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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER TWELVE                                   March 23, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events

                         LegendMUD Photo Page

                           Recent Updates
                         Recent Q&A Topics
                  DID YOU KNOW: REPAIR and material types

                             LEGENDITES
                           Announcements
                This Week's Scavenger Hunt Challenge!
                     Spellcasting Contest TONIGHT!
                             Clan News
                          Anaiya's story
                     A Desperate Need - Part One
                     Letters from the Queen, I
                  SCANDAL IN GOTHAM CITY HEAVY INDUSTRY
       An Epilogue from the Deathtrap Looters, Volume 7 Issue 20.
                        Dinner with Rufle'a
                         A DATE WITH DEATH
                     Letters from the Queen, II
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                        The Editor's Note                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Sorry about that little shake up there on Friday. But we're sitting on a
nice, borrowed connection for the next couple weeks until LadyAce's new DSL
line gets run in Chicago. Unfortunately, we were unable to get a smooth
transition from one to the other like we'd hoped, but thankfully, Huginn
came up with a solution for the intervening weeks. *cheer Huginn*

Just a couple other reminders: the spellcasting contest is tonight, and
Rusalka and Kae are planning another RP workshop to be held soon, so watch
the welcome board for more details there.

Also, I've been pleased with the number of people who have been submitting
RP articles. By keeping them around 500-750 words it helps get more people's
stories out there each week and keeps the overall issue length reasonable.
The easiest way for you to submit something for the LT is to point your
browser over to http://www.legendmud.org/Community/ltsubmission.php and 
there is now a button to automatically count the words before you try to
submit your piece. Also, sending pieces in as attachments is more difficult
to handle than if you'd sent it as the text of the email. If you must send
an attachment, please, be sure it's in text format.

Remember, you don't have to do just RP stories, we've had a myriad of other
topics covered in the past: hints for new players, play style advice,
client set up advice, Leila's Roving Reporter questions, CLeo's WHO IS
interviews. A travelogue of your trip around the world might prove
interesting. Be creative!

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

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

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!

                 */* *\*  */* *\*  April  */* *\*  */* *\*

Thursday,  April      4th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  April     11th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  April     18th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday,  April     25th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                      LegendMud Photo Page                       |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Heya gang, just a reminder if you have a player picture and you would like
it up on the LegendMUD photo page, send it to straussy@legendmud.org The
file is preferred in jpeg form and sent as an attachment.

If you have already sent a photo and it has yet to be posted, send me a
mudmail or an email and let me know. Sorry for the delay.

If you would like your picture removed let me know as well and I will
remove it asap.

The photo page URL is http://www.legendmud.org/Community/photos/

Thanks again for participating!

Straussy
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                          Recent Updates                         |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    MISC CHANGES
 /_    _\     o Tithing: tithe #, tithe clan # (the second is GM only)
   |  |       o bind spell uses different formula for success/failure
   |  |     BUG FIXES 
   |  |       o directed speech is now limited to fully matched keywords
   |__|         or full/partial names
    /\       o immolate and fighting two mobs fixed
   /  \     
  /    \    
 /_    _\                      HELP FILE UPDATES  
   |  |     
   |  |     The following helpfiles were recently updated:
   |  |     
   |__|         General Info: BANKING, GM, TITHE
    /\      
   /  \     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 CRUSADES
   |  |         Some fixes and additional checks added to hopefully prevent
   |__|         problems.
    /\      SAN FRANCISCO
   /  \         Fix for the murder quest.
  /    \    THE ALHAMBRA, ANASAZI AMERICA, AZTECS, ROMAN BRITAIN, 
 /_    _\   PICTISH COUNTRY, and 1930s PITTSBURGH
   |  |         Various bug and typo fixes.
   |  |     
   |  |                    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.
   |  |     
   |__|             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.
  \___\/_/  \__/\/ \_/   \_|

     http://www.legendmud.org/Community/lectures/QandA/QA_index.html

                              RECENT TOPICS

 o Scavenger Hunt Results            o Spellcasting Contest Location?
 o Inn/Bank in Antioch?              o What's Anatolia about?
 o Any Reloadable Quivers Yet?       o Is 2C Create Changing?
 o MCCP and Weird Messages on Login  o Quests/Items/LegendDB
 o Strings/Mundanes/Souls?           o Is AT Fixed?
 o Lag & Connection                  o LT Subs for Clans?     

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____       
  /  _  \     DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \    
      /  /    We get a lot of bug reports about how several items aren't
     /  /     a particular material type, or aren't the same material as
    /__/      another item in the game with a similar short description.
    __        
   /  \       There's a reason for this. The game only has material types
   \__/       associated with ARMOR type items. Items that aren't ARMOR do
   _____      not currently have a material type that is connected to the
  /  _  \     item's description.
 /__/ \  \    
      /  /    You can only repair items that the game considers ARMOR or
     /  /     WEAPONS. Likewise, mending can only fix items that are
    /__/      considered ARMOR. When the game asks for another item of the
    __        same material to repair major damage, the game is expecting
   /  \       another piece of ARMOR of the same material type, not just
   \__/       any item with similar words in the description.
   _____      
  /  _  \     The engraver in Crusades works on similar principles. And he
 /__/ \  \    currently doesn't recognize precious metals like gold and
      /  /    silver to be metals like iron and bronze.
     /  /     
    /__/      In the future, we hope to have better ways to tell what the
    __        material type associated with an object is, and to have all
   /  \       object types have a material type associated with them. But
   \__/       being able to tell an item's material is will be sooner.

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

                Chunk has reached 100 million experience!
                Grunt has reached 100 million experience!

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

            This Week's Spring Theme Scavenger Hunt Challenge!

- New life:                                         - Spring cleaning:
  nest building material                              dirt or grime
  seeds or a bulb                                     rags for cleaning
  3 different kinds of flowers                        old clothes
  fresh greens                                        a broom

- Passover            - Signs of Spring             - Easter Sunday
  unleavened bread      the first robin of Spring     a basket
  blood                 fresh water                   a cross 
  bitter herbs          a baby animal                 chocolate
                                                      an egg  

Congrats to Percy & Ruby, who took first place in this week's Scavenger
Hunt! Next came Serk, then Lawrence. Spot, Ember, Lanfear, Cymo, Lilac
Sabrine, and Nietzsche filled out the tight grouping of top item-finders!
I hope you had a fun time :)   -LA

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

                          Spellcasting Contest

Join us tonight, 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                              |__\
     '----------------------------------------------------------------'

          The True Knights of Legend Clan was disbanded this week.

When asked to comment on the dissolution of the clan, Freja had the
following to say:

     I have disbanded the True Knights of Legend, since the matter
     which split us from the Knights of Legend has been resolved and
     the clans are now back as one, stronger than ever.
                                                         -Lady Freja

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

                           A New Clan Forms

Regarding the formation of the Knights of the Rising Sun, ArchAngel has
issued the following press release:

    As a respectable member of Legend, ArchAngel has always worked to
    serve anyone in need and has been able to occomplish that to the
    best of his abilities. He offers his services to all and has
    helped from his real life friends gaining levels to helping level
    50 players gain their eq in a DT or like situation. He has been
    known to "resort through his eq list" on almost a daily basis.

    In order to gain help with his services as he was getting all
    sorts of request he came up with a idea to form an rp clan. He
    bassed this on a clan he was going to form which was going to have
    the name Knights of the Seventh Tier, a name which Nanok suggested
    to him. ArchAngel's clan, The Knights of the Rising Sun or
    -=KoRs=-, reflects everything which he is based on which is the
    helping of any member whether good or evil, friend of fiend.

    -=KoRs=- is in the persuit of happiness and is working towards
    gaining members and becoming popular among the many clans out
    there. ArchAngel has no real goal to make this clan into a PK clan
    he intended it only as a RP clan so everyone who persues to join
    it can get an equal chance. As the clan goes on to gaining
    popularity it is in ArchAngels joys that the members will have an
    attitude single to his and provide a friendly environment for all
    who come in contact with its members. The clan will be available
    at most any time for helping with any disasters that may come upon
    anyone.

    If you are in need of assistance please contact -=KoRs=-'s few
    members and arrangements will be made to assist you in gaining
    your request. If you are interested in joining the clan please
    contact ArchAngel when you see him or by mudmail and he will get
    you set up so you can become an official member of The Knights of
    the Rising Sun.

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

The Mercenaries have been keeping their members busy this past week. The
other PK clans have been quieter this past week, but the IRA and the
Grendels' members have seen some action. The newly reconsolidated Knights
of Legend and the Grand Coven also had some members out on the PK scene.
The Syndicate, the Hermetic Order and the Dark Enforcers were rather quiet
this week in terms of number of active members.

It seems that Sandman of the Syndicate spent more time posting on the war
board than having the family's members back up or refute the claims made
there through more persuasive means.

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 8 PK clans. This leaves open slots for
seven (7) 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________________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

                   ---<--<-@ Anaiya's story @->-->---

'Mother, come home, I assure you, the danger has past.' Pleads the
freckled rehead. 'I told you already, I have freed Ricky from the Saxon
raiders, he is waiting at home.' She continues. The Briton farmwife, to
whom she speaks, seems oblivious to the girl's plea. In fact, she
probably does not even regognize her own daughter standing there in front
of her. Looking about her frantically, the farmwife raves on about
somebody please help her save her son from the saxons. Anaiya sighs,
frustrated with her mother's condition. 'How many times do I have to tell
you mother?' she asks softly. 'Come home, Ricky needs you there.' She
continued. The farmwife peered at her, looking her up and down. 'Haven't
I seen you before?' She says. 'You're the one who helped me before!
You're in league with the saxons!' 'Mother, please, it's me, Anaiya,
your daughter, remember?' The redhead answers. 'I already got the village
to help us, Ricky is free and at home. We need you there. Do you truly
not remember?' Oblivious, the briton farmwife goes on, looking more and
more suspiciously at her daughter.

After a few more tries, the freckled redhead sighs and goes home to the
small farm that had been such a cosy home until the attack by the saxons.
Running to meet her is Ricky, a grimy little boy, who, despite his recent
abduction seems happy as only a kid can be. 'When's mom and dad coming
home?' He asks Anaiya, as he sticks his hand into hers. 'Mother is
occupied,' she replies, absentmindedly. 'Father is in heaven, he will not
come back to us. He is watching over us, and makes sure we are alright.'
She continues softly. Not really understanding, the small boy talks about
his day at the farm, playing with the lambs and collecting the eggs.

After having put her brother to sleep later that night, she goes to visit
the folk at the neighbouring farm. They agree to look after her brother
while she searches for a cure for her mother. 'I will look in on
little Ricky once a week,' She tells them as she leaves. While packing
her things that night, she weeps softly, thinking about how fast her life
has changed. She no longer has a father, hardly a mother and a brother to
look after. 'Maybe when mother is cured, there will be time to grieve for
father.' She thinks to herself, as she blows out the candle beside her
bed and goes to sleep.

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

                     A Desperate Need - Part One

I came through the forest, after having passed a rather jolly looking
outlaw, and found myself staring at a sign that said Royal Stag -- Richard
the Inn keep and it had an arrow pointing to the right. I was rather hungry
and thirsty, so I went in and had a seat at a rather large round table,
odd, as it was it was almost empty except for a lone man who was obviously
drunk.

' 'ello lass. What is a pretty thing like yourself doing 'ere?'

'Good eve, kind sir. I am a traveler in highness.' search of some warmth, a
bit of food, and drink if ye are able?'

'Aye that I am. You also look like lass with a story to tell. I'll tell you
what. I will give you food and drink and a place by my fire if'n you tell
me your story.'

'Okay.' I said thinking to myself that he may be able to help me find a way
to get back to my father.

He brought me a plate of food, a dish I'd never seen before.

'Deer meat.' He said as I must have had a questionable look on my face.

'Oh,' I said 'It is fine m'lord. Might I begin?'

Thus I began my tale.

                              --*--*--*--

'Liel,' my mother called, 'Are you awake?'

'Yes mother, I am getting dressed.'

I yawned and stretched and got up and went to my window and looked out upon
all of the forests of the Tuatha De Danaan sidhe of which my father Rael
D'Rath was King. I never ceased to be amazed at the great expanse of his
domain. As I bathed myself, I could never get used to the servants touching
my body although they were some of my parents most trusted servants. As I
did I thought about what I had to do that day being my tenth birthday. As
usual there was to be a big celebration, my father would insist on it. So I
got dressed in my royal clothes as I had an audience with my father. There
was a knock at the door.

'Liel?' my mother called.

'Come in dear mother.'

My mother, a Celtic priestess, was a beautiful woman. It is no wonder my
father fell in love with her.

'Oh my dear daughter,' she said taking my face in her hands. 'Tis a great
day today. Art thou ready to go and see your father?'

I nodded.

We walked down the long hall to the throne room and the sentries opened the
door, but not before he gave me an evil look. I was puzzled.

'Your daughter and the Queen to see you your Highness.'

'Aye, allow them entrance.'

As we walked in to the throne room, I noticed my father was not alone, but
with my uncle, his spiritual advisor, Lugh, the Il'Dana. I ran to embrace
him and immediately I knew something was wrong. His embrace was neither as
warm nor as tight as it usually was.

'Good noon, my child how fare thee on this special day?'

'Oh uncle, tis a beautiful day and I am in good health and...'

'Liel,' my father interrupted, 'I've something for you.'

He gave my uncle an amulet shaped in the form of a great sword, a sidhe
sword the crest of our family. My uncle withdrew inward and began chanting
under his breath. The amulet was outlined in a bright white light and the
sword burned with a bright fire. He placed it around my neck and though it
was on fire I could feel no warmth.

'My dear daughter, this is a symbol of your heritage. Keep this close to you
and one day it will serve you well. Now return to your room and rest up for
your banquet tonight.'

I left the throne room and made my way back to my room. I knew something
was wrong, I just didn't know what. I was becoming rather afraid.

                              --*--*--*--

'So you are Liel? And a princess of the fairy folk?'

'Aye, you could say that.'

He looked at me eagerly, waiting for me to continue, but alas it was very
late and I was tired.

'Good sir, I would love to finish my tale but it is late and I am tired. If
you could allow me a room, I will finish my tale on the morrow.'

He nodded visibly disappointed, and gave me a key to one of the rooms
upstairs.

'Good night, your Majesty,' he said with a bit of a mock bow.

I smiled and went to my room.

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

                     Letters from the Queen, I

A small white pigeon ducked down into the turret, sweeping past Lady
Emrysia's head with a start. She frowned at it, shooing it towards it's
cage. 'Land THERE,' she reproached, pointing to it's cage. 'NOT on my
shoulder!'

With a gentle fluttering it perched atop the gilded cage and waited
patiently for her to untie the message from it's tiny leg. Emrysia did
such, and in opening the small scroll found a letter.


    To My Confidante...
       Days have passed with my druid teachers unable to assist. Why
    for do we call ourselves druids when we are unable to help
    another? Is this not our calling?

       *sigh* I am so frustrated. Not one herb has worked. Not one
    potion. We have cast stones and revered each God and Goddess in
    their own right... To no avail. Even the elder Archdruids seem
    befuddled. I would have thought at least Cernnunos would answer my
    calls.. I sometimes forget Sparky is of the elements and not
    simple beast. Laying hands or poultice to him do not even work. I
    do not understand his illness, it is beyond me. I wish Rowane was
    here, he understands the workings of created beings far more than
    I. And I miss my mate.

       I left the circle some 4 days ago to start my journey across
    the deserts towards the Sultan. The air is so dry, even more so
    than near our own Kingdom. Water is becoming more scarce and
    Sparky seems more listless. I am grateful for being able to purify
    it for some of these lands still seem so alien to me, I admit I am
    leery of their food and drink. And worse still I am afraid to give
    water to Sparky- a fire Salamander, something I had never thought
    to deal with before. But now in this dire heat, my worn bones
    ponder it. There is little shelter save for an oasis or two along
    the way. I hope this journey does not take one of us.

       And I suspect Sparky knows where we are going as well, for he
    has hidden his keys. *smile* He must think we have come to return
    his 'toy'.

            Always, 
                MoiraGwyn

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

                  SCANDAL IN GOTHAM CITY HEAVY INDUSTRY

[Gotham, USA] An intern at Wayne Industries, Gotham City, today published
several sensitive documents on a Yahoo! Geocities free website. The files,
acquired from a ranking executive's desk, form a series of letters
exchanged between the senior staff of Wayne Industries and a so far
unidentified person who goes under the alias of 'the Shadow.' Describing
in accurate detail financial and personal circumstances of several key
politicians of Gotham City as well as media celebrities and officials of
the Justice Department, the Shadow evidently has been in a position to not
only blackmail Wayne Industries for considerable sums of wealth, but also
to manipulate the activities of the industrial giant.

The documents have been appropriated by the authorities and the website
has been shut down by request of Wayne Industries officials, threatening
Yahoo! with a lawsuit if the commercial web hotel failed to comply. The
FBI is currently investigating with special interest the allegories made
to various Gotham vigilantes, as well as a series of references to the
'necessary rendering politically incapacitated of certain members of the
(masonic?) organization, the Knights of Legend.'

Secretary of the Knights, Lawrence Windstrom, refuses to comment on the
activities of the presumably masonic or neo-chivalric group as regards the
Shadow. 'It is true,' writes Windstrom in a fax, 'that a large number of
senior knights were dismissed from our ranks on grounds that were later
revealed to be false. This was a case of deliberate misinformation from
our political opponents. It is not our choice at the time being to involve
the authorities in these matters, though we will obviously be at the
service of any law enforcement officials who requests our cooperation.'
The secretary adds that the Knights has approached their disgraced members
in an attempt to reconcile the lodge.

The Gotham City Police Department has made no official statements regarding
the purpose and nature of this secret correspondance, yet an un-named
source inside Wayne Industries let this reporter know that 'It was all
about the money. There's a lot of wealth tied up in this operation, and by
creating dissent between Mr. Wayne and his associates, the Shadow was able
to funnel a considerable amount to his own Swiss accounts.'

Who knows? The Shadow knows.

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

         An Epilogue from the Deathtrap Looters, Volume 7 Issue 20.

Preacher Kaine stood at attention in the middle of his campground, eyes
staring straight ahead but completely unseeing. His mind was obviously
wandering, far away, unaware. In his arms a large black bag bulged, close
to overflowing, choice pieces of equipment carefully packed away. He had
been careless, he had been greedy, he was carrying more than was his right.
And they knew.

A keen sense of hearing could pick them up, far away, but getting nearer.
Imminent, unstoppable, like an incoming tide. Skittering claws, gnashing
teeth, gutteral growls. And still he stands there, staring ahead, unaware.
A single lucky coin in his fingers, looted from the corpse of Fith-Fath,
will be his undoing. The invisible observer longs to shake him awake, to
scream in his ear, to knock the offending article to the ground, in an
attempt to save him from the impending disaster. But still he stands there.

The tumbling black tide sweep over the edge of the glen and into the
campground's clearing, swarming over the stationary figure like a wave of
angry ants. Equipment is stripped away from unresisting fingers, and
clothing removed with the frightening efficiency of a pack of piranhas.
Each item in turn is hauled away back over the edge of the glen, to be
hidden away in the dark hidden void, never to be seen again. The group howl
as one with excited joy as they lay their claws upon an old hunting horn.
And still he stands there.

It takes only seconds and now he stands there totally naked, but still with
the same vacant stare. The remaining Deathtrap Looters pause for a moment,
and circle around. They leap as one and knock him to the ground, and drag
him away as well.

Hours pass before Kaine's mind returns, regaining consciousness in a busy
Harbour somewhere in the Caribbean. He notices the curious stares of the
sailors ambling past, before becoming aware of his own state of undress. He
turn his face to the sky and screams a long single note of dispair before
shuffling aimlessly away.

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                 Eer bes a fine scuff newfie style byes.

Use bes needen da followen tings,

1 pound per person of just cut outda der gobs cod tounges
alf a brick of real budder
2 andfuls of flour
couple eggs fres outda da 'en 'ouse
some taters outda da garden still dirdy
salt pork still squelen
a finger ov salt and a finger ov pepper
a couple on'uns all teary eyed
a stirren spoon
a fryen pan or two.

ers wa yas do now den, yas takes dem tounges write good like and washes em
clean. Den ya cracks dem eggs in a bowl or sometin andy like and dips dem
tounges write on in der. take em outda da egg and roll em in da flour, do
dat til der all covered in flour eac one of dem. Next ya bes taken dat
budder and meltin som of it in da fryen pan. once ya ears it sizzle yas
takes dem der tounges and som cut up salt park and puts it in da fryen pan.
cook dem tounges on eac side til golden brown, ifs day start to blend in wit
da fryen pan, des overcooked and yer a bad cook. ya can toss in som on'uns
at dis point if ya wants but its not needed. Now in de order pan ya cuts up
yer tadders affer cleanen em and slices im in roun circles. budder up ya pan
wit da rest of da budder and slap in dem der tadders wit som cut up on'uns.
add dem fingers of salt and pepper and fries em til dem tadders gets a
second skin of brown. If yas wants ya can get som lemon and squezz em over
da tounges affer dey cooked but true newfies wouldn't ave it. Der ya goes, a
good scoff of tounges and tadders. Enjoy byes!

Rulfe'a da fisherman

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

                           A DATE WITH DEATH

An errant breeze wafted through the room, its barely detectable passage
marked by the slight guttering of the myriad candles that had been lit just
a few moments before. Standing against the walls in their elaborate
wrought-iron holders, they were like tall, silent sentinels, nothing in the
room escaping their golden gaze. Well, almost nothing.

Reclining lazily on a pile of silken cushions, Lilian smiled to herself as
she observed several nooks and crannies still bathed in shadow. Where there
was light, there was always shadow. A stray breeze once more assailed the
room, its chaotic cadence enticing the shadows on the walls, floor and
ceiling to dance. Laughing with delight, Lilian leapt to her feet, an
impulsive urge to be one with the darkness compelling her to join the
shadows in their black celebration. With this aim in mind, she headed
towards the row of candles nearest to her, her intention to snuff out their
flames, one by one.

A sudden, metallic click from the door stopped her in her tracks. With a
sigh of disappointment, she turned to face whomever of her clanmates was
about to enter the room.

After a few muffled cries of pain, the handsomely carved door set in the
archway was opened, admitting the dark horseman, Riven, and what looked like
the remnants of a human slung carelessly over his shoulder.

'Here she is,' Riven said, grinning wickedly. Still breathing heavily from
his strenuous task, he staggered further into the room and, making sure
there were no pillows around to cushion the blow, flung the battered body to
the cold, stone floor, pushing it away from him.

Chuckling quietly, the Dark Lord's Darling advanced on the prone figure,
smiling in delight as she absorbed the deplorable condition of Riven's
captive - beaten, bloody, bound and gagged. 'Just the way I like them,' she
whispered, unconsciously giving voice to her thoughts.

Raising her eyes to Riven's, she nodded her respect. 'I see you know how to
treat traitors,' she stated, unable to keep the deeply impressed tone from
her voice.

Riven nodded solemnly at her words. 'Just doing the Dark Lord's bidding,'
he said, a sneer twisting his usually bland features into a mask of
arrogance.

The 6-inch stiletto heels of her black, leather boots struck the stone floor
sharply with each step as Lilian circled slowly around Masha. Flinching at
the sound of every step, the beaten druidess moaned about the gag and
stirred, one eye slowly opening, the other swollen completely shut from her
recent beating.

The Dark Lord's Darling struck the woman lightly on the cheekbone with the
hilt of her weapon, the sickening crunch of collapsing tissue bringing a
satisfied smirk to her full, carmine lips. Receiving no response, Lilian
crouched and reached down to grab a fistful of Masha's tangled, bloodied
hair. The druidess' good eye narrowed and she hissed in agony as her former
Guild Mistress' action pulled at the gag in her mouth, slicing even further
into her already mutilated face. Leaning in close, Lilian glared into
Masha's face, pulling her hair just a little more.

'Why?' the Dark Lord's Darling hissed into Masha's pain-wracked eye. 'Why
have you done this? The Dark Lord served you well. Why have you betrayed
Him?'

Unable to contain himself, Riven stode over and, face set into a stone mask,
kicked Masha repeatedly in the side, 'You gave Him greater power by creating
His Soldiers, then betray Him!', he bellowed at her. Lilian snickered
quietly then put a calming hand upon Riven's arm.

'Careful dear, we don't want her to die,'  she cautioned. Nodding her
approval as Riven visibly attempted to calm himself, she added, '...yet.'

Masha groaned, her ruined lips emitting nothing but muffled gibberish around
the gag. She squirmed slightly, the movement sending searing jolts of pain
throughout her body.

Howling around the blood-soaked gag, she directed all her remaining energy
towards capturing and containing those last threads of conscious thought
that threatened to leave her here, undefended, against her enemies.

Lilian pursed her lips in disgust as she observed the woman's pathetic
efforts. Indicating Masha with a nod of her head, she commanded, 'Riven,
remove her gag...no, wait - just loosen it enough so she can speak.'

Riven nodded and strode over to the crumpled druidess. Pulling her head up
roughly, he loosened the gag, leaving his gauntleted hand entangled in her
hair. Smiling ferally, he pressed his fingers into her scalp, the tiny
spikes of mail digging deeply into Masha's skull, causing the tiny rivulets
of blood flowing from beneath his fingers to dye her hair a deeper shade of
red.

'Speak, thou traitorous dog!' Lilian snarled, her contempt at Masha's
pain-filled gasps radiating from her. Riven glanced at his Guild Mistress
thoughtfully. He wondered if she noticed the way her speech reverted to
archaic forms when she was about the Dark Lord's business. Just how old was
she?  He shook his head to bring his attention back to the matter at hand.
Musings about his mysterious clanmate would have to wait.

'I am no traitor,' Masha mumbled in response, her aching jaw and split lips
making it difficult for her to speak.

Lilian nonchalantly flipped the Dark Lord's toenail. Cold, callous, she
peered at Masha, punctuating her words by slowly slapping her weapon against
the palm of her hand.

'Thou art aware, thou maggot, that liars can do no harm without their
tongues?' she threatened quietly.

The traitor gave Lilian a grim look with her open eye, whimpering quietly
with the pain that still wracked her body. The Dark Enforcer spat on the
ground by Masha's head, then kicked her violently in the ribs.

'Thy feeble squirmings move me not,' said Lilian, the coldness in her voice
almost lowering the temperature of the room, so icy was its tone. 'Explain
thine actions now, or suffer the Dark Lord's vengeance.' She nodded to
Riven. 'Remove its gag, but stay behind it, and rest thy weapon across its
throat.'

Receiving no response, Lilian nodded, crying, 'So be it!', and, in a fluid
motion that bespoke years of familiarity, snuck up behind Masha, placing the
Dark Lord's toenail in her back.

The power of the Dark Lord lending her added agility, Lilian quickly
attacked, obliterating Masha with her horrific piercings. Grinning with
bloodthirsty delight, Riven joined in the attack, demolishing Masha with the
burning pierce of his hideous, crimson scythe, the hellfire engulfing it
casting fantastic patterns of light and shadow over all the room's surfaces.

Blood spattered the room and its occupants. Cackling madly, the two Dark
Enforcers delighted in the bloodlust their violent attack had spawned within
them.

'Thou hath been beaten to within an inch of thy life, thou poor excuse for a
living being,' Lilian spat, her words laboured with the heavy breathing
caused by her recent exertions. Eyes alight with something akin to madness,
she moved to stand behind Masha, her weapon lightly touching the nape of the
near-dead druidess' neck. Her hands shaking slightly from the adrenalin
rush, she gave her former clanmate one final chance to redeem herself in the
Dark Lord's eyes.  'Hast thou had enough, worm?  Canst thou tell me thou
hath not yet learned thy lesson?'

Masha suffered from her bleeding wounds, shivering convulsively, the poison
that had coated the Enforcers' weapons rapidly destroying what remained of
her body cells.

'Da....help me...!' she moaned, a single tear from her barely open eye
cutting a twisted path through the blood and filth coating her ravaged face.

The Dark Lord's Darling snorted derisively. 'Thy father cannot help thee
now.'

Masha looked up, blood from her extreme head wounds pooling in her eyes,
blinding her. Eyes rolling into her head, she fought once more to remain
awake. She moaned and, after gagging on the blood in the back of her
throat, whispered, 'I... I will be... s-supreme...'

Lilian looked over at Riven, the contempt and disgust she felt mirrored on
the dark horseman's face. 'This... thing,' she stated, kicking Masha once
more, 'is not worth His time.'

Grasping the hilt with both hands, Lilian smiled triumphantly as she pushed
the point of her weapon up into Masha's skull, giggling madly as her former
clanmate's body stiffened before slumping to the ground, dead. As the last
echoes of the woman's tearing deathcry filled the room with despair, she
leaned down, wiping her weapon clean with the tattered remnants of Masha's
cloak.

Eyes glowing with pride, she raised her weapon into the air, crying, 'In His
Name!', the dark horseman by her side echoing the sentiment wholeheartedly.
'So shall all who betray the one, True Lord, perish.'

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

                     Letters from the Queen, II

Lady Emrysia spoke quietly with the sorceress at the gate. Word was sent to
King Rowane and he would be headed straight to Agrabah to meet up with Queen
MoiraGwyn. Finally! She nodded and thanked the visitor for the information.
The well-spoken woman was clearly of the Hermetic order. Though somewhat
mysterious, she was known to be a friend of Rowane and MoiraGwyn.

What was Emrysia now to do? With no chancellor chosen, should she stay and
tend to the castle or go and meet with the others? She was running out of
time to decide. She belonged at the Queen's side, but being the most trusted
of the still meager staff, someone had to keep watch over the kingdom.

The sound of dense fluttering and a sharp THUD disturbed her thoughts. She
knew what that was. There was always that ONE poor pigeon that just wasnt
the brightest one in the flock...

Sure enough there he was, a pile of dented feathers and a triumphant coo
resting, of all places, on the bookshelf. He seems rather proud of himself.
Emrysia was still surprised this one found his way back.

He nipped quietly at message attached to his foot, which Emrysia helped him
remove. She recognized MoiraGwyn's scrawl.

    Dearest Emrysia,
      Never, ever, EVER again!

      I do so adore the Sultan, and this being my first visit since
      the wedding, he was overjoyed at our presence, even despite
      Rowane not being here. But his son, Prince Shahriar- Ugh! Roses
      and flirtacious behavior constantly. I can usually handle such
      with a polite smile but every time I have passed him, there he
      goes again! Sparky is too weak to defend me and this afternoon I
      found him in the guest room of the Sultan's palace where our
      bags were. Such nerve. And the way the thieves roam so free
      here, I am ready to lock myself in and barracade the doors! I
      still dont understand it but the thieves seem to have quite a
      liking for the young Prince as well. A bit unnerving.

      This afternoon I met with the Sultan and his Court Magician. It
      embarrasses me to say it, but there is just something about that
      mage I do not trust. I know not why the Sultan has such faith
      in him, for me his oily ways trail nothing but reason for
      distrust. I am spending half my time watching the Sultan's back
      for fear of finding the Magician's dagger in it.

      However,  he did say something that I think may help. And he did
      such inadvertantly. A small, snide comment escaped his lips
      about returning Sparky from whence he came.

      'From whence he came.'  Born of fire and magic, is he not?

      I need Rowane with great urgency!

      I need to seek sources of grand fire and magic. Maybe of power
      as well? I am not much of a mage, I know little of Sparky's
      creation. Am I to gather symbolism of these things?

      For all that I do not know, certainly it appears that Magician
      holds answers he will not share.

      And my sweet Salamander is good for judgement as well, he does
      not like that Magician either. He belched a stream of fire that
      all but burned that Magician's robe right off his back. (that
      was actually where that comment about taking Sparky back where
      he came from started). But I behaved and whilst a wry smile did
      escape my lips, I remembered not to laugh at him. There may be
      hope for me yet as a royal, though indeed I do know I should be
      attending lessons to make me more.. courtly. I wish them luck
      with that one. But I will not worry of that until we are safe
      and sound at home.

      This will keep me racked and pacing until I can understand how
      to use the source of Sparky's creation to aid him. Maybe I
      should be spending more time studying his behavior and aches to
      help understand?

      If you have come across any news, please send it right away!

         Always,
                 Queen MoiraGwyn

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