Date   : 12/31/2005    Duedate: 01/27/2006


DM-39    TURN-216

This Weeks Top Honors


(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
(39-3636) [11-16-0,67]         (39-3696) [9-4-0,56]



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[ +


     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
     "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."
     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
     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"
     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.


                                      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

                                  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 
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,