The portals continue to be the main topic of exile debate, with several different groups advocating various usage policies. I generally keep aloof from the fray, although at one point I am inadvertently swept up in a very real and serious fashion. And I learn a bit about the use of the Gossamer Blade, which turns out to be quite helpful in whacking those vermines.
Fordi, 18 Winter 551 (7/22/03)
Well I'm back from my extended vacation, camping in the woods on Centaur Island, far away from the hustle and bustle of Puddleby. I managed to miss the end of the year, a chaos storm or two, and a big dust-up about the location of the purple and green magic portals that were found on the dark cloud when the South Forrest mirror opened. It seems that these portals can be moved about by dedicated exiles, and not only are they the terminus for the similarly colored mirrors on the cloud, but in addition if you step into one of the portals you are transported to the other. For some time one portal was in Falinea's garden, and the other was on the cloud, providing easy access to the cloud for those of us who haven't been able to use the SF mirror with the cloud directly overhead; but then it seems that the portal from the cloud was moved to the Trainer's Grotto in the foothills, and then somebody (many folks are saying the infamous PM clan) tried to move it even further and it got stranded in the Dred Passage, in a location where the transport function no longer worked. After much name calling an impressive coalition of clans formed a battle group and showed those orga what for, retreiving the portal and restoring the previous positions. Oh well, I may have missed all the excitement, but at least I had a relaxing vacation...
Strange place for a hut. (v294)
Ludi, 63 Winter 551 (8/2/03)
It's been fairly quiet around Puddle these days, although I did get a chance to take some swings at the really mean fireless fire drake that was wandering about town for a while, and I even tagged it once or twice before having to retire to the library again; I hear that eventually a group of exiles wore it down and killed it. I have been trying a few new things lately, I purchased a gossamer sword from Smythus and I am now practicing with that weapon, for a long time I thought as a Regia mavin that I didn't need a goss, but talking with exiles such as McBain has led me to believe that even I can gain some benefit from it; and I'm also trying to keep my options open on becoming a Ranger at some point, although it has been hinted I would have to give up my fell blade training to do so. I also joined the sky-diving club by leaping from the cloud, lucky for me it was over the southern dunes at the time and I landed on the nice soft sand, as I just barely survived the plunge. It was fun to do it once, but I don't plan to make a regular habit of the practice...
Yes, it's true. (v294)
I get ready to jump. (v294)
Sombdi, 13 Spring 551 (8/12/03)
Folks are up in arms about the portals again, this time somebody moved one of the portals to the interior of Lyfe Island, giving groups who hunt there an easy entrance and exit, but then somebody else moved the other portal to a dangerous location (I've heard several rumors, including 'Noth Island or a lava pit in one of the Keeps), rendering the portal system useless for everybody. Exiles who were using the portal to reach the cloud are angry because it's no longer possible to get there unless you are one of the lucky ones to have access to the mirror (and even then the only way off is to portal into the lava or jump). I'm wondering if the whole portal thing is a plot by the 'Brions to divide the exiles into squabbling factions (and if so it is certainly working)! Without the cloud access I've been doing a bit more hunting on solid ground lately, including some trips to Mel's island, the Cove, and even a visit to the Valley for the first time in a while. And Viola, the first (and as far as I know only) Champion has acquired a lava cloak, and I'm hoping to have a chance to see it in action some time soon.
Shortly before defeating a squid. (v296)
Fordi, 75 Spring 551 (8/27/03)
The portals have been restored to their former positions in Falinea's garden and on the cloud, and even more important the cloud itself has been sticking closer to the South Forest mirror, so that even I, a humble dwarf, was able to be at the mirror on one of the heretofore rare occasions when the cloud passed overhead. There had been reports that the cloud was nearby, so I strolled down to have a look, and I had waited no more than a few minutes before it drifted overhead and I was able to join the heretofore exclusive Mile High Club. Of course beyond that things have been pretty sedate, I have been studying the Gossamer and getting closer and closer to the elusive goal of continuous swings, gathering a few coins, and taking part in a couple of hunts to the usual locations. At the moment things are pretty quiet around Puddle, lots of folks seem to be off on vacation, but I have heard forecasts of a really major chaos storm on the horizon; we'll have to see what happens.
Lyfes lining up for wood. (v298)
Fordi, 27 Summer 551 (9/6/03)
I continue to hear of famous exiles who are leaving Puddle for parts unknown, either to return to the mainland after the expiration of their sentence or to other lands even farther afield. It was bad enough when Koric left, but now I have heard that Haenk, Shamhat and K'pyn have moved on as well, and I'm sure there are other exiles just as famous that I haven't heard about. Those of us who are left continue to potter around town, and there are new exiles arriving from time to time, but it's pretty sure that the population of our metropolis is not on an upward trend. This can make things difficult at times, especially when some foolish dwarfs go an get themselves bolted deep in the Snaggy and there aren't a lot of folks around for the rescue. Actually, we probably did have enough for the rescue, but we kept arriving one or two at a time and getting bushwhacked by the 'locks. I myself had a chance to be a hero early on, but rather than keeping my head, quaffing a healing potion, and then cooly chaining the fallens, I tried to chain first and quaff later and ended up both bolted and fried along with the rest. After I was raised and then chained part way by Baffette (who fell), chained part way by Sagamor (who fell), chained a bit further by McBain (who fell), clever Farhope finally managed to not only locate everybody and slap a chain on them, but also dragged us all the way back to town. Clearly she's a lot stronger than she looks...
Farhope saves the day! (v300)
Merdi, 54 Summer 551 (9/13/03)
After an encounter with a venomous snake outside Fat Alice's hut I recovered a venom gland, and from talking to other exiles I learned that this valuable item can be used to make a potion that counters the effects of poison, and in particular chigger venom! By making regular trips to the herpetid nesting cave I was able to obtain the other component of the potion, and assisted by Mjollnir's expert potion mixing skills I now have an antidote for the terrible effects of a chigger bite. In other news, I actually spoke with our clan leader Geraldus (who is still not a wizard but is hiding in the library even more than I), and he informed me of the happy news that a new Emperor Duck has been selected! And finally I learn from ThoomCare News that several big events are coming up, Pogue Mahone is holding a major contest involving the portals in a couple of days, and Fundin is organizing an unruly mob for a trip to the foothills in another moon or so.
Don't lick the lizards! (v300)
Sombdi, 1 Autumn 551 (9/22/03)
As usual I missed all the fun this week, but from news reports I gather that both the portal hunt and the foothills trip were great successes, with many exiles taking part. To top it off, there was another chaos storm, although I must admit that it seems to have been pretty mild. I am closing in on my Gossamer training goal, and will soon be changing back to my usual combat training; I'm not sure at this point how much use I'm getting out of the ranks trained in the Goss, but I can certainly mow through those vermine pretty quick (useful for rescuing folks from the Vermine Tree). I've been hunting the usual polar bears and blood wyrms, although I did spend some time at the Coli where I found I could defeat the orga wrath without too much problem; my subsequent attempt to solo a young sasquatch was more of a walkover, and not in my favor, so despite my progress I still won't be passing that circle test any time soon.
We have an easy time of it (so far). (v300)
Fordi, 56 Autumn 551 (10/5/03)
Things have been a bit contentious around town for a while now, and about the only good thing to be said for spending as much time in the library as I do is that I miss out on most of the arguments. The particular bone of this contention is the location of the portals, which some exiles feel should be restricted from being used in certain locations. And by "some exiles" I mean, of course, the Pogue Mahone clan, which has made it clear that they consider the placement of one of the portals inside Lyfe Island to be detrimental to their interests (and by their reasoning, what's good for Pogue Mahone is good for Puddleby). Things came to a head a while ago when the portal was removed while exiles were using it to do a bit of lyfe-bashing, resulting in a great deal of finger-pointing and not much sensible talk. I myself recently took advantage of the portal being on Lyfe Isle to help with a rescue, a group was hunting on the southern end of the island and got bushwhacked by a bunch of cobras, but after collecting some fighters and using a red healing potion to get Naf back up we were able to pick the snakes off one at a time and chain the fallens back to the hut, from whence I safely returned to my usual haunts at the library via the portal, thereby ruining the fun of any PM members who might have been about at the time...
Rise and shine! (v303)
Fordi, 29 Winter 552 (10/21/03)
Another New Year has come and gone, along with at least one chaos storm, and things continue pretty much as before in Puddle. I have not heard any further rumors about the Ranger profession, but I have reached a certain degree of skill with the Gossamer and now feel prepared to investigate that skill set when it does become available. I have heard that contention over the portals continues, with the leadership of the Pogue Mahone clan now stating that they will object to Fundin's well-organized mob making use of the portals for an upcoming scheduled Foothills trip. I have to wonder if in their next pronouncement PM will decree that large groups are not to be allowed as well, and henceforth only teams of six or less will be allowed to attempt the foothills (after all, that's how many PM members it takes, why should other exiles enjoy the advantages of an army of fifty). Perhaps I should remind the PM membership that their efforts would be better spent supporting my earlier Humor Warden initiative? And I haven't heard any rumors yet but by my calculations the Feast of Tsrrin is coming up soon, and we all know what that means!
Herding cats. (v307)
Terrdi, 62 Winter 552 (10/29/03)
The first Battle of the Portals has come and gone, without much actual resolution taking place. I came out of the library for my usual off-hours jaunt and found that a group of Pogue Mahone stalwarts (including Klur, Malkor, Baff, and the otherwise-lovely Althea) were in the lands, and taking a quick stroll to Falinea's Garden I found several exiles watching Klur pop in and out of the purple portal, it seems that the group was taking advantage of the low exile population to move the green portal from its previous location. And I'm not sure if it was due to an accident or because I offended Klur with my witty commentary on his activities (something along the lines of "Hey Klur, you suck!"), but on one of his trips through the Garden the PM leader dragged the purple portal directly on top of one of the bystanders (myself), resulting in a quick trip to the wilds of Lyfe Island, where I was immediately attacked by a couple of night-phase lyfes while PM members looked on in amusement. I was able to keep on my feet (but not by much) and stumble back to the green portal for the return trip, but it was not a very nice for Klur to do, especially since I wasn't actually doing anything to interfere with their scheme.
And it turned out to be all for naught, as several exiles much more organized than I were keeping tabs on the location of the portal, and I heard later that a concerted effort was made to slow down the PM's portal movement, to the point where in the end they gave up and left the portal somewhere on the island, where it was later retrieved and used for the Foothills trip as planned; and then the Foothills trip itself turned out to be less successful than in the past despite having the portal along, anyway. Now there are rumors that the mystics are researching new ways to control the portals, and even that some are trying to destroy them entirely. And speaking of conflict and strife, on a later trip out of the lib I encountered yet another sign that the Feast of Tsrrin is coming up all too soon...
I get swept up by the sparkles. (v307)
Run and hide! (v307)
Fordi, 9 Spring 552 (11/7/03)
After all of my worry about the Feast of Tsrrin, the event itself was rather tame by comparison to past years. I was able to gather a collection of candy without much difficulty and qualify for the coveted fire drake costume, and town was even more festive than usual due to the many pumpkin-head scarecrows that decorated the scene (although I have heard that the scarecrows came to a bad end at some point). On the actual feast day there were some undine problems in town, but during the times when I was out of the lib there wasn't much danger to the living, at one point both Urgelt and Yor were standing guard in town center, and it would take a whole army of undead to defeat either of those two. I was only undined once myself during a less than successful attempt to help do in a death bunny, but I was quickly lured back to town, rekilled and healed. Now the feast is over, Spring has arrived, and I'm back on my usual training schedule, although I do find myself thinking about doing some more Gossamer work, I've found the weapon to be a great boost to my fighting abilities as the rapid balance recovery maximizes my balance defense and hence minimizes the rate at which monsters can inflict damage during combat. So far there are no reports of Rangers in the lands, but I have heard rumors that they are coming "soon!"
Trick or treat! (v309)
Merdi, 71 Spring 552 (11/22/03)
According to rumors the stability of the portals has decreased a bit after the last chaos storm, and they now have a tendency to "snap back" to the cloud after a while. Most of the time when I check their positions I find one in Falinea's Garden south of town, and the other near the mirrors on the cloud, but just recently I stepped through the green portal by mistake (somebody left it near the entrance to the Garden) and found that the purple portal was back in the hut on Lyfe Island, at least for the moment. I've been spending some time hunting blood wyrms, now that polar bears are becoming less of a challenge, and also some time hunting for ore, as I had a dreaded two-metal-loss break the other day while pulling some fallen exiles out of the Cove. This time it didn't take me long to replace the chain, the first ore I found turned out to be a good one, and with Baffina's help I only had to check another seven ores before finding the second metal to replace the lost chain. When hunting metal two out of eight isn't bad at all!
Not my usual dwarfish luck. (v311)
Sombdi, 46 Summer 552 (12/8/03)
Despite resolutions to the contrary I continue to spend more and more time in the library, even as other, less literary exiles fight off invasions of Darshaks or meshras, which I only learn about second or even third hand. When I have ventured away from the stacks I have managed to take part in a couple of Valley rescues, and then when Axell showed up in town today and wanted to fall I obliged her by locating some cave cobras to do us both in; eventually Dongle showed up to kill the spiders so Chiaro could reach the boat and drag our sorry carcasses to town; and then to celebrate we all went off to do in a mother sasquatch on Mel's Island.
'Zu walls in the valley. (v313)
Another sticky situation... (v313)
Sombdi, 46 Autumn 552 (12/23/03)
Bawkmas is fast approaching, and all of Puddle is abuzz about the upcoming (or not upcoming) Bawkmas pageant and thespian extravaganza, which may have been cancelled due to lack of thespians. In the meantime I have heard that mystic transport stones are not working the way they did before, perhaps all of that messing about with the portals has affected the stones as well; I have heard that Zorton in particular is unhappy about not being able to transport large groups of chained and fallen exiles, although even he would have to admit that the ability to move large groups of people borders on the actually useful and therefore isn't really appropriate to a mystic. I've been hiding in the library as usual, although I have helped out with some chaining on Mel's island in recent zodiacs, and have been hunting up red potion ingredients in the meantime.
Another day, another uli... (v315)
Sombdi, 89 Autumn 552 (1/9/04)
Things seem to be happening at a great rate these days, the recent chaos storm (last before the end of the year) seems to have brought a great many changes to the lands, including some sort of alchemy hunt (Leth Nimbletoes was involved somehow), and now there are new landings on the south coast of Melabrion's Island, which lead to some swampy plains inhabited by snakes and mahas. You need to be careful with the landing, as I found out when I ran into some sharp rocks and had to be raised by a group of healers. There is a town to the east with a dock that makes for a much safer departure from the island; the inhabitants report that they were recently attacked by some green-skinned neighbors, and if you scout north to a river you should be able to spot some of them on the other side; at the moment I haven't heard of anybody finding a crossing, though. I have also seen reports of caves being discovered, and I am sure that there are other hidden secrets as well...
Scenic but damp. (v319)
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