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VOLUME NINE, NUMBER TWO                                    January 12, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

                            The Editor's Note

                          NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                            Calendar of Events
                       Imm/Player Mixer Invitation
                              Recent Updates
                            Recent Q&A Topics
                       Did you know: Tips & Tricks

                               LEGENDITES
                              Announcements
                      First Royal Egyptian Tournament
                                Clan News
                           Birth Announcements
                        Custody Battles, Already?
                       Sigrid Tells it Like It Was
                  Cloaked in fire and shadow...  (Part I)

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

                            The Editor's Note

Wow. What a whirlwind week. The scary thing about resolutions and carrying
through with them is trying to guess exactly how much you can reasonably
handle at one time when you're taking those baby steps. Adding new things
to your routines is progress, but you have to be careful that you don't
overstep and try to take on too much at once.

It gets even trickier to judge and juggle those decisions when it's not
just you that they will affect. You see one of my goals this year is to
see more accomplished for LegendMUD but to actually do less work that I
don't enjoy. Oh, don't worry, I'm not planning on going anywhere.

What that goal means to me is that I'm not planning on cutting back on the
things I enjoy doing like building (not just maintaining), coding things
to make building easier, playing my mortal characters or helping in other
ways to facilitate making things happen more easily. What I do hope to cut
back on are things (or ways of doing things) that aren't enjoyable to me.
Yes, there are still things that will have to be done that I don't enjoy,
but there are many things that I've found myself doing that I don't enjoy
that can be delegated, changed so I do enjoy them or done without.

'Blah blah blah, who cares?' you say. Well, if I'm not happy doing this
job, you can bet the rest of the immort staff are less likely to enjoy
doing their jobs and when that happens everyone's less happy about the
place as a whole and people get grumpy and irritable and no one ends up
having any of the fun for which the place was designed/intended.

Last year around this time, I rambled on about how if people were not
happy with what they were getting from the LT (among other things) that
they should be out there contributing more of what they did want to see in
it. Well, that advice still holds true and we're going to be working on
more ways to make that easier for you to do. Also don't be surprised if
people start coming up and asking seemingly off the wall questions.

I also seem to have stirred up quite a hornet's nest concerning pkill.
While I'll admit it may have been a bit hasty to put in the poll
questions, I feel they are ones that we will need answered in order to
make some broad decisions that will benefit the mud as a whole.

So if you haven't already, please take a few minutes and answer the
questions on the poll at the menu and if you would like to add any other
useful comments, please feel free append them to the thread on the
discussion board. This is basically an information and opinion weighing
exercise, it is _NOT_ a democratic vote but will be used in the
decision-making process.
 
-Kaige

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

                 */* *\*  */* *\* January */* *\*  */* *\*

Wednesday, January  16th   8:00 pm           Trivia! with LadyAce
Thursday,  January  17th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Wednesday, January  23rd   8:00 pm           Trivia! with LadyAce
Thursday,  January  24th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Saturday,  January  26th    noon             Imm/Player Mixer
                                                  hosted by Rusalka
Wednesday, January  30th   8:00 pm           Trivia! with LadyAce
Thursday,  January  31st   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

                */* *\*  */* *\* February */* *\*  */* *\*

Thursday, February   7th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday, February  14th   Valentine's Day and LegendMUD's 8th Birthday
Thursday, February  21st   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium
Thursday, February  28th   6:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

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

The following engraved invitation landed here on the LT in-box... it was
addressed to "Everyone at LegendMUD", so consider yourselves invited!

                      What:    Imm/Player Mixer!
                      Time:    Noon System Time
                      When:    Saturday, January 26th
                      Where:   OOC (room To Be Determined)

                      Meet members of the imm staff!
                 Socialize with members of the imm staff!
                      Socialize with other players!
                            And... have fun!

                            Please join us!!

                                 - Rusalka

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

    /\                          RECENT UPDATES
   /  \
  /    \                         CODE UPDATES
 /_    _\
   |  |     New Features
   |  |      o catalog command which lists the items inside your house
   |  |        that will be saved and what their costs are 
   |__|
    /\      Bug Fixes
   /  \      o unclan redeem option no longer shows up under PKOK
  /    \     o report spell now gives normal error message if it fails
 /_    _\    o you can no longer phase door into solitary rooms
   |  |      o bug fix with harness command (riding non-mech vehicles 
   |  |        works properly)
   |  |     
   |__|     
    /\                         HELP FILE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    The following helpfiles were recently added or updated!
 /_    _\   
   |  |       General Info:
   |  |          desc_rules, legendary times, multiplay, and redeem 
   |  |     
   |__|     Thank you to all the players & imms who assisted in this update!
    /\      
   /  \     
  /    \                         AREA UPDATES
 /_    _\   
   |  |     If you want to suggest specific improvements or new additions
   |  |     to existing areas please don't hesitate to submit them with
   |  |     the idea/bug/typo commands or drop mudmail to the builder
   |__|     responsible for the area (check AREAINFO to find out!)
    /\      
   /  \                       Installed Area Updates
  /    \    
 /_    _\   1802 ALASKA
   |  |         Warcries can also trigger an avalanche. Various bug fixes
   |  |         and small improvements.
   |  |     THE ALHAMBRA
   |__|         Fixes Jacinta handing EVERYTHING back. Fixes Pedro's
    /\          double responses when cooking things.
   /  \     ARABIAN NIGHTS
  /    \        Captain of the Guard won't put up with people abusing him.
 /_    _\       Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |  |     CELTIC IRELAND
   |  |         Beorc now notices if you've given him the money he's
   |  |         expecting. Various typos fixed.
   |__|     FRENCH & INDIAN WAR
    /\          Patience is a virtue in the longhouse. Being impatient can
   /  \         get you splattered. Le'Cheir's skills are now more valued
  /    \        by the soldiers.
 /_    _\   ROMAN BRITAIN and PICTISH COUNTRY
   |  |         Dealing with the wineseller should be a bit easier to
   |  |         figure out. Various bugs fixed and improvements made.
   |  |     SHERWOOD
   |__|         Transing into Sherwood sets homerooms to the appropriate
    /\          align-based inn. Shop and bank functions also tied to
   /  \         alignment in those two inns. Guy checks if you already
  /    \        know the skill before teaching it. Various typos fixed.
 /_    _\   TUDOR LONDON
   |  |         A couple of fixes and additions to fishing and forage.
   |  |     AFRICAN SAVANNA, AZTECS, BENGAL, ABORIGINAL DREAMTIME,
   |  |     HOSPITALLER MALTA, PORT OF LONDON, MEDIEVAL SEAS, MELBOURNE,
   |__|     ROMANIA, SAN FRANCISCO, SOUTH SEAS, and VICEROYAL PERU
    /\         Various minor typos fixed.
   /  \
  /    \                   In Progress Area Updates
 /_    _\   
   |  |     This section is intended to let everyone know what builders
   |  |     are working on behind the scenes. It is not a perfect record
   |  |     of progress as all builders will not make updates every week.
   |__|     Players badgering builders about progress or a perceived lack
    /\      thereof will be flogged. Remember, the longer spent answering
   /  \     questions, the longer the project takes to complete.
  /    \    
 /_    _\           Ea!          Uruk (Gilgamesh)
   |  |             Kae          Larderello (Dante's Hell)
   |  |             Kaige/Ptah   1950s Americana
   |  |             Rusalka      Tudor London Update
   |__|             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
 
Apologies to those whose questions and answers were lost in the 1st half
of the log.
 
 o Forming Clans & Open Slots?       o PK/RP CLan Distinctions?
 o Expies Timeline?                  o Newbies
 o NPH & Clan Vitality               o Area Progress?
 o Recent/Upcoming Changes?          o Balm Changes? 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____    
  /  _  \   DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \  
      /  /  The VIEW command will allow you to easily see all the 
     /  /   variations of the messages for all the socials and moods 
    /__/    without having to enlist a guinea pig to try them out on.
    __      
   /  \     Syntax: view social <social name>
   \__/     Syntax: view mood <mood name>
            
   _____    For socials and moods that don't overlap existing help file
  /  _  \   topics you can also short cut this using HELP <social/mood>.
 /__/ \  \  For the entire list of socials, type SOCIALS while online,
      /  /  and similarly MOODS will list all the moods available.
     /  /   
    /__/    Another thing to keep in mind is that keeping the same mood
    __      all the time can get boring and predictable for the other
   /  \     players around you. You may want use an alias or even
   \__/     various triggers that will alter your character's mood using
            the TEMPMOOD config (see HELP TEMPMOOD for more info).
   _____    
  /  _  \   At a certain time, your character may get TIRED or RELUCTANT.
 /__/ \  \  Or maybe if people say things to you in a nasty way, your 
      /  /  HAPPY mood may turn SULLEN or even FRUSTRATED or a trigger
     /  /   for "You are getting hungry" may change your mood to HUNGRY.
    /__/    When you're about to enter combat or on some trigger when you
    __      are engaged in combat, change your mood setting. What brave 
   /  \     hero or supreme villain can be taken seriously if they are
   \__/     giggling uncrontrollably or their eyes are glazing over?

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

                              Announcements
                              =============

Recently seen posted on a tall dark brown tree was a leafy parchment
paper, reading:

       All are welcome to the First Royal Egyptian Tournament.

A playerkill tournament available for levels 40+, if interested send a
mudmail with level to Senusret. An entry fee of 25,000 gold coins is asked.
The winner of the tournament recieveing 70% of the gold collected and the
Royal Egyptian Tournament Cup, while the second place recieves a prize of
20% of the gold collected. A single elimination bracket will be set up,
and you will fight until you lose. All are welcome, for fighting will be
intense, exciting, and fun.

Senusret Khakaure III

                             Trivia Results
                             ==============
 
The scores in last Wednesday night's trivia were:
 
Dolor (13)           Yuehfei (6)             Masha (5)       
Mario (4)            Trinity & Frodin (3)    Unanswered & Serenity (2)
Ishtar & Lilian (1)
 
Some sample questions:
1. In what three colors can you get Heinz ketchup?
2. What does a gold 'carat' measure?  
3. What was the name of the British royal family before it was changed to
   Windsor in 1917?
4. In what country did the kilt originate?

See the end of this issue for the answers and join us for more on
Wednesdays in January at 8pm for Trivia with LadyAce!


                                Clan News
                                =========

Congratulations to The Hermetics, The Secretives, and The Grand Coven of
Legend. These clans will all celebrate the 4th year of their (re)founding
on January 15th under the freeforming clans system.

Here's what Rowand of the Hermetic Order had to say when we asked him to
tell us a bit about the clan:

   I am embarrassed to say but when I first joined the Hermetics I was
   under the impression that they where somehow affiliated with the Greek
   god Hermes. Being a young man of 17 and still an apprentice of magic, I
   had my first chance meeting with person whom I now consider a close and
   dear friend, Boreas, who happened to be a recruiter for the Hermetic
   Order. Thinking back on our encounter I can chuckle because she did
   little to dissuade my belief. After having joined I was tutored by
   fellow members and I eventually reached the position of diplomat in the
   Order. It surprised me to find that the clan that I had joined was far
   older then I had imagined. Whispers carrying the names of pervious GMs
   whom I had thought ancient such as Ishtar and Skar had all but
   disappeared. Through a little digging I learned that the clan's ancient
   history dated as far back as the creation of clans on Legend. Along
   side the Secretives, the Knights of Legend, and the Grand Coven, the
   Hermetic Order was created as a pkill clan. Our ancient members fought
   and lived out their lives in the service of their clan and their fellow
   members. I was happy to learn that many of these same founding members
   went on to become immortals showing a dedication not only to the Order
   but Legend itself.

   The Hermetics have gone through times both good and bad and have a
   history that is both enthralling and colorful. To me the Order
   represents friendship and support, it is a clan that I feel both
   privileged to be in and lead. I hope it much success in the future.

   Sincerely,
   King Rowane de'Dannan, Guild Master of the Hermetic Order

And Malia, of the Grand Coven shares the following about her clan:

   The Grand Coven began some years ago when Isobel, angry with the
   Knights, sought revenge against them. The sisterhood has always been
   proud of the closeness of its members. And I believe that's what has
   kept the clan going all these years - through the old clan system, and
   the past 4 years in the freeforming system. Our sisters are a wide
   variety. But most importantly, we enjoy our rp, and have quite alot of
   fun with it whether just the day to day happenings, or during big pkill
   wars. Mischief can be your best friend if you use it right, and I think
   our past shows we know how to do just that. Just keep your eyes open for
   the future!

The GM of the Secretives clan was unavailable for comment. The Secretives
are a highly furtive sort. Even all the members probably don't know what
their ultimate purpose might be.

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

Tancred de Gisborne, Master of the Temple reports, 'Tis my pleasure to
welcome Sister Mary-Therese into the Order of the Temple, as well as to
announce the miraculous return of Fra. Judah Eliezer from the death. Praise
the Lord that He lets such a man walk the Earth!'

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

.     L|J(_)             Over the recent week, just about anyone were
  )    | (")      (      chasing around in the attempt to find the newborn
  ,(.  |`/ \- y  (,`)    twins Micetto and Micele, and return them to their
 )' (' | \ /\/  ) (.     parents. How the children passed into custody of
(' ),) | _W_   (,)' ).   Lady Valya and Sister Trinity remains a mystery,
 A Hot Line From Hell    but I'm pleased to announce that both are in good
                         health -- and Micetto does not appear to have
taken any permanent damage from his baptism (nor does my head seem to have
taken permanent damage from Lady Valya's foot).

Whispers and elusive rumors have circled around the young squire Alan of
the Knights Templar lately, but no one seems able to confirm what the young
man's secret is; an evasive lot, those church knights! At the same time,
Sister Trinity's vampire hunting efforts have returned to previous heights,
her famous traps being spotted just around everywhere.

Windchime and Sir Geber of the Knights of Legend tied the knot this week;
unfortunately no one considered inviting yours truly, so we'll have to rely
on other sources to let us know how the event went. Instead, we'll have to
content ourselves in the knowledge that the Seven Circles' decision to rent
out Soze weekly to Ibrahim as a gardener seems to be a good one; the old
Albion coot seems quite delighted with Soze's special dhurtah brand
fertilizer.

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

The Warriors of Darkness Clan disbanded for low membership.

There are currently 18 RP clans and 10 PK clans. This leaves space for 4
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________________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

                          Birth Announcements
                          ===================
 
It is our pleasure to announce the birth of a lovely baby son and daughter,
Micele and Micetto, who will be available for your ooh'ing and aah'ing needs
at regular intervals.

Marcel Alexander, Esquire
Lady Mitra Alexander

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

                       Custody Battles, Already?

Tempers flared over the previous weeks as Lady Mitra Alexander stopped
being, in her own words, 'a beached Christmas ornament' and gave birth to
twins. Due to yet undisclosed events, the children came into custody of two
Knights of Legend, Lady Valya and Sir Lawrence, the latter soon passing his
charge to Sister Trinity d'Arpajon of the Knights Templar. There was much
speculation and scheming concerning the welfare and retrieval of the
children, who are now finally happily reunited with their parents.

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

                      Sigrid Tells It Like It Was

On a cold, rainy night like this one was, most people are happy to sit
inside, and most people in the little inn were. Happy just sitting there
warming themselves on the mead in their mugs, all peace and quiet... at
least until some drunkard dressed in bloodstained materials mostly from
dead animals, knocked over a bench, jumped a table and started yelling or
singing something in a foreign language.

'Ayes', the drunkard yelled after a while, 'ye all oughta hea'ra'bout me
battle 'gainst the 'oundmaster!'

With an angry snarl at the two doormen, the fur-dressed figure emptied her
mug and threw it at the wall yelling, 'ye all stay put, i dun wanna have to
kill any o' ye, and wench, more mead!'

'Now, ye all listen, ye might learn i thin' or two.'

'Me an' a bunch o' others been venturin' te the Shadowlands te be doin'
some slicin'. So we were just bein' done there an' on our way out. An' som'
said we don' needa check for hounds, an' I be thinkin' 'em stupid but
alright, I be just the slicer.'

'So we be walkin' out an' then suddenly we be ambushed by the Erin
'oundmaster bugger an' a bunch o dogs. An' I be goin' inte battlerage so
me picture be a bit fuzzy 'bout what be happenin'. But anyways, I be
startin' te slice these coward buggers, we all did I be thinkin'.'

The figure spat on the ground, obviously disgusted about something then
continued her tale, 'At som' point I be lookin' up an' I see big Ledgend be
lyin' in the dirt with an' open stomach wound, an' I be seein' swift Poi be
takin' many a blow, but he be fallin' too, an' so all me friends be
fallin'. I be tryin' te protect the 'ealers, but Erin be sidesteppin' one
o' me bashes an' when I be lyin' in the dirt tryin' te get up, he an' all
o' 'is dogs be slicin' an' killin' Amecia. An' then they be turnin' on me
again, an' I don' remember much but slicin' a lot, an' me enemies fallin'.'

'An' then I look up right before slicin' the last figure's 'ead off, an' I
be noticin' it be Emry. So I don' slice 'er. An' Erin an' the dogs be dead.
So I be pullin' out me dert bag te take care o' the wounded, an' slowly
they wake an' be alright again.'

The figure grinned evilly.

'So ye be sein' I be savin' the day an' me friends. All I be regrettin' be
not slicin' Mrs. Ritterlin' up a bit when I had the chance.. before she be
spawnin' more Ritterlin's. But that be all te late now.'

Wavering with her Axe to show how she had sliced everybody, the drunk
berserker lost her balance and knocked herself out falling backwards off
the table. And so she was thrown into the cold night to cool down by the
suddenly very brave doormen.

Enjoying the peace and quite once again the other customers returned to
their drinks.

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

                 Cloaked in fire and shadow...  (Part I)

...The air was cloyingly-sweet with the smell of pastries being baked,
their dangerous aroma making it more obviously aware that the small company
of Enforcers had been without supplies for a week now. Their food supplies
had diminished, and they had to depend on hunting instead of the rations
they had. The horses came to a standstill, what was left of them. Three of
the number had horses, and the others lost theirs, to hunger, lameness, or
theft by the natives.

Masha pulled the hood of her cloak about her face, fending off the cold,
icy air from chapping her lips and face anymore. Her purplish eyes scanned
the area, hoping that there wouldn't be too much of a disturbance as they
passed through to the awaiting ships that would take them toward the
Mediterranean and to warmer airs. Isam rode the black stallion next to her,
her fiance and her sworn protector. His stony face held little emotion, and
only his eyes lit up when he looked at Masha. His eyes searched for the
littlest of details that might harm Masha. A sickened Enforcer rode the
third horse, whose legs had already taken on the signs of gangrene, and
Masha had run out of herbs to heal his legs.

The town was sleepy looking, in its little hollow before the march toward
the sea. The sign said 'Salem', and the smokestacks spewed up their smoke,
showing the signs of life. Masha raised her hand and reigned her dappled
mare to a halt. She turned in her saddle to a sergeant in the ranks.

'Pass the order to disperse and get supplies. She added belatedly, 'The
honorable way. We aren't here to loot, just to make it to the ships in
time.' She cringed inwardly as the sergeant began bellowing orders, and
those who were squad leaders began yelling the same. She turned to Isam,
whose face was still stony. 'I need some hot food.' Warmth was found in a
bedroll, lately, not in food.

Isam nodded to her and nudged his mount into motion, and they took to
finding an Inn. Forty minutes later, after much searching in the small
warrens and side streets, they found one. It was called the Ordinary, and
in a way, it was just that. He dismounted first and glanced about, before
hitching his horse and helping Masha from her saddle. She winced as her
knees moved, having almost been frozen in that position since early this
morning.

They stepped inside, and Masha could feel her mouth watering from the
smells of the roasting chicken and freshly baked bread and pies. Her eyes
went wide slightly and she grasped Isam's arm, looking frail and weak to
the occupants inside.

Stepping toward the man both assumed to be the Innkeeper, with his plaque
noting him as 'Nathaniel Ingersoll', Isam's cold, mystery twinged voice
spoke first, 'A room, and a hot bath for the lady.'

Masha could have kissed him right there, but her teeth began to chatter.
She smiled weakly, appearing more frail and weak to the occupants. A plump
woman said something, but Masha ignored it, and the woman moved to do
Isam's bidding.

They trudged up the stairs, Masha having to stop twice to catch her breath.
Being in the saddle too long in a campaign does that to one. Her knees
ached, and her head hurt, her eyes burned, and her stomach rumbled from
hunger. She saw to it her men ate more than she. A right commander of
troops.

The bath was luxurious in comparison to not having one, and Masha felt the
tension melt away from her body while she closed her eyes and breathed in
the hot steam. The beginning signs of pneumonia had set in, but now it
would be better after getting to a warmer climate. Isam took to removing
most of his blood stained armor and took out his whetstone and sword,
sharpening it while he watched her.

'Enjoying yourself?' he asked, his lips curling in a hint of amusement.

'Yes.' Her eyes didn't open.

After the bath, it was time to eat. Both of them managed to trudge back
down the stairs, Masha's legs no longer bothering her, and they sat at a
table. In this area, they listened to the man, the woman expected to stay
quiet. Isam favored her with a slight smile as he ordered the food:  salted
cod stew, roasted chicken, and mulled wine.

The food was excellent, and Masha was sure that the rest of her company was
eating just as well. Masha moved her chair closer to Isam, feeling the
warmth from him, and from the fire. She started to drift off to sleep as
the area began to grow darker.

Masha jerked awake, unaware of the time, but it was dark. She stood and
began chanting under her breath, creating an orb of light to make things
brighter. The Innkeeper's wife gasped and began yelling out the door for
the town's guards. 'A witch!'

Masha got to her feet and looked to Isam, who already had his sword drawn
and his face closed, wooden. She pulled her hand back as the guard grabbed
it, and Isam's sword flashed out, severing the hand. Pandemonium erupted.

All around the town, cries of alarm rose, more town guards mustered, and
equally Enforcer troops did as well. Fighting began, blood spilling into
the streets, and the sound of steel against steel sounded.

The inn was filled with more troops. Masha tried to fight, but the weakness
from hunger and her joints being colder earlier made her weak against these
common men. Isam's sword flashed out, slicing men, but there were too many
of them. Arms encircled her waist and hauled her. She screamed for Isam.

Seconds flashed by, like an eternity, as he turned, seeing her being
carried off, her kicking and screaming, the guards retreating from the
crazed man with a sword. Her hand flung out, and he tried to grab it, his
sword loosely in the other. Their fingertips touched...

                       (  To be continued...  )

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Answers to the sample trivia questions above.

 1. Red, purple, green 
 2. purity 
 3. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 
 4. France

Join us for more on Wednesdays in January at 8pm for Trivia with LadyAce!

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