The Serin Mystique, Volume 1, Issue 8

Here it is, Issue 8, hot off the Serin presses. Little has changed
since Issue 7, except that we are missing the Gnomish interviews, but do not
fear, they will return in Issue 9. There is also a new section called the
'Obituaries' which lists all of the recent deaths of the more popular
Serins. If any of you wishes to list someone in the Obituaries, please
scribe a note to Herald with their name, and something about them.

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

1) Events (see Events, Events2)
2) Rumors (see rumors, rumors2)
3) Cabal Affairs (see Cabal)
4) History (see History, History2)
5) Stories (see story)
6) The Good, the Bad, the Elite (see Elite, Elite2)
7) Ask the Mad Dictator (see Ask)
8) Memoirs of a Mad Dictator (see Memoirs, Memoirs2)
9) Miscellaneous Information (see Misc)
10) Obituaries (see Obituaries)

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



1) Events

Events

Just last eve, a great slaughter of a storm Knight was reported in the
Bard's table south of Seringale. It seems the elderly known Lourn was
meaning his own business and just about to leave the goblin village when he
was ambushed by the necromancer Rhastam. The Storm giant tumbled down his
mount from the necromancer's darkening powers. As the evil mage called upon
waves of maledictions, the illithid Singolas and the dark druid Morikin came
to assist. The battle was quick and easy for the Executioner had no idea
what boulder hit him. It was reported later and I quote from Lourn "I
thought it was Stryth punishing me for my sins, Dj vu all over again". I'm
sure we have not heard the end of this battle.

Knight Leadership Dispute:

A very thorough investigation by yours truly has uncovered deceit,
controversy, infighting and much much more in the Halls of Valour.
Recently, Executor Naydra, the Human Healer, fell for the last time (finally).
With her most opportune and fortunate passing, the mantle of Executor was
once again vacant for the Knights.

From speaking with a couple of concerned parties, the two most senior

Knights were both hoping that Lord Soluminus would grace them with
the exalted mantle. Avendin the Invoker and Lourn the Stupid Berserker.
Both being Guardians in rank, they extolled the virtues and qualities of a
good Knight leader (In their eyes). My own opinion differs quite drastically,
but this report will contain factual evidence only and none of my own hearsay,
although my view is the truest.

Let us start with Avendin, the Strange Mushroom creating Invoker. I
spoke with him, before his hasty departure from Serin, about this issue.
He told me, confidentially, that he would be taking the Knights in a new
direction, once he was made leader, which was more than assured
(According to him.) No longer would the Knights fight in groups, nor
would they loot the unfortunates and misunderstood people they slew.
No, they would deliver hugs and kisses to all those who followed a path
not similar to their own. The Knight stallions which have caused so much
gossip would be rented out to the city of Seringale, for use as an organized
carriage service. This service would be open to all citizens and would cost
a paltry sum, which would go directly into Avendin's pocket.

After about two weeks had passed since Naydra's departure, Avendin
fearing a mistake had been made attempted to speak with Lord Soluminus to
exact his due (the Mantle of Executor of course). When Lord Soluminus did
not deign to speak with him (Lord Soluminus was busy teaching class at the
Immortal School of Slaying) Avendin took it as a personal affront and left
Serin forever, taking with him the mushrooms he had spent his life creating.

Lourn on the other hand, was quite a bit more patient than poor Avendin.
When asked by myself about the vacant position, Lourn stated that if he were
to be chosen as Leader (Which was also a certainty, according to him) Knights
would all be forced to learn how to bodyslam, so that they may hold all
the proper skills of the best Knight. Lourn passed his time waiting for the
Mantle by dying repeatedly to Yours Truly, and basically making a mockery
out of himself and his profession. On a side note, it might be reported that I,
indeed, fell to Lourn recently. The report is a complete fabrication, and none
of the events reported ever transpired. While in the middle of this interview
with Lourn, he stated that he would like to see all the Gnomes of the realms
be wiped out by a disease that is common with farm animals. At this point,
I lost my patience, and attacked him for his insolence towards the greatest
race to grace Serin, ever.

At last investigation, the position of Executor is still open in the Halls of

Valour, and now more people than Lourn are vying for it. Lourn is said to
be stalking the Valour Castle in a rage, attacking everything that moves, in
frustration. Word on the street is that if he does not receive his self proclaimed
due, he will storm off and join the Gnome Army. Others in the Halls are
growing weary of Lourn's displays and are thinking about selling Lourn to
Lord Xavier in Darkhaven for use in the local Bawdy House. Lord Xavier
is said to have already constructed a long haired, brown wig for Lourn's head
to make him more attractive. I say good luck. You cannot make a rock look
attractive to anything but another rock.

Continued in 'Events2'

Events2

At last investigation, the position of Executor is still open in the Halls of
Valour, and now more people than Lourn are vying for it. Lourn is said to
be stalking the Valour Castle in a rage, attacking everything that moves, in
frustration. Word on the street is that if he does not receive his self proclaimed
due, he will storm off and join the Gnome Army. Others in the Halls are
growing weary of Lourn's displays and are thinking about selling Lourn to
Lord Xavier in Darkhaven for use in the local Bawdy House. Lord Xavier
is said to have already constructed a long haired, brown wig for Lourn's head
to make him more attractive. I say good luck. You cannot make a rock look
attractive to anything but another rock.

Recently there was a bit of a conflict between the Justice Tiernen and the
Warlords Galhea and Corgath. Apparently Tiernen was traveling in
winter with Xexes when they saw Galhea in the area. Galhea died, and
Corgath went into winter trying to get to his comrades corpse before the
others could reach it. They took him to be a threat, and slew Corgath
before he could reach Galhea's corpse. Tiernen and Xexes looted
Corgath's items, and continued in winter, getting to Galhea's corpse and
looting it before the items could return to his pit. Galhea and Corgath
took Tiernen's actions to be an act lacking honor, and hope that his
actions do not represent the whole of Justice, especially since he is
currently the highest ranking mortal in Justice--we can only hope
that this does not lead to war.

Minions of Zaikkra are falling to the Serin defenders in greater numbers
than ever before. Morale in the dark army is nearing an all time low, as
evidenced by the attempted defection of one of their greatest allies, the
undead thief, Aeva. First branded a traitor for being seen providing aid
and comfort to the fell and abyssal invaders, Aeva now claims, "The whole
thing was a mistake" and has petitioned the gods for a change in status.

The loss of such a revered soldier has reportedly sent shockwaves through
the ranks of Zaikkra's allies, causing some to wonder whether all hope of
victory has finally faided. The few who still claim the Lich's power to be
indominable have spoken of an as-yet-untapped reserve of fell and abyssal
troops, who wait for the correct moment to strengthen the invasion force and
overwhelm Serin's defenders. Despite those claims, many citizens see a
quick end to the war as inevitable. Talk in the cities has turned rapidly
from "How shall we defeat the invaders?" To "What should we do with the
survivors? Few, if any, advocate mercy for the remnants of the Dark One's
army.


2) Rumors

rumors

As usual, the rumors about Justice come often, as the most Just cabal in
Serin seems to act the most unjustly. Of course, we all know it is Justices
job to ensure that the personal property and life of Serin's are protected
within the towns. Well, apparently a Justice was caught giving out flags
(twice mind you!) To someone who butchered HIS OWN CORPSE. Apparently the
Justice believed that it was his job to protect the corpse, when truly he is
supposed to protect individuals and their personal property. So watch out!
You may be the next to be flagged for sacrificing your own items or
butchering your own corpse!

This just in from a very reliable source up in the Heavens! Many have noticed
the leaders of the two arch cabals, Resatimm of the Legion and Soluminus of
the Knights have been absent within the realms for quite some time. It has been
said that they walked together side by side into some unknown vortex beyond
mortal eyes. A short while after this sighting, they returned with white fluffy
scarves, purple silk vests and green feathered top hats with 3-5 half-clothed
half-elves on either side of them. I guess the whole cabal thing was just a
cover-up for the dirty underground escorts!

Few were dismayed at the departure of Mrakol, and even fewer still wept
for the death of the mighty warlord. According to sources however, there is
one individual that is heart-broken to see him depart. When questioned, no
matter how intent, or how innocent, the individual in question denied us a
response. Perhaps that is because this individual just so happens to be a
goat. Mrakol was seen giving his farewells to this mountain goat the night
before his suicide. I do mean 'giving' his farewells to it. One would feel
sorry for the animals if Mrakol's calling in life was that of a ranger
instead of a warrior. Though there is no way for us to communicate with the
mountain goat, we beleive that she is saddened by his departure: all she
does is eat and sleep. The question comes to mind: is she, perhaps, with
child? The horror!

One of our sources risked life and limb to bring you Rhastam's "To Do" list.

1. Buy milk
2. Find a corpse
3. Defile corpse
4. Become a Herald
5. Become a pacifist
6. Come to my senses
7. Turn on the gnomes
8. Eat the gnomes
9. Take out trash
10. Join Legion again
11. Become Forsaken
12. Bore of Legion
13. Join Assassins
14. Pick up robe from zombie cleaners
15. Aquire special 'cigar'

Recent information points that Rosalyn, of the Knights, had
a bout of amnesia, where little to nothing was of any
recognition to her. Word has it, it was caused by a sharp
blow to the head, from the back of newly appointed Executor,
Lourn's, hand. Apparently Rosalyn thought her appointed duty
in Knights was to battle evil, where as she had been brought
onboard for the specific purpose of heavy dusting, cooking
of all meals for Knights, feeding of all Knight Stallions,
and occasionally keeping the other Knights warm on a cold
night. Fortunately for the Knights, she's regained her memory,
and how did this miracle happen to be performed? Well, another
heavy backhanded blow from Lourn is an obvious answer, but no,
instead, it appears her memory was jogged back into action by
being given a dress and a apron. Let nothing bad be said about
a woman knowing her role in society.

Nyevon has been seen thoroughly beating Knight

Tinth into bloody submission, over, and over, and over,
and over.... A truly merciless and unforgiving battle, it
appears that Tinth never had any chance against the shaman,
although that never stopped him from trying. However,
eventually Nyevon's rampage was held in check, how did this
happen you ask? Apparently another Knight entered Serin
while the massacre on Tinth continued, to which Nyevon prompted
commented "Two of them? Who the devil do you think I am? Someone
talented? And promptly fled the realms.

Continued in 'rumors2'

rumors2

Recent sources have alerted me that, a bunch of new branded Legions was
off doing a so called drug named 'blood shrooms'. With this information, it
is clear now why Legions are so keen on fighting with Knights, especially
little pre-mature helpless Rosa-err healer Knights. Anyhow, the stoned up
Legions were seen with symptoms of crazed rage, long periods of erection and
what seems like enlarged abdomens. The period of this drug seems to last in
the brain of an average intellect human for about seven eves but for the
Legions, whom we all know are more easily persuasive, it last about
twenty-seven days. Now all you have to do to make this simple addictive
material is ask your local town- sitting healer, I suggest Meriando, and ask
for a few mushrooms. Once he makes a few (and if he doesn't, you'd have to
use more drastic measures, I prefer torture.) , take them and boil them
with some Knightly blood.

Lourn has a lot so I don't think he'd mind if you hack for some, or you can always
ask Rosalyn, when that time of the month comes. Now you need to boil them until
the mushrooms become a dark red color and make sure to add a bit of
chopped up ogre testicles and some elven hair for taste and perfection. The
period of 'shroomed' they call it, or commonly known as stoned, last about 7 days
unless you're a gnome, it's for 7 hours. It has also been known as 'doing
cupcakes', and 'licking healer scrub'. If you see a big fire giant with an enlarged
shaft, I suggest running.


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

Cabal

[LEGION]

The Halls of Legion have now been opened for almost two weeks, and the
evil in Serin has noticeably increased since that time. Resatimm has kept
a tight hold on his Legion, ensuring that every member of their halls has
proper respect for his authority. Rumor even says that Great Lord of the
Dark himself slays each member on induction or promotion. The halls of
Legion are open, but only those who are entirely dedicated to the Darkness
need apply.

[KNIGHT]

The Knights rejoiced recently as Lourn was promoted to Executioner of
Valour, however, the celebrations did not last long. Lourn was caught
soon after his promotion participating in shady deals and trades with those
who walk the dark path, and even killing Griff from the Emerald Forest
who walks in the Light for a refund on his purchase of ducks. As a result
Soluminus has removed him from Leadership and has placed Lourn on
probation, wanting to be sure that he will not betray the Light for his greed
again. The Knights are currently recruiting members, despite their lack of
a Leader.

[MYSTIC]

Little has been seen of the Mystics of Serin. This is good news for the
citizens of Serin who have been dedicated in fighting against the Traitors
who follow Zaikkra. Perhaps the cabal of Traitors has finally died out,
though rumors say that Nauglamir has been sited snooping around on occasion.
If any of the treacherous Mystics are seen about, they must be destroyed before
they can widen the portal between Serin and the Abyss.

[JUSTICE]

Justice has suffered from many departures in recent days. Both Tiernen and
Ryvius have departed from Serin permanently. This leaves only three active
Justices, none of whom is any higher than the second rank of Justice, Protector.
Gorgwath, the Immortal Justice requests than any who are dedicated to the
Law, please apply for a position in their Halls.

[WARLORD]

The Warlords are prospering despite their lack of the Leader. Though there
have been many duels for the position of Blademaster, none has yet to succeed
at the required task. Warlords have been seen often dueling those who seek a
good fight, and more often than not winning. Though the Warlords and Justice
came close to war after a show of dishonor from a Justice, things quickly settled
down between the two cabals and continue to have a neutral relationship.

[HERALD]

The Heralds have been flourishing under the gnomish influence of Dabilor.
Every Herald has been taking an active part in writing the Mystique, and I am
sure we all thank them for their contributions. With the induction of Rhastam
into their ranks, even the gnome Heralds have little to fear from other Serins.
There have even been reports of their enemies stating that they would not
wish to anger Rhastam, and so avoid attacking any of the Heralds. Its about
time I say!

[ASSASSIN]
Rumors of great Assassins come and go, but in recent days I have heard
more about Assassins than in the time of Aelseran. The Assassins are
always seeking those of able mind and body who seek to complete the
contracts paid for the death of their enemies. Remember, if you have
someone you want to see dead, pay a visit to Vinnie and put a price on
their Head!

NOTE:

Because of the constant flux of the Cabals of Serin, please inform the
Heralds of any and all inaccuracies or omissions. In addition, the
Heralds cannot be held accountable for the accuracy of these reports, as
it is only a collection of the information they were able to collect from
the general populace.


4) History

History

Gnomes: Pint Sized Supermen, or Megalomaniacle grease spots?

The biggest problem with understanding gnomes is the fact that they don't
really want anyone to. You see, gnomes LOVE to talk, but they hate to tell
people anything. Take our own little despot, Dabilor, for instance, I've
spent DAYS interviewing this guy, and you know what I learned? Nothing!
That's because he's ultra paranoid about saying anything about anything.
Seems to think "revealing sensitive information" about his race would open
them up to "hostile exploitation". I tried to tell him everyone all ready
knew about the fire giant + HUGE stone club = hours of gnome whacking fun
trick, but he just glared at me and started talking about the best way to
dispose of a pile of giant corpses. It isn't just Dabilor though, the whole
bashing issue has most every gnome in Serin looking over their shoulder and
muttering things about "Mace Control", and "Protective Shields For Every
Class. Ply them with a few cigars, and the real story starts to come out.
I tried this little trick on a gnome invoker, name of Jojuk. He's pretty
cool to smoke with by the way, even if he doesn't see the caterpillar.
Anyway, It was only a couple of minutes before he was "spilling his guts" as
it were, about how tired he was of spilling his guts. "Everyones always
chasing you around with maces and clubs and such," he said, "... But I
wouldn't ever want to be anything BUT a gnome..." It could have just been
me, but that second statement seemed a lot less sincere than the first one.
So, What else is there to being a gnome besides hiding from clubs and
thinking nasty thoughts about giants? Well, whatever time they have left
over is usually spent lusting for power. Not the most positive of habits, I
know, but believe me, that's the way they are. Maybe it's because they get
beat on so much, or it could be a certain maniacal pride they all seem to
share in their race, but whatever the reason, just about every gnome wants
to rule. Not the least of them is our little Dabilor, and his somewhat
overzealous (even for a gnome) lackey, Nym. Even complete lack of success
on any level doesn't seem to slow them down or break their spirit. Call it
hard headedness, call it arrogance, or call it the result of being hit a few
too many times with a HUGE stone club. The fact remains, our clumsy little
brothers will always be looking to control Serin. Ah well, whatever the
reason, whatever their ambition, gnomes are still children of Serin, just
like the rest of us man, and that means we should treat them with
understanding. You know, if that's your thing

Gnome Miscommunications

It is no secret that in Serin we gnomes die like lemmings. The greatest
reason for this has to do with giants not watching where they are walking,
or loose clubs falling from sacks. The second leading cause, however, can
be attributed to a miscommunication between two conflicting languages. The
problem arises where words in gnomish and words in common are pronounced
thesame way but have profoundly different meanings. For example, the gnomish
statement "I will crush your bones into dust!" Can be translated into
common as "You look like a formidable companion, would you please be my
friend? . Now since very few people other than gnomes speak gnomish it
is no surprise that this innocent, if not flattering statement is taken in the
wrong manner. This sort of scenario is quite common in Serin. In order
to help educate you, and prevent countless deaths of the Gnarian nation, I
will make a short list of gnomish to common translations.

Die - "Hello"
I will kill you in your sleep - "Pleasant dreams"
Son of a whore - "Your mother is charming"
You smell like a horse's ass - "What perfume do you use? It is quite exotic"
I could kill you in my sleep - "I will watch over you while you sleep"
I've paid an assassin to have you killed - "Pleasant day isn't it? I hope it
won't rain"
You fight like a woman - "Your fighting style is very unique"
Jerouniset must die - "I find lizards to be fascinating"
Knights should not violate their steeds- "Knights have a most peculiar way of
grooming their stallions"

I hope these translations help you in your travels. If requested I will
compile a list of more gnomish to common translations.

Continued in 'History2'

History2

Deurgars: Grumpy Cause They Wanna Be

Let's see... Angry, short, kinda pudgy, don't like water, spells bounce
right off em, and they smell like the inside of a fire giants pack sack,
that's duergars all right. Sound familiar? Here's another clue They've all
got beards, even the women. Yup, Duergars are just like dwarves. Hell man,
they ARE dwarves. It begs the question doesn't it? Why are they called
Deurgars? There's an answer to that, one that involves history, and war,
and eternal hatred, and all that other scholarly nonsense, but I'll just say
this: duergars are nuts. It's true, take a normal, sane dwarf, make him
smoke about seven of Aruncus' "special" cigars, tie him up, and
lock him in a room with eight or nine hyperactive halflings, and I promise
what walks out will be a duergar. Now, I'm not trying to say anything BAD
about them, some of my best friends are duergars, (or, they were before I
wrote this article) they can actually be decent guys, it's just... Well,
here's a short list of subjects to avoid while trying to befriend one of
these guys:

1. Dwarves (unless you enjoy hours of maniacal ranting)
2. Baths (just hold your nose and sit down wind)
3. Long exiles in underground caverns (unless you enjoy removing large objects
from small orifices on your body)

Lets see, what else...

I should probably mention that duergars REALLY enjoy their ale, (even more
than dwarves, if that's possible) and, well, a little bit of gold will go a lot
further with them than a whole heap of love and understanding. It's just the
way they are.


And there you have it: Duergars.

So come on folks! Break out your wallets, slip on your "I hate dwarves" tunic,
and let your favorite duergar know you care.


5) Stories

story

The Story of the Goblin Exterminator

Once upon a time long, long ago, when the whale still was a trout and
Seringale not under siege, a warrior was on a mind numbing journey for
any piece of gold and silver he could scrape together. Even at times as were
then, he was especially keen and skilled on slaying the ones named goblins, as
he had from early days on learned the now patented way of 'cracking the spine
in three, four, five or even six places'. As he was lurking around the area
near Solace he met a farmer working hard on his fields and offered him his
services as a goblin exterminator. He said he wasn't interested because he
hadn't seen any goblins or gnomes on his farm for years. The starved
warrior indicated that he had a wife and three younglings and really needed
the gold.

The farmer still didn't think he needed any goblins put out of their misery but
he felt sorry for the warrior and said, "I'm certain there aren't any goblins
around here but if you will strip naked, I'll tie you to my barnyard fence for
the entire night and when morning comes, if you've got even one goblin bite on
you, I'll hire you for life."

The warrior was elated and readily agreed to being tied up naked. That night,
the farmer tied the naked warrior to the barnyard fence and went to bed.
Several times during the night he thought he heard him moaning and groaning.
However, when he went out the next morning, the warrior didn't have even
one single bite or scratch on him. The farmer asked, "What was all that
moaning and groaning about last night?" "That was the worst night of my life,"
the warrior said.


6) The Good, the Bad, the Elite

Elite

Each issue, I (Rhastam) will be writing about a few names from old times
in Serin. I will be doing it as part of a miniseries of sorts, going cabal by
cabal and then finally alignment by alignment. This week's Biographies:

The Knights of Liberty Mountain

[KNIGHT] Torin

Lord Torin, Human Paladin of the Light, was born during the most chaotic
of times in Serin. He grew up with such names as Naugroth, Jerold,
Githnaru and Zanzabar. He was inducted into the Halls of Valour at an
early age, even for a Knight. He was said to be a Paige to many senior
Knights which existed at that time. The path that Torin walked was
different than almost every other Knight, ever to attain the Halls. His
was the Lawful path. I once watched Torin fight three of the worst evil
doers in Seringale, all at once. Without breaching his code, he defended
himself, and slew two out of three opponents. In every instance that I
was Torin in combat or just Hanging around Seringale he never
breached his Lawful Ethos, which as a Knight, is a very difficult and
tedious thing to accomplish. Torin was always a kind and dedicated soul,
always willing to lend a hand to anyone in aid. It is said he once helped a
group of new Lightwalking adventurers go from their first rank, to Master,
all in a single day, just to help them along, and to further the Word of the
Light.

He rose quickly within the ranks of Valour, and was the New
Executor before his 33rd birthday. He lived to a ripe old age, and
eventually took the long journey eastwards, never to be heard of again.


[KNIGHT] Yilhet

Lord Yilhet, Were beast Ranger of the Light came from mixed beginnings.
I always understood Yilhet's birth to be a result of a union between a goat
and a former Legion Illusionist, but through my investigations, I have
discovered that this, while applicable, is unfortunately not true. Yilhet
was the offspring of a demure Were beast from Valour and a hot blooded
ladies man from Dryktshytre Forest. At an early age, Yilhet learned the
craft of the wood, and put it to good use. He was instrumental in fighting
off the massive Fire Giant invasion of Emerald Forest in '39 and the Kobold
Uprising in Moria in '45. He was inducted into the Knights of Valour with
a little trepidation, I was surprised to discover. It was thought that with his
penchant for fighting, he would bring the Knights more bad media attention
than good. Yilhet's actions were a delight to many, with his toe to toe
fighting with anything that moved. He wore a Wanted flag like it was a
tattoo, and killed Dagnir, the Enforcer of Seringale in his sleep. It is
reported that with just a healer escort, he could defeat the Faction of Steel
in Winter, which is no small feat. He was raised Executor, much to the
delight of the current crop of Knights. He led the Knights in a successful
war with the Halls of Justice, and the Halls of Warlord. Not to mention
the ongoing battles with the Legion of Darkness, under the fist of Lord
Darkhan and later Lord Zanzabar. His soul grew tired of Serin and
began showing up less and less often, until one day, he abdicated his
mantle of Executor and disappeared into the Forests of Old one last time.

Continued in 'Elite2'

Elite2

[KNIGHT] Kersh

Lord Kersh, Elf Healer of the Light was as odd a sort as one will ever see.
He started life deep in study, and before his 20th rank, had mastered most of
his prayers. Those that knew him figured that he would be an easy in for the
Halls of Mystic, which at the time were inducting widely. I believe that
Kersh indeed considered this an option, but when his parents were slaughtered
by the Fire Giant clan from the mountains overlooking the Elven Valley,
Kersh decided a more 'hands on' approach was more reasonable. He applied
to the Knights of Valour before even his 30th birthday. He was inducted
during a time when the Knights were being assaulted on every side by the
Fist of Darkhan. Unfortunately, with the balance swinging the way of
Darkness at the time, a group was very hard to come by, and Kersh's ranking
from his 30th to his 50th took quite some time. He reached his 50th rank, and
finally was able to join the war against the Darkness with body and soul.
He was a constant traveling companion with Lord Yilhet, Executor of
Valour. Kersh, ever the explorer, sought to slay Iggilwiv of the Faction of
Magic, which he did twice, without help, earning him the nickname
Kershilwiv for all the items of Iggilwiv he wore. Lord Kersh took the
mantle of Leadership when Lord Yilhet abdicated. It was said that Lord
Yilhet shed a single tear as he disappeared into the forest, after granting
Kersh Executor. Kersh led the Knights competently, though there was not
any direct conflict except with those of Darkness. Kersh, older than any
Elf in Serin, began battling a brain sickness, which led him to believe he
was avian. At one point, Kersh even attempted to surgically attach two
unworking wings to his back, to better be an avian. He stepped down as
Leader, due to his mental state. Later, in his elderly years, Lord Aberdour
graced Kersh with the mantle of Executor, when Lord Aberdour cleansed
the Knights of all members, and began a rebuilding stage. Kersh stayed on
as Executor, just to have some old blood, when the new blood came into
the Halls. His 2nd reign of Executor, while brief, brought the Knights into
the Future. He passed the mantle to the best of the new recruits, Lord
Arkhalis, and finally departed Serin forever, the oldest Elf in Serin.

[KNIGHT] Arkhalis

Lord Arkhalis, Elven Paladin of the Light, was the most aggressive Knight
Executor that Serin had ever seen. Coming from humble beginnings,
Arkhalis came to Seringale to make a name for him, slay those of Darkness,
and join the Halls of Valour, to lead them into the face of adversity. He did
all these with gusto. He was quick to rank to his 50th rank, although he was
welcomed to the 50th rank first by Resatimm, Lord of Darkness, in his mortal
years, and then Zylenier, Mirror of Death. After attaining his 50th rank, he
quickly became a thorn in the side of the Legion, slaying all those who were
unfortunate enough to battle him. He was granted the title of Executor by
Lord Kersh after consultation with Lord Aberdour, for his Valour in battle,
and his dedication to the Light. Lord Arkhalis emerged as one of the 'elite'
elves to grace Serin. Arkhalis was at the top, when all of a sudden, he
disappeared. Word is, that the Assassin Zylenier, gated into his place of
slumber, and slew him with such evil, that his body, while still robust,
decayed into nothingness. There may be some confusion about Lord
Arkhalis. Records show that there was an elven Paladin named Arkhalis at
the beginning of the 2nd age. I have checked out this allegation and
discovered that the Arkhalis mentioned, is the grandfather of Lord Arkhalis,
who became Executor. Valour runs in the blood, it seems!


Next Issue: The Halls of Mushrooms - I mean Mystics.


7) Ask the Mad Dictator

Ask

Titasher writes,

I recently conquered one of my few fears of climbing trees.
I found a squirrels nest, and beside the nest on the tree bark
I found some words carved.

The words were "Tippidy Boo Bop Ba Bee Bee Bop." I was curious
if this was your doing, and wished to know what it means.

Well Titasher, for conquering your fear of climbing trees, good
for you, though it won't help you any when someone shoves you
out of the top of one at a hundred feet above ground. Not that I'm
saying that'll happen, so don't be on your guard against it.
As for the words carved into the trees, well, it wasn't my work
or the work of anyone I know, so I'm guessing it was done by
Jerouniset while he was feeling the effects of his cigars, he
does a lot of pointless stupid things when he's smoked those, or
maybe that's part of being a slimy lizard. Either is quite possible.
My advice is ignore the writing as it's just senseless writing
put there by a senseless lizard.


Qorblotz asks,

I am going into the retail Beard business in Timaran and need some advice.
Is a Gnome beard best plucked out hair by hair, and then reconstructed, or
by hacking off the whole thing at once? The first method seems too time
consuming, but the second means I'd probably get some Gnome face mixed
in with the hair. I think there's a market out there for Gnome Beard earmuffs.

Maybe you'd donate yours.

Well, first you'd have to get a hold of a Gnome to remove his beard,
and that's more difficult then you think. We're slippery when wet,
or when we don't want to be caught. Second, you'd have to restrain
the Gnome. Which is also difficult because we'll bite off your fingers
and or any part of your face we can get our teeth on, if you tried
to restrain one of us. And try tying a Gnome up with only a few fingers left.
It's not easy. Then, as far as removing it goes, it could be shaved off easily
enough, with a razor, and then there'd be no need to harm the Gnome in the
removal of it. Of course, you might wish to harm him anyways, since he'll
have most likely caused you serious pain and aggravation during his capture.
And, I doubt there's a market for Gnome Beard earmuffs. Why? Because
our beards, while amazingly soft and attractive, and warm, give off a scent
to giants, which makes it irresistible for a giant to try to whack
the bearer of the Gnome hair with a large club. It's an odd side
effect to Gnome hair, I'll be the first to admit. But it's true.
And no, my beard is far too luxurious and soft to donate to you,
the ladies love it, and its a badge of honor among Gnomes.


Argith asks,

I like taking things from people, but sometimes they get rather
upset and try to kill me. I personally think this is pretty rude
of them, I mean, I know I wouldn't kill someone who stole
something from me. Because I can always steal it right back. And
I know not everyone can steal, but chances are they don't need
what I take from them anyways. Why does everyone have to be so
violent? Why won't they stop the madness? That goes double for
those violent Knights.

Well Argith, when someone loses an item of theirs, they tend
to get mad more about the fact they believe they've been violated
rather then the fact the item was so important to them. And that
makes them want to lash out, personally, I don't like having my
things stolen either, it's just depressing. But I see where
you're coming from, it must be hard to go get for yourself what
someone has just lying around in their sack or what not. Here's
what I suggest, steal something from someone you don't like, and
try to trade it to someone else for something of theirs. And then
tell the person you stole the first item from that they paid you
to do it. If they believe you, then they'll focus their anger
on the other person, and it's a win-win situation. If it doesn't
work just rob him some more until he's cowed into submission.
And as for the Knights trying to kill you, well, that human
Rosalyn has tried killing me too lately, and I have to say it's
quite bothersome. Some people just don't have a sense of humor,
and take everything personally. To those people, I say, just
because you were locked in a closet as a child and beat often
with a cast-iron rod, doesn't mean you should have to us the
rest of us as targets for your pent up aggression. Good luck
with your crime spree Argith. Steal me something nice.


8) Memoirs of a Mad Dictator

Memoirs

Memoirs of a Mad Dictator, Second Journal, Entry 1

Issue 7 of the Mystique was released today, it sold quite quickly,
and from what feedback I received, it was taken as a success.
Hopefully my call for Gnomes willing to serve in my army will be
responded to, for my army needs good reliable soldiers of all
professions, if it's to succeed in my campaign for world domination.
I'm quite ecstatic though, as now, the people of Serin can see my
goal is not to control, but to guide, to guide Serin into a golden
age! Where most giants are extinct save for the more peaceful ones,
for giants are what's wrong with the world! All the evil in Serin
doesn't amount to the destruction giants can cause, unless, it's evil
giants, then the destruction is two-fold! So we'll limit their
breeding, and execute the trouble makers, though some will be kept
for the purpose of harvesting raw materials. Of course my previous
Journal entries have indicated this plan many a times. But other
then the persecution and genocide of most giants, the other races
of Serin will be treated well, starvation will be wiped out, the
homeless put to work, the useless...well, we'll kill the useless
people too, they're just a drain on society. Unless they're useless,
yet attractive females, then there is no such thing as useless, if
you're a attractive female! On a side note, hoping the release of the
Mystique will bring forth a large array of questions for the "Ask
the Mad Dictator" column.

Memoirs of a Mad Dictator, Second Journal, Entry 2

I awake in Serin, and what do I find? A fell, a abyssal, and a Mystic
traitor out for my hide! Well, I do what any true Gnome would do! I go
beat the stuffing out of them! That's right! Yours truly, fended off
the attempted terror tactics of three Traitors as they did their best
to invade my cabal. They ran for the hills, and hid like elves in a
forest! And soon, answering my rally call, came two more Heralds,
Jerouniset, and one of my faithful soldiers, Nym, and with their aid,
and the aid of Fien, we whipped the Traitors into submission, and sent
them scurrying far far away, bringing Gbrell to his knees, and that
much closer to the final death, not once, but twice! It must be noted
Fien was exceptionally useful in this cleansing of Traitors, he's like
a dervish! A hasted dervish! Better his attention be on Traitors then
on Gnomes. Because if it was on us, we'd have to kill him. And that'd
be no fun, mostly because it'd rob us of a potential ally, rather then
it'd be difficult.

Memoirs of a Mad Dictator, Second Journal, Entry 3

Today Singolas wished me to help him help a shaman named Kalaumo gain
a burning sheath of acid. When asked why we'd go out of our ways to
help this shaman, he replied why not. And as far as I'm concerned folks,
that's not the normal reasoning of true evil! True evil is being
concerned only with their own interests, not helping another out of
boredom! The whole situation smelled fishy to me. Or maybe it was
just from Singolas being in the sun too long, blech. Regardless, where
I'm not selfish, I try not to be overly helpful to strangers, they
sometimes tend to take advantage of a fellow, and I'm not one to
be taken advantage of! New recruit to the cause, Elanre, seems to be
fitting in nicely with the Heralds, will be a valuable asset to our
cause I'm sure, hopefully Nym will take a cue from Elanre and be
around more often. And hopefully this will be a sign for other Gnomes
to step forth and join the swelling ranks of my army, and of the Heralds!

Continued in 'Memoirs2'

Memoirs2

Memoirs of a Mad Dictator, Second Journal, Entry 4

Met the most delightful Lady Bard today, Liviana is quite a radiant delight
to behold. And she's a little person! She's rather shy though, which is a
bad combination for our profession, seeing as we're expected to be
storytellers and performers. Mind you, that's only my day job, where as my
real interests still revolve around conquering the world. She might make quite
the beautiful Empress to match me as Emperor, and I think some of my
charm worked it's magic over here, she did seem to have a twinkle in her eyes
when she looked at me. Ah, must be careful if I decide to further involve
myself with her, some of the greatest would-be conquerors have
been brought low at the hands of a woman who they thought they could
trust! I'm sure that's not the case here, but I'll perhaps check into her
background further in my spare moments.

A intimidating message from our Lady Patron about all the Heralds producing
new efforts for the next Mystique has seemed to draw forth some effect,
plenty of work has been sent it to be drafted and edited, and printed for the
next issue. Still, a lot of poetry out of all the submissions. Poetry is fine
and all, it is a true art form, but we need some more solid material! Stories,
rumors, interviews, the whole works. Which is where my soldiers and I come
into play. True substance will be delivered by my people and I! The works of
which will be used an examples to all other would-be scribes and journeymen
of the written words.

Memoirs of a Mad Dictator, Second Journal, Entry 5

Rhastam has pledged to serve me, and declared I'll be his "Liege lord" which
is fine by me. His services will be most useful in discouraging the
aggressiveness of certain giants and what not in their attentions towards
crushing me or any other Gnomes. He also applied to be a Herald, was
accepted fairly quickly. I suppose this allows for a more direct communication
between the two of us, so it only furthers my purposes. I'm unsure if I should
use my newly gained control over Rhastam to put Jerouniset in line, he's
quite the belligerent fellow, though it's possible all those strange cigars have
made him such. And it'd be petty to have him put down just because he
disagrees with many of my viewpoints. Of course, plenty of Dictators in the
past have been petty, and it turned out well for them! Until they were
deposed and executed, but really, that's their own fault for not having placed
themselves firmly in their seat of power, a mistake I'll not make ever. As well
as Rhastam's application, several others have applied to the halls of Heralds.

Now if it's to serve under me in my quest for power, or just a mere
coincidence that this influx of applicants coincides with my induction into
Heralds, I'm not quite sure. Still, I'll have to be extra weary around the newer
Heralds, anyone of them could have joined just to be close to me when a plan
to overthrow me is executed by some devious mind. The greatest threat is
the one from within, so it must be guarded against more than any other.

I know if I wanted to overthrow someone the first thing I'd do is make myself
an asset to them, it's only wise in the Art of War. What I need is someone I
can trust thoroughly, traitors are everywhere! I must not trust anyone quite
yet....

Memoirs of a Mad Dictator, Second Journal, Entry 6

Very slow going lately. Rosalyn tried killing me, she just can't take a bit of
teasing. So what if I implied she was a brothel wench, and that she served the
Knights for free. It's just some harmless teasing, no reason to try to kill me,
unless she's just using it as cover for the fact I know something of damaging
content to her reputation... her reputation as a brothel wench! Bwahahaha.
She says it's a lie, but we all know the real truth. Anyways, sent orders to
Rhastam for him to kill her, and I'm sure he'll be quite efficient about it. Was
promoted, yes....soon....soon Heralds will be in the control of....ME! And
then...eh...more Gnome recruiting...disposing of any competition to my
rule....solidifying powerbase....eventual taking over of the world. It might be a
while away, but it's by far still a mission that can be accomplished.

Then the world will be a better place with my controlling it, well, better for
everyone but giants, they'll have to die. Can't make an omelet without
cracking a few eggs, and well, you can't make a better world without
committing genocide on a few races.


9) Miscellaneous Information

Misc

A Poem by Woshonkai: Castles and Dungeons

Castles and dungeons, maidens and knights
Long crusades and dark fights
Swords and spears, cudgels and maces
Forged and used in many places

Dragons and witches, warlocks and mages
Have been living for many ages
Forest and valley, dune and shore
Will live to see ages more


A Poem by Woshonkai: Atop the Dragon

Soaring through the clear blue sky
Above the mountains way up high
The world below for my eye
Atop the Dragon I fly.

Flying through the dark of night
The moons pale glow shine so bright
Stars above we reach for height
Atop the Dragon in flight.

Morning light dawns pale and true
Soon to light the sky so blue
The end was nearing I knew
Atop the Dragon I flew.

Rest on ground, I say goodbye
Try my hardest not to cry
We fly again you and I
Atop Dragon I will fly.


A Poem by Woshonkai: Darkness

Primordial darkness
rising from the depths.
Mighty god's of war
seeking human flesh.
Darkness spreading quickly,
covering sea and land.
Mortal weeping everywhere,
no aid from thought or act.

Land covered with blood,
corpses decorate my path.
My boots soaked with mud,
I see my land in flames.
God's of what are these,
who wreck are spread their wrath.
I see no light in this.
this battle of old and new.

I take my sword and vow,
to a god more old than these.
I sacrifice my freedom,
to serve without regret.
In the inferno that surrounds me,
I feel no flame nor heat.
Shall the darken angels guide me,
In the name of God I slay.

Oh, rise my voice higher,
let it be heard.
Take me for thy champion,
and let me slay as thee.
Give me thy eternal darkness,
to spread thy holy seed.


10) Obituaries

Obituaries

Tiernen passed away recently. He served the Justice cabal for
a long time. And will be missed. By some people anyways. Not
by me! Never knew him, probably wouldn't have liked him, better
him then me.

Ryvius also passed away. He served the Justice cabal for a
mediocre length of time. Rather low-key, low profile Justice,
yet those who knew him,....didn't like him. He also, will
not be missed by many. So tragic a waste....of valuable items
he'd been hoarding. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Dentasech also has passed away, he'll be missed by more people
than the deceased Justices will. Probably because he didn't
irritate people as much. That's just how things work. A small
man, but size doesn't matter when it comes to most things. At
least that's what the ladies will tell you, in hopes of soothing
your pride. He was a good fighter, Without him, Warlords will
be lacking....a midget ranger. But those are a dime a dozen!

Ruune also is now gone from Serin. Little was known about his
final departure. He was a member of Warlords, known for being
utterly fearless in a fight. But that never stopped him from
losing. But you can't win them all. Or in his case, most of
them. Hah. Just kidding. He will be missed by the Warlords.
So I assume.

And not so recently demised are the following, for those who
aren't up-to-date on who's who and who's fertilizing what ground
where:

Naydra, Executor of Knights, passed away. And it was a long
time coming! I mean, she had more lives then a any ten cats
combined, it was just plain unnatural! Brrrr. She must have
been a lich or something. Mmm. Somebody will miss her. Somewhere.
But I don't know who exactly, and I don't care either. On the
upside for Knights, not soon after her final death, another
female healer stepped up to take the reins of whipping girl
for Knights. Yes, Rosalyn has taken up the reigns of Chief
Officer in charge of taking thorough beatings from anyone who
has a spare moment to focus on her. So some good news out
there for all those who wanted to take out some pent-up
aggression on some poor helpless woman Knight. Hey, with an
advertisement like that, I want to take out some pent-up
aggression on her!


Kalerin has also departed from this life forever. Once High
Herald, he left Heralds to pursue other activities, what
activities in particular? We never found out, never bothered
trying to find out, just wasn't intriguing enough. But I'm
sure it was something it'd take an elf to appreciate. What
am I implying by that comment? You'll never know! He'll be
missed by, uhm... I'm not going to even try guessing who
might miss him.

If anyone wishes to send in a report of a close friend at the fiftieth rank,
or cabal member who has passed or departed Serin, send a scroll to Heralds
so that they can be remembered.


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