Archive for February, 2002

Day 76, Year 545 of the Ascendancy

The fiery zodiac maze of the pyromaniac Umbrion has often been visited
by explorers and adventurers, but no one has yet to create an accurate
map of the place. Sensing the need for such a map, a small party headed
off to Umbrion’s Keep today, to set about creating a map of Umbrion’s
maze. I learned about the party shortly after I stepped out of the
library, when I was asked to dispell the illusions around the Keep to
let in healer reinforcements. I agreed, and headed to Kizmia’s Island
with the healers.

Inside Umbrion’s Keep, I met up with the party,
and headed into the zodiac maze. It was the first time I had been in
Umbrion’s maze, and I must say that I was overwhelmed. The maze was
unlike anything I had ever seen before. In a nutshell, the maze is a
series of interconnected and identical rooms, which have walls that are
made of fire. Inside those walls prowl deadly creatures of fire, such
as Fire Vermine and Pumaces. The real danger, though, are the Lava
Walkers, which can hurl deadly fire balls at you from almost anywhere
in the maze. The only way to traverse the maze is by walking through
the walls of fire. However, not all walls are passable, and some walls
teleport you to different parts of the maze. Combine all this together,
and you have one heck of a confusing maze.

The first time we entered the maze, we nearly got
wiped out. As we tried to clear the rooms of monsters, fireballs
continuously burst forth from the fiery walls, slowly weakening our
party until only a few of us were left standing. A retreat was called,
and we were chained out back into Umbrion’s Keep. After a short debate
on a new strategy, we decided that we would send in Yor, Callus, and
Sor first, to clear out all of the Lava Walkers and other monsters, and
the rest of the party would follow. As it turned out, this plan worked
rather nicely, and our second forray into the zodiac maze went much
more smoothly.

Inside the maze, our party was led by Entil’Zha,
who was the main cartographer for the expedition. Due to the quirky
nature of the maze, our party got split up a couple times, and there
were a few fearful momments when I became separated from the party and
lost, but all in all the expedition went smoothly, and we got a lot of
mapping done. Afterwards, we met up with Yor, Sor, and Callus, and
prepared to go home.

Our ticket out of the zodiac maze and off the
island was Entil’Zha’s Ethereal Portal Stone. Instead of taking the
long way off the island, Entil’Zha simply created a portal to the
Ethereal in the middle of Umbrion’s Zodiac maze. Our party headed
through the portal to the Ethereal plane, where we met up with another
party which came through Cimmbrion’s Keep. However, as we prepared to
leave the Ethereal plane, we were beset by the hordes of powerful
undine, and not even our combined might was enough to fend them off.
So, the expedition ended in a dreadful mass depart, which further
damaged the vital plane of Purgatory. Hopefully the next expedition
will be more successful, and we will be able to fully map the zodiac
maze of Umbrion.

Day 56, Year 545 of the Ascendancy

Some people were never meant to gamble. Some people just don’t know how
to quit when they’re up, or stop when they’re down. I am one of these
people. It all started innocently enough yesterday, when I decided to
blow the 25 coins that I had on Black Jack. I decided to try out a
theory of mine which I have been thinking about for a while. The gist
of it is this: I start off by betting 1 coin, and if I lose it I bet 2,
and if I lose that I bet 4, and so forth. That way, when I win I will
always make a 1 coin profit. Also, it gives me multiple chances to win,
and probability dictates that it is unlikely that I will end up losing
5 games in a row.

So, I set about testing this theory, and surely
enough it worked. It took me a bit, but I worked my way up from 25
coins to more than 50. As I was playing, a fen named Dartalion sat down
at the table, and joined me in playing in Black Jack. After a few
minutes of playing, however, my luck turned sour. Though it is unlikely
to lose 5 games in a row, it is certainly within the realm of
possibility. Jack Vintian dealt me hand after hand of bad cards, and I
ended up losing all my money, save two copper pennies. I shrugged my
shoulders at this point, bid Dartalion good day, and stood up to leave
the casino. It should have ended right there. I should have left the
caino and gone on with my life. That should have been the end of my
gambling. But it wasn’t.

As I started to walk towards the door, Dartalion
called out to me. I halted mid-stride, puzzled, and turned back to
Dartalion, who tossed me a small sack. The sack contained 10 copper
coins. I grinned at Dartalion, bid him thanks, and seated myself down
at the table again for another game of Black Jack. Little did I know
that I was making a grave mistake. I placed my bet on the table,
expecting to lose, but ended up doing something far worse. I won. Hand
after hand I won, and even those hands I lost, I made up in record
time. Soon my money was doubled, trippled, quadroupled, and more. I sat
there entranced, hardly believing what was happening. I had discovered
a fountain of money. Once I amassed a hundred coins, I started betting
by 2’s, then 4’s, then 5’s, ’til I found myself betting by 20’s and
40’s. After several hours of gambling, against all likelihood, I had
amassed over 900 coins.

At this point, my luck began to sour. The
trickster Jack Vintian pulled three Black Jacks in a row, and I ended
up losing nearly all of my money. The only way I could recover from my
loss was by betting 640 coins, which I no longer had. Not wanting to
lose all of the money I had made in the past 4 hours or so, I paid a
visit to the bank and pulled out the money I needed from my
Phantasmonomicon fund. I placed the bulging stack of coins down on the
Black Jack table, and crossed my fingers. To my profound relief, I won.
I rushed back to the bank, deposited the money I had withdrawn, and
returned to the table.

I played for several more games, and started to
win once more. However, once I hit 1100 coins, I began losing again.
Soon, I found myself in the same predicament I was in before. I had to
withdraw 640 coins from the bank again, to get back the money I had
gambled. This time, however, I lost the hand. I was shocked, my head
was spinning, and I began to lose my wits. I returned to the bank
again, and this time I withdrew all my savings. I then rushed back to
the Black Jack table, and placed down my bet of 1280 coins. To my
dismay, the dealer dealt me a lousy hand of 14, which I did not want to
risk by hitting. I stood with 14, and slowly watched as Vintian drew
his cards. 3-5-6-2-9-BUST!!! I had won my money back!

I jumped up and down in elation, and ran down to
Dartalion, who had been watching the game, and gave him a big hug.
That’s when I realized that the dealer hadn’t payed me yet. I returned
to the table, and demanded that I be payed my winnings. However, the
dealer feigned ignorance, and refused to pay me my money. I was
furious, but there was little I could do about it with the bouncer
watching. I had lost all of my winnings and savings, and was left with
only 200 coins. A little crazed by this point, I bet the rest of the
money I had, and began working my way up once more. I managed to reach
as high as 1400 coins, before I lost all of my money again. This time I
was totally broke. I left the casino, and headed for the library in a
daze. I’d lost every single coin I owned. It would take me forever now
to save up enough for a Phantasmonomicon.

That night, I could hardly sleep. My mind was
racing, thinking of how I could get my hard earned money back. Robbing
the casino was out of the question. I scrutinized my gambling strategy,
and decided I hadn’t been careful enough. I spent the rest of the night
thinking of ways in which to improve my strategy, and by the end of the
night I had a strategy that I felt was foolproof. Now, if I could only
borrow 1000 coins from someone, I could make back all of the money I
had lost, and make a hefty profit to boot.

The next day…

Totally convinced that my plan was going to work,
I set about trying to borrow a thousand coins from someone. In town I
ran into my friend Wormtounge, who is a merchant and banker of sorts,
and he agreed to lend me 900 coins at 5% interest a month, with the
collateral of two chains. I quickly agreed to the offer, and rushed to
casino to test out my revised theory. I played careful this time, and
made sure not to bet too high, or rush my bidding. After an hour or so,
my 900 coins had blossomed into 1600. However, chance is a screwy
thing. Every probability curve has it’s low end. In the games that
followed, I managed to lose every hand I played, and lost every single
penny I had made in the past hour, as well as the money I had been
loaned from Wormtounge.

Now, not only am I broke, but I am also in a lot
of debt as well. I thought I could win at the Black Jack game, but I
was wrong. I suppose there is a lesson to be learned from all this.
Perhaps it is “Stop playing while you’re ahead,” or “Casinos don’t get
rich by losing,” or “Not even mystics can outsmart probability.”
Whatever it is, the one thing I know for sure is that if Jack Vintian
ever finds himself alone in the Badlands, he will be wishing that the
only thing I take from him is his money.

Day 52, Year 545 of the Ascendancy


Today Gurgi led an expedition to the Foothills, and as usually happens
with Gurgi’s raids, there was a huge turnout. More than 50 exiles met
up in the meadow, and together we headed to the Foothills. Of course,
with such such a large group places like Snaggy and Hatred’s Hollow was
a breeze. We even managed to make it through OOB to the Dred Passage
without losing a single member of our party. However, as we attempted
to clear the monsters out of Dred Passage, we found ourselves caught in
a time warp( ooc: a server crash ) and when we came to our senses, we
found that we were back in town again, and had to make the journey once
more. The second journeu to DP was not as smooth as the first, but we
still made excellent time.

Once inside the Dred Passage, several fighter
raids were made to clear the area surrounding the entrance, before the
entire party went in. Our group easily dealt with the orga and their
lightning, and had cleared out the Dred Passage in no time. We stepped
through the path, where just 4 days ago LIFE had been massacred, and
entered the Northeastern Foothills.

Being in the Foothills again was exciting for
everybody, as nobody had visited the area in months. Traveling through
the tight passes was a bit of a challenge, though, and we created one
heck of a traffic jam. However, we still managed to travel through the
passes with little incident, and though we had some trouble opening
paths, we made it into the Camp Dred. After taking a brief break, our
party headed into the Dred Wood. Our destination was the Malachite
Lair, where we hoped to look for new paths, and the enigmatic
Trillbane. Our large party traveled through the Dred Wood with ease,
and were hardly phased by the powerful ‘Noids in the Malachite Lair.

After clearing out the cavern, our pathfinders
spread out, and set about looking for any hidden pf paths. I helped to
look for paths as well, and also kept my eye out for any mystic
illusions. However, all our searching came to no avail, and we were
unable to locate any new passages. We left the Lair a little
discouraged; and after taking a quick look around the Dred Wood, our
party left to return to Puddleby. It is rather disapointing that we
were unable to find anything new, but it was still exciting to be in
the Foothills again. I am sure one of these days we will be able to
find Trillbane, and the fabled Orga Stronghold.

Day 48, Year 545 of the Ascendancy

Today I got to attend another LIFE expedition, but as yi can see from
the sketch, it was a failure. At first though, things didn’t look so
bad. We met in the meadow around 10 am this morning, then headed to OC
after waiting for stragglers. We then traveled through Snaggle Wood,
and regrouped in Bones. Once we were all organized into our squads, we
headed into Hatred’s Hollow, which we traveled through easily.

However, problems started arising once we hit the
Orga Outback. Several of our party members got separated from the group
multiple times, which forced us to double back and rescue our comrades,
which can be quite time consuming in the deadly and maze-like Snaggle
Wood. We even had to pay a visit to the Orga Village to rescue some
fallen exiles. Afterwards, we managed to make it to the DP tree, but
just as were about to let out a collective sigh of relief, we realized
we had lost one of our members in OOB. A small rescue party was sent to
retrieve the fallen exile, but they too fell, and in turn had to be
rescued by another rescue party.

Finally, we were ready to tackle the challenges of
the Dred Passage, and we were met by Cronos and Yor, who were waiting
for us in the DP tree. After several fighter runs, the Dred Passage was
declared clear enough to traverse, and we broke up into two squads, and
made an attempt to reach the Foothills. However, things did not go well
for us. The northern squad, which consisted mostly of healers, was
unable to cope with the lightning, and fell. The southern squad fared a
little better, and we actually made it to the exit of DP. However, as
fate would have it, we were unable to open the path that led to the

At first I tried to open the path, then I tried
pushing the fallen Entil’Zha, and Kestral and Olmy also gave the path a
try, but to no avail. Finally, the mystic Fanan was able to open the
path, but by then it was already too late, as all of the chainers and
healers in our party were down. Three fighters managed to make it to
the Foothills, but with no healers they didn’t stand a chance at
rescuing us.

Now I lie fallen in the Orga Village, awaiting a
rescue party. Those who made it to the Foothills have either departed,
or have left the Foothills for OOB, and are also waiting for the rescue
party. I hear that Gurgi is planning another expedition to the
Foothills tomorrow, which I also plan to attend. Hopefully Gurgi’s
expedition will be more successful than the one we had today. It has
been a while since I’ve last visited the Foothills, and I am excited to
see if there have been any changes to the area since I last set foot

Day 44, Year 545 of the Ascendancy

My studies have been very busy lately, and I haven’t been able to come
out of the library at all for the past few moons, except for a few
short breaks to get fresh air. As such, the new year passed me by
without much incident. However, I finally got to take a much needed
break from my studies today, and visited the Scaramis Pen with a small
party. We entered the lair of Scaramis on Ash Island, and hunted the
powerful Scaramis. In the main chamber we mainly fought Scaramis
Foragers and Attendants, and the occaisional Larva. After we cleared
out the main tunnels, we headed for the Queen’s Chamber. In the QC we
set up a wall of kudzu, and slowly battled the Scaramis. After we had
cleared the QC, we decided to visit the Ethereal.

To get to the Etereal though, we first had to go
through Cimmbrion’s maze. The maze is a cartographer’s nightmare with
random teleporters and pf paths strewn about all over the place. There
are statues of the zodiac signs placed about the maze, which leads
inside the Scaramis Pen to Cimmbrion’s Keep, and there is also rumored
to be an ether trainer hidden somewhere within the maze. We wandered
through the maze a while, getting lost a couple times, before we were
finally able to locate the zodiac symbol.

However, at this point we had lost many of our
healers, and we decided that exploring the Ethereal Plane would be too
risky, so we decided to turn back. Ah well. Perhaps next time we will
be able to visit the plane. There is supposedly a pair of Ethereal
Boots to be found there, that give the user a rank of experience, and
also allow them to run faster than normally possible. That certainly
sounds exciting. For now though, my attention is foccused on the two
Foothills expeditions which a coming up soon. My hope is that we can
find Trillbane and the Orga Stronghold, which we have been searching
for so long. We shall see.

Day 357, Year 544 of the Ascendancy

The mumbling wizard Melabrion appeared in Tenebrion’s Keep today,
complaining that something had been stolen from him and his brothers.
Melabrion refused to tell us what exactly had been stolen from him,
telling us only that the thieves would know who they are. The whole
conversation was rather confusing because Melabrion only spoke to us in
Dwarven, and what he said had to be translated to us by the Dwarves who
were present. Why a sylvan like Melabrion would want to speak Dwarven
all the time is beyond me. Truly, he is an odd wizard. He also showed a
lot of interest in Blood Magic, which the dwarf Henryk happily
demonstrated for him.

After Melabrion left, a bunch of us entered the
portal in Tenebrion’s conference room, and explored the Ethereal Tower.
The Tower consists of six levels, each with a different theme. Each of
the levels is very different, and some of them are very deadly.
However, each of the levels has a mystic illusion which leads to a
small library, and a portal which leads to the basements of each of the
six ‘Brion brothers’ keeps. The basements all share similar
characteristics: a series of crystals organized in the form of the
constellation Sororian, and an illusion that leads to the Kyuem room,
which contains a Kyuem.

A Kyuem, as can be seen in the picture above,
consists of three slabs of rock, topped with a Kyuem power stone. No
one knows for sure what purpose these strange devices serve, but it is
generally thought that the Kyuem are used to absorb ether. There are
also rumors that some exiles have found pieces of the Kyuem, though
none have yet to put together an entire Kyuem. If the devices really do
absorb ether, though, they could be invaluable to Puddleby, as they
could be placed in Purgatory to absorb all the ether that slips into
the plane. This will definately be something that our ether experts
need to look into.

Day 351, Year 544 of the Ascendancy

LIFE held an expedition to the Foothills today, but unfortunately it
ended in a failure. However, even though the group did not get to
explore the Foothills, we did learn a lot of valuable lessons. Today’s
meeting had a rather small showing of members, at 27, but our group was
still confident that we could make it to the Foothills. We traveled
through Hatred’s Hollow and the Orga Outback with ease, until we
reached the Dred Passage. Here, the group tried out one of Yor’s new
strategies, which basically involves the group breaking up into two
sections, and running for the Foothills. Our group was very organized,
and this approach worked very well, and most of our group managed to
make it to the Foothills, except for two of our members fell inside DP.

Those of us who made it to the Foothills regrouped
in Katpus’ Cave, and headed back to the Dred Passage, confident that
our strategy would work this time. Our group entered the Dred Passage
for the second time, and it looked as if we would be able to pull it
off with no casualties this time. However, the group encountered a
large obstace in the form of an Orga Fury, who blocked the entrance to
one of the pf paths. A few people managed to make it through the path,
but the fury barred the way for the rest of the party. Several of our
members of our party soon fell to the fury, which created an even
larger obstacle for us to go around. With our only exit blocked by the
fury, we were all but helpless, and we were picked off one by one by
the lightning. Soon, we were all fallen.

After that, most of us departed, or were
teleported to the Orga Village to be rescued by a rescue party. The
expedition was a failure, but we learned some valuable lessons. Now we
know how to execute our plan successfully, and will be careful to avoid
luring BROs in front of the pf paths on our next expedition. I am
confident that we will all be able to make it to the Foothills on our
next raid.

Day 349, Year 544 of the Ascendancy

Today the journeyman Rincewind managed to cause quite a stir in town
when he stole a rather aromatic piece of cheese from Chef Haricot, and
tied it onto the tail of the unsuspecting Tigger. Not only did this act
foul up the air for several hours, but it also managed to summon every
single rat in Puddleby to town center. The cheese didn’t just draw
normal rats, either. The powerful scent of the cheese also drew large
numbers of Ratticus and Dirty Rats, which caused quite a bit of trouble
for the inhabitants of Puddleby. The battle raged on for a very long
time, and for several hours the only sound that could be heard in town
was the squeaking of rats.

Finally, however, after hours of prolonged battle,
we were able to turn back the tide of the fearsome rats. Some good even
came out of the event, as Haricot added a new item to his menu at a
discounted price: Ratticus Soup. However, after most of the rats in
town had been defeated, a rather intelligent rat that went by the name
of “.” came to town, and followed Tigger around wherever he went.
Tigger was only able to rid of himself of the rat when he jumped into a
pool of water, and rid himself of the foul cheese smell. Town center
was finally rid of the foul rat infestation. So next time yi’re in
town, please keep in mind the moral of this story: Don’t mess with
Haricot’s cheese.