I had only taken a few steps out of the church when an old man appeared. He was a little shorter than me, long white hair, and a staff decorated by a blue crystal the size of my hand at the top.
I tried to alter my direction to walk around him, but he seemed to move at the same time and just kept getting in my way, preventing me from moving forward.
This guy apparently wasn’t going anywhere before talking to me.
“What do you want?” there wasn’t much else to do except find out his intentions.
“Hello young adventurer, I see you have just entered this world. May I ask what your name is?” Of course, he’s an NPC. I haven’t even decided on a name for my character before now, I wonder what I should call myself.
“My name is Silver,” Going on some wordplay on my surname, Silvester, it seemed like an appropriate, “It’s a pleasure to meet-“
“No, sorry, but that isn’t your name. Please tell me your name,” I get it now. This old man is the guide, an NPC for starting characters to choose their name, and perhaps other things as well. I assume he speaks this line when the name you decide on has already been picked by someone else.
“Sorry, my mistake, my name is Hosen actua-“
“Sorry, but that also is not your name. Please tell me your name.” This guy, did he just cut me off two times in a row, he’s seriously starting to piss me off.
I tried a few more time to give him a name I was happy with, but once more he cut me off with the same emotionless voice.
Leaning slightly forward and down to place myself in his face, I speak in a completely dead voice.
”**** off, you nasty old geezer.”
A stunned look overcame the guides face, followed by what I thought was one of extreme irritation. It was hard to say considering his staff came down on my head at the same and knocked me out.
I woke up at the bottom of a large set of stairs with a splitting headache. In front of me was a little street lined with what appeared to be residential houses, quickly leading into an incredible courtyard.
A large round pond sprouting a fountain seven meters high sat in the middle, the temperature having frozen it solid, crystallized in motion. Surrounding the courtyard are various shops, everything an adventurer could need from potions to weapons and armour.
Patches of snow covered most of the cobblestone roads, people walking around in various thick coats and armours, clearly the central area for players both buying and selling supplies.
Behind me the staircase led up a snowy hill to a church on a platform at the very top, the same church I was just at not too long ago.
‘Did he throw me down the stairs??’
Storming back up the stairs it only takes a minute to get up to the top, but when I get there the old man is nowhere to be seen. I search around for a bit but he had just disappeared from all existence.
Dropping my anger at someone who wasn’t even around anymore, I notice a small red bar at the top of my vision that was a little over ten percent full. Opening my status, surely enough it had been updated to now have my health and also my new… Name.
Name: Lost Health: 13/100 Lvl: 1 Lvl UP: 0% Str: 10 Agi: 10 Dex: 10 Int: 10 Mnd: 10 Lck: 10 Fame/Infamy: 0 Alignment: +0 God: - Belief: 0 Equipped Skills: Aggravation (SLvl 1, 0%) [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] Reserve Skills: [Empty]
‘What the heck? Lost? He knocked me out and auto assigned me a name because I… Lost?’
That joke isn’t even funny, wasn’t the old man supposed to be an NPC? How can he simply decide on a name for me? Inspecting my new status that wasn’t all that was new, I also had a new skill equipped that I have no memory of.
Clicking on it brought up the description.
Aggravation (SLvl 1, 0%) -Passive People you interact with will naturally be more hostile to you and monsters will also be more inclined to attack you. SLvl 3: - 10% less intimacy with NPC's. - 5% chance every 30sec nearby monsters will get the 'Agro' status towards you for 2min. - This ability is Soul Bound, cannot be unequipped.
This had to be the biggest nonsense so far! And to make it worse I could not even unequip it! There really wasn’t any point dwelling on this but it was just so incredibly frustrating.
I start to trudge my legs into the courtyard where all the business appears to be. I still have no money but I came to what appeared to be a blacksmith shop specializing in weapons.
Inside is a large myriad of weapons spread out all around the shop, crates of cheap inefficient weapons were spread out with prices ranging from and astonishing two silver coins per weapon, all the way up to seventy silver.
Hanging along the walls were the better weapons, with nothing under two gold, which while I normally wouldn’t consider that expensive, I don’t know how hard it is to obtain gold in this game.
First, I need to find a few quests to earn money, I’ve played these types of games before and the best way to earn some money at the beginning is to do some quests. The blacksmith who owned the store was patiently waiting behind the counter to do business. He stood a full head taller than me with long overflowing hair dropping down around his shoulders, the sweaty appearance of which helping him give off quite an intimidating presence.
“Good morning, I was wondering if you have any quests I can help you with?” I ask the blacksmith.
“Pard’n, what do ya’ mean by quest?” He genuinely seems puzzled.
“You know, you ask me to do something and offer me money as a reward for doing such a task.”
“I don’t have any requests at the moment, especially not to the likes of you.” Scowling down at me I wonder if this is possibly the effect of my aggravation skill, he seemed to considerably dislike me.
Not letting it get to me I try some of the other stores around and it all ends up the same, they all end up snubbing me off like I was vermin. I try every possible approach ranging from subtleness to straight up flattery. In the end a few even demanded I leave their shops.
By the end of trying every store in the main courtyard I began to catch some whispers of other players talking about me.
“Have a look at that guy over there, how pathetic.”
“Hey, what’s with that delinquent stalking all the shops? Is he looking to shake up a few low level players or something?”
“Just used a basic insight spell on him, his name is Lost and he’s still lvl 1, acting all mighty when he’s still a noob himself.”
All these people are judging me already, I’m doing my best to be friendly but somehow they all have the wrong impression of me. NPC’s are getting even more unfriendly as well thanks to my aggravation skill getting experience and becoming stronger from just talking to NPC’s, it has levelled up twice already.
Aggravation (SLvl 3, 21%) -Passive People you interact with will naturally be more hostile to you and monsters will also be more inclined to attack you. SLvl 3: - 12% less intimacy with NPC's. - 8% chance every 30sec nearby monsters will get the 'Agro' status towards you for 2min. - This ability is Soul Bound, cannot be unequipped.
In one hour the sun seems to have travelled a quarter across the sky to noon, revealing the scale of what should be three days in the game to be the equivalent to one day outside the game.
There was not much for me to do around the town anymore. Using the sun as a guide, I started to head north towards one of the city’s gates. I have no weapon, clothing that has next to no defence value, and no skills apart from one that may potentially cause monsters to chase me to the end of the world.
Outside of Iceridge the landscape had a lot more snow covering it, a few small hills sprawled around with trees breaking through the snow at irregular intervals. Somewhere under this snow there should be roads helping players travel to other towns, but they were well covered at the moment.
Walking over a nearby hill I found a large hunting ground of dark grey wolves where players were diligently fighting them amongst the trees. Most players were in groups of two or three, although there were some solo players amongst them. One thing they all had in common however were that they had weapons and armour. Swords, axes, spears, I even saw a few clubs, very basic equipment mainly, but they all had things I was lacking.
Was there something I’m not aware about? Did I go wrong somewhere? I bet this is the result of that stubborn guide.
Figuring there is nothing to lose as I can’t possibly lose experience when I don’t have any I close in on the area where the players are. A wolf comes out from behind a tree and spots me, immediately running at me and pouncing with its open jaws targeting my throat.
‘It’s aiming for the neck, too predictable.’ A quick sidestep and it passes straight by me. Turning around to counter attack I was astounded at how quick it recovered, twisting its body upon landing and jumping straight back at me to launch a second attack.
Without enough time to dodge I blocked its jaws with my arm. It was lucky my health had recovered by the time I left Iceridge, yet even while avoiding any critical damage it still took my health down by nearly a quarter. The wolf landed nearby and took its time with its next attack, as if to gloat and show its dominance.
As it began another attack, this time swiping my ankles with its paws, I threw a punch and managed to connect with its head, although the unexpected attack by the wolf did take off a further ten percent of my health. The wolf’s health bar became visible to me upon dealing damage to it, even if it appeared to be minimal.
I slowly get better at predicting and avoiding its attacks, following by counter-attacking with my fists.
By the end of the battle my health had about fifteen percent remaining, flashing red at the top of my vision, but one fortunate evasive manoeuvre followed by a powerful kick to the wolf’s side was enough to finish off.
It turns out the lower your health is the more fatigued you feel, this made the latter half of the fight quite difficult as I began to move slower and had a harder time avoiding its attacks. What a truly realistic effect the game has, considering who would be able to fight in perfect condition when you are nearly dead.
A loot menu appeared above where the wolf died, conveniently situated at the same height as my eye level. Inspecting the menu I looted wolf meat and a wolf paw, which strangely had an attack value, albeit being completely useless. Closing the loot menu, the corpse to turned into mist and dissipated.
Grey Wolf Paw The paw of a wolf which the claws are still attached, can be used as a weapon. It can not be repaired and is considered to be of extremely low value. Weapon Type: Special/Slashing Attack: 2 - 5 physical Durability: 11/15 Weight: 1.8 lbs
“Did you just see that? The way he kicked that wolf, someone needs to call animal protection. That was just too cruel.”
“I know, and he looks like he’s enjoying it far too much.”
I cried inside at hearing the whispers of some of the players around me. I’m sorry I don’t have any money or a weapon! It wasn’t my choice and none of the NPC’s in the city are willing to give me a quest to earn some money!
That moment, three wolves that some of the player parties were currently fighting suddenly broke off and started running in my direction. There were also a few players chasing them who were cursing at me and yelling about respect and not using taunting skills to disrupt other people’s hunting. Oh no, this must be my aggravation skill.
With my health still flashing red, there was really no other option than to run. It may have felt a lot longer than it was but the wolves manoeuvred much better than myself on the snow, shortly catching up to me and the resulting battle was even shorter.
Name: Lost Health: 100/100 Lvl: 1 Lvl UP: 13% Str: 9 Agi: 9 Dex: 9 Int: 9 Mnd: 9 Lck: 9 Fame/Infamy: 0 Alignment: +0 God: - Belief: 0 Equipped Skills: Aggravation (SLvl 3, 56%) [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] Reserve Skills: [Empty]
I didn’t lose any experience… But I did lose stat points! That’s quite serious. Death is not to be taken lightly!
All this is that horrid skills fault, luring three wolves to attack me. However for an eight percent chance of luring one wolf, the percent of taunting three at once was only a fraction of a percent, surely it couldn’t happen again.
Putting progress aside for a moment I decide to log out for the time being.
Back in my locker I utilize the control panel to adjust my avatar so I am no longer naked. There were a lot of options for clothing in the menu, and there was also the choice to have the appearance of Lost, my game character. The choice there after was quite simple as I went with my appearance from End Online.
I decided not to go into the options I found for customizing my locker and pressed the “Leave Virtual Reality” option.
Opening my eyes and removing my V-Link from my head, the transition between the white locker and my dark bedroom lit only by a street lamp through the window made me a little queasy but it passed over quickly.
The inability to once again move my legs left me feeling cold inside, gripping my bed sheet in my hands as I prop myself up into a sitting position. I couldn’t hold on for long however, I have been feeling far too emotionally exhausted lately, leaving me completely empty.
Getting in to my wheelchair and moving over to my computer, the time was 1:17am when it had started up.
A quick search on the internet revealed a player created wiki for End Online, exactly what I was looking for. Browsing over the site, there were a lot of speculations on how certain aspects of the game worked, like dungeon bosses and the skill system.
What I wanted though was the guide for new players starting out. It described leaving the church and the guide who blockades your path until he is done with you, although this is where things differ from what happened to me.
The more I read the more the anger filled the void inside of me. Apparently once you tell him the name you have chosen for yourself, as long as nobody has already chosen that name, he will give you a starting allowance of two gold and allow you to choose any six of the basic skills available.
I’ve been completely ripped off! I’m going to snap that old man’s staff in two like a twig!
There was a lot more information on skills along with all the description and stat boosts, current recommended builds and some skills that complement one another. I was also interested in finding out that once you are level 20 and higher you can purchase any number of new basic skills from the church at any of the starter cities for the appropriate cost in your experience levels.
Although, you could only purchase up to a maximum of ten skills.
1st Skill - 1 Lvl 2nd Skill - 1 Lvls 3rd Skill - 2 Lvls 4th Skill - 3 Lvls 5th Skill - 3 Lvls 6th Skill - 4 Lvls 7th Skill - 4 Lvls 8th Skill - 4 Lvls 9th Skill - 5 Lvls 10th Slill - 5 Lvls
I was lucky that purchasing skills was not the only way to acquire them, they can also be earned through specific quests or player achievements, saving me from having to spend twenty five levels just to equip the maximum nine skills.
Your level in the game only affects you maximum health points, mana, and stamina too which was rather interesting. Although in order to have stamina for sacred arts and mana for magic you needed the fighting prowess and magic force effects from equipped skills.
I also learned about sacred arts, weapon attack skills that the system assisted you in executing and did much higher damage than casual attacks. To learn them you need to perform the attack a high enough skill and it will be discovered as a sacred art. Most people learnt them off of trainers or other players usually
You also need the appropriate proficiency skill for you weapon equipped and to use sacred arts. While you can technically equip any weapon given you meet the required stats, if you don’t have any form of proficiency in that weapon type you will only deal half the damage and be incapable of using sacred arts.
Your stat points naturally increase the more you play and do actions related to them, this means someone who is always fighting with sword and shield will naturally have a higher strength and dexterity stats. Death is also horrifying in the game as the penalty is a permanent loss of stats.
I noticed two other interesting things about skills, there are some that will “Skill Up”, as it is called. When a certain skill reaches a high enough level and sometimes relying on other criteria too, there will be the option for a skill to “Skill Up” into a new skill, overwriting the original skill and resetting it back to skill level one. You don’t have to “Skill Up” and the option to do so will forever remain available on the skill, sword proficiency has been recorded to turn into specializations of one-handed swords, two-handed swords, piercing weapons, and exotic weapons.
Secondly my skill ‘Aggravation’, was not listed on this site, and not a single skill I saw was soul bound and could not be unequipped. I did consider myself a special and unique player for a bit but to be honest it was far more trouble than it was worth.
I decided that tomorrow I would try out some of the information I found on the site, particularly about a barracks in Iceridge where you could obtain a skill called “Military Arts”, a skill which gave you a damage bonus and access to a few unique sacred arts! All you had to do was endure a fitness and combat course that is supposed to take a week to complete.
The next morning I had an incredibly sore back, mainly a side effect from no longer rolling around in my sleep and my muscles stiffening in place. I slept until mid-morning, Joelle and Shari had already left for school, but this is what happens when I go to bed so late. They seem to have gotten a little more independent since I was in the hospital, but I still worry that they have never brought any of their friends around. Were they embarrassed that we live in a lower district than everyone else, or perhaps they were embarrassed of me? I don’t know the reason but they have also never gone to their friend’s home either, they are always home by 4:00pm without fail.
Breakfast was easy, I just took some of last night’s pizza out of the fridge and had that, not even reheating it. A little unhealthy, but nothing beats the occasional cold pizza in the morning.
Eager to use my legs again I head back to my room and plug into virtual reality. Before logging in as Lost I decided to look through the options of customizing my locker, the amount of detail you could delve into was enormous. Without playing around with the features of the locker so much I just placed a white sofa and coffee table in the centre. A few cups and a simple coffee machine on the table, I planned to come back and try some later.
Logging into End Online my locker dispersed into mist, reforming into the world around me exactly where I logged out at the church.
Travelling back into the main courtyard of Iceridge I couldn’t hear anyone talking about me anymore, but that was probably because all the players from last night are now logged off. I head south towards the central keep where the barracks was described to be located.
I passed through a lot of areas where there where houses had signs for selling and renting, can’t say there won’t be people playing as real estate tycoons given the opportunities to purchase a property and start renting it out. Although there seemed to be more residences for sale than for rent.
Eventually I arrived at was looked similar to but not quite a coliseum. I passed by stone monuments of soldiers with their names etched under their feet and through the front door. A regal receptionist wearing a white soldier uniform, blond hair tied up in a bun, and plain rectangular glasses was filling out paperwork behind a desk at the end of an otherwise empty room.
She looked up at me as I got closer and was straight to the point.
“What do you think you’re doing in this place? This is not some tourist destination.”
“Forgive me. I have come seeking to become stronger.” I was as polite as I could have possibly been short of prostrating myself.
“Not my problem. I don’t like you, something about you seems off, and you are not someone I would even consider trustworthy.” Curse this aggravation skill! “But, I am required to follow regulation regardless. Read and fill out this form then pass through the door to my left, heading down the corridor until you reach the training ground. Centurion Markus will be your instructor.”
I don’t know who I should thank for this opportunity, but the effect of my aggravation skill seems to be useless in this place.
The receptionist turned over a safety and guidelines form that all I really had to do was fill in my name and sign underneath. While reading all about any resulted death in the training arena was not the fault or responsibility of the Iceridge Military Forces, IMF for short, another player entered the barracks and filled out a form as well.
One glance left me dumbstruck. Blonde. Or should I say golden hair that was neither long nor short, but completely straight. Bright blue eyes, height wise a head taller than me, a solid build and face that looked like he fought for the weak and elderly. This man next to me was the re-incarnation of Prince Charming!
He didn’t even read the paper that was given to him, just signed it and walked towards the training ground without paying anything else attention. I was right behind him in leaving the reception. This guy may be wearing the same beginner gear as me but what an overpowering aura he gave off, the difference between the two of us was astronomical.
We walked into a square training ground thirty meters wide and about fifty long. There were a few players around lined up and striking training dummies which all the snow had fallen off and were lying around them. I couldn’t however quite understand how there was no snow anywhere else on the field, it was all hard packed dirt.
The biggest man I had ever seen approached us and eyed us up and down. He had close shaved hair, four scars lined diagonally down his face obviously from an animal, and thick brass plate armour all the way up to the top of his neck.
Turning to Prince Charming next to me he addressed him first.
“You, what’s your name? You look like a promising trainee.” With a slight nod of his head it was exactly one of the lines the internet informed me he would say, it differed a bit depending on the size of the person he was addressing, but none seemed all too bad.
“Sir Laurence, it is a pleasure to meet you centurion!” With a loud voice that turned a few heads he even straightened his back even further while saying it. Also what was with that name? He is clearly going for the heroic knight type of person.
“Hmm, go grab some equipment from the racks over there,” the centurion nodded towards about 4 racks of weapons and shields in the corner of the field, “show me what you have by striking a practice dummy one hundred times.”
With an arm across his waist, he gave a curt bow responding, “As you wish it to be, I shall do,” picking up a steel long sword and kite shield he moved to an empty position in the middle of the field and began diligently striking the dummy from various angles and directions.
The centurion turned to face me and just looked down at me without speaking a word. A vein across his temple all of a sudden seemed to burst and he shouted.
“Well! Aren’t you going to speak maggot!?” I was dumbstruck, that was just far too overbearing.
“…” I couldn’t even find my voice, I started sweating profusely from my forehead and felt myself go red from embarrassment.
“WEAK!” Basically screaming this time, everyone had stopped what they were doing and looked in my direction. Even Prince Charming had turned to face me with what looked like pity on his face, no, that bastard is gloating!
“Go! Equipment! Practice Dummy! Strike! Four hundred times!” This guy wasn’t even using proper sentences anymore! Plus I had to do four times the work as his new favourite student over there! Nonetheless I ran to obey his orders, inspecting the rack for what weapon I thought would suit me best.
Considering my aggravation skill that has once again proven its inconvenience, what I need is to be able to run away when every enemy decides my death is the most valuable thing. And I’m going to have to be able to run fast.
I grab a short sword about the length of my forearm that should allow me to be more agile. Looking at the shields even the smallest one would limit my movement, so I pick up another short sword the exact same as the first one.
I’m the only person now striking dummies who does not have a shield and everyone keeps giving me strange glances,
“What’s with that delinquent? He is just going to die without a shield. He must be a complete noob if he doesn’t know that common sense.”
“Yeah but there are plenty of people who don’t use shields, it’s just harder to play.”
“I suppose, I wouldn’t want to party and block for him though, those weapons are too small and he wouldn’t do enough damage with them.”
“How did this guy manage to make the centurion that mad? I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it”
Sorry, but with my aggravation skill I don’t think anyone would be able to be my blocker, the enemy would get aggro at me and do everything in its power to attack me and nobody else. It would in fact make me a fantastic blocker, but being a primary blocker would make it near impossible for me to play solo, plus it is an area of effect taunt skill that appears to have an effective radius of around twenty meters.
Ignoring their discussion between themselves, I continued to strike the practice dummy at a decent pace leaving red lines where I stabbed and slashed, even if they disappeared relatively quickly. It is the same with monsters, this is not only to prevent any gore complaints and issues, but if the server had to calculate it all, it could potentially be too much.
A couple of times a small notification of text appeared in my vision informing me of stats that have increased, mainly strength and dexterity.
After two hundred strikes something jabbed into my back. It didn’t hurt much, kind of like a pinching, but it took of a single health point. Glancing over my shoulder I saw the centurion squatting down and holding a bare blade in his hand, jabbing me with the hilt.
“Move it! If you were any slower and I will die of old age! NOW. STRIKE. FASTER!” This is unbelievable, a hundred of these jabs and I will be dead, how can this guy be so heartless!
I picked up the pace and started swinging faster, my agility rose once and a few others as well. After another hundred strikes I had lost forty health points, I only had sixty left and the fatigue of getting weaker was setting in, making the swords weigh down in my hands.
The centurion then started jabbing me faster, taking my health down quicker than he was before, the pinching had now turned into what was feeling like someone punching me in the back. Everyone else had long since finished yet this failure wasn’t even paying attention to anyone else, only intent on tormenting me.
“TOO SLOW! You’re going to die like this!” Of course I am while you’re attacking me with that sword! All the other trainees had long finished their task and were sitting around watching, somewhere even placing bets on whether I would finish or die first.
Faster! Faster! I need to go faster! I could no longer put any strength in my swings I simply focused on making the blades connect with the target. My agility and dexterity took over as the primary stats being increased.
My health started to flash red and the weapons were like lead in my hands, but I couldn’t give up here! I had lost count but after practically throwing the weight of the swords at the target the attacks on my back stopped and the centurion stood up. Left with four health points, it occurred to me that this task would have been impossible with a sword and shield. I would not have been able to strike the target fast enough.
“Hmph, barely a pass,” He had quietened down a bit at least, “looks like you need something to relieve the fatigue.” Is he starting to like me more now that I passed his test?
“LAPS! AROUND THE FIELD! TWENTY!” Of course not. I’m not even frustrated right now, I had a feeling things wouldn’t end there. But to be back to not using proper sentences was even beyond me.
Most of the onlookers were stunned, some were even laughing, there were two girls mixed in that were giggling a bit at my misfortune. The centurion told them not to sit around finally and sent them to do five laps around the field but that was light work for everyone still at full health.
Meanwhile my legs were becoming one with the ground as I continued to run as hard as I could to prevent the centurion from chasing me with his sword hilt or something else that would quickly result in my death.
Once ten laps had been completed a felt a dark premonition and darted forward slightly faster, sure enough something hit the wall right where I was. This man was standing in the middle of the field sure enough had picked up some small rocks, the evil grin on his face showed me how much he was enjoying it.
My health had recovered to twenty percent and my agility however had risen a decent amount, I was quick enough to out run the projectiles heading my way. The rest of the trainees appeared to have left already, all of them already bored of watching my torture.
At five laps left something connected with the side of my head, shaving of two health points and dazing me slightly. The evil grin on the centurion had deepened at his satisfaction of finally landing one.
His accuracy only got better from then on and each hit fatigued me more and made it harder to run. Trying to anticipate the rocks I did rolls, faints and occasionally I would momentarily stop in my tracks to allow a rock to pass in front of me.
Diving at the very end of the last lap, I avoided two final rocks and heard the devil clicking his tongue. Sorry, but I’m not giving up yet, I will keep going just to spite you! The day ended after that and he told me to be back at sunrise the next morning.
Night time in the game is incredibly dark, you can barely see anything if you don’t have a torch or any other form of light, the moon gave off light but not enough to be able to fight properly. Luckily the city is well lit with street lamps lining all the streets, so moving around in town was relatively easy.
You will also get tired in the game if you have been playing for too long, it is possible to sleep overnight in game and you will also gain rest in real life equivalent to what you slept. Apparently while sleeping in game the VL goes into a semi-hibernation state and allows you to properly rest until morning in the game comes and it re-activates. There is nothing that can replace food however, even eating in game and getting the feeling of being full will not give your body the necessities to live.
I opted to leave the game and return to reality, I had no money to rest at an inn anyway. Sure enough Joelle and Shari were home and making a mess in the kitchen.
“You two, what do you think you are doing?”
“We were hungry and wanted something to eat,” Shari had a silly little grin on her face as she has half climbed into the food cupboard.
“The food stock is running a little low. Let’s go buy some stuff for dinner and the next few days’ worth of meals.”
“Okay, let’s go then! Can I cook tonight?” Joelle put on the sweetest smile as she asked hoping to have attempt two in the kitchen.
“Sorry, but after last time I am more inclined to do it myself for now, I will start teaching you soon though,” It was just the other night that she smoked out the kitchen, I think it is best for her to wait and reflect on where she went wrong before trying again.
They were both pouting a bit as we left to go to the supermarket. We were really lucky that there was one so close by, it saves us a lot of trouble in travelling.
Dinner was spaghetti bolognese, due to it being cheap, quick to make and one of the girls’ favourites. We also bought more ingredients for various dinners, lunches and other snacks as well.
After cleaning up the girls were playing some board game in the living room as I headed back to End Online just before the sun began to rise in its skies. The entirety of the day was once again completely gruelling for me, even worse I had to witness to praises from the centurion being showered all over Prince Charming. Unsurprisingly the two girls in the group seemed to be a little fond of him, but most of the other players sent looks of scorn his way.
Two weeks of dodging the centurion’s life goal of ending mine, my stats had raised considerably, particularly my agility. Not to mention being around the centurion was apparently also a fantastic way to train up my aggravation skill, it had really risen exponentially.
Aggravation (SLvl 9, 87%) -Passive People you interact with will naturally be more hostile to you and monsters will also be more inclined to attack you. SLvl 9: - 18% less intimacy with NPC's. - 17% chance every 30sec nearby monsters will get the 'Agro' status towards you for 2min. - This ability is Soul Bound, cannot be unequipped.
Everyone who I had begun with had finished their training a week ago, but I was forced to continue as more players signed up and began doing the training. This place was surprisingly popular, and so was I, the guy that the centurion hates.
After the latest day of training the centurion told me to follow him, a little confused I ended up in a small audience chamber where he put a hand on my shoulder and sat me down at a the only table in the room, congratulating me for all the hard work I had put in. It all seemed a bit surreal to me at the time considering the complete change of attitude he had with me.
“Congratulations, trainee, today you graduate a stronger person that when you came here,” his voice was low and soft, I wonder if he’s broken
“I’m not quite sure how express my thanks, you have done so much for me,” its true, after everything I had to endure my stats had rose considerably and I had developed a personal fighting style using two short swords.
“Well, I didn’t particularly like to you start with, just looking at you made me want to throw your corpse into a prison cell to rot,” he was completely serious and we both knew it, “But, you showed you mettle and proved me wrong, the training I gave you is more than any normal trainee would do. Its rewards are reflected in the skills and techniques”
“There was no way I could possibly not stay until the end, and now I’m truly glad I did.”
“Good, because there is another matter I would like to trouble you with,” Not even a chance to accept or not he just continued anyway, “As you can see my faced was scarred from an attack in the past. It was done by the great white wolf, believed to be a spawn of Fenrir himself. Thanks to my duties here as a defender of this city I am no longer able to leave and seek my vengeance. Thus I would like you to do it on my behalf and bring me back the its hide.”
Quest: Slay the great white wolf Centurion Markus has requested you avenge the scar on his face by slaying the beast that caused it, the great white wolf The creature is said to live in a mountain cave east of the city. Failure or refusal will cause Centurion Markus to consider you even weaker than a maggot and will never train you again. Grade: Orange
“Very well, I will slay this wolf for you and bring back its body.” This should be a great way to test out my new strength at the very least, not that I didn’t want to refuse it so he never speaks to me again.
“GOOD! You may keep your training weapons and your new skills with you to complete this task!” I think this guy is just naturally loud. Anyway, I now not only gained some proper weapons but at the same time I received a notification I had gained a new skill. Dismissing it and opening my character status what I could not hide my shock. I didn’t receive the standard military arts skill. What was in the place it should be, was a skill a step above it.
Advanced Military Arts (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active You have completed the training course at Iceridge Military Academy showing your determination in the face of death itself, learning a higher proficiency of short swords. SLvl 1: - Fighting Prowess + 2 - Short sword proficiency. - Short sword damage bonus 1.1 X base damage. - +6 Agility. - +4 Strength. - +4 Dexterity.
I couldn’t believe it. This was worlds better than what people had posted on the internet. The fighting prowess plus two was possibly the greatest benefactor giving a larger than normal stamina bar.
Name: Lost Health: 100/100 Stamina: 80/80 Lvl: 1 Lvl UP: 13% Str: 15 +4 Agi: 26 +6 Dex: 18 +4 Int: 9 Mnd: 9 Lck: 9 Fame/Infamy: 0 Alignment: +0 God: - Belief: 0 Equipped Skills: Aggravation (SLvl 9, 87%) Advanced Military Arts (SLvl 1, 0%) [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] Reserve Skills: [Empty]
The physical prowess skill was said to be the only skill that provided you with fighting prowess, giving you fifty stamina while at level one enabling you to use the sacred arts with any weapon you were proficient with.
I headed out towards the east gate out of Iceridge the next morning, setting up a simple bed in my locker and sleeping the three hours it took for night to pass. I may not have any money for potions and the like but I was just excited to have my first quest. There was a journal you could open through the main menu that had all your current and past quests recorded along with the progress, although it wrote itself like tale of how you completed it.
As fascinating as it was surely enough at the top of page one, there was “Vengeance of the Centurion” along with the conversation between me and him at accepting the quest and an incomplete status below it.
To the east it was very similar to the city’s north. The only difference was that out here the trees were less dense and on the horizon I could see some considerable sized hills with high mountain peaks behind them. There were also a lot more wolves out here and fewer players, especially considering that the current time in real life is after dinner this will be the busiest time of the day on the server.
Two wolves caught sniff of my scent and all of a sudden came recklessly charging at me. Striking them both a heavy blow while dashing through their charge, I was a little surprised at how fast I was, I even took off forty percent of their health in a single attack.
After dealing with the centurion for the two weeks these wolves just seemed too slow and predictable. I made short work of most of the wolves on my travels to the mountains where the great white wolf was supposed to dwell in the deepest part of a cave.
Gaining three levels getting to the mountain range and then another three just spent wandering around looking for this cave I reached level seven quite easily, my advanced military arts had grown to skill level five and aggravation had raised another level as well. My max health has gained sixty seven points and stamina is at a hundred and thirteen, the advanced military arts however had to have the greatest effect on me getting stronger.
Advanced Military Arts (SLvl 5, 17%) -Active You have completed the training course at Iceridge Military Academy showing your determination in the face of death itself, learning a higher proficiency of short swords. SLvl 5: - Fighting Prowess + 2 - Short sword proficiency. - Short sword damage bonus 1.5 X base damage. - +6 Agility. - +4 Strength. - +4 Dexterity.
I found the cave a short walk up the base of a mountain, dimly lit by random glowing ores in the walls. It was easy to disclose that it was the correct one considering the large abundance of grey wolves inside. Unfortunately for them however my standard attack will now take off more than half their health so two strikes is all it takes to kill one.
I also learned a sacred art call Triple Thrust that used fifteen stamina, stabbing twice quickly with one weapon and followed by a more powerful thrust from the other. This killed wolves in one strike, however my stamina didn’t regenerate anywhere near fast enough to consider using it often.
With the snow ending just inside the cave, there was practically only one path, occasionally it had a fork in the tunnel but one would usually end abruptly in a dead end. I managed to make use of my aggravation skill by standing close enough until one or two received the “aggro” status and broke off from the pack to attack me, but occasionally more would come. At one point I had six with enough intent to kill me they rivalled the centurion. Most of my stamina and half of my health later I was stuck trying to catch my breath but lucky enough to have survived.
Ten minutes of recklessly charging into fights brought me to a massive open cavern. Inside the stunning sight there was green grass all over the field, apple trees decorating the scenery and created a canopy that blocked most of the view of the ceiling. I could hear a waterfall reverberating somewhere on the other end of the cavern, and from above multiple holes in the ceiling provided a warm light that glowed down through the foliage, lighting up the area like a spring morning. It was like entering an entirely new world.
Suddenly a wolf howl reverberated through the cavern strong enough that I felt the ground vibrate. What followed was a wolf coming out of the trees, apart from the pure white fur it had razor sharp claws, electric blue eyes and a snarl on its face revealing its teeth and saliva. Let’s not forget that the most terrifying thing about this wolf was its stature, standing one and a half times taller than me.
I had eighty percent health and around sixty percent stamina left as the great white wolf initiated combat, as to whether my aggravation works on a boss monster is impossible to tell at the moment but I was curious.
All distracting thoughts left my mind with the speed the boss class wolf closed the distance and with one swipe of its claws sent me flying across the cavern and into a tree. What an incredible attack, not only was my health knocked below fifty percent but an icon on my vision flashed showing that I was dazed and couldn’t move.
The wolf knew I was incapable of movement and took its time in turning and approaching me. It was only a few steps away from me when the effect disappeared, and before I suffered another potentially fatal blow I jumped as hard as I could into the branches of the tree above me. Moving across a few trees my agility really showed its value, especially considering I nearly fell down a few times as my hands were occupied holding onto the short swords and couldn’t hold onto any branches, all I could do was balance.
Meanwhile underneath the great white wolf was tracking my movements and following underneath me, I was personally a little afraid I wasn’t high enough and it would simply jump up and swat me down. Managing to recover ten percent of my health and the entirety of my stamina, I launched myself down at the wolf, catching it unaware and sinking my two blades into the top of its head. Landing on the ground and following by pulling one hand backwards into the position to activating triple strike, aiming at the exposed stomach it revealed when it reared up on its hind legs from my initial attack.
My mind had completely entered the zone, I rolled out of the way after my skill finished just in case and put some distance between us. It was considerably more wary of me now that I’m a genuine threat to it, I did just instantly take off forty percent of its health with two perfect critical strikes in vulnerable areas. I also had to be wary, the wolf would strike unexpectedly in a combination of multiple ways, and while managing to prevent most of the damage by evading sideways or backwards, a clean hit would take off more than half my remaining health.
Both the wolf and I were down to thirty percent health, we were both feeling exhausted and sluggish, but the wolf still held the upper hand. I didn’t have enough strength to jump back up and hide in the foliage, and the wolf didn’t have enough to launch the attacks dealing with extreme speed like it’s very first one.
Weaving through the trees, we exchanged blows in gaps between the trunks, I fended off most of the slashes it sent out with its claws and evaded its jaws when it got too close, swinging my swords back twice for each of its attacks. It was nothing short of luck that the fight shortly swung in my favour, the wolf adopted a limp and I gained complete dominance over it in speed. A short dash and I was under its head unleashing the triple thrust on its exposed neck, ended out fight.
I felt a little guilty, it was such a beautiful creature. Yet it was doomed to death, this is the shame of boss monsters. It appears I levelled up a few times from the fight, and the loot menu rewarded me a giant canine tooth and great white wolf pelt, the quest item and a crafting item. Somehow I felt ripped off.
Exploring the cavern I discovered the waterfall I heard when entering and a considerable sized pond at the very back of the cavern. In the centre was a small hill clear of all trees, the mid afternoon sun shone directly through a hole travelling from the ceiling through to side of the mountain, bathing the entire clearing in warmth. A man could easily slide down it and into this area, although I doubt he would survive.
Retrieving the few apples that had been knocked out of the trees from the attacks of the great white wolf, I stowed most them all in my inventory as food and rested in the clearing eating a few. I find that food in this game can be truly delicious, especially these apples. Once I had finished naturally recovering I travelled the foliage to collect even more apples and stockpile my inventory with them.
My journal had updated to describe my fight with the boss, although to recite it in the form that a bard would use when singing heroic tales was something I would not do even if it lead to my grave!
Leaving the cave behind I started heading back to Iceridge, all the snow giving the appearance of a glorious city of white, with the sun fall on it creating quite the image. It was truly a sight to see, bringing out the beauty of this world.
I arrived back at the Iceridge Military Academy just before dusk, entering as all the players from the days training were leaving in groups of two or three, chatting to each other like school friends. Perhaps they were, I even recognized a few who were doing the training while I was still there but didn’t approach anyone. I did however overhear some people chatting that the “Delinquent” was back, but I was already preoccupied and gave it no thought.
I found Centurion Markus about to leave the training field and stopped him before he was gone.
“Centurion. It is done. I have slain the great white wolf for you.” I didn’t see the point of bantering around the issue. This isn’t exactly the type of person to enjoy small talk after.
“QUIET! Do you want everyone to know what I asked of you?” Well, I guess not, I certainly hope to be the first person to have discovered and done that quest, but it’s hard to determine with the large number of players out there. The centurion lead me to the room out of the training area where he gave me the quest before continuing.
“So, the great white wolf is no more then? Show me some proof!”
“Very well, hopefully this shall suffice.” I remove from my inventory the great white wolf pelt I gained from killing the boss and placed it on the table in front of me. It was a massive pelt that matched the size of the beast easily.
Your quest has been successfully completed
“MY LORD!” The centurion’s eyes popped out of his head as the pelt, “This thing has easily doubled in size since I fought it!” Now that he mentions it the scar running down his face doesn’t exactly match the size of this wolf’s paw, I can’t believe I never picked up on that originally!
I fail as a detective.
“Well, you need to be rewarded of course, I honestly did not think you would be able to do it but your efforts are highly commendable. Give me one moment.” He wasn’t yelling which made me feel a little uneasy but he grabbed the wolf pelt and dragged it into a room behind this one that I had not been in before.
What came from that room was an absolutely horrendous noise of tearing, thumping and cursing. It belonged in a horror movie.
Centurion Markus returned holding onto a snowy white cloak long enough to cover up down to my ankles and it also had an oversized hood with lots of extra room. The material was covered in the wolf’s thick white fur coat all over the outside, although trimmed to about half its original length. The fur didn’t exactly feel thick when it was bashing me around, but the quality of the material was truly marvellous.
“This here will keep all the cold out of your bones. It doesn’t have much in terms of defensive power, but it can be worn over any armour. Also, you are best hiding that face of yours, just looking at it makes me feel violent inside! Pulling the hood over your head will help with that, although it will inhibit your movement speed, so it’s no good for battle.”
“I also have some coins here for your efforts, it’s a decent amount so don’t waste it and get yourself some proper equipment!”
He slides across 3 gold coins and hands me the cloak, I was near shedding tears of joy of being able to hide my face which should prevent my aggravation skill from destroying NPC’s opinions of me!
Equipping the cloak the cold chill in the air around me immediately disappeared, allowing my body to warm up to a comfortable temperature.
“Now! You never told me your name before! What is it!?” I wasn’t entirely sure if he was asking me or demanding I tell him.
“My name is Lost-“
“HAHAHAHA! NAME! PATHETIC!” That’s it. I turn around and walk away from this child. Before I get out of the room however he has more to say.
“Come back sometime if you want to get even stronger, I will be sure to per-son-al-ly train you. HAHAHA!”
Well, I don’t exactly see myself ever going back to see that guy ever again if I could help it, but stranger things have happened.
Putting the military academy behind me I need to find myself some actual armour, but it’s night time now so it can wait until tomorrow.
Name: Lost Health: 167/167 Stamina: 113/113 Lvl: 10 Lvl UP: 42% Str: 17 +4 Agi: 29 +6 Dex: 20 +4 Int: 9 Mnd: 9 Lck: 9 Fame/Infamy: 0 Alignment: +0 God: - Belief: 0 Equipped Skills: Aggravation (SLvl 10, 21%) Advanced Military Arts (SLvl 6, 12%) [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] [Empty] Reserve Skills: [Empty]
White Wolf Winter Cloak Made from the pelt of the great white wolf, tailored by an unknown man of master skills. It will prevent any cold from entering and placing the hood on will conceal your face, preventing people from recognizing you. Requirements: - Level 10 - Agi 15 - Dex 11 Defence: 4 Durability: 50/50 Weight: 12.3 lbs Ice Resistance: 40% Fire Resistance: -10% Abilities: - Regulates the air around the wearer to always be at the optimal temperature. - Placing the hood over your head conceals your face, intimacy with NPC's can neither increase nor decrease. - 50% movement penalty when face is concealed.