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Interviews: Myra and Pred; Juliana: Furthering building skills

  Cry of Despair                                    Issue 68, 2/03
     .JNNNN` .JNNNNNL   NNNNNN.  |  In this month's issue:
    JNNNNN) JNNNNNNNNL (NNNNNNN. |    This month's feature!
   JNN`    JNN`    NNN (NN.  (NN)|    * Amante meets with Myra
  (NN`    (NN`     NNF (NN`  (NN`|      and Phred to discuss
  (NN.    (NN.    JNN` NNF  JNN) |      their return to Immhood.
  (NNNNNN (NNNNNNNNN' (NNNNNNNF  |    * The Realms of Despair
   4NNNN`  "NNNNNN`   NNNNNNF    |      Awards return for the
                                 |      new year, vote now!
        The Cry of Despair!      |    * Juliana gives us more
        ===================      |      tips on futhering your
   *       *                 *   |      building skills.
                *                |    * A return of TS updates
      *                          |      and the Shadowy Path.
                      *          |    * All the usual news,
        *        *         *     |      quests, and more special
                                 |      additions!
             *                   |
  Editor: Alysira                     Immortal Sponsor: Elisabet
  Staff: Amante, Ganemanoimu, Ilsensine, Juliana, Kellandra,
  Khaimran, Shadia, Shadrack, Simone, Vaile.
  Contents                                           CoD, Issue 68

  Desk of the Editor
  News from around the Realms
    Guild/Order News
    TS/VC Updates
    The Shadowy Path
    The Emoted World
  Uilisia interview, Leader of the GoF
  Myra and Phred interview
  The Fourth Annual RoD Awards
  Furthering the Builder's Art
  Party Time
  Rants from the Summit
  Story Submissions
  Announcements and Advertisements

  Desk of the Editor - by Alysira                           Editor

  It seems like this past month has just flown by. Luckily, this
  month we have loads of new articles, and additions to old regulars
  to keep us all occupied!

  This month, we welcome the return of the Realms Awards. This year
  marks the fourth annual awards, with a few of the old categories
  and some new thrown in to make a wide variety of choices to
  vote in. So get your friends together, and vote for as many
  categories as you can, next month we'll publish the results.

  Our staff have been hard at work to bring in new articles, and
  revive some old ones. Amante brings us news from the Shadow Path,
  Shadia brings us more news from the Nations, and Shadrack gives
  us all the updates from The Symposium.
  Amante has also spent some time with Myra and Phred, to talk
  about the couples return to Immortalhood, and Khaimran gives us
  an interview with Uilisia, the new Guildmaster of the Guild of

  Hope you enjoy this issue!

  Guild/Order News - by Kellandra                             News

  Order of MaidenStone

  The order brings in the new year by welcoming its newest members
  Emelia, Eufemia, Merira, Pibinire, Sevvek and Velvet.
  Everyone has been giving a lot of effort toward maintaining the
  spirit of the order, and it shows. A big thanks to new members
  and old alike, it has been another wonderful month with all of you!

  As our beloved Head BM, Rikuo, has resigned from duty we wish her
  the best and appreciate very much all the effort she has put
  toward the order. The order also welcomes Mephie as the newest
  Head BM; Congratulations, we know you will do your best.

  Two dedicated members have been rewarded for their continued
  excellence, and have ascended in rank this month. Well done to
  our newest Covenants, Aimola and Mephie!

  Applications to the order are still currently open. Those
  interested should read help maidenstone and
  help 'ms applications' for more information.

  Guild of Clerics

  Another busy month for GoC as we scoured the realms in a
  drunken-like fashion boogie-training our way through Darkhaven!
  Lots of fun quests and trivias, thanks to all who participated
  and ran them!
  A number of our clerics also moved on past their probation status
  and will soon be awarded their own white padded rooms! Carrots
  and kumquats for all! All hail the dirty carrot! And as a quick
  salute to all our spelling-deficient members 'g0cz0rs r0xz0rs!'

  P.S. For those prospective clerics looking to join our fun, come
  visit us at nw, 2w, 2n, e, u of dh square and talk to a leader
  or a member of the Council of Clerics (CoC).

  Guild of Mages

  The GoM is growing again and we warmly welcome Belinos and Vengor
  to our guild. Milamber has finally returned from retirement and
  is back in full force in almost every group within the guild.
  Legba will be sad to hear that Alavius is returning as soon as
  he gets his cast off. He is missed by all in the guild.

  This months runs included Corsterix, Justice, Nelson, Legba
  and Father Time. The Guild joined with the Augurers to take on the
  GoN and GoD, we were, of course victorious! Sadly we came in second
  to the first *wink* against the GoC and GoD.

  Guild of Thieves

  This past month has seen a ressurgence of activity in the guild.
  Quests, runs (80+ mkills) and an ongoing riddle competition have
  taken up the time of the members.

  The IT Council has been busy adding a new member to their roster.
  Welcome Uimato as a full IT in the guild.

  Some of our newer members (and some not so new ones) have been
  busy getting their ARC mobs done, gaining experience leading and
  tanking a variety of mobs. Keep up the good work guys!

  This month has seen the inception of a new guild position.
  DT-Fence which means Donation Team Fence. This person is in charge
  of trading, selling and buying items for the guild's coffers.
  A long time member with much experience in the world of trade
  accepted the position. Please congratulate Kirg and wish him well
  on making the guild prosper trade wise.

  Guild elections are now proceeding to fill the position of 2nd left
  vacant by Tepheroth's retirement. Good luck to all those nominated.

  The Guild's 1st IGPK match saw our members coming back frowning
  as GoV and GoW took the win. Unfounded rumors about a thief
  whipping the entire GoR team out to realign were greatly
  exagerated. The one ranger offered to help out fixing an alignment
  problem and no others were attacked.

  Baali and GoT have been doing joint runs this month to the vast
  benefit of all. Thanks go to Toruu/Mbwana for setting these up.
  Those attending have enjoyed themselves a great deal.

  The new guild board messages are in. Congratulations to Agragella
  for the Recruiting board entry and to Keaira for the Main
  noteboard entry. It was a tough competition with many entries to
  choose from. Thank you to all those who participated.

  February should bring in more quests (hintnudge) for the members
  to solve. Also the riddles competition will continue to run.
  More mob runs should be happening as members become more familiar
  with running various mobs through ARC.

  Keep up the good work guys, it's a pleasure to see everyone busy
  and happy.

  Angelea Endymion, GM

  Order of Ringbearers

  The Order of Ringbearers would like to announce myself as the
  new CoD writer. We'd also like to welcome the newest members-
  Poromenos, Hobinay and myself. Congradulations on all for
  completing acolyte period! And of course to Coelit, Hermoyne and
  Tempus- Thank you for being the best leaders an order could want.
  You guys rock!

  RB humor:
  Hobinay says 'how embarassing....Your backstab misses a chicken.'
  Hobinay ordertalks 'selina selina selina, we all love selina,
  especially when she's an imm, we all love selina, especially
  selina's, all want a selina, but that is aint alive

  That's all from this side of the fence. May the rings of truth,
  honor and knowledge ever pave thy way.

  Ogerajin Darkbane, and all of RB

  TS Updates - by Shadrack                                    News

  During January a number of proposals were considered in TS
  meetings, with the following results :

  Passed by TS -
  * Introducing a fail message for circle.
  * Modification of aff by to include saves.
  * Modification of where (target) to allow seeing hidden/sneaking
  * Quest current - command to see rules of an ongoing quest.
  * Necromantic touch modifications for greater efficiency.
  * Iron Veil becomming brewable/scribable.
  * Ruination spell (evil cleric area spell).
  * Malediction spell (evil cleric spell to affect mob saves).
  * Unholy Contract spell (evil cleric defensive spell).
  * Amending Evil cleric attack %'s.
  * Amending Evil cleric weapons %'s.
  * Auctioneer fee reduction.
  * Config +/- rp, ic/ooc, and rpwho commands.
  * Longer timer on Drow alignment message.
  * Amending Kalerd supplication amounts.
  * Clutch command - allowing selected items in inv not to be

  Failed by TS -
  * Argument to note list, list only 'x' most recent notes.
  * RP points system, with points being given by players to each
  * Allowing the ability to cancel individual spells cast on
  * Using glory to alter a character's age.
  * Lock pick skill requiring tools in future.
  * Warrior of God spell (cleric creating a tank familiar).
  * Apply command for organizations.
  * Creating Forested Strongholds retreat timer.

  TS also received feedback on a number of proposals it had passed
  in previous months, and on one from the above list.

  Passed :
  * Allowing the use of 'Mail to' command.
  * Messages for 'Dream' and 'Forage'
  * Argument to seperately list vote notes.
  * Practice command arguments.
  * LD chars in high-traffic areas (no more dh [] ld's).
  * An argument allowing counting of votes on vote notes.
  * Having 'Portal' always echo to target.

  Denied :
  * Pkill hardcode change (to be left up to PKC proposal).
  * Changes to the Blorin mob (Other changes may occur though).
  * New prompt tokens for system time, underwater, and favor.
  * Changes to the locate spell.
  * Gold command showing how much in bank.
  * Geos showing in areas command.
  * Evil Cleric - Necromantic Touch modification.

  The Shadowy Path - by Amante                                News

  Passed by PKC:
  * Remove noose (unclanned recall).
  * Berserk style back to lowbie warriors.
  * Add the "Grimoire" area, attached to PKtown/DH.
  * Lower prices on Clan HQ repair mobs.
  * Various changes to Bladesinger Skills.

  Passed by CoE:
  * Change to affected by to filter by spell name.

  Denied by COE:
  * Resists not affecting PVP.
  * Elemental shields not affecting PVP.

  * Ophanim clan loot only.
  * Config +nice prevents deadlies from attacking peacefuls.
  * Pkill only object flag.

  To clarify, anything which was Passed by PKC is either awaiting
  word from CoE, or has yet to be passed up to CoE.

  Things which have been passed by CoE are awaiting implementation.

  The Emoted World - by Shadia                             Nations

  For this month of the Roleplay part of the CoD will be short and
  to the point as for I have been busy in other parts of my life.
  I must say thank you to all the Nation Leaders and RP'ers that
  have contributed for making this article possible.

  The Quendi (Elf)
  Nation- Odd things continue to happen between the elves and the
  dwarves, and more than odd.  A series of crimes have been committed
  by an apparently very skilled illusionist posing as various elves
  to the dwarves, and vice versa. This matter is close to being
  resolved, and the elves are searching for a way to tell for
  certain whether any given elf or dwarf is himself, or some
  impostor is actually behind these crimes.

  As a nation, they have a new Fellowship leader (council member):
  Bodileir Vena Caliver now leads the League of Knowledge.  Our
  other leaders include Kiyann Eldarian (Brotherhood of the Divine),
  Asurmen Aer'real (Circle of Mages), Gildeth Calon Dracos
  (Arborlon Guard), Elren Traina Mistshard (People of the Earth),
  and Racin Atal (Union of Adventurers).

  The Halfelf (Elohai) Nation-
  The Elohai Nation is coming along fine. They have been a very
  quiet Nation until now. They have a new Nation leader, being that
  Syriac has stepped down. Their new Nation Leader is Rebeca
  Umbramnia - de Carpathia. They are not at any wars with anyone
  at this time, but they wish to contribute to the RP world and
  are looking for plots and allies. If anyone wants to join or
  plot please feel free to contact Rebeca.
  Look at the Half-elf nation board for further information.

  The Human (Dunedain) Nation-
  The humans have finally been cured of the ragged plage that
  has affected the race for some time, but by making an alliance
  with the Leader of Drow had ensured they would be cured. As for
  more personal issues, King Doyle has recently wed an elven Arwen
  named Lilandra. The Humans also had to fend off some of Gaelinars'
  orcs that were in their territory trying to eradicate us because
  of the plague.

  The Dwarf (Khazad) Nation-
  Recent events have caused the Dwarves to close their borders to
  outsiders. Armed patrols, never a rarity in dwarven lands, have
  now become practically impossible to avoid, and far more
  suspicious and hostile even than is normal for the race.  While
  the Thane still holds openly to his faith in the elves of
  Arborlon, there are few of his people that do. There are some,
  notable among them Mbwana LifeWind, who express disappointment
  that Yeroc claims to have not been the dwarf that poisoned the
  elven leader Graelynia.

  While the elves are distrusted, the half-orcs and half-ogres
  are looked upon with absolute contempt for their interference
  in the matter.  Both races are believed to be hostile by the
  Dwarves of Qetag's Reach. However, a meeting has been agreed
  upon between Yeroc and Graelynia, the time and place of which
  is being kept secret. The Dwarves wait, some more restlessly
  than others, for the truth of recent events to become known.

  The Drow (Ilythiiri) Nation-
  The whole Nation has been given an overall makeover. The Nation
  has recently re-elected Shadia Del'drae as their Nation Leader
  again. The Ilythiiri have an alliance with the Humans.
  The Ilythiiri have for the most part stayed out of other Nation
  affairs as the Nation is still trying to re-establish itself.
  The Nation has gained alot of new members and are hopefull to
  return back to relations with the other races.

  The Pixie (Pixie) Nation-
  The Pixie Nation has elected a new leader. Railyn is their new
  Nation Leader.

  As always if anyone is interested in Roleplaying within a Nation,
  or just in general, do not feel embarressed about asking another
  roleplay to interact with you. And remember to have fun!

  Uilisia Interview - by Khaimran                       Interviews

  Uilisia : Good Evening :)

  Khaimran: Okay, first off.
            Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself? Who
            are you, and how long have you been playing Realms?'
  Uilisia : I've been on the Realms for over 5 years, I can't
            remember exactly, but Two Rivers disappeared shortly
            after I started playing.
            My first character was a mage, joined GoM as a lowbie.
            I've played a number of different characters in
            different Guilds and Orders, I've tended to make a
            character play it solidly for a while then make another
            one, and so on.

  Khaimran: Anyone our readers might recognise, or would you prefer
            to keep it quiet?
  Uilisia : I was very active in GoT with Tamalia (leadership
            position there), and Frances in MS where I was Head BM
            (run chief) for a bit.

  Khaimran: I seem to remember you saying you're British, or am I
            thinking of the wrong person?

  Uilisia : Yeah, Scottish, except I emigrated to New Zealand just
            over a year ago.
  Khaimran nods his head in understanding, saying "Ahhh, yes.."

  Khaimran: Cool :)
  Uilisia : Warm!

  Khaimran: Okay, you mentioned being a leader in GoT, how has it
            been different in GoF, so far?
  Uilisia : We don't have many people in the guild yet. GoT had
            over 100 members when I was there, we have 25 so far.
            Not much to do in terms of crowd control.
  Uilisia waggles its eyebrows mischievously.

  Khaimran: What about other things; Was it more fun being a
            leader in GoT, or your current position?
            Do you feel you have more or less responsibility this
            time around?
  Uilisia : It's great having the responsibilty of the 'hot seat',
            but we really need more Fathomers so we can get
            involved as Guildies and do things together.

  Khaimran: What kind of things have you done to try and attract
            new members?
  Uilisia : We have set up and stocked our donation system, and
            we have a rewards system for handing in valuable loot
            and purchasing items off storage.
            As players, many of us have great knowledge to share
            within the Guild, and as such we can mount serious runs
            if we have enough people to do it.

  Khaimran: Are most of the current members experienced players
            who've created Fathomers, or are you like other Guilds,
            in that you have a high proportion of relatively new
  Uilisia : Most of us are experienced players who wanted to try
            something new, but happily we are getting a few
            complete newbies who have heard about the class and
            think it sounds neat... Some people just want to
            play at being pirates! :P
  Khaimran laughs.

  Khaimran: So how _is_ the Fathomer class, compared to other ones?
            Thieves or mages, for instance?'
  Uilisia : We have a useful range of skills and spells, attacks,
            defenses and spelldowns. We are useful in a number of
            situations. There are a couple of skills there designed
            for use in pkill, too.

  Khaimran: Can they compete with some of the more established
            run-classes, though?
  Uilisia : Well, with 25 dex we make good tanks, and our main attack
            (feign) will hit harder than a similarly dressed thief,
            but you need to use spelldowns, and probably fight
            alongside another Fathomer to be effective.'

  Khaimran: So can you give us a taster of some of the more unique
            skills/spells Fathomers have that are useful?
  Uilisia : We have some unique skills, with 'glass eye' we can cast
            True Sight on ourselves while still in combat. It dosn't
            last long, but it's long enough to quaff a cure blind
            potion - Which could be a life saver.
            Our 'isscyl' spelldown does -5 Dex to a Mob for 1 round.
            It's not long, but if your group is properly prepared,
            that could enable you to hit with feign, or a warrior
            to stun an otherwise difficult mob.
            Mutiny casts +1 Lck on everyone in the group, and I
            don't think any other spell in the game increases luck.

  Khaimran: So which mobs has the GoF managed to take down so far?
  Uilisia : We've killed a bunch of mobs for stocking donation,
            usually using a Fathomer to tank and thieves to kill.
            It's taken us a while to work our how to make feign work,
            and getting 2 like-minded Fathomers together at once
            is quite hard :/
            In my investigations of our skills, I have solo killed
            Shade over 30 times, without poison!

  Khaimran: What are your ambitions in terms of runs? Any bigger
            mobs you'd like to try with just Fathomers?
  Uilisia : We've been snooping about KoTR to have a shot at Vortex
            sometime, but it's going to be a hard mob, and I think
            the Guild membership has to be much larger before we
            can get enough of us together to mount a serious challenge.
            Our spell attack, 'Tronada maecle', does quite a bit of
            damage, I think we can usefully challenge the same mobs
            mages can, and carry more heals/mana pots too.

  Khaimran: How have the Immortals - and I guess I'm thinking of
            Ceirana, specifically - helped in setting up GoF?
  Uilisia : Ceirana selected the founder members from the many
            applicants and gave some guidance as to how the Guild
            should take shape.
            One aspect of leadership is being able to delegate,
            and she selected founder members who could organise
            stuff seriously once the tasks had been delegated.
            Of course, some members volunteered for tasks too.
            Everyone has been willing to pitch in and get things
            ship shape.

  Khaimran: Is the Guild completely autonomus now, or does she
            still help out a little?
  Uilisia : We've been completely autonomus since the leadership
            election, but in about 4 months time there is to be
            another election.
            That was to ensure that the leaders are committed to
            the Guild, we are on probation, as it were.

  Khaimran: Planning to stay on as Leader?
  Uilisia : Yes, I plan to remain in Leadership. The Guild will
            get more active in time as new Fathomers are made
            and join up. In a way we are still at a very early
            stage. I expect the Immortals will be reviewing the
            perfomance of the class too, so there may be some
            exciting changes in the future. I want to be there
            to experience it.

  Khaimran: Ah, changes. Any idea in what form those changes
            might take?
  Uilisia : Changes... Currently, most of us wish that we could
            hit more reliably with feign; It is powerful but
            misses entirely too often.

  Khaimran: How long do you think it'd be before GoF has enough
            members to participate properly in the Realms
  Uilisia : Recruitment tends to be erratic, It's hard to say.
            Many experienced players can't give up their main
            characters and play a Fathomer instead. It could be
            quite a while before we have enough dedicated Fathomers.

  Khaimran: What would you be your message to anybody that is
            considering joining the Guild, or making a Fathomer,
            and isn't sure?
  Uilisia : For a new player, Guilds can be fantastic places to
            learn about the Realms and make new friends. You can
            learn a lot from joining GoF.
            If you are experienced, and not sure about creating a
            Fathomer, then think about the utility of the unique
            spells I outlined earlier. I'm sure experienced
            players can think of situations where Fathomers can
            really make a difference to a run.
            We have lots of friendly people in the Guild, too.
            It is a pleasant place to be at.

  Khaimran: Any final message you'd like to give the readers of
            the Cry?
  Uilisia : Read Cry... Khaimran is cool?
            Err... No not that either.
  Khaimran laughs.
  Uilisia : Don't judge the class by what people say on public
            channels, most of them haven't ever played one.
            Make one yourself and have some fun with it. The game
            is all about fun, enjoy being a Fathomer for a while.

  Khaimran: Well, thanks for your time, Uilisia. On behalf of the
            Cry of Despair, I wish you the best of luck with the
            Guild. Arr.

  Myra + Phred Interview - by Amante                       FEATURE

  Myra has transferred you.

  Phred's Pholly
  Perched atop a high hillside that overlooks a great valley, a
  large, slanted rock overgrown with moss and small clumps of clover
  rests between two large oak trees. From here, the floor of the
  valley can only be seen at rare occasion as the thick mist that
  covers it swirls about, uncovering bits of supernatural looking
  landscape. Within the mists faces appear and disappear and what
  look like corporeal bodies duck and weave within the large canyons
  etched into the floor of the valley. The largest attraction to
  the scenery below is the massive volcano. Although it is miles
  away, from this viewpoint it looks as if you can reach out and
  touch it. Spewing forth from the mouth of the volcano, a large
  black cloud of ash and smoke floats lazily above the rim giving
  the effect of a protective covering and it is reflected against
  this cloud that the red hot glow of the lava can be seen.
  Breath taking in beauty, awe inspiring in grandeur, this valley
  is one of a kind.

  Amante: Hello hello.
  Myra  : Hola.
  Myra nudges Phred.
  Phred : Hi.

  look myra
  Your careless glance has been met by a mesmerizing gaze that has
  captured your every attention. Eerie sky blue eyes pierce your
  soul, leaving you feeling completely vulnerable. As a tiny
  droplet of blood falls from the most beautiful crimson smile,
  you are struck with terror. As a wisp of wind blows streaks
  of platinum blonde hair about carelessly, your gaze is broken.
  Myra looks to be about 6'0", and looks to be around 125 pounds.
  She wears her long platinum blonde hair straight. Her sky blue
  eyes match beautifully with her chalk white skin.
  Myra is in perfect health.

  Myra is using:
        Knee-High, Soft Kid Boots
     A hooded, royal blue cloak emblazoned with
                      a dragonfly

  look phred
  Phred looks around, bewildered, scratches his head and asks you,
  "Have you seen Bob?"
  Phred looks to be about 6'2", and looks to be around 127 pounds.
  He wears his long grey hair braided. His silver eyes contrast
  beautifully with his copper skin. He has a large wolf tattoo
  on his back.
  Phred is in perfect health.

  Phred is using:
        black and white striped pants

  Amante: Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today, and
          giving me the opportunity to do this interview.
  Phred : No problem.

  Amante: So the obvious first question would be, how long have
          you two been playing RoD for?
  Myra sits down and thinks deeply.
  Myra  : October 1995, so 7 years and 3 months.
  Phred : I've been around I think since September of '95, it gets
          all fuzzy...
  Myra  : He's old, can't remember.
  Phred nods in agreement to Myra.

  Amante: Have all those years been on your current characters,
          or has there been changes in your mains?
  Phred : This is my first and only main.
  Myra  : I originally started a little warrior named Terra, she
          lasted all of 2 weeks before I created Myra. We really
          are -that old-.
  Myra  : You know, I had an alt in Inconnu once, Darrek loved
          her name. Dunya. I got it from a book, but of course,
          he saw it otherwise.

  Amante: Forgive me for not knowing the history of Myra and Phred,
          but did you know each other prior to RoD?
  Phred shakes his head.
  Phred : Nope, this is where we met.
  Myra  : A true MUD romance... Or something like that. Can I sue
          Thoric if we get divorced?

  Myra  : To fill you in (and others)... I was an Imm involved in
          what was the organization that is now TS, and he was a
          representitive for the Guild of Druids. I thoroughly
          hated him and every time he had a suggestion, I knew we'd
          be there forever.
  Phred grins.
  Myra  : Then, I got stuck working with him on some project, so
          in a group one evening, we actually talked about stuff.
          We came to find out, we had things in common... We both
          HATE ricotta cheese, and Chicago is quite possibly one
          of the greatest bands ever.
  Myra  : Long story short, within a few months I was head over
          heels, and managed to convince him to fly me to see him.
          The rest... Is history.
          We were mudmarried not long after that (Jan 99), and
          we've only been married (offline) for a year and 3
          months. We've "been" together for 5 years, though.
          Truth be told, he really is my best friend.
  Myra digs through her cauldron looking for a frying pan.

  Myra THWAPS Phred for being a moron.
  Phred thinks, 'Hmmmm.'

  Amante: What organizations did the two of you play in during your
          mortal days?
  Phred : I was in the Guild of Druids pretty much the whole time
          I was a mortal. I had a single alt in Arcanes, then went
          to Ascendere with that group. I was also leader of the
          Druid Guild for about a year and half before Imming.
          Of course, I've been involved in RNF now and when I was
          an Imm before.
  Myra  : GoV is where my roots once were, but I've been in Inconnu
          and Ascendere as a mortal. My new home is in Baali.

  Amante: What is the biggest thing you miss about mortal life?
  Phred : I really don't miss much about it. Before I Immed I was
          quite active in adventuring and exploring, but haven't
          done that in quite some time.
          I miss being a Guild Leader in the Druid Guild, but
          things have changed much since I've not been there. I
          don't think I would have the same views they have now.
  Myra  : I think that I most miss the ability to turn off channels
          every once in a while, and escape some of those that
          are "mentally lacking".
  Amante: Mentally lacking, nice.

  Amante: Myra being an Immortal is something I am too young to
          remember, but I remember Phred from a while ago. How have
          your returns to Immortalhood differed from your original
  Myra  : I took a good 4+ years off from being an Imm and in that
          time, they really developed a number of the abilities
          While I remember most of the commands from previous
          experience, there were quite a few new ones.
          It really has been like riding a bicycle, just comes down
          to remembering how it was done.
          Honestly, it felt like coming home to a comfy chair.
  Phred smiles happily.
  Phred  : Mainly new commands and people, mostly the same though.
           Still have the same kinds of people though, so that's

  Amante: So what are your ideal activities when you log Immortal
          characters? Bonking newbies, raising damage rolls on weak
          mobs, or perhaps less evil things?
  Myra  : Ideally, logging on would find no names in the auth que,
          no profanity on channels and everything would be magically
  Phred : I spend most of my time working on designing quests and
          administrative duties.

  Amante: I think I've exhausted the ideas I had for questions,
          though I must finish off with the obvious.
          You have the most annoying mortal in history in your
          private room, you have level 65 commands, the Immortal
          log is broken, and no other Immortals are online.  What
          do you do?
  Phred : Wonder what the hell they're doing in my room.
          Oh wait, wrong answer.
          My answer should be, 'Wonder what the hell ******** is
          doing in my room.'
  Myra  : I was gonna say that :(
          Personally, marathon Balzhuring would be fun. Make some
          mac 'n' cheese, grab a case of cokes and have a ball.

  Amante: Are there any final messages, comments, or threats you'd
          like to toss out for the Cry of Despair readers?
  Phred : I'd like to say hi to Grufnik.
  Myra raises an eyebrow.
  Phred : Oh, and to Myra.
  Myra  : Ascendere is still my second home in case they've
          forgotten me.
  Myra sniffs sadly.

  Amante: Well, I thank you both for your time, and hope you have
          an excellent day.
  Amante gives a magic mushroom to Phred.
  Amante gives a magic mushroom to Myra.
  Phred : Same to you :)
  Myra  : Aww.

  Annual RoD Awards - by Shadia                          RoDAwards

  Can you believe another year has already passed? 2002 is out the
  window, which means the 4th annual RoD awards are here!
  We have kept alot of last years caterogies, but have also added
  a few to keep people thinking.

  There are 41 categories to cast your vote. In order to vote,
  take a note, and with a subject line of My Votes, write your note
  up following the example below for the category you are voting for.


  Mynamehere: My Votes
  To: Shadia and Alysira

  Category Name #1
  1) My first vote
  2) My second vote
  3) My third vote

  Category Name #2
  1) My first vote
  2) My second vote
  3) My third vote

  And so forth in that fashion.

  Entries must be mudmailed to Shadia and Alysira before February
  22nd. Winners will be announced in the 69th issue of the Cry of

  Rules to Voting:
  You may only have one voting sheet per real-life player. If it
  is known that you have used more than one character to vote,
  all of that players votes are nulled.
  A full voting sheet is not necessary. If you choose not to vote
  in a category, that is up to you.
  Entries handed in after the 22ndh are not valid.
  Keep your nominations within reason.

  Note: Ganemanoimu has kindly offered to place a 100 million
  gold prize for a random person. He will draw randomly after all
  votes have been recorded. The person will be named in the
  issue that hold the results to the awards.

  The categories will be listed on the following pages. Remember,
  you do not have to vote in all categories, but please remember
  to write on your voting note which categories you are voting in.


  1. Best Male Immortal
  Which male immortal has given their all to the MUD?

  2. Best Female Immortal
  Which female immortal have you felt have done their best?

  3. Best Male Roleplayer
  Who best exemplifies their role and yet, makes it seem natural?

  4. Best Female Roleplayer
  A queen, maiden, or wench? Whoever roleplays the fairest is

  5. Best RoD Couple
  A new year has seen a new wave of marriages. Whose love is

  6. Best "New change" to Realms
  Many things have been implemented for our benefit. What is the
  best so far?

  7. Worst "New change" to Realms
  There is no sweet without the sour. What change was the worst
  so far?

  8. Best Guild
  Which Guild has been the greatest in all aspects of the game?

  9. Best Order
  Which Order has proven itself worthy?

  10. Best Clan
  Which Clan has the most feared reputation?

  11. Best Area
  Which area has you exploring for more?

  12. Best Hometown
  Now that all the hometowns are in, which one is livliest?

  13. Best Food Item
  Which food leaves a lasting impression?

  14. Best Drink Item
  Which drink quenches your thirst the best?

  15. Best "Treasure" Item
  Which treasure do you most wish to own?

  16. Most Likely to DT
  Which player do you know to be the clumsiest?

  17. Best Dressed
  Which player just leaves you in awe when they enter the room?

  18. Most Wanted to be Balzhured
  The one award you DON'T want the pleasure of winning.

  19. Best Rename
  Which player has the greatest rename, in your opinion?
  (When voting for this category, please be sure to list the
  rename beside the nominee's name).

  20. The "Fruit" Award
  Which player is just nonsensical, goofy and overall least
  likely to score?

  21. Best Social
  Which social do you find a use for in EVERY situation?

  22. Best Male Player
  Which male player has inspired you?

  23. Best Female Player
  Which female player leaves you with a good impression about

  24. Most likely to get illegally PKilled
  It happens, we know it does. Who do you think would deserve
  this award more than anything?

  25. Most likely to be the one to illegally PKill them
  People and their short tempers. Who would be the one to
  snap and attack?

  26. Most charismatic deadly
  Which deadly stands out above all others with their outstanding
  personality? Be it bad or good.

  27. Most charismatic peaceful
  Which peaceful comes to mind when you think of most charismatic?

  28. Most interesting help file
  Out of the hundreds of help files, which one still makes you
  laugh, cry or scream when you think of it?

  29. Most interesting room
  Some rooms come to mind when you want to hang out or just idle.
  Which one do you perfer?

  30. Best Runner
  Who comes to mind when you have an itch to go on a run?

  31. Best explorer
  Who is the first one to have directions and EQ to the new areas?
  Someone that you trust to guide you to safety.

  32. Next-to-Imm
  This player has contributed a lot to the realms community in the
  last year and if another person was to Imm, this person should be
  that Imm.

  33. Most eligible Bachelor
  What gentleman invades your dreams at night, ladies... and some
  men as well?

  34. Most eligible bachlorette
  Which graceful bachlorette invades your daydreams, men... and
  some ladies as well?

  35. Most annoying person
  Grey hairs sprout up when you think of this person!

  36. Funniest person
  Who makes your sides hurt and your lips sore from laughing so much?

  37. Sickening Goodness (the biggest Goodie Two-Shoes)
  Someone in the Realms tries very hard to be the best, the most
  pure, the most innocent, never to do anything wrong. Who is it?

  38. Ugliest Statname
  There are some ugly statnames. Which one stands out above all?

  39. Most Unique rename.
  Not neccesarily the best. Who owns the rename that stands out
  the most?
  (When voting for this category, please be sure to list the
  rename beside the nominee's name).

  Remember to vote wisely and have fun! The winners of each category
  will be published in next month's Cry of Despair.

  Futhering the Builder's Art - by Juiliana               Building

  For such a necessary part of a MUD, building communities are much
  less closely knit than the coding communities. Coders often have
  forums, message boards, newsgroups and mailing lists for their
  respective codebases. Builders tend to start these things and
  then let them slowly fade away into oblivion. I have no clue why
  this happens, but maybe it's because we tend to be more private
  about creative writing than with program code. Areas take much
  longer to build than snippets of code, and are less likely to
  be given away, and while people can give concrete answers to
  building problems involving mob program syntax, no-one can say
  that your room description is 100% correct and will work.

  So just where do you go when you need help with building an area?
  The web has a huge amount of resources builders can use. Often
  people write lone articles about building areas and other relevant
  subjects, post it somewhere and then forget about them. As there
  is no established central depot for these tips, the trick is
  knowing where to look.

  The MUD Area Building Genre:
  The most obvious place to look for advice. It's not the only place,
  of course, but let's start with articles that are written
  specifically for area building.

  The Art of Building -
  This has to be the most famous area building website around. It
  contains advice for almost all aspects of building. I include
  it here just for completion's sake.
  If you haven't read it and want to build, you should go read it

  How to Plan an Area
  This article was written some years ago, but the advice remains
  amazingly useful for such a short document. Too many builders
  seem to forget that what an area is for - not to fill up space
  on a mud, nor to amuse yourself by killing as many foolish
  players that dare to step into the place - but to produce
  something novel and entertaining, while giving players a
  reasonable challenge.

  On Writing Areas: A Builder's Supplement to Creating MUD Areas
  Smaug is not the codebase this article was written for, so some
  of the examples will look strange. Still, this guide takes you
  through an excellent tour of writing (and revising) all aspects
  of an area.

  Smaug Mud Building Info
  This is actually a long list of links to resources that are
  useful to builders. While the page is fairly hard to read, and
  some of the links may be outdated, I include it to stress my
  point that builders have a wealth of resources to choose from.
  One does not have to be limited to searching keywords like
  "building areas" and "mud building guides" from Google. A
  treasure horde of advice can be found from genres like writing,
  world building, roleplaying games, computer game design,
  interactive fiction, medieval history and so on.

  The Writing Genre:
  There are a million and one websites that can teach you spelling
  and grammar. I assume you can find them on your own if you need
  them. The same goes for reference sites: dictionary, thesaurus,
  quotations. There are even more places that talk about writer's
  block, and writing in general, though you'll have to sift through
  a lot of useless stuff to get to the bits that can really help you
  to build an area.

  Here, I'm going to address one of my main building problems, trying
  to write descriptions for rooms, areas and mobs.
  Descriptive writing does not come naturally to me, and I would guess,
  to a large number of other people as well. How often are we called
  upon in real life to describe something in writing? We might
  describe something to friends while talking and telling stories,
  but that involves subjective description. In MUDs, all the area
  guidelines tend to insist on pure, objective description. It
  should read the same way no matter if one player has a pixie
  character and the other one has a half-troll. Argh.

  I used the keywords "writing description" and "writing descriptions"
  in Google for the links on the next page, though I suspect
  "descriptive writing" will also generate a lot of useful advice
  in between all the websites for college writing courses.

  Writing Descriptions
  A short but sweet handout on how to write descriptive essays.
  Now just pretend each room description is a 4-10 line descriptive
  essay. Each room should always have a dominant impression. Some
  people do this by including a main focus of the room, something
  that catches the observer's eye and is the main reason why the
  room exists.

  I admit to sneaking in some subjectivity and narration when I can,
  more so in extra descriptions than room descriptions. There are
  some things that I think should be obvious to any fantasy character
  living in that particular world in a specific culture, but not
  obvious to the player reading it, so I include information like that.

  ASH Writing Center - Writing Descriptions
  Another concise article about describing objects. It's all been said
  before, but the guidelines this page provides are clear and easy to
  follow. Just remember, you don't have to include everything you come
  up with, tempting as it might be. Just keep the details that are
  the most telling.

  Writing Description for Fantasy
  This article focuses on descriptive writing while writing a
  fantasy story, but there are pertinent lessons to be found. Leave
  out unnecessary details and too many adjectives, they just make
  a reader sick.
  Of course, the trick is deciding what is unnecessary. In the end,
  it's subjective also. In all honesty, I don't have that big an
  issue with the cautionary example the author uses. It is readable
  enough to me. Though admittedly a whole book written like that might
  get tiring after a while.

  Description: What's It For?
  This advice is a little more specific for writing stories, and thus
  subjective description, but let's not forget that objective
  description can also provide revelation and motivation. Would
  an absent-minded mage own the same kind of cottage as a retired
  warrior living a spartan existence in the wilderness? You can tell
  a story and reveal things about an NPC simply by describing their
  possessions. The other writing advice articles are also worth reading.
  "Details, Details" is another one with relevance to writing

  MUDs: Building Guide
  This generic guide to writing good descriptions covers some
  interesting points, just try to ignore all the absolute statements
  this author makes.
  If you're going to break a rule or a strongly stressed guideline,
  feel free but know why you're doing it. Accept that some people
  are not going to like it when you do.

  The Smithcraft of Harper's Tale - Writing Description Lesson
  Occasionally, Google turns up surprises like this when you're
  searching for something else altogether. I expected to find
  essay writing tips when I used "writing description" as a
  keyword, but this is a MUSH tutorial log and even more relevant
  to area building. The essential lesson "Visualize and write" is
  simple to say, but hard to do.
  The following example about the box is the most amazing
  brain-storming session about the traits of an object I've ever
  seen. I never quite realized how just how much detail can milked
  from a small wooden box before.

  Obviously MUSHes have a different standard of "good description"
  than MUDs. Typically, they like long descriptions, the longer
  the better. No-one expects a 30 line essay on a box for a MUD.
  Have a sense of what is appropriate for wherever you are building.

  Take a look at the other craft lessons. There is another Writing
  Description Lesson on a similar vein, with a lot of detail on
  things like woodcraft, gemcutting, and metalcraft. I'm not sure
  how accurate the information is, but they're certainly interesting
  summaries and inspirational.

  On The Need For Quality Description
  And I thought the small wooden box was amazing. Look at the detail
  this author goes into about a single tree. Again, this website
  is also chock full of other helpful articles about writing in general.

  Things to Consider As You Write Your Descriptive Essay
  A quick list of questions to jog your mind as you write descriptions.
  Some of it is more relevant to subjective description again.
  Actually, it might be helpful to just write any kind of description,
  mixing in all the subjective details about feelings until you have
  a working draft. In revising, you can then get rid of the subjectivity
  and replace it with objective details that suggests the mood.

  For example, you describe a library with an oppressive and
  threatening air to it. When rewriting, think of all the details
  that could be oppressive and threatening; The bookcases might
  lean slightly and look so old that they can't support the weight
  of the books, the thick tomes might threaten to slip out of the
  shelves and come crashing down, flakes of decaying paper could
  churn up with every step and make the already musty air choking
  and difficult to breathe, and so on.

  For a fun exercise, you might try to think up three new details
  for a library that do not mention the air, books, or bookshelves.

  Next month, more links on other genres that can be helpful to area

  Party Time - by Ganemanoimu                                Party

  So it's February, a time of pink, Cupid, lust, err, love I mean,
  cuddly teddy bears, hearts, and Valentines Day. Of course, this
  article has nothing to do with that.
  If you attend a university in Ontario, you'll probably have your
  reading week in February. People elsewhere, pretend it is your
  March Break/Spring Break and that this somehow applies to you as
  So a week or more of free time, and it's time to go partying!
  Time to get your butt out of the house and away from all the
  politics and fun of RoD!
  Okay, so maybe you don't want to get out sometimes, but then, we
  can't all be normal.

  Nothing is truly worse then a boring party. I mean, sometimes
  even an overabundance of alcohol won't even do the trick.
  So how does one make sure that a night out is not a night wasted?
  Well, there are always a few warning signs that mean a bad event
  is about to occur. One or two of these signs can be passed off,
  but when we get in the realm of 3 to 4, it is certain to be a
  dull night.

  #1. There is no line-up:
  A party ain't a party if there ain't nobody. Party of one,
  playing it solo, not most people's idea of a fun time. If there
  isn't a line-up going in, chances are this could be deader than
  a Christmas tree in February. Just think, have you ever had to
  wait in line for those yummy, cheap, healthy McDonald burgers?

  #2. There is a plethora of parking:
  Ever had difficulty finding parking at a library? I think my
  point is clear. Along the same line as #1, if there is an empty
  parking lot or street in front of your party venue, chances are,
  there is no one there! Not to mention, if everyone is going
  there by public transportation, they're probably planning to
  leave by midnight. Ask yourselves, are these the crazy party-people
  you want to be having fun with? Careful, don't want to
  overintoxicate yourself on that ... Cranberry juice.

  #3. Anything with the words 'non-profit,' 'charity,' or anything
      to do with religion:
  These are all horrible, horrible, horrible places to look for fun.
  Why? All these events have their ulterior motives, whether it be
  for converting you to Jesus or to saving the whales. They don't
  have to entertain you the same way a club will if you pay your
  cover charge. Make sure it is a for-profit organization that is
  committed to your fun and enjoyment. Well, technically, they just
  want your money, but if words gets around that they suck, no-one
  goes and they get none of your money.
  You get the idea, I'll stop rambling about this now.

  #4. Everyone there is of a single gender:
  Unless your specifically at a specific-gender kind of party and
  swing that way, you'd probably get bad vibes as soon as you walk
  in. If you don't swing that way, let's just say targets of
  opportunity will probably be non-existent. Plus, other people
  might get the wrong idea and then you might become the focus of
  some unwanted attention. Imagine that, people are actually paying
  attention to you now and the only thing you can think of is
  getting away! Oh, the irony.

  #5. Your parents recognize the music:
  Okay, unless you are a toddler on your hands and knees, your
  parents are probably fairly old and have begun to slow down in
  the party department. Which inevitably brings up the next
  embarrassing question, why are you going to a part with your
  parents? Right, every single one of your friends was just 'busy'
  that Friday night. No problem.  I hear you, I know lots of people
  that have that problem. I think.

  #6 You're taking notes:
  Your biggest indication your not about to have fun is if you're
  taking this seriously. Nothing really matters more than who else
  is there, so bring some friends, crash it, and make it your party.
  If this actually helps you in some way, all the more power to you.
  Just remember that quoting it probably won't make you any friends,
  so play safe and don't do anything that most normal people wouldn't
  do, when they're sober, and if you feel insulted, don't worry,
  I'm not targeting you, I'm just targeting those weird socially
  isolated type of people!

  And if you still feel insulted, refer to the not taking this
  seriously comment.


  Rants from the Summit - by Ganemanoimu                      RftS

  Realms has a very unique form of governing in comparison to the
  real world. Because of the free nature of the game, and the fact
  that everyone is essentially a volunteer, there are a few quirks
  to how things are done. Essentially it is self-governance without
  any true accountability or responsibility to anyone.
  Now this itself is a structural issue that has no real answer, so
  this isn't the subject of my tirade. In fact, if people act
  responsibly, this problem never really becomes a problem. However,
  it is people who choose to abuse their powers in the form of
  favoritism which really become a problem and a huge headache.

  Even the smaller organizations within the game are self-governed
  and retain a great deal of autonomy. For example, there is a Guild
  overseer and other Immortals who assist the guilds in their
  operations, but they would almost never step in to stop a leader's
  actions in his/her respective Guild. If a Guild leader chose to give
  himself all the donation/storage eq and outcast everyone but his
  friends, it would essentially be his right to do so, and the
  Guildees would not be able to do very much about it if the other
  leaders supported him. It would obviously be a stupid move, but it
  illustrates my point. It is difficult and troublesome to actually
  remove people from their positions of power, and the only true
  form of protest people can take is to leave the organization.
  Usually it takes some large numbers of people before leaders and
  the administrators actually start paying attention.

  In the same light, it's easy for people in positions of authority,
  whether it be organization leaders or Immortals to say "I'm going
  to outcast him because I dislike him, I'm going to induct her
  because she's cute, I'm going to make him a leader because I want
  him to do what I tell him to do, etc. It's ridiculous how much
  this kind of thing goes on and it's incredibly annoying to people
  who should legitimately be allowed to have a reasonable quest, or
  be allowed to take that position of leadership, or whatever it is.

  The only thing that gets worse than knowing you've been screwed
  over because of politics or because there was a little sleeping
  around, is the ridiculous reasons that are often coughed up. It's
  as if they believe that a little cream and sugar to soothe your
  bruised ego is all you need, when in fact it really is salt in
  the wounds.
  Sometimes you just have to read in between the lines. You became
  inactive (I stopped logging and didn't see you on). You're
  irresponsible and have a bad attitude (You made fun of me and I
  didn't like it). Admittedly there are times when things don't
  go the way that someone intended and that is also a fact of life.
  Trying to cover it up with lies thinner than a No-Name Brand
  square of toilet paper doesn't help the issues. Plus, the simple
  fact is that if the right thing was done, the only person who
  complains is the person who didn't get what he/she wanted. If
  the wrong thing was done, or the right thing was done for the
  wrong reasons, then be assured that everyone else is complaining,
  whether you know it or not.

  Needless to say, I'm sure there are some of you out there who
  think you're safely insulated in your lies, and fake justification
  to make yourselves feel better.. "Of course he isn't talking about
  me, I don't do anything like that"..  You can continue to act that
  way, but sooner or later, people will begin to notice and they will
  begin to care.
  There is an old Chinese saying that says 'You can't cover the sky
  with one hand.'  which simply means, a lie, no matter how small,
  will eventually come out into the open. Take heed.


  Story Submissions                                        Stories
                    Alric - A Story by 0.Jander
  Alric sat in the Grim Smile. Sighing, he ordered another bottle
  of beer and continued his quest for incapacitation.
  It had been weeks since the young half-orc thief had last been out
  adventuring, but there hadn't been any rumours of profitable jobs
  or quests. Besides, the rest of his band had been wiped out on his
  last job; To find out what was going on in the small town of
  Bartok Grove. It had sounded easy, but who knew there would be a
  savage man-Dragon secretly hidden in the town? Even so, his band
  should have been able to easily defeat the creature...
  Unfortunately, they had been completely taken by surprise and were
  not ready for a battle of that magnitude.
  His good friend Denimue, a half-elven mage who he had been partners
  with from the very beginning, had sacrificed himself in a final,
  destructive spell, destroying the man-Dragon, but also killing
  himself. The spell had saved Alric's life, but he had lost his
  oldest friend.

  Checking his purse, Alric found he only had a few hundred gold
  left, barely enough to last him the rest of the week. Nursing
  his bottle of beer, he sulked in the corner of the bar, falling
  deeper and deeper into a dark, depressed state. Introspective,
  he didn't notice the finely dressed noble who had entered the bar
  until the dandy plopped down across from him. Alric looked up,
  dismissed the young man who had entered as no threat, and snarled.

  "Waddya want?  Thish is my table! Find somewhere else to sit
  yourself, or I'll FIND you somewhere else to be."

  The young noble looked at Alric appraisingly and sneered. "It
  WAS your table, my good man. Now, you can share it with me, or
  you can take yourself out of the sight of your betters. Man,
  you're so drunk you probably couldn't stand up straight, let
  alone make ME, Alistair D'Emrose, do anything I don't want to do."

  Enraged, Alric stood up, revealing his full height of nearly 7
  feet. "My better, are you?  I'll show you who's better!"

  Drawing an evil looking black dagger with the telltale crimson
  stains of enchantment, Alric attacked the suddenly horrified
  young noble with a spinning kick. Alric caught the young noble
  with a stunning hit to the chest, knocking him down. Running
  forward, Alric stabbed deeply into the young fool's thigh,
  severing an artery. Striking again immediately, Alric's dagger
  bit into the noble's neck, the enchanted blade glowing as it cut
  through a traveller's cloak and flesh.
  The other patrons of the inn backed away, horrified, as the young
  noble bled to death on the ground. Nobody, not even the usually
  observant Ulren, noticed the hooded stranger slipping out back
  entrance into the Sleeping Dragon Inn.

  Suddenly coming to his senses, Alric looked down in horror at what
  he had just done. He had slaughtered an innocent man, a noble no
  less, simply because he had been told to move to another table!
  Not even his drunken state could account for an act of such
  He heard the pounding feet of the city guard arriving. Although
  he could and had killed guards before, he wasn't willing to risk
  fighting more than one at a time, especially while drunk and with
  no healing potions. It was time to leave town.

  Alric fled up the stairs into the Cracked Cask Casino, stopping
  only to wipe the blood off his dagger on the inside of his cloak
  and returning his weapon to concealment.
  Mingling with the patrons, Alric deftly lifted a few purses as he
  waited for the guards to arrive.
  Looking around, he found what he sought, another young man about
  his size with the same color hair. When the guards arrived, Alric
  deftly grabbed the young man and knocked him unconscious with a
  sharp blow to the back of his head. Removing his blood-stained
  cloak and wrapping it around his patsy, Alric shoved the young
  man out a window and yelled, "That feller just stole my purse
  and jumped out that window!"

  The guards rushed to the window, seeing a young man in a blood-
  stained cloak rolling down the roof. Deciding they had found the
  murderer they sought, the guards rushed downstairs to head the
  criminal off.
  Alric slipped away in the confusion, and left the Grim Smile. He
  had evaded the guards for now, but it was obviously time to leave
  town until the heat died down.
  Alric nonchalantly walked west down Horizon Road, and dashed south
  down Falcon Road as soon as he turned the corner. Taking a right
  onto Market Street, Alric entered Zelah's Potion shop at a more
  sedate pace. As he entered, he checked the purses he had stolen,
  some of them flush with gambling winnings. Tallying up, he had
  collected almost 500,000 gold. Pouring all of his money into one
  larger purse, he walked up to Zelah and thumped the bag on the

  Zelah hummed as she finished the touches on another batch of
  purple-hued potions. Leaving them to boil, she turned to her
  customer. "Well, young man, what are you looking for?" Alric
  quickly glanced at the price listings, and made his decision.
  He needed as much healing power as he could carry, as he
  wouldn't be able to come back for quite some time.

  "I need 100 of your highest quality Violet potions, ma'am, and
  fast." Zelah frowned. "Why are you in such a rush?" Alric shook
  his head and grinned slyly. "No rush, I just want to get home to my
  girlfriend as soon as possible." Zelah chuckled, and began putting
  potions in bags. Alric took the bags and emptied them into an
  extradimensional storage portal his friend Denimue had created
  for him, thanking his now dead friend again as he did so.
  Alric left the shop, and headed all the way east down Market
  Street, across town to Hawk Street. Going north, he nodded at a
  glaring guard and left through Darkpass, the Eastern Gate to New
  After tipping the Guard outside the gates, ensuring that he had
  been noticed leaving town to the East, Alric carefully snuck North.
  Following the town walls, Alric went north into the Shadow Grove.
  Moving through the trees softly, leaving as few tracks as he could,
  he made his way to the woods just north of Darkhaven and onto the
  Northern Trade Route. Following the route North, Alric spent days
  traveling alongside the road, just out of sight of travellers on
  the road itself.
  Eventually making his way to the Barren Peaks of Tahjliera, Alric
  left the road. Finally, after weeks of arduous travel, Alric
  arrived at Mount Krozloy, his hometown and the stronghold of the

  Finally, Alric arrived at the gates to the fortress. Immediately,
  he was challenged by a pair of gate guards.
  "Halt!  Who go there?  What you want?"
  Alric mentally sneered at the rustic, stupid sounding accents of
  the guards. Having gone to New Darkhaven and trained at the Tower
  of Knowledge, and adventured for a few years, he was much more
  sophisticated compared to those Orcs who rarely left Krozloy.
  "I am Alric, of Clan Darkbane! As a half-Orc, I claim sanctuary!"
  The guards grunted. "Have any proof?" Alric fumed. "You DARE
  question me? A Darkbane? Hmph." As he spoke, Alric tore off a
  piece of his cloak and spat into it. Using the slightly damp
  rag, he rubbed the disguise he had put on just in case off his
  cheeks, revealing the Darkbane Clan Tattoo. The guards uncrossed
  their weapons, opening the way into the town and bowed in respect.
  "Enter, Alric of Clan Darkbane."

  Alric quickly traversed the familiar caves and tunnels of Mount
  Krozloy until he found the home of Netta, the town Healer.
  Entering in, Alric kneeled on the ground and paid homage to Netta.
  Smiling, Netta helped the young adventurer up.
  "What is it, young one?  Why do you seek Netta?" Alric quickly
  explained the events of several weeks past. "Wise one, how could
  I have acted the way I did? We half-Orcs are a violent race, but
  even so, I would not have done so normally." Netta nodded slowly.

  "Tell me, were you aware of any strange... sensations during the
  course of events?" Alric shook his head. "I'm not sure... I was
  just suddenly filled with overwhelming anger and bloodlust." Netta
  nodded. "It sounds to me, boy, like you were the victim of a
  spell of mind control. Some unscrupulous being must have cast
  some sort of spell of charming on you and used you to kill the
  young noble." Shaking her head, Netta suddenly stood. "As a
  Darkbane, no, as a half-Orc, it is your solemn duty to track down
  the one who used you thus and destroy them. Go, young one! It has
  been weeks, and still more will have passed by the time you return
  to New Darkhaven. Go back and seek out those who had grudges
  against this young Lord D'Emrose, and find the one who used you...
  Find and crush them."

  Alric bowed. "I will, wise one, but if I was charmed once, I may
  be charmed again... Do you have any means of aiding me?"
  Netta nodded slowly as she pondered the question. "Very well,
  young one. I am capable of summoning a minor Demon. If you can
  defeat it in mortal combat, it will be bound to you and will serve
  you, warding you from magic and aiding you in combat. I warn you,
  it will be dangerous and it may end your quest now. Would you
  like to try? You must decide now, it can only be done on the night
  of the New moon, tomorrow night, and you do not have another month
  to waste."

  Alric immediately agreed. "I am Alric, of Clan Darkbane! I fear
  nothing!" Netta released a long cackle. "Nothing, you say? Then a
  fool you be, young one! Fear is a necessary part of survival...
  If you fear nothing, you will die young. So be it, come to me at
  midnight tomorrow, and we shall see what you are capable of!"

  The next night, Alric returned to Netta's cave. She lead him out
  of the town into the wilderness, where a circle had been drawn in
  the dirt.
  Netta lit a bonfire within the circle, and tossed a handful of
  herbs onto it, creating a cloud of smoke. Chanting and dancing,
  Netta recited a spell that had been passed down for generations
  of healers. As she danced and worked her magic, the smoke flowed
  and warped, becoming denser and forming the shape of a Demon,
  resembling a Minotaur with wings. As the spell proceeded, Netta
  danced and chanted faster and faster, louder and louder, until
  finally it reached its climax. With a bright flash of light,
  Netta collapsed in a dead faint.
  The smoke took form, revealing a massive 9 foot tall winged
  Minotaur with taloned hands and red hued skin.

  As the beast bellowed out its challenge, Alric circled around
  behind it and leaped forward, sinking his enchanted black dagger
  deep into the Demon's back. The demon screamed in pain, and
  turned to swipe at Alric. Quickly drawing his blade out, Alric
  jumped back, barely dodging the Demon's massive taloned hands.

  Moving in close, Alric plunged his blade into the Demon's torso
  twice in quick succession. Screaming in pain, the Demon brought
  his hands in, smashing Alric squarely on the back and seizing
  him in a bear hug. Alric dropped his dagger with the shock, and
  found himself being lifted off the ground and crushed. As the
  Demon squeezed, Alric could hear and feel his ribs bending,
  cracking, and finally breaking under the stress. Almost out of
  breath, he stabbed down at the Demon's eyes with his bare hands
  in a last ditch attack.
  Poking his fingers into the Demon's eyes, Alric gouged at them,
  causing the Demon to bellow in pain and release Alric. Falling
  to the ground, Alric pulled several glowing Violet hued potions
  from his extradimensional portal and drank them down, healing
  much of the damage he had suffered. Scooping his blade up from
  the ground, Alric rushed in on the temporarily blinded Demon
  and stabbed it in the gut. The Demon screamed again, and smashed
  down in a double-handed blow.

  Alric pulled his dagger from the Demon's body and dropped down
  to the ground, barely evading the overhand smash that would have
  crushed his skull like an egg. Crawling under the Demon between
  the massive hooved legs, inspiration struck. Alric slashed the
  back of the Demon's legs behind the knees, neatly severing
  muscles and tendons. As the Demon collapsed on legs that no longer
  supported him, Alric jumped on the Demon from behind, straddling
  its massive back, and repeatedly drove his dagger into the Demon's
  face and throat, releasing huge gouts of black blood. The Demon
  thrashed about, occasionally hitting Alric, but Alric refused to
  release his hold and stabbed away until the Demon fell to the
  ground and stopped moving.

  Exhausted, covered in black demon blood, and sorely wounded, Alric
  slowly stood up. Staggering away from the circle, Alric drank
  down half a dozen more of his precious healing potions. Somewhat
  refreshed, Alric cleaned his trusty dagger off in the grass, and
  sheathed it. Somewhat steadier, Alric walked back to the circle
  and waited for Netta to wake up. Exhausted, he blinked his eyes
  for just a moment, to clear some of the sweat out of them.

  "Hrm?!" Alric leapt up, drew his dagger, and almost stabbed Netta
  through the heart before realizing. He had fallen asleep, dead on
  his feet with exhaustion, and it was now morning. "Don't touch
  me when I'm sleeping, old one. You'll regret it if I'm not able
  to stop someday." Netta cackled, and shook her head. "You'll do,
  young one. Frankly, I'm amazed you were able to defeat the Demon.
  Nobody has succeeded in the past five generations!"
  Stunned, Alric dropped to the ground. "What?! You set me to try
  to kill a Demon that no warrior has defeated in more than a
  century? Are you mad, old woman?" Netta tsked and shook her
  head. "Treat your elders with more respect, young one, mighty
  killer or not! And, I seem to recall that it was YOU who declared
  you could do it! Now, onto the business of reviving it and binding
  it to you. Now, don't worry, this will hurt, but you won't suffer
  any damage... Any permanent damage, anyway."
  Cackling, the old wise woman began.

  Netta redrew the circle around the fire and the dead Demon.
  Chanting again, this time much more sedate and matronly, Netta
  walked around the circle three times. Pulling Alric close, she
  drew his dagger and slashed his palm with it. Allowing a few
  drops of fresh blood to flow onto the dead Demon's corpse, she
  used the same dagger to make a cut on the corpse's forehead.
  Pressing the cuts together, she stabbed the dagger down through
  Alric's hand into the Demon's brain. A bright crimson light shone
  forth from the dagger, eveloping both Alric and the Demon.
  Screaming with pain from the wound in his hand and the blinding
  radience, Alric jerked his hand away, and watched as his enchanted
  dagger crumbled into a powder, which began magically flowing to
  all the numerous wounds on the Demon's body, excepting the mark
  on the Demon's forehead. As the powder entered the wounds, they
  sealed and glowed a bright red, before fading away as if they had
  never been.
  As more and more of the wounds sealed, Alric noticed the Demon's
  corpse shrinking and changing shape, until after a few moments all
  that remained was an evil looking black dagger identical to
  Alric's destroyed weapon, save for the lack of the crimson taint
  that indicated enchantment. Netta picked up the dagger, and
  pressed it into Alric's wounded hand. Instantly, Alric's wound
  began to glow and sealed. If it were not for the memory of the
  pain, he had no evidence that his hand had ever been hurt in the
  first place.

  Netta grinned evilly. "That, my boy, is now a magical weapon!
  I have sealed the demon within. You, and only you may wield it
  from now on. If you die, the weapon will explode, killing all
  those in the vincinity, including the one who must have killed
  you. Also, you will be able to use it to heal any wounds you
  cause with it, and it will also deflect enchantments and curses,
  alert you to their casting and inform you of the caster. It will
  bite through any non-magical armors with ease, and the blade is
  poisonous. Beware, however, it will not help defend you against
  direct magical attacks, only enchantments and curses!"

  Alric slowly nodded. "Thank you, old one, for your help. Does the
  blade have a name?" Netta smiled. "A smart one, you are. Yes, it
  does. It bears the name of the Demon bound to it. Call it
  Sullandir! Now, go, and destroy your foe!"

  So ends the first chapter of the story of Alric.
  Several people helped me greatly in the writing of this story.
  First, thanks to my fellow Guildies in GoV for just general support
  and being there. Great thanks to Ogerajin for answering a lot of
  questions about Half-Orc Hometown and customs, and for allowing
  me to use his Clan name for Alric.
  If you would like me to continue the story, please mudmail me
  or e-mail me at with your comments. If nobody
  writes, I'll assume nobody liked it and I'll just stop it here.


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