Date: Tue, Feb 20, 1996 8:24 AM EST

From: Yamara

Subj: RFW #0.1

To: Yamara



The Newsletter of the World of Where Yamara Has To Live





For those of you who weren't there, we did the fireside chat in TSR Live the other week. Many thanks to those of you who stopped in and made love to us. And especial thanks to those of you who grumbled; we like argument, we really do.


However, we were both hoping for a blood-on-the-walls debate about politics or feminism or the world in crisis, how it's necessary for fantasy practitioners to push for a better world because ordinary people can't be trusted to want one. Come on, we like to think we're a little bit radical. I suppose our commentary only gets valuable later on, after we sell some screenplays and I take to Jim Varney's bedroom. One good suggestion that came up was that we might be the next Elfquest-- not bloody likely, Wendy and Richard are a couple and a lot of their wisdom is of that healthy, mutually nurturing kind. You know us better than that. But they do have a terrific system of feedback in their Letters column. Perhaps we can use this newsletter for something of the sort; we're putting a couple of strange ideas out there, and we promise weirder ones yet if we ever get a chance to publish something from our drawer. You people, our victims, should have a chance to cry out, and perhaps argue us down, in something resembling public.


So, keep lettering us. We can't promise to respond to all of you, and we can't publish everything. But you lot are why we're writing Yamara, not the large monthly checks TSR sends us.


To Rob Repp at TSR: many thanks for the oppurtunity and art folder online. And TSRO Bocob: good job refereeing.


And one more happy bulletin; we are pleased to announce that Alec Storm has declared his willingness to kill for us. Thanks, Alec! We realize that he may have been intoxicated that night, or that someone else may have been pirating his handle. We'll give him a chance to reconsider before giving him his assignments.





"Sometimes these guys mistake weird for funny. " --A Dragon editor, here nameless


Since the strip went to eight panels, we've heard a lot of people saying they can't follow it any more. We agree that it's a little tangled. But in the opposite corner, we have some hydrophobic fans out there who wouldn't have it any other way. We think it should be somewhat easier to follow, but so many comic strips are too simple. It would be a crime to streamline it too much, and Alec might turn on us.


It's a tough call, but it's a question of taste-- to a point. If all of you are confused, then that's just bad writing. We promised Cliff's Notes in the newsletter, but gadzooks, even a brief synopsis of 18 Hard Fun episodes runs into some serious kilobytes. So we've devised a file called "Hard Fun Plot Arc Exposed". Those wonderful diehards of you out there are welcome to a copy; just ask us here at If anything specific in the strip doesn't seem logical to you, email us. We'll publish your letter and our response, for the betterment of everyone. Your questions can be anonymous, if you're raddled with shame to let on that you can't remember who Elmo was.




Copyright (c)1995 Manui & Adams All rights reserved


[When last we left Ogrek, he was recounting to the Letterhydes a tale from his honeymoon with the then-youthful Stress wherein they were sightseeing in some ordinary city between the dimensions, and she was plotting with Kirilianti, of Blackmail Unlimited ("The pale dark elf from a world that really didn't want to see her again. Lawless, she was perhaps the only brunette of her kind."), to get him back for a varying list of wrongdoings. Also involved in the plot is the dreaded BABEL curse, which makes people invent slang at an incomprehensible rate, and the fact that Ogrek has ticked off almost every outer-plane faction he has run across so far.]


"Looking for a pencil to write down the address of the dark elf conference, I came across two vials in a drawer marked 'BABEL' and 'Antidote'. I thought they might be of use later, and accepted them as my commission. Later in the hall, I encountered Kiril and my wife, both as happy as clams. Kiril had no time to talk, as she was late for a meeting of the Boomguard faction, and barely had time to get into costume and teleport.

"For a few minutes, Stress was all over me, cooing, 'Look at you! Let me look at you!!' I recalled fondly that she behaved much the same way when selecting lobster. Then she was off into the night, promising to return soon with a surprise.

"Since the Blackmail offices were otherwise empty, I left a note for the Coutouramites that Kiril would be back in a little, and where I would be, at the conference.

"By the time I arrived, their goddess and guest of honor, Denise, had just departed, and dozens of representatives from three major dark elf universes were sitting down, ready to sign an historic consensus. I skimmed its main points from a brochure entitled, 'A Contract with the Abyss'.

"To one side were the Undulants, clothed in dangerous lingerie, infamous for their breathy, feminine behavior. Their part of the agreement allowed them to continue posing in revealing ways, but to cease making obvious statements like, 'We are the superior sex' or 'All shall submit to our wiles' without first consulting with the other parties.

"In the center were the Pincerdames, who let the spiders pick their name for them. Since their main interest seemed to be focused on arachnids, their only demand was a steady supply of flies from the other universes.

"Finally, there were the Newts- the cold, callous ones whose men resembled David Warner, and whose women were hazardous, even when alone. They were agreeing to say one nice thing a week about the other two parties, in exchange for which they were given dictatorial powers over them.

"I saw that this was wrong, and stepped up to the podium. 'Good evening, everyone.'

"An Undulant arose, and throwing her shoulders back declared, 'Who are you that dares address women!'

"A Newt across the table cleared her throat. The Undulant reacted, 'He is a man, and must learn that we are oppositely sexed!'

"'You're supposed to cut that out,' advised the Newt.

"'The agreement is yet unsigned! Our mouths are our own!' The Undulants adjusted themselves petulantly.

"'Yeah, but you could start practicing,' said the Newt, which drew a laugh from her side.

"'We need more flies,' commented a Pincerdame.

"'You need flies, but what do we, the Undulants, get in exchange? We wanted only a pretty word from you, the Newts, and now we find none!' 

"'Well, the week's not over yet.'

"'Ha! I say! Ha! ' The rest said ha, too.

"As matters heated up between the Newts and the Undulants, a Pincerdame leaned over and squeaked casually to a Newt, 'We need more flies. We need more flies.'

"'Will you shut up about the damn flies,' snapped the Newt, a little too loudly, as it made the rest of the Pincerdames hiss and posture.

"The Undulant walked up and down her side of the table, her stiletto heels clicking on the floor. She gave the Newts a look so devastating, her friends would talk about it for years. "We, the Undulant dark elves of Estrella-Nuestra, shall remember this day. Yes, we shall remember the Newt courtesy! ' And with that, she brushed the agreement to the floor, and turned her back, nose in the air. She fell with a delicate flourish, perishing eloquently as the Newt replaced her gun in its holster.

"Then, to the surprise of all, the hall was stormed by Coutouramite faction operatives, dressed in the snazziest camo I have ever seen. So exacting was their faith in high fashion, that real jungle plants were grafted onto their flesh, to give that 'natural' look.

"An elder Newt barked, 'You have no business here, tailors! We are within dress code!' But the Coutouramites--let's call them Faction 'C'--closed ranks, as they had a secret mutual defense pact with the Undulants, and leveled their weapons at the Newts."


"Oh, this story," said Joe from his webby sleeping bag on the wall of the milk bar. "I've heard this story before-"

**SHUT UP!!! ** the Letterhydes narrowcast into Joe's brain, leaving him temporarily feebleminded. 

**Do go on,** psied One-Feeler.


"Apparently, the Coutouramites were dissatisfied with Blackmail Unlimited's service, and had burned it down to the aether, and came here next. In response, Kiril arrived with a Nova Brigade contingent of her Boomguard allies. The Boomguard faction traveled the planes, insuring that explosions went off correctly. If you ever try to get close to the launch site of fireworks at a festival, know well that the Boomguard is already there, waiting for you. Of course, the Newts allied at once with the Boomguard, because each was a popular social clique. In the growing din, I called for a recess, tapped the gavel, and went to the lobby for some coffee.

"I was just mixing in my one lump of sugar, when Stress arrived with a lot of men. Not soldiers, mind, or not many were soldiers. They milled around as if they weren't sure how long they were allowed to stay. Stress displayed that special joy that she reserves for occasions like presiding over an enemy's funeral. 'Here you are! Hi honey!! 'she screamed.

"She made them all stand in a line, and announced, 'I want you to meet my forty-five new husbands! ' She introduced them one by one, and I politely shook their hands, and asked after their business interests. There were a few whose names Stress couldn't recall, but I got their cards. Most seemed to be married to Stress because of promises to pay them, but others just seemed confused, or otherwise ensorceled. There was at least one unemployed angel among them, who looked exceedingly embarrassed.

"'Why forty-five?' I asked.

"'So I can divide them by nine, of course,' she invented.

"I looked at her with concern. 'They could also be divided by five, couldn't they?'

"'Look, don't messie me! Just start acting jealous as-ought!' Then she gasped throatily. 'Oh, my Goddess! I've got it, haven't I? I have the durst! --I mean the curse! ' She tried wiping her tongue with a coffee-napkin, as if that could save her.

"And I fingered the bottle in my pocket, and I felt the wild thrill of temptation that had led Kiril, and so many others, down insane paths of villainy. Could I not now make Stress my willing puppet? Even with my modest skills at negotiation, I could easily twist her mind around the need for the antidote, or the hope of its discovery, and so make her putty in my hands.

"But how could I torture my lovely Stress, even if it would save our marriage? 'Oh, don't worry, sweetheart. I have the antidote right here.'

"'You cretin,' she sulked. 'You're no fun at all.'

"The chaos spilled into the lobby, as the Pincerdames scuttled out of the arena doors, and down the stairs, desperately picking the walls for insects, in the knowledge that their spiders at home were getting hungry. But outside the exit doors I heard that unmistakable scratching. It was the gerbils. They had tracked Stress all the way here, and presently made short work of the doors. Soon the little things were rushing about our feet, tripping the grooms. They were seized upon by the Pincerdames, who were forming ideas on their desperate faces.

"The Pfefferneussion, led by their theorem Aspartamenon, burst into the lobby, leveling Stress' other husbands, in an attempt to break through and rescue their rodents. There was a stand-off, as the Pincers held tight to their hostages, but negotiations quickly led to a successful multidimensional trade agreement, as the Faction B leadership agreed to send vast loads of unusably fresh chocolate and surpluses of two-year-old holiday candy in exchange for the manufacture and shipping of chocolate-covered ants from the Pincerdames.

"The Boomguard blasted a means of retreat into the lobby, and the well-armed Newts found themselves falling back into Faction B's rear. Squibs and gerbils arced their deadly dance in the air, and the Nova Brigade found itself hemmed in between Faction B and C, and their allies.

"We soon were fighting back to back, Stress and I, because the Pfefferneussion wanted to get at the cello-wrapped continental breakfast muffins on the coffee rack, and I had no intention of letting them replenish themselves.

"'Kiril, I want my money back! It didn't work!' Stress shouted across the front.

"'No refunds!' squeaked Kiril as she realigned the phase signatures around her group's perimeter to prevent teleport. 'But you're a widow forty-five times over! Cash in their estates; it's your money, not his.'

"Stress raised an eyebrow. 'Thanks,' she yelled back, and went off to Civic Court.

"The Coutouramite leader I had chatted with earlier, appeared with a flash upon the stairs, at the very edge of Kiril's perimeter. He now wore great warbells on his cheeks and nose, and the air around him was swimming with designer labels, shielding him from every critique. 'Hi, Teddy!' said Kiril nastily.

"The Coutouramite glowered. 'I am Oofnarflebep!' he bellowed. 'I come flannging the vengeance I promised! I am Oofnarflebep!'

"Kiril clicked her tongue. 'That's not a name. That's not even a word. That's a made-up word.'

"'There's a curse going around,' muttered Oofnarflebep.

"'And you trashed the only antidote when you trashed my space! Try this on for size.' She cast enlarge upon his face-bells, snapping his neck.

"'Actually, I have it right here,' I commented, holding it up for all to view.

"A hush swept the hall. The only sound was the puffing and stamping of an Undulant, who was too busy striking a battle-pose to notice what was going on.

"It became a race of the three factions to see who could seize me first. But despite the Pfefferneussion's advantage of proximity, it was Kirilianti that floored them all with a magnetic inversion that revealed the depth of her interest in the matter. 'Give it back, there's a nice Ogrek,' she warned.

"'Never,' I declared, thinking the word sounded nice, and of all the clever things I could do with that word... Besides, Stress still needed a dose. 'And you can't make me.'

"She rose ten feet off the ground, spheres of power radiating off of her in a storm of three-dimensional mandlebrot sets, pushing her hapless foes and allies aside like poorly cast plastic figurines. She reached out a tiny, deadly hand to me, and spoke with the smile and voice of dark victory, 'If you don't give it back, I'll tell your mom. '"


Ogrek paused. The Letterhydes' antennae oscillated, and they sat stock still, as if pinned. In the gathering dusk outside, footsteps approached. Yamara returned, accompanied by Stress. "I miss anything?"

The Letterhydes all twitched their feelers and wings, and stared at Stress. The old drow High Priestess narrowed the bags under her eyes. "What."

"So you see, anyone can learn a lot from adversity, and become better for it," said Ogrek. "Have a nice day." He tipped his hat to his wives, and left. **Wait! Wait! Hey!** threw Thingspinner. All the Letterhydes except Petalbreath barreled out, making similar thoughts.

Moonweggie sidled up, and threw his left arms around him. **So-o-o, then what happened?** The press of butterflies followed Ogrek to his new billiard hall.

Petalbreath tried to wrench himself back to his cards, but finally put them away. **Dammit, I need closure. ** He scrambled after them.

Yamara watched the dust settle. Even the bartender was gone. "That makes me feel welcome."

"It's not as though we like them," said Stress. She glanced at the wall where Joe was trying to touch the tip of his nose with his tongue.



[This concludes the story as sent to, and sent back from, Dragon for their April 1995 issue. Subsequently, perusing that issue in print, we felt we understood why. Fair call.]




[As always in comics, fan mail brims with nothing but praise:]


no offense or nothing, but Ogrek should've been stuck to the wall with Joe Holy.... but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong




[The editors of Dragon agreed with you Trel, so you could be right...]


[And this lovely sentiment from rburton:]


|~) _ _ _ _ |~) __|_ _ _ __\ / _ __|_

|~\(_)(_|(/_| |_)|_|| | (_)| | \/\/ (/__\ |

_| PGP key on .plan ~|~|_ _ | _ __|_ |~) _ ._ _ _ ._ _|_o _

On the move: more to follow | | |}_ |_(_|_\ | |~\(_)| | |(_|| | | |(_


Serving the scum of Paris for over 300 years


[What is all that? We betray our ignorance. Someday we will be cool enough to understand.]


In the spirit of lunacy and computers, why not make the next issue 0.1. Just like a dos or windows version. They can't seem to make up their mind if it's just a revision or a completely new version. Now that youare on the net, why should you? :)


Grimwell, master of something he probably forgot.


[Thanks, Grim. :) :) Though we must point out we had honestly thought of 0.1 before we got your note. This is the reason for big bad letters disclaimers. Still, synchronicity and psychic forces all being equal, credit is given where credit is due.]


I've read the strip from way back in the Dark Natasha days (you may be interested to note that I always read your strip BEFORE reading Snarf), and you've never failed to bust me up with laughter. I especially enjoyed the recent series; the "Dark Sun" Setting was most seriously in need of having fun poked at it.




[Thanks, Scott. Which brings us to this month's Must Ask Question:

"Would you rather have dinner with Elmo from "Yamara", or the Li'l Leech from "Snarfquest"?" Take your time, it's a toughie.]





Appearances. Places we'll be. If you're there, we will be too.


ORIGINS July 13-16 Philadelphia PA

DEXCON 4 July 20-23 Somerset, NJ

and probably maybe GenCon, ya gotta love it...





The Yamara book [called "Yamara"] is available from Steve Jackson Games 1200-A Metcalfe; Austin TX 78741; (512) 447-7866; fax (512) 447-1144; It retails for $9.95, and is also supposed to be in B Daltons, Barnes & Noble, and finer hobby shops. It compiles the first five years of the strip and also has brand new things like this: "Came into the lab this morning, found every last piece of equipment lined up in a spiral starting at the northeast corner, and ending at the center of the room. After several shocked moments I realized they were in alphabetical order, by proper name. Yocchi was the only one there, seated quietly near the center. Have begun work on antidote in earnest."


"Yamara" the comic strip appears monthly in Dragon magazine. Dragon is a trademark of TSR Inc, and they want you to subscribe, we'll wager. TSR Inc. PO Box 756 Lake Geneva WI 53147.


Radio Free Wyhtl #0 is still available from us, free, online. Just ask.


"Hard Fun Plot Arc Exposed": For those of you who want or need a synopsis of the Hard Fun Octadectad saga-- whether you're just missing an issue of Dragon, or can't make head or tail of what we're on about-- this handy online guide is free, too. Just ask us for "that Hard Fun thing" here at


On America Online, there's some Yamara art to be found nowhere else, but man, is it hidden. Directions: Keyword: TSR. [If you haven't gone here before, prepare for a big automatic artload] Hit "New". Then go to "Upcoming Events". Then you'll see our Manui & Adams folder. Inside is the first two panels of a proposed full-page Yamara, the totality of which is now in Larry Smith's fax machine. Also there is what TSR terms a "sketch" of Arcalula's band, Alcott Squad. For those of you who need to know, the band is [l to r]: Kafira (bass guitar, trekul [Wildnuan theremin]), Arcalula (lead & rhythm guitars, vocals), and Kirilianti* (psychopercussion and keyboards). Soon to be trashing a coliseum near you.


*at a calmer moment in her life





In response to requests, the formulas for "Fea's Flush-to-Plush" will be reprinted in RFW #0.2, as well as the Sunblocking Hairy Cantrip, so popular with Matron Stress.

Henceforth, we will reveal One Great Piece of Truth in each issue. Oh, the fun we'll have.

Anybody want real, live, Headpieces of FriNn? We have a functioning jewelry factory, and we bet we could make 'em. Send us your views, and we'll announce our nefarious plans next issue...



Yamara(tm) is a trademark of Aetherco.

All contents of "Radio Free Wyhtl #0.1" Copyright (c) 1995 Barbara Manui & Chris Adams. Permission granted to copy for personal use only. Okay, you can send it to your friends, but you mayn't sell it. Yeah, and all the characters belong to us too! All letters and email sent to Aetherco become property of Aetherco because, well, that's just how it's done.