This year the battles with the Orga settled in to a routine, with attacks on the Orga Camp every full moon in an attempt to learn the secrets of the hidden "power room." I finally managed to outduke the rage in the Third Circle test, thanks in large part to my practice during the raids. Landings were found on the small island just off the coast of Puddleby, usually called Fire Island. And the close of the year saw the Volympics, a massive sporting event sponsered by the Dwarven Militia.
Terrdi, 6 Winter 538 (5/31/00)
I was out of town for a few days, but now I'm back and here it is a new year and everything. My big goal for last year was to complete the third circle fighter test, but it seems that rages are not swinging quite so often as they used to, so you need to be able to hit them when their balance is a bit higher, which in turn means that beating that rage will have to be the big goal for this year instead. I've been hearing more rumors about other islands opening up for exploration, and also more rumors about more weapons being made available, so maybe I'll hold off on that shiny dagger for now... I've been trying to spend more time hunting in more dangerous areas, I made a trip to the Savana the other day and managed to do in a couple golden mahas, but when the first brown one showed up I had to beat a hasty retreat or be eaten. I've also spent some more time in 'Noids, they've had the decorators in and are redoing the wallpaper. I really need to work on my chain skills, I was trying to drag Hato out of the deep cavern and almost tied myself in knots instead, we had to wait until more help arrived to rescue him. Maybe that new trainer can help me improve my chaining skills.
Please don't startle the exiles! (v130)
Gradi, 19 Winter 538 (6/3/00)
After weeks of waiting I finally got to help fight a t'rool invasion, which seem to have become a regular feature these days; I guess that the t'rool'kin are just slow learners, and haven't yet noticed that they keep losing. I was in the second wave to arrive at the mirror, and after trying to whack a few blue and red t'rools solo I decided that falling was not a good idea and made for the beach path just south of the mirror. Olmy and I waited there a while for a healer to arrive, and finally we did get some reinforcements, but when we tried to fight our way out to rescue those near the mirror we were forced back by a wall of t'rools. Those of us who escaped circled back around through the beach to join a larger force north of the mirror, where we were doing well for a while until we tried to move south and more reds and blues showed up and broke our line, knocking out the healers and forcing the few of us still standing to retreat back to the Sylvan Scout. There we linked up with a strong party that had been trapped on 'Noth, and led by Urgelt and Babajaga we headed back south.
This time we were able to form a solid line and sweep down to the bridge south of the mirror, finally rescuing the fallen from the previous attempts. Gaining access to t'rool town took more time, the other side of the bridge was packed, but finally the bridgehead was expanded to the point where we could get a strong force in there and form a line, after which it was only a matter of time until the last red t'rool bit the dust. But then we barely had time to celebrate our victory before the darshak staged another landing in town, with their usual mix of necromancers, invaders and marauders, many of which are so hard to hit that it takes almost forever to wear them down; and at the same time there was a myr stomping about the east gate. I have to think that these attacks coming so close together are more than just coincidence, although it's hard to imagine that the t'rools and darshaks would have much in common, especially in light of Qual's claims to have stirred up the t'rools.
The final stages of the battle. (v130)
Wearing down the darshak. (v130)
Terrdi, 34 Winter 538 (6/7/00)
There continue to be more invasions by the t'rools and the Darshaks, which is confusing to us non-mystics because the the evidence we have suggests that the t'rools are in alliance with the 'noths, not the Darshaks. Yor of the SDC has reported that during one of the battles in T'rool Town Phiros interrupted a sar'noth and a vol'kin having a little conference, something to do with opening up more caverns, which I'm guessing has something to do with the t'rools trying to open some tunnels into Puddleby so they can invade directly. Qual has suggested that he doesn't have any dealing with the Darshaks, but given the continued seemingly coordinated offensives you have to wonder, after all Qual is a wizard and hence can't be trusted.
In the meantime I missed the latest t'rool invasion, but I was in for at least parts of a major Darshak invasion, it was touch and go battles in town for quite a while. I've decided that given the choice I'd rather fight the t'rools, the big Darshaks all seem to be at least fourth circle in their fighting ability, if not higher, with insane amounts of defence and damage skills. This point was brought home quite painfully when I tried to help out with an attempt to attack them near the Dark Temple, a few of us were able to form a defensive line between the trees using fallen comrades and skels as shields, but that didn't last long as more red shirts came up behind us and made quick work of us, leaving poor Snowdrop in the lurch; and eventually she got whacked as well, those red shirts can reach right over fallens sometimes. In the end I picked up depart number twenty and a determination not to visit Ash Island again in the near future.
How not to fight Darshaks. (v130)
Rieger's numerous fan club. (v130)
Soldi, 38 Winter 538 (6/8/00)
After weeks of suffering, the lag demons took a break today, so I decided to make yet another attempt at the third circle fighter test. For the first time Cerberal told me that I was now stronger than most who had passed (I always was a slow learner), and I quickly dispatched the vermines and zerk; then came the big surprise, the rage was whiffing me! Yes, hard as it is to believe, the rage seemed to have grown weaker rather than stronger! The only problem was that I was whiffing back with my axe, so I quickly switched to my longsword and had my second surprise, I could now hit the rage! Yes, hard as it is to believe, the longsword was actually useful! Not only was I able to dispatch the rage, I didn't even drop below half health.
But that's not all, it seems that the t'rool mines have been opened now, I spent a little time wandering around them a couple days ago, the parts I saw are quite extensive and sparsely populated with hob'kins, gob'kins, and the occasional dew. So far I don't know if there are more challenging areas down there, or if they lead to any place more interesting than dead ends, but I have to say that I'm not impressed with the quality of the work, t'rools are just awful at mining, and they've ruined what could have been a very nice system of caverns with their shoddy efforts. We really need some proper dwarf caverns somewhere in the area so that exiles can see what a real mine looks like, the copper mine is nice but it lacks the proper scale.
That's right, rub it in! (v132)
The rage bites the dust. (v132)
Relaxing after my efforts. (v132)
Gradi, 61 Winter 538 (6/13/00)
It seems like things have settled down a bit lately, although it's hard to tell with all of the library time I've been pulling the last couple of weeks. There may have been some more attacks from the t'rools or the Darshaks, but I haven't been directly involved in any, it seems mostly I spend my time out of town looking for obscure places to fall so that helpful mystics and healers can practice locating me. I have noticed a lot more colorful people about town lately, I guess skin tinting is the latest craze, and I've been hearing rumors that the tatoo shop may finally open as well, which should allow for even more spectacular effects. I did spend some time looking around in the t'rool mines, they aren't nearly as extensive as some people had suggested, although I did hear a rumor that some pathfinders found some one-way passages down there and got themselves into a pickle. That's the sort of half-baked cavern design you've got to expect from t'rools...
Seriously green people. (v132)
Gradi, 75 Winter 538 (6/17/00)
The rate of big invasions really does seem to have fallen off a bit, I haven't seen one for a while, and when I ask around about them nobody has any news of recent large-scale attacks. This gives me some time to reconsider my training schedule, now that I'm third circle I can take advantage of all of the third circle trainers...if there were any! So I guess I'm back to Ev and Reg, although I understand Vagile is offering "special" training for a modest fee. I'm also thinking about that Loovma guy, I've been going through chains pretty fast lately. I've been hunting the south forest a lot, with occasional trips to the Tanglewood and 'Noids, where we had a fun keg party the other day courtesy of Glaurung, who brought the beer. With the improved longsword I can finally hit striped 'noids more often than once a zodiac (up to twice a zodiac!), but I still have a bad habit of trying to fight more than one 'noid at a time.
Algy's new game. (v132)
Keg party in noids! (v132)
Merdi, 1 Spring 538 (6/21/00)
I got to tag along on an expedition to 'Noth Island the other day, led by the capable Natas. With Lonesome Dove along as healer and general pathfinder we got a chance to explore some of the extensive underground passages that lie beneath the island's surface, as well as taking a trip up to see the village and visit the castle, where our efforts to gain entry where futile. The caverns under 'Noth are extensive and have many interesting structural details, but they clearly aren't dwarf-built, I'm wondering if Qual forced the t'rools to dig them, or if they were there even before Qual arrived, they look pretty ancient. For the most part we avoided the usual 'Noth disaster, although it was a near thing at one point when six sar'noths popped out of a house at once and most of the party fell. Natas was able to make it out of the cave and into a tunnel with Lonesome and Jj'h, where he wore down the sars one at a time, regaining control of the area and enabling the healers to raise the rest of us. Many 'noths of various flavors were dispatched, and no sign of Qual was seen (thank goodness!).
Then just the other day we had a good old-fashioned mess in the Orga Camp, Leonin was fallen in OC2, so with Malkor's help we got a rod in and took the area, allowing us to chain Leonin out and back to town. Malkor was popping in and out of OC3 and telling us that the mystic paths had changed a bit, when suddenly there was a big spawn of 'locks and we were running for our lives. Most of us made it out, but Malkor went down in the first burst near the campfires, and then we had to wait for Leonin to come back from town to let us in again. After a number of failed attempts more healers arrived, the rod was reestablished, and Malkor was recovered, although the rats had been at him and we then had to chain him back to town.
I slaughter my first bolok. (v132)
They wouldn't let us in. (v132)
Terrdi, 14 Spring 538 (6/24/00)
There's been a bunch of rumors this week, I've talked to several people about a big raid on the deep Orga Camp that took place during the last full moon. Aki has posted reports that he sensed something strange going on in the Camp, and persuaded a lot of exiles to make the attempt to take over OC4. With such a big group they were able to get to OC3 without too much trouble, but getting in to OC4 is terribly hard, there are so many 'locks and they lurk a fair distance from the entrance, holding their bolts until a foolish fighter runs too far into the camp, at which point the 'locks let fly with a couple dozen bolts, all of which home in on the unfortunate target. When people start falling the rods break up to rescue them, and then...well, let's just say it's not pretty. I've also seen reports posted by Gurgi and Invid Jr. that there are passages beyond Alchemist's Folly that seem to be open on a full moon as well. Of course, first you have to get past the collapsing tunnel and the hordes of undine in the Folly, which requires careful timing and a good pathfinder.
The orga seem a bit riled up after their victory in the battle for OC4, I spent some more time with a middle-sized group trying to take control of OC2 and it was a bit of a disaster as well, the spawns in OC2 seemed pretty bad, lots of locks and some furies as well, which we were not set up to handle. I made the mistake of trying to lead a fury away from the entrance and got zapped by all the 'locks, then made the mistake of taking a nap and woke up even further in the camp, far from the entrance. Many brave exiles tried to gain a foothold, but by this time another half dozen furies had spawned and several of them went out to OC1, causing a great deal of trouble there. When it started to sound like OC1 would fall to the orga I departed (number 22, my own darn fault) and ran back to help out, by which time more exiles had arrived and we were able to retake OC1 and start chaining people out of OC2 before I had to head for the books.
'Locks get testy when they're whacked. (v134)
Terrdi, 28 Spring 538 (6/27/00)
I've been hearing more rumors about another attempt to take over the deep Orga Camp on the next full moon, which is coming up soon, just a few more days at the end of this week. The plan seems to be to establish control of the lower camps first, then make the assault on the deep camp while holding the escape route open so as to avoid a mass depart (knock on wood). I've been trying to get into orga-bashing shape by helping out on some smaller raids, with the usual mixed results, those furies still whack me back harder than I can whack them, so I'm thinking I should stick to clean-up duties in the lower numbered snells. I've also been continuing a bad run of luck with ore samples, I'm up to at least a dozen now without a hit, and ore continues to be hard to find, especially since there seem to be more wendies in the passes these days, which take a while to wade through before I can search for likely rocks.
How not to fight wendies. (v134)
Running the sunwyrm. (v134)
Merdi, 36 Spring 538 (6/29/00)
A few of us showed up a little early last weekend for the Full Moon party at the Orga Camp, and since there weren't a lot of us yet we decided to make a quick tour of the Snaggy, Yor wanted to check out the situation in the Bones snell. We were having a good time whacking the odd fury, rage and 'lock, when Kwet and I noticed that our clanmate Geraldus (who says he is not a wizard, by the way) had fallen to a lightning bolt. We guessed that this was back in OC1, so we headed back to rescue him. You can imagine our surprise when our small group of exiles popped in to the Camp and discovered ourselves surrounded by dozens of zerks, small orgas, and numerous 'locks; needless to say we didn't last long. It was as if the orgas had some hint that we were planning a major assault, and had taken steps to forstall our efforts. More and more exiles arrived to join the fray, and OC1 was swept clean allowing us to chain the worst bolt-stricken to town for healing.
I had to take a short break, but I later learned that a strong group of exiles then penetrated to OC3, only to be back-spawned and wiped out, with a particularly strong orga counterattack in OC2. I returned to try and help chain some exiles out of the entrance to OC2, and quickly added myself to the pile of fallen, there were at least a dozen 'locks and scads of furies, zerks, vermine and little nasty rats. Exiles coming in one or two at a time (like this dumb dwarf) might find the entrance empty, or they might find a fury and couple zerks standing between them and the exit, it was pure luck, and for the longest time there weren't enough strong healers to form a viable rod and gain a foothold. I was lucky enough to get chained out during one of the brief clear moments just before reinforcements arrived, so I was able to follow the first good rescue rod in and help take OC2 back. A group of us stayed there to hold it open while the rest went on to OC3 to rescue the long-fallen there.
Further attempts were made to get in to OC4, but by this time it was nearly midnight and our chances were fading. Nyssa and Malkor both reported that they sensed strong magical energy discharges in OC4 during the day of the full moon, so it's clear that the orga are working on some sort of dark moon magic, but we still don't know what they are attempting. A strategy does present itself, though; we should take over the OC before the next full moon, put large forces in all of the camps, and try to hold them against the megaspawns that have been happening at that point in the moon's phase. The problem is that this will take an awful lot of exiles and some serious organization to put into practice.
As far as I got in the Orga Camp... (v134)
Olie shops while fallen. (v134)
Gradi, 55 Spring 538 (7/4/00)
There have been more invasions lately, I've heard reports that the Darshak have been back in town, and the t'rools have been getting some help from the 'dews, which seem to have a talent for growing very quickly to really nasty proportions. And Yor has been telling people about some conversations with Votenkath, who seems to be a wizard of some sort who lives in that castle on 'Noth Isle, the same castle that Qual wants so badly. According to Votenkath he was on the island before Qual and the 'noths showed up, but he doesn't trust us, he wants us to figure out how to "separate" the 'noths before he'll even consider an alliance with the exiles. He also claims to be the one who made the mysterious energy barrier I've heard of (but never seen) in the tunnels underneath 'Noth.
Last week I had a chance to go to the Dark Chamber again as part of a rescue team, a small group had gotten swarmed and needed help, and lucky for them a strong group from 'Noth was able to come and lend a hand. The rescue squad was big enough to quickly clear the wraiths and faithless in the entrance, but then we discovered no less than three ghastly presences, which gave us a heck of a battle, since we needed to keep all three trapped to prevent them from running amuck among the healers; and then when the third one finally went down, another GP showed up, but being solo it was quickly surrounded and defeated.
Return to the Dark Chamber. (v134)
The battle with the ghastlies. (v134)
Terrdi, 63 Spring 538 (7/6/00)
There was another big assault on the Orga Camp last weekend on the full moon, with better results than last time. Due to some strange perturbations in my schedule I was there for almost the whole day, and a long day it was, too. The attack actually jumped off before the full moon, and was firmly established in OC3 by the time I got there, where I joined the "Junk Patrol" under the command of Yor that was in charge of keeping the entrance area in OC3 clear, mostly bashing little orgas with the occasional zerk or rat thrown in for variety. Every once in a while people would need to get in or out, and we would have to retake OC2, which would always have several 'locks in it. In the meantime the main assault team was trying to lure 'locks, zerks and furies out of OC4, a long and very slow process at best. By late in the afternoon the entrance to OC4 was reported to be thinning out a bit, so we made a push, and after a couple of tries we seemed to have a stable rod established and moved our forces in. But it was not to be, as the rods advanced deeper more bolts started targeting them, and healers started to fall, after which it was a choice of either retreating to OC3 or falling. We chained as many out as we could, healed up, and tried again, but we were never able to establish a firm rod and get everybody out, several people ended up departing, although there was no mass depart such as we've seen in past raids.
I wasn't able to stick it out to the very end, I was exhausted and in need of dinner, but according to detailed reports from Malkor and Aki there was a final push and suicide rush of the mystics to get to the entrance of the semi-legendary OC5. Mystics being mystics they fell pretty quick, but then the orga's magic seemed to turn against them and they went up in smoke, leaving the exiles in control of OC4...just seconds after midnight. Both Malkor and Aki reported strong magical activity in the deep camp just before midnight, so it is clear that something is going on in there, and that the orga are going to great lengths to keep us from finding out what it is. My feeling after this raid is that we just didn't have enough exiles there, we needed maybe half again as many to be able to have enough rods, we really need one or two reserve rods a short distance inside the entrance to OC4 so that we have something to retreat behind, rather than pulling back out to OC3. I also think that we need enough fighters to keep OC2 and OC1 clear as well, I spent some time in OC2 doing that and it was pretty easy to whack the 'locks one or two at a time as they appeared. Still, it went much better than the previous full moon, I really think we are making progress.
A little work for the Junk Patrol. (v134)
One of several retreats from OC4. (v134)
Sombdi, 80 Spring 538 (7/10/00)
It's been a busy couple of weeks, I've spent some time chasing orgas in the Orga Camp, chopping tree giants in the Breeding Ground, defending Puddleby from a Darshak invasion, and turning a great many lumps of ore into all but worthless stones. In fact, I've been going through so many stones these days that I'm amazed the Outpost isn't finished yet just from my contributions alone. And speaking of the Outpost, I was down near there to visit the new ThoomCare field hospital, the thoomish clan is planning to keep a healer on hand there as often as possible, which will make the deep South Forest a much safer place. And on the orga front, there's been some talk about another big raid on the Orga Camp on or before the full moon coming up next Soldi, the last full moon of the spring season, and the last one before an expected chaos storm rolls through; we'll just have to hope that the storm doesn't hit in the middle of the assault and send everybody back to the Temple.
The ThoomCare field hospital opens. (v134)
Fun with culcans. (v134)
Lundi, 89 Spring 538 (7/12/00)
There was yet another big raid on the Orga Camp during the full moon yesterday, and I managed to help for at least part of it (if you define "help" as "lying around fallen for large parts of the action"). A strong force was luring in OC3 all day, with smaller groups holding OC1 and OC2 open, and as evening fell it seemed as if they had pretty much reached steady state with respect to the spawn rate and we all moved up and in to OC4. The battle was chaotic and a bit desperate, but by being a little more cautious than in past attacks at least one rod was up at all times, allowing a hospital area to operate near the entrance. As the battle continued the rods moved slowly around the camp finding groups of 'locks and getting the fighters close enough to kill them. Finally, with midnight only minutes away, the last 'lock fell and OC4 was ours! While the healers raised the many fallen Malkor found and stepped in to the secret room that was the objective of the entire effort, but then when he came out he couldn't get back in, nor could the other mystics in the camp. As we were all standing around with puzzled expressions on our faces the stroke of midnight came, and a huge fire storm swept the camp, felling many of the exiles all over again and requiring yet more work from the now exhausted healers.
Even the best students of Master Mentus seemed confused by this turn of events; we had been attempting to gain access to the secret room for so long, and fought such a hard battle to get there, and now we had nothing to show for it. Malkor said that he had never felt a stronger magical power than in that room, but what the room is for and what the nature of the power might be are just as deep a mystery as before.
The rod at work. (v134)
Shortly before midnight, and... (v134)
Shortly after. (v134)
Fordi, 10 Summer 538 (7/15/00)
Nobody can complain that last week's chaos storm didn't blow in a ton of changes, new paths were quickly discovered in the North Forest leading to an extensive new area, in the middle of which is a deep and twisty cavern full of new species of bears not previously reported, lots of people have already spent considerable time hunting them for their valuable skins. Also in this area are lizards of various sizes, I guess Vagile let some of hers escape and now they are breeding, and now we know why she keeps licking those lizards, because if you try to whack them they are likely to sting you and you rapidly become intoxicated, your balance becomes reduced, and you start staggering around and mumbling. Prue managed to fall in an area that was jammed with these lizards, and when we tried to clear the rats and birds off her we rapidly because so drunk that we couldn't swing any more. After several attempts, much waiting for the effects to wear off, and the timely arrival of Kisa we managed to get everybody out, but then I had a terrible hangover the next day.
As if that weren't enough, a landing spot was discovered on a small island just off the coast from Puddle, with so many new areas that explorers are getting lost and can't be located for rescue. I made a couple of quick solo trips and found a desert, where I met a sand tiger for the first time in a while, and a forest, where I met a rage that was not happy to see me. This place really seems to require a group effort, I've heard reports of lava pools, mysterious towers, and dark caverns that are all extremely dangerous.
How not to fight lizards. (v137)
Terrdi, 22 Summer 538 (7/18/00)
Strange things have been going on in Puddle lately, for a couple weeks after the full moon it seems that orga shamans and 'locks had lost much of their power, and mystics have reported that the paths in the Orga Camp have become more confused. The obvious speculation is that our capture of the secret "Power Room" has somehow disrupted the orga's magic, judging from the flame burst we experienced the room certainly has some connection to fire magic. Several exiles are planning a return to the OC on the first full moon on summer, coming up in just a few more days, but the orga have been slowly regaining their power since the full moon and it won't be easy. In the meantime I've been on an expedition to Fire Island (or whatever it's called this week), we slogged through the maze of forests and made it to the east side of the island, where J'jh discovered that you could get out to sea pretty easy but that the currents prevented your return. She tried to come back alone and got trapped, in the meantime Bones and I were trying to drag Leogic's fallen body back to civilization, finally we got him out to sea and then had to make our way back through the forest again, but this time we had Axell with us and made it to the cavern where poor J'jh had been waiting for the longest time. I'm anxious to explore a bit more of the island, but shifting sandbars have blocked access for now.
Why kudzu is your friend. (v137)
Merdi, 44 Summer 538 (7/23/00)
Not much to report recently, except that the library is pretty boring. I heard second hand that the last full moon raid on the Orga Camp was a bust, it seems that the paths have become even more confusing and our intrepid mystics weren't able to sort them out, so they couldn't even get in to OC4, much less take it over. And since the big battle and flamefest on the previous full moon it's gotten harder to recruit a lot of exiles for the task. I'm not sure if anything is planned for the next full moon, I suppose I should ask Yor since he seems to keep on top of the lunar schedule. I've been hunting for ore quite a bit and finding nothing but stones, which means that the outpost is coming along quite nicely now, as well as spending a little time back in 'Noids and TGBG. Maybe next week I'll be able to excape the clutches of the lib a bit more...
Rats eating their own kind. (v137)
Back to the QC again. (v137)
Merdi, 51 Summer 538 (7/25/00)
I've been back on Fire Island again, the sandbars keep shifting about and I was able to make it ashore a few times. I am slowly starting to learn my way around parts of the island, but it's difficult with the many false or tangled paths, especially in the southern forest, and then there are several streams to the east that block your way. On one of these expeditions Axell and Tara were trying to rescue Mork, who had fallen inside the Wall; they were chasing about trying to kill all of the wendies, big panthers, and assorted demonic vermines, while I was trapped outside the Wall trying to avoid getting killed by yet more wendies. Eventually I managed to find my way around to the hole in the Wall (still one-way as far as I know) and run down to where Mork was severely mangled, arriving just in time to finish off the last wendie. Then one of the fire dudes showed up and started tossing giant fireballs (I wonder if he learned how to do that from Geraldus); my sword was ineffective, but Mork suggested using a taintless club, with which I was slowly chipping away at him while Axell and Tara rodded. Then a small group of dark verms suddenly jumped the healers from behind, and before we knew it we were scattered and running for our lives. I think Axell managed to zap out, but the rest of us had to get home the old-fashioned way...
Fighting the flame guy. (v137)
Shortly before depart #24. (v137)
Taking a short break from exploring. (v137)
Gradi, 63 Summer 538 (7/28/00)
It seems that recent attempts to take over the deep Orga Camp have met with failure, even our most subtle mystics are unable to penetrate the strong illusions that the orgas are using to confuse the path. I'm not even sure that they are still sensing the extreme concentrations of magic that were happening every full moon and orginally started the whole campaign, but I think that we can be pretty sure that whatever is going on in there the orga are still up to no good. Other interesting news is the discovery of navigable channels leading to several locations on Fire Island, allowing exiles to land on several different locations. I made my first visit after the recent Chaos Storm in a group led by the famous J-Team, and we found several of the paths on the island had changed, not that I had a firm grasp on the geography to start with. I also made my first visit to the Darshak Horde in a long time, there were several swordsman and a spy in there in addition to the usual countless marines and blades, and our first attempt met with disaster, but some rescue quick work by Perkusi and Thuja got enough people back up to turn the tide and take control of the area.
Lundi, 76 Summer 538 (7/31/00)
There have been recent reports by Khelek of strange doings on 'Noth Island, with massive battles involving Puddleby exiles, the 'noths, and the strange wizard Votenkath. Perhaps as a result of these struggles the illusions that have prevented us from reaching the shores of the island seem to be weakening, to the point that any exile can reach the southern or eastern landings. Of course once you get there you are likely to be greeted by several dozen hungry plankton or a big crowd of 'noths, I tagged along on a rescue the other day that involved quite a bit of searching for plankton victims, careful luring of 'noths, and some tricky encounters with big 'dews, but in the end we were able to rescue everybody. I've done a bit more exploring on Fire Island as well, large parts of that island seem to be pretty empty, but then you go into a small cave and suddenly find yourself fighting a lava walker. Oh, and stay out of the lava, it can be a bit painful if you try to do some lava walking of your own.
Battling the dreaded 'dew. (v139)
And why is that exactly? (v139)
Trout fishing in the South Forest. (v139)
Terrdi, 2 Autumn 538 (8/5/00)
I've been spending a fair amount of time chopping tree giants in the Breeding Grounds this week, it's usually pretty safe until a giant foxweir shows up with half a dozen vixens in tow and the tree giants block the exit well. Lucky for me it's pretty close to town, so it doesn't take long for the rescue to arrive. With the equinox just past it's now autumn, which means less sunlight and more beasties about. The last full moon of the summer is past now, I went to try and help a bit with the attack on the Orga Camp, but it didn't start out well, the old entrance to OC2 now leads back to the Tanglewood, and Malkor discovered the new entrance through a nearby tree the hard way, stepping in alone to be greeted by a death vermine. I managed to break a chain trying to get him out, and then he ended up departing anyway due to lightning damage and rats. We simply didn't have a big enough force to make much progress, and I wasn't able to stay and fight myself, I had some overdue library books that I needed to return. I think what needs to happen is that several of the larger clans need to organize a big group, the last time that we actually took OC4 on the full moon we had a lot of people there. And the next full moon is a double whammy, there's a chaos storm expected shortly before, who knows what might happen?
Not really very decisive, is it? (v139)
Fordi, 18 Autumn 538 (8/8/00)
I spent some fun time last week in the lily pond, with some help I can finally bash those cave mahas, although things do get a little exciting when three large sand wurms show up at once and try to join in the festivities. And it's much easier to get to than the Savannah, mucking through the south marsh for hours on end, getting your boots all damp, and getting nibbled on by leeches. This week the full moon is coming up again, perhaps this time more exiles will show up for the monthly Orga Camp raid and we'll be able to make some real progress. With enough exiles it becomes possible to hold the lower camps and give the mystics time to search for the path into OC4, where the mysterious power room is hidden. I've also been hearing some disturbing reports about Qual the Wizard, it seems that he has been forcing exiles to eat 'dews, which sounds really bad to me, I should think you'd want to depart rather than swallow one of those things; and there seems to be some concern about the long-term effects of the operation, I have heard that Sleipnir in particular is a bit upset about it, and he's been acting a bit strange lately, you have to wonder if he's been licking those lizards a little too much.
Greeted by the NNF "Hospitality T'rool." (v139)
Sombdi, 26 Autumn 538 (8/10/00)
I went up to the Orga Camp last full moon, but there weren't a lot of people there when I showed up, and we weren't even able to make a stand in OC2, there were too many 'locks in there and not enough healers to get a rod stable. We spent some time popping in and out, I chained a bunch of bolted folks out, we whacked some of the 'locks but the lightning kept flying, and then when Lori said she had to go we decided it was time to give up, she had been raising some exiles from near death and we figured we'd just start to accumulate bodies if we kept trying. I hadn't realized that there are now several entry points to OC2, only one of which seems to be "active" at any given time, the others just pop you back into the Tanglewood or lead right back to OC1; the "active" entrance changed several times while we were trying to lure. I'm guessing that the orga have done the same with the deeper paths beyond OC2, we're going to have to do a bit of exploring to find the way back to OC4, and I have to admit I'm a bit discouraged when we don't even get enough exiles to take over OC2. In the meantime another chaos storm blew through, I'm not sure what it brought with it, and I'm due for an extended stay in the library next week...
Shortly before slaughtering the swamp gas. (v139)
Terrdi, 51 Autumn 538 (8/16/00)
We actually had a pretty good turnout for the Orga Camp raid this month, I guess a bunch of people decided to try to explore the caves beyond Alchemist's Folly but were unable to find the entrance, so they came up to the OC instead. We lured from OC2 for a while, then a strong rod went in and we quickly swept away the 'locks. We then attempted the same trick with OC3, but it seems we weren't quite ready, the rod was split up into two groups on the west bank of the stream and got worn down, while those fighters who attempted to force the crossing were quickly bolted as well. We fell back to OC2 in some disarray, leaving a number of brave exiles fallen in OC3, and began the long process of trying to work our way back in. I was unable to stick it out to the end, but I gather from Malkor that a rescue was eventually made, and that he was able to find the entrance to OC4, but when J'nder went in to take a peek she met a whole boatload of bolts. Still, the fact that we were able to take OC2 and OC3 and actually find our way in to OC4 is better than we've done on past full moons, and Malkor was reporting the same signs of strong magic that he and other mystics have detected in the past. The multiple paths make the task harder, and it will be even more important to hold on to the lower camps while making the assault, but this is the first evidence I've seen in a while that we might be able to retake OC4 at some point in the future.
Waiting in OC1. (v141)
Lundi, 63 Autumn 538 (8/19/00)
I've been around for a couple of Darshak invasions this week, I'm not sure what they are trying to do but they have been landing in large numbers on the beaches and trying to move in to town. Lucky for us they haven't been sending their elite troops, blades and captains are the worst I have seen, although some of the captains have been equipped with chains and have been dragging fallen exiles to the pier, probably hoping to put them aboard ship and carry them off. But in both invasions I took part in the great strength and coordinated tactics of the exiles have overcome the vast numbers of thugs, sailors and marines; we even managed to capture some of the Darshak's beer in the process. In the meantime I've been collecting more stones, making occasional trips to the Lily Pond or Breeding Grounds with small groups, and I have even made a couple of solo trips down to the Savannah, as long as I can fight them one at a time I can now deal with the big mahas down there, although the cave mahas in the pond area are still too strong for me. My recent trips to the South Forest have been disappointing, there don't seem to be as many cats around as there used to be, maybe they have migrated somewhere else now that fall is well advanced and winter is approaching.
Pirates flambe. (v141)
Rescuing Axell for a change. (v141)
Gradi, 71 Autumn 538 (8/21/00)
The Puddleby Volympics opened this week, with a large mob of exiles crowding in to the Bard's Field to take part in the opening ceremonies. Excellent musical presentations were made by Rakshasa and Perkusi, and a couple of long speeches were made by Tarf and Math. This first Puddleby version of the traditional dwarfish games has taken an immense amount of organization, the Dwarven Militia has outdone themselves in putting it all together. My own Zouclougeist clan is considerably less organized, I learned only moments in to the festivities that Kojiro had signed up a team and wanted me to take part as a contestant rather than as a spectator. We quickly recruited Haenk to round out the team for the first event, the Drunkathalon, which involved drinking beer and staggering through the woods running in to trees (I've already got the latter part down pat). The race was a relay, and despite my blundering around Geotzou managed to pull in with an unofficial fourth place finish, not bad considering. More events will be taking place through the end of the year, with the final contests taking place after the new year arrives.
The opening ceremonies. (v141)
The opening "Beer!" yell. (v141)
Geotzou crosses the finish line. (v141)
Sombdi, 75 Autumn 538 (8/22/00)
There was more action in the Volympics this week, I managed to make it out of the library to see some of the contests as the Zoulympians took on the "Shuffledwarf" and "Killmystic" events. Led by Team Captain Kojiro, the Zous were able to turn in a decent time at the first event, which involved pulling dwarfs around and drinking beer. It looked really tricky, I'm glad I didn't have to do that one. Then I was the tag-team replacement for "Whack the Mystic", which involved drinking beer and chasing down Math, who was busy doing what mystics do best, falling over and over for the cause. We turned in a pretty good time, under two minutes, but there was a problem when Kamik failed to get a penalty beer before we did in the mystic, we explained the rules several times before we started but he is a Zo, after all. A good time was had by all, and much beer was drunk; the Volympics seem to be a tremendous success, with lots of exiles taking part, and everybody I've spoken to is enjoying them a great deal.
Kamik downs the third mug. (v141)
The mighty warriors beat up a mystic. (v141)
My next sojourn out of the library was during off time when no events were scheduled, so I was expecting to just take my usual stroll through the woods and maybe collect a few coins from small furry creatures; but as I was ambling across the South Forest I heard sunstone reports of a Darshak spy in town, and then reports of blades and captains at the west gate. The spy had obviously managed to report back that there weren't many exiles about, and the Darshak launched a big invasion, using beer barrels as barricades to keep us penned up. Again the elite Darshak forces were not in evidence, but far more disturbing was the fact that there were numerous orga fighting along with the pirates, and they were even stronger than the blades and captains; they seemed to be enslaved in some fashion by evil Darshak magic and caused quite a bit of trouble, especially when a group of pirates and orga slaves tried to flank us at the north gate while fresh forces landed on the beach. We fell back to town center pursued by the invaders, where a group of brave healers kept enough fighters standing to regain control.
While we were mopping up in the town center and north gate area exiles started falling to lightning bolts, the Darshak had brought not only orga slaves but 'locks as well, there were half a dozen or so bolt throwers outside the west gate now, and the pirates and slaves had been reinforced while we were engaged inside the town. It took several assaults and a bit of chaining to clear the gate again, but we finally managed to break through and clear the beach of 'locks and alcolytes. After that it was just a matter of chasing down the stragglers, until two warships were sighted off the shore and we all piled into boats to give battle on the high seas, where I quickly caught a rock and drifted off to rest for a bit. So in the end we won the battle, but the fact that the Darshak have started making use of the orga is very bad development, I'm worried that these "slaves" may not be simply captives, but that the orga chieftains have made an alliance with the Darshaks and are supplying them with troops and 'locks. The Darshak certainly seem more active lately, suggesting that they have gained new confidence from some source. I just hope we don't start seeing rages and furies fighting for the Darshak next time...
Serious action at the West Gate. (v141)
Why I'm not in the Puddleby Navy. (v141)
Soldi, 90 Autumn 538 (8/25/00)
It's been a strange week, the chaos storm that came through seems to have lasted much longer than usual, and some very peculiar things have been happening. At the moment things seem to have returned to normal, just in time for the end of the year, and everybody is trying to figure out if the events that we thought happened to us this past week were real or just a dream. During the week I was thrown in jail by Kahn St'ple on charges of banishment, I bought a cloak and dye job, I made a trip to the Abyss, the Zoulympians lost to Red Swill at pushball, and a new area was discovered on Thieve's Island that allows exiles to battle each other. My personal belief is that none of these events are real, they are just phantoms brought on by the unusually strong chaos surge, but when I talked to Tarf about rescheduling the pushball game he was quite annoyed and claimed that the result would stand, although everybody clearly knows that it couldn't have really happened at all. I just hope that there are no residual chaos currents that could disrupt the grand finale of the Volympics in a few days time, just after the new year arrives. All in all, the year is certainly going out with a bang!
Praying to the Sacred Tree. (v143)
Shortly before a (very) short visit to the Abyss. (v143)
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