Sprigs On the Warpath


A quiet year for me, but with one big development, the undewing of Qual the Wizard. I held the first and (so far) only Normathon to celebrate the twelfth year of publication of the diary, and a few exiles actually took part in the madness. And Sor finished his portrait! Yay!

Soldi, 10 Winter 545 (2/7/02)

I just noticed (as I sit here in the library) that it's the first full moon of the year, and I have no idea if anybody is attempting a raid. When I was (briefly) out of the library earlier nobody mentioned it, and there weren't a lot of exiles about, so I sort of doubt it. It's probably just as well, those strange stones continue to be in high demand with the 'Brion brothers, and the more I think about it the less I like the idea of handing them over to those guys. I've managed to fit in a couple trips to 'Noth Island lately, it didn't seem as bad as recent reports had made it out (or maybe I was just lucky). And on positive note I was surprised to come out of the library the other day and there was the late Prue sitting in town square, it seems she was less late than had been thought and said that she had been locked in a closet all this time. I wasn't really clear on who did this to her, but at least she's back and can resume her usual witchy business.

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Is that a trick question? (v218)

Terrdi, 48 Winter 545 (2/16/02)

Well, after writing that bit about it being the full moon last time I managed to sneak out of the library for a spell and joined a group of exiles in the Orga Camp, where we made it to OC4 before having to give up. We knew we didn't really have enough strength to make it all the way, but it was fun to make the attempt. Then this past full moon I joined an even smaller group that barely managed to clear OC2, never mind OC4. Since then it's been back to the library, although I got to tag along with a strong party on 'Noth Island the other day that ran into a number of landews, big sacks of "juice" that have evolved the ability to shoot small pebbles at considerable velocity. They ambushed us as we were making out way out of the town, and lucky for us we had already pretty much cleared things out and were able to run out to the east, and then the amazing J'jh (of J-team fame) lured them out to us and we dispatched them one at a time. It was my first encounter with these things, and it went much better than I had any right to expect. Of course landews are old hat now to the stronger exiles, there's been a lot more activity in the Ethereal Plane lately, and Baba was very excited to report that they even have new clothes there (she's a bit obsessed with her wardrobe I'm afraid).

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Finally! (v221)

Gradi, 75 Winter 545 (2/23/02)

It seems that everybody and his cousin is going to get those "ethereal boots", they are quite the fashion these days. Iho even let me borrow his pair for a bit, they were very light on my feet, although my understanding is that they wear out quickly (being made of etherium or something equally insubstantial). I haven't had time myself to join on one of the many expeditions, and in fact have spent most of my time in the passes picking up lumps of rock (not much ore to be found these days). I've also been helping out with the occasional rescue, including one trip to the Snaggy that ended up requiring a second round when a couple of the rescuers suffered from fog on the way out and wandered off the path. I also helped with a rescue in Tenebrion's keep, where Melabrion showed up and was very interested in Shen's demonstration of using a bloodblade. At the moment it seems that the 'Brion's demands for strange stones is sort of on the back burner, especially with access to the EP possible through the gates outside Cinnbrion's Keep.

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Sightseeing in the Snaggy. (v221)

Gradi, 6 Spring 545 (2/28/02)

When the new year came around this time I realized that it's been twelve long years that I've been keeping this diary of my Puddleby exile, give or take a small adjustment for time zones and chaos storms. Looking back at my first entries I find that they were made shortly after the bridge to the Brambles first appeared near the Mirror, back before we could even cross the bridge, back before the Ripture War. Many exiles have come and gone since then, and I've been saddened to hear of others who are leaving soon, but it is surprising how many are still around from those days, including, I suppose, myself.

I wanted to do something to mark the occasion of the quad-anniversary of starting this diary, and to thank the many exiles who have expressed some appreciation for the work I've put into it. Well, all right, for the one or two exiles at least. The solution I've come up with, like the Diary itself, may seem a bit tame by comparision to other events, but after all I am but a humble dwarf. So I am going to be announcing the first NORMATHON, to take place during the current season of Spring 545. There are a number of different events, and some pretty nice prizes as well, and I'm hoping that it will inspire some older exiles to remember our past triumphs and defeats, and perhaps some of the newer exiles to take up their pens and start writing their own scrolls.

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Crossing the bridge. (v222)

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I hope that's not a Fenix egg! (v221)

Sombdi, 24 Spring 545 (3/4/02)

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Goodbye Axell!

Merdi, 43 Spring 545 (3/9/02)

Well, a few people are taking part in the NORMATHON, but not as many as I expected (even with my modest self-delusion). Only a couple of people have bothered to enter the trivia contest, and although quite a few logs have been turned in as part of the log contest most of them are coming from only a few exiles. On the other hand, there is still a while to go before either of the contests closes, so perhaps more will be motivated to participate once we're closer to the deadline.

I've actually been out of the library a bit this past zodiac, although as usual I missed the full moon and haven't heard if a raid took place. On one occasion I went to the Scarmis Pen with a small group to help rescue Iho, only to find out when I got there that he was fallen in with the acid-spitting queen. We made careful plans for the attack, but when we actually made our rush we found ourselves hemmed in by 'zu and bugs, and despite dispatching some of the bugs most of us were soon felled by the queen herself. Some of the healers managed to pendent out and gather more troops, and Mephisto tried to make a solo run to chain us out, was trapped and fell, only to depart and try again. This time he managed to grab us all and form a wall, at which point the main rescue entered from the other side and set up a fort, gradually wearing down the bugs until Mephisto could make a run for the exit. After this experience I have (once again) vowed never to return to the queen's chamber without overwhelming force.

And I had a really strange battle in the Coli the other day, I decided to try two furies at once and managed to dispatch the first without too much trouble, but then the second was proving a bit harder to hit, and by the time I had switched from axe to greatsword I was pretty low on health. I tried to time my swings a bit better but as usual was a bit wild, and both the fury and I got down to red at about the same time. In a desperate bid for victory I started to swing away, and managed to connect the killing blow...just as the fury felled me with his last swing. As I was falling I heard the announcer declare me the winner, so my strike must have connected an instant before the orga's. So there I was, victorious...but fallen.

Oh, and one other interesting bit. I was tagging along on a 'Noth hunt under Veer's able direction, and the hunt was going quite smoothly up until the point at which we found ourself face-to-face with two (count 'em) two hel'noths. In short order most of the fighters were fallen (I myself while standing directly between to two, not the best tactical position but it seemed like a good idea at the time), but as usual Veer kept a cool head and chained the fallen back to the village to take refuge in a hut. The healing team on hand wasn't able to raise most of the bolted, so we retreated to the north bay to wait for more healers to come. While hanging around there Lard bumped into one of our fallen bodies and discovered that we were not as badly off as had been thought; in fact, the healers on hand were now able to raise us! For some reason being moved from the 'noth village to the bay had improved our fallen status by quite a bit. I have to wonder if this has something to do with ether levels...

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Mephisto drags us back to town. (v222)

Terrdi, 63 Spring 545 (3/14/02)

Well, a few more people have entered the logathon, but I'm afraid that I may have gone overboard on the triviathon questions and scared everybody away (although I have been having a bit of trouble with my mailbox, perhaps it will be less of a blow to my ego if I blame that instead). At least I managed to deliver that cacao pod to Shamhat after the recent chaos storm, she was off with a group before the event and got templed by the storm (in a rather fallen state, I'm afraid). She quickly mixed up a batch of brownies to celebrate her safe return, the storm, and chocolate in general; they were quite tasty. I've been spending a lot of time hunting in the Lily Pond these days, the number of mahas seems to have increased quite a bit, and on one trip I found no fewer than five large sand wurms, now my favorite target; I have discovered that I can solo them (one at a time, of course) in a couple of rounds if I use the greataxe, and I've been making trips to Ten's Island to clear the northeast beach there as well. Next stop, the sandbar!

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Brownies, mmmmmmmmm... (v224)

Terrdi, 84 Spring 545 (3/19/02)

Well, the Normathon is drawing to a close, and I'm still sitting in front of my empty mailbox waiting for the entries to pour in. The logathon seems pretty much wrapped up, Farhope stunned both me and her nearest competitor by turning in 29 logs in one go the other day, giving her a commanding lead. She has offered to add some extra prizes to the contests, some beer bread, donuts and muffins for third and fourth place finishers in the logathon and triviathon. I've been spending a fair amount of time hunting in the Lily Pond these days, there continue to be good spawns there, and then the other day I met up with a group there that continued on to the Rocky Cavern, where we found a sun wyrm waiting for us. With several boosts from Zorton we were able to hit the sun wyrm pretty well, even I was able to connect a few times, and after two rounds the sun fell to our combined might.

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Sor isn't here. (v224)

Terrdi, 15 Summer 545 (3/24/02)

The Normathon is now over, and the final results have been posted, after ending on a bit of an embarrassment for myself when Regigamaqk pointed out that I had put the wrong address on the scroll for the Triviathon. This meant that anybody who trusted me to get any facts right would be unable to reach me with their entry. I felt that it would be only fair to extend the deadline for a few more days to give everybody a chance to enter. As it turns out the winner had gotten their entry in before the original deadline anyway. Hellpop won the Triviathon grand prize, Shamhat won the Triviathon potion assortment, and Farhope and Kalian finished first and second in the Logathon.

Of course, dramatic and earthshaking as the end of the Normathon might seem to me, it sort of pales in comparison to Yor's feat of whacking Qual the Wizard with the Separ during the latest in a series of T'rool and 'dew invasions of Puddle, the result of which was a lot of surprised 'dews and one very confused sylvan named Qual. Yes, after all the years of war and combat it turns out that Qual was just the unwitting dupe of the "dark bubbly," or at least so he claims. Yor has published a full description of the event, with pictures, and it is an impressive accomplishment. I'd like to think that this would mean the end of our battles with the "bubbly," but the fact that Qual was just an unwilling servant would lead me to guess that the nasty juice will just elevate some other minion to lead the fight against us. But in the meantime, a definite cause for celebration.

Soldi, 26 Summer 545 (3/27/02)

Here it is full moon again, and I'm stuck in the library (as usual). Maybe I can sneak out later and see if there was an Orga Camp raid. On the subject of Qual, Lundar has reported that the new, improved sylvan edition of Qual has dropped some hints about secret passages below 'Noth Island (and he ought to know, rumors had it that in his Wizard form Qual was making the t'rool dig extensive caverns). So far I haven't heard of any new discoveries in this area. Then the other day I stepped out of the library into a cloud of militant spriggins, it seems that Ba'alzamon had whacked the sprig leader Blink, driving the little fellows wild for revenge. Ba'alz was hauled in to court (and found innocent, it's not a crime to whack a sprig, thank goodness), but Blink was still pretty mad and turned Ba'alz into a frog (at least briefly). Ba'alz said it was an accident, and the sprigs finally gave up their ineffective attack, but not before they had pilfered quite a few coins from unwary exiles.

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Sprigs on the warpath. (v224)

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Blink takes his revenge. (v224)

Gradi, 63 Summer 545 (4/5/02)

I know, I know, it's been an age since I last set quill to parchment, but what with one thing and another it just hasn't been possible to sit down and write. Not that I've been out of the library more than is usual these last few zodiacs, but I'm just not about for most of the interesting developments these days, which seem to require that you be part of a group (and able to meet the time commitments that entails). Being a completely disorganized dwarf with very irregular hours makes that sort of thing very difficult. I didn't even get around to visiting the strange rift that was drifting through town at one point, leading to some sort of strange dungeon; some people didn't like it, but others I spoke to said it was great fun. There was one recent development I was glad to miss, Iho told me that on a trip to the Scarmis Pen he was bitten by a poisonous chigger and spent many hours of agony until he was able to overcome the venom. This is very disturbing news, I can only hope that I can avoid these super-chiggers, I expect that I am highly allergic and would end up PND.

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Master Coronus sports some new threads. (v226)

Fordi, 11 Autumn 545 (4/14/02)

I know I always complain about not getting out of the library enough, but this time I was actually locked in there for the longest time, something was blocking the exit and I couldn't get out at all. After what seemed forever the obstruction was removed (one of the shelves had fallen over or been mislabeled or something, it sounded like mystic talk to me), but even so I haven't been able to do much more than hunt the usual spots (other than one quick trip to 'Noth). There are a number of interesting events going on from other reports, but they seem to be avoiding me as usual, I haven't seen any ethereal beasties (as reported by Babajaga and Lundar) or myrm invasions (as reported by Feauial).

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I've always wondered who is buried here... (v228)

Fordi, 32 Autumn 545 (4/19/02)

Some people may wonder what I do with all the time I spend in the library; well, recently I've been spending a lot of it posing for the famous artist Sor, who generously (or foolishly, depending on your viewpoint) offered to paint my portrait for a modest fee. One thing about Sor, he does wonderful work, but it does involve a great deal of sitting there while he gets each detail just right. In this case I think he has outdone himself, it's a very nice portrait, and I'm happy to be able to hang it on the wall of my cavern. We had a small bit of a presentation in town, I broke out a keg I'd been saving for just such an occasion, and several exiles remarked on what a handsome picture it was.


The fabulous portrait by Sor.

Sombdi, 61 Autumn 545 (4/26/02)

I've been hunting the usual spots again, although I did get to tag along for most of a Valley hunt the other day, at one point we were finishing off the last sasquatch when a number of others spawned, along with a bunch of mean black kitties. A quick retreat and some smart chaining got us back up again. And the other day Ahh the zo healer was telling me that he had seen Fat Alice in town recently, it seems she is claiming that somebody stole the valuable gem located deep under Lyfe Island that she has been demanding... er, "requesting" that the exiles retrieve for her. Ahh wasn't sure who might have taken the gem, although my suspicion naturally falls on Malkor, who is known to have very light fingers. Then there was my most recent trip to the Lava Room, Manx was in there asking for help, and I actually managed to make it out of the pool, only to discover that there was a liche there as well; needless to say after wading in the molten rock I couldn't take many hits from the big skull. Lucky for us Thuja and Sokrates arrives soon after, jumped out of the lava and distracted the liche while Manx and I fished fallens out of the hot stuff. We even rescued Tara in the end, despite much teasing.

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A bad situation in the Lava Room. (v230)

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Thuja to the rescue! (v230)

Soldi, 83 Autumn 545 (5/2/02)

It's hard to believe that the end of the year is here already, this year has been a short one for me with many long hours spent in the library and not as much time out in the lands. It's pretty clear I'm not getting out on the edge as much due to the lack of recent departs; I figure if don't ever depart then I'm just not trying hard enough. I've been spending more time off Lyfe Island recently, a new cave has been discovered leading to a sheltered valley, complete with cave cobras and lyfes; the entrance can be a bit sticky, especially since there's only a narrow strip of beach to retreat from, and it's easy for people to get trapped on their way out. I was concerned about getting "bitten", but several exiles assured me that I wouldn't get infected unless I managed to fall, something I've managed to avoid so far. Perhaps I should invest in one of those catsbane necklaces? And in the meantime I've started making a few efforts to get the Zous to get their museum exhibit into gear, but for some reason but the term "herding cats" comes to mind, and I'm not the most organized of dwarfs to start with. Still, it's time for new year resolutions, and who knows what I might accomplish next year...maybe I'll even get to depart a few times!

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Another milestone on the road to The Wall. (v230)