The Serin Mystique, Volume 1, Issue 7

Issue 7 has a few new touches that I hope you will enjoy. One of our new
members, Dabilor, has played a large role in pushing the Mystique in a new
direction. Dabilor, as you may have heard, is a gnome who seeks total
domination. The new sections 'Ask the Mad Dictator' and 'Memoirs of a Mad
Dictator' are the two most obvious gnomish additions that can be attributed
to him. I hope that you enjoy his gnomish rambles as much as the Heralds
have.

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

1) Current Events (see events)
2) Rumors (see rumors)
3) Cabal Affairs (see cabals)
4) History (see history)
5) Stories (see stories1, stories2, stories3)
6) Gnome Talk (see rhastam, teunamn)
7) Memoirs of a Mad Dictator (see memoirs1, memoirs2, memoirs3)
8) Miscellaneous (see misc)
9) Ask the Mad Dictator (see asks)

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



1) Current Events

events

One of the biggest and most prominent Knights ever has departed from
Serin permanently this week. Despite the many extensions on life she
received, the imminent death of the Knight Naydra has been a burden on the
Knights for some time. Yet, oddly, rather than finally dying her last death
and departing Serin due to poor health, Naydra is said to have ended her own
life so that the Knights could move on and find a new Leader. I am sure I
speak for us all (at least those of us who are not Legion hopefuls), when I
say she will be missed.

Naydra was not the only well known Serin to end her life last week.
Avendin, a knight, Mrakol, a Warlord, Kalerin, once High Herald, and Keeb,
also High Herald, have left Serin for journeys into other lands. They will
be missed.

Update on the war with Zaikkra:

The dark army of the lich Zaikkra is weakening. Fells and Abyssals all over
Serin are buckling under the pressure of a hostile environment, coupled with
constant severe beatings at the hands of this worlds rightful inhabitants.
When first they invaded this land, the demons of the dark emperor ruled the
night, striking fear in the hearts of adventurers everywhere with their
fearsome strength and vicious guerrilla tactics. Now, that picture has
changed. Many of Zaikkra's newer recruits flee this realm within a few
days. Some have even expressed a wish for asylum as traitors to their
master. Among others, the fell berserker Wuledo has expressed a wish to
"renounce all allegiance" for the lich. He also stated he was willing to
accept any consequences for his defection. Cases like these become more and
more common as the Serin counter attack gains strength. The remaining
loyal soldiers deny all allegations that their war effort is in danger of
failing, claiming that "Serin has not yet begun to see the true power of
Zaikkra". Though none have been able to determine the truth of these types
of statements beyond a doubt, they are being dismissed by most citizens as
desperate last ditch attempts at wartime propaganda.

The Legion is once again partially open and accepting applications.
Apparently Lord Resatimm himself has been walking through Serin in search of
members, and giving personal invitations into Legion for those who he
believes fit his requirements. He seems to only be inviting those who
embody evil as much as he does so we must all begin to watch our backs in
fear that the Legion may be stalking you.


2) Rumors

rumors

I have heard rumors from people of the town of Seringale that Aruncus the
great mage is victim of a strange plague. I do not know if this is true but
he looks quite pale now many are worried about him and he seems confused and
overly relaxed, even when people are killing him. Perhaps this plague,
whose symptoms are most commonly a hacking cough, disorientation, and a
strange case of the munchies, is due to the new cigars he has taken to
smoking.

This just in from a reliable source straight from the elven battlezone!
Late last evening two members of the Knights of Valour were spotted
galloping around on their horses. The identities of the Knights will remain
undisclosed, due to the fact that one was a giant who could squash me dead.
After exercising their steeds they took a break, apparently to rest. Aha!
Rest they did not. While the stallions grazed in the tall grasses the
knights, males both, proceeded to play leap-frog in an ambiguously queer
manner. While I would never question the sexual orientation of any of the
Holy Knights of Valour, one must wonder if these are the kind of people they
want their children to look to as role models.

Newest Knight seen having dinner by candlelight with none other than the
fiendish Rhastam! Yes folks, apparently none other than Rosalyn, newest
Lady of Knights, was spotted in a small, yet classy Inn, having dinner with
none other than former Legion Rhastam! Apparently plying her more "earthly
wares" in hopes of preventing Rhastam from making quick work of all the
Knights, she was seen whispering soft nothings into his ear, as well as
gently stroking his wings as they shared a secluded table together! This
tale becomes even more disturbing and perverse as it appears they were
discussing a deal what would exclude Rosalyn from Rhastam's rampages, and
even guarantee her a fair sum of any and all armor gathered from any other
lightwalkers he felled! When I approached their table, quickly things
became hostile as Rhastam summoned forth an army of undead minions to stop
this story from becoming an exclusive, while Rosalyn quickly ducked under
the table to conceal her presence. But yours truly caught it all as it
unfolded! After I made a hasty departure from the Inn, I returned later to
find out from the Innkeep that they indeed had rented a room for the night
to "seal" some sort of bargain! If this isn't an atrocious low-point for
Knights everywhere, then I can only hazard a terrified guess at what is!

NOTE: The Heralds cannot be held accountable for any rumor that may insult
or degrade an individual. We have no proof of any of these rumors being
either true or false, and many are merely the creation of a vivid
imagination.


3) Cabal Affairs

cabals

[LEGION]

Though there are rumors that their halls are full, only recently was an
official scroll sent to Serin partially re-opening the halls of Legion.
After the recent purge of his halls, Resatimm will allow only the most elite
citizens into his Army of Darkness. According to his scroll, all who apply
and found worthy will be interviewed and potentially tested. Those who pass
will be allowed into the Army of Darkness, those who fail will be slain in
spite by Resatimm for wasting his time. Only those at rank 35 need apply,
unless you believe yourself to be the Lord of Darkness himself.

[KNIGHT]

It is a shame that we must report that the long time Executor Naydra has
finally passed from Serin. Soluminus was reported as saying that he thinks
that Naydra "was one of the best leaders the Knights have had in a long
time, and she will be missed". Despite the fact that no new Executor has
been appointed, the Knights are still strong, and have recently inducted
several new Disciples into their ranks. They have also reported seeing
several people with the weapons of Legion, and are preparing themselves for
the reopening of the dark cabal.

[MYSTIC]

A mystic by the name of Nakisher, who had been traveling away from Serin has
recently been seen in the realms once again. Nauglamir, the current leader
of the Mystics is still searching for some way to allow the Abyssal and
Fells to live in harmony with Serin, but as of yet, no reports of his
success have been heard.

[JUSTICE]

The Justice have been vigilant about maintaining the Lawful state of the
cities, despite many recent complaints of their misdoings. Gorgwath has
spent many hours as of recent, instructing his Justice in proper etiquette,
and ensuring that there is no confusion about the Law in the future. The
Justice are, as always, looking for a few good Serins who are willing to
dedicate their lives to the enforcement of the Laws of Serin. Areilme is
the most recent Deputy to be inducted into the Justice.

[WARLORD]

Despite the lack of either a mortal or Immortal leader, the Warlords have
been flourishing. They have benefited from several improvements in their
ability to report and show off their records. Not only can we see a report
of all Warlords and their records, but we can also know what rank a Warlord
fights his opponent, making it easier to tell if his fights are with honor
or not. The newest Warlord is Kanata, who already has proven to have quite
an impressive record.

[HERALD]

It seems that the Heralds have been taking a bit of a turn towards the
gnomish. Dabilor, a recent inductee seeks to use the Heralds in order to
create some sort of army of gnomes. As a result, applications from
previously oppressed gnomes hoping to get revenge for all the bashing and
crushing have come to an all time high. The current members of Heralds are:
Teanna, Danside, Eynsu, Brennan, Dokkas, Rymerr, Deliris, Dabilor, Nym,
Jerouniset.

[ASSASSIN]

With the threat from the Fell and Abyssal at an all time high, many citizens
of Serin are said to have been paying even the highest of prices to have the
traitors destroyed. As always, the Assassins, being the secret killers that
they are, have not provided any statement for the Mystique. However, we can
be sure that Vinnie is still accepting 'donations' for the murder of the
most hated (or loved) citizens of Serin.



4) History

history

The Slith and The Swamp (a match made in heaven):

I have to say I know quite a bit about sliths. You see, I (Jerouniset) am a
slith, so I've spent a lot of time around them. The first thing you'll
notice about us is that we like to stay to ourselves. A lot of people think
that is because we're cranky and elitist. Nothing could be further from the
truth. We sliths like to hang solo because we are contemplative creatures
by nature. We like to sit on our favorite rock in the middle of the swamp,
watch the mosquitoes buzz around, and reflect on life, happiness, fighting,
peat bogs, whatever. When we're with other races, it gets a lot harder to
stay connected. Example:

Sam the Slith: Hey Freddy, why do you suppose we're all here? I mean,
what's the point?

Freddy the Fire Giant: GHHAAAA! YOU DIE NOW! ME BASH YOUR BRAINS IN!!!!

You see? Lack of understanding.

Now that we have the major stereotype out of the way, let me lay a few more
myths to rest. Sliths are NOT slimy, we have dry leathery skin. Sliths do
NOT eat bugs, we eat slabs of beef like everyone else when we're in town.
Sometimes we are forced to dine on carrion when we are far from
civilization. Sliths tails will NOT grow back if you cut them off (so cut
that out ok). And no, not all sliths partake of the strange, thick cigars.
Only the cool ones do.

Let me wrap up this essay by saying that as a whole, we reptiles are fairly
lenient when it comes to morality (seems like everyone is obsessed with a
'moral path' these days, not sure what's up with that). There is a lot more
to say about us, but look, I only have so much material to work with, I'd
like to be able to revisit this topic if I have to.


5) Stories

stories1

Keeb's Life Tale:

My life began as all lives begin, at birth. The only peculiarity that I
know of is that I don't know the exact circumstances of my birth. My
earliest recollections were of sweeping floors for the right honorable
Bishop Frishar at a monastery to a little known and worshipped god. Bishop
Frishar was the head of the monastery and they took me on when my father
brought me there at birth because they believed they could use me seeing as
how the whole of the monastery could not converse with outsiders. However
if they kept me on as a simple floor sweeper they could on occasion send me
on errands to the near bytown. Life was good if rather hard and boring.
Up before dawn and to bed before dusk and lots of sweeping in between. Well
I lived there fairly happily not knowing much of the world and so not
desiring anything else at all. All I ever saw of other people besides the
brothers of the order were simple towns folk who I only saw for small
moments while on short errands. However as you all know my life must have
changed for I am not a simple floor sweeper for a monastery. Nowhere near
such a thing in fact. The event that began changing my life was when I was
probably about sixteen in age and a bit adventurous though my idea of
adventure was a bit narrow and vague. For me adventure was staying out a
little longer on my errands than I was supposed to. Well one day I was
walking along and was beguiled by one of those people who stand out side
taverns and yell out about the pleasures to be had within. In any case I
came in and spent a bit of the change from my purchase of eggs for the
monastery to buy a pint of ale. I loved the stuff and stayed out all night
quite to the distress to those of the monastery when I staggered in at six
the next morning. I was punished and given a long hard lecture on the evils
of ale and the like. I was not convinced being at an age when I was a bit
rebellious and had my own ideals about the way I should conduct myself. In
any case I felt I had a grand old time down at the ale house and wished to
return there as soon as possible for another night on the town. I set about
making myself a plan of how to come about required funds and a way out. The
funds were actually quite easily procured from the Monastery Coffers I
simply slipped in at night and made way with a small bit of change. Getting
out was a bit more challenging I had to avoid a score of Elders on their way
to prayers but that overcome I was on my way. The next morning I was able
to slip back in and was never missed, for a while in any case. At some point
about a week later the Bishop Frishar decided we needed some goats milk and
I was going to get it but when he found the coffers a bit lighter than they
should have been he sounded the alarm. All in the monastery were made to
search the place for the sneak thief. Even I myself had to look much to my
own consternation and worry. We looked everywhere and it was soon found
that there wasn't a thief inside the Monastery and that it must have been
one of the monks. They set about searching all the Monastery for signs that
such things had taken place and to my dismay they found a small bag of gold
under my mattress. Now the Monks of this particular monastery were not
perhaps the most strict but there was one thing they did not tolerate and
that was disloyalty. The Bishop judged me and their council came upon a
decision of what my punishment would be. I was to have one finger from what
was thought to be the offending hand removed and was to be cast out with no
more than five silvers and some waybread and water. Firstly I traveled down
to the town and being naive as I was squandered my five silvers on a short
night at the tavern. Much to my dismay I found they did not take credit and
I was thrown out on the street. I was not happy about this change of
circumstances but I was not entirely sad. I had the whole of the world in
front of me and I figured I'd make a big man of myself and have my name go
down in history as some great hero or another. So I set out into the
wilderness and began a new life. I learned of the city of Seringale and
began to travel in that general direction.

stories2

... Continued...

I found myself a new life living in the alleys with all the little bit of
food I could find and gutter water... It was not pleasant to be sure. And
it was then that I remembered the work that I did on the coffers of the
monastery and it gave me and idea. I set out to find a house to burglarize.
I got as far as the front door when I was grabbed and dragged inside as it
seems I had tried to rob the manor house of one of the high ranking members
of the Thieves Guild. I was laughed at because of my elementary style of
going about things but eventually he gave me an offer to join considering I
was not perhaps half bad after all and might work as a pick pocket. I went
about my work merrily having many adventures and such I grew strong in the
guild and quickly became quite good and respected within its walls. I
worked by day and night all the same. At times even stealing a couple
streets away from the Justice patrols. Here I will include one anecdote
from my life...

It worked like this I had been harassing and stealing from a pair of
Dark-Knights. I was doing pretty well and taking many things. However a
Justice came along and immediately one of the Dark-Knights challenged me to
a duel Addreodyn presiding. In any case I accepted, dueling laws being less
strict back then, and I was promptly informed by the Dark-Knight that I was
about to see things I had never seen before and I informed him that indeed I
had never seen myself kill a Dark-Knight in a duel to the Verbal Submission.
All went well I knocked him over his head took his weapons and had him
stunned in no time. There was only one problem... It seemed he was
starving to death. At this point I was laughing and rolling about on the
floor at the irony of the thing. Eventually Addreodyn ruled that I should
finish the job because it was in the Dark-Knights best interest and I did
so.

Well thats that and I had many such adventurers. However at some point my
life changed. It was on a day that a certain Avian Invoker Lavan by name
decided I need to catch fire, faerie flames and real of course. I ran to
Market Square and waited. He came along and I was ready and whapped him on
the head quite squarely. I set about taking his possessions rings, light,
sack, weapons, bracers. I prefer to take everything as killing is not
always my first choice. I got right up to taking the floating thing when he
woke up and yelled out and the Justices started yelling "Guards! Guards!"
I ran to the east gate and hid on top of it and for some reason that I
cannot remember came out for a moment. However before the Justices reached
me I realized my error and hid again and set myself up outside the south
gate. There I was assaulted by a fellow halfling and thief who in fact lost
the battle and I got away with a new Withering Scythe among other things.
From there I ran to the Lush Valley to wait out and attempt to bribe
Talasia. If you have ever tried to bribe the Justice it doesn't work they
are all too ungreedy they could have been a bunch of monks. Well Addreodyn
tracked me down probably with that thief's help and slew me returning all my
things happily. It was at that point that I realized that my line of work
was not perhaps the safest and maybe it would be good to find something else
to do and work as a thief more part time or as a fence. So I began looking
around for somewhere to sign up for a new job. My choices were quite
limited so I finally settled on Herald because I knew how to write and read
because of my upbringing in the monastery. I sent in my application and lo
and behold there I was a Herald along with my good friend Salvan may he rest
in peace. I set about doing all I could to work my way up and make the most
of my situation. I came up with the idea for "Ask Keeb," and there we go I
was up and running with my new job. From there on out I worked hard and
eventually I became High Herald, and that is where we are now.

stories3

One thing has always bothered me though. I do not know who my mother is
and I have no way of knowing if my father is truly my father. Recently I
have done some research and this is what I found. I am not the son of my
the man who's surname I bear. I am in fact of unknown birth to even him.
All he knows is that he found me when he and a group of men assaulted a
Dark-Knight traveling fast on an exhausted horse through the mountains they
slew the Dark-Knight and took his possessions me among them. My father
decided that it was not right for me to be raised by them so they set me up
at the monastery. I do not know from whence I came so I must end my story
now with no ending in truth. To sit within the libraries of Serin for
perhaps some scholar to discover and guide me on my quest.

After writing this story, Keeb departed Serin in search for his true Family.

Good luck Keeb!


6) Gnome Talk

rhastam

Interview with Rhastam:

You tell Rhastam 'Mind if I ask you a few questions?

Rhastam tells you 'Shore. '

You tell Rhastam 'Right then. In your opinion, was the recent disbandment
of Legion on the whole, due to failures by just a select few, or was every
member equally incompetent? '

Rhastam tells you 'I would say a select few. '

You tell Rhastam 'Right then. So if that was the case, why do you think
Resatimm disbanded the whole group, instead of just those select few? '

Rhastam tells you 'You will have to ask Resatimm, but history shows that
that is his method of operation. When a few at the top continually screw
up, it is time to cut losses and clear house. '

You tell Rhastam 'Ah, so he find incompetence is like a contagion, and tries
to contain it by cutting off the whole arm? That makes sense, avians are
always paranoid about diseases, even after becoming higher powers. '

Rhastam tells you 'Last time I looked, Lord Resatimm was not Avian. ' You
tell Rhastam 'Oh? Sources told me that he was such before rising to the
heavens. I'll have to re-verify those. '

Rhastam tells you 'He was, but when one changes to the undead, all traits of
their former race are gone. '

You tell Rhastam 'Intriguing, very intriguing. So, back to the topic of
contagions, before the current batch of Legion was disbanded, do you
remember drinking from the fountain in the cabal? There may have been a
sickly green glow emanating from it... '

Rhastam tells you 'I drank from it regularly. It was not a fountain, it was
a mage cast magical spring. Our undead cleric made one for us every time it
dried up. '

You tell Rhastam 'Of course, of course, but do you remember any specific
instances where the water had a green tinge to it? Perhaps you drank from
it, and felt horribly sick afterwards? '

Rhastam tells you 'Never. '

You tell Rhastam 'I see, well, that'll be the last time I buy my ingredients
from a shady duergar with only one hand. So, now that you've been removed
from Legion, what are your plans? Ever considered serving under a gnome in
his conquest for world domination? '

Rhastam tells you 'Serving under a gnome? Do I get to use him as catapult
ammunition? '

You tell Rhastam 'You own a catapult? Have you ever considered donating it
to a great cause? Because we're in high demand for siege weapons, the
Knights castle being so fortified as it is... '

Rhastam tells you 'Bah, I can take the Knight Fortress with an army of three
zombies.

You tell Rhastam 'But that's not thinking like a General! A catapult could
do much more damage from a safe range. A truly successful campaign takes
little toll on ones resources, such as animated corpses. '

Rhastam tells you 'I like 'hands on''

Rhastam tells you 'Now, allow me to ask you a question? '

You tell Rhastam 'One can always ask of me a question! But if it's too
vital of information, the answer may not be forthcoming..... '

Rhastam tells you 'I have heard rumors of Knights galore having this
reputation or that with the populace of Serin. Considering that the Heralds
are the ones who mark the Knights thusly, what does a non-Knight have to'

Rhastam tells you 'do to gain a reputation? Kill Heralds? '

You tell Rhastam 'Well, one would think that might gain you the reputation
of "feared", but from what I can gather, you'd most likely not get any
reputation of any sort, out of spite from those who you killed. '

You tell Rhastam 'Mind you, serving a gnome faithfully might get you places
in the regard of reputation. '

Rhastam tells you 'Ha. '

You tell Rhastam 'Think about it! It's a good offer! '

Rhastam tells you 'It is not as if I care, I was just curious, seeing as
though the rumours claim almost every Knight had one or two reputations. '

You tell Rhastam 'It's quite possible. We reward those who help us. '
Rhastam tells you 'So, basically you bribe them with your Herald Skill? '

You tell Rhastam 'Well, I'd personally reward them with cookies and milk,
seeing as it's more cost effective and less of a investment. '

teunamn

[WARLORD] Teunamm Interview

Teunamm tells you 'You wanted to talk? '

You tell Teunamm 'So tell me, your cabal is one of the most active
currently, and yet, no mortal leader, do you attribute this to the
independence of each member, or just pure dedication? '

Teunamm tells you 'We have not spoke much about what is to be done. I feel
someone needs to take charge and expedite the process. '

You tell Teunamm 'Yes, I understand. But I'm asking what you accredit to
the fact your organization is still so active without firm mortal
leadership? '

Teunamm tells you 'We really have no need at this time, most of us have been
around long enough to know the ways, and to teach the young ones. '

You tell Teunamm 'I see. And when the need arises for a mortal leader, say,
in times of War, who do you think is best fitted to step up and take the
job? '

Teunamm tells you 'There are a few I feel could handle it. '

You tell Teunamm 'But no names? '

Teunamm tells you 'Those I will keep to myself for now. '

You tell Teunamm 'Indeed. And out of the Warlords currently residing, who
do you think is the mightiest warrior? Don't be modest, you can say
yourself. '

Teunamm tells you 'Battles come and go. Much of the members at the top can
best another any givin day. '

You tell Teunamm 'Indeed. And what of the up and comers? Are they proving
to be of great talent? '

Teunamm tells you 'Some more than others. '

Teunamm tells you 'Kanata has done very well from what I have seen myself.

You tell Teunamm 'I see. His record shows you've yet to fight him yourself.
Something you're looking forward to? '

Teunamm tells you 'Aye, there are few members I have not seen In a while I
would love to fight. '

Teunamm tells you 'When Kanata was just 42 or 44, can't remember, we went to
winter with me. '

Teunamm tells you 'I gained much respect that eve. ' You tell Teunamm 'Oh?
Any casualties during the trip? '

Teunamm tells you 'A few... '

You tell Teunamm 'Ah, well, it happens. '

Teunamm tells you 'Aye. '

You tell Teunamm 'I see that out of the Warlords he's fought so far, Kanata
has lost only one duel. Does that leave you a bit apprehensive? ' Teunamm
tells you 'I have nothing to fear, I look forward to the battle more than
that outcome. '

Teunamm tells you 'I feel it will be a good fight, as he has proven so far.

You tell Teunamm 'Well, that's a good outlook on things. And what of
yourself? Any goals you're looking forward to? Forgemaster, or perhaps
even the coveted Warmaster spot, for yourself? '

Teunamm tells you 'I would like the to take my next rank soon, as for
Warmaster it would be an honor, yet I know not yet if I would be the best to
lead us. '

You tell Teunamm 'Okay then. That about sums it up. Thank you for your time.'


7) Memoirs of a Mad Dictator

memoirs1

Journal Entry 1

Entry into the Herald cabal was a speedy procedure, one must appreciate
efficiency. Aruncus has now entered the cigar business, producing these
strange smelling cigars which produce the most interesting effects on ones
mind. The idea of making several key persons dependant on the substances of
the cigar would be a great asset for discrediting many of these same
persons. Further exploration must be made into this area. These same
cigars it seems, are also quite effective at expanding ones trail of
thoughts, but it comes with the fault of making concentration on one
specific subject difficult. Therefore these objects shall be used for
personal use only when needing inspiration, they shall be my muse. If muses
were cigars. Yes, yes indeed. Further research into harnessing lightning
through the use of glass containers leads me to believe that where as these
could be used for many effective purposes, the limiting of one charge per
bottle limits the true potency of it all. Now if one could control the flow
release of the lightning from the bottle, it may be possible to harness
these for effective military use. At the very least a large discharge could
be used to superheat heavy metal armor, and effective for breaking charges
of knights, provided the quarrel wasn't so weighed down as to only have an
effective maximum range. Stating such, this train of thought will be put
off until more time and resources are available to sink into it. I sold one
of these "Mystique" articles my new affiliated organization sells. The
ability to publish my thoughts in them will be quite advantageous into
sharing with Serins my thoughts and plans when I take over Serin, so they
are more understanding and trustful of my rule. Happy followers are
hard-working followers, and hard-working followers produce greater results
in faster amounts of time. So I must make allowances to keep the populace
happy when I rule Serin, so as to keep uprisings to a minimal. This
excludes giants of course, who will be shackled and used for brute force
labour as recompense for their years of massacring my people. The less
violent of the giant races, the storm giants, may be allowed to be overseers
of the other two subraces of giants though. Revealing these plans now has
been deemed of little consequence, as it has been determined most giants are
far too idiotic to be able to read. Should someone leak this information to
them, a quick distraction of shiny baubles thrown in the direction of any
rampaging giant should quickly subside their anger. Which makes me wonder
if a trail of shiny baubles was laid so as to lead into a dragons cave,
would it make an effective method of controlling the giant population?
Further investigation into this topic shall have to be made.

Journal Entry 2

Obtained a staff of storms, and had it enchanted even. It sure is a piece
of work. Now if only I can find a duergar or dwarf to whack with it. I'll
have to make a note to arm my soldiers with these staffs when I send them to
invade the regions controlled by the dwarves and duergars. Traveled with a
squire today also. Traveled with them until they were quite satisfied with
everything they'd obtained for themselves and I was thoroughly disgruntled
at the lack of things flowing my way. Might just have to order the fortress
of the Knights razed to the ground for this slight against my person. It is
possible the squire started to act unseemly towards me after I turned down
their quite forward advances on my body, stating how cute I was, and the
likes. Of course, they were absolutely right, for I am rather cute by
gnomish standards. All the gnome maidens say so. I've even been approached
by a few elven and half-elven lasses interested in sharing my companionship.
But a future dictator of Serin can worry about dalliances once he's become
dictator, not before! Perhaps a nasty scar would scare all the women who
are madly in love with me off. It can drive a fellow mad. Must investigate
further into how to repel all these buxom ladies. For the time being
anyways...

memoirs2

Journal Entry 3

Upon taking a break from my constant plotting and theorizing on methods of
taking over and controlling Serin, I decided to experiment with tuning
musical instruments. The effects are intriguing, though ultimately of
little use to me. I am unsure if there is any truly useful purpose to these
experiments, as one does not go into battle wielding his instrument usually.
Experimentation with refrain will begin next. My fellow Herald Rymerr
doubts my ability to eventually conquer Serin, perhaps if I send all the
other duergars to the coal mines upon rising to the throne, it will show him
his folly. I'm not really sure what other uses his people are of anyways.
Their craftsmanship is adequate, but nowhere near as superior as that of the
dwarves, and they are quite smelly creatures. Maybe if I made it mandatory
for them to bathe, upon pain of death, they'd be a bit more concerned over
their body odors, but probably not, seeing as bathing would be more painful
then death to them. Ah, my witty sense of humor amuses even me. And if it
doesn't amuse my future subjects, I'll simply write their names down and
have them executed in the future. Of course, one of my most vexing problems
will still be the Justices. They say Law and Order is good for you. But
I'm no good for it! The answer is simple. Order and its cohort, Law, must
die!

Journal Entry 4

Very slow day, I've had to amuse myself by sitting in my guild thinking of
more devices I could create to aid my conquest of Serin. But my main need
isn't of inventions, but rather a steady cash flow to have certain enemies
of high public standing eliminated by Assassins. So many foes, political
and otherwise, and so little cash to use to pay for contracts on their
lives. Oh the injustice of it all. Still, there has to be a clever way of
raising funds, shopkeepers often buy used armor and weapons that I manage to
scavenge, but even they have limited funds. Some creatures have gold, but
I'm above being a common adventurer for raising funds. What I need is to
buy rights to a diamond mine. Or discover a diamond mine! Or a gold mine
or platinum mine or any sort of precious gem or metal mine. That's what I
need. So now I must invent a device for seeking out precious minerals.
That could be a challenging task, unless, my device is merely a dwarf on a
leash with a water cube at his back! Bwahahaha. Time to find me a
dwarf....

Journal Entry 5

Little news to report, this fire giant that I've been forced to put down in
the past once again ambushed me while traveling in Braem Woods. Luckily, I
had this wonderful Warlord, Rutherford, with me, who promptly dispatched the
dark timber we were fighting, and set loose on the fire giant, promptly
dismantling him in bare moments. Which shows once again, little people are
not only smarter than bigger people, but oftentimes more ferocious too. And
we're dangerous when cornered! I've proven that by biting many a hands
that've strayed too close to me. Perhaps I should sharpen my teeth down, so
that they tear right through the hands of fools who underestimate little
folk! But that'd be no fun, for it'd be difficult to eat nuts with all my
teeth sharpened to points. But then again, I could pretend I was a vampire,
and scare people, because if Gnomes don't scare people, gnomish vampires
will for sure!

memoirs3

Journal Entry 6

I love my armor. All bards need a good stout set of armor, me, my
preference is mithril, lightweight so as not to encumber one from playing
his musical instruments or deftly manipulating the breakers on a lock, yet
still sturdy enough to deflect many a arrow or slash of a sword. But still,
its those maces or flails which hurt the most, armor might deflect the
spikes on them, but it does little to deflect the crushing blows which rain
upon my frail little bones. So what I need to do, is invent an armor which
can be flexible when I need it to be, yet strong and sturdy against large
crushing blows in a moment's notice. This could be done with the proper
magical spells combined together, but I am so rusty with what little magic I
learned. Which means I may have to contract a mage, or group of mages, to
do it for me. The price of keeping ones hide intact and shatter-free....

Journal Entry 7

I asked a herald applicant if he'd ever served under a Gnome seeking world
conquest before. He promptly remained silent and shortly thereafter
departed, which I'm taking for a no. Which makes him no good for any of my
plans, for I only need willing and able bodies to serve under me in my plans
for domination of all of Serin! Those unwilling or hesitant to perform
tasks given to them by me are only good for paperweights, and then only
after they've been thoroughly killed and drained of blood so when they act
as paperweights they don't leak on my important documents. And also, only
temporary paperweights, because they tend to rot and stink up my pages
containing important information. So basically they're good for nothing,
because a good rock serves as a lot better paperweight then any corpse.
Must continue working hard on my articles, so soon I'll be promoted and
given complete executive control over the Mystique, then the true Gnomish
propaganda will begin, and any control of power that anyone in Serin holds
will slowly but surely slip into my iron grasp!

Journal Entry 8

I've hired a male escort from the cabal for some extra muscle in fights.
And strong he is, capable of killing things far quicker then I can. I still
feel awkward with him around though. He keeps winking at me, and asking me
if I'd like to have dinner with him. Someone obviously never told him
employers don't associate with workers outside of the work environment.
Still though, when we're resting during adventurers, I somehow feel safer
around him when I sleep with my back to the wall. "Ask the Mad Dictator"
column is going slow, only two questions up to now, and it's been a few days
already, but I have high hopes that a flood of questions will come in
anytime now. If not, I'll simply fabricate some with regards to my
propaganda campaign.


8) Miscellaneous

misc

A poem by Deliris:

Shine on me, white morning star and make your presence known make my fears
drift afar make them leave me on my own

Shine on me, white morning star illuminate my path so dark don't make me
brave nor make me smart but guide me through my chosen path

Shine on me, white morning star A river flows within my chest help me to my
destiny As Death is not yet mine

Shine on me, white morning star As I've met my end so hard, Scaled my fears
upon my winds As I fly through open doors Shine on me, white morning star
For I am to be just as you, to shine and light, and guide the night.


A Little Story: Happy Gnomes, by Norch

Norch goes Gnome town. Norch see plenty Gnomes. Norch say "Happy Gnomes!"
Norch smash alllllllll Gnomes. The end.

Classifieds

Future Gnomish Dictator of Serin seeks army of loyal soldiers to further
cause. Looking for gnomes, halflings, dwarves, and duergars, who aren't
afraid to rampage unchecked over any opposition to my rule, and enjoy
killing giants, and all other big races which suppress the little folk.
Salary will be based on performance, and loot gathered from pillaging.
Giants need not apply.


9) Ask the Mad Dictator

asks

Clesa asks,

Are you mad, mad? Or insane mad? You don't really sound like either in your
worldly post. I'm very skeptical about you and any newcomers. I like to
read my newspaper expecting good and finding good. I won't be too happy if
I find something otherwise!

I'm neither dear lady, it's just that people have over the years come to
their own conclusion, believing I am mad, as in, crazy mad. But they just
dont understand the complexity of the Gnome psyche, so it's to be expected.
As for you being skeptical of me, and other newcomers, well, it's to be
expected. And it's fine by me that you're skeptical, because it doesn't
affect me directly, so be as skeptical as you wish! But if you're skeptical
of me once I've conquered Serin, it'll be considered treason, and it'll be
to the coal mines with you. And as for expecting and finding good, we do
our best to keep our readers as a whole happy and satisfied with the content
of the "Serin Mystique" But, you're just one reader out of the whole, and
as such, not the whole. Meaning we can afford to ignore you, but we'll try
not to. Even though we're vague on what you expect good to be. So we'll
guess you think good is Gnome propaganda, because it is good! Wholesome and
good! Gnomes are your friends, gnomes are your superior intellects, but
don't hold it over you. And as such, you should obey Gnomes. GNOMES!

Margory asks,

Dabilor,

I am a druid and thus have to deal with animals on a regular basis. I
recently had a squirrel with similar ambitions as you ruling the world and
such of course they are nonsense, but he won't be swayed. How would one
dissuade delusional small creatures from such courses

Well Margoy, it's quite possible that squirrel was one of the special elite
squirrels I trained to be a soldier in my army to conquer Serin, and if he
is, you best be wary around him, for he's quite thoroughly trained in deadly
fighting techniques, and will bite your eyes out when you least expect it.
You see, a while back after realizing gnomes wouldn't be effective shock
troopers, I realized squirrels are small, nimble, and have a vicious streak,
and are expendable, so I captured, bred, and raised a small army of them.
After a few months, they'd been trained so well, they escaped and
disappeared. Ungrateful vermin. But so, instead of trying to dissuade them
from taking over the world, encourage them to come serve their mentor in his
quest for world domination. And sleep face first while around him, so you
wake with your eyes intact.

Alingar asks,

If you plan to eventually rule Serin, why not join the forces of the
Abyssals and Fells, and serve under us? It's quite possible you'd be left
as overseer of Serin after we're finished conquering it, and we could always
use a cunning mind to aid us in our mission.

I've been expecting this question for a while now, surprised it took this
long to receive. And why I won't serve with the invaders is simple, they
lack skill, they lack patience, and they lack intelligence, even with my
superior mind running the show, I'd still need soldiers who were intelligent
enough to comprehend my orders, and that just won't happen with your bunch.
Besides, I accomplish what's difficult, I don't perform miracles when
something is impossible. If you ask me, you went wrong trying to use these
"Fell" as foot soldiers. I'd use them to dig latrines, and leave the real
fighting to my elite-trained squirrels. If I could somehow regain control
over them that is.... But I always have my elite-trained beavers as backup.
And it's contingency plans that win the day, not stupidity.


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