MUD2 is a game of words and letters. As is the case with books, the imagery forms in the player's mind, not on his computer screen. Judging by the popularity of games like DOOM or Duke Nukem, this is not what the majority wants; but I prefer to think of our tiny minority not as a collection of deviant loons but as the elite of exquisite taste.
Just because our game is presented in the form of ASCII text with even colourisation once viewed as a heresy, doesn't mean that we don't see the Land just as well, if not better, than our DOOM-playing friends. Proof to that is the work of a young artist, known only by the name Holli, who contributed her vision of the woodnymph to this month's issue of the Chronicles.
The woodnymph. One of MUD2's most elusive creatures. Only the most experienced of MUD2's players ever had the good fortune to encounter her; even fewer are those who ever received her wonderful gift of power.
What evil magic condemned her to that dreadful existence, from which kind mortals briefly free her on rare occasions? Possibly only Richard can tell; I can only speculate.
Who was she? How long has she been around? Was she a player of mighty power before she angered the arch-wizzes? Was she a witch herself? Or was she always one of the Land's indigenous creatures, banished to this existence by the dragon itself?
Or does her existence predate all this? Is she from the Land's rich past? Perhaps she was a friend of the unfortunate captain of that galleon that lies, wrecked, at the vicious rocks? Is she perchance related to MUD1's long gone dryad?
How old is she anyway? Perhaps she was around when the dwarfs were still working the mine, their railroad still used to ferry ore to the sea, and when druids of old were still performing unspeakable rituals at the ring of stones? Or is she from earlier times, when druids were roaming Dragon's Island?
She can never tell. Yet she seems compelled to visit the oddest corners in the Land. Were there hideous crimes committed there whose memories drive her to return from time to time? Are those places reminders of an earlier, less lonely existence? Whatever the answer is, the visits set her free, if only for the moment ... and her mortal helper is blessed with a wondrous gift.
Viktor the arch-wizard
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Viktor T. Toth