Some Assembly Required


There were a couple of major events during the year 535, the Battle of Bartok and the Feast of Tsrrin, both of which involved large numbers of exiles in some pretty fierce battles.

6 Winter 535 (9/10/99)

Happy new year to all, here it is winter at last. I was lucky enough to find a solstice present under a tree in the north forest, my very first bramble berry cluster. I've spent a lot of time looking around for berries (in all the wrong places, I expect) so it was quite exciting to finally score a cluster. I'm still looking for the other types of berries, I've heard rumors that lila berries are to be found in the east field, and I'm guessing that orga berries are most likely in the Tanglewood or the Orga Camp. I've been spending a little time in the Camp this week; I'm still nowhere near ready to take on rages or red orgas, but I can whack zerks and the occasional death vermine just fine. I was hoping to pick up an orga eye while I was at it, without much luck, but Axell offered me one of her extras (she said she was up to 11 at one point). I also made a trek down to the mirror the other day, it's still closed, and the big cats were chewing me to the point where I had to hide with the maha cloth vendors for a while; I managed to run all the way from the mirrors to the sylvan scout while red, only to be pulled down by a maha that was waiting for me at the entrance to the south farms. Lucky for me Dora was able to come down and pick me up again. I'm still working on reorganizing my older scrolls, it's almost ready but not quite.

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Stalking the elusive bramble berry. (v92)

14 Winter 535 (9/12/99)

Well, it just goes to show that when it rains it pours, I was making one of my regular trips through the Tanglewood looking for logs when what should I see but another cluster of bramble berries. Of course, this sort of shoots down my theory that I would find orga berries in the Tanglewood, I'm wondering if they only grow in the Orga Camp itself or if I'm barking up the wrong tree. I heard a rumor that lila berries were to be found in the marsh, so I've been spending some time trying to figure out the paths there, the upper marsh seems pretty much as I remember it from before the War but there's a whole new lower marsh where the pathways appear to be pretty much random. Once I'm in the lower marsh going north or south always leads me around in a circle, but if I travel east or west I occasionally end up some place interesting, usually a location where a bunch of monsters are waiting to have some dwarf for lunch. So far I've slaughtered twenty kazillion leeches and found a grand total of no (as in zero) lila berries...

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Ready to start mining! (v92)

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Stalking another elusive bramble berry. (v92)

27 Winter 535 (9/15/99)

I had a very strange experience the other day, I was helping look for a zerk that had been reported in the north-east field; Ciric, Trauma and I were searching the north woods and discovered the blighter just north of the undine hut, but it was exhibiting a bit more strategy than most orgas, it was chasing Trauma around trying to kill our healer. Needless to say Ciric and I tried to throw ourselves between the zerk and Trauma, and needless to say I ended up falling just as the posse showed up to surround the zerk (with yours truly featured as a fallen brick). Things were looking bad for the zerk, so it pulled me out of the way and tried to make a dash, only to be whacked down from behind. I have to say that I haven't seen an orga fight this smart since before the War, it was not your usual zerk.

In the meantime the oracles are predicting another chaos storm soon, I just hope it blows in some more builders, since it seems like all of the current builders are full up on wood, which also means that it's anyone's guess which building projects will actually get finished. My run of botanical luck has continued, I managed to find both an uli flower and a spore cluster this week, and thanks to the assistance of the excellent Madame H I now have a red potion in my possession. And I have finally finished building the new bookshelf to hold my older scrolls, which are now broken up into reasonable-sized sections.

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Must be my lucky day. (v92)

39 Winter 535 (9/18/99)

Foxwier mania has overtaken Puddleby, everybody seems to be hunting vixens and giant foxwiers in their den. The vixens are pretty easy to kill and their furs are pretty valuable, while the giant foxwiers are much harder to whack and do a ton of damage very quickly. The demand for fox skins seems to have depressed the market for feral skins, I'm not raking in the coins quite as quickly as I was before the recent chaos storm, but now some new paths have been discovered leading to the deeper reaches of the north forest, where the woods are simply infested with ferals and vermine; with a big enough group you can more than make up the slight decrease in feral skin value in shear volume. In the meantime I have been looking for talking t'rools, I killed one that someone was keeping as a pet in the town zoo the other day and after a little reflection I have decided that we should try to get as many there as we can and teach them how to speak common; in time perhaps we can establish better relations with T'rool Town.

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This one didn't want to talk. (v94)

48 Winter 535 (9/20/99)

I sort of feel that the new crop of builders around town are a bit of a letdown, none of them seem to be building stuff that is very interesting (except maybe the bakery, I like cookies and cakes). Maybe what we need are some "builders" who are working on more abstract concepts, such as "making mystics suck less." Part of the problem now is that there aren't that many builders, so they all end up getting full loads of wood pretty quickly. Pretty much all of the builders before the last chaos storm were full, and now most of them are still waiting for permits; maybe each "full" builder need to have an "inspector" standing next to them so we can offer bribes in order to speed up the approval of the necessary permits.

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One reason I hate the marsh. (v94)

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Iho has always been a fashion plate. (v94)

59 Winter 535 (9/23/99)

I managed to find another talking t'rool the other day and lead it all the way to the zoo, but it seemed confused about the experience and was having trouble keeping names straight. I'm wondering what would happen if we collected a bunch of them, would they start talking among themselves? Anyway, this week I finally learned what happens when my inventory is full, I was walking through the south pass and tripped over some ore, but I couldn't pick it up until I got rid of some kudzu seedlings. (It sort of goes without saying that the ore contained no metal.) Having a full inventory could be a problem if you were running from a bunch of wendies, a nice ore sample could trap you, so I've had to cut back on my extensive collection of seedlings. There have been a lot of rumors around town recently about kidnappings, it seems that Vagile has started a fashion trend (as usual). I'm of the opinion that we should park this Sendorian character in the Puddle jail for an extended visit and see how that adjusts his attitude problems.

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Dora roars. (v94)

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One confused t'rool. (v94)

67 Winter 535 (9/25/99)

This whole thing with Sendorian seems to be coming to a head, I've been told that he's been captured, and then earlier today I sensed the spirit of Vagile in the lands, she was reported kidnapped by this Sendorian character several weeks ago. She wouldn't (or couldn't) respond to a sunstone message, but shortly afterwards Iho reported via ss that he saw her on Ash Island in the Horde. Iho was trapped, fallen and departed before anybody could get to him, but he told me that he saw the Darshaks dragging Vagile off. Sleipnir is organizing a rescue party, and now we have a pretty good idea where to look. I just hope that we can find some of the other missing exiles, as well. Speaking of Sleip, he was out in 'Noids with a bunch of folks the other day; he and I stepped in to the deep cavern without knowing what the situation was and were immediately trapped. Lucky for us there was a pretty good wall, and Fuzz and Yosh were able to wear down the bugs that were trapping us. Thanks to some fast healing everybody was eventually standing, and we beat a hasty retreat.

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Deja vu all over again. (v94)

75 Winter 535 (9/27/99)

Those Darshaks must be hurting, there were raids against them to rescue Vagile and to find the missing beer this past week, both of which I missed out on, worse luck. Maybe the recent raids account for the thugs I've been running in to in the North and East Forest recently, they are trying to hide any place they can find. To console myself for missing out on the chance to fall on Ash I joined a couple of raids that went to the Queen's Chamber (where we knocked those ants silly) and the Orga Camp (where rather the reverse happened). This was my first visit to OC2, you have to stand next to a special tree that's been sparkled by a mystic apprentice, and suddenly you find yourself in an area with several wooded mazes and several warlocks (or worse) tossing bolts your way. On my second visit I didn't even go over to OC2, I was trying to help keep OC1 clear, so the 'locks decided to come and get me there instead, there were at least five, maybe more, with only a handful of us to provide targets. For a while I thought I was going to have to depart, but lucky for me several strong exiles were working on a rescue and pushed me out through the Orga Path even as the bolts sizzled about their ears. I'm beginning to think that orga warlocks are the second most annoying creature on the island (the most annoying are spriggins, of course).

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Who goes around pinning labels on the logs? (v94)

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Meanwhile, back in the Queen's Chamber... (v94)

83 Winter 535 (9/29/99)

The oracles are predicting another chaos storm soon, and by all reports it's going to be a doozy, lucky for me I'm not a healer and will be spared the worst of it. There have been a number of interesting news items recently; Joe mentioned that spirit training can help others heal you faster, so I have gone back and started to learn a little bit from Master Spirtus; and there have been hints that something very big (and very unpleasant) is afoot. Now I'm not sure what this is, but there have been previous hints that the orga are up to no good, and even a reference to the Ripture War not being quite over. I also heard a rumor that Astral Spark was seen in the lands, which makes me very nervous indeed, A. S. often shows up when something really nasty is coming down the pike.

But even with all of this foreboding life goes on, I've been looking for another uli flower, I've got a spore cluster in hand but I need that flower to make the red potion (which comes in real handy when someone is very very dead). While I was rummaging around in the bottom of my inventory and discovered that I had picked up an orga eye somewhere along the way without even noticing it; the darn thing must have bounced into my pack while I was whacking orgas in the OC (they do tend to splatter when you hit them really hard).

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Separated at birth? (v94)

88 Winter 535 (9/30/99)

Just a quick update, it seems that the chaos storm has been postponed (I guess the front wasn't moving as fast as had been thought), so it looks like whatever horrible thing is impending will just have to forebode another few days. I've been continuing my quest to collect several t'rools on Mai's lawn to see if they will talk to each other, but it's difficult, people keep killing them while I look for more, and I keep forgetting not to keep my axe ready while leading them there, it's all to easy for the lag demons to bite at the wrong moment and leave me with nothing but a t'rool corpse.

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A friendly t'rool. (v94)

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If I could walk that way... (v94)

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Fun turns to tragedy. (v94)

14 Spring 535 (10/4/99)

Now that spring is finally here again I find myself spending more time outside enjoying the sunshine and less time here at my desk; besides which, I haven't been up to much of interest lately. There are continuing rumors of big changes ahead, I just hope some of the builders finally get their permits and open for business, especially the copper mine. Another rumored innovation is an automatic spirit link between members of the same clan, which made me start to think about maybe signing up with one...but which one, that's the question! It seemed to make sense to try to hook up with the group with the largest representation during my regular "every-four-days" hunt, so I did a quick survey and found that a fair number of clans have members around then, but usually only one, or at most two, members per clan. Yes, I have discovered that there are just too many clans, there are forty registered as of this writing, and more are being formed every week it seems (at a rate much higher than the growth of Puddle's exile population). Now, I'm not suggesting that we all should join one big clan (although that would certainly give everybody the largest benefit from the spirit link bonus), but the large number of smaller clans does make it harder for dwarfs with somewhat unusual schedules to find the right clan to join.

22 Spring 535 (10/6/99)

OK, we better have this chaos storm soon because I'm getting tired of waiting for all the awful things to happen, it's making me nervous. Besides, I need some big worries to take my mind off the lousy week I'm having, I'm falling everywhere I go and I scored another depart (my tenth) when I walked in to the meadow only to discover that the 'locks were back again (along with their lightning bolts). The fact that a sprite was chasing me should have tipped me off I guess. Anyway, no uli flower for me! Maybe I can buy one on the open market, I still have a bramble bunch I haven't sold yet and a spore cluster burning a hole in my pocket. To top it off, Gurgi posted a message saying that he thinks fighter spirit training doesn't help healers heal you faster after all, and here I've trained a whole twelve ranks already. Oh well, at least I'm a much more enlightened dwarf now, maybe I should round out my education with Master Mentus.

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Too many ferals! (v94)

26 Spring 535 (10/7/99)

It seems that everywhere you turn these days you run into an orga invasion, and now I've heard that ShadowSky found a parchment that suggests an alliance is forming between the orga and the Darshak. Needless to say, this would be very bad news, especially if the Darshak start handing out orbs to the orgas. As if that wasn't bad enough, Puddle was invaded by big mean tree stumps the other day, I could barely manage to scratch them but there were enough exiles who could to eventually chop them into kindling. The chaos storm doesn't seem to have changed things as much as I had feared or hoped, the copper mine is still waiting on permits, but at least the ballroom is open (I guess they are still waiting for delivery on the balls, though). When I wasn't dodging orgas or large belligerent logs I spent some time hunting in the spider caves, it's a pretty good place for a small group as long as the web arachnes don't swarm.

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This guy sure looks mean. (v94)

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Slasher takes on three at once. (v94)

34 Spring 535 (10/9/99)

Well, things are rapidly becoming worse, that nasty Bartok has stolen the altar out of the temple, and now it seems that healers can't heal themselves. I'm worried now that the orga have plans to destroy the altar (possibly with the help of the Darshak), which might mean no more healing for anybody, or even the loss of the ability to depart. Ptolemy is organizing a big raid on the Orga Camp, but it's going to be an uphill battle, I tried to get to the meadow today to look for an uli and didn't even get close before I ran into a ton of 'locks and spites, that's two departs from the Tanglewood this week. I'm not going back to the TW again unless it's with a big invasion force that can take on those bolt-throwers. Maybe we can get some help from Falinea, I know she hates the orga worse than anything, if I get a chance I'll try to visit her tower in the Sacred Grove and pray for help.

38 Spring 535 (10/10/99)

It seems that the orga have taken the altar and broken it in to fragments, leaving the pieces littering the Orga Camp. A large group of exiles spent a long period in the Camp fighting the hordes of orgas and searching for the fragments, then laboriously dragging them back to the Temple and giving them to Master Hekus, who is attempting to reassemble the altar and restore our moonstones to full operation. We have rescued almost all of the fragments now, Hekus says he thinks he can put it back together, but we need to find and rescue all of the fragments in order to actually put the puzzle pieces together again. I'm guessing that the last piece is deep, deep in the OC, guarded by Bartok and his minions; it will take a major effort to extract it.

I was able to help drag some of the fragments, you have to have both hands free and grab hold, they are wicked heavy; then you form a line and get pulled along, with the fragment trailing after you. After a while the magical field of the fragments (all made of pure moonstone, it seems) overwhelms you and sucks you into Purgatory, but before that happens the fragment is a little bit closer to the Temple. I also tried to pitch in on the battle in the Orga Camp, and actually made it as far as OC3, but there were so many zerks and death vermine there that I didn't last long. The main problem is that it is very hard to reinforce an army in the camp, new orgas constantly appear in the areas you've passed through, and you need a healthy mystic to hold the gates open in each area.

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Getting organized in the Tanglewood. (v97)

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Haul that fragment! (v97)

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Some assembly required. (v97)

43 Spring 535 (10/11/99)

There have been a bunch of reports about the big battle with Bartok, he was finally surrounded and defeated by a large army of exiles, only to escape into Purgatory (I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of that one). It turns out he had hidden the last fragment in the marsh, and after yet another big battle it was returned to town and given to Hekus. But now it seems there is a further problem: in order to purify the altar Hekus needs to acquire over 100,000 coins! Needless to say a lot of people immediately handed over all of their cash, but others were shocked at the amount of money required and tried to haul Hekus in to court, something that didn't make him very happy. Hekus left in a huff, leaving the fund with Vagile for the moment, I guess she's the nearest thing we've got to a town government at the moment (not being the Mayor and all). Anyway, Vagile says we have about 42,000 coins so far, and that Hekus has warned her that bad things are going to happen if we don't get the altar fixed soon.

I've decided that the best thing to do is to go out and hunt ferals, they are my best source of income, so far I've managed to accumulate about 750 coins and only fell once (a bolok snuck up on me). I did make a visit to 'Noids, but that turned out to be a bad idea, the slippery gravel makes it very hard to win the entrance tunnel, and all I ended up with was another depart. And when I walk out of the Temple after the depart who should I see but Zonk, this time he brought his tower with him and plopped it down right in the middle of Mai's lawn. And to top it all off I finally started slaughtering giant vermine...

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Zonk's tower. (v97)

51 Spring 535 (10/13/99)

I spoke to Vagile yesterday, she says that she has about 95,000 coins now, and there is a rumor that Master Hekus will come out of his seclusion this coming Sombdi to begin the purification ritual (assuming that we have managed to find the last 15,000 coins by then). I have personally collected about 1,500 coins since the fund drive began, and I have to say that once this is over I hope to never see another feral again as long as I live. I haven't been counting how many ferals I have whacked, but it must be up in the hundreds by now. Regular ferals seem to max out at 4 coins each; my favorites are the brown ferals (which aren't brown), they don't do that hit-and-dodge thing, they just sit there and let you kill them, and are worth up to about 10 coins a shot; then there are the large ferals (which aren't large, but are brown), they are harder to hit and hit harder than regular ferals, but can be worth up to 20 coins if you don't ruin the fur. Worst are the dire ferals (which are large), I can't quite solo them yet, but they are worth good money too.

59 Spring 535 (10/15/99)

Well, I missed out on the purification ceremony (which is probably just as well, it sounded pretty painful at times), but after a major effort by a lot of exiles we raised the required sum and Master Hekus was able to purify the fragments. He is now hard at work in the Temple fitting the puzzles pieces back together, I hope he does a good job, it's sort of sad to come into town and find all the healers huddled together, too frightened to venture outside the walls because they can't self-heal. In the meantime the orga seem to have retreated back into their camp to lick their wounds, I made a couple trips to the meadow recently with no sign of anything worse than an orga warrior along the way; I even picked up another uli! I'm also looking around for a new place to hunt, before the War I used to go to 'Noids when I was at this stage in my training, but that place has gotten too difficult to get in to with the sliding gravel and all. Bear den or spider cave seems about right, but there usually aren't people hunting there when I'm looking for some action. Oh well, maybe things will improve once the altar is fixed!

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Wood 2.0. (v97)

71 Spring 535 (10/18/99)

People are still struggling along waiting for the altar to be completed, it's pretty tough for healers to survive without self-healing, and my experience so far is that once the healers start to fall, I'm not far behind them (actually I often beat them to it). I have also found that there aren't enough mystics around, it would be really useful to be able to locate fallen companions by some method other than wandering around, and I've been told that mystic apprentices can use skristals to determine where someone is located. This is particularly a problem in places like the forests, where there is a lot of territory to cover; we had no end of trouble getting some people out of the North Forest earlier today, we were getting swarmed by vermine, ferals, and the occasional zerk. And it seems that the orga haven't completely given up harassing us, there were some 'locks in the East Field tossing bolts around, it took several tries to bring them down, although eventually Gurgi showed up and smacked 'em.

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Putting things back together. (v97)

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Why I hate hemlocks. (v97)

83 Spring 535 (10/21/99)

After a long effort (and much grumbling on all sides) the altar has finally been repaired, and healers can once more self-heal, use their cads, and generally kick butt. I'd like to think that this is the end of the Orga War, but the orga are still in possession of their Camp (I missed the big raid there last week, but from reports it sounded like a draw at best), and there's still those parchments that were found on Ash Island that indicate that the Darshak are up to something (Toosa has been working on a translation, she's in Husus' house right now). I've been trying to get back into a routine, hunting the beaches and the North Forest, although I've been trying to make some forays into the South Forest as well, that works out pretty well until I run in to a maha or deadly crawler. The other day we were running about trying to find some fallen (and falling ourselves in various places) when a forest drake showed up, I thought we were all goners but the drake decided to duke it out instead of frying us and we were able to wear it down and kill it.

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(Almost) as good as new! (v97)

10 Summer 535 (10/25/99)

Summer is here at last, I was around on the solstice but there didn't seem to be much going on, no big bonfires or anything to celebrate the longest day of the year. I have been taking advantage of the extra sunlight to do a lot of hunting in the North Forest, since my occasional attempts to explore other areas tend to end up with me flat on my back, thanks to the random deadly crawler or large walking pile of rocks. I had one near-death experience the other day, people were in the Dark Temple trying to wear down a greater death, so I figured I'd go by and see the fireworks; I have to admit that I had forgotten how nasty those faithless are, and then we were all standing around outside the room where the GD was walled in a liche popped in to visit; since this was more than out of my league I headed back to town (dodging the faithless on the way), and then just as I was heading in to the library it seems that the GD worked its way around the wall and was rapidly dispatching everyone present, and I do mean rapidly. So my lesson for the week: stay out of the Dark Temple!

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I think I chipped the myr's big toe (slightly). (v97)

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Viper was really, really dead... (v97)

18 Summer 535 (10/27/99)

Here we are expecting another Chaos Storm, and this time Joe has been making noises about fiddling with the fighter trainers, which makes me very nervous. Oh well, maybe the copper mine will finally open this time. And maybe the Ancients can do something about the latest fad, where high-level fighters retrain themselves into high-level healers in a single day; it's confusing to regular grunt fighters like me, and it seems to annoy many healers who got to high level the old-fashioned way. I'm not really sure what the attraction is, and it does seem sort of strange that people can suddenly redirect a huge number of ranks, that just doesn't fit in with the way things gradually change over time as you earn ranks. Speaking of gradual, I've been doing a bit better hunting the South Forest, and I had a really nice hunt with Krynn and Lard the other day, we worked our way all the way down the beaches, doing in a bunch of rockies, giant crawlers, and even a deadly, it was a lot of fun. On the other hand, Charlos was telling me that orga rages seem a lot tougher lately, and that the third circle fighter test was much harder than it used to be, bad news on my earning a white belt any time soon.

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Not enough Mentus training for this one. (v97)

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Hungry little beggars, aren't they? (v97)

27 Summer 535 (10/29/99)

O brave new world! There has been more than a little uproar about the weakening of our collective spirit link, you now have to actually be sharing with someone for them to sense that you have fallen, and you can no longer sense where they have fallen. I have to wonder if the recent destruction and reconstruction of the altar has something to do with this; that or the Mystic Conspiracy, it certainly has made mystics more popular, as well as boosting the use of sunstones quite a bit. Add to that the black flowers, it seems that mystics aren't affected by them, although it turns out that Gimli and Urgelt aren't affected either, probably because they've done some studying with Master Mentus. I sort of think that the M.C. consists mainly of that trickster Chum, I've heard rumors that he's pretty high up in the mystic hierarchy, all that talk about being a simple fisherman is just his cover; and the fact that he was talking about the weakened link before the event indicates that he has inside knowledge, maybe Master Hekus should sit him down and have a little talk with him.

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The amazing levitating myr. (v100)

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Slei pushing up the daisies. (v100)

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Harvesting the elusive bunch o' hops. (v100)

35 Summer 535 (10/31/99)

Well I mean to tell you the Feast of Tsrrin has gotten so commercial these days, back when I was a small dwarfling it wasn't nearly such a big deal. We certainly didn't have buildings bursting in to flames and later exploding, which is what has happened to the Mystic Academy; no word yet on what happened to the various mystic trainers, and just when mystics are actually becoming useful, too! I was helping out in the South Forest the other day and a mystic located a fallen exile right before my very eyes, we were able to walk right over and rescue them. And now it seems that the situation is getting out of hand, possibly because of the wild magic released by the Mystic Academy, possibly because of continuing problems with the repaired Altar; it seems fallen exiles are becoming undine with incredible speed, you have to kill the undine and then have several healers get them up fast before they rise again. But you can't whack them too hard, or they can't be raised; the best tactic seems to be to have a healer give the death blow with a club.

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A toasty spot for a nap. (v100)

39 Summer 535 (11/1/99)

There have been a number of pretty desperate battles for Puddleby over the last few days, with wave after wave of undine attacking, followed by wave after wave of exiles-turned-undine as people began to fall. At various times the undine hordes were in control of the center of town, and the exiles had to retreat to the Temple or other parts of Puddle. I was able to be of some help, although I can't stand up to any of the superfighters-turned-undine, and I especially can't stand up to Chum-turned-undine, who managed to whack me a few times in the course of the battle, usually resulting in instant death. Later I learned that I could have departed while in the undine state for free, but that would have left my undine double walking around, so I think it was just as well that I paid the full price (departs 14 and 15, thanks Chum). Eventually Chum departed from his undine body and came back and killed it himself, at which point the tide of battle turned as we were able to lure the high-Detha undine up to North Puddle one at a time, surround them, and wear them down; most of them were doubles by that time. Things seem to have settled down now, but I'm hoping the Ancients will help us out and put a stop to the undine madness soon, it's getting a bit wearing on the nerves.

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Battle for the temple. (v100)

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Baba leads the victory parade. (v100)

47 Summer 535 (11/3/99)

Things have pretty much returned to normal, or at least as normal as it ever gets around here; all of the exiles-turned-undine seem to have been restored or dispatched, most of the candy has been eaten, and the Mystic Academy has been rebuilt. There's a lot more sunstone traffic trying to locate where people have fallen now, but for most exiles the change in the spirit link seems to have not had as much effect as I feared it would. It makes it a bit harder for me to find rescues to join, but I was still able to help with a big rescue the Lilly Pond the other day, where I bravely slew some kudzu and locusts (and was slain by a cave maha, oh well). The orga seem to be behaving themselves much better too, I haven't heard about a 'lock attack recently, and a group of us was able to take over the Orga Camp for a while, although a fury showed up and gave us a bit of a headache for a short time. I did learn that there's still no point in even trying to solo a rage, guess I'll just have to get used to being second circle for the foreseeable future...

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Shift change in the Orga Camp. (v100)

55 Summer 535 (11/5/99)

Well, I've been on a shopping spree, a couple of exiles were trying to raise some cash and were offering items at pretty good prices, so I managed to pick up a chain and a greatsword. Now that I've spent all my money my sunstone will probably break, I guess I'll just have to go back to hunting ferals in order to replenish my repair fund. I ran into Falinea outside the Orga Camp yesterday, she had pulled some folks out of the camp, but she still doesn't have a moonstone, it seems that the ones our healers use aren't the right sort; she was talking about taking a trip back to her original home to find one. She did say that she was mostly recovered from the destruction of the Altar, which is good news indeed. And I went over to the Coliseum as well, two zerks were no challenge, so I went ahead and tried a rage, doing much better than I expected; he whiffed me a few times, and I was able to hit him pretty well, getting him down to yellow before my health ran out; I think if I can improve my defensive skills just a bit more I'll be able to take him out.

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Falinea discusses her plans. (v100)

67 Summer 535 (11/8/99)

Well, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but today my sunstone shuddered for the first time, just a few days after I depleted my replacement fund. I asked Axell about it, she knows quite a bit about sunstones breaking, and she told me that they will usually shudder a couple dozen times before they finally break. I'm not sure if a mystic can tune up a sunstone before it breaks or not, I'll have to ask around, but Axell did tell me that the price for a new stone is back up in the 3,500-4,000 coin range. Of course, my financial situation could have been worse, there are a number of strangers in town lately selling weapons, including some "smart" clubs that are supposed to prevent you from overswinging; I tried out the cheap model and wasn't impressed (my balance still got pretty low), so I managed to restrain myself from wasting the remainder of my funds at an auction for improved models ("brilliant" and "bright" clubs) that are supposed to keep your balance even higher.

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Only two? No problem! (v100)

79 Summer 535 (11/11/99)

Summer is starting to wind down, the days are getting shorter, and it's time for a few last trips to the beach. I'm still getting some experience from whacking adult rockos, but the amount is diminishing daily, and the greats don't show up that often. I finally made it up to the north beach the other day, it's a nice place but pretty far from town. Uli flowers remain hard to find, I haven't seen one for weeks now, only the occasional log to show for my trips to the Tanglewood. I did learn one interesting thing this week, that trickster Chum was claiming that the price of sunstones would drop if people would just stop buying them at the higher prices. I'm not sure if I trust him or not, but it would certainly be worth a try to stage a boycott of Elendil and see if he gets the message that he's just charging too much. Personally, when I need to replace my sunstone I'd rather buy one from one of the more junior mystics than give my hard-earned coins to Elendil, that'll teach him!

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Recharging the old sunstone. (v100)

89 Summer 535 (11/13/99)

I may not be having much luck finding uli flowers these days, but my many trips through the farms are paying off with bunches of barley. I've heard rumors that wheat has been found as well, and I have to wonder about yeast. Perhaps if I can collect a complete set I can get in to the brewery and make some beer, I need to find someone who wants to trade ingredients. My sunstone is continuing to operate, which is a good thing because I am finally slaughtering ferals; it's really sort of a relief to not have to hunt them any more, I must have killed thousands of them by now. Anyway, I'm moving on to wendies whether I'm ready or not; at least wendies don't try to circle around and get you from behind, they are good honest beasts that take the most direct route to ripping your head off. Which is exactly what happened to some of us the other day, we were heading from mid to south pass and ran into a determined group of night wendies; lucky for us Demian made it out and got help.

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Time to mow the barley. (v100)

10 Autumn 535 (11/16/99)

I made another trip to the Coliseum this week, and I learned that my earlier near-success fighting a rage was due more to pure luck than to my fighting skills; this time I didn't even land a blow, and my recent sessions with Detha seemed to do little more than slightly inconvenience the rage. Oh well, at least I am finally making progress with the wendies, although the blue ones are still a big problem in quantities greater than one. I was following GoldenRod, Wormy and Madame H through the passes the other day and we wandered into Greymyr Village, where the local myrs seemed to be having a big meeting, there must have been half a dozen, if not more, all throwing rocks while the wendies chased us about. Thanks to some quick footwork by Worm he was able to drag MH out of GMV, but the on the way out we met a ton of white and blue wendies in mid pass. I managed to SS for help before falling, lucky for us a big rescue arrived soon after. This was one adventure where it would have been very useful to have a lot of Troilus training, I may have to finally break down and get some.

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Thirteen healers after a potion! (v100)

14 Autumn 535 (11/17/99)

There's nothing more scary that stepping out of the library and seeing Algy lying there dead. This time Zonk was in town, and he brought a ton of noids with him, it was a big mess with fallen everywhere. I ran away from a couple of dozen noids and eventually joined up with the main resistance, but Zonk wasn't making it easy, he would walk up to people and "touch" them and they would immediately fall, and whenever we started gaining the upper hand he would drop a bunch more noids on us.

And I've finally gone and joined a clan, the ancient and somewhat silly Zouclougeist Alliance. They are a fun bunch and are completely disorganized, so I should fit right in. I'm also hoping that eventually someone in the clan will explain to me what the heck "zouclougeist" means, it's always bothered me. In the meantime I need to practice my "kroumph!", I don't quite have it down yet.

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Zonk is not a nice person. (v100)

26 Autumn 535 (11/20/99)

The chaos storm that blew through here last week was more of a stiff breeze than a storm, I haven't found a lot of changes yet, although there are rumors of another island opening up. I continue to try my luck against the wendies, with mixed results, although I did manage to find a lump of ore the other day just inside North Pass (as usual it turned out to be a rock). I also finally managed to do some exploring down in T'rool Town; actually I did a little too much exploring, when I crossed back over the bridge to the south forest there was a maha and two boloks waiting to greet me, they were able to pull me down a few steps short of the gold clothes area. Aki quickly provided an accurate location over the sunstone, but the big cats were able to prevent any healers from reaching me for quite some time, although Tara would have been able to get me up if the rats hadn't been at me. Eventually Mork showed up and whacked the felines, at which point there must have been half a dozen healers in on the rescue. It sort of makes you appreciate how all three of the professions are useful these days.

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Baby back ribs! (v103)

38 Autumn 535 (11/23/99)

I seem to be spending a lot of time lately looking around for fallen people, using the traditional "wander about" method that is the only way fighters can find things these days. People often broadcast fallen messages on the sunstone, but sometimes they forget to say what the victim fell to, which makes it sort of hard to narrow down a search area. It's even worse when exiles fall to something common, like a vermine; I think everybody should try to fall to more site-specific creatures, fling yourself in front of that wendie rather than let a large vermine whack you. I continue to look for uli flowers without success, I've been finding a number of logs (including one lying in the middle of the east field with nary a tree in sight) and the occasional bramble berry, which you really can't sell these days, they are so common. Maybe the die shop should have a buyer that would let you sell off your excess berries.

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Return to the Queen's Chamber. (v103)

51 Autumn 535 (11/26/99)

It's hard to believe but the end of the year is fast approaching, here we are with only a few dozen days left before the Solstice. Most of my doings this week seem to be botanical in nature; I finally found another uli (my first in some time); I found a couple more bramble berries, which motivated me to finally sell off my collection of brambles (at fire sale prices I'm afraid, they just aren't worth that much these days); and as part of one of my bramble transactions Lathena traded me some wheat, so I now have three beer ingredients on hand, although without yeast I'm not going to produce very good beer. Maybe I can trade my extra barley for some yeast. I also learned what a bad idea it is to run from a maha, I had one track me all the way from the south-west beach to town the other day, taking chunks out of me all the way, so that I managed to fall right at Algy's feet; lucky for us Hato showed up and killed the maha. I ran into a couple more mahas later that same day, but this time I stood my ground and managed to survive, somewhat chewed but still walking.

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Gathering flowers. (v103)

63 Autumn 535 (11/29/99)

Despite my best efforts I'm still not doing much more damage to rages in the coli, I was there just yesterday and only managed to land a couple of blows before getting squashed. I think I need to do a better job of trapping the thing, it was able to dodge about and recover its balance in the course of the match. At least I was able to do in three zerks, although even they were hitting me more often than I would like. Still, I'm at the point where I can be useful in some rescues, we managed to get a bunch of folks out of the tunnel leading to the Breeding Ground the other day, a good team effort to kill the vixens and chain people out while dodging willow giants, then slowly chopping down the big trees. I'm also getting better at rescues in the eastern passes, with a few other fighters and some healer support we can really whip through those wendies. I've noticed that most wendie furs aren't worth all that much; it seems that only a few have the more valuable four-to-six coin pelts, most are only worth a couple coppers (if that); I'm not sure if this is real or just a mistaken impression on my part.

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Lumberjacks at work. (v103)

77 Autumn 535 (12/2/99)

Everybody complains about the chaos storms, but nobody ever seems to do anything about them. This one doesn't seem as bad as some, perhaps they are diminishing in severity as the aftermath of the Ripture War recedes, although I've heard rumors that the War never really ended and hints that the Darshaks are hatching some terrible plot to recoup their losses. Perhaps they have a hand in the advent of the vorpal hounds, strange beasts that seem to gain strength as they kill more exiles, gradually growing in size. Thanks to some recent work with Master Atkus I'm at the point where I can hit the things at stage 1, but I'm guessing that they increase in strength as they grow in size; certainly it took a lot of us to bring one down that had wandered in to town and grown to the size of a feral.

None of this seems terribly important to me this week, mainly because I finally slaughtered my first adult rocko, a terrible tragedy that spells the end of my easy-going life as a newbie. From now on I simply have to start wandering the more dangerous (and remote) areas of the island in search of ranks, no more lazing about on the beach, building sandcastles and whacking the slow-moving rockodiles. I suppose it makes a good bookend for the end of the year, I'm going to be out of town for the Solstice, so this will most likely be my last entry until winter is upon us. And who knows what amazements the new year will bring?

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Stage 2 vorpal hound. (v105)