The Pre-Ele Days...

So it was that I became thoroughly addicted to Mud. At first is was Uglymug, where I swiftly became a (B)uilder, someone able to create rooms and objects, and then later a (W)izard - one of the people to administrate the game.

By now, though, I was playing other Muds. Mizar was the first - a truly mind-blowing experience at the time and my first introduction to what was called a 'LPmud'. Joining the Sinners guild quickly, I was an active, if low level, member of the guild and found the combat system (which was all in real time) and the atmosphere much more to my style. From then onwards, all my coding on Ugly was to be in this kind of LPmud 'theme'.

Like all the early, great LPMuds, everyone had magic. And it was just as I was getting my head round fireball, and learning by route the way from the pub to my favourite areas that the unthinkable happened - Mizar closed down with only a week's warning!

Distraught I cast about for another mud to play, and I learned from some of the other Sinners that there was one known as RealmsMud which was very good. By this time it was into 1992, and Mud was rapidly becoming one of my favourite pastimes (next to drinking, playing in a band, and visiting my long-time girlfriend, Lianne). So on to RealmsMud I went, and swiftly stormed up the levels, helped by my mud spouse and mud brother-in-law. Realms was great. It was extremely friendly and very advanced for its time. The RealmsMud of early-to-mid 1992 was to become my model for how I wanted much of Ele to be.

As we neared the latter part of 1992, again disaster struck. Realms was going down - permanently - with little over an hour's warning! Fortunately I was on at the time and was able to work out a meeting place with my (many) virtual chums. It was to be a mud called 'Genocide.' Before leaving I put a proposition to Taran (or whatever his name was - the god of Realms). He said it was closing because its site was folding. I offered to try and find a new site. I had an inkling that a Mud might be allowed in Imperial College where I was studying. Taran refused but the idea of an IC mud took root, although it was to lie dormant for another half a year.

Genocide was PK only, and fun. It was there than I bumped into Jonathan, or Froggy as he was known. An appalling PKer, he had the blood of hundreds and hundreds on his hands. I didnt know him well but I knew of him. I also found several of the Wizards I'd known from Realms, who told me that a mud called Pixiemud was now the haunt for many of them. Looking for old friends, I followed on.

We are now into early 1993, and while I hacked my way up the ranks on Pixie, I also learnt and coded more and more on Ugly. Indeed, I'd become a bit of the authority on Ugly coding certainly at IC and probably in London. It sounds pretentious, yeah, but all my peers, and I mean ALL my peers on Ugly were at Manchester, where it was based. I'd decided I wanted to be a Wizard, and a series of Wiz Elections were about to start. The Larnen for Wizard campaign started, and before long had settled into a seemingly three-way battle for one (or maybe 2) of the Wiz-ships, among me, Reaperman and Grimthorpe. Vote Grimthorpe 'green' badges were all the rage, but Larnen's floating campaign room struck back. The day of the election approached and I'd done a mean job of rustling up support at IC, which had a significant Ugly population.

On a February morning in 1993, I struck down my final scary monster on Pixie and, as an Eldar Warmage, became a Wizard! The same afternoon the Ugly Wiz election results were announced and.....I had been disqualified! The official reason was 'due to vote irregularities'. The 'got it out of Peter at the pub next time I saw him' reason was a concern of having an 'out of town' Wizard. Although I went on to become the first non-Manchester Wizard on Ugly, this narked me a bit and, coupled with some major disruptions that occurred to the link to Pixie over the following few weeks, left me feeling a bit disillusioned.

Then Stress came over to visit me.

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