Trade Article: The Way of the Warrior — a personal tale, by Elowan of Wind

Preface | Introduction | The beginning ... | Thy education ... | The Flower of Britannia | Black magic ... | Training up — as a beginner; as a novice; as an adept; as a master | Virtue Shield | The Noto killer | Some days it doesn't pay ... | I lose my Shield ... | A tale of two thieves | A tale of etiquette | The Lich — revisited | Elowan's Guide to Dungeon Delving

oday is February 18th, proclaimed by Lord British as Screw Elowan Day — or so it seems and all of it my fault. It started out reasonably enough. I had had a good day yesterday tearing up orcs, ogres and lizard men in Wind. Tailoring away until I could tailor no more (loaded with gold) so I recalled out to the bank. Stocked up on reagents with a little extra to stow in the bank against a rainy day. Had given a lot away to fellow adventurers and my stock was low. I don't hoard it — it can't be done anyway with the new bank limits and I couldn't put as much as I wanted into the bank so I had it on me. This along with Magic Clanger (an extremely accurate halberd of might) and my surpassingly accurate war axe of force and some scrolls of Blade Spirits. I Recalled to the entrance of Wind. Recalling is infinitely handier than trudging countless miles encountering nothing but miles made more tedious by the Lag Spirit. I do not recommend it for all travels, after all some exercise is said by the healers to be good for thine health.

Now as those of thee who've been to Wind know, the town has a semi-official greeter in the form of a lich who will sometimes station himself at the teleporter landing pad. Today was one of those days. I had on magic ringmail and with my Shield had an AR of 39. I had cast RA and MR so I was ready. Well — while I had waxed him before I forgot that today was Screw Elowan Day.

Note: Magical ringmail is a suitable substitute for the more ungainly plate armor since the latter often takes away considerably from thy dexterity. It is certainly more comfortable to wear than plate though perhaps not as "fashionable".

I haven't cast Blade Spirits before so I wasted a scroll by casting on top of the lich — that doesn't work. Thou must cast this spell at the feet of thy victim. In this way it is different than Energy Vortex — an 8th circle spell. He was casting spells rather rapidly (hast thee noticed there's no spell delay for monsters?) but I was whittling him down rapidly with my war axe (hast thee noticed that there's no spell interruption for monsters?) and resisting rather well despite my 24.6 resist down from 35 with no help from me (or the Great God OSI either, I might add) — when he got lucky and I get the familiar gray vision of death. I watch in my ghostly form while he loots me of my scrolls, magic leggings, etc. and then I run off to a healer leaving him bleeding with about 5 points of health left.

I get 'ressed' by a healer and then run to the Park for help. LivingLegend can't help, he's recalling out so as I'm chased out of the Park by a ravening pack of orcs (no doubt seeking revenge for the carnage I had visited upon their brethren the day before) I meet up with Sabbath and ask him the same question. He says: "Was that thy body?" Doh! "Well I killed the lich about 5 minutes ago".

"Didst thou get my stuff?"

"No there was a chap with a Chaos Shield guarding it when I left."

So I run back to my body — which is gone by now along with the lich corpse. There's nothing there but one of my packs with a few odds and ends left — naturally enough the axe and halberd were gone. Now I've watched orcs loot and I've immediately killed them to find the looted stuff on their miserable carcasses. So guess who has my stuff?

I run back to the Park meeting LivingLegend on the way (he had recalled to bathe and was now back) and he gave me some gold. Lot of good that will do in the present predicament but I am nothing if not grateful for small favors. I run to the provisioner and buy a shield and sword, don my ringmail tunic (that had not been looted at least — in point of fact stayed with me), and run back to the Park naked from the hips down. I find Sabbath at the south end finishing off an orc and I'm jumped by 4 of them plus a mongbat. I'm swatting and they're swatting and my HP's are going down and I have to beg for aid. Sabbath, tries Corp Por (why didn't he cast In Vas Mani, or at least In Mani on me?) which fizzle. I'm getting my derriere kicked (I'll need new underwear after this) so I make a break for it. He's still denying that he has my stuff — "the Chaos guy must have taken it" (the Chaos guy didn't kill the lich as thee may recall) whilst I scoot out of the teleporter. LivingLegend gives me some regs, I heal, stick my head in at the teleporter landing pad to be greeted by an ogre! Crap! My AR is 13! Run awaaay!

Finally the menace is dispatched and dear old Sabbath takes pity on me and lets me recall to Britain off his rune. What a fellow, upon mine honor! By-the-by, the so-called 'Chaos guy' never showed — unless he wasn't carrying his shield, but I digress. I suit up at the bank and take stock: magic war axe of force, magic halberd of might, runes (3), magic ringmail (tunic recovered but the legs were fortified of hardening and protection), plate mail gorget of hardening, closed helm of hardening, gloves, reagents, thigh boots of protection — all gone. Vanished I don't think but what can I prove? Nada! Fine! I'm not paranoid! Life goes on!

I recall out to Trinsic and whilst walking to the east gate meet up with Lord Dominion who's hawking his vendors wares — "here's a rune to my place… great prices on plate, yadada yadada" — on to Enshu Ponfar's vendor — usually has good stuff — buy a couple of ringmail legs of guarding. Whilst engaged in this pursuit a Fire Elemental comes sidling up to me, arms outstretched. Wooaghhh! One of my buds making sport I have no doubt. "Go away," says I. "My camping skill is too high already." Then I hear the 'magic' words: "A //kill." I didn't wait around and see who it was (it's in my log anyway. Turns out his name is DEATH — wowser!) that issued that command and he wasn't doing it right but I wasn't going to instruct him so I Recall. Come to think of it — I had heard 'Corp Por' off in the immediate vicinity but it had fizzled so I didn't take heed. Ye merciful gods! Talk about brains being scrambled. Someone must have stuck an eggbeater in mine ear.

In any event I stash my extras, suit up and decide to visit Lord Dominion's dominion. Please understand that I was still vibrating from my recent intimate involvement with this fellow DEATH (no — not the real Death, the other one that likes to play with fire elementals). Lord D's domain is, in fact, the graveyard north of Britain (get a clue here, El old boy? Not!). And his vendor's name is Nastassia. Within her pack is a nice assortment of armor all of it labeled durable and above and at 'nice' prices — actually out-of-sight prices but not wholly off the top. In one pack is: fortified war axe of force! Trala! Trala indeed at 2500 gold but then I was partially brain dead at the time; didn't have my wand of ID; but did have the money. There's a lesson here someplace; something about money substituting for brains but I misremember it exactly.

An aside here for those newbies amongst thee. If thou shouldst buy something that's labeled in a vendor's pack, it will not be labeled the same when thee gets it. Hence, fortified war axe of force will say "magic war axe" in thine pack; that's why thou must use an ID wand or staff to ID it for thineself before thou doth buy — get it?

Naturally when I ID'ed it back at the bank it is not what it was labeled in the vendor's pack. It is instead, a war axe of ruin with some clumsy charges — clumsy (and stupid) me. Thee will say that 2500 is too much to pay for any weapon in any event and in this case I would agree with thee. But experience always exacts a high tuition.

I went back with my wand to dear old Nastassia and ID'ed some of the stuff there — most is bogus. Our Lord Dominion is a freaking crook! So much for honor!

I am not always so philosophical. I work hard for the gold I earn — I don't steal it. 2500 gold is 2500 gold no matter the light in which thee views it. The message here is caveat emptor — let the buyer beware. Indeed. But private tutelage (experience) can be very expensive. But I must confess that I am unable to climb into the mind of such degenerates. Why do they do such things? Are they so insecure with either their skills or their manhood that they must stoop to "out-smarting" the other fellow? Does this make them feel good about themselves? And if so — why are they always grabbing at their crotches? There's a lesson there methinks.

to The Noto killer to I lose my Shield ...