Another Rock in the Bag


I spent a lot of time this year collecting rocks, ending the year with an extensive collection of inert lumps of stone. Baba and Sleipy got hitched again, with much pomp and ceremony and a large number of pies. The 'Brions allowed us to do some hunting in some new mines, and to round out the year I helped with a successful Orga Camp raid.

Terrdi, 24 Winter 546 (5/9/02)

Well, here it is the new year, and with it another chaos storm, although I'm not aware of anything "new" this time around. I've been busy doing organizational time things, trying to get the clan to finally put an exhibit in the museum, and asking exiles about those funny colored rocks that are still found from time to time. I have several of the grey ones now, and from Achates I have learned that they will eventually crumble or break if you let them bounce around in your pack too much. Thanks to contributions from other exiles I'm starting to collect more samples, and will be applying my dwarfish skills to investigating their a safe, non-explosive manner, of course. What would be ideal would be to collect a full set, find somebody to assemble them into a satchel charge, and then apply said charge to that wall in the Eastern Foothills that so many people think hides the entrance to Trillbane's library.

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Got me on the dying blow. (v232)

Terrdi, 52 Winter 546 (5/16/02)

I've been spending a lot of time working in the library on getting the Zou museum exhibit ready, and what time I have been able to get out has been spent talking to fellow clanmates about my plans. I think we're getting close to a consensus, or at least as close as you can get with the Zous. My next job is to get the clan scroll back in operation, it's been lost for some time now (not that anybody has complained, mind you, but still...) Lucky for me I managed to avoid the appearance of the giant chigger in town (the very thought makes my palms start to sweat), but I did manage to take a quick tour of the new river that is now wending its way through the East Forest between the Lily Pond and Old North Pass areas. I'm still collecting rocks, although I have now heard a rumor that at least one exile has already tried to blow up the wall in the Foothills without success, according to report they were unable to find the correct location to place the charge (although I have to think a dwarf would do a better job, for all I know the attempt was made by a thoom or someone else equally inept with explosives).

Fordi, 75 Winter 546 (5/22/02)

I seem to be missing all the good invasions these days, TMN has some interesting reports about a "slime" invasion (I'm not sure if this is a new kind of 'dew or something different, but I would guess that it is connected to the "dark bubbly" in some fashion). I've been doing a lot of "shopping" to look for interesting rocks; Agent has lent me his collection and I now have at least one of each of five different types of rocks, but I figure if I can add to the set we will have more material for experiments. Plus I've made the Zoucougiest Alliance clan scrolls available again, although not at their old address (still working on that part). And then a while ago I was back in the lava room, it was so full of skels we couldn't even get in, we were running around the red path room unable to enter the lava pit until someone departed or popped. Finally Entil managed to make it out of the soup, and then it was only a short time until everybody was fished out and healed.

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I find another pod... (v232)

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...and find another rock... (v232)

Screen Shot add to my collection. (v232)

Merdi, 19 Spring 546 (5/30/02)

Spring at last, and the rocks are springing up like daisies. I've now added another pink crystal to the collection, and I am working on a research program, although so far I haven't had much luck with my preliminary testing. I've been warned not to give any samples to the Darshak, and I would tend to agree with this; and I've also been warned not to let Melabrion get his mitts on them either, it seems he's been asking for them too. I've been hunting the usual spots, although what with the rock hunting I am getting to places I haven't been much in a while. I even tried to do a little 'myr hunting, but although I can hit the big rocky dudes the sad fact is that they can still hit me too...

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Another rock... (v234)

Screen Shot the bag. (v234)

Gradi, 31 Spring 546 (6/2/02)

I'm sure that most people would think it's a waste of a good bit of catsbane, but when I had a chance to purchase some and get a necklace made I jumped at the chance, especially since I had just been off with a group fighting a thunder lyfe in the West Cove and had fallen hard more than once in the process. And I do have plans of making it back to the interior of Lyfe Island in the near future, so I can even rationalize the expense to some extent. In any event, I am now protected against the dread lyfanthropy disease, although I'm still a bit unclear as to how long the protection will last, I have to wonder if the necklace will lose its powers after sufficient use. Of course, in order to get the necklace we first had to make it to Big Meggs, which involved doing in a couple more thunder lyfes (and me still unprotected at this point, mind you), a lot of big spiders, and a sudden backspawn of some cave cobras just as we were relaxing after doing in the bugs. Things looked a bit dire at that point, but a timely rescue by a certain rarely seen exile turned the tables (as it has so often before).

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Big bugs on the march. (v234)

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Big Meggs makes a proposal... (v234)

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...which I am happy to accept. (v234)

Fordi, 48 Spring 546 (6/6/02)

Another chaos storm has blown through, bringing with it a few minor changes but nothing big (that I've heard of, at least). I continue my rockhounding, without much success lately, but then I'm looking for some of the rarer types of rocks. I've also been doing a bit more study of the fell blade, and it's starting to pay off a bit, I can now backstab a bit better than without it, although it will take some time before I really begin to see a big benefit. I've been spending more time out at Rocky Cavern, the last few times I've gone out there its been simply crawling with wyrms, and I even managed to score a few hits on a sun wyrm; the only problem is that the sun wyrm scored more than a few hits on me, and it hits a bit harder than I do...

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How not to fight wyrms. (v234)

Gradi, 73 Spring 546 (6/12/02)

Spring is almost over, and we are approaching the longest day of the year once more, and also the midpoint of the year as well. I hardly feel like the year has begun, I haven't seen any big invasions or been on any big expeditions myself so far. I did get to tag along on a couple of trips to the Valley, but these days that hardly even counts as leaving town. I continue to search for rocks without much luck, although a number of exiles have heard about my efforts and gotten in touch with me about contributing other samples, another great example of the Puddle community pulling together. I wish I had something positive to report, but so far my experiments have yielded no new information about the collection.

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Less than successful fashion statements. (v236)

Fordi, 14 Summer 546 (6/20/02)

The big news right now is the upcoming renuptials of Baba and Sleipy, which is shaping up to be quite the event. On the other hand, it seems I've gotten myself into a bit of hot water by donating a few coins to a pie exhibit which, in a strange coincidence, is being held at the same time as the wedding. At first I was concerned that there might be some problem with both events taking place on the same day, but Prue (one of the sponsors) has assured me that the pie thing will not interfere with the ceremony in any way, shape or form. For some reason Baba and Sleipy don't trust Prue and Luce, and now they are mad at everybody who is helping out in the pie department. I guess I'm going to have to come up with a really big wedding present to patch things up.

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Bug vs bug! (v238)

Merdi, 47 Summer 546 (6/23/02)

Along with everybody else in Puddle I've been spending a lot of time down in the mines, which were opened up by dwarfs working for the mysterious Melabrion and lie underneath his Keep. In doing so they seem to have disturbed something best left sleeping, as the caverns are now crawling with snakes of all descriptions, including a kind of giant snake creature that I have not encountered before. They come in a variety of colors, and the grey ones aren't too bad, actually a good match for my fighting abilities, but the olive ones are much harder to hit and the green ones are downright nasty. These creatures by themselves would be bad enough, but when you add in the tight passages of the mines and a large number of cave cobras you can get in trouble pretty quick. The toughest spot is the one at the back, I've been in nasty situations there both times I've been to visit, although both times with some help and careful luring we were able to clear out the chamber and rescue the fallen.

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We kill a greenie. (v238)

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We avoid another greenie. (v238)

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I keep Larno safe. (v238)

Sombdi, 50 Summer 546 (6/29/02)

Not much to report recently, I have spent a lot of time looking for more rocks with not much to show for it. There was a battle with some elite Darshak the other day, I joined the fray towards the end and helped finish off some "guards" that were paddling around Ash Bay, they were about the toughest 'shaks I've met so far, but with several tactical retreats we finally managed to isolate them one at a time for "surround and pound." I think mostly folks are just waiting about for the big social event of the year, which is either Sleipy's and Baba's remarrige ceremony or the big pie bash, depending on who you talk to.

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The naval battle in Ash Bay. (v238)

Merdi, 55 Summer 546 (6/30/02)

I managed to make it to the wedding, despite a couple quick rescue trips made just before, and it was indeed quite the event. The actual ceremony was preceded by a "Groom Hunt," which seemed to involve Sleipy running around in circles while we tried to trap him (my opinion is that he wasn't really trying very hard to escape). This was followed immediately by the ceremony itself, presided over by Healery and attended by a vast throng of exiles. No sooner had the vows been spoken than all of a sudden pies filled the air, most directed towards the happy couple but some, it seems, were brought along by allies of Lady Baba and were hurled the other direction (mostly at Prue). Well, as it turns out all this pie throwing seemed to upset the local ether balance, and there was a sudden backsplash that felled any number of exiles (we all found out who the health junkies are, they were the ones who shrugged off the blast). For a time chaos reigned, but moonstones were put to work, kegs were tapped, and the party swung into full gear.

If that had been all I think we could have counted the whole thing an unqualified success, but then one of the guests wandered into the nearby hollow tree and fell to an ethereal beast of some kind. The exile departed and issued a general sunstone warning not to enter the tree, so naturally half the exiles at the party rushed en masse into the tree, only to discover a rift that transported them to the midst of the Ethereal Plane (also known as the Place of Instant Death). Soon everybody who had run in was fallen, including (I'm afraid) the bride and groom, and the rift had vanished, cutting off access to the EP. Some attempts were made to rescue at least a few of the exiles, but it came to naught and there was a mass depart, no doubt further damaging the planar balance.

And then if that had been all it would have been a busy day, but now I was asked to come along on an expedition to Umbrion's Keep, where some mystics were interested in a trainer who has something to do with ethereal thingies (I'm not sure what exactly, mystics always talk so fast). We had no fewer than five mystics along, and were a bit short on fighters, but we had a good staff of healers and no fear in our hearts (well, maybe a little). The trip in to the Keep was almost too easy, and then we started north towards the tar pool, fighting every step of the way. At one point things were looking bad, when suddenly we met a group of strong exiles led by Gurgi. With the combined forces we quickly dispatched the lyfes and gathered our tar; and then Gurgi's group very kindly escorted our group of mystic escorts to our trees, taking time out of their busy hunting schedule.

Of course, now we faced the final part of the trip without the help of the others, and by now night had fallen and the lyfes were in their extra-mean form. But again luck was with us, we found the lyfe village area to be empty of any cats of any kind, and strolled through to the scarmis pit area without any problem at all. The last few areas we were back to fighting tooth and claw, but with strong fighting by Sten and quick chaining by Ledward we managed to keep everybody up and walking, making it to the boatmaker just as the sun came up. Not only had we brought all of the mystics to the end, we even managed to avoid anybody getting infected! And I in particular was very happy to break my previous habit of falling just south of the boat cave, for the first time I got off the island without departing...

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Chasing the groom. (v238)

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The ceremony begins. (v238)

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The ceremony ends, and pies begin to fly. (v238)

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The results of the ether backsplash. (v238)

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I finally make it to the boats! (v238)

Fordi, 84 Summer 546 (7/7/02)

Well after the excitement of the wedding and my recent Lyfe Island trip it's been back to the library as usual for me. I've heard some interesting rumors about a 'noid invasion of town, and of exploring expeditions beyond Alchy's Folly and the Dread Passage, but so far no reports of major breakthroughs. I did get to try some more experiments with my now extensive rock collection, but results continue to be discouraging, and I am still having little luck in my efforts to collect more samples of some of the rarer types of stone. And then to top it all off I checked my status in the fifth circle fighter test for the first time in a while, only to discover that not only am I still unable to hit the darn banshee, but Cerberal now officially rates my efforts as below par. I suppose I can console myself with the thought that I'm getting closer...

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Cerberal starts making fun of me. (v240)

Merdi, 14 Autumn 546 (7/12/02)

Somehow or other summer has made its exit, leaving us in the final season of the year. Days are getting shorter, but I'm still spending most of them in the library, much to my dismay. I've managed to make a few short trips to the eastern cove of Lyfe Island, but that's about it. On the other hand, my rockhounding has finally paid off, as I managed to locate one of the somewhat rare yellow rocks. That means that the only type of rock I haven't personally found a sample of is the even rarer black kind, but I plan to continue my search until I find one. Of course, just having a rock collection is thrill enough for most dwarfs, but I am still trying to find a more practical use for the ones I have accumulated, with a marked lack of success so far.

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An interesting looking stone... (v240)

Screen Shot add to my collection! (v240)

Lundi, 32 Autumn 546 (7/16/02)

With great trepidation I tried the fighter test again this week, only to fail in a most disheartening fashion; I need to rethink my tactical approach and weapons selection. The main reason for my failure became evident to me when I went to help with a rescue in the Valley just the other day: I just can't hit the broad side of a barn, even with the fell blade from behind when the barn has swung out. This is a consequence of training using the legendary "Norm Method," which mostly consists of not being able to hit stuff. On the other hand, with my excellent Regia I can whiff many more times per minute than most other exiles can hit. With Fifth Circle only a distant dream I returned to rock hunting, and much to my delight I quickly found that elusive black rock whose rarity I had recently been remarking about. Of course, this means that I now have two complete sets, and no longer have any excuse about "gathering more data" to explain away the lack of success at determining how the various rocks can be combined. At the rate I'm making progress on that front I'll be Fifth Circle before I see results...

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And here's another one... (v240)

Screen Shot complete the set! (v240)

Sombdi, 65 Autumn 546 (7/24/02)

It's gotten to the point where large sand wurms don't pose much of a threat to me, although they do have the disadvantage that when they double-hit I can end up flat on my back and in need of several healers. Actually, that's been happening all too often lately, maybe I need to rethink that "not much of a threat" thing. Still, hunting the big wurms has been my pastime lately, with obviously mixed results. I've been doing a little bit of work on the rock front, mostly library research I'm afraid; I went back and looked up some records written by Babajaga and Koric on the Darshak sage who once helped several exiles use the rocks to create flasks of explosive powders, with disastrous results. I haven't heard any recent reports of the sage; there's a rumor that he is dead, but I have to wonder if the 'Brions may have got their mitts on him instead. I also got a tip that at least one flask is still in an exile's hands, which indicates either that somebody has been keeping one salted away, or that there is still somebody around who knows how to make the things...

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A little nocturnal sunbathing. (v242)

Terrdi, 76 Autumn 546 (7/27/02)

The year is drawing to a close, which means less sunlight and more darkness for the next few weeks, until we reach the Solstice and the days start to get longer again. The long nights mean more time in the library for me, except when I'm out nosing about for rocks or falling to tree giants in the South Forest (I know, I know, "don't fight on red," I'm sure I'll remember next time). Thanks to the generous contribution of a black crumbly rock to my collection I am now close to completing my third set, although at this point I'm getting in to serious money for storage costs. And then the other day as I was wandering around the South Forest looking for a tree giant to fall to I overheard sunstone chatter about large slime monsters in town center. At first I thought someone was pulling my leg, but then healers started to fall to the slime, and I headed back to find a number of icky green amoebas slurping around town center chasing people. I have never fought these things before, so I located a single monster in the Temple and starting whacking away, thinking "oh, this isn't so bad" when the thing suddenly split into several smaller globs, each of which began attacking me and smearing me with sticky slime, and then the bits regrouped into even more of the things! Needless to say I didn't last long. Lucky for me some healers showed up and rescued me, and we ran out to join a group on Mai's Lawn that was luring the things in one by one and hunting down all the globs as they split and reformed. The mail problem was the ability of the globs to splatter about, often finding their way next to a healer; but now there were enough exiles to clear the lawn, and we soon had the situation "under control" (meaning we were hiding on the lawn and the slime was slurping about everywhere else). I had to make a dash to the library before it was all clear, but later I heard that at least some of the slime evaporated.

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Run away! (v242)

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Salvador says it all. (v242)

Gradi, 89 Autumn 546 (7/30/02)

It's been a while since I've taken part in a Full Moon Orga Camp Raid, but I just happened to be out of the library this past full moon, and after struggling to help defeat an orgaberry lyfe (it seems they are much stronger during full moons) I wandered over to the Orga Camp and joined a group of strong exiles led by the famous Jo Ma'ril. The approach these days is to attack towards the end of the full moon rather than early in the day, so that the Magician is fully materialized and you don't have to wait about and endure the bolts of the 'locks near the Pit. We quickly raced through OC2 and OC3, and met only minimal resistance in the way of orga fighters; but the bolts in OC4 were very heavy, and we were just a little light on healers for the task. There were a couple of retreats, and it was getting later and later, but finally we managed to clear all of the junk and advance the rod to the edge of the Pit area. We made one last sweep for backspawns, and then the fighters rushed en mass towards the orga magician, trying not to kill the 'locks unless required to get at the big blue guy. The orga seemed taken off guard, and with the large number of fighters in the rush they weren't able to concentrate their fire, so each of us only took a few hits before the magician went down and fire swept the camp clean of orga. Zorton popped in and was out almost at once with a new stone. I managed to make it all the way through the raid without falling, until I got a bit confused on the way out and ended up trapped in OC2; but Yor and Jo came back to pull me out, so the day (and the year) ended on an up note.

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The orga magician falls and... (v242)

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..things get a mite hot. (v242)

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Zorton shows off his new acquisition. (v242)