Brave Defenders of Puddleby


After their defeat in the Altar War, the Orga slowly built up their strength, ultimately destroying much of the East Gate and the defending catapult. New paths began to appear in the lands for those with special training, opening up new areas to explore in the Snaggy Woods. We also faced invasions from the Darshaks and Zonk's little playthings, the 'noids.

15 Winter 536 (12/9/99)

Back again with more complaints than ever, just before the end of the year I managed to wear out my sunstone (that had only shuddered once, I'll have you know), and since the sunstone repair business seems to be in a bit of flux right now (something about Stu going on extended vacation, it's hard to keep track, those mystics always use such big words) I was forced to pony up the big bucks for a new stone from that bandit Elendil. Anyway, my last stone lasted for almost exactly two years before it wore out, some would say that's not too bad, especially when you consider that prices were quite a bit lower back then; the new stone cost me over twice as much as the original, but I suspect that it won't last twice as long...

So anyway, now that the new year has started I've decided that the best thing for me to hunt right now is crawlers, I can crunch a number of the gray ones without getting hit too bad, but the greens and reds are a different story, they don't have quite so much trouble hitting me. Two good spots for crawlers are the beach due south of the Sylvan Scout in the south forest and the nice sandy beach northwest of town. I don't do quite so well against the swamp ferals, plus I can't seem to skin the darn things, guess it's time for some more training with Skea Brightfur.

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Too many swamp ferals. (v105)

26 Winter 536 (12/12/99)

Hard as it is to believe, I have it on good authority that Aki has finally accumulated enough departs to become the first exile promoted to full Mystic. With luck this will bring some competition to the sunstone market and drive prices down, although it's too late to do me any good this time around. Stu seems to have moved up to the "fully mystic" training area, so Aki will have access to him again. My replacement sunstone seems to still be working (knock on wood), but I'm very nervous after all the stories I've heard about new ones wearing out after only a few uses. My biggest problem right now is inventory, I'm carrying around so much junk that I don't have room to pick up new stuff, especially since I keep finding bramble berries all over the place, they seem to pop up in any wooded area, I've even found them in the South Forest now. They aren't worth much, but they are worth enough that I don't want to just feed them to the goats.

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Too many stripy noids. (v105)

39 Winter 536 (12/15/99)

Beer prices seem to be coming down, kegs were under 400 coins the other day, and my good friends of the DM invited me to share a round or two. Actually, to be entirely honest a few dwarfs had more than two rounds. And thanks to Soulmaster I was able to trade off some bramble berries for some yeast, so with my previously acquired hops, barley and wheat I now have a complete set of ingredients and am ready to brew some beer myself, assuming that the brewery ever opens for business. I haven't heard any rumors about the expected chaos storm, but most of the builders are full up now, I had a little trouble finding someone to take a log the other day. And not all is sweetness and light, my chain broke on me, I've used it about ten times so I guess I can't complain, but it does make me a bit more reluctant to pull out the replacement except in more extreme circumstances. And I had some fun chasing Magnels around on rescue patrol the other day, in the course of a few minutes I helped rescue people in the North Forest, Orga Camp and Queen's Chamber, it was fun but tiring.

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We admire Dio's pet drake. (v105)

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Kodo, Thad and friends. (v105)

68 Winter 536 (12/22/99)

I'm finally back in town, only to find that all of the builders have filled up and now I have no place to dump my rocks and logs. Yes, the chaos storm blew in no new builders this time, so I guess I'm going to have to feed my building stuff to the goats. I think that the town should have a permanent "wall repair" builder that will take any number of rocks and logs, especially since the storage lockers aren't available yet (so I have no place to store my extensive inventory) and the brewery still isn't in business (so I can't make use of all the beer ingredients that make said inventory so extensive). I'm still looking for a place to hunt to replace the south beaches and their endless supply of adult rockos; bears and wendies still hit me too much even with the shield, I think I'm going to need some more defensive training.

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That Crius, what a card! (v107)

84 Winter 536 (12/26/99)

Well, I remembered an easy way to get rid of excess inventory, the North Puddle merchants will take rocks at least (but they usually won't give you any money and you certainly don't gain any experience). This has allowed me to pick up a few more brambles, although my bramble selling skills are pretty sad. It's also a pretty sad day for me when I run across a log and have to leave it lying there (OK, I'm obsessed with log hunting, so sue me), but that's exactly what I've been reduced to now. I was on a couple of fun hunts last week, including a good time chasing the bears around just after the sun came up; and I also managed to get flattened in town twice by rats, but these were really mean, vicious rats with these really big teeth! They were even worse than the last round of super-rats to invade town, I couldn't even stand next to them for more than a few blows before I went down. If this trend continues, the next super-rat invasion will have rats mowing down superfighters twelve at a time...

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Let sleeping logs lie. (v107)

6 Spring 536 (12/29/99)

The super-rats were back in town again, maybe it has something to do with the coming of spring (they are looking for mates?) or maybe it's just my usual dwarfish timing of coming out of the library at just the wrong time. This time I managed to stay on my feet by dodging in to the temple at frequent intervals, getting healed, and then popping out to squash a couple more rodents. Yesterday I was helping to chop down a tree giant that had been lured on to Mai's lawn, I determined that I can take about four or five hits from one now, but I still don't hit often enough to do more than wear the leafy guy down over an extremely protracted period. Lucky for us Gurgi came by and made short work of the tree. So right now I'm mainly hoping that we get a real Chaos Storm this week, one with new open buildings, new areas to explore, and especially new builders to give logs to!

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Aftermath of a rat attack. (v107)

22 Spring 536 (1/2/00)

Well, it seems that the recent storm didn't do as much as I was hoping, but it did bring a new builder (a bonfire on the town beach, I'm not sure if this is the permanent builder I was hoping for or not, but it seems to me that we're going to need a log of wood to keep the fire burning); plus the new libraries and barracks. I've been studying in the library extension, it costs a few coins a day but doesn't seem to greatly increase my learning rate; I suspect that any increased learning is more than offset by the continued increase in the amount of work I need for each rank. I helped out on a couple of fun rescues last week, one in the new hive up on Myrm Highlands, which is a big place with lots of twisty corridors; and naturally BonTemps and Enlil had managed to fall at the end of one of the longest and most twisty. We found them eventually, after much backtracking. One positive innovation I only noticed recently is a slight improvement in spirit links; once someone has been down long enough you start to get an idea where they fell (possibly about the same time they become eligible for B&C).

47 Spring 536 (1/8/00)

It's been a while since I've been able to set pen to paper, mostly due to being a bit under the weather recently, which means I've been spending most of my time sleeping on that comfy couch in the periodicals section of the library. I'm not even up on the current gossip and rumors, I really have very little idea what's been going on in town, but I've heard some comments from some mystics lately about problems with their training procedures and with skristals in particular. I've also heard that there are new kinds of sunstones available for purchase, but I'm not sure what the different qualities of these supposed stones might be. As usual I think most of the blame for all the fear, uncertainty and doubt lies with Chum, he's always up to no good, and right now he seems more dedicated than ever to the idea of making life hard for mystics. I can only hope that he doesn't get tired of that and decide to "help" us fighters instead!

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If I were a mystic, I'd be nervous too. (v109)

67 Spring 536 (1/13/00)

It continues to be a struggle for me to keep my diary up to date, my time has been so limited lately. The big news was a minor chaos storm this week, haven't heard of many changes yet, but the mine is open for those who need to earn some extra coins and slaughter levels have been changed a bit. I'm now back to killing adult rockos and ferals, although I don't get much experience for doing so; still, it means that my trips to the north forest to gather coins will now gain me at least a little experience as well, which is certainly a good thing. I went to the coliseum again last week, this time I was able to hit a rage several times before it did me in, so I really feel that I'm getting closer to being able to take on the fighter test, especially since I've been studying in the library extension and doing a bit better hunting down crawlers.

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It's about time, too! (v111)

83 Spring 536 (1/17/00)

I went out to 'Noids the other day to see if I could help with a rescue, and after Gareth assured us that it wasn't too bad a group of us stepped in to the deep cavern, where we were met by the biggest batch of noids I've ever run into. The entrance was packed, and with my usual dwarfish luck I ended up on the wrong side of the pack surrounded by blue noids, shortly after which my crushed and mangled body was sliding down the gravel to join my friends at the bottom of the slope. Several attempts were made to gain a foothold, but all this did was to add to the pile of fallen, so rather than serve as bait for more exiles we decided to depart (number sixteen for me, I had been avoiding departure lately). I guess the lesson here is that some locations are just more likely to result in a depart than others, and 'Noids is certainly high on that list for me (neck and neck with the deeper Orga Camp).

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Riding the gravel train. (v111)

6 Summer 536 (1/20/00)

It's hard to believe that the year is already half over, the Solstice has come and gone, and we're enjoying those lazy days of summer. I've been taking advantage of the long hours of daylight to do some hunting in both the North and South Forests, including (I'm afraid) a fair amount of time fallen; I keep forgetting that I shouldn't try to go toe-to-toe with a deadly crawler when I'm in less than perfect health, and then I get pulled down by an artak while I'm trying to run back to town on red. On one recent rescue in the North Forest we ran into a dire feral, they seem to have gotten much bigger while remaining just as mean, but with several of us working at it and some timely healer support we were able to wear it down. Also looking meaner are the giant ferals and swamp ferals; the swampies are so big that they make cave mahas look positively petit!

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Chasing down the doggie. (v111)

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The doggie strikes back. (v111)

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Mortis gets in the death blow. (v111)

27 Summer 536 (1/25/00)

I'm back to spending some time in the Orga Camp, with a bunch of other people to help share out the damage I can even help on a Fury, but I have also confirmed my fears that I'm still not ready to take on a Rage by myself. The orga seem to be up to something, I have heard several reports about a big attack on the east tower; I have to wonder if Bartok is back in town and stirring up trouble. I also seem to be running in to undine all over the place recently, I can't tell if I'm just lucky or if it's a real trend. Things have been so quiet recently, I sort of expect something really nasty to rear its ugly head in the very near future.

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Those robes look mighty comfortable. (v111)

35 Summer 536 (1/27/00)

The chaos storm finally blew through this week, after hanging fire for the longest time; although to be honest I haven't yet had time to see many changes after the storm. While we where waiting for the storm to hit a group of us tried to see how many we could fit on the catapult tower; no matter how we pushed and shoved we couldn't get more than six up there. Still, this does suggest an interesting competition: what's the maximum number of exiles that can fit inside the green shirt cave, or in gold pants? Any place that's small enough that you can see all of it at once would do, you pack the people in and take a quick snap. It will give us something to distract us while we wait for the next big orga invasion, they were at it again; maybe we need to take a big group deep into the Orga Camp and see if the storm opened up any new paths...

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Brave defenders of Puddleby! (v111)

47 Summer 536 (1/30/00)

I've been spending entirely too much time lately trying to help out with rescues in 'Noids, for some reason people seem determined to hunt there despite the fact that the situation can go from bad to worse in just a few short moments. One of the rescues required a really large force of high-level exiles, there were black widows running around and everything. The best approach seems to be to have a big group of fighters grab control of the entrance, chain the pile of bodies out, and then heal in the corridor; it's just too hard to heal down at the bottom of the gravel slide, especially if the carrion bugs have been gnawing on the fallen. 'Noids is still a big challenge for me, I still have trouble hitting stripes, and a green 'noid came up and took me from white to black in two hits. Lucky they don't take such a big chunk out with every bite!

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Too many carrion bugs. (v111)

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The dreaded stripy backspawn. (v113)

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The aftermath of a 'Noids rescue. (v113)

60 Summer 536 (2/2/00)

I spent some time following the great Ton around the Orga Camp and the the entrance to the Snagglewood the other day; it was a lot of fun, despite the very bad weather we were all experiencing. We were able to smack a rage and a fair number of zerks, although things got a little exciting at times and we had to use the chain at least once. Lucky for us we didn't run into any orga "fearless", I saw one briefly the other day in the East Forest, walked over to take a poke at it, and was immediately squashed like a bug. And speaking of bugs, I managed to score another depart in 'Noids the other day solely because of my own foolishness; someone was fallen in the gravel tunnel, and I stood there fiddling with my chain and let a big green bug come up and bite me. I was so mad I just departed, probably didn't have to but I didn't want people to try and rescue me (and possibly fall themselves) when it was my own fault for being down there.

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Notify the P.O.S.! (v113)

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Mysteries of the Snaggy revealed! (v113)

77 Summer 536 (2/6/00)

Summer is drawing to a close, the days are getting shorter, and that means more nasty beasts prowling the island. I continue to hear about big invasions by the Orga and the Darshak, but still no word on what's behind the increased activity; it's like they are testing our strength while they work on some fiendish counterstroke. Well, I did hear one rumor, that the Orga were working on developing their own healing technology, but I'm not sure I believe that one. I continue to work on my defensive skills, and I even went back to 'Noids to help in a rescue (where I broke another chain, worse luck), after which I went down to the south cave and squashed a couple of the giant blue spiders, they are much easier for me to handle now. Even crawlers (except for deadlies) aren't as much of a challenge, time to start looking for a new hunting ground again...

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You've got to wonder who's in there... (v113)

7 Autumn 536 (2/11/00)

It seems that the Orga attacks are getting more serious, part of the wall near the east gate has been destroyed, no doubt due to their continued assaults directed against the catapult tower there. I have been making my usual scouting trips into the Tanglewood, but I haven't seen much unusual activity there (although I did manage to find another Uli flower, my first in some time). Before the recent Chaos Storm I tagged along with a big group of upper-circle exiles on a quick tour of the Snagglewood, but even that area seemed sparsely populated (only a few zerks, a couple rages, and one fury). Perhaps the Orga are hording their strength for a big showdown. Oh, and I finally found something that a Mystic is actually useful for, I was helping whack some swamp ferals in the Lilly Pond and we discovered that a Mystic makes perfect feral-bait to lure the main pack of doggies north while we brave fighters lured them down one at a time and ambushed them.

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Ugh! (v113)

22 Autumn 536 (2/15/00)

I was helping Edomae and some other folks with a Snaggy rescue when we started hearing reports over the sunstone network that the Orga were staging another attack on the east gate. By the time we were able to find Sagramor, get him back on his feet, and make our way to the East Field the tide had turned, but I was able to help mop up a few hemlocks when we popped in on them from behind. The Snaggy is a good place to hunt for me right now, lots of zerks (my current favorite target), but I need to be with a reasonable sized party or the rages and furies will get me. As if Orga invasions weren't enough, I came out of the library the other day to discover that a butterfly invasion was in progress, and it seems that the silly things were dropping candy as well. Things got a bit confused, but I seem to recall that at one point I was fighting some really mean killer bloodthorns, they weren't as bad as the killer rats but I did vanquish a couple. Just about everybody was getting kissed by the 'flies, and then for some reason we all ran off to the south forest to try and share some beer with a drake. Needless to say the drake was a bit greedy and snarfed the whole keg, after which we had no choice but to bop it...

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No treats for Norm! (v115)

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When butterflies go bad. (v115)

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The thirsty drake. (v115)

34 Autumn 536 (2/18/00)

More time this week in the Snaggy, it's really not too bad with the excellent maps that have been published, as long as you don't pop into an area with too many shamans and locks waiting to burn and zap you, or run into one of those big red orgas. (When both of these happen at once things do get a bit exciting.) I'm getting to the point where rages are starting to whiff me, now if I can just get to the point where I don't whiff them we'll be in business. The Sun Stone Tuners Guild is starting to get into swing, Aki awarded the first official scholarship to Diotima this week; but I've also heard that raw sunstones remain very rare, and that the magic we use to operate the stones continues to change with each chaos storm. Prices for a new sunstone from Elendil continue to remain high, up between 2,500 to 3,000 coins, which is where they've been for some time. It would be really nice if someone could find an area where we could get the raw stones we need to put Elendil out of business and get the prices down a bit.

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Dio is awarded the first SSTG scholarship. (v115)

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Too many tree giants! (v115)

53 Autumn 536 (2/22/00)

There was another big invasion last week, this time from the sea; the Darshaks landed a large force on the north beach, they had pirates and undine and beer all in abundant supply. We managed to take back the north beach, but then I foolishly left the main force and went up to the far north beach, where the blades wore me down and finally knocked me out. And then yesterday it was back to the Snaggy again on another rescue, thank goodness Degu was along because we ran into a group of 'locks with fury support and mostly fell, but he managed to keep dodging back and forth, raised people one by one, then helped chain the overly bolted out of the area to heal. While we were getting ready to go back and get the 'locks I managed to check out the scenery, we were in "Bones" and there were several interesting looking features. Then on the way out I managed to get separated from the group for a space, let me tell you it was pretty scary, I was running about dodging zerks and getting flamed by shamans until I managed to find a familiar name on one of the trees and get back on track towards the exit.

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The gate in the "Bones" section of Snaggy. (v115)

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59 Autumn 536 (2/24/00)

The chaos storm blew through a bit early this week, although it didn't seem to bring much in the way of major changes. But before the storm arrived we had another visit by Zonk and his pets, the 'noids and black widows. There must have been a dozen BW's scattered all over the place, in town, east field, and the adjoining forests; not to mention dozens of 'noids of all colors. We had a big crowd in the town square at first, but as time went on our forces became separated and there were a number of smaller battles going on. It didn't help to have Zonk going around "touching" people (instant death), but I did see a couple of exiles score some hits on him. Finally he either ran out of 'noids or got tired of toying with us and went home to his tower, but it was a busy morning.

And speaking of 'noids, yesterday I went to help rescue Zaku in the tunnel leading to the deep cavern, and after wearing down a few stripes and bopping a couple blues we had everybody up, so we made a foray into the deep cavern, we were doing OK for a while but then things began to go bad and Vagile fell. After a number of more stripes (and the timely arrival of Axell and Tigger) we rescued her and again had everybody up back in the tunnel. So what happens? Vagile immediately steps back into the deep cavern by herself and promptly falls again! And this time we aren't so lucky, and most of us end up in a pile of fallen at the bottom of the gravel slope. You'd think that she would have more sense than that, but no! Now, my theory is that Vagile is just too tall for her own good (I've heard that she's almost 100 feet tall) and at that altitude she just isn't getting enough air to keep her big Zo brain working quite right.

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Stripes pay a visit to Puddle. (v115)

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Zonk takes an early morning stroll. (v115)

76 Autumn 536 (2/28/00)

We are getting closer and closer to the end of the year, and I am beginning to hear rumors that the current period of relative stability is coming to an end and some major changes are in the works; and some of the hints are of the "you're not going to like it" variety, although as usual the exact nature of the things we're "not going to like" remains unclear. Some changes will be improvements, they seem to be getting the election hall ready for use, and hope springs eternal that the brewery might start operation at some point (I'm now lugging around four barley, I really ought to sell some of them). With the long hours of darkness the hunting has been pretty good, although I've been getting chewed up by the swarms of large and small vermine that seem to be infesting the South Forest lately, they are worse than the occasional maha. And I ended up fallen in 'Noids yet again, but this time enough fighters and healers kept their feet to gain control and rescue us (especially Silky, who was doing real damage to the bugs). I'm now working on hunting for metal, Geraldus gave me one to rebuild my chain but now I'm fresh out, but I haven't found much but rocks in the passes. I did have more luck in the Tanglewood the other day, I found one of those orga drums in the meadow, but now I'm not sure what to do with it...

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Yet another 'noids disaster... (v117)

[Snapshot courtesy of Gareth]

89 Autumn 536 (3/2/00)

The shortest day of the year is only a couple of days away now, so we're not seeing much sunlight at all. I managed to close out the year with an early Solstice present, I finally found a lump of ore that contained some metal, my first since the War. Which is a good thing, since I also managed to break my latest chain on the first use, trying to drag some fallen to the meadow. There was a big crowd of zerks and warlocks outside the Orga Camp, along with a lot of smaller orgas, which pinned us in as soon as we entered, where the lightning bolts quickly wore us down. We'd kill as many as we could, then retreat back through the meadow, heal up, and do it again, and eventually we broke through and got the 'locks. Then, having a good sized group, we proceeded through Orga Camps 1 through 3 at a pretty good pace, there were lots of zerks and dv, no furies or even rages (must be hiding in Snaggy or something). And rats, tons and tons of rats, I don't think I've ever seen so many. Tara popped in to OC4 to check out what was inside and got hit with a bundle of bolts, but lucky for us she managed to step right back out again as she fell, and then Eyeball chained her out (she was well done and we were down to three healers at that point). It was a fun hunt, especially the part where we headed for the exit and a bunch of 'locks popped in suddenly behind us; I swear I outran at least three bolts on my way out.

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Crossing the stream in OC3. (v117)