Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Duthguy
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Duthguy Someone who can't spell Dutchguy

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Danny knew he should have moved when the Slimes dropped down but he was too focused on trying to finally master Mana Dart, and now he was in trouble because once again his mind had been on just one thing. While trying to think off a way to get the Green Slime off of him he moved out of reach of the injured yellow one.

He quickly went over his options in his mind, he could use the inactive Mana Strike, which he assumed was on his skill list due to how he dealt with his first Goblin, but that might not work with the target more or less above him. Eventually he got an idea, though whether it worked or not it would probably leave him dizzy or otherwise disorientated due to blood rushing to his head.

Using the fact he was in the air he tried to quickly turn himself upside down, hoping gravity with a little help from Lesser Force would be enough to get the Slime off of him.

Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Old Amsterdam The Drunken Creator

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Torrent shook her head, letting herself relax. There was nothing that could be done about this situation anymore.

"I'm going to go rest. No point in hunting now. We should leave by the evening, though. Between the goblin and this disaster I don't think it's safe to stay long term anymore," she said as Digby moved and Ash fluttered her way up a tree. She moved back towards their base camp, curling up and resting. She closed her eyes, and after a little time has passed decided to try once experiment before resting proper.

Channeling her magic like she would for her fire abilities, she tried to mix her venom with the fire. Fire magic was more than just fire, she thought, and it made sense that it could be manipulated. Looking at one of the inner walls, she took several minutes of concentrating on trying to combine the two in her own mouth. When she thought she might have a chance, she activated Fire Breath as she blew out Poison Breath.

A second thought occurred to her, however, regardless of the success of her experiment. Jason, for all his faults, had been a powerful mage in her mind. And he always talked and he made those little circles. Could it be that the words could extend as a spell?

"Fire and venom, damaging two, combine together as I spew!" she said as she channeled the magic for a second attempt, releasing the abilities again.

She tried to use Magic Analysis on the results before laying her head down to Meditate and rest proper.

Which led to her thinking.

The Demon King's reaction to being prayed to, however, made her think. It sounded like he didn't want to be considered a god because there already was gods. She wasn't sure what gods might exist, though it made sense that they'd probably be over different elements at least. None of those interested her.

But if there was something that could help her grow even stronger, stealthier...

She needed to be stronger. The attack had made that even clearer to her.

"Mistress of shadows, if you even exist and I'm not just thinking myself all wrong, hear my plea. I need more power, I need to be better, I need to be more than I am. This world is one of might like my old life, I've seen it over and over, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that there's nothing wrong in submitting to someone more than yourself. Give me a sign and I will follow. I am already stealthy and dangerous, I am strong. I will do whatever I need to do to be more. I'd grow more heads if it would help and I knew how. I offer myself in exchange for more. I beg — no, I demand to enter into your service."

Would she get an answer or a sign? She didn't expect much. Hell, she might just be muttering to herself at this point. But she had to try. She needed to grow more. She needed to grow faster.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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Rune_Alchemist Horakhty!

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~Forest outside the Cavern~





The branch broke swiftly in just a single stroke from Mana Slice. Quickly collecting it in her talons, Ash headed back to the forest floor. Finding a spot to rest nearby the shelter entrance, she attempted to coil her tail around the branch of wood. Some animals back on earth had tails that they could manipulate almost as well as arms and legs. Mostly forest animals that used such things for balance, or gripping branches. It wasn't far fetched to think she could do the same, now that she had an actual one of some length. It would be incredibly useful if she could, as she could manipulate it to carry and hold things then.

As she practiced, she quickly realized she was honestly tired of the people around her, but she couldn't deny the usefulness of at least staying in a group for now even if it was quickly becoming evident she was once again nothing like those around her. She quietly observed them from her practice area. Digbie. Torrent. Oberon. Where had Mourn gone off too? Scared by her own mistakes? Bah, laughably weak. Couldn't even own up to her own mistakes.

Gods? Demons? She had never understood why people relied on such things. If you were going to have faith in anything, have faith in yourself. Simple as that. She didn't need any sort of religious crutch. She supposed it was better than having faith in people, but gods were seldom better than corrupt governments or leaders. But for now, she'd just continue as she was. That was currently the best option despite her annoyance.

Some time would pass before Ash finished with her tail work, hopefully having succeeded in making progress in using her tail much more dexterously, but after some time she would take a break and head back into the cave. Less chances of being disturbed there, the Pygmy drake would head to the back of the cave, ignoring everyone else for the most part before sitting up straight and starting to meditate as Oberon had showed her.

Since she had learned of magic, she had been extremely interested in it - but she had so far been fumbling around in the dark like a child with a chemistry set. She didn't know its basic rules. Formulas. All she could do at the moment was simple trial and error with educated guesses. She needed someway she could visibility interact and manipulate Mana as an energy source much better. To see it.

As Ash meditated, she would try and once again feel that familiar energy flow through her body like the time she had been taught by that pixie. Feel it in her claws, across her body and over her scales. Ash would then do something mildly reckless. Mana could be used to heal, so it could reasonably be used to improve, correct? Instead of just returning something to what it was, she'd need to make what existed better.

Ash attempted to channel Mana towards her eyes with the intent of simply 'enhancing' her vision. Attempting to change the way her eyes saw things. Like a UV light detector, but instead designed to see this ambient force known as 'Magic'.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Guy0fV4lor
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Guy0fV4lor Retaker of The Holy Land

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@Zeroth

Jason reached out to tap the box filled with undulating static. He noticed as he did so that he touched it with a green pseudopod.

"Your only goal was to kick ass and take names. To be stronger than before." The voice was...monotonous? Female? Distorted. Robotic? Masculine. Powerful? Faint. A whisper. A recording? "You assumed to be like the apex predator. To find water, to find prey. But your rashness showed you your limits." Jason would remember in a flash of insight how he paddled helplessly in the water after assuming he could swim like a crocodile. Had it not been for some quick and creative thinking, would he have ended up food for...whatever was in the pool?

"You witnessed the nature of this world, survival of the strong. You saw an opportunity to make an ally. You withdrew from a threat you knew you could not handle...and immediately began plotting their future demise. You trained to become stronger. Joined forces with a brother. Your first thought upon finding other "heroes" such as yourself was to secure alliances for survival. You wanted power. To survive? To rule?"

The memories of his previous life played out somewhat distantly. It had been only days, yet somehow felt like months had passed.

"Eliminate the threats. Your first and only plans for those who oppose you. Betrayal, your greatest fear and unavoidable fate. You had to be the first one to set the terms for an alliance. They owed you the Mana Crystals, and the other resources. You had to be the one in control. You had magic. You had power. Why did Asteria have to skew everything to her twisted point of view? They should have had faith in you. You didn't know them, so you had to be in charge to make sure they could be trusted. They just had to have faith in you, because you can be trusted. You're in control."

Jason couldn't figure out, from the distorted, digitized tone of voice, whether it was just stating his thoughts or mocking him. After all, it felt like...a really long time...since some of those things had happened. This new world had changed him, hadn't it?

"You knew you had to go. Something was happening. You had to be part of it. It can't happen without you. It won't be right. You have to be there to guide it. They found the cache, they drove the Goblins from the Bonfire. Now it was your time. Your time to swoop in and turn this rabble into a real army. The goblins were going to come back. You could protect them all. You were the seasoned commander. They needed to be good soldiers."

"Mourningstar. She didn't want to listen from the start, did she? No wonder she betrayed you later. How furious did that make you? Why? Why didn't she listen? But you protected them. You kept the filth away from your comrades.

You proved that you were strong. You transformed, became greater. This was only the beginning. You could grow stronger, be better...better than before. Stronger than the Old Life. You defeated Rattleskull--you were the one to end his wretched life.

And you were chosen.

You became the boss because no one else could. It had to be you, of course. The core picked you. All you wanted was to learn, to understand, and to become stronger. To do that you had to use the core. To do that you had to protect the cave. You had to protect your soldiers. But the core was trying to influence you. You didn't want it to, you knew it was trying to subvert your will. You had to be in control. You had to be the strong one. But you wanted some of the same things the core wanted. That was okay, wasn't it? Gathering the undead, that was okay. You were putting them to a purpose. You were going to free their souls. Using them as labor and as soldiers was just part of the process. A means to an end. They were yours to do with as you pleased anyway, weren't they? It was only right. You were the Boss. You had the power. You had control.

But the others didn't understand. They were fools! They were traitors! They were sickening! Destroying what you created! Destroying what you built! The Core wanted them gone--but you weren't being controlled by the core! You wanted them gone! Because you were in control. Not the core. Right?"


All these images playing through his head, Jason could see them from a completely different perspective. Right now he was outside looking in. Right now he was completely tranquil and clear. Right now he was uninfluenced, he was pure, he was truly in control of himself.

Did everything still look right to him?

No. Whatever was speaking to him, in narration of his life in this world, clearly had a few things oddly wrong, or skewed in some way. "Firstly, it's never truly been about power... Power is nothing more than a tool with which I can achieve my goals, and protect that which I care about." he called into the void. "Beyond that, I never claimed I was owed anything from my allies, the reason I wanted to be given the crystals, was simply because I was the only individual among us that had any practical use for them... Despite the arrogant foolishness of some of the others, the only individual that betrayed me up to this point was Mourningstar, which was before the core became a part of me..." a slow realization crept into Jason's mind.

"How much of the Core was in you, Jason? How much of Jason was in the Core? Do you submit to death? Is this the end of your story? Are there no more chapters?" The voice asked one last question.

"Who and What are You?"

"I am Jason, former Warlord of the band of Valk, but now a budding mage in a new world. It looks to me that despite the fact I once was a man... I'm a slime in this world, one that still has hopes, dreams, and ambitions to fulfill... Thank you. You have opened my eyes."

Without hesitation, Jason hit the slime button on the menu, ready to re-enter the world.

The core needed to be dealt with.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Searat
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Searat The Aqueous Rodent

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Ed saw how easily Asteria climbed the tree and nodded. Perhaps she didn't need Ed to be ready to catch her. As she disappeared into the tree's foliage, he focused more on the smells he picked up. Trying to identify what the fruity smell was and locate where it was coming from. Ed muttered to himself quietly as he pauses to take more sniffs in the air. "Hmm *sniff sniff* sweet aroma. Definitely a fruit or berry...and smokey. Wait...what?" That was strange. He can't see any signs of a fire from his position. There was also an earthy hint that accompanied the smoky scent. Then he heard a rustle further in the forest. This caused the young ratman to take cover behind a tree, he didn't know what was causing the rustling but he was not too keen on finding out.

Ed began to Look around the immediate area for something he could use as a throwing weapon as well as a weapon proper. He wasn't sure that the thing causing that rustling was a foe, but better to be ready if it was and have the preemptive strike. Ed looks around for stones he could throw and perhaps a fallen branch he could use as a shiv or club.



Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Kazemitsu
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Kazemitsu The Dragon

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Asura sighed as Mother Slime asked her questions. This was part of the reason he had never had kids, even with a mental link she wasn't fully understanding. "We'll actively hunt once we leave the cave. We have a little business to take care of before we go. As for three and four, those are numbers." He said, showing her the basics of numbers through the telepathic touch slimes shared.

"Faster lets you move and attack faster. You saw how fast I move, yes? Magic Resist lets you not get hurt by magic. The higher these numbers are the stronger you are and the less you get hurt" He continued to explain, emphasizing words with feelings so she'd know exactly what he was talking about. "Just put the numbers in for now, we'll work on what you want to once you think of what you'd like your skills to be. Alright?" He asked tiredly. He let her feel just how tired he was considering he had finally used all of his Stamina.

That new sizzling sensation though was a little...worrisome. System, Status Screen. Stamina and Health level. Experience bar on HUD with Health and Stamina gauges. He thought, trying to make it so he could see his information without having to contact the System.

He felt a little better despite the sizzling, so he tried to lift himself like a one pseudopod push-up. Trying to balance his liquid self upon a single 'digit' to try and tick his Strength over to available. Sure he could use points but there was no reason to when he could work himself to the...core.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by SilverPaw
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SilverPaw

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Asteria



Asteria noted what was in each direction, memorized it, and created a rudimentary map in her mind. Before and during her way back down, she took the time to pick out the longest, thinnest, most supple of branches, and bit through them, gathering a whole bunch of flexible sticks which she wrapped her tail around to hold as she descended. This time, gravity was on her side, and she only had to slide down from branch to branch, leaving behind sets of claw-marks. When she passed Mother Rat on the way down, Asteria brushed against her briefly to reassure her that everything was well so far. She dropped the branches she’d managed to gather at the base of the tree for now, scenting for Ed. He’d hidden in behind another near tree, and Asteria suspected there may be something dangerous around, which left her tense, high-key, and alert. As much as she wished to relay the information about the land’s layout, this was the time to lay low and stay silent. She crouched down, stilled all movements, quietened each inhale and exhale, flicking her gaze left and right, her ears flat to her ears as she listened for suspicious sounds.

Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Zeroth
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Zeroth

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Ash, Digbie, Mourningstar, Oberon, Reoth, Torrent

Skill Rank Up: Meditate I > Meditate II! (2.025)
Increase the amount of Mana recovered. Low background noises, movements, etc (comparable to the common room of an Inn, a busy street at the market, etc) will no longer decrease the effectiveness of this skill so long as the user maintains stillness and a calm state of mind. This skill still cannot be used while moving or in the midst of battle. This skill cannot be used in conjunction with other Active skills.
System:Ash


Your MP is Full.

You used Analysis!
---Rubber Frog---
This frog's magical evolution certainly took an odd turn somewhere. The elasticity of its form, from its skin to its bones, is ridiculous. With a tongue that will stretch it has no trouble snagging flies, and it can expand its mouth wide enough to swallow many things whole. To intimidate predators it sometimes puffs itself up to enormous size. It has no magical abilities that you can tell. The Rubber Frog's hide retains its elasticity even after its death and after the hide dries. It might be suitable for crafting. Its flesh and bones, aside from being rubbery, don't seem that different from other amphibians and thus might be useful as materials.
---Analysis Complete!---
System:Digbie


Skill Gain: Minor Regeneration I!
A spell that increases the target's natural healing ability, but over a period of time. Unlike Minor Heal, this spell can affect bones and deeper wounds, and may even increase the chance to resist certain diseases or other physical status effects for a target fighting off infection/injury. However, Minor Regeneration will not recover as much total HP as Minor Heal at equivalent ranks. At this rank, Minor Regeneration's effect will last for 30 seconds.
System:Oberon


You used Magic Analysis I!
---Fire Breath I---
Inhale to gather oxygen, then use magic to ignite it as you breathe outward. At this rank this spell can only take one form, a cone that widens as it extends from the user. Your range is roughly 10 feet. This skill has roughly the same MP Cost as Fireball, but its damage depends on the target's range. A target at the edges of the cone will take less damage than they would from Fireball, whereas one that is in the center and close to you will take a fair amount more.
---Poison Breath II---
Whether by magic or biology, produce fumes projected from the mouth. This skill deals very low acidic damage and has a lower chance to poison an enemy than most other poison-type skills due to its lower density, but is ranged and covers a small area of effect. The fumes have a small chance to linger in the effected area for a short time. At Rank II, instead of only covering an area immediately around you, the fumes can now be focused into a cone in front of you. Your range is roughly 10 feet. This skill has roughly the same Stamina Cost as Poison Glob, but its damage depends on the target's range. A target at the edges of the cone will take the same damage they would from Poison Spit I, whereas one that is in the center and close to you will take a fair amount more. The fumes now linger for a full minute.
---Analysis Complete!---

Skill Development: The Stamina cost for Poison breath can now be somewhat offset by expending MP.
System:Torrent


Ash's tail exercises seemed somewhat fruitful--she could feel herself working muscles that she had been unfamiliar with, and although a former scientist might not have gotten much exercise she no doubt knew that developing physical strength would take more than just a few reps. Especially when what she could do was already limited by her depleted stamina. Meditating helped with that, however, as the skill would restore both Mana and Stamina--though it seemed to restore MP at the faster rate. As she tried to focus her mana to her eyes, anyone else watching might notice the Pygmy Drake's eyes "glitter" like a raccoon caught in a flashlight's glare for a few seconds. Ash thought, perhaps, that she could see several slight, colored glows--but the next time she blinked that would be brought into question as to whether it was just the spots from eye strain or looking into something bright for a moment.

Digbie wandered a bit from the camp, out into the creek. He soon saw what looked to be a pile of mud near the base of the hill they had camped on, but as he approached the earthen clump shook itself off to reveal a Rubber Frog that had gone into hiding--most likely because of Zawisza. Upon seeing Digbie, the Frog croaked loudly and blinked, one huge eyeball at a time.

As the Demiblin prayed, however, bowing his head and calling out for some earth spirit or another to hear him...he might notice, upon the ground, a trail of sorts. Little bits of upraised earth, all going the same way--a mole's run, entirely identical to the little burrowers back in his Old World. It went off to the west, towards the mountains.

Once again Oberon's experimentation paid off--as he cast his spell upon himself, chanting all the while, his body was suddenly enveloped in a healthy green aura of sparkles. The System Notification triggered, telling him that the Minor Regeneration skill had finally come to fruition! He felt his MP decrease all at once--just like when he cast Minor Heal--but the effect of the spell lingered even after the initial amount of magic power was spent, without drawing anything further. Given his newly learned skill to gather mana from sunlight, and his increased meditation recovery ability, this presented some interesting possibilities...

As Torrent tried to mix her Poison and Fire Breaths, her first experiment proved rather dangerous. Before attempting the chant, she had simply tried to use them both at once. She felt her MP surging like it usually had when she used her few known spells--but it took more out of her this time, and felt like she was trying to do one of those coordination exercises. Like patting the top of your head while rubbing your belly and trying to keep each hand doing its own specific motion. The moment she "slipped" the two skills ceased. However, the dangerous part was that, as the Poison Breath's cloud of venomous fumes spread out, the Fire Breath caught it. There had been nothing to indicate thus far that any of the forms of Poison the reptile monsters utilized was flammable, but a natural property of fire was to consume any fuel as quickly as possible. With the vapors of venom being in a gaseous form--lighter than air and expanding rapidly--that meant the fire simply spread equally rapidly. Like a dust explosion caused by dropping a bag of flour near a gas-flame stove, Torrent's combined skills gave a great WHOOSH for a fraction of a second.

When she recovered from the momentary flash blindness and the slight pain of searing the inside of her mouth--despite her Fire Resistance?--Torrent would see that she had blackened a section of the cavern's wall, and after coughing a few times she'd notice she had also smoked up the air in the shelter somewhat. But ultimately, it didn't look like anything too bad had happened--certainly not like the last explosion she had experienced.

When she used the chant, again she felt her mana flowing...but this time, it seemed slightly more "focused." Once again, however, she could only multi-task for a sparse few seconds. But her breath now took up a more focused shape, Not-quite-like A Flamethrower. Slightly moving her head, she would be able to draw a charcoal-black line across the wall of the cave before her concentration dropped. At least she didn't almost blow herself up again. For now, it seemed like no new skill had developed as a result of this practice...although the System did mention something about her Poison Breath changing?

As Torrent prayed, the last of her flames lingering along the dirt wall petered out. The shadows they cast over the shelter danced before dwindling away...though Torrent's danced longer than the others as her shape was cast over the wall for just a moment.

But as the different members of the group each did their own thing...they heard that horn again, but this time it was much closer.

From his place in the creek, Digbie would see a sudden shadow fall over the campground from the top of the hill. Just over the edge of the slope, above their shelter's entrance, several shapes emerged.

Goblins.

There were five of them, just as green and gangly as they had been back at the cave. But their bearing and manner of dress were entirely different--unlike back at the cave, more than a handful of them actually had vines and leaves draped over their hips to hide their nudity. But several had also wrapped plantlife around their arms and legs, making crude sandals or foot bindings. Some had even taken broken off layers of rounded bark and lashed it to their limbs like shoddy armor. One of them held what looked like a broken off horn from a large cow or some similar creature, and this was what he had been blowing. He also had a pelt of some small creature, perhaps a rabbit or fox, around his shoulders. Another goblin, holding a handmade stone axe or celt much like what Rattleskull had used, had what looked like a skillet with a rope through the end of its handle hanging over his chest as a form of armor, and was using some filthy scrap of cloth as a bandanna. A third had a stone-tipped spear and seemed to have torn holes in a burlap potato sack, which she now wore like a ragged onesie.

The fourth had a long rope made of two thick vines braided together, one end of which was looped around his hands several times. He was the skinniest and most naked of the lot, with only his loins, hands, and feet covered by leaves and vine wraps. But with this rope, he was leading a large, mean looking creature...

It looked like a goat, but there was a predatory gleam to its eyes. Its fur was mostly white, but cow-spotted with large purple blotches that almost made it look diseased. Its horns were more jagged and vicious--and they split into two at the base, forking somewhat like a deer's. It only had four points, but each horn was a dark purple color that would bring to mind the liquid venom that Fanged Lizards spat. The four tips had been blunted by four chunks of cork-like wood stuck onto them, making it look somewhat like its head had been used to roast marshmellows.

And sitting atop this goat, trying to draw himself up as high as he could get, was the fifth goblin. Every goblin the group had seen thus far was between three and three and a half feet tall. Rattleskull had been about four and a half feet, and Digbie was taller too now that he had evolved. This goblin, however, seemed about in the middle of that--not quite four feet, but clearly taller than most goblins should be. His muscles, as well, seemed much larger--normally Goblins had the build of malnourished children if they were weaker, and normal children if they were strong enough to feed themselves regularly. This one, however, actually looked...somewhat formidable. Certainly not as strong as Rattleskull, but more physically developed than Digbie, even considering his recent transformation. The goblin had one leather boot on one foot that was clearly too big for him, so much so that the entire toe section had been cut off, probably to keep it from flopping about and hitting him in the knees when he ran. It had been more firmly fastened to his leg by vines. He also wore a pair of what seemed to be boxers, made from plain white cloth originally but now so filthy they could pass for brown or black in some places. Though on an average human they likely would have only covered the groin area, on the goblin they came down past his knees. And the most impressive piece of his ensemble was an actual maille shirt--made of interlocking chain pieces, it had originally been a smaller, less expensive piece probably only intended to cover the upper arms and down to the wearer's waist. Many of the links near the bottom looked like they had been broken at some point, but even after this damage it came past the goblin's hips and the sleeves reached to his elbows. The entire thing dangled loosely off his form and jingled whenever he moved, or rather when the goat underneath him shifted its weight irritably. And in another first, this goblin had an actual, proper weapon--a long knife, the kind that looked to be made for fighting instead of hunting or cutting food. It was even held in a proper belt and scabbard draped across his shoulder and around his waist in mailbag fashion. With this, and a wooden pot-lid hanging over his back that he probably used as a shield, this Goblin clearly established himself as the leader of this small band.

He pointed at Digbie.

"Demi-Goblin! I bes Rags Nar, da chief Gob of Broked Tower Tribe! My scouts founded youse an' yer magic pets, on our territory! We seens wut you been doin', and I brings my best warryers t' show youse dat we means bizzyness!" He looked authoritively at the two goblins with weapons. "Do it!"

Both goblins nodded, then began to slowly walk down the hill. They stared at Digbie intently, their fingers clenching and unclenching on the haft of their respective club and spear. Almost at the same time, they took deep breaths, then suddenly lunged forward--

And threw themselves face down on the ground.

"PLEEEEEEEASE come bes part of our tribe Great Demi-Gob! Please please please please!"

"We need--I means, we could use a mighty Demi-Gob of yore, uh, talons!" Rags Nar continued while his underlings held up their hands like begging puppies. "We gots food! And uh, lots of purty wimmin gobbos! Say, you likes mah goat!? We can getcha a goat just like dis--no, betta! Whaddya say!?"

"Please please please please please please please please please please!?"


Asura, Momma Slime

Trying to transfer an education gained in increments over a lifetime wasn't as simple as it sounded; as Asura flooded the bigger slime with knowledge of numbers, she lurched away from him with a grumble.

"Hurt, Ahsoowah!" she whined, her membrane trembling. In the brief moment before she broke contact with him, Asura saw the memory of when Jason's Mind Wave hit her--and realized just what kind of damage that spell had done. The closest thing he could think of to describe it was like inflicting a light stroke on someone--a sensation the mentally undeveloped slime had never experienced before. Just like she had never experienced all the different things Asura had been showing her. When he emphasized that Magic Resistance would allow her to not be hurt, the blue slime burbled rapidly. She extended a pseudopod in the air again, just like holding down a single button.

"Not liek Mageek!" she said resolutely. But after several seconds, she wobbled in confusion. "Ahsoowah! Not git skeelz! Want Mageek Weesistese!" She compressed herself in a way that gave the distinct impression she was pouting. If her Magic Resistance had been at 0.2, and Leveling only gave her 5 points to spend, then even spending all of them wouldn't have been enough for her to activate the skill. "Not liek skeelz no moar."

You are Fine.

COMMANDS NOT RECOGNIZED. YOU MAY LACK SYSTEM PERMISSIONS, STATISTIC PARAMETERS, OR NECESSARY SKILLS.
System:Asura


When Asura stopped focusing on the sizzling sensation, it seemed to immediately go away. He was able to move a little bit again...until--

You have run out of Stamina again. HP Drain triggers at a faster rate, but HP Drain itself remains at the same rate currently.
System:Asura


But as Asura and Momma Slime waited for Ardur to finish his evolution--which, as they heard a cracking sound, might be soon--they soon began to notice something unusual.

The Mana Crystals up above them, and a few clusters they could see on walls or rocky outcrops in the distance, began to break. Starting from their roots, the crystals cracked along their facets as if struck with invisible hammer blows. But just before they would have fallen apart, dropping to the ground like shattered glass, they instead began to dissolve. Asura had never used them himself, but he had probably seen other creatures do so. Just like when someone crushed and absorbed them to recover MP, the crystals disintegrated into a fine powder that drifted on an unseen, unfelt breeze.

They were inside a cave, aside from the occasional draft there should not be any "wind." Yet all the crystals, as they were reduced to glimmering dust, were being blown in the same direction--towards that same, urgent call Asura could still feel, even though he had forcibly ignored it.


Ardur

As Ardur spoke, his own words brought forth images all around him, as if he had been dropped into the most immersive virtual reality environment ever created. Were they his own memories, his own imagination brought forth by his own knowledge of history, of mankind's tendencies, no matter how obscure or subconscious such knowledge had become to him? Or were they images of this world, brought forth by his out of body experience into a vast sea of...something?

"The sun is a constant in this unknowing world."

A hand lifted to shield the eyes from this bright, ever-present thing as a being emerged from a cave. Primitives crowded around a slain beast, pulling and sawing at its flesh with fragments of rock. As light fell over the lands, plants opened up their buds and put forth fruit. As long as the sun was there, they could see. As long as the sun was there, the plants would grow. From grass to animal to predator to death and back to the earth, the cycle started with the sun. And the sun was always there--except when it wasn't.

The moon rose. The night fell. The darkness, the ocean, the earth, the wind, the mountains...they were constant, always there, but if the stars and sun faded beyond the horizon they always returned. All of these things and many more existed long before the primitive came out of its cave. What were they? What dangers did they bring? What wonders?

"Something to depend on when it is needed, something to be praised when it is not."

The primitives, now wearing clothes they made from plants, sat around a fire. They cooked a slain beast, and carved its flesh with knives made from stone and bone. Their children sat around them as the elders told them what they needed to know to survive--the tales of sun, and moon, and night, and darkness, and ocean, and mountain. How they brought danger and wonder. How to understand them. But the children did not understand them. How could Sun bring plants to life when it was so high in the sky? How did Sun give them sight when they could see by Fire's light? So the elders changed the tales, made Them "like" other things that the children understood--fathers, mothers, warriors, healers, chieftains. And Sun and Moon and all the Others were not praised--they Were. They always Were. And they were needed to survive. It was necessary that the children understand them.

"A symbol of hope and promise of a better tomorrow."

Ardur could see, above everything else he saw, the sun shining as it always had. But now its light considered him, while centuries continued to play out between them.

"Hope? Promise? Beings hope. Beings promise. Why hope in the Sun? Why does the Sun owe you promise? The Sun Was and Is, and one day Will Not Be."

The children of the children of the children's children appeared. They were many and they were different.

"I seek its light, so that I may become stronger with the sun's help. So that I may be able to protect those that I surround myself with as friends and family."

Some of these children were now Men, and they stood upon great towers of stone. They lashed a still-living beast to an alter, and pierced its heart with a blade of crudely shaped metal raw from the earth. They brought forth coals, and burned flesh and bone. They waved great fans, made from the leaves of plants that would also bear grain, grain from the fields that stretched out far beyond their many huts and walls. They fanned the smoke higher, and higher, to the Sun. The Sun was "like" a king, and kings protected their lands and peoples. In return the people gave the king money, or labor, or men for his army. But they understood now that the Sun gave warmth, and harvest, and seasons, and day, so they had to find and give something else. The others, like Moon and Mountain and Wind and Ocean, gave other things, and Men gave them different things in return...

"To be their light on the darkest of days. Because she..." As Ardur looked away the stone towers disappeared, and he saw that some of these children were Not Men. One of them, their great king, made fire and water appear from his hands and moved earth with his words. They wanted him to hold the sun and make day longer, but knowing the limits of his power he instead told them he would grant them each a small piece of the sun. He taught them to make fire without smoke and place it in their homes. Not Men and Men alike began to think and do and be different than they were before as the world turned. The Sun and Moon and Others stayed as they Always Were.

"Because when I see the love of my past life and this life again, I don't want her to see me as a monster. I want her to see me as I was. A good man that cared about others and their well being. A man that defended others from the monsters." Ardur looked back up at the sun, but around them new images continued to play. The children of the children of Men and Not Men and Other Men gave new names to new things, and sought to understand them and why they were necessary. They tried to teach their children how they brought danger and wonder. And these tales were "like" the old tales that a rare few remembered.

"Beings have given the Sun many names and many meanings. For many Beings, understanding agency, creating reason, forever seeking, and always asking were the methods of their survival. Did the Wind rustle the brush, or the Lion? The Being who assumed Wind did not always survive. If No Man threw the stone, did the Unseen Unknown Being cause the stone to fall? Why is it Unseen and Unknown? The Man who did not seek to understand did not always survive." Ardur could sense by the tone of this Unseen and Unknown Being that it wasn't asking him a true question anymore. Like an elder speaking to a child, it wanted him to understand. Or...did It want to understand him?

"Ardur. You seek hope. You seek fortune--that things will be better soon than they are now, that better times are coming. You seek strength. You seek to protect. You seek love. The Sun Is and Has Been only light, and heat, and energy--The Sun is only a reaction of That which initiates, which activates. This Sun is a Mover but was not Unmoved. The Sun cannot give you Hope, Fortune, Strength, Protection, or Love. But Beings have imposed their Wills upon the Sun for these and many others. What was given to the Sun, the Sun could give back, with some spark of light, and heat, and energy. Thus Wills took on Power. To give and receive Power from another Will--is that your Will, Ardur?"

"Whatever the cost, whatever it takes." Ardur's determination burned. The images around him began to dissolve into glowing light--the sun seemed to be expanding, as it were going to swallow him. He was being pulled back towards his body--but he struggled to stay aloft. As the sparkles of light, like those dust motes he saw back in the cave, fluttered past him they whispered in hundreds of voices, reverent and wondrous...

"The light of the sun makes everything grow..." "The sun moves across such a vast sky...it must ride upon something like a chariot or great beast..." "If the sun travels across the sky it must be watching over us all..." "The sun makes the world warm again after Winter..." "Scary things come at night, but when the Sun comes up they run away in fear..." "If the Sun makes our crops prosperous, chases away enemies and danger, watches over us, and rides a splendid mount, then the Sun must be a Guardian!"

These voices overlapped until their sound took on shape. Ardur could see a figure standing near him, and wearing a knight's armor. He held a mighty bridle in his gauntleted fist.

"The plants feed off the light of the sun like a baby drinking milk to grow large..." "The bright light of the sun is so beautiful, isn't it? It reflects off water like gemstones..." "At the end of the day the sun moves but also becomes smaller and smaller, and in the morning becomes larger and larger. It is like an eye that shuts and opens..." "If the sun is a giant eye, then whose eye is it?" "If the sun is the great eye of one who loves to look at beautiful things and nurtures plants like children, then the Sun must be a Mother!"

Another figure stood next to the first, and gazed at Ardur with a great, blindingly bright Eye. She wore many gems and rings.

"At night, the Moon and the Stars come out, but in the day they creep away and only clouds and birds dare to fly in the sky with the Sun. Why does it allow this?" "Birds have fierce claws and their screech inspires terror. I have seen them hunt--they are like skilled warriors. Perhaps they serve the Sun?" "On the rare days the clouds bring rain over the sands, great sounds of rumbling and crashing come from the sky! Perhaps the clouds are enemies, and the Sun and his bird-warriors are waging a great war!" "If the Sun has warrior servants, and makes all other stars flee from him, and wages battle over his lands...then the Sun must be a mighty King!"

A third figure appeared, larger and brighter than the others, wielding a sword. A falcon perched upon his shoulder, and he fed it while stroking its feathers.

There were many other voices, and other Figures, but Ardur could not hold himself up any longer. He plummeted back towards the earth. The Sun became a small dot in the sky once more, but the three figures were still peering down at him. They seemed to be waiting and watching--or perhaps they were listening. Waiting for him to call out...

He slammed through the roof of the cave and back into his body.

The gray shell formed by Ardur's wings cracked open, little flakes peeling away like crumbling autumn leaves. On instinct he emerged, crawling like a newborn as he stretched his new body. With every breath he heard cracking and popping as if his muscles hadn't been flexed in hours. But when Ardur finally stood, and looked down at himself...

He looked pretty much the same, all things considered. If anything, his skin tone had grown healthier and deeper. His hair was more voluminous and longer. His wings were stronger and larger--and it felt that he could move them more precisely, as well. If he relaxed them, instead of folding behind him like a dragonfly they now hung somewhat like a stiff cape down his back. His chest still bore those three scars and his hands were still stained...

But now, he stood a full foot and a half taller than before, not quite as tall as any Goblin but much larger and broader than a Pixie. His body had become more muscular--or rather, the muscles he had actually looked like they fit this body, whereas before he had stacked muscle on a frame that clearly wasn't meant for it. Still, it seemed obvious given the degree of tone and size now present that a normal Hipixie still wouldn't be this...buff.

YOU HAVE TRANSFORMED!
Pixie > (Immature) Mighty Hipixie!
Your base stats have increased!
Your Max HP has increased! (This will not recover your current HP)
You have not reached your full Potential. Use Light Equipment is reduced.

You gained the Variance, Mighty!
The Stronger skill has increased, the new total is (2.1)!

You possess the skills Stronger II and Physical Conditioning I.
Use Light Equipment is boosted, the new total is (1.0)!

Skill Gain: Inspire I (1.0)!
Expend MP to imbue your words with magic, and cheer yourself or an ally. The target's next action will be boosted, whether it be an attack skill, a healing spell, or anything else. This Skill will not work if the target cannot receive your inspiration, but they may not necessarily have to hear you. If the Target is under a Curse or other debilitating effect, your Inspiration may cancel it out temporarily or undo it if the same action is being affected (attack power that has been lowered by a rank I Curse might be returned to normal by a rank I Inspiration, for example).

Skill Gain: Guidance I (1.0)!
Your pleas have been heard. Offer up a portion of your MP in prayer, and gain a chance to receive supernatural guidance. The effectiveness of the teachings depends on your faith--and your ability to read the signs. Does rustling grass along the path show your way, or reveal danger? Was that a whispered voice, or just the wind? Your faith will shape your journey. The better your relation with a particular deity, the more likely you are to receive their guidance.

Skill Gain: Spell Chant I (1.0)!
Magic is the unison of Nature, Spirit, and Will. Language is the expression of Will. Using personalized language as an aid in manipulating one's energy is the first step to conceptualization and understanding of what Magic truly is. Using a previously existing Spell Skill as the Base, you may enact one (1) alteration of the spell's typical qualities. Spell Chants will delay casting time by a default of 10 seconds, as any chant shorter than this will be ineffective. The more complex the chant, the greater the alteration, but also the greater the increase to MP cost; by default the spell's cost is increased by a further 50% of its initial value.

Skill Rank Up: Stronger I > Stronger II (2.1)!
Your base physical strength has increased even further! --You possess the Use Light Equipment skill, but with this increase to your stats there may be some other forms of equipment you can wear without the proper skills. For instance, you may meet the requirement for a larger weapon if you are holding it in both hands or using your body more efficiently to lift and swing it. However, sub-enhancements for this equipment will be greatly diminished.--

Skill Gain: Use Light Equipment (--)!
The use of small tools, and lighter forms of armor, weaponry, and other items. --Due to your size as a Hipixie, even some Small items may be too large or heavy for you to use effectively.--
System:Ardur


Again, Ardur felt that call from before--much stronger now, more urgent. As if someone needed him, as if they were calling out for help. And as he soon observed Asura and Momma Slime nearby, he also saw the Mana Crystals beginning to dissolve and flow towards that strange beacon...


Asteria, Ed, Mother Rat

As Ed looked around, he soon saw a Gnarled Stick lying on the ground where it had fallen from some tree at some time. It wasn't sharp and had no edges, but it was a decently hefty piece of wood with a thick knot in it, and would make a workable cudgel. Just as he darted behind another tree to hide, he saw several sticks drop out of the tree Asteria and Mother Rat had climbed. As they clattered to the forest floor, whatever was in the bushes suddenly stopped cold. Asteria, sneaking down the other side of her tree, soon stealthed her way through the grass to Ed's side--just as a green figure emerged from the bushes.

A small female goblin, carrying some frayed cordage made of fiber and a thick stick that might have been a burned-out torch, moved into the open and glanced around. She seemed timid, and was somewhat smaller and less mature than any of the other goblins the rats had seen in the cave.

"Coulda I swored I saw a blue gobby-lookin' ting..." the Goblin whispered to herself. She soon noticed the pile of sticks, and hesitantly approached them. "All dese just fall out...maybe birdy nest?" She leaned over to get a closer look at them.

At this point, Ed and Asteria might notice Mother Rat creeping out on a thinner branch up above the Goblin, hackles raised and fur bristling...


Danny

Danny wasn't able to turn in time before the Slime had pressed him upon the ground, but although it was heavy the Slime's body didn't have the kind of muscle or leverage to put up a lot of resistance to being moved. The Wisp's Lesser Force shoved it off of him, freeing Danny and allowing him to either get into the air or back out of his little nook in the cave wall--either way, he would be out of reach of the Slimes, one of which stretched out a pseudopod in a failed swipe. The two blobs gurgled incoherently, apparently frustrated with their lack of reach--now that their initial ambush had failed, it seemed they didn't have many options to continue their attack. One of them, however, seemed to think of something--it slurped up a nearby rock, and began rolling it around inside itself as if trying to get a good grip on it...


??? Jason ???

As Jason reached out again, his green pseudopod changed to a dark-skinned hand, with five fingers, a few scars, and rough, calloused palms from a life of hardship. When he touched the image of the green slime, a ringing chime rang throughout this empty void...

Suddenly the image enlarged and zoomed towards him, and like being thrown through a window he suddenly began falling past more images, falling so fast that still forms blurred into animated film. His entire life--the second life, that of Jason the Slime Mage--played out before him, and though he couldn't see anything beyond a bright light at the bottom of this drop, he felt that the solid ground was rushing up faster and faster--although for some reason, his vision seemed to be out of focus, as if that exit at the end of this path were splitting into two...

"Yes, power is just a tool to you. It's just a necessary tool, so you wanted more of it. It'd be best if you could have all of it. Only you should have it, right? Your requests were always reasonable, weren't they? The others are simply foolish and arrogant. They don't understand anything. They don't know anything. You know best. Your reasoning is the best. You're the only one who knows everything--you didn't know if Asteria or Ed had any magic at all, but you did have magic, so therefore that was all that mattered, right? There was no other use for the Magic Crystals but to be your fuel. Everything in this world exists for you...right?"

The fork in the path was getting closer...but what choice was this? There was no indication of what was what, or where either would take him--did he have only the strange, emotionless yet judgmental voice to go on?
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Kazemitsu
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Kazemitsu The Dragon

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Asura 'blinked' when Mother Slime pulled away, normally he could give her a little more knowledge than that. But a brief flash of her memory and he learned a little bit more of the damage she took. He's lucky he's dead. He thought angrily before engulfing what he could of Mother Slime, which probably wasn't much, and gave her a reassuring squeeze. "You'll be fine. He said before settling back and getting the HP Drain once more. Joyous.

When she didn't get Magic Resist from probably dumping all of her points he gave a very slow 'blink'. "You had nine points...you should be at least up to a one... Asura said as Mother Slime complained about not getting the skill she desired. "Unfortunately the only way to get that skill now, without more points, is to actually get hurt." He explained, conveying the thoughts with pictures. Like him getting hit by Jason's Stone Shot to gain Earth Resist. He kept it as simple as he possibly could to avoid hurting her mentally again.

Meanwhile his System requests were brushed off, something about permissions. "Contact Admin, request permissions Status and HUD access." He said just as Ardur finally got the hell out of his cocoon. A big naked buff pixie critter. And the local mana crystals were...blowing up? That was a little worrisome. Along with that damned call being stronger than earlier.

"As tired as I am we need to go investigate this. I'll see about gaining more Stamina along the way...or else I'll need healing because of this damned HP Drain." Asura said, annoyed that even in this world melee and stamina users got fucked over when it came to the Resource Pools. Stamina was always a Rest and Eat while magic users get to suck down potions or Crystals. That sizzling from before, he tried to bring it back and he also tried to directly transfer what little mana he had into his Stamina pool.
Hidden 1 mo ago 27 days ago Post by Gardevoiran
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Gardevoiran Reading or remembering, not both.

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Digbie tilted his head with a smile as he saw the Rubber Frog. "Well, aren't you kinda cute..." He was excited to try and tame this beast, but then something else caught his eye. As if on cue when he prayed, moles from under the Earth thought it'd be cool to guide him towards the mountains. Clearly, something out there wanted to show him something, and from the looks of things, it was something rather important.

But then, he heard the horn, and his focus was shifted to the goblins that approached him.

They stated who they were, part of the... Broke Tower Tribe? Gods, sometimes the intellect of these goblins made him sick. Regardless, they seemed pretty threatening to the lone Demiblin until they got down on their knees and started bowing to him. They said something about how they needed- no, wanted- him to join their ranks and become a member of their tribe, going on about how he was the "Great Demi-blin". On one hand, the feeling of being superior to some people was nice, but on the other, this seemed really sketchy.

Oh well, time to try some of that social engineering his friend from Old Earth told him about.

"Rags Nar," Digbie began. To clear some things up, those 'pets' are my friends, and you guys gots some nerve, showin' up here without so much as an offerin' for my friendship!" Digbie's voice shifted to a more barbaric style. He didn't want to confuse these goblins with his big words., plus he needed to make himself sound convincing. "Still, you guys have my attention! If you want me to come and help, you'll abide by MY two demands! First, you tell me why you have come to receive my aid, and second, you come back here tomorrow, and bring one of these 'perty wimmin' with you, along with some clothing, so I may have someone to raise under my wing and something to cover myself with!"

"Do these two things, and I'll come and see if you truly need my aid tomorrow!"

While he was speaking to the goblins, Digbie was sizing up Rags Nar with {Analysis}, seeing if he was a real threat or a dog with more bark than bite.





Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Duthguy
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Duthguy Someone who can't spell Dutchguy

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With the Slime off of him Danny decided to leave, he neither had the HP to fight them nor a good reason aside from them offering exp. Not wanting to get hit by surprise attack because he had let himself get distracted a second time, he kept an eye on both slimes as he prepared to lift the Shard up.

As a result he noticed one of them seemingly prepare Stone Shot after the other one futilely tried to hit him with a melee attack. "No way." Knowing that one of the Slimes probably had a skill he wanted or at least would offer him some more info on how to get it, he decided to risk it.

While Danny used Magic Analysis I on the Slime with the stone he also did his best not get too absorbed into what he was doing and moved a few more inches away from his enemies and out of the little, despite the risk of being attacked by other monsters.

Getting hit by the stone would no doubt kill and this way he had more room to dodge. If the Slime managed to successfully launch it at him, he was gonna immediately deactivate his levitation and hopefully dodge it that way. Either way when it was safe again and he got the info from Magic Analysis he would either float back up to the same height as the nook but not as close and launch a level 2 Mana Orb with the Slime that picked up the stone as his primary target, or if the shot failed he would still back up and go on the attack.

Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Guy0fV4lor
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Guy0fV4lor Retaker of The Holy Land

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@Zeroth

Jason slowly bent his fingers one by one as he stared at his hand; once again in his human form. Despite the lack of feeling, he could definitely tell that was HIS hand. As he hurtled back toward what he assumed was the world of the living, the voice spoke once more, it's attitude towards the reincarnate made clear.

"Yes, power is just a tool to you. It's just a necessary tool, so you wanted more of it. It'd be best if you could have all of it. Only you should have it, right? Your requests were always reasonable, weren't they? The others are simply foolish and arrogant. They don't understand anything. They don't know anything. You know best. Your reasoning is the best. You're the only one who knows everything--you didn't know if Asteria or Ed had any magic at all, but you did have magic, so therefore that was all that mattered, right? There was no other use for the Magic Crystals but to be your fuel. Everything in this world exists for you...right?"

Jason scoffed, "I never once claimed I needed ALL the power, nor have I insinuated as much. Clearly, you also seem to think that I'm quite unreasonable with my demands, yet I fail to see how that is; like I said, by keeping my MP up, I could more adequately protect those around me... Besides, did I not say I would teach the others mgaic so the crystals would be of use to them as well? If there is indeed uses for mana crystals to be beneficial to non-magic users, please let me know, as that's quite new information to me. I don't know everything, and clearly, neither do you if you think of me as you've described.... Do trees exist that men can build houses? Do animals exist only to be food for their predators? Nothing exists for anyone in any world, only what you make for yourself exists for you."

Slowly, Jason drifted toward the passage on the right.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by King Cosmos
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King Cosmos

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It seemed that last effort was enough, as the Minor Regeneration spell settled into place around him and the system message informed him of yet another skill to add to his growing arsenal. His goal of creating a varied and diverse pool of abilities was going quite well, even if he was a little heavy on offensive spells so far, a little lacking in buffs and entirely lacking in crowd control or debuffs. He’d created a number of spells using multiple elemental types and with a variety of effects; projectiles, targeted spells, multi-targeted spells and even spells applied to an area.

The ability to create lasting effects for an upfront cost was a good one to have, something both his Shield and Minor Regeneration spells had, and was something he wanted to look into further given the chance; he felt like he had said that a lot in the past week. Energy mana gave him a Shield and Nature mana gave him a healing effect over time, what would his other mana type give him? Would Fire mana grant him resistance to fire damage, or would it simple immolate whatever it was cast on? Either way he would be testing that on something other than himself. And what kind of effect would a Light aura give him?

Before he could give any more thought to the matter the horn that he had heard earlier sounded out again, closer this time, before a shadow fell over the camp. Above them, standing on the ridge above their shelter, was a group of Goblins. These ones seemed a lot better equipped than the ones back in the cave, wearing and wielding both Goblin-crafted as well as man-made items; the latter were more interesting to Oberon as they suggested interaction with humans or something close to them. Come to think of it he wasn’t even sure if humans were a thing in this world. The leader of the Goblin’s was riding some kind of goat-like creature, albeit one with horns similar to a deer and with a colouration that suggested it was poisonous; the Goblin himself seemed somewhat larger and more muscular than the others, perhaps an adult or maybe an evolved form of some kind.

Oberon used Magic and Monster Analysis on both the goat and the Goblin, or maybe Hobgoblin, leader as he began to speak. From the sounds of it these Goblin’s were upset that their party had entered their territory and were here to deal with them in the way Goblin’s were used to doing. From his position by the shelter entrance, somewhat underneath the Goblin’s and between them and Digbie, Oberon began to prepare the first spell that came to mind and formed a Mana Orb between his hands. As the two Goblin’s rushed forward he raised his hands and prepared to fire, only to stop himself once he saw them throw themselves on the ground rather than attack.

A little confused and curious, the Sprite lowered his hands and tried to dissipate the unused Mana Orb without firing it as he listened to the Goblin’s ask Digbie to become their leader. As a species Goblin’s seemed like the type to fall in line behind a strong leader and as an evolved and magically powerful variant Digbie was probably stronger than any other Goblin in their tribe; even so, it was strange that they would seek him out like this to make him their leader. The urgency with which they were begging him seemed suspicious and he wondered what it was that made them so desperate.


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Searat The Aqueous Rodent

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Ed snatched up the gnarled stick and gripped it as hard as he possibly could. Underneath his blue gray fur, his knuckles whitened and his hands shook as he held onto his weapon as if his very life depended on it; and in his perspective at the moment, it might as well have been. Asteria had moved beside him...but her mother was nowhere to be seen. Ed then peers out slightly to see that the one making all that ruckus was a lone goblin. A young timid looking one at that. From the looks of what the little goblin had on her person. She was the source of the smell of smoke, earth, and vegetation.

Ed's sharp hearing could pick up the goblin girls mutterings and soon realized that he was the cause of their current predicament. Though she was currently not alerted of their presence, Ed thought simply to stay put and wait until the goblin left. He gave her one more cautious glance and finally saw that Asteria's mother was on a branch atop the goblins position, visibly distressed by the fact that the goblin was so close. He understood that surviving and living in this world would require him to keep killing and adapting, and Ed was willing to end her life...but her demeanor and young age caused Ed to hesitate and doubt himself. Perhaps this would be an occasion where she would not need to die? Ed looked down at Asteria and whispers to her. "Asteria, would it be possible to resolve this without killing her? I mean, if you have any alternative plans, I am willing to give it a shot. Perhaps bluffing and scaring her off?" From what Ed understood, the goblins were not very bright and that gave Ed hope that a good enough bluff could fool this one and convince her to leave on her own volition.



Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Rune_Alchemist
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Rune_Alchemist Horakhty!

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~Forest outside the Cavern~





Ash frowned lightly. She could feel the muscles in her tail being used in ways that cold likely lead to it, so all she'd need to do is keep at it. Muscle training was easy. She'd need to do more of that later, come to think of it, but for now she'd focus on her tail. Picking up the stick once more with the aid of using magic to wrap her tail around it and work it, Ash turned her attention back to her other experiment. Did she make progress? For a second it seemed like there were little sparks of color, but she couldn't be sure.

Hmm. Perhaps she needed to see an actual magical object of some sort.

Vomiting up the Mana crystal she had been keeping, Ash observed it for a few seconds, once again trying to channel the magic towards her eyes. She would continue this for a few minutes, along with the tail exercises until she was snapped out of it by the sound of that horn again. Blinking in a mild daze as though someone might do once their concentration was broken, Ash scooped up the Mana Crystal again, before quietly moving towards the mouth of the cave.

Goblins. Again.

A low annoyed hiss. Seemed they wanted Digbie for something, and they seemed quite desperate as well. For now she'd watch. If things got ugly she'd have the element of surprise.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by SilverPaw
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SilverPaw

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Asteria



Asteria stayed crouched down next to Ed, watching Mother rat and the goblin attentively. She didn’t know if the sticks she’d gathered and dropped were a curse or a blessing in disguise – with them, the goblin was now alerted to the commotion, but without them, she might have discovered them entirely on accident. The problem now was, that Mother rat was still up on the tree and practically ready to pounce. If she attacks, we have to kill the thing. Bet she’s part of that group we passed. While she was considering how to best dispose of the goblin without potentially alerting the rest of the goblin group that still wasn’t as far as she wished it to be, Ed offered his suggestion of not killing the goblin. Asteria exhaled a long, but very quiet sigh. Note. Teach Mother basic verbal and nonverbal commands at the earliest possible opportunity. With one more intent glance to Mother rat and a firm shake of her head in a “no” gesture, Asteria replied

“Fine, no killing. Watch out for any other danger,” in just as low of a mutter as Ed had done, before creeping up behind the preoccupied goblin. Less than a meter away, she crouched, bunched up her muscles as tight as a spring, and jumped! She aimed to land on the goblin’s upper back, clinging to her shoulders with her front paws in a tackle, hooking one of her hind legs around the goblin’s knee to unbalance it further, sending them both into a fall. She’d aimed to have them fall as far away from the sticks as she could, so hopefully, the landing would not produce an obnoxiously loud crash. As they were falling, Asteria also attempted to wrap her tail around the goblin’s mouth, both so the creature couldn’t get much of a chance to scream for help as much as it was for an additional assurance that she could use her whip-like appendage to break the girl’s neck if it was necessary.

((Assuming the attack is successful to the point that, at the very least, Asteria lands on top of the still living goblin.))

Sitting on top of the felled goblin girl, Asteria put a claw at her neck artery, and whispered in her ear: “Stay still and silent, and you live. Try anything, you die. Understand?” Regardless of the reply, Asteria would use the advantage of her position over the goblin to dig her weight into the green-skinned being’s back some more, as an encouragement. She then looked to Mother rat for but a moment, and chattered quietly to her to get her down and helping. “Ed? We’re kidnapping her temporarily.” Once her ally made it closer to her, she offered an additional explanation. “This was the first thing that came to my mind for doing what you wanted. As long as she’s with us, we can still change our mind…She could be used as part of supplies for our journey,” she grumbled quietly, thinking of the bone knife she’d long since longed to make, but still hadn’t quite succeeded at actually doing, though the bone needles had been a progress. “Goblin? I don’t know what your name is, but you’re coming with us for a bit. We’ll let you go once we get far enough that your group won’t catch us even if you tell them all about us. So, just cooperate, would you? Refuse, get dead. Simple, right?” she didn’t have the first idea of how intelligent goblins were or what kind of approach might work best for them, but she wasn’t in a mood for patience or kindness.

If the goblin put up too much of a struggle or began causing a ruckus, Asteria would simply clobber it over the head to knock it unconscious and for the goblin girl’s sake, such a method would not get it some kind of brain injury. She’d then turn the goblin over on her back, look it over, hopefully inspiring further co-operation with the established eye contact. One of the items the goblin had been carrying was rather fortuitously some sort of…a rope? Is that a grass rope? Asteria couldn’t help but wonder what material it was made from, exactly, and how, thinking of replicating it later. For now, she crushed one of the sticks she’d gathered, shoved the bits into the girl’s mouth, then tied the cordage around her mouth tightly. With some effortful re-positioning, dragging, pushing, and pulling, she managed to get the goblin over her back, the goblin’s head lolling down across of her shoulders, each of its legs dragging on the ground at the sides of her tail. Before it could try and flail herself off her back, Asteria wrapped her tail around her load, and fastened the goblin securely.

This…this was ridiculous. It would have to do, though. “Ed, get Mother to carry the sticks, if she can. I’ll lead, she follows, you go last and cover our tracks. We better get away, fast. Let’s save the discussion for later,” she added, fairly certain Ed might otherwise have argued against kidnapping the goblin as well. Feeling rather worn out, and aching all over already, though she hadn’t even started to carry the goblin properly, she let out a long-suffering sigh. Asteria closed her eyes, and sniffed. She wanted to find a water source, and it wouldn’t surprise her much if there was one in the forest. She nosed at the ground, focusing on any hint of wetness or dampness. Were there signs of rain? Of water? Was it there any morning dew? Would the scents lead her back into the forest proper, to moss, mold, and rotting leaves? Or would there be a stream, pond, or even a river anywhere close-by? She hadn’t seen any such thing, but the view from up there hadn’t been perfect, to say the least.

Asteria opened her eyes every once in a while, making sure that if they did have to head back into the forest, they wouldn’t do it anywhere near the goblin group. The goblins were sure to notice one of them missing soon, wouldn’t they? The question was whether they’d search for her or not. “You…know,” she panted out, winded from the goblin’s weight but not letting that slow her down.“I can’t decide…whether to…admire your…decency, or be…baffled by it,” she stopped for just a moment, getting her breath back. “I’ve recently come to accept the fact that even if we show some mercy, common sense, or whatever else you have, others might not,” yeah, so she was still a bit sour from that whole cave ordeal. “This…this is just a precaution. If it backfires, we’re screwed, no need to mention that, of course,” she pondered, then promptly shut up again, continuing in her attempts to either find a water source nearby, or whatever relatively safe spot that wasn’t the scene of the crime, really. She even glanced back every once in a while, ensuring Mother rat and Ed were following.

Minutes and minutes of walking later, possibly half-an-hour or more, when Asteria felt her muscles burning, trembling, and thought they might soon give up on her, she stopped, dropped the goblin, and promptly sat on her chest. “So,” she stated after some moments of recovering her breath. “How badly hurt are you?” she addressed the goblin. “Because with as much trouble you’re causing us, you might as well eat one of our healing herbs, and walk with us for a while instead of literally getting dragged or carried around,” she shrugged a shoulder nonchalantly, but kept a close eye on the goblin.

Regardless of her response, she explained the options she thought they had to Ed. “When I was up on that tree, I saw a bit of the surroundings. The forest stretches far into the north-east. Straight to the east is a human house, maybe a forester’s hut. There was just one smoke trail I saw, but who knows if there are more or not? South, there are plains, weirdly empty. May be some swamp, lake, or something a shade darker than grass way southwards. Westwards are mountains. Wherever we go, we need to secure a water and food source. Warmth too, depending on where we head to. I’d suggest staying away from the cave, the humans, and the mountains. So, either the forest, or better yet in my opinion, the plains. But if you’d rather elsewhere, just say. The goblin girl stays with us until her group won’t be able to chase us down even after we release her. It’s inconvenient, I know, but if she reports back to the whole goblin group about us, we’re dead meat in any case. I should have just tried to get Mother Rat to stop somehow,” she trailed off on a sigh, considering the goblin currently lying more-or-less prone. Fucking, great, what was I thinking, adopting a kid? And one with every reason to hate me, to boot.

Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Lucius Cypher
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Lucius Cypher Your friendly neighborhood deviant

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Orchid sat back at camp. She would’ve tried to get some work done but now that she was done fighting, her body was just too sore to even stand up. For a few seconds she closed her eyes and rested, but before too long more of her minions had come over to pester her. Bigs and Wej wanted to be midboss while Jeeze wanted advice for the rope. A pair of goblins we’re going to go get healing herbs back at the cave; Orchid was about to tell them to look elsewhere, but frankly she didn’t have much choice at the moment. This would have to do.

First looking at Bigs and Wej, Orchid sighed. ”One boss and a midboss is too simple. We might be small, but we’re gunna have more roles than just boss and midboss.” Orchid took a stick and started drawing in the dirt. She made big circle representing her. ”Boss. That’s me.” Then Orchid made three circles, one she labeled with two crossed spears, one with a water droplet, and another with a hammer.

Orchid pointed towards the circle with the spears. ”Now I need three midboss. One leads the Hunters. They fight our enemies and fight for food. I only want the disciplined. That means you follow my orders, know when to fight, and how to fight.” Then she pointed towards the circle with the water drop. ”Then I need Keepers. They gather supplies like food, Wood, Stone, water, treasure, whatever we need. They don’t need to fight, they just need to bring back something we can use.” Then Orchid pointed towards her last circle. She tapped on it a few times to emphasis it. ”Then the Crafters. Like me. Make weapons, armor, shelter, whatever. Using what the Hunters and Keepers bring back, Crafters can make better things so Hunter’s and Keepers can find better stuff.”

Hopefully this diagram was simple enough even for these goblins to understand. Now onto the important part that Orchid was sure they wanted to know. ”So now I need three midboss, each to take care of either the Hunters, Keepers, and Crafters. As Boss, I’ll make sure to help all three and let you all know what we need. I’ll tell Hunters where to go hunt, Keepers where to go look, and Crafters what we need made. This way too, stuff like what happened at the bonfire don’t happen again. So Bigs, you’re the Hunter Midboss. Get better at fighting. Wej you’re the Crafter Midboss. You wanna build that wall? Learn how to make bricks.”

Then Orchid looked to Jeeze and her rope. Without even touching she could tell her cordage was weak, and Orchid wasn’t afraid to point it out. ”This sucks.” Orchid have Jeeze What was left of her own cordage, though it was only of average quality. ”Make like this. I started with a big fat piece at first, but kept twisting until it became tough and thin. Use a stick to help you twist it, like this.” Orchid frayed the end of her rope a bit, then used a fairly small twig to tighten the rope back together. It also reminded Orchid if something else as unstrung the sling she had wrapped around her arm; it had helped compress her muscles so the bleeding wound on her shoulder didn’t get to bad. She handed it to Bigs.

”That’s called a sling. Helps you throw rocks harder and faster. If you wanna be a good hunter learn how to use it. You can even use it with your spear, so you can throw it harder and farther.”

"Ya mean we all gets ta be Mid-bosses!?" Bigs and Wej looked at each other, then turned back to Orchid. Then they grinned idiotically and began dancing. "We's all midbosses! All midbosses! All-Mid-Boss!"

Jezee winced when Orchid didn't pull any punches. The younger female sniffled as Orchid handed it back to her, but then her eyes got big when Orchid gave her the Average Fiber Cord. Still slightly disappointed, but setting her tiny jawline, Jezee nodded and went off to find more sticks for bark strips.

Once Bigs and Wej stopped dancing long enough for Orchid to give Bigs the Sling, Wej protested loudly. "Oi! What about me!? How I make burricks? Wat burricks even is?"

"...Is what human houses made out of. Like da farm." Bigs and Wej jumped at the sound of Crispy's voice, though it was low and growly--still strained with pain. The Flame-touched Goblin was looking at Orchid with suspicion again. "Youngl--Boss...musta seen it in dreams."

Your Item: Wicker Shield has Broken!

You have defeated Crispy! You are now Boss of your Native Goblin Tribe! You have gained the new Title: Goblin Chieftain! The effects of this Title aren't yet clear. Current Title Rank: I.

LEVEL UP!
Your experiences have culminated into new power! You are now Level 5! You gain Skill Points to distribute as you please!

Unspent Skill Points: 9

Current Skills:
Use Light Equipment (--)
Pacify Animal I (1.1)
Stronger I (1.7)
Crafting IV (4.6)
Material Analysis II (2.05)
Monster Analysis I (1.25)
Smash I (1.5)
Charisma I (1.6)
Taboo I (1.1)
<UNUSABLE>
Muffle (0.8)
Deception (0.7)
Charm (0.3)
Alert (0.3)
Stone Shot (0.4)
Throw Item (0.4)
Slash (0.8)
Warcry (0.5)
Pierce Resistance (0.7)
Blunt Resistance (0.3)
Slash Resistance (0.1)
Blood Drain (0.35)
Skewer (0.4)
Mental Resistance (0.4)
Fireball (0.5)
Mana Orb (0.2)
Focus (0.2)
Magic Analysis (0.2)
Faster (0.9)
Overwork (0.3)
Intercept (0.3)
Defender (0.7)
Rabid Fit (0.5)
First Aid (0.1)
Intimidate (0.5)
Counter (0.4)
Shield Slam (0.6)
Poison Resistance (0.1)
Fire Resistance (0.6)
Dust Blow (0.1)
Magic Resistance (0.2)

YOUR BODY IS BEGINNING TO CHANGE! You are undergoing Transformation! Based on your life experiences, your ability to survive, and the strength of your will, new paths have appeared! Choose carefully--there is no going back! WARNING. THIS PROCESS WILL LEAVE YOU TEMPORARILY VULNERABLE.

OPTIONS (* Indicates Suitability):
**(Adult) Goblin (Low Variant Chance) - Goblins stand between three and three-and-a-half feet tall on average, and while their physical strength isn't to be underestimated, they are much like human children. However, their natural cunning and viciousness is far more vile, and while they can use tools they have a limited intelligence. They tend to form savage tribes with little in common save for the constant drive to survive, and a lack of emotional control that causes them to do whatever they feel necessary to satisfy any primal craving they happen to feel at any given moment. They aren't typically capable of long-term planning and have difficulty with abstract concepts.
  • Slightly increase all base-stats
  • Increase HP
  • Increase Potential


**(Immature) Hobgoblin (Low Variant Chance) - These advanced goblins develop darker skin colors, their former green bodies turning a shade of the forest or changing tint slightly to blues or browns. They are a foot taller than goblins on average, and while their proportions are similar their extra mass shifts towards a more wiry, muscular form. With greater intelligence but about the same level of maturity, if Goblins can be compared to vicious children then Hobgoblins could be mean-spirited teenagers. Their faces become slightly less ugly, and they grow more hair much like various humanoids.
  • Increase all base stats
  • Gain Medium Equipment Skill (reduced)
  • Gain Access to Job System: 0th Tier


*(Immature) Bugbear - Bugbears are an evolved form of the Goblin. Less suited to the natural cleverness or deftness of their smaller cousins, they more than make up for this with their toughness and strength. Their thick fur allows them to venture out from their caves or huts into many different environments. Their strength allows them to use larger types of equipment, and they'll often bully other goblins around as the leaders of small tribes. They can almost never work together with other Bugbears, as the species is highly aggressive and competitive.
  • Slightly increase speed-and-defense stats
  • Increase base strength stats (reduced)
  • Increase Medium Equipment skill (reduced)
  • Increase Stamina


(Immature) Demiblin - Goblins that have been influenced by demonic energies, often committing acts that even make their brethren pause or else being influenced by a greater demonic being. They are roughly the same size as normal goblins but tend towards the taller and more muscular side of the average. Their skin darkens until it becomes almost ink black, and they often develop strange magical sigils on their skin. They show increased aptitudes for magic.
  • Slight increase to base stats.
  • Increase Demon Affinity (reduced).
  • Gain Access to Job System: 0th Tier.
  • Taboo Offering


**(Immature) Redcap - Goblins that, like the Bugbear, value physical strength but also have enough intelligence they could be considered "tactical" often transform into these red-skinned, larger-than-usual goblinoids. Redcaps are more militaristic than normal goblins and make excellent tribal chieftains, but are also industrious and begin to develop more skill in using tools and equipment. However, their tribes are often very small, as a Redcap's demand for excellence leads to many desertions.
  • Increase base strength stats (reduced)
  • Increase Weapon Affinity (reduced)
  • Gain Medium Equipment Skill
System:Orchid


Finally. Orchid felt like she had been waiting forever for a level up. Lots of options here. Plenty of good stuff. She wished she could trade out some skills like her Animal Handling for some sort of resistance, but she’ll just have to play whatever hand was dealt to her. But first she needed to get her goblins out of her hair. She looked over to Crispy who seemed to have stopped crying enough to talk. Orchid gripped her club but remained stoic.

”Aye. They’re like rocks, cept harder. You need mud and fire to make them. Crispy! You go teach Wej how to make a fire, and gather some more wood while you’re at it. You’re going to be one of the Crafters now. Teach Wej what you know but remember who’s the boss now.” While she didn’t trust Crispy, it wasn’t going to do her any good keeping him off to the side doing nothing. Treachery was one thing, but being useless wasn’t going to be something she’d tolerate ever.

She wanted to level up and evolve but didn’t want to leave herself exposed, she called over to Biggs. Using her broken Wicker Shield, she hung it up on a low branch and handed Biggs some stones. ”Practice with your sling here. I’m going to take a nap. Wake me up if there’s any trouble.” With Biggs nearby Orchid hopes to get some rest and deal with her level up. She leaned against a tree and sat back down, holding her sharp club in a way to ensure she could wake up swinging it anyone had any stupid ideas. As she closed her eyes she started to deal with her points and stuff.

Obviously, five points into fireball. She’d already invested into it so she planned to make the most out of it. Plus with her intent to continue crafting and advancing her creations, having a ready access to fire and heat would be greatly important. This way she could slowly phase out Crispy too. That left four points left over. There was a lot of cool sounding skills she thought she could use, but Orchid needed to keep it simple and stick with whatever is most functional. Practical stuff. So she added one point into Faster, and the remaining three points into Stronger so she’ll level up in both.

Finally the evolution. She knew that Ash had evolved in some strange fashion, so Orchid knew she could too. The options seemed interesting. Adult goblin, young hobgoblin, bugbear, Demiblin, and Redcap. She didn’t really know what any of those things where beyond what the descriptions said. Rattleskull was probably a bugbear now that she thought about it, and she winced at the idea of being just as dumb and thick-headed. Crispy was probably an adult goblin and he didn’t seem too impressive. Redcap seemed like it’d be right up her alley, however she didn’t like the idea of having only a small tribe. While it may be a headache to have to take care of a bunch of goblins, civilization flourished because of the great many, not the special few. She it was between the Hobgoblin and Demiblin, which apparently was some sort of demonic goblin. Hob best fit Orchid’s preference for simple and straightforward upgrades, but she’d be lying if she didn’t admit to wanting to know more about magic. If it was like anything from the stories, Magic was basically technology in fantasy worlds, and Orchid, despite her craft skills, was no scientist. She couldn’t make a car or robot with her limited knowledge. But magic seemed like an easy enough alternative to reach something similar to her modern knowledge.

So Orchid choose Demiblin. No doubt it’ll have a lot of evil options granted into it. But… Orchid has already accepted that. She wasn’t going to pretend she was anything better. So she selected Demiblin, and awaited to see what would happen.

Once Orchid had made her decision, she suddenly felt a deep fatigue come over her. She felt deep asleep, her club dropping from her hands, and as if in a dream she rose up and up...

Orchid could see EVERYTHING.

Not in crystal clarity, of course. But she drifted upwards, out of her body, rising enough that she could look out over the forest. She could see the mountains to the west, and they stretched both north and south forming a wall between two lands. She could see the forest stretching out for miles to the east, broken by a series of square clearings where a large house of stone, wood, and thatch sat calmly puffing smoke. To the south, she could see the cave where all of this had begun, and the barest hint of a great, grassy plain...

"Devourer of thy kin...deceiver of thy brethren..."

Orchid rose higher, but something felt wrong. Fear began to creep around her heart and up from her toes. She could see further to the south where wave upon wave of grass spread over the plains, towards a place where the sun beat down upon the earth. Further to the east, a large body of water glistened with the rays of the morning sun. Upon its shores sat a vast city of wood and stone, banners flying from castle towers. To the north, a thundering river spilled out of the mountains and down into a great valley, and further beyond that another thick forest grew, darker and colder than this one...

"Is a tiger guilty of murder when it brings down the gazelle? Or only if it hunts another tiger? What if it knew better?"

She rose higher. To the south beyond the grassland, deserts and canyons, windstorms sweeping over dunes. Further to the east, a bright light cutting a path to safety for those in need of guidance. Over the mountains, to the southwest, a grand city stretching for miles. Still in the west, but far further north, a tower like a mighty tree reaching up to the heavens with roots stretching deep, deep into the earth. So far to the east that it became west again, a lonely, cold, desolate island where red lightning split the sky. Here, Orchid felt an eye upon her, and the fear that gripped her threatened to choke her. Spreading up from the tips of her fingers she felt an icy burn...

"Yes, you too despise doing as you are told. Is it merely because you are told? Or do you merely wish to be the one giving the orders?"

She rose higher. A world, a planet, rotated thousands of miles an hour, yet from this distance appeared as no more than a soap bubble, as if it would pop if she but brushed a fingertip against it. The city lured her, cried out for her. The island's red skies held her in sway...

And unseen hands grabbed her, turned her to look away from that world, and into the Void.

The moon and stars? Outer space? A galaxy, a universe? In this void there was nothing...and between the nothing, they were. Dark clouds of matter that did not exist. Heavier than gravity, they passed between atoms. Negative numbers, fraying strands of time and space, they did not exist.

"You are the second Goblin from this insignificant tribe of worthless insects we have met today. Will you too, prove too cowardly to continue the work you have already begun? Or will you continue to lie, to steal, to kill, and devour? We look forward to your depravity."

The Abyss gazed into Orchid, and though she no doubt wanted to blink as terror strangled her she could not shut her eyes.

You have 1 Offering. To gain greater Offerings you must commit Taboo.

With your available Offerings, only these have taken pity upon you:

Hellish Fiend's Protection (Petty) - Increase resistance to the powers of Fire. (1 Offering)

Hellish Fiend's Gift (Petty) - Increase your powers of Fire. (1 Offering)

Dedication to the Hellish Power - If you dedicate yourself to the Hellish Power, you shall be marked. You may no longer make offerings to other powers or receive their favor, but the favor of the Hellish Power towards you shall increase. Please the Hellish Power, and you may Quest in their name... (1 Offering, Cancels out any non-Hellish Favors, Displeasure may result in Infernal Torment)

Chaos Fiend's Protection (Petty) - Increase resistance to the powers of the Dark. (1 Offering)

Wrathful Fiend's Gift (Petty) - Increase your powers of Physical Destruction. (1 Offering)

Wrathful Fiend's Brand (Petty) - Increase your Strength. (1 Offering)

Dedication to the Wrathful Power - If you dedicate yourself to the Wrathful Power, you shall be marked. You may no longer make offerings to other powers or receive their favor, but the favor of the Wrathful Power towards you shall increase. Please the Wrathful Power, and you may Quest in their name... (1 Offering, Cancels out any non-Wrathful Favors, Displeasure may result in Infernal Torment)

Carnal Fiend's Gift (Petty) - Increase your powers of Glamour, and your sensual appeal to others. (1 Offering)
WVS0KU:Orchid


Orchid was given several choices. But as the unseen hands let her go, an unheard voice beckoned to her.

She did not have to make this choice. She could still turn back. If she sought forgiveness, the Taboo could be lifted from her...

Slowly, she felt herself being pulled back towards the world below...

”What.”

This was all so confusing. So scary! Orchid thought she had found some measure of courage before, fighting Crispy and all, but this place… It drove her somewhere beyond mere fear. Madness even. She wanted to cry out and cover her eyes, to run and hide, get away from this craziness all over again. By the time she internal screaming could stop and she could make sense of things again, she was presented with a choice. Her sins have allowed her to take on some sort of demonic power now. Forces, likely maligned, beckoned her to make a choice. Obtain more power, or turn away and try to seek redemption.

It was only now that somehow Orchid could muster up some sort of energy to act, if only to make her choice and a quip or two.

”D-Damn you… I’ll not… I won’t be weak again! This power… IS MINES!”

Orchid reached out to grasp these demonic powers, reaching for the Hellish Fiend’s Protection. She was going to use a lot of fire for what she had planned in the future, so she’ll need to build resistance against it. As she reached out she could feel her weight falling back to the ground. All she could do was grit her teeth, clench her fist, and hope that somehow she’ll gain some power from this ordeal. She didn’t care who she had to step on to get ahead. No matter who had to be sacrificed.

”This world is mines!”

Orchid made her choice. She reached out and grasped the immaterial words that only existed inside her head--she grasped power in a tight and desperate grip. And she felt it brand her. Fire surged through her being. It burned away sensation, burned away sight, burned away the planet floating below her and the sun up above her and the bright light behind her that turned away with disappointment. It burned away the Void, but there was one thing it could not burn.

The deep, echoing, resonating laughter. Their laughter.

With flames all around her, Orchid found herself somewhere new. Somewhere the earth had turned to ash, and that too was burning away. Bare rock had become molten but even that was evaporating. Up above her, the sun was burned out, black and dead--no. It was a hole, a gateway back to the Void, and the fire reached up to pass through it in a whirling spire. Things--beings--swam up that inferno, struggling to reach its top and escape the all-consuming pyre.

"Even the Ancient Men did not create Fire. They merely found it, and took it from its resting place to spread it across the World." One of them was speaking to her. Something rose out of the flames behind her, but no matter how she turned she could not find it.

"But within Fire they found Warmth. Fire fed them with meat, Fire burned away disease and impurity. Torches lit the way through darkness, to protect them from shadows, to show them the path of exploration. Candles held the night at bay and revealed the hidden words of their books--Fire granted them Knowledge. And with Knowledge, they controlled Fire. They lost the Fear of Fire."

Though it was all around her, none of these flames had yet harmed her.

"Fire does not care if they do not fear it. Fire does not care if it is used for good or ill--do not mistake me for the Will of Fire." Orchid might remember what Crispy had said once: Fire strong. Stronger than Rattleskull. Maybe strong enough to burn whole world. The voice continued, "But it is my will that they fear fire--or rather, that they fear the fire that would turn their books of knowledge to ash, the fire that would blacken their lands, the fire that would sear their throats. That fire is my fire. That fire is Hell Fire. I grant you my Protection, however, that you may do my bidding without being reduced to cinder."

"The Taboo of Flame shall be thus:
Hellfire may burn the temples of every god before you;
Hellfire's graven image shall not be that of Man's Fire, and Hellfire must seek to consume the Flame of Man;
The Flame of Man shall burn in vanity, undo its works and cast them down as ash;
Let all holy days be burned away, and only the Fear of Fire remain until all creatures would even hide from the sun;
Hellfire may consume all around you, even thy father and mother;
Thou may kill in the most wretched of manners with Hellfire;
Thou may commit the most unspeakable acts, that the carnal flames may be truly ignited, by Hellfire;
Thou may steal the Warmth of Man's Fire and replace it with the Fear of Hellfire.
Thou may bear false witness of works done by flame in order to do your own works unperturbed.
Everything thou covet, ye may toss into Hellfire to prove thy devotion."

"I care not if you fulfill every Taboo. I care not if you dedicate yourself only to my service, though I shall not tolerate disloyalty if you do. But if you gather Offerings, then I may bestow upon you my Favors. I ask only..."


Laughter. Again that laughter that snapped and crackled all around her, that popped and sizzled in her ear, that smouldered in the depths of her soul.

"That you give me Fuel. Give me Fire. Give me that which I Desire..."

Flames burst forth from below and consumed Orchid. She was carried aloft as if upon the eruption of a volcano, into the midst of the black sun. She kept going up, and up, and up, into the cold and solid darkness of the earth, through stone and soil, and the last thing she saw was a green body lying on the ground...




When Orchid had gone off to take her nap, Crispy had glared at Wej. Wej stood there dumbly, looking back and forth between the two "bossy" goblins with furtive glances. Just because he had seen Crispy injured, it didn't quite undo the short lifetime of intimidation he had experienced at the other goblin's hands.

"I teach ya how to make fire." Crispy said finally, spitting to one side. "But youse go gets da wood. And when I heal up, youse gonna ask Boss to make ME da Crafter Midboss."

"Why would I do dat?! I'M da Midboss!" Wej countered, beating his chest. "You...youse just a Mini-boss now!"

"What da Midboss of Crafting do, Wej?" Crispy snarled.

"Make stuff! Like bricks! And big walls!" Wej replied, turning his fat nose up and smirking.

"Does ya like makin' stuff, Wej? Seems stupid to me! Wall stupid too!"

"Wall not stupid! Youse just mad cause ya ain't Boss no mores! Or Midboss!"

"Is too stupid! Look at dat rock over dere!" Crispy pointed further up the hillside to the largest rock he could see. Wej followed his gaze. "Ya wanna make a big wall? Bricks gotta be dat big!"

"...Dat big?" Wej tilted his head. The rock in question was almost the size of one of the goblins themselves. "Why dat big?"

"Cause walls got to be big and tough! Ya tink youse could break dat wall wif a stick? Or a smaller rock?" Crispy smiled through crooked teeth as Wej thought about this, scratching his bald head. "Da Crafty-Boss is gonna have to make all dose big bricks, and carry 'em, and stack 'em up--!"

"Carry 'em!? Me!?" Wej pointed at the rock and looked back at Crispy incredulously. "Why I gots to do all dat!?"

"Ya just said I can't be Crafty-Boss, ya dum! So if you's Crafty-Boss, and ya wants to build a wall, you da one dat gots to build it!"

"...Hey!" Wej suddenly narrowed his eyes. "I sees what youse doin'!" Crispy's own eyes widened. "Ya tryin' t'trick me! I don't have to lift all da heavy stuff just cause I'm Crafty-boss! I just gets da uddas to do it FOR me! Like how you and Rattleskull made us all do stuff!"

"Dat's even dummier, Wej!" Crispy threw up his arms, and Wej was again caught off guard. "When I was midboss and made fire all da time, do ya know why I didn't make YOU do it?"

"...Uh...cause..." Wej tapped the side of his head. It made a rather hollow thump. "...Cause you da only one dat knows how to make fire?"

"Yeah! Youse IS smarter den ya looks!" Crispy clapped his hands together, and Wej puffed out his chest. "Only Crispy knows how to make fire, only Bosses knows how to be Bosses, and only Crafty-bosses knows how to make bricks and walls! So Crafty-bosses got to be the ones makin' em, carryin' em, stackin' em, buildin' da big walls--all by deyselves!" Then Crispy shrugged and shook his head. "But I guess yas too smart for me, Wej, since ya saw through my trick! Since you's da smarterest, I guess you gots to be da Crafty-boss after all, and do alllll dat work..."

"N-now hold on dere, Crispy!" Wej held up his green palms. "You dun figured all dat out, so I think YOUSE the smarterer one! I'm gonna get da Boss to make YOU Crafty-Boss, since you wants it so bad! And dat way I ain't gotta carry all dat stuff!"

"But Wej, if you ain't da Crafty-boss, what're ya gonna do?" Crispy protested with big eyes and a wobbly lip.

"Da Boss told ya to teach me how to make fire!" Wej folded his arms and nodded, standing his ground. "So youse gonna teach me fire, and den I'LL make all da fires while you makes all da bricks! We jus' trades jerbs!"

"Wej, dat's a good idea!" Crispy said, smacking one fist into his palm. "Youse must be, like one o' dem smurt Humans--a Genie!"

Both of them starting chuckling and nodding at each other. Wej's "hurr hurr hurr" laugh went on for a few seconds longer than Crispy's did, and then they looked at each other. Crispy snarled and slapped him on the side of the head.

"SO GO GETS ME MORE WOOD!"

As Wej ran off, Crispy looked over at Orchid. She was sound asleep under that tree--and her dreaded sharp club was dangling from her hands. He looked around the camp. Jezee was making rope. Bigs was practicing with his sling. Neither of them were looking at the boss. His two minions were still gone for the moment to find Healing Herbs for him. Sqwal was...where had Sqwal gotten to? No matter, that one was small and weak. So that left...Clod.

"Oi. Clod." Crispy began hobbling over towards the other goblin. Clod had just finished making something, and was looking over his creation with an unusually focused eye...It was really rather impressive for a goblin. "Wut happen to ya rocks?"

"Boss took some of 'em. Broked 'em to make my--her sharp club, I mean. Was s'posed to make it for me..." he grumbled.

"Look over dere!" Crispy pointed, and Clod slowly looked up with narrowed eyes and a deep frown. "Da boss asleep! You could just go take it from hers!"

"...Den she'd just beat me up. Like she did you, dummie." Clod growled.

"Wif what?" Crispy waggled his finger. "If ya take her sharp club--"

Then Orchid suddenly burst into flame.

Black flames, though tinged with a sulfurous orange. This strange aura came out of the ground underneath her as if it were erupting, and consumed her entirely. All the goblins within ear and eyeshot gasped and leaped back, Crispy included. His eyes widened. His teeth began to chatter. He broke out in a sweat.

"She...she really did have dreams like me mudda!" he whispered. "But she...she musta had...Demon dreams!"

Orchid awakened as the black aura died away. Her body felt feverishly warm at first, but soon that began to die down. She had grown taller, being four inches over four feet. Her muscle tone had not changed much but felt more "solid," and her proportions weren't fully mature but had grown beyond childlike. Her hair, while being burned, turned from back to red and hereyes skin had become a dusky, smouldering orange. On the back of the same hand she had "reached out" for power with, a symbol glowed softly as if it were freshly branded. Two diamonds interlocked side by side, and between them a jagged line like lightning went up almost to her knuckles, ending in a sharp tip. On either side of this bolt's midpoint, two more lines crossed it. The longer one below had flared tips like a leaf-shaped blade. The upper one split into a jagged, three pronged fork at either end. Though she couldn't see them without a mirror, her eyes had a shifting, flame-like orange glow to them that slowly dimmed as she blinked, taking in the world around her from this new perspective.

TRANSFORMATION COMPLETE!
Goblin > (Immature) Demigoblin!
You have Transformed!
Your base stats have slightly increased!
You have not reached your full Potential. The skill Demon Affinity's development is reduced. Your desires have boosted the Demon Affinity! Skill is currently at (0.666)
You have gained access to the Job System at 0th Tier!
---Job System---
Creatures with a certain level of intelligence, sophistication, and potential for civilization often learn that specialized functions for different members make the society better. Specific forms of training, and specific mindsets, mean that those who undertake a "Job" are better suited for certain things than others with different "Jobs." When you take on a Job Type, the World System will allocate earned Skill Points in a way more favorable to your choice. Using a skill you are familiar with as an example...[Smash]. By swinging your [Sharp Stone Club] weapon, you gained points for this skill and also for the Slash skill. You intentionally attempted to use blunt force, along with other weapon types, and thus Smash developed faster than Slash. However, if you were in a blade-weapon based Job, the points that went to Smash would have automatically gone to Slash instead, boosting its development. Jobs may cost you versatility, and make it harder to learn skills you already have that do not fit the Job's prerogative. However, they will speed up development of the more fitting skills. Jobs are not permanent choices and may be changed, however doing so will require a training period for the new Job.

Available Jobs for Demigoblin:
0th Tier
  • Raider - Physical focus. Offensive focus.
  • Skirmisher - Balanced focus. Defensive and Support focus.
  • Voodooist - Magic focus. Offensive focus.
  • Bandit - Physical focus. Offensive and Defensive focus.
  • Sneak - Physical focus. Evasive focus.
  • Scrapper - Physical focus. Offensive and Evasive focus.
  • Cultist - Magic focus. Support focus (debilitating) and Healing focus.
  • Gatherer - Balanced focus. Support focus.
  • Scout - Physical focus. Evasive and Ranged focus.
  • Crafter - Utility focus. Further increase relative skills at the hindrance of combat ability.


You may unlock other Jobs by fulfilling certain conditions. You may gather further information about Jobs by focusing on one at a time before making your choice.
---Job Tutorial Complete!---

Skill Gain: Fireball I!
The fire-themed version of a basic magical attack. With roughly the same power, range, and MP consumption as a Mana Orb, it has the unique property of being able to inflict a burn on the target. However, as an elemental spell, these same properties render it harder to use in certain circumstances. Non-flammable or elementally opposed targets, for example, will be much less affected.

Skill Gain: Faster I!
Your base physical speed is increased! By gaining the skills Harder, Better, and Stronger, Skill Synergy will occur and you will gain one rank of Physical Conditioning.

Skill Rank Up: Stronger I > Stronger II!
Your base physical strength has increased even further! --You possess the Use Light Equipment skill, but with this increase to your stats there may be some other forms of equipment you can wear without the proper skills. For instance, you may meet the requirement for a larger weapon if you are holding it in both hands or using your body more efficiently to lift and swing it. However, sub-enhancements for this equipment will be greatly diminished.--

Special Skill Gain: Hellish Fiend's Protection (Petty)!
Gain Fire Resistance I and Hellish Fiend's Sigil, lose 1 Rank of Taboo. This damage resistance skill applies to both magical and natural flames, as well as higher temperatures in general. If other elemental resistances are gained, skill synergy may occur. Having this skill may make using certain types of fire magic or other fire oriented skills easier. This is a cursed skill. Some may recognize your true nature. Even now, the evil seed of what you've done germinates within you...

Skill Loss: Taboo I!
The Taboo Skill has lost 1 Rank. Skill is currently at (0.1).
System:Orchid


All the goblins present--which meant everyone but Wej, Sqwal, and Crispy's two minions--slowly approached Orchid, crouched low as if afraid she might suddenly lash out. Crispy still cradled his arm, but his jaw hung slack and his eyes kept looking at the sigil on her hand.

"B-boss!" The flame-touched goblin's attitude had taken an oddly respectful turn all of a sudden. "Y-you changed, l-like Rattleskull! But you a Demiblin now! Did...did ya get to talk to da Big Demons!?"

Orchid opened her eyes as she awakened. Her dream was vague but still fresh in her memories. Like she wasn’t looking at everything through her own eyes but as merely an observer. It was bizarre but she let that moment past. She had access to new class related things but she held off from picking any of them for now. She needed to figure out what was needed the most at the given time. She fancied herself a crafter but she wouldn’t be surprised if she’ll have to focus more on combat related skills. Either way as she stirred awake everyone else gathered around to see what had happened. Crispy was the first to speak up to her. Apparently he knew what had just happened, or at least seen it happen before.

”Yeah. I did. I got their powers now.” Orchid stood up and flexed her hand, and then made a fireball. It was about the size of her fist. Nodding her head she dismissed it and walked towards the group. She noticed Clod had made himself his own stone sword. It looked… Crude. Possibly effective. ”Nice Sword.” Orchid handed Clod her sharp club and then pointed over to Biggs. ”You’re one of the Hunters now. Talk to Biggs to know more. More importantly, next time you go hunting see which sword works better. We’ll start making more of whichever works best.”

She looked at everyone gathered here. They were missing a few but it was enough for her to announce a new decree. Something to get everyone started on something. ”That’s right, once we get more sticks and stones I’ll make sure everyone’s got some sort of sharp club, and a shield too. So if you ain’t doing nothing, you ought to be getting more wood or making something. Biggs and Clod, I want you two to head into the woods and find something for us to eat. Grubs and roots if that’s all you can find, but a nice animal would be better.”

That made Orchid look back at Crispy. Pretty sure she told him to teach Wej how to make a fire. But she didn’t see Wej, nor any new fires. So she just looked at Crispy. ”What’s Wej doing?”

Crispy's eyes bugged out of his head as he saw Orchid make a fireball. He fell to his knees, his wounded arm held close to his body as his other hand gripped his head like he was having some kind of conniption.

Clod's eyes bugged out of his head as Orchid handed him her sharp club and complimented his sword. He looked between the two with slack jawed awe, then dumbly nodded and scrambled to his feet. He dashed over towards Bigs, causing the other goblin to flinch out of the way of those wildly flailing stone blades. The two hunters wasted no time following her orders, crashing off into the forest--more than likely they had just scared off any animal they could probably hunt, but maybe they would at least find some worms or berries.

When she asked about Wej, Crispy looked up blankly for a moment, then shook his head.

"He gettin' wood for da fire. An' he said he dun wanna be crafty-boss cause he dun wanna work on bricks." Slowly, due to his injury, he began trying to get back to his feet. His attitude seemed to have undergone a significant change. "B-boss, it already almost mid-day. If we wants to get to farm before night time we gots to leave quick. But if we gonna stay here--" Around this time, the two minions reappeared near the entrance of the cave. The male one had some monster's blood on him, his knife-wielding hand being covered in it, and the female had a double armfull of Healing Herbs and a few Mana Crystals.

"--then we needs to find shell-ter or somewheres, forest will be more an' more dangerous when night gets close. Won't always get lucky like we been."

Orchid narrowed her eyes at Crispy. On one hand, she wanted to punish him for obviously manipulating Wej. But then again, Orchid can at least respect someone smart enough to be capable of manipulation. If Wej is so simple minded that he could be easily swayed, than he wouldn’t be of any use to Orchid. But she didn’t want Crispy to think he was slick either. So she raised a single finger towards him. ”Crispy, Crispy, Crispy… You’re not stupid. I can respect that. If I had to fight Rattleskull for leadership he would’ve chosen to die fighting than to work with me. I can respect that smarts. So don’t try to play dumb; you know I said we’re going to have people for gathering sticks. Wej is supposed to focus on building things. Things like bricks, walls, and fire.” Then Orchid raised a second finger. ”And I told you to teach him how to make fire. I gave you that order. And if I have to be the one to teach him… You’ll starting to look a lot less useful.”

After she spoke the two goblins who had left came back with a bounty of herbs. One looked fairly bloodied. Orchid pointed towards them with her chin. ”Go patch yourself up. You’re no use to me in this state.” Orchid did, however, help herself to some herbs first, taking a few for herself. As Crispy warned her that it’ll get more dangerous, she had to admit he was right. They didn’t have too much time left before it’ll get dark and they still lacked much usable gear. Orchid wanted to rest some more, but alas, no rest for the wicked.

”When the hunter group and Wej get back, I’ll explain how things are going to work in this tribe, eat food, and then we’ll get going. But we’re not heading to the farm today. We’re going to find the monsters from before and see if we can’t get them to help.” Orchid applied the herbs to her wounds and glanced around for her other goblins. Wondering what they’re doing, and what she might have to do if she’s gotta kill anyone right now.

"I, I's gonna teach him, Boss!" Crispy protested. "I just made 'im go get wood cause I can't! Me arm's still broked!" Oddly enough, through the nasal whining it seemed like Crispy was being genuine--with a broken arm like that, he would have been quite limited in gathering firewood. So he had bullied Wej into doing it--probably because, just like Orchid, he had figured out that showing any kind of weakness was bad news in a goblin tribe. He had to keep kicking around other goblins lower than him on the totem pole or else he might not survive. Of course, he didn't seem to realize Orchid might kick him out for causing trouble with the others--because Goblins had already proven, hadn't they, that they weren't so great with long term planning?

Orchid took 3 of the Healing Herbs, the male Minion ate one of them to fix up the few scrapes he had taken, and the female minion began to chew one as well. Five more were laid aside, presumably for communal storage, but the female took the remaining five over to Crispy.

"Boss, I don't tink dat's good idea." said the male minion, following behind Orchid as she looked for the others. He moved over to one side, between her and the other two. "Dem udda mobs was real weird, and dey was always messin' wif stuff. Made dat beetle go boom. If dey messes stuff up for us we all might gets killed cause of it."

"Crispy, gimme yer arm."

"Ow! Don't touch it, Tiddies! An' what Yoona doin', we can't make da Boss mad now--"

"Shaddup for minute ya dum! Good, da bone not crooked...I dun tink." She spat out the herb she had been chewing, now ground into a fine paste. She began rubbing it into Crispy's wound, all the way down like she was trying to get it right onto his broken bone. The flame touched goblin suddenly bit down on his own hand, the good one, until blood spurted out from under his teeth. Even with that Orchid could still hear his agonized squeal. After making sure she had gotten all the herb into the wound--which didn't exactly look sanitary--the female minion began to wrap the others around Crispy's arm along with a thin pointy stick for a brace. She pressed them until their own juices acted as an adhesive, although admittedly not a strong one at all. She left Crispy to hold his own makeshift wrappings in place and began searching the nearest tree for creeping vines.

Just then, Bigs, Wej, and Clod came bursting back through the treeline. Wej was holding a bundle of sticks under one arm, and a bloodied, thick branch in the other. Clod had both of his swords, Orchid's borrowed one dangling from his wrist by the cord she had made for that very purpose and the other one held in the same hand. In his other hand, he clutched two Pixie corpses by the leg. One of the heads had been hacked clean off, but the other looked fairly mangled and crushed. Bigs came back holding his spear and two more Pixies, one of which had its body bludgeoned while the other had several holes in its torso.

"We finds food!" Bigs crowed.

"An' wood!" added Wej. He took the sticks over towards Crispy, throwing them down on the ground. Crispy looked hurriedly at Orchid and immediately pointed his good hand at the pile before the boss could possibly get around the crowd of her own minions.

"FIREBALL!"

It was the first rank of the spell, so the explosion wasn't so big, but the blast still tossed some of the wood to the side and nearly singed Wej's eyebrows off. Crispy grabbed him before he could fall over and pointed.

"Dat how ya makes fire wif magic! Grab a couple sticks and I shows ya da udda way!"

"Oi, Boss." Clod threw the two pixies down in front of Orchid and pointed at each one. "Yore sharp-club got dat one." He indicated the one whose head looked fairly mangled. "It cuts, but it can't go deep cause the shards ain't long and da body kinda stops da club part. It hits harder, tho--killed da Pixie in one hit." Then he switched to the other body. "My sword make good cut, not messy! Real bloody tho. Got it in the neck so we didn't haf ta waits too long. But it took me a couple tries to cut da head all da way off." He shook the sharp club off of his wrist and handed it back to her. "I tink yers prolly betta...but I made mines all by myself so I likes it more." The goblin seemed thoughtful about something--like he had actually learned from this experience. "I'mma make a even betterer one...soon as I find me some betta rocks..."

"When we gonna go to da farm?" Bigs broke in. "I didn't get ta use me slinger on dem Pixies! Wanna hunt some humens!"

With her minions back together, Orchid nodded her head. Time for a little rally and setting forth the game plan. First she needed to address some things about how this tribe was going to be ran. ”Alright. First things first. Now that I’m the boss, we’re gunna do things different here. I’m still the boss, but now we got three midbosses, each one for a different thing. The Hunters for hunting and fighting, Seekers for gathering things like wood, rocks, and herbs, and Crafters that’ll make weapons and stuff. Biggs is the Hunter midboss and Wej is the Crafter Midboss.” Orchid looks over to Wej who, if Crispy said was true, didn’t want to be the midboss. Orchid would deal with that at a later time. She pointed over to Yoona, who had voiced his opinion about the other monsters.

”Yoona, you’re the Seeker Midboss now. Your job is to find stuff for us to use. You don’t need to fight or hunt, it’s more important that you and whoever you take with you come back alive with important stuff. Now as for those monsters…” Orchid crosses her arms and thought about the other monsters. Frankly, she wasn’t sure if they could be trustworthy. Ash at least was cooperative but Orchid didn’t know a thing about the others. Chances are at least one of them was responsible for the initial attack on the goblins when they all still lived in the cave. She would t be surprised if tensions grew and another fight starts. But she had already made her choice.

”I’ll keep that in mind Yoona. They’re definitely dangerous. That’s why I’ll be dealing with them. If they cause you any trouble come to me first and I’ll deal with them. And that’s the important thing! If there’s something wrong, you come to me! We work something out. Do stuff on your own, get into trouble because you want to pick a fight, you’re on your own. If they messing with you though, if anything attacked you, feel free to fight back. Even better, get the rest of us and we’ll gang up on them.”

Finally, Clod brought a few dead pixies to her. His sword cleaved the head off one pixie after he had hacked it once, but her sharp club had killed the pixie in a single blow. If Clod’s sword was made of metal Orchid had no doubt it would’ve been more effective than her club. But until they could get their hands on metal, sticks and stones will have to do. Taking her club back Orchid flipped the pixies off the ground and onto her club. ”You do that Clod. Keep it up and I might even make you the Crafter Midboss.”

Getting the Pixies from Biggs, Orchid would cook them for the goblins. Four pixies, four limbs, and there were eight goblins to feed. That meant everyone got to have at least two limbs to chew on. Orchid might be able to make some meat off the torso and head too, but she didn’t expect much if she roasted them over the fire. In any case the day was getting late. It was finally time to pack up and leave. ”Alright! I’m going to cook these pixies for us. Everyone gets an arm and a leg. Might be able to make something out of the bodies too but don't expect much. Gather up your stuff. Once we done eating we’re going to go find those other monsters. Tomorrow we’ll make more weapons and stuff, see if those monsters are willing to help, and maybe if I trust em they can help us attack the farm. Now get going!”

Without any seasoning all Orchid could do for grilling the pixies was breaking their limbs off and cooking them on sticks. For the torso she simply took her nail and a bit of muscle to tear open their dead bodies and trying to debone them. Their bones were far too small to even be used as needles. It was like gutting a fish. Orchid felt oddly unperturbed at desecrating these bodies like this. Was it because she was a Demiblin, or has she just always been this callous? She didn’t question it.

But as everyone ate, Orchid noticed something off. They were missing someone. Orchid quietly got up and looked around thinking maybe she didn’t notice them. But sure enough, Jezee and Sqwal were missing. Where could they had gone? ”Oi… Where’s Jezee at? Did Sqwal ever come back?” Orchid turned to the others. Tiddies and Yoona didn’t see any other goblins in the cave. Neither did Bigs, Wej, or Clod when they were out. This annoyed Orchid. She wanted to leave today, but she couldn’t leave her goblins behind. Sqwal might be a little twat but he seemed ambitious about being a better crafter, and Orchid could respect that. Jezee was obedient too, which is more than some of these goblins.

”Dammit. Crispy, Bigs, you guys are going to follow me. We’re going to find those two gits. The rest of you gather up your things here and be on guard. Clod, I’ll leave it to you to watch over the camp. Wej, I want you to start building some spears with those sticks and stones. Yoona, help them with whatever they need.” Orchid took the last of her fibre rope and tied it around her left arm like a gauntlet. She didn’t have time to make a shield, so this would have to do. Flexing her hand she looped her club’s sling over her main hand, summoned a small ball of fire, and looked deeper into the forest.

”Let’s go.”


Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by ReusableSword
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ReusableSword The Mighty.

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Ardur The Mighty Hipixie
towards the heavens > On wards to victory /// Adventuring day 4 // Afternoon / Location - cave

The words the light the stories the voices. Everything was so much… so much more than what he was expecting. Sure it didn’t give him the answers he hoped for but it gave him something more. It gave him more questions. For now all he could do was sink back towards the planet.

Looking on at the three figures who slowly faded into the light of the sun as he was pulled away. Their words almost branded into his mind. “A guardian, a mother, a king.” It gives power to those that who have the will. To those that continue the cycle. What should he do? What will he become?

The sun faded quickly and soon he was forced back down to his body. His muscles felt tight, his joints ached, and his head throbbed. Ardur opened his eyes and stood slowly. The view of the world had changed and felt different, he was taller now, broader. The system message said he was Mighty, a rare variant perhaps.

Squeezing his fists and looking at his new form the naked Hipixie looked forward toward the thing that was beckoning to him. He could feel it now. Something urged for him, wanted him. It was in the direction of the dungeon core. All he did was watch with new-found purpose and power while the mana crystals shattered and their dust drifted towards the core.

“Come brother, the dungeon core calls for us. Let us put an end to this madness. The cycle must continue and this crystal is obstructing that.” Feeling a new sense of strength and being he stepped forward on shaking legs. He hoped the slimes were well rested for the fight that surely laid before them. One foot in front of the other, slowly getting used to his new form he continued on his march towards the core.

What did they want from him? why were they looking at him like he had a choice? did he have a choice? were they asking which view he chose or how he interpreted their will? “A king is a leader, put on a pedestal to serve those less than him. A mother is nurturing, for the fruits of life can grow strong under her care. A guardian is mighty, to shield the frail Behind the plate and mail. So if it is a choice, I choose all of you.” He spoke aloud but mostly to himself trying to grasp what he was shown. to him the sun was all these things and more.

“The will. I have the will. I have the will to be mighty. I will be mighty.” His muscles flexed, his joints cracked and popped. Ardur was nearly yelling now but this time for a reason. Using Inspire I he spoke, “This is a call to action, this is a call to arms, all lives for one, together, there are no false alarms.”

With this he raised his hand in the air in an attempt to try something new. “I have the will, to protect, to lead, to nurture. I have the will of the sun to bring balance to the cycle and release these undead from their earthly bonds.” Again Ardur remembered what it was like to cast fire ball for the first time, to cast shield for the first time, to cast heal. He willed it to happen. With that will he will summon what strength he can from the sun.

He envisioned an orb in his palm, just like he did with fire ball except he didn’t feel the heat. Only the light. He envisioned every angle of the cave and light enveloping it. The bright light he saw as he fell back to this place, envisioning it penetrates the skin and bones of the other creatures of the cave and seep into their souls. Then he could almost see them, see their souls be released into the heavens and absorbed by the light of the sun.

“The sun takes and gives power. These souls are the power I give to it so that I may will its power here and now.” Somehow Ardur felt unstoppable in this new form. Unsure if what he was doing would yield anything but still having full faith that it will at least do something. Even still, he had no idea what he was doing or saying.

@Zeroth
@Kazemitsu

Hidden 29 days ago Post by Old Amsterdam
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Old Amsterdam The Drunken Creator

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Torrent was mildly relieved when she didn't blow herself up this time, though it had been close. She'd at least learned a decent bit from her quick experiment, even if she didn't exactly understand what was going on with her skills. But they were better, at any rate, and she had a kind of stun attack....

Now if only she could concentrate longer.

And... Her eyes lingered on the shadow as it seemed to hold for just a bit longer than what seemed natural.

"I'll take that as you're watching, then," she murmured. "I'll prove myself one with the shadows..."

Which was, of course, when the horn sounded and a commotion began. Inching herself forward, Torrent camouflaged herself to the dirt of their hideout as she utilized her stealth abilities and watched. She used her various analysis skills on the creatures that she could see, keeping herself prepared but unseen.
Hidden 28 days ago Post by Searat
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Searat The Aqueous Rodent

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Ed did as Asteria asked and kept an eye and ear open to any sounds of any foliage being disturbed by anyone or anything approaching. All of the alertness came to a full stop as he heard the sound of the goblin's body hitting the ground with a dull thud. What was Asteria doing? Ed thought they agreed to not kill the young goblin girl. As Ed moved out of his cover to stop the female dire rat from needlessly disemboweling the seemingly timid humanoid, he heard her speak to her and announce that they were kidnapping the goblin temporarily. Though his heart sank when she suggested that they...make her into supplies if they changed their minds. Ed's answer was quick, quiant, and eloquent as one could be as one can when someone suggests that. "Hahaha. Nope. Nope. Nope. No. We ain't eating her...Oh God, hahaha, why did you suggest eating her?" Ed said; his voice a mix of panic, humor, confusion, and apparent disgust. "Please, don't. I promise you that if we would ever get hungry or thirsty, I'll deal with it. Just...please don't resort to eating her."

The young ratman squatted down and held his head in between his hands as he stared blankly to the grass as if it would give him answers to his moral dilemma while Asteria tied up their captive. As she finished tying up and securing the goblin, she asked him to get the elder dire rat to carry the stick bundle as they kept moving forward as quickly as possible and save the discussions for later. She was right and Ed could not refute that they needed to escape quickly before the goblin's friends noticed that she has been gone for too long. Ed then climbed up the tree where Mother Rat was and gently beckoned her to him, and once he had a good hold of her, climb down. Once successfully down, Ed then attempts to convey that she should carry the sticks with her tail. Ed was still no expert in manipulating the limb, but he was confident that she would understand rather quickly and carry the sticks with her tail. If she could not, Ed would just carry the sticks for her and try again later.

The trek was awkward to say the least. But after a little while after they had started moving, Asteria spoke to him. Indeed it was a baffling yet admirable trait that Ed displayed. Of course the question caught him off guard and caused him to reflect on his actions. Why did he hesitate to kill the goblin when the previous confrontation with them, he had no issue in slaying them? He looks to Asteria and manages to get a glance at the panicked and terror filled eyes of the female goblin that stared back at him. He felt his heart sink even deeper, if it were even possible to it to do so, before breaking eye contact with it and looking anywhere else but at the goblin. "If you are angry at me, I understand completely. It was a lapse of logic and judgement and I'm sure it would have been safer, perhaps even better, if I hadn't displayed mercy and just took her life outright...but I just couldn't do it. No. I wouldn't do it." Ed lets out a sigh as he look up to the afternoon sky and observes a cloud drifting by lazily as they trekked through the woods. "Hell, I don't know why. I mean I've been killing out of necessity or self defense for the past few days, what's one more life taken to guarantee we make a safe escape? But When I looked at her, she seemed different from the other goblins we encountered in the cave. For what malicious cruelty you would see in a normally in a goblin's eyes, she only has a timid curiosity a child would." He lets out a short chuckle and forced an unhappy smile. "And I, for one, know that Edward Marsh is the kind of person that would never harm innocent people and even a lesser chance to harm children...but after recent events, I'm not too sure myself."

They soon stopped as Asteria sat atop the goblin and asked if she was injured and offered healing by means of a herb, but she soon looked to Ed and explained what she saw atop the tree and voiced her suggestions where they should go. "I agree that we should definitely avoid the mountains and cave right now. We should check the hut out later, maybe in the middle of the night, but yeah. As of now, we ought to avoid people. I'm sure they won't take too kindly to our current forms. The plains is our best bet, but we can be easily seen there and there is no guarantee we can find a stable water and food source. But I will keep my promise and will find them as long as we still agree not to eat her. None the less you need to take a break from carrying her, just wait and rest here for a bit and I'll get us something to eat. Maybe even some spare herbs if I find some." Ed then focused all his attention to his sense of smell and sniffed out the berries while also taking note of the directions where he smelled the same scent the healing herbs in his belt produced.



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