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As the screen faded to black and the portal opened up behind them Artorigus let out a sigh and crouched down, staring at the place where the robed figure had just been displayed a moment ago. “This isn’t part of the tournament is it?”

Tapping a finger on the hilt of his katana, Artorigus let the rhetorical question hang in the air as he thought. This place, whatever it was, resembled a Halo installation, which fit with the Flood infected thing they’d seen outside and probably meant it had something to do with all of this. Whatever this ‘infection’ was must be based on the Flood from the Halo franchise. What the Flood was doing here on Planet Doom though, far away from the Halo based worlds was anyone’s guess.

Springing up from his crouch suddenly Artorigus strode forward and took one of the remaining Anti-Viral Icons, turning it over and over in his hand; it looked like a badge of some kind, something to be worn or attached to something else. “Did we accidentally trigger another quest? Sounds like a pretty big one whatever it is; admin event maybe? Pretty unfair of them to hi-jack a private tournament to announce it though.”

Turning towards the others he switched his attention from Ekloria to Kaptaan to see if they had anything to add. However, before they could say anything he was distracted by a private message notification, then another, and then another until the message alert became a constant noise. Opening up his menu to see what was going on Artorigus was surprised to see messages from almost everyone in his contacts list, often several, asking about the quest they had just received.

“Yeah, it must be a Sanctuary-wide event. We weren’t the only ones to see that message. Looks like it was broadcast everywhere, not just here but the real world as well, including the part with our names; hope you guys aren’t shy because it looks like we’re famous now.”

@Burning Kitty@MissCapnCrunch
I'll work on getting a post up later today so that we can start moving through the portal and see what happens next.

I'm just going to go ahead and official retire from this RP. I've fallen so far behind and there's no way I can keep up with the rest of you while putting the amount of details into my posts that I'd want to.
Also, quick question, are we going to be able to acquire flying vehicles at a later time in the RP? 'Cuz I'd really like to have an Arwing for myself later if possible... <_<

I don't see any reason why space flight should be limited to just clans; solo players need to travel between planets as well and they can't always rely on buying transport. The book included things like X-Wings for personal travel and I've got my eye on a personal space craft myself, so hopefully there's room for a dogfight in the future.
@Burning Kitty

I finally got around to writing this. It's about time I gave Artorigus some defensive items I think.

He'll only be wearing one of these at a time.


In this 'inspired by Ready Player One but not actually Ready Player One' universe Zeroing out is not actually a thing; dying during a quest means losing any items or loot obtained during that quest but it does not mean the permanent deletion of the character and loss of all items that you see in the book/movie. Stealing items from the dead is also out unfortunately, artefacts have to be wagered to trade hands on death. You'll have to change a few details about your character to fit that I'm afraid.

Otherwise, glad to see Dark Souls so well represented and glad to have another melee focused character in the RP even if he does need to rely on magic like a noob. Artorigus will gladly give the Pilgrim a duel should he be up for it; he'll even wager his Demon's Spear against that fancy blessed claymore of his.
It was no good. When the ‘Mana Arrow’ struck the rock it just deformed on impact rather than penetrate as it was supposed to; it was like an arrow made out of clay, it had right shape but it just wasn’t strong enough to withstand the impact with the target. That was the catch. In order to pierce through an object the arrow would need to be harder than what it was impacting against, or else the arrow would bend and break before the target. It looked like just reshaping the mana wasn’t enough to give it new properties.

How had Mourningstar managed to create her crescent shaped blade then? There didn’t seem to be anything different in principle between what he was doing now and what she had done back then, so why did her spell work and his fail? Maybe Wisps just had a better affinity for this kind of magic compared to Pixies; they was supposed to be the healing class after all, based on his starting spells, while the Wisps were more like Black Mages.

So maybe it would take a little bit more effort for him to make this work. That was no reason to be discouraged, it didn’t mean it was impossible after all; he just needed to rethink things a little. The obvious answer would be to strengthen the integrity of the arrow somehow. Oberon had tried something similar earlier when he had attempted to make the Mana Orb stronger by surrounding it in a Shield spell; the theory was that by making the Mana Orb harder it would lose less force on impact and do more damage.

The end result of that experiment had been rather different than he had expecting, with the Shield Spell absorbing the energy of the Mana Orb somehow and creating a kind of barrier. Oberon still intended on exploring that result a bit more in the future, but now wasn’t the time for that.

Perhaps instead of simply reshaping the mana into an arrow-like shape wasn’t the right approach. Maybe he should also try condensing the mana at the same time, compressing the same amount of mana into a smaller, sharpened projectile that would have more structural integrity and be able to survive the impact with the target.

With no other ideas in mind Oberon decided to put that theory to the test, forming a ball of mana between his hands before reaching out with Mana Shape to begin moulding it. The question was whether he should compress it first and then shape it, or shape it and then compress it; it was probably better to compress it while it was shaped liked an orb first, as it would be easier to uniformly shrink it down when it was in such a regular configuration.

Oberon progressed carefully, not entirely sure what would happen when he began applying pressure to the mana to compress it; this was a volatile and dangerous force he was messing with her after all. It did not, as he had feared, explode however and eventually he managed to squeeze the Mana Orb down to about a third of the size. With this step done he began the process of forming the mana into an arrow, making sure to keep up the pressure that was keeping the mana compressed even as it fought to return to its normal density. Finally, he took the completed arrow and refined the shape a little more, sharpening the point and ensuring that the projectile was perfectly straight.

The resulting projectile was similar in appearance to his last attempt, just a third of the size and slightly darker coloured due to the same amount of mana being forced into a smaller package. Oberon had to admit, he did not feel safe holding it in between his hands any longer and, as much to get rid of it as see the result, he let the arrow fly at the same rock he had targeted before.

As he examined the results of his latest attempt Oberon heard a voice calling from somewhere high above him. Craning his neck to look above him he saw the Pixie from earlier, the one who had been speaking to Mourningstar before he decided to set himself on fire, peering towards the entrance of the cave and saying something about Goblin’s heading their way.

Standing up Oberon flew up until he was hovering next to Ardur, looking in the same direction and seeing the same torches that he could. He couldn’t see how many there were from this distance, but the way the torches were spread out in a line all across the cave gave him an idea and it wasn’t good for them.

“There still pretty far away, but I don’t think we have much time left.”

Letting out a sigh, Sora slumped forward in his seat, elbows braced on his knees as his head hung low. While the rest of the students began to bombard their club captain with questions he remained quiet and unnoticed at the back of the classroom, thoughts swirling through his head as he processed everything he had just heard.

So it was exactly as he had feared. He had been summoned here because of that, the little part of his family history that apparently made him ‘special’, along with everyone else in this room. At least it wasn’t as bad as he had thought; he wasn’t the one being hunted for one thing and if everyone the older student was telling the truth about being like them then his family should be safe as well.

That the things he could see were real and not figments of his imagination was not a revelation, his family had explained that to him long ago, nor was the fact that he was not alone in having this ability, his own mother shared it after all and surely his was not the only family descended from Yōkai. What did give him pause was the idea that they all had abilities that went further than just being able to see more than the average person; the notion that he would have super powers because someone eight generations removed from him managed to have sex with a wood fire was hard to believe. He had never heard anything about it from his mother after all, and she of all people should know such things.

But then, Yōkai were said to possess strange and powerful abilities and he possessed the same blood as them, albeit diluted by time and distance. Maybe it wasn’t such an impossible idea. Maybe this club captain really would be able to bring that power out of them. Maybe, maybe not; either way, from the sounds of it being a member of this club had a price attached to it.

Tuning back in to the conversation in the room Sora listened as the other students expressed their own doubts and concerns. Surprisingly, it seemed like a few of them really were sceptical to the fact that this was all real, others wanted to know more about these supposed abilities and another asked the question that had been burning in his mind ever since receiving his acceptance letter; ‘how did you find us’.

“I really wish you’d told us all this before the school year started; if I’d known what this club was about before I moved here I wouldn’t have bothered.” Speaking up for the first time since entering the room Sora raised his head and focused his gaze on the club captain, but otherwise maintained his slouched forward posture. “Everyone’s asking a lot of questions and I’m curious about the answers to some of them but all I really want to know is this; why should I care?”

It was a callous question, he knew, but one that needed asking. “You’re saying these spirits we see aren’t always benevolent or harmless right? That sometimes they attack or take people away and you want it to be our job to stop them? You want us to risk our lives when we’re just a bunch of kids and some of us aren’t even sure those things we see are real to begin with? Give me one reason why I shouldn’t just go back home.”
Artorigus was hot on his clan leader’s heels as she entered the cave, as willing as any sane person would be to get away from the monstrosity now tearing its way across the battlefield. “Looks like our gracious host has a few surprises up his sleeve. Seriously a Flood infection form? And was that the Hulk?” From the cave mouth distant roars and crashes could be heard, along with the occasional scream, as the parasite-infected beast attacked everything in sight. At least from what little he had seen before he ran the thing was more focused on the other clan than the Spectres, turning a losing battle into something survivable; with a little luck the other clan would be wiped out and a few more Spectres would make it out like they had.

“I didn’t hear about anything like that happening in previous rounds; makes me wonder what he’s got planned for the finals. Guess we’ll find out when we get there.”

Looking around the cave as Ekloria spoke Artorigus could indeed see that the cave was filled with some kind of unnatural illumination despite the lack of a visible light source. The idea that it might be someplace unknown was exciting, but unfortunately he had no way of knowing himself; despite all of his talk about being one of Sanctuary’s best close-range fighters he vary rarely took part in the constant death matches that took place on Planet Doom. Unless a special event was going on he didn’t feel confident throwing himself into a unrestricted melee with only one Unique Artefact to his name.

“Something undiscovered on Planet Doom? This is the most popular place in Sanctuary, there’s no way a cave like this goes unnoticed. Unless it was added as part of this tournament. Normally I’d suggest not getting side tracked, but we’ve already got our kills for this round and with that thing rampaging outside we can’t leave. We might as well take a look around while we’re here and wait until the round ends.”

@Burning Kitty@MissCapnCrunch
Following Ash into the elevator, Alastair continued to examine the curio he had picked up though he spared a second to glance at the control panel. Strangely there was only one button, marked with a down arrow, giving a rather limited set of options for progressing; they could always exit the elevator, return to wandering the endless expanse of concrete, but something told Alastair that they would either find no other exits or somehow end up back here again.

“Whoever built this place did not want us leaving too easily I imagine.” He pushed the button and the elevator began to descend.

Turning his attention back to the device in his hands, Alastair began to mutter under his breath as he turned it over in his hands over and over. “This is man-made. Machined. Not a natural shape and the material feels metallic. But what powers it? What lies inside? Not a simple battery, no, no. You agree, yes? Magic powers this. A magical power source inside of a machine. A hybridization of the arcane and the technological. How very unheard of. How very… unwise. The idea is intriguing and that it was apparently successfully implemented has interesting implications but… attempting to mix science based on universal principals with a force that bends those principals… such endeavours do not go well.”

After what seemed like a few minutes the elevator reached a point where the shaft disappeared and the elevator was suddenly filled with unnatural light. Alastair recoiled and swore as he pulled his hood down low over his face and moved into the corner like a frightened animal. Peering out of squinting eyes Alastair could see an open space reminiscent of a large shopping mall, a location not at all out of place where he came from though it had been many years since he had visited one. The happy crowds of shoppers and consumers were replaced by a slightly less happy mass of shambling zombies however.

“I thought you said no-one had purview over the dead?”

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