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Realms of Despair Awards; Juliana: More building tips

  Cry of Despair                                    Issue 69, 3/03
     .JNNNN` .JNNNNNL   NNNNNN.  |  In this month's issue:
    JNNNNN) JNNNNNNNNL (NNNNNNN. |    This month's feature!
   JNN`    JNN`    NNN (NN.  (NN)|    * We put your minds at ease
  (NN`    (NN`     NNF (NN`  (NN`|      and announce the winners
  (NN.    (NN.    JNN` NNF  JNN) |      of the Realms Awards!
  (NNNNNN (NNNNNNNNN' (NNNNNNNF  |    * Ganemanoimu and Simone
   4NNNN`  "NNNNNN`   NNNNNNF    |      give us more thought-
                                 |      provoking articles.
        The Cry of Despair!      |    * Juliana gives us more
        ===================      |      tips on futhering your
   *       *                 *   |      building skills.
                      *          |    * 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 69

  Desk of the Editor
  News from around the Realms
    Guild/Order News
    TS/VC Updates
    Inter Guild Quest Council
  Realms Awards: The votes are in!
  Furthering the Builder's Art
  Rants from the Summit
  Opinions from the Staff
  Story Submissions
  Announcements and Advertisements

  Desk of the Editor - by Alysira                           Editor

  Greetings, readers!

  I know it has been far too long since the last Cry of Despair was
  published, but life has that funny way of intervening right when
  you have something to do.

  On the plus side, I know many of you have been just itching to
  find out the results of the Realms Awards! Well, Shadia's been
  hard at work tallying all the votes, and I'm sure many people
  will be pleasantly surprised at the results. Congratulations to
  all the victors!

  This month, we have all the regular news articles, and some of
  the staff members have added their own opinions articles.
  Juliana also brings us more building tips.

  Hope you enjoy it!

  Guild/Order News - by Kellandra                             News

  Order of MaidenStone

  The order extends a warm welcome to its newest members Elaisse,
  Saraya and Sunfall. Many new faces have graced the Order's halls
  lately and we are truly thankful and lucky to have earned their

  Administration within the order has endured several changes as
  of late as our long-time deity Cersei has retired, leaving some
  big shoes to fill in her place. However, we are pleased to welcome
  Darshanin as the order's new deity and have the utmost faith that
  she will do her best. As well, our faithful leader Aurien has
  recently stepped down and taken her place among the ranks as an
  elder Aes Sedai. We welcome with open arms our newest leader
  Ilyatha, and know she will give her all to the betterment of the
  Order. Following in succession, Skaphia has ascended as the Order's
  new Number One, and Salendine has recently been graced with the
  honor of being the Order's new Number Two!

  To those that have moved on, we wish you the best and thank you
  for the countless hours of dedication you have contributed. To
  those that have taken on new roles, we have no doubts you will
  lead the Order to some even better and brighter moments! :)

  Applications to the order are still currently open. Potential
  candidates are encouraged to read help maidenstone and help
  ms applications for more information.

  Order of Ringbearers

  The Order of Ringbearers expresses congratulations to Fiebin and
  Caldric for passing their acolyte period with power and panache!
  Good luck as full members of Ringbearers.

  The Order wishes good luck to Reatha and Micha in their acolyte
  period. We know you'll do your best to get on through.
  We wish to thank our IOQC team for placing second place in the
  last quest. The combination of Thartos, Hobinay, Tinildur,
  Goshimo and Pelmen.. one of the most underpowered teams in the
  IOQ in terms of pure killing ability and placed 2nd place. Good
  job guys!

  That's about all from RB, may the virtues of truth, honor and
  knowledge ever lead your way!

  Guild of Clerics

  This month the GoC continues its sprint towards to the brink of
  insanity with more trivia, monster mashage and other fun, fun,
  and also crazy events. Naturally, this is all interspersed with
  the usual drunken antics involving dirty carrots.

  The guild would also like to express its overwhelming gratitude
  at being able to have our awesome second Chalamar. We hope to
  see her back in action soon! We love you Chalala-alabama-banana!

  Care to join the insanity? Looking for more uses for that carrot?
  Or special tips on making it dirty? Come visit the Guild of
  Clerics at nw, 2w, 2n, e, u of DH square and talk to one of the
  inma... err members of the guild!

  Guild of Fathomers

  GoF now boasts 29 members.  We would like to welcome the following
  of our newest members: Mahina, Tornio, Cirdan, and Baxt.

  Guild of Mages

  The Guild of Mages warmly welcomes its newest full member, Vengor
  to our midst. Our new initiates are Abremelin, Yosef, Dharkus and
  Krangar (Formerly known as Milenko). Several mages recently
  returned from retiring from Realms as well.

  Guild runs included Justice, Kraken, Gradinar, Thoth, Dobra,
  Corsterix, Black Rose, and Father Time.

  MAP is taking new members into the Mage Apprentice Program under
  the direction of Milamber.

  GoM PK Ladder leader so far is Bergeil with Leonidas coming in
  second and Zaeon in a close third.

  The Webpage Council, under the direction of Treva, is making great
  strides to rebuild our webpage:

  Guild of Thieves

  The month of February saw the guild welcoming our new 2nd.
  Congratulations go to Uimato. It will be a pleasure working with
  you in the future. Thanks go to Zilensko as the contender for the

  New inductees this month were Lox, Ardaria and Flarene. Welcome
  to the Guild to all three. May this place become your new home.

  IGPK had the guild facing some formidable opponents. We triumphed
  over GoP-GoV on the 1st and GoC-GoW on the 12th. Job well done
  thieves. March is still to come and will be an interesting challenge.
  Let's keep up the good work.

  Thieves have been busy bashing away on Justice, Kahl, Shade, Hecate,
  FT, Hellknights, Mandor etc. this month as new members are learning
  about ARC, running and tanking a variety of mobs around the realms.

  That's it for this month. Any level 20 thieves who are interested
  in joining our guild, please read the notes in the recruiting office
  or contact a member who has IT in their title. They will be more
  than happy to answer questions about joining the guild.

  The Triad

  Guild of Nephandi

  Following the election held to chose a new Guild Second, Morgrin
  has stepped up to fill this position. Congratulations are also
  due to Rikkath and Kiyah on becoming members of our IT team.
  Joining us as new members this month were Yuka, Zoes and Taechal :)

  The project to complete and verify our area directions is nearing
  completion, and our website has both moved to a new home, and
  received something of a facelift.

  On the running front, most of our efforts this month were invested
  in killing some of Realms' newer mobs on a regular basis, with
  visits to old favorites such Guen and Brakky somehow managing to
  be fitted into what time was left over.

  TS Updates - by Shadrack                                    News

  During February the following proposals were considered in TS
  meetings :

  Passed -
  * Scan echo removal
  * Modification to forage skill message
  * Mystery box for auction
  * Emit command
  * Poisoned food to be affected by res poison
  * Weather changes
  * Furniture store in DH
  * Disarm message showing weapon name
  * Roster changes to add induction date
  * Vampires not losing BP while sleeping in dark rooms
  * Note take/remove messages showing which note
  * Examine echoes showing the short description of item
  * Meeting room for orders
  * Changing house/apartment keys for a fee
  * Wings of Death, evil cleric group fly spell
  * Umbilical, evil cleric hp drain spell
  * Auction houses in hometowns
  * Post offices in hometowns
  * Glory option to remove enchantments on weapons
  * Automatic config +nice after fighting in open arena
  * Lastname command

  Failed -
  * Trance/meditate room echoes
  * Mentoring program for new players
  * Singing imp in Hell
  * Extradesc command
  * Give all command
  * Group switch
  * Banks in hometowns
  * (Gold) items being holdable but not wearable
  * Traverse/beacon echo color change
  * Capping resistance percentages

  TS also received feedback on a number of proposals it had passed
  previously, as follows :

  Passed -
  * Mistform miss message.
  * Writing buffer echos.
  * Track corpse
  * Mystery Box Auction
  * Mystical Vision Castable while fighting (implemented)
  * Mail Check
  * Crab Guards race in Coral Depths
  * Emit

  Denied -
  * Disarm echos
  * Drow alignment/Race message
  * Ruination
  * Malediction
  * Veiled steps message rewrite
  * Changing Javelins to missile weapons
  * Scan echo removal
  * Kalerd Supplication Rates
  * Circle message
  * Where modification
  * New use for glory (weapon enchants)
  * Umbilical spell
  * Sheathing of weapons
  * Leader note removal change
  * Evil clerics weapon proficiencies.
  * Darkhaven furniture store.
  * Res_poison affecting food poison

  Inter Guild Quest Council - by Shadrack                     IGQC

  In early February the events foretold in a prophecy handed down
  to Yeroc of the Guild of Augerers by a distant ancestor came to
  pass. The Gulgoths who had been bound were seen to have risen
  again, and he called on the assistance of the Guilds of Realms
  to seal them once more and prevent unbalance being brought to
  the Realms.
  With the assistance of the spirit of the ancestor, questors sought
  out mystical objects from far flung corners of the world which
  would aid them in this endeavor. After many hazardous journeys
  had been undertaken, sufficient of these were recovered that battle
  could be given to the Gulgoth. The struggle was bloody and painful,
  but eventually the creature was defeated and balance restored.

  The Realms of Despair Awards - by Shadia               RoDAwards

  The 4th annual Realms of Despair Awards votes are IN!

  After hours of counting and recounting all votes have been recorded
  and posted for all your viewing pleasure! There definitely were
  some surprises and some not so surprising, but all in all the
  categories have been tallied and listed below for you!
  There were 37 players that voted, and none were disqualified.
  There are a lot of ties this year due to all the great players
  we have within the game. I must say thank you to all that had
  taken the time to get a quill and note and vote your hearts out!

  The winner of the drawing is after careful consideration and a
  bunch of notes in a portal is... Nannuki! Please contact Elisabet,
  Alysira, Shadia or Ganemanoimu for your prize.

  Now for the results-
  Note: Where more than one name occurs in one place, this indicates
  a tie between the players. These are arranged alphabetically.

  1. Best Male Immortal:
      (1) Kali
      (2) Blodkai/Conran/Edmond/Kinux

  2. Best Female Immortal:
      (1) Moonbeam
      (2) Selina
      (3) Darshanin

  3. Best Male Roleplayer:
      (1) Anmect
      (2) Kevyn
      (3) Phalar

  4. Best Female Roleplayer:
      (1) Shadia
      (2) Graelynia
      (3) Chalamar

  5. Best RoD Couple:
      (1) Conran and Kellandra
      (2) Moonbeam & Kali
      (3) Myra & Phred

  6. Best "New change" to Realms:
      (1) New Areas
      (2) New Mage paths
      (3) Changed Deity System

  7. Worst "New change" to Realms:
      (1) The weakening of the Mage class
      (2) Portal/astral restrictions
      (3) The limiting changing of Deities

  8. Best Guild:
      (1) Guild of Clerics
      (2) Guild of Mages
      (3) Guild of Druids

  9. Best Order:
      (1) MaidenStone
      (2) Inconnu
      (3) Ascendere

  10. Best Clan:
      (1) Surreptus
      (2) Scorn
      (3) Ophanim

  11. Best Area:
      (1) Mountain of Lost Souls
      (2) Thul Ab'Hara
      (3) Otherlands

  12. Best Hometown:
      (1) Elf
      (2) Drow
      (3) Human/Pixie

  13. Best Food Item:
      (1) Magic Mushrooms
      (2) Chocolate covered spiders
      (3) Lemon Chicken

  14. Best Drink Item:
      (1) Kumquat Merlot
      (2) Blood fountain

  15. Best "Treasure" Item:
      (1) An old toy knight
      (2) Darkfire Blaster
      (3) White sequined mask Dragon

  16. Most Likely to DT:
      (1) Shaolong
      (2) Brane/Mumra/Qaulorn/Solarius/Thartos/Zylo

  17. Best Dressed:
      (1) Ubasolak
      (2) Eric
      (3) Alyssa/Ardeth

  18. Most Wanted to be Balzhured:
      (1) Shaolong
      (2) Thartos
      (3) Riev

  19. Best Rename:
      (1) Bassam- Crown of the Pudding King/Cappadocius- Vivisection
      (2) Evaine- Chocolate-covered cherry/Mephie- Happiness in Slavery

  20. The "Fruit" Award:
      (1) Shaolong
      (2) Faceripper/Gael/Gallant/Pollo/Riev

  21. Best Social:
      (1) Nod
      (2) Hrm/Slurp
      (3) Boogie/Eskimo/Heh/Party/Thwap

  22. Best Male Player:
      (1) Ganemanoimu
      (2) Cappadocius
      (3) Coryn/Feyd/Meade/Rajatan/Tisik/Zylo

  23. Best Female Player:
      (1) Alysira
      (2) Juliana/Skaphia
      (3) Kellandra/Mephie/Rebekah/Saraphin

  24. Most likely to get illegally PKilled:
      (1) Shaolong
      (2) Thartos
      (3) Doyle/Solarius

  25. Most likely to be the one to illegally PKill them:
      (1) Amante/Kulj/Zed
      (2) Dekkath/Doyle/Solarius

  26. Most charismatic deadly:
      (1) Amante
      (2) Einik
      (3) Faceripper

  27. Most charismatic peaceful:
      (1) Gallant/Pudge/Razzfellow/Skaphia

  28. Most interesting help file:
      (1) Help Me
      (2) Help Bassamrequests
      (3) Help Balzhur

  29. Most interesting room:
      (1) A nice warm room of shut the hell up/Disco World
      (2) Hell/Inner Beauty/The Doghouse

  30. Best Runner:
      (1) Mephie
      (2) Ganemanoimu
      (3) Dortayl/Gatersade/Mirandee/Tisik

  31. Best explorer:
      (1) Juliana/Mephie
      (2) Kellandra
      (3) Feyd/Zylo/Mirandee/Muiren/Nelkum

  32. Next-to-Imm:
      (1) Skaphia
      (2) Kellandra
      (3) Zistrock

  33. Most eligible Bachelor:
      (1) Mumra
      (2) Blodkai/Herne/Kortir/Mbwana

  34. Most eligible Bachelorette:
      (1) Rebekah
      (2) Cresis
      (3) Talena

  35. Most annoying person:
      (1) Shaolong
      (2) Sealom/Gallant/Kinkathra/Riev/Thartos

  36. Funniest person:
      (1) Blodkai
      (2) Riev

  37. Sickening Goodness (the biggest Goodie Two-Shoes):
      (1) Alysira/Destre/Kellandra/Loril/Selina

  38. Ugliest Statname:
      (1) Ganemanoimu
      (2) Joandaximlij
      (3) Vrykolakas

  39. Most Unique rename:
      (1) Bassam- Crown of the Pudding King
      (2) Rikuo/Mephie- Granny pants up to her armpits
      (3) Treva- An tshirt eblazoned "Ozzy Osbourne"

  Tada! All 39 categories brought to you all behalf of the CoD
  staff! I hope you all enjoyed reading them as much as I had
  sorting them.
  These votes were close and definitely credited to the right people,
  so winners pick up those heads of yours and be proud of what you
  are good enough to win... Nothing!

  Furthering the Builder's Art - by Juliana               Building

  * What Is Worldbuilding? *

  Worldbuilding is often used in conjunction with writing fantasy
  or science-fiction. All authors require a believable world in
  which to place their stories, but writers in the above genre make
  it up instead of relying on our prosaic planet.

  Plenty of writers before Tolkien used this concept, but the
  popularity of The Lord of the Rings spotlighted how this one
  author created Middle-Earth through details like his maps and
  invented languages. Suddenly, world building was "in" and it
  looked strange if you didn't have a map of your fantasy world.

  Worldbuilding is the name for a specific kind of planning. By
  thinking about what you are writing about and giving it surroundings
  (a land, a culture, a world) that are internally consistent, it
  paves the way for readers to believe in the world you are creating.
  As a bonus, you also convince yourself and as a result, it is
  easier to find ideas to write about.

  Gamers have picked up this idea - many enjoy crafting a world of
  their own as a lifetime hobby, as realistic or fun as they want
  to make it, and then sharing it with their friends or over the
  web for everyone to appreciate. Role-playing games are the natural
  adjunct to a world building hobby, or vice versa, it's often hard
  to tell where one ends and the other begins. Computer games are
  using it more and more as players demand a good story and an
  enjoyable plot (read: believable, logically consistent, and fun)
  in addition to the actual game.

  * And so we come to the importance of worldbuilding when writing
  areas for a MUD: It creates internal consistency. *

  Worldbuilding allows you to decide what to include and what to
  leave out when making an area. If something is not consistent
  with the area's theme, then you need to save it for another area,
  no matter how good an idea it is. How do you know what is
  consistent in the first place? You have to plan out the land,
  the societies, the environment, the culture, i.e. you build a world.

  To take a recent example, "The Mountain of Lost Souls" by Kinux
  and Selina is established to be a mountain prison occupied by
  cultists of Khiurn'hai. Therefore, we as players expect a mountain,
  a prison, cells, prisoners, cultists, and a demon. If we found
  Viking raiders within the mountain, or pastel-colored iridescent-
  winged fairies flitting around a crystal castle, our belief in the
  area's consistency erodes severely. We wouldn't know what to expect,
  or what to trust.

  The key is internal consistency rather than ultra-"realism." It
  doesn't have to be exactly like our real world. It just must make
  sense within itself. Verisimilitude - it must give the appearance
  of being real.

  * Caveat: Do not focus on realism at the expense of fun. *

  A certain amount of realism is good fun because it gives viewers
  a world to believe in, and simulates an experience we'd like to
  have. Some MUDs have an ASCII wilderness system which allows a
  player to see a world map and travel across their world using roads
  and ships, bringing trade goods to cities, hunting in forests,
  or mining in mountains. This idea can be fun.

  It stops being fun and becomes agonizingly tedious if you run out
  of movement points after crossing 10 ASCII characters' worth of
  roads and have to keep sleeping for many real life minutes to
  regain enough capacity to move again, especially if the nearest
  city is 200 ASCII characters away. One might argue that it is
  realistic that it takes 20 days for people in a medieval society to
  travel across the land. I'd like to count the number of players
  willing to waste half an hour of their gaming time walking across
  a road.

  * "I just want to build an area, now you tell me I have to build
  a world?!" *

  Not necessarily. Not everyone needs to have a complete plan and
  outline before starting to write. Some people find this helpful,
  but you may prefer to nurse growing ideas within your head. As
  long as you aren't making a jointly built area where every builder
  has to know what they are building toward, you're perfectly welcome
  to make things up as and when you need them. You run the risk of
  forgetting what you've invented if you don't write things down,
  that's all.

  Also, if you are building for an established MUD, the head Imms
  will likely have already have created the world. All the major
  land and water masses may be in place. The races of the world will
  be found in the options for players, plus a few more non-player
  races. Deities and how magic works are at least implied, if not
  explicitly stated. Naturally, while your area should make sense
  in the context of established ideas, your own creative world
  building will start on a lower scale; that of a specific culture
  or society, and the specific terrain of your area. Call it region
  building if you want.

  As you know, building is just another kind of writing. All the
  complex commands of the MUD and area writing formats can be
  learned with practice, just as you learned how to hold a pen,
  type on a keyboard and manipulate Word documents. The trick is
  finding something to write about.

  * Worldbuilding comes in here as well: It helps you generate ideas. *

  By using speculative thinking, "What might happen if," on already
  established concepts, you can develop scenarios with inherent
  conflict. This means good story potential and a nifty idea for
  an area.

  For example, you've decided that there will be a farming village
  of human peasants in your area. Except this is fairly boring
  without any interesting monsters to stir up trouble. You could go
  the easy way and pick a random monster out of the monster manual.
  An invasion of wild boars creates a different scenario from a
  flight of dragons. You might decide to alter the existing idea -
  how about a village of farming halflings or farming lizardmen?
  Or you might choose to explore the concept of farming itself. A
  farming village in drought has a severe problem. What if the
  village has a famous crop? What if "modernization" is taking place
  with a rich man buying up acres of land to intensively grow the
  same kind of crop?

  * Random Generators *

  As you are building, you may find that you need ideas for mob or
  objects, whether it be writing descriptions of what they look out,
  or coming up with them in the first place. Random generators are
  great for inspiring such ideas. Some generators may even provide
  a 'description' of the person or item, but bear in mind that they
  tend to be plain and formulaic to make it easier to program. The
  real value of such 'descriptions' are to give you a foundation to
  build on. Does the randomly generated potion come in a green vial
  and smell like urine?

  Hrm, that might be putting things across a little strongly and
  plainly, but now you know to describe what it smells like, what
  color container it comes in, what shape the container is in, and
  possibly what the container is made of.

  Random generators are excellent when used in conjunction with
  worldbuilding techniques. By creating a world of your own, you
  know the "natural, logical" responses of people and things when
  something happens in your world. This created world tends to be
  static, unless you've purposely fed regions with complexity and
  conflict. To add the dynamic element that makes a good story,
  grab the first thing that pops out of a random generator and think
  about what would happen if you added it to your world somewhere.

  * Random Generator Links *
  A myriad of random generators can be found here. Don't just explore
  the obvious generators either! For example, The Martial Arts Contest
  Generator is surprisingly good at churning up area names of arenas
  and other such death-themed regions. With a little creativity, you
  might find inspiration in unlikely places.
  Lists. I love lists. I love lists with lots of options. Someone
  needs to make a generator out of this. While this is themed toward
  a desert setting, the words themselves can be used in descriptions,
  and they provoke ideas yet again!
  Just please be careful as to how many adjectives you use and so on.
  I trust that you all have good judgment as to what makes a nice
  description. These are for people who have difficulty finding the
  correct word for what they've visualized, or are sick of repeating
  the same word over and over.

  * World Building Links *
  An introduction to world building.
  Holly Lisle's take on World Building. The rest of her site is full
  of inspiring articles too.
  A caution against too much world building. If you do too much
  planning first and build an entire world and then try to constrain
  your area into that world, you are naturally squeezing the area
  into a box that may or may not fit.

  Personally, I think planning is always a good thing, as long as
  you are aware that your first decision must not be final and set
  in concrete. A decision provides a direction and a goal to follow,
  leading you down a path. You might find out later that this path
  doesn't get you to where you want to go, and change your course,
  but if you don't make the decision to follow a path in the first
  place, you end up standing still.
  A recommendation for the best of both worlds World build a bit.
  Write. World build a bit more. Write some more.
  Translation: Plan area. Build area. Plan more area. Build more area.
  Patricia C. Wrede's World Building Questions.
  The Mythopoet's Manual - everything you ever wanted to know about
  inventing cultures.
  World Building the Scientific Way.
  (Very long!) Combines P. Wrede's questions with science-based
  questions. Probably the most comprehensive summary on how to
  make a world.
  A nice demonstration of world building with random generators.
  If only the rest of it were written one day...
  Think you can do better than Tolkien? What's with all the "Vedui",
  "Vendui" and "Vedai" floating around the elvish racetalks anyhow?
  Make your own invented language!

  These are huge lists of links to other sites.

  Rants from the Summit - by Ganemanoimu                      RftS

  Another month, another rant. This is mostly focused on a specific
  group of players. Every year, this group seems to get bigger and
  bigger. These are the old cronies who tend to gloss over their
  last however many years, especially in front of newer players.
  While some players in their heyday were actually quite good at
  questing, or running, or being a leader, or whatever else it was,
  the other group has done essentially nothing. However, they seem
  to believe that they are almighty and that we should all drop
  down to our knees and worship our newfound deity. The former
  group can sometimes be referred to as cocky, arrogant or vain,
  but respect can be grudgingly given. On the other hand, the
  latter group are nothing but posers. They're the scum of the
  social circles, always trying to rise to the top. Oh, and dropping
  names of famous players who used to play doesn't add to your
  credibility, nor does dropping names of current and former
  Immortals. It should also be pointed out that there is an even
  smaller group of people, who are amazing players yet actually
  have a sense of modesty and humbleness. Unfortunately, these
  people will never really be given the respect they so richly
  deserve, but that's a subject for a different day. They usually
  aren't needy people as it is anyway.

  There are a couple of things that these attention-seeking
  parasitic posers need to understand. First, no matter how much
  you whine, complain, rant and try to dream, those days aren't
  coming back. Get over it. Make your mark in today's world or
  move on and get yourself a life. If you actually accomplished
  anything notable, people will remember.
  Secondly, generally we don't care and don't want to hear about
  your history. If we ask you about what it was like, feel free to
  go all out. However, don't just walk and impose your will onto the
  conversation, launching into your rendition of the Odyssey, like
  some shade run or something along those pathetic lines. Let me
  give you some amusing examples to illustrate my point.

  In an organization that I'm a member of, some obscure character
  logged and decided to explain how Seth was a few years ago. He
  detailed how Seth was never really spammed (because it was too hard),
  but of course him and his deadly crew killed him quite a bit. He
  also bemoaned the fact that his storage had deleted because it
  was full of clan and if he had it now, he would be rich. Perhaps
  he might be able to cash out in real life by selling EQ through
  websites or in nice packages. Oh wait, that's someone else. Ignore
  that. (By the way, buying heavily gloried and renamed EQ for real
  life cash when it's so blatantly obvious is a really dumb move
  if you chose to do so).

  Another person I saw began a note with "...Over 1800 years have
  passed in the 6+ RL years I have played here...". He went on to
  explain how great he was in the past and all the amazing feats
  he had achieved. What made it more amusing was the other people
  who were around during his day informed me the opposite was true.
  Regardless, this person decided that because I was newer to the
  game than he was, that I should be going out of my way to greet
  him and show him respect and that kind of thing.
  Earn my respect, don't ask for it.

  Another character informed me that back in his day, he was
  practically the buffest character in his guild. A number of my
  friends laughed when they heard this, explaining how his stock
  EQ and 110 DR didn't quite match some of the more experienced
  players. Needless to say, if you did things in the past, people
  will know that and give you credit. There is no need to go
  advertising yourself. If you have to, you probably didn't do
  much. If you were generous in your day and donated lots of EQ
  to other people, people will reward that generosity in full when
  you're in need. Don't go around asking random people for handouts.
  This particularly applies if you were especially retarded and got
  yourself balzhured repeatedly.

  So next time you attempt to dazzle your unwilling audience with
  another one of your superlative laden tales of success, just stop
  and realize the truth. It is NOT them who are being rude or stupid,
  it's YOU. Go tell someone who cares, like your pillow, plush toy,
  imaginary friend, or any other happy memories from your childhood.


  Opinions - by Simone                                    Opinions

  Here's a little something to think about for those interested:

  There are many ways to classify the population of the world.
  There are people who are religious, and there are people who do
  not totally believe if they believe at all. So what has been
  causing this distinction as of late?
  Some might argue that science is the culprit. How is science
  responsible? Well science and mathematics are very precise and
  exact practices. All evidence and observed phenomena must
  yield an irrefutable answer at the end. They are practices
  based on disbelieving as soon as a contradiction to theory is

  So what am I talking about? For example, metaphors. "His heart
  is of stone." Is his heart really made of stone? No, of course
  not, however the statement implies something far greater and
  far deeper than the simple literal interpretation.
  So in essence, my example of a metaphor is a sort of contradiction.
  It can be proven (don't try this at home) with a hammer and
  chisel that there isn't any stone in there, yet anyone with some
  interaction with my individual of stone will usually either agree
  or disagree with me, and not violently argue that my medium of
  expression is wildly absurd.

  So what am I trying to say here? I'm not exactly sure, but it's
  something along the lines of even if religion is not to be
  believed in the literal sense, is it false enough not to be
  appreciated on any level?

  Anyway, I'm not really trying to answer any questions but I
  just came across this idea type of thing and I thought it was a
  neat way of thinking of things as I myself am not particularly
  religiously active.

  If anyone has their own thoughts on all this leave me a mail :)


  Opinions - by Ganemanoimu                                    Opinions

  As this is technically a newspaper that discusses news, I've
  decided to give my few cents on a couple of topics that might
  concern certain people around the Realms. These are certainly
  not objective reports on what has happened, just my personal
  opinions. Don't like it? Don't read it!

  First off, the recent Inter Guild Pkill Tournament has been on
  since the beginning of January and looks to wrap up within a few
  weeks. Overall, it has been quite interesting and fun for all
  parties involved. A number of guilds sit tied for top with only
  a single loss. These include the Guild of Mages, Guild of Thieves,
  Guild of Warriors and Guild of Clerics. Some of my numbers might
  be a little off, but processing of all the standings takes some
  time and I'm just going with what I have. Most of the events have
  started more or less on time and rarely last much longer than half
  an hour. Each team consists of 5 members from 1 guild, and 5 members
  from another Guild. For example, in GoC/GoW vs. GoT/GoD, there would
  be 5 clerics and 5 warriors versus 5 thieves and 5 druids. All the PK
  events occur on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM EST, or Saturday afternoons
  at 2 PM EST.

  There have been some fairly interesting tactics to note that were
  quite amusing. One was the use of a large number of locusts to zap
  neutral characters on the opposing team, and another was to kill
  your own teammates to fix your align. This latter tactic was banned
  shortly after its use.
  Another thing to note was the fact that despite an slist only
  restriction, the use of blindness and gouge has been virtually
  nonexistent and no PKs have actually been decided by the use of
  these skills.

  Another rule that came to be fairly pivotal and effective, was
  the 115 DR cap. This allowed the level of EQ to be relatively
  equal across the board and forcing teams to win mostly by class
  specialties, PK skills, and a little bit of luck on the side.
  One interesting point to bring up is that GoR has been disqualified
  for failing to show up at a PK event. While the official rules
  last year were that a Guild that failed to show up to an event
  would be disqualified, those rules were not explicitly stated
  this year. At this time, the disqualification is on appeal. If
  GoR remains disqualified, a new schedule will be written up to
  make up for the loss of a Guild. If GoR is readmitted, most likely
  it will undergo some penalty for failing to show.

  Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of the
  various immortals and mortals. Thanks to Bravadan, Aslan, Selina,
  Darshanin, Kinux and everyone else involved, especially the
  participants. Look to the near future for the winner as well as
  the player with the most KBs!

  While on the subject of PK, it should be noted that the area
  Badlands has entered the realms. This is another PK area, similar
  to Forested Arena but much more developed. This essentially
  becomes the PK Town for peacefuls. I recently had an opportunity
  to PK in it on a quest and found it to be a much more interesting
  place to PK than in the arena. For example, it is much more
  difficult to flee as there aren't a multitude of exits in every
  single room.
  My main issue with Badlands is that it is so big. The town is
  surrounded by Badlands rooms and this area would be suitable
  for 30-40 players while the usual number is around 10-20.
  On death, your corpse drops in the Graveyard and you have to go
  through to pick it up. This creates its own problems as you can
  be killed while attempting to get back to your corpse. However,
  the area is large enough that it should be relatively easy to
  sneak by. If you're at all interested in how real PK is, I
  highly suggest you try this out as it is far more realistic in
  comparison to the Forested Arena, and can be a lot of fun on your
  quest to rack up some more Honor.

  Paths are also in for mages and have proven to be quite interesting.
  I think this is an awesome idea personally because it makes you make
  lots of changes to a class without affecting too many things at once.
  I'll explain in a bit, first you get to introduce more diversity to
  a class. This is a huge mud and there are only so many classes. You
  can't make too many classes or they all end up being relatively similar.
  However, you can tweak a class in a number of different ways to tailor
  them to what a player is looking for. As well, let's just say you
  want to give mages a better attack spell but don't want to throw
  things too heavily in a mage's favor, have it so that only one path
  has the good attack spell and give some other decent skills/spells
  to other paths. This allows you to reduce the number of people who
  have the spell. Kind of like keeping mobs hard so that not as many
  people get the advantage from the good EQ they give.
  I haven't had much of a chance to play with this myself, but from
  what I've seen it's been pretty interesting. Hopefully we can see
  more path-like structures on other classes.

  Another thing to note that has been occurring recently in the Realms
  is the Survivor Quest run by Hoerkin, Ceirana and Cresis. The
  setup is pretty simple, 32 players to start with, 2 elimination
  rounds, each one eliminating 8 players. The remaining 16 players
  are divided into 2 teams. These teams compete in quests to gain
  immunity in voting, the losing team has to vote off one of its
  members. After that, the two teams will be amalgamated into one
  team. At the time of printing, each team has voted off one member
  and stands at 7 people each. The first elimination round was a
  relay race where questors were split into groups of eight. Each
  person had to run to the next person in line in whatever area
  he/she might be in. Astral transportation and recall was forbidden
  so that meant a lot of walking. The last place team ended up being
  The next quest was an individual event which brought back happy
  memories of final exams. A series of questions were rattled off
  and the answers had to be quickly written down on notes and then
  mailed to the quest organizers. These were then 'marked' and the
  lowest 8 people were eliminated.

  In the team events, the first event was a team vs. team PK where
  team Ghetto Beaches won out over Team PHUNK PHENOMENON. Team 1
  chose to vote off Graav. In the second event, a scavenger hunt,
  it came down to a tiebreaker where Zwanth grabbed the silk shirt
  before Thartos. Team 2 then chose to vote off Hope. Expect more
  updates soon!

  In the past 2 months, 2 articles that I wrote were removed at the
  last minute for their inappropriateness. I have the most recent one
  available for those who may be interested, titled 'How to get a
  Mudhusband'. Anyone interested may send me a mudmail/tell with
  their email address and I'll send it to them. I'd also like to
  hear feedback from anyone who actually reads my stuff in terms of
  good/positive things and what kinds of articles they liked/disliked.
  Suggestions, criticism, comments are all good.
  The draw for the cash prize for those who participated in the RoD
  People's Choice Awards will be held relatively soon and the winner
  will be contacted.  Thanks for all your support so far.


  Story Submissions                                        Stories
                    Alric - A Story by 0.Jander

  Chapter 2 (Chapter 1 available at

  The next morning, Alric set out on the path back to New Darkhaven.
  It had been several weeks since the death of Alistair D'Emrose,
  so he felt confident enough to travel directly on the main trade
  route without a disguise. After several days of fast paced travel,
  he arrived at his destination.

  Alric entered Darktrail and the city proper. He needed information
  on the goings-on in town since he had fled several weeks before,
  and, more importantly, on who might have wanted to kill Alistair
  D'Emrose. Although  the existence of a Guild of Thieves was common
  knowledge, its power was rarely visible to those outside of the
  profession and its location was secret to most, even including lower
  level thieves. Alric had seen high level thieves vanishing into a
  warehouse in Thieves Alley and not leaving for hours, however,
  and had investigated further and found nothing there.

  By hanging around for hours on end, he had eventually attracted
  the attention of several guild members, who had after carefully
  scanning him magically and investigating him through more mundane
  means decided he was to be offered membership in the guild. Alric
  had declined, but still had access to the "public" above ground
  section of the guild, open to all those with the wherewithal to
  get in, and had stopped by frequently to fence goods or to catch
  up on gossip.

  Alric made his way to a nondescript warehouse halfway down Thieves
  Alley, and entered. Leaving down through a hidden and magically
  trapped door in the floor of the warehouse, Alric entered the
  guild. Crossing the rune-inscribed main room of the Guild, Alric
  moved away from the magical stairway that had vanished behind him
  and went up a ladder leading back above ground, hidden behind the

  "Alric!" shouted someone as Alric emerged into a hallway.

  Alric turned to see who had shouted his name, and found himself
  face to face with Stelan. A thin, statuesque man, Stelan was the
  guild healer as well as an exceptional thief. It was he who had
  originally recommended Alric for guild membership, and the two
  had somehow become friendly, if not exactly friends.

  "Alric, you're alive! I had heard that your band was wiped out,
  and that you had gone insane and murdered a noble." said Stelan.

  Alric shook his head. "Denimue and the others did die in Bartok's
  Grove, but I'm still perfectly sane. Somebody cast a charm spell
  on me and used me to kill that noble... And I'm trying to find
  out who."

  Stelan shook his head. "Someone cast a charm spell on you? That's
  certainly a pretty ingenious way of killing a target. Good luck
  tracking them down."

  Alric nodded. "Speaking of which...have you heard any rumors
  regarding anyone out to kill Alistair D'Emrose?"

  Stelan was visibly shocked, but recovered after a moment. "Alistair
  D'Emrose? Is that the guy you were forced to kill? He's heir to
  one of the largest fortunes in New Darkhaven!"

  Alric was surprised. "What? How come I had never heard of him?"

  Stelan shook his head. "It's not very well known, but Alistair
  D'Emrose is the bastard son of Irdrak, the owner of the Weapons
  shop. Because Lord D'Emrose loves his wife so much, he even
  recognized Alistair as his own son. Irdrak in turn still has
  fatherly feelings for Alistair, and has willed toast... He'll
  invest his entire fortune into bounties and assassins to track
  you down. Even though he's an old man now, don't forget he was
  a hero of the battle against Carnifex. He's still a pretty mean
  hand with a sword himself. If I were you, I'd find out who was
  responsible right quick and go to Irdrak with the information
  before he finds you."

  Alric nodded slowly. Irdrak, owner of the Daring Attack, was one
  of the richest men in Darkhaven. He had collected a great deal
  of gold from his long years of adventuring, and had increased it
  manifold since then through selling his high quality weapons.
  Making an enemy of him would be a grave error indeed.

  Stelan sighed. "Well, I had best return to the healing room. Good
  luck." Turning away, Stelan left downstairs to his clinic.
  Alric walked slowly away, pondering this news. Who had hated the
  young noble enough to kill him in such an ingenious fashion?
  Entering the Circle of Lore, Alric nodded to the bartender, Gaspar.
  After being knocked on the head so many years ago, Gaspar had gone
  slightly... Funny in the mind. Still, he was a good bartender,
  even if he was drunk half the time. Alric ordered a Stealth Serpent,
  a non-alcoholic beverage. He wanted to keep his mind clear for the
  night. Pretending to ignore Gaspar's "secret" drinks of whiskey,
  Alric took his drink and went to the Loot and Pillage to see if any
  Guild members were hanging around the shop.
  Entering, Alric found Dirth, the shopkeeper, busily puffing away
  at his cigar and carefully keeping an eye on all those moving about
  the store. Seeing Alric, Dirth narrowed his eyes. Stepping forward,
  the stout and hairy man stopped in front of Alric.

  "No drinks in the shop! I won't have any of ye thieves hiding my
  goods in yer glasses, eh?" declared Dirth, as he pulled out a match
  and struck it on the prominently placed "No Smoking" sign.

  Alric frowned. "You know I wouldn't steal from you, Dirth. Besides,
  it's not like there's anything in here worth stealing."

  Dirth growled. Lighting his cigar again, he spoke. "Are ye saying
  my goods are low quality, you worthless bum? Anyway, are ye going
  to buy something? If not, get out and make way for the payin'

  Alric became annoyed. "I'm looking for some information on people
  who might have been enemies of Alistair D'Emrose, a young noble
  who was murdered some weeks ago. Do you know of anyone who might
  know anything about him?"

  Dirth shook his head. "No, I don't. And if you're not going to buy
  anything, get out! I don't trust you for a minute."

  Alric snarled. "Are you saying that I would steal from the Guild,

  Dirth snarled back. "Yes, you worthless excuse for a half-Orc! And
  who are you callin' shorty?"

  Even though he was more cultured than most, Alric still had much
  of the characteristic temper of a half-Orc. Dropping his drink
  to the ground, he drew Sullandir, slashing at Dirth's face. Dirth
  swayed back just in time, causing Sullandir to barely miss him.
  Backpedaling, Dirth retreated to the counter and pulled out a
  cudgel from underneath the gold chest. Charging forward, Dirth
  smashed downward at Alric's head. Alric reversed his grip, holding
  the dagger pointed downward. Raising his blade, Alric blocked the
  cudgel's downward bash. To his surprise, the blade cut right
  through the stout chunk of wood.
  Dirth continued his downward swing with his broken cudgel, and
  brought it back up and smashed Alric in the jaw. Knocked back,
  Alric shook his head and charged forward. Stabbing again with
  lightning swiftness, Alric managed to nick the dodging Dirth in
  the leg. Dirth attacked again, but quickly arrested his blow and
  backed off as Alric brought his dagger up into a guard position.
  If it had cut his cudgel straight through, he obviously dared not
  touch the dagger with his bare hands. Alric lunged forward again,
  this time getting a solid hit and stabbing deeply into Dirth's
  shoulder. Planting the blade deeper into the bone, Alric used his
  momentum to turn to the side, twisting the blade and bringing Dirth
  to his knees in pain. Pulling his dagger back out, Alric reversed
  the blade again and stabbed Dirth firmly in the chest with the
  pitch black blade, ending the short man's life.

  "Ahem." Alric whirled around at the sound of a soft, cultured
  voice. He saw a ravishingly beautiful woman dressed all in black
  leather that somehow revealed more than it concealed, with a
  hooded cape covering much of her thigh length black hair. Meeting
  her deep green eyes, Alric noticed a particular signet on her
  finger. Looking up, he saw the pendant that was always worn with
  that ring, and took a step back in shock.

  Guildmistress Angelea! An honor to gaze upon your exhalted beauty!

  Angelea curled her full red lips, and snorted. "Dispense with the
  flattery, fool. What has happened here?"

  Alric shrugged. "This fool insulted me one time too many. I
  disposed of him."

  Angelea shook her head. "While I sympathize with your feelings,
  Dirth is a long time member of our Guild. We cannot allow anyone
  to attack one of us and get away with it. You will have to make
  equal recompense...and since he is now dead, you have a choice.
  You too may suffer the same fate, or you could replace him as our

  Alric frowned. "I am sorry, my lady, but I neither have any desire
  to die nor wish to spend the rest of my life in servitude. There
  is a third solution."

  Curious, Angelea pulled out her blood stained dagger and began
  toying with it. "And what might that be?"

  Alric smiled. "Watch and see, my lady." Kneeling down, Alric
  grasped Sullandir's hilt and willed its powers to activate.
  Before the eyes of Angelea and several other members of the
  guild, Dirth's wounds began sealing over. As the wound in his
  chest began to close, Alric drew the dagger out and Dirth suddenly
  spasmed and started to breathe again. After a moment, Alric stood
  up and sheathed his magical dagger, and looked around satisfied
  at the stunned Thieves around him.

  "There. He's good as new." Alric stepped back, allowing Dirth to
  slowly get up.

  "I...was dead...." Dirth slowly looked at himself, and stumbled
  back to his counter. Pulling out a match, he absent mindedly lit
  his cigar and sat down to contemplate an experience that had
  occurred to fewer beings than could be counted on his hands.

  Angelea smiled, and licked her lips. "Mmmmm...what an interesting
  dagger. I don't suppose you'd be willing to donate it to the guild?"
  she purred.
  Alric shook his head. "I am sorry, but the dagger can be wielded
  by me and me only. While I am alive, nobody else will be able to
  use it as more than a normal dagger, and it will destroy itself
  in the event of my demise.

  Sighing, Angelea nodded. "Well, since you have returned our
  Shopkeeper to us, there is no problem." Turning to face the room,
  Angelea clapped her hands. "Move along, everyone! I'm sure you all
  have quotas to meet."

  Patting Alric on the head, Angelea faded back into the darkness and
  left the room, whispering a message to him as she left. "If you
  seek knowledge of the death of Alistair D'Emrose, I suggest you try
  the scene of the crime."

  Alric thought about her parting words, and found himself agreeing
  with her. It was unlikely he would be able to learn much more in
  the guild after the display he had just given. Alric turned, and
  left the guild.

  Here ends the second chapter of the story of Alric.

  Well, here's the second chapter, as promised. I only got a few
  responses from the first chapter, most of them from people I knew,
  but I decided to do this one anyway. Still, a few other people
  have told me they enjoyed the story, so here it is. It's shorter
  than the first one, but I think this was a good place to end it.

  Special thanks to Angelea and Uimato for permission to use GoT.
  Extra special thanks for Angelea allowing me to use her in the
  story, and for being a beta reader. Again, please send comments
  via mudmail or e-mail to


  Funnybones - Collected by the CoD                     Funnybones

  When Ringbearer's get bored...

  Avatar          Hobinay.      ______  ______       (Ringbearers)
  Avatar          Mercury.     (_____ \(____  \      (Ringbearers)
  Avatar          Reatha.       _____) )____)  )     (Ringbearers)
  Avatar          Fiebin.      |  __  /|  __  (      (Ringbearers)
  Avatar          Nadya.       | |  \ \| |__)  )     (Ringbearers)
  Acumen          Tempus.      |_|   |_|______/  (Bored Order Inc)
  (Number Two, Ringbearers)

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  If you had a chance to ask the Council of Elders something about
  gameplay, what would you ask?

  Do you want to know when we are going to have pasta somewhere?

  Do you want to know why thief mobs only keep a percentage of what
  they steal?

  Or do you want to know something else?!  If so, mudmail Vaile with
  your questions today!!

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  From the Staff of the CoD: Thank you for reading!!!

  Feedback? Comments? Fan/hate mail? Submissions? All are
  welcome at the CoD public boards, located: e,s,2u,s,w,s
  from Darkhaven Square or south of quills and parchments
  on Market Street.