the guild  has taken
eyes whenever  he  shifted  and  was   so long to come to a  final decision
difficult  to look  at directly.  He   on the guild-fine.
searched my eyes, and then he nodded
in  approval, as if  he  knew what I   "We can  take that testimony later,"
had resolved.                          he continued.  "Right now we need to
                                       get that  sword before  Torvaal  and
The mage  watched me as if I were an   Miktok can disappear with it."
experiment that  might  yield inter-
esting results. His face was a stone   "I don't  think that  will  happen,"
wall and ceded about  as much infor-   said Oskar, with a mischievous grin.
mation. The  healer's apprentice was
no - one that I knew; she  would not   Theo raised  an eyebrow  in  Oskar's
look at me  and seemed uncomfortable   direction, and Mikel  shook his head
in my presence.                        and smiled. That seemed to leave the
                                       question  to  me.  "How do you  know
I knew that I owed  these  people an   that?" I asked.
answer, but I was unable to  come up
with a coherent response. That I had   Oskar gave me a tight grin. "I--ah--
come to this place to  file  charges   shall  we say, "arranged" it so that
against my  commander, this they all   the sword  in  question will be  un-
knew. That the answers I had "found"   available to anyone save myself. For
were not  what I expected -- perhaps   at least the next full day.
this they didn't know.  But what  to
tell them?  And how? Maybe the truth   "And how did I do that?" he went on,
would be best.                         raising a  finger to  forestall  me.
                                       "How? That's for me to know--and why
"I  never  expected  this,"  I said,   I am a Master Mage."
pointing at  the crystal  in Oskar's
hands.  "My only thought was to cor-   Mikel gave an  explosive  snort  and
rect a wrong  that I was aware of. I   winged  the  nearest  pillow  at the
did NOT expect to find that the past   mage. Oskar gestured quickly and the
ten years  of my life had been based   pillow stopped in mid-air. Theo made
on lies."                              a grab for  the hovering pillow, but
                                       it  evaded him  easily  and  floated
My words came  slowly. I think I was   around the room. The fighter and the
trying to  explain  it to  myself as   mage  collapsed in  laughter  at the
well  as to the others. They  waited   look on Theo's face, while I watched
quietly while  I sorted out my feel-   amazed. He  glared at  them in exas-
ings and thoughts.                     peration and then he too laughed.
"When I  came in  to file charges, I   I shook  my head in  wonderment that
planned to  clear the Armont Company   these  masters  of their  respective
crafts could act so child - like and   consolation, you  can say  that  you
foolish,  given  the  circumstances.   had four  master-class guild members
Mikel caught my look and laughed the   as personal servants."
harder, pointing a shaking finger in
my direction. Then the  others began   "Oh," I  replied. "That's  right. If
to laugh  all over again. The laugh-   no-one else  can enter, and we can't
ter was so  infectious  that I, too,   leave...
began to laugh--at them, at  myself,
at the  poor  apprentice healer, who   "But that  still doesn't explain why
was blushing and trying hard to fig-   I, er-r  we, have to remain here," I
ure out why we were all laughing.      persisted. "And  why does  the  room
                                       have to be warded at all?"
After some minutes of near-hysteria,
we began  to catch our breath. Mikel   "As to the why part," replied Oskar,
wiped  tears  from  his  eyes, while   "Theo and I have to add  some testi-
Theo and  Oskar both  held a hand to   mony to  the crystal anyway, so I'll
their  sides. It was another span of   link  you up as a  monitor and  then
minutes before we could breathe eas-   you will know why."
ily enough  to attempt conversation.
And all the while, the errant pillow   "Now?" asked the healer.
floated around  the infirmary like a
small, lost cloud.                     "It'll make the lad feel better--and
                                       it would be a good precaution."
Oskar, casting a mocking  eye at the
healer,  mumbled an  incantation and   "I take  your meaning," came  Theo's
the pillow floated to a  point above   quiet reply.
Theo. It hovered, then dropped into
the healer's lap. He watched it war-   "As Oskar  has already briefed  me,"
ily, as if it  were some temporarily   Mikel said laconically, "I'll finish
quiescent  creature that might  turn   arrangements  with  the master,  get
on him any second. He poked a tenta-   additional duty  personnel assigned,
tive  hand at it. When  nothing more   and  do  whatever else  needs  doing
happened,  he grabbed it quickly and   before we pay Torvaal a visit.
placed it next to him on the cot.
                                       "Is  there anything  you  want  from
"Well,"  I   said   as   calmly   as   your room, brother?" he added, turn-
possible. "If  the sword's not going   ing to the mage.
anywhere, when do we go get it?"
                                       "Yes, get  my pack off the wall over
Mikel looked me over  and said, "We?   my bed and the rosewood staff in the
There is  no 'we' as far  as  you're   corner, the  one I  got as  a reward
concerned. Theo, Oskar and I will go   from the Duchess of Cathmoor."
for  the sword. You and  Lyrinda are
keeping each  other company  in this   At Theo's  raised eyebrow,  the mage
room for the next two or three days,   blushed and said frostily, "It was a
possibly longer."                      legitimate guild contract!" The mage
                                       stared at the  healer  as if  daring
"WHAT!?!"                              him  to  say anything more. Then  he
                                       turned back to  Mikel  and  snapped,
"That's  right.  Oskar modified  the   "If you're leaving, leave! And Theo,
door wards so that only  four speci-   check  the wards and be  prepared to
fic people can pass..."                monitor for us."
"And that's at least two more than I   "But, master  Oskar, I can monitor,"
feel comfortable  with," interjected   interjected Lyrinda.
the mage.
                                       "No, girl,  not this time. If Sean's
"...and  you are  NOT one  of them,"   grandfather has another trick up his
continued the  fighter. "If it's any   sleeve like the  last one, you would
not last ten seconds. It'll take all   At the very end, as the demon disap-
of your master's skill  and power to   peared into  the summoned  blackness
hold  long enough  for me to come to   leaving only its tail behind, I felt
his aid.  Believe me, it's  no deni-   the mage's joy.
gration of  your skills, but concern
for your well-being."                  There was disorientation as the link
                                       dissolved and I found myself back in
Mikel had already left the room with   my  own head and  body. I panted, so
a brief  salute to  me, so there was   wrapped up in  what I had been "see-
nothing to do  but comply  with  the   ing"  that I'd forgotten to breathe.
mage's instructions. The first thing
Oskar did while  Theo settled into a   As I  recovered, I watched  the mage
trance was  to reinforce the reading   work with  Theo to  link  the master
spell he had cast on me earlier.       healer's testimony into the crystal.
                                       I was still  trying to reconcile the
He then closed his eyes and held the   power and strength I had  seen while
crystal out in front of him while he   linked to the  mage's mind  with the
chanted a brief incantation. I saw a   fragile  and weak-looking individual
slender  green beam  shoot from  the   sitting by me. Never  again  would I
mage's forehead to the crystal. With   let appearances rule my perceptions.
another flash of green, I was watch-
ing the world through  Oskar's eyes.   Evidently my  thoughts were plain on
I saw immediately the knowledge and    my face,  for after  finishing  with
wisdom stored  in his mind like the    the  healer and muttering a spell to
drawers and cubbyholes in a desk.      re-seal  the crystal,  Oskar glanced
                                       at me and smiled strangely.
When I  recovered my  equilibrium, I
noticed that a swarm of blue spheres   "Some day," he  said,  wrapping  the
surrounded "us," buzzing like angry    crystal  in  a piece of  green silk,
hornets. "Ganzer's Malignant Wisps,"   "you  will do with a sword what I do
the  mage's  mind  identified  them,   with my magic. If you live so long,"
with a comment  about  Miktok that I   he added with a wink. "Speaking of
didn't quite catch through the link.   swords, I see that Mikel is ready to
I could  see  lines  of  power--red,   go after that sword your grandfather
blue, and black, and some that were    gifted you with."
colors I had  no names for. I knew,
however, from the mage's mind, that    "Yep," laughed the fighter. "This is
these were all spells that  existed    going to  be the  most fun  I've had
in the room.                           all month. So, if you all are ready,
                                       let's get it done!
I caught my breath as a set of large
talons formed in the weave of spells   "Sean and  Lyrinda, the  master will
before me. I felt panic, but Oskar's   bring your lunch in a little  while.
mind got more focused and precise. I   Try to behave in the meantime."
"listened" in awe as he reviewed and
discarded  spells and variants, cast   Lyrinda  flushed. She glanced  at me
to  reinforce  the  door  ward, cast   and smiled and turned even redder. I
again to  negate the wisps -- all at   looked  back to speak to  Mikel--and
nearly  the same  time  and  without   they were  gone. I didn't even  hear
any strain. He actually enjoyed it!    the door shut. When I turned back to
                                       Lyrinda, she was headed  for the far
Finally, he  controlled  five spells   end  of the room,  straightening out
that  I could  see via the  linkage,   blankets and  pillows  as she  went.
probably more. I felt him draw power   That left me with myself.
from a source indecipherable  to me,
and in immense quantities. The noise   How come nothing ever turns out like
generated by the demon-thing trapped   you planned it?
in  the spells  was tremendous,  but
Oskar's concentration  never failed.            (to be continued)
 _____________   Live by the Sword (and the Mace and the Axe...)  
/ \ _________ \  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ||=|=|=|| |               by Gildas Laogh  
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |  
 _|    |_|    |  
/@|   _|_|_   | he  fighter   class,   I'll call you Crusher, okay?  Now, a
\_/__________/  well  known for  its   source I can't mention tells me that
two-fisted,  hard-headed, devil-may-   you fighters are stupid. Is it true?
care style, is the chosen profession
of many  of the inhabitants  of Kel-   Crusher: <Roar> No! We're not nearly
four's Landing. I sought  a specimen   that smart!
of this  fine class  for a  personal
interview and accompanied him during   GL: I am  told that  you folks  will
a day's adventure, an experience  by   smash anything you see.
which I hoped  to gain  insight into
the  risks and rewards of this noble   Crusher: Wrong! We're just like nor-
profession. I did this also  because   mal  people.  We  smash  anything we
I drew  the short straw at the Jour-   don't understand.
nalists' Guild meeting.
                                       GL: I see. And that is...
GL: Good morning to you! I'm Gildas,
and what's your name?                  Crusher: Right. ALMOST anything.
Fighter: <Silence>                     GL: Acquaintances have  told me that
                                       fighters are so distrustful of magic
GL: <A bit louder> What's your name?   that  <laughs heartily> even hearing
                                       the word "magic" can throw them into
Fighter: <Silence>                     a murderous rage. But that must just
                                       be rumor, right?
GL: I say, are you deaf?
At this point, your  Courageous Cor-   Crusher: grrrrRRRRROOOARRRR! <BANG!>
respondent  discovered  that  he had   <CRUNCH!> <SMASH!>
been addressing  the fighter's knee-
cap and  craned his  neck  upward to   After the  interpreter  enlisted the
restart the interview.                 aid  of local  clerics and  healers,
                                       your  Indomitable   Interviewer  was
GL: Good morning! How are you?         prepared to carry on his task.
Fighter: URG.                          GL: Good thing I had deeds. Well, it
                                       is certainly true that  you fighters
GL: That's  nice.  What's your name,   are  highly skilled  in the physical
and where do you come from?            arts, masters  of all  weapons,  and
                                       technicians  who  know  exactly  how
Fighter: GRRMPH-THRZEK. <ROAR!>        much to parry in a battle.
After a  short  break  to obtain  an
interpreter  skilled  in  Grunt, the   Crusher: What's  that "parry" stuff?
interview continued.                   Is  that one  of  them  there  MAGIC
                                       thingies?  <Bangs  his  morningstar,
GL: So, your name is...?               of a  size to cause  solar  eclipses
                                       when  thrown  into  the air, on  the
Fighter: <Silence>                     pavement - causing major  structural
                                       damage to seven nearby buildings.>
Interpreter:  Are  you  sure  you're
licensed? He's not responding.         GL: <Nervous laugh>  NoNoNoNotatall!
Fighter: My  name?   Hold  on,  I'll   And  that, I believe, concludes  our
remember it soon.                      interview.  Next, we follow  Crusher
                                       through a normal day of adventuring.
GL: Let's get on with the interview.             *     *     *
11:04 AM: Crusher  wakes  up  when a   ter, of the firm Shyster, Feinprint,
hobbit in a pointy hat with stars on   Neusance,  an'  Oyance.  Mr. Shyster
it miscasts a Lightning  Bolt, which   informs  Crusher, in seven  thousand
turns  Crusher's head into a smoking   four  hundred  sixty-two words, none
gelatinous mass. For a fighter, this   of which is smaller than eleven let-
is a minor wound, but Crusher blinks   ters, that he represents the bakery,
and hesitates for a moment.            and that unless the aforesaid micro-
                                       cephaphalic  barbarian  unreservedly
11:05 AM: Crusher enjoys a breakfast   contractualizes  commitment  to  pay
of sliced fresh hobbit.                11,000,000  silvers damages, as well
                                       as  paying full price for  the 7,485
11:31 AM:  Crusher begins the  daily   chocolate chip cookies,  wafers, and
hunt by killing something.             biscuits  which  said barbarian con-
                                       sumed,  ingested, and  devoured, the
11:32 AM:  Crusher  kills  something   party of  the  barbaric  first  part
again.                                 would be subject  to legal action to
                                       recover  said  damages,  plus  court
11:33 AM: . . .                        costs, legal fees, and bribe monies,
                                       in  addition to  additional possible
1:22 PM:  Crusher is  angered when a   civil and criminal--
lumberjack  fells a 145' tree, which
lands on Crusher's  head. He ponders   6:58 PM: Crusher indulges his culin-
what to do about this insult.          ary fantasies  by preparing  Shyster
                                       Sushi and enjoying a light snack.
2:14 PM:  Crusher  decides  to thank
the lumberjack for a  nifty new bump   7:03 PM:  Crusher gets indigestion.
on his head.
                                       7:05 PM:  Crusher kills something.
2:15 PM: Crusher forgets what he was
about to do and kills something.       7:06 PM: . . .
2:17 PM: Crusher kills another one.    1:17 AM:  In  a  rare  contemplative
                                       mood,  Crusher is pondering the won-
3:49 PM:  Crusher eats a late lunch.   derful patterns created  by pounding
In a good mood,  he promises to  pay   one boulder  into another and smash-
for the torkaan flock he ate.          ing them both to bits,  when another
                                       man  in a  funny  suit turns  up and
4:32 PM:  Crusher kills something.     tells  Crusher  that   his  name  is
                                       C.  Vic  Neusance, of the firm Fein-
4:33 PM: . . .                         print,   Neusance,  an' Oyance,  and
                                       that unless--
6:28 PM:  Back in town, Crusher gets
into  what  may be  the melee of his   1:18 AM:  Still  in a  mellow  mood,
life! Minutes and minutes go by, and   Crusher tells  Mr. Neusance  that he
he can't even stun his opponent!       has to a  count of three to scram or
                                       be pounded into silly-putty.
6:48 PM:  The Town Constable timidly
informs  Crusher  that  he has  been   1:19 AM:  As  Mr.  Neusance  hastily
attacking the  revolving door of the   remembers a court date, Crusher con-
bakery for twenty  minutes  now, and   tinues trying to remember what comes
that it is likely dead.                after the number "one".
6:52 PM:  Unable to find the  bakery   1:20 AM: . . .
exit, Crusher creates one.
                                       2:04 AM: Crusher  falls  asleep. At
6:57 PM:  Crusher  is accosted  by a   about  this  time,  your Captivating
man in a funny dark suit who carries   Chronicler remembers  that  he has a
a squarish  satchel.  The man  tells   deadline  he must  meet and that  he
Crusher  his name is Larsen E. Shys-   should be going.
                                   -=15=-               (Continued Page 17)
 ______________      From the Notes of The Apprentice Mage  
/ \ ____  ____ \     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ~| |  | |~ |              by Darkraven Grim  
  |  |~|--|~|  |  
 _|  |~|--|~|  |  
/@| _|~|  |~|_ |erein my young Mages   gain in years  this  time is reduced
\_/ ~~~~  ~~~~ /may ye find the path   to five seconds.  At my tender age I
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ to power. As I study   do  not  know if it is reduced  even
the spells of power from my master's   further than  that,  but  I  eagerly
tome and  use such power out in  the   watch and learn.  You will know when
wilds, I shall  gladly  impart to ye   your spell is ready. You can prepare
what I hath found.                     your spell while  defending at parry
                                       100, a good idea.
Herewith  follow  the  notes  of  my
first year as Apprentice Mage and of   Casting:  You must  cast your  spell
the  first incantation  I learned to   soon,  for the power will  dissipate
use.                                   and feed upon your manna even if you
                                       do not cast  the spell; then it must
        The Shockbolt Spell            be prepped again.  To cast the spell
Your first and most valuable  spell.   you simply use the command Cast.  Be
Here first is what is told (not much   careful however as this command will
alas) in the ancient tomes under the   cast the spell at yourself. The more
mages list.                            effective way to cast would be CAST
                                       AT <target>.  For example,  CAST AT
 _________________________________     KOBOLD or CAST AT HOB.
/ \                               \
\@| 1 Shock Bolt  (901)  SHOCKBOLT |   The spell  uses the Directed  Skill;
  |                                |   this skill is also  affected by your
  |  A bolt of  intense,  charged  |   parry. Therefore, the spell  is much
  |  light is shot from the  palm  |   like a weapon in the tactics you use
  |  of  the caster;  results are  |   and much  better than a  weapon, for
  |  determined on the Shock Bolt  |   there is no round time in the actual
  |  Table.  This is an elemental  |   casting of the spell. Think on it my
  |  attack spell  and  uses  the  |   young Mages. You  can  Parry 0, Cast
  |  Directed  Spells  skill  for  |   at  Hobgoblin  and  parry  100  with
  |  aiming.                       |   hardly  a breath in between, leaving
  |                                |   yourself defenseless for a second or
  |  Notes:                        |   two. Even those quicker Monsters who
  |  Shock  bolts  are  inversely  |   may not be parry-tagged can be spell
  |  affected  by armor,  meaning  |   tagged!
  |  that wearing any plate armor  |
  |  would leave  you defenseless  |   The Result:  Here again  is the main
  |  if struck by a shock bolt.    |   advantage  of  the shock bolt  spell
  | _______________________________|   over most weapons.  You will hear of
  |@\                              \   the spell power against metal armors
   \/______________________________/   and I too will speak of that.  I  do
                                       wish however, to point out something
Little  this treatise  tells  of the   of import.  The shockbolt spell hits
true nature of the spell. This spell   Heavy  Hide easier  than a falchion!
will become the  staple of  all your   Not only that but you can only train
attack spells,  the one to which all   once per level  in the skill of One-
others are compared.  Let us examine   Handed Weapons and twice in Directed
it in detail.                          Spells. Therefore, your OB  for  the
                                       casting of the spell is greater than
Preparation:  The  spell  (as in all   that  of your weapon skill,  if thou
spells) must be prepared. "Prep 901"   art properly trained.
--this initiates the spell and takes
time to do. Young Mages will require   Here follows the  Table of the Shock
ten seconds to achieve this.  As you   bolt spell.
                                   -=16=-                           More...
/ \                               \    counterattack.  
\@|   None      L.Hide     H.Hide  |  
  |  65(08)     70(07)     77(06)  |   Heavy Charge (3 rounds):  Now is the
  |                                |   time to attack twice, 3 times if you
  |  L.Brea     R.Mail     C.Haub  |   feel lucky.
  |  75(04)     81(12)     05(13)  | 
  |                                |   Higher stuns:  The stuns higher than
  |  M.Brea     H.Plate    F.Plate |   these run from 5 to 20 rounds. These
  |  -24(14)     -36(15)   -41(16) |   should  give you  plenty  of time to
  |                                |   finish off  any reasonable creature.
  | The first number is the To Hit |   The  one exception  is the blow that
  | requirement. The second is the |   knocks him  down and stuns him for 3
  | damage that is  inflicted with |   rounds. Even though the stun is only
  | a modified roll of 120.        |   3 rounds, its DB on the ground while
  | _______________________________|   stunned  is so low  that it  becomes
  |@\                              \   an easy target.
                                       Finally we should speak of manna --
As  you can  see, the  rolls for the   more commonly known as Power Points.
Shock bolt spell  are easier to  hit   The cost in manna is only  1 for the
(with  a few  exceptions)  than most   shock bolt spell. While the 1st year
weapons.  This fact -- plus the fact   Mage  may  lose manna  very quickly,
that you cannot break a spell,  have   in  a VERY few  levels you  will  be
more  OB  if you  double-trained  in   casting this spell often and without
Directed Spells, and suffer no Round   regret.  The Shock bolt spell is the
Time -- make this a spell of worth.    mainstay of the  Mage's power: light
                                       in cost, easy to use and devastating
Even  the low  damages  achieved are   in effect.
misleading.  I find  that  criticals
using  the shock  bolt spell do  the   Truly a spell of power.
real  damage -- that and  the  stuns
achieved.  Once properly stunned,  a   ------------------------------------
monster is rather easy prey for your    The Apprentice Mage - From page 15
secondary attack, your weapon.  When   ------------------------------------
it comes to metal-armored  monsters,   Coincidentally,  a band of Grey Orcs
there is nothing  better than a good   passed by at this time and cast Stun
Shock bolt spell (until later,  that   Clouds at the helpless fighter. Your
is).  Metal  Breastplated Hobgoblins   Invincible Inscriber was  tempted to
may as well cast themselves on their   return  and aid  the dumb slob,  but
swords than face even a young Mage.    the  Higher  Ideals of  Journalistic
                                       Integrity sometimes force hard deci-
We must also spend time studying the   sions  on those who follow The Path.
criticals to use  the full knowledge
of the spell.  Here, we will look at   When last seen, Crusher was a little
only  criticals that  cause  a stun.   annoyed at  the  loss  of  hair  but
                                       pleased  that the damage was limited
Light Charge, or Explosion of  Light   to a gaping hole in his abdomen.
(1 round): Be careful of these stuns     ________________________________
as they are short.  Even one  attack    | The Editor wishes to point out |
immediately after achieving the stun    | that he has the highest regard |
may  not allow  you to  get back  to    | for fighters, that some of his |
parry  100  before  the creature can    | best friends are fighters, and |
recover and counterattack.              | that the accompanying article, |
                                        | while vastly entertaining, re- |
Medium Charge (2 rounds):  This stun    | presents the views  of the In- |
will  allow you  to strike one  time    | trepid  Interlocutor, and  not |
with your weapon with good assurance    | necessarily those of KE.       |
that you can make parry 100 before a     --------------------------------
 ____________          Dreams Sacred and Profane - Part I  
/ \ _________\         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ||=|=|=|| |              by Gallenod Varvnesti  
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |  
 _|    |_|    |  
/@|   _|_|_   | he  caravan  entered   caravan, but he  had been frightened
\_/__________/ Pragor, the ancestral   by  the experience so badly  that he
seat of the Duke of Meloria, without   was almost  useless.  He  rode  with
fanfare, barely a ripple  in the sea   Algo. The mercenaries Brugo hired to
of traffic passing through the front   protect the  caravan had  pitched in
gate. Algo Stonearm sighed in relief   to  help drive the other two  wagons
as  the wagons  passed  through  the   for the remainder of the trip.
solid stone gate of  the outer keep.
After two weeks out in the open, the   Mercenaries.  Algo  shook  his  head
young dwarf was glad  to see  that a   sadly.  They had  all been taken  by
solid  stone  roof  would  cover his   surprise from the ambush  up  on the
head tonight while he slept. He felt   mountain trail.  Delphia's magic had
safer already.                         been  of little use, as she had been
                                       struck  down from behind.  The half-
"Algo! Quit your daydreaming and get   elven ranger,  Gaden Pathwarden, and
the  horses  and wagons  quartered!"   the human  cleric,  Pelag  Belorson,
Brugo Ironhand, the  caravan master,   had both been taken out by cunningly
glared at  the young apprentice with   constructed  traps.  They drove  the
ill-concealed  bad  humor. The grey-   third wagon.
bearded  older dwarf was still surly
about being ambushed by ogres in the   On  the last wagon, a huge, brooding
mountains.  If not  for a  stroke of   figure  sat alone:  Andar Trollbane,
amazing good fortune, they might all   the  leader of  the mercenary group.
have died.                             He had spoken little the rest of the
                                       trip, his mood dark and gloomy. Even
"Oh,  Brugo, let the poor boy be.  I   Delphia could not lift the perpetual
am quite sure  he knows  his  work."   frown from the high man's brow.
The  voice  was musical, female, and
elven. Delphia Atyanna smiled at the   Algo  was  right; haggling  with the
grumpy  master  trader  and  started   stable  master  did  improve Brugo's
lightly stroking his  balding  pate.   mood, though  the stable  master was
Brugo could  not  help  but to blush   glaring at nearly everyone after the
slightly  at the attention.  Delphia   negotiations  were  over.  The group
was a typical elven  female -- which   stabled  their horses  and padlocked
meant  she  was tall  and lithe,  as   their wagons  in a  small warehouse.
as stunningly attractive.              Algo  noticed Brugo transfer a small
                                       package to his backpack.  He had  no
The old  dwarf  grumbled  a bit more   idea  what it  was.  Their  official
under  his breath, but  deferred  to   cargo consisted mainly of fine  rugs
the  elven magess.  Algo  breathed a   and other woven goods.  Perhaps that
sigh of  relief and started the lead   package was  the item the  ogres had
wagon in the direction of the livery   been seeking.
stable.  Maybe, thought  Algo, a bit
of haggling with the  proprietor  of   The ogres had beaten the mercenaries
the  stables  would greatly  improve   and Brugo,  but had been tricked  by
his master's mood.                     the  little hobbit  that had  joined
                                       them at the last stop. Algo was sure
The  rest  of  the  wagons  followed   that something  else happened  after
along.  Brugo and Delphia drove  the   that, but could not seem to remember
second wagon.  The teamsters who had   exactly  what  it had  been.  He had
started  the trip with  the  caravan   apparently fainted.  The mercenaries
had  run away during the ogre attack   had said something about their boss,
a week  earlier.  Only  one returned   the infamous  sorcerer Whizbamph the
from  the dark forest to rejoin  the   Incredible, and a Forget spell. Algo
shrugged  mentally.  He  was  almost   The little hobbit beamed at the elf.
glad he could  not remember; it must
have been a traumatic experience for   "You are a nice elf," said Wimby. "I
such complete memory loss. He had no   like  you."  He bit into  the apple,
interest in dealing  with sorcerers,   managing  to cover  his entire  face
and had no desire to meet one.         with  juice  in  the  process.  Algo
                                       bowed,   tugging  at  his  whiskers.
"Hey you! Put that apple down!" Algo
turned  to  see  an  apple  merchant   "Thank  you,  sir.  I appreciate the
wagging her finger at a small figure   help. Do you know Wimby?"
who was  holding  an apple almost as
large as his head.                     The  elf looked down at  the hobbit,
                                       who was still greedily consuming the
"You  gotta pay for that, you little   apple,  and  chuckled.  "Wimby?"  he
thief!"  she  shrieked.  The  hobbit   replied.  "No,  I  do  not  know any
looked at  her  brightly, as if  she   hobbits named Wimby. A hobbit did me
were a  particularly  amusing  stage   a  good turn  though,  once.  A very
act.  This seemed  to infuriate  her   good turn.  I try to repay the favor
even more.  Algo moved  to intercede   as often as I can."  The elf smiled,
before  she  did  something drastic.   as if at some private joke.
"Please,  Goodwife,"  offered  Algo,   Wimby  waved and  scampered off into
"he  is not  a thief.  I  am sure he   the crowd,  always managing to avoid
meant  to pay  for the apple."  Algo   getting stepped on or run over. Algo
looked sideways  at  the  hobbit and   sighed. Wimby had gotten this far in
whispered,  "you  do have money,  do   life  without him  around to hobbit-
you not?"                              sit, so he turned back to his duties.
Wimby  Littlefoot  was still smiling   "You are with  the caravan that just
broadly at the apple merchant  as he   came in, are you not?" the elf asked
whispered  back, "Money?  Why should   Algo  politely.  "The one  with  the
I  carry money?"  Algo's heart  sank   mercenaries?"
and he reached for his purse.
                                       "Yes," Algo replied guardedly. After
Another  figure had come through the   the ambush on  the trip, he was wary
crowd to see the commotion. He was a   of  strangers inquiring  into  their
tall  elf, dressed  in midnight blue   business.
fighting  leathers with  a  matching
cloak  and thigh-length black boots.   "Ah, good," said  the elf.  "My name
He had flowing  silver hair and wore   is Lachmar Belgesti.  I need to talk
an  ornate rapier at his side.  Algo   with your escorts."
noticed  that his cloak  clasp was a
silver cat  with  emeralds for eyes.   Algo  started  slightly at the name.
The  elf's eyes were  the same shade
as the emeralds.                       Lachmar Belgesti was the chief agent
                                       of  the mercenary  organization that
"Is there a problem, Madam?" the elf   Andar's group belonged to.  He was a
inquired. Seeing the hobbit with the   legend  in  the  mercenary business,
apple, he chuckled, reached into his   one of the most cunning minds in the
purse, and  handed a  silver coin to   known  world, and  was reputed to be
the apple vendor.  Seemingly stunned   one of the finest swordsman that had
by the  elf's  presence, the  vendor   ever  lived.  Algo had heard that in
fumbled to make change.                one particular duel,  Lachmar signed
                                       his initials  in his opponent's body
"Never  mind  about that, Goodwife,"   before killing him.
the  elf smiled,  "keep the change."
                                       "Y-yes  sir," he stammered  out.  "I
The vendor stammered unintelligibly,   will take  you to  the Sleeping Lion
curtsied and retreated to her stall.   Inn immediately."
The elf frowned.  "No," he said.  "I   the comment.  Algo liked  Gaden; the
would  like  you to bring them to me   ranger was almost as forthright as a
at the inner keep.  I have rooms for   dwarf,  but a  lot  more  diplomatic
them there.  Also your master and of   about it.
course  yourself.  At  the  personal
invitation of the Duke."               Andar stared at the  ranger.  "Once
                                       again,  my  friend, you have pierced
        ********************           the  heart of  the  matter.  I am  a
                                       stranger to failure. I know I should
A  day full  of surprises,  Algo had   accept it  more  gracefully."  Andar
thought  as he  entered the Sleeping   sighed.  "But that I cannot do."
Lion  Inn.  Meeting  one of the more
infamous  mercenaries  in the  known   Pelag  moved to  place  his  hand on
world  at an  apple  stall!  A human   Andar's shoulder.  "As someone  once
Duke  inviting  two dwarves and  the   said,  Andar:  'That which  does not
young mercenary band  to stay in his   kill us, makes us stronger.'  We are
keep!  Algo  was also surprised that   not dead.  Perhaps we shall yet gain
Lachmar had invited the hobbit, too.   something from this defeat."
That  was  potential  for  disaster,
Algo thought.  The innocent and  yet   "Yet  perhaps," Andar replied, "this
mischievous little  hobbit  would be   defeat  will make  us too cautious."
an accident waiting for  a place  to   He  regarded  each of his companions
happen at Ducal court.                 in turn.  "Can  any  of you honestly
                                       say  that you have not given  in  to
Brugo  had not seemed  surprised  at   some self-doubt since the fight?"
the  invitation.  In fact, he seemed
to have  been expecting  it.  "About   No  one answered immediately.  Pelag
time,  'prentice," he growled.  "Now   lowered his  head, as if  in prayer.
we  can get  this over  with."  Algo   Delphia's eyes  were  moist; she sat
nodded  at his  master and  reminded   down next to Andar and laid her head
himself that  Brugo  would tell  him   on  his  shoulder.  Gaden  alone met
what  this was  all about in his own   Andar's gaze.
good time.
                                       "Yes," said Gaden.  "I  have  always
The mercenaries, too, seemed to have   had  doubts, even before that fight.
been  expecting Lachmar, though they   But true courage does not mean being
were surprised at  the invitation to   fearless. It is overcoming fears and
the inner keep.  Andar's mood seemed   doing  what  must  be  done anyway."
to  darken  even further; he  sulked   With  that, the  ranger  closed  his
while his companions packed.           pack and gestured at the door. "Time
                                       to leave," he said.
"Oh,  Andar,"  sighed  Delphia, "you
are being silly.  Alright, so we did   The four friends left. Quietly. Algo
not do that well on the trip. We are   picked up  a  few  last  things  and
here, and we are safe.  Everyone has   closed  his rucksack.  Wimby  sat in
bad luck  occasionally.  We are just   the  corner,  bright-eyed and alert.
fortunate enough to have survived."    He had  not interrupted  the  entire
                                       discussion  once,  a rare  thing for
Andar closed his eyes and sighed.      him.  Now, he  looked at Algo with a
                                       puzzled expression.
"But he  never has  succumbed to bad
luck,  Delphia," offered Gaden.  "He   "How  about you, Algo?  Are you also
has never  before failed at anything   unhappy?" asked the little hobbit.
in his  life that was  important  to
him.  Not  combat,  gaming, nothing.   Algo shrugged.  "No, I am just happy
Not  even love,"  he  said,  looking   to  be alive.  I can fight, but I am
meaningfully at Delphia.               not a fighter.  I do not take defeat
                                       personally, like they do.  It may be
The elven  magess  blushed deeply at   a trader's view, but losing out in a
negotiation  is usually  instructive   Lachmar nodded. "Yes, Your Highness.
and  rarely life-threatening.  Comes   Brugo, I  believe the time has  come
with the job."                         to deliver your package."
Wimby nodded.  "Ok.  Just checking."   The  old dwarf  grunted  and reached
The hobbit  beamed a smile  at  Algo   inside his vest, then pulled out the
and  added:  "I  think  you are much   wrapped  package that Algo  had seen
more than  just a trader, Algo.  You   him take from the wagon earlier.  He
are a  nice person,  and  you are my   offered it to the Duke, who accepted
friend."                               it with a sigh.
Algo blushed slightly.  With friends   "Is  it safe  to open  it?" the Duke
like Wimby, he could look forward to   asked.
a  long  life full  of  angry  apple
merchants.  The dwarf chuckled as he   Lachmar nodded. "It was enchanted so
escorted the hobbit out of the room.   that only  you could open it safely,
                                       Your Highness."
The  Ducal  court was  not what Algo
had expected.  There were no trumpet   The Duke nodded.  He stared off into
fanfares, and the people seemed much   space for  a moment, and then seemed
like those  in the  outer  keep,  if   to come to a decision.  "I thank you
only slightly  better dressed.  Algo   all for this.  You have no idea what
had always heard that human nobility   this  was, or that  you  risked your
were vainglorious buffoons, obsessed   lives for it. I feel that you have a
with protocol.  Not like the dwarven   right to  know the story behind your
kings and queens, who were more like   trip, and  the forces  that  opposed
parents to an extended  family  than   you.  Please, come with us."
                                       The healer frowned. "Milord Duke, is
The  atmosphere  here was  plain and   this wise?" he asked. "Her condition
simple.  Almost funereal,  Algo  had   is..."
thought. Everyone seemed very quiet.
Lachmar briefed  them  on the proper   "Critical," sighed  the Duke.  "Yes,
protocols, keeping  a particular eye   Satryn,  I know.  But I do not think
on Wimby to make sure the hobbit did   they can do any further damage.  Who
not wander off.                        knows,  they might  even be  able to
The  Duke arrived, with two advisors
following discretely  behind.  Edvar   The healer nodded, though Algo could
Thorson,  Duke  of Meloria,  was  an   see  that he still objected to their
older  man with flowing  black  hair   presence. Just being overprotective,
and a short beard. He appeared a bit   Algo thought to himself.
agitated and impatient.
                                       The  Duke led  them to a bedchamber.
To  his  right  was  a cleric:  Lord   On the bed lay a beautiful and young
Bishop  Derek Thomason,  the  Duke's   woman,  asleep.  Yet,  her sleep was
personal  confessor.  Pelag bowed to   not  peaceful.  She twisted  in  the
the  senior  cleric, who  nodded  in   sheets.  Her face  was  contorted in
return.                                panic; she  seemed to  be struggling
                                       with  something.  Two nurses  helped
To his left was a man in plain white   hold her  still and tried to comfort
robes.  His skull was shaven. He was   her.
introduced  as Master  Healer Satryn
Patan.  The healer nodded and smiled   "My  daughter,  Lady Janea, Marquise
at the group.  He seemed distracted,   of Pragor," announced  the Duke.  "I
too.                                   am  a  widower;  my wife died giving
                                       birth to our only child.  Two months
The  Duke looked  at  Lachmar.  "You   ago,  Janea  was overtaken  by  this
have it?" he asked.                    dreaming malady. She has been asleep
ever  since, ravaged  constantly  by   fully enjoy your hospitality."
nightmares."  At his voice, the girl
on the bed moaned and twisted again.   "Of  course,  of course!"  exclaimed
Her pain was  mirrored in the Duke's   the Duke. "How discourteous of me! I
face.                                  am so overcome  with joy that I have
                                       been  an  ungracious  host.  Please,
"Bishop  Derek," continued the Duke,   Lachmar, show  them to  their rooms.
"determined  that she has  not  been   Dinner will be at nightfall."
possessed  by  demons.  Satryn  felt
that  the nightmares were  a psychic           ********************
influence, and  that the only way to
combat them  was to get her a mystic   Lachmar  sighed  as  the  four young
diadem that would  help  soothe  her   mercenaries  left  his chamber.  The
mind."                                 meeting had not  gone  well,  in his
                                       opinion.  The  praise heaped on them
The Duke held up the package. "This,   during dinner by  the Duke  had only
should be the answer."  He carefully   deepened Andar's gloom. The boy felt
broke the wax seal and unwrapped the   unworthy of it all.  The other three
oilskin. He removed a silver circlet   depended  on  the  young fighter for
with a single, large opal set in the   spirit  and  leadership.  They  were
front.  The  stone  shimmered with a   losing their edge.
pearlescent light. He very carefully
reached  over and placed the  diadem   A  small figure  peeked  out  of the
on his daughter's head.                wardrobe. "Are they gone yet?" piped
                                       the hobbit.
Janea's  face softened slightly, and
she sighed  gently.  She soon ceased   "Of course  they are gone, you hairy
struggling and  began breathing more   pest," chuckled  Lachmar.  "You knew
normally.  The Duke looked  relieved   perfectly well they were. Do not try
and  smiled  at Satryn.  "It appears   to play innocent with me. I know you
you were  right,  old  friend."  The   better."
healer  smiled  in return,  his eyes
fixed on the diadem.                   The hobbit  grinned back at the elf.
                                       Then  he stopped  smiling.  "What do
"Yes,"  Satryn  replied,  "it  seems   you think?" he asked.
that I was right after all.  Now all
we have to do is wait."                "Well,"  answered  Lachmar, "I think
                                       they need a  good kick in the pants.
Maybe  it was  just his imagination,   Andar in particular.  Drat that boy.
but Algo  had a strange feeling that   He refuses to stop doubting himself.
what the healer seemed to be waiting   He is used to doing the  saving, not
for was not  the same  thing  as the   the other way around. All the public
Duke.  Silly dwarf,  he  thought  to   thanks from  the Duke just makes him
himself, you're getting paranoid.      feel more guilty."
They left Janea with the nurses, who   "Well,  he just  may get that kick."
were given  strict  instructions  to   The hobbit smiled mysteriously.
inform the Duke of any change in his
daughter's  condition.  The Duke had   "What  game are  you playing at now,
insisted that  everyone join him for   you furry footstool?" Lachmar looked
dinner  to  celebrate  the  diadem's   dangerously  at  the  little  figure
safe arrival.                          smiling up at him.  The elf had seen
                                       that look  before and  knew it meant
"Your  pardon,  your Highness," said   only one thing: Trouble.
Lachmar,  "but might  we  have  some
time to freshen up? These good folks   "To  sleep, perchance to dream!" the
have just finished a long and rather   hobbit  giggled.  "Let  the  Bard be
dangerous journey, and I wish to see   your guide, Lachmar." With that, the
them  settled  properly so  they may   hobbit  quickly  scampered  out  the
                                   -=22=-              (Continued Page 26)
 _________                  The Prince of Aquebar  
/ \ _____ \                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ~|_|~  |                by Wisraith Winterwind  
 _|  |~|   |  
/@| _|~|_  |  
\_/ ~~~~~ /n the late afternoon, the   around  him  like  a  heavy fog.  He
  ~~~~~~~~ Prince of Aquebar, brief-   must  be  nearly there, he must push
ly escaped from his tutors, sat in a   on a little farther.
little rowboat anchored near a coral
reef surrounding the island kingdom.   With  one  last  stroke,  his  hands
Part of the archipelago east of Sir-   parting  the glittering water like a
Laar,  Aquebar  was  still  a  small   curtain,   he   saw   an  ethereally
kingdom, but growing in influence as   beautiful   sight:   A  giant  clam,
its  scholars  unlocked, one by one,   bigger  than  anything  he  had ever
the  secret mysteries of the ancient   seen.   Its  shell,  crinkled  along
magicians.  In time,  they believed,   each side, was mostly closed and the
Aquebar  would be a center of learn-   light inside turned it luminous pink
ing  and  a  stronghold  against the   shot  through  with  veins of purest
Unlife.                                white.   Undulating  in  the current
                                       just  beneath the edges of the shell
Spread  out  on the bench before him   waved  fleshy azure tendrils.  Peer-
were small trinkets, rusty sea trash   ing through the gap between the soft
he  dreamed remained from great bat-   lips   of   the  shell,  he  blinked
tles  with the forces of the Unlife.   against  the  unveiled splendor of a
His  catch  for  the day was measly,   teardrop pearl glowing with an inner
and  a  certainty that something as-   incandescence.  The compulsion over-
tounding  was  being overlooked pro-   came  him again but this time it was
pelled him back into the water.        soft  and  carressing like a woman's
                                       inviting   embrace.   Without  being
He  swam  along  the  slope  of  the   fully  aware  that  he  did  so, the
coral,  its  forest  of  alien trees   prince  reached  inside  the  parted
both  soft and  rigid, casting faint   lips,  moved  aside  the  soft  pink
shadows  as  the  sun  continued  to   flesh, and grasped the pearl.
sink.  Abruptly, he found himself at
the top of a tall cliff which plung-   His  belly  contracted around a cen-
ed  into  blackness  below.   He had   tral  warmth  that  diffused through
been  diving all his life, and could   his  body,  leaving  it  relaxed and
hold  his breath for several minutes   supple.  Halfheartedly he fought the
so   he  returned  to  the  surface,   urge   to   sleep  but  in  the  end
filled his lungs with fresh sea air.   accepted  blissful  release from his
Drawn  to  the  darkness, he began a   weariness and toil.
long descent. 
                                                    * * * * * 
The  prince  was  fatigued by a long
day  of  diving  and  took his time,   Awakening  was  slow.   He dreamt he
slowly  stroking downward.  Not con-   drifted for ages wrapped around with
scious  of time's passage, it seemed   sargasso  tendrils and rocked by the
a short time had passed when, at the   gentle  motion  of  a limitless sea.
edge  of  his vision, he saw a murky   Sometimes  disturbed by confused and
glow.  The light intensified slowly,   panicked  thoughts  impinging on his
as if farther away than expected.      mind,  he finally grew used to their
                                       ebb  and flow alternating with waves
Should he continue his dive? He knew   of  warmth and security.  His dreams
he must soon run out of air, but his   alighted   finally  on  a  strangely
compulsion to seek the extraordinary   contoured  bed  that  supported  him
sent   him  diving  with  all  haste   perfectly.   Then,  as  he dreamt of
toward  the light.  As he approached   sleeping at last, he woke.
it,  the  water around him sparkled,
light  reflecting off motes drifting   His  eyes  opened  to  a watery film
which,  blinked away, revealed three   the  prince  looked again, this time
beautiful  women sitting beside him,   with  wonder, at the powerful flukes
their   long   tresses   bound  with   that   propelled  them  through  the
strands  of  kelp  or  clasped  with   water.   Beginning  at  their  hips,
seashells.    Despite   being  tied,   tiny  irridescent  scales overlapped
their hair flowed and swirled in the   to  form  a  supple armor encasing a
sluggish  current  like lacy fans of   tail  that rippled with hard muscle.
honey,  chestnut  and  copper.   One   The  tail  fins'  diaphanous  trans-
smoothed  his hair from his eyes and   lucence  waved  in the currents like
offered   him   a  bunch  of  purple   silk  veils  while  the  sides  were
skinned  fruit that tasted sweet and   fringed   with   sharp  spines  held
refreshing.   Another  put  a cup of   tightly   against   the   skin.   He
patterned  mother  of  pearl  to his   reached out to touch the tail of his
lips  and  a  hearty  broth restored   honey blonde guide and, pressing her
much  of  his  strength.  He did not   chest to his, she twined her sinuous
find  it strange to dine without his   tail between his legs and around his
mouth   filling  with  the  parching   calves,  locking  them together in a
taste  of  brine.  Revived,  he rose   softly  irresistable embrace.  As he
from  the bed and wrapped himself in   involuntarily  pressed  closer,  the
a  robe of gossamer gold held in the   trio  laughed sharply and she pushed
hand of the third.                     him  away  so  that  he paddled awk-
                                       wardly until they returned to propel
"Her  highness will have you now, if   him on his journey.
you are refreshed?" The words formed
in  his  mind  like delicate crystal   The distance yet to travel was short
chimes.  He wondered if the food had   and  before long he looked down into
bewitched  him  because  of a brief,   a bowl-shaped depression illuminated
piercing  wail  in  his ears.  After   by phosphorescent animals and plants
shaking  his head, only the tinkling   beaded on crisscrossing lines strung
chimes remained.                       from  the  lip  of  the  bowl.  They
                                       descended  past  a  luminous, trans-
The  three  rose  from  the  bed and   parent  fish whose distended bladder
gently pulled him through the water,   glowed  white  with  red veins still
one on each arm and one clasping his   pumping  despite  the  hook piercing
waist  from  behind.  As they glided   its head and holding it to the line.
through the  water,  he revelled  in   All  the other creatures, jellyfish,
their  touch  as  the water caressed   seahorses,  and  fish  were  equally
him.   Turning to admire the golden-   bright  and  strange,  though he saw
haired  beauty,  his eyes combed her   them only from a distance.
hair  as it flowed across her trans-
lucent  neck, shoulders and breasts.   The  floor  of  the bowl was cobbled
He glanced eagerly downward for more   with  flat  shells  in  complex  but
golden locks but what he saw instead   elegant  patterns  that reminded him
startled him to gasp.  The inrush of   of a great ballroom.  At the far end
water  burned  his throat with brine   sat  a majestic chair fashioned from
and  doubled  him  over  choking and   red  coral  and  encrusted with pre-
clawing.   He  grabbed at his atten-   cious  gems.   They  approached this
dant's arm and fancied his grip tore   throne  from between tall columns of
away  the  white  flesh  as  from  a   sandstone,  each carved with a scene
boiled bone.  Then, as quickly as he   of  beauty  or  valor.   The pillars
panicked,  soft tendrils soothed his   seemed to hold up the sea above like
racing  thoughts  and  heart.  Still   a great  black ceiling.  A few other
vaguely  in  the  grip  of  fear, he   mermaids flitted behind the columns,
looked  to  the shredded streamer of   too shy to be seen, he thought.
kelp  he  gripped  in  his hand.  He
laughed and they with him, a trio of   He  looked  again  at the throne and
soft chimes.                           his  heart leapt at the sight of the
                                       seated  monarch.  A mermaid like the
Prepared  now for what he would see,   rest, but  of  another order altoge-
ther.   Her hair was the aqua of the   queen writhed  harder.   He could no
sunlit  lagoon,  her  skin,  dark as   longer  hear  the  music  above  the
volcanic sand merged with the scales   throbbing  of  her body against his.
like  mother  of  pearl covering her   When  it  seemed she would crush him
tail.   When they reached the queen,   in  seconds  more,  a  flailing limb
his  attendants backed away, leaving   yanked  the  medallion from her neck
him  alone to gaze into her unblink-   and it sank to the sand.  Instantly,
ing  emerald  eyes.   After  several   the  beauty  of the queen's face was
moments,   like   the  sun  bursting   infected  with  swollen  pustules of
through a tempest's ragged remnants,   corruption.   Reeking of carrion and
her  face  broke  into  a smile res-   even blacker filth, the mouth of the
plendent   with  pearly  teeth.   He   succubus  closed  on  his.   Dragged
knelt  at her flukes and tentatively   along  the  shell-cobbled floor, his
brought  her  webbed  fingers to his   bare toes closed on the medallion.
lips.   A sudden fear thundered back
to  him as he noticed his right arm.   A  surge  of red energy engorged his
Pale, rent flesh hung from the edges   body  and  he  threw  the  corrupted
of a  great  gash   encircling   his   creature   from   him,  rending  its
wrist;  it  was  swollen and bloated   carcass   against  the  throne  that
like  an animal too long dead in the   broke  apart  from  the force of the
water.   He shuddered and would have   impact.    Hideously  enraged  faces
recoiled  in fear had she not lifted   rushed  at  him,  and wrinkled brown
his  chin  so  their  eyes  met.  As   claws  clutched  at  the  medallion.
before,  his  mind  was soothed, its   Filled  with  repugnance,  he hurled
fear  drained  away.   She lifted an   them  away, some snapping like coral
ebony  medallion  from  between  her   twigs  as they struck one or another
breasts  and  touched it to his arm.   column.
He  wondered  if  his wound had been
naught but imaginary fancy for there   He  swam  upward  as  if each stroke
was  no  trace  of it, nor any other   would   be  his  last  were  it  not
blemish.   Smiling benevolently, she   stronger.  Through timeless darkness
straightened and clapped her hands.    he  swam  until,  reaching the rocky
                                       cliff,   he   could  go  no  further
A strange music began from somewhere   without rest.  There was no pursuit.
beyond the columns. Felt rather than   In  a  little  while  he swam upward
heard, the strains moved through the   again,  slowly, indolently.  He felt
water  as  sound  through  air,  but   better  than ever in his life and as
muffled  and  felt  over  the entire   he  rose  toward  the  surface,  his
body.   The  queen  rose and invited   thoughts  turned  deliciously to the
him to dance.  Slow, formal steps at   coy   young  courtiers  who  dropped
first,  their  eyes  at arms' length   hankerchiefs and flirted from behind
so all the others could see.  As the   lace  fans  as  they  vied  for  his
tempo increased, she slowly drew him   attention.
closer.  From the corner of his eye,
he began to see shapes moving to en-
circle  them.   Still  the tempo in-   ------------------------------------
creased,  the  thudding  rythm  con-      Dreams Sacred and Profane
trolling  the  beat  of  his  heart,             From page 22
forcing it to tachycardia.  He tried   ------------------------------------
to  slow  down, to control his pace,
but he could not restrain the queen.   door, grinning broadly.
Her  tail,  now  wrapped  around his
legs,  pushed  painfully  into   his   Lachmar  sighed.  "I hate it when he
groin   while  she  spun  them  ever   is cryptic." The mercenary made sure
faster.   Glimpses  of heads, limbs,   that  his clothes  and  weapons were
bodies,  all in increasing stages of   where he could  find them quickly in
decomposition  whirled past; leering   the dark  before he  retired for the
skeletal   faces,   tattered   flesh   evening.
brushing his own, grew closer as the                * * * * * *
                       Oblivion Is a Place of Sorrow  
 _________             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
/ \ _____ \                by Bleys Airelious III  
\@| ~|_|~ |  
  |  |~|  | was   at   my   favorite   "I will do what I can, Father."
 _|  |~|  | drinking establishment--
/@| _|~|_ | Helga's, it  turns out--   "I came  not to  talk about me, son,
\_/ ~~~~~ / trying to drink  away my   but about  you and your future. Even
  ~~~~~~~~  sorrows. Something about   though there  are times  you will be
the night, though, just made me more   hard put  to agree, remember that in
melancholy.  Friends tried to  cheer   the end  friends  matter  more  than
me with play at  the dice, but some-   possessions. As much as I would have
how that had no appeal. I decided to   liked it, I have no money or posses-
go for a walk.                         sions to bequeath you. The  Evil has
                                       taken  all of  that,  along with  my
I walked  up and down streets in the   body and soul, as its price.
late hours of the night and ended up
at  the modest  place I  call  home.   "I wish  you well  in  all  of  your
"Odd," I  thought to  myself, "I  am   endeavors, son.  May you fare better
sure I left  some candles  burning."   than I. Try always to keep a smile--
Yet the  house  was totally  dark. I   and be a friend to those in need."
opened the  door and listened. Not a
noise to be heard.                     "Yes, Father."
"Ha, the candles must have blown out   "And do me one last favor, son?"
in the wind," thought I, entering my
house and locking up for the night.    "Anything. Just tell me."
I went to bed but tossed and turned.   "Make sure  that I am remembered and
Grandfather's literature puts  me to   that others heed the warnings  of my
sleep  in short order, so  I went to   fate. I must go.  My time has  come.
the study for  a book. I opened  the   Goodbye.  May the Powers  smile upon
door to the study, and there  a fire   you, and remember--
burned  in  the  fireplace.  A chair
with a familiar form in it faced the   "--I will always love  you."  And my
fire. The  figure turned  and looked   father faded  from  existence  as  I
at me with with a smile.               watched.
"Hello,  my son.  It is  good to see
you made it to these lands."           "Father," I  sobbed, "I promise that
                                       you won't be forgotten."
Cold ran  down my back. "Father? But        ____________________________
you're--dead!" I exclaimed.              __\  ____\  Owed To A Pest      \
                                        /    / \__|  by Skye Serge        |
"Yes, so I am," he answered.  "But I   |    |     |         _____________/
am allowed to see you  one last time   |__   \___/_________/           \
before I go to my punishment."          /                               |
                                        \         In days of old,       |
"Punishment?" I asked.                    \   When Knights were bold    |
                                           |     We earned our pay,    _|
"I was not a--model person, Bleys. I       |   Killing rats all day    \
am  sure even  you  realize  that. I       |     Weekend come,          |
must  pay for the crimes  I commited       |    We'd all drink rum.     |
during my life."                           |     Day after that,        |
                                           | we'd be back killing rat!  |
"Father! Is  there no  hope for your      /_________________            |
soul?"                                   ||\                \____________
                                         ||_|                             \
"Very little, my son.  Some sins are     |  |                              |
not easily overlooked."                   \/_____________________________ /
 _____________                 Keys (Part 3)  
/ \ _________ \                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ||=|=|=|| |                  Anonymous  
  | ~~ |_| ~~ |  
 _|    |_|    | he  story  so far: A   "No cave openings that I could see,"
/@|   _|_|_   | young  adventurer in   they both reported.
\_/__________/  Helga's tells of his
meeting  with a  mysterious  cloaked   "Of course  not," replied  the  Lord
elf who offered him information. The   Ranger. "The  opening is  hidden  by
young adventurer asked where one can   some kind of magical trick. You have
find the  keys to  the  chests  that   to jump  into it  to find  it."  His
creatures  carry. The elf begins the   head  resounded  with  the  fourteen
tale  of a Lord  Ranger who  finds a   slaps it received.
small valley  while out  hunting and
discovers a cave that is hidden by a   The adventurers  formed back up into
permanent  illusion.  In  town,  the   one group  and walked  to one end of
ranger  gathers  a party to  explore   the valley.  The Lords,  except  for
the cave. Eager to show everyone his   the Lord  Healer, began jumping into
valley,  the  ranger  rushes  to the   the thorn bushes, trying to find the
edge  of the overlooking  cliff. The   cave opening. The healers were  busy
ranger  stops;  the  party  does not   keeping the  Lords in one piece. The
stop. They  knock him over the cliff   Ladies stood in  a group, whispering
and fall down after him.               to each  other and  pointing  at the
                                       rips and  tears  the  Lords' clothes
The Tale, Part 3                       were  developing. As  the  afternoon
                                       wore on, the  giggling became louder
The group  crashed  into  the  thorn   and louder.
bushes.  Quickly they  climbed free,
and the Lord and  Lady Healers began   The Lord Mage jumped  and fell  upon
treating the injured immediately. It   solid  rock.  A  floor!  Quickly  he
is true that the Lady Healer was not   called  the others. They gathered as
happy with the  turn of events, even   he pointed to  where he had  jumped.
though  the Lord Healer seemed to be   The Lord  Ranger jumped at the thorn
in seventh heaven. However, all were   bushes  and disappeared  from sight.
soon healthy again.                    Quickly, the  others  followed. Then
                                       the Lord Mage walked in.
"So, where is  this cave?" asked the
Lady Thief.  The Lord Ranger pointed   "Why didn't  you jump  through?" the
to one end of the valley, then hesi-   High Man asked.
tated and pointed to the other end.
                                       "Well," replied  the Lord  Mage,  "I
"Somewhere  around  that  area,"  he   just  realized that if  the entrance
said,  pointing at the opposite ends   is guarded  by an illusion, then all
of the valley.                         there is to pass through  is air. So
                                       why jump?"  The Lord  Mage shook his
The Lord  Thief walked  over to  the   head to clear out the ringing  sound
Lady Mage and handed her some coins.   of fourteen slaps.
"Rangers,"  he mumbled  in  disgust.
She smiled  at the  Lord  Thief.  "I   Quickly  the Lords and Ladies organ-
knew he would find the valley sooner   ized themselves.  Spells of  defense
or later," she  said as  she counted   were cast.  Weapons and shields were
her silver.                            readied. Five hours later they began
                                       to explore the cave.
The party  split up into  two groups
and headed toward  opposite ends  of   They  saw that the cave was not made
the valley. The Lord Ranger just sat   naturally.  Its  floor,  walls,  and
where  they had climbed  out  of the   ceiling were  smooth. Magical  lamps
thorn bushes  and waited.  After two   mounted on the walls shone brightly.
hours, both groups met back up.        The floor  sloped  up a little, they
found.  "Prevents the  collection of   da slot. I  fills out a number  tag,
water," stated the Dwarf.              puts da key an' paper in my file, an
                                       slips  you back da  tag. Ya memorize
The adventurers rounded a corner and   da number an destroy da tag. Simple!
faced a  room  which  widened  at an   An' when  ya wants  da key  back, ya
angle  to either  side. The  wall in   fills out another paper with da num-
front of them  had several slots and   ber I gave  ya and  pass it  through
was  covered  with signs.  Signs  in   wit' yer fee.
Orcish, Troll, and some languages no
one recognized were  mounted  on all   "Great-great  Granpaps  goofed.  Too
three  walls. Some signs  were hand-   many  generations of  customers gots
drawn pictures  showing a series  of   use ta not payin' until they gots da
actions. Along the  left side of the   key back.  Now they  leaves da  key,
room  ran  small shelves of  various   but none o' dem  ever comes back. We
heights, with parchments, quills and   'bout  used up all  da treasure, and
ink stands upon them.                  we's going to starve back here afore
                                       too much longer.
The adventurers  started  exploring,
trying to  read the signs, examining   "Well, ya see  da big box in da cor-
the various  shelves. The Common Man   ner dere?  Sees, we passes  out some
walked over  to one  of the openings   o' da treasure to our customers when
on the  wall, peered  through it and   dey brungs  us some  food or clothes
said "Hello?"                          an'  such stuff.  Dey puts  it in da
                                       box an  it gets majicked inta  here.
A withered gnomish face popped up on   But wit' no  one coming  back fer da
the  other  side. "Who  are  ya?" it   keys, we don't  get  any coins  inta
demanded. "Yer not  one the reg'lars   here. I figgers dat inna bout a year
that come here."                       or two we'll starve back here an' da
                                       place will be closed fer good."
The adventurers ran over and crowded
around the  tiny  opening.  For many   The adventurers  spent much  time in
minutes they babbled  at the ancient   argument.  Some felt  sorry for  the
gnome. Finally, the Lady Ranger man-   ancient gnome and his family trapped
aged to  out-talk and  out-shout all   behind the  wall, while  others  saw
the others, and some order returned.   the closing of the key repository as
Slowly they got the story out of the   something  that would be  great  for
ancient gnome.                         them.  With the  repository  closed,
                                       they argued, the monsters would have
"Me great-great Grandpaps discovered   to keep their chest keys on them for
a dragin's treasure. Well, mebbe not   fear of losing them. No more hunting
discovered.  He  knowed  alls  along   for a lockpicker; just find the  key
where it  t'were, just  had ta  wait   and  bypass  all  that  trouble! The
'til  someone kilt  tha dragin. Any-   party left the cave, still arguing.
how, he gits da treasure and figgers
somebody is likely as  not ta  steal   And that is the  end of the tale the
it  from him. An' he wants ta set up   elf told me. What? No, he  said they
his family  fer generations ta come.   still hadn't made up their minds. He
So he  comes up with dis great idea.   claims  that it took them so long to
He makes a  deal wit' some  powerful   find their  way  back to  town  that
bein' ta create dis here cave and ta   none  of them  has  ever  found that
magically  keep the shelfs  stocked.   valley again. Except  for one thing,
Then he brung his family here an had   the story would end right there.
da  wall put in  place. So here's we
been, trapped here fer generations.    Ah, thanks  for the ale. You want to
                                       know what that one thing is? You are
"What'cha mean, why?  Cain't ya read   a thief,  right?  You  haven't  been
da signs? This here is a key reposi-   approached  about the Thieves' Guild
tory!  Ya fill out da  paper like it   yet, but you know of it,  right? Oh,
sez, then slip it an da  key through   admit it. It's not like it's  secret
or  anything. So you  do know of it.   How do  I know the  elf was  a mage?
And you  know it collects  fees from   Why, when he finished his  story, he
members. Now, do  you really believe   gestured  and  disappeared!   Turned
the silver collected lines the pock-   invisible, I guess, because the next
ets  of  the  Guildmasters?  Foolish   thing I knew there was a voice whis-
youth. Think! If  the creatures  out   pering in my ear. He told me that if
there  can't  have a safe  place for   I talked of this, he would turn  the
their keys, you think they are going   ground  beneath my  feet into molten
to leave them just lying around? You   lava. Yes, I  know who  he  is  now.
think they  trust each  other enough   I've  seen him  around a time or two
to leave the keys to their treasures   since then.  Easy to spot with  that
unguarded?  Of course  not!  So they   striped, hooded cloak of his.
would  carry the keys with them, and
who would  end up  out of  business?   Hmm? I always sit like this. Sitting
The  thieves,  of course. That  mage   with your feet  up off the  floor is
had it all figured out.                very  comfortable, you know.
  __\  ____\                      Orc Lunch                              \
 /    / \__|                  by Jerusha Montjoy                          |
|    |     |         ____________________________________________________/
|__   \___/_________/                                                  \
 /                                                                      |
 \                     Oh as I was a wandering                         _|
   \                   down the path so green,                         \
    |                  there I met an Orcy                              |
    |                  with his blade so keen.                          |
    |                  He looked in expectation                         |
    |                  at this bod of mine.                             |
    |                  Thought he, after fighting,                      |
    |                  on me he would then dine.                       _|
    |                  "I hate to disappoint," quothe I,               \
    |                  "but lunch I've never been,                      |
    |                  and if truth be told, foul orc,                  |
    |                  I find the thought obscene."                     |
    |                  He stared at me in wonder,                       |
    |                  then readied sure his sword.                     |
    |                  He grinned again, most evilly,                   |
    |                  saying, "It's your death, my Lord!"              |
    |                  I pulled my weapon from its sheath               |
    |                  and then we did begin,                           |
    |                  the blows rained fast and furious,              _|
    |                  and he was hit upon the shin.                   \
    |                  "Och!" cried he, in agony,                       |
    |                  he loosed his weapon bright,                     |
    |                  then without a backwards glance,                 |
    |                  that nasty orc took flight.                      |
    |                  The moral of this story                          |
    |                  is one that's sure and true.                     |
    |                  You'll never serve as someone's lunch            |
    |                  'til they be brave as you.                      _|
    |                                                                  \
   /_________________                                                   |
  ||\                \___________________________________________________
  ||_|                                                                    \
  |  |                                                                     |
   \/____________________________________________________________________ /
 ________                     The Moaning After  
/ \ _____\                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
\@| ~|_|~ |                  by Lloyd Llowd, PhD  
  |  | |  |  
 _|  |~|  |  
/@| _|~|_ | had the grave misfortune   wort  easily had the best costume of
\_/ ~~~~~/  of attending  the  Awful   the  evening.  The sight of the tiny
  ~~~~~~~  Autumn  Festival Party at   halfling capering around with a tiny
House of Paupers last month.  I have   pink  stuffed  torkaan and wearing a
never  seen  such  a boring party in   mask  that  resembled  the  sneering
all  my life; people were committing   face  of  Lord Artuero Bresnahanini,
suicide  from  the  roof  in  a vain   complete  with  black  eyeguards and
attempt to escape it.                  sloping   forehead,   a   flame  red
                                       torkaan  fleece  wig,  an  oversized
And the exterminator obviously needs   red-and-white  polka-dotted  ratskin
to  do  something about the pests in   vest  that dragged on the ground and
the  attic.   All those dwarves were   a  huge  tin badge engraved with the
making the ceilings creak.  (I don't   words  "SHERRIFF  WANNABE" created a
recommend  they hire hobbits if they   perfect  caricature of the two-faced
value their House.)                    political  cretin.   (If  only  Lord
                                       Artuero  looked  as  respectable  in
It   was   interesting  to  see  the   real life.)
costumes people chose to wear to the
event.   Lady Phaedra, for instance,   And,   of  course,  Lord  Strom  was
came  carrying  a  long  silver wand   laughed  out  of the competition for
tipped   with  a  sparkling  crystal   attempting   to   masquerade   as  a
star.   On  her  head  was a glowing   Healer.
gold  halo  and  she  wore  a  full-
skirted   silvery   gown  with  long   Another   of   the  costume  contest
billowing  sleeves, an enormous pair   winners  was  Lord Gallenod.  I have
of (ummmm)   shimmering   diaphanous   mixed  reviews  on  this one.  While
wings,  a  pair  of ruby slippers, a   his  firephantom  costume  was quite
white  satin  pouch and a shimmering   spectacular,  the glasses with false
hooded  cloak.  The Lady, of course,   nose  and moustache he added for his
has  never  been  my idea of a Fairy   presentation  as  the "Undead Comic"
Godmother,  though.   (I  think  she   were  grotesque,  as were his jokes.
should  have been in pinstripes with   Apparently,  the  only  thing  worse
a violin case.)                        than  his  sense of direction is his
                                       sense  of  humour.   To adapt one of
Landreth   deLorde,  Lady  Phaedra's   his  own  sick  quips:   What is the
oft-lost  Ranger  husband,  revealed   difference between an onion and Lord
why  he rarely shows his face in the   Gallenod?  Answer:  You cry when you
Landing.   If  I  had a limp feather   cut up the onion.
boa,  and  had to wear long dangling
earrings,  a  golden  silk  gown,  a   But perhaps the worst of all was our
strand  of  black  pearls,  a really   fearless editor, who showed up dres-
sleazy  looking  bright red wig that   sed to kill in a black leather gown,
probably  came from a cheesy ragmop,   silver-studded  choker collar, horn-
thick   false  eyelashes  and  fancy   rimmed glasses, porcupine quill hat,
stiletto-heeled  shoes,  I  wouldn't   and shaalk spurs.  Too bad he didn't
come  out of the closet much either.   wear a mask.  As it was, his perfor-
The judges, including his wife (who,   mance  was just nauseating enough to
you will note, was also dressed as a   earn first award. Seems the misguid-
fairy),  ruled  Landreth  ineligible   ed,  nearsighted  judges thought  he
for  a prize because he wore nothing   was pretending to be someone else.
that  could be considered out of the
ordinary for him.                      As  the final indignity of the even-
                                       ing,  I  was awarded a costume prize
But  it  wasn't all bad.  Bugg Horn-   for coming as myself. Harrumph.

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