___The Official AVATAR___________________________________
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_________________________________________26 Nov, 1998____
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1. Table of Contents
1. Table of Contents
2. Editorial by Dizzy
3. History of the World - by Ukiah
4. Prehistory of the World - by Dizzy
2. Editorial (by Dizzy)
Welcome to the Thanksgiving Special Edition of the Gazette! The next
edition will be 05 December (provided YOU submit some articles!).
A word of explanation for our non-American friends concerning
Thanksgiving. The roots of the holiday date back to a group of religious
immigrants who, having survived some very difficult times, took time to
express their gratitude to their Creator. This took the form of a feast
with their friends, family, and neighbors (AmerInd tribal folk for sure,
mebbe some shipwrecked Vikings, a Catholic Missionary, and/or a handful of
Hassidic Jewish adventurers... seems that most ethnic groups have claimed
to be in America before the pilgrims, but the only group we're POSITIVE
about is AmerInd).
As the holiday evolved, its taken on the trappings of commercialism (the
single largest shopping day of the year in America), and lost much of the
wholesomness that spawned it. Secularized and generally referred to as
"Turkey Day" (another long story...as k me about it online), its become
the center piece of a four day weekend (oxymoron alert!), and thereby lost
something precious: Reflection.
Thanksgiving is, for me, a time to gather with my friends, family, and
neighbors (and Hey! We're also part AmerInd); and express gratitude to my
Creator. It involves both introspection and retrospection, and together
they form the foundation for expressi on(s) of gratitude.
This special edition is dedicated, out of gratitude, to my buddy Snikt.
Perhaps his greatest MUD related accomplishment is bringing together the
very best staff I've had the privilege to work with on any MUD (again,
long story... If you like being slack jawed and glassy eyed with
amazement, ask me sometime about my MUDding career). His greatest gift is
Vision, and Management, and as a Confidant, and Loyalty (yes, yes, I KNOW
I've listed more than one gift. *shrug* Sue me), and (lastly) Grace under
Here you'll find Ukiah's excellent outline of Avatar's history followed by
my version of Prehistory (see outline below). There's some serious (and
not so serious) introspection and reflection here....for those interested
in the roots of Avatar, this will be fascinating stuff. For the rest of
you, I recommend a short nap. This version of Prehistory deals entirely
with the mother of Avatar: Farside.
3. History of the World - Part One - by Ukiah
Dizzy starts playing on Farside
Piercing the Veil - Snikt starts playing on FS
The Return of the King - Fall of ROM
Ascension - Snikt becomes an Immortal
The Time of the Raptor - Raptor's Additions
The Questing - 51 - 54
Age of Chaos - Lenny and Chance
The Race of the Gods - Worthy and Snikt
Snikt ascends - Making Captain - Getting 59th
The Great Conflict - Zenith, Oakley, Snikt
Age of the Darklord - Strahd's Creations
The Consolidation - Dizzy
The Age of Discord - Lenny and Snikt and Strahd Coding
Rescaling of levels
Origins of the Hero
The Expansion - Hive, Lenny's House, House of Cards, etc
Discovery - Oakley's development of the Barren Realms site
Insurrection - 40 Imms getting denied
Sonia's Curse - Aren using her password
Aren logs on using Sonia's password and does a 'force all delete'
Everyone online is deleted.
Much wailing is heard.
Password protection to delete command is added.
The Excursion - Snikt using Garth's password
The Eve of Strife - Lok and Silence and Dizzy in December
The Grand Communique - Gazette starts
The Brotherhood of the Eternal Hero - BEH is formed
The Arrival of Shadows - Lori
Creation of the Web Page - Aegis
The Sisterhood Arrives - Evel, Kylara, Revenani, MoonUnit, Firedancer
The Barrier is Formed - Gating FS to 20 players
Another World is Born - Nightmare is started (?)
Creations of Doom - Ironhand and Snikt and Strahd Code
Nexus and Portals
The Vast Undoing - Rolling back the code
Guide to area building is released
The Sealing of the Gate - Imm is now invite-only
DaWiz Ascends - Becomes 63 under great duress from Snikt by Dizzy
Breaching the Portal - Discovery of IFU
The Great Migration - Destruction of the World (FS)
The Wasting - The Spread of Dissent
The Rejoining - Crom's World
The Age of Strife - Rich, Snikt and Lori
The Sundering! - Rox deletes
-August 8, 95-
The Age of the Phoenix - Avatar is born!
Guarding the Portal - Rich uses pfiles
Decay of the Lands - IFU isn't sufficient
Finding the Dream - Migration to Walrus
Note: DikuRomEnvyAvatarMerc is an acronym Snikt hopes to use someday...
Celebration! - Hogathons come into being
DaWiz joins the coding crew
Angels are created
Acolytes are created
The Breach! - Rox Attacks in Feb of 96
The summer of discontent
Splitting the Tower of Babylon - Racial modifications hit
Much wailing is heard
Tiering the Worlds - Tiers are created
Lords, Legends and Titans are implemented
Inline color imped
Birth of the New System - New machine is put into place
New mudschool goes in
The attack - Site is Cracked
Breaking the Mirror - Multiplay is outlawed
Renewal - Devastant's Additions
3. Prehistory of the World - by Dizzy
HOW I CAME TO FARSIDE..... AlexMUD. The second MUD _EVER_ to go online
(and its still running!) runs from a university campus in Sweeden. In the
early days of remote network access (before it was called the Internet),
MUDders relied on a single trans-atlantic link that was dedica ted to data
communications, and was used by absolutely everbody that had datagrams
destined for the other side of the pond (from America to all points East,
and vice versa). You cannot imagine the LAG that was involved in playing
the game. Five and ten m inutes between striking the key, and seeing it
show up on the screen. Yikes! AlexMUD averaged around 30 players online
at peak times. 30 players on a MUD was amazing in those days. It was the
first MUD I'd played, and I'd auto-IMM'ed into a Social IMMo rtal, then
climbed the IMMladder only to find that the anticipation outweighed the
One day, while playing a mortal, I came across Aren. Aren was a complete
(if not totally clueless) newbie. We talked a while and I showed him
around the mud (a short trip....worlds were much less complex back then),
and struck up a friendship. When he learned that I also helped administer
the game, he excitedly told me about another MUD that was in play testing
(not open to the public yet), and they were hand picking some players to
help break/fix their game. He invited me to create a character on Far
When I showed up, Aren was the only other players online. I ran through
MUD School and spent about 7 levels in the arena before venturing out into
a world that was nearly identical to AlexMUD. Farside's code base was
MERC, and Alex's code base was DIKU. Difference? TNL. Diku only had 20
mortal levels, and five IMMortal levels. Gaining a level on Alex could
easily take weeks, whereas gaining a level on Farside was a breeze.
Farside's top mortal level began at 20, was quickly pushed to 30, then 50,
an d is WAY up there now!
WHAT HAPPENED THEN... I spent most of the first day on Farside whacking
bunnies and foxes in the small arena, when suddenly an IMMortal named
Susan stepped out of a shining portal and into my presence. I was shocked!
Farside actually allowed an IMM to define a string for their (jack of all
trades), and Susan (glad hander)
Over the course of a couple of months back in 1993 we got enough of the
bugs worked out to keep the MUD from crashing more frequently than every
five minutes (literally!), and decided to open the doors to the public.
In the meantime, I'd joined the IMMor tal staff as the resident slacker
and layabout (a position that I've perfected, and if I weren't so lazy,
would have written the manual on).
The players flooded in. Some days we would have as many as 10 players on
AT THE SAME TIME! It was dizzying (cough). We grew to a player base of
about 50 regular players before we hired more IMMortals. Some were a
flash in the pan, like "Death" (lasted a couple of weeks, then died...),
others helped create the texture and "feel" of Farside: Oakley, Cookie,
Tempest (on again, off again IMMortal), Reflection, Lenny, Loc, etc.
ROX.... RoX is a complex guy. I still love him to this day. He ran
Farside on his employer's network which was internet connected. Without
the knowledge or approval of his employer. It was a delicious feeling of
knowing that we lived by our (mostly RoX's) coll ective wits. RoX was an
even tempered guy (usually), who was easily manipulated (sometimes). Many
times I watched stonger personalities take advantage of his sweet spirit.
I did it myself. Let this serve as a public apology for any harm I've
done, and as I reflect upon those exciting times, to offer my gratitude to
Rich for believing in and mentoring me. RoX dreamed up Farside, didn't
know jack about coding OR administration, and he still pulled it off
almost single handed. As I said...a complex person.
RAPTOR.... Raptor made me laugh. He usually didn't intend to be funny,
but he was hilarious. This guy would shirk his coding duties until Friday
nights, then he would get wasted, come into the MUD roaring drunk and do
the most outrageous things.... He believed that he was God's gift to C
code. He created the original ANSI color feature of Farside. He and his
brother Tempest remapped Midgaard into essentially what you see today
(apologies to anyone else who had their fingers in it since then). Raptor
was tempramental, caustic, and insecure. We had some spectacular
arguments about the most trivial things. He was fixated on the Mighty
Morphin' Power Rangers! Vindictive. Evil. I liked him.
AREN..... Nice guy. He fixed many code problems quietly and in the
background. He is Canadian, eh? And did quite a bit of travelling, so he
was absent frequently. Aren's biggest strength was his ability to see all
sides of an issue. His most glaring weakness was his inability to pick a
side and stick with it. Two faced on th eone hand, but a ton of redeeming
qualities. I both admired and dispised (certain aspects) of Aren.
SUSAN..... Oh sweet goddess of the Holy Avenger! Susan simply lost
interest in MUDding which is a shame, because she was termendously
talented at the IMM game. She could arbitrate without being judgemental,
and cause the participants to LIKE the outcome. (shades o Darii!)
Tremendous mood swings were her trademark, and her quests were some of the
most fun I've had with my fingers (Typing! Typing! I was talking about
TYPING!). Depending on her mood, a mortal could ask her for ANYTHING and
she'd give it to them. On t he other hand, you might ask for something and
be instantly slain. Chaotic. Gloriously personable. I think I loved her a
little, and probably still do.
DIZZY..... Our mental pictures of ourselves are rarely accurate. With
that caveat, here's my synopsis of who Diz was during this Prehistory
timeframe: Sigh....nope. Can't do it. So much of the character Dizzy is
shaded by what he became AFTER the Prehistory, that I can't give an
objective analysis of his character during Prehistory. I can tell you that
Diz was looked upon as something of a father figure (I was about double
the RL age of the other IMMs). He stayed within the lines (yet became a
loose cannon in the next phase of this story). He was decisive (frequently
achieving the WRONG decision). He invented the Restore Quest. He
eventually ascended to the position of BBD (Brute, Bully, & Dictator). He
invented the Inner Circle (Big Three). I liked him then, and I think he's
a peach of a guy now. Flawed, but not terminally so. He only deleted
himself once during Prehistory.
The Avatar Gazette is what you've just been reading, and it is the
official newsletter of Avatar, it is published weekly by Dizzy, in
conjunction with The Avatar Staff.(Original concept by Asamaro).
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of your
subscribe username@hostname (MudName - RealName)
eg subscribe email@example.com (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)
Your real name is optional for the Gazette list.
eg subscribe firstname.lastname@example.org (Snikt)
You can FTP back issues of the gazette from ftp.walrus.com in
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 Dizzy via my e-mail address:
You can also view the latest issue of the Gazette while playing
Avatar by typing 'help newgaz' anywhere in the game, or by surfing
our web site!
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