The Avatar Gazette Vol III, No. 5 June 14th 1996
(A Sunlight Through The Shadows Production)
The Avatar Gazette is published once a month by AsaMaro in
conjunction with (and full permission of) The Avatar Staff
The Gazette is written in 100% pure ASCII to assure maximum
compatibility for all readers using whatever system they use
Subscribe by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and including the
following in the body of your note: subscribe gazette <your email
address> <your name on the mud>
Telnet to Avatar at: walrus.com 3000
The Gazette Staff: AsaMaro, Marat, Contenda, and Tmeat.
The entire contents are copyrighted (c) 1996, Joe DeRouen.
All rights reserved. Individual articles not written by
Joe DeRouen are also copyrighted (c) 1996 by the individual
in question. Any unauthorized reproduction (or changing of said
contents) of the Gazette without fully expressed written
permission will result in prosecution to the fullest extent
of the law.
Table of Contents
Page 1 Introduction
Page 1 Table of Contents
Page 2 AsaMaro's Editorial
Page 2 Back Issue Information
Page 2 Avatar Web Page Information
Page 2 Immortal Bio: Shatrdmoon
Page 3 Angel Bio: Crowe
Page 4 Hero Bio: Alisa
Page 5 Hero Bio: Naya
Page 6 The Return part 1 by Contenda
Page 8 The Return part 2 by Tmeat
Page 14 Doctor Mob by Marat
Page 15 Interview with ShatrdMoon by Contenda
Page 17 From The Diary of McNamara by McNamara
Page 18 Excerpt from Avatar Home Remedy Handbook
Page 19 Top Ten Snikt Rejected Bamfins by Rerun
Page 20 The Cult of the Rose by Ronan
Page 21 Deck The Mud by Aspasia
Page 21 Avatar Birthdays for June by Contenda
Page 21 Avatar Review by AsaMaro and Tmeat
Page 23 Intellitech Walrus advertisement
* Quicker, Bigger, Better: What More Could You Ask For? *
Well, one out of two ain't bad. This issue is the second one we've done
since changing the schedule from once a month to twice a month, and
we're still putting 'em out on time. You've probably already noticed,
however, that this issue is around 50k, while last issue was around 35k.
We couldn't help it. This issue featured the long-awaited return of the
mighty (longwinded) Tmeat, who, along with Contenda, managed to write a
20k story. It's a great story, by the way, and one well worth the
mailing space. Check it out!
We also had a lot of other great submissions, including articles from
McNamara, Ronan, and Rerun, as well as articles from regular
contributors Marat and (again) Contenda. Add that to the bios we've got
this issue and a reprint of a review that Tmeat and I just did for the
magazine I work for in real life and you've got an issue jam-packed with
excitement, fun, and... some more excitement on top of that!
* * *
We're still looking for more submissions and regular contributors! If
you have something to write about that you think the rest of Avatar
would like to read, but all means - write me! Fiction, essays, humor,
editorials: if it's fit to print, we'll print it!
As always, first-time mortal contributors will receive a level if their
submission is accepted.
--AsaMaro, June 14th, 1996
Back Issues of The Avatar Gazette
Back issues of the Gazette are now available via anonymous FTP at
ftp.walrus.com /pub/avatar/gazette. There's a lot of other good stuff
available there as well. Check it out!
Avatar's Web Page
While you're scuttling about the Internet, check out Avatar's Web Page at
http://www.walrus.com/~avatar. Aegis has recently added a lot to the page,
so even if you've been there you should definitely take another look.
* Avatar Immortal Bio *
Name: ShatrdMoon RL Name: Nina P. Shade Age: (Game) 344 (RL) 42
Race: Cyborg Class: Warrior Current level: 880
Real life intrests:
I am a Real Estate Appraiser here in Va... Tho I haven't worked in over
a year.. been taking time off to watch my Grandson Jesse grow... I am 42
years old.. to some it's ancient but to me it's just another number :) I
love to MUD... I'm trying to learn just some basic coding... which I
find kinda interesting... I'm married to a wonderful man who travels
ALLOT for his job... tho I hate him being gone for 2 to 3 weeks at a
time... I listen to just about any kind of music and find I like most of
Advice to Players:
Learn the game :) it seems hard at first but the more ya know the better
the out come :) and GROUP!!!!! yes I said group.. I would say not to
group till around L10 or so :) then Group from 2 players to more the
more the merrier.. I remember trips to hell in my lower levels what
fun!! and getting beat to heck by a chicken pot pie!! :P oh what fun :)
and Wu & Wei killing me constantly :) but remmeber to group :) you are
greater in numbers.
Where Does Your MUD name come from:
This was my 2nd name ever on tsn *the seirra network* we roleplayed alot
then.. and I was to have a broken heart form a long lost love... So came
Shatrd... then I didn't like the way Shatrd look alone so I thought
WOW!! ShatrdHeart!! *Gag* then came ShatrdMoon.. and I stuck with it :)
and brought it here To Avatar with me.. like so many of my other chars.
* Avatar Angel Bio *
Name: Crowe RL Name: Chris Dierks Age: (Game) 226yrs (418hrs) (RL) 20
Race: Elf Class: Ranger Current level: 800 (Angel)
Real Life Interests:
Well lessee. I'm currently a 3rd year student at the University of
Minnesota-Duluth. I'll major in Computer Science as soon as I get my act
together. I'm originally from Brooklyn Park in the suburbs of
Minneapolis, MN but I'm living in Duluth now because I have a very
lucrative job working for the US Postal Service (insert jokes here). I
enjoy computers and various other gaming systems. I'm an avid reader of
anything fantasy orientated and I'm a rabid Dean R. Koontz fan. I'm also
a budding writer myself. I love music in it's many forms save for the
two horrid variations called country and hip-hop. I've played
double-bass for 10years quiting only last year because I need to make
money. I'm also a drummer, a hobby I've been forced to discontinue
because I had to move.
Advice To Players:
What can I say that hasn't already been said? My big two are #1. Get to
know the MUD. You can get a lot more done by knowing what's out there
and where the best places are for items and exp. This will be especially
important with the remap coming up. Sharpen those pencils and break out
the notebooks. Also helpful for making friends. Which is... #2. Group.
You heard from everyone else and now you're hearing it from me.
Grouping will get you places faster and you'll have a lot more fun doing
it. I see it as kinda akin to long car rides. Do it by yourself and you
feel every minute. Do it with friends or at least one other person and
the time goes by quicker and it's more fun. I've made some great friends
by grouping and have actually opened real life dialogue with them. Don't
let that pass you by. #3. Love and repect your fellow man, women and
children. And especially your parents.
Where Does Your MUD Name Come From:
Ok. The mystery revealed. The name Crowe has nothing to do with Mystery
Science Theatre 3000 and only a little to do with the Movie/Graphic
Novel The Crow. I was looking for a new name after I deleted my first
character. A disaster named Beige. When I looked across the room and saw
the poster of The Crow on the wall. I hadn't seen the movie at this
point so the character that grew around the name has nothing to do with
the movie. I figured "What the heck? As good a name as any." Added the
'e' onto the end to modify it and the character grew around it. That of
a mutated, outcast elven ranger with completely black eyes.
* Avatar Hero Bio *
Name: Alisa RL Name: Angela Carter Age: (Game) 66 (RL) 21
Race: Human Class: Warrior Current level: 51
Real Life Interests:
I am currently pursuing my degree in chemical engineering at the
University of South Florida. I am 21 years old and married to Nathan
Carter who plays as Mega on Avatar. I am also a cake decorator for
Publix Supermarkets. When I am not doing homework, working, and going to
school I like to read, sleep (giggle), and spend time with my husband
and cats. I also am AsaMaro's assistant so I do a lot of computer work
Advice To Players:
Make lots of friends on Avatar. The more people you know the more people
you have to group with. Grouping is really fun. That's how I made it to
hero. Also try to explore on your own some before asking others to just
tell you where to go. That is the best way to learn your way around
Where Does Your MUD Name Come From:
To be honest I just like the name. No history or anything behind the
name. But if you want to know who Alisa really is read my description
next time ya see me on Avatar! :)
* Avatar Hero Bio *
Name: Naya RL Name: B'Lynn Shartouny Age:120 (RL) less than Grainger
Race: Gnome Class: Cleric Current level:Hero/51
Real Life Interests:
I am a biologist, and single parent, living in Atlanta, Georgia, in the
U.S. Currently, I am finishing a degree, doing research in the area of
Neuroanatomy and Behavioral sciences, and writing a thesis. My thesis is
entitled "Morphological Differences in the CA1 and CA2 Areas of the
Hippocampus from High Stress Tolerance and Low Stress Tolerance Male
Rats". And, no Guys, I didn't stress 'em out with females ;p I plan to
earn an M.D./Ph.D. and do medical research. My interests are in
fertility medicine, neonatology, and Maternal-Infant Health. I have a
special interest in the increased male infertility rate in the U.S. and
am concerned that disposable diapers may play a role in this. Out of
school, I enjoy outdoor activities (but no bungy jumping), shopping
*jump*, and studying other cultures. My musical taste ranges from NIN
*cheer* to good ole C&W, with plenty of Classical and Celtic in between.
I LOVE to dance! I speak some farsi (Iranian/Persian) among other
languages and am a member of the Baha'i Faith.
Advice To Players:
Having multiple characters on Avatar, I have learned much about
role-playing. I would recommend all players learn to be the absolute
best in whatever Class they choose and enjoy what they can contribute to
a functioning group. Also, tolerance of other cultures and maturity
levels is a must. With such a wide diversity of players on Avatar,
patience and kindness can go a long way. That level 10 that youhelped
with the plague yesterday, may well be the one who finds your Girdle of
equipment that you accidently donated.:-)
Where Does Your MUD Name Come From:
Naya is the "goddess of spring waters". Nothing fancy, but in my family
we only drink bottled waters. And the top two on my list are Naya and
Volvic. Volvic seemed a bit to masculine for my cleric character. :-)
Naya fits nicely with Jynx, her mud-hubby.
The Return, Part One
"How could you do that to me?" I said, scratching the still itching
scabs on my arms.
AsaMaro blinks innocently.
"What?" he asked, staring pointedly at the wall.
"Send me in there, knowing that I would catch the plague!" I was most
upset. I felt like I had been stabbed in the back.
"I never sent you anywhere" AsaMaro replied, busy inspecting his
"Your exact words were, GO CHECK THIS OUT". I started to cry.
"Now, now, don't cry . . .oh jeez . . ." He started to put his arm
around me, but reconsidered. "Why don't you take a few days off and
relax. You are much too tense."
"I don't want time off. I want to write a really good story for you. You
never like anything I do."
AsaMaro steered me towards the door. "Yes, that's it . . .you just go home
and relax. The Gazette can wait. In fact, I think that I have enough for
the next issue anyway."
Contenda sniffs. "A . . . Are you sure?"
"Yes . . . I think we will be OK without you this one time."
"Well, I could use a little rest. This is very hard work. Chasing people
down, and trying to get information." I dug around in my satchel and
produced a neatly lettered parchment. "Here is the story. I hope you like
AsaMaro took the parchment, and added it to the humongous pile of papers
already stacked up on his desk.
Once again, I tried to hug him, but he evaded me by shuffling through his
"Have a nice day," he murmured.
As I left his office, I felt a weight lifting off of me. I guess that I did
need some time off. In fact, I started looking forward to laying around
my hovel, in my pajamas. Maybe read a book, maybe even clean the place up
I started back through the forest for home, thinking of all the things I
was going to do this week.
"OOmph" I cried, as I hit the ground. I rolled around to see what I had
What looked like a beggar lay sprawled under a tree. His clothes were
tattered, and his hat was pulled down over his face. I got a long stick
and poked him.
"MMph," he mumbled.
"Well, at least he is alive," I thought, giving him another poke.
"Stop it!" he cried as he pulled his hat down farther on his face.
He looked vaguely familiar to me. He even sounded vaguely familiar.
I studied him for a while, searching my memory. I picked a long piece
of grass and ran it gently across what little of his chin I could see.
He abruptly jumped up, and threw his hat on the ground. "Will you just
LEAVE ME ALONE!" he screamed, glaring at me.
His clothes were threadbare but clean, and his facial scales needed a
buffing. By his side was a small knapsack.
"I don't know why you people.........Contenda?" He stopped, stared at
me, and his jaw dropped. "Is that you? Is that really you, Tenda?" he
I took a closer look. "TMeat?" I rubbed my eyes. I must be dreaming, I
guess I really do need a vacation. I blinked, and looked again.
"Oh!!! Tmeat!!" I ran to him and hugged him. I picked him up and twirled
him over my head.
"You have grown since I last saw you!!" he exclaimed.
"My hovel is just around the bend," I said. "Let's go there and talk".
He nodded and I linked my arm around his, and we went the short distance
to my shack.
When we got there, I made him comfortable in my only chair, with a cup of
my famous venison and noodles. I curled up by his feet.
"So what have you been doing, and where in heaven have you been?" I asked.
To be continued.....
The Return, Part Two
"So what have you been doing, and where in heaven have you been?"
Contenda asked me. I laughed. Eight months. Eight long months.
"We, it's a long story, Tenda," I said. Suddenly she snatched up
a note pad and pen. "What is that for?"
"Oh, um, nothing," she looked down at the pad. "I thought maybe
there might be a good story here."
I shook my head. "No. Not a good story here. No one even
remembers who I am here. No one would be interested. They wouldn't
Contenda takes out her pillow and clobbers you!
"Of course they would! Come on. Everyone remembers that article of
"Which one?" I asked.
"Um, I don't remember the name, but it was about the thing - and the
My toothy grin expanded over my face. How could I forget the thing!
And the other thing! I hunkered down low and started telling her what had
I was sitting in my office of the Gazette, tying hard to think up a
story idea. The big problem was that I had just become an immortal. As an
immortal, you know everything. Absolutely everything. You can go anywhere,
do anything, see everyone. Where is the fun in investigating when you
AsaMaro, the editor, strolled in on that orange puff of logic thing.
"How is it going, pink boy?"
"Terrible. Just terrible. I thought about writing an article about
the truth of where beastly fidos hide their money."
AsaMaro chuckled. "Sounds disgusting."
"But with these immortal powers, I KNOW where they keep it. It's
just not FUN anymore."
AsaMaro sat down and thought. And thought. And thought. "I see
your point. Why not stop investigating and write a birthday column. Yeah,
tell everybody when everyone else's birthday is."
"But sir, that just isn't the same. I'm a natural born investigator.
Well, okay, I'm a natural born lizard man who is a natural born investigator.
I just can't do things like that."
AsaMaro thought. And thought. And thought. Then he smiled.
"Okay, I want you to go someplace."
He pulled out a tattered piece of paper with directions scrawled on
it. I looked at them.
"There? I've been there. Done that."
He shook his head. "Ask about the 'special.'"
I blinked at him, not to understand until too late.
After lunch, instead of following the twisted path AsaMaro had given
me, I just did what imm's do naturally.
<30000hp 30000m 30000mv> goto 427
[Exits: north east]
Books line the walls, displaying such titles as Alchemy and the Witches Bible.
Flipping through shows spells and potions obviously well used. In the corner
stands a glass encased book. As you examine the lock, a eye opens wide over
it. Maybe it isn't a good idea to try to take it after all. Exits are to
the north and east.
(Flying) (Sneak) The wicked witch stands here cackling in glee.
<30000hp 30000m 30000mv> look witch
An old woman with long stringy hair stands before you. Her withered
face is covered with disgusting moles and warts. She reminds you of
a childhood nightmare.
Wicked Witch is in perfect health.
Wicked Witch is using:
<wielded> witch's claws
<held> (Glowing) multifaceted gem
You peek at the inventory:
"What the freak do you freaking want this freaking afternoon," she
asked in a pleasant voice.
"You shouldn't use language like that," I told her.
"Why freaking not?"
"The freaks, you know. They are sensitive. It is not
politically correct," I said.
"Ah, freak the freaks, and freak you," she spat and the green
saliva splattered on the floor, hissing and bubbling and eating away at the
expensive terra-cotta tiles.
"Anyway," I said, trying not to do what immortals do naturally - kill
unruly mobs, "I have come about the special."
Her eyes widened. "No, not the special!"
"Yes, AsaMaro sent me."
"You can't HANDLE the special."
I laughed. "I'm an imm, and an investigative reporter. Of course I
can handle the special."
She shook her head. "I can't be responsible. They'll report me if
anything goes wrong!"
Finally, my interest was up. "Who will report you? And who will
you be reported to?"
"I can't say. Let's just say it starts with an S and ends
with a T."
That could be a lot of things. Salt. Slat. Slit. Slut. Start.
Stop. No, stop didn't fit. Sturtel. Stamonatal. St . . . No, I was just
making up words now. The only one I knew like that was . . . no, I couldn't
be . . .
"Let me see the special," I lifted my finger. One zap and she'd have
to repop all over.
Her shoulders sank and she dug around in the bookcase, pulling out
what appeared to be a bologna and pepper jack sandwich. "Here. Here. Eat
it and be done with it!"
I looked at it. It didn't appear to be that special. "It doesn't
appear that special."
"Not there, you idiot!" she hissed. "Between the slices! Between
I took a peek between the slices. It was what appeared to be a
disgusting mixture of ketchup, mayo, and mustard. I looked at her with a
"It's the sauce!" she howled. "The sauce is special! It's special
Contenda closed her note pad in the middle of my diatribe. "That's
not funny," she said with arms crossed.
"Of course it's not funny," I nodded. "The witch was being too
Her brows furrowed. "Come on, do you expect me to buy the special
sauce bit. They will burn me in effigy if I write that in the gazette."
My eyes raised. Yes, indeed. The S . . . T person would be very
angry if the truth of the special sauce was let out.
"You are right, Tenda. We best not mention the special sauce. It
might upset people."
"Good," she scribbled darkly in her notebook. "So what REALLY
"Well, I ate the sandwich."
"It wasn't too bad. The pepperjack offset the bolonial overtones,
and the, er, condiments enhanced the flavor greatly."
"I mean . . ."
"That's when everything went weird."
The flavors of the sandwich swirled in my mouth. The witch began
slowly backing up from me. Then she turned and ran. I tried to yell, but
my mouth was full. Then everything went dark.
Then I was staring at a bunch of words. Glowing words. The last
words were NO CONNECTION.
In my hand was a letter with the nicest handwriting you have ever
seen. It said some odd things that I didn't understand, but at the end was
"ACCOUNT CLOSED FOR NON-PAYMENT OF BILLS."
I was frantic! I looked around!
<?hp ?m ?mv> look
A Small Room
[Exits: north south]
This tiny amount of space in this room is taken up by a big desk with fake
oak veneer. On it is an odd box with glowing words, and a smaller palate
in front with individual letters. Old cans, empty Dorito bags, wads of
toilet paper, science fiction magazines, and programming manuals litter its
surface. Exits are to the north and south.
(Gasping) A 14 years-old pug lies at your feet, breathing noisily.
Where was I? This wasn't on any list! How could I get back home?
I frantically searched the desk, looking for some clue. More little
pieces of paper. "It's been five months since you paid for your account,
why haven't you paid us?" said one. Another was curious. Very curious.
It was a schedule of some kind. A list of things and times and
building numbers. It said something about college on top.
"You'd better get going!" a mysterious voice yelled from another
room. "You'll be late for class!"
Class? What was this mysterious 'class' that the disembodied
voice spoke of? I looked back at the paper. It was a list of classes.
The mystery was solved.
"Okay," I yelled and went outside, looking for this so-called
college place the paper spoke of.
The sun seared my eyes, and I screamed. It seemed so bright
outside. What was causing the pain? I wasn't a drow. Had I been locked
in a dark dungeon for years? Maybe I had been in that little room for
too long. Eventually my eyes adjusted.
Out in front was a yard overwhelmed by a gigantic pecan tree. The
yard itself was overgrown and weedy, and I had this mysterious urge NOT
to mow it, whatever mowing exactly was.
There was some kind of magical carriage out in front, and I
eventually brandished it and got it moving. Somehow I made it to the
college and followed the many maps affixed to the buildings to find
the first 'class' that the paper spoke of.
Human beings were all lined up in rows, sitting in little metal
contraptions that looked like torture devices. They all had pale, white
expressions on their faces, and were pouring over thick books with the kind
of mad desperation you only have when you are fighting Tiamat when you
are blind, cursed, poisoned, plagued, webbed, and at first level.
I sat down in the only torture device vacant and awaited my fate.
So this is what hell was!
A woman walked in, muttered a few things, and handed everyone a
sheet of paper. It had some very odd questions on it.
I raised my hand. She looked very angry as she shuffled over to me.
"Excuse me ma'am, but this seems all wrong."
"This question here. 'Describe the seven aspects of the Baroque
period, and name four different artists from this era, and list their
birth dates, deaths, and the major works they created, giving rough
sketches of them from memory giving line, form, perspective, and color.'"
"What about it?" she glared.
"Why should I have to know these people's birth dates? I mean, if
I know all this other stuff about them, wouldn't that show that I am
competent in this area of knowledge?"
I was exiled from the classroom. It felt like being jarred by
Snikt. Except, of course, I was standing in the hall and wasn't
silenced or anything.
The next 'class' was full of oafish looking young men wearing
pocket protectors, thick rimmed glasses, and were obviously lacking in
style, form, social graces, and dates. Somehow I seemed to fit right in.
Two of them were talking before the class.
"Did you see the last few Babs?"
"Nah, I missed em. Voyager plays at the same time and my VCR's
"Oh man, they were great. You know, the war on Earth started up
and Sherridan declared Bab5 independent and they sent ships to attack.
But DeLenn saved the day with those Mimbari cruisers. She really kicks
They were talking about some war which I didn't understand, but
apparently they just liked to watch this war, and had no desire to have
real lives. Again, I seemed to fit in, for some odd reason.
The teacher came in, an old, balding man who told us repeatedly
that he had worked for something called Eye Bee Em for 25 years and every
other company was a piece of crap and that some kind of Apple or Pear
was going down the drain fast. He then started describing these big boxes
that sat around thinking a lot so people wouldn't have to.
After that he told us that one had to achieve at least the rank
of CNE in order to be considered anything. Apparently the King of the
Realm awarded these CNE's to those noble warriors who could hack and
connect and route a line without hanging oneself.
Confused, bewildered, and just plain exhausted, I stumbled to my
class. More people sitting in torture devices. Another teacher. I sat
down and prepared to be bombarded with useless facts or be harassed with
pieces of paper. Little did I know, but this was the most horrifying
thing was yet to come.
The teacher walked up to me and smiled. "Okay, it's your turn now."
"ACK," I said.
"Come on, get up there."
"RAISE," I said.
"Don't stall, you are holding up he entire class."
"FAINT," I said, trying to get out of whatever it was. She didn't
"Go up there and give your speech."
"What is this thing you call a 'speech?'"
She told me curtly. I was to get up in front of and entire room
full of people and talk! The horror! The horror!
I stumbled up to the front. In my hands were notecards. I looked
at them. They said 'SPEECH'. Was this the speech? All of it, here,
written down so all I would have to do was read it? Oh, joy of joys!
I scrambled thought he cards. It was only an outline! I would
have to give the speech for memory!
<?hp ?m ?mv> flee
You couldn't get away! You loose .2 GPA!
<?hp ?m ?mv> flee
You couldn't get away! You loose .1 GPA!
<?hp ?m ?mv> flee
You couldn't get away! You loose .3 GPA!
<?hp ?m ?mv> flee
You couldn't get away! You loose .8 GPA!
There was no way out. I gave my speech. They stared at me the
whole way through, their beady little eyes never left me. Their haunting
looks. The dead, glazed eyes, poised to mock me, ridicule me, use me as
an emotional punching bag if I made a mistake.
And I made mistakes. Apparently to say "Uh . . . er" during a
speech is a sin. And the whole concept of keeping audience eye contact is
an abhorrent abomination. Why couldn't they just let me be?
Contenda looked up from her pad with horror in her eyes. "That is
a wicked, evil world you stumbled into. However do you escape?"
"It was tough. Very tough. I spent 8 months there - each day
almost exactly the same as the previous. Class after class after class
after class. The sheer monotony of it was astounding? I was dying!"
"But how did you escape?"
"Oh, well, that was odd . . ."
I stumbled home from the so called place of learning, my eyes
watering, my feet blistered, the crook of my arm very tired from lugging
those huge, expensive, yet useless books around, when a box started making
I picked up part of the box and a magical voice came forth.
"Hey man, what's up?"
"The sky?" I told it. Well, it was an obvious question.
"Where have you been, I haven't seen you in months."
I blinked. Could this be someone from AVATAR? I didn't recognize
the voice. "Well, I was eating this sandwich, then there was a piece of
paper that said my account was frozen for lack of funds, and all kinda other
"You lost your account? Why didn't you call sooner? Here, I have
a spare account. Write this number down . . ."
"So did you have to fight a dragon?" Contenda asked.
"Did you journey to the end of time and fight the last battle of the
universe amongst the gods and demons?"
"Well how did you get back?"
I shrugged. "Well, I punched some of the buttons on the magic box
and suddenly I was here."
She rolled her eyes. "That's not very exciting. Are you sure you
didn't have to fight some horrendous beast with 18 eyes, 42 mouths, and
bad garlic breath?"
She sat, scratching her head and looking over her notes. "Well,
that's not a very good ending. You at least need a moral. You know, a
moral to the story that teaches people something."
I thought about it. "Well, the moral of the story is that if you
see something with special sauce on it, run like the dickens because you
will end up in a world of pain."
She shook her head. Obviously it was a bad moral. Oh, yeah, and if
the S . . . T person found out, he'd be mighty upset.
"Then I guess the moral of the story is that you should never think
you know all there is to something, because there is always something else
new to learn. I learned it, and I'm ready to go back and be an
"You're coming back?" Contenda's eyes widened with a smile.
"Sure, Tenda. I'm back and ready to dig deep into exactly where
those beastly fidos keep their spare change."
[In the process of researching this, I startled, confused, bewildered, and
upset some people, just like I used to. One of these days people will learn
that if they see a low level character continuously throwing himself at a
mob five times his size, complaining about not getting the right flee
message, it's not some idiot - it's ME behind the controls. I'd like to
thank Jane the Angel for not striking me down immediately and for giving
me good advice, and Rerun the, er, what ever Rerun is, for remembering
verbatim exactly what a failed flee message looks like :) - TMeat]
I had been feeling sort of poorly for days. My stomach and head took
turns aching and I felt creaky in all my joints. Surely some monster or
shopkeeper could offer me a curative. I was willing to try almost
I travelled to Underdark hoping someone there carried an arcane
powder or potion to settle my stomach. The eye wouldn't even look at me
and when I asked a duergar what he took to cure an ache he took a swing
I wandered the highways and roads hoping a kind ranger would gather
some herbs and give me a poultice, but I just spent my time avoiding
bandits. I tried to forage on my own and found some venison but I just
I found myself in Andwyn's Apothecary in Rivendale, my head
pounding, hoping to buy something that would help. I had forgotten to
check the time and found myself being rebuffed with 'Sorry, come back
later.' I think I can wait.
Finally, I was able to purchase a vial of mustard extract, a
fiery-red vial and a turquoise vial. The latter two did seem to help my
head which was splitting and though the mustard extract smelled and
tasted horrible I think it cleared my intestines just a touch. Maybe my
stomach was suffering from too many pot pies.
I was still not feeling myself and my feet just kept walking until I
was in Kerofk in Kell's tavern. I don't drink alcohol, but was hoping
for some weak tea to restore my strength. But, the noise, smoke and
irritating argumentative patrons were too much, so I killed the
bartender and left.
Even though I had suspected a bad pie in the case of my stomachache,
I was so hungry. I turned into a bakery and bought a hearty pot pie from
Granite Head. He waved a flour-covered hand and wished me luck after I
told him of my woes and walked away.
Eating the pie seemed to still my shakiness but I couldn't relieve
myself of these aches. I would try one more place, ask one more person
how to feel better.
I went to the holy grove, found the Hierophant and begged him to
help me. He smiled knowingly, gathered some herbs of various colors
(predominantly pink and orange) and brewed them into a not-so-nice
smelling tea. I grimaced but drank the tea he proffered.
At first, I didn't feel any better, in fact I thought perhaps now I
could add nausea to my list of ailments. Then, a warm feeling suffused
my body and the aches melted away. At last, I had found a cure.
The Hierophant cautioned me. "No cure lasts forever. You must accept
that sometimes the body is ill. Take care of yourself. Rest. Goals are
fine, but so is leisure."
I nodded my understanding to the old herbalist, scrambled to my feet
and waved. He had helped me, but perhaps, his wisdom had helped more
than the herbs. Raising a level, or trying to attain hero are lofty and
good goals. But, sometimes, you should rest, watch the clouds, and by
all means stock up on herbs.
Adventures in Registering
An Interview with Shatrdmoon
With a bit of trepidation, I entered Shatrdmoon's loft. I timidly smiled
BAMF!!!! I get hit in the face with a large pillow!
Picking the feathers from my lips, I say "Thanks for inviting me here
for this interview. It is quite a place."
"Thank you, " she replies. "It's just my little home. Are you ready to
"Yes, let's see. What is the purpose of registering equipment?"
"The purpose of registering your equipment is that in case the system
crashes, you will have proof of the enchants and/or renames you have on
your equipment or weapons."
"What if I would lose my registered equipment during a HOG?"
"It the system crashes during a HOG," she said, crossing the room to
another pile of pillows, "then we can not give a reimbursement,"
I mull this over. I don't like the sound of that at all!
"What can or should be registered?"
"Anything that you can not go out and get right away, such as renames.
You wouldn't be able to go and get that just anywhere. Or say that your
equipment has been faded or enchanted by an IMM. This would also need to
be registered. You can't just go and get that back!" Shatrdmoon smiles.
"Who can register equipment?" I ask.
"Myself and Malyse. We have taken on this job." she said confidently.
"Are there any level restrictions?"
"No, there are no level restrictions."
"Are there any equipment restrictions? I mean, is there any equipment
that can not be reimbursed?" I nervously watched her toss the pillow up
in the air.
"Anything can be registered. But some things we cannot reimburse, like
the Ring of Holding, a great ring container, and a few other things that
are no longer in the game."
"What would be the point of registering something that you already know
can not be replaced?"
"In that case, we will try to come up with something that is similar. We
will try to get you as close as we can. Like the Ring of Holding, we
would try to find a good replacement for it."
"Is there a limit as to how many registered items we can have?" I
scribbled hastily in my notebook.
"No, there is no limit. In fact, if you have lots of equipment that is
highly enchanted, you will especially want to have it all registered,"
she said, flipping her red hair back over her shoulder.
"In case of a crash or corrupted pfiles and lost equipment, who would we
"First, you can contact any IMM about a reimbursement due to a crash or
corrupted pfile. Then you need to contact me or Malyse to get your
registered equipment back. We are the only ones that can do the
reimbursement of the registered equipment."
"Exactly how do you do it? Register something, I mean?" My eyes followed
the pillow, up and down, up and down.
"Well, first off, I "ID" it, and then I ostat the item. This gives me
all the information I need. I then print it out and capture it to a
I was puzzled. "What is ostat?"
"Ostat is an IMM command that lets you see all you need to know about a
weapon or item of equipment. It gives lots of information like the vnum,
where it is found in the game, what the stats are, etc. It is much
better than IDENTIFY".
Ahhh! Imm stuff!!! I made a few last notes in my tablet, then said, "I
want to thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me!"
"No problem," she winked at me. "It didn't seem to hurt at all."
I smiled. Nice person, I thought! I turned to leave the room, and felt a
pillow hit me on my butt.
From The Diary of McNamara pt 1
From the Diary of McNamara:
It was a stormy night, the ball lightning was flashing across the sky,
when I decided to take a trip to see my good friend Ulrich. On such a
night a normal person would not venture from their safe cozy home but
would instead grab a blanket and huddle up in front of their fireplace,
praying to whatever gods there be that they survive till morning. I
opened the door and was greeted with a blast of cold rain that whipped
my cloak off my head and immediately drenched me. "A fine start to
tonight's adventure," I thought. The trip to Ulrich's shop was mostly
uneventful but a dark foreboding filled me as I got closer. Call it a
sixth sense, but the hairs on the nape of my neck were on end as I
approached his doorway.
I knocked on the door but there was no answer. I started walking around
to the window so I could peer in when an unearthly scream from within
chilled me to the very bone. I quickly prayed to my gods for protection
and rushed back to the door fully intending to bash it down if need be
to find out what was going on inside. I ran at the door full tilt,
focusing, concentrating my will on the sole purpose of getting through
that door. (CRASSSHHH) The door flew open and I fell inside. A quick
glance around was all it took to tell me that there had been a huge
fight, things were tossed around , blood was everywhere, and an evil
stench permeated everything. Sounds of fighting could still be heard
from the backroom. Gathering myself, I leapt up and ran towards the
back room, clasping my holy symbol in one hand and my sword in the
other. Reaching the sounds of the fight, I looked and it appeared that
Ulrich was fighting thin air. He was covered in blood from head to toe.
He stood in the middle of the room yelling, "Be gone FILTH!" He swung
his axe again and where it hit darkness enveloped it and that putrid
smell became so strong it almost overwhelmed me. I mumbled to my gods
asking for strength and the ability to see what was going on. My
prayers were answered but to this day I am not sure I really wanted to
see what appeared before me. My worst nightmare was suddenly standing
in front of me, a creature so evil that just looking at it made me
paralyzed with fear. I prayed again that I would have the strength to
aid Ulrich in his time of need and that I would not dishonor myself
Ulrich, meanwhile, was hacking at the apparition with wild abandon but
it was obvious he was getting weaker and would soon fall. I summoned my
reserves and cast a healing spell on Ulrich and much to my dismay it had
no effect. I started casting a dispel evil spell when the creature
seemed to notice me for the first time. It peered into my soul and it
seemed for one small moment of time we were one. I gasped and started
wretching unable to control myself. I had been violated in the most
intimate sense. My mind was filled with pure evil. I sank to my knees
unable to do anything else but watch. Ulrich battled valiantly and I
watched him make one devasting blow after another to the foul creature
which seemed to grow stronger with each one. It dawned on me then that
the creature was feeding off of Ulrich's hate. I struggled to get out
the words, "Ulrich, It is feeding off your hate." Ulrich, didn't hear
me or perhaps was too far gone to heed the words. He sank to his knees
and collapsed. I watched in horror as the creature covered Ulrich with
its black essense. At this time I thought I had reached the end of my
days here in Avatar. I prayed to my gods to take my soul before this
vile creature defiled me any further. Then an inspiration hit me! I
reached into my pouch and pulled out the Amulet of Love. I had brought
this tonight to Ulrich to have him engrave it for my wife Brianna. As
soon as my hand touched the Amulet a warm glowing filled my body and
again it seemed that the creature noticed me, though this time I was not
overwhelmed. Gathering strength from my love, for my wife, my friend
and all of the life here on Avatar, I rose from the ground and
approached the creature. It hissed and screamed and seemed to shrivel
as I got closer. "I know thee foul beast! And I know your tricks! You
can not feed off of me because I will not hate you!" , I screamed at it.
The creature clawed at me and opened a wound on my arm I screamed from
the pain and almost dropped the amulet. I recoiled and the creature
struck me again. My blood was flowing freely now and I knew that I
could not stand against the creature for long. I gathered myself and
leapt towards Ulrich. The creature must have been startled by my
tactics for I was able to grab a hold of Ulrich and utter the prayer
for transportation. I must have been living right for all my prayers
tonight were answered. As we faded from view, I again felt the creature
inside me whispering, "I have marked you mortal and you will be mine."
Later that night, after I had bandaged up Ulrich and reported the
incident to the village watchmen, I sat huddled in front of my fire,
wrapped in a blanket, praying to the gods that be that I survive until
Excerpt from "The Avatar Home Remedy Handbook by Diogenes"
Permission to reprint granted.
Plague <Playg> Communicable disease, easily passed to others.
There are two main causes for outbreaks of plague. The first is
when a person uses the "plague" spell to try to maim a monster.
The monster can infect the person casting the spell, or others
in the room. The spell can also be cast upon another player, but
this may prove to get the caster labeled as a "killer".
In some areas of Avatar, such as the Hive, the conditions are so
perfect that mobs can be born (repop) with plague. Some other
areas, Nom in particular, the spread of the plague is severely
restricted. It is said that the bark of the tree has some
special effects that will prevent it. This is not proven.
Some of the most common symptoms are itchy blistering sores that
appear on the skin. Fever and chills are early symptoms, but may
not last long.
Weakness, hit point damage, and paranoia may also appear. Easily
communicable, but not fatal.
Mortals may try to lessen the spread of the plague by
spell-casting. "Cure disease" will cure the target of the spell,
while "mass aid" will cure all in the room of plague, along with
poison and blindness also.
Gods and Supremes can lift the plague from the land at their
Top 10 Rejected Snikt Bamfins
If any of you have had the opportunity to speak with Snikt in person,
you have more than likely seen his bamfin, or for those of you that
don't know what that is, it's the message you see when he appears in the
room. If you HAVE seen it, you're not likely to forget it. I've been
around for a long time, and seen his bamfin many times, but it still
makes me cringe. In fact, when I decided to embark on writing this
article, he graced me with it 30 times in a row so that I'd be sure to
represent it accurately. His current bamfin is as follows:
Snikt RIPS open a hole in the fabric of reality above you and peers
down. He notices you and with a terrifying grin, jumps down to land in
front of you. You suddenly feel uneasy!
Needless to say, this message would put off anyone who sees it. However,
its origins intrigued me, and I went about probing and reserching its
predecessors, those bamfins that Snikt used at one point but decided
didn't accurately represent him. I have compiled a list of these, and am
now proud to present them to the Avatar community at large. Here they
are, Snikt's top 10 rejected bamfins.
10) Snikt RIPS a hole in the fabric of his Chevy! Noticing what he has
done, he exclaims "Damn!" and jumps down before you with a needle
and thread to repair it.
9) Shouting "Vroom! Vroom!", Snikt pedals into the room on his brand new
Hot Wheels trike.
8) Snikt arrives in the room laughing to the point of tears and says,
"Oh... oh those nutty Coneheads!"
7) Snikt arrives to show you his new floral sun dress.
6) Snikt appears in the room. You have been denied. Connection closed
by foreign host.
5) Snikt arrives in the room, fussing with his curlers.
4) Snikt ambles into the room munching happily on a three-pound block of
3) Snikt suddenly appears before you and snaps his fingers. A HOGATHON
has begun! Snikt grins at you and cries, "Go level! Level like the
2) Gasping for air, Snikt arrives in the room carrying KaosKid on his
back and cries, "No more! Please sir, no more!!!"
1) Softly beating his snow-white wings, Snikt gently flutters down from
the Heavens. Smiling sweetly, he floats toward you with exceptional
grace and beauty, all the while casting rose petals on the ground.
Drawing near, Snikt gazes at you warmly and says, "Hello... how may
I love you?"
The Cult of the Rose
From the beginning of known history, stories were told of the Ancient
Cult of the Rose. From that cult rose the fabled Lords of Midgaard,
whose successors built the vast Empire of Midgaard. Then suddenly, the
rumors started spreading; that with the aid of the gods themselves, and
the spheres of power, the secrets of the Rose were being uncovered once
Psychics could sense great energies flowing in the mental planes, and
from the High Tower of Sorcery was seen a great confluence of light.
One night, there suddenly surged a great explosion of energy. All could
feel it, for the power shook the ground itself, as well as the psychic
planes of existance. When calm returned, there stood two columns of
intense light, in which were seen the forms of Darksword, and Vampyre.
While their forms were still mortal, in their eyes could be seen the
transformation which their morphesis brought.
Soon, other Heroes attempted the transformation. Every time, a great
surge of energy was felt, and when one was successful, an intense
healing light was poured over the land. Hail to the Lords, may their
existance be as their ancestors were, and may the realms once again be
safe under their protection!
Deck The Mud
Deck the rooms with bloody corpses, falalalala lalalala!
Tridrones and wild horses, falalalala lalalala!
Don we now our war apparel, falala lalala lalala!
Join us in our mudtime carol, falalalala lalalala!
See the mana-sleeping hero, falalalala lalalala!
Got it down to way past zero, falalalala lalalala!
Spelling up the lower mortals, falala lalala lalala!
Building nexus and and some portals, falalalala lalalala!
AVATAR Birthdays for June and July
Please contact Contenda either at Avatar, or at Contenda@Skyenet.net to
have your birthday added to the list.
[The following review will appear/has already appeared in the July 1996
Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Chicago,
Illinois editions of Computer Currents Magazine. In case you didn't
know, Joe DeRouen is AsaMaro and Shawn Aiken is Tmeat. This article is
copyright (c) 1996, all right reserved, Computer Currents, Joe DeRouen,
and L. Shawn Aiken.]
by Joe DeRouen and L. Shawn Aiken
Have you ever noticed the difference between reading a novel and
watching a movie? In a movie, you're a spectator. But in a novel, you
seem closer; the words seem to suck you into this new place and affect
you far deeper that any picture could. You provide the graphics
equipment via your mind. This explains the popularity of MUDs
(Multi-User Dungeons), and specifically Avatar MUD.
Avatar is a fantasy adventure game that you telnet to via the Internet.
Once you're logged into the MUD, you get to make you character by giving
it a name, choosing a race (like Human, Elf, of even a Giant), and a
class (Magician, Warrior, Cleric, etc.). Then you're ready to enter the
world of Avatar and explore its deep nooks and crannies, kill fearsome
beasties, and chat with players from all over the globe.
Avatar has been around a long time and its coding staff has continuously
worked to improve it. Thousands of people have walked through it's
gates and it is jam-packed with friendly, helpful people, some so
friendly that they have stayed on with the soul purpose of helping
others learn how to play.
The main goal of the game is to go up in levels through combat, getting
more experience and skills as you go along. This progress is shown as
levels of experience, and after attaining 51 levels, a character becomes
a Hero. But the ladder doesn't stop there; after becoming a hero you
can work to become a Lord or ask to be an Angel. (Angels help other,
newer players learn the game) If you're lucky, somewhere along the way
you might even be asked to become an Immortal.
You control your character by typing. You read descriptions of where
you are in the game on the screen and respond accordingly. If you want
your electronic avatar to walk north, you type north. If you see
someone else in the game you want to talk to, you use a command called
SAY. The commands for moving around, picking things up, and interacting
with other players and monsters are many and varied, and you can usually
find a way to do whatever it is you want to do.
Your character starts it's life smack dab inside the Tree of Knowledge.
It is a peaceful, sheltered place where you can read about the rules
of the game, take a peek at rough maps of the world, and get your
sword broken in on some nasty, but not too nasty, beasties. When you
are ready, you can venture out into the harsh world and try your skills
against real challenges.
Achieving the level of hero usually takes many months of real time work
and exploration. But don't worry; you will meet many people on your
adventures to aid you. You can join groups of other character who are
also in search of adventure. By allying yourself with members of
different professions, your mighty band of adventurers will have the
necessary skills to take on the most fearsome challenge. Groups not
only offer protection, but companionship. Several long-lasting
friendships have begun on the MUD, between people from all different
parts of the world.
One interesting aspect of the game is the quest. Quests can involve
anything from solving riddles to finding the most potions and bringing
them to an Immortal (an operator of the game) at an appointed room in
the MUD. Quests are usually rewarded with gold (used to buy items in
the stores in Avatar) or special names for your weapons and armor.
Several of the immortals (the players who run the game) have taken it
upon themselves to improve the existing areas and make the game better
for all involved. Crom, Dorsai, and Mega, all three never having met
in the real world but Immortals here, are currently working on remapping
the entire Avatar "world". There are several "stock areas" floating
around the Internet, and most fantasy MUDs use these. Avatar uses some
of these as well but also offers custom-made areas found only on this
MUD. Marat, an Avatar Immortal from Dallas, Texas, is constantly
working to edit the games for spelling and grammar and to make sure that
the game keeps it's fantasy oriented theme.
Avatar enjoys many resources outside the actual MUD as well. Aegis and
Snikt (who, along with DaWiz and Darii, run the MUD) have worked
together to create a Avatar Home Page on the World Wide Web, while
AsaMaro, Tmeat (both also from Dallas), and Contenda write a monthly
newsletter about Avatar called The Avatar Gazette.
Avatar is one of the most innovative, friendly, and exciting MUDs on the
Internet. With recent command and spell additions, as well as the editing
and area remapping, Avatar seems to just keep getting better. In today's
world of super duper death graphics and mass marketed CD-ROM games,
Avatar's visual simplicity cuts out the middleman and gets you in touch
with it's rich, creative world and colorful players.
Avatar can be reached by telnetting to walrus.com 3000. The Avatar Home
Page can be reached by pointing your WWW browser at
As all of you have no doubt noticed, we're up on a great Internet site;
Intellitech Walrus! Lag has been at a minimum while MUD enjoyment has
been at a maximum, thanks to Snikt and Walrus owner Michael Rosenthal.
Intellitech Walrus is a really great system, not even considering the
MUD; for fifteen bucks a month, you get a shell account with a whopping
10 Meg of storage space. Who could ask for anything more? They also
have some great deals on PPP accounts and several other pricing levels.
If you live in the 212 New York area code, you should really check into
getting an account with Intellitech Walrus. Check out their web page at
http://www.walrus.com or call them at 212/466-5000. You can also
request information via writing email to email@example.com. Tell 'em
Snikt and AsaMaro at The Avatar MUD sent ya!