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 .../________________/      running on         mud.legendmud.org 9999

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http://www.legendmud.org/                       ftp://ftp.legendmud.org/pub
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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER EIGHTEEN                                    May 4, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events
                            Recent Updates
                           Recent Q&A Topics
                LegendMUD April 2002 Connection Analysis
                   DID YOU KNOW: LT Subscription Info

                              LEGENDITES
                            Announcements
                              Clan News
                          The Making of an Ox
                  Sweet Dreams are Made of This (part 2)
                       Fate of a Traitor, part 1
                     The Grey Infidel, part 3 of 3
                             The Discovery
                      The Life of Judah, Part 4
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                        The Editor's Note                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Well, looks like we're all settled in back in Chicago with a minor amount
of trouble and adjustment. And the coders have been scrambling to squish
the crashing bugs as they surface, hence the stall on new code changes.

All this just in time for a flurry of activity and preparations for this
year's Summer Odyssey! Be sure to check the EVENTS command often as it
gets updated regularly with upcoming events.
 
Don't forget the PK Tourney tonight at 6pm system time. The files will
be backed up just prior to the tourney. There will only be one level
bracket as everyone was in the top levels. The 5 teams registered are:

    Team Grendel, Team Smashum, Team Status - Owned (Mercenaries 1), 
    Team Malice (Mercenaries 2) and Team Syndicate

Good luck to everyone tonight!

I also wanted to let everyone know that there will be no issue next Sat.,
as Ptah and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary on Friday
and flying to Ohio to celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday as well.
But please feel free to send in pieces/articles/announcements/etc before
the 17th! Remember, we now offer tokens for PK* as well as RP pieces!

-Kaige

*see details in the Clan News section for more info!

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
            [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]
   
                                May 2002
                          Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                                    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 28 29 30 31
  
Saturday,  May       4th   6:00 pm          Gathering of Clans PK Tourney
Sunday,    May       5th   5:00 pm          Cinco de Mayo Casino
Wednesday, May       8th   9:00 pm          Level to 5 Contest 
Thursday,  May       9th   6:00 pm          Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Wednesday, May      15th   9:00 pm          Skills & Spells Recalltag
Thursday,  May      16th   6:00 pm          Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Wednesday, May      22nd   9:00 pm          Themed Flaghunt
Thursday,  May      23rd   6:00 pm          Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Wednesday, May      29th   9:00 pm          Themed Flaghunt
Thursday,  May      30th   6:00 pm          Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

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

    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    There were no code updates made except for crashing fixes.
 /_    _\   
   |  |     
   |  |     
   |  |                        HELP FILE UPDATES  
   |__|     
    /\      The following helpfiles were recently added or updated:
   /  \     
  /    \        CHANGES, ELF GAME, MUNDANE, RACE, UPDATES
 /_    _\   
   |  |     Thanks 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 pretitle "The Bandit" should be available now. The prize
  /    \    machine was updated and improvements for less spam were made.
 /_    _\   Photobooth should be working properly again. HELP ELF GAME
   |  |     should now include info on how to tell if those prizes are
   |  |     restringable.
   |  |     
   |__|     1802 ALASKA
    /\           Russian trappers are less generous with their bounty now.
   /  \          Various bugs and typos fixed.
  /    \    FRENCH & INDIAN WAR
 /_    _\        New quest. Longhouse should work again after the braves'
   |  |          description changes. Belugas will not be around in winter
   |  |          and travel in pods. Hah-gweh-di-yu won't respond so oddly
   |  |          to conversation. Some updates at the candlemaker's.
   |__|          Various bugs and typos fixed.
    /\      GYPSY CARNIVAL
   /  \          Irish Joe will properly dump corpses from the ring now.
  /    \         Various bugs and typos fixed.
 /_    _\   HOSPITALLER MALTA
   |  |          Various problems with the customs clerk have been fixed.
   |  |          Several problems in and around the Rose Garden have been
   |  |          fixed. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |__|     TUDOR LONDON
    /\           The mangled bit of metal message fixed. Slipping on
   /  \          garbage acts report gender correctly and no more slipping
  /    \         on the privy stairs when flying. Rat catcher shouldn't be
 /_    _\        stealing or looting player kills. Scullery boy now
   |  |          responds correctly when you give him things. The mackerel
   |  |          and herring sold by the fishmonger can be cooked. Various
   |  |          bugs and typos fixed.
   |__|     17TH CENTURY SALEM, THE ALHAMBRA, ANASAZI AMERICA, BEOWULF,
    /\      CELTIC IRELAND, KLEINSTADT, OUT OF CHARACTER LOUNGE,
   /  \     PITTSBURGH, PORT OF LONDON, ROMANIA, SAN FRANCISCO, 
  /    \    ST DENIS ABBEY, and VICEROYAL PERU
 /_    _\        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.
   |  |     
   |__|             Kae          Larderello (Dante's Hell)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  _______   ____    _______
 /  ___  \ / __ \  /  ___  \  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 Hunt Too Powerful?                o Strung Bag Problem?
 o Upcoming Code & Area Changes?     o Game & Event Ideas
 o Quickdraw & Two-handed Guns?      o How'd the Machine Move Go?
 o Herbs & Updates?                  o Charms & Rejectgives?
 o Mundaning Fairy Corpses? 
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                    LegendMUD Connection Analysis
                             April 2002

                       Peak Mortal Players 63
                         Average Peak was 40
                    Peak PKOK Enabled Players 29
             Pkokenabled Characters represent approximately
                       49% of active players.

                   Peak Accept All Characters 12
             Accept All Characters represent approximately
   7% of all active characters and 14% of active pkok enabled characters.

The first two tables below show the Average Mortal Players,  Average
PKOK Enabled Players, and the number that were "Accept All" connected
to Legend by hour of the day as polled approximately on the hour
system time during the period noted above.

The third table shows the same averages calculated by the day of week.

              hour  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  33 27 19 16 12 11 11 12 15 16 17 21
              pke  17 14 10  8  5  5  5  5  6  7  8 10
              aas   2  2  1  1  1  1  0  0  0  0  0  1


              hour 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
              ------------------------------------------
              avg  24 27 30 32 34 34 36 35 39 42 40 38
              pke  12 14 16 17 17 17 18 17 19 21 20 19
              aas   1  1  2  2  2  2  2  1  2  2  3  3


              day   MON  TUE  WED  THU  FRI  SAT  SUN
              ------------------------------------------
              avg    26   26   27   25   23   27   28
              pke    12   14   14   12   11   13   13
              aas     2    2    2    1    1    1    1

This table shows the breakdown by each hour for each day of the week.

      MON       TUE       WED       THU       FRI       SAT       SUN
   AVG PK AA|AVG PK AA|AVG PK AA|AVG PK AA|AVG PK AA|AVG PK AA|AVG PK AA
------------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------
 0: 36 19  2| 34 17  5| 30 15  3| 30 16  2| 31 14  2| 31 17  1| 38 18  1
 1: 30 16  3| 29 17  5| 21 11  1| 24 13  1| 24 12  1| 27 15  2| 33 16  1
 2: 19  8  1| 20 11  2| 16  9  1| 19 11  1| 15  8  1| 22 11  2| 23 11  1
 3: 17  9  3| 15  7  1| 12  6  1| 15  9  1| 16  8  1| 16  7  2| 19  9  1
 4: 13  5  1| 11  5  1| 11  5  0| 11  6  1| 10  4  0| 13  6  2| 15  7  2
 5: 10  3  0| 10  4  0| 10  5  0| 11  6  1| 10  5  1| 12  5  1| 12  5  1
 6: 11  2  0| 10  5  0| 10  4  0| 12  6  0| 10  4  0| 14  7  1| 11  4  0
 7: 13  3  0| 12  6  0| 12  5  0| 13  6  0| 11  4  0| 12  5  0| 11  4  0
 8: 17  5  1| 16  8  0| 15  8  0| 14  7  0| 17  6  0| 13  6  0| 12  5  0
 9: 19  6  1| 17 10  0| 15  8  0| 14  6  0| 17  8  1| 16  7  0| 15  6  0
10: 19  7  1| 16  9  0| 17 10  1| 14  6  0| 19  8  1| 17  8  1| 17  7  0
11: 23  9  1| 19  9  0| 21 12  1| 18  8  1| 22  9  1| 23 11  1| 21 10  0
12: 24 10  1| 22 11  0| 24 13  2| 22 11  2| 25 13  2| 29 15  1| 27 13  1
13: 24 12  1| 29 15  1| 26 16  3| 25 14  2| 24 13  2| 28 13  0| 35 16  1
14: 30 17  2| 29 14  1| 32 19  3| 28 14  3| 26 15  2| 29 15  1| 36 17  0
15: 30 17  2| 31 17  1| 35 20  4| 27 13  2| 30 15  2| 34 17  1| 39 19  1
16: 35 20  3| 33 18  3| 34 18  2| 35 15  3| 29 13  1| 36 17  1| 36 19  1
17: 26 13  1| 34 19  2| 33 18  2| 32 14  2| 33 16  1| 37 17  1| 41 22  2
18: 37 20  2| 38 20  2| 40 20  2| 39 18  2| 26 12  0| 31 15  1| 42 21  3
19: 41 21  2| 36 18  2| 36 17  2| 35 14  2| 24 11  0| 31 14  1| 42 21  1
20: 40 21  2| 41 21  3| 42 20  2| 41 18  2| 32 15  1| 36 17  1| 44 21  2
21: 42 20  3| 41 22  3| 44 23  4| 47 22  2| 38 19  1| 39 19  1| 43 20  1
22: 39 19  2| 39 21  4| 41 20  3| 37 17  3| 39 21  2| 45 22  2| 40 20  3
23: 41 20  5| 33 17  3| 39 19  4| 39 18  3| 35 19  2| 44 21  2| 37 18  3

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____    
  /  _  \   DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \  
      /  /  The LT Subscription option is being phased off of the menu. 
     /  /   You can change your own subscription information for the LT
    /__/    from anywhere with just a web browser. If you already have a
    __      subscription set up, you should have received a password with
   /  \     your welcome letter and monthly reminders are sent to you.
   \__/     
   _____    The only mail option you might choose is the "NO MAIL" option.
  /  _  \   This is useful if you're going to be gone for for a while and
 /__/ \  \  don't want back issues piling up. The other options are more
      /  /  for mailing lists with much higher traffic. You can change an
     /  /   address by subscribing the new one and unsubbing the old.
    /__/    
    __      Subscribe, or unsubscribe your LT email address:
   /  \          http://www.legendmud.org/lists/listinfo/legendarytimes
   \__/     
   _____    If you've been gone a while and wondering what's been going
  /  _  \   on and what changes have been made, the best resource we have
 /__/ \  \  is the back issue archives which can be found at:
      /  /        http://www.legendmud.org/Community/times.html
     /  /   
    /__/    Also, submissions are encouraged to be made through the 
    __      following form that estimates word counts and get it 
   /  \     directly to us in an easy to use text format:
   \__/         http://www.legendmud.org/Community/ltsubmission.php

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

                Stick has reached 500 million experience!

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

A note left on the desk of the Abbot of a distant monastary...

        Father Abbot -
        
        Several years ago, I arrived at the gates of your abbey,
        searching for a place to rest my weary soul. You, and the
        monks of your order, were kind enough to allow me to stay
        as long as I felt needed to find inner peace.

        The time has come for me to return to the outside world. 
        I had hoped to be able to set aside my sword, but Aslan
        has other plans. I now go to rejoin my bretheren in the
        Knights Templar. Your abbey will always be remembered in
        my heart, and I will pray to Aslan that he watch over you
        all.
        
        - Camaris sa Benidrivis

As he travels the world again, you will see him as 'a battle-weary
paladin' or perhaps you will catch a glimpse of him as he pauses in his
travels... 'A kind but weary paladin looks to his god for strength and
solace.'

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

This note was found tacked up outside our office door this morning:

                                     O
   +--------------------------------/----------------------------------+
   |                               /                                   |
   |                      Public  /   Notice                           |
   |                                                                   |
   | Insane Asylum (IA) has changed management. They have gone from    |
   | one crazy manager to another even crazier, he goes by the name    |
   | of Archaon. With his new arrival comes a new mood. For better     |
   | or for worse, the lives of these crazy folk are going to be       |
   | changed forever. Archaon brings with him a new set of ideas,      |
   | those being the basis of its founding. He has (much against the   |
   | liking of most townsfolk) sent out his 'followers,' as he calls   |
   | them to seek out other persons to fill his empty cells. As usual, |
   | the persons being caged usually have no choice over the matter.   |
   | You are all advised to stay indoors and if you see any of his     |
   | followers to report them to the local authorities immediately.    |
   | For your safety and the safety of others it is highly advised     |
   | that you do NOT approach them.                                    |
   |                                                                   |
   +-------------------------------------------------------------------+

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

The Knights of Legend were out in full force this week, making their
presence felt once more after the long silence. Every member except one
logged in the last several days AND 3 out of every 4 Knights participated
in pkill in some fashion while they were online. Perhaps chivalry isn't
dead as had been feared. The Grendels were also fairly active this week
but the rest of the clans must be out enjoying the fine weather or
encumbered with RL things like finals and such. Maybe some of them have
been too busy preparing for tonight's tourney. What will next week bring?

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

Wow, even with bribing people with essentially free tokens to send in news
from the PK front, no one sent in even a whisper about pkill this week.

We only ask that the reports be truthful (no making stuff up), in context
and brief. We don't want straight logs. They shouldn't be so brief that
they're boring -- no "I chased so-n-so all over the mud until I killed
them and they went running and hid in their house for 4 hours." stuff. No
one wants to read that every week. Take time to MAKE it interesting -- RP
motivated PK makes this MUCH easier. Show everyone WHY you think pkill is
exciting and a worthwhile pursuit!

So come on, let's get YOUR name up in lights! Have you witnessed/commited
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'll get a token! Be a
celebrity, the envy of all your friends! Tick off your enemies or just
tell your side of the story! The possibilities are endless -- act today!!
  
               =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  
There are currently 18 RP clans and 8 PK clans. This leaves open slots for
six (6) more clans to form. For more information, read HELP CLAN and see
the clan information list via the CLANS command while logged into the game.
For a basic handbook and reference for players interested in founding and
running a clan, visit http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/gm.html.

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

The following arrived neatly written on a scroll and tied with a ribbon.
Many thanks to the kind scribe who took the time to immortalize this story:

  ____________________________________________________________________
 /\                                                                   \
|  |                      The Making of an Ox                         |
|  |                                                                  |
 \_| The earliest recollection of his childhood is what he remembers  |   
   | as his first kill. Alone and starving he had been stalking the   |   
   | rat for most of the night, finaly the rat stopped to nibble on   | 
   | a bit of discarded refuse so seeing his oppertunity he pounced,  |     
   | bringing both his small fists down crushing the rat's head,      |   
   | squirting grey matter out it's ears. He grabbed his prize and    |   
   | devoured it fur, refuse and all.                                 |   
   |                                                                  |
   | For the next year or so raw rat was what the baby survived on    |   
   | being that it was the only thing he could hunt while still       |   
   | crawling. After he learned to walk, he started stalking bigger   |   
   | prey like cats and dogs. He was also Befriended by the local     |   
   | street urchins through his early adolescent years, until they    |   
   | figured out that though he was as big as a nine year old he      |   
   | talked no better then a 3 year old. It was at this time that     |
   | the cruel and abusive treatment started. Those he considered     |
   | his friends were constantly sending him on errands that would    | 
   | get him badly beaten by the town guards.                         |    
   |                                                                  |
   | After a few years of this, he finaly had enough and left the     |    
   | town and moved into the wilderness of the forest beyond town.    |
   | He survived for many years there by killing an occasional        |
   | farmer's sheep and sneaking into town for his few other needs.   |   
   | It was on one of these few visits to town that he meet a half    |  
   | crazed magicman, who thought himself a god, named Gondar. This   |  
   | mage took pity on this poor lad and told him that if he came     |  
   | with him he would show him wonders he had never dreamed of and   | 
   | teach him new skills that would help him to survive better in    |
   | the cruel world around him. Gondar took him traveling through    |
   | time and space to many wonderous places and did get him trained  |
   | in many new skills. One of the most useful being the use of      |
   | weapons.                                                         |
   |                                                                  |
   | No longer did he have to make his kills with his bare hands.     |
   | Though to this day he shuns armor of any kind and only wears     |
   | what clothing he has to as to be accepted by others. After       |
   | years of travel, Gondar left him on his own in a place called    |
   | Tara. The Oxspent many days in and around Tara practacing the    |
   | new skills he had learned. On one of these practice missions,    |
   | he came across a large Pitbull Mastif puppy half starved and     |
   | hurt in the woods. He took the pup home and feed and nursed him  |
   | back to health and ever since, the dog has never left his side.  |
   |                                                                  |
   | After many years of being avoided and ignored, he finally        |
   | started to make friends again among those he met. He always      |
   | treats everyone he meets as a friend and helps all he can as     |
   | much as he can. He does wonder at times what ever happened to    |
   | that half crazed magic man that befriended him so many years     |
   | ago. He has heard rumor that the true gods tired of his attempts |
   | to take their worshippers from them and banished the false god   |
   | to another dimension.                                            |
   |                                                                  |
   | The one that many know as 'a big dumb Ox of a man' would like    |
   | to thank all those who have helped him through the years and     |
   | give everyone a great big bearhug.                               |
   |                                                                  |
   |                                      Love to all, Grunt          |
   |   _______________________________________________________________|__
   |   |                                                                |
    \_/________________________________________________________________/
     
               =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                  Sweet Dreams are Made of This (part 2)

After roughly a week's travel, they reached the wizard's tower, and Nathan
began to learn his purpose in being brought here. Though not evil by any
means, the wizard had an obsession with learning, so he experimented
often, though never on unwilling people. Unfortunately, his research often
led to areas best left unexplored, and most of his experiments ended up
either horribly injuring his test subjects or outright killing them. Thus
he had to travel, to find others willing to risk their lives to help him
in his quest for knowledge. And this was why Nathan was here.

Horrified, Nathan fell into a deep depression, broken now and then by news
that his village was recovered...sometimes this would only make his
depression worse, but other times it helped him to realize that yes, he
might die, but his family was alive.

Months passed, the two talking about many things, and Nathan came to
realize how hard this was for the wizard, having this man living in his
home and preparing something that might indeed be the end of him. He came
to accept that he might very well die, or at least become badly crippled
and did what he could to make things easier on the wizard, cleaning around
the tower (the areas he was allowed in at least), taking care of the
animals, keeping the fires stoked, and other such tasks.

One morning, he awoke a knock at his door. Answering quickly, he saw the
wizard standing there, his face deliberately calm, though there was an odd
cast to his features, and he realized this must be it... it's time.

All the wizard said was, 'Are you ready?'

Nathan gulped silently and nodded, grabbed his tunic, and put it on as the
wizard led him through several corridors and into a place  he'd never been
before at the very top of the tower. The wizard asked him to sit down for
a bit, giving him something to drink while he waited for the wizard to do
whatever it was he needed to do. Some few minutes passed, and everything
seemed to fuzz around him, indistinct and almost unreal...this was when
the wizard returned and directed him to lay down on a table. He found
himself unable to do otherwise... the drink, it must have done something
to me, he thought, though with very little vehemence. The wizard started
speaking, telling him what was to happen to him.

In his search for ways to make humans stronger, better than the frail
creatures they were, the wizard had roamed the land often and long,
straying to lands beyond anyone's knowledge and gathering the lifeblood of
things legendary and monstrous... the manticora, unicorns, vampires,
demons, dragons, and a multitude of others. Their lifeblood he distilled
down to an essence, a strange energy, captured in a fluid that would allow
it to be transferred... into a living body. Nathan's living body. The drink
he had been given would keep his body alive and keep him sedate as his
blood was drained from him, and then that blood would be replaced with
this essence-fluid, and spells cast to infuse that essence into his body.
Others had died in the process, some horribly, but the wizard kept trying,
hoping to find that one element, that one person, whatever it took, to
make the experiment work.

And as it had been explained to him, it happened. He felt the warmth of
life being drained from him and replaced with a faintly-glowing liquid
that chilled and tingled in his veins. Though muted, he still felt a
horror that his body was not able to express, the sensations battering at
his consciousness until he passed out.

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

                       Fate of a Traitor, part 1

The cloaked figure crept silently through the streets of Agrabah. Not an
unusual sight for that city, really. He stopped in the doorway and slipped
inside, unnoticed. Sneaking silently up the back stairs, he quietly opened
the door and slipped through.

The group of people seated at the table each wore solemn and even worried
expressions. Even at a quick glance, you could tell these people were not
run-of-the-mill thieves holding a secret meeting. These people were
important.

'I was abhorred by what they had done,' Oonagh continued as the
cloaked-form entered. 'But I assure you, we had nothing to do with the
incident. It was a rogue faction who was displeased with the human blood
in the girl. I can also assure you, they were dealt with swiftly.' The
Queen of the Daoine's voice had an edge that cut like cold steel.

'The list of accusations against her actions is growing. Have you heard
the latest claim?' Queen MoiraGwyn interjected with concern, 'We have here
word from an eyewitness who says she is scheming to hold a position above
us all.'  She held up a neatly folded parchment for them to see.

Finarra raged, 'She has no right. She is not a full blooded Sidhe!'

Seemingly unnoticed the cloaked form moved silently along the wall and
stopped behind the chair of the High Chancellor.

'I have here written proof, as was sent to Queen MoiraGwyn, that she
claims that Lugh does not carry his true sword and that whomever finds it
and is worthy to draw it will become the 'true shaman of the Sidhe
people.' the High Chancellor said.

At the High Chancellor's words, the others in attendance began to murmur
with surprise and anger; one was louder than the rest.

'That's preposterous!!!' Lugh exclaimed.

The Head of Diplomatic Relations of Carian Trag interjected. 'But, Lugh
lent me his sword to repair Indreju. It would not have worked, if Freagra
were a fake!'

Cahira nodded her agreement with her husband, Jiriki.

Lady Emrysia O'Cuinn Royce stood and called for silence. 'Your majesties.
I fear we may have to consider the unthinkable.' Emrysia paused, ' I think
we have to consider the possibility that Liel is...' again, she paused,
with concern, 'Unstable.'

Once again murmurs were heard round the room. Finarra held up his hand for
silence. 'I agree, the child may be a bit unbalanced. She is also a
threat to the peace in our Kingdoms. But, what should our next step be?'

Queen MoiraGwyn rested her hand over that of her husband knowing the
turmoil he was feeling.

Having said not a word to this point, the cloaked figure took a slight
step forward. Silently he raised his hand, his cold as steel gray eyes
swept the room as he asked for silence. 'Liel attempts something that few
have ever been bold enough to attempt before. We all know without doubt
what her intent is and what she seeks to gain from this venture... Yet we
must bicker over what needs done about it. When one seeks to perform an
act as treasonous as this, what is to be done?'

Queen Oonagh glanced quietly at King Rowane and Queen MoiraGwyn. 'I
think, the girl must be tried for High Treason.' she stated, with the same
cold edge to her voice. 'She has betrayed you.'

'She resigned her position already, we have no control over her actions,'
said Queen MoiraGwyn.

'The acts being reported- these were claimed to have occurred before she
resigned?' questioned Finarra.

Deathly silence and the nodding of heads confirmed it was fact.

Lugh, quiet since his outburst, asked the inevitable, 'Why did she resign
her post.'

Cahira turned to her father, 'She is to be coronated.'

Gasps of surprise and wary glances circled the room.

Until this point, King Rowane had sat quietly listening, the burden of the
girl's actions weighing heavy upon him. With a deep sigh, he faced those at
the table and spoke, 'I can't help but feel that I helped bring this
about by giving her the Ambassadorial posting with our people.'

Queen MoiraGwyn stroked her husbandbs hand, bringing it to her cheek. Her
gaze met his, 'We all wanted to give her the chance to prove herself. And
she felt this was the only way to handle what she needed for her family.
You did nothing wrong with allowing that Rowane.'

A frown furrowed Finarra's brow. 'We must protect our Kingdoms. There is
much at stake.'

King Rowane frowned as well. 'Treason is a serious charge...' MoiraGwyn
squeezed her husbandbs hand reassuringly.

'We must do what must be done to save both Carian Trag and the Tuatha
DebDannan,b Emrysia interjected. 'Even if it means taking a hard path and
trying Liel for High Treason.'

Once more the cloaked-figure swept the room with his eyes, observing all
in the room. His eyes settled on his old friend, 'Rowane, you are not only
a good friend to me but also my Liege. Please heed my words. She seeks not
only revenge on those of Sidhe blood with her plot but also in return to
bring war to your Kingdom in the process. She may well bring harm to your
subjects, your friends, or even your wife who is my friend as well. This
is disastrous for the Sidhe clans and your people. This is unacceptable.'

He faced those at the table and continued, 'I was born of the fey people;
I know their laws and customs, their rules and their hearts. Liel seeks
only her own betterment and the downfall of us all, for this she must be
punished severely. As has been my job for years in the past and will be my
job for years to come, I offer myself to personally deliver whatever you
all may judge as her reprimand.'

His voice heard, the figure withdrew once more from the conversation.
Those gathered fell silent for a moment, pondering the letters and
accusations and the seriousness of the problem.

King Rowane stared at his wife's face, reading into her eyes. She lowered
her gaze to their intermingled fingers, her pained silence the only
response she could offer. He gently squeezed her hand.

Glancing at each in turn, and seeing their nods King Rowane quietly cleared
his throat, 'As unanimously agreed by this council, I herby declare Liel
LisbRath wanted for the crime of High Treason to the crown of de'Dannan
and the Kingdom of Carian Trag.'

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

                     The Grey Infidel - part 3 of 3

Aziz heard the blood-curdling warcry of the Fomor behind him and the clash
of steel which followed. He stopped and turned, contemplating whether he
should run back to give what little help he could. Just then a hand
clasped his shoulder and he turned in surprise, staring at the familiar
face of Zahir ad-Din ibn al-Bulunkari, the leader of the Mosul militia.
Although not quite a legend as his other uncles were, Zahir was a noble
warrior well-respected by the other members of the army. However, he had
little time for the likes of Aziz, unlike the other officers who always
took time to speak with him and teach him the ways of survival. 'Uncle
Zahir!' panted Aziz, 'I think Uncle Majd's in trouble!'

Things were not looking good for Majd. His arms were aching, and he
already had some cuts and bruises all over his body. The Grey Infidel
showed no sign of fatigue and with an insane look in his eye, went
berserk. Majd could barely stand, much less defend against such an
onslaught, but then he saw from the corner of his eye two familiar figures
running in to join the fray. 'No... Aziz' muttered Majd, but hope lighted
up in his eyes as the familiar sight of Zahir's shamshir drew blood from
the Grey Infidel's unprotected back. They were no match for the monster,
however, and Majd took it upon himself to keep the Grey Infidel focused on
him, buying time for his friends to cut the horror down.

Zahir rolled his eyes as Aziz's best efforts missed the Fomor. 'Go away,
child!' he yelled. 'Don't make me waste my time protecting you as well!'
Aziz stood defiantly, 'I am the son of Salah ad-Din, Defender of the
Faithful, and I will not flee as my friends get butchered.' As he finished
those fateful words, Majd gurgled and fell to the ground, his best efforts
to keep the Fomor busy completely spent. The huge gash across his throat
indicated that he would not be getting up from this fight again. The Grey
Infidel turned and, for a moment, Zahir knew real fear as the Fomor
retaliated with a fury he had never faced before. Aziz kept punching
valiantly to no avail as the Grey Infidel shrugged off his best efforts.
Zahir was watching bits of his clothing rip away with streaks of crimson,
and his body was starting to feel sharp pains, a damp, warm sensation,
then numbness. The Grey Infidel was almost dead, but Zahir did not think
he was going to outlast him. His hands were too numb to defend any longer.
'This is it,' thought Zahir, as the Fomor prepared to swing that huge blade
at his side.

Suddenly, Aziz got lucky and one of his punches distracted the Grey
Infidel. The Fomor turned around in blind fury to face the lad and swung
his blade once. 'No!!!!' screamed Zahir, as the boy crumpled to the ground
like a rag. The boy was dead, but he had given Zahir a chance. The Fomor's
back was exposed, and Zahir swung his shamshir as hard as he could into
the back of the Grey Infidel's neck...

[Info]:  Farhai's final breath is heard all around the world, thanks to
Zahir ad-Din ibn al-Bulunkari.

Zahir opened his eyes and looked around him. The corpses of the Grey
Infidel, Aziz, Majd, Baha' and 'Alam lay scattered at his feet. He looked
at himself and saw that he was DYING. However, he had avenged his people
and he gave thanks that some measure of pride had been restored to the
army. He knew better than to expect the nightmare to end however, and even
now he could hear the furious footsteps of the Fomor coming to claim his
equipment from the corpse, and then, presumably, to finish the job. They
always came back, whether friend or enemy - no one died forever. Zahir
looked at himself, then at the corpses of his friends, raising his
shamshir in salute. 'Until the next time, my friends...' he sighed
philosophically as the naked Fomor stormed in from the road to the
north....

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

                             The Discovery

Morning came easy for young Perigriene. Working with the elder brought him
such joy as he had never experienced. He would do anything for the old
man, just as long as he got to see his smile and hear his gentle soothing
voice as he explained about yet another foreign plant Perigriene had found
in the woods surrounding the village. Quickly, he dressed himself in the
buckskins his mother had made and started out towards the elder's hut.

It was a beautiful summer day and the warm sun shone brightly in the
young boys face, making him squint his eyes. The heat, although it was
only mid morning, was almost unbearable. The tribe had not seen rain for
several weeks, and Perigriene was sure that soon the elder would be called
upon for a rain dance. The young Perigriene, knew his role well. he would
go to the center fire pit at the village and wait there for the elder.
Then, together they would walk the skirt of the village, until they were
able to slip away into the trees, unbeknownst to the others.

Perigriene sat at the fire pit for ages. The sun was rising higher in the
sky, and he longed for the elder to show up, so they could retreat
together to the coolness the forest provided them. Soon, Perigriene became
impatient waiting for the elder and decided he better go to check on the
old man, to see if he was alright. It was very uncharacteristic of the
elder to be late, why, never once before had he been late to meet the boy,
what would be so different today?

As he neared the elder's hut, he detected a faint smell on the air,
something that smelled rotten, or something that was rotting. 'Strange'
thought young Perigriene, he was sure that the squaws had cleaned the last
of the hunting scraps from yesterday away, before they served the previous
night's meat. The smell made the boy suspicious. It seemed to grow
stronger with every step he took toward the elder's tent. Could one of the
younger boys, snuck away a piece of scrap, and thrown it beside the
elder's tent in hopes it would rot in the heat of the day, and be a cruel
joke by the time night fell?

Curiosity prodded Perigriene into checking things out further. slowly he
paced around the elder's tent, looking for the source of the rotten smell,
yet he could find nothing around the immediate perimeter of the tent. He
called out the elder's name, and there came no response. Surely this was a
strange situation, he knew the elder never travelled away from the village
anymore, and he was positive he didnt see the old man anywhere among the
others, as he walked to the tent. Suddenly, a thought swept across his
mind. It made him shudder. It couldn't be. It wouldn't be.

Slowly, Perigriene pulled the flap of the tent back just a tiny bit. The
terrible smell seemed to pour out of the opening in waves. now he was
sure, someone had thrown a chunk of rotten meat in the elder's tent.
Obviously the smell was quite overwhelming, so in all probability the
elder had stayed in another tent. Perigriene then took it upon himself to
rid the elder of the horrible meat and smell it wafted across the peaceful
camp. Gasping deeply he took the largest breath he could, and flung the
tent flap wide open.

The sight before him knocked young Perigriene to his knees, and the wind
from his lungs. Instantly, he began to vomit. There, in the center of the
tent, lay his beloved elder, a heap of blood and broken bones. Flies
swarmed his exposed flesh. The elder was quite certainly dead. Perigriene
let out a blood curtling scream, and fainted on the floor of the hut.

As he came to, Yemma was fortuitously dabbing his forehead with a wet
cloth, as his father sat close by, ever smoking his pipe filled with that
devil smoke. It seemed to Perigriene that his father got crazy ideas from
smoking the pipe, rather than the 'great revelations' everyone else saw.
Perigriene felt his father was clouding his own mind, with the white man's
poison, but he was but a young boy, and dared not to speak his mind
freely.

Perigriene gazed up into his mother's hard, cold eyes, and her gaze held
his. He thought he could hear her speaking, inside his head, but without
words. Why would she, try to speak inside his head, rather than aloud?
Confusion set in on Perigriene, and, as it did, Yemma lifted a sweet
smelling hot liquid to his lips and urged him to drink. The liquid tasted
very good, and soon, Perigriene was fast asleep.

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

                      The Life of Judah, Part 4

'Lord, I would also lift up this young woman, who seems to be so misled.
Lord, she thinks I killed her grandfather. I admit that I knew him, as a
witchdoctor in the mountains of Peru, and I admit that I might have done
the foul deed, had you not held my blade firm in its sheath. It was my
father, not I, who killed the witchdoctor after he slaughtered my mother.
The deed weighed so heavily on my father's heart that he took his own
life. Celes is young, and passionate, it seems, about her cause. I ask
that you touch her heart and make her question what she has been told.
Show her the truth of what happened and the truth of what she sees, Lord,
give her light by which to see the darkness for what it is, empty of the
love you give us, for you are love, you are power, you are LORD. As you
said to your chosen, 'I am the Alpha, the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who
was and who is, and who is to come, the Almighty.' In your will, let it be
so Lord.' Judah knelt before the altar for some time and he began to feel
the presence of the Lord around him and fell prostrate to the ground.

'Judah, my good and faithful servant,' said the voice of Aslan, 'I have
come to set your heart at ease a bit. You shall indeed see your mother and
father again, as well as your brother and earthly wife Haley. As for your
petition for the young lady who is called Celes... She has heard the words
you speak of me, has she not?'

'About you, Lord?' Judah asked, still prostrate on the ground.

'Yes, my faithful servant, you have spoken to her about me, have you not?'

Judah felt suddenly quite ashamed. 'No Lord,' he answered quietly, 'I have
not.'

'Go then and tell her the good news that has been given to you.'

'And you will change her heart, Lord?' Judah asked, his voice showing
great hope.

'That knowledge shall be between her and I for now.'

'But Lord,' Judah asked brazenly, 'You are all powerful, and you,
yourself, have called me a good and faithful servant. Why will you not
tell me that you will grant my request? Have I not done all you have asked
of me?'

'Who is this that darkens my counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird
up your loins like a man, and I will ask you to insruct me.' Judah looked
up to face Aslan, and saw not the lion, but a man standing there instead.
Though he could hear the words, the lips of the man never moved from the
stern, grim line they formed on the man's soft face. 'Where were you when
I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell me if you have understanding, who
set its measurements, since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? Or
what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone when the morning
stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who
enclosed the sea with doors when bursting forth from the womb; when I made
the cloud its garment, and the darkness its swaddling band, and I placed
boundaries on it and I set a bolt and doors, and I said, 'This far you
shall come, but no further, and here shall your proud waves stop.' Judah
looked down again, ashamed. 'Do you give the horse its might? Do you
clothe his neck with a mane? Is it by your understanding that the hawk
soars, stretching its wings to the south? Is it by your command that the
eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and
lodges, upon the rocky craig, an inaccessable place. From there he spies
his food; his eyes see it from afar. Will the faultfinder contend with the
Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer.'

Judah could not even raise his head in his shame. 'I am insignificant.
What can I reply to you, I have said too much already. I know you can do
all things, and that no purpose of your can be thwarted. I have heard your
voice and see you with my eyes and I retract what I have said, repenting
in the dist and ashes. I live by your command, and shall let it ba as you
would have it. Forgive me, my Lord, forspeaking without knowledge and in
false pride.'

'You are forgiven, my faithful one, your transgressions shall be taken
from you as far as the east is from the west. Now, stand and see me
truly.'

Judah looked up slowly, wiping repentant tears from his eyes, to the spot
where the voice had come from. The lion was not there, it was still the
man, hand out to help Judah stand, a hole in his wrist, and a smile on his
face. A stunned Judah reached for the hand, and was helped to his feet,
then he was blinded by a bright light. When his vision returned, he was
still on the mountain top, but his hand was now on the altar he had built.
Where was the man? Was it a dream? Judah sat and watched the most
spectacular sunrise he could ever remember seeing and decided that,
whether it was in a dream, or truly here on this mountain, the Lord had
spoken to him, and he felt overjoyed and greatly humbled and blessed.

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