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   | The Olympia Times                                      times@pbm.com |
   | October 19, 1994                                         issue g1-17 |
   |                                                                      |
   | turn 17  170 players                        "Money...Power...Death!" |

Questions, comments, to play: info@pbm.com

Olympia PBEM

* * *

Stone, steel, dominions pass, Faith too, no wonder; So leave alone the grass That I am under.

All knots that lovers tie Are tied to sever; Here shall your sweetheart lie, Untrue for ever.

-- A.E. Housman

* * *

Important notice of rule changes --------------------------------

The SWEAR order is now gone.

Player-contributed press

Shipwrecked sailors south of Imperial city need rescue HELP !!!

Resonable reward available.

Contact d2b

Last week I was reading the times and came upon an advertisement for some pretty incredible magic weapons and the like. Although I was skeptical, my first reaction was to ask myself where I could find enough money to buy these item. My second reaction was of course to look to see who could have acquired these items so early in the game. You can imagine my astonishment when I read that I myself was listed as the seller. I would be glad to sell these items, but I don't have them. To my customers I apologize for any false hopes you may have felt, and hope that this erroneous add does not prevent you from doing business with me in the future.

The Merchant of Venice(x9j)

In general if you are angry at someone, it is best to gently communicate to the offender the perceived offense. The one who has offended you may not realize that he/she has done so, and may wish to make things right. Don't be so quick to judge, there may be circumstances and reasons beyond the control of the one who has made the offense. And you may also agree that the course of action taken was the right course. Or a simple mistake may have occurred, as in the case of a poorly written order that does not get executed. Or maybe carelessness was the cause. But to assume that the act which offended you must have been done out of spite or malice is most often an incorrect assumption. This sort of assumption has led to many vicious battles when the original offense may have been quite minor. In a land where communication takes sometimes days it is best that we all give eachother the benefit of the doubt, and communicate what is bothering us. In short if I had offended anyone I would want them to let me know and give me a chance to set things straight before they retaliate.

The Merchant of Venice(x9j)

The Olympia Atlas is accepting contributions, and is available for download! Be the first to contribute information for other lands (Cloudlands, 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.

The turn 16 version of the atlas is currently available at both sites.

Brought to you by the Skulking Vermin (sx6)

Journal - Dark Night, Year 2

Jearom found us some traveling companions, but then the arrangements seem to have misfired. It will be good to connect again with both sets of our allies. Once more peasents have started looking to us for sustenance, protection and direction. I would sent them away again, but Jearom sees them as the foundation of a new body guard. If he is to continue to be captain of our guard, he must have some subordinates I guess.

Camping here in the Royal hunting plains [by20], I am most delighted that it is relatively uncrowded. Asside from our small party, there are only 9 nobles here and a few assorted retainers. Hopefully, we won't have far to go to reach true wilderness.

Traveling again with Ilyena Sunhair is blessedness itself, better than touching the True Source. Though the rain and fog of late have hidden the Sun, I have felt no darkness or doubt since she arrived again to be by my side. I look forward to more traveling and her continued companionship.

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

Open Letter to Rachet Storm [m7s]

I think that your profit levels are too high. Last issue you said,

>...It also takes 5 man days to make the pikeman. ... >...I charge 10 gold per man day of work....

You charge 10 gold per worker man day. A worker whom you pay 2 gold per worker per *month*. A profit of 15,000%!! Charge 2 gold per worker day for the work. Charge double what you pay the men before you sell them.

In other words, if someone supplies you the peasent and the wood, a reasonable cost would be

3 gold Pikemen's pay 3 gold Profit on pikemen's pay 2 gold Pay worker to make pike 2 gold Profit on worker to make pike 2 gold Profit on training already provided peasent (I suggest this because the only cost to you is the day to train the character, no gold cost) 6 gold Pay noble 2 gold per day to make pike, train soldier, and then train pikemen. ------- 16 Gold Reasonable cost for training a pikemen when all supplies (peasant, wood) are provided. I feel sure that at this cost, you would find many buyers.

In fact, I might just set up such a business myself. Anyone interested at pikemen at these prices where you provide the wood and the peasent, call (email) me. I am sure that the Captain of my guard would be very interested in such a project.

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

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. -Benjamin Disraeli

Sir Robin the Brave [r0n] would like to confirm Jurij Paranoiev's [u0y] observations in last weeks Times, that he (Sir Robin) is _very_ dangerous! Be it known that he (Sir Robin) personally wet himself at the battle of Baden hill and _almost_ fought the chicken of Bristol, but he got so ... er excited that he soiled his armour and had to go change it.

Sir Robin would like to continue elaborating on how dangerous he is but he now needs to go change his armour ... again. The excitement of talking to the press has been too much for him.

signed Brother Maynard [s4b] in Sir Robin's absence. (with many thanx to Monty Python's "In Search of the Holy Grail").

Leo's Journal Entry 6...

Not much to report this time. No creatures ripe for slaughter or capture were available. Our Birds started their explorations and now our glorious faction shall be able to locate suitable targets on a regular basis. So another month of travel and exploration comes to an end, with weapons and nets at the ready, we look forward to next month with much anticipation.

What is the issue with the mega(lo) alliances. There seems to be a lot of bluster and flailing of arms, but I do not see much happening. In my neck of the woods, none of their activities are noticed, and we get by without too much conflict. I know this is subject to change, but it makes me wonder if these conflicts are real, or fabricated for some unknown purpose.

The Dragons of the Realm are pleased to announce the grand opening of The Dun Dragon, Torba Bacor's finest inn. Nestled high in the Dragonrock mountains, the Dun Dragon boasts unparalleled scenic vistas, with cuisine and libations to match. "Try a flagon at the Dragon for the brew that is true!"

Whilst we have only spent a few months in the Imperial City, we are already aware of the potential problems of overcrowding (witness the frequent fights around the cit itself). Due to this, we are starting the construction of a ship to take us to unexplored lands, in search of treasure and adventure (I would prefer the treasure without adventure, but one cannot be picky). Anyway, would all those who have legal claim to lands please post to this paper, in order to prevent possible conflicts of interest.

Thank you.

** Artifacts Weapons & Armor **

Some of the inner locations encountered are defended by owners that cannot be attacked and defeated without the use of specific artifacts, weapons or armor.

I have started a data base of artifacts, weapons & armor that keeps track of who has which ones, and another list of what lair owners require. If you are interested in gaining info or contributing to the data base, your input would be welcome.

Sir Patrick of Locklear [n9d]

The Pint of Ale

A new chain of pubs is opening soon. There will be branch pubs in all centers of activity. In the AOO area, that probably refers to graveyards.

The Blackthorn Tree Lives

The soil is rich and soft, the air is mild and bland Of the fair hills of Tureen Her barest rock is greener to me than this rude land Of the fair hills of Tureen Her woods are tall and straight, mallorn grove and yew grove Blackthorn flourish in her glens below and on her heights above And the sunlight that shone long ago on gaelic shields On the fair hills of Tureen

Rumors of war abound in the Imperial City region. Nobles and peasants alike are nervous. Will the situation blow up? Will we all be here next month? Wait and see.

Who has what?

Can anyone list all of the provinces that the AOO has garrisons in? If so, why not submit them for the next issue of the Times? Might make interesting reading.

Murphy's Law of Combat # 31. The enemy never watches until you make a mistake. Murphy's Law of Combat # 32. One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many. Murphy's Law of Combat # 33. A clean (and dry) set of BDU's is a magnet for mud and rain. Murphy's Law of Combat # 34. Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss. Whenever you are low on ammo, you can't hit the broad side of a barn. Murphy's Law of Combat # 35. The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired. Murphy's Law of Combat # 36. Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. Murphy's Law of Combat # 37. Interchangeable parts aren't. Murphy's Law of Combat # 38. No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill. Murphy's Law of Combat # 39. If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove ANYTHING. Murphy's Law of Combat # 40. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)

What is the Pirate situation in the waters of Olympia? Some somewhat confusing accounts of brigandry by one crew have been told, but no others. Is this to imply that travel by sea is safe? Please contact me with any information you have on this subject.

Roderick Blaine [m4w]

It looks like prisoners don't add to your weight until you free them. This suggests a funny way to transport truly huge quantities of stuff, namely let x GET it, have h capture x, and then y can move as if he's carrying nothing. When the destination is reached, y can unstack x.

Red Drake, of the Red Mysterions [u1p]

The latest word about the volcano rumor is that it's true... that it's just a rumor ;)

-- Squire Adam

Combat Notice:

It appears that Count Marat and the AOO outlaws will soon completely dominate Provinia (and probably win the game) unless drastic action is taken. Instead of waiting for him to become powerful enough to take any faction or alliance down at his convenience (He's nearly there), I think I will go down fighting. I am too weak to attack the castle directly and I would like my efforts to have a small chance of success (and profit) so I will start to attack his garrisons and pillage his tax base. If the Iron nation is not just full of hot air they will back up their words with actions and try to trim Count Marats massive forces. He has hundreds of troops and beasts so multiple attacks in different provinces at the same time are necessary. Count Marat and the AOO outlaws must be brought down soon, before his allied factions number in the dozens, with Nobles that number in the hundreds and with men and beasts that number in the thousands. It is his tax base of thousands of gold per month that allows him to field this massive allied army. Hit him where it hurts.

Negentropy [pz8]

Ah, there is another Enchanted Forest. How pretty it is! My, look at all of those Elves guarding it. There must be something valuable in an Enchanted Forest. Has anyone figured out what can be found in an Enchanted Forest?

Yet Another "AOO Riddle"!:

Q: What's the best way to tell if an AOO-connected faction diplo message is a lie?

A: Check for moving lips, handwriting or typing fingers - they're a dead giveaway.

You're welcome.


Have you been trying to unlock the mysteries of the (Olympian) universe with a twisted paper clip and a wad of gum? Do you turns include surprising results? "What do you mean a stack of four nobles and 30 soldiers were DEFENDING the lone rat I attacked? Can they do that?" Are you tired of trying to sell clay pots for a living?

Contact the Pilgrims Aid Society (PAS). We are a non-profit organization which offers assistance to the nobles of Olympia. PAS is NOT an alliance. We simply believe in lending a hand when needed.

PAS also publishes the free Log of Claimed Lands. Note! The PAS does not validate or enforce land claims, we merely report claimed lands as a public service to other pilgrims.

Please send all contact to: Akmall Benhalla [p3p] Pilgrims Aid Society

____________________________________________________________________________ <<~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>> >> DDDDD IIII SSSS CCC OOOO VV VV EEEEEE RRRRR IIII EEEEE SSSS << << DD DDD II SS SS CC CC OO OO VV VV EE EE RR RR II EE E SS SS >> >> DD DD II SS CC OO OO VV VV EE RR RR II EE SS << << DD DD II SSSS CC OO OO VV VV EEEE RRRRR II EEEE SSSS >> >> DD DD II SS CC OO OO VVVV EE RR RR II EE SS << << DD DDD II SS SS CC CC OO OO VV EE EE RR RR II EE E SS SS >> >> DDDDD IIII SSSS CCC OOOO VV EEEEEE RR RR IIII EEEEE SSSS << <<__________________________________________________________________________>>

(~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~) ) 'Discoveries' is back! We are proud to inform you that once again ( ( we will be reporting on the adventures and explorations of Olympia. ) ) Contact me for subscription and submission information. The ( ( Geographic Society is always looking for new members. ) ) - The Crimson Sage [w0l] ( (________________________________________________________________________)

Diary: Dark Night, day 19

At last we have broken out of this dank, interminable forest into an area of open plains. Now our prospects for finding mounts is much greater, and morale is climbing. If our maps are correct, we will reach the northern coast of Torba Bacor soon, then we will turn westward and rendezvous with our friends coming up from the south. With luck, the entire island will be mapped soon.

A Modest Guide

to the interpetation of AOO misinformation and propaganda

> 2. A noble attacks a castle and is killed by the castle's defenders. > Should you be outraged and attack the castle's defenders again > yourself?

When in doubt, leave out most of the information. Yes, this seems to be the AOO credo. Too bad it won't fool anyone. Allow me to inform everyone who hasn't been watching closely:

Some few months ago, a fellow named Bastrestric ther Archymonaged led a faction that attacked and killed a bunch of random nobles. Common banditry. Bastrestric thought he was being smart by not doing any of the attacking himself, but he was quickly found out by some of his victims.

This Bastrestric ther Archymonaged fellow was spotted hiding in a castle, the Chateau Olympique. The owner of the castle said he had a treaty to defend Bastrestric ther Archymonaged, whether or not Bastrestric ther Archymonaged was a common bandit or not. Well, that's certainly throwing the gauntlet down.

Along comes our furry hero, Dogmatix. He attacks the castle, and is wiped out by a bug (bzzzt bzzt), although he might have perished anyway during the counter-attack during the next month. The AOO proclaims their mighty victory in battle (bzzz bzzz bzzzz). Talk about sore winners! I suppose they have great hopes that there are more bugs to save them next time (bzzz bzzzzzzzz).

Should you be outraged? Well, first off, the AOO obviously believes they can insult everyone's intelligence with impunity. That's enough reason to attack them right there. Second, if the AOO wants to defend common bandits, then they ought to be proud of their actions, own up to them, and stop being surprised when they get attacked. Yeah, I'd be outraged if I were you. Heck, if I were an AOO member, I'd be outraged at my own leaders.

I liked the good old days much better. Men were men, sheep were safe, and merciless killers were proud of their trade, and didn't try to hide behind outraged claims of innocence. Not like those lily-livered AOO folks. Oh, I'd give me left testicle to see a good instantiation of malevolent evil right now.

Log of the "Raven", roundship: (our mission, to sail where no man has sailed before ...)

We have rounded the south-eastern cape of Provinia and are now sailing north. It is still surprising to me the wonderfull lands we have seen since leaving the Imperial City: Unspoilt plains teeming with horses and gorgeous forests abounding with unharvested timber. All the settlements we have thus far encountered have been eager to trade (including buying our complete supply of pots!). We have only met 1 other group of nobles in our travels and are getting lonely for cultured companions; but I suppose this is what makes these lands rich and bountifull, compared to the despoilt regions surrounding the Imperial City.

It all makes me wonder why so many of my friends have decided to stay behind. I suppose they were too attached to their square inch of land ...

Just a tad bit of advice. If you're in a province with the word "DEAD" in it, don't bother recruiting. The dead must belong to a local union!!

The Raptors

New inn is ready for Your visit! Come and relax! We are open 30 days per month! I hope to see you soon! We have good food, warm beds and tasty drinks! (No own pots, please.)

Location: INN & OUTT [z51], in Faelgrar [ao3p], in province Emperor's forest [bt32], in Provinia

Brother Fidar [f8t]

He was astonished. Totally astonished. He was still sound and safe. Relatively so at least. But he shuddered... he remebered the fearfull sight in the emporers forrest.

He had arrived from the east. Careful as usual he had avoided the nasty pack of rats hunting for prey. Then suddenly a BIG man, a giant, a beast man had arrived. The man had with him three riding horses (why-when he could only use one for himeself?) eight giant spiders (ugliest things he had ever seen), 22 rats- oh boy! 11 giant birds (each with terrifying claws), 37 wolves (with BIG POINTY THEETS).

The beastman had attacked the four rats.

He had decided not to wait for the outcome of the uneven battle, but rather run. To the west.

In the morning the day after he praised his wisdom an carefulness. Behind him in the far distance he could see the beast of a man with even more rats following him.

Oh why must everybody be so evil?

Jurij ran west. To his master. There he would learn. He had found how to unravel the evil plans of his master.

Jurij Paranoiev went to the Imperial City and began studying magic.

"Too many deaths; too much pain," the priest muttered, while preparing for the final rites for yet another unfortunate. In the antechamber of the temple, two bodies lay in state, surrounded by friends and companions, waiting for the priest to try to bring life to the lifeless bodies. "Too much blood," he said and shook his head slowly side to side.

On top of a pile of scrolls, a parchment darkened by many uses and scrapings lay, covered with a scrawled list: names of people, names of places. At the top of the list was Oleg. "If ever a dog needed killing," the priest muttered, "rather than all these fine young men." He wanted to get back to his meditation, the search for all these people and things. Instead, he had to press torn flesh together and try to breath life into the ragged remains of fighting men much, much too young. He had a list of rites to perform, to settle the dead into peace. Too many torn bodies, too many dead. Foolishness and petty battles when the True War was yet to be fought.

But the time would come, he hoped, when the petty squabbles would at least slow down for a while and he could seek where the rabid men hid from the light of day. Then would justice be done. It was only a matter of time.

Gathering his robes about him, the priest stood and gathered up his unguents, his oils, and the special herbs he would need. The dead were patient but the sooner done, the sooner he would return to his life's work.

When the priest pushed through the curtains over the door to the antechamber, the gathered warriors looked up, all with imploring eyes. The priest sighed and set to work.

The Scrabble Murders - Chapter One ==================================

The doctor stood by the window, staring down at the slushy streets of Imperial City and trying to breathe as quietly as possible. From the far corner of the room, deeply shadowed, came the sounds of half-muttered curses, accompanied by a shrill squeaking noise. At last, unable to hold his breath or his patience inside any longer, he sighed deeply and turned toward the room's interior. "For the Love of God, Holmes! Give me that infernal thing so that I might cast it under a passing ox cart! You must either rest or die!"

The doctor's roommate sat as he had for three days and three nights. At his left elbow were bags of pipeweed and an enormous Meerschaum. At his right was an expensive decanter, labelled "Orc Oil - 7%" and a wicked hypodermic syringe. He wore nothing but his skivvies and trademark hat. Cradled in his hands, balanced on the ends of his long, delicate fingers, was a cube, its faces each a splash of colors, arranged in no obvious pattern. He ignored the doctor's pleas and murmured softly to himself, "when we eliminate all other possibilities, whatever remains, however unlikely..." His fingers leapt to life, twisting and wrenching the cube into new configurations.

Suddenly, a furious pounding at the door commenced. Simultaneously, the cube, taxed beyond it's structural limitations, exploded. A hail of multicoloured bits of plastic clattered down amid the remains of the famous investigator's orgy of inquiry. "Damn your eyes, Watson! See who's at the door!" Holmes arose, slipped on a housecoat and meticulously began to repack the bowl of his pipe. When Watson returned to the sitting room, accompanied by a huge, red-faced woman of indeterminate age, they discovered Holmes standing placidly by the window. His back to them, he blew a stream of yellowish smoke and asked, "Now then, my good fishwife, what can we do for you today?"

Watson, unable as ever to contain his adulation, burst out, "Bu- but Holmes, how could you possibly have known..." The woman, turn- ing a somewhat deeper shade of red, interrupted, "Sorry, Gov'ner, t'were hin such ha 'urry Hoi couldna change hout'v me smock! Hit's 'Oratio the 'Arbormaster! 'E's been murdered!"

"Wha- Murdered?!?" exclaimed Watson.

"Well, 'e's not quite dead..." admitted the foul-smelling wench.

Holmes spun from the window and strode across the room toward the exit, snatching his portmanteau from amid the clutter of his desk as he passed. "Come quickly Watson, I shall need your medical expertise! Not a moment to lose, Man, the game is, er, well, you know..."

Watson took a moment to admire the agility with which Holmes's bare feet avoided the sharp plastic edges of the now-forgotten device while his orc oil-exposed mind simultaneously eluded an almost unforgivably bad pun. He quickly gathered his bag and chased the housecoat's flapping tail out the front door, leaving the bewildered fishmonger's wife standing alone amidst the wreckage. As she gaped speechlessly, a small white dog flashed briefly by the window, trailed by a pack of giant birds.

To be continued...

Do you want to be lion tamer? I'll be leaving IC for Aethelarn on turn 19, and would welcome other new players as travelling companions. (You never know who you might meet on the open road these days...)

Contact py4

Beware of the dark kingdom perched on Krussos. Their castle is ct17, and they'll soon be pirating any ship that passes the Ilion straight!

If either the AOO or the Iron Nation (whatever's left) could identify the war zone, neutral parties could avoid the area, and the two warring parties could concentrate on their Danse Macabre without wasting their resources on dragging other uninvolved parties into the war. Unless told otherwise, I would guess that the war is taking place in a zone between Chateau Olympique (bx22) and Gentlewind (by26), but this just a guess.

Aric (l9g)

It is with a grave sense of disappointment that we observe that those so-called champions of oppressed peasants, the MAFOC, have chosen to disregard their own founding principles and have declared their rule over a wide swath of Rimmon. Initially, they disguised their intentions as a vacation, but their recent declaration of ownership has shown their true colors. Who is left to champion the oppressed peasants of the world?

Signed by the Free Citizens of Mysa

Ohhh - What a hangover. Well Its not the first time I woke up in an alley. I better start home. ???!!!. Wait. How could I forget where home is. I have a better memory than that. After all Im ?!!!!. Oh #$&@! And this looks like a fairly big city. Not some 1 horse Hickville where everyone is everyones cousin. The chance of anyone knowing me is nill, even if I did grow up here. Which I dont know if I did. #$%&. Lets see what I have. Enough cash. I wasn't robbed. Hey a bank book! #^%%. A friken secret account just a number to it. Well at least its some more money. Im not a impoverished peasant. Yea, but its not enough to last me forever. I better start looking some more money. Hmm. I wonder what I look like ?

"You deserve a break today, so get and get away to McOleg's."

Yes, you've heard our jingle and you've rested in our inns. Now YOU can be a part of the fastest growing chain of inns in Provincia. McOleg's Inns are the most popular inns in the world, each generating over 70 to 75 gold per month. Get in now on the ground floor. Buy your McOleg's francise today!

(official disclaimer: francise fee of 400 gold must be paid in full prior to granting of license. Francisee receives permission to use McOleg's name on inn and to sell McOleg's products. Actual inn must be provided by francisee. Void where prohibited.)


(The monthly review of activities of interest to the modern action tourist.)

Rat Catching for the Uninitiated -- by Kristian Armorcorps

Few of the denizens of Olympia appear to realize the true excitement in store for them just a short stroll outside the comforts of Imperial City. I recently had the opportunity to accompany an expedition into the wilds of by24 for an unexpected taste of mayhen and moronity -- a rat hunt. But, this was a rat hunt with a difference.

I was headed for the Fatted Boar Inn -- that famous watering hole on the IC-Newleaf Road -- in the company of a noble named Ironheart. My usually reliable sources had told me he had a reputation for courage under fire, good judgement, and a mighty sword arm. For added protection we were accompanied by four doughy peasants. I planned to join my colleague Calvin Trillion in doing a review of the Fatted Boar. The Inn has developed a reputation for providing first class service in the short time since it has opened. Judging from the number of nobles who had passed through in the past month, the reputation was well deserved.

The trip had been peaceful to the point of boredom. But only a few miles away from the Inn things changed. During a short rest along the trail, the most intelligent of the peasants, a lout named Sven, went off into the bushes. Soon, however, he came shuffling quickly out of the woods, unsuccessfully trying to pull up his tattered trousers and move at the same time. "Uuuu, master," he said to Ironheart, tugging on his foreskin, "me heard a noise in the bushes that was differnt then the ones I wuz makin." Just then we heard a noise too, and it WAS different than the off-key flatulence that had been issuing from Sven. After a few seconds loud rustling, five enormous rats emerged from the the trees, spotted our party, and with bloodcurdling chirps, squeals, and whistles, immediately attacked.

They reached Sven first, since he was closest to the woods and still had his pants down around his ankles. A red-eyed rodent went for his throat and, with a flick of its enormous incisors, ripped out the peasant's jugular. In death, Sven served us better than he had in life, he collapsed on the rat and crushed it.

The other rats rushed the rest of us and Ironheart began to display his true character. Cowering behind his three remaining thralls, he bleated shrilly and pushed them forward. So much for courage under fire.

As I skewered one rat with my dagger, two more of the peasants went down. A third managed to brain a rodent with his codpiece before he was also torn to pieces. His followers gone, Ironheart began trying to DIG his way to safety, while one rat gnawed on his armored backside. So much for good judgement.

I dispatched another rat but lost my dagger in the process and turned to Ironheart. Bleeding profusely from the buttocks, he was waving one hand weakly in the general direction of the remaining rat while making feeble attempts to draw his weapon with the other. So much for the mighty sword arm.

I resolved to look up my "reliable" sources of information on Ironheart's character when I returned to Imperial City. IF I returned to Imperial City, I suddenly realized. At that moment, it occured to me that my travelling companion's abilities and behavior had provided a strong argument for a serious reassessment of the relative merits of discretion and valor. Making the sensible choice, I ran for the Inn with the one rat in pursuit. It was a close thing, but I got through and barred the door just ahead of the creature.

As I leaned panting against the rough wood, I noticed that Calvin, punctual -- and hungry -- as always, had already arrived and was sampling the cuisine. He was picking at the remains of a broiled ooze hen in fennel sauce, served on a bed of tree kelp. Calvin usually has a way with a backhanded compliment, and this time was no exception. "Kristian my dear," he exclaimed, "why is it that whenever I see you, there's trouble in the neighborhood? Well, no matter, you look radiant as ever, although you ARE a bit sweaty."

Not being as good as Calvin with pretty words, I had to settle for just giving him a backhand.

(Next month, Kristian reports on the cutting edge of action tourism: battle surfing!)

Seeking knowledge

Has anyone tried to go into Hades? There seems to be a gateway from every graveyard. The only catch is that you have to pay 100 gold per head for every person in your stack to go through. That means solo exploration (bye bye NP?).

If you have tried it, and died, where did your body go?

I intend to try it out soon, and would like to compare notes and possibly even cooperate with others interested.


Now that we have all been treated to the display of violence on Mt. Olympus and received commentary on the battle from several points of view, a question still remains. Why did he do it ? Is the faction in control of Mt. Olympus overly annoying ? Was Dogmatix just psychotic ? A preemptive strike ? We've seen the facts, now where is the dirt !

A Reader of the "Provinia Inquirer"

A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weaping of those who cherished them, to take their horses between his knees and to press in his arms the most desirable of their women.

Attributed to Jenghis Khan

Is that smoke I smell?

Wow-- How is it possible to make any money? Few cities buy anything readily obtainable; almost none buy fish. How are you supposed to keep a ship economically sound?

Now that our castle is built, we are instituting a small change in policy.

Outsiders are no longer welcome in Iron Nation territory!

Any, and perhaps all, strays will be treated to a "friendly" IN welcome.

sb0 Varangian Freeholders

Player Tip #1 - Remember when attacking monsters/players in a sub-location, you do not have to be in the sub-location to attack it. Issue: ATTACK from within the province works fine. Two days time are saved from avoiding moving into and out of the location.

Rachet Storm [m7s] -

Pikemen are available for only 110 gold each! If you supply the peasant or wood they're only 75 gold. If you supply both wood and peasant then your price is 50 gold! Contact Rachet Storm at m7s.pbm.com for more details! (RCOMBER@delphi.com)

Announcer: Tonight on "Talking Olympia"...the Ancient Order of Olympians, rabid woverines or merely homocidal scum? Tune in to hear Geraldo Oprah Raphael tackle yet another group of the drug- crazed vermin that are plaguing Olympia.

Dear Fellow Nobles of Olympia,

The current Imperial Logging Regulations allowing 30 wood to be cut in each province each month are far too generous. A limit of 20 wood per month is far more reasonable, and will preserve the beauty of the Imperial forests far better. We therefore petition the Emperor to limit wood to 20 per province per month. The above petition has nothing to do with our unsold inventory of wood, which is now priced at 15 gold per wood, delivered, in the Imperial City.

The New Logging Company 'Concerned for the Environment'

Recently, late one night, the following snippet of song was heard emanating from the Mellow Yellow Pub (Angus McAttle, propreitor [sic]):

"Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, SPAMITY-SPAM, E-SPAMITY-SPAM!"

It's unthinkable, but it's true: the Mellow Yellow Pub (Angus McAttle, propreitor [sic]) has become a spam bar. Nobles not wishing to be labeled as Vikings are advised to steer clear of this establishment. First drink is on the house, eh? Sure, that's how they get you HOOKED on SPAM JUICE!

a public service announcement by the Ministry of Silly Walks

The Sen Clan anouces their claim to Thornclay and the adjacent provinces. Please do not use resources in the area without checking with us first.

John Sen [m6f]

In view of the dreadful devastation wreaked on Eastern Provinia by our good and trusty servant Percival the Prim [r7m]; whereas the same Percival has tied the imperialist warmongering so-called Iron Nation up in knots for the best part of a year; whereas the self-same Percival has acted alone and without the support of any faction of the AOO (with which of course he is not associated and not acting for); whereas the same Percival has killed, injured, and captured (haha!) most of the IN nobles sent to hunt him, without losing any of his own nobles...

We unanimously nominate Percival the Prim as...

*************** BANDIT OF THE YEAR *****************

(signed) FOO (Friends Of Olympia) an anonymous olympian organization

>>> Message to All Interested Parties <<<

Kang the Conqueror and SuperAdaptoid deny any connection with threats and possible attacks against the Pilgrim's Aid Society, and any other law abiding people, or public entity.

If the vile and unscrupulous personages who are defiling the images of Kang the Conqueror and SuperAdaptoid are discovered, they will be mushed into the ground.

"Why conquer, when you can subvert?"

Kang the Conqueror [f7r] SuperAdaptoid [l3h]

Anyone with leads on the Helm of Petelinus (dd3t) is asked to contact Hile Troy (i4n). Reward for leads or trade of other magic items are offered. (Obviously, if you've used it up, I'm not too interested.)

Dear Editor:

I would like to congratulate you on your new editorial section, "THE TIMES COMMENTARY". It is among the most creative and witty sections of the Times, and I was disappointed to find it absent from the last issue.

I hope that you will not pay attention to the whinings of those contributors who have disparaged your editorialist, having felt his (her?) barbs, and that you will make this a regular feature of your otherwise uneven periodical.

Signed, A Contributor Who Has Thus Far Escaped The Commentator's Sharp Wit

We live in interesting times. To our north, the AOO is trying to build one castle on top of another ("Build those walls higher!"). To the east, the Iron Nation is trying to beat the world record for number of nobles in a stack ("Push harder! We can fit a couple more in!"). And to our far north, the Council of Oleg's Trusty Eumemnedocal Yeomen (CoOTEY) are plotting to overthrow world dominion. And what about the west? And whatever happened to the Bone Intendents? Unconfirmed rumors 1) Dragons have been sighted in the Uldims recently. 2) Certain alliances have been recruiting new factions to serve as the front line in an soon-to-be-declared war (or was it declared in the last Times?) 3) Two new continents have been discovered to the far north.

And remember, don't believe anything you read in a Times post unless it is signed with a faction or unit id. Except this one.

Acuman, the Seeker

The gray-clad noble paced the small inn room restlessly, stopping occasionally to lean out the open window and search the street one story below him. A second noble sat nearby, busy with a knife and a pile of slender branches, rapidly turning out arrow shafts.

Both nobles turned, hands dropping to sword hilts as the door opened and a third noble arrived. He grinned as the other two relaxed, and dropped a worn pack in one corner.

"A bit jumpy, aren't we?" he asked as he took a seat on the edge of one of the narrow beds.

The first man shrugged. "I don't much like waiting. What did you find out?"

"It was just like we thought. I saw their camp myself. Not much in the way of sentries, that's for sure."

"Good!" The second man set down the arrow he had been working on and started to bundle up the partially finished wood. "Then we'll be a movin' out when?"

"At first light." The third noble stood up. "We've got several scouts out now to mark their trail if they leave before we get to them, but if they are going to slip by us again, they'll need to be moving by now."

"If they are, then we will just have to chase them down. We can't be safe until this group of bandits has been dealt with. One way or another..."

Fear and Loathing in Olympia

Editors Note: We apologize for the lack of F&L postings in the Times since issue 1-12. Our correspondent was given enough gold and the request to go out and "cover the story" as he saw fit. It was known to us at the outset that our reporter liked to get "inside" the story sometimes (often) at the expense of missed deadlines. We are at this time trying to scry the location of our correspondent and will pick up the the thread of his story in the next issue of the Times

Do you have land holdings down south? Let me know, so that I can avoid your territories. Contact Samuel Roughclaw [b0r] with the details.

Dearest Miyuki,

Oh, how I miss you. But the end of my journey has arrived. We have landed! After looking around the coast, we settled on a place to land and are doing some exploration. I have talked with my companions and after we settle in, we will journey back to Provinia to get you.

- Kovaq'nu

To move to a pleasanter topic than piracy, we are proud to announce the opening of the second Tollusian Inn, the 'Drunken Duck' outside of Drinishin. Specializing in light lagers, this inn will quench your thirst when travelling.

The Mellow Yellow Pub [y77], outside of Yellowleaf on the scenic western coast of Tollus. Angus McAttle [b60], proprietor.

From _Commentaries on Historical Process_ by Sirelius Morgani, circa 1619 SOR:

...the long and bloody war between the Ancient Order of Olympians and the renegade Iron Nation centered around the Imperial City. Soon the entire central and eastern areas of Provinia were ablaze with battle pennons. The walled Imperial City remained a neutral haven, but the ideological battles wore away at the heart of the Empire, weakening it inexorably until the Fall...

He paused from his wood cutting and wiped his brow. So many rumors, so few facts. Huge armies marching the countryside, giant beasts filling the sky. Who knew what was going on. All he knew was that he could use a drink. "Fat chance of that," he thought, "no more likely than someone dropping 25 gold into my purse."

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

Due to the threats against Chateau Olympique published in last week's Times, the province of Mt. Olympus is declared closed to travel. Anyone traveling there without prior permission will be treated as hostile and subject to attack.

Barry Eynon The Aolian Circle

For those who can't run the battle simulator code (available for ftp), there is now a daemon at "battlesim@pbm.com" which can simulate battles for you and mail back the results. I've tested this with friendly users, now it's time for the masses to beat on it.

You should keep these things in mind:

1) You can run this on your own machine. In fact, if you can, I'd prefer that you do so.

2) This program might be wrong. Rich hasn't even looked at it; he just provided the resources to run it.

3) A player (me) runs this server. For all you know I'm an unscrupulous lout who will read what battles you simulate and use this information against you. See #1.

Actually, I won't do #3, but then again, people have accused me of torturing my cat (and crossgaming), so maybe I *am* an axe-murderer.

To get started, send an empty message to "battlesim@pbm.com". It'll reply with instructions. Thanks to Ross Inglis for writing the battle simulator itself.

-- Oleg the Loudmouth's player

__ __ / /\______________________________________________________________/ /\ \_\/ \_\/ | ##### | |# # ## ##### ###### #### | |# # # # # # | |# #### # # # ##### #### | |# # ###### # # # | |# # # # # # # # | | ##### # # # ###### #### | | | | | | Are *You* trying to piece together a map of the gateways? | | | | Do *You* have a reading on a gateway, but not enough time | | to get a full fix? | | | | Do *You* want help? | | | |<--------------------------------------------------------------->| | | | The Gatemasters are here to help *You*. | | | | Here is how it works. We have already located five gateways | | and are rapidly pinning down another four. 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 put in. | | | | Interested? Send mail to q4y. | _| _| / /\______________________________________________________________/ /\ \_\/ \_\/