Ah, the beach.  Sunshine, cool breezes, valuable real estate, and of course tons and tons of hostile creatures.  It’s a shame that there are so many monsters on the beach that the average Sho farmer cannot take a day off with his family to go enjoy the ocean without losing one of his kids to a sand shark.  Ever financially savvy, Mu was looking ahead to the day when the beach would be safe to relax at, and so was scoping out the terrain for patches of real estate he might one day purchase.  Unfortunately, the only piece of developed property in the area seemed to be a large, weatherbeaten fort which was used as a cabana by about a thousand or so drudges and mosswarts.  Apparently the club was members only, as Mu received a somewhat less than hospitable welcome when he dared set foot on the grounds.  (You can see a few drudges on the battlements, no doubt betting against him.)  Mu decided to try a less populated area for his investment speculations.

The closest thing to a lifeguard that could be found was a number of vigilant wood golems, dedicated to preventing Mu’s venturing into potentially hazardous waters by killing him before he got there.  For several minutes after encountering one, Mu would attempt to use his fancy footwork to get around the lumbering creature and make a dash for the shallows; several raps on the head and a shockwave usually convinced him to use the more reasonable tactic shown at right.
Safety in numbers, right?  Depends who comprises those numbers, as Xin here discovered, meeting Mu at the mage tower after the latter had just sprinted back there for the fortieth time that day.  Surely with Xin’s powerful sword arm and Mu’s long range support, these creatures did not stand a chance!  Unfortunately for Xin, though, his backup was not all that used to working in a team, and while Mu was trying to calculate the best angle to cast from with a compass and a protractor, Xin got bashed once too often.  Once he overcame his initial instinct upon seeing "a corpse of Xin", which was PHAT L3WT!!11, Mu met him back at the good old lifestone, which he was not all that unfamiliar with himself.
In a place as limited as the Sho area, it’s not unusual to run into people you know, or have heard of.  However, occasionally someone from another land pops up whose name is also recognized.  Hearding here is one such person, also a refugee from Britannia, and taking the sensible path of the swordsman.  Despite the fact that he apparently caught Mu just as the latter was suffering some indigestion from overindugling on Auroch steaks, he remained calm and demonstrated his ability to interact with Mu after the fashion of a truly great roleplayer!
After they joined forces, Hearding realized that he, too, had heard of Mu.  His initial reaction to this flash of insight was a tad rash, if understandable.
Things calmed down a bit, and everything seemed reasonable after that, but it seemed Hearding had other plans.  After a few successful kills, Mu was particularly drained, and as he meditated in the sand to try and recover some mana, Hearding whipped out some flint and tinder and set Mu on fire!  While visually spectacular, being aflame does have a number of drawbacks, including the ever-inconvenient 3rd degree burns.  Fortunately, it WAS a beach, and so Mu found an opportunity to cool down while Hearding made his way back to Shoushi.

After his skin had stopped blistering, Mu gingerly made his way back to town himself.  Disgruntled over the lack of opportunities for a real estate entrepeneur in the area, he decided that he might as well go back to his drab research, running off to Sawato, where he heard that there was yet another archmage in dire need of all of his money.  Accustomed to the routine, he handed the shopkeep a sack of pyreals, grabbed a number of bizarre items he barely looked at, placed them into a sequence, formed the mystical words of power and gestured, and then pre-empted the response he knew he would soon be getting after a familiar fizzling sound was heard…

 

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