Date: Tue, Feb 20, 1996 8:27 AM EST

From: Yamara

Subj: RFW #0.2

To: Yamara


WARNING The following newsletter contains elements that are blatantly gladhanding, and may be unsuitable for some fans. Reader discretion is advised.







The Newsletter of the World of Where Yamara Has To Live





Well, we went to Origins. God we had fun. Many thanks to everyone, yes you if you were there and were nice to us. We were deeply flattered to find that a lot of the people we hold in reverence are big Yamara fans. Pinch me, is this Hollywood?

We made a lot of connections, and there are plans under weigh for more work, several wonderful old dreams that may at last see print in the next year, etc. We'll keep you posted as these things go to contract and become real enough to crow about.


Dexcon was also wonderful, less glittery than Origins but in many ways more comfortable. The Double Exposure group that runs it seems to be able to throw a cozy little party for two or three thousand. We'll be at their Dreamation con in January without fail.



teN DeCimaL CoINaGe uNits a dAncE, tHaT is mY ReMunEratIOn


We've been getting a lot of requests for Yamara merchandise from fans, and lots of advice from industry moguls regarding coffee cups and tshirts and the like. Great! Find us someone willing to put up capital and organize the whole thing, and we'll license Yamara; if we like your proposal, that is. We're busy people, and while we understand there's money to be made, we're not set up to do these things ourselves.

The only thing we have the material and knowhow to put together at this stage is FriNn headpieces, or knockoffs thereof. Silly, it's a fashion statement. In normal daily life, our jewelry company makes squibbly little earrings which are sold in overpriced tourist resorts to women of all sorts. The little heart earrings go over best.

It's not the sort of thing I'd want to force on you lot, but the materials are just right for making semiauthentic Headpieces, which might be more your thing.

Note that each headpiece we would produce would be an original work of art, with our fingerprints and plenty of cells for you cloning enthusiasts. We'd sign each one, and provide a certificate of authenticity. Pricing these things would have to be according to materials and time. Handmade art tends to be expensive, but hey, so are those card things some of you buy. My guess is the thing to do is have interested people decide how much Headpiece they're willing to pay for, and have the size of their payment dictate the complexity of the object... ten dollars gets you a strip of brass wire with a few fish lures hanging off of it, five hundred gets you an elaborate thing you can hang over the fireplace with silver and titanium worked into it. Something like the drawing in the strip would probably run between thirty and fifty, depending on materials. I'll make one up and have Chris wear it at GenCon. Good idea? Too mercantile? Ordering info is at the end of the newsletter. E-inquire if you need more info before owning such a thing. None of them are guaranteed to make you a god.





Contrary to our assertion in the foreword to the book-- "We're often asked if any of the characters in the strip are based on... characters we've played. No." --rigorous archaeology into our own records and the clearing of throats from various old boyfriends has revealed that each of the four initial characters had precedents in games or writings of ours. This issue we examine the secret birth of Fea.


Good grief, we were both in college. Chris was usually the DM in those days, but we all felt we were becoming addicted so we decided to let Barbara's boyfriend DM for a change. Barbara rolled up a stupid fighter, his name was Groth we believe, just to see if there was any mystery to playing one, and Chris had a female grey elf magic user, by name Fea-Tathin. Oh, the caverns of unsecluded memory. All we remember of the game was that these two decided to get it on in a muddy stable. Liking stables was Fea-Tathin's one known character trait. We roleplayed the entire seduction with the poor boyfriend arbitrating.

Oh, and the toad. She got one with the Find Familiar spell, hated it like any good AD&D player character, and just about sent it away. Fea-Tathin ran once, maybe twice. We all went back to Chris' game, admitting we were addicts. When we were writing the toad-getting episode of Yamara, we recognized that Fea of Ping Forest has the personality to whom the gods automatically assign toads. Nothing new or funny about that...

Barbara: Wait a minute. What if she likes the toad? Chris: What? B: No, she likes the toad. She's happy she's gotten it. C: ROFL B: What if she were so limp-willed that the spell affected her more than the toad? C: Yeah, her soul is so toad-like that she's happy to roll up one these things!

In this hour was Ralph born.





Fea of Ping Forest, everyone's favorite celebrity gadfly, will shortly be publishing her spellbook (Wyhtl: Pang & Malice; 48pp illus.; 35 gp 95 cp hardcover). Since it includes spells from when she was good as well as the evil ones, everyone predicts it'll be a runaway bestseller. We reprint the following excerpts:



Fea's Special Insight (Divination)

Level 1; Range: 0; Duration: one small crisis; Area of Effect: self; Components: V (humming), S,M; Casting Time: 1 round; Saving Throw: None M-U's like us are supposed to be more intelligent than other party members, so let's prove it! This spell helps access those less than obvious parts of your brain, and makes them obvious. When confronted with a puzzle or something left-brainy like deduction, chanting this will lead to, if not downright hand you the answer to your dilemma. All the necessary parts of the puzzle have to be there in front of you, this just helps skip over the thinking part. I've had this spell brewing in my head since my co-hosting days on "Runes of Fortune," when I first discovered I liked thinking.


Fea's What's My Motivation? (Enchantment/Reversible)

Level 2; Range: 0; Duration: 2 days/level; Area: self; Components: V,S; Casting Time: 1 turn/day duration; Save: None

Have you ever started off on an adventure, and not known what the heck you were doing? Not the vaguest idea? Feeling like you were with a bunch of misfits that had no reason not to betray and countermand one another in a constant flurry of bickering and griping? This spell lets you cope with the day-to-day realities of a badly-thought-out adventure. This not only gives you a sense of purpose until the spell wears out: Any non-magic effect used against you of +/-1 is negated, or removed from cumulation, but a +/-2 or more still hits you hard.

For some reason, I can't cast this to work on other people, and they act so rude. Crud! The reverse is called Fea's Lost Weekend, and since it only works on oneself, you'd probably be better off without it.


Fea's Look Better than Her  (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level 3; Range: touch; Duration: 6 hours; Area: one person (usually self); Components: V,S,M; Casting Time: 1 turn; Save: None

Looking good is only so important. What matters more, in most situations, is to look better than somebody in particular. Treat all rolls as if caster's Charisma & Comeliness scores were 2 points higher than those of indicated person.


Fea's Charm Self (Enchantment) Level 4; Range: 0; Duration: 1 hour/level; Area: self; Components: V; Casting Time: 2 rounds; Save: None

Everybody needs a little confidence from time to time. This spell makes the caster believe he or she is really great. You get to add +1 to all rolls, due to heightened self-image.


Fea's Spontaneity (Enchantment)

Level 5; Range: Special; Duration: subsequent spell or conversation; Area: Special; Components: V; Casting Time: 1 segment; Save: None

You know how sometimes things seem too rehearsed. This little spell takes care of all that. All casting times reduced to 1 segment/level of spell, max. Also good for focussing someone on the scintillating point you're making.


Fea's Flesh to Plush (Alteration/Reversible)

[As published in Dragon Letters section. We've found the text we sent to Roger Moore a couple years back, but haven't had the time yet to unbury our back issues, and get it's date of original publication. It was around the strip's fifth anniversary, circa 1992.]

Level 5; Range: 3"; Duration: Permanent; Area of Effect: One Creature; Components: V,S,M; casting Time: 2 segments; Saving Throw: Neg.


A version of Item that appeals to toddlers, this spell transforms average people and monsters with free will and lives, into small dolls. The doll resembles the former person in most respects, and gives off no magical aura whatsoever. And the plush stuffing of the dolls appeals to family pets wity that urge to gnaw and worry. The reverse of the spell restores hapless victims to whatever state the doll was left in. It also turns plushy things (i.e. carpets, dolls, tapestries, upholstery) into fleshy things (i.e. hormad tissue, shoggoths, the Blob).



Fea's Vial of Icky Harm

Gross! Vials take three hours to prepare, but you can do that at home. Open one, say the magic word, and three cubic inches of disgusting goo will leave the vial and float inexorably toward your victim. The stuff will attach itself to his or her eyeballs, and they'll have to save versus poison, or it will eat into their eyes and they'll go blind with you watching.





First off, YAMARA is sheer, unadulterated genius. If you ever needed an ego trip, here's one now. The comic strip is wonderful! I love it! It is probably the best comic strip I have evr seen! Such writing! Such comedy! Such sarcasm! The entire things is so beautifully done, it brings tears to my eyes. I own most of the dragons, and was lucky enough to purchase your anthology. It really puts some insights into everything. Sometimes, I feel like the only thing I have to look forward to in life is the next YAMARA, and then I am happy. Are you planning another anthology? Will you give me any insights into your lives? Will you send me a list of the movies you've created?


-Tim P


[Tim, you write a bloody good fan letter. Good questions too, the kind most don't care to know; most people ask mountains of stuff about Letterhyde cuisine and Ralph's tadpolehood, and whether or not Joe and Fea ever got it on... but no one really cares about us. They assume we're Wendy & Richard Pini with different colored hair. And this can lead to some pretty nasty misconceptions, standard ones for vaudeville theater but still messy to sort out when they happen to you.

The first anthology took place under the aegis of Steve Jackson, and the second one may too. We need time to elapse so that enough strips can be put in. Insights into our lives? I suppose we can put stuff like that into the newsletter, Bar's off the spaghetti sauce and now lives on generic froot loops.

We haven't made any large motion pictures, just some strange short(ish) films, produced and directed by our friend Stephen. The longest one, and most bizarre, was Sock, a love story about a nice girl who falls in love with a sock puppet. The sex scenes were a real trip to shoot. It may premiere at next year's Dreamation.]


I'm glad that Steve Jackson, one of the most interesting and giving individuals in the gaming community, is publishing "YAMARA" at B.Dalton and hobby stores. I plan to buy an issue as soon as possible! Your work is excellent and well designed. The humor is subtle and intrinquing. Thank you for your letter!




[Thanks/Very Welcome, Aure. Just in case confusion is present, the Yamara book is a compilation, not an ongoing comic book with its own title or monthly issues. Yet. You guys come up with some really great ideas...]




Where we'll be, or where we expect to wake up, screaming.


GENCON [Elminster WI Aug 10-13] now looks really, really likely. Really.

SHORECON [Asbury Park NJ Sep 22-24] Berni Wrightson is tentatively going to be there, Joe Jusko is tentative, and now we're tentative. Come to think of it, you're tentative.





[Note that stuff like Fea's spellbook coming out in hardcover and tickets to Alcott Squad concerts are currently make-believe. Only the following stuff are real things you can actually possess. If someone comes to your door claiming to sell licensed Aetherco products, ask to see photo ID.]


Yamara goes to a full page in Dragon with the September 1995 issue. Our thanks go out to Larry Smith, the only editor the magazine has left; Wolfgang Bauer, who let it pass the last day he worked for TSR; all the loyal Dragon fans who voted for the mag yet again for this year's Origins Award, and catapulted it into the Hall of Fame; all the Yamara fanatics who wrote in or otherwise prayed; and all the good people inside the industry for their advice and support. Hi, mom!

[Dragon is a trademark of TSR Inc, and since it's a magazine, sentients are entitled to subscribe. TSR Inc. PO Box 756 Lake Geneva WI 53147.]


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 new words and pictures, including: "The coverage Chester received was for 650,000 gold pieces; appropriate for a body of his level of decay-- but far in excess of his actual holdings. Iizak, a guest at one of his many parties, spoke out: 'Before the kidnapping, he had some diddly little treasure around his place. He had one magic boot. But nothing to faint over.'"


Headpieces of FriNn (tm). They're real, they're each unique, they're handmade by us, they're weird and funny, they're costume jewelry, they turn you into a god!! Well, you'd have to roleplay that last bit. For full description see "teN DeCimaL CoINaGe uNits" above. Base price: $15 (US funds only) That's $10 Headpiece + $5 to ship it to you. BUT THE MORE $ YOU SEND, THE BIGGER THE HEADPIECE!! Own the biggest Headpiece in the world-- if you dare!!! Comes with instructions and certificate of authenticity. 4-6 weeks for delivery; we can only guarantee delivery to a street address (via UPS). NOT A TOY. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN. WE'RE SERIOUS WHEN WE USE ALL CAPS. NY residents add 4% sales tax. Send check or money order payable to: Aetherco. Address: PO Box 342 Red Hook NY 12571.


Radio Free Wyhtl #0 and #0.1 are still available from us, free, online. Just ask. If you already asked, and we forgot, bark HEY in the subject field, and we'll jump.


HARD FUN SYNOPSIS--"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 AOL, 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 file. Inside is the first two panels of the first full-page Yamara, mentioned above. Also there is what TSR terms a "sketch" of Arcalula's rock band from space, Alcott Squad, relaxing on a hotel balcony, contemplating their next adventure, their next gig, their next wild fling with an alien studhunk.





The Great Piece of Truth about Blag & Joe Holy

Okay, NEXT time we'll make room for Stress' Sunblocking Hairy Cantrip. Sorry about that...



Yamara(tm) is a trademark of Aetherco.

All contents of "Radio Free Wyhtl #0.2" 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.

All letters and email sent to Aetherco become property of Aetherco because, well, that's just how it's done.

Other trademarks and copyrights mentioned in Radio Free Wyhtl are property of their respective owners.