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Library: The Master Merchant, A Legend of Batmud.


Author: Yari
Date:Nov 2 1995

   What a day.  I was tired, and without inspiration, and went to 
the newly constructed city to find adventure.  The streets all 
prefectly arranged and clean, the symmetry of the place was a 
novelty to all who inhabited the lands.  I went to the adventurer's 
guild to search for a fellow adventurer with whom to travel, 
mercenaries often inhabited the guild, waiting for the right 
compainion, perhaps I would find a partner.
   Silence greeted me as I entered.  Barren, curses.  Not any 
adventurers around, I could tell, no rattle of sword in scabbard, no 
creak of leather against metal.  I turned to leave, when I felt 
someone touch my arm.  Turning, I saw a small gnome-kin, a rather 
vile little kobold, at my waist.
   'What can I do for you, friend?' I asked, in as cheerful a tone I 
could muster after being startled thus.
   The kobold merely stared back at me, and pointed out the door.  I 
whirled, expecting danger, and found none!  Turning back to the 
kobold, I asked again, 'How can I help you?'
   The kobold raised an eyebrow, a slight frown crossing his 
countenance, as if his message was so plain that anyone should know 
his intentions immediately.  After a slight pause, his eyes lit up 
with a sudden thought.  Whispering almost silently, he began to cast 
a spell.  I braced myself, perhaps this was a destructive spell, one 
could never be sure, but I was not given much time to wonder.  The 
little magus finished his spell, a bright flash of yellow light 
flooded the room for an instant, and when the light faded, glowing 
runes were suspended in midair!
   "I would like to go adventuring with you!  I know that I am 
relatively young when compared to you, but I assure you, I have many 
spells that can be of use to us in combat!  Together, we will fight 
well!" the runes said.  I pondered for a moment, looked at the mage, 
who was eagerly watching my every move.
   'You don't talk much, do you?'
   The kobold shook his head, no.
   'Do you talk at all?'
   Again, he shook his head, no, with a slight shrug. 
   'Well, I suppose that you can come, this should prove 
interesting.  Communication will be difficult, but I hope that we 
will be able to understand each other well enough to fight 
   I set off, with my new silent friend in tow.  I took it easy, 
only attacking those things I knew to be simple to kill, ones that I 
needed no assistance for, but at each turn, my friend surprised me 
with his uncanny ability to sense what was needed when, with hardly 
a word spoken to him.  A well-timed magic missile causes a deer to 
crash to the ground, dead.  A much-needed heal tossed on me, 
allowing a fight to end in a single melee.  Even a dark shadow 
armour cast upon my body just before a relatively difficult fight 
was to ensue.  All of this with very little spoken communication, he 
simply *knew* when to do things, it was uncanny.
   We had been out for almost a day, and decided to rest, and let 
our bodies heal naturally.  I found, to my surprise, that I was 
unable to endure the silence.  'I know that you do not talk, but I 
must know, why?  I have heard you whisper your spells, I know that 
you are ABLE to speak, yet you seemingly choose not to.  I cannot 
imagine why anyone would do such a thing!'
   'Bah, you cannot answer that question, I know.  You, kobold, are 
a strange one.  If it were not for your ability as a mage, I would 
not travel with you, you know.  I think that tomorrow we shall fight 
opponents that are considerably more difficult, I believe that we 
are ready for such things.'  I turned and went about preparing a 
bed, since it appeared that I would get no response from my 
   A yellow flash burst forth from behind me.  I turned, and was 
greeted by more runes.  'I find that if I do not speak, that I must 
listen,' was all it said.  
   'Humph," I thought, as I rolled into bed, and closed my eyes.

   The following day, we travelled to the castle of Plura.  Plura 
was an almost-forgotten lord of old, who had achieved some fame and 
built a magnificent castle.  After his passing, though, the castle 
became the home to a band of monsters, both living and undead.  
There were two ghosts in particular that I wished to attack, for 
they had valuable spears that I would sell for many gold coins, and 
I thought that the experience would help the kobold in his future 
   I now had enough faith in him that I felt confident that we would 
succeed against these apparitions.  They were quite deadly, if one 
was not careful, but we, I believed, were enough of a team that we 
could vanquish them.
   I found myself preparing for battle, wordlessly, and noticed my 
companion doing the same.  Strange, being with him has made me less 
reliant on verbal commands, in a way, this was even better.  I 
looked at him, he gave a slight nod, and we entered. 
   A ghastly wail erupted as the ghosts sensed our presence!  
Immediately, they lunged at me, their spears in sharp contrast to 
their non-corporeal bodies!  I slashed at them, the magic of my 
blades causing them pain, but not nearly enbough pain.  I glanced at 
my companion, he was standing, immobile, a look of shock on his 
face!  I decided that we had to flee, the ghosts were too ferocious, 
their spears cutting small wounds in my arms, legs, and even my 
stomach.  I began to back out of the room, yelling at the top of my 
   "KOBOLD, flee with me!  FLEE, COME WITH ME!"
   He stood there, a look of total shock and fascination on his 
face, even as the ghosts closed upon him.  I leapt back into the 
fight, deflecting the blows, and let a backhand fly into the mage's 
chest, hoping to knock him back, out of the room.
   Damn kobolds, they are built densely, and low to the ground, my 
off-balance blow only made him step back!  I turned back to my foes, 
and fought harder than before, I must slay them, or they would slay 
the damn defenseless kobold!  Damn, I should have known that he was 
not ready for this fight, and now I might need to die to prove my 
point!  DAMN him!
   "Dammit, kobold, WAKE up!" the spears kept closing, one ghost 
lunged too closely, my blade cut him one final blow, the spear fell 
to the ground, the ghost's body disappeared with a low hissing 
noise!  One left, but I felt my arms tiring.
   "Wake up, I need you to wake up, I cannot do this alone!" I 
shouted back at him.  Lunge, parry, thrust, the spear pierced my 
left shoulder, I sank to one knee, struggling to keep fighting.  
again and again, the ghost closed, the spear cutting holes in my 
hands now.  My blade fell from my left hand, I made a last shot with 
my right, as I fell to the ground, rapidly losing my grasp on 
reality, slipping into unconsciousness.
   In a clear, loud voice, I heard "JUDICANDUS OLOFZH!"
   I felt life returning to my limbs, my wounds knitting themselves!  
I sprang to my feet, just in time to deflect what would have been a 
killing blow from a nasty spear!  I whirled, using the time to grab 
the blade I had dropped, tossing it in midair, and grabbing it out 
of the air, by the hilt.  I turned to glance at the kobold, he had a 
look of complete concentration on his face.
   "Glad to have you back!" I shouted, as I turned back to face the 
ghost.  Again, I heard 'judicandus olofzh!' from behind me , and 
felt even stronger!  I pressed forward, the ghost fell back against 
my whirling assault!  I pressed forward, until the ghost had no room 
left, and with a final downward slice, I finished the foul creature!  
With a hiss, the spear clattered to the ground.
   I turned to face the kobold.  He was walking away!  "Wait, where 
are you going?" I shouted after him.  He stopped and turned to face 
me.  "Why are you leaving?"
   A bright flash.  'I cannot keep fighting like this with you, you 
nearly died, trying to keep me out of harm's way.  I must gain 
experience elsewhere before I am able to do this again.'  He again 
turned to walk away.
   "That may be true," I conceded.  Still, he was there when it 
counted...  "Wait, kobold!"  He stopped.  "All this time, I knew not 
your name, and somehow, I doubt that you will tell it to me now, but 
I must call you something, in case we meet again.  So, what shall I 
call you, sir?"
   He smiled and nodded.  A flash again.  'Sir.  That would be fine'
   "What?  Sir?  Hmm, yes, actually, that fits you, heh.  Until we 
meet again, then, Sir..."

   Some time later, I met up with the slimy kobold again.  He was 
wearing fine robes, and had a large moneypouch hanging from his 
belt.  A merchant, I see.  Heh, wonder how he sells things without 
speaking.  I approached him.
   "Yari!  Good to see you again!" he said as he strode forward to 
take my hand.
   "You speak, I see!  Good for you, you found your voice!"
   "Yes, well, all those years of silence, I learned to understand 
people's unspoken intentions very well... it's a talent that has 
served me well as a merchant!"
   I laughed.  "Yes, I can well bet it has!  Remind me not to buy 
anything from you, I am sure I will get taken for a ride, hah!"
   "Heh, well, I would not take you for a ride.  You know, it's 
funny, I guess merchanting is a good life for me.  As you know, the 
life of combat was not quite suited to me, but this life, of a 
merchant, it is quite good to me."
   "So, what shall I call you now?"
   "I am Sir, of course.  I kept the name, it suits me, you know.  
Makes people think I am trustworthy as a merchant (which, of course, 
I am) and it somehow suits me," he said with a small grin.  "So, 
tell me Yari, I noticed your blades are nicked from the rigors of 
combat!  Allow me to show you this blade, it's a fine piece..."

Sir, the Kobold merchant, was an ancient player.  As it stands now, 
he may be leaving the mud for a long time, perhaps forever and this 
book is dedicated in his memory, as it were, so that people who come 
later will know of him.  The story is fictional, mostly.  The events 
described were real, we did fight those ghosts on the very first 
night we met on the mud, and he was, at the time, a conjurer magey 
type.  He was also "mute".  He did not speak, and it frustrated me 
at first, but it did not hamper his performance as a mage, so I 
learned thta he did, in fact, live up to his name.  The following is 
a transcript of a conversation we had on Thu Jun 8 1995 at 07:17:35 
EET, the eve of his departure for RL parts unknown.

[I asked him what guilds/races he had been over the years.]

Sir tells you 'I started as a kobold conjurer/mage/necromancer'
Sir tells you 'just kobold conjurer.. thene the conversion came'
Sir tells you 'I decided to try thrikhren mage, and that lasted a 
 few days (too many around) then I went back to kobold conjurer and 
 eventually joined mage (2nd) and necromancer (3rd)'
You tell Sir 'nod...'
Sir tells you 'Then after a while I switched to sprite merchant.. 
 after making some capital I mipped myself lots of levels and 
 eventually joined thief/ranger /reaver/anti-paladin/caller/infernal 
You tell Sir 'nod, then?'
Sir tells you 'then I put up all my eq 'cause I was graduating to 
 the Sir quest and Neturnner got it all  8)  and I became a kobold
 fighter/mage  8) (20/1)'
You tell Sir 'sir quest?'
Sir tells you 'Yea, I sort of posted something on the news saying 
 that I ionvite anyone or any party to take my castle.. friends and 
 foe.. blah blah.. all yours if you can take it'
You tell Sir 'I remember that ;)'
You tell Sir 'and then?'
Sir tells you 'Most of my firends didn't bother, but Netrunner was 
 interested. so I gave him some hints and he robbed me blind, except 
 for the chest I lend to my boarder.. (hmmm)'
Sir tells you 'then I was gone for 8 month'
Sir tells you 'everything changed  8P'
You tell Sir 'of course ;)'
Sir tells you 'I got hooked on reincing and have been bouncing 
 race/guild ever since  8)  kobold crimson, ent paladin, giant
 enchanter/alchemist (drug dealer), cyclops crimson, barsoomian 
 crimson, drow alchemist/enchanter/abjurer/bard, and now wolfman
 crimson/barbarian... back track.. cyclops crimson/smith/barbarian 
 was the correct guilds'
You tell Sir 'hum, now that you are leaving, presumably, for quite a 
 while, what will U miss about bat?  whatta U like now?'
Sir tells you 'I'll miss my friends with whom I goofed off lots  8)  
 I'll miss stockpiling stuff and accumulate my wealth (don't know 
 why, I have a habit of doing that now)'
Sir tells you 'I'll miss annoying newbies and playing God to them  
You tell Sir 'you always were a merchant at heart ;)'
You tell Sir 'you can take the sir out of the merchant guild, but 
 you cant take the merchant guild out of the Sir ;)'
Sir tells you 'I know eh, I think everything in terms of money  8P  
 I'm so sad'
Sir tells you 'heh heh  8)'
Sir tells you 'I don't know what I like now  8)  I play here 'cause 
 this is sorta like my mud home and it's hard to leave  8)  I can 
 make a complaint list a mile now right now but I'm not gonna bother 
 'cause any changes they made after I'm gone, I gotta face when and 
 if I get back  8)' 

[talking about secondary chars he has had over the years]
Sir tells you 'I'll jsut tell ya the names of players I forgot 
 password for before Sir.. Masque, Hans, Franz, Smurf (have lot), 
 Triumph, (have castle), Platinum (have castle) and a lots of test 
 characters  8)'

Sir was, and always will be, the best merchant that bat ever had, 
when merchants and kobolds were scoffed at, he excelled quietly, 
always working and succeding better than anyone's expectations. He
will be missed at Bat.