I've not had a lot of time to play Achaea lately--I log in, engage in some roleplay chatting with my mentor and some of my new friends, maybe do a few quests, and then have to log out. I find hanging out on MUDs and making a little gold before returning to my RL work to be a relaxing break, even if I can't stay long.
Still, my character, Bryony, is up to level 50 now, and she's making progress in her house as well. She's even had her first experience in a raid on Shallam...sort of. I didn't even know there was a raid, and was just wandering around shopping, when I walked into a shop that was currently being occupied by a horde of Ashtani (enemy) raiders! Terrified, Bryony tried to flee, but the raiders were blocking the exit as a security measure for themselves, and she's too small to have any of the skills that would have enabled her to escape.
A Maldaathi knight and a Templar, duelling. This original artwork is by player Eschilde.
The raiders ignored Bryony. They could have killed her, of course, but it's generally accepted raider etiquette to leave non-combatants, and especially novices, alone, if they accidentally wander in. So she just stood there, frightened, watching them kill her citymates using long-range telepathic attacks.
She called for help to her House, and they tried to help in the midst of their own defensive measures, but there didn't seem to be a way to get her out safely. Bryony considered whether she ought to attack one of the raiders and go down fighting, like a true knight, but she had been told not to participate in combat alone while she was still just an acolyte, and she didn't want to break any rules.
So she stood there for some time, trying to decide what to do. Poor Bryony had just about resigned herself to standing disgraced in that shop until the raiders decided of their own free will to leave... when she noticed one of them looking her over. She braced herself, prepared to go down fighting if the brutes attacked her... and suddenly she found herself outside the city altogether, in a nearby fishing village. One of the raiders had thrown up a magical map, and a second one telepathically forced her to touch it, which transported her to a safe location. Not exactly the most heroic escape, but...hooray!
One of her elders, a full knight, later told Bryony that he had attempted to convince Shallam's defense party to let him make a deal with the raiders to grant the young novice's safe return if he offered himself in her place. This would have been to sacrifice his life: he would not have been able to survive alone, trapped in a room, in that large group of enemies. He was ordered not to make such an offer, as his powers were needed in the defense of the city as a whole, but what a fine example of chivalric spirit!
Bryony learned a few things about honourable behaviour, from both her enemies and her fellow citizens, that day.
I'm enjoying roleplaying a knight-in-training, and I should be ready to start actually fighting soon, rather than just, uh, wandering cluelessly into enemy armies. So I hope I'll have more time to play my favourite MUD soon. If you've never tried a text game before, I encourage you to head over to Achaea and try it out sometime!