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October 29th, 2006
For those of you have missed it, the mentors continued the spirit of the spooky season by holding a hayride last night of all the spookiest places in Greece. Stops included the Tomb of Themistocles, the haunted Farmhouse outside of Athens, and the Tree of Horrors, with the final stop being at the infamous Leremonos Mansion, which is still haunted to this day by those who have passed on in it. A seance was held there, where one Athenian was taken over by the spirit of a bird deity that had apparently been slain by the former family of the mansion and therefore cursed them to torment. The spirit was finally put to rest, but is the rest of the manor so fortunate? Only time will tell.

Another festivity, for those haven't noticed, is the brand new pumpkin carving. Check out PUMPKIN for more details, and find the pumpkin patch and all the tools you need for it by going North outside of the Peiraic Gate. Also near the gate are several costume shops for those who wish to dress up. You may also notice that children are running all over Athens in costumes from the heroic, to the evil, to the grotesque all for one reason: CANDY! Try TREATing an NPC yourself, but be warned, you may wind up tricked. Also, a harvest fair grounds has also opened up near the outer walls of Athens, with a dancing area, some food, a bonfire, and bobbing for apples.

If you're not tired of the season already, then make sure you attend the Hallow Eve's Costume Ball at the palace on October 31st. Check out News 12 for details. The undead Ghoulicles has altered some costumes, and the hyper Kostoumi tracked down members of the estate to alter for them.

The fae have also continued to be up to their mischevious selves, with Clovius throwing an impromptu party the other night out by the Nomad Bonfire. Be wary of thrown pins, whistles, and other things,as the fae Faileas has also discovered trick or treating and she really only wants the candy.


June 26,2006
For those of you who don't want to read the longer account: Crete is now open and you may get to it from a dock in Eleusis. If you were on the quest, keep the gears you picked up. Aphrodite told us Artemis wants us too, though we don't know why.

Now, for the longer account. After Autolycus managed to get a boat (probably stealing it, judging from the sailors we saw chasing him earlier in the day), he led us to a cove just off the Boardwalk near Piraeus where a small galley was resting. Alot of confused rowing later, destroying a serpent from the inside and being spat back up, the Athenians arrived on Crete to be greeted by a huge bronze giant, the Talos. After much talking to the villagers in Chersonissos, it was discovered that Poseidon had returned Talos to Crete on the request of a man named Kakosarchigos, who the townspeople seemed to revere as a great leader. Other strange information included finding out that quite a few dead animals had been found around town, including antelopes which Crete doesn't even naturally have. The townspeople seemed inclined to blame it on the minotaur, saying that they had never found his body after we supposedly killed him six years ago, even though they had dug up the chamber. At that, the Athenians decided they should find this Kakosarchigos and speak with him about the dead animals, hoping to find a tie in that would get Autolycus back to his non-doggie self as well.

In the back halls of the forum, Kakosarchigos was overheard discussing plans with none other than Discord. He said "it was hidden", to which Discord countered that he couldn't keep just shooting people with the bow. Shortly after, Discord left and Kakosarchigos went to leave, causing the Athenians to scramble around to find a hiding place so they wouldn't be spotted. Once the man was gone, a few snuck into his office and discovered a desk with a few gems and a key to a warehouse. The locked warehouse had been discovered earlier, so it was an easy matter to run back to it. Autolycus alerted them that he could still smell Kakosarchigos inside, but it was decided to be worth the risk. Kakosarchigos was indeed inside with a bow, as well as a few cages full of animals and helpless villagers. Before he could be confronted, however, the man ran out and locked the warehouse doors behind him, trapping the Athenians within. It wasn't long before the Athenians could hear the booming voice of Talos addressing the citizens of Crete, informing them that evil invaders had landed on their shores and that these invaders were to be eliminated. The people, believing that the god Poseidon spoke through Talos, began attacking any Athenian they saw, starting by breaking down the warehouse doors.

Of course, because it is generally bad practice to harm villagers that are simply being duped by an evil leader, the Athenians resorted to knocking them out or tying them up, which seemed to work nicely. A mad dash to the beach later, the Athenians set to climbing up the massive Talos in an attempt to keep him from yelling anymore orders. When they reached his head, a trapdoor was discovered that allowed them to enter into a special control chamber, where Kakosarchigos was found. Unfortunately for us, Kakosarchigos had revealed that he no longer had the bow, but that Discord had taken it and hidden it. On the control panel was a switch marked "Booming Voice" among other things, which allowed the Athenians to make sure Kakosarchigos's confession of trying to rule the island through Talos was broadcasted loud and clear over the entirety of the village. Other Athenians preoccupied themselves with pulling wires and turning levers in order to completely wreck Talos, which worked. There was a mad frenzy for everyone to get off of Talos before it wrecked, and Talos went into the sea and exploded, apparently taking Kakosarchigos with it. (He was later seen by Athelyn and Kide crawling out of the ocean and slinking off to say he was going to start a vineyard.) Bronze gears rained down onto the beach, which were collected up as souvenirs.

Deciding that the Labyrinth was the most likely place to hide something in Crete, the Athenians headed there, making their way to the center of the Labyrinth where the minotaur had lived before. Discord did her best to trip them up along the way, but the center was reached, and a trapdoor was found in the floor. The bow was retrieved, after a minor scare where it was apparently attached to the minotaur's corpse and it appeared to lunge at everyone when it was picked up. Autolycus was shot with the bow and turned back into his normal thieving self, and later on, Aphrodite retrieved the bow from Windel, declaring that Artemis was busy but she would be glad to have it back.

For those who it's still not clear, it would appear that Autolycus stumbled across Talos, who was definitely NOT sent by Poseidon, while it was still being made. Kakosarchigos presumably discovered him, apparently shooting him with Artemis' bow in panic, even though Autolycus had no idea what he was seeing. Autolycus managed to get away, which is how he wound up in Athens with no memories and as a dog. Those who interrupted Kakosarchigos' work in the village, however, were not so lucky and he apparently killed many them, since animal bodies would not be looked on nearly so strangely as human, centaur, or giant ones. What interest Discord had in the matter is still not known, but she is presumably the one who supplied Artemis' bow to Kakosarchigos. The people of Crete were duped by Kakosarchigos and his manmade Talos, and are grateful to the Athenians once more.


June 21,2006
For those of you who aren't aware, Autolycus has been transformed into a dog. The same dog, in fact, that has been referred to as "Scamp" in the last week. For the last week, he's been unable to remember where he was or what he did to get transformed into a dog, but tonight it was finally discovered that he had been in Crete. After a visit to one of his old seafaring friends, a date has been sent and this Sunday the Athenians will be heading to Crete to hopefully get Autolycus back to normal. Of course, the island that put forth the Minotaur (believed deceased), Talos (also believed deceased), the Cretan Bull (presumably no longer present), and various sea monsters is unlikely to be as peaceful as one would hope. From what Autolycus and the captain said, the Athenians will need to be the crew for this one, so all hands on deck! Be there on Sunday, or miss out. We don't have an exact time, but evening is most likely.

In other news, Drakontas apparently arranged for the Alterers Retla, Festivia, and Timalcus to be in Piraeus last week for a bit. I say Drakontas, but the actual preparations were due to Vasileios. Some may remember Timalcus, who used to serve as a warrior for Discord and killed people with fruit, but now has turned his services to altering weapons and armor. Retla is a member of Psarigida's crew, and Festivia is a recognized face in Athens. The three altered for a bit on the docks of Piraeus, and Vasileios dropped by briefly to make sure everything was going smoothly.

Rubertius is presumably dead now after attempting to kidnap several Athenians and Nychta. Enanskios was returned, definitely worse for the wear with scars and burns, but alive. The area Rubertius was killed in (by the Athenians who went to rescue the kidnapped) was later revealed to be the new Tracking area. Check News 23 for more details.


June 4,2006
First of all, the always adorable (sarcasm) Rubertius paid a visit to the gate tonight, informing Nychta that he apparently intends to make some move tomorrow night (Sunday night). It's unclear what exactly is going to happen, but he claims that it will be a "grand adventure".

There is a swimsuit merchant open outside of the Peiraic Gate in Athens for all your summer swim needs. It's located in the big tent. You can't miss it!

There is also a caterer selling trays and the like in the Estate for Premium members, as well as a locket and frame merchant. The sign in the locket and frame merchant also promises an alterer this month for custom paintings for the Premium members. Premium members can also check their WEALTH to see some new changes to the way the verb works for them.

The warlord's woman, Shahla, sent a message to the gate the other day bidding the Athenians to come visit her. She was found remodeling a tavern, where she took quite a bit of advice from the Athenians on how to make it masculine. We were informed that Drakontas had been keeping Vasileios and Diathesixifos (who she called Lord Diathesi) busy, and they've been in and out of Piraeus often. Before the conversation could go on too long, however, Drakontas himself stopped by to retrieve Shahla. He was relatively amicable, granting permission for the Athenians to visit Shahla again, though ominously commenting that he would take it as an invitation to visit our town as well.


May 14,2006
First of all, low level housing has now been opened to all players, even regulars! Premiums are still the only ones with access to the higher level housing, and the first 100 premiums (including those who are already members) will get a custom facade to their houses. The 90 day wait period after becoming Premium has also been removed. For more information, check NEWS 16.

Drakontas has been invading more lately to fully express his displeasure, though it seems to have calmed down a bit more since Vasileios's return. Diathesixifos paid a visit to the gate after one invasion the other night, and it wasn't long before Vasileios also arrived (riding a white horse, no less). The two traded barbs with each other for a while before Nychta arrived, and Diathesixifos seemed to content to merely chat and flirt with the ladies while Nychta and Vasileios argued with each other concerning Vasileios's character. Of interest, Diathesixifos did ask Vasileios how the new troops were going, saying that he didn't want them to 'reflect badly'. It is believed that the troops may be from Diathesixifos's home town, but any attempts to get that information out of the mercenary remained unfruitful.

The gate to Eleusis has been fully restored…as has the one to Piraeus. Piraeus's gate has also been renamed, to the highly original Drakontas Gate. It also has a rather interesting engraving that must be seen and not described. Piraeus is finally starting to look its old self again, and Vasileios paid the Athenians a visit today at the Peiraic Gate to inform us that he had located a warehouse full of house decorating items and he had it cleaned up once more and reopened it to the public. You may also notice that several other shops, such as the weapon shop, have been reopened in Piraeus and the streets are starting to look more alive.

For those who have yet to notice, Kitsune's Kite tent is also opened temporarily east of the gate. The shop had been available during the Far East Festival a few months back, but if you missed it then, go buy a kite, spiff it up, and see how it fares against others in a kite battle. You CAN repair these kites to be as good as new, so no need to worry if your kite doesn't fare as well as you'd hoped.


May 6, 2006
First of all, we now have a new Product Manager. Congratulations and Good Luck to Jubalee, and thanks goes to Mathuna for holding down the fort in the interim.

Secondly, as I'm sure many of you know, Drakontas' attempt to invade Eleusis failed quite spectacularly when the noble Athenians managed to keep some gates in the bay of Piraeus from opening. Said gates were the ones keeping the warlord's sea serpents in, and by destroying the mechanism that was set to open the gates, the serpents were unable to go and aid their master. To rub salt into the wound, the Athenians then managed to destroy (or, you know, explode) the bridge that linked Piraeus and Eleusis and effectively destroy any chance of reinforcements coming to Drako's aid. Of course, all this was accomplished with a bit of help. Nychta aided the Athenians in Piraeus and Eleusis, helping to keep off some of the fiercer foes, and it would also appear the "messenger" that led the Athenians to the wagon of explosive was none other than our resident king of thieves, Autolycus. It would also appear that the mercenary, Diathesixifos, offered the Athenians some aid, giving them a chance to scurry off to Piraeus in the first place instead of striking them all down at the spot. Drakontas, however, was none too pleased with the developments, and after the destruction of the gate, turned on Diathesixifos in Eleusis. A scuffle ensued, which ended abruptly with the mercenary slamming into the gates of Eleusis due to a strong kick from Drakontas. Drakontas then declared that he was merely living up to what the Athenians expected of him - as they no doubt expected him to be livid and to lash out at the crimp they put in his plans - and apparently Diathesixifos was the only one he felt could handle the blow and remain alive. The warlord then turned to leave with the last ominous threat that if the Athenians were so eager to get involved, he would involve them. He ordered his troops redirected to Athens, and left. Diathesixifos, wounded but by no means unable to move, then used his sword to cut the gate (the same one into which he went flying) into neat pieces and the Athenians ran off to protect their own town. Diathesixifos came and chatted for a while, then returned to Piraeus, apparently with no intentions of leaving Drako's employ.

Vasileios and Shahla have also made an appearance, newly arrived back to Piraeus. It would appear Vasileios was on some sort of errand for Drakontas, though he would not make it clear what that errand was. Diathesixifos, in a later visit, warned the Athenians that Vasileios had brought back some new troops to Piraeus, and it would appear that the mercenary has some personal connection with them. Whatever the case, it would seem the new troops are not to be messed with. Drakontas has also been sending horde troops to the Peiraic gate quite frequently as of late, perhaps to express his displeasure with the town of Athens. He has also reinstated the toll on the gates of Piraeus.

In other less dramatic news, Autolycus has paid several visits to the gate lately, speaking rather thoughtfully of retirement. It would appear the thief wants to open up a vineyard, though it's anyone's guess on why. He was last seen carrying around some scrolls from Alexandria on how to tell some grapes from other grapes.

Speaking of vineyards and grapes, Dionysus took over the Theater of Dionysus a few nights ago and staged quite the spectacle before declaring that he was going to do 'altarations'. The result of Dionysus' changes were hilarious, with almost all the items winding up with a hyena on it somewhere, a slogan, and googly eyes. He was quite broken hearted, however, when no Athenian would accept the felt feet.

And, while we're on the subjects of gods, Discord has also been seen around town causing marital problems and stealing people's eyeballs. Alls well that ends well, however, and it seems the goddess got her satisfaction from the problems she caused.

And jumping from gods to prophecies (What? They come from a temple. It counts as a transition.), there's a new prophecy available in Delphi:

The mists part to reveal a small galley approaching the shores of some unidentified stretch of land. As the prow turns toward the port the water beneath the ship rumbles and a fierce glint of sunlight blinds you from the coast.

As your eyes adjust back to the bowl before you a voice recites:

"A place of monsters from a past struggle,
shall from peace emerge again -
The efforts of insanity and greed.
Bronze will make gold worthless.
The one who aided the owl in past ventures
will require salvation from his own folly."

What it means is, as always, anyone's guess.

There have also been some rather odd invasions involving carnivorous cows, so keep on your guard while at the gate.


April 21, 2006
A new prophecy was discovered in Delphi last night. We're not sure when it actually showed up, but it is as follows:

The mists part to reveal a shadow passing over a statue of Persephone. A single drop over what slides down her cheek and lands in a puddle of water that morphs and swirls to become…

… a vast, dark ocean scape spreads from the beaches of a small seaside village. Your view shifts and dives beneath the murk, flashing through the depths until…

… a barred gate appears beneath the water with chains running from the posts to disappear in the depths behind. A movement catches your eye and the gate begins to tremble as…

… four glowing red eyes thrust into view behind the gate and glare balefully at you. The beast turns away and swims back into the darkness.

As the creature disappears a voice recites:

"The dragon is poised with pets at his knee.
While wheat fields quaver on the shores of the sea.
The owl must act swiftly, yet not fall to haste,
Lest breaking the beasts' chains all go to waste.
A failure is imminent, yet the outcome still sways,
The peace of the grain may yet see better days."

The prophecy comes after Nychta overheard several dockworkers discussing a gate in the water and how Drakontas wants it to be ready by Sunday. Diathesixifos was also seen at the Peiraic gate a few days ago, proving his confinement in Piraeus is over. Many believe that this Sunday (April 23) will be the day that Drakontas launches his invasion at last, and that the prophecy indicates that Eleusis will be the town he's after.

In other news, Elrond received a prophecy courtesy of Athena that revealed that it was Remmishi and Soltys who killed Nychta's father a few days ago. A visit from Remmishi last night further revealed that Remmishi did it because Soltys got in deep with some debtors and he was required to kill his (And Nychta's) father in order to save his own life. Enanskios was there last night as well, and it would appear he spent most of the time bickering with Remmishi. Enanskios also informed the people present that he was keeping an eye on Rubertius,though it isn't quite clear why because he professes not to care anything about what happens to Nychta. Remmishi ended the night by running off to find Nychta, though one wonders if she'll be quite so happy to see him considering the information lately revealed.


April 5, 2006
Diathesixifos, the mercenary who works for Drakontas, has apparently been holed up in Piraeus the last few weeks due to Drako wanting him to be on hand for some particular occasion. Further sneaking around in Piraeus indicated that this was an invasion, likely of a port town, and it should happen relatively soon, so be on your guard for any new happenings. There's also a new prophecy in Delphi that goes as follows:

The mists part to reveal an owl perching on the hilt of a sword. Its head swerves to take in a scene that slowly blurs into focus…

Blur…

A purple banner flaps on a broken gate, the town beyond unseen among the pillars of grey smoke…

Blur…

A head full of red hair is bowed down in pain over the pommel of a sword…

Blur…

A violent wash of waves breaks against a rocky shore. Another wave of scales breaks the surface for a moment before submerging again…

As the scenes blur for a final time, a voice recites:

"The lord of two may not gain a third-
He may gain a dozen.
The sword that wields itself could conquer,
Or it could bow to the dragon.
So is the owl that flares its feathers to flight,
Or falls to the ground in death at the sight.
What will be is not what must be…
What is known could become a lie."

What it means isn't obviously clear, though it is believed that the bowed head is Xifos.

In other news, April Fool's day marked a day of insanity in Athens,complete with trips to Candyland, worm tunnel mazes in an apple, a brief peek at a new town, and a trip to Athens of 2000 years in the future.


Febuary 14, 2006

First of all, the general auction has been scheduled for the end of March. Clear your calendars for it! Also of note, there is a Far East Festival going out outside the Peiraic Gate and to the north that features merchants from Chi'in, Nippon, and the Mongolian Steppes. New merchants are opening up every now and then, so keep checking it out. Alexandria has also gotten a facelift, with some new shops and new layout and descriptions. I've been told that, apparently, it is now much more historically accurate.

Shortly after the new Alexandria was revealed, it would seem that a merchant named Habib got himself entangled in a mummy problem. After hearing the fellow begging for help on the Socra net, the Athenians raced off to Egypt only to find themselves blocked by a roadblock and an acolyte that refused to let any but a high priest of Osiris pass. He said he had heard nothing of the merchant, and didn't believe us when we insisted there was a guy in trouble out there. After about a half hour of vain arguing, who would happen by but a supposed High Priest of Osiris? The "priest" gave the password to the acolyte, and he let us through. A few people raised suspicions about the priest, who's face was hidden entirely by his robes. He reacted by getting idignant and leaving, but the high priests's robes were found outside of a tomb a few minutes later. By then, the Athenians had a general suspicion that our so-called priest was more of a certain thief, and their suspicions were confirmed after Habib was safely outside of thetomb. He had apparently been held captive by some sort of evil spirit and a bunch of mummies. After a few minutes, Autolycus traipsed out of the tomb, hands filled with various treasures.

The festival is not proceeding as smoothly as one might hope, however. Last night, after the mentor Cupid Candy Contest, at which Aphrodite made a brief appearance (Congratulations to Lytaria, Attucus, and Moiria for their wins!), a firework exploded that formed the shape of a purple, three-headed dragon. Within moments, a scream was heard and the sky was lit with fireworks exploding everywhere. In the middle of the festival, the body of a man named Masafumi was found, next to a sign that read, "Masafumi will be altering fireworks tonight only. His time is limited so hurry!" and a ruined, smoking wagon. Nearby, a bloody diamond shard string used for kites was found, presumably the murderer's weapon. After examining the fair grounds, the Athenians decided to seek out Drakontas to see if he knew anything. The three headed dragon is his symbol, and for a while, it was believed that he had an assassin in his employ that used lyre strings to kill with. Drakontas was found working on construction in Piraeus, but he wasn't inclined to be helpful. He essentially said that if he knew something, he wouldn't tell us, and that we'd have better luck squeezing blood out of a rock. He did ask us what reason he would have for "pussyfooting" around killing someone, and a merchant at that. He didn't deny it, however, and didn't seem concerned with the idea that if he didn't do it, then someone was trying to set him up. The question of who would kill a merchant, and if Drakontas did it, WHY he would kill Masafumi is still unanswered. Of note, it would appear that Drakontas's mercenary, Diathesixifos, was seen around the festival the night before the murder, apparently running an errand for Drakontas but he wouldn't say what it was.

Diathesixifos has also been seen around Athens lately, occasionally leading attacks on the gates because he says that Captain Froo Froo (as he calls Vasileios) doesn't want to do it. The invasions have been nothing truly serious, though Drakontas has promised that they will increase in severity in the future. It would appear he's not entirely above giving the Athenians hints as to what Drakontas is doing for the right amount of dinar, which may prove useful in the future. Overall, it seems the mercenary is not entirely against us, but definitely in Drakontas's employ. Xifos has warned us, however, that Vasileios is entirely loyal to Drako and to be cautious of him.


December 23, 2005

For those of you who don't know yet, the presents from the tree in the bar have been stolen and it's up to the Athenians to get them back. It's a quest, so I can't really tell you more than that, but time is running out. Get to it if you haven't done it!

In other news, it would appear that the Athenians have met the blue eyed man from the prophecy. His name is Diathesixifos, called Xifos for short, and it seems he's some sort of mercenary for Drakontas. From what I was told, he's fairly likeable and has a "warrior's honor". No one really knows why Drakontas hired him, but according to Xifos, Drako and Vasileios (whom he calls "Captain Froo Froo") don't really communicate with him very much. Thanks to Kide and Posidea for the information.

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