The world was buzzing with some sort of news.  News that seemed to have everyone simultaneously excited and worried, news that seemed to be of great import to everyone.  News that Mu had no idea about, since of course he was off hunting alone, as was his custom.  Who had time for omens of ill portent and doom when thar’s a-critters ta kill!  As if he was deliberately trying to avoid the doomsday pronouncements on everyone’s lips, Mu was on a rampage, killing as many camping banderlings and huge, blocky, polygonal water golems as possible.

 

Not like there weren’t plenty of distractions from ill omens.  Stupid things happened every day, as on the day that Zashi Watta appeared in Shoushi.  A comrade of Mu’s from other planes of existence, Zashi had commanded wings of hydralisks in a really stupid war against complete idiots, and had been a sniper in the campaign so dreary is seemed everyone participating was living a half-life.  Recognizing Mu at once, he immediately demonstrated their old friendship by immediately swearing to him, then extorting the fumbling allegiance monarch at spearpoint in exchange for equipment and money.

The first hint that something was actually happening was a message from Kala Bon… he had been attacked and killed by murderers right outside of Shoushi!  How bizarre.  When Kala reappeared at the lifestone, he began to explain to the various red-hued individuals that he had not meant to do it, that he was a Player Killer by accident; their only response was another lightning arrow in the chest as soon as Kala himself started to glow red.  Curious indeed.  How does this sort of thing happen?  Mu was determined to find out… as soon as he checked Kala’s body for phat l3wt, that was.
Maybe something strange was going on… everyone seemed to be red, or going that way.  Tim the Enchanter here was obviously a neophyte, yet he resurrected again and again to die ignominiously at the hands of the touring PK’s.  The loss of blood from his numerous wounds, along with the repeated blows to the head, had affected his sanity, and he started babbling about having another life as the mighty Wrathgar, patron saint of something called "AC Stratics."  The PK’s were awed at this revelation, and made sure to show proper obeisance as they cut him in half again and again.
As the ringleader of the red party swaggered through the Shoushi pathways, he looked very familiar to Mu… and no wonder!  Although these times were trying and harrowing to say the least, at least Mu could take solace in the fact that apparently not even Lord British’s right hand man could stand a life in Britannia.
By now, of course, Mu had heard of the upcoming "wipe" of all life on the island, forcing everyone to start anew.  Yeah, right.  Mu laughed at these theories, while inwardly he panicked.  They timed this so I wouldn’t be able to get Life magic!  Disgruntled, he traded in some of his monster-killing credits and started his bumbling study of Creature magic, hoping that whatever pathetic successes he achieved might give him some insight into the workings of magery in the next life.  While doing so, a couple of reds came, including Mel, who tossed him a small bag of pyreals to fund his experiments.  Sashi had seen Mel around before the current fiasco, and knew she was not a killer by nature.  Was the whole world PK now?  Time to figure out what was going on.
Maybe Mu’s old mentor, the eminently rational and logical Sunam al-Qaraf, might know why everyone and his grandmother felt it suddenly necessary to be an insane… whoops.
While investigating the strange madness that was sweeping Dereth’s population, Mu met Katyara, a relatively new adventurer who was also interested in this phenomenon.  With a combination of her observant nature and Mu’s completely inaccurate information, they managed to find the source of all the trouble on a hill, right near the grotto entrance.  Bael’Zharon must be a rather lackadaisickal god of evil, as he just stuck his altar out the the open for anyone to click on out of curiosity (probably how Kala Bon had done it), and he obviously hasn’t bothered to update his altar’s information plaque in some time.
And so Mu and Katyara sat around the altar, discussing the new world and what it might bring, the uselessness of sorcery in red combat, and other useless topics as they waited for the end of life on Dereth as they knew it.  It’s times like these that make one contemplative, wondering how they could help their fellow adventurer in times of need, especially with the threat of Bael’Zharon looming so close.  For what it mattered, Sashi Mu was still thinking of ways to help the unfortunate adventurer who went red by accident, with compassion and dignity, in order to make their lives at the end of "Beta 1" more comfortable.

 

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