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Reboots: Marrach, Lazarus, Lovecraft, Auth Server on Thursday, Friday [Complete]

On Thursday morning at 11am PT, I will be taking down the following games to upgrade them:
  • Castle Marrach
  • Lazarus Sleeping
  • Lovecraft Country
Then, on Friday morning at 11am PT I will be taking down our authentication machine:
  • User Database
Apologies for the short notice, but it's in response to a security bulletin related to the virtual machine software that these games and servers are on. We've already upgraded the rest of our machines to a new virtual machine which has thus far been less prone to security problems, and we're taking the opportunity to update these final machines in advance of a forced reboot over the weekend.

Each upgrade timeframe is expected to be an hour or less. I expect to be able to do memory upgrades for these machines at the same time.

Edit: Thursday morning upgrades for Lazarus, Lovecraft, and Marrach are now complete. The machines have also been upgraded from 2G of memory to 4G.

Edit: Friday morning upgrade now done as well, complete with upgrade of user authentication machine.

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All SkotOS Maps Updated; Please Report Bugs

In the last several days I've updated the way that all the game maps are stored for Ironclaw, Lazarus, Lovecraft, and Marrach, to make it possible for our admins and GMs to add new maps and map fragments to our games. Everything is working from my browsing, but I've heard a few reports of missing maps in Marrach (which may or may not have predated the update).

If any maps seem to have gone missing in those four SkotOS games, please let me know. If you see a broken map or map fragment where the image isn't showing up:

1. Open the image in a new tab (usually by right-clicking and choosing this option from a menu)
2. Copy the URL of the image from the URL bar
3. Email that URL to me at
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Grendel's Revenge Free Accounts

On December 15th of 2012, Grendel's Revenge enabled free accounts for play. This announcement is following in the suit of TEC's own free account announcement, serving as a reminder to any new or returning players that are browsing the forums.

For all the details about what free accounts are, look no further than here:

In order to log into GR for free, simply visit this page to sign into your Skotos account (ignoring any subscription notices it may give):

Then click the following link for Zealotry/Firefox:

Or this link for Alice/Internet Explorer:

Problems? Questions? You can email the GR staff group at
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The Present & Future of Grendel's Revenge

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  • The Present & Future of Grendel's Revenge

    In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Grendel's Revenge unfortunately underwent a catastrophic crash. This simultaneously corrupted both of our "live" copies of the database. In looking through our backups, we then discovered that those had been systematically corrupted going back several months due to a problem with the backup routine.

    After discussing this issue, we came to the conclusion that we are unable to support Grendel's Revenge in its current state. This is due to its very small user base (just 13 users) and the fact that it's run on a foreign code base, with the company who wrote it (Worlds Apart) no longer in existence. Unfortunately, this type of catastrophic crash is the result of those two factors in combination.

    We briefly considered whether we should just shut down Grendel's Revenge. Ultimately, we decided that because we do have the bandwidth, computers, and general infrastructure to support the game, we were willing to restore it, but only with some changes in how we represent the game.

    So, Grendel's Revenge is now back, in a restore from last summer. However, we are also acknowledging that it is an unsupported (or at best lightly supported) game. We'll keep it running, but it's no longer going to be a game that gets brought immediately back if it crashes during a weekend or evening. We also aren't willing to make promises of its long-term stability given the very limited attention we can provide, due to its user base.

    Because of this change in support, we going to be making Grendel's Revenge available for free as soon as we are able. As long as Grendel's Revenge remains unsupported, it will also remain free. And, if we decide to start charging again, it'll be because the community has grown and we're once more willing to promise a higher level of support.

    An engineer who has since left the company did the initial work to add a free flag for our games. We've got a query out to him on how to update Grendel's Revenge to the same system, and we're going to make the change as soon as we hear back from him and/or we contract him to do the work. However, this all means that the timing is somewhat outside of our control. I hope we'll have it done within the next month.

    We will still have standard and premium accounts available for the game. Our GMs have even talked about adding some new benefits to to the Standard accounts in the future. If you want to contribute to the costs of the bandwidth of Grendel's Revenge, its computer, its storage, etc. by paying for an account (even after we have free accounts online), we encourage you to do so. However, as soon as we're able we'll have a totally free account that has all the advantages of a standard account today.

    Given the largescale rollback and the changes to our support of Grendel's Revenge, we understand that many current players will be disappointed. I apologize for that; this reassessment of Grendel's Revenge is clearly something we should have done awhile ago. We hope you'll stay to continue playing the resurrected game, but if not we understand.

    If you were a Skotos player whose main game was Grendel's Revenge and you've decided not to remain with our community at all, send mail to and we'll credit your last payment. Please use the Subject "GR Credit Please".

    Otherwise, if you played Grendel's Revenge in the last month, feel free to drop us a line at with the Subject "GR StoryPoints Please" and we'll be happy to send some StoryPoints you way (more for folks who mostly played GR, but some for those who've played it at all in the last month).

    In each case, be sure to include your account name.

    Neither of these factors make up for the rollback or the changes that we've been forced to make, but I hope they'll offer some compensation.