Level 1 - 5/10 EXP (+3 = 8/10 EXP)
Difficulty Level 1
Donnie Level 1
- (8/10) + 3 = 11/10 LEVEL UP!Location:
Peach's Castle Exterior → Entrance Hall → Kitchen Word Count: 2,552
As the monk entered the castle, he noticed how posh it was. To be honest, he figured whoever owned it must have a massive ego of some kind. Who else would stick a giant stained-glass portrait of their face right above the front door for all to see, and coordinate the roof color to match their dress? He’d been inside castles before, particularly Stormwind’s, and the Wrynn family usually didn’t go nearly
that far with decoration.
Then again, that could be because the Wrynn family usually put functionality and defense above looking pretty, and perhaps if times were more peaceful (read: With all of humanity not
confined to a mere two kingdoms or so), he would have seen the same amount of excess from his own king.
Speaking of which, he really hoped that Anduin was still alive. Though even if he was still around, he’d be under Galeem’s control. The boy didn’t deserve a fate like what Donnie had endured not five minutes ago. And if he was brainwashed, Donnie was going to free the poor kid, no matter what.
He opened the double doors and entered, seeing a rather grand-looking entrance hall--as expected given the rich decoration and massive lawn outside (seriously, where were the defenses? Either the queen of the castle was a terrible leader or her kingdom must’ve been incredibly
peaceful before all this), he was greeted by a strange furry creature and a mechanical-looking girl (some kind of robot? He’d never really seen one as human-looking as that before), who greeted him in broken Common (or whatever language these people spoke. For all he knew, Galeem could have shoved a translator spell in everyone’s heads so that his troops could understand one another), and ran off with the furry creature before he even managed to get out a greeting.Well,
they were in a rush,
he thought to himself as the two fled. With that, he found himself alone in the entrance hall.
There were a few guards around, of course. Some kind of gnome-like species with mushrooms growing on top of their heads. He walked up to one of them and asked, “Excuse me, do you know where the feast is happening?”
The Toad cheerfully gave him directions, but laughed when Donnie asked his next question.
“Thanks, but...are those mushrooms hats of some kind or…?”
“No, it’s real. We’re all Toads. As in, ‘Toadstool.’ The princess is the only one who doesn’t
look like us!”
“I see. Thank you for your time.”
With that, he went on his way, wondering if this “Princess” was adopted or something. He wasn’t concerned about the lack of a queen though. He just assumed she hadn’t gotten married yet so she hadn’t officially ascended to the throne. Some kingdoms had saved the coronation for after marriage historically, with the eldest son or daughter serving taking on the responsibilities of the monarch, but without the title. Politics were weird like that.
In any event, onto the feast! He began to make his way towards the kitchens, following the Toad’s advice to the best of his ability, though this castle was still pretty huge and almost maze-like with the amount of doors it had.
With a resounding *THUD!*
the door to the kitchen opened, Gene walking through the doorway with a half eaten apple in hand. He'd finished his dinner, if one could call a fruit bowl dinner, and figured he'd look around a bit before heading back to the kitchen for desert. For the most part, the hallways were populated by those weird mushroom things who were all standing at attention. They would have surprised him, but after his latest misadventure, nothing could surprise him. In the course of two days, he fought a fat Mexican demon, a gorilla luchador, a midget Sentai team, a giant fly monster, and, oh yeah, the actual Devil.
And then he wound up in a strange new land and met a bunch of strange new people.
Apparently, they all had been sucked right out of their worlds by some dude named Galeem, and now it was either band together and fight back or die. To be honest, he was kinda sorta a little irked that he was dragged into another quest to save to the world. Only this time, the stakes were much, much
higher. Like, universe higher, nay, multiverse higher. He was starting to miss the days when all he had to worry about was getting dinner and a place to sleep for the night. Of course, that all went out the window when he met Olivia...
, Olivia! He had almost forgotten about her! That psycho chick was probably here too, maybe even under Galeem's control like he was. He was really hoping he could find her and save her. Maybe once they set out tomorrow they'd run into her, much as she was a pain in the ass he wanted to make sure she was alright at least. Hopefully, she wouldn't be under Angra's control... Oh no, Angra was probably out there too! Crap, he wouldn't be able to fight Angra without the other God Hand!"Okay, deep breaths, deep breaths..."
Why'd he have to remember all this crap when he was supposed to just unwind and relax? Just... This was stuff for future Gene to worry about, right now he was just gonna chill out and take a look around. He looked at the apple in his hand, laughing slightly when he noticed that in his stress he had started eating the core. He tossed it behind him, the remains of the fruit bouncing off a toad's head and onto the floor.
He turned the corner, and almost bumped right into another guy. His reflexes kicked in, making him sidestep out of the way with a quiet "nice"
escaping his lips at the smooth dodge. Taking the guy in, Gene noted the armor he wore, raising an eyebrow at the gaudy wolf - or is that a tiger? - helmet he was wearing. But the thing that caught his eye the most were the blades at his side. They didn't look like daggers or something like that, more like weapons someone would use to make their punches stronger... Maybe he should look into getting something like that."Well, you're late to the party. Just show up or something?"
he asked the stranger, though his eyes never left the weapons at his side.
Donnie would have dodged himself had the muscular man not sidestepped. “Why thank you,” Donnie said in response to the compliment (what else could “Nice!” mean?) as he turned to Gene.
He noted that the man was staring at the Fists. “I was just freed myself. I’m looking for the feast. Don’t tell me it’s already over?”
Gene tore his eyes from the blades at the man's words, looking up at his face. With a grin, he shook head and responded, "Nah, it's still happening. Just down the hall, second door on your right. Bunch of people in there, so I hope you aren't the socially awkward type."
He paused, looking at the handblades again, before looking back up at the guy. "I was gonna take a look around the castle, but I figure it'd be best if I stick around with you. Y'know, help the newbie out a bit."
He conveniently left out the fact that before this guy came along, he himself was the newest member of this motley crew.
Donnie looked at him flatly, the eyes under his helmet clearly showing he had sensed Gene’s bullshit. “I know you’re just here for the handblades, I can see it in your body language.”
His expression lightened up soon after though. “Fortunately, I’m an enthusiast of all kinds of monster-slaying implements, so I can give you the rundown if you want.”
Gene's eyes widened, and he gave a nervous grin in response to the man's accusation. Shit, he'd figured him out!"Uh, n-no I'm not, I'm just... Admiring..."
He sighed, his nervous grin morphing into a slightly less nervous smile at the other man's words. "... Well, they are pretty cool. Think you could give me that rundown while I show you the way to the kitchen? I'd love to hear about those beautiful blades... And maybe find out how I can get my own."
He added the last part without even thinking about it.
With that, the two began walking towards the kitchen. Donnie began his explanation. “Okay, so to make a long story short, these handblades, called the Fists of the Heavens, are kinda legendary. They’re powered by magic taken directly from the Elemental Plane of Air, and the spirit that it was stolen from poured way
too much power into these things to be safely handled by most people. The guy who made them accidentally killed himself and leveled his entire city when he tried to pick them up, and when an actual air spirit tried to use them, it slowly drove him insane. I am the only person in history to safely wield these things, and that’s because my warrior-monk training gave me enough spiritual discipline to keep them under control.” he said as he took them out, the blades glinting and the internal vortex on full display.
“Unfortunately, Galeem sealed them when he dumped us in this weird place, so you...well, you might
not accidentally summon a hurricane and level the castle if you wield them, but I’d rather not risk it. And they’re one-of-a-kind. You’re not gonna find them anywhere else, but if my world shows up here you’ll probably find something even better anyway. There’s at least a dozen equal weapons i could name, and I’m sure there’s some even better stuff on Azeroth that wasn’t found yet.” With that, he put them away.
Gene's normal grin widened even more at Donnie's words. Even better
weapons out there? Oh man, he almost wanted to leave the castle now to go looking. Still, he kept his composure... Mostly."Well, I'll be sure to keep on the lookout then! Still, I'd be willing to try those out sometime... I'm sure I could handle 'em. After all, this bad boy right here..."
He patted his right bicep, the Deistic Brace shaking slightly with a metallic *clank*
as he did so. "... Is packing the power of a God! That's why they call me the God Hand!"
Donnie looked at the man’s arm with interest. “Interesting. What can it do? And what kind of God does it get its power from?” His world was polytheistic to say the very least, so its power really depended on what kind of god the God Hand was deriving its abilities from. It could be something like a Wild God, which were powerful but not very high on the totem pole, or it could be something more like a Titan, which could create and destroy worlds. Which got him very
interested in its origin.
Gene looked at the other man curiously. What kind of God? Isn't there only the one? "Uh, it just takes power from... The God. Like, the one above all? Created the universe and all that? I dunno how it draws that power. All I know is that I lost my arm, got this sweet new one, and once I rip this off,"
he patted the Deistic Brace, "I can attack harder and faster, and I'm completely immune to damage... For a short amount of time that is. It can get a bit overwhelming if I don't clap this brace back on in time."
“Ah, we don’t really have one of those over in my world. Instead, we’ve got several different pantheons stacked on top of each other and all myths are true. You’ve got Wild Gods--manifestations of nature for a given area--you’ve got Titans, which are the souls of planets and tend to create machine worlds, you’ve got the Old Gods, which are basically pure evil and should be driven off at all costs, and then there are the Four Elemental Lords, and so on and so forth. I actually had just killed
a mad Titan not ten minutes before Galeem ruined it all, and I had to die
several times to pull it off. Long story, I can tell you later over a drink.”
As he was saying this, he opened the door to the kitchen, seeing...well, the machine-girl from earlier hadn’t lied. This place really was
a ragtag bunch of misfits. He was sure these people were all capable, and probably famous in their own worlds, but they were as varied as they come.
Still though, he had spent time with everyone from undead to fish-people, this was nothing new. So he casually sat down at an empty seat at the table and piled his plate high with food t before he started chowing down. It seemed kinda like standard Stormwind fare, albeit the kind of fare at Stormwind Castle. Royal chefs knew how to make food. For that matter, he looked around at any Toads who were working the nearby cooking implements, if they still were. He was a bit curious how it was made, but he also felt like this would jog his memory for some strange reason….
Gene had fallen silent as they walked through the door and into the kitchen, and he followed the other man to his seat. Taking a seat next to the man not long after he had sat down, Gene grabbed the nearest dessert, a banana split sundae, and looked around. He noticed that the midget mushrooms were still cooking regular food for those who had arrived late, which was good because the guy next to him looked like he needed a good meal.
With a grin, Gene turned back to his fruity ice cream treat, and began to chow down. The bowl was empty in fifteen seconds flat, and Gene leaned back in his chair with a contented sigh of satisfaction. He turned to the monk next to him and, as if realizing something, smacked himself on the forehead. "Huh, man, I was so caught up talking to you I nearly forgot. What's your name? I'm Gene."
The monk grinned. “Call me Donnie.” With that, he went back to practically inhaling a lobster bisque soup before systematically demolishing a giant turkey leg. An observer that didn’t know any better might think that Donnie hadn’t eaten for days.
Gene nodded at the man, Donnie, and smiled. Much as he hated to admit it, he wasn't exactly getting to know the others, so it was good to have a friend among them all. After a moment more, he remembered Donnie's words, about how he'd explain his final fight before Galeem brought them all here over drinks. Hell, maybe they could swap stories; Gene probably didn't have as many as Donnie, but in the last two days he had gotten enough to last him a whole lifetime.
So, with a clap of his hands, he waved to the mushroom guys. "Hey, get us some drinks over here! My throat's parched!"
The Toads moved fast, bringing the two of them mugs of what looked like... Fruit juice? Nevertheless, Gene chugged it down, and looked at the now empty mug in curiosity. "... Uh, you got anything stronger?"