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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER TEN                                       March 9, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                         TABLE OF CONTENTS

                         The Editor's Note

                       NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                         Calendar of Events

                   Website Character Pages Wanted

                           Recent Updates
                  DID YOU KNOW: The PASSWORD Command

                             LEGENDITES
                           Announcements
                This Week's Scavenger Hunt Challenge
                   Spellcasting Contest Mar 23 8pm!
                             Clan News
                  Mixed Memories: Kaleem's Story Part 1
                         Redefining Success
           Confession; An Unorthodox Interpretation of Genesis
                  A Brief History of Sidhe Weapons
                         A Day in a Dark Place
        An account of tings as told by Rulfe'a da Cod Fishen'men
                        The Price of Betrayal
                 The Staffing of Carian Trag Begins...
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                        The Editor's Note                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

An up and down week all around. Sorry about the instability yesterday. 
Unfortunately some problems just don't show up in testing and only with
enough normal game play are they revealed. The good news is that the 
bunnies in Sherwood are their old selves again. If you notice anything
else that's behaving oddly, please drop us a note on the bug channel.

If you're unsure about the best way to report a problem or have an issue
with how something is currently set up, please check out post #9 on the
welcome board. That's the one with the title, "Helping Us Help You."

We didn't get a chance to have a real Q&A this week, so bring your
questions next Thursday to the OOC Auditorium. The router problems in
Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday made things just as unpleasant and
frustrating for us as it did for those of you just trying to play.

One of the questions that does come up and I've seen people get excited
about is that of the progress on new areas or when large expansions are
going in. Unfortunately, gone are the days when an area the size of the
original Sherwood could be done in two weeks. I'm not sure that anyone has
the free time to put that kind of effort in any more. There's a lot more
that's expected by the immorts and the players as to what makes up a
"LegendMUD area" these days. 

But we've got a few things in the works, and hope to see some of it ready
for the Summer Odyssey this year. Remember, you can help the builders out
with ideas too! If you try something and it doesn't work, note it down on
idea that it could be an alternate way. If it seems that the mobs are
pointing you toward a quest that doesn't exist, suggest on idea that it
become one!

I also want to thank everyone that's been sending in RP articles that
are close to that 500 word mark. It allows us to publish more at once
and provide more variety with them. Thanks again! And remember there's
a submission form at http://www.legendmud.org/Community/ltsubmission.php
that makes submitting your rp piece, article, or other news easy!
 
-Kaige
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
            [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

                 */* *\*  */* *\*  March  */* *\*  */* *\*

Wednesday, March     13th   9:00 pm           Scavenger Hunt!
Thursday,  March     14th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Sunday,    March     17th                     St. Patrick's Day
                            7:00 pm             Irish Casino
Wednesday, March     20th                     First Day of Spring
Thursday,  March     21st   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Saturday,  March     23rd   8:00 pm           Skar's Spellcasting Contest
Wednesday, March     27th   9:00 pm           Scavenger Hunt!
Thursday,  March     28th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Sunday,    March     31st                     Easter Sunday
                             Join us for a day-long Easter Egg Hunt!
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|            LegendMud Website Character Pages Wanted             |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Just a reminder, as part of the overhaul of LegendMUD's web site, the
character pages (http://www.legendmud.org/Community/charpage.html) have
been trimmed down to only those with active links. The list is fairly short
now. If you have a web page devoted to your character or clan let us know
about it. Email chocorua@legendmud.org with the link and a short (1 or 2
sentences) bio or summary and I will get them added.
 
                  --Chocorua
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                          Recent Updates                         |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    Misc Changes
 /_    _\     o New containers which can only store a specific type of
   |  |         item (for example, quivers that can only hold arrows)
   |  |       o Players now get information when someone has tried to log
   |  |         in with an invalid password
   |__|       o roster long: color codes login times (for rp clans) and pk
    /\          times (for pk clans) based on how long it has been since
   /  \         the last login/pk
  /    \      o roster/roster long now sorted by pkill/login time
 /_    _\     o The following commands now support commas: preview, expel,
   |  |         wake, read, areainfo, help, whochannel/whoconference, eat,
   |  |         douse, quaff, use, consider, examine, ditch, group, query,
   |  |         spellbook, dieroll
   |__|     
    /\      Typo Fixes
   /  \       o hush social extra message fixed
  /    \      o duck social gender error
 /_    _\   
   |  |     
   |  |                        HELP FILE UPDATES  
   |  |      
   |__|     The following helpfile was recently updated:
    /\      
   /  \       General Info: 
  /    \          MUNDANE, SLOT, STORAGESTRING, STRINGRULES
 /_    _\   
   |  |     Thank you to all the players & imms who assisted in this update! 
   |  |       
   |  |     
   |__|                          AREA UPDATES
    /\      
   /  \     If you want to suggest specific improvements or new additions  
  /    \    to existing areas please don't hesitate to submit them with
 /_    _\   the idea/bug/typo commands or drop mudmail to the builder
   |  |     responsible for the area (check AREAINFO to find out!)
   |  |     
   |  |                       Installed Area Updates
   |__|     
    /\      ALL Areas under cvs were converted to the new CONTAINER and
   /  \     FURNITURE object format. But no functional changes have been
  /    \    made yet.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     1802 ALASKA
   |  |         Vimka will give back NO_REPAIR items without charging.
   |  |         Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |__|     AFRICAN SAVANNA
    /\          Makes the kudus a little easier to kill.
   /  \     ANASAZI AMERICA
  /    \        Trims some things down in rattle quest.
 /_    _\   BEOWULF
   |  |         Some underwater rooms no longer show weather and other
   |  |         outdoor actions.
   |  |     PARIS OPERA HOUSE
   |__|         Marguerite and Faust changed again, don't expect them to
    /\          just keel over dead. Typo fixed on the trident.
   /  \     ROMAN BRITAIN
  /    \        Vestment changed.
 /_    _\   TUDOR LONDON
   |  |         Adds fight acts to Lizzie, makes an adjustment to a death
   |  |         act.
   |  |     ALHAMBRA, ARABIA, AZTECS, CASABLAN, CELTIC IRELAND, PICTISH
   |__|     COUNTRY, PORT OF LONDON, SHERWOOD, SOUTH SEAS, TORTUGA, and
    /\      VICEROYAL PERU
   /  \         Various bug and typos fixed.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   THE OOC LOUNGE
   |  |         Adds in the expies winners to the trophy room, a few
   |  |         cleanups in acts. Typo fix on the ooc food, it's now all
   |  |         edible. Color coupons now have both spellings of colo(u)r
   |__|         as keywords. Rent on the tiny hearts are now all the same.
    /\      
   /  \     
  /    \                   In Progress Area Updates
 /_    _\   
   |  |     This section is intended to let everyone know what builders
   |  |     are working on behind the scenes. It is not a perfect record
   |  |     of progress as all builders will not make updates every week.
   |__|     Players badgering builders about progress or a perceived lack
    /\      thereof will be flogged. Remember, the longer spent answering
   /  \     questions, the longer the project takes to complete.
  /    \    
 /_    _\           Breton       WWII North Africa Update
   |  |             Kae          Larderello (Dante's Hell)
   |  |             Rusalka      Tempest (Shakespeare play)
   |  |             Rusalka      Tudor London Expansion 
   |__|     

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____       
  /  _  \      DID YOU KNOW     ...that you can change your character's
 /__/ \  \     password at any time and really should treat it like any
      /  /     other computer account?
     /  /
    /__/       On LegendMUD, use PASSWORD <old-password> <new-password>
    __         to change your password and you will be prompted to verify
   /  \        the new password. This command is protected against being
   \__/        snooped or logged.
               
   _____       As with any personal identification code, you should never
  /  _  \      user personal info like nicknames, important dates, names
 /__/ \  \     of significant others, or any word that can be found in a
      /  /     dictionary. A mixture of upper and lowercase letters with a
     /  /      sprinkling of numbers and special characters is recommended.
    /__/       
    __         Once you have decided on a unique password for your
   /  \        character, be sure to remember it. Do not leave it lying
   \__/        around in the open and never tell anyone what it is. A good
               habit to get into is to change your passwords on all your
   _____       accounts at least once a month or so. Just don't make the
  /  _  \      mistake of making them all the same. If someone learns or
 /__/ \  \     guesses one password all your accounts become vulnerable.
      /  /     
     /  /      LegendMUD now tracks the number and originating ip address
    /__/       of failed attempts since your last successful login. Yes,
    __         this shows you how much you typo, but it can also alert you
   /  \        that it might be time to change those passwords around 
   \__/        again or someone has tried to access your character.

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

                Adamar has reached 100 million experience!
                 Hrun has reached 100 million experience!

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

                  This Week's Scavenger Hunt Challenge!

The challenge this week was to bring 2 different items of the following
colors, in an hour or less:

      White      Pink       Red        Orange     Yellow     Green
      Blue       Purple     Gray       Black      Gold (no coins)

Ruby, Mice, Ember, Percy, Isam, Sammael, and Mortisha successfully
completed this challenge! Congratulations!

Congrats also to Lebowski, Dolor, Mario, Adamar, Fairfax, Kyla, Suron,
and Awth, who managed to score partial credit on the hunt.

-LA

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

                          Spellcasting Contest

Join us Saturday, March 23 at 8 pm mud time for a spellcasting contest to
determine who can best roleplay a spell. This contest is open to all mages,
2c and 3c, cause and create. The more the merrier!

For instance, animating a corpse might involve marking the corpse with
obscure runes and then casting an ephemera spell to make the corpse twitch
once or twice, followed up with the actual animation. Creating a homunculus
might involve a lump of clay and a vial of the spellcaster's blood, both
in-game items.

Contestants can use socials, emotes, directed emotes, zips, strings,
ephemera, objects from the game, etc. to rp the spellcasting.

I have a non-color string coupon of my own that I will offer for the
top prize and I'd be happy to accept prize donations for runners-up.

Judging will be by a three-person panel -- myself and LadyAce are on
the panel, with the third person to be determined. I'd like a
respected cause mage to fill out the panel, so feel free to volunteer.

If you'd like to compete, volunteer as a judge or have other
questions, please notify Skar by mudmail. Mark your calendars!

Please note that this is a player-run contest. Even though LadyAce
is kind enough to help judge, this has no official link to the
mud management.

-Skar

  ___                                                                  ___
  \  |----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
  /__|                         Clan News                              |__\
     '----------------------------------------------------------------'

               Clan Lazy was disbanded for low membership.
         The Secretives clan was disbanded for low membership.
             The Breakfast Club clan was disbanded by Awth.

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

With the changes to the roster long command this week. The members of PK
clans will be able to compete with each other for that top slot of most
recent PK battle and try to stay out of the red slots at the bottom.

This past week, the PK clan with the highest number of active members was
The Grendels. The Mercenaries were close behind them and the IRA and the
Dark Enforcers also showed moderate activity. The Hermetic Order and the
Grand Coven had a few people in action this week. But both The Knights of
the Legend and the True Knights were quiet once again. One hopes that this
once great clan, though now fractured, won't follow the Secretives and
simply fade away.

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

Ruby, the Jewel Thief, is no longer a member of DE. While he still worships
the Dark Lord, he feels that he is better fit to do this as a rogue. Have
no worries though, he will still be lurking in a dark corner ready to do
His bidding. Ruby says that he shall see all of you from time to time but
you may not see him... until it is too late.

Things have heated up between the Mercs and Sandman of the Syndicate.
Several Mercs have been spotted giving chase and slaying him around the
mud, with fatalities on both sides of the conflict. What will happen next
in this obvious turf war? Stay tuned!

Have you witnessed any glorious or nefarious deeds? Send a short report to
us at the LT. If you are looking for a fight, recruiting, or anything else
related to the pk world, advertise with us! It's free and you get to see
your name in print! Be a celebrity, the envy of all your friends, tick off
your enemies! The possibilities are endless -- act today!!!!

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

There are currently 18 RP clans and 8 PK clans. This leaves open slots for
six (6) more clans to form. For more information, read HELP CLAN and see
the clan information list via the CLANS command while logged into the game.
For a basic handbook and reference for players interested in founding and
running a clan, visit http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/gm.html.

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

                  Mixed Memories: Kaleem's Story Part 1

How many times had he walked this road before? Probably to many times to
remember, he thought but that was a long time ago. The memories came
flooding back to him as he crested the hill and saw what was left of the
plantation that he had grown up on.

The plantation had been a prosperous one, its vast fields of cotton and
tobacco kept the family rich and well-known. His father had been a
blacksmith, a well-built man who could have done anything with his forge.
He remembered helping his father when he was old enough to carry some of
the iron, and pumping the bellows to keep the forge coals hot enough for
his father to work the metals. He had a strong father, and a loving
mother. Life was good except for one thing...they were slaves. Javier,
Kaleem's father, was allowed to do what he needed to do, for the most
part, as he kept the masters horses shoed and could even forge out swords
for the master to hang on the wall of his study, or the 'war room' as the
master liked to call it. He had swords and armor from the middle ages and
a few old shields, but his prized possession was a sword that Javier had
forged. A beautiful sword of a dark metal, it almost looked black, and its
edges were serrated, which gave the black sword and almost evil
appearance. The master had placed it next to a shield that was engraved
with a dragon, which only heightened the affect of the black sword on
visitors.

Kaleem smiled at the memory of the sword and shield. Then more memories
came to him. His family was well cared for and always had their basic
needs met, they were hardly ever beaten. And as he grew he began to show
the build of his father. His mother worked in the main house, for the
master's wife and so that left Kaleem alone in the fields, when he was not
at the forge with his father. It was out in the field that he heard a
crash, and saw the soot and smoke rise into the air. He then heard cries
and rushed to see what happened...

Kaleem blinked back tears. He tried to will away the memory, but it would
not leave him.

...his father's forge had collapsed. He ran over and began to tear at the
wood and brick that was the smith's work area. Many hands grabbed him and
tried to pull him away, but he broke free and continued to pull away
rubble in hopes of saving his father. The slaves and masters finally
pulled him away from the rubble.

Kaleem looked down at his hands and saw the burn scars on his hands. He
shook his head, again trying to clear the image from his mind. His father
was killed, and any way of knowing whether it was murder or an accident
was destroyed

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

                         Redefining Success

Rodents may seem like foolish creatures that wallow in filth and spread
disease like a maniacal leper with a tick in his tunic, but some can be
quite intelligent.

As I told you last week my experiments into the soul and its preservation
and transference have been going quite well, I met with relative success
with the rat catcher and one of my lab rats.

The problem is simple... the experiment succeeded almost too well.

The rat catcher is less lively and has been seen often lying on the ground
as though dead, surely this could be my own random wanderings through the
Newgate markets just coinciding with his naps, but he does spend a great
deal of time playing dead of late.

Whereas the rat populace is burgeoning on near apocalyptic population
sizes, they seem to roam free in the streets unhindered as though the
traps which have been laid have had no effect.

Perhaps it would have been better if I had sliced the test rats throat
after the experiment was complete, but I was intrigued watching her
movements.

I shall have to keep you informed on the progress.

And now weeks after that first experiment I have observed a few changes,
the rat catcher is once again out in force, he has regained some of his
passion for life and has been devising ever more cunning traps to once
again control the rat populace.

So late one misty night I confronted him in the yard of the Dewe Droppe
inn and once again subdued him with my chloroform poultice (it had become
somewhat of a favorite of late), and took him to the laboratory for an
examination.

As I had suspected the fluid which had come to be known as the soul had
almost completely replenished its levels, thus explaining the mans renewed
fervor for his work.

Interesting.. so the soul was renewable.

A month later I once again checked on my experiment, the rats had been
subdued at last, by the rat catchers expertise not only in laying traps
but designing new ones.

The lab rats intelligence and knowledge of the traps he had been using
were almost completely useless against his new design and while she
survived where the other rats were slaughtered she could by no means have
become the leader of their hordes once more.

And so I write this in the peaceful dusk in my laboratory, surely my
experiments were taking an unusual turn, but not entirely a bad one.

A great and wise cynic once said, 'If at first you dont succeed, redefine
success'

with regards,
Dr. Herbert West.

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

           Confession; An Unorthodox Interpretation of Genesis

Lord Marcel Alexander sat, unceremoniously assuming a casual position on
a large icon case next to the altar. Sister Trinity d'Arpajon stoically
ignored the young man's disrespect and said, 'Tell me about the time you
asked Him for a soul.'

The auburn-haired nobleman looked thoughtful for a moment. 'Well,' he said
at length, 'It was morning. Methaphorically speaking, since time is a
conception of the physical which was not yet in existence, but it was at
the dawn of all things. We were not summoned to His presence because we
were everywhere, and so was He, but our minds drifted to the presence of
the first man.'

The tawny nun sat down cross-legged on the ground, and leaned forward on
her knees, listening. The entire scene carried an atmosphere of casual
sincerity, a moment of confidence between opposing dogmas.

Lord Marcel continued, 'We marveled at this strange creature, a sentience
bound in flesh and limited by five narrow senses. Strangely fragile and
already dying. Why the suffering bound into its flesh? Why create the
imperfect?' As the nun glanced at her own scarred hands he continued
smoothly, 'We learned that this decaying flesh housed the very first
fragment of divinity. That through overcoming the harsh limitations of its
mortal, fragile flesh it might rise in spirit and become like unto Him,
elevated above us. We knew then that the first man was not imperfect but
rather superperfect, that through its efforts it would become divine.' He
glanced at Sister Trinity. 'It should be easy for you to draw the
conclusions that we did. If man could rise through not-yet-existing time
and toil of life, what were we?'

'Were you not perfect then, monsieur?' she inquired gently. The young man
shrugged. 'We were perfection but he was superperfection, the spark of soul
setting out on a journey to become more than he was. Whereas we'd never
change, never grow, never learn, simply be.' He grimaced, with ancient
bitterness. 'We did not demand that the first man be undone, nor that he be
made timeless and tranquil as we; nor were we asked to kneel before him
except in the allegorical sense because we had no flesh.'

Again, gently, she interceded. 'But is human existence not a journey
towards perfection? Uncovering its mysteries, something you did not have to
do?'

He nodded, auburn curls dancing. 'Yes. And unlike us, through your failings
and your perils, you become more than we. We asked that we be given the
same choices. We were refused.'

A look of confusion sped across the tawny nun's features, but as she did
not speak, Lord Marcel proceeded. 'We watched as man made his first
stumbling steps, the first wound, the first pain. And Lucifer felt that
this was wrong.' He chuckled. 'I'll spare you the narrative of a small
eternity's worth of arguing while your kind evolved. Suffice it to say that
Lucifer and others felt that He was in the wrong to create this creature,
that it was made to suffer for no reason.'

'Hold on, monsieur,' Sister Trinity requested. 'You mean to tell me that
Lucifer's compassion for man is what led to the Fall?'

Lord Marcel shrugged. 'Indirectly.' As she gave him a disbelieving glance
but nodded for him to continue, he did. 'It was his compassion that turned
bitter in his heart and became the pride that led him to believe he knew
better. And it was for pride we were cast out.'

'Pride tempered by jealousy, non, not compassion,' the nun noted.

He nodded. 'We were jealous, absolutely. We were angered that the manchild
should undergo such horrors and that we were not given a similar choice. We
envied him, and we wanted to leap to his defense. There is never such a
thing as one pure emotion.' He shrugged again. 'Well, you know the story.
Lucifer and Michael figuratively speaking went out back to settle the issue
and Michael won.'

After a moment of thoughtful silence, Sister Trinity glanced up at Lord
Marcel, still reclining on the icon case. 'And so, when did YOU ask Him for
a soul?' she asked.

He stared out the painted glass window. 'We all did. We were not bound by
language or individuality. We were the angelic host, one mind, one spirit.
Only after the Fall did we become individuals in the sense that you would
recognize.'

She nodded. 'And so, when you became an individual -- what was your first
reaction?'

Lord Marcel laughed quietly. 'I screamed. Then I invented a few hundred
exciting new curses. Then I realized that if the manchild were to fail in
becoming one with Him, He would have to admit that He had in fact been in
the wrong in creation.'

She chuckled. 'And then? Did asking for His forgiveness ever cross your
mind? Did asking Him for a soul?'

He chuckled as well. 'Oh, I think I went from cursing, to begging, to
pleading, to swearing, to bargaining and back a few thousand times,
really.' Glancing upwards, he added, 'Of course, the irony of it all is...
In wanting to cause man to fail, we've become the very adversity that he
has to overcome. And so it all falls into place and perfection.'

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

                  A Brief History of Sidhe Weapons
                  and a look at the blade Indreju

Long have the sidhe been counted as some of the finest smiths and
craftsmen in the world. Being uncomfortable with the touch of iron, they
turned thier arts to other materials, such as silver, mithril, crystal,
and even the stuff of shadows. The rarest of these artifacts were passed
from one generation to the next, as much a record of family deeds and
history as they were weapons. However, when the sidhe fled the growing
discord of their homelands, many of the heirlooms and the techniques of
crafting them were lost.

One of these ancient weapons is the blade Indreju. One of the final works
of skill before the Exile, it is formed entirely from a material known
only as witchwood. Despite it's seemingly fragile name, witchwood can be
stronger and more supple than steel. While not as well known as other
sidhe blades, it has been carried with honor for many generations in the
House-of-Years-Dancing, one of the royal families of the Daoine Sidhe.

The latest bearer and only surviving member of his house is Jiriki. For
many years he wielded Indreju. Most recently, he barely escaped from an
ambush with natives of the land he explored, carrying back with him few
belongings - including the shattered blade that served him well. Many
generous souls helped him regather his equipment but the damage done to
Indreju worried the young prince. Lugh the Il-Dana lent his own famous
sword Freagra to Jiriki, who sought out the lore masters of the Daoine.
After many long hours of studying Freagra's runes, the lore masters
returned Indreju whole to the forest lord.

Changed from the light blade it once was, Indreju carries many of the
abilities of Freagra the Answerer. It's family history will continue to
grow, and perhaps someday it will be given to yet another young lord or
lady to carry throughout thier life with honor.

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

                         A Day in a Dark Place

Cold drafts stirred the cobwebs in the corners as they wandered through
the church. Haunted eyes rolled to see their beloved altar stained with
blood.

'Do you remember?' a soft, piteous voice asked.

'I remember when the witches came.' Shadowy forms circled the pentagram on
the floor, moaning piteously. 'They burned our relics with unholy flame,
then defiled our holy place.'

Phantom feet drifted down the stairs leading to a darkened crypt. 'Which
is mine?' Pale fingers searched the coffins, traced the carvings in
bas-relief, and slipped inside. 'There are fresh corpses here -- is it us?
We are dead; I remember that.' Their mournful cries echoed in the murky
darkness.

'No, those are the others. The ones who came after the witches.'

'Are they dead then too?'

'They are dead, yet not. Undead.'

'Vampires!' the phantom gasped. 'I remember now. Oh!' It rose and not
bothering with the stairs this time, passed directly through the stone
ceiling to the floor above. But the phantom hands banged against the iron
gate at the entryway, and it was unable to pass. 'I remember her,' it
said, gazing past the shadowed church to the sunlight that seemed so far
away. 'The one with the sweet voice -- she stood here in the twilight and
promised she would take care of the witches, if I would just invite her
in.'

'She lied.'

'It was my fault. I let her in.' The ghost raised a milky white hand to
its neck. 'And she killed me.'

'A wolf killed me,' said another, his transparent body still bearing the
wounds of an animal attack.

'Mine was a little girl. She knifed me in the back,' moaned a smaller
ghost, a child. 'I trusted her.'

'I trusted in God.'

'Why are we here, Father, stuck in this place where only evil lives, when
we should be with Him now?' Only an ominous silence answered.

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

        An account of tings as told by Rulfe'a da Cod Fishen'men

ere's an onest accont of me granmudder one day while cutten up some cod
tounges

Granmudder was sidden roun a faggot of fis' cutten som tounges fer supper
and drinkin som wisky n' coffee when along com dis stranger all dressed in
black riggin and stinken of fire and brimstone. Now it is well known all
over da cove dat me granmudder is one of da luckiest card players ever
involved in a game of poker. It's also joked over a mug of homebrew dat da
firs man to ever beat er would win er fortune. So on dis day wen granmudder
was a splitten tounges dis man in is fancy riggen sat down and soundlessly
pulled out a deck of worn cards and a handful of money. Granmudder it is
said simply smiled at em and said, "u mus be affer me fortune, let me go get
me pickle jar n ill ablige ya". day sat roun and played fer ours, well pas
supper and mor den a few jigs of wiskey. In da end granmudder layed out er
las winnen 'and, taking da las bit of da strangers money. Da stranger
slammed his hand down on da rock me granmudder was usen to split er tounges
and left is palm print right der in da rock plain as ya face. Everyone
swears she as da devils own luck but we all know better den dat.

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

                        The Price of Betrayal

The rain pattered softly off his cloak, beading up in small pearls of
water. He moved in closer to the trunk of the large oak next to him, the
rough texture of the bark apparent through his leathers.  He gazed upward,
his almost depthless black eyes taking in the thunderstorms overhead. Idly
pulls a strand of long lanky hair from his face, tucking it behind one
ear. The black beads clinking softly.

He laughed softly to himself as he stared up into the window, the orange
glow of the fire outlining the residents inside.

'Let's go inside and kill him...,' a voice, like dead leaves rustling
together rasped in his head.

'You fool, we must make it look an accident,' Another, but more stern
voice intoned in the back of his skull.

Odd, they were never in agreement, but this once they were. His fingers
slowly traced the outline of the ravens on his bow, his gaze never
wavering from the window.

'I want to feel his bones breaking, giving away slowly...,' it rasped.

If it had hands, they would be rubbing together greedily, he thought to
himself.

'As do I, he must know who did it, right before darkness takes him,' the
stern voice said quietly from the small recesses of his head.

'Yess... But what about the girl, let us bathe in her life fluid also...,' It
rasped.

'No' I said aloud, 'She must not be hurt.'

'But... she hurtss you bad, she must pay...,' it wheezed.

He suddenly felt compelled to end her life too, one foot jerked forward in
motion haltingly, before he regained control and huddled back against the
tree. He was losing control more often. One day he was going to lose it
for good.

'No!' I hissed through clenched teeth, gripping my bow till my knuckles
we're white.

After a few moments I let go, flexing my fingers to return circulation. 
The metallic black raven tattoo on my forearm seemed to be laughing at me,
mockingly.

'We will find a way, there's a price for betrayal.' I said aloud again, a
sly grin slipped over my face, 'There's always a price...'

They started to laugh, together in my head, a wheezing laugh, and a stern
chuckle, as our gaze bored into the window overhead. I couldn't help but
laugh with them.

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

                 The Staffing of Carian Trag Begins...

Queen MoiraGwyn watched quietly as Lady Emrysia arranged the stack of
papers neatly on the desk in the office

Silently, King Rowane snuck into the room, slipping his arms around his
wife's waist. His lips graced her cheek in greeting.

'Hello, my love,' he whispered to her ear.

MoiraGwyn broke into a huge smile, resting her head to Rowane's, 'My
beloved! Emrysia was just sorting through the applications.' She turned to
kiss her husband.

Emrysia finished and smiled at them, 'There. Now you can see.'

The three of them peered down at the desk, where a list of applicants and
the positions they applied for stared back at them.

'Four applications for High Chancellor, one for Chronicler, and one for
Royal Huntsman,' noted Emrysia.

'Huntsman?' asked MoiraGwyn. She turned to Rowane, 'What is a huntsman?'
Rowane seemed to ponder a way to explain.

Emrysia explained to MoiraGwyn, 'I know we did not post for the position
yet but the application came through anyhow. A huntsman would be someone
responsible for supplying fresh meat for the table, and the applicant
suggested also hunting down escaped prisoners, etc.'

MoiraGwyn looked a bit confused. 'Is that not what the Dungeon Master and
dungeon guards will do?'

They glanced over the applications for Chancellorship. Rowane was the first
to speak.

'That first one, I believe she is half Sidhe, actually. She came and spoke
to Emrysia and I when you were away. Father Arturos brought her. Such a sad
story she has to tell,' he said to MoiraGwyn.

'I believe you both know the second applicant,' grinned Emrysia.

'A clanmate of yours, right love?' Rowane asked MoiraGwyn. She nodded and
giggled in response.

Emrysia edged a single paper towards Rowane to catch his attention. It was
the Chronicler application. He glanced over it, his smile widening. He
showed his wife.

'Wow, really? That is great!' MoiraGwyn beamed at Rowane. They went back to
the applicants for Chancellor.

'Do we know this person?' asked Rowane. MoiraGwyn shrugged at him, looking
just as befuddled. They turned and look at Emrysia.

She shrugged, 'Don't look at me, I thought maybe you knew him. I asked him
for references and experiences that he feels qualify him for this position
and have yet to hear back from him.'

'Well, I suppose we will interview them very soon and see who qualifies,'
MoiraGwyn nodded quietly.

Her eyes went to the 4th application. She studied it. Her gaze shifted to
Emrysia, who suddenly found some very interesting papers on the desk that
needed her immediate attention.

Noticing MoiraGwyn's expression, Rowane read over the last application,
glancing at his lifemate for her reaction. His wifes gaze was still upon
her Lady-in-Waiting, an eyebrow now arched at her friend.

Emrysia scuffled a bit, very quietly raising her eyes to MoiraGwyn.

The two women stared silently at each other, with none of the underlying
meaning being lost by Rowane. Was Moiragwyn to need a new Lady-in-Waiting?

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