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=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 VOLUME TEN, NUMBER FOURTEEN                                 April 26, 2003
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events
                            Recent Updates
                         Warnings - Be Careful
                         Think EXPIES All Year
                           Recent Q&A Topics

                              LEGENDITES
               Congratulations to Christopher and Arturo
                  A Response to the Salon.com Article

                               Clan News
                      The Society of Allies Forms
                            Vae Victis Forms

                              The PK Front
             PKE to run alongside PKOK -- Starting May 16th
                         A Grendel with a Heart?

                         Somewhere In The Middle
                 The Forgotten Letter: A Father's Love
                               Recovery
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                      The Editor's Note                          |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Spring is definitely in the air... and while it's really pretty and so
gorgeous outside (at least here in Austin) Spring also has the wonderful
hazards of allergy season. Which pretty much killed my Easter weekend
and partially explains the lack of an issue last weekend.

Yes, change is definitely in the air, and we appreciate everyone's
patience as we work through some unforseen consequences to what originally
appeared to be fairly minor changes, like tform suddenly taking much
longer when we only mentioned the time on repair was increasing. We forgot
that to make sure tform and repair always took the same amount of time,
tform set your skill lag to that of repair, so when that changed, they
both did. This is intentional, but we didn't mean to leave out notifying
everyone. With around 70 main source files, things are rather complex to
have every interdependency memorized.

Hopefully, and especially with your constructive feedback, some of these
less welcome changes can be modified or at least explained why they're
being done a specific way.

The weekly Q&A sessions and the Q&A channel are great ways to bring up
your concerns. If you're not into writing notes or using the feedback
channels to get your concerns addressed, please make sure you do at least
speak to someone who can make sure your concern is addressed and not just
rant and rave over the public channels. They're not logged and your
concerns are more likely to go unaddressed.

Enjoy the issue and have a great week!

-Kaige
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
          [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

                    APRIL                        MAY        
            Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa         S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
                   1  2  3  4  5                     1  2  3
             6  7  8  9 10 11 12         4  5  6  7  8  9 10
            13 14 15 16 17 18 19        11 12 13 14 15 16 17
            20 21 22 23 24 25 26        18 19 20 21 22 23 24
            27 28 29 30                 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Thursday,  May      1st       7:00 pm      Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  May      8th       7:00 pm      Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  May     15th       7:00 pm      Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  May     22nd       7:00 pm      Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  May     29th       7:00 pm      Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

Coming in May....
- Trivia!
- Cinco De Mayo Casino!
- a May Tinyplot, and a May PK event!
- and much more!

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                          Recent Updates                         |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

    /\                            CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    MISC CHANGES:
 /_    _\     o Low spirit penalty: chars with < 5 spirit get a 20% drop
   |  |         in damroll
   |  |     
   |  |     BUG FIXES:
   |__|       o Fix for the blind speedwalk (and you should now see "You
    /\          feel your way about very slowly due to your lack of
   /  \         vision." when you wear the blindfold)
  /    \      o You can no longer put owned items into unowned
 /_    _\       containers/furniture.
   |  |       o You can't steal from victims who are fighting.
   |  |       o Gunshots from TECH GUNs sound in adjacent rooms.
   |  |       o Stat req change for poisoning changed -- lower.
   |__|       o Some tweaks to the new skills. Basically slight increase
    /\          in average damage. Wrestling sets SLEEPING correctly and
   /  \         has a chance of SITTING.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   TYPO FIXES:
   |  |       o Suckerpunch typo "never to breathe again" fixed
   |  |       o Control weather typo "collapse not colapse" fixed
   |  |     
   |__|     
    /\                          HELP FILE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    Skill Topics:
 /_    _\        TAINT
   |  |     
   |  |     
   |  |                           AREA UPDATES 
   |__|     
    /\      If you want to suggest specific improvements or new additions
   /  \     to existing areas please don't hesitate to submit them with     
  /    \    the idea/bug/typo commands or drop mudmail to the builder
 /_    _\   currently responsible for the area (use AREAINFO to find out!)
   |  |     
   |  |     Paul in the Wild Boar Tavern (OOC) will be offering skill
   |  |     reimb packages from now until June 13th, 2003. There are
   |__|     three options to choose from: INSPIRE, BOWMAN and CHANT which
    /\      take all the appropriate skills if known. All 1st circle
   /  \     spellwords are reimbed at 1 practice per word and all 2nd
  /    \    circle words wil be reimbed 2 practices. ASK PAUL UNLEARN for
 /_    _\   character specific info.
   |  |     
   |  |     More twohanded weapon/gun/bow changes got done this week.
   |  |     
   |__|     1802 ALASKA
    /\           Whale should properly splash off ring of fire and nurse
   /  \          should now properly heal bloodloss.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   1930s PITTSBURGH
   |  |          Makes the gangsters be sure that they're standing before
   |  |          going on to the bank.
   |  |     
   |__|     ARABIAN NIGHTS
    /\           Dismal failures are bad for your reputation. Juggling
   /  \          and tumbling not considered as impressive. Various bugs
  /    \         and typos fixed.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     FRENCH INDIAN WAR
   |  |          Deerskin sleeves now mendable. Beaver pelts are now fur.
   |  |          Braves shouldn't be hogging eagle feathers.
   |__|     
    /\      HOSPITALLER MALTA
   /  \          New hospital services. Various minor bugs and typos
  /    \         fixed.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     ROMAN BRITAIN
   |  |          Aethelstan will now remember people he sent on quest.
   |  |          Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |__|     
    /\      SEONI JUNGLE
   /  \          More caution should be used around the black bees and
  /    \         the "maze" on the way to Oodeypore. Various minor bugs
 /_    _\        and typos fixed.
   |  |     
   |  |     ST. DENIS ABBEY
   |  |          Abbey horses correctly assist rider. Gargoyles now
   |__|          considered NONHUMAN. Various typos fixed.
    /\      
   /  \     ABORIGINAL DREAMTIME, ALHAMBRA, ANASAZI AMERICA, ANCIENT
  /    \    GREECE, ANCIENT INDIA, AZTECS, BENGAL, BEOWULF, CELTIC
 /_    _\   IRELAND, LEGENDS OF THE PAST, MEDIEVAL SEAS, PARIS EXPANSION,
   |  |     PICTISH COUNTRY, PORT OF LONDON, SAN FRANCISCO, SHERWOOD,
   |  |     VICEROYAL PERU, and WWI SOMME
   |  |          Various minor bugs and typos fixed.
   |__|     
    /\                     In Progress Area Updates
   /  \     
  /    \    This section is intended to share what builders are working
 /_    _\   on behind the scenes. It is not a perfect record of progress
   |  |     as all builders do not commit updates every week. Badgering
   |  |     builders about their progress will get you flogged. 
   |  |     
   |__|              Kae           Larderello (Dante's Hell)

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                    Warnings - Be Careful                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Immortals have been instructed to use the warning system for everytime a
rule is violated, no matter how innocent the incident seems. This way
everyone is treated more fairly. If you feel that a warning issued to you
is without cause then you can talk to the Head of Administration about it
and we will discuss why the warning was applied.

Chocorua

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                    Think EXPIES All Year                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Each year, we hear complaints that the same people always make the final
ballot and win in the Expies. But it wasn't for lack of trying!

Each year, many of us rake through our cobwebby memories of the past year
in an attempt to recall notable events, people, places, and things - and
often give up or feel shorthanded... And only the loudest or most visible
or oldest end up in the forefront of our memories.

Don't let all those others fall to the wayside, they are just as
deserving of the honor. Give yourself the chance to put a new name on the
ballot - and open other people's eyes up to people to watch for when they
make their own nominations. Use the Expie board!

But what should rate being put on the Expie board?

- Have you noticed someone being helpful to newbies or always
  volunteering to assist with a re-eq for DT or overrent victims?
  (Players: Most Helpful to Newbies, Most Likely to Help a DT/Overrent
  Victim)

- Were you exploring, to find yourself in a really cool room, with a
  great description and atmosphere? Or where the special affect made your
  adrenaline rush or smile spread larger or allowed you to picture it
  vividly, as if you were actually there? (Areas: Best Room)

- Did that imm that just poofed into the room you were in have neat
  entrance and exit messages/poofs? (Immortals: Best Poofs)

- How about that death message that just went by that made you laugh or
  really cringe or wonder, 'How on Earth?!' - is it worth remembering?
  (Players: Best Death)

- Is the GM of your clan an incredible leader and motivator? (Players:
  Best GM)

- See an illusion that someone spent a bunch of time on that just looked
  spectacular, or that made you do a double-take? (Players: Best Illusion)

- Come across a recent code addition that you don't know how you lived
  without before? (Immortals: Best Code Awards - there's more than one!)

- Think of something that would be a neat award just for the fun of it?
  (Just For Fun)

Don't let these things fall into the dusty recesses of your memory only
to remain forgotten when it is time to make Expies nominations or votes.
Append them to the appropriate post on the Expie board! Think about the
above categories and others year-round, then post your notes,
observations, and thoughts to the Expie board about them as you see them,
before you forget.

What should you append? The category that applies, the person's
name/item/room/etc, and possibly even a brief description of why.

The Expie board can be found in the following locations:
OOC, U  in the Immortal Office Complex by the discussion board
OOC, W  in the Auditorium by the welcome and news boards
OOC, N, W  in the Awards Lobby

Without your participation, the Expies cannot be a success. The more
people that take part in the nomination process, the less likely anyone
will feel like it's just the same 5 people as last year, especially if we
all work on thinking about Expies all year instead of just in December
and January.

So use the board! A number of mortals and immortals have used it already
but it is begging for more.

Cheyla

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  _______   ____    _______
 /  ___  \ / __ \  /  ___  \  Logs of Q&A sessions are available on the
 | /   \ | \ \/ /  | /   \ |  web pages for those who are unable to attend
 | |   | |  \  /   | \___/ |  or had to leave early. The most recent ones
 | |   | |  /  \/\ |  ___  |  are listed on the sitemap page or you can
 | | /\| | / /\  / | /   \ |  get a complete list on the Q&A index page
 | \_\ \ | \ \/  \ | \   / |  at the url below.
  \___\/_/  \__/\/ \_/   \_|

     http://www.legendmud.org/Community/lectures/QandA/QA_index.html

                              RECENT TOPICS

 o Why's Remaking My Name Illegal?   o PKE Discussion
 o What's with Twohanded Changes?    o Pkill Win Tracking??
 o Lag on Big Runs? Big Run Disc.    o Benefits to Entrance?
 o New Fight Skills Discussion       o Pirate Game, Please?
 o Snipers in Pkill?                 o Armslore Damage Report Bug?
 o General Suggestions/Questions     o Create Changes Too Much?
 o Summon Lag when Charm Leaves?     o Steal: PK vs Augmenters
 o Can PKE Clans Go UnPKE?           o Spirit Bonuses? Iron Will?
 o Idle Char Purges?                 o General Suggestions/Questions

___                                                                    ___
\  |------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|      LEGENDITES: Information Regarding the People of Our World   |__\
   '------------------------------------------------------------------'

               Osler has reached 100 million experience!

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Congratulations are in order for both Christopher and Arturo's players!
Christoper has gotten engaged and Arturo is not only now engaged but
he and his fiancee are expecting a baby girl around June 17th.

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                  A Response to the Salon.com Article

I am writing as someone who is no longer a part of the Legend community,
and who arrived on LegendMUD some 3 months after the death of the person
known to LegendMUD as Karyn.  I never met Karyn, but I know a lot of
people who did know her.  All I know of Karyn is secondhand, from reading
things such as the LegendMUD website, and from past discussions about her
with people who knew her and were willing to answer a newbie's questions.

Whoever Karyn was in RL doesn't matter.  On LegendMUD she had a
personality and she had friends.  The person behind the character may not
have been named Karyn, they may not have been a law student or a beauty
pageant contestant.  But there was a person behind the character.  People
formed bonds with this person not because of who she (he?) was in RL, but
because of who she was on LegendMUD.  Those bonds were real.  The
feelings were real.  Online friendships are real.

Many of us like to play alts ... and we all know people who can pick our
alts before we choose to reveal them.  Why is that?  It's because whoever
we choose to be, no matter how good we are at RP (and I'm not!),
something of our real personality comes through with every single
character we play.  The things people liked about Karyn came from the
person behind the character.  It's hard to fake qualities like
helpfulness, friendliness, etc - it may be possible over the short term,
but over a couple of years?  No, those elements came from the person,
whoever it was.

No doubt this article on Salon.com will bring a flood of curious people,
poking around in the old wounds the article has stirred.  My best wishes
to everyone at LegendMUD as you cope with the double whammy of the
curious onlookers and your renewed (and very real) grief.

Kyna's player
     ___                                                          ___
     \  |--------------------------------------------------------|  /
     /__|                      Clan News                         |__\
        '--------------------------------------------------------'

The Society of Allies formed on April 24, 2003. Their stated purpose "be
to assist and be assisted, we do not entertain the likes of wooden-
headed and impractical people, but of those who are ready to affront the
affairs of life. Always remember, you get what you give."

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

On April 24, 2003, the Vae Victis Clan was formed and the following was
posted on the news board by Wyvern:

Announcing the birth of a new clan: Vae Victis
Rough translation: All is fair in love and war, but do so with honor and
dignity (Dolor noted the literal translation is "woe to the fallen").

We here at Vae Victis promote the highest echelons of honor and loyalty
toward clanmembers and maintain a healthy relationship with outsiders. 
Whether you are an expert mobkiller, a well-versed historian, or a
skilled mercenary who would like to do work for us, all are welcome to
apply, but few will be accepted.

This clan will start out as an rp clan and eventually put emphasis on pk,
continuing with a transition toward being a full blown pk clan when the
council see's that it is the right time.

If you are interested, please write a note to Wyvern stating your class
and level.  Further instructions from that point on will be given to the
applicant.

Thank you
  Wyvern of Vae Victis

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

There are currently 17 RP clans and 8 PK clans. This leaves open slots
for seven (7) more clans to form. For more information, read HELP CLAN and
see the clan information list via the CLANS command while logged into the
game. For a basic handbook and reference guide for players interested in
starting and running a clan, we recommend that before you even type FORM,
you visit: http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/gm.html.

     ___                                                          ___
     \  |--------------------------------------------------------|  /
     /__|                    The PK Front                        |__\
        '--------------------------------------------------------'

            PKE to run alongside PKOK -- Starting May 16th

PKE will be turned on to run alongside PKOK in 3 weeks on May 16th.

1. All currently PKEnabled characters will be unenabled. We'll be
   updating the pfile versions to fix this. People will have to get
   re-enabled to participate in PKE.

2. All PK clans will be changed to RP clans. They can then change back
   to PKE if they choose with the rp_to_pk command when they are ready.

3. There will be a command for PK clans that the GM will be able to use.
   This command is not yet named, but it will set a timer for each clan
   member, including the GM, from 7 days to 60 days. Default will be 20
   days. If the member does not pk within the specified time, they are
   automatically outcast from the clan.

4. PKE rules go back into affect. 1 PKE character per person. The level
   35 limit on enabling will be waived for the first 2 months to allow
   people to re-enable.

5. This is a 6 month trial. If it does not work out, it will be pulled.
   Period. Success and failure depend on the following:

   Number of PKE characters actively participating in pkill should be
   greater than 15 on average. This is the current average of PKOK
   participation.

   Increase in admin/pr intervention due to complaints of crossplay or
   harrassment.

   PK clans, on average, should be at least as active as the most active
   RP clan that also pkills.

   Enough people need to adopt to PKE to make it worthwhile than the
   argument we've given in the past - Get into 2 pk clans and accept each
   other.

PKE will be pulled immediately if the admin/pr aspect gets out of hand,
or if there are insufficient people participating.

When enabling people, we will suggest people try PKOK first. If they
state that they are not new to pkill and wish to go right into PKE, then
it needs to be explained in the clearest terms that the ONLY ways out of
PKE are PERMADEATH and REDEMPTION. ** THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THESE **

Punishments for problems under PKE will be severe. We will not waste
admin time on petty squabbles. Deal with it in game, or get out of PKE
through redeem or perma. This will also be told to the newly enabled
players.

-Kaige

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                         A Grendel with a Heart?

We have a report, whether true or false, we do not know. Allegedly the
grendel Stigmata and Marcel's apprentice Mallory met in Ithaca and an
argument ensued (something about one not being willing to hand over candy
to the other). Although the grendel missed his stunning attacks and the
girl managed to topple him quite a few times, the man proved to bee too
much of a match for the little girl. After sticking his dagger close to
her spine two times, he decided to withdraw from the fight, and let the
child live.

Does this mean the grendels have grown soft? We will await further
details with anticipation!

               =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The Grendels had half their members out in the midst of the action this
past week and the Infernals fielded nearly as many members this week as
well. The Grand Coven and the Knights of Legend were each represented by
a pair of members on the fields of battle. Panuccis Pizza and the IRA
each had a single member out in the action, while the Syndicate and the
Hermetic Order remained silent again this week.

               =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

In the past week there were 58 pkill-related deaths involving 34
different characters. Of those 34 characters, 20 of them were accept all
at the time. So come on, let's get YOUR name up in lights! We can't
report on it if you don't tell us about it!

If you have you witnessed or committed any glorious or nefarious deeds,
send a short report to us at the LT. If you are looking for a fight,
recruiting, or anything else related to PK (not necessarily PK Clan
related), send it in! It's free AND you'll get a prize token! Be a
celebrity, the envy of all your friends! Tick off your enemies or just
tell your side of the story! The possibilities are endless -- act today!!
 
              _______________________
             /                       \
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMUD?|
   (o o)     \_______________________/
ooO_(_)_Ooo________________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

                         Somewhere In The Middle

Mok-Mok stared rather quietly at MoiraGwyn as she left the castles office
space. Too quietly. But she wasn't noticing. The Queen had just returned
from a visit to nearby Mosul and was looking a bit harried between
watching Vidar's creature and trying not to trip over a rambunctious
Rillifane.

'No Joe, that woman isn't hiding anything in her shirt and no, I will not
check!' MoiraGwyn snorted indignantly at the small imp resting on her
shoulder. 'Honestly did you really think I would fall for that??'

'Mah Wyn, why he like trouble?' Rillifane was staring at Joe.

MoiraGwyn eyed Joe suspiciously, 'I do believe it is in his nature...'

'Is Grendel?' Rillifane remained fixated on the imp.

MoiraGwyn tried not to smile, 'No sweetheart, he is not a Grendel he
just...' She paused to consider how to explain it.

'Do you remember when we talked about how if you hang out with bad people
allll the time, then sometimes you forget you should be doing good things
and you start being more and more bad?' It was a lousy explanation but it
was the best she could do on short notice. 'Joe is sort of old and he
grew up in a bad bad place with very bad people his whole life. He might
not know any better yet.'

His eyes widened at Joe. 'He needs's new frien's! I will tell Thor an'
Mokkie and we's get him new good frien's!' He ran off, stuffed vampire
doll and knight doll under his arm, cookies lining his pockets. He
understood well enough.

MoiraGwyn rested on a bench in the hallway, not noticing Mok-Mok had
followed her in. He sat down next to her.

'Ahhh, our big boy,' She ran her fingers through his newly-washed hair.
She was still amazed her fingers went through as they should. It was
still a bit of a battle to get him to bathe and change clothes and not
pee on things when upset or nervous. At 14 years of age it was more of a
feat than his tiny 4-year-old counterpart.

'You are not playing with Sparky? He could use the attention. Joe steals
so much energy poor Sparky needs extra love.' She looked around, the
salamander was nowhere to be found.

Mok-Mok shook his head and said nothing.

Joe grinned and started talking, MoiraGwyn tilting her head to hear him.

'YOU are disgusting! He's my SON, what is WRONG with you?!' A resounding
smack sent Joe sprawling.

Mok-Mok blinked at MoiraGwyn, 'Son?'

Realizing what she had said, the young Queen faltered and tried to cover
for it, 'I didn't mean it Mokkie, I'm sorry. It was meant more as...',
she stammered a bit, groping for words. 'More like a parental sort of...'

'Like a parent...' Mok-Mok cut in as MoiraGwyn tried to not spook him
with such terms.

'I would never try and replace your moms Mokkie, I hope you know that,'
She added quickly. 'It's just that he-' she indicated to the imp. 'He is
vulgar and made a rude comment and... Damn. I am sorry. It came out
before I could think. I promise I meant no harm by it Mok-Mok.' She
sighed and stared off down the hall, unable to face him.

MoiraGwyn looked a bit drawn. Peaked even. It was hard not to notice it
right now when she wasn't trying to act regal and had no reason to put on
a front. He watched as she undid her braided hair and shook it loose,
leaning back quietly against the cold stone of the castle walls.

'I liked it,' Mok-Mok stayed staring at MoiraGwyn still.

She glanced at him for a moment, 'The braid? Oh, sorry love... I haven't
had my hair down in far too long, not since Rowane and I courted.' Her
attention was elsewhere, her voice trailed off a bit. She rested her head
back against the wall and closed her eyes.

'No, That wasn't what I meant.' Mok-Mok lowered his gaze to the bench,
his fingers touching the smooth surface of the wooden planks.

'It was nice. What you said. I liked it.'

'What I said?' MoiraGwyn's eyes opened a bit as she turned to look at
him.

Mok-Mok looked up at her, 'I liked it when you said I was your son.'

MoiraGwyn studied his face, a bit more awake to what was going on. This
subdued aspect of his nature was new to her, she wasn't entirely sure
what to make of it.

'You aren't mad at me for saying that...? I thought for sure you would
have been upset over my words. I know how much you still mourn your human
mother and your wolf mother.'

'It's nice having a warm safe place to sleep and food I don't have to
hunt myself,' His eyes glanced around as he spoke. 'And I have Rillifane,
I like him a lot.'

'Ohh, so you are worried? Mokkie, we told you that you were welcome to
stay for as long as you wanted. And yes, Rillifane adores you too,'
MoiraGwyn smiled at him. 'You don't need to feel you need to be called
our son in order to stay here with us.'

'I know. I just liked that part too.' He went back to staring at the
bench.

'What's wrong Mokkie... Tell me please?' she prompted him.

His gaze didn't raise from the bench. 'My name isn't right.'

MoiraGwyn arched an eyebrow, 'Your name? Your name is fine, what is wrong
with it?'

'It's not like yours and Rilli's.'

'How so?'

He was quiet for nearly a full minute before he looked back up at her.
'...It doesn't have de'Dannan.'

For a rare moment, the Queen of Carian Trag was stunned into silence.

               =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                 The Forgotten Letter: A Father's Love

          Dearest Tojek,

          I cannot imagine the pain and anguish you must be
          feeling now. Do not let it weigh you down, my son,
          for it is my burden to bear. I was the sinner who
          fell in love with a daughter of The Enemy, and it
          because of that sin that you must be exiled from
          your--our home. My son, mere words cannot express my
          grief!

          For so many years I groomed you to be an
          intellectual. I taught you the language of the
          Romans, and told you of Char le Magne, the Papacy,
          and the Britons. But alas, it was no good. Your size,
          your hair, your eyes all had the look of your mother,
          and the Ritters would not neglect such a young man as
          you. It was in your trials to become a Schildknappe
          that suspicions began to arise.

          One night at Der Phoenix several weeks ago, I was
          enjoying a Stein with your Ritter, Yves, and several
          of his compatriots. It was in my drunken stupor that
          I got to talking about your mother. All became silent
          when I referred to her as "the most beautiful
          Viking." My son, it was that night that sealed your
          fate.

          Yves is a merciful man, and knew what would happen to
          you as a result. He immediately helped me home and
          devised a plan to get a letter to you, as well as a
          pack of supplies. In the pack, I was able to persuade
          him to place your mother's most valuable heirloom:
          the scabbard. When she was carrying you in the utmost
          secrecy, she took her late father's scabbard,
          restored it, and wove your name into it in Viking
          runes. I was spellbound with her craftsmanship. Your
          mother was a wonderful woman, Tojek. Never let words
          of disrespect and ignorant hatred taint such a lady's
          legacy.

          Go, my son. I will live my life in misery until next
          we meet. Take with you the pack that Yves and I
          prepared for you, and hold fast to your mother's
          heirloom. May her love lighten your burden, and may
          God grant you safe passage through the wilderness.

          Your loving father,

          Wolfgang Anselm

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                               Recovery

After being dumbstruck by Mok-Mok's words for some quarter of an hour
before he climbed the stairs to his room, MoiraGwyn stood and crossed the
hall back to the office. Pulling out the chair, she sat down at the desk
used for castle business and took out a quill and paper. Feelings of
uncertainty welled up inside of her- what was she to write? Either way
she knew whom she needed to speak to... She dipped her quill into a pot of
ink and touched it touch the parchment.

          My Dearest Rowane,
          
          I need to speak with you soon on a matter. It is
          important, my love.

          As well you are sorely missed and I would like time
          with my husband. Waking up to a snoring salamander
          instead of being in your loving arms is a rather
          disheartening replacement, temporary as it is. He
          doesn't have your wonderful smile.
          
          (the delicate form of lips marks the paper here)
          
          Your Wife,
                            MoiraGwyn de'Dannan


MoiraGwyn pressed her lips in a soft kiss to the spot above her name and
rolled the parchment into a scroll, tying it with a length of cord. She
smiled to herself, thoughts of her husband stealing her thoughts before
she caught herself and stood.

A minute or so later she was opening the gilded cage of the carrier
pigeons and making sure Joe was nowhere near the birds. An off-white
pigeon with dark markings by the name of Terra jumped forward, ready for
duty. With an affectionate nip and the message tied securely to its
ankle, it flew up through the top of the turret and away.

An absentminded hand reached down to pet the reserved creature nuzzling
her calf.

'I know Sparky, I miss him too,' she stroked a finger along his snout as
his weight shifted to lean against her. 'Annnnd, I missed you too. I like
it when you are around. You are more than just Rowane's childhood friend
of sorts, you are an active part of our lives.'

Ruby lips bent to kiss the crown of a smooth red head, as the owners of
both pondered life as they knew it to be.

Despite the little hardships fate threw in now and then, life was good.
Few things could counter deep love or true friendship, and for that they
knew they were blessed.

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