How long ago did Mu receive a package from the court of Lord British saying he had license to visit the new lands?  How long did Mu ignore the package?  How long did he not bother to visit the new lands after he finally opened it because it all seemed horribly boring?  Only the combined whinings and pleadings of Maraxus, Phaedra (in the hat), and Kagero (late through the gate as usual) convinced him to hesitantly put on his unfashionable armor and head off to Encyclopaedia Magicka in Moonglow to say pointless-sounding nonsense words along with a bunch of other suckers and head off to the expanded world of boredom.  It was commonly rumored that these "new lands" were nothing more than Lord British’s last-ditch attempt to squeeze a few more farthings out of his disgruntled  subjects before they all move to Norrath, and as such Musashi was unwilling to contribute, until  British lowered his entry fee to 7 gold, which was just about the right price for the decorative coaster the license would eventually serve as.

What’s this… tatami mats for a floor?  Could it be that the new lands were actually civilized?  Perhaps at one point… until all of Greater Sosaria began trampling through with their plated, muck-encrusted sollerets, their pack horses, and those weird bird thingies Mu saw everywhere.   The mage shop here was always crowded, as it seemed to be the only safe entry point into the new lands… apparently the fear of being killed for no reason at all was still strong, despite the rumors that monsters in this world were powerful enough to actually force people to work together for mutual survival.  Mu was beginning to think that this  wasn’t necessarily a good thing.  As far as he was concerned, the less Sosarians the better.
Gasp… empty space???  Musashi had a dim  recollection of what an undeveloped field looked like, and this seemed pretty close.  Mu paced nervously around; years of living in the house-glutted world of Sosaria had made him a bit agoraphobic, and he felt ill at ease without a nearby wall to rest on or urinate against.  Once he had gotten his bearings, the sensation of being in an open knoll was quite pleasant, tempting him to just sit there and take it all in until some friendly citizen came along and killed him for his costume armor.
Those are some BIG polearms.  Ophidians are pretty damn tough, especially when compared to the monsters back home, but they share their Sosarian brethren’s inability to walk up a path to get to the enemy, preferring instead to stand still at the base of a cliff where they can roast to a golden brown while being julienned by blade spirits, or wait patiently behind a rock as someone draws an archery target on their chests.  It’s remarkable that creatures possessing, in some cases, around 300 or more mana cannot figure out how to pick up a box or build a staircase.  Then again, they can’t figure out how to amass any sort of decent loot, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they would sit around stupidly while a lamer like Mu killed them from safety.
Hint:  anything in the new lands called "Avenger" should be avoided at all costs.  It took this creature roughly 8 seconds to reduce the tailor from full vitality to a smoldering corpse, using rapid fire ebolts (and a 40 damage magic arrow… hmph) the likes of which have not been seen since Mu observed the worshippers of the entity UO Extreme gain an unfair advantage over their enemies.  Maybe that box idea isn’t such a bad idea after all…
Well, a conveniently placed ledge should do just as well.  What brilliant architect thought this up for the terathans… "Hey, I know… let’s build our fortification underneath a cliff instead of on top of it!  How unexpected!"  It’s too bad Gwendolyn was not along as a field bowyer… they could have stayed up there for hours doing this if they had brought about 1000 arrows each.  Not that no one could do such an impossible-sounding task, as the typical archer hauled along about 200 shots of his favorite ammunition, the Britannian clothyard shafts mysteriously compact and portable, yet available whenever needed without having to rummage for a spare quiver.  This is a good thing, since archery is so weak and underpowered it needs some sort of compensation *cough*.
It took the party roughly half an hour to crawl their way through the foyer of suicide and reach the inner keep, where they had a short chat with Grimslade, the bard on the bird.  With its abundance of hyper-powerful, incredibly stupid monsters, it seemed to be a bard’s paradise… Kagero’s sister Katala often made a killing here, slaughtering tons of creatures with her cheap tambourine and occasionally successful lightning bolts.  Best of all, Grimslade barely ever got close to where the danger was, maintaining his distance and playing his battle hymns from the safety of his ostard saddle while Mu and friends got pounded in the front lines.  The idea of becoming a troubadour had occurred to Mu before, but he really really wanted a shamisen instead of an accursed lute, and he couldn’t stand that stupid song everyone seemed to be playing all the time.
As expected, the loot garnered from the expedition was a bit less than spectacular, in gold and magical equipment, but Mu had long since given up on any hopes of earning a substantial income through adventuring.  The low profit margin becomes further slimmed when Kagero inevitably asks for a wad of cash to do something silly, as shown to the right.  Buy instruction in healing?  Pshaw… why do that when you can simply cut up a few bolts of cloth and practice on yourself while Mu hits you with a halberd?  No, no problem at all… I’m glad to help… hold still…

 

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