Within the Jack L. Chalker sagas of the same name, the Well of Souls is the computer at the heart of the Well World which controls the universe. The Well of Souls' access points are at the equatorial strip, on the borders of the wing-hexes (hexes formed by combining two half-hexes at an outside edge) known as Avenues. For a few moments at midnight, local time, the Well of Souls can be entered from an Avenue by anyone who knows how (like one of the Markovians, or anyone who has great need.

From inside the Well, a Markovian can manipulate the state of the universe, including shutting down the existing universe and starting a new one. According to Nathan Brazil, this has happened several times in the past.

Given the omnipotence of a Markovian in the Well, every time a Markovian arrives on the Well World, wars are fought to prevent (or assist) them in reaching an Avenue.

A "free online multiplayer role-playing game" from Synthetic Reality, at www.synthetic-reality.com. Basically, it's an engine, with a demonstration world, for you to create your own game. It allows a player to choose their own skin, representing them to other players.

You can donate $25 to get something called a Golden Soul, allowing you to move your Souls to other computers, which would normally mark you as a Modder. It also makes your name appear in gold text on the Player List on a server. Other special privileges are being able to talk to your pets, seeing who's on a server before you get on it, and not seeing 20-hour Golden Soul popups.

The starting world is Evergreen. You can also download other worlds from a convenient menu on the starting screen of the game. To start, you pick your world and whether you want to play single or multiplayer. If multiplayer, then you pick a server. It goes the same from then on.

You choose a class, such as thief, or whatever the world you're in has as classes, then you choose your gender, which can be any number of silly things, and whether you want to player-kill. Then you assign ability points to strength, wisdom, stamina, agility and dexterity. Finally, you pick your skin from a list. You can get skins from other players or make your own from the templates provided.

You appear in the world. From here, you can kill stuff, causing you to level up, giving you ten more skill points. During a fight, you can cast magic, which has to be learned with PP, gained from hitting enemies, hit the enemy with a weapon, or use an item. When it's your turn, your cursor will shoot out little symbols depending on what you're doing.

When you die, and you will, you have to go to a special place, usually some sort of temple. Dying also reduces your PP. Going to one of the temples will also restore your HP and MP.

You can and should also buy equipment to outfit yourself. Again, this varies between worlds. Equipment is specific to class. A green arrow next to equipment means that it will make you stronger. A red one means that it will make you stronger but you need to level up. A little red X means you can't use it.

With the use of PP, you can level up hand skills, allowing you to use more weapons. A soul with fully-leveled hand skills can use all weapons. Similarly, you can level up skill in Elements, allowing you to use more spells. Spells cost more PP depending on how high a level they are.

Using a special spell, you can capture pets or Pokegatchi. These can be any monster, as long as they are at least one level below you. The chance of catching the monster goes up by 3% every level they are below you. Some monsters, such as bosses, cannot be caught; also, some monsters are above level 100, which is the max level, therefore they cannot be caught. To raise their stats, you have to take care of them using the Pokegatchi Pen. If you don't take good care of them, they run away.

Well of Souls is a great diversion for a few minutes, an hour, or any amount of time. You lose nothing by not playing it for a while. Leveling up is easy and doesn't take nearly as long as games such as EverQuest and Final Fantasy XI. Plus, it's free.

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