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
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
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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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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