DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER Date : 12/31/2005 Duedate: 01/27/2006 XOCHITHLAN ARENA DM-39 TURN-216 This Weeks Top Honors THE DUELMASTER IS SKULK CHEAP SHOTS (426) (39-3603) [9-0-0,136] Chartered Recognition Leader Unchartered Recognition Leader SKULK DAMIEN BANESON CHEAP SHOTS (426) BLEAK LEGION (418) (39-3603) [9-0-0,136] (39-3514) [1-2-0,13] Popularity Leader This Weeks Favorite QUIA RAYNE MS D. MEENER THE MIDDLE WAY (385) CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) (39-3636) [11-16-0,67] (39-3696) [9-4-0,56] THE CURRENT TOP TEAM THE MIDDLE WAY (385) TEAMS ON THE MOVE TOP CAREER HONORS Team Name Point Gain Chartered Team 1. CHEAP SHOTS (426) 20 2. CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) 17 CHEAP SHOTS (426) 3. BLEAK LEGION (418) 1 Unchartered Team 4. EVIL INC (440) 1 5. ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) 1 ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) The Top Teams Career Win-Loss Record W L K % Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns W L K 1/ 1 CHEAP SHOTS (426) 41 5 0 89.1 1/ 1 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) 11 4 0 2/ 2 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) 197 127 10 60.8 2/ 5 CHEAP SHOTS (426) 6 0 0 3- 4 DARQUE ANGELS (402) 71 53 7 57.3 3/ 2 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) 6 6 0 4/ 0*ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) 19 16 2 54.3 4- 3 DARQUE ANGELS (402) 4 5 0 5/ 6 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) 185 199 9 48.2 5- 7 LITERATI (432) 0 6 0 6/ 0*BLEAK LEGION (418) 5 8 0 38.5 6/ 0*ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) 0 1 0 7- 7 LITERATI (432) 23 43 6 34.8 7/ 0*BLEAK LEGION (418) 0 1 0 8/ 0*EVIL INC (440) 0 1 0 0.0 8/ 0*EVIL INC (440) 0 1 0 '*' Unchartered team '-' Team did not fight this turn (###) Avoid teams by their Team Id ##/## This turn's/Last turn's rank TEAM SPOTLIGHT + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Black Sword #4 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ + Rocanis: Wolf turned to scan the whole assembly of shamans before speaking. Then he shrugged. "If I thought we could kill Bluesnake, here and now, I would attempt it. At this moment, he is a greater enemy to us than Volundagh and the Black Sword of Mytori." "The others wouldn't stand for--" Rain Caller began. "Which is why I'm not doing it." Wolf glanced at the group around the Saarda shaman again, and his lip curled into a sneer worthy of his totem animal. "Did you think I held off out of fear of Bluesnake?" Rain Caller snorted. "None think that who know what happened at the Buffalo Gate." Then he sighed and added, "But many of the young men do NOT know of that." Wolf swept that away with a gesture and turned to his younger companion. "Go find Redfox, Ghost Dancer. Bring him to me here." Ghost Dancer went, but reluctantly. He had never heard of a Buffalo Gate, and he had hoped that one or the other shaman would tell that story. How could he learn if such information was not passed along? Of course, he knew what his mentor would say, that if he really wanted to know, he would hunt the information as another man might hunt a deer. When Ghost Dancer was gone, Wolf turned to Rain Caller again. "You know what we have to do." "I don't know any such thing," the old shaman muttered. He shifted uneasily, causing the tiny steel cones sown to his cloak to chime against each other. "Why should there be only one course open? There might be other ways to kill the Sword." He shifted again, not looking like a man who believed in 'other ways'. "Why didn't you tell your apprentice?" "He's been...away," Wolf said. Then he grimaced. "On the Isle of the Eye. It is not a good thing for the tribe, this dabbling in foreign magics, but the young men must have some way to prove themselves worthy as warriors, and now that we live in civilized lands, this is hard to find." Rain Caller sighed. "Yes, I have seen it here. Since the war...." He shook his head. "Now they hang on the fringes of the city-lands, and they become brawlers and bandits and very nearly beggars. If they could only be united, all the broken tribes into one, and led to a new land...." The old man sighed again. "Just a dream, that." "Perhaps, or maybe not." Rain Caller stared at him. "Wolf, you know that killing the Sword will take-- and release--enormous amounts of energy. Everyone involved will die, more likely than not. How can you suggest--" "Never go into a battle expecting the worst," Wolf said. "That will bring the worst down on you. It is not in the nature of the Great Powers to do otherwise." He smiled, a thin, grim smile, but genuine. "And I have it in mind that the energies released might be put to a good use." Redfox lowered his practice sword and turned to face Ghost Dancer. He had been glad to get off the Isle and back among the tribesmen, glad to hone his true warrior's skills, which he knew from bitter experience were quite different those needed by a gladiator. But the appearance of a shaman, even a junior shaman such as Ghost Dancer, promised nothing but trouble. He raised an eyebrow, putting the burden of opening talk onto the young shaman. "Uncle Wolf wants you," Ghost Dancer said. He gestured toward the circle of spirit poles at the edge of the main Rirorni encampment. "Over there." "Wants me for what?" "He did not tell me." "Guess." Ghost Dancer looked uncomfortable. Had he been a pure warrior instead of already half a shaman, Redfox might have taken pity on him. As it was...no. Shamans were necessary for the good of the tribe, Redfox knew that, but he had no wish to get sucked into their business. Uncle Wolf had sent him off "adventuring" once before, and he had nearly died of it. His teammate and one-time sword-brother, Madbull, had been driven totally insane in the course of that business. What would be the cost of a new adventure? "Uncle Wolf wants you to come to him," Ghost Dancer said again. Redfox blew out a breath and shed his practice gear. This boy was a messenger. Nothing would be gained by hitting him, however strong the urge. "All right." Barudai was surprised to see so many spirit poles standing on the campground at Rocanis. There had been a of hand shamans present when they'd sent him scouting toward Jhans, and they had expected more to come, maybe another hand. But this many--! Nearly ever shaman still living must be present, he had never heard of such a gathering. That was good, because the news he had was bad, and the more shamans present to deal with it, the better. He encouraged his weary horse to a faster pace. The sooner he had cast this burden onto the shoulders of those better suited to carry it, the happier he would be. + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ A Darque Tale #8 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ + The elf woman was staring at him, and she was not friendly. Her look said that she'd kill him cheerfully if that would get her what she wanted. At least, she would TRY. Master Darque smiled thinly. Other people had tried. She narrowed her eyes, tapped one toe on the stone floor, and finally sighed. "Well, Raigavor had one thing right. If the sigil has chosen to ride with you, I can't take it away from you." She scowled. "But that doesn't mean I have to LIKE the situation." Scowled more deeply. "Or YOU." Sighed again, and turned toward one of the corridors--not the one the red wizard had taken. "This way." Master Darque didn't move. "Where are you suggesting we go, and why?" His guess was that she wanted to get the Gate working without delay, but he wanted to hear her say it. If she spoke the words, he would know if she was lying. "To use the sigil," she snapped. "What else? I don't have times to play games with you! I have IMPORTANT things to do, and besides, I don't really LIKE demons, anyway." She set off down her chosen corridor, then looked back over her shoulder. "Are you coming?" Darque shrugged and moved after her. Amazing focus the woman had. Did she truly feel that only her struggle with King Feyen mattered? If so, she was no risk to HIS plans at all. "I suppose so. Are we going to have to come together every time you want to use this Gate?" "Gods, no! Once the gate is opened with the sigil, I can lock it open. I won't have to keep struggling with the damned thing. Opening it AT ALL without the sigil is difficult. The ingredients--! Do you know how hard it is to find noble virgins in Xochithlan?" Having been heard many tales of the lustiness of elves, Darque could imagine the difficulty. "Use ignoble ones, then," he suggested. "I wish! But the Gate can tell the difference." Raigavor didn't know how Illayina had located the primary Gate-point, whether she had some hereditary resonance or had made exhaustive tests of the whole palace. But he himself, born of the wizard blood, had no problem. He could locate the Gate as easily, as instinctively, as a sunflower located the sun. And he was willing to bet that he knew a lot more about it than she did, too. Maybe not more than the demon, it was hard to judge him. Raigavor had known many demons and part-demons in his long life, but they had been from...he groped for words and then shrugged. This Master Darque was not a demon such as he knew, and that's all there was to it. But Illayina he knew, and more than of the Gates between the worlds than she did. This master Gate was locked closed at the present. With the use of the sigil, it could be locked open. But merely having the sigil NEAR the Gate-point would allow it to BE opened. And although it was called a Gate-POINT, it was a zone with a radius of twelve yards or so. Anywhere inside that zone, a Gate could be opened. For Raigavor's purposes, all that was required was for Darque and the sigil to come into one part of the zone while he himself was in another part. They need not even been in the same actual room. And it was going to happen soon. Now that he had been near the sigil, Raigavor could sense its presence. It was approaching. He was ready. This level of the palace--they were underground, perhaps two levels under, or three--was a maze. Darque wondered if Illayina expected him to become lost here. That would not happen. Even with the strange magical fields--no time to analyze them now, perhaps later, though--woven through the walls, he could find his way back to the point where he'd entered the maze. He might have been hard put to it to define his location with relation to the surface, but he could simply blast his way to it if necessary. He knew which way was-- Really, these were very strange magical fields. Powerful, more so than he had ever encountered on Ghea. Even a demon would not be ashamed to have created these fields. Old. Nobody here on Ghea could do work like that now. Even if the Arcanum had been able to support it...which it was not. Odd. What WAS supporting the fields, then? He assessed the woman leading him deeper into this maze. Would she know the answer? And if she did, how much effort would it take to get the answer out of her? She had a strong shield for a non-demon. Would it be worth it? Ah, life was full of questions. His contemplation of these questions was aborted by a surge of power within the sigil, and another surge in the interwoven magical fields of this place. "The Gate is opening!" Illayina shrieked. She began to run, dashing around a corner ahead. Darque followed her into a circular room about twenty feet across. A mist of light in the center was fading slowly, and there was a redness about the mist that put him strongly in mind of Raigavor. Raigavor stumbled to a halt and let out a breath in relief. He had been sure, intellectually, that his plan would work, but he hadn't been SURE. It had worked. There was no mistaking that he had arrived in the world of his beginning and his long desire. Now to find out where in that world he was. He stood still, rotating to examine his surroundings. There had been no time to aim his transit or even suggest a destination. He was standing in the heart of a maze formed of dense, close-clipped hedges. He didn't recognize the shrubs that had yielded the hedge, botany had never been an interest of his. A circle of close-clipped lawn, and a smaller circle of tile in the center. Which was, of course, where he was standing. Had someone built this maze around a Gate-point, or had the Gate-point fixed on the maze as an appropriate emergence? Either was possible. Not that it mattered right now. That was a question of the philosophers. All HE needed to know was where this maze was located. He probed the local Arcanum in search of clues. Hmm. Nothing he could positively identify, but this was not the sister-city of Xochithlan. Somewhere near there, perhaps--if you interpreted "near" loosely. And in any city in that general area, he could expect to find enemies. Until he knew more, it would be wise to hide. He looked around for inspiration. Illayina kept on shrieking. A very distasteful sound, under the circumstances, and a useless one. Only a very stupid mage threw such a tantrum. Well, humans were so often stupid...still, it was a nuisance. He glided close and slapped her face. Hard. She stopped in mid-shriek and stared at him, wide-eyed. Before she could speak, he said, "We came here to open a Gate. Let's do it." "How can we? Raigavor probably RUINED it!" She turned in a circle, staring into all parts of the room. "He must have wrecked something to be able to open one here at all...." The half-demon's breath hissed out in annoyance. Was this fool totally ignorant? It was clear to him that the wizard had done something here which involved the sigil--which was the whole idea of bringing the sigil here in the first place. Maybe the sigil was essential, but only had to be near the site of the Gate. Not that it mattered. Here was the sigil, here the Gate. He knew several ways to open Gates. He had no doubt that Raigavor also knew several ways. So this Gate must be special in some way. He would figure it out in time, if he had to, but it would be easier if this wretched elf would do it now. "We came here to open a Gate," he repeated. "Let us do it now." DUELMASTER'S COLUMN Notes from the arena champ. I do not write DM Columns. Such nonsense is for Andorians. SKULK SPY REPORT Hail XOCHITHLAN! Warriors of the arena, prepare to be praised and blamed for your deeds. CHEAP SHOTS stable has parlayed this turn's 3-0-0 into a 3 space move up the rankings. This brings them up to 2nd place. Good work, guys! And let's see, MATT RISIDE fought QUIA RAYNE and gained 19 points and contributed to CRIMINAL ELEMENT's 2-2-0. QUIA RAYNE has lost to MATT RISIDE, falling 17 points, while helping make THE MIDDLE WAY a 3-2-0 turn. Defending its title for another turn, SKULK kept CRIMINAL ELEMENT's warrior, KAHR, JACK, from claiming the throne. Can someone confirm a rumor for me? I hear the top team makes their losing fighters do dishes at The Swinging Aardvark until they win. Maybe? Oriental wise man once say, 'Hiding behind shields prevents proper sun tanning.' Inscrutable, but true. I also notice that the DUCKS UNLIMITED stable was the most avoided team this turn. Come on XOCHITHLAN, what are you afraid of? And guess who avoided DUCKS UNLIMITED stable the most? Believe it or not, it was CHEAP SHOTS. Anyone surprised? The most challenged warrior this turn was THE MIDDLE WAY's warrior QUIA RAYNE. More fighters challenged her than challenged the Duelmaster! A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man only once. Wise men know this to be true. We'd like to remind certain teams not to rob the graves of their enemies. You know who you are; and it's considered rude. Remember, blood on the purple robe does not change it from a purple robe. Dare to fight bravely. Always good to rest in XOCHITHLAN, but never good to wear out my welcome. Look for me in future turns. Until you see my quill in XOCHITHLAN again, farewell-- Alarond the Scribe DUELMASTER W L K POINTS TEAM NAME SKULK 3603 9 0 0 136 CHEAP SHOTS (426) CHALLENGER CHAMPIONS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -OUTLAW STAR 3550 13 8 1 92 DARQUE ANGELS (402) CHAMPIONS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME KAHR, JACK 3637 14 11 1 85 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) MATT RISIDE 3705 10 2 0 85 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) SMIRK 3606 9 1 0 81 CHEAP SHOTS (426) CHUCKLE 3602 10 1 0 70 CHEAP SHOTS (426) QUIA RAYNE 3636 11 16 0 67 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) -ETRIGAN 3596 9 4 0 67 DARQUE ANGELS (402) CHALLENGER ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -THE FALLEN ONE 3416 12 13 2 61 DARQUE ANGELS (402) MANN SLAUGHTER 3688 9 5 2 58 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME MS D. MEENER 3696 9 4 0 56 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) -EYE RAISE 3604 7 0 0 54 CHEAP SHOTS (426) -MALICE 3704 4 0 2 45 DARQUE ANGELS (402) BELLE COR 3720 7 1 1 38 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) -GRETA MIDWALL 3405 5 3 0 36 ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -IGNORE 3605 6 3 0 35 CHEAP SHOTS (426) CHALLENGER INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME OPARA PERSI 3670 8 9 0 33 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) MORI NEB 3728 4 0 0 24 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -BLACK GUARD 3667 4 5 0 22 DARQUE ANGELS (402) -MANIAC MAX 3516 2 1 0 19 BLEAK LEGION (418) -ELHAZ THORSSON 3513 3 1 0 18 ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) WENDAL XOKI 3727 2 2 0 18 THE MIDDLE WAY (385) -LOKILOKI 3401 3 3 0 17 ODIN'S CHOSEN (400) DAMIEN BANESON 3514 1 2 0 13 BLEAK LEGION (418) -GRANT DE NASTY 3518 1 2 0 5 BLEAK LEGION (418) -STUD 3515 1 1 0 4 BLEAK LEGION (418) -JOE 3517 0 2 0 2 BLEAK LEGION (418) BONE CRUSHER 3735 0 1 0 1 EVIL INC (440) '-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn. THE DEAD W L K TEAM NAME SLAIN BY TURN Revenge? DROSS 3403 4 5 0 ODIN'S CHOSEN 400 RIVER SPIRIT 18 216 NONE PERSONAL ADS All -- I am Skulk. I win. -- Your Duelmaster Ms D. Meener -- Neener neener. -- Quia Rayne P.S. Okay, I guess that's rude, but I just couldn't resist. Malice -- Nasty fellow, aren't you? Uh, okay, nasty gal. -- Opara Persi This DWARF is a shaman's assistant? Somehow I don't THINK so! -- Belle Cor Black Guard -- So go guard something! Leave me alone, hey? -- Wendal Xoki P.S. Okay, okay, "good fight." Bah. Wow, it isn't everyone who can take down a half-dozen long-range archers with just a sword! -- Mori Neb 30 December 2005 Just a reminder to all you online type people. It is much appreciated if you send your personals in PLAIN TEXT, rather than HTML or formatted text. HAL, in his infinite wisdom, doesn't DO formatting, which means having to unsnarl your personal ads from bunches of extraneous...stuff. So, if your e-mailer has a plain text option, let it be your friend. -- Ed. P.S. Sometimes it's the formatted text which makes ads go astray. Not often, but sometimes. LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS DROSS was butchered by RIVER SPIRIT in a 1 minute Dark Arena fight. SKULK devastated KAHR, JACK in a 1 minute one-sided Title duel. QUIA RAYNE was handily defeated by MATT RISIDE in a 1 minute one-sided match. SMIRK unbelievably bested RIRORNI OFFICER in a crowd pleasing 10 minute gory brawl. CHUCKLE luckily beat MS D. MEENER in a crowd pleasing 3 minute bloody match. MANN SLAUGHTER won victory over OPARA PERSI in a 1 minute fight. BELLE COR devastated DAMIEN BANESON in a 1 minute mismatched match. MORI NEB overcame RIRORNI DESERTER in a 1 minute beginner's fight. WENDAL XOKI vanquished BONE CRUSHER in a 1 minute uneven duel. BATTLE REPORT MOST POPULAR RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS |FIGHTING STYLE FIGHTS FIGHTING STYLE W - L - K PERCENT| |WALL OF STEEL 4 TOTAL PARRY 9 - 1 - 0 90 | |BASHING ATTACK 4 BASHING ATTACK 19 - 11 - 0 63 | |TOTAL PARRY 2 WALL OF STEEL 24 - 16 - 2 60 | |AIMED BLOW 2 STRIKING ATTACK 10 - 7 - 2 59 | |PARRY-RIPOSTE 1 PARRY-STRIKE 5 - 4 - 0 56 | |LUNGING ATTACK 1 LUNGING ATTACK 14 - 12 - 1 54 | |STRIKING ATTACK 1 AIMED BLOW 12 - 11 - 0 52 | |PARRY-LUNGE 0 SLASHING ATTACK 9 - 9 - 0 50 | |PARRY-STRIKE 0 PARRY-RIPOSTE 3 - 8 - 0 27 | |SLASHING ATTACK 0 PARRY-LUNGE 2 - 6 - 1 25 | Turn 216 was great if you Not so great if you used The fighting styles of the used the fighting styles: the fighting styles: top eleven warriors are: TOTAL PARRY 2 - 0 PARRY-LUNGE 0 - 0 3 BASHING ATTACK WALL OF STEEL 3 - 1 PARRY-STRIKE 0 - 0 2 TOTAL PARRY AIMED BLOW 1 - 1 PARRY-RIPOSTE 0 - 1 2 WALL OF STEEL BASHING ATTACK 2 - 2 LUNGING ATTACK 0 - 1 1 STRIKING ATTACK SLASHING ATTACK 0 - 0 1 AIMED BLOW STRIKING ATTACK 0 - 1 1 LUNGING ATTACK 1 SLASHING ATTACK TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE FIGHTING STYLE WARRIOR W L K PNTS TEAM NAME BASHING ATTACK SKULK 3603 9 0 0 136 CHEAP SHOTS (426) AIMED BLOW MATT RISIDE 3705 10 2 0 85 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) TOTAL PARRY SMIRK 3606 9 1 0 81 CHEAP SHOTS (426) WALL OF STEEL MANN SLAUGHTER 3688 9 5 2 58 CRIMINAL ELEMENT (379) Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above. The overall popularity leader is QUIA RAYNE 3636. The most popular warrior this turn was MS D. MEENER 3696. The ten other most popular fighters were SKULK 3603, MATT RISIDE 3705, CHUCKLE 3602, MANN SLAUGHTER 3688, BELLE COR 3720, MORI NEB 3728, WENDAL XOKI 3727, SMIRK 3606, OPARA PERSI 3670, and DROSS 3403. The least popular fighter this week was BONE CRUSHER 3735. The other ten least popular fighters were DAMIEN BANESON 3514, QUIA RAYNE 3636, KAHR, JACK 3637, DROSS 3403, OPARA PERSI 3670, SMIRK 3606, WENDAL XOKI 3727, MORI NEB 3728, BELLE COR 3720, and MANN SLAUGHTER 3688.