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VOLUME SEVEN, ISSUE TWENTY-ONE                       September 3rd, 2000
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                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
                          Calendar of Events

                           NEWS & REPORTS

                    LegendMUD Connection Analysis
                            Did You Know?

                            LEGENDITES
                            Clan  News
                        An Infernal Ceremony
                          Satan's  Daughter
                      A Very Special Wedding Day
                          Return from Exile
                        THE CONSPIRACY PART V


___                                                                        ___
\  |----------------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|  LegendMUD Calendar of Events                                        |__\
   '----------------------------------------------------------------------'

[All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

           ||*+*|*=*|*+*|*=*|*+*|*=*|September|*+*|*=*|*+*|*=*|*+*|*=*||

           Monday,   September  4 at 2:00 pm     Labor Day Flag Hunt
           Thursday, September  7 at 7:00 pm     Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
           Saturday, September  9 at 1:00 am     Trivia with Natalia
                                     4:00 pm     Back-to-School Casino Game
           Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 pm     Q & A in the OOC Auditorium


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


                    LegendMUD Connection Analysis
                             August 2000

                        Peak Mortal Players 57
                         Average Peak was 46
                     Peak PK Enabled Players 33
             Pkenabled Characters represent approximately
                        50% of active players.

The first two tables below show the Average Mortal Players and Average
PK Enabled Players connected to Legend by hour of the day as polled
approximately on the hour system time during the period noted above.
The third table shows the same averages calculated by the day of week.

              hour  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  34 32 26 21 17 17 17 14 17 19 20 24
              pke  18 16 14 11  8  8  8  8  8 10 10 14


              hour 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  26 27 30 29 30 27 32 32 37 35 42 37
              pke  14 14 15 14 16 15 16 15 18 18 24 20


              day   MON  TUE  WED  THU  FRI  SAT  SUN
              ------------------------------------------
              avg    28   26   26   26   26   28   28
              pke    14   13   13   13   13   14   13




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   _____
  /  _  \  DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \
      /  /   Did you know that every area has a help file associated
     /  /    with it? Learn background information, pick up tips for
    /__/     success in the area, and discover new things about the
    __       places you visit!
   /  \   
   \__/      

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

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

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


                            Clan News

Mathius formed the Pax Romana RP clan, and Nadya disbanded The United Surgeons 
of Legend II Clan, leaving 19 RP clans and 10 PK clans, and 3 free spots for 
new clans to form.

     []-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]

An Infernal Ceremony

The air was split by a crackling, grumbling voice.  "Hey, listen up, puds."
It was the Inn Keeper. "There's gonna be a party. Wedding. Bring yer own
cake. Men have to wear tuxes. Ladies can wear less. " He pauses, and then
went on. "Uhmm...  Where did I put that damn note... OH yeah. Right here.
Kindred and Vahn. You're all invited, puds.  Just get your sorry butts here
before all the champagne's gone."

Never one to miss a party, Aquilante protests, "You didn't say where!"

The Inn Keeper replies "DUH! Here, of course! You think I'm gonna move for
this?!"

A crowd begins to gather in the inn, deep in the city of Dis. A small imp is
forcefully ejected from the inn in Dis - he wore no tux.  A mild-mannered
little hell denizen is forcefully booted out of the inn - he forgot to bring
flowers for the bride. The crowd of guests continue to filter in.

The bride and groom visit with their guests, discussing the unusually
brimstone-y venue. "You see, Kindred chose this place so I can't get cold
feet,' quips Vahn. Kindred responds, 'No, I chose it because this marriage
is gonna be hell to stay in.'

All the minions of Hell shut up for a moment as the Dis keeper gets ready to
do his thing.  The Inn Keeper grumbles, 'No damn fightin' during my show! Are
we all set, puds and puddees?'

Vahn screams, 'I sold my soul to the Devil and the price was cheap!' at the top
of his lungs!' then says, 'Ok, Im all set now.'

Kindred slips The Inn Keeper 2000 coins for the ceremony, then screams, 'Vahn
is constantly in a DT when I am around, so you better look out or I'll DT you
too!' at the top of her lungs!' and then she too, is ready. The crowd of
guests is restless and excited by now, but they settle in as the Keeper
begins.

The Inn Keeper exclaims, loud enough to hurt your ears, 'In holy matri...'
The Inn Keeper frowns.
The Inn Keeper grumbles, annoyed, 'Holy my butt.'

The Inn Keeper exclaims loudly, 'We are gathered here to join Vahn and this hot
chick on his right in most unholy mating right!'

Tobias Veleda says, barely audible, to The Inn Keeper, 'Well that's a blunt way
of putting it.'

The Inn Keeper exclaims loudly, 'From this day and on, Vahn gets the infernal
right to have breakfast in bed on every Sunday!'

The Inn Keeper adds, loud enough to hurt your ears, 'And this hot baby by name
of Kindred gets the right to kick his butt out to mow the lawn or whatever she
needs done.'

The Inn Keeper explains, loud enough to hurt your ears, 'As of today those two
shall have the infernal right to scream most unsuitable words at each other and
anyone else who questions their undying lust - err, love.'

The Inn Keeper explains, almost shouting, 'They shall be forever glued together
with infernal duct tape, separable not in life and not by death.'

The Inn Keeper exclaims, gesturing broadly and exaggerating every word, 'And if
anyone has anything to say against this union, let him speak now and run fast!'

'Duct tape?' Kindred says. 'Will that ruin my clothes?'

'I have something against it, vahn is ooky,' Hayate Kanuma says happily.

A psycho voodoo master says, 'Vahn may be ooky but as you can see by the date
i brang i dont mind married women ;).' A psycho voodoo master pokes a kind
and dangerous beauty in the ribs.  A kind and dangerous beauty says, cooing,
to a psycho voodoo master, 'I brought you.'

The Inn Keeper exclaims loudly, 'Vahn, you there, little man who stands proudly
before my dilapidated shotgun, you may present your marriage vows to your wife
to be!'

The Inn Keeper says loudly to Vahn, 'Bring it on, pud, say something nice.'

'Um, I love you and I will be here forever for you and stuffs,' Vahn says to
Kindred.

The Inn Keeper says, loud enough to hurt your ears, to Kindred, 'You there, hot
chick in the lavish gown, is this good enough for you or shall I go find you
someone more well equipped, I mean, suited?'

Kindred says to The Inn Keeper, 'It is enough for me.'

Vahn says to Kindred, 'And Sorry for being a man of few words.'

The Inn Keeper says, loud enough to hurt your ears, to Kindred, 'Well, then,
baby in lavender, exclaim your vows to this dude before he manages to sneak out
the back door or sumthin'.'

The Inn Keeper exclaims, loud enough to hurt your ears, 'Well, hell yeah, I
pronounce you man and wife, dude and babe, chick and lustee!'

The Inn Keeper says contentedly, 'You can kiss the bride now, if you can beat
me to it.'

The Inn Keeper kisses Kindred tenderly. Kindred blinks at The Inn Keeper in
surprise, then turns to her husband. The bride and groom exchange a
ceremonial kiss and wedding bands. Cheers erupt from the gathered crowd.

'Have a Wedding-Cookie!!' Tobias Veleda says, barely audible. '.' 'Keep him
in line,' a kind and dangerous beauty says lovingly to Kindred.  The Inn
Keeper grumbles, almost shouting, 'Now swap yer freakin' weddin' gifts so we
can see the loot!' A kind and dangerous beauty says, cooing, to Vahn, 'Be
good to her.' Vahn nods his agreement with a kind and dangerous beauty.

The Inn Keeper grumbles, almost shouting, 'Congratulations, Vahn, you got
yourself one hell on wheels.' 'May you two be as happy as Adran and I are,' a
kind and dangerous beauty says, cooing, to Kindred.

The Inn Keeper's voice rings out, loud enough for the whole world to hear: "I
pronounce Kindred and Vahn man and wife, dude and babe, chick and guy!"


     []-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]

                          Satan's  Daughter

"What the fires are you doing here!" a voice boomed from behind me as I stood
looking over a new strain of plant I'd not seen before.  "Father" I managed
to stammer before I felt the hand land on my shoulder and spin me around.

"I'll have you know that Cerebus was down sick for days after your little
"gift" you gave him" He glared at at me as fire flared briefly around the man
who was my father. My mind began to wander as he started yet another of his
lectures about my leaving hell....

Adopted by Satan, child of one of his wives I have always lived an odd sort
of life. Born a druid by blood and calling, raised in the plains of hell by
my father, after my mother disappeared during one of her many outings. Even
tho it was my mother who convinced him to accept me, once he did he never
wavered.

The day after my mother disappeared he took me to an altar and told me to lay
down on the altar. Unsure I tentativly moved toward the altar.  "DO YOU OR DO
YOU NOT WANT TO REMAIN MY DAUGHTER" he yelled at me violently. The first
angry words he had ever spoken to me, scared me onto the altar wether I
wanted to or not.

As I laid down he pulled a cup out from under his robes. Raising it into the
air he began to recite an incantation I had not heard before.  Cutting his
wrist he let blood slide into the cup, filling it, before he set it aside.
Reaching for my hair he yanked my head back quickly, and without a word slit
my throat deeply. I stared at the ceiling of the cave with a detaching
interest as my lifes blood slid out of that cut and onto the altar, wrapping
around my body before pooling at my feet.  Oddly enough I remained consious
and watched as my father gestured over the empty shell of my body. Without a
word to me he grabbed my hair and pulled my head back again so I could look
deeply into his eyes.

"You have two choices now child. You can either accept me as your blood
father now and forever or you can die and join your mother in other lands.
The choice is yours, but make it quickly before you die period" he hissed
thru clinched teeth.

I tried to speak, my lips moving but no sound came out. I could just barely
move my body as I stared up into eyes that burned with a fire.  For the first
time in all the years I have lived as Satan's daughter I was truely afraid of
him. All I could do was nod as I stared up into the two pools of liquid fire
that his eyes became.

Quickly he tipped the cup so that the blood poured out of it into the cut he
had made in my throat. He began to recite an incantaion again as the blood,
lead by magic slipped thru the cut and into my veins, returning me to life,
filling me with the blood of his body. My throat started to burn as the blood
felt like liquid fire flowing into my veins. An oddly disconnected sensation
came over my body as I stared up at the ceiling.  I began to try to take
stock of the changes I could feel happening, my body no longer felt like my
own but foreign and disconnected from my soul.

Satan leaned down and whispered in my ear, wish a slight hiss, "You are now
my daughter and my daughter alone. You will never again be part of your
mother, nor mention her in my realm. Is that understood Crystaline?"

Weakly I needed as my mind began to grow fuzzy and yet oddly, clearer. As I
laided there and tried to take stock of the changes I felt flowing thru my
body the only thing I could say for sure was that I felt the fires of hell
burn brighter around me, I felt a warm and sense of belonging to the flames
that lept around the room in an odd circular dance. I noticed just before
drifting into unconsiousness that they seemed almost to dance to the beat of
my heart and the pounding within my brain.  These where the last clear
thoughts I had before drifting into the dark and bleak unconsiousness.

     []-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]

A Very Special Wedding Day
by Silvaria (with a great thank you to LadyAce for performing it)

There came a quick and rapid knock on the door as I sat reading, curled in my
favorite chair before the fire. Asguard was away on buisness and wasn't
expected back in the next day or so, so I was trying to keep myself busy and
forget how much I missed him.

"Silvaria! Silvaria are you home?" Haley called out as she rapidly
knocked on the door.

"I'm coming hon, I'm coming." I called as I unlocked the door to let her in.
"keep that up and you'll rap your knuckles raw. What's up?"

"Judah and I are getting married," he spilled out quickly while she tried to
catch her breath.

"Well I know that hon, we've been working on wedding plans..." I started to
say when she interupted me.

"No. I mean we're getting married NOW!"

"WHAT?!" I all but yelled out. "What on earth is going on around here?"

"Judah has to leave for a while, he won't be back for days, if not weeks. If
we dont get married now, tonight, before he leaves, we don't know when we'll
be able to marry." Haley cried.

"Shh. Calm down. Ok, let's go over this slowly."

Haley stopped and took a couple of deep breaths before she started to tell me
what was going on.

"Judah has to leave for a while, he doesn't know for sure how long he'll be
gone, but he will definetly be gone past the date of our wedding. Oh
Silvaria, we don't want to postpone it again so we decided to get married
now, tonight. Before he leaves. It will give us some time together before he
leaves."

"Alright," I nodded to her. "Ok, we better get started. Where is the
wedding?" "What are you going to wear?" "Is Judah prepared?" "Do you have
your rings?" I started to rattle off questions as my mind was flicking over
all the things to be done quickly if we were going to get them married
tonight.

"I have most of my wedding ensemble, we can pick up what we need on
the way to the church. Judah is prepared I think, the rings are
finished and he has them."

"Ok then, let's get you ready" I led her into a bedroom to begin to change
into her dress. She'd found a beautiful long gown of pearl white, with lace
trim and a crossing lace pattern across the skirt.  As we got her into the
dress she pulled items out of her bag one by one to wear. A lace mantle the
fit nicely against her neck and looked beautiful against the dress. A diamond
and pearl inlaid chain fit snuggly around her neck and held the collar up
grandly. Her Veil was soft and gentle covering her face as her happiness and
eagerness shined brightly. A red lace garter was slide up her leg and she
slide her feet into a pair of soft shoes, almost like slippers, embroidered
with small flowers over the toes. The final item was a pair of lace half
gloves that fit tightly over her hands.

Stepping back to take a look at her, she looked beautiful. There was a
radiant glow about her that all brides should have on this, the happiest day
of her life.

"Hmm..there is something......" I snapped my fingers as I remembered what was
missing. "I'll be right back," I called out as I ran into the kitchen and
down the stairs quickly. I had remembered something that was in the basement,
left over from the last couple who had lived in the house. I began to toss
thru the bags and boxes looking for the bag I had seen..."AH-HA!" I called
out as I grabed up the bag and pulled out a dried and preserved bouquet of
Peach and red roses, their vibrant petals bursting with joy and color even in
age.

"There you go, that is what's missing" I handed her the bouquet and nodded to
myself, then looked her over again. "Perfect!" I exclaimed.  "You look
beautiful."

Haley blushed and looked down. "Thank you," she said shyly as the nerves
where begining to take over. I took both her hands and held them tightly.
"You look wonderful, and Judah is a very lucky man."

"Oh I'm the lucky one Silvaria, he's so wonderful," Haley beamed brightly, as
the nerves began to pass.

"Ok, let's get you to the church on time," I said as we started to run
around getting me ready to go and getting out the door.

We walked into the St. Dennis Abbey a while later and headed for the
altar.

"Have you atoned for your sins?" the pardoner called out as we walked
past.

"No, but I'll atone your hide if you shout during this wedding!" I
called out as we walked into the chapel. Judah and Keith snickered
as we walked in. I looked down and blushed slightly as I saw the Abbot
standing with them. "I'm sorry Abbot," I started to stammer when he held
up a hand and chuckled. "No fears child, he does yell rather loudly."

Bending down he whispered something to a young boy who was standing
next to the altar and the boy ran out of the room. "He'll yell no more
for the time being," the Abbot said firmly as he looked Judah and Haley
over.

"Are you the happy couple then?" he asks with an air of supiority that
borders on condescending.

"We are," Judah replied happily as he turned to look lovingly into Haley's
eyes.

"So we're ready to begin then?" the Abbot asked as he looked around the
room. "You have to witnesses?"

Keith and I nodded to the Abbot and both replied simultaneously, "Yes sir,
right here."

Keith and I giggled slightly and looked at each other across the loving
couple, who only had eyes for each other.

"Right!" "Lets begin then" The abbot said, clapping his hands together
and rubbing them slightly. "You two stand here," He pointed in front of
him and gestured toward Judah and Haley, "and you two right there."
pointing to either side of them.

"Yes sir," Keith and I replied and stepped into the spots he had indicated.

Looking around with almost a glare he looked thru the Abbey which was empty
save a few devotees who were bent in prayer. "We shall begin then," and he
cleared his throat reverantly and smiled down at Haley and then toward
Judah.

"Brothers and sisters," He started "We are gathered here in this holy
of places for a single purpose today."

Pausing he looked at all of us.

Haley smiled brightly at Judah, as Judah stared deeply into her eyes.

"A purpose both solemn and joyous, a purpose which is both of this world and
of heaven." He paused again before continuing, "Marriage is a sacrament of
the church, and it is with the power of the church that I stand here, before
you now."

Judah smiled up at the abbot before looking back toward Haley, both
of their eyes were shining brighter then the sun that tried to peak
thru the stained glass windows.

"Who stands here to witness the joining of this man and this woman?" he asked
as he looked between Keith and I.

"I do," I replied and Keith echoed "I do," strongly but humbly.

The Abbot Suger nodded to both of us.

"Then Keith and Silvaria, yours is a serious duty."

"As winesses of this union, you are bound to protect and encourage this young
pair, as they set out to build a life together." He paused again to look
between Keith and I as we both nodded in agreement to him.  Judah and Haley
were staring deeply into eachothers eyes, I began to wonder if they even
heard anything that was being said, or if they only heard the heartbeats for
each other.

"The world has many evils, and it is only our love with protects us from
cruelty and dry indifference," he continued as a single tear of joy began to
slide slowly down Haley's cheek. Judah smiled softly toward Haley and reached
out to brush the tear gently away.

"Therefore let ye be guardians of this precious flower, only begining
to unfold and blossom," The abbot continued to Keith and I.

"Judah, listen and consider what I have to say," he looked to Judah and
began, "Do you, Judah, take this woman Haley, in sickness and in health, for
richer or poorer, till death returns you to the arms of our dear lord?"

Judah looked to Haley and smiled then replied "I do."

Nodding the Abbot looked toward Haley, "And do you, Haley, take this man
Judah, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death returns
you to the arms of our dear lord?"

Haley turned to look at Judah and said softly but with a small nervous
giggle, "I do."

I smiled softly at her as she took Judah's hand and held it softly and gently
between hers.

The Abbot nodded solemly and then said loudly, "By the power vested in
me, I pronounce thee husband and wife, bound eternally by the grace of
our Savior."

I beamed proudly and brightly as did Keith, the Abbot turned to Judah, "Have
ye a token of thy sincerity, to crown thy lady's finger?" he asked. Judah
nodded and reached into his pocket. Taking Haley's hand gently, he slid a
ring, a token of Judah's undying love, onto her finger.

Turning to Haley he asked, "And do you Haley have a token of thy sincerity,
to give to your love?" Haley nodded and slid the ring, a token of Haley's
undying love, onto Judah's finger.

Clearing his throat the abbot threw his arms open wide and said:  "Therefore
let all witness the unending union which binds these two hearts into one."
Judah and Haley beamed brightly at eachother and bent together into a deep
kiss of love as Keith and I cheered loudly.

I whispered to Keith, but a little loudly, "I thought they were suppose to
wait for the Abbot to say it was ok to kiss."

Keith chuckled as Haley and Judah stared deeply into each other's eyes and
began to whisper more words of love to each other.

The Abbot leaned down and whispered to me, "Tis my opinion that the Lord
would prefer that such things occur outside his church."

As the couple still only had eyes for eachother I replied to the Abbot "I
didnt think he was of a mind against a kiss between husband and wife?" Before
the Abbot could respond we all began to hug and shake hands, congratulating
Haley and Judah and cheering loudly. Turning to thank the Abbot the four of
us walked out of the Abbey and they turned to head off, starting their life
together as one.

"Go ye now, and begin thy new life together," the Abbot called out
after us.

"It may not have been what we planned, but it was still a beautiful
wedding," I said to Haley as she beamed brightly at Judah and then she
turned to nod in agreement with me. Keith nodded as Judah picked up
his guitar which he had sat down and began to play "I will be here"
for Haley who smiled brightly at him.

As we turned to walk our seperate ways we heard the church bells begin to
ring loudly and joyously, through out the land. As we walked closer to town I
yelled out for all near to hear:

"It is the Rune Knights proud and joyous honor to present the newest
and happiest wedded couple of Legend, Haley and Judah!"

Judah blushed brightly as all thru out the land cheers and cries of joy went
up into the air. I watched as the couple walked off quietly together, a small
tear of joy in my eye and then I turned to head home and curl up and remember
the joy of this day.


     []-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]

Return from Exile
by Gallowglass Alexandria D'Aramand

"I am pleased to see you return to the plane, my lady, but do you think it
wise after so long?" Wevshire asked.  The ever-dutiful chamberlain was
rightly concerned for her safety; it was his job to be concerned.

"There are reasons for going back," she said, tucking the thin silver sword
within the folds of her Seraphic Garb.  Long tresses of golden hair shone in
the sunlight, as though her hair merely part of the sun.  Her milk pale skin
looked dark against the Seraphic Garb.  She could once remember her skin
being gray, but that seemed too long ago to matter.

"Aren't you going to take a guard with you?" the Chamberlain asked, knitting
his fingers in apprehension.

"I have nothing to fear for, Wevshire," she simply said.  Tucking loose
strands of golden hair back, she saw her reflection in the silvery mirror.
Large green eyes stared back.  Pointed ears peeked through her hair, giving
hint to her Elven heritage.

"Do be careful, my lady."  He bowed before her and left.

In her right hand, she held something called a portal stone, an object her
people used to travel between planes for millennia.  Whispering a few arcane
words, a small rift opened before her.  Stepping through, she found herself
in the place she had long been exiled from: 'The World of Legend,' as her
people called it.

Time passed more quickly within her realm than it had here.  She saw the same
buildings standing in their village that she had used the portal stone in to
flee from a mortal enemy.

Stepping gently in the meadow of colorful wildflowers, she felt in tune with
nature.  Something of her far past resurfaced, bringing harmony.

Coming from what seemed nowhere, a warrior stood before her.  "La Belle de
Sans Merci," he whispered before kneeling before her.

"Do I know thee?" she asked, her voice archaic yet familiar to him.

"No, but you did know my grandsire when he was a boy, my lady."  He whispered
another benediction, hoping this woman was real and not an apparition.

Looking at him, she found that he looked no more than his late thirties.  As
of late, she was getting good at judging human ages; one of the Olden Born
did not worry of age, as she was told.  Her right hand stayed close to the
thin silver sword.

"I may have known thy grandsire, but I do not know thee."  Her porcelin face
looked distant with thought as she tried to remember who she had known as a
child before she fled from this place.

"My name is Dashiva, my lady."  He made a sign of the cross, hoping that she
was no demon--demons were never this beautiful, though perhaps an angel?

"I am Lady D'Aramand, Lord Dashiva."  The markings seemed to be of the right
office, but had things changed so much that she may be wrong?

His mind flooded with the stories his grandfather told him about this 'La
Belle de Sans Merci,' and how she killed with her beauty.

"Do you konw of a Master Xerox Aradanna Eaglebane?"  Her face was kind, but
her voice regally commanding.

"I remember something of him..." his voice trailed off, rememberring his
grandfather's warning.

"Thou either knows of him, or thou dost not," she said, her voice showing
impatience.

"He is engaged to the Lady Alexandria and now lives in seclusion."

Lady D'Aramand's temper rose slightly  then became nothing.  "Then I must
make plans to cleanse this world."  She looked down at him.  "Will you help
me with these plans?"

Dashiva nodded numbly, captivated by her beauty.  Her hair shone in the sun,
giving her a heavenly halo quality.  "I will help you," he said, the words
pulled from his awe-struck mind...


     []-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]-[]


THE CONSPIRACY  PART V

The North African Desert, July 21, 1941 A.D.

There are eras of time you visit with great joy and which leave you 
fond memories that you treasure away to linger on later, and maybe 
revisit some other time. And there are eras and places you just don't 
care to see again. The North African desert this year, cloud covered 
with trails of black smoke like apocalyptic horses galloping across 
the skies, certainly falls into the latter category.

Hold on, you say. Marcie, baby, you're an angel of Hell, ruler of 
demons, lord of mischief and misery aren't you supposed to take all 
sorts of perverted pleasure in walking among the dead and the dying 
of the Afrika Korps? Don't you laugh with delight at the sight of the 
burning villages and tanks, revel in the pain of the dying whispering 
to their deities with their last breaths of dry desert air?

Of course not.

Oh, I am not one to weep with compassion when I look upon the face of 
a dying child. I could probably muster a little sympathy if I had to, 
or an evil sneer if you would think that more becoming of me. But the 
truth of it is, you people have always tried to kill each other in 
gruesome ways, and it never really meant much to me one way or the 
other. It's all part of being human I suppose.

A wise man once said that Hell is within, that it is not a burning 
inferno of brimstone and fire pillars, but the indifference and 
emptiness of the soul that cannot be touched by emotion. He was 
technically wrong about it, given the fact that Hell is very real and 
very hot indeed, but facts aside, he certainly had a point.

I know that Erwin Rommel is out there among the sand dunes, 
commanding his Afrika Korps. But the men who sent him, the men who 
started this war  -they're not out here, getting sand in their boots 
and bullets in their butts. What does a few thousand more dead matter 
to them? Hell is within, indeed, and some people go very far to make 
it come true on the outside too.

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