Middlesex University...
By this point, both Holborn and I were at Middlesex, and were trying to see if we could get the Mud set up on one of the machines there. Their UNIX machines were limited, but a small network of Hewlet-Packards were relatively unused, with the two of us being the main users on the system. These seemed an ideal place for us to move to - if we could get permission.

Things on this front, though, went rather less well than at IC. Computer Centre wanted nothing to do with it, and were actively hostile to the idea. The person in charge of the machines, while sympathetic to the idea of some form of mud, IRC server or similar 'non-academic' program, was unable to do anything without approval from Comp Centre, and it looked rather bad. We had a possible option of being able to run off of a NeXT workstation, but this was a last ditch solution, as they wern't too fast, had a bad net-connection, and would be no more legal than anywhere else (just rather harder for them to spot).

The breakthrough this time came from Holborn. As an AI student, he needed a project to be working on as part of his course, and came up with the idea of submitting 'Mud' as his project! In many ways this would be ideal: from his point of view, he could mud as part of his course, and from ours it would give us a much firmer hand with which we could re-request permission, now with the seemingly mystical 'academic grounds' that were needed. Somehow Holbie got permission to do this as his project (the lecturer clearly knew nothing or lots about muds....we never worked out which), and by taking a rather subtle 'back door' approach we wangled permission.

Technically, as it was his project, the Mud would have to be fully under the control of Holbie, and would have to be changed upon request by his lecturer. To get round this we used a bit of a white lie. Holborn's project was to be called 'Mythos', and was pretty much a copy of Ele which was later to come back to life as 'Heffalump'. Elephant Mud was 'officially' a back-up of Mythos! The fact that the back-up was larger, and had 40-50 odd players on at a time was neatly glossed over.

Elephant thus arrived at its next site:

Bopeep.mdx.ac.uk 4444

Although it was to move later to Horner.mdx.ac.uk 4444, another machine on the same network.

For several months all was well. Ele continued to increase in popularity, and our user base swelled. Gone were the days of level 9 being the max you could achieve! We had players now who could claim to be veterans, addicts of over a year's standing. Draknor, Groggie, Isil, Nemesis, Reaper, Cc and the like all lorded it over the Mud in these days, joined soon by the likes of Max, Cordelia and Sparhawk, while some of the oldest players, such as Havoc and Rohan, joined the ranks of the Wizards!

Everything seemed to be running perfectly, but behind the scenes the politics at Middlesex was increasing, and the amount of disk space, CPU, memory and the like we were using was becoming noticeable. Although not of any major significance, the fact we were growing was worrying some people. A breaking point slowly loomed and with one event was suddenly reached.

Holborn quit his course.

His course was getting on his nerves, and it wasn't what he wanted to do, so, just like Eldrytch before, he began to pay less and less attention to it. When he officially dropped out, Ele's raison d'etre vanished in a puff of smoke and some gleeful (but extremely no-life) computing staff tried kicking us off. With the support of one extremely non-sad member of staff (ta, Dick!), we managed to cling on, while desperately looking for a new site.

I think we were all shocked when, just as it seemed that we had reached the end of the road, another one opened up.

In the beginning | The pre-Ele days | A pachyderm is born! | Ele goes legal | Disaster strikes | Middlesex Uni | Back to IC | IC politics | Elephant today

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