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January 24, 2022
Sealing the Rift

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Coriakin sent the following report to TMN:

Greetings TMN readers,

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I bring good news! The assault on Shadowspring Citadel was a success, and the rift leading to the shadow plane has been sealed. Despite numerous setbacks, the Agronox Seal is in place. Working together with the aid of Tart’targ and Pelaegia, a large force of exiles was able to descend to the bottom of the Citadel, despite the forces arrayed against us. However, just as we began to approach the final chambers, the death of a particularly nasty shadow creature opened a portal to the shadow plane itself, blocking the staircase we needed to follow.

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With no other options available to us, we bravely entered the portal to find ourselves in a peculiar, yet strangely compelling place. The shadowy growths that have invaded our island were pervasive there, as were even stranger sights. I was aghast and intrigued to see a plant that seemed to resemble my own harp! While there, I was overcome with a vision of a song—a lament for something long-lost, but still missed.

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Sadly, there was little time to explore this place… being there caused intrusive and unwelcome thoughts. Luckily, the lanterns held by Tart’targ and Pelaegia to dispel these thoughts. Despite the fearsome residents of the shadow plane, we were able to fight our way to a portal that seemed to lead to our destination, the lowest chamber in Shadowspring Citadel, the home of the rend.

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Unfortunately, too many shadow creatures had already followed that path before us, and the chamber proved to be a deathtrap. Despite everyone’s valiant efforts, it was not long before all were fallen. So close to our goal, it was out of our reach and all we could do was depart.

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However, upon regrouping in town, we realized that all might not be lost. With so many departing from the shadows’ home, the borders between planes might be weakened enough to attempt to return to the shadow plane. Stinkfist had some individual success, but I’m not quite sure how… likely something involving “higher” states of consciousness, if you catch my drift. But then I realized that the song I’d been almost possessed by earlier might be a connection between me and the shadowplane. An unwanted connection, but one that I might be able to use. After all, it drew me there once, perhaps it might do so again?

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This was not an idea that came from nowhere. As much as I tried to deny it, I have had an experience in the past involving shadow music… moving me. And not emotionally. Perhaps “luring” me might be more appropriate. I’m not proud of that day, I would prefer not to speak of it. But the precedent was there, and amazingly my plan worked! A portal formed, beckoning back to the shadow plane. This time we did not have the support of Tart’targ and Pelaegia nor their lanterns, so we hastened to the familiar spot that promised passage back to our plane. This time we would be ready for what awaited us.

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And indeed we were! After a frantic battle we were able to clear the area well enough to allow the ritual to begin. At this point I don’t really remember what happened next, but I’ve been told that the ritual began promisingly enough but the shadows retaliated. Wave after wave of shadow creatures appeared, attempting to slay the mystics performing the ritual but being beaten back by our valiant fighters and healers. At the same time… well, the shadows possessed me. Without knowing what I was doing, I attacked Fanan with the blade of an assassin. One that had been used once before.

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I’m told I struggled wildly, but was restrained before I could irreparably disrupt the ritual. Nor could the shadow beasts cause lasting harm to the mystics. Once the ritual was complete, golden agronoxes appeared to help defeat the remaining shadows and I finally came to my senses. I’m ashamed of what I’ve done... I hope there is some way I can atone for my actions and seek forgiveness.

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But in the end, the Agronox Seal is in place protecting Shadowspring Citadel. This was a victory for Puddleby, although not one without cost. Opening a portal to the shadowplane allowed shadow creatures into town, ones that needed to be dealt with when we finally returned. That portal is no longer open (thankfully), and we can hope that its appearance was a one-time-only event made possible by special circumstances, but it’s entirely possible that the shadows will be able to reach us much closer to home than the citadel, next time. We must be vigilant.

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-Coriakin

P.S. The next bard concert is happening next Saturday at 11AM Pacific Time! Come hear the entries in the latest composing contest; the winner will receive a museum token!

Posted by Para at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)
January 20, 2022
Lore Tour of All Lore Tours

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Stinky sent the following announcement to TMN:

Arrrr Saturday Jan 22nd 10am PST/1pm EST!! THE Lore Tour of All Lore Tours!

We will be traveling to the depths of Shadowspring Citadel to conduct the Agronox Seal Ritual that was taught to us by an Ancient Witch who went by just too many names to list.

Hopefully sealing the crack/rend in reality there will help the Shadow problem popping up Fane and ABC. At least not make any worse.

We need as many exiles as possible in order for this to succeed, so be there!
Mystics, Healers, and Fighters of All Flavors! Fate of our plane of existence depends on it! BE THERE

Posted by Para at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)
January 19, 2022
Thoom Phroon Advances

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Phroon sent the following announcement to TMN. Congratulations to ThoomCare Provider Phroon!

Thoom Para,

I just hit a milestone of 2,000 Respia!

-Phroon

Posted by Para at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)
January 14, 2022
Chaos Storm #1258

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Chaos Storm #1258 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments.

Delta Tao's "What's New" for v1258:

1/5/2022 v1258
Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life. — Robin Sharma (b. 1964)

  • Here’s wishing everyone a healthy and happy New Year!
Posted by Para at 01:57 PM | Comments (1)
December 02, 2021
Chaos Storm #1253

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Chaos Storm #1253 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments.

Delta Tao's "What's New" for v1253:

12/1/2021 v1253
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (published 1954)

  • Merry Bawkmas!
  • Season’s Beatings!
Posted by Para at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)
November 05, 2021
Chaos Storm #1249

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Chaos Storm #1249 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments.

Delta Tao's "What's New" for v1249:

11/5/2021 v1249
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity. — Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

  • After some time away, recent visitors to Ash Island have returned.
Posted by Para at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)
October 29, 2021
Hrem: From the Birds, To Me, To You

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TMN received the following letter from Hrem ven Hremven:

Esteemed Thoom Paramedic,

I write to you today to provide an update on the quest for my quill. Yes, it is I, Hrem ven Hremven, but to save you on ink costs you may simply address me as Hrem in return correspondence. Puddleby as a whole has been incredibly accommodating as I've eased into the townie lifestyle, though not completely void of its own dangers and strife. I once again extend my thanks to those who have rescued me from peril and provided guidance as I stumble. And of course, a special thank you to those who have brought me quills for inspection or offered kind words in support.

While I have found many high-quality feathers suitable for writing, my own beloved quill continues to elude me. I am not completely resigned to the idea that I will never have it again, but I admit there are days when my hope dwindles to the dimmest of sparks. By some mysterious grace these ultimately low moments can be vanquished and the blaze returned to my spirit, sometimes by the unexpected arrival of a jack-o-liche. It was shortly after a harrowing encounter with one of these foul beasts, which required the effort of the mid-day hunt crew and several other strong exiles who were roused from their studies, when I chanced upon a particularly pristine quill. Unfortunately, it was not my treasured tool, but I happily added it to my growing collection of feathers.

A collection that, after experiencing the kindness of Puddleby, I have donated to the town's old libraries for others to use during their work. The quality of a quill has a great impact on speed and accuracy of writing, and I do hope that the great array of pens I have donated will come in handy to those taking notes as they pore over many knowledge-filled tomes.

In my search around the area I have made some observations that I would like to share in this letter, for those who would be interested in such things. The scavenger birds that litter the town and beyond are named so for their penchant for rummaging among the dirt and tall grass to find not only food but nesting materials. It is not uncommon for them to use discarded feathers to build their homes among the branches, and for this reason I targeted their flocks hoping to stumble on my quill pen.

The birds are most commonly found on the beach of West Town, and interestingly they have a tendency to nest in the southernmost tower there. They seem almost completely unbothered by both the rat population and the hooded exiles wildly flailing their weapons, until it's too late of course. A booming population can also be found in the South Farms. They particularly enjoy the Junkyard if the rats haven't already made off with all the good rotten bits of food. Their numbers are severely reduced as you move past the North Gate, but that is not to say you won't find any there. The accidental trampling of a tangleberry as you walk through the Orchard may even attract a small flock to your heels. You'll continue to catch them here and there as you navigate into East Field and beyond, though much like the northern areas the scavengers are mostly living alone or in pairs.

Due to their small size and lack of wing strength I suspect that the fierce winds that blow down from the elevated areas north of the Eastern Mountains force them to keep west. Paired with the lack of common predators, such as small cats and other large birds, the scavengers seem to be enjoying Puddleby almost as much as we do.

Now allow me to burden you no longer with this report, as after many long days of hunting I think it's time for me to simply put down this pen and pull up a chair in the library where I can dive into a good book. If any readers come across any interesting quills or further information that may aid my search I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you!

Many thanks,
-Hrem ven Hremven

P.S. If anyone is interested in donating coins to the Stop The North Forest Anti-De-Deforestation Project please be in touch. Remember that all donations go directly to supporting the fight against those who are warring against those others who are grappling with those other others who are working to strip the forest bare. The STNFADDP wants to keep our forest healthy so that we can continue to enjoy the natural beauty and bounty that it offers, and we can't do it with you!

Posted by Para at 07:42 AM | Comments (1)
October 14, 2021
Chaos Storm #1245

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Chaos Storm #1245 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments.

Delta Tao's "What's New" for v1245:

10/6/2021 v1245
[Margaret] Thatcher was famous for saying “If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” Now that’s true, but I would like to add “if you want absolutely nothing said or done, ask a cat.” — Craig Ferguson (b. 1962)

  • Happy Feast of Tssrin!
Posted by Para at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)
September 22, 2021
Memorial Gathering Held

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This year's Memorial Gathering was held this evening. It was widely attended by a variety of exiles. Thank you to everyone who came, and special thanks to Dandelion and Largo for organizing it. It was nice to see you all.

Posted by Para at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)
September 19, 2021
Upcoming Memorial Gathering

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Dandelion and Largo sent the following report to TMN:

This is the sixteenth year since Tyndall, the beloved sylvan warrior, passed away. As we did last year, we would like to mark this by coming together to remember him and the other folks we've lost over the years. We will be gathering in the Memorial Garden on Wednesday, 9/22 at mosey o'clock [8pm Mountain/7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern/2am GMT]. We will have whiskey and logs for fires. Feel free to bring cigars, more logs, and other beverages if you prefer.

If you knew or hunted with Tyndall, Baffina/Baffette, Tonoto, Eyeball, or K'pyn, you are strongly encouraged to attend and share your memories. If you are grieving someone from outside the lands, this is a space where you can hold that in community. If you would like to show love and friendship to exiles who have lost beloved people, know that your presence will do that.

We realize that a lot of people who might be interested in showing up won't necessarily hear about this through ThoomCare, Discord, or Facebook. Even if you can't attend, you can help the community effort by taking a moment to use the communication avenues available to you to reach out to folks who you think would be interested in coming but won't be reached by these posts. Thank you!

-Dandelion and Largo

Posted by Para at 10:49 AM | Comments (2)
September 04, 2021
Chaos Storm #1240

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Chaos Storm #1240 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments.

Delta Tao's "What's New" for v1240:

9/1/2021 v1240
Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. — Euripides (c. 480 BC – c. 406 BC)

  • Everything in this update is a secret.
  • We hope that everyone continues to remain safe and healthy!
Posted by Para at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)
August 06, 2021
Puddleby Listener

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Puddleby Listener has been added to the Favorites list.

Posted by Para at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)
Bloodpool Update from Sawyer

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TMN has received the following letter from Sawyer written in an exceedingly neat hand, without any trace of flourish or embellishment, addressed "To whom it may concern; ThoomCare"

To whom it may concern, and any interested mystics, mages, initiates, novices, etc...

As many of you know, I have made a point of studying the bloodpool: its nature, effects, and influences. My studies often lead me to spend many hours at the altar in the temple in contemplation, ritual, and even prayer (or a form of it). While such studies, up until now, have yielded only reflective silence, recently there has been a breakthrough, and I believe I have made steps closer to understanding the pool in a way perhaps more akin to how Dourin and the other Speakers seem to.

While at the altar the other day, I was able to feel--much more palpably--a vague, insatiable hunger. I had just finished returning a dozen or so Maha corpses to the pool, as Dourin informed all who would inquire that the pool hungered for Savannah Maha. And the pool had begun to hunger for Raste Winders, instead. While standing there... I could *feel* that hunger almost as if it were my own. When stretching out my mind and my focus, I inquired of the pool what to do with that hunger, after which I received an image...swirling and indistinct, snake-like forms joining and swirling and re-joining. (It was not until later discussion that I made the connection that the pool was very likely trying to *show* me the form of its craving, as it were.) It was around this time that Stinkfist arrived at the pool to ensure that I was not "going mad" and still retained my free will. After a brief exchange, we both left to collect the corpses of snakes.

Upon returning, and offering a meager handful of adders to the pool, I once again reached out my senses. Again, I could *feel* it there. A presence so vast. So much greater than a single isolated phenomenon. An ocean of blood, with a hunger as deep as mountains. It's almost as if I could see it. Stinkfist returned with his offering, and began to prance around as he often does, waving a moon manual and spouting inane gibberish in an attempt to look impressive. and did his best to make a scene, in his usual fashion, while I came up with a much more interesting offering.

Taking my bloodblade in hand, I lifted my arm and let my own blood spill into the pool. My own blood as an offering, in an attempt to satiate the insatiable. I do not believe an exile has ever been offered to our local... tributary, as it were...but my offering was accepted, and I soon collapsed into the pool. Communicated to my mind was a feeling of momentary satisfaction. And, while risky, I am pleased that my service and efforts are an acceptable offering.

Stinkfist continued to march around like some sort of annoying, flamboyant bird for some time, waving his moon manual and seeming very pleased with himself, but eventually dragged me back to town, and the bard concert, and all but forced me to relate parts of this experience to those in attendance, there.

I think there are several interesting things to note in this exchange. The nature of the way the pool communicates is illuminating, as it seems to speak through impressions, urges, simple thoughts and images. It speaks mostly of a deep hunger, and attempts to make its cravings manifest to those who seek to commune with it through the same swirling, indistinct patterns that were placed in my mind. Of note, it could be that the snake-like forms shown to me might have only coincidentally seemed like representations of actual snakes... perhaps they are something else entirely. The only way to truly know will be to continue to commune with the pool as best I can, perhaps as it craves other creatures, it will show other forms to those who seek to understand and interpret.

The pool spoke other things to my mind, as well. Things that should necessitate future conversations... future thought... One pool for all. One and many. Many and one.

There is much to think on. Much to think on, indeed. Please share this letter in your paper, if you feel it prudent, and may your path be clear.

-Sawyer the Seeker

OOC: A cleaned up and slightly color-coded log of this little event is available to any interested party. Simply approach Sawyer about her journal, or fire me a message on Discord!

Posted by Para at 08:46 AM | Comments (3)
Chaos Storm #1236

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Chaos Storm #1236 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments.

Delta Tao's "What's New" for v1236:

8/4/2021 v1236
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. — Brian Tracy (b. 1944)

  • Using a shieldstone while it is active will de-activate it.
  • Added explicit /cancel and /on options to all activated bloodblade abilities (in addition to default toggle behavior).
  • Bloodmages can now specify a percentage of their total health as their health limit using /set X%.
  • Blood inferno now causes affected monsters to bleed when they die.
  • Fixed the masking in the super advanced library.
  • Inspired by the Olympics, our world gerbils have strapped on their go-fast shoes and picked up the pace: the unofficial speed bump (to 5 frames/second) that occurred in v1232 is now officially permanent.
Posted by Para at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)