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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER FOURTEEN                                  April 6, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events

            In-Game Information Warnings: How to Avoid Them

                            Recent Updates
                           Recent Q&A Topics
                DID YOU KNOW: Exploring & Mapping Safely

                              LEGENDITES
                            Announcements
                              Clan News
                          The Life of Judah
                            A DARK UNION
                               Finarra
                             Angels Fall
                  Laughing Eyes' Journey, Part Two
                            The Petition
                              A Brother
                         The Sinner's Scars
                        A Letter to the Queen
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                        The Editor's Note                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

As I mentioned in last week's issue, exploration is a current issue. I've
heard some people say, 'Yeah, yeah, been there done that, even the
t-shirt was blah.' but then there were the countless others (oldbies and
lowbies alike) who were completely and utterly disoriented on April
Fool's Day when we changed 4 or 5 exits that lead into popular areas and
randomized at which (less popular) inn you would come back into the game.
  
Builders have a hard time gauging why an area might be less popular and
tend to see updating as futile if no one is going to go there any way
since "everyone knows that area sucks!" But it's also frustrating to sit
back and listen to people complain how bored they are and then look at
how they're spending their time: sitting in their houses, the ooc, or in
one of a handful of areas. Just about as frustrating as hearing someone
ask on chat to be taken from one place to another that is a simple path
that they should have been over on their own numberous times by their
current level.
  
Instead of spending my time on the "popular" areas for the next few
months and for the Summer Odyssey, I'm going to focus on working in the
lesser known parts of the world and those that have been deemed to "suck
cause there's nothing worthwhile there." I don't think there is much else
I can do if people WANT to be bored and to complain about being bored
other than to enjoy the peace and plenty shared only shared by
adventurous players who wouldn't be completely and utterly lost if
certain areas vanished.
 
-Kaige
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
            [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]
   
                               April 2002
                          S  M Tu  W Th  F  S
                             1  2  3  4  5  6  
                          7  8  9 10 11 12 13  
                         14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
                         21 22 23 24 25 26 27  
  
Wednesday, April    10th   9:00 pm           Comedy Club 
Thursday,  April    11th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Wednesday, April    17th   9:00 pm           Cooking Contest
Thursday,  April    18th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Wednesday, April    24th   9:00 pm           Randomized Limericks Contest
Thursday,  April    25th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|        In-Game Information Warnings: How to Avoid Them          |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

I personally have issued a number of warnings and told many people to be
more careful recently with in-game info on channels, and I know other
immortals have done the same. There seems to be a rash of forgetfulness
among some regarding what is allowable on channels in terms of in-game
information, along with just general confusion and newbies who haven't
read/understood all the rules.

So, in an attempt to prevent more warnings and clarify things (and ease
my workload!)... You get this boring article.

A summary of the rules with regards to in-game information:

     HELP RULES #10: In-game information (such as mob or item stats,
     quest solutions, etc.) may not be placed on public channels or
     boards (including clan boards, and clan channels).

     HELP AUCTION: Regarding item stats, quests, mob stats,
     location, and whether they are currently alive: you may give
     out the stats of items on AUCTION if and only if YOU are
     offering that item for sale.

Great, so what does this mean? Basically, the only exception to RULE #10
is the sale of items on auction. If you are selling an item, YOU are
allowed to announce stat-type information (rent, quality, stats, special
affects, etc) to provide prospective buyers with an educated purchase.
This does not mean your buddy or a good samaritan can provide this
information on the channel safely. ONLY the seller.

How can you avoid getting a warning for giving out in-game information on
channels/boards? Here are a few tips. Mind you, there may be other
instances where an immortal may consider what you've said to be in-game
information, but these are some of the most common infractions seen.

     - If the seller of an item being auctioned announced it wrong,
       send them a tell letting them know, don't announce the proper
       information on auction.

     - Don't say what mobs have what items, or what quest gives you
       what items. Don't ask if mob X has item A. Some items are
       associated with the mob/quest they come from, but generally
       don't include the full name of the item itself, such as Nat's
       breeches or Dragut's sash. Take caution with these! Choose
       one term or the other to be on the safe side when stating you
       want to buy/sell/trade them.

     - Be careful when expressing your desire to buy random-stat
       items. Plenty of people have been able to ask for them
       without saying WHICH stats were involved. Ask for the 3/3/-1
       stuffed dog named Diddley instead of the +3 stat1/+3 stat2/-1
       stat3 stuffed dog named Diddley.

     - Watch out when looking for quest hints that you're not giving
       out quest information in your question. Ask if anyone can
       send you a tell and help you with the quest for eternal life
       instead of asking at which point you drink from the fountain
       of youth.

     - Take care when inquiring if a certain location/mob acts the
       same way... Such as if you need to have a pogo stick to not
       get injured or killed in A BUSY STREET or if you need that
       halo before the angels will let you into heaven.

     - If someone needs directions somewhere, send them a tell or be
       vague - Legend is based off real-world maps, afterall...
       Specific 3n4s2w directions to player housing/clan halls are
       allowable, but otherwise don't be putting that sort of
       information in a more public place.

     - Don't say what stats are needed to learn a skill or
       spellword. Send it in a tell! In addition, don't be giving
       out where to learn skills or words on channels/boards.

This pertains to ALL channels and boards - Chat, Info, Clan
channels, Gossip, conferences (and Auction - with the exception of
stats only when you are selling), Clan/Personal housing boards,
News, Classifieds... So be careful. When in doubt, be vague or send
a friend a tell.

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

    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    Misc Changes
 /_    _\     o prone position and 'lay' command to lie down
   |  |       o kneel position and 'kneel' command to kneel
   |  |       o "hints" now works for the tips command
   |  |       o new redeem options: 1 point for four mundane coupons; 1
   |__|         point for four add-a-color coupons. 1 point to change an
    /\          existing pretitle
   /  \       o pretitles are now sorted and displayed in 3 columns in
  /    \        redeem
 /_    _\     o you can now make bags with the tailor skill
   |  |     
   |  |     Bug Fixes
   |  |       o afk no longer breaks hide/aim
   |__|       o room/house demolish now gives you a message if you can't
    /\          demolish because there is a mob in the house
   /  \       o "says to himself" fixed
  /    \      o if you try to meditate while meditating it now tells you
 /_    _\       that you are already meditating
   |  |     
   |  |     Typo Fixes
   |  |       o periods in the time command are now in the right place
   |__|       o stewing no longer make "a bowl of n ..."
    /\        o typo fix in beam of pain
   /  \       o couple typo fixes in statement
  /    \      o typo fix in study
 /_    _\     o sprawling message reads better
   |  |       o "an locked character" during creation
   |  |     
   |  |     
   |__|                        HELP FILE UPDATES  
    /\      
   /  \     The following helpfiles were recently updated:
  /    \    
 /_    _\       General Info: DECLINE, PRIZE STRING, INDUCT, PRETITLE, 
   |  |                       REDEEM, SCAVHUNT, SEEK
   |  |     
   |  |     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!)
   |__|     
    /\      
   /  \     Areainfo: The areas that have won Expies in the past now show
  /    \              a listing of the awards they have won when you type
 /_    _\             AREAINFO . Type AREAINFO to get complete
   |  |               area list and their keywords.
   |  |     
   |  |     
   |__|                       Installed Area Updates
    /\      
   /  \     17TH CENTURY SALEM, MASS.
  /    \        A couple fixes for Nathaniel Ingersoll.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     1802 ALASKA
   |  |         Tea kettle changed slightly. Vimka now offers
   |  |         auto-withdraw for certain high-price items. New-style
   |__|         arrows and quiver. Adds a couple more instances where you
    /\          can be enslaved by the Tlingits. Various bugs and typos
   /  \         fixed.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   AFRICAN SAVANNA
   |  |         Adjusts XP a little on elephant and rhino.
   |  |     
   |  |     BOSTON, MASS.
   |__|         Johnny no longer eats his quiver when he dies. Few fixes
    /\          for Harriet and Metacomat.
   /  \     
  /    \    CELTIC IRELAND, LEGENDS OF THE PAST
 /_    _\       Various 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.
   |  |     
   |__|             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 Harassment by an Imm?             o Changes to Redeem and Tokens?
 o Bug with Split?                   o Wed Night Games in April?
 o Bugs with Coffee Containers?      o April Fool's Day
 o More RP Seminars Planned?

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____       
  /  _  \   DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \  
      /  /  You don't have to be a Columbus or even a Magellan to learn to
     /  /   map the world around you without sailing off the edge and into
    /__/    a deathtrap or a den of aggressive mobiles.
    __      
   /  \     You don't have to be Asimov or possess an eidetic memory in
   \__/     order to learn your way around the world just by rote.
   _____       
  /  _  \   While the geography of LegendMUD reflects that of the real
 /__/ \  \  world, it is advised that you map as you explore the world for
      /  /  your own purposes and well-being.
     /  /   
    /__/    Many clients allow for automatic mapping as you travel, but
    __      don't usually provide you with a spatial sense of how the
   /  \     world is laid out.
   \__/     
   _____    Besides, you likely already have the two most important tools   
  /  _  \   at your disposal. A pencil and a sheet of paper. Graph paper
 /__/ \  \  can come in handy, but is not a requirement. For the most
      /  /  part, this is how builders design and build their own maps.
     /  /   
    /__/    Mazes: Finally a use for those coins you're carrying around!
    __             The trick is to drop 1* 1 coin in the first room, and
   /  \            then drop 2* 1 coin in the second room, and so on until
   \__/            you have your maze mapped out and numbered with what
   _____           exits lead where. The only risk here is not paying
  /  _  \          close attention and having your coins picked up.
 /__/ \  \  
      /  /  Avoiding Danger: If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory,
     /  /          the first thing to do is turn OFF brief and look at
    /__/           where you are. There will be warnings mentioned in the
    __             room description, when you look in a particular
   /  \            direction or at particular things mentioned in the
   \__/            room. Also pay attention to the mobs around you.
   _____       
  /  _  \   Avoiding Deathtraps(DTs): The EXITS command is your best ally
 /__/ \  \         when you're walking around and you're not sure where
      /  /         you are exactly. DEATHTRAPS are always lit and have
     /  /          titles in ALL CAPS so they can even be seen and avoided
    /__/           at night or if you're light is out.
    __      
   /  \     Exploration is often called dangerous, but for the cautious,
   \__/     patient and observant player it shouldn't be a problem as long
   _____    as you remember to LOOK at things thoroughly and that you can   
  /  _  \   LOOK in specific directions to get more infomation before
 /__/ \  \  stepping in that direction. The EXITS command, having BRIEF
      /  /  off and paying attention to what you are doing should make for
     /  /   safer exploration.
    /__/    
    __      Besides, if you're finding levelling to be slow or you're bored
   /  \     in your usual haunts, it can be quite rewarding to find a place
   \__/     no one else frequents and you might find something new.

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

              Nietzsche has reached 400 million experience!
               Emrysia has reached 300 million experience!

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

     It is with great joy that Cahira and I invite you all to our
     wedding tonight, Saturday, April 6th, at 21:00 system time. 
     The ceremony will take place in the large tree located in the
     faerie forest near Tara. We would ask that all guests attend
     in peace - please, leave any grudges at home. Having said
     that, we happily look forward to seeing you all at this glad
     event.

         - Jiriki i-Sa'onserei

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

It seems that McDougan misses Madame Decara's horoscopes so much that he's
taken the time to scribble down some of his own between sips of his ale.

                      The Legendmud Horryshcoopsh

Aquariush, The Ushquebeg-bearer
    The shtarsh predict that putting Ushquebeg intae pilesh o' tartan
    ragsh will be verra luiky for ye. Yer luiky colour ish tartan.

Pisces, the fish.
    Shtay oot o' London, or ye will be fried nnd battered! Ye are a water
    shign, and ash shuch, evil.

Ariesh, the Ram:
    Ash a ram, ye shuid be wi' the flock. Sae get back wi' them befair I
    whap ye wi' m' shepherd'sh crook!

Taurush, the Bull
    Tae prove yer shtrength, the shtarsh recommend taking oop Caber
    toshing. They dunnae recommend battling larrge hairy men wi' namesh
    like Butch.

Gemini, the Twinsh
    The shtarsh think ye shuid buigger off. They dunnae care fer ye! Ye
    woont shoom?

Cancer, the Crabby Auld Man
    Ash the patron shaintsh o' Crabby Auld Men, thish week, waishop Quimby
    and Ibrahim.

Leo, the Lion
    Sae ye want tae be a shepherd? I cnn offer ye a verra guid deal on a
    shlichtly ushit sheep...  Whit ye mean ye dunnae want tae be ane? The
    shtarsh demand it!

Virgo, the Virgin
    The shtarsh think that shoom o' ye hevnae been living up tae the
    requirementsh o' being a Virgo. Eshpeshially thoshe o' ye wi'
    Children. Gif ye think ye may be invalid, pleashe retairn yershel tae
    point o' manufacture, where yer maither may, or may nae, gie ye  a
    shtern talking tae!

Libra, the Shcalesh o' Jushtishe
    Ye hev noothin on ush! Ye cannae proove onything - whitsh that? Och,
    richt. Thish week, guid luik will reshult in freeing ony shcotsh ye
    micht want tae imprishon or aitherwishe hairt.


Shcorpio, the Shcorpion:
    The Shcorpion King Arishesh! Kindly join in helping him ficht off the
    nashty archaeologisht who wuid shtop him. Anubish thanksh ye.

Shagittariush, the Archer:
    Ye will be involved in verra bad melodrama thish week. Hooe'er, the
    bad melodrama may be partially avoided by comic relief. Try
    befriending comical and likable ladsh.

Capricorn, the Goat:
    The shtarsh insisht that ye eshplore mony new aareash thish week.
    Thish fortune ish shponshored by the immairtalsh o' LegendMood.

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

      The Virtucon PK Clan was formed by DoctorEvil on April 02, 2002.

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

The members of the newly formed Virtucon certainly came out swinging this
week. The IRA and the Mercenaries remained fairly active this week, but
with the exception of the Grendels, it looks like everyone else sat around
eating eating too much chocolate and candy and took PK-Life quietly while
recovering from their sugar highs. Question is, what will happen THIS week?

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

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 http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/gm.html.

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

                         The Life of Judah
 
                          (...continued )

The Bahan Sopeh soon grew and was well known thought the lands. Judah was
needed at his family's home in Peru. During his absense certain things had
happened, a selling of souls by one of his group the main event. Judah
returned to also find that many of his once core group were gone, among
them, Keith, Gorgan, who is called Chicken-Slayer, the paladin of Aslan,
Camaris and Guilo, a young bard. Judah and Haley spent much time
attempting to understand what had caused the rift in the clan. Finally,
when Judah thought he had gotten control back, he was dealt a devastating
blow, his brother Joab was killed, and his wife Haley was taken to be with
Aslan forever.

First his mother was killed, then he lost the majority of his clan, his
daughter was whisked away by her new husband, Bruson, now his brother and
wife were dead as well. He was alone, without his family for the first
time in 60 years. The grief was too much for Judah. He left the clan he
had put heart and soul into, and became a bit of a hermit, seeing only
certain people, and then not often. This once great knight slumped into a
great depression, a depression worse than he had ever thought possible.

He spent days on end alone, in caves or wandering battle sites of the
past. He would even go and have tea with Lord Marcel Alexander, lord of
the 7th Circle of the Inferno. This was his existance for quite some time,
until and old friend stopped him near the crusades and asked Judah to
break fast with him. Frater Tancred de Gisborne took Judah to the temple
and employed, for lack of a better term, tough love techniques. Tancred
told Judah that he was dishonouring God by being a poor steward of the
talents and gifts he had been given. This, coupled with his old friend's
care and finding that Camaris had been looking for him snapped him back
into life. He joined the Knights of the Temple and was feeling a place for
himself once again.

Unfortunatly, it was a short-lived return to glory... Judah found himself
once again angered by the demonspawn servant to Marcel, one called Soze.
They battled, and Soze came out the victor, send Judah, at last, to see
Aslan. Smiling, Judah looked up at his friend Keith and said, "Mourn not
for me, for I finally get to see my Haley again. Do not let vengence and
hatred consume you. Be better than him, do not do his work for him.'

Then, as most have heard, Judah saw Aslan, and was sent back to keep the
balance intact. He easily found the one he sought, as he only needed to
look one place, the Seven Circles.

'It figures,' Judah thought grimly, 'seems that most of the ones I have
troubles with seem to find their way to him sooner or later.'

Jin sought Judah out and taunted him about not being able to stay with
Haley, tell Judah that he was the reason he was sent back. When Judah
suggested that Jin go to his vulture god and become then next scavenged
meal for Tash, Jin threw himself on Judah, using his dark powers to try to
with the very life away from Judah's body. Judah felt power surging within
him, he looked closly at Jin and prayed, "Give me power, Oh Aslan, to
defeat this foe, send your holy fire to cleanse this place," and flames
shot from his hands, killing Tash's servant. Judah took the idol of Tash
that had dropped from Jin's lifeless hands and prayed the same prayer,
incinerating the vulture statue and sending its ashes to the corners of
the lands. 'Aslan should be well satisfied now, as I have finsihed the
task he set before me.' Judah thought, 'I can now go back to Haley.'  He
looked to the sky and said in a loud voice, "I have done what was asked of
me. I am ready to return now."  Judah waited to see if it would be a firey
chariot, or something dramatic like that, but nothing happened. He sought
out some of the other members of the Knights of the Temple, each one
offering regards and lauds of his recent victory. He had lost most of his
family, some dead, some scattered among the lands, off on their own life
quests. It seemed that Keith and Camaris, and Tancred, Trinity, Paul
Maud'dib, and the rest of the Knights of the Temple were his family now,
how he longed for the day that he would be together with them all at the
same time again.

                      (...to be continued...)

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

                           A DARK UNION

'What shall become of the Soldiers, Lilian?' Riven quiety enquired. 'They
are a power the Dark Lord could use.'

Lilian nodded ponderously, frowning at Masha's fading bloodstain on the
stone floor. Pity about the rug, although she did gain some satisfaction
from the knowledge that the blood staining its corner was her old enemy's.
'The Dark Lord shall decide her fate.' She lifted her gaze to search wildly
about the room, as if trying to find something in the ephemeral shadows
flickering chaotically around her. 'He may yet return her to this plane. He
has done so with me, countless times.' She shrugged and turned away from
the dark horseman, a weary sigh escaping her full lips.

'If this is the case, and He means for us to work together, we shall, of
course, abide by His wishes,' she declared solemnly.

Riven nodded in agreement. 'Of course,' he said, sneering.

'We shall await His judgement,' she murmured again and moved to take a seat
by the desk. Fingering the hilt of her sheathed weapon she turned her back
to Riven, unceremoniously dismissing him.

Realising she wished to commune with the darkness, he bowed and, without
further discussion, made his way towards the exit.

The door slammed shut behind him, a metallic CLICK! sounding throughout the
room as he turned the heavy key in the lock.

Once more alone, Lilian leaned back into her chair, pondering the many
branchings she could foresee in the Dark Enforcers' future. She stared
rapturously into the shadows - the beautiful shadows dancing across the
walls - her delicate fingers brushing the hilt of the Dark Lord's toenail.
Against the cold, stone walls the tall, silent sentinels stood by, their
golden gaze once again settling over the room.

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

                              Finarra

Finarra groaned.

'Those pookahs really ought to be less liberal with my tokens' grumbled
the King of the Unseelie Sidhe as the stranger stumbled through the
Underhill paths to reach the blackthorn tree. Finarra enjoyed his place
under this particular tree, mainly because of ready access to its many
branches to fulfil those never-ending requests to gain his favour. Then
what do those ingrates do? They litter his throneroom with unwanted rings.
The least they could do would be to take it back to the hapless city of
Tara and exasperate Aengus, innkeeper of the Silver Branch Inn, who also
seems to have a problem cleaning up endless bits of blackthorn as well
tokens from the other sidhe court. Oonagh probably has the same problem,
but a floor full of platinum is much more attractive than a floor full of
blackthorn, at least to the mortal eye. Finarra's main gripe was
that blackthorn is not easy on the feet, and he made a mental note to
summon a pair of his unseelie sidhe's boots for himself sometime
soon.

Anyway, he turned to face the stranger. 'Not too high a level', he mused
with a sigh of relief. Normally strangers who were puny tended to ask him
for favours. Those big enough tended to just attack, and normally win too,
banishing him to that void until such time as he could return. Every time
he sees demons, titans, sprites, salamanders and that lot he makes a
mental note to ask Fionn to discourage such rebellious acts. Maybe by
lowering his exp value, or maybe by allowing him to remove that damned
cloak and just give it away when they ask for it or perform a favour for
him. However, Fionn was never around, and Finarra resigned himself to his
fate. In any case, this stranger wasn't too big, and Finarra almost
wished that he would attack, giving him some relief from the monotony and
boredom of being a mob stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Finarra was disappointed when the stranger reached into his pocket and
produced a ring. A ring made of an almost watery substance which Finarra
recognised immediately. Than damned ring that almost everybody on the
world of Legend had somehow managed to obtain, and pass on to him or his
Daoine Sidhe counterpart for safe passage through the sidhe forests.
'Those pookahs should be suspicious as to how so many people end up
with their brothers' souls' mused Finarra, and suspected that
if the pookahs realised just how those adventurers had come by those souls
they would be less inclined to help them. 'Come here,' he
commanded.

The stranger approached with tentative, almost scared steps, as if worried
he would take the wrong step and run into the only sidhe in the Underhill
who didn't care what token you held. Despite Finarra's hope
for some cruel entertainment, the stranger held his nerve, kept to the
narrow path, and finally reached the base of the throne, holding up the
token as if demanding the usual response. Almost instinctively, Finarra
reached for the blackthorn tree and commanded a piece or branch to curl up
and drop into his palm. 'Go on, get it over with..' he sighed,
and launched his triggers, going afk to watch the television. Such was his
lot, and hopefully some day some builder would take pity on him and give
him a duty more glorious, more befitting the King of the Unseelie Sidhe.
Hopefully.

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

                            Angels Fall

---====Falling....falling....the wind ripping thru my hair, pain eating at
my body as I fall. No idea how long, no idea where from or to. The only
thing I know is that I am falling and I might never stop.====---


'Shhhh, she is begining to come around.' a man whispers harshly in the
darkness.

'Do you think she'll be alright?' A commanding voice bellows, inwardly I
flinch in the darkness, from the pain in my head or from the pain in my
body I couldnt tell.

A soft sigh comes from somewhere behind me and then the first man
whispers, 'We dont know mi'lord, there is no way to know for sure what
happened, or if she will be alright. She SEEMS fine, but we dont know who
she is.'

'YOU DON'T KNOW WHO SHE IS?!?!?!' the second man barked out, this time my
body visably winced as the I heard the first man whisper again, 'SHHHHHH,'
came the stern demand as I whimpered softly due to the church bells
ringing inside my head.

'M'lord, we could barely put her back together again. We had to send to
other lands for healers who could help. Her wounds where beyond any we had
seen or coped with before.' the gentle voice whispered.

He continued as I strained to hear what was being whispered about me.
'When she was found in the fields, there was little to nothing left of her
skin, her back and shoulders where one total open wound,' I stired and
winced at the pain in my back, my mind trying to picture everything the
voice was saying.

'It was as if everything on the back of her body was ripped off in the
fall or in the impact, we couldnt tell. She had wounds that seemed as if
they were caused by extremly large claws covering the rest of her body,
but they were filled with poison of some sort, the alchemist is still
trying to decipher excactly what sort of poison it is. But she seemed to
respond well to the anti-bodies we had on hand'

I heard the leader, or who I assumed was the leader by his tone and the
others deference to him, mumble to himself and then he just continued to
hmmm and make other clucking type noices with his tongue as I felt gentle
hands removing something slightly heavy from my body. I felt a rush of
cold air as whatever it was he removed was pulled fully away and then I
felt gentle hands touching my sides and limbs.

'She is recovering nicely, almost no scars except these two on her
shoulders, no matter what we've tried the wounds will not heal properly or
fully.' The healer sighed softly and then I felt the bandages being
replaced.

'Well, inform me when she is fully awake and ready for questioning, do you
understand me?' I heard the commander say forcefully.

With a sigh the healer replied. 'M'lord, I can not say when she will be
well enough for visitors, or questions, or anything aside from resting.'

'I decide who is to questioned and when around here, you do understand
that healer? Don't you?' I heard the commanding voice bellow. I winced
from the pain as my head started to throb in beat with both the voice and
my heart, my body begin to ache and I felt every scratch and scar on my
back pumping and throbing with every inflection of his voice as he
continued to bellow at the gentle healer.

My back began to go numb, the throbbing slowed thru my body and then I
felt myself begin to drift off. The gentle voice just whispered. 'Shhh,
rest now our angel. You need your rest to regain your strength, and maybe
someday you can tell us all the truth of your past and solve the mystery
of where you came from.'

'Angel...' that word echo'd over and over in my mind as I felt myself
drifting off into painless and blissful sleep. Could that be my name? It
seemed to feel right, but I couldnt say how or way. As my mind slowly
began to be effected by the pain agents the healer gave me I drifted off
fully into unconsiousness, the last word in my mind, 'Angel'

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

                Laughing Eyes' Journey, Part Two

The sun broke through the morning clouds not long after dawn. The horses
watched me with caution in their eyes. They had trusted me, right up to
the point where I had bound them. Now, things would be different. I would
be the human walking free. They would be my property as we walked through
the busy streets.

I took the bowler from a pack and placed it on my head, then stored the
Osage Orange bow under cover. It was the best I could do to blend in. To
the people of the city I would be an indian no matter what, an object of
distrust and fear, but with the hat they seemed to relax a bit, as if I
was playing by their rules. It is good for business and I never mind being
underestimated.

The dwellings gradually appeared with more and more frequency. Scattered
stone buildings growing closer together, taller, surrounding me in a
forest of offensive smells and sights. Finally the sounds overtook me as
the horses hooves struck the cobblestone roads, clicking in time. The
echoes of voices: womanly shrills and bellows of men, were chattering like
magpie. I stayed along the back alleys where the garbage wagons removed
the refuse of the rich. The three unbroken horses followed the lead of my
mount. They huddled closely, snorting and whipping thier tails in protest.
I managed to avoid the clatter of Newbury Street by crossing from ally to
ally and heading directly towards the river. I paused at the end of the
last ally, tucking my long braids up under the bowler. I breathed deeply
and set out across the lawn.

The wide, expanding green skirted the banks of the river. I walked the
horses across it to the dirt path as the waters edge. Groups of women with
and without escorts stopped conversations to watch me. I looked past them,
on the water, down the path, anywhere. They stood like pale sheep under
silk parasols. The whispers began and I was gone, past the bridge into the
industrial area.

I spotted the stern of the vessel from some ways off. The black hull of
the dilapidated passenger ship contrasted the light of day. 'S.S. Agnes'
was written in gold on the transom, under which someone had scrawled with
red paint 'Queen of Sorrow'. I made my way past the dockhands and their
scowls to the gangway. One of the crewmen stood watch. He was a ruddy
youngster that couldn't have been over 18 years. He smiled at me blankly,
his curly sun-bleached hair shifted in the breeze. I said nothing. He said
nothing. I reached into a pack and presented him with my documents. He
took them, but did not look at them.

'Oh, I don't need these. I mean, the Captain told me you were comin'.
Um...we don't get too many of you, so I just figured you was the one'.

I nodded.

' Um, you need help with these fellas?', he said, indicating the horses.

I smiled and looked past him as I began leading my charges up the gangway.

'well, uh, if you need anything the Captain said I'm the one to ask, so if
you need...'.

'Yes', I said, 'I understand'.

He was silent.

I secured and fed the horses and found my assigned steerage. It was dark
and without portholes. I dropped my packs and laid on the horsehair
mattress, looking for a dreamless sleep.

Princess Laughing Eyes of the Choctaw


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

                           The Petition

The Queen watched as the dark cloaked figure approached the throne. A
guard and herald spoke briefly to him, and the herald announced 'Your
Majesty, Jiriki i-Sa'onserei brings a petition before your throne.'
'Greetings to you, Jiriki. We hope your travels have been safe' Oonagh
intoned. The mutterings of the various nobles, however, did not escape the
young lord's notice, and he smiled briefly. Much to thier chagrin.

Jiriki handed a piece of gold edged parchment to a page, who brought it to
the Queen. He waited patiently as Oonagh read the contents...several
times, he noted. She glanced at him and asked quietly 'Are you sure this
is the route you want to take?' Jiriki looked rather pointedly at the
gathered court. 'Until just now, I had my doubts. But your nobles have
decided my course without question.'

The Queen was silent for some time. Finally, she stood. 'I have decided to
honor Jiriki's request. As of this moment, the House-of-Years-Dancing is
released from all vows of fealty to the throne, free to seek its own
path.' THAT silenced the various members of the court. Oonagh continued
quietly 'I hope you find the happiness you look for.' Fingering the
crystal ring within his cloak, the slender lord said 'I already have.'
With that, he turned and left the Queen and her court behind him.


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

                             A Brother

The sun shone bright in the sky the day Asher arrived at his destination.
He looked at the freshly cut grass, the neatly pruned trees and smiled to
himself. He and Kaleem paid well for this area to be as perfectly kept as
it was, in all the years he had come back here never once had he been
disappointed in the upkeep.

His mother loved this area, and when she and his father were killed, this
is where he and Kaleem had laid them to rest, along with Kaleem's father.
Asher came here three times a year, his mother's birthday, his father's
birthday, and on the anniversary of thier deaths. This was that
anniversary.

Asher always invited Kaleem to come along and it seemed, as always, that
Kaleem would not be coming.

Asher sat down in the grass and laid the flowers he had brought down in
front of the grave marker, and as he always did, began to talk to his
parents.

He told them about his promotion to Lt. Col. in the USL, and he told them
about the story that Henna had told him, that he might be descended from
some dark-skinned elves. He told them that he did not know if he believed
the story, or if he even wanted to. He began telling them about what
Kaleem had been up to, as he always did, when he heard a sond behind him.
He looked back, but saw nothing. He turned around again and sighed. He had
hoped that Kaleem had changed his mind. He began talking about Kaleem
again when he heard a quiet chuckle. He turned around again and saw his
brother leaning against a tree, a solemn look on his face.

'Kaleem, you came?' Asher asked.

'Yo, little bra, you still have dat knack fo' statin' de obvious.' Kaleem
chuckled. 'I be here, so you ain't be needin' to ta tell ma and pops, or
you pops what I be doin. I tell 'em mysef, aight?'

'Definatly Kaleem, you can tell them whatever you want.'

'Even 'bout dat Henna chick?' Kaleem teased.

'They already know.' Asher said smugly, but could not stop himself from
blushing. Sometimes he hated how Kaleem could do that to him, but now he
was just glad that his older brother had showed up.

'Aight then, little bra, lets do dis, and den how's 'bout we go grab
sometin ta eat and maybe a beer or two?'

'That sounds just about what the doctor ordered.' Asher smiled at his
brother and winked.

Asher hardly listened to what Kaleem told his parents. All he knew was
that Kaleem was there, and he would be damned if he was going to let him
disappear again.

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

                         The Sinner's Scars

'Ma?'
A small boy stands alone in a large hall, at the windows, human eyes burn
with hate...
'DA!?!?'
The building begins to thrum with the sound of a hundred angry fists
beating upon oak walls...
The boy stands tall, a tear rolls down his eye...
A pair of large oaken doors stand at the end of the hall, upon them is
carved, 'He Who Stands Here Alone, Stands Always Alone'
A tall thin man enters the hall through the doors and the boy looks to
him.
'Boy... They call you a demon...'
The boys face grimaces in anger.
'No Demon... Just strong... Da sais so...'
The man's face contorts into a twisted smile.
'Your father is dead boy, and your mother has come here to join him...'
The man raises a hand and the huge doors open.
People pour through the door like bugs enetering a hive and atop them a
woman screams as they carry her into the hall...
'BRING HER TO ME'
The man's voice echoes over the crowd and people howl and scream... 'DEMON
CHILD'... 'SINNER WHORE'... 'MURDERER'...
The boy charges towards his mother... A hand grabs him and the man put his
hand to the boy's throat...
Sqeezing and grinning the man speaks...
'Die demon child...'
Kicking and clawing at the arm that grips him, tears roll down the boys
face...
The mother screams one final time and a brawny man smashes her across the
face and her neck bends at an impossible angle... ... ... ...

A howl emits from the boy that sounds more lion than man...
With a flick of his wrist the man throws the boy to the brawny man...
'Hold that demon child... We must reveal him...'
The hiss in the man's voice matches perfectly the sound of his drawing
dagger...
As the boy screams, howls, roars and stuggles the man carves deep grooves
into his back...
The brawny man flips the boy face up and spits at him... The tall one
raises his dagger high...
Dead silence.
Slowly the roof of the hall rips free...
Steaking blue lightning scorches the walls and splinters the floors...
A voice deep voice booms...
'RELEASE THE BOY...'
People retreat in all directions, cowering in corners...
The boy stands... The voice booms...
'RISE BOY AND BE NAMED NOCH... NOCH, CHAMPION OF THE LOST GOD...'

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

                        A Letter to the Queen

Emrysia quickly scanned the page one last time before walking over to the
large gilded cage where the carrier pigeons were kept. She peered into the
cage, looking for the healthiest looking bird, for it was an important
message and a long journey. It took some skill, she had learned, to reach
into the cage and extract the exact bird you wanted, as once the door was
opened and a hand inserted into the opening, all the birds would begin
fluttering around the cage. Emrysia opened the cage and gracefully slipped
her hand into the cage and plucked out the bird she had chosen before any
of the birds realised what had happened. She placed the bird on the top of
the cage as she gently tied the message to his little leg. Cradling the
bird in both hands she walked over to the tower window and whispered,
'Find MoiraGwyn' before throwing the pigeon out the window and watching it
fly out of sight.

Queen MoiraGwyn paced the floor of her chambers in the Agrabah Palace
anxiously. She had had no word from Emrysia, which was unusual and worried
her greatly. Perhaps her letters hadn't made it? She KNEW she should have
chosen a different bird for that last letter, but it seemed like such an
intelligent creature, even if it was what most people would call a runt.
These thoughts whirring through her mind she didn't notice the silent
shadow enter the room through the window until it landed lightly on her
shoulder. MoiraGwyn cooed at the bird and gave it a small treat before
gently untying the letter on its leg. Word at last!

She carefully untied the scroll and noted that it was written in Emrysia's
well-schooled cursive, though it was obviously hurriedly written.

     My dearest friend,

     Please pardon the tardiness of my reply, but I have been simply
     swamped in all the paper work involved in the running of both
     Carian Trag and the Institute. More applications seem to arrive
     each day, not to mention keeping track of these finances!
     Ashimar is a great help, but still, someone has to keep an eye
     on him!

     I have sent word to Rowane, and he sent word back to me that he
     is leaving for Agrabah at once and will meet you there as soon
     as possible. I am sure he will be able to help you with Sparky
     even if only to raise your spirits.

     I have struggled with the decision of whether I myself should
     join you. But as I know little of magical creatures and my
     expertise is in herbs and potions, which you have already
     tried, and someone must keep things at the castle running
     smoothly, I feel my talents would serve you best if I should
     remain here, unless you wish it otherwise.

     I send you all the love and comfort I can, I know how much
     Sparky means to you. I wish I had an answer for you. And please
     hurry home, you are missed.

     Love your ever-faithful friend,

     Emrysia

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