Undead scourge (no … not the infrequently updated blog!)

It’s hard to post when you’re not playing much, and that’s been the case for me for quite some time.  I might log in for a short burst of activity and then I’m gone again.  My last kick was in May and given my summer schedule I had planned to play a fair bit.  I wasn’t back in the swing more than few days when drama erupted and utterly killed my desire to be around.

So when I saw the soldier’s quest I just ignored it and I had intended to ignore the current month long Undead Scourge quest.  On a whim I ran out on an early morning Dibbler quest that Destre was hosting and tripped over a gravestone.  A short kill later and I was, in full OCD mode, mapping the Realms again with CMud trying to track down the room names that the gravestones were located in.

If you’re just getting started on this quest here’s a few things you want to know.  The gravestones can be found with the locate object spell.  Zistrosk chose to allow this in order to make it easier for less experienced questers to get involved.  When a gravestone is destroyed a mob may appear that you can then fight for additional credit.  Further once a gravestone is destroyed a haze will appear on the ground that is also locatable.  So if every gravestone was cleared you could still make note of where they were showing up.

Easy peasy to rack up the points right?  Wrong.  In order to make staking or botting the gravestones more difficult there is a delay on how quickly you may clear them, roughly 2 hours between gravestones (it appears to have changed since the start of the quest when it was closer to 90 minutes).  If you rush out too early then the message you receive when attempting to destroy the gravestone will also add a little extra time to your wait.  It can be frustrating … there’s no clear indicator when you’re ok to go for the next one and I suspect I’ve gone out mere minutes too early and then had to stay up later than I planned to waiting for the tag to disappear.  Oh yes, the tags only tick off when you’re online, but I think most of us are pretty used to that idea.

Zistrosk posted a week 1 summary on the archives and I was impressed by how many people had at least come and checked it out.  He’s updated it since I last looked at it and it looks like lots of people are out and having fun.

[ 21] Zistrosk: OKTOBERQUEST Leaderboard (current as of posting)
Sun Oct 9 08:14:55 2016
Name Total Sacs Kills      Name Total Sacs Kills
Indious 085 049 036         Taokor 002 001 001
Tharius 081 044 037        Cidal 002 001 001
Lilmyrr 074 041 033         Taelc 001 001 000
Charas 066 038 028         Rayen 001 001 000
Orkadi 056 026 030         Olvar 001 001 000
Tarb 053 030 023             Madazanirt 001 001 000
Aleq 045 027 018             Gaonllyx 001 001 000
Corisar 042 023 019        Easop 001 001 000
Zatade 041 022 019
Padrik 039 021 018
Sialaxx 029 017 012
Semiramia 026 016 010
Smee 015 009 006
Vhaenum 011 006 005
Jagnic 010 010 000
Cerf 010 005 005
Nomak 008 004 004
Sid 004 002 002
Vilexur 003 002 001
Uzbekiel 003 002 001
Joandaxjimli 003 001 002
Zanalani 002 001 001
Vexile 002 002 000

I resurrected my previous project of mapping the Realms and have visited more than 60 areas this week.  I’m having a ton of fun and hope that you get out and check out the game more.  Today I went on a walk into Blasted Lands and visited Ra.  This isn’t a big hike but I don’t think I’ve been there since I was a new avatar when I poisoned and fought Horus for bracers on the advice of people like Ganymede from Guild of Rangers.

A few days ago we saw an imp mkill quest tie in and tonight looks like it’s zombies.

Have fun!

PS: Happy Birthday Romani!

In his own words, listen up for words from Haus!

Haus got a hold of me on Facebook after seeing some of the 20th anniversary posts I made and decided to write up a post for the site.  I’ve had it for a little while now, life gets busy and things get overlooked, I hope you enjoy it … here it is, Haus!

In the summer of 1994, I’d just finished my first year in grad school and a tiring 6-week research project. I was looking forward to going back to Alander’s Rivers of Mud (RoM) for some mindless hack-n-slash, but he had done a massive overhaul which included a complete player-file wipe, which I’m still bitter about. I went on Usenet to look for a new mud and saw Thoric’s post. The vampire class sounded fun, so I rolled a character. One thing I learned during my brief tenure as an immortal at RoM was that short names made life a lot easier, so I shortened my handle from “Hausdorff” to “Haus.” As far as I know there were two other mortal players at that time – Pandora and Akasha. They were both affiliated with Compulink. I went on a power-levelling jag for two or three days, and, was the first mortal to reach avatar. I had a few chats with Thoric, and he was interested in having another set of eyes on the code. Memory leaks were a big problem in the early days, so over the summer we spent a lot of time analyzing the core dumps when the mud crashed, repairing problems, and repeating.

Realms became much more popular that fall, but I was focusing mostly on my classwork. By Winter Break, there were probably twenty active immortals. The day-to-day administration was handled by a fellow that Thoric appointed who was, well, a dick of the first order. He was a hell of an area builder, but a complete failure as an administrator. For a long time, folks who wanted to contribute to growing and improving the game had to do it in spite of the tirades and follies of this dickish guy. Morale was all over the place, but, we mostly managed to make it work. In this period, we set up the test server, a lot of people were building areas, and we got more aggressive when it came to adding features.

More than a couple of high school kids wrote their first lines of computer code to do something cool in SMAUG, caught the programming bug, and went on to become software professionals. In these early days we did a lot of the things that made SMAUG SMAUG to me – programmable objects/mobs/rooms, expanded classes, unique spells/skills, expanded player and mob races, improvements to the area building system, and so forth.

So things went on, we made the game richer, the player-base continued to expand. My course work and research had me in a computer lab 12+ hours per day, so I was able to spend a lot more time with one eye on the mud. A group of highish-level immortals started discussing how the main thing holding back the game’s progress was random attacks from the aforementioned dick, and began to kick around alternatives. After a lot of debate and discussion amongst ourselves, we approached Thoric with the idea of a council of senior immortals replacing the dick in overseeing day-to-day operations. After a lot more debate and discussion, we formed the Council of Elders (CoE) and were suddenly running the joint. The CoE’s prime directive was to continually improve the game, but the challenging part was to make being an immortal/area builder/coder a rewarding way for a person to spend their time. A big key to this was an unwritten rule that senior immortals coached and protected juniors, and, in return, juniors acted respectfully to seniors. Another was working out how we could delegate interesting tasks that were originally in the purview of the CoE. The delegation was wildly successful, and we soon had councils doing things like recruiting new immortals, overseeing area building, proposing and managing new projects, handling promotions of lower-level immortals, smoothing the learning curve for newbies and so forth.

For me, this was the Golden Age. Immortals were doing interesting work and having a lot of fun. The CoE had an amazing blend of strengths and personae. The job demanded that we each make a lot of unilateral decisions, but also that we could recognize potentially controversial issues, and refer those to a full vote. Many governments could learn a lot from the mutual respect, calm debate, and compromise we had in the CoE. As the immortal community grew, it started pumping out talented and experienced administrators (and coders, and builders) who started bubbling to the top. Plenty found a spot somewhere in the middle that they liked and stayed there. Others wanted to work their way up the ladder to the “big league.” With the exception of “pure-coders,” those that made it to 55/56 were very experienced in general immortaling, very good at at least one of the trinity (admin/coding/building), and were trusted in any given situation to either (a) make a good decision, or (b) kick the problem up the ladder for consideration. Those that made it to 57 were serious contenders for a future position on the CoE. So, the 51s-55s were overseeing the mortals, the 55s-57s were overseeing the lower immortals, and the CoE was focusing on big-picture ideas and “Supreme Court” cases.

I spent most of my online time invisible except to the 56+s because (a) I could, (b) it kept me from getting in the way of the mid-level imms, and (c) it made the wall of multicolored spam that I had to read every tick a bit more managable. At some point, an engineer who has built a solid machine gets tired of watching it work, and gets the itch to go and build new machines. For a long time, I hung out, tweaking this and that, enjoying watching the high immortals and future CoE members do their jobs. Then, a “real-life” relationship exploded, necessitating that I move to another country, and so I did what any reasonable person would do: I went over to Darrek’s house, lost to him repeatedly at Nintendo Hockey, and drank many, many Molsons.

The combination of boredom and being irritated at RoD had ended a lot of people’s tenure there. By this time, it was crystal clear to me that I’d finally landed in that pile. I didn’t want to be the guy that leaves and comes back and leaves and comes back – that rarely ends well. So, between zigarauts of empty beers at Darrek’s computer I logged in, announced I was “outie,” and deleted my player file. The sudden departure caused some weirdness, but I was really glad to see some of my all-star proteges names replacing mine on the CoE roster.

I think what I like best about the whole experience is how folks took skills and experiences from Realms and transferred them into their real lives. Among my closest friends from RoD: this guy owns a computer services company, that guy’s a computer science professor, this gal’s a hot shot in the gaming industry, that gal’s a successful fantasy writer. A lot of us really spent more time on RoD than we probably should have, but it’s really nice to see that the time spent payed off for people in a lot of interesting ways.

There’s more to Moria …

While sitting marking assignments I saw an echo appear in Lareawan’s window:

The Duke’s spies have reported a previously unknown class of gnome deep in the tunnels of Moria.

Nothing on news, nothing on questnews or quest channel, nonetheless off to the tunnels of Moria I trundled along with many other adventurers.

Where gnome turned up a little information:
     where gnome
     | a svirfneblin gnome is currently at A small maze

Svirfneblin gnomes are also known as deep gnomes in the Dungeons and Dragons world, so another reference to add to the list.   A little wandering and I eventually spotted:

     A svirfneblin child scampers around.

     Covered with splashes of mud and nibbling a chocolate brownie, the child skips about splashing in puddles of dank water.

     A svirfneblin child is in perfect health.
     You peek at her inventory:

Did someone say brownie?

     Your backstab **** SMITES **** a svirfneblin child!
     A svirfneblin child is DEAD!!
     A svirfneblin child gasps her last breath and blood spurts out of her mouth and ears.
     You get 108 gold coins from the corpse of a svirfneblin child.
     The corpse of a svirfneblin child holds:
          a chocolate brownie

Where there’s children there’s often adults, and before long I spotted this gnome:

A busy gnome scurries about the settlement.

Large grey eyes track your every movement, as the wiry, gnarled gnome
tenses for possible danger. Stone coloured fingers tightly grip the
chipped hammer.

A svirfneblin gnome is in perfect health.

A svirfneblin gnome is using:
<worn around neck> a quartz crystal on a braided lanyard
<wielded> a chipped hammer

You peek at her inventory:

Well… she might have more brownies in addition to those equipment goodies, right?

Your backstab MASSACRES a svirfneblin gnome!
A svirfneblin gnome thrusts her foot out and kicks you.
A svirfneblin gnome’s kick brushes you.
A svirfneblin gnome says ‘How dare you disturb our settlement’
A svirfneblin gnome cuffs you upside the head, sending you reeling.
A svirfneblin gnome’s cuff brushes you.
A svirfneblin gnome utters the words, ‘qkadagz dies’.
A svirfneblin gnome’s spell brushes you.
Your pierce mauls a svirfneblin gnome!
Your whip mauls a svirfneblin gnome!
Your circle _demolishes_ a svirfneblin gnome!
A svirfneblin gnome shakes her fist wildly towards you!
A svirfneblin gnome swats at you, hitting you with the back of her hand.
A svirfneblin gnome’s swat scratches you.
Your pierce mauls a svirfneblin gnome!
Your whip bludgeons a svirfneblin gnome!
Your pierce rends a svirfneblin gnome!
A svirfneblin gnome is DEAD!!
A svirfneblin gnome gasps her last breath and blood spurts out of her mouth and ears.
You get 32340 gold coins from the corpse of a svirfneblin gnome.
The corpse of a svirfneblin gnome holds:
     a chipped hammer
     a quartz crystal on a braided lanyard

I know.. tough guy beating up a gnome, but hey tell me you’ve never killed a peddler just because it game into the room at the wrong moment right?  The comment about the settlement makes me think that this is a permanent expansion, a new little spot for people to come visit in their 30’s perhaps.  So what about these doodads?

Object ‘a chipped hammer’ is infused with your magic…
It is a level 28 pounding weapon, weight 5.
Locations it can be worn: wield
Special properties: none
This weapon has a gold value of 40000.
Damage is 5 to 60 (average 32).
Affects damage roll by 2.
Affects luck by 1.
Affects constitution by 1.
Affects damage vs undead by 2.

Con?  Non-magic?  32 av dam?!?  I mean if you don’t have a WindWalker handy this might be a neat choice.

Object ‘a quartz crystal on a braided lanyard’ is infused with your magic…
It is a level 29 armor, weight 1.
Locations it can be worn: neck
Special properties: evil
Alignments allowed: evil neutral
This armor has a gold value of 18000.
Armor class is 9 of 9.
Affects damage roll by 2.
Affects hp by 20.
Affects mana by 20.
Affects intelligence by 1.
Affects wisdom by 1.

No love for the devs today but a nice levelling piece for appropriately aligned clerics, mages, rangers, nephandi… etc.

Who else might we encounter today?  Many brownies later and

The coals of a small fire flicker and pop.
(Invis) (Hide) The deep gnome wizard looks up, angered at the interruption.
A svirfneblin wizard is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
A svirfneblin wizard is ensphered by shards of glistening ice.

Snarling with rage the wizard raises a gloved hand to prepare an attack

A svirfneblin wizard is in perfect health.

A svirfneblin wizard is using:
<worn on feet> a pair of duck boots
<worn on hands> fingerless silk gloves

You peek at his inventory:

Hey someone spelled up?  Should be a good guy for levelling but he does have a little bit of a kick.

Your backstab injures a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard fades into existence.
Your whip pelts a svirfneblin wizard.
Tark’s pierce scratches a svirfneblin wizard.
Tark’s pierce misses a svirfneblin wizard.
Tark’s circle nicks a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘xzatunso’.
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gqafqpuio gjfoz’.
A fiery current lashes through your body!
A svirfneblin wizard’s scorching surge scratches you.
Tark’s pierce scratches a svirfneblin wizard.
Your whip pelts a svirfneblin wizard.
Your pierce nicks a svirfneblin wizard.
Your circle injures a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gpaqtuio ogrugs’.
Sparks arc from a svirfneblin wizard’s hands as he reaches toward you.
A svirfneblin wizard’s shocking grasp brushes you.
Your whip pelts a svirfneblin wizard.
Tark’s circle misses a svirfneblin wizard.
Tark’s pierce nicks a svirfneblin wizard.
Tark’s pierce nicks a svirfneblin wizard.
Your whip bruises a svirfneblin wizard!
Your circle injures a svirfneblin wizard!
Hands raised to the heavens, the wizard draws power from the
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘mosailla paieg’.
A svirfneblin wizard reaches toward you with fiery hands.
A svirfneblin wizard’s burning hands scratches you.
A svirfneblin wizard’s fireball nicks you!
(the intricate tattoo of the master warriors gets damaged)
Tark’s pierce nicks a svirfneblin wizard.
Your shield of flame grazes a svirfneblin wizard.
Your tendril of lightning grazes a svirfneblin wizard.
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gpaqtuio ogrugs’.
Sparks arc from a svirfneblin wizard’s hands as he reaches toward you.
A svirfneblin wizard’s shocking grasp scratches you.
Your pierce cuts a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s circle wounds a svirfneblin wizard!
Your circle injures a svirfneblin wizard!
Hands raised to the heavens, the wizard draws power from the
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘mosailla paieg’.
A svirfneblin wizard reaches toward you with fiery hands.
A svirfneblin wizard’s burning hands scratches you.
A svirfneblin wizard’s fireball grazes you.
Your whip bruises a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s circle wounds a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard’s flamestrike brushes you.
Your pierce hits a svirfneblin wizard!
Your circle jars a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘xzatunso’.
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gqafqpuio gjfoz’.
A fiery current lashes through your body!
A svirfneblin wizard’s scorching surge jolts you!
Tark’s circle injures a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s pierce cuts a svirfneblin wizard!
Your pierce hits a svirfneblin wizard!
Your circle jars a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gpaqtuio ogrugs’.
Sparks arc from a svirfneblin wizard’s hands as he reaches toward you.
A svirfneblin wizard’s shocking grasp scratches you.
Your whip thrashes a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘xzatunso’.
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gqafqpuio gjfoz’.
A fiery current lashes through your body!
A svirfneblin wizard’s scorching surge grazes you.
Tark’s circle injures a svirfneblin wizard!
Your circle jars a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘xzatunso’.
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gqafqpuio gjfoz’.
A fiery current lashes through your body!
A svirfneblin wizard’s scorching surge grazes you.
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘gpaqtuio ogrugs’.
Sparks arc from a svirfneblin wizard’s hands as he reaches toward you.
A svirfneblin wizard’s shocking grasp grazes you.
Your pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
Your whip thrashes a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard’s fireball jolts you!
(a bright shiny bottlecap gets damaged)
Tark’s pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
Your whip thrashes a svirfneblin wizard!
Your pierce rips a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
Your pierce rips a svirfneblin wizard!
Hands raised to the heavens, the wizard draws power from the
A svirfneblin wizard utters the words, ‘mosailla paieg’.
A svirfneblin wizard reaches toward you with fiery hands.
A svirfneblin wizard’s burning hands scratches you.
Tark’s pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s spinkick jolts a svirfneblin wizard!
Your whip batters a svirfneblin wizard!
You leap into the air and kick a svirfneblin wizard on the chest with both of your feet.
Your leap jolts a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s spinkick wounds a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
Tark’s pierce tears a svirfneblin wizard!
Your whip batters a svirfneblin wizard!
Your whip batters a svirfneblin wizard!
A svirfneblin wizard is DEAD!!
A svirfneblin wizard splatters blood on your armor.
You get 269500 gold coins from the corpse of a svirfneblin wizard.
You split 269500 gold coins. Your share is 134750 gold coins.
The corpse of a svirfneblin wizard holds:
    a pair of duck boots
    fingerless silk gloves


Object ‘fingerless silk gloves’ is infused with your magic…
It is a level 46 armor, weight 1.
Locations it can be worn: hands
Special properties: none
This armor has a gold value of 0.
Armor class is 5 of 10.
Affects hp by 30.
Affects mana by 15.
Affects luck by 1.
Affects constitution by 1.
Affects hp regeneration by 5.

Object ‘a pair of duck boots’ is infused with your magic…
It is a level 45 armor, weight 1.
Locations it can be worn: feet
Special properties: none
This armor has a gold value of 10000.
Armor class is 9 of 11.
Affects hp by 30.
Affects mana by 20.
Affects constitution by 1.
Affects hit roll by 2.
Affects damage roll by 3.
Affects affected_by by hide.
Affects mana regeneration by 5.


Again pretty neat stuff, not quite sure exactly where to include it yet but if nothing else those gloves can replace dragon’s gloves on some of my ghetto barbs.  Certainly a response to the recent CON changes.  The boots are better than some that are much harder to get in several ways, not the least of which being the mana regen.

Tark from Dragonslayer hung around and we killed a few times to get a feel for things and ended up with some nifty new levelling doodads.  The levels varied a little bit, the lowest we saw are reported here for your amusement.

Cheers and happy adventuring!

Oh hello there, I didn’t see you come in …

It’s been a busy few months and excluding Symposium meetings I have not been around regularly, in what is a continuing refrain.  I could say it’s been busy at work and at home which is true, but it’s also true that Season 5 of Diablo 3 sucked up my recreational time.  The season journey they introduced with rewards for completing different tiers absolutely plays into my OCD 🙂  I had previously suggested some sort of achievement system on Realms as well, one of the things I think I’ll wind up doing here on the website eventually or perhaps that’ll be my first attempt at coding in SMAUG, we’ll see.

Other things I’m working at:

  • I continue to work on the Mr. Dressup mode item database … it’s slowly progressing, I just haven’t tuned my brain back into it.  The rough draft version of it is at  http://realmsofdespair.info/itemdb/mrdressup.php
  • I’ve revisited my map idea, that was partly working on a local copy of the site.  My goal is to make the Herne map navigable so that you can zoom in and see rooms.  To this end I’ve figured out how to read cMud map files locally.  I don’t believe it will be possible to algorithmically  generate the Realms of Despair map just by reading rooms and exits (eg drawing the map from an area file) because there is no fixed room size or distance between rooms but I’m going to investigate it a bit before I give up.  At one point I had Darkhaven and surrounding forests on a single zone which was very difficult to manage, however with this change I can now put them into zones for use in cMud but ignore the zones when I render them on my overall map.  Work in progress lots to think about.
  • The main site still needs content… I have got literally gigabytes of Realms info from old sites, game logs etc, and the site looks like it was made by a child (not fair, children actually are more creative) so I would like to get some of that content posted and shared.
  • I want to go back and get the time line built for the information I gathered some time ago.  Right now it’s presented as a table and I think a visual representation might inspire some more contributions.  The idea that the game doesn’t acknowledge it’s own history except in very rare spots is something that strikes me as a bit of a travesty.  Thousands of people have played the game and left their mark on it, I’d like to try and bring that history to life.
  • Speaking of which, I was contacted by Haus who has prepared a bit of an article for you, which I will post up shortly.

Thanks for visiting, I’m still alive and well, the Guild of Origin is still here and I’m still looking for ways to contribute, feel free to drop a line in game and say hi.

Until next time,


Riding a coil of flame into the heavens, Edmond returns to the realm of the gods.

When I think about all the people whose hands have crafted the Realms of Despair I inevitably think about Edmond’s contributions, most of which I’m blithely unaware of.  Edmond has been involved with coding SMAUG for more than 10 years, probably close to 15 now, and has also been on many of the game’s councils over the years as well.

I remember that it was Edmond who took some notice of me on The Symposium many years ago.  One of the proposals I had put forward was for more elemental shields, not all of which would be user castable or quaffable.  It was voted down but it’s one of those ideas that someone picked up or thought of independently years later that made it’s way into the game.  I’d still like to see more of that but I suppose there’s not a lot of appetite for that kind of variety … to me Lord Seth should have unholy-shield and iceshield.  For a character to get unholy-shield they’d have to do some side quest ala shockstones or jade cameos or what have you.  Sure it’s one more step but it makes him a little more unique, a little more “different, but I digress.

Edmond also gave me my shot at being an immortal, to see how the other half lives.  I know now that I was ill-suited at the time; too much ego and insecurity, not enough real ability.  Hey Eddy, if you read this, sorry I let ya down.

I also recall meeting Edmond at one of the Renfest reunions and telling him I had heard that the Visionary Consortium had been threatened with dissolution.  I can remember him looking at me like I had 2 heads and laughing.

Edmond’s also the person who is commonly identified with the decision to close source SMAUG after version 1.8.  While I’m certain there are many good reasons at least one of them seems to be that the Realms of Despair code team puts in countless hours of work to improve the game and then people set up half-ass SMAUG muds and try to siphon away players from the Realms.  At the same time these people come onto Realms and try to get their ideas put into the code, using Realms coders, that they really want implemented on their mud.  Finally, every so often some of these other SMUAG muds may develop a new feature that really may be interesting to include in the distribution yet they’re unwilling to share the fruits of their labours back.  All of this is speculation based on second hand information.  Lots of players say it’s just because “the imms” don’t want players to be able to “min/max” the formulas and ruin the game, but I really don’t buy it.  Good players can do a remarkable amount of analysis JUST using something only mortally visible and still get to shooting distance of the real formulas.  This is the sort of thing I’m going to be including in my new college course that I’m working on.  I don’t think there is any way to hide that without becoming very restrictive in the feedback you give players, and I don’t think there’s any effort being made to be that restrictive.  I think that it has a lot more to do with the first set of reasons; if you’re going to ask Realms to be open with it’s updates, what are you doing to contribute back?

Anyway, as I say, most of this is speculative.  One day if Edmond wants to set the record straight I’d love to talk with him about it.  For now I’m going to leave you with a worrying closing line “Edmond thinks every generation deserves a shattering”.

A rope entwined with brightly colored ribbons hangs here, suspended in mid-air.

A while back I posted about exploring the Midway while it was open.  During that adventure I even posted up a small map to help get people started.  It’s back and I’ve been enjoying playing there and thought I’d talk a little more about the adventure.

There are a number of prizes to be won, not only the ones that can be exchanged for tickets but many other objects.  The haunted house has a superb supply of spellup candies that if we could ever get a regular supply would become run staples.  Given that they cast 3 different spell ups they would reduce the number of potions that storage rooms around the realms stock up on.

The well known prizes are:
3 Marble – Tic Tac Toe Board – Tic Please
3 Marble – Mini-Roulette Wheel – Wheel Please
2 Marble – Goldfish in a Bowl – Fish Please
2 Marble – Cuddly Stuffed Dragon – Dragon Please
1 Marble – Ugly Little Green Troll – Troll Please
1 Marble – Cheezy Stuffed Toy – Cheezy Please
4 Silver – Toy Marionette – Puppet Please
3 Silver – A Piece of Jewelry – Jewel Please
2 Silver – A Midway Coffee Mug – Mug Please
2 Silver – A Silk Scarf – Scarf Please
1 Silver – A Temporary Tattoo – Tattoo Please
4 Copper – A Souvenir Quill – Quill Please
3 Copper – A Colourful Balloon – Balloon Please
2 Copper – An Embroidered Hanky – Hanky Please
1 Copper – A Large Gold Coin – Coin Please

The top 2, like the dicing cup found elsewhere seem to be just for fun, though people use them for sorting out bets and run loot and the like.  I can’t keep the Goldfish alive for more than a few minutes, I didn’t buy one, I won it at the Duck Pond.  I have never gone for the Jewelry or the Coffee Mug but I can say that the silk scarf is perhaps the best low level mana item in game.  My usual complaint with mana users is that they run out of mana so quickly while levelling and low level mana gear is touch and go with stats.  These scarves are the bomb for low level mana if you can afford the con that you sacrifice by not wearing traveling cloaks/amulets.

Let’s look at how you earn tokens.  It does get a bit repetitive but each game will push you onward to the rest, so that you end up doing a circuit.  Getting 3 marbles either requires a fair bit of “stick to it”iveness or a bit of luck.  I found a marble token on its own in the Dunk Tank so sometimes a bit of luck can save you a lot of grind.

On the main strip you’ll find many games.  Let’s take a quick tour:

A White Tent
This white tent is the home of a large pegboard, with an array of
balloons lined up on one side and a bucket full of metal tipped
darts positioned several feet away. A gnome stands by the bucket of
darts, retrieving them after they are thrown. Bits of torn balloon
and metal dart tips litter the ground.
Exits: northwest
A young gnome offers you a chance to throw some darts.
A young gnome says ‘Hey mister. Want to try to hit a balloon? Just takes 100 gold.’

You give 100 coins to a young gnome.
A young gnome pockets the gold.
A young gnome says ‘Thanks mister. All you gotta do is throw a dart at the balloons.’
A young gnome says ‘The prize depends on what color balloon you hit.’

You reach into the bucket and grab a dart.
You aim carefully at the rows of balloons and throw your dart.
It pops a yellow balloon with a loud BANG!
A young gnome gives you 100 coins.

Eventually you’ll throw for a copper token.  I’ve never seen higher but for 100 coins what do you want?

After darts you’ll see face painting, which seems to be cosmetic (though could affect some puzzle elsewhere like the animal fighting or something).

A Purple Tent
The sheer purple walls of this tent let in light from outside but effectively
keep the dust from Faire Way out. The air smells of fresh cut flowers and
sweetly scented incense. A very small desk covered with a rainbow of colored
paints occupies one corner and a stool has been placed in the very center of
the tent. To the west lies the din and dust of the Faire.
Exits: west
A dainty pixie with pink wings flutters from one customer to the next painting faces.
Jumbo the face painter giggles at you. Hope it’s not contagious!
Jumbo the face painter tells you ‘Hello Tharius! Welcome to my li’l tent. Face painting is 15,000.’

You give 15,000 coins to Jumbo the face painter.
Jumbo the face painter rubs brightly colored face paint onto you.
Your face is blessed with elven features as you grow more attractive.
Jumbo the face painter giggles as she paints your face.
With great force, you strip the mask from your face.
Countless small wounds remain festering in your skin.
Jumbo the face painter flutters up and down and claps wildly.
Jumbo the face painter says ‘All done, Tharius!’

So far I’ve seen panda, dragon, mouse face paint and a few others.  Could just be for fun or as I say, have some meaning elsewhere in the midway.  On the other side of the road you find a challenge.

Before a Pit of Hot Coals
The rocky ground between the roadway and the dark blue tent has been cleared,
and flattened out by the pressure of visitors to the faire. To the west is a
long row of brightly glowing coals, shimmering with heat, while to the
northeast is the main roadway.
Exits: west northeast
A mystic shaman regards you with a look of superiority.
The shaman bows before you.
The shaman says ‘Welcome, Tharius, to a great test of courage and control.’
The shaman points towards a long row of glowing hot coals, laid out to the west.
The shaman says ‘To test yourself, simply give me 50,000 coins…and prepare your heart and soul for the task.’

Remove your shoes, give him 50k and see if you can walk across the coals AND BACK.  If you accomplish this you’ll get a fiery coal that works much like a shockstone for fireshield.  It’s too bad that this thing isn’t permanent like the shockstone, because it would be an awesome reason to try this challenge.  Scrapping one would make you cry but you’d be well on your way to self-sufficiency.

Before moving along you might visit the Dark Blue Tent.

A Dark Blue Tent
The dark blue fabric of this large tent ruffles in the breeze. Aside from
that small noise it is strangely quiet inside, as if cut off from the clamor
of the surrounding faire. The tent is crowded with wooden chairs, arranged in
a half-circle around a carved, wooden dais. An odd glow surrounds the raised
platform, seemingly enhanced by magical means. Exits north and east lead back
to the dust and noise of the midway.
Exits: east northeast
Waving her arms dramatically in the air, a magician is here lost in her arcane art.
Adriana the magician glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Adriana the magician is surrounded by a mix of ice-shards and sparking flames.
Adriana the magician says ‘Welcome to my tent, Lareawan! Prepare to be amazed.’
Adriana the magician grins at you.

I was amazed and pleased when Adriana teleported me to the entrance to the Haunted House.  If you’ve been wondering where you go to start on those puzzles, now you know 🙂

Moving along, I haven’t found much of interest in the animal betting, fortune telling or the 3 card monte game.  They seem like straight gambling or just atmosphere but there’s always the real possibility I miss things 🙂

Within the Arena Wall
A small area has been carved out of the arena wall here to accommodate betting
on various battles. Torches are attached to the walls periodically, flooding
the room with their flickering light. Animal brokers, trainers and tenders
fill the room, discussing in raised voices the various attributes of their
stock. Pieces of paper litter the ground, as patrons throw away losing bets
in disgust. An archway to the southwest leads back to the midway.
Exits: southwest
The broker of the animal arena battles is here, shouting out the odds on various beasts.
Rafur exclaims ‘Hello Tharius, and welcome to the betting cages!’
Rafur says ‘Here we offer for your entertainment a battle between
animals where you bet on the one you think will win. If you’d like
to take part, give me 250000 coins and I’ll escort you to the
animal cages.’

You give 250,000 coins to Rafur.
Rafur says ‘Thank you for your bet Tharius.’
Rafur opens a door and escorts you into the animal holding area.
Rafur says ‘Hey there Werinn, our next better is Tharius.’
Werinn says ‘Hi! Today we’ve got two fine animals to choose from, take
a few minutes to look them over and then point to the one you like
best. I will then begin the fight and we’ll see who wins!’

The Animal Holding Area
The northern wall of this room is lined with enormous cages each with a door
facing outward into the battling area. The noise and stench of so many animals
kept in close proximity makes the atmosphere in this room uncomfortable at
best. A long desk blocks any approach to the cages and the battling area, but
the gore spattered battle zone can be seen by looking northward.
Exits: none
The keeper of the battling animals is here tending his charges.
A tiger of epic proportions is inside a cage growling at you defiantly.
A gargantuan bear is within a cage baring its huge teeth in your direction.

>look tiger

This tiger is enormous! It is the single largest cat that you have ever
seen, period. Its teeth and claws look incredibly sharp, but it’s probably
not a good idea to test them first hand. This is a truly remarkable beast.

An enormous tiger is in perfect health ~(100%~).

>look bear

This bear is as large as it is ferocious. Its claws and teeth are
definitely not something that anyone would want to be on the wrong
end of. All in all, this is a truly remarkable beast.

A gargantuan bear is in perfect health ~(100%~).

>point bear
You point at it accusingly.
Werinn exclaims ‘What a fine choice Tharius!’
Werinn gives you a bear token.
Werinn says ‘Hang on to that Tharius, give it to me at the end of the battle.’
Werinn pushes a lever and the animal cages open onto a common area.
Werinn prods each of the animals in turn, forcing them into battle.
You watch filled with excitement as the animals begin their battle!

a gargantuan bear pushes an enormous tiger across the arena into the wall.
an enormous tiger leaps atop a gargantuan bear and digs in its claws.

a gargantuan bear swipes at an enormous tiger with its claws causing blood to flow.

an enormous tiger bites a gargantuan bear on the neck, tearing open its throat.

a gargantuan bear pushes an enormous tiger across the arena into the wall.
an enormous tiger pounces on a gargantuan bear ripping into it with its claws.

a gargantuan bear swipes at an enormous tiger with its claws causing blood to flow.
an enormous tiger bites a gargantuan bear on the neck, tearing open its throat.

a gargantuan bear bites an enormous tiger savagely, tearing off a piece of flesh.
an enormous tiger bites a gargantuan bear on the neck, tearing open its throat.

an enormous tiger leaps atop a gargantuan bear and digs in its claws.

a gargantuan bear bites an enormous tiger savagely, tearing off a piece of flesh.

a gargantuan bear bites an enormous tiger savagely, tearing off a piece of flesh.

After a long battle a gargantuan bear falls to the ground defeated!
An enormous tiger exclaims ‘I won!’
Werinn wipes his brow with obvious relief.
Werinn says ‘That was an exciting battle! Alright, give me your token please.’

You give a bear token to Werinn.
Werinn sighs loudly.
Werinn says ‘Sorry Tharius, you lost, better luck next time.’
Werinn waves goodbye to you. Have a good journey.

A Silver Tent
This tent is illuminated with soft lighting from gold candelabra located to
either side of a wooden table that occupies the center of the interior. A few
interested people passing by peek their heads inside the flap to observe what
is going on inside. The atmosphere inside the tent is quiet, unlike the bustle
of the midway just outside. The walls are close, but rather than
claustrophobic, the tent is comfortable.
Exits: west
A stout, wooden table stands in the center of the tent.
An old halfling stands here, completely engrossed in a trio of cups that sits before him.
Aldanor says ‘Welcome to my tent Tharius! I wish you the best of luck.
To play this game you have to give me 100,000 coins and I will set
up three cups on the table with a ball underneath one of them.
Say the color of the correct cup and you win 200,000 coins!’

You give 100,000 coins to Aldanor, Master of Cups.
Aldanor, Master of Cups says ‘Good luck Tharius, you’ll need it.’
Aldanor, Master of Cups grins at you.
Aldanor, Master of Cups shows you the ball and places it on the table.
Aldanor, Master of Cups begins to shuffle the gold, silver, and platinum cups around at a blurring speed.
After a few seconds of mixing the gold, silver, and platinum cups Aldanor slows and stops.
Aldanor, Master of Cups says ‘Please say the color of the cup that you choose, Tharius.’

You say ‘silver’
Aldanor, Master of Cups picks up the silver cup and reveals a small ball hidden beneath.
Aldanor, Master of Cups exclaims ‘Congratulations Tharius! Thank you for playing!’
Aldanor, Master of Cups gives you 200,000 coins.

A Dark Tent
The entrance to this shadowy tent is barred with several curtains of grey
silk, which must be pulled aside. The curtains block out most of the light
from outside the tent and ensure the privacy of it as well. The only source
of light is a strange ball which pulsates with an odd magical light. An
empty chair sits beside a wooden table in the center of the tent. The way
east returns to the midway.
Exits: east
A stout, wooden table stands in the center of the tent.
A mysterious gypsy sits here, her face illuminated by the crystal ball before her.
Madame Srella glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Madame Srella says ‘Welcome to my humble tent, Tharius.’
Madame Srella tells you ‘I can look into your soul and tell you your
fortune… If you wish me to do so, all you need do is give me 1000

You give 1,000 coins to Madame Srella.
Madame Srella says ‘Ahh..you wish me to look into your soul and tell
you what I see? Very well then Tharius, I shall…’

Madame Srella leans her head toward you and whispers.
Madame Srella says ‘The aura of your goodness lights up those around
you. Your conscious is clear.’

Madame Srella appraises you, squinting as she examines your face.

Madame Srella says ‘You must try harder to please your deity, good things will come.’

Madame Srella peers down into the crystal ball thoughtfully.

Madame Srella says ‘Many times your destiny carries you, when else you would fail.’

Madame Srella gazes into the ball once more, and hums to herself softly.

Madame Srella says ‘Now, for your reading…’
Madame Srella draws a deck of colorful cards from beneath her robe.

Madame Srella closes her eyes and slowly shuffles and cuts the cards.

Madame Srella places the deck of cards in the center of the table.

Madame Srella says ‘The first card is the central issue in your life…’

Madame Srella reaches forward and turns the top card over onto the table.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Hanged Man.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents spritual awareness and the assuredness that it brings. You wonder if you should sacrifice something of yourself for this noble purpose.’

Madame Srella says ‘The second card is the challenge in your life…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table above the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Wheel of Fortune.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents fate and destiny. Your future depends upon that which has been done before.’

Madame Srella says ‘The third card is the present…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table below the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Hierophant.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents religious influence and conformity, An inspirational teacher will reveal signs of spiritual importance leading to higher consciousness.’

Madame Srella says ‘The fourth card is the past…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table to the right of the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Lovers.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents true love and equality. In the past you have made decisions based on intuition rather than intellect.’

Madame Srella says ‘The fifth card is the potential outcome…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table to the left of the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Magician.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents concentration and control. You should exert your will and determination to see a project or idea through to its completion.’
Madame Srella says ‘We are done now. I hope that this has helped you.’

I would have to find last year’s logs to see how this varies but you get the idea.  Whenever a mob uses the word sacrifice my radar pings, though it could just be atmospheric text.

Continuing along we have 4 challenges preseneted to us.  3 are games of luck, 1 is a game of Realms knowledge.  The first is the Ancient History challenge which are questions focusing in on deities.  I won’t list all the answers I found but I’ll leave it to you to figure i tout.

An Azure Tent
Books are littered throughout this tent, in stacks of various sizes and in
boxes scattered on the floor, making the tent itself seem comparatively small.
Any avid book-collector would not have much room in a tent of this size. An
opening in the southeast portion of the tent leads back to the main path
and the hustle and bustle of the Faire.
Exits: southeast
A wizened old gnome peers at you from behind a stack of books.
Varkaus says ‘Welcome to my little corner of the universe, Tharius.’
Varkaus says ‘And what a wide, wide universe it is…’
Varkaus grins as if its thoughts are mischievous.
Varkaus says ‘Would you like to prove your knowledge of ancient history to me? Just give me 50,000 coins to play.’

You give 50,000 coins to Varkaus.
Varkaus says ‘Here’s the question. Please respond by saying “the answer is (answer)”.’
Varkaus says ‘Which deity’s home is deep within the frozen wastelands?’

You say ‘the answer is tirebaen’
Varkaus exclaims ‘Correct!’
Varkaus congratulates you with a big slap on your back!
Varkaus says ‘You could try another question, if you feel up for the challenge.’

The spear throw and the axe throw are very similar, if you hit the bullseye you get a voucher to have Gordon carve you a figurine with your name on it.  I had so many at one point that I was handing them out to any mob I saw.  More on Gordon later.  You occasionally also get tokens.

A Yellow Tent
The interior of this bright yellow tent is well lit and extremely clean. Game
participants are lined up behind a low counter and throwing spears across a
distance of approximately twelve yards. At the opposite end of the tent,
three hoops are suspended from the ceiling. The smallest, inner hoop is the
target of the spear throw. Large, thin pieces of wood are placed against the
tent walls to prevent poorly thrown spears from going through.
Exits: east
A stocky man is perched on a tall stool next to the throw line.
Maynard says ”Ello Tharius, this ‘ere is a game of skill. If yer wantin’ to play give me 5,000 coins.’

You give 5,000 coins to Maynard.
Maynard says ‘Aye, a fine choice, Tharius. I’ll be telling ye the rules. While yer havin’ the spear in yer inventory ‘throw spear’. If yer spear goes through the outer ring, I’ll give ye 5,000 coins. The middle ring, she’s worth 7,500 coins. The inner ring’ll get ye a prize.’
Maynard pulls a spear out of the container standing at his feet.
Maynard gives you a throwing spear.
Maynard says ‘Best of luck to ye, Tharius.’

You grab the spear in your strong hand and aim at the inner hoop.
Your spear wobbles and shimmies slightly as it flies through the air.
Your spear clangs noisily on the inner hoop as it passes through it.
Maynard says ‘That was a near one, you’ve got a bit ‘o luck.’
The watching crowd cheers as the spear flies through the inner hoop!
Maynard says ‘Here’s a token for the prize booth…lots of nice things there.’

You give 5,000 coins to Maynard.


You grab the spear in your strong hand and aim at the inner hoop.
Your spear flies through the air with perfect speed and direction.
Your spear sails easily through the inner hoop.
Maynard exclaims ‘Well done, Tharius!’
The watching crowd cheers as the spear flies through the inner hoop!
Maynard gives you a spear throwing prize voucher.
Maynard says ‘Give that to Gordon in the market, he’ll hook ye up.’

Axe throwing is the same idea, give coins throw thing and maybe you get coins, tokens or a voucher back.

An Orange Tent
The flap of this orange tent is tied wide open, allowing the noise and light
from the midway to pour in. A long strip of wood lies on the ground and is
designated the throwing line by a sign that hangs from the ceiling of the
tent. Ten yards from the throwing line there stands a large piece of wood,
with several bull’s eyes painted on its surface in white and black paint.
A crowd of onlookers is lined up along the wall of the tent, trying to stay
as far back from the throwing line as possible.
Exits: west
A powerfully built orc watches axes flying past him.
Brannox says ‘Hello Tharius, would you like to try your hand at throwing an axe? Give me 5,000 coins to play.’

You give 5,000 coins to Brannox.
Brannox says ‘Very good Tharius, let me explain the rules. Simply ‘throw axe’ while you have an axe in your inventory. If you hit the target on the outer ring I will give you 5,000 coins. A hit to the inner ring gets you 7,500 coins. If you should hit a bullseye, you win a prize.’
Brannox unslings a throwing axe from his leather jerkin.
Brannox gives you a throwing axe.
Brannox says ‘Good luck, Tharius.’

You hold the axe in your strong hand and
Your axe flies toward the target but veers to the side slightly.
Your axe lands just to the left of the target, in the inner circle.
Brannox says ‘Nicely done, Tharius.’
Brannox gives you 7,500 coins.

Finally we come to the Realms distributor of pet rocks:

The Duck Pond
A small pond has been dug out of the dirt behind a yellow tent, and filled
with murky water and yellow rubber duckies. A large sign behind the pond says
“DUCK POND”. The path northeast to the main road seems well traveled, but
muddy, and it’s hard to tell if this is an official game of the Midway or not.
Exits: northeast
A slightly swampy pond of water contains a slew of soggy rubber duckies.
A grubby looking elf keeps an eye out for anyone ready to try their luck.
Xarex says ‘Welcome, friend! Easiest game on the Midway…pick a duck, win a prize!
The skinny elf grins hopefully.
Xarex says ‘If you play, you win! Just 50,000 coins!’

You give 50,000 coins to Xarex.
Xarex grins broadly.
Xarex says ‘Fabulous! Now just PICK DUCK. Red spot wins a big prize, black spot for a small!
Xarex grins evilly.
Xarex says ‘Good luck, Tharius!’

You plunge your hand into the grimy pond and pull out a duck.
You turn over the duck…to find a black spot on the bottom.
Xarex smiles.
Xarex says ‘Ah well, good try, good try.’
Xarex says ‘Of course, every duck IS a winner. Here you go!’
Xarex rummages beneath the pond sign for a moment.
Xarex hands you a pet rock.
Xarex chuckles nastily.
Xarex looks for another customer ready to pluck a duck.

I have gotten a few other prizes here but nothing startling.

You turn over the duck…and find a red spot on the bottom!
Xarex looks rather surprised.
Xarex says ‘Oh…um, congratulations!’
Xarex frowns at the ducks in the pond for a moment, then gathers his composure.
Xarex says ‘Uh…of course, of course, a prize. Um, here you are. Take care of it.’
Xarex grabs a glass bowl and scoops something out of the pond.
Xarex hands you a small goldfish in a bowl.
Xarex snatches back the winning duck, pushing it deeply into his pocket.

Before leaving I needed to divest myself of the pets I had aquired:

You drop a pet rock.
You tell your rock to shake. It ignores you.
Xarex kicks the small rock back under the sign.


Moving along we’re nearing the end of the road but there’s still many things to see.  Indeed, one useless but funny item is just ahead.  For log rolling you’ll need to bring a friend with you.

Log Rolling
A few wooden boards have been set down for participants to wait on, while they
watch the log rolling to the west. The pool there looks dark, murky, and above
all, cold. To the southeast, cheering and laughter erupts from the bright,
warm Faire.
Exits: southeast
A burly lumberjack grins merrily at spectators and participants alike.
Kurc says ‘Welcome, Tharius! Care to try your hand…er, your feet…at log rolling?’
Kurc laughs merrily.
Kurc says ‘Just 50,000 per person to test your skill against a friend!’

You give 50,000 coins to Kurc.
Kurc says ‘Ah, fabulous! We’ll just have to wait for an opponent for you, Tharius.’
Reana gives Kurc some gold.
Kurc says ‘Ah, good! You’ll be rolling against Tharius here.’
Kurc shakes Reana’s hand. Reana winces.
Kurc escorts you and Reana into the pond, helping you get up on the logs.

You get up on the log. It teeters perilously beneath your feet.
It begins to slip, and your feet rush to catch up.

Next thing you know, the log is rolling!
Reana concentrates on the slippery log, trying to keep her footing.
The log slips and slides beneath your feet! Be careful!
Reana stumbles, nearly toppling off the log!
Your feet move deftly, running over the log!
You grin triumphantly at Reana.
Reana concentrates on the slippery log, trying to keep her footing.
The log slips and slides beneath your feet! Be careful!
Suddenly, Reana slips!

Grinning, you hop off the log and return to Kurc’s side.
Kurc comforts Reana.
Kurc exclaims ‘Tough break, Reana. Go dry off, then come on back to give it another try!’
Kurc grins at you.
Kurc exclaims ‘Congratulations, Tharius! Impressive footwork!’
Kurc gives you a hearty slap on the back.
Kurc gives you a copper token.
Kurc exclaims ‘Let’s see, here’s a little something to remember the occasion by!’
Kurc hums a little tune as he grabs a small heap of cloth from his personal stash.
Kurc gives you suspendies and a bra.

I did lose this a few times before finally dunking Reana, but this isn’t her blog, so you only get to see when I win.

Wearing this layerable body item:

You fit suspendies and a bra on your body.
He’s a lumberjack and he’s okaaaaay….
He sleeps all night, and he works all day!

If you track Bob you’ll find something that looks a lot like Plinko 🙂

A Beige Tent
A long, colorful board filled with pegs is the centerpiece of this large tent,
but the tent is also decorated with an assortment of flashing lights. Leading
up to the top of the playing board is a row of stairs, each step a different
color. Rows and rows of seats fill up the other side of the tent, where an
audience of onlookers sits and watches each contestant enviously.
Exits: east
A long, upright board contains an assortment of pegs and slots.
An elderly man in a black suit stands here, smiling.
An elderly man is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.

Here you need to put a coin into the board.  These gold coins, which are used elsewhere in Midway can be purchased from Maia. Once you have one, and the board is ready:

You put a large gold coin in the playing board.
The coin falls into the slot marked ‘5000’.
An elderly man says ‘Here you go, Tharius.’
An elderly man gives you 5,000 coins.

In general this is a money losing board, though you will occasionally get a silver ticket.  It used to be that you got one of the parts for the storage bin here.  Once finished with Plunko you might want to visit the dunk tank, which also uses gold coins.

The Dunking Tank
Inside a large white tent, a large tank of water has been set up. A large
ladder rises up one side of it, while over the top a mesh of fine wire has
been placed. The water inside the tank is very murky and still. Small piles
of bags, armor and various other items lie around on the ground waiting
for their owners to return for them. A water-stained sign hangs from a nail.
Exits: west
A thin woman stands here manning the dunking tank.
Saril is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Saril says ‘Ready to take a chance in the tanks eh?’
Saril says ‘Ask Maia for a coin, if you don’t have one already.’
Saril says ‘then we’ll play!’

You cannot play this with aqua breath on, something about an unfair advantage 🙂

Saril tells you ‘I’m sorry, but you would have an unfair’
Saril tells you ‘advantage in this game. I can not let you’
Saril tells you ‘play this game, Tharius.’

When you get rid of aqua breath:

You give a large gold coin to Saril.
Saril pulls a lever and Tharius fall into a tank of slimy water!

You cough and choke as you try to breathe water!

The Tank
Inside the dunking tank, the water is cold and very murky from the blood
of countless would-be dunking champions. It is impossible to see very far
in any direction. Thick slime covers the walls and floor of the tank. Small
fish swim around unaware of the fact they are living in a game. Somewhere
in this slime and murkiness, the token has been hidden.
Exits: none

From here you search until you find something, I have found copper, silver and marble tokens here or you drown.  You can also say ‘give up’ to get out without dying.  I’ve found it on the first few searches or on my last few hitpoints.

Your search reveals a silver token!
You get a silver token.
Saril hauls you from the tanks, smiling broadly.
Saril says ‘Congratulations, Tharius. Now you can keep the token for the prize booth, or give it to me for an instant prize.’

I tend to turn in the coppers, I have no clue if the prizes get better if you turn in better tokens, but I’d guess there’s probably a chance at better stuff.

After you dry off you can enter the tent that is the #1 reason many people come to the Midway (now that you’re not getting a storage bin).  The famous midway bow which can fire 3 rooms away but seems to scrap if anyone even walks past you!  They are nearly useless for damage but all you’re really trying to do is lure the mob towards your trap and then you swap to a forest bow or something else.

An Archer’s Tent
You walk into a long, thin, white tent, and stare down the way to two
targets set side by side. Behind that are set several hay bales to catch
the stray arrows of bad marksmanship. Closer to you is a weapons rack
filled with bows of every type, size, and make. Coils of spare strings are
stacked next to bundles of arrows, along with several bullseye targets.
Exits: northeast
An archer stands here, looking over his assortment of bows and arrows.
Caspian the archer looks you up and down, grinning.
Caspian the archer says ‘Care to try your luck with a bow, Tharius?’
Caspian the archer gestures west to the targets.
Caspian the archer says ‘Easy enough to hit that, don’t you think?’
Caspian the archer gestures to the sign on the wall.
Caspian the archer says ‘Those are the prices Tharius, reasonable of course.’

Caspian will suck you dry 300 or 700 coins at a time, the fee for the berating trash talk I assume.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow injures the target!
Caspian the archer snarls at you, for some reason.
Caspian the archer says ‘You barbarian, Tharius!
You broke the target!’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘You’ll pay me 300 coins to fix this…’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘..or I’ll not set up another, Tharius.’
You give 300 coins to Caspian the archer.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow wounds the target!
WhoooOOooshhhH SnnnNaaaAppP!
Caspian the archer yells ‘Arrrgh! Tharius is a savage!’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘This is not the strong arm tent, Tharius!’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘Get out! Out! Out! Out!’
A bellow of rage comes from inside the archer’s tent.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Caspian the archer says ‘The moon will bleed before you…’
Caspian the archer says ‘hit that!’

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Caspian the archer says ‘You hit that tent  pole dead on!’

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow brushes the target.
Caspian the archer says ‘Looked like that arrow was made of rubber! It bounced right off!
Caspian the archer snickers softly.

After all this abuse I did walk away with a couple of winning shots:

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow hits the target!
A sharp thwack echoes through the tent.
Caspian the archer says ‘Enjoy your prize Tharius!’
Caspian the archer gives you a toy marionette.
Caspian the archer pats you on your back.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow hits the target!
A solid thump sounds as the arrow hits home.
Caspian the archer says, ‘ooOOooOOooOOoo.’
Caspian the archer says ‘Damn good shot! Bullseye!’
Caspian the archer reaches under the counter for a prize.
Caspian the archer gives you a cuddly stuffed dragon.
Caspian the archer says ‘Enjoy, Tharius. It’s a rare item!’
A cry of victory rises from the archer’s tent as Tharius wins!

A few more stops and we’ll have covered the main stretch, including the attainable container for this area.  I’ll leave out the solution in case publishing the solve causes these to become instantly rare too.  If you do it wrong you take damage or get slayed, but it doesn’t take too many tries to figure it out.

A Motley Tent
The interior of this tent is almost painful to the eyes. A riot of different
colored pieces of canvas makes up the walls in randomly sewn patterns. The
tent is lit by a single glowing orb that floats near the roof and casts an
eerie blue light. The silence here is almost perfect, just a few feet away
from the cacophony of the midway, hinting that there is magic at work.
Exits: west
A strange looking box is resting here.
An elderly mage sits here, floating several inches above the ground.
Duran smiles at you.
Duran says ‘Hello there, Lareawan. I’m afraid that all I can offer you
right now is a puzzle. If you’d like to try give me 25,000 coins.’

You give 25,000 coins to Duran.
Duran cackles gleefully at you.
Duran says ‘Don’t worry if you can’t solve it, not many people can.’
Duran says ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t be held accountable for anything the box does…’
A strange looking box sits upon the ground. It has panels covered in
intricate runes on all sides that look as if they can be pressed. A
different rune is located on each side: front, back, right, left and top.
Duran says ‘To use the box, press a panel location. For example, press right.’

As you press the X panel of the puzzle box your fingers feel warm.
Duran says, ‘ooOOooOOooOOoo.’
Duran says ‘Clicking is good.’

*Click* *Click*
As you press the X of the puzzle box your hand feels warm.

*Click* *Click* *Click*
As you press the X panel of the puzzle box your arm feels warm.
Duran thinks, ‘Hmmmm.’

*Click* *Click* *Click* *Click*
As you press the X panel of the puzzle box your chest feels warm.
Duran says ‘I believe you might have it, Lareawan.’

*Click* *Click* *Click* *Click* *Click*
The panels of the puzzle box slowly slide open.
Duran exclaims ‘Wonderful Lareawan! Quite impressive!’
Duran rumages around in his satchel for a moment.
Duran exclaims ‘Well, all I’ve got is this old hat, I hope you like it!’
Duran gives you a magician’s hat.
Duran waves goodbye to you. Have a good journey.

From here on out, have some fun arm wrestling and stopping into the pub.

A Brown Tent
Plain wooden benches filled with an eager crowd line the walls of this simple
brown tent. Bits of paper and food clutter the ground under and around the
stands, but the central area is kept well swept. A wooden table and two
chairs occupy the very center of the tent with torches attached to wooden
posts arranged in a circle around them. Dirt from the ground and the pungent
odor of physical exertion hang in the still air.
Exits: east
A huge ogre lounges here, flexing his massive muscles.
Grolm the strongman says ‘Welcome to my tent Tharius, you appear to be strong.’
Grolm tells you ‘Would you care to test your strength
with me? If you give me 500 coins, I will arm-wrestle
you. Simply beat me and I will give you 1,000 coins.’

You give 500 coins to Grolm the strongman.
Grolm the strongman exclaims ‘Come then, let us battle with the arms!’
Grolm the strongman leads you over to the table and sits down, flexing his fingers.
You grasp Grolm the strongman’s hand in yours and signal your readiness.

Grolm the strongman exclaims ‘Begin!’
You strain with all of your might against Grolm the strongman.
You overpower Grolm the strongman!!
Grolm the strongman says ‘Seems you have bested me this time Tharius.’
Grolm the strongman gives you 1,000 coins.

Cliff’s Down and Dirty Bar & Grill
This area is off to the side of the Midway. It is sheltered by a roof of
branches and bits of cloth. Rickety looking tables with battered chairs are
set about the area, covered with dirty glasses and plates. Boisterous
discussions are taking place all around and occasionally a burst of loud,
infectious laughter is heard. Torches that line the drinking tent make it
bright and cheerful, encouraging visitors to stay and enjoy the beverages.
Exits: north
A few well-used stools are lined up next to the bar.
A brawny man in liquor stained leather, pours drinks from behind the counter.
Cliff says ‘What’ll ya be havin’, Tharius?’

[Lv Price] Item
[ 0 274] A delicate gypsy liqueur.
[ 0 687] A flagon of ale.
[ 0 343] A mug of warm apple cider.
[ 0 9624] Grog of the gargoyle.

If you ride the Wheel of Wonders ferris wheel don’t just sit there like a lump like Zistrosk did, scry around and see the views from around the Realms.

There are certainly puzzles left unsolved here.  I didn’t figure out how to get a giant stuffed YOURNAME doll though I have a few ideas and I didn’t talk about the hall of mirrors.

A Dusty Tent
The air within this huge, multi-colored tent is thick with dust from the bustle
of many people entering and leaving. The ground here is littered with bits of
confetti, suggestive of a celebration. A tasseled rope hangs from the center
pole of the tent, swaying slightly. From the outside, a huge number of noises
can be heard, making it difficult to isolate any one sound or voice. A wooden
sign is hanging from the southern wall of the tent painted in garishly colored
lettering. To your east is a tent flap that leads to whatever all this noise
must be about…
Exits: east
A tasseled rope hangs from the center of the tent.
A colorful poster can be seen on the tent wall.
An overstuffed sofa sits before a television playing old reruns.
A large pine tree, covered in colourful ornaments, stands here for all to enjoy.

look poster
A unique dragon has been patiently waiting in the Hall of Mirrors for all of
you avatars. (Non-avatars, best to stay away from her.) If you’ve never been
to the Hall of Mirrors, seek out Claralinde in the Midway.

If a player manages to find and kill the dragon, they will be credited with a
Midway lottery ticket that will be saved for them in another room. Players
can win multiple tickets. This will be tracked over reboot. The dragon
could be hoarding some other goodies too.

When Midway closes on Sunday, the lottery will be held, with a few prizes
awarded, including a unique large storage bin to one lucky player!
You do not need to be present to win.

Reminder… as Claralinde’s sign warns you, killstealing is allowed in the
Hall of Mirrors.

To my knowledge only 1 kill has been done, and it took 5 players to do it.  It costs 1 million gold coins to get into the mirror maze and anything you kill will cause you to exit.  Expect to go in, kill the Hall of Mirrors guardians and to have to re-enter.  Until you clear them all it’s going to be quite hard to find the pit that the dragon is in.

Good luck!

Here and back again

Hi everyone, I’ve been very inactive as regards Realms over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been locked away working on my Master’s thesis which is thankfully complete and accepted.  I still have the defense ahead but that’s like giving a presentation compared to writing an essay and so the end is near.

Sylphain approached me about trying to get activity going again, small runs for new players and it reminded me that there are actually new people around.  It’s easy to forget it when we focus in on “what’s wrong” instead of just enjoying what is right.  I am often guilty of exactly this, I see a problem and I want to fix it and my problem solving brain focuses on it.  Then I get very frustrated when I don’t feel supported, I start feeling like my efforts are not welcome and I check out, throw my hands up in the air and walk away.

This is how I felt when I left The Symposium some months ago.  Sunday night I asked to rejoin because I’m ready to try to contribute again, except this time I am going to try to come at it from the point of view that “maybe I don’t know what’s best, I only have ideas”.  You know … stop being intellectually arrogant and try to accept the input of the whole team.  I know.  Really obvious right?  Yet it is so easy to fall into patterns and doubly so online, at least for me.

Another thing I’m going to try to do is follow a little piece of advice I saw floating around that encapsulates some thinking I’ve been doing anyway:

It is better to create something that others criticise than to create nothing and criticise -- Ricky Gervais



I recognize that a lot of what I have been doing is criticizing without creating.  I do generate some ideas but it’s time to start DOING and stop THINKING.  So, if I think we need some items to help flesh out itemization, then I should try building an area.  If I think that we need some resource then go ahead and make it.  If  I think that there’s a code idea that will work, I guess I should feel free to work with the public code.

To avoid being disappointed maybe I should ask other people if these ideas have a bit of support … you know figure out if anyone else thinks it’s a good idea 🙂  Oh well, I keep trying.  Hope this helps others thinking about how to help this game.  Realms has the awesome thing that players actually can contribute positively to the game.  With the small player base everyone can make an impact, leading runs or being grumbly.


August already and some other stuff

Well August is upon us and I realize that for most of July I haven’t had the time to get back into the Realms the way I enjoy being present.

I did do a little bit of contract levelling, though I must admit thieves are starting to annoy me due to their real damage capabilities not showing up until the 40s, the XP cap on circle and backstab and well … I guess it’s mostly that they should be done and I’m annoyed they’re not 🙂

I have participated in a couple of quests and managed to finish colourizing the rooms in my house but I haven’t had the chance to go ahead and do any doodling.

So just a note to say I haven’t disappeared.  Work’s been busy and final exams are prepared but mostly it’s been trying to finish my thesis that’s been dragging on and on and on.  Once that’s done it’s time for some runs, who’s up? 😀

Be good to yourself

I received word this morning that a golden oldy player of Realms attempted
suicide last week. I feel free to share with you because he went public with
it himself. He’s the funny, sarcastic happy go lucky recreational drug user
that seems to be a staple of many game communities.

His outward nature obviously masks a deep pain that he didn’t feel he could
handle any more. Thankfully someone in his RL was there to catch him

Life can be hard, bleak. It can always get better. Lots of people have been
there and came back from it.

Please get help if you think you need it.


Who watches the Watchdog?

Woof!  Woof woof woof! *pant pant pant pant* You hear someone’s death cry!

These words can only mean Gorog’s Watchdog is out … or in this case a Watchpuppy!  What’s the difference you ask?  The number of avatars required to kill the critter is the main thing and correspondingly the rewards are not as large.  For those who aren’t familiar with the rewards there is a reason the word “goroggles” enters into every conversation about top of the line characters.  The “doggy ear” is a nice devout piece and an ok all around piece with aff fly being maybe the most interesting thing about it.  Somewhere along the lines the “dewclaw” got added, a nicely statted ankle piece and finally making a debut not too long ago was the muzzle, a statted face piece which is decent but gives thieves an interesting dilemma.

Now, no one is saying you can’t get goggles off the puppy but no one has seen a pair off a puppy yet.  There have only been a handful of puppy kills so there’s no way to even really speculate about possibilities … oh and since they could be changed at any time without warning, it’s pointless to bother.

Aleq did a great job of being the cheerleader, with others like Mephie contributing to help get mass established.  For my part Arca and Ravith came and got a hold of me and I almost didn’t bother.  These things can drag on for hours and hours before we get mass and even when we have mass it can be a mess 20 different ways to Sunday.  Still, I figure if you don’t log in and help out you have no reason to bitch when you want other people’s help getting mass.

We made a few kicks at it and wiped a few times.  Mass came and went.  Someone commented that if we didn’t get a few more people that it would take a little imm pity (downing the doggie) to get a kill in.  Around midnight we said “one more try”.

Whether the stars aligned or whether we got some pity or a bit of both we managed to get a dead puppy.  I had joked earlier in the night that it was a nice birthday gift and when I saw that I had a kill blow it sure felt like a gift wrapped present.  Prior to this the closest I’ve been was 2 spirals from the kb.

I almost didn’t log in.  Instead I logged out with a dewclaw.

Goes to show that you have to keep in touch and just keep trying even if you think you have no chance.