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The Doclopedia #448
The Alphabet, Again: S is for…Sleeping Dragon Of The Outback
“Well, mate, the name says it all, don’t it? It’s a great bloody dragon sleepin’ way out back of beyond and they reckon it’s been there for 5,000 years or better. Gets around 8 million tourists lookin’ at it every year. Worried? Me? Ah hell no! I reckon if it wakes up, it’ll be lookin’ to eat somethin’ besides a stringy old cattle rancher.” – Steve Walkins, rancher, Northern Territory
“The dragon was originally thought to be a mountain rising up from the desert. Of course, when Major Cooper and his expedition finally reached it in the spring of 1833, they found out exactly what it was. Naturally, when news of the dragon got out to the rest of the world, scientists, men of the cloth, mystics and general sightseers flocked here by the thousands. Fortunately, enough Royal Army troops arrived in time to keep most of them back a good distance. Most, but not all, which is why the Great Twitch of 1836 happened. After that, the Army presence increased tenfold and the strict shoot to kill order was put into place.” – Alec Halerton, professor, University of Perth
“The dragon is, as best we can measure it, 14.3 miles long from nose to tip of tail, with the tail making up 5 miles of that. The back, where covered by the folded wings, peaks at an altitude of 6,096 feet. From side to side, the chest area measures just shy of two miles across. The head is a mile long and not quite a half mile across from side to side at the widest point.: – informational sign at the Dragon Viewing Center, Northern Territory border
“Ok, this is what we know: It’s alive, it evolved right here on Earth, it’s very deeply asleep and it violates so many laws of physics and biology that it makes my head hurt to think about it. It’s been asleep on that spot for at least 5,000 years and the Aborigines tell us that it will wake up “soon”, but they’ve been saying that for nearly 200 years. What will happen when it does wake up? Well, consider the following: when that bunch of religious nuts tried to wake it in 1836 by blowing up 500 pounds of gunpowder near the right rear foot, it twitched that foot in annoyance twice, triggering earthquakes all around the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The shockwave in Australia probably measured 5.5 or better. When the dragon very slightly adjusted it’s sleeping position in 1921, it caused a dust storm that covered the whole continent in a thin cloud of dust for three days and the shockwave caused a bunch more quakes as it traveled around the world. In 2003, a stomach gurgle was heard 150 miles away. Me, I don’t want to be anywhere near it when it wakes up.” – Brian Patterson, scientist, U.N. Dragon Observation Team
“Yeah, all of those allegedly mentally ill people who claim that they’ve shared dreams with the dragon? Well, I know for a fact that they aren’t all nuts. I worked at the facility in Perth where they take them and I know that they give the strongest “sedatives” to the people who are least likely to be crazy. And those drugs are mixed with something else, which might explain why those folks can’t remember shit about the dreams once they leave. You can bet your ass that those U.N. Doctors record every word those people tell them though…right up until that needle goes in. Huh? Oh, yeah, well, the basic theme of all the dreams is that the dragon is full of stored magic and when it awakens, all that magic is gonna come pouring back into the world. I guess you can see why the U.N. Wants to hush that up.” – Ms. X, lab tech, current location unknown
The Doclopedia #449
The Alphabet, Again: S is for… Science Dog
On Earth 190, where science (and SCIENCE!) rule, the most popular television show for small children is “Science Dog”, which stars Albert, the animated basset hound. Every episode, Albert and his friends explain some law of science or talk about some interesting scientific news. The ratings are huge and Science Dog will be starting a 25th season in 2003.
The Doclopedia #450
The Alphabet, Again: T is for…Tower Of The Mad Wizard
Tower of the Mad Wizard is adventure module TW-1 for the Mages & Mazes roleplaying game by RPGames. It was the 15th module produced by the company and is widely regarded as one of the best adventures ever written. Written for characters of Level 5 to 7, it features several new monsters, many cunning traps & puzzles and, of course, the titular mad wizard. Combined with Maze of the Mad Wizard (TW-2) and Death to the Mad Wizard (TW-3) it offers an average of 18 gaming sessions worth of play and ties in directly to the “Dark Forest” trilogy of adventures.