The Demise Of Starke Ravingmad
When the first patch for Demise was released, Starke Ravingmad installed it, and after messing around with the files, lost his map and store(as was supposed to happen with the patch) but also lost his characters.  The following is a humourous interpretation of that unfortunate occurrence.

--The Town Crier stands before you--

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Breaking news!

As many of you know, yesterday, Requinex apparently went mad, destroying all of the maps in the various guilds, claiming they were no longer "right." Following  this, the Storekeep discovered several odd items in his store, and promptly set up a Sideshow of the Bizarre, showcasing such items as "The Unaligned Aard" and  "The Apparently Useless Glyph of Morkal Protection."

Today, things took an even more bizaare and tragic twist. The Storekeep burned down his own store, claiming that the items were all evil and wrong. This has left  the town all but unequipped to face the beasts down below.

The various Guilds have stepped forward and donated the items they kept in their private vaults. Unfortunately, in doing so, they set off an internal alarm system which attempted to destroy all confidential materials contained within the guilds. Before the alarm could be disabled, it annhilated all of the treatises contained within the various guilds.

Hands on Harry, guildmaster of the Cleric's guild, when reached for comment, said, "Yeah, I don't know how we forgot about that thing. To be honest, we haven't been into our own vaults in a long time. After all, the store was pretty well stocked. Damnedest thing, too...without the treatises, no one can remember how to cast those spells. I guess we should have made a copy."

Following the treatise disaster, the city store was restocked from the guild vaults, which were found to contain nothing more than rusty bronze swords and cheap leather armor.

"Hmmmm...maybe we should have stockpiled some real stuff down there," said Harry.

In further tragic news, acclaimed Dwarven hero Starke Ravingmad is dead. He burst into flames while standing in the middle of town for no apparent reason. The spontaneous combustion completely disintegrated him and all of his equipment. The Cleric's guild was on the scene, but since they were unable to collect all the ashes, and since they couldn't remember how to cast their better spells anyway, rescue efforts failed.

It is speculated that the odd items destroyed by the storekeeper today may have been the cause of this horrid death. Starke was seen exiting the store just minutes before the storekeeper immolated it.

Witnesses report his last words to be: "Oh, balls."

Lord Gherrick, when reached for comment on the events of the last two days, said, "Oh great. That's just wonderful. How are we supposed to beat back the evil in the depths when I have a bunch of half-witted lackwits like these running the city? Starke where am I going to find another pawn to go face the Ku'ta...oh never mind." After ripping a bunch of pages out of a large tome in front of him, he said, "I guess we take it from the top again, then. Hey, I don't suppose you know anything about the slave rings in the top of the dungeon, do you?"

A call has gone out for brave heroes to come face the Depths of Dejenol. So far, the town has received an infux of inexperienced and poorly equipped artisans.

A short time later, the Town Crier returned with the following news:

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! This just in!

Look into this crystal ball, and see footage from earlier today, as acclaimed Gnomish hero Twink Ringrider was scheduled to give a speech on the fine art of slaying  monsters...

*Twink stands proudly before a small group of admirers, who look around somewhat nervously at being on level 9 of the dungeon*

", behind this door lies several of the dreaded slimes which inhabit this foul place. Normally, we should be greatly afeared of them, as those beasts could paralyze one, eat the very equipment from one's body, and then burn the very flesh from ones bones!"

*gasps of dismay and terror from the audience*

"But behold! With this tiny ring, I can bring down the fires of Heaven itself to smite the beasts!"

*Ringrider kicks open the door, and steps proudly inside*

"Meet thy DOOM!"

*Ringrider attempts to put the ring on his finger. It promptly pops off. Strange wet sounds which can be recognized as the Murgooks and Purple Oozes snickering.*

"Umm..this fit yesterday..."

*Choked 'oh no' from Ringrider as he is paralyzed. Various sloshy and sizzly sounds ensue, first identifiable as pieces of equipment being corroded, and then the
Gnome being reduced to Ooze-chow.*

Yes, in further strange happenings today, it seems that the various magical rings no longer function as they once did. We have here the Storekeep of Dejenol to explain this phenomenon...

"Ya know, had ya asked me yesterday, I'd have told ya that even someone of such pitiful stature and skills as old Ringrider could have used one of them fire rings to  blast out whole rooms of critters. But now, seems you need to be older and wiser to have a chance at using these little trinkets."

And how do you react to the theory that perhaps the ring alterations are a result of tampering by the evil creatures down below?

"Hey! I didn't take NO money from the Ku'Tan Jenal to switch those rings, and any man, woman, or thing that says I did is a *bleep*in liar!"

Umm..the Ku'Tan what? What are you talking about?

" I was saying, those rings are tougher to use now, so you'd best check and double check your gear before heading down into the Depths. And if you need any new equipment, just come on down to the store, and we'll hook you up! Remember our motto: 'We're the best shop in town, cause we're the ONLY shop in town!'"

We now return you to your regularly scheduled adventuring.