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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER ELEVEN                                   March 16, 2002

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events

                    Website Character Pages Wanted

                           Recent Updates
                         Recent Q&A Topics
                  DID YOU KNOW: REPLY and CONVERSE

                         The Loss of Speech
                This Week's Scavenger Hunt Challenge!
                        Spellcasting Contest
                             Clan News
                    Letters During Times of War
                 Mixed Memories: Kaleem's Story Part 2
                          A Polite Request
                 Is There a Veterinarian in the House?
                       Eere's one fer ya byes
                           News, At Last
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                        The Editor's Note                        |__\

Just a couple of quick notes this week and repeated apologies for getting
this issue out later than usual this week. Hopefully, we'll be back on
schedule next week, but it might have similar scheduling problems for me.

Thanks to Chocorua for putting up a word count button on the submission
page for the LT ( You
can now get a word count before you hit the preview button. We've been
getting a LOT of submissions lately and it's easy to print them all each
week without making the issue too long when they're about 500-750 words.

Remember we've got the St. Patrick's Day casino game going on tomorrow and
Skar's Spellcasting contest next weekend and Easter's coming up the week
after that! So mark your calendars and plan to join us for some fun!

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
            [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]

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

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 ( 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 with the link and a short (1 or 2
sentences) bio or summary and I will get them added.
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                          Recent Updates                         |__\

    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    Misc Changes
 /_    _\     o Walls of fog and fire are less illusory
   |  |       o scuffle object has a spell
   |  |       o desc command now tells you if your description is on or off
   |  |       o there is now more variation in the impatient mood
   |__|       o flirtatious mood
   /  \     Bug Fixes
  /    \      o When trying to archive with a  pk timer you no longer get
 /_    _\       both a success and a failure message
   |  |       o ignite no longer works ooc
   |  |       o inspire/incite no longer works ooc
   |  |       o calm self no longer refers to the player in 3rd person
   |__|       o bows now reload "with" an arrow instead of "from"
    /\        o view social <foo> when sleeping now properly shows all of
   /  \         the lines
  /    \      o etheric archers no longer get a share of gold that is split
 /_    _\     o bridge of will no longer shows in allspells
   |  |     
   |  |     Typo Fixes
   |  |       o squeal social now says "circles" instead of "cicles"
   |__|       o evaporate now says "affect" instead of "effect"
    /\        o misc. social typos fixed
   /  \     
  /    \    
 /_    _\                      HELP FILE UPDATES  
   |  |     
   |  |     The following helpfiles were recently updated:
   |  |      
   |__|       General Info: 
  /    \    
 /_    _\   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
   |  |     
   |__|     The flags for getting the items on the rudh quest are reset if
    /\      you DT.
   /  \     
  /    \    AZTECS
 /_    _\       New quest. Huitzilopochtli and Tlazolteotl priests are a
   |  |         bit tougher. More midlevel mobs around.
   |  |     
   |  |     CELTIC IRELAND
   |__|         Herne no longer spams the recall of the hunt in the day, he
    /\          actually does it. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   /  \     
  /    \    PITTSBURGH
 /_    _\       Makes the ice cream cones throwable like snowballs, but
   |  |         still edible. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |  |     
   |  |     The OOC Lounge
   |__|         Prize machine updated -- also repeated items shouldn't be
    /\          as common.
   /  \     
    /\          Various minor bugs and typos fixed.
   /  \     
  /    \    
 /_    _\                  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.
 /_    _\   
   |  |             Ea!          Uruk (Gilgamesh)
   |  |             Kae          Larderello (Dante's Hell)
   |  |             Kaige/Ptah   1950s Americana
   |__|             Straussy     R. M. S. Titanic

  _______   ____    _______
 /  ___  \ / __ \  /  ___  \  Logs of Q&A sessions are available on the
 | /   \ | \ \/ /  | /   \ |  web pages for those who are unable to attend
 | |   | |  \  /   | \___/ |  or had to leave early. The most recent ones
 | |   | |  /  \/\ |  ___  |  are listed on the sitemap page or you can
 | | /\| | / /\  / | /   \ |  get a complete list on the Q&A index page
 | \_\ \ | \ \/  \ | \   / |  at the url below.
  \___\/_/  \__/\/ \_/   \_|

                              RECENT TOPICS

 o Upcoming Code: TITHE              o Roster Long
 o Logins on Clan Channel?           o Housing Title/Desc Changes?
 o Weather and Special Affects?      o Preservable Balms?
 o Owned EQ & Crashes?               o Games this Weekend?
 o Music Board in OOC?               o Is there an OOC Bank?
 o Tinyplot?                         o Client Problems
 o Claninfo & Advertising? 

  /  _  \     DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \    
      /  /    Ever gotten a tell from someone you couldn't see and thought
     /  /     you couldn't answer them? Ever had a reply go to the wrong
    /__/      person, because someone else sent you a tell in the time it
    __        took you to type up your response?
   /  \       
   \__/       If so, the REPLY and CONVERSE commands may be useful to you!
  /  _  \     REPLY sends a message to the last player who sent you a TELL.
 /__/ \  \    REPLY will work even if you can't see the player, and without
      /  /    revealing his or her identity. This is handy for talking to
     /  /     invisible or switched immortal players. One caution: replies
    /__/      can be sent to the wrong person if someone else gets in a
    __        tell to you before your reply goes out.
   /  \       
   \__/       CONVERSE allows uninterrupted conversations with one person.
  /  _  \     CONVERSE tells you with whom you are conversing. 
 /__/ \  \    CONVERSE WITH <person> sets with whom you are conversing. 
      /  /    CONVERSE <message> sends that message to that person.
     /  /     
    /__/      Note that your message can't begin with "with" and if the
    __        person is invisible to you and you can't see them, you can't
   /  \       converse with them. If they go invisible to you after you've
   \__/       got the converse set up, you can still use CONVERSE.

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

                Kaine has reached 100 million experience!
                Hannah has reached 200 million experience!


                         The Loss of Speech

During the 3rd Crusade, King Richard and the Holy forces have started a
mass invasion in an attempt to regain Jerusalem from the control of Saladin
and his forces. I have been hired as a scout for King Richard. I move in
and out of the camps of Saladin's forces, and then report any information
that would be valuable back to Richard.

A Knight Templar spots a dark figure approaching the camp, 'Halt, who goes

'It is I, the mage Serk. I have returned from the enemy's camp and have
information to report to King Richard.'

'Please follow me...' After walking to the center of the camp, the knight
enters the tent after saying, 'Stay here while I inform the King of your

After a few minutes pass, and quiet talking can be heard within the tent,
but no words distinguishable. The Knight exits the tent and once again
faces Serk. 'You may see the King now. Please leave any weapons you possess
outside the tent.'

After resting his staff against the side of the tent, Serk pulls apart the
flaps of the tent and enters. Immediately two knights grab both his arms
and force him to the ground.

Serk screams, 'What is the meaning of this, I come with valuable
information about the movement of Saladin's army!'

King Richard calmly responds, 'Report your findings, and we will see if my
information holds true.'

'What information is this?'

'Report your findings.'

Serk's voice is muffled as the knights press his face harder into the dirt,
'Saladin is planning to move the majority of his forces to the north of
this camp the night after this. He will then take his best cavalry and
attack from the rear as you move all your forces to the north.'

'After you departed yesterday, I sent my best Knights to follow you. Tell
me, my loyal servant, why is it that you were drinking wine and feasting
with Saladin himself the night past?'

'I do not know what you speak of my lord!' Serk screams, his voice still

Another man enters the room as Serk screams, apparently of high rank in the
King's army.

'Ah. General. Good to see you again. Serk has been discovered to be a
double-crossing spy, who has in fact been aiding Saladin from the
beginning. I give you choice of what to make of him, but make sure he will
never speak of this encounter.'

The King departs from his tent without even a glance at the restrained
Serk. 'You shall pay for your dealings against the Lord.'

The general speaks to one of the Knights, who quickly leaves the tent.

A minute later the Knight returns with another, carrying a small sack. The
general now speaks to him, 'The King's orders are that this man shall never
speak of his dealings between the armies again. I have called you here so
that he will never be able to speak again. You must remove the voice box
from his throat.'

The man pulls out many different utensils from the sack, all of which are
crude and rusted.

The torturer says speaks to one of the Knights, 'Gag him.'

Serk begins to squirm and scream, 'Save me, Dark Lord, I have served you
well, save me now in my time of crisis!. Those would be the last words
ever spoken by the Dark Mage Serk. A rag is placed in his mouth as the
knights move him out of the tent and into another.

Months later, Serk wanders the world with a never-ending hatred for King
Richard. Serk has established a hatred, along with a pledge to take
revenge on Richard. Always reminded by the incident with the absence of
speech, and the organ removed from him contained in a small box in his
belt. Serk has found new methods of communication; he can now violate the
minds of those around him and insert his thoughts, as well as seeing

Serk will not longer be recognized as:
short: A maniac mage 
long:  A crazed figure is twitching in the corner, looking at everyone

But instead he will be known as:
short: a horribly scared figure. 
long:  A magical figure with a horribly scared neck is barely visible in
       the shadows.


                  This Week's Scavenger Hunt Challenge!

This week's scavenger hunt challenge was to devise and obtain a 5-piece
costume for each of the following:

           - a hillbilly    - Cleopatra     - Death
           - Loki           - Barney        - Carmen Miranda

One point was awarded per piece plus one bonus point for a complete and
clever costume, for a total of 6 points maximum per costume.

                      Congrats to our winners!

Lanfear took the lead with 34 points, followed by Mortisha, Percy, and
Adamar, who each scored 30.

The remaining scores: Ruby: 29    Lilac: 20   Maloth: 17    Spot: 16
                      Lebowski & Mysanthrope: 12 each        Mario: 6


                          Spellcasting Contest

Join us next 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.

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

Congratulations to the Fields of Albion clan who will be celebrating their
one year anniversary of forming on March 19. Hopefully, the spring equinox
will bring lots of dandelions and other flowers their way.

When asked to say a bit about the clan, their GM, Pflanzen Botanique had
the following to say:

    The Fields of Albion clan was formed on March 19, 2001, by Sir
    Lawrence Windstrom. In the past year, we have been trying to
    carry on the ideals and traditions set forth. Establishing an
    environmental awareness among even the most dead-bent of
    mercenaries, soldiers, and highwaymen is one of those goals --
    something Ibrahim has been quite succesful with. He got Sigrid to
    publicly acknowledge recyling was a good thing. Many of you may
    remember Mabel's "Save the Bunnies!" campaign. It was one of the
    many ways we strive to protect endangered species world-wide, and
    recycle the people threatening them.

    Our Summer Festival, held in Sherwood last summer featuring
    Hedge's awesome idea for an archery tournament, also helped fund
    our projects to reinstate sprites, dryads, and other sylvan
    creatures to their native habitats and the reforestation project
    which includes the recycling of misplaced human settlements and
    cities. We had hoped to celebrate the arrival of Spring next week
    with another event, but we've run into a bit of a snafu, these
    strange-thinking industrialist officials near the site want to
    require a permit and want to place all sorts of restrictions upon
    the event, so don't be surprised if it gets postponed until
    Summer and those pompous officials find themselves and their
    permit forms recycled.

    I also want to thank all the people who have been a part of the
    clan over the past year and have put up with my odd habits of
    solitary hibernation during the cold months and have carried on
    the ideals of the clan and been generally great people to hang
    out with and patient with their charity case of a GM. =)

    If you're the outdoorsy type or just love nature in its pure and
    pristine state, or just like to wriggle your toes in the warm
    green grass and dandelions on a warm summer's day, search us out
    in the emerald fields of Albion, where dandelions shine to
    compete with the golden sun, and crystal ponds gleam to reflect
    the silver light of a mysterious, witchery moon. Heed the call,
    follow the willowisp, come home.
    Pflanzen Botanique, GM Fields of Albion


    The Knights of the Rising Sun clan was formed on March 9th, 2002.
       The Syndicate changed status to a PK clan on March 12, 2002.


 Steerpike disbanded the Gormenghast clan for his own nefarious purposes.

The following note was found tacked up on the office door this morning:

     Basically this is just to let you all know that rather than spend
     the few hours that I do have available to me maintaining the
     castle and not actively helping those of you who were a part of
     the clan, I have decided to pre-emptively cancel the Gormenghast
     clan so that some other more active person can form a clan in that
     slot, after all... who needs a clan to act as a group, its all just
     another channel when instead we could actually speak in person and
     still do all of the things that we always did.
     So to those who were a part of Gormenghast I sincerely thank you,
     and can only offer my future support and friendship, Im sure most
     of you know that this is not so much what I wanted to do as
     something I had to do.
     A truly evil mind never rests though, so don't think that I will
     remain quiet for long.

     With regards,
     Master Steerpike of Castle Gormenghast.


According to Lilian McGinty, the Grand Mistress of The Dark Enforcers, 'THE
DARK LORD has of now declared the treaty between the Mercs and His
Enforcers null and void.' She also wanted to make clear that 'THIS DOES NOT
mean He has declared war.' and she wasn't just repeating herself.

The Syndicate also released the following message to the press:
    If yous been livin in a bubble the past week, then ya haven'
     heard that I've been kickin' down some Mercs lately. They thought
     they could kick it in our turf... well they thought wrong. They
     tryin' to push in on some of our b'ezness, well they got it
     comin. As of this day forward, the family is a pk clan. We takin'
     our stuffs backs, so time to collect.

     And if'n yous wants to do some b'ezness with us, let us know. We
     always happy to fullfill some contracts, numbers, merchandise,

     Sandman  Don of The Syndicate

     Oh yeah, if'n ya thinks ya gots what it takes to join the family
     that is.. yous not no empty suit wannabe.. grab one of ma' boys
     or send me a line. But remember, once yous family, yous stay
     family or else.......

This past week, many members of the IRA and the Grendels have seen the most
pkill action. The members of the Dark Enforcers, the Mercenaries, and the
Syndicate, flexing their new pkill status, have also been stirring things
up this week. Better to be at the top of the list than the bottom after all.
The remaining pkill clans seem to have been fairly quiet on the PK front. 

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 17 RP clans and 9 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

             /                       \
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMUD?|
   (o o)     \_______________________/


A young waif with large brown eyes tossed in her sleep, once again reliving
the memories of her past. Night after night, the images were indelibly
etched into her mind...

Pounding on the door, the townspeople were waving torches. The small family
emerged, and the shouting increased. The first stones flew...

She writhed in her sleep, whimpering quietly as she kept dreaming...

The mountain lion crouched, then leapt at them. It savagely mauled her
father before the family managed to drive the large cat away. Already
weakened and bruised from the stoning, the young man did not last the

The young waif curled up into the fetal position, trying to somehow block
out her father's dying cries as the next images flooded into her head...

The winter took her brother, his lungs racked with a rasping cough. The
next few seasons saw her once beautiful mother waste away as she futily
tried to scavange enough food for the two of them. One day, she did not

Celes began to cry in her sleep. Occasionally, patrons of the inn could
hear her sobs down the hallway, but were so used to the sounds by now that
they gave it no more than a thought...

The mountain lion returned. The little waif desperately tried to lose the
predator in the brush, but it easily followed her trail. Bursting through
the undergrowth, she nearly tumbled over the edge of a cliff. Quickly
looking for a route of escape, she almost missed the cave entrance. The cat
crept up on her. Without a second thought, the girl scrambled for the dark
portal as the predator pounced at her and missed.

She sat in the murky darkness and waited for the inevitable. But the cat
never entered. The day and half the night passed. Finally exhaustion
overtook her. Her final thoughts were, as always, 'Why? Who did this to us?
Who.....?' As she drifted off, she suddenly got an answer. A harsh voice
whispered in the girl's mind '...the name of the one you seek is....Judah

Unnoticed in the blackness behind her, the graven image of the vulture god
Tash began to grin hideously...


                     Letters During Times of War

A copy of these personal letters landed in our in box. A note was attached
to them asking if we'd publish them to help calm some of the fears of the
members of both clans who find themselves in similar predicaments.

     My dear Marcel,
     I've thought a great deal about our conversation earlier today.
     More specifically, I thought about the fact that I share a house
     with the Seven Circles folk. I had never thought anything of it
     before, and in fact, they have been excellent house mates apart
     from the occassional burned curtain. And I consider many to be

     I hope that a clan war between Circles and Coven does not occur,
     but I can't help considering the possibility. And during a war,
     things can happen so very quickly, and people may do things they
     never would consider otherwise. I know that you promised to tell
     me if war did occur, but that might not be sufficient notice. So
     I took the liberty of having locks installed on our bedroom door.
     Yes, I know that no one would be crass enough to attack while you
     were around, but you often arn't. It's a very good lock, and even
     if it is no match for a good spell, some warning is better than

     Enclosed is a key. I have given keys to Ed and Fred as well in
     case the children should need me. I hope that this proves a
     nuisance rather than a necessity.
     Your's always,
     - Mitra

     Dear, I hope it would never come to a situation where spouses
     would be fighting spouses. In fact, Vidar and I are both quite
     agreed that neither of us would lift a finger against Devi or
     you, a fact which I really rather would take for granted!

     I made Micetto return Ed's key to him, just in case. We need to
     talk to that boy about bullying the poor house demons.
     He who stalks your bed to bring you morning tea,
     I think that you misunderstood the gist of my note. I'm not
     worried about fighting with you (well, other than those little
     arguments that involve bone china, but that's different!). It's
     your underlings that I worry about. But I agree, we ought to talk
     about Micetto about his bad habits. Or arm Ed.
     - Mitra

     I'll personally have the head of any affiliate of mine who lays
     an uninvited finger on any member of my family. That said, I'm
     going shopping for a used army rifle for Ed tomorrow. We'll see
     if that'll do, or we need to get him ammunition too.


                  Mixed Memories: Kaleem's Story Part 2

He sighed heavily and looked again at the place that had been the
plantation and smiled as another memory came to his mind. His mother
remarried, to one of the tutors of the master's children. His name
was Garret McCabe. They had a baby, and named him Asher. Kaleem loved
his little brother and took him everywhere he wanted to go, showed him
everything he would need to know to survive on the plantation and
played with him any chance he got. When Asher was seventeen the master
decided that he should go to medical school, and much to everyone's
surprise found one in London that would take a black student. Most
people thought that he was just thinking how he could benefit from
having a slave educated in this way, but Kaleem, Asher, and a few
others knew it was because Kaleem and Asher would go to the pond near
the plantation and flirt with the non-slave girls. They knew that the
main reason for Asher leaving was because Asher was getting VERY close
to the master's daughter, and the master needed to stop what was

Kaleem chuckled at the memory of Asher and his flirting escapades with
the master's daughter. He looked forward where the main house had
been, now broken and rotten. He remembered the feasts and the parties
that took place there. None had been able to compare to the day that
the proclamation was signed that freed the slaves. Kaleem remembered
it well... Since his father had died. The slave master had gotten very
ornery with the slaves, especially with Kaleem, and the anger is
physically seen by the many whip scars on Kaleem's back.              
The slaves were gathered in front of the main house, asking if it were
true. The master said that it was true and that they were all free to
go. They all cheered, but the cheering died quickly. Most of the
slaves were born and raised on the plantation, as Kaleem was, and
didn't know anything else. The master said that he would keep them on
as workers, paying them for the labors they did, again cheering ensued
and a feast was prepared. But there was no way Kaleem was going to
stay around, he wanted to go somewhere...anywhere. It didn't matter
just not in this place where everyday the memory of his father's death
haunted him. He wanted more. Kaleem heard that Asher had finished
school and was on his way back at that very moment, so he went to meet
his brother at the gates tell him the good news, and travel down this
exact road with his brother in search of life.

As fast as all the smiles had came they left. There was one more
memory in Kaleem's head. A memory so gruesome and so haunting that it
overpowered the memory of his father's death.

Kaleem and Asher were on there was back to the plantation from a long
journey. They were excited to tell their stories of the adventurers
they had and the people they had met. As they crested the hill, as
they so often had before they saw billows of flame and smoke coming
from the main house. Kaleem and Asher's walked quickly turned into a
sprint. When they came upon the main house they weren't greeted very
kindly. They could see seven men standing outside, beating and
pulverizing the man they once called their master. They could see dead
bodies every where, and they could clearly see the dead body of their
mother, Leilani, hanging half over the deck of the house...


                          A Polite Request

The customs clerk glanced up from his busy scribbling to wave the latest
applicant into his stuffy little office. 'Papers!' he barked, without
looking up again from his ledger. He scowled, quill paused mid-scritch,
when there was no immediate response. 'Tsk, come come, I'm a busy ma-...'

The last couple of words dribbled from his lips and the rest of the
sentence was forgotten as he took full stock of what stood in front of him.
The man limped in from the door and leaned heavily against the desk, both
heavily bandaged hands palm down on the clerk's fastidiously neat ledger.

He stank of sweat and blood, and his clothing hung in strips off his
battered frame. Breath laboured, he slowly raised bloodshot eyes and fixed
them directly on the clerk. The little man steadily returned his gaze, well
used to all types of intimidation, before making a disdainful cursory
examination of the rest of him. 'Well, I can see you'd have nothing to
declare...' he sniffed. 'Except maybe the need for the services of a
surgeon, and a good scrub.'

An uncomfortable amount of time ticked by before the man responded,
shifting his hands slightly and leaving a bloodied smudge print on the open
page. 'That isss not why I am here - I believe you also arrange for the
awarding of titlesss...'

The words hung in the dusty air, the clerk seemingly studying them with
some bemusement before he pushed back his chair and steepled his fingers.
'You,' he stated flatly, 'Titled... mhmm mhmmm mhm.' It was obvious he
didn't get much practice laughing. 'You dont... ah, appear to be the titled
type, mhmm mhmm.' The other man arched a single eyebrow and his unflinching
gaze bored through the clerk's skull until the little man lowered his eyes.

'Well then? Where are your, mhm mhm, qualifications?'

The man reached painfully into his tattered garments and managed to extract
a single scroll from the folds of his longcoat. He placed it with care upon
the desk in front of him, but was obviously ill-at-ease at having it even
that far away. A single word was neatly enscribed along its side. It read
simply, 'Score'. The clerk reached forward and unrolled it, squinting at
the fine print through his spectacles. The only sound was the quiet click
of the ceiling fan as it rotated in lazy circles.

Finally, he sat back and scratched idly at his ear. Clearing his throat he
muttered 'It would seem that everything is... in order.' He tossed the
scroll back across the table and added under his breath 'Lord knows how...'

'So what's it to be, Sir? Lord? Swineherd? Mhmm mhmm mhmm.' The clerk
rubbed his hands in anticipation. 'Let's get the paperwork started then...'

The man swung about, blurred with speed, and slammed a hefty black bible
down onto the desk, practically bouncing the clerk out of his seat. It left
a sizeable dent in its surface. 'PREACHER!' he thundered. 'Preacher Kaine!'
Flames flickered behind his eyes, and there was a very unsettling twitch
about him. The echo of the thunderclap gradually subsided.

'Yes, yes, very dramatic.' grumbled the clerk as he hoisted himself back
into his chair. 'One /slight/ problem, that isn't actually an option, I'm
afraid. How about erm, Rabbi instead... Or Bishop, thats a good one.
Perhaps Priest?' He smirked evilly and steadied himself for the inevitable
explosion by sticking both fingers in his ears. After a couple of seconds
he warily opened one eye. Kaine hadn't moved.

'Not an option?'

The clerk shook his head. 'Form 342b clearly states all the current
available titles, and it is readily available from all our sub-branches by
placing requisition order No. 488/2, these may be obtained by...' The clerk
happily prattled on, pulling sheets and forms from the depths of his desk
drawers, and thrusting them across the table.


Flocks of birds, up to 2 miles away, took to the air. When the ceiling
plaster finished raining down onto his desk, the clerk hazarded a peek out
from under it. 'No need to get so snippy. Awk!' A rough hand grabbed him by
the belt and hauled him out, dumping him unceremoniously back into his
rubble-strewn chair.

'Make it an option.'

The clerk rolled his eyes, and made an attempt at straightening his
dishevelled clothing. 'Its not up to me. You know, for one worthy of a
title, you really are a bit of a thicky. Blah, blah, sinners this, blah,
blah Repent that - jeez, Preacher, Priest what the hell's the difference?

'A Priest wouldn't do thisss...' Kaine pinched the clerk's ear and gave it
an almighty twist, pulling him and chair both right up against the desk.
'Now write a little memo to your 'bossesss' requesting an addition to the
titlesss. Sssign it and countersssign it in triplicate, or whatever the
Hell you do, just make sssure they get it. Don't make me get unpleasant.'

Kaine left the little man scribbling furiously at his desk. He turned at
the door and added, 'One last thing, make sssure you let them know that
I asked nicely.' Nodding to himself, he stepped back out into the street.


                  Is There a Veterinarian in the House?

Lady Emrysia unlocked the front gates of the castle while the carpenters
waited patiently on the bridge overlooking the moat. She opened the doors
and looked about for MoiraGwyn.

'Moira!' she called out, 'The carpets have arri-'

Emrysia ducked down just in time to see flames shoot by overhead and hear a
deep-throated gurgle.

Carefully, she stepped down the charred hallway, tightly clenching her
rather menacing looking rose, ready to bludgeon the intruder. Following
gingerly after her came a troop of carpenters, huge rolls of red carpet
balanced over their shoulders as they walked in a row.

'MoiraGwyn?' she asked tentatively.

She had reached the Eastern Turret of the castle where she entered to find
her rather frazzled-looking Queen resting on the floor. Her hair had come
undone from its braid and her crown was a bit askew. There were scorch
marks all over the place.

Upon Queen MoirGwyn's lap rested the cause of all the commotion.

'I think he ate something that didn't agree with him...' MoiraGwyn glanced
from Emry to the the listless salamander laying on its side over her legs.
Glassy eyes rose to meet Emrysia's before Sparky's head flopped back
against his mistress.

A loud belch, followed by a huge burst of flame emitted from Sparky.

A carpenter dropped his end of a roll, his hands quickly beating at his
breeches to put the fire out.

An elder carpenter turned to Lady Emrysia. 'May have to charge ye extra for
this job.'

She glowered darkly at him before turning back to her friend.

'Moira... where is the lemur?' She asked cautiously.

'Resting in the templar cell with with monkey.'

'And the carrier pigeons?' Emry glanced over at their gilded cage for a
quick count.

'All there and accounted for, I checked.'

Both women peered at the creature, who was emitting rather dubious noises.

'Oh my...' Queen MoiraGwyn wrinkled her nose disdainfully.

'What did he eat??'

The carpenters backed quickly out of the room muttering something about
measuring the hall for the carpet.

'Maybe he was playing in Rowane's alchemy lab again?'

Sparky rolled over, flopping to the floor with a small defeated moan.

'Emry, I think we need someone who specializes in animals. Sparky is
looking a bit... Peaked.' Queen MoiraGwyn was rather concerned about her
poor salamander.

'But how do you cure a magical animal of sickness?' MoiraGwyn looked up at
Emrysia, her eyes watering. 'I wish Rowane was here, maybe he would know
what Sparky got a hold of...'

Lady Emrysia left the room, returning with a large knitted blanket and a
couple of Sparky's favorite toys: an old steel-reinforced boot, and a large
ring of keys he once swiped during a visit with the Sultan of Agrabah.

Queen MoiraGwyn gently bundled Sparky up, cuddling his exceptionally large
form in her arms. Emry slipped Sparky's toys into Moira's duffelbag and
closed it for her.

Sparky let out an odd sound, a puff of smoke poofing out from his nostrils.

MoiraGwyn drew her cloak about herself and Sparky, turning to her

'I am going to try and see if I can find help for him. If I send word once
I do, will you please come meet me?'

Lady Emrysia hugged her friend warmly, nodding in agreement.

'If Rowane comes home, please send him on my path at once?' MoiraGwyn
asked, kissing the cheek of her longtime friend.

Hidden under the wrap of her cloak, the Queen of Carian Trag and the royal
pet slipped through the iron gates and headed south on the trade road with
not a sound save for a low moan from Sparky.


                        Eere's one fer ya byes

                I gots up dis mornin write early,
                da eart lay cool n still.
                wen all a sudden dis tiny bird,
                squats on me window sill.
                da bird sang dis song so luv'ly
                So carefree and so gay,
                Dat slowly all me troubles
                Begun to slip way.
                E sang of far off places
                Of laughin n of fun,
                It seemed is very trillin,
                brougt up da mornin sun.
                I stirred beneat me covers
                Crept slowly out of bed,
                N gently lowered da window
                N squis'd is stinken ead.
                         Rulfe'a da fisermen



There is always a period between clinical trials and real world application
where most scientists would wait out the long term effects of their work
and possibly even halt research completely till they were certain that
their findings were accurate.

Now I'm not one to boast, but as most of you are aware, I am not just any
scientist. I have never flinched at the chance to put my research to
practical use and I definitely won't stop now.

And so I sought two of the most opposite people I could find, within easy
reach of my laboratory, of course.

And so I ventured out to as close to Norway as possible and there I found a
warlord of much notoriety, we sat and I listened to his tales of slaying
entire armies of men, we drank several tankards of mead.

Well, actually, I drank several tankards of St Johns Wart tea while he drank
a mead and chloral hydrate combination I had given him.

And just as was to be expected only fifteen minutes later he was completely
unconscious and so I stole a good portion of his soul, preserved nicely in
my now glowing syringe.

With little time to spare I made great haste to the Globe Theater, perhaps
you have heard of it..? The greatest hack author in the history of man still
performs his tired old plays there at times, and so I thought it might be
fitting to give him some warrior instinct to inspire his plays a little.

I didn't require any trickery I simply told him it was an aphrodisiac
designed to make his writing more skilled and that all he needed do in
exchange was allow me to take a small blood sample to be sure of its

Moments later I had my sample, and Mr. Shakespeare was roaming around the
theater yelling for the worthless scum he had hired to arise and make
preperations for art.

Good lord, a warrior instinct and all he comes up with are second rate
pirate quotes trimmed with prissy words.

As I slipped back into the Viking camp, I noticed the warlord still asleep.
God, a man of his size and still out cold after only a minor dose.

So I injected Shakespeare's soul into him while he still lay sleeping.

Days passed when I happened to hear of the Viking warlord again, apparently
every combat-capable man and woman in a hundred mile radius had flocked to
him to take his prized possessions while he was in such a defenseless

Meanwhile, the Globe Theater was drawing huge crowds to see a new play that
had sprung from out of nowhere. I believe it was called Titus Andronicus, a
rather visceral tale with much killing and raping, very unlike all other
works the drunkard had produced.

Perhaps I might even see it sometime, when research slows.

Dr. Herbert West.

                            News, At Last

Emrysia wandered down the hall of Carian Trag, somehow the castle seemed so
empty without MoiraGwyn and her energetic salamander, Sparky.

Emrysia wandered into the eastern turret where the aviary was kept, just as
a carrier pigeon arrived with a message. Hoping it was the promised message
from her friend, Emrysia immediately rushed forward to recieve the message.

Emrysia carefully removed the rolled up bit of paper from the dutiful bird,
opening it with shaking hands, fearing the worst, this is what she saw:

     -scrawled in hurried cursive-

     Dearest Emrysia,

         Sparky and I have made it to Tara safely. I am seeking the
     aid of elder druids in hope that they might be able to assist in
     curing my poor Salamander of whatever ails him.
         However I do so fear that mayhaps we will have to trudge
     across the desert sands to seek the magician's aid. I do not like
     dealing with him and never have. Such a greedy and unscrupulous
     character seems he.. -frown- If he tries to cause more harm or
     wish something excessive in return for his assistance, you may
     surely hear his screams from all the way in Mosul! The more I
     ponder him the less I wish his aid...

     Oh Emry, who else can help me with Sparky??

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