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VOLUME SEVEN, ISSUE TWENTY-NINE                            December 11, 2000
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                           TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
                           Calendar of Events
    
                            NEWS AND REPORTS
                        Horoscopes by Mme. Decara

                              LEGENDITES
                             Announcements
                        The Conspiracy Pt VII
                    And She Was to Discover Her Father
                   The Trouble with being Herbert West

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

[All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

                   -|- -|- -|- -|- December -|- -|- -|- -|-

      Monday,    December 11th, 7:00 pm       Legend Trivia by Sandra
      Thursday,  December 14th, 7:00 pm       Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
      Thursday,  December 21th, 7:00 pm       Q & A in the OOC Auditorium


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

                    .+'''+.            .+'''+.
                    Horoscopes by Mme. Decara
                             '+,,,+'

+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| SAGITTARIUS   (Nov 23 - Dec 21) | CAPRICORN     (Dec 22 - Jan 19) |
|                                 |                                 |
| Known for optimism, the archer  | If you are looking to attract   |
| seeks out adventure. Fire and   | popularity make use of natural  |
| Jupiter bring more independence.| talents! Organize a big event!  |
+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| AQUARIUS      (Jan 20 - Feb 19) | PISCES        (Feb 20 - Mar 20) |
|                                 |                                 |
| Air and water mix for a tempest | Be compassionate and sensitive  |
| in a teacup, if you stray from  | to the needs of others, however |
| normal friendly, outgoing ways. | don't forget to pamper yourself!|
+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| ARIES         (Mar 21 - Apr 19) | TAURUS        (Apr 20 - May 20) |
|                                 |                                 |
| Mars provides courage & strength| Some creative problem solving   |
| as you climb to new heights in  | may prove to you that your good |
| leadership & financial success. | dependable ways can be refined. |
+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| GEMINI        (May 21 - Jun 20) | CANCER        (Jun 21 - Jul 22) |
|                                 |                                 |
| Responsiveness, eloquence and a | Loyalty and family-orientation  |
| little help from Mercury ensure | underscore a Crab's sensitivity |
| your role as Great Communicator.| & makes for good group members. |
+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| LEO           (Jul 23 - Aug 22) | VIRGO         (Aug 23 - Sep 22) |
|                                 |                                 |
| Don't allow any insolence ruin  | conscientious industriousness can|
| good times. Don't be afraid to  | pay off in helping others, but  |
| let others share the spotlight! | shouldn't overwhelm all you do. |
+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| LIBRA         (Sep 23 - Oct 23) | SCORPIO       (Oct 24 - Nov 22) |
|                                 |                                 |
| Diplomacy and charm help diffuse| Don't be so secretive! Intense  |
| awkward situations and restores | dedication may get you what |
| proper balance to relationships.| you desire, but can be lonely.  |
+---------------------------------+---------------------------------+



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

           LadyDagger has reached 100 million experience!   

             The McDougans Clan has been re-created!  

'Tis my pleasure to welcome back to the ranks of the Poor Knights of Christ
the Dame Stella who hath been miss'd during her absence from the Order. At
the same time I take pride to welcome into the brotherhood the young squire
Alen whose training as a gentleman I shall personally be overseeing.

Tancred de Gisborne,
Master of the Temple

                              ****

The Seven Circles of the Inferno has accepted oaths of fealty from 
Dupaq, Angelus, Vi-Kata, Darkness, Morrowindl (if not voluntarily), 
and Merlyn over the past weeks. I have confidence that these 
individuals will serve the infernal cause well in past, present, and 
future.

Marcel Alexander, Esquire.


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


The Conspiracy Pt VII
Tuesday, December 2, 300 B.C.
Past chapters posted online at 
http://www.geocities.com/shaktani/alexander/alindex.html

I watched from nearby as the apprentice shuffled around the painted 
pentacle on the muddy ground, checking it for the fifth or sixth 
time. He had quite some trouble keeping the pentacle pentacle-shaped; 
the muddy soil of your common Irish bog is a bad place for floor 
scribbling. He glanced at me for confirmation; I nodded, and 
satisfied that it was safe to do so, the apprentice proceeded with 
his rite. Hands shaking, the boy approached a brazier burning beneath 
a lonely looking willow tree. He rummaged around his pockets for a 
while until he finally managed to procure a vial of a dark crimson 
liquid which he poured onto the hot coals of the brazier. A 
nauseating smoke spread slowly, wafting towards the blood red moon 
overhead. The only thing we needed now to make the drama complete 
would have been bad horror movie music.

The apprentice closed his eyes and rocked back and forth as he 
chanted above the red hot coals and inhaled the stinking smoke. I 
tried not to look too bored. Suddenly, a ball of darkness formed in 
the middle of the mud-covered pentacle! The apprentice paled as the 
smoke shivered and blazed and slowly took on a roughly human shape -- 
well, it had arms and legs and a head. The demonic figure looked 
particularly displeased as it glared at the trembling would-be 
sorcerer at its feet. "You dare summon me?" it bellowed. "For that, I 
shall devour your soul!"

The demonic figure, a large bow strapped on its back, leapt from the 
burning brazier to pace the outline of the pentacle with angry eyes, 
searching for any error, any mistake, any wrongly scribbled rune. 
They weren't hard to find; at least the demon had dramatic sense 
enough to pretend to be looking for a few more minutes while the 
apprentice gathered his wits to face it. He stepped forwards, and 
with arms raised in a gesture of power and control, he yelled, 
"Vi-Kata, I have summoned you to kill someone for me!"

The demonic archer rolled its eyes. "You summoned me to do your dirty 
work. Boy, you're a fool." It slowly formed an arrow out of the misty 
dark smoke surrounding it and nocked it on its bowstring. "You're 
trying to hold a demon in a rite that couldn't even stall a third 
grade imp for twenty seconds."

The boy paled. I think this was the point at which it dawned on him 
that maybe things had appeared a little too easy. Then he woke from 
his trance-like fascination of death and bolted for the door. He 
almost made it before the black-shafted arrow thudded in between his 
ribs.

Vi-Kata paced over to prod at the corpse leisurely with one foot. 
"Your soul is weak, mortal," he hissed at it. "I will torture it for 
eternity, and then I will devour it." He wrenched the arrow out of 
the flesh, barbs ripping flesh. "Ah, the sweet smell of human blood," 
he muttered, then put the arrow back into the shadows whence it came.

I gave him a polite golf clap. "Not bad. There's not much point in 
talking to them when they're already dead." He flushed and glanced at 
me. "But I like to say it, boss."

I shrugged. "No harm in that, I guess. Anyway, pick up the damn soul 
and let's move on, we have three more similar deals to do before 
dinner."

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

               And she was to discover her father 

Friday
Another child was lost today.  It seems so many have been lost near the
forbidden doors.  What lay behind the doors, and why we are forbidden
beyond them, these tales have been spun and told a thousand times. The
tales have been twisted and mangled so much that as best we can tell
pure evil resides behind those doors. The child's parents, this time,
are important in this town I visit.  They are so important that this
missing child, unlike the others, requires a search party of 50 people,
including myself.  

Sunday
The woods, the town, even the nearby village have been searched; it's
been three days and no sign of the child.  Someone from the crowd
shouted not so long ago that we should go behind the forbidden doors and
that they think this child, and possibly the other children, are there.  

Monday
Another day has passed; fifty people have turned into fifty warriors. 
As the only surgeon nearby, I was volunteered by the leaders to be with
this group.  The largest of the group leading us, a man of considerable
stature, opened the gates, and upon us shone a bright light.  Merely
seconds after the gates opened,  I was elsewhere, in some kind of
wasteland, wishing I were back home in London.  Nonetheless, the scribe
whom came with us read the maps the elders had written long ago as our
leader lead us down a dreary darkened path. We met many obstacles along
the path and we all had to have our wits about us. 

In the distance I could see what seemed like a boarding house.  I
couldn't believe my eyes! I thought, 'How could someone live in a barren
wasteland like this?' Once we found our way to the door, our intrepid
leader knocked on the door -- no answer. Trying to break the door down,
we heard a sudden thump as our leader slowly slid down the door to the
ground, stunning himself.  I turned the knob and it opened with a
creak.  Inside we smelled the rot of the dead, and a voice called out,
'What do ya want, pud?' Our scribe mentioned to us that the scrolls
noted that we must use the money of the dead, so we exchanged with the
dead man, an innkeeper, for the currency of this land and continued on
our way.

As we battled our way further down the temperature slowly dropped, to
our surprise.  Snow fell on the path before us! We lost at least four
people to the tricks and traps of this horrible place already and my
scalpel was nearly bent from the amount of surgery it required to save
the rest of our group. Nearly exhausted we stopped to rest at a
frighteningly puffy creature, who did not seem to care that we were
there. Suddenly a scream was heard nearby, but the remainder of our
group was all gathered with us. What could it have been? Another scream,
we all strained to hear what it was saying, but none of us could make it
out.  Many felt we should head toward the scream, hoping it was the
children. Our scribe told us sternly to stick to the scrolls, and the
leader felt we should rest until everyone was ready to go. Those who
wished to follow the screams darted off suddenly, following the sound. 
When last we saw those whom followed the scream, they were heading over
the edge of a cliff that did not have a bottom.

Once rested the rest of us followed the directions in the scrolls as
closely as we could, fearing for our lives. Deeper and deeper we went,
the cold turned to eat, the streams of water to streams of blood. Out of
fifty warriors we had fifteen left. How long has passed now, is it
another day? How many more must we lose before we turn tail and run?

I could see the fear in the faces of our group members. Our leader felt
it best if we rest for now and begin anew tomorrow.  We set up camp by a
well of blood, sure not to drink from it for fear of what it might do to
us.

Tuesday
	Low on rations, and the water supply running out, we continue to
wander.  The scrolls are useless to us now as one of the group members
felt he should use them to begin a fire in the morning. Quite odd
considering the heat of the lava flow nearby. It nearly felt like the
rock formations were closing in around us, making it more and more
difficult to breathe.

Suddenly, from the dark a voice was heard, "You do not belong here, do
you wish passage?" I panicked and fled. As my senses calmed, I realized
that the I had left the group behind. As I turned to find my way back to
them, the ground fell out from under me.

I landed with a thud, my body aching.  Surrounding me was a lavish
palace, one even an Egyptian pharaoh would be envious of.  I stood and
walked toward the only open door in the palace.  As I crossed the
threshold, I fainted at what I saw.

I awoke to the whispers around me. I peered around the room I was now
in, a bedroom of sorts. Shadows on the wall spoke of demons and hideous
creatures. Then I saw one form casting those shadows, the most
frightening form ever imaginable. I could barely squeak out the words
"What do you want?" as my fear was again grabbing hold of my body.

The reply came, "Keep calm, I wish you no harm. I only want to meet with
you, to discuss your past, and your future." The voice was deep, deeper
than any I had heard in the past, and yet somehow, it calmed me. The
voice continued, "I am, in your world, known as the Dark Lord."

As I stared at this form thunderstruck, it continued to explain, "My
powers in this world have dwindled, I have had to send demons out to
capture children in order to lure you here. I need your help Mertjai."

 I stuttered a reply, "Why should I help you? You have lured me here,
risking the lives of half a hundred people, and my mother said you
killed my father!"

He answered me with this, "Mertjai, I am your father." I fainted.

Wednesday
	
I awoke in the same room.  It was silent, but I felt I wasn't alone.  I
spoke, "Are you still here?" 

His reply came, a booming voice in the silence, "I am here, and I see
your disbelief. If you wish you can do any test, I am your father." 

I could not think of a suitable test for him, and I had a sinking
feeling that he was right.  He really was my father.  I had no choice
but to believe him. 

"As your father," he continued, "I wish your help. I need souls to build
my army, and my power. To get these souls, I give you this nectar of
love. It is a very powerful tool, something that most mortals cannot
understand. As you kill with this tool, the soul is given to me. However
this tool can do the reverse as well.  If you save a person with this
tool, their soul is also saved.  It is up to you how you use it, but it
is yours."

	I found thrust into my hands the nectar of love. What would I do with
this? How could I live knowing that if I killed with it souls would be
for the power of a dark force? How could I not aid my father? A dilemma
not meant for a mortal mind. As I pondered this, he spoke once more, the
last I heard my father, "I also give you the gift of flight, you are my
dark angel Mertjai, my daughter. I now return you to the surface."

	What felt like a thousand hands suddenly carried me, and as they did my
consciousness left me. Finally I awoke and stood, three feet off the
ground. This was not a dream. But what of the children? The fifty
warriors? The entire village I had been visiting was burnt to the
ground, no one left.  I mourned, and moved on, pondering my fate.

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

                The Trouble with being Herbert West

Well the trouble with being Herbert West is that I don't feel like I am
anymore and I wish I were, the world is a different place to me now and
everything shines so brightly.  You see the world took a remarkable turn for
me recently and that is the tale I wish to present to you here in a more
pleasant form than that by which I know about it.

It was a dark winter in the Sherwood Forest and I had been relaxing for far
too long after my many trips into the Caribbean and the ominous lands of
Skatha, and I was without food, coin or even clothing after several rather
severe accidents.  And after one too many ales with Richard the innkeeper I
began relating tales of my adventures, which of course Richard doubted as he
had heard many young rogues tell the same tale.

It seems that the pirate den of the Caribbean and the lands of Skatha in
Ireland are a popular subject of conversation in these inns.  So he told me
to prove my skills to him in an arm wrestle, which he promptly won, I'm
afraid this tender english frame and my smooth surgeons hands are simply not
designed for such barbaric forms of sport.  With the ale and my loss of face
to a man of such low station I became enraged and slashed him with my scalpel
which had until then been tucked neatly into my lapel.  The wound of course
was minor and Richard simply looked at his bloody throat and growled
violently.

As his mighty fists bore down on me I recall seeing her..  The one that I had
stayed in this place for, the object of my every desire, the passion for
which I had remained alive and the joy which had made that life happy.  I
heard her screaming and knew not why until it was that I looked about me..
Everything was colored with a ghostly hue and a deep grey mist swirled about
me, the room was the same room I had been in moments ago, and yet all life
had left it, all colors mixing into the grey.

She ran across the room and dropped to her knees crying, this tiny fragile
girl with braided hair and loose fitting pants her father had given her from
his own wardrobe. I smiled.  Until I saw where she had landed, beside a most
familiar looking body.. my body.  It lay there the blood slowly draining from
a massive wound in the temple where it had fallen on the corner of a table.
Richard stood back, pale and weary of it, crying like a child at the foolish
mistake which had caused him to kill a man.

And then the black cloud which had been gathering about me enveloped me and I
was gone from that place. And the voices, the voices that had been calling
all this time were suddenly very clear.

"Why did you leave?" "Don't you think you should be there still?" "Did you
not like it there?" I cried out in remorse "Of course I liked it there, I was
foolish, and I was wrong but I cannot change that now, and now my beloved is
hurt and I have caused that, I deserve to be here."

"Do you think that she does not love you? or that she does not need you as
she always has?"

"I know that she loves me I feel it like the only warmth that is in this
place, but there was no way for us to be together in that place, I am a man
and she is but a girl."

"Ahhh but now you are dead, you are neither young nor old, do you wish to
return?"

The tears that flowed from my eyes made my response erratic as I screamed
"YES!"

And suddenly the darkness was swept away like a curtain had been drawn and
let in the light, as I looked around I recognized the familiar sights of the
docks, the docks where I had grown as a young man.  Ahhh London, the familiar
smells of the sea and the people, I could not have been happier, unless...

As I gathered myself up I noticed something rather curious, the window panes
on all the houses seemed a little higher, the lamp posts just a little
taller, was I dreaming?  I looked into a window and it was then that I caught
my reflection.. that of a 12 year old boy.  How could this be? I remembered
all that I had previously known, I felt all that I had ever felt and yet here
I was in this beautiful youthful body.  Had the gods decided to grant me this
second chance? this chance at love?

I made great haste in returning to the forest in Sherwood, it seemed the
clerk I had worked for so very long ago, held the same fascination in antique
bows that he always had and I was soon relaxing in the same Inn that i had
died in only days ago.  But you see, when people hear my name mentioned in
conversations now, or they meet me again in some Inn or meeting place, they
assume that I am the same capable surgeon I once was and that I will always
remain that, as it happens I cannot operate for the time being, I lack the
proper height to use many of my instruments.  And so you see, the problem
with being Herbert West is that I am not the Herbert West people might expect
to meet in the same old Inns with the same old smile.

Yours Eternally,

Herbert West

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Legendary Times is published by the immortals of LegendMUD. Please send
all replies, additions, or corrections to our address at lt@legendmud.org
for inclusion in the next edition. We, however, reserve the right to
moderate this discussion, and may object to some submissions.
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