TITLE: The ancient sylvan tablet
SUBMITTED: the 13th day of the 11th month.
AUTHOR: Magnels (Healer of the clan ELF)

    Several weeks ago, E'las Loth'mon Ferindril (ELF), the clan of which I am a member, managed to piece together the remains of an ancient sylvan tablet from wood shards found in the wurm cave.  The text of the tablet is as follows:

...and in the dark green grove a tree sprung forth
>From the remains of Minvern the hero of the north.
Some spirits never die but merely sleep
Cycles of growth, the tides from spring to neap.
Raucous sounds may call for silence
Which can only be achieved by violence.
But secrets never remain hidden from the sun
As long as sylvans through the forests run.
                (Translated by the elven scholars of Tak'Tergoth in the far north)
    Ever seeking more of our sylvan heritage, my clan pursued the hints offered by this ancient verse and ventured into the spriggin-infested Spirit Wood.  As soon as we entered, the cowardly spriggins began running about, taunting us with their shrill voices and balance-sapping magic.  Defying their presence, we proceeded to fight and destroy several other inhabitants of the wood.  Eventually though, we were forced to retreat into a tunnel beneath the mightiest tree in the grove.
    Proceeding cautiously down the passageway within the mighty tree's trunk, Fleming stumbled over an exposed root.  Upon examining the root closer, it became apparent that something was dreadfully wrong.  The root was half-rotten and covered with mold.  The mighty tree was dying!
    As we examined the root, I stood somewhat farther into the passage than the others.  The first time I felt something brush my leg, I thought it but a passing insect and shifted a step or so forward, scratching at the irritation.  Then, as we stood discussing how we might help the mighty tree, a low groaning began.  It seemed to come from all around us.  Suddenly, a root wrapped itself around my leg and began pulling me toward the wall of the passageway.  Other roots began to emerge from the wall gently wrap around my shoulders.  At first I panicked, but I soon realized that the tree was trying to communicate through me.  I heard myself saying in a voice that was not my own, "Help me..."
    Unfortunately, disaster struck at that very instant.  Before the tree could tell us any more an orga berserker appeared in the corridor.  It's first blow shattered my arm.  Fortunately, the roots had retracted the moment the zerk appeared and I was quickly running for my life along with the rest of my clan.  All of us successfully made it out of the tunnel, but the spriggins outside were waiting to torment us as the zerk continued with its slaughter.  I fell just outside the tree along with Fleming.  A few other members of ELF lay scattered and dying in the spirit wood, but most made it out alive.  Unfortunately, the denizens of the east field did not give the rest of our clan the opportunity to rescue us and we were forced to depart our bodies.
    As we lay there bleeding though, we tried to figure out why the zerk had shown up at that instant.  I believe that the orga knew what we were up to and attacked to prevent us from helping the great tree.  Another healer in the clan, Dierdre, theorized that the tree was inhabited by evil spirits that summoned the zerk.  I pray that we will be able to return and investigate further.  Until then, know this: All is not well in Spirit Wood...
TITLE: "...interesting this week in Puddleby."
SUBMITTED: The 12th day of the 11th month.
AUTHOR: the Toisech of the Brotherhood of Independents

    Well, things are certainly more interesting this week in Puddleby.
    For starters: Greymyr may now throw rocks. They may be dodgeable, they are certainly fatal. Fortunately they don't seem to have a particularly long range and you have plenty of warning when you see the Greymyr.
    Shamans now throw fireballs. If you stand back, these balls are easily dodged. Just don't taunt the Shaman like I did, yelling "Over here, one eye!" I seemed to have pissed my shaman off - he immediatly started to target me and toss the fireballs at a much higher rate. Come to think of it though, taunting was effective at keeping it distracted from the healers.
    At some point in all this Tara was given a staff by "the Voices." This fantastic device targets the nearest creature with a Warlock style lightning bolt!

Good Hunting!
Marcus Antonius

TITLE: "Gaia gives us a bit of Tongue."
SUBMITTED:  The 11th day of the 11th month.
AUTHOR: Marcus Antonius, Toisech of the Brotherhood of Independents.

    Every so often our gods play tricks on us, sometimes benign, sometimes not. If we are lucky we will be able to identify these tricks and make light of the situation.
    Last night a Brotherhood of Independents hunt was interrupted by the entry of a frog. This humourous creature hopped in from the north and stopped to watch us and make occasional sarcastic comments. "Croak." It seemed curious to see what we were up to.

    The frog hopped around us and generally got in our way. From time to time it accidentally got stepped on, or slapped at. After awhile (perhaps it was starving) the frog tried to taste us. Fortunately we were all too large for its tongue to pull us into its mouth.
    We concluded that the frog was completely harmless and Friar Tuck and Wisher healed it up, while the rest of us tried to ignore it. (ok, Wisher and I kissed it to no effect.)

<about this time "Frog" the frog let his name show for a split second.>

    A few minutes later "Frog" the frog hopped off with Friar Tuck following. "Frog" then lead the Friar all the way into the Tanglewoods.
    Unfortunately the Friar wasn't up to the rigours of the 'woods and died fairly quickly. Strangely "Frog" the frog decided to remain with the Friar's body. To make matters worse "Frog" the frog then danced around the Friar's corpse.

    Possibly in a fit of guilt at leading Friar Tuck to his death and then taunting the reigning dance champion, "Frog" the frog then eliminated all the creatures in that part of the Tanglewood and healed the Friar up before wandering off.
    As a result of this final good will gesture, the Brotherhood of Independents has decided to make the frog it's official animal, and "Frog" the frog an honorary member.
    Kill the tors, save the frogs!

Good Hunting!
Marcus Antonius.

Title: "Ancient Intervention"
Date: The 7th day of the 11th month
Author: Meab

     I had fallen in a forest just East of the East Field, nearby was two other exiles who had already fallen, Grubs and Bob. As we waited for help an Ancient appeared, I believed it to be "Minx", whom I have seen in town on several occasions in the appearance of a Darshak Priest (black robed priest). He blinked in and out a couple of times so I said "Hello Minx", Minx didn't reply but didn't leave either, I then asked for some assistance and after a moment I was healed to yellow. Of course in my surprise as I turned around to leave the forest, I ran right into a T'rool just entering the forest and died right after this experience. Minx was gone and didn't reappear. However, I shall not forget this gift from the Ancients.


Title: My strange dreams
Date: 5th Day of the 11th Month
Author: Rawa

    Greetings.  My name is Rawa, and I have been newly exiled to these islands.
    During my journey here from the mainland, I became very ill.  I was delirious, and I dreamed of what Puddleby would be like.  For nine weeks the dreams lasted.  They were so real.  But when I awoke today, all I had to show for the dreams were my memories of them.

   I woke dressed in the simple cloak of an exile - one of the few things the Emperor seems to allow us to bring with us. I felt much better, and wondered how long I had been cared for in this room.  I wandered through a maze of corridors and found myself in the town hall.
    Puddleby is very similar to my dreams of it.  I even recognize the names of many of the people around town, but some of their appearances have changed. But that is not the reason I write.
    I write for my own sanity, trying to sort out what is real, and what was only in my delusions. The real Puddleby, though similar in many ways to the Puddleby of my dreams, is also very different.
    In my dreams, I had been a healer, though now I couldn't remember any of the techniques I had learned in my dream.  I sought out Master Hekus to learn from him as I had in my dream. He told me I must first prove my worthiness to be a healer.  He sent me on a series of errands, so I searched the town for the items he requested.  Eventually, I acquired the items on his shopping list and gave them to him.  In return, he trained me, and gave me a moonstone of my very own, telling me I was healer number 322.
    Now I was ready to help those in need around Puddleby, but I was still weak from my illness and found I needed to rest awhile.
    After a few hours of sleep, I made my way to the rat towers.  Just as in my dream, the supply of rodents seemed to be endless, and many exiles were there attempting to exterminate them from our town.  I stayed to heal those who were injured by the rodents for awhile.
    When I stepped outside, planning to head to the town square, I saw a large flock of scavenger birds.  I choose not to attack them, as they have never attacked me; but another exile was there, apparently alarmed by their numbers.  I watched as he was ridding the town of the birds.  After killing about a dozen, the remaining birds became very agitated, possibly disturbed by the smell of the blood of their fallen friends.
    It was almost like a legend I once heard of a creature called Hulk who would change size and shape when made angry.  These peaceful birds transformed into large, brown, fierce birds which I heard were called Bloodhawks - they had not been in my dreams.  They began attacking, and many exiles fell.  I ran.  I came back a few moments later and helped heal the fallen. After most of the exiles were healed, another flock  appeared, and the same thing happened again.  This time I was cornered  while healing someone, and did not escape.
    After the third or fourth of these mutating flocks, "kitty" came into  town, and I didn't see any Bloodhawks after that.
    Also not in my dreams was a creature known as the Greater Rat. It looks just like a normal rat, but seems very intelligent and has great strength for its size. Even the stronger exiles were falling with only a few bites.
    One of the more interesting events of the night was the appearance of a figure in a black cloak known as Magi.  Magi would appear and disappear at will.  Magi didn't seem to attack unless provoked.
    I watched as an exile decided to attack Magi. A bright, red glow could be seen under Magi's hood and the exile caught fire. Magi disappeared. It seemed the exile was cursed, and the healer who tried to revive him was also struck by the fire. Any who tried to heal the cursed exiles also became cursed.  After there were four fallen healers, everyone stayed  back awhile.  Eventually the curse wore off or was lifted, and the fallen  were able to be healed.
    Magi seemed curious, not dangerous. Maybe Magi isn't evil, or can be  turned from it.  Maybe we can convince Magi to join us and teach us to  defend ourselves the way he/she can. Puddleby is more dangerous than it  was in my dream, and we might need all the help we can get.
    Other occurrences of note this night:
Title:  Strange Dreams
Submitted:  1st Day of the 11th Month
Author:  Oedipus

    Friday evening, the 30th day of the 10th Month, A great storm blew in.  I decided to stay inside the healers guild, rather than brave the weather.  Saturday evening, I had a strange dream.
    I dreamt that I was a new Exile to Puddleby again, yet I knew some of the other Exiles already somehow.  There was a Halloween party of sorts going on, with several people in costumes.
    Anyway, a group of us decided to venture down to the hive to try our luck with the myrms.  After several encounters with the Myrm, our entire party lay dead or dying, and we had about given up hope.
    Suddenly a gnome, dressed in blue pants, a green shirt and matching hat, appeared.  This was no ordinary gnome.  He healed us quicker than I have ever seen anyone be healed before.  After saving us once or twice more, the gnome brought out a pair of curiously engraved dice, and challenged us to play against him.  The first person to play the gnome won 100 coins(not such a great sum in some of our eyes, but being new exiles this seemed a tremendous sum).  The second person to play peeked at the dice, which the gnome took great offense at(justice was swiftly adminstered by way of weapon). After this the gnome indicated that he would like to play a more honest player.  Hesitantly I volunteered myself(having only 1 coin, I wasn't sure what I would have to pay if I lost).  Lo and behold to my surprise, I rolled a double grotto, and the gnome gave me a slightly worn axe(the only one in Puddleby, I believe).

    The gnome again indicated that he would like to play again, and Aldernon stepped forth.  Aldernon was not quite as lucky as some of us were.  He rolled a pair of spiders, and shortly thereafter, Aldernon disappeared.

    We would not learn until later that Aldernon had been transported to the Arachnoid cavern to die. Several other reports surfaced about the gnome showing up in other places, saving the fallen, and then disappearing again just as mysteriously as he had appeared.  It was a strange dream, and I hope that the storm ends soon.  I am attaching some sketches I made upon waking from this dream.

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