Version 1.1 / updated on 2002JN10
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When a creature that you hit it at least once is defeated, if you are still on the same snell (as the creature) when it dies, you'll get a message that "You [helped] kill a creature."
If you are the only one that hit the creature you don't have the [helped] part. Depending on your skill level and profession and the creature defeated you may get a "slaughter," a "dispatch," or a "vanquish" instead of a "kill."
When you kill a creature you get the standard amount of exprerience. When you slaughter a creature you get no experience from defeating it, that is, no direct experience (you may get some from people who share you). When you vanquish a creature you get more than the standard amount of experience from defeating the creature. You vanquish a creature when it is normally beyond your skills to defeat. You can also dispatch a creature. A dispatch means that you get a little experience from defeating the creature, less than the standard, but still more than zero. It means that you'll soon slaughter that type of creature.
As a newby for exemple you will vanquish all maha ruknee. As you gain ranks some maha will be "kills" and some will be "vanquishes," because some are stronger than others. When you become even stronger you'll stop vanquishing them and eventually you'll dispatch some and kill others. Then you'll dispatch some and slaughter others. And finally, there will come a time when you slaughter all the maha you encounter.
There is a progression in the creatures that you slaughter. You'll start by slaughtering rats first, then ona chiggers, then vermine, etc. That means you are getting stronger, but it also means you have to move to bigger game to get experience and let these to newer exiles or even better, brick for them :)