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=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
VOLUME NINE, NUMBER THIRTY-THREE                            August 24, 2002
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                          The Editor's Note

                        NEWS, REPORTS, UPDATES
                          Calendar of Events
               Immortal Applications Due September 1st
                            Recent Updates
                      Tudor Barge Travel Tips
                Industrial Era Spotlight: Gypsy Carnival
                          Recent Q&A Topics
                     DID YOU KNOW: VIEW Command

                             LEGENDITES
                              Clan News
                         We are the Secretives
                          Knighted Be, Tomato!
                             The PK Front
                          A Damsel in Distress

                        Letters, Who Needs Them?
                          Crossed Swords Inn
                        A Perfect Building Site
                      My Father, The Basset Hound
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                      The Editor's Note                          |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

Well, we survived the first week of Kindergarten here at my house. My
schedule is still in complete upheaval, but I did manage to get most of my
usual Legend tasks done this week. But next week should go smoother as we
learn the ropes.

As next week signals the end of Summer and the end of our Odyssey and
wraps up our month in the Industrial era, we hope you've enjoyed this
summer's offerings and have found new things to play with and explore.

Just because the Odyssey is drawing to a close for this year, please don't
stop the ideas, suggestions, and concerns to yourselves. If something
bothers you, note it down in the feedback channels. If you don't, the only
you can really blame for not getting it fixed is you.

From a building perspective, the Level to 5 contests provided useful
feedback about the hometowns in each era, but they also revealed a few
cases where some people only relied on past experiences in the area and
hadn't yet found some of the things they noted as lacking in the areas
that had been updated this summer. So even for long-term players, the
Summer Odyssey brings new things for them to discover and explore.

-Kaige
___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|                   LegendMUD Calendar of Events                  |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'
          [All times are system time unless otherwise specified]
   
                   AUGUST                     SEPTEMBER
            Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa        Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                         1  2  3         1  2  3  4  5  6  7
             4  5  6  7  8  9 10         8  9 10 11 12 13 14
            11 12 13 14 15 16 17        15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
            18 19 20 21 22 23 24        22 23 24 25 26 27 28
            25 26 27 28 29 30 31        29 30
 
      August wraps up our 2002 Summer Odyssey in the Industrial Era.
         Join us on a journey through time to explore our world!

Wednesday, August    28th                     No Wednesday Night Game 
Thursday,  August    29th   7:00 pm           Q & A in the OOC Auditorium

Sunday,    September 1st   11:59 pm           Immort Applications Due

___                                                                   ___
\  |-----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
/__|            Immortal Applications Due September 1st              |__\
   '-----------------------------------------------------------------'

It's that time of year again. The deadline for Immortal Applications is
September 1st, 2002. If you are interested in applying to become an
immortal, be sure to speak to the appropriate department head about your
proposed project _before_ you submit your application.

Additional information on Becoming an Immortal at LegendMUD can be found
by reading HELP APPLICATION online as well as pointing your browser to:

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

The individual links to take you directly to the important pages are:

THE IMMORT CODE OF CONDUCT
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/imm_conduct.html

IMMORT PROPOSAL REVIEW PROCESS
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/proposals/app_vote.html

THE GENERAL APPLICATION FOR IMMORTING
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/proposals/gen_app.html

THE ADMINISTRATION PROPOSAL
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/proposals/admin_prop.html

THE BUILDER PROPOSAL
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/proposals/builder_prop.html

THE CODING PROPOSAL
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/proposals/code_prop.html

THE PUBLIC RELATIONS PROPOSAL
   http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/proposals/pr_prop.html

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

    /\                         CODE UPDATES
   /  \     
  /    \    Misc Changes
 /_    _\     o Q & A Feedback command (like bug/typo/idea)
   |  |       o pkill timer now longer ticks down if you are in a room
   |  |         that no one else can enter
   |  |       o Moods now will be used in some socials and fight skills
   |__|       o fighting someone within your own clan no longer updates
    /\          your last battle time
   /  \       o If you try to rent while overrent it should be a bit more
  /    \        obvious
 /_    _\   
   |  |     Bug Fixes
   |  |       o lay/lie confusion fixed
   |  |       o pkok checks for clans rewritten to fix bugs
   |__|       o If tithe is greater than 0% at least 1 coin will always go
    /\          to the clan
   /  \       o a bunch of capitalization errors fixed
  /    \      o rejectgives will now reject gives from mobs charmed by
 /_    _\       players
   |  |       o If you hit a DT with an item owned by someone other than
   |  |         yourself or a friend, the item is now dropped outside the
   |  |         DT.
   |__|       o "[Info]: Ea! is dead -- hisEa! body mangled..." bug fixed
    /\        o "tickets are 50" instead of "tickets are $150" fixed
   /  \     
  /    \    Typo/Grammar Fixes
 /_    _\     o "you cannot aim a weapon of this type while standing" now
   |  |         makes sense if you are lying down
   |  |       o "Ea! sing a soothing lullaby" typo fixed.
   |  |       o "The the object is closed" fixed
   |__|       o "Ea! lies down on the ground and get comfortable" fixed
    /\      
   /  \     
  /    \                     HELP FILE UPDATES      
 /_    _\   
   |  |     The following helpfile was recently updated:
   |  |     
   |  |     GENERAL INFO
   |__|          ACCEPT, ATTRIBUTE, AUTORENT, AUXILIARY, BEFRIEND, BOARD,
    /\           BOREDOM, BOT, BURNED, CHANGES, COMPRESSION, CONFERENCE,
   /  \          CONNECT, CONNECTION, CORPSE RECOVERY, CPROMPT,
  /    \         DESCRIPTION, DESC_CHANGE, DRUNKENNESS, EMOTE, EQUIPMENT,
 /_    _\        ETIQUETTE, FAQ, FORM, FURNITURE, HANDS, HEALING BALM,
   |  |          HOUSING, HOUSING-FAQ, IMMORTING FAQ, INSTALL, LIE,
   |  |          LINKDEAD, LOOK, MACHINE, MAPPING, MCCLIENT, MONEY, NEWS
   |  |          BOARD, PHOTO BOOTH, PKOK, PLAYERFILE, PROFICIENCY,
   |__|          PROMPT, RECALLING, RULES, SAY, SCORE, SHOPS, SPELLBOOK,
    /\           TICK, UNROLL, UPDATES, WEAR, WEDDINGS
   /  \     
  /    \    SKILL INFO
 /_    _\        ADVANCED FENCING, BASH, BASIC FENCING, EXPERT FENCING,
   |  |          FIELD SURGERY, FISHING, FORGE, KICK, MIX POTION, PARRY,
   |  |          PICK LOCK, QUICKDRAW, REPAIR, RIDE, THROW, WARCRY
   |  |     
   |__|     SPELL INFO
    /\           ASSESS PROTECTION, CREATE OBJECT, FOUL WATER, FROST BOLT,
   /  \          ILLUSION, RECALL SPELL, REMOVE CURSE, RESURRECT, SUMMON
  /    \         AIR ELEMENTAL, TRUE FORM, VIGOR
 /_    _\   
   |  |     Thanks to all the immorts and players who made this possible.
   |  |     
   |  |     
   |__|                         SUMMER ODYSSEY      
    /\                      INDUSTRIAL ERA 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
   |  |     currently responsible for the area (check AREAINFO to find
   |  |     out!) And don't limit ideas to just these three months!
   |__|     
    /\      AFRICAN SAVANNA
   /  \          CONSIDER EVERYTHING! Some mob levels changed and mostly
  /    \         increases!! Most notably, the giraffe is much bigger.
 /_    _\        There were 22 new mobs added, filling in the gaps on the
   |  |          lower end for now. Kilimanjaro quest changed due to
   |  |          popular demand and builder agreement. Take care when
   |  |          hiking. Various typos fixed.
   |__|     
    /\      PARIS
   /  \          Greaves are now worn on ARMS and can be repaired.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   SAN FRANCISCO
   |  |          Saloon girls shouldn't repeat names or be quite so
   |  |          spammy. Various bugs and typos fixed.
   |  |     
   |__|     BENGAL and PORT OF LONDON
    /\           Various bugs and typos fixed.
   /  \     
  /    \    
 /_    _\                      Other Area Updates
   |  |     
   |  |     ROMAN BRITAIN and PICTISH COUNTRY
   |  |          Morgawr's exp changed and reduced stun again.
   |__|     
    /\      ARABIAN NIGHTS, BEOWULF, and LEGENDS OF THE PAST
   /  \          Various bugs and typos fixed.
  /    \    
 /_    _\   
   |  |                   In Progress Area Updates
   |  |     
   |  |     This section is intended to let everyone know what builders 
   |__|     are working on behind the scenes. It is not a perfect record
    /\      of progress as all builders will not make updates every week.
   /  \     Players badgering builders about progress or a perceived lack
  /    \    thereof will be flogged. Remember, the longer spent answering
 /_    _\   questions, the longer the project takes to complete.
   |  |     
   |  |             Kheldar       Medieval Sea Trade
   |  |             Leila         Victorian London
   |__|     

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

                      Tudor Barge Travel Tips

The Queen likes to sail on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Those of you trying
to board may want to consider where it would be easiest to climb onto a
boat. The queen's ride tends to be rather regular in timing as well.

  ___                                                                  ___
  \  |----------------------------------------------------------------|  /
  /__|          Industrial Era Spotlight: Gypsy Carnival              |__\
     '----------------------------------------------------------------'

                       Ibrahim's Reminiscing

Kaige has expressed interest in hearing which areas are people's
favourites and why. I thought I'd throw my own comment in there, just for
good measure. -How long did you think it would be before you would hear an
old man ramble, eh?

But to the point. My favourite industrial area is the Gypsy Carnival. One
of the things that highly contributes to this is the great feel of the
area. Things are actually going on around you, most of the mobs have
responses and in this area, a nutty way of thinking is, in fact, a bonus.
I remember the first times I explored it: I was scared of the mirrormaze
(Not that I'm a coward *hrmf*), Dr. Caligari and intrigued by Madame
Zeena, Lovely Gina and well, I love the flea circus because it responded
to a crazy idea I had. The area is fun to show to newbies, since most
response to it much in the same way as I did. Also, the area holds a lot
of possibilities for finding good mundane strings, whether you play a
child, an old sod or a tacky dresser.

However, I think the Carnival is more fun to explore with someone else
that hasn't been there too much either. Being dragged around by the nose
doesn't really leave room for trying all the carnival machines and doing
all the stuff that pops into your head, like 'It would be fun if this mob
responded to this.' And if you do get a good idea and the mob doesn't
respond to it, you could always idea it :)

I'm not sure if these ramblings benefit others than myself, sitting here
smoking my pipe and remembering the good old days... But does anyone dare
say it to my face? I thought not. I do hope, however, that I have piqued
some curiousity in those who have yet to explore the Carnival.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
  _______   ____    _______
 /  ___  \ / __ \  /  ___  \  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 Restraining Orders & Q&As?        o Harassment and Forced RP?
 o Seoni Quest Comments              o Contracts for Clan Membership
 o Safe & Solitary Room Changes      o PK Exp and Motivations?
 o Ideas for Clans                   o Talk/Say To -- Why Both?
 o How often are Purges?             o Hometown Info in Char Gen?
 o Lima Hometown Comments            o Balance Issues & Two-Handed Bows
 o Contagious Cough & PK?            o Prance Typo Fixed?
 o Interest on Bank Accounts?        o Pittsburgh Comments
 o Klein Balance/Update              o New Areas?
 o Entrance With Just Sing?          o More on Priorities & Balance
 o Commonly Reported as Bugs but Aren't
 o Spell Info                        o Suggestions

You'll notice we've added a new section of topics that started with the
August 1st, log. We just added a Q&A feedback channel (it is just like
bug/typo/idea) so people can enter questions and get them answered and not
have to try to remember them until Thursday. Also, people can now easily
ask questions without having to attend, and the answers will all be in one
place instead of one immort mailing the answer to only one person.

This is also a good place to put anything you're not SURE if it's a
bug/typo or feasible in order to get some feedback on it, unlike the other
feedback channels.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   _____    
  /  _  \   DID YOU KNOW: Tips and tricks and little-used features
 /__/ \  \  
      /  /  With the recent addition of adding moods to some socials and
     /  /   skills, we thought it'd be a good idea to rerun this tip.
    /__/    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 
  /  _  \      Syntax: view mood 
 /__/ \  \     Syntax:  view social 
      /  /  
     /  /   For socials and moods that don't overlap existing help file
    /__/    topics you can also short cut this using HELP .
    __      
   /  \     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 or possibly come across completely wrong.
     /  /   You may want use an alias or even various triggers that will
    /__/    alter your characters mood using the TEMPMOOD config (see HELP
    __      TEMPMOOD for more info). You may even feel like your character
   /  \     has taken on a life of his/her own!
   \__/     
   _____    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" to change your tempmood to HUNGRY.
     /  /   
    /__/    Just imagine the look on the person you're engaged in a pkill
    __      battle with when your mood goes from CASUAL, SECRETIVE or
   /  \     MYSTERIOUS to BLOODTHIRSTY, INSANE or WICKED. Might mess with
   \__/     their expected arrive triggers for you as well.

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

                       'We are the Secretives.

For many years, we've been watching and analyzing and some of you even
thought our clan was disbanded. We have in fact mastered the arcana levels
of secrecy: the Enigma.

Alas, recently, our studies have been disturbed. Too much evil in this
world. This perturbs the balance of the Enigma. This shall not be.

Be aware that we have send our warriors on the path of your redemption.
Enough, that is enough. Enough hell dwellers and evil zealots, this world
has to come again to a balance.

Be aware that we are back into power and fight on the side of those who
need. You may not see us, notice us and even know who we are. But you will
feel the power of the Enigma.'

                        ----------------------
                        
The Secretives is one of the oldest clan on LegendMud.

We don't really have an alignment roleplay and we tend to be neutral and
fight for the protection of the Enigma.

Our roleplay is based on secrecy and illuminati pins, thats what we are,
scholar shadows.

If you are interrested in the clan, you have to find a way to secretly
make us aware that you are, as we won't come into the light to greet you.

You will see us soon.

- The Secretives GuildMaster

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

                         Knighted Be, Tomato!

A circle of men and women had formed around the lean, blonde man who
glanced about himself with poorly hidden nervousness. The scene was formal
and tense. Behind the lines of ladies and gentlemen wearing the spurs of
knighthood on their heels, a good number of curious gentry had assembled
to watch.

'Squire Kayin Amoh, if you'd please kneel,' the chestnut-haired
swordsmaster, Sir Aidan, said sincerely, beginning the ceremony that dated
as far back as the knighthood itself.

The blond Scot promptly knelt on the ground before his future grand
master. He looked quite speechless.

Sir Aidan spoke again. 'Squire Kayin has proven himself many times over,
to myself and many other knights, some who are gathered here today.' He
paused for effect, then looked down at the kneeling man. 'Do you promise
to live and obey the Code of the Knights of Legend?'

Kayin spoke quietly, 'Yes, I do.'

Sir Aidan nodded. 'Do you pledge to honor, respect, and aid when
necessary, to the innocent and good citizens of the world?'

Kayin took the oath solemnly. 'I do pledge this, yes.'

A bit of commotion stirred among the ranks of knights and ladies. Sir
Enmity whispered quietly, so that squire would not hear, 'Do you promise
to kill Seven Circles members on sight?'

Sir Robar whispered back, 'And to respect your elders?'

Lady Freja whispered, 'Give him a tough one!'

Sir Enmity quickly put in, 'Do you promise to laugh at Sir Enmity's
jokes?'

Sir Aidan drew his blade and extended it to slowly tap Kayin once on each
shoulder. The young man looked quite overwhelmed. The Grand Master shot
his knights a shut up glare over Kayin's head.

Lady Freja returned a defiant nyah! look. Sir Enmity quietly whispered,
'Multi-tasking isn't Sir Aidan's talent!'

The Grand Master ignored them. 'As you have sunk to the ground an ordinary
man, arise a Knight of Legend,' he said formally. With one hand he
presented the knights' spurs to Kayin.

Lady Freja cheered loudly. 'Beer time! Par-tay!'

Sir Lawrence quickly tapped a few words on his trusty Palm Pilot and
showed them to the now Sir Kayin. 'One thing remains. Sir Kayin, do you
pledge never to tell jokes any worse than Sir Enmity's?'

Sir Aidan chuckled. Sir Kayin laughed. Sir Enmity gave Sir Lawrence a
solid bonk on the head which did not seem to phase the elf.

'And to let me win in arm wrestling,' Lady Freja inserted while Sir
Lawrence typed out, 'Do, and know now that this shall be your punishment!'
From out of nowhere he whipped a tomato which had definitely seen better
days and flung it at Sir Kayin's face. It splattered neatly all over his
upper body.

And thus, a new knight walked the land, his first quest being a bath and
clean clothes.

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

There are currently 14 RP clans and 8 PK clans. This leaves open slots for
ten (10) 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 guide for players interested in
founding and running a clan, we recommend that before you even type FORM,
you visit: http://www.legendmud.org/Reference/gm.html.

     ___                                                          ___
     \  |--------------------------------------------------------|  /
     /__|                   The PK Front                         |__\
        '--------------------------------------------------------'

                        A Damsel in Distress

Walled in and outnumbered in the Royal Stag, Duchess Maloth of the
infernals still had a taste for blood. Her need and request most
unwillingly granted by Sir Robar Royce of the Knights of Legend.

Thus within seconds she found herself bleeding all over the floor of the
Royal Stag, much to both Richard the cleaners and Sir Robar Royce the
killers regret. Between a wall and an army of charmies he had done short
process with her. Was it knightly, you ask, to walk over an outnumbered
woman?

Well, who can turn down a plead from a damsel?

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

The Infernals have been out stirring up much trouble and swaying people to
their evil causes. All but three of their members were seen in action and
one wonders how long Lord Barabas will suffer inactive members. Several of
the Knights have been seen fighting for justice this past week and trying
to drive back the onslaught of evil. The Grendels have been revelling in
the chaos that has ensued and even the members of the Grand Coven have
been out casting their spells. The Revolution seems to have come out of
the gate strong, but is struggling with changing leadership. The Syndicate
also seems to be suffering from shifting internal loyalties. The Hermetics
and the IRA only had one representative on the PK Front this week.

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

There were 97 pkill related deaths involving 62 different characters in
the last week. Of those 62 characters, 31 of them were accept all at the
time. So come on, let's get YOUR name up in lights! We can't report on it
if you don't tell us about it!

If you have you witnessed or 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 PK (not necessarily PK Clan
related), 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!!
 
              _______________________
             /                       \
        o O | Wonder what folks are   |
  `\|||/    | doing over at LegendMUD?|
   (o o)     \_______________________/
ooO_(_)_Ooo________________________________________________________________
_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|___
__|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____|

                          Letters, Who Needs Them?

Lord Marcel Alexander glowered at the small man groveling in the dirt at
his feet. The dashing, self-proclaimed prince of the Seventh Circle of
Hell looked less than pleased. Soze, on his part, just looked scared, and
that was nothing new. A couple of the smaller imps quickly placed bets on
his survival odds between themselves.

'My ex-wife looked me up the other day,' Lord Marcel stated coolly, to no
one in particular, although the man at his feet quite likely was in no
doubt as to whom was being addressed. 'She asked me a quite peculiar
question.' He folded his arms across his chest. 'It turns out my -- ' he
hesitated momentarily -- 'I mean, that Joel and Mitra's children have sent
me a few letters which were returned unopened. Would you happen to know
anything about that?'

Soze blinked. 'No?'

Lord Marcel scowled at him. 'And you're certain of that?' He did not sound
particularly convinced.

Soze glanced around for help. Within seconds, the small imps and devils
had vanished from sight. Getting blamed for something -- anything -- is a
bad career move in Hell, except if you get to take credit too. 'Well, I
didn't know you wanted your mail,' he finally said.

'No?' Lord Marcel's voice took on certain frosty characteristics.

Soze edged a few steps backwards on hands and feet. 'It seemed like a good
idea,' he muttered helplessly.

'Yes?' Lord Marcel offered his servant a casual, encouraging look. 'What
happened with my letters, mmm?' His voice was all
tell-your-old-buddy-Marcel; Soze was not fooled.

'Weeeeell,' Soze said at last. 'In case you didn't notice. While you were
out... blowing up Soho and getting drunk and stuff.. Omni czared the
Circles.'

Lord Marcel raised an eyebrow. 'Yes?'

Soze shrugged helplessly.

Eventually the auburn-haired prince nodded. 'I see. I guess I'll have to
ask her, then.' His casual tone of voice boded no good for anyone who got
in his way.  Soze, on his part, was just relieved that the blame got
shifted to someone else.

As they walked on, the imps and devils faded back into existence. A
particularly nasty-looking green specimen with multiple chin spikes
collected his winnings from the others.

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

                         Crossed Swords Inn

The rain fell softly, drizzling and sliding off the oiled cloak as the
dark-clad rider moved the steed into the closed village. Candle and lamp
light flickered in the windows, and the inn never looked so good.

Dismounting, the rider crept silently into the inn. The glowering red eyes
looked to the small sign above, swords crossed over a small black circle.
Yes, this was an inn meant for those who worshipped the Dark Lord.

The activity was typical of a village inn: a few stumbling drunks, a stray
traveller, and a bar keep cleaning the wooden mugs. His alarmed look was
quickly hidden in the fastidious cleaning of a wooden mug. 'We're all
full, sir.'

A soft, mocking laugh came from the cloaked hood, and a pair of glowing
red eyes shone for a moment before the hood was removed. Underneath was a
youthful face, unscarred, clean, and shortly cut platinum hair. The eyes
were, for the moment, a topaz-green. Soft, almost womanly lips parted in a
smile. 'I doubt it.' The rider moved to the bar and sat, running a
wickedly spiked gauntlet through his hair. 'Something strong.'

Gold can buy a great many things, including silence, as well as a drink.
The wooden mug thumped down and the bar keep reached under the counter to
pull a rather aged bottle from underneath, and poured it into the mug.
Seventeen gold coins quickly found their way into the pocket of the
barkeep.

'We do have one room available, m'lord,' the barkeep nervously said, going
back to cleaning another wooden mug. 'It's another thirty gold coins...'
The gold again appeared on the counter.

'See to it that it is cleaned well, and a hot bath readied.' The voice
sounded husky, and the timbre pitched just low enough for a man. A very
young man. Young and foolish. A knowing look from the barkeep was seen by
a pair of locals, who sauntered up slowly to the bar.

'So, Bram, see we gots us a mighty fine nobleman,' the more grotesque one
said. His girth spewed out from under a greatly patched tunic. 'Probably a
pretty rich nobleman...'

The named one nodded, smiling and showing green, broken teeth. His breath
smelled strongly of onions. 'Aye, Gunner, he appears ta be.'

The young nobleman sat, drinking slowly from the mug, lost in a world of
thought that was clearly better than this. His voice spoke quietly, 'Leave
me lest you feel my staff crush your spine.'

A bellowing chuckle came from Green-teeth. 'Ya hear that, Gunner, he
threatened us.' He reached out to grab the nobleman by the back of the
cloak.

*SNAP* came the sound of bone cracking, and a staff of pusling blue light
appeared in the hand of the young nobleman. Green-teeth went down and
another snap of the staff sent Glutton sprawling, clutching a shattered
throat. Turning slowly, the nobleman looked to the barkeep, eyes flaring a
violent red.

'Do you treat all worshippers of the Dark Lord this way, worm?' The voice
clearly didn't belong to the nobleman. It was a man's, deep and
foreboding, sending a chill down the innkeep's spine. 'How dare you attack
the High-Priestess of the Dark Lord!' came a womanly voice from the same
nobleman, husky and almost seductive, yet commanding in power.

'F-Forgive me...' the innkeep begged. The sound of a melon being struck
came to the room's occupants. Blood splattered across the bar, and those
who were gathered slowly went back to their drinks, as did the nobleman.
Yes, it was just another irritant tonight, along with being wet from the
rain.

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

                        A Perfect Building Site

The solemn ranger stood on a hill and looked around. 'This would be a
perfect spot to build a cabin.' he thought. He had searched many areas for
the perfect building spot for his cabin. He would have been happy in a sod
shelter, but he wanted something that would be good enough for a certain
hippy to live in as well. Nikos seemed to agree as well, as he had found
several small rodents to satisfy his hunger for the time being. He had
even found a couple rabbits. The solemn ranger chuckled as he thought of
the fuss Mabel would make if she could see Nikos now. He also wondered if
she had ever suspected it was Nikos that killed many of the rabbits in
Sherwood. He shrugged and set out to look for suitable trees for building.
He smiled as he walked away, knowing his love would like this spot.

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

                     My Father, The Basset Hound:
                          a realization of
     Rillifane Corlan Windstrom "cat-mugger extraordinaire" de'Dannan

Rillifane Corlan Windstrom de'Dannan pouted petulantly as he was readied
for bed. With a small, defeated sigh he laid down and surrendered his
candy and toys in exchange for his Maltese Knight doll which, in his eyes,
bore a strange resemblence to Aidan.

MoiraGwyn wrung her hands a bit nervously as she stared down at the child.
Children were not her specialty. Would they ever be?

She rested hesitantly at the edge of the bed, staring down at the gentle
face of the child, who stared back up at her. Turning Rillifane onto his
side, she ran her hand over his back in gentle motions, whispering quietly.
Her fingers stopped to run through his hair. Downy silver streaks had
begun to appear through the pale near-white locks. He smiled in
response to her touch. Maybe they would be ok afterall...

Rillifane relaxed, great enjoyment coming from the soothing motion along
his back. He felt more tired, his mind drifting, searching, so many things
lately and little understanding of any of it.

The woman called Auntie Emry, why did she hold me and cry when she wrote
words to send to the man in the bronze armor who kisses her?

So many people were angry at the shiny bronze man. Daa seemed upset and
defensive over him and the Aidan knight doll man seemed quietly concerned.
Mah gwyn and ah mmm both avoided the bronze man... and the funny doctor
and the pretty lady who sings were upset too. The lady even cried because
of him.

Rillifane fidgeted a bit as his thoughts continued, the hand still
stroking his back.

His mind wandered to the ouch on his neck where the odd woman bit him. She
said he was a snack but the ouch still hurt and Rill was unsure if he
should tell daa about it. Daa did not like the people with the teeth like
his. He said they were bad. Ruu woman with teeth was bad and mean.

Daa.. Daa the basset hound, like the one with the woman who speaks thickly
and wore heavy dresses. Her dog did not like daa, but why? Were they not
the same? They have the same teeth. So did the 'meow' who yawned in Klien,
the same sharp teeth. Oof dogs.  It is so much fun to go 'oof' at the 'oof
oof's. They howl and pant and lick your face like they understand. The
basset especially, they howled together.

MoiraGwyn smiled to herself and she watched Rillifane giggle to himself.
Such a happy boy.. She hoped some of that would rub off on his mother and
said as much to the baby.

Rillifane glanced at MoiraGwyn at the word mother. He recognized it. Ahh
mmm was one. And mah gwyn too. Everyone liked to fight ahh mmm. When she
walked into a room people got nervous. People did not want her near him.
Rillifane seemed unsure why. She sang nice songs and used powder when she
changed him and smiled a lot at him. Daa did not like her. Mah gwyn seemed
ok but he did not spend much time with her yet. She seemed scared of him
like the blond lady knight is.

Rillifane snuggled into the thin blanket MoiraGwyn tugged up around him,
her hand stroking his cheek for a moment, as if feeling it, before pulling
away. Fear. He looked up at mah gwyn, his eyes catching sight of the
wreath on her head. Daa ow wears one too.

Daa ow. Rill remembers not liking him at first. He seemed to act too
familiar when Rill did not know him at all and Auntie Emry got upset when
Rill did not like him. Rillifane sighed loudly to himself, his mind
wandered to daa ow taking him on a walk and teaching him sounds. He taught
him to make kissies and then say the word to a strange man who showed him
magic. kissie... ksi.

MoiraGwyn blinked as she watched Rillifane utter a spellword as he started
to fall asleep. Did he meet her beloved Rowane??

Daa ow was not bad.. he gave nice hugs and kissies and seemed to like to
dote over him. He was not as scared as mah gwyn, but sometimes she forgot
to be scared and acted a little bit like ahh mmm.

The laughing man with the sparrow tweet was teaching him to make tickles
at daa, he said it would make daa talk to him. Daa never made noise... But
that hoyden does. His dislike for her grew by the day. When people could
not see, she would hit him and blame him for such. And she wanted daa's
attention. MY daa! Bad bad mean hoyden. Maybe mah gwyn and daa ow could
keep the hoyden away. There were many animals, maybe they would protect
him from her.

Rillifane grumbled sleepily as vision of evil hoydens and the nice
Dechtire woman and his father, the basset hound, danced in his head. Daa..
Daa oof oof. My father is a dog.

MoiraGwyn gently removed a photograph of Rillifane and nobody from the
tiny clenched hand and stared at it quizzically. She instinctively leaned
down to kiss the boy's forehead.

She continued to ponder the meaning of the photograph. Was it from
Lawrence? She stared at the picture, Rillifane's tiny face beaming up
at... nothing.

When she realized what it was, the next day, she could not help but smile
and thank the nice Romanian peddler for explaining.

She had not known that Vampyr's left no image.

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