A Nice Spot for a Rest


Gungla Island is the site of new and interesting developments, with new passages being discovered. And then a bit later there are major goings on over at Lyfe Island, where the super-lyfe Rowl makes things interesting for a time (and manages to get me infected with Lyfism, lucky for me not for long).

Soldi, 42 Winter 553 (1/20/04)

Here it is a new year and everything, with a chaos storm coming up soon as well. I have learned that the fortifications around the south-east beach hut will be completed soon, making that location much more secure, although perhaps we should consider tying it in to the underground passages as well so that we can get there from the library in a secure fashion. Many exiles (including myself) have been spending a fair bit of time exploring Gungla Island, and I have heard rumors of a path being spotted (but no reports yet of it being passed) that perhaps will lead north of the river, where the locals sat there are other villages. I was there recently when Pyromaniac tipped me off to the presence of some wild boars, and after a quick search I was able to track them down. They proved fairly easy to kill, unlike the numerous cobras that inhabit the swampy bits of the island. And I took advantage of the portal to join in a recent lyfe hunt, we went through quite a number of them, but then when I made a dash for the hut I met up with more of those darn cobras and fell just yards short of the door. Lucky for me my buff clanmate Ffodor was there and quickly chained my chewed up body to town for a healer revival meeting!

Screen Shot

The elusive wild boars. (v319)

Sombdi, 76 Winter 553 (1/28/04)

The recent chaos storm brought some changes that struck a little close to home, as dwarfs became even more good-looking (I must admit I didn’t think that was possible, but you can’t argue with the facts). The rat towers also got a new paint job, although it doesn’t seem to have cut down on the rats. Even more remarkable, I have managed to find my way out of the library for a couple of actual hunts, including a trip through some caves on Lyfe Island where we ran into a ton of mean lyfes; another rescue in the Valley; and a series of chain-and-fall rescues in the Cove, where a large crowd of cobras made for some problems. When we were careful and waited for toggles from the fallens we managed to do pretty well, but half the time folks just rushed in and tried to kill too much at once, resulting in more fallens. After the sun came up things got a bit better, and thanks to some running by Tuzar and some Horus healing by a crowd of healers we managed to get everybody up again.

Screen Shot

Too many snakes, not enough exiles. (v321)

Fordi, 55 Spring 553 (2/14/04)

You can imagine the excitement raised by the recent announcement that Sor was going to reveal a new piece in a public unveiling at our own Puddleby Museum. As a long-time patron of the arts (and having commissioned a portrait from Sor myself) I made sure to be on hand when the tarp was dropped. A sizable and excitable crowd was on hand to view the event, and Sor made use of the chance to lavish praise upon the subject of his newest portrait, the famous explorer Yor. After the ceremony there was a mass pie-tossing, of which very little splattered on the artworks nearby, and much beer in various forms was consumed (as usual Connie had a bit too much I’m afraid). I was most impressed by the dramatic portrait, such is the skill of Sor that he can make even a zo look good.

Screen Shot

Sor perpares to say a few words. (v323)

Screen Shot

Muzea reveals the latest masterpiece. (v323)

Fordi, 7 Summer 553 (2/24/04)

There have been new developments in the colored stones area recently, in the form of a breakthrough in alchemical arts that allows skilled alchemists to utilize the various stones to create different colored paints (no word yet on the explosive properties of the various colors). And because a number of exiles want to have the paints, my large collection of white, black, pink, yellow and grey stones have been transformed from useless rubble to valuable commodities. Of course, I still have invested much more than the rocks are worth in collecting and storing them all this time…

And as if that were not enough, a crossing over one of the rivers on Gungla Island has been discovered; I stumbled out of the library a few days ago just as Andarius was preparing to lead a group to explore the new area, and I was able to tag along for part of the trip, which was a first time over the river for most of us. We quickly made our way to a desert area, where we entered a cave that proved to be packed with cobras, rippers, and a new “earth” wyrm that was able to hit pretty much all of us and has a ton of Darkus to boot. I was quickly felled by these beasts, but Natas was able to chain the fallens out (only to fall himself just after so that Drue had to chain him out in turn). We then scouted about the desert, which is inhabited by lesser sand wurms, which are about the same size as the more familiar large variety but are much stronger. We found an inhabited cave in one location and a ruined tower surrounded by dunes in another, at which point I had to head back to the library. So far I haven’t heard of anyone crossing the north fork of the river to reach the area where the mysterious green warriors have been spotted, but I suspect that this is only a matter of time.

Screen Shot

Must be confusing me with someone else. (v319)

Sombdi, 36 Summer 553 (3/2/04)

Screen Shot

Observing a moment of silence. (v325)

Merdi, 83 Summer 553 (3/14/04)

I have been out of the library a few times lately, and actually taken part in a few rescues, although I needed a rescue myself the other day when I was wandering around Gungla Island looking for wild boars and cacao pods and ran into a really hungry cave cobra instead. At long last I have finally reached the plateau of 1,000 ranks of training with Evus, all earned the hard way (by hiding in the library). Most of my other combat training is in Regia and Detha, although I have felt compelled to supplement with some Atkus training from time to time, and recently started adding some extra Darkus as well in order to help me out with that sixth circle test. This training style (the infamous “Norm Method”) makes me light on my feet, able to sustain a continuous series of blows against numerous opponents and deal out a great deal of cumulative damage, while at the same time I am able to avoid or absorb many of the attacks directed against me. On the other hand, as I mentioned before my attacking accuracy leaves something to be desired, so against fewer, tougher beasts (such as in the circle tests) I don’t do as well. And there are still a number of beasts that can hit me without any problem and do enough damage to bring me down in a few blows, such as that darn cave cobra I met on Gungla…

Screen Shot

I finally reach The Wall. (v327)

Lundi, 37 Winter 554 (4/16/04)

I have been on a long and largely unplanned diary hiatus recently, but now things seems to be settling back into a more reasonable schedule and I’m going to make an effort to get back on track. Life seems to be going on pretty well without me, what with the strange ripture appearing in town for a while, a new year rolling around, and now housemaking mania taking over Puddle. I have inspected a few of the model homes available in Puddleby Hollows, and I must say that I found none of them to my liking, being a dwarf I require that my living quarters be constructed out of sensible, durable stone rather than splintery (and highly flammable) wood. I have started trying again to pass the sixth circle test, with very mixed results, strangely enough it is the midnight wendies that are causing me the most trouble at the moment with their stone-tossing, the orga and even the sasquatch are now coming within my range but I have yet to come close to doing them all in at once. I also pitched in for at least part of a full-moon raid on the Orga Camp, things were going quite well until we got to OC3 and were unable to find the path into OC4. We retreated back to OC1 where Sor organized another attempt, but I ran out of time and had to return (as usual) to the comfort (and safety) of the library.

Screen Shot

All dressed up and no place to go. (v333)

Lundi, 75 Winter 554 (4/25/04)

I’ve been keeping fairly busy recently, making trips to the Coliseum to practice fighting some of the beasts in the sixth circle test; I’m getting to the point where I can take on one at a time and beat them without too much trouble, but I still take enough damage per critter to make it difficult to beat the test. I have also yet to reach my traditional greeting of “most who passed were weaker than you” before the test, so I suspect I still have a ways to go. In the meantime I have discovered that I can now hunt the frost giants that are occasionally to be found in the ice cave on the cloud (with some quick trips back to town for healing between bouts), and I have been doing a little bricking for small groups in ’Noids and the Dark Chamber. The bugs don’t cause much of a problem, but the undine can spawn waves of blue cloaks rather suddenly (and often behind your position if you have advanced to the pentagram), which can make for some exciting retreats. My bricking skills need a bit more development as well, I still get hit all too often, but with my robust health and a healer or two as backup I have been able to hold my own so far.

Screen Shot

Frosties by day and… (v333)

Screen Shot

…frosties by night. (v333)

Fordi, 17 Spring 554 (5/3/04)

The seasons have turned again, along with another chaos storm sweeping through town, and construction is underway for Puddleby Hollows, the first major housing development in town for quite some time. The fact that we haven’t needed more living quarters recently is an indication of how low the rate of new exiles has become, which coupled with the departure to parts unknown of many exiles (or, as in my case, devoting more of their time to the library) has led to a general decline in the number of people around and about at any given time. But still life goes on, I have been doing some more hunting in my usual spots, and now I have reached the point where Cerberal is once again laughing in my face about my inept attempts to pass the sixth circle test; usually this is a sign that I will be able to pass soon, but I still haven’t come up with viable tactics to deal with those pebble-tossing midnight wendies. Perhaps a few more ranks of Skea will do the trick?

Screen Shot

Must be a mental problem. (v335)

Terrdi, 43 Spring 554 (5/9/04)

I recently heard some rumors that there are still open mysteries to be found on Gungla Island, and that exiles are continuing to make attempts to pass the dangerous and extremely remote Pitch Caves. I myself have spent some time wandering around Gungla, but generally find that the areas there are either too easy or too hard, I haven’t found a “just right” hunting area to match the sasquatch bashing zone outside Melabrion’s fortress on the same island, or the cove on Lyfe Island. From speaking to the residents of the ruined village of Khororan on Gungla we know that there were three other villages on that part of the island. There are some ruins in the desert that might be the remains of Sul’ran, and we can guess where the Gan Vera village is located, as we can see the green-skinned warriors across the (so far) impassible river; but I have not heard any hints about how to reach the fourth town, which is located somewhere to the north of Khororan.

Screen Shot

Why Algy prefers cookies. (v335)

Terrdi, 71 Spring 554 (5/16/04)

In a remarkable coincidence, no sooner do I pen some remarks about Gungla Island than there are news reports from a recent Sun Dragon Clan expedition that has found new pathways on the island leading to previously obscured areas. And yes, it is a coincidence, I haven’t yet been to any of these locations myself, although to judge from the sketches I would guess that they lie beyond the (previously) uncrossable river. My own explorations of Gungla have involved a lot of running from, and occasionally falling to, large black snakes, although I did run across a herd of wild boars the other day. And on another occasion I stepped out of the library to find that the town was infested with “ratticus,” which is a rather vicious version of the familiar rat, but as they don’t hit me very well I was rapidly able to help clear the town, only to face an even bigger attack by “giant” ratticuses (ratticii?) that were able to hit me pretty darn well and quickly felled the rest of the town, leaving me and Lonesome on the lawn and Afrit and another healer or two in the buildings north of the square. It took some time due to the frequent pauses for healing, but with some careful luring and chaining we were able to wear down the rats and retake the town.

Screen Shot

Those are pretty mean rats! (v337)

Merdi, 10 Summer 554 (5/23/04)

Another invasion to report, this time the scarmis bugs opened their tunnels in and about town and poured out in great numbers. I stepped out of the library as a group of exiles was hunting down the remains of the attack, and helped a bit with the cleanup, but when a small group decided to risk plunging down a pit I suddenly recalled an important appointment in the library. As it turns out this was a good decision, when I came out of the library again a day or so later there were still many fallens down the pit, and a major rescue was being organized by way of the mystic portal on Ash Island. I followed along and managed to whiff at some of the bugs, but with all of the superfighters taking part in the battle, including several strong blood bladers, it didn’t take long for even the strongest scarmis to fall. In short order the chamber was taken and the fallens were chained out to heal in town.

Screen Shot

Whacking the bugs. (v337)

Lundi, 63 Summer 554 (6/5/04)

I have been spending more time exploring Gungla Island, which in turn means I have been spending more time getting chewed by cocha bugs after being felled by cave cobras (usually in one or two hits, darn it). Most areas of the island are not too dangerous for solo exploration if you can handle the winders and adders, but when a cobra shows up I’ve learned that I need to cut and run because it is quite likely to be a cave cobra and they tend to come in groups, which can make rescues difficult; I fell beyond some of the hidden crossings the other day, and it took several attempts and a sizable group to kill off all of the black snakes, rescue the original rescuers, and finally locate my decaying body. I continue to hunt for wild boars, but they are in very short supply these days, and seta lizards are nowhere to be seen, probably because of overhunting. I did stumble into the lair of strange looking “blood” and “deep” meshra, which have probably been around for ages, but were new to me (and not much of a challenge). I also ran into (and shortly thereafter ran away from) a baby p-saur (which is more challenge than I can handle, not being a bb’er).

Screen Shot

Look at the size of those teeth! (v339)

Screen Shot

Double deep meshras. (v339)

Soldi, 83 Summer 554 (6/10/04)

All sorts of strange things are going on over at Lyfe Island, there have been numerous reports of a super-lyfe named “Rowl” who can whack even the strongest exiles in a few hits and is all but impossible to hit in return. And now Fat Alice is acting up, she is selling off pages of a mysterious book for immense amounts of money, the first page was 5,000 coins, and the price per page has been going up another 5,000 coins each. The only problem is that the pages are all in code, and it won’t be until we purchase the final page that we will learn the key (if then, I have my doubts about Fat Alice’s promises); and Alice is being very cagey about the contents of the book. I was there when Tara handed over 15,000 coins for the third page, but it didn’t really add much to our understanding. One bit of information we did get was that Alice was packing up to leave her hut before “things got bad,” whatever that means. After a quick trip to the library, I returned to find that Rowl had now appeared outside the hut, where he was felling exiles right and left, assisted by a massive herd of harvest lyfes. We made numerous chain runs, and finally managed to get everybody off, without even managing to lay a finger on the monster.

Screen Shot

It’s all Zo to me. (v341)

Screen Shot

A little late with the warning. (v341)

Sombdi, 48 Autumn 554 (6/23/04)

All sorts of trouble has been brewing with the super lyfe Rowl, who has now managed to infect an unprecedented number of exiles with the smelly disease; it seems that his strength has increased to the point where he can infect non-fallen exiles on low health, and the more he infects the greater his powers grow. That book that Fat Alice sold us a page at a time (I heard the grand total came to over 200,000 coppers) turned out to be a fat lot of help, containing some very nice poetry but very little practical advice on how to defeat Rowl. Fat Alice it seems has left town, and we are now faced with the prospect of beating Rowl on our own. The problem is that any battle with the beast results in more infections, and hence makes him stronger. I’ve been trying to stay out of his way myself, in the hopes of avoiding a tail, and I have managed to pitch in on some recent expeditions to Jade ’Noids, the Valley, and Mel’s Island.

Screen Shot

Kani explains about spider webs. (v341)

Fordi, 13 Winter 555 (7/7/04)

Here it is a new year, and I’ve fallen quite far behind on my journal; plus I’m planning a vacation for the rest of winter and most of the spring, so I will soon be even farther behind. Lots has been going on, most of it due to a major battle with Rowl that took place towards the end of the year, led by Sor and including a major effort by many, many exiles. I myself took part in the early stages of the invasion when we were trying to gain a foothold on the island, and by “take part” I mean I quickly got infected and spent most of the rest of the battle serving as a fallen sandbag. I was not able to stick around much beyond that, and staggered back to the library feeling furry and discouraged, but I have heard that after an epic battle which raged all over Lyfe Island the monster was finally tracked down, surrounded, and beaten to a pulp.

Of course, many exiles have been left with that nasty infection, and there is a great shortage of cure ingredients, and in particular scarmis eggs. There have been regular trips to Lyfe Island to hunt for eggs (now that Rowl is dead it is more or less safe to go there again), as well as expeditions to the Ash Island pit. I joined the second wave on one of these assaults, which came to grief when the queen broke loose and started spitting acid at us, but lucky for me the third wave was able to gain a foothold and wall off the bulk of the bugs with ‘zu. I managed to whack a fair number of the scarmis until I was again felled by that nasty queen, which Azriel managed to down pretty much single-handed, after which it was just a mop-up. Of course, after all this battle we found the egg chamber empty, it seems that the queens on Ash don’t lay as many eggs.

But with help from a number of exiles, including the lovely Talin and Baffina’s little bother Baff Jr I was recently able to assemble all of the parts for the luminescent salve, which worked like a charm and has restored me to my usual dwarfish good looks. Many exiles have been donating parts to help eradicate lyfeism, and I’m confident that in a few moons we will have recovered from the Rowl episode.

Screen Shot

Larry, Moe and Curly. (v343)

Screen Shot

We admire Azriel’s axework. (v343)

Screen Shot

What a relief! (v343)

Merdi, 62 Spring 555 (8/10/04)

I’ve been back from vacation for a while, but that hasn’t meant that I’ve been able to spend much time out of the library or keeping my journal up to date; and I don’t expect things to improve much in the near future, although a dwarf can always hope. I managed to miss pretty much all of the Newbielympics, which I’ve heard were quite a lot of fun and had a good turnout of the newer exiles to Puddleby. I’ve recently seen a few of the older exiles myself, including Vagile (she’s hard to miss, being so tall) and Babajaga (also hard to miss, being so lovely), and even got to tag along on a small hunt with them. On the other hand, I have heard that the (also lovely) Slyph has left town for good, a sad day for all Puddle residents. And then the other day I stepped out of the library to find a major frog invasion, it didn’t seem that bad at first and I was calmly chaining a couple of fallens when this really mean frog walked up and felled me in two blows. Eventually the super frogs died off (they were just too mean to live) and we chased down and surrounded a number of slightly less super frogs, earning several vanqs in the process.

Screen Shot

Seems like old times! (v349)

Sombdi, 23 Summer 555 (8/22/04)

There are interesting rumors going about; for one thing the ’Brions seem to be asking for a terrible lot of money in exchange for some bits of armor and maybe some more information about those strange stones (perhaps they’ve found a way for mystics to suck less…now that would be worth 1M coins!); for another I’ve seem some reports that the orga are getting a bit restless; and finally there are hints of something developing on Lyfe Island, and we all remember what a big mess that was last time! I haven’t really had time for any expeditions to the Ethereal Plain, the Orga Outback, or the interior of Lyfe Island for quite some time, so I’m not sure how much these developments are going to affect those of us hiding in the library. I did tag along on a rescue to the Orga Village recently, Tigger and some other exiles were fallen there and a small group of exiles made the trip to rescue them. I was dubious about getting past Hatred Hollow, and things did get a bit ugly at times, but we were saved by Tara’s ability to absorb amazing amounts of lightning and some quick hatred running. If only we could handle the Dread Passage as easily, we’d be able to find out what those orga are up to on the eastern end of the island!

Screen Shot

Hard to believe a dwarf would make such an obvious mistake. (v351)

Screen Shot

A nice spot for a rest. (v351)

Gradi, 75 Summer 555 (9/4/04)

Not as much time out of the lib as I would like, especially given everything that is going on these days. I have heard that Tenebrion has ceded his island to Phineas, of all people, and that T’s former guards are now in rebellion against their new overlord. I have also heard that Kizmia herself has been found, although so far I haven’t heard anything about her giving Lyfe Island to anybody. And there are now published reports that a group of intrepid explorers have discovered new routes in the far-off Pitch Caves, where rumor has it there is a path leading to the highly dangerous Orga City. In my few trips out of the library I have managed to collect a few coins and join a couple of hunts on Mel’s Island, including a raid via the “back door” to clobber a number of mud golems, which went pretty well except for once when I got stuck in the mud and was clobbered back by a mudball.

Screen Shot

Cleaning up the mud golems. (v351)

Terrdi, 42 Autumn 555 (9/18/04)

I have to make the usual excuses for too much library time, and what time I’ve spent out of the lib has been devoted to the same old thing, hunting up a few beasts for the stew pot, tracking down some coins on the cloud, and the occasional trip to Mel’s Island, the Hut, or the Cove. I’ve been warned to stay off the former Ten’s Island (still owned, at least in title, by Phineas) as the rebels there have made the landings very dangerous and an almost-certain depart. Tenebrion himself seems to have fallen upon hard times, and for some reason isn’t getting much help from his brothers. And I keep putting off taking the Sixth Circle test again, although I must be getting pretty close to passing; maybe after the new year turns I’ll start trying again.

Screen Shot

We all get smooched. (v353)