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I plan to use this space to record my observations / recollections of my Cities experience. I started over 1700 AP into the game, so my early recollections are hazy. I don't remember where exactly I got all my stuff, for example. However, perhaps it will be entertaining and / or informative for others, if for no other reason than to see the game through the eyes of a newbie.


Stumbling About Fire City

One bright December morning I awoke in the shrine in Fire City. I stumbled about town for a bit, seeing the sights and getting my bearings. As I passed a guard tower, one of the guards poked me with his halberd. Foolishly, I poked back; at which point he and his buddies set upon me and beat me nearly senseless. I demanded to see their supervisor, but they just laughed at me.

Wrapping the few remaining shreds of my dignity about me, I set off to the south. I hunted a few beasts (for food, of course, not sport), and started a feather collection. Feeling thirsty, I stopped at a well or two along the way. At some point, I encountered a rabbit. I tried to kill it for a nice stew for dinner, but it had SHARP, POINTY TEETH and it killed me instead.


A New Beginning

I reawoke in Fire City without my meager possessions. Feeling more purposeful and motivated, I immediately went to the Dungeon Club and had a drink to clear my head. And to get over the indignity of being killed by a mere rabbit, even if it did have SHARP, POINTY TEETH. I liked the ambience and good fellowship of this club. I wonder if there are others like it?

Blinking in the quiet daylight after leaving the loud, smoky tavern, I set off to the east. This time I was determined to take better care of myself. The ale from the club left me a bit woozy, but I regained my senses quickly. I hunted a few beasties, added to my feather collection, and soon I encountered another rabbit. Using a rusty sword, I dispatched it quickly without letting it bite me. Seems this one might have had SHARP, POINTY TEETH too, because it had quite a collection of loot. Could have been mine, perhaps.

Stopping in at the trading post, I learned that Water City lies to the East, where there are many wonders. I decided that this would be my next destination. I also heard stories of another establishment that catered to adventurers such as myself, the Temple of Love. Unfortunately, it lay behind me on my journey (I wonder how I missed it?). It will have to wait.

One night, after drinking several mugs of ale another adventurer shared with me, I slept in a graveyard just off the road. Bad idea. I had nightmares of doing battle with ghosts all night, and got almost no real sleep.

Several days of journeying followed before I arrived at Bem bridge. I encountered and slew many smallish creatures along the way, and my feather collection started to become quite dandy. At night I slept along the road, and at odd moments I found and planted a few magic beans, which grew into bags of coffee beans and sunflowers. I wasn't sure whether to eat them, though. I met many interesting adventurers and other characters along the way, and sold some of my beans to a grumpy old wizard.

One evening I had stepped off the road to investigate some noises when I encountered a fellow with a fine pirate's hat! He seemed to be sleeping, and I couldn't resist. I snatched his hat and put it on my own head! Aaaaarrrrgh! I felt bad afterwards, especially when I found out how heavy it was. It seemed to drain me of energy -- I felt that it took me twice as long to get my breath back after the most minor exertion. I settled in for the night, and the next morning the pirate's hat was gone.

Water City

Flush with cash after slaying many small creatures, I arrived at Water City. After stopping in at the hospital to get my various cuts and bruises attended to, I headed straight to Goblet's bar for a mug of ale to refresh me. A great place. On finding I came from Fire City, the other folks in the pub wanted to know all about the Temple of Love. A few said they had been there, and I heard many fantastic stories about the place. They can't all be true! I'm sorry I missed it.

I did a little window shopping at the stores and wizard shops, but the prices seemed very high. A cup of coffee cleared my head and restored my energy.

Next it was on to the swim school. I had always wanted to learn to swim, and I had the water wings I needed - I picked up two pair somewhere along my trip. It was great learning to swim, and my instructor was very friendly. I decided to hang around the learner's pool and return the favor for another adventurer. I got paid to give a lesson, which was nice.

After the swim lessons, I went to the temple to get initiated into the "Ways of Water". It really wasn't what I expected. The high priest was too busy to see me, and I was initiated by a young pimple-faced kid with sinus problems. Anyway, I learned some first aid, and some stuff about "water crafts" that I didn't understand too well (I don't think the kid knew much more than I did, frankly). The first aid should be useful - maybe I can help out other adventurers after they take on a rabbit!

While in Water City, I heard about a place called the Festival. I picked up a Water Talisman so I could return to Water City quickly, and set out to the South across Bencraft Bridge. Before I got to the Festival, though, I wanted to stop in at the Eastern Market. I needed to unload my water wings, which I didn't need any more, and perhaps some other stuff.

Trouble at the Eastern Market

I headed south to the Eastern Market, doing battle with various beasties and monsters, and healing other adventurers I encountered along the way. Once there, I put my water wings and some other items up for sale in the market office. Then I visited the market itself, and my jaw dropped.

This fellow named E.bstan had a number of items "for sale" at very reasonable prices, and I wanted them! They were right there on display, but whenever I tried to buy one, the salesman told me, "Oh, I'm sorry, we're out of those right now." They weren't out, I could see the items right there! Swords, gems, all sorts of stuff that would be incredibly useful. I particularly liked a fine broadsword hanging from a chain behind the counter. The salesman kept insisting that they were out, even as the sword hung from the wall right over his head.

The 'king should send some guards up here to poke this guy. That would straighten him out pretty quick.

The Festival

Discouraged, I left the market and headed south. "I guess I'll have to make do with what I have", I thought. I noted the landmarks, and as instructed, I walked through the graveyard and started bushwacking my way west. It was exhausting. Forests, deserts, and other assorted tough terrain. It took me a couple of days to get through it, and I had to defend myself from some really nasty beasts along the way.

I spent one night in the Monastery by the trading post, but I didn't sign up for their program. I thought I had made some significant progress toward the Festival, but I found out I was just getting started. After another day or two, I finally made it to the Healing Fields, which I immediately took advantage of. It was a tough slog.

After getting healed, I took the opportunity to beat up on some hippies and stoners that were wandering around. Hey, they wanted a fight! After my tension-filled, frustrating slog through the underbrush, I was willing to be the one to give it to them.

I spent some time window shopping at the market and a great store, Joe Bananas. However, the prices seemed pretty high to me. Nearby was a field being used as a Taxi stand. I thought about this for a while. I had made it a goal to do a "walk-about", a complete circumnavigation of the roads between all four cities. Based on my experiences so far, this would take a long, long time. These taxis seemed to offer a less time-consuming alternative. I put this thought away for later consideration.

Enough of the deep thoughts - I headed for the Lost Vagueness, where I had a mug of ale, then went next door and won a bunch of money at the casino! While there, I heard more great things about the Temple of Love. Seems everyone, when they found out I was from Fire City, either wanted to know if I had been there (I hadn't), or wanted to tell me how fabulous it was. I must visit this place!

Finally, I decided it was time to return to the road and continue my circumnavigation. On my way back to the bush, I stopped to watch the mystics at the stone circle. While reflecting on their apparent mysticism, I thought long and hard about the challenges facing me in the rough terrain ahead.

I came to a decision - to hell with this circumnavigation thing, it's time to get moving.

On the Use of Talismans

In my brief time in the Cities so far, I have learned that there are a number of ways to get around.

First off, there's walking. Walking is great for finding beasties to fight, which provide loot, but it takes a long time. Walking along the road is pretty safe. Walking off the road is less safe and takes even longer then on the road, but there are bigger beasties with less loot.

Then there are taxis. If you can find one, and you have the money, taxis are much faster than walking. But you have to go to a taxi stand, and if other adventurers are using the taxis, you could be out of luck.

Then there are the aligned devices you can break to get to the shrine in the City of the corresponding alignment. Talismans, Stones, Wands, Knives, and Swords come to mind. Talismans are expressly designed for travel, and can be picked up in stores, markets, and booty. (No, not that kind of booty, you pervert!) The other items do double duty: Wands are for converting foes to a given alignment; the others are weapons. Any of these can be broken to get to the corresponding city.

At this point in my adventure, I decided to give up on my walking tour and get some other things done. I wanted to get back to the Eastern Market to see if they were still "out" of broadswords. By my calculations, it seemed faster to talisman myself to Water City and walk down the road than to thrash through the underbrush from where I was.

I broke a Water Talisman and found myself back in Water City, where I loaded up on coffee at Tarbucks -- to hell with caffiene tolerance, too, while I'm at it.

Earth City

I headed south again, covering the same stretch of road as before. Slew some varmints on the way, and eventually made it back to the market. Same story as before -- the obnoxious clerk actually told me they were out of broadswords after bumping his head on the one hanging on the wall behind the counter! I'm serious, I know some guards who would love to give him a good poking.

Giving up for the moment, I broke an Earth Talisman -- much more efficient than hiking all the way south. I went right to the Crown, had a nice mug of ale, then loaded up on a bunch of liquor to go.

I wanted to initiate into Earth, so I went North as I had been instructed until I found the Crystal Cave, where there was a raucous party going on. I asked a few of the more sober (a relative term!) adventurers present where I might find the inner sanctum, the high priest, the area of quiet contemplation, whatever. They laughed and laughed, and said "Buddy, have a drink!". When they found out I was from Fire City, they all wanted to hear about the Temple of Love, of course. I really must visit this fantastic place.

Eventually, I gave in. Everyone was having so much fun, how couldn't I join in? Besides, I never turn down an opportunity for a little refreshment. One led to another, and another, and another...

I woke up with a horrible hangover, but initiated into Earth! As I went through my gear to make sure everything was still there, I found an unfamiliar item -- a list of things I needed to find for a treasure hunt. Some of them I had already!

Nursing a violent headache, I stumbled back into Earth City proper. I found the clubhouse of the Stone Cold Gang, where I signed up for chalk tagging and received a big piece of chalk. I need to think of some interesting things to say in chalk...

Of more interest, I also found the Rock Society where I got a list of great Taverns to visit. The head of the Rock Society seems like a really nice guy, but I hate to tell you, he was HAMMERED. I wouldn't want him driving my cab! I was surprised to find that the famous Temple of Love wasn't on the list! It seems that none of the boys in the Society will go there. I tried to ask about it, but they just shook their heads in disgust. I wonder why?

Windy City (incomplete)

Initiation to Air Purchases Visit the Hobbit Heard the 'king is a cool dude, I should meet him Heard great things about the Temple of Love Did some hunting Boring - talisman back to Earth City to visit the Tavern Crawl guys again Head toward Windy City killing everything in sight Talisman back to Windy City when I feel I'm ready to meet the 'king Walk out to Kings Road Walk up the Kings Road, see some fine wildlife -- Bull, Vampire I decided to rest for the night, to regain my strength and refresh myself, before my momentous meeting with the 'king.

Sir Sertularian (incomplete)

You kneel before the 'king. 'Greetings Sertularian' says the 'King. Yeah, I guess your worthy. The 'king makes you a knight. Arise Sir Sertularian. The 'King explains that all knights are known as 'sir' regardless of gender. The 'king also awards you 1000 gold. neat! The 'king gives you a cool sword. You gain 1000 Gold Pieces. You gain a Sword of Omens.

The 'king seems indeed a very nice guy, but he can't spell worth a damn.

On my way back from the palace:

You attack the Toad. You cause 1 points of damage, and receive 1 experience. You slay the Toad. You gain 4 Mugs of Coffee. You gain a Broad Sword. You gain a D12. You gain 4 Arrows. You gain 417 Gold Pieces. You gain a Clean Bandage. You gain a Magic Ruby.

Walk back to Windy City Have an ale in the Hobbit Buy the Guide to Time and Space

Return to Fire City (incomplete)

Initiation to Fire. Ain't gonna sign up for no duel Experimentation with Sword of Omens. Hunted outside city to the west, but not with the pretty sword. Set off to finally see this Temple of Love I've heard so much about.

The Temple of Love

There are many fine pubs in the Cities. After all I had heard about the Temple of Love, I was really excited to finally be here. Was I ever in for a shock.

You are almost sober.
You feel depressed.

God, the place was depressing. It was pitch black inside, and onstage was the worst band I've ever heard in my life. Other than that, it was absolutely empty. As I had been instructed, I shone like thunder, cried like rain, heard my calling, and heard my name; and it just made me want to stab myself in the eyeball repeatedly with a pair of scissors. The dangerous thing was, I had several pairs of scissors on me at the time.

I sat at the bar and had a cider and black, hoping the place might grow on me. It didn't, but I think some fungus did.

After all I'd heard, I was shocked. The Rock Society boys were right - I can see why they will have nothing to do with it.

Perhaps it's under new management?

The Southern Market (incomplete)

Talisman to Earth City Go to the market office, put stuff up for sale Head North to plant beans Encountered first penguin, didn't check it off the list! Gave first aid to a badly hurt fellow in the wilderness Planted beans in the badlands - fail, fail, bag of coffee beans Play the market

North of the Southern Market (incomplete)

Killed a Wolf for a sacrificial sword and SNT's

Saw a Pinata in a Tree! Very unusual, I hear. Killed it with my sac sword. Excellent stuff inside!

You attack the Pinata in a Tree. You cause 1 points of damage, and receive 2 HP It was full of cool stuff! You slay the Pinata in a Tree. You gain a Mug of Coffee. You gain 154 Gold Pieces. You gain a Spikey Ninja Throwing Star. You gain an Earth Sword. You gain a Morning Star.

Took dragon's blood:

You lose a Dragon's Blood.
You feel demotivated.


You lose a Dragon's Blood.
The Dragon's Blood detoxes your own blood.

Made Coffee from scratch.

Started abusing coffee again.

Animal Watching / Return to the Festival

Talisman'd to Water City

Struck off through the wilderness with my walking stick and magic boots, much easier going

Saw and slew many monsters, learned the value of the sacrificial sword

Re-visited the festival - seems much less exotic and smaller somehow

Ticked off a bunch of creatures on my list

Off to find an Esquilax and an Angel, among others

Inward - Here There Be Dragons

Heard about an Esquilax near Fire City, went off and found it at dusk. Ticked it off, and allowed it to live.

Next morning, headed East into the Interior.

Saw a Vampire and the Knights who say Ni in quick succession.

Slew the Knights. They said Ni! at me throughout.

Continued to head East, following the Snark.

Attempted to cross the Troll Mountains at Dragon Pass, but they were guarded by a Small Earth Dragon.

Summoning all my courage, I did lengthy battle with the Small Earth Dragon.

Down to 11 HP and 14 AP, after drinking lots of coffee and liberally applying bandages:

You attack the Small Earth Dragon. You cause 10 points of damage, and receive 50 experience. You slay the Small Earth Dragon. You gain 71 Gold Pieces. You gain 2 Spikey Ninja Throwing Stars.

Entered the pass - the exit is guarded by a Small Water Dragon. Hmmm....

Becoming a Baron

Screw the small water dragon. It would be close, but I don't want to die. Guess I'll become a baron first.

Too bad, there's a llama just past the water dragon that I needed for my list.

Talisman'd to Water City, visited the hospital.

Strolled down to the Eastern Market, did some business there. Bought some bandages.

Talisman'd to Windy City and headed for the palace.

You kneel before the 'king.

'Greetings Sir Sertularian' says the 'King.

I hear you killed a dragon; good for you!

The 'king decides to make you a baron.

You gain 1000 Gold Pieces.

Talisman'd back to Fire City, headed east to the trail, then took the trail south.

Enjoyed the wildlife (mmm... tasty) along the way.

Got back to the pass, the Small Earth Dragon's twin brother was blocking the way. Killed eat. Easier now I'm a Baron.

The Small Water Dragon was still there blocking the pass, but I'm stronger and healthier now! Killed it.

The Llama was still behind the SWD. Ticked it off.

Slogged south, following the scent of the snark. Swamps, jungles, deserts. Climbed mountains.

At one point, found myself on top of a mountain, surrounded by two Eagles and a Thunderbird, with 1 AP and 15 HP and a fantastic view of the swamp.

P.S. Stay out of the swamp. They're sticky.

Slew a Vindaloo monster. I like them:

You attack the Vindaloo Monster.

You cause 4 points of damage, and receive 2 HP

You slay the Vindaloo Monster.

You gain an Air Sword.

You gain a Glowing Night Stick.

You gain a Tray of Curry.

You gain 180 Gold Pieces.

You gain a Wand of Anger.

You gain a Breakfast Bar.

You gain a Golden Gun.

You gain 6 Palantir-as-you-gos.

You gain 3 Cloves of Garlic.


Liking Vindaloo monsters a little too much, I became a little too insanely violent and impulsive with the next Vindaloo monster I saw.


Woke up in Fire City without my stuff!!!!

Hiked South to the market, fortunately I had sold some stuff while slogging around in the swamps. Bought a few essentials and headed inward on the Western path. Ignored monsters, except those directly in my way (and sparrows, which I had to kill).

Eventually found the ugly Vindaloo monster and KILLED HIM GOOD.

It's still raining really hard.
You attack the Vindaloo Monster.
You cause 4 points of damage, and receive 3 XP and 1 HP
You slay the Vindaloo Monster.
You gain 2 Air Wands.
You gain a Guide to Time and Space.
You gain 29 Sheets of Paper.
You gain 4 Breakfast Bars.
You gain a Golden Gun.
You gain a Plans for a Raft.
You gain 8 Earth Talismans.
You gain a Glass of Absinthe.
You gain 34 Empty Coffee Cups.
You gain a Triffid Sting.
You gain 4 Bags of Coffee Beans.
You gain 2 Pocket Watches.
You gain 19 Clean Bandages.
You gain a Broad Sword.
You gain 2 Summon Stones.
You gain 19 Saltpetre Measures.
You gain a Tray of Curry.
You gain a Plans for a Boat.
You gain an Earth Sword.
You gain 10 Pieces of Chalk.
You gain 97 Arrows.
You gain 9 Palantir-as-you-gos.
You gain a Cucumber.
You gain a Card: The Tower.
You gain a Bunch of Grapes.
You gain 2 Bent Pins.
You gain 2 D6s.
You gain 4 Sun Stones.
You gain 11 Magic Beans.
You gain 2 D20s.
You gain a Reznor Blade.
You gain 4 Big Pieces of Chalk.
You gain 2 Sharp Swords.
You gain 4 Pairs of Magic Boots.
You gain a Dragon Blood.
You gain 6 Fire Wands.
You gain 2 Christmas Crackers.
You gain 9 Fire Talismans.
You gain 2 Beef Steaks.
You gain a D8.
You gain a Map.
You gain 3 Earth Stones.
You gain 3 Water Stones.
You gain an Air Sword.
You gain a Sacrificial Dagger.
You gain 2 Night Sticks.
You gain 9 Air Talismans.
You gain a Good Tavern Guide.
You gain 8 Water Talismans.
You gain a Daedalus Wings.
You gain a Magic Emerald.
You gain a Black Powder.
You gain 3 Huge Fire Crackers.
You gain 290 Feathers.
You gain 11 Pairs of Scissors.
You gain a Card: Death.
You gain a D10.
You gain 10 Rusty Swords.
You gain an Elf Arrow.
You gain 6 Bows.
You gain an Unit of Charcoal.
You gain 4 Wand of Angers.
You gain 2 Card: The Fools.
You gain 2 Strings.
You gain a Bottle of Wine.
You gain 3 Badges.
You gain 3 Kings Crest Talismans.
You gain 2 Wands of Illusion.
You gain a Pint of Cider and Black.
You gain a Mirror.
You gain 3 Earth Knifes.
You gain 30 Units of Sand.
You gain 2 Clocks of Invisibility.
You gain 2 Swords of Omen.
You gain a Cruel Blade.
You gain 22 Spikey Ninja Throwing Stars.
You gain 2 Earth Wands.
You gain 3 Small Maps.
You gain a Climbing Gear.
You gain 7 Sextants.
You gain a Magic Opal.
You gain 2 Air Stones.
You gain 3 Water Wands.
You gain 15 Fire Crackers.
You gain a Card: The Star.
You gain a Fire Knife.
You gain 3 Fountain Pens.
You gain 3 Contract Palantirs.
You gain 4080 Gold Pieces.
You gain a Sacrificial Sword.
You gain 2 Magic Balls.
You gain 5 Exotic Cocktails.
You gain 2 Glowing Morning Stars.
You gain a Set of Water Wings.
You gain 3 SunFlowers.
You gain a Pointy Stick.
You gain a Diamond.
You gain 6 Short Strings.
You gain a Walking Stick.
You gain 19 Cloves of Garlic.
You gain a Portion of Chips.
You gain 3 Magic Rubys.
You gain a Kraken Piece.
You gain 3 Sheaves of Wheat.
You gain a Long Bow.
You gain 4 Brave Stars.
You gain a Limbo Talisman.
You gain a Bottle of Sparkling Wine.
You gain 10 Pieces of Wood.
You gain 12 Stones.
You gain 2 D4s.
You gain a Plowshare.
You gain a Creature List.
You gain 2 D12s.
You gain 9 Mugs of Coffee.
You gain 3 Fire Stones.
You gain 5 Fortune Cookies.
You gain an Empty Bottle.

I won't let that happen again, I promise!

Snark Hunting

After recovering my stuff, decided to visit a monastery and work on my karmic debt.

On the way to the monastery, saw a leprechaun and ticked it off my list. Last creature!

Arrived at the monastery well after dark, all but exhausted. Rested and worked in the fields for a couple of days.

Headed back to Windy City and turned in my Creature List. Now lighter on my feet. Signed up for Standing Stones.

Heard there was a Fire Sword for sale at Western Market. Been wanting one of those. Headed up the road and got it.

Seems the Snark is close, perhaps the other side of the mountains. New sword in hand, resumed this quest.

Fought a Small Air Dragon at the pass, and a Small Earth Dragon on the way to the Snark. New sword is excellent.

Before long:

You attack the Snark.
You lose a Sack (for Snarks).
You gain a Snark in a Sack.
Well done, you have caught a snark!
The Snark misses you.
Now using Fists.

(However, it did 40 points of damage before I caught it.)

Afterwards, I wandered around the area where the Snark was for a while. Slew miscellaneous creatures (the Snark in a Sack makes a cool weapon, vicious little beast that it is). Nicked a baseball cap to keep the sun out of my eyes, but healed the poor bastard I took it from.

Planted a magic bean in the desert and got TWO bags of coffee beans!

Needed one more dragon to qualify for Earldom, so I wandered around until I found a Small Water Dragon. Realigned it with Earth and dispatched it with my Fire Sword quickly.

Busted an Air Talisman and found myself back in Windy City. Keeping off the roads (my hat!), I headed for the palace of the 'king. Kneeled before him...

You kneel before the 'king.
'Greetings Baron Sertularian' says the 'King.
10 dragons killed? That's great!
The 'king makes you a viscount.
You gain 1000 Gold Pieces.

Broke an Earth Talisman and headed for the Merchants' Guild to initiate after my successful sales. On the way, someone got my baseball cap. Oh well, fun while it lasted. It seems unlikely I would have kept it for long while at the Merchants' Guild anyway, seeing as they're (we're) all notorious theives.


Decided to head to the Southern Market to sell some more stuff.

Released the Snark. It muttered a couple of spells, and I could see better (and lost my sack).

Nicked a Red Party Hat. Good to have a hat back on.

Manipulated the market for Rusty Swords and Swords of Omens.

Discussion of value of money tied up in markets, investment opportunities, and arbitrage.

According to the website About Economics, "The Economics Glossary defines arbitrage opportunity as "the opportunity to buy an asset at a low price then immediately selling it on a different market for a higher price." If I can buy an asset for $5, turn around and sell it for $20 and make $15 for my trouble, that is arbitrage. The $15 I gain represents an arbitrage profit."

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