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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER NINETEEN                                   May 18, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events
                            Recent Updates
                           Recent Q&A Topics
                     DID YOU KNOW: TARGET Command

                              LEGENDITES
                            Announcements
                              Clan News
                     Lachesis Loses Sleep, Yet Again
                         Gifts for the Kingdom
                 Sweet Dreams are Made of This - Part 3
                           Sparky's Adventures
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                        The Editor's Note                        |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

We're back after a week off. Things have kind of slowed down in many areas
as the coders have been working to fix the crashing bugs and figure out
what happened with the player housing files last week. There haven't been
any huge controversial changes to stir things up.

The lack of visible progress on the building front is also frustrating to
many as well. We know you're eager to explore new vistas and see what new
items the builders are cooking up. Often people will say 'Why don't you
just slap some stuff together and toss it in?' That might work well on
other muds, where they also go out and download the newest areas that are
put up, but we've always taken a bit more pride in our work and strive to
give the players not only a fun and interesting space to play in but one
that keeps to our historical theme.

It often comes up at Q&As, especially around the time applications are
taken for new immorts, 'What exactly does building an area involve? Why
does it take so long?'

Probably the biggest part of making an area for LegendMUD is research and
planning and coming up with ideas in the first place. The descriptions,
stats and boring mundane things are basically one big fill in the blanks
template. It's taking that simple structure and bringing a place and time
period alive that takes a lot of notes and planning and brainstorming.

The acts are the next most complicated part of an area. Once you have all
your notes and plans for mobs, items, quests, etc., you've got to get it
all working together. Sometimes, what sounded like a good idea, doesn't
work out well with the acts commands available and you have to start over
or at least approach it from a different angle. Also, making sure that
quests can be found and completed by players takes time too.

I've also heard some grumbling about the time that's taken in maintaining
and adding new content to existing areas and how "boring" that is for
players. I really have to ask, boring in WHAT ways? How can it be boring
to have things change and have new things to explore in familiar places?
If older areas never get updated that's when they get boring. And often,
getting ideas for existing areas is easier, because players take the time
to suggest them.

So expect to see more revisions and additions this summer as we embark on
our 2002 Summer Odyssey in two weeks and take a month to visit each era
and explore the history, cultures and the areas themselves.

-Kaige
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
            [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]
   
                 May 2002                     June 2002 
           Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa         Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                     1  2  3  4                            1
            5  6  7  8  9 10 11          2  3  4  5  6  7  8 
           12 13 14 15 16 17 18          9 10 11 12 13 14 15  
           19 20 21 22 23 24 25         16 17 18 19 20 21 22 
           26 27 28 29 30 31            23 24 25 26 27 28 29
                                        30
  
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

       June kicks off our 2002 Summer Odyssey in the Ancient Era.

        Join us on a journey through time to explore our world!

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

    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    MISC CHANGES
 /_    _\     o The LT subscription option from the main menu has been
   |  |         removed. Please this URL to make subscription changes:
   |  |     
   |  |         http://www.legendmud.org/lists/listinfo/legendarytimes
   |__|     
    /\      BUG FIXES
   /  \       o lurk <person> no longer looks so odd in the 3rd person
  /    \      o length syntax fixed
 /_    _\   
   |  |     Further code updates are on hold until the coders can
   |  |     determine what caused the problems that made such a mess
   |  |     in player housing on the 10th.
   |__|     
    /\      
   /  \                        HELP FILE UPDATES  
  /    \    
 /_    _\   The following helpfiles were recently added or updated:
   |  |     
   |  |         CASINO, DESC_CHANGE, DESC_RULES, MCCLIENT, REJECTGIVES, 
   |  |         STRINGRULES
   |__|     
    /\      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
 /_    _\   
   |  |     1802 ALASKA
   |  |          More trading opportunities. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |  |     ARABIAN NIGHTS     
   |__|          Aladdin shouldn't be getting caught in conversation
    /\           loops. You can buy cushions for you house, but once
   /  \          dropped, cannot be picked up again. Mustapha gives this
  /    \         same warning also. Assassin's exp increased.
 /_    _\   AZTECS
   |  |          The warriors/knights should actually be wearing gear.
   |  |     BENGAL
   |  |          Untouchables don't caught in loops if two are there.     
   |__|     BEOWULF
    /\           Clarified message on the skyblade that the description
   /  \          means well balanced, not light as a feather.     
  /    \    CELTIC IRELAND
 /_    _\        Old warrior at gate and elite warriors changed slightly.
   |  |     THE CRUSADES
   |  |          Grouping mobs fixed. Several conversation responses
   |  |          fixed.
   |__|     FRENCH & INDIAN WAR
    /\           Dreams added. Changes the beluga pod from a MULTI mob to
   /  \          a set of mobs that act as a group. Fringed moccasins
  /    \         changed. Rent lowered on the new candles. Several exit
 /_    _\        fixes. Belugas won't hit each other and cannot be
   |  |          backstabbed. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |  |     HOSPITALLER MALTA
   |  |          Dreams added. Some tweaks to lower the spam level.
   |__|          Various bugs and typos fixed.
    /\      LEGENDS OF THE PAST
   /  \          Crowe's dagger changed.
  /    \    MEDIEVAL SEAS
 /_    _\        Increases the warning message when the serpent's out.
   |  |     SEONI JUNGLE     
   |  |          The ankus can no longer be sold to shops. Fixed a bad
   |  |          exit out in the marshes. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |__|     SOUTH SEAS
    /\           Pym is much fiestier if you talk trash to him. Various
   /  \          bugs and typos fixed.
  /    \    TEAROUTE
 /_    _\        Rounding the cape rooms similar to those in medieval era
   |  |          now with weather acts.
   |  |     TUDOR LONDON
   |  |          Reduces chance on the gristle slipping acts. Also
   |__|          includes check for balance.
    /\      
   /  \     ABORIGINAL DREAMTIME, ANASAZI AMERICA, ANCIENT GREECE, BOSTON,
  /    \    MELBOURNE, PICTISH COUNTRY, PITTSBURGH, PURITAN ROMAN BRITAIN,
 /_    _\   ROMANIA, SHERWOOD, TORTUGA, 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 Is it a Zip/String/Mundane?       o Shadowroom Imped Soon?
 o String/Coupon Availability?       o Bug Lotto & LT for Tokens?
 o Game Suggestions/Timing           o Bug with Number of Attackers?
 o Area Updates & New Areas          o RP Event Discussion
 o What Can Bards Do Now?            o New Hometowns Planned?
 o Ideas for New Areas?              o How Hard is Building?
 o Rewarding RP/RP Dept?             o What's with the Lag Again?
 o The LoP Process?                  o 100 mind/spirit Sugeons Worth It?
 o Why only 2 Scalpels?              o Currency Discussion
 o RESIST/IMMUNE/SUSCEPT?            o Pasting Info to a Note/Board?
 o A Laston Command?                 o Tells to SILENT Rooms?
 o Tells to Multiple People?         o Elementals Suddenly Die?
 o More than One Greater Summon?     o Problem with Dying in Customs?
 o Plans for Spirit & Spellcasters?  o Address book for Player Housing?
 o Why Change Roots to Balm?         o Reporting Bugs/Oddities?
 o Why Pray is for Emergencies       o Sending a log of a bug? 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____    
  /  _  \   DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \  
      /  /  Ever been in combat and had a tougher character come in and 
     /  /   start attacking you and wished there was a way to gracefully
    /__/    change who you are fighting? Or realized that you got the 
    __      keyword slightly off and you're fighting the wrong character?
   /  \     
   \__/     The TARGET command can help in these situations. Simply type:
   _____    TARGET <new character> to change your primary opponent. A
  /  _  \   message is sent to the server that you'd like to change combat
 /__/ \  \  targets and the server then determines if you succeed in
      /  /  turning to attack the other character. If you are fighting a
     /  /   charmed mob and try to target their master it will be a much
    /__/    lower chance for success than otherwise.
    __      
   /  \     Some mobs also use this tactic and during combat may switch 
   \__/     between opponents. For more info, see HELP TARGET online.

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

                Jenna has reached 100 million experience!
                Korgan has reached 100 million experience!
                 Poi has reached 100 million experience!
  ___                                                                  ___
  \  |----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
  /__|                         Clan News                              |__\
     '----------------------------------------------------------------'

                             DE Recruiting

The Dark Enforcers are now seeking for new and better recruits to carry
out the Dark Lord's bidding. Our purpose: To strengthen the Dark Lord's
power through despoiling innocents, slaying good people, and generally
having a great time.. also, dominating the entire universe. We do ask of
two requirements, that you be anywhere from levels 40-50 and pkill
enabled. So if you feel you have what it takes to be one of the Dark
Lord's elite, to be a Dark Enforcer... then contact Riven (GM) as soon
as possible.

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

This past week on the pkill scene the Knights had the most participating
members. The Dark Enforcers and the Grendels also had some members out
making the rounds. The Hermetics and the Syndicate managed to get into at
least one scape each. But the Coven, the IRA and the Mercenaries didn't
see any action this week.
  
This time of year holds more rl obligations for many people, but one also
has to wonder if having only 2 "good," 2 "neutral," and 4 "evil" pk clans
is a bit unbalanced and there's no motivations for them to clash. A lot
of people claim that pkill is dead, perhaps, but only if you all let it
be. In the past, hearing about pkill has always tended to stir up more
pkill.
  
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 here 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________________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

                     Lachesis Loses Sleep, Yet Again

Patter  Patter  Patter  Patter

The ticklish sensation of Spider walking across my face roused me from my
slumber on another sleep-deprived night.

'Spider! I'm trying to sleeeep! Geez!' I whined, rolling my eyes
exasperated with the disturbance. 'How's a girl supposed to get her beauty
sleep when she is always woken up, eh?'

Spider hopped about eagerly. 'Squeak squeak squeeeak!' and pointed
frantically out into the atrium with its front legs.

'Huh?' I managed to get myself up, smooth down my frizzled hair, and rub a
few eye boogers out of my eyes before I noticed a strange luminescence
emanating from my garden. 'What the?' Spider hopped ahead, unperturbed by
the light.

I coyly peeked around the corner and among the perfumed flowers was one of
the most beautiful women I have set eyes upon. Shrugging off my wariness,
I boldly approached her, knowing her as the notorious Lady Fate. 'Lady
Fate! I didn't know you were partial to sunflowers,' I directed at her,
noticing her softly running her fingertips upon the petals of one of my
prized flowers. She smiled sweetly with a little squint of her eyes.

'Oh yes, they are a lovely sight to the eyes. They always direct their
lovely faces to the sun, as if they worshipped it...but my dear,
unfortunately I did not come here to talk about blossoms.' I sat myself
comfortably next to some bright orange marigold blooms, eager to hear what
she came to visit for.

'Soon, Lachesis, sunflowers will be unable to turn with the sun, to enrich
our lives with their natural beauty.' She sighed deeply to herself, but I
caught it and gave her a confused look. She caught my confusion and
continued, 'There is much going on that I am unable to express to you just
yet, but the weaving is becoming frizzled. There is much to be done, or
the damage could be irreparable. I need you, Lachesis. I need you to find
your Sisters. When you find them, I shall return.' She comforted me with a
warm touch to the shoulder and gave me another of her sweet smiles.

Suddenly, the air glowed so intensely my eyes were forced shut. When the
brightness dimmed enough for me to peer about, Lady Fate was gone.

With that, Spider and I look at each other with utter confusion painted
upon our faces.

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

                         Gifts for the Kingdom

Lady Emrysia was just leaving the St. Denis Abbey, where she had gone to
consult with the physician on the use of herbs. Suddenly a sly figure
stepped out of the shadows, startling her. The figure handed her a basket
with a bow and a note attached and then quickly slipped back into the
shadows and disappeared.

Emrysia blinked in surprise and eyed the basket warily. Whatever was
inside it seemed to be moving. Carefully, she untied the note and opened
it up to read it.

     To Queen MoiraGwyn and Carian Trag,

     I found this wandering around our vineyard. I figured it
     would be better if it were to live with you, rather than
     locked up in a cage in our basement.

                    Regards,
                        Krynn and the Mercenaries

Not quite sure what to make of it all, Lady Emrysia thought it best if she
took the basket to Queen MoiraGwyn at once. And so, holding the basket
rather gingerly, she hurried off to the castle in search of her friend.

Arriving safely at the castle, Emrysia went straight to the Queens
chamber.

'MoiraGwyn!!' she called. 'MoiraGwyn, are you in?'

'Come in' was the reply.

Emrysia opened the door and entered the room. She gently placed the basket
on the floor and wordlessly handed the note to Queen MoiraGwyn.

'What's this?' MoiraGwyn queried.

'I'm not sure. A strange figure simply handed me the basket... I haven't
even looked inside yet.' Emrysia peered suspiciously at the basket, which
was beginning to move across the floor. It almost looked like it was..
hopping?

Queen MoiraGwyn read the note then looked up at Lady Emrysia. 'Well, lets
open it and see!'

Carefully the two women gathered around the basket. MoiraGwyn reached out
to open the basket, but Emrysia stopped her. 'What if it's something
dangerous?'

Queen MoiraGwyn smiled. 'Oh, Emrysia, stop worrying'

MoiraGwyn gently lifted the lid of the basket. And there, staring up at
the two women was...

'It's a baby bunny!!!' they exclaimed together.

Just then there was a knock at the castle gates. Emrysia ran to open the
gates.

As she pushed the gates open, two large men rushed past her carrying a
huge crate.

'What's that?' she asked.

'Sign here' one of the men rumbled as he handed her a scroll and quill
while pointing to where she should sign.

Emrysia was about to inquire further what this was all about when
suddenly, the crate began to rumble. In fact it sounded like a growl.

At the sound, the two men's faces went ashen and they stuttered, ' Never
mind!! Keep the scroll!' They then ran out the castle gates.

Emrysia cast a glance at the crate. 'Not another one' she mumbled to
herself. Upon further examination, she discovered a note attached to the
crate.

'MoiraGwyn! You'd better come see this....' she called.

When MoiraGwyn arrived, Emrysia read the note aloud.

     To your Royal Highnesses King Rowane and Queen MoiraGwyn,

     A gift for your Royal Menagerie and a small token of our
     esteem.

        signed,
            Queen Isabella of Spain

At this point, the crate decided to let out another growl. Both women
jumped with surprise.

'I wonder what it is' Emrysia said nervously. She recognized the look on
her friends face. It meant Queen MoiraGwyn had found another pet.

'Annabella!' MoiraGwyn called, 'Fetch me the crowbar!'

Annabella arrived with the crowbar, and together she and MoiraGwyn opened
the crate. 'I'm not sure it's my duty to clean up after THAT,' Annabella
said.

Emrysia was too busy edging away from the crate to answer Annabella.

'He's BEAUTIFUL!' MoiraGwyn enthused.

'Are you quite sure he's tame?' Emrysia asked.

'Oh, look at him! He's as gentle as a kitten.' MoiraGwyn picked the
creature up and began petting and cuddling him.

Emrysia cautiously moved forward to pet the animal. 'He is cute' she said,
' I hope he doesn't eat the bunny.'

MoiraGwyn looked thoughtful, 'What DOES one feed a white Bengal tiger?'

Emrysia picked up the baby bunny and fled from the room.

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

                 Sweet Dreams are Made of This - Part 3

He awoke. I'm alive was the first thing he thought... but what had been
changed? He sat up, examining himself thoroughly. Nothing. Nothing had
changed, though in the back of his mind he realized the wounds to his body
had healed. He lay back down, thinking, trying to understand why he was
still alive, and after an interminable time his thoughts were interrupted
by the door opening and the wizard stepping into the room. As startled as
Nathan, he realized that somehow the experiment had worked... or at least
had not killed him. After much examination and uncountable tests, it
seemed that nothing had happened...Nathan was still a normal, healthy
human.

Disappointed, the wizard sent Nathan back to his quarters, following a few
hours later with a pack of supplies, a sword, and a small pendant. The
other things were normal enough, but he inquired about the pendant, and
was told that it would allow them to contact each other, no matter the
distance. All Nathan would have to do is warm it between his hands, and
its magic would reach out to the wizard to communicate. Finding this all a
bit odd, Nathan inquired as to why all these things were being given to
him.

'You cannot return to your family,' the wizard said, 'they think you dead,
and it's best they go on with their lives. If they ever found out what had
been done to you....well, you can answer that as well as I. I would not
force you to stay here any longer either. Therefore, I will send you to
another place, somewhere you can start a new life however you please.'

Unable to object to this, he gathered his things, and the wizard sent him
away. This land, Nathan discovered, had never felt the hand of magic...
for good or for ill. He settled in, working hard and trying to make a
place for himself in this new place... until he noticed strange things. He
no longer really had a desire to eat the food he made, but still he was
hungry. His senses grew sharper and sharper, and his reflexes seemed to
heighten as well. Strange dreams kept occurring too, every night... almost
too real to be dreams, but too strange to be anything else.

Finally, he discovered the answer to the growing, painful hunger he could
not seem to feed. He was hunting in the woods, and happened upon a deer
that had broken its leg. Unable to run, it could not escape him, and so he
put it out of its misery...and felt a warm rush of energy, assuaging his
hunger completely. Terrified, he quickly cleaned the carcass and brought
it back to be rendered down for meat. Later, as he tried unsuccessfully to
sleep, he thought about this over and over, turning it back and forth in
his mind, until he came to the realization that he had fed on the deer's
life. He dug out the pendant he had set aside a long time before, warmed
it between his hands as instructed, and waited for the magic to take
effect.

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

                           Sparky's Adventures

Entering quietly to the inn, the cloaked figure nodded a greeting to
Calpurnius and rested at the far side of a table, nearby me. I smiled a
polite greeting, which was returned. The cowl of the persons cloak slipped
back, revealing a crown of leaves and big blue eyes. I could not help but
notice the bulky, cradled package beneath her cloak. Mainly because it
started to emit a rumbling noise and a belch.

As she was pulling aside her cloak, I could already see the head of some
sort of serpentine creature turning to look at her. A clawed paw followed,
resting itself at her shoulder. A lizard? It rested it's head to the nape
of her neck and moaned. I tried not to seem too obvious as I scooted away
a little.

'He will not harm you,' the woman said. I probably looked as unconvinced
as I felt because she petted and nuzzled the creature, smiling at me.

'What IS that?' I inquired.

'Sparky? He is a greater fire salamander,' She replied. She turned to the
creature 'Aren't you, Sparky? Aren't you a big sweet salamander.' She
rested her cheek to its face, narrowly missing being burnt by the stream
of fire following its belch.

We stopped to watch Calpurnius try and put out the fire on the south wall.

'He is not feeling well,' My attention was drawn back to her as she spoke.

'Yah, I can see that. What's wrong with him?' I asked.

The woman peered at the animal. 'We are still unsure. I have taken him
everywhere I could think of to get help and to no avail. I must admit, I
am at a bit of a loss.'

I stared at the lizard. It ignored me. 'Did you take it to the dragons?
They know a lot about fire, maybe they can do something.'

'That was our last stop, actually. Over the past few weeks we have visited
every known dragon. Two of them laughed heartily and dismissed us.' She
rolled her eyes. 'I have not felt this frustrated in a long time.'

'Maybe it has indigestion,' I tried to be helpful.

'He has not eaten much actually. In fact he has been living off of Greek
fire oil,' She giggled. 'I feared water would extinguish him or...
something... and to be honest, I tried not to pay much heed to what he ate
before, so long as it was not any of our other pets.'

Uproarius laughter came from across the inn. What I thought was a pile of
tartan blankets was now waving a bottle of some sort of alcohol and
practically rolling on the floor over what the woman said.

She peered at him. 'Yes, drunkard? You have something to add?' She caught
on that the laughter was at her expense.

He laughed harder. Her eyes narrowed.

I was starting to think it was safer to be with the fire-belching lizard
than it was to be near the woman and the drunk pile of tartan. Have a
little animosity, why dontcha?

The laughing eventually subsided enough for him to talk to her. Or at
least it was almost talking... 'Ye wants m'to hev a peek ut the wee
liz'rd?'

'What?' she perched an eyebrow. She looked to me for help. Hell if I knew
what he was saying.

He motioned to the salamander and held his arms out, motioning for her to
give it to him. Ahhh... now we understood.

'Oh, hell no!' She clutched it tighter and took a step back.

The pile of tartan grinned, staggering forward.

'Laddie, I's knows 'bout animals,' He poked a herd of sheep. It skittered
about the inn. 'Lemme see da' liz'rd.' He came to stand near our table.
The stench alone sent me staggering back against the wall. Obviousy the
bottle in his hand was not his first drink of the day.

The woman seemed to ponder him. Much to my surprise she gingerly rested
her pet on the table for the man to see.

'Ow long hes 'e been seek?' He flipped the creature over and began
examining it.

It took us a minute or two to figure out what he was trying to say.
'Several weeks now. He started out fine, I think perhaps he wandered into
Rowane's laboratory and maybe ate...' Her words ended and she paled as he
yanked on a rubber glove and turned her pet into a hand puppet.

Sparky yelped! A burst of fire nearly singing the beard right off his
assailant. ''E dus not seem to be preeg'nt!' He declared.

I barely caught the woman in time. I nearly fainted myself at that- since
when do you check males for pregnancy? And that is NOT where you check.

'Wat ye's been feed'n eet?' He flipped the lizard back over.

She steadied herself and tried to regain her composure, 'He hasn't eaten 
or drinken anything in a while, but I did find that he likes oil.'

'Wut kin' of oil?' He asked.

She pulled out a small bottle of Greek fire oil to show him. The lizard
moaned and rested his head on the table.

The drunken Scot again burst into hysterical laughter. I was startled by
his outburst. The woman was as well but her feelings quickly turned to
annoyance.

'What. WHAT is so funny?!' She had quite a temper, this dert-bag toting,
lizard-keeping cloaked woman. I was already eyeing the exit.

'Ees drook oone de oils!'

'What?'

He tried to enunciate his slur a bit, 'Ees droonk oon de oils!'

'Eh?' We all stared dumfoundedly. Even strangers stopped drinking to
watch. What?

The drunk looked frustrated. 'Wen doos he git seek moost, morn?' The nice
man in the corner translated it for us.

'I don't know... it comes and goes. He seems ok then gets ill again' The
woman looked worn and frustrated herself. She picked up her creature from
the table and rested it to her like one would a child.

'Aye!' The Scot looked triumphant. 'See?'

No, not really. None of us did.

He laughed. ''Ees not seek, 'es DROONK! 'Ung'oer!' He dramatically swigged
his bottle of liquor and looked at the woman expectantly.

'I beg your pardon?' She stared in disbelief.

'De OIL! 'Es a fire creature and ya feed hem OIL!' He spoke the last words
slowly and carefully to her, ''E ees droonk.' He swigged again
dramatically, grinning all the world like the cat who ate the canary.

She stared. He bartered.

'M'new bes' freend! Ow mooch ye wan' for 'em?'

The woman gasped, 'He is the royal pet, he is NOT for sale!' She reached
for her pet, but not fast enough! The drunk Scot snatched the yelping
creature from the table. It was already remembering the glove apparently.

The woman rose to face the Scot. A handful of people quickly left the inn.

'My seemingly drunken pet,' Her words cut like ice, she could barely face
her lizard, who was squirming in the Scots arms as he offered it some of
his liquor bottle. 'Needs to go get this out of his system.'

The Scot gasped.

'Liz'rd 'buse! De ye nay LOOVE 'em?? Wuts wron' wit dreenk'n? Ye's tryin'
te deepriv's him! 'Ehbusin' de wee droonken liz'rd! Eel save ye, wee
liz'rd!'

He darted towards the door, pushing through and fleeing into the night.

Cries rose up as we all looked around helplessly. The woman drew her
stave, her bellows streaking the air.

'Korgan!! Nexela! Emry, McDougan kidnapped Sparky! Come Quickly!'

Cloak flapping softly, she darted from the inn. I could hear the commotion
outside, varied voices, directions shouted. I stayed where I was- walking
from my house to the inn was enough action for me for one day, thanks.

Some 30-45 minutes passed before a huffing Scot snuck back into the inn.
He brought with him a bird who appeared to be equally drunk as he, and a
moaning lizard that I recognized.

I watched him try and con Sparky into drinking some of his bottled liquor.
I guess he was out of Greek fire oil?

Bursting into the inn suddenly came the cloaked woman and what apparently
were some comrades. A rather annoyed looking blond woman followed them in.
One of the men, a rather large smith it appeared, took a menacing step
towards the drunk, weapon already drawn.

The Scot grinned. ''Twas jus takin' 'em fer a walk.' He petted the
Salamander one more time before handing it back to its owner.

The woman cradled the lizard protectively to her, turning to leave the
inn. Her entourage followed suit. I did as well, but not before witnessing
something before I left. Someone speaking to the Scot. A man.

The door closed behind me as I saw onlookers come to reassure the woman
and greet the creature. More people came. One face stuck out in the crowd,
I watched the woman's eyes meet his. The same person I saw in the inn. He
gathered and smiled like the others but... something was off.

The woman noted him, 'Greetings Dolor. Out for a late stroll?'
 
The man grinned, the same grin I saw in the inn as I was leaving.
  
The two eyed each other, exchanging words I could not make out in din of
the excited crowd. I noted a surprised look on the man's face and could
make out his asking how she knew. More whispers were exchanged.
  
The woman watched him quietly as he nodded and walked back towards the
inn. Her friends studied the scene in curiosity.
  
'MoiraGwyn, what was that about?' Asked one unknown woman, her features a
bit masculine.
  
The woman's gaze remained cooly still as she stared after the man called
Dlor.
  
'Well.. It seems there was a hit of sorts on Sparky. Mercenaries and
rogues alike- For his kidnap and return to McDougan. Sparky has a price on
his head,' Her face was grim as she headed back to her villa, friends in
tow.
  
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