After some plumbing problems in the Temple our town was attacked by a vast Darshak horde, but in the end the exiles were victorious. I took part in some more battles with the orga, and new sunstone technology was developed by those clever mystics. And finally, when nobody expected it, the mirror in the South Forest started working again!
Soldi, 26 Winter 549 (1/29/03)
Here it is a new year (and the first full moon of the year to boot), and a chaos storm is expected any day now, and as usual I'm spending most of my time in the library, despite frequent new year's resolutions to the contrary. On the other hand, not much seems to be going on these days, other than the usual hunts and arguing about how useless mystics are. I have heard rumors that the Mystic Guild has collected enough "strange stones" to satisfy the demands of the 'Brions, but I'm not sure if they have turned them over yet or not, and I'm still not convinced of the wisdom of the plan. And finally it seems that my 1,000 coin bounty on the giant chigger has gone unclaimed, it looks like all those coins are going to get donated to the wildlife preserve instead of enriching a deserving exile.
I understand it tastes like chicken. (v268)
Sombdi, 67 Winter 549 (2/8/03)
More hunting recently, including a couple of trips to battle the mud golems that infest Melabrion's Keep, with mixed results; those things hit awful hard, and what with mudballs and bits of the ceiling flying about it's very easy to end up fallen. On one of the trips we lost a healer to several mudballs and had to head to town for more Horus, but then as I was chaining out I ran into a very angry mommy sasquatch and her little sasquatch children, I was lucky to make it out on low red. In other news, there is a threat posted near the docks by some clown I've never even heard of demanding 500,000 coins "or else". My theory is that this is some trick by one of the 'Brion brothers to defraud us of our hard-earned coppers, and should be treated as such.
I guess "thoom" isn't on the menu. (v270)
Fordi, 87 Winter 549 (2/13/03)
The recent chaos storm seems to have mixed things up a bit, with extensive new tunnels opening up under the town and many rumors of other strange goings-on. I missed the recent Orga Camp disaster, although I did help take part in the tail end of the cleanup of OC1, I guess exiles had been battling there pretty much all day. I have also heard that the threatening sign that appeared on the docks was put there during a major Darshak raid, which would tend to indicate that they are behind it; and there have been numerous reports of increased 'shak activity lately. And finally the mysterious puddles in the Temple have been speading, they are now lapping against the feet of Master Spirtus. They are located a little too close to the altar to make me happy, and I have to wonder if the extensive tunnelling has somehow opened up a connection to a new underground water source that is now seeping in to our Temple.
The "Puddle Problem" continues to spread. (v272)
Sombdi, 5 Spring 549 (2/15/03)
It never rains but it pours (so to speak); not only are the puddles continuing to spread in the Temple, to the point where the trainers there can't do their job; not only has the number of Darshak spies snooping around town taken a substantial upward swing, no doubt in anticipation of the major 'shak invasion taking place in a few days; not only are there major ether manifestations taking place off the coast; but on top of all that I came out of the library today to hear reports that an expedition to the Foothills had discovered that the crumbling wall had...well, crumbled! A pitched battle was taking place against new, even stronger 'noids, and it wasn't going too well either, I saw several departs stagger out of the temple (dripping water as they emerged). Despite the tough bugs Knucklehead and Manx managed to get past the wall and discovered that the book there was Giayl's Guide to Hidden Ways, and that it contained instruction in the art of pathfinding! Needless to say there was considerable excitement, and much talk of return expeditions to show those bugs what for.
Water, water everywhere... (v272)
Terrdi, 9 Spring 549 (2/16/03)
Events continue to move on at a rapid clip, it seems that the water issue in the Temple was indeed caused by subterranean seepage, and now the very foundation of the building has been undermined to the point that a portion of the floor has collapsed. The good news is that this provided a drain which quickly removed most of the puddles; the bad news is that Master Spirtus actually fell with the floor and is now sulking in the basement. On the Foothills front there has been at least one further expedition to the 'noid cavern, but so far the 'noids remain the victors, and I haven't heard of anybody else reaching the book. And meanwhile here in town everybody seems to be just sitting around waiting for the Darshak to invade some time tomorrow, if they don't show up now I think people are going to be very disappointed...
Where the water went. (v272)
Close but no cigar. (v272)
Gradi, 15 Spring 549 (2/17/03)
My concern about the Darshak not showing up seem to have been groundless, after a day spent watching for any signs of Darshak activity there were sudden reports of huge undine spawns on Ash Island, including the dreaded Greater Death. Several attempts were made to gain a foothold on the island to rescue the forward scouts, but with little success, and then as nightfall neared a swarm of warships appeared, quickly sweeping the exiles from the seas. I was chained to Centaur Island for healing, where what should appear but...my totem animal! Yes once again it seems that the Darshak had kidnapped my goat. I managed to escort the goat all the way back to Puddle island, but she refused to follow me to shore, and then when I headed back to sea to find her she was nowhere to be seen. The same could not be said for the dozens of 'shak ships which quickly surrounded and sunk my rowboat, forcing my first depart (number 37) in some time.
Now the battle began in earnest, as armies of pirates poured ashore, quickly assaulting the west gate and also sending raiding parties to the north and south. We held the gates for a short time, but a swarm of commandos swept aside the defenders and almost immediately gained control of the center of town. We retreated to the libraries and temples, and now the true wisdoom of our clever dwarf mining team was revealed, it was evident that the recent flooding of the temple was due to the emergency access tunnel that the miners had built in order to help us maintain communication with the Temple during the impending invasion. I helped out with the defence of the Healer's Temple, but we were hampered by the fact that we couldn't use our chains to retrieve fallens from outside, and when I made a foolish rush to try to draw some pirates away I ended up fallen in east town (depart number 38). For a time after that I helped defend the main Temple, and then joined in a small group that was attempting to rescue some long fallens on North Beach. We made out way through the tunnels to the hive, but on emerging we found even more 'shaks in the north fields and farm than there were in town! When I fell this time I realized that I had run out of time, and so I just waited out the rest of the battle fallen in the north farms. From reports by other exiles I have leared that the Darshak leader was finally defeated, and I have to admit that I haven't seen a 'shak since then.
The first of many. (v272)
Defending the west gate. (v272)
Fordi, 32 Spring 549 (2/21/03)
Trips to the foothills continue to be popular these days, and I have been told by Wormy that at least one other expedition got some folks in to read "the book," including him, although they ended up having to depart after. I haven't yet heard if Manx or any of the other early readers have managed to make major breakthroughs in the pathfinding area yet, but we are certainly hoping for something to develop from all this; I've heard of a couple paths that are not quite passable up until now, one in the Orga Village and the other beyond Alchy's Folly. I tagged along on an earlier expdition to try and reach the foothills, we were doing pretty well getting through the Hollow and Outback, but when we got to the Dred Passage things went a bit astray, the healers were getting hit by just a little too much lightning, we lost the rod at a crucial point, and all of the healers fell. At this point poor Talin departed, there was some confusion about the plan in this situation, but the rest of us either sprinted back to the well or got chained out. After healing up a bit the old fashioned way we made a dash through the Orga Village with the fallens on chains, and managed to reach the exit. Even I made it out, thanks to a couple of tykan potions!
We get charged up for the attack. (v272)
The result of a bit too much lightning. (v272)
Soldi, 55 Spring 549 (2/27/03)
Just when things seem to be settling down to normal I stepped out of the library shortly before the recent Chaos Storm to find the town under attack again, this time from the orga, who were sending 'locks, z'lots, and lots of Big Red Orgas at the gates in swarms. What with the orgas, lightning, and exiles swarming around town things got very confusing very fast, but we were holding our own and managed to push the one-eyes back before the storm struck. After the storm the battle rolled back through the East Field, Tanglewood and on to the Orga Camp, but I managed to miss most of that by hiding in the library. And then just the other day Alchemist was telling me that some of the handhful of exiles who have managed to read Giayl's book have finished learning the first lessons it contains, but now must return to the book in order to peruse the next chapter and continue their learning. Too bad the book is chained down and can't be brought back to town! I would guess that this will mean even more expeditions to the Foothills and battles with the nasty 'noids so that the potentially very important advanced pathfinding skills can be improved.
One hot dwarf. (v272)
Lundi, 1 Summer 549 (3/8/03)
I haven't been able to take part in any of the expeditions myself, but I keep hearing about trips to the Foothills to attempt to reach that book, with at best mixed success. I also continue to hear rumors about the Mystic Council's plan to exchange a set of "strange stones" with the 'Brion brothers, in exchange for which the 'Brions have promised to give us a portal to the Ethereal Plane (another place where I don't spend a lot of time personally). Last I heard the actual date for the exchange hadn't been worked out yet, but the Council has the stones and is ready to go on with the deal. I've been doing a bit of rescue work and trying some of the public challenges available around town, including McBain's truely impressive record of 156 skels in 60 minutes. I turned in a respectable showing today when I discoverd a large group of skels standing around the East Field, but I still have a ways to go...
23 short of the record. (v274)
Fordi, 26 Summer 549 (3/14/03)
I have heard some rumors that Giayl's book contains only three chapters, and that some difficult paths continue to be...well, difficult. I'm sure that as more exiles increase their expertise and spend some time staring at sparkles we will have some breakthroughs, but it looks like we won't have a lot of new paths opening up right away. I myself managed to make it out of the library for the recent full moon raid on the Orga Camp, which we attempted with a pretty small group and which encountered a rather large number of orgas. I was a bit slow on keeping up with the group in OC4 and ended up taking a few too many bolts, and then the final rush for the Magician ended up just a few yards short of the objective. A few of us departed, but most were "chanted" to OC1 by helpful z'lots. So no stone for poor Zorton this month.
Things are not going well. (v274)
Soldi, 63 Summer 549 (3/23/03)
I've been a bit under the weather lately, and as a consequence I've been out of the library even less than usual (which is to say "hardly at all"). I did manage to tag along on a couple of Valley hunts recently, not much new to report there; and I've taken to solo hunting megamouths and baltoises (baltoisi?) off the shores of Lyfe Island, which means I've been getting a lot of practice fighting off swarms of plankton. There are now reports that there is at least one additional book of pathfinding beyond the foothills, and I would guess that there are more to find before some lucky exile makes the big breakthrough and finds the way to Trillbane's Library and the (rumored) Orga Stronghold. And finally Lundar has announced that the Mystic Council is preparing to exchange their six strange stones to the 'Brion brothers some time tomorrow, I still don't think that this is a good idea and plan to show my lack of support by not attending the exchange meeting (besides I can't make it anyway). I just hope that there will still be a Puddleby when I come out of the library later...
Gone fishing. (v276)
Soldi, 50 Autumn 549 (4/11/03)
Well, I see by the date of my last entry that I've been more than remiss in keeping up my journal, despite several interesting developments taking place in recent zodiacs. The exchange with the 'Brion brothers took place as planned, and despite my fears there has not been any sudden destruction visited on Puddleby; in fact, I'm now starting to wonder if the 'Brions are going to welch on their side of the deal. There was a rift in town for a while, which led to a seaside resort with a number of very interesting arcade games; I managed to make acceptable scores in all of them, and earned myself some nice cans of paint (in my favorite color, of course). And we've had at least of couple of chaos storms as well, and there are rumors going around that the Fighter Guild is working on some new sub-orders within the overall fighting profession. I myself continue to do a bit of hunting from time to time, but I haven't been able to tag along on any major expeditions for a while.
Too many spiders! (v280)
Gradi, 18 Winter 550 (4/25/03)
I continue to stumble out of the library from time to time, my most recent adventure of note was a trip to Melabrion's Keep to try and help rescue Larno and Baff. We quickly dispatched a small sasquatch spawn in the passes leading to the keep, and then tried to clear some of the Keep's guards while dodging golems and mudballs. At one point I made a dash and managed to snag Baff, but got trapped on the way out; but with help from Pyro and Baffette I got pulled out, and then McBain showed some extreme chaining talent and got Larno out from deep inside the keep. In other news a new year has come, another chaos storm has passed, and I have heard reports of venomous snakes being encountered in the Cove. Then the other day I stepped in to 'Noids and was quickly surrounded, but lucky for me Pyro was around to organize a quick rescue.
How not to fight 'noids. (v282)
Terrdi, 40 Winter 550 (4/30/03)
Recently Gold Moon showed me where the house of Leth Nimbletoes is located, and I was hoping to find the time to lug some of my rock collection out there and see if he could give me any clues on how to create the mysterious explosive powder (although my interest in this combustible concoction has lessened since the infamous wall in the Footshills crumbled on its own). But no sooner did I learn the fairly obscure location of the reclusive savant than he puts bright red potted plants out by the entrance and announces to the world that he's conducting research into sunstone technology, and could we please provide him with some supplies for the work? He quickly was given most of the items he wanted, except for a few rare leaves that took some searching for (I spent a fair amount of time tromping about the woods looking for them, to no avail), but now Leth says he has what he needs, and we can look forward to great developments in the sunstone area any day now.
Leth fills me in. (v282)
Lundi, 73 Winter 550 (5/8/03)
The sunstone developments have developed pretty quickly, shortly after my visit to Leth I heard that Zorton was upgrading exile's sunstones to the new, improved suncrystals and sungems. When he happened to step out of the library one day while I was wandering around town I quickly stepped to the front of the line and was soon the proud owner of a sungem, allowing me to think to clan members or to a small group of exiles of my choosing. Zorton has been working overtime to keep up with demand, although I've seen Aki performing sunstone upgrades and Worm was selling the end product as well. As if this wasn't enough, the recent chaos storm has brought with it new areas in the Fighter Hall, areas that are only accessible to fighters who qualify as "Champions," which requires a bit more training in the Fell blade than I have and involves some sort of quest for an "earthstone." I'm not sure if I really merit the promotion to Champion, who are supposed to be the best of the best fighters; I've actually been thinking of getting a Gossamer blade and trying that out before I make any final decisions.
I get the deluxe model. (v282)
Sombdi, 9 Spring 550 (5/15/03)
Spring has come, and with it longer days and fewer monsters to bop. I continue to spend a lot of time collecting beasts for Haricot's pots, with frequent trips to the Rocky Cavern to look for blood wyrms, along with a couple of expeditions to the Cove. On a recent Cove hunt we met a ton of blue lyfes, and then as we were on our way out we met a couple more...or so I thought until I ended up flattened, they were wyrm lyfes and if it weren't for that catsbane necklace I would be much furrier now. While on the hunt Urgelt was telling me that there was somebody calling himself "Arena Master" who was giving hints about making earthstones, but that this indivudual was under a curse of some kind that caused a stream of cobras to issue from the earth wherever he went. If it had been anybody else I would have thought this was a bit of a tall tale, but Urgelt is well known for being as honest as the day is long, which this time of year is pretty long indeed. So now the quest for earthstones seems to revolve around lifting the curse on the Arena Master...
The necklace pays off at last. (v284)
Fordi, 36 Spring 550 (5/21/03)
Another chaos storm has swept the islands, and this one has destabilized the 'Noid caverns; a new area has opened up beyond the deep cavern, this one inhabited by the deadly olive 'noids that we have met before beyond the Foothills. I briefly joined a large group of exiles who had just finished clearing out the new cavern, things were still shaking and rocks were still falling from the cavern roof, causing great damage and resulting in a number of near-death exiles. I managed to get munched by a couple of the brownish bugs, but on the other hand I also found a lump of ore, which seems to be in high demand at the moment as skillful fighters search for a lump that might be forged into an earthstone, so that they can qualify for the exhalted rank of Champion.
A sprig admits he was wrong. (v284)
Lundi, 5 Summer 550 (6/5/03)
The solstice has rolled around once more, making the days longer and the hunting less productive. I've been spending some time hunting for ore, but without much success, as exiles looking for earthstone minerals have been sweeping up the lumps as quickly as they are exposed by the natural weathering processes. So far I haven't heard of anyone actually finding anything, but perhaps the upcoming chaos storm will shake things up a bit. I did make it to the Coliseum recently, where I went toe-to-toe with an orga wrath (one of the featured attractions in the sixth circle fighter test), and it actually went down to the wire before the one-eyed mangler cut me down while red. So perhaps it's time for me to start taking the test again...
The traditional midsummer bramble roast. (v286)
Soldi, 67 Summer 550 (6/20/03)
Much has been going on in the lands, but as usual I'm stuck in the library for most of it. The big news is the return of Babajaga, who has been away for about four years now, but is once again gracing us with her presence. And after going through about 1,000 lumps of ore Viola has assembled a complete set of earthpower minerals, allowing her to assemble an earthstone and gain the exalted rank of Champion (perhaps now that she's no longer vacuuming the passes I can find the metal I need to replace my last no-metal chain break). More 'noids have been seen in the lands, with a tunnel of sorts opening in the Marsh, which makes me wonder how extensive their underground network might be; I found a jade 'noid wandering around the north forest just yesterday, it was a tough battle but I managed to win (and extract the valuable teeth as well). And I have heard reports that the ethereal portal promised by the 'Brions has been opened, although you need some sort of mystic key to access it and it doesn't seem to be two-way, which was thought to be one of the requirements (you just can't trust those 'Brions). Now, I find it suspicious that shortly after the portal is opened a large dark cloud has been seen drifting over town, and I was told that at one point while it was over the East Field a lot of ethereal creatures spawned out of the cloud. Could the cloud be connected to the portal (some sort of ether leakage)?
An old friend! (v290)
Fordi, 17 Autumn 550 (6/30/03)
The big news recently has to be the "reopening" of the South Forest mirror, although I'm still a bit unclear on how or why this has suddenly happened. There were a number of reports posted in various places about how the mirror was open once again, it seems that the key was that magical cloud that I mentioned before, when it was near the mirror's location the mirror would begin to shimmer, and when the cloud was directly overhead then exiles could pass through the mirror and reach an area on the cloud itself, complete with two mirrors, caves, ice and snow, and several edges where you can view the land below and (if not careful) plummet to your death. As if this were not all, new portals were discovered (I'm not sure where, perhaps on the cloud itself?) that provide instant transportation between two points in the lands, and the portals can be moved about by exiles. I have not yet been able to pass through the mirror myself (the cloud has wandered off and was lost in the Tanglewood last I saw), but using the portal I was able to visit the cloud-land once, where I tangled with polar bears and snow mahas.
Now, I can think of two ways this might have worked. In one scenario the cloud is a recent development, probably related to the ether meddlings of the 'Brion brothers; on the other hand, the cloud may have been about for some time, but only recently became visible due to some sort of darkening effect. It wanders about quite a bit, and therefore seems to spend most of its time far away from the mirror; and although I would check the mirror from time to time, it is quite possible that I would have missed the "cloud effect" on the infrequent intervals when the less visible cloud was nearby. Unless there are further changes in the cloud's visibility we are unlikely to be able to figure out which of these two theories is closer to the truth...
As close as I've gotten so far... (v290)
Text Copyright © 2003 Normand ni Upthrup Haemnotl
Images Copyright © 1994-2003 Delta Tao Software, Inc.
All rights reserved