Medievia Mudslinger

September 11, 2003

A New Start by Aivanther

You know, I'd never thought to reach that day. Heck, most of Medievia never thought I'd meet that day. I lay back, relaxing against a tree in Rose Park, basking in my newfound excellence. After years of struggle and countless, often very painful, deaths, I had finally achieved the pinnacle of abilities available to a thief. Well, I liked to call myself a purloiner of niceties and disposer of the undesirable, but somehow that never caught on among my fellow thieves, though I felt that my compatriots did not exactly appreciate me. On the nights of guild meetings, I would always raise the issue, and eventually I was no longer allowed to attend without the mark of 'The Most High and Dishonorable Thief!" as they called it. How a gag constituted a mark of honor, I could never tell, but they insisted. This was usually at the point of a dagger, so I did not argue.

Wait, where was I? Oh yes, the pinnacle of all things involving thievery. You know, a good audience would help keep me on track... Anyway, as I lounged there, I recalled the last few hours. I had sensed the coming power for the last few days, and I could almost physically taste it, though often that taste turned out to be a bit of waybread stuck in my teeth. But I continued to struggle.

"Experience!" The Guildmaster would tell us, "Experience is the way to power! Go out and live your life. And don't worry to much about death, for the necromancer and the gods are kind enough fellows."

I often argued his remarks about the necromancer, whom I often found to be quite sarcastic - and the gods, though nice, seemed to take a peculiar pleasure in making my life difficult.

Well, I was taking these words to heart, all of them. I was out getting my experience, though it was similar to having ones teeth pulled by the Minotaur Mason of Naera Mae.

Near the end of my struggles, I was ducking and dodging the pointier ends of a hook horror, while trying not to become a simple pasty substance on the ground by a not-so-friendly earth spirit. Well, with the speed and ability that comes with experience, and the outright fear of pain and death, I ducked a blow and spun around, jabbing at the hook horror. My blades sunk in up to their hilts. As the thing gurgled and slumped to the ground, I knew I was good. Boy, was I good. Nobody could ever get better!

Letting out an excited whoop, I danced around in a circle. "Oh wait... wasn' t there another?" I mumbled to myself, turning around.

'Splat' was the approximate noise that my head, shoulders, and most of my upper torso made as the earth spirit's considerable fists slammed down on my cranium.

'Well crud, what bad timing,' I thought in my very dead state. Still, I had made it! Yes, woo! Who's the man! My thoughts were interrupted by the appearance of my old friend, the necromancer.

He went about his usual ritual before pausing. "Well, heard you made it," he said to my body. "Never thought I'd see the day. I wonder if Fire Giant's Keep has frozen over?"

Ha ha, very funny. I tried to reply, but somehow my lips didn't form the words. This could have been because they were lodged quite firmly in the lower regions of my ribcage. Anyway, I went through the whole ritual very silently. I noticed that the necromancer kept shaking his head as he went about his business.

Right before he left he said, "Maybe now you'll slow down a bit. You know, I 'm overstocked on Aivanther souls. They're really not all that useful, but I get way too many of them. By Vryce, they're not even very decorative, just a pasty gray without much spark to them at all. Ah well, a deal is a deal, and I have to head out to Thanos. It seems the Dark Strider has been giving me more business again. A friendly word of advice, Aiv: don't die so much, because it really makes these things take longer. And Vryce only knows, it takes you long to do these things without turning yourself into interesting bits of processed meat." With that, he was gone.

I skipped my way down to the altar. Well, this was with as much of a skip as an undead corpse with a shackle and ball on its leg - which is pretty much a lifting of legs then planting your face down into the mud - can manage. As I shuffled along, I muttered to myself about nosey necromancers who were totally ungrateful for what they had. Besides, why was he complaining? He had good enough business, and one day he'd be proud to have those souls. They would be a rare collector's item! Yeah, I would show him. He would covet one of my souls one day!

But that was in the past. Now, today, I was near the epitome of thiefliness. I say near, because most of my stuff was so old that the janitors would occasionally offer me equipment they found lying in the street.

"Aiv, get your rear end to Castle Square!" I felt my clanleader say in a corner of my mind.

For the last couple of days, he had been on my back about something he called 'Multi-ing'. Apparently Vryce gives everyone who has reached the highest point in their career a fresh start at something new. Well, that was just great. There I was, finally good at something, and my clanleader was in league with Vryce, high god of Medievia himself, trying to get me to be a nothing again.

I was considering running away when I heard him say, "Now, Aiv! I have the eggs, and I'm going to transfer them to you now. It's time you got off that lazy butt of yours and became a cleric. That is what you want, right? Good, now get over here!"

Grumbling, I got out a swirling blue potion and teleported into Castle Square. After a few quick instructions, and a couple of notes of amazement from clan-members who had only just heard that I had finally reached my goal, I was sent out to Mount Vryce.

What the big deal about multi-ing is, I'll never know. You simply give the wizard a thousand eggs, head to the mountain, and press a button. Well, okay, the thousand eggs is a big deal, but if you're like me, even that's not too bad. I manage to look and sound pathetic enough that my clanleader will eventually do things for me just to make me go away. He really does like me, and he even gave me a personal title, though not over the clan title system. His PIMN he calls me, though what a PIMN is, I'm not entirely sure.

Well, the long and short of it is that I became a cleric. At first, I could not tell a difference. I was still me. I still looked the same and still had most of my abilities. I did notice that I didn't feel as tough, but I figured that was probably from the queasiness. Don't get me wrong - I liked the way my clan congratulated me and gave their support, but did they have to be so loud? All the noise they made when they found out gave me a headache, which in turn made me highly nauseated. Anyway, I quaffed another swirling blue potion and met my clanleader in Castle Square.

I don't think I ever went on such a killing spree, which is saying a lot because I was the veritable bane of Medievians when I needed those torn and brittle scrolls they picked up from Vryce only knows where. In short, I was summoned from place to place by my clanleader and told to backstab innocent clergymen.

Well, truth be told, I'd plunged my dagger into the back of many-a-clergyman in my career, but now it seemed kind of, well, wrong. After all, were they not now my brethren? Oh well, I thought, sucks to be them. So I obliged. After a rather bloody day, my clanleader directed me to my new guild-house and told me I was ready to go out on my own.

Well, "Ready as you'll ever be," were his precise words, but I think he meant well.

Anyway, I headed out to my new guild and wouldn't you know it, but the high poobah, or whatever he is, seemed to recognize me. As soon as I entered, he stood up, looked me over, and let out a deep sigh.

"The thief master told me about you."

Swell! I even got good references! I mean, how lucky can a guy get?

Anyway, we set down to business and he trained me in some spells. How great is it being a cleric? Well, I'll tell you, after lugging around more green and swirling blue potions than I can count, being a cleric is like a blessing from Vryce! Thanking the priest, guy, person - whatever - I headed out to try out my newfound powers!

As I left he said, "Remember, you're not a thief anymore."

Of course I wasn't. Now I was more than that!

Well now, I thought to myself, what to do now? I had to try out some of my abilities. My first targets were a couple of zombies in the graveyard, but I suspected that I had to be careful.

You see, I had terminated some paladin guards in the cleric's quarter, and they'd promised retribution on me. I wasn't entirely sure these were the zombies of the paladins, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, paladins are a remarkably stubborn lot, holding onto odd ideas like 'honor' and 'justice.' On top of that, they're notoriously shortsighted about things like larceny, debauchery, acquiring gold, finding torn and brittle scrolls that might lead to some lucrative rewards - you know, the important things in life. So, I had made some rather bitter enemies among the paladins, which seeing as I was now a cleric, was a rather amusing circumstance.

Whoa! Hey now, how come you guys let me get off track again? Please, stop doing that, we really need to wrap this up! Anyway, I headed to the graveyard and began to play with some of my new spells. Well, the first thing I saw was a group of zombies. I was sneaking, so I got to listen in.

The first was slurring in the speech of someone whose tongue was slightly decomposed, "Ya, hes gots me too, dat durn krist put a hole in me back as big as yer 'ead. Not likes I 'ad any chance after he ripped me a goo' one like dat!"

The second shook its head and said, "Aw, that ain't nuthin! He got me in de back to and then twisted it a' it wa' commin' out! De low down sneak! Iffen 'e would fit us fair'n'square, we'd beat 'em bad!"

I chuckled to myself. It seemed that I'd found former prey of mine. Taking a deep breath, I chanted out the prayer for tremor.

As they were tossed to the ground, the second zombie looked at me with its good eye and said, "It's 'im! Oh wait, no, dis is the pathetic one dat took my gold after dat other one moved off."

Well, how rude! I am not pathetic! I never looted stuff until the killer was a ways off. And besides, I really needed the gold. It's not as if he was using it. Besides, I'd paid my dues. A certain deity type person, who shall remain unnamed, had certain words with me about that. And besides, now I was their servant, and it's best not to annoy one's masters. Grumbling at the poor manners of the undead, I continued to cast my spell until both of them were crushed.

After a while, I grew bored with the graveyard. I mean, I was impressed with my power, and I practically flew through crushing everything in sight, but it soon became rather dull. I decided to go after something a bit more exciting. I cast a new spell of mine, Word of Recall, and headed to the Medievian portal. After a series of very dull spinning portals, and a quick dragon ride, I was at the base of Spirited Heights. At the top lay Horneg's Tower, one of my favorite places to explore.

'Well, Horneg should watch out now!' I thought to myself, because now I was not only silent, but I was also magical! I'd teach him to blast me into itty bitty pieces!

With the stealth born out of years (and I do mean years) as a thief, I slipped through the nooks and crannies of Spirited Heights and entered Horneg's Tower. Rather than go straight to the top, I decided to have some fun with the locals. Meandering down a dark hallway, I spied a large gargoyle.

'All right, some fun!' I thought as I sized it up. Large didn't even begin to describe it. It was monstrous, but I'd beaten it before.

As I was considering the monster, I felt my clanleader say, "Hey, Aiv, get away from there! You're not ready yet for that zone!"

That showed what he knew. I'd played around in this place all the time as a thief.

Anyway, back to the gargoyle. I brought my weapon up and was about to backstab it, when something dawned on me. This stick I was holding probably wouldn't make much of a weapon for backstabbing. Crud, stupid me. Well, I still had my prayers.

I began to consider which one to cast. It really was a difficult decision, especially when I was so used to one direction of attack. However, the gargoyle made it easy for me. Turning around, it spied me and attacked. To my credit, I managed to dodge a few blows, but after a couple of seconds, he landed a nice backhand across my head. It was, um, very painful. I spun head over heels and crashed into a wall.

I tried to stand back up and fight some more, but the world seemed to be spinning.

"Mommy, please tell the world to stop spinning, I want to get off!" I wailed, wondering why it was moving so fast. A big shadow appeared over me. It looked sort of odd, like a stone monster of some sort. It kind of grinned at me and brought its foot down hard on my face.

All the pain and nausea disappeared, mainly because I was a very dead cleric, not to mention feeling a bit sheepish. I had a bit more to learn before I came back here, I guessed.

So I lay there in at least two pieces on the floor of a Dark Hallway, one eye looking at the ceiling and the other giving me a very good view of the back of my throat. Ah yes, there was the necromancer.

'Why was he laughing?' I wondered to myself.

He said to me, "Ah yes *chuckle* It seems that you're back and at it, eh? Shouldn't surprise me, I guess. *snicker* Nothing else does when it concerns you. Though, I admit, I'd think even you'd be smart enough to wait a bit before coming back here."

Well, how great. I had the smart-mouthed necromancer giving me advice! Ah well, I'd be back after I resurrected. After all, the only reason I lost was because the gargoyle got the drop on me.

Oh wait, here's my clanleader with his gem of souls... Hey wait, now he was laughing too...

'Well, aren't we all just a bundle of giggles today?' I thought to myself, quickly losing patience with people who are much to easily amused.

"Aiv, I'm going to resurrect you, but if you don't leave this zone immediately, I'm going to suggest to some goons that they may find some interest here. Get my drift?" my clanleader asked.

I got his drift, and I tried to nod, but since there seemed to be very little attaching my head to my shoulders it did not seem to work. He resurrected me and transported me to a nearby clan town.

"Okay, Aiv, you go back to the graveyard and be a good little cleric, alright?"

I sighed and headed back to the City of Medievia. I guess there's a lot more to learn about being a cleric before I can get back to the same level of proficiency I had as a thief.


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