It was a relief to be able to get back to normal, with no more "busy weekends" due until the New Year. My various characters were able to go out for a half hour of random mining each - though before SirGalahad could take his turn, a Twisted member, the level 99 witch munchie, was asking for some combat party members, so Rage enquired if recall was available, and when she was assured it was, moved across to Auzura-6.
llKurkurell, a level 92 assassin-rogue, had also answered the call, so for a combat party MistressDomina was out of range - but once her half hour was finished, I logged my level 95 warmaster-titan MrChuckNorris in, and he too joined the party and took Recall down to the anubis spear man room. The level 97 archer twen joined up too, though was afk for much of the time - and 22gofer and 222gofer, not Twisted guild members, joined the party, though only one of them played actively, just as Chuck didn't do any fighting, just the occasional buff.
llKurkurell did get a number of disconnections, including a power cut, but generally most of us were attacking anubis spear men, getting them down to about 5% health, and then accepting the party recall that munchie put up. It worked pretty well, and munchie reported afterwards that she'd added at least 50%, which was probably more than twice as much as she would have got solo, though of course it meant that a lot more experience boosters were used.
Rage and Chuck remained in the spear man room over lunch, and found that munchie was back, and ready for another dungeon time hour, afterwards. However, the room had other people fighting there, so munchie went off to try other sub-servers; she soon reported a clear spot on Auzura-1, so we moved over and were recalled in. This wasn't the same room, though, we were further in, in the column-lined wider corridor leading to the "swimming pool" area.
llKurkurell joined us again, and llGEMATRIAll, and someone's friend, a knight called Cradle, and munchie's power hour began. The main trouble with that corridor is the number and placement of the sphinx fighters, so Rage spent most of her time killing those, either for being a bit near or because they were attacking her or munchie. There were still a few occasions when Rage could help kill a spear man, or even start on one herself, though often a sphinx fighter would join in. llKurkurell had further disconnection and power supply problems, due to the weather, but by the end of the hour munchie was on 97%... so we kept going for a few minutes, until munchie reached level 100.
MrChuckNorris did actually do a bit of fighting, mainly towards the end; he went up by 1.74% in all in level 95, and got 6 skill points. In all Rage got 6.19%, the same 6 skill points, and 2432 pet points.
After Rage had sold the level 97 weapons, and a piece or two of armour, and traded her other loot across to my merchant mage, it was finally time for SirGalahad to put in his attendance half hour, with a little mining - while CaptainScarlet went down into Maargadum Jail for a little pet-levelling.
The Monday event was to be a "Merac Run", so Rage got to Merac on Auzura-5 in good time, to wait for the start - preferably a little way down the trail, as the first monsters of all are a bit low-level. I got invited to a party with Lavina, johntravolta and KnightofLight21, but they were generally a bit low-level, and didn't stay around all that long after the monsters spawned.
The hands of loot were spawned on the path down from the village, and, since the beasts protecting them were mainly wafes, sphinx spear men, and dark bogles, Rage was able to concentrate on grabbing loot, ignoring their ineffective attacks. I did that a little further down too, but the monsters were a bit more high-powered, and eventually I had to retreat - but by then I'd got around 14 each of the four good items, the item drop and skill point boosters and the large attack and defence potions. I diden't even see the kamiras, just the death goddesses they spawn when near death, and a medal of honour or two left on the ground, so somebody else was ahead of the pack there.
The only Twisted guildie there was Rage's fellow rogue llGEMATRIAll, and we did team up on a few monsters. The whole run went pretty smoothly, and the patriarch botises at the far end were all despatched within 22 minutes of the start. [GM]Darasuum was at the end too, and spawned a little more loot, but it was minor compared to the drops at the start.
Once the event was declared over I headed back towards Merac Village. What surprised me was that, when I attacked an occasional remaining monster that had been overlooked as we ran down - a wood ghost, a screaming zombie, a dark bogle - my first hit caused them to vanish with a puff of virtual smoke, giving no experience whatever.
Katar's run was scheduled for seven, so my level 31 rogue Memree went along there - she may only be a third the level that Rage is, but she has the advantage of not having any skill points unused, so has nothing to lose when she does get killed. Annoyingly, her one death was right at the end, after all the high-level monsters had been dealt with - one of the elite cerberi that normally respawns in that area targeted Memree just as [GM]Darasuum had spread out all the loot on the ground, so that all she could do was resurrect back in Merac Village, far away from all that loot. Still, she had helped kill a lot of monsters, especially with Snare, and picked up two large attack and a large defence potion along the way, along with five moonstones from the kamiras, and got a little bit of gold too. And not lost any skill points...
Katar's run had taken at least half as long again as Auzura's one; Memree had been a junior member of a group of players at the far end, and it seemed almost as if it was just the five of us, but the monsters we were picking off had just been run past by the main wave, who were taking on the botises I guess.
Anyway, I wouldn't have to worry about elite cerberi or any other regular Merac monsters on the Cariae run, as Barbarienne is comfortably above their level. The Auzura and Katar runs had been held on the fifth subserver, as the website had said, but the Cariae announcement was for C6, which is the more normal number for such events these days. I'd logged Barb in on Cariae-5, but swiftly moved her across, and was in position to hoover up some early drops again. I was distracted by kamiras, however, so didn't pick up much - and although Barb fought her share of kamiras and grand golden dragons, only had five moonstones and two crystals of experience (greater) to show for it.
We had reached the end, and were fighting the high-level golems etc, when I had a disconnection - in fact, it seemed that not only had I been disconnected, everyone else had been, too. I rode back down, but all the giant warrior statues had vanished, and there was no trace of any monsters along the way. I was the first person to get back to where we'd been fighting - the monsters were all gone. And, no GM came along to replace them, or give us any loot - with the "mini-rollback" a disconnection gives, some people lost recent drops they'd picked up, though my small amount of kamira loot was far enough back to still be with me.
We waited, but nothing happened... and eventually we drifted off. There was some hope of loot back in Randol, but nothing appeared. It was all a bit of an anti-climax.
Sarissa was different; my level 39 rogue RedRyder got recruited into a party by TitenPawer, which also included YouGMoney, level 91, and Justin420, who was level 122. My main job was to supply horse buffs, and do some Snare and general support... that, and not dying. We got to the end successfully, and killed all the flutons and patriarch botises and so on, and then, after nothing happened, everyone rode off back down the path. I was tempted to follow, but in the end was one of the dozen or so people who actually saw the loot being spawned, rather belatedly.
So, RedRyder, who managed to dodge the elite cerebri, was one of the lucky ones who got lots of loot. I saw that TitenPawer had picked up a heaven stone, but assumed it was something a monster had dropped - but no, when I moved around, picking up loot, I saw potions of haste still scattered on the ground, for the first time in what must be over a year a GM had spawned hands of the warrior, which include heaven stones, as part of an event's reward.
RedRyder actually levelled up, reaching 40; that and useful quantities of the main loot items made it a nice compensation for the Cariae problem. CaptainScarlet had kept busy pet-levelling through the evening, of course, and got past the 20% mark in level 49 before he too had to log out.