DUELMASTERS NEWSLETTER

Date   : 11/07/2003    Duedate: 11/20/2003

ARADI ARENA

DM-60    TURN-324

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

UNDERGROUND BEAT
CLUB CULTURE (424)
(60-6083) [18-20-1,122]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

UNDERGROUND BEAT               MURRAY
CLUB CULTURE (424)             POWER BROKERS (527)
(60-6083) [18-20-1,122]        (60-6661) [6-2-0,66]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

LUMMOX                         OBITER DICTA
RED DOG GANG (476)             LEGALESE (449)
(60-6092) [17-44-0,95]         (60-5860) [7-5-1,54]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

FA CHING (388)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. RED AVENGERS (487)         113
2. LUROCIANS VI (431)          55      LUROCIANS VI (431)
3. NATURAL DISASTERS (159)     52      Unchartered Team
4. THIEVES GUILD (396)         50
5. FA CHING (388)              46      POWER BROKERS (527)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 2*POWER BROKERS (527)       29  10  5 74.4   1/ 5 FA CHING (388)           10  3 0
 2- 3 REDLANDS PELETON (520)     8   3  0 72.7   2/ 2 WIMPS OF DEATH (66)       9  5 0
 3- 4 ELOQUENT KNIGHTS (518)   101  56  5 64.3   3/ 1*POWER BROKERS (527)       9  5 0
 4/ 0*DARQUE AGES (536)          3   2  1 60.0   4/ 7 LOCK-OUT (368)            8  5 0
 5/ 6 LUROCIANS VI (431)        77  60  6 56.2   5/ 9 4000 BLOWS (107)          8  6 0
 6/ 7 LOCK-OUT (368)            26  21  0 55.3   6/19 NATURAL DISASTERS (159)   8  6 0
 7/ 8 SWIFT CURRENT (468)       77  65  6 54.2   7/ 6 WILD CARDS (148)          7  6 0
 8/ 9 WIMPS OF DEATH (66)      507 444 30 53.3   8/15 LEGALESE (449)            7  7 1
 9/10 NATURAL DISASTERS (159)  553 491 19 53.0   9/ 4 R.J.G. (475)              7  7 0
10/11 WILD CARDS (148)         671 613 25 52.3  10/ 3 CLUB CULTURE (424)        7  8 0
11/12 DEATH STUDS VII (301)    296 274  8 51.9  11/12 BLOOD RELATED (395)       6  6 0
12/14 DEMONS OF DARKNESS (430) 131 125 12 51.2  12/18*I'M WITH STUPID (531)     6  7 0
13/13 SHADOW SIGNS (491)        51  50  1 50.5  13/10 SHADOW SIGNS (491)        6  8 0
14/16 BLOOD RELATED (395)      122 120  4 50.4  14/ 8 OGRES ARE US (270)        6  9 0
15/39*RED AVENGERS (487)         5   5  0 50.0  15/32 LUROCIANS VI (431)        5  1 0
16/ 5*MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)       5   5  0 50.0  16/39*RED AVENGERS (487)        5  1 0
17/15 WINTERHOLM (478)          44  45  1 49.4  17/21*MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)      5  5 0
18/17 CLUB CULTURE (424)       131 134  7 49.4  18/14 SWIFT CURRENT (468)       5  6 0

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
19-19 INGRATE WHITE NORT (348) 118 129  9 47.8  19/13 WINTERHOLM (478)          5  6 0
20/22 THIEVES GUILD (396)      103 116  5 47.0  20/26 THIEVES GUILD (396)       5 10 0
21/20 OGRES ARE US (270)       118 134  2 46.8  21/23 BUMS 'R' US (465)         4  2 0
22/21 4000 BLOWS (107)         526 604 26 46.5  22/20 DEATH STUDS VII (301)     4  6 0
23/23 BUMS 'R' US (465)        115 141  0 44.9  23/25 BLACK FRIARS (521)        4 10 0
24/ 0 ARADI'S DEAD (393)       104 129  4 44.6  24/24 FORGOTTEN REALMS (185)    4 11 0
25/24 FA CHING (388)            72  90  3 44.4  25-11 ELOQUENT KNIGHTS (518)    3  1 0
26/ 1*HIT ME WITH... (503)       4   5  0 44.4  26/ 0*DARQUE AGES (536)         3  2 1
27/28*WING HOVE (529)           11  14  1 44.0  27/22*WING HOVE (529)           3  2 0
28/ 0*FIVE SPHERES (462)        11  14  1 44.0  28/29*FACES OF ETERNITY (539)   3  7 0
29-25*LETHAL ANATOMY II (512)    3   4  0 42.9  29/17*INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)     3  7 0
30/27 LEGALESE (449)            41  56  2 42.3  30/16 DEMONS OF DARKNESS (430)  3 12 1
31/26 JOKA MASHER! (283)       150 207  6 42.0  31/31 RED DOG GANG (476)        3 12 0
32/35*I'M WITH STUPID (531)      6   9  0 40.0  32/ 0 ARADI'S DEAD (393)        2  1 0
33-29*NIHILISTIC ENDEAVO (538)   2   3  1 40.0  33/27*BEERBARIANS (528)         2  1 0
34/ 0*LOSERS (544)               2   3  0 40.0  34/ 0*THE UPSTARTS III (510)    2  2 1
35/ 0*THE UPSTARTS III (510)    14  22  2 38.9  35/35 JOKA MASHER! (283)        2  2 0
36/18*INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)      5   8  1 38.5  36-30*SMOOTH OPERATORS (523)    2  2 0
37/31 BLACK FRIARS (521)        21  34  3 38.2  37-28*NIHILISTIC ENDEAVO (538)  2  3 1
38/34 RED DOG GANG (476)       212 358  3 37.2  38/ 0*FIVE SPHERES (462)        2  3 0
39/32 FORGOTTEN REALMS (185)    49  83  1 37.1  39/ 0*LOSERS (544)              2  3 0
40/33 R.J.G. (475)              49  83  1 37.1  40-34 INGRATE WHITE NORT (348)  1  0 0
41/36*BEERBARIANS (528)          8  15  3 34.8  41-38*LETHAL ANATOMY II (512)   1  1 0
42-37*SMOOTH OPERATORS (523)     5  11  0 31.3  42-36 REDLANDS PELETON (520)    1  1 0
43/30*FACES OF ETERNITY (539)    3   7  0 30.0  43-37*DARK TOGS (526)           1  3 1
44-38*DARK TOGS (526)            3  11  1 21.4  44/33*HIT ME WITH... (503)      1  5 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[ Your Fearless Editor ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Do I get points if I write a spotlight?  No, then I shan't write half a page.
     On a more serious, and mildly exhausted, note, I have decided to run another "My
Editor Loves Me" contest this TOGS.  As last time, you garner points based on early
submission of ads and spots (remember to cc those ads and spots to 
TOGS@solberg-mathews.com).  Whoever has the most points at the end of the whole
shebang wins a yet-to-be-determined, outside-the-game prize (suggestions, anyone?).
I'm afraid this doesn't help those of you who have to snail mail your stuff--unless
you can bribe the typist to type 'em early--but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Which is why you should avoid those dry, crunchy cookies.
     Now, on to the TOGSness! -- Ed.

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Shadow Signs ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                            Shadowgate's Return to Aradi

     Well, it had been a while since Shadowgate had personally stepped foot into
Aradi.  It had been left on a bad note when he and Lerch came in fourth due to poor
final turns.  Now he had tapped Yukon for a partner and he hoped he wouldn't regret
it and that Yukon wouldn't go and tap too many kegs and sleep through entire turns!
But with other managers like there where in Aradi, he probably could sleepwalk his
way into enough points to be fine.  I mean, what where some of these dwarfs thinking?
Yes, there where a few of the pairings that bore watching but not that many.  Without
Manager here to organize any alliances, it looked like there would only be existing
alliances to deal with.
     So, the Fonz gnomes where the ones to watch.  One might think that BoB was the
other alliance to watch but these guys could self-destruct better than anyone!  The
team of Deaf Spud and Owl Toker and the team of Ghoulass and Hambone were at the top
of Shadowgate's watch list.  Some of those might have to meet an untimely death if
need be.  Shadowgate was sure there would be one or more of the witches he knew that
would love a gnome or dwarf to roast.
     Once Shadowgate had arrived he remembered some other reasons for his not
returning sooner.  This town had some of the freakiest freaks around!  Most cities
have brothels and such but in place of those were the Cow Emporium and Deaf Spud's
Pleasure Zoo here in Aradi!  Shadowgate was very relieved that he wasn't stuck here
for the full time of the contest.  He could always port out to another city where
women where women and cattle were served on a table and not dressed up like humans.
     Also people where wearing leg warmers here in Aradi, when they where clearly out
of style; even in Aradi!  It wouldn't be so bad but it seemed the uglier the gnome
the more flamboyant the leg warmers!  If that wasn't bad enough, he had heard rumors
that there was a new style coming out soon from the season and that was just bound to
be bad news!  Well, nothing for it but to go to the former MOD inn and see what state
Yukon had it in.  Yukon had been in Aradi for a few days so things should be sorted
out.  When Shadowgate arrived he found them well sorted out...at least by Yukon's
standards!  Now that it was just Yukon and Shadowgate here, Yukon had taken the
liberty of filling all extra space with beer, ale, and spirits.  Out of the 10 room
establishment there were now only two rooms left for them to use to manage their
teams and sleep in if they wished.  Shadowgate had given his room over to Black Cat,
to manage his team while he was away but she had no problem relinquishing it to
Shadowgate.
     "How goes the recruiting of the final members of Shadow Signs?" asked Shadowgate
     "Fine," said Black Cat.  "We picked up one interesting warrior last week and he
looks like he will do well.  This turn we sent another to the Dark Arena."
     "Great.  Send the new warrior to the tourney for some pre-TOGS prepping," said
Shadowgate as he seated himself in his high back chair.
     "Already done!  I'll do the same with the new recruit if he pans out," said
Black Cat.
     "Very good!  I knew you were a good choice for team captain.  Now to plan for
the first turn and make sure Yukon's beer is watered down," said Shadowgate as he got
up and left to room heading for Yukon's room.  Yukon was sitting looking over
documents with "I'm with Stupid" written on the top when Shadowgate entered.

End of Part One of the Yukon and Shadowgate Spotlight, watch (or listen) for part two
by Yukon

         + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ I'm With Stupid:  TWIT ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Yukon looked up from his papers just as Shadowgate walked into the room.
     "Good.  You're here just in time." Yukon said, shoving all the "I'm with Stupid"
papers into a drawer.  Yukon was wearing his normal lederhosen, but under his
suspenders was a white t-shirt that also read "I'm with Stupid".  Under the caption
was a mailed hand with the middle finger extended.  It was pointing at Shadowgate.
     "Just in time for what?" Shadowgate said cautiously, as he made his way to the
chair on the other side of Yukon's desk.  The mailed hand on Yukon's shirt rotated so
that it was still pointing to Shadowgate.
     "The radio show." Yukon said.  "We go on air in one minute."
     "What radio show?" Shadowgate replied, only half paying attention.  He had slid
a few steps to his right, and sure enough, the hand on the shirt rotated again so the
finger still pointed at him.  He was just about to ask Yukon about his t-shirt when
three people burst into the room.  One carried the microphone and a box with lots of
buttons on it.  The next one carried a phone and a large book, which read "Aradi
Phone book and Yellow pages."  The last one carried a small goblet of wine and the
largest flagon of ale Shadowgate had ever seen.
     They quickly set up the desk.  The microphone went in the middle of the desk so
that it would pick up what both Yukon and Shadowgate would say.  The phone, the phone
book and the wine went in front of Shadowgate, while the box and the gallon of ale
went in front of Yukon.  One of the people pushed Shadowgate down into his chair and
then all three left as quickly as the came.  Before Shadowgate could say anything,
Yukon reached over and pressed a button on the box and then begin to speak into the
microphone.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yukon:  Welcome, Aradi, to your very first radio show.  I know most of you were not
planning on listening to a radio show right now, but I had a wizard friend of mine
enchant this microphone so that the sound of my voice is carried to everybody in the
city.  I am your host, Yukon Cornelius, here with my co-host Shadowgate and this is
"This week in T@#S."  For the next hour or so, Shadowgate and I are here to talk
about everything T@#S IV.  Ganolus, the T@#S IV commish, I'm sure will do a great job
with keeping track of points and who is winning and all that stuff, but we are here
to bring all of the late breaking news.  We will interview--
Shadowgate:  Wait a second.  Sorry to butt in here, but what was the name of the
radio show again?
Yukon :  "This Week In T#$GS", why?
Shadowgate:  We are doing a radio show called "TWIT"?
Yukon:  Hey!  I like that.  Remind me to copyright that as soon as we are off the
air.  Now as I was saying we are going to try and interview some of the T#$G mangers
here at "TWIT" to find out what they are really think, what their plans are and such.
This week we are going to talk to Soultaker.  My co-host here will try and get
Soultaker on the phone so we can talk to him.
Shadowgate:  Em...how do I do that?
Yukon:  Sorry about this, folks, but he is new here.  Just open up that "phone" book
to the page that is tabbed "Soultaker" and then punch the number into the phone.  He
will pick up and then we can interview him.
Shadowgate:  Oh...okay.  That sounds easy enough.
Yukon:  Okay, while Shadowgate gets Soultaker on the phone, I should go ahead and
make my TOGS prediction.  I think that Ganolus and Hombre are going to repeat as the
T#$G winners.  They were awfully tough to beat last time and this time around Ganolus
is counting up the points.  Makes them double tough.  I think that Shadowgate and I
will come in a close second.  MOD is going to be hard to beat this time around....
Shadowgate:  There is no answer.  And we are not in MOD anymore.  MOD folded and we
joined D.O.A.
Yukon:  What?  When did that happen?
Shadowgate:  A few months ago.
Yukon:  How the hell did I miss that?
Shadowgate:  Drunk.
Yukon:  Oh.  Well...ya...that happens.  Any luck yet?
Shadowgate:  Yep...here he is....
Soultaker:  Hello?
Yukon:  Soultaker?  Hello, this is Yukon Cornelius and Shadowgate and we are calling
you for "This Week In T@#S".
Soultaker:  Oh Ya.  The "TWIT" guys.  Listen, now is not really a good time.  Can you
call back in like 20 minutes.
In the background behind Soultaker:  BAC, BAC, BAC, BAC....
Yukon:  Could you say that again, Soultaker, we are picking up some background noise
on your phone.
Soultaker:  I said call back in about 20 minutes....
In the background behind Soultaker:  BAC, BAC, BAC, BAC....
Shadowgate:  Are those chickens "BAC'ing" in the background?
Soultaker:  I gotta go.  "Click"
Yukon:  Alright then.  Not a very good start to our interviews.
Shadowgate:  Nope.  Our first guest is too busy to talk to us because he is having
some kind of chicken orgy at his house.  I sure though I heard Death Stud in the
background and what could have possibly been a chicken screaming.
Yukon:  You know, I never liked Soultaker.  He always had a shifty kind of look to
him.  Ever notice how you never see him and the "Scratch" character from that "Ice
Age" movie together?
Shadowgate:  You're right.  Never do see those two together.  Remind me to hide my
nuts next time Soultaker is around.
Yukon:  Good idea.  Well folks, that's all the time for this first show.  We will be
back next week to talk over the first week of T#$G IV.  Also we will have Manager as
a guest.
Shadowgate:  Maybe we can ask him why he was such a wimp and didn't join in this
year's contest.  Goodnight everyone.
Yukon:  Yes.  Goodnight and always remember to hide your chickens before Soultaker
comes over for a visit, and check your nuts after he leaves.

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Blood Related ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     "TOGS dogs here!  Get your TOGS dogs here!" the sweaty vendor droned on and on
as he made his way down the aisle.
     "What in Alastari is a TOGS dog!?!" thought Ganolus to himself.  It was a
practice day at the arena in Aradi and Ganolus was trying to take full advantage of
his last chance at fine tuning the Blood Related stable before this crazy thing
called the T#%S IV began.  Not to mention that it was his only day off before his
commish duties would begin.  Hombre was here with him of course, trying to improve
his tan line, if not his warriors' fighting prowess.  We all have our priorities, I
guess.
     "TOGS dogs!  Frankfurters made of scrod!  Get 'em here!  They're deliciouso!"
the sweaty vendor screamed, almost as if in answer to what Ganolus had been thinking.
The vendor had reached the bottom of the aisle.  He turned, wiped his sweaty brow,
and then began heading back up the aisle, selling scrod all along the way.
     "Yah, all the parts of the scrod that nobody wants...." Ganolus thought, again
to himself.  He conjured up an image of slimy fish heads and bloody stumps of fish
tails being ground up in a machine, turned into a crude protein paste, and spit out
into fishy scrod tube steaks.  "Yuck!  How disgusting!  Who would enjoy eating this
disgusting crude protein fish sausage!?!" Ganolus pondered as he turned to Hombre to
crack a joke about the disgusting TOGS dogs.
     Ganolus recoiled, horrified at what he saw.  Hombre was a tall, lean, hairless
man except for the bleach blonde mop on the top of his head.  He usually kept his
body well oiled to show off the fact that he had no body hair.  Today was no
exception.  Hombre was reclining back in his seat, soaking up the rays, naked except
for his Daisy Dukes, nipple pink leg warmers, and Gargoyle sunglasses.  Sadly, this
was not what horrified Ganolus!  Actually, Hombre was quite the trendsetter in Aradi.
First with his leg warmer craze and now taking it to the next level with the leg
warmer tan line.  Very sexy, I must say!  But I digress, back to the story....  The
thing that made Ganolus recoil in horror was the sight of Hombre shoving a footlong
TOGS dog wiener into his mouth!  He fit the whole damn wiener in his mouth before
beginning to chew and he was already waving for the sweaty vendor to bring him
another one.
     "How can you eat that crap?" Ganolus asked, not really expecting a reply, since
Hombre's mouth was stuffed full of crude protein at the moment.  Ganolus was just
starting to feel ill when the sweaty vendor stopped beside Hombre.  Holy crap!  The
sweaty vendor was their good friend Death Stud!
     "What are you doing selling TOGS dogs!?!" Ganolus blurted out.  "What happened
to your studliness?"
     "Well, I lost my job and needed some extra scrilla..." answered the studly one.
"Anyway, what do you guys want?" Hombre swallowed the crude protein quickly.
     "I'll take another footlong," Hombre stated as he took a break from the sun and
sat up, glistening in his seat.
     "You want regular or the spocker?" Death Stud asked, sweating profusely.  Death
Stud took a sweat stained towel from his sweat stained back pocket and wiped more
sweat from his sweaty brow.
     "Why are you so damn sweaty, Stud?  Not used to carrying the Scrod, huh?"
Ganolus asked knowingly as he and Hombre shared a good chuckle.  "We've been carrying
this Golden Scrod around for quite some time now.  You'll get used to it, Stud Boy!"
Death Stud shifted his sweaty weight back and forth nervously as Ganolus and Hombre
shared another good laugh at his expense.
     "What's the spocker TOGS dog anyway?" Ganolus asked innocently when they were
finished laughing at Death Stud.
     "It's a footlong TOGS dog, but it has a stick in both ends," the small, sweaty
one replied.  The studly one appeared at this point to want to go peddle his wieners
elsewhere.
     "I LOVE THE SPOCKER!  Give me one of those!" Hombre practically screamed, a
little too loudly, I might add.
    Ganolus quickly glanced around them, hoping that nobody heard Hombre loudly
declaring his love of the spocker to the world.  Death Stud handed Hombre his spocker
TOGS dog, collected his fee, and continued sweating his way up the aisle.  Ganolus
turned to his friend.  Hombre was taking his new prize out of its golden wrapper.
"Nice touch!" Ganolus thought.  "There was no way Hombre would be able to shove this
wiener down his throat all at once."  Ganolus silently pondered.  "At least that
spocker's good for something," he told Hombre.  "Now hurry up and finish so we can
discuss our strategies and decide how to pull this thing off again...we've got some
planning to do...."

To be continued...

-- Ganolus Oakleaf, Blood Related

           + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Demons of Darkness ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

TOGS Wars: Chapter Eighty Nine Thousand Two Hundred Sixty Five - A TOGS Hope (Part 1)

In the waters off Aradi:

     The FONZ warship rammed into the smaller trading ship with a crash.  Immediately
FONZTroopers started storming onto the trading ship killing anyone that stood in
their way.  Below decks, Prince Armalias hurriedly stuffed a small envelope into the
feathers under the wing of Dreidenflahg.  Before the FONZTroopers stormed down below
decks, Dreidenflahg quacked "Aflac" and grabbed Street Legal, who started to make a
long winded speech in protest.  The speech was cut short when Dreidenflahg dragged
the pair through a porthole and into the cold water.  Only after the trading vessel
had been completely secured did Death Stud ride Ganolus down onto the captured ship.
"My lord, the ship is secure, we have killed or captured all of Prince Armalias' crew
and the Prince himself.  Unfortunately a pair of ducks were seen swimming away from
the ship towards Aradi.  Due to our armor we were not able to pursue them," a
FONZTrooper reported to Death Stud who was perched on top of his Ganolus.  Death Stud
was enraged at the troopers failure to have the ducks captured.  He scrunched up his
face, making him look real mean, and let out a nasty SBD.  The foul smelling gas
quickly overwhelmed the FONZTrooper who dropped dead at Ganolus's feet.  "I want
those ducks found!  Armalias must have the secret FONZ TOGS plans that Princess
Armalias' spies stole!" he bellowed at the remaining FONZTroopers.

In a remote Aradi Fishing Village:

     Rillion VodkaDrinker sat on a rock on the shore mending a broken fishing net.
Off on the horizon he could see what looked like smoke.  "I bet there is an exciting
sea battle going on out there.  I never get to do anything fun like that," he whined
to no one in particular.  An hour later, Uncle Rascally hopped over to where Rillion
sat staring wistfully out to sea, the half mended fishing net still sitting on his
lap.  "Rillion, I need to you accompany me to the market, we need to pick up dinner."
     "But Uncle, I don't want to go, I want to go into Aradi and go to the Gladiator
Academy.  Why do I have to stay here when all my friends are learning how to be
gladiators?!?"
     "Oh shut up, you spoiled brat.  Everyone is sick of your whining!  Now let's
go," instructed the Rabbit, his ears twitching impatiently.  Rillion got up and
skulked along behind his uncle as he hopped towards the market.  At the market
Rascally Rabbit had Rillion grab two ducks, one of which quacked out "Aflac!" when he
picked it up while the other one started a long winded protest which Rillion quickly
cut off by carrying the duck by its bill.  When they returned home, Rascally Rabbit
told Rillion take the ducks out back and prep them for roasting.
     Rillion shoved the two ducks into a cage and returned to the sea shore to sulk
for another hour until sunset.  When he returned to the cage, its door was open and
only one duck remained.  "Oh great, now Uncle Rascally is going to mad at me again!"
he whined.
     "I am extremely sorry, sir.  My friend Dreidenflahg is completely
uncontrollable.  He picked the lock with his bill and escaped.  He said something
about having to deliver a message to Ashe Master," explained the remaining duck.
     "Oh great, now I am going to have to go find him before Uncle Rascally will let
me eat.  What a pain, my life sucks," whined Rillion as he reached into the cage and
grabbed Street Legal.  He gave a quick yank and snapped the duck's neck.  After he
finished preparing the duck for roasting, he brought it to his uncle and explained
about the missing duck.  His irate uncle ordered him to find the missing duck.

(To Be Continued, Unfortunately)

       + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Meals on Wheels -- by Ghoti ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     The wind blew through the hills around Aradi, once called the Isle of the
Whistling Dragon, and the continuous drone of sound was near deafening at times.
Ghoti thought it sounded a lot like "I'm a Little Teapot" but he made up his own
words.  " Nuln's a little Scrod snot shout it out." and other nonsensical and
realistic things like that.
     It was a sunny day this day.  Managers and warriors milled about town, looking
at the shops, growling and threatening each other, and sampling from the various food
carts along the street.  A block or so down from Ghoti's ranch style, split level
training castle, Nuln was out front of his own black bricked Chaos castle.  Nuln
himself was tending a food cart steaming with fresh boiled golden scrod.  Ghoti did
not permit his warriors to go near Nuln, or anything he might be doing, of their own
accord.  He figured he was up to some of his trickery again, probably trying to give
everyone the skitters the day before the turn.  No doubt in Ghoti's mind.  He asked
Nuln to sample it for him.  Of course Nuln responded with, "What!?  Eats my
profitses?!"  With a snort Ghoti strode off again sure in his own mind it would be
better to avoid him altogether.  Giving Armalias and his gladiators the same
information and warning, they were all bound to do better than most in the arena the
next day.  The next day of course being the start of the TOGS--or more
affectionately, Tournament of the Golden Scrod!
     Ghoti was feeling playful, more like mischievous, this day.  Much as all the
managers were.  He fingered the small leather pouch hidden beneath his tunic
wondering which of his little magic items he would use today.  There was his
teleporting Orb, a little blue glass looking thing with a swirling mist inside of it.
There was the little brooch that could make whomever he was looking at hiccough.  It
was fun to use when someone was trying to threaten him.  He used it on Snotman often
enough.  Along with about a half dozen other items was the small piece of Dragon bone
he had found up in the hills.  He knew it was a dragon bone as he was friends, as
much as anyone can be, with a couple of dragons in the Dragonspine Mountains.  They
told him it once belonged to the dragon that died upon the hills around Aradi some
time long ago.  It also had a magical property that allowed the user to influence the
weak minded.  He had used this one once to make the mayor of Willaf wet himself while
giving some speech about being good citizens and paying proper tithes.  It went over
well for all watching.  Today though his target was Nuln.  Nuln was a fun target most
days as he was chaotic.  Being chaotic makes you rather unpredictable, you know.  In
this case, however, Nuln is predictably unpredictable.
     Ghoti motioned for one of his gladiators to come to him.  Headrock was his name.
He was an Ogre, though not a large one as Ogres go and likely some crossbreed, but he
was intimidating to look at.  He was also very loud when he spoke and near deafening
when he would yell.  "I want you to go down to Nuln there and ask him why his boiled
scrod is so golden and not white colored like normal scrod?" Ghoti told him.
Headrock bobbed up and down signifying he would comply.  He used to nod but getting
stabbed in the neck many times makes that difficult for him...so he bobs.
     As Headrock approached Nuln, Ghoti held the bone fragment in his hand and began
to concentrate mightily on Nuln.  "....Tell the truth..." was the thought Ghoti tried
to convey.  Nuln began looking nervous...his head turning from side to side like
someone had tapped him on one shoulder and then ducked to the other side.  About then
Headrock arrived and immediately said/yelled, "WHY IS IT YELLOW?"  At that point with
Ghoti was still concentrating the thought "...Tell the Truth..."  Nuln half yelled
"SPECIAL SEASONING...I MEAN, I MEAN.....  SKUNK PEE!!!!!"  Ghoti instantly released
his mind bend.  Nuln suddenly realized he had spoken this really loudly...grabbed his
head between his hands and eyes bulging like he had just been squeezed by a
python....  He screeched "AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" and grabbed his cart and started
running towards his castle, knock-kneed, heels flailing, like he was trying not to
wet himself on the way.  Ghoti just smiled.
     Headrock returned and said, "IT SMELL GOOD, WHY HE NOT SELL ME NONE?"  Ghoti
replied, "He probably felt guilty that he did not have enough to fill you up."  "OH"
was Headrock's reply as he continued on to the practice yard.
     Ghoti glanced up and down the street, seeing several people looking suddenly
very ill.  Elephant looked as though he was trying to jam his entire hand down his
throat.  Which was different as it was usually his foot.  Indimar was diving for
cover knowing the end result of this action.  Several of the gladiators' cheeks
puffed up like they were tying to imitate a blowfish.  Others were trying to squeeze
the seat of their pants together and walk as though they were wearing tight little
skirts.  Wimpy and Judge, both wearing stylish black leather and black capes were
fluttering their capes and turning their noses to the sky.  Ghoti asked, "You
imitating ravens or something?"  Judge, being a judge, you know, said, "Ahem, no we
are just airing our--COUGH COUGH GAG--differences."  Ghoti held his nose and said
"That's different, alright."
     "A good day for a stroll" Ghoti thought.  He wandered off looking for more fun.
"Where is Hombre?"

    + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Fa Ching: DeGotti's Return Part I ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     With word reaching the fine city of Bonsur that the TOGS was returning for a
fourth time to Aradi, I decided to shut down my team in Bonsur and activate Fa Ching
for the contest.  I remember well, the glory of winning TOGS II with Destitute Noble
and Wimpy.  I thought about entering TOGS III but decided against it because of the
crazy format.
     I sent a messenger from Bonsur to Aradi to round up Cyvin, Aviendha, Thorne,
Blackburst and Thundra and let them know they would be participating in TOGS IV.
From what I understand, Thundra was the hardest to find, being an Amazon, she likes
to be out in the woods and when he finally found her she threw major attitude and
nearly killed him.  With all five members of Fa Ching now back in Aradi and Thundra
acting as manager while I made the journey, I did just that, packed up and headed for
this island home.
     The journey would not be an easy one since Bonsur is way far in the south and
Aradi is an island in the utmost north.  As I left I thought I would check up on some
of my other stables since I would be passing by those cities anyway.
     My first stop would be in Niania to check up on the Glory Bound Trolls.  I
rolled into Niania around one in the afternoon just in time to see Fierce One-Eye
lose his DM throne to a slasher.  Now, I know these trolls are not very bright and
since conversations would be limited I didn't plan on staying overnight.  Besides
that the guild house is obviously uninhabitable to humans as you can probably
imagine.  Luckily for me Mordant and my Blood of the Spider Guild house was less than
four hours away.  So after a few pints of ale with the half-wits I was off for
Mordant.
     Ahh Mordant.  Home of the gladiatorial games.  Birthplace of the blood-lust.  I
remember well this city.  I ventured to its fine walls to get my managerial license
almost 20 years ago.  I remember being in awe of the fabled stables like Murder Inc.,
Those Who Rule and Mongoloids.  I made my way past the commissioner's office and the
spymaster's guild and lo and behold, who do I see outside it, none other than the old
spymaster Leadfoot.  I made my way over to the old buzzard and struck up a
conversation.  I don't think he recognized me right away, it's been a really long
time since he's actually been out and about covering the battles, but after a few
minutes he realized who I was.  We talked about many things like the state of the
games and especially the state of the games in Mordant where there were only nine
active stables last cycle.  I mentioned to him I was heading for Aradi and the TOGS
IV competition.  He said he was aware of the competition and that he wold try to make
it up there sometime in the next couple weeks to check it out.  I told him that
sounded great and that I would buy him a beer when he arrived.  We exchanged a few
more pleasantries and I was off.
     I made my way over to the Blood of the Spider guild house and set up residence
for the night.  When I arrived Dark Helm handed me a note that a messenger from
Aljafir sent explaining how Pan from my team Deities and Demigods there had died in
the last round of fights.  Great, now I had a funeral to go to in Aljafir, at least
he has a shot of coming back in the next tourney.

To be Continued...

                + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Wing Hove ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

Spring of this year on the Island of the Whistling Dragon.

     From the comfort of an overstuffed leather chair, Indimar Fallon surveyed the
office that could soon be his.  Like everything he had seen since coming to Aradi it
was perfect.  Maybe a little too perfect.
     Maybe it was just middle age making him more suspicious, but this deal had
seemed too good to be true from the start.  He had only been toying with the idea of
opening a stable in Aradi for TOGS for a couple of weeks when the offer came in the
mail.  Someone wanted him to manage a team in Aradi for them.  Other than the name of
his contact in Aradi, there was no more information in the letter, but there was a
note from Indimar's own banker verifying deposits on hand that would pay for such a
venture several times over.  Also in the envelope was passage on a ship leaving
Valamantis the very next day.  Suspicion was all fine and good, but opportunity
seldom knocks twice.  Indimar thought about it for less than a minute before starting
to pack for the voyage.
     Leaving the chair, Indimar began to pace back and forth in front of the
fireplace as he replayed all that had transpired since his arrival in Aradi that very
morning.  He had barely set foot on the docks when he was greeted by a footman
wearing grey and blue livery with Indimar's own crest on the left breast.  The
footman escorted him to a carriage, trimmed in the same colors, also emblazoned with
the Fallon coat of arms and pulled by as fine a team of matched grey stallions as
Indimar had ever seen.  At a flick of the reins the greys leaned into the traces and
pulled the carriage at a stately canter through the streets of Aradi ,out into the
surrounding countryside.  After about twenty minutes they turned down the front drive
of an estate that Indimar found quite impressive.
     Indimar was greeted at the front door by a distinguished looking older gentleman
clad in the now familiar grey and blue livery.  He introduced himself as Mikael and
offered to show Indimar to his quarters.  The rooms Mikael led him to were very much
to Indimar's liking.  They were big enough to be comfortable, yet not so big as to
seem a waste of space.  The furniture was just what Indimar might have picked out
himself.  Simple, functional pieces, but of the finest craftsmanship.  The tub of
steaming water in a side chamber was a welcome sight after the long sea voyage.
     "I will leave you to your tub now, Sir Indimar," said Mikael as he bowed himself
out of the room.  "Lunch will be served in one hour.  Your host, Master Arne, would
be most honored if you would dine with him.  Shall I tell him you accept?"
     " Of course, Mikael.  You can tell him the honor would be all mine."

             + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Wimps of Death ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

Wimpy and the Opening of TOGS

     Wimpy was not in a good mood.  He had arrived late last night after a long, long
trip from Zensu.  The final part of the trip by boat had been a nightmare.  The cold
wind and the ice and snow had really affected him.  At his advanced age the old
joints just didn't stand up to the winter like they used to.  Now he sat in his
office with a blanket around his legs and a shawl around his shoulders.  Even with
the fire blazing only a few feet away, he felt colder than a well digger's ass in the
Arctic.
     Wimpy had papers strewn all over his desk.  He was shuffling through them as he
awaited the arrival of the Judge, his TOGS partner.  After several minutes just as he
was starting to really boil over, in walked the Judge.
     "Good morning Wimpy", chirped the Judge, "It's been a long time.  You sure look
good for a man of your age."
     "For a man of my age?" sputtered Wimpy, "Let's leave my age out of it.  Just
because I am the oldest manager in the games is no reason to be condescending.  Now,
can we get to our TOGS planning session?"
     "Ok, ok, I am just as interested as you in how we can win this thing.  What is
your thinking?" asked the Judge.
     "The first thing I want to know is whose idea was it to hold this in the dead of
winter?" asked Wimpy,  "All the other TOGS have been held in the late spring and
summer months making for fair contests in the arena.  Now we are going to have to
fight in icy conditions and we will have fighters slipping a falling all over the
place.  What the hell kind of contest is that going to be?"
     "I understand your concern, Wimpy", replied the Judge, "but let's look on the
bright side."
     "What bright side?" interrupted Wimpy,  "There is no bright side.  Hell, the sun
won't even shine during the arena fights.  We'll all freeze our bums off."
     "The bright side is this," explained the Judge, "all those teams who just love
to have fast fighters, like lungers, strikers and bashers will have a real problem.
In order to get the jump, these guys have to strip to nothing but a loincloth.  If
they wear any armor at all their speed is cut down.  If they don't wear anything they
will be so cold that they won't be able to move.  The advantage will go to the total
parries who can wear nice warm armor.  I'll bet that not a single manager has even
considered the weather in their TOGS planning.  They are going to be in for a big
surprise."
     "By George, Judge, I think you're right.  The TOGS has never been known for
having intelligent managers participating.  I am sure this one will prove no
exception." Wimpy said as he smiled for the first time in weeks.  "I still have one
more fighter to recruit and I'll look for a guy who can wear nice warm armor.  Let's
start trying to figure out just where we will display the Golden Scrod."
     "Hold on, Wimpy.  Don't count your chickens before they are hatched."
     "No chickens at this TOGS," said Wimpy, "Manager is not participating so we
won't have to worry about chickens being violated helter skelter."
     "How about goats and sheep?" asked the Judge.
     "Well now, that's another matter.  We will just have to put up with some strange
things.  Consider who the managers are." Wimpy commented.
     "Do you really want to get into the various managers right now?" asked the
Judge.
     "I guess not.  But at least consider a few.  How about the team of Death Stud
and Soultaker?  Laid end to end the two of them wouldn't reach from one side of a
closet to the other."
     "Yeah, but they are good managers."
     "In the icy cold?" asked Wimpy "If the cold shrinks them up they will disappear.
How about Anti and Snotman?  I've heard of the AntiChrist, but an AntiSnotman?"
     "If you ask me the team to watch", predicted the Judge, "is The Greek Guy and
Rillion.  You know what they always say: 'Beware of Greeks bearing gifts'."
     "I know who won't bother us much," laughed Wimpy.
     "Who?" asked the Judge.
     "DeGotti.  That Fa Ching team of his is a real ding-a-ling ching team."
     "Enough of this, let's get down to the training sessions and see how our guys
are doing.  We only have three days left until the first fights and we want to get
off to a good start." Wimpy stood and the two expert managers headed for the training
room.

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Red Avengers ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     "I don't think I've ever been on an island before." Kaboom commented, his eyes
taking a quick inventory as his teammates continued to move into the Red Avengers
guildhouse.  "Hell, I don't think I've ever been this far north before."
     "Yeah.  When I answered an ad looking for new warriors, I didn't expect to be
leaving Erinika," Kaboom's teammate Noodles stopped for a moment as she watched a
chicken cross the road.  "This place really is weird."
     "Sorry." their manager, the mysterious being known as The Rage Man apologized as
he wrapped his red robes tighter around his body.  "A fortune teller told me to go
and participate in the Tournament of the Golden Scrod.  She said it was part of my
destiny.  This is not my type of town either."
     "So you just pack up a team and move here?" Kaboom asked incredulously, "That
takes a lot of guts for someone to do that."
     "No more than it took for all of you to follow me." The Rage Man's said somewhat
tauntingly, "None of you have even seen my face or even know anything about me.  I
have limited experience, and for all of you know, I could lead you to your deaths."
It was true.  No one had seen the Rage Man's face or knew anything about him.  The
mysterious manager was always dressed in bright, flowing red robes.  A lot of people
didn't even think he had a real name.
     "Hey, I totally will admit I was desperate." chuckled Noodles, "Most of the good
talent is probably gobbled up by the mega-managers anyway.  I mean, let them know you
have an 11 WT and they send you to turn you away or send you to the Dark Arena."
     "It doesn't matter." The Rage Man answered.  "I don't care about win/loss
records.  We may not win the competition.  We may not even come close.  But this
contest is about something bigger.  At the very least we will learn a lot.  And
experience some of the best managers and warriors in the world.  This could be the
start of something big."
     "Hope your partner knows that," Kaboom nodded grimly, "I don't think he is
playing to lose."
     The Rage Man paused for a moment and seemed to be contemplating.  He then
nodded.  "I still do not know what his motive in selecting me was either.  But I hear
that many teams of the past that have been paired together by chance or fate have
done well."
     "You're telling me.  DeGotti might be the only chance we have.  He is a former
winner!  He said he didn't play in the last one, but is back to retake his title!"
     "I agree.  But we can't expect him to carry the load.  We must do our fair share
as well.  But if we aren't able to, we will die trying."
     "Speak for yourself." said Noodles.
     "Who cares about you, you only have an 11 WT." teased Kaboom.
     (And just in case this spotlight is too short, let me just say how honored I am
to be a part of such a fantastic competition.  I have heard that this is truly the
most prestigious contest in the game, and I look forward to just being on the sands
with some of you.  Ok, enough with the glad to here sort of thing, I think the
character limit is up.)

                 + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ R.J.G. ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Vorpal Bunny found Sponge Bob lounging out by the pool, "What are you doing!?"
Bob briefly glanced at Bunny and went back to reading his newspaper, "If you really
must know, I'm trying to soak up a bit of sun here.  Now Mr. Bunny, you can't expect
me to keep this gorgeous yellow complexion by working in the training room all day."
     With a shudder Vorpal Bunny squealed, "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE CLEANING THE
KITCHEN!"  Bob looked up with a menacing glare, "Oh sure....  Have the SPONGE DO ALL
THE CLEANING!  How convenient!  You better watch it!  I have rights!  When you people
look at me, all you see is a yellow square fulla holes!  Well, this sponge has
feelings, buddy.  I may be super absorbent, but that doesn't mean I've gotta sit here
and take it.  If you squeeze me enough, do I not bleed!"
     Vorpal Bunny shook in fear, "But Bob....  It's your turn.  I had kitchen last
week."  Bob shrugged, "Oh...well in that case.  You'll have to contact my
receptionist and fill out the proper paperwork.  All work requests must be filed in
my office 48 hours prior to commencement of work activities.  If you already have a
request, then give me the work request number and I can check on the status for you."
     Bunny barely maintained his composure, "I don't have a work request number, and
you DON'T HAVE A RECEPTIONIST!  Are you nuts!"  With a matter of fact look on his
face, Bob slowly shook his head, "Exactly!  How can I be expected to manage my
affairs without a proper receptionist?  It's impossible!"
     With a snort of disgust, Vorpal Bunny fled inside....
     Sponge Bob returned to his newspaper as Unusual Violence approached with a
chuckle, "Amazing...and the bunny bought all that?"  Smiling from pore to pore, Bob
nodded, "But of course..."  With snakelike speed and a devilish grin, Unusual
Violence tipped Sponge Bob into the pool, "Very entertaining, Soggy Bob, but you
better pull your weight around here, or you're gonna end up as fish food!"  As Bob
bobbed in the pool, Unusual Violence jumped in and tried to dunk him.  Needless to
say, Bob being quite buoyant and rather undunkable caused Mr. Violence some
considerable trouble.
     In the meantime, Vorpal Bunny rushed outside with an armload of dishes and began
tossing them into the pool, "That's the spirit UV!  Put that sponge to work!"  Bob
squalled in fear, "NO!  Not the Gruel's lasagna!" UV grabbed one of Sponge Bob's legs
and begin scrubbing a pot with furious abandon, "These dishes won't clean
themselves...."
     Bunny came back a few minutes later with more dishes and a bottle of Palmolive,
"Look.  It's tough on grease and soft on your hands!"  With pinpoint accuracy, he
began squirting Bob in the face with the dish soap..., "heheheheheeee!"  (to be
continued...)

                + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Lock-Out ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                                  Elephant's Intro

     "Is it really time for you to go?"
     "Almost, I can't believe I let Indimar talk me into this."
     Elephant stood up and put another log on the fire.  He and his new wife were
sitting by fireside, saying good-byes to one another as he prepared for his journey
to Aradi for the TOGS IV contest.
     "Did you pack my kilt and "Hot Rod" tshirt?"
     "Yes, it's there.  You do realize you're gonna look silly in that?"
     "Silly?  Please, Rowdy was one of my idols growing up.  I just hope Indimar
secured a good location for my show."
     "Wow, you guys are favored 100 to 1 to win this!!"
     "Please, do you really think I care what Nebraska's favorite weasel has to say?
Funny how a guy not even playing in TOGS sets odds.  I see she was real objective
also.  Picking her favorites like some high school girls with nothing better to do
during drama class."
     "He does have a point about if you can write a spotlight every turn."
     "If I have to write 31 lines of insults and smack about Manager every turn, I
will.  Here's some odds for you, 100 to 1 that Manager is actually a llama outside of
the arena.  100 to 1 that she can actually go a week without cutting a bag of onions
or squeaking like a mouse .  I'm putting the odds at 2 to 1 that Manager will show up
in Aradi and interfere with TOGS if things don't the way she want; she's done it
before.  I'd love to hear Miss Integrity's spin on interfering with contests she's
not entered in.  I guess if I got punked out by Ichabod like she did in 99 Bottles, I
might be bitter too.  Enough talk about her, where were we?"
     "Umm, you were justifying wearing a kilt and "Hot Rod" tshirt??"
     "Oh my show, yes, I'm going to pay tribute to Mr. Piper.  I'll only wear the
kilt during the show.  I haven't come up with a name yet, any suggestions?"
     "How about Piper's Pit?"
     "No, don't want to steal everything from him.  Besides that no good busy body
Ganolus would probably find a way to get me for plagiarism or something along those
lines."
     "Isn't he just doing his job as commish?"
     "I guess so.  Rent-a-cop security guards are just doing their jobs too but they
still annoy the hell out of me."
     "So have you heard from Indi?"
     "Yes, I guess he found a place with a butler.  A butler for Indimar??  Please,
he must really be into this whole Sir Indimar stuff."
     "I meant has he found a place for us yet?  A place for your show?"
     "Not yet, I'll probably just crash at Hombre's for the first couple of days."
     "So Mr. Elephant, tell me again how you got the name Elephant."
     "That's easy, my long trunk, great memory and being a Republican."
     "Ha ha, the real story please."
     "Damn, how much time do we have?  Let me grab another log.  Haven't I told you
this before?"

To be continued...next week, "Tales from Kingsport"

                + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Lurocians ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

It had been a long night.  I couldn't sleep very well with so many pressing issues on
my mind.  It was tourney time again and I had sent off some of my best warriors to
compete.  I wasn't able to make the trip in person so I had to sit around and wait
for word to come on how my warriors performed.  I was awakened by a knock on my door
around 3:00 A.M.  I got up an walked over to the door.  It was  a courier from the
Aradi.  He gave me a parchment and left.  I shut the door quickly as it was a cold
night.  I carried the parchment back to my desk and opened it.  My eyes widened with
glee.  It seems there was another TOGS tournament beginning in Aradi.  I shuddered
for a moment.  I thought back to the last tournament.  I was partnered with an
alliance mate of mine named Rillion.  We had battled bravely most of the tournament
and managed to hold our own against some of the best managers in the game.  Then one
ill fated night Rillion had a little too much to drink and the next thing I know we
were targets because of a few slanderous comments he made.  I made a note to myself
to make sure to keep the booze away from him this time.  We managed to overcome that
little problem and were on the verge of winning.  The last turn of the contest though
something strange happened.  All 10 of our warriors were defeated.  We were totally
befuddled by this.  It only became apparent later that there might have been more to
their losing than we knew.  Many of the old time managers were not happy with the
fact two up and coming managers were on the verge of winning their beloved Golden
scrod.  I spent a lot of time gather information on what actually happened.  I
decided to think about that later.  I looked at the letter again and saw that Manager
had already put out betting odds for the tournament.  I scanned the odds until I
found my team.  75-1 odds.  Once again, Manager proved how completely clueless he is
when it comes to predicting winners in anything.  I laughed as I saw some of the
teams he gave better odds to win than us.  I guess since he could never beat Rillion
and me in a tournament he could at least defeat us with his pen.  I smiled at the
thought of stuffing the odds sheet down Managers scrawny ..well thick little neck.
But for now there was too much to do.  I had to get word to my warriors from Aradi to
get back from the tourney as soon as possible.  I could only hope no one died in the
tournament.  I laid down the parchment and climbed back into bed.  I had much to
think about and plan, but now was not the time.  In the morning I would send word to
Rillion that I am ready to fight and make sure that what happened to us the last TOGS
would not happen again.  I know who was responsible and I will return the favor this
time.  Of course that would have to wait for another day.  I'll dream about my
revenge tonight and get it later.
To be continued,
Lurocians

        + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ "Nulneth, the Chaos Diva" ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     "I'll showeth them!" thought Nuln to himself, out loud, so not really to himself
since farmer boB and Goose the goose were standing next to him, so that means he
thought...never mind.  A truly awesome sight he was; standing a full 7 1/2 feet tall
clad in his midnight black full plate Chaos Armor (tm).  He carried his Chaos Mace
(tm) at his side just in case on a whim he felt like bashing a skull or two on the
way.  His Chaos Helm (tm) was different this time around, massive horns adorned it
this time, horns he championed from his latest quest:  the slaying of the Black beast
of Svobod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     "Why did you slay the Black Beast of Svobod?" asked boB, not really caring, just
wanting to hear the Chaos Lord lisp on 'Svobod'.
     "WHY?  WHY?  WHY YOU ASK?" shouted the Chaos Lord.
     boB held in a laugh.  "Yes, why."
     "I'll tell you whyeth you're not very good farmer!!!"  Nuln's insults were
lacking this day.  He reached into his Chaos Bag of Holding (tm) and pulled out what
appeared to be road kill.  "THESE, HAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!!!"  His uproar
echoed through the town square and Goose the goose and farmer boB stared blankly.
The Chaos Lord unrolled the road kill and reached down to grab his ankles (hey now,
keep it clean...).  After a few seconds of minor manipulation, Nuln sprang up to his
full height and thrust out a leg.  There in all his glory, stood the Chaos Lord in
jet black, real faux, Black Beast fur leg warmers!  A tear clanged on the inside of
the Newly-Improved Chaos Helm (tm)
     "Umm, impressive?" boB didn't really know what to say.
     "Now they willeth include me in alleth their Managerial gameseth.  No longer
will I have to endureth their laughing and theireth insensitive comments.  I will
showeth them all!!!"
     Nuln raced towards the arena for his Grand Entrance at the TOGS IV opening
ceremonies.  Nuln came upon the gate and noticed a hold up at the security line.  It
seemed Snotman had set off the metal detector but none of the security guards would
frisk him.  A dilemma for sure.  After a few minutes of impatient waiting, The Chaos
Lord, tired of hearing the two guards argue with each other about who had to touch
Snotto, strode mightily forward and took a swipe with his Chaos Mace (tm) and cut
Snotman completely in half.  Three sickening thuds and one clang later, the crowd
stared in amazement at Snotman's upper and lower halves, a snotling, and a hub-cap to
a '69 Nova.  With that, Nuln pushed his way through the metal detector (yeah, yeah, I
don't know why he didn't set it off either!?) and strutted his way into the center of
the Arena.
     "I am here, pettyeth little creatures of Aradieth!  We can now starteth this
contest!"  Nuln shouted at the top of his mighty Chaos Lungs (tm).  There was a gasp
from the audience, then another, followed by a few more.  Then there were the
whispers.  Nuln was sure they were all in awe of his Fabulous new leg-warmers.  He
would finally be at the forefront of Aradi fashion, and now they would all have to
respect him as well as fear him.
     He turned smugly at the team of Rillion and The Greek Guy waiting for them to
close their jaws and compliment him.  Rillion leaned over to his TOGS partner and
Nuln's heart sank as he heard the comment:
     "Oh my god!  Look at what he's wearing.  Like, leg warmers were so two years
ago!"
     A laugh.  Then another.  In seconds the entire arena exploded with laughter.
Nuln looked to Voyde, his partner for support.  There was none.  He laughed with the
rest.  Nuln hid his tears and ran out of the arena shouting curses to the other
managers.
     "Someday, someday I'll get even with them.  I'll not leave my palace until I
plot my revenge...."

-- Thieves Guild

               + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ 4000 Blows ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Deep below the 4000 Blows guild house, below the sewer drains, below the pet
cemetery beneath the sewer drain, below even the secret lab of the infamous mad
professor Boris Von Lobotomystein, was another even secreterer laboratory.  So
secret, in fact, that only one man knew of its location.  Unfortunately, that man had
committed suicide so as to prevent his own inevitable capture & torture, that would
have in a moment of weakness predictably caused him to reveal the secret location of
the secretest laboratory ever, thus making it no longer secret.
     However, next to that was *another* lab, a lab that was not particularly secret
at all.  It was in this lab that our story takes place, and that our protagonist,
unwittingly, will become deeply enmeshed in a nefarious plot so nefarious, I hesitate
to even speak of it.
     "Foolseth!" Nuln (the protagonist) cackled, as he surveyed the squirming mass of
broccoli-zombies that he had just created using his evil Chaos magick.  "The T@#$eth
is mine for the takingeth!!!"
     "Attack broccolieth, mutateth!" Nuln shouted, snapping his fingers.  Instantly
the writhing green mass of broccoli-zombies went still, falling to the floor as
harmless pieces of ordinary broccoli.
     "Ha ha!"  Nuln cackled again (it was an annoying habit, admittedly).  "Haeth ha
ha haeth, ha ha ha!!"
     See, here was Nuln's plan:  posing as a Fratsfan broccoli merchant, Nuln would
sell his dormant broccoli-zombies to local merchants across Aradi.  When unsuspecting
T@#$ managers bought the deadly broccoli, Nuln would activate the zombie-lust within,
and the deadly broccoli-zombies would eat the brains of their helpless manager-
victims, as zombies tended to do.
     The only flaw to Nuln's brilliant plan was that there wasn't a single T@#$
manager who liked broccoli even in the slightest.  It would, however, prove to be the
last year that the Aradi chapter of the Righteous Brotherhood of the Broccoli would
hold its annual "Feast of the Fall Broccoli", which some would say was a good thing.
     Meanwhile, above all the secret and pseudo-secret labs, sewer pipes and the
rest, the warriors of the 4000 Blows stable practiced tirelessly in their top-notch
practice facility, which I might add, was held in a top-secret location.
     They were...

<Ennio Morricone tune strikes up>

     Winker X:  A mysterious fighter from the North, shaped by the cold winds of the
snowy mountains and forged by long, boring visits to his dentist, a force to reckoned
with, surely.
     The Ayl'm'er:  A mysterious creature said to most closely resemble a large black
sock possessed by Satan.  When not practicing tirelessly, he likes to spend his time
taking long walks and smiling.
     Sir Zestalot:  All historical facts and current descriptive words that could or
might have been used to describe this all-together mythical "entity" have long-since
been burned in an incinerator.
     Son of Bloodlust:  Being the son of the one and only original Bloodlust, he has
much to live up to, and his blood lustiness will be sorely tested.
     Son of Manute Bol:  Being the son of Manute Bol, I predict this fighter will die
very soon.

     And so it was that T@#$ IV began, and that the fighters for the Golden Scrod Cup
would clash and cross their weapons for that was the thing for which they did the
fighting and the slashing.  Or something.

     Next  Week : Tea with Nuln & Voyde

    + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Snotman and the Spooky Kids, pt.1 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     The walls of the Temple of Khorne ballroom, normally the cold hard grey of
adamantunbreaklium (As everyone knows, the Temple of Khorne is carved from a single
block of adamantunbreaklium that crashed into the Chaos Wastes as a meteor.
Adamantunbreaklium is the hardest mineral in the world of Alastari and even diamond
tipped drills fail to scratch its surface.  The Temple of Khorne was actually etched,
not carved.  It turns out that adamantunbreaklium, although impervious to damage from
normal sources, has a chemical weakness.  The highly acidic tears of elves work
though adamantunbreaklium like Death Stud through a free buffet of chicken wings.  Of
course this is a rare and hard to find substance, but those Chaos Lords are
resourceful.  The Temple of Khorne was carved with excruciating slowness by chain-
gangs of elves working around the clock.  Each elf was subjected to images of terror
and horror such as Bambi's mother dying and the divorce of Princess Di and Prince
Charles until the tears flowed from their giant doe-like eyes.  It was a long process
but eventually the enormous temple was finished, down to the labyrinthine catacombs
that lace its dungeons.  Then it was carried by a horde of chipmunks to Aradi where
it was carefully lowered into place in a three block excavation (Of course the
dungeons are much larger than the portion of the temple that is above ground.  So
they dug out a huge space, slapped the temple in place and then covered the dungeons
with streets, houses, businesses like the Two Ears In, One Ear Out Hair Salon and of
course the Graveyard of Khorne from whence the tortured screams of those buried while
still alive mingle with the unholy moans of those raised from the peace of the grave
to walk the earth and eat the brains of the living.)  The Temple of Khorne itself is
largely unchanged since High Lord Varatlosian had the temple delivered, but the city
of Aradi has gone from a small town to a bustling city populated by a rather odd mix
of managers, warriors, talking barnyard animals and the highest busty barmaid to
patron ratio outside of a Hooters.) were covered by wall hangings of crimson velvet
and the usual harsh lighting (the souls of the damned produce a bright white light
with all the warmth of a morgue when burned) replaced by thousands of candles which
fill the room with soft indirect light (woo hoo, the end of sentence one.  I don't
know if I can keep up the quality of the parenthetical statements and tangential
clauses but you can bet the family farm and your brother's complete set of mint alpha
moxes that I'll be trying to deliver this kind pointless nonsense every turn.
Really, why even bother writing spotlights if you aren't gonna have fun with them
(besides the 5 points in a contest that brings out the best and worst in people)).

to be continued...  (Really, I only got one sentence into my story, how excited can
you be.  You only know the setting of the first scene and even then I haven't
finished the description of the ballroom yet.  I'm either gonna have to slow down the
side-notes or I'm gonna have to stop writing my spotlights from work so I can make
them long enough to cover two or three sentences)

            + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Anti-Journal ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Hello journal, well today is the big day!  The day of the TOGS!  I think.  Well
I'm pretty sure it's around this week but Soultaker keeps turning off all the lights
in his house and crawling on the floor whenever I go over to ask him so I'm not
really sure.
     I would ask Nuln...but the last time I went by his advice I ended up in the
hospital getting stitches in my ass from all the carnivorous frogs I ended up having
in my pockets.  And I'm still sure he's the one responsible for that Bob Saget
tattoo....
     But anywayhows, I'm writing this journal down in the hopes that in case someone
else pulls the black marble and has to host another TOGS that I'll be the wiser man
for having this as a source of information.  That and Snotman said that if I don't
write stuff every two weeks then he is going to sell my collection of Death Stud
beanie babies on eBay.  Bastard.  You would think you could trust mucous based
entities nowadays...but I'm starting to think that teaming up with him is going to be
like having Ganolus as the towel boy at the Y...a pain in the rear.  It's all good,
with his lack of personal ads in the last year or so and the fact that I have the
managing consistency of a spider monkey hopped up on stacker 2's....  Well, let's
just say that a certain team is flying under the radar.  And the pavement.  And that
weird cave where the bug people live.
     Yep, I'm sure nobody will be gunning for my team.  Well, I'm pretty sure.  Er, I
really hope so because once if not then it's possible that word will get around that
I tend to do my managering with the aid of a magic 8 ball.  And that wouldn't be
good.  But I digress....
     I suppose I could go ahead and use this time to bad mouth my competition...but
that would require me looking up who else is in this contest.  And everyone knows
that I'm allergic to prep work.  So instead I'll just point out that not only has
Manager been arrested for stalking Tom Green on four different occasions...but that
he is also known in certain states as "The Butter Queen."  Not that there is anything
wrong with that.  Heh heh heh.
     Hmmmm....  Well, I'd like to stop writing but Snotto is standing outside my
window with a weed wacker fired up.  So I guess I'll take this time to wish my Fonz
buddies the best of luck in this contest.
     Death Stud and Soultaker:  Don't let the fact that if you took your combined
ages and put them into dog years you could kill off the entire Westminster Dog Show
bother you...you can still show us whippersnappers a thing or two!  What a colostomy
bag looks like comes to mind.
     Ganolus and Hombre:  I'd just like to thank you in advance for drawing all of
the fire.  As the previous winners those big, blinking red targets on your backs
makes me feel all christmasy.  Or something.  Good luck in your attempt to repeat!
     Nuln and that guy who isn't Nuln:  What else can be said beyond what was spoken
between us that fateful night on the river Dannes while the fireworks sparkled
overhead.  I'll never forget when you turned uttered those fateful words........
"Cheez wiz?" Oh, the bittersweet memories.
     Snotguy:  Well this should be...interesting.  Hopefully this isn't as
humiliating as my Senior Prom.  Or my class reunion.  Or my last doctor visit.  Heh,
maybe I'll just curl up in the corner and suck my thumb for a while.
     Manager:  I know you're not in this but I just wanted to point out that I still
have those pictures of you and that shaved Llama.  So no more bad predictions, bub!
     And to the rest of the competition...good luck and good writing, I expect to be
entertained throughout this entire contest!  And please, for the love of all things
holy, let's not let DeGotti win again!

Anti of the Toggers

               + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Darque Ages ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                                   The Nulninator

     After his first attempt to seize all the goats in Aradi and chocalatize their
nipples failed, Nuln went back to the drawing board.  The covetous little manager's
desire for choconips could not be satiated by any means other than complete and utter
domination.  So, he holed himself up for weeks trying to conceive a plan that would
lead to his control of all the goat nipples in Aradi.
     He was having a few problems though!  First of all, after his first failure, the
goats were now onto his plot.  They kept a wary eye out for the manager and would
send the secret BAAAAA code along goat lines of communication anytime that he was
seen.  The element of surprise would not be his any longer.
     Second of all was that nasty little necromancer Master Darque.  He had his own
problem with nipplophilia and was a constant thorn in Nuln's side.  Any attempt Nuln
made for the goats would be thwarted or slowed by the demon.  He needed to the
necromancer out of the picture and then he would be free to exercise his plans.  But
how could he?  He knew that a head-to-head confrontation with the demon would end at
best in a stalemate, or at worst his own death.  The little demon's network of
informants was to vast to hire an assassin to do the job.  What could be done?
     Suddenly an idea formed in Nuln's mind (a very small idea--I mean come on we
know this is fiction, but let's try and keep it half-way believable).  There was no
way that he could get rid of the demon now, but what if he could eliminate him before
he became too powerful.  Yes, that is an excellent plan, Nuln thought to himself.
     Later that day Nuln shared his devious line of attack with his gladiators.  They
didn't have the heart to tell him that it was doomed to failure.  Not because it
wasn't a good idea, but simply because he was Nuln and the gods hated him.
     With the encouragement of his gladiators, Nuln set out to find a time travel
device that would take him back to defeat Master Darque.  Many moons and four chicken
brothels later and Nuln had his time traveling device.  He was not sure about the
device.  He had gotten it from a seedy looking Madame at one of the chicken brothels.
Now that he thought about it, the Madame looked an awful lot like The Sentinel.
Short for a woman and with a penchant for leather, it could be no other.
     Anyway, Nuln used the time travel device and ended up 20 years in the past.  He
was stark naked when he arrived in the past.  Not because the device stripped him of
his clothes, but just because he was a freak who liked to strip before using a new
magical instrument.  Some people!
     It took him awhile to find Master Darque.  First because he was not known as
Master Darque at this time.  He was nothing more than a toddler demon that no one had
ever heard of before.  So it was very difficult to gather any information on him.
Second, Darque is half-demon with a succubus mother, so he would have been raised in
the Abyss, not on Alastari's Prime Material Plane.
     Naked, alone (so very alone) Nuln thought of how he could descend into the Abyss
and kill the demon.  It was not going to be easy, and he would need some clothes
before going because it was getting cold, and shrinkage was setting in.  With no
clothes and no money, this was going to be a difficult task.  As he walked down the
street, he received a few propositions that would give him some money, but it would
not be worth the trouble.
     No, he needed a new plan, and he needed it fast.  Well, not that fast because we
still have two weeks before I have to wrap this story up for you.  So while Nuln
ponders naked on the streets of Aradi, 20 years ago, I'll use this time to say...TO
BE CONTINUED.

                    + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[  ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
         -----     -----     -----    Soultaker    -----     -----     -----

     Dawn was starting to come later and later.  Early morning was now greeted with
chilling winds and frosty breaths.  The little seaside town of Aradi was bustling as
it prepared for coming day.  The tiny shops that lined the streets were just opening.
The smell of fresh baked breads and coffee filled the brisk air.
     "Mommy Mommy come see."  A tiny voice rang out.  A rather slight built lady of
middle age rushed from the open door of the bakery.
     "What is it Kerrie?"  The lady knelt beside the pig-tailed child.
     "Look.  What is it Mommy?"  Kerrie pointed off in the distance to the far side
of town.
     "I'm not sure sweetie but maybe we better go inside.  It looks like some kind of
storm."  The mother swept up the child in her arms and headed towards the open door.
     "What's wrong with Kerrie?"  A huge man rumbled as he stepped out from behind
his counter.  The sight of this man had for years cause people to gasp in shock.  He
towered over most everyone in town including almost all of the arena warriors.  His
massive chest was bigger then town people could reach around.  As he lumbered forward
one almost would laugh at the sight of this monster of a man dressed in a huge apron
and covered in white baker's flour.
     "There is something approaching from the far end of town.  It looks like some
kind of dust storm.  I figured it would be better to come inside.  See that is what I
am talking about.  It is coming right toward us."  The mother pointed out the window.
As they crowded up to the window, they noticed many of the shops had numerous faces
staring out the windows watching the ominous cloud of dust approach them.
     Those citizens of Aradi that were lucky enough to witness first hand the cause
of the dust cloud will forever have a story to pass on.  Amongst the cloud of dust
was the arrival of the infamous FONZ crew.  Although it was hard to get a clear view,
it looked to be a huge moving mound of managers.  Upon closer examination, Death Stud
was found to be the moving force of the writhing mass of wasted humanity.  Death
Stud, who has always been known for his small stature, clearly showed a super human
strength.  He trudged down the middle of the street wearing an elegant black dress
coat with long flowing tails.  It was not his choice of clothes that amazed everyone
but the tremendous load of dead weight he was carrying.  High on his shoulders was
perched an aging Soultaker shouting out worn phrases like "We're number one" and
"FONZ rules".  Grasping Death Stud's shoulders in a death grip was an intoxicated
Inferno who was barely coherent mumbling something about stopping for a drink.
Clinging to Stud's waist were Hombre and Ganolus arguing over which one knew more
about leg warmers.  Riding the coat tails were Snotman and Nuln.  Nuln was busily
trying to dislodge a desperately clinging Anti.  Anti was holding tightly with one
hand to the end of a coattail while Snotman was trying to pull him up.  "Be gone, you
worthless excuse of a bi-pedaled decaying meat sack,"  Nuln screamed has he kicked
out at Anti.  "Not one good night of sleep since you showed up," again Nuln tried to
drive his boots down on the bruised and battered fingers of Anti.
     "Leave him alone Nuln.  He is the only one left that would partner up with me
for the TOGS," Snotman pleaded as he again tried to secure Anti onto Death Stud's
coat.
     "I have spent my last night listening to the sounds that pour out of that gaping
hole.  The sound is muck like two congested rhinos copulating in a shower."
     "I know, but I need him.  If you get rid of Anti I will be left trying to pair
up with someone like Sandman or Manager.  You really want that much of a handicap for
me?"  Snotman turn to Nuln with those running swollen basset hound eyes.
     "Hey, wait up.  Can I get on to?  Please, Please can I?  I promise to get you
coffee or anything else you might need."  The voice was coming from a bedraggled
urchin that was almost totally hidden in the dustcloud.
     "Go away Barnabas, I told you already this is not an alliance," screamed Death
Stud.  "I also want all of you off my back when we get to the Temple of Korne.  I am
tired of carry you no loads.  It is about time you all start carrying your own
weight."

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Power Brokers ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

The scene:  The main conference room of the Power Brokers guildhouse. Lavishly
decorated, and dominated by a large oval table, giving it an aura of supreme
confidence and power; a place where ideals went from paper to reality, influence was
peddled like any other commodity and deals were made and broken.
     "Does anyone know why we are here?" asked Murray, as she found a seat at the
table, "I hope this isn't going to take long, I have a PTA meeting later this
evening."
     "PTA meeting?  Ooooo, I just LOVE animals!  Are there any openings on your
board?" Cantwell said excitedly.
     Murray giggled and shook her head.  Across the table, McCain rolled his eyes as
he looked away, trying to hide his amusement.
     "You bubble-head, she said "PTA", not PETA!", Helms snarled.  Not known for his
sense of humor, Helms had been on edge ever since they had arrived in Aradi nearly
four months ago.  Used to a life of privilege, he had had a hard time adjusting to
his new lot in life as a gladiator.  What upset him the most since his arrival were
the gladiatorial commission's constant referrals to him as a Half-Elf.  "Hmmpf, I
might be a mean old SOB, but I sure as hell ain't no half-breed," he thought to
himself.
     "Easy now, Jesse, there is no need for name calling" said McCain with the calm
air of authority he wore like a suit of armor, "Maria means well.  You remember how
hard it was to land a spot on a committee when you were a freshman senator, don't
you?  She is eager and willing.  We should use that kind of enthusiasm to our
advantage."
     "John, don't you try and sweet talk me, you old snake charmer," replied Helms.
"Who invited these two to be members of our group anyway?  I thought this was
supposed to be an "Old Boys Club"."
     "The same guy who invited YOU to join the group--Mannequin.  I bet you didn't
know he was a fellow Washingtonian, did you?", said Cantwell, with a smug look on her
face.
     "I did", said Murray. "By the way, Maria, why are they calling me a Rirorni, and
you a Karnhorn, when we are both from Washington.  We really should write a letter to
the gladiatorial commission asking them to correct our biographical information."
     "Good idea, Patty.  We can do that tomorrow," said Cantwell.  "Now that you know
why we are here Mister Helms, perhaps you can shed some light on why YOU are in our
company.  I was under the impression that this team was to be made-up of current
senators, not washed-up has-beens and private citizens."
     "Maria, that is enough.  Pull back the claws.  I am sure Jesse's experience and
leadership skills played a large part in Mannequin's decision to extend him an
invitation to join our group," said McCain, ever the consummate pro.  He stood up and
made his way to the window looking out over the yard, and beyond that, the city of
Aradi.
     "Has anyone seen Dubya?" he asked.  The rest of the group shook their heads no.
"He should have been here by now."
     "John, you seem to know what is going on.  Please explain the reasoning behind
Dubya's invitation to join our team.  Usually the apple don't fall too far from the
tree, but in that boy's case it done fell and rolled right on down the hill," Helms
said with a laugh, "Mannequin must have taken leave of his senses when he chose that
boy."
     McCain turned back to the group and cleared his throat, "As I am sure you have
probably all guessed, the reason we are here today is to plot our strategy for the
upcoming TOGS contest.  It's the reason we have all been invited here--including
Dubya.  In fact, Mannequin asked his peers to suggest nominees for possible inclusion
in our group.  The name that was thrown out was Dubya."
     "Who would be dumb enough to nominate him", said Cantwell and Murray, in perfect
unison.
     "Jinx!" "Double-jinx!!" shrieked the women, doubling over in laughter.
     Senator McCain paused, fixing each of them with his steely-eyed gaze.  "Who
would be dumb enough to nominate him, you say?  Someone smart enough to know that a
man like Dubya could ruin our chances of making a serious run in this contest, that's
who.  Mannequin plans to make Dubya dance on a string, as though he is hurting our
cause.  In reality, he will seek to turn the tables on the opposition."
     "So who is this wolf-in-sheep's clothing?" asked Helms, impatiently.
     "His name," McCain said slowly, "is Soultaker".

                    + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[  ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
        -----     -----     -----    Death Stud    -----     -----     -----

     Watching from behind his mask, Death Stud watched the crowd dance and mingle
from the balcony above.  Aradi's Halloween ball was in full swing and Aradi's finest
managers had all assembled for the occasion.  Some of the DOA members were there as
well.  The DOA members, including newcomers Shadowgate and Yukon, were all following
Duane the Dog around in full parade dress befitting the strict DOA discipline that
Colonel Dog demanded.  The Brotherhood of the Blade guys were on the other side of
the room, trying their best to emulate the DOA and thereby give off the impression of
a grown-up alliance.  Several second grade children were gathered nearby mocking
them.
     Besides all the Aradi regulars, there were a couple of new faces this year.
Jack Wolfspider and CFH were standing outside the ballroom windows, watching the
festivities within.  With their "Winterholm" and "5 Below Zero" wintery cool team
theme going, they were showing their cold, icy manliness by standing outside in the
snow.  Shirtless and breathing frozen clouds into the night air like two drunken
Packers fans at Lambeau, they would occasionally yell something incoherent, slosh
their beers together, then run into each other with their bare, flabby beer guts.
Death Stud had to chuckle when they both dropped trow and pressed their naked asses
up against the frozen window.  Left-cheek, right-cheek, left-cheek, right-cheek, upon
their fleshy glutes, the two had painted the letters T O G S.  Laughing as innocent
dullards do and obviously pleased with themselves, Jack Wolfspider and CFH looked
back over their shoulders into the main hall and gave one another an off-balance high
five.  The most amusing part of the whole scene was that these two rocket scientists
had gotten it wrong and were guffawing happily whilst spelling GSTO--represented in
ASCII butt-art as (G|S)(T|O).
     Death Stud had heard that earlier in the night, Duane the Dog had slapped
Onedawg with a copyright and defamation of character lawsuit over the use of "Dog" in
his name.  Judge was representing the litigious Duane in the matter and insisted that
the flimsy attempt to circumvent the law by spelling it like a wannabe white rapper
punk would not be tolerated by the courts.  He insisted that Onedawg change his
moniker to an unused animal nickname like Threekittykats or Twogophers.
     Pip the Troll and Guardian were both in attendance to kick off their first TOGS
participation.  They had obviously gotten together to come up with a clever Halloween
deception.  Death Stud had to give them some credit, actually.  They were
masquerading as two toughguy managers and Death Stud was almost fooled for a minute.
It was a pretty strong makeup and costuming job to be able to fool anyone into
believing that these two pansies were anything but.  He gave the two a mental eight
on a scale of one to ten for pulling that off.  Bad-asses...?  Oh, what a knee-
slapper that is!
     A sudden thrashing and cursing in the crowd caught Death Stud's attention all of
a sudden.  There was a commotion amidst the party-goers and people scattered away
from the disruption.  Death Stud couldn't see what the source of all the trouble was,
but it sounded like twelve shnocked sailors fighting over a stained copy of "Shower
Talk:  A Carefee Magazine for Navy Men, Featuring Scrumptious Navy Men."  Abruptly
the cursing and flailing was punctuated by a loud OOMPH! and followed by some muffled
yelling.  As onlookers retreated to a safe distance, it became clear what had
happened.  In an recurring incident that Aradi citizens were becoming all too
familiar with, the new manager Elephant had yet again apparently threatened to fight
and/or kill every man, woman, and child on the isle of Aradi for no reason
whatsoever.  And, like so many times before, Indimar had to sit on the little
attitude machine to restrain him.  At that point, Elephant could kick and yell
obscenities all he wanted to, but he wasn't going anywhere or doing anything until
Indimar let him up.  Indimar was packing some serious heiny and when he laid that bad
boy on you, it was all over but the shouting.  With Indimar dressed up like a hairy-
legged Little Bo Beep, curly locks, frilly white dress and all, and Elephant
wriggling helplessly beneath him, Death Stud was queasily reminded of some bad MPG's
that Inferno had sent him via the magical Internet portal.
     The rest of the new managers were all congregated together like some sort of
Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity, pushing glasses taped together in the middle up onto
their oversized noses while snorting the occasional laugh.  They were all there,
Dreidedendenphlagenbag or whatever his name is, Street Legal (oh check it dawg,
another badass costume from the 8 Mile), Rage Man (I feel your rage, man), Rude
Buddha (yeah, I'm tired of that Buddha guy's crap and I'm gonna kick his ass if he
gives me the bird one more time), and Mannequin (ah, reminds me of the long, lonely
nights working security at the JC Penneys--you never really forget your first love,
do you?).
     Death Stud looked at all the craziness below and he realized why he loved Aradi
and why he was still willing to put up with the TOGS contest and all the inevitable
drama and B.S. that would ensue.

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ One Way Back ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     It had been a year or more since last his feet touched the dirt of Alastari.
     No one could have known.
     No one could have known the torments he suffered....
     ...stolen away from that ageless, nameless tomb in the Shagornan Desert.
     It had been a year or more.
     And no one could have known.

     Onedawg, the Last Scion of the Da'awginori, Overservant to the Chaos, and
forebear of his people's heritage, stood wraithlike over the campfire.  As
incorporeal as he seemed sometimes, the Last Scion found that he could affect the
prime material when he most needed to.  Perhaps, then, that is why he was so confused
now, standing over the fire as he was.  He no longer had any need for warmth.  That
along with a great  other many things had been taken from him from beyond the bounds
of this world.  Yet and still, this very conscious act, it seemed, served to teach
the Last Scion a very important, and real, lesson.  He was truly and undeniably
gone--only a faint specter of his former self.
     Onedawg flinched away the moment of sadness and personal loss, a feeling that
somehow felt familiar and distant all at once.  His form stooped and rose again, this
time with a fistful of dirt, as his hand slowly waved out over the fire and snuffed
it out with a swirl of sulfur embers.  Suddenly, his ghostly body and the forest
around him was plunged into shadow.  How comfortable he felt here!  The brooding
wraith's head lolled backwards, moonlight creating dark contrasts on his now long,
gaunt face.
     Reverently, the Overservant of the Chaos drifted away from the scene, slipping
noiselessly past and through trees alike.  How fitting a title was that now?
Overservant of the Chaos!  Bah!  How disgraceful.  The Chaos Altar he and the others
from Valamantis had constructed was surely lying in ashes now--he could FEEL it.
What was was gone, and what was left was to remain unseen.  Even Trebonius, his
former Chaos Brother and ally would have moved on by now, forging new pacts and
looking towards more attainable horizons.  But then again, he always had been a
selfish bastard!
     D'AAAHHRRG!
     Onedawg's willowy presence collapsed to the ground, stricken with inexorable
pain.  What was that? he though, not daring to think any more.  A mental dagger from
beyond...slung neatly between the folds of his tenuous mind, or what was left of
it???  No.  He had felt this before.  It was the "remembering", or so he called it,
the only sliver of his former self allowed, by some outside presence, to remain with
him.  The everlasting mark of a man now a chaos creature.  Was that what he was now?
A chaos creature?  Formless, ravaged, and destitute of hope.
     Onedawg looked out from where he cowered on the forest floor.  A shimmering blue
oasis connected to the distant night stretched out before him in the distance.  It
was a sea, a very large sea at that.  Onedawg's awestruck gaze lifted skyward, and
all about him were proudly standing conifers and the endless night with points of
tiny but brilliant lights spread about it.  His gaze fell back earthward and a new
figure caught his view.  A tall thing, but far away for sure, riding the choppy waves
of the ocean, its neck thinned and triangular, its body a diamond on the sea.  A
boat?  He could not be sure, but at once he realized his salvation.  He had returned!
The winding ways of the linkworlds had sought to bring him back to where it all had
begun, he could FEEL it!  But there was something different, something vague and
unknown.  He wasn't in the same place anymore, wasn't in the exact land he knew.
     With a rush, the Last Scion rose to his feet and spun all around.  On every side
he was surrounded by the languid waters of a night shrouded island.  An island, that
was it!  But how?  No Chaos...no!  No!  It can't be!  But it was.  It must have been.
A Chaos Gate on this very island.  And perhaps, a way to find out what had happened,
what he had experienced but could no longer remember.
     An owl's hooting sounded overhead, and the Last Scion stood deathly still but
for his eyes.  His eyes, they were dancing back and forth now, darting here and
there.  Taking in the limited space around him.  Seeing, for the first time, that he
was not truly gone, only changed.  A change for the good!  He could not be certain,
but he would find out, and he would remember what took place within the confines of
the linkworlds, and who or what it was that was clawing at his mind, and what lay
ahead?  It was his one way back.
     With determination in his glide, Onedawg descended the rise and came upon the
island town below, Aradi.  With sleepy countenances, the people of Aradi were unaware
of the ghost of a man who was about to make his presence known among their kind.
With a clouded future ahead, the island lay amidst the sea with rumors of a yet
unclosing Chaos Gate somewhere within its secrets.  And Sheila Greywand, if she were
dead, would be rolling in her grave if this was unknown to her, though, perhaps it
was....
     Elsewhere, the Eye in the Hand was watching all through a clear pool of liquid.
The thing hovered in midair to get a different angle on the activity within the
scrying bowl.  The image showed an event of the past, long since played out, but one
of concern to the people of the Sixth Dynasty of Dawg, the Last Scion's ancestors.
It was also a look into the mental future, the as yet unknown remembrances that were
about to be triggered in one such man-wraith now on an island in the land of
Alastari.  The event showed a group of adventurous folk, male and female, dressed in
rugged garb, each with a tied knot of hair growing from the left sides of their
skulls.  They were debating and gesturing over a matter of seeming importance to them
all, and only now were their words becoming clear.
     "Ah, he is remembering," the Eye in the Hand proclaimed, its jagged digits
flexing in midair.  The scrying pool rippled and spilled slightly over the edges of
its bowl.  The figures in the liquid shifted and writhed as if their whole world was
coming down around them.  And it was.
     The Eye in the Hand chuckled, a watery, otherworldly sound, and closed its
entire body into a fist, then plummeted downwards into the scrying pool, eradicating
the images and splashing liquid all about the black setting.

            + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Winterholm Legacy ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                                       Part 1

     Brother Torwald tried to ignore the persistent tugging his arm.  He had been
translating a volume of epic poetry from the days of the Van Empire deep into the
night, and his mind and body called for rest.  It was to no avail however.  Torwald
came to wakefulness with a start, his sleep-filled eyes gradually focusing on a young
novice monk who was shaking him diligently.  A weary smile crept onto Torwald's face.
     "I'm awake.  I'm awake.  What is it, Tharkin?" he asked gently.
     "I'm sorry, Brother.  I apologize for waking you," stammered the youth.  Like
most of the monks of Winterholm, Tharkin had been a foundling child left of the
doorstep of the Temple of Ankor in Vithicar by a poor family who could not feed him
in time of famine.  In fact, Torwald himself had arrived as a foundling fifty years
earlier.
     "I'm sure it's something important," said Torwald gently.  "Please tell me what
it is."
     "You asked me to tell you when the caravan from Vithicar arrived.  Well it has."
     Torwald nodded.  "They made good time," he said.  "I wasn't expecting them for a
couple of days.  How many new arrivals?"  He climbed out of bed and filled a
washbasin from a pitcher of water.
     "Five," replied Tharkin.  "Two new foundlings from Vithicar, the two scholars
from Stormcrowe University we've been expecting and another traveler I've never seen
before.  He said his name was Jack something and that he had come to see you.  He
carries a longbow and looks like a warrior."
     "Best I get out there and greet them," said Torwald, splashing cold water on his
face.  "Please tell them I'll be along to greet them as soon as I've washed and
dressed," he said absently, his mind trying to focus upon who this Jack person was.
"Oh and thank you for informing me, Tharkin," he added almost as an afterthought.
The boy beamed slightly and scuttled out the door.
     A few minutes later a cleaned and shaven Brother Torwald began the short trek
from his small chamber to the monastery gate where the caravaneers waited.  Not that
the unguarded gate and low walls would ever repel a force of determined invaders.
Winterholm Monastery's protection was its isolation and relative unimportance in the
great scheme of things.  As Torwald neared the gate he counted seven wooly rhinoceri
that the caravaneers used as pack animals, the five professional caravaneers who
regularly made the long and arduous journey over the frozen wastes between Vithicar
and Winterholm far to the north carrying supplies and passengers, and the five
newcomers, two of them infants.  Several of the monks had already reached the site
and were busily conversing with the newcomers.
     Torwald caught the eye of the chief caravaneer.  "Welcome back, Utan," he called
out.  "It's good to see you again.  How was the crossing?"
     "I've had worse," returned Utan.  The caravaneer seldom used more words than he
had to.
     "Thank you for your help as always, my friend," said Torwald shaking the man's
leathery hand.  He received a sincere nod in return.
     "And thanks to each of you as well," he said addressing the rest of the caravan
gang.  "Please feel free to refresh yourselves at the monastery as soon as you have
finished securing the animals.  I believe Brother Dask is putting a meal together as
we speak, and we just tapped a new cask of dragonberry wine.  I believe it's one of
our best vintages ever."  Grateful smiles and greetings ensued.
     Torwald now turned to the newcomers.  He looked at the faces of the two infants.
They looked tired but healthy after the long trip.  The children brought up at
Winterholm would enter life as apprentice monks.  At the age of eighteen they would
be given the choice of continuing on in the monastery as initiates, or leaving to
seek their way in the outside world.  Perhaps one of these two would grow up to be
Brother Torwald's successor as head of the order.  A caretaker monk took charge of
them and quickly carried them back toward the great hall.
     Last he turned to the three adult newcomers.  "Marichinda and Rathk of
Stormcrowe University?" he asked and received a nod of assent.  "I am pleased to
finally meet both of you in person and am grateful that you accepted my invitation."
Torwald was mildly surprised at Rathk's appearance, short and alien with grayish skin
and face framed with a fringe of bluish black beard.  Torwald had never seen a
swavant before, a race of mixed karragit and human ancestry, and from his
correspondence had never realized that Rashk was a member of that race.  "I have
enjoyed our correspondence and there have been many developments since my last letter
to you.  But please, have some refreshment and rest after your long journey.  We will
talk at length later."
     "This is a wonderful place you have from what I have seen," exclaimed
Marichinda.  "I knew of course that Winterholm was an oasis in the middle of the
frozen tundra but I never expected such beauty.  The warmth--the color--it's
overwhelming."
     Torwald smiled.  He had lived his whole life here and had never traveled away
from Winterholm--not even making the journey to Vithicar.  Winterholm was his whole
world, but he never tired of seeing the delighted faces of newcomers and the sense of
wonder the place instilled in them.  "As you know, the warmth from our small Chaos
Gate makes Winterholm an island of perpetual Spring surrounded by a sea of perpetual
Winter.  And the fields of dragonberries give the place what I am told is a rather
unique sense of color.  Not to mention the superb architecture of the monastery
itself, built in an age in which attention to detail mattered.  But you'll have
plenty of time to explore for yourselves later."
     After another round of pleasantries Torwald was finally able to devote his
attention to the final visitor, a gray bearded man dressed in a battered cloak.  He
stood with his great longbow draped conspicuously across his shoulder and a number of
weapons hanging from his belt.  Tharkin had called him a warrior.  And yet there was
something familiar in the eyes--it was a face Torwald had seen before.
     A name from the past came to Torwald's lips.  He spoke it and the warrior
nodded.  "That is a name that has not been spoken in some years," he said gravely.
"I am he, or more rightly I was he.  I go by the name Jack Wolfspider now.  And how
is my old friend Torwald?  It's been many years."
     "It has been many years, err...Jack.  What have you been doing with yourself
since you left Winterholm?  You know, at one time I thought you would become the
Chief Brother here.  I never expected the honor for myself."
     "The right man has the office," said Jack with a slight smile.  "I had almost
forgotten what it was like to be here.  So much comes flooding back to me now.  It's
good to be here again.  It's good to see you, Torwald.  How many of the others remain
from my time?"  Jack's face became grim again.  "I only wish I were carrying better
news.  But there is no hurry.  It can wait.  You say the dragonberry wine is good
this year?  I could do with a tankard or two.  It's been a long trip."

                + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Legalese ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Judge looked out his window as gray and white soot floated from the sky in
Aradi, almost as if it was snowing.  In the distance, he observed the orange and red
glow of the flames from the Aradi wildfires as they raged west towards Judge's home.
Judge had recently moved to the eastern portion of Aradi to live out in the country.
Judge's pool and jacuzzi were black with remnants of the fire.  Judge had been busy
taking a deposition on Monday morning when he had to rush home upon hearing that an
order had been issued by the Aradi Department of Forestry to evacuate the community
within Aradi where Judge lives.  Judge had never been the victim of a major natural
disaster.  Many of Judge's colleagues and friends had already been evacuated to the
municipal stadium in the City of Aradi as burning infernos raged through residential
communities, leaving behind a trail of wanton destruction, and leaving many families
homeless.  Wimpy was busy at the stadium handing out food to fire victims.  Ganolus
and Death Stud were sitting in a press box at the Aradi Arena wearing gas masks, and
fearing that Turn 1 of the TOGS IV might be cancelled as a result of the wildfires.
At home, Judge began to pack his family's belongings.  Judge and his family had to
carefully decide what to take with them.  Wedding photos, passports, water, insurance
documents; these are things Judge knew he needed to pack.  Judge looking longingly at
a box of documents entitled "Duelmasters -- Aradi Warrior Statistics for TOGS III."
He knew that box would have to stay behind.

     The knock came on Monday.  The media announced that the Aradi Department of
Forestry had changed their mind, and would not be evacuating Judge's community, at
least not yet.  Judge sat at home with the windows closed, and the television on,
waiting out the fires.  Although Judge had not received his most recent turn for
Aradi, Judge looked up the online newsletter, and was dismayed to discover that
Manager had placed 50 to 1 odds on Wimpy's and Judge's team winning the TOGS IV.
Little did Manager know that Judge and Wimpy have been preparing for the TOGS.
Little did Manager know that Judge sent 4 out of his 5 warriors to the Fall Mail-in
Tourney.  Little did Manager know that Judge will be running a scum, only for
purposes of winning the TOGS.  Manager was right about one thing, though.  Expect
Wimpy and Judge to be in this tournament to the bitter end, win or lose.

     In all seriousness, Judge's heart goes out to all those in Alastari who have
lost their homes in the wildfires, and all those who will lose their homes to
wildfires in the Southwestern provinces of Alastari as the wildfires continue to
rage.  It is difficult to appreciate the severity of something like this until it
hits you.  While Judge is cautiously optimistic that his home will be spared, and he
hopes that all of these wildfires will be put out soon.  He also thanks all those who
have volunteered, including hundreds of firefighters, sheriffs, orcs, dwarfs, golems
and everyone else who have put their lives on the line to save others.  Good luck to
everyone in the TOGS.

                    Legalese

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ Black Friars ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                           Rude Buddha's Pre-TOGS Hangover

     The sun beat unforgivingly upon Buddha as he opened his eyes slowly and grasped
his head.  The pain of the mead hangover brought on by yet another night of bingeing
after yet another disappointing outing from his team was unyielding, but could not be
as bad as the thrashings doled out upon his warriors.  The Black Friars were out of
work actors, most of whom failed to realize that they were not the characters they
once not quite-so-adequately portrayed in a two-bit, broken down traveling troupe.
They said they had combat training, but choreographed dueling with wooden swords is
of little matter when facing a skilled warrior in a hostile arena.  What do you do
with warriors who are too foolish to fear the Dark Arena?
     Laboring himself to a standing position, he began to stagger down the street
toward the inn, ostensibly looking for another prospective warrior, but in reality
seeking only for a mite bit of mead to cool away the late morning sun.
     "TOGS," Rude Buddha thought as he languidly sauntered toward his destination,
"what have I gotten myself into?"  His musings on the upcoming tournament filtered
through an alcoholic haze and some cheap hussy's cheaper perfume.  One hundred to
one.  A longshot, or at least so they say.  Surely Mannequin merits more respect than
100-to-1.  Has teaming with Buddha besmirched his reputation so much as to warrant
100-to-1?  At least I don't feel so badly since the Anti/Snotman team (a.k.a.
Kleenex) is 10,000,000-to-1.  CFH?  Who?  Can't Find Homer?  Caveman From
Hullaballoo?  Can't Find Himself a real name, must use acronym?  And just who is the
Dreidelflahg anyway, and why doesn't he just go spin himself?  Geez, I mean you give
Judge Judy and Wimpy 'You're such a wimp you should be on my team', 50-1.
Ridiculous.
     Buddha finally reached the inn, still in a drunken haze, his hand shook as he
reached for the door latch.  Hopefully, the barman who unceremoniously arranged an
introduction with the gutter last night wouldn't be working this morning.  "I didn't
tell him to put his entire week's wages on Henry IV.  I could have told him that poor
ole Harry didn't stand a chance against Rip Rap.  I mean, he still thinks he's the
King of England!!"  Where is this England anyway?  And if I'm ever able to
distinguish Rosencrantz from Guildenstern, perhaps I can put through their challenges
properly, and not have them mismatched.
     The latch for the door clicked as Buddha turned the handle.  Perhaps he would
just wait here for the Black Friars to return from this round of TOGS.  At least the
mead would keep flowing and take the edge off the his gambling losses this week.

             + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ My Best Buds 2 ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Street Legal walked along the outside of his new guildhouse in the city of
Aradi.  Not able to oversee its actual construction, he wanted to be sure everything
was just right before signing off on it.  Having teamed up with his alliancemate,
Dreihdenflahg, and having drawn significant attention to himself recently, this team
would have to be at its best and the first part of this was a proper guildhouse.  The
construction was nothing flashy; it was very simple, allowing most of its budget to
be spent on the training facilities within.  Walking inside to inspect the interior
construction, and most importantly the training facility, he wondered where his
warriors were.  He was sure he had instructed them to begin getting acclimated to the
facilities while he was off completing the legal end of the construction with the
builder.  "Damn these slugs, I was afraid this would happen," he exclaimed.  He knew
in his mind he was taking a huge risk with the five gladiators he chose, because of
their personality, but he knew they had tremendous potential on the sands so he
overlooked their shortcomings.  "They will pay for this tonight when they have to
train until dawn," he promised himself out loud.
     He could hear giggling outside and then suddenly the door flew open and his tall
female warrior stumbled, or almost fell would be more accurate, through the opening.
"Where in the name of Ahringol were you fools?  I told you that you were to be here
training on your own while I was away, I trusted you and you've let me down.  What do
you have to say for yourselves?" he asked.
     The tall female said, "it was his fault," pointing at the warrior who took the
name Maui Wowie!  "He was hungry and insisted we all go to the local Inn to eat," she
explained.
     "And are you telling me eat is all you did?  I told you that you could do as you
pleased on your own time as long as you performed well on the sands.  I even spent
money hiring a personal chef and building an expansive kitchen since I know how you
all do nothing but smoke and eat and this is the thanks I get.  I will honor my word,
for now, but tonight you are all to head directly to the gym and begin your training.
My mentor, Death Commander, is there and waiting to begin your training and you will
do everything that he tells you or you will be headed directly to the Dark Arena is
that clear?" he yelled.  They all began to speak but he waved his finger at them and
they all stood silent and merely shook their heads yes in agreement.  "Now go!" he
screamed at the top of his lungs.
     He mumbled to himself, "I dearly hope I have not made a huge mistake in drafting
this team and bringing it here.  "He knew what was at stake and knew winning the TOGS
tourney was not the only measure of success for him but a good showing would be
necessary and he knew his partner and fellow Griswold family member Dreih would hold
up his end.  He must now hold up his!  This was going to be a very heated contest and
there were even a few here with the intention of simply throwing a monkey wrench into
the contest and he knew he could be a target of at least one of these managers!

                    + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[  ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Many seasons had passed since the awful spectacle of the TOGS III tourney.
Psyches had mended, bruises had healed, flowers re-grown and a certain ageless-wonder
of a manager had almost completed a movement (no, not the musical kind).  Many people
thought that they were safe...that the tourney would not return.
     They were mistaken.
     Like a sore that keeps resurfacing, the Tourney of the Golden Scrod cannot be
controlled or diminished by the passage of time (or doses of penicillin)!  No, it
must be taken in the time that it deigns and in the form it chooses.
     TOGS is rampant!
     TOGS is resplendent!
     TOGS is RETURNED!
     Teams had been coming in for weeks.  Some came by boat.  Some arrived in a flash
of light and magical thunder.  Some teams seemed to have always been there, lurking
under the porch.
     Two days before the start of the tourney a group of men stepped off of the daily
ferry and gathered their belongings.  They were five in number, and similar in
feature.  Four of the men wore the shaven heads of ascetics but the fifth stood apart
from the rest.
     The fifth was a man of unusual demeanor.  While his companions traveled with a
simple rucksack and plain robes, he eschewed their humble ways.  Two steamer trunks
and a crate lay scattered on the dock.  Their owner was directing the porters and his
companions in a way that showed the assurance of a man accustom to his having way.
     "You best be careful with dat box, fool, or I be cracking upside your dome!"
     Okay, not exactly a leader of men.
     "All the rest o' you get off yo' sorry cans and get in the wagon.  We gots to
find out where my nizzle, Nuln be puttin' us up for da TOGS."
     Inspiring he ain't.
     The wagon full of men made their way through the streets of Aradi until they
arrived at the door of the 4000 Blows guildhouse.
     There was a note on the door:
     "Voyde:
          Am being evil in the pseudo-secret lab.
          Come to the back door and knock.
                    -- Nuln"

                                      SPY REPORT

     Like the magnificent Sun, rising upon the Dawn and exiling the Night for a Day, 
I, Novgorodny Vir, return once again!  Nothing is certain in ARADI, with changing 
loyalties, changing Duelmasters.  Write this down:  new top team--FA CHING.  Managers 
were muttering after NATURAL DISASTERS showed ARADI what they could do:  4-0-0 to 
move up by 13.  Perhaps it is LUROCIANS VI members' intannibility that enabled them 
to move from 32nd to 15th last week...  (Less time in the sun...) Like a chunk of 
francium heaved into a wet pond, RED AVENGERS blew up the rankings to 23!  Rumor has 
it an incurable disease has swept the stable of INNSMOUTH BROOD.  Note their drop in 
the rankings from 17th to 29th.  Watch out!!!  Thinking about sending their team 
manager to the Dark Arena is DEMONS OF DARKNESS 2, after suffering a 14 drop in 
ranking.  THIEVES GUILD posted a nice gain, to come in 20th.  Everybody loves a 
winner...  Well, DARQUE AGES, you can show this to your parents.  But you'll have to 
do better than 3-2-1 if you want your names in this space again...  Practice pays for 
NOODLES, who pummelled 55 SUCKS MORE, to pocket 47 points.  TOO ICKY certainly had a 
baffled expression on hers face, after losing to LLLENGEANCE and losing 18 points in 
the process!  Can you believe it?  ACHONDROPLASIA apparently has better things to do 
as ARADI's Duelmaster than show up and fight!  In ARADI, nothing is permanent (except 
Death), and we find ourselves a new Duelmaster, UNDERGROUND BEAT.  So who's the team 
that's been walking into taverns last week and ordering milk?  Sounds like a PR stunt 
to me.   
     My mother wished me to avoid conflict, and seek the gentle trade of Spyreporter. 
But warriors aren't supposed to avoid fights!  Like a horde of jackals fleeing from 
the lion, so did the "warriors" in ARADI avoid THIEVES GUILD.  The warriors of 
THIEVES GUILD found their efforts at combat frustrated as 4000 BLOWS apparently had 
more important things to do than fight.  Is it charming personality?  Conversational 
abilities?  Good oral hygiene?  Whatever it is, TOGS LOSER is the most challenged 
warrior.  QUETZACOATYL challenged TALON!  Who says FACES OF ETERNITY are just a bunch 
of wimps!  QUETZACOATYL of FACES OF ETERNITY kept hers wits as she was overcame by 
TALON.  Willing to win at any cost is MC CAIN, who challenged THE BRICK, 8 points 
junior.  Our sympathies, THE BRICK!  I thought MC CAIN showed great skill and promise 
when he beat THE BRICK.  All right, so I slept through it!  Big deal!   
     The moving sword slashes, and having slashed, moves on...  GAZREKK of DEMONS OF 
DARKNESS 2 sends DANICA of FORGOTTEN REALMS goes to the Weary Warrior's Retirement 
Home.  ARADI has no place for weaklings!  Justice was served as THE AYL'M'ER fought 
KAPRIKORN in bloodfeud.  Well done, 4000 BLOWS!  Ask not a spymaster for counsel, for 
he will pontificate long after you have fallen into an unconscious stupor.   
     Leave me now, you base fools!  As the seasons change, and the creatures of the 
wild change also, so do I feel a yearning to leave this place.  Do not despair!  I 
shall return!-- Novgorodny Vir  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 UNDERGROUND BEAT 6083        18  20  1   122       CLUB CULTURE (424)

CHALLENGER CHAMPIONS           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-ACHONDROPLASIA 6546          13   2  1   117       ELOQUENT KNIGHTS (518)
 RIFF 6452                    10   5  1   117       SWIFT CURRENT (468)
 BLACK CAT 6268               15   8  0   116       SHADOW SIGNS (491)
-MICHAEL J'EH FOX 5263        16  11  1   112       INGRATE WHITE NORTH (348)
-BEEROPOLY 5374               14  12  1   112       INGRATE WHITE NORTH (348)
 BLACK EYE 6163               12   6  0   109       JOKA MASHER! (283)
 THUNDRA 5122                 15  12  1   108       FA CHING (388)
 THE LIMELIGHT 6104           24  14  0   104       CLUB CULTURE (424)
 LLLENGEANCE 5864             12   4  2   100       LUROCIANS VI (431)
 SIR ZESTALOT 6557             9   3  0    99       4000 BLOWS (107)
 LLOSMIC LLAMMER 5684         13   9  1    96       LUROCIANS VI (431)
 SICK PUPPY 5959              12  10  1    96       ARADI'S DEAD (393)
 BLACKBURST 5025               9  12  0    96       FA CHING (388)
 LUMMOX 6092                  17  44  0    95       RED DOG GANG (476)
 BULL DOGGAM 6088             17  27  0    91       RED DOG GANG (476)

CHAMPIONS                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SYRINGE 6003                 12   6  0    90       BLOOD RELATED (395)
 ACUTE 6048                   10   5  0    89       THIEVES GUILD (396)
 QUICKSAND 6554                9   4  1    89       NATURAL DISASTERS (159)
-TRANSCENDENTALISM 6547       15   8  0    87       ELOQUENT KNIGHTS (518)
-GENEVIEVE 6576                8   3  0    84       REDLANDS PELETON (520)
 GAZREKK 6438                  8   5  2    82       DEMONS OF DARKNESS 2 (430)
-LAR'EH WALKER 5825            8   4  1    81       INGRATE WHITE NORTH (348)
 TOO ICKY 5937                12   9  0    79       BLOOD RELATED (395)
 LORD OF THE O RINGS 6022     17   9  1    77       WILD CARDS (148)
 THE SPOTLIGHT 6329           14  14  1    76       CLUB CULTURE (424)
 HEADROCK 3430                13  15  0    76       OGRES ARE US (270)
 BOONE 6090                   12  36  0    76       RED DOG GANG (476)
 AVIENDHA 4721                17  16  0    75       FA CHING (388)

CHAMPIONS                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 THORNE 5259                   8   1  0    75       FA CHING (388)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 JACARANDA 6129               10   6  0    66       WINTERHOLM (478)
 THE AYL'M'ER 6056             9  11  0    66       4000 BLOWS (107)
 WINKER X 6470                 9   7  0    66       4000 BLOWS (107)
 MURRAY 6661                   6   2  0    66       POWER BROKERS (527)
 WHITE RAVEN 6484              9   5  1    61       SHADOW SIGNS (491)
 MC CAIN 6662                  7   1  0    61       POWER BROKERS (527)
 SIRIUS 6193                  13  20  1    60       RED DOG GANG (476)
-IRREVOCABILITY 6549          12   9  1    60       ELOQUENT KNIGHTS (518)
 O'RIORDAN 6128                6  11  0    57       WINTERHOLM (478)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 PIPSQUEAK 6810                4   0  0    55       WIMPS OF DEATH (66)
 OBITER DICTA 5860             7   5  1    54       LEGALESE (449)
 DEMURRER 5828                 9   7  1    53       LEGALESE (449)
 SLOUGH 6134                  12   7  1    52       SWIFT CURRENT (468)
-PRIME MINISTER 6011           7   7  0    52       INGRATE WHITE NORTH (348)
 FREEP 6812                    4   0  0    49       WIMPS OF DEATH (66)
 BUSH 6663                     5   3  1    48       POWER BROKERS (527)
 KILWICK 6130                 10   9  0    47       WINTERHOLM (478)
 LACHES 5642                   9  10  0    47       LEGALESE (449)
 CYVIN 5258                    7   4  1    47       FA CHING (388)
 THE BRICK 6342                4   1  0    47       HIT ME WITH... (503)
 NOODLES 6247                  1   0  0    47       RED AVENGERS (487)
 IVAN 2565                     4   6  0    46       FORGOTTEN REALMS (185)
 NAPPY DUGOUT 6080            11  12  0    45       WILD CARDS (148)
 KAPRIKORN 6151               10   7  1    44       WINTERHOLM (478)
 BLUE BEANIE 6461              6   7  1    44       DEMONS OF DARKNESS 2 (430)
 LLUCKY DAY 6021               4   1  0    44       LUROCIANS VI (431)
 SMIRLIN 6568                  8   8  0    43       OGRES ARE US (270)
 LLUGS AND LLISSES 5887        6   6  1    43       LUROCIANS VI (431)
 SCABBY 6514                   8   6  0    42       BLOOD RELATED (395)
 SOMFMA 6797                   4   1  0    42       OGRES ARE US (270)
 MARBURY 4499                  9   4  0    41       LOCK-OUT (368)
 TWISTER 6114                  7   5  0    41       ARADI'S DEAD (393)
 NEWCASTLE 6669                5   3  3    40       BEERBARIANS (528)
 GUMMI GHOUL 6411              5   3  1    40       THE UPSTARTS III (510)
 TRIPLICATE THUNDER 6616       6   5  0    39       WILD CARDS (148)
 HELMS 6660                    6   2  2    37       POWER BROKERS (527)
 MISTRESS BOMBTRONIC 6617      7   4  1    36       WILD CARDS (148)
 THE HOLLOW 6118               6   8  1    35       THIEVES GUILD (396)
 TYVINREK 6513                 4   3  0    35       DEMONS OF DARKNESS 2 (430)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 WIND 5906                     5   1  0    33       FIVE SPHERES (462)
 GOLDFISH 6718                 4   3  0    33       SHADOW SIGNS (491)
 TEACUP TERRIER 6569           6  10  1    32       RED DOG GANG (476)
 RIP RAP 6599                  5   3  0    32       SWIFT CURRENT (468)
 HERROL 6694                   4   1  0    32       WING HOVE (529)
 TALON 6736                    3   1  0    31       WING HOVE (529)
 TOGS STINKER 6588             5   2  0    29       DEMONS OF DARKNESS 2 (430)
 GODFREY 6354                  4   5  0    29       ARADI'S DEAD (393)
 KABOOM 6248                   1   0  0    29       RED AVENGERS (487)
 GREEDYGUT 6371                6   4  0    28       WINTERHOLM (478)
 FRUB 6794                     3   2  0    28       WIMPS OF DEATH (66)
 EARL OF ZIPPY 6566            3   2  1    27       THE UPSTARTS III (510)
-KLEPTO SLACKER 6516           2   0  0    27       ARADI'S DEAD (393)
 HENRY IV 6899                 2   1  0    26       BLACK FRIARS (521)
 SPONGEBOB 6504                6   1  0    25       R.J.G. (475)
 LLUPERIOR LLORCES 5956        3   2  0    25       LUROCIANS VI (431)
 KARATE WRECKER 6693           1   6  0    25       THIEVES GUILD (396)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CYCLONE 6816                  2   1  0    24       NATURAL DISASTERS (159)
 BLOODY HELL 6821              2   2  0    24       BLOOD RELATED (395)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SYDA HAMMIE 6667              6   3  0    23       OGRES ARE US (270)
 SLACKJAW 6750                 3   0  0    23       I'M WITH STUPID (531)
 IKER 6505                     4   3  0    22       R.J.G. (475)
 GRAFFIX 6909                  2   0  0    22       MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)
 ANDROGENOUS STRAIN 6412       4   3  0    21       THE UPSTARTS III (510)
 ORIGINAL SHOCKER 6959         1   0  0    20       WILD CARDS (148)
 PIKEL 5808                    5   2  0    19       FORGOTTEN REALMS (185)
-MOON BABY 6187                2   3  0    19       ARADI'S DEAD (393)
 ROSENCRANTZ 6786              2   3  0    19       BLACK FRIARS (521)
-BEERZILLA 6170                2   3  0    19       INGRATE WHITE NORTH (348)
 4-FT PARTY BONG 6908          1   1  0    19       MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)
 SLIPKNOT 6674                 1   7  0    19       THIEVES GUILD (396)
 INSISTANT BEGGAR 6630         4   1  0    18       BUMS 'R' US (465)
 MAUI WOWIE! 6907              2   0  0    18       MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)
 BARON 6765                    4   2  0    17       LOCK-OUT (368)
 SON OF BLOODLUST 6823         3   1  0    17       4000 BLOWS (107)
 OBED 6831                     2   1  1    17       INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)
 SANDSTORM 6813                2   1  0    17       NATURAL DISASTERS (159)
 TOGS LOSER 6619               1   4  0    17       DEMONS OF DARKNESS 2 (430)
 GUILDENSTERN 6785             2   3  1    16       BLACK FRIARS (521)
 GOURMET GRUEL 6730            2   4  0    16       R.J.G. (475)
 VORPAL BUNNY 6731             2   4  0    16       R.J.G. (475)
-APEP 6855                     1   0  1    16       NIHILISTIC ENDEAVOR (538)
-EXCESSIVE NOSEHAIR 6834       1   1  0    16       SMOOTH OPERATORS (523)
 SPINNING 6710                 4   2  1    15       CLUB CULTURE (424)
 T-MAC 6806                    2   3  0    15       LOCK-OUT (368)
 NUMSKULL 6751                 1   2  0    15       I'M WITH STUPID (531)
 DICHABOD 6912                 1   2  0    15       THIEVES GUILD (396)
 ZERBERT 6243                  1   0  0    15       RED AVENGERS (487)
-WILLOW 6659                   1   3  1    14       DARK TOGS (526)
 MR OBLIVIOUS 6413             1   5  0    14       THE UPSTARTS III (510)
 JAMIS 6735                    2   2  1    13       WING HOVE (529)
 FLORIN FALCONHAND 5750        2   7  0    13       FORGOTTEN REALMS (185)
 DUSTSTORM 6814                1   2  0    13       NATURAL DISASTERS (159)
-PULL MY FINGER 6625           3   3  0    12       SMOOTH OPERATORS (523)
 DOVE FALCONHAND 5770          2   6  0    12       FORGOTTEN REALMS (185)
 TYPHOON XXII 6827             2   0  0    12       DEATH STUDS VII (301)
 ANASTASIUS 6839               1   0  1    12       DARQUE AGES (536)
-PIGGY 6655                    1   3  0    12       DARK TOGS (526)
 TWO IN THE GOO 6826           0   2  0    12       DEATH STUDS VII (301)
 EARTH 5908                    2   4  1    11       FIVE SPHERES (462)
-DIE DIE THIGH 6447            1   2  0    11       LETHAL ANATOMY II (512)
 DERRIN 6952                   1   0  0    11       WING HOVE (529)
-SHIVA 6853                    1   0  0    11       NIHILISTIC ENDEAVOR (538)
 ANGRY SUE 6955                1   0  0    11       RED AVENGERS (487)
 SUPERNOVA 6239                1   0  0    11       RED AVENGERS (487)
 PIP THE TROLL 6942            1   0  0    11       LOSERS (544)
 HOSCHA 6835                   1   2  0    10       OGRES ARE US (270)
 LEO 6837                      1   0  0    10       DARQUE AGES (536)
 BAFFLE 6945                   1   0  0    10       LOSERS (544)
 WATER 5905                    1   0  0    10       FIVE SPHERES (462)
 ARKHAM 6832                   1   1  0    10       INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)
-TUNE IN TOKYO 6627            1   1  0     9       SMOOTH OPERATORS (523)
 ANGRY SANTA 6828              1   1  0     8       DEATH STUDS VII (301)
 DUNWICH 6833                  0   2  0     8       INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)
 ZANN 6830                     1   2  0     7       INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)
 LANCELOT 6867                 1   1  0     7       FACES OF ETERNITY (539)
 TAY STARLE 6808               0   3  0     7       WING HOVE (529)
 INNOCENT 6838                 1   0  0     6       DARQUE AGES (536)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 THE-SHOCKER 6824              1   1  0     6       DEATH STUDS VII (301)
 NECROMANCER XLVII 6825        0   2  0     6       DEATH STUDS VII (301)
 MARSH 6829                    1   2  0     5       INNSMOUTH BROOD (535)
 RASPBERRY STOLI 6860          1   2  0     5       CLUB CULTURE (424)
 ALEXANDER 6864                1   1  0     4       FACES OF ETERNITY (539)
 QUETZACOATYL 6865             1   1  0     4       FACES OF ETERNITY (539)
 POT POURRI 6911               0   2  0     4       MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)
 URG THE UNCLEAN 6954          0   1  0     3       BLACK FRIARS (521)
 RICHARD II 6948               0   1  0     3       BLACK FRIARS (521)
 SON OF MANUTE BOL 6941        0   1  0     3       4000 BLOWS (107)
-GARLIC BREATH 6626            0   2  0     2       SMOOTH OPERATORS (523)
 SKUNK #1 6910                 0   2  0     2       MY BEST BUDS 2 (542)
 MARDUK 6863                   0   2  0     2       FACES OF ETERNITY (539)
 VIKEN 6943                    0   1  0     1       LOSERS (544)
 FIRE 6849                     0   1  0     1       FIVE SPHERES (462)
 SIXTUS 6840                   0   1  0     1       DARQUE AGES (536)
 ZYLLEIX'S SHADE 6939          0   1  0     1       SHADOW SIGNS (491)
 SHARP STICK 6949              0   1  0     1       I'M WITH STUPID (531)
 ATILA 6958                    0   1  0     1       FACES OF ETERNITY (539)
 55 SUCKS MORE 6956            0   1  0     1       JOKA MASHER! (283)
-JORMUNGUND 6854               0   1  0     1       NIHILISTIC ENDEAVOR (538)

'-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn.

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
DR. MONKEYWOMAN 6623   3  3 1 4000 BLOWS 107        KAPRIKORN 6151        321 JUST REV
DOUBLE DIAMOND 6671    2  2 0 BEERBARIANS 528       CYMBELINE 6734        320 REVENGED
OLD SPECKLED HEN 6672  1  4 0 BEERBARIANS 528       GUILDENSTERN 6785     321 JUST REV
CYMBELINE 6734         1  3 1 BLACK FRIARS 521      NEWCASTLE 6669        321 REVENGED
LAZY EYE 6564          5  8 0 BUMS 'R' US 465       DEMURRER 5828         322         
FELIX 6836             0  1 0 DARQUE AGES 536       GARGOYLE PRINCE 25    324 NONE    
VOYDE 6848             0  1 0 FIVE SPHERES 462      ANASTASIUS 6839       324         
DANICA 1872           11 19 0 FORGOTTEN REALMS 185  GAZREKK 6438          324         
ANOTHER BEER 6340      0  1 0 HIT ME WITH... 503    SEA MONSTER 27        324 NONE    
I STINK 6344           0  1 0 HIT ME WITH... 503    MARINE TROLL 18       324 NONE    
ED 2 6343              0  1 0 HIT ME WITH... 503    SEA MONSTER 27        324 NONE    
482 6341               0  1 0 HIT ME WITH... 503    ARNIE SHEW 21         324 NONE    
YALE 6953              0  1 0 I'M WITH STUPID 531   JORGE BLACK ORC 20    324 NONE    
SUBROGATION 6850       0  3 0 LEGALESE 449          EARL OF ZIPPY 6566    324         
PINKY OF DOOM 6443     2  2 0 LETHAL ANATOMY II 512 BLUE BEANIE 6461      321         
BOB! 6944              0  1 0 LOSERS 544            JORGE BLACK ORC 20    324 NONE    
TOM! 6946              0  1 0 LOSERS 544            ARENAMASTER HARKON 23 324 NONE    
CEPL 6666              2  3 0 OGRES ARE US 270      TEACUP TERRIER 6569   320 NOT REVE
PRONOUN 6819           0  2 0 RED AVENGERS 487      WILLOW 6659           323         
ONE SHOT 6960          0  1 0 SHADOW SIGNS 491      STONE GOLEM 26        324 NONE    
SNIRP 6858             0  3 0 WIMPS OF DEATH 66     STONE GOLEM 26        324 NONE    
ERRING RIFT 6697       1  3 0 WING HOVE 529         BUSH 6663             321         

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Newcastle -- Are you finished?  I do not think the crowds here in Aradi enjoy your bloody ways.

All TOGS -- Best of luck to you.  May we all find fortune and glory upon the sands.
-- Rude Buddha

     The sands get raked pretty well, no fortune there. -- Ed.

Achondroplasia is Duelmaster again?!  Who spawned this monster?  Surely Soultaker is
not claiming the design?  -- The Crazy Creepster Personal Assistant

Ganolus and Hombre favored?????  Har de har.  As far as we are concerned, Manager

only got one thing right in his predictions, and that was ranking Death Stud and
Soultaker so low.  The Crazy Creep long shot predicted winner is Rude Buddha/
Mannequin.  -- The Crazy Creep Personal Assistant

Death Stud, Big Brother is watching you very very closely, and USPS is his personal
agent.  Mend your ways, you radical Democrat. -- The Crazy Creep Personal Assistant

Good luck to all in the TOGS.  We look forward to reading the zany, crazy, one-
upmanship spots and personals. -- The Crazy Creeps, who are with you in spirit

All -- CHARRRRRRGEE!!!!-- Ghoti

All -- Well, I am back and with a new partner, Yukon.  Can we do better that my
fourth place from last TOGS?  We will see.  All I can say is I hope I we can get all
our spots and personal ads in and then the rest will follow!  If this last
replacement pans out, that is! -- Shadowgate

Achondroplasia -- I am coming for you, you big dumb LU!  Ok, so I am a PR but I could
still win...with some luck and a couple friends' help.  -- Black Cat

     Hey, you're not allowed to have help when you're out there fighting.  *grin* --
     Ed.

Nappy Dugout -- Hey!  You should have won that one!  You where not throwing that
fight, were you?  -- White Raven

Tyvinrek -- Sorry about that but I thought you might help me learn a few needed
skills. -- Goldfish

Ganolus -- You seriously need to learn some respect.  Look me up in Primus and
Gateway and I'll be looking for you here.  Count on it. -- Guardian

Death Stud -- I'm confused...are you running Death Studs VII or I'm With Stupid Too?
Just kidding, Soultaker...don't get your panties in a bunch. -- Ganolus Oakleaf

Acute -- I do not want a rematch.  Especially in the next 13 turns if we can help it,
ok? -- Too Icky

So it begins!  Where are you, Nulnita? -- Ganolus

     Gone to a warmer clime. -- Ed.

Scabby -- That is a pretty scabby trick trying to lose so you will start the TOGS
rated low. -- Pipsqueak

Graffix -- I don't think you can be best bud to anyone.  Too much leaping around. --
Snirp

Togs Loser -- You are another one of those "lose before the TOGS" guys.  I'm glad
that I didn't teach you much of anything. -- Bupkes

Helms -- Sorry I couldn't kill you.  It is just not in my nature to kill things.  How
about if you win your next fight so you will rise in the standings and I can up
challenge you? -- Freep

McCain -- As I am sure you are aware, I was not ready for you.  I will never be ready
for the likes of you and want you to stay away from me. -- Frub

All TOGS Managers -- The Wimps would like to wish you all good luck over the next 6
months or so.  Since everyone knows how easy it is to beat up on Wimps, I would like

to request that you not challenge us every turn.  Try someone else.  I'm sure you
wouldn't want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.  (Oh my, I feel a spotlight
coming on.) -- Wimpy

All -- My name is Yukon and I have a drinking problem!  Crap!  Wrong meeting. --
Yukon

     Not necessarily. -- Ed.

All -- Well, it's been awhile since I fought here.  I believe it was the last TOGS.
I'm glad to see Manager gave Rillion and me no chance to win.  He's right of course.
Nothing to see here just move on to the other teams. -- The Greek Guy

All -- Since I'm cocky I'd like to go ahead and congratulate my warrior Llosmic
Llammer on his TV/TC performance in the Mail-In. -- The Greek Guy

O.K, I can stop sandbaggin my warriors now.  Guess I have to change my strategies to
do that. -- Ghoti

Manager -- Thanks for keeping me an underdog.  I like that role. -- DeGotti, Fa Ching

Winker X -- Can you really blame Nuln for everything? -- DeGotti

     Yep. -- Ed.

All -- Sorry I have been out for a couple of turns.  I had some family stuff to
attend to.  Now I am back and it is full speed ahead for T#%S!!!  -- Indimar

Onedawg -- Welcome to Valamantis.  As one wildcard to another let me wish you the
best of luck in T#%S. -- Indimar

Barnabas -- You are tearing it up all over Alastari.  Why don't you send a little of
that good karma my way? -- Indimar

Fellow TOGS Managers -- Best of luck and I shall enjoy battling you all for the
Golden Scrod! -- Rillion

The Rage Man -- Some people refer to TOGS as T@$S because Death Stud did not want to
see the word TOGS for a long period of time after the last TOGS contest.  It sort of
became a dirty word.  But now that there is another TOGS under way it is time to
reclaim the word TOGS.  If you still are not quite sure what TOGS means, it is
Tournament Of the Golden Scrod.  -- Rillion

     No, leave it as TOGS, yet another four letter word. -- Ed.

Death Stud -- Sorry to hear about your tourney and TOGS prep being ruined.  Tragic,
absolutely tragic.  What will be even more tragic is the fact that you will still
probably TC. -- Rillion

Nuln -- A drama free TOGS?!?  What would be the point then?  It's not fun without all
the drama! -- Rillion

TGG -- Okay I promise not to chock this time if you don't.  Go Team 11!  -- Rillion

Willow -- Not a good start to the TOGS.  Pronoun was going to be the star of my team!
Oh well, back to the drawing board.  The replacement is not to good either. -- The
Rage Man

All -- Good luck in the contest!  Here is my personal ad. -- The Rage Man

Frub -- Looks to me like you won't have to worry about keeping your record clean as
well. -- Helms

Sirius -- Dog Star??  Are you Serious??  -- Murray

Frub -- Your name spelled backward is Burf, which looks a lot like Burp with half the
"p" cut off (much like what I nearly did to your head). -- McCain

Ivan -- If it's steriods you want, Canada is the place to go! -- Murray

Teacup Terrier --  (singing) "I'm a little teacup short and stout, here is my face,
and what's left of my snout...." -- Bush

All -- Damn, another six months of writing personal ads....  I am forcing these as it
is.  How should I do it?  Should I start the smack talk early?  No, that will pretty
much guarantee me an 0-5 turn, so that's out.  Hmmm...well, I guess technically this
is enough to not lose points.... -- Hombre

TOGS peoples --  I throw down the gauntlet:  last TOGS I went 3-2 or better for 13
straight turns.  Let's see if anyone can duplicate the feat.  Of course, this TOGS my
team is so bad that I pretty much want the world to just swallow me up due to
embarrassment. -- Hombre

FONZ members -- OK!  Let's attack this contest like a 'Non-alliance-alliance' should.
Forget about all the other contestants and beat each other to hell so we drag each
other down with no hopes of winning!!! -- Hombre

     Ah, is that how it's done? -- Ed.

Manager -- Loved your handicap column! -- Dreihdenflahg

TOGS...the other white meat. -- Dreihdenflahg

Manager -- Hey, I finished Togs II, I'll have you know....  I've only had to drop
from one since I wasn't around for the first.  Nyah.  >:P -- Anti

All TOGS managers, good luck. -- Elephant

Anti -- How does it feel to account for 9,999,995 of your 10,000,000 to 1 odds?  >;)
-- Nuln

Rage Man -- Welcome to the chaos.  At the least, you should be entertained. -- Nuln,
mgr.  of 4000 Blows

Lummox -- You are sssssssssslow.  But otherwise a charming individual. -- Sir
Zestalot

Death Stud -- There you go, hiding behind the "Oh I'm only role-playing" excuse
again. -- Nuln

You know, the T@#$ is a lot like Groundhog Day.  It's the only time of year that the
reclusive Soultaker pops his head out of his hole and chirps a little.  It'll be nice
to see our crotchety ol' friend once again. -- Nuln

All -- Let the fun begin.  I look forward to reading all the clever stories.  This
does not mean you, Nuln. -- Soultaker

     All right then, who DO you mean...?  -- Ed.  just curious

Death Stud -- I heard that. -- Soultaker

Sir Zestalot -- Soultaker is not allowing any of us to fight during the togs unless
it is to stave off non-tog warriors. -- Transcendentalism

Death Stud -- Get out your crayons and try to keep up this time. -- Soultaker

All -- Greetings.  Looking forward to the TOGS IV.  Not much to say because I haven't
had any fights yet. -- Master Darque

Onedawg -- Let's get this thing rolling. -- Master Darque

All -- Good luck to you in TOGS. -- Voyde of Five Spheres
P.S.  Don't look at this as a generic attempt to avoid losing points.  No, this is a
heartfelt well-wishing from one half of the Nuln & Voyde dynamic duo.
P.P.S.  No, really!

Sir Zestalot -- (sneezes violently several times)  Us dogs are sensitive to stuff
like that, because of our superior noses, you know.  It's cruel, is what it is. --
Lummox

Aviendha -- (sulking)  You didn't tell me you run an obedience school on the side.
Sure, skills are NICE, they make people feel in control and all, but I don't have to
LIKE them, do I?  I mean, why should PEOPLE be in control?  Us dogs have been getting
along just FINE doing things OUR way. -- Bull Doggam

Bush -- Unfair!  A bush SHOULD be a small tree, suitable for a small dog.  Instead,
you're a mean, dog-kicking person. -- Teacup Terrier, vowing to bite the next person
to come along and the heck with manners

Underground Beat -- (shakes head and staggers a little)  Was that a rolled up
NEWSPAPER?  It was quieter, and a lot HARDER. -- Boone

Llosmic Llammer -- I can't understand a WORD you're saying. -- Sirius, the irritated
Dog Star

Which makes an oh-fer turn.  We must have been very bad dogs. -- Spot, Red Dog Gang

Togs persons -- What would be the chances of team where one manager managed and
fought well and wrote nothing, and the other manager wrote well and managed not at
all?  Just curious. -- Spot, Red Dog Gang and not in the running (what, me manage?)

Manager -- Monsieur Soultaker and I thank you for the ringing endorsement as likely
TOGS champions.  We hope not to fall short of your high expectations for us. -- Death
Stud

All TOGS participants -- Good luck to all of you and welcome to Aradi to those who
have never been here before and to those who are returning.  Let's have a good, clean
fight.  Go to your corners and come out swinging. -- Death Studs

     Clean?  This is ARADI! -- Ed.

May all you nasty little fight-throwers pay for your transgressions with your
worthless lives....

Go TOGS.  Whee.

Vorpal Bunny -- Now, you're not the warrior that I wanted to fight on my first turn.
I was supposed to fight Fred.  Great. -- Two in the Goo

Quetzacoatyl -- Well shucks, that was no fun.  To bad you're not dead or something,
because I think we could be great together. -- Necromancer

Marduk -- Surprise!  That's payback for Quetzacoatyl's turnaround win on Necromancer.
--

All -- Greetings.  I am Pip the Troll and I'll be running Hit Me With...here for a
bit. -- Pip

Squidtoy -- Ok, let's get our TOGS on.  Manager called you out.  Said you can't take
the heat and you'll scooting out of the kitchen.  10,0000:1 against.  That's pretty
insulting.  I say we take those odds and shove them right up his ass.  We may not
survive but every inch of ground they take will be paid for in blood.  Let's give
them hell!  No one gives up, no one surrenders!  And other inspirational speeches
from movies that I can't remember right now. -- Snotman

Iker -- It doesn't get much better than that. -- Mistress Bombtronic

The Rage Man -- Welcome to Aradi.  Of course asking for people to go soft on you is
the same as asking them to beat your ass every turn. -- Snotman
P.S.  If you normally hang in slow arenas the TOGS is gonna be hard on you.  It's bad
enough that you have to fight every turn, but the spotlight each turn is killer.
Good luck.  If you survive it you will emerge a rock hard, tempered fast arena
manager.

Nuln -- We are gonna wipe the floor with you and your partner who may or may not be
Tiburon. -- Snotman

Death Stud & Soultaker -- Through some miraculous miracle you two were able to write
a spotlight every turn last time.  But the DM energy is much lower this time and
Stubbie has extra non-DM pressures.  I predict a turn four collapse filled with
recriminations, bitter in-fighting and much amused tittering from your fellow
managers. -- Snotman

Ganolus & Hombre -- You two are an enigma wrapped inside a puzzle surrounded by
shadows and stuffed with crispy bacon.  I predict that you shock everyone by writing
spotlights every turn and come in second. -- Snotman

     *sniff sniff* Hmm, I guess you're right, it IS bacon. -- Ed.

Snotman & Squidboy -- You are the best looking of the TOGS managers and certainly the
smartest.  In addition to dressing well, you will probably win by a margin of 300
points. -- Snotman

All -- Manager was making fun of some new team for having a 10-5 record going into
the TOGS.  It got me to thinking about my 8-4 record.  Two of my warriors are fight
throwing and have gone a combined 5-7-1.  Not very impressive fight throwing although
the kill is nice.  So if I keep winning fights while throwing them does that mean
that I'm a good manager or a poor one?  Should I keep my guys on their "losing"
strategies or put them back on their "winning" ones and hope that they can pull as
many wins?  And I only have 12 fights 'cause I keep forgetting to send in the last
rollup.  And I haven't written a spotlight since the last TOGS and I'll be out of the
country for the next turn.  In addition, this turn of the TOGS was the first strategy
sheet I've sent in the last 3 months.  I'm not running any warriors outside the TOGS
and only ran sandbagging champs at the mail-in.  I think that is exactly the kind of
prep that is going to carry me through the next thirteen grueling turns.  VIVE LE
TOGS! -- Snotman

All -- Greetings!  Here's wishing everyone well in the contest--although I'm hoping
Winterholm and my friends at 5 Below Zero give you all a rather chilly reception. --
Jack Wolfspider

     Hah, it's your fault eh?  I was wondering why it was so cold in here. -- Ed.

All -- Well, I've gotten back into the writing groove.  I hope everyone enjoys the
story and looking forward to reading the others.  Anticipating the turn results
ALMOST as much as the tourney results. -- Jack Wolfspider

CHF -- Best of luck to you and your team. -- Jack Wolfspider

Manager -- 10:1 is high praise indeed.  We'll give it our best shot. -- Jack
Wolfspider

Wimpy -- Thanks for inviting me to be your teammate for the second TOGS in a row (and
vouching for my entrance fee--don't worry, I paid it).  It will be a blast. -- Judge

Manager -- 50 to 1?  I think that's a little harsh.  I guess it's okay--I like being
an underdog. -- Judge
P.S.  You will be missed in this TOGS competition.

All -- Ah, so the T#@S has begun at last, eh?  Good luck to those who deserve it, and
may the most deserving team win. -- Faces of Eternity

Master Darque -- May our strategies run long, may your liver be strong; may your
tongue heft a bite, 'hind your glad's sword 'o might; may your thoughts always dwell,
on those who you quell; may we fight and we win, let the DAWGS of war begin! --
Onedawg

Death Stud -- Awfully nice write-up about the postal service, Bush administration,
etc.  Am I buying this lame excuse for your poor tourney performance against my
superior warriors?  Naaaaaah. -- Sultan, dreaming, I'm sure

Boone -- Yeah, I took my time graduatin', but you, sir, are making a career out of
it. -- Putz'n Along, yet somehow faster

31 October 2003
     Come one, come all, to the greatest contest in Alastari!  The Third Annual Turf
War will be in North Fork (DM 47) starting in about 6-7 turns....  C'mon and get your
team some experience, and get declared!
     More info available in North Fork's newsletter.
     Bloody Sands. -- Asmo Dius, TCB

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

SNIRP was butchered by STONE GOLEM in a 3 minute bloody Dark Arena fight.
ANOTHER BEER was slaughtered by SEA MONSTER in a 1 minute gruesome Dark Arena battle.
I STINK was murdered by MARINE TROLL in a action packed 1 minute Dark Arena fight.
BOB! was butchered by JORGE BLACK ORC in a popular 1 minute brutal Dark Arena fight.
ONE SHOT was dealt death by STONE GOLEM in a 1 minute Dark Arena brawl.
YALE was slaughtered by JORGE BLACK ORC in a 1 minute bloody Dark Arena fight.
ED 2 was executed by SEA MONSTER in a 1 minute bloody Dark Arena brawl.
FELIX was assassinated by GARGOYLE PRINCE in a 1 minute Dark Arena melee.
TOM! was slaughtered by ARENAMASTER HARKON in a 1 minute Dark Arena duel.
482 was savagely slain by ARNIE SHEW in a 1 minute gruesome Dark Arena duel.
NEWCASTLE overpowered GUILDENSTERN in a 1 minute one-sided Bloodfeud fight.
MURRAY was narrowly defeated by THORNE in a exciting 3 minute brutal Challenge fight.
GAZREKK butchered DANICA in a exciting 1 minute brutal mismatched Challenge conflict.
RIFF devastated THE LIMELIGHT in a crowd pleasing 2 minute mismatched Challenge bout.
SIR ZESTALOT was defeated by BLACK CAT in a popular 4 minute bloody Challenge duel.
QUICKSAND vanquished JACARANDA in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge fray.
HEADROCK was viciously subdued by ACUTE in a 5 minute master's Challenge brawl.
LACHES subdued NAPPY DUGOUT in a exciting 3 minute veteran's Challenge bout.
BUSH overpowered BLUE BEANIE in a 2 minute mismatched Challenge conflict.
DEMURRER viciously subdued IVAN in a popular 4 minute gruesome Challenge bout.
MC CAIN subdued THE BRICK in a 2 minute gruesome Challenge bout.
GOLDFISH lost to KILWICK in a 2 minute Challenge fray.
THE AYL'M'ER devastated KAPRIKORN in a popular 1 minute one-sided Challenge bout.
LLUCKY DAY luckily beat O'RIORDAN in a exciting 4 minute gory Challenge duel.
PIPSQUEAK vanquished MISTRESS BOMBTRONIC in a 3 minute one-sided Challenge fight.
SMIRLIN viciously subdued FRUB in a action packed 3 minute gruesome Challenge bout.
TYVINREK was savagely defeated by HELMS in a exciting 5 minute bloody Challenge fray.
SOMFMA vanquished IKER in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge bout.
SYDA HAMMIE was overpowered by TRIPLICATE THUNDER in a 1 minute uneven Challenge duel.
TOGS LOSER was overpowered by GRAFFIX in a popular 1 minute one-sided Challenge match.
ROSENCRANTZ overpowered FLORIN FALCONHAND in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge bout.
DICHABOD unbelievably bested GOURMET GRUEL in a 4 minute Challenge match.
TOGS STINKER defeated 4-FT PARTY BONG in a exciting 6 minute Challenge struggle.
DUSTSTORM subdued DOVE FALCONHAND in a exciting 1 minute Challenge struggle.
HERROL unbelievably bested BLOODY HELL in a exciting 3 minute Challenge fight.
THE-SHOCKER was demolished by LLUPERIOR LLORCES in a 1 minute Challenge conflict.
NECROMANCER XLVII was vanquished by T-MAC in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge bout.
LANCELOT won victory over POT POURRI in a 2 minute amateur's Challenge bout.
QUETZACOATYL was demolished by TALON in a 1 minute uneven Challenge competition.
ALEXANDER was beaten by MAUI WOWIE! in a 1 minute novice's Challenge fight.
MARDUK lost to SON OF BLOODLUST in a 2 minute Challenge duel.
HOSCHA was bested by SLACKJAW in a crowd pleasing 1 minute Challenge match.
TYPHOON XXII outwaited VORPAL BUNNY in a tiring 16 minute bloody Challenge conflict.
TAY STARLE was beaten by NUMSKULL in a 2 minute Challenge competition.
BLACK EYE handily defeated LUMMOX in a 1 minute one-sided conflict.
BLACKBURST beat THE SPOTLIGHT in a 2 minute veteran's fight.
TOO ICKY was overpowered by LLLENGEANCE in a 1 minute one-sided duel.
UNDERGROUND BEAT overpowered SYRINGE in a 1 minute one-sided Title fray.
LORD OF THE O RINGS slimly lost to KHALHUMS DWARF in a 4 minute veteran's match.
SICK PUPPY demolished BOONE in a 1 minute one-sided battle.
BULL DOGGAM overpowered AVIENDHA in a 1 minute mismatched conflict.
THUNDRA handily defeated SIRIUS in a exciting 1 minute brutal mismatched match.
LLOSMIC LLAMMER devastated WHITE RAVEN in a 1 minute mismatched fight.
WINKER X demolished RIP RAP in a 1 minute mismatched battle.
GODFREY was devastated by CYVIN in a action packed 1 minute one-sided bout.
GUMMI GHOUL was unbelievably bested by FREEP in a popular 7 minute bloody fight.
SLOUGH overcame TEACUP TERRIER in a exciting 6 minute contest.
THE HOLLOW was savagely defeated by OBITER DICTA in a action packed 6 minute fight.
LLUGS AND LLISSES slimly lost to TWISTER in a 5 minute battle.
MARBURY slimly lost to SCABBY in a unpopular 42 minute bout.
SPINNING was overpowered by WIND in a 1 minute mismatched bout.
JAMIS was demolished by KARATE WRECKER in a 1 minute uneven duel.
SLIPKNOT savagely defeated GREEDYGUT in a slow 15 minute gory fight.
BARON viciously subdued EARTH in a 2 minute brutal duel.
INSISTANT BEGGAR outlasted ANGRY SANTA in a dull 16 minute battle.
SPONGEBOB overpowered TWO IN THE GOO in a 1 minute mismatched fight.
MR OBLIVIOUS was demolished by HENRY IV in a 1 minute mismatched duel.
ANDROGENOUS STRAIN beat RASPBERRY STOLI in a exciting 1 minute match.
SANDSTORM overpowered ARKHAM in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
PIKEL luckily beat DUNWICH in a action packed 4 minute brawl.
OBED devastated SON OF MANUTE BOL in a 1 minute mismatched match.
ZANN was demolished by CYCLONE in a crowd pleasing 1 minute brutal uneven match.
MARSH was luckily beaten by PIP THE TROLL in a 2 minute gruesome beginner's fight.
SKUNK #1 was demolished by KABOOM in a 1 minute uneven conflict.
SUBROGATION was murdered by EARL OF ZIPPY in a 1 minute one-sided duel.
RICHARD II was overpowered by WATER in a 1 minute one-sided conflict.
DERRIN handily defeated SIXTUS in a 1 minute uneven conflict.
URG THE UNCLEAN was subdued by INNOCENT in a 2 minute amateur's bout.
ANGRY SUE overpowered ZYLLEIX'S SHADE in a 1 minute one-sided struggle.
SUPERNOVA demolished ATILA in a 1 minute uneven fight.
ZERBERT luckily beat VIKEN in a 6 minute gruesome match.
NOODLES demolished 55 SUCKS MORE in a 1 minute one-sided contest.
BAFFLE demolished SHARP STICK in a 1 minute uneven bout.
FIRE was vanquished by LEO in a 1 minute uneven match.
VOYDE was easily killed by ANASTASIUS in a 1 minute gory uneven match.
ORIGINAL SHOCKER handily defeated TRUSTWORTHY SCRIBE in a 1 minute mismatched battle.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                  38         PARRY-LUNGE       13 -  12 -  0      52  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                 29         WALL OF STEEL     34 -  36 -  1      49  |
|TOTAL PARRY                     25         LUNGING ATTACK   131 - 143 -  7      48  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                 22         AIMED BLOW        38 -  45 -  1      46  |
|AIMED BLOW                      11         TOTAL PARRY       79 -  94 -  3      46  |
|BASHING ATTACK                  10         STRIKING ATTACK   79 -  95 -  5      45  |
|WALL OF STEEL                   10         SLASHING ATTACK   72 -  96 -  8      43  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    6         PARRY-RIPOSTE     24 -  41 -  3      37  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     5         PARRY-STRIKE      12 -  21 -  0      36  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      4         BASHING ATTACK    23 -  45 -  8      34  |

Turn 324 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:

PARRY-LUNGE        3 -  1     PARRY-RIPOSTE      2 -  4         4  LUNGING ATTACK 
BASHING ATTACK     7 -  3     LUNGING ATTACK    12 - 26         2  STRIKING ATTACK
STRIKING ATTACK   18 - 11     AIMED BLOW         3 -  8         2  SLASHING ATTACK
PARRY-STRIKE       3 -  2     WALL OF STEEL      2 -  8         1  PARRY-RIPOSTE  
TOTAL PARRY       14 - 11                                       1  WALL OF STEEL  
SLASHING ATTACK   11 - 11                                       1  AIMED BLOW     

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
STRIKING ATTACK  RIFF 6452                  10   5  1  117 SWIFT CURRENT (468)
PARRY-RIPOSTE    BLACK CAT 6268             15   8  0  116 SHADOW SIGNS (491)
LUNGING ATTACK   BLACK EYE 6163             12   6  0  109 JOKA MASHER! (283)
WALL OF STEEL    THUNDRA 5122               15  12  1  108 FA CHING (388)
AIMED BLOW       THE LIMELIGHT 6104         24  14  0  104 CLUB CULTURE (424)
SLASHING ATTACK  QUICKSAND 6554              9   4  1   89 NATURAL DISASTERS (159)
PARRY-LUNGE      LORD OF THE O RINGS 6022   17   9  1   77 WILD CARDS (148)
BASHING ATTACK   DEMURRER 5828               9   7  1   53 LEGALESE (449)
TOTAL PARRY      SLOUGH 6134                12   7  1   52 SWIFT CURRENT (468)
PARRY-STRIKE     CYVIN 5258                  7   4  1   47 FA CHING (388)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is LUMMOX 6092.  The most popular warrior this turn was 
OBITER DICTA 5860.  The ten other most popular fighters were GUMMI GHOUL 6411, 
O'RIORDAN 6128, HEADROCK 3430, ACUTE 6048, HELMS 6660, MURRAY 6661, DEMURRER 5828, 
NAPPY DUGOUT 6080, SIR ZESTALOT 6557, and GOURMET GRUEL 6730.

The least popular fighter this week was SCABBY 6514.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were MARBURY 4499, INSISTANT BEGGAR 6630, ANGRY SANTA 6828, GREEDYGUT 6371, 
TYPHOON XXII 6827, SLIPKNOT 6674, SLOUGH 6134, ZERBERT 6243, VOYDE 6848, and FIRE 
6849.

                       TOURNEY FREEZE CHANGE -- ADVANCE NOTICE

     Beginning at the Winter Face-to-Face in Tempe (January 2004), we will implement 
several changes affecting tournaments.  The tournament announcement for the upcoming 
FTF and future tourneys will reflect these changes.
     First, we will eliminate the tourney freeze for all regular DM warrior classes.  
Regular DM warriors will not be classed ahead of the tournament, but instead will 
fight according to their FE on the date of the tourney.  There will still be a freeze 
for the ADM classes, occurring on the same timeline as before, approximately 6 weeks 
before the tournament.
     In addition to the above change, the warrior classes will be slightly altered.  
The new tourney classes will be as follows:

                DM Tourney Classes                 ADM Tourney Classes
              ======================              ======================
                  0 FE:  Rookies                        Freshmen
                1-4 FE:  Apprentices                    ADM
               5-10 FE:  Initiates                      Eligibles
              11-20 FE:  Adepts                      ---induction---
              21-30 FE:  Champions                      Contenders
                31+ FE:  Challengers                    Primus

     All regular DM tourney classes will remain solely FE based.  All ADM classes will 
now be based on warrior characteristics (i.e., the ADM split algorithm), including the 
Freshmen class.
     The Gateway and Primus arenas will be merging before the FTF to form one top 
arena.  These warriors will be split into two tournament classes, the Contenders and 
the Primus classes, again based upon their characteristics.  More information on this 
will be published in the newsletters for those arenas.
     If you have any questions about the above changes, please contact Customer 
Service.  Good luck in your games.

                                          -- Green Eyes and the RSI staff