Archive for June, 2000

Day 126, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Qual the Wizard. Now there’s a name that you hear
more and more often every day. Whenever Qual gets involved with
something, people tend to end up dead. Today was no exception. I was
wandering through the forests today when I heard a deep, rasping voice
ring through my head. It was the voice of Qual! Qual was taunting us
exiles again, as frequently he likes to do. However, this time we were
not about to take these insults like a bunch of passive sheep. A small
party was assembled, and we all headed to Dal’Noth Isle. After battling
the horrid currents of the ocean, we landed on the shores of Dal’Noth
Isle, and proceeded to cut down any who stood in our way.

Dal'Noth Party

At first, things went very well. ‘Noths fell
before for us like rotten trees, and we made
our way to the Dal’Noth Town in no time. Even the Town provided little
challenge for us, and it seemed as if we would actually make it off the
Isle alive. That’s when the Vel’Noths arrived. Ten or so Vel’Noths
materialized out of nowhere, followed closely by Qual’s maniacal
laughter. Before the minions of Qual, our party stood little chance.

Val'Noth spawn

One by one our party fell, until soon we were all
dead. We did eventually get rescued, but it took over eight hours, and
by then, many of us had departed. I myself did get rescued,
though I somehow managed to get separated from my party, and ended up
departing anyway. It seems that I am departing more and more often
lately, and I reminisce fondly back to before the Forgetting, when I
departed not a single time. For now, I find comfort in the old saying:
“Show me a man who has never departed, and I will show you a man who
has never lived.”

Day 110, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

I awoke this morning feeling well-rested and
contented. I’d gotten more sleep than I usually did, and I seemed to be
filled with energy. However, my good mood was soon broken when the
fact, that today was my clan’s monthly meeting, dawned on me. I quickly
checked my green token, and the worst of my fears was confirmed: I had
missed my meeting. I cursed Edrik for not waking me up sooner, and I
rushed off to find my clan mates. Luckily, my clan mates were still
hunting, and I found them all gathered in the Wurm Cave.

Wurm Cave

However, all was not well. The usually cheery
faces of my clan mates looked serious, and some downright glum. What
had happened was this: our store of wood and lumber, that we had hidden
in the Wurm cave, had disappeared! Someone had pilfered all the wood
that we had been planning to use to build our ship, and had left us
with naught but splinters. I was quite disappointed when I heard the
news, for I had worked diligently to help gather the wood, but to our
combined relief, the thieves had left our Arachnoid silk sails
untouched. Now we will just have to gather our wood again, and hide it
in a more secure and secret location.

Anyhow, after we cleared out all the wurms from
the the cave, we all went our separate ways, and I soon found myself
among a small band of exiles hunting in the Myrm Hive. We cleared out
the entire Hive in no time, and took the Queen Chamber like a piece of
cake. I left the Myrm Hive quite contented, but on the way to town I
heard of trouble happening on the distant Ash Island, in the infamous
Dark Chamber. I quickly rented a rowboat from Captain Barnak and
paddled my way to Ash Island. I landed on the cursed isle, and made my
way to the hollow tree that leads to the Dark Chamber. Within the
hollow was a small army of exiles, all yelling and shouting, and trying
to rescue their fallen comrades. Within the Dark Chamber proper was
what only could be called a massacre.

DC Massacre

Within the narrow corridor bodies lay strewn out
everywhere. Greater Wraiths, Lesser Spectres, Faithless, and Ghastly
Presences strode about the corridor confidently; felling exiles left
and right. Only the bodies of several brave exiles stood between us,
and the horrible hordes of undine. Progress was slow, but we did
eventually manage to push the hordes of undine back, and rescue the
fallen. We then went deeper into the Dark Chamber, joined by more
reinforcements of exiles. However, the inner sanctums of the Dark
Chamber were filled with even more undine than the outer passages.
Spawns of Greater Wraiths and invisible Ghastly Presences soon left us
strewn about the floor like marbles.

Dead in a Line

Luckily for us, a few of the healers managed to
survive, and one of them even managed to chain away the fallen body of
Gurgi. With Gurgi up, it was only a matter of time before we were back
on our feet again. We all cleared out the Dark Chamber, then headed for
the Dark Temple. There, we fought through the Pentagram Room, and even
dispatched a Darshak Liche while we were at it. A couple of us had a
good time visiting the Lava Room, and a few brave(foolish?) souls even
ventured forth to the first circle of Abyss. Afterward, we all hunted
on the Astral Plane, then cleared out the Dark Chamber and Dark Temple
again, just for kicks. It was quite a hunt, though a bit too many
undine for one day, if yi ask me.

Day 107, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Well the 134th Chaos storm has come to pass, and
there are definitely some dark powers a’stewin. Last full moon I helped
out in an Orga Camp raid, and some exiles actually managed to reach
OC4, though those that did were instantly fried by Warlock bolts. As
for me, I never made it past OC2, and I chalked up another depart to my
name. However, the Mystic Aki said that he felt some kind of strange
energies coming from OC4, maybe beyond, something to do with the full
moon. Another raid is being planned for next full moon, and I hope to
be present to help exiles win this battle against the orga. So far I’ve
spotted no new areas this Storm, and in fact, the T’rool Mines that
were open last Storm seemed to have closed. I dunno, whether this is
the doing of Qual, or the T’rool Kin, but it certainly bodes ill. I
never even got a chance to explore the caverns thoroughly. Oh well. At
least I am now a “3rd Spakle” Pathfinder, capable of opening most of
the paths on the Lok’Groton Island Chain. The Marsh Hermit says I am
one of his better students, so I am very hopeful. Soon I hope to be a
full Pathfinder.

3rd Sparkle!

Day 81, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Early this morn was held ELF’s monthly clan
meeting. After discussing several issues pertaining to the clan, it was
decided that we would hunt today in the Orga Camp. Several members
wished to hunt in the Snaggle Wood, but I managed to convince them that
a hunt in Orga Camp 2 would be more fun. I’d not hunted in OC2 in a
long time, and I strongly wished to see if anything there was new.
Little did I know that my decision would lead to unforseen trouble…


The Tangle Wood was as tangled as ever, and we met
up with many beasts on the way to Orga Camp. After dispatching our
foes, we were again beset by beasts within the Orga Camp, including the
larger variety of orga such as the Orga Rage and Orga Berserk. Finally,
we stood before the entryway to OC2. I stood by the entry, and opened a
path where before there was none, pumping my spirit into the gateway
until it grew big enough for a man to pass through. Fleming volunteered
to scout out OC2, and he dived through the trees, and moments later,
dived back out. He reported that there were no big orga in OC2, though
he had spotted 3 Warlocks. “Easy” boasted Stryfe, but Fleming warned us
that it could be dangerous to go in with the few healers that we had.
Finally, it was decided that a few of us would go in first, and the
rest would follow later. However, things did not go exactly as they
were planned.

Stryfe was the first to fall. He fell to a large
orga that Fleming had missed. Now, our clan was scrambbling to rescue
the fallen sylvan. A few more of us went in, and were also falled by
the Orga Rage, or by the Warlocks who seemed to have multiplied in
numbers. We managed to rescue a few of the mangled sylvans, but several
had to depart. After that I kept my big mouth shut, and we hunted in
the Snaggle Wood instead.

Snaggy Wood

After hunting in the Snaggle Wood for two hours or
so, we all returned to town; many of my clan mates retiring for the
day, or returning to their studies. I myself retired to the Academy for
some rest and relaxation, burrying my nose in a book. However, my
peaceful meditation was broken when the Mystic Aki’s desparate cry rang
over the sunstone: “town all falling to darshak!” I quickly set aside
my book, and made my way for town. I was surprised at the number of
pirates that were invading; I barely made it to town thanks to
marauding Darshak Scouts and Invaders. I ran into Town Center, bleeding
from several sword wounds, and joined a group of exiles within the
temle, gradually ridding Town Center of Darshak. We then began to push
the Darshak back, out of our town.

Pushing the Darshaks back

We fought the Darshak visciously, struggling to
push them back. Oft times we had to fall back a little because of a
surge of Darshak, but we did not give our ground easily. We cut through
the ranks of pirates, pushing them to the west of town. There, the
Darshak were joined by more of their numbers from the beach, and a
desparate battle raged on, the exiles often falling back before the
hordes of Darshak. Eventually we made our way to the beach, where stood
literally hundreds of Darshak, and we were very hard pressed to hold
them back. We managed to hold the pirates at the west gate, gradually
depleting their numbers until there were no Darshak left. It was quite
an invasion, and the first one that we’ve had in quite a while. Luckily
for us, there were no “elite” Darshak present at the invasion, but next
time we may not be so fortunate. (Check out a Vision Stone of part of the Darshak Invasion.)

Day 77, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Ever since the last Chaos Storm, there have been
few, if any major invasions. The Darshak and T’rools seem quiet and
content, for now, and few of the greymyr have been seen out of the
Northern Passes. There was a small invasion of Choco Vermine in the
eastern fields, a few days ago, but other than that, it has been fairly
peaceful for the citzens of Puddleby. That is, if not taking into
consideration the movements of the undine. Everyday it seems that
powerful undine spawn within the undine hut, and the spawns grow more
frequent and dangerous. Today was no exception.

As I was relaxing in town today, I heard a cry for
help in the undine hut, via the sunstone, and found myself rushing
there right away. What awaited me within the undine hut was a small
army of corpse warriors. Luckily for me, many fine fighters and healers
were present, and the undine were dispatched with little difficulty.
After the hut had been cleared out, a few brave fighters proposed to
scout the undine cave; they quickly descended the ladder and disapeared
in seconds. Their resounding screams only moments later told us that
their was a great evil within the cavern.

Way too many Skeletals

What “evil” lay within the cavern came in the form
of an army of Skeletals. I counted at least a hundred Skeletals and
Giant Skeletals before I gave up. The cavern was packed to the brim,
and I was felled in no time, and had to wait quite a while before a
rescue party large enough to handle this situation was assembled.
Nobody knows how or why the undine were present in the cavern; the
infamous witch-priestess Lilit was nowhere to be found. Exiles could
only shake their heads, and wonder what darkness had brought the
Skeletals there. By the time we were done, mountains of bones lay about
the cavern, and bands of exiles went about crushing the fallen bones so
that none would rise up again to form ghatly hordes Skeletals.

After the cave was cleared out, we realized that
many undine yet remained in the Dark Cavern. Exiles began to pour into
the crevice– a grave mistake. Hordes of Corpse Warriors and Skeletals
awaited within, along with Greater Wraiths and Wailing Spirits. All who
entered were felled, and those that attempted to rescue the fallen were
also masacred. Rescue attempt after rescue attempt failed, and the lot
of us were forced to depart; though a few stubborn exiles remained in
the Cavern, and were rescued, hours later, by Gurgi. Again we exiles
were made to feel the power of the undine. And I have a strange feeling
that this is only the beginning…

Day 73, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Late one afternoon on the 73rd day of Winter, I
found myself relaxing in the River Tunnel, listening to the quiet the
quiet babbling of the water. The air around me was quite cool, and
damp; and as I lay upon my boat being gently rocked by river water, I
fell asleep.

Chilling in the Tunnel

When I awoke, I sensed a cold from within myself.
At first I thought I had caught a cold from the damp air of the Tunnel,
but I quickly realized that there was something much more sinister to
the sensation. Feeling uncomfortable, I grabbed the ores of my boat,
and paddled towards Puddleby. However, as I made my way for town, I
heard several disconcerting sunstone messages. It seemed that several
other exiles had felt similar sensations. Some felt “very cold” while
others felt a cold deep inside them, like a distant anger. Garr sensed
the air around him charged with a great power, and the chill deepening.
By now, everybody was worried, but we could not figure out a pattern to
this disturbance; exiles of all proffesions and genders felt the chill.
However, after comparing notes, it seemed that most exiles who had felt
the chill were in the northern parts of the isle. My hunch was that
something dark was going down in the undine hut, and made my way
swiftly there. My hunch was correct.

Skeletal Guards

What awaited me in the undine hut was a peculiar
sight. Four skeletals stood before the ladder leading into the undine
cave, and a lone ‘Zo by the name of Garr stood silent vigil. Strangely,
the skeletals made no move to attack myself, or the ‘Zo, attacking only
when I got too close to the ladder. Garr warned me not to descend the
ladder, for the witch-priestess Lilit was conducting some sort of dark
ceremony. I thought it in my best interest not to get slaughtered by
hordes of undine, so I waited in the cave. Soon other exiles arrived,
and joined me in waiting before the ladder. Garr continued to persist
that we not enter the cave; he claimed that Lilit had somehow saved his
life, and as a favor, he was here to make sure nobody interrupted her.
However, curiosity overcame some of the exiles, and they stepped into
the dark portal.

Moments later, the same exiles stepped climbed up
the ladder, with looks of horror engraved on their faces. It was if
they had witnessed their own deaths; all the blood had drained from
their faces. The exiles that returned spoke of hordes of undine waiting
within, but strangely not attacking. The few that remained within tried
to urge more exiles to enter the cave, but none dared to move a step.
Time passed, and still more exiles milled into the hut. Now my own
curriosity was too much to deny, and if the undine were not attacking,
I reasoned, it would be safe for myself. I descended the ladder.

The Communion

What awaited me was a most shocking sight. Within
the cavern milled about at least fifty undead monsters, yet they did
not move to attack me. In the midst of all these beasts stood Lilit
herself, uttering strange chants, and between her chants, warnings for
us to leave. She claimed that this was some sort of “Communion”, and
that it was supposed to be peaceful, with no bloodshed on either side.
She warned us that if we continued to disrupt her ceremonies, she would
not be able to maintain control of the undine. I lingered in the cave
for a moment longer, marveling at the stationary undine, then fled back
to the hut lest Lilit unleash her army upon me.

Back in the hut, more exiles were sitting about
than ever, not knowing what to make of this strange event. A few exiles
had joined with Garr now, pleading for the exiles not to attack the
undine, and blocking the entrance to the cavern. Now, I did not know
what to make of this. Who was in the right? Should we go down and
slaughter undine who meant us no harm? Or was Lilit lying, and this was
all just some plot to summon an enormous horde of undine to unleash
upon us? I was confused, for ever since I arrived on this isle, and
came across the undine, they had always been creatures of unsurpassed
evil. The very world had been rent asunder because of them, during the
Ripture War(though I am sure Lilit would argue that it was our fault
for using the Soul Glasses).

Exiles began to argue with each other, tempers
flared, and finally the exiles protecting the undine were flung aside,
and a small army of exiles poured into the cave, and began to slaughter
the undine. Lilit lost control of the undine part way through, and now
everyone was fighting for their lives. The undine were all eventually
destroyed, but questions still filled my head. What had been the
purpose of this communion? Had it really been a peaceful meaning?
Perhaps Lilit started whole thing to set exile against exile, and place
doubts in the hearts of men and women, who until then had not
questioned the wanton destruction of undine. Or perhaps the Communion
had an even darker purpose. Only time will tell…(Check out a Vision
Stone of the Communion, some of the Dissension between exiles, and finally the Release of the undine.)

Day 70, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Early in the morning of the 70th day of winter, I
received a message over the sunstone that the undine hut needed help.
What was peculiar about this message was that the sender was Gurgi, the
invincible God-Halfling of Puddleby. Things had to be pretty ugly in
the undine hut if Gurgi need help. And they were. The moment I entered
the undine hut, I was swarmed by Rotting Corpses, and felled in no
time. Gurgi was badly wounded by the undine, but was surrounded
completely by the decaying bodies. He put up quite a fight, but he too
was eventually felled by the rotting swarm of undine. Things looked
pretty bleak.

Rotting Corpses!

Gradually a large rescue party was amassed, and we
were all eventually rescued from the undine hut. Luckily for us, no
Corpse Terrors showed up to slaughter us(a la day 57) and we were able
to return to town unimpeded. These spawns of powerful undine seem to
grow more and more common lately, though, and this does not bode well
for the future of Puddleby.

Day 57, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

The popularity that the witch-priestess Lilit has
gained during recent months has spawned any number of Lilit fanatics
and clones. For the most part, these are irritating but harmless exiles
that usually end up with heaps of bad karma. Sometimes, however, these
onerous pests can manage to piss off an angry god. Today, a sylvan who
calls herself MotherOfUndine did just that. I was in Orga Camp when it
happened. Having just completed an OC2 rescue, I relaxed loungingly in
the now empty camp, enjoying all the spirit links I had garnered.
Suddenly, several of my friends started falling to undine that I’d
never even heard of before. A quick scrying told me they were in East
Field, and I abandoned Orga Camp for this unknown menace.

Upon reaching my destination, I found the field
littered with corpses. Some were even walking about, killing people.
These were the “Rotting Corpses”, undine who resembled Corpse
Warriors(don’t all decomposing bodies?) but hit twice as hard. Luckily,
exiles from town were beginning to take notice of this new threat, and
a rescue party arrived, and quickly dispatched the Rotting Corpse. We
then entered the Undine Hut, the source of all these foul undine. We
were greeted by an army of Rotting Corpses.

Rotting Corpses!

The undine posed quite a challenge, but what
awaited us below the hut would prove to be much more fatal. The momment
I descended the stairs, I was immediately felled by a small army of
undine. Corpse Warriors mingled freely with Rotting Corpses, and
several Lesser Spectres flew around for effect. But the true danger was
none of those. Behind this wall of undine stood the greater undine that
would be the downfall of many exiles that day: the Corpse Terror. It
resembled a Death Furie in appearance; a short and stout corpse with a
bad hairdo. What it could do was much worse. The Terror moved about
with great speed and agility for an undine, and felled most exiles with
but two swings. Only one for me, of course. The Terror lay waste all
the exiles that were present, and followed the survivors to the town of
Puddleby itself. There was begun the long and bloody battle against the
Terror, ’til finally a small army of exiles cornered it near the
Fighter Hall, and put the foul beast to rest.

The Corpse Terror

Now, the start of all this, the self styled
“MotherOfUndine” was put to trial, and was convicted of summoning
undine, and jailed. It seemed that her mock rites and false chants had
angered the wrong god that day, and brought about the undead
retribution. What is this world coming to? (Check out several Vision
Stones of the Undine Cavern and the Corpse Terror part 1 and part 2)

Day 52, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

Dreadfully early on the 52nd day of Winter, a
crowd gathered in a small hut to the west of Puddleby. What drew these
exiles, like flies to a burning flame, was none other than E’las
Loth’mon Ferindril’s auction. It went off pretty normal as auctions go,
but people weren’t as generous as they normally were with donations.
Perhaps the exiles were all strapped for cash, but I’m rather under the
impression that they were just plain grouchy, as I was, that the
auction had to be held at three in the morning. Time passed slowly, and
eventually the auction was over, and the clan had made a little over
2800 coins. The auction was definately a learning experience, for many
items that traditionally held high values did not sell for much,
including spores, metal, and the elusive brambleberries.(Check out a Vision Stone of the auction)

ELF Auction

I was a little disgruntled that my cigar had only
gone for fifty coins, and everybody was tired, but we could note rest
yet; our Dun’ilsar against the Order of the White Elephant(OWE) was
only twenty minutes away. We all assembled in the park, and found that
we were going to be hopelessly out numbered by OWE. We only had a total
of nine members: four fighters, 3 mystics, and only 2 healers. To make
matters worse, our heavy hitter Viper fell unconscious, and suddenly we
were the proverbial chicken with it’s head cut off; we were hopelessly
confused and unorganized. This was mainly due to the fact that our Clan
Lord Fleming was not present. Things looked bleak, but luckily, Viper
woke up in time for the contest. We all paddled our way reluctantly to
Dal’Noth Isle, to meet our competitors.

OWE had been waiting for some time now on the
cursed isle, but they greeted us cordially, and a brief review of the
rules was made. Then came something we had not counted on: OWE and ELF
were to wind themselves up to the Dal’Noth Town, to sew the fallens for
the rescue safely. This gave us time for more of our healers to arrive,
and by the start of the challenge, our numbers had increased greatly.
Both clans boarded their boats, and stood before the beach of Dal’Noth
Isle. Fuzz of The People gave the count down: “On your marks. 3, 2, 1,
GO!” and we were off.

At the starting line

I quickly hopped off my boat, and made my way to
Dal’Noth Town. I met little opposition, except for the occaisional
Dal’Noth, and I was at the Town in no time. However, upon reaching the
town, members of OWE swiftly ran past me with their fallen. I quickly
ran into town to see how our fallen were doing, and to my dismay, they
had not even been raised yet! Our healers quickly saw to it that they
were back on their feet, and the desperate race for town was begun.
Charlos of OWE had reached the altar in town in no time, and things
looked hopeless for us. However, the other fallen member of OWE fell on
the way to his boat, and members of ELF blocked one of the narrow
passage on Dal’Noth to prevent his passage. That sealed the fate of
OWE; our two fallen, Entil’Zha and Zephyr, were able to make it to the
altar in no time. We had defended our title as Dun’ilsar! Tav’riel
Ferindril! For the glory of all clans!

Day 49, Year 538 of the Ascendancy

The moment I stepped out the library today, a
sunstone message from Stryfe rang excitedly through my head: “Apollo’s
back!”. “F’nord” I thought to myself. Apollo… the sylvan ranger of
E’las Loth’mon Ferindril, and caretaker of Master Scribus. I hadn’t
seen Apollo in ages! As it were, he was gone for exactly 555 days, and
of course, all that accumulated learning carried over to his clan
mates. So, Gold Moon and I decided to give the time-displaced sylvan a
quick tour of Puddleby, and filled him in with some of the more recent
developments of our isle.

New Campfire

As we were giving Apollo a tour of our new Campfire, I heard it broadcast over the sunstone that there was a game of Bones
going on in town. I loved the game of Bones. Before the Great
Forgetting, I had swindled more than 4,000 coins from less mentally
inclined exiles, and even after the Forgetting, I made many a pretty
penny playing Bones, whenever the opportunity arose. I was not about to
let this opportunity slip me by. I hastily bid farewell to Apollo and
Gold Moon, and rushed over to Merchat Mendal’s hut, to join in on this
game of Bones. Now, there is a strange, but well-recorded phenomena
that seems to occur in mystics who accumulate too much wealth, too
quickly. It is best summed up by Okasa’s aphorism: “A Mystic and his
coins are soon parted.” Little did I suspect that I was about to be the
target of such a phenomena.

I glanced into Mendal’s hut, and was surprised to
see my clan mates Entil’Zha and Stryfe there. I felt a little bad about
having to take money from my own clan mates, but hey, that’s life. I
gave them a quick warning, then started chucking the dice. The only
problem was, I wasn’t winning. Roll after roll went awry, and even my
best roll of double fives and a three was beat down by Shin’Kle’s
treble ones. The bastard sylvan went home happy, and I stared blankly
at the Boneman; perhaps the dice were loaded… As I weighed the dice
carefully in my hands, a new player entered the arena: Gold Moon.
Having finished giving Apollo a tour, she had come here to relax with
her husband Stryfe. The sound of dice had a strange effect on Gold
Moon; her eyes seemed to flash with a faint hint of red, and she
unconsciously licked her lips, constantly. I should have guessed then
that something was amiss, but my greed had overcome me, and I
continued, foolishly, to play.

Swindlos' long lost sister?!?

This is a sketch made about two hours later(the
little girl sitting next to Gold Moon and Stryfe is none other than
their daughter Anaeka. Isn’t she cute?). It is quite obvious whi the
victor was, from the large grin painted on her face. It was none other
than Gold Moon, who won roll after roll, against incredible odds, and
went home 1.6K richer. This left me broke, once again, and I promised
myself never to waste my money again. Never again was I going to waste
my precious coins on something as frivolous as a game. Never again was
I going to waste many hours worth of hard effort. Never again… that
is until I found a strange tent to the west of town, where a bunch of
shady chracters huddled around a table, engrossed in a game of Black
Jack. “Eh? Let me in! I want to play too! Hey, Gold Moon, lend a friend
a few coins won’t yi?…”

Black Jack