The Serin Mystique, Volume 3, Issue 2

Welcome to the Serin Mystique, Volume 3, Issue 2!
This issue brings you the latest news, noise, and knowledge from the
far and wandering corners of the realm: We have interviews with Groq,
Dolgin and Turir. Four notable Serins perished, read about them in
Obituaries. Runath comes in for some fierce criticism in Serins Talk
Back. We also bring you more duels and more of your opinions than
ever before. And for the truly cultured (or bored) - poetry!

The sections you can 'look' at in the Serin Mystique are:

1) Serin Mystique Headlines (see headlines, headlines2, headlines3)
2) Obituaries (see Obituaries)
3) Cabal Affairs (see Cabal)
4) Blood and Guts (see blood, guts)
5) Serin Opinions (see Opinions)
6) Talks with Serins (see Dolgin, Groq, Turir)
7) Serins talk back (see talkback, talkback2)
8) Poems! Run for the hills! (see Poems)
9) Story Time (see Story)

We hope that the voices of the past will guide your future journeys.

1) Serin Mystique Headlines



My journey started in the town of Timaran where I met Shashakumazi. I
spoke with him on my quest to travel through the legendary and
treacherous lands of Winter. Being a meager gnome such as myself, I was
quite hesitant to attempt such a journey. But, I made my mind to visit the
lands of no return and come out still breathing. My will would not let me
falter. I convinced the mighty ninja Shashakumazi to join me in my quest
and help seek others. Shashakumazi and I spoke on how to prepare and
whom to ask for assistance in the Travelers Rest when I noticed two strong
Knights, Nattfjod and Nubal shortly make an appearance. I quickly asked
the warrior and paladin if they would assist Shashakumazi and I in such a
dangerous quest. They quickly volunteered. The four of us stood at the
Nexus in Seringale very well knowing that we would be entering into a
domain where we may not return from alive. The nexus glowed with a hot
aura that sent chills to our very souls. Once I stepped into the Nexus, we
were warmly greeted by a huge beast that is otherwise known as a
beholder. For those who haven't had the misfortune of already meeting
this beast, should know that beholders are no joke. This creature was not
effected by flame nor ice and could take massive blows from many
weapons. However turning him into a pile of ash with a dozen or so
hellstreams seemed to do the trick. But be careful, he may use a chain
lightning or two on your group! After defeating this beast I managed to
carve up his corpse and make a unique item of his huge eyelid. After licking
our wounds and resting our mind from the long battle with this massive
cyclonic beast, we headed north west in search for more glorious treasures.
We fought off some razor clawed beasts without much problem until we
came across some ancient fighters. These posed to be a formidable
challenge be were defeated with little risk. Nubal and Nattfjod led us under
the home of what looked like two mist like figures of elvan royalty. These
mistly beings proved to be more of a challenge than the beholder. These
mists held two items of worth. One of these items was a mist-like cloak that
granted decent saves against different forms of magic, and the other was a
crown of might. This crown granted a moderate benefit to my health as
well as to damage. We found these treasures to be valuable yet useless to
the Knights. We rested in the halls of the Emory after traveling past a
strange metal smith whom we didn't bother to even look at, which was a
big mistake from what I hear. We then ventured off deep into Winter
where we fought two huge werewolves that proved to be too much to
chew. Nattfjod and Nubal took many blows as I used every ounce of power
I had to bring the fires of hell unto the beasts. Nattford made a fatal
mistake and soon fell to the blows of the hairy beasts. Nubal,
Shashakumazi, and I continued to attack the beasts until we had almost
beaten them. Nubal was forced to flee and I swiftly followed leaving
Shashakumazi defending himself. The werewolves chased us down as I
attempted to create a portal in which to escape, but it was too late. The
werewolves soon enough fed on all our corpses and without possible
return to retrieve out possessions. We then waited for the gods to return
our things to the altars that we worship when a strange voice called to us. It
seems as though the great and powerful Burzuk, the voice of doom, was
watching us and was pleased with our gamble even if it brought us to
death. Burzuk sorted out our things and we retrieved what was spared by
the gods. Burzuk also said that our quest was a gamble of great courage
and risk, thus deserving of the Gambler's Roulette Ball. Burzuk then gave us
advice for our next journey into Winter. This time we shall be prepared for
everything. There is much treasure to be had in Winter. Some treasure that
is beyond your wildest dreams. But this treasure will not be given to those
undeserving and will only be obtained through hard work and danger.
Winter is not a place for playing around. My advice to you whom want to
travel to Winter is, don't! I would much rather prefer that you leave all
those nice shiny things for me to keep.

(Continued in headlines2)


HEADLINES (Part two)

This fire giant warrior entered the Tavern looking for trouble. It seems I
was the recipient of this unwelcome attention. After barring her from the
tavern I proceeded to evict her with the help of the provided bouncer. Kida
did not go far. He died right outside the Tavern entrance. It is sad that this
must have occurred, but he did disobey the Peace Code.

I noticed that the equipment in his corpse vanished in front of my eyes.
What that was about, I don't know, but I am sure there was no thieves

Kolok attacked my group (Taira, Prastin, myself) during the most recent
surge. As I aided the defense of my group, he decided to tell me to stand
down, or find my corpse alongside Prastins. I told him that I would not leave
this group until the end of the surge, and would defend it. After that,
I was told I would be killed.

So, Kolok kept attacking the group, and a lot of surge went to waste,
however eventually his faith faltered and he was killed. In an interesting
twist, Taira gained a rank off of Kolok's death.

(Its reward was boosted considerably by this surge.)

Later, Kolok would return to ruin our group some more, which had
continued longer than intended due to his interference, to make up for lost
time. This time Prastin dealt with this alone, though I did provide a much
needed aura and a few cures to save his life near his end. And Kolok
overcommitted his fighting and stumbled to his death again, without single
blow from me.

The fight was to be between Palthus, Mell, Serathal and Sevryn, every man
for himself and 20,000 gold to the winner. There was to be three fights
total: Palthus against Mell and Serathal against Sevryn, with Palthus
fighting first. After some set backs, the grand duel commenced in the town
square of Liberty. Mell began the fight, causing Palthus to shift forms
immediately, and that was where Mell's luck began to run flat. With Palthus
hitting him hard, and the pets eating away slowly at his remaining life, he
did not have long. He fled and attacked Palthus while the ranger was
chasing him, causing HIM to flee now. Palthus ran to the woods where he
used his skills as a ranger to find some healing plants for himself before
returning to finish Mell. After a short exchange, Mell submitted, and round
one went to Palthus. By this point, Sevryn had left the realms, and so the
four way duel was down to three. Sarathal would fight Palthus to
determine the winner of the first four way duel. The second fight ended
faster than the first, this time, unfortunately with Serathal's death. In
compensation Palthus forfeited his winnings to him. They agreed on a
rematch. They were pretty evenly matched, but Sarathal's acid blast proved
to be Palthus's undoing. It was he who suffered death this time.
The winner: Palthus/Serathal

Lightwalkers all over Serin have been saddened by the loss of their
beloved dark timbers. These creatures did make it simple to achieve very
high ranks in short time. And since then, there has been much confusion
about where the Gods would like to work. Even some of the more
experienced lightwalkers had bitten off more then they could chew and
died to large packs of kaddar faeries, while seeking immortal favor. These
and those lightwalkers who spend many hours cleansing defilers with little
gained. Your correspondent has found an alternative to both these fates -
the dark warrior guards of the keep of d'al kaddar. Though they may never
replace our beloved timbers, they are highly vicious and reward is well for
their deaths, to those who are approaching ready for Shadar.

(Continued in headlines3)


HEADLINES (Part Three)

Grathin was spotted naked in the temple. During a time with Knights in the
realms, this is probably why he had fallen. I cannot say for sure, but I think
Nubal did him in, inside the castle. He sat motionless in his temple making
no attempt to move, which indicates a death inside a cabal grounds. I later
spotted a small figure in extremely garish colored items rummaging
through the dark one's pit. Later this same small fellow, while raving about
his Dinner, was wearing several choice rares, that Nubal could possibly
have missed due to their invisibility.

The behavior of Grathin after this death is not at all unlike one who has
given up on life, and it is suspected that he has left the lands for the last
time. I would not be too sure this is the case, but it may well be.


Thkot Vs Zanderic, Nattfjod, and Nubal
After the long adventure through Winter and suffering the penalties I
decided to assist Nubal with gaining his pinnacle so that we may be able to
defend ourselves against the perils of Winter more easily. Upon reaching
Shadar Logoth we noticed Thkot on our tail. I quickly protected myself with
spells and we awaited him in an empty house. Once the battle began I
quickly dispelled him and forced him to flee. This happed many times,
aggravating us in our attempt to hunt the undead warriors that lurked here.
He even attempted to attack us while we were actually hunting. I dispelled
his sanctuary and hit him that forced him to flee home and think twice
before being so hasty. We successful defended ourselves till Nattfjod was
forced to retire, at which time we disbanded the group and I wandered off
to record the events of today.

Thkot is defeated, again and again.

2) Obituaries


OBITUARIES by Zanderic

A Farewell to Alehem
The halls of the Herald echo with billowing sorrow with the loss of the
great Alehem. Alehem was probably the strongest, wisest, and probably
the most successful warrior that the Heralds possessed since Istina. It is
strange news, the passing of Alehem. His death was brought on by
madness. It seems as though he believed that he was given a great gift
from Sarich himself. This gift was not just some tool or weapon, this was a
gift that cannot be even measured. This gift was that of infinite knowledge.
He claimed to know all that is past, present, and future. I vowed to keep my
knowledge of this secret as to keep his life safe. But it seems as though his
life became forfeit all on his own. Even though he might have gone crazy in
the end, he was still s strong Herald both in quill and sword. I should think
that we all remember Alehem for who he once was. May the winds of
Zephyr bring peace of mind in the afterlife you now visit.

Loanir's Obituary
A moment of silence shall toll, for the great loss of Loanir. Loanir's strong
leadership has led us far onto the path of riotousness. As the Executor and
Regent, Loanir held great responsibility. His wit and courage stood against
even the foulest of evil. Loanir was indeed, one of the great leaders of the
castle of the Knights, and will surely be recognized with Dioraem,
Avangulen, and the rest of the great leaders of the Knights inscribed on the
memorial located in Valour. Your sacrifices for the greater good, shall not
go in vein. Loanir has spent his life fighting for our peace. A feat that we
should all strive to obtain. Your blade and your honor will be one to be
remembered. May the Winds of Zephyr guide you safely to an ever
peaceful afterlife, and may your strength in the ways of the light be passed
down onto all those whom you loved.

A tear is to be shed over the death of our beloved Grathin who has fallen
honorably in epic battle. Not! It was only not soon enough, that I heard of
the final death of Grathin the twisted. This vial drow twisted the people
around him under his bidding. It seems as though Grathin's laziness took
the life of him as he was slain with little effort and great joy by a local
Knight. I guess under his hard violent exterior he was just filled with a
bunch of soft gooey entrails that were later laid upon the ground. Perhaps
his time spent dwelling in the dark holes, or wherever the drow seem to
pop up has impaired his better judgment. It was only Grathin's foolishness
that ultimately led to his demise. You passing will be at a loss to Serin none
the less, for we will no longer may rely on him to make the rest of us seem
all that much more intelligent. May your death bring greater wisdom to
your people and may the Winds of Zephyr have pity on your wicked soul.

The passing of Liraleyn
Yet another loss to the halls of the Heralds as our beloved Liraleyn has
passed away. Her works were as beautiful and intricate as she was. Her
flirting with Warlords was as common as he duels with them. I am sure that
her presence will be missed greatly by Herald and Warlord alike. To Vollins,
the one whom loved Liraleyn the most, on behalf of all the Heralds we have
the deepest of sympathy for your loss as well as ours. As we all know, death
is as natural as life. We should not let the loss of Liraleyn hold us down, but
be uplifted, knowing that she is indeed in a better place. May the Winds of
Zephyr guide Liraleyn to a place where her soul can rest in eternal peace.
And may the Winds of Zephyr guide us to the future in which we will strive
to move on. Liraleyn, you shall be missed deeply.

3) Cabal Affairs


Cabal Affairs

There has been some controversy over whether or not the Justices
have actually been doing their work. None of such reports have proven to
be both serious and proven. The immortal leader Vhrael held the Justices
ranks secret as to protect them.
Immortal Leader:-

Members:- Verikoz (Enforcer), Jezikapine (Arbiter), Jutazz (Arbiter),
Vakarath (Arbiter), Grunky (Protector), Mizerath (Deputy)


The castle of the Knights is growing in strength even though Dolgin did
loose his rank as Executor of the Knights. They have gained a few new
squires and hope to train them to be lean mean shadow slaying machines.
Immortal Leader

Members: Dolgin(Archon), Nubal (Knight), Prastin(Knight), Taira (Maiden),
Navatar(squire), Erevis (squire), Nattfjod (squire), Edynarisu (squire)

An interesting change as of here as the Warlords allow all non-casting classes
to be grouped with the members of the Warlords. This includes bards,
paladins, shaman, and so on. Taurth has taken leadership of the Warlords
as Blademaster and is expected to do great things for the halls of the
Immortal Leader

Members: Taurth (Warmaster), Aerandir (Blademaster), Tolmir
(Blademaster), Daritas (Challenger), Dumuzi (Challenger), Gneumal
(Challenger), Zharek (Challenger).


The Legion is ever more oppressing now than before. Zrakalon has failed as
leader of the Legion and Groq has now taken over with a stronger force.
The only thing that can save you now from the death that the Legion shall
bring to you, would be to ourchase a contract from them. If you need any
information on these contracts seek out Vinnie in Darkhaven or another
member of the Legion. The Legion only allowed me to know that Kolok was
the leader and is also known as Forsaken.
Immortal Leader

Members: Kolok (Forsaken), Remmenon (Underling), Xanetes (Underline)

The halls of the Herald have changed in so many ways. The first obvious
way is the change in our rosters. We have lost and gained many Heralds
rather rapidly. We will definitely have our doors open for more applicants.
Another thing is that the conservatory no longer belongs to us. Now we are
assigned to the Travelers rest. Zanderic has taken management of the
Heralds as the new High Herald. The Heralds have be limited to those who
follow balance for they will truly have unbiased opinions. It was because of
this that Runath was forced to leave our great halls.
Immortal Leader

Members: Zanderic (High Herald), Vanisse (Master Scribe), Xazappith

4) Blood and Guts


BLOOD AND GUTS - part one

Niralin vs Vakarath
Niralin decided to take on the dark-knight in the arena. A short battle
followed, as Niralin folded beneath one of the most sick beatings I have
ever seen. His loss is due to his insistence that battles can be fought
without potions. It would seem invisibility tells a different tale.
Victory : Vakarath

Niralin vs Taurth
Another brutal duel, over almost as soon as it finished. The elf ranger was
unrecognizable after this one.
Victory : Taurth

Taurth vs Vakarath
Vakarath was defeated quickly by a powerful combination of rage, dirt
kicking, body slams and shield smash. He made no attempt to even flee,
instead trying poorly damaging fireballs. After the duel, Taurth reported he
had more than half health. Victory : Taurth

Runath vs Isil
Resting in his guild trying to keep a low profile due to the recent
controversy, Runath's guild was attacked by Isil. Runath obliged with
defending it since, again, there was no Justices around, and the law must
be taken into his own hands for the protection of the paladin guild.
What followed was a long one-sided fight, occasionally turning in Isil's favor
due to him finally landing a dangerous spell. Though Isil was unable
to capitalize. The fight ended when Wilibald brought his blackjack into the
fight, causing Runath to back out of the fight for a while.
Victory: Isil (assist from Wilibald)

Runath vs Isil - part deux
Due to the interference Runath sought out peace within the inn. Isil would
relentlessly attack the inn, showing Runath that he had no respect for the
peace code. Unfortunately for Isil, Runath had spent a long time feigning no
wish to chase, causing Isil to over commit to his battles since no chasing
was occurring. The battle was ended in Timaran's pet store as Runath,
noticing Wilibald was no longer to be seen, pursued the shaman through
Timaran and slew him in the pet store.
Victory: Runath

Footnotes:- Isil's corpse became emptied after his death strangely, the
same thing that happened after the death of Kida. I hope that I have not
written his obituary.

(Continued in blood and guts 2)


BLOOD AND GUTS - part two

Runath vs Zanderic
This duel began in the town of Timaran. As the two combatants traded
blows, it became clear of the effect of equipment on the fight. Zanderic's
hellstreams barely cut through Runath's saves and sanctuary. Runath's
stone club debilitated Zanderic for equal damage. Perhaps in a straight up
fight, Zanderic may have defeated the paladin, but this fight was swayed by
curing - as the invoker produced hellstreams, his opponent cured. And
though Runath was losing health faster than it could be cured, Zanderic
own health could not sustain the duration of this fight.
Victor: Runath

Prastin vs the Sliivalan Nanny

Some strange Knights we have for these days. Prastin accompanied your
correspondent into a visit into the Sliivalan Village. When upon we entered
an orphanage, Prastin suddenly snapped into rage, attacking the
younglings. It was terrifying. But then their nanny came to the rescue. After
being beaten badly, Prastin was forced to flee with his tail between his legs.
The battle took a turn for the worse when in attempt to save Prastin, I did
disarm the nanny's dangerous polearm. The damage of this nanny then
became three times more painful for him. As Prastin was annihilated by
greps, he exclaimed "Crap, My only weakness" before fleeing the village
like a little girl.

Zanderic vs Kolok - the rematch
Bolstered with confidence Zanderic charged into battle with the drow and
was handily beaten. The poor fellow, his sanctuary fell a few rounds into
the fight! This teaches two valuable lessons, first is entering battles with a
good length of sanctuary, and second is to leave space to flee in between
casting spells. Most of the damage done in this fight came from Kolok's
mace, it can easily be said though that Zanderic contributed the most here.
Bizarrely, Kolok stole Zanderic's pants from his corpse. His obsession is
unusual and disturbing. The most important lesson here is Kolok likes
pants. Enough to murder for them.

Runath vs Daritas - round one
Suffice it to say that Runath got, and this is not spoken frivolously, utterly
destroyed in this duel.
Victor: Daritas

Runath vs Daritas - round two

This time the Herald realized that the warriors are remarkably adept at
combat styles, and it is no longer a simple case of shield and cures.
However the frenzy of switches, coupled with the occasional appearance of
bows, slowly overwhelmed the paladin. Daritas' ability to double-grip
quickly served him well as Runath struggled to keep out of inferior combat
Victor: Daritas

Kolok vs Zanderic

Feeling full of bravado, Kolok decided to show off his "power" by trying his
mace of unholy spirits out on the Herald Zanderic. He was confident
enough to apply his frenzy and sanctuary spells in front of the whole town,
and asserting "Watch this everyone" as if the most disgusting beating in
history was about to happen. As it turns out, this was not too far from the
truth. For Zanderic had prepared for this fight, and with the advance
warnings of Kolok, was freshly spelled when the attack came. Dispel.
Hellstream. Hellstream. Kolok was soon running like a little girl as the
impressive blows bashed him around the town. He departed the realms not
long after. The whole town was gathered to see his painful defeat.
Winner - Zanderic

5) Serin Opinions



[Concerning the new skills being taught:]
'It is a game of caution, often when things look up, it is really the peak of
the fall you stand atop.' - Sorenes the avian ninja

'I am afraid I have not seen them in action, so I shant comment upon them
at this point' - Dolgin the healer

'It gives us thieves a lot more ways to do deadly attacks that are also
related to my technique' - Jastor the halfing thief

'I believe that perhaps they put fights more in the favor of us warrior kin,
which is perhaps nice, but somewhat unfair.'

-I asked why.

'Well, before now we had no way to bring people out of hiding, but with
windmill cleave, such can be attained Taking away the only advantage that
they had.' - Kerek the storm warrior

'I am disappointed by the loss of my spells and throw' - Tralkzik the ranger

'Too early to tell.' - Gannon the fire giant warrior

[Impressions new explorers have of Serin]
'very intresting...quests are abit funny though...' - Askari

'I have not seen much of Serin yet but what I have seen has been colorful.'
- Herzog

'I like it, it has a peaceful wind. Or perhaps that only blows at my back.' -

[Amusing quote of the Mystique:]

Zanderic: Kolok hunts me, and has intentions to kill me.
Xazappith: What did you do to make him hate you dear?
Zanderic: I refused to give him my leggings.
Xazappith: Well I'm glad you refused....
Xazappith: Men who ask other men to remove their pants are strange.
Torkalen: I think it is perfectly natural for anyone to ask me to remove my
pants... male or female, I cannot blame them.
Xazappith: Has anyone ever asked you that dear? Not excluding anyone
seeking payment?
Torkalen: Strangely no.
Zanderic: Here is your chance Xazappith.
Xazappith: My chance?
Zanderic: Ask him to take his pants off.....
Torkalen: She has just gotten a glance, the lucky girl.
Xazappith: Lucky only if the luck is bad.

[Why do gods care about us?]

Daritas: 'We are their pawns, used to fight their battles.'
Gannon: 'To be non-mortal, you must also have mortals. We exist
together, but you know what?' They both really really anger me.'
Navatar: 'I believe it is because they envy us.'
Remmenon: 'They watch over us so we complete their hopes and dreams,
just like a father raising his child.'
Xazappith: 'Because we make more mistakes.. which makes them laugh.'
Zanderic: 'They are trying to please the greater gods so that they may be
released from this cursed realm.' not harm the weak are not truly neutral,
but rather 'They are lightwalkers who are indecisive. 'I feel that driven as
he is by his utter faith, Dolgin will prove to be a subject for night terrors of
all who seek comfort in the darkness.

6) Talks with Serins



Recently I had the rare pleasure of an interview with Dolgin Gerson. Over
tea and coffee, I learned that he was raised near to the Valley of the Elves.
From a young age, he was guided to be fervently devoted to the light. For a
time, he healed brave men and women who had taken wounds or fallen ill
in battle. But this was not to be his calling. One day he noticed that the
world was shrouded in darkness, a darkness that was not a disease he
could heal by conventional means. His life became focused on purging the
world of that darkness. He devoted his entire life to strengthening the
reach of the light over those of the darkness. He was given the title of
Executor based on the evil he had cleansed from the land and his
indisputable trust in his lord. His current plans are simple. He, not alone but
with aid from other Knights, will crush those who walk in darkness. When
asked to comment on those who follow no path, he stated that those who
follow neither light or dark follow nothing. This does not mean however
that he will attempt to purge everyone. He stated that those who do not
harm the weak are not truly neutral, but rather 'They are lightwalkers who
are indecisive. 'I feel that driven as he is by his utter faith, Dolgin will prove
to be a subject for night terrors of all who seek comfort in the darkness.
Note: Dolgin is no longer executor of the Knights.



Zrakalon is gone. His reign of the legion is at an end. But do not rest easy
people of Serin, for a much more vial and capable leader has taken his
stead. Groq, a grotesquely evil fire giant from the days of old has stepped in
where Zrakalon has failed. All the previous members of the Legion must
now prove their worth to Groq before they may once again claim to be a
member of the Legion.

Groq claims that he ''can lead in battle much better than that incompetent
squid.'' and that

''Zrakalon is a fool. A weakling that displeased the higher gods whom then
punished him for his failure.''

I am here to tell you that if you thought Zrakalon was scary, boy oh boy
wait till you meet Groq. It is like Mashadar compared to a goblin. A new
wave of darkness shall cover our world in shadow. Only the light of the
Knights can save us. Our only hope is that the light is bright enough to
overcome the impending shadow. How can we defend ourselves from Groq
and his army? Groq suggests

''None will stand in the way of the Army I will build. I will stand atop piles
of bodies hearing agony, terror and defeat in all that oppose us. My only
advice to all is to buy our protection or be over whelmed.''


Courage. It is a state of mind that allows one to face danger without fear.
But not all courage comes from the danger of a weapon. I spoke recently
with Turir, following a death by his hand. This man, I feel has the most
noble form of courage I have seen. He was once a herald himself, in the
time of Lydana, but departed because of conflicting values. He felt that
Heralds should know how to defend themselves against any danger.
Throughout the course of our discussion I found him to be adamant in his
beliefs. His goal as far as I can glean is to purify the Heralds to the few who
can both write well and fight well, that they may defend themselves. He
claims that only the strongest and most dedicated, who can master the art
of the quill and a weapon, should be allowed within the Halls. Almost all I
could do was ask why. He would not change his mind, but that would not
stop me from digging into it. His response was that he killed out of love.
After hours of sitting with him, and speaking with him, I began to
understand. He wishes to be a martyr for his cause: bringing strength to the
Herald. Unfortunately for him, his own point is being proven with each
battle he walks away from. The impression I got from him was that he
wished to lose. He wants the Heralds to become stronger. We parted ways
with a warning from him to me that if I joined the halls of the heralds, he
would take it on himself to make me the best I could be. I leave you with
the same warning. Although I do not agree with him personally, Turir is
strong of mind and body. He will be out with his weapon, seeking to test
the strength of Heralds. Perhaps it will prove to be for the better. Perhaps
he can turn into reality his vision of what the Heralds should be. Only time
will tell.

7) Serins talk back



I am of course Rilea, I write this for Grathin by his request. All of the
following are in his words, obviously penned by me.

It is a treatise on responsibility. What one does as a member of a certain
cabal reflects upon the entire cabal. Thus when one explores actions with
negative consequences, the entire cabal must suffer these consequences.
When young Runath blatantly attacked young Lyvia within the Walls of
Seringale. I suggested that he turn himself in. For such would be the proper
action in regards to the relations between the Justices and the Heralds.
However, he refused such an action. I continued to warn him that his
refusal to do this would result in reprimands of the Herald cabal as a whole.
Of which he is representative. He tells me that he does not care. I proceed
to warn him of the consequence, that the Wilderness shall comprise of
Herald corpses if he continued this path of action. Yet, he does not heed
what it is I speak. Thus, I find him in Valour and apprehend him there.
Though his actions, and thus my actions, have already been decided. The
first is a solution which shall be beneficial to both parties. He knows
nothing of responsibility nor consideration. He is unfit to be an unbiased
scribe. The other option is for me to fulfill my promise. I will line the
Wilderness with corpses of Heralds until Runath acknowledges the error in
his thought and judgment. He is to understand the liability he holds to his
halls with his actions. Such is a graver choice, but it holds a more valuable

SINCERITY submitted by Grathin

Apparently, sincerity is not a trait that is well known of Heralds. When the
clause for redemption is honesty, a line such a "utmost apologies for
whatever it was I did" is a wrench within the wheel of progress. Since
Runath obviously feels no guilt on the matter, let us change the topic. My
relations with Heralds have been most superb prior to this incident, and
thus, it was only with disgust that I asked Rilea to pen my note. If I had
been more at ease, I would have written it myself. Therefore, since Runath
shows no care for the Laws of Serin, it is my request that he learn of them.
As an honest show of sincerity, I would like an article written for the next
Mystique entitled 'The Pertinence of Law, and the reasons they must be
Obeyed' written by Runath. I would request that I be allowed to proofread
the article for accuracy and content. If he will not see his own faults for his
lack of responsibility, may he at least inspire other Citizens to hold theirs.

There is nothing I have even done that goes against the spirit of Heralds,
there are two guiding principles in fact that tell us not to shy away from
good fights, and to feel free to fight back and slay whoever picks a fight.
These guidelines are close to my core values, as well.

I will generally be peaceful in town whenever Justice is actually present to
protect it, because there will not be people trying to murder me. But if I am
forced to defend myself because they aren't, then so be it. If Justice made a
better habit of entering Serin in middle of fights, I might be more wary, but
unfortunately it was a freak occurrence that got me flagged this time.

It was my belief that the Justice cabal did not operate in extortion. Yet it is
clear to me that Grathin has both attempted to extort an apology out of
me, and when he was not satisfied with what he got, he now wishes to
extort his own column in the Mystique, bearing my name. If it is perception
Grathin cares about, then he should take more care of the way he makes
his own cabal look. If it is peaceful relations Grathin cares about, then he
should be satisfied with what he has received, instead of making more
demands. What's ironic is Grathin is doing things he doesn't want to do, to
make me do things that I have no wish to do. But I have a simple resolution
for that. If he wishes to be happy with what I pen about Justice in the
future, then he has my permission to dictate to Rilea what I should say, and
send it there on my behalf. From this point on, I shall only listen to what
the gods and Vanisse have to say about my conduct.

(Continued in talkback2)



Grunky and Dinner write new report. Dinner still smell worse than Grunky
had thought possible for boar. Grunky learn new things every day.

Upon joining Justice, Grunky and Dinner both develop new very bad
craving. Grunky try eat everything, but nothing make craving go away until
Grunky finds in Solace bakery, "chocolate donut". Grunky not know
connection between being Justice and suddenly craving "chocolate donut",
but Grunky very excited, thank Needa the Baker very much, and Grunky
and Dinner eat far too many "chocolate donuts". Now Grunky notices
Grunky start have fat tummy, maybe big people not notice when gnomes
have fat tummy, but Grunky notice and Dinner notice too. Dinner says
Grunky start looking like pig. Grunky not know how fat Justices who eat too
many "chocolate donuts" can still run fast to catch criminals, but Grunky
decides Grunky need exercise and look for partner. Grunky finds goblin task
force looking very bored, so Grunky uses fists so not hurt task force and
because Grunky hear in eastern lands many use fists for healthy exercise.
Grunky very careful not to allow any goblins to escape while Grunky
exercise with task force, Grunky not want mayor mad at task force and
make task force lose job from Grunky exercising. However many hear yells
and ask what Grunky do, ask Grunky many questions, so Grunky stop
exercising after lose fat tummy. While exercising Grunky stay in Seringale,
and not see any crimes happen. Grunky also think try more careful and
quiet when exercising in future.

Grunky also send this report to Herald so friends Runath and Xazappith
know why Grunky so excited today, then later go exercising. Grunky sorry if
Fist and Goat mad at Grunky for doing this. Grunky promise not tell Justice
secrets like where Fist hide big weapon of gargantuan squishing, and
Dinner promise not to tell Dinner's ranger and druid friends what Goat does
with animals when alone.

Dinner has smelly "chocolate donut" gas now, so Grunky take out for walk.

8) Poems! Run for the hills!



TRAPPED, A POEM by Xazappith
Alone in the dark I sit and I scream.
The terror is real, not only a dream.
No one can hear me and no one will come.
I've tried to get out, but there's no place to run.
The sun on my face and my shadow on the ground
Are naught now but memories drifting around.
The walls close in and my panic grows.
No way out now, to another realm I go.
My mouth is dry and my stomach is tight
I've been here too long and I won't last the night
I lay here now, too weak to move
Once a great woman I've nothing more to prove.
A light appears and draws near to me
Finally I am starting to see.
This is the price that I must pay
For taking a chance and losing my way.
The light is fading and I'm warm again
I get the feeling that I'm among friends.
Floating above my trap I can see
My poor shriveled corpse splayed before me.
Without remorse I fly far above
To the waiting arms of a forgotten love.

9) Story Time



The harsh rays of the noonday sun beat on the cat's resting body. Troubled
by the constant heat, his amber eyes opened slowly. Suddenly, the cat was
on guard, to his left, he heard some agitated chirping, and with a sniff of air
he could smell the sweet scent of an easy meal. Within a moment, he was
within the tall grasses by his home, following the scent and sound of his
prey before he saw them. His sandpaper tongue licked his lips, the taste of
the rodent he had eaten before his nap only adding to his hunger. The birds
for their part were oblivious to their danger, their beaks pushing aside the
blades of grass in search of insects for their own meals. Still the cat waited,
they were too far, and attacking now would scare them away. His tail began
to twitch as a plump one moved closer to him. Abruptly the feline's eyes
widened. Something was happening to him. His chest began heaving and
he let out a frightful hiss, as if that would stop whatever was attacking him.
His meal, hearing this shout took to the air, screeching warnings to any
other birds about that a danger was near, but the cat took little notice. He
had bigger problems to deal with. He started rocking back and forth and
with a loud complain the source of his irritation revealed itself. The animal
started at the ball of fur that had come from his mouth. He slowly walked
towards it and sniffed it. Yes. It was the rat, down to its tiny claws, which
were barely visible on the edges of the mess. Now, however he was in real
predicament, his previous meal was inedible in front of him and his current
was in the sky somewhere. He had only one option left. He turned back
towards his home, trotting purposefully to the wooden door. He let out a
plaintive cry and within moments the door opened for him. The old man
who kept him dry on rainy nights reached down his rough hand and the cat
rubbed against it, meowing once more. The man smiled and carried him
inside where, as the cat knew it would be, his dinner was waiting. Fresh
fish. No fur nor feathers to upset his stomach nor any work that he had to
do to get it. He grabbed his perfect supper and ran back out the door,
under the shade of the tree. The birds would soon return, and then he
could have both his hunt and his meal.

RUTABAGA by Runath

As everyone probably knows, Rashan the farmer has been making a tidy
living selling a plant that is unfit for human consumption. He has operated
from Solace for many years now, selling produce that nobody has actually
seen naturally growing anywhere in Serin. Of course, that would be
because it grows underground - being a close cousin of the turnip. Yet
unlike the loveable turnip that has been used in recipes for centuries, the
rutabaga is grown in the twisted forests of Grimwood - where it is prey to
moles with very sharp teeth.

This dangerous root has nothing but ill in store for those that eat it. Yet
even so, many still inevitably fall upon this plant and can't help taking a
bite. Stories of men being driven into madness by the three weeks spent
with a leathery tongue are not at all unheard of - even after its horrifying
effects have long passed. (dysentery, the inability to speak, and in some
cases,.. shudder.. 30 hours detect magic).

Rutabaga is clearly an item of consumption to be wary of. However, it is
not the plant itself that does the harm - it did not ask to be eaten. It is just a
plant, with effects that help it to avoid the plate. One should understand
why they became a victim. Eating a plant without first gaining an idea of its
properties is a lapse of judgment, and this is to be avoided. A man who
never considers the consequence of his actions will certainly fall prey to
fates far worse than the defense mechanism of the rutabaga.