1. Things: Skills & Spells

Things: Skills & Spells

Meridian 59 attracts an unusually diverse collection of travelers and citizens. Some come this way for trade and adventure. Others seek the wisdom of the Temples. Still others yearn for the companionship to be found within the walls of the inns and guild halls. And, for better or worse, more than a few come seeking to win the grisly trophies of the blood sports - both animal and human.

Therefore, as a new citizen, you would do well to study this guide carefully before you take to the streets and highways of our fair land. Even if you are committed to the cause of peace, you will often be called upon to dispatch spiders and other vermin as you make your way between the cities. No matter who you are, a working knowledge of the skills of self-defense will ultimately mean the difference between life and death.

Your continued survival in any situation may depend on several factors, including:

  • What kind of weapon you’re holding
  • What kind of armor you’re wearing
  • How skilled you are
  • Which spells you know
  • How well you’ve eaten, rested, and otherwise tended to your own health
  • The usefulness of the objects collected in your knapsack

This guide covers all six of these factors.


Never go abroad in Meridian without a trusty weapon in hand. By decree of the Gods, all new citizens are issued a mace at the time of their entry — a serviceable weapon, good at short range, and effective against small prey.

As time goes on, depending on your financial and social success, you may be fortunate enough to acquire more elegant and powerful weapons. Some of these include:

  • Hammer - Similar to a mace in attack effectiveness, though slightly more durable.
  • Short sword - Shorter in clout (and elegance) than a long sword.
  • Axe — What it lacks in finesse, the axe more than makes up for in sheer bloody, brutal (and rather random) mayhem. It’s heavy, and can be quite tiring to use, but it will get the job done.
  • Long sword — A true knight’s weapon, the long sword inflicts a great deal of damage with each powerful blow. If your Slash skill is strong, this weapon will serve you well.

There are rumors that other types of weapons may also be circulating in Meridian. If such weapons do exist, the details are not available to the Guardians at this time. (The Gods do not always tell us everything…)


To use any of the above weapons:

  1. Make sure that the weapon is equipped — that is, that it’s in your hand, and not stowed uselessly in your knapsack. To equip a weapon, move to your inventory and right-click it. A description of the weapon appears. Click Use to equip the weapon. Or, you can simply double-click the item to equip it instantly.

    If you’re already holding another weapon, the old weapon will automatically be retired to your knapsack when you choose a new one.

  2. To wield your weapon, press either of the two Ctrl keys on your keyboard. The effectiveness of each blow depends on your combat-related skills, which are discussed in more detail below. Your blows are directed at the target closest to you.

    If there are several opponents in your vicinity, you can choose which one to swing at by holding down the Alt key. Put the cursor on your intended victim, then click the left mouse button to take your swing.

    During battle, you will see status messages showing how effectively you are landing your blows, and how your enemy is faring under your assault.

  3. To the victor go the spoils. To collect yours, type Get or click the Pick Up icon on the toolbar when the battle is done; or simply drag them from the Action Window into your inventory. Any treasures that formerly belonged to the deceased now appear in your knapsack.


A sword is just a sword…unless, of course, it’s a sacred sword, blessed by Shal’ille, enhanced with a magical charge that increases its effectiveness. Spells such as Enchant Weapon or Holy Weapon can increase any weapon’s power. To find out how to acquire and use this type of spell (and many others), read on later in this guide.

Of course, over time, even high-quality, well-charged weapons and armor will take quite a beating. Sword edges get ground down to dullness, shields get dented, leather vests and silk breeches get shredded to ribbons and rags. Restoring damaged weapons and armor to their pristine condition requires a Mend spell, which is taught in the magic school of the Temple of Kraanan.


We asked some of Meridian 59’s best-known warriors for suggestions that would help new citizens stand their ground, and live long enough to acquire mastery of the combat arts. Their suggestions follow:

  • When you encounter a short opponent - a baby spider or rat, for instance - use the Pg Dn key to look at the ground, thus keeping a closer eye on your target as you move in for the kill.
  • Don’t just move in and keep hacking away: remember, the pest in question can do severe damage to you, too. If you keep moving, you’ll be much less likely to get seriously hurt. Move in close, strike a few times, then step aside or back away quickly to keep clear of the inevitable counterattacks.
  • Know your enemy, and make sure you don’t take on opponents you’re not ready to handle. Rook, the Weapons Master, can tell you your odds against a given class of critter. Baby spiders are the preferred fare for a new citizen just venturing out.
  • Be aware of the karmic properties of the various fauna. Some of them are beneficial to the Meridian ecology, and should not be attacked without provocation. When in doubt, ask around, or consult the list of common critters at the end of the Places guide.
  • Don’t forget that you can also use magic during combat. See the Magic section of this guide for more about this.


If a good weapon is your best offense, good armor is your best defense. As your power and wealth increase, your armor collection should reflect your changing fortunes. A complete set of armor includes hand protection, pants, a shield, and some sort of body armor.


Like weapons, armor is worthless during combat if it’s sitting in the bottom of your knap-sack. You need to put it on, preferably before that large and malevolent troll decides to make lunch out of you.

To put on a piece of armor, move to your inventory and right-click it. A description of the piece appears. Click Use to equip it, just as you would a weapon.

If you are already wearing a similar piece - for instance, you’re wearing a leather chest protector, and want to put on a chain mail coat instead — the old garment is automatically retired to your knapsack when you choose the new one.


Like weapons, armor gets pretty bashed up after a while. You can either replace it, or restore it with the Mend spell.


It takes more than a flashy new long sword and a gleaming suit of chain mail to make you a force to reckon with on the mean streets of Meridian 59. Beautiful weapons are useless if you don’t have the skills to wield them properly.

If you would seek to excel in the combat arts, you would do well to acquaint yourself with Rook, Meridian 59’s premier Weapons Master. Rook is generous with free advice and wisdom regarding the worthiness of your potential adversaries. And if you share your coin with him, he is more generous still, endowing you with ever increasing knowledge of the Slash, Dodge, Punch, and other vital battle kills. The best warriors visit Rook frequently, eagerly take on his errands, and show slavish devotion to his causes. You would do well to emulate them.

Rook takes his role as teacher very seriously, and will only teach you the skills you are qualified to learn. For example, he will not offer you Level 2 skills until you have become reasonably experienced with the Level 1 skills you started out with.


All new citizens are given the chance to buy a few low-level skills at the time of their entry. Training in other skills must be purchased from Rook. Here’s how this works:

  1. Find Rook. He makes his home in one of the northern cities, and the path is well-known to all Meridian warriors. When you find him, walk up to him, type Buy, and press Enter.

  2. The list that appears includes all the skills that you are qualified to buy, based on his assessment of your current abilities. You may notice that he also deals in quality armaments, which you may purchase as your purse allows. Highlight the skills that you wish to be trained in, and click OK. To close this win-dow, click Cancel.

  3. The new skills now appear in your Skills list. To view this, click the Skills button to the right of the chat window. Your complete list of skills appears just below the button. (If you have too many to fit in the allotted area, drag the scroll bar that appears to the right of the list to view the rest.)

    To get a detailed description of a given skill on the list, right-click it. Every skill is ranked on a difficulty level from 1 to 5.


Combat, of course, is the best teacher. Every time you enter the heat of conflict, your skills are further tempered, and your proficiency increases (unless, of course, you die, which has a decidedly unhealthy effect on your skill levels). Because discretion is often the better part of valor, you don’t have to win the battle to gain the benefit of experience from it.

To view your current skills, click the Skills button at the lower right of the World Window. The percentage number next to each skill on the list shows your current effectiveness with that skill. This rating goes up with practice: if you often dodge during combat, for example, your effectiveness rating at the Dodge will continually increase. However, this goes the other way as well: if you’ve beefed up your Slash skill during many hours of swordplay, then switch to a weapon that doesn’t rely so heavily on Slash (say, an axe), your Slash effectiveness rating will gradually begin to deteriorate over time.


One way to test your skills is to engage in hand-to-hand combat in The Arena. (To get there, ask any grizzled old warrior: most of them know the path so well that they can find their way in the dark without a torch. It’s a very popular place, with spectators as well as the best fighters in the land.)

The Arena is a combat-sanctioned zone. All contests are one-on-one, and to the death. If you emerge as the champion, you bear none of the usual karmic consequences: you won’t answer to revenants, and you will be labeled as an outlaw or murderer (though there’s always the possibility that the deceased’s guild brothers and sisters may want to have a word with you after you leave.) If you get killed, you will lose the weapon and armor you were using at the time, but you get to keep everything else you were carrying.

The Arena is presided over by The Watcher - a sort of master of ceremonies/sports announcer/referee who makes sure the behavior of both combatants and spectators conforms to the standards below. If you’re sitting in the stands, you can talk to the The Watcher. Sometimes, he may even respond in kind.

Challenging The Champion — Usually, when you enter the Arena, there is a reigning Champion taking on all comers. This champion must accept any challenge, or be dethroned.

  • To challenge the current champion and step into the Arena, type say Challenge and press Enter.
  • If the Champion refuses (by typing say renege and pressing Enter), he or she automatically forfeits the Champion title to the challenger.
  • If the Champion agrees, he or she types say accept in the text line, and presses Enter. Combat begins immediately.

Claiming The Title - Occasionally, you may enter an empty Arena, with no established Champion. In this case, the title is up for grabs: simply type say Champion and press Enter to claim the title for yourself!

The Arena has a great deal of spectator seating, and is a popular gathering spot. While you are encouraged to yell, cheer, and otherwise wallow in enthusiastic bloodlust with your fellow fans, house rules prohibit fighting or spell-casting in the stands.


Many Meridian residents, shunning the brute force and raw physicality of hand-to-hand combat, prefer to defend themselves using the more subtle, yet equally effective, tools of the sorcerer. Some focus their energies primarily in this area, aspiring to become wizards of tremendous power. Others seek to balance their combat skill with a journeyman’s magical proficiency. And even those who greatly prefer blood to mana usually have a few interesting magical tricks up their gut-spattered sleeves.

Meridian’s legendary schools of magic are located within each of The Temples of the Gods. The priestesses there are ancient and wise, but will share their secrets with those who seek them out, support the Temples with their donations, and willingly take on the tasks laid upon them. (Once in a while, you’ll also find a village wise man who will offer you a trick or two in exchange for some small coin.) The Temples are well secluded and defended, but yield great power to those with the tenacity to seek them out. They are:

  • Shal’ille - The Spells of Shal’ille were created to heal the evil caused by warped and violent souls. They include spells of healing, blessing, and protection.
  • Kraanan - A karma-neutral school oriented toward protection and defensive spells. Kraanan’s spells are considered the most fitting for warriors.
  • Qor - Highly potent spells that come at a high karmic cost. The Temple of Qor is much sought by assassins and murderers.
  • Faren - Chaotic, hard-to-control attack spells with no karmic orientation at all.
  • Riija - Riija has not been heard from in so long that he is presumed dead, and his temple has long since fallen to ruin. The few remaining priestesses offer but one spell - Blink - which is given for free to all new citizens. Blink takes you to the center of the room that you’re in. It’s useful if you need to get away from someone in a hurry.

Most Meridian citizens are devotees of one school alone. Some of the elders have gained mastery in two or more schools, though you should not approach a second school unless:

  • You have achieved full mastery of all the spells of one school. Most schools will only teach their higher-level spells to those who have proven their loyalty and dedication to that school alone. If you wander off to sample the training of other schools, your first school may be reluctant to invest as heavily in your further education.
  • You do not aspire to be a high-level magic user, but simply want a wider range of low-level spells to complement your combat prowess. However, even though you may learn a wide range of Level 1 and 2 spells, you may not achieve expert proficiency with any of them if you are not perceived as dedicated to a single school.
  • You fully understand the karmic dynamics of the various magic systems. If you are a disciple of Kraanan’s karma-neutral magic, a logical second choice might be Faren (also karma-neutral). Or, you might take up the cause of Good, adding knowledge gained in the Temple of Shal’ille; or commit yourself to Qor’s unbridled reign of evil. However, spells from the schools of Qor (negative karma) and Shal’ille (posi-tive karma), do not mix well: the good and evil karma collide, with difficult con-sequences. Until you understand these subtle interactions, it is best to dedicate yourself to the study of a single school.


When you first enter Meridian, you are given the opportunity to buy a few basic Level 1 and 2 spells to get you started. To add to this small collection, you will first need to decide which school to affiliate with. Then, you need to find the school’s Temple - which may well become a quest in itself. Once you have entered the Temple:

  1. Approach the priestess. Some small talk may be in order here. Truly committed disciples often ask for an Errand or Task they can perform to be of service to the priestess. (Completing such a task is a good way to become the teacher’s pet very quickly.)
  2. When the small talk is over, type Buy to find out what she is willing to teach you. Priestesses are careful to give you only what you have the wisdom and strength to handle well.
  3. To acquire a spell, highlight it on the list. The amount of the required temple donation appears nearby. To accept the trade, click OK. Click Cancel to leave the dialogue box without acquiring a spell.

To find out more about your current spells, click the Spells button to the right of the Chat Window. Your complete spell collection appears below. If the list is too long to view, drag down the scroll bar that appears to the right of the list to see the rest.

Right-click on any spell on this list to learn more about it. The information box that appears tells you which school taught you the spell; the spell’ difficulty level; a description of is effects; a list of reagents required to cast it; and any negative repercussions that may result from its use. The percentage number next to each spell on the list shows you current proficiency level with it.


Contrary to popular belief, magic doesn’t just come out of thin air. For most spells, you need sufficient quantities of the basic ingredients: reagents and mana.

  • Reagents - These are natural objects with magical properties - berries, herbs, mushrooms, bones, teeth, scales, feathers, wings, and gemstones that are the raw material of the spell. You can’t cast the Bless spell, for instance, until you’ve also gotten your hands on several elderberries. A good magician keeps a diverse collection of reagents close by, ready to be used at a moment’s notice.
  • Mana - This is your own personal magical power, a reflection of your strength of will and power to focus it toward a goal. The second of the three Status Bars at the top right of the World Window shows you how much mana you currently have avail-able. You recoup lost mana by resting, or by merging with one of the several Mana Nodes that are hidden throughout Meridian 59.

Once you’ve acquired a spell — and the means to cast it - there are several ways to make it so:

  • From the Icon Toolbar - Click the Wand icon on the toolbar (it’s the fourth icon from the left). All your available spells are listed in the window that appears. Highlight the spell you want to use. When you release the mouse button, the spell is cast. Some spells must be fired at a specific tar-get. In this case, when you release the mouse button a small cursor target appears in the Action Window. Use the mouse or the arrow keys to place the target on the object of your intentions, and click the left mouse button or press Enter to fire.

  • From the Menu Bar - Click Spells on the Menu Bar. Choose the spell you want to use. Next, click OK in the dialogue box to cast it.

    If it’s a targeted spell, the target appears in the action window. Place the target where you want it, then press Enter or click the mouse button to cast the spell.

  • Type cast and spell name on text line - for example:

    cast blink

    Press Enter to fire. If it’s a targeted spell, place the cursor in the Action Window, then press Enter again or click the left mouse button to fire.

    If a spell has a two-word name, put quotes around it when you type it: cast “super strength”


Wise magic-users are always looking for ways to boost their power and effectiveness.

  • Spells atrophy with disuse, and improve with use. The best way to get good at a spell is to use it - over and over and over. The percentage number next to each spell on the list shows you current proficiency level with it. A low percentage means that the spell may not work for you every time you try to cast it (a frustrating waste of good mana and reagents); or, if it does work, it will be fairly weak in its effects. A higher number means you can make it work more often, with more power and better accuracy.

  • Some spells only work for a specific length of time. For example, the Super Strength spell gives you extra power…but only for a few minutes after you cast it.

    While a timed spell is working, an icon appears. If the spell is a personal enchantment, the icon appears above the health Status Bar at the top right of the World Window. If it’s a spell that changes the room environment, the icon appears just above the Action Window.

    This icon disappears when the spell has faded. Some timed spells will last longer as you become more adept with them.

  • There are certain areas throughout Meridian 59 in which spellcasting is prohibited. Know where they are, especially if you tend to rely on magic over brute force for your survival.

Enchanted Items

Once in awhile, you may come across other objects that can confer magical power on their owners. However, let the buyer beware: though many of these lovely items can enhance your mana and protect your body, a few can be quite deadly. Some of the enchanted goods you may encounter in Meridian 59 include:


Occasionally, you’ll be offered a flask for sale. Be sure to get a description of these potions before buying. A healing potion has obvious value, and a Forgetfulness potion is most useful if you, a disciple of Qor, decide to recant your evil ways and wish to clear your mind for the lessons of Shal’ille. While most potions are quite useful, a few carry curses that are activated simply by drinking them.


A circlet is like a small crown that fits on your head. While you’re wearing it, your health points can also be used as mana points - a worthwhile magical advantage.


Weapons and armor that have been blessed by one of the Gods command good value in most places. Magical garb like this can give you an important edge in combat.

You may also encounter enchanted wands, rings, amulets, and certain mystical foodstuffs.

Food, Drink & Rest

Your mother was right. Even the biggest, bad-dest, toughest character in town gets a little run down without proper food and rest. When your health points start to wane, you may want to eat a quick meal, and find a place to rest.

Fortunately, the shopkeepers of Meridian 59 can supply high-quality portable foodstuffs suitable for a hungry traveler - bread, apples, and meat pies are perennial favorites - and you can sometimes find edible mushrooms along the roadside as you travel. Be sure to keep a few skins of water in your knapsack as well.

You can rest anywhere (well, anywhere you’re not likely to be attacked), but you’ll get twice as much rest in the same amount of time if you do it in a guild hall or inn. To rest, simply click the Rest icon on the toolbar. You can talk to other people, eat, and change clothes while you are resting, but you can’t walk, fight, or cast spells. When your rest is over, click the Stand icon to move on.