DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER Date : 12/04/2006 Duedate: 12/16/2006 ARDIVENT ARENA DM-46 TURN-489 This Weeks Top Honors THE DUELMASTER IS AZGUD INFERNAL LORDS (8) (46-3253) [15-14-0,118] Chartered Recognition Leader Unchartered Recognition Leader AZGUD HAIRY BEAR INFERNAL LORDS (8) THE BEARS II (355) (46-3253) [15-14-0,118] (46-3939) [1-1-0,28] Popularity Leader This Weeks Favorite AZGUD AZGUD INFERNAL LORDS (8) INFERNAL LORDS (8) (46-3253) [15-14-0,118] (46-3253) [15-14-0,118] THE CURRENT TOP TEAM FANDILS (75) TEAMS ON THE MOVE TOP CAREER HONORS Team Name Point Gain Chartered Team 1. ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCHS (318) 89 2. INFERNAL LORDS (8) 50 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) 3. THE BEARS II (355) 41 Unchartered Team 4. WAKE 2 (356) 9 5. BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) -2 WAKE 2 (356) The Top Teams Career Win-Loss Record W L K % Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns W L K 1/ 1*WAKE 2 (356) 2 0 0 100 1/ 1 FANDILS (75) 7 5 1 2/ 2 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) 259 146 15 64.0 2/ 2 INFERNAL LORDS (8) 6 2 0 3/ 4 FANDILS (75) 810 619 27 56.7 3/ 3 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) 6 4 1 4/ 5 INFERNAL LORDS (8) 191 158 10 54.7 4/ 4 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) 4 11 0 5/ 0*THE BEARS II (355) 5 7 0 41.7 5/ 6 ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCH (318) 3 5 0 6/ 6 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) 390 620 13 38.6 6/ 5*WAKE 2 (356) 2 0 0 7/ 7 ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCH (318) 9 15 0 37.5 7/ 0*THE BEARS II (355) 2 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[ Cities by the Shore #3 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ + Point: The afternoon was bright, windy, and rather cold when the ferry nudged into its dock on the south side of the Point peninsula. The docking and warehousing facilities had a make-shift air about them, though they had been in use for several years now, since the rising of Krael to the north of the peninsula had made the old port useless. A shanty town had grown up around the dock and warehouses. Old Doc Circ squinted at the huddle of buildings. "I didn't expect so many people here," he said. "Two months ago when I was over here last--a matter of some herbs that can only be picked on the slope above the Ogre's Tomb, you know--there was not this crowding. To shelter that population, they must be sleeping ten to a bed!" "Newly arrived," Senator Sedalia answered him. He studied the people he could see. "Refugees, I know that look. Something must be happening--something more and worse--over in Point, or in Krael. Only greed or fear would move so many people out of their homes. These people are afraid." "They have that look," Gissanniah admitted. "I'm not sure I want to know what they're afraid of, but I suppose we have to find out?" "Yes, and fix it," Sedalia said. "Properly speaking, that is a senator's true task, to understand and solve the problems of his constituents." He paused and grimaced. "Tedious, but true, and most of us do our best, you know." He squared his shoulders, angled his jaw, and flicked an imaginary piece of lint off the lapel of his suit. "As I shall do here and now." "Fine words," Old Doc Circ grumbled. The ferry was rubbing up against its dock, and the crew were busy with ropes and planks and all the paraphernalia of landing. "Let's get to it, then, you filibustering scalawag." "'Bad vibes'?" Old Doc Circ's voice vibrated with outrage. "That's all they can say, that Point is filling with 'bad vibes'?" "They're not magicians or natural scientists," Gissanniah said, "so allow them a little imprecision, okay? Save your wrath for them not being willing to rent or sell horses to us!" She paused and leaned against a tree. The rise that separated the southern shore of the peninsula from Point on the northern former shore didn't seem like much... until you had to climb it on your own feet. "We're going to be so tired when we GET there, we won't be able to DO anything." "You exaggerate, my dear," the senator said. "We--" "She doesn't exaggerate by much," Circ snapped. "You may find this a stroll in the park, you young whippersnapper, but I am no spring chicken!" "You were never a chicken." The senator snorted. "An old goat from birth, that's you. Ah... have you any ideas? The refugees seemed to be in agreement that the activities in Krael have a magical bias, and that is not my field of expertise." The old alchemist shrugged. "Not really. I'm a scientist, not a high magician, a blood sorcerer, a black necromancer, or what have you. No doubt one of THEM-- Fandil, for instance--could tell from here, just be the taste of the Arcanum, what might be going wrong over there. We aren't more than a couple of miles away by now." "Eclipse is there." Everybody jumped. Stepharoo had been silent for so long, they'd forgotten her presence. Sedalia looked at her, one eyebrow raised. "Can you be sure, my dear? It IS two miles yet, and there's the hill top blocking line of sight." "I know he's there," she said. She began to walk faster. "And he needs my help!" + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Cities by the Shore #4 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ + Krael: The attackers were pressing closer around Lord Protector Eclipse. A lot of them weren't even trying to fight, they were just hemming him in with their bodies, trying to bring him down under the weight of their flesh. Where were they all COMING from? He swept the shadow of his dark shield across them, and they didn't flinch, didn't even seem to notice. If he correctly understood the nature of the shield...and he probably didn't, it was so new to him, but he had an idea that any normal person would run from that shadow as from a nightmare. So did that mean these weren't normal? Cut, stab, slash, cut, smash. They bled normally. No, they bled like carcasses. He stared into the eyes of a man, or what looked like a man, that threw himself, itself, onto his blade. There was no mind there, no soul, no man at all. Just a body. He stabbed it to the heart and shoved it away with a shudder. But every time one died, two more came forward to replace it. Even the ones he'd killed were getting up and coming at him again. They were even less efficient, but they were still coming and still coming. Stabbing killed them, if they could be called "alive" to begin with, but it didn't stop them. He began to hack off limbs. It was exhausting. He stamped on a bodiless hand that was clutching his heel. He whirled in place, hacking and smashing and trampling. The arena was not like this. He had known, intellectually, that fighting in the arena wasn't the same as "everyday" combat, but neither was this, in a different way. Was there no END to these bodies? "They're cooking a spell," Fandil said. His words came between grunts of effort as he slammed the end of his wizard's staff into one attacker after another. "Yes," Cho agreed. His sword was moving constantly, but it was not flashing, not now that it was bloody from tip to guard. "And every one of these...warm bodies we kill adds to the power they can use." A pause while his blade swept another blood-spilling arc across the front of the mass of attackers. "We could use this power, too, if we could--" "No! This power here is VILE," Adie said. "We shall not touch it. That would be to stoop to the level of our enemies." Her beam of concentrated sunlight burned across another rank of the attack; spilled blood boiled away in its wake. Cho shook his head and muttered something in Adantri. "Don't make me laugh, Cho!" Fandil gasped. "That was NOT a nice thing to say about--" He paused while his staff shattered the skull of another attacker. "My staff isn't going to take much more of this," he reported. "And we need to do something about that spell, whatever it--" "Some kind of killing blast," Cho said. "I'll show them 'deadly blasts'," Adie growled, gathering more sunlight into her grip. Filtered or not, it was power, and clean power. And if she could hold together enough of it, she could burn through whatever filter the Kraelians had put over it. With the full power of the sunlight to wield, her enemies would find themselves in a hard place. Fandil was muttering an incantation, trying to match the rhythm of the words to the spinning and thrusting of his staff. Even in the current weakened state, it should be possible to fashion a shield from the Arcanum. Shielding was one of the last magical functions to go.... But the battle was a distraction he didn't need right not. And when he reached into the Arcanum, he found it...tainted. The blood magic, he guessed, the whole Aruaki region must be contaminated with it by now. He wondered in passing whether Cho had been right, whether Sheila Greywand had planned the arena system to give her access to blood-power when there was no other source she could tap. Not that it mattered right this minute.... The Arcanum was sluggish as well as weak and smudged. The shield was forming so slowly. Too slowly. The attackers began to collapse without being touched, which must be signaling the launching of the spell; they were giving their lives to fuse it. Fandil groped for more power. And felt Adie's gathered sunlight pouring into him like hot iron into a mold. The shield snapped into shape and position. Something struck, barely visible, a mass of dark, writhing energies that pressed downward like the weight of the world. Fandil staggered, then steadied, braced by Adie's strength added to his own. And the attackers kept coming. Only stumbling and shambling forward, now, but still coming. The shield didn't stop THEM, they were physical, not magical. And they could flow over the three magicians like a wave of flesh and bone, drowning them, breaking the concentration that kept the spell shield in place. Adie and Fandil were aware of that approach but could do nothing without dissolving the shield. Cho hacked at the zombies like a madman, but he was only one man and one sword. Eclipse staggered and almost fell when the pressure of the attack against him suddenly fell away. He leaned against a bit of broken wall, when had he reached the wall? and blinked sweat from his eyes. A lot of the zombies were simply collapsing. Falling to the ground, falling into rapid decay, into noisome pools. But some were turning and moving toward the other center of battle. Enough zombies to overwhelm that small group. He shook off the blurring of fatigue. An enemy of my enemy might be a friend, right? He hefted his shield of shadows and headed their way. The shield wouldn't hold much longer. Fandil found it hard to believe the amount of power the Kraelians had assembled in these days of a weakened Arcanum. But they were using blood magic, and probably even darker sources. And they didn't care how many of their supporting sorcerers they burned out in the effort. And he and Adie would burn out eventually, even if Cho left off the physical defense to aid them. What was Cho doing? Fighting, yes, that was obvious, but the old Adantri was shouting, as well. Not spells, they sounded more like curses. Serious, "I really mean it" curses. Cho was beginning to sound, in fact, like a man in the process of losing his temper. NOT a good thing for a magician to do. The dark weight of the spell pressed down on the shield and then...wavered. A different darkness edged against it. A cleaner darkness, the passionless calm of a winter night. Where it touched the black fury of the Kraelian spell, that spell began to fade. As though it was a wineskin that had sprung a leak. At the same moment, Cho lost his temper completely and roared out something that shattered the stones heaped around the plaza. Lifting them into the air in a stone- fanged whirlwind that sailed across the open ground toward the Kraelian mages. Too many powers collided over the plaza. Brightness of the sun, darkness of an eclipse. Howling winds and flying debris. Earthquake and a roaring of disturbed waters. Fandil felt his shield collapse inward toward his staff like an umbrella closing, but he could tell that the spell he'd raised it against was gone. There were other problems, of course, there were always other problems. He caught Adie's arm as she stumbled and nearly fell; Cho had her on the other side. They turned together and looked up-slope toward Point. The gladiator they had seen before was standing there, staring past them. "Some kind of dike broke," he said, "and there's water, a lot of water, pouring into the lower part of this town." "Good! Let's get higher up and away from it," Fandil answered. + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Cities by the Shore #5 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ + Point: "Good gad," Senator Sedalia muttered, panting along in Stepharoo's wake, "the wench is tireless!" "I have an elixir--" Old Doc Circ began. "No! I don't need your potions, you quack!" More quietly, he added, "It's only two miles. Less than that, we must have come half way already." He looked ahead, where Stepharoo and Gissanniah were vanishing over the crest of the peninsula. "And the rest of it will be downhill." "Unless you're going to roll down the hill," Circ pointed out, "it won't be any easier." Sedalia scowled at him. The old alchemist seemed disgustingly spry, and continuing the argument would take too much breath. He and Circ were almost at the top themselves, and it would be an obvious move to stop there and survey the situation. Any minute now. The two veterans stopped side by side and looked down on the town of Point. "Not one of Point's better days," Old Doc Circ murmured. An explosion over the nearer edge of Krael shook the air and the land, and dust blasted upward in a fountain. "Not one of Krael's better days, either," Sedalia added, pointing into the distance. "Parts of it are being flooded again!" "Good! But where have Gissanniah and Stepharoo gone?" The alchemist fumbled in the pockets of his robe. "I have a telescope here somewhere...." Sedalia ignored him and scanned the town below. One part of it had burned a year or so ago, he remembered hearing about that. What he hadn't heard was that the burned buildings had been abandoned, no effort made to clean them up or clear the sites for new building. The jumble of blackened walls and tumbled, half-burned beams was depressing. All the outlying areas were depressing; the population, what remained, had withdrawn to the core of the town around the empty arena and the mound of the Ogre's Tomb. A broad lane ran down from there toward Krael, or at least, toward what had once been Point's harbor. People were gathering on that path, holding weapons, and even from this distance, the senator could hear the mutter that warned of a crowd fast becoming a mob. Stepharoo and Gissanniah had almost reached the rear of the mob. And in front of it, coming up from Krael, was a group of four people, with a confused mass of Kraelians in pursuit. DUELMASTER'S COLUMN Notes from the arena champ. Fandil the Wise here, reporting in for Dr Steinberger who is out cleaning teeth and learning, albeit slowly, Health; Humility; Honor. This column will be devoted to DeGotti's question. Mr. DeGotti, I am sorry for the confusion, and I must admit that I wish I did have all 116 point warriors AND The Frankenstein prize! But.... The stats info is not listed by warrior, but rather in ascending numeric value by stat. That way a specific warrior's design is not disclosed. For example, let's say I was "blessed" to have these two warriors: 11-10-10-17-17-8-11 and 9-6-11-21-9- 15-13. They would be listed as such: ST 9, 11 CN 6, 10 SZ 10, 11 WT 17, 21 WL 9, 17 SP 8, 15 DF 11, 13 In your eyes, perhaps, creating a 70 and 98 point warrior, when they are both, of course at 84. I hope this helps the explanation to everyone interested. Fandil The Wise P.S. At birth means when rolled. (Stats added later are excluded.) P.P.S This method was initiated by the great Crip. P.P.P.S. I truly wish I HAD those two warriors above! SPY REPORT Good day, in ARDIVENT a quiet thief gets rich, but a quiet spymaster gets poor. So bring me ale and harken to my tidbits of news. The INFERNAL LORDS guild has had a 3-0-0 turn and deserves to be watched in the future. You never know where this kind of thing can lead. And let's see, KIM CLIJSTERS fought HAMMER and gained 22 points and contributed to ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCHS' 3-1-0. HAMMER has lost to KIM CLIJSTERS, falling 18 points, while helping make CYNICAL DELUSIONS a 3-2-1 turn. This turn DR STEINBURGER challenged AZGUD in what was ARDIVENT's Title bout. And not without some honor, AZGUD now claims the title and throne of Duelmaster of ARDIVENT. Can someone confirm a rumor for me? I hear the top team makes their losing fighters do dishes at The Victory Tavern until they win. Maybe? He who challenges well, fights well. He who avoids without cause, shall lose for good reasons. My mama told me that one. I also notice that the CYNICAL DELUSIONS stable was the most avoided team this turn. Come on ARDIVENT, what are you afraid of? And guess who avoided CYNICAL DELUSIONS stable the most? Believe it or not, it was FANDILS. Anyone surprised? Well, sports fans, take notice that AZGUD from INFERNAL LORDS was ARDIVENT's most challenged warrior this turn. Building dreams on hope, SHTEFFI GRAAF challenged up 27 points this turn to take on DAVY PRIVETTE from FANDILS stable. And now nobody knows where DAVY PRIVETTE is right now, after giving SHTEFFI GRAAF 26 points worth of recognition. As quiet chuckles rise behind me. In a fit of brilliance or of stupidity (hard to say sometimes), SERENA WILLIAMS challenged JACINTHE today, facing a 30 difference in recognition. And crowds were on their feet when SERENA WILLIAMS claimed a victory from JACINTHE, and now has 27 points for hers efforts. 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. Well, I'm burning daylight here in ARDIVENT and I've a long road ahead of me. Happy Trails. Until you see my quill in ARDIVENT again, farewell-- Alarond the Scribe DUELMASTER W L K POINTS TEAM NAME AZGUD 3253 15 14 0 118 INFERNAL LORDS (8) CHALLENGER CHAMPIONS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -MARY CATHERINE 3459 12 5 3 102 FANDILS (75) SPARROW-BLASTER 3900 10 5 3 99 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) CHAMPIONS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME DR STEINBURGER 3442 23 8 0 89 FANDILS (75) -TEMPTATION 3314 9 5 0 89 INFERNAL LORDS (8) GALOOT 3907 13 1 0 76 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) CHALLENGER ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME QUAR-RAL 3898 12 1 0 65 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) RYTHYM WIZARD 3357 9 6 0 65 INFERNAL LORDS (8) SHTEFFI GRAAF 3388 7 4 0 64 ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCHS (318) DAVY PRIVETTE 3447 16 4 0 62 FANDILS (75) EUROQ 3901 8 5 0 61 INFERNAL LORDS (8) ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME GLAVER 3915 8 5 0 46 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) EARL 3951 4 2 0 43 FANDILS (75) -IRONWOLF 274 5 1 0 42 BARBARIAN HORDE (47) DEBRA CONKLIN 3890 6 20 0 39 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) JUANITA 3926 7 5 0 38 FANDILS (75) CHALLENGER INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME JACINTHE 3892 4 20 0 32 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) HAIRY BEAR 3939 1 1 0 28 THE BEARS II (355) SERENA WILLIAMS 3963 1 1 0 27 ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCHS (318) -STONE BEAR 3941 3 1 0 25 THE BEARS II (355) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -BROQUS 3947 4 2 0 22 INFERNAL LORDS (8) GEIN 3958 2 0 0 22 WAKE 2 (356) KIM CLIJSTERS 3965 1 0 0 22 ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTCHS (318) ZELLIT 3948 5 3 1 19 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) -UG 271 4 2 1 19 BARBARIAN HORDE (47) -KROKUS 272 4 2 0 19 BARBARIAN HORDE (47) -TARAMON 270 3 3 0 18 BARBARIAN HORDE (47) -WEASEL 273 4 2 0 15 BARBARIAN HORDE (47) BEN 3952 1 0 0 13 THE BEARS II (355) PELLOZOEN 3961 1 3 0 6 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME BUNGO PARK 3964 1 1 0 4 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS (74) HAMMER 3962 1 1 0 4 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) '-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn. THE DEAD W L K TEAM NAME SLAIN BY TURN Revenge? NOBLE ASSASSIN 12 0 1 0 1 SPARROW-BLASTER 3900 489 NONE MARTINA HINGIS 3953 0 2 0 ALAN'S BOZLEEYOTC 318 MISTRESS FANDETTE 23 489 NONE FLASH 3940 0 1 0 THE BEARS II 355 SHEWISH GIANT 21 489 NONE BECKER COLLIN 3850 14 32 1 BLUVALLEY WARRIORS 74 MARY CATHERINE 3459 487 PERSONAL ADS Well, hmmm, I wonder. Each day I wait and wait for the turn to come in, to either bask in the glory, or feel the gloom of despair. This time, it's all despair, I'm pretty sure I sent my boys to the right arena. I'm pretty sure they made it somewhere, but not to sure where that might be. To keep this short, I'm off to find them, and get them back to the red sands, so I might be gone awhile. Keep the beer cold, I will be back. -- Eclipse, Cynical Delusions Sparrow Blaster does not need to win the title. She realizes I am the better warrior and revels in my accomplishments. -- Dr. Steinberger What?!!! -- Mary Catherine Ghost of Becker Collins -- I really, really am sorry. Please don't call me a Delarquan. (sob) -- Mary Catherine Jacinthe -- I TRIED to teach you something. I have found that females do not listen well to advice. (re: Dixie Chicks) -- Earl Azgud -- You put up a great battle. I was surprised to see the dentist hold you off. Are you ready to try again? -- Fandil The Wise Azgud -- Ho hum. I am glad I get paid by the minute. Debra Conklin -- It was my distinct pleasure. -- Davy Privette Shteffi Graaf -- Girls just wanna have fun. Can I give John a try next? -- Juanita Ardivent -- I may be in and out now and then to maintain some presence here. We'll see if I get back in the next turn or later. I am trying to trim some costs but don't want to stay away too long. I kind of like my team here (not that they're godly or anything). Good luck all, hope to see you soon again! -- Adie Eclipse -- Glad to see you made it back. What happened to your warriors? :) -- DeGotti Dr. Steinburger -- Hurry up and graduate already! -- Azgud Glaver -- I think you will be disappointed in Azgud as a teacher. He is dyslexic so you have to watch his moves in reverse. :P -- DeGotti Broqus -- You are, beyond a doubt, infernal. I noticed that right off when you hit me and broke my, uh, hip. I said to myself, Self, that was the act of someone infernal. Not a lord, probably, because what lord would be a gladiator? But infernal, yes. -- Pellozoen Davy Privette -- I know about the Privettes. They're just down the street from us. Hedges, right? With...little blue berries? And pointy stems. The kind of hedges that are just as good as a fence for people, but dogs and cats go under and that isn't a problem for them. -- Debra Conklin P.S. And birds like them. Do you have birds on your shoulders sometimes? Euroq -- What IS it with you? First you hit me a few times, then the flames, and finally the egg. This is twice, at least, and it wasn't funny the first time. -- Jacinthe P.S. But you do it quite well. That "Friendly Constable"! He was, well, I wouldn't call it friendly! He was too familiar, is what he was. Good thing I had a sword in my hand, you know? It's probably all that saved me from a really public embarrassment. -- Zellit P.S. And him from a really public "accident" that he would NOT have enjoyed. P.P.S. And this guy is MARRIED and still acting like that! Martina Hingis -- I'm all excited! An elf! One hears, you know, such THINGS about elven women. Come show me your stuff, baby! -- Bungo Park Mary Catherine -- Maybe if you were to cut back on the Dark Root, you'd be a happier and less murderous person. -- Ghost of Becker Collin Quar-Ral -- Well, why DIDN'T you? -- Debra Conklin Fandil -- Sorry, I called for the wrong episodes last cycle. I'll get 'em right this time. -- the Scribe 10 November 2006 The Quest of the Best has come to an end. Dark Knight Toker, host of the Quest, wants to proclaim the Ultimate Victor and give a listing of prize winners. Lady Fern and her Flower Girls of the Consortium are the Ultimate Victors of the Quest. Well fought and there's nothing like coming from behind to leave us all in the dust. Can't wait to see you defend your title! (wink) Here is a complete list of managers who placed in prize positions: 1) Lady Fern, mgr. Flower Girls 2) Le Pentarque, mgr. Blood & Guts! 3) Crip, mgr. Otto's Parts 4) D.K. Heathen Hatebred, mgr. Odin's Chosen 5) Ghab, mgr. Assassin Nation 6) Fanthayne, mgr. Dark Raiders 7) D.K. Toker, mgr. Silver Knights 8) D.K. Wasby, mgr. Bronze Knights 9) The Expatriate, mgr. Bleak Legion 10) Still the Distilled, mgr. Springborne Fair Thanks to all that had the gall to show up, but I really want to thank the managers that had the mettle to survive and not run when they started getting their butt handed to them. Respect to All. Quest #1 host, Dark Knight Toker 14 November 2006 A Tale of Fusion Confusion Delusion Revolution as told by Hammer the WordSmith SomeWhere Beyond ElseWhere and ElseWhen a hooded figure brooded upon the lingering wisps of memory from days gone by. From the howling sands to the sanding howls the streams of thought bubbled and flowed, winding endlessly entwined within the darkest recesses and lightest resources of the learned and unlearned disciplines of managerial mayhem and manipulation. Nameless faces and faceless names floated in the swirling mists of madness embalmed within the memories of one who knew he did not know how far reaching the influences [both positive and negative] had rooted and flowered in the march of time and energy expended in the historical markings of gladiatorial essence and excellence experience. The tamed and the untamed coupled with the named and the unnamed resources that spilt their sweat and blood on the sands of arenas both known and unknown had metamorphosed into the dreamings and the schemings of the fadings of jadings and paradings [in both public and private] amongst the elite and the indiscreet posturings and babblings of managers becoming legends in their own minds and times. Hammer pondered upon beginnings and the seemingly endless myriad of endings possibly possible among the interspersed and intertwined impossible possibilities presently past and future. Echoing and reechoing in the vast depths and countless compartments along the corridors of his mind, Hammer played and replayed the glories shared and dared in the sixty-plus stabled arena on fabled Noblish Island DM 93. The training had been all too brief, but the competition generated by the multi faceted personages inhabiting DM 93 and the sheer multitude of numbers had forever instilled themselves in the heart and soul of the veteran manager [Hammer]; insomuch that the migration to Niatoli Island DM 33 triggered the desire to emulate the glory and the grandeur of the spectacle of stables vying for recognition from among the virtually numberless no-name newbies making names for themselves as they numbered their stables and accomplishments for all to see and behold, to the song and the sound of the sight of clashing cold cruel steel simmering the flesh of gallant gladiators consumed by the gory and the glory of crossing blades with the superior and the inferior within the interior of Greywand's Global Gladiatorial Galaxy. Far far ago and long long away had many abandoned hope for a return to the reminiscences revered by so many managers; predating even the generations of gladiators graduating from Noblish Island and the years of yore and gore and gallantry before. Rumblings and mumblings of a renovation rejuvenating the reflexes of managers numbed by the numberless trysts of tourney tarnished stables began revolutionizing the very fabric of time and space and time-honored tradition throughout the ranks of visionary newbies and volatile veterans alike and dislike. History was being shaken to the core of the gore as glory and grandeur responded to the revelry reverie revelations and reveille revolutionizing the creation of a new arena in the making; populated by No-Tourney Warriors and Full Stable Participants pledging to forge a new vision version of "The Fiercest and Best" for crossing blades and crosser banter in the personal ads and team spotlight tomes. Now was the time for Hammer to emerge and once again merge his talent among the gifted and grifted; answering the call to assemble the drifted [and to directly divulge and converge with the dozens] for the destiny of destructive denizens determined to build a new legacy upon the all-but-forgotten ashes of the old and olden legends of times lost. [TIME JUMP] Hammer sifted the sands in the dead of night in the desert reaches [located SomeWhere BeYond ElseWhere and ElseWhen] to discover 5 gladiators not tourney worthy, yet interesting enough to begin their careers in a No-Tourney Arena! "They need not be dispatched to the Dark Arena," the veteran manager mused as he sorted through paperwork long discarded and vaguely forgotten, "because there is nothing like a good Blood Feud to provide inspiration for writing personal ads in the arena newsletter! Besides, there are times when the replacement for a warrior wounded mortally on the arena sands fares much better than the one exchanged from Torch Light!" Fights by Torch Light were certainly deemed unnecessary as Hammer had already deduced that a number of determined stables would undoubtedly congregate with High Octane Warriors under the guidance of Higher Octane Managers to populate and depopulate the new No-Tourney Arena currently under construction in DM 81. Fortunately his feeble foray into the desert would yield somewhat suitable candidates for the newfound purposes Hammer had in mind. From among the candidates to be found Hammer would be rewarded in time by BLOODFEUDS and REPLACEMENT WARRIORS aplenty! Deep into the night Hammer searched and searched until five not-so-promising stables were uncovered in the waning hours before dawn. Ripper discards were scattered far and wide, but this was not the time or the hour to let sentimental views cloud the issue at hand. Future events would lend themselves to a suitable Ripper replacement, especially with the prospects Hammer was now sorting for his selection decision to dispatch to the Gladiatorial Commission for processing. Most managers have the luxury of selecting the best group [or discarding the worst group!] Hammer had the novelty of rounding up the castaways from the New Stables paperwork accumulated long ago from Maximillian's Morya Madness contest in DM 28 that were deemed below inferior as contest prizes [and thus banished from sight!] Hammer scrutinized and agonized over which group of gladiators were worth the sacks of gold coins he was prepared to release to the Gladiatorial Commission for fees to MAINTENANCE his new stable in the No-Tourney Arena. After what seemed like long hours passing by, Hammer discarded one and then another group of hopefuls. After lengthy debate a third was cast aside. Deciding between the final two groups found Hammer going back to interview the rejected candidates time and time again [until a final decision was made that Hammer could live with and his new stable could die with!] before the final quirks were hammered out and pen put to paper to process the prospective puny stable with the Gladiatorial Commission. The only solace gained from the painful process was the knowledge that other managers would be less tempted to run stables in DM 81 populated by their tourney- worthy warriors [under the penalty of death imposed and enforced upon tourney experienced gladiators by the Committee being formed to police and regulate such matters!] as sworn to and signed in good faith by each registering manager. [TIME JUMP] Hammer had worked long and hard to find suitable candidates for his stable and now it was time to begin their training. The paperwork had been dispatched for registration with the Gladiatorial Commission and now was the hour in which preparation was paramount! Dispatch riders had arrived with the news that Considerable Bounty was being offered as incentive rewards to those managers sending new stables to the No-Tourney Arena. Hammer realized this would Up the Ante [causing greater pause in the managerial community for selecting suitable stables!] as the creative competition was certain to escalate and produce Serious Sword Slinging Stables Staining the Arena Sands Red! Obviously a serious upgrade in the quality of competition migrating to the No- Tourney Arena in DM 81 would definitely work in favor of Hammer; enormously increasing the death toll percentage potential amongst the ranks of his new start-up stable in DM 81 [Sands Running Red and Blood Feuds Running Rampant as Undoubtedly Expected!] Hammer observed the futility of his new warriors training [as well as they could for what they were made from!] while recent memories came to the forefront of his mind! When the paperwork was nearly completed and names were selected for each Gladiator, Hammer decided to name the stable according to what he had discovered in the darkness while searching during the dismal hours of the desert night. These warriors would probably be more well suited to fight by Torch Light had they fallen into the possession of most other managers! Paper Warriors better suited to confronting Dark Arena Monsters [rather than being fed to the Gladiatorial Lions certain to be populating the regular No-Tourney Arena!] Specimens blatantly better suited for feeding upon agitated armadillo ants than for striving to attain recognition and fame in the No-Tourney Arena [or any arena!] Thus was AARDVARK HAMMERZ birthed and born for Greatness or Disgrace! [TIME JUMP] Dispatch riders on winged steeds brought the news Hammer had been awaiting! Not since the days of training on Noblish Island in DM 93 had Hammer encountered such collective enthusiasm for crossing blades in a selected arena such as DM 81 [recalling the time Hammer generated a gathering of newbies to transfer to Niatoli Island in DM 33 to match wits and cross blades with the assembling veterans upon graduation!] The Consortium had represented the veterans well in DM 33 with the SWEETNESS stable managed by Sweety Pie. Now the good news had arrived that The Consortium was seen registering a stable named LIFE IMPACTS in the No-Tourney Arena! Former alliance mates Darque and Kat had reportedly registered DARQUE AGES and KATHOUSE with the Gladiatorial Commission. Morya Madness combatant LePentarque from DM 28 had registered LA PENTARCHIE and longtime fixture Drake in North Fork DM 47 [recently returned from a lengthy hiatus] had been lured by the competition to register DRAKE'S HARDWARE. Deke [at the helm of DOC LEGRAND'S LAB] was instrumental in promoting the No- Tourney Arena by repeatedly negotiating terms with the Gladiatorial Commission. Others had laid the groundwork before him, but Deke raised the banner and carried it the final distance [Supported by Countless Managers too numerous to mention!] Salute Yourselves for Your Efforts are Most Graciously Applauded throughout Alastari! Apex had signed in with CAROLINA BLUE as had Ghab with ASSASSIN NATION. Another familiar name was found on the rolls as DeGotti registered CULT OF BACCHUS followed by DOOM KNIGHTS managed by Blackstorm. Also on the rolls to be noted were AS SEEN ON TV II managed by Indimar and RAGNAROK'S WOLVES by none other than ragnorokwolf. Nomad had signed on with PHANTOM REGIMENT and Silas followed suit with GRIFFONRAWL MMA. Another notable signature was that of MasterBeru with CHILDHOOD HEROES and a penchant for scribing Team Spotlights [A Plus in Any Arena!] Detective Kellumbo had followed the clues and was observed enroute to registering a yet unannounced stable [such are the ways of sleuthhounds and such!] Rumor had it that the manager known as Roadkill was on his way to register a stable after his namesake and Slugbait was close behind [obliviously lost in thought!] Finally [in no particular disorder!] managers Grimm, Woody, Terminator, Den and Bill were also seen elbowing their way through the gathering registration crowd to officially announce their participation in the No-Tourney Arena. COUNTLESS OTHER MANAGERS were known to be pondering the consequences of sending stables to a No-Tourney Arena and had yet to make the commitment public knowledge as to their intentions. Howbeit the Gladiatorial Commission was reportedly swamped with requests for New Stable Registration Forms [whether for the Tempe Facer or No-Tourney Arena was anybody's guess at the present time!] Judging from the furtive figures darting and ducking in the shadows and alleyways throughout Alastari [as well as those huddled in taverns or communicating with one another by various means available!] the success of such a No-Tourney Arena was Ballooning far Beyond the Expectations of the Promoters and Petitioners Bar None! HAMMER WAS UNDERSTANDABLY ENTHUSED BEYOND MEASURE BECAUSE the No-Tourney Arena had the Best Potential for attracting and assembling a congregation of competitors rivaling the numbers of Noblish Island from days gone by! JANUARY 2007 MARKS THE BEGINNING of a Journey where both Newbies and Veterans join together in a Historic Assemblage Celebrating the Crossing of Blades between some of the Best Managed Stables in all of Alastari [Known and Unknown!] "May Your Blades Be Sharp and Your Wits Sharper" Hammer Minister of War 30 November 2006 NEED A TURF WAR ALLIANCE?? Master Beru, Wretch, Reaper, and Xoan have come together to form an Alliance for the TURF WAR in DM47 with no regards for experience in competitions or even the game. If you want to enjoy the thrills of the competition, we have space for up to three more managers. Contact Master Beru at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or send a note to Master Beru at DM 29--Army of Darkness. If you are interested, we need to move quickly, since the contest starts in January and there are a few requirements to meet to participate. May your blades find the chinks in your enemy's armor. -- Master Beru LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS MARTINA HINGIS was butchered by MISTRESS FANDETTE in a 1 minute Dark Arena fight. FLASH was slaughtered by SHEWISH GIANT in a 1 minute Dark Arena battle. DR STEINBURGER was handily defeated by AZGUD in a 2 minute Challenge Title match. EUROQ vanquished JUANITA in a popular 1 minute mismatched Challenge brawl. RYTHYM WIZARD overpowered EARL in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge match. SHTEFFI GRAAF viciously subdued DAVY PRIVETTE in a 6 minute gory Challenge duel. SERENA WILLIAMS devastated JACINTHE in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge match. SPARROW-BLASTER easily killed NOBLE ASSASSIN in a 1 minute gruesome uneven fight. GALOOT outwaited NOBLE ASSASSIN in a crowd boring 10 minute gory duel. QUAR-RAL outwaited DEBRA CONKLIN in a slow 12 minute duel. GLAVER was luckily beaten by VISITING ORC in a 2 minute expert vs. novice upset match. HAIRY BEAR demolished ZELLIT in a 1 minute bloody mismatched match. GEIN devastated BUNGO PARK in a 1 minute one-sided battle. PELLOZOEN was devastated by BEN in a 1 minute mismatched bout. HAMMER was handily defeated by KIM CLIJSTERS in a 1 minute uneven fight. BATTLE REPORT MOST POPULAR RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS |FIGHTING STYLE FIGHTS FIGHTING STYLE W - L - K PERCENT| |SLASHING ATTACK 4 TOTAL PARRY 28 - 9 - 0 76 | |TOTAL PARRY 4 AIMED BLOW 9 - 7 - 1 56 | |STRIKING ATTACK 4 STRIKING ATTACK 14 - 11 - 0 56 | |LUNGING ATTACK 3 SLASHING ATTACK 15 - 12 - 1 56 | |PARRY-LUNGE 2 BASHING ATTACK 21 - 18 - 1 54 | |PARRY-STRIKE 2 LUNGING ATTACK 16 - 20 - 0 44 | |BASHING ATTACK 2 PARRY-STRIKE 4 - 6 - 0 40 | |WALL OF STEEL 2 WALL OF STEEL 10 - 17 - 0 37 | |AIMED BLOW 1 PARRY-LUNGE 4 - 10 - 0 29 | |PARRY-RIPOSTE 1 PARRY-RIPOSTE 1 - 9 - 0 10 | Turn 489 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: SLASHING ATTACK 3 - 1 AIMED BLOW 0 - 1 4 TOTAL PARRY TOTAL PARRY 3 - 1 PARRY-RIPOSTE 0 - 1 1 PARRY-LUNGE LUNGING ATTACK 2 - 1 BASHING ATTACK 0 - 2 1 BASHING ATTACK PARRY-LUNGE 1 - 1 WALL OF STEEL 0 - 2 1 SLASHING ATTACK PARRY-STRIKE 1 - 1 1 LUNGING ATTACK STRIKING ATTACK 2 - 2 1 PARRY-STRIKE 1 WALL OF STEEL 1 STRIKING ATTACK TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE FIGHTING STYLE WARRIOR W L K PNTS TEAM NAME PARRY-LUNGE AZGUD 3253 15 14 0 118 INFERNAL LORDS (8) SLASHING ATTACK SPARROW-BLASTER 3900 10 5 3 99 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) TOTAL PARRY DR STEINBURGER 3442 23 8 0 89 FANDILS (75) PARRY-STRIKE RYTHYM WIZARD 3357 9 6 0 65 INFERNAL LORDS (8) WALL OF STEEL DAVY PRIVETTE 3447 16 4 0 62 FANDILS (75) STRIKING ATTACK EUROQ 3901 8 5 0 61 INFERNAL LORDS (8) BASHING ATTACK GLAVER 3915 8 5 0 46 CYNICAL DELUSIONS (218) Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above. The overall popularity leader is AZGUD 3253. The most popular warrior this turn was AZGUD 3253. The ten other most popular fighters were EUROQ 3901, GLAVER 3915, SERENA WILLIAMS 3963, HAIRY BEAR 3939, RYTHYM WIZARD 3357, SPARROW-BLASTER 3900, GEIN 3958, BEN 3952, KIM CLIJSTERS 3965, and JUANITA 3926. The least popular fighter this week was DEBRA CONKLIN 3890. The other ten least popular fighters were QUAR-RAL 3898, GALOOT 3907, HAMMER 3962, PELLOZOEN 3961, BUNGO PARK 3964, ZELLIT 3948, JACINTHE 3892, DAVY PRIVETTE 3447, SHTEFFI GRAAF 3388, and EARL 3951. JANUARY FACE-TO-FACE IN TEMPE! Our next winter FTF will be held in Tempe, Arizona, January 12-14, 2007. It will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tempe, Arizona (480-894-7444), the same hotel as last year by popular request. Room rates are $149.00 per night, 1-4 occupancy, which includes full cooked breakfast, complimentary manager's reception (yes, really!), free airport shuttle, free parking, high speed internet (for extra charge), fitness center, jacuzzi, and pool. The rooms are blocked--please make your reservation by December 15 before the block is released! (This is prime season for Phoenix, and several people were unable to book rooms last year because they waited too long.) Look for transportation info in the tournament information sheet. We hope you're all looking forward to it and that we will see you there!