"Cruel Doubt" on the Net
Letters to the editor
- "The Crimefighter" Steven Lucas
Liberus Legendarum (Days on the Disc)
Returning to the Game
- Selina Kelley
Working in a Group
- Patrick Dughi
Declaring the Rights of Players
- Raph Koster
Help Systems Suck
My Father is a Role Player... Sorta
- Kerry Jane
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Welcome to Imaginary Realities' mythic memoirs. Each month you will find here
a new story; tales of astonishing adventure, daring deeds, surprising success
or terrible tragedy - the stuff of myth and legend.
Your story is kept in here for posterity.
As is to be expected, our narratives are connected in some way to muds.
Some are real epic adventures that actually happened on a MUD, recounted
in a grand style. Others might be taller tales based on MUD events or
merely inspired by a MUD world.
Yet, these stories do not simply leap forth, fully formed. No, these are
your stories, sent in by you so that your words and deeds will
live forever rather than fade into obscurity. This means this column will
die a rapid death if no one sends anything in... Here's your chance -
if you want us to continue presenting mud-fiction, contribute something.
It doesn't have to be a fully fledged, polished product - anything is
better than nothing and we can always work to give it a shine ourselves.
This month... A change of tack this month, with two complementary looks at life on the infamous Discworld MUD. First, a piece from the point of view of one of the permanent fixtures of the Disc's biggest city - Mr Tulip in Ankh-Morpork - written by his creator, Dogbolter. Secondly we have a contrasting lifestyle from one of Discworld's players - a day in the life of DcDhol.
- Scatter ///\oo/\\\
Days on the Disc
A Life in the Day
The city in which I live is a great, sprawling mass of humanity. We have all
colors, creeds and races within our walls. It is an ancient city, built and
rebuilt upon itself many times as flood, fire and visiting barbarians deem
necessary and it supports thriving Guilds, the famous Unseen University, many
businesses and markets and a population as diverse as you could hope to find.
My home is Ankh-Morpork, two cities, really, which flank the Ankh River on its
way from the Ramtop Mountains to the Circle Sea.
My name is Mr.Tulip, and I work for one of the biggest, meanest fellows in the
city, Crysophase the troll. Crysophase has fingers in many pies; illicit gambling,
dwarf renting, extortion and of course, crystal smuggling. My associate and I,
Mr.Pin, are responsible for keeping things running smoothly within the city. In
an environment where the only way to the top of the scum is by killing your
fellow keeping sharp is a way of life, not an option. Relax for a second and
you are nothing but fish-food and a fading memory. Most of our fellow residents
are quiet, law abiding people, but when the Watch is as poor as it is, and the
pickings to be made from murder and looting are so tempting, the temptation is
too strong for some.
As the right hand man for Crysophase, I am a prime target for any young fellow
trying to make his mark and gain another rung on the ladder. Not a day passes
without some assassin trying his luck from the shadows, or a thief hitting me
for the merchandise I carry for business. Sometimes it is simply a thug from
the Warriors' Guild, or even a magic user, chucking spells about. I tell you,
fireballs, angry bees, even rabbits with fire coming out of their butts, I have
seen it all. Nothing surprises me. Luckily, Pin and I are from the school of
hard knocks, and we can pretty much handle ourselves, so it's out with the
crowbar and wham - you're nothing but a new smear on the pavement.
People say we're bad guys, but I don't hold with that. We're just making a
living, doing what we do to make ends meet and look after our own. We have
family, we have friends, and we're not the dumb-ass thugs we're painted as by
some people. We try to keep the streets safe. It's not a case of legal and
illegal, it's a case of what's right, and what's wrong. We don't, for example,
like swearing, and if we catch you doing it, you're going to end up hurting.
Sometimes, of course, people get the better of us, and I suppose we're fortunate
that death is an inconvenience, rather than a terminal destination. I'm not
entirely sure how that works, but I'm glad it does. The Assassins' Guild seem
to have a constant supply of people paying them for my life - I guess I must have
upset them. Still, whoever up there it was that made me, it must be gratifying
for them to know that I'm worth something to someone.
From the Diary of DcDhol
I can't understand why people want to hold a grudge lasting for year after
year. Today at work, I visited the neighboring shop, looking for a magical
ring that would suit my needs when the Guildmaster of Thieves himself rushed
in from nowhere and stabbed me. I fled, bleeding slightly, and was able
to push him away until I was inside my own safe shop. He still remembered my
past career as an Assassin, I guess. One of the lives I took was one dear to
him - but to me, it was just my job. I wonder how he knew it was me. Probably
another secret leaked from the Guild's thin wall of privacy. One reason
I quit that profession.
I wanted to go do something today but with that thief in my way I doubt
I'd enjoy it much. Can't a man take a walk in the city without having
someone trying to cut bits off him? Ah well, I decided to go for broke. I
gave my daughter to a co-worker to care for - it was a bit unnerving to have
her with me with some bugger trying to stab me.
With practiced speed I rushed from the store and shoved the Guildmaster
out of my way, shouting "QUIT IT!" I left in a blinding light, or at
least I thought it was blinding. Other people would say it was a yellow blur
with all the yellow I wore that day. Fortunately the thief was too caught up
with his companions to catch up with me. I was out of the shop and in the
middle of the plaza. Now what was it that I was going to do?
Actually, what I wanted to do was get a breath of fresh air and now that
I had it I wanted to go back to the shop. Seeing as the thief was still
laying siege to it, I decided to travel to Ohulan-Cutash, a nearby city. I
like it better than Ankh-Morpork. For one thing I can steal whatever I want
without getting into trouble. Another reason is the alcohol shop. You have yet
to drink scumble until you try the one in Ohulan-Cutash. I'd also heard tales
of a new doctor who perform miracle surgery there - I wanted to meet with him
purely out of curiosity.
I kept my daggers on hand, expecting mercenaries and warriors along the
way. I was planning on killing them all of course. No one cares if they die.
They live by the thousands and it is as if there were an unlimited
amount of mercenaries and warriors to replace them. It's like someone up
there breeds these types in a vat and let them loose just for me to kill.
Don't get me wrong, I don't kill them because of my Assassin's nature. It's
just the natural thing to do. Everybody does it. People were born to do it. I
mean, my daughter's already killed her first cockroach. You can't explain
life's basic instinct of killing. It's like trying to explain language. You'd
need a whole science to understand it.
Expecting warriors, I discovered trolls. Curses! I stabbed in the
darkness and killed three but my daggers were notched by their silicate skin and
eventually became blunt. I was quite proficient in using the blunter cousins
of the dagger myself but caring for the future of my weapons I stored them
away and made haste. The trolls kept on coming so I hid in the bush and
waited. Luckily it wasn't long before a scrawny priest passed by and attracted
the attention of the evil trolls. As he screamed for his life and ran one way
I whistled and skipped the other way - onwards towards Ohulan-Cutash. Of course
I could have easily snuck by the trolls, but the expression on the priest's face
was well worth the wait.
There's a blacksmith in Ohulan-Cutash - convenient for me. All I'd need
would be money to fix up my daggers. When I finally reached Ohulan Cutash I
hurried to the blacksmith only to find my pocket was full of dollars and
they wanted shillings. Stepping outside, I looked up at the sky and sighed at
my god. Money isn't hard to get in this city, the problem is separating the
people in town into the two important groups - victims and trouble. I walked
carelessly towards the carriage shop and spied on every passenger getting off.
The priest looked poor. They always were. There was a warrior but all she was
wearing was a g-string and some loincloth barely covering her bits.
I was about to give up when I spotted a familiar outfit. All black. Black
cloak, black hair, black shirt, black eye. A cocky assassin, I mused. I
walked towards him and walked away a few moments later with a fishing rod,
5 shillings, and a green fuzz in my hand. I really should practice my
pick pocketing skills more often. I hurried back to the blacksmith and
had my daggers quickly put to rights. I wanted to visit the alcohol shop
right after but thoughts of being murdered while in a drunken stupor felt
The long journey to Ohulan Cutash had sapped my strength and I decided
to go back home, but not until I'd met the famous doctor, Ralph Womblefluff. His
shop was located in an alley, which I found easily enough. The doctor was
some sort of retropherenologist or something similar. He fixes up old people to
help them deal with the changes that have happened since their time. The
idea was disgusting to me, but at least it brings some light into some old
chap's life. I introduced myself and was acquainted with his practice. I
guess if I ever get too old and moldy I could always come here and retrophit
myself... or something similar.
The stab wound I had received from the thief was throbbing. I had forgotten
it was there for a while. I placed my hand on the wound and it healed with a
glowing light. All my years of traveling taught me a few things and one
thing was that you can never find a good priest in the middle of nowhere so
learn some healing rituals. The wound reminded me of my daughter, whom I'd
left back at the shop. I took the next carriage back to Ankh-Morpork.
Finally, I set foot on the soiled soil of Ankh-Morpork once more. I walked
slowly towards Tarnach's shop. I peered in the shop and it was empty. That's
good. I snuck in and went through to the back to embrace the child sitting
there, on a high chair, cooing to herself. One day she'll be someone special.
I'll dedicate the rest of my life seeing to that.
Submitting your own stories
This column will depend on your contribution - all of you out there who are
exploring, adventuring, creating legends on muds every day. Send in your
stories and become a part of the bigger myth. We can polish any rough spots,
smooth out any bumps - or if you wish, even write your story for you if you
give us enough detail of what happened and why. Simply use the
or send in your story via
October 2000 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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