The year 534 was a time of transition, as many exiles left the island to seek their fortunes elsewhere, while at the same time exploration was opening up new areas for adventure.
6 Winter 534 (6/14/99)
I managed to make it back to the Meadow a few days ago; it's a lot easier in the daytime, not nearly so many monsters waiting for dinner; and there was Elendil, selling sunstones for 1,040 coins. Amount I had in my pocket at the time: 1,043. It was just one of those wonderful moments of cosmic coincidence that make life so amusing. Anyway, I blew the whole wad (less those precious three coins) on a sunstone, crumbling be damned. With the collapse of the bounty system it's going to be a very long time before I see an axe, but the thrill of getting spam messages while lying around dead in some dark cavern is just too tempting to pass by.
Fun and games in the Queen's Chamber. (v78)
19 Winter 534 (6/17/99)
Things are looking up this week, I finally dropped that one bad karma that someone gave me last year; it took long enough (and now somebody else is going to come along and give me another, I know how these things work). I know that it shouldn't bother me, but someone went to the trouble of cursing me and I just don't know why (or even when) it happened. My income remains small compared to what it once was, but by hunting in areas where the vermine swarm I think that I can earn enough for an axe with a few weeks of steady work. Ferals and blue wendies also give coins (on those few occasions when you happen to give the death blow), and I was lucky enough to snuff a spriggin and picked up three whole coins! I'm adjusting to the new behaviors of the creatures as well, most of them now swing down their balance to the point where even I can hit them; I helped to kill a tree giant the other day. Hoodies are still giving me trouble, they hit so hard that I can be "mostly" dead after getting whacked, and they rarely whiff me.
I really need to clean this place up. (v80)
34 Winter 534 (6/21/99)
I'm afraid the free ride is almost over, today I slaughtered my first rat. After I had "spent" the two ranks I had earned in the library I was back to killing them, it's sort of weird that my level went down after spending some time whacking a few ants, but I remember from before the War that spending saved ranks would reduce my slaughter level. At least I still kill those darn large vermine, still the primary source of income around here, although I have been giving so many coins to healers that I'm not going to be getting that axe any time soon. In the meantime we've been having a resurgence in town invasions lately, at least three vermine invasions that I know of, with lots of giant, death and dark vermine; these later are an innovation since the War (as far as I know), they aren't much harder to kill than death vermine but they bite even harder. And we had a little problem with darshaks the other day, I guess they aren't content with having stolen most of the beer.
Too many darshaks. (v80)
Way too many darshaks. (v80)
47 Winter 534 (6/24/99)
I have discovered that some Spriggins are carrying a fair amount of coinage, I killed one the other day that had 23 coins, and another that had 12 coins. Most of them don't have as much, just a few coins usually, but even so they are the only creature that I can currently hit that yields more than one coin. Oh, except for Rages, I can't hit them but I still got 15 coins off a chest the other day. I've been spending a fair amount of time looking in the east forest for wood and other rumored items without much luck, perhaps I need to go a bit further to where the wendies wander in order to improve my chances, or even venture in to the north-east extension, if I can avoid the tree giants that are reported to spawn there in great numbers.
This weird guy wouldn't talk to me. (v80)
Merv refused to complete the circle. (v80)
63 Winter 534 (6/28/99)
Along with many other exiles I have been studying the manly art of skinning small helpless animals for fun and profit. So far I haven't improved much, but I am able to skin those pesky large vermine most of the time. I have also determined that training with Skea Brightfur does not have a large effect on my slaughter level; I came out of the library with a couple of ranks saved up and was slaughtering ant farmers, but after my skinning skills improved a couple of times I was back to killing them. I'm somewhat annoyed that I have forgotten how to speak dwarven, I guess I wasn't using it enough to keep myself fluent, and now I have to find a trainer to (re)learn that skill as well. At the moment I don't know where the language trainers are, although I saw an exile fall in a "school" yesterday, which sounds promising (if only I had a clue as to
where it was).
75 Winter 534 (7/1/99)
I've been doing a lot of stumbling around in the dark, what with my current schedule and it being winter and all. My income has improved a bit now that we can sell vermine skins for some real money, although I'm still pretty unskilled and not all large vermine are worth a coin. I was surprised earlier today when I killed a small vermine that had a particularly nice skin and was actually worth a coin, but nice ones are few and far between since I've killed a ton of smalls without getting anything. I've also learned that bear skins are worth a fair bit, I helped kill a grizzly that was worth six coins (if only they didn't bite so hard). The best news is that I can now outrun detached spirits again, and hoodies have slowed down quite a bit as well; I'm not sure why they lost their extra speed in the last Chaos Storm, but it makes them a lot easier to deal with.
Charlos is so good he skins ferals in his sleep. (v82)
The playground is almost done! Yay! (v82)
1 Spring 534 (7/5/99)
Spring at last, spring at last, thank the Ancients it's spring at last! From here on in we should be seeing a bit more sun, although it does seem that the vermine all go in to hiding once the sun comes out. When that happens I head for the beach to work on my tan and to whack the rockos that come out to warm themselves on the sand. I'm afraid that their skins are no longer worth anything, I guess Skea's skills don't extend to the reptile family, but they still earn me some good training. I saw a bunch of rockos recently when I tagged along with an expedition south of the SW beach, along with a bolok and a deadly crawler; there's lots of prime beach-front property down there that I haven't had the nerve to explore yet. Speaking of property development, there's quite a building surge going on in town, with the post office, the shoe store, and several other construction sites nearing completion. I'm wondering if the next thing we need to get built is a police station to try and keep a lid on the recent upswing in shady characters around here.
The truth is out there. (v82)
Zerks are bad goalies. (v82)
19 Spring 534 (7/9/99)
I have been a busy dwarf this week, what with the Chaos Storm and all. I was lucky enough to join a group led by the famous explorer Ton To that went down to the (still closed) Mirror, and then into the swamp in an attempt to reach the mines; we got separated in the swamp, with only three of us making it to the savanna, where we were greeted by an overly friendly (and extremely hungry) giant maha. If we had all been able to stick together we might have been OK, but after retreating back into the swamp several of us ended up fallen in various unpleasant places.
Then there was my attempt to get an axe. I made a couple of trips to the Darshak Outpost to look for Henrik with no luck. It then occurred to me that perhaps he was only there at night, so I tried again the following evening, dodging a wraith along the way, and sure enough there was Henrik selling the darn things...for 20 coins more than I had in my purse! I thought it would be no problem to borrow that amount, so I headed back to the Cove, only to discover that the wraith had hidden my boat and I was unable to leave the beach. I made a quick dash past the Dark Temple to the south beach, where I luckily found a boat (no doubt left by an unfortunate departed exile) and paddled back to Puddle.
Once back in town the generous Tigger lent me some coinage and I was able to return to the Outpost and complete the purchase...yes, once again I am the proud dwarf owner of an axe. That same wraith stole my boat again, but this time the Ancients noticed my distress and transported me back to Puddle beach in an instant. I have been trying out the axe a bit since then, it's very satisfying to be able to whack large vermine at a single blow, and with my slowly improving skinning skills I have already been able to earn back the funds to repay the loan.
All that an a new mailbox too, #1125 (not that anyone will ever send me mail).
Entry denied! (v84)
How not to fight rockos. (v84)
39 Spring 534 (7/14/99)
With my shiny new axe I now slaughter small vermine most of the time, but on the other hand artaks are much less of a problem, I can take them out with a few good whacks. I have discovered that the upper north beach is a good place for me to hunt, lots of small rockos and a fair number of large vermine (especially at night). Any farther north and you start to run in to those giant green crawlers, though. Charlos was showing a few of us around the other day, all the way up to the farm in the northeast forest; we were headed for the north plains (where I've never been), but ran in to a brownie on the way; I still have a way to go before I can fight an orga rage even with help. It's a long way up to that part of the forest, and it's pretty confusing, but I haven't seen any published maps of the area yet. In the meantime there's been a bit of talk in town about forming some sort of governing council from among the exiles; I'm not sure what it will do, but they better think twice before they start trying to impose any sort of taxes on us poor hard-working dwarfs!
Fun with posing (while undine). (v84)
Mmmmmm...whatever's in that pot smells good! (v84)
59 Spring 534 (7/19/99)
I'm going to be out of town for a while, so there won't be any updates until the second week of summer at the earliest. At least I finally managed to catch up with Tigger and repay my debt before having to leave town (I don't want to return to find the constable looking for me). Right now I'm thinking about buying a shield at some point, they seem to be better made than the one I had before the War; I was in the Queen's Chamber the other day, and Vraith was putting his shield to good use (while I was getting munched by Royals). If only the darn things weren't so expensive! I recently discovered that Ton To has updated his excellent maps of the island, so I now have a much better idea of where things are, including that farm by the northeast lake. On the other hand, I haven't quite gotten to the point where I can roam the forests freely, the big cats can still hunt me down, and those giant crawlers are a positive menace.
I've been following some of the discussion on the formation of a town council, which at the moment looks like it's going to be run by the big clans (at least they are doing the most discussing); I've thrown my small amount of support behind Kevas, who has been speaking up for the clanless and making a good deal of sense as far as I am concerned. People should peruse the Red Quill scrolls, where (not)Mayor Vagile has been doing some serious organizing (bless her Zo heart), and decide for themselves what needs to be done to ensure domestic tranquility. Myself, I intend to go whack some more rockos...
A concerned t'rool. (v85)
Soloing the Greater Rockodile. (v84)
7 Summer 534 (7/28/99)
Well, I'm out of town for a few days and everybody goes off and fights a big war in the Tanglewood without me. It sounds like quite the struggle, I'm sorry I missed it. My trip was long, boring and uneventful, not even worth a "What I Did On Summer Vacation" essay, but now I am back in town and things haven't really changed all that much. Before I left I was surprised to discover a new builder had taken up residence in the same cave that I have been living in, and was hard at work on expanding the deeper recesses. Needless to say, I plan to donate some wood to the effort, although it's going to take a very long time with just me bringing in the lumber.
Sign me up! (v85)
14 Summer 534 (7/30/99)
Just in case anybody was wondering, spriggins suck. I have been doing pretty good at whacking them lately, but last week one of them managed to lift over 200 coins out of my purse, and then when I killed the sprig I didn't get the money back. I don't know how the little devil managed to dispose of the loot while I was chasing it around the forest; they must have a "teleport coins" spell that allows them to spirit their ill-gotten gains away. I've been working some more on my skinning skills in an attempt to make up the loss, but it does make the bank look more attractive at the moment, despite their outrageous fees. With the recent chaos storm came some new stuff, including (at long last) the fighter testing area, which is (sometimes) located in the fighter hall. The second circle test is pretty tough, two large vermine and two ferals. I don't think I would have managed both ferals back when I was still first circle, but now I've reached the point where they usually miss me and I can usually hit them (after they swing a few times). The third circle test is well beyond me at the moment, you've got to kill a zerk and a rage!
Some of the beasties awaiting battle. (v87)
I prepare for the challenge. (v87)
Chewed but victorious. (v87)
26 Summer 534 (8/2/99)
Things have been pretty quiet in town recently, I've mainly been hunting rockos on the beaches and large vermine in the woods, although I did make it up to the bear den the other day, that was a lot of fun. I've been working on my skinning skills, and I am slowly getting better, but I still ruin the scales on great rockos every time. The mystery of where the language teachers will be located has been cleared up, there's now a builder in town for them; not that I've found any wood recently (don't get me started).
Against my better judgment I went to try and help with a rescue in the tunnel leading to the tree giant place, there were about twenty each of spriggins and dark/death/giant vermines; I lasted about ten seconds. Slasher was able to lure the nasty vermines out of the tunnel, and Maz departed and came back to chain a bunch of us out. With just spriggins in the tunnel we were gradually able to take them out, but they were the nasty coin-stealer kind and I ended up losing about 80 coins despite a recent trip to the bank. Moral of this tale: spriggins suck!
Way, way too many spriggins! (v87)
38 Summer 534 (8/5/99)
I have learned a couple of lessons this week, once of which is
don't try to go toe-to-toe with a bunch of dark vermine. One at
a time is OK if my health is reasonable, but they can hit me
easy at full balance and do a ton of damage. In the interests of
avoiding them I plan to stay out of TGBG for a while. I managed
to snag a whole five wood this week, all of which has gone to
the copper mine being built by Alok the Miner; it's still in the
early stages, but he said that he was 10-20% done, which I take
as a sign that others have been helping him out. I also discovered
that the old route from the East Forest to the Tanglewood has
reopened; you can go north from the old TW2 and end up somewhere
near the meadow, then get back sort of the same way (although the
path seems to twist a bit). Once I figure out the route I'm going
to start looking for Uli flowers again, although my luck with
other items (antlers, berries, and so forth) has been nil. I guess
I just need to keep looking...
How not to fight large vermine. (v87)
Leon shows off his true colors. (v87)
55 Summer 534 (8/9/99)
I've been spending a fair amount of time this week getting nibbled on by rats and scavenger birds, surely one of the more unpleasant developments in recent weeks. The key is to not fall in the first place, but it's sooo tempting to think "sure, I can take out one more GV" and then you get surrounded by ferals as you flee the GV's buddies and it's "good night Irene." I had another epic battle with a spriggin this week, the little *%#! grabbed about 250 coins before I even got a swing at him, but when I did it was "good night, Spriggin" and I got my money back with another 50 on top of that. Oh, and I went out to Noids last week, it was fine until a couple of black widows showed up, and then when the big boys were working on the second BW about fifty deadlies popped in for a visit. All things considered I'm going back to working the south-west beach for a while, especially now that the adult rockos fall like leaves and I can take out the occasional giant crawler.
That's gotta hurt! (v87)
72 Summer 534 (8/13/99)
Yesterday I was in town for only a few minutes before there were reports of lightning on the beach. A big group of exiles swarmed to the shore to discover the usual assortment of orga spites and hemlocks having a barbecue (we were on the menu it seems). There were more than enough strong exiles (not counting me, I got zapped pretty quick) to make short work on the one-eyed picnickers, but no sooner had the last orga been dispatched than the evil wizard Zonk showed up to taunt us in the form of a Darshak apprentice. Up to his usual tricks, he whisked poor Algy off to his secret tower to conduct unspeakable torture experiments, killing and raising him in an apparent effort to make Algy scream for mercy. Zonk's attempts seemed to fail (those halflings sure are tough), and after letting his pet spiders chew on Algy he zapped him back to town square, where concerned citizens quickly healed the little guy. In usual evil fashion Zonk then popped in to gloat one more time and explain his future plans in great detail; all I can say is he seems to have an unhealthy fixation on Algernon.
Zonk puts in an appearance... (v87)
...discusses his hobbies... (v87)
...and makes some threats. (v87)
89 Summer 534 (8/17/99)
Summer is finally winding down, so I broke down and bought myself a shield. I was trying it out fighting the great rockos on the north beach, and I have to say that I'm not overly impressed, they were still chomping me a bit more than I would like. I don't think that this post-war shield is all that much better than the prewar one I used to have, especially at the price that Witkus is charging for the darn things. There was a chaos storm blew through this week (finally!), bringing with it a new fighter trainer for the first circle named Swengus who claims to reduce the amount of balance you lose when you swing. At the moment I'm not sure if it's better to train with him or stick with Regia, who is after all a second circle trainer and hence ought to be better. One advantage of Regia is that after I swing out it doesn't take long to get my full balance back again, very handy when the vermine start swarming.
Chrono shows us how to fight wendies. (v87)
18 Autumn 534 (8/22/99)
That Zonk guy has been making more trouble, this time bringing an army of nasty orgas to town with him. The first part of the battle went pretty well, I was even able to get some hits in on the big pink orgas, but then the hemlocks showed up and things got rapidly worse. I just don't deal well with lightning bolts, and fell in a vain attempt to make a dent in a couple of hemlocks. Oh well, at least I learned (again) to stay away from those guys. Something is up with the orgas, with all of these raids and the reports I've heard of a secret path leading beyond the orga camp, but I haven't heard any explanation for the increased activity. In the meantime it looks like I'll have to give up on my favorite hunting ground, the upper north beach, due to the fact that I'm starting to slaughter large vermine and young rockos; a sad day indeed. I've been trying out the south forest, but the recent influx of boloks is causing me some difficulty. I also made a return visit to the Queen's Chamber to help with a rescue, but that didn't go well either, those darn royals still hit me even with the shield, so I'm back to studying with Detha again. I am getting to the point where artaks are no problem, and I went to the coliseum the other day and was able to solo a zerk, although the big green meanie took me down to low yellow. It's going to be a while before I try a rage, though, and for second circle I need to fight both. Ha!
Making progress... (v90)
How not to fight royals. (v90)
18 Autumn 534 (8/23/99)
A quick update this week, I was in town the other day helping out with a minor invasion, hoodsies and wraiths in the square followed by some Darshak thugs and blades down on the town beach, when suddenly the crowd of exiles spotted a warship off the coast and took to the waves to do battle on the high seas. If ever there was a long, boring fight this was it, there were wall-to-wall rowboats and the warship took forever to wear down, ramming our little boats, shooting small rocks (don't stand still when it's about to fire, I'm speaking from experience here) and trying out their new fire weapon (to little effect, I'm happy to say). Not a lot of fun, what with everybody pushing and pulling to get a shot in, but it certainly was different from whacking rockodiles.
The pirates prepare to fire. (v90)
Dodging the stone cannonball. (v90)
They start to get desperate. (v90)
A really big burst of flame. (v90)
The wreckage is in there somewhere... (v90)
38 Autumn 534 (8/27/99)
The more things stay the same, the more they change; the number of exiles round and about seems to have dropped off slightly, and many of the exiles that I have been meeting recently are new to the island. I'm not sure where the missing exiles are going, but I have heard several people speaking out in anger against the Ancients and their plans, a practice that seems dangerous at best. There have been reports (attributed to that trickster Chum) that there might be a weakening in the collective link that allows us to locate our fallen comrades, to the point that only those with special training (this means mystics) will be able to sense who has fallen and where. Combine that with the high price of sunstones these days (3K+ for a new one, 2K+ for a repair) and I suspect that I'm going to be doing a bit more departing in the future. Perhaps the best thing to do is to hunker down and try to ride out the chaos storm; I've been mostly sticking to the north forest (still looking for my first berry) and the south beach (love to whack those rockos!).
Sometimes you need to stop and... (v90)
59 Autumn 534 (9/1/99)
Now that chaos storms come less often than they did before the war, each one seems a much bigger deal (especially since they always seem to come late so there is more time to worry about them). I've heard rumors that the upcoming storm is going to be a doozy, but nothing substantial about what is coming. The copper mine is doing pretty well, Alok says it's almost done, but I don't expect it to be completed this time around, and I haven't really been tracking the other construction sites. In the meantime I've been making the occasional foray into the Tanglewood to look for wood, flowers, or other goodies (nothing but logs so far though). At least death vermine pelts are worth some coins now, for a while there I seem to recall them being worthless.
A small problem with vermine. (v90)
67 Autumn 534 (9/3/99)
A lot of people have been checking out the newly opened areas in the north forest (the lily pond and environs), although the monsters there are a bit tough for regular dwarfs like me. On the other hand, there seem to be a lot more ferals around outside the pond, they are good experience and coins at this point in my career, so I've been hanging out there a lot recently. I'm a bit worried about the reports of Dal'Noth Island, it sounds really bad and I'm concerned that the 'noths might decide to move in on Puddle, orga invasions with spites and hemlocks are bad enough, now we have to deal with this new threat! We can only hope that the 'noths and the orgas don't try to form some sort of alliance.
Heavy traffic in the eastern passes. (v90)
87 Autumn 534 (9/8/99)
It's hard to believe that it's the end of the year already, but here we are at the finale of the first full year after the Ripture War of 533. Looking back it's amazing how much things have changed over the course of the year, especially since the changes have for the most part been so gradual. I've finally noticed how unwieldy my "recent adventures" scroll is getting, and am working on reorganizing my journal into more bite-sized volumes; it's been interesting to go back and see what I was up to a year ago (just purchasing my sunstone, as it turns out).
I made a foray into the Spirit Wood the other day to help out with a rescue, it was wall-to-wall spriggins in there, several of which were coin stealers. After the rescue we chased the sprigs about for a bit, I must have deep-sixed about ten of the little fellows (including a couple of the pickpockets), and still there were swarms of them. I ended up losing about 100 coins all told, but it was good fun. On another day I was trying to help out in the lily pond, we were having no end of trouble until Gurgi showed up and started slaughtering things; I learned that at full health I can survive one (1) hit from a large sand wurm (but it still takes me down to red), an important lesson that I will take to heart.
Mahas don't like to get their feet wet. (v92)
Text Copyright © 1999 Normand ni Upthrup Haemnotl
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