[pnpgm] Game Updae #148 - File #1042 - Zhou's lesson

Scott Adams longshotgm at netzero.com
Mon Feb 7 18:36:18 CET 2011

  HT Alias/Player          Character Name    Type    Status/Notes  Sex
  -- -----------------------------------------------------------------
  R1.John Haight...........Arawn.............Druid  .Normal/Alfar  Ma
  ??.Chris Wells...........Ben'dar...........Warrior.Normal/Human  Ma
  R4.Tom Corckett..........Caladan...........Wizard  Normal/Human  Ma
  W2.Marcel Liberty........Chion.............Sailor..Normal/Human  Ma
  W3.Ryan Torres...........Farseeker.........Warrior.Normal/Human  Ma
  --.Tobie Bonahoom........Fremea............Sidh....Normal/Faerry Fe
  R2.Mark Murtha...........Kell..............Trader..Normal/Human..Ma
  R1.David Sanders.........Kiet.Sunan........Acrobat Normal/Human  Ma
  R4.J H Hooten............Raban.Usherwood...Bard....Normal/Human..Ma
  W2.Robert Maxwell........Strie'bog.........Bard....Normal/Human..Ma
  W4.Wout Broere...........Unali.............Ninja...Normal/Human  Fe
  R1 John.Stowman..........Will..............Hunter..Normal/Human..Ma
  R4.Alex Koponen..........Z'leyra...........Healer..Normal/Human  Fe
  R1 NPC...................Zhou Kiwat........Noble...Normal/Human..Ma
     Animals: Corona [Eagle] Z'leyra, Tef'wo (Horse) Ben'dar, 

     Game Web Site - http://www.furvert.net/longshotgm/pbem/index.htm
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     Game Update #148 in sequence (file #1042)      
     Admin Notes: Roster updated - The cover names removed as they most
     likely won't be used from this point on.  If needed they can be
     found in older updates. 

        From Fremea: [Re: Actions]
          Hearing Zhou's words about the party and herself, she wonders..
          Fremea watches the bugs in fascination as they move to create...

          When the position of the "Brain" is found on the map, she
          considers what to do to get ready. "I say we need to get there...
        GM: Ack. Good stuff.  Will use it unedited.  

        From Z'leyra: [Re: Actions]
          Z'leyra decides to carve some fighting daggers out of wood while
          the party heads towards the center of the Vong infection. If the
          party doesn't have time to fetch their magical gear before a big
          fight with the Vong, she might still be able to enchant a wooden
          dagger to help slay the Vong. She tries to make sure to be ready
          to recover any material that might be used to dedicate items for
          use against the Vong.
        GM: Ack. Note made on char sheet in case I forget.  It will be hard
            to ride and carve with one hand.  A bit dangerous.  So would
            only have brief time at camp or rest.  But the first day your
            tired from no sleep the previous night since stayed up all
            night at the tavern.

        From Kiet: [Re: Actions]
          I'm going to preface this with saying that none of this is
          intended to offend.  It is not...NOT...a comment on the game,
          the GM, nor any players.  I am merely seeking to write
          creatively.  I'm just trying to write what Kiet is thinking/
          feeling, as he doesn't think much of Zhou. - Dave

          Kiet listens, though with great difficulty, to the speeches...
        GM: Ack.  Good stuff as well.  I'll include the retrospections
            below unedited.  Of course since Zhou is npc that means
            his words are mine.  So I take total offense.  I'll figure
            out a way to kill Kiet without it looking like revenge. :)
            Just kidding...I think. :)

        From Arawn: [Re: Actions]
          "I hope as much as well, Fremea. Rua had mentioned that their...

          "Likely the Vong will have many eyes watching the river and...
          Arawn remained silent throughout Zhou's speech. The High Elder...
        GM; Ack.

        From Fremea: [Re: Actions]
          Fremea "overhears" Kiets thoughts and decides he must really
          love Zhou. She will make sure that flowers are picked and left
          for Zhou in 'interesting' places with a note that comes from
          Kiet, helping the kindling relationship to bloom into something
          wonderful between them.
          <ooc - just couldn't resist.>
        GM: Ack. Heh.  That's the Faerry way! Be playful.  Actually Arawn
            can read Kiet's hidden emotion so he might help as well. :)

        From Will: [Re: Actions]
          As Will watches Arawn and the others with the maps he leans
          over and asks " can the bugs show us on the map?"
        GM: Ack. 

        From Kell: [Re: Actions]
          [FYI, I finally got a new job.  This is my new work email, so feel
          free to use it.  I'm not adding it to the list yet, but welcome
          emails.  Mark]

          As Arawn scans the shoreline and mentions possible Vong usage...
          During Zhou's speech, Ha'Kell restrains himself from poking....
          After the speech, Kell stands quickly with a spear and his...
          Watching the bugs align as maps over and over makes Ha'Kell..

          "Rising Mount.  Interesting name that.  I vote we ride and...
          [Vote for travel - overland by horse/wagon/etc.]
        GM: Ack. Congrats on job!!! If want I can add the email to the
            contact file/link on the website. GPS cute! Too bad couldn't
            come up with a good retort on short notice. Zhou is a fake
            Duke in reality not a noble. :)

     [New Stuff]

         [Augado 6th, 1634TH]
         [Location: Middle Katai Plains] 
         [          Pamau Province, Pamau City]
         [          Northeast of city margins, few miles, river edge]

         [Time: 6:08am]

           As the party travel west along the river, Arawn scans the
         area for possible Vong interference.

           As Arawn scans the shoreline and mentions possible Vong usage of
         the river Ha'Kell's ears perk up.  "Ah! I wonder if some of those
         mines that use this river are now Vong bases?  Possibly there is a
         hidden or underground lake somewhere upriver the Vong can use to
         grow their items, such as Lake Oca.  I wonder?  Whilst we don't
         have time to explore but it's interesting to ponder."  The half-
         elf extends his senses as much as possible as the party rides to
         breakfast.  He gives his horse a pat on the neck and smiles in
         the barely lighted day to those around him, showing his white
         teeth and rare truly happy smile for some reason.

           As the party ride to avoid being seen, Kell doesn't spot
         any source of mana or unusualness from his senses. 


         [Time: 6:42am]

           Zhou goes around in his awkward attempt at motivational speaking.
         The party is soon aware his rhetoric skill is not as high as say
         Duke Aren's or The High Elder's but he is at least trying.  Some
         listen and scoff while others take the words to heart.

           Hearing Zhou's words about the party and herself, Fremea wonders
         if he is wanting to create a bond with everyone. She might seem
         like she is lost in a huge world, but she can tell when a person
         knows he is going to lose people he has come to rely on, whether
         it is from someone dying or they are just leaving. Fremea knows
         Zhou is going to lose this position when this is all done and
         lose 'his' people/group. She can tell it frustrates him that he
         may just have to go back to being the servant to the Old Master.
         She understands this, because it is something she never wants to
         do again. As Zhou talks about people staying for whatever reason,
         she thinks to herself about her own reason. Finding her parents,
         but in order to do that, she needs to make sure they are safe
         from creatures like the Vong. And the biggest reason, revenge on
         those that would have her do things against her values. Of course
         she still has not told this group yet of some of the things she is
         capable of, but they seem to accept her for now.

           Kiet listens, though with great difficulty, to the speeches Zhou
         has obviously been working on for some time.  He would have rolled
         his eyes at some of the references but thought it might offend
         others in the group, though it was a tremendous effort to refrain.
         Even if each demon had his own level of hell there wouldn't be one
         deep or dark or hot enough to send this babbling idiot to his
         rightful fate.  Kiet is certain that there are special levels of
         hell for speech makers.

           When he starts with "You may be asking how and why we are
         here..."  'By Nergal's Spear!'  Kiet thinks to himself, knowing
         full well how he got here!  And he still gritted his teeth
         remembering it!  He so looks very much forward to discharging
         this duty and moving on with his life...to someplace he might
         cast and find his magicks.

           Kiet almost wonders about that snake in the wedding square
         that attacked him.  Was it the High Elder or even Zhou who
         arranged that bit or was it just an accident of fate?

           When Zhou was speaking about Arawn, and the Vong, Kiet almost
         wondered if Zhou had gone insane and then very nearly lost his
         composure. "We have seen that not all Vong are bad..."  Oh, by
         Murmur's Black Eyes!  Not all bad?  No, those who aren't hideously
         evil are only controlled to the point of their death should they
         try anything their masters might not like! Kiet remembers one
         foolish woman speak once about how there are no evil people,
         they're just misunderstood.  Well, Kiet begs to differ, and
         thinks  that Zhou may have been visiting the opium dens a bit
         too much.

           And then (shudder) Zhou grabs Kiet's arm...oh, he hates that.
         Kiet doesn't especially like to be touched.  He almost reacted
         instinctively to break his arm, but was able to control himself.
         Zhou should well consider himself lucky this day!  Still, Zhou was
         smart enough to release him and back off a bit.

           Kiet continues to replay the speech in his mind and what
         Zhou had said exactly.

           "You admit you are not one of the front line fighters here..."
         Oh, great. Well, thank you very much for pointing that out in
         front of the gods and everyone.  Kiet turns red, embarrassed by
         such talk.  It's one thing for Kiet to say it about himself, but
         for Zhou to say it this way, and in front of all these
         companions...is beyond the pale.

           "In fact the large majority of this world are like you..."
         Kiet doubts very seriously if the majority in this world are
         like him.  Most are a good deal more squeamish, and hardly able
         to control mana as can the young man from Lemasa.

           "A group of peasants can take down a giant as a mob faster than
         a small squad of well trained fighters if they wish to..."  Well,
         sure they can, but a lot of the peasants are gonna die in the
         attempt.  The soldiers have a far better chance to survive.  And
         Kiet would like to survive. Oh, and thank you for equating me to a
         peasant, you overblown paper pusher.  Kiet almost misses the rest
         of the speech with that, but it continues.

           "This makes you even more a threat to our enemy than the best
         fighter here..."  Kiet almost loses it completely with that one,
         but not in anger...Kiet almost chokes trying to hold down the
         laughter.  He wonders what the others in the group that have
         killed so many Vong think of little Kiet being called more of a
         threat to them than are those warriors!

           Kiet's eyes open wide, and he excuses himself and then turns
         away from everyone, trying so hard not to simply explode in

           When Kiet returns Zhou is speaking to others.  Strie'bog
         leans over to Kiet and looks him in the face.  The Vassa
         Bard already has a green complexion like he is constantly
         sick or pale but now he makes comment on Kiet. "Gas? Those beans
         last night didn't help me much either."  The bard grins and
         pats his stomach.  At that Kiet does give off a slight burst
         of laughter but stifles it quickly.  Kiet realizes the bard
         thought he left for that reason rather than just getting enough
         of Zhou.

           Arawn remained silent throughout Zhou's speech. The High Elder
         had chosen the man to go on a most deadly expedition, despite his
         protests and lack of training. Zhou had grown since leaving the
         Dark Lands and he guessed that the High Elder had meant for this,
         that he had plans for the man. Whether to further Ki'ama's agendas
         or to help Zhou discover his own destiny and personal power, beyond
         this adventure, was unknown to the Alfar but he suspected a bit of
         both. Likely there was more to Zhou's past than the man either
         knew or was willing to share or else the HE saw a significant
         future that Zhou would need to be prepared for some day.

           After Zhou was done Arawn sat quietly in thought for some time.
         "There had been mention of humans in the mountain. Aside from
         Peace Brigaders humans had been disappearing for some time and
         possibly linked to the Vong, possibly controlled like the Baroness
         or used for sacrifice, work or entertainment. Who knows how many
         are there and I wonder, will we be able to rescue them?"

           "I suspect we'll find that out soon enough." Zhou says grimly.

           During Zhou's speech, Ha'Kell restrains himself from poking fun
         at the man.  He is obviously trying, trying what Kell isn't really
         sure of, but he is trying.

           As Zhou reaches the part of the Zen'Da barbarians repelling the
         Vong, he turns to Ben'dar and restrains him.  Whispering to Ben'dar
         in Zen'da, "We don't need to kill Zhou at this late date," grinning
         at the horseman, "at least not yet."  But hearing Zhou insult the
         Zen'da like this makes Kell mad, after all Ba'ru is very closely
         related to Zen'da and considered friendly.

           This mission is both a great honor and extremely dangerous, as
         Shu and Whitney both knew.  Nodding to himself, Kell is happy the
         group is every bit as deadly as the Vong, and twice as creative.

           Raban listens somewhat confused by all the speeches, he
         realizes it is an attempt to rally morale more than anything else.
         He understands such can be useful but there was no need in his
         case. With something this important, you cannot let yourself fail
         no matter how impossible it may seem. You let those who are good
         at planning do what they can and do your best to follow it.

           Raban laughs learning his contribution was so important, surely
         they would have thought of it eventually, but it was good to help.

           After Zhou's speech, Unali will mutter "Yes, let us all remember
         Shu, who put her life on the frontline knowing she would perish.
         Let make sure her life wasn't without purpose." The remark is
         not directed at anyone in particular and not made very load.
         Those close by can hear it well though.

           After the speech, Kell stands quickly with a spear and his
         shield, tossing another spear to Zhou then springing at the man.
         "Defend yourself! Show us you can fight and have a backbone!" and
         begins to spar with Zhou.

           Zhou grabs the spear and looks a bit shocked at this sudden
         turn of events.  When Kell approaches in a battle stance the
         man stares in disbelief why an ally would do such a thing.
         This isn't a training session this half breed seems to want to
         do serious damage to him!

           Kell feigns two attacks with thrusts toward Zhou to get him
         to move but Zhou simply steps back still confused and dazed.

           Upset Kell swings the spear to the side of Zhou's shoulder and
         knocks him down flat on the ground.  Several gasps or slight
         giggles are heard from others.  Kell places the spear on the
         man's throat. Scowling, "Be glad I'm no Vong or you'd be dead.
         Next time don't hesitate.  If your inaction causes one of us to
         die, I will not be happy."  Then he'll extend a hand and help the
         fake duke up, "I do appreciate your words and your heart, you have
         changed.  Keep growing your backbone."

           Zhou stands and dusts his cape off.  He glances to others and
         notices smirks from some of them.  The man bristles a bit and
         waves a hand through his hair.  To be challenged and then simply
         embarrassed is not good.  If Ki'ama heard he'd never be able to
         save face again.  As anger boils through Zhou's blood, Kell
         turns around.  But Zhou says, "wait" with a calm voice.

           Kell turns around slowly and Zhou begins to crouch in a battle
         stance.  Kell grins and charges forward.  As Kell thrusts once
         Zhou brings the spear up to block the blow with both hands. Kell
         retries and it is blocked again.  Then a third time.  Kell now
         begins to bristle from his own anger.  Zhou then tosses the
         spear to the ground.

           "When you live in a land where magic is done with gestures and
         eyes you learn to read others.  I can read you as I can a guest
         book in a party. " Zhou grins and then pulls a dagger. "Now let's
         have a fair fight since I don't use the pointy rods."

           Kell feels the fight isn't too fair.  A spear against a dagger
         means Kell has the clear advantage and reach.  But if the man
         wishes to do so then so be it. Now if it was Unali with those
         daggers Kell would certainly think twice.  Zhou swings high and
         in a obvious wild swing.  Kell ducks the blow easily as if Zhou
         wishes to play first.

           Kell thrusts his spear toward the man's lower chest.  The blow
         wouldn't be enough to kill but it could certainly hurt since Kell
         is pulling back slightly, though with effort not to kill.  Zhou
         twists and with his left hand uses the long cap wrapped around
         his arm to pull up and redeflect the spear away and to the side.

           Zhou then uses his right hand and stabs upwards toward Kell's
         shoulder but Kell blocks it with his shield.

           Kell steps back and charges again this time stabbing low with
         the spear but not at the body just enough to go between Zhou's
         legs and try to trip the man.  Zhou seems to anticipate this
         and lunges up and forward.  With his free hand he uses the long
         cape to drape over Kell's head blinding him.  Zhou brings the
         half-elf's heard toward his chest and with his right hand brings
         the dagger hilt up toward the trader's chin.  With a loud smack
         Kell reels backward and onto the ground.

           Splayed on the ground Kell is dazed briefly but in that few seconds
         Zhou calmly steps forward and over the body.  He kneels down on
         the ground with one knee and places the dagger to Kell's throat.
         "Never underestimate me or the Vong.  We can fight dirty just
         as well as thugs.  Unali said Nom used simple tricks like bugs and
         dust to blind her.  Even the Vong fight with dishonor.  I may not
         be as skilled as you or others here but I can fight when pushed."

           Grinning, Zhou stands up and extends a hand to Kell to help
         him up.  "Glad I didn't use my sword.  Farseeker has been trying
         to show me how to it even better."  


         [Time: 7:02am]

           Arawn, Will and others peer at the map as the bugs work on
         the map like busy ants building a new hive.  Then the bowl
         goes flying making the bugs go dormant for a short time.

           Fremea watches the bugs in fascination as they move to create a
         new map that was asked for. When the bowl gets blown away and the
         the bugs go dormant and then come to life again when the bowl is
         near, she gets curious about what is in the bowl that the bugs
         respond to. She starts to study the bowl with fascination. Maybe
         this can lead her to some other answers about the Vong themselves.
         Just speaking out to no one, "I wonder if the bugs were grown for
         this purpose and some how this bowl is their only way to live? If
         that is the case then maybe the Vong are also grown by something
         else and so they only do they are commanded. Then all we need to
         do is to take out the 'bowl' that causes them to live and the
         Vong will be no more here."

           While Arawn is fascinated by the now moving bugs when the
         bowl is returned close to the map, Fremea examines the bowl.
         It is the size of a normal human, almost Faerry size really,
         soup bowl.  It is brown to dark brown in color and a bit
         rough in texture like sun baked leather.  It has the normal
         half hemisphere bowl shaped but the top is not open like
         most bowls.  A light brown colored thin leather membrane
         like structure covers the top.  There is a small portion where
         the bugs were allowed to go out.  Fremea recalls Arawn peeled
         back the membrane a bit.  The bottom and sides of the bowl
         are nothing special.  But when she peels the lip back it has
         a odd sour apple smell to it.  She peers inside the bowl using
         the sun for light.  The sides of the bowl which Arawn didn't
         discover in his first inspection are hairy.  There are tiny
         hairs all around the side and bottom of the interior.  Each
         hair is no bigger than most human eyelashes.  Taking more
         time she notices at the very base or bottom of the bowl are
         two small structures that almost look like antennae like most
         insects have.  They wave and bounce in the sunlight.  Then
         it starts to make sense.  If the bowl itself is some form of
         grown or manufactured animal then the insects are either
         parasites or even offspring to the bowl animal itself.  The
         insects must be dependent on the bowl animal to survive or
         at least for communication.  It makes sense to Fremea that
         the Control Insect that directs the other smaller ones must
         not have much actual range.  But the bowl animal like the
         Orb must have a vast range to the "Brain" creatures.  

           Caladan peers over Fremea's shoulder and she jumps a slight
         bit in shock when he speaks. "Good idea. Based on the Amor
         letter this Brain must be..for lack of a better word must be
         the brain of the operations.  If we kill it I suspect the
         smaller ones will not be able to survive.  The stories of the
         First Invasion didn't include such stories of Brains so it
         could be we Zen'da didn't know about them."

           Fremea turns back to the bowl to consider the life in her
         hands.  The insects and this bowl are so beneath normal
         intelligence it would be impossible to communicate with it
         on a good level.  But she suspects the Brain will be on a
         far greater level and it might be even super intelligent.

           Arawn finally realizes Fremea is studying the bowl and stops
         investigating the bugs.  He turns to Fremea having heard her
         words vaguely.  "I hope as much as well, Fremea. Rua had mentioned
         that their world had originally been invaded and that event is what
         sparked his own people to begin their own conquests. But thinking
         to the recurring brain motifs in products and creatures I can't
         help but wonder, what if these Brains, the World Brains, are
         behind not only the Vong invasions, controlling them, but also
         the ones that controlled the invading force that attacked the Vong
         world in the past? If so, then they are the real threat, to this
         world, the Vong and all other realms as well. If a World Brain
         controls everything in a world then what  controls a World Brain
         and from where? Perhaps if that can be discovered and then
         destroyed it could save countless worlds and end this threat once
         and for all time. Just a thought but one I hope that time and
         events may permit a further look into in the future."

           "More likely, I think that this war will not be won by us,
         though I could be wrong. Those Vong who disagree with the campaign
         of invasion and rule of the Warrior and Shaper castes may be the
         ones to save not only their world but other worlds from invasion
         if they can be given a key to start fighting for change and a
         strong leader to guide them."


         [Time: 7:11am]

           The Brain or likely Rising Mount or the Vong Base is now
         marked on the map.  If the bugs are truthful and accurate
         the Vong have been found finally.  It only confirms what
         Shu found in her "circle" of Vongness or lack of mana
         sources since the Vong don't seem to be defined in terms of
         mana like most Middle World lifeforms and objects.

           Fremea gives her suggestion, "I say we need to get there quickly,
         but quietly. Teleport could work, except if we do that we lose all
         surprise and don't really have time to explorer it much. My
         thoughts are for us to go either by road or water and then when I
         can fly to the area, unnoticed, and scout it out then report back,
         we devise where to teleport  to and go. Because at that time we
         will have to use our special abilities to take down the Vong and
         it won't matter if there is a small blip on a Katai device, since
         we will light it up."

           Chion crosses his arms and comments that it would still require
         two or three jumps to take the full party and the horses even
         with his skill.  It would only take one to show up as a blip
         in Katai somewhere.  He also reminds that at least one big jump
         will be needed to get the toys that some so desperately will
         desire for the final fight from the Dark Lands.

           "Yes.  Magic will be needed on the Vong.  Combat and
         strength will help but Magic can still help." Caladan turns
         to Kiet briefly. "The risk will allow it I believe.  We could
         be greatly outnumbered so magic will level the battle field."

           Arawn chimes in, "Likely the Vong will have many eyes watching
         the river and nearby mountains but I would suggest taking the
         latter. We might be able to use them to take advantage of cover,
         if only for a while, though it will take longer. I wish we knew
         exactly when the time of Yum-Harla is, if only to have a

           Will studies the bugs and finds them creepy on some odd level.
         Bugs in general don't bother him being a woodsman but these
         seem to be staring at him?  At least that's how it feels to
         him but he could be wrong.

           As Will watches Arawn and the others with the maps he leans
         over and asks, "can the bugs show us on the map?"

           Arawn picks up the Katai to Vong translation journal.  He
         doesn't find words for party or current location or us.  He
         frowns.  He does recall someone or maybe even a Vong saying
         the word humans in almost a common word.  How did he say it?
         Howmans.  Hughmans.  No.  It sounded more like Hoomans.  He
         tries that on the bugs but they just seem to stare up like he
         is some demon god with those pointy ears.  

           Arawn scans the book for clues and even tries to find the
         word for us but it isn't there.  Even if the bugs who knew
         what "us" meant the reference would be hard.  Arawn squints
         at the bugs and wonders if they are limited in their own personal
         knowledge.  Maybe Nom Amor just trained them to know some reference
         points like Shantou and Pamau.  In fact, Arawn tests this theory
         by citing a few other cities in Katai.  As suspected the bugs
         seem to not know those words or their location.  Arawn suspects
         the bugs were of personal use to Nom Amor.  Maybe the Vong Shapers
         have wider ranging map bugs for other areas?

           Arawn looks up to Will and shrugs in defeat.

           Caladan taps Will on the shoulder as he passes by, "good try.
         Good thinking.  It might have helped to define us in terms
         of recon and spreading out a tactical map."

           Watching the bugs align as maps over and over makes Ha'Kell
         wonder how  marketable something like this may be...  But it
         needs a catchy name, something easy to remember yet clear.
         Geographic Pinpointing System. Yes that's it, GPS for short.
         Now to make it magical and not bug based.

           When Arawn mentioned Rising Mount earlier his ears perked up,
         more so than they do when the half-elf is cold.  "Rising Mount.
         Interesting name that.  I vote we ride and ride hard for  three
         days, then slow for the final approach and scout as much as
         possible.  The time for stealth is almost over."

           When a discussion on the travel plans ensues, Unali will suggest
         going by land. "My vote is to take the land route and leave as
         quickly and quietly as possible. There is some additional risk of
         discovery going back to Pamau for a good ship, and I don't guess
         it will gain us much time. If we are unlucky, we might get a small
         Katai army on our heels, trying to catch some more heretics. If we
         need such 'help' later on, I guess we, or some of us, can set off
         the required flares to be detected all over Katai. Any fight we
         have at the Vong base is bound to generate such attention anyway,
         as I don't expect the current level of restraint to last." She is
         looking in the direction of, but not quite straight at, Arawn, as
         she makes this last remark. "So if we stay in that area for more
         than a few days, we might have more trouble to deal with. Best not
         to start out that way."

           Unali listen to other opinions on the travel, and does not force
         her decision. If most favour boats, boats it will be.

           Yet it seems clear that most wish to use the land route.  The
         river would allow more rest and planning but would be slower.  So
         the decision is made and the leader approves the land route.


         [Time: 7:22am]

           The group mounts up and starts out west.  The group knows
         they have 4-5 days travel ahead of them.  

         Actions? Comments?

         Next Update...Friday...

         GM: Good and bad news.  Good news is as you can see from the Recap
             section Mark got a job!  So congrats to him and I believe
             he's buying rounds if you drop by his city and look him up. :)
             Bad news is I finally got a email from Ben'dar/Chris after 6
             months.  He has decided to move on after 7 years.  He feels
             the same old group and character isn't as fun.  It is sad to
             see him go and he was a well played and valued character.  So
             now Ben'dar is npc and that means his chances of death are
             increasing (any red shirts around?) :<

         GM: On the above.  I know each player is individual and has their
             own ideas of what is fun and what is boring.  We all know
             that a pbem requires long term dedication.  Even the shortest
             adventure might only be a year long.  This is the bad thing
             about pbems.  But it also allows long term character
             development.  To grow from a simple warrior to a ranch owner
             is one such major leap.  We should all strive to change and
             learn new things.  But with that said I know that interests
             and fun fades.  If this starts to happen please let me know.
             Heck, we can even make new character for you.  We can tweak
             things up for the current character.  I've had over 100+
             players in pbems in the past 25 years I figure in some cases
             running 3 pbems at one time.  I know some bicker and tease
             each other and some get offended.  We all must consider each
             person's character and personal basis in such comments made.
             I'm rambling so just suffice it to say if you start to get
             bored let's work together to make things fun.  I do this to
             relieve stress and have fun.  Think of it as that and we'll
             have a good time.  When it becomes a chore is when it might
             be time to reconsider.  I've enjoyed all the posts and
             stuff so keep up the good work.

         GM: Above time ticks may be off slightly.  I think I got some
             of the time ticks wrong.  But ran out of time to verify.

         GM: I'm glad some enjoyed the Zhou speech.  Just a FYI.
             Zhou is a bit ego centric if you hadn't guessed.  So
             his "insult" on Zen'da was the way the DLers think of
             just about every other nation.  Magic is right and
             might is ruled by magic so they think.  So the speech
             was intended not so much as a great motivational speech
             as more a semi-let's-go-get-them speech as best as Zhou
             could have done.  He is not a great speaker like Aren
             or others so I did the speech in HIS character.

         GM: Travel estimate -

             Party speed - 21 MR due to slower horse.

             Augado  6th - 7:30am-7:30pm - 21 miles
             Augado  7th - 6:00am-7:30pm - 24 miles
             Augado  8th - 6:00am-7:30pm - 24 miles
             Augado  9th - 6:00am-7:30pm - 24 miles
             Augado 10th - 6:00am-????   - Last few miles

             This is only a rough estimate.  If you wish to do any
             skills or such in that time let me know.  I'll give
             a week to figure this out.  Have any such actions in
             by 2/18 that should be plenty of time? If not let me know.
             But I'll move the party along in the next update on the
             first leg in the next update.  At this point we are over 75%
             done with the adventure.  If you do nothing to conserve mana
             then let me know that as well.  But simple skill training
             should not affect mana.

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