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VOLUME SIX, ISSUE FOUR                                   January 23rd, 1999
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

          -                  The Editor's Note                       -
          -             Upcoming Calendar of Events                  -

                                 ARTICLES
          -                   Did You Know...                        - 
          -          Q & A: Affects Saving Over Renting              -
          -                 The Immortal Report                      -   
         
                                LEGENDITES
          -                   Announcements!                         -
          -                A Flier from the Mercs                    -
          -              A Note Found Outside Hell....               -
          -               Blasphemy at the Altar                     - 
          -                       Escape                             -
          -               The Birth of SandTiger                     -
          -              Ronnie And Jade's Divorce                   -
          -                     Imp's Task                           - 
          -             Bryn's Date with the Goddess                 -
          -            The Conjurer's Guild: Part III                -
          -           Dragon Eyes : An Epic, Chapter 4               - 
          -                    A Good Title                          -

___                                                                    ___
\  |------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                         EDITOR'S NOTE                            |__\
   '------------------------------------------------------------------'


Hello All,

Since this week's edition is again rather long, I'll keep my comments
brief. I want to specifically draw your attention to the Q & A
transcript which discusses the subject of affects saving over renting.
This Q & A was something of an experiment, an attempt by the staff to
work more directly with players on design issues. I know transcripts
are not always easy to read, but I hope that this one will answer any
questions you may have. Eventually I hope to translate the discussion
into more of a 'FAQ' format -- your questions and clarifications are
requested.

                                       Love to all,
                                       LadyAce

___                                                                    ___
\  |------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                    UPCOMING CALENDAR OF EVENTS                   |__\
   '------------------------------------------------------------------'

         [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

     <-^-><-^-><-^-><-^-><-^->January<-^-><-^-><-^-><-^-><-^->

Saturday,  January 23,  7:00 pm  - Trivia! by LadyAce
                                     Round 10 of 12
Thursday,  January 28,  7:00 pm  - Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
 
         <0><0><0><0>February<0><0><0><0>
 
Thursday,  February  5, 7:00 pm  - Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  February 12, 7:00 pm  - Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Friday,    February 13, 8:00 pm  - 'Leopold's Amulets' Game
Saturday,  February 14    Happy 5th Birthday LegendMUD
                           and Happy Valentine's Day!
Thursday,  February 19, 7:00 pm  - Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

___                                                                    ___
\  |------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                          NEWS AND REPORTS                        |__\
   '------------------------------------------------------------------'


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


   _____       DID YOU KNOW    ... that you can get zip strung for free,
  /  _  \      for RP purposes?   
 /__/ \  \    
      /  /     What is zip, you ask? It's basically a 'non-item' -- which 
     /  /      means that you can't wear it or use it for anything, but it
    /__/       has a description, and you can manipulate it with socials
    __         like any other item. For example, if you roleplay someone
   /  \        who can see into the future, you could get a zip strung to
   \__/        be a crystal ball. Then, before making your predictions, you
               might peer into the crystal ball, ponder it, etc. Best of 
               all, zip is small, light, and low in rent.
   _____   
  /  _  \      To get a zip string, don't hesitate to call on any PR
 /__/ \  \     immortal and request one. 
      /  / 
     /  /       
    /__/       DID YOU KNOW     ...  that you can enter your ideas for the
    __         mud using the 'idea' command and then your message? The 'typo'
   /  \        command and the 'bug' command work the same way. Information
   \__/        entered through these 3 commands are then saved in files on
               the mud machine, and reviewed at least monthly.
       

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


                    Q & A: Affects Saving Over Renting            


Ea! said: 'Okay, so, here's the deal on affects: Basically, as most
people already know, affects (poison, weaken, mana sink, limn, etc.)
don't save over rent.  That is, if you rent, they vanish. This sort of
trivializes them by making them easy to remove -- the only time you
can't get rid of them quickly is if you've got another affect that you
want to keep.  I'll make a side point that armor of light and orbs
aren't affects, they're real items that don't rent and probably
wouldn't be affected by this.'

LadyAce added: 'Besides the fact that it's sorta silly, type one command,
and poof, your spells are gone.'

Ea! said: 'Also, we're going to be using affects more and more as we move
towards skill trees - the current plans have something like 6 different types
of poison instead of the current two...'

LadyAce added: 'And it defeats the purpose of putting in supercool affects
if they go away so easily. Diseases...poisons...etc.'

Ea! said: 'Some of them will be cured by some herbs, others but certain
pills made with pharmasutical skills, etc...But anyway, we're going to
make affects save over rent. We really have to as a lot of new features
won't work if we don't. Furthermore, there's good reason to do it before
skill trees proper goes in. Basically, in putting in trees, we're looking
to get as many of the pieces in before the proper trees are -- trying
to minimize the drastic changes where we can. Affects saving over rent
is one of those things that can really go in at any time (code wise),
it doesn't rely on anything else.' 

Ea said: 'It's because we've got the variety that there isn't as much need
to rely on other players in some respects. Currently, we can't have a mob
who heals because it's inbalancing. But, if it's a single mob that cures
a specific type of poison...That might be considered significantly less
balancing.' 

LadyAce added: 'The other piece of this puzzle is the changes Rufus
mentioned, decreasing potion and scroll rent.'

Ea! said: 'And 20 mobs which cure 20 different type of poisons are
certainly less inbalancing than one mob which cures everything.' 

Ea! continued: 'Some of the things that we've already sort of decided
on:' Wells in Tara won't be poisoned by the druids near there...The
pump in London won't have poison on it.

Mandarb said: 'If i kill mob a in ancient and the heal mob is mob b in
indus, I'm going to be extremely discouraged to ever kill that mob again.'

LadyAce said: 'It would make more sense for a poison used in a given
place/time to also have an antidote in a similar place/time.'

Ea! said: 'We're almost definitely going to be adding in mobs that bandage
(though bleeding isn't an affect in the code, it would save over rent
as well). We'll probably add in some mobs to cure poisons, particularly
centralized in hometowns. We're less worried about you lot than about
the newbies...  cause most of you know how to handle yourselves.'

LadyAce said: 'At any rate, we'd like to be sure that we remember to
address all the areas where this new code might cause problems.'

Fright said: 'Make it so spells that you cast, you can stop them. So you can
go ooc, etc.'

Ea! said: 'Affects don't currently track the caster, though I suspect
we could figure something out to make it do that. Maybe we could make a
low-mana vid/guh spell to clear affects that you cast off of someone. That
way we can keep it in game..Sort of a "dispel my magic" spell.'

Fright said: 'But don't kill dispel magic by making it too good.'

Ea! said to Fright, 'It'd only work on things that you cast on yourself
or quaffed yourself. It wouldn't get  *everything*, but it'll get the
magical ones...'

Fright said: 'I'd like to suggest a cure crit potion too, that's buyable
only, and very expensive.'

LadyAce said: 'Also, there's the subject of regenning over rent,' you say.

Iron_Lion said, 'Id like to heal why rented :/.'

LadyAce said, 'My suggested rate is 20 hrs = full. For a 600 hp person,
that's 30 hp an hour.' 

LadyAce added: 'I personally find it rather discouraging to rent in with
no hp or mana. I rent in to play, and to rent in to just have to heal, is
dull. Before you even get a fight in or a group going, and you're yellin
for help. Bleah.'

Mandarb said: 'I always try to heal before I leave so that doesn't happen
LadyAce :).'

Fright added: 'Me too.'

Iron_Lion said: 'I think its a good idea, cause its boring to have to wait
around to heal back up after you log on.'

LadyAce said: 'How dull. I'm gonna leave soon, lemme go sleep for an
hour.'

Ea! said: 'We probably wouldn't make timed items vanish while rented,
by the way.'

Fright asked: 'What about potions being timed?' 

Ea! said: 'And I'm not sure what we'd do if you rented with 1 hp while
poisoned...I don't think that we'd kill people while they were rented,
though.'

LadyAce said: 'That's part of this issue, I think it makes sense for affects to
clear at the same slowed rate as hp regens. Perhaps 1/20th of current.'

A Viking Berserker said: 'But that would still mean that you can save
yourself for a poison death if you rent and stay  rented.'

LadyAce said: 'True. But I don't think that's the worst thing in the
world. People that near death are most likely to be newbies.'

Ea! said, 'Probably affects like poison/bleeding while renting would keep you
at the same hp for the duration of the affect and then once they wore out,
you'd heal for the rest of the time...'

Ea added: 'Under trees there's lots of different levels of poison from normal
up to, like, comatose and death...And they go from one to another depending
on a variety of factors which I can't remember off the top of my head.'

Mugwump said: 'Some poisons might have a delayed affect, before becoming major,
which would give you more time to find a cure.'

Fright said: 'Str or spr might play a role in there too.'

Ea! said: 'I forget the way that the poisons work, but it's more factors
than just con.'

LadyAce said: 'Basically what this new saving affects code lets us do is
put in these sorts of ideas. If it were as easy as 'rent out' why bother
making cool poisons. And just having the poison kill you, is silly. It
could slow your move, slow regen, lower your con, cause you to fall asleep
from time to time...' 

Fright said, 'Poisoning could be a really neat career. =).'

A Viking Berserker said: 'Just dying is boring.'

Iron_Lion said: 'Instant death should be avoided.'

Siachet said: 'Disorient.'

Ea! said: 'Poisons might cause spasms, blurred/double vision, sleep,
deafness, delirium, others...'

Iron_Lion suggested: 'Potions that make you get temporary insanity and rage.
Potions that make you lethargic make it so you cant rage?'

Siachet added: 'Once you were deaf, warcries shouldn't have any further
effect on you :P.'

Fright said: 'I always wondered why you could hear a warcry in the same zones
but not a gunshot.'

Iron_Lion suggested: 'What about a spirit fighting skill that you could
center to allow yourself an attribute of an animal? Maybe random, or
pick a spirit. Like claws of an animal, better eyesight, see in the dark,
better hearing.'

LadyAce asked: 'How do you guys think this might affect pk?' 

Fright said, 'I think that was regarding regenerating while renting more than
anything. If you regen too fast (at same rate as in game) it would really
suck. Also people would probably end up running away and not coming
back a little more often.'

Fright continued: 'Actually, I see a problem with pkill and this renting
thing. If someone gets blinded and they can't cure blind, I think most
people would just rent and say screw it.'

'Perhaps aggro spells cast on a person wouldn't clear at all...' you say.

LadyAce said: 'I agree, we don't want people saying oh, i've got blah affect,
g'bye. Maybe you should hafta be able to see, to rent. Or we could leave
blind how it is.'

Vanion said: 'That would suck for fighters in pkill.'

Siachet said: 'Thats nifty, but it could be a pain if somebody needed to
rent for RL reasons and somebody kept blinding them to be a jerk :P.'


                        The Immortal Report

For the week of Jan 1-Jan 7

Kaige did the usual general admin stuff: sorting bugs/typos/etc and
dealt with billing for the mud machine's connection. 


ADMIN:

     Sandra talked alot to different people regarding various things
     ranging from harassment to cheating, to pkenabling, to working on
     getting help files updated.  Chocorua didn't have alot of online
     time this last week, but talked to a few people who thought they
     were being harassed.  Wraith had to answer more questions than
     normal. Mostly due to a few newbies, Arafat/Amirr? and Zilo.


BUILDING:

     Rufus worked on pirates more, finalized the housing format, and
     wrote a help doc on it. Cheyla got her first quest finished and
     all aspects working. Croaker changed a few things in PIsles
     changed Corentinus quest so newbies can do it, and added a few
     rooms to Greece and put in new mobs and a new quest.  Kheldar's
     last week included discussion and some efforts towards his area.
     Sabella has been working on her area, despite problems with her
     new computer. Rusalka wrote and tested more acts for her Tudor
     expansion. Wraith did some bug fixes for his area and worked on an
     update for industrial captains. LadyAce has been working on quests
     and dressing mobs, and also also done a fair bit of debugging.
     Sandra got alot done on Pittsburgh. She also mapped out an idea
     for a train ride to san fran and back as well.  Kaige cleaned up a
     bunch of small typos in area files and added some fixes to her
     aztec and fiwar updates.


CODING:

     Ea! mainly worked on changing the way that the code deals with
     affects to make some aspects of skilltrees more doable. Also, he's
     been working on some changes to help files to make it easier to
     update them. Chocorua fixed some typos. Rufus added lots of new
     housing code, and cleaned up some of his old code and added house
     zoning.

PLAYER RELATIONS:

     LadyAce did the usual strings, descs, etc. and ran a number of
     games this week, put in the mundane coupons, string holders, and a
     new set of prizes for the prize machine. She also did trivia (fun)
     and Q & A (not many questions). Chimera did an absolute load of
     desc registrations, answered a lot of questions about clanning and
     forming RP clans, talked to some people about effective RP,
     various other things online, tried to resolve a few conflicts. He
     also researched some more conundrums, and ran his new game (cookie
     for question) twice.  Kheldar answered a few questions, did a
     couple restrings and a string.

     Natalia has been spending alot of time talking with people.
     Topics have ranged from the immorting process, to forming RP clans
     to player housing and related matters. She also spent time
     explaining different rules and regulations to people and discussed
     RP and ways to promote it within the mud, and listened to
     different ideas on how to make pk fun again. She also ran some
     games (a couple flag hunts and the odd title trivia). In the
     coming week she hopes to continue talking with different players
     to get a sense of things on the mud.  She's found the increased
     interaction with the playerbase to be quite rewarding and the
     players appreciate that an imm is taking the time to listen and
     attempt to address their concerns.

     Oandlig did some descs, strings, the usual things, though only in
     extremely lesser numbers because of a defunct modem, and read
     through imm proposals. He hopes he can be on more often now that
     his computer can get online again.  Satsu spent time doing general
     PR duties, strings, registering a couple descs, and issued a
     couple verbal warnings regarding civility and appropriate behavior
     towards immortals, etc.


For the week of Jan 8-Jan 15

Kaige did the usual general admin stuff: sorting bugs/typos/etc and
fought a sinus headache and sore throat all week. Talked with numerous
people about how to improve various things in and around the mud.


ADMIN:

     Sandra kept an eye out on the descriptions process, all seems to
     be going well with that so far. She also tallied votes for the
     proposals and sent those out and answered questions, pkenabled,
     archived/unarchived, deletion requests, etc.  Chocorua spent a
     bunch of time online and answering basic game play questions.
     Flagg mostly archived, listened to a few grievances, and figured
     out how to do the description process.  Wraith did the normal
     admin things; archives, unarchives, went through boards, etc.


BUILDING:

     Rufus had work boew up on him this week, so he didn't get much
     done. Next week he suspects will be a little more lax, however.He
     set a new rent spec for scrolls/potions.  Charity knows where
     she's putting housing in the Abbey and Egypt, and mapped out the
     rooms for the pre-Pyramid Egypt expansion, which will make room
     for more houses.  Cheyla got another quest done and working, did a
     handful of the remaining mob descriptions,

     Croaker did quite a bit this week. He worked some more on minor
     improvements to britian and picts including adding a few rooms to
     Dal Riada so there's room for housing. He wrote housing for
     Britain and picts and got it working for Britain.  Flagg updated
     his areas and looked into finishing up quests he had started on
     way back when. He also fixed lots of things in general and started
     talking to players about possible changes to his areas.

     Kheldar answered a couple questions about area problems and looked
     at a possible bug with one of romania's quests(not a bug). He also
     reviewed his area notes and worked a bit on reorganizing his map.
     Sabella got her computer working again, did a local weather
     section, worked on extended descriptions and room acts, and talked
     to a few players about building. She also offered to look at
     Deanna's level 50 mobs to see if the exp needs tweaking, but
     haven't done so yet. Wraith worked on housing for his area.  Ea!
     added the Royal Tombs of Uruk (based off the Royal Tombs of Ur) to
     uruk, as well as a palm garden and the entrance to Gilgamesh's
     palace. 

     Sandra got lots more done on Pittsburgh this last week. Most of
     the rooms are done, save the train to san fran and the entrance
     into the area from the ocean. She also has to work on decorating
     with objects as well.  Kaige fixed a lot of minor typos and a few
     other small bugs and started updating some more areas for
     inheritance and yellzone conversion.


CODING:

     Ea! made tons and tons of small bug fixes here and there, typos,
     etc, Added the hear social, made a few spells a little more
     useful.  He also worked more on the changes to the help file
     system. He also made a bunch of balance type changes.  Rufus added
     lots of new housing code, and cleaned up much of the old code and
     added house zoning, added in a new config file addition.

PLAYER RELATIONS:

     LadyAce did online stuff, Q & A, ran a game of tag, did the LT,
     and worked on a tiny plot. She also finished up with voting, and
     took some player complaints and forwarded them as appropriate.
     Chimera did a few descriptions, a string or two, a lot of
     restrings, puzzled out how to do certain things and looked at
     Merpir's acts a lot. He also participated in a great Q and A that
     went really far afield, and talked about areas a good deal with
     several morts.

     Flagg figured out the description process with the file and
     started listening to player grievences against changes, other
     people and imms. He is supposed to continue the discussion.
     Kheldar did a couple strings and a restring and also had
     discussions with players about player harassment being ignored and
     player/imm favortism.  Natalia did some strings and the odd
     restring. She helped out some with the Doomsday Plot.

     Stile came back after a 3 week long trip to South Africa,
     thoughtful and brooding over the social injustices of the world.
     After settling in and reading his waiting 150 emails, he managed
     to do a string or two and talk to a player about harassment. 


             ________________________ 
            /                        \     
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMUD?|
   (o o)    \________________________/
ooO_(_)_Ooo________________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|
___                                                                    ___
\  |------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|    LEGENDITES: Information Regarding the People of Our World     |__\
   '------------------------------------------------------------------'

                             Announcements!

Descriptions:

An arrow whizzes through the air and hit the ground, point first, in
the ground. Attached to the arrow is a small note, on the note reads
as follows:

Dear Legendites,

D'assen de Lome will no longer be travelling with the name D'assen, but
will be seen as 'a lithe archer.' When you see him in the room, say
hello to the 'graceful archer posed here, nocking an arrow into his
bow.' Be kind.

D'assen de Lome, The Amber Archer

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                           A Flier From the Mercs

The Mercs will now offer the bargain of the year!

Introducing the "Protection from Mercs" deal. (PROM)

If payment is made at a rate equal to 1000 times your level, not only
will we suspend any contracts against you for that hour (RL). We will
also treat anyone attacking you as if they were attacking one of our
own.

You heard right! The entire Merc clan can come to your aid for merely
1000 times your level in coins, for an entire hour!

If you feel that you have not been rightly treated after paying, we
will refund your money.  Guaranteed.*

Mo!

*Offer void where prohibited, or when you initiate combat against us
after payment.  Other restrictions may apply, see Mo for details.

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                        A Note Found Outside Hell....             

A note, its words faded in spots from water meeting with the ink, was
found on the ground outside of Hell. Its words are as follows:

I should say that I become angry when I see a man such as Conspiracy
attempt to dictate my personal life, but anger seems too strong a word.
I find amusement in the fact that his affections for my fiancee' are
ignored, and his words fall upon deaf ears. My situation is not a perfect
one, but it is mine and no others, lest I make it so.

It is for this reason alone that I will gladly bring his soul to you. I
do not care for the work you have me do, this I don't make secret. I will
not stand for this man's interruptions any longer. And his death will be
one I am glad to deliver. As I am sure his soul will make a nice addition
to your 'collection', shall we say. 

Perhaps with this, you will grant me a little more freedom as well.

Your servant,
Mr. Sterling Silver


                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                          Blasphemy at the Altar


It all started as a nice innocent day for a group of three -- Lady
Flower, Larnoc, and Squire Ramikon. In search of rest, they journeyed
to the alter in the druid conclave near the dun.

Everything went fine until they noticed a stiff wind pick up.  Then,
before they knew it, in rolled a Dark Messiah, surrounded by an evil
aura!  The Messiah peered about the room, soaking in every detail.

Lady Flower, trying to be nice, dropped into a curtsey before the Dark
Messiah.  His eyes lighting on the lady for what seemed the first time,
the Messiah, with palpable evil dripping from his mouth, asked Lady
Flower, 'And by what name are you known?' Proudly she responded, 'I am
Lady Flower, Knight of Legend.'  Smoke drifted from the Messiah's
nostrils as he snarled.  With an evil grin the Dark Messiah spat out
one single word...'Knights.'

Larnoc, not sure what to make of all this, peered at the Messiah, as if
to divine his intentions.  Flower, in a show of bravery, smirked at the
Messiah and again curtseyed before him.  The Dark Messiah, disbelief
evident in his voice, then said, ' The Knights now attempt to make use
of MY altar?'

Flower and Larnoc, not sure they had heard correctly, asked, 'Your
altar?' Larnoc added, 'Sorry, I thought it was just a barbecue spot.'
At this, the Messiah drops to a knee before the Altar, claiming it is
sacred to the Dark Lord.  Larnoc turned to Ramikon and chided him,
'See, I told you not to cook on that!'  Ramikon shrugged in response,
claiming ignorance.

At this point the Dark Messiah started chanting to himself, 'O Obscure
Domine, Optime, de Omne.' Larnoc continued to chide Ramikon, 'I mean,
it HAS to be hot for a reason.' Larnoc whapped Ramikon in the back of
the head, seeking to punctuate his point. Ramikon protested, 'But it
is NONSTICK!'

Meanwhile, the Messiah continued to mutter to himself. 'Occide
bellatores, nunc!  Mors!  Mors!  Mors ad lucem!' The Dark Messiah,
obviously displeased with the turn of events, rose, snarling, 'You dare
to commit such blasphemies to the Dark Lord?!'

Larnoc flippantly asks Flower, 'Hey, shouldn't you be doing some sorta
ancient enemy kinda grandstanding?'  To which Lady Flower responded,
'Perhaps.'  Hoping to appease the Messiah, Ramikon offered to give the
Messiah part of the meal they prepared. Larnoc added: 'I swear, I
really do, I didn't cook fish on it!'

Obviously displeased with Larnoc's feeble attempts to mollify him, the
Messiah growled at Larnoc.  Larnoc tried to shift the blame, 'He wanted
me to but I didn't!, madly pointing at Ramikon.  Ramikon, hoping to
defend himself said, 'He lies, I'm not the one who has the fish
skill!'  The Dark Messiah...upset at just about everything at this
point bellowed, 'You mock me!  You mock the Dark Lord!'  

Larnoc gasped in shock. 'Who me?  I mock nothing...Deride and possibly
at a stretch make fun of...' Ramikon, feeling brave, muttered a remark
about how the Messiah should, 'Go back to his guppy.'  At this the
Messiah screamed, as if in agony, 'THE DARK LORD IS NOT A GUPPY!'

Larnoc, feeling sorry for the Messiah, attempts to comfort him, while
whispering to his friends that he is delusional. Again the Dark Messiah
starts muttering curses in a strange, twisted, gutteral tongue.
'Obscure Domine, damna eos!  Damna eos Semper!' Fully reaching a fury,
the Messiah screams, 'Damn a eos ad infernum!'

At this point Larnoc, showing his command of ancient languages, pops
out with, 'Loosely translated I believe that means: Damn , I left the
oven on!'  Ramikon, obviously giddy at this point, started giggling
uncontrollably at Larnoc's translation.  The Messiah, not agreeing with
the translation, boxes Larnoc's ears.

The Messiah continued chanting, Larnoc continues translating (badly),
As the mockery continued, the Messiah screamed he had had enough, and
proceeded to enchant everything in the room!  As the group continued
chuckling to itself...the Messiah disappeared back into the murk from
whence he came.


Editor's Note:

And so it seems that the Dark Messiah has returned, to walk among us
once more. What his intentions are, and what harm may befall the
seekers of the Light, only time will tell.



                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                                 Escape

Grown tired of demon-slaying, Guelah sought an exit from their hideous
realm.

Night settled early and often in this place. Guelah struggled to a
miraculous pool of fresh water, the only fount of life in this horrific
place of death. With the nightfall, a thick mist descended on the land,
obscuring her vision and leaving only the eerie, horrifying sounds of
the demons this land flourished with. A shape, vaguely human in form,
seemed to dash away from the pool as Guelah approached.  Immediately,
she took to pursuit.

Quickly, Guelah caught the man who had fled from her, a weasely man,
scowling and pathetic. She tackled him to the ground, and with minimal
effort, relieved him of his blade. It was a simple matter of scratching
him with her mighty crystal sword before he was telling all he knew.

And he knew of escape. He had no desire to leave, himself -- muttering
something about doomsday, and that this realm, he thought, would be
safe. Knowing nothing of this doomsday, Guelah felt free to leave her
hellish prison, to leave this man to his demons. She knew that pathetic
as he was, and without a blade, he would not last long. But his
confidence that the world was to end worried Guelah, so she set off to
find out what was happening, and if it could be stopped...


                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                          The Birth of SandTiger                  

I can still remember it well. Being a child for the nomadic peoples of
the Punja desert was a harsh reality for me. I, not being born one of
them, was forced into a form of slavery because of my orphan status. I
had very little hope of anything ever changing until one late autumn
season.

I was around 6, as close as I can figure. The night watchmen started
disappearing. The shaman said it was a curse because we had displeased
the gods of the desert, but everyone knew it was because of a SandTiger
-- giant ferocious felines these beasts, large enough to eat a man in
two bites. Their claws contain a paralytic poison.

The village chief offered anything to anyone whom could stop this
SandTiger from ravaging the tribe. So after one day of being beaten
particularly badly, I decided that the tiger was going to make me a
free man. I found a stick and whittled at it in my spare time, until I
got it very sharp.

Then one evening I slipped out of camp, to seek the SandTiger's Lair. I
found it a few hours walk from camp, and the gods must have been
watching over me because it was asleep. I managed to
sneak inside without waking it and plunged the sharpened stake into
its chest as hard as I could, but I did not get away unharmed. 

With its final breath the SandTiger reached out and marked me with its
claws, right across my cheek. I crawled out of the cave, already
starting to feel the fire of the poison burning in my veins....if only
I could make it back to camp.

I had not thought to bring water with me, and between the desert dust
and the poison inside me, I was feeling like I hadn't had water for
days. I don't know how far I crawled away from the lair, or if I was
even heading in the right direction. I remember falling, and after
awhile, I thought someone was standing over me.

A hallucination, I thought, a fitting way to die. At least I die free.
But for a hallucination, the strong, fierce-looking woman above me had
uncomfortably intense eyes. Then all was blackness.

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                         Ronnie And Jade's Divorce               


Maybe logs of chat conversations aren't usually the most reader friendly.
Even so, I found this one so hilarious in retrospect that I felt I ought to
share it with the rest of you.

-Marcel

Marcel: *pet Jade* Just because you've been divorced.
Jade: Divorced? *look Ronnie*
Ronnie: *clear throat* Ahem...
Ronnie: Well, you see....
Marcel: Oops, didn't know? So sorry, Ron, hon.

STR: *thinks ronnie should hold that thought*
Jade: Well I see what, DEAR? *tap foot*
Ronnie: So much for breaking it gently, Marcy baby *mutter*
Marcel: She's so pretty when she's mad, Ronnie.
Ronnie: Jade, this old friend came back from a rather difficult place to 
get away from to see me and all
Jade: Start talking little man!
Jade: Uh huh...
Marcel: *wait*

Ronnie: And well, we do go back quite a ways, I wanted to kill her first 
husband you see
Jade: Go on... *fold arms across chest*
Marcel: *draws up a chair to watch inconspicuously*
Ronnie: She was one of my first mistresses, back when I was an 
apprentice Gimp
Jade: Cut to the chase, babe.
Ronnie: And, well, im uhhmm... errr, *ponder*
Marcel: Ronnie, you're cute when you're blushing.

Ronnie: Well, its kinda hard to have a wife and be in love with a 
different woman at once
STR: why dontcha just get two wives :P
Sparkles: Since when ;)
Ronnie: On the plus side, I think Marcy baby is your type
Hannah: *giggles behind one hand*
Marcel: I am most people's type.
Jade: You're leaving me for this, BIMBO?

Marcel: He gave her such a pretty ring too.
Jade: *ponder* I could get rid of Abigail.
Marcel: Hrm. Don't call my sister a bimbo, now.
Ronnie: She isn't a bimbo *peer* She comes from the Sultan of Zanzibar's 
family
Marcel: Heaven knows Princess Aisha has a temper and all that, but
she *is* my sister in religion, I'd stand up for her if I had to.

Marcel: On the other hand, Jade is so pretty when she's angry...
Jade: I don't give a frog's fat ass through a rolling doughnut who
she is!!!!
Marcel: Gosh. She gets prettier by the minute.
Ronnie: *mutter* Shut up, Marcel

Marcel: Tell me to shut up once more, Ronnie, and I'll tell your
wife what you did with the wedding ring.
Jade: What did you do with the wedding ring I gave you?
Ronnie: *grumble* See if I help you build up a pile of mugs in the
tavern again
Marcel: Well, I figure I don't need help to drink anyway. I'll take
a hand cleaning up, though.

Ronnie: I think Marcel wants to tell you more than me, right?
Jade: Wait a minute...DO NOT tell me you gave her *my* wedding ring!
Marcel: Me? I'm silent as an oyster.
Marcel: *squirt*
Ronnie: Oh, now your quiet
Ronnie: Thanks a lot, Angel cakes

Jade: ANSWER THE QUESTION!
Guan-Yu: don't rush him
Fatale: hmmm. I guess doomsday is near, at least for ronnie :)
Marcel: *whistle self*
Hannah: I've heard all sorts of things about you Ronnie, but if
you've done that you have topped it all!

Ronnie: Well, errr, *gulp* define 'give' 'her' 'my' and 'wedding ring'
Jade: You didn't!
Fatale: I bet i can guess what you're gonna do with yours, jade!
DeathSpawn: *gives Jade a solid steel folding chair*
Sparkles: Heh heh, the Ronnie Clinton defense
Ronnie: *sigh* A person does odd things when your mind is overridden
by a certain blood-pumping organ located in the chest
Hannah: *whispers* I think he did. Ooh, what a louse.
Marcel: I can fix that.

Fatale: I think you mean the one a lot lower than that, ronnie!
Ronnie: Supportive as always, Marcy
Hannah: *giggles behind one hand*
Ronnie: So I take it your a bit angry, Jade?
Jade: Just a bit! This Aisha will now know the meaning of true pain
when I get through with her.

Sparkles: Jade, don't focus on Aisha. She was there before you and
it's not necessarily her fault that Ronnie never got over her. Kill HIM,
and then wash your hands of the whole thing.
Jade: Hands up...how many of you out there think I should castrate
Ronnie?
Marcel: *raise*

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                              Imp's Task 

Three items did Aisha demand of Imp: a rose for her hair, a potion
which can bring life to the dead, and the sweetest fruit ever created.
And Imp labored long and hard upon his mission, until he signaled the
lady that he had completed his task.

There was a flash of light, and suddenly Imp found himself in The Inner
Sanctum of The Grand Coven of Legend. A dark-haired gentleman, following his
Lord Marcel Alexander, entered behind him, as if to show interest in whatever
spectacle might ensue.

'Welcome, for the first, last and only time you will see this site,' Lord
Marcel Alexander said firmly to Imp. Aisha nodded her agreement.

Imp peered around the room intently, trying to gain his bearings. But
Aisha was impatient.

'Imp!' she said. 'Give me the items I demand.'

Imp knelt before his mistress.

Imp said, trying to look brave, 'First, the rose, to compliment your
beauty.' He handed hellebore to Aisha, who nodded, caressing the
surface of the plant.

A dark haired gentleman turned to Lord Marcel Alexander, and said in a
courtly fashion, 'She's beautiful when she's demanding, isn't she?'
'You should have seen her as a child,' Lord Marcel Alexander said with
a chuckle to a dark haired gentleman.

Imp continued, 'And the potion you asked me to seek, which required the
whole of great Herme's knowledge.' He presented Aisha with a blood red
potion.

'So doth Herme serve the wishes of those the Goddess blesses,' said
Aisha. 'And the third?'

'And for the fruit, I hope you find this simple offering acceptable,'
Imp said, handing Aisha a a bunch of grapes.  'They are the sweetest
fruit to be found in the whole of the wide earth, grown in the orchards
of the order,' Imp continued.

'Fit for a princess, I agree,' she replied. Imp again knelt before
Aisha, who smiled at him. 'How cute,' Lord Marcel Alexander said, his
voice dripping with sweetness.

Aisha said, 'Your service is most acceptable.' Lord Marcel Alexander
put his fingers to his palms in a polite golf clap.  He lounged back on
the couch, watching lazily.

Aisha pulled a bleeding, pulsating organ from her satchel.  The
graceful, exotic princess poured the vial over the heart, and then drew
within herself, enchanting the pulsing organ. She pressed the heart to
Imp's chest, and in a flash of lightning, it disappeared.

Lord Marcel Alexander blinked with surprise, as Imp gasped with
astonishment and fell backward.  'What the bloody...' Imp said.

A dark haired gentleman said, in a voice smooth and courtly, 'Hm.' Lord
Marcel Alexander muttered, annoyed by something, 'Bah, just as you had
him well trained too.' Imp peered at himself myopically.  'Well, let me
know if you need help, I guess,' Lord Marcel Alexander said, looking
annoyed, to Aisha.

Imp clasped his hands to his chest, gazing around the room, and stood.
Aisha spoke to Imp. 'I would have only willing servants, with a heart I
might claim for my own.' Lord Marcel Alexander wrinkles his nose
distastefully.

Imp thanked the lady heartily. 'Go in peace, and return to your order,'
she said.

Lord Marcel Alexander said, disgusted, 'My, how epic.' The dark haired
gentleman smirked. Lord Marcel Alexander said, annoyed by something, to
the dark haired gentleman, 'Wipe that grin off.' 'Your own story is
equally epic,' Aisha said to Lord Marcel Alexander. 'Do not mock mine.'

'Thank you, my lady,' Imp said. 'I am forever in your debt!' 'Oh, I
know,' she said. 'I know.'

Imp-- knelt again before the princess, who waved her hand towards the
door.  Lord Marcel Alexander grumbled, 'I'll get back to you.' With a
jaunty wink to Marcel, Imp sauntered off south.

Lord Marcel Alexander snarled angrily, but there was nothing he could
do. Not then, at least.

-submitted by Aisha

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                       Bryn's Date with the Goddess

        One morning, Bryn's mother opened the window to Bryn's bedroom
from the outside and stepped in. Bryn's -third floor- bedroom
window. Bryn was a bit confused.
        "Mommy? Errr...aren't you dead?"
        The woman replied with a voice too serene to be human. "I am not
your mother, child. I am your Goddess, and I have a message for you."
        Bryn fidgeted. "Well, 'scuse me, miss Goddess-oh, pleased to meet
you, by the way, I pray to you all the time, I swear-but why are
you my mommy?"
        "This is simply an illusion I've constructed to put you more at ease.
Your small mortal mind could not encompass the sight of my true form,
I'm afraid. Were you to see me in my natural state, your eyes would
melt out of your skull, your blood would boil in your veins, and your
bones would simultaneously explode with a force equal to...well, you
get the general idea."
        Bryn bounced excitedly. "Ooooh! Show me, I wanna 'splode! Whee!"
        The woman replied, cool as a cucumber, "I'm sorry, my child, it
cannot be done."
        "Comeoncomeoncomeon! I wanna 'splode! Woo hoo!!!"
        "Bryn, child, I will not. Now if you'll settle down, I have an
important messa-"
        "COME ON! I wanna 'splode! 'Sploda-roda! Boom! Wheee! 'Sploding
Bryn! Woo!"
        "BRYN! STOP IT, YOU'RE BEING SILLY."

        "Yes'm."

        "Ahem. Now, where was I? Ah, yes. Bryn, I have something very
important to tell you. Bryn, you've been neglecting your studies,
and most egregiously."
        Bryn shuffled her feet. This was starting to sound like a lecture.
        "Child, your mother had very high hopes for you, as did I. And you
have so far let us down. Your mother was unable to finish guiding
your studies of Magic before her death, but I believe she told you
to find another master and finish them, for her."
        Bryn looked around nervously. This wasn't fun, she wanted to go
play. "Well, yeah, she did say something like that, but..."
        "But what?"
        "Well, it was really boring."
        The Goddess snorted in a most un-Goddesslike fashion. "Boring? So
my will is boring, now? Bryn, you've some growing up to do."
        Bryn blanched.
        "Bryn, child, you've disobeyed your mother's last request. Don't
you realize why she was so adamant about teaching you Magic? What
would she think if she could see you now? She worked herself to
death to try to keep you away from your father's teachings. And
what do you do but go to live with him, your mother still not stiff."
        Bryn muttered, "Maybe Goddesses don't have to eat, but little girls do."
        "What have you learned since your mother died, Bryn? Thievery? Bah.
Fencing? Feh. Petty tricks compared to the power of Magic."
        Bryn rolled her eyes. "Well, sorry, what am I supposed to do about it
now? What's done is done."
        The Goddess grinned, a malicious, scary grin. "Luckily for you, Bryn,
Goddesses are pretty good at undoing what's poorly done."
         She reached out for Bryn, touching a cool hand to Bryn's forehead.
As they touched, Bryn's back bowed backwards, her eyes wide
with shock. Her tongue lolled out of her mouth, her hands
clutched wildly as her young body fought this intrusion.
Suddenly, with a sob, she pitched forward onto the floor,
conscious yet utterly weak. The Goddess knelt beside her and
gently cradled her.
        "You have not had an easy life, child. And I'm afraid I must make
it harder still. You must finish your study of Magic, so that
you can be a fitting servant for me, here on Earth. It will
strain you to the utmost, you will frequently want to give up.
But you may not. I require this service of you. This was always
to be your lot in life. I am sorry that you were not consulted,
but waiting for you to grow up and be able to consciously make
this decision would take time I do not have."
        The Goddess stroked Bryn's hair, pushing it out of Bryn's eyes,
amazed at the changes she had wrought, already evident.
        "It's not all bad, my child. I do have two gifts for you. One
of which you may curse me for in your old age, but which is a
gift nonetheless. If you will examine yourself, you'll notice
that you are growing at a rapid rate. I estimate that in five
minutes or so, you'll be around eighteen. And a beautiful young
woman you'll be, too." And here she smiled wryly. "After all, the servant
of the Goddess has to look right for the job, doesn't she?"
        And Bryn saw that it was true. Bones creaked as they shifted
positions. Muscles tightened and flexed, breasts formed and
swelled. Bryn couldn't do much more than gurgle in
amazement.
        The Goddess continued. "My second gift is a material one, child."
Suddenly there in her arms was a long, thin scabbard, made
of leather, with a steel guard around the opening. Worked into
the leather were thin lines of gold, and on the guard were
words writ in gold. "This was your mother's. I took it for
safekeeping when she died. Unfortunately, the sword was lost
many years ago. Perhaps you will be able to find it, perhaps
not. However, this should serve you well." She placed it on
Bryn's bed. "And now, child, rest. It's been a hard night, with
harder days to come. Yet know that I am always with you."
        She kissed Bryn gently on the forehead, turned, and walked
out the window through which she had come in.

        From the floor where she lay, Bryn was able to raise her head
and say softly, "Farewell, lady. I won't let you down." And as
she sank into an exhausted sleep, she thought she heard her
mother's voice.

        "I know you won't, my child."

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                        The Conjurer's Guild
                 (Part III - The final destruction)

It was about 400BC when a few families settled down in a peaceful

                        The Conjurer's Guild
                 (Part III - The final destruction)

It was about 400BC when a few families settled down in a peaceful
valley, surrounded by a huge desert. They had traveled for a few years
and had finally found a place to be their home and ... their hideout.

In the past, they had used their relationship to nature to fight in
many battles. They had created illusions, summoned creatures from other
dimensions, and they caused the forces of nature to act according to
their wishes.  They had lost friends, killed their enemies, killed for
money.  Like mercenaries, they had sold their powers to the highest
bidder.

But now that they had sworn never to use magic in that way again, they
forced the nature around them to grow. They built a beautiful village
in their valley with lots of trees, meadows and animals. They created
a small paradise which was surrounded by eternal peace.

The older men decided not to extend their lives further, and died when
their time was gone. The young men grew up, but without the knowledge
of the old teachers, they no longer grew in magical strength. Within
200 years, only a few people were left with knowledge of the magical
arts. It was a peaceful life they lived until ...

Somehow the 'Clan of the Hunters' found out the location of the last
survivors from the 'Conjurer's Guild' and they sent out messengers, to
unite the whole Hunters clan, to crush the last of those 'evil' mages.
While the Hunters clan amassed at the edge of the huge desert, their
council-members began working out a strategy to clean out their
remaining enemies.

The members of the 'Clan of the Hunters' grew impatient, and sought to
begin the fight, so that they might return home and live their own
lives. The Council worked quickly. Within a few days, the Council
released their plan to wipe out all the remaining mages from this
world.

With the night, the Hunters snuck into the village. They blocked the
entrance of every house, and set them alight. Whenever anyone tried to
flee they struck them down with maximum brutality. None of the
villagers understood what was happening, and none of them were able to
defend themselves. This night entered history as 'The Great Massacre.'

The village was burnt, the paradise destroyed and the corpses were left
all on the ground... 'The wind will bury them under the sand', one of
the Hunter-Knights said. After the Knights checked all huts and houses
they decided their work was done. They went home to their families, and
nobody ever heard again about the guild. For, as far as they knew, no
one survived the massacre in the desert.

told by Andrea, Guildmistress of the Conjurer's Guild
as written in the books.

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

Dragon Eyes : An Epic 
Chapter 4

If you missed the excitement of any of the first few chapters, or the 
captivating prologue, feel free to email Drako at gmdrako@usa.net to 
reserve your copy. :)


	*gasp**gurgle**splutter**hack**cough* Drako erratically
regurgitated mud, struggling in between coughs to gasp for air.

Eventually, his gullet cleared, leaving him free to suck air, which he
proceeded to do with reckless abandon.  When his lungs seemed satiated,
Drako began to regain his composure.

He commenced a survey of the area.  Due to the pitch dark condition of 
the enclosure, he detected naught but the irregular cadence of sludgy 
water dripping from the ceiling and oozing from the walls.  Was it his 
imagination, or could he also discern the faint exhalation of breath?

With immense caution, he stood.  He groped carefully around the room,
trying to find a way out.  He was in luck.  There just happened to be a
man-sized gap to the west.  He apprehensively ventured forth, for he
had no other choice save starvation in that dank hovel.  The sound of
breathing noticeably increased as he crept through the catacomb.

Drako suddenly realized that he could see the vague outline of the
cavern.  Stopping for another examination, he discovered the cause of
the faint luminescence.  Blue moss grew in small clumps littered
about the passageway.  He gathered a bit of this moss, creating a
make-shift light, dim though it was.

*snore!*

Drako involuntarily jumped three feet in the air, smacking his head on
the soft mud ceiling.  The immensely deep growl-like snore caused much
anxiety, as most monster-emitted sounds do.  Afraid, yet resigned to
his fate, whatever it may prove to be, Drako advanced.  His soft
footfalls echoed painfully.  He was sure that whatever else was alive
in this cavern, it was aware of him.

Drako suddenly rounded a corner, unaware that he had done so.  A huge
monster loomed over him.  Its thick, brownish, mud-covered hide
reflected dimly the blue tint of the indigenous moss.  Drako readied
his weapon for battle.  The clink of his dagger rattled loud in his
ears.  The monster reacted not at all.

Drako feared the war-drum beating of his heart would bring the cavern
ceiling crashing down atop him and the vicious beast, but it did not.
Drako slowly paced about the creature, realizing by its steady
breathing and relaxed posture that it had not awakened, despite the
ruckus he had raised.

Drako let out a great sigh of relief, stopping dead in his tracks as
the monster turned on the breath, fixing one great eye on the
intruder.  Drako let action precede thought, lunging for the magnetic
eye like a snow leopard pouncing from a hidden Himalayan crevice upon
unsuspecting prey.  His dagger struck something soft and juicy.
Something hot and red enveloped his arm.  Drako continued his assault,
stabbing over and over, leaving no part of the creature unpierced.

Soon the creature ceased its spasmodic convulsions, opting instead to
lie as still as a rock, feigning death.  The acting was so good, it
wasn't acting.  The monster let its calmness proceed to such extent,
that it died from a humongous loss of vital fluids.

Drako took a step back, sensing the creature's death-throes, and
consenting to let it rest in pieces.  He paced the room, using a small
pool that he discovered to wash the burning blood off of his
extremities.

A small glint at one edge of the pond caught his eye.  Anticipating
more danger, Drako raised his dagger yet again.  He carefully stalked
the glint, calculating its possible threat.  He edged forward, then
felt really stupid.  Lying on the ground was a small vial.  He held it
aloft, trying to discern its color in the faint light.  It reflected no
light.  Black.  Drako wafted the air above the vial towards his
olfactory, careful not to inhale too much, lest the potion be
poisonous.  He discerned no scent.  He smelled again, this time a huge
whiff from the top.  He didn't keel over.

'Ah, what the heck,' he thought, and downed it to the last drop.
*burp* Drako waited.  The room gradually darkened.  Drako became rigid,
immovable.  He involuntarily clung to his belongings, they would not
leave his person even if he plunged into hell.  His senses slowly
dimmed, leaving him a blind, deaf, mute, imbecile.  Reality faded with
the light, but nothing replaced it.  Drako felt himself falling...

Oh my.  What a pickle, or is it?  You know the tune.  Watch the next LT
for Chapter 5 to see what happens.

                      /*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\*/*\

                             A Good Title

The royal chambers of the King of Italy were impressive. The beautiful
tapestries on the wall were done in a rich and splendid imperial
purple.  The bejeweled golden throne at the front of the room was of
kingly stature.  The red carpet laid on the floor before it was
decorated with the rich golden patterns of the monarch butterfly.

All in all, it was fit for a king.

The King was receiving his audience.  He sat on his throne, surrounded
by his royal ministers, and gazed sternly at the dashing figure
approaching him, who stopped three feet before him and kneeled in
obeisance.

"You summoned me, Your Majesty?" said Danar.

"Yes, Signor Sigrittiano," the King responded.  "Thine continued
service to thine country and tireless defense of the crown has not gone
unnoticed.  Nor hast thy many heroic exploits in the name of Italy.

"In return for these favors thou has done to us, we are bestowing upon
thee a title.  Henceforth thou shalt be a nobleman, with a fief as
befits one.  A plot of land in the south of Italy has been set aside
for thee."

"Your Majesty, I do not deserve-"

"Our decision has been made.

"Rise, Lord Sigrittiano."


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