The Proudmoore Chronicles


I orignally wrote these not to long after Everquest came out and I was into it hardcore. What better place to have my writing ridiculed than a geek site, am I right?

Part 1: A bad night in Kelethin

Clara Proudmoore was born in Felwithe and wanted nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of her mother Cathlyn and her sister Canina. She joined the Cleric’s guild as quickly as she could and like her sister was head of the class.

One night she was out with her mother in Kelethin searching for royal jelly for a class project. Her mother heard a sound and pushed Clara behind her.

Be ready, she said there are Orc’s coming. Clara at this time only knew two spells a very light smite and healing spell. She was very scared but amazed at how calm her mother was.

Two orc pawns’s appeared, Cathlyn quickly rooted one as the other lunged for Clara. Get away from my child! Cathlyn yelled as she struck the orc with her staff.

The rooted orc freed himself and slashed at Cathlyn with his rusty blade. Clara quickly reacted casting a healing spell upon her mother. With just a small jester Cathlyn struck the orc dead with a powerful blast.

The other stunned orc let out a yell and ran. Cathlyn turned to Clara. Run dear more will be coming. The two took off towards home however they were quickly surrounded.

As the two began to fend of wave after wave of orc pawns a legionnaire appeared. Clara’s eyes widened at the massive size of the orc. Cathlyn began to engage the orc, but he was to powerful.

With one swing of his club he knocked her unconscious. Clara cried out. The Legionnaire smiled at Clara. I know the Ambassador will like you. Clara was struck from behind and knocked unconscious.


Part 2: Hell is a castle called Crushbone

Clara awakened to the sounds of screaming; she was locked in a large cell and did not know where she was. She looked around franticly for her mother but could not find her.

She’s gone child. An old Dwarf spoke. They took her to him. Let us hope they don’t take you. Clara began to cry. Who? Where am I? Where is my mother?

The old dwarf took a deep breath. You are in hell child; however the Orc’s here call this place Crushbone. This is the stronghold of the orc’s of this land. The castle is ran by Emperor Crush and often visited by Ambassador Divnn of the Dark Elfs.

Clara’s eye’s widened. Dark Elf’s!? Those are the traders to our people, the ones who were cast out. Yes child. The old Dwarf said. They have made a pack with these orc’s to keep an open trade and a watchful eye over kelethin.

And, my mother. She is with him?! Dvinn?!! Yes, said the old dwarf. Dvinn likes to interrogate any Elvin prisoners himself. I do not understand cried Clara. What could my mother know that Dvinn would want?

The old dwarf lowered his head. It is better to not think of what is happening, Come I will teach you to work hard and maybe you won’t have to see him yourself.

No! Cried Clara, I will not stay here I must find my mother. Silence! Yelled an Orc Centurion. You will be quiet while I bring you before the Ambassador.

The old dwarf turned away. Be strong my child. As the orc took Clara away.



Part 3: A Devil named Dvinn

The large orc centurion dragged Clara to the top of the castle. The orc approached a large red door and knocked on it.

Ambassador! The orc yelled. I have the daughter of the high elf. A deep refined voice bellowed out from the chamber. Send her in you fool and be quick about it.

The orc opened the door and pushed Clara in, then closed and locked the door behind her.

The room was large with a desk, several bookshelves and a bed. Clara saw her mother lying on the bed she looked as if she had been beaten.

Mom! Clara cried out are she rushed towards the bed. Almost out of the shadows a blue hand grabbed her wrist. No child. Leave her be, you need to speak to me first.

The talk slim dark elf flashed an evil grin at Clara. I am Ambassador Dvinn and if you are a good girl you and your mother can live with me in the castle. If not you will both die.

Clara could not take her eyes of her mother. She had never seen her like this. Dvinn called her attention. You high elfs are all the same. You care only about yourselves.

It is because of your kind that I have to spend so much time with these smelly orc’s and not in my homeland. But I guess having visitors the likes of you and your mother can help ease my suffering.

Clara still looking at her mother lying motionless on the bed spoke. What do you want from us? Dvinn laughed. Its simple child your company, that is all. You see your mother was very rude to me and she had to learn the hard way to respect me.

However I am sure you will learn much quicker than she. Dvinn pulled Clara closer to him. Stop! Cathlyn cried out. Release my daughter! Cathlyn summoned all her power and fired a stun blast at Dvinn.

No! She shouldn’t still possess! His words were cut short as the stun blast paralyzed him. Hurry! He will awaken soon we must leave. Said Cathlyn.

The two sneaked there way out of the castle. Mother are you ok? Ask Cathlyn. Yes I am fine. I have been here before when the orc’s were not as organized. Cathlyn continued. I can get us out of here just stay close and.

Stop! A loud voice of an orc came from behind them. For the first time ever Clara saw fear in her mother’s eyes. He still lives! Cathlyn cried out! The orc began a chant and sent a large fireball towards Clara.

Clara! Cathlyn shouted as she pushed Clara out of the way. The fireball struck Cathlyn across her back, she was briefly engulfed in flames then they disappeared as she fell to the floor.

Clara knelt down near her mother. Cathlyn was near death, with her dying breath she told Clara. I led a team here years ago to assonate the Orc Oracle. I believed we killed him however it seams this is not the case.

Go now, speak to Taren Lightmage he will know what to do, tell him of what you have seen here he will find someone to care for you and your sister.

No! Mom I can’t leave you, Clara sobbed. You must Clara. I won’t make it with you. Hurry! Go now! Before they come.

With more orc’s fast approaching Clara had no choice but to run. Here last view before entering kelethin was of several orc’s surrounding her mother.


Part 4: An unhappy homecoming

Clara did not have to run far from the gates of Crushbone until she ran into a ranger. Clara! Shouted the wood elf. We have been looking for you. Where is your mother?

Clara still crying answered. She’s dead! They killed her. The wood elf looked surprised. Who did this Clara? A large wolf appeared then transformed into a man.

Clara, Dengar. What has happened? Dengar turned to the wood elf druid. Reebo, Cathlyn has been killed. Reebo became angered. Who did this! Clara spoke. It was the Oracle and Dvinn!

Both wood elves looked at each other in amazement. Reebo spoke. We must get you back to Felwithe as quickly as possible. With but a jester Reebo casted a spell increasing the speed of himself and Dengar.

Dengar lifted Clara over his shoulder and they both ran for Felwithe. As they reached the gates of Felwithe the guards gazed upon Clara. Dengar spoke. We must speak to the security chief.

As they passed thru the gates Taren appeared. Clara! The two wood elves stopped. Reebo spoke. Taren we must speak with the Security chief please take care of Clara.

Taren took Clara to his home and put her in bed. He casted a few healing spells on her then spoke. I know you must be hungry. Taren? Clara spoke. My mother before she died told me to speak to you about the orc oracle.

The door to Taren’s home flew open. Clara! Canina yelled. My god what has happened to you? Clara began to cry. They killed her Canina they killed mom!

Canina knelt down next to Clara and the two embraced each other. Clara told the story of what happened to Canina and Taren. Clara turned to Taren. She said she led a raid to crushbone before, but I though mom only worked within the city?

Taren looked towards a shield that hung on the wall above the bed. Your mother was more than just a cleric; she was also part of town security long ago. We have fought many battles together however that raid was our last.

Please Taren tell us what happened. Canina pleaded. Taren sat at the foot of the bed and began to speak.


Part 5: A tale and a plan

Reebo and Dengar entered the hall of warriors and were greeted by Fyre Braveblade. Fyre! Dengar spoke we have found Clara however her mother was killed by the orc oracle.

Fyre had a worried look on his face. I do not know how this is possible he said. He was slain long ago Rondo gave his life defeating him. Reebo turned to Fyre and spoke. I know Rondos name is spoken with honor within these walls however a body was never recovered.

Fyre became upset. The bodies burned in the basement of that foul castle. There must be another answer here. This could be a descendant or some trick of Dvinn’s.

Maybe. Says Dengar. The only way to know is to go back. We must see for ourselves and avenge the death of Cathlyn. Reebo turns to Dengar and this time we finish the job.

Taren looked at the two girls as he began his story. Before either of you were born your mother and I as well as a few others formed a security group with help of the wood elves.

It was simply a way to patrol the forest and keep everyone safe. Most of our run in’s were with Orc hatchet men who were trying to cut down our trees. These were easy to keep in check.

One day we discovered our outposts burned to the ground. We first believed it was the hatchment but soon there were reports of killing on the roads between Kelethin and Felwithe. The bodies were burned to a crisp as well.

We knew something needed to be done. We gathered forces from the wood elves, dwarfs and gnomes and went into crushbone. It was a tough battle and we lost many good people that day.

We reached the castle but the royal family and Dvinn was gone. I still believe they were tipped off because the Orc Oracle was waiting for us with ten of his elite guards.

Fyre and I were badly wounded without your mother we would have died. A brave dwarf named Rondo attacked the Oracle as we took out the guards.

With the guards defeated we went to assist Rondo. He had forced the oracle into the basement of the castle and drove his dagger deep into the back of the orc.

However the orc was able to case a large firespell that engulfed the room in flames. There was nothing we could do so we left and returned home. After that your mother soon married and gave birth to Canina, she had given up her post as a security member to care for you both.

The door to Tarens house flew open, it seams as if the job was not done that day so long ago. Said Reebo. That remains to be seen. Said Fyre. Dengar looks at Taren. It does not matter we will go back to crushbone and this time make sure nothing survives.


Part 6: A force to be reckoned with

I am going with you! Canina announced. No child. Taren cried. This is a dangerous mission we cannot lose another Proudmoore. Canina looked towards. Reebo, Dengar and Fyre. I am not a child; I have learned the basic arts of the Cleric. I am old enough to go; I must help avenge my mother death.

Canina! Clara cried out. Please don’t leave me. I can’t lose you as well. Canina looked into Clara’s eyes. I must do this Clara but I swear I will return.

Fyre turned towards Taren. She is right. She has a right to avenge her mother. Gather your forces we will meet outside Crushbone. Fyre, Reebo and Dengar left. Taren opens a chest at the foot of the bed.

Canina glances over at the chest as Taren pulls out a golden suit of armor. This! Taren said. Was your mother’s when she was on the security watch? I will remain here with Clara, go forth and may Tunare protect you.

Canina hugged both Clara and Taren and left.

As Canina walked towards the gates a paladin approached. The dwarvin female smiled at Canina. You look good in that armor just like your mother did. Canina turned to the paladin. You knew my mother? Yes. The paladin said. I was with your mother when we first attacked Crushbone my name is Marry.

Come Canina the forces are already in place the attack is ready to begin. Wait! Taren said. Reaching above the bed he pulls down a large silver shield and mace. These are the tools of the cleric, the mace is used to bring justice and the shield is to protect what’s right.

Thank you Taren. Canina says. I will avenge mom’s death and wear this armor with honor. Come Marry let us go.

Within minuets they arrived at the gates of Crushbone. Frye stepped forward and addressed the crowd. We all know what has happen today. You have your battle plans. Reebo, Dengar, Marry, Canina and I will advance the castle once you draw the guards away.

We will not leave until that castle is set a blaze and every last orc and or dark elf has been slain. With a jester of his hand the group advanced into Crushbone. The battle is ready to begin.


What I’ve learned from Everquest


It may be just a game, but one can learn many things from playing alone and with others. This series explores some of the more popular games and what I have learned from them. We invite you to share what you have learned from these games and ideas for future, What I’ve learned from, articles.

Setting the scene matters

kelethin Everquest
kelethin Everquest

When I first played Everquest it was only a few weeks after release. I made a wood-elf and started in Kelethin. By today’s standards the area was not much, but back then it was a masterpiece.

The tall trees that you needed to take a lift to get to, the lighting from the homes and store fronts in the city. When I first saw the sky turn black and it rained with real sound effects I admit I sat for several moments just listening to the rain. I really felt like I was in the world and part of something fluid, alive.

I’m still afraid of the dark

willow wisp Everquest
willow wisp Everquest

Before a willow ‘o wisp and without infravision, Everquest could get pretty dark. If you ventured to far from your city or a source of light, you would find yourself in complete darkness. It was scary, because you did fear dying in that game. It wasn’t just about losing experience points or looking for your body (though that did suck big time), but you felt lost and scared.

Most of the early world zones were devoid of light. When you went in a dungeon the beings inside did not light a path for you. Even worse was in the early levels when someone would invite you to a camp and it was across the world and you had to travel, by foot in the dark praying you didn’t get killed.

There will never be another East Commons

East Commonlands tunnel Everquest
East Commonlands tunnel Everquest

It was not just a hang out zone, on my original server (Tarew Marr) the East Commons tunnel was the sales bazaar for the server. Beyond that it was the first place for characters that started in Freeport to venture out and fight camps of mobs. It was also the first place that had a roaming mob whose only job was to one shot noobs.

The griffin was the Freddy Kruger of East Commons. You were told of its existence and warned when he was around and if you saw him chances are you were dead. You would be fighting an Orc or a bear having a grand old time then someone would shout, “Griffin near Orc Camp 1” and in the second it took you to realize you were at Orc Camp 1 was all it took for it to swoop down and kill you.

In the East Common tunnel you could find pretty much any droppable loot for a price sold by players. There were very few scams or tricks as name recognition mattered in EQ and many would not purchase from an ALT.

One of my fondest and funniest memories was off a female dark elf shouting that her boyfriend cheated on her and she was selling all of his loot for revenge. I was able to deck out my character in gear that would have taken me months to earn otherwise. There were events such as that all the time.

One day someone pulled the griffin to the East Common tunnel. It was a massacre, but we were able to kill it after about thirty minutes. It was quite an achievement, but seeing the dreaded griffin dead at my feet did lesson the fear and lore of it that was until it one shotted me later that day.

What have you learned?

In the next installment I will talk about a few more things EQ taught me. In the meantime, for those of you who played what did you learn during your time in the world of Everquest? In the meantime enjoy this old crappy video I made of my time in EQ.

What is your favorite video game theme song?

There are quite a few iconic tunes from videos games that if heard one would easily be able to identify them. Some of these songs immediately conjure up visions of the game while others may stir up a memory surrounding an event centered around gaming. However, it does one thing is certain and that is music has had a great impact in gaming.

A theme from a game like Bubble Bobble may just identify the game, it was a repetitive theme as most early game music was, but it stuck with us because the game had over 100 levels. On the other hand the theme from Zelda is more likely to bring up a specific moment in one of the games like when you first went to the dark world or when you collected all the pieces from the Tri-force. Sometimes a song can remind you of an event. Say the theme from Double Dragon, perhaps it reminds you of hanging at the local arcade with friends or the theme from Frogger reminds you of the pizza shop near your school.

As music became a larger part of gaming individual songs became fan favorites like Celes’s Theme from Final Fantasy VI or the Kelethin music from the original Everquest. Like in movies the right kind of music could set the stage for a level, a boss fight or a cut scene and if done correctly could touch a cord with fans.

Video game music became so popular fans begged for soundtracks and from there people made their own versions of their favorite songs and the remixers were born. Almost every gamer has a tune in their head from a video game (or several) that will take them back to a happier time. Some of us even take our video game music with us in our media players and cars.

Even as video games have become more advance the music still remains and important part. It doesn’t matter if it is computer generated or performed by an orchestra, the key is it fits the moment and is memorable.

This week we asked our panel:

Do you have a favorite song or theme from a video game if so what is it and why do you like it?

Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

“Still Alive” from Mirrors Edge was very catchy and attached to a really catchy game as well. But “Still Alive” from Portal was a kind of phenomenon and I’d say must go in the Hall of  Game Music Fame. I knew that song was something special when I went to a game conference and saw an auditorium of gamers singing along to the song that was being played on a 50 foot screen in Rock Band.
I’m not sure I could articulate why I (and millions of others) love that song so much but its tied somewhere to the whole experience of the game and how the song perfectly complements what I just survived.

Mathew Anderson from Petroglyphgames wrote:

The first time I heard the intro theme for Civilization IV as the world turned in the background, I almost cried… (ok, I did cry, but don’t tell anyone). Having music that perfectly fits the game’s atmosphere is actually a rare thing, but when it does happen it can really seal the deal on immersing oneself in the game.

On the flipside, nothing really beats the soundtrack to Redneck Rampage…

Jason Shankel from Stupid Fun Club wrote:

“Sweet Emotion” from Aerosmith: Revolution X.  Because music IS the weapon!

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

The only one that comes to mind is the Super Mario Bros. music.

Jacob Stevens from Riverman Media wrote:

Overall my favorite soundtrack is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. As far as favorite individual song though, that would have to be the battle music from Final Fantasy IV / II U.S. Why? I love the bass line! In fact, the bass line from that song is what inspired me to start playing the bass, which is now my primary instrument.

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

I’m kind of cheating on this one.  I like C64 Pool of Radiance but I wrote it.  🙂  It’s in the style of Wagner.  You can’t go wrong with 8 bit Mario, it’s too classic.  I like the way retro influenced bands cover it too.

Susan Oleinik from Zombie Studios wrote:

Purely because of decades of Pavlov-type conditioning, I’d have to say the ‘Puzzle Solved Noise’ from Zelda… yes I’m aware it’s not a whole song…

So what about you, what’s your song?