Section #11 Tales of Adventure

Article #1 How I Saved the Pixies

Author: Malfoy

Pixies fear not, the world has been rid of the evil menace Gargamel. Your intrepid reporter travelled to the Pixie village to follow up reports of atrocities against pixies to the northwest of Sanom city. In an exclusive interview, Pappa Pixie revealed that several of the younger pixies had been abducted and dragged off to the nearby castle where they had been experimented on in the evil wizard's laboratory. Lady Pixie said, "It's terrible. I have to confine them to the village now. The small ones can't even defend themselves against Azriel the wizard's cat, which is always on the prowl around here." Disturbed and horrified by this testimony, yours truly decided to take a look for himself at the evil wizard's castle. Leaving the village, past the clearly nervous youngsters, it was only a few minutes walk to the castle. A sinister foreboding hangs in the air about the place, but swallowing my fear, I pushed open the rickety wooden door to the castle. It creaked and I froze with fear but, to my relief, the place seemed deserted. I tiptoed into the hallway and into what looked like a laboratory through a doorway opposite. The place was wrecked by what must have been a powerful explosion or explosions and no evidence of the alleged atrocities remained. Just then, I heard a noise upstairs and realised that the place was not deserted after all. I crept to the stairs and caught a glimpse of Azriel the cat slinking down them towards me. Taking my trusty knife from it's sheath I hurled it with all my might at the evil shape, which slumped silently to the floor with my knife in its throat. I then gritted my teeth and, holding my Siren's Soul Blade aloft, entered the wizard's lair. As I reached the doorway into the upstairs room, Gargamel sensed me and turned to confront me. He raised his staff but, before he could begin his incantation, my instincts took over and I did a strange thing: I began to sing. Abandoning any thought of my own defence, I wove an intricate web of song to lull the wizard into a false sense of security. At first this took all my concentration, but when the fatal bolt failed to come my way I grew in confidence and looked up at where the wizard was standing. He was on his feet swaying slightly with a most unlikely childlike grin of contentment on his face. Not letting up the song for an instant I called on the power of Psyche and approached him. Holding my blade high above my head in both hands, I thrust it into his exposed chest. The spell of the song was instantly broken and the childlike grin turned into a stare of unbridled malice, quickly followed by a look of horror as the realisation dawned and, still staring, he slumped dead onto the floor in front of me. Not wishing to stay a moment longer than necessary, I snatched up the fallen wizard's staff and ran out of the castle. Reaching the pixie village still running, I scattered pixies in all directions as I headed at full tilt straight to Pappa Pixie's house. He was at his door waiting, his face at first full of concern, but when he saw the gnarled staff in my hand, he broke into a smile of pure delight. Out of breath and excited as I was, I was completely unable to string two coherent words together, but Pappa Pixie just smiled and gently took the staff away from my hands. Then, to my astonishment, he snapped it in two over his knee and hurled the pieces into the fireplace behind him. "From henceforth," he said, "this day shall be celebrated and remembered as Malfoy day. Let us go in and celebrate." And so your intrepid investigative journalist spent several happy days enjoying pixie hospitality before returning to Sanom to share the good news with you all. Malfoy.

Article #2 The Evils of the Deck!

Author: Korlat

I feel that I should write to you all to warn you against using the deck-of-many-things. My brother Anomander, became addicted to using the deck, and it only ended in woe for him! But first let me tell you about what the deck is and does.... But first let me tell you about what the deck is and does.... The deck was created a long time ago by an immortal. It is usually found on a dragon, and it is said that for every good card, there is a bad one. Some examples of the cards in the deck include "Gem", "Prison", "Void", "Death", and "Moon". Some these can bring great powers to players and this is I believe the reason why Anomander became so addicted to it. He was able to gain improvement of skills, gems and djinns to command. However Anomander was unlucky enough to draw some of the deadlier cards, which eventually led him to his death. So I plead with you, dear citizens of Sanom, dont draw from the deck unless you are willing to face the fact that you quite easily may perish forever by doing so!!! Korlat e

Article #3 The Terror Below

Author: Korlan

The small procession of galandrians made their way slowly across the desert. Their pale purple skin cast a noticeable contrast to the endless yellow of the sand. Norlacious, the leader of the nomadic group, held up a hand to halt his followers. His golden hair flew wildly in the air as the dry, stinging breeze did it's best to stop their journey. The small amount of cloth that most of the galandrians wore for clothing, did little to hide his toughened skin from the barrage of sand carried on the wind. Turning, their leader yelled "Frelos, do you hear?" The sandstorm ate his shout, reducing it to but a relatively small noise. A small, black haired galandrian dropped to the ground and pressed his right ear hard against the ground. After a small moment he lifted his head up and shouted, "Yes! Wolthrax approaches from the east." The sand failed to hide his smile of delight. "Good", said Norlacious. "Very well! People, rest yourselves, Wolthrax is returning, we shall wait!", he shouted for the whole group to hear. Norlacious surveyed the area looking for any sign of the approaching galandrian. Then he could see the faint outline of a camel heading towards the group. Soon, the rider on it's back was visible, and the huge load of waterskins it carried. Wolthrax skidded to a halt before Norlacious. A huge smile of achievement decorated Wolthrax's face. "I have returned from Galwind! The trade was successful, the humans accepted our fish in exchange for water.", he claimed. Norlacious laughed merrily and unfastened a waterskin from the camel's back. Unfastening the skin's stopper he announced, "Hail Wolthrax, I thought the task beyond you, but you have proved me wrong and returned with what we required." With that he lifted the waterskin to his mouth and gulped down some of the contents. Quickly, a spray of water escaped from Norlacious' mouth. With fire in his eyes, Norlacious struck Wolthrax with the back of his hand, unsaddling the rider and throwing him to the soft ground. "FOOL! Did you not think to sample your wares?!", he yelled at Wormthrax. To the galandrian's blank look he responded, "Saltwater! You were given saltwater! You complete imbecile, we are now doomed to die of thirst!" The camp echoed with cries of women and children. Wormthrax lifted himself from the ground, rage contorted his face, and he let out a yell of intense rage. Leaping back onto the camel's he unsheathed a sword from it's saddle. "How dare they!", Wormthrax screamed. "I head back to Galwind! To seek revenge and take what was promised to us! The streets shall taste the lifeblood of that treacherous, human, merchant!" He twisted his camel's head around and galloped away from the camp, his shrill warcry carried on the wind. Suddenly Norlacious felt a rumble beneath his feet. He dropped to the ground and lay his hands on the sand... there! He felt it again! "Everyone! Be still and quiet, it's the Land Leviathan!", he yelled. The camp immediately went silent. With horror he looked back to where he called see Wormthrax riding away. With his hands cupping around his mouth for amplification he called out, "Wormthrax! Halt! The Depth Dweller approaches." But, either the wind carried his voice away or Wormthrax was deafened with rage, for he continued on his path. Norlacious held his breath and looked out towards the mounted galandrian, hoping that the camel's footfalls would be ignored or not felt. His fears were soon met. In a flash of movement a huge worm's head burst out of the ground and enveloped Wormthrax's camel, closing it's maw in a crimson ballooning of blood that carried on the powerful gale. Wormthrax's ear-piercing scream filled the camp with terror, as he flailed about the ground, frantically and legless. The worm howled into the sand-filled air and made short work of Wormthrax, lifting him from the earth in it's mouth and swallowing him whole. A woman's rage howled out on the wind, "Wormthrax! No!" Then an old female galandrian streaked from the others towards the behemoth. Norlacious wheeled about to the woman, fear in his eyes, "Ledolien, stop! Be still!" She immediately froze, but it was too late. The sandworm turned it's eyeless head towards the camp, opened it's maw, releasing another howl. Then it leapt into the air, revealing it's massively long body shortly before slamming back into the ground, like a fish who playfully leaps into the air. The worm's mouth once again ripped out of the ground, but this time in the middle of the group. It seemed momentarily confused by the lack of movement, but then proceeded biting into the air around it, in hopes of catching some unseen foe. A child screamed as the worm caught the little girl by the foot, tearing off her leg. Letting out a howl of joy the worm devoured the young galandrian. "Die, foul one!", screamed a warrior galandrian brandishing a sword as he charged the beast. This event seemed to uncork a bottle of rage in the camp and soon nearly every galandrian surrounded the sandworm, hitting with sticks and stabbing with blades. After the long bout of violence the worm lay dead and severely mauled. But the move took a harsh toll, the desert sand was painted red with galandrian blood and the nomads had lost a third of their number. Norlacious, looked over his followers, behind a face masked in blood. "Ok, let's get this thing out of the ground.", he ordered. "Why?", came a voice from the group. "We need something to trade!", came his reply. "Our path now is towards Galwind."

Article #4 The Orc Stronghold

Author: Vindicare

It was a dark night, and wandering across Palace Rd I heard the rantings of a mad wizard from a small room to the south, looking through the door I saw a small, balding man, hunched in a corner with an eerie glow around his hands. He looked up from the corner, his beady eyes peering from behind his bushy eyebrows, he looked me up and down... "I need an Orc Slayer sword" I was shocked to hear his wispy voice, but I was intrigued, I had been around for a while, never the adventurous type though, always too busy working on bettering myself and my skills, perhaps it was time for me to explore the world. I inquired into this sword, a magical artefact stolen years ago by the Orc Shaman, a mighty orc with the spells of his chaotic god to bolster his fighting power. After minimal discussion I had decided, this would be the quest I would christen my adventuring career with. After arming myself with some lurg blood and the seal of a Hothedhel demon I set off, venturing far east of Sanom City, until I stumbled across a decrepid mine entrance. I spread my wings, stamped my hooves and entered the darkness...I felt right at home. The darkness seemed to boost my spirits, my confidence growing with every step, after a short walk through the cramped mines I stumbled across a sturdy young dwarf, Tiro, I asked him directions to the Orc Stronghold within the mountain, but all I got was abuse and my rage began to grow, before I knew it I had slammed my tail through his arm and severed his head with my mighty axe, the blood began to flow and the adrenaline had me foaming in anticipation of the next blood spilt. I pushed onward, following the smell of the foul greenskins, the stench seemed to grow until I wandered into a large room, with broken furniture and bones skittled across the floor, to the west there was a rocky slope, and the raucous noises of the creatures echoed through the hall, it seemed I was getting closer. I charged down the slope, my hooves pounding on the ground as I charged into the room, my head lowered and my black horns smashing into the first orcs chest, combined with a powerful swing of my axe he fell to the ground in a lifeless heap. The second orc looked up in surprise just as my axe swung down, colliding with his skull in an explosion of skin, bone, and flesh....but these were the scouts, the sounds of even more orcs resonated from the room to the north. A grin crossed my face as I ran to the room, weapon slashing through the green skin and putrid flesh, in an instant the room was covered in blood, the splayed bodies of orcs heaped on the ground. My eyes scanned the room for the sword, it didn't seem to be here, but as I surveyed the room I noticed a green glow coming from the northern room, I pulled the wolf skin doorway to the side and stepped into an enormous hall, skulls of various beasts and races adorned the room, the stench of foul potions was overwhelming, and standing in the centre of the room was an enormous orc, his large head covered by the skull of a bull, covered in totems and symbols representing his gods. As I looked him over I noticed a golden staff, surely treasure from an Orc Raiding party, no greenskin could manufacture such a piece, and strapped to his waist was a small sword, the hilt adorned with jewels and engravings of orcs being slain, that was surely the Orc Slayer, the treasure I had come for. As the creature saw me eyeing his prize he pulled the sword from it's pigskin sheath and charged, we collided in a flurry of blows, but neither was harmed. The Shaman called upon his gods and a burst of power erupted from his hands, in retaliation I lashed out with my tail, he jumped aside, but failed to noticed my axe swinging towards his green skull, as the mighty blade slashed through his neck his lifeless body crashed to the floor, and the Orc Slayer fell to my feet....I had done it, now to return it to Leo, the old man on Palace Road. After a long hike back I reached the old mans house, a grin spread across his face as I revealed the sword under my cloak. Thankyou, I have been searching for this sword...and you have returned it to me He then laid his hands upon me and power filled me, I felt stronger, more powerful, and a step closer to becoming a mighty warrior...

Article #5 The Day the Sky Fell Down.

Author: Bourne

The other day as I was hacking my way through the evil undead that inhabit the ruined temple north of Sanom City, there was an almighty thud on the roof of the temple. After despatching the last vampire and completing the Ancient Puzzle I returned to the surface only to find that the sky had fallen down. It was quite an amazing sight. Or, rather, it was no sight at all. Since there was no sky and no sun, nothing could be seen. Afterwards, Thunda blinded me while I was writing this down because he was bored. He just did it again. Bummer.

Article #6 Bad Trips in Boogy's Basement

Author: Froup

Hey, cats: I know a lot of you dig the ganja -- Dredd knows I do -- and that makes good sense. A day without green is like a book without words; it's doable, but what's the point, neh? The world would probably be a hipper joint if some of these clowns would just smoke a fat one and chill out for a while. But here's the deal. We all know the K-Man down in SE sells good stuff -- clean and high quality, and Froup here has never had a problem -- but that doesn't mean everything this town has is so groovy. You might have heard of Boogy's Basement, down in SW (fifteen feet under Jane's halfsize hooves, dig?), maybe heard that he's got something new and interesting. Don't believe the hype. I don't know what Boogy's got down there, but it's heavy, and it ain't fun. I dropped by to hang out a couple days ago, and, well, I haven't got a clue what he's into now, but I had a nasty trip just from a contact high. I thought I was bleeding, I thought -- get this -- that Boogy was tearing me a new one. (That's funny munny at the Reality Bank if I've ever seen it; I think Boo scares easier than a rabbit.) So heads up. Keep it groovy, keep it lit, man, but watch yourself if you're hanging with Boogy. Froup wants you happy, cats.

Article #7 Froup Does a Dungeon

Author: Froup

Hey cats, it's story time. I've got a good one for you, too -- dark places, bloody fights, even a little loot. So get comfy, grab a beer, and listen up. Anybody who keeps their eyes open and their feet movin' can tell you that there's a creepy joint just west of the palace gate. If you're new in town, you might want to poke your head down in and see what you can see. That's just what Froup here did. I grabbed my longsword, bought a torch from lady J, and headed right on down. Creepy place, first thing I have to tell you. Shadows crawling on dank walls, and all the time strange noises (voices, maybe -- might have been an old man I heard, might have been a bad echo). All in all, not exactly the ideal party joint. Still, though, all I saw at first was the occasional rat and a couple bats. Froup's sword has plenty of rat-blood on it already, cats, so you know I wasn't sweating. I wandered into the dark, veering right for the hell of it, and pretty soon I noticed some nasty vibes. I slowed down a bit, got a good grip on the old blade, and crawled right on top of a couple of the ugliest orcs I've ever seen. They didn't waste any time trying to get their claws onto me, but a little hack and a whole lot of slash changed their tune. The turned, they ran, and I bolted on after them. Now, the problem with orcs is that they aren't exactly loners. Froup here is following the blood trail -- did I mention the severed hand? Poor, poor Zeke -- when I smack nose first into a half dozen of the buggers, and they don't look like they're interested in clever conversation. I had orcs on my back, orcs biting my legs, and orcs getting their insides all over my longsword. I was feeling a little overwhelmed, cats -- Froup doesn't need to lie to you -- until I managed to lay out the whole mess of orcs with a rock-hard mind blast. Being Galandrian has it's perks. In the company of plural orc corpses, I checked out the rest of the area -- their dirty little nest, so far as I could tell -- but came up pretty much empty-handed. No wonder the buggers didn't put up much of a fight. They didn't have much to fight for. So I back-tracked, and made my way down a new corridor. Came across some locked doors, but I didn't have any keys handy, and Froup can't pick a lock worth beans. A shame, too, cuz I swear I heard something move behind one of 'em. About five zigs and a zag later, I was staring down a hole at a big pile of dark. I've gotta tell you, standing there staring into the dark and listening to sounds I couldn't put a name to wasn't exactly helping my mental state -- especially after that orc reception -- but Dredd knows that a little adventure beats a whole lot of knitting. I screwed up my courage, poked into my reserve of good green, and headed on down. Hello, goblin. Straight up, that's about when things get fuzzy. The next few minutes were, so far as I can tell, about the bloodiest thing I've ever been party too, let alone been responsible for. By the time I caught my breath, I was standing knee deep in severed limbs, images of screaming goblins and spattering blood dancing over my retinas and the sound of steel cutting bone echoing in my overloaded brain. As I calmed down, I wandered down an unfamiliar passage, wondering if I was heading back the way I had come -- a welcome thought -- or just getting myself lost. I rounded a bend, half-dazed still, and caught site of the biggest, blackest bear any world could ever want. K, to be perfectly honest with you, it might have been brown. It's awful hard to tell one from the other when your torch has just gone out. Keep your eyes open, cats. Goblins and orcs and bears, oh my. Stay chilly, Froup.

Article #8 A New Threat

Author: Korlan

A figure crouched on the top of a cliff-edge that marked the end of a long, dry, brown mountain range. The afternoon sun was blocked out by an unnatural darkness that surrounded the man. Lowering his hand to the earth, the man closed his glowing blue eyes and murmured a few arcane words. A twisted grin of satisfaction gleamed across his face. His gaze lifted to survey the forest ahead. His eyes rested upon a small village in a clearing. The grin enlarged as he noticed the peasants moving about like ants, ignorant to what was about to befall them. Heaving himself up, he twisted his focus back to the mountains, his black robes fluttered on the warm, dry breeze. His face transformed to an expression of concentration as he shot out his arm. "Rise fallen ones! Rise and follow me onwards to glory!" The ground seemed to groan in protest. Suddenly a tattered arm burst out of the earth, followed by another, and then more. The arms dropped to the ground to lever out their owners. Soon an undead army of warriors had emerged from the soil. A smile quickly reappeared on the man's face as he turned his sight back to the village, and started to slowly head down the steep decent, his army in tow. Soon the name Vodun would make even the bravest tremble in fear.

Article #9 The Legend of the Dark Stalker

Author: Patrick

My fellow adventurers. A very unsettling rumours have come to my ears. I have heard that the legend of the dark stalker is real. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it I shall tell it for it is too significant to remain ignorant about. A great many moonphases ago there once lived a thief with skills so well honed that they seemed supernatural. This thief, his name lost to time forever more, did not sell his skills to the highest bidder. Instead he used them simply for his own amusement. Village after village did he plunder and he amassed great wealth. His hoard was immense and shone with an intensity equal to daylight. One night however he made a terrible mistake. He decided to rob the very god that gave him his succes. He decided to rob Keting. He had little trouble assasinating the guards for as a thief he was well versed in the arts of hiding and backstabbing. Guard after guard fell silently to his small but effective blade and finally, when the thief had reached his goal, the vault of Keting, he started working on the locks. In a matter of minutes he was in. Nothing could stop the well-trained thief. Gleefully the thief started to pocket the most valuable gems. He knew that he could not possibly take all of it with him so he took only the most valuable and portable. The thief decided to come back the next day and that would prove to be his fatal mistake for a good thief knows it is bad to come back to the crimesite too soon. Like the day before the thief dealth with the guards and locks. It went exactly the same as the day before except for one thing. When the thief entered the vault the door slammed shut behind him and he heard the clicking of locks. "Welcome, robber of Keting." a rather seedy sounding voice said. It was Keting and even though he sounded malignly cheery he certainly was not pleased. "You have made the greatest mistake a thief can make." he said. "Did you really think I would not know it was you? And what were you thinking? Going back to this place so soon after your first attempt? I shall punish you for your insolence thief. You shall never see the light of day again." The thief prepared for a quick and painfull death but death did not come. Instead he felt a strange sensation in his eyes. They started to tingle. Within seconds however this tingling turned into burning and the thief screamed in horror as he felt how his eyes were cursed. When the burning sensation stopped the thief blinked his eyes and soon he had to cover them. His eyes could no longer tolerate the light this hoard reflected upon his eyes. With an intensely cruel tone Keting explained "You shall never be able to tolerate light that shines with an intensity greater than the moon and stars. And on top of that you shall never be able to tolerate the shimmer of coins and gems. Enjoy your life thief.... Or rather..... ex-thief." With maniacal laughter Keting transported the thief to a field somewhere near Sanom. The thief was filled with despair. Now that he could no longer admire the sigt of coins and gems, what was left to him? After wandering at night through the fields and forests of the Shattered World, hiding in the night in the darkest of caves, the thief decided to end his life. The thief climbed a tower now known as Morgars tower and as he reached the top he plunged downwards. Still death did not come. Though his body was shattered it soon started to heal at an unnatural rate. In his head echoed the laughter of Keting. Then it came to him. He was cursed to live a life without coin for all of eternity. Dispair turned into madness. The thief decided that he had nothing left but his assasination skills. At night the thief prowled to kill whatever he could. Not a single citizen without a lit candle beside his bed was safe. Entire villages fell victim to his skill. The robber of valuables had become the robber of lives. Soon he came to be known as the Dark Stalker. Many lives were lost at the hands of this most evil being and it was only through the efforts of the greatests of priests that this man who had become a demon was banished from the Shattered World. Years went by and the Dark Stalker is now almost forgotten. Forgotten to many but not all. A certain Demon Summoner who was unsatisfied about the amount of money he was making by selling lamps decided he would sell a great deal more if light in the dark became a life saver rather than a luxury. His name I shall not type because even this Demon Summoner who sells lamps in Mountain Village has a right to privacy. But anyway, this Demon Summoner learned of the legend of the Dark Stalker and devised a plan to increase his sells. He summoned the Dark Stalker and set him free to roam the Shattered World once more. Now we must be double carefull not to run out of light for we know what might await us in the darkness. I hope you will all heed my warning and never forget to bring a spare torch or flask of oil with you. Be carefull my fellow citizens and....... sleep well.

Article #10 A sordid past

Author: Quenecro

I was born into humble beginnings. My Father was a mercenary and a Patron of the local brothel and my mother was the worker there. My mother kept me until I was 3 and then was killed when the Christians came by to "Cleanse the town of the wicked". They burned her along with the other "Ladies of the night" in the village square and the local monastery took me in. I was a troublesome child and was often in trouble. I was shunned by the others there and fell in with a crowd of young gypsies that liked to hang around the town square. I was kicked out around the age of 5 for suspiciously having a lot of money when the collection plates were mysteriously empty. I trekked to the city to make a living there. In the city I made a life begging. This only garnered meager wages and often a lot of it was stolen from me. After catching a thief trying to take my money I coerced him into telling me where the city's thieves congregated. When I arrived to check out the truth of the information gained an oddly well-dressed young man of about seventeen greeted me. Through guile and charm he convinced me to steal some food for him and his crew. As I was sneaking away with some melons a little boy, about my size, saw me. He was ready to shout out that I had stolen the bread. I quickly acted instinctively, seizing his throat and tossing him aside. The snap of his spine against the wall strangely delighted me. Quickly thinking, I made it appear as if the nearest merchant had accidentally knocked him out of the way and absolved myself of all guilt 'When I returned I relayed the story to the well dressed teen who now introduced himself as Achilles. He welcomed me to his "family" and showed me around their headquarters. Over the years he taught me the fine art of thieving and how to successfully use a dagger. When he thought I was old enough he taught me poison-making and taught me about assassination. He said that sometimes rich men came to his family looking to pay to have people "eliminated". I automatically volunteered to be part of this group as I had come to enjoy ending the lives of others. Several times I had purposely botched thieving attempts as an excuse to slay those we were stealing from. The most exciting for me was when I was sent to get the members of rivaling thief "families". Then I could draw it out, make it last longer, savor the scent of mortality in the air. Pain and fear were my greatest allies, and now I had a chance to get paid high amounts of money for it. I learned well and soon rose to the top of my group. When the men wanted to be certain the job was not botched they asked for me. I came to be called by those around me as Quenecro, silent death. With my recent success I was able to move to a decent town, I chose Sanom city as my new home. Now at the ripe old age of 17 I seek to learn more about my craft, as it seems to be a hub of expert fighters, mages, and assassins. I hope to rise to the top of them all.

Article #11 The obsidian knight

Author: Patrick

Greetings citizens of Shattered World. Once again I have a tale to share with you. Once again it is more than a tale. It is yet again an almost forgotten part of history. This part of history, a dark chapter in the history of the knights, is forgotten by almost all but the wisest sages and the well versed of bards. I shall tell you the tale. The tale of the Obsidian Knight. Have you heard of the Obsidian Knight before? He laid waste to many villages, slaughtering peasants and burning the land. His reign of terror, though short, was brutal and it took the world long to heal from the wounds he delivered. Many moonphases ago, when the world less explored and the roads less traveled, twins were born. They were the sons of a knight of great renown. Their father, at the time of their birth, was the mitril knight you see. As such their paths in life seemed to be pretty determined. A dark omen overshadowed the birth of one of the boys however. The first one was born in full daylight, but just before the second left the womb the moon fully blocked the sunlight. The second son was born during an eclips. The father of the boys, though worried, thought nothing of this omen for he loved his sons equally and devoted his attention to the both of them. The two children grew. Their father saw to it that they received the best training in the kingdom and when they reached early adulthood both of them already had platinum crests. Though from the outside they seemed identical, in their hearts they were not. Yes, the younger one of the two, the one born in darkness festered a consuming hatred within his heart. He knew that by right, his brother was the one who would succeed his father. They might be identical, but his brother was born minutes before him and therefore the firstborn. It was his brother that would succeed his father and become the mithril knight. He knew the time would come that the two of them would no longer be identical and his brother would be superior to him. This thought was unbearable to him and he felt no stronger desire than to change that destiny. Years passed and when the two were powerfull adults the time came that the oldest took their fathers place to become the mithril knight. This he remained for a year, then the younger one finally decided that he could suppress his jealous feelings no longer and he challenged his brother for the position of mithril knight. He had trained diligently that year. While his brother was busy settling guild affairs he had nothing on his mind but gaining skill. It was therefore that he felt he had the advantage in a duel. His feelings were right. Even though the dual was fierce and lasted for an hour, his brother had to yield to his superior skill. The status of mithril knight was transfered from one brother to the other. While this was happening however the new mithril knight realised that his brother, might one day be able to overcome him and he would lose the position. It was then, when his brother, who yielded to his mercy, was slain by him. Slain by a jealousy more intense than anything else. This dark deed was not without repercussions. When his crest was about to change from platinum to mithril it started to darken. It darkened to a shade of black that was as dark as the knight. A shade that mirrored the color of his heart. His crest now was of obsidian. With the knights now under his command and a heart of stone this knight, terrorised the kingdom. He lay waste to many a village and countless citizens fell to his blade. Even though the damage he did was great and his power without equal his downfall was also inevitable.

Article #12 The Beginning

Author: Korlan

Vodun grinned as he slide the chain through the sixth and final skull. The light from the fires consuming the village in the night air cast an arcane glow behind him. The attack had been a success, with no heroes nearby the screams of the villagers had been in vain. His legion of the damned had grown for each innocent villager that fell to their blades. However, due to the enthusiasm of some of his minions, several of the corpses were beyond animation, but they still had a use. Holding out the chain to admire their contribution Vodun's grin intensified. The pitch black sky crackled with lightning as he knelt down and lay the chain in a shallow hole that he dug out in the dry earth. "Incarco intensum", the necromancer whispered. A soft green glow started to surround the burning village, then it fell to the ground, running an iridescent path to Vodun. "Combinus ornementum!", screamed Vodun as he pointed to the chain before him. The glowing path then streamed into the skulls that had been threaded onto the chain. The screams of protesting souls filled the air, then subsided once the energies had filled the skulls. Lurching over, Vodun retrieved the chain and stood erect. He then shuddered under the slight jolt of power from the chain. Looking at the chain he told it, "You should be honored to join me. You are the beginning of the end." Turning on his heel, he started towards the next village.

Article #13 -The Thrill Of The Hunt-

Author: Covenant

--THE THRILL OF THE HUNT-- I'm a Hunter, a lone Hunter. In my home, a small town, on a small island far from here I was known as one of the greatest Hunters around. I had killed every beast known to man, none could stand my blade, my bow, my instincts. I had a Gift. I was born a wild child, spending my days running through the woods and fields. The cool breeze on my face, through my hair, it just encouraged me. The hot sun on my back urged me on. As I grew my Instincts eyes became sharp, hearing as accurate as any beast, a sense of smell that could track a cold scent through rivers and snow. This all helped me in my chosen profession, and made my reputation as tracker and hunter grow, but I needed more, I needed to improve myself further, so I left home with nothing but my blades and armour, seeking a new path... After a long journey, through forests and mountains, over seas, I reached my destination, this island... My boat docked in a small village to the far east of the island. I stepped off the rickety ship, the small town was quite similar to the village at home. After a stein of ale at the local Inn I enquired about directions to the local city. After a long walk I reached the Eastern Gate of Sanom City. Huge blue stone walls towered above my head, I wandered in, the hideous smells and raucous noises assaulted my senses, this place was disgusting...but I had to be here, the first step in my journey was finding out a little more about the organisations in this land, at least the ones that could help me better my skills. After wandering the filthy streets for a while I stumbled across a large building, somewhat battered, but still with quite a classy appearance, an enormous sign "Adventurers Hall" hung above the large wooden doors. This looked like a good place to start. After a few enquiries I stumbled across the Metallic Knights, these were the people I needed to join, tougher skin, skilled with the blade, and the ability to sever a head with one swift blow. I travelled with a small party towards Mountain Village, and after bunking in the local Inn for a night I found the Hall of the Knights after some brief tests I was accepted among them and my training had begun. In my old home land I was one of the most skilled warriors, in this land I was nothing but another country boy with a dream of power. I had potential though... After some intensive training my skills were adequate to explore the land, and as I grew older in this land I begun to find the city of Sanom more hospitable, but it wasn't the life I wanted, I wanted to roam, I wanted to hunt...thats when I got my chance. As I wandered through the city I heard gossip of a Huge Black Bear that had taken over an area of the palace dungeon, so far five palace guards had died and many young men seeking treasure and adventure in these old shafts and tunnels. I slid my falchion from it's sheath, donned my crimson helm and marched towards the entrance, the darkness was overwhelming, but soon my eyesight adjusted, helped no doubt by my Gift. I wandered in, nervous at first, scraping sounds echoed through the dark tunnels sending chills up my spine, then I let my instincts take over, I could smell something off to my east...I clenched my muscles and moved on. Soon the smell and sounds were getting louder, and the tunnel was getting darker, out of the corner of my eye I could a glint of steel and dived off to my right just as two goblins flung themselves from the shadows at me, in reflex I swung my blade through the air, taking the head of the first assailant. I jumped to my feet and faced the second attacker, he was a whole head shorter than me, but his wiry frame showed rippling muscles none the less. He lunged at me and I jumped to the side, dodging his blow, my riposte tore through his cheek and embedded the tip of my blade deep into the back of his skull. The adrenaline was now pumping, I rushed into the next room and slew two more unsuspecting greenskins with ease, expecting the same meagre defense I rushed into the next room... This greenskin however was MUCH larger, still only standing at equal height to me, however, but his deep red eyes showed an inner strength. I readied my blade as the battle commenced. He swung first with blinding speed, dodging his first blow I attempted a lunge, only to find his dirty claws digging into my ribs. I jerked back just in time to duck a blow aimed to remove my head from my shoulders. My next blow caught the goblin across his ribs, gashing a chunk of green flesh from his body,too busy trying to stop the bleeding he didnt see my decapitation maneouver until the blade was biting deep into his neck. To keep the blood rush within me I rushed on, speeding through empty caverns, I rounded a corner and ducked just in time to dodge a massive clawed paw smash into the stone work above me. I looked up at the beast, an enormous bear, it's mouth covered in drying blood, corpses littering the room...this was my chance. I jumped back to give myself some room but the beast was charging at me immediately, it's massive paw crashing into my chest and sending me sprawling across the room, perhaps this wasn't the best of plans... I launched to my feet just in time to escape it's powerful jaws crashing together where my throat had just been...swinging my blade I sunk the steel deep into the bears shoulder, just to receive another crushing blow to my side, sending me into the adjacent wall with a crash. I jumped back up to avoid another attack from the beast but it was slowing, the blood loss was draining it, this was my chance... I readied myself to decapitate the beast, I swung...and *CRASH* the bear smashed into me, sending me across the room again, somehow in the fray I had lost my falchion, this was not good...this was very bad! Almost admitting defeat I crawled to my feet, blood pouring down my face, I looked across the room, the bear was lying face down in a pool of my blood, my falchion stuck in the back of it's neck...not a successful decapitation attempt, but I did the job... I tied the legs of the bear together and tethered the rope to my pack, I slowly begun to drag the lifeless corpse back to the city, a successful hunt...

Article #14 The Sewers. An innocent waste system or the breeding grounds of everything evil and vile.

Author: Selan

Recently on my journies to aid the people of Sanom I have come across something which startled me. As I was going into the sewers to find an item someone had lost I witnessed not only vermin and other vile creatures, but also people. I saw many rooms within the sewers filled with men and women preaching to a dark god. In one of these instances I was almost caught by what appeared to be a very old necromancer, luckily however I was able to escape. While trying to find a way out of the area, running from them made me loose my bearings, I also stumbled upon an underground building. From within I could hear the laughter of men and woman but I dared not enter as I have heard rumors of the thieves in Sanom. When I finally got out of the sewers I was shocked to find the exit, but I will not reveal where I appeared, for even I hold my life in a higher regard than to end it with a few words.

Article #15 Misunderstood

Author: Llewella

Llewella sat in front of her fireplace, the war mth of the flames drying her out after a hard trip through the spring rains from Sanom. To say she feeling peevish was likjely understating matters, plain irritated covered it much better. The rumour had been on everyone's tongue, and it burnt her inside to hear it, people were actually saying she was a violent, irrational and bad tempered person~! The gall of some people! Smiling grinly to herself, Llewella knew that in future, certain people would think twice before spreading such slanderous rumours. The day in Saznom had begun much as any other with a spot of shopping, as always the shopkeepers were chardging far too much so a little friendly persuasion was in order top get them to lowere their prices. As the casual beating was administered, the shoppkeeper spat out somne bloodied teteh and moaned, "your that Llewella aren't you? I had heard you werre nothing but a violent bully and thug! Everybody says that." The crack of ribs breaking almost disturbed the guards on their patrol. "who told you such lies?" hissed Llewella. The shopkeeper managed to whisper a single name before slaumping to the ground... The hunt was on! A trail of blood was left that day, stretchiung from one end of the city to the other. Llewella was determined to stamp out the vile slanderous rumour once and for all. The last rumourmonger had made the mistake of trying to run, but Lllewella dragged him back, finger fitting snuglky in the eyesockets. The fool was put to the torment... bamboo spikes, merenthian water torture and GERBILS, but still he would not tell who started the lies ! in the end it was the box that broke him... it was always the box... The man said one word and that was all Llewella needed... that one word was 'MINT~!' Llewella trailed the tip of her staff behind her humming softly as she thought how best to kill the starter of such vicious rumours. In the end she decided to be simple... Mint was chatting to the auctioneers as Llewella wandered in, The fool did not even look around as she drew power from nature, channelling it towards the back of his head... The look on the auctioneers fa ec was priceless as the lightning bolt sliced c;lean throuygh Mint's head, rebounded off the wall and cauterised his groin. There was little blood, just smoking flesh. Flipping the auctioneer a few loose coins for the mness, Llewella left happier than she had been all day, knowing that her reputation was restored and people would know how lving she really was!

Article #16 The sway of a siren

Author: Serenity

As a little girl i always wanted adventure but was always told that girls are to stay at home and cook for the family while the men are to go and hunt and bring home the money and food. And for a long time i resented the fact i was female, i could beat me brother in a fight anyday but was always told it was 'unladylike'. So as the years wore on i slowly lost the egde for adventure and accepted the humble life as a wife. Don't get me wrong my husband is a proud and strong man. Two reasons i knew i had to make him mine when i first saw him enter our villag, using my females charms he was putty in my hands, and sides lets face it males has weak minds. A usual day like any other i walked to a nearby village to buy some food, when i heard a commotion on the other side of the market, being the curious sort i hazard a glance. What i saw there change my life, a woman! yes a woman! was fending off 3 burly drunken men. It seems they had taken a fancy to her. Usually most woman succumb to the gruff and rough attention men give them in this town, lets face it they can't exactly fight them off, but this was different. She was fending them off! She then start to sing this amazing melody, it seemed to carry all my cares away, and i lived only to hear her sing, suddenly i realised she had plunged a dagger into one of the attackers backs! He looked critically injured, and the men weren't trying to capture her anymore but kill her! Something in me snapped, how dare they try to kill such a beautiful and strong woman. I wanted to be just like her and i picked up my staff and rushed to her aid, with my many years a practising my staff against my brother i got quite good. I it was a measly task to hit these men were it hurt when they weren't looking and i urged this mysterious woman to follow me. Twisting and turning down backstreets that i knew only to well we lost them. When we both caught our breathe she looked me over. Then spoke in her melodious voice "I thank you for helping me, althought i feel i could have taken them you have done me a great service", after listening to her tale of how she travels the world. I was enchanted by her story, i begged her teach me what she knew and how she learnt to sing like that. She told me to meet her at the edge of the forest on sunrise tommorow morning if i wish to learn. That night i went home and explained to my handsome man what i had seen and how it had influenced me, with a big grin on his face he gave me a big hug his arms like big tree trunks suffocating me. He knew he would miss me but wish me luck and he would look every day for my return... The next morning i started my journey, after 3 days walk solid we arrived at a dark looking cave, it didn't look like much, in fact it scared me a fair bit, but with Kaira by my side i felt sure. Entering the cave i found a secret conclave of woman! All like Kaira, they tested me and found me to be an acceptable member of their sect. I then began me riggorous training for many months to follow. I began to hone my voice as a weapon, and use my charms as a woman to entrap man and sway they minds, I felt confident and ready to take on the wilderness and what the world had to throw at me. But first i ventured home to see my handsome husband, his features dulled thru time but i still remember his gruff voice and strong yet gentle hands. But as i entered the building that was once my home i was shocked, Beowulf my husband was in bed with another tramp! Rage surged through my veins, and i began to charge up my lungs with air. I let out a sonic wail the maid the tramps ears bleed, she held her hands to her head and fell to the floor screaming, Beowulf saw i had gone mad and jump out of bed to grab his great axe! I acted instantly grabbing my soulblade i plunged it deep into his back, he let out a sickly blood filled choking noise as the life was drained from him.. I turned back to this tramp, this foul wretch of a woman who had taken my man, i pressed my thumbs into her eyes and crushed them, and then jammed my blade up through her chin. I then collapsed to the ground and wept for my husband, but then i grew hard and shallow, i realised i couldn't love or trust a man again. With that thought i packed my belongings and headed out into the world.

Article #17 Diary of a player killer

Author: Alacritus

You think it is easy to be Alacritus? The loneliness, the solitude, the constant urge to keep looking over one's shoulder. You know nothing. It is enough to drive Alacritus to insanity! Hark and leave me you nary elves. See you not the mischief elves, walking around the streets, on your shoulder, whispering you to do terrible things. They have power over you, can't you see them? Alacritus sees them. Alacritus sees everything. Alacritus' eight eyes miss nothing. He sees you whispering about him, how you sneer and avoid his gaze. Cross the street, leave the room, round and round the mulberry bush the spider chased the elves. Do not fear Alacritus. When he re-appears from invisibility, he will not hurt you. When he wields a dagger, do not flee. He webs you up for your own good and only the touch of cold steel will heal you. His poison will not kill you, it is a magical elixir of wonderous potency and efficacy and will remove the darkness from your soul as he takes on that burden and wears it on his sleeve for the world to see. Do not fear Alacritus. Alacritus is your friend. See you not the dark eleves, their eyes glow blue like ice and their laughter rings in my ears. Hear them can you not? They plait your hair and spit in your food. Alacritus will hunt them. He will hunt you all! Nothing cries harmony like a dagger hilt pressed in one of six hands, like swooping on the wicked and entangling them in a snare of purification, the cleansing powrer of fang and Alacritus will make it all right, all good, yes, yes yes yes yes yes yes. Alacritus is good. Alacritus has helped so many. Can't you see how brightly their souls shine? So many wicked wicked people. Don't worry, Alacritus will save you all.

Article #18 How Maximus Really Won against Commodus in Arena

Author: Maximus

Here is the true tale of how I defeated Commodus in the Arena in Rome... Not some tale that has been brassed up by some bard roaming the lands. When i was accused of killing the King of Rome and sentence to death, i did manage to escape my death sentence and yes i was imprisoned as well, but the untold story starts from here. It was by chance i ran into a strange creature, slug like in appearance, and i found it quite repulsive at first, having to fight to survive i found myself hooked up to this abomination, being so slow i thought i was bound to die, but it just gazed it our common enemy and before you know it he turned into stone! Right before my eyes! Everyone gave gurgled noises and harsh whispers of evil witchcraft, before we know it we were fighting off everyone even the other slaves, but one by one this creature took them on, either turning into statues, or just by his sheer magnificence with the sword! I was spellbound and speechless and i was the one that was dragging us down, taking advantage of the chaos we made for our escape! running down some side alleys we came up to a locked door, this 'thing' told me to guard it's back while he figured out a way past the door, some fiddling and me fending off our captors with stabbing motions, i was suddenly dragged thru the door... but it was locked ?! Strangeness indeed, we grabbed a sturdy horse and plunge towards the forest, riding into the sunset we rode hard, never looking back, not talking just focussing on the forest that lay ahead, we were almost there and then the horse plunged into the ground, ridden into death, i felt sorry for it, but we couldn't possibly look after the horse and escape. Disappearing into the woods the creature was surprisingly agile, and then we stopped, i didn't know what to say at first, it seemed to eye up my worth, and then the questions came forth all fighting to come out at the same time! It motioned me to silence and told it's tale, and i listened, trying to grasp this unbelievable story, his name was Thunda, and he was a Grmkel, a legendary race of slugs ?! He had entered a portal and ended up in this strange land, unuse to the harshness of the desert he quickly fell to the elements when he was enslaved. Bidding his time to escape. He urged me to come to his world, where i wouldn't be hunted and my prowess with the blade would be recognised in a legendary code of Knighthood. I said i would accept only after i avenged Commodus the Emperor of Rome, i explained how i came to be enslaved. He agreed and we made the pact and made the plans. So the reason why i won all my fights in Rome, was Thunda was able to go invisible and slay anything that came near me, he was the one that struck the fatal blow upon Commodus! It just looked like i did it... I owe my life to him, and numbly after defeating Commodus and gaining revenge i feigned death and left with Thunda to his portal and here i am now... a Knight!

Article #19 manifestation

Author: Banshee

"They're almost here!" said one woman. "We need more time!" another replied. "Hurry they may not be able to see us but soon they'll start tearing up the countryside looking for us" "Almost done." The pulsating portal was still for a moment, then a bright flash of light enveloped the entire field. The horsemen on the ridge fell of their horses as they reared up in terror. The men cursed their luck and fled in terror. "Are you okay sister?" the first woman said. "As well as can be expected" the woman who stepped out of the portal wheezed. "The Witch Hunters are gone, we can rela-" The woman fell dead mid-sentance. "You cannot essscape usss that easssily" a raspy voice hissed, "We will follow you no matter where you go." The room filled with a high pitch wail. The womanfrom the portal held up two fingers and the air began to shimmer. the air began to crackle and a huge explosion occured. "Where... where am I?" the woman said. "She speaks! She must of had magical protection from the attack." The woman looked about dazed. She looked at her skin and it was a ghostly white! "So much...cluttered, I don't remember...even my name." "You almost were turned into a banshee, some powerfull magic protected you." A woman's eyes glazed over and charged at the door, she eventually passed out and woke up in a bar called the tranquil glade.

Article #20 How I lost my life savings

Author: Snookle

How I Lost My Life Savings By Snookle. Dear readers, It is a tale of woe I have for you today, a tale of lost innocence, a tale to make even the hardest heart know despair. This is the tale of the day I, Snookle, lost my life savings. "How did it happen?" I hear you cry. Well, I shall tell you. This tale goes back to the days I was just a young adventurer, trying to advance within my guild, practice my skills and work diligently that one day I might be something greater. In order to advance within my guild, I needed to make money, to pay my guild masters for the training they would provide. To make this money, as a young, weak adventurer, I did what most young, weak adventurers do - I went into the meat business. Rats I killed, bats a-plenty, orcs by the dozen, goblins more numerous than the trees in the forest. I also emptied out the contents of the zoo several times, obviously to the frustration of whoever was patiently re-stocking it with animals only to have me kill them for meat. Ah well, needs must when we need cash, eh, readers? So, I collected up my money, bit by bit, corpse by corpse. I lost some money to a sneaky thief, so I opened a bank account and continued, undaunted, with greater security. I bought some poor weapons from a disreputable shop at high prices, which quickly broke, but I learned my lesson and continued, undaunted still. Finally, I had the thousands in the bank I required for the next level within my guild, and I set out to spend it. I took the money from the bank and sprinted from the city, leaving the sneaky thief no chance to steal a share. I dashed through the wilderness with great haste, to ensure no foul luck should befall me just at the time I had all my money in my hands instead of in my bank and was vulnerable. I dashed to the water's edge and began the usual swim towards my guild, light of heart now because, or so I thought, all chances for an evildoer to stumble across me and steal my savings were past - I had made it. But it was not to be. Suddenly, my body stopped responding to the commands of my mind. Shortly afterwards, I could no longer even see what was happening. My mind went to a strange place, full of concepts such as "Internet Connections" and "Reconnecting, please wait". And when I awoke from this strange dream of strange, otherworldly concepts, to what did I wake? To the sight, dear readers, of my dead, drowned body sinking through the cold ocean towards the bottom. Horror struck me. I screamed with frustration! Stopping only to check the position of my body and count the strokes as I swum for shore, I raced in my mental form for the Endoplasmatorium, where I could find a new body. I still do not know what happened. Perhaps currents carried away my body and the coins it had with it, my life savings. Perhaps another player swam down and took the money before I could get back. Or perhaps, in my haste, and my horror at the death of my body, I counted wrongly and never found the right place to dive, despite thirty or more trips to the bottom of the ocean. Whatever happened, it brings the innocence of Snookle to an end. Brave Snookle, undaunted by sneaky thieves and overpriced weapon shops, steadfastly killing rats by the hundred so that others might eat, and who now sees why this world is truly called "Shattered". - Snookle

Article #21 Waaagh!

Author: Kheradruakh

The abandoned mine, deep in the forest, east of Sanom City, abandoned that is, from miners. The Dwarves still maintain their mighty stronghold under the ground, but there something far more sinister lurking down there, something, mean, green, Orcs. From this mine, the Orc's set out to raid local villages, uniting under the banner of a powerful warlord, who offers weopans, booty, and a good scrap to these green menaces. They consolidate their position deep in the mines, where no dwarf dares enter, and plan their raids. But, many lives have been saved by the heroes that walk the shattered world today, by slaying the vile warlords, and disbanding the horde that threatens to pillage the villages, and eat the inhabitants. These heroes are called to arms as the cry of the Village Chief echo's across the land, and these heroes often interrcept, and destroy these raiding parties before they do too much damage. But let us not forget he humble adventurer, who has seen the demise of may Orcs, under the earth, in the old mine. The foolhardy, and those desperate for glory are the only ones who would dare enter the Orcs abode, and only those strong enough to smite the Orc Shaman will return to the city, glory resting in his hands, as he brings forth the Orc Slayer Sword. Even so, these adventurers that fail in this task, either too fearful after the battle with the Orcs to face the Shaman, or those who face the Shaman and get destroyed in a barrage of magic, they have helped the lonely villages out west of Sanom, be free of one lot of Orc raiders. The Shaman himself is a powerful character, both in magic, an skill. He is a fighter that never gives up, no mattr what the odds, and thinks himself invincible. His foes usually retreat from his treasure room, their pride a shattered mess, and return to the city a disgrace, for they had not secured what thy went out to get...the Slayer Sword. Do not under estimate these greenskins, for you young adventurer, they will be your bane, as they have been on these lands, and will continue to be. Their blades has drawn the blood of hundreds of the nativs of this land, and your blood too will be welcome. We require constant vigilance to see us through these days, but fear not, heroes are not scarce in these lands, but if something happens to you, on your way of seeking glory written in the blood of these vile Orcs, as many before you have, you will not be missed.

Article #22 History

Author: Lasombra

I am here not to praise this world, or to tell of the horrors of the one I come from. I am here simply to tell the story of a journy. How I came to this place and got labeled an arachean among the smaller, less bright creatures you all know and love. It started about 3 years ago. The Sarr, a group of foul, vicious, ill-tempered dragon-kin, were taking over much of the land owned by my people. Most of the action was attributed to terroristic groups, but an all out war was at hand. Me and my family had decided to get out before they conquered our territory and before a war broke out. We headed north in hopes of finding the fabled ruins of the Grand palace for we would probably find some means of escaping the tyranical oppression of the Sarr. Unbeknownst to us many territories to the north of us had been conquered by the Sarr and We were attacked by a roving band of thugs. They outnumbered us and had better weapons but they did not expect my kids to be able to fight as well, and fight well they did. We took out the entire half-dozen but there were lossess on our side as well. My two youngest children fell in the battle. We were attacked several times as we traveled through the Sarran territories. Many of us Fell. Many times I have wished late at night that i could have sacrificed myself to save all of my children who died trying to flee to a knew place. When we finally reached the ruins, only me, my father, and my eldest son as we approached we heard a rumbling, we turned back and we saw a huge group of Sarr barreling down on us. we quickly hid but my son started to dart off to lead them away. I tried to stop him but my father held me back. "You'll never catch him." he warned, "You'll just let them know there are more of us and then he will have died in vain." "He's not dead yet!" i protested to my father, before i could finish getting the words out of my mouth the sky was darkened with spears and we saw my poor son fall. The sarr turned and charged away, thinking their work done. Several hours later, after we were sure it was safe, we explored the ruins. We found a curious room with glass walls, we leaned against the walls and suddenly the gave way, we tumbled through and found ourselves on an icey plain. plain. We knew from the abscense of the 3 moons of our world that we had found a portal, a way to a whole new world, we had only hoped of finding a way of leaving the continent and we escaped the entire world. We slowly made our way south camping often and traveling very little during the day knowing that we were safe from the Sarr. One day, not to long ago my father passed away. Without his guidness and wisdom i felt very lost. I developed a deep wanderlust and began exploring the new world i had found myslef and eventually discovered sanom city.

Article #23 quest story

Author: Chops

The Short and Scary Life of Speverend Roonerism: a Cautionary Tale. Spooner was a wide-eyed, naive innocent when she first entered Sanom City. Having no experience of mud-world, she fell from one disaster into another - bumping into walls, falling down holes and getting hopelessly lost. With her youthful arrogance, she thought she would make her millions at the casino. (No place for a young religious wench!) Naturally, she was fleeced. She became increasingly desperate for cash (no-one would buy her blood as she was riddled with pox!), and she couldn't even afford to get drunk or drown her sorrows with ganga. Things took an even worse turn when she returned to the Zoo to hone her swordsmanship and earn a gem. Foolish girl! She took on a rabbit (of the ferocious, teeth-gnashing variety - cunningly disguised in cuddly white fur) and proceeded to lose all her limbs and vast quantities of blood! Spooner died there, having not appreciated the value of tools like 'consider' and 'wimpy'. Having regenerated, she decided to rescue Miss Jane's teddy. It looked like an easy quest until she saw the Boogey Man and ran in fright. She found herself hopelessly lost in the sewers, had all her possessions stolen, was repeatedly mauled by rats and was killed by a nightmare. Not learning from her mistakes, this glutton for punishment kept returning to the same "maze of twisty little passages, all alike" and each time was ruthlessly slain by savage hoards of rats. Giving up on this quest, Spooner tried to join a guild in Merenth, and for a time was lost in the wilderness in the dark when she fell into some water and got her torch wet. Eventually she found Merenth, entered the back room of the wrong pub, ignored the warnings and was ripped to shreds. Now used to dying and regenerating (and loving it!), she made another trip to Merenth, only to find herself stuck there, starving to deatwith hunger and with no money. She recklessly ran towards Sanom City, hoping someone would buy some of her pox-riddled blood, and alas, she didn't consult her worldmap, fell into the ocean and died a watery death. She attempted to re-enter the Shattered World, but was refused entry and thought she must have angered the Gods and been banished. Benevolent God Trax explained that this was the consequence of rashly squandering precious lives and that Spooner was now permanently dead and a past hero, never to set foot in the fair streets of Sanom City again. The moral of this story - don't f**k with small furry creatures and large bodies of water unless you know what you're doing!

Article #24 My Underground Adventures

Author: Digdug

I was sitting in Sanom, bored as I would would be on any other day. Tapping my foot and waiting for the time to pass. I was wandering the streets when I realized that Rattcherryh had remodeled his house. I took a step in, and spent the rest of the day sitting through two very interesting classes. I wanted to try this new skill I had learned, this digging. So I packed my pick axe and some food in a small canvas bag and waited for the sun to rise while laying in my cot. I awaked the next morning rather cheerfully although I had barely any sleep. I trekked out of the west gate for quite some time, reached a cliff, and climbed it. I resupllied myself at Deall and wandered to the north, where I took out my pick and began to dig. I used all my strength and dug deeper and deeper down into the ground, climbing up and going back to Deall every once in a while to get some more food. At around 6:00 I was digging down, and when i struck my pick into the ground, water started to fill my whole. Not only was I terrified of this horrifying water, I was disappointed to see my hole ruined. I quickly ran up out of the whole, leaving my food and pick behind. I slept at the Inn at Deall, this time in a deep, deep sleep. I awoke the next morning not wanting to go on my digging expedition, but I was determined to make my way through all the hard ships. I picked a point south of Deall this time, and a little closer too. I dug only one square down, and then started digging south under the ground. After my tunnel had grown to a considerable length, I started to make my way back, mining along the way. I had my roc carry all of the ores back to Deall for me, where I had a local merchant analyze my ores. I was amazed, I had found some very rare ores. The merchant said something about Uranium, Voidian, and some other interesting sounding names. I am now on my way back to Sanom to see what I can sell these ores for.

Article #25 The orc slayer

Author: Metacuk

There lives deep in the mines of near the seaside village an evil orc shaman who holds in its custody the legendary sword called 'Orc Slayer'. I answered the call to retrieve this legendary sword for Leo the Archwizard. After days of travelling I finally located the mine entrance far to the east and south of Sanom City, where I found the Siren's lair but was refused entry for I was not a woman. To the east and south of their lair I found a deep hole. I used a rope to climb down. With much trepidation I searched the bowels of the earth for the wretched shaman. I finally located his lair but was set upon by a horde of orc scum. These dishonourable scum tried to overwhelm me with their numbers but I prevailed. After defeating these foul minions of the evil shaman I entered his lair. In my weakened state, however, I was no match for the Shaman's sorcery enhanced might. I beat a hasty retreat. Discouraged, I made for Sanom City to lick my wounds, where Charon tried to heal me. However, the evil sorcery that ravaged my body somehow prevented Charon from healing me completely. I thanked Charon for his help and then sought to drown my sorrows in a bottle. Mithrandir recommended Dredd's Blaster for this purpose and brought me to the bar in the Tranquil Glade. I downed a couple of this potent brew and felt alot better. In my euphoric state, I was convinced that I could finish the Shaman. Thus I stumbled back into the mines, found the Shaman and slayed him in a great battle. In truth, I do not remember much of that last encounter. Dredd's blaster had clouded my memory. But Leo the Archwizard has the Orc Slayer and I have Leo's grateful blessing. p

Article #26 Experience of Death

Author: Hawthorn

...I let my sword fall on the floor and collected the essence of magic with my mind in an desperate attempt to survive. Knowing this time it is more than I could handle, the warm blood running over my mangled left arm more than reminded me. I formed the arcane force into a ball of pure fire, hurling it at the Rat King, hoping to distract it long enough to flee. But he shrugged the burn off like it was nothing. It lashed at me faster than my tortured body could respond. I felt its claws shredding my chest, ribs breaking and splintering, a burning pain. I sank on my knees, wanting but unable to scream in utter frustration. I gazed for a split second at the old dirty bricks forming the ceiling of the sewer, before death and darkness overcame me... My soul was torn from my body. I slowly rose, seeing only grayish swirling patterns. But I did not want to die, not yet! I focused, and the patterns before my eyes became more solid. Something drew me forward through the shadowy world between life and death, somewhere in the distance the growling of the beast. The sense for time was lost, so I cannot tell how long I glided before suddenly the pulls became stronger. And in a flash the world of the living had me again, laying naked and shaking on the floor of the Endolasmatorium. Hawthorn, back from the Dead.

Article #27 The sorrows of war

Author: Terminator

A long time ago, in a place not even on the surface of this planet, there lived a craftsman. His skill was without equal and people paid handsomely for his work. He was so skilled that while his name soon was forgotten and he was known only as the craftsman. This man made a variety of items. All of good quality and beautifull to behold. Dark times struck his homeland however, and soon his services were hired by his government. They made him use his astounding skill to craft weapons of war. Instruments of death. The craftsman complied. Still the war took long, and many lives were taking with his handywork being the instrument. The craftsmans heart was filled with sorrow to see his skill being put to such a destructive use. To prevent himself from going insane he decided to dedicate his spare time in building something that would never be used to kill. The craftsman built a violin. While he did so he could feel his sadness and sorrow lift and it seemed to him that they were imbued within the violin. When the project was finished the violin seemed imbued with something that gave it quite a special sound. No one could put his finger on it and no one could truly play it and make use of its full potential. The craftsman, now grieved that only his most destructive products were put to full use died of sorrow. The violin was lost to a merchant and several decades elapsed. The war still continued. During that war there was an artist. His skill with the violin was without peer. He was also a soldier though and had fought many battles, lost many friends, even his family. His heart was one with many wounds. Everytime he walked across the battlefields to see the desolate land his heart weeped. One day however, this artist was under fire. He was forced to retreat into what appeared to be an old pawn shop of some kind. He hid there and while he did so he discovered what appeared to be a violin. The artist felt a strong attraction to it and as he grasped it he felt as if he had regained a part of himself. The artist knew it was foolish, but he felt the urge to play this violin. No longer caring about the war or even his life he played and let his sorrow be expressed through the violin. The sound of this music was the most beautifull the world has ever heard and it went straight to the hearts of everyone in the vicinity. All who heard it were moved and felt the deep sorrow in their own hearts twice as much now. It truly was a heavenly sound and it seemed to last forever. Sadly enough, it only lasted till the moment an arrow pierced the heart of the artist and released him of his sorrows.

Article #28 returned

Author: Oblinich

So I took a job as a caravan guard. I wish I could say Im above that sort of thing, but Im not. Everyone needs money, and I dont have all that much. Anyway, the even the most heavily guarded caravans can sometimes get wiped out by orcs, or at least they used to. You see, orcs reach full maturity around age 2, and if an orc somehow manages not to die before he ages, hell make it to 25... 30... So we have hordes. Or, like I said, we used to. An awful lot of war, and trading caravans with small armies in tow, always larger than the last one that got wiped out, have reduced the orc population. Now I personally think in about a decade therell be hordes again... but Im getting off track. The merchant running the show must have been kicking himself, hiring so many guards, cause we only met up with one band of orcs, and they didnt even have the numbers advantage. It was over as soon as it started, I didnt even get to use a single spell. Did I mention Im a mage? I am. Not a very good one, but still... Along the way we were delivering some supplies to a small fortress, Contly or something it was called. There were no guards at the gates, meaning no one to open em, hence we were stuck outside. It didnt take Argiope long to get fed up, and go over the wall. Argiopes an Arachean, I dont trust Aracheans as theyre notorious thieves. Argiope admitted thievery was his calling, so I like the guy even less. He assured us that he was already so wealthy that robbing the caravan would be pointless, and he lived for the challenge of facing his own brethren. He acted as a guard in hopes some one would attempt to kill and rob us in our sleep. But anyway, it took him all of three seconds to get up the wall, a little bit later he dropped a rope, then disappeared down the other side. I was about to get into something a little over my head, but I didnt care, I was bored out of my skull. As I reached the rope I realized it wasnt rope at all, but webbing. Tentatively I touched it, and discovered it wasnt all that sticky. Softer than rope, though easily as strong, and somewhat gummy, I found the climbing quite easy. To this day I wonder why aracheans dont have a monopoly on the rope market. A rather deadly warrior, by the name of Lokun followed. Though stronger than me, it took him longer to reach the top, covered head to toe in steel as he was. "Whered that damn bug get to?" he demanded Compared to Lokuns outright hatred of aracheans, my distrust is a pale ghost indeed. "Dont look so cocky about beating me here unless you wanna lose your head over it, you purple freak," Lokuns not racist though, he hates everything outright. We both looked down at the other side around the same time. "" I whispered Lokun was silent The entire garrison had been slaughtered. Hundreds of three or four day dead lay in a pile. I saw now the bloodstains on the battlements, on walls, everywhere. The corpses had been tossed together in some sort of grim monument. Lokun shouted down to those on the ground what we saw. The caravans owner cursed and said something about dead men paying poorly. We went down to investigate, Once in the proximity of the dead, the smell was overpowering. When we entered the barracks, where the garrison had slept, is when we saw the demon, or at least thats what it believe it was. A creature, humanoid in shape, but apparently composed of what seemed to be darkness, saw us, and struck so fast both Lokun and I nearly died right there. A blade of some kind, hard to make out as it was untouched by light, grew from each of the creatures hands. Rather, each hand became a weapon. I hit the monster with all the telekinesis I had. Did I mention Im galandrian? It hardly slowed enough for me to get my sword ready before it was upon me. Lokun and I both took several wounds in moments, and in the rare instances when we took the offensive, Lokun with his axe, I more often with a blast of fire or ice, we could not touch it. It was a blur. Then Argiope struck it unawares, from behind, half a dozen deadly daggers stabbing, one in each hand. I have NEVER seen ANYTHING move as fast as the demon did at that point. The first knife stuck, and thin black smoke poured from the spot, indicating we could harm it if only we could hit it. But each knife stroke following missed. Lokun managed to nick it with his axe, but it quickly managed to put all three of us on the defensive. Id already tried a mindblast, to no avail, so, in desperation, I tried to bond with it. The sensation I experienced is much how I imagine leaping face first into the wall of Sanom would feel. But something happened, it spoke to me, inside my mind. "He has returned, I am one of many, I bring his message" The enormity of its mind made me shudder, but beneath that there was something else. At this point I learned something of its nature. It had not caused this carnage, but instead had been summoned by the one that did, and had been empowered by the essence of fear and pain generated in the slaughter. Such was the nature of the bond, even this half-bond, that the crushing fear and pain that powered the demon began to slide across, into my own mind. I awoke a week later. Id been left in a nearby town to recover. Apparently Id weakened the thing, and Argiope and Lokun had finished it off. Feeling like Id had half a dozen Dredds Blasters the night before, I stumbled about my room, found the door, and cursed at the light which resulted from opening it. I eventually learned I was in a small church built to Chalana Arroy. Thanking the priests and priestesses for their care, I searched through my belongings, which had been returned to me, for a few coins that I might make a donation. I found no money, I did however find a note from the merchant who operated the caravan: Thank you for your help, your payment has been left with your other possessions, yada yada. Then I found a letter from Argiope. Oblinich: I wouldnt want to disappoint you, the thievery you expected has been rendered "Damnit" So I actually came out of the ordeal a few coins poorer than I started. Concern for that is little at the moment, however. Far more pressing is the thought of who or what has returned.**

Article #29 Journey in a Strange Land - Tale of a new adventurer

Author: Thelvyn

I was a young draconian when I first entered Sanom City, straight off the mountains and as raw as the mountain ore. Without asistance I probably would have stumbled around until someone decided my hide was more valuable than the rest of me and detatched me from it, or I had fallen into a large body of water (I did have a rather unpleasant early experience with a shark as it was) or maybe just starved, but fortunately for me I met a Grmkel by the name of Fiora who gave sage advice and directed my footsteps to the church of Javen, where I found what I hadn't realised I was looking for. Despite my different focus in life; she worships Psyche and has a voice masses would die for (and I expect many already have); she continued to help me, putting up with all the questions a young draconian could come up with and invited me to join the cult of Lux et tenebris. This is not to say my only help was from this Grmkel, a number of others have helped my footsteps along to where I am now (which I hope is a little wiser older and stronger). Anyway here ends the tale of my first few days in Sanom, and I hope you have enjoyed it.

Article #30 Puzzle Kings realm

Author: Pharaik

The Realm of the puzzle king is not a dangerous place as such, but challenges most of your attributes, such as dexterity, intelligence, and wit. The first puzzle, is not known by many, but solved the Zarquon way, of killing the Guardian of the Gate instead of solving his riddle. Getting this item allows you access to the realm. The first puzzle is one of skill in dexterity, where you will find the magical Knight, which is easily knocked about by a clumsy character. Getting it into the right position is essential and most clumsy characters have a great deal of difficulty with this seeming simple task. The second task is one of intelligence, as if a character with a slow learning capability will undoubtedly forget where he or she is, and have to start again, only to forget again. This is exceeding challenging and many find it testing. Some characters are forced to abandon this task at this point, finding it impossible to complete. The third task, is the hardest so far. It is a judge of the character's problem solving skills. Many find that they have the intelligence to reach this point, but not the common sense to solve this challenging puzzle. This puzzle is one of trial and error, and one of the few you can reset if you make a mistake. Passing this, you enter the riddler. The riddler is the second last task for this quest. You must solve his riddle. This sounds easy enough, but wait till you hear the good ones he comes out with. Many a character has been forced to give up, slumped in disappointment at their lack of wit, and vocabulary. It could be a common thing to have the riddle shouted across the lands, so that all can hear and help, if they wanted to or could. Often this cry of distress is answered, most by helpful characters, which wish the adventurer well, but many others consider this a breach of secrecy, and feel that only he who can answer the riddle deserves the questing points. Answering the riddle unfolds a new puzzle. The hardest and last in the realm. Solve it, and you will be hailed the Puzzle Solver. Fail this, and you will turn about, and try to crack it again next time you are in the area. It is a puzzle that takes patience, sanity, and wisdom. Thinking carefully will get you through, and an unthoughtful move can lay the wrong path before you.

Article #31 How i found myself adventuring around Shattered Worlds

Author: Drakken

I was was inquisitive for a grmkel, most of the elders were quite happy to leave things be and don't dabble in things i don't understand. But since i can remember i always had this desire to discover the world for myself and not believe everything I hear. I don't know why i just always thought i was destined for more then this. I start venturing further and further away from our underground home, sometimes gone for a whole day to my dismay, upon returning i would get severely scolded by my father saying it was dangerous for a young grmkel like me out there. I knew he was only trying to protect me, but i felt sheltered as well, the rebellious nature in me only meant i tried to be more sneaky about getting away. One day i found myself in some of the very old shafts the furthest toward the surface i had ever been, I don't know how close I was to the surface but some innate sense told me I was near to sunlight and all the horrible deformed creatures the roamed the land up there. I never knew if they were bedtime stories to scare little children or if they were real, burrowing through the old tunnels, as some had collapsed was easy and I soon came across remnants of old villages, these had to be ancient grmkel towns! I was sure of it! I totally lost track of time and even found myself lost for quite some hours when i started to panic. Then i heard some shuffling and then a lot of grumbling, I was petrified, I had been discovered by some deep mining dwarves! But as the small group emerged through a tunnel I recognised one of them as my father! I immediately ran to his side, and hugged him, but then i remembered I would probably be in big trouble and back away quickly and gauged his gaze. He was a strong grmkel, I was very proud of my father, I heard tales that he had been to the surface and had been a formidable fighter but he would never speak of it. At first his gaze was cold and angry, but then i saw something, a warmth and it looked like he was proud?! He embraced me in his comforting slimy arms and murmured that i was a foolish grmkel that would get himself killed. We travelled back to the town of Desertrock in silence, and when he finally closed the door, I swallowed hard, preparing myself. Instead he grinned and grumbled, 'So you have our fathers blood in your afterall', this was the first time he had ever talked about his father or his family to me ever. That night he sat me down and explained that he was an outsider to this tribe of grmkels, and that he had indeed travelled in the sunlight world on top of the rock, he also said for me to get my rest my training began tommorow. What training I wonder ? Sleep came hard to catch that night. I felt a light tap on my shoulder and my father was there dressed in battlegear, i had seen it rusting away in one of our rooms, i had never seen him wear it before, he also gaze me some armour and we slinked out of town. He showed me that our stone gaze could be used as a weapon and if i concerntrated enough I could will any creature to become a statue, he told me to picture them as a delicious perfect statue of themselves that i could eat. It seemed absurd at the start but he showed me time and time again how he 'stoned' his enemies. The training was well underway, I learnt about the creatures that roamed the land, how to speak their language and all about currency and armour and weapons. After about a year the training had taken it's toll I was now a 'grown up' in the eyes of the elders, I was quite fit and the taste for adventure coarsed through my veins. He then led me further then I had ever been before, we walked for days and days, I lost track of time and even the way back, and then my father looked me in the eyes and pressed some money in my hand, and wished me good luck, he said my destiny lies up and out into Shattered Worlds, not down in Desertrock. I was suddenly faced with the hardest decision of my life ? should i stay with my family and everything I know and am comfortable with, or should I venture into the great unknown and make my family name proud. The draw to seek out the unknown was unbearable and won in the end, wish tear filled eyes I wished my father goodbye and promised to come see him was I would be his equal, He laughed and then disappeard. I broke through the tunnel upwards and then the most brilliant and painful light hit my eyes. Argh! it burned! My father warned me of this and I smiled, I am going to make a name for myself such as He.

Article #32 How wild and beautiful the lightning storm....

Author: Marias

For as long as I can remember, I have loved lightning storms. The why of it never entered my mind. That in itself is strange because I am curious about everything. My great-grandfather would always take me outside in the lightning storms. Mam-ma would fuss, but he said it would not... no, it could not harm us. Great-grandfather was the only one who seemed to understand me. In his eyes I saw myself, and many were the times I heard his voice when he was not there. We lived quietly, as quietly as four generations can, but still many came to us. Some sought healing, others knowledge. Grammy always provided the first, but was against providing the second. Instinctively I knew she was right. I was taught the healing skills very young because they came easily to me. I was schooled in the Knowledge because my memory never failed me. But it was not enough. There were too many unanswered questions, too many answers waiting to be found... out there. Out where the lightning storm sang to me. Mam-ma fussed and Grammy grumbled, but my parents just smiled proudly and prepared me for my life journey. As time passed, folks grew suspicious of us. Why did we separate ourselves from them? Why wouldn't we teach their children as we taught ours? What were we hiding from out there alone in the mountains? We spoke to them of peace, of responsibility, of caring, but those things do not have a place in the language of hate, and so they did not understand. As things grew worse, the elders accepted the fact that our peaceful time had come to an end. They had little time before the hateful words became hateful actions. Unfortunately, it came sooner then was expected. There was no time to take everyone away, so those of my generation who trained in the Knowledge were brought together, and through the united forces of all, Grammy, because great-grandfather had gone beyond, sent us out. I was alone. Where I was, I did not know. Who I was, I did not know! How did I get here. Now, looking back, I know that Grammy must have locked away the Knowledge that was in me until I was ready to use it wisely. The healing skills I had. I took a name and settled on a quiet hillside. Folks came for healing, and I lived on their largess, the myriad of berry bushes around me, and the fish from the nearby stream. I felt there was safety in seclusion, but I knew it was not right. After a while, I ventured below and met a man. I could not fully communicate with him. I did not feel his thoughts, but we made a home and in the normal course of time, I had a daughter. With the birth of my daughter, it came back to me. I was Marias. I had the Knowledge. My family, four generations! Where were they? Where were my cousins, had they fared well? I feared all was lost. It was a very difficult time for me. Until the first lightning storm... then I heard great-grandfather's voice. I was not alone. As they grew, I passed along the knowledge to my daughters. The youngest was a healer by nature. The oldest was never at peace with herself. I had to remind myself daily to instruct but not to seek to control. It was a never-ending battle within me. One night the lightning called to me as it had as a child. I could no longer stay where I was. There were still unanswered questions, and I knew it was my job to answer them. And so I began my search. The search though was not done in the physical world. What I was looking for, longing for, was not of this world, but of a world beyond. A world from which We came to be, a world that was hidden away. I continued to live in the natural world, and raise my daughters, but during the lightning storms, I searched. I freed my mind and I searched. My mental travels took me through a small, beautiful forested land where magic ruled, but there was great strife. Armies from four cities fought constantly for supremacy. Those that called themselves 'gods' watched and laughed, and offered no help to the good. No matter the effort, evil was winning in that land. The good among them asked me for help in their defenses. My mind told me not to interfere, my heart told me I could not walk away. I did what I could, but in the end it was not enough. They wanted more then defense from me. What they were asking from me was murder, and that I could not do. So I traveled on. Next I found a huge land, full of endless wilderness. I wandered for what seemed like months between cities, and towns. Great castles stood on hilltops, monasteries were buried among the trees in secluded valleys, and great caverns spanned the entire land deep within. This land cried out for healer. Many fought the dragons that invaded the human territories. Although, truth be known, it was really the humans that had invaded the Dragon territories, but that was not known to me until later. I settled there with a vow to do no harm. For many a day, I was content in my work, but soon the lightning called again. This was not the place. My search was not ended. One day, in the course of my travels, I walked into the City of Pinnacle. At first the number of people in this great city overwhelmed me. There were too many minds too close together. With time, I learned to control my mind. There were many great quests and many lands to explore. I felt that what I sought was somewhere in this land. I joined a group of healer warriors, and found a home. During the course of a year, I explored and sought to no avail. How could I have been wrong? This was not the place. For a time, I no longer searched. I was despondent, feeling alone again, as I had felt after the sending. As I allowed these negative feelings to fill me, I stepped off the path. Evil, under the disguise of self-preservation, took over my mind. When I again began to search, I was pulled back to that great land of wilderness, but this time, I did not make a home for myself and take an honest profession. I lived in the streets and the sewers of , and joined leagues with many other thieves that plagued that land. That is when I learned that the humans did not belong there. One day as I helped many others bring down the oldest of dragons, He spoke to me in my mind. I was appalled! What had become of me.... To what depths had I fallen. I fled, and hid myself away. During all this time of mental searching, I worked to appear normal to those around me in the natural world. And yet my daughters could tell that I was not as I should be. It was my youngest, the one with the healer's touch, that saved me, and my eldest, she of the troubled soul, that set me on my path once again. It was not only for myself, but also for them that I searched, for their future, and their heritage. I set out once again. Now I shall strive to find the answers that I long for, and someday, to find the family that I lost. Marias

Article #33 Home of the Dark

Author: Garret

Deep down in the bowels of the earth, lays a network of tunnels, throughout this shattered world, unseen by all but the most powerful of the surface dwellers. Those who survive, an elite group to be sure, are never the same, having seen true power. They certainly come back with strange memories, and maybe a drip of the power from beneath the earth, which always shakes the surface, but wouldn't be given a second glance down below. The creatures below are very deadly, and often masters of stealth and have an immense amount of raw power it is rumored that everything for deep drakes to rebel earth elementals to giant deadly shrieking mushroom patches exist down there. The fact that the network is rarely seen can be taken in another way, the acute lack of light. Any surface dweller would swear it is pitch black in those tunnels, but the creatures who live down there often see better in that darkness (or daylight for that matter), than any surface dweller does in broad daylight. Yes, everything down there is deadly, the environment, the plant life, the monsters, and even the magic. Then there are the worms. =*-'-'-*= Eleven shadows moved through the tunnel, keeping no formation, but always complementing each other perfectly. They each wore a cloak that blended into the background, making the eye slip away, as well as boots made of the same material that made no sound on the stone floor, or any other surface. If the cloaks were removed, one would see them wearing dark grays that blend into the darkness. Each one of them was like a portable armory, carrying all sorts of weapons and equipment, and wearing a tunic of gray chain mail, almost like a mesh, but stronger than any human-made plate . Oddly enough, they did not wear any sort of bags or backpacks, just a few pouches at their belts, though down here, you never knew just how deep any particular bag was. Under all this, their bodies were though and lithe, looking at it though, one would see their bodies are segmented like a worm. They were grmkels, this particular group was one of their elite special forces. They became more alert as they approached the drake's lair, though it made no difference. They came in just as silently and hidden as always, though the sight startled them. The mighty drake stood their poised for battle, just as it would stay forever, for it had been turned to stone. None of its loot was taken, but there, wrapped in a dark cloth, laid a small baby grmkel, staring up at the statue.

Article #34 Life Is a Many Splintered Thing

Author: Octcela

There are many fun and exciting things happening here everyday. Take for instants my Wood Chopping adventure. As a female spider I had to find an axe that was not too large to fit in my mancacles and one that was light enough I could wield it. This was no small task I assure you. Finally I found a hand axe, one I could use. I was so excited I rushed off to chop wood for charity and do a quest! Ha! Soon I found that not only must I do this quest, but I must have an audience while I am doing it. Not just any audience, mind you, but the all powerful God Dredd! GULP! With no small amount of nervous sweat on my manacles, I began to shop, only to find out that my small allowance of strength (HP) was draining quickly! So being the smart one that I am, I conjured a familiar and set the thing to chopping for me! All the while I am thinking what a clever person I am. Not five chops later my familar ran out of steam and became too tired to chop further! By then I was healed some and started chopping some more. But once again, I run very low on HP very quickly. I tried eating, even tried to feed my familiar and bring up its strength. After all, we were in this together. But I found out spiders are not really meant to be going about chopping wood and it would have been much simpler to have a strong friend chop until almost done then take my small axe and finish the job. But as it was, the stubborn in me just kept chopping. One thing that made this quest enjoyable was the interaction with both Johanna the Non Playing Character or NPC and God Dredd. At first, I found her fun to play with while I waited to heal, but soon she becamse extremely annoying with her constant chatter that was just short of drove me crazy! Why, she was even joined by one of the City Guards and together they happily talked away filling up my screen with their chatter so quickly I could not even read it all. I suggested to God Dredd that he should marry them off to each other and get them both out of the room so I could finish my &(%^# Quest. That was when God Dredd hit the floor laughing. After finding that God Dredd does have a delightful sense of humor, my load was lightened and I felt more able to continue chopping. Soon, but not too soon I was done. God Dredd even applauded my efforts ... a little. When I asked him why only a little, he replied, "That was the longest wood chopping in the history of Shattered World." And once again, he hit the floor laughing. It was then that I suggested he pull himself up off the floor as it really wasn't very god-like to lay there in the floor so long laughing at a lowly spider. I found out that there were ways I could have shortened my shopping time had I known about them: Being stronger would have helped and I should have saved that particular quest until later when I was stronger. I also found out that being drunk makes one heal faster. (Who's idea that was is probably better left unknown to us mere mortals!) Yes, friends, next time you are in a seemingly hopeless quest, just remember that out there somewhere is a lowly spider plodding along and no one has had such a hard time at such a simple quest as she! Life can indeed be a many splintered thing! --Respectfully submitted, Octcela, New Citizen ::::o)

Article #35 HellFire

Author: Kovanor

In a quiet room, A member of the demon summoners guild, was practicing, his usual imp conjuring, when all of a sudden.....a massive explosion of smoke and flame, occurd...magical in itself, swirling in the air... Soon after the smoke cleared the flames magically vanished...all that can be seen was a massive dark shadow in the far corner... The Priest, Terrified..started to pray for extra protection around his circle...laughing even more the demon started to come towards him, the shadow growing ever more bigger, with each step.. Then jumping our of nowhere this little ball of fire rolled right into the circle... Suddenly it grew, not much bigger but enough to see eye to eye on the short stocky priest... suddenly Arms grew out, legs then followed, and a smile that can pierce even the bravest persons heart emerged...sinister, and sharp.. Flames then protruded from the creatures body and struck the priest... after the fire was put out, only to see the priest with incredible burn marks...only some flesh left over...and the little fire demon...walking out into the world...laughing...

Article #36 Warriors need knowledge of all surrondings

Author: Magedemon

A 6 foot muscular man enters a Dark and Bone chilling cold cave entrance. He is equiped with light leather armor and poorly crafted shortsword. He cautiously walkes forward and stops for a moment to light his torch. He feels another Bone chilling breath flow from the vastly dark cavern from the south. The newcomer warrior walks slowly south farther into the cave. He starts to feel that e is being watched an followed so he decides to unshealth his shortsword. After a few minutes of feeling he is being followed he increases his pase to a fast walk. Then the daring newcomer warrior stops dead in his tracks. Raising his torch upward he feels an icy cold breath flow downward from above makin his torch flicker Staring up he notices two ice blue eyes staring at his cold shivering body. As fear overflows his mind he turns around and slowly from the darkness three pairs of smaller ice blue eyes appear slowly trudging toward him. As he drops his torch the three creatures lunge forward. Blood floows over the torch causing it to flicker and then die out. Sorry this is my first time writing an article . i am trying to get the quest. Y ou will get more from me later. good day.

Article #37 article

Author: Roberto

Last week I was slowly making my way through a dark and slimy alley. As my heart pounded i saw two beady eye's pearcing into my soul. so with my shaky hand i weilded my axe and was prepared for battle The shady character soon revealed itself from the murky shaddows At last the creature was revealed. A rat, yes a rat. Once again i stared into the beasts eye. tears fell to ground as it's greasy hair thickened into a hard substace called concrete. The fight was now over As i continue my journey I tremble at the sound that haunts me. meow, meow, hiss...

Article #38 "Night Tavern"

Author: Minari

The nigh was cold and a strange mysterious wind blew from the North. A low fog swirled around the street near the tavern and slowly came to a stop. Unknown shapes started to emerge from the mystical fog and the shapes began to take form. Three unfamiliar creatures stepped out of the fog. Their pale faces, silvery white hair, and deep-sea blue eyes with a light tint of frosted ice color. Thief lips a dark reddish purple color showing little blood flow. The three creatures started to walk in step, two men and one woman in the lead, toward the tavern. As the three walked into the tavern an eerie silence struck the others as the three sat at the bar. The bartender, medium size and slightly chubby, stood in front of them and asked, "what would you three like?" One of the men dressed in gothic black clothing started to say something, but then was instantly silent when the women raised her hand slightly in a command like way for silence. The women dressed in gothic clothing of royalty looked up to the bartender and said in an old English tongue "we seek the man who thou know as Rakari, has thou seen him?" The bartender looked around and then leaned over and whispered something to the women. The women nodded in agreement and said, "If he comes in tell him Katasha is looking for him." The three stood up and left the tavern, and they vanished into the darkness of night.As the three walked into the tavern an eerie silence struck the others as the three sat at the bar. The bartender, medium size and slightly chubby, stood in front of them and asked, "what would you three like?" One of the men dressed in gothic black clothing started to say something, but then was instantly silent when the women raised her hand slightly in a command like way for silence. The women dressed in gothic clothing of royalty looked up to the bartender and said in an old English tongue "we seek the man who thou know as Rakari, has thou seen him?" The bartender looked around and then leaned over and whispered something to the women. The women nodded in agreement and said, "If he comes in tell him Katasha is looking for him." The three stood up and left the tavern, and they vanished into the darkness of night. That is part 1 of the story that I am writing for your entertainment, please enjoy and I will continue the story in a few days or more.

Article #39 Adventures Great and Small

Author: Falstaff

It was late one evening, very late. All was quiet and everyone had settled down to other pursuits--when I came once again to Shattered World. With my trusty Worldmap at my fingertips, I decided to go adventuring. Oh! This would not be just any simple, around town snooping. This was to be a grand adventure and like any Grand Adventure it would take time and planning. I practiced my sword skills over the last many months and finally found myself at demigodlike. I mean there are others better, but it is certainly nothing to sneeze at. As I felt my chest puff out in pride at my accomplishments, I felt I was ready for something new and risky. But first some planning. I thought to myself, "Self, Where would be a great place to explore?" It had to be difficult enough to offer a challenge and yet safe enough that I would not unwisely lose my life. What better place than Galwind?! You DO know of Galwind, don't you? It's that huge island out in the water...the biggests of all the Shattered World islands. I realized it had been calling to be since my newbie days. I used to think, "I'll be different. I'll take swimming lessons and then head straight for Galwind and be the newest newbie to explore there." I was sooooooo wrong! Places like Galwind are to be savored, treasured even. I trained my roc and finally we were able to fly all over Shattered World! I was in heaven. What a wonderful thing to able to fly from place to place. Together my roc and I make a great team. So we headed to Galwind. We mapped the village and then went out into the desert to find what we could find. I was sooooooo wrong! Places like Galwind are to be savored, treasured even. I trained my roc and finally we were able to fly all over Shattered World! I was in heaven. What a wonderful thing to able to fly from place to place. Together my roc and I make a great team. So we headed to Galwind. We mapped the village and then went out into the desert to find what we could find.

Article #40 Adventures Great and Small--Part Two

Author: Falstaff

When last I left you, Dear Reader, I had just taken on the challenges of Galwind Island. Having found the mosts wonderful underground mines in all of Shattered World, I was sure this was a special place indeed. But, alas, I found so much deserted desert! With every step I took, I feared for my very life. How would thirst hit me? Would it be like real life, slow in coming, yet deadly? Or would I have time to find water when needed? I wasn't sure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. And, friends, I was ADVENTURING! So I mapped. I traipsed across what surely was miles and miles of deserted desert. With every step I took, I looked carefully about me, searching and scanning for enemies. I looked everywhere to make sure I would find everything this deserted place had to offer, because I planned never, ever to return. Who would want to come back to such a place? A land that is seamingly forsaken by the very gods themselves. But this desert island is like a book with an old, worn, tattered doesn't appear to be much of anything when you first look at it, but when you open it up and read every thing it has to offer, you will find mysteries to be solved, friends to be had, and evils to conquer. And this is certainly true of Galwind Island. I found those who would kill me if I ventured into their domain and overstayed my welcome. There were those who seemed to enjoy my company. I mean it must be a fairly lonely place to live. Did you think Galwind only offered beach front property and acres of desert. Nay! I say to you, my friend, Nay! There are grand mountains and the highest and largest of these houses the most magnificent of all creatures. Unlike others of his kind, he talks! He talks and I am sure if I can get back to Galwind soon I will be able to make friends with him. I mean he seems very intelligent and I have always thought for the most part, that dragons do get extremely bad press. So I intend to visit him again as soon as possible. Who knows, perhaps he can help me with a quest in the future. If not, I will have gained not only some more experience, but perhaps also a new friend. There are other highlights of Galwind, but I do not want to give all the island away. Just let me leave you with a few thoughts. Come prepared to be challenged but not only monsters of a wide variety, but also by the elements themselves. A desert is not a friendly place for the most part. And the creatures that have decided to make it their home, are, by necessity tough survivors. So build your strength, pack your bag well and go to Galwind for adventures of a life time. If I am not in the middle of another wonderful adventure, my roc and I will gladly take anyone to Galwind Island for the low, low price of just 200 coins. If you catch me in Shattered World, just ask. For now, I must go plan my next Grand see you soon. Roving Reporter Falstaff :o)

Article #41 article

Author: Kogure

poetry-like I wait in the master's chamber... he says if I'm good he'll give me a shop in Sanom city.. prime location.. somehow I don't beleive him. But it's my turn tonight... as I watch the festivities from above.

Article #42 I have returned!

Author: Moridin

cre weapon cre weapon timer I walked this world long before, most of you were born. I stood beside Thunda, when he attempted to rule this world. I faced Coldrock and held my own against him, when he was king. I have held the lives of people in the palm of my hand, and could crush any who stood against me. I summoned demons to vanquish my foes, and I tell you now, I have returned! Fear me, kneel before me, for I mean to have what was rightly stolen from me. None of you now living can stand against my wrath, as I subjugate this world as it should have been! Moridin

Article #43 The Horror of Power Death.

Author: Corbeau

Gone, gone, gone. Gone forever! My master's confidence, no, lets be honest, his ARROGANCE finally betrayed him. Let this be a cautionary tale for all young Newbies. He was a Soulstealer, Level 9 and extraordinarily skilled. Gems were always pulverised for the benefit of the cult, never himself. What need their paltry sp when he could dine on the life-essence of a multitude of creatures? And despite his incredibly high swordsmanship rating his powers enabled him to possess or hypnotise these creatures into GIVING him their weapons and armour. A citizen, his voice was rarely raised, but always wisely. He had a home, a rather comfortable and strategically placed property in Seaside Village. Not grandiose, but rather an amalgam of personal taste and evidence of his wide-ranging interests and activities. His bank balance, now seeping into the coffers of the bank via their thrice accursed fees, was astronomical. Mithril armour? Pffft! A mere bagatelle. He threw its cost contemptuously at the armourer. But it all came to an end, and so quickly. A surly smith who refused to give up his hammer without a fight was the first death. This was quickly followed by Papa Pixie, who my master in his pride had tried to rob whilst weakened from his engagement with the evil sorcerer. A pixie! Who would have thought a pixie could be so swift and strong? Then there was the Count, who cut him down as he desperately sought escape from the labyrinth that is Lurch's domain. The final deaths were at the hands of the foul Smyrnans. Power infusions were the answer. But where were they when he needed them? In his arrogance my master elected to play on. Whilst questing in this southern backwater he noticed that the guards were singularly well equipped. An idle attempt at relieving them of their undeserved riches resulted in a massive attack by these louts and their captain. He ran, they followed, he died. Shocked and disbelieving he summoned me, his faithful alt, to stand guard over his property whilst he regenerated. As he returned, armourless, weaponless, as vulnerable as the day he was born, they recognised him and savaged him yet again. It was over so suddenly. Never allowed entry to this world again, his name inscribed on the roll of fallen heroes. His hard-won skills gone, his home the toy of others and his riches vanished. But worst of all was the gaping wound to his pride as his soul was consigned to the howling wilderness of the cybervoid. As penned this day by Corbeau the Bereaved, companion and faithful alt. ----------------------------====* RIP BOLO *===-----------------------

Article #44 King of the Skies

Author: Enimus

A long time ago, even before the god Gandalf, there existed a king that no one knew about. This king was known as the King of the Skies. He traveled all around the world in search of peace and the destruction of evil. But he was different from other gods. This god did not want to be knowned or worshiped. He believed that he was to live his time in secrecy and stealth. One day, the King of the Skies decided to go searching again, and found something that was not meant to be found. He found the entrance to hell. But at this same moment, the devil himself rose out of the depths and challenged him to a fight. The king accepted, and right there, in front of the gates to hell, they fought. For years upon years, they battled each other and never were tired. But until one day, the devil secretly hired an assassin to shoot the King of the Skies in the back with an arrow during their fight. The plan unfortuantely succeeded and the death of the King of the Skies came. On that same day, the great King of the skies perished in the depths of hell. No one ever knew of his birth or his death, therefore he was only a legend. No one that brave ever stood up to the devil again. Or did they?

Article #45 Terror in the zoo

Author: Taris

It was a beautifully sunny day, so a walk though the park was a wonderful notion. I started by visiting the exhibits, one by one. I marvelled at all the different creatures. The fish were amazingly colorful, the crabs, although a little creepy, were gorgeous. I was so lost in the splendor, that as I turned the corner, I didn't notice the trolls at first. I am not sure how they escaped, but there wasn't another soul in sight. Now, keep in mind, I am new to the city. I have barely learned how to use a fork, let alone swing this sword I have dragging from my hip. I put up a good battle though. For every swing the troll threw at me, I took it like a trooper. I am proud of every bruise. As I ran screaming from the zoo in terror, I swore to return someday and punish the trolls. Even if I have to sneak up behind them to do it.

Article #46 A friend for life.

Author: Taris

My roc Otirim and I were taking a leisurely stroll through the forest one day. It was one of those days where nothing could go wrong, or at least so you would think. We hadn't been travelling for more than a few hours when the urge hit me. You know... I had to use the bushes. I asked Otirim to stay where he was, and he being the ever-obedient roc, started to follow me. I finally had to tether him to a tree by the path, and go about my business. Well, much to my surprise, as I was well into my business, a couple of goblins jumped me from behind. It was such an unexpected moment, that I wasn't able to draw my sword, and I obviously wasn't wearing all of my armour. They proceeded to thrash me about for a few minutes, and even though I don't understand their language, I swear there was talk about cooking me dinner, or turning me into their gutter trash slave. I am not sure which. I was finally able to get away from them long enough to let out a loud piercing shriek. Not two minutes later, Otirim was there kicking some goblin tail. Now, Otirim is not exactly the most majestic roc, yet but that day he fought with all of his glory. It was wondrous. There wasn't much left of the goblins when he was through, and he even carried me all the way back to the Randy Goat. To me, Otirim is the King of Rocs. He shall forever be my friend for life. Taris.

Article #47 The Search

Author: Dartik

I grew up in a small cottage far east of Sanom City. My father was never around and my mother was around with everyone. I spent my days roaming the forests, hiding in trees, watching the animals, and teasing the monsters. They could never catch me. I was always too quick for them. It so happens that one day, my father started yelling at my mother about all of her "friends". They were screaming at one another and she was throwing things. My father asked her to go out back so that they wouldn't disturb me as much. I didn't think anything of it. They left through the rear door of the cottage and I went back to playing go with myself. All of a sudden, I heard a piercing shriek. I wasn't sure what it was at first. It scared me so much I wet myself. I hid under my bed for about an hour before I got enough courage to go look. I found my mother lying there with my father's dagger in her back. I was stunned at first, but I got over it fairly quickly. She wasn't exactly a very good mother. I looked around, but couldn't see a trace of my father anywhere. Now, I wasn't exactly torn up inside that my mother was dead, but I was very upset that now I had no one at all to take care of me. From that day forward, I learned to take care of myself, and I swore that as soon as I was old enough I would head out on my own, in search of my father. I would pay him back for leaving me alone. I would have my revenge. Dartik.

Article #48 article

Author: Zshaka

A Newbie is born....... As my guide tossed me an apple, a broad smile spread across his face. I looked at him questioningly, was he truly happy for me, or was there an evil twist behind those sparkling eyes. I made my way west down the corridor towards the noisy Adventurer's guild. I glance down at my appearance, and was startled to see that during the course of my stay with the guide, I had somehow been transformed. I was no longer the weak human male I was used to seeing staring back at me in the mirror. I have taken on a dragon - like form, and I'm stark naked! My head began to swim, what had happened? Feeling faint I staggered into the wall, my legs gave way, I reach out to grasp a sign to slow my fall to no avail. I struck the ground with a large thud, stars flashed before my eyes. As I lay there, dazed and confused, I listen to the groaning of the floorboards beneath my blue scaly hide. Suddenly, there was an almighty crack and the sounds of splintering wood as I disappeared into a newly opened hole slammed into the floor below. Slowly I got to my feet and brushed my self off and surveyed my surroundings. Looking up, I could make out the outline of a trap door hanging loosely from its hinges. It appears my newfound size was too much for the rusty hinges. The room was dark and quite cold. I looked into my pack and found a black cloak, it wasn't much protection from the cold but it was better than nothing. I also found torch and a small knife, but this tossed aside thinking it really was quite useless. I got to my feet, through my cloak over my shoulder and lit the torch. It was at that point I notice the noise coming from the other room. It was a strange scratching noise. Curious, I peered into the room to see a pair of beady red eyes staring back at me. The black rat was not overly big in size, but the sudden appearance of the creature startled me. It was then that it happened, instead of letting out a yelp, an ice torrent issued from my mouth and slammed into the rats head. Stunned, the rat teetered on the spot for a few moments then fell to the floor, his head shattering into a thousand small pieces. I gathered up the corpse and climbed the ladder back to the upper level where I found my guide patiently waiting. 'Ill take that' he said, 'I believe this is the rat responsible for the plague the riddles this town. Congratulations! Consider this the completion of your first quest'. With that he spun on his heal and trotted over to some newly arrived guests. As I left the adventurer's guild and merged into the bustling city streets, I thought to my self, I think I'm going to like this new body I have acquired, but I have a lot to learn. I reach back to pull my cloak over my shoulder but it was gone. I spotted a sneaky thief disappearing into a dark alley. Naked again, I continued down the street, 'Yes I think I have a lot to learn.' Zshaka.

Article #49 Tales from the Crypt

Author: Thor

MADAM DEATH A story from the chronicles of Madam Drakken. ******************************************************** Bang Bang Bang. The hammer of the smith beat a new chorus in its endless song on the anvil as yet another lump of raw steel took shape and began its transformation into a thing of beauty and malevolence. The burly 20Ft tall, Master Smith of Smallville, swung the massive forging hammer up and down like it was a feather in his iron grip. Phenomenally strong muscles rippled along his arms as he continued beating the slowly forming sword into shape. It had been a long day at the anvil in his small smithy in the southern town of Smallville, and as day was turning to dusk, he looked forward to hanging up his hammer and retiring for the evening. Outside, the crickets chirped their evening song as the sun cast its final warming rays across the sleepy town. The streets were quiet now, the hawkers and beggars having long since retired to a cosy fire and warming mug of smallvile pale ale, as they welcomed the peace that night time brings before another hectic day. Bang Bang Bang The smith held up the sword he was making, scrutinizing every bump and imperfection along the length of the blade, and again shoved the length of metals into the forge, super heating it so that it was malleable under the blows of his mighty hammer. Silently, unbeknownst to the smith, a dark shadowy form crept into the smithy, light from the forge barely making a reflection off the dark menacing blade that drew closer and closer towards the smiths unprotected back. As he prepared to resume hammering the sword into shape, the silent assassin made her move. The black short sword drove into the muscly back of the smith, in an instant driving the breath from his body and sending a geyser of blood spurting across the forge. A terrible scream split the night as the Master Smith screamed in agony as yet further blows hacked into his body. Aware of his attacker now, the smith whirled and slammed his mighty forging hammer on the head of his dark robed assailant, who staggered backwards momentarily stunned by the blow. The smith hammered viciously into his assailant, as his lifeblood continued to drain from his body. The thief, now under full assault from the smith and badly wounded from the vicious retaliatory attacks, quickly whispered some words of magic and in an instant her body was surrounded by healing magic's, restoring her to full health. "Say goodbye to this world Smith and say hello to my dark master on your way to hell" spat the nimble thief as she crouched low preparing a devastating attack. A series of blinding circling moves left her facing the unprotected back of the smith once again and in an instant she had buried her short sword deep into his back whilst at the same time she unleashed an almighty, piercing scream that tore at the smith, exploding his ear drums and sending blood coursing from the remains of his ears. As he recoiled in pain, the madam of death made her final move, pulling her dark sword from the battered body of the smith and spinning on her toes, she hacked viciously at the smith's bleeding head, sending it spinning from his shoulders. A geyser of blood shot forth from the smith's now lifeless body, leaving the forge coated in a gruesome montage. Panting heavily, the thief wiped her bloodied short sword on her victims' tunic before sheathing the dark weapon. She hefted the head of the smith into her pack, a brutal trophy of yet another vicious assassination. After surveying her latest masterpiece one last time, Madam Death turned and disappeared into the night, whence she came, waiting until the next job once again called forth her gruesome artistry.

Article #50 the endless cycle

Author: Sintax

- The endless cycle - When you first start in shattered world you are scared and timid. You are so scared in this murky world that you'll do what a peasant with 5 quest points tells you with no hesitation as you think they are wise and heroic, as they may posses the virtue and bravery to scare a boogy-man. Then you get a few quests under your belt and your feeling confident and think that it's time to explore and slay dragons and what not. Hence you lose most of your lives, but keep playing for some senseless hope that you'll be ok... hmm... and then your dead. What to do? What to do? Well with all that you have learnt you pick yourself up and try again of course. But with the same avail, you get too confident with your amazing 20 to 30 quest points, and venture out with ease. Killing those little bastards that got you a few months ago. shout as you slice them into bloody pieces and with that you have brought revenge for your forefather. Then 10 quest points later you are the king of your domain. Nothing can stop me. Ha ha, I'm strong and wise, you tell yourself, on to bigger and better things you say to your self! Then the exploration and hard quests come in to your close, but so far away you realise, as your being sucked away from you body for the last time and all is lost, except for that new character you'll build for the next fight! As the stone turns once it will turn again...and again etc. - Fin -

Article #51 The Big World Outside

Author: Sarah

The life inside the walls of Sanom is one of comfort and safety. For a young draconian like myself the world appeared blissful and peaceful. I can spend my time killing the various rodents, drinking it up with my neighbours, and chatting up the local men. But shortly I grew bored with a life that contained so little danger, so little adventure so I decided to venture into the great outdoors. I saw hills and forests, pixies and wolves, and castles and villages. I felt like I was on my to experiencing the world as it was meant to be. But lo and behold there be kobolds and trolls and demons and devils. Shortly the safety of Sanom didn't seem like such a bad idea. But as I ran the gauntlet of monsters each room brought me closer to death. No-one had warned me, no-one had tried to stop me, and now, I thought, I would surely die. Never in my young life had a toll booth looked so inviting, the liquor so tasty, the rodents so enticing. And here I will stay, in my beautiful Sanom, until I gather the courage to again brave the wilderness.

Article #52 I killed a Wombat!!!!!

Author: Clestop

It seems like only yesterday I created my first character. I remember going out into the wilderness seeing what I could and couldn't slay. Its easy enough to list the things I could slay. Nothing! I couldn't kill one single thing. As I got stronger, I noticed one of the things I still couldnt slay, were Wombats. Time went on and I checked every now and then to see what I could kill, but every single time I checked, Wombats were one of the things that could take me down. Just recently I went to see what I can kill, and Lord behold!!!! I can take down Wombats!!!!!!!!! I can take down any of them. Big ones, little ones, weak ones, strong ones, fat ones, skinny ones, it doesn't matter. I can kill any of them. It takes some time for the stronger ones. Not to mention all the life I lose, but I can still do it. Now if you will excuse me I am going to go wombat hunting.

Article #53 article

Author: Fenix

Secret Room I was walking around in the sewers trying to find someone to give them something when I stumble across a passageway if memory serves. I look around for the exits but one of them caught my attention, a door leading in a direction. So I walked through the door and suddenly it slams closed on me. I look around only to find no exits but I also see a gold bar and a small gold orb. I quickly pick up these items but sudden my health was dropping! I pressed look again to find there is some kind of snake there. In a desperate attempt to escape I try to run in all directions but there was no exits, so I searched the room but still nothing. My last resort was quitting but that also failed me because you cant quit in Battle. I thought my time was up until my salvation hit me, disconnection! I was lucky to have disconnected at 1% of my health and the resetting of the game was just right around the corner. So I made it out with 1%, now I ponder if the objects I took had any uses to them. Are they some kind of rare item to have been found in a room with no exits? I wouldnt know, Im just a 9 hours old newbie sigh, maybe if I asked some of the more experienced players... By Fenix **~**

Article #54 Pyrus' Journey, PART ONE

Author: Pyrus

It was a long time ago that these great events happened to me. It was back in the times when the faerie folk still freely roamed the earth, and great wars were fought among the species of this Shattered World... In those days, I was a fledging, new to the world and still untested. Though I was quick to fight and a strapping young man, as the women in the brothels proclaimed, I knew little of the world around me. In my early years, I was something of a lady's man, which is exactly how I found myself in a huge predicament. One day, as I was walking through the streets of Old Sanom, I stumbled upon the most beautiful lass I had ever seen. I vowed to make her mine. That's when the fiasco started. I made a pass at that fair maiden that went something like this, "How is it that I am so blessed to behold such a wonderful visage as yourself?" I thought I must have startled her greatly, as she burst into tears, the poor girl. "M'Lord, you flatter me," said she, turning the shade of the loveliest rose. "What troubles you so that you cry thus? Have my words offended you?" She sort of chuckled at this and turned to look at me, "No...It's just that I was so scared a moment ago by a horrible monster." I thought it was a cruel joke and told her as much, "I am no terrible beast. I simply ask your favour." She laughed louder at this. "No, no, no. You misunderstand. I really did see a vile creature in yonder mine." With that, the girl pointed in the direction of an old mine that had been around far longer than I. A cold chill ran down my spine; I'd heard rumours of a tremendous dragon that fed on the flesh and bones of unwary strangers. Nonetheless, wanting to impress the lady, I bravely exclaimed, "I shall go and I shall slay that despicable thing that beset you." With that, I drew my sword and stepped into the darkness of the mine... For the next instalment of my epic saga, see the next edition of the Sanom City Times. Story Teller Pyrus.

Article #55 Dungeon in Sanom City!

Author: Drevek

I am Drevek the Draconian. I am an apprentice magician and a follower of Xarus. My third day in this town, I heard a rumour of a dungeon near the palace. Intrigued, I headed towards the palace armed with a sword and some armour, prepared to fight whatever might have been encountered. To the east of the palace gate I found what I was looking for; a hole, presumably leading to a dungeon. Jumping down, I found it was exactly what I was looking for, and if it hadn't been for my excellent draconian eyesight I would have been utterly lost. Heading up the tunnel I encountered only rats and bats. Then I came across a fork in the tunnel, and here I took a right turn. Following this turn around to the left, I found the sleeping area of some orcs, who I promptly killed. On a whim, I /CENSORED/. I then searched the orcs bodies and took some steel daggers I figured would sell nicely at the Best Weaponers in Sanom. Retracing my steps to the fork, I went left this time. I came to three prison cells, all locked, and attempted to unlock each one. Only the first one would be unlocked by my key. Inside, on a lucky stroke, I /CENSORED/. It didn't work in either of the two remaining doors, so I travelled further. I came to another jump down, and not seeing the passage to my back continued to travel in an easterly (I presume) direction. I came to another fork and again went right, this time coming to a dead end. It was also a dead end for the two goblins there, one of which fought much more fiercely than the other. I then returned to the fork and went left. Following this path, I came to another fork and three more goblins that I promptly incinerated with my fiery breath. Following this fork to the right, I came to a locked door in a small circular room. /CENSORED/, I entered apprehensively. There was a mad gnome inside, and when I asked him about the key to the other doors he became irate, showed me he had it and refused to give it to me. I swiftly ended his rantings, and after taking the key he held from his body (which was still spasming from my lightning breath and coruscating with electricity), I looked in his workshop that was attached to the room. There was a cupboard that not even my great strength could open, so I /CENSORED/, and when I opened it a small green key fell out. Taking this key to the third cell door, I found it fit perfectly. Opening the third cell door I found an old man pacing and wandering the cell. When I approached him and asked who he was after saying hello, he thanked me for freeing him and gave me a chainmail hauberk for doing so. The hauberk was of godlike craftsmanship, the likes of which i had never seen before, but unfortunately I knew it would disappear when I left the world. Returning to the adventurer's hall to boast of my great deeds and awesome power, I happened to notice a posting about a young girl who was missing her Grandfather. After putting two and two together, I followed through with the information there, and found the girl. She explained what had happened, and I gave her the hauberk as proof of her Grandfather's freedom. She thanked me graciously, returned the hauberk, and left in a rush to find him... I suppose this makes me a hero now, right? Oh, and once I freeze over that shaman carrying the Orc slayer and come back, I may write about that exploit as well if the Times approve and you enjoy my writing. Editors note: Given the large number of direct quest hints contained in this article, censorship has been applied to obscure some of the finer details.

Article #56 Ambush

Author: Formora

Standing atop the crest of a hill, I scanned the area to gather my bearings. At last, my destination - Mountain Village - was finally within sight just beyond the next ridge. My journey from the safe haven of Sanom City, which I had grown to know as home, had not been without incident. Goblin scouts within the murky depths of the forests, orc raiders blockading the dirt roads, fleeing from the occasional demon - all these things are quite harrowing for a newbie. But despite all that I had had come out alive, something to be proud of, I thought whilst surveying the countryside at my vantage point on top of the hill. Suddenly, as I began to look down at my minimap, movement caught my eye. Peering west, I noticed many figures - hard to see at first, but becoming clearer the longer I stared. Sweat suddenly broke out across my forehead at the sudden recognition of what was ahead - Trolls! Now, I had not actually seen or even MET any trolls in all my brief encounters before, but of course, had heard all about them: 20 foot tall monsters with the strength of an elephant that could sever your head with a flick of their claws with a fondness for newbie flesh. I quickly ducked behind the nearest rock. I reconsidered my plan; from my position outside the village, I could either make the day trek back to the safety of Sanom, travel to another town, or to make a rush for the gates. After sitting there and pondering the situation for a few minutes, I finally decided it best that I return to the City, as I really didn't want to go through those monsters, and I wasn't all that confident in my navigational skills to be able to find any other town right now. As I was about to get up to start my hike back, suddenly I heard something! Not knowing where it came from, I quickly listened all around with ears cupped, and located it as I heard it again, this time more clearly. It was my stomach. 'You are very hungry' it said. Damn. Mountain Village hadn't really looked that far on my worldmap, so I hadn't bothered bringing along any food. With a resigned look, I came to a conclusion and faced the Village and the trolls again. This was my only option now. Peering into the distance again, I saw that not only were the trolls present, but they were in quite large numbers too. Groups of two to three trolls were avidly waiting outside the entrance, just like newbies outside the Soup Kitchen I thought dryly. Calculating the shortest route through the horde, I figured I would have to pass through at last 10 or 11 trolls to get through to the gate. I sheathed my sword and got ready to dodge, as I said my (what I thought would be final) prayers to Xarus. Well, this was it. Not wanting to lose any time in case they spotted me, I sprinted down the hill and into the mass of bodies. Whoosh! Luckily for me, by the time they started to realise a little dragon-like creature was trying to rush through their blockade, I had already passed the first few. The crowd stirred, and amongst the yells and shouts of the now enraged trolls, the first attempts to stop me were made. Fists, claws, or whatever the trolls could use were wholehearted thrown my way, as I ducked and weaved a passage towards safety. Despite my hunger, I was running as fast as a demon, and was making quite a bit of progress. As the thought of making it through this encounter alive sprung into my head so too did a large green fist. Reeling from the blow, I stumbled and was stunned for an instant. Oh no here it comes now I thought. As my eyes refocussed, I saw that the entrance was only a few more feet ahead of me! Gathering my wits, barely dodging the other fist as it swung down to finish me off, I shut my eyes and ran forward as fast as I could towards the opening! Not knowing how I had gone, I kept running, until finally the din of battle slowly passed behind me. As I gradually slowed down, I chanced a glance backward then finally opened my eyes to find that I had made it!! The trolls were held back behind the gates, and I was safe, although a bit injured! Suddenly, I received an (ever so gentle) tap on my back, and a turned around to find a TROLL! In town?! I ran forward toward the nearest guard and shouted 'HELP!', but my pleas were unanswered, and all I received was a blank look. The troll quickly closed in and smashed a giant fist down on top of my poor head. As the darkness closed in, with blood gushing from my ears, I fell down. Vision and senses failing, my life essence drifting away, I looked up and saw the guard. I as vainly tried to reach out to him for help, I saw the troll's last blow coming towards me, and then, the last thing I heard: 'Hi Formora, don't break the law!'.

Article #57 Beneath the Ground

Author: Khai

It's a simple task to become an adventurer, these days. Just walk out the city gates: The fields and forests around Sanom are overrun with trolls and goblins, kobolds and demons. Pull a knife, take a whack or two, and voila -- you're an adventurer, well on your way to fame and fortune! But there's a dark and deadly secret no one talks about, and if you ask your local bartender, he'll smile knowingly and lock up the keys to your carriage. It's a conspiracy, the best-kept secret and most horrifying tale to be told in all the world. For there is a fearsome monster waiting in the darkness below the ground. Have you never wondered why our fields are rife with holes? Have you never looked into one of those darksome tunnels and shuddered, feeling the hot draft of some secret beast's breath wafting upward? Have you never rushed back to the shelter of the city walls and paved roads, feeling that you have escaped some loathesome fate? Or have you, as some rare and unfortunate people have, been witness to a companion walking out among those many tunnels, only to see him disappear without a trace, without a yell or scream or puff of dust, and never seen him again? Some of you will swear that these many holes have merely been dug by the prospecting kind, the adventurers who would mine for precious metals and minerals. But I say, there are too many. The holes are simply too many, and too deep. Some delve straight to the heartsblood of the world herself, to the deep waters where one could drown a thousand yards from the touch of sunlight. These were surely never dug by miners. No, there is a deadlier curse abroad. One day, down one of those dank and dripping tunnels, I will find myself face to face with my worst enemy. And when I do, I will bring the head of the Great Gopher of the Underworld back to the surface and stand it on the pike before the city walls, to warn all its kind of its fate. On that day, the citizens of Sanom will again walk freely in the rolling fields, unafraid of ground that falls unstable between their feet, fearless to walk amidst burrows, once more!

Article #58 Young Adventurer Found Golden Cards

Author: Pajk

You probably all know the old gamblers who lives above Casino. A young adventurer discovered, that the gambler once played cards with Gandalf himself and was given a set of 5 golden cards as a sign of respect from Gandalf. He later lost all 5 cards and couldnt find them, because they looked just like ordinary scraps of paper. The adventurer promised to retrieve the cards. As the adventurer describes his quest, he had to search through all the city and he discovered a lot of interesting and also dangerous places. But he says that it was worth the effor, because he finally found all 5 golden cards and gave them to the gambler. Why didnt he keep the cards for himself and sell them you may ask. Well, the cards didnt have any value and you couldn't tell that they were made of gold. Nobody would buy such cards. But in gamblers hands they turned to gold. The gambler died soon after he got his cards back and the cards disappeared. Let him rest in peace.

Article #59 Gargamel is becoming old

Author: Pajk

Yesterday I found a pixie village where Pappa Pixie asked me for help. Evil wizard Gargamel is still around and playing dirty tricks with poor pixies. I decided to try and save pixies although I was afraid and would rather leave the village quietly. I soon came to the old castle. It didnt look like a threat, more like ruins. I boldly proceeded into the castle and found Gargamel and his cat. He is much stronger than me, but I first webbed him and than sank my poisonous fangs into his veins. I moved to the safe distance watching his pains. He didnt suffer long; he died in less than a minute. It was almost too easy, but Pappa Pixie was very happy to see Gargamel's staff and destroyed it immediately. That was the end of the evil wizard Gargamel.

Article #60 A storyteller Goes Out

Author: Oldrothaskelach

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," "What made it so bad?" a passing draconian inquired. "As I was saying, this is a tale of two cities," I cleared my throat, "It was the best of times, it was..." "How can a city have a tail?" Inquired the Draconian. "I have a tail, others have a tail, but how can two share a tail?" "Practice," I contended, "Now may I get on with my story for the assembled masses?" Actually the assembled masses weren't so assembled. They consisted of Johanna, two rats and a city guard who'd taken a shine to me and kept coming by to say hello. The Draconian, who was a towering figure, huge robust, and tens of feet talls grunted a sort of half yes. I began again. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, damn rain!" "It's not raining," a passing City Guard kindly pointed out. "If it's not rain then what is... Will you stop drooling on me you stupid slimey dragon spawned lizard!!!!" "Err, oh yeah, sorry. You want to go hunting?" "Why not you scared my audience away, except for Johanna here, and I get the feeling she always wants something." So we set off upon a long and dangerous journey, we faced monsters scarifying beyond a simple mortals imagination, we heard the God's talking to us, indeed we were on a divine quest, we were regular Robin Hoods, set to Steal from the upper middle class and give to the lower middle class (ourselves). As we started on our journey, I inquired as to my companions name. Midway to our destination I forgot it. His constant drool gave me a feeling of depression. But in the end we reached an abandoned city east of Sanom. Upon entering my new found friend said "Go Bald." I looked at him thinking this must be some sort of joke. "I'm not cutting my hair for anyone!" Again he said "Go Bald," Only more excitedly. Just then a creature entered, covered in dirt and mud it glared at me, it's nostrils flaring. "One moment please," I said, addressing him the dirt encrusted one, then turning "Now my slimey friend why should I cut my hair?" Just then the creature viciously ran at me a bone club brandished in one hand, what appeared to be a law scroll in the other. I looked at my draconian friend and inquired, "Constable is he?" He then stepped in front of me, heaved in a vast quantity of air, made a horrendous sound that could be heard for rooms around and blew out a little puff of smoke. He looked at me, very quietly whispered the word "$&!#!" and then yelled "Run for it!" The journey home took about 33 seconds. We faced monsters scarifying beyond a simple mortals imagination, we heard the God's talking to us, indeed we were on a divine quest, we were saving our lower middle class hinds. As we sprinted across the wildnerness to the relative safety of Sanom city I didn\'t give a damn about my companion\'s name. His constant drool was not half as depressing a thought as the mad kobold behind us with a staff. In the end we reached our beloved Sanom. As I entered the gates a gathering had begun to welcome me home. Tired as I was I felt I could not disappoint. I looked upon the assembled masses -- 2 Cats, a City Guard, a friendly bard (he often listens to me for tips), and a friendly earth golem. I began, \"My faithful fans, earlier today....\"

Article #61 killer fish

Author: Caleb

I was feeling fairly brave after having killed many cats and rats. I looked to see what I should be doing next and saw that I needed to be in the zoo. After completing an icky little task for Stephen, I went to clean the tanks. In my clumsiness I dumped all the fish on the floor. At first I felt sorry for the little critters until they started attacking me. WTF. My health began diminishing, I had forgotten to wield my weapon, and the only thing for me to do was to run. Me, cat and rat slayer, running from some little fishes. Let this be a lesson to all you strutting newbies - beware.

Article #62 The Sanom City Dungeon

Author: Marvolo

I am Marvolo, seeker of knowledge. I believe knowledge is power! I have been in Sanom for a few months now and have had the chance to sneak into the dungeons below. You won't believe what was down there. There were numerous orcs and goblins which seemed to have made their home below Sanom City! And good lord... they were planning to raid Sanom city that day! I would have left the matter alone and let the critters raid Sanom but I was curious. What manner of weapons did these monsters have that could let them think they could successfully raid Sanom City? I decided to investigate further, killing a few of these creatures along the way. It was then I came across a big wooden door. I tried with all of my draconian might but it was in vain and to make matters worse, the creatures have discovered the body of their dead brethen. They amass behind me. With all of my strength, I dashed through them. My body suffered various cuts but I managed to get through. They gave a chase. I ran and ran, hoping I could still remember the way to the entrance. After what seemed to be like an eternity, I found the way out! I told the guards about the goblins and orcs lurking under the city but they seemed to ignore me and changed the subject. Did they know about this all along? Was someone keeping them as pets? A few days later, I tried to enter the same dungeon but a magical force prevented me from doing so. No matter what I do, I cannot go back in. Whatever secrets lie down there, I will find out!

Article #63 Bug Crushing

Author: Ath

Older adventurers get to have all the fun. That was my quick observation upon visiting the city of Sanom. While I was chasing down dogs and cats in the streets, I saw person after person come into Sanom lugging the mangled corpses of giant insects into town. I ventured to question where they found these amazing monstrosities, and was pointed to some nearby ruins. Wielding my small hand-axe I had recently used for wood-chopping, I headed out for the ruins with the courage of a lion, ready to pounce on my oversized foes. To my dismay, when I arrived at the ruins a young upstart kobold ran up to me and punched me in the face repeatedly, almost leaving me dead on the ground. Blood pouring down into my eyes, I tried to run towards the safe haven that lies in the town gates. I did not have the stregnth to sustain my pace and fell to the ground in tears. Crawling back to town on hands and knees, my vision blurring from time to time, I finally dragged myself into the soup kitchen, where the wonderful lady serving porridge dressed my wounds. So I was not able to crush these giant insects like my more blessed friends, but I have an interesting alternative for all of you who feel completely inadequate as a visitor because of the amazing corpses you see people dragging into town. Do you wish you could be hip like all your bug-killing friends also? Now you can! Most everyone knows where the old palace dungeon is (at the palace gate, head west, then go down the stairs). Step down these stairs and follow the path north. Soon you will start to see bugs on the wall. Aha! These little buggers make for hours of enjoyment as you run from one wall to the next crushing as many as possible with the end of your boot. One can even have friends down to the dungeon with him, allowing for a wonderful game of Bug Crush. Or, if you don't have any friends around, you can enjoy trying to beat my record, which is 3027 bugs crushed. See? Though we who are not so strong might not be able to kill massive hordes of giant cockroaches, or build giant structures that reach to the sky, we are still able to entertain ourselves. Do not lose heart. Go bug crushing!

Article #64 Boot Camp

Author: Grom

It is a nice sunny day so Arach, Zidane and I decide to go to training camp. Sokia agrees to lead us to the campsite and provide us some guidance. We have a feed and withdraw some money out for the loin cloth. Sokia mounts Vesun the roc and we follow. Out the southern gate of Sanom and west we go. The journey seems to never end... but finally we reach the training camp. Inside the training camp, Sokia gives us a primer on the sword training. Arach then proceeds to the trainer while we sit around talking. Zidane is next followed by me. I make a mistake and pick up the certificate before the training which I don't realise at the time. Continuing the story, we end in a room with a friar. We must solve a crossword to complete the training. Hmmm... the first one is tough. It is the nursery rhyme "Little Nancy Etticote". Little Nancy Etticote, In a white petticoat, With a red nose The longer she stands The shorter she grows. The friar will not shut up, it is hard to think with his constant talking. After awhile, I think it is Arach that solves it. Zidane then solves the next one in no time at all. So it is just me left. I finally get it but because of the mistake I made earlier I have to go back to the trainer to get my certificate. I head back to get another puzzle :( It is a tolling of the night. When all is still. And the wind whispers near the mill. Twas struck twelve times! And his voice rang out! And then, it was stilled. I knew the answer immediately! I gave the friar his answer, and the quest was done! Yeah, I've complete boot camp. What an interesting journey it was indeed. By Grom

Article #65 The glory of Malecta

Author: Godric

The day started off like any other for Godric, people snickering or flashing looks of disapproval his way, they wouldn't say it openly but make it obvious, he felt like an outsider. From as early as he could remember, he would try to fit in. Playing practical jokes on humans was a favourite pasttime, but then there was a time he put a poisonous snake in a beggar tin. Reaching in the beggar got the shock of his life, but the look on his face made Godric snicker under his breathe. But his 'friends' shunned him saying he went too far and that he was cruel. Godric just thought they just didnt know how or have the stomach to execute a real prank, not these petty jokes they chose to play, and so he grew up being a loner and feeling like he was misunderstood. So, doing his daily rounds of real pranks was when his life would change forever and he would find his true calling, sitting under his favourite weeping willow, thinking up particularily evil pranks he chomped into an apple from his knapsack without even looking at it... the taste wasn't what he expected... he looked down to find the apple was rotten! Before he could spit out the vile filth, he started to feel strange, and then as blackness creep over him he had the strangest visions. One of them explained that she was Malecta, goddess of death and she had chosen to spare him, for he was her chosen to spread her name to all who would hear. The rest of the images came like a blur, and as sure as he thought he couldn't take anymore, the visions were gone and suddenly painful light screamed into his eyes as he opened them again. Godric found he had a lightness in his step and a smile he couldn't hide as he raced back to his home, packing light he didnt even bother telling his parents, they wouldn't miss him anyways, 'sides he had important matters to attend to. So off he walked, stopping occasional to flash a glare at a young kid or to spit on a pathetic beggar. He didnt even have to think consciously where he was going his feet knew the way and before he knew it after walking 2 days and nights he found himself in a gloomy graveyard. He didn't find it uncomfortable, he felt something else... home. Strolling into the temple he found the warmth of his goddess Malecta all around him and he fell to his knees and wept, he had never felt so wanted, to belong as he did now and he would stop at nothing for his Goddess and do whatever she required of him. No longer did he feel guilty putting psychotic herbs in the neighbours milk and watching as the wife took an axe to her husband, his bag of tricks grew, and he started to cackle out loud. Look out Shattered World, for here comes Godric, prophet of Malecta, spreader of evil pranks!

Article #66 The Sacrifice

Author: Godric

Kicking a few mangy cats out the way, Godric was feeling good, he was quickly rising to be a star pupil of Malecta, and he was seeing her hand touch many things around him. He enjoyed many conversations with his Guild Leader Rahvin, a strange spider that he both looked up to for Malecta's word and encouragement on spreading the word, it was tough being the prophet, many people disbelieved and even spat vile curses, those people either somehow lost their tongue or ran away in terror when Godric took his hood off, remembering those images made him chuckle, a dark throaty laugh that would terrify a little boy or girl in the street. It was then that Guild Leader Rahvin summoned his presence, it must be important as he is rarely summoned, standing before his Guild Leader with one knee down he got what he craved, words from Malecta herself and his next mission to prove his loyalty and please his Goddess. Sacrificing a healer was the task, and he dedicated himself to it, reading ancient scrolls on proper sacrificing rituals until he commited them to memory and finding the proper sacrifice was a challenge. At first he tried to convince the puppets of Chalana Arroy there Goddess was a false one, but that proved futile, the zealots believed it so strongly they weren't to be swayed, alas he had to use force, not that he minded. Walking into the Sanom Law Department he came across a filthy CA puppet, Godric couldn't help but sneer, he offered the healer a chance to offer himself for sacrifice in Malecta's name, explaining how it was a priviledge and Malecta's gifts would shower them, he didnt go for it. The infidel made the fatal mistake of insulting Godric, with Rahvin's help, the 'sacrifice' was incapacitated by a means of Rahvin's spidery magic of webbing, blinded by Godric's pixie dust and thus the sacrifice was ready and prepared. Godric started to weave his evil magicks on the victim, soulripping the victim was necessary according to the ancient texts to allow the correct transference of the soul to Malecta, and then the flesh would follow according to proper offering rites. It was a simple task given the victim was helpless, Godric could feel the healers lifeforce ebb and flow into his own, it was sweet and bitter, the soul was so pure, it started to make him sick, that he couldn't wait to give it to his Goddess. The final task of offering the corpse was simple, he had performed the ritual many times over and thus his task was complete, he felt a bolt of shuddering ectasy as Malecta let her prophet know she was pleased and he slumped to the ground drained but satisfied.

Article #67 Tales of Adventure

Author: Yoshy

I can't pinpoint the exact moment I contracted invisibility which means I may have never been visible. Going through life invisible isn't as bad as you think it would be. The biggest benefit is that I never have to stop to tell someone the time. To anyone who is visible, the subway is a forgettable experience. For me the subway is a battle field which comes complete with complementary battle wounds. People spilling coffee all over me is a regular occurrence. I am fully aware they can't hear me but it gives me some sort of sick pleasure to yell obscenities at them anyway. So now scalded and bruised I take my leave from the subway. Today was a good day, I didn't need to stop and take time out of my day to tell someone what time it is. So you may ask why I don't just stop whining and drive. Driving is a larger challenge than most other activities. I see it as a modern day jousting tournament. My theory is that since I'm invisible, so is my car. Other drivers seem to charge at me from all directions and occasionally they get a hit. Obviously, they didn't see me. It is very inconvenient that my car is soon to be a small cube, which I will display over the mantle in loving memory, but a driver has never bothered me by asking for the time. Well, now that my car is totaled and the subway is painful, I should really look into ordering groceries online. Every trip to the supermarket is best described as a long and drawn out version of Russian roulette. If I reach for the last can of corn is someone going to shove me out of the way and put the can into their cart? How many items can I put into my cart before someone decides they must have that exact package? Parents who let their children push the shopping cart should be fined. My ankles are usually an interesting shade of purple by the time I arrive at the cashier's line. But I'm glad to report that my shopping experience hasn't been completely destroyed by someone asking me what time it is. You don't get funnel cake at the grocery store and I had a craving for the fat. Here's what confuses me, my car is invisible but apparently my wallet is not. The CNE is probably the worst place in the world to go when you are invisible but I went for the funnel cake. It was like going to the circus without seeing the freaks or smelling any animals. I was holding my wallet when, as usual, someone bumped into me and I dropped it. I looked down and it was gone. So a valuable lesson was learned, don't assume everything I touch becomes invisible. The only thing that could have made the evening any worse was if someone had stopped me to ask for the time. After a long day of being invisible a drink is definitely in order. Going to the bar is an interesting experience. If I had to compare it to something I would choose feeding time for the sharks. Everyone swims around me and then into me. My drink is always empty, not because I'm an alcoholic but because someone keeps spilling it. My cigarette seems to keep going out because it's invisible and that means someone is bound to walk into it (why my wallet isn't invisible I haven't figured out yet). The bar isn't the greatest night out but I go back every few nights, I mean it's not like anyone asked me for the time. Sleeping is the only activity where full padding is not required for an invisible girl. Rest and recuperation is the equivalent of divine intervention. So tomorrow I wake up and go through the motions all over again, fearless because I know that no matter what happens to me I won't be stopped and asked for the time.

Article #68 Closer to Malecta

Author: Ugnia

It was a sad day indeed when I discovered that it was not safe to get too close to the mighty god Malecta. Other worshipers of the dark goddess would be aware of her lingering touch that we experience while using her powers. The bliss of insanity gradually descends on us, her minions, and we are glad for it. There are, however, some problems that arise after a while. Prior to seeing the darkness, I had been on the rather sane side of things. I'd had many a mind healing, purchased from the ex-healer Formora. I was thus able to enjoy Malecta's touch again and again, without consequence. But there came a time, when a friend said that I looked a bit strange. Apparently i'd developed a nervous tic, and towards the end, I even started to drool! It was some time around this point that I must have fallen into a deep stupor. I have no idea how long I remained in such a state, however when I awoke, I realised the danger I was in. I stumbled back towards the city from the hole I'd fallen asleep in, offering a brief word of thanks to Gaia for my faithful Aloys who had watched loyally over my faithful form, also thankful that none of my multitude of enemies had known of my sudden moment of weakness. I somehow managed to resist the temptation to throw down one of the preserved corpses I carry about my belt and feel again the joy of calling them back to life. I stopped myself from caressing the preserved heads of my enemies also hanging from my belt. Onwards I ventured, knowing I only had a short amount of time to get back before I fell again into a mindless state, this time, perhaps, never to return. I reached Sanom and Morgar's tower, and travelled the mirrors back to the cemetary, and into Malecta's halls. By this stage I was gibbering and drooling and had this awful feeling that everyone was after me. I would have asked for help from Elidane the Seer, but she was looking at me funny. Luckily, I stumbled upon the dark servant. "You look like you need some incense," he stated in his incredibly flat voice. I had no idea what he was talking about, but took the incense he offered, gave him over some coins (I have no idea how many - I hope he didn't rip me off) and stumbled past him into a dark room. I wasn't sure what to do, but lit the incense with a finger as it seemed the thing to do. It was all smoke and pain, and then suddenly darkness. It was awful! Ah the excrutiating pain! My eyes felt as if they were on fire! And not only that - I could feel malecta withdrawing from me in disgust! This went on for some time while I rolled on the ground in complete agony. Then as suddenly as it had started, it was over and I could breathe again. And yet I still could not see. I stumbled about the room for a while longer, wondering the corridors, believing myself lost forever, never again to feel the lingering touch of the dark goddess. Were my bloodshot golden eyes damaged forever? Then I finally thought I could see a light. As my sight gradually returned, I noticed the light coming from the room in which I had burned the incense. Another form was there, breathing deep of the pungent aroma. After he had sat still for a long while, he stood up and walked out, nodding to the dark servant as he passed. In response to my questioning, he informed me that this was not an unusual experience at all. In fact to avoid death by the madness, it was necessary to burn the incense regularly. He wondered that I had not been told of this and cursed the incompetence of whoever had initiated me into the guild for not telling me. "You were lucky to survive by the looks of you," he said. "I'd go burn a few more sticks to be on the safe side." And so I undertook the ritual several more times, undergoing the excrutiating pain again and again, until finally I began to feel more myself, although the increasing distance of Malecta deepened my feeling of depression. It is a horrible necessity to undergo this ritual, however the reward of experiencing the touch of Malecta once again is more than worth the pain. Maybe someday I will forget my incense, and remain in Malecta's sweet sweet arms forever.

File last modified: Mon Oct 16 15:27:36 2006