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The Gazette of 2006-12-01
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 2006 Gazettes | Gazette 2006-12-01
___The New Official AVATAR_____________________________________
     ________                          __     __
    /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____
   /   \  ___ \__  \  \____  /_/ __ \\   __\\   __\_/ __ \
   \    \_\  \ / __ \_ /    / \  ___/ |  |   |  |  \  ___/
    \______  /(____  //_____ \ \___ \ |__|   |__|   \___ \
           \/      \/       \/     \/                   \/

HOLIDAY GAZETTE                                   DECEMBER 2006
%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%**%*%*
   
                 ____
                /.--.\                The Avatar Gazette
                |====|               For subscription info,
     ==         |`::`|                 read HELP GAZETTE
     ||     .-;`\..../`;_.-^-._
    @/\@   /  |...::..|`  | |  `|  This special holiday edition
     |:'\ |   /'''::''|   | |   |    was edited by Darii with
     |\ /\;-,/\   ::  |=========|      help from the Avatar
     ||\ <` /  >._::_.|=========| Immortal Staff and Talented
     || `""`  /   ^^  |   | |   |        Avatar Writers
     ||       |        \  | |  /
     ||       |    |   |\_|_|_/
.                                                              .
%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%**%*%*

We want YOU! This issue is courtesy of Avatar's talented cooks,
writers, and "ordinary" players (an oxymoron?) who have shared
a bit of themselves with the Avatar Community. Please feel free
to submit your thoughts, works, and answers to the questions we
ask. How did you find Avatar? What do you love? What would you
like to share? Tips for newbies? We love hearing from you! Darii


IN THIS ISSUE                                     DECEMBER 2006
                                                              
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (Mudding!)              by KAYOSSE

HOW I CAME TO AVATAR                  by VARIOUS AVATAR PLAYERS

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (COOKIE EDITION)           by ELFIRA

MY FAVORITE RECIPES   		         by AVATAR'S BEST COOKS!

      UNCOMMONLY GOOD FRUIT CAKE                      from BECKY
      LEMONADE-ICED SUGAR COOKIES                    from ELFIRA
      LEMONADE ICING                                 from ELFIRA
      GINGERBREAD PEOPLE                             from ELFIRA
      ROYAL ICING                                    from ELFIRA

FICTION & FEATURES                 by AVATAR'S TALENTED WRITERS

      DIZZY'S HOBO SURPRISE                             by DIZZY
      LORIMEL'S BANE                                  by LORIMEL
_______________________________________________________________
%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%*%**%*%*

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (Mudding!)              by KAYOSSE

On the twelfth day of mudding,
the daemon gave to me,

Twelve Dragons Roaring,
Eleven Priests a-preaching,
Ten Lords a-running,
Nine Ladies casting,
Eight Newbies Crying,
Seven Sprites a-splatting,
Six Lowmorts Drowning,
Five Imm Restores,
Four Needed Heals,
Three Potions,
Two Hogathons,
And a wonderful piece of gear.

~KayeOsse

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (COOKIE EDITION)          by ELFIRA

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Land
Not a creature was stirring not even with their hand
Except for Elfira who was baking away
At the Keebler Cookie Factory like she did every day
She wanted to spread joy with her Cookies so sweet
So she baked up a dozen then 2 and then 3
She went up to Aelmon and said with glee
"Take these cookies and hide them for me!"
He said, "Ok Elfira, I'll do as you wish,
Your cookies are safe right here in this dish."
So Christmas Eve came and Elfira went back
To Aelmon for the cookies she baked as a snack
She held out her hands and said, "Cookies Please."
He looked so surprised that she would ask for these
"I ate the sweet treats, the cookies were great!
I got hungry last night and I just couldn't wait."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out some Spam
Elfira took one look at the fake nasty Ham
She exclaimed, "That's ok, I'll pass on that Treat!"
and she went back to Keeblerville to bake some more sweets...
- Elfira


HOW I CAME TO AVATAR                    by REAL AVATAR PLAYERS

BECKY
How I found Avatar. I had started a new high school. I fell in
with a group of computer nerds (back in '95) and by Christmas
they taught me how to mud.. their mud of choice was Avatar..
(after Farside went down).

AMEKO
I found Avatar thru my hubby. lol It was either learn to play
the game or lose a husband to the computer.  This game has
become a great stress relief for us and our son loves to watch
the colors scroll by.  :)

THE BEST RECIPES		      FROM AVATAR'S BEST COOKS!

UNCOMMONLY GOOD FRUIT CAKE                           from BECKY

This is an uncommonly good fruit cake (not like those icky ones)

1 lbs mini marshmallows
1 lbs gram cracker, crushed into crumbs
1 package of chopped dates
1 box of seedless raisins
4 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 cup of half-n-half
1 big bottle of maraschino cherries

melt marshmallows in half-n-half
mix everything together
pack in a bowl or bread pan
refrigerate until cold or eaten.

LEMONADE-ICED SUGAR COOKIES                         from ELFIRA
  (Makes about 42)

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract or imitation vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl with mixer on
low speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, extracts and
salt. Beat in flour gradually until blended.

2. Divide dough into 3 disks, wrap separately and refrigerate
for 1 hours or until firm.

3. Preheat oven to 375* F

4. On floured surface roll out 1 disk at a time to about 1/4"
in thickness.  Using floured cookie cutters cut out whatever
you'd like, trees, birds, stars, candy canes, etc. Place 1"
apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Blend scraps with other disk
and if you have remaining scraps that can't be cut out, just
shape into a ball and mash with your hand to form a round
cookie. These are good to sample when they're done! :) Let the
cookies cool on sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool
completely. You are now ready to ice!

LEMONADE ICING

1 lb confectioner's sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar (to thicken icing)
6 tbs Lemon juice, (real lemons taste better)
1 small artist's nylon paint brush
paste food coloring (I get mine at Walmart in the craft section
where the wedding supplies are)

To get the gorgeous painted sugar cookie look, you'll have to
mix lemon juice a little at a time and blend to check the
consistency. 6 tablespoons of lemon juice should be perfect for
icing them. But if you want to decorate them later by piping
designs on them you'll have to add more confectioner's sugar to
whatever's left over. It probably won't be the whole extra cup,
but just to be safe I've included that in the recipe. To paint
frosting, it must be thin but not too runny. Once you have made
the icing, you can add paste colors and mix well. Then you can
dip your paint brush in the icing and paint on the main layer. 
After that it's best to let them dry for about 20-30 minutes so
that your piped designs won't blend with the main base. They
should dry totally overnight so if you want to give them as
gifts wait at least a day to put them together or else the
piping will be crushed. Enjoy!


GINGERBREAD PEOPLE
  (Approximately 2 1/2 doz)

1/2 cup margarine (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4  teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. In a large bowl, mix on low speed, margarine and brown
sugar until light and creamy. Mix in molasses and egg yolk.
Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,
cloves, ginger, and nutmeg blend until smooth. Cover, and
chill for at least one hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350* F (175 degrees C). On a lightly
floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2"
apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie
sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.

Use the same Lemonade icing for this recipe or try this one:

ROYAL ICING

3 egg whites
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. almond extract or white vanilla extract

Keep this covered or it will dry out quickly.  If it's too
thick you can add a little water, too thin add more sugar.
:) Enjoy!


FICTION & FEATURES                 by AVATAR'S TALENTED WRITERS

DIZZY'S HOBO SURPRISE 
(A real recipe with enough hyperbole & humor to be here!)

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 bermuda purple onion
2 firm, ripe tomatoes
2 cans refried beans with sausage. Spicy HOT.
1 c. grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

First brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until the
juices run clear and the aroma has attracted your pets,
children, spouse and any local hobos to your back door.  You'll
know it's done when it has the consistency of washed pea gravel. 
Drain most of the juices.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and
search frantically for your can opener.  (Important Note: Do
not use Bowie knives or other cutlery to open a can.  This only
works in the movies, and if you attempt it, you will almost
certainly harm yourself, the contents of the can, the countertop,
and/or the weapon you are wielding.  If necessary, bring a bit
of browned ground beef with you, take your cans next door and
ask your neighbor to open them for you.  The offer of some
freshly browned ground beef will act as a powerful lubricant to
gain their cooperation.)

Add the refried beans with sausage to the ground beef and stir
until completely integrated.  You may find that integration is
more of a state of mind than a scientifically verifiable
condition.  Faint not!  The heat will cause the beans to "melt",
or you can add water to bend recalcitrant beans to your will. 
Toss in some chili powder.  cover and simmer as long as you can
stand it.

Time to chop the tomatoes and onion (Yes!  Now is the time for
you to get some practical use out of that Bowie knife!).  Peel
the onion and discard the outer layer.  Cube the onion and
tomatoes and place separately into small bowls.  Open the bag
of grated Cheddar cheese.  Pop the top on your container of
sour cream and go find where you left the salt and pepper. 
Line all of these ingredients up in a row next to four bowls
and spoons.

Do not cook the tomatoes or onion!  We want them nice and
crunchy, so we'll throw them, the cheese, and sour cream on top
after we dish it into bowls.  Timing is critical here, by the
time you've completed these preparations you have just enough
time to put on your engineer's cap and sing two verses of "The
Wabash Cannon Ball."  WooHoo!!  Dinner is served.

This is a "self defense" recipe, also known as Grunt Food.  As
a single college student, I would make a large batch on the
weekends and sustain myself with it all week.  Variations
include adding a can of your favorite vegetable (kernel corn
is especially good, as are Butterfinger and Baby Ruth bars)
or macaroni.


LORIMEL'S BANE                                    by LORIMEL

            The fire burned low, only embers now as the young
archer gazed at the wizened lore master. "I would hear the
tale of Lorimel's Bane if you please ". The youth swallowed
nervously as the silence stretched and then shuddered as the
old one suddenly broke into convulsive laughter. The laughter
was a horrid sound containing no mirth; rather it was a cry of
desperation. At last it faded and the youth found him pierced
by the steely gaze of the guild master.

            "The tale of Lorimel's Bane is one that all archers'
should know of and hearken to yet many discount it as mere
fiction, an aggrandizement of an already puissant Archer." As
he spoke the guild master settled back into a pose of languid
relaxation yet the youth did not doubt for a moment the
inherent readiness of the leader of his guild. "All archers,
from the time they first resolve to become an Archer to the
highest levels of Mastery, strive to create their TRUE BOW."
The stripling could hear the emphasis in the words and his
head came up as the elder nodded, noting that the youth had
caught the meaning.

            "I have heard of such efforts, Master, but only
in jest or scoff. I had not thought such a thing was possible.
"The guild master's gaze suddenly narrowed and he peered at
the youth in a measuring glance, as if weighing the young one
before him and finding the measure wanting. At long last the
gaze softened and the elder nodded. "Aye, so you have heard,
such scoffing made by those for whom the act of bow creation
is deemed too arduous a task." The elder hawked and spat into
the fire causing a hiss as the spittle impacted the embers.

            "Those who scoff are those for whom the TRUE BOW
is forever beyond their abilities. They use mages or worse to
create the weapons they use. For such as them the bows they
weld are mere tools, not an integral part of their very
essence. The deepest lore of Archer is forever beyond their
ken. "The scorn in the words was unmistakable and the youth
nodded." An Archer's weapon should be an extension of himself,
a part of his very being, no different than one of his own
limbs. "The youth spoke in a measured cadence uttering the
strictures he had been taught with confidence.

            "Aye. So it is written and so it is taught but many
now abandon the tenets for a quicker and easier way to become
powerful." The elder spat again into the fire and then resumed
speaking. "But it is Lorimel's Bane we are speaking of. Lorimel
was a fine Centaur Archer, well taught and versed in the
strictures. Not for him was the easy path, the swift road to
power. From the very beginning he strove to improve himself and
to Master the secrets of Archery and its tools. Lorimel made
many fine bows and was an expert at the art of restringing from
his earliest days. The fodder he gathered and destroyed was of
such staggering proportions that for a time it seemed he was
to be a master of kindling rather than Archery. But he persevered
and as his abilities and confidence grew so too did the quality
of his creations. And then came that fateful day."

            The old man fell silent, his gaze locked deep into
the heart of the fire as if seeing days of old again alive
within the embers. The silence stretched on for a seeming
eternity until at last the youth ventured a query, "That fateful
day?" The guild master nodded and shook his head in succession
as if affirming and denying the same event.

             "Lorimel had been extraordinarily fortunate that
day. He had encountered and taken for his own 3 of the finest
willow bark bows that had ever existed. The first was of such
speed and lightness that when wielding it his arrows seemed to
vanish from the bow, unseen 'til they impacted the target with
lethal accuracy. The second was only slightly less than the
first and it too was one the most lethal that had ever existed.
The third bow was a distant cousin to its brethren yet still a
weapon of no small measure in and of itself.

             "Lorimel's mystical abilities were at their peak on
that day as never before or since. As he undertook the imbuing
of these 3 weapons with the magical essence that is innate to all
true Archers he did not fail even once. NINE times did Lorimel
perform the deepest rites and thus create wondrous puissance
within these already potent weapons. Of the three Lorimel had
already determined that he would keep the finest for his
personal use and gift the other 2 to those he deemed worthy.
All that remained was the restring for these weapons and the
task would be complete."

            The guild master fell silent for a measured moment
and then pinned the youth with his gaze, "What constitutes the
creation of a TRUE BOW lad? Do the whispers and the scoffers
tell you that?" The youth could only shake his head from side
to side, the power of the master's gaze stripping speech from
him, pinned as he was by that hawk-like gaze.

            "Aye I thought not. Such mysteries are not for such
as them that cannot be bothered to do even the act of their
own creations. Harkin then to my words and mark them well for
this is the way to Create a TRUE BOW, a weapon that is imbued
with your own very essence, a weapon that becomes you as you
become it, the mark of a True Archer. The act of the restring
is not; as many would have you believe a simple mechanical task.
When you take up such a task you are opening yourself to the
very forces of creation asking them to hear your pleas and
grant you success in the actions you undertake. Of these
efforts the majority never produce more than the simple
mechanical result. Many an Archer has lived their entirety of
existence and never encountered the harmony of the spheres that
results in the creation of the TRUE BOW. Lorimel restrung the
first 2 bows without incident and was well pleased with the
result. Know you that the willow bow has an amazing property?
It will indicate when it has been restrung to its maximum,
snapping only in the very rarest of cases. As Lorimel began the
restring of the third and least of the willow bows he had
created that day, a wondrous thing happened. Wondrous and
terrible."

            The sagacious elder shook his head and then resumed
speaking. "The Bow sang to Lorimel. As he performed the last
restring, the bow harmonized itself to the underlying music of
creation and matched its rhythms with those of Lorimel's soul.
Lorimel, with 3 of the most potent weapons that had ever
existed arrayed before him, had, with the least of these 3,
created the TRUE BOW."

            The youth suddenly leaned forward and interrupted,
"But he didn't have to keep it right?  I mean he still could
have gifted it as he had planned." The youth suddenly fell
silent as the guild master seized him by the collar and shook
him roughly."FOOL!" The elder's single word dripped acid and
oozed contempt. "Have you known sense of the true nature of
what it is to be an Archer?" Lorimel had created his own TRUE BOW.
He could no more gift that than he could give away his own soul.
The bow was a PART of him. And he, aye he, was a part of it.
Lorimel consulted with the learned elders of the guild but the
conclusion was foregone. Until such time as he could create
another TRUE BOW to supplant the one in existence he had no
choice but to wield it. Lorimel wept bitter tears that day for
he knew that the bow was not the greatest he had created, yet
it had become his and he had been chosen by it. He gifted the
other 2 bows to worthy brother Archers and sought a potent ally
to apply his own chosen name to what he had wrought and wielded
Lorimel's Bane forever more. Weaker than its 2 brothers though
it was, Lorimel's BANE was still a weapon of great power. Rare
indeed was the opponent that did not fall before it and it had
no equal when used in the tactic of a Held Shot. Lorimel
accepted his fate with grace as best he could. He continues to
create and has more than some small measure of success but he
has yet to match the TRUE BOW that is Lorimel's Bane".

            The elder fell silent and the youth gazed into the
fire as he absorbed the tale and its impact. "A TRUE BOW," he
said at last, "Lorimel's Bane is his one TRUE BOW".

The elder nodded and spoke in reverent hushed tones "Guild
Records mention such potent creations only rarely and no
mention at all of such creation by the same Archer twice.
Lorimel still strives and seeks yet His Bane is unique. Boon and
Bane both within one weapon, the Gods themselves could not
bespeak what would befall were he to somehow separate himself
from it."

            The fire was all but out now and the youth stood and
helped the elder to his feet. As they walked into the guild
house he ventured one last query, "But Lorimel himself does he
know how fortunate he is?" The guild masters laughter echoed
off the walls of the vestibule " Oh aye he knows lad, he knows,
Named it his Bane did he not? Fortunate and cursed at the same
time yet he gives in not to despair. Lorimel is a True Archer
and he wields a TRUE BOW. Thus do the fates whims shape our
very lives?"

FINIS.


===============================================================

This is the new Avatar Gazette. It is published with the
permission and cooperation of the Avatar staff and edited by
Ayanna. (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
majordomo@outland.org.  In the body of your email put:
     subscribe gazette username@hostname (MudName - RealName)
e.g.subscribe gazette snikt@outland.org (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)

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 via email to the
address: gazinput@outland.org  Please use 'Gazette' as your
subject.

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
http://www.outland.org/design/gazette.php

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


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