Home  |  Olympia  |  Arena  |  PBM FAQ  |  Links

+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| The Olympia Times                                        issue g1-22 |
| November 23, 1994                                                    |
|                                                                      |
| turn 22  183 players                    "The business of barbarians" |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+

Olympia PBEM

* * *

Crossing alone the nighted ferry With the one coin for fee, Whom, on the wharf of Lethe waiting, Count you to find? Not me.

The brisk fond lackey to fetch and carry, The true, sick-hearted slave, Expect him not in the just city And free land of the grave.

-- A.E. Housman

* * *

Happy Thanksgiving!

Player-contributed press

The Aethelarn Massacre

It is a time of mourning in Aethelarn.

Last month, bandits robbed blind several groups of nobles. They picked their victims very carefully - those who were unfortunate enough to be chosen died during the attack, were badly wounded, or taken as prisoners. All of them harmless travellers; most were just on their way to leave Provinia, and search their fortune in the nine seas.

But how astonished were the citizens of Aethelarn, when the bandits' ship did not leave the harbour at the end of the month. Instead, the ship's captain discussed the course to be taken loudly with the helmsman, and neither seemed to understand the language of the other.

Meanwhile, the nobles who had witnessed the bloodshed got together in council, and decided that they would put an end to this menace.

They started when the bandit captain shouted in their general direction: 'You will not dare to attack me! My big brother will hit all of you! Oh - and I will kill the prisoners if one of you sets his foot on the Talon! Naturally I will set all the prisoners free, if you let us sail!' He tried to put an honest expression on his face, but failed miserably.

The wise nobles did not believe a word of this talk, as some of them had heard of these pirates before; they were the lowliest scum on the face of Olympia, and if one thing was sure, it was that none of their prisoners would ever see his family again.

So the righteous folk stood together and held their weapons tight, and the merchants started thinking about how the spoils should be distributed. After all, if the pirates' big brother really came, they would earn a lot of money. No doubt the army that had been formed could hold the city against even much greater odds. They hoped that the news would not spread too fast to the Imperial City - otherwise too many newcomers could travel to Aethelarn in hope of getting their hands on some of the pirates' treasures.

It is a time of singing and dancing in Aethelarn.

-- The Helping Hand of Eylon [da9]

Because of fear of unrest and a large influx of immigrants to a continent with low resources, visitors to Eastern Drucartan are asked to procure a visa before entering the area. ( We define Eastern Drucartan as the area of Drucartan that is east of the Uldim Pass).

If you want a visa, please send a message to John Sen[m6f], describing the nobles in the party, the size of the party, and the reason for visiting Eastern Drucartan. There is no fee, and requests will only be refused in rare ( i.e. I am bringing 2000 men to kill all nobles ) circumstances.

-- The Sen Clan [di4]

Calliope continues with HER favorite Housman:

"But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, It gives a chap the belly-ache. The cow, the old cow, she is dead; It sleeps well, the horned head: We poor lads, 'tis our turn now To hear such tunes as killed the cow. Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme Your friends to death before their time Moping melancholy mad: Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad."

-- The Midnight Carnival [nx2]

NEW OFFER!

The Midnight Carnival has a special offer for ====> YOU!

MAPS MAPS MAPS

Using Campaign Cartographer, the most powerful fantasy cartography program available, I have designed maps of Provinia which I am distributing via surface mail. These 7-color maps show all terrain features and internal locations listed in Skulking Vermin's Atlas. Each kind of terrain and internal location has its own graphical symbol: over 30 different symbols in use, and more available as new locations are found!

If you want to locate the nearest graveyard, don't go flipping through the whole Atlas -- just look for the closest skull! Measure exactly how far apart your neighbors' castles are. Four different city types indicate size of markets. Currently unclaimed treasures, prisoners, and artifacts are also shown. Large (1/4 inch) squares and inlaid grid make finding where your troops are a breeze. End Ascii height/width distortion!

Now, how much would pay for a beautiful, full-color, ready-for-hanging-next-to-your-computer map like this? Before you answer, there's more! We'll also throw in a map of known Olympia, based on lore provided by the Crimson Sage! It's sketchy yet, but you can plot the major sea lanes and measure the distances between continents quickly and easily with this beauty. Contains all the data in the Provinia map as well (just very, very small). You'll also get a full-page map key, and a letter from the Midnight Carnival on future deals. All for the low, low price of 50 gold!

That's right, just PAY 50 to our representative in the Imperial City, the Illustrated Man (s5e) and e-mail us your carrier snail address, and two lovely 7-color maps will go winging their way to you pronto! And once you've subscribed, all future revisions of the maps will be available for half price! Act now, prices may rise with demand.

EXTRA DEALS!!!>>> All your nobles left the IC? Not to worry! Send us the terrain descriptions of any 10 squares of land or coastal waters not in the Atlas, and we'll send you a map for free! Must be willing to have this information published.

EXTRA DEALS!!!>>> We will make custom maps! Let us know the size, scale and quantity of any maps you want made, and we'll quote you a price! Want a blowup of your kingdom five pages wide by five pages high? Write the Illustrated Man (s5e) and we'll talk!

This offer brought to you by...

The Midnight Carnival ___ ||||| /\ =====----==== oo oo /\ /\

-- The Midnight Carnival [nx2]

The Imperial City Logging Corporation is open for business. Contact mmwang@mv.us.adobe.com if you wish to place an order for wood or yew.

-- The Enlightened Ones [xf0]

__ __ / /\______________________________________________________________/ /\ \_\/ \_\/ | GateMastery, the final frontier? | |<--------------------------------------------------------------->| | | | The Gatemasters are here to help *You*. | | | | Here is how it works. We have already located eight gateways | | and are rapidly pinning down many more. We want to help | | you help us. Send us in your gate readings and we will send | | you back other information we have that will help you to | | pin point the gateway. If you can pinpoint a gateway that | | we have not, then you get to become a full Gatemaster will | | access to all the gate information we have. | | | | Why do we do it this way? Well there is a large effort that | | must be made in locating gates, and we don't think it's fair | | that people free-load. So long as you are actively trying | | to locate new gateways, you will continue to get help. | | essentially people get out what they put it. We work this | | way to encourage people to contribute. | | | | Interested? Send mail to q4y. | _| _| / /\______________________________________________________________/ /\ \_\/ \_\/

-- Stygian architect [q4y]

I would be interested in contacting any other factions currently based in Illion in order to prevent unfortunate accidents!

-- Penkevil [h8o]

The Torba Bacor Alliance announces its claim to Torba Bacor and recognizes the rights of its northern neighbor, the Atalan League. Anyone else wishing to travel in Torba Bacor is advised to first inform a TBA faction of their intent. TBA factions consist of di2 Normandy (Bill Keyes, 72500.3145@CompuServe.COM), dl7 Five White Petals (Gordon Monson, monsons@hooked.net), zo0 Golden Lotus Society (Bill Voorhees, 72357.736@ CompuServe.COM), and xz0 Dragons of the Realm (Tony Hughes, Altimont@ aol.com). We welcome trade, but we will resist any aggression.

-- Robert of Mortain [l8i]

Her Highness Pel, Duchess of Atnos, must regrettably state that the borders of Atnos are still closed. Travelers with specific needs should contact the court before attempting entry.

-- Pel [q1v]

Dearest Miyuki,

The happiness of knowing that we will soon be together has kept me going these past few weeks. I am so glad that our waiting will soon be over. We have been building up our new home here and everyone is quite happy with the progress. You will be surprised at what we will have built by the time you arrive. Everyone is constantly busy! Please hurry along but be careful. I thank those who have been of assistance but I will not stop worrying until you are at my side.

-- Kovaq'nu [v4n]

If you're just starting out in Olympia and want to get away from the crowds around Imperial City, pull out your maps. With approximately 720 provinces, Ossicus is the largest region in Olympia. Provinia's nearest neighbor to both the east and west, Ossicus, has for some reason remained virtually unoccupied. Sail East *or* West, Young Factions!

-- Horace Greeley [m5p]

A Report from Gentlewind.

I am passing through Gentlewind on my way to learn mining, and would like to advise other travellers to about my observations. The area is heavily patrolled by its owner, the Sheriff of Pelenth and appears quit safe. If you are travelling to learn mining, you should be safe from bandit attack. It is however a good idea to inform the good Sheriff of your approach and heed his instructions concerning resource useage as he has been known to stomp those disobeying his intructions.

-- Cerulian Crimson [f6y]

I am interested in renting or buying the following items. Please write to me if you have them and are interested in reaching an agreement.

golden ring [bf5e] enchanted armor [ix8s]

-- Kosar the Indefectible [n9o]

I'm going to Aethelarn with a stack big enough to survive there. Contact me if you want to be in it.

-- Erik the Well Read [l4o]

Fear and Loathing in Olympia

Urgent Speed Letter

Raoul Duke c/o Giant Lizards Sand pit Barren Desert West Ilion

Contact me at once repeat at once we have a new assignment beginning tomorrow also West Ilion don't leave Stop the national conference of district attorneys invites you to their four day seminar on potions and dangerous items at Dunes Inn Stop Olympia Times called they want 50 thousand words massive payment total expenses including all samples Stop We have reservations at Flamingo Inn and high speed galley Stop Everything is arranged contact immediately for details Urgent Repeat Urgent Stop

Doctor Gonzo

-- Raoul Duke [fq6f]

Megalomania knows no bounds. It seems that Seline Fireflower [w0l] (Times #21) has claimed responsibility for the destruction of three factions.

Funny that, that duck marat said he had something to do with it... must have been wrong. Who else? Let me see, 171 players...marat and seline have already done so, the three named factions probably won't... leaves 166 remaining psychopaths available to claim responsibility. Make that 165. It was I that massacred these factions! and I'll sign my name to prove it! I mean it when I say that unauthorized actions in and around the Imperial City WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

-- Lili Marlene [e7m]

We passed by the bazaar one last time. The Imperial City wood salesman was asleep at his booth; with the local lumber company undercutting his prices by nearly a factor of 10, he hadn't seen a customer in weeks. As usual, a group of forlorn nobles was waiting in line at the pot stand, which as usual had closed on the first day of the month. My brother proclaimed, "Truly it is said that 'the streets of Imperial City are paved with pot shards'." I snickered. "Roscoe, when are you going to learn to talk like a normal person?" He just raised an eyebrow, "As you should know, I fail to see 'normality' as a virtue." Our old, comfortable argument was interrupted when we heard familiar voices shouting from the door of our inn. "Ah, the sounds of brotherly love..." I left Roscoe behind as I rushed in, and Penelope stormed up to me. Horton hung back, managing to look both worried and offended at the same time. "What's wrong, hon?", I asked. "My idiot brother has another get-rich-quick scheme. I am NOT going to deal in clay pots for the rest of my life!" Penny is beautiful when she's angry, though it's not wise to say so to her face; of all of us, she was the best at the combat lessons. "But Farley, pots are so cheap here! We can make a big profit if we buy them at 2, load them on the boat, wait 'till we get someplace where people have better things to do than make pots, and sell them at 7!" My brother-in-law is a bright lad in many ways, but he has the business sense of an ox. "Horton, how many pots does the city buy every month?" "Nine." "How many does the Atlas say other cities buy every month?" "Uh - nine." "So, you want us to load down our ship with pots to make a profit of 35 gold per city we visit? I can do nearly as well writing for the Times." He turned bright red, and it wasn't helping that Penny and Roscoe were both grinning at us. I gave them both a glare and Horton a friendly clout on the shoulder. "Stick with the magic lessons, Tony. That's the way to make real money."

-- Farley [n0e]

Dispatch to the interior: Mountains and more mountains. We spotted another city, which we will explore this month. No sign of the noble we saw riding from the east last month, we should soon reach the realm from which he rode, so long as there are no ambushes ahead.

-- Habid [k1k]

The Olympia Atlas is accepting contributions, and is available for download! Be the first to contribute information for unexplored lands (Hades, Faery).

In the tradition of Oleg's Map (tm), the Atlas is a compilation of geographical information useful for explorers, traders, and adventurers. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

To contribute to the Atlas, simply send turn excerpts (cut out all the incriminating parts) that contain the following information:

o) Mapping data (region & route info) o) City market reports o) City skills lists o) Inner locations

and send it to sx6@g1.pbm.com. We'll include it into the next version of the Atlas.

The Atlas is available by ftp from your nearest PBM ftp site (ftp.erg.sri.com in the USA, check the PBM FAQ for other sites), in the directory /pub/pbm/olympia, as atlas.X, where X is the turn of the last update.

The Atlas is also available on the PBMGames forum on CompuServe, in the fantasy games section, as atlas.oly.

Brought to you by the Skulking Vermin (sx6)

-- Sludge [x0o]

PILGRIMS AID SOCIETY

Greetings to all nobles in Olympia. The Pilgrims Aid Society is pleased to offer aid and assistance. If you have a question or concern, drop a note to Akmall and he'll be glad to give you a thoughtful (if not necessarily useful) answer.

Additionally, for all the nobles still in the Imperial City: MOVE! Move out of the Emperor's basement and come into the real world. It is a LOT more fun out here.

-- Akmall Benhalla [p3p]

Fate is not sealed in concrete If it were, noone would swim

-- Captain Ahab [z7b]

Journal - Thunder and rain, Year 3

We stand here on the shore, watching the roundship that was to have admitted us sitting on the coast. Apparently, we have too many goods to be allowed on board.

The Captain keeps talking about dropping off passengers at god-forsaken locations, then heading for lands that have never seen the sun. I guess that he will take usto unclaimed / unexplored lands. Well, time to board that ship again.

The Lord of the Morning, The Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon [m3m] aka Erik Ker

-- Lews Therin Telamon [m3m]

Travellers in Torba Bacor. Contact me.

-- Dorlas Michtik [p1o]

MARTIAL LAW IMPOSED IN GENTLEWIND AND SURROUNDING PROVINCES

The Cohorts of Colossus [vo4] have assumed stewardship of the lands in the Newleaf and Gentlewind area. Sheriff Pelenth of Drassa [f3i] is in charge of peacekeeping in the area, and has imposed martial law.

Several nobles have doubted the efficacy of this, and have flaunted the law by charging into the area. Those same nobles are now crowding the prisons in the Fortress of the Wind. Several other nobles have complied with the law and can testify that they have been unmolested or even assisted during their stay.

This proclamation applies to the following provinces, as well as all sublocations in these provinces: bx25, bx26, bx27, by25, by26, by27, and bz27. This includes the cities of Newleaf and Gentlewind. Persons wishing to travel in this area should apply to Sheriff Pelenth to receive a travel permit. No unapproved resource utilization is to take place in these areas. This includes recruitment, pillaging, performing common tasks for gold, etc. If in doubt, ask.

Travellers notifying Pelenth and obtaining travel permission will not be molested, and will be protected by the Sheriff and his forces. It is our sincere wish that peace is restored to the area soon. Martial law will be lifted after the influx of renegades has subsided.

-- Sheriff Pelenth of Gentlewind [f3i]

An ally and I are sailing east of Provinia. I welcome the opportunity to exchange detailed mapping data with anyone else sailing in that direction. Contact faction mk8.

-- Captain Tarkus [c1s]

-- Greywind Alexander [o4m]

I would like to ask a moment of silence, so that we may honor those groups that have fallen to the perils of Olympia. Their spirit and accomplishements will be remembered long after their names have faded into obscurity.

Each of us should remember, that but for the grace of Atnerks, it could be us lying under the cold, hard ground.

This public service brought to you by the Crimson Sage.

/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\ | *** ROLL CALL OF THE DISBANDED *** | | ===================================================================== | | rb9 Knights of the Circle of Gold xk4 The Mallards | | be3 Swampy Knights Of The Round Table jr4 Stokalene | | xv9 The Scarlet Brotherhood sr8 Clan Na Gael | | um9 Alliterating Illiterates op1 The Levellers | | xj0 Black Talon Rangers sp2 Asgard | | ax5 Green Bone es8 Brutum Fulmen | | er0 The Forge cw8 Grand Motholam | | hn3 Myth Inc. yl5 Brass Monkies | | np1 Pillage Patrol zs7 Jade Lotus Society | | np7 The Istari gt1 The Golden Lions | | qk7 Asagudarna vd9 The Crimson Robe | | tu0 Seekers of the Path xk8 Schola Enigma | | lf8 Near & Far | | | | *** ROLL CALL OF THE RESTARTED *** | | ===================================================================== | | ms2 Jambalaya (RESTARTED Turn 7) | | rj3 The Shadow League (RESTARTED Turn 18) | | tg3 Mistic Harbor Company (RESTARTED Turn 18) | | sb0 Varangian Freeholders (RESTARTED Turn 18) | | wv9 Cymry (RESTARTED turn 18) | | hn5 Inspiration (RESTARTED Turn 19) | | or8 ACME Constrution Company (RESTARTED Turn 19) | | ns2 Karla's Harlots (RESTARTED Turn 19) | | vy1 Sons of Loc (RESTARTED Turn 20) | | tg4 The Third Hand (RESTARTED Turn 20) | | is5 Minster's Mages (RESTARTED Turn 21) | | pa4 Retief's Rogues (RESTARTED Turn 21) | \_______________________________________________________________________/

-- Seline Fireflower [w0l]

Hello, I am looking for any information about where I can sell Cinnabar[252]. I have recently aquired a rather large amount of the stuff and wish to get rid of it. Any information would be Appreciated.

For several weeks rumors have circulated in the Imperial City about the sudden disappearance of certain well-placed personages. It was a mystery until just yesterday when the Minister of Weather announced that the record-breaking heatwave was expected to continue for another fortnight. It is now all too clear why people are melting into the ground and disappearing.

-- Melenkurion [p8l]

Rumors

To those newcomers who feel trapped in IC I have but one advice: Walk. Study whatever you wish to learn in IC, then walk out. You should worry of course, the roads ARE not really safe, but they are safer than you believe. I have walked alone through warzones and wilderness, without a singel peasant or soldier. You can do it. Once you get out of IC, recruit some peasants. They are easy to come by out of IC. Cut some wood, build a ship and get of Provinia and you are well of to success. But remember: trust no one- stay alert and keep your laser??? ready.

Due to bandit attacks spreading throughout Provinia, a "travellers' advisory" is now in effect for ALL of central Provinia, from Aethelarn to Gentlewind.

The new startups in the past 2 turns have formed an impromtu alliance, named Medievil Explorers And Tyrants. A MAFOC spokesman commented: It's about time we had some new MEAT around here!

YES now Brother, I know you have been SINNING in your heart of hearts. You've been hanging around with your MAFOC fellows, doing *UNSPEAKABLE* things in the eyes of all the gods. But now it's time for you to CAST OFF your yoke of sin and oppression, and get yourself DOWN to a temple of the Wanderer TODAY!

The Wanderer! He's good for what ails ya!

And remember Brother! Hades is closer than you think!

Has anyone seen any evidence that cleared-out lairs, yew groves etc can restock themselves with monsters if left empty?

The pilgrims, fresh off the roundship Mayflower [pr4w], knelt and gave thanks that they survived the voyage from Provinia, now free from the tyranny of the Ancient Order of Olympians. As they concluded their prayer, they looked up to find Tollosian natives, bedecked in their finest native finery, approaching them with what appeared to be a great feast. And what a feast! Grilled ratspiders, fried chimera, roasted giant birds stuffed with spiney root dressing, avinia fruit salad, and mallorn lime pie. And that my fellow nobles, is the story of the first Olympian Thanksgiving.

Two waves have crashed against the stone of Chateau Olympig. Perhaps a Tsunami is in its future. Can the AOO ever stand down?

The land bridge to the South Polar region has finally been located. It has VERY odd properites, such as travel times of 30 days!

It's amazing what people will write in the Times...Any new travellers leaving the Imperial City had BETTER have good protection! Several large bandit gangs are operating under the guise of the AOO to the west. To the east, robber bands operated by MAFOC are running amuck. Lawlessness is rampant, and even though the factions may claim otherwise, helpless new nobles are being ambushed and defeated left and right. Make sure when leaving the Imperial City that you have a LARGE group of nobles and soldiers, otherwise you'll be new fertilizer for the crops.

It's great to be away from Provenia! All the peasants you want, timbering and quarrying without interference, and pot sales at full price. You guys at Imp City ought to try it.

How interesting the Serobyn [h8e] is calling for <> partners in the vicinity of that known pirate haven, Mysa. Did he really expect for anyone to be deceived by such an obvious ploy?

Now no one is safe! I have an orb, and I am going to find you all. You can no longer hide from me. You can no longer run from me. I will hunt all of you down, until I am the last on Provinia. Then, on to the next continent. Hahahahaha...

Research in Magic does work! Spells found so far include Fireball, Teleport Army, and Modern Magic Script. So get them Wizzies into their towers and churn out your Ph.D.s in 160!!

I have been hanging aroud this city for weeks, and have yet to find my true calling. Isnt it about time someone built a temple in Imperial City?

An AOO orator was standing on a soapbox in the Emperors park in Imperial City: "Friends, Provinians, countrymen, lend me your ear!" A bystander asks: "What have you got in your bag?" Orator: "Ears!"

Coming soon to the IC....... Hodji Higgins' Heroic Hair Grower

Are you experienceing early hair loss as a result of wearing that unfashionable helm day in and day out? Has studying taken its toll on your once golden locks?

If it has contact Hodji Higgins for your bottle of Heroic Hair Grower today and your troubles will come to an end. Just listen to what the populus is saying about this wonderous tonic:

I found a bottle of the stuff while captured in WI and it made my hair grow long and true allowing me to pick the locks on my shackles. ----Sly Sam

It filled in my bald spot in a matter of days! ----Bald Betty

You too can have your hair back for just pennies a day, don't wait any longer and put up with the head rubbing any more. Order your bottle today!

To order your bottle of Hodji Higgins' Heroic Hair Grower send a self addressed stamped cargo pot along with 15 gold to:

Postal Pigeon Hole 342 Imperial Post Office Imperial City Provinia

In last months Olympian Times: > "As far as I can tell," the sorceror commented, "it's linked to another > plane - the home of this world's equivalents to the Llanowar and Scryb, > among others. It's sort of a charm of goodwill, at least in part."

There are no sorcerors. There is only one wizard. That is not Him.

Bastrestric ther Archymonaged

The formerly peaceful city of Aethelarn was recently laid waste by a marauding band of thugs. These miscreants, Philoktetes [r4q] and Herodotus [y8i] were lead by the villainous Menelaus [p6j]. They, with their evil minions, marched into a sleepy town and without warning or provocation began a campaign of terror. In their wake, 79 men lay dead, 15 nobles were captured and the roundship Talon was seized. What lies behind all of this unconscionable violence? In a word, *greed*. Following this series of offensive actions, Menelaus and his cohorts felt compelled to offer an explanation for their actions. Excerpts from that explanation follow: "My intent here is not to bully. I have no interest in Aethelarn. I just needed cash, and so I attacked some nobles who didn't seem very active or very well connected.". Well, we all need money, but there are legal, moral and ethical ways to go about obtaining it. Provinina would be bloodier than a royal wedding if everyone who needed a few gold went on a murder spree. While a gruesome spectacle, at least the battle at Mount Olympus was not bereft of honor. Both the AOO and IN acknowledged that a state of hostility existed between them. Not so in Aethelarn, where a civilian center was subjected to a brutal sneak attack. Upon learning of the banditry, Hobbes, the Baron of the region who is charged with the defense of the local citizenry, bravely swung into action by advising the people to band together in mutual defense, while making no effort to stop the brigands' reign of terror. This is tantamount to suggesting that we confuse the bandits by running away some more! I will go on record as saying that I did not vote for Hobbes. Despite Hobbes and his soiled armor which needs changing, ordinary people such as Dennis will take up arms to put a stop to this evil, for if not we, then whom? If not now then when? Threats will not deter us from our righteous course. Though Menelaus promises: "I have allies in Aethelarn, and they've told me that some of you are calling for a 'general defense' of the city...I have a much larger ground force close to Aethelarn. If my ship is attacked and my nobles killed or captured, I will bring my other force into the city to free them. I'll declare all of you hostile and my allies will do the same. It will be a nasty business.". I have news for you *This is already a nasty business* and you have brought it upon yourself. In the words of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: "The cost of liberty is less than the cost of repression." . May the bravery of the Aethelarn populace never be forgot!

Somebody is trying to buy rose perfume. I wonder if that individual realizes how valuable it is in the swamp cities of the north. A lucrative trade route...

In the Olympia playtest, was a faction with more than 100 garrisoned provinces and 3 castles, like AOO / King Marat, ever defeated ? If so how ? Marat's defeat would seem to require the combined efforts of more than 20 factions. Did such large faction alliances exist in the playtest game ? How were they established ? Please respond via rumor entries to the times.

MAFOC resents any implication that they are to blame for the bandits roaming the countryside. Bandit gangs imply organisation, which MAFOC is against. But if the AOO is spreading these scurrelous rumors, they will pay in blood and flesh for their attempts at slander! Prepare for terror, chaos and slaughter at your doorstep, you AOO dogs!

Weariness and the dull ache of pain had long since combined to rob her of any perception of time. Though she had struggled helplessly at first, now she hung quietly within the webs that held her tightly to the cliff-face. Around her, just as still, were the withered bodies that had been her friends and servants. She knew that soon it would be her turn.

They had only been a few weeks out on a journey of exploration from her home city when they found the valley. Surrounded by steep walls on all sides but one, it looked like a part of the plains around had simply dropped down a dozen yards. It was late in the day and a clear stream ran through the center of the vale, so they had not bothered to explore much before making camp. Although the sheer walls of the valley cast deep shadows across most of the area.

That night they had gathered around the campfire while the servants were tending the horses and cooking the meal. Stories were told and laughter rang out. Alyran had brought out his lute and began to play. The journey had been going well so far, with no sign of danger or threat. Until the darkness around them began to move.

Huge spiders, half the size of a horse had swarmed from out of the night. The horses had screamed and broken their teather lines, and fled out of the valley. The servants had scrambled for their spears and crossbows, but it was too late. The great arachnids sprang to attack, bearing their target down with their weight and sinking fangs dripping paralytic venom deep into their prey. She had tried to run, but the beasts were everywhere. Soon it was over, and they were all dragged away, aware but helpless, to hang in the great webs that lined the valley walls.

She refused to let her thoughts dwell on the events of the next (few? many? she couldn't recall) days, and the shocks that she endured blurred it all into an unending line of horror. She scarcely noticed as the last of her companions died. She only vaugely roused her attention when another travelling party entered the vale. But as they approached the huge webs, a small handful of men and a horde of varied beasts, a distant hope arose in her. She watched as the spiders rushed out of the depths of the web to defend their home. She saw a glowing spear fly out again and again to cut through the webbing and throw spiders free to fall and lie stunned. She saw a wolf leap forward to meet an onrushing spider, then fall back and thrash out it's life on the valley floor, while a net settled on the spider and men with forked poles pinned it to the ground. She saw the last spider turn to flee and be torn apart by a lion. And over it all, she saw a man in a grey cloak, with a powerful presence about him, commanding.

Later, she lay in a small tent, finally free of the webs that had robbed her of her life. Healing power flowed from the grey-clab noble as he completed a magical chant. "How are you feeling, Lady - ?" he asked.

She thought for a moment, remembering her friends. "My name is Sorrow," she replied, answering both his questions.

This is a test of the RUMOR command \Just\checking\to\see if there are a\ny %special l%imi%tations $o$r $reserve%d ""characters or$r$e$s$e$r$v$e%d wor%d%s"" t'h'a't' I' 's'h'o'u'l'd ^K^N^O^W about, and to see what it does to my funky formatting. Helps to know these things in advance. :)

Attention Seline Fireflower and other greedy despots! Claims such as "unauthorized actions in and around the city of Peash WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!" might even have some meaning (besides the obvious: as an expression of infantilism) if you condescended to inform those who might consider respecting said decrees as to the location of the affected provinces. In order to avoid the notoriously boorish manners of the local lords if for no other reason, I would like to avoid the provinces around "Peash" except that I haven't a clue as to where in the world "Peash" is. Truly there is some shock on the part of all thinking people to the idea that a lord would be offended that others have made use of the resources of the lord's provinces when that noble has failed to inform anyone as to the location of said provinces. One might do well to consider the fate of King Numedides. After a reign filled with ridiculous decrees (like Fireflower's), a great warrior, Conan, arose, gathered together an army of wronged nobles and soldiers, made war upon the mad King, and Conan himself slew the monster on his very throne. Or consider the fate of valiant Boromir, who's greed led to his demise. If fiction tells us anything, it tells us that bad rulers have short reigns. Irresponsible lords have a care! The guillotine awaites! -Samuel Adams.

I here tell bandits lay to the east of the imperial city ready to gobble up unsuspecting newbies! Arrr! what do you think that big blank spot on the last map in the Times means, eh? What's a newbie to do?

Rumor has it that Duke Marat is unable to govern his own lands! Bandits swarm about the place, the east is a terror, and the duke hides in his castle! It's all well and good to fancy yourself a duke, but it's another thing altogether to be one, in a true lordly fashion! Methinks we have a wanna-Duke, and not a true one!