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HELP HELPCARD lists the main commands that you need to know to play AVATAR. Type HELP <command> for more information on each of them. - Riviat
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The Gazette of 2005-01-25
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 2005 Gazettes | Gazette 2005-01-25
___The New Official AVATAR___________________________________
     ________                          __     __
    /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____
   /   \  ___ \__  \  \____  /_/ __ \\   __\\   __\_/ __ \
   \    \_\  \ / __ \_ /    / \  ___/ |  |   |  |  \  ___/
    \______  /(____  //_____ \ \___   |__|   |__|   \___
           \/      \/       \/     \/                   \/
_________________________________January 25, 2005____________

               /.--.\              The Avatar Gazette
               |====|              For subscription info,
               |`::`|              read HELP GAZETTE
    /\\   /  |...::..|`  | |  `|   Produced by Angel Kenji
    |:'\ |   /'''::''|   | |   |    With help from Gouki
   @|\ /\;-,/\   ::  |=========|    New Hero and Lord Stats
   `||\ <`     ._::_.|=========|
    || `""`  /   ^^  |   | |   | 
    ||       |       \   | |   / 

I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year and holiday
season. Here's looking forward to a great 2005 with all our
AVATAR friends!


This month's Gazette includes:

Latest News

Quest Points top 10 by Anessa

New Hero and Lord Stats by Gouki

How to HoG Like a Pro! by Kenji

A Shield Fit for a Lord by Lord Shalineth - a long fantasy

Society Has No Place in Community - an opinion by Mokiral


Latest News

Not even a week after the December Gazette came out, Crom
rolled out his newest creation, Wizards! (I hate when I don't
get a sneak peek at things!)

Wizards are more of what Crom pictures our mana-flinging
specialists to be. Fewer weapon skills, less cross-class
spells, more focus on mana and powerful spells.

Mages were temporarily given the opportunity to switch to
Wizard at their current level. Wizards are also available at
creation. This is a tough class that has definitely appealed
to the true role-player in a lot of people.


I hope everyone had a great time on the Holiday HoGs. I
know there were some issues with the crash on New Year's Day,
and I recommend that everyone read my article below on how
to run HoGs like a pro. Believe me, these were not the last
HoGs you'll see.


A reminder that AVATAR is free to play, but not free for Snikt
and family to keep up for us! Any size donation is welcome and
helpful. Read HELP CONTRIBUTION in-game for more information.


Ubercon V is planned for March 11-13th. This UC should be
even bigger and better than previous 'Cons. Visit
http://www.ubercon.com/ for more information. Also, read
the comments from Snikt below for his thoughts on UC IV and
plans for the next one!

 From Ayanna:

We are currently seeking out new ASCII artwork for our MOTD. 
Rewards will include questpoints.  If you aren't interested
in questpoints other arrangements can be made at your request
(ie. gold).

Our MOTD has a restriction on the number of lines as well as
the line length.  The current restrictions are 21 lines at
70 characters per line.  Please keep in mind that this
includes any text or information we wish to include in the

For an idea of past ASCII art sizes, please read and/or
review help history.

For more information on this quest and future quests, please
visit our quest team website at  http://www.outland.org/quest

All submissions will be reviewed and accepted submissions
will be reviewed and included in future MOTDs, with mention
of the artist! Please send your submissions to
ayanna@outland.org in a .txt file.


So, you want to earn a few QPs and can't seem to find time
to logon during the numerous quests? No problem! There are
many opportunities for people to earn Quest Points outside
of normal in-game quests. Look at a few examples below.

Ayanna is looking for small ASCII art for the MotD.
I am looking for short stories and articles for the Gazette.
The Design Team is looking for useful (unique) web art and
banners. See http://www.outland.org/design/archives.php
A good recipe can earn you a few QPs for the Gazette as well.
And I am still looking for a fantasy writer for a series.

So, you too can earn QPs!


Many of our players are doing a great job voting at TMS
(www.topmudsites.com) on a regular basis. AVATAR has remained
in the top 20 for the last couple of months, and we're
elated about that.

But did you know that you can also write a review of
AVATAR for all the TMS readers to see? Look in the top left
hand corner of the TMS homepage. These are the reviews that
players of other muds have written for their games. You too
can review AVATAR! Just search for AVATAR MUD in the
database box at the top of the homepage. Click on the
AVATAR MUD link, then click on the Submit a Review link.

Just remember to be fair and honest. You don't need to use
your real name, mud name or even real email address.

Reviews help increase exposure to the MUD, and help bring
new players to our community!


Here are the current top 10 in Quest Points.

     Last Month                   This Month
Quest Points Top 10          Quest Points Top 10
===================          ===================
Player         Points        Player         Points
------         ------        ------         ------
Stelth            231        Stelth            231
Rafel             185        Siras             215
Pechorin          170        Jaromil           191
Siras             160        Pechorin          180
Antiriel          152        Enda              155
Sunset            140        Spiral            148
Jaromil           139        Scarface          142
Spiral            128        Faraday           142
Scarface          126        Asha              142
Faraday           124        Kingdragon        140

*Note: I'm starting to include the previous month's totals so
you can see the changes and wonder what they bought with their
QPs. ;)



Here are the new Hero and Lord stats since December 1st, 2004:


   30 Heroes morphed since December 1st, 2004. Please welcome
   the following to the Lord tier:
    Aeneas, Amaranthus, Andial, Beauty, Burukan, Cleites, Dared,
    Evol, Feng, Fin, Firepowr, Fuzzywomper, Geson, Haldir,
    Hawkwind, Jilly, Karanos, Kwontiz, LAP, Lore, Meekor, Raskar,
    Sassari, Saturos, Siril, Sophi, Spiral, XIdo, Yves, Zahria


   12 Lords remorted since December 1st, 2004. Please wish
   the following good luck:
   * Belwar from Deep Gnome Cleric to Deep Gnome Priest
   * Clency from Troglodyte Warrior to Troll Warrior
   * Darcis from Lizard Man Ranger to Troll Ranger
   * Draxi from Drow Mage to Human Sorcerer
   * Lahrynne from Drow Mage to High Elf Wizard
   * Lyria from Orc Rogue to Troll Rogue
   * Prosatanos from Gargoyle Warrior to Golem Warrior
   * Snap from Sprite Psionicist to Human Sorcerer
   * Tange from Orc Rogue to Orc Assassin
   * Terug from Gnome Warrior to Gnome Berserker
   * Twr from Human Warrior to Human Berserker
   * Vigilance from Human Warrior to Human Berserker


   1 Heroes/Lords deleted since December 1st, 2004:


Please congratulate 39 characters who have achieved Super Hero+:
    Slant (500), Zevs (501), NightHawk (504), Droque (505), Ame
    (509), Abra (510), Rraf (511), Whisper (512), Gothmog (513),
    Pinnacle (513), ZerBert (513), Soliloquy (519), TaSHa (526),
    Konoko (530), Sorym (533), Kildir (545), VanHelsing (574),
    Brann (575), Vacuum (580), Busstop (590), Aerga (591), SPYKi
    (592), Burzum (594), Losgann (596), Torenth (597), Maya (604),
    Eronak (605), Sorrin (606), Suomea (615), EssenceRoses (630),
    Jakky (650), WhiteFang (664), HawkIe (667), Dol (687),
    Mringasa (711), Grima (714), Hulk (724), Brant (730),
    Jman (790)


    9 Heroes failed to morph since December 1st, 2004:
    Brennan, Lynne, Madog, Greyone, TPRFive, Aranor, Banquo,
    Zelkin, Ratera


     Top 10 Hero                       Top 10 Lord

    1 .) Jman           (613)          1 .) Aijimo         (182)
    2 .) Mringasa       (595)          2 .) Tsion          (62)
    3 .) VanHelsing     (549)          3 .) Nebulate       (51)
    4 .) Grima          (504)               Mochi          (51)
    5 .) Torenth        (485)          4 .) Jarlaxle       (50)
    6 .) Snap           (408)               Severon        (50)
         Daethran       (408)          5 .) HeLiC          (45)
    7 .) Manu           (399)          6 .) Nestor         (39)
    8 .) EssenceRoses   (379)          7 .) Stojkovic      (38)
    9 .) WhiteFang      (371)               Coyotee        (38)
    10.) HawkIe         (367)               Sansa          (38)
                                       8 .) Bertrand       (37)
                                       9 .) Waite          (35)
                                            Elora          (35)
                                            Morsq          (35)
                                       10.) Antiriel       (34)

        /                                             \
o======|=====================> <=====================|======o
        \                                             /

How to HoG Like a Pro! by Angel Kenji

Over my couple of years of Angeling, I have had the privilege
of working with some great Angels. One of those was Galen,
who was one of the best at teaching new things to players.

I recall one of the first HoGs that I worked as an Angel.
Galen posted a note on the boards about tricks and shortcuts
that players could do to help themselves out. It turned out
that first HoG was far easier to work than I ever expected.
I want to share a few of those shortcuts with you now.

Before the HoG starts, make sure you read up on the policies.
Read HELP HOG, HELP REIMB and Lords, make sure you read HELP

Also, put all your good gear on a non-running alt. Most
everyone has a 'locker alt' to store gear anyways. Dump
your gear and just run nearly naked. All you need is a
couple of weapons and a light. (Maybe a displacer cloak for
sneak, move hidden and pass door).

Turn all the channels you possibly can off. Use DEAF mode,
config +brief, and have all battlespam off. Turn off AUTOLOOT,
AUTOSAC, etc. (Unless you intend to loot). The less spam you
have on, the easier it will be to run. You can even consider
turning your prompt off, or limiting it to just HP only.

HoGs are often multi-play, meaning 100 players may have up
to 500 characters logged on. Each one of those characters
is seeing every line of text, every chat, etc. The more
spam that is reduced, the easier the HoG will be on the

Portal into an obscure area before the scheduled HoG start
time. Everyone already knows about 'Rot Cors', 'Hound Dog'
and Yakshas. Think about some of the areas that people don't
run that often. Many of the new Builder Quest areas come to
mind. Lair of Shyu'Yao, Obelische Caverns, Typhus and
Battleground are all good areas too.

Once the HoG starts, people will kill all the common 'portal
points' quickly, so plan on sticking to just one or two
areas. Use RECALL SET to get back into the area when you
do die.

If you don't need Angel or Imm assistance with corpse
retrievals, put "NO CR" in your title. If you die and do
need assistance, just wait patiently. We keep a list of
existing corpses and know you are on it. Chatting, praying
or sending us tells is more likely to get you put down at
the bottom of the list. We have so much spam going on that
the extra spam will just bog us down even more.

Remember when you gain a level, be sure to SAVE (in the
event of a crash) and then re-HOG your character.

Lastly, remember that HoGs are a gift from the Imms. Be
sure to thank them for the opportunity, and nice hug for
the Angels is always appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and happy HoGging!


A Shield Fit for a Lord by Lord Shalineth

                ---------Chapter 1---------
"Check your equipment. We begin spelling in a couple minutes."

Morsq walked among the Lords and Ladies, doing exactly what
would be expected of a leader. Shalineth checked to make
sure his gear was snug. He tightened the sash about his
waist and awkwardly adjusted his weapon in its sheath. The
large warrior Asghan looked over at the mage and chuckled.

"Another new lord. Welcome and good luck. Keep your head
down and stay behind the warriors. This won't exactly be the
kind of adventure where we can keep rescuing you."

Shalineth nodded to the huge troll. "I'll try. Any other
advice?" he asked.

"Yeah, get rid of that sword. Here," he replied, drawing
a gleaming dagger from a backpack, "use this. It's better
than that low mortal piece of junk." He handed the dagger
to the young mage, who marveled at the weight and balance.

"You sure it's better?" Shalineth asked.

"Yeah. Trust me."

Shalineth looked around at the various other lords and
ladies in the area. Many of them were checking their own
gear, adjusting straps, fixing shields and cleaning weapons.
A few were joking with each other, bantering about previous
adventures. All of them were more experienced than him, more
confident. Shalineth slid the new dagger into his sash.

Morsq took his place at the front of the group and
shouldered his pack. "Spell up!" he commanded.

The entire area shuddered with power as over twenty Lords
and Ladies began chanting the mystical words that would
protect them from the hell they were about to enter. Some
of the spells that Shalineth cast on himself were new to
him, and he fumbled over a few of the words. Other spells
were old and familiar to him, and it was like visiting an
old friend when he felt the surge of power as the old spells
surrounded him.

He quietly chuckled to himself as he saw some of the other,
more experienced lords fumble and fail as they were trying
to cast spells on themselves. The giant Athor cursed
several times as he failed the same spell for the third time.
The young mage was already done casting all of his spells
and sat watching the rest as they finished. If there was one
thing that Centaurs were known for, it was their proficiency
with magic.

"Okay, if anyone doesn't know, we will be shifting to
Midgaard. The entrance to the Cabal is there. Do as I say.
Listen to my instructions. Anyone who feels like they can
run off on their own will not make it, I assure you."

Morsq dispatched his instructions with the confidence of
a true leader, and it made Shalineth feel a bit better. He
wondered how many new lords got to enter the Cabal for their
first adventure.

An odd humming noise started from the middle of the group,
and quickly got louder. With a brilliant flash of light,
Athor, Morsq, Asghan and several of the other large warriors
in the group disappeared. Shalineth summoned the energy
to shift to another plane, just the way that Lord Cane had
taught him. He felt an unfamiliar queasiness in the pit of
his stomach and was momentarily blinded by a flash of light.

When his vision cleared, Shalineth was standing at the wizard
Zin. Several of the other lords were already in the room, and
more were appearing in the same brilliant flash of light.
Shalineth stopped for a moment to catch his breath and ease
his queasy stomach while Morsq walked around and conducted a
headcount. AlexyAnna created a portal against the north wall
of Zin's keep.

"Okay, everyone is here. Follow me. Remember, we're only
shadows here, so be careful." Morsq entered the portal and
several other lords followed him. Shalineth understood now
why his stomach wasn't settling. In just the few days since
he undertook the mysterious process to become a lord, he had
already become accustomed to it. Now that he was back on
Midgaard, the feeling was quite disorienting. Gritting his
teeth, he followed Morsq into the portal.

                ---------Chapter 2---------

The first few dragons fell easily at the swords of the lord
warriors. Before Shalineth even got to finish the words
of his new spell, the brutes at the front of the group had
already finished off the screaming beasts. Shalineth shook
his head in amazement at how the lords fought. It wasn't like
his old days as an adventuring hero. Here, they fought like
machines. Ordered, disciplined. It was enough to make any
general envious.

Morsq halted the group at the base of a large mountain.
Shalineth took the break and shifted around in his uncom-
fortable armor. He wasn't used to the new pieces of
armor, and they exhausted him rather quickly. His armor was
assembled quickly, and he hadn't had time to get used to
them. Looking up, Shalineth couldn't even see the top of
the mountain through the clouds of ash and gas.

"Okay, listen up!" Morsq shouted to be heard over the
various side conversations. The lords quickly stopped and
listened to their leader.

"Most of you know how to do this. For those of you who are
new, here's what will happen." Shalineth felt as if Morsq's
words were pointing him out. He felt dozens of eyes looking
at him.

"I'll approach the dragon first. I'll give him a choice. If
he refuses to allow us to pass, I'll call on the rest of
you. Remember, no matter what happens, I have to plant the
key before he dies, or none of us will be able to get in.
Okay, everyone ready, here I go."

Morsq sheathed his sword and began climbing up the mountain.
In places where there wasn't a clear path, he had to create
his own or even climb the sheer rock wall. Soon, he was
completely out of sight as he disappeared into the clouds.

Several of the other lords began the ascent and stopped just
short of the clouds. Shalineth checked his gear one last
time and began the climb. It was easier now as several of
the previous climbers had stuck metal stakes into crevices
for handholds.

He could hear Morsq shouting ahead of him. "Ramahdon, I have
come to enter the Cabal. Open the portal or I will destroy
you!" Shalineth clung to the rock with all the strength he
could muster. Suddenly, a roaring voice seemed to echo from
all around.

"Fool! You think just you, a puny troll is going to
challenge me? Die for your stupidity!"

"Now! Come to me!" Morsq shouted. Instantly, all of the lords
clinging to the rock wall scaled through the cloud and onto
the flat top of the mountain. As Shalineth regained his
feet, he could see before him a massive golden dragon about
to breath a massive blast of fire upon Morsq. Shalineth
called to his mind the words of one of his newest spells.
Before he even got a chance to cast his spell, the warriors
had already created a living shield in front of him,
slicing the dragon with their weapons.

Morsq jumped in front of the other lords and stabbed a large
platinum rod into the ground in front of Ramahdon. Blood
streamed from several wounds on the immense dragon, and
the lords weren't letting up on the assault. In a moment,
the huge beast fell to the ground with a shudder. Blood
pooled on the ground and ran in several directions. One
small river of blood ran into the rod, and a large beam of
light tore from the ground. The beam turned into a large
swirling vortex in front of the group.

"The vortex will only be up for a few minutes. Get ready."
Morsq panted as he gave his final instructions. The other
lords began making their preparations. Asghan wiped the
last of Ramahdon's blood off his blade. Shanda, the cleric,
tended to a few wounds on various lords.

"Let's go. Athor, you first. Then me, Asghan and Jarl.
Everyone else follow. Good luck, see you on the other side."

Athor turned at the other lords and grinned. "Sure, let a
giant lead now!" as he entered the vortex. The energy around
the edge of the vortex turned into an orange flame as Athor
disappeared into it. The other three warriors entered, one
at a time. Each of the other lords entered in turn.

Shalineth was one of the last to go in. Shanda patted his
shoulder from behind. "It'll be okay. Just stay close
to the rest of us, and no matter what, keep casting. You'll
be fine," she told him. Somehow, her words were comforting.
He gritted his teeth, said a silent prayer to Shizaga, and
entered the flaming vortex.

Bright colors swirled around as Shalineth felt the vortex's
energy race through him. Although it seemed like his trip
through the vortex lasted hours, and he traveled miles, he
stepped out in less than a second into a blazing armageddon.

Flames leaped all around the lords. They stood back to back
in a large circle as the battle raged around them. Dozens of
immense dragons, too many to count, flew overhead making
passes and breathing their magical fires on the group. The
clerics of the group worked feverishly to keep the warriors
alive as they leaped in front of the mages, protecting them
from the hellish fires. The mages glowed with mystical
energy as they summoned their own hellfire down from the
skies. Dragons screeched as they fell to the ground,
writhing in the throes of death.

Shalineth cast his spells as quickly as he could. The words
came easier to him now, and he could feel his power surging
into the spells greater than he could ever imagine. He felt
more powerful now than he ever did before. Even still, his
spells seemed to barely make a dent in the immense dragons.

Dragons continued to fall all around them. Shanda knelt next
to the prone form of Jaromil, casting her healing spells on
him. Asghan yelled as dragonfire swarmed around his shield,
burning his flesh. Morsq continued to shout orders above
the chaos, his voice barely heard over the screams of the

In a few moments, the last of the dragons fell. The area was
clear, save for the dozens of dragon corpses that lay about.
Several lords stood about treating their own wounds. Shanda,
Kyandra and the other clerics milled about, healing where
they could.

Shalineth turned to Kayeosse, the tiny sprite cleric. "Is
that it?" he asked, rather relieved.

Kayeosse laughed at him. "Not even close. That was just
the entrance. They know we're here now. Now it really
gets interesting."

                ---------Chapter 3---------

"Mages, meditate. I need you guys ready in a few minutes."
Morsq walked around the group checking on everyone. "How
are you feeling, Jaro?"

The large centaur grimaced. "I'll be okay. I'm not sure
what hurts worse, the burns, or Shanda's bandaging." Shanda
looked over at Jaro and stuck her tongue out. A couple of
the lords standing around chuckled at the joke. Shalineth
was amazed that these people could laugh at a time like
this. His head was still reeling from the chaos he saw. He
tried to meditate, to regain his magic strength, but he
struggled with it. Finally, he was able to relax his mind
and could feel the energy returning. It wasn't long before
Morsq called everyone back to their feet.

"Let's get going. We have a long way to go. Athor, take

The lords got back into their places and moved out. As
they marched, Shalineth looked down at the still-smoking
corpses of the dragons they had just slain. These beasts
were much larger than the ones he was used to in Midgaardia.
The heads of these beasts were larger than he was, and
their teeth alone looked like they could run straight
through his body. He wondered what would happen if he had
to face one of these on his own. Shuddering at the thought,
he looked up to see he was falling behind. He ran to catch
up with the rest of the group.

"Morsq, there are a few more dragons ahead. Bigger ones."
The tiny voice of the halfling, AQelDroma, rang above the
noise of clanging armor and weapons. As a ranger, she was
able to detect the signs of dragons before anyone else.
Having her around was a rare gift, as rangers had become
increasingly few as of late. Morsq nodded at the warning,
and Shalineth could see the lords readying themselves for
another battle.

Before anyone else could do anything, the tiny sprite,
Tammo, flew ahead of the group and cast one of the
mysterious spells that sorcerers are known for. The dragons
in front of him all shuddered as the life force was sucked
out of them and transferred into Tammo. Dodging and weaving
his tiny frame in and out of their attacks, Tammo laughed
as the rest of the group ran up to him.

The battle raged much longer than the previous one, and
several of the lords fell to the ground, critically
wounded. The clerics moved among the fallen, healing them
with a touch and a prayer to Tul-Sith. Shalineth and the
other mages worked to exhaustion, casting one spell after
another, the mystical energies surging through their

Finally, the last of the dragons fell. AQelDroma was right.
These beasts were even bigger than the ones before, and
Shalineth was amazed at the onslaught. Blood from the
dragons pooled on the ground, and the smell of charred
flesh sickened him. The lords rested in place again, tending
to wounds, repairing equipment, cleaning blades. Shalineth
found it easier to meditate this time, still numbed by what
he had seen.

Asghan approached Shalineth as he finished his meditations
with a half loaf of bread. "Here, eat something. You look
like you could use it."

"Thanks," was all Shalineth could mumble as he came out
of his trance. He took the gift from Asghan and nibbled.
Centaurs weren't particularly fond of bread, being more
of a humanoid food, but he ate it graciously. Asghan
grinned at the young mage.

"You did well back there. I'm impressed. Most new lords
wouldn't even have made it this far." Asghan's words came
as a comfort to Shalineth, who wanted more than anything
to impress the other Lords.

"You'll have a tough time ahead, though. The next dragons
try to target mages. Be careful, stay behind me. I'll try
to cover for you. Just keep casting, or we're all doomed."
Asghan's warnings were a bit intimidating, and Shalineth
was concerned.

Once again, Morsq called the lords to their feet, and
prepared them. "Okay, one last batch of dragons and we're
done. These are the worst ones, though. Casters, keep
casting until you can't physically cast anymore. Brutes,
do everything you can to keep the casters alive. Healers,
you know what you need to do. No matter what, do not let
the dragonfear get to you. These monsters are bigger than
anything you have ever seen before. Everyone ready? Let's

                ---------Chapter 4---------

The lords moved out in a wedge formation. The warriors
were in the lead, with the rogues slinking around the
flanks. Several archers pulled in behind the warriors,
ready with their great bows. The healers came next, clerics
and priests draped in their robes. The mages and psions
pulled up the rear, with a couple warriors behind them
to protect the vulnerable casters.

Ahead, Shalineth could hear the roaring of huge beasts.
The ground under his feet shook, as if a hundred
earthquakes were happening, and he could feel the
tremors in his bones, his teeth. He steeled himself as
best he could against the horror that he was expecting,
without knowing what it was.

The air became stifling hot, and the smell of sulfur
and death made him gag. As the lords cleared the clouds
of sulfur, Shalineth reeled back from the sight. Five
dragons, larger than anything he had ever seen, loomed into
view. The largest, a shimmering platinum dragon, towered
so high that Shalineth could not even see his head
above the gray clouds of sulfuric ash.

No one moved just yet. The dragons had not began their
attack, and the lords just stood and stared. The head
of the platinum dragon snaked down out of the clouds,
beaming an amused grin. "So, you are the ones that
killed my father? I will have fun with you. I am not
old and weak like he was."

With those words, the platinum dragon reared his head
back and launched an enormous blast of flame that
completely smothered the entire group. The warriors
braced themselves with their shields over their heads
to protect the casters. The flames licked all around
the edge of the group, but save for a few small burns,
no one was seriously wounded.

Morsq shouted commands as Shalineth brought to mind
the first words of his spell. He could hear other
casters doing the same thing. The spells came easily, and
the power surged through his hands. All around him,
torrents of hellfire fell from the sky. Warriors attempted
to keep the biting heads of dragons away from the mages,
swinging their massive swords into the sky.

Shalineth could see the damage their attacks were doing
to the dragons, but could quickly feel his energy ebbing.
He said a silent prayer to Shizaga for strength, and could
almost feel the fickle god answer his plea. The young
centaur continued to cast as lords rushed around him.

Healers were tending frantically to several fallen lords,
including his new friend Asghan. Asghan grimaced as Shanda
lay her hands on him, healing his wounds with words to Tul-
Sith. Slowly climbing to his feet, Asghan nodded to
Shanda, grabbing his shield and returning to the fray.

The first of the great beasts fell. A reassuring sight,
Shalineth doubled his efforts. Morsq continued to shout
commands above the din, ordering lords to fill in gaps in
their defensive perimeter. The warriors quickly obeyed,
trusting in their leader.

The second dragon fell with an echoing crash. The ground
shook as his immense body hit, almost knocking Shalineth
off his feet. He regained his stance and continued casting.
Nothing else mattered at this moment, only the magic.

The third, then the fourth beast collapsed. The fourth one
started to get back up, but quick work from one of the
hidden rogues ended the dragon's attempt at a rally. The
only dragon left was the immense platinum beast that
challenged them in the beginning.

At Morsq's command, the lords changed strategy now,
circling around the lone dragon to attack it from all
flanks. The beast snapped in one direction at one threat,
then another, confused as to which was the greatest
challenge to its life. Multiple stab wounds bled from
its great scales, and a greenish fluid leaked from
burn marks from all of the magic spells. The dragon
roared one last great challenge, then shuddered and
collapsed onto the ground, its massive body nearly
crushing several lords who had to roll out of the way.

Morsq finally breathed a sigh of relief. Looking around,
he took a quick headcount. Once he realized that every-
one was still alive, he finally cracked a smile, the
first that Shalineth had seen on him. Morsq drew a
large knife out of a pocket in his backpack and
approached the body of the dragon.

With meticulous care, he searched the chest of the dragon
until he found the particular scale, the one that he
needed. Using the knife as both a cutter and a pry bar,
he removed the scale from the beast. Holding the massive
scale above his head, he shouted a triumphant cry.

Seeing this, the other lords also shouted in unison. Each
lord then crossed his arms in front and disappeared in
a bright flash of light. Looking to Morsq in confusion,
Shalineth wondered what they were all doing. Morsq turned
to the young mage and said, "We're going home." He then
crossed his arms and did the same.

Shalineth remembered the last spell that Lord Cane had
taught him. The one that would bring him home from
almost anywhere. Bringing to his mind the mystical words,
he crossed his arms and spoke the words.

Appearing back in the center of Thorngate, Shalineth was
instantly surrounded by dozens of celebrating lords. Food,
drinks and wine were flowing, and several revelers had
already started dancing on top of the large tables that
occupied the edge of the area. Shalineth looked for his
new friend Asghan, who had secured almost half a roast
pig for his own use. Asghan nodded his way and approached,
the pig in one hand and a large tankard of ale in the

"You did good, Shalineth. Much better than I did on my
first adventure," Asghan roared. The ale obviously
helped Asghan forget his wounds, which still did not seem
fully healed. Asghan sat down at a large bench, pointing
across the table from him.

Wearily taking off his pack, Shalineth sat across from
the huge troll. Setting his pack on the ground next to him,
Shalineth looked around. "But where is Morsq? I wanted to
ask him..." Shalineth trailed off. Whatever it was he had
wanted to ask just seemed so unimportant after what he
had seen.

"Ahh... Morsq is a bit busy. You don't know?" Asghan
asked, as a large hunk of roast pig hung from his front

"No, what?"

"That scale that we recovered. It's not just a war trophy,
mind you. That is the only metal hard enough to be made
into the greatest shield ever created. Morsq has brought
the shield to Gilliad, the gate-watcher. Gilliad knows
some old magic that will turn that hunk of dead dragon
into a great shield."

"Ahh. I've heard of it. I suppose it's better than this
shield that someone gave me." Shalineth pointed to the
small arm shield that was strapped to the back of his
pack, now on the ground next to his feet. "So, who gets
this shield?"

Asghan roared with laughter. "This shield is much better
than that little thing, trust me. And this shield is
going to be mine, actually. I'm next in line to get
one. The whole adventure was for my benefit, actually."

Shalineth smiled at the troll, now burying his face in
his ale. He was glad for his friend, and more glad to
see what the lords had done. Each of them had risked
their lives, run through a hellish gauntlet of dragons,
all knowing that they would not be the one to gain the
shield. It had been announced, before Shalineth joined
the group, that Asghan would be the beneficiary. Once
it was announced, not a single one had left.

And it made him glad that he became a lord after all.


Editor's note: We have always offered the opportunity for a
player to post an editorial piece in the Gazette.  This is a
piece by Mokiral originally slated for the December issue. It
is his opinion, and does not reflect my opinion or the opinion
of the AVATAR staff. - Kenji

Society has no place in Community  - by Mokiral

  At first I saw Kenji's title and figured this would
be an easy way to rack up some QP's with little effort. But
then I figured, if people actually read this, it might do
some good.

  This is from the perspective of a man who has played
for years. In my many years at lord, I've seen its highs
and lows. From the great quests from IMMs like Copycat and
Yevaud, to IMM decisions that I didn't agree with. However,
no matter what the IMMs do, it does not match the filth
that Lords have bathed themselves in. No my friends,
I'm not talking about swearing or using triggers. I've done
both myself. This is a much deeper issue.

  How many of you have ever been the highest without and gone
on a SoL run just to find it's lotto. Then some newbie wins
it, or someone else wins a 'backup shield'. How many of you
have been desperate to win a piece of gear, then at lotto
someone else gets it and just blows it up on enchant?

  Greed is running rampant at lord. The notion of helping
others has been replaced with a sense of self entitlement.
Yes, I know "This is for my alt". Well, you can just share
your gear with your alt. That's why Imms put in altof. How can
you justify having det chestplates and dstones, while others
have none at all?  If you want to run det, go in 2nd tier

  This is Christmas, a time of giving. The time of year when
you are supposed to think of others. Before you go and
enchant something next time, ask on lord if anyone needs it
first. While we're at it, New Year's is coming up. For
this year's resolution, why not resolve to stop being
such greedy pigs.


This is the new Avatar Gazette. It is published with the
permission and cooperation of the Avatar staff and edited by
Angel Kenji. (Original concept by Asamaro and Dizzy.)

The Gazette is written in plain vanilla ASCII text to ensure
that everyone can enjoy it regardless of computer type.

To subscribe to the Gazette, send internet e-mail to
gazette-request@outland.org. In the body of your
email put:

subscribe username@hostname (MudName - RealName)
e.g. subscribe snikt@outland.org  (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)

Your real name is optional for the Gazette list.
e.g. subscribe snikt@outland.org (Snikt)

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, criticisms,
compliments, or (best of all) articles that you've written
for the Gazette, please send them to Kenji via my e-mail
address: gazinput@outland.org  Please use 'Gazette' as your

You can also view the latest issue of the Gazette while
playing Avatar by typing 'help newgaz' anywhere in the game,
or on the design web site at

Original credit for Ascii art or other submissions is given
if known.


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