In addition to recent additions, this new version of MUME introduces a new side to the war and two new races.

Zaugurz Orcs

A fierce tribe of Orcs from the frozen North, the Zaugurz used to be allies of the Uruk-Tarkhnarb. Not long ago, the Tarkhnarb expelled the Zaugurz from Goblin Gate; the Zaugurz retaliated with a surprise attack on the western portion of the Tarkhnarb caves. Now the Zaugurz are back in force, ready to carve their place into the rich Southern lands…

Beorning Shapeshifters

It is said that denizens of the northern Vale of Anduin have the power of changing their shape from that of a man to that of a huge bear. Whether they descend from great mountain bears, or from the first Men who lived in this part of Arda, nobody knows; however, nobody can deny their valour and their implacable hatred towards Orcs and Wargs.

Zaugurz Orcs

As has been reported earlier, the politics around Goblin Gate has been less than stable lately. The Zaugurz Orcs, having migrated southwards from the cold North, clashed with the Tarkhnarbs, the tribe ruling the Goblin Gate, and were finally expelled.

Licking their wounds, the Zaugurz moved back to older dwellings further west, high up among the peaks of the Misty Mountains. Now, having established a small fortification and having grown in number, they have set their minds to take their vengeance on the treacherous Tarkhnarb, and, if possible, regain some territory from them. This does, of course, include fighting the powerful allies of the Tarkhnarb as well as the Free People, who couldn’t care less what tribe the Orcs under their swords belong to.

In MUME terms, this means we have a third side of the war. Everyone wants to kill an Uruk-Zaugurz, and a Zaugurz wants to kill everyone. The minions of Sauron can tell the different orc tribes apart, but others cannot. In the same way, the Zaugurz, not knowing the politics of these lands, can’t tell the different kinds of Men apart.

The Minions of Sauron, including the Zaugurz, all share the same Warlords list. Since the Zaugurz are at a tribal war with the other races under the Dark Lord’s shadow, any kills in that war will make the winner gain fame. However, such tribal fights will not affect the balance between the Armies of the West and the Forces of the Dark Lord (i.e., in view war).

Beornings and Bears

Beornings can now shapechange to bear form. Bears cannot cast spells, and they have severe restrictions on what equipment they can use. On the other hand, they are definitely stronger than Men, and have greater endurance and agility; their bare paws can cause vicious damage, and they can bash their opponents with their own bulk.

Due to their fearsome appearance, bears appear as *a Bear* to Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits and non-Beorning Men (unless they’re members of the same group). For the same reason, certain mobiles might be friendly to a Beorning in human shape and hostile to the same Beorning in bear shape.

In order to change to bear form, use the metamorph command (no arguments). The outcome is not guaranteed: the chance of a successful change depends on several factors, among which their level, their distance from the Carrock (in the Anduin Vale), their current mana, the time of the day, and the moon phase.

Bears return to human form automatically after some time (which depends on the same factors as above). A bear can try to return to human form before the time limit expires; failed attempts can cause fatigue.

Beornings fight with little regard to their own life, and they’re not used to wearing shields (they would prevent shapechanging). Therefore, their ability to parry enemy blows is slightly reduced (compared to other races).

When they find themselves in the Halls of Mandos, Beornings can choose to be transported to their village of Ingrove, in the Anduin Vale.

Finally, if you have created a Beorning character before MUME VIII, and you would prefer to remain a common Man rather than a shapeshifter, you can tell testbot eriadorian. This choice is irrevocable, so think twice about it. As a consequence of changing race, you will lose your citizenship in Anduin Vale (if any) and you will forget most of the languages you have learned.

MUME VIII planners and coders: Dáin, Gothmog, Frór, and Manwë.