Major discoveries were made this year, with the public discovery of the Dread Passage to the Orga Foothills, the crystal key that unlocks the Ethereal Plane, and the previously hidden entrance to Umbrion's domain. Battles with the orga continued to rage back and forth, with several attack by exiles on the Orga Camp and several assaults by the orga on Puddleby. And the quadrennial Festival of Fools came around again this year, and there was much rejoicing...
Gradi, 3 Winter 541 (2/18/01)
The new year has begun, and with it comes the conclusion of my art contest; there were several very nice entries at the last moment, all of which seem to share a similar theme having to do with the brewing arts and the important role that dwarfs play in local beer-related activities (mainly in the drinking department, I must admit). It was very difficult choice, but in the end I decided to give the nod to Sutai's playful rendition of a dwarf enjoying his favorite brew. While waiting for the end of the year I managed to get in a fair amount of tree-chopping, and I also made it up to the Orga Camp for the "full moon" raid once again; this time we tried to get organized beforehand, Veer (who is probably the town's smartest Zo) outlined a plan to the assembled troops, and we were divided into teams for the assault under the command of Yor and Kojiro. But our plans soon came to naught, we just didn't have the large number of healers required for an assault on the camps, and stalled out trying to get a foothold in OC3. The command team consulted and decided to call the attack off for the month; a disappointing result, but at least nobody had to depart.
"Beer Swilling Dwarf"
Grand Prize: 1,000 coins
"Beer, Competition and Wisdom for All: the Dwarven Militia"
Second Prize: 250 coins
Honorable Mention: 100 coins
"Dwarf of the Few"
Honorable Mention: 100 coins
Sombdi, 14 Winter 541 (2/21/01)
There has been quite a bit of discussion in town lately about how the clan Pogue Mahone is keeping secret the location of the "Dreadful Passage" that leads to the "Foothills" area. Gurgi is now fronting for a consortium of non-PM exiles who are also searching for this highly dangerous area, and is offering a substantial reward for information leading to the "Passage." I myself have taken part in only one expedition beyond Wisher's Gate, although I have been to the outside of the gate several times now; but on the basis of that one trip I can understand how hard it is to find anything in the Outback, it seems to consist of nothing but identical bits of woodland and the occasional big red orga. There are also rumors that something is up with Tenebrion, he seems to have developed an interest in music, which may be a good thing if it distracts him from messing about with Purgatory. And the "full moon" raid is coming around again, although I expect to miss this one due to some serious reading I need to get done in the library, where I am working on fixing up the clan scrolls.
The Pyramid of Thoughtful Flag-Waving Thooms. (v167)
Merdi, 26 Winter 541 (2/24/01)
Well not only did I not make it to the "full moon" raid this past month, I'm not even sure it took place, nobody has mentioned anything about it in the excitement over the discovery of the entrance to the "Dread Passage" that (rumor has it) leads beyond the Outback. I came out of the library the other day (where I had been working on the still-incomplete clan scrolls) to meet a large group of exiles in town; Axell told me that they had just returned from the Outback, where she had managed to stumble across the One True Tree with the long-sought path. Both Babajaga and Koric were in the exploration party and have given detailed reports on the expedition. All this exploration in orga lands seems to have stirred the one-eyed bandits up a bit, Axell also told me about a major counterattack last month that included "large death vermine," one of which I ran into myself while strolling across the east field on my way back to town from TGBG; they look like big death vermines, are harder to hit than striped noids, and hit like green noids; the one I met had no trouble dropping me in my tracks. I also got to see some in action during a rescue trip to the Snaggy, and I'm guessing that they can be found in large numbers in and beyond that "Dread Passage" place. And then just the other night I heard Qual on the sunstone net, it seemed as if he was drunk on fermented juice or something, since he kept making all sorts of bad puns; it was a very strange performance.
One down, two to go... (v167)
Sombdi, 42 Winter 541 (2/28/01)
This month has been "Norm vs the Undine," and I'm afraid I have to report that the home-town team didn't do so well. A few weeks ago I went up to the Dark Temple to help rescue J'nder and several other exiles who had fallen to a greater death, probably the most deadly of the undine and certainly the most annoying. The rescue party waited outside the Temple until the fallen signaled that the GD had retreated north, then a brave soul lured the big skull over to the side while the rest of us snuck past down the stairs to rescue a few unfortunates who had fallen on the lower levels. We quickly dispatched the various skels and faithless below and were just healing up the last of the fallens when the exile doing the luring suddenly fell to the GD, meaning it was loose between us and the exit, and soon after it came rampaging down the corridor dropping healers and fighters as it went. I managed to dodge down a flight of stairs, and when the GD followed I even made it back up the stairs and was heading full tilt towards the exit when the big bonehead popped up and chased me down. After that there was a long lonely wait in the corridor, but eventually the GD wandered off and the rescuers were able to reach us.
Then just the other day Elenis reported over the sunstone net that help was needed in the undine hut. I was nearby and rushed it to find him surrounded by corpse warriors, not the most deadly undine but still annoying in large numbers. I figured we would make short work of them and waded in, and managed to fight my way to Elenis before I noticed that more and more undine were now appearing, including some death furies, and I was now just as surrounded. More importantly, we had no healer support, and then to top it all off Elenis got pulled out to serve on a jury, forced to leave me fallen and alone in the hut, where I had an excellent view of hordes of hoodsies, warriors and wailers pouring up from below and out into the east field. After another long, lonely wait the undine forces in the fields were dispatched, and I was rescued, but when we tried to climb down the well to investigate the source of the incursion we found it so packed with undine that we couldn't even get in. After much pushing and shoving a few exiles managed to make it downstairs and someone was able to lure the undine up the well, where we had an old-fashioned undine bash. Once the entrance was clear we invaded the cavern, where we were met by a strong force including several super-death-furies, but in the more open space we could now spread out and surround our foe and the shambling monsters were soon dispatched.
The Battle of the Well. (v169)
Fordi, 55 Winter 541 (3/3/01)
If last month was "Undine Month," this one seems to be "Tenebrion Month." There have been a number of rumors about Tenebrion getting kidnapped by his brothers, which include the mysterious fire-wizard Umbrion, and a number of exiles have been exploring the Keep to see if any clues can be discovered as to what either or both of these powerful magicians is up to. Yor was showing people a large crystal shard that he produced by fitting together two smaller shards, but I haven't heard if any use has been found for the resulting crystal. A couple days later I joined a group of exiles that made their way up to the top level of Tenebrion's Keep, an expedition during which I spent most of my time lying there acting as a fallen brick. When we got to the top we found the room vacant except for some strange energy fields, but then while we were looking about we suddenly heard footsteps running down the stairs. After some more battles with undine on the way down (and more fallen bricking by yours truly) we arrived back at the courtyard and found one of the doors there open, leading down into the extensive basement area with an underground river, graveyard, and strange blue crystals (known to be an interest of Tenebrion). And just the other day I went back to the castle to try and help rescue some fallens, where we had to battle some guards wearing the colors of Umbrion in addition to the usual forces; then in the courtyard we found half a dozen or so lava walkers, which quickly fried me to a crisp. With some expert chaining the deep-fried fallen were pulled in to the safety of the study and everybody was raised.
Gurgi seems to enjoy the lightning. (v169)
What Tenebrion keeps in his basement. (v169)
Terdi, 67 Winter 541 (3/6/01)
Tenebrion and his Keep continues to be a big topic, I went to help with a rescue outside the Keep the other day and we were met with more of Umbrion's guards, some lava walkers, and some strange "fiery bubbles" that sort of float along slowly — until somebody bursts one, at which point they (and any other bubbles that might be nearby) go up in a big blast of flame, inflicting quite a bit of damage on anybody within range. My guess this that these bubbles are yet another weapon in Umbrion's arsenal, and that he has brought them to Tene's keep in a further attempt to keep us out. After the rescue Axell filled me in on what had happened earlier, she said that Yor had fitted together a complete set of crystal shards and that the resulting crystal turned out to be the key to the zodiac maze beneath the Keep. A large group of exiles made use of the crystal to reach the "Ethereal Plane," where Gurgi found a very powerful "ethereal sword" in a chest after helping to slay the sword's guardian. The crystal key itself is reported to have shattered at midnight, which would tend to support the rumor that the maze itself changes every day at that time, so later attempts to reach the EP will have to follow a new path (and hence require a new key).
Bubble of trouble. (v169)
Fordi, 76 Winter 541 (3/8/01)
Lots of library time this month, although I did make it out after the recent chaos storm to poke about a bit. The storm seems to have triggered a major earthquake in the East Forest area; to get to any of the passes you now have to travel the long way through the "New" East Forest, unless you are a pathfinder and can use one of the shortcuts. I went out to help on a rescue in the passes, and it took me so long to get there that I didn't arrive until everybody was already up; it's enough to make me want to study pathfinding. I have heard that the "ethereal sword" that Gurgi found has vanished in the same fashion as the crystal shards; I would theorize that it and the crystals are not stable in our plane of existence. The big question now is whether it is possible to obtain another complete set of shards, since the maze leading to the Ethereal Plane has indeed shifted and the path that was used last time no longer works. If the set can be assembled, then it is possible that another expedition could return with a sword, although there have been some recent rumors attributed to the mysterious entity known as "Jynx" that implies some sort of connection between the crystal shards, the ethereal sword, and the orbs (or "soulglasses") that caused such destruction during the Ripture War. I for one would be very reluctant to wield a sword that is so extremely powerful and seems to have no ill effects (although I must admit that it is unlikely that I will be forced to face such a temptation any time soon).
And then today I just got back from a quick tour of some new areas north-east of town that have opened up after the chaos storm, more beach areas along the north shore with wall-to-wall rockodiles, including many greater rockos, and more plains to the west of the old north-east plains, and beyond a tunnel underneath a tree in the new plains there is a fenced-in area full of small, quick-moving beasts that people were calling something like "cameopods." They move a bit like ferals that are wound up a bit too tight and they bite pretty hard, especially when they latch on to a healer, which seems to be what they prefer to do. I got to help with a rescue up there and we must have had to slay several dozen of these things, they spawn as fast as they move. I've been told that if you keep walking along the north beach you will eventually reach the "Fringe," but I haven't yet explored that far.
Sutai's art is now in place! (v171)
Hard to see and pack a wallop. (v171)
Soldi, 2 Spring 541 (3/12/01)
I managed to crawl out of the library for a trip to the Savannah the other day, where I promptly ran into a group of plains mahas and ended up flat on my back. Unfortunately I did this while the Dunsilar between Rising Claw and Wampyrii was in full swing, so I had plenty of time to contemplate my folly while the competition wound up and people had time to come down and rescue me. After the rescue Alch, Manx, Entil and I did a little snooping about in the caves beneath the Sav; Entil was pursuing some strange research to find out how quick she could fall (it took a while), no doubt inspired by the just-concluded Dunsilar, which was to see which mystic could fall to the largest number of beasts. I have also heard that there was a major orga invasion, I suspect that they are gathering strength because we haven't had a good raid on the deep Orga Camp for several months. Now that Spring is finally here perhaps we will be able to gather a more effective force and finally find a way to deal with the Magician's illusion shield.
One down, two to go... (v171)
Sombdi, 15 Spring 541 (3/15/01)
The first full moon of the spring is coming up tomorrow, and I'm wondering if there might be a bigger turnout this time for the Orga Camp raid than in past months, although Paramedic reported a rumor that the Pouges had staged their own "full moon" raid recently and were able to defeat the magician and obtain a stone for Aki, which sort of demolishes my theory that the increased orga activity was a result of our recent failure to prevent the magician from performing his (or her, as the case may be) evil rites. I've been practicing for the raid by getting chewed up by death vermine and well toasted by shamans, in between coin-gathering trips to the passes or savannah and one very brief trip to 'Noth Island. I have also finished preliminary work on the Zouclougeist Alliance clan scrolls, perhaps they will interest some of the newer exiles that I have been meeting around town lately in joining our clan and enjoying some of the many benefits of membership. My next project is reorganizing my bookshelf for the first time in a while, which is about a job and a half...
'Noids goes to the dogs. (v171)
(Well only one dog, actually.)
Soldi, 30 Spring 541 (3/19/01)
I came out of the library a little late for the "full moon" raid this past month, but several exiles have told me that the raid wasn't able to take over OC4 and dispose of the magician. On the other hand, there have been several attacks on the Orga Village, including a number of successful rescues of unfortunate exiles who have been sent there by orga zealots during Snaggy or Outback raids. Speaking of which, I heard that a recent attack on the "Dreadful Passage" was thrown back because the orga have developed a new form of "bouncing lightning" that makes it impossible to rod. I was told this as I was tagging along on a Dark Temple rescue, a big group was in the Astral Plane trying to attack the Abyss and a few of us were outside, trying to get in to join them, when what should we meet but a Darshak liche. I tried to trap it on the wall but discovered to my chagrin that the liche can hit you right over the wall, lucky for me Gurgi happened by and was able to clear the junk away so that Haenk could rescue us. We then surrounded and bashed that liche and a second we ran into in the red path room, at which point the exiles in the Astral began falling to a greater death. We cautiously advanced through the Dark Temple, and near the entrance to the Plane we met exiles coming out, who told us that the GD had been lured into the Abyss, so all that was left was raising the fallen (of which there were many).
The liche gets a bad headache. (v171)
Triage in the Astral Plane. (v171)
Gradi, 39 Spring 541 (3/21/01)
Something big is going on over at Tenebrion's Keep the last few days, Umbrion seems to have taken over the place and it is now completely crawling with his guards, lava walkers, and fire ants, not to mention tons of bubbles wandering around the island. I tried to go up yesterday to help rescue, but quickly got chewed up by the ants and fried by fireballs from the walkers; then by the time we got a ton of healer support I had to go back to the library. And today Elenis was trying to organize a rescue, we would dash in, grab somebody with a chain, and run out again, usually losing an exile or two in the process. Because most of those we dragged out were near death due to the vultures and multiple fire bursts they had to be relayed back to town, with Olmy serving as the locomotive. We managed to get a number of folks out before I had to head back to the library again. I must admit that I was having enough trouble just with the guards and ants, but I was told that there were also fire ant queens that bite like large sand wurms, and that the captain of Umbrion's guard was there as well and is so skilled in defense that nobody could touch him. At the moment most people fallen near the keep have either departed or are waiting for the expected chaos storm to sweep through, but even if that happens we will probably still have to deal with Umbrion somehow or other, or he will be taking up permanent residence at the Keep.
Here come the bubbles! (v171)
Terrdi, 47 Spring 541 (3/23/01)
Shortly after the Chaos Storm this week I got a brief sunstone message from Robin Greyhawk that something new had been discovered; it seems that with his substantial training in some mystic trainer or other he was now able to penetrate the illusion shields around a nearby island. Word quickly spread, and a large group of exiles was soon rowing around the island looking for a place to land; I saw a big dark castle near the shore with many guards, but the coast was too rocky or the surf was too high to land. Following the others I was led to a small bay on the west side of the island, where we were able to see several large beetles running about on the beach, beetles that bit like large sand wurms and had the fastest health regeneration I've ever seen, we had to surround and pound like crazy to wear them down. Several pathfinders discovered paths leading off the beach and were promptly felled by a variety of nasty critters; soon the whole group had pushed their way off the beach, only to discover that there was no way back and that there was a continuous spawn of valley panthers and strange cat-creatures, not to mention more beetles. We wandered about a bit, but before I got very far I was stricken with a sudden fainting spell and had to be left behind; when I finally awoke the panthers made short work of me and I had to get home via Purgatory, which is what everybody else had to do as well in the end, since they still hadn't found the exit. Rumors have it that the castle I saw is Umbrion's, and he is supposed to be quite annoyed that we Puddlebians have found his home island.
Then this week I finally made it up to the "full moon" raid, which went surprisingly well, I got there a bit late but a quick backtrack by the troops brought us up to OC3, where we made several assaults into OC4 and finished off a really nasty fury before reaching the "pit" and setting up stable rods. I helped to keep the backspawns under control so I didn't actually see the magician myself, but the trick of waiting for the magician and not killing the 'locks in the pit worked real well, and Zorton was able to enter the "power room" and obtain a strange stone, which I guess makes him even more mystical than he was before. Of course, what would a FMOCR be without falling in OC2 on the way out, which I managed to do (next time I'll have to remember to run away from the 'locks), but some brave rodders and chainers managed to pull me out and we then stomped out the orgas and rescued the fallens. A good time was had by all...
Victory is ours! (v173)
Lundi, 73 Spring 541 (3/29/01)
Even more library time, I'm really racking up those study hours, although I haven't been in long enough to run into the limit that a "friend" of Ippon's recently found, if you do nothing but study you eventually reach a point where you no longer gain any benefit from more library time. I'm making it out at least often enough to avoid that fate, if only to run to the Lily Pond whack some doggies. But that doesn't mean that other exiles haven't been busy, I have been told by several people that an expedition to the Dreadful Passage was able to reach the "foothills" that lie beyond, where they discovered lots of big wendies and a serious need for shovels due to the constant rockfalls (sounds like a job for Sleipy). There are rumors about an underground library beyond the foothills that is near to an orga city of some kind, the whole thing sounds very dangerous. And then I have heard that the attack on the Orga Camp this full moon just past did not end well, the group was doing fine up until the very end when tried to advance a little too fast, only to get cut up by a death vermine spawn right at the feet of the magician.
Gradi, 88 Spring 541 (4/2/01)
I think I've been spending too much time in the library, I had the strangest dream that there was a ripture in town that led to a peculiar world with many unusual areas to explore, areas that were unlike any I have seen before and yet seemed vaguely familiar in some way. Some of the places were pretty safe, with only the occasional fierce beast to whack, while others were positively dangerous, with highly advanced technology or extremely large rodents. My favorite was a magical land full of knights and other silly persons, but I was unable to visit it as often as I would have liked due to a severe shortage of coconuts (or was it swallows, I'm not sure). I spent a lot of time hunting sand wurms in a vast desert area, and also a lot of time trying to rescue foolish healers who ventured into a really weird candy land with psychotic little savages who seemed to have a thing for sneaking up behind people with moonstones. For a while I was able to send people back to town with my chain, which was a lot of fun, but eventually it seemed that they would end up in jail instead so we had to rescue folks the old-fashioned way. The whole thing makes you wonder what they've been putting in the beer lately...
Here we go again... (v173)
Yet more strange fruit. (v173)
I'm guessing this was a "clown witch." (v173)
The miracle pill does its stuff. (v173)
Yo ho ho! (v173)
A shrubbery! (v173)
Trust the force, Luke! (v173)
Merdi, 14 Summer 541 (4/6/01)
Now that Summer is here and the most recent chaos storm has settled in things seem to be returning to normal. The gift shop is open in town now, actually I'm not sure when it opened, but most of the stuff in there is pretty expensive, especially the jewelry. I have been mostly out of the loop this month, I didn't even hear if there was an attempt at a "full moon" raid last week, but I have heard rumors that there have been exploration attempts on that island that has Umbrion's castle on it which nobody can agree on a name for; the trick is you have to take some wood or some barrels or something with you in order to escape, which has certainly driven up the price of logs! And I was saddened to hear that Slyph has left the island, I'm not up on the details but a number of exiles are upset about it, Manx in particular is taking it very hard and has felled herself with dark berries, she's was just lying there on Mai's lawn having a near-death experience. I've been doing a bit of hunting, but it's getting to the point where I need to move on to bigger and better things, which at this point probably means I need to start making trips to 'Noth Island a bit more often than I have managed so far.
More strangeness... (v173)
Sombdi, 30 Summer 541 (4/10/01)
Good news this week, Manx told me that Slyph has returned to Puddle, it seems she missed us all so much (well, missed some of us I guess, I don't think I can take much credit there) that she decided to come back despite her recent troubles. I've also been hearing rumors that a group of strong exiles made another expedition to the Foothills, but I haven't heard if they found anything new way out there. I have been spending a bit of time in 'Noids, some of it sliding down the gravel due to the fact that green 'noids can still bite me pretty hard, a fact that I seem unable to keep in mind when there are nice juicy stripes waiting to be squashed. I've also been spending a lot of time running back and forth between the East Forest and the Savannah, I'm really starting to get tired of that marsh and think that we should just drain the whole thing, but I suspect that the Sentinel won't allow it due to some silly Imperial law about wetlands protection. To top it all off, I was in the Lily Pond the other day and broke two chains in two consecutive attempts to drag poor Jive out of harms way, I suggested that he might want to consider a diet or exercise plan of some sort but he did not seem taken with the idea; I guess I'll just have to be more careful about chaining Zos in the future...
Fire drake in the Sav. (v175)
Gradi, 47 Summer 541 (4/14/01)
Hard to believe that the summer is already halfway over, but here we are in the second moon of the season. Speaking of moons, I came out of the library right in the middle of the day of the full moon last week, but hardly any other exiles were out of the library; I went up to the Orga Camp anyway, and Tater and Sagramor joined me, but all we saw were a couple of rages and a lot of shamans, needless to say with just the three of us we did not make it to OC4. And then just a couple days later I came out of the library and several exiles told me that I had just missed a major orga invasion of town, I guess we beat them without too much trouble (and without me as well), I made it to the OC just in time to see everybody leave; I think there is some sort of link between our failure to mount an OC4 raid and the orga's ability to mount an attack on town, but it's hard to keep track of these sorts of things. And then just the other day I was taking a stroll in the TGBG when who should come over the sunstone network but Tenebrion, he was trying to sound annoyed about exiles attacking his castle while he was away, it seems that now he's back from conferring with his brothers. I would have liked to find out what he planned to do about it, but I had to go repair another broken chain and he didn't seem in a hurry about coming to the point...
Paying the chain tax. (v175)
Merdi, 63 Summer 541 (4/18/01)
There's another big expedition to the foothills going on, Koric and Lundar have been reporting on events, most of which seem to involve rocks of various sizes and the skinning of large hairy monkeys. Some day I'd like to go on an expedition to see the strange rock formations, but at the moment the time investment is more than I can afford. I have heard that there are raids on Umbrion's island upcoming, maybe I can go on one of those, I already have some logs saved up, all I need now is the barrel and a willingness to depart. I have been spending more time in the Rocky Cavern these days, in addition to making a trip to the Savannah where Lorikeet and I did the ore-and-kitties tour, and then another trip to the t'rool mines with clanmates Robin Greyhawk and Freyja in order to search for secret passages. I was careful to point out to them the many shoddy mining practices of the 'kin, it's actually painful to see what a poor job they do, any half dozen drunken dwarfs could have done a much better job. And of course there is a chaos storm expected, and the full moon soon after (which I expect to miss this time around), never a dull moment in Puddle these days...
Using my Rank Whore™ cloak. (v175)
Fordi, 71 Summer 541 (4/20/01)
The chaos storm has swept all of the exiles back from the foothills, where much money was made and many beasts were bopped but no progress seems to have been achieved towards discovering the hidden library that Katpus spoke of. As far as I know there was no assault on the Orga Camp this past full moon, but Nyssa is trying to drum up support for the coming month, which happens at a time when more people might be able to make it. And despite the failure to attack the OC there has not been a major orga invasion, which sort of shoots down my theory about the orga using the forces gathered for the full moon battle to attack us in town if we don't make the attempt. On the other hand, we did have some new merchants come to town just after the storm, they were offering instruction in how to extract teeth from myrms, arachnes and 'noids (actually the merchants call them "mandibles," which I guess is the High Sylvan term for "bug's teeth"). Dentir Longtooth has now taken up residence in one of the East Farm huts, where he is offering training for all who are interested; I am going to wait on this since I don't hunt myrms any more and even 'noids are less of a challenge than I really need; besides, you can sometimes extract a usable "mandible" (and get paid a few coins) even without the training.
Adventures in dentistry! (v177)
Cleanup time in the Rocky Cavern. (v177)
Lundi, 88 Summer 541 (4/24/01)
Yes, the summer is drawing to a close, the days are getting longer, and the full moon is coming up in another week or so, although I'm not sure I will be able to make it due to commitments in the library this time around. I've been making the usual rounds recently and hoping that I'll get a chance to take part in one of the larger expeditions some time, Haenk told me that he went on a very successful expedition to that new island with the castle on it that nobody much likes the name of, although I have heard that the most recent trip to the Foothills didn't work out as well, the population of large monkeys seems to have dropped quite a bit and the total amount of coins and experience was much less than before. I guess I really don't really need the money, it's not like I'm planning to buy some genuine maha-hide clothing any time soon, but the earlier trips did sound like a lot of fun, and now I'm not sure if they will keep going so that I will get another chance to go. Then the other day I saw a really strange trial, some Fen' named Lion-o sued Tara for healing some annoying snert or other (I'm not even sure which one), which seemed pretty foolish since Tara is one of the more popular healers and certainly should be able to decide for herself who she heals (or doesn't, as the case may be). I don't think anybody was surprised at the result of the trial, I just hope nobody sues me for whacking beasties...
The wheels of justice. (v177)
Gradi, 6 Autumn 541 (4/26/01)
The Zouclougeist Alliance had our semi-regular unofficial clan hunt the other day, we went to Ash Island in search of a challenge, spent some time in the Dark Chamber whacking the blue cloaks, then headed for the main Dark Temple to take out a couple of liches that were in the foyer. Afrit showed us how to trap the things in the corner and wait for them to swing, then swoop in and bash them while they regain their balance. We took care of two of the boneheads this way, so we were feeling pretty strong and decided to make a quick trip to the Astral Plane, but some of us decided to go the hard way through the "red path" room and Rieger stumbled off the path and ended up in the soup, as did several other brave clanmates who rushed in to try and rescue him. After much debate Afrit and I were able to enter without hitting the lava and clear the room; we fished Rieger out of the pool and Afrit attempted to chain him out for healing, only to be trapped by yet another liche in the treasure room. When the liche came in after me I beat a hasty retreat, threw a chain over Rieger and Afrit, and was running towards the exit on low health when we ran into Klur and some strong fighters. With his help we killed the third liche, allowing more healers to get in and rescue the folks in the pool.
I missed the "full moon" raid this month, and from what I hear I missed more than a battle with the orga. I came out of the library the day after to discover that I had just missed a major invasion of town by the orga, there was still the odd 'lock wandering around near Puddle, so I hotfooted to the OC to meet a group just coming out chaining a number of well-done exiles. Achates told me that Malkor had gotten a stone, which was a surprise to me since Malkor had one earlier (I think it broke or something) and I knew that Nyssa had been asking for help so that she could get one. But now it turns out that Nyssa has left (or been kicked off) the Mystic Council (I'm not sure which), and that she and Malkor had a bit of an argument about who would get the stone before and after the orga magician bit the dust. I gather that there was some pushing and shoving in the power room, and when they came out Malkor was in possession (being a light-fingered Spriggin has it's advantages, I suppose). I'm sure that this is not the last we're going to hear about this one, and it also drives the last nail into my theory about orga counterattacks after failed OC raids.
We prepare to attack. (v177)
Finishing off the second liche. (v177)
Bad troubles in the Lava Room. (v177)
Fordi, 30 Autumn 541 (5/2/01)
Well, another extended visit to the library without much chance to do anything interesting, I can't even remember most of the stuff I have been doing on my short trips out of the stacks. I seem to recall going to the Sav at least once, and the Dark Chamber, but beyond that...well, I did go no 'Noth Island once, we were doing pretty well until we got ambushed by a group of palidews while we were whiffing a xar'noth, I tried to follow Veer as he retreated but got lost and ran straight into the arms (or whatever it is they have) of another xar'noth. Natually with my dwarfish luck I did this in the most obscure and least visited corner of the 'Nothian wilderness, so I have plenty of time to commune with the rats while the rest of the party trapped a big pile of nasties in the town in order to allow Veer to make a chain run and pull me to safety. I also heard that there was another big t'rool-and-'dew invasion of town, and Achates was showing me the spore that is embedded in his neck as a result of being 'dewed by Qual (I didn't examine it too closely, it looked icky). Perhaps the expected chaos storm will blow some new stuff, and there's always the "full moon" raid, I'm hoping to see at least part of that this month.
Trapping 'dews and 'noths at the East Gate. (v177)
Fordi, 51 Autumn 541 (5/7/01)
I heard that Raldin managed to get a mystery stone last month during the "full moon" raid, it seems that we are getting better at these as our rods improve and most people who show up know how they work. I have also heard that the 'noths are getting much tougher to fight, my theory is that the spores people have implanted via Qual's dewing are siphoning off exile energy and providing more "juice" for the 'noths. Rumors are going around that only humans, sylvans and people are getting dewed, and at the moment I don't know of any counter-examples and I'm not anxious to test the theory by personal experiment. Finally, there have been reports that there was a major Darshak invasion sponsored by our good buddy Umbrion, and in the course of it several exiles used mirrors (!) to enter his castle and do some snooping around. It doesn't seem too great a leap to wonder if that mirror in the South Forest was left there by Tenebrion, Umbrion, or one of their siblings, and that the "castle" we used to be able to enter with the hall of mirrors is located on one of the nearby islands.
Time to get more Skea (Part 1). (v179)
Time to get more Skea (Part 2). (v179)
Merdi, 64 Autumn 541 (5/10/01)
I came out of the library around noon on the just past "full moon" day and headed up to the Orga Camp, where I was met by a couple of locks and a lonely rage. Later in town Sutai told me that not enough people showed up to make the raid worthwhile, so those who did decided not to attempt it. I've been hunting in the usual places lately, some of the Zous went to the Breeding Grounds just last week and did in a number of oak giants (with a little help from our friends). Fellow Zou and long-range healer Rieger showed me his new ledger, he is now offering training in distance healing to qualified applicants. This comes in handy, although at one point he was standing way down the tunnel while we whacked at a tree and got trapped on the wrong side when we had to bail, there's something to be said for standing close to the exit. I've been hunting swamp ferals a lot, there seems to be a lot of them these days, as well as the occasional trip to the Dark Chamber or Rocky Cavern. I missed the big Darshak invasion, according to reports they are getting better weapons from someplace; my guess is that it's from Umbrion, who seems to be in alliance with the pirates and is building ships for them near his castle.
How to rescue the Dark Chamber. (v179)
How not to fight hoodsies. (v179)
Terrdi, 84 Autumn 541 (5/15/01)
I suddenly noticed how late in the year it was getting, here's another solstice coming up next week, right after the full moon. I haven't heard of any more darshak invasions, but I did tag along when Kojiro was organizing an expedition to rescue Yor from Umbrion's castle, it seems that Yor had touched an altar somewhere inside the castle and was trapped, even when he departed he ended up right back in the castle. We rowed our boats around the island, dispatching a couple of megamouths and sinking a darshak warship off the east coast before reaching the castle, where Yor came out to greet us from atop the wall. With a bit of effort he managed to fall to one of the guards, and Koj tossed a chain over the wall, hooked Yor, and dragged him out to safety. I don't have to tell you that the first thing Yor did on arriving back in town was to visit the altar in the Temple. I'm still waiting for a chance to visit Umbrion's country, it's a big place and very dangerous, so I need to hook up with a large expedition. In the meantime I have been whacking a lot of wyrms, and in particular blood wyrms, there seem to be more of them around these days, as well as the usual swamp ferals and cave mahas. My resolution for the new year is going to be to pass that fourth circle test, I'm getting closer every zodiac but still need a bit more work on not falling to that big red orga.
A whole lot of pirates... (v179)
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