Newbie Quickstart Guide

Dragon Fantasy ImageWelcome to Achaea: Dreams of Divine Lands, where "Your fate and fame shall be an echo and a light unto eternity..."

The Achaea Quick Start Guide aims to help you out by giving you beginner-level advice, explanations, commands, and everything the intrepid adventurer needs to face destiny head on!

In Achaea, you're part of a vibrant, living world of high fantasy where you can create the future by your accomplishments in politics or public performance, in crafting or combat, in subterfuge or swordplay. The sky, and your dreams, are the limit.

It’s time to get started! There’s a huge living, growing world out there to explore, and to tame and embellish with your heroic deeds and might adventures!

  1. Getting Connected to Achaea
  2. Intro: The Trial of Rebirth
  3. The Concept: What is Achaea?
  4. Commands
    1. Moving Around
    2. Looking Around
    3. Communicating
    4. Info About Yourself
    5. Fighting
    6. Healing and Recovery
  5. Early Choices: Race, City, House
  6. Places to Go
  7. Classes and Skills
  8. Experience, Levels, and Power
  9. Gold, Credits, and Artefacts
  10. Containers and the Rift
  11. Quests and Combat
  12. Healing and Afflictions
  13. Death
  14. Getting Help
  15. Going Ahead From Here

1. Getting Connected to Achaea

Join thousands of players like you as they connect their computers to Achaea by using a client program like our own Achaea Flash client. Just click on 'Play Now' at the top of this page. You can also choose to play Achaea with Nexus, our custom Java client. This requires Java on your computer. Get the latest version of Java from http://www.java.com. Our Flash and Java clients are the easiest ways to get connected, but not the only ways. Look here for alternatives, which are called telnet or mud clients.

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2. Intro: The Trial of Rebirth

Every newcomer to Achaea experiences The Trial of Rebirth. The Trial is a quick interactive introduction to Achaea that can take as few as ten minutes, or as long as a few hours, depending entirely on you. Twenty minutes or half an hour is a fairly common time for those completely new to Achaea.

In the Trial, you'll gain a few useful things for your life in Achaea (clothing, a vial of healing potion, a backpack, and a bit of gold), an introduction to commands, and a few levels of experience to get you started.

You also choose a race for your character (which we call an adventurer) and may optionally choose a home city and a class. For more info on race or city, see Early Choices. For more info on class, see Classes and Skills.

Trial Commands :

HINT   to be reminded of what you should be doing.
HELP TRIAL   Lists trial commands and other helpful info.
SPEEDUP (or SLOWDOWN)   to speed or slow the Trial.
HINTSON (or HINTSOFF)   to start or stop hints.
NEWBIEON   to turn on the newbie channel to ask for help.
NEWBIE <text>   to ask for help on the newbie channel.

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3. The Concept: What Is Achaea?

You, and Your Adventurer

In Achaea, you take on the role of a single living, mortal being which we call an adventurer. This is your playing piece in the game of Achaea. Through living the life of your adventurer, you play the game called Achaea.

Your adventure is further identified by choices such as gender, race, and class. However, the organisations that it joins impact the life of your character greatly! It may join a City, a House, or a Divine Order, for those that wish to enter the service of a specific Divine.

To act in Achaea, simply manipulate your adventurer - walking, fighting, exploring, examining things, and acting as a living being would.

Roleplaying

In Achaea, you are playing the role of your character, not yourself. Your character is of the realm of Achaea and knows nothing about concepts like computers, the internet, the Boston Red Sox, or anything that does not exist in the world of Achaea. You must remain "in-character" (IC) just about everywhere. There are a few exceptions, such as in private conversation with someone else who does not mind if you go "out-of-character" (OOC). There can be administrative consequences for going OOC publicly, so be careful! If another adventurer warns you that you are exhibiting "insanity" or acting "insane", be aware that the word "insanity" in Achaea usually refers to OOC behaviour. For more information, you can read HELP ROLEPLAYING and HELP INSANITY.

The World of Achaea: Rooms, Directions, Denizens, Items, Inventory

Rooms: The world of Achaea is divided into discrete locations, also called rooms. A room might be a section of seashore, a portion of a woodland path, or an open field. It might even be a room in a house or building.

Rooms are generally connected to each other more or less like you'd expect them to be - a field might have more field to the east, a river to the north, and a hill sloping upwards to the west, but be impassable to the south because of a cliff.

Directions: To move around from one room or location to another, you'd simply use the direction which connects them - in or out, up or down, east, west, etc. Sometimes doors or gates or portals or other things might be in the way, in which case you may have to figure out how to get around those obstacles (also discussed below).

Denizens: Denizens are the inhabitants of Achaea that aren't players like you. They are also called many things, such as NPCs (non-player-characters), mobs or mobiles (because they move around), CCCs (for computer controlled characters), or monsters. Denizens may have things to say, or sell. Many quests involve helping or harming one or more denizens of Achaea, so it's important to pay careful attention to these fellow residents of Achaea.

Items and Inventory: Other things in Achaea, the things that don't move around so much like Denizens do, are books, herbs, weapons, armour, candles, tinderboxes, clothing, packs, and even the the mighty artefacts of Achaea. Wear, wield, eat, or drink them. Drop them (which puts them on the ground). Take (or get) them off of the ground, or from a container like a pouch or a pack. Items may give you benefits, or may just look pretty. Either way, you'll be seeing a lot of them in Achaea.

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4. Commands

Commands are the way you get things done in Achaea. These are a few of the most important that you should learn right away:

Moving around is a simple matter of entering a direction, like this:

NORTH (or N)   NORTHEAST (or NE)
SOUTH (or S)   NORTHWEST (or NW)
EAST (or E)   SOUTHEAST (or SE)
WEST (or W)   SOUTHWEST (or SW)
UP (or U)   DOWN (or D)
IN   OUT

These commands will move you a single room or location in the given direction, if it is possible to move that way. Warning! Some clients may interpret NE as "Move north, then move east."

Things that might interfere: Doors or Water.

If there's a door in the way, you may need to open it (e.g. OPEN DOOR IN) before going through, and if you are in or near water (like a stream or river or lake) you may need to use something like SWIM NORTH. Careful! Train a bit in Survival first or you may choke or even drown while swimming.

Special Movement:

Two other special forms of movement can also help:

PORTALS To go to a safe place that can only be reached by Achaeans of the lowest levels of experience.
WALK TO <landmark> When you can no longer reach the portals, or you're trying to learn your way around Achaea, this is a great help. Or refer to this list of landmarks.

While you are still a newbie (which lasts through the 20th level of experience, and ends when you become level 21) you may use a special command called PORTALS. This command will whisk you away to a special area called, surprisingly enough, the Portals area. Portals is an area which can only be reached with this command and is only accessible to newbies. The PORTALS command is unlimited for you from levels 1 through 10. From levels 11 through 20 you are allowed a total of 20 more uses of PORTALS. Once you run out, or reach level 21, then you may no longer use them.

Adventurers of any age or experience may use landmarks with WALK TO <landmark>. Each use of the command will take you one step closer to your destination, and should be quite helpful to you in learning the realms better. The landmark you're trying to reach cannot be too far away or WALK TO won't work.

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Looking Around

L
LOOK

Shows you the location you are in, including things on the ground and other adventurers or denizens.
GL <direction>
GLANCE
Direction is something like E, N, WEST, etc. It will show you what's in that direction, if anything.
I
INV
Shows you what you are carrying around in your inventory, or wearing.
II
INFO INV
Same as I or INV, except it shows more detail, to cover cases where you may need to distinguish between, say, two different packs or other items in your possession.
IH
INFO HERE
Similar to II or INFO INV, except it shows detail about things in your current location. Exceedingly useful when you wish to attack, say, one particular rat in a room full of rats!

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Communicating

You can communicate in many different ways in Achaea, both to individuals and groups. It includes speaking, telepathic channels, and more.

SAY <text> To speak to others nearby you.
TELL <who> <text> To contact someone telepathically and privately.
NEWBIE <text> To use telepathic communications to contact other newbies and Guides who may be able to help you. NEWBIE is not a chat channel, but it is great for asking questions and getting answers about how to get along in Achaea in the beginning. Use NEWBIEON or NEWBIEOFF to start or stop listening on that channel.
CT <text>
HNT <text>
CLASS <text>
Other telepathic communications channels - to your city, your house, or your class. These only operate for those who have joined a city, house, or class! Like with NEWBIE, you can start listening with CTON, HNTON,, and stop with CTOFF, HNTOFF. All of these would be places to seek out experienced adventurers and get advice.

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Info About Yourself

SHOW Almost everything you will ever want to know about yourself can be found here. With SHOW you can check your health, skills, age, level of experience, alignment, allies, enemies, what organisations you are member of, and more.
SCORE This shows your name, race, health, mana, endurance, willpower, strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, age, certain memberships, and how much gold you are carrying (but not in packs or other containers).
STAT This shows how hungry and tired you are, how warmly dressed you are, and a few other bits of important info.

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Fighting

HEADSLAM
KICK
PUNCH
Until you have joined a class, any of these is fairly effective, though in slightly different ways. Try them and see! You should focus on fighting denizens, not other adventurers, at least at first. Playerkilling, also called PvP or PK, is restricted. Wait a while to enter it - until you are solidly grounded in Achaea's ways.

Even after you have chosen a class, weapons may still not be important to you, so don't just run out looking for a weapon! Ask others in your class if a weapon would be helpful.

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Healing and Recovery

When you're hurt, tired, hungry, or afflicted in some way, here are a few things you can do.

SLEEP

When you sleep, your health slowly rises to normal levels, as does your endurance. You also get more rested. If you get tired enough, you may simply fall asleep whether you want to or not! Sleeping does not help you recover mana or willpower. For that, you must MEDITATE (or just MED).
MED
MEDITATE
Meditation helps you recover mana and willpower. When you meditate, you must remain in a perfectly calm and inactive state. Almost anything will disturb your meditation. Meditation will not help you recover health or endurance. For that, you must SLEEP.
Herbs,
Salves, and
Elixirs
A few very important herbs and elixirs are:
Myrrh - speeds learning (eat it)
Health elixir - to restore your health (sip it)
Bloodroot - eat it to cure paralysis
Mana elixir - to restore mana (sip it)
Mending - heal hurt limbs (apply it)
Restoration - cure body part damage (apply it)
All of these do more than just what is listed, and there are a LOT more herbs listed here Healing List and here Curing Afflictions.

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5. Early Choices: Race, City, House

You have so many choices to make right away: your race, your city (if any), and your House, if any:

Choosing a Race

Achaea has about a dozen races from which to choose.

There is no single best race, nor even a single best race for a given class. All races have a basic set of statistics that can be modified based on a racial specialisation which will be available to you at level 10.

Speak with experienced adventurers in your chosen class. They often have good suggestions about what specialisation is important for you. You can reincarnate once for free, which allows you to change your race, and after that, by buying and using an artefact called the Dagger of Reincarnation.

For a more detailed comparison, see this table of races and statistics.

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Choosing a House

Houses are an important part of Achaea life and politics. Membership is highly recommended.

If you choose to join a House, you'll gain allies, political influence, and a group of people you can call on for help. You'll also gain a set of expectations about how you act, and a group of people who will call on you for help. Are the advantages worth the obligations? Only you can answer that for yourself.

Finding the right House starts by making sure they'll accept members of your class:HOUSE LIST <class>. For example, if you are a member of the Paladin class, you'd do HOUSE LIST PALADIN.

Speak with others in your class, and speak with others in the Houses. Each House has its own approach, and own rules. Read about houses with HELP HOUSE <housename> and also HELP NEWCOMERS <housename>.

When you're ready to join, you can either go to Certimene, the House Administrator and ask for help joining your chosen house (ASK CERTIMENE JOIN TEMPLARS, for example) or contact someone in the House leadership.

You may also find this List of Houses useful.

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Choosing A City

Achaea has six cities among which to choose. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a city:

      • If you have chosen to join a House, its city (if any) is usually a good choice. Some houses require that you join their home city, so check carefully.
      • The ideals of the city. This can be found in HELP <city> for example, HELP CYRENE.
      • The city's people and leaders. Look for important citizens in HELP <city>.

You don't have to join any city. Members of the Druids and CIJ houses typically don't, though some may. If you do wish to join a city, find one of the leaders "Able to induct new citizens" listed in HELP <city>, or if there's a denizen listed there under the title [DENIZENS THAT CAN MAKE YOU A CITIZEN] then you can go there and ask for citizenship.

You may also want to refer to this List of Cities with their Houses (plus those Houses outside cities).

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6. Places to Go

The most important places you'll need to know right away are Portals, Minia, and Lodi.

There are numerous quests for newbies.

Portals - this is a completely safe location that can only be reached by those level 20 or under using the PORTALS. The three portals rooms are magical locations that open gateways to places that are scattered throughout the realms - some at a very great distance indeed - for the convenience of newcomers to Achaea. Just READ SIGN in each portals room to see where all of those nifty portals lead.

Minia - Outside Minia is Vellis, the Butterfly collector, and within are many interesting challenges. Only Achaeans of the lowest levels of experience - called newbies - are able to do anything at all in Minia. There is a connection from the Portals to Minia.

The Valley of Lodi (which includes The Village of Gorshire) - Lodi and Gorshire contain numerous challenges and adventures at a level suitable to Achaean newbies, without fear of competing with much more experienced Achaeans. There is a connection from the Portals room to Minia.

A few other important places:

  • The Isle of Delos (east of Ashtan and north of Shallam) has many useful shops and two residents of particular interest (exits to both may be found from PORTALS):
    • Vinci - proud proprietor of the Tattoo Parlour, and
    • Certimene - class administrator extraordinaire. Certimene can help you become a member of a class or join a House.
  • The Lucretian Athenaeum in New Thera, in a central location just south of Ashtan. There you may find Tyrandiel, the wise, a most useful tutor for learning skills when you cannot find another adventurer to aid you.

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7. Classes and Skills

Class and Class Rank

Achaea boasts fifteen original classes. Each class has three skills in a combination unique to that class, and each skill is made up of dozens of abilities.

When you become a member of a class, you start with class rank of Fledgling and with access to the first two class skills. As a Fledgling, you may not study farther than the skill rank of "skilled". Once you rise to Journeyman rank, you may study to the skill rank of "fabled". Full members of a class gain access to the third class skill and have no limits in learning.

More detail may be found in this List of Classes with skills.

Skills, Learning, and Lessons

The most important skills - your class skills - are not the only options. Just use the SKILLS command to see which skills you have access to, and may train in. These other skills, such as Vision, Survival, Weaponry, and others, are not generally as important as your class skills, yet they can make quite a difference. The miniskills, such as Constitution and Fitness, with several others, can also help by providing resistance to certain forms of damage.

Increasing your level of skill is straightforward: find another adventurer/player (or a denizen tutor) to be your teacher, and (for example) LEARN 15 CHIVALRY FROM Mypal. This will spend 15 of your lessons on improving your level of skill in Chivalry, assuming that Mypal knows more Chivalry than you do!

You gain lessons each time you gain a level of experience. Check how many lessons you have available with SHOW LESSONS.

You can also get more lessons by converting credits to lessons, using CREDITS CONVERT howmany TO LESSONS. Each credit converts into 6 lessons.

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8. Experience, Levels, and Power

In Achaea we have over 100 mortal levels of experience. Once you have finished the Trial of Rebirth, you will be level 5. As you rise in level of experience, you gain expanded access to Achaea in a variety of ways, and your maximum health, mana, endurance, and willpower will increase. You also gain lessons and credits! Eventually, you will transcend the need for food or sleep, and finally, you may reach level 99, at which point you may become a Dragon!

To increase in level, you must gain experience, which you can do by:

  • Completing Quests that you discover throughout Achaea (such as Newbie Quests), or
    • PK - player killing - with other adventurers like yourself, or
    • NPCs/Mobs/Denizens - with the monsters and creatures you encounter across Achaea.

It's not all a bed of roses though: it's possible to lose experience as well, both during combat and after, if you lose and die. And if you lose experience, your level may decrease.

Stats (strength, intelligence, constitution, dexterity) are pretty much fixed, determined by your race. They do not rise as you gain levels of experience. Some abilities, certain items of power such as House Icons, and other circumstances may affect stats on a more-or-less temporary basis.

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9. Gold, Credits, and Artefacts

Gold, also called gold sovereigns, is the primary form of money in Achaea. You can gain gold in quests, in killing denizens, and through theft. It's probably safest to keep your gold in a container - like your backpack - or in banks. Theft is a common thing in Achaea.

Of the many ways to earn gold which you will discover in your journeys, several are accessible even to those of very low levels of experience:

  • Completing quests (which often give experience also),
  • Ratting - working for some cities to help keep their rat infestations down (More on Ratting), or
  • Fishing and selling off your catch for gold (More on Fishing).

Credits are a sort of currency too. You can gain credits in a variety of ways:

Artefacts are not money, but they are very valuable items that can give great power to the bearer. Some may be gained, for a time at least, through completing quests. Otherwise, purchase artefacts for credits at the various shops for that purpose in Delos.

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10. Containers and the Rift

It's likely that you'll accumulate a lot of stuff as you wander Achaea. This brings a new challenge: where can you put it all? Depending on exactly what stuff we're talking about, you'll want to use containers or the rift.

Containers: The pack you got during the Trial of Rebirth is one of many possible containers you may find. Some can be closed and opened again, such as boxes. All hold a limited number of items, and all are useful for keeping track of your growing mountain of possessions!

The Rift is a special storage place primarily for herbs and inks. If something can go in the rift, it really should go in the rift, otherwise it will fall to the ground each time your adventurer leaves Achaea.

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11. Quests and Combat

Quests can be exceedingly beneficial, providing you with experience, gold, special items, or all of the above. Simply GREET the denizens you meet and see what they have to say. Some may drop clues about how you can help them. If so, you may try to draw them out farther by speaking to them on topics that seem important.

With one exception (newbie quests), quests are not for public discussion.

Combat, whether against other players/adventurers or against denizens of the realms can also be very rewarding, though it has its risks as well. Achaea has a complex combat system with numerous styles of combat that are as different as they are unique.

If you do wish to face other adventurers in combat, great! Be aware that such combat is restricted by player-killing (PK) rules.

All classes have at least one ability that may be used against denizens of Achaea. This is a necessary simplification of the full range of abilities available to each class in PK, or adventurer vs. adventurer combat.

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12. Healing and Afflictions

A lot of things can go wrong - paralysis, broken limbs, blindness, being caught in webbing, being frozen, running around in a panic. These are just a few of the many afflictions you may experience.

What can you do when afflicted? We're glad you asked! Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Affliction What to do
Paralysis EAT BLOODROOT
Fear COMPOSE
Being frozen APPLY CALORIC
Caught in webs WRITHE

Most Houses provide useful advice about what you should have on hand for the various afflictions you may encounter. Ask there. If you've not got a House and have chosen to go it alone, then at least find some bloodroot and a caloric salve. It wouldn't hurt to get to know some priests for their healing abilities. And learn what heals what as your highest priority! Try the list of afflictions and cures here as a start.

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13. Death

What happens when you die, and what can you do to come back to life?

You will lose some experience at the moment of death. It's not usually enough to cost you a level of experience, but it may. If you remain dead very long, you will continue to lose experience. And when you choose a way to return to life, be it PRAY FOR SALVATION, or Immolation, or Resurrection, there may be further loss of experience. See the help about death and dying for more information.

One more note on death: if you die at the hands of another adventurer/player, then that person will gain some of the experience you lose in the process.

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14. Getting Help

There are so many great and easy ways to get help in Achaea when you need it! One of the best ways is to try asking Romeo or Juliet - our two official Newbie Guides. One is almost always available, and may be reached privately via tells (for example, TELL ROMEO Pardon me, could you help me find my way to Certimene?) or on the NEWBIE channel.

Other ways to get help include various telepathic channels at your disposal, and the HELP system.

  • If it's a newbie question, then ask on the NEWBIE channel. (Note: NEWBIE is not for chatting - it is for newbie questions only.)
  • If you're unsure, or it's not one of those, then ask your House (HNT) or City (CT), or even...
  • Use the Amazing, Wonderful, Fantastic, and Remarkably BIG help system:
    • HELP <somethingyouwanttoknowabout> - this works for ALMOST EVERYTHING (literally: try it)
    • HOW DO I <thingyouwanttodo>? - for example HOW DO I JOIN A HOUSE?
    • WHERE IS <thingyouwanttofind>? - for example WHERE IS ASHTAN?
    • WHAT IS A <thingyouwanttoknowabout>? - for example WHAT IS A SHIFT?

We also have web-based access to our help at http://www.achaea.com/game/helpview/achaea.

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15. Going Ahead from Here

There's so much more to Achaea! Here's some ideas on the point of Achaea, possible goals, and some of the more effective ways to reach them. In short, what is Success in Achaea, and what are some of the best ways to pursue it?

Other People: Achaea is full of other player/adventurers - thousands of them - and most of them are far more powerful than you, and not all of them are particularly nice. Some are downright evil!

  • At the very least, look for ways to get past others, because some of them will get in your way.
  • At best, look for ways to work together with others and enlist their aid. This is where the many Achaean organisations come in.
    • House - Join a House and gain a group of people committed to similar goals. Houses are fantastic resources which you should not overlook. Houses generally have a lot of collected wisdom to share which has come out of long experience. They'll have maps, scrolls about how you should study your class skills, lists of how to use herbs in healing, advice on how to avoid being a target for theft, guidance on how to be effective in combat, or how to avoid it(!), and many other things too detailed to list here. Once you have a class, you can HOUSE LIST <classname> to see the Houses that will accept those with your class.
    • City - Cities give many of the advantages of Houses. They tend to be larger than Houses, with several Houses being based in each city (plus the two, CIJ and Druids, which are based outside of the cities). Do not overlook the advantages of citizenship.

Combat: There is simply no substitute for Player vs. Player combat experience. Achaea has one of the most complex combat systems anywhere, and experience and practice can pay off big time.

Get into combat situations, including ARENA events and challenges (sometimes called duels). There's just no substitute for practical experience in combat, as you'll find the first time you fight a new class and have NO idea at all how to counter all those strange-looking attacks!

What's the Point? Goals: A great deal has been written about what Achaeans choose to pursue and the methods they have chosen to attain them in Goals in Achaea.

Excellence in Combat - worthy among goals! Long are the days of toil required to compete with the many mighty combatants of Achaea, to learn their ways and the manner of responding to the hundreds of different approaches that you may experience in the ultimately complex forms of combat in Achaea! Great is the satisfaction of those who have proven themselves worthy in direct combat against other Achaean adventurers! It is no small thing to have a recognised warrior say, simply, "You can fight!" It reflects the true respect only you can earn for yourself through trial of arms.

Dragonhood - Your aspirations may lead you towards the highest levels of experience - a lofty, but difficult goal attained by long, hard hours of hunting and questing, and rewarded with the most powerful mortal race in Achaea - Dragon!

Political Power - Perhaps your goal is to lead a House or City, winning elections, gaining allies and defeating enemies, and reaping the benefits of control over the most powerful organisations in Achaea. With this control come many benefits in personal power and wealth as well!

Recognition as an Artist or Bard - regular competitions are held (Art and Bard Competitions) in which Bards and Artists strut their stuff and potentially win both vast credit prizes and the recognition and respect of their peers and Achaeans generally.

The Official Achaean Forums have tons of information, not least of which would be this thread giving a list of hunting spots and their relative difficulties.

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