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Classifieds and Personal Ads
Wanted: Misplaced gauntlet. Identifiable by intricate carvings of a ram's head on a bed of roses. Generous reward for return. Or will sell its matching counterpart. Inquire at the Black Heart Lily in Mirros, Karameikos.
Wanted: Return of a matched pair of daggers, stolen late last year. No description needed. I know who has it and where you are. Due to the cunning displayed in their theft, returning them now will not incur any repercussions. Non-compliance will result in vindication. This is your only warning.
Wanted: Adventurers. Employer is always on the look out for able-bodied adventurers willing to perform unusual duties for mages. Duties include collecting spell components and providing security. Hirelings will be paid per individual job. Apply at Karameikan School of Magecraft, Krakatos, Karameikos.
Wanted: Ornate weapons. Swords, maces, bows, armours, shields, battle axes, etc. Desired for personal collection and for resale. Weapon sales and appraisals available. See Ferrous, Delbart, or Qerrous at "The Warrior Warehouse" in Mirros, Karameikos.
Wanted: Old Books. I represent a group of people most interested in the collecting and studying of ancient history. We are always on the outlook for tomes to add to our collection. Serious offers only. Lucrative payment sums for genuine articles.
Wanted: Vampire. In my pursuits to offer a cure for this affliction, I am in need of a "living" vampire or nosferatu to use as test subject and for study. Preference towards willing vampire for security purposes. For more information contact Juliannus Trigateri through your local Thyatian embassy.
Wanted: Ethengar ponies. Top prices for healthy mounts. Am also looking for Ethengar willing to train horses and their intended riders. Competitive wages. Contact Captain Domarr through your local Darokin embassy.
Wanted: Individuals desiring adventure, discovery, and the promise of wealth. Influential group planning an expedition to the sunken continent of Alphatia. Equipment such as sea vessels needed. Access to a submersible most welcomed. Reward based on individual contributions of manpower and material. Contact Merchant Prince Gersin of Seahome, Minrothad Guilds.
Wanted: Information regarding the whereabouts of the crews of the Alphatian skyships "Ki-rin," "Pegasus," "Maelstrom," and "Zephyr." A reunion for the Skyship Squadron is planned for later on in the year. Officers and crew are encouraged to attend to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the squadron's founding. Contact your local NACE official for further information.
Wanted: Alphatian War Paraphernalia. Avid collector of the arms and armaments and uniforms used during the Great War. Enchantments not a priority but are welcomed. Contact Captain Horatio Trumpet of Ierendi, directly or through the Ierendi embassy.
Wanted: Able-bodied individuals. Talimoun's Terrors is always on the lookout for stout and hardy men and women to fill its mercenary ranks. Competitive wages based upon individual skills and talents. Some applicants may be held on retainer. For more information contact Commander Talimoun's office in Corunglain, Darokin.
For Sale: Weapons. Circumstances have delivered upon my person some 200 short swords, 300 spears, 100 heavy crossbows, and 100 polearms. Will sell piecemeal or preferably as a single unit. Large orders will receive greater discounts and delivery. Serious inquiries only. Contact Merchant Prince Argo Deltrim of Harbortown, Minrothad Guilds.
For Sale: Wine. Stocks include both Arogansa and Randel vintages. Uncommon since the end of the Great War, am willing to part with the casks for a modest sum. Contact Merchant Prince Argo Deltrim of Harbortown, Minrothad Guilds.
For Sale: Sailing vessel. Accepting offers on the merchant vessel "Marshow's Merrow." Hull in excellent shape. Captain's quarters modest but comfortable. New rigging and sails. For more information contact Serge Pepropov in Mirros, Karameikos.
For Sale: Riding horses. A variety of mounts worthy of the most discerning rider. We even have several examples of horses bearing strains of the famed Alfheim breeds. Custom saddles and bridles also available. Contact Yorshrynn Stables of Darokin.
For Sale: Just about Anything and Everything. I am Terstrix Montereu. I am a self-proclaimed acquirer of special and unique items. If you need something I can get it or direct you to a source. I work either from commission, finder's fee, or by acting as a buyer. Discretion and confidentiality assured. For inquiries contact me at my office in Athenos, Darokin.
For Sale: Estate auction. The family of the deceased famed adventurer Talimanus is liquidating his personal. A lifetime's worth of interesting and unique items up for auction. The disposal is scheduled for Eirmont 1st AC 1016 at the family estate in Thyatis City. Admission for the event is 500 emperors per person. Contact Markos Sterenopolus in Thyatis City for further information.
Missing Person: Zerross "the Fletcher". Last seen fighting the Shadow Elves in Canolbarth. Rumoured to have been seen travelling north, either to Glantri or Wendar. Friends and family in Karameikos wish to inquire as to his health and whereabouts. Information can be forwarded through the Alfheim ambassador in Mirros, Karameikos.
Missing Person: Captain Deandre Adronus of Thyatis. Last seen during the fighting at Retebius. Body was never recovered. Family anxious to know her whereabouts or fate. Information can be sent to the Adronus family in Thyatis City or forwarded through your local Thyatian embassy.
Missing Person: Crew of the Thyatian war galley "Sea Eagle." Long overdue for arrival in the Hinterlands and presumed lost. News of the fate or whereabouts of any of its crew is most welcomed by their families. For a list of the crew or to provide information, contact you local Thyatian official or embassy.
Missing Person: Arterio Berilius of Thyatis. Last seen in the area of northern Darokin. This is a plea from his family during their time of need. "Arterio, come home. Father is dead. The family needs you."-Mother, Serrenna, Tobius, and Jaserus.
Missing Person: Vladerynn of Alphatia. Missing since the Great War, her fate is needed to resolve the future of her estate. Unless news is forwarded by year's end, the estate will go to her heirs. Any information must be certifiable. Fraudulent reports will be viewed as a dishonourable insult. Creditable reports will be rewarded. Contact the Kingdom of Blueside on Bellissaria, the NACE Council at Ionace, or your local NACE ambassador.
Missing Person: Tibyolt Supplefeet of the Five Shires. Last seen in the company of a trade caravan bound for Ethengar and Ylaruam three years ago. Rumoured to have been seen in Tel Akbir two years ago and Minrothad City six months ago. Friends and family desire information on his well being and whereabouts. Personal plea from relatives "Tibby... they have found the scroll. He has confessed and you have been exonerated. Please come home."-Father, Myorsha, Little Kim, Toby, and Jakko.
Missing Person: Lieutenant Gustov von Deirmont of Aalban, Glantri. Reported missing since early last year, months prior to the Ethengar invasion. Anyone with information regarding him or his fate should contact Prince Jaggar von Drachenfels through the Glantrian embassy, the Glantrian judiciary, or the Glantrian military.
Other Famous Publications
a review of other publishing houses' famous issues, by Belzamith Fingertackles
While doing some researches for this year's edition of the Mystaran Almanac, I came into possession of the first issue of a small publication called the Tome of Mystara. I was thrilled at the prospect of browsing through the pages of the promising booklet; with such a title, I reasoned, it surely must contain some insights into our world that even I, co-editor of the Mystaran Almanac, may not know about and may find useful. I was not disappointed.
The first issue is a several dozen pages book with illustrations, full of arcane lore, information on strange places, people and events, very useful to the adventuresome traveller. I was surprised as to the depth of the articles, who have that je ne sais quoi of information gained through the most unusual channels, you know, the behind-the-scenes one.
Of course I tried to get in touch with the editors of the tome. It is rumoured that the compilers are a wizard and an itinerant priest, but no one is certain, and that was all I could find about them so far; I don't even know where country they operate from. I hope to meet them, before the second edition if I can, both to congratulate fellow editors for a job well done, and maybe to share some information with them-I so wish I had access to the sources they have!
I came across a copy of the Tome of Mystara quite by mere luck, and I have no clue as to how many copies of the first issue are in circulation. Since as far as I know only one copy of a magical printing press exists and is used by our company, I can only come to the conclusion that the Tome of Mystara is duplicated by magic, something that can quickly become expensive for a publication with a large audience. Yet the first issue mentions a quarterly edition release, which means that issue #2 should be available shortly after the publication of the almanac. I look forward to it, and I hope the reader will also get the opportunity to complete his or her library with every issue of the Tome of Mystara!
Gossip, Rumours, and Such Tavern Talk.
In their travels across Mystara, the contributors to the Mystaran Almanac often come across tellers of local lore, legend, and gossip. Whether it is from community elders, wizen sages, reclusive oracles, or your average commoner, the common tie is that all were overheard in taverns by the patrons. Of course the editors of the almanac have not the time or resources to investigate and verify each of these-nor would we want to do that as that would undermine the reason for offering these to the reader. Nonetheless the excerpts are humorous and should be considered as entertainment only.
"These Shadow Elves... I hear tell that they are busy fighting amongst themselves. Whichever faction comes out the winner will probably cause all sorts of trouble for us surface dwellers."-Tavern patron in Threshold, Karameikos.
"I tell you, I have poured over Claransa's book on this Hollow World of hers. It got me to thinking if that place's peoples have had their memories altered then what about the memories of ourselves. What if our perceived histories are but the fancy of the Immortals? What does that make us and what are we to become?"-Distinguished-looking tavern patron in Krakatos, Karameikos.
"The way I hear it the Alphatians are blowing smoke up our arses. This whole hoopla about peace and love and rebuilding is but to put us off of our guards. Think about it... all that that people lost during the war and with victory so close. You know how those people are. You think that they are just going to let stuff like that slide. A sailor friend of mine said that he saw signs of an Alphatian build-up. I think they are reorganising their armies and getting ready to continue the war."-Tavern patron in West Portage.
"I say pox on them foreigners. The elves are okay. They keep to themselves deep in country. No one but rubes and monsters live out that way. But the Alphers, well they could care less about us lowly Karameikans. To them we're but infantile barbarians suckling at the Alphatian teat for our intellectual nourishment. I see it everyday. They gotta put their noses everywhere, showin us how to do things. Sheez... we did all right for ourselves way before they showed up. Mark my word, if they have their way we'll all be speakin Alphatian before it's over."-Tavern patron in Mirros, Karameikos.
"I heard that Prince Etienne is still alive and in very good health. Seems like the old boy was pretty fed up with the way thing were going on within the parliament and Council of Princes. Some say he's foregone politics and is filling his time working on his magical pursuits. Others say he is still politically active, working anonymously in the background without the hindrances of Glantrian law."-Tavern patron in Kopstar, Bergdhoven, Glantri.
"You remember that beast, the Behemoth? Notice how it happened to show up right after the war. And notice how it ain't been seen recently. Quite a coincidence given Nayce becoming stabilised. I would not put it past those blokes to have been behind the thing attacking shipping."-Tavern patron in Harbortown, Minrothad Guilds.
"Hollow World ...bah. Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. Sounds like Alphatian propaganda to me. Think about it. Why would the Immortals go through all of the trouble to recreate Alphatia in the Hollow World when it would have been just as easy to rebuild it on its original location? And what purpose does placing them in the Hollow World serve?"-Tavern patron in Glantri City.
"I tell you I just don't like it. You know how those elves love their trees. Do you seriously think that they are going to let the loss of their old lands pass. All this talk about them working with the shadow elves also strikes me as being odd. From my understanding, the shadow elves despise the elves that live on the surface. Personally I see bad things on the horizon. It would not surprise me to see them and the Alphatians draw us into a war to regain those lands."-Tavern patron in Mirros.
An Alternate View of the Adventuring Profession
As told by Jakko "Long Bolt" Karovich in the Blackheart Lily, Mirros, Karameikos.
Aye laddie... pay no mind to those fanciful tales the bards spout so lavishly. Believe you me I know first hand what really goes on out there in that particular line of work. You see I used to be what you might call an adventurer. You don't think they call me "Long Shot" cause of my libido. Nope I used to be in that line of work... pretty good too. I could very well hold my own with the war axe and castrate a gnat at fifty paces with my old crossbow. Ask anyone around here.
Yep... I started out with aspirations of defending the meek, making the world a better place, and gaining a share of wealth and glory. But all that is a load of crap. First off... the term "adventurer" is crap. More correctly you are a sellsword... a mercenary and at times even a hired thug. You see noble deeds are out there aplenty... however there are few noble acts that pay off in good ole hard coinage. You see... adventuring is expensive. Arms and armour must be maintained and replaced. You'll also be on the outlook for means to better protect yourself... preferably with magic.
Aiding a peasant village will gain their thanks and admiration, however peasants cannot offer much in the way of pay. At best you'll get a few meals, a comfortable bed, and a bit of shelter for a few days. You'll never be able to stay put for long. You'll have to be abroad looking for tasks, for both coinage and glory. Also you'll notice that you'll soon wear out your welcome. Gratitude will quickly turn to wariness. Remember not only are you and your party members an added drain to their stores, you are also something to be feared. You're outsiders, armed to the teeth and having dispatched a threat that they feared for so long.
Like I said you'll be travelling a lot. And that takes more gold. You'll need provisions and lodgings. And for some reason you'll find yourself forever having to buy a new horse. For some sinister reason, your mount rarely lives long. Horses seem to attract arrow fire and abuse from your attackers. Also, when your supplies run low that horse can become your meal for several days. Which brings up another thing... out in the wilderness your food will be vital. Sometimes you'll have to hunt and forage to get by. Be careful though... I cannot count the times I suffered for days with a runny stomach from some bad berries or water.
Travel is a necessary part of the profession. However, travelling involves spending a great deal of time out on the road. For the most part, "out there" is the realm of the 'noids, wolves, and other hostile predators. As soon as you leave the confines of a city, town, or village you are out in their environment and subject to being attacked. Even worse you have to watch out for brigands. They're everywhere and are usually well armed and skilled at ambushing the traveller. Hell... even here you can find brigands and hostile creatures but a day's ride from Mirros.
The bardic tales of lost ruins and dungeons boasting treasure troves are crap. Oh I'm sure that some still exist, but for the most part ruins have already been picked clean. Any gold you find there will be from newly moved in occupants. 'Noids and the like love to set up shop in places like that. And they aren't going to be too happy with you dropping by. And you'll probably be outnumbered by these creatures. You'll also be fighting them on their turf. And don't be fooled by their looks, the nasties are by no means foolish brutes. Brutes they may be, but deadly brutes they are.
Their occupants aside, dungeons and ruins are not the most amiable places for a human to be. They are dark, wet, and often hold foul fumes. All perfect reasons for other nasty creatures to call them home. I remember many times when we stood in some flooded corridor, knee deep with filthy brackish water, straining through torchlight for a glimpse at what lay ahead us. Just imagine what your poor robe clad mage would be going through. To make matters worse, the 'noids are used to those types of things. Heck... you could say they even love that crap.
Let's say you go through all trouble and clear out the nasties. What do you get? A few handfuls of assorted coins. Maybe some decent weapons. Heck you may even find a potion or two... perhaps a bit of magic. But look at your efforts. By Halav... thirty forty individuals dead and you may break even as far as your costs. You may even lose a few of your own. And death is a constant companion of the adventurer. No matter how good you are... and how careful you are... you will lose people. It's a hard thing too. These are friends... no comrades... whom you fight beside. You become more than friends with them. I don't know how to describe it... I guess you have to go through it to properly understand it.
You had better forget about romantic relationships. Oh sure... you'll look all spiffy in your adventuring gear. Probably draw your share of tavern wenches. May even draw in a few reputable lasses as well. That may sound fun. But trust me, it'll get old. It's still fun mind you... but you'll find yourself wanting a woman you can say that you truly love. A woman you want to bear your children... not some tart.
Whatever noble aspirations you had at the beginning, reality may place morality in a secondary position to financial need. You probably will take up the sword in less than noble tasks... many that may be deemed illegal. That's where your more financially lucrative jobs will be. However, there will also be more danger, both from the parties involved and possibly from the local guard. You do a good job and you'll find yourself getting more jobs like that. It's good steady money so don't knock it. And until you find one of those mythical treasure troves, it's about as close to a mother-lode as you are going to find.
I'd also like to point out that there are not a lot of old adventurers. Likewise, retired adventurers are few. Death is a constant companion. You are either dealing it out or getting it dealt to you. The pursuit of gold and glory is a never-ending beacon for "the big haul" being just around the corner, over the next hill, or in this next cave. No haul is ever big enough to sate the perceived financial need. And sadly the thrill gets into your blood. It's like zzonga... you have to have it in your life. I mean, you've been all over the realm. Seen this and that. Lived on the edge. Could you go back to farming? Could go back to a normal life? Nope... the stuff's in ya too deep.
Me, I lucked up. I started off with the usual crap jobs, mostly paying for our upkeep. We settled in to a few regular employers. Did a few jobs here and there. We got lucky a few times and gained a few items that proved to draw quite a healthy sum. I lost some good friends. Even lost a woman I might have married. We did a few jobs for the monarch... piddling stuff... but it legitimised us. One job had me take a nasty halberd blow to my side. Spent weeks healing up. Gave me the time to think. I took my meagre nest egg and invested in a normal life, setting myself up with a small farm. Ten years later I have expanded and am considered a pretty well-to-do individual. Got me a lovely wife, three young ones, and a nice home.
Don't get me wrong, we scavenged quite literally a king's ransom in my adventuring days. However, the costs and flagrant spending pretty much wiped all of that out. Such spending is the way of that carefree lifestyle. I have earned more gold and have more to show for my ten years of business life than I ever did in my years of adventuring. And I'll admit that I still get the itch to take up the blade. Luckily there be enough wolves and the like around the farm to sate that thirst. And I have been known to hire out to the king to help train new recruits. Anyway... take my advice as you will. If you ignore it, you won't be the first.