Aardwolf is the name of a popular Dungeons and Dragons-style, ROM based Multi User Dungeon. It has been in existence for about 4 years. By Dungeons and Dragons, I do not mean to imply that it is based on that gaming system. I only mean that is a roleplaying game system wherein you build your character through combat, the completion of quests, solving puzzles, and other such stuff. Although, some areas of Aardwolf have a fantasy role playing game feel, others are just out there. There is even an area set up like Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is a marvelous time waster.

You character can be one of several races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Giant, Halfling, Troll, Sprite, Quickling, Half-Griffon, Dark Elf, Centaur, Vampire, Wolfen, Ratling, Diva, Shadow, Triton, Lizard, and Eldar. Humans are the vanilla species, and the others have their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, halflings make excellent thieves due to their inherent stealth, whereas vampires are extremely strong and heal quickly. Vampires, though, are nearly helpless during the day.

Your character must be one of several classes: Warrior, Thief, Cleric, Mage, Psionic, Paladin, and Ranger. Again, each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the spell casting classes (Mage, Cleric, Psionic) are weaker in physical combat than the others, but their spellcasting abilities balance that out.

Once your character is created, he or she begins the process of leveling up and exploring the vast Aardwolf universe. The goal, if there is one, is to build the strongest character possible, I suppose. Really, though, the real point is to have fun and kill stuff.

You can find it at aardwolfmud.org:4000 using any MUD client you like, although they prefer ones that use the MCCP compression protocol. Their website is aardwolfmud.org, too, if you want more information.

Latin Name: Proteles Cristasus
Shoulder Height: 50cm
Mass: 8.8kg
Length: 90cm
Gestation: 2 months
Number of Young: 2 to 4 cubs
Longevity: 12 years

The aardwolf (Afrikaans for earth wolf) is found throughout southern Africa, favouring scrubby bush country and open sandy plains, rather than deserts and forests. Its territory changes according to the migration habits of the termites it eats. It has yellowish hair with four to five black transverse stripes on the back and sides, more stripes on the limbs and neck, a black muzzle and a black, bushy tail. There is a mane of long hair running down the back, which can be erected under stress, making the animal seem to double in size. A nocturnal creature, the aardwolf is often mistaken for a hyena or jackal, but there are some crucial differences that set it apart. The aardwolf is a solitary creature, unlike the hyena, and is insectiverous, subsisting almost entirely on termites, or which it can eat up 200 000 in a single night. Furthermore, the long canines, which initially appearing threatening, are in fact very weak, and are used for digging rather than defense. Males and females do not differ significantly in size or appearance.

The aardwolf moves at a trot, with its tail held out behind it, and will bolt for the nearest hole if frightened. The aardwolf is a very good digger, which is important for finding termites, and for digging burrows, which it rests in during the day. Prey seems to be located by scent and sound, and then by sight. The aardwolf primarily feeds on termites of the genus Trinervitermes(snouted harvester termites) but will also feed on Odontotermes, Macrotermes, and Hodotermes. Termites are often captured with the aid of its sticky saliva. Because the aardwolf is such a solitary creature, its existence in any particular area can go unnoticed for years at a time. It is easily confused by bright lights, and as a result many are killed by cars. Other predators also prey on the aardwolf, including leopards in particular.

Births usually occur during the summer months, although it is not unusual for the female to give birth at other times of the year. During the first few months the young are cared for entirely by the female, who will move to a new den with the pups should the current one be threatened. After the cubs emerge from the den the male will also help care for them.

Mammals - John Skinner and Penny Meakin, 1988, Struik Publishers
Land Mammals of Southern Africa - Reay H. N. Smithers, 1986, Macmillan Publishers
Mammals of Southern Africa - Richard Goss, 1990, Jonathan Ball and Ad. Donker Publishers
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aardwolf

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