A year of personal milestones, as I finally managed to pass the Fourth Circle test and also acquired a training ledger for the art of Regaining Balance. There were continued negociations with Tenebrion and Umbrion, who tried to acquire a number of the teleportation stones and suggested that we take ether readings around Puddleby Island in order to help them understand the "ether leak" problem. There were numerous expeditions to Umbrion's island this year, and some exiles came back strangely transformed by the experience. And a strange little halfling-eating drake named Gerag made a brief appearance.
Lundi, 10 Winter 543 (8/15/01)
Well, the new year is here and the nights are long, which means that there are many small furry creatures to skin. This is a good thing, since I've gone through no less than three chains in the past moon, and I have had some other extra expenses as well. Wormtongue had talked Musea into letting him auction off a spot in the museum, and my clan decided to bid on it so that we would have a location to share some of our clan relics with the general population (we have an extensive collection of items related to the Emperor Duck, the semi-legendary founder of our clan). I pitched in some of my own funds, but it wasn't enough, as some other party came in and outbid us for the spot. Oh well, maybe next time...
And then there was a really strange event the other day, I was hunting in the lily pond when there were sunstone reports of the bears pouring out of their cave in the Northwest Forest, the fields were reported to be thick with them, and there were reports of underground rumbling and earthquakes in the area. After clearing out the bears several brave exiles ventured in to the cave, which they found to be strangely deserted; then, in one of the caverns they discovered a small upwelling of lava that was hissing and smoking like anything. I got to the chamber just in time to see Icy dump a barrel of water into the pool, which seemed to cool it down and seal up the vent; shortly after the bears and snakes started reappearing, and the show seemed to be over. This may seem a bit more mundane than clouds of ether or Darshak invasions, but I seem to recall similar eruptions taking place even closer to town in the past, and with all the tunneling under the town I'm worried we will open up a vent there as well.
And finally I tagged along with a group going to help with a rescue at Hatred Hollow, poor Achates had gotten himself both bolted and squished and needed some Horus expertise. There were only a couple of the big reds still standing when I arrived, and we managed to wall one up with kudzu, but the other was giving us a devil of a time and soon after some orga reinforcements showed up, forcing us to abandon the attempt to pass through the Hollow. It looks like the sort of thing that requires a lot of coordination during the 'zuing operation, not something that I'm very good at, I'm afraid, although I did manage to chain a few people out during one of our numerous retreats.
Chilling out in NBC. (v193)
Trying to 'zu the hatred. (v193)
Sombdi, 22 Winter 543 (8/18/01)
In what turned out to be a rather expensive lesson for all concerned, I joined up with an expedition to the Ethereal Plane the other day in an attempt to rescue Thuja, Yor, Babajaga and some other exiles who had come to grief there and didn't want to depart due to the dire warnings we have been getting from Tenebrion about ethereal leakage into Purgatory. The rescue team was a pretty big one, with a bunch of healers and fighters, and after a couple of false starts we made our way through the zodiac maze beneath T's keep and prepared to assault the EP itself. The initial rush seemed to go pretty well at first, but then we noticed that several exiles hadn't made it in, including several strong healers and Gurgi. We were able to dispose of the junk monsters inside the skull circle, but we didn't have enough fighting or healing power for the "sword guardian," which quickly felled me with a single blow. Even if we had been able to trap the guardian behind a wall of fallen there was an astral drake firing lightning at us from complete safety outside the circle, so I suspect that we wouldn't have held out long. Gurgi quickly organized a rescue for the rescue, and after making their way through the maze for a second time they arrived, but despite the strong fighters and healers in the group they didn't have a lot of people now, and although Gurgi, backed up by Yazza and Gandor, was able to fight the guardian, he had no other fighters left to clear out the junk and protect the healers while he wore the guardian down. Despite this they were making progress when there was a big spawn of death furies, followed by an even bigger spawn of banshees, and that pretty much ended it, although Yazza made a brave stand inside a circle of fallen. With great reluctance we departed the Plane, bringing with us some weak ether clouds which were quickly cleared from Purgatory. So what have I learned? Well, you need a large group to hope to be able to enter the EP through the maze, and you need several strong exiles in case somebody doesn't make the jump; you need lots of fighters to protect the healers from the lesser undine; and you really shouldn't be trying to get in that way in the first place. I have learned my lesson (and earned depart number 33), I just hope that some of the other exiles have too...
We make our way through the maze. (v193)
Trying to rescue the rescue. (v193)
(Note the sword guardian chasing Ippon.)
Terrdi, 34 Winter 543 (8/21/01)
The big news in town this week was Refareus offering a new potion to the winner of a series of contests which he staged over the course of a day or so. I've met Refareus a few times before, he seems to enjoy sponsoring races and other games, usually rewarding the winner with a prize of some sort (a chain or something along those lines), but this time he was offering a "potion of energy." I missed the first few games myself, but I did manage to show up for the last event, a hide-and-seek for Waza in town. At this point Achates was leading Alchemist by a few points from the previous events, so Alch needed to score in the last game to overtake him, but it was Gandor who found the the zo hiding in a back room of the healer's hall. Achates lost no time in taking the new potion to the alchemy lab, and I have heard that Coriakin quickly learned the lessons required to make one (it requires a myrm egg, a bird feather, and the usual bottle of water, and it seems that any profession is able to mix one). At the moment I don't know what the potion actually does; there were reports that it might make you run faster which have since been questioned, and other reports that it might restore depleted energy (which would be very useful to mystics, I suppose, if I can use the word "useful" and the word "mystic" in the same sentence). Still, having more potions available is a good thing in my book, and my impression is that everybody had a good time getting this one (and we didn't have to pay thousands of coins to get it).
Achates gets his reward. (v193)
The potion is deconstructed. (v193)
Fordi, 63 Winter 543 (8/28/01)
I was in the library for most of the past moon, so I'm not as up to date as I usually am on current events (not saying much, I know), but as far as I'm aware there haven't been any major developments lately, most people seem to be taking the winter pretty easy. At one point there were four sun wyrms in the Rocky Cavern, which seems a bit much, and I've heard rumors that the orga attempted an attack on the town again; and then the other day I was bopping around the South Forest skinning the small defenseless creatures, when I saw some sunstone reports about heavy bolt action in the Orga Camp. Making my way through the Tanglewood I found a group of exiles attempting to deal with an unknown but large number of 'locks that were camped out somewhere inside. The usual rod-and-lure tactics didn't seem to be working, the 'locks were staying put and concentrating on tossing bolts, and when a couple of exiles stepped in through the front door and fell we tried to chain them out. My first attempt to help didn't work out well, there wasn't much junk so I strolled over and carefully looped my chain around Kojiro, only then noticing that I was on low red with another dozen bolts headed my way. I was pulled out myself a few minutes later, and the mob of healers (including the invaluable Lorikeet) were able to get me up again; then by using careful timing I was able to help drag the other fallens out. The trick is to have three exiles perform the extraction: the bolt drawer goes in first, waits for bolts to target them, then steps out; meanwhile the junk drawer goes in and moves away from the fallen, taking any small orga with them; then the chainer steps in with chain in hand, hooks the target, and runs out before the next round of bolts arrives. Once we had everybody out and healed we advanced with two rods, and after a couple of false starts reached the ring of fires in the center of the camp, where we found more 'locks than I've ever seen before in one place, there were so many I couldn't even see the other side of the mob; but with the rods pressed up against them us fighters were able to dodge in and out and mow them down in pretty short order. It was an interesting approach on the part of the orga, but once we had enough healers it was only a matter of time before we took the camp...
Heavy bolt action in the Orga Path. (v195)
The rod moves up to the fire ring. (v195)
Hacking away at the 'locks. (v195)
Soldi, 79 Winter 543 (9/1/01)
The big news this moon seems to be Gerag, the halfling-loving drakelet, who has taken up residence in a cave on the cliffs just outside the South Pass. The only time I have visited the area was when the little drake was sleeping, but I have been told by Tater and Jazz about how (when awake) the beast will talk to you and seems friendly at first, promising gold or other presents to any halflings it encounters, only to blast them with some very hot fire and drag them off to its lair, where it proposes to devour the unfortunate victim as soon as they ripen a bit. Lucky for the exiles the monster seems to need to sleep a lot, and hence it has been possible to rescue them before actual ingestion takes place, but this does pose a new menace to any halflings that happen to be wandering around the East Forest area. I myself have been putting in extra hours in the library (which I will continue to do for a while yet), but have made a couple trips to the Valley, the first of which did not end well, there were a couple people trapped in the safe cave in the entrance by some cobras, and when the rescue party came in to help them we made for the safe cave ourselves, only to find three of the big snakes lurking right there at the cave, blocking the exit. Needless to say most of us didn't make it in, and as long as there are people in the safe area the snakes stay right outside, requiring someone to run out, lure them away, and fall before a chaining or healing run can take place. And because the snakes don't always lure the rescue attempts kept losing more exiles than were pulled back in, in the end we all ended up fallen (and I ended up departing, number 34 this time). Later on a bigger group went in, and since the snakes were a bit more spread out we were able to attack them in the middle of the cave, surround and dodge, and quickly dispatch them.
Final score: Norm 4, Orcs 0. (v195)
Gradi, 12 Spring 543 (9/6/01)
Spring has returned to Puddleby, bringing with it longer days and new growth, especially in town, where new trees are being planted as a result of the efforts put in by many exiles in the form of wood, rocks and coins. On the one hand it's a good thing to have some trees blocking the view of the hovels and shacks south of Mai's Lawn, but on the other hand it does mean a few more things to bump in to if you happen to be trying to make your way through town during bad weather or while slightly intoxicated (or in the case of some dwarfs I know, more that slightly intoxicated). I hear that Gerag is still dragging halflings off for a meal, and although I have yet to see the drake in action I did see a mass heal in town a little while ago to resuscitate an unfortunate victim. As for me, I thought for sure the new season would mean better results in the fighter test, especially when I was told that "most who have passed are weaker than you;" I was sure that I would waltz in, bash the baddies, and collect my belt on the way out. Naturally with my dwarfish luck rather the opposite was the result, I spent the entire test getting hit from behind by the suddenly deadly foes and ended up getting squashed without even finishing off one of them. I was feeling pretty discouraged, but then I found a myrm egg and was able to get expert witch Prue to mix me up a potion of energy, which is a lovely orange color and is supposed to make you run faster; I can't wait to have a chance to try it some time soon.
Must have been recently reseeded. (v195)
My trips to the Egg Room finally pay off. (v195)
Merdi, 28 Spring 543 (9/10/01)
Tenebrion and his brother Umbrion are in the news recently, Babajaga is reporting that they held a press conference of sorts in order to drum up exile interest in T's proposal to exchange a number of the "strange stones" obtained during a FMOCR for a permanent portal to the Ethereal Plane. Now, some people might debate whether having such a portal would be a good thing or not, but beyond that we would need to obtain those stones, and I have to admit that not only have I not been on an Orga Camp raid in many moons, I haven't even heard of a successful raid in almost as long. Rumor has it that the most recent raid did not go well, with much bickering between mystics and no stone at the end. And there are even more rumors that a Certain Clan (I probably don't even have to name them, we all know who they are) is trying to strike a secret deal with one or more of the 'Brion brothers for exclusive access to the aforementioned portal. I don't really feel the need to go adventuring in the EP right now, my last visit was an unqualified disaster, but not everybody shares my opinion.
I have also been down to the farms south of the town beach, where the mysterious Fat Alice has taken up residence. I'm not sure why she abandoned her abode on that island nobody seems to like the name of, but Forey was reporting that she was demanding better accomodations and was prepared to finally part with her secret potion recipe in exchange for raw materials for the renovations. I've been dropping logs off with the builder myself, I figure the more potions we have the better off for the exiles, and to tell the truth there aren't that many builders at work right now, perhaps they should put a new one up at the Outpost since it doesn't seem to be going anywhere these days...
Bricking the sun wyrm. (v195)
Merdi, 35 Spring 543 (9/12/01)
Well, the time for my next attempt on the fourth circle test finally rolled around, and I was a bit nervous about it since my last attempt was such a disaster, and in the intervening time I've been studying nothing but how to maintain my chains a bit better under the instruction of Loovma Geer (I resolved to improve my skills in this area after having two chains break on the same day a while ago). Needless to say I don't expect trainings on tool maintenance to improve my chances a bashing large beasties, but... whether it was the freshly oiled chains rattling about in my pack, or the advantage of another zodiac to rethink my strategy, or just plain blind luck (I'm sort of leaning towards the latter explanation, myself), I was able to pass the test! This time the monsters behaved themselves with admirable restraint, arriving one at a time at the barrier and allowing me to finish off one before having to deal with the next. I quickly dispatched the wraith and the 'noid, leaving me at fairly low health but with "just" the fury to deal with, and despite taking a couple hits to bring me a bit closer to falling that I might have wished I was able to use the greatsword to great effect and slice the big red orga to ribbons, earning the coveted announcement from Honor. I suppose it didn't hurt that I offered the fury a few coins to lay off a bit and take a fall, in the past that hasn't worked but this time I made sure to schedule the payoff for after the test instead of before.
The fury takes a fall. (v195)
Basking in the glory. (v195)
Sombdi, 51 Spring 543 (9/16/01)
The recent chaos storm was much delayed, but when it finally did come it was a doozy, one of those storms where everything goes crazy but then the next day you get up and it's like it never happened. There were numerous fire drakes in the town center, which we whiffed away at thanks to the help of a mysterious blue flame that would heal you at a touch, and then mirrors began appearing leading to various dangerous places, I made it as far as the Orga Camp where I was met by a solid wall of small orga and lightning bolts. After things returned to "normal" I got back to my usual hunting areas, but then just the other day I poked my head out of the library and what do I find but another fire drake in town center, this one much smaller and hunting for halflings, it was the infamous Gerag himself, and I immediately ran up to whiff him with my axe and got smacked down by the drake for my troubles. He eventually sunk his claws into a nice plump halfling and headed for his lair, and after getting raised I headed for South Pass, only to meet a large crowd of fire myrms waiting to greet me. After I was raised again I spent some time helping to clear the big red fire ants out, and even got to take some swings at a fire myrm queen, but then I had to return to the library while the rest of the group continued the hunt for Gerag; and from what I heard later, the hunt was successful, and Gerag was killed by the exiles. If so, this should be a great relief to halflings everywhere; I just hope that the drake didn't have any hungry siblings with a taste for dwarf...
Wild times in downtown Puddleby. (v198)
Gerag tries to get at Algy. (v198)
Gradi, 68 Spring 543 (9/20/01)
I missed the Orga Camp raid this past full moon, but from reports soon after the event it went pretty well, without the partisan bickering that was a feature of the previous event; and my clanmate Robin Greyhawk was able to retrieve the strange stone. I'll probably miss the next raid as well, but perhaps we will be able to put a streak together. I also learned that the hut in the west farms that was rennovated for Fat Alice was rejected by her for some reason, and she is now demanding that her old hut (located off a small bay on that island over there) should be rennovated instead. I have to say that this seems a bit much, after all we have no way of knowing if she will give us her potion after we finish touching up this hut either. I did get a chance to go there with a bunch of strong exiles the other day, and for the first time got to see some of the deeper recesses of the cave that lies beneath the hut, including a number of very strange plants growing in a small underground garden. I didn't see any sign of Alice herself, though, and I'm not sure where she's gotten herself to now. In the meantime I've been spending a bit more time in the Breeding Grounds, I'm finally getting to the point where I can occasionally penetrate the harder bark the tree giants have been sporting, and I've even seen a few oak giants there as well.
Alice's strange little garden. (v198)
Lundi, 88 Spring 543 (9/25/01)
Well, after missing the previous full moon raid I managed to show up for the one just past, along with a strong showing of exiles of a variety of clans, circles and professions, including members of both the argumentative Darkhorse Clan and the infamous Pogue Mahone. With the talent on hand, and under the extremely detailed tactical direction of Klur, we were able to quickly sweep through OC2 through 4 with only minimal problems, then set up housekeeping outside the pit area to wait for the blue magician to appear. When he did appear it didn't take long for us to sweep in and dispose of the orga, resulting in a spectacular display of fireworks and the demise of the few remaining orgas. Malkor got the nod, but after visiting the power room for a short period he emerged to report that he was unable to locate a power stone. Aki then took a shot, and they even let Nilor give it a try, but...no stone! A number of possible reasons were debated for the failure, among them the fact that the magician didn't really have time to power up the room before getting whacked; my theory is that both Aki and Malkor are contaminated in some fashion by having handled earlier stones, and hence it is more difficult for them to obtain more. And speaking of strange stones, I have been very intrigued by recent reports of peculiar rocks being found in the lands, possibly in a variety of colors, and with no known function. I have been asking exiles about these rumors, but so far I don't have any first-hand accounts, and nobody has been able to show me one (my extensive dwarfish experience with rocks should enable me to gain some additional information from inspecting the rocks).
Stalking the less-than-elusive togron nut. (v198)
Orga flambé. (v198)
Soldi, 18 Summer 543 (9/30/01)
Summer has come again, bringing with it a chaos storm and a new selection of weapons at Witkus' shop in South Puddle. Shortly after the storm blew through I overheard some exiles talking about new weaponry, so I hurried down to inspect the wares, and quickly decided it was time to go on a shopping spree, making a large dent in my bank account and acquiring a great axe, a battle hammer, and the cutest little rapier. The hammer is the coolest of these, a nicely balanced weapon which is perfect for bopping orga on the head; I'm not so sure about the great axe, I was hoping that it could replace the great sword I have to lug about, but so far I'm not impressed. Perhaps once I have some more experience with it I will be able to wield it a bit more effectively. I have heard some more rumors about various colored stones being found, but still haven't seen one myself, or met anybody who can show me one, which leads me to think that they are quite rare (and therefore potentially quite valuable). I also heard that there was a raid beyond Wisher's Gate recently that didn't go so well, a bunch of exiles were transported to the Orga Village; I heard that at least some got rescued. The full moon was today, but it seems that nobody showed up to make the attempt on the strange stone (I was in the library myself at the time, I'm afraid). And the Zouclougeist Alliance is again bidding on a museum token, we are still in the lead at the moment but with these silent auctions anything can happen at the last moment.
Not sure what this was... (v198)
Cleaning up 'Noids (again). (v200)
Terrdi, 28 Summer 543 (10/2/01)
I was surprised when I saw Glaurung the Zo in town the other day, he was looking more like a large cat than his usual ugly self, and he told us a sad tale of how he was bitten by a "wyrm lyfe" on the beach of Lyfe Island during the previous day (which happened to be during the full moon), and how he seemed to contact some infection at the time which made his teeth ache; then when night fell he found himself transformed into the shape of a night-phase lyfe, complete with tail. This transformation has happened several nights running, and I would begin to worry that it was a permanent condition, but now Babajaga has reported that Fat Alice has some sort of treatment available, although whether the cure is complete or merely symptomatic is still an open question. I have also heard rumors that Althea has been similarly infected, although I haven't seen any direct evidence of this myself. I have been wanting to join another expedition to Lyfe Island some time in the future, but now I'm going to check the calendar first and make sure there aren't any full moons coming up before I go. On a more cheerful note, I was pleased to learn that the Zouclougeist Alliance has finally won a museum token auction, although we did have to set a new record for the purchase price in order to do it. Now the ZA Museum Committee can spring into action and start working on a design for our exhibit.
Hairier than the average Zo. (v200)
Terrdi, 35 Summer 543 (10/4/01)
In one of life's little ironies, no sooner do I start thinking about going back to Lyfe Island (due to Glaurung's recent transformation) than I get invited by the intrepid explorer Elenis Reyav to join an expedition to that island...and here's the good part, the group included Glau himself! The expedition took things cautiously, proceeding step by step to the distant tree where Sylvan fighters need to enter the underground, and except for one point where the remarkable Thuja had to make several solo chain runs while surrounded by hungry lyfes we dispatched any beasts we encountered with comparative ease (due to careful planning on the part of the expedition leaders this was during daytime, so we didn't have to fear the much stronger transformed lyfes). As we were heading back towards the west side of the island Elenis suddenly vanished down a hollow tree, it seems that there is more than one which human fighters can go down, but even with a couple of fighters less the rest of us made it back and reached the underground safely. The expedition then entered an area full of ice and snow (and this in high summer!) that I had never been to before, where we met ice giants, snow ferals, and huge greenish lyfes while slipping and sliding on the ice. Elenis was lucky enough to find some catsbane, but now it was getting late and some of the healers had to leave via Purgatory, so we headed towards the exit with only Thuja to heal us. We were now tired and exhausted from our long trek, and when we reached the northern end of the island we were suddenly beset by a large group of lyfes, who felled the stronger fighters and left the rest of us running for our lives. I managed to flee north, and ended up falling near to the cave that leads off the island (at least I think so, I've never been there so I don't know exactly where it is located). It was one of the longer expeditions I've been on, and was a lot of fun, certainly worth depart #35.
To help take my mind off my less than glorious exit from Lyfe Island, I headed for the carnival that some people mentioned has taken up residence in the East Farms. I'm not sure how long they have been in town, or when they will be leaving, but there are several games of various sorts, including a rather interesting variant of pushball played on a smooth, icy surface (bringing back memories of my recent battles on the glacier). I managed to win a few coins off one of the games and quit while I was ahead; I understand that some exiles have spent quite a bit of money to win prizes at one of the contests that is giving away shirts of various colors.
Not sure when this came to town... (v200)
Must be my lucky day! (v200)
Thuja and Tyranis try out the costumes. (v200)
Sombdi, 59 Summer 543 (10/10/01)
I've been feeling a bit under the weather and hence haven't been able to get out of the nice warm library much these days, not even to cover the final ceremonies of the recent Volympics, which somehow I managed to miss entirely this time around. I have heard rumors that exploration is continuing for the mysterious "Kizmia" on the island that sometimes bears her name; and construction is continuing on Fat Alice's hut on the shores of that same island, which is where I've been dropping off my rocks lately. I also heard that the carnival has left town, but one can hope that it will pass by again some time, perhaps with new attractions. And there is much to look forward to; a chaos storm is forcast soon, and I've been told that the Feast of Tsrrin is coming up again in a couple moons (parts of which I look forward to, and other parts of which...well, I usually end up with at least one depart over the course of the Festival). Now that I'm up and about again I'm spending some time making the usual rounds, although I managed to pull a really bone-headed stunt in 'Noids the other day, dashing in to chain a fallen before they could slide and ending up catching the gravel train myself.
A cause for concern. (v200)
Three is too many, even for me. (v200)
Gradi, 83 Summer 543 (10/16/01)
Lots of things going on the past moon or so, and of course most of it is taking place while I'm in the library. Lucky for me several other diarists are making up for my long hours of study and I have been able to keep at least somewhat up to date on expeditions to Umbrion's Keep, new locations on Ash Island, and various buildings exploding around town. My few trips out of the library have been mostly devoted to mundane hunts and the occasional rescue, although I did get to take part in a Valley hunt for the first time in a while and was surprised at how well it went, we never had more than half the party fallen at a time despite meeting a bunch of cobras and some other nasty beasts, including a really impressive collection of stinging beetles in the far cave. I've also heard rumors that 'Noth Island is regaining some of its old popularity, I should try to sign up for a trip there some time and see what it's like these days. One thing I haven't heard much about lately is the orga, it seems that the foothills have fallen out of favor, replaced by the current fad for 'Brion brothers and phantasm trainers. I did get one reliable report that Umbrion himself was seen in town just after the most recent chaos storm, my guess is that he was unexpectedly "templed" by the storm and was just as surprised as the exiles who saw him hotfoot it out of Puddle.
I don't get to go fishing. (v202)
Soldi, 19 Autumn 543 (10/22/01)
There were an awful lot of expeditions to Lyfe Island this past moon, although as usual I didn't have time to go on any of them. From reports I have heard there was some success, with a scaramis egg and some catsbane found, and even a few exiles making it off the island via boat rather than through Purg. Some of the trips took a little long, though, I was told that one group was on the island for a full day, which strikes me as especially dangerous at this time of year as the days get shorter and the nights get longer. And Jazz has reported that there was a successful raid on the Orga Camp this past full moon, although again I was in the library at the time. My few trips out of the library have involved some more Valley hunts, one trip to the Dark Chamber to whack at some ghastlies, and numerous coin runs in the forests and passes. I am finally building up my cash reserves after my big shopping spree after the new weapons went on sale. I continue to use the battle hammer most of the time, but my hopes of replacing the greatsword with the greataxe have more or less fallen by the wayside, the accuracy of the greataxe just isn't as great as I would like, although the amount of damage it can do is most gratifying. Perhaps if I were to start studying the fell blade I would be able to use it in place of the greatsword, but at the moment I'm still working towards that training ledger.
The 'Zerks try to sneak up on me. (v202)
Lundi, 41 Autumn 543 (10/29/01)
More time in the library, Achates is starting to rag on me because I never go on expeditions to Lyfe Island, what he doesn't realize is that I need that study time in the library to keep up on my sleep...er, I mean reading. And expeditions to the island continue to be popular, especially those directed at the mysterious flame maze underneath Umbrion's Keep, which is a place I've yet to visit. The closest I get is the "water tour," which involves rowing around the island looking for big fish and turtles to plonk. My other hunting spots are just not worth visiting any more, as my slaughter level climbs and the relative strengths of the beasts decline. And now the Feast of Tsrrin has arrived once more, I've been able to get my favorite rockodile costume again, I hope they keep it available for the duration, although in the past they have run out as the festival progressed. There have been no signs of exile-undine yet, although her witchiness Prue was threatening to lead an army of undead through the center of Puddleby in some sort of brain-guzzling rampage, I'm hoping she's just joking about it but you never know with witches; anyways, it sounds more like something Lilit would do. I usually have a bit of fun helping to rescue exile-undine, but then some high-level fighter decides it would be fun to go over to the dark side and I end up getting bashed, maybe when that happens this year I'll leave well enough alone and head for the library again to catch up on my sleep...er, I mean reading.
We all know what this means... (v204)
...time to eat some sweets! (v204)
Fordi, 59 Autumn 543 (11/1/01)
I was out of the library for at least a while during the undine-spawning phase of the Festival of Tsrrin, and although there were a number of exiles running around town in undine form it didn't seem as bad as in the past, the situation was under control for the most part and the healers were able to eventually raise even the most uncooperative of exiles. I understand that there were some stronger exile-undines at other times, but with luck (and much cowering in the library) I managed to avoid them and my traditional Tsrrin depart, in fact I managed to avoid falling for the duration. A number of exiles formed a Tater Rescue Squad, with everybody wearing Tater costumes and rushing about the island raising the fallen and being a bit silly. I helped out a bit, but my Tater costume didn't fit as well as some and I felt a bit ridiculous. Now I'm hoping things will settle down again and I will be able to join up on some real hunts again, perhaps even take a trip to one of the other islands.
Even the training masters get in to the act. (v204)
For some reason I don't quite fit in. (v204)
A little chaos in Town Square. (v204)
Fordi, 80 Autumn 543 (11/6/01)
Well here it is, the end of the year already, the costumes are put away and life has returned to normal around here. Well, as "normal" as it gets. I've been running about a bit on rescue duty, and doing a bit of hunting in the usual spots, and it seems most others are doing the same. I am a bit worried about this "ether" thing now, I overheard Callia talking about it in town the other day, it seems that with the ethereal amulets it is possible to gauge the level of "etherness" in a given area, most places seems to have pretty much the same amount, but some are deficient and some have way too much (possibly locations where ether clouds are likely to form). Even with some training the amulets are pretty fragile, Callia said she's broken several despite her studies; I asked her if anybody had made a map of where the ethereal anomalies are to be found, and she said that she and several others were working on one; perhaps with more information we'll be able to detect some sort of pattern to the distribution. We should also remeasure after the upcoming chaos storm to see what effect (if any) it may have. In the meantime I'm finally making that push for a training ledger, Regia has dropped hints that I'm really close and I'm back to studying with her again, although I'm a bit behind on my studies and probably won't make the grade until next year after all.
I solo my first megamouth. (v204)
Soldi, 89 Autumn 543 (11/8/01)
I knew today when I came out of the library that this was the last time I'd be in town before the new year, and since I'd just made another breakthrough in my studies I knew this would be the last time this year to maybe get a ledger, not that I was counting on it or anything but I knew I was close from some comments that Regia has been making about my work. You can imagine my delight when straight away she let me know that I had reached a level of expertise that would let me help others as she has helped me over the years, and offered me the training ledger to help me keep track of the paperwork. I know that I'm not the first to earn this distinction, but I suspect that the benefits of Regia training are so subtle (some have implied non-existent) that there won't be a lot of other exiles offering training in it. And no sooner was I out of the training hall and helping on a rescue than Katan asked me to train him, I was quite nervous as he is my first student, but I gave him a few pointers on getting his balance back and I think he seemed pleased with my efforts. In the meantime I have learned that there is a concerted effort on to measure the ether around Puddleby, a process much complicated by the fact that the amulets seem to give highly variable readings for the same location. And I still have to wonder why Tenebrion and Umbrion are so darn interested in the results, somehow I still don't trust those guys. Ah well, these any many other mysteries will have to wait for resolution next year...or maybe the year after that...
After much study... (v206)
...I finally make the grade. (v206)
My first customer! (v206)
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