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.../________________/       running on         mud.aus.sig.net 9999
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http://mud.aus.sig.net/                           ftp://mud.aus.sig.net/pub
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VOLUME THREE, ISSUE TWELVE                                  October 1, 1996
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                              FROM THE EDITOR
                              
                        DEPARTMENTAL NEWS AND UPDATES
                                  Coding
                                 Building
                             Player Relations
                              Administration

                                ARTICLES
                         The LT Roving Reporter
       Resources In A Mud Economy Or ThereUS Gold In Them Thar Hills
                             Are Mud's Games?

                               SOCIAL EVENTS
                       The Legendary Times Personals
                      Bound by Love in Life and Death
                       Welcome to Tara - You're Dead!
                            A Letter to Valeria
                       
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Please send your responses to articles to the Legendary Times address at
lt@mud.aus.sig.net. Letters to the editor are welcomed.
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Hey There!
We've noticed a few more people around that we hadn't seen in some time.
Big welcome homes to Crowe and JapLady!! If you see anyone else you'd like
to use this space to say Hi too, please send email or mudmail to me.
-Sabella                            
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                       DEPARTMENTAL NEWS AND UPDATES

                                  CODING:

- BUGFIXES: 
  The reconnect bug (the one that was crashing the mud) seems to be completely
  gone . There are still some memory leaks that cause a few
  problems and coding is working hard on these.
  
  Other fixes include changes to wimpy triggering so that wimpy works against
  raging opponents, and a change to rescue self, which is no longer possible.
  Also stuff in bags will now decay properly.
    
                     =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                                BUILDING                      

- NEW BOARD:
    A discussion board is now available! It is located in the OOC in the
    Immortal Office complex (where the trivia board went in). We hope that
    those interested in game design topics will make use of it and that we
    keep up the same high caliber of discussion that we have had recently.

- NEW AREAS:
    The Builder's have been working hard and more than one area is nearing
    completion. Deanna's Melbourne is in final testing and Leila's Carnival
    is close, so expect to see these and other areas in the near future.

- UPDATES:
    Many of the helpfiles have been updated. A help has been added for
    RECALLTAG or TAG and the help DESCRIPTION file has been updated. Also the
    following fixes were made to the herbal magic code: Fennel [Donelan],
    Comfrey [Gerry], Dock [Ashke], and Basil [Jondalar] will now work as
    indicated in the herblore entries for each. Many thanks to those players
    for pointing these out.
    
                     =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                              PLAYER RELATIONS                      
    
- PK TOURNEY!:
    Sandra has announced a PK Tourney! There will be an individual and a group
    competition in this two-day event. You may participate in either or both
    competitions if you wish. Nonclanned as well as clanned are welcome to
    participate. Groups will have NO MORE than 5 members of the same 'weight
    category'.
    
        Weight categories are as follows:
        Levels 10-24  lightweight
        Levels 24-39  middleweight
        Levels 40-50  heavyweight

    The tourney will be run on another port, so there will be no loss of xp on
    the regular mud. The individual competition will be on the first day,
    Friday Oct. 4th, starting at 7pm central. If the individual competition
    isn't completed on the first day, we will continue it after the group
    competition, which will begin at 6pm central on Saturday Oct. 5th.
    
    You may have only ONE character participate in this tourney. If you want
    to participate, mudmail Sandra from the character you wish to enter.
    Groups should pick a leader and have that person mudmail me with the list
    of members.
    
    The deadline for entry is Wednesday Oct. 2nd. No exceptions.

- PLAYER QUESTION AND ANSWER:
    Spencer will be offering a question and answer session on Wednesday,
    October 2nd at 8:00 Central. This is the place for you all to ask
    questions about what's going on, what kinds of changes we've been
    considering, etc. If all goes well, this will become a regular PR feature,
    so everyone give Spencer your support!

- LEGEND's WEB PAGE:
    Sandra is still hard at work on Legend's homepage. Check out the new
    additions to the immort page at http://mud.aus.sig.net! The lecture series
    logs are also up-to-date on the page, if there's one you missed.

- LECTURE SERIES:
    We've had some wonderful speakers, and there are still many good things
    upcoming. However, we are going to move the series back to a monthly or
    biweekly basis, to allow a little more time for getting outside speakers
    and explaining mudding to them. So keep a close eye on the schedule!
    Javelin's lecture, "Comments on Mud Research" went very well last week.
    There's a log on the web site for anyone who missed it. Tuesday,
    October 1st at 8:00 pm Eastern, Gail is going to give her
    Not-Quite-Gourmet Cooking lecture in the OOC Kitchen (off the restaurant.
    Gail promises to be there this time, which is great for the series, but
    means no more excuses needed (this time).

        Upcoming Lectures include:
        Tues, Oct 1, 7:00 Central, "Not-Quite-Gourmet Cooking" Gail [Resch]
        Tues, Oct 15, 6:00 Central, "Irish Mythology" Richard Marsh
        Tues, Oct 29th, 8:00 Central, "Halloween Past & Present" Michael Meyers
        Tues, Nov 5, 8:00 Central, "Medicine in Ancient Times" Croaker
        Tues, Nov 12, [TBA], "Alchemy" Cecilia Rennie 

*Schedule subject to change without notice, and my apologies in advance. If
anyone has any comments on the series, or any suggestions, please let me know.

- BARDIC STORYTELLING!!
    PR is started another new on-going series! (We've been busy the last
    couple of weeks :). This one is a story-telling group, that will meet at
    one of the inns to tell stories, eat and drink, and play games. Ptah is
    going to start us off with a series of tales from Old Eli. The first
    chapter will be Sunday, October 6th at 8:00 PM Central, at Mrs. O'Leary's
    establishment in San Francisco. This is a set of stories based on the
    actual history of the establishment and development of King Ranch, the
    largest ranch in the world (located in south Texas). The stories will
    cover from the mid 1800s to 1979 or so.
    
                     =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                              ADMINISTRATION
                              
- CLAN BOARDS:
    The bulletin boards in the clan halls are limited to the same general
    information that is allowed on the other boards. Passwords and transmobs
    should not be posted to these boards. The Secretives (who were originally
    given an exception) were also asked to abide by these rules when clan
    halls were redesigned. The clans might also consider that enemies do
    occasionally invade their halls, and might read the boards. Rusalka has
    recently cleared all illegal posts from the clan boards, and we ask that
    the clans abide by this regulation in future.

- PLAYER CODE OF CONDUCT:
    A player code of conduct is forthcoming, and will be printed in the next
    issue of the Legendary Times.

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                           The LT Roving Reporter
                             by Leila, LT Staff
                                            
Last issue we introduced the Roving Reporter, a section in which players
comment on the burning issues which send our happy little mud into a spin.
This week, a few opinions on the merits, or otherwise, of Role Play in
P-kill.

- From Ishtar:
I think it really enhances the mud to have role-play pkill rather than just
being a combat mud. There are lots of purely combat muds around for people who
want that. I don't think you can force people to role play of course, it's
fine if people don't want to role play, but they should bear in mind what sort
of mud this is supposed to be. I see some problems with pkill here though, 
and role play can definitely clash with surviving. I thought a lot about pkill
before I decided to clan and I decided that I was not going to attack anyone
unless there was an in-character reason to do so. That means I have already
passed up the opportunity to attack weaker players that I might have been able
to kill. But I have been attacked already even though I didn't provoke it in
any way I'm aware of. If someone attacks without reason they are fully
entitled to, and you accept that risk if you clan, but to me it is not very
good rp. Unless... they are a bully or a psychopath, which is fun now and then
as long as you keep it in character.

- From Beam:
I don't necessarily RP, but I do think it's a good thing. It can help to keep
pkill ic, keep you from getting personally angry etc. RP adds another
dimension to playing other than 'I can kill you because I'm better', gives
another reason to pkill and play. I have RP'd but sometimes have problems
doing it. I'm developing the rp of my clan a bit more than it has been in the
past, maybe. Being GM has added a few new dimensions for me, developing stuff
for clan members to do and other things. It is sometimes difficult to make a
player who is a definite character. Beam is not 'me' exactly, but I find it
hard to make an intense RP player so I basically RP a clan GM and knowledge
guru who helps some people. As far as developing a procedure of what I do any
situation, which is what I think RP is, I don't really have any formula.

- From Claudia:
I'm not much of a RP'er but I guess some form of RP is necessary. Even if that
RP is just sticking to how the clan works. We've seen how pkill works with
senseless slaughter, but I still basically keep my RP down to conforming with
my clan. I don't particularly RP so I don't think that more is necessary but I
do think a little is important.

- From Lagmonster:
RP in PK seems necessary, otherwise the ooc might get involved with the ic. I
think it is possible to have 'no hard feelings' pk as opposed to a pk where
people are hurt and offended. If you know a person ooc, you might decide to
duel, but that doesn't mean that you can't keep ic in other aspects of pk. RP
enhances PK. Otherwise, PK would be a matter of just killing whoever is in
your range, and whoever has the kind of eq you'd like to steal. OOC just
always seems to take precedence over any RP I try to do though, I mean, if
someone needs my help or some advice, that's going to be more important than
keeping IC. RP is especially hard against the pkill maniacs. Maybe if you
wanted to keep a strong sense of RP you could try to enforce only RP type
channels, the same way that you enforce the rules of no quest or item stats
info on chat. Or, if that's impractical, maybe have a separate channel for OOC
or people in the OOC lounge. Of course, I don't honestly see that as a
'solution'.

                     =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                          RESOURCES IN A MUD ECONOMY
                                      OR
                        THEREUS GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS
                   Part the second of A WORKING MUD ECONOMY
                             by Demon Greenspawn
                                            
Now let's see....where was I? Oh! yea.  The bare necessities, the simple bare
necessities... Like the bear says there is something very appealing about a
simple lifestyle and scratching your back on a tree (here we go again
) but few economies (probably because few of the people that make them
up) are satisfied to stop at the level of subsistence. Humans seem to have an
almost pathological need to make everything bigger and better, a genetic
disposition to "keep up with the Joneses", and an insane drive to accumulate
enough wealth to live a life of leisure and luxury as the "idle rich" (this
motivation, however, almost invariably, at least for the first generation and
often for countless subsequent generations, leads to a vastly increased amount
of work rather than idleness. The simple hunter-gatherer has significantly
more leisure time than any other economic system, a fact humans seem
completely oblivious to . Once people succeed in acquiring the things
they need to stay alive and have a little time on their hands, they begin to
think of and then create things to:
    a) make their lives easier, safer, and more comfortable and 
    b) make their leisure more enjoyable.  
In order to do this however they must move away from the simple subsistence
economy that gave them the leisure to be creative in the first place and begin
to specialize.

Almost as soon as human ancestors climbed down from the trees (boy those trees
sure been around a long time ) and ran onto the savanna to start that
long road toward civilization, people began to specialize in doing tasks that
indirectly acquired them the necessities by trading the fruits (not the ones
that fall from trees ) of their labors to someone else. It probably all
began with one person who was particularly good at flaking flint spearheads
realizing he could do it faster and better than anyone else (and that knapping
flint was far preferable to being gored by a woolly mammoth) and exchanging
his spearheads for whatever food and clothing others thought they were worth.
And thus trade was born. Which brings us to the primary subject of this issue,
the law of supply and demand.

Most of the discussion concerning the development of a mud economy I've
listened to lately has centered around the natural availability of resources
as the primary factor, and most significant stumbling block, to the
development of an economy on Legend. It seems people believe that "scarcity"
(or in Legend's case the lack of scarcity as the server creates an infinite
supply of resources) is the cornerstone of economics. Nothing could be further
from the truth. The real availability of resources is, at best, secondary and
most often completely irrelevant to the development of an economic structure. 
In fact in this instance Legend mirrors RL quite well since RL also has no
"real" shortage of resources but an effectively infinite supply as well. I
know, I know, no one believes it , but there is not now, nor has there
ever been, an actual naturally existing shortage of any resource in demand (it
may be that in the future there will be shortages but it's still debatable and
I kinda doubt it). At most there have been very localized shortages of a very
temporary nature and these are always caused by one of two things:
    a) a lack of technology, either to access it in it's natural state or to
       manufacture it, or to transport it, or
    b) the intervention of an organization, either of a governmental or of a
       business nature (pirates are a business or businesses are pirates...for
       that matter governments are pirates most of the time).
       
The relative availability of resources whether a constituent or a finished
product has no other effect than to adjust the intersection of the supply and
demand curves, driving the price up or down. For purposes of this discussion,
since we can assume that humans always try to maximize profits, money can be
considered in the same way as any other commodity ie, an abundance of money
tends to drive prices up (inflation) while a dearth of money drives them down
(depression) and the RL factors of overhead (production costs) donUt come into
play on a mud. Any resource that is in demand will be acquired by finding new
sources, either through exploration or the development of new technology to
get or transport it, or the discovery or invention of a viable alternative.  A
quick look at history will prove this to be true, so you can take my word for
it or waste your time looking it up.

At any rate the availability of resources should be controlled on Legend just
as they are in RL ie, difficulty of transportation; complexity of technology
used in refining; and time involved in the processes of acquiring, moving,
refining, and manufacturing.  After all isn't that our ultimate aim in
creating an economy, not only so Legend will more resemble RL situations but
also to provide more varied skills (like in those trees ) in which to
specialize so that some people do something else with their time other than
running around killing stuff? If you're busy mining ore to take to London to
smelt into steel to forge into a wonderful sword you can't very well be
killin' Caps.

Which, of course, leads to the idea of getting experience in other ways. This
is probably feasible now, if skilltrees (darn, said it again) is actually
going to track usage for individual skills like Ptah says. Anyway that's
another article. For now suffice it to say that the generation of raw
materials, and mob-carried eq as well, is no obstacle to creating a working
economy since the Immorts can easily control the other factors involved, as
well as the selling and buying price of all items thus setting the
intersection of the supply and demand curves. So, taken together with last
issue's article, it can be seen that by following the principles outlined
therein, (the necessity for constant player expenditure and the control of
prices and player's use of their most limited resource, TIME) we can control
the formation of our basic economy.  Oh well enough for now, next complexities
of trade as well as the experience issue and specialization (this one will
really have them climbing trees ).
            
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                           IS A MUD JUST A GAME?
                           
As things have been somewhat quieter since the new Discussion Board went in,
because I'm interested, and just because I'm like this, I'd like to propose
a new topic of discussion. The question (drawn from the MUD FAQ on rec.games.
mud.announce by Jennifer Smith, copyright 1996) and the FAQ's answer is:

   _1.13. Is MUDding a game, or an extension of real life with gamelike
   qualities?_

   It's up to you. Some jaded cynics like to laugh at idealists who think
   it's partially for real, but we personally think they're not playing
   it right. Certainly the hack-'n-slash stuff is only a game, but the
   social aspects may well be less so.

Naturally, this is not the first time this question has been raised. In his
"Comments on Mud Research," in the first issue of the Journal of Mud Research,
Alan Schwartz touches upon this subject (this article has been posted on the
Discussion Board for those who are interested) and in same issue, Richard
Bartle brings the question up in his article "Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades:
Players Who Suit Muds":

    It is worthwhile considering for a moment whether MUDs (as they are
    generally played) really are games, or whether they're something else.
    People have many recreational activities available to them, and perhaps
    MUDs fit some other category better? Looking up the word "game" in a
    dictionary of synonyms (Urdang & Manser, 1980) elicits three related
    nouns: "pastime", "sport" and "entertainment" (a fourth, "amusement", is
    the general class of which the others are all examples). So it might be
    useful to ask:
        Are MUDs
            * games? Like chess, tennis, AD&D?
            * pastimes? Like reading, gardening, cooking?
            * sports? Like huntin', shooting', fishin'?
            * entertainments? Like nightclubs, TV, concerts?
    Or are they a combination of all four? Perhaps individual players even
    see the *same* MUD differently from each another?
    
Schwartz and Bartle both reference other mud-specific articles directly
and indirectly discussing the "game" vs "social" or "game" vs "real-life"
aspects of mudding (you can mail the LT for a more complete list of
references, if you are interested).

And, of course, the question has arisen on Legend itself more than once.
Greebo's Essay on Ethics, which can be found on Legend's Web page along with
the Lecture Series logs (under other documents of interest) discussed this
point in some detail well over 18 months ago (and don't forget to read the
ancient OOC discussion that generated that article, also on the web site -
it's interesting to see how far we've come as well as how often we are still
discussing the same issues ).

Lastly, but not leastly, the subject was touched upon by Ptah in the
Welcome/Discussion Board posts which are a response to Coman, referencing
Bruno Bettelheim (an educational psychologist - most major libraries contain
some of his work) who defined "play" versus "compete" in children's activities
positing the difference between goal-oriented games and socially-oriented
shared experiences, and Greg Costikyan (developer of Paranoia, Star Wars the
RPG, Toon and many others - some of his articles on game design can be found
at: http://www.crossover.com/~costik/articles.html). In another conversation,
Ptah also suggested looking at articles by Chris Crawford (designer of Balance
of Power, Eastern Front and many other computer games) who advocates a
"quasi-educational, social-responsible, and sophisticated design" in the
computer gaming field.

You don't have to read all these sources to answer the question (though it
wouldn't hurt), so what do you think? Is a mud a game? Commentary welcome
either in article form (for the LT), on the Discussion Board, or on the Web
Discussion Page.

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             ________________________
            /                        \
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMud?|
   (o o)    \________________________/
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                        THE LEGENDARY TIMES PERSONALS
                              Leila, LT Staff
                                            
The Legendary Times Personals caters to the unlucky in love, or looking for
love, those missing children, or welcoming their return, announcements of a
joyous (or other) nature, births, deaths, loss of loved ones, or any other
event. Announcing a birth of wedding?  Why not announce it here first? A
newbie looking for others to group or starting an RP clan? Spread the word at
out expense! Sorry you sniped your best friend? What better way to say 'I'm
sorry' than a personalized message in the LT? Whatever your reason or your
problem- we're here to help.

HELP WANTED:
    
    Accomplished mage seeking apprentice to learn the black arts,
    mudmail or contact Daer.
    
    SWM 20'ish-looking invulnerable to weapons of this world.. Seeking
    many women to fuel my rise to conquer this world and then
    others... Must have own weapons and be willing to die for me if I
    ask you to just for the heck of it.  A cackling golden haired
    youth.
    
    Cultured English gentleman seeks guttersnipe for intimate
    elocution and manners tutorage. Must enjoy long walks on rainy
    Spanish Plains.  Send application to Beauchamp Montegue III.

LOST AND FOUND: 

    HAS ANYONE SEEN MY MOMMY?! I miss my mommy. *sniff* 
    -Shalindra.
    
    Hey L! Return from the void! I miss you, J.B.
    
    Looking for new parents because I killed my old ones. Contact
    Siawn to apply.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    Krynn was recently quoted saying; 'My description currently says
    I'm a druid.  I'm not, I'm a mage'. Thus, Krynn has decided to
    change his description to 'A Mage of the Elementals' which is in
    keeping with his skills in the magical arts. His new description
    is 'A Mage of the Elementals dabbles here'.

    Whilst walking in the Geatish lands, a dirty Celtic lad was spied throwing
    his clothes into the forging fires! This Celtic lad was heard yelling
    "Clothes is ooky!" at the top of his lungs as he skipped away.
    Consequently, 'A dirty little Celtic lad running about here without any
    clothes on!' may be seen around occasionally.

    Merrick, a super Sayajin warrior, has changed his long description
    from 'A scarred, yet happy person is here, searching for his
    brother' to 'A scarred person is here, with golden hair and a gold
    aura around him'.

    Legend's frolicsome young girl has grown! Thalia has reached young
    adulthood and may henceforth will be known as 'a spry lass'.                                
                                \|/ \|/ \|/
                                
                       Bound by Love in Life and Death
                 The Wedding of Myriad Wandering and Den Siva
                             by Buttercup Bright

    Myriad Wandering and Den Siva were united in matrimony on September 20th
at the Court of Lions, Grenada, Spain. The Court was decorated with opulent
drapes of blue and gold, the wedding colors. A profusion of flowers--glowing
red roses, hellebore, chamomile and marigold--greeted the guests. Sabella
presided.  Latia and Buffalmacco stood as Matron of Honor and Best Man
respectively. Buttercup served as flower girl. Honor and Best Man
respectively. Buttercup served as flower girl.
    The flower girl wore a simple taffeta gown with curly-toed shoes. A silver
circlet adorned her hair. She dropped daisies, glowing red roses and
hellebore. The Matron of Honor wore a rich gown of midnight blue and a
Uey-Tlataoni headdress. Black gloves completed her ensemble. She carried a
single glowing red rose. The Best Man wore a midnight blue tuxedo with a gold
brocade cummerbund and a gold silk ascot. The Groom wore a tuxedo of white
with gold brocade cummerbund and gold silk ascot. The Bride wore an opulent
gown of white trimmed in gold. She wore a golden circlet, an ornate necklace
and a sash, both borrowed and blue, gallantly provided by Nickolas.  She
carried a single green rose.  Bronwyn, daughter of Myriad and Den Siva, could
not attend the ceremony but sent her hedgehog to complete Myriad's coif.  The
hedgehog wore ribbons of blue and gold.
    The Bride entered the court in a swarm of yellow butterflies provided by
Ben Kanaan who escorted the Bride to her waiting groom. After the sharing of
vows written by the couple, Sabella united them with the exchange of rings,
fire opals set in platinum bands inscribed "United by Love in Life and Death."
The Bride gave the Groom a non-color string coupon as a token of her love, at
which point the Best Man was nearly overcome by the beauty and tenderness of
the moment.
    The guest list included Joule, Aragorn, Daer, Somar, Coldfire, Pheasant2,
Siachet, Uziel, Malsia, Candide, Blaze, Nickolas, Keymistress, McDougan,
Arcose, and Aermid. Unfortunately, some guests forgot to sign the register.
Malisa was so touched by the moving ceremony, she fainted and was revived with
help from the flower girl among others. Many a joyful tear was shed but
Pheasant2 had the forethought to bring a box of tissues and handed them all
around.  Many other dear friends were missed because they could not attend,
Myriad and Den's son, Abboo, among them.
    After the ceremony and a brief but boisterous reception with much dancing
and good cheer, the couple honeymooned in Salem, Massachusetts.  The couple
plans to travel extensively and has not yet decided where to settle.
                               
                                \|/ \|/ \|/
                                
                       Welcome to Tara - YOU'RE DEAD!
                                 by McDougan

    Although I did not witness it myself, through interviews with those
involved I believe I can recreate the bloody battles of Sunday afternoon...
    Mordrid was the first to die that day. He was walking through Tara
happily, slaying mobs, when all of a sudden, Morphine appeared before him.
'Er... Hi?' he may have said, but it didn't matter, for Morphine entered the
battle, and the clanging of swords ended with a thud, as he fell to the
ground, his face a rictus of agony. Morphine shouted out, 'This one's for you,
Sharpe! Your killer is dead!!!!' And proceeded to destroy a wormtooth dagger,
somehow imbued with the power to blind the unsuspecting stabee! Morphine
destroyed this foul item through strange and mystical means, and proceeded to
kill Mordrid's ghost 4 more times before allowing it to return to it's body.
    But Morphine had been bitten by the vampire, or some odd form of sadism
had struck, for, when Juliet came out of her room at the inn, she yawned, went
to get her coffee, and suddenly saw her way blocked by Morphine's sword. She
fought with Morphine valiantly, but, eventually, the sword found it's mark,
and she died. Doctors tended to her and brought her back from the edge of
death... but Morphine found her hospital room...
    Morphine's bloodlust was finally satiated... but Mordrid had been
afflicted. Finding Kokotte, who, earlier that day had all but permanently died
to angry sidhes, and had no equipment, Mordrid loosened his power. Yet Kokotte
somehow survived death once again. Kokotte asked Mordrid, "What are you
doing????" and, through magical powers bestowed upon Mordrid by Druidic gods,
was blinded. In his blindness, Kokotte panically tried to gather strength, and
sped his healing somehow. When he was killed again, Mordid had to work a lot
harder. Kokotte managed to recover the equipment the doctors who had saved him
had left behind, with the help of Juliet and Somar, but not before requiring
medical assistance once again after a wild boar gored him. Kokotte, it seems,
was just in the wrong clan at the wrong time.
           
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                            A LETTER TO VALERIA
                                           
    The following letter was found lying on the street in front of the LT
    office complex, wrapped up in lavender tissue paper and wafting that
    familiar and persistent "Eu de Violet Hair Spray." After spending some 40
    minutes waving it around in the air to get rid of the smell, we brought it
    inside to look at. Since there was no address on the front (and thus no
    way to send it to its intended recipient), we decided to print it just in
    case that "Dearest Valeria" reads our fine publication.

To my dearest Valeria,
    So sorry to hear that your familiar died again. Perhaps you ought to
switch to a different brand of cat chow? They have such delicate digestive
systems. Very glad to hear that your magic carpet is in working repair again
as well. Yes, we really must get together for tea some time. But enough about
you!
    Darling, you simply won't believe what happened to me this week! Simply
amazing. I was moping about one night because life was just so very, very
dreary. It was just more than I could bear, so I started demanding entrance to
the next Life then and there (you know, _sometimes_ the Goddess will allow it
if you are properly persistent). Anyways, you remember Mandolin, don't you?
She's that bardette who strung Conan along for a while there....Well, she got
really upset after about the fifth attempt, which surprised me, since it's not
like I've never drowned before! Demanded that I stop it immediately.
    And then.....you really won't believe this! While I was shaking the water
out of my hair, wringing out my tunic (and looking like an utter disaster, I
can assure you!), she up and asked me to marry her! I told her that she
couldn't be serious (not with my hair dripping everywhere!), so she repeated
it, in capital letters, no less.
    Well, that was a shock. I mean, you know my er...difficult feelings
considering marriage. Especially since I've displayed absolutely no talent for
it. But she looked so imploring...and well...I never knew she cared. Really, I
was touched. More than touched. And well....it suddenly seemed like an
supremely excellent thing to do. So excellent, that there really was no point
in waiting to round up a guest list, reserve a hall, or anything like that
(and I've _done_ all of that already, so there seemed little point to doing it
again). So we rounded up the kids, my Vashti and her Shalindra, and asked the
immortal Sabella to step down for a moment and perform the ceremonies. And
anyway, it's all so wonderful, even if Mandolin _will_ leave her dirty socks
scattered about.
    I'm including an account of the ceremony here in case you'd like to see it
(didn't you do your Mistress of Magick degree in snake ceremonies?):
    The immortal Sabella took a deep breath and concentrated for a few
moments. Then, hands outstretched, ignoring the everyday passage of French
colonists to the nearby trading post, she intoned:

    I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, that thou beest a meeting-place of love
    and joy and truth; a shield against all wickedness and evil; a boundary
    between the world of men and the realms of the Mighty Ones. Wherefore do I
    bless thee and consecrate thee, in the names of the Snake God and Goddess.
    Who comes to be joined together in the presence of the Goddess?
    
    Turning to Mandolin, she asked "What is thy name, O Man?" The audience,
consisting of both daughters, Abigail, Tiberius, and several small
children (Crystaline and Panzer), quietly tittered and Mitra giggled.
Mandolin, looking confused, wondered whether both genders were required.
Surely, if the Great Snake Goddess required it, Mandolin could undergo the
necessary procedures. While Sabella, red faced, apologized for the goof,
Mitra firmly indicated that she preferred Mandolin female.
    "Uhm..let's rewind that part," muttered Sabella, and she concentrated for
a few more minutes, entirely failing to notice the wagon load of wood that
two French settlers nearly tipped over on her.

    "Who comes to be joined together in the presence of the Goddess?
    What is thy name, O Woman?

    Proudly stepping forth, her eyes shining, Mandolin announced "My name is
Mandolin Lyre Lute Bagpipeski. She thought for a moment and turning to Mitra,
said "But I think I'll take your's!" Sabella, trying not to giggle, and mar
the High Seriousness of the Occasion, mumbled "I can see why!" She turned to
Mitra and repeated her request. "My name is Mitra Ajami!" was the answer,
though Mitra had to think for a moment before she could remember whether her
name was spelled with a "g" or a "j." Sabella continued with the ceremony:

    Adore the Goddess and in her name give the call that awakens and rejoices.
    So shalt thou be blessed of the Goddess, and live with the fullness of
    life.

Turning to Mandolin, she asked to repeat the following:

    By seed and root, by leaf and flower and snakes, by life and love, in the
    name of the Snake God and Goddess, I Mandolin take thee Mitra to my hand,
    my heart and my spirit, at the setting of the sun and the rising of the
    stars.

She then repeated it for Mitra. Continuing, she intoned:

    The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and
    spiritual bond which unites two loyal hearts in endless love.

    At that point, the wedding party announced that it had forgotten something,
and rushed into a local jewelers shop. After a few minutes (and many requests
for additional funds from the audience), they strolled out, trying very hard
to look casual. Sabella waited for then to resituate themselves, and then
turned to Mandolin and Mitra respectively and asked them to repeat:

    In token and pledge of the vow between us made, with this ring I thee wed.

    While reciting her lines, Mandolin presented Mitra with "a band of golden
wildflowers," while Mitra gave Mandolin "a band of intertwined serpents."

Sabella finished with:

    Let the sun and the moon and the stars, and these our brothers and
    sisters, bear witness that Mandolin and Mitra have been joined together
    in the sight of the Snake God and Goddess. And may the Snake God and
    Goddess bless them, as we do ourselves.
    
    So mote it be.

    Everyone cheered, especially the kids. Shalindra, being a practical child,
decided that it would be easiest to call Mandolin "mommy" and Mitra
"aunty-mommy," while Vashti decided that she needed a snake just like
Shalindra's (or close to, anyway). Many glasses of wine were loaded, although
someone claimed there was nothing in them. Considering the alarming numbers of
underage drinkers in the crowd, perhaps that was just as well. The wedded
couple happily waved to the crowd, and wandered off to put their daughters to
bed.

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Legendary Times is published by the gods of LegendMUD. Please send all
replies/additions to to our address at lt@mud.aus.sig.net for inclusion in
the next edition. We, however, reserve the right to moderate this
discussion, and may object to some submissions. If you feel we have wrongly
omitted one of your messages, please talk to Sabella online or through email
(lcmoll00@nx10.mik.uky.edu and see if she did indeed receive it in the first
place.
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