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GUILD OF HEROES MAGAZINE

# 4, March 1995

{The GOH Mag March of 95}
And the Magazine roll's on
Hello Everyone.

The Guild of Heroes Magazine is back! And this month, we've got more pages than ever! Check out the cool new sections, including a lesson, by yours truly, in saving throws. We've also had a little face lift in the magazine, so look around.

Once again, email me if you got anything to say, I'd like to start publishing feedback letters and such. If you have suggestions, send them my way as there is always room for improvement.

Gone from the GOH, but still lurking in the Mag,
-NW Elladan
-Editor, Guild of Heroes Magazine


{NW Snowie's Petting Zoo}
The Salamander
SALAMANDER

ARMOR CLASS: 5/3 (Human-like upper body has an AC of 5, lower body is 3)
MOVE: 9
HIT DICE: 7 + 7 (14 - 63)
ATTACKS: 2
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Heat
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +1 or better weapon to hit.
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil

SNOWIE'S SCRIBBLES:
A Salamander has a human-like upper body and comes from the elemental plane of fire. They come to the material plane occasionally for reasons that only they know. Salamanders hate the cold, their preference is 300 degrees or more and cannot survive in the cold for long.

They typically attack with a metal spear with inflicts damage of 1-6 hit points plus a like amount for its heat. Although the Salamanders that frequent Neverwinter haven't learned this trick yet, their cousins can also lash out and coil around an opponent with its snake-like tail, constricting for 2-12 points of damage and an additional 1-6 points of damage from the heat of its body.

Salamanders can only be affected by magical weaponry and are impervious to all fire-based attacks. Sleep, Charm and Hold spells are also ineffective against them, however, cold based attacks cause an additional 1 point of damage per die of attack value.

Lightning Bolts are an excellent weapon to have in your magical arsenal if you come across these foul creatures, along with cold based spells and fumble etc. If you wish to melee them, don't let them surround you as they can be quite handy with their spears.
{The Goddess Apothecary}
The Girdles of Giant strength
Have you walked around Neverwinter and seen various people with girdles? No, these people are not trying to look trimmer. No, they are not the new fashion trend. No it's not the Society of People With Big Belts. In fact, those lucky enough to own one of those belts are armed with one of the most useful and potent magic items available in Neverwinter.

The Girdles of Giant Strength are not the lingerie type belts that you are all thinking off. No they are belts of great width normally worn by adventurers. These Girdles imbue on the wearer strength of a giant. There are five varieties available in Neverwinter, plus one not available. The Girdles are as follows, and give the following benefits:

Type        Str    to Hit  Damage  Encumberance  Pearl
                   Bonus   Bonus   Bonus         Price
-----       ----   ------  ------  ------------  -----
Hill Giant   19      +3      +7       +4,500       24
Stone Giant  20      +3      +8       +5,000       30
Frost Giant  21      +4      +9       +6,000       36
Fire Giant*  22      +4      +10      +7,500       40
Cloud Giant  23      +5      +11      +9,000       50
Storm Giant  24      +6      +12      +12,000       ^
* The Fire Giant Girdle is equivalent to a enlarge spell cast by a 10th or 11th lvl MU.
^ The Storm Giant Girdle is not available in the game.

These powerful items are all available only from the pearl plan. They are not cheap, but well worth every pearl. As additional little known bonus, is that the Girdles of Giant Strength in Neverwinter may be worn by any class.
{NW Jareth's Mystical Grimoire}
The Fireball Spell
FIREBALL
Magic User 3rd level

RANGE: 10 squares + 1 per level of caster
DURATION: Instantaneous
AREA OF EFFECT: (see below)

Arguably, the best overall spell in Neverwinter Nights. The fireball is the bread and butter spell of every (magic user) adventurer that has ventured into the tougher regions of Neverwinter. The spell's range, area of effect and damage potential makes it a vital addition to every mage's grimoire. The fact that it is also a 3rd level spell, makes it the "best bang for the buck".

A fireball will do 1-6 points of damage per level of the caster. This damage will be halved if the targeted monster makes its saving throw vs. spells. The wide range enables the caster to target up to 37 creatures. Unfortunately, the only thing people may have difficulty with the fireball is understanding its area of effect.

  + + X X X + +    The combat screen in Neverwinter consists 
  + X X X X X +    of a 7 X 7 square area.  If a fireball is 
  X X X X X X X    targeted in the center square of the
  X X X 0 X X X    screen, it will affect all squares except
  X X X X X X X    3 on each corner.
  + X X X X X +
  + + X X X + +

  0 = Targeted square
  X = Fireball area of effect
  + = Safe squares
One word of caution. Although it is a reliable spell, there are those who think they can surive with the fireball and the fireball alone. Many creatures in Neverwinter are either immune or can protect themselves from the spell. Following is a small list of certain creatures which are unique in relation to the fireball spell:

Fireball on sight               If you only have FB memd...run!
-----------------               -------------------------------
Yeti                            Golems, Stone or Iron
Hot Shielded Non Globed Mages   Fire Giants (and FG Mages)
                                Pyro Snakes
Pretty much everything else     Salamanders
except (see right)              Fire Elementals
                                Globed Mages
                                PvPers (until globes wear off)
This is by no means a complete and exact list.

Now go out there and burn it all down! See ya next month!
{NW Kishpa's Class Acts}
The Half-Elven CL/F/MU
Half-Elven Cleric / Fighter / Magic User

MAXIMUM LVL: 
Cleric       5th
Fighter      6th if Strength is under 17 
             7th if Strength is 17
             8th if Strength is 18 (01) or higher
Magic User   6th if Intelligence is under 17
             7th if Intelligence is 17
             8th if Intelligence is 18
MAXIMUM HIT POINTS: 70 (this may be a bit higher in Neverwinter)

MAIN BENEFITS: Fix, Turn undead, Arsenal of cleric and magic user spells, Use all weapons, armor, and magic items including scrolls, Cast all spells wearing armor. 30% Resistant to charm and sleep spells.

MAIN DISADVANTAGES: Maximum attainable levels low, Hit points are average, Level advancement slow, Spells less effective.

MINIMUM STATS: ST:9 IN:9 WI:13 DX:6 CN:6 CH:6
ELLADAN'S IDEAL STATS: ST:16 IN:17 WI:16 DX:18 CN:18 CH:6

A half-elven cleric/fighter/magic user is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. While endowed with the abilities of three classes, this character will never attain the full potential of any of them.

It is a challenge to play one, as the level advancement, though not tough, is slow. Only one-third of the hit points will be gained each time they train as with other triple multi-class characters. The spells cast, even at the higher levels are not as effective as those of human or elven maxxed spell casters.

Probably the most frustrating thing about this tri class is the need for high stats. Dexterity and constitution are a priority for all classes. Half Elven C/F/MU's furthermore need high strength, intelligence and wisdom.

All three stats are however alterable through magical means. If you find yourself a 6th level fighter or magic user, and unable to max, a pair of gauntlets of ogre power and a few scarlet and blue ioun stones will be able to help you.

Since advancement to cleric is low, wisdom does not affect the level you can attain. However, a 17 wisdom (also alterable with a incandescent blue ioun stones) will ensure you the 5 bonus spells once you max out.

This is a fun class to play. Try one out!
{NW Essex's Study in Attitudes}
Nuetral Evil

"Similar to the neutral good (see last months issue) alignment, that of the neutral evil holds that neither groups nor individuals have great meaning. This ethos holds that seeking to promote weal for all actually brings woe to the truly deserving. Natural forces which are meant to cull out the weak and stupid are artificially supressed by so-called good, and the fittest are wrongfully held back, so whatever means are expedient can be used by the powerful to gain and maintain their dominance, without concern for anything."

-DM's Guide (c) 1979 p.23.

"The neutral evil views law and chaos as unnecessary considerations, for pure evil is all-in-all. Either may be used, but both are disdained as foolish clutter useless in eventually bringing maximum evilness to the world."

-Player's Handbook (c) 1978 p.33.
{NW Aziza's Fantastic Tours}
Floodblest
Population: 140
This village of farmers is located to the east of Neverwinter, with the Neverwinter River flowing peacefully by. Travelers often used to stop by the village on their way to Nightsedge and the foreboding Neverwinter Woods. However, it has come to light that the villagers have contracted some mysterious disease, the cause of which is currently unknown. The town is also plagued by lizards, pyro snakes owlbears and even carrion crawlers, which follow the owlbears when they go out to feed. Groups of bugbears led by a cloud giant have also been sighted. Floodblest is small in size, but not in problems.

INN:
The Rankled Boar, serving good food and fine wine from around the Realm and allowing rest for the price of 1 platinum piece.

ARMORY:
Sinda's Trading Post is a small shop which provides adventurers with good quality arms and armor, at a fair price.

OTHER PLACES OF NOTE:
The Well, found in the center of the village square, is currently dry and known as "...a place of ill luck". Many have entered, but only a handful have returned. Those who are fortunate, leave the region all too quickly.

The Wharves can be found towards the north of the village. Almost deserted now, they used to be used to ship food downriver.

The Mayor's House, to the east of the village is where you will find the Mayor of Floodblest. Visit him for more information on the problems the the village is having.

A Shrine to Chauntea, the Goddess of Agriculture, can be found in the village. Normal healing fees apply.

CURRENT RUMORS:
The Mayor of the town claims that a mage recently seen in the area having something to do with the plague the town is suffering from, and has requested help from Lord Nasher in dealing with the mage. Whether this mage truly exists is unknown. However, many groups of owlbears in the region seems to support this fact. Many villagers and visitors have claimed to have seen the mage, but whether this is true or not remains to be seen. According to the clerics of Chauntea, there is a strong possibility that this magic user truly exists, as the temple is too often frequented by people who have been suffering from wounds similar to those caused by a magic missile. However, to this date, there is no real evidence.
{NW Baldor's Might makes Right Armory}
Pole Arms (Part one the pokers)
POLE ARMS: The Spear Family
Pole arms are just what they claim to be, arms on poles. There are hundreds of varieties and Neverwinter Nights features many of them. Because they are not popular, most players have no clue what they are, what they do or what they look like. This month will feature one class of pole arms, the spears.

SPEAR: Length: 5-13'+ Weight: 4-6 lbs. Hands Needed: One
1-6 damage vs Small & Man Sized Creatures / 1-8 vs Large Sized Creatures
- This is the run of the mill, long stick with a pointy end. Dagger on a stick.

AWL PIKE: Length: 18'+ Weight: 8+ lbs. Hands Needed: Two
1-6 damage vs Small & Man Sized Creatures / 1-12 vs Large Sized Creatures
- This is a very long stick with a pointy end. Dagger on a long stick.

SPETUM: Length: 8'+ Weight: 5 lbs. Hands Needed: Two
2-7 damage vs Small & Man Sized Creatures / 2-12 vs Large Sized Creatures
- Spetums are modified spears, with two smaller blades protruding forward at angles off the sides of the spear head. Pseudo trident like dagger on a stick.

RANSEUR: Length: 8'+ Weight: 5 lbs. Hands Needed: Two
2-8 damage vs Small & Man Sized Creatures / 2-8 vs Large Sized Creatures
-Ranseurs are modified spears, with two smaller blades protruding backward at angles off the sides of the spear head. Dagger on a stick with small hook-like daggers.

PARTISAN: Length: 7'+ Weight: 8 lbs. Hands Needed: Two
1-6 damage vs Small & Man Sized Creatures / 2-7 vs Large Sized Creatures
- Partisans are modified spears, with a broader blade with a small axe at the base of the spear head. A short shortsword and a mini hand axe on a stick.

Next month, we'll take a look at the hackers, the axe family of pole arms.
{NW Strider's Tavern Legends and Tale's}
Crossroads by Aidynni Chapters (1.1,1.2,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.1,9.2,9.3)
(1.1)
Chapter 1

"You must understand my...surprise." Lord Taran began, seated before a large, oak table and gazing across its length to a young woman sitting at the other end. "I expected you to be a bit...different. I certainly didn't expect someone like you." He finished, picking on a freshly dug scab on the table top unconsciously, all the while staring dumbfoundedly at the young woman.

She nodded at his words, a thin smile etched on her lips. "I understand. However, I would be out of business if too many people knew what I looked like." She spoke, her grey eyes glistening in the early morning light that sauntered in through the open windows of this dreary castle.

Lord Taran snorted at her words, and rubbed his beard that looked as if it didn't have any right to be on a face as young as his. "True, my lady, true. Someone in your profession... But the rumors speak of your deeds as long ago as 20 years. Forgive me, but you look a young woman, and a pretty one at that. Even though you are of the same gender, how can you possibly be the same person?" He asked, his grin waxing condescending when he realized that he hit on a note to his liking.

The young woman shook her head at this, her long hair cascading down like golden strands from her shoulders when she did so and as if she was accentuating the lord's comments concerning her beauty. However, her words seemed colored with a cloying note of condescention when she said, "I thank you for the compliments, lord Taran. And I can understand your unease as well. My fee being such a large sum and all."

Lord Taran's smile disappeared as he heard her words, and his hands gripped the arm rests of his chair so hard, his knuckles grew bone white. "Rest assured, my lady, that I can pay such a sum. Have no doubt in that. What is in doubt is the true nature of your identity." He said with a hint of steel in his voice, his young face betraying a trace of annoyance and anger.

The young woman nodded, and smiled apologetically, although the lord began to have serious doubts about the truth of her sincerity. "I am deeply sorry if my remark offended you, my lord." She began, and slowly got up from her chair, reminding the young lord of a stretching tiger. "And to allay your fears about my identity, I am ready to undergo your test." She said, and took off the dark, brownish hooded cloak she was wearing. The first thing that caught lord Taran was the long, marble white pommel of the sword she was wearing across her back. She was wearing a low cut, fluffy sleeved shirt that revealed a glint of metal scales underneath and a pair of smooth, brown pants that clung to her smooth curves, and black boots that ended in a cuff at the tops.

Lord Taran gazed at her for awhile longer, lingering on her features a bit too long to be polite, and as if deciding on something important and finally coming to his senses, he said in a voice filled with condensation, "Little girl, why don't you end this charade? If you confess to your little scheme, I'll forget all about your little lies and perhaps find you a little job around my bedroom."

The young woman's eyes flashed for an instant at these words, and the air grew suddenly cold and prickly as pins as she slowly moved away from the table into the open space next to it. Lord Taran's throat began to feel dry as he followed her movement, slowly approaching towards his chair, reminding him of a cat he once saw, stalking a wounded bird. Quiet and deadly, full of purpose and perhaps, gleeful anticipation. He began to question if his last sentence was truly necessary.

"Now..wait a minute.." Lord Taran managed to stammer, clumsily getting out of his chair, and as she got closer and closer, clapped his hands together.

Immediately, from the hidden recesses of the hall, came out 4 men, armed with various weapons and in full armor. They quickly surrounded the young woman, raising their weapons, their eyes glinting businesslike and grim....

(1.2)
Chapter 1 (continued)

Lord Taran slowly sat himself back down, feeling secure in his protection against her seeming ire, and replacing his look of concern with a winsome smile of triumph, sneered at the young woman. "Now, my fine young wench, how about that confession?" He asked, and smiled.

The young woman, without a word, drew her slightly curved blade, and with a movement that was too quick for the lord to see, cleaved one of the men right through his helmet, and before anyone could react, pulled the sword out of the cut with a sickeningly grinding sound and sliced another man's head off in one smooth stroke. The severed head started to roll with a clank, and stopped with a thud against the large wooden double doors across the room. The bodies fell like cut trees, armor crashing loudly on the floor, twitching and starting to spurt out blood like a burst wineskin. It colored the stone floors crimson and seeped through the cracks between them. The exposed bones shone like blood stained porcelain in the light.

Meanwhile, the third man, who managed to see the glint of her sword play, raised his large broadsword over his head to strike in hurried reflex, but the young woman dashed the short distance between them as his addled brain registered the upward rise of his arms, and lashed out sideways across his exposed belly, cutting right through the chain shirt and slicing through his gut. He fell forward with a sickeningly wet thud, his sword still raised over his head. His last thought being how terribly unfair her speed was as incredible pain ate up his exposed entrails and ended his life.

The fourth man, watching all this dumbfounded, noticed that the young woman was now facing him with her bloody blade raised, in a strange stance that looked as graceful and full of dangerous promises as a snake poised to strike. He turned to look towards his companions' bodies, quickly dropped his weapon and ran out the door screaming, stumbling over the severed head and renewing his screams, followed by the young woman's high, amused and mocking laughter that rang out and echoed in this vast stone hall.

Lord Taran, staring shocked at the broken, bloody bodies, threw up. When he raised his head again, he felt a sharp blade of air next to his throat, and felt the cold, wet blade barely touching his neck. Immediately, his heart felt as if torn out and dumped in the cold snow to freeze.

"D..d.don't kill me." Lord Taran mumbled, since those were the first words he could conjure up from his overwrough brain, looking up towards the young woman's grinning face full of what appeared to be mild annoyance.

The young woman took a piece of white paper from her pocket, and taking the blade away(much to Lord Taran's relief!), carefully wiped the blood clean from it. She then wiped the bit of vomit off the lord's lips as well as lord Taran visibly flinched from her touch.

"I wouldn't think of it." The young woman then replied, now busy examining the cutting edge for nicks and not really paying much attention to Lord Taran. But somehow, the young lord knew, she could easily turn her blade at a blink of an eye and cut him down like a bundle of straws. That knowledge made him gulp and he felt himself beginning to sweat cold.

"Seeing how I have yet to be paid." She added, and satisfied of the blade's condition, slid the sword back into the scabbard. She then moved away from the lord and got back to her chair at the other end of the table.

"Now, shall we get down to business?" She asked, sitting down and facing the lord again.

Lord Taran nodded vigorously, and answered in a shaky voice, "Sure. Of course, lady Cyan."

The young woman beamed gloriously at the mention of her name, making the young lord wonder how a woman so beautiful can be such a cold blooded killer.

(2)
Chapter 2

Cyan unslung the curved blade from her shoulder and tossed it on the plush bed, then jumped right in after it herself, landing on the feathered mattress with a soft plush.

"Urg!" a tiny voice cried out, causing Cyan to gasp and quickly reach into her breast pocket, taking something out of it.

In her hand, she held a tiny man the size of her hand. He had a young man's face, with sharply pointed ears, but his eyes were innocent and his nose was still pert and cute. Crumpled dragonfly wings grew out of his back, and the tiny man winced as Cyan clumsily tried to straighten out the creased wings and batted her fingers away.

"What in the world is the matter with you?!" The little man cried, holding onto his lower back in pain. "It isn't enough that I have to be dragged around all of Eteria like some bug, but I also have to be crushed flat like one as well!"

Cyan, with a worried look on her face, gently laid the little man on the soft pillow. "I'm sorry Sils. I forgot that I left you in there. Honest." She apologized, and started to laugh. "But it's been so long since I got to sleep in a fine bed like this one!" She said, and running her hand over the soft, down feather filled comforter, she remarked, "This certainly beats sleeping outdoors."

The little man called Sils rubbed his wings to straighten them out, and replied, "It'll sure beat sleeping in your pocket, that's for sure. That scale shirt you wear underneath rubs my back raw."

Satisfied with his work, Sils started to beat his wings furiously, making a pleasant buzzing sound. He then started to fly around the room, and after making sure that he was flight worthy by zipping and gliding around the plush furniture, he landed softly on Cyan's knee.

"So, what's our lord Taran like?" Sils asked.

Cyan wrinkled her nose and replied, "A little too young and haughty. He's also a pig and a fool. I had to take care of three of his goons to make him believe I'm me."

Sils shook his head sadly at her words and said, "Hiroshi would be greatly troubled if he found out that his star pupil was so remorseless."

Cyan ran her fingers through her soft, fine hair and breathed a deep sigh. "Sils, I do this for him." She replied in a tired voice. "And I will keep on doing things this way."

Sils looked into Cyan's eyes. "At what cost, I wonder." He mused, buzzing off her knee and returning to the pillow.

Cyan leaned back against the cushions, and looking away from Sils, said, "Maybe you should go back to your people, Sils. Ralantia isn't too far from here, you know."

"Do you want me to go?" Sils asked.

Cyan lay there quietly for a moment, and twirling the strings on her blouse absent-mindedly. She finally replied, "You know the answer to that."

"Why did you mention it then?" Sils pressed.

"To stop you from bugging me." Cyan replied.

"You think it's gonna work?" Sils questioned.

"No. But this will." Cyan replied and gave him a quick kiss on his head.

"Cyan!" Sils cried, and fell on his rear. "I told you not to do that! You might break my neck!"

"Will you stop bugging me then?"

"Yes, by gar!" Sils grumbled, and raised himself up to sit.

There was a gentle knock on the door, followed by shuffling footsteps. Cyan quickly reached over to her blade and with the thumb resting on the round pommel, said, "What is it?"

A woman's voice immediately replied, "Your bath, my lady. And a gift from the lord."

Cyan slowly got up from the bed, still holding onto her sword, and with a nod to Sils, who flew up and hid behind a bed post, answered, "The door's open."

The door opened, and several servants, carrying a wooden tub filled with steaming hot water, lurched in. They collectively sighed when they set the heavy tub in the room. They bowed before Cyan, and noticing the sword in her hand, shuffled out of the room as quickly as possible.

An old woman, in a drab work dress, came in, attended by a young maiden, holding a package of some kind. They looked towards Cyan with uneasy eyes, their gaze mainly transfixed on her thumb resting against the pommel.

"If the lady is ready, then we can begin immediately." The old woman spoke first in a voice filled with the shakes.

Cyan looked the two over, and glanced at the steaming tub, and bringing her eyes back to the two women, asked, "Begin with what?"

"With the bath, Cyan!" Sils piped in from behind his hiding place, and buzzed into view, much to the delight of the two women. "Come on, will you? They look harmless!"

Cyan spared a quick glance toward Sils and growled. When she turned her head back towards the two women, they were about to step forward towards Sils but with a lightning quick movement, Cyan's sword left her scabbard and suddenly became as small as a pin. Cyan gasped in indignation as both the sword and the scabbard floated towards Sils' open hand. "Just what do you think you are doing?!" She burst out angrily, still keeping a weary eye on the two women, who were now positively cringing next to the tub before her.

"Helping you out. You were making a perty big fool of yourself." Sils answered, buzzing away from Cyan's lunge and landing before the women. "Don't you remember who this is, Cyan? This is Brandy." He said, pointing to the old woman.

Cyan stopped herself from another angry expletive filled outburst and leaned her face closer towards the old woman and slowly approached her.

As Cyan got closer, and the young maiden grabbed her arm and with tears in her eyes, sobbed, "Please, lady. Don't kill my mother. She's a good woman..."

Cyan, ignoring her pleas, grabbed the old woman's shoulders and pushed them back to reveal her wrinkled face, and gasped. "Brandy.." Cyan whispered, and saw a weak smile on the old woman's face answer her.

"I wasn't sure if it was you. But when I saw Sils, then I knew." The old woman named Brandy said, and the two women embraced tightly. "For you to see me like this, Cyan. All wrinkled up and old..." Brandy spoke, tears forming in her eyes.

Cyan released her embrace, and held Brandy out before her. "Nonsense! You haven't changed even one bit since I saw you last!" Cyan exclaimed, wiping Brandy's tears from her face.

Brandy smiled at her words, and held Cyan's hands. "You were never a good liar, Cyan. Never were." Brandy let go of Cyan's hands and felt the smooth skin on Cyan's cheek. "You don't look a day older..How I wish I knew your secret." She murmured, then as if finally realizing something important, she turned her head and regarded the young maiden next to them, who was now watching the two dumbfounded.

"Cyan, this is my daughter, Genni." Brandy said, and said to the girl, "Genni, this is Cyan. The woman who I owe my life to."

Genni wiped her eyes, and after regarding Cyan cautiously for a few seconds, exclaimed, "But she looks to be my age, mama. The woman you told me about should be old!"

Sils, who was watching all this with a happy twinkle in his eyes, sighed and said under his breath, "here we go with the age thing again."

Brandy smiled at her daughter, and replied, "Nevertheless, daughter. This is she."

Genni gave Cyan another careful look, and finally gave a curtsey. "I thank you for my mother's life." She said solemnly.

Cyan nodded, and replied. "You are very welcome, Genni." She then went over to the bed and, sitting down with a plush, took her boots off. "Now, how about that bath?" She announced suddenly, smiling and reaching to undue her blouse strings. There was some hidden agenda hiding underneath that smile, however, but the two women did not notice. It did not pass by unnoticed by Sils, however, and he began to wonder what Cyan was thinking about. He did not voice this concern, however, but sighed and with a buzz, took to the air. "I guess it's time for me to go scout for things." He said sheepishly, and with a pop, disappeared.

(3)
Chapter 3

"OOh, this feels good!" Cyan crooned as she lounged in the tub while the two women added more soap to the water. "You get to miss things like this on the road." She said, and regarding the large, soft bed once again, remarked, "I can stay here forever!"

Genni giggled, and said, "Lady Cyan, what I would give to trade places with you. You must have such an exciting life! If half of what the rumors say about you are true, then..."

Cyan held her hand up and stopped Genni. "Killing people isn't a cause for excitement, Genni." Cyan said gently. "Believe me, you are happy just being you."

"But.."

"No buts. I wish no one my fate or my occupation." Cyan cut her off. "Sils would probably flip and get all self righteous if he hears this, but all this time, with all this killing, I've become immune to what I do because I find it easier to sleep at nights if I simply don't care."

When Cyan saw that her words were making their mark on Genni, she smiled and added, "Of course, there is nothing wrong with trying to be what everyone says you can't become."

Brandy watched all this in silence, with a smile on her lips. She then felt the water, and said to Genni, "Child, go bring up some more towels and a bucket of hot water. The water is starting to get cold."

When Genni got up and left to fetch the things, Brandy turned to Cyan and not looking directly at her, asked, "What are you doing here, Cyan?"

Cyan wiped a sud off her nose, and replied, "Lord Taran's in need of a body guard."

Brandy shook her head, and looked Cyan in the eyes and asked again, "No. What are you really doing here?"

Cyan paused from making little swirls in the soapy water and sighed. She then regarded Brandy with a tired look in her eyes. "You know I can't tell you that, Bran." She began, and ran her fingers along the smoothly buffed edge of the tub. "What makes you think that I came here to do otherwise?"

Brandy smiled wanly and replied, "A wolf, loosened upon the flock, does not guard them."

Cyan leaned back against the tub so only her head was above the water, and proceeded to make bubbles by blowing on the water.

Brandy sighed and turned her head away from this scene. "This is just like you. So childish! You haven't changed at least a bit in all these years." Brandy began in a bitter voice. "Cyan, Lord Taran's like a son to me. I beg you, don't kill him!" She turned around to clutch the edge of the tub, and when she noticed that Cyan ceased to make any more bubbles, she continued in a strained voice. "Cyan, listen to me. If you care anything at all about our friendship, you will grant me this wish."

Cyan, leaning back and closing her eyes, answered her with a glint of sarcasm in her voice. "Look at you. Can you see how pathetic you sound to me, with your ridiculous pleas?" Cyan raised herself upright and put her arms on the edge of the tub. "Assuming I am here to kill that young fool, why should you even care? He's not your son. Your dreams of becoming lady of this castle died when those snobs decided you to be too lowborn a woman to marry his father. Oh yes, he did pay me to save your life from them when he still cared for you and desired you. But look at you. Where are you now? That bastard father of his discarded you like sour grapes when a better deal came along, a lady with a nice bit of ocean front property, and left you rotting as a chamber maid!"

Brandy started to sob, and buried her head in her hands. "He would have been my son, can't you understand that? No. How can you?" She cried, and raised her tear streaked face and gazed towards Cyan with anger. "How can you understand life? You drift in and out of it like some freak of nature! In all these years, all you managed to do is to kill, kill and kill! You can't understand what it's like, to have loved! That boy is much a my child as if I had given birth to him. And I won't let you take him away from me!"

Cyan looked as if she barely restrained herself from lashing out at her friend, and instead, leaned her head back to gaze at the mural of a Sanarian coast on the ceiling. "Does he know you feel this way?" She finally asked, after a few moments of silence.

"No. He does not."

"And why not?" Cyan asked again.

Brandy hesitated to answer, and the two of them sat in silence. After what seemed like eternity, she finally replied, "I don't know."

"You mean because he might not care at all."

"No."

"Because he's too much of a snob to ever care about how you feel, seeing how it comes from such a lowborn."

"No."

"Then why the heck not?!" Cyan exclaimed angrily. "You stupid liar! What do you mean no? That's exactly the reason why!"

Brandy lowered her head wearily, and managed to say in a broken voice, "I beg you. Don't take his life."

Cyan let out a long sigh. She lowered her head and regarded her friend, looking crumpled, old, and infinitely sorrowful. After another moment of silence, broken only by approaching footsteps, Cyan spoke. "I had my chance this morning." Cyan scooted over with a slush towards Brandy, and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. "And I did not kill him. Take that any way you want."

Brandy raised her head to reply at her words, but just then Genni came back with the towel and a bucket, so they never left her lips. Instead, she managed a smile and nodded to Cyan. The room felt as quiet and peaceful as an aftermath of a passing storm, but there was an underlying current of uneasiness about the place as well. Genni picked that thread of it up when she surveyed the scene, and asked, "Is something wrong?" when she noticed the pensive look Cyan was wearing and her mother's tear streaked face, she knew definitely something had happened between the two women while she was away.

Cyan smiled and just replied, "We were just reminiscing about old times, Genni, and I seem to have hit a sour note. You know how emotional your mother can be."

"Not a sour note, Cyan. Just a sore spot." Brandy added in a good natured voice, not quite succeeding in keeping a quiver out of it.

Cyan shrugged at the two women. "I never claimed to be tactful. I leave that up to Sils. Now," she said, standing up. Taking the bucket from Genni, she poured the hot water over her head, washing the soapy bubbles off her body. She then caught the tossed towel and dried herself off. "where's my gift? You mentioned I got something from lord Taran?" She asked as she vigorously dried her hair.

Genni went over to a carefully wrapped pile and unfolded the bundle to reveal a fancy blue dress.

"What is that?" Cyan asked incredulously, looking the dress over and noting that it must've cost the lord a pretty sum.

"It's a dress." Genni and Brandy replied in unison.

Cyan put her hands to her hips and looked annoyed. "I know what it is! What am I supposed to do with it?"

"You...wear it?" Genni volunteered cautiously.

Cyan laughed and took the dress from Genni. "I'm just surprised that he would send me one after what I've done to his goons this morning." She said, and put her finger to her lips as in thought, then added, "Makes me wonder what he's up to."

"He's a good boy, Cyan, and he was trying to be polite." Brandy said tersely.

Cyan smiled as if she didn't notice Brandy's underlined anger to her words, and got ready to try on the dress. "I'm sure he is." she said, slipping into it. "I never said otherwise. Girls, I'm gonna need some help with this dress, do you mind?"

Genni smiled widely, quickly forgetting her suspicions about what really happened between her mother and Cyan, and said excitedly, "Please let me do your hair, Cyan. You'll look so pretty! Oh, not that you don't look beautiful now or anything, just that you'll look simply ravashing after I'm through with you!"

Cyan sighed at Genni's enthusiasm and looking sideways at Brandy, said, "Why not? It's not as if I'm going to kill anybody today."

"I'll hold you to that, Cyan." Brandy whispered under her breath, and got a brush and followed Genni and Cyan to the mirror.

(4)
Chapter 4

Lord Taran looked out from the balcony to the large, dirt road that led to the gates of his castle. A thin smile was on his lips as he observed the different colored banners that flapped wildly in the wind. A thick cloud of dust loomed over the large amoun

"What a mess." A voice buzzed in his ear, causing lord Taran to turn his head quickly to look for the source. When he found it, he gasped.

"A Ralantian! You really do exist!" Lord Taran exclaimed as he watched Sils flutter next to him.

Sils laughed and landed on the edge of the balcony. "Well of course. At least the last time I checked." He replied goodnaturedly.

Lord Taran nodded as if understanding something and said, "You must be Sils, Cyan's companion."

Sils gave a little bow before the lord, and straightening up, said, "At your service."

Lord Taran nodded, and said, "Yes, yes. Of course." He then looked once again towards the massed armies outside his castle and said in an awed voice, "Look out there, Sils. They are all here to acknowledge me king."

Sils gave the scene a disinterested look. He then crossed his arms across his chest and said, "Or rise against you."

Lord Taran turned to Sils and exclaimed angrily, "They wouldn't dare!"

Sils raised his eyebrow at this outburst, and said, "They can and will. You know as well as anyone that tomorrow is the day that gives them their right to challenge your ascension."

Lord Taran calmed his anger, and forced a smile. "That's why I've hired your friend."

Sils frowned at his words. "Your father John underwent that ritual by himself." He reminded.

Lord Taran's smile faltered, and his face grew a shade red. "I cannot risk the throne on some ridiculous ritual." He said tersely.

Sils said nothing to this, and looked towards the tent city. He noted a particular banner, and said, "Lord Servan. He's here too."

Lord Taran looked for the banner and found the white flag with the red roses on it. "Surely I can count on Servan to support me. He's been my father's friend since childhood." He said, smiling.

"Yes. He will." Sils murmured, as if lost in thought.

Lord Taran gazed at Sils with a puzzled expression, and asked, "He will what?"

Sils ignored the lord's question, and seemed to be looking towards the other banners. He snorted when he found a crimson banner with the two wolves emblazoned on it. "Well, well. Lord Oden is here also." He said, sneering. "Whenever there's blood to be had."

Lord Taran looked nervous when he heard Sils' comments, and asked nervously, "What do you mean, Sils?"

"Just a minute." Sils replied, holding up a hand and squinting in Lord Oden's direction. After mumbling a few words that sounded jibberish, therefore magical, into the air, he did a double take and said, "And he brings a friend. Oh my."

"Who? What's wrong, Sils?" Lord Taran asked.

Sils turned his head and said, "Looks like he's not the only one who hired help for the upcoming festival. You see that man sitting there in the tent?"

Lord Taran leaned as far as he dared and squinted, but couldn't make out anything. "No. I can't." He finally said in frustration.

Sils, still looking towards the tents, said, "That's Amoyal Sarayan. The guild master of the Black blades."

Lord Taran gasped. "The master swordsman himself." He managed to say, trying to keep the tremble from his voice.

"What's going on?" A female voice asked from behind them, making Lord Taran nearly jump out of his shoes. He quickly turned and had to check himself from gasping again.

Before him stood Cyan, in a deep blue dress that seemed to move as the gentle waves of the sea. Her golden hair was bundled up and was glinting molten sun in places where the light caught it, and her grey eyes were colored like blue dyed ice from the reflection.

"Cyan...You look beautiful." Sils managed to blurt out.

Cyan looked at him as if his words were really inconsequential and ignoring the dumbfounded lord Taran completely, asked, "What was that about the black blades?"

"Oh yes, the black blades." Sils said in a voice of a man just jostled out of a dream, and pointed towards one of the tents. "Amoyal Sarayan's here."

Cyan went over next to Sils and leaned over the ledge. After what appeared to be a casual sweep over the tent city with her eyes, she focused on one of them and asked, "Does he know that I am here?"

Sils shook his head. "I doubt it. But I know what you are thinking. If I knew you'd be Lord Taran's alternate, I would hire the best swordsman in Eteria to be my alternate as well."

"That sly old bastard..." Cyan whispered under her breath, smiling wickedly. She then wondered to herself, "Just how much does he know?"

Sils rubbed his chin and looked to be thinking, and said with a hint of reproach in his voice, "If I don't know what you're doing here, do you think Lord Oden would?"

Cyan turned to regard Sils and smiled, "You're not as devious as he is, Sils." She then turned to Lord Taran and asked, "My lord, when are the lords coming in to present themselves before you?"

Lord Taran, looking as if someone had knocked his head silly with a hammer, stepped foward towards the two like some servant and answered, "In a few minutes, when lord Servan's troops have settled in." He then bowed low before Cyan as if the idea had dawned.

"Lord Taran, if Lord Oden already knows I am here, and it looks as if he does, then there wouldn't be any point for me to be there when he presents himself before you." Cyan said. "And since he brought Amoyal Sarayan, your life won't be in any danger."

Lord Taran looked hurt when he heard her words, and shook his head. "It's not that, lady. Contrary to your belief, I am not afraid of my own shadow. It is for beauty's sake and its sake alone that I ask you to sit by my side."

Cyan smiled generously, and the effect it had on lord Taran was as being drunk on wine. "Well then, for beauty's sake, I accept." She extended her delicate looking hand.

Lord Taran took it as if it was a holy relic and kissed it. Then he lead her away from the balcony to the throne room.

Sils watched the two figure disappear through the door and muttered, "Left out again."

(5)
Chapter 5

When lord Taran seated himself on the throne, and Cyan stood next to him, the chaimberlain came up to the lord and bowed. "My lord, the lords are here to be presented." He said in a hushed voice, still bowed.

"Well then, conduct them before my presence." Lord Taran commanded firmly, and straightened his silky tunic.

The chaimberlain bowed lower and answered, "Yes, my lord." He then raised himself up and motioned to the guards next to the large doors leading into the throne room and moved away from them.

From behind the doors, a voice announced loudly, "Lord Jonathan Michels of North Sanaria!" The heavy doors swung open slowly, and a young man, dressed in armor save the head, and wearing a cape with a red serpentine dragon emblazoned on a gold background.

"Lord Taran's lands is blessed with a rare beauty." The young man said with a smile when he came up to the throne. "My lord Taran, you didn't tell me you had such a peerless beauty for your lady."

Lord Taran cleared his throat at this, and said, "The lady is not my wife, Jonathan." He then got up from his throne and the two men embraced.

"Good to see you again, Gunther." Lord Michels said, and held his friend out in front of him. "Young welp! I can't believe you are to be the next high king!" He then added smiling, and hugged him again.

Lord Taran laughed, and gave lord Michels a punch on the shoulder. "You'll be calling me 'your highness' come tomorrow, you dunderhead!" he replied goodnaturedly.

Lord Michels cleared his throat, and jerked his head towards Cyan, and whispered, "What's with the lady then, Gunther? Do you plan to ensorcel the challengers to submission?"

Lord Taran let go of Lord Michels' embrace and held out a hand to Cyan. "Lady Cyan, this is Lord Jonathan Michels of North Sanaria."

Cyan got up and bowed before the lord. "North Sanaria..A beautiful summer country, my lord." She said, smiling congenially. "I've spent a many years there."

"You actually exist?" Lord Michels said incredulously, failing to hide his surprise. "Surely you can't be the same person!"

Lord Taran nodded his head vigorously and answered, "Oh yes, this is her. There's no doubt about it."

Lord Michels face took on a serious tone. "I hope for your sake that she is, my friend." He began, and took Cyan's hand and kissed it gently. He then turned to lord Taran and continued. "I've just come from the camps and.."

A guard's voice interrupted lord Michels from continuing, announcing loudly, "Lord Sanchal Oden of the South Sanaria!"

A middle aged man came in, wearing a dark gray armor sans helmet, revealing meticulously combed white hair. A long deep scar ran from his left ear down to his coarse jaw, and his brown eyes, sharp and hooded like a hawk's, circled the throne room in carefully.

"Gunther." The old man with the crown said, his voice sounding bored. He didn't bother to extend his hand or bow while the thin man next to him looked on amused.

"Lord Oden." Lord Taran answered curtly. "Allow me the courtesy of removing that crown from you."

Lord Oden sneered at his words. "Why worry about mine Gunther, when you should be agonizing over yours?" He said, and raise his hand to point at lord Taran's crown. "It all ends tomorrow, Gunther. The reign of the Tarans over Sanaria is over." He then turned, standing next to him and said, "Allow me to introduce you to my alternate tomorrow. This is master Amoyal Sarayan."

The thin man came forward and bowed before the young lord. "Lord Taran. Lord Michels" He said courteously.

Lord Oden then saw Cyan yawning, and said, "Such a pretty little thing. Come tomorrow, she will be mine also, Gunther."

Cyan heard this and stifled a laugh, while Lord Michel's hand went for his sword. Cyan held that hand in check, however, by putting her hand on it. "There is no need for this." She began, turning her gaze to Amoyal Sarayan.

Lord Oden opened his mouth to retort, but he stopped hiself before the angry words ever left his lips. Instead, a dark cloud of recognition passed before his eyes as he gazed into Cyan's eyes and his armored shoulders seemed to grow smaller.

Cyan reached over to Lord Oden's head, and lifted the crown off his head as Lord Oden stood before her transfixed. Amoyal's scar twitched, but he did nothing, knowing full well that even though Cyan's eyes were on lord Oden.

Cyan held the crown in her hands, while Lord Oden looked on with anger and dread in his eyes. Indeed, everyone from the lords to the guards were staring at her, and it was as if she not only held the crown in her hands.

Lord Oden's jaw clenched as the crown hit the floor and started clanking like a broken bell. His eyes seemed to burn red with hate as he held Cyan's scornful gaze for a time that seemed eternity.

"The exit is behind you." Cyan spoke, her soft voice laced with mockery.

Lord Oden didn't reply. Instead, he turned around sharply and with a flutter of his cape, walked out of the throne room with only his iron shod boots ringing out the steps for an accompaniment.

Amoyal Sarayan regarded Cyan and put on a smile that seemed etched on and condescending. "I will see you tomorrow then, lady." He said and bowed before her.

Cyan's grey eyes looked cold as the winter morning, and her smile seemed to bare her fangs that looked sharp as the blade she wielded. "You will. Much to your regret." She answered matter of factly.

Amoyal's smile melted away and disappeared when he heard her reply. "Even for you lady Cyan, the might of the black blades will be too much to bear. I am honor bound to draw my blade for lord Oden's cause. If you stand in my way, I will strike you down."

Cyan laughed coldly at his words, the sharp echos of her laughter cutting into everyone's ears. "Honor! That's a fine word that you and your blades know absolutely nothing about, although you gnaw at it and soil it like a flea bitten mongrel. Here.

Amoyal threw the coin down on the floor in anger. "I need not be lectured by you, woman." He spat out, locking his gaze with Cyan's. "You who have been cutting down people for money like some rabid monster, living off their blood and getting bloated on it.

Cyan looked as if the master of the black blades had physically slapped her. Yet her reply was dead calm and even when she asked, "Then you know the two I seek."

Amoyal sneered. "I do, even though that event took place when I wasn't even born yet. It is in our records." Amoyal took grim satisfaction when he saw that his words were having an adverse affect on Cyan.

"If what?" Cyan asked, numbly.

"I do not ask for much." Amoyal said, smiling and approaching closer to her. He lifted a hand and ran his hand over Cyan's hair as she stood there, staring into Amoyal's eyes as if she was hypnotized. "The tales do not do your beauty justice. Cyan, the angel."

Amoyal then took his hand off her and turned to regard the whole room. "In exchange for my knowledge, you will involve yourself in this affair no longer!" He shouted out.

For the longest time, no one said a word, for they were all waiting for Cyan's reply. Then, as Amoyal watched on with a triumphant smile, Cyan started to walk out of the throne room without even a backwards glance.

"My lady!" Lord Taran shouted after her as if had just waken up from a bad dream, but Cyan did not turn or stop and continued past the slack jawed audience towards the door. And as she disappeared from the room, Amoyal started to laugh out loud. He bowed, and said in between laughter, "See you tomorrow, my lord Taran." and walked out of the throne room himself while Lord Taran watched on with a look of a person who just had been punched in the stomach.

(6)
Chapter 6

Cyan slowly took off her dress, and unbound her hair. She then started to put her underclothing on, and was reaching for the scale shirt when she heard a pleasant buzzing sound behind her.

"Give me my sword, Sils." Cyan said without turning around.

Sils reached into his tiny pocket and pulling out a shiny object, he tossed it on the bed. The object then started to grow in form, enlarging itself into a slightly curved, white pommeled blade with a red scabbard with gold trimmings.

"I heard what Amoyal said." Sils started, landing on her head.

Cyan finished fastning the clamps on the shirt, and reached over to her slacks. She then sat herself down on the bed and started to pull them on.

"He's telling the truth, you know." Sils continued, sitting down and smoothing Cyan's hair around him like golden strands of straw.

Cyan stopped, and leaned back, stretching on the bed. Sils barely got off her head in time and this time buzzed on to her belly. Cyan then reached over to her sword and held it up before her.

"You think so, do you?" Cyan finally asked in a careless voice.

"Yes."

Cyan traced the etched coils of a dragon on the scabbard with her fingertip. "And what do you think I should do about it, Sils?"

Sils didn't answer for a long time. When he did, his voice was soft and gentle. "I think you should do what he asks of you."

"Why?"

Sils sighed. "Because it's about time all this ended. Cyan, this is what the oracle at Kentar told you. This is the end of your road."

"End of my road...." Cyan whispered.

Sils continued. "Angel of death, your questions will be answered at the end of the road of death of your own making. Those were the oracle's words." Sils buzzed upto Cyan's face and with care and concern in his eyes, added, "Cyan. There's no more need for

Cyan got up, and finished putting on her slacks. She then reached over to her boots and slid them on also. She got up and then looked towards the window and noticed the sun slowly setting. "How time flies. Funny how some things try to make you remember that."

"Cyan, I want you to leave this life and be happy." Sils said. "I can't stand to see you like this. I've held my peace until now, Cyan because I know you don't like it when I tell you how much I don't like you doing what you do."

Cyan continued to look out the window, into the darkening navy sky and the slow twinkling of the first star that seems to wink and beckon.

"When Hiroshi first brought you to his place, I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to make you the happiest girl in the world. You've had such a hard childhood, Cyan. Orphaned and then bought to be a kitchen maid.... I was glad that Hiroshi took you in."

The sky was darkening fast, as if someone had slowly fluttered a dark cloak over it. Stars then began to shine like tiny jewels, floating in a vast sea of black and silvery gray.

"I was against Hiroshi when he taught you his art. I couldn't stand to see you in danger, let alone take another's life. Hiroshi thought he found the perfect killing machine in you, a fine instrument to mold in his skills. But he realized his mistake much too late."

Cyan did not answer, but stood rooted on the floor, staring out the window. A shooting star traced its brief, glorious life on the ebony sky, and died.

"I followed you all this time, chasing after your demons. Through all the killing. Cyan, those two you saw next to Hiroshi when he died, they must surely be dead! Do you know how long you've been on this death's road? Eighty damned years!" Sils' voice grew.

After an uneasy moment of silence that seemed to grow darker with the oncoming night, Cyan turned to face Sils, and the anger etched on her face chilled Sils' little heart. "Never! I don't care if it takes me a thousand years. I will not forget!"

Sils did not reply and avoided Cyan's gaze.

"What did you two do to me?! Why can't I grow old?!" Cyan screamed, and in her eyes were furies of demons and years of endless frustration, spilling out like a physical force and battering little Sils like blows, of which he could do nothing but cower.

Sils covered his face with his little hands, and replied sadly, "I'm sorry."

Cyan bitterly laughed at this, and got up slowly. She then grabbed her white shirt and put them on. "Really. You're sorry. That just makes everything all right. But it changes nothing, do you know that?" She said numbly, her voice quivering.

"Where are you going?" Sils asked in a small voice, without looking at her.

"Nowhere. Just like my life. Just like everything about me." Cyan answered bitterly. "Got anything more to add to your words of wisdom? Have anything more to say to your Cyan? You better say them now. You know how I much I need your guidance!"

When Sils didn't answer, Cyan walked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

As her footsteps rang out on the stone floor and grew fainter, Sils sat on the floor. He looked towards the door with empty eyes and whispered hollowly, "Why can't you shed a tear? Have we failed you that much?"

(7)
Chapter 7

Cyan closed her eyes and let the cool, night wind blow through her hair. The traces of her tears on her cheeks felt icy chill as the wind took the warmth of it away, and she shuddered a little against the cold. She then felt a presence behind her and hoped that the dark night hid the tell tale sign of them.

"My lady." Lord Taran began, standing behind her. "It's a beautiful night. The stars, and the golden moon. I used to come here, to this garden, when I was a child. My mother was quite the gardner you know."

Cyan chuckled mirthlessly at this and replied, "This isn't your mother's garden."

"What? What do you mean?" Lord Taran asked.

"I was here before, when you weren't even born yet. Back then, your mother was not the lady of this castle. This garden isn't hers."

Lord Taran got closer to Cyan and sat next to her on the stone bench. "I know you helped my father in some way before. How long ago was that..."

"Who knows and who cares?" Cyan answered in an annoyed voice. "All that should matter to you is whether you will have a crown to wear or have your head chopped off by Lord Oden should I lose."

Lord Taran grabbed Cyan's arm excitedly. "Then you will fight tomorrow?"

Cyan shrugged his hand off her. "As surely as the sun rising from the east tomorrow, lord Taran. Did you really think otherwise?"

"I've had my doubts, when Amoyal mentioned something about your master." Lord Taran said carefully, trying to look at Cyan's face. However, her eyes were on the waxing moon and out of the reach of his vision.

"This was Brandy's garden." Cyan said, changing the subject.

"Brandy? She's one of my maids. I can hardly believe that my father would let her have her way with the royal garden."

Cyan laughed at the young lord, but there was no mirth in her laughter. "How little you know, young lord Taran. You truly don't know anything." She said between her laughs.

"Then enlighten me." Lord Taran asked eagerly.

Cyan gazed unblinking at the moon for some time. When she answered, her voice was down to a whisper, as if she was speaking in dreams. "It seems as if it happened yesterday. How odd. I was standing here, talking to your father. On this very same bench. I remember him so clearly. He had a very beautiful mustache he was extremely proud of. Lord Oden was here too. Furious at him for ever marrying Brandy. Yes, your kitchen maid was your father's first wife. She was queen here long before your mother was."

Lord Taran bolted up from the stone bench, and stood in front of Cyan's face. He opened his mouth to speak in anger and shock, but Cyan's eyes silenced him, for he noticed that her eyes were devoid of color, as if the descending darkness of the night were swirling out like a black, impenetrable mist out of those lifeless pools.

"Lady..." Lord Taran blurted out, looking small and frightened before her blank expression.

"They came like mad men, to kill her. She wasn't high born enough for them to see her as their queen, so they said. But I knew. I knew what lay in their black hearts. They knew she was the only thing that made John happy. So they wanted to take it away from him. To weaken him. I killed them all. I cut them down like a butcher and laughed as they begged me for mercy when I slit their throats and left them to rot in the mud. Lords no more. Foolish titles men give themselves. How late they realised that their petty little lives meant absolutely nothing. Nothing to me."

Lord Taran unconsciously took a step backwards from Cyan. The smell of the flowers around him starting to intoxicating like some drug, making him nausious.

"And then, after all that. You know what your father did? He voids the marriage using the same excuses as his dead lords used when he realised that he needed a land with a sea port for trade." Cyan's hair did not glow, but shone dull copper in the dark as she slowly got up and approached lord Taran. Her eyes were now sparkling like some witch fire, glowing eerily and unsettling to gaze at for long.

"I find you no better than your father!" Cyan suddenly shouted angrily, grabbing lord Taran by his collar tunic so quickly that he gasped. "Not only are you a snob, you're a cowardly scum. You're not worthy to be king, you snot nosed fool! At least your father John was brave and I begrudgingly respected him for that, even though he had a heart as black as a snake hole."

Lord Taran said nothing, but stood there limply, his eyes filled with fear. "I..I.." He started to speak, but his words failed him.

"And that fool of a woman still lives here, working as a maid under a jerk like you. Look! Look around you! This isn't your mother's garden! This is a monument of your father's trechery!" Cyan started to shake him, and lord Taran was held helpless, looking drawn and dumbfounded.

"Stop it!" A voice cried out, and Cyan let the lord go in disgust. He fell lifeless to the ground on his rear, his face devoid of expression.

Brandy quickly ran over to the two of them with tears in her eyes. She then saw lord Taran's pitiful state and turned angrily to Cyan and slapped her hard across the face.

"How dare you!" Brandy exclaimed as Cyan numbly held her reddened cheek. "You have no right to do this to him!" She quickly bent down to the lord and helped him up to the stone bench.

Cyan looked at the two of them and held Brandy's angry gaze with indifference. "I don't know which one of you is more pathetic." She began in a quiet voice, rubbing her cheek. "I go mad just looking at you, just watching time eating away at you. It was just yesterday when they called your beauty peerless. At least it seems like yesterday to me. And now look at you, rotting away in this place. Wasting away." She lifted her head towards the night sky with her eyes closed, her face contorted with anguish. "Can't you see your mortality is driving me insane?" She whispered to the sky, and slowly walked out of the garden, making quiet sounds as she disappeared.

Lord Taran and Brandy watched Cyan's figure disappear into the dark, and sat there clutching at each other, listening to her footsteps grow fainter and fainter until it was swallowed up as well, into the night.

"Tell me, Mama Brandy. Is it true?" lord Taran whispered in a lost voice, clutching onto her caressing hand.

Brandy stiffened up at his words, and started to weep once again. Lord Taran hugged her tightly against his chest and as he smoothed her harsh gray tresses gently, he said into her ear, "We have all night. Please tell me everything." And when she nodded into his chest, he smiled weakly against the cold night sky, feeling no desire to do so, but forcing it on his lips to keep his sinking spirits.

(8)
Chapter 8

Cyan walked blindly into the dark, open hallways, her lifeless eyes staring into the stone, cobwebbed ceiling. The thick, cold veil of the night began to make her think back to the sun soaked cottage in the woods, where a kindly old man sat lounging in the warm rays on the porch as she sat leaning against him, smiling. Sils sat in front of bunch of thick books, mumbling incoherently to himself and smiling from time to time as he looked at the two of them.

"It's like a dream, Mr.Watanabe." she was saying, smiling and happy, her gray eyes full of blue dreams. "I never want to leave here."

The old man smiled at her, and smoothed her short golden hair. "It's no dream, child. You don't ever have to go back working there." He said, his dark brown eyes kind and gentle. "You can stay here with me and Sils as long as you care to."

A warm summer breeze had kissed both of them then, and Cyan hugged the frail looking old man as hard as she could.

"I wish I could do something for you, Mr.Watanabe. You've been so kind to me! Anything! I'll do anything for you!" She had said in a voice full of dreams, and wondered why as a sudden mist of sadness and pity passed over Hiroshi's eyes, and Sils ceased his babble and grew quiet.

Suddenly the warm winds grew colder and colder, sending its icy fingers along Cyan's back. She awoke from her thoughts with a jolt, and quickly blended into the dark as a shadow as she heard familiar voices just around the corner.

"I have your promise then, Genni. You will be there at the field of battle tomorrow." Amoyal's voice carried over gently.

"Yes. I will be there, next to lord Oden. But how will I get past the guards? I'm just a simple maid." Genni's worried voice whispered.

"An escort will arrive tomorrow morning to..."

Cyan fought a violent urge to start laughing hysterically, and closed her eyes. She leaned against the wall and waited silently for the voices and the footsteps to float away until she suddenly reached out and grabbed Genni passing in front of her, covering her mouth to stifle her scream.

Cyan let her go when she saw that Genni recognise her and relax. She then said, "You're casting your lot with the worst kind."

Genni's eyes grew secretive, and she brushed past Cyan, saying, "This is none of your business."

"Do you wish to be queen that badly?" Cyan asked suddenly, and Genni stopped dead in her tracks when she heard those words.

"What do you mean." Genni asked in a trembling voice.

Cyan leaned back against the wall. "You know what I mean, Genni. Do you really think you can control lord Oden after you do? He'll eat you alive."

Genni whirled around to face Cyan, her brows creased in anger. "I can't be like this for the rest of my life! You seriously can't expect me to be! Not after what Amoyal told me!" She whispered harshly. "I can't end up like my mother! I simply can't! You understand, can't you? Didn't you tell me there's nothing wrong with trying to become what everyone says you can't?"

Cyan didn't answer her immediately. Instead, she stared at Genni for a long time while she stood there waiting for her reply. She then bowed her head and whispered, "What happened to the little girl who helped me tied my hair up with a blue ribbon?"

Genni stood there quietly for awhile, letting the words soak in. Then her eyes took on the look of the hunted, and answered, "I simply can't be a kitchen maid for the rest of my life. I just can't! It's beneath me! You can understand, can't you?" Without waiting for her answer, Genni ran away from Cyan into the darkness of the long hallway.

Cyan watched her disappear, and finally nodded slowly. She then whispered, in a voice that seemed to muse, "I do. You're just like your father."

Cyan straightened herself up slowly, and walked back towards her room, her footsteps carelessly echoing loudly through the hallway, trying to chase away the night in her heart.

(9.1)
Chapter 9

The courtyard of lord Taran's castle was filled with people from all walks of life. From the beggars in the streets, to soldiers and shopkeepers, and to the lords of Sanaria that sat on high chairs, surrounded by their guards. However, no one spoke, and the dusty air carried the uneasy sensation of urgency and uncertainty as it was whipped about in a cold, merciless breeze that cut sharp and made people shiver unconsciously. In the clearing, where the brown, hard dirt ground lay bare and exposed, sat Cyan on her knees, with her sword that lay bare and flashing dully in the cloudy sun before her. She looked fragile and weak, and as Sils looked at her from Brandy's shoulder, who was standing behind lord Taran's chair, he began to doubt how it was ever possible for anyone to mistake her for anything else than some pampered, rich man's daughter. And as Cyan, with eyes closed, slowly put on a flapping white cloth, and tied it on her head, covering her dull golden hair, Sils whispered to himself, "We wronged you so much, Cyan. I never wanted you to turn out like this."

When Cyan finished, she lowered her head, and the cloth tails the knot at the base of her neck started to dance in the wind, giving the illusion that Cyan's hair was snow white with unfathomable age. A soldier, dressed in a crisply pressed and neat ceremonial garb, marched over next to Cyan slowly and stopped, holding a long pole with a flag furled at the end. He then unfurled the flag, and held the pole next to him as lord Taran's flag started to snap and run with the wind. And as it happened, a deep sound of a bell resounded from the tower, and all the people present roared in approval, trembling the stone walls.

As the cheers from the people subsided, trumpets were blown, and lord Taran, dressed in ceremonial armor and wielding a sword, cleared his throat and began in a faltering voice, "Honored lords and ladies, I stand before you today as my father has done before...As my father.." Lord Taran stopped in midsentence, and cleared his throat nervously. "I mean to say that I have hired an alternate for my..." He stopped again and a trickle of sweat rolled down his face. muffled voices started to rise from the crowd, and people looked uneasily around them.

"I can't do this..." Lord Taran mumbled weakly to himself as he saw the puzzled and bemused eyes all staring at him. His legs started to feel as if they were melting underneath him, and barely managed to catch his balance by propping himself up with his sword. He saw lord Oden sitting in his chair, staring at him and sneering. And beside him sat a woman who held his gaze in triumph. Something white and fluttering caught his eyes just then, and he saw that it was the tail knots from Cyan's head band. He forced his eyes to her and saw her sitting there with her head bowed, immobile and seemingly oblivoius to everything around her as none of them mattered to her at all. Something in him found the strength to say what he wanted to say when he saw her then. To turn her indifference, and force her to listen to him was more important to him than anything.

Lord Taran fixed his gaze on Cyan's still form and spoke in a deep voice that even surprised him, and as the words left his lips, the insistent chatter of the crowd ceased and disappeared. "I am a coward!" He announced. He held Cyan's gaze when her head snapped up and turn to look at him in obvious surprise. "I am not like my father. I hired this woman to fight in my stead because I was afraid of death. Cyan, I don't need you. I will fight my own battles." He then saw Cyan smile at him, and it wasn't one of those condescending or mocking smiles that he saw so often reserved just for him, and he couldn't help but feel giddy.

"No, I am not like my father." Lord Taran continued, feeling his voice growing stronger and surer. He now knew exactly what he had to say and why. "This woman behind me," He pointed to Brandy, who was standing behind his chair, "had been wronged by my father. Cast away like an unwanted toy. Mama Brandy," he said, smiling to her weakly, "I don't know where I will end up after today. But you're welcome to share my wealth, my house until you're tired of me."

Brandy didn't say much to that, and started to weep and ran to lord Taran. They both embraced as the crowd looked on in stunned silence. Lord Michels got up from his chair and started to cheer and clap, and everyone followed suit as well, even though most of them didn't know what had transpired and why.

Lord Oden got up as well, but it wasn't to cheer. He motioned for the horn blowers, and the blasts from their horns once again quieted the crowd.

"Since you're fighting yourself, lord Taran, I challenge you for your crown as is my right this day!" Lord Oden shouted, drawing his sword. The young woman sitting next to him stood up quickly, and retorted harshly, "What? How dare you! That crown is mine!", but lord Oden pushed her back down to her seat, while Amoyal Sarayan, who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, started to whisper in her ear furiously. Brandy saw who the young woman was, and cried out, "Genni!", but the woman ignored her, pretending not to hear her and speaking in furious whispers to Amoyal.

Lord Taran gripped his sword tight, and started to walk into the dirt clearing in the middle of the courtyard, followed by one of his men who brought along his helmet and shield. And as they set about arming lord Taran, he looked around and asked, "Well, is there anyone else who challenges my right to rule Sanaria?" When none of the other lords spoke, and indeed, no one dared breathed a word, he fixed his eyes on Lord Oden, who was looking at him in disgust.

"I'm going to enjoy killing you, you sorry young fool..."

(9.2)
Chapter 9 (continued)

"I'm going to enjoy killing you, you sorry young fool." Lord Oden sneered, as his armorers finished arming him.

Lord Taran looked at him in silence as he readjusted his grip on the sword. He knew his cause was hopeless. He merely practiced swordplay. However, lord Oden was a veteran who fought countless battles. They did not call him the butcher without reason and proof. Lord Taran started to feel all the eyes of the people upon him once again, and he noted their silence and wondered whether his people were silent because they couldn't wait for him to die, or praying to their gods for his victory.

When lord Taran adressed his shield and took a step forward, looking detached at Lord Oden's eager face, a voice announced, "Stop."

"Who dares?!" Lord Oden cried out from under his helm, lifting his visor. When he located the source of the dissent, he stiffened and stopped in his tracks.

Cyan walked towards them, her naked, glistening blade in her hand. The wind picked up suddenly and a strand of her bound hair escaped and blew like a wisp of a golden ghost about her left eye. When she stood between the two men, she announced, "I do. Cyan, the angel of death."

People were literally stretching their necks to get a better glimpse of her, and what they saw made them wonder and gasp for they all knew the legend, and why she was called that. They knew her to be beautiful, for they called her angel. And indeed, there stood Cyan, looking like one of the vaunted angels from the heavens in their dreams, standing against the wind. But when they saw her gray eyes, they knew that she did not descend from the soft, gentle gates of the heavens to inspire them with her goodness, but from a dark, secret place, out of their screaming nightmares, only to bring cold, final death.

"Amoyal, get over here! You promised she wouldn't be fighting!" Lord Oden shouted as he started to retreat, his eyes unable to break their lock on Cyan's gaze.

Lord Taran walked over to Cyan, and grabbed her shoulder. "I told you I do not need your help." He stated, not unkindly.

Cyan raised her arm and pointed to Amoyal Sarayan, who took up his shield and strode past lord Oden to face her amidst jeers and hoots. "That is not your battle, Gunther. Go on and sit down." When he refused to move, Cyan turned her head to face him and said simply, "Go on and become king." And lord Taran knew then that he had achieved something that seemed impossible to him. He wanted to thank her, to let her know that her approval of his kingship gave him a feeling of security that he could have never fooled himself into believing otherwise. But he just nodded quickly, for it was all he could do or say because of his emotion, and strode back to his chair amidst applause and cheers.

"I have told you not to interfere!" Amoyal shouted, lowering his visor and adressing his shield before him. "Do you really think you have a chance against me? I am wearing a plate mail! Your blade, no matter how sharp, will never cut through this. It must be as rusty as a kitchen knife by now. Come then, foolish child. I will end your miserable life!"

Cyan gripped the sword with both of her hands, and held it poised horizontally out to her right side, saying nothing. Amoyal slowly advanced towards her and stopped just outside of her sword arc. And both of them stood there facing each other, unmoving. The crowd grew absolutely silent, and the lords all strained out from their seats as if awaiting a physical blow.

Sils gazed at Cyan with worry, and whispered, "Why that stance, Cyan..Why defense.."

With a mighty shout, Amoyal struck with his sword, cutting down on Cyan's head with an overhand...

(9.3)
Chapter 9 (continued)

With a mighty shout, Amoyal struck with his sword, cutting down on Cyan's head with an overhand. Cyan seemed to move her hips and both blades met with a loud, shattering clank. Cyan seemed to lose her footing from that blow and stumbled to her side, and planted herself again. But Amoyal did not give her that chance. He struck again. This time with a swipe at her gut. Once again, Cyan's blade was there to ward off the blow. However, she was once again stumbling, moving off to the side and nearing the edge of the dirt clearing. Amoyal grinned at this and whispered, "You can't kill me, can you? Because of your master." as he struck again and again. Cyan looked as if she was barely diverting those blows with her sword as she kept on retreating towards where Lord Oden and Genni was seated. And as the blows from Amoyal kept pushing her back, people started to wonder if the angel before them was really herself at all, and if their dreams and legends lied to them and cheated them. Amoyal's grin grew bigger as he dreamed it possible of running his sword into her body and killing her, the mythical angel of death, furthering his fame as the best swordsman in all of Eteria. Just as he imagined planting a great big kiss on Cyan's lifeless lips as a final act of triumph, he heard a man and a woman scream in death, and he felt a hot, searing pain on his sword hand. He looked dumbfoundedly at it, but there was nothing there except a stump which sprayed out red blood like a geyser. Then the pain and the realization hit him all at once and he screamed and crumpled to his knee, and also saw with crazed fascination the headless body of Lord Oden and Genni, who was crumpled on the floor with his sword stuck half way into her neck, with that woman named Brandy holding her broken and lifeless form to her. He almost laughed deliriously when he saw that his hand was still gripping the pommel of his weapon.

Amoyal then noticed a pair of black boots in front of him, and he slowly raised his head to see Cyan holding her bloody sword up high to give the final blow to end his life. "You used me, to kill them both!" He spoke out hoarsely, and shudder in horror as she slowly nodded in silence. "Such skill. How did I ever delude myself into thinking... Wait, wait!" He shouted as Cyan got ready to strike him down. "If you kill me, you'll never know who they are. Do you hear me? Your prophecy will mean nothing if you kill me!"

Amoyal's eyes grew wide with fear when he saw that Cyan's eyes betrayed nothing, not even a glimmer of hesitance from his words. "Amoyal Sarayan." Cyan announced quietly, her gray eyes staring unwaveringly empty into his own. "This is honor. My master's honor."

Amoyal quickly brought his shield over him to ward off the blow, but it did not matter. It seemed Cyan's sword had completely missed the mark as she swung it over him and then tossed it to the ground, but when she kicked Amoyal's crouched form, he split in two, shield, armor, his body. His entrails and brain started to spill out on the ground as steaming blood gushed out like cheap water into the dirt. And as Cyan started to walk out of the courtyard, past the guard house, through the rear gate of the castle, the stunned crowd watched in silence, until someone shouted, "Long live king Taran!" All pandemonium broke loose as the chant was quickly taken up and everyone started to gather before the king.

"Cyan, wait!" Sils cried out, as he willed the tossed blade to him and shrunk it to carry in his pocket. He buzzed after her as lord Michels followed him.

When Sils and lord Michels finally caught up to her, lord Michels got in front of her, and stopped her. "My lady, you have yet to be paid."

Cyan looked up at lord Michels and her lips formed a weak smile. "Why did you tell lord Oden that Genni was King John's daughter?" She asked softly.

"What?!" Sils exclaimed.

Lord Michels' lips twitched. "I had to do something. You hadn't killed her yet when I got there." He answered uneasily, eyeing both Sils' shocked expression and Cyan's impassive and mysterious one. "She had to be killed, you understand. Her position as the first born of king John could have been detrimental to Gunther becoming king."

"You were to kill Genni? Then...." Sils began, his mind racing back to the time when they first met Genni and her mother. "You weren't overreacting when you drew your blade when they brought you the bath, were you? You recognized them right away and knew they would be there. All that mysterious act to Brandy about taking lord Taran's life...Those were all lies, weren't they?" Sils asked in a shocked voice, trembling.

"I would have struck them both down, mother and daughter, if you hadn't taken my sword away from me." Cyan replied without looking at Sils.

"But why, Brandy is your friend. How could you?" Sils asked, his eyes closed in shock.

"It's what you wanted, wasn't it? You and Hiroshi? You two wanted me to be this way. Duty. Honor. Even if it means destroying something you care about." Cyan answered in a weak whisper, silencing Sils completely. She then stared at lord Michels, who was watching all this in silence, and said, "Your explanation for your action does not wash with me, lord Michels. But I am through with you, just like I am through with being the angel of death as you all seem fond of calling me."

Lord Michels bowed before her and answered, "You have my gratitude, angel, I mean, Cyan. And I hope to see you again."

Cyan's lip curled at his words, and her eyes clouded over dangerous. "For your life, you had better hope that you never set your eyes on me again. Now get out of my sight!" She retorted, and lord Michels obliged, stalking back towards the castle gates without a backwards glance.

"Cyan.." Sils began, but something in Cyan's eyes made him swallow his words.

"I am through with you too, Sils. Go back to Ralantia. I have no need of you where I am going." Cyan said, in a voice that carried over monotonous and flat. A single tear drop, sparkling in the dull afternoon sun started to roll down her cheek, and Sils almost cried out in joy when he saw it.

"Where are you going?" Sils asked, bravely fighting back his own tears because he knew that this time, she really meant for him to leave her. Perhaps forever.

Cyan started to walk away from him, towards the edge of the forest. "I'm going to try to find my mortality, and grow old. The oracle was right, Sils. This truly was the end of my road." Her voice carried to his straining ears as she grew smaller and smaller into the distance until she was swallowed up by the forest. And Sils, fighting a sudden, desperate urge to stop her from walking out of his life, gritted his teeth to bare the empty pain of loneliness Cyan's words left him with and started himself for home, to Ralantia.

THE END

What did you think of the story? Please send correspondenses to screen name Aidynni.
{NW Mistie's Political Theories}
The Guild of Chaos
THE GUILD OF CHAOS
GOC "Killing with Style"

GUILD MASTER: WalkNDeath
ASSISTANT GM: Kymil Nimn
MEMBERSHIP: Unknown, reported to be under 50.
STATUS: Private
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Evil alignment. Neutrals will be considered. Must be a maxxed Human Cleric/Magic User dual class. New players showing strong potential will be considered. Very good knowledge of the realms. Must be experienced in Player vs. Player combat.
PROMINANT MEMBERS: Toramarth, Killum, Drk Anjel, Kymil Nimn, WalkNDeath
GUILD GOALS: The promotion and furtherance of evil in the realm. The Guild of Chaos is intent upon thwarting Lord Nasher and his allies from their goal of ridding the realm of evil. To this end, they oppose all who stand with Lord Nasher, or against the Guild of Chaos. They work to undermine and corrupt the work of their rivals by sowing doubt, dissension, fear, and death among their foes.

The Guild of Chaos was the first guild in Neverwinter. Formed by Beelzebul, the "discoverer" of PVP, the GOC was created specifically for that purpose. Older residents of Neverwinter still remember the fear and notoriety GOC members created through the Realms.

The GOC and Beelzebul soon separated in their paths. Although its creator was gone, the GOC still gained in strength, first under the leadership of HELLHAMMER and then Killum. The GOC has endured the changes in Neverwinter to this day, under several more GM's: Anthrax, Slimey, Drk Anjel, and currently WalkNDeath

The GOC is and has always been a relatively small group. This is due to fact that the GOC has been and has always considered itself an elite group. Membership is not gained easily and many of those who wished entry to this guild, soon found themselves victims to it.

However, the GOC is not without problems as they are finding themselves becoming everyday a smaller percentage of the Neverwinter population. The massive influx of newer citizens to Neverwinter greatly outweigh the more experienced players trying to gain entry to the guild.

The strongest aspect of the Guild of Chaos is the foundation of its membership. Many of its members are rumored to be as old as the Realms, and no one disputes this rumor. As long as they have been around, it is likely that this band of rogue warriors will remain as the Ancient Assassins of Neverwinter.
{NW Elladan's Beach House}
Save's
A Day at Elladan's Beach House

Hey! C'mon in! How ya all doin? That's great, what brings you guys here? Oh you have a question...about what? Ugh...not again...Saves again?. You guys are always buggin me about that. I swear I have no clue...... oh... ok. I can do that. True, not all of ya have the first edition books laying around and the Adventurers Journal doesn't have the saving throw charts. OK grab a drink and have a seat and I'll explain this to ya...

OK, first of all, different classes use different saving throw bases. There are 1. clerics, 2. fighters/rangers, 3. paladins, 4. magic users and 5. thieves. Technically, fighters, rangers and paladins all use the same base, but since the paladin gains a +2 on all saves, I thought it would be easier to just group them separately.

Second, there are five categories by which all saving throws are lumped into. The five are 1. paralyzation, poison, death magic, 2. petrification, 3. wands, 4. breath weapons and 5. spells. Paper AD&D players will know that the saves cover other categories, but I'm simplifying this to NWN terms. Examples of the above are: 1. carrion crawlers, dracs, poison and slay living spells, 2. basilisks and medusa gaze, 3. wands of lightning bolt and fireball, 4. dragons and gorgimera breaths and 5. most cleric and magic user spells.

Third, saves improve by levels. The number of levels needed to gain a boost in the saves depends on the class: 1. clerics improve saves every three levels, 2. fighters/rangers/ paladins every two levels, 3. magic users every five levels and 4. thieves every four levels.

Fourth, race can improve certain saves. Dwarves and halflings will gain a +1 bonus vs magic and poison for each 3.5 constitution points they have. Gnomes will similarly gain the bonus vs magic, but not poison.

Fifth, a high wisdom or constitution will bestow saving throw bonuses. High wisdom will give a pc saving throw bonus vs mind affecting spells (charm) in the following manner: 15 wis +1, 16 wis +2, 17 wis +3 and 18 wis +4. A 19 constitution will benefit a character by +1 to saves vs poison.

Sixth, certain magic items and spells will give added saving throw bonuses. Included are rings, cloaks, and protection from evil.

Now that you know the basics, let me list the charts here...

               Paralyzed/
Class/Lvl      Poisoned/    Petrified  Wand  Dragon  Spells
               Death Magic                   Breath
---------      -----------  ---------  ----  ------  ------
Cleric 1-3         10          13       14     16      15
Cleric 4-6          9          12       13     15      14
Cleric 7-9          7          10       11     13      12
---------      -----------  ---------  ----  ------  ------
Fgt/Ran 1-2        14          15       16     17      17
Fgt/Ran 3-4        13          14       15     16      16
Fgt/Ran 5-6        11          12       13     13      14
Fgt/Ran 7-8        10          11       12     12      13
Fgt/Ran 9-10        8           9       10      9      11
Fgt/Ran 11-12       7           8        9      8      10
---------      -----------  ---------  ----  ------  ------
Pal 1-2            12          13       14     15      15
Pal 3-4            11          12       13     14      14
Pal 5-6             9          10       11     11      12
Pal 7-8             8           9       10     10      11
Pal 9-10            6           7        8      7       9
Pal 11              5           6        7      6       8
----------     -----------  ---------  ----  ------  ------
MU 1-5             14          13       11     15      12
MU 6-10            13          11        9     13      10
MU 11              11           9        7     11       8
----------     -----------  ---------  ----  ------  ------
Thief 1-4          13          12       14     16      15
Thief 5-8          12          11       12     15      13
Thief 9-12         11          10       10     14      11
The chart above is in relation to a 20 sided die. A player must roll that number or higher on a 20 sided dice to make his/her saving throw. For example, Fred the 5th level Fighter is bitten by a snake. Fred must roll a 11 or higher to survive the poisonous bite. This can be translated to say that Fred has a 55% chance of dying of poison, or 45% chance of surviving it.

Some minor notes. For dual and multi-classed characters, they will use the best odds of all of their classes. Remember, dual class characters must be maxxed before receiving this advantage, while multi-classed characters do not.

So...ya guys take notes? Good! Ya understand it? Good! Now git... Snowie's comin over fer dinner and you ain't invited ;p Sides, I gotta clean up and start cookin... this place is a mess..... Ack!! I'm outta frozen dinners.....
{NW Nimue's Hazy days looking glass)
Coming to the GOH Magazine in April...

Heya guys! I hope you enjoyed this month's issue of the Guild of Heroes Magazine. Here is some of the stuff you have to look forward to next month...

NW Snowie goes Dracolich hunting and tries to dig up where (and when) Dracoliches really did come from...

NW Essex will take a look at the lawfulest lawfuls of the Realms...

NW Aziza go looking for cruise at beautiful Port Llast....

NW Baldor continues to examine pole arms, this time axes on sticks...

NW Strider once again features Aidynni of the Bard's Guild in a new tale...

NW Mistie features the first good guild, the Crusaders of the Realms...

This and (hopefully) much more! If you have suggestions, please email, NW Elladan. So until next month...may your enemies have bad hair days!!! See ya!!!
{Credits and Notice's}
** All the information in this month's GOH Magazine can be found in the original First Edition TSR Advanced Dungeons and Dragons books, Monster Manual (c) 1979, Players Handbook (c) 1978, Dungeon Master's Guide (c) 1979, Deities and Demigods (c) 1980 and Unearthed Arcana (c) 1985 ***


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