July 30, 2001
Fishwrap #42 - "The Ethereal Plane"



"Override! Where's the override?!?"

Issue #42: "The Ethereal Plane"
[July 30, 2001]
Circulation: 164

Fishwrap Magazine is available on the World Wide Web.
You can subscribe here and also read all the back issues.


Tenebrion talks (a lot)
Merlisk and Snow reproduce
Papa Thoom takes the lead
Guide for Newly-exiled Fen'neko


This issue of Fishwrap Magazine is brought to you by the following
* Clan Rising Claw
* Clan Pogue Mahone
* Lundar the Mystic
* Thoom Mailing List: The Thoom Information Conduit
* Quest Tracker: The Discussion Group for Quest Information
* Fishmonger: Puddleby's News Kiosk

"Fishwrap Magazine: Thoom News You Can Use"

brought to you by Fishwrap reporters:
* Bavmorda the Thoom is now a fourth circle healer

brought to you by Norm's Diary
* A good old-fashioned 'Noids rescue
* Orga and Darshak invade
* Increased interest in the Ethereal Plane
for more information on the above stories, see Norm's Adventures

brought to you by Lundar's Library
* Magi in McBolie Cavern
for more information on the above stories, see Lundar's Library


Court records:
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_277_20_32 on 7 Autumn, 542 at 21:23..."
Clerus says, "Luc accused Gurgi of not training me in defense after
taking a bribe...."
Clerus says, "The verdict was frivolous; 266 minutes in jail, 2068c
fine and 0 days banished."
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_281_17_56 on 11 Autumn, 542 at 18:59..."
Clerus says, "Trespasser accused Malkor of keeping him from being
raised at the Arena..."
Clerus says, "The verdict was innocent."
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_289_19_51 on 19 Autumn, 542 at 20:42..."
Clerus says, "Satan accused Stormraven of committing a fashion no-
Clerus says, "The verdict was frivolous; 804 minutes in jail, 6339c
fine and 0 days banished."
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_298_15_26 on 28 Autumn, 542 at 16:27..."
Clerus says, "Luc accused Gurgi of cursing me repeatedly..."
Clerus says, "The verdict was frivolous; 295 minutes in jail, 2743c
fine and 0 days banished."

Results from the last ballot, closed Autumn 31, 542, with 1386 eligible
#199: Are you currently sharing with a mystic?
27 (53%): Yes
19 (37%): No
3 (6%): None of the above
2 (4%): Abstain


Fishwrap Magazine is looking for a few more contributors, reporters and

Advertising rates are quite affordable. Your ad will be read by well
over 150 exiles!

Sponsorships: only 25 coins
Full ads: only 50 coins


I just got back from cod fishing, and I'm still cleaning up my fishing

The witches of Puddleby have asked if they could write headlines for
this issue of Fishwrap, so I've agreed to let them have a stab at it,
so to speak.

Nuba Yo!

- Para

"Doom for Puddleby Imminent"


Please send any comments to wangahrah@hotmail.com. Your feedback is
important to me. Special thanks to Paramedic for printing this in
Fishwrap on such short notice.

Wangah Rah: "Hail, Tenebrion. I've heard much about you and your
experiments, and they intrigue me very much. Perhaps you could tell me
a bit about them?"

Tenebrion: "The paths from the Ethereal Plane and your Purgatory are
growing stronger. Each time someone makes that trip the path becomes
more defined. Have you, or your scholars, noticed any recent
disturbances in Purgatory? It is no danger for me. I thought you might
be interested however."

Wangah Rah: "I have been studying for a bit...the latest was with some
clouds of ether which I believe you are aware of. Is this one of the
dangers posed?"

Tenebrion: "Storms of ether could be one manifestation."

Wangah Rah: "Many people blamed that occurence on you. Does that have
any truth to it? I've heard that you experiment with the Ethereal Plane
much...does that have the same effect?"

Tenebrion: "A storm seems to be brewing. It could strike any day now. I
have been using the Ethereal Plane carefully for centuries. I know how
not to create disturbances there."

Wangah Rah: "Would you be able to teach us? And need the exiles be
warned? What is to be expected in this storm?"

Tenebrion: "Warn your townsfolk of the impending storm and let them
know of the dangers in traveling from the Ethereal Plane to Purgatory."

Wangah Rah: "What kind of storm? What can be expected? And would you be
able to help us, prepare us, or have anything that would make us more

Tenebrion: "Tell your scholars to watch for happenings in Purgatory."

Wangah Rah: "Is a rift opening between the Ethereal Plane and

Tenebrion: "It could happen if the path were traveled often enough.
That would introduce a grave danger to Purgatory."

Wangah Rah: "Indeed it would. Would there be danger to the real world,
or to exiles who don't go to Purgatory?"

Tenebrion: "The initial danger would be in Purgatory. However, the
danger would flow to your world from there."

Wangah Rah thinks, "I'm talking to Tenebrion. He is telling me that
there is grave danger, a storm is approaching that may hit anytime. He
warns of the dangers of travelling from the Ethereal Plane to
Purgatory, and that a rift is already opening, and could pose grave
danger to Purgatory. After that, it could worsen and danger would flow
to our world. I'm told this is very important, and we need to watch
purgatory very carefully and watch and prepare for an impending storm"

Tenebrion: "A flow of ether into Purgatory could condense as clouds."

Wangah Rah: "Aye, that would explain the clouds of ether. But that was
in our world, not Purgatory...did they flow from Purgatory to here?"

Tenebrion: "They do not leave traces. It could have come that way."

Wangah Rah: "Have there been any sightings of clouds of ether in

Aerick thinks, "I haven't [seen any clouds of ether in Purgatory] Not a
one (1)"

Wangah Rah: "That's very interesting. You say there is no danger to you
because you know how to safely travel there, correct?"

Tenebrion: "That and I never go to Purgatory."

Wangah Rah: "But if exiles travel, and open the rift even more, and
danger flows to this world, how will even you remain safe?"

Tenebrion: "Should it grow that bad I have a refuge I could use."

Wangah Rah: "That seems extreme; a worst case scenario. Have you any
way of helping us? Tools, information, perhaps an alternate way of
doing things?"

Tenebrion: "I would hope my warnings were of some help. The rest will
depend upon the actions of your people."

Wangah Rah: "What would you recommend? No more visits to Ethereal
Plane? Be more cautious with it? Everything could help, because if it
worsens even you could be in danger"

Tenebrion: "Every time the Ethereal Sword is collected and people leave
the inner circle to Purgatory the path becomes more defined."

Wangah Rah: "How can we leave Ethereal Plane without going to

Tenebrion: "There are several other ways to leave the plane. I must
return to an experiment now. I will attempt to warn you once more as
the storm grows."


"Exiles march to their deaths in Ethereal Plane; witches rejoice"


Location: Tenebrion's "Audience Chamber" on the ground floor of his

Date: Sombdi, day 28 of Autumn, 542 (aka July 28th, 2001)

Comments: A small group led by Gurgi and Natas find Tenebrion in his
Audience Chamber as they prepare to collect the remaining crystal
pieces to allow another visit to the Ethereal Plane via the Zodiac

This piece has been edited slightly for Fishwrap publication.

Tenebrion Greetings
Rieger Greetings
Tenebrion There is a storm brewing.
Rieger oh?
Suu'ub III :0
Asmodean What kind of storm?
Tenebrion Recent travellers on the Ethereal Plane have opened a path to your Purgatory.
Gurgi I've noticed your Zodiac symbols are no longer very reliable.
Rieger oh!
Rieger that can't be good
Tenebrion Every time that path is used the path becomes more clearly defined.
Gurgi Weren't there many paths to Purgatory set up by your zodiac rooms before anyways?
Rieger a two-way path?
Tenebrion Ether is leaking into Purgatory.
Tenebrion They were never used, Gurgi.
Gimli A path to our Purgatory from where?
Rieger Ethereal Plane.
Tenebrion From the Ethereal Plane.
Gurgi Well, can you make a portal from Ethereal Plane to this place directly?
Rieger Departing might not be very fun soon.
Tenebrion It does not matter to me.
Tenebrion You often tell me how inportant Purgatory is to your people.
Rieger nods vigorously
Tenebrion Of course I can Gurgi. I use one such myself.
Gimli So, creatures from the Ethereal Plane may be in purgatory soon?
Rieger that's my inference
Tenebrion There is that danger Gimli.
Suu'ub III That means they can surely gain access to Puddleby.
Gimli What can we do to avoid that danger?
Rieger You have a suggestion to turn this around?
Rieger heh
Tenebrion Avoid moving from the Ethereal Plane to Purgatory.
Rieger Ah good idea
Tenebrion Quite a simple solution really.
Rieger By not going to Ethereal Plane?
Mac How do we leave the Ethereal Plane if not though Purgatory?
Gimli Will things return to normal if we avoid that?
Natas Is there another way out of the Ethereal Plane?
Tenebrion There are thousands of ways out that do not require leaving to Purgatory.
Rieger Ah it's only departing from the Ethereal Plane that is a problem?
Mac For example??
Natas Want to clue us in on one?
Gurgi Actually, I know of how to leave without going through Purgatory.
Tenebrion I do not know if departing from there would count.
Gurgi There are other exits
Natas That isn't an option in my book
Rieger So there are ways from Ethereal Plane directly to our plane?
Tenebrion It is the physical journey which defines the path.
Tenebrion There are, Rieger.
Tenebrion And back again.
Rieger ah
Mac For example?
Tenebrion You should ask your scholars to build a portal to and from your town.
Mac chuckles
Mac We have no scholars of portals.
Tenebrion I have offered to build such a portal myself for you.
Tenebrion The price was considered unreasonable.
Mac We have access to a portal system near our town, but we do not have the knowledge to use them.
Gimli Ah, what was the price?
Tenebrion 50 of the teleportation stones.
Rieger Eep
Natas Make it one and you got a deal.
Tenebrion laughs.
Rieger How about busted ones?
Tenebrion For one I will trade an Ethereal Portal stone.
Gimli 50 stones will not be gathered quickly
Tenebrion I could offer you a busted portal for 50 busted teleportation stones.
Rieger chuckles
Tenebrion I might be willing to do that for 10.
Tenebrion shrugs
Mac Your portals bust?
Tenebrion The permanent ones do not.
Mac You indicated that they do
Rieger Quick let's go get 50 teleportation stones
Tenebrion The portal stones have a limited use.
Rieger How about 10 teleport stones?
Tenebrion A small portal for that price.
Gimli [Thinks to you] The teleport stone are the ones we got on a FMOCR?
Tenebrion A fifth of the size.
Rieger 10 we might be able to do. We'll be old and dead before we get 50
Rieger [Thinks to Gimli] yeah
Rieger Would one a fifth the size work?
Tenebrion For beings smaller in size than you, my stout friend.
Mac hehe
Rieger Great, a rat portal.
Gimli chuckles.
Natas Let's flood the Ethereal Plane with our rats!
Mac heh
Rieger Even if we wanted to get you 50, it would take us many, many years
Tenebrion In the interests of full disclosure, it would be a two-way portal.
Mac Sounds good
Gimli If we give you ten, could we get a larger one later after we gather more stones?
Mac At the very least it would take 4 years to collect 50 stones.
Rieger Yeah and prolly twice that long
Tenebrion That is all?
Rieger smiles
Rieger Isn't the danger more imminent than that?
Tenebrion Your youth gives you a weird perception of a long time.
Gimli nods
Rieger true
Rieger However, all our kind has the same limited perception generally.
Rieger Thus it would be hard to get people to commit 4 years to this
Gimli So, could we get a small one for ten and then a larger one for 40 more stones?
Tenebrion You would consider meeting a price of ten stones?
Rieger If it's 50 or nothing I suspect we would not be able to "rally the troops"
Mac For a full portal perhaps
Natas Sounds far more reasonable
Rieger Yes
Rieger Sounds more reasonable
Tenebrion A full portal for ten teleportation stones?
Rieger and even "doable"
Rieger uh, who needs to decide this?
Mac That would be a number that we could meet, yes
Gurgi fighters come
Gurgi and others leave to join the fighting.
Tenebrion I would consider that. I will look at the costs and tell you of my decision.
Rieger I believe we could meet that price though
Rieger good
Rieger any sense of how bad the "rift" is already?
Tenebrion There is no rift.
Rieger leak
Gimli Good!
Tenebrion Merely a path which is becoming more defined.
Rieger ah
Rieger Can things get through now?
Mac Wouldn't the increased Ether here benefit you?
Tenebrion It is not "things" getting through that you should be worried about.
Rieger [whispers] how the hell we going to get 10 stones?
Natas what should we be worried about?
Rieger what then?
Tenebrion Ether only rarely condenses.
Gimli Ah, what should we be worried about?
Mac Naturally you mean?
Tenebrion A path might serve to funnel ether from its proper place in the cosmos.
Rieger Could it damage our Purgatory?
Gimli [Thinks to you] Should take about 20 FMOCR to get them.
Tenebrion Concentrations of Ether not on the Ethereal Plane could be....
Tenebrion unpredictable.
Mac Need help in courtyard
Rieger Sorry to be blunt, but why do we care if Ether isn't in its right place?
Tenebrion I don't.
Rieger No, no, why should WE care?
Tenebrion Your town seems very concerned with Purgatory.
Rieger Gotcha
Tenebrion Concentrations of ether in Purgatory might be less than desirable.
Tenebrion You have seen the small clouds?
Gimli Yes
Rieger nods
Tenebrion What use would Purgatory be to you with a full storm raging in there?
Rieger Ah, those in Purgatory would not be good
Natas need axes
Rieger uh huh
Gimli be right back
More people leave to join the fighting.
Tenebrion Not a strong concern of mine.
Rieger what is?
Tenebrion Your people often express interest in these matters.
Rieger You have expressed a strong interest in Purgatory yourself
Tenebrion Never in the place. Only the means by which you travel there.
Rieger ah
Natas returns.
Natas Want to call off your guards while we negotiate here?
Rieger Teleportation stones are new to you?
Tenebrion We are negotiating?
Natas I hate to slaughter them all
Tenebrion I was meditating.
Rieger Mediating? between who?
Natas Ahh well I was thinkin' of your guards well-being
Tenebrion Meditating.
Rieger Thought we was "dealing"
Rieger Thanks for being open to a more reasonable price by the way
Gurgi returns.
Gurgi Damn, your guards are sooo annoying
Tenebrion I will not promise that price.
Sushi enters the room for the first time.
Sushi Someone killed one of my rats nabbit
Rieger understood
Tenebrion They don't annoy me.
Rieger We can't promise we can even get 10
Natas They won't be annoyin' ANYONE anymore
Tenebrion They are replaceable.
Gurgi Why bother?
Tenebrion I pay their town for a certain number. If that number is not present, they send more.
Sushi What/who is replacable?
Gurgi Just stop replacing them and everyone all round will be less annoyed
Sushi Who are you?
Tenebrion They provide a measure of physical security for me.
Falinus Tenebrion, you do not care for them and you do not care we are here, why pay for something you do not need?
Gurgi Tenebrion, will you give me one of the Ethereal Portal Stones in return for a Soul Sword?
Rieger Keeps the riff raff away maybe
Tenebrion There are other dangers besides yourselves.
Sushi Anyone know who this guy is?
Rieger yes
Natas call him big T he likes that
Tenebrion For a Sword of Souls?
Gurgi yes
Gimli [Thinks to you] I guess we should tell the mystic guild about his request for portal stones
Rieger He's got a lengthy history with town
Tenebrion I have instructed some Sarirs to trade with you.
Sushi Soulsword is a friend of mine. Do you know her?
Rieger [Thinks to Gimli] yeah they'll love this
Gurgi Ya, but they are dumb
Tenebrion You can find them in a room south and east of here.
Gurgi They only trade certain things
Tenebrion They are dumb.
Tenebrion I do not make them for intelligence.
Gurgi right
Gurgi So that's why I want to make this trade with you
Tenebrion I have one, thank you.
Gurgi They don't know how to make custom trades
Rieger you think the mystics will give up the next 10 stones? might be a very tough sell :-/
Tenebrion shows his Sword of Souls to everyone.
Gurgi You will then have more to trade for Purgatory Pendants
Tenebrion I have been making them once per month. I have a small supply at the ready.
Gimli [Thinks to you] Aye, but a portal would interest them I think.
Rieger Tenebrion, if it can't be stones, what else could we trade for a portal?
Sushi Why are you showing us a sword with a trapped and captured and tortured soul inside it?
Gurgi I'm not satisfied with mine.
Gurgi Wanna know why?
Tenebrion The teleportation stones are what interest me the most at the moment.
Natas Because it's an inferior weapon?
Gimli Do the swords have any effect on the planes?
Gurgi I could make a better weapon from a tin can
Rieger chuckles
Sushi I don't think tortured souls are anything to advertise.
Tenebrion I find mine useful when traveling on certain planes.
Rieger ah
Tenebrion Tortured isn't a word I would use.
Natas Sounds like a sales pitch to me.
Gimli Is there a cost to using a Soul Sword?
Tenebrion I suppose it depends on one's point of view.
Sushi Oh great..we have to capture and torture souls to go someplace?
Gurgi So, Tenebrion I'd like to trade my Sword of Souls in, that you say is so awesome, for a Ethereal Portal stone
Tenebrion Not to the person who wields one.
Gurgi sounds like a great deal from your perspective
Gurgi since you think it's such a great weapon
Tenebrion As I mentioned, I have a good supply of the swords.
Sushi Where did you get the souls?
Gurgi If you had one more it would be an even better supply
Falinus Tenebrion, will the Sword of Souls cause any indirect damage to our plane?
Gurgi ok whatever
Gurgi I can see you're wasting my time
Rieger Any news about your brother?
Tenebrion Each being they dispatch adds to the pool of souls.
Gurgi Let's go finish the quest
Tenebrion Which brother?
Rieger Umbrion
Tenebrion I have five.
Rieger The one with the nearby island
Sushi ponders this
Gimli Do you have any sisters?
Tenebrion Umbrion is still working on maintaining the spells of illusion. He does not believe they have failed.
Rieger and where is the "pool of souls"?
Tenebrion No sisters.
Tenebrion That is a matter of some debate, Rieger.
Rieger He doesn't believe they have failed? people stomp on that
island every day nowadays
Gimli Are any of your other brothers nearby?
Tenebrion Distance is such a relative thing isn't it?
Gimli As is time. :)
Rieger You have a theory about the soul pool?
Tenebrion A theory, certainly. No proof.
Rieger Ya think the swords affect the wielder?
Gimli I would like to hear your theory
Sushi Can you give us any assurance that only the souls of of evil beings are captured and used in these 'Soul Swords'?
Tenebrion It strengthens the user.
Tenebrion Good and evil are slippery concepts.
Rieger besides the direct effect of being a weapon
Natas Wait.
Sushi So it seems as I listen to you
Sushi Slippery is a very good word
Rieger You have any contact with our empire across the seas?
Tenebrion Mortal empires are transitory and boring things.
Rieger The Ascendancy doesn't interest you in any way?
Sushi Souls can live in purgatory forever.
Tenebrion They can?
Sushi Where are the souls within these swords?
Tenebrion That sounds time-consuming to prove.
Rieger You willing to share your soul pool theory?
The door is securely locked.
Natas We are ready to start our quest thingy
Sushi They cry out in pain when we use them!!!
Tenebrion Perhaps another day. I am late.
Mac Tenebrion, why is this door locked now?
Tenebrion Pain or pleasure?
Mac It was open just a moment ago
Tenebrion It always remains locked.
Mac No, I ran though it myself
Natas Wasn't just a few minutes ago
Tenebrion Someone must have a key.
Rieger Late? You sound impatient ;-)
Gurgi key?
The door is securely locked.
Gurgi eh
Gurgi that door was just open
Tenebrion I wish you well in your adventures. Do call again.
Gurgi What happened?
Rieger Thanks you can count on that
The door is securely locked.
Gurgi It was open before!
Natas [loudly] be well big T
Tenebrion exits out a door to the north.
Gurgi Damn it.
Rieger Well, that was sorta interesting
Gimli Well, that was interesting

Hours later virtually everyone departs from the Ethereal Plane.

Thanks to Rieger for contributing this transcript.

The unedited version can be found here:


"Breeding Experiment Conducted"


Thoom all,

I'm sure Merlisk is so busy that he hasn't had a chance to send this
out himself. He's a daddy! Snow gave birth to a new exile, named
Merlowe. Amazingly enough, Merlowe is already walking and talking, even
though she's only a couple of days old. ThoomCare physicians are still
investigating how this might have happened.

Although Merlowe is part Thoom and part Sylvan, hopefully all Thooms
will do their best to make her feel like a full member of the Puddleby

- Rizal


> Amazingly enough, Merlowe
> is already walking and talking, even though she's only a
> couple of days old. ThoomCare physicians are still
> investigating how this might have happened.

If someone figures this out, please let me know. Seems to violate
several natural laws.

> Although Merlowe is part Thoom and part Sylvan, hopefully
> all Thooms will do their best to make her feel like a
> full member of the Puddleby Thoomunity.

Does she look like a Thoom or a Sylvan?

- Para


>> Amazingly enough, Merlowe
>> is already walking and talking, even though she's only a
>> couple of days old. ThoomCare physicians are still
>> investigating how this might have happened.
> If someone figures this out, please let me know. Seems to
> violate several natural laws.

Personally, I think it's because Snow drank while pregnant, but I can't
prove that. Otherwise, Merlowe's healthy and doing great!

>> Although Merlowe is part Thoom and part Sylvan, hopefully
>> all Thooms will do their best to make her feel like a
>> full member of the Puddleby Thoomunity.
> Does she look like a Thoom or a Sylvan?
> Para

I'm not telling, but she's gorgeous!

- Merlisk

"Democracy fails again"


Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
fishwrapmagazine group:

Who's your daddy?

o Malkor
o Papa Thoom
o _I'm_ your daddy
o Vagile
o Umbrion
o That talking Noid who always gets in my way
o I'm an orphan

To vote, please visit the following web page:


The poll is still open! Papa Thoom has recently pulled into the lead,
but a surprising number of exiles are orphans!

Vote today!

"Miss Manners for Cats"


Ghrre'tsei to all new fen kin arriving on Puddleby Island, Exile

I realize many of you have come directly to this island from the fen
lands and may find the great variety of strange races a shock. Here is
a short tip guide to help you along during the beginning of your stay
while you grow accustomed to the new and sometimes perplexing behavior
that the non-Fen'neko exhibit.

>> New faces, new races

First of all, you'll see Ghorak'Zo here. No, they aren't guards or
oppressors, they are exiled, too! Who would think that the creatures
Moebius drew from another, far-flung dimension to help (finally!)
overthrow The People's domain would now become a victim of that very
distorted leader. Ironic, eh? And to top it all off, most of them are
quite good sorts. I've even made fast friends with several of 'em, even
trust 'em with my life! So don't be too quick to judge them.

The other races are:

Humans - Most fen are aware of humans. We've warred with them and
traded with them and warred with them again. The ones here are not
altogether different. They are a trusting lot and can be steadfast and
reliable. They do have a propensity to be a bit boisterous, but are
mostly harmless.

Sylvan - Many fen may not have met this race of people. They have many
of the same sense of aesthetics and grace that fen have. Sometimes this
can be harmonious, sometimes not. They have interesting pointed ears
and can hear quite well with them, but they are not very expressive.
Otherwise, sylvan look like humans. Better dressed, for the most, part,

Dwarves - This smaller, human-like race is hard-working and reliable.
Since they occupied the mountains bordering south of the mainland, many
fen may never have seen them. They seem to like hard helmets with horns
on them and beer. Lots of beer. Lots and lots of beer.

Halflings - Sometimes Halflings and Dwarves are initially confused by
newer fen. Although both are diminutive, they are quite different.
Halflings and fen have some good and bad history between them, mostly
good. The eastern-most plains fen are quite familiar with them. Good-
natured, also hard-working and very resourceful. Do not invite one to
dinner, however. Nor leave any food out in their presence. Also, it's
advisible to keep paws and feet a good distance from them. One never

Thooms - These are the more odd looking of the races. I've found them,
like all of the other races, by-and-large friendly and helpful. Thooms
excel in the healing arts, are very intelligent and thoughtful. Some
measure of them can be, however, quite cranky. And although they smell
vaguely of fish, Thooms take exception to being referred to as food.

>> Salutation situations

Greetings are handled differently by most other races. I know, I know,
fen usually tip an ear, tail-tip slighty, or incline the head a bit,
and that should be good enough. It's good enough for us, no? But these
races have no control over their ears, and, obviously, no tails.
Tipping an ear to another race is usually unnoticed. Staring and not
reciprocating any of the unfamiliar gestures they offer is considered a
breach of etiquette, odd as they may seem.

-A tooth for a tooth
Most of the races "smile" or "grin" here, a baring of the teeth to show
happiness. No, they are not threatening you, baring their fangs to show
aggression. They are displaying that they are pleased to be in your
presence. Try to "smile" back. Admittedly, the first smiles a fen make
may be a rictal grin that more frightens than assures, but if you
practice, you can usually flash a bit of a grin that isn't *too* bad
looking. I have tried to give toothy displays to others similar to what
they give me, but, oddly enough, it just seems to make them nervous.

-Bend over, please
Some may "bow" after smiling, bending awkwardly at the waist. While
something similar (although more graceful) is a sign of subservience in
some areas of the fen lands, that is not necessarily true here. Other
fen have remarked it looks like they are crouching to pounce. Generally
it is a sign of respect to having met you. I find the usual head-
incline, slightly more exaggerated, suffices in this case.

- Getting shaky
Some may jut their paw out and approach you while smiling. Again, this
is not a threat gesture! None of the races have claws that can scratch
much. This is actually an initiation to "shaking paws," (or "hands" as
humans call them) where the right paw of two persons are extended,
grasped firmly and pumped up and down. Be careful with your claws as
non-fen consider scratches of any form unfriendly. Some of the larger
races may want to squeeze your paw so hard it nearly crushes it. I find
a quick extension of the claws can immediately release the other's
grasp. I am still researching the origin of this odd greeting.

- Uh, zo
Zo's like to head-butt other people, forgetting we (or any other race,
for that matter) don't have the bony plates that they have. I have yet
to find a polite way of avoiding this form of greeting.

So if someone approaches you, bows, smiles and sticks their paw out
toward you, do not attack! It's meant as a friendly gesture. If it's a
Zo, you may try running away, though smiling as you do so.

>> Happy talk

Nearly all of the exiles speak a gutteral form of "Common," an
Easterling language not often heard in the fen lands. I suggest you
acquire its use quickly. It is not very hard to learn but is not geared
toward the fen. The other races have flattened teeth that allow less
precise pronounciation of words, so the language is tailored to that
end. However, don't worry if you slur the language overmuch. I've come
to find even those who speak it natively slur it, as well. Some of the
other races speak Fen'neko fairly understandably, so if necessary, you
can recruit one of these as a translator if the other speaker slurs *
too* much.

I'm going to suggest something a bit radical here: If you find yourself
accompanying races other than fen or human for a decent part of your
time, you may want to learn their language. It will gain their respect
and confidence if you do. At the very least it will enable you to
understand just what it is they are saying in that chirpy-mumbly-
growly-whatever language they use.

>> A fen and their hunt

Hunting on the islands is very open. No claim of ownership in the lands
exist, nor are any animals reserved for some special reason or other.
So hunt as you like. One word of caution: if another is engaging an
animal directly, even if it is one of the smaller races and is getting
torn to shreds, doing them a favor by dispatching the creature in
question is normally met with scorn. Ask or wait for them to ask before
helping out.

Be sure to get a sunstone as soon as you are able. Not only will that
allow you to hear what others proclaim they need help in hunting, but
if you get over your ears, you can ask for assistance yourself. Just do
it politely.

Work gradually from town center outward, taking down whatever prey your
abilities and your (crudely-wrought) armament allows. There are even a
couple of fun areas where you can hunt... exiles. But that's not really
sporting. Well, not most of the time.

That should get you started! If you have any questions, feel free to
ask any of the other more experienced fen in the lands. Seems we are
all in it for the long haul.


"Incompetent Thoom misidentifies short, fat exile"


Last issue, Fishwrap accidentally referred to Gurgi as a dwarf. As we
all know, Gurgi is a HALFLING.

Fishwrap apologizes to Gurgi and any dwarves or halflings who may have
been offended by this error.

- Para

"Dubious advice from a fish-like being"


Q: Dear Doctor Thoom:

Is the rumor that Kojiro and WormTounge are actually Thooms true?

- Zoose

A: Dear Zooze,

Shhh, it's a secret.


Q: Dear Paramedic:

What's your last name?

- Jazza

A: Dear Jazza,

Urm, "the Thoom"? I don't know. Don't ask me questions like that.

Fishwrap Magazine is part of the ThoomCare Media Network.

Publisher and Editor: Paramedic

Senior reporters: Crippler, Charlos, Jeanne, Odesseus

Roving reporters and contributors: Althea, Babajaga, Bones, Callia,
Deadmeat, Koric, K'Pyn, Monolith, Norm, Perkusi, Sum, Tyking II

A newspaper is only as good as its reporters, and we are always looking
for new stories. If you have news you think belongs in Fishwrap
Magazine, send Paramedic some mail (mailbox #1047) or email him at his

We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything's better and everything's safe

- Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted by Para at July 30, 2001 04:06 PM