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Realms of Despair 101: Run Etiquette; TS Annual Report

  Cry of Despair                                   Issue 58, 04/02
     .JNNNN` .JNNNNNL   NNNNNN.  |  In this month's issue:
    JNNNNN) JNNNNNNNNL (NNNNNNN. |    * Juliana catches up with
   JNN`    JNN`    NNN (NN.  (NN)|      some of your favourite 
  (NN`    (NN`     NNF (NN`  (NN`|      imms to find out their 
  (NN.    (NN.    JNN` NNF  JNN) |      thoughts on April Fools'.
  (NNNNNN (NNNNNNNNN' (NNNNNNNF  |    * New Quest, and results
   4NNNN`  "NNNNNN`   NNNNNNF    |      to last month's!
                                 |    * Myra and Ilsensine.. er..
        The Cry of Despair!      |      help you with your woes.
        ===================      |    * As always, your poems
   *       *                 *   |      funny bones, and more!
                      *          |      
     *           *               |
  Editor: Khaimran                      Immortal Sponsor: Elisabet
  Staff: Juliana, Silverwind, Begaria, Ilsensine, Shingo, Myra
         Vladith, Tinani, Kellandra
  Contents                                           CoD, Issue 58

  Desk of the Editor

  Imms + April Fools'

  TS Annual Report

  Realms of Despair 101: Run Etiquette

  Myra and Ilsensine tackle your problems

  The ever lovable Funny Bones!

  Stories and poems.. just Words


  Desk of the Editor - by Khaimran                          Editor
  And welcome to another edition of your only.. er.. favourite RoD
  paper, the Cry of Despair. We've got a slightly smaller edition
  this month, but hey, its quality not quantity right? We have our
  usual installments of RoD 101, Dear Myra and Ilsensine, Quest
  Central, and everything else, aswell as a special feature from
  Juliana on April Fools' day. Might wanna be on your toes, looks
  like the imms have plenty planned.
    I hope everyone had a great Easter break and gorged themselves
  on plenty of chocolate eggs, keeping alive the commercial spirit
  of the festival. Just means more hours spent on RoD, working off
  those calories with your fingers ;)
    The Cry of Despair is hiring again, as of this month. Read
  Help Cry65 for information on how to apply, and soon you too
  could be writing for the CoD. I'm sure there are many of you out
  there with lots to offer the paper.
    Ok, I think that's enough ill-flowing babble from me, so I'll
  let you get on with reading the 58th edition of the Cry of

   - Khaimran

  April Fool's + Imms - by Juliana                       *FEATURE*

  April Fool's. Day of pranks, tricks and lots of laughter. I'm 
  sure everyone can recall a funny incident in real life where you
  bamboozled someone or fell for someone else's joke. How about on
  the Realms of Despair?
  To find out, our reporter Juliana hunted down as many imms as 
  she could find in a few days and asked them the following 
  1) What's the best April Fool's prank you've seen played on the
  2) Or what would be your favorite trick to play on an 
     unsuspecting mud populace or your fellow imms?

  There was a small black pyramid made by an immortal long ago. If
  it was dropped, it forced Blodkai to quit.  If Blodkai tried to 
  relog, it forced him to quit.  That may not sound too amusing, 
  but at the time progs were relatively new so it was terribly 
  ingenious.  Plus, watching Blodkai react to something like that
  is always amusing."
  Grin :) What was his reaction?
  A lot of cursing and sputtering.
  As for what prank I would pull, I can't tell you or it would 
  ruin the surprise.
  Oh goody, we'll expect something this year then? :P

  Maybe not this year, but someday. See, it's hard to say 'What
  would you do if you could..?', when you have the ability to do
  it almost all. :)

  Well, not that it would be ever done.. but I think you take 10 
  of the top av weapons, then rename them all to different types 
  of flowers.. Or for added bonus.. make them all hold items. :)
  I'm sure there would be a few people.. unamused ;)

  Thalasian: thing Ive seen was the April fool [mob] that emoted 
  giving an Oblivion and an Uncertainty..was really funny at 
  first since people really believed it..
  Got a trick you'd like to play or just dreaming about? :P

  Thinking a fake pwipe.. that'd definitely rule.

  Okay... the answer to the second one would be... 'I can't tell 
  you, or I wouldn't be able to pull one over on you!'

  Egrin. I'm so expecting a -lot- of jokes this year, judging by
  how many people tell me that. :P And the first?

  There was a deadly teasing a lad one time with a 'trick' he had
  of removing all of his equipment... but the lad couldn't see 
  the deadly removing anything. One minute the deadly had it on.
  The next, he was naked. The lad kept watching and couldn't 
  figure out how he was doing it. 

  And how was he doing it? :)
  The deadly explained to him the 'magic' behind it. He was 
  sneaking out of the room to remove and wear his equipment. ;)

  <A bonus historical joke from an ex-imm...>
  Gorog once told all the imms that he was going to de-imm 
  everyone and the first 10 imms to logon on april 1st would be 
  imms and the rest  would lose their immhood. Some people really

  I think some of the funny restores would have to be my faves.
  On RoD, there have been quite a's always the ones 
  where all channels go silent afterwards, and then everyone goes
  'uhhh, what was THAT?'. The more creative, the funnier they are
  =)  One of the funniest ones was when I've seen an echo of the
  slay message during a restore.

  Bet there was chatter after that. :) Got a favorite trick 
  you're dreaming of playing?
  At the moment no. Or I could just be saying that. *evilgrin*

  I'll answer the first...since revealing the latter might result
  in people expecting what i have in store for them :)  The best
  realms joke I've ever played involved a realms wide echo where 
  everyone got an Oblivion transed to them by "accident".

  Egrin, bet the chatter on the channels took a while to fade, 
  eh? :P      Any more jokes come to mind? :)
  Not for April Fools, no.... And yes, the spam was quite 
  delicious ;)

  And almost as if demonstrating that he hasn't lost his touch...
  This occured several minutes after, as I was talking to Pheayre.
  Darkfire blaster from Orkilian appears in your hands!
  Orkilian tells you 'OMG...give that back?  Please?'

  Pheayre tells you 'peer?'
  Pheayre tells you 'xpeer'
  Thorpe has restored you.
  Pheayre tells you '*roll*
  You tell Pheayre 'That almost screams for publishing :P'
  Pheayre tells you ':P Go ahead if you want.'
  Pheayre tells you 'You can put that instead of my April Fools'
                     day quote.'
  Pheayre tells you 'Since I can't think of a single April 
                     Fools' day joke I remember on the mud.'

  A couple minutes later...

  All those that didn't receive their gift, please contact Thorpe.
  (For some curious reason, Thorpe rapidly vanishes into 
  wizinvisibilty. Two minutes later...)

  Thorpe tells you 'Sorry, too late...all gone :('

  And that's all the jokes we could rustle up for you folks. 
  Juliana and the CoD  would like to give a big thank you to all 
  the imms she pestered with questions until they remembered 
  something funny. :P

   - Juliana Shadowfyre

  TS Annual Report - by Myra                                    TS

  The Symposium has been hard at work for many years trying to 
  make RoD a better game for everyone.  In the past year, more 
  than 117 ideas were discussed. On the following pages, you can
  find a list of those ideas, as well as the action taken by the

  P = Passed on to the Immortal community for review/
  D = Denied after review and discussion.
  N = No action taken due to similar suggestion already in place.
  H = On hold.
  Passed    -   41%  ---->  Implemented     -   13%
  Declined  -   54%         Not Implemented -   27%
  On Hold   -   06%         Unknown         -   08%
  No Action -   02%         Pending         -   42%

  Idea                                                   TS Action
  Give all coins to another character                         |  P
  Over head slash (skill)                                     |  D
  Wimpy in Prompt                                             |  D
  Recastable fly                                              |  D
  Classes - Lycanthrope, Necromancer, Kender, Dark Paladins   |  H
  Augerers Attacks Changed                                    |  D
  Augurers Climb                                              |  P
  Paladin Scry                                                |  P
  Paladin farsight                                            |  D
  Druid 'elementals'                                          |  H
  Druid Farsight                                              |  D
  Nephandi astral                                             |  H
  Change Nephandi Pentagrams                                  |  D
  Counter Attack skill                                        |  P
  Celerity and awakening spells                               |  H
  Changes to Solar Flight                                     |  D
  Changes to Mail system (command to check mail)              |  D
  Underwear eq                                                |  P
  Config no org                                               |  P
  Change Gnoll Shaman                                         |  D
  Bring back Lizardmen                                        |  D
  Orb of recall (create recall spell)                         |  D
  Hometown recalls                                            |  H
  Being drunk (new socials)                                   |  D
  History of Organizations                                    |  N
  Channel Level restrictions                                  |  P
  Colour in Bio                                               |  D
  Colour in Practice                                          |  D
  Colour in Area list                                         |  D
  Dual Shield (skill)                                         |  D
  Avatar Help file                                            |  P
  TS help file                                                |  P
  Spells and Skills specialization                            |  D
  Deadly Tags on channels                                     |  D
  Practice sessions traded for glory                          |  D
  Practice sessions traded for higher percent spells or skills|  D
  Transport given to all Newbie Council members               |  D
  Double Passwords                                            |  D
  More character length for passwords                         |  P
  More buffer space on notes                                  |  D
  Note Edit                                                   |  D
  Note Vote Remove                                            |  D
  More keys for Findnote                                      |  P
  Subject line shown in inventory                             |  P
  Unable to Farsight/Astral/Portal to people on ignore        |  P
  Room echo at level                                          |  P
  Entangled Root spell                                        |  P
  Alternate to Brewing potions (make pills)                   |  D
  Gold Mob                                                    |  D
  Changes to Score at level 1 to show stats                   |  D
  Change to sentinal pop                                      |  N
  Config +/- IC/OOC                                           |  P
  Jounral write                                               |  P
  Note Copy                                                   |  D
  New line after prompt                                       |  P
  Sacrifice All (everything in room)                          |  D
  Show multiplay in group                                     |  P
  Style in Group                                              |  P
  Paladin resist for neut/devout                              |  D
  Ignore modification (more slots)                            |  D
  Hints on practice                                           |  P
  Ability to see how you voted on ballots                     |  P
  Note weight zero                                            |  D
  Notes permanent                                             |  D
  Show Command                                                |  D
  Glory for Humming and Glowing                               |  P
  Group Experince                                             |  P
  Note list Player                                            |  P
  Config +/- rank                                             |  D
  Realms Bank                                                 |  D
  Cleric Charm                                                |  D
  Weapon type helpfile                                        |  P
  Weapon type shown in ID                                     |  P
  Attempt to flee message                                     |  P
  Help killstealing, help staking                             |  P
  Double Heals sold in shops                                  |  D
  Contents spill went container sac'd                         |  D
  Command Line for Saves in score                             |  P
  Glory for Houses                                            |  D
  Glory to Remove Magic                                       |  D
  Glory trade for renames                                     |  D
  Healing fountain                                            |  D
  Add area restrictions back on 'area list'                   |  D
  Show players idle time                                      |  D
  Portal of Mists (spell)                                     |  D
  Auto save on wear                                           |  D
  Sayto/rtell blocks ignore                                   |  P
  Ignore deadly                                               |  D
  Ignore stops someone from following                         |  P
  Class bards                                                 |  H
  Change in align system from (A/S/N to D/E/N in group)       |  D
  Afk while trancing/meditating                               |  D
  Add wear prog with glory                                    |  D
  Colour key words in channels                                |  D
  Night Description                                           |  N
  New Vampire feeding messages                                |  D
  Socials on channels                                         |  D
  Whois modification for orders/guilds                        |  D
  Seal Portal                                                 |  H
  In organization tags                                        |  D
  Air ships (free ride to areas)                              |  D
  Roster (name) command                                       |  P
  Auction limit to one IP                                     |  D
  Levelling pets                                              |  D
  New info shown at level                                     |  P
  Restore at level                                            |  P
  Auto save on level                                          |  P
  Prompt token for fly                                        |  P
  Race/Class in helpfiles                                     |  P
  Tysthia no astral                                           |  P
  Change in character deletion times                          |  P
  Guildmistress for female leaders                            |  P
  Farsight message changes                                    |  P
  Object short descript in auction                            |  P
  Changes to help quest                                       |  P
  Allow for emotes without space                              |  P
  Not able to send tells to people on your ignore             |  P
  Config -/+ follow                                           |  P

  -= The Symposium =-

  * Remove tongues from practice list.          passed
  * Promoting help files.                       passed
  * Bloodstains changed from green to red.      declined
  * New town crier.                             declined
  * Who Channel.                                declined
  * Ventriloquate spell repair.                 passed
  * Mage: detect hidden spell.                  passed
  * Helpfiles (lvl 51+ commands).               passed
  * Language channels.                          on hold
  * Adept colour.                               declined
  * Loot warning.                               no action

  -= Visionary Consortium=-

  * Forced grouptalk on loot.                       denied
  * Change to laws assist.                          denied
  * Change to steal help file.                      passed
  * Group experience gain.                          denied
  * Friends who list.                               denied
  * Socials - eek, arena, weak, afkcheck, panic.    passed
  * Obfuscate (Augurer stun spell).                 passed
  * Advice on what to practice.                     CoE
  * Multiplay warning in group.                     denied
  * Lengthening of pword.                           denied
  * Not being able to follow someone ignoring you.  CoE
  * Eqstatus.                                       denied

     - Myra Fyremusik

  Realms of Despair 101 - by Juliana                      RoD 101

  Run Etiquette.

  Once upon an ancient time ago, when Juliana was maybe 200ish 
  years old, I was a newbietar cleric. And like all newbie devout 
  clerics, I held a Ruling Sceptre and wanted a Storm. (This was 
  in an age when Storms cost 60mil, mind you.) 

  Because I was a miser, I didn't want to buy one, I wanted to 
  run for one. And because I was an ignorant and naive newbie, I 
  would answer every call on public channels for a cleric to heal 
  at Zeus.

  You can guess what happened, eh? I'd heal and quaff manas to 
  keep up my rate of healing. The run leader tanked without a 
  sweat. The hitters hit. When the first Storm popped, the run 
  leader claimed it "since he tanked," and barely two kills later,
  he'd have an urgent emergency irl and call off the run.

  If more than one Storm popped, the more vocal hitters got it 
  rather than the silent, hopeful-looking, unknown cleric in the 
  corner. Never did we manage to stay long enough that every 
  player received one, and guess who got shafted at every run? The
  invisible healer. I never saw these people again, either. A 
  successful run is based on trust, you see.

  Players gather together to kill a mob they can't kill alone. The
  understanding being that everyone will receive an equal share of
  the loot in the end. Pops are a problem, especially in a one-
  shot run, since there usually isn't enough time to get one for 
  everyone. The run leader may not realize how long the logistics 
  of the run will take. Or maybe he doesn't even care.

  Hence this sequence of articles in the months ahead, that will
  deal with run logistics and advice for both run leaders and
  their followers. 

  This month, we deal with the common denominator - the run 
  follower, the run member. The guy who joins an announced run, 
  trusting that the run leader will be fair. Yes, leaders have a 
  great many responsibilities, but as a member of a run, you have 
  obligations too.

  Before that, some people may be wondering... "Just how do you 
  get to go on a run in the first place?" The anecdote I related 
  above is a classic example of why runs organized on avspam and
  chat channels have a significantly lower chance of working out.
  You might get cheated by an unscrupulous run leader, or he may
  simply be inexperienced and get everyone killed.
  The answer? Organizations. Not just guilds/orders, etc. Nations.
  A collective group of friends. People you'll meet on a regular 
  basis. Everyone has more stake to cooperate then. There's a name
  for this in the animal kingdom - recipocral altruism. Basically
  it means, I scratch your back today, because it costs me little
  and in return, you may scratch my back tomorrow when I need it.

  It's way more difficult to cheat a friend than a stranger. For 
  one thing, he knows your name and where you live (figuratively 
  or otherwise). He can bring punitive action more easily because
  he knows more about you. :P

  If you're in a coded organization, expect that you won't be in 
  the organization in the near future once the leaders hear of it.
  Not to mention, your reputation in that community just plunged 
  to rock bottom and is likely unredeemable. And surprise 
  surprise... the small community of RoD talks to each other, and
  the worse names are known. Moral of the story: Cheating = bad 
  in the long term.
  -= Before The Run =-				         
  Prep Fast. Prep Beforehand.                                           
  If the run has been planned and announced on a noticeboard a few
  days before, you have no excuse for not being prepared with 
  heals, manas, sancs, weapons, and whatever else is required. If 
  it's a spontaneous thing, then work fast. :) You're wasting time
  that you could be spending on actually running.
  What I like to do to save prep time is keep my favorite 
  characters in prime running condition. After every time I take 
  them out, I repair them, refill 200 heals into their containers,
  and check that they have a good supply of sancs, springs and 
  other mageprotects. My mages have about 100 manas in their 
  portals (one weight manas from organizations), and every hitter 
  character carries both magic and nonmagic weapons on them. 
  Money-wise, they tote around 1-3 mil, not so much that I have 
  to worry about losing my fortune to thieves but enough for 
  quick purchases or repairs. 
  It keeps me from forgetting things in the haste of prepping with
  someone waiting for you. It's easier to brew extra things when
  you're not rushed. And it also keeps my characters quest ready.
  Log and go. :)

  -= During the Run =-

  Listen to Your Run Leader. Watch Your Ego.
  An informal run would be your friends and you messing about with
  stuff and having a good time with no clear run leader. You're 
  not really worried about time taken or that the loot has to be
  equal. You're close enough friends that you'll forgive each 
  other for almost anything.

  For formal runs though, always listen to your run leader. Give 
  him proper respect, he's calling the shots for this run. Even if
  you normally know more than him, for this series of battles, 
  he's the boss. If he's obviously wrong in some way, point it out
  in a tactful manner that doesn't undermine his authority
  Clamp down on ego. Try to be modest, it stops other people 
  thinking what an arrogant bastard you are, and wondering why
  you're even running with them.  

  Let your run leader do the talking. Especially when dealing with
  another run group. There is no point in your run leader trying 
  to come to an amiable understanding with the other leader, while
  both team's members exchange insults and work themselves into a

  Reduce spam, especially if running with people you don't know 
  well. Some people don't like their screen scrolling with 
  informal chatter. It makes you look newbie-ish or 
  unprofessional. If you're on a run with close friends and know 
  they prefer talking and joking, then go ahead.

  Give it Your Best
  As a run member, the obligation is to be as effective as you can
  be. This is a cooperative effort, and if someone slacks off, the
  whole team suffers. No free-riding or social loafing. If you're
  supposed to hit, hit as often as you can. If you need to heal, 
  heal and quaff up mana when you run out. If you need to tank,
  don't just rely on cleric healing, but have heals to spare, just
  in case of accidents.
  In the same way, if you're already giving it your all, don't 
  feel too bad if you don't seem up to the same standard as other 
  members of your run group. They might just have more practice, 
  buffer eq, or even a better client or faster ping. After the 
  run, you could always seek to improve yourself by more practice
  and working on acquiring all of the above, of course. :)

  Be a generous contributing member. If you're just hitting or 
  healing, and someone is doing all the tanking, offer to help 
  share the cost of his heals or repairs. If you want an equal 
  share of the loot, it's only fair to bear an equal cost of the 

  Make sure you're following a run leader you trust. If he's 
  unscrupulous, he might just be using you to get equipment for 
  himself. (He tanks, the first pop he takes "cos he tanked" and 
  then says he has to go. Sound familiar?) People from guilds/
  orders are usually established runners within their community, 
  and not likely to ruin their reputation by being cheap, unfair 
  or acting stupid. If they do, well, simple solution, never run 
  with them again. If you get ripped once, you don't go back to 
  get ripped off again.

  Be There. 
  As in mentally, all there. Going AFK between repops to do this
  and that, especially for long runs, is done quite often - but 
  always keep a watch on your time and check back frequently. 
  Nothing is more aggravating to a run team than a single member 
  they need not responding to anything, whether marked afk or not.
  Especially right after it repops and if time is crucial. Don't
  keep people waiting while you tend your rl stuff, they too have 
  stuff in rl they're ignoring while running and having to pause
  on your behalf.

  It thus goes without saying that it's polite to let people know 
  that you'll be going and for approximately how long. "Drink, 2 
  mins." Or "running down to 7/11, 20 mins." So that they at least
  can plan for your absence and don't spend their time beeping an 
  immobile you, wondering if your modem just got struck by 
  lightning or if you had an epileptic fit on your keyboard.

  Ask questions if you don't understand. Run leaders have a 
  million and one things to take care of and remember. They might 
  have assumed you're familiar with the run, or know what "scry 
  out" means. It's your responsibility to make sure you're as well
  prepared for the mkill as you can be. 

  In the same way, if a run leader has kept something secret from 
  you, such as how to get to the mob, you could try asking - but
  if he doesn't want to tell you, _respect_ that and don't pester.
  He's at least trusted you enough to take you to the mob. Perhaps
  he's under obligations himself not to share the information he 

  Another thing that I thought all run groups ought to be aware 
  of. Though I joked earlier, modem and connection problems have
  been known to occur, and quite naturally, the poor guy involved 
  tends to die horribly in battle. Most of this will resolve 
  itself before his corpse decays, but it's nice to keep an eye on
  the time. If the corpse has gone into last stages of decay and 
  the player is still linkdead, see if you can ask an imm to 
  bodybag it so the unfortunate soul doesn't lose his corpse. 
  Nothing's more stressful than watching a dead modem and 
  wondering as to the fate of your equipment. Who knows, someone
  might recipocrate for you someday.

  Don't spam the imms if it's -not- an emergency though! If you 
  make use of them for unnecessary crs and things that can 
  patently be achieved by mortal effort, expect a proportionate 
  amount of your equipment eaten. 

  -= After The Run =-

  Thank the run leader. Thank your runmates. Thank everyone 
  involved. It doesn't cost anything and shows your appreciation. 
  The run wouldn't have taken place without them. You wouldn't 
  have gotten your nifty eq. It gives everyone warm fuzzy 
  feelings, and that makes it more likely that future runs will 

  Now if the run stank, and you feel cheated and pissed off, you
  don't have to suck up to the run leader but there's no use 
  cussing him out either. You can still maintain your own dignity
  and honor. A simple "Thank you" will do - at least you now know
  that this guy is not trustworthy to run with. Make a note never
  to run with the guy again, so you don't encourage his behavior.

  If You've Borrowed Anything, Give It Back
  It goes without saying, really, but in the euphoria or
  exhaustion of finishing a run, people do forget stuff. If 
  someone's loaned you equipment for the run, give it back before 
  you vanish from the mud. 

  If you're not a close friend of that someone, you might just 
  find yourself accused of equipment theft when you next log back 
  on. Usually if someone trusts you enough to loan eq, they'll 
  trust you enough to give it back, but there's no need to push 
  your luck. They might need their eq for other things while your 
  character is happily offline. 

  It's also civil to repair the equipment before you return it. 
  Give it back in the same or better condition than when it was 
  loaned. The guy did you a favor, giving him a repair bill is
  just not good manners. Worse, if the item was severely damaged
  and it scraps in the next hit, chances are, no one is going to 
  be pleased.

  Same goes for heals or manas or even mageprotect potions. All
  these things -cost- money. It's your responsibility to remember 
  how much of everything you've borrowed and then give it back 
  after the run. Do it without prompting. If you can't afford it 
  right at that point, let whoever you've borrowed from know, and
  then make sure you spend the rest of your time on the mud 
  working to repay it. 

  If you're working with a group, who has a shared collection of
  mageprotect potions, it may not be necessary to return those, 
  since it's from the group fund anyhow. Some richer folks might
  not mind if you scarf a hundred heals or so and not return it.
  Or twenty manas or whatever. Still, never -assume-. Always offer
  to pay it back. If the guy says it's all right, then ok, thank 
  him gratefully. If the guy seems to want the stuff back, give it
  back to him. :P

  On Run Secrets
  This is a very nebulous issue, and really changes from run to 
  run. Most runs are pretty open, you run stuff, you learn the 
  tactics for how to kill the mob, you can go kill the mob 
  whenever and with whoever you wish. The strategies for killing 
  the mob are understood to be open knowledge and in the public 
  domain, so to speak.

  On some big runs, because it takes so much effort to discover 
  how to get to and kill the mob, people have chosen to keep the 
  knowledge secret so as to keep the price and demand for eq up,
  as well as to prevent massive spamming of the mob. (Massive 
  spamming is never good, it sends eq prices plunging and 
  increases likelihood the mob will be made harder to kill.)

  The debate on keeping run secrets is pretty much like the 
  argument about abortion. The two sides will never really agree,
  both are right and wrong at the same time. It all depends on 

  A simple rule of thumb is: If you learn how to get to and kill a
  big mob from a group of people who already know how, keep your 
  mouth shut. Especially if they tell you specifically to. Respect
  their wishes. They did the work of learning about the mob, after
  all. It's not your knowledge to disseminate. It's just not 
  honest to steal.

  If you yourself discover the secrets on your own without help
  from people who already know how, then do whatever you want with
  it. You might just realize that after all the effort you've bled
  into discovering stuff, that you don't want other people to 
  lazily mooch off you. :)
    - Juliana Shadofyre

  Join me next month as we discuss the ins and outs of how to lead
  a good run!

  Dear Myra and Ilsensine - by Myra + Ilsensine                M+I

    Dear Myra and Ilsensine,
  I'm a prank loving little pixie, would would just love for it to
  be April Fool's all year round!  But alas, it only comes once 
  per year, and I must use all of my pixie energy (and tons of
  sugary pixie sticks!)  to play as many pranks as possible on 
  that one special day.  Do you have any suggestions for me?
    Frolicks and sugar buzzes,
    Dear Prankxie
  The joke's on you, little bug.  All pixies are the same, 
  greedy, sugar fiending pests that want things their way all the
  time. Well tough cookies!  It's high time that you learn that 
  the Realms does not revolve you and your trickster ways.  Grow 
  up and get a life!
    - Myra

    Dear Prankxie,
  Using my cliche soothing voice and time honoured motherly 
  wisdom, I can offer you some aid! God, I'm so nice. Umm... 
  anyways, back to you. What you need to begin doing, is 
  channeling that pixie frolicking energy away from the desire to 
  play tricks and confound others, towards more productive paths 
  such as helping others with less get up and go than you.
  Remember, the road to being as goodly as yours truly is long and
  pitted with rocks... but nothing compares to the big mug of 
  smug waiting for you at the end!!!
    - Ilsensine

    Dear Myra & Ilsensine
  There's this girl in our order that keeps claiming every other 
  girl in the order.  I just want to claim one, but she only 
  leaves the guys and I dont want them.  What can I do?!
    Lonely and lovelorn.
    Dear lonely and lovelorn,
  You can always find another order.  If she's claiming all the
  women for herself, then I think you're in the wrong place.  And
  from the sounds of it, you won't be missed.  Take a hint and 
  hit the road.
    - Myra

    Dear lonely and lovelorn,
  First of all, let me say that you sound like such a precious 
  little munchkin. I think you'd go real cute alongside the other
  waifs and strays that live in my 5 star Ilsensine's Bleeding-
  Heart Charity Mansion for the Underprivaleged! (limited places
  still available!) Oh damn, I am just *soooo* giving! *pose*
  As for the problem... well I think you need to analyse the root
  of the problem. Why do you fare so badly with girls? Too shy? 
  Too forward? Too stinky? Or does the truth lie in you not 
  liking girls at all? You need to ask yourself these things. 
  Look for the root and work from there.
    - Ilsensine

    Dear Myra and Ilsensine
  I am a male sea-elf and I like a female dwarf. I know she likes
  me too, but she also liked a dwarven male. Now I am afraid she
  will choose for the dwarf, instead of me. Please give advice.

    Dear Newbie
  Let's face it sea-elves belong in the sea and dwarves belong in
  the mountains.  Why should she pick you?  You have gills, she is
  hairy. Take the hint and find yourself a nice little mermaid to
  play with.
    - Myra

    Dear Newbie,
  Your letter brings up a poignant and important point in today's
  society (also it's a wonderful vote winner for me ahead of the 
  impending all-Realms Niceness Awards!). The barriers between 
  races must fall, you shouldn't worry if you have gills or if 
  she's got a beard. True love will flourish if it is truly meant 
  to be. All that you can do is ride the wheel of fate the best 
  you know how.
    - Ilsensine

    Do you have any problems? An inner child screaming to get out?
    Need advice on which sanitary products to choose, to achieve
    the desired effect on the opposite, or indeed same, sex?
    Want to know the meaning of life? Well, tough luck, but you
    can have a laugh by writing into Myra and Ilsensine anyway.

  Famous Last Words... - by Juliana                    Funny Bones

    -= Famous Last Words... =-

  "Sanc is for wussies!"

  "Trust me, I know what I'm doing."

  "If I scry a room and it tells me ONLY DEATH AWAITS YOU HERE, 
  ADVENTURER. is that a death trap?"

  "Dammit, this thing won't die!"


  "blinded :("

  "Magic weapons? Damn, I knew I forgot something..."

  "How many times do I have to tell you: there's no dts here!"

     -= ...+ Revelations at Sonoria =-

  "Ok, so who didn't log their alts off?"

  "Um, sorry, I spam circled in the clerics' windows and tried to 
  heal in the thieves' windows."

  "All right, who dropped the spring scroll on the ground?"

  "Who put the crystal of healing in my heal container!?"

  "Fly? Oh, you mean I was supposed to have fly on?"

   "Seth? I thought you said Set!"

   "I promise I won't cast major invocation right before holy 
   sanc next time."

   <after some minutes of screen scrolling, link-death and 
   "...So -that's- why you cast elemental shields when you have 
   20+ avs fighting"

   "Oh, you meant the mob's aggy, not me fight in aggy..."

   "You mean *I* was supposed to be tanking?!"


  Dria says 'Is that a pfile in your pocket or are you just
  happy to see me?
  Ceirana wonders what all this pfile nonsense is about... 
  Thalasian Nightblade: Mind out of gutter, hands off my pfile.
  Shargate has a big... pfile.
  Tical Umbramnia has to wrap his pfile around his leg. 
  Pheayre says 'All your pfiles are belong to us!
  Aphrael thinks Raz's pfile is the best!
  Aeriel knows you just want to get in her pfile, get away!
  Blodkai... all I know is my pfile won't fit in my underwear.
  Adonia: There once was a Martian from Venus, whose body was 
  shaped like a ... pfile?
  Hoerkin shouts 'Yeah baby, you know you want some of this pfile

  Conran Treves: I'd kill for the nobel peace prize.
  Ienna: Looking for love in all the wrong Brothels [BOT]

  Kerrazze.  Run away the old people are coming!:.     .
  Korrazze.    o             o|)  < o             o  .
  Kirrazze.  |#->-|====-   |/=|   |/-+---         /    .
  Kyrrazze.  (*)>          (*)>   (*)>           />    .

  Story -  submissions                                       Words

  She Who Brings Hell, Brings Heaven. 
  The sparks from the coals leapt high into the air, like 
  miniature fireworks, yet too close for comfort, and too hot. I 
  watched restlessly, fearing to move. Sweat erupted on my skin,
  rolling down my arms. It turned the depths of my stomach. 
  Garsnagg stopped chewing and spat the masticated root into the 
  bowl of spring water. Trickles of white dribbled down the scales
  of his chin, and his eyes gleamed with a fanatic faraway look. 
  The lizard hissed, tipping the crystal bowl towards me with one
  claw. The white liquid swirled lazily within the transparent 
  bowl, lining the bottom with a milky patina. I hesitated.

  "Drink." Garsnagg lowered his head, his dark orbed eyes hooded      
  in challenge. "You asssked for the knowledge of the datura. You   
  brought sssacred eggsss. So we allow you to drink." The           
  creature dipped its claws, swirling the contents deliberately,    
  breaking up the root pulp into hairlike fibers. His last words    
  were more threat than persuasion. I stared at the ghostly         
  liquid, twitching with cold fear,  the suffused heat of the cave
  forcing another bout of sweat from my skin. If I survived, it
  would be interesting to see what the Archmagus thought of this.
  If. My lips thinned consciously. 

  My hands cupped the cold sides of the crystal bowl, every nerve
  end trembling.
  I drank deep. The sigh of a maiden in lily white by the side of
  an expansive cerulean sea blazed into my mind, the sunlight 
  glowing on wide crescents of sand.
  Another sip ...
  The next...
  The bowl fell from my grip, the roots sloshing down my thigh,
  its delicate strands encasing my skin. The maiden turned, her 
  smile seductive, her hands outstretched to draw me into the 
  waters with her, her fragile fingers gripping my own and her
  hold oddly strong. Her ivory hair swirled like the winds, and as
  we dipped below the churning waters, they spun around me, like 
  the unravelled threads of a winter tapestry. 

  We coursed through a primordial sea, waters so ancient they 
  drummed against the very beat of my own heart. And it ceased to
  beat, my heart, for now it pulses with the incessant throb of 
  the dark bizarre creatures slicing through  the waves with us. 
  It hummed with the beat of her heart, if she had a heart, this
  strange efreet of foam and clouds, a mermaid born of diablerie
  and dreams. I drew the primeval waters into my gills, relishing
  in their unsullied state, in their purity, hungering for this 
  chaste innocence long gone in the oceans I was born in.

  She did not let me indulge long, and we broke out of the waters.
  Sunlight  illumined her face, her slanting bones and abnormal 
  features, formed perhaps when the god who created her lost sight
  of what was perfect and  created a misshapen imitation of it. 
  The efreet wailed, her tresses webbing even tighter around my 
  Then the light was gone, and darkness shrouded her face. An 
  alien moon and brilliant stars took flight into the night sky,
  forging her hair into frozen silver. She dived into the ancient
  sea again, howling, the dark creatures fleeing from her. Deeper
  and deeper we went, down through chasms and ravines, her silvery
  hair roping itself around my body, tighter and tighter. 

  The milky essence that formed her visage burned through my 
  veins. My eyes, frozen to their sockets, could barely make out 
  the looming form of Garsnagg as he bent over me, jaws moving in 
  a chant. Chained, I could not move, nor struggle. The lizardman
  lifted a large dagger, and he spoke, a harsh cry above the 
  churn of the imagined waves. 

  "Thiss iss your wisssh...You wanted the ritual..." The dagger 
  fell and screams rippled through my ears. Her scream.

  My wish, she screeched, as our hearts beat in unison now. My 
  wish that I be her, and she be me, the maiden wailed . And 
  together we spun in a mad vortex down into Time's very womb.

  Garsnagg laid the dagger down. Blood welled up, like melted 
  emeralds, trickling down dark skin and staining the torn white
  shirt on the sea elf's body. But he seemed oblivious to the 
  wound and his eyes stared flatly at the cavern's ceiling. 
  Garsnagg motioned to the smaller lizardman huddling in the 

  'When he ressistss the enticement of the root, we heal him. It 
  iss not hard to overcome. ' The older one signed guardedly, but
  his motions held doubt. And the acolyte saw and returned the 
  gestures, orbed eyes twitching in fear. 'He will not. See, he
  ssingsss with her... He singss...'
  Garsnagg discreetly gazed at the motionless sea elf, a mask of 
  disappointment cresting the scaled ridges above his eyes. He 
  had been young when he first drank of datura, and she brought
  him to dance amongst the ancient mud that birthed the first 
  lizardmen. The puckered face of another shaman, his teacher, 
  manifested before him, mouthing the very words that now dropped
  from his own jaws.
  'Then he failsss....'

    -  Falennt Sarien-Ladisvale

  Towel Boy Lament
  Oh how I love to fondly gaze
  At frolicing, bathing Elven babes
  With gleam in eye and towels dry
  You'd think perhaps I got it made
  Athletic, tall, and dainty sorts
  Engage in playful watery sports
  In crystal waves their jiggling ways
  Cause me to adjust my shorts
  Waiting patiently by the shore
  My open arms and eyes implore
  Wanting some but getting none
  It looks as if I'll never score
  So, gentle maidens I beg of thee
  Tarry not and hear my plea
  When next you bathe in yonder glade
  Come and get your towels from me
      - Gryllomat, Towel Boy)

  Unrequited Abandonment
    by Morgianya

  Cosmic revelations filtering through the midnight skies,
  Piercing the seemingly calm and mystical atmosphere;
  Floating aimlessly through the serene winds,
  Landing softly upon the grounds reaching high above.
  Misty mountaintops that crumble with the touch of a hand,
  Sounds of crackling visions scanning the open horizons;
  Gently gazing upon the pristine and thin cloud formations,
  Layering a feeling of care and love amongst the dead.
  The faint odor of battles won and lost,
  Creeping upon the angelic substratum with deadly intentions;
  Oozing out from the supple soils in an obscure cloak,
  Smothering the crystalline sands of days past.
  A gentle caress which breeds faith and hope,
  Quickly turns away with a distinct sense of unwanted forfeit;
  Leaving an unsurreal feeling of hate and abhorrence,
  Lingering upon those who continue their journey beyond.

  Thorpe's Hatemail - by Thorpe GreyBorne                       Ad

   *********     FEELING A LITTLE ANGRY AT SOMEONE?      *********
   *********                                             *********
   *********  ABOUT TO EXPLODE AND NOT SURE WHAT TO DO?  *********
   *********                                             *********
   *********       THEN IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO VENT!       *********
   *********                                             *********
   *********                     AND                     *********
   *********                                             *********
   *********              THORPE'S HATE-MAIL             *********
   *********                                             *********
   *********          IS HERE TO HELP YOU DO IT!         *********
  Send your hate-mudmail to Thorpe at any time/place, not all 
  letters will be published in the Cry of Despair, but ALL will be 
  read and appreciated!
  Take care to omit the names of the "hated" parties, but feel free
  to describe them to your fullest extent.  NOTICE: Any and all 
  notes become property of the Cry of Despair and it's guest writer
  Thorpe GreyBorne, so if you aren't sure about making your views
  public....don't send in your hate-mail!


  Do you know someone who is too nice? Are they sweet, considerate
  and generally unbearable? If one or more people are percolating
  in to your head... read on.
  Once upon a time, purveyors of such beastly loveliness would 
  have gone without punishment. No longer!
  Starting next month, we'll have the wonder will be...
                        The Ilsensine's Sickening Goodness Awards!
  Huzzah! All that you need to do is mudmail yours truly, giving 
  the name of the player you wish to receive the Sickening 
  Goodness Award, as well as a few good reasons why they should 
  win such an esteemed proclamation of doom.
  Each month I will choose the most deserving candidate...
  Ask yourself... who *really* deserves an award worse than death?

  Look out for the first ever Sicko next month!

    - Ilsensine

               The Cry of Despair is now hiring staff!
    Can you do ascii art like nobody else? Do you want to share
  your views on various aspects of the Realms with everyone else?
    Like to be able to conduct polls, competitions, quests, and  
      interviews in a way that the whole of RoD can see the

          Then the Cry of Despair is the place for you!
          We're taking applications for a limited time
          only. Any applications or questions should be
          mudmailed to Khaimran. A notice will be posted
          upon the Archives when applications close...
       Any applications should include information as to what
       you imagine yourself doing if/when you become a member
               of the staff of the Cry of Despair.