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=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 VOLUME ELEVEN, NUMBER SEVEN                           July 10, 2004
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events
                            Recent Updates
                       Upcoming Code Changes
                    June 2004 Connection Analysis

                             LEGENDITES
                      To Become Something More

                             CLAN NEWS
           The Red Hand of Discord - Seeking Wayward Souls

                         How Many Fingers?
               Roving Bands Seen Approaching the Castle
                      A Word from Our Sponsor 
___                                                               ___
\  |-------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                LegendMUD Calendar of Events                 |__\
   '-------------------------------------------------------------'
          [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

                         JULY: MEDIEVAL ERA 
                        Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                                     1  2  3
                         4  5  6  7  8  9 10
                        11 12 13 14 15 16 17
                        18 19 20 21 22 23 24
                        25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 
Saturday,   July      10th     7:00 pm   Lorenzo's Trivia
Monday,     July      12th     7:00 pm   Medieval Level to 5 Contest
Wednesday,  July      14th,   2pm-10pm   PK BattleZone 
Thursday,   July      15th     7:30 pm   Q&A in the OOC Auditorium
Saturday,   July      17th     3:00 pm   Medieval Trivia Challenge
Sunday,     July      18th     5:00 pm   July Tinyplot (details TBA)
Wednesday,  July      21st,   2pm-10pm   PK BattleZone 
Wednesday,  July      21st,    7:00 pm   Medieval Mixer-Der Phoenix
Thursday,   July      22nd     7:30 pm   Q&A in the OOC Auditorium
Saturday,   July      24th     3:00 pm   Medieval Trivia Challenge
                               5:00 pm   Spellcaster Spectacular PK 
                                            Tourney
Wednesday,  July      28th,   2pm-10pm   PK BattleZone 
Thursday,   July      29th     7:30 pm   Q&A in the OOC Auditorium
Saturday,   July      31st     3:00 pm   Medieval Trivia Challenge
                               5:00 pm   A Gathering of Warlords PK 
                                            Tourney

Coming in August:
  Summer Odyssey: Focus on the Industrial Era
  ...including Industrial-themed Trivia Challenge sessions, an
  Industrial Level to 5 contest, a Tinyplot in the Industrial era,
  and a Naked Brawl PK Tourney, and much more!
___                                                               ___
\  |-------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                       Recent Updates                        |__\
   '-------------------------------------------------------------'

    /\                      CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    GENERAL CHANGES
 /_    _\     o Backstab will now use perception to determine your
   |  |         chance to hit.
   |  |       o Bonuses for backstab success will now factor in
   |  |         properly but won't get added if your opponent has
   |__|         something to negate them.
    /\        o New messages for cough and grimace.
   /  \       o Moods will now effect beep social messages.
  /    \      o Trying to use a tool that requires a skill you don't
 /_    _\       have will now give you a message saying you don't
   |  |         know how to use it rather than Huh?.
   |  |       o Changes area affect spells so that secondary targets
   |  |         that are killed outright won't take full mana. 
   |__|         Spells effected are chain lightning, earthquake,
    /\          firestorm, wave of nausea, and whirlpool.
   /  \       o Damage to secondary targets for whirlpool has been
  /    \        raised.
 /_    _\     o Whirlpool will no longer damage group members of the
   |  |         casting mage.
   |  |     BUG
   |  |       o Only the rent cost on the brnach is checked with make
   |__|         staff now.
    /\        o Steal bug fixed. - Will be installed shortly.
   /  \     TYPO
  /    \      o Typo fixes: Bounce, Growl, Goodbye, Grin, Yawn.
 /_    _\     o Typo fixes: Confident, Meek, Wise.
   |  |       o A couple of door messages changed from "I see no" to
   |  |         "You see no"...
   |  |     
   |__|     
    /\                    HELPFILE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    Updated Topics:
 /_    _\        AFKINFO, AKFROOM, AFKTELLS, ANATOMY, CHANNELS,
   |  |          CONFIGURATION, DECLINE, ELBOW, MAJOR ILLUSION, MANA,
   |  |          PING, SEEK, SOCIAL, TRACEROUTE
   |  |     
   |__|     
    /\                     SUMMER ODYSSEY
   /  \                 MEDIEVAL 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.
   |  |     
   |  |     1802 ALASKA
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Various
   |__|          bug/typo fixes.
    /\      
   /  \     ALHAMBRA
  /    \         Converts items to the new materials. Various
 /_    _\        bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |     THE CRUSADES
   |  |          Saladin quest will now accept the promises of
   |__|          females. New puzzle/reward added to the Assassins
    /\           tower, and new AI will make the assassins somewhat
   /  \          more of a strategic challenge. Be careful, and watch
  /    \         closely for clues about how these new elements work!
 /_    _\   
   |  |     HOSPITALLER MALTA
   |  |          Some shopkeepers have changed to make them more
   |  |          interesting. Some mobs are worth more exp to reflect
   |__|          their use of quality armor and weapons. The gems
    /\           quest has been expanded to include more gem types.
   /  \          Tweaks to the siege area, be careful. Lots of
  /    \         generic animals have been introduced. More tweaks to
 /_    _\        reduce spamming, particularly to Biancas brothel.
   |  |          Some changes to weather. A new mini-quest has been
   |  |          added as well as had a new herb bag item. More
   |  |          people are of evil or neutral alignment now.
   |__|          Assorted typo fixes.
    /\      
   /  \     KLEINSTADT
  /    \         Tweaks the guards some, use caution.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     MEDIEVAL ANDES
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Weather behaves
   |  |          more regionally. Various bug/typo fixes.
   |__|     
    /\      MEDIEVAL SEAS
   /  \          Converts items to the new materials. New weapon for
  /    \         the compradore. Various bug/typo fixes.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     PIRATE'S DEN
   |  |          Returns PD to original strength and makes a number
   |  |          of other improvements and changes. See discussion
   |__|          board for details. Fixes problems with the doors.
    /\           Pirates have been tweaked slightly.
   /  \     
  /    \    ROMANIA
 /_    _\        Various bug/typo fixes. Brings a number of items
   |  |          into spec AC-wise, but does NOT convert items to the
   |  |          new materials.
   |  |     
   |__|     SALEM
    /\           Mob repops tweaked slightly. Various bug/typo fixes.
   /  \     
  /    \    SHERWOOD
 /_    _\        Converts items to the new materials. Some mobs and
   |  |          their behaviors regarding fights have been changed -
   |  |          be careful! Repop rates twiddled slightly. Various
   |  |          bug/typo fixes.
   |__|     
    /\      TORTUGA
   /  \          Converts items to the new materials. Some mobs and
  /    \         their behaviors regarding fights have been changed -
 /_    _\        br careful! Various bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |     TUDOR LONDON
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Mobs have been
   |__|          converted to the inherits system, use caution! Some
    /\           generic beasts and herbs added in places. Some mobs
   /  \          have new equipment. Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   VICEROYAL LIMA
   |  |          Converts items to the new materials. Various
   |  |          bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |__|     VIKING SKANDINAVIA
    /\           Converts items to the new materials.
   /  \     
  /    \    BOSTON, MEDIEVAL MISC
 /_    _\        Various bug/typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |                  Other Area Updates
   |  |     
   |__|     1930'S PITTSBURGH
    /\           Some work on the gangsters, various little twiddles.
   /  \          Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   ANCIENT EGYPT
   |  |          Mobs should be more responsive. Some new teachers
   |  |          for the area. More people are dressed despite the
   |  |          heat. The guards will no longer swim to work in the
   |__|          morning. Worshippers might be slightly harder, be
    /\           careful. The population was upped a little bit.
   /  \          Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   ANCIENT INDIA
   |  |          Changes to the sastram and adds the tiger pelt
   |  |          (slightly modified) back in.
   |  |     
   |__|     ARABIAN NIGHTS
    /\           Petting puppies should not do messages twice. Repop
   /  \          rates twiddled slightly. Various bug/typo fixes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   CELTIC IRELAND
   |  |          Repop rates twiddled slightly. Various bug/typo
   |  |          fixes.
   |  |     
   |__|     LAND OF SHADOWS
    /\           Returns SL to original strength and makes a number
   /  \          of other improvements and changes.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   ROMAN BRITAIN
   |  |          Repop rates twiddled slightly.
   |  |     
   |  |     ANCIENT ANDES, AZTECS, LOTP, MISC, OOC, and PICTISH
   |__|     COUNTRY
    /\           Various bug/typo fixes.
   /  \     
  /    \                   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.
    /\      
   /  \             Huma          Tombstone
  /    \            Kae           Larderello (Dante's Inferno)
 /_    _\           Kaige         El Dorado
   |  |             Kheldar       Medieval Trade
   |  |             LadyAce       Black Forest
   |  |             Nestor        Ancient Carthage
   |__|             Rufus         SL Expansion
___                                                               ___
\  |-------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   Upcoming Code Changes                     |__\
   '-------------------------------------------------------------'

A while ago it became clear that certain aspects of the current fight
system were skewed. Hitroll was the most glaring, since it was clear
that most characters felt they needed hitroll to succeed in melee
combat. And upon investigation, the average damage of a 100 dex
character was higher than that of a 100 str character, assuming that
the str character hadn't compensated with hitroll items.

We also listened when people complained about the overabundance of AC
points, and the fact that even low dex people could achieve -100 AC
without much effort. And there have been comments about the
overpowering nature of the blind effect, especially in player vs
player combat.

To fix the armor problem we've removed the level bonus that formerly
augmented the AC value set by the builder. This will make it harder
to get to the max armor value. We'll also changed hitroll from a
straight addition for hitting, now it takes AC into effect and its
impact will be greater the weaker the target's armor is. So armor
will now be rarer but more important while hitroll drops in power if
your opponent is able to present a good defense.

We've also raised the impact of not being on your feet in combat,
it'll be harder to hit from the ground and to dodge attacks when in a
sitting/prone position. Previously a sitting person could still out
hit someone who had just bashed them. Heavier weapons will also have
a higher minimum damage so on average they'll now do more damage than
lighter weapons. This should put strength fighters in the lead in
terms of dealing damage, if defensive skills don't negate those hits.

Worse for wear stuns and paralyzing backstabs were also changed to
reduce the extreme damage swings that were possible. This will lead
to less luck based pkill fights and an easier time balancing out the
arsenal snipers have.

And finally we're added a few more skills for pure fighters to make
them a bit more competitive with their mage and druid conterparts.

Included is a list of changes below, we hope you'll enjoy them and
will continue to work with us to make Legend as entertaining as
possible.

Huginn

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

New skills:

Innate Defense: Strength skill to that has a chance of transfering
            damage from health to movement. This skill won't be
            possible to learn if you know chant or augment.

Blind fighting: Allows a blind person to reengage with their most
            recent combatant. This skill won't be possible to learn
            if you know chant or augment. This will be available only
            to character from Klein.

Weapon Mastery: This skill increases a fighter's base chance to hit,
            with a small increase per basic/advanced/expert skill
            level. This skill won't be possible to learn if you know
            chant or augment.

Combat Changes:
  o Level bonus for AC removed.
  o The impact of hitroll is now heavily influenced by AC.
  o Melee damage reduction for pk fights has been reduced.
  o Attacker's ability to hit will be decreased if they aren't
    standing.
  o Dodging will be much less effective if you aren't standing.
  o Hitroll will now be determined by your primary weapon stat.
  o Backstab damage is no longer effected by position.
  o Heavier weapons will have an increased minimum damage.
  o Advanced and expert parry bonuses won't be capped by the type of
    weapon you're using.

Spell Changes:
  o Worse for wear stuns will cause additional lag to the caster so
    no secondary spells will be possible during the stun.
___                                                               ___
\  |-------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|           LegendMUD June 2004 Connection Analysis           |__\
   '-------------------------------------------------------------'

                       Peak Mortal Players 38
                         Average Peak was 32
                    Peak PKOK Enabled Players 22
                    Peak PKE Enabled Players 11
             PKEnabled Characters represent approximately
                       12% of active players.
             PKOKenabled Characters represent approximately
                       52% of active players.

                   Peak Accept All Characters 4
             Accept All Characters represent approximately
   3% of all active characters and 6% of active pkok enabled characters.

The first two tables below show the Average Mortal Players,  Average
PKOK Enabled Players, and the number that were "Accept All" connected
to Legend by hour of the day as polled approximately on the hour
system time during the period noted above.

The third table shows the same averages calculated by the day of week.

              hour  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  17 15 13 10  9  8  9  9 10 12 14 16
              pkok  8  8  7  6  5  4  4  4  4  6  7  9
              aas   0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
              pke   1  1  1  1  1  0  0  0  1  1  1  2


              hour 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  17 18 20 21 23 22 22 21 24 25 23 19
              pkok 10 10 11 12 13 12 11 10 11 12 11  9
              aas   0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
              pke   2  2  2  3  3  3  3  2  3  3  3  2


              day   MON  TUE  WED  THU  FRI  SAT  SUN
              ------------------------------------------
              avg    17   17   17   16   16   16   17
              pke     2    2    2    1    1    1    2
              pkok    9    9    9    8    8    8    8
              aas     0    0    0    0    0    0    0


         MON          TUE          WED          THU          FRI
   AVG PK OK AA|AVG PK OK AA|AVG PK OK AA|AVG PK OK AA|AVG PK OK AA
---------------+------------+------------+------------+------------
 0: 20  0 10  0| 17  0  8  0| 18  2 10  1| 16  1  7  1| 17  1  7  0
 1: 16  1  8  0| 13  1  7  0| 15  2  8  0| 14  1  7  1| 15  2  7  0
 2: 14  1  8  0| 11  1  6  0| 12  1  6  0| 13  2  7  0| 12  1  7  1
 3: 12  1  6  0|  9  1  4  0| 10  1  5  0| 10  1  6  0| 10  1  6  0
 4: 11  1  5  0|  7  0  3  0| 10  1  5  0|  8  0  5  0|  9  0  4  0
 5:  8  0  3  0|  6  0  3  0|  9  1  4  0|  7  0  4  0|  9  0  5  0
 6:  8  1  4  0|  7  0  3  0|  7  0  3  0|  6  0  3  0|  9  0  4  0
 7:  9  0  4  0|  7  0  3  0|  7  1  4  0|  7  0  4  0|  9  0  5  0
 8: 11  1  4  0|  9  0  4  0| 10  1  4  0| 10  0  5  0| 11  0  5  0
 9: 12  1  4  0| 14  1  6  0| 12  1  6  0| 10  0  5  0| 13  1  7  0
10: 14  0  5  0| 13  1  7  0| 13  2  6  0| 14  1  8  0| 15  2  9  1
11: 18  1  8  0| 16  1  9  0| 15  2  7  0| 13  1  8  0| 17  3 12  0
12: 19  2 10  1| 18  2 11  0| 16  3 10  0| 17  2  9  0| 15  2 10  0
13: 18  2 10  0| 19  2 12  0| 20  2 11  0| 16  0  8  0| 18  2 11  1
14: 20  3 12  0| 21  2 13  0| 21  2 11  0| 20  1 10  0| 16  2  9  0
15: 22  4 12  0| 23  4 15  0| 21  2 11  0| 23  3 12  0| 21  4 11  0
16: 22  4 12  0| 23  4 15  0| 24  2 12  1| 25  3 14  0| 24  5 13  0
17: 24  4 13  0| 25  5 15  0| 24  3 13  1| 24  3 13  0| 21  4 11  0
18: 24  3 13  0| 25  4 14  0| 23  4 13  1| 23  3 12  0| 20  2  8  0
19: 24  3 13  0| 22  3 12  0| 22  3 11  0| 21  4 11  0| 17  0  6  0
20: 26  4 12  1| 26  3 13  1| 27  3 13  0| 25  3 12  0| 20  2  8  0
21: 27  4 12  1| 29  4 14  1| 27  4 15  0| 24  2 11  0| 23  1 10  0
22: 25  3 12  0| 25  4 14  1| 22  5 12  1| 21  2 11  0| 22  1  9  0
23: 19  1  9  0| 20  3 10  2| 19  3 10  0| 17  2  8  1| 19  2  9  1

                           SAT          SUN
                      AVG PK OK AA|AVG PK OK AA
                   ---------------+------------
                    0: 16  2  9  1| 16  1  8  0
                    1: 14  1  8  1| 16  2  8  1
                    2: 13  1  8  1| 14  1  7  0
                    3: 11  1  7  0| 12  1  6  0
                    4: 12  1  7  0| 10  1  5  0
                    5: 12  2  8  0|  9  1  4  0
                    6: 14  1  7  0|  9  0  4  0
                    7: 13  1  7  0| 10  0  4  0
                    8: 13  1  7  0|  8  0  3  0
                    9: 14  1  6  1| 11  2  5  0
                   10: 15  1  7  0| 15  2  7  0
                   11: 17  2  8  0| 17  2  9  0
                   12: 16  2  8  0| 18  2 10  0
                   13: 15  1  8  0| 21  2 11  0
                   14: 21  2 11  0| 21  2 12  1
                   15: 19  1  9  0| 21  3 12  0
                   16: 20  2 10  0| 24  3 12  0
                   17: 18  1  9  0| 20  2 11  0
                   18: 17  1  9  0| 20  1  9  0
                   19: 16  0  7  0| 23  2 10  0
                   20: 17  0  8  0| 24  2 10  0
                   21: 22  0 10  0| 25  3 11  0
                   22: 22  1 10  0| 21  2  9  0
                   23: 20  2  9  1| 18  1  9  1
___                                                               ___
\  |-------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|  LEGENDITES: Information Regarding the People of Our World  |__\
   '-------------------------------------------------------------'

                    To Become Something More

Dak left his hometown of London in search of blood. His parents were
murdered and he was determined to avenge thier deaths by hunting down
and eliminating their killers. Somewhere down the long road, he
finally met them face to face. It was a relatively quick battle but
he did come out of it with one permanant reminder of that day -- a
jagged scar across his face. He wandered the lands for many years
killing without mercy. He had become no better than the people he had
set out to bring to justice.

It was at this point in his life, when he met a series of kind people
that opened up his eyes to what he was destined to do. As he enters
the next stage in his journey, he vows to make sure nobody makes his
mistake, to make sure that nobody lives through the constant despair
that he has gone through. On this day, he banishes the 'bloodthirsty
blue-eyed Warrior Nomad' he was to become something more. From this
day forward he shall be the 'kind but fearsome blue-eyed Warrior'.

Dak will no longer be recognized as:
Short:  a blue-eyed warrior nomad
Long :  A bloodthirsty nomad ponders his next victim.

but rather as:
Short: a kind but fearsome blue-eyed warrior
Long : A battle-scarred warrior is here pondering his own fate.
  ___                                                          ___
  \  |--------------------------------------------------------|  /
  /__|                     Clan News                          |__\
     '--------------------------------------------------------'

           The Red Hand of Discord - Seeking Wayward Souls

Warm Greetings,

I have the pleasure of presenting to you one of the newest and
fastest-growing clans on Legend, The Red Hand of Discord. We are
currently recruiting dexies. The following information is meant to
educate the community on our ways and answer some questions a
potential member may have, but please don't hesitate to contact me
with any further concerns.

We are the only dex-oriented clan on Legend -- a close family, "The
Red Hand" by name, thieves by reputation.

We are not mindless criminals, seeking only profit -- though that is
one of our main objectives. What is our purpose? We seek to gain fame
and fortune, yes, but we also provide sanctuary. We care for our own.
We are faithful only to each other -- "Honor Amongst Thieves" is our
motto, and crime is a delicate art form.

If you are a dexie looking for a clan, or RP a theif, rogue,
vagabond, criminal, contract killer/assassin, or any other type of
swindler, you are eligible for a place amongst us. The Red Hand is an
RP clan, and we accept members of all levels. We are especially
seeking able-bodied members who will maintain an active participation
and help to define a rich RP environment for our clan and the MUD as
a whole.

We boast a well-kept, accessible clan hall, a low tithe, and a fairly
laid-back GM. ;)

If you have questions or comments, please MUDmail Shrieve.

Humbly yours,
   - Shrieve Trent, Master Miscreant of the Red Hand

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

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: http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/gm.html.

              _______________________
             /                       \
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMUD?|
   (o o)     \_______________________/
ooO_(_)_Ooo__________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

                       How Many Fingers?

You may have seen me. You may have seen my stupidity. You may have
seen it and wondered about my mental stability, or even the lack of.
I'm the better-looking lucky kid who didn't care about his looks in
the family. Of course, natural charisma doesn't always provide the
best friends.

I have a one such friend, a close friend, but a somewhat, well,
stupid friend named something unpronounceable. We call him 'You' as
an inside joke that really was not all that funny. For unimaginable
reasons You does not want to be identified by any other name for this
adventure.

You had a really bright idea one day and for some reason decided to
'pick up' Maev. Despite my cautions, he went through with the idea.
How was You supposed to know that Maev may not be so innocent, and
that she may just have like, a small ARMY of HUGE hounds?

Blissfully and ignorant of the harm a woman backed by hounds could
do, you decided to go pay Maev a visit on a Saturday Evening. One
couldn't question You's logic that Maev must get Saturdays off, but
one could wonder at You's stupidity for not knowing that servants do
not often get time off and Maev was a servant, not to mention the
fact that Cian was obviously pleased by her site. I would go into
that in further detail, but the Queen would have my head.

You never got to oriented with the dun, and somehow found himself in
Cian's public chambers. Deciding that the beautiful decorations must
be for Maev, he continues into the private chambers. No matter how
hard I puzzle it out, I will never figure out what lead You to decide
to go one room further, despite the fact that the room was locked,
and I will never realize exactly why Cian got up to early to remember
to take his private key to the bedroom with him that day.

What happened next was a complete mess. I happened to be challenging
several soldiers around the dun to duels, when I noticed a slight
commotion coming from Cian's rooms. I go into the public room to find
that not much has changed except for quite a level of noise emanating
from the private chambers.

I looked towards the private chambers and ducked just in time to
dodge a flying chair leg. What I saw in the next room had to be the
most ridiculous sight. Cian was half undressed and madly attacking
You, who was trying to find a way to kiss Maev, who was teaming up
with Cian and her hounds to attack You.

As dumb as You might be, I did what any good buddy would do. I jumped
in there and rescued You and started taking hits. Foolish You decided
to steal a kiss from Maev while Maev is attacking me. I remember Cian
falling backward bleeding severely, Maev falling over a broken chair,
and a hound. My next memory is that of You asking me how many fingers
he was holding up. Did the goofball think I could see the 12 or 14
fingers he had been holding up?

In the end, You got banned from the dun, and has since been
ritualistically thrown out every Saturday at 6:30. My own losses
amount to the site of Cian half-naked burned in my head. The point
is, don't try to hit on a girl that has dogs and a jealous master.

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

              ROVING BANDS SEEN APPROACHING THE CASTLE!

A youthful male voice cleared itself quietly before intruding. 'Your
Highness? There appears to be a delivery for you at the gate and  we
aren't sure where you wish it to be... put.'

A short annoyed hiss spurted out in the direction of the young guard
in training. The source was the salamander rolling around next to the
Queen. She was positioned on the floor beside it rubbing its belly
while it was sprawled on it's back, rolling about, tail flailing
happily.

'Now, now.. ' she chided gently. 'I've been rubbing and scratching
you for near twenty minutes, you can get more attention later.
Alright?'

She turned to face the guard. 'What has been delivered?'

He seemed to need a moment to consider before responding, 'We think
they are dogs.'

                  ~*~   ~*~   ~*~   ~*~   ~*~

Queen MoiraGwyn stood at the front gate reading a handwritten note.
Its bearer stood at silent in front of her in the stiffest position
she had ever seen. He most certainly was a servant of the sender. She
glanced back over the curious parchment.

          Dearest MoiraGwyn,

          We are indeed pleased with how well our last
          visit went. The boys are becoming such gentlemen,
          we are rather impressed with Mok-Mok especially!
          My, how well he is adjusting now to civilized
          life.

          It was so good to see you all again, we look
          forward to our visit to your Kingdom. We do so
          hope Rowane will be home at that time so that we
          may discuss the aforementioned treaties and agree
          on our stance before we all arrive at the meeting.

          Please accept this token for your family, we are
          sure the boys will enjoy them.

                               Kindest Regards.

The Queen stared at the staunch little man standing before her as
still as a statue. He did look familiar.

'Did Queen Elizabeth send this letter?'

The man replied with a curt nod and brief bow.

'Is there more accompanying this letter?'

Once again a curt nod and brief bow.

'May I see what she has sent?'

This time the response was a bow and the man walked backwards to the
gate. Was he afraid to turn his back on us, she wondered? MoiraGwyn
glanced at her guards- they didn't look all too savage. Maybe the
servant just has a bad back...

A guard assisted the servant in opening the gate and  he walked
backwards down the front step into the road. MoiraGwyn followed suit.

She blanched. 'Oh dear me. Thank goodness Emrysia isn't here to see
this.'

Before her sat a plethora of what appeared to be royal Corgi dogs.
Each one bathed, groomed, and with a bow of lace tied about it's
neck. There appeared to be a pack of them- some twenty, maybe thirty
dogs, sitting there staring at her. Each and every one looking like a
lace-adorned footstool with hair.

One piped up with a yip in her direction. Fifteen followed suit. The
rest joined in. It was a symphony of small yowls. MoiraGwyn pasted
herself to the nearest guard and just stared. She'd never seen such a
thing! She started to wonder what Queen Elizabeth really thought of
them to send a roving pack of wild Corgis to their home.

'These are the Queens choices. She handpicked them from the kennel
herself. They are amongst her favorites.'

MoiraGwyn envisioned attempting to walk them all. Already prayers
went up in hopes they were trained to not do terrible things to the
carpet in Rowane's study. How would one stop from stepping on them-
there were so many of them.

At her side appeared the newcomer that was staying with them. His
movement ground to a halt before the sea of yipping dogs. Amused she
grinned at his stunned face.

Skittering out from behind them, through the gate, came Sparky- right
to her feet. He mouthed a soundless scream and fled back through the
gates in what appeared to be mid-air.

The guards burst into laughter, immediately attempting to stop and
expecting to be reprimanded by the Queen. MoiragGwyn looked over her
'present' and then glanced between the visitor and the guards.

'Well men...' She grimaced. 'It could have been worse. Her castle
also keeps sheep.' They relaxed and laughed, moving to get a good
view of the street's occupants.

Everyone gathered close to stare out at the animals. They would need
to be let in... Fed... Watered... How do you play with thirty animals
at once?

One guard elbowed and ribbed another, 'Looks like you may get the
floor tonight- those will need a place to sleep.' They all laughed
and kidded while their Queen smiled. She was glad they were joking
and getting along well.

They would need that friendliness and camaraderie in case someone
forgot to walk all thirty Corgis... because they'd be the ones to
pick up after them.

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

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