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VOLUME SEVEN, ISSUE TWENTY-FOUR                       October 15th, 2000
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                          TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
                          Calendar of Events

                          NEWS AND REPORTS  
                        Our Newest Immortal
                    September Connection Analysis

                            LEGENDITES
                           Announcements
                          A Fireside Tale
                       The Conspiracy Part V
                      The Fate of Darla's Soul
                          Tiki's Sacrifice
                               Nox
                      The Tale of Herbert West

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

[All times are system time unless otherwise specified]


                   o o o o o o o   October   o o o o o o o

      Thursday, October 19th, 7:00 pm       Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
      Saturday, October 21st, 7:00 pm       Clanbuilding Seminar
      Thursday, October 26th, 7:00 pm       Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

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

Meet our newest immortal: Kunnar! 

Here's how he introduces himself...

Take a knack for fixing toasters and an interest in all sorts of medieval and
ancient history and stick them in a bowl.  Then put in a healthy dose of
curiosity and add amateur theatre to taste.  Once you've got everything in
the bowl, stick it in the fridge and construct a robotic arm controlled by a
computer that will calculate, on it's own, the optimum stirring speed and
time for the arm.  Place bowl in front of arm, and turn the thing on.  If all
goes well and the arm eventually stops mixing your batter (there's a good
chance it will just go on stirring until you get fed up and kick it) pour
into pan and bake for 45 minutes.  When you're done, you'll have a delicious
and healthy Kunnar, capable of serving up to 5 Mudders at once!  Age the
batter for a few years in the fridge and maybe, some day, he'll be able to
serve 6 or 7 at the same time.


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                   LegendMUD Connection Analysis
                          September 2000

                      Peak Mortal Players 60
                       Average Peak was 49
                   Peak PK Enabled Players 34
            Pkenabled Characters represent approximately
                       46% 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  33 30 24 17 18 12 13 15 12 18 22 24
              pke  16 15 12  9  8  6  6  8  6  6  9 10


              hour 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  28 27 29 32 35 35 33 35 39 41 39 34
              pke  12 11 12 13 14 14 16 17 19 20 19 17


              day   MON  TUE  WED  THU  FRI  SAT  SUN
              ------------------------------------------
              avg    29   26   25   27   25   31   31
              pke    14   11   12   12   12   15   13

           ________________________
          /                        \
      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     |__\
   '------------------------------------------------------------------'


                           
                              Announcements 

                 Alvis has reached 200 million experience!
 
                               *    *    *


Clan News:

Clan Smashum (keyword: smashum) was formed by Grunt and Clan Bloodstone
(keyword: bloodstone) was formed by Styx, both on on October 5th. Little Sistas
of the Hood (keyword: sistas) was formed by Wiz on October 6th. 


For more information about these clans, type: clans 

Clan Shotokai, the Pax Romana, and the Dark Enforcers were disbanded for low
membership.

                               *    *    *

I should like to express my sincere gratitude to Lady Yvonne, Nadya LaRue,
Lady Haley Eliezer, the Champion Livia, Unix, Aaaaa(how-many-a's?)rgh,
Herbert, Judah, Kaleem, Lady Mice, Kyna, and anyone I might have forgotten in
the heat of the battle, for their assistance after my most unfortunate
accident involving a certain mermaid and a very long nap on my behalf.

Marcel Alexander, Esquire

                               *    *    *

Congratulations to Semper and Tiki, who were married this week. The ceremony
was held behind a rushing waterfall along the Ile St. Jean, and was witnessed
by many friends and associates.

                               *    *    *


Announcement:
By formal and public agreement, Lord Marcel Alexander has given up 
all claims upon the right to be the guardian angel of Lady Haley 
Eliezer and her child, instead acquiring the right to the body and 
soul of the firstborn child of Lady Kindred.


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                          A Fireside Tale

Many of you know of a strange fellow by the name of Nanok McDunn, but few of
you really know anything about who he is or where he's from. For this reason
I will tell a tale of tragedy and terror, but in the end a man of great
strength and compassion arose.

		 Everything began in Del Riada. His wonderful mother and
father loved him from the day he was born, but the times in which we live are
not for the faint of heart. Del Riada was constantly hounded by  Romans from
the Orkney Isles. The McDunn's were not a wealth family and were forced to
live near the edge of the sea. It was a beautiful place for the most part, and
quite secluded being on a great rise of earth stretching out into the sea.
For 8 years after Nanok's birth, they lived in peace, although not without
hearing of constant attacks on the borders of Del Riada. Often times, a single
person wounded in battle would arrive at their door. If they were Scottish,
they would be aided at the McDunn's house until they were fully healed, but
if they were Roman, their fate was swift and clean from the Father's sword
which hung over the doorway. For 8 years, they lived this way...but as I
said, this is a tale of tragedy.
	 In the darkness of night, a night without a moon to light the
earth, they came. Garrisons of Romans seeking to attack Del Riada from an
out-of-the-way location. They needed a home base, a place well defended, a
place high on the earth but jutting into the sea. The home of the McDunns.
Nanok was awakened to the sound of his mother crying and the woven straw
ceiling collapsing in flames around him. His brothers and sisters were all
scrambling about looking for father, but he was nowhere to be found. The door
was jammed from the outside and smoke was building in the house.  Suddenly
with an enormous roar, the central part of the ceiling fell in a huge clump,
crushing the entire family. That is, all bud Nanok who had still been in bed
stunned. When the screaming stopped, he knew what had happened, and this
realization snapped him from his trance. He leaped from his bed with tears of
rage in his eyes.
		       The Romans outside, thinking that all were dead
inside, quickly slit the throat of the captive father and unjammed the door.
With that sound Nanok's eyes went to the sword that was mounted above the
door. With tear filled and smoke burned eyes, he reached for the ancient
blade. Fury fueled his strength and he waited to one side of the doorway as
the Romans unjammed the door. The first to step through fell in a showed of
blood. The rest stepped back in shock as they watched an 8-year-old child
step through the doorway holding a broadsword two handed.  The Romans all
looked at each other and sneered. All drew their spathas and advanced upon
the child.

		     ....But the night draws late. I am old and must
retire. Feel free to make any donations that you feel are appropriate, for I
am old and cannot work for my food any longer. Tomorrow night I will finish
the Emergence of Nanok the Conquerer.
					       -Balthazar the Black

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


The Conspiracy Part V
Lima, Viceroyal Peru, October 5, 1540 AD.

The most embarrassing experience I've ever had with a woman, you ask?  Heh.
Well, that prize definitely goes to Elisa. She's a little unusual, you see.
Elisa's mother was a nereid which is, as you may or may not know, an
elemental spirit of water. Quite beautiful girls, really, if a little
elusive. Her father was the Viceroy of Peru (though I wonder how her mother
ever got that man to move his fat behind down to the waterfront in the first
place). And Elisa, now, she has the best of qualities of both her parents,
meaning that she's beautiful, elusive, and can drink and swear like any
Spanish nobleman you can point me to.

I was immediately drawn to this sweet-faced young woman. She looked just the
girl next door, with long blond hair and a smile that lightened up her face.
It was the smile that got to me in particular as she beckoned to me from the
waters just off the pier, and I walked to its very edge. Below me, the surf
of the azure ocean roared against the rocks and splashed my boots with white
salty spray. There was magic in her eyes; I suspect that many a mortal man
would be enthralled by her and leap to their salty fate as she called upon
them from the waves.

Well, I'm a little less gullible than that, so I stayed on the pier where I
was safe and sound. Being essentially an entity of fire and air, I decided to
watch the water-child from a relative distance. The moon rode high in the
dark skies over our heads, bathing her in a pale silvery light that did
nothing to diminish her beauty, and only the distant pipings of bats,
inaudible to human ears, disturbed the monotonous music of the ocean.

"Aren't you going to join me out here?" she called to me. "The water is just
right for a dive tonight!"

I politely declined. "If you don't mind, I think I'll just stay on the dry
land for now, dear. Last time I let myself be dragged off by water entities
it took me several weeks to get my act in gear to leave again."

She laughed. "Oh, I heard about that! You were with my sisters in Greece a
long, long time ago, weren't you?"

I nodded, painfully recalling the moment. "Yes. I made the mistake of
following one of them out in the deep end of the Aegean once."

"Stripped you of everything and abused you in cruel and unusual ways, I
suppose?" She laughed again, voice like tiny rivulets of falling rain drops
on ice.

I smirked. "Well, I didn't mind the abuse part. I was somewhat miffed to
realize that it took me several weeks to find strength enough to get up and
leave when they were done with me, though. I think I slept like a rock for a
month once I got home."

Elisa smiled at me, wet hair glistening alluringly in the moonlight.  "You
were lucky, Marcie dear, at least they let you get away alive."

She splashed her tail playfully in the water, soaking me in the process, and
was gone -- into the deep darkness of the midnight blue ocean where no mortal
man could follow. I stood on the pier for a while, alone, wondering whether I
should have jumped in and followed.  After all -- what does a few months
wasted recuperating mean to someone like me who have an eternity to spend?

It means wet clothes. I jumped.

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


                      The Fate of Darla's Soul

When I let the pale man into my room, he promised me eternal life. He did not
say I would spend eternity in the Hall of Judgment. And he certainly said
nothing about the scale. On one side of the scale a feather floats, so light
a breath may send it to flight. But there is no air in the hall. On the other
side weighs my heart, beating occasionally in fits and starts.  A grave man
waits patiently on a throne behind the scale, crook and flail in his hand. He
sits unmoving as the scale shifts in balance.

The scale will not come to rest. While I wait for eternity for judgment, my
soulless body walks the earth, wreaking havoc and committing sins that weigh
heavily on our heart. I had watched in despair the scale tilt as she sinned,
selling the soul of one who trusted her, killing her master, turning an
innocent child into a vampire like herself. As long as she walks, her sins
compile, and the scale shifts. She has my body, my name, and controls my
fate. I can only watch helplessly as the scale tilts ever steeper. If it
rests in that position, I am doomed.

With a creak that echoes off the walls of the hall, the scale changes
direction. My heart, somehow, is getting lighter. It begins to rise on the
scale, almost too slowly to notice, as the feather falls. With a raspy
chuckle, the god on the throne speaks, It seems your corporeal self has
fallen in love. Perhaps I am not doomed after all.

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

                           Tiki's Sacrifice


Guten Tag. I am Helmut, I am a student in the great city of Kleinstadt. What
I am about to tell you is a true story. I saw it all with my own eyes.  Last
friday morning I saw a fierce warrior approach the Stadttor. Looking as if
half woman half bear this monster was dressed in leather and furs, dirty with
the smell of old sweat and blood around her.

It was early, the gate wasn't open yet. I could see the guards recognized the
figure with fear. All it took was a half-hearted snarl from the stranger and
the guards jumped to open the gate for her. Never have I seen anything scare
them like that.

I sneaked after her as she strolled down the empty Hauptstrasse. The citizens
of Kleinstadt were all hiding inside or in the dark alleyways. I heard
whispers and cries from the shadows, people begging for their lifes, calling
for the mighty God to protect them. Even Roland's face took color after a
new-washed sheet. This could be nobody but the berserker, Sigrid Icelander,
but she was nothing but a children's tale used to scare us into behaving. What
evil had the people of Kleinstadt done to deserve such a visitor.

She turned down Kaminstrasse and went into Sankt Ursalas Kirche, I stayed
outside I did not want to know what business a monster like that had in Gods
house. I would soon find out.

It took no more than a few minutes before the beautiful Tiki fled out of the
church followed by her betrothed Semper. I heard a roar from inside the
church and seconds later the berserker rushed out in pursuit of the two
lovebirds. For a while she played with her prey, always going after Tiki, was
this some kind of personal matter between the two of them? I must say that
never have I wanted to be in Tiki's shoes less than then.  But the blonde
amazed me. She must have been getting cocky or she must not have thought of
her words before they were said. She stopped running and yelled to the
berserker, "Hey you wuss, are you afraid to face me?".

No more than a moment later the berserkers wrath hit Tiki like lightning from
a clear sky, the poor girl was blinded by the fury of the enemy and helpless
she stood taking slash after slash of Sigrid sword. Semper was paralyzed by
fear unable to help his love and it all looked much like the slaughtering of
an animal when suddenly something surprising happened.  Thanks to black
witchcraft Tiki forced the berserker to flee and in the second it took for
Sigrid to realize what had happened, by the surprised look on her face I
doubt she has ever had to flee before, Tiki knocked her out and started
beating on the stunned monster. It looked like a good day for Kleinstadt
after all.

As the mob started to celebrate the defeat of the feared berserker suddenly
she woke up and was gone. Just like that, I tell you it must have been evil
magic. Not for long did I have a chance to wonder what had happened. Sigrid
Icelander reappeared short after looking as if the beating had had no effect
on her. Not a wound was visible and the only blood was that of Tiki's staining
her sword and face. It surely was a monster we were fighting that day.  The
outcome of the fight was obvious now, Tiki was half dead and without the
magic that had so miraculously healed Sigrid she didn't have a chance. With a
fell swoop Tiki's head was parted from her body. The berserker quickly picked
it up and throwed it into some bloody rags she was carrying and disappeared
out of the town.  Back stood we, the people of Kleinstadt, scared to death of
what had happened, relieved that it was Tiki that felt the monster's wrath
that day.  Now we can only prey that Sigrid Icelander never pays our little
town another visit.


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                             Dixie

"April 9th," muttered the old relic. For three hours he had simply stared out
over the ocean and repeated that phrase. "April 9th" he repeated again.
Finally I got up enough nerve to ask this ancient traveler what he was
talking about.  He looked up as if he just now realized that I was there and
let out a deep sigh.

"I'm sorry I sometimes let the world go for a while.  It takes me a good
while to find it again".  He then stood up, drawing himself up to his full
stature, which in his younger days must have been impressive.  "My name is
Octavious Ashley Jefferson the Third, but everyone calls me Outback" he said
as he stuck his hand out towards me.

I responded in kind but quickly wished I hadn't.  His grip was that of a vice
and I soon felt my hand swell from the bruises he had inflicted.  "Oh, sorry
about that," he grinned. "I forget that my hands are so strong. Kind of odd
for a physician to have such strong hands, but that's not what you asked me
about is it.  You wanted to know about April 9th, well here you go."

He quickly took a seat and started unpacking a varied assortment of items.  A
gray overcoat, a pair of gray pant, a physicians bag, a red flag with a blue
cross embossed with white stars and a banjo.  "I can tell by the look on your
face that you might have just asked for more than you bargained for.  Well
dont worry, I can assure you that this is a good story.  However you might
want to get comfortable." He said.

At his request I set my things down and waited for him to begin.  "The year
was 1865 and I was a Captain in the Confederate army, 8th Georgia Infantry,
Atlanta Grays division.  I was the division doctor.  Not much I could do in
those days, supplies were so hard to get hold of.  I lost half of my men from
infections.  Anyway, the war had turned on us and Grant has chased us all the
way from Virginia.  Our Army had been beaten and we knew it, General Lee had
arranged for terms to be negotiated at a place called Appomattox."  He said.

He then zoned out again.  He finally picked his head up and began "that was
April 9, the day everything ended.  All of our dreams were gone. And we were
the lucky ones, someone told me that 500,000 of us died.  It was a horrible
loss of life.  After that all of them carpet-baggers came down a did what
they could to finish what their army didn't. It got so bad that I just had to
leave, I couldn't stand to watch them do that to my beloved Dixie.  I packed
up what I could and left to wander the world.  I went where the winds of
change and sands of time lead me.  But everywhere I travel I take the memory
of my homeland with me.  One day I shall return when it has healed itself,
but until that day the only solace I will keep is a simple song in my
heart".

Suddenly he picked up his banjo and began to play a song that I am sure I
have heard before, but couldn't quite place.  As the music got louder, he
played faster and faster.  Finally he began to sing a few bars, "oh I wish I
were in the land of cotton. Old time there are not forgotten" he sang.

Finally he put the banjo down and was simply whistling the tune of the song.
He looked at me and said thank you for listening to an old mans story, if you
dont mind I think I am going to drift off again."

At which point he returned to his position staring out over the sea, but this
time instead of muttering he was softly whistling 'Dixie'.

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

Nox
By: Gallowglass Alexandria D'Aramand

Images, synapses, visions, coalescing into one.  Bright, dark, voices, all
blurred into a single entity.  Pain, words, and a vendetta, mixing into a
dangerous concoction.  Starsilver, malevolence, purity, all weapons to
destroy.  Gallowglass woke with a jerk from her meditation, her mind torn
between all these and more, her hands twitching, her mind remembering why she
came back to this realm.  The Runic Moon Key, a nine-pointed starjewel
embedded into her chest, pulsing green light in sync with her heart beat.
The spirits within the Runic Moon Key spoke in hissing whispers to her,
telling her the bane of her life.  Starsilver would kill her, ending
immortality, bringing her downfall as an Aspect of Evil, the one known as
Nox, or Night.

Long, golden blonde hair wrapped itself into tight curls, cascading down her
back.  Black upon black clothing, darker than night itself, protected the
skin against the Nether Regions' bitter, icy wind.  She remembered watching
in obscurity the passage of information from Lord Marcel Alexander, Angel and
Aspect of Misery and thievery, about starsilver, to Lady Ishtar, Leader of
the Hermetic Order.   This was the past; the Nether Regions knew nothing of
Time, past, present, or future.  She could visit wherever she set her mind
to, and this place was what she wanted.  She remembered, shrouded in the icy
winds of the Nether Regions, that fateful information, the beginning of her
flight into exile.

Now she returned to the Nether Regions, her eyes set on the figure who gave
Ishtar and her aide, Larnoc, the deadly information.  Gallowglass smiled,
since the information he gave was only half-right.  He told them that it took
a soul to make starsilver, true enough, but he did not tell them, or did not
know, that it took a soul from a living person to complete the process.  The
steel for the weapon had to be forged by only a SoulSinger, a person who
could coax the soul into the weapon for completion.  Her mind remembered how
to fashion it, with a heart wrenching song that stole the soul from the body,
leaving it lifeless, like a drone, with no mind or sentience.

"You have eluded me for too long, Marcel Alexander," she said to the wind,
knowing that he couldn't see nor hear her.  She hid in the shadows, like a
spider, waiting for the fly to step into the trap.

Her hand rested on the hilt of her sword, fashioned from starsilver, shining
with a malevolent light, glinting in the dim light of the Nether Regions.
She used several souls for her purpose, one that belonged to one who
proclaimed himself a relative to this Angel of Misery.  Sydney Alexander had
provided an ample amount of hatred for his own brother, though very well
hidden, and for others who associated him with being 'Marcel's younger
brother.'

Gallowglass smiled, the smile not quite touching her eyes, outlining the
coldness within them.  She remembered all the pieces of souls that went into
the sword she carried.  Hatred from Sydney Alexander, impatience from Tobias
Velda, love from Aginor Shadowmage, taint from Corlean Dashiva, and purity
from her own sister, Dhai'mona el'Sadia.  All these attributes combined into
a sword that shone with death, each aspect able to kill anyone, singularly or
combined.

"The Nether Regions can't hide you forever," she said to the image of
Marcel.  "You have betrayed your own and they will take you down, killing you
with your own miserable aspect."  She laughed, the sound carried on the wind,
dissipating . . .

... Dashiva looked at the empty bed, his heart draining of all emotion.
Something had happened, causing her to leave without his knowing.  The only
thing missing was a black dress from their closet.  His mind couldn't find
her, searching through their bond.  "Where did you go?" he asked empty air.

The door opened, and a cold wind burst through it.  He turned, his hand going
immediately to his sword and his body steeled for battle.  In the doorway
stood a cloaked figure, cloaked in the darkest shades of night, the cold wind
not ruffling the cloak.

"Who are you?" he demanded, his voice nearly carried away by the blowing
wind.

The door shut and the wind stopped.  The dark cloaked figure opened the hood,
revealing golden blonde hair, cascading down her shoulders and green within
green eyes staring at him in mixed emotions.  Gallowglass looked more healthy
than he had ever seen her.  Last night, when they went to sleep, she was
coughing blood and weeping at her illness.  This woman who stood before him
was too healthy, full of energy, brimming with life force.  Her eyes stared
defiantly at him.

"I am Gallowglass," she said, her voice cold.  "I am also known as 'Nox.'"
She smiled and Dashiva cringed, his eyes screwed shut and his hands shaking.
"You expected the sickened woman that you fell in love with, perhaps?"  Her
hand reached out to touch his cheek, sending a wave of raw energy through
him, surging through his veins, forcing him to his knees.

"Why?" he begged as the power surged through him, cleansing everything from
him, killing off the taint, purifying him from within. "Why are you doing
this?"

She removed her hand, the cleansing process stopping.  "You have provided the
last component that I needed to fashion my sword that was lost long ago.
Taint of the human soul, the last piece needed to complete this
masterpiece."  Her teeth bared into a slight smile.  Dashiva hunched over,
his body shaking in fear.

"You lied to me," he whispered through clenched teeth.  "You lied about
yourself and who you were.  Our love . . ."

"Is still real, Corlean Dashiva," she finished for him.  "I care about you
deeply, just as I have for other men in my past.  The love I feel for you is
the same I would feel for a husband."  She looked down at him, loathing his
groveling.  "Do rise, Dashiva; I hate seeing men who grovel at my feet when I
do not wish them to."

Dashiva rose to his feet, his hand clutching the hilt on his sword.  "You
took the taint from me and fashioned a weapon?"  His voice was loud and dull,
the sound of a man when he grasped the male half of the source.  His eyes
shown with unbridled fury.

She looked at him coolly, serenity every part of her features.  "Of course.
It was in abundant supply, I figured you would not miss it once it was
gone."  She bowed her head in acquiescence.  "I do admit, however, that the
process was more painful for me than you for taking the taint I needed."

He looked at her, dumbfounded.  "But you were severed from the source, I saw
and felt it happen!"  His voice was incredibly loud and his sword half drawn
from its scabbard.

Her eyes flashed with anger and the sword shattered into dust.  "Do act like
a human, not a barbarian, Dashiva."  Her lips parted once again into a
chilling smile, nearly driving Dashiva to his knees once more.  The only man
who gave that smile commanded the Black Tower, and now a woman equaled, even
surpassed, that smile.  "I was temporarily severed.  It is something that the
Runic Moon Key does for my own safety, to remind me that I have immortality
and protection from it."  She opened the cloak to let him see the pulsating
green jewel embedded into her skin.

His lips parted in amazement.  Last night, when he saw her safely sleeping in
their bed, the jewel was not there.  Where had it come from?

"I have had it since I was born," she said, making him realize that he said
the thought aloud.  "Since the beginning, there have been two keepers, one to
serve Good, the other to serve Evil.  I am the one who serves Evil, therefore
my title of 'Nox'.  The Runic Moon Key chooses when to make itself visible,
namely to ones that I've opened my heart to."  She smiled that bone-chilling
smile.  "My sister has one as well, since she serves Good.  Her title is
'Lumos'.  Dhai'mona has always been one to live with all that is pure and
holy, whereas I," she stopped, a blood-chilling laugh piercing the air.

Dashiva blinked and backed away from Gallowglass, shaking from head to foot.
"You are some sort of demon, not the woman I love.  Stop posing as her and
leave."  His voice shook as well as his body.

Gallowglass stared at him in annoyance.  "You cannot recognize the woman you
love, can you?  There are only three men in the multiverses that know my
identity.  You are the third."  Her lips parted in a sneer as she looked at
him, shivering with fear.  "And yet you cannot accept what I truly am, can
you?"

He shook his head.  "The woman I love is not cruel as you are, nor is she
power hungry."  He stood tall, taller than she, but he was losing some inner
battle.  Steel eyes stared at her in disbelief, a flat stare, filled with
pain.  "How dare you impersonate Gallowglass."

The room became frigid with her stare, sweeping across the room.  "I am
Gallowglass, Dashiva.  The woman you knew was only a part of me, the one part
that exists when I am weak from the loss of power.  She is dependent on
people to help her regain strength and to cope with loss.  I am the real
Gallowglass, if you can accept that.  Two men before you accepted that.
Ronnie Valthalas and Aginor Chuain Shadowmage both knew what I was and knew
how to cope with it."

He stepped further back, only to find himself splayed against the wall.  His
eyes searched frantically for an exit away from this demon that took the
shape of his betrothed.  The source fled from him with the amount of fear
that was within, shattering the void into dust.  "You lie, demon.  Leave,
now!"

She stood before him, the air about her frigid, her eyes surveying a weakness
within his soul.  Shutting his eyes, he tried to imagine the woman that he
fell in love with, but she kept coming back to this dictating, cold woman who
was this entity named 'Nox'.  Her hand touched his cheek, suffusing warmth
through his skin until his eyes grew too heavy to keep open and he slid to
the floor, unconscious.

Gallowglass looked down at the man that she called lover.  He couldn't
believe that she was what she became overnight.  Energy was low through the
currents of power, and it took many weeks to regain the power that she lost
in exile through the meek currents.  Her eyes, green within green, stared
about the room, searching for hidden eyes and ears.  The word would get out
soon that Nox had returned, and that poor cult that worshiped her would learn
the true meaning of Night once she was gone.

Dashiva stirred, his breathing becoming normal.  She knelt beside him and
rolled him over to face her, his brown hair messed as usual, and his sharp
features softened by sleep.  She had never really looked at him while he
slept.  His eyes fluttered open, staring at the ceiling, his breathing
erratic.  Gallowglass had reversed the bond on him, making him bound to her
once again.

"What?" he mumbled, his tongue like rolled cotton in his mouth.  His eyes
were clouded with suspicion as he looked at Gallowglass, images running
through his mind as he remembered what passed a few minutes ago.  He cleared
his throat.

She smiled, still chilling, but he did not flinch, at least visibly.  "I
reversed the bond.  You are now bound to me, Corlean Dashiva."

He sat up quickly and scooted away from her, hugging his arms about himself
for warmth.  "What have you done to me?"  His voice shook with cold.
Dashiva's face looked paler than usual against the black coat he always wore,
with the two pins, one a silver sword, the other a red and gold dragon.  The
man's skin took a blue tint, like suffering from long exposure to the cold.

Gallowglass tilted her head, light shining eerily in those large, almond
shaped eyes, green within green, holding secrets that he could not fathom.
"You are now bound to me, as I said earlier.  Such a curious thing, you are,
wanting to know everything instead of living with it."  Her hand reached out
to touch him, but he backed further away like a frightened animal.  "The cold
you feel is the cold of my soul, straight from the Nether Region, where my
soul was first conceived."

He shivered uncomfortably, wrapping his arms about himself tighter for
warmth.  Steel eyes scrutinized her, looking for some lie to hold onto
instead of the slippery, icy truth.  Dashiva closed his eyes, fighting back
tears.  The woman he loved was dead, replaced by this falsehood.

"There is no need to shed tears, my love," she said, her voice crooning to
him, like a siren's song.  He refused to listen, hoping it would all go
away.  "You are part of me, Dashiva.  Allow me to enter your heart
completely, and you will stop suffering from the Nether Region's cold."  Her
lips were inches away from his, the breath coming from her cold as an Arctic
wind.

"Please, leave me alone.  It's t-t-too c-cold," he chattered.  His eyes were
screwed shut, hip lips quivering in the cold, his concentration gone for the
void, unable to seek it.

Gallowglass felt vehemence overwhelm her inner self.  She fiercely kissed
him, suffusing all the warmth her soul had to offer, combining the two of
them into almost a single being.  Dashiva uncurled from his tightly wrapped
ball and wrapped his arms about her, savoring all the warmth he was
receiving.  She broke off the kiss, staring straight into his steel grey
eyes.

"You accepted me into your heart, making you immune from the Nether Region's
cold, therefore the cold that I am.  Your love is strong, Corlean Dashiva,
strong enough for any woman you would call wife."  Her green within green
eyes softened, tears at the corners of those once vitriol eyes.  She had used
the forbidden art of compulsion, making him accept her into his heart.

He stared longingly into her eyes.  Dashiva placed his hand on her cheek,
glowing with a strange white light.  "I love you, Gallowglass.  I see the
truth of it, knowing what you are and are sorry for not believing you.  He
took both her hands in his and stared into her eyes.  "I have never asked a
woman this."  Dashiva took a deep breath, his hands slightly shaking.  "Will
you--"

The door burst open, shattering into splinters, admitting a crimson cloaked
figure, the sense of Evil flooding the room, causing Gallowglass to jump to
her feet.  "You!" she shouted . . .

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

                         The Tale of Herbert West

The year was 1815 if I remember correctly, a year when medical science was
little more than a few meanderings through the human body with a semi sharp
knife and a few bandages.

I recall my professor (for that is what he liked to call himself, though in
truth, he was more like a butcher) telling me that the human form was simply
a construct for blood which was in fact the source of life and the soul.  Now
this idea may seem insane to anyone of higher breeding born in later times
but in the early 1800's this was a perfectly sound theory and could not in
truth be disproved.

This was the founding of all that I would later study and the one principle I
never ignored and was later abused in such mad writings as that of Bram
Stoker who used the idea more loosely with "The blood is the life". Indeed
Mr. Stoker had no idea how long this principle had existed.  For while I
trained under Dr. Howard Philips at the university of London I learned that
although modern surgical techniques were most useful in the treatment of
wounds some simple modifications to the blood of a patient could yield some
most amazing and potent results.

In fact my research went as far as to modify certain blood types to return
life to a patient who had not survived through conventional means.  However
these small excursions into the creation of life were frowned upon by the
deans of the university and I was promptly expelled from their ranks without
ever earning my rightful title of "Doctor".

And so I took up a small country practice of my own accord and began treating
the local peasant community for their various ailments while conducting my
more "radical" experiments in my basement laboratory.  These experiments
however were freakish and the results though successful were less than
beautiful. The creatures resulting were hostile and erratic in their behavior
often chanting the last words they spoke like some foul mantra.

It was at the time of one of these experiments that my lab was destroyed by
one of the hostile abominations in an inferno caused by the careless breakage
of my small kerosene lantern.  And so my research was halted until many years
later when I was called into service as a field medic in the 15th infantry at
the German front.

I must point out here that through various means I have surgically altered
and extended my lifespan to more than 50 times that of a normal man but
regrettably I may not perform these rites again.  Oh where is my head.... I
believe I was at the German front... Oh yes whilst operating on a few
soldiers in my small medical tent I began using a new formula which yielded a
much finer result my patients were not only returned to this mortal coil but
were often times much stronger than a normal man of his equal. This however
did not go unnoticed by the many officials around me who accused me of using
forbidden magiks and quickly had me expelled from the ranks.

Once again I began to explore the world searching for more advanced chemicals
for my formula, it was at that time that I came across a most interesting
Curio Shop in old London my former home. There the shop keeper had me run
several errands for which I certainly did as a surgeon with no funds is like
to do for his research, however the shopkeep did not pay me in coin instead
he took me into his office and fired on me with a large ornate bow. As I was
struck in the chest and my blood seeped into the floor I injected myself with
my formula and awoke in a small forested area where I did not know my
surroundings.

As I stumbled about the place I discovered there were others of my ilk who
had come before me and yet the surroundings and people about me suggested
this was a much less advanced place than whence I had come.  It was here that
I found a beautiful young girl who offered to help me about this place until
I could travel around the small townships with ease and bargain with the
various merchants and innkeeps for lodging.  The young lady quickly became a
good friend and I pledged my allegiance, nay even my life to her and told her
openly of my past which until this writing has been kept close to my heart as
the most precious secret I could tell.

She did not reject me and even told me of others who used a crude form of
magik to achieve similar results, she giggled at my folly as did I when i
realized that in this new time people were more open to these dark arts.  It
was then that I decided I would use my skills for good by creating a small
guardian creature to look over this girl lest she be assaulted by the various
rogues and warriors that seemed intent on one anothers' destruction.

And so I formed a small winged creature with brilliant emerald eyes and
wonderfully patterned spirals along its wings to be her companion, this new
creation she called "Tishmingo" which I fail to see the significance in but
agreed with promptly.  Oh, how an old mans heart can be lifted by the smile
of a beautiful woman!  And so I write this as I ponder my new life amongst
these people and the path ahead.

Yours,
Herbert West.

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