Muddled Times
Issue:Issue 18, October 2002
Section:Game Information

Apeomancer's Topical Quest Collective - Part 7

Hi all! Apeomancer here, back at Uni, but still playing MUD ... my degree is doomed ...

NB - 'Realism rating' refers to how many bugs, tricks and errors I find in the quest and how real the place feels to me. The main Land, tested to destruction and continuously improved over 20 years, is considered to be 10/10.

The Magus' Manse Quest

Author: Cat the Wizard [Copyright Peter Pracownik]
Method of entry: Attempting to go south at the pine forest outside the shrine leads to you tripping into a bluebell wood
Personae allowed: Anyone (though getting in armed is a bit harder)
Risk level: Mostly Low, a few bits are medium
Realism rating: 7/10 (great, atmospheric descriptions as ever, also a great back-story - a few bugs though, the coolest of which has been fixed now)

Analysis: A fairly small quest, set in the Manse of a powerful Magus. For the most part, the quest has a pleasant, tranquil air, from the charming bluebell wood to the sunlight-dappled reading room, which contains several books that give a large amount of background to the quest. However, the larder and laboratory beneath the Manse have a darker atmosphere, the larder being worryingly alive, and the laboratory containing a pitiful but untrustworthy demon in a cage. Further areas in the quest have to be accessed using special items … one of which will take you to the beautiful, deserted chambers of the Grand Council, which the Magus was once a member of (and possibly the Old Man too, if you believe the books!). Here will be found an extremely 'special' weapon - special in a Cat sort of way. The other, more dangerous area to see is an oasis surrounded by desert, which is very easy to get lost in. However, the reward at the end of it could be more valuable than mere points, if you don't do what I did and totally squander it anyway. There are also several subsidiary puzzles to solve in the quest, concerning the other enchanted artefacts you can find in the Manse. Though some treasure can be wrung from these, this isn't a hugely lucrative quest. A few bits of easy treasure (one of which makes you wonder how anyone got it through the door of the Manse) and food complete the picture. Anyone trying to swamp the books, though, will have trouble - they're chained to the shelves. Mobiles are fairly thin on the ground - apart from those mentioned already the only other two of note are a Bedouin girl and a young dragoon guarding the oasis. Some fighting does seem to be necessary to complete the quest - however, the general feel is more one of exploration and puzzles. Healing items are pretty much non-existent again, though a few nice weapons show up in the desert. This is another great quest from Cat, with his trademark air of mystery and an interesting and unusually complete back-story bringing it to life. It also has one major example of Cat's sadism. You have been warned.

Have fun!

Apeomancer (aka Maxmage)

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