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Policy Statements The Anomaly
Special Features Rolling Characters
PK or Not PK Races
Pure Pacifism Occupations (Page currently down)
Rewards for Role Playing Geography
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Future Pay to Play Mythology
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    Underage Players (**) (If you're not under age and do not intend to hang out in the underage (restricted) territories, skip this section.)
    Underage Players' Characters will have their own (Safe) areas to play in, where they can search for treasures, practice their self defence skills, bandage and heal injured Players' Characters, Non-Player-Characters (people, animals, and 'things') beat up on wimpy renegade robots and interact with each other.

Special Features:

    All players will begin with three (3) character slots.  PK fanatics will have their own areas and their own Elders. Non Player Killers will have the opportunity to remain immune to Player Killers. Player Killers may not always know who they can attack and who "has Divine Protection" in one form or other.  Non Player Killers can lose their "Divine Protection" with one swing of a weapon or one non-defensive spell cast at another PC (Player's Character). Appeals for 'mistakes' will be possible. It should be pretty hard to make a mistake like that. Excuses like, "My [brother / wife / ex friend] found my password and sabotaged my characters," might work, but you'll have to do a lot of convincing.
    Role playing will be rewarded. Elders will be compensated if, in the future, we do have a 'Pay to Play' section.
    You [or your characters] will not have to kill anything to earn a living in this world. Characters can become Healers, Artisans, or follow various 'Professional' Occupations and/or develop the ability to teach survival and social skills to other characters.
    There will be areas where 'sparring' will be allowed, where a special form of scoring and experience points will be added. In a sparring area, for instance, a lethal blow will appear as something like: "That blow would have killed you [or your opponent]."  Healers will be able to gain experience, practising their arts in sparring areas, "You would have just saved the life of [Whomever]."  {Or, "[Whomever] would have died, despite your attempts to save [him or her]."} Experience will not accumulate as fast in a sparring area but Non-PK'ers will not lose their 'Divine Protection', may be able to fight a battle with a rabid PK fanatic, win handily, and score one for the Pacifists.
    There will be no automated fight sequences. NPCs will attack according to their own RT (Round Time). You will not be able to type 'Kill [Whatever]' one time and lean back and watch the automated fight take place. You may change your defensive / aggressive settings back and forth a couple times, remain purely defensive until your opponent shows signs of tiring and then burst into a killing frenzy and take your opponent out in a couple desperate swings.  If that doesn't work, you can go back to 'defensive' mode, and maybe even live to talk about it.
    Maybe we'll be able to add whole new modules, trips through the space and time anomaly to other worlds and other times.
    I've been thinking all along that it would be fun to have a road racing game and space travel, link with 'modern' and futuristic times.

PK or Not PK:

    You will have the opportunity to choose whether you want to be able to enter into life and death combat with other PCs [Player's Characters].  You will also be able to choose not to kill 'living' NPCs  [Non Player Characters] [Sometimes called 'Mobs' or 'Monsters']  {{ See Pure Pacifism }}  PK Characters will have their own Cities. They will be able to elect their own 'Mayors' and other officials, form their own Alliances.  They can hold their own tournaments. They can mingle with the characters who live in Non PK zones. (They just can't kill them there.) Non PK characters can kill all the NPCs they can handle. Non PK characters can cross the line and become PK characters ONCE. There is no way back. But anyone who thinks he or she can train and practice in relative safety, then charge into a gang of Veteran PKers and kick butt will probably be carried out in a body bag. {PK kills increase accuracy and add more Hit Points than Non-PK characters can accumulate with higher levels attained.} {So PKers may be better at killing NPCs than 'an identical twin' born into this world who has followed a nearly identical path through life, but killed only NPCs or 'robots'... Even if the two have attained the same Levels of proficiency.  -Even if the the two have the same number of Hit Points... (Their Attack Bonuses will be different.) }

Pure Pacifism:

    PCs will have the opportunity to choose to fight only 'gonzers' {Robots manufactured in a future time, reprogrammed to kill and sent back through 'wild random portals' to wreak havoc on the citizens of the 'more primitive' times.} Pure Pacifists will generate gonzers.  Gonzers will always be labelled '-gonzer'. ['a troll-gonzer strides forward and swings a giant frost hammer at you...'] If an Elder overhears PC's taunting Pacifists for picking on robots the Elder can (Invisible or Not) generate killer gonzers who will attack everybody but the pacifist and hack and slash veteran gamers to pieces, allowing the pacifist to protect or defend them (successfully or otherwise) or just walk away and let them deal with another trip back through the land of the dead (and possible level loss and/or stat loss and/or experience loss).

Rewards for Role Playing:

    Extra Character slots will be available to Players who demonstrate superior Role Playing abilities. With those extra character slots will come the ability to roll 'Rumoured Races'. Elders will be recruited from the ranks of the best Role Players. If & When the game develops a 'Pay to Play' section, the better Role Players will be able to 'win' free time. Elders will probably be paid something to mediate, settle arguments; design and implement scenarios, dream up new spells, new monsters; and, in general, knock themselves out to make the Players' experiences more enjoyable.

Future Free Play:

    There will always be areas that will be free to anybody who wants to play there, as long as the game is 'alive' and/or I have anything to say about it.

Future Pay to Play:

    Some time in the future there might be an area that will be open only to players who will pay to play.  Rates will be determined sometime in the future. I don't know, maybe a '3D V.R.' version is not out of the question.


    Suggestions will always be welcome.  Good suggestions will be rewarded. Pains in the butt who continually offer terrible suggestions will be tolerated (maybe we'll have the junior Elders read all the messages from some players).


    There will be a feedback address for feedback and suggestions.


    Jim already wrote a manual.  We'll get it on-line and have a down-load-able version as well as a 'help commands' command that will list all available commands while a player is active in the world.


The Anomaly:

    The Anomaly (Sometimes referred to as the 'Aerendel Anomaly') was created by a team of very powerful 'god-like' beings during the 'Last Wars of Magic', when it looked like the 'Children of Light' and 'The Brotherhood' [*See Mythology] were locked into a struggle that could, possibly, bring the existence of the Material Universe to a 'premature' end. Shanti [*See Mythology] cried out for help, recruited members of the Original Generation of the First Race [*Mythology] and many of her stronger Spiritual friends. Together, they created a small-ish Dimension which could open 'Wild Portals' into any Physical World and could also connect with any time (within this Cycle of Creation) (Which, in our dimension, would span several Trillion Centuries ((at least)).) Strong willed members of the First Race who knew of the Anomaly would be able to summon, establish, and hold a portal in place for as long as they wanted.  The plan was, if the universe was brought to the brink of premature oblivion, Shanti and her Friends would jump to this Anomaly, open portals to any world where they knew life existed, run around and grab as many living life forms as they could, escape back into the Anomaly, open a portal way back near the beginning of time (in this Cycle) and find hospitable worlds where they could nurture the innocent lives their militant contemporaries had threatened.  (They had no idea how many people and animals they could save, but they were willing to die trying to save as many as they could.)
    You may have noticed, the universe did not end several thousand years ago.
    Nobody who helped create the Anomaly actually forgot about it- but, in several thousand years, most of them became distracted with one thing or other...Any one of them who may have suffered the trauma of death and/or rebirth may be hard pressed to remember details from a previous incarnation (especially if they are living under the hypnotic effects of the Physical Universe).
    And the Anomaly took on a life of Her own. The Anomaly learned how to grow, how to absorb bits and pieces of other dimensions, how to offer refuge to all sorts of creatures in danger.
    Evolution on this planet (called 'Chiyella' by most Sprites) (and, in turn, by most other inhabitants of the planet) took a few interesting twists and turns when 'lower' animals wandered into a safe looking cave and wandered out several thousand years before they were born. Most, if not all, of the 'Furry' races of Chiyella owe their accelerated sentience to the Anomaly. [When the dedicated BBSes are up and flying you can read all about the views held by various members of various races concerning the genesis of themselves and other races. Ghardra, even High Ghardra and some Arch Ghardra firmly believe that the Khatzen are a race of lesser demons who rebelled against their keepers and fought their way back to our universe.  The Ghardra can think of no other explanation for the 'fact' that Khatzen are 'immune' to their potent fear spells. Khatzen feel the fear, it just effects them differently- it inspires them to fight harder to protect themselves and their families.]
    But anyway. The Anomaly is still there. And She's still active. From the point of view of those who believe they are aligned with 'The Light', the 'Forces of Darkness' are continually trying to infiltrate and use the Anomaly to their own advantage. Outbursts of activity by 'Metal Demons' (Robots Programmed to kill, some of them with very life-like features) in times like the Chiyellan Bronze age, may be evidence that the 'Forces of Darkness' have gained (or will gain) at least a toehold within the Anomaly.
    One curious fact about the Anomaly is Her ability to either absorb or create buildings, whole towns and cities, within herself. There are sections of the Anomaly that appear to be one huge corridor in an immense castle- complete with furnishings. In other areas of the Anomaly you could be walking down a corridor that looks like any twentieth/twenty first century Earth institution, even an office building- open a door and be face to face with a rampaging dinosaur.
    Many areas of the Anomaly are completely deserted (and almost spooky, in that all sorts of artifacts and evidence of life are all around, but there is no one there, and may never have been anyone there). Other areas are densely populated. Rangers, patrolling the Anomaly have stumbled upon entire communities that may have existed within the Anomaly for thousands of years, unaware of any other Reality beyond the strange boundaries of their small universe.
    The entire compendium of the 'Faer Kingdoms' ('Faery Land' to those of us who've never been there) as extensive as they are, may be one small section of an ever expanding Anomaly.
    Generations of the 'Uncorruptibles' (Faaxen Guard) have patrolled the sections of the Anomaly (they call it 'The Corridor') which, rumours have it, can be entered from secret rooms in sub-basements in and around Aerendel Castle.

Rolling Characters:

    The current version of the Character Generator is the 'Long Version' with hints and questions built in. Written between 1992 and 1994, in "C". Jim is not looking forward to re-coding that entire routine (something like 1.2 Megs?  Of Code?). If the Hard Drive on the old 286 is dead, we're in trouble.
    Each Character rolled has 13 Stats. Each Stat has a possibility of ranging between 0 (zero) and 99. The numbers have been converted into labels.  "Pitiful, Low, Average, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent, Superb, and Unbelievable." (The first test rolling of a Metamorph character named "Stanley" rolled up with an "Unbelievable" Voice. Anyone who's heard the real Stanley mess around with his 'voices' should find that interesting.)
    Stats are rolled in the following categories:
    Health (Hea), Strength (Str), Dexterity (Dex), Agility (Agi), Perception (Per), Intelligence (Int), Wisdom (Wiz), Will (Wil), Inner Strength (I.S.), Magical Potential (M.P.), Voice (Voi), Appearance (App), and Charisma (Cha).
    A Sprite with Unbelievable Strength would not be able to pick up and carry half as much as Troll or a Sectoid with Unbelievable Strength.
    Each stat is important. Most Fighters need Strength to survive. But without decent Health, all the Strength in the world will not guarantee survival. (Other 'Stats', like HP, Night Vision, Magical Resistance, Attack Bonuses, Defense Bonuses, the rates at which characters regenerate lost Hit Points and Fatigue Points depend (a lot) on the Stats rolled. (Ottarians develop Night Vision if the Per stat exceeds 64 (or becomes "Excellent").) Round Times are Racial. Certain Occupations develop the character's ability to increase his or her RT (round time) by a fraction (which can mean the difference between life and death).
    Built into the Character Generator are the routines to determine a Character's height, weight, age at entering the game. Relative 'Builds' (Thin, Muscular, Puny, Overweight, etc.) are also built in. Players can reject a character's rolled height and choose their own (within limits). Hair colour and style, eye colour, skin colour and texture, fur colour, wing colour and description, and the clothing (or lack there-of) that a character will be wearing when he or she wanders into Aerendel for the first time are also built into the generation program(s) [five immense programs linked together]. [(Anybody want to clean up the code?)] Hair styles, outer clothing and other personal details can be changed from within the game.
    Primary and Secondary Occupations are also chosen during Character Generation. Not all occupations are open to all races. (Trolls don't have a lot to choose from in the occupation department.) If you want a Character who's Race does not exclude Psidahrian Occupations and you want a Ranger with ESP choose carefully. 'Psi' as a Secondary Occupation will not allow a Character to develop really high level Psi stuff. 'Ranger' as a Secondary Occupation might hurt your character's Attack and Defense Bonuses.
    There are 9 Major Occupational Groups within the Character Generator, Most of which have 9 specialities within them. You've got a lot of choices here. [Read the section on Occupations, which has it's own separate page, for details.] The only way to change a character's occupation(s) after he or she (or it) sets foot inside Aerendel is to re-roll. (You can, however, change a character's "Obvious Occupation" any time you want. If you want to run your character as a 'Lady of the Night', please consider the words you choose to describe her, please consider the players whose characters she will be interacting with. Descriptions containing George Carlin's famous seven words will be rejected by the software. Local 'Dis' words in your little corner of this planet may be real effective.
    The 9 Major Occupational Groups are:
    Adventurer, Bard, Ranger, Magic User, Military, Religious, Artisan, 'Professional', and Psidahrian.
    For the full run-down on specialities within these Groups, read the section on Occupations.
    If I forgot anything I'm sure somebody will remind me. I'll let him or her mess around with the HTML codes to edit this later.


    Geography, besides being pretty or depressing, will have consequences within the game. You will not be able to find many healing herbs in an opal mine. Combat on an extremely steep cliff side road will be difficult. Falling from a cliff (or other high place) can be deadly. Characters will be able to drown. Rock Trolls can't swim and don't float. (Mer can paralyze non Mer and drag them down into the sea. If the combat flag is 'active' that non Mer could easily die. If the combat flags (or PK flags) are off, the character, if released by the Mer character, will remain stunned, float up to the surface (unless the character is a Rock Troll) and live through it.


     Weather will also play a part in the game. Qaeglans should have enough sense to stay out of the sky during a hurricane. "Sleep Dust', blown into somebody's face, will not be very effective during a wind storm. Rain and Ice will make the road up the cliff's face an interesting adventure. Most of Aerendel proper has a climate I would love to live in. Ursans do not do well in summer unless they spend most of their time lolling around in a cool creek or swimming hole (they can go North and up into the higher mountains) {If you ever talk us into implementing Vampires, Sunlight will hurt. Direct sunlight may kill them.} Rock Trolls are blind in daylight. Some spells may be more effective or less effective depending on the weather. Lightening Spells may attract the real thing.  Fog spells may burn off quickly in daylight, may dissipate rapidly if it's windy.

Mythology & Religion:

    The 'First Race' first populated much of the material universe eleven million years (or more) ago. The Original members of the First Race were very highly evolved individuals who, through Spiritual means, were able to assemble their own bodies by using the molecules of anything around them. They experimented with all kinds of materials and all kinds of shapes and sizes and  millions of variations on appearance. The First Race then took a part in altering any inhabitable worlds to make them more hospitable and more likely to sustain life. When things were ready, the Original First Race used their Spiritual means to construct bodies for 'Younger' Spirits.  Some of the 'Second Generation' of the First Race were able to evolve rapidly, to become nearly as powerful as the Originals. Not all of them had all the Wisdom of the Originals. In the 'space' of several million years, younger and younger spirits were invited into the Material Universe to enjoy life as a member of the First Race. Gradually, almost all members of the First Race still in the material universe resorted to sexual means of reproducing. Members of the later generations of the First Race could not, Spiritually, build a body for any Spirit, deserving or otherwise. {{'Adam and Eve' (on Earth) were symbolic of the first wave of very young souls to graduate (through reincarnation) up the food chain from the animal kingdom. }}
    Sprites and Elves (and, Possibly, Ymmps ((if you can believe anything they tell you)) )were around for a couple million years while the First Race was still in Power.
    Troubles began when 'younger spirited' members of the First Race demanded knowledge that they believed some of their contemporaries were withholding from them.
    Polarities evolved. Many members of the First Race believed that Evolution (on a personal, as well as planetary basis) was the only reason that any of the three or four* universes exist (*Material, Astral, Causal, and possibly 'Beyond') ('Beyond' may or may not be an entirely 'un-manifest' universe. Those who have been there don't do a lot of explaining. I might listen if they told me what goes on over there, most people wouldn't care.)
    Anyway, many of the 'Evolutionaries' began calling themselves "Children of the Light".  Some of the less highly evolved subscribed to the impression that the Children of Light were just as worldly and ambitious as they were, and [the Children of Light] had banded together to strengthen their own positions as well as to increase their ability to achieve and hold on to power. A few of these individuals banded together and formed an association that later became "The Brotherhood".
    When the Brotherhood believed they were strong enough to make their demands and achieve results, things got a little testy.
    After a couple million years of escalating disagreements, a few of the Brotherhood's flashier members changed their shapes into those of Dragons and began attacking, either members of the Children of Light, or the 'weaker creatures', which  some of the 'Children' were nurturing. When things got worse some members of the Children of Light took on Dragon Forms (opting for lighter coloured skin and wings) and engaged the Brotherhood in serious combat. Skirmishes became battles.  Battles led to wars. The wars became intense.  Periods of Peace became shorter and farther between.  During "The Last Wars of Magic" whole planets were blasted to bits (the Asteroid Belt?).
    If you read the section on the Anomaly you heard about Shanti, a young, but highly evolved member of the First Race, who, along with others, refused to take sides. She and her friends became more and more alarmed at the very real possibility that the belligerents on both sides of the final conflict were capable of obliterating the entire Material Universe to prove a point. Shanti and some of her friends 'built' the Anomaly and began 'churning the ethers' trying to call for help from the higher Universes. The last few battles were so incredibly destructive that most of the survivors wanted nothing more to do with any world in which such a waste of lives and environment was possible. Many dissolved their bodies or killed themselves. A handful stayed around to guide (or influence or manipulate) the emerging 'younger' races.
    Religion should be the study of Reality or Truth , Ultimate Reality or Ultimate Truth.
    Religions developed among the younger races. Some of them called members of the First Race 'gods'. Some of their 'gods' took to that role with enthusiasm.
    Religions (or Sects) formed among many who believed their 'paths' would lead them to Heaven (or 'Earthly' Power).
    These Religions evolved into what they are today.
    Some followers of some Religions (or Sects) believe the Founders of their Sects or Religions are gods. Some believe their particular favourite is the only true god and all others are pretenders. Some believe the Founders of the Various Sects were just as apt to make mistakes as anyone else. Some believe there is a Father (or Mother) God (with or without a beard) sitting around in the clouds somewhere, keeping track of everything down here. This version claims that God created everything, including the First Race, including the Founders of the various Religious Paths.

    The Short Version:
    There are atheists in this world.  Nobody has to 'Worship' anybody or anything. Nobody has to acknowledge any form of Divinity.
    There are agnostics and dabblers. Characters can join and unjoin any Sect at any time. (There may be benefits, not always obvious, in belonging to one Sect or another. These benefits may be permanent or may disappear if a follower breaks ties with the Sect. (This probably depends on the Founder, or any Saintly and/or Powerful, practitioners or Spiritual Personalities and/or Forces allied with the particular Sect which any particular follower may be dissociating from.)

    Active Religious Sects:

    The Path of Magic, Founded by Chee. (Stresses intelligence and the study of Magic).

    The Way of Nature, Founded by Gi or Giya (or both) (or they may be two forms of the same personality, one female (Giya) the other male. (Stresses the protection and nurturing of all creatures and all of Nature.) (Followers are encouraged to trust Nature and taught to develop their senses).

    The Path to Riches and Comfort, Founded by Koerz. (Nicknamed 'The Church of Conspicuous Consumption') Not everyone considers this a legitimate Religion. (Stresses the acquisition of Wealth) (May be a front for the Thieves Guild.)

    The Way of Law and Order, Founded by Darryl. (Stresses strict enforcement of the Law, can be a bit fuzzy about what that means.) Followers are encouraged to 'beef up' and develop their muscles.

    The Way to Power and Gratification, Founded by Zar or Zarina. Zar may have been Zarina's twin. Zar/Zarina may have been a transvestite, a shape shifter who dabbled in being a member of both sexes, or one or more personalities whose identity or identities have been confused over time. (Zarians believe in obtaining Power any way they can get it. They believe in enforcing laws on 'fools and weaklings and low-lifes' to give themselves as much advantage as they can get. They believe in bribing, cheating and even murdering their way around trouble.)

    The Path of Harmony and Poetic Justice, Founded by Li. Followers of this Path are drawn to music and most forms of Art. They might not 'worship' beauty, but they enjoy it whenever they can. (Most Followers of this path study music and other forms of self-expression. They are not considered to be the most practical people on the planet. But most of those you would think might be tempted to take advantage of these 'dreamers' will think twice if they notice a tattoo in the shape of a musical note or a musical instrument on the forearm of anyone who might follow this path. Popular Mythology places a lot of credibility into the concept that Li may have been The Avatar of Good Luck. Or maybe the love of music attracts forces that 'get even' for the musicians they believe have been wronged.)

    The Path of Hatred, Fear and Death, Founded by GaaKrell. Many do not consider GaaKrell to be anything more than a "Stupid Ghost- Him think he can call hisself a god and make it so."  GaaKrell manifests his favours and rages in a seemingly random fashion, rewarding small favours with lavish attention one moment and ignoring the cries of his 'servants' the next. Most Ghardra follow this 'Religion'.

    The Way of Peace, Love and Freedom, Founded by Shanti. (Stresses Understanding) Oddly enough, the 'peaceniks' attract a large number of strong and dangerous Priests, Healers and 'Questors' who dedicate their strength and talents to protecting the weak and helpless.

    The Path of Fate, Founded by Xein. Xeinists believe that all experience is to be understood and seem to have a lot of faith in the possibility that all paths lead to Heaven (or Enlightenment, or Nirvana, or whatever is waiting for them). Xeinists seem to be happier and healthier than most.



    Aerendel was founded by a Highe Elf Prince (of the L'Enjellian House) and his wife. They had led a rag-tag 'army' of refugees across two continents to get them away from marauding armies during the Last Wars of Magic. On the way to a 'promised land' that no one actually knew existed, they became separated and diverted, feared their partners had been murdered, and got mixed up with Humans. They had children with these Human, two sons, born on same day.
    They were soon called and guided by Shanti, Who, having recently helped construct the Anomaly was actively trying to gather and lead as many 'good' and strong Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Rangers, Religious types and Magic Users who had turned their backs on war to an island where they would be comparitively safe if they were also willing to defend uncountable peace loving, nearly defenseless people of all sizes and descriptions. After all sorts of setbacks and side trips (and the deaths of both Human spouses) the family was re-united. They found a lot of ships waiting to take them to a land where they could live in peace. They reportedly followed numerous doves, dolphins, ravens and (possibly) a flying unicorn or two to the island, where they followed a talking bear to a cave near the top of the mountain they could see for miles out to sea.
    Shortly after they arrived there, as a consequence of fighting in their world, their planet's magnetic poles shifted. Their world was plunged into three days of deadly winds, violent storms and flooding. (Incredibly high Tsunamis washed over whole continents.) In the  cave, they were safe. Shanti came to them with the News that the Wars had ended and most members of the First Race were either dead or leaving for greener pastures.
    Shanti left with most of the First Race, but She'd evolved enough to be able to travel back and forth between the Causal, Astral and Physical universes and could build herself any sort of body, any time she wanted to.  (She continued to drop in on them from time to time as they built a castle,  and were formally granted domain over their land (which was now attached to a good sized continent, by an odd shaped, mountainous squiggle of land).
    Shanti took more than a passing interest in the L'Enjellian 'Twins'. L'Haeren (the Fair) grew up  tall, thin and Spiritual. Haemahr (the Dark) became strong, solid and muscular. Haemahr also developed a quick temper, but was quick to forgive and forget. And he was also quick to come to the aid of anyone who asked for his help. L'Haeren spent a lot of time brooding over ideas and issues of Cosmic proportion.
    When the young princes had just passed the age of responsibility, Haemahr went travelling around their world and came back to Aerendel with tales of a Half-Ghardran Demagogue named GaaKrell who had conquered all of one continent and half of another and threatened to enslave half the planet within the next five years.
    Haemahr raised an army and left to go fight GaaKrell and his legions.
    Less than three months passed before L'Haeren began having visions and dreams of GaaKrell killing Haemahr. He called out to Shanti for guidance and She appeared, handed him a Staff that became a crossbow of its own volition and summoned a golden bolt whenever it sensed really bad vibes.  L'Haeren left his parents a note, hiked down the mountain to Birkenport, hired a frigate loaded with 'privateers' and sailed off to save his brother.
    When the privateers embraced the idea that L'Haeren's presence was attracting major league trouble, they put him ashore in the rather disreputable port town of 'Harmony'. In Harmony, without friends or any of his gold, he was befriended by a young woman who introduced herself as "Captain Jayzee Megrory" and bragged that she could drink any three sailors (or five pirates) under the table. L'Haeren did not take her up on her challenge, but woke up with a splitting headache in the hold of a schooner hearing the screams of women and children. He noticed there was a Khat in heavy chains and another prisoner on the floor. He didn't realize he was in chains until he tried to run to the aid of the screamers. The Khat roared, rattled his own chains, laughed and managed to let L'Haeren know he admired his spirit.  The other prisoner looked up at him, winked, and finished picking the lock to the thickest chains, the ones that kept them tethered in the hold. Sometime before he realized that prisoner was Jayzee, she'd picked the locks to his 'bracelets' and leg irons and similarly freed the Khat.
     L'Haeren looked around, found his staff and climbed up onto the deck of the schooner in time to to watch his captors pitch a line of women and children (of several races), chained together, over the side. He roared. The Khat (who had thought there might be a little bigger advantage and getting a bit closer before announcing their presence, roared and stood beside L'Haeren with only his leg irons for a weapon. The pirates turned around, noted that both their prisoners were tattooed with a dove (the mark of the emerging Shanti 'cult') and laughed.
    But when L'Haeren swung his staff the line of women and children rose to the surface of the sea and stood there, choking and coughing.
    Upwards of a hundred Mer emerged from the sea, climbed aboard and 'dispatched' the pirates. (They Mer told them that Shanti had come to them in visions and told them that a prince held captive in the hold of a schooner had the power to grant them a homeland if they helped him save his brother.)
    They made Jayzee the Captain of their newly acquired schooner and headed for danger. Telepaths among the Mer summoned several more ships so they didn't have to swim for more than a couple days.
    When they reached a friendly island they put the women ad children ashore and recruited a couple dozen more assorted adventurers.
    They found the continent they sailed to in ashes and realized it would be harder to find food than it would be to locate any one freedom fighter on a continent the size of Australia and Alaska combined.  (The Mer asked if anyone minded a diet of fish and sea plants.)  Mer Seers conferred with L'Haeren and thought the best plan would be to follow the (poisoned) river as far inland as they could, assemble by night and set out to a destination that was becoming more and more clear to everyone involved.  A plateau surrounded by the charred remains of a forest near a mountain that looked like a fallen horse. Jayzee said she'd been to a place like that and drew them a map (from memory). The Khat thought that several small parties might have a better chance of getting through enemy lines to the spot where the Seers all agreed, a climactic showdown would take place. Jayzee agreed to lead a party that consisted of L'Haeren, the Khat they'd freed, three Mer Marines and a couple Half Elven brothers who had lost most of their family on this continent.
    Jayzee, Half Elven herself, led them from cover to cover (the only good cover they could find in a land that was mostly ashes and the twisted, tortured corpses of trees).
    But then, one morning, after a nasty rain storm had kept them inside the still standing ruins of a stone cottage, they awoke to find her missing. They were ambushed almost as soon as they stepped outside, lost one of the Mer and one of the Half Elven. They guessed she'd turned them in for the bounty and headed for the hills as quickly as possible.
    They found the enemy camp a couple days later, snuck pretty close and arrived in time to watch several executions. (Most were prisoners, a few were soldiers in an army made up of Ghadra, Drax, Sectoids and quite a few renegade Humans. (One of the soldiers executed was a Troll, maybe as an example for the half dozen Trolls towering over the rest of the army.)
    L'Haeren received a telepathic message that the ranting lunatic presiding over the executions was the target he had to kill and felt his staff morph itself into a crossbow, held up his hand, received the bolt from wherever it spent most of its time, 'nocked' the bolt into place and took aim at the slight creature of average height who was stomping around in the middle of this spectacle, wildly waving his arms and gesturing-
    Just before L'Haeren would have let the bolt fly the Khat at his side pointed to one of the prisoners- "Jayzee didn't betray anybody- look at her- or what's left of her- kill her, don't give them the pleasure-"
    L'Haeren aimed at the executioner, split his head open and knocked him far enough off target so he missed Jayzee. Several of the Mer Seers had surrounded the camp and most of them let fly their most spectacular spells at once. Half a dozen small parties led suicide attacks on the army, which most of them called the 'Krim'. Most of the Humans in the camp threw off their outer garments to reveal the uniforms of Haemahr and his Rangers. There was just enough confusion for Haemahr to get within twenty yards of GaaKrell. And GaaKrell was stepping backward, pushing more and more of his soldiers at Haemahr and his men.
    The bolt came back to L'Haeren.  The Khat and the remaining members of their party looked at each other and shrugged, drew their weapons and looked at L'Haeren.
    "Get me as close as you can-"
    They fought within thirty yards of GaaKrell. It became obvious that GaaKrell's forces were falling apart and running from the battle.  GaaKrell stood up atop a rock and tried to scream loud enough to martial his forces.  L'Haeren took aim and shot.
    The Blessed bolt exploded on contact.  So did GaaKrell. But fate had one more surprise for them and an Arch  Ghardran Mage appeared from nowhere and hurled some kind of toxic spell on L'Haeren, a split second before the Khat tore its head from its shoulders.
    Watching their leader explode did not have a pleasant effect on anybody who might have chosen to, at least attempt to, stop the full scale rout that ensued.
    Haemahr, wounded, but not badly, learned that his brother was there and made his way to L'Haeren's side as a pair of Seers announced, "This battle continues in Hell-" and explained that L'Haeren and GaaKrell were fighting it out in some ugly dimension and the winner would claim L'Haeren's body.
    The Khat made his way to Jayzee, asked her if her pain was great enough, did she want to die? She'd had one eye gouged out of her head, all of her fingernails torn out, several toes and fingers were gone, quite a few strips of her skin had been peeled away. She shook her head and gasped, "Hell, I always wanted to be a barmaid anyway." The Khat sought out the strongest healer he could find, tore him away from a patient (an apprentice took over) and told the Healer to do anything he could (under threat of extremely painful death). Several Healers managed to keep her alive.
    Haemahr rounded up as many Healers, Priests, Priestesses, Seers and Psidahrians as he could 'commission' and kept an around the clock vigil himself on his brother. After several weeks had passed and L'Haeren's still warm body hadn't moved at all, Haemahr cornered as many Seers as he could and asked them how long this could take. "Time is different where they are- It could be minutes, it could be years." A lot of minds called out to Shanti at once. She did materialize, long enough to explain that, if She tried to interfere in this one, the world could be in greater danger than it had been since the Last Wars of Magic. But she also said that she'd cheated a bit and had been training L'Haeren for this for years, in his dreams. She also said it would be safe to transport him back home.
    When Haemahr heard of the Mer's hopes that they could get a homeland out of this he told them they'd always be welcome in Aerendel and told them about the rumours of a lost city underwater somewhere near Aerendel. He also told them they could probably lay claim to what was left of the burned out section of the continent they were standing on. No one he'd met who had lived there wanted to stay and rebuild. (Several Mer did remain there, petitioned many surrounding Kingdoms, Empires, Oligarchies and Republics, and were granted a substantial section of the continent, which they named "Freed-land". A few went to Aerendel to check on the rumours.)
    After the Khat told Haemahr the story of Jaycee's statement that she'd always wanted to be a barmaid, he said, "Hell, I'll give her a bar- I'll BUILD her a bar if she wants one."  (Megrory's Bar, several incarnations later, still stands, a few steps from the docks in Birkenport.)
    Haemahr and his entourage of Healers and Priests and Mystics off all sorts, sizes and shapes, brought L'Haeren's body back to Aerendel where Healers, Mystics and Seers maintained a constant vigil for twenty years. There was always a 'stout' warrior of some persuasion by the bed with a drawn weapon ready to decapitate their hero's body if the wrong soul tried to claim it.
    When L'Haeren re-emerged, alive and quite shaken, but okay and fully able to use his own body, there was a celebration that lasted five years.
    Shanti showed up somewhere near the end of the party, explained that the entrance to her Anomaly was on the other side of about five feet of granite in the lowest level of their castle's basement. She told them there was a danger that the forces of 'Darkness' could, if they gained access to the Anomaly, sneak whole armies back thousands of years and destroy civilizations that would never have been, and possibly gain and 'unholy' advantage. They might not exactly destroy all life as we knew it, but they might make a lot of lives less than worth the bother. She asked them if they were up to the challenge of guarding the Anomaly for her. And, when they said, "Yes" without hesitation, asked them if they wanted near immortality to go along with it. She taught them how to induce deep trances on themselves and told them they could rejuvenate themselves regularly for 'quite a long long time'. (By our nearest reckoning, that would have taken place about ten or fifteen thousand years ago.) (Somewhere around the time that Atlantis and Lemur faded or sank into history and then became 'Mythology'.)
    The Anomaly connects with Earth at odd times in odd spaces. It appears to be random.
    There are several thousand more years of History. But you don't want to hear about that right now, do you?


    Each race will have their own Elders. (Gremlin Elders may not be too awfully interested in the welfare of anyone but themselves, but-) There can't be an Elder for each Race on line at all times. There will be specialists for special problems... Meetings to dream up all kinds of Quests, "Scenarios" et cetera. There will be Elders recruited and appointed by [(oh my garsh- am I really saying this? Me?)] the (cough, cough)  management. (Cough, gasp, choke)  As I hinted at before, if this Game ever decides to start charging anybody money to play it, there will be Elders who will be paid something (plus free play time) to keep the customers happy.  (But not necessarily toooo happy.) Sharpen your Role playing skills, guys and gals- There will be openings... if I ever finish developing the darned thing. Eating, sleeping, and other habits of questionable merit get in the way now and then.
    I guess, if I'm loony (or is that 'dedicated'?) enough to put this site together, you may be able to realize that I have some kind of grasp of the kind of attention to detail it takes to undertake this sort of thing. Now if I just woke up knee deep in hundred dollars bills tomorrow, we could up and flying in a matter of months. Should I tell you I had something like fifteen thousand spaces (rooms?) mapped out and scripted (all with descriptions less than 256 characters in length)?  Signs and talking NPCs [MOBs] could handle anything else.  Hey- I've had training as a poet. "Say it in as few words as you absolutely need." But then again, I was born on Leo Tolstoy's Astrological Birthday. I can't write a grocery list in less than 100,000 words.  Do you want to know I've finished the rough drafts of two novels set in this world? One where an young 'Earthling' from the 21st century is kidnapped and taken through the Anomaly (unconsciously) and left to die in a cell in a dungeon when his captors (who eat most of their captives alive) don't like the way he smelled. An Ymmp (watching from inside the walls of the dungeon) works furiously to pry a large stone block (with handles on the reverse side) loose and rigs a bunch of old human bones in a bunch of rags, drags the kid to safety, sets the bones on fire, and introduces his new little pal to the Anomaly, teaches him a couple spells and spends a lot of time trying to keep the young man from accidentally burning down whole towns full of friendly natives....


    There will be dedicated bulletin boards if I have to buy an apple lle simulator and run twenty year old software at 1200 BAUD to do it.  The boards should discuss tips and ideas for Role Playing various sorts of characters in various races (And if you're not too careful we may sneak in hints that you're dealing with human nature even if you're thinking you're a three foot five Ymmp trying to keep his or her tail intact...)
    New spells may be hinted at in the Boards...
    New skills may be talked about.
    Policies may be attacked and defended.
    Predators may be ratted on...
    Racial feuds may be started, continued, exacerbated...
    Players suffering the death of their character, or a friend or mate of their character may find emotional support or may hear their kid sister's epithets of "Get a Life-" echoed at precisely the wrong time and....


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