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 VOLUME ELEVEN, NUMBER SIX                                 June 26, 2004

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS
                           The Editor's Note

                         NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                           Calendar of Events
                             Recent Updates

                               CLAN NEWS
                     The Red Hand of Discord Forms
                          The Afterlife Forms

                        The Red Hand of Discord
                  Ranks of the Seven Circles of Hell Swell
                       News of the Knights Templar

                              THE PK FRONT
                Eerie Fogbank Closes in on Romanian Town

                           The Price of a Rose
                          So You're A Vampire...
                      And a word from our sponsor...
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                      The Editor's Note                          |__\

Thursday, July 1st, kicks off the second leg of this year's Summer
Odyssey! We've got more games, and hopefully some articles and plenty of
updates planned to showcase the medieval era this month.

We are still looking for players to write up short travelogue type
articles on their favorite area and submit it to [email protected] (3-5
paragraphs/500 word max). What's interesting/fun to do there, what makes
this your favorite area, what's your favorite thing to show off there to
new players, etc. No spoilers or other in game info please!

The following keywords can be used with the HELP command online to find
out more information about these ancient areas:


We also have a section on the web pages that is dedicated to providing
basic information and related links that may be of interest. To visit,
that page, please point your browsers to:

If you're planning an adventure to go explore any of these areas for the
first time, we like to recommend that you read the helpfile on the area
first, turn brief off, check exits often and check out HELP MAPPING, and
enjoy the experience!

We hope that you will enjoy all that we have in store for you this summer
and that everyone has a good time exploring our world's history!

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

          JUNE: ANCIENT ERA             JULY: MEDIEVAL ERA 
         Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa          Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                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
Wednesday,  June      23rd,   2pm-10pm   PK BattleZone 
Thursday,   June      24th,   7:30 pm    Q&A in the OOC Auditorium
Saturday,   June      26th,   3:00 pm    Trivia Challenge w/LadyAce (Ancient)
Coming in July:
  Summer Odyssey: Focus on the Medieval Era
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                         Recent Updates                          |__\

    /\                        CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    BUG FIXES
 /_    _\     o You can only BUILD doors on your own property now.
   |  |       o KSI will no longer appear in allwords for limans.
   |  |       o You can no longer use the INJECT skill in OOC.
   |  |     
   |__|     MISC CHANGES
    /\        o The maximum number of damage an object can receive in one
   /  \         hit has been increased.  But the max damage an object can
  /    \        withstand has been increased in the same ratio.
 /_    _\     o Hitroll and damroll granted by spells/potions/in-game
   |  |         affects (not worn items) are no longer constrained by the
   |  |         equipment cap on hitroll and damroll, respectively.
   |  |     
   |__|     TYPO FIXES
    /\        o Missing space fixed when kneeling around furniture.
   /  \       o Door knocking message fixed.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   
   |  |                     HELPFILE UPDATES
   |  |     
   |  |     General Topics:
  /    \    
 /_    _\   
   |  |                      SUMMER ODYSSEY
   |  |                   ANCIENT ERA 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 (check AREAINFO to find
 /_    _\   out!). Please don't limit ideas to just these 3 months!
   |  |     
   |  |       Thanks to everyone that submitted bug/typo/idea reports!
   |  |     
   |__|     As part of the Summer Odyssey this year, the new materials
    /\      added to the code a while ago are being used in the areas.
   /  \     Many items are changing to meet the new materials spec. The
  /    \    material type of an item will limit the amount of AC the item
 /_    _\   can have and contribute to the amount of rent the item will
   |  |     cost. Some items will cost less rent, others will cost more.
   |  |     Items in playerfiles and housing have NOT been changed.
   |  |     
    /\           Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo
   /  \          fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   ANASAZI
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Tweaks the
   |  |          shopkeeper. Various bug\typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |__|     ANCIENT EGYPT
    /\           Converts rent and materials.
   /  \     
  /    \    ANCIENT GREECE
 /_    _\        Converts items to the new materials.
   |  |          Various bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |     ANCIENT INDIA
   |__|          #GEOGRAPHY and #FISHING sections added. Converts items
    /\           to the new materials. Several mobs have been removed
   /  \          from the area entirely. Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   ANCIENT MISC
   |  |          #FISHING section for the pacific.
   |  |     
   |__|          Hospitable villager only asks non-locals if they want to
    /\           stay. Potter's apprentice now assists his master.
   /  \          Weather is more customized. Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \         Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo
 /_    _\        fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |     ANCIENT SEAS
   |  |          #GEOGRAPHY section added. Some clean up and tactics for
   |__|          the sea serpent. Some changes to the crashing rocks for
    /\           people flying.
   /  \     
  /    \    ARABIAN NIGHTS
 /_    _\        Guards will linger with (read follow) those they leap to
   |  |          assist. A few more nouns and adjectives for disguises.
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Sword swallower and
   |  |          snake charmer should be less spammy when you arrive.
   |__|          Captain of the guard has been tweaked, be careful! New
    /\           item for sale. Various bug/typo fixes.
   /  \     
  /    \    AZTECS
 /_    _\        Adds in avocado and #FISHING section.
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials.
   |  |     
   |  |     BEOWULF
   |__|          The rabbits are less fond of swimming in the lake.
    /\           Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo
   /  \          fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   CELTIC IRELAND
   |  |          Adds in #GEOGRAPHY sections so daylight will line up
   |  |          with rest of area. Be careful! Some changes for the bane
   |  |          sidhe. Some mobs have better reactions for being
   |__|          poisoned or burned. Twiddles a couple of resets. Mobs
    /\           that leap to assist others will linger with (read
   /  \          follow) those they are defending. Some improved fighting
  /    \         tactics for the royal family. Converts items to the new
 /_    _\        materials. Some updates to the trader. Shades leave
   |  |          piles of dust instead of corpses. Dun mobs have been
   |  |          tweaked more, be careful! New mini quest added. Some
   |  |          mundane items for Oonagh. Various bug/typo fixes.
    /\      LAND OF SHADOWS
   /  \          Geography and weather sections added. Readjustments to
  /    \         encourage exploring per Rufus' welcome board post.
 /_    _\        Various bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |          Many changes to the old couple -- Be careful! Converts
   |__|          items to the new materials. New item for sale at the
    /\           clothier. Brine ring rent fixed. Disguises added. New
   /  \          foods for Calpurnius. Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   
   |  |                    Other Area Updates
   |  |     
   |  |     OOC
   |__|          Adds pk tourney flag & whois. Converts items to the new
    /\           materials.
   /  \     
  /    \    LIMBO and MISC
 /_    _\        Some tweaks to generic fruits. Typo fix on small iron
   |  |          knife and silvadine now has keyword medicine. All
   |  |          generic fruit is now cookable. Converts items to the new
   |  |          materials.
   /  \          Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo
  /    \         fixes.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     PR
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Frosty will no
   |  |          longer be loading.
    /\      1930'S PITTSBURGH
   /  \          Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo
  /    \         fixes.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     BOSTON
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo
   |  |          fixes.
    /\      THE CRUSADES
   /  \          A few rent/material/AC updates I missed & some syntax
  /    \         fixes from working offline. AT will now be less kind to
 /_    _\        the young, all items converted to use new material
   |  |          types, plus some minor changes.
   |  |     
   |__|          Aloph de Wignacourt has become a tad more picky with
    /\           whom he will reward for the bravery of their ancestors,
   /  \          kids need not apply. Thirsty soldiers may be a little
  /    \         more grateful for a helping hand. A few more birds prowl
 /_    _\        the siege area. A few new items available from
   |  |          shopkeepers. Dragut took a final exam from evil warlord
   |  |          school. Pawl expanded his sortiment of custom furniture
   |  |          somewhat. Converts rents and materials. Rents and
   |__|          materials have been converted to new specs. Monks will
    /\           be more embarrassed if caught with a whore. Siege
   /  \          soldiers will be less interested in how people smell. A
  /    \         few cosmetic fixes. A number of typo fixes and minor
 /_    _\        tweaks.
   |  |     
   |  |     KLEINSTADT
   |  |          Some aesthetic fixes, some additional bulletproofing
   |__|          Olga's quest acts Erich & Karin quest fixed! A few typos
    /\           slain & minor aesthetic changes made. Converts klein
   /  \          objects to use new material types. Minor changes in
  /    \         rent. Various bug/typo fixes.
 /_    _\   
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials.
   |  |     
   |__|     PARIS OPERA
    /\         Converts items to the new materials. Various bug/typo fixes.
   /  \     
  /    \    PIRATE'S DEN
 /_    _\        Converts items to the new materials. Changes the black
   |  |          boots. Geography section added. Readjustments to
   |  |          encourage exploring per Rufus' welcome board post.
   |  |          Various bug/typo fixes.
    /\      PORT OF LONDON
   /  \          Fixes to some breaks in dreams, twiddles the nurse some.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   ROMANIA
   |  |       Various typos fixed.
   |  |     
   |  |     SALEM
   |__|          Changes to the indian - be careful! Converts items to
    /\           the new materials. Various bug/typo fixes.
   /  \     
  /    \    ST DENNIS ABBEY
 /_    _\        Converts rent and materials. Various bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |          Various bug/typo fixes.
   /  \                 In-Progress Area Updates
  /    \    
 /_    _\           Firefly       Japan
   |  |             Kae           Larderello (Dante's Inferno)
   |  |             Nestor        Ancient Carthage
   |  |             Rufus         SL Expansion
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                       PD & SL Changes                           |__\

You won't like them... They've changed somewhat radically for a short time
(though some changes may be permanent).

You have to be level 39 or higher to get into either now.

All mobs have been readjusted to encourage exploration and runs elsewhere.

Because, overall, the mobs are somewhat easier, the respawn rate has been
increased so the equipment doesn't roll into the game.

These changes will go in with the update on Friday. I will be taking a
look at what people consider challenging and otherwise fun encounters, and
revamping SL and PD after those.

Enjoy =)

___                                                                    ___
\  |------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|               The Scoop on the Material Changes                  |__\

What changed?

     We went from having 8 material types (CLOTH, FUR, LEATHER, KEVLAR, 
     METAL, MISC, PRECIOUS, and WOOD) for armor items to having 26 
     material types (ALLOY for mixed metals like pewter and tin, BONE and 
     hemp/linens/other natural wood fiber, IRON, KEVLAR, LAQUERED wood, 
     LEATHER, METAL, MISC as a catch-all, PADDED armor, POTTERY and 
     ceramic, PRECIOUS for gemstones, RUBBER, SILK, SILVER, STEEL, STONE, 
     WOOD, and WOOL).

Why do materials matter?

     What an item is made of can affect how well it protects you in combat, 
     how it fares when hit by a weapon, and how it affects the weapon that
     hit it. The material of an item is a determining factor in how many 
     "hitpoints" the item has. They also affect what an item can be mended 
     or repaired with, or whether you can tailor with the item.

How can we expect items to change?

     ARMOR type items may be changed from a generic material type to a 
     more specific material type. A gold bracelet was METAL with the 
     original material types, but with the expanded selection, it would 
     most likely be GOLD. The amount of rent an item costs or the amount 
     of AC an item provides may also change. Since the material is a 
     determining factor in the number of hitpoints an item has, some 
     items may begin to scrap sooner than their old counterparts, or they 
     may be able to take damage better.

Why would rent or AC change?

     Because of the benefits a material type can confer in combat. SILVER 
     resists tangle attacks better than RUBBER, so it will cost more in 
     rent because it can protect you (and itself) better, and as a result,
     can give you better AC. Even items that remain the same material type 
     (FUR, LEATHER, WOOD, some MISC) may see changes in rent or AC. Rent 
     may increase OR decrease.

How do I know if my item changed or not?

     First, keep in mind only ARMOR items can be a specific material type 
     currently. All other item types default to the MISC material. There 
     are in-game ways to tell what material your item is made of and/or 
     if it is an ARMOR item. In-game ways you can get this information 
     include the identify spell, appraise, and previewing shopkeeper's 
     sellables. Items in areas are being converted by the end of the 
     Odyssey month they belong to. Ancient and generic areas have been 
     converted for June already. Some medieval and industrial areas have 
     also been taken care of, but by the end of July, all medieval areas 
     will be converted, and by the end of August, all industrial areas 
     will be converted.

Until item templates are a reality, existing items in player files will 
NOT be updated with new materials.

If you come across a converted item that seems to be scrapping too often,
report that specific item on the bug channel. It may be that it should
scrap that often, but it may be able to be tweaked to scrap less.

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

              Kimba has reached 100 million experience!
             Moiranne has reached 100 million experience!
               Saiph has reached 100 million experience!
             Shemyaza has reached 100 million experience!
            Neo_Tritoch has reached 200 million experience!
                 Yay has reached 200 million experience!
            UggaBagugga has reached 300 million experience!


The leader of the Dragon clan peered at Nogard irritably. He was getting
bored with the proceedings, it had been a week since he last ate, and
there was an old rotting knight's leg stuck between his teeth.

The Council of Dragons had been in session for many days, going over the
evidence, questioning and cross-questioning Nogard about the raid on the
dragon village last summer.

A few days flight from the Council Rock was (as in past-tense) a small
village of dragons who had taken human form in order to facilitate the
study of human behaviour in the surrounding lands. For as long as
recorded history, the dragons had had a similar village in every human
nation, as they struggled to understand the odd, at times suicidal,
actions of humans. In the 100 generations since the founding of the first
village, the dragons were no nearer understanding than they ever were;
humans simply make *no* sense!

It seems that a band of Dragon-Slayers had discovered the true identity
of the village and had raided and destroyed it, from the youngest
hatchling to the most ancient sires and dams. When the raiders departed,
they left, scrawled in blood, the message, 'Here lies the fate of all
Dragons! The betrayal of the Dragon of Silver heralds Doom!'

And therein lies the reason for this long, boring, council.

It was a clear-cut case. The evidence was conclusive. The only reason for
the council dragging on was the refusal of the Accused to accept the

Simply put, the Dragon of Silver was Nogard Revlis. He had betrayed the
village to the Dragon-Slayers, and the raider scum had done their grisly

Nogard, on the other hand, refused that conclusion. He denied having ever
spoken to one not of the clan of any dragon conclave, and furthermore,
the Doom of which the message spoke would only come to pass if *he* was
betrayed, as he believed was about to occur.

As the son of one of the former Great Dragons, Nogard had been given more
than ample opportunity to accept the findings of the Council, yet he
would not do so.

Heaving a huge sigh, the Clan Leader rose to his feet.

'Enough!' he roared.

'Time and past time has been spent on this, an obvious case of betrayal
by one of our own,' the Leader growled. 'We will waste no more effort on
this! The Case before us is finished! Nogard of the Dragons, stand and
appear before the Council!'

Wearily, Nogard stood and, walking with slow, deliberate steps,
approached the Council.

'It is the recommendation of the Council that your life be forfeit for
this most heinous crime against your own,' said the Leader. 'Before
judgment is passed, you may make one final, *brief*, statement. What say

Clearing his throat with a grumble, Nogard stood straight and adjusted
his wings.

'If it please the Council, I would respectfully request that I be given
time to conclude my affairs, and to follow the trail of these 'Slayers so
that I might find what I believe to be the truth behind the destruction
of our village. On the Memory of my Father, I ask that I be given one
thousand years to complete my task. I swear that I will do all in my
power to prevent another village from being attacked, and that if I am
unable to do so, or if, within the allotted time, I cannot clear my name,
I will submit to the forfeit recommended by the Council.'

The members of the Council put their heads together, and, in hoarse
whispers, debated this statement.

Rising again to his feet, the Clan Leader spoke, 'Very well. On the
Memory of your Father we will allow you your time. As a guarantee that
you will be unable to flee your forfeit, you will be henceforth returned
to human form, unable to resume your true form.'

'You have but one Millenium, make the most of it.'

Gathering their Power about them, the Members of the Council began
weaving their magic, and Nogard began to blur, as he started to assume
his new form. . . wings wilting, neck shrinking, tail shriveling, as he
was forced into the appearance of a human.

The spell complete, Nogard stood before the Council not as a dragon, but
in his bearing one might see the majesty which had once been his.

Looking directly into the eyes of the Clan Leader, Nogard spoke one final
time, 'May the Gods bless you, and the Doom of Dragons pass you by.'

With that, he turned and strode grimly from the room.


Nogard will no longer appear as:
     Short: Nogard Revlis.
     Long: An eerie young man stands here, wearing a cloak made form a
           dragon's wings.

He will now appear as:
     Short: a jaded lad with eerie, silver-blue eyes
     Long: An eerie, jaded lad lounges here, vertical-pupiled eyes
           regarding you coldly.
     ___                                                          ___
     \  |--------------------------------------------------------|  /
     /__|                     Clan News                          |__\

           The Red Hand of Discord was formed on May 25, 2004.
             The Afterlife clan was formed on June 06, 2004.


                     The Red Hand of Discord

Hullo Legend,

    I am writing in regards to the newest clan on Legend -- perhaps you
    have noticed our recent presence. We are known as the Red Hand, and
    at the time of this writing have five members beside myself. We are
    an RP clan, and currently recruiting members of any level, provided
    that you are either a thief, assassin, criminal, rogue, contract
    killer, (etc.) of some kind. The clan is not dexterity-type character
    exclusive, but these character types are favored. As I have said we
    are an RP clan, however PK is strongly encouraged.

    This clan has two purposes. The clan's official purpose is, of
    course, to gain the power and prosperity that each of our members
    desire individually and as a group -- and to hell with anyone who
    gets in our way. We'll take what we want any way we can get it, and
    by any means necessary.

    My own, more personal reason for creating this clan has something to
    do with the changes made to the dex skills on Legend of late... let's
    face it, being a dex/sniper isn't easy anymore. The creation of this
    clan is just my way of trying to give more definition to the class, a
    place to belong, and some recognition where it is so desperately
    lacking. Legend has clans for mages, and clans for pure fighters and
    even clans for druids and surgeons. Somehow the Dexie got overlooked
    in all of this... until now, of course. I think it's time we band
    together and prove that -- yes; we've still got it. ;)

    If you would like more information about the clan, care to join, or
    simply want to know where to send your hate mail, please mudmail

       - Shrieve Trent, the proud Mistress of the Red Hand of Discord

                 Ranks of the Seven Circles of Hell Swell

It's my pleasure to announce that Fatality, Moiranne and Kasdeja have
joined the ranks of demon worshipers, devil worshipers, demons, devils,
imps, satanists, pagans, women of free enterprise, gentlemen, fops, and
other goodly folks of the Seven Circles.

Marcel Alexander, Esquire.  

                      News of the Knights Templar

Tanek hast joined noviceship within the Order the Poor Knights of Christ
of the Temple of Solomon of Jerusalem, commonly knownst unto man as the
Knights Templar. Keep him faithfully in thy prayers that he may go forth
in the world and spread the Lord's word to those in need of comfort and
bring His sword to those who art not with him for they art His enemies.

There are currently 19 RP clans and 3 PK clans. This leaves open slots
for ten (10) 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:
     ___                                                          ___
     \  |--------------------------------------------------------|  /
     /__|                    The PK Front                        |__\

                Eerie Fogbank Closes in on Romanian Town

An ominous cloud bank rolled into the center of town and seemed to settle
around the well of Trust. A sing-song voice rang out eerily through the
fog, 'The cup is off limits to pkers now and forever!' The battered
remains of a guard lay strewn before the well, obviously not quick enough
to reach the cup in time. His assailant was nowhere to be seen, but soon
that eerie voice was heard again, 'Because Romania has been stricken with
a bout of bad weather.' The townspeople huddled in their homes, and the
guards reluctantly trod their patrol paths, muttering about how first
they'd been plagued with vampires and now this infernal fog. Throughout
the day, echoing off the stone buildings, came out of the fog the sound of
a young girl singing, dancing and having a merry time despite the heavy
droplets of dew that were collecting on the tip of her pert little nose.

             /                       \
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMUD?|
   (o o)     \_______________________/

                          The Price of a Rose

[[The following note was tacked to our office doors with a dagger! -Ed.]]

          Tancred de Gisborne,
          I have in my custody one (1) Edwina de Gisborne, I
          believe she may be of some worth to you, and indeed to
          me in line. Shall we set a time to meet? No fight mind
          you, we wouldn't want my accomplice to get upset at my
          lack of return.
          Reply here if you are interested in an exchange,
                                         A masked man. 


                          So You're A Vampire...
[[ This 12-step plan was found in a plain brown manuscript envelope that
had been slipped under our office door. The formation of the characters
and the indentations on the paper itself suggest an extremely old
Underwood typewrite was used to type it. The editor of this fine paper
claims no responisibility for the opinions put forth here, nor for the
factual integrity of this work. Just because the editors here often burn
the midnight oil and drink bloody mary's doesn't mean it was intended for
US, right? -Ed.]]

So you got into the wrong crowd one night in town and you woke up three
days later with a hangover the size of Mt. Everest, no pulse, and a
bizarre craving for blood and the wearing of black clothing. The only
nice thing about that morning was that at least you couldn't see just how
awful you looked in the mirror. Well, and those six lbs or so you lost
when your veins atrophied.

Don't panic. It is possible to remain a decent human being in spite of
not being one anymore. Follow this 12-step plan to a better unlife

1. Resist the urge to dress solely in black. Wear at least one colorful
   item to set you apart from the Goth crowd (this is also very
   convenient if you want to be respected by any authorities). Black
   capes with ruby insides don't count. Try not to panic as you slip on a
   tie-dye shirt at least once a week.

2. Visit your local beauty parlor and get a good foundation lotion. Death
   is no excuse for that ghastly white pallor, and besides, the kind of
   girls who are attracted to pale, anemic men usually are into the very
   kind of thing you're trying to give up. Resist any urges to pick up
   dark red or black lipstick.

3. At least once a week, walk to your destination. Flying around as a bat
   in the darkness is fun but remember, your human body needs excercise
   too. Nothing is more uncharming than a fat bat. Only cats like fat
   bats, and you don't want that kind of attention. Resist any urges to
   sleep hanging upside down from the ceiling.

4. Once a week, dine on take-out pizza or go to Taco Bell. Practice with
   spices and side dishes until you actually feel an interest in
   non-liquid food. Remember, most girls like to be taken out for
   Italian, not Italians.

5. Get a sidekick. Not only will this come in handy whenever your
   somberness needs some comic relief, but it's also very convenient to
   have someone else to shave you and clean up the lair. Sidekicks are
   cheap maintenance if you're not too picky. Require sidekicks to
   provide their own insects if they can't eat regular take-out Chinese.

6. At least once a month, walk past a music store and resist any urges to
   purchase CDs of sinister organ music. Pick up some blues jazz and
   maybe some Celtic mood music if you must, but steer wide of Gregorian
   chants and violin concerts. If assaulted by Rob Zombie fans asking for
   autographs you're still wearing too much black.

7. Visit your local fitness center regularly and get a good tan. It saves
   on foundation expenses and you're bound to meet all sorts of nice
   people you can dine on there. Caution! Be sure to dine on those who
   sell the steroids, not those who use them -- you don't want to open
   that can of worms in addition to your other problems.

8. Get a job where you meet people. There are plenty of job openings for
   people with your special hours. Talking to people helps you see them
   as persons, rather than food. Avoid any job openings at the suicide
   line, as an ambulance medic, and other places where blood flows
   freely. This will help ensure a continued good relationship with your

9. At this point you've realized that you can't do without killing.
   Rather than mindless violence, set out to be a vigilante. Hunt down
   criminals and turn them over to the authorities after you've fed. If
   anyone asks questions about certain needle-shaped wounds, maintain
   that the ratio of drug-related crimes is going up these years. Try not
   to burp or pick your teeth while making this statement. Sign movie
   contracts from certain comic companies only after having a good lawyer
   read them first.

Now you're building a name for yourself, and with that comes other

10. Date only dark-haired girls. Do not ever date blond girls. Do not
    ever date blond girls who are followed around by red-haired witches,
    werewolves, ex-demons, or boys named Xander.

11. Don't ever fly onto balconies to whisper heated words of longing to
    the girl of your dreams. She's bound to have a fiancee whose friend
    has a dutch accent and an affinity for pointy things. Call her
    cellphone instead or send her an email.

12. The final step. Buy a typewriter or laptop computer and practice
    writing narratives of a haunted, undead soul who looks better than
    you and who gets to do all the things this plan prohibits. Sprinkle
    with despair and eroticism and publish. Retire to the countryside.
    Buy the countryside. Do all the things this plan prohibits. Kill your


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