May 28, 2001
Fishwrap #39 - "The Togron Nut"



"Published irregularly at Paramedic's whim"

Issue #39: "The Togron Nut"
[May 28, 2001]
Circulation: 159

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


This issue of the Fishwrap Magazine is brought to you by the following sponsors:
* Clan Rising Claw:
* Babajaga the Sylvan:
* Sor, for Sun Dragon Clan:
* Tarf the Dwarf, for the Volympics Survey
* Thoom Mailing List: Thoom- and ThoomCare-related information and discussions
* Quest Tracker, for all your quest-related information:
* Fishmonger: Puddleby's News Kiosk:

"Fishwrap Magazine: Thoom News You Can Use"

brought to you by Fishwrap reporters:
* Phroon the Thoom has joined ThoomCare
* Domino the Thoom has joined ThoomCare
* ThoomCare is opening a third hospital, in Sasquatch Valley
* Crippler the Thoom, ThoomCare member and Senior Fishwrap Reporter, remains missing

brought to you by Norm's Diary
* Norm explores Sasquatch Valley
* Battle with the bugs on Umbrion's Island
* Alchemy bowl madness has gripped the town of Puddleby
* Algernon in jail
for more information on the above stories, see Norm's Adventures

brought to you by Koric's Journal
* Adventures in Sasquatch Valley
* Potion vendor Mar Solkin settles in Puddleby
* Pottery shop opens in town
* New mystic pub
for more information on the above stories, see Koric's Journal

brought to you by Babajaga's Diary:
* Darshak invasion
* Qual gets frightened
for more information on the above stories, see Babajaga's Diary


Court records:
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_008_17_20 on 8 Winter, 542 at 18:22..."
Clerus says, "Monkey accused Savage of attempted murder..."
Clerus says, "The verdict was guilty; 100 minutes in jail, 0c fine and 0 days banished."
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_009_02_40 on 9 Winter, 542 at 3:27..."
Clerus says, "The Clown accused Algernon of (I'm rescuing him from the Tor Inn)..."
Clerus says, "The verdict was frivolous; 555 minutes in jail, 4161c fine and 0 days banished."
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_012_12_42 on 12 Winter, 542 at 13:43..."
Clerus says, "Robin accused Icy of share-toggling nonstop..."
Clerus says, "The verdict was innocent."
Clerus says, "Case #pcl_0542_017_06_33 on 17 Winter, 542 at 7:19..."
Clerus says, "Luc accused Natas of wearing an impolite tattoo..."
Clerus says, "The verdict was frivolous; 86 minutes in jail, 437c fine and 0 days banished."

Election results:
#187: Would you like a gardening-type shop selling: kudzu, berries, spores etc. at higher prices than they go for in sunstone auctions?
17 (24%): Yes, that's a good idea; I want to buy zu not farm 'em
13 (18%): No, I'm happy spending hours aimlessly running through Tanglewood looking for orgaberries
33 (46%): Maybe, but prices need to be sorted out to be fair
6 (8%): None of the above
2 (3%): Abstain

The Gubara report:
Gubara says, "The most esteemed citizens are: Mujin-kun, Puffy, Thuja, Sai, and Kanna."
Gubara says, "The most reviled citizens are: Icy, Algernon, Felicity, Janus, and Speedier."


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

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

Sponsorships: only 25 coins
Full ads: only 50 coins


This month's feature interview is a fascinating discussion with Deadmeat, your friendly neighborhood undine. This exclusive interview will help to answer many of the questions citizens of Puddleby have about this prominent public figure.


Deadmeat thinks to you, "Hang on, about to assist on a rescue in Orga Camp. I'll be in town as soon as I can."
You think to Deadmeat, "great"
You concentrate on sending your message to Deadmeat.
Snow says, "Hey Para"
(Paramedic is here for a Fishwrap interview)
(Paramedic smiles and waves.)
(Coriakin looks around for someone newsworthy)
Paramedic says, "Deadmeat is the interviewee."
(Coriakin nods)
Coriakin says, "Aye, he's newsworthy."
Paramedic says, "Indeed."
Coriakin says, "But not around."
Paramedic says, "He's on his way."
K'Pyn thinks, "ok, what's a "togron nut"?"
Coriakin thinks, "I don't know, but if it's a bard part, I want it ;)"
K'Pyn thinks, "lol"
Paramedic thinks, "I had to have my togron nut tightened a few months back"
K'Pyn thinks, "oh suuuure you did Para... suuuure you did."
Snow thinks, "Too much information, Para"
Paramedic thinks, "It's an outpatient procedure"
Snow ponders, "ranky!"
(Phineas sniffs his underarm.)
Paramedic says, "Hrm."
(Phineas looks vaguely around.)
Phineas ponders, "Snow is right!"
(Phineas frowns.)
(Paramedic hands Phineas some deodorant)
Phineas says, "Ah! thanks."
(Phineas spills it.)
Phineas ponders, "Oops."
(Phineas fills the bottle with puddle water and returns it to Paramedic)
Phineas says, "Er, thanks, Para."
Paramedic says, "Oh you can keep it, Phineas"
Phineas exclaims, "Ah! Thanks!"
Snow says, "Para"
(Paramedic is waiting for undine...)
Snow asks, "Can I ask you a quick question?"
Paramedic says, "Sure, Snow"
Snow says, "Merlisk is so mad he's not speaking to me..."
Paramedic exclaims, "Hm!"
Paramedic says, "Merlisk is usually quite even-tempered."
Snow says, "Yeah"
Paramedic says, "How unusual"
Paramedic asks, "Why is he mad?"
Snow says, "I think I must have offended him on some cultural level"
Snow says, "Well..."
Paramedic asks, "Did you yank his throatsac?"
(Snow chuckles.)
Snow ponders, "Not recently"
Paramedic says, "Ah."
Snow says, "He hasn't told me, but I have heard."
Paramedic says, "Hmm"
Snow says, "Heya Meaty"
Deadmeat says, "Hi, sorry about the wait"
Paramedic says, "Hi Deadmeat"
Snow says, "It can wait, Para"
Paramedic says, "that's ok"
Snow says, "Go ahead with Meaty"
Phineas says, "Ah! Hello, Deadmeat."
Paramedic says, "sure? go ahead"
Deadmeat asks, "Oh, whoops, was I interrupting something?"
Paramedic says, "no not at all"
Snow says, "Nah, just do yer interview. I got things to puzzle."
Deadmeat ponders, "It might take a while."
Paramedic says, "Ok."


Algernon ponders, "It feels like it's 8:36 am on Gradi, Day 90 of Autumn."
Paramedic says, "We're pleased to have Deadmeat here for a Fishwrap feature interview"
Phineas exclaims, "Whoot!"
Paramedic says, "Welcome Deadmeat, it's a pleasure"
(Phineas listens.)
Deadmeat says, "Thanks Paramedic. I'm pleased to be here."
Paramedic says, "Excellent."
Paramedic says, "Let's get started."
Paramedic asks, "Can you tell us a bit about yourself? You're an undine?"
Deadmeat says, "Yes, well, that's one of the things I wanted to clear up."
(Paramedic nods)
Deadmeat asks, "When you look at me, I mean, really look at me, what do you see?"
Paramedic says, "Well, you're green and a bit messy"
Deadmeat says, "Well, yes, that's on the outside. But on the inside..."
Deadmeat ponders, "/info me"
Deadmeat is a Human, is male, is a Fighter, and is wearing the symbol of GDI.
He is holding an axe and a wooden shield.
(Puddleby's favorite undine. Member of the Catenae.)
(Phineas looks.)
Deadmeat says, "I'm afraid that I'm actually human."
Paramedic says, "You appear to be Puddleby's favorite undine"
(Snow gasps)
Paramedic says, "yet you also seem to be human"
Deadmeat says, "Yeah, all part of the illusion, I'm afraid."
Paramedic says, "it's a contradiction"
Paramedic says, "Hrm."
Deadmeat says, "You see, I was born a human"
(Paramedic listens)
Deadmeat says, "but I have found more acceptance here in Puddleby by pretending to be an undine."
Paramedic says, "Interesting."
Deadmeat says, "It's kind of hard to explain, but if you ever saw me without my, er, costume, maybe you'd understand."
Paramedic asks, "So you don't really consider yourself undine?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, at this point..."
Deadmeat says, "I've been visiting the wraith for so long that I feel that most of Puddleby accepts me as an undine"
Deadmeat says, "so I do consider myself an undine in that way."
Paramedic asks, "Are you comfortable with this arrangement?"
Deadmeat says, "Yes. Yes, I am."
Deadmeat says, "And here's why."
Deadmeat says, "Right now, when people see me in town, or out in the forests,"
Deadmeat says, "the typical reaction is, 'Hey, there's Deadmeat, the undine.'"
Paramedic says, "Indeed"
Deadmeat says, "But if you ever saw me in human form,"
Deadmeat says, "the typical reaction would be"
Deadmeat exclaims, "'OH GAIA! What happened to your FACE!?!?!'"
Deadmeat says, "'What kind of horrible accident were you in?'"
Deadmeat says, "So..."
Deadmeat says, "I have found that by visiting the wraith who disguises me as an undine"
Deadmeat says, "fewer people run screaming in fear from me."
Deadmeat asks, "Kind of ironic, eh?"
Paramedic asks, "So in other words, being undine has become an essential part of your identity?"
Deadmeat says, "Yes, I believe it has."
Paramedic asks, "Do you think your human self is somehow offputting to others?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, yes, it is. Becoming an undine has improved my social life quite a lot."
Paramedic says, "You do seem to have found wide acceptance in Puddleby."
Deadmeat says, "Yes, and I'm grateful that Puddleby is such an accepting society. But, I believe it is a lot easier to accept an undine than a horribly ugly human."
Paramedic asks, "Are you sure you are really ugly or is it that people are just accustomed to your undine appearance?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, I try not to let people see me as a human..."
Deadmeat ponders, "thank goodness that we have cloaks now!"
Deadmeat says, "but believe me, the undine look is a definite improvement."
Paramedic says, "You do a good job; I have only seen you as human maybe once or twice at most"
Deadmeat says, "Yes, I used to have a real problem on the other islands."
(Paramedic nods)


Paramedic asks, "Have you developed any contacts with the other undine?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, yes"
Paramedic asks, "Oh really?"
Deadmeat says, "Some of the other undine have accepted me as one of their own."
Deadmeat says, "The wraith who lives under the hut, for example..."
Paramedic asks, "So what do you think of them?"
Deadmeat says, "I have a very close working relationship with him."
Paramedic says, "Interesting."
Deadmeat says, "The rest of the undine? Most of them are mindless beasts..."
Paramedic says, "That's unfortunate"
Deadmeat says, "but a few are worth hanging out with."
Deadmeat says, "The problem is that they usually get killed fairly quickly by the other exiles."
Paramedic says, "Ah, so no time to develop those social ties"
Deadmeat says, "I don't blame the exiles, of course..."
(Paramedic nods)
Deadmeat says, "It's hard to tell the mindless beast undines from the conversationalists."
Deadmeat ponders, "er, is that a word?"
Paramedic asks, "So what do you think of human-undine relations in general? Are they getting worse? Better?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, we used to have a real problem in Lilit. But I haven't seen her for quite some time."
Paramedic says, "Yes, she seems to have disappeared."
Paramedic asks, "Did you think Lilit was a force for evil or good?"
Deadmeat says, "That's an interesting question."
(Paramedic nods)
Deadmeat says, "I think that she had her beliefs, which were fine, there's nothing wrong in holding those seances or whatever down in the pit..."
Deadmeat says, "but for some reason, she was the candle and other exiles were like moths to the flame."
Paramedic says, "hmmm"
Deadmeat says, "People always fell during those rituals, and she would interfere in the rescue."
Paramedic says, "Yes, that was very dangerous"
Deadmeat says, "Personally, I got along with her OK. I left her alone when she had to do her thing..."
Deadmeat says, "but there always used to be problems when she was around, and I think that all undines have gotten a bad name because of it."
(Paramedic nods.)
Paramedic asks, "Have any exiles expressed fear or concern about you because you appear to be an undine?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, a few have, initially upon meeting me"
Deadmeat says, "but most people seem to be OK once they get to know me a little."
Paramedic says, "That's interesting."
Nyika ponders, "Deadmeat is wonderful."
Deadmeat says, "Heh, I remember when a new exile saw me running over by the docks, and yelled out 'ZOMBIE!'"
Deadmeat says, "I stopped and said "Yes?""
Paramedic says, "hahahaha"
Deadmeat says, "I think he was afraid I was going to hurt somebody."
Deadmeat says, "I get that a lot at the beginning, but it gets better pretty fast."
Paramedic says, "I think it says a lot about the people of Puddleby that you have encountered such acceptance."
Deadmeat says, "I totally agree."
Deadmeat says, "I really can't imagine what it would have been like if I was still on the mainland."
Deadmeat ponders, "Well, no wraith there for one..."
Paramedic asks, "Did you come to exile voluntarily?"
Deadmeat says, "No, no, I was exiled for crimes against the Ascendancy, just like most of us."
Paramedic says, "Ah I see."


Paramedic says, "Well, I think one of the reasons people think highly of you is your devotion to community service."
Paramedic says, "Few do as much rescue work as you"
Tarf ponders, "Oh sure, I'm a scoundrel but he's dedicated to public service!"
Deadmeat says, "Oh yes, I'm proud to serve the community. And I appreciate being invited into the ThoomCare™ chain gang."
Deadmeat is a member in good standing in the following organizations:
ThoomCare™ Affiliates
Paramedic is the leader of ThoomCare™ Affiliates
Paramedic says, "We're proud to have you as a member of the ThoomCare™ Chain Gang, and your work there has always been outstanding"
Deadmeat says, "Thank you, Paramedic. That means a lot to me."
Paramedic says, "Let's move on to rescues then...."
Paramedic asks, "Where do you tend to do most rescues these days?"
Deadmeat says, "If I'm alone, I tend to wander the forests. Especially the northwest forest."
Deadmeat says, "But mostly, I listen for rescue opportunities on the sunstone network."
Paramedic says, "I tend to work NWF a lot also."
Deadmeat says, "Yes, it's a very popular place for both falling and rescues."
Paramedic says, "The sunstone network is pretty much essential for rescue work"
Deadmeat says, "Yes, I really don't know how I lived before I got my sunstone."
Paramedic says, "Me neither."


Paramedic asks, "Chains: how is your work with chains going?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, I'm very proud of my work with chains in general, and in the Catenae in particular."
Deadmeat says, "I have studied a great deal with Loovma Geer. I believe I'm one of his better students."
Paramedic says, "The Catenae have been emerging as a significant group."
Paramedic says, "I found that Loovma has really helped me keep my chains intact for a long period."
Deadmeat says, "Yes, the Catenae has been a great advance for all of the dedicated chainers in the lands."
Deadmeat says, "And as a fighter, I have found that I am easily able to make enough money to afford to keep my chains maintained on those unfortunate occasions when they break."
(Paramedic nods)
Paramedic says, "As a rescue healer, I find a chain indispensable"
Deadmeat asks, "I'm kind of curious about that, actually. Do you mind if I ask you about that, or should I wait until the end?"
Paramedic says, "Oh, go ahead"
Deadmeat says, "Well, as a fighter and a chainer, my choice is to, well, fight or chain."
(Paramedic nods)
Deadmeat says, "And it's usually pretty clear which to do. If there aren't so many beasts, I fight, and if there's too many, I chain."
Deadmeat asks, "How do you make the "heal or chain" decision?"
Paramedic says, "That's an interesting question."
Paramedic says, "I chain a lot more than most healers. Mainly because I have a lot of training with Loovma, so I can take the risk of chain breakage"
Deadmeat says, "I see. That makes sense."
Paramedic says, "I know many healers raise an eyebrow at how often I chain. But..."
Paramedic says, "I'd rather chain the wounded to a hospital and heal them there"
Paramedic says, "After all, that was part of my original reasoning behind the founding of ThoomCare hospitals."
Deadmeat says, "Yes, I've seen in Koric's journal where he is always weighing the "heal or chain" decision..."
Deadmeat says, "I just wanted to get another healer and chainer's opinion."
Paramedic says, "You'll notice in that same vein that I don't fall very often."
Deadmeat says, "I have noticed that."
Paramedic says, "I'd rather use my chain and not worry about falling."
Paramedic says, "Also...."
Bones is now Clanning.
Paramedic says, "I don't have much Horus training, so chaining is often a necessity for me"
Deadmeat says, "Ah, of course."
Deadmeat says, "If you can't raise them at all, you might as well take them somewhere safe."
Paramedic says, "Exactly. I think for healers like Koric or Lorikeet there is more of a sense..."
Paramedic says, "of challenge in terms of seeing if they have enough Horus to raise someone."
Paramedic says, "My training hasn't stressed Horus."
Paramedic says, "I'm all about action. I like grabbing the wounded and getting out of the danger zone."
Paramedic exclaims, "Greetings, Bones!"
Bones says, "I see that building outside the library had an 'accident'"
Bones ponders, "finally."
Paramedic says, "Yeah, there was an 'accident'"
Deadmeat ponders, "I've already forgotten, what building was that?"
Paramedic says, "The tunnel builder."
Deadmeat says, "Oh yeah. I guess since the tunnels got built, she should have moved on a while back."
Paramedic asks, "Given the choice, Deadmeat, do you lean toward chaining or fighting?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, it depends on the situation of course."
(Paramedic nods)
Deadmeat says, "If there's fur to be had and there's little danger of me falling, I will fight"
Deadmeat says, "but if there's any danger at all, I am usually one of the first to chain and run."
(Bones thooms.)
Paramedic says, "I enjoy chaining. I think there's some good strategy to it if it is done well"
Deadmeat says, "Some of the chaining that I enjoy most are in the massive raids"
Paramedic says, "Oh yes"
Deadmeat says, "when there are fallens everywhere, and a good chainer is the only hope to save a bunch of people."
Paramedic says, "It's a rush to grab 3-10 people"
Deadmeat says, "Oh yes, I enjoy that very much."
Bones says, "Hey, Para"
Bones asks, "You think Fishwrap would sponsor a fish-eating contest?"
Paramedic says, "Certainly."
Bones says, "It would be a good promotion"
Paramedic says, "But we'd need fish."
Bones says, "true"
Bones says, "I think Pucker has fish."


Paramedic says, "Let's move on to weapons...."
Paramedic asks, "What is your weapon of choice?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, I spend most of my time with my trusty axe."
Deadmeat shows his axe to everyone.
Paramedic asks, "You like the powerful blunt blow of an axe?"
Deadmeat says, "I've found that it's the best weapon for most of the situations that I find myself in."
Deadmeat says, "It does enough damage to kill things quickly, but it doesn't weigh me down too much."
Paramedic asks, "Do you use a shield?"
Deadmeat says, "Yes, I almost always have my shield equipped."
Paramedic says, "Me too. I like mine a lot."
Romuli shows his cluster of togron nuts to everyone.
Paramedic says, "!!"
Deadmeat says, "I've gotten used to fighting with it, so now it feels strange if I don't have it on while I'm fighting."
Paramedic asks, "While we're on this topic, what circle fighter are you?"
Deadmeat says, "I'm a third circle fighter."
Deadmeat says, "It's been a few zodiacs since I passed the test."
Paramedic asks, "Think you'll make fourth soon?"
Deadmeat says, "No, I think that's pretty unlikely."
Deadmeat says, "I'm not training to pass the fourth circle test at the moment, I'm trying to bulk up a little so I can survive more hits."
Paramedic says, "I know the feeling."


Paramedic asks, "Can you tell our readers a bit about your clan?"
Deadmeat says, "Well yes, I'd be happy to."
Deadmeat says, "I'm in the clan "GDI""
(Paramedic nods)
Deadmeat says, "which stands for... well, it stands for whatever you want it to stand for."
Paramedic asks, "Are you a close-knit clan?"
Deadmeat says, "No, I would say not."
Deadmeat says, "We like to think of ourselves as loners, rebels..."
Paramedic says, "Ahhh"
Deadmeat says, "We mainly joined the clan so that people will know if we fall."
Deadmeat says, "And occasionally we get some clan experience, but that's just a bonus."
Paramedic asks, "So you don't have clan meetings, etc.?"
Deadmeat says, "It's really not much of a clan, just a loose-knit association of loners."
Paramedic says, "Interesting"
Deadmeat says, "Well, we've officially defined a clan meeting as "any time two or more clan members are on the same snell""
Paramedic says, "heh"
Deadmeat says, "So we have meetings occasionally."
Deadmeat says, "We've recently lost a lot of members to the new Clan of the Purple Tor"
Deadmeat says, "which is pretty similar actually, from what I understand -- no rules, no meetings, etc."
Paramedic says, "Yes, that clan seems to be expanding quickly right now"
Deadmeat says, "but I'm sticking with GDI."


Paramedic asks, "Have you been on any of the expeditions to Umbrion's Island or the Foothills?"
Deadmeat says, "I have not yet been to Umbrion's Island."
Deadmeat says, "I went to the foothills once."
Paramedic asks, "How did that go?"
Deadmeat says, "Well, it was OK. I guess it didn't really match up to our expectations..."
Deadmeat says, "we all read in Lundar's and Koric's journals about how they made thousands and thousands of coins"
Paramedic says, "Ah yes"
Deadmeat says, "so it seemed like all of Puddleby turned out for this expedition a few weeks ago."
Paramedic says, "then the cash flow stopped..."
Deadmeat says, "And then when we got there, there were, well, lots of midnight wendeckas, and their furs weren't worth as much..."
Paramedic says, "Alas"
Deadmeat says, "So I spent a few days there, and then I came home."
Paramedic asks, "did you make a decent amount?"
Deadmeat says, "Eh, a few hundred coins."
Paramedic says, "Ehh, not all that much"
Deadmeat says, "Not as much as I would have made if I had stayed around here."
Deadmeat says, "But I'm not complaining. It was a valuable experience."
(Paramedic nods.)
Deadmeat says, "I got to hunt with some folks that I hadn't hunted with before. And I saw some lands that I had never seen before. So it was a worthwhile trip."
Paramedic says, "I hope we can find a library out there"
Deadmeat says, "Well, that would be kind of nice. It would really make people feel safer about making the long trip there."
Paramedic says, "Indeed."


Paramedic says, "Well, I think we're coming to the close of our interview....before we get to your question for me..."
Paramedic asks, "do you have any other comments about undine for our readers?"
Deadmeat says, "No, I don't think so. I think that for the most part, the exile-undine relations are pretty much as expected..."
Deadmeat says, "and as long as most of them are mindless brutes who want to suck our brains out and eat them, I am all in favor of killing them when necessary."
(Paramedic nods.)
Paramedic says, "Well, as you know, at the end of a Fishwrap interview...."
Paramedic says, "the person being interviewed gets to ask the Thoom 1 (ONE) question"
Paramedic says, "so you may now ask ONE (1) question."
Deadmeat says, "OK, I don't really have a good question to ask, so I'll ask a lame one."
Paramedic says, "OK."
Deadmeat asks, "Have you ever visited the wraith under the hut, and if so, why, and if not, why not?"
Deadmeat ponders, "Does that count as one question? It's more like five."
Paramedic says, "That's a good question."
Paramedic says, "I have visited him, actually"
Paramedic says, "and I have taken on the appearance of an undine a few times"
Paramedic says, "to get a sense of how the world looks through undine eyes"
Paramedic says, "I found it to be a worthwhile experience."
Deadmeat says, "Well, that's good. I think that if more exiles do that, we'll all come to a better understanding of the undine."
Paramedic says, "I think so too."
Paramedic exclaims, "Thanks for a great interview, Deadmeat!"
You gave good karma to Deadmeat, Thooooom!!!
Deadmeat says, "Thanks for talking to me, Paramedic. I hope your readers find it entertaining."
Paramedic says, "Oh they will."
(Paramedic smiles and waves.)
(Deadmeat waves)


Recently exiled, I washed up with few memories of my former life intact. Without a past, a man - or a Thoom - has no future. Without one's footsteps behind, one cannot know where to place one's footsteps ahead. And yet this was not entirely bad. My lack of a reference point allowed me to adapt to life on the islands fairly quickly. Indeed, many things seemed most familiar. In time, I recalled the Zo friend of mine, who had once sent me letters from these same islands. The sight of Giant Vermine, and Undine, and Wendeckas brought to mind this now-passed friend of mine, and I put his knowledge to use. Thus armed, I have been learning much.

More recently, however, I have begun to have more complete recollections. Rather than somewhat troubling flashes of insight or memory, arriving at random - and sometimes inopportune - intervals, I have happened upon more solid memories, and these have come to me as friends. They began with the most full remembrance to date. This occured, oddly enough, whilest bathing. I had entered a nice and muddy pond, having disrobed to the level of decency, and had begun to bathe in the soft, cool mud, when a passer-by commented upon markings upon my back. I rotated my eyes about in their soft sockets and looked. Sure enough, the breadth of my back was covered with a large, circular tattoo. As soon as my eyes fixed upon it, much memory returned to me. It did not come back in flashes of vision or any such thing. I simply remembered, as though I had never forgotton.

The tattoo was, of course, the coiled sea serpent. This is the mon of the Damp Dragon Dojo. In the homelands of my people, there remain a few such organizations. Our kind has never been war-like, but there have always been, nonetheless, those who study the arts of living as a part of nature, with the elements of the world, and the art of motion. These things lend themselves well to martial arts, as those whose lives are devoted to the study of the world around us, and of our place within it and as a part of it, do learn much control over their bodies, and of the magics of motion.

From what I can remember, I lived for many years - more than two decades - at a mountain monastery. I alternated between training with the masters in the temple, and in the dojo, and the solitary life of reflection, meditation, and contemplation in the countless caves higher up in the mountains. I cannot recall whether I was born in such a temple, or was brought there when just a babe, or even if I sought it out of my own accord. For the moment, all that I can recall includes bits of the daily toil of life in the temple, training in the martial arts in the dojo, and lifetimes of meditation upon mountains.

I know the path that lies before me. My duty, my purpose, is to found a sect of the Damp Dragon Dojo here, on the isles. I must find those other Thooms who seek the way of unarmed combat, and who are willing to learn. I must find them, and bring them together. I must teach them what I can recall - which, at the current time, is limited to but a few katas and standing forms, as well as some simple koans - and learn what they, in turn, can teach. I realize that they are few, in these islands - indeed, they were few even in the homelands - but that is my path nonetheless. I am no master. I am a student, as are we all, and have but incomplete recollection. However, I am patient, and open to the world, and have nothing but optimism for the future.

I hope that perhaps others of my kind will see a common bond, and smile upon this goal. I hope that those who are not Thooms yet who practice the art of weaponless combat may be willing to share techniques and wisdom. The dojo will not be open to them at first, though their company will always be warmly welcomed. In time, however, perhaps some of these katas - which are truly best suited for the Thoom physiology - can be transcribed, as it were, for non-Thooms. Likewise, I look for support - whether passive or active - from my brothers and sisters who form ThoomCare, for their path, too, is difficult, yet also good, and noble. Truly, I hope that my fellow Thooms of all professions will look kindly upon this venture. Indeed, I shall need four others to join me, before the dojo may be founded. But that will come in time.

What little I can recall of my past life is mystifying, and intriguing. It is, at the same time, enough to show me clearly where my path leads. What hills, brambles, and rivers may stand in my way are only yet to be discovered. But I feel certain that, with the kindness shown to me thus far, I shall be able to reach my goal.

I am Sum, of the Damp Dragon Dojo. My life behind is clouded in a haze of misrecollection. My life ahead is clouded in a haze of uncertainty. Yet the present - my life with you, right now - shines bright with promise, with friendship, and with the positive calm which contains all and which contains nothing, called mu: no-thought. From this void, all things are possible.

I thank you for your time.


What is going on? Absolutely nothing. I haven't heard from Tenebrion in many zodiacs. I'm not sure why, but when I finally do see him again, there will be some big issues on hand. Umbrion hasn't been doing much lately. I've heard about the "forbidden knowledge" that you can supposedly learn. Tenebrion told me of a similar thing that I could not learn (some of his skills), but I'm not sure if they're the same. Recently, I met up with the being known as Jynx. My lessons learning the Zo language finally paid off. I do not have a transcript of the conversation as it was erased by Jynx's strange energy emanations, but this is how it goes: we are surrounded by riptures. Not the big riptures like we saw in the Ripture Wars, but instead tiny ones. Jynx and the rest of his kind are there to fix these riptures. According to Jynx, I am cursed. When I asked what the curse was, Jynx told me that if I knew what the curse was or how to fix it, it would become permanent. Also according to Jynx, Axell is blessed. Jynx has been looking for Axell, why, I don't know. Jynx also told me that Tenebrion is doing damage to the planes, but not as much as other things. He told me that he only fixes things that are "broken". When I asked if I was broken, Jynx projected a beam of light onto me, and then replied "No". When I asked any other questions, like where he came from, or the names of his colleagues, he replied with "Yes". It seems that many words in his language can only be translated into "Yes". I would hope to be able to learn Jynx's tongue in the future.

Keep watching the Planes,
Tyking II

You all know about the Ethereal Plane. It's rather annoying to have to find the crystal shards and go through the zodiac room to get to it, isn't it? Wouldn't it be great if you could just open up a portal to the plane at will? Well, now you can! Tenebrion is offering an Ethereal Portal Stone to Puddleby! All he asks for in return is a Teleportation Stone, one of those stones that we get from the FMOCR. This Ethereal Portal Stone would be a great addition to Puddlebean Society, so I urge any mystic in possession of a Teleportation Stone to please engage in that trade with Tenebrion.

Tyking II
Servant of Tenebrion


Q: Dear Mr. Thoom,

I recently acquired this OW! great new sword. OW! It's very effective, OW!, but it hurts when I use it. Any OW! suggestions?


A: Dear "Malthea":

Put that sword away before you put your eye out.


Q: Dear Mr. Thoom:

While I was in East Forest, a starbuck walked up and bit me right on the forehead. Should I be concerned about Lyme disease?


A: Dear uh, "Nalkor":

Probably. Hey, did you just take my wallet?


Q: Dear Dr. Thoom,

Some guy with a funny accent is stalking me. He and I had a little fling a while ago, but we've grown apart.


A: Dear "Jababaga":

Don't worry, Super Chicken is harmless.


Q: Goode Doctor Thoome:

What shoulde I do about this infernal itching and burning?

Ye Olde Knighte

A: Deare Mr. Knighte:

Spend less time at the Purple Tor Inn.


Q: Dear Dr. Thoom:

Lately, I have noticed that when I bend my arm backwards, it hurts. Would smoking medical tangleweed help this condition?

A.Nonny Muss Dorf

A: Stick to your beer and leave the medication to the professionals.


Charlos says, "I'm here with Sephiroth"
Charlos asks, "Sephiroth, what's your favorite food?"
Sephiroth says, "cake"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Sephiroth says, "uh... I like cake"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?""
Sephiroth asks, "the bakery?"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Aries says, "hook me up next, C"
Aries exclaims, "yes sir!"
Charlos says, "I'm here with Aries"
Charlos asks, "Aries, what's your favorite food?"
Aries says, "veal"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Aries says, "it's not an obsession ...chumpy"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Sephiroth says, "heh"
Aries says, "from baby cows .... they put em in boxes"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Charlos asks, "MojoJojo, what's your favorite food?"
MojoJojo says, "sushi"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
MojoJojo says, "it is all slimy and slithers down your throat real gooey like"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"
MojoJojo says, "cya"

Charlos asks, "Dorf on the street for Fishwrap Magazine, care to answer a couple questions?"
Charlos says, "I'm here with AgratisMellin"
Charlos asks, "AgratisMellin, what's your favorite food?"
Something whispers, "don't have one"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Something whispers, "hmm ?"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Something whispers, "well ooc I come from germany"

Charlos yells, "Ho Ha!"
Raldin says, "Hiya Charlos"
Charlos asks, "Dorf on the street for Fishwrap Magazine, care to answer a couple questions?"
Raldin says, "sure"
Charlos says, "I'm here with Raldin"
Charlos asks, "Raldin, what's your favorite food?"
Raldin says, "beer"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Raldin says, "It's in my blood and I can't shake it"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Raldin asks, "Some sort of beer god, I'd imagine?"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"
(Raldin bows)
(Charlos bows)

Charlos asks, "Joey, what's your favorite food?"
Joey says, "Myrm Meat"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Joey says, "Well, it's really good with myrm hunny =D"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Joey exclaims, "Myrms, of course!"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Charlos asks, "Huggs, what's your favorite food?"
Huggs exclaims, "Rats!"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Huggs exclaims, "They're crunchy and salty!"
Charlos asks, "Where do they come from?"
Huggs says, "Rat towers, I suppose"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Darnok says, "sure Charlos"
Charlos says, "I'm here with Darnok"
Charlos asks, "Darnok, what's your favorite food?"
Darnok says, "Beer"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Darnok says, "It tastes good and it makes you act funny"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Darnok says, "A keg"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"
Darnok says, "heh"

Perrin exclaims, "Well... I guess Thoo... I mean fish is good!"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Perrin says, "Well... I wouldn't necessarily call it obsession.."
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
(Perrin chuckles.)
Perrin exclaims, "From my love of the sea!"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Alcades exclaims, "Meat!"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Alcades asks, "Do you really have to ask?"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Alcades asks, "Trees?"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Leonin exclaims, "sauteed mushrooms!"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Leonin says, "ToO many nights spore hunting :)"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Leonin asks, "What - the obsession?"
Charlos says, "sure"
Charlos says, "or the mushrooms"
Charlos says, "or both"
Leonin says, "Ah :)"
Leonin says, "The mushrooms are mostly from the marsh"
Leonin says, "The desire is because they are pleasing to my palate"
Leonin says, "And I sometimes find spores to give to my healer friends"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Charlos asks, "Dorf on the street for Fishwrap Magazine, care to answer a couple questions?"
Cobalt says, "I can try"
Charlos says, "I'm here with Cobalt"
Charlos asks, "Cobalt, what's your favorite food?"
Cobalt says, "humm"
Cobalt eats a drake drop and coughs out a puff of smoke.
Cobalt says, "I guess"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Cobalt says, "I love fire"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Cobalt says, "deep within"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Charlos asks, "Gorvin, what's your favorite food?"
Gorvin says, "Uh... tangleberry pie I guess..."
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Gorvin says, "Uh... I don't know..."
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Gorvin asks, "Nowhere...?"
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"

Charlos asks, "Dorf on the street for Fishwrap Magazine, care to answer a couple questions?"
(Gold Moon shrugs.)
Charlos says, "I'm here with Gold Moon"
Charlos asks, "Gold Moon, what's your favorite food?"
Gold Moon says, "Food."
Gold Moon says, "Food is good."
Gold Moon says, "Yup. Indeed."
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Gold Moon says, "Pure insanity."
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?
Gold Moon says, "Behind Shadowmutt's ears."
Charlos says, "Thanks for your time, be well"
Gold Moon says, "Heh"

Charlos says, "I always kinda liked shishkabobed crawlers"

Zippy says, "Er"
Zippy says, "Hmmm"
Zippy says, "That would have to be campfire-cooked Large Midnight Wendy"
Zippy says, "my specialty :)"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Zippy says, "I've only been able to make it once"
Zippy says, "probably over a year ago"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Zippy says, "The Foothills"

Charlos asks, "Rowen, what's your favorite food?"
(Rowen thinks about that)
Rowen says, "Chocolate"
Rowen says, "anything chocolate"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Rowen asks, "obsession?"
Rowen says, "I just like it, I'm not obsessed or anything, really"
Charlos says, "so you say"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Rowen asks, "umm... Coco trees?"

Sephroth says, "Roasted Lamb rack with a little myrm honey"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Sephroth says, "it's good"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Sephroth says, "Lamb and myrm eggs"

Charlos asks, "Chelsea, what's your favorite food?"
Chelsea exclaims, "Tangleberry pie!"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Chelsea says, "I can't afford it so I have to steal it"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Chelsea asks, "The tanglewood?"

Katan says, "Island panther steak"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Katan asks, "Obsession, with island panther steak?"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Katan says, "It comes from panthers"

Iho says, "Bacon"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Iho asks, "with food or my general obsession?"
Charlos says, "heh, yea"
Charlos says, "with bacon"
Iho says, "We had pigs on the farm"
Iho says, "And I used to like bacon a lot"
Iho says, "as simple as that"

Kalle' says, "I like Savannah maha steak."
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Kalle' asks, "obsession?"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Kalle' says, "The savannah maha steak comes from savannah mahas."

Tara says, "well ...goat, slowly cooked over an open campfire is kinda yummy"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Tara says, "mmm, wel, I just like roasted goat"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Tara asks, "From mommy goats?"

Crunch says, "Orga brains"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Crunch exclaims, "Obsession!"
Crunch says, "Hmm"
Crunch says, "Well, it's the proper thing to do after victory, and dishonors the dead orga"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Crunch exclaims, "Cracked orga skulls!"

Fist of Fluff says, "Well, I think I'd have to say meshra"
Fist of Fluff says, "Roasted Meshra"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Fist of Fluff says, "I wouldn't call it an obsession, really"
Fist of Fluff says, "I just like to have it with each meal"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Fist of Fluff says, "I was stuck in the meshra lair once and it was the only thing there to eat"

(Tumble blushes)
Tumble asks, "uhm cookies?"
Tumble exclaims, "definitely cookies!"
Charlos asks, "How do you explain your obsession?"
Tumble exclaims, "I..I can't!"
Charlos asks, "Where does it come from?"
Tumble says, "I think from mom"
Tumble ponders, "everything comes from mom"
(Tumble waves to mom)


This report is nearly a zodiac old, but I thought some of those interested might not have seen it in the other venues.

There was another raid on the deep orga camps during the time of the full Moon. One group reached the 4th orga camp early in the day. That group had some close calls, but managed to hold on until strongly reinforced about 10 am. After that there was very little difficulty in holding on until noon and the appearance of the orga magician.

Raldin originally claimed he alone had the right to enter the power room. Upon persuasion from Malkor and Zorton, he proved himself to be more than reasonable by not only acknowledging that I had a right to seek the stone as well, but allowing me to enter first. He seemed confident that I would be no more successful than a zodiac ago, and said he agreed in order "to put an end to this nonsense," apparently meaning the idea that anyone but a Council-certified Mystic had a chance to get a stone.

The defeat of the magician was accomplished quickly.

I entered the power room. Several other raiders who seemed interested in touring, entered and left the room. Despite these interruptions, I eventually was able to find out that, as I reckoned to be the most likely possibility, that the powerful magic in the room was no more comprehensible to me than it had been the previous zodiac.

I left the room and called to Raldin to enter. He did so, but although he is a Mystic recognized by the Council, he apparently has less training than I in what seems to be the appropriate discipline. Thus he was not successful either. Then Malkor tried to enter the room. He could not do so. He handed the stone which he had obtained last zodiac to Raldin, then he could enter. He found a second stone there.

There was stiff resistance on the way out of the camps. We almost left Leogic behind, since the raiders dispersed very rapidly. He was rescued however, and as far as I know, there were no departs from the camps that day (correct?).

Raldin apparently plans to keep Malkor's stone, although I do not think it was intended as a gift. Malkor does not seem interested in pressing the issue, and Raldin may feel he is entitled to it. On a personal and extremely biased note, I do not see how he is any more entitled than a mystic with more training and previous effort in these raids, for instance, myself. ;-) I think it is unlikely that he will be persuaded otherwise however.

We have learned some interesting things in these last two raids. First, if more than one person enters the power room, it does not mean no stone can be obtained. Still, only one person must be in the room uninterrupted for some time to get it. Also, it does not matter if the person is a recognized Mystic. On the other hand, for all practical considerations, the person must be one, because they must have enough training with a Mystic level trainer. Finally, as I suggested, and Malkor and I learned last zodiac, it is possible to give or sell the stones to others, much as some other Mystic tools can be.

I am still interested in obtaining a stone for myself, since the reasons I had for it have not changed. My personal participation in a raid is not necessary to achieve this and the participation of a more highly trained mystic is, yet I will still be willing to participate as needed in order to obtain more stones for others or for myself. The full Moon next zodiac is on Soldi (as it always is) on the 60th day of Autumn, 541 (ooc Wednesday, May 9 at 10 am to 4 pm PDT). Perhaps sufficient numbers of Exiles will be available to have a successful raid. I can be available if someone wishes to organize a raid, but of course one of the more highly trained Mystics must be as well, at least at the final stage.



"On Alchemy"
by Odesseus

To venture ye forthe in an alchemical mannyre
Firstly requires some idle blathyre.

Spake firstly to one whose bene theyre for longe
Then to one whose just set up in towne.

Longe ye must walk to a northerne wet bodye
Spake now, ye go weste, a sandy-clawed ladye.

Travelle yet 'gain back to whence ye started
Spake again to the seconde from whome ye had parted.

I telle ye must have some woode for the nexte
Or wandering withoute ye'll become quite vexte.>>>

To a new firey spotte ye'll make the nexte gaine
But 'ware the white munkies, they'll bashe out ye braines.

Back ye go, 'rounde 'gain into towne
Spake 'gain to the second who gives but a frown.

Off ye must tramp to a land windye and raised
Where ye knowledge of "seeds" will be some appraised.

Successe at last! Ye've completed the goal!
Awarded ye be, with an alchemical bowle!

If more hints ye need, I can give with a wynke
But before ye aske, I tell ye to THYNKE!


by Sum

Whilest travelling in the south forest with the healer Snow and a few others, we fell upon some good luck, and then some bad luck, and then some good luck. These were a maha, a Zerk, and slaying both. However, Snow was upset that she had not been able to share in the victories first-hand. Being in that place, this haiku, dedicated to her, came to me:

Snow sighs from rooftops.
The wind blows down the mountain.
Winter takes a breath.

Fishwrap Magazine is part of the ThoomCare Media Network.

Publisher and Editor: Paramedic

Senior reporters: Crippler, Charlos

Roving reporters and contributors: Althea, Babajaga, Bones, Callia, Deadmeat, Jeanne, Koric, K'Pyn, Mac, Monolith, Norm, Perkusi, 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 scroll:

In Santa Barbara they stopped at a fish restaurant in what seemed to be a converted warehouse.

Fenchurch had red mullet and said it was delicious.

Arthur had a swordfish steak and said it made him angry. He grabbed a passing waitress by the arm and berated her.

"Why's this fish so bloody good?" he demanded, angrily.

"Please excuse my friend," said Fenchurch to the startled waitress. "I think he's having a nice day at last."

- Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Posted by Para at 04:43 PM