During the mid-to-late 1990s, I alpha-tested/played a game in development called “Illusia: Quest for the Eternals” which was being produced by Living Mask Productions.  It was a tile-based RPG based loosely off the old tinyMUD programming scheme, and was among the first graphical MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) being created.

The premise was a medieval/fantasy world at war, with two factions opposing each other: the Human-Aligned Races (the HAR), and the Vampire-Aligned Races (the VAR).  Each faction had 5 playable races you could choose from, with a like number of character classes.

I was involved with the game for a good 5-6 years, and in that time I’d gamed with each of the races and character classes, to varying degrees of interest. Only one, my first character – Kowh – held a special place in my heart.

That is, until I created Mhauz.

A Felzur

A Felzur. Not Mhauz.

How do I explain Mhauz? He was one of the VAR races, a Felzur – arboreal feline-like humanoids known for their skills as spies, manipulators, thieves, and assassins. I’d been playing a noble Knight as my main character/avatar, so a Felzur – although closer, perhaps, to my own gaming nature – was far, far away from what I’d been doing thus far.

Rather than play it straight, I decided to go the comedy route.  It started with the name: Mhauz, a feline creature named “mouse”.  I didn’t want him to be a cold-hearted assassin, although he was perfectly capable of it; I wanted him to be somewhat inept, yet filled with a sense of self-importance. Let him deny his own lack of skills, and in fact make excuses for every mishap as if it were part of an intentional plan.

And so, Mhauz was born, and quickly joined Kowh in my tiny stable of favorite characters.

I only wrote a few stories about Mhauz, which is a shame – he had so much potential. I wrote his stories much in the style of Terry Pratchett, trying my best to emulate his comedic genius. I’ll let you decide if I was successful or not.