Medievia Mudslinger

July 4, 2001

A Challenge for the Budding Authors

Based on an idea from the Clan Gersidi webpage, the Mudslinger Team came up with the idea of a player-written continuous serial. We challenge you, the reader and player, to come up with the next installment of a story that we have started for you.

The rules are as following:-

The usual rules on serials have been relaxed - we only want one episode at a time.

Keep using the same main characters unless you obtain permission from Excrucior to kill or add someone.

Similarly, keep the characters' personalities consistent. We've given them some characteristics here and the writers can add to this as they like, but anything that's added should not be changed. If someone is mentioned as being avaricious then you should not describe them as generous two episodes later.

The characters given are low level, maybe about ten or so, but we gave no specifics so you can work with them more easily. They know how each other works, so you don't need to describe every action minutely, but their knowledge of the realm doesn't go too far outside the immediate boundaries of the City of Medievia.

Use plot elements from previous tales to make it seem more like a story.

A section should be ended with a cliffhanger or a set of choices to make for the party. Lengthwise you should be aiming at maybe eight to ten Kb of TXT file as a guide (more is always welcome).

Death in this tale is not just a matter of ten minutes at an altar - that's a game system matter and should not be used. We want readers to think that death is something the characters should be worried about. PK doesn't really happen in this format either - combat is to the death.

We shall select the best from the entries we receive, but we reserve the right to tinker with the successful piece if deemed necessary.

The piece should be rather longer than this for length - we didn't want to restrict the potential author's creativity by providing too much plot.

The closing date for entries is one week after the release on the webpages.

We reserve the right to amend these rules as we deem necessary - at any notice.

Entwined Destinies - Part 1 - By Excrucior

The sun was not far above the horizon, but Kerlin was already impatient. Shading his eyes against the low rays, he peered down the cobbled streets of the City of Medievia. The usual early morning risers were much in evidence - guardsmen starting their patrols, a few priests of one of the munificent orders handing out succor to the wounded, ragamuffins trying to survive. The usual.

Eventually he caught sight of two familiar figures, a young woman in flowing, green robes and the other a man in sturdy chainmail with a white tabard. Kerlin grimaced - they didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry as they ambled along deep in discussion. He heard snatches of it as they approached.

"But of course humanity was meant to use magic. Didn't Vryce devise the spells that we use even today?" The robed speaker chanted and gesticulated briefly to create a glowing ball that she sent skittering across the cobbled street.

"Pah!" dismissed the chainmail-clad man as he waved a hand in the air. "The true magic is the power of the Gods as they work through us. That is how the powers of magic should be wrought. Your godless tinkering, especially that of the masters of your guild, shall damn us all one day."

"Hardly," replied the young lady in the robes as the man waved a finger as he remonstrated with her. She smiled at the man and was about to speak when she was interrupted.

"Herenia! Diren! Over here!" called Kerlin. The pair ceased their discussion and walked steadily across to the warrior. "Haven't you exhausted that argument yet?" he asked them.

"The will of the gods is all-enduring," Diren replied loftily. "I fear the godless amongst us shall not outlast them." Kerlin shook his head and waved his hand to cut the priest off. He was never too sure how serious the man was, although he was a good colleague in a fight and his curative powers had often saved them all. Herenia was easier to work with at times - she had an openly impish sense of humor and was even now smiling broadly.

"I don't need to reply to you, of course," she told him. Kerlin groaned inwardly - Herenia had a smart mouth and was always trying to get the last word. He'd stood shoulder to shoulder with each of them at different times and knew they were good in a fight, but sometimes they just grated on his nerves.

"Why you... You're conceding my point?" he asked in disbelief.

"Hardly. I just find that some arguments are best served by silence. Not in your scriptures, is it?"

"Calm down, both of you. I want to get started on this expedition before the night falls and your bickering can wait. We'll be off as soon as Losinia gets here," Kerlin announced, adding, "If she gets here."

"You ought to take lessons in faith from Diren," chuckled a voice from behind him and he span in an instant, his hand on his sword's hilt. Casually leaning against a wall was a slim woman dressed in heavily worn leather armor. She finished cleaning a thin-bladed dagger and put the stained rag in a pouch.

"Playing again?" he asked sarcastically. "Never mind, where have you been? Killing the locals as usual?"

"Nobody they'll ever miss. There's too many janitors around anyway," she drawled. She shrugged before sliding her dagger into her sheath - he watched her lightly scarred face closely, but couldn't detect any hint of remorse. Losinia was a good scout and handy in a fight, but he never fully trusted her to stay there - she always seemed to want to run from fair odds. Her laughter was empty of humor and her attitude to casual murder grated against his morals. He knew a little of her background - left to fend for herself in the poor district, fighting for survival against the gangs of children that roamed the streets. She never volunteered much information about herself and he didn't try to pry too deeply. She could have a nasty temper if pressed.

"I see," he said flatly, trying to show his disapproval. She arched an eyebrow at him as she brought out a purse that jangled with coins.

"We can afford horses and supplies. What's your problem?" she asked with a derisive curl of her upper lip.

"Just how many have you killed?" hissed Diren in shock.

"You'll have the guards chasing us all the way to Trellor!" exclaimed Herenia before looking around to see if anyone was close enough to hear. Losinia smiled thinly and shrugged again, a slight movement that betrayed little.

"You look as if you need the exercise," she eventually said.

"We'd best get to the stables," sighed Kerlin in resignation. "Best to make a fast start if we're going to get some clear ground between us and the guards before they find the corpses." He strode off along the road without waiting to see who followed.

"The Courrain hides corpses well enough. They'll be floating past Sea's End by the end of the week," mused Losinia in a soft tone, not loud enough for Kerlin to hear, but loud enough to scare a passing janitor. She stared at him until he ran, but only gave a snort of contempt before following the rest of the group. Her feet made little noise as she trotted along.

Kerlin wrinkled his nose as he stepped over a pile of organic matter at the entrance to the stables. Diren and Herenia watched, but wisely stayed just outside and Losinia took her time arriving. The gathering crowds of city-dwellers and their purses were just too tempting a target for her deft fingers.

Kerlin emerged from the stables with the reins of four warhorses and a pale face. "I've killed men and goblins, slain kobolds by the score, even sent rotting zombies back to their graves," he declared weakly as he passed the reins around, "but I don't know how those stablehands can stand it in there." The horse he was left with whickered softly and gave the reins a gentle tug as if in sympathy.

Diren looked across at him as he clambered into his saddle. "So, brave leader of men, just where are we bound?" Kerlin glanced around to see Diren and Herenia watching him intently, but Losinia was engrossed in checking her mount's cinches. He would have bet his sword and shield that she was listening closely, though. She was like that.

So what do our brave (prospective) heroes do? Where will you take them? They are obtaining mounts so it's likely that they'll be heading farther than the graveyard/forbidden forest sort of areas. Let your mind think about the possibilities available to the group and how they would act.


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