Volume #2, Issue #1. (Nov 1, 1993)

Genesis Man/Founder:digdug@iastate.edu
Hack and Slash Man/Editor:msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

World Index

  1. Forgotten Realms
  2. Greyhawk
  3. Dragonlance
  4. Dark Sun
  5. Ravenloft
  6. Mystara
  7. Thunder Rift
  8. Ærth
  9. Original
    1. Unknown
    2. Myrth
    3. Entara

Other Interesting Stuff

  1. Reader's Corner
  2. Instant (N)PC'S!
  3. The Adventurer's Guide to Daggerford

Reporters this issue:
    Pat Ellis (io11330@maine.maine.edu)
    Mike Phillips (msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu)
    Eric F Schetley (onestar+@pitt.edu)
    Michael A. Masten (deadlock@apache.dtcc.edu)
    Brother Tyrus Hellbane (c9108613@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
    EVIL WADE, (c2mxblue@fre.fsu.umd.edu)
    SEM (io01092@maine.edu)
    Sandy Maple (smaple@terra.colostate.edu)
    Andy Merritt (amerritt@armltd.co.uk)
    Kyriakos Sgarbas (HA+3) (sgarbas@grpatvx1.bitnet)
    Eric Rossing (rossing@cs.hope.edu)
    Brian Librandi (libran18@kepler.poly.edu)
    Eric Boyd (boyd@eecs.umich.edu)
    Chris Herr (crherr@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu)

Welcome to the second year of FNN! Normally, a magazine passing a landmark such as this would offer a retrospective of things that had happened, and a hint of what is yet to come. Since all back issues are available upon request, there's no point in a retrospective, and since everything comes from the readers, I can't very well predict what will show up in my mailbox to be included!
I will offer, however, thanks to each and every one of you for helping keep this useful journal alive. The first two issues came close together, actually on time (although not by much), the third was delayed almost two months, and the fourth wasn't published until nearly 6 months later. I would like to offer an apology to those readers who were with us then, as it was partly my fault that happened. On the other hand, I think we have managed a singularly fantastic comeback, and things are only looking up.
We have added to the store of worlds that have regular news (Ærth, Dark Sun, Thunder Rift, and Ravenloft have taken their place beside such old friends as the Forgotten Realms, Krynn, Greyhawk, and Mystara, and news from DM-created worlds continues to pour in), and various columns have made sporadic appearances. We attempted a PostScript version, with mixed success. I am continuing to publish the PostScript version, but only via FTP. Unfortunately, not all systems are able to print the PS files I generate.
And oh yes, as always, the success of this Journal is owed completely to your cooperation and assistance. Without you, this would not be the success it has been!

                                       -- Mike, msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

Forgotten Realms

The Wood of Sharp Teeth, Nexus (Original): 2 Hammer 9PR (2 Hammer 1368DR)

The Pure, a racial hate group comprised strictly of humans, has offered a bounty of 5,000 gp and two-tenths share of any treasure found to any human or band of humans who can produce any tangible evidence proving or disproving that Drocca, Curator of the Timeless Treasures, is actually a dragon in human form.
When Drocca was questioned if he was such a creature, he smiled and replied by saying, "I am as I stand before ye. One whom has dedicated one's life to the preserving the histories of past and present cultures alive by relating their days of yore with words, pictures, and a few magical spells. Polymorphing myself into a creature involved in the tale is not uncommon for me since it aids in educating, as well as entertaining, the young of age and the young of heart. A dragon? Perhaps for the next festival."
In a show of support, many of the citizenry of Nexus stood in front of the Council Building and recited the first paragraph of The Oath of Nexus:
    This community was built upon the blood, sweat, and tears of those who have gathered here with their families and friends, hopes and dreams, fears and doubts. This community will hereby grow and prosper due to its willingness to accept others regardless of cultural, economic, or social diversity.
In a further display of support, the Council of Nexus has issued a bounty of 500 gp per person upon the successful prosecution of any being accepting the bounty offered by the Pure, as well as increasing patrols of the surrounding territory.

The Wood of Sharp Teeth, Nexus (Original): 7 Hammer 9PR (7 Hammer 1368 DR):

A merchant caravan returning from the High Elven town of Hightree was ambushed by an orc hunting party numbering between 30 and 40 members. According to a surviving passenger, the force of 24 guards that accompanied the caravan were able to inflict considerable damage against the orcs until a second sizable force of orc warriors arrived. The orc were able to steal a large portion of the shipment, kidnap two woman and one male guard, and a magical sword, surnamed Daybreaker, to be displayed at Timeless Treasures in the town of Nexus.

The Wood of Sharp Teeth, Nexus (Original): 9 Hammer 9PR (9 Hammer 1368DR):

Drocca, Curator of Timeless Treasures, has hired a band of seven adventurers calling themselves Warrant to retrieve a magical sword named Daybreaker from a tribe of Orcs residing in an abandoned Drow Elf town. The sword was stolen in an ambush two days ago by this tribe of Orcs and Drocca hopes that they are not smart enough or by accident discover the magical properties of the blade.

The Wood of Sharp Teeth, Nexus (Original): 15 Hammer 9PR (15 Hammer 1368DR):

Within the next two days, The Storm, a group of adventurers that was once led by the founder of the town of Nexus, will be reformed by Tempest, Master of the Storm, Son of the Founder and Councilmember Ukea. At the time of this writing, Tempest said the purpose of the group was to gain experience through adventuring so that they could weather the upcoming storm that would sweep violently across the known lands of the realm.

Michael A. Masten: deadlock@apache.dtcc.edu

Spelljammer, Near the Tears of Selune:

After several weeks, the Hammership ETERNAL WANDERER, formerly locked into orbit around Toril, was towed out to the Tears of Selune. It was rumored that the experimental Nextasy helm installed by the Arcane Blaise Pascal was disabled, and that a new Bardic helm was installed.
Some groundlings at the port of Waterdeep reported selling a Bardic Helm. One commented that the buyer, working for ship Captain Onestar, almost attempted landing the shuttlecraft right outside the Yawning Portal. Such landings within Waterdeep are illegal by city ordinance.
Captain Onestar, a samurai from an as-yet undisclosed sphere, arrived on Toril approximatley two months back when the experimental Nextasy helm began to experience what could best be described as "the hiccups."
Hall-de-moor Degass, First Officer of the ETERNAL WANDERER, was reported to be in charge of setting up the new helm. Should the helm function properly, the hammership will set sail out toward the sphere wall and sail for Krynnspace within the week.

Eric F. Schetley: onestar+@pitt.edu


In an exclusive interview with Duke Pwyll of Daggerford, the Duke told how he and a special team of Daggerford Militia performed a midnight raid on the Lizard Man controlled mine on the edge of the Lizard Marsh, which was recently discovered. Using a combination of invisibility, careful scouting, and brute force the group attacked the mine in the middle of the night, overwhelming the surprised lizard men, and allowing the Duke to use his "Great Shout", which he last used some years ago in the Dragonspear Wars. The "Great Shout" collapsed much of the mine, making it unusable, and trapped many lizard men underground.
The group freed roughly 40 slaves, who were escorted back to Daggerford where they will stay until a way to get them back to their homes far to the south is found. Some have already enrolled in the Daggerford Militia and intend to settle, as a way of saying thanks for their rescue.

An evil cleric who was captured during the raid on the Lizard Mine recently is believed to have escaped. Although the Duke's spokesman refuses to comment, it is believed that the evil cleric managed to escape from the Duke's highly secure cell block - an unprecedented act. It is suspected that he had considerable external help.


Worshippers of the little known god, Ukko, supposedly a major power in other realms, have rallied to their temple in Waterdeep. It is believed that there may some theological crisis going on. However, the temple's spokesmen refused to acknowledge that this was the case, but emphasised that many more services were planned than in the past, and that new converts to Ukko the Almighty were being made in ever increasing numbers.

Andy Merritt: amerritt@armltd.co.uk

Damara/Barony of Morov/Loon Village (original village 15 miles NW of Morovar, at the east bank of Goliad River):
DR1149 (FR1359-Year of the Serpent), 1st of April

Pristess Flae of Tymora (residing in the Loon village), annouced the possibility that something dangerous may exist under the hutment of the Loon village, a possibility which was concluded after a brief meeting of Flae and members of the adventuring company named AID. The members of AID said that they saw a subterranean river just under the village, leading to a portcullis that they were unable to open. A detect magic spell cast on the portculis revealed a faint glow of magic on it. It seems that after the disappearance of the bandits caused by the fire in the hutment, the troubles in the village have not ended. Unfortunately, the AID group had to leave the village for good, so some new adventurers are needed to explore the river. Urgently!!!

Kyriakos Sgarbas (HA+3): sgarbas@grpatvx1.bitnet


A series of violent deaths has rocked Daggerford over the last few weeks, but the deaths have not been the main concern for the authorities or the citizens. The corpses have been animated and sent on killing sprees through the town in the last few weeks. Rumour has it that a party has already been sent to deal with the cause of the problem but were repulsed when they encountered more undead of a more serious nature. As we speak, a new party is being put together to banish the scourge from the town but more extreme measures may need to be taken.

In slightly related news, an adventurer, one of the original party sent to remove the Necromancer was arrested for attempting to murder a Dwarven armourer over his ownership of a shield made of Black Dragon Scales. It is rumoured that the man peculiarly worships all dragons and took violent exception to the shield. The man is now being held in the dungeons of one of the town's towers.


The Stonelands, Gnolls on Rampage

A patrol of Purple Dragons (members of the Kingdom of Cormyr's army) has returned to Castle Crag, north of Arabel, from the Helmlands with distressing news. The most prominent gnoll tribe in the region, the Tribe of Blue Fire, is gearing up for war. Someone has apparently stolen the Rock of Blue Fire, the tribe's sacred totem, and the gnolls blame humans. Rumors have been swirling through Castle Crag and Arabel that a famed adventuring band who have been active in the Eveningstar region of late, the Swords of Light, was last seen heading towards the Helmlands two weeks ago. One Purple Dragon sentry reportedly saw a dark elf in the region as well!
No one knows if these events are related, but even the best adventuring bands have a way of stirring up trouble for the common folk.

Eric Boyd: boyd@eecs.umich.edu

Cormyr, Marsember: JOURNEY TO ANAUROCH
The Queen of Calaunt has sent a party to rendez-vous with her greatest fighter, currently residing in Marsember. Once the party, led by her champion, an elven ranger named Wolf, meets with Yahscha von Nurvie in Marsember they will prepare to travel north, past Wyvern Water, to High Horn. Once there, they will add to their stockpile of mundane and magical supplies to brave the harsh desert.
Their primary goal is unknown to us at this time; it is believed to have something to do with the Pillar of Thoras, which lies deep within Anauroch.
An operative of FNN was able to get close enough to Yahscha at the Marsember Fighter's guild to ask him about their secondary mission. He said that they are going to seek out and investigate the rumors of some kind of Defiler magic. He then went on to comment that he has a friend with whom he fences who had spoken at length with someone from a land called Athas. The FNN operative then asked who this person was and was told to mind his own business. Yahscha, from what he has put together, believes that there is a possibility that Athas represents a possible future of the realms. The information which Yahscha has told his Queen was apparently what others had heard as well, since she sent such a force to place under his command. Once he takes command of the party, his instructions are, if possible, to put off that future for as long as imaginable.
Once they get to High Horn, they will assume the dress suitable for such a mission, an aba (loose tunic), a shalwar (loose pants with drawstrings at the waist and ankles) and a keffiyeh (headcloth, turban).
If any of their rumors turn out to be true, they could be having an interesting time indeed. FNN will try to keep you posted on anything futher as it becomes available.

Chris Herr: crherr@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

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South of Pontylver: NEW KINGDOM FOUNDED!
Worries of a new Iron League abound!

Rumor indicates that a group calling themselves the Untouchables has established a petty kingdom south of Pontylver. The rough boundaries are said to be the middle of the Hestmark highlands, the water, and the Thelly river. The southern border is apparently quite elastic. This group is reportedly attempting to revive the Iron League. They have already been admitted (into what is left...) They are working together with Sunndi and Irongate to find a solution to the Scarlet Brotherhood. Rumors are floating around that this group will attempt to stage a coup in Idee, thus freeing up the siege of Irongate. Only the future will reveal the fate of the Iron League...

See of Medegia (former... ): FREE LAND OFFERED FOR SMALL TITHE!
Rumors abound that a new kingdom has been established where none had existed. This new land (called the Free Coast) is located south of the Thelly river, and to the east of the Hestmark Highlands (the middle of them...). Rumors report that the rulers there are offering Free land, with seed, cattle, chickens, a house, and a barn. All that must be done is a give a tithe of 25% of the crop to the "owners".
Some have come back to report that these rumors are true, free land, a place to call your own in a land ruled by just and noble men, NOT ANIMUS...

All Over...

A man going by the name Pheregas, the Ogre slayer, has been traveling the world since the end of the war, warning governments about a new species, the Darmok. These creatures are able to shift their shape at will, but, unlike simple dopplegangers, they appear to be extremely intelligent. He reports that he has gathered information from the countries of the Iron League and has concluded the following. These creatures are obviously from another plane. They are in the employ of the Scarlet Brotherhood, and they are known to kill people within governments and assume their places. When discovered, they have fought with various magical abilities, but without the use of spell components or somatic gestures. He is warning governments to be wary and to check magically the nature of any person in high authority, to insure that they are who they say they are.

(DM's note: These creatures have the statistics of an Ogre Mage. More than likely they were brought over at the same time that the outsiders came (see WG8 Fate of Istus...))

Pat Ellis: io11330@maine.maine.edu

-------------------------------- KARA-TUR --------------------------------
Journalist, Sirak Shaal, Ronin, Formerly of the Third High Court of The Elven Lands.

The Free City of Elredd, on the western shore of Wooly Bay, The Wild Coast, has been the scene of some activity recently. A group of adventurers entered the city on the last Market Day, and immediately earned a name for themselves. An enterprising merchant had taken into the city, under guard, a hill giant which he had captured, and was offering for sale. While in the market, the hill giant, after being taunted with rotten fruit, stones and curses, became so enraged it broke free of its cage, and began to wreak havoc in the market place. The guards of the giant were quickly slain, and then the giant killed several townsfolk in a most gruesome manner before being confronted by the newly arrived group. All being dwarves, this got their blood broiling, and a heroic combat ensued. Finally, after being hamstrung, the dwarves delivered the killing blow, just as the city guard arrived with reinforcements. The dwarves were then confronted by the merchant, who demanded them pay compensation for the death of his 'merchandise'. As the enraged dwarves were about to teach the arrogant merchant a lesson, the guards intervened, arresting the merchant on a whole host of charges, not least causingthe deaths of 5 townspeople and the injury of many others. The 4 dwarves were commended on their bravery, and received a reward of 10 Greyhawkian gold coins each.
Elredd has been plagued for the last 3 weeks with a series of gruesome murders and kidnappings. It seems nobody is safe, people have been taken from all classes, from the streets and from their homes, and no explanation has been forthcoming. Upon hearing of this, the dwarves in the aforementioned article offered their services to the Ruling Council of Elredd. Having seen their prowess, the council readily agreed, and an undisclosed amount was agreed upon should the culprit(s) be found. Acting on evidence gathered, the dwarves entered the ancient sewer system of Elredd, where they found hidden in a labyrinth of secret passages stockpiles of weapons, foodstuffs and shrines to some horrible horned rat. Doing battle with a multitude of rat men, which the dwarves identifed as 'Skaven', the dwarves retreated to the surface to warn the council of their discovery, and the possibility of an all out attack on the city by the skaven, no doubt aided by others.
The last news this reporter had of the city was a scrawled, dirty note from his source stating only "it has started."

Brother Tyrus Hellbane: c9108613@cc.newcastle.edu.au

The Center for Monster Control, Greyhawk Chapter, announced its newest member to be Charles Woodwright. The center was very surprised when Charles, a very young transmuter, brought three caged Nilbogs to its door to meet membership requirement. The board's vote for Chuck's membership was unanimous since he delivered the only known Nilbogs in captivity. His research on the Nilbogs proved invaluable as well since the center only had myths and legends before. Now that the center has living Nilbogs to study, they are very happy and very pleased with its newest member.
The center reports that Charles' current project is research into the GoldBug, a strange dangerous creature that resembles a gold coin.

Game stats for the Center for Monster Control
ORGANIZATION: Center for Monster Control
MEMBERSHIP: All wizards who have first-hand knowledge of magical monsters are eligible.
NEW MEMBER REQUIREMENTS: A new member must pay an entrance fee of 500 sp. Additionally, the prospective member must have first-hand knowledge of a magical monster or a monster wielding magical powers. The board of magocratics votes on whether the prospective member's knowledge is of sufficient usefulness to the organization to allow him membership.
ANNUAL DUES: No dues are collected if the bi-monthly meetings are attended. The member may be assessed a fine if too many meetings are missed without good reason.
Although it is not required, members should continue to contribute knowledge of magical monsters to the organization, so as to maintain good relations.
BENEFITS: The organization supplies information to its members about magical monsters, including their abilities, their weaknesses, and suggested strategies for defeating or avoiding them. The center has laboratories for the study of monsters, which are available for its members. Also, the center has a large library available. The bi- monthly meetings have guest speakers, special auctions, monster displays, classes, symposiums, and other interesting monster-related events that could be quite beneficial to a magic-user.
New members receive an introductory kit. First, the new member gets an official membership card. This card allows its members free access to the center or any of its many franchises located throughout the continent. The kit also contains a book, The Official Center for Monster Control Text, which contains an introduction to the organization (history, purpose, alumni, etc.), rules of the organization (membership, dues, meetings, board, etc.), and samples of its knowledge (information on monsters, facilities available, etc.). The new member also receives a blank notebook to record information on new monsters met, and a jar of ink to accompany the notebook.

Reid Bluebaugh: c2mxblue@fre.fsu.umd.edu

Somewhere near the 66th layer of the Abyss: A PARTY HEADS TO FINISH OFF THE DEMONESS LOLTH
A party made up of two renegade drow elves, a human, and a gray dwarf have embarked into the depths of the Abyss in search of the demoness Lolth, queen of the spiders and goddess of the drow. The renegade drow and gray dwarf, long time friends, have met up with a cavalier named Candar, who, by order of his father, King Holmer of the Shield Lands, has embarked on the one threat the rest of the world is vulnerable to, the Queen of Spiders coming forth with her armies with Oerth as her prize. It is secretly said that the king is sending his son to a sure death, but then he met the drow and dwarf. The two drow were named Dalamar and Tarsa, and were of no relation except as renegades. The gray dwarf, named Jarl, was one of his clans mightiest warriors.
Together, this group was led into the various shrines of the evil creatures under Lolth's command. It soon became evident that the only way to save Oerth was to destroy the head of this operation, Lolth! And so, the party, with a plane shift from Tarsa, is now looking for Lolth's domain in the Abyss.

Brian Librandi: libran18@kepler.poly.edu

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There was a celebration last week in Palanthas to honor the remembrance of the council meeting at the WhiteStone. It was there 5 years ago that the lords of Karthay summoned the leaders of good and evil to meet at WhiteStone. Once everyone was assembled and convinced to end their squabblings, Myshella Nightshadow addressed the world's leaders. She told them of their dealings with the unlife, (undead who came into Krynn through a huge gate to the north. Anyone they killed joined their legions. They seemed to have limited intelligence, and their only goal seemed to be their want to kill. They are a lot like fast zombies. It was a huge problem; the gods seemed unable or unwilling to directly intervene. They traversed the land in vast armies, which grew as they moved over populated areas, or in huge, floating, inverted pyramids with cities on them. Though whether they stole these from some unknown world, or built them their selves is a point of contention) and how the Lords of Karthay had managed to close the gate they were entering Krynn through.
Apparently, the Lords of Karthay were attempting to put a stop to the Dragon Armies' search for a missing Tower of High Sorcery in the north east, off the coast of Ansalon; in fact, it was believed to be on or near the Isle of the Irda. After thwarting the Dragon Army's party. Myshella and her comrades stumbled upon the spot where the unlife were entering Krynn. It was a huge gate, anchored by four large crystals. They could see three hovering pyramid citadels, and another beginning to move through the gate. To close the gate, they lowered Kryll, a dwarf, into the portal, and he destroyed the four powerful crystals which maintained the gate. The inverted pyramid, which at that time was halfway through, was destroyed when the gate closed. The Remaining three unlife pyramids seemed unconcerned with it and didn't interfere as the Lords left.
At this point in the council, it was clear that the current leader of the Dragon Armies was not inspired or impressed by this story, and he began to interject comments. Myshella, being a paladin of Kiri-Jolith, put up as long as she could but eventually challenged him to a duel. The knights of Solamnia got into an uproar, and if it was not for the head of the wizards' conclave, Justarius of the Red Robes, all havoc would have erupted. Eventually everything quieted down enough after Myshella curtly asked the Dragon Highlord what he wanted to do about this threat, and he didn't have any ideas...
Myshella's plan was to organize a crack commando group to assault one of the hovering pyramids of the unlife with the Flying Citadel. If they could control one of the unlife's pyramids, they could chase down the others, and perhaps learn something of their plan, if they in fact had one.
Everyone seemed to think that the idea had merit, but they were hesitant to send people who might be needed to defend their own areas of interest away. Eventually, a team of 40 high powered individuals from all alignments created the balanced team. The plan was a success, though 32 people were lost in the colossal battle.
With the help of magi, who managed to find a magical cure to stop the spread of the unlife contagion, and dragons, the unified armies were able to get the upper hand in future battles, and the unlife clearly lost its military superiority. After a few more decisive victories by a unified Krynn, the unlife were defeated.
It is simply too bad that, in times of trouble, the lords of this realm can come together to face a common cause, yet once it is over, no matter how hard some try, everyone goes back to their same ways, and the battles and strife continue on Krynn. Even this great celebration in Palanthas, though the city is packed full of revelers and travelers, can only halt some of the feuds, and bring peace to a small portion of the total population of Ansalon.


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Dark Sun

A band of ex-slaves and gladiators, led by a nobleman of Tyr, has returned from the desert. They are said to have been combing ancient ruins to the west of Ledopolis, from which they brought a skull. The value of such an object is questionable, yet they seem to have set great store by it. The band disappeared during the night of their return, having made noises that they would be heading back to Tyr shortly.

Shortly after templars, acting in the name of King Kalak, siezed the estate of Agathorius Trimaleon, a mysterious trickle of water began seeping from under the gates of the estate. The trickle soon became a small stream, and thirsty citizens immediately noticed. The control over the area by the templars was nearly broken when they prevented access to the water.
The city is said to be quiet, with the templars investigating the source of the water, and the citizens nervous that this new source of water may be kept from them. Travellers have commented that the quiet in the town is similar to the lull just before one of the feared duststorms of the desert strikes.

Mike Phillips, msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

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Barovia, Village of Barovia: PARTY ATTACKED BY ANOTHER PARTY!
A party of four adventurers, having responded to a missive sent from Kolyan Indrirovich, Burgomaster of the village of Barovia, and having assaulted Castle Ravenloft, hereditary keep of the rulers of this land, holed up after the repulsion of their efforts. They thought themselves safe, until another party of adventurers, responding to a similar missive, was ordered to attack them by a man claiming to have authored the letter.
Rumors are flying among the people of the village, wondering whether or not the second party's assertions that they slew the first party as per the instructions of Vasiliy, known agent of the Count, are true or just a blind. The second party has disappeared just as effectively as the first did.

Mike Phillips: msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

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The Republic of Darokin, Armstead: PARTY LEAVES, HEADING NORTH
The party that has taken it upon themselves to rid Armstead of the sorceror named Conor MacGregor departed earlier today, heading north. Though no news of their current whereabouts has reached the people of Armstead, they said they would follow Conor's trail as far as it leads. One lad of the village, said to be the finest archer there, left with them, stating that he wished to see more of the world, and this would be as good an opportunity as any.

The Republic of Darokin, Selenica: BATTALION DEPARTS FOR ARMSTEAD
One of the battalions of pikemen stationed in Selenica left today, heading for the town of Armstead, said to be besieged by humanoids. They have been briefed with what little information is available, and they are prepared to be there for quite some time.
The office of the Chancellor indicated that this was ordered to make good on the promise to aid Armstead in the middle of the village's current troubles.

The Republic of Darokin, Athenos, Athenos Canal: BARGE DEPARTS FOR AKORROS
The merchant Bancohr, having found guards for his barge, saw the vessel off earlier. He was worried about the possibility that the increasing activity of bandits might impact on his shipments, so he refused to allow the merchandise to leave until he had found suitable protection for it.
The guards are said to include an alchemist, a couple of fighters, a singer of some sort, and a scholar, as well as two sailors to make certain nothing happens to the barge. They were last seen headed into the Malpheggi Swamp.

Glantri, Viscompty de Malinbois: HEAD GUARD'S FAMILY DISAPPEARS!
The family of the head of the Viscomptess' personal guard disappeared suddenly, under mysterious circumstances, shortly after the head of the guard was exposed as a werewolf. No one has seen the rest of the family since then, and attempts to find them have been unsuccessful, at least so far.
It is feared that if the tensions in the area, brought about over the discovery of a silver-rich lode beneath the castle of the Viscomptess, continue to mount, a war shall be started between the humans and the apparently large werewolf populations.

Alfheim, Outskirts of Alfheim City: PATROL DISCOVERS TUNNEL
A routine patrol of the City discovered a tunnel entrance near Alfheim City when they tailed a merchant who was acting suspiciously. A brief investigation of the tunnel showed that it ran fairly deep, and the elves are preparing an expedition to see just how deep the tunnel runs.

The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, Threshold: RIOT SPARKED BY LOAF OF BREAD!
Rioting was touched off in this tension-filled city last week when, on the heels of an attack by orcs that was repulsed by a Traladaran paladin and an apparently racially-motivated murder on Skodor Isle, a Thyatian baker sold a maggot-infested loaf of bread to a Traladaran citizen of Threshold. The Traladaran immediately demanded a new loaf, only to be spurned by the baker, and the story quickly spread.
Several Thyatians have been injured in the rioting so far, and the looting continues as the troops under the command of Patriarch Sherlane attempt to re-establish order in this once very lawful town.

Sind, Mahasabad: FAMINE AVERTED!
Officials breathed a sigh of relief when the food caravan arrived two weeks late, and the food was immediately dispersed as needed. Those who have looked into the story of why the caravan was late have been perplexed by reports of a land with people like Sind's, but different geography, and also strange man-shaped metal creatures that spurted fire from their hands. The official story is that they were overcome by delusions sparked by being overlong in the desert.

A force of Milenians headed for Nithia ran into a force of Nithians headed for Milenia in the middle of the forests of the Tanagoro. The resulting fight was bloody and short, with both sides limping off and claiming victory. Word has already come from some of the Tanagoro tribes that these troops are fair game, as part of the reason the Tanagoro continue to allow the troops passage through the forest is in exchange for no fighting amongst the trees. Neither force is expected to make it out of the forest.

Mike Phillips: msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

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Thunder Rift

The three adventurers hired by the gnome scholar Harfur Glumtoes were seen heading out of Edgewater. From their conversation, it sounded like they had been comissioned to retrieve the Book of Sappy, Drivelly Love Poetry. Further, they had visited the bard Rhiannon who lives just outside of town. Apparently, the book was stolen by a band of kobolds, so the three adventurers (apparently named Angus, Derek, and Pravnia) appear to be following their trail into the nearby swamp.

Mike Phillips: msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

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A band of Ægyptians, claiming to be following the orders of a mummified one-time Necromancer, has continued to track a magic item. They crossed the Keshi-Ægyptian border, only to be promptly attacked by the nomads inhabiting the eastern plains of Keshu.
Though they managed to withstand the assault, the band was seriously injured and they are said to be camping out until they can recover from the fight.

After the accidental destruction of the Orb during the showing of a play, producers have been justifiably cautious in considering the performance of Sir Andru, Lord Weber's latest work, the tragic tale of a vampiric love pentacle called "Aspects of Blood".
Critics have already spent a fair amount of parchment panning the production, which is currently without a stage for regular performances. The few people who have been willing to back the production to this point are counting on the attraction to Lord Weber's work that the average citizen seems to have.
The theatre scene is confused even more by the recent opening of a new opera Fidchell, based on the popular Avillonian game of the same name. The opera has taken off quite well, although the content seems to be specific only to the current political scene and popularity may decline if the current situation is changed.

The Demiurge of Hy Braseal is said to have officiated for a marriage that has sparked many rumors. Invitations were accepted by the rulers of most nations of Ærth, including all five kings of Avillonia, most of Æropa, some places of Azir and Afrik, and even some of the colonies.
The marriage itself has been described as that of a cat and a mouse, a lord of Darkness and a lady of Underaerth, or even Rexfelis and the Shadowqueen. No one knows for certain.

Mike Phillips: msphil@tsrv1.ts.wm.edu

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Original: Unknown

Jau of Tervokian, a scout hired by officials in Argos to investigate rumors (from hermits and travelers) of increased bandit activity in the marsh, reported that he ran into a party of five or so robbers. He and Kitiara (a citizen of Argos who was hired to accompany him) managed to drive off the robbers but more importantly they were attacked by bugs, mosquitoes to be exact, the size of chickens! They managed to escape (Jau found that thick smoke kept them away) but have the sort of wounds that prove what they are saying. Jau was also able to show the incredulous official the partially disintergrated body of one of these mammoth mosquitoes that he hacked off his body as it was trying to suck his blood. (It is disintegrated because of the rough handling on the trip back to Argos).
The official in question has directed the pair to tell no one about what happened and has directed them to a healer he thinks will keep his mouth shut. The government will contemplate its options and will probably end up hiring likely types (from within and without Argos) to try to assess the situation further and take action to find the cause and the cure. (Thus, this is not really public knowledge, unless the DM wants to have it get around.)

SEM: io01092@maine

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Original: Myrth

Far Golins: FreyasDay, 1st day of the Month of Anguish

A pair of Elven children, discovered wandering near the outskirts of Far Golins yesterday evening, claimed to be the only survivors of some sort of elemental raid on Elvenhome the previous night. The children say that their peaceful city was obliterated by "Fire and Ice". One of the last major cities of the Elven folk, Elvenhome is the abode of many of the great elven lords who were instrumental in vanquishing the invading hordes of Tr'Gullaks 100 years ago during the War of the Black Serpent. Shortly after hearing the orphans' story, a group of mercenaries promptly stormed out of a local pub and were later seen galloping southeast towards Elvenhome ostensibly to investigate the waifs' story. It is believed that this is the same group of warriors, known as The Fella's, that straggled into to town last month ranting and raving about an emanate invasion by the semi- mythical Drow. Not to worry, the only invading hordes seen within the last month are the seasonal Mystic butterfly migration and the obligatory swarms of Tiger mosquito hatchlings from the Swamp of Fools.

Far Golins: Saturnya, 2nd day of the Month of Anguish

A rider arrived at the Duke's Palace this morning from the direction of Elvenhome with an urgent message for his lordship. Shortly thereafter, the messenger was thrown out of the palace to the accompanying laughter of the royal guard. He was later seen approaching mercenaries and adventures in most of the seedier local pubs apparently in an attempting to recruit fighting men for an assault on a Giant's stronghold somewhere in the Torgan Mountains. He claimed that giants had destroyed Elvenhome and that the mercenary group, know as The Fella's, was even now approaching the Torgan range. No giants have been seen in hundreds of years in the Torgan range. The messenger was positive giants had ravaged Elvenhome due to an 'unmistakable trail', although he had not actually seen any giants, nor would know a giant trail from a cobble stone street. As for his recruiting efforts, there were no takers. The messenger was last seen downing a pint of stout at the Whore's Breast tavern. The Duke has assured the city officials that the 'renegade giants' tale the rider is spreading is as substantial, and is to be taken as seriously as the vaporous 'Drow invasion' that The Fella's claimed was imminent last month. The messenger was last seen downing a pint of stout at the Troll's Lair tavern.

Far Golins: Wodinsday, 6th day of the Month of Anguish

The mercenary group known as The Fella's has not been heard from since leaving Far Golins for Elvenhome Freyasday last. Many speculate that they may have tripped on their egos and tumbled into the Great Gorge on their way to the Torgan range, or perhaps, having found no giants, have decided to travel to the southern shores of the inland sea rather than endure the good humoured jeering from the townsfolk of our fine city.
Other travellers have since visited Elvenhome and confirmed that it has in fact been sacked, the conquerers leaving nothing behind but the burned out shells of tree-homes and shattered timbers amidst, oddly enough in this dry season, mud puddles. None of the travellers could say who might have performed this monstrous act yet noted that two, wide, beaten down trails lead from Elvenhome to the Torgan Mountains. One trail seemed to lead across the northern end of the Great Gorge and hence to the Northern reaches of the Mountains while the other lead due East presumably to be block by the impassable Great Gorge. None of the travellers were inclined to follow the paths or investigate the fate of The Fella's.

Sandy Maple: smaple@terra.colostate.edu

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Original: Entara

The Gontharan Free States, Smallville: HEROES RESCUE TOWN OFFICIALS
Four heroes walked out of the forest east of Smallville yesterday, accompanied by several townspeople and four town officials, all of whom had been kidnapped by a band of brigands operating from the supposedly abandoned keep of the late Lord Falcon.
The heroes defeated the major portion of the brigand band and a small group of hobgoblins also lairing in the keep. In the process, they freed 29 slaves as well as several people being held for ransom.
"I owe these adventurers my life, and they may call the debt at any time," said Lord Ellyon Aerouas, an elven noble from the Southern Isles. "I only wish there were more men and women as these in the land."
The band left town this morning for Riverport, the home of the rest of the people they rescued. Their future plans are unknown, but all of Smallville wishes them the best.

Eric Rossing: rossing@cs.hope.edu

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Reader's Corner

Shield Specialization:
I have made some modifications to fighters in my game that weaken them somewhat, so I have given them a little something in return to help make up for it - shield specialization. Both the army of Nox and the various citizen armies of the various city states fight in formations in which the the body shield figures as a major piece of equipment. Thus the civilized soldier can specialize with his/her shield. This costs one slot and allows the character a +1 to AC for attacks the shield is effective against as well as an additional block with the shield. For the body shield, this second ability is irrelevant because it blocks any number of attacks from the front and sides in any case, but it may prove useful to slingers and javelineers who would use a smaller shield.
The fighter can also specialize in a weapon as well, as per the PH. But to get the bonus for shield specialization, while using a weapon in melee combat, that weapon must be a stabbing weapon (or any weapon that doesn't force one to expose a large portion of one's body while fighting). For my soldiers, these weapons are the shortsword and spear.
In real life, the Romans found that their use of the shortsword with their body shields gave them a real advantage against their foes use used larger swords and axes. Their foes would have to expose the whole side of their body to deliver a slash (they could stab with their bigger swords but they wouldn't be as effective as the gladius, which was designed for this purpose), while the Roman could deliver an effective blow and still cover himself with his shield. Of course the Romans used all sorts of weapons besides their characteristic shortswords, they were nothing if not adaptable...

SEM: io01092@maine.edu

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Instant (N)PC'S!

This is an NPC that was part of a trading caravan that came into contact with the group and was of some help/hindrance in their adventures:

Evard Mulhanus (8th Level Mage)

Str. 09
Int. 15                          Prof Weapons
Wis. 12                          Staff, Dagger
Dex. 11                          Exp: 129,550
Con. 12
Chr. 08                          Spells
Hits: 22                         1st: 4    2nd: 3
                                 3rd: 3    4th: 2

Abilities: (I allow fractional slots [rounding down] generally.)
Horsemanship 07         Spellcraft 13
R/W Own Language 16     Own Religion's Theology 04
Speak Elven 15          Farming 09
R/W Elven 16            Herbalism 13
Speak Dwarven 15        Ancient History 14
R/W Dwarven 16          Gem/Jewelry Appraisal 15
Merchant 03

He also has a special ability in that he has prophetic intuitions (generally, but not always in the form of dreams). He has absolutely no control over these and spells will not help either. They are instead to be used as a DM plot device and not over-used (i.e. not too much information, not too frequently, and this ability does not replace divining spells).

Equipment                    Wt
Misc minor spell comp
Riding Horse
  Saddle blanket
  Lrg Saddlebags
    Extra clothes
    2 Wineskins
    First aid kit
    Wet weather clothes
    Pouch of silver and
    more spell comp.
  Gear + Rider
Horse Encum: 243 lbs (up to 270 lbs) = 16"
Rider Encum: 4 lbs (up to 35 lbs) = 12"

Spells Known: (I don't require spellbooks and hence they aren't included. If you use them, he probably has enough money to have a travelling set as well as a home set).
(Max of 11 non-original spells per level)
1st: Read magic, detect magic, comprehend languages, charm person, magic missle, wizard mark, audible glamer, protection vs. evil, phantasmal force, cantrip, armor
2nd: Hypnotic Pattern, Whispering Wind, Mirror Image, Alter Self, Improved Phantasmal Force, Detect Invisible, Ray of Enfeeblement, Rope Trick
3rd: Protection vs. Normal Missiles, Slow, Clairvoyance, Fly, Secret Page, Protection vs. Evil, 10' Rad.
4th: Evard's Black Tentacles*, Phantasmal Killer, Stoneskin, Fear
    *In my campaign, original spells that the caster invents and researches do not count against his limit that he can put in his books.

His memorized spells generally emphasize personal and party defense, and then the other stuff. He will use the armor spell very liberally and stoneskin as well (depending on the house rules of course).

Character Development Sex: M Age: 38 Hei: 5'9" Wei: 170 lbs Hair color: Black
Eyes: Brown Race: Human

Distinguishing Features: He is an older man and a bit over-weight. He has short black hair with some gray and a little thinning on the top. He is tanned from traveling a lot and he has a few wrinkles and bags starting to form under his eyes. His nose is broad and a bit round while his lips are thin, which he often purses when he is concentrating.

Emotional Hang-ups: He is very resentful of the policy of the elven country to the south's attitude towards human mages and he thus dislikes elves in general, though he will usually keep it to himself.

Origins: He was not fit for the typical occupations of of station - warrior or priest - but he he met someone who noticed his aptitude for magic and offered to train him. His parents were greatly disappointed but in the end they relented, after several unproductive attempts to make a good priest out of him. he stayed with his master for 5 years as an apprentice and assisted him as an associate until his leige died when Evard was 30. His master's family inherited all of his possessions and kicked Evard out, selling most of the estate to people representing elven mages from the south. Since then, Evard has made his own way through the world and has done fairly well financially, though socially he is not particularly respected.

Work experience: Mages have a low station in Evard's homeland, considering their power. Magic is by no means outlawed but it is not trusted and not considered a proper pursuit for a citizen. Those who choose to practice magic are on the fringe of the social order though they may participate in the community - in fact they are expected to. Their services are sometimes purchased and sometimes required by the Church but they are more like mercenaries than anything else (in this regard). Needless to say, Evard has done this both for pay and to fulfill his citizenship requirments on many occasions. Mages who become too powerful generally hush it up since wizards are proportionally not trusted to the degree that they are a potential threat to the order of things, even if they are loyal citizens. Much of Evard's problems with his the order of things turns on this lack of acceptance. They seem to be willing to use his services when they need him but they don't wish to give him the rewards and respect that other people are given as a matter of course. He doesn't understand why magic is such a threat in the hands of loyal citizens and thus resents the treatment he receives. Evard is a wealthy man, through his use of magic outside of his country, but he also makes a tidy sum through his knowledge about and speculation of gems and jewelry with merchants amongst the elves, dwarves [to a lesser degree], and other human countries. But wealth is not that important to him for its own sake, but because it allows him to practice magic and live well.

Parents: His father and mother are rulers of a small village as Dominus and Domina. Thus he would generally be expected to be a warrior or priest. Even if he proved to have marginal skills in either profession then he could still excel in managin the family estates but he is not even particularly gifted (though his is competent - just not interested) in farming. What a disappointment! Since there are two older sons, his parents try not to remind him that he is not behaving correctly but it is obvious that they wish he would have a more acceptable career than money-grubber and magic-user. Thus he is not particularly close to his parents and only visits on certain holidays or when he hasn't seen them in a very long time. He does feel a sense of duty to do good by them and certainly he will try and do what is required to keep up at least a pretense of good will.

Character Traits: His strongest character traits are his work ethic and morality. His weakest traits are his poor social skills and the fact he tends to pre-judge individuals by the society in which they live. He also suffers from rather frequent bouts of depression where he immerses himself completely in his work. He can also be a bit cynical and even irritating.

Amibitions: His personal ambition is to become a powerful mage and transcend the needs of a religious savior - he wants to save his own soul. Though he has never run into such a thing, he would be very open to a religion that preaches universal love and tolerance, as opposed to the God of War (among other things) that is the focus of the religion of his home country.

Art, etc. Preferred: He has a grudging respect for elven culture. He doesn't like the culture of his own society, preoccupied as it is with violence, warfare and the primacy of its god over all others (though within a framework of what it considers to be "good"). He likes art and activities that are quiet and emphasize the natural world in an idyllic sort of way.

Favorite Color: Blue but he wears clothes that allow him to blend as a mundane traveler. He does not advertise that he is a mage.

There is more but I think this is enough to go on. As you can see, there are a number of things that might have to be changed, such as the fact he has no magic items (magic item poor world - at least non- burnables). Any comments are appreciated. Please direct them to io01092@maine.maine.edu

SEM: io01092@maine.maine.edu

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The Adventurer's Guide to Daggerford

Daggerford is a small growing town on the west coast of the Forgotten Realms in between Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate. It has had a history of being burned to the ground in various orc raids and thus was only a quick stop on the road from Waterdeep to Baldur's Gate before a number of adventurers made it their home. Since then, the orc raids have been quelled by ingenious tactics and a great deal of luck. The new town is under the control of Mayor Quark, who was one of the original adventurers and has rebuilt the town nearly from scratch after its last fire. He owns the best Inn in town and imports many fine wines and foods for the guests. Thus the prices for staying at the Inn are not cheap.
The town and the area for a mile around the town are now controlled by Quark and the town council, whereas before they were under the Duchess's control. However, she made a gift of the land to the town after it had been rebuilt. The Duchess has a tower in town that she makes use of when she is not elsewhere.
The town has a fairly effectively trained militia thanks mainly to a very strange individual. The Guard commander is Lewella, a female fighter of great skill and a solid temperament. Her skill with a Two- handed Sword cannot be denied but it is the curse hovering over her that marks her out. Above her head at all times is a dark black cloud that casts a perpetual shadow over her. This and a couple of extraordinary feats have marked her out as a experienced adventurer and hinted at the magic at her command.
The town now has a glut of Churches trying to woo the swelling community to their worships. The biggest congregations are for Sune and Tymora as their churches are the biggest and most well established. Sune's holy place was set up by Quark's own funds as he was and is a fervent worshipper of the Goddess. Tymora's church prospers here due to the large adventurers that pass through and also stay around to adventure in the mountains and woos to the east of the town. There are no obvious temples to any of the evil gods, however there are certain shrines to various unusual deieties that have been set up by adventurers over the years.
The town has some interesting entrepeneurs and a thriving trade in a large number of commodities. Firstly, there is a Halfling called Jackson Trillberry who runs a very profitable Merchant's business. He has been involved in some shady deals in his past but has made some astute deals in the last 10 years and thus has put together a nice business generating a large turnover. The other merchant major in town is a dwarf called Bardak who has a very abrasive manner and has been known to throw people out of his shop physically if they annoy him. His general interest is Gems and jewellery and there is no doubt that he has the connections and skill to produce almost anything that anyone would want in the area. In addition to these two gentleman is Garrak a tailor who produces the finest clothes anyone could want just when they want it. Its obvious to all in sundry that there is magic involved in the production of the clothes but how is another matter. Whatever ways he uses, his clothes are the best around and no-one has ever complained about the quality of the clothes he sells.
The 'times of the troubles' in the realms produced another bonus for Daggerford when an earthquake destroyed the coast bringing the Sea to within half a mile of the town walls. This has increased the towns fishing industry by giving them much more protection than they originally had. Daggerford is now a growing town and may soon approach the size of a small city but whatever happens it will still be a town full of adventure.


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