Ho ho.. erm.. Happy Holiday season everybody, whatever holiday(s) you may or may not celebrate this time of year. Winter is well upon us, hope everyone's keeping warm (if not, grab the person next to you to get warmer!). This issue sees the return of Tales of Terra as my hard drive backup thankfully worked. If you haven't noticed, there have been lots of changes on the game AND at the web site, so make sure to read the NEWS below to get the details!
A massive amount of work and effort went into the current release of version 3.3.2 of TF. Here's an overview of the latest new features, additions and improvements:
New quests include the CAVE quest by Lucas and VAMPIRE by Lister. Blacksmiths can now manufacture armour and swords for you! For a fee you can create your own equipment from a list including Backplates, Shields and Swords. Thanks to Nirvana for this coding effort. If you haven't tried out the new TURFE TAVERN created by Cyn and Firefly you've been missing out. The layout of the Tavern has changed and several new rooms were added on. You can order drinks for free (for now) at the main bar, and check out our new "linked" locations and the more lively mobiles! Other taverns on the game will eventually be expanded in a similar fashion. We know the new Tavern format is worth it when a sight such as "Lister gives his meat to The Wench" is observed! (Which it HAS been!)
In the MAJICK system, you can now view the full spellbook. Note that not all spells are available to you, but if you try to cast a spell that is too powerful for you, you'll get a message. Two new spells were added: RELEASE, which counteracts the effects of the Vampire Curse, and HOLD, which will majically seal any object closed. The spell DIM has changed, it now does not guarantee immunity against the tougher mobiles around. The stronger the mobile is, the more chance they will see through your majick and attack.
Updated INFO and HELP files are being brought to you with the help of Bambi and Firefly, and entirely updated Bard HINTS have been brought to you by Ted and BabyGirl. The Bard's HINTS only cost 1% in credits of quest experience value now, so go get some! The large HINT GENERAL category only costs 5 credits apiece. A new paging system for some commands (such as long board postings) was added by Cyn. Along with all these other improvements, the coding and zone teams have been continuing their constant work at bug fixing and ensuring continuity in the world of Terra.
The MUDwedding of Ted and SickBoy took place on October 28th, presided over by Death. It began with an Untouchable stating (about Death): "we dont want him killing the mortals,it would make a mess of the wedding" and ended with The Tree consuming every mortal (and morphed Untouchable, I might add, *cough*) in sight! All in all quite exciting stuff.
There were a few more real-life meet ups... read about SickBoy's adventures with Cub and Firefly below. BabyGirl and StGeorge spent Thanksgiving Holiday in the states with Rewind and his family. And a bunch of people met up in Southampton in the end of November (Jodi, Onion, Qwerty, Dale, Wilf, Ruth, Stencil, Twiglet, Aeila, Bingo, Nick). Catch some new photos at the MEET page on the web site!
Also, that dratted GUIDE section has been completely renovated, cleaned up, and even added to! Here you'll now find Frequently Asked Questions, game guides, all the game INFO and QINFO files. There are still plans to add to and expand some features of this area, such as the Tourist Guide.
Also check out a few new player AND Untouchable pages/links, and several new MEET photos.
The story is unravelled in a series of news fliers bundled together:
RATS OVERTAKE TOWN!: MAYOR AND COUNSELLORS AT LOSS FOR SOLUTION
Our great town of Hamelin suddenly finds itself in the midst of a plague of black rats that have invaded, indeed, every aspect of our lives! They swarm boldly through the streets, even during the daytime. They may be found in our coats, our hats, our breeches... our cupboards, boxes, pockets... everywhere! They eat all the food they find and are slowly destroying everything they can get their teeth on. All cats in town are now dead or gone, as well the dogs. Even the strongest poison we can find has no effect on these monstrous creatures, and the entire populace is at a loss for what to do, who will save us?
STRANGER APPEARS AND SUSPICIOUSLY RIDS HAMELIN OF RATS, MAKES THREAT TO TOWN LEADERS
Yesterday afternoon a stranger appeared in town, singing an odd phrase in some foreign language: "Qui vivra verra: Le voila, le preneur des rats." Citizens took immediate notice of the stranger because he was peculiarly dressed in a brightly coloured costume from head to toe, singing and piping his way through the streets. He walked through town, and right up to the mayor's office, where the town leaders were meeting about the problem of the rats. According to witnesses, the stranger told the mayor and counsellors that if they would make it worth his while, he would rid Hamelin of rats by morning. The town leaders, of course, were willing to try anything and so offered the stranger one credit per dead rat.
The piper asked that as night fell, all residents return to their houses and stay in them. As the moon rose, he appeared in the town square with a beautiful golden pipe, and began to play. His song, at first slow, crescendoed into a lively and urgent tune, penetrating to the farthest alleys and retreats of the town. Out from doors, windows, cellars and gutters, from every nook and corner, came rats of every size. They filed down the narrow streets, past the shops, past the church, past the town hall... all following the piper and his tune.
He led the swarm south, towards the river and, having arrived at its banks, turned and cried, "Hop! Hop!" He pointed to the middle of the river where the water whirled and swirled, drawn down into a funnel. Without hesitation, the rats leapt into the water, one after another, and disappeared. This went on for several hours, but at last came an old rat, dragging himself slowly. To the amazement of witnesses, the piper addressed the old rat:
"Are they all there, friend Blanchet?" asked the piper.
"They are all there," replied friend Blanchet. "Nine hundred and ninety thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine in all."
"Well reckoned! Then go and join them old sire, and au revoir."
The old rat then dived into the river and disappeared into the whirlpool. For the first time in months, the people of Hamelin slept quietly through the night.
In the morning, the piper visited the town hall, where the town counsel awaited him. The counsel was convinced that the piper was a sorcerer who had sent the rats to plague Hamelin in the first place only so that he could come and trick them out of their money. A counsellor asked the piper where his dead rats were, in order for them to pay him one credit per rat.
The rat catcher's face grew pale in anger. "The rats!" cried the piper, "if you care to find them, you may find them all dead in the river."
Accusing the piper of not holding to his terms of the agreement, the town leaders dismissed him, saying they would pay him nothing.
At this, the piper's eyes flashed with fire. Gazing steadily at the mayor and counsellors, he said "You will bitterly regret ever breaking your promise. If you will not pay me, I will be paid by your heirs." Thereupon he went hastily out of the hall, and left the town without speaking to a soul. As the news of the piper's threat spread through town, citizens laughed, claiming that the rat catcher had been caught in his own trap. They laughed even more at the idea that their heirs would ever pay the piper.
HAMELIN CHILDREN ARE MISSING: MYSTERIOUS PIPER IS BLAMED!
Sadly the sun broke over our shocked town this morning, when all citizens of Hamelin slowly came to realise that all of the town's children are missing, save one, a tiny crippled boy who told this tale:
He said that he had been awakened in the early morning, while it was still dark, by the sound of pipes, which he followed to the town square. There were assembled all the children of Hamelin, listening to the pied piper. Then the stranger began to walk quickly, and the children followed, running, singing, and dancing to the music. He led them up into the mountains and caves outside of town. As they approached a dark rock, the piper played louder, and a great door opened, revealing a cave beyond. The piper led the children inside, and the mountain closed up again, leaving behind only the poor crippled child who could not keep up with the others.
Upon hearing this story, the parents immediately ran to the mountain
with any tools they could find. They searched all day for the opening
into which their children disappeared, without being able to find it.
As night fell, they returned in desolation to the town. The citizens
of Hamelin now offer a great reward to any hero who can figure out the
riddle and return their children.
Relationships are hard. It's like a full-time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice. There should be severance pay, and before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp.
I've been doing the Fonda workout: The Peter Fonda workout. That's where I wake up, take a hit of acid, smoke a joint, and go to my sister's house and ask her for money.
My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'
What do people mean when they say the computer went down on them?
When you look at Prince Charles, don't you think that someone in the Royal family knew someone in the Royal family?
A woman broke up with me and sent me pictures of her and her new boyfriend in bed together. Solution?? I sent them to her dad.
A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: Duh.
Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it's you.
Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.
The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. 'Come on, buddy, let's go. You get past me, the guy in back of me, he's got a spoon. Back off. I've got the toe clippers right here.'
Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner.
I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in NewYork said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'
If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography.
Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic?
Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end.
In elementary school, in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic? Do tall people burn slower?
Every time a baseball player grabs his crotch, it makes him spit. That's why you should never date a baseball player.
I had a linguistics professor who said that it's man's ability to use language that makes him the dominant species on the planet. That may be. But I think there's one other thing that separates us from animals. We aren't afraid of vacuum cleaners.
I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.
Some women hold up dresses that are so ugly and they always say the same thing: 'This looks much better on.' On what? On fire?
Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.
I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
I went into a McDonald's yesterday and said, "I'd like some fries." The girl at the counter said, "Would you like some fries with that?"
The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you're off it.
Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.
I date this girl for two years-and then the nagging starts: "I wanna know your name".
Advertising: The science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain.
The reason most people play golf is to wear clothes they would not be caught dead in otherwise.
You have a cough? Go home tonight, eat a whole box of Ex-Lax, tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough.
Don't spend two dollars to dry clean a shirt. Donate it to the Salvation Army instead. They'll clean it and put it on a hanger. Next morning buy it back for seventy-five cents.
I'm desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.
Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.
It's not hard to tell we was poor-when you saw the toilet paper dryin' on the clothes line.
If it weren't for electricity we'd all be watching television by candlelight.
A lady came up to me on the street and pointed at my suede jacket. You know a cow was murdered for that jacket?' she sneered. I replied in a psychotic tone, I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too."
I was a vegetarian until I started leaning towards sunlight.
If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.
If God dropped acid, would he see people?
It was Wednesday 2nd December, about 2pm I think. I'd just got up after having a few drinks the night before for my Birthday. I sat down at a terminal, logged on to TerraFirmA and in the words of the Fun Lovin' Criminals, 'everything was cool, everything was schmoove.' That was however, until I'd done my round of the boards at Terra. About this time a few players were trying to organise a few Terra Meets - one in Southampton and one in the US. It was then I read a posting from one US player about how meets were a bad idea, because no-one got on, never talked, unless it was to slag off / gossip about other players, and no-one was like their character in real life. Only a week or so earlier I'd been invited to a party at Cub's house. "Sure I'll go," I said without really thinking, after all My Sis (Nirvana) and her fiancee (Lister) were going, as well as some other people. It was also a chance to meet my MUD wife Ted, and Flea, Lucas, Firefly and Vardick. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, in the end the only other person from Terra who could make it was Firefly. But I needed a break, had two weeks off work and thought, why not, I'll go. After all, I'd had small talk with Firefly in between her frequent coffee breaks and idling, sorry, working, ahem. And Cub, well Cub was Cub. We get on quite well on Terra, she has great taste in music and this was my chance to meet her, her mobile Martin and see her homeroom, The Poptastic Club in real life. And I'd get my own ShagTag. :)
I got up late on Friday morning, threw some clothes and stuff in a bag, had a quick shower and ran to the train station. On the bus, inevitably stuck in between two old women who were determined to 'talk' through me, I reached for a drink from my bag. It was then I realised what I'd forgot to pack. The Alcohol! *EEK!* *DOH!* *SCREAM!* One quick dash to the food cart and ten quid later I had me four tins of Stella and two Grab Bags of crisps. Who could ask for more. Except for a "noshout" on the old women next to me. Hehehe :)
Finally got to Manchester at 15:15, train bang on time. *Faint* Got off the train and started to follow the instructions Cub had mailed me. Go down stairs, check. Turn right, check. Walk down street until you see Bull's Head, check. Go in, check. Buy a pint, check. Meet Emma at the bar, erm... Okay, no females in the pub. Hmm. Maybe just running late. I'll drink my pint. Yummy. Still no sign. I'll have another. Yummy. Still no sign. Eek. Start to panic. Ah, sod it, have another pint. Then as I handed over my money, the barmaid, spotting it was Scottish money asked if I was Cub's friend from Scotland. Smart and good looking. And she serves beer. What more could a guy want ;) I should have known that meet Emma at the bar meant she'd be behind the bar. All my fault. Or so Cub says!! The drunk guy sitting next to me calling her Elaine didn't help either. Anyway, not long after Cub came in the bar. She recognised me straight away. There was no silences, no nerves, just a wee hug, a big smile and an 'Alright there' greeting. *Whew* I'd seen pictures of Cub so I have to say she did look like I expected. And, contrary› to what I read on the player board, she was pretty much the same as she was on Terra.
I was more nervous about meeting Firefly that night at the party. I'd started to sober up from my drinking during the day so me and Cub got 3 bottles of wine, bottle of vodka, a half bottle of rum, 6 tins of strongbow and 6 Reefs to amend that situation. So there was me sitting on the couch drinking away happily when I heard 'Hi Firefly' coming from the other room. I'd never seen Firefly before and all kinds of images were running through my mind. I've only ever talked to Firefly in office hours really and only recollection of any clue as to how she looked was her moaning about hitting the big 30. So here was me picturing this middle aged women. Then this cool young looking lassie walks in the door and I was like, no way. She wasn't at all like I'd pictured her but was still like I'd found her to be on Terra. Very chatty and a very dry cutting wit. We don't exactly have a lot in common but we still must have sat and chatted for about two hours whilst Cub was, for want of a better term, Link Dead - unavailable for conversation. ;) Admittedly I probably talked bollocks for my share of it, being halfway through the bottle of vodka.
Saturday night was Poptastic night. Alcoholic Irn Bru, excellent music and a Shirley Manson look-alike all under one roof. Heaven. Oh.. And lots of lassie's kissing each other.... Sunday night we just chilled a bit. Monday night we done a pub quiz and came in second by one point. Cub and myself still kick ourselves. We would have won it had we known our Scottish Goalkeeping history. I feel so ashamed. Generally there was a lot of drinking and stuff.
I had a great time. Glad I did it. And I plan to do it again. Cub said I could visit again and I intend to. And I've said Cub and Firefly are welcome up to Dundee anytime. I also would like to meet a few of the other players from Terra, Flea and Ted have an open invite to visit anytime. So, I'd honestly say, if you do get a chance to go to a meet then go for it. I don't know what prompted the attack on meets on the board, maybe it was bad personal experience. But it is a personal thing. It might be your kinda thing it might not, but you won't know until you try.
Product of a night with too much cider...
By Brad Nixon (Rewind) and Jason Selanders (Remeus)
I cannot promise you all the gifts from the twelve days of Christmas this year as the twelve fiddlers have all come down with the clap from fiddling with the ten ladies dancing. The eleven lords a-leaping have knocked up the eight maids a-milking, and the nine pipers piping have been arrested for doing weird things with the seven swans a-swiming. The six geese alaying, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and that damn partridge in the pear tree have me up to my ass in bird shit.
On top of that, Mrs. Claus is going through menopause, eight of my reindeer are in heat and the elves have run off and joined a cult!
As we all start a new year, it is time again to make those ever so important New Year's Resolutions. I have faithfully made such resolutions in the past, and while I haven't been able to keep all of them, I have tried my best to continue making progress on them year after year. Following is my revised list of "New Year's Resolutions - 1999 Edition":
1996: I will try to be a better husband to Marge.
1997: I will not leave Marge.
1998: I will try for a reconciliation with Marge.
1999: I will try to be a better husband to Wanda.
1996: I will stop looking at other women.
1997: I will not get involved with Wanda.
1998: I will not let Wanda pressure me into another marriage.
1999: I will stop looking at other women.
1996: I will not let my boss push me around.
1997: I will not let my sadistic boss drive me to the point of suicide.
1998: I will stick up for my rights when my boss bullies me.
1999: I will tell Dr. Hodger and the group about my boss.
1996: I will read at least 20 good books a year.
1997: I will read at least 10 books a year.
1998: I will read 5 books a year.
1999: I will finish Airport.
1996: I will not get upset when Charlie and Sam make jokes about my baldness.
1997: I will not get annoyed when Charlie and Sam kid me about my toupee.
1998: I will not lose my temper when they tell the guys I wear a girdle.
1999: I will not speak to Charlie and Sam.
1996: I will get my weight down below 180.
1997: I will watch my calories until I get below 190.
1998: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200.
1999: I will try to develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
1996: I will not take a drink before 5:00 p.m.
1997: I will not touch the bottle before noon.
1998: I will not become a "problem drinker".
1999: I will not miss any AA meetings.
1996: I will not spend my money frivolously.
1997: I will pay off my bank loan promptly.
1998: I will pay off my bank loans promptly.
1999: I will begin making a strong effort to be out of debt by 2000.
1996: I will see my dentist this year.
1997: I will have my cavities filled this year.
1998: I will have my root canal work done this year.
1999: I will get rid of my denture breath this year.
1996: I will go to church every Sunday.
1997: I will go to church as often as possible.
1998: I will set aside time each day for prayer and meditation.
1999: I will try to catch the late night sermonette on TV.
1996: I will not be self-destructive.
Check out a bunch of free screen savers, graphics, sounds, fonts, and also sweepstakes, contests and send-aways at thefreesite.com!
The Cider Sufer's Arms
Drink, drink, and be merry. Here's a bit more than you might ever wanna know about this popular beverage. (And a screen saver!??!)
Sheer Phallacy - The Phallic Symbols Collection
This stuff is pretty hilarious. I found it interesting, maybe you will too ;-)
BabyGirl hasn't posted a MadLib on the game board in a long, long, time... you must be missing them! Get your fix here.
I'm trying to compile a list called, "You know you've been playing TerraFirma too long when..." If you could send your sayings to firstname.lastname@example.org I'd greatly appreciate it!† IE: When you take a metal detector to the beach on vacation trying to find those elusive gauntlets!
Thus ends this issue, and also the year of 1998 pretty soon!
May you all have a happy and safe holiday and find happiness in the New Year of 1999.
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