Brian Rapp

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In need of some good feelings, I finished up the ascension run of a Valkyrie who had been vanquishing things without difficulty for some time.  I'm certain that I've ascended a Valkyrie before, but not within the memory of's version 3.6.x records.  Dwarven Valkyries are a good "easy" choice, and this one's natural 20 Constitution was nice.  One complication arose:  I never found an unguarded altar (7% chance?) so I never found occasion to pray to Tyr.  I did consult with Loki occasionally, at his temple in Minetown.

I and the guardian Angel of Tyr and Olaf and Olga and Ollie the Olog-hai and Frosty the Ice Troll and an unnamed fire ant went to our reward with 11672727 points, and 112111 pieces of gold, after 142972 moves.  I was level 30 with a maximum of 1845 hit points (!)

As an aside, does anyone have unusual favorite inventory slot letters?  Some of mine make sense, like "L" for a ring of levitation and "S" for a ring of slow digestion.  My pick-axe is "w" so I end up alternating "wield primary weapon a" with "apply w".  Then there are the odd ones, like "G" for my primary bag of goodies and "J" for a unicorn horn, which may date from the very first time I randomly got used to a particular letter and just decided to stick with it.


What's the opposite of a Wizard?  A Barbarian!  Two promising barbarians were killed by things they shouldn't have angered, but eventually one became buff enough that he could SURVIVE angering things he shouldn't have.  Once he got that far without happening to genocide anything, he took that on as a voluntary challenge and succeeded!  There were many times when he regretted choosing that option, though.  Another challenge he completed was not changing form, which is not much of a problem if it
doesn't happen accidentally.  Time to rest...

Goodbye Ferret the Demigod...

You went to your reward with 3496590 points,
Frost Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
The Book of the Dead (worth 10000 zorkmids and 25000 points)
The Candelabrum of Invocation (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
Grimtooth (worth 300 zorkmids and 750 points)
Magicbane (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
Cleaver (worth 1500 zorkmids and 3750 points)
The Bell of Opening (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Heart of Ahriman (worth 2500 zorkmids and 6250 points)
      14 dilithium crystals (worth 63000 zorkmids),
      10 amethyst stones (worth 6000 zorkmids),
       8 emeralds (worth 20000 zorkmids),
       7 rubies (worth 24500 zorkmids),
       7 opals (worth 5600 zorkmids),
       5 turquoise stones (worth 10000 zorkmids),
       5 obsidian stones (worth 1000 zorkmids),
       4 diamonds (worth 16000 zorkmids),
       4 citrine stones (worth 6000 zorkmids),
       3 jet stones (worth 2550 zorkmids),
       3 chrysoberyl stones (worth 2100 zorkmids),
       3 garnet stones (worth 2100 zorkmids),
       2 jacinth stones (worth 6500 zorkmids),
       2 black opals (worth 5000 zorkmids),
       2 jasper stones (worth 1000 zorkmids),
       1 topaz stone (worth 900 zorkmids),
       1 agate stone (worth 200 zorkmids),
       1 jade stone (worth 300 zorkmids),
       1 amulet of reflection (worth 150 zorkmids),
       1 amulet of magical breathing (worth 150 zorkmids),
and 10002 pieces of gold, after 57152 moves.
You were level 25 with a maximum of 449 hit points when you ascended.

12/9 '22 6 Comments
Who were Ferret’s next of kin?
Sadly predeceased by his cat Mewlix, he left his remaining possessions in the Mazes of Menace. Adventurers are welcome to go looking for them.
Brian Rapp 12/10 '22
No wife or kids or sibs to mourn him?
Well, his eldest brother accidentally Cleavered Yeenoghu (don't ask), and the brother after that was tragically killed by the Minetown Constabulary over a probable misunderstanding about property damage or something (don't ask). But other than that, feel free to ask. His distant relations are all very proud of him.
Brian Rapp 12/10 '22
They should be proud of him!

Although several of his brethren met their ends in the Dungeons of Doom, this particular Ferret the Wizard had the most enviable of starts.  He found a wand of wishing in the very first room!  That provided very fine armor, an artifact weapon, and some much-appreciated safety from accidental death or dismemberment.  His next bit of luck was a pair of +3 gauntlets of power for sale in Asidonhopo's general store.  Sadly, his cat Bippy was killed by an ettin mummy at the bottom of the Gnomish Mines.  Rest in peace, Bippy.  Apart from some slight brain damage, everything went pretty smoothly after that.  He learned lots of cool spells, which made many aspects of dungeon life more convenient.  He found the correct high altar on the first try, and wished for some extra dilithium crystals before leaving this plane of existence.  A new favorite funny message:  "The xan nuzzles against your right leg!"  Aw!

Goodbye Ferret the Demigod...

You went to your reward with 3321912 points,
Magicbane (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
The Candelabrum of Invocation (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
The Book of the Dead (worth 10000 zorkmids and 25000 points)
Ogresmasher (worth 200 zorkmids and 500 points)
Trollsbane (worth 200 zorkmids and 500 points)
Orcrist (worth 2000 zorkmids and 5000 points)
Sting (worth 800 zorkmids and 2000 points)
Werebane (worth 1500 zorkmids and 3750 points)
The Eye of the Aethiopica (worth 4000 zorkmids and 10000 points)
The Bell of Opening (worth 5000 zorkmids and 12500 points)
      14 jasper stones (worth 7000 zorkmids),
      10 garnet stones (worth 7000 zorkmids),
       9 dilithium crystals (worth 40500 zorkmids),
       8 topaz stones (worth 7200 zorkmids),
       8 amethyst stones (worth 4800 zorkmids),
       7 jade stones (worth 2100 zorkmids),
       6 rubies (worth 21000 zorkmids),
       6 jacinth stones (worth 19500 zorkmids),
       6 sapphires (worth 18000 zorkmids),
       6 emeralds (worth 15000 zorkmids),
       6 jet stones (worth 5100 zorkmids),
       5 amber stones (worth 5000 zorkmids),
       4 turquoise stones (worth 8000 zorkmids),
       4 aquamarine stones (worth 6000 zorkmids),
       4 agate stones (worth 800 zorkmids),
       3 opals (worth 2400 zorkmids),
       2 diamonds (worth 8000 zorkmids),
       1 black opal (worth 2500 zorkmids),
       1 citrine stone (worth 1500 zorkmids),
       1 chrysoberyl stone (worth 700 zorkmids),
       7 amulets of life saving (worth 1050 zorkmids),
       1 amulet of magical breathing (worth 150 zorkmids),
and 0 pieces of gold, after 68101 moves.
You were level 30 with a maximum of 470 hit points when you ascended.

11/22 '22 2 Comments
500 years in the future, the grave of Ferret seas exhumed by archaeologists from the Penn Museum. They collected his mummy and grave goods for further study. To this day, they are still fighting over his gender, status and position in the High Court Brothel of Eric the Xenophobe.
Huzzah! I haven't dug into 3.6 yet because I have become consumed by the challenges of ascending a Vampire Wizard in Slash'EM. They are very hard to begin with but once you find or wish for a ring of Slow Digestion to stave off the inevitable hunger, they are super fun to play and have more than a few unique funny messages...
Paul Lord 11/22 '22

GORAN is governed by a military junta that has promulgated a thoroughly depressing ideology.  There is no Gorannic science whatsoever, because any search for truth would be superfluous.  The truth is whatever the Army of Goran says it is.  Outsiders might remark that the planet is heavily polluted, but that would conflict with the official definition of those "pollutants" as
beneficial nutrients essential to a healthy life.  What is "health", anyway?  It's most evident when one is covered with weeping sores that keep the body's fluids exposed to the fine fresh air of Goran's superlative atmosphere.  Surely people from across the galaxy are clamoring to immigrate, but impenetrable border defenses serve to keep Goran Gorannish.

11/20 '22

UJJAIN is comprised of fertile high mesas surrounded by even more lush jungles in the valleys below.  Populations are well-established in the uplands, but the jungles are unfortunately dominated by thorny vegetation called "dardbelen".  This plant secretes an oily substance that is intensely painful to touch, and potentially lethal if enough is absorbed into the bloodstream.  There are no heavy industries on Ujjain, and efforts to clear away the dardbelen with tools or fire have proven counterproductive.  Dardbelen is always the first thing that grows back, usually in thicker concentrations without other competition.  Ujjani have unanimously agreed not to attempt poisoning the land, for fear of causing an even worse catastrophe.  So they live in their safe high settlements where the dardbelen does not reach, and communication between mesas is uncommon.  Once in a great while someone will make the arduous journey, though.  They are invariably treated as brave heroes by their new homelands, for none ever choose to return to their place of origin.

11/19 '22 1 Comment
“Dardbelen” is my new socially acceptable curse word.

HENSEKISHIKI is a world that has completely specialized in advertising.  Very little is actually manufactured there, but Hensekishikians travel throughout the galaxy to sell the products and services of other planets.   They take advantage of the rarity of inter-ship communication to make unexpected contact whenever possible.  None would stoop so low as to broadcast a false distress beacon, but it violates no spacer's code to transmit greetings on open channels.  A typical conversation might start with "Hello?  Can anyone hear me?" and proceed to "Thank the Star Maker!  It's been so long since I've spoken to anyone!  The only thing that's kept me sane throughout this long voyage is this great new game called Meditations on Orla.  It starts out with simple pattern matching, but as you level up..."  The heavily-indentured Hensekishikians are mostly pitied rather than disliked, and their efforts
are profitable enough to keep the home planet's enterprise a going concern.

11/18 '22 1 Comment
Hustlers of Catan
Thomas Boutell 11/18 '22

ARTEMISIA is a wealthy outer rim democracy with contractual ties to the Takatsuki sector.  Under its constitution, all citizens are entitled to vote and to share in the profits of the planet's nationalized industries.  The definition of a citizen expansively includes any native-born organic lifeform capable of completing the registration forms, and assistive technology is permitted.  It was understood that young children and even some intelligent non-humans would hence be eligible, but this was forseen as admirable.  What was not forseen was the scheme by a certain genetic engineer to uplift local bacteria and equip them with robotic bodies.  By working in secret and then sending his creations to multiple government centers, he was able to get many of them recognized as citizens by clerks both credulous and skeptical.  An emergency constitutional convention was convened before these bacteria-robots actually outnumbered the rest of the Artemisians, but by law it was not permitted to remove their citizenship ex post facto.  So the government was preserved, but this world will likely be plagued for a long time by effectively-immortal bacteria colonies that wander around taunting people with disgusting jokes and obnoxious braggadocio.  The scientist himself fled Artemisia and his prior honors were all expunged as a damnatio memoriae.

11/17 '22 1 Comment
At least they didn't put the cats in charge.
Thomas Boutell 11/17 '22

OVALAU is tidally locked with its primary, with one hemisphere always facing the star.  Its ecosphere hence consists of a narrow band between the too-hot sunny side and the too-cold dark side.  Overlauers are very resourceful in dealing with this constant climatological balancing act, but a history of dangerous epidemics has left scars on their collective psyche.  Whenever an outbreak (or even a rumor of one) occurs, everyone hurries away from the presumed-infected zone, clogging the congested paths along Ovalau's prime meridian.  Some even opt for a life-threatening journey across the uninhabited wastes, desperately seeking the antipodes of disease.  After an awkward interval waiting for the plague to dissipate, they all eventually go back home to what's left of the rest of their lives.

11/16 '22 1 Comment
What about the denialists? Well there were some, but the gene has been weeded out as they keep denying the dangers of the bright side.
Thomas Boutell 11/16 '22

JERZY has an exceedingly dry climate, but high-tech weather control systems are able to make it rain in very localized areas with high efficiency.  The controller of these systems, who is indeed the Controller of the planet, is able to sell rainfall to the highest bidder.  A cartel of wealthy landowners keeps prices reasonable, however, by clandestine agreements as to who will win the bid and by how much.  Further complicating the efforts to collude are the numerous impoverished gangs willing to intimidate competitors for a very reasonable price.  Because water is so expensive, the members of these gangs rarely if ever bathe.  On Jerzy, dirty deeds are done dirt cheap.

11/15 '22 1 Comment

CHENAQRUD was first located by the famed explorer Safi-al-Manit, who was presumed lost when he never returned from his expedition.  His wife Bibi set out in search of him, but also never returned.  When the planet was finally rediscovered decades later by the Atropines, they were shocked to find that both Safi and Bibi had survived, and had passed on the inheritance of Chenaqrud to their son Sadr.  This monarchy continues with the cooperation of the regime on Atropine, who find it convenient to support a legitimate government that supports them in turn.  The core of Chenaqrud is very active both geologically and chemically.  New molecular forms are constantly being created and churned to the surface, where they erupt onto glistening steppes.  Chenaqruders race to gather these flows, often while they are still hot.  When doing so, they usually wear a local vegetable called "qārā" on their feet.  These bulbous roots are quite heat-resistant, and so readily available as to easily serve as disposable footwear.

11/14 '22