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Gazette 2004-07-11
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 2004 Gazettes | Gazette 2004-07-11
___The New Official AVATAR___________________________________
    ________                          __     __
   /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____
  /     ___ __    ____  /_/ __ \   __\   ___/ __ 
      _   / __ _ /    /   ___/ |  |   |  |    ___/
   ______  /(____  //_____  ___  >|__|   |__|   ___  >
          /      /       /     /                   /
__________________________________July 11, 2004______________

              /.--.              The Avatar Gazette
              |====|              For subscription info,
              |`::`|              read HELP GAZETTE
   /\   /  |...::..|`  | |  `|   Produced by Angel Kenji
   |:' |   /'''::''|   | |   |   With assistance from
  @| /;-,/   ::  |=========|   Iksiblat, Haven & Beo
  `|| <` >  >._::_.|=========|     
   || `""`  /   ^^  |   | |   |
   ||       |          | |   /

As I write this right now, I'm sitting in the Phoenix airport
headed off on an adventure. I'll be working with a delegation
from the Kazakhstan Army for future training of their 
soldiers. Hopefully, I'll be headed to their country in 
September! Talk about adventure! All I need is a cleric to
cast 'cure headache' on me from the jet lag. 

I'm really excited about this month's Gazette. We have the 
finalists from the Creative Writing contest, and their
submissions have been great, every last one of them! I was
originally only planning on running the winners, but they 
were all so good, I'm going to run a couple each month
until I've used them all. So, get those creative juices
flowing and be ready for the next one in a few months.

And a special thanks to Cerdwyn for running and organizing
the Creative Writing contest, and Arborea for helping judge
the entries. It was no small task to select the best, I 
assure you!

Sit back and enjoy this month's Gazette. I certainly 
enjoyed putting it together.



This month's Gazette has:

Latest News

AVATAR Creative Writing contest results

Iksiblat's Interviews - Cerdwyn

Funny: Hallmark Greeting Cards You'll Never See


Latest News

This is the twelfth issue of the new AVATAR Gazette, and 
therefore, is kind of an anniversary edition! Now I know
it's not an anniversary on a calendar (since I missed a 
couple months awhile back), but none the less, happy
birthday to the new Gazette!


A bit slower of a month in June. Some development and minor
code tweaks, and a few surprises that haven't yet been 
seen. One can only wonder what Dev is up to now. Read 
Cerdwyn's weekly news updates at www.outland.org to catch



Snikt and Chantal will be hosting another mudmeet at their
house on July 16th - 18th. Email Chantal at 
chantal@outland.org if you plan to attend.


You still haven't tried your hand at creative writing for 
the Gazette? You're missing out. Not only can you get 
published for all your AVATAR friends to read, you can 
also earn Quest Points for your submission! Email me at
gazinput@outland.org or see me in-game for more information!


Hear ye, hear ye. The AVATAR Angel staff is looking for the
best and brightest the realm has! If you hast the fortitude,
the stamina (and yes, the foci and awen) to die for your MUD,
seek ye out the helpfile HELP ANGEL PETITION. Earn the wings
and halo of the fairest, and flap about like yon featherhead

Hmm.. okay, so my medieval English isn't exactly up to Monty
Python-like quality. Still, if you have a love of AVATAR and
a strong desire to help others, think about petitioning to
become an Angel. Speak to any of us for more information. 0:)


Top Levelers and New Lord stats 

Stats not available this month. Apologies all around.

                     //           //
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                    ////         ////
                   |////       /////
                   |))//;     /)))//;
                  /)))))/;   /)))))/;
              .---`,))))/;  /)))))))/;
          __--/6-  `))/; |)))))))/;
         (----/    \``;  |))))))/;
            ~/-  \\``   ))))))/;
                \\\\`    |)))))/;
                //////|  %%_/))))))/;           ___,
               |||||||   %%%%VLK;:              _. 
               |\\\\                        |  | |
                \\\                          |  | |
                 |\\               __|        /   / /
                 | \__     ___----  |       |   / /
                 |    / |     >                / /
                 |   /  |    /                >/ /  ,,
                 |   |  |   |         |   |    // /  //,
                 |   |  |   |         |   |   /| |   |\,
              _--'   _--'   |     _---_---'  |   __/|/
             (-(-===(-(-(===/    (-(-=(-(-(==/   ____/

o======|=====================> <=====================|======o
AVATAR Creative Writing contest results

The first AVATAR Creative Writing contest has been judged,
and ALL were deemed worthy! It was no small task choosing 
between so many great entries.

There were two categories, poetry and prose. The theme was
AVATAR in-character related. All of the entries met the 
theme, and were judged by Cerdwyn, Arborea and myself. We
rated each on a points basis, and to give you an idea of 
how close it was, in both categories, only 5 points separated
the top entry from the bottom one!

I won't share the points with you, but the entries were 
rated as follows:

           Prose:               Poetry:
1st place: Beo                  Iksiblat
2nd place: Haven & Hideo tied   Galley           
3rd place: Oona                 Reta
4th place: Makutu
5th place: Maya

Again, all the entries were great, so I'll run all of them 
in future Gazettes. Which means, everyone who entered will 
eventually get QPs for their entry! 

This month, I'm elated to bring you the two winners, 
Iksiblat and Beo, along with Haven's close 2nd in Prose. 


**WINNER** Poetry:

I-'ve seen the sorrow of life
K-illed with nothing left behind
S-lain before my time
I-'ve seen the sorrow of life
B-roken bones, torn skin
L-aying there awaiting my cloud
A-nother day
T-o live again?

T-ime moves towards the end
H-orizons creep closer
E-verything darkens

D-espised by the Gods
R-unning just to stay alive
A-bomination! is all I hear
C-oming down from the heavens.
O-nly time awaits me
N-o-one can save me now
I-'ve seen the sorrow of life,
A-nd I know the end of time lies
N-ever near enough.




**WINNER** Prose

Squinting his eyes, a small lizard boy crawls out from his 
hiding place beneath a large boulder. The sun shone hot on 
his face. His stomach ached, the small creature's mother had 
not been back since she ventured out this morning to hunt. 
Naturally the boy expected his mother any time, blissfully 
unaware of the events that had unraveled earlier in the day.
A large hawk overhead screeched. Flying back into the cave, 
the lizard boy shook with fear. Suddenly, a mass of thoughts 
rushed into his head. He wondered where his mother had been, 
and what was taking so long. Never could he remember a time 
when he had been so long without company. After he was sure 
the hawk had gone he decided to venture out again.

Still on all fours, the small lizard boy, Beo, crawled out 
into the world of which he knew so little. He remembered 
catching small fish down by the stream where his mother 
let him play while she was sunning herself on the large flat 
rocks near the stream's bed. Hunger overtook fear, and
warily he slunk into the brush nearby, as his mother had 
always taught him. His mother was always cautious, nowadays 
the forests were being inhabited by more and more foreign 
creatures. Following the underbrush, Beo worked his way to 
the water. Searching the banks, Beo was careful not to be 
seen by any larger animals. He was still young, and rather
small, although once fully grown his humanoid appearance 
would shake most woodland creatures. Unfortunately, now 
he did not have the luxury.

Slowly Beo lowered his beak to the cool stream. The water 
felt nice running down his dry throat. *Snap* While drinking 
he had noticed several small fish swimming by, and now he 
had his lunch. After filling himself on the fish, Beo started 
his trek back. Stopping short of his destination, Beo could 
see some very tall figures standing over his home. With one 
fell swoop, one of the figures bent down, and unearthed
the boulder from which Beo emerged not two hours ago. 
Affording himself a better look, he crept forward to watch 
in horror as these creatures, which turned out to be orcs, 
destroy the only place he had ever known as home.

From his new resting place Beo could now make out a small 
wagon, and from the back of this wagon was hanging a familiar 
tail. They had his mother! Beo was immediately enticed out of 
his hiding spot. He kept low and along the line of woods, 
looping around to the back of the orcs wagon. Beo saw a large 
cage, from which his mother's tail hung lifelessly.

Rage filled Beo's heart. In a moment, he had leaped into the 
cart nudging his beak against the cage where his mother now 
lay. Wanting ever so badly for his mother to wake and tell 
him what to do, Beo began to cry. Along with many other types 
of contraband a small dagger lay next to the cage. Channeling 
all of his rage and fear, Beo leaped from the cart, dagger 
in hand, and landed on the back of one of the smaller orcs.

Mercilessly, Beo scrapped, scratched, stabbed, and bit at the 
orc until he was no longer fighting back. Standing on top of 
the slain orc, the others encircled him. A swift kick came 
from the right, another from the rear. Beo had no idea how 
many orcs were there, but it would have seemed like a 
thousand from the pain he endured. When they were through 
Beo lay beaten to a pulp on the grass.

The orcs picked up their fallen brother and left Beo for 
dead. His pelt was no use to them having been ripped and 
torn in the fight.

Shortly after the orcs had left, Beo became conscious. The 
hawk from this morning had been replaced by buzzards circling 
overhead. Quickly, Beo dragged his aching body into the 
underbrush. Crying, he resolved to find his mother, and pay 
back those orcs if it was the last thing he would ever do.





The egg shifted in its nest of sand. After a brief pause it 
shifted again, restlessly rocking as its occupant sought 
release from the confines of the shell about it. Nearby 
rocks and boulders waited patiently as they always had 
throughout the millennia, mute and impassive. The parched 
desert air stirred eddies of sand as it swept across the 
jumbled stones of the foothills, forever seeking... well, 
whatever the wind seeks.

Fortune had left the bronzed egg sheltered from the direct 
heat of the sun and yet surrounded by rocks that released 
the trapped heat of the day during the nights. Without 
parent or surrogate, the ovoid had weathered weeks of cold 
nights and blazingly hot days - and now it had finally come 
time to reveal that which lay quiescent within.

A blow, struck from within, rocked the egg in the sand. 
Another, then a frenzy of them, struggling to break free of 
the hard carapace that now threatened to stifle the life it 
had sheltered. An air of anticipation arose, and even the 
wind stilled itself as though holding its breath.

Chip! Shards of shell vanished into the sand. A sharp belling 
sound, metal on metal, and another fragment disappeared. More 
blows and the entire egg rang like a gong as a long crack 
shivered down its side. Finally!

Claws appeared in the crack, wriggled for a firm hold and 
heaved. The split widened and suddenly a panting golden form 
tumbled out into the sand as the egg fractured into pieces. 
Nostrils flared, sucking in welcome air as a sinuous neck
swayed uncertainly aloft. Emerald eyes blinked in the sunlight 
for the first time. So, thought the young creature, this is 
the world.

Feeling the warm sand on her scales she purred in delight, 
enjoying the caress of the tiny grains. Wings stretched, 
beating the air carefully, testing themselves in the wind. 
Rising to her feet, the young golden dragon flexed talons,
swirling patterns in the sand with her tail. She looked 
around at the jumbled rocks and boulders sheltering her 
birth, sensing the solidity of stone around her.

'I like this place. Protected. Safe.' She mused to herself. 
'A haven.' The word struck a chord. It seemed fitting. 'That 
is my name,' she realized, 'Haven.' Inspecting her surround-
ings, she half-hopped, half-flew to rest upon a nearby 
boulder. From here she could see more and she took a moment 
to absorb the view.

Eying the desert, Haven watched the eddies of sand swirling 
with interest. She scampered down over the boulder and raced 
after one of them, chasing it playfully until it dissipated 
into the air, spent.

Pouting at the loss of her playmate, the golden-scaled child 
looked around for another. Spying several more gusts of wind, 
she darted in pursuit, giggling. Pouncing and swiping, she 
amused herself for a while before growing tired.

Returning to the sheltered nook littered now with splintered 
shell, Haven snuggled down into the sand, resting her head 
upon her forepaws and lidding her eyes. Within minutes she 
slept, exhausted from the labors of escaping her egg. Dreams
came swiftly, of warms thermals and a spinning, distant earth.

Awaking to a painful rumble in her belly, Haven stretched 
deliciously in a sliver of sunbeam that invaded her sanctuary 
of boulders. Annoyed by her first pangs of hunger, she sniffed 
at the air in search of food. Delicate scents half-missed in 
the hot smell of sand and stone caught her attention, and with 
a slither and a flap she took wing.

An instant of surprise sparkled through her brain at this new 
experience, before being smothered in the sheer pleasure of 
air rushing past her wings with every swift beat.
Swooping higher, she spun and twirled into the sky, carefree 
and joyful. Hunger forgotten, she swam toward the horizon, 
eyes closed with rapture.

The momentary chill of a shadow passing across her scales 
caused a rapid change in her demeanor; emerald eyes flashed 
open and wings snapped closed, dropping her into freefall as 
her head lashed about, scanning for the threat. Wheeling
above her a black speck screeched a war cry and dove, cruel 
beak aimed for her throat!

With a second to spare, Haven snapped open her wings and 
darted aside, her feathered attacker screeching in fury at her 
effrontery. Tucking herself into a roll, the young dragon 
arrowed after the golden hawk, taloned forepaws slamming into 
its startled shoulders from behind.

Sharp teeth hammering into the back of her newfound prey's 
neck, Haven bore her attacker to the ground below, the pair 
landing in a thump of displaced sand and swirling feathers. 
With a last surprised and dismayed squawk, the bird expired 
and the young dragon enjoyed the unexpected rewards of her 
first hunt.

Annoyed slightly by the feathers sticking between her teeth, 
she picked them away fastidiously.

'Tasty!' She thought to herself.



See what I mean? All three of those were fantastic entries!
The others are all just as good. Having to judge from these
nine entries was not easy! Congratulations to Beo and 
Iksiblat, our winners, and all of the entrants on their 
fantastic work.

-Kenji, Cerdwyn and Arborea


Iksiblat's Interviews #2

Good Afternoon Avatarians!
Welcome to the second installment of Iksiblat's Interviews!

Acting on a tip from Kenji, I had the great pleasure of 
speaking with Cerdwyn and the player behind her.

Iks:'First off, thanks for being a good sport and allowing 
me to interview you :)'

Cerdwyn:'I will get Kenji for this, when he least expects 
it ;)'

Iks:'When did you first start playing Avatar?'

Cerdwyn:'1998, Septemberish'

Iks:'What made you decide to continue playing here?'

Cerdwyn:'My primary "player" alt met another player and we 
became best of friends. We have run together now for almost 
6 years, I think that was a lot of it, him and the others I 
have met along the way'

Cerdwyn:'People are the heart and soul of avatar.'

Iks:'What are your duties as a staff member?'

Cerdwyn:'Well I started as design staff, then I was 
recruited to do the news on the website 

Cerdwyn:'I still do that, along with the general duties of 
any Immortal. I'm still a newbie immortal, so...'

Iks:'What is the most enjoyable thing in your opinion about 

Cerdwyn:'The people, the fact that it is not stagnant, and 
that the players, overall, support it'

Cerdwyn:'It's truly an online community'

                        EDITORS NOTE:
          Cerdwyn would like to remind you all to read
          ----------------HELP SUPPORT---------------- 
            We now resume the interview in progress.

Iks:'When did you first feel the calling to step up and 
become an Immortal of Avatar?'

Cerdwyn:'You don't really have a 'calling' you are 

Cerdwyn:'I'm a bit older than the average player, and I 
am a manager in my real life, I have always contributed 
in some way to things, whether it be the mailer, or other 
in-game activities'

Iks:'Ok, I'd like to direct these next questions to Cerdwyn 
the Half-Elven Demigoddess :)'

Iks:'If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word 
would you choose?'
Iks:'And the easy follow up, Why?'


Cerdwyn:'I could cop out and say because I am, but'

Cerdwyn:'Maybe it's better to say it's because I prefer 
to do a little of this and a little of that, and I'm not 
lawful good by any means :)'

Iks:'I see... *looks around for any mischief in the making*'

Cerdwyn:'I enjoy a good jest, but I can be serious if 
need be, and if you ask anyone who knows me, I'm, well, just 
a wee bit different :)'

Iks:'What is your favorite race in the land?'

Cerdwyn:'Half elf, half demon *evilgrin*'

Iks:'*cowering* Can I quote you on that? :)'

Cerdwyn:'Of course.. *grins*'
Cerdwyn:'but once a cleric always a cleric, now where did 
I put that sharp knife..'

Iks:'What critter is your personal favorite?'

Cerdwyn:'Lupus Borley'
Cerdwyn:'Borley is my favorite midgaard area I like the 
haunted house theme'
Cerdwyn:'As to why lupus, because he's the orneriest mob 
there ;)'

Iks:'Where do you vacation in Avatar?'

Cerdwyn:'The coffee shop on nimbus, best coffee in all the 
land... oh, vacation, hmmmm'

Cerdwyn:'I'm not a party kinda girl, so probably up in the 
hills of Morgan Vale'

Iks:'And the final question: What do you think your worst 
vice is?'

Cerdwyn:'Coffee is my vice'
Cerdwyn:'I know every place on Avatar that you can find 

Iks:'Ah, but what kind of coffee? Are we talking, straight 
from the pot, no sugar, no cream straight up black coffee, 
or are we talking frothy cappuccinos, nonfat, no foam 

Cerdwyn:'Estate grown fresh roasted fresh ground black 
coffee or a nice hot (or blended) caramel mocha'

Cerdwyn:'No Starbucks junk for this demigoddess!'

Iks:'*cheer* Finally, someone who shares my disdain for 

Iks:'Thanks again for taking the time to share a bit of 
yourself with me and the rest of Avatar.'

Well there you have it folks, I hope you've enjoyed learning 
more about Cerdwyn as much as I have.

Tune in next time, as I have my most dangerous interview yet..

Until then, may all your gains be max and your CR's non-


Hallmark Greeting Cards You'll Never See

A non-AVATAR friend of mine sent this to me, but it just 
seemed so appropriate for the AVATAR sense of humor, I just 
had to share it.

1. I always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to 
love. And now that you've come into my life . . .
   (Inside card) - I've changed my mind.

2. I must admit, you brought religion into my life . . .
   (Inside card) - I never believed in Hell until I met you.

3. As the days go by, I think how lucky I am . . .
   (Inside card) - That you're not here to ruin it for me.

4. Congratulations on your promotion. Before you go . . ..
   (Inside card) - Will you! take the knife from my back? 
   You'll probably need it again.

5. Someday I hope to marry . . .
   (Inside card) - Someone other than you.

6. Happy Birthday! You look great for your age . . .
   (Inside card) - Almost lifelike!

7. When we were together, you said you'd die for me . . .
   (Inside card) - Now we've broken up, I think it's time to 
   keep your promise.

8. We've been friends for a very long time . . .
   (Inside card) - What do you say we stop?

9. I'm so miserable without you . . .
   (Inside card) - It's almost like you're still here.

10. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy . . ..
    (Inside card) - Did you ever find out who the father was?

11. You are such a good friend. If we were on a sinking 
ship and there was only one life jacket . . .
    (Inside card) - I'd miss you terribly and think of you 

12. Your friends and I wanted to do something special for 
your Birthday...
    (Inside card) - So we're having you put to sleep.

13. Happy Birthday, Uncle Dad!
    (Available only in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and
    Kentucky! )

14. Looking back over the years we've been together, I 
can't help but wonder . . ...
    (Inside card) - What was I thinking?

15. Congratulations on your wedding day! . . ..
    (Inside card) - Too bad no one likes your husband

This is the new Avatar Gazette. It is published with the
permission and cooperation of the Avatar staff 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)
eg subscribe snikt@outland.org  (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)

Your real name is optional for the Gazette list.
eg 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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