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3 mos ago
thanks guys now i'm panic-saving 70+ pages of work


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@Stabby You're supposed to say "haha backspace button go brrr" you uncultured swine
Took me 6000+ backspaces to remove all the extra characters, but it's been done.
Not gonna clean out another one for a while.

You used [Analysis]!
A super-continent formed by the collision and partial fusion of two tectonic plates Spans both north and ̵southern hemispheres in vertical orientation, but resides in the western hemisphere along the horizontal plane. Majority climes range between subtropical and temperate. Only the northern halves of the continent reach polar zones while the southern range passes equatorial regions and enters the edge of temperate and continental zones. Elevation range--

@KabenSaal Sorry, at this point we've pretty much hit the limit. Thanks for your interest, and I wish you luck in finding other RPs. There have been a few other isekai-based games popping up here and there, you might try those.

"Nice try, glowball!" Geir said, unwittingly using Miiba's term for Danny, "But any idiot could make up that much! Everyone knows that World-Walkers, Hero or not, come from different places! Lots of 'em talk about how they don't have magic, or monsters, or how they have moving metal vehicles that can even fly! And anyone can come up with a sobstory about incurable diseases! I still ain't buyin' it!"

Then Miiba, little as she was, went off on the red haired human. Both Mira and Geir turned to her with wide eyed surprise. The magic user actually seemed hurt, both by the goblin's words and by her own empathy for what Miiba said. Geir, on the other hand, began to shake as his grip on his axe tightened.

"You're right, I'm no Hero. I'm just a guy tryin' to get by in this fucked up world--that's why I can't trust any of you MONSTERS!" he yelled back, determined to get the last word in even as Miiba turned and ran. But before the goblinette could get around the corner of the house, she smacked into something rising out of the earth. And not too far away, around the other corner of the house, now came the big man himself.

"What's going on out here?" called Lear's powerful voice. He stopped, and at a glance with a veteran's intuition, took in the strange poltergeist sitting on top of his chicken coop, the clearly distressed goblin girl, the greatly confused Mirabelle, and the seething Geir.

You used Soil Manipulation!
You are attempting to use Possession on an Inanimate Object!
This method is unusual, something unpredicted may happen.
Your Earth Affinity is increasing! Soil Manipulation's effect is boosted!
Your Spiritual Awareness has boosted your understanding of what is happening!
Your Ghost Touch contributes to manipulating the physical environment around you.
Your former variance, Stone-Hardened, has caused a synergistic affect!

(Immature) Ectoslime > (Pseudo, Immature) Rokklit!
A much smaller, weaker form of Earth aligned elemental creature. You have attained a Pseudo-form, imitating a proper creature but lacking key characteristics or certain natural abilities and status. Rokklits are quite rare outside of areas charged with powerful Earth Mana, as they are essentially stones imbued with some form of life through concentrated forces of magic. Their bodies toughen as they mature, becoming as tough as boulders by adulthood. As a child, however, their bodies are light enough to be lifted and fragile enough to break when thrown.
Your Base HP has increased!
Your Base MP has been decreased by [Possession]! If the [Locked] MP is used up, you will no longer be able to maintain this body! Your MP has been reduced by roughly 25%.
Your Base Stamina has slightly increased!
Your Base physical strength-related stats have all returned to previous values.
Your Base physical defense-related stats have increased!
Your Base physical movement-related stats have decreased.
Skill Gain: Earth Affinity I (1.0)!
You have developed a bond with the earth. At this rank, MP/SP cost for all Earth-related skills is reduced. Earth-related skills will develop more quickly. Increase the rank of your affinity by deepening your understanding of the Earth element.

Your MP is Low!

As Jason pulled himself out of the ground, he felt...very different. Being a Slime, with a gelatinous membrane instead of skin and hydraulic insides instead of muscle had been weird enough. Being dead had been very weird. But this was even more different. His body was made of stone, yet still he could perceive the world around him somehow. His magic now flowed through solid material instead of some metaphysical circulation system, and he could feel some of it, at his center, locked in place and unmoving. He could draw on it, though only with great difficulty...and at the risk of slipping back into that limbo. And, despite having no muscles with lactic acid, and no mouth to eat, he felt very tired and somehow hungry. He had, however, achieved his goal. Once more, he had a body--and unlike before, when he became a Necroslime, his hunger didn't seem so all-consuming...

"Where'd that come from!?" Mira gasped. Geir hefted his axe and turned it so that the hard, hammer like side would come down first.

"Hell if I know, but I swear to the Maker--"


Jason and Danny were both familiar, somewhat, with the [Warcry] skill. Either using it themselves, or having it used on them. In comparison to Lear's voice, all of that experience was like comparing dunking one's head in a tub...and being dragged down under the ocean. Their bodies froze, and they were so shocked by the sound and intensity that their hearts and minds seemed to simply skip a beat. For Miiba it was much the same, as if she were being stared down by a giant bear or some other terrible predator. Geir broke out in a sweat, and Mirabelle actually dropped to her knees.

Lear stood, arms crossed, staring all of them down like naughty children. He looked from Danny, to Jason, to Miiba, back to Jason, back to Danny.

"You first. Yes or No. Used to be Human?" He pointed at the Poltergeist. Then at the Rokklit.

"Yes or No. When you were summoned here, you remember a figure with black hair and red eyes?" Now the farmer looked at Miiba, and his expression softened as he crouched down to her eye level.

"Miiba, do you know these two people? And do you think they came here to hurt anyone?"

Deep Forest

While Femus took to ground, Nira turned to face the oncoming trio of fairies with a bright and cheery greeting.

"Nuhy-seeng! Gahaha!" The "friendly" Pixie imitated some of Nira's words again, and the others echoed her giggles. They seemed to be intrigued by the sounds of language, but as to whether or not they had one or understood what Nira was saying, it was still up in the air. They flew around her, looking at her dress and the herbs gathered around her. One of them, a male with a fiery head of red hair, came forward a little more timidly than the others. He landed on the ground and, on shaky legs, approached Nira with constant sidelong glances. Tenderly, he reached out and touched her leafy clothes--then immediately shot back off, practically leaving a cloud of sparkles in his wake. The other member of the three, another female with long, wavy blue hair, began to pluck various bits of grass and a healing herb out of the ground, and threw it onto herself--though she seemed frustrated when it didn't stick to her figure like Nira's dress.

"Ah! Ah!" the blue haired fairy said, pointing at Nira's dress and then at her own grass clippings. The redhead zoomed back, hovering over Nira's shoulder and peering at her this way and that. The first pixie, on the other hand, seemed to be peering around as if she were looking for something. Then she looked back at Nira in confusion, and pantomimed a spherical shape before making a sound like crackling electricity or fire with her mouth.

Meanwhile, while Femus was successful in hiding his glow for a few moments, when he began to Meditate there was a slight "buzz" throughout his body. The Meditation only began to work as normal when he stopped trying to use his Suppress Presence skill...which caused his glow to brighten. The pixies were still focused on Nira, but if they happened to turn around as he regathered his magical energy, or look more closely under the layers of herbal foliage...
Unspent Skill Points: 20
Current Skill List:
Alert I (1.5)
Lesser Flight I (1.65)
Minor Heal I (1.0)
Muffle (1.55)
Shield I (1.1)
Mana Orb I (1.1)
Meditate I (1.05)
Aqua Sphere I (1.1)
Magic Analysis I (1.025)
Charisma (0.95)
Crafting (0.2)
Keen Ear (0.2)
Mana Strike (0.1)
Point Strike (0.3)
Stealth Kill (0.3)
Suppress Presence (0.5)
Monster Analysis (0.3)
Smash (0.1)
Faster (0.35)
Magic Analysis (0.95)
Iron Gullet (0.2)
Charm (0.4)
Deception (0.2)
Pacify Animal (0.2)
Taming (0.2)
Plant Analysis (0.3)
Mana Sense (0.2)
Spell Chant (0.3)
Stronger (0.3)
Use Light Equipment (0.05)
Mana Shape (0.2)
Focus (0.1)
Mana Control (0.15)

Rat Party

As the Bugbear headed towards the Troll's cage--and Asteria--Ed sought to distract the guard by hurling the nearest rock. From a vantage point in a nearby tree, the Rat Man was able to throw the rock across the small campsite. It hit one of the ramshackle fence posts, near the opposite corner of the hillside, and bounced off into the bushes. All of the guards, not just the one investigating the cage, turned to look.

"The hell was dat 'crack!' noise?"

"That didn't come from ova dere--might be more than one of 'em! Let's all search!"

In this moment of distraction, Asteria was able to get away from the Troll's cage. Using her new Soil Manipulation, she wriggled back into her tunnel under the fence and covered herself with dirt.

"If ya seen sumptin, tell me what it was! Quitcher yellin'!" The first Bugbear had turned back to his original task, and now berated the Troll from outside its cage. He slammed his wooden club against the bars, causing the blinded creature to recoil. It couldn't see its tormentor, but turned its head as it listened. It began to make whimpering sounds, not quite recognizable as language, but when the Bugbear dragged his club across the bars again it snarled defensively.

With her newly upgraded Telepathy, Asteria projected a strong, emotionally charged attempt to convince the Troll to do something about the Bugbear. And as she did so, she felt a powerful resonance through this link--anger flooded her own body for a moment before she cut the connection, causing her eyes to dilate and her snout to wrinkle as a low growl built in her throat. The Troll didn't need much convincing, just an opportunity. The Bugbear waited a moment too long to take his club away from the bars--the Troll snatched at it with a roar, grabbing the club in one hand and the Bugbear's wrist in the other.

"Oi! Ya bastard!" A short struggle ensued, but there was still a cage wall between the two. The Bugbear beat at the Troll's arms and hands with his free fist, and once he grabbed its fingers and twisted hard enough to pop them, the blinded creature shrieked and withdrew. The hairy guard spat at the prisoner, and rubbed his weapon-arm where it had clawed him. "Tried to tell 'em, can't have no Savage in a tribe! Takes too long t' beat 'em into werkin' right!"

Meanwhile, the Hobgoblin and the other Bugbear had started to move. The second Bugbear moved in the direction that Ed had thrown the stone, while the Hobgoblin moved perpendicular. They scouted all the way to the fence, looking back and forth as they did so. The Hobgoblin's gaze lingered for a bit on the tree that Ed sat in--but the Rat Man held still enough, or else the Hobgoblin's eyes hadn't adjusted enough, and soon the greenskin turned back and began inspecting his side of the fence more closely.

There was a slight huffing noise from down below the tree--Mother Rat was trying to get Ed's attention. She reared up on her hind legs, putting her forepaws on the trunk, before dropping back down and pointing her snout. The trail of myrminor blood Ed had brought all the way here stood out even in the dark, thanks to the Beast-type monsters' increased sense of smell. It indeed circled the camp--but it also, of course, had followed Ed and Mother Rat all the way from the site of the Myrminor Scout's murder. And now, as they looked, the grass was beginning to sway and the dirt was starting to poke up here and there, like the wake of a tunnelling mole...

With the guards all away from the central fire, the entrance of the Hill was exposed...although, there was still the matter of how many bandits might be waiting inside. And the longer the guards stayed on patrol, the greater chance they might find the rodents sneaking about...

Monster Party

Ash syncronized her breathing with her concentration, and attempted to draw in as much mana as possible. She had become quite familiar now with the amount of magical energy her body could hold, given how often she repeated this process nowadays, and while she recharged her goal would be to try and force herself to channel a larger amount. As her MP topped out, she drew in another deep breath...and a feeling, much like the exhilaration that follows in the wake of exercise, or the natural wide-eyed awareness of the rare morning where one wakes up with no alarms and no struggle to get out of the bed, spread through her.

Your MP is Full.
You have acquired Temporary Extra MP.
Skill Gain: Focus I (0.9 > 1.0)!
By spending at least 30 seconds focusing before using an offensive Skill or Spell, you can increase its damage or range. At this rank it is comparable to increasing the power by one rank (eg Mana Orb I to Mana Orb II) while also increasing the MP cost by half again (spend 1.5x Mana Orb I's cost).

Her second round of experiments, in her attempt to create a Fire spell, saw a more intense heat and a brighter color from the red Mana Orb when she put all of her attention on a single sphere. Upon launching it, it crackled and spat just like a regular Mana Orb, but when it struck the ground it made a snapping sound like a firecracker. A black singe mark was left upon the dirt. Every time she repeated this process, the orb grew hotter. From red to orange, from orange to yellow, and then a white center grew in the yellow sphere's belly. Waves of heat emanating from the sphere turned into small wisps of steam and smoke, then tiny red sparks began to spit out here and there like a sparkler at the end of a wand. And then, finally, the orb condensed in her scaly palm and, on the third try, it burst into flame! This time the spell had a noticeable arc when she threw it, and when it struck the earth it left behind a short lived blaze that spread to a few stray leaves. Reducing these dry bits of debris to ash, the flame died out immediately.

Skill Gain: Fireball I (0.8 > 1.0)!
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 effected.

Meanwhile, on shaky legs Oberon stood in his newly transformed body. While one wouldn't think Oberon's small body could consume a particularly enormous amount of food, the group's supplies were indeed getting a bit low. The Kele and Argeps they had collected a few days before had been depleted not just by meals, but by the fact that without any refrigeration they had already started to go bad or to wilt and had to be carefully picked through to find the ones that were still edible. The Giant Rat meat, by the same token, was starting to spoil a bit and, aside from fire, the party really had no way to prepare or otherwise preserve it. The pieces of Rat Jerky Digbie had secured were pretty much the only less-perishables they had, and out of politeness since he had been the one to find them no one had stolen any from the transforming goblin's stash. The stream outside was a good source of fresh water, but it was still an outdoor stream. It wouldn't be completely sterile, though if the group was going to get sick from drinking it they likely would have already experienced such discomforts.

All this notwithstanding, Oberon found himself hungrier than he'd ever been since awakening in this world, and surprised himself with how much he was able to pack away. Once he was fully sated, he turned to refilling another aspect of his new body, his magic storage. Given the development of his affinity and its recent rank up, Gather Light seemed the best option...

However, in the time it had taken them to deal with all the goblins, the orc, their magical experiments, their evolution, and taking their meals, the day had continued to go on. It was now late sunset--to find some place where the last rays would hit him directly, Oberon had to move around in the upper trees around the campsite.

Yet even with such little daylight remaining, Oberon could feel the energy pouring into him just as strongly as he had earlier in the day. His MP rapidly began to recover, and for a few moments he focused only on recovering his magic while letting his mind drift to the possibilities of further magic. But, in a moment of practicality he elected to go ahead and spend some of his Skill Points.

Skill Gain: Gravity Well I (1.0)!
Within 30 feet of the caster, create a spherical area with a diameter of 5 feet. Magical force infuses the physical phenomenon of gravity, increasing its effect upon the target at the center of the sphere. The target experiences a crushing force roughly equivalent to a fourth of its own weight concentrated into a single instant.

While the Sprite did these things, the Palablin also awakened from his strange journey of growth.

You used [Analysis]!
---You (Adolescent Mystic Stone-Hardened Palablin)---
A never-before seen Goblin-subtype, created under circumstances that have not been replicated. It may be impossible for other Goblins to achieve...or is it? If the Demiblin is a Goblin that has garnered the favor of Demons, this Goblin has instead gained the favor of something else. However, even if it is not a Demon, there is always a price for power. Fair trade is the means by which two parties prosper. The Palablin's skin will lighten, from greens to whites or yellows and in between, or a lighter hue of any other pattern such as that of a Blue- or Redcap. They are of a similar size to hobgoblins and demiblins, but their eyes seem to gleam with a greater intelligence. --You have access to your own Skill List, allowing you to see all Magical and Physical Skills you possess. You have access to your own Inventory and Equipment, with the individual Analysis category skills to assess their properties, quality, and value. You are in the service of the Divine Spirit Jehanne.
---Ash (Adolescent Mystic Winged Kobold)---
Small, reptilian creatures with odd primate characteristics like upright spines and grasping limbs. Quite similar to Goblins, often competing with them for the same territories and resources. Some individuals have other characteristics--the Winged Kobolds are often said to have Draconic power in their veins, and are often revered in their tribes. You know Ash is a Reincarnator like yourself, and that she has a wide variety of magical skills. You can see that she has equipped herself with some crafted items, such as a magical spear and the satchels you made for her.
---Oberon (Adult Sprite)---
A highly territorial, but otherwise relatively friendly type of creature. Quite similar to Pixies at first glance, they are much more empathetic and even altruistic than other types of Fey. Unless an enemy presents a threat to their homes and families, they often prefer to flee rather than fight, but if something enters their nesting area they are known to swarm much like wasps. However, you have not felt compelled to follow all of this behavior due to your unique circumstances. Sprites are aligned with the light element and their wings have scales similar to some types of moths. When these scales fall they sometimes glitter, and the Sprite's body is often covered with them. You know Oberon is a Reincarnator like yourself, and that he has a wide variety of magical skills. You also know that his physical skills and base stats are lower than your own, as his species is more suited to magical abilities. He currently has no equipment, but his Transformation has improved many of his abilities.

You used Crafting II!
Long Grass + Refinement
Your method of refining the raw material is more sophisticated than expected of your species. Quality is boosted.
Something fell into place in your favor! Was it luck, or an unknown quality of your material? Quality is boosted.
You crafted an item!
Obtained: Grass Twine (Well-Made)!

After examining his new body, and those of his friends, Digbie set about trying to complete the quest his newfound patron had given him. However, when he asked if he could use the ring as a bead, as well as requesting a signal of Jehanne's answer, there was no wind at all. The ring would certainly fit on the twine. It had a little bit of sparkle, despite its tarnish. And with the ring on the loop, there would still be more than enough room for the other bead materials, and perhaps more. But there was no indication from the Divine Spirit as to whether or not this would be a fitting answer to the quest's requirements. Even with the Guidance skill, it seemed getting actual "guidance" wouldn't be so easy.

And, unbeknownst to the rest, Torrent continued her own spiritual journey...

"You return, to the Shadow. Have you set your Will, and defined What is Not for yourself? What Shadow have you cast?"

The Liar, the shadow with a feminine shape that deceived flesh, danced around the hollow, empty space into which Torrent cast herself. Two other Figures accompanied her, and Torrent could remember with vivid clarity her dream about the Shadows she sought. The one who held the tome of Hidden Potential locked his singular, bright eye upon her as he turned the pages in the great black book. The Accomplice of Injustice, keys silently jingling around his neck, tossed one contemplative knife up and down in a bandage-wrapped hand.

"Such fledgling deception, for the poor goblins. But a fledgling deciever, is a deceiver still. What do you seek here?"

"Such an ignorant pursuit of potential. But acknowledging ignorance is the first step to true introspection. Do you not fear what seeks you?"

"Silent steps, a presence unnoticed, skin that blends, and more. A shadow grows longer, unseen by eyes that face the light. Is it best for your eyes to look too long?"

Torrent could still feel the pull from her body, a million miles down below. She had gone further, and the disk of color floating in the void had grown smaller. The pull was strained, like a rubber band stretched to its limit...
Deep Forest

You are using Crafting I!
Your method of using the skill Lesser Force is somewhat imprecise, crafting quality may decrease.
Your crafting method is sophisticated compared to your raw materials, crafting quality may increase.
Grass Stalks + Refinement (Weave) = ...
Obtained Item: Tiny Grass Pouch!
This item may only hold up to 5 Tiny items, or equivalent items of other sizes. Its quality is uncertain, as you lack the ability to analyze its materials.

While explaining Mana Control to Nira, Femus felt that his own understanding became a little more clear...what was it that computer programmers called it? Rubber Duck Therapy? Nonetheless, he succeeded in making a small pouch to hold the Yill seeds. Each seed was indeed tiny, perhaps even miniscule, so despite the limitation the system had placed on the pouch's capacity (which was obvious if one just looked at it, really) it seemed that the five seeds had not entirely filled it up. He might come across some more materials at some point he wanted to gather, so that would be helpful.

Thanks to Femus's advice, Nira had a better idea about how to manipulate her own magic. In so doing, she came to be a little more familiar with her own energy, and how to make her spells. But while she and Femus spoke of making bait for scavengers, a familiar squeal reached their ears...

Heading down towards the herb patch where the two were seated was a familiar Pixie. And now it seemed to have a couple of friends in tow. All of them put on a burst of excited speed, their gossamer wings buzzing with enthusiasm.

Skill Gain: Magic Analysis I (0.95 > 1.025)!
You may now analyze Magical energies or objects to learn their most basic magic characteristics. Less effective on Materials and Monsters unless they are magical in nature.

Rat Party

You used Monster Analysis II!
---Savage Male Adult Troll---
Trolls are a third-tier monster related to goblinoids, often transforming from especially nasty Gremlins or Bugbears. They lurk in caves, rarely approaching the surface and avoiding light at all costs. While their strength and speed makes them a highly dangerous combatant and they are sometimes dextrous enough to use tools and weapons, their foul temperment and lack of intelligence makes them vulnerable to the strategies of experienced adventurers. Some seem to exhibit an increased natural healing factor. --This Monster has the Savage Variance.--

---Adult Male Human Rogue---
Humans are not technically considered Monsters. They are of the Enlightened Races, highly evolved creatures considered truly sentient, though this may depend on definition. Nonetheless they are an advanced race with a fully functioning civilization, a varied history, and distinct cultures. This one is a mature adult and seems to be adept in some form of combat, and also moves fluidly without much noise. Their weaponry is plain but clearly effective.

---Hobgoblin Scout---
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. They often lead tribes of goblins, or if working together, display much better tactics and a slightly more developed culture. With the right materials they might even be able to build a functioning tribal society--though they share their lesser brethren's hate for anything non-goblin. --This hobgoblin has specialized skills for Scouting--.

When Ed returned, Asteria outlined what she had seen so far. While the other rat creeped towards the Troll in the cage, the Ratman set about trying to spread the Myrminor's distress pheromones around the camp. The smell and feel of the Myrminor's viscera were intense, especially to Ed's enhanced senses, and none too pleasant. As he circled the camp, the conversation around the fire lulled for a few moments...

"D'youse smell dat?" One of the Bugbears looked up. He blinked as he peered out into the darkness--being close to the fire meant his eyes weren't well adjusted. "Thought I got a...whiff o' sumtin'..."

"Like what? Animal dung?" the Hobgoblin leaned back on his seat, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths through his nostrils. "...Hmm, yeah, I think..."

But just then, Asteria made contact with the Troll after tunneling under the fence line. Through her telepathy, she tried to project calm feelings and extend a mental paw of friendship.

The creature's response was to jerk back against its cage bars as if it had been struck, snarling and wailing. Its blindfolded, gore crusted face swung back and forth, and it smacked at the place where Asura had touched its arm as if trying to swat a mosquito.

"Oi! What's got into 'im!?" the other Bugbear stood up, now on full alert. Weird smells, and now something had bothered the troll? "You sharrap ova dere!"

"Youse already up, go look 'round!" said the hobgoblin, planting a foot on the bugbear's lower back. The bigger creature snarled at him, but scratched the back of his head with his club and began wandering over towards the cage. Up on that balcony, the hooded hobgoblin leaned over the railing to peer in the direction of the cage and the campfire...and slowly began to sweep his head back and forth.

Ed and Mother Rat had completed their circle, but what could they do to hide in plain sight out here on the perimeter? And how would Asteria make it back? long would they have to wait for this plan with the Myrminors to work?

Skill Rank Up: Telepathy I > Telepathy II (1.95 > 2.0)!
MP consumption slightly increased. More complex thoughts and stronger emotions can be sent. One-way messages can be sent to a creature you have made contact with before as long as they are within 5 feet. When making physical contact with a creature, if they are willing they can send you a single return message.

Skill Gain: Soil Manipulation I (0.9 > 1.0)!
An Earth Elemental Magic Spell. At this Rank, you may move up to 5 pounds of loose soil (sand, dirt, and powdered minerals, but not gravel, pebbles, or anything made of larger fragments) freely within a 10 foot radius around your body. Using this soil to create a shape or exert a larger amount of force consumes more MP, and takes 30 seconds at minimum. At this rank, created shapes cannot consist of more than one part, or be more complex than quadrilateral structures. At this rank, created shapes cannot change the quality of the soil (sharper, harder, etc) nor its color or texture.

Monster Party

As Ash meditated to restore her MP, the sigils all over her body softly thrummed. Perhaps due to the Mystic variance she had gained, she felt somewhat more in tune with the magic in general, and all of her studies were giving her a great deal of experience with using and controlling the various energies. When she formed the two Mana Orbs, they seemed relatively stable. She only intended to concentrate on one of them at a time, and draw what she assumed were the Fire Elements into the orb. However, when she did so, the second orb in her other hand also seemed to begin attracting more of the red pseudo-particles--like trying to rotate one's foot and hand in two different directions, only for the brain to be tricked into moving them both in the same direction. Despite this moment of disorientation, it seemed to have the desired effect. The Mana Orb she concentrated on the hardest began to change color, growing brighter and redder...and it began to put off heat. Soon the heat became strong enough that, at the core of most focused elemental squares, the glow changed to orange. Then at the very center of the nucleus, the light turned yellow.

You are experiencing a Fast Rate of Skill Progression

She turned her head slightly and now focused on the other Mana Orb, which had only become a slight crimson around its edges. She banished these to try and focus on the gold colored pieces instead, but at the same time the Mana Orb in her other claw went back to its first shade of red. As the metallic glint of various particles gathered in the nucleus of the second orb and changed its color throughout, Ash noted that it began to...resist her? No, that wasn't quite the right word for it. Most of the other types of spells she used had given her difficulty in forcing them to be what she wanted them to be, but this was slightly different. It felt like the "material," if one could even call it that, had shifted. She was not pushing on a fluid force, or an invisible energy, or a moldable susbstance. She was now pushing on something...hard, geometric. It was...a little like trying to put together one of those sliding block puzzles. Only...those tiny puzzles were often just a square with several sliding tiles. And the tiles had grooves they fit into, so you could only push them in straight lines up or down, left or right. It was like she was...trying to push the tiles, but their grooves weren't set right.

If she thought about it, had she seen any Earth spells use the "orb" form like Fireballs or Torrent's new sphere of shadows? Digbie, that mage slime...they had just moved rocks around, hadn't they?

While she thought about this, the red Mana Orb in her first claw now suddenly felt unbalanced. When her attention came back to it, she found that its color had lightened significantly back towards its original white, and the sphere wasn't quite evenly rounded anymore. She finally had to blink, temporarily disrupting both her Mana Vision and her focus, and both Mana Orbs returned to their original colors and shapes.

Skill Rank Up: Mana Vision I > Mana Vision II (1.95 > 2.025)!
MP Cost reduced. Stamina cost reduced.

You used [Analysis]!
̷̡̧̝͈͎͔͚́̒̔͘Ą̶̬̪̟̭̖͎̹̦͊͂͛̄̃̈́̔͘ ̸̬̞̩͕̜͉̠͎̓̒̂͑̉̽͌͝ͅs̸̖͇̄̀͊̈́̾̂̕ǘ̶̧̫̬̗͇͚̌̄̍͗̑̐̕̕p̸̼͍̊͂͂̓̍̆̇e̶̘̺̤̜̘͈̰͙̝͘r̸̩̍c̴̡̳̼̳̜͍̪̿̒͐̎ó̵͉̥͋̚n̸̡̛̯̬̮̈́̓͛̈́͆̇̓͠t̷̮͓͍̖̫͈̗͆ͅi̸̡̩̭̠͗n̸̖͙̏̐̔̀͊̕͜͜͠e̶̥̓̉͐n̶̺̬̆̈̿͒̆͐́̃t̵͍͉̮̩̻̮͑̌͜ ̶̨̱̓̓̔͛f̶͐̊̀̐̾ͅơ̸͎̿̀͗͐̎̅r̵̛͔͒͊͂̈́̚ͅm̷̨̧̛̳̙̖̠̰͙͓̎̈́̀̉̔̕̚̕ę̷̦̪̦̙̳̰̝͝ḑ̶̣͓̒͆͗̕͝ ̴̞͕͒̅͋̚b̶̡̜̳̅̈́y̶̧̨̱̬̐̚̚͝ ̵͖͖͔̤̹͗͂ͅt̴̛̠͓̖͈̏͆͂h̴̛̫̠̫͔̖̽͋̓̈́ͅě̵̡̧͖̗̮̝͍̭͆̊̎͐̍͆̉̎ ̵̡̩̼͎̜͚̣̞̓̈́̌͌ͅc̷̛͔͓͙̊̓̾̾͆̋̉̕ơ̵̘̟͇̍͊̓̍͊͆͐̎l̷̩͇͍̊͒͂͐͝l̶͓͉̥̖̱̫̠͘ì̴̧͇͙̲͐̈s̸̹̦̻̣͂̉͐̓̎͘i̴͕̖̱̹͑̆́̈́̕͜o̶͉̩̊n̵̻̝̯̖̤̠͍̠̈́̾́̈͠͝ ̴̢͓͔͚̤̰̈́̉̉̋͗ạ̵̹͍͙̄́͆n̸̨͚͙̖̼̮͐̍̾͘̚͜d̴͕͈̞̽͋̇̒͆ ̷̦̪̬̟̤͕̾͌̓͊͑͐̈́̚ͅp̶̧̣͕̩̗̻͎͎̪͐̒̍̇̌̈́̎́͝á̶̖̺̩̼̝̠̙̰̿́̓̃̾̂͝͝r̷̺͒͐̆͋͜t̵̛͇͕̯̤̘̋̃̽i̷̳̟̦͈̞͒a̷̲͖̘͙͇̫̪͎͊͐l̸͔̗̜̙̦̪̼̃̐ͅ ̶̤͙͓̤̩̝̈́̀́̄͜ͅͅf̵̧̠̪͉̲͚̐̌̽͆́͐u̷͖̱̫̰͌̆͊̒͜͝s̸̗̉̉͆̽͋̽̕i̷̬̱̜͉̙̲͎͙̽̽̒̂͗̌́ͅo̵̩̹̲̗͎̓̃̐̐ṇ̴̢͈͚͔̀͆͘͜ ̷̨͓̻̭͚̼͙̜̟̃́͂ȯ̷͕̱̜͓̘̹̖̌̎̎͗͘̚̚͝f̴̺̟͆̏̈͘ ̸̰̘̳͎͗ṯ̶̓͋̔̇̋̑̍̾̍w̵͇̲̼͑̋̂̀̈ǒ̶̭͖̰̰̜̈́͂̍ ̵̼̭̥̜̇̑͑̎̂̽͌̑t̴̢̳͍͗͛̚ȇ̴̲̯͉͚͖͓̬̝̄̐̚ĉ̷̘̝̗͐̀̾̾̑͗͝t̸̞̔̆͊͑́͆͠ơ̸̢̡͍͙͎͖̭̬̔̍͝n̶̨̧̝̣͓̓͊̿ȉ̶̝͕͍͉́́c̷̪͚͍͈̀̒͗͘ͅ ̵̢̨̛̤̫̦̼̱̰̍̏͐́̚͝p̷̛̙͎̼̖̱͑̓͋͑͑͠͝͝ļ̵̯͚͊͛̈͛̊̇̓͜͜a̴̡̦̗̐ť̶̮́̄̃̌́̐̀e̴̬̣̮̊̎̏̚s̶̘̝̻̞͐̆̾̓̆̊̓ͅ.̷̝͙̬̗̺̥̈̔̎̓͠ ̶̢͍̖̭̏̆͝S̵̨̹̪̐͑p̶̢̖̫̩̯̻̋̽͋̀͝ä̵̡͗̋̄͜n̴̲͕̆̍̚͝s̵̢͕̝͇̦͖̮̱̘̾̈́͝ ̵̡̭̦̠͙͇͆̑̌͋̅͜b̷̙͕̺̱͙͔̜̚͜ͅọ̴̈́͜t̶͒͝ͅh̶̡̝̒̑̍͆̄͝͝͠ ̴̡̝̜̻͖̼͈͎͒͊̄͜͝ň̴̢̗͙̥̹̺̀̊ͅo̴̮͔̓̿͋̅̋r̸̲̲̅̄ṯ̷͓̝͍͙̩͔̪̺̎̈́͊̓̏̇͋̚h̶̛̦̦͕̗̼̼̺̾̀̈́̓̈́ͅ ̷̻̈̊̓̒̿͆̍ą̶̭͓̤̈́͜ņ̸̢̠̫̼̾̍͌̀́͜͠d̸̗͓̟̤̀̎͌̕ ̵̡̨̤͔͇͊͘̚̚s̷̨̢̖͓̙̣͓̦̋͌̈͒̈́͗̚͝o̷̡̿̍͊̐́͝ŭ̵̩͓̼̖̫͚̪͊͋̉͆͠t̴̨̼̬͓͕̬͉̓̇̈͝ͅh̷̲̥̩̬̫̎̉̊̾́͆̀̌̚e̴͉͔̟͙̟̪̮͎̒̈́̉́͋ͅŗ̸̹̈́͛͒ņ̸̢̣̣̲̯̮͐͝ͅͅ ̵̜̺͓͖̠͙͒̈́̒̏̓h̵̻̼͓͇̟̋͋͋̋̐̄e̶̛̞͐́̔̉̂͛͋͋m̵̡̡̬͈̳̠͋̈́̀͊̍̅̊͊́i̷̧̖̦̮̺͎̟̍̾̇̾̆̆͑̕͜s̴̱̹̫͕̘̬̲̮̊̈͠͝p̸̨̳͔̥̀̏̀̄̈́̏ͅh̸̩͕̒̾e̶̡̙̘̯̙̮̐̀̈́͂̀ͅŗ̶̤̪̥̋è̵̡͈̫͔̣̯̹̦̪̇̃̈͋̌̂̃s̴̹͓̊̀͗͋͌̈́̾͒͝ ̷̳̟͓̘͋̌͜i̶̟̫̦̟̞̎n̸̯͖͓̻̞̼̙͙̎̉̈́̓̏ͅ ̴̭͎̘͖͐̕͠͝v̶͍̭͋̈́̏e̷̬̪͗̍͑̎̈̓̚r̶̛̹͙̺̦͉̎̈͆͊͝t̵̞̜̮̭͇̹̜̞̍̉͂̐ị̵̜̤̕c̸̡̲̦̙̲̣̿̐͆ả̶͓̣͕̜̖̳͈̺̌̉͝l̴̳̖̙̗̿͂̀͘ͅͅ ̷̳͒̆̀̒̓̀̑̈́͝ò̴̝̫̄̈̑͠͝r̸̻̐̐͐̎͛i̴̞̪̅͌̅̈́̑̓̚͘͝ę̸̱̯͇̱̝̾̈́͑͐͒̿̉ͅͅn̴̢̼̮̈͗̃ţ̴̢̨̡̦͙̠̗̿̅̈́́a̶̪̮̼̺̲͇͒̊͋̃̍͘ț̸͂̾̐̇̂̾̂͝ì̸̜̩̟̄́̀o̷̧̞̹̻̮̓͗͘n̵̢̤̼̅̽̿̉̄̔͝,̶̧̰͈͙̖̑̈́͗̕͘ͅ ̷̓̃́́͗̀͜b̴̰̹͚̙̹̾̃u̸̟͈͍̘̟̙͈̣̫͆̒̾̒͛̀͑̔͠ť̸̡͔͚̲̬̏̈́͂ ̷̖͛̄́͗͛͐͒͘ŗ̶̼͍̄̌͛̀̐̀̎̇e̴͍͍̦͌̄͌͊͛̉š̷̨̪͓̬̳̖̎̔͠͠ͅi̸͓̻̣̟̰̯̎̄͜͜ḑ̸̡̛̲̖͉͇̜̣͗̾̄͂e̴̠̟̙̠̍̂͝s̵̳͋̏̂̒̍̕͝ ̴͍͓͆̑̓́i̸̢̞̜͒̏͛͆͠n̵̢̡̟͉̘̫̺̦͕̐̾̽̓͘̕ ̶̙̟̺̪̫͕͉̞͐̉̃͂͝t̵̨̠̤̳̖͚̫̠͆͜h̴̡̛̺̹͉̎͊̔̉ͅę̴̼̘͐͒̉ͅ ̸͇̺̼̰̮̜͍̐w̴̭͚̙͖͚̿̆̐́͛̒̚͘e̴̛̩̰͒͠s̵͕̫̏̓̽t̷̡̢̤̙̤͚̺̼̳̄̑̒͊͆͘͘͝e̶̟̭͈̬̩̗̱̯͓͆r̸̢̛͎͙̯̦̐̀̾́̓́͌̍ņ̶̠͈̘̣̹͙̃͘͝ͅ ̵̨̥̪̲̩͐́̈̈̔͝ͅḩ̸̛͉͉͙̠͔̼̂̈͘͝e̶̫͇͔͇̘͖̜̕͘͠m̶̛̼͇͕̳͑̈́͊̎͘į̷̢̛͉̭̌͌̀ͅͅs̷̠͍̋͆̇̆̿́̂͌p̶̬̳͑̚͘ḩ̷̝̎͘̕e̵̩̼͍͉̮̣̮͌͂̈̏̍̈̌͠͝ŗ̶̧̟̻̰̯̜̫̈́̐͌̽͑̌̌̄ẹ̷̗͕̒̓ ̸̞̘̀̑̕a̵̡̢̛̗̪̮̓̋͋̓͛͝l̷̢̡̥̞̫̼̞̮̏̅̊̈́̿o̵̡̨̨̼̲̜̍̓̓̄̆͆̀̕̕n̴̗͓̰͗̓g̶̫̳̘͓̳̾̎̊̕ ̷̨̯̃̎t̸̛͓̝͚̤̰̹̲́̾̎̕͜h̵̺͉͚̱̜̫̒ͅe̶͚͉̗̳̠͂́̑̚̕ ̷̡̨͎̠̗͇̯̄̓̄̀̓̊̕͝ẖ̵̛͉͕̪̳̭̑͋ŏ̴̡̨̢̬͔̭͓͔̬̊r̸͇̟̦͇̱̭̾̕͝i̵̥͍͎̿̒z̴͓̀̊̕͝o̴̧̠̦̙͓̘͕̬̾ń̸̤̦͜ͅţ̶̞͇̪͎̩͉͖͐̇̃̌ͅä̷̭̳̥̩̹̿͊l̵͕͕̰͇̤̗̓̒̅͆̽̕ ̸̞̟͒̀́̐̓p̷̧͙͉͎̙͙̯̓͒̓͐͜͜͝͝l̸̢̼̤̰̱̯͕̓̀a̷͉̬̗̞̖̤̾ͅn̵̩̞̬̥̗̳̗͙͒̔͂͜͠ȅ̷̡͍̪̻̲̞̩͜.̴̡̬̹̻̱̭̬̦̃̽͛̎̚͝͝ ̶̳̙͚̈́̀͊́̉̿͜͠͝ͅM̴̡̧͈̞̳͎̳̰͑̀͛͐̊̚ͅa̴̧̹͎̩̖̣̚j̵͈̳͒͌̃̏̅ͅo̸͈͒̑̑̄̕͝r̸̨̥͉͚͍̤̙͓̃ͅį̸͓̳̱͊̕t̶̢͉̜͍͍̺̪͚͑̆͑̿͝ẙ̴͍͈̩̱̱̜̉́̈́͝͝ͅ ̶̛̝̭̠̤̝͎̐̎̈́͂͐̓ͅc̷̺̅̽͗̏̍̃͘l̴̛̛̬̟̃̀̽ͅi̶̢͚͎̜̞̯̝͗́́̍̉́͝͠͝m̷̪̥̼̩̖̤͕͙̌̑͊̎̄e̶̡̬̺̪̻̮̣̖̔͊̒̾͂̈̓͐͝s̶̪̩̑̾͋͝ ̴̣̩̅̃͌̎͆̇r̷̢̡̺͍̦̱̰̲̺͊̎á̸̤͌͋̈͑͊̀͗̐n̸̢̩̭͎̯̿̈̒ģ̶̭͖̩̃̾̋̔̿͜͝ę̵͕̳͉̓̽̀͌ ̴̩̝̹̬̲̠͍̈́̄̈́͐̈́̕ͅb̷̭̳̹̳̮͂͑͊̈́̍̏͗͊ͅͅe̷̳̯̞̝͉̍̃̽͑̀͝t̴̢̀̽͂w̸̢̗̠͌̈́̋͛͝ͅẻ̷͓̩͚̊̎̈́̂̐̎̀͘e̸̥̤͉͉̣̋n̵̡͈̹͉̳̟̲͕͕̂͒̈́̐ ̴̨̮̯͚͖̙̑́͌̉͠s̷̡̢͉͓̳̰͓͙̄̿̓͜ṵ̴̫̜͔̣̝͉̓̈́́̍̀͆͝b̸̢̨̨͈̝̬̯̗̈́̑͒͌̍̉͜͠͠͝t̵̡̤̹͎̞͎̲̦̖͠r̷̠̗͍̿o̴̢̨͚̭̱͈̠̅̈͌̿̅͝p̸̳͉̈́͋i̸̞̻̼͙̯̾̋͝ͅc̶̞͈̖͓͎͓̺͎̙̎̐ȧ̷͚͖̣̱̺͊͊̈̈̍̉͗̒l̴̞͖̤̺̤̮͝ ̷̢͇̗̘͒̈́̑ͅa̷̡͚͓̭̬̣̪̳̎͂n̴̢̲̺̟̺̋̾́̃̑̽̔̅͗d̵̢̨̙̖̲͖̭͓̏̓͠ ̶̡̨̮̖̟̃̇̓́͒ͅt̵͔̜̺̱̤̺̰̂̊̓͘͠ͅͅë̸̲͔̪̏̅́m̴̢̛͇̘̼̰̩͈͒̂̌p̶̡̣̰̲̭̲͎̽͂̔e̶͎̗͗̇̎̚̚͝ŕ̴̗̜͌̽͐ḁ̴̺͉̯̹̂̅̒̀̀̓̒ͅt̸̯͉̤̅̊̃́̆̎͠͝e̸͈̫̰̦̿̃̿̆͌͆̒͑.̸̢̪̞̭̟̜̲͓̩̇͆̿͂̿̓͑̚ ̶͓̟͓̗͔̾̌O̷͕̅n̵̹̳̭̤͋͛͗̓͂͊̕l̸̛̮͙̩̪̇̍̀͒y̸̪͖̎̑̆̋̐̌̎̕̚ͅ ̴̟̫͉͍͇̱̏͐̌̒̿̊ẗ̵͕̖̦̰͇̻̰̿͂̏̄̽͋̓̈́h̸̭̹͓̤͚̣͔͎̩̓e̶͔͍̼̔͗̇͊̀͛̐͝ ̷̧͎̲̳͔̪̼͖̇̓̂̌̎̌͂̚n̵̦̹͙̙͖̻̹̤̎͜o̶̗͔̮̻͇͎̔ͅr̷̨̲̦̖͒̎̈͜t̴̫̿͊̎̓̒͐͗̑͆ḩ̷̢̛̫̩̯͆͛̂́̅͝ę̸̡͎͕̯͈͚̬͇͂̅̑͝͝r̴̗̼͇̿͛́̀̈͑n̶̼̄̓͗̊̈̂̚ ̸̧̡̛̼̲̦̼͍̮̈́̈́̌̋̎̅͋͜͝ȟ̸̜̭̞̤̥͉̹̙́̓̓͂͌͠ä̶̞̙͓͈̲́̀͗͝l̷̡̺̫̠̦͇̰͗̊̓̑̓̃̉͆͜ͅv̴̱͆̄͒͂e̵̛̻̝͉͋͗̉̀̄ş̵̢̫͚̥̠̈́͂̊͜ ̶͙̤̬̪̅̾̀͑̒̀͝ő̵̡̡̰̤̠͓͓̋́ͅf̵̼̝̬͇̺̣̗̐̆ ̴̢̢͚̙͎͇͈̫̚t̷̞̙̮͉͙̉̓̀̕͝h̶̙̠͐͘e̶̡͎͕̫͒̈́̈̇̈́͊̋̀ ̶̞̙͐̈̈̀͑͛̕c̷̠͈̜̺̻̈́͑̒͆̀̓͊̓͘o̵̪̲͕̺̮̖̖̼̜̿̎͛͊n̸̙͕͔̰̈́̍̉̂̿͆̽͘̚t̷̘̣̽̓̆̏̕̚͘̕͜͝į̸̭̂̀̉̎̾̉ń̴̘̹̋̃̈́e̸̢͖͕͐͒͋̒͗̃̏n̴̗͔̥͓̗̣͕͒̐ͅt̵̗͈̱̙̋̎̕̚͝ ̴̛̮̼̪͙̈́̎͝ͅr̸̯͎̥̻͋͠ḛ̶͐ȁ̴̠̦̦̍̀̂͌͋̾͠c̴̡͖͙̝̊͊͌h̷͍̞͔̋̃̉͊͊̄̐̃ ̶̧̰̱̳͊̈́̈́̐̿͋p̵̱̘̤̦̞͆́̇̚̚͜ͅo̵̡̪͚̯̣͛̄̈́͂͑̈͘̕l̴̤̫̬̰̻̠̀ą̷̤̳͚͍̀̋̾̾̋͠r̵̙͍͙̖̅̂̓ ̸͉̉͛̐̃z̶̨͖̼͖̞̬̜̜̎̀o̷̢̹̬̻̐͗n̷̡̟͈͕͔͈̣̦̲̕e̶̻̲͈͔̣͂̾͆̚̕̚̚ş̶̺͕̯̣͂̉̈́̊͝ ̴̭͔͙͈͚̰̲͒̓̾͑͐͋̂̕ͅw̶͒̂̔͌̕̕ͅh̸̡͇̦̣̽́̈́͆̋͝i̶͔̹̘̎͗͛̄̀̈́̕͠l̴̡̥̬̩̄̑̆̎͝͠ȅ̵̬̫̞͇͈͉͝ ̸̡̨̪͚͍̪́̍̃̒̎t̵̛̳͆̓̊͂́̓͋͝h̸̡̨̤̟͚̞̰̾̈́͐͂͋̈ͅe̵̛̜͓͈̋̽̓̅̇͆͘ ̶̧̠͉̪̘̟̥̊s̵̡̯̟͓͍̹̣̞͚̄̆̌̈́̓̂͑͝͠ỏ̸̡̜͍̍͗͋̚ư̷̦̞͙͋̋͒̌͊t̴̰̘̪̙̗̺̱̓͝h̴̟͎̣͇͈̦͆͗̿̄̃̚̕e̵̖͐r̴̡̡̧̺̜͉̳̒̎̓͝n̴̢̧̞͉͈͕͈͗̈̿͆̍͂̒͘͝ ̶̳̤͂̃̀̀̈r̵̨̻͕̞̺̻̯͈̱͒ă̸̡͎̙̙̣̠̦̰̣͊̽̇́̇͠ń̶̲̫͕̜̙͚͎̤̪̃͋̾͊̽̋͂͝g̶̢̡͉̹͖͎͉̊̔e̷̬̱̪̳͛̇̌͒͌͠͝ ̸̗͚̣̀͜p̴͖̖͍͕̯̫͉͈̀̇͑̉a̶͈͔͖͓̮̣̫͔͛͆͆͆̕͝s̷̝͕̱̊s̷̪̈̇̔e̴̛̱͕̱̤̗͉͆͋̄͜͝š̸̱̪̄̈́ ̶̠̝́e̸̛͎͑̊̽̎̅͑͠q̸̧̟̰̺̗̱̮͖͊͗͐͝u̷̫͗̿͝a̵̞̹̫͖̤͍͛̎t̴̬̍̎̈̚ơ̴̢̩͕͈̼̼͗̀̒̈̈́̈̀ȑ̸̠̤̮̦̝̮̩͚̆̆î̷̙̦̜̯̓̋͊͆̚͠a̶̼̒͗̒̃l̸̹̭̻̠̰̻͇̣̞̑ ̴̣̎͆̑̕r̶͈̗̮̅͑̎ë̸̢͙̙́͑͋̇͒̇ģ̷̗̗̇̅̄̿ͅi̵͚̬͚̓͝o̶̢͙̹̫̰̖̅͊͗̀͊̑͝ͅn̸̩͓̫̥̓̉s̴̨̥̻̘͔͚̏̆̋̍͜ ̴̨̙̮̮͔̓͛̀̎̈́̑̋ằ̶͈͙̱̖͈̋̒̌n̴̛͂̀͑̏̀̿͜ď̴̢̛̩̼̻̰̣͍̫̀͛̄̏͠ ̸͖̝͔͓̦̳̞́ͅě̷̯̆̔̒n̶̳̣̍̃̚͘t̸̫̜̠̫̞̖̤͍͋͑̄̎̿͂̚è̷͇̝̼̭̉̾͐̈́͌̄͂r̷̡̘̄̔̈́̍͑ş̴̞̞̅͗̎̿͌̿̐͝ ̶̡̀͗̂̿̌̅̅̕͜t̸̢͚̖͔͖̝̏̂̽͌́͗̕͝h̴͙̘̦̉̈̽͛̏́͘͝͝e̸̯̯̞͇͓̦̻͍͛̈́͆͗̈́͆̚̚ ̴͇̒̐́͐̈́̃́̚ȇ̵̤̖͚͈̘̃̈́͘d̸̻̟͖̮̈̑ͅg̴̢͔̦̝̟̅̑͌͑e̷̪̗̎̇̆̒͆̅ ̸̨͚̟̳̜̣̪͕̕o̷̱̦̳̜͇̦̺̍͌͌͌̕f̴̝͚̙̜̅͊̓͆͠ ̵̡͔͍̠̮̦̑̀̂̕t̷̢͉̺̤̟͓̝̫́̀̀ȩ̵̄̍͂̾̑m̶̰̠͒͌̓̃͆͐͝͝͝p̶̖̂́͠é̶̯̂̅̿͛̚̚r̵̟̓a̴̬͍͈̽̋́̅̌͋̒̈̚ͅt̵̨̙̙̟̎̕e̸͙̞̯̾̅͒̿ ̴̝̩̓̐͊̑͊̆̋͘ȃ̶̮̠̲̈̀͒̉̀͗͛̍n̶̰̝̹̭̯̺̟̅̔͊͂̎͛̂d̴̹̝̝̲́͛̌͛̓ ̷̮̣͈͂͜c̵̢͖̰̰̜̬̪̪͑ͅö̸̗̳̼̫͕͓͍́́͂̏͌̂̃̕̕n̸̢͔̞̰̙͎͉̫͆̈t̴̨̧̳̰̽̓̅ͅĭ̷̛̛̭̣̳̻̜͖̭̆͛͜͠͝͝ṅ̴̛̜̺̲̪̮͕̇̇̏͆̍̚͠e̵̡̱̹̍̂́͒̆͝n̴͍̫̩͛͑̈́̆͋̃͠͠t̷̢̜̣̎̿̀̋̋a̵͓̩̙̫͍̥͎̮̭̅̔̈́̾̒̚͘͝ḽ̵̢̨̼͇̝̖̃̈́̽̋́́͠͝͠ͅ ̵̳͙̯͉͈̥̒̌̽͒̃͝͝͠z̸̯͚̫̗̣̹̜̣̓̊́͒͛̃̕̕̕o̷̬̮͚̜̠͛̓̀͝ṅ̵̺͍̌ë̶̡̯́̑ṣ̶̲̺͙̯̥̲͓͛̍͐́̂̏̚͠͝.̶̞̫̎ ̸̻̳̳͚̈́̕E̴̖̠͖̗͛ḽ̶̛̞͇͍̉͑̚̕ͅe̷͕̱̘͔̫͒̾͂̽̍v̵͉̻̰̪̜̫͕͙̣͌͐̚ḁ̴̢̖̥̱̼̘̓̋̄̄̾̌̐̍̒t̴̝̭̭̻̱͓͎̒̒ͅͅi̵̙̪̰͈̅̅͌o̷̺̩̜̗̟̰̠̎̈́͊̇̀̇̾̐ǹ̸̯̬ ̷̙͆̎͊̑̆͝r̶͔͘a̴̢̱͚̲͓̠̓̐̈́̀̽͑̕͠n̶̢̝͙̲͉̉̊̈́g̵͇̱̖̯͇̃̈́ͅé̷̬͎͇̰̤̂̏-̵̜̥̝͕̲̊-̶̣͖̙̝̰̥̺̒


Oberon felt his mind expand as if someone were stretching apart the plates of his skull. The empty void of space, the distant light of stars, the crashing clouds of nebulae, the warping planes of gravity and space, the distorted flow of time...Something at the edge of his fleeting consciousness flitted, something watching him, but he had not yet witnessed it.

With an effort that took the instinct of survival, like jerking back in that moment when your chair tilts too far, his vision shrank. A bright sun seared his being, white-blue hot but further away than he could fathom. This held the spinning world below him in its grasp, on a swift orbit teetering on the edge of hellfire and frozen abyss. And there was something else--a ring, or a wheel, turning in pondulous clicks of a thousand years, ticking like a clock. To his mind it was a brighter, cloudier Milky Way, a fog that threatened once more to blind him. But finally through this the world below him seemed to come into...better focus. It had...a name, he wasn't quite sure he could read it. It had continents, oceans, weather, and...magic. Magic ran through it like blood vessels through the body, or nerves from the spine. But magic was nothing without...without what, exactly?

Looking closer only brought Oberon's frazzled, fragmented sense of identity back to something familiar. With the sense of physical awareness, he was able to pull himself back from the brink. This world had continents, made of rock, rock that turned molten towards its core, molten rock that shifted deep under the ocean. This world had mountains, rivers, lakes, clouds, deserts, forests, creatures. But now it was too far away for him to see. He was...still floating, here in the void.

But something flitted around him, in his peripheral. He might have been able to look at it, if he had more time. And it might have pursued its curiosity further, if he had provoked it, but he was already plummetting down.

That shining light that he thought might be Digbie had been up here longer than he had, yet somehow he descended first...but it wasn't far behind. Like a shooting star, Oberon dropped a thousand miles an hour back into his body. And as he jerked awake, every bone and muscle crackling as a strange mixture of pain and energy flooded his system, he forgot everything...except the sense of seeing vague, dreamlike images, and a distorted amount of information that he wasn't sure where it had come from, contained in the same mental "screen" he saw whenever he used an analysis skill...

(Immature) Sprite > (Adult) Sprite
You have Transformed!
Your Potential has increased!
Your skill Minor Heal has increased (3.0125 > 3.5125)!
Your skill Minor Heal All has increased, but you have not reached your full Potential. Increase was reduced (1.1 > 1.6)!
Your skill Light Affinity has increased, but you have not reached your full Potential. Increase was reduced (0.9 > 1.4)!
Unfortunately, no Variances were triggered by your Transformation...

Skill Gain: Light Affinity I!
You have developed a bond with the light element. At this rank, MP/SP cost for all Light-related skills is reduced. Light-related skills will develop more quickly. Increase the rank of your affinity by deepening your understanding of the Light element.
You have only begun to reach your full Potential. The Skills Light Ring and Gather Light only increase by 5 increments. Light Ring (1.3 > 1.55), Gather Light (2.0 > 2.125).

Several skills have developed at once.
Skill Rank Up: Monster Analysis II > III (2.9 > 3.075)!
Gain more information about a creature or other items directly related to a creature. You may now gain comparison information about the creature's physical capabilities contrasted with your own.

You have 14 Unspent Skill Points!

You are Very Hungry.
You are Very Thirsty.
You are Tired.
You have no MP remaining.

The Sprite's body had not changed a great deal, but he had definitely undergone a rapid growth spurt. He was about a foot and a half tall now, and his hair had grown a good deal. His wings had also begun to shed tiny, prismatic scales, and they stretched wider now as if a giant butterfly were trying to carry him off. While his muscles weren't necessarily more defined or all that much bigger, like that one buff fairy they had seen back at the cave, his proportions had changed somewhat. He definitely seemed physically "mature" now, with slightly broader shoulders as one might expect of a male humanoid. He felt sore all over, especially in his joints. But the slight glow from his body was a bit brighter now, and he was even more aware of any light on his skin--the world in general, suddenly seemed so much brighter for some reason, as if a photographic filter had been placed over his vision.

And nearby him, Digbie's body suddenly burst into blinding, off-white light...

Meanwhile, as soon as Torrent had decided on her evolutionary path, she felt her eyelids growing heavy. And as soon as she closed his eyes, her body slumped. The Lesserwurm's breaths deepened, but her muscles began to twitch every so often, like a dog that kicks its feet in its dreams...and her skin began to look gray, and dry...

She had never been able to recall it with true clarity the first time, but now that she was once more floating upward, the visions of her first transformation all came rushing back to Torrent's mind. The things she had seen back then--the cavern's interior, the forest, the curling smoke trails, the deserts and mountains, all of it was crystal clear for this moment in her mind. But now things had become so different...

They were farther North, so she could no longer see the cave where she had been reborn. She could still see all the trees of the forest, far below her. To the east, a particularly large tree glowed a light green color, bright enough that it seemed like a lighthouse beacon from here. Even further north, she could almost feel the same clouds of cold and snow she could see, and the howling winds that spun them round and round an even darker and deeper forest.

To the West, she could see the small shape of Guze and his captives making their way up the mountain ledges. They were near the peaks now, among curling trails of smoke and what might have been a large camp of some sort--and then immediately her vision swept up to the great scar across the mountains. It was as if some blade of impossible size had sheared off its tip. The rocks there were blackened yet smooth, with a glossy appearance. Within this smoking crater, many lights glittered. She had risen even higher by this point, so she couldn't pick out any details among the small figures moving in groups along the slopes and the ring of structures they had erected along the lip of the black crater...

Still higher she went, drifting through clouds. To the north, not as far as the ice and cold, a river meandered down out of the mountains. To the east, beyond the forest and the emerald glow, a sparkling lake. Even further in the west, and somewhat to the north, over the ridge of the mountains there was a tower like a mighty tree reaching up to the heavens. Its roots, too, stretched 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. Further beyond that, marshlands and mountains and untamed, wild lands.

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. A great city, too far from here to see, had called for her before but now it was silent. The island's red skies still held her in sway. And...she felt as if some sort of emptiness was drawing her further from the world...

She was more aware now than he had been the first time she had seen this vision. Aware enough to know things were different. Aware enough to try and put something together. Aware enough, perhaps, to do something...?

Your Taboo has been Cleansed! You have been given forgiveness--don't squander it!
Your choice has pleased the Divine Spirit Jehanne.

"If thou wish to complete thine Favor for my sake, make use of thy cleverness, Crafting, and magics of the Earth to form the Stones, quartz, and other materials into the Beads of Prayer. Call upon me again, as thy prayerbook directs."

And with this, Jehanne patted Digbie upon his head. Comfort washed over him like sinking into a warm bath, and he began to drift down towards the world again...but, rather than the feeling of falling and plummeting, he instead experienced a suddenly darkness as if he had somehow fallen asleep while already falling asleep. And within this darkness, a window to another place opened up as if he were watching from above.

Within a room filled with books and all manner of study materials, a man in white robes under a cream coat knelt before a Wooden Effigy much like the one Digbie possessed. His brown hair, somewhat disheveled, fell to just above his shoulders and his face was well defined, angular in some ways but with a strong jaw. He wore a belt of golden chains, and a pin in the shape of crossed dove's wings fastened the collar of his coat. His hands were pressed together in prayer, and one of them held a loop of 8 beads fashioned from some sort of black, crystalline substance. Noticeably, the back of his knuckles were subtly scarred--like someone who has been in many a fistfight. As Digbie watched, the man suddenly looked up--as if he were looking straight through the goblin.

"Your servant hears, my Maiden." he spoke, breathlessly. Still, he had the kind of deep, bassy voice that carries even when one whispers. "When your servant arrives in Westlake, I shall do everything in my power to help him. Though you have not yet revealed to me his face...I shall know him by your Favor upon him." The man stood up and walked to the window, flinging it open to look out over a large city upon the shores of a huge, glittering lake. He held his hands out as if opening himself up to the light, and an expression of bliss passed over his face...although, there was something...slightly off. As if the man's smile didn't quite reach his eyes. Still, though...his tone of voice seemed to be genuinely happy. It was kind of like...he didn't know "how" to smile, rather than faking it or being insincere...

"Whoever you are, my new brother...Rejoice, young man!"

And then Digbie awoke.

When he had transformed into a Demiblin, his body had burst into dark flames. Now, the exact opposite happened. The light coming from his every pore was blinding in its intensity. His skin seemed to be peeling--or rather, as if every cell of his dermis was turning over like a reversed scale. The darker hues he had been dyed in now lightened significantly. The blue markings from his Mystic variance became more refined--where before they were like swirling marks or some kind of artistic burns, now they became like real, artistic tattoos. The stony protrusions from his body's Earth variance became smoother, closer to the skin--they were less like spikes of stone growing out of him now, and proper armor or scales grafted to his body. And once again, he had grown taller and a little more muscular--he now stood four and a half feet tall, and his facial features and proportions were more like those of a teenager than a child. And, if their experiences with the likes of Crispy, Rattleskull, Rags Nar, and Guze were any indication...Digbie was actually quite handsome for a goblinoid. [[If you'd like to add or tweak any details like skin color, the shape/style of his markings, hairstyle, etc etc as long as it's purely aesthetic feel free.]]

(Immature) Demiblin > (Adolescent) Palablin!
You have Transformed!
Skills suitable for your Job:Skirmisher have been boosted. You have not reached your full Potential, the boost is reduced.
All Stats have slightly increased!
Your Taboo was removed!

You are Peckish.
You are Parched.
You are Tired.
You have overdrawn your MP! You are experiencing Minor Mana Burn! Natural MP Recovery reduced by 25%!
You have no MP remaining!

You have 1 Unspent Skill Point!

PixieSlime Party

As Ardur returned to the field, he could see that his friends had been wreaking quite the carnage against the Dungeon Core's minions--yet, they were still vastly outnumbered. He cast Minor Heal I on Steve, restoring the Oculus Spider's HP to full as notified by the Taming Skill's System bond between them. Asura finished off the Necroslime floating helplessly in the water with the multiple javelins he had been stealing, and the creature was soon nothing but goop sinking below the dark depths. However, in the process the Amorphous Slime had taken a hit from a Mana Orb, and even after killing his target he had to swiftly dodge a Poison Spit and another barrage of ranged attacks. His Slime Shell was almost broken to the point of uselessness...

"Ardur, you're back!" Trent said with relief, taking a blow from a Zomblin holding a primitive mace of wood and stone on his shield. Now that so much of the rawhide had been eaten through thanks to poison, the stone chipped at the wood beneath. However, Trent's return stroke split the grotesque creature's skull down the middle, all the way to its sternum. He wrenched his blade and kicked the creature hard in the gut, cracking a rib or two as well as knocking it loose. "But, who are you talking to?"

The now-healed Steve caught another Wisp in her webbing, which Momma Slime promptly helped her crush to death. But on the front row, a Fanged Lizard and Wisp unleashed their ranged attacks, as did the two Fanged Lizards and the other Wisp on the middle row. Momma Slime quickly rolled back, and Steve practically leaped on top of her for a ride out of danger, and Asura was busy weaving through more attacks himself. The Zombie Pixie in the middle row fluttered forward, as did another Zombie, and behind them the shuffling forms of several fat Dire Rats could be seen. And of course, the javelin thrower Zomblin took another parting shot at Trent, but the boy moved away rather than risk more damage to his shield. The pointed stick clattered somewhere on the dark rocks behind the group.

Before Ardur could answer, Undine launched herself out of the water like someone had thrown her by hand, turning end over end. She came down point first in the Fanged Lizard on the front row, then with a whiplash sliced it in half from snout to tail-tip. Unfortunately, afterward she clattered to the ground.

The Hipixie had just cast Minor Heal on Mother Slime, restoring her to full HP as well though she hadn't taken much damage compared to some of the others. Asura wrestled with the Zombie Lizard attacking their rear, trying to drain its stamina through a new wound he made. His Blood Drain skill hadn't yet triggered a specific stamina stealing ability, but he could still fill his HP return to full--he hadn't taken that much damage--and while his Stamina Low warning still blared in his head it didn't seem to have triggered HP drain yet. He was balancing on the edge of a knife, it seemed. He yelled at Trent that the way to retreat was clear, but complained about Undine--who the boy seemed to have just noticed, in all the fighting.

The Squire side stepped a Zomblin's wildly lashing claws and took its hands off at the forearm with one swing, torquing his hips with that same momentum. His shield slammed into the side of the creature's skull, breaking its jaw and knocking it down. He jumped on it with a roar, slamming his sword down with both hands between the creature's neck and spine and violently twisting to destroy its brain stem. The black miasma left its body, and Trent sat on top of it for a moment, heaving his breath.

"We can't turn and run that easily though! They'll catch our backs!" he gasped, once more turning to face the oncoming horde--and looking over at Undine again. "Wait, so that sword can...move?"

Steve and Momma Slime worked together to catch yet another Wisp. But now the two Fanged Lizards in the middle row were moving up to the front, and the Zombie Pixie pointed at Ardur with a growl full of black bile.

"CURRRRRSSssse!" it slurred, and a black mist that felt like clammy hands all over him enveloped the Hipixie. The assimilated Slime reached the front row as well, and took a swing with a psuedopod at Steve, who nimbly ducked under it. Asura was hit by another Mana Orb from the remaining Wisp in the middle row, and now for the first time since the start of the battle the Zomblin javelin thrower was moving! Wielding that Bone Mace and Hide Shield, it charged towards Trent. If it hadn't lost its jaw, its roar would have been much louder--but the sound of bloody gurgles was almost as frightening. The human didn't even seem focused on the creature, though, and his mouth moved silently as if he were talking to himself...

As Ardur finished healing Asura, he received yet another notice that his MP was low. And when he used his Guidance to pray to Dhulfiqar, the last of it ebbed the same time, the Hipixie felt a strange tingling sensation, almost like heat, spreading down his limbs. And...there was also a chill that passed up his back? For an instant, he felt some of the courage he had been filled with when calling on Galatine waver, and the horde of undead seemed all the more imposing...but then, a fierce anger seemed to bubble up in his chest.

Asura took a hit from the remaining Fanged Lizard's hastily lobbed poison spit, while he was disentangling from the now crushed to death Zombie Lizard. It didn't do much damage, especially since he had just been healed...but then...

You have been Poisoned! You are suffering damage over time!

Still more monsters were coming towards them out of the darkness...a Skeleblin cracking two whips made from some poor creatures' spinal cords. More Dire Rats, a cloud of Ghost Wisps. Behind them, another crowd of Skeleblins coming from further away, but rattling loudly...

The armored Zomblin was getting closer. It raised its weapon, eyes blazing as it targeted Trent. And the human...crouched down. He wasn't even looking at the monster, but instead reaching with one hand into the pouch on his hip--and with the other hand, his sword arm, he reached out. He dropped one weapon...and as his mouth continued to move silently, he took up another.

Undine's blade flashed. Trent's face started to turn blue as he coughed--as if he were drowning, on dry land. White tinged mana flowed down his arm into the sword--but he had told the group earlier he only had enough left for one spell. This pitiful amount was instantly devoured--and the boy slammed his blue vial against his lips.

As he chugged the Mana Restoration Potion, Trent's body lit up, only for it to be immediately drained as well. The Zomblin was almost on top of him, before it suddenly recoiled as the vial of glass shattered in its face. It was more a reaction to its sight being cut off than it was to pain, since it was undead, but it bought Trent the time he needed to take one step back, adjust his shield along his arm, and grasp Undine's hilt in both hands.

The boy's face looked haggard, as if he hadn't eaten in days. The light that had surged through his body had already been completely drained. But his eyes were still bright as he raised Undine up to the stony ceiling.

"AEGEUS!" he roared.

Undine had absorbed the mana of over half a dozen wisps, a fanged lizard, a smidgeon from Ardur and then from Trent, followed by taking all of a fully restored Trent's energy as well. And it was a sure thing that the Human had more MP than any of the monsters he was partied with, probably more than any creature they had encountered even after leaving the cave. But could he really qualify as a "Hero?"

Undine let out a howl.

"DEPTH CHARGE!" roared her wielder.

Trent brought the blade down. The water from the pool seemed to follow the motion of his arms.

A pressurized sphere of liquid slammed into the monsters in front of them. Like a singular giant raindrop from a really pissed off cloud, it hit the stone floor of the cavern and burst like a grenade.

The Zombie Pixie was practically torn to shreds, like peeling off one's skin by accident with a high pressure hose. The Slime was burst like an overfull waterballoon and reduced to a diluted stain. Two Fanged Lizards had their bones crushed and their scales flayed. The one living Wisp was flattened like a bug. All but one of the Dire Rats were mangled against the rocks. Only the Zomblin managed to get his defense up, raising the Hide Shield. Still he was blasted head over heels, losing a chunk of his armor in the process as the bones cracked, and landed in a sprawl that knocked over some of the approaching skeleblins.

The "rows" in front of the group had been almost entirely cleared, shaving away a few inches of rock and cracking the ground here and there. There was a little more than 30 feet between them and the nearest oncoming enemies. Their rear was clear, as was the air above the watery pool. In the distance, the Dungeon Core flashed angrily.

Trent dropped to his knees, breathing hard. He could barely hold on to Undine, but hold on he did. The light had drained from the magical weapon once more.

Now what?
Monster Party

As soon as Oberon closed his eyes, his body slumped. His breaths deepened, but his muscles began to twitch every so often, like a dog that kicks its feet in its dreams...

He had never been able to recall it with true clarity the first time, but now that he was once more floating upward, the visions of his first transformation all came rushing back to the Sprite's mind. The things he had seen back then--the cavern's interior, the forest, the curling smoke trails, the deserts and mountains, all of it--even those terrifying things--were crystal clear for this moment in his mind. But now things had become so different...

They were farther North, so he could no longer see the cave where he had been reborn. He could still see all the trees of the forest, far below him. To the east, a particularly large tree glowed a light green color, bright enough that it seemed like a lighthouse beacon from here. The light turned to fog towards the tree's base, and tendrils of this eerie mist spread out in a web that covered a particular area of the forest in almost a precise circle. Even further north, he could almost feel the same clouds of cold and snow he could see, and the howling winds that spun them round and round an even darker and deeper forest.

To the West, he could see the small shape of Guze and his captives making their way up the mountain ledges--and then immediately his vision swept up to the great scar across the mountains. It was as if some blade of impossible size had sheared off its tip. The rocks there were blackened yet smooth, with a glossy appearance. Within this smoking crater, many lights glittered. Among them were red flames and metallic gold gems, the lights of elements he had grown familiar with. He had risen even higher by this point, so he couldn't pick out any details among the small figures moving in groups along the slopes and the ring of structures they had erected along the lip of the black crater--or could he? It seemed like the fogs of magic were thick in places along the mountainside...

Still higher he went, drifting through clouds. To the north, not as far as the ice and cold, a river meandered down out of the mountains. To the east, beyond the forest and the emerald glow, a sparkling lake. Even further in the west, and somewhat to the north, over the ridge of the mountains there was a tower like a mighty tree reaching up to the heavens. Its roots, too, stretched deep, deep into the earth. The magics here were barely even glimmers, like looking at stars through a bedroom's frosted windows--yet to be seen from hundreds of miles away, did that mean the powers in that place were so great? So far to the east that it became west again, a lonely, cold, desolate island where red lightning split the sky. Further beyond that, marshlands and mountains and untamed, wild lands.

He rose higher. A world, a planet, rotated thousands of miles an hour, yet from this distance appeared as no more than a soap bubble. A great city, too far from here to see, had called for him before but now it was silent. The island's red skies still held him in sway. And...who was that? He could see, almost within arm's length of him, a shining figure nearby...was that...Digbie?!

He was more aware now than he had been the first time he had seen this vision. Aware enough to know things were different. Aware enough to try and put something together. Aware enough, perhaps, to do something...?

Gained Skill: Plasma Ray I (1.025)!
A powerful, advanced spell of Fire, Energy, Lightning, and Wind elements. A pulsating bolt of energy is projected to utterly incinerate the opponent. It may cause a Burn. It can be conducted through certain materials. It has a property to pierce defenses. It has a range of ten feet, and can be maintained for a higher MP cost per second. Its power is much greater than a Rank I spell of any of its component elements. Warning - This spell's MP cost is too high for your current level! Usage may cause Mana Burn!

Gained Skill: Suppress Presence I (1.0)!
Using your magical power, you subtly mask your presence from the senses of others around you. By comparison, it's a similar ability to those shy people who seem to disappear at the corner of the crowd's vision as they hover in the corner.

Gained Skill: Rock Spire I (1.0)!
A basic Earth-aligned spell that creates a sharp spike of stone by drawing loose or broken fragments of earth out of the ground. It deals more damage than most level one spells for the same MP cost, but requires that solid earth be within the user’s range of sight or perception. Solid earth can include soils and sands, but if the ground is too solid it increases the MP cost of the spikes as new fragments of stone must be broken off. The spike is created beneath the targeted area, object, or creature. One drawback of this is that the flash of Mana produced as a side effect of driving the energy into the earth might alert the opponent. Does Piercing and Earth Magic damage.

Gained Skill: Focus I (1.0)!
By spending at least 30 seconds focusing before using an offensive Skill or Spell, you can increase its damage or range. At this rank it is comparable to increasing the power by one rank (eg Mana Orb I to Mana Orb II) while also increasing the MP cost by half again (spend 1.5x Mana Orb I's cost).

Gained Skill: Void Blast I (1.0)! --You analyzed this spell--
A basic Shadow Spell. --Unlike elements that mimic the properties of states of matter, or manipulate natural forces, Shadow is considered one of the Abstract elements. Darkness is only the absence of light, as cold is only the absence of heat.-- Like lightning that causes superheated air to expand, a collapse into the vacuum left behind follows to create thunder. In the same fashion, Void Blast strikes a target with concentrated Shadow to create a disruption. --You've seen the spell Mana Orb, which is roughly equivalent in power and MP cost.--

-Due to your unique methods, combination of skills, and individual growth, you have unlocked a new path for your skills!-

Do you wish to merge Muffle III, Scale Shift I, Stealth Kill I, and Suppress Presence I into the Hybrid Skill: Stealth Mode?
---Stealth Mode---
By silencing one's movement, reducing one's presence, decreasing the senses of one's enemies, using deception to hide one's intent, or removing oneself from sight, one can hide in many ways from many forms of detection. Those who have practiced doing several of these may eventually learn to do so simultaneously. In a manner similar to entering a "flow state" when hyperfocused on an activity, this Skill allows one to enter the Stealth Mode at will. Stealth Mode consumes both Stamina and MP at a higher rate than other stealth-related skills, but can be maintained passively even while using Active Skills. If one's MP and Stamina are high enough, the cost may be higher "numerically" but less draining on each individual resource than the source skills which only use one resource. An attack that strikes in Stealth Mode is much more effective. However, once a potential target becomes aware of the user, the skill's effectiveness decreases drastically. This skill may still not overcome certain other detection skills, such as heightened senses or magical wards. Such opposition to other Skills requires higher ranks.

This Hybrid Skill will CONSUME the four source skills, and they will no longer be available. The Hybrid Skill's Rank will be I at (1.75).

As Torrent continued to try to master the Void Blast's first stage, she finally succeeded. The next time she released the spell, a solid black sphere of "nothing" erupted from her maw. It struck the tree like a fist, and the "implosion" acted much the way a concentrated "explosion" of that size would--it produced a powerful force, that impacted the tree like a blow from a mace. Visually, it looked like the air and the tree's bark warped for a split second, like heat waves coming from asphalt, then the wooden surface cracked and the trunk shook. And as her Skill Points were spent and her Magic Analysis relayed information to her mind, Torrent felt a headache coming on as the System regurgitated Skill after Skill into her mind.

In the...spiritual?...realm, Digbie reached out for the tiny blue sphere beneath him. He attempted to focus on the circle, the planet below him, and cast Sacred Ground--only to immediately feel pain shooting down from the center of his brainpan all throughout his body.



The pain stopped. When Digbie opened his eyes again, bright light had overtaken everything around him. As if someone had turned the opacity on a digital image down to only a fraction, he could still see the planet and the vastness of space around him...but he had been enveloped, embraced, by this light...

The embrace shifted, and the light drew away. It caressed Digbie's shoulders, and turned him...and he saw her.

She stood taller than any Human, in either World, Digbie had seen. Her skin was pale, yet tinged with pink like the rarest of pearls. Her hair was silver and fell down her back in voluminous, shining waves, yet it gleamed and glittered with a shroud of gold dust. Her form was beautiful, pleasing in every way and yet possessed of a quality that moved it beyond an object of lust or even romance to the elevation of high art--the kind of beauty that made one's breath catch, a thousand times over. Upon her brow sat a crown of interlocking dove's wings, feathers fluttering in an unseen breeze along with the transparent veil that fell back over her shoulders. She wore purest white, an elegant gown belted with gold chains and laced with cream silks, and though her shoulders were bare her arms were covered up to the elbow with bridal gloves. Her eyes were a bright, warm yellow, a summer's sun at mid-morning.

"What do you think is the right thing, Digbie Yonder? Many times, even as we ask, our body trembles with the answer we already see...whether they be the tremors of relief, or fear." She spread her hands, beckoning Digbie forward. "A new path is now open to you. You must only trod it. Even so, we all walk with a single step at a time. What shall your first be?"

Digbie somehow knew what choices he had. He could kneel at her feet, and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness for the dark powers he had tampered with...the powers that, suddenly, as he even thought of them, he could feel watching...and hating...

Or, he could ask Jehanne for her blessing. He could mark himself by her power, though it might not erase what he had done thus far...yet.

You have 1 Favor that is yet uncompleted, but Jehanne is benevolent and merciful. She forsees great things for you. To gain greater Blessings, you must seek Favor.

Jehanne's Shroud (Lesser) - Increase resistance to the powers of the Light (1 Favor)

Jehanne's Protection (Lesser) - Increase resistance to the powers of the Dark (1 Favor)

Jehanne's Boon (Lesser) - Increase your Strength (1 Favor)

Jehanne's Gift (Lesser) - Increase your powers of the Light (1 Favor)

Jehanne's Grace (Lesser) - Increase your Magic (1 Favor)

Jehanne's Rebuke (Lesser) - Smite those of true guilt with a single, mighty blow (1 Favor)

Jehanne's Virtue (Lesser) - Heal those of the faith to close lesser wounds (1 Favor)

Digbie could suddenly feel the world pulling at him so far, far below. He had a choice to make, and little time...

Meanwhile, in the waking world, Ash continued to refine her spellcraft. She allowed the Mana Slice to fade away, though her MP still drained, and turned her focus completely to the imitation poison blade. Refining it, changing the shape, changing the way the magic moved...Her mental "fingers" poked and prodded, until the structure of the spell seemed to suit her needs. As she settled back and prepared to fire, she noted that the current set up just 'felt' right for some reason. The purple, hanging crescent in the air suddenly seemed to solidify. Along its edge, violet fumes began to hiss. She let it loose at a nearby tree, coincidentally the same one she had just seen Torrent cast a ball of black magic at, and the poor plant's bark was suddenly cleaved as if by the blow of a woodsman's axe. The inside dripped and sizzled with poisonous acid much like her own spit.

Gained Skill: Poison Slash (0.7 > 1.0)! --You have analyzed this skill!--
A Poisonous equivalent to Mana Slice. Though it has a lower chance to poison the target compared to other poison attacks, in addition to the dual acid-poison damage types it also deal slashing damage to the target. --It is more effective on softer, fleshy targets, but unlike many other poison spells it can deal damage even to well defended enemies, rather than splashing against them with little effect.-- It has a higher speed than many other rank I spells but costs slightly more MP than Mana Slice.

You used Mana Vision I, Magic Analysis III, and Mana Sense II!
--Void Blast I--
A basic Shadow Spell. Unlike elements that mimic the properties of states of matter, or manipulate natural forces, Shadow is considered one of the Abstract elements. Darkness is only the absence of light, as cold is only the absence of heat. Like lightning that causes superheated air to expand, a collapse into the vacuum left behind follows to create thunder. In the same fashion, Void Blast strikes a target with concentrated Shadow to create a disruption. You've seen the spell Mana Orb, which is roughly equivalent in power and MP cost. This spell is of the First Rank. It is not directed towards you, but there is hostility in this spell, as it is obviously offensive magic. You can sense a split in the mana's concentration, a duality between separation of elements and containment of power.

PixieSlime Party

<Recent Unusable Skills>
Steal Stamina (0.2)
Use Light Equipment (0.1)
Mana Sense (0.1)

As Asura activated his Stamina Furnace, he felt that sizzling sensation from before in his gut. The corpses he had been devouring thus far weren't in the freshest or most nutritious states, but luckily it seemed like Slimes were much less prone than other creatures to things like food poisoning. Still, it was a slow process, even as the speedily digested energy spread through his membrane in light orange, pulsating particles. Like an electrical current traveling down a nerve, spreading out like spider's web.

The other monsters were still moving, closing in in ever-growing numbers. Another Zombie Lizard and a Wisp moved forward to replace the other creatures the party had killed. Behind them, just a few strides away, the three Zomblins and another trio of Wisps were incoming. As the spear-chucking Zomblin remained in the back, a Zombie Pixie, a Slime, and an assimilated Fanged Lizard remained around him. The other three Fanged Lizards who had been laying down volley after volley of poison spit were trying to reposition themselves, crawling up the wall that formed one side of the choke point. Whether due to a lack of strength or stamina they couldn't get very far up, but this change in angle still gave them an easier time lobbing their projectiles out over the party.

Asura was belted with a Mana Orb from behind, while Momma Slime screeched when the rear-attacking Zombie Lizard's poison spit splashed onto her after hitting a nearby rock. She hadn't taken full damage, but even a graze from those attacks carried with it the possibility of a status-inflicted death sentence. The armored Zomblin's javelin struck Asura's skull, further wearing it down. The creature immediately began to load its spear-thrower again, but its store of ammunition seemed to be at least half gone.

The two Ghost Wisps that were also attacking from the rear let loose another pair of Mana Orbs. One was targeting Asura, while the other tried to snipe Trent from behind. The human was taken by surprise between his shoulder blades, but thanks to his gambeson only seemed to pitch forward like he'd been shoved by a heavy hand. The Wisp in front of him that stopped to take aim was once again caught by Steve's Web Spit, and fell to the ground. As Trent slammed the tip of his sword through its body, there was a loud crack from Momma Slime nearby--the Zombie Lizard, now headless and with a much less functional spine, was slurped up into her membrane. Unlike Asura, however, she didn't seem to have a skill that could speed up her digestion or restore her energy. The blue slime hadn't complained yet, but her movements were getting a little more sluggish than usual.

Out in the water, Ardur cast his Minor Heal spell on himself. While the Hipixie had leveled up a lot since obtaining this Rank I spell, it seemed like his base HP was still rather low--the System informed him that his HP was full, although his MP was empty. Still, that meant he likely couldn't take many more hits or he'd be right back where he was before the healing. He dove under the water, seeking shelter from the half-dozen Wisps left in his pursuit...but they had their non-existant hands full.

With just a hiccup of Mana, a slight aura around her blade's edge, Undine managed to leap out of the water. She spun in a single circle with a sound like a lashing whip. She passed through one Wisp's body unhindered. The second slowed her down, but still she cleaved it in two. The third had started to move, but it wasn't fast enough. Despite her edge being off center, she still cut off a good chunk of its body, spilling whitish blood and what must have been tiny, slimy gray organs. The fourth Wisp had moved enough to take only a grazing wound--but given the size difference between them, even this gash would soon bleed out. The mob flashed in distress as it fell into the water, trailing its own dark life essence. Drinking deeply of their energy through her steel, Undine dropped back into the water as two Mana Orbs plunged down after her. The remaining Wisps that had fired them drifted down closer, and by their own light they could see the embyonic figure of Ardur, curled up, as he tried to recharge his mana...

Asura was calling to the System internally, shouting advice to Momma Slime physically, and at the same time trying to figure out how to adjust his Blood Drain skill to take Stamina instead. He started to move towards the creatures that were at their rear, but there was still that Necroslime to deal with--

A Poison Split caused him to pull up short, as it splattered right in front of him. If he had actually been at full stamina and moving at his fastest speed, he would have run right into it. It had come from one of the Zombie Lizards on the "front" row, though now his allies seemed to be moving to engage it. Another Wisp shot at Trent, but he took it on his shield--followed by three more blasts from the middle row before he could press forward. The exposed wood cracked in one place, and the targe's rawhide covering was being eaten away more and more by either magic or poisonous acid. Steve prepared to manipulate some of her threads--just as the Poison Javelin fell from the sky, cracking her exoskeleton. The spider hissed and writhed, but she would live. Wounded and bleeding, but still alive, and still fighting fiercely. She cast her thread like a lasso, roping the Zombie Lizard around its neck and snout multiple times and pulling, forcing its mouth shut before it could launch another attack.

The other zombie lizard at the rear fired another Poison Spit at Asura, and the Ghost Wisps also aimed at him with two more Mana Orbs. After this attack, however, they faded--leaving their ally to face a likely very pissed off Amorphous Slime alone.

As Steve yanked with all her might, surprisingly strong for a spider, she dragged the front Zombie Lizard toward her. Just in time for Momma Slime to roll by with an extended MASH, executing a perfect clothesline that almost literally broke the undead monster in half. Meanwhile one of the Wisps had flown a little too low, and with a mighty exhalation and a long jump, Trent managed to cut it in half with his blade. When he dropped to the ground, he bent his knees low to absorb the impact and also took the opportunity to grab another rock in his shield hand.

Ardur could feel Mana flowing back into him as he meditated...and, unless it was his imagination, he also thought he could feel the water's coolness changing around him. Something like bubbles prickled his skin, but if he opened up his eyes under the water the only bubbles he could see were the ones slowly drifting away from his mouth and nose as he held his breath. But then, a familiar and terrifying sound of crackling Mana reached his ears from above--just before Undine splashed next to him. Her edge rose in a glistening arc like a shark fin out of the water, ending the last two Wisps that had been in pursuit of the Hipixie.

"I've absorbed quite a bit of Mana--more than what that fire-bug Goblin had, but still not my full power. Still, at least at this point I might be able to help you more. Head back to your companions!" The sword's voice was somewhat muffled under the water, but the light from her blade pointed Ardur in the right direction. He went up for air, then he attempted to swim under the water and back to the group just in case any more enemies were waiting up above.

After dealing with the attacks coming at him somehow ((your post)), Asura managed to get to the Necroslime just as it finished reforming its body. As it "turned" to him, he slammed it with a heavy pseudopod. It rolled and bounced across the rocks, before splashing into the edge of the water. Slimes weren't very good at swimming without some kind of shapeshifting ability, and it looked like this undead ooze lacked that ability as it wriggled back and forth, drifting helplessly away from shore.

But it seemed like no matter how many of the horde they took out, more were ready to take their places. The three zombified goblins, a wisp, and an assimilated Fanged Lizard pressed up to the Party. The Zombie Pixie, Slime, and another Fanged Lizard weren't far behind them. The Pixie was now in range to use its spells, and placed a Shield on one of the Zomblins. The Fanged Lizard took a poison shot at Momma Slime, but she was learning at this point and lurched to one side to dodge it. One of the lizards on the wall attacked as well, and Trent's shield took yet another hit. The third lizard's shot at Steve missed, as did a few Mana Orbs from the Wisps. Steve proved to be quick footed, scuttling back and forth and once even jumping up and over an attack.

As Asura sought to close with the Zombie Lizard in the rear, the javelin thrower hurled one more spear at him from behind. Could he even see it to dodge this time?

A trio of Dire Rats, snarling and growling, were coming up around the pond to join the very back row of the monster crowd. How many enemies had the group carved through thus far? How many more were left?

Trent struck the Shielded Zomblin with a slash from his blade, roaring as he pushed the edge through. There was a sound like tinkling glass as the Shield's effects were dispelled, and still his attack had enough power to sever the Zomblin's head from its shoulders. But like Asura and Momma Slime, the human was starting to look tired. Steve bound a second Zomblin's feet with her Web Spit, and Momma Slime once more wrestled down a Zombified Lizard. Using what Asura had shown her thus far, she formed a series of short spikes on one of her pseudo pods and pressed it into the creature's body over and over like a meat-tenderizer, soon pulverizing it beyond recognition.

You have no MP remaining! Stamina Furnace has deactivated.
Warning! Your Stamina is Low! Overwork Skill will soon begin HP Conversion!

As the warning in his head blared, Asura managed to get close enough to the Zombie Lizard trying to flank the group that he could slam his own Poisoned javelin down through its back. How many times had he been struck by attacks now? Though it couldn't move, the zombie lizard still thrashed and lashed out at the red slime with its claws and fangs. They dripped with some odd black substance, corrupted blood of some kind? More poison?

Not too far away, Asura could see Ardur as the drenched Hipixie reached the shoreline and pulled himself up out of the water, gasping for air. And behind him, something in the water was gleaming as it shot straight toward them...

"Asura! Is the rear clear!? I'm not sure how much longer we can last here!" Trent yelled as he blocked one more javelin from the armored Zomblin. Despite having no jaw thanks to Asura, the creature somehow still seemed to be taunting them with a twisted grin...

Rat Party

The two rats split up, with Mother Rat seemingly able to sense that Ed was going on the hunt for something, and choosing to follow him. As Asteria creeped around the camp, she managed to get by unseen...for one thing, while the campfire lit up the area immediately around the Hobgoblin and the two Bugbears, it made the rest of the world outside their little area even darker by comparison. For another, thanks to her two stealth skills and natural size and limberness, the adult Dire Rat was quite sneaky like most rodents tended to be. And for a third, they seemed to be distracted by their own chatter.

"I dun like it, da humies dun even care!" one of the Bugbears complained. "Dey said we wuz all gon' be in dis togedda, since since we's all hates otha humies an' ventures! But dey dun give us da gud stuff, and more of us got killed den dey did!"

"We dunno if da uddas got killed or not. Dey mighta neva come back cause dere ain't nuthin' here." The Hobgoblin in the hood looked up from sharpening his knife, but his gaze wasn't directed towards Asteria. "Boss been sayin' he's gonna show us his powah, but we ain't seen no powah yet. If 'e needs sacrifices, shoulda just gone and caught some Mobs in da woods or sumthin'."

"Grrr. All dis talk makes me hungry." the third member of the group rubbed his furry belly. "When we gets done watchin'? Moon looks a lot higher den it was when we started!" The Hobgoblin looked up, then snorted.

"It ain't neither, ya dum! Look, ya can tells how long we gots if ya look at dat tree dere! When da moon passes dat branch, that's when we's done!" The Bugbear peered up at one of the trees, in the opposite direction of Asteria, for a while.

"...Dat's gonna take FOREVA!"

The fence line ended flush with the rocky, sheer surface of the cliff on the other two sides. After making a full circle, Asteria had learned there was only one entrance inside the hollowed-out chambers on the ground level, and only one exit on the side of the cliff. A rough balcony of sorts had been built up there, and she had seen two figures--one that looked to be human, and the other that might have been another Hobgoblin with another bow. The human had only been seen as he disappeared over a set of rough-hewn wooden stairs onto the plateau of the cliff, but the Hobgoblin was keeping watch on the balcony. The Dire Rat hadn't been able to see into the chambers yet, though, and had no idea how many there might be...but, if the size of the cliff was any indication, there couldn't be THAT many more bandits around here...If there were these five, plus the five she and Ed had already killed, there couldn't be much room left, could there? What other possibilities might she consider?

And what would her plan be from here?

Meanwhile, Ed made his way back to the Myrminor and once again managed to manuever around it unseen. Mother Rat followed his lead, quickly shifting back into the instincts of a predator no matter how strange her pack was. Once he was in position for an ambush, the Rat Man thought about how best to do this.

He needed to limit the bloodshed if possible, and against an armored foe a blunt weapon would probably be best anyway. He selected his Gnarled Stick from his inventory. But the Myrminors had proven pretty tough before--he wanted this to be over in one decisive strike. Maybe it was time to try out some of his new skills. He took a deep, controlled [Breath.] He tightened his muscles, and felt a new sensation, the buzz of Magic through his body, as he [Strengthened] himself. He wasn't sure if he could use two or more physical Skills at once, but maybe a magical and a physical skill would work okay together? He cast [Mana Strike], thinking the words silently to himself, and felt another hum traveling down his paws. Then he turned all his thoughts to [Smash]ing the bug's brains out.

In an instant, the Rat Man leaped out, weapon raised. The blue light of Mana swirled around his weapon, just as the red crackling light surged up to its head, producing a purple aura that seemed "thicker" than most displays of power he had seen thus far. The Myrminor's antennae twitched as he came down. Just as it was about to turn its head, Ed let out a roar and slammed his weapon down on the base of its skull.

There was a great, meaty crunch, and the bug only twitched. Staying well away from its pulsating stinger (wasps could still sting after they died, maybe these things could too), Ed grabbed it by a couple of its spiny legs and began to drag it. Even for a strength-enhanced rat man, the thing was pretty heavy. It might take him a bit to get back to the bandits...he just had to hope it would take the colony longer to find their comrade's scent trail.

Mother Rat followed, making a chuffed noise. She seemed irritated that she hadn't gotten to participate in the hunt.

Deep Forest

After planting a second Blue Yill, Femus began to use his Growth spell again while Nira provided the water for the plants with her Aqua Sphere. Like the first flower, Femus soon had the second growing and blooming even larger, and with meditation breaks whenever his mana grew low, he soon began to alternate Growing each plant. The water that Nira had drawn with her magic was slurped up into the ground almost like a straw, as the plants rapidly sent roots through the soil. The magical energy put into Growth might, itself, be fueling their cells, but it seemed like the plants did still require nutrients and water--just because a living creature had energy, didn't mean it had the materials. Like protein for building muscle or calcium for bones. Thanks to the teamwork of Pixie and Wisp they grew even faster--and though there was never any bursts of pollen from either plant, at some point both of them began to put off small pods on the underside of their petals...

Skill Rank Up: Monster Analysis I > II (1.95 > 2.0)!
Gain more information about Monsters. Other analysis skills will further boost the information this skill provides, such as a creature’s capability with magic or its equipment.

Skill Rank Up: Growth I > II (1.95 > 2.0)!
A target plant can now be selected within 5 feet of the caster. The extent of quality enhancement is increased, but only one trait of the plant can still be increased. MP Cost is slightly increased.

Obtained Item: Blue Yill Seeds x5!

But now, the warm sun overhead told the duo it was high noon. They had eaten and drank, but very sparsely. When the sun was high like this, some creatures in the forest might take a siesta or pause to sun themselves, perhaps sleeping off a meal. At the same time, there were fewer shadows to hide in. To move among thicker vegetation, they would have to go even further from the tree. Was now a good time to hunt? Or a better time to prepare themselves for their eventual journey?


The Poltergeist was talkative. Mira glanced here and there, but she couldn't be sure if he was trying to distract them or not. But when the creature recognized the Source Lens, and mentioned that there would be "something unusual" in his analysis like there was in Miiba's, the mage's eyes went wide. Her hand trembled a bit as she lifted the green monocle to her eye and focused magic into it--staring at Danny intensely.

"Miiba left mean gobs, Mibba no know glow ball. There no two- eh? W-what that?"

"Quit tryin' to distract us!" Geir shook Miiba roughly. "The Poltergeist knows your name, it knows your whole "reincarnate" story, and it brought an Undead with it! Raid or not, what's your game!?"

"Aaahhh! Put Miiba down! Down! Miiba dress ride up!"

"G-Geir! This, this Poltergeist, it has TWENTY Active Skills! And the Analysis Fusion skill! And, and--"

"What!?" The redhead unceremoniously dropped Miiba and turned back to Danny, once again readying both his knife and axe for battle. "What's it's level!?"

"It's still Immature! But it's already Level 8!" The magic user seemed on the verge of hyperventilating--but, oddly enough, there was a hint of excitement to her voice. "Geir, if Miiba, that pixie, and this Poltergeist are all like this, then their story--"

"Focus, Mira! I don't care what the possibilities are!" The young man looked like he was an instant from jumping the fence and tearing down the cluckel coop to get at Danny. "Poltergeist, if you're really a Human that was reincarnated into a Monster somehow, then you either lived a real shit life before you died, or someone really botched your World Summon!" He pointed the knife's tip at the softly glowing figure above him. "If you're from another world, then spill it! Tell me everything you know--and you better hope I've heard enough stories of Summoned Heroes to recognize somethin'!" The grip on the axe tightened.

"Otherwise, I'm about to kill all three of you, and to hell with the consequences! I won't take risks anymore with BLOODY FUCKING MONSTERS!"

Just then, Mira gasped. There was a slight, glowing light coming from the earth nearby, as well as a trembling shift in the soil...

As Jason sank into the soil, he could feel his MP surging. He called out to Onogoro, asking for a new form, a new body. He wanted to possess not a corpse, but a piece of the earth itself. The dirt and rocks around him, the very substance he now drained for every ounce of Mana he could pull...

Skill Unlocked: Magic Analysis I (1.55)!
Skill Unlocked: Soil Manipulation I (1.15)!

As he chanted his prayer, though his voice did not reach any mortal ear, the flow of Mana from his Meditation and the newly gained Earth Vein shut off. He had refilled his reserves, but now they rapidly depeleted again with every word he spoke. Still, he cried out his skill as he sank fully into the surface of the earth, and the mana around him began to sizzle and glow as the soil moved...

Jason suddenly felt that, with his Soil Manipulation skill, he might be able to gather and shape the loose dirt and gravel around him into something...sturdier. Something...smooth, and familiar. But as he sought to Possess the earth, he might also be able to use something...solid, already shaped, just like the bones or flesh of a creature whose corpse he might have taken. The stone, or the soil? His MP was rapidly decreasing, he had to choose fast...
Monster Party

Oberon was getting better over time at guessing the various aspects of different magics, as he became more familiar with various elements and the flow of Mana itself. He had seen by this point that his natural or Energy-type Mana was converted to the Earth element after suffusing the corresponding physical matter, and that in the case of the pebble there was only so much it could hold before ambient Mana simply leaked out. Trying to move it with Lesser Force had accomplished the simple task of getting the object from point A to point B, but hadn't actually unleashed the power accumulated inside it. The intention of throwing it somehow made a difference--would Lesser Force have worked, perhaps, if it could simply generate more force? It was, after all, only Rank I at this point. But regardless, the Sprite had been able to discern the difference and focused his efforts on the parts of his experiments that had shown the greatest results thus far. Concentrate energy, fill the stone, launch it, and release the energy. The next step this time was to overcharge the pebble, in an attempt to perhaps "condense" the power inside it--there was only so much it could contain, but did Mana have the quality of density like air, water, or other fluids that could be manipulated as well?

With a fully charged pebble in hand, Oberon reared back and once again hurled the stone at the ground. This time, however, at the moment of release he tried sending another burst of Mana into the stone to send it on its way.

A golden flash signified the stone's release from his hand, and the entire pebble glowed with the same colored as it rocketed off in a manner reminiscent of the Mana Orb. It shot across the clearing to impact a tree with a loud crack, shredding a section of the bark before the pebble's own surface gave way. Dust and fragments of rock fell back to earth, but so did several leaves shaken free by the impact.

As he spread his wings to restore his mana, Oberon felt the tingle in his hand where he had released the stone. He was starting to recognize some of the subtle differences in feeling between the other types of Mana he had used, and the Earth element.
Skill Gain: Stone Shot I (0.7 > 1.0)!
You have learned to charge a piece of stone with your energy before hurling it at your opponent. This attack does blunt, piercing, and Earth-elemental magic damage. It consumes less MP than most spells, but requires ammunition.

Skill Rank Up: Gather Light I > Gather Light II (1.95 > 2.0)!
Mana Recovery Speed increased, roughly equivalent to Rank I Meditation. Under a full moon, this skill can now activate at half its normal speed. At high noon, this skill's recovery is 25% faster.

New Transformation Option:
(Adolescent) Koropokkuru (Very Low Variant Chance) - A diminutive spirit of the wilderness, associated primarily with the elements of nature and earth but sometimes found near water as well. As they thrive in healthy environments with good soil and many plants, they are said to sometimes help other races capable of agriculture. Typically not that violent, they can nonetheless be dangerous due to their knowledge of the lands and survival crafts.

  • Lose Wings
  • Increase Earth Affinity (reduced)
  • Increase Skill: Growth (reduced)
  • Slightly increase all base stats

Perhaps Ash should have become accustomed to her never ending quest for knowledge at this point. To answer one question, but open the door for myriad more...was that not simply the scientific process at work? When Robert Hooke first became the father of cellular biology, gazing through the early microscopic lens, coining the term for the "cell," the smallest component of biological life, did that not open the door to the infinite possibilities of evolutionary theory? The mapping of the human genome? The entire field of microscopics? As an accomplished woman of science herself, maybe Ash had begun to take for granted all the foundational knowledge she had in the old world. Here, in this new place, with a new form of knowledge that did not behave in accordance with all the laws of nature--but clearly had some structure of its own--she had to start from scratch. How many of these discoveries she made, were being made for the first time? If someone, or something, else had come across this knowledge, collected it and gathered could she make contact with them?

Putting her dual cast skill to use, she formed the 'Poison Splash' spell in her claw, observing it like she had with Mana Slice. Ash began trying to change its shape, hopefully that Mana Shape skill coming in handy. First, she tried to mimic and copy the shape of Mana Slice into the Poison Splash, first condensing it and cutting down on excess particles in order to give her the same amount in the Mana Slice. Next, she would move the three square particles into position. She would attempt to force those oscillating lines into position if they hadn't already automatically connect, and finally using Mana Shape in order to try and help it maintain its shape.

The spell took the form a purple, crescent shaped blade much like Mana Slice...except that its "edge" was still wavy, not quite solidified. Though she had the bits and pieces of the magic in the same places, they weren't reacting quite the same way...still, by force of will, she managed to hold it. So her Poison Splash spell had taken on a new would this change its function?

You are experiencing a Rapid Rate of Skill Progression.

You have consumed Rat Jerky. Your hunger is now Sated.
Your thirst has now been Quenched.

Skill Gain: Point Strike I (1.0)!
With a discerning eye, take aim at an oppenent's weak point and concentrate your own power into a single point of attack. Slightly increase the power of any attack, and gain an increased chance for a Critical Hit. Using this Skill in conjunction with other attack Skills, however, may cause it to lose effectiveness.

Skill Gain: Spiritual Awareness I (1.0)!
You have become more aware of the spiritual side of the world. This will affect your interactions with certain types of spiritual monsters such as non-corporeal Undead. At this rank, you can only detect a hint of the spiritual world. There may also be other affects of this ability... --This Skill syngergizes with your Guidance. The signs of Major Spirits may become clearer...

Skill Rank Up: Guidance I > Guidance II (1.9 > 2.0)!
You have prayed or otherwise sought the guidance of higher powers on a frequent basis, and some of those powers may recognize your piety. The signs of Major Spirits may become clearer--the more specific your prayers, the more help you may find. --You know of the Divine Spirit, [ Maiden Redeemer Jehanne ]. --You possess the Skill Spiritual Awareness, increasing your ability to percieve the signs.

Digbie allocated all but one of the Skill Points he'd gained by leveling up, and refreshed himself before he sat down in ordered fashion. Like a proper acolyte preparing for a great ritual, he readied himself. He had made his decision. Like in his dream, where he had seen the potential of all the different beings that rose from a Goblin's path of transformation, he now chose the bright, beautiful...and unknown light. He was stepping into new territory. The Palablin, until this moment, seemed to have never existed before. What could this hold in store for him...and for others of his kind?

"I'm going to evolve into the Palablin. Jehanne... please protect us as I evolve, as I cannot do so for my friends in this short time."

And as soon as Digbie closed his eyes, his body slumped. His breaths deepened, but his muscles began to twitch every so often, like a dog that kicks its feet in its dreams...

He had never been able to recall it with true clarity the first time, but now that he was once more floating upward, the visions of his first transformation all came rushing back to the Demigoblin's mind. The things he had seen back then--the cavern's interior, the forest, the curling smoke trails, the deserts and mountains, all of it--even those terrifying things--were crystal clear for this moment in his mind. But now things had become so different...

They were farther North, so he could no longer see the cave where he had been reborn. He could still see all the trees of the forest, far below him. To the east, a particularly large tree glowed a light green color, bright enough that it seemed like a lighthouse beacon from here. Even further north, he could almost feel the same clouds of cold and snow he could see, and the howling winds that spun them round and round an even darker and deeper forest.

To the West, he could see the small shape of Guze and his captives making their way up the mountain ledges--and then immediately his vision swept up to the great scar across the mountains. It was as if some blade of impossible size had sheared off its tip. The rocks there were blackened yet smooth, with a glossy appearance. Within this smoking crater, many lights glittered. He had risen even higher by this point, so he couldn't pick out any details among the small figures moving in groups along the slopes and the ring of structures they had erected along the lip of the black crater...

Still higher he went, drifting through clouds. To the north, not as far as the ice and cold, a river meandered down out of the mountains. To the east, beyond the forest and the emerald glow, a sparkling lake. Even further in the west, and somewhat to the north, over the ridge of the mountains there was a tower like a mighty tree reaching up to the heavens. Its roots, too, stretched 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. Further beyond that, marshlands and mountains and untamed, wild lands.

He rose higher. A world, a planet, rotated thousands of miles an hour, yet from this distance appeared as no more than a soap bubble. A great city, too far from here to see, had called for him before but now it was silent. The island's red skies still held him in sway. And a bright, comforting light from the stars far above seemed to reach out for him...

He was more aware now than he had been the first time he had seen this vision. Aware enough to know things were different. Aware enough to try and put something together. Aware enough, perhaps, to do something...?

Skill Gain: Gather Light I (0.9 > 1.0)!
Under full sunlight, convert solar energy to Mana. You may move at a slow, relaxed pace while using this skill. Any blockage of sunlight will immediately cancel this skill, and it may not be used in conjunction with Active skills. Its Mana Recovery is slightly slower than Meditate.

As Torrent sought to recoup her energy, something finally clicked. She felt the light warming her scales trickle inward, as if hot water was running down her body...from the inside. And now, like with Meditate, she could feel her Mana pooling somewhere in her spiritual center and recovering. This must be the same skill Oberon had gained, being able to use the sunlight as a power source. For a cold-blooded creature, it seemed quite suitable.

Her next experiment with the Void Blast spell would see that it took less effort to accomplish what she had worked so hard at before. "Creating" the void by separating all the elements within a space now happened much faster--and with some focus, she tried to use her Mana not to add or take away from the void, but simply to separate the Nothing from the Everything. Like drawing on plain white paper to create a definition of a shape, she formed a sphere of Mana around the Void, and released it into the world once more.

A black, spherical, yet ever shifting emptiness floated out of her mouth. It made a howling, sucking noise, and the barely-visible sheen of her Mana bubble cracked like glass. With a rushing noise and a pop, the Void imploded in a crackling black mist. But this didn't seem like a failure, really--a large amount of air and dust had been displaced over the stream. What might have happened if a target, or a creature of flesh and blood, had been in the vicinity of that implosion?

You used Magic Analysis II!
---Void Blast (Incomplete)---
An incomplete spell. You've created a shadowy void that creates a vacuum force once it interacts with outside forces. It does not seem to destroy matter or energy, but it nonetheless eats away at whatever it interacts with at a rapid pace to create a limited implosion.

LEVEL UP! Your combined experiences have culminated in new power! Your Max MP has increased! You are now Level 10! You gain Skill Points to distribute as you please!

Unused Skill Points: 16[[OOC: 5 left over from last level up, +5 normal level up, +5 for Christmas/NewYear/Hiatus bonuses, +1 for 1500 posts bonus]]

Current Skills:
Stun Fang II (2.325)
Muffle III (3.0875)
Poison Spit II (2.0)
Poison Glob II (2.1)
Fireball II (2.0375)
Stealth Kill I (1.2)
Minor Recovery I (1.0)
Fire Resistance I (1.25)
Rabid Fit I (1.05)
Meditate I (1.7)
Tremor Sense I (1.9)
Soil Manipulation I (1.55)
Underground Movement I (1.55)
Monster Analysis I (1.725)
Magic Analysis II (2.55)
Material Analysis II (2.1875)
Plant Analysis I (1.1875)
Scale Shift I (1.7)
Overwork I (1.0)
Analysis (--)
Mental Resistance I (1.25)
Spell Cancel I (1.05)
Sensory Resistance I (1.0)
Dual Cast I (1.1)
Guidance I (1.15)
Wurm Breath I (1.35)
Aqua Stream I (1.15)
Fog Breath I (1.05)
Wind Breath I (1.0)
Frost Breath I (1.1)
Blunt Resistance I (1.0)
Breath Beam I (1.0)
Gather Light I (1.0)
Crafting (0.2)
Alchemy (0.4)
Alert (0.5)
Warcry (0.3)
Poison Fang (0.3)
Smash (0.2)
Magic Break (0.1)
Suppress Presence (0.9)
Spiritual Awareness (0.6)
Prehensile Tail (0.1)
Fortify (0.5)
Spell Chant (0.4)
Focus (0.9)
Flame Burst (0.5)
Slash (0.2)
Curse Word (0.3)
Stronger (0.1)
Air Read (0.4)
Faster (0.2)
Rock Spire (0.6)
Lucid Dream (0.2)
Mana Drain (0.4)
Mana Sense (0.2)
Mana Vision (0.1)
Gravity Well (0.1)
Void Blast (0.9)
Silhouette (0.1)
Deception (0.1)
Throw Voice (0.2)
Quake (0.1)
Mana Shape (0.5)
Plasma Ray (0.025)

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) Lesserwurm (High Variant/Low Variant/Low Variant/Very Low Variant/Very Low Variant Chance) - Related to dragons, but still a cold-blooded reptile, this creature burrows through the earth and fills the enclosed spaces around its prey with poisonous fumes. Its lengthy body is quite fast and deceptively strong, and its ability to shed its skin somehow allows it to heal more quickly.

  • Increase Potential
  • Slight increase to base speed-stats
  • Increase Minor Recovery (reduced)
  • Increase Poison Breath (reduced)

***(Adolescent) Pygmy Drake (High Variant/Low Variant/Low Variant/Very Low Variant/Very Low Variant Chance) - Stunted, pesky cousins of greater drake species, this creature has a poisonous stinger on its tail rather than a breath weapon and glides more than it flies. Nonetheless it is somewhat clever, and mages sometimes keep it the way someone might keep a pet bird.

  • Slight increase to all base stats
  • Increase MP
  • Increase Lesser Flight
  • Increase Mana Orb and Dragon Affinity (reduced)
  • Gain hindlimbs, Gain wings

*(Adolescent) [Snaketail] Kobold (High Variant/Low Variant/Low Variant/Very Low Variant/Very Low Variant Chance) - Small, reptilian creatures with odd primate characteristics like upright spines and grasping limbs. Quite similar to Goblins, often competing with them for the same territories and resources. Some individuals have other characteristics--the Snaketail Kobolds are often said to have the power of Greater Serpents flowing through their veins. Their lower bodies are replaced with long, muscular tails that are still capable of upright locomotion. While this is different from the draconic origins most Kobolds claim, it still gives them greater potential to rise in stature within a tribe.

  • Slight increase to speed-related stats
  • Increase Light Equipment Skill (reduced)
  • Gain Access to Job System: 0th Tier

**(Adolescent) Forked Snake (High Variant/Low Variant/Low Variant/Very Low Variant/Very Low Variant Chance) - A deceptive creature, said by many to be a degenerated form of the various multi-headed serpents like Hydra, or even the great Balaur. At first glance, it appears to be a snake with three heads--but two of these heads are actually modified forelimbs. While they have some use as sensory organs, they do not contain an actual brain or their own wills. They lack fine motor skills, but can still be used for some forms of grasping and grappling prey. Like a mundane lizard's tail, in times of crisis they can be detached and will eventually grow back. They also have working mouth and digestive parts, and can even be used for Breath attacks.

  • Increase HP
  • Slight increase to base-power and base-defense stats
  • Increase Minor Recovery (reduced)
  • Lose fore claws

*(Adolescent) Drake (High Variant/Low Variant/Low Variant/Very Low Variant/Very Low Variant Chance) - A subspecies of dragons that many believe was once domesticated in the past, bred to be manageable by their tamers but still retain some of their ancestor's power. However, this comes with a drawback that its body is not as heavily muscled and its scale layers are lighter. It is quadroped and lithe in nature, comparable to foxes or wolves.

  • Increase base-defense stats
  • Slight increase to base-speed stats
  • Increase Chosen Breath (Options: Poison, Wurm, Fire, Water, Frost, Beam, Acid, Mana)(Reduced)
  • Increase Dragon Affinity (reduced)
  • Gain hindlimbs

**(Adolescent) Knuckerling (High Variant/Low Variant/Low Variant/Very Low Variant/Very Low Variant Chance) - A juvenile form of the Knucker, a type of lower-rank Dragon. Knuckerlings, like their larger cousins, tend to inhabit wet and underground environments. They are of an almost amphibious nature, akin to a mundane salamander (not the elemental Monster), and breathe through their skin. The biggest difference between them and a true knucker are their sizes and the lack of wings.

  • Slight increase to base-power stats
  • Increase HP
  • Increase Poison Breath (reduced)
  • Increase Dragon Affinity (reduced)
  • Gain hindlimbs

*(Adolescent) Hearthwurm (Variant Chance) - A fiery reptile that has basked in ambient Fire element Mana, and adapted to be more suitable to those environments. They will find the warmest spot possible to absorb energy before they engage in a period of activity. If the surroundings are warm enough, they can even go without sleep for extended periods of time. Dwarves and other races with established metallurgy find them especially annoying as they can clog the workings of various forges and machinery in their search for heat.

  • Increase Fire Affinity (reduced)(slightly boosted)
  • Increase Fire Resistance
  • Increase Fireball
  • Gain hindlimbs

PixieSlime Party

"Ah..." Trent looked sheepish for a moment. "I, um, don't guess I've ever really practiced with throwing weapons..." In the moments after he cut the slime in two and Steve had trapped the pixie, while Asura dealt with the rat in the tunnel, Trent bent low and planted his torch in the dirt. This freed his shield hand to grab a rock, which he hurled at a Wisp just as it started to swoop down. The boy missed, true to his statement, but it caused the Dungeon's assimilated minion to loop-de-loop back out of range instead of launching its own attack.

The Amorphous Slime mutilated the Dire Rat's corpse and destroyed the center of its nervous system in both the base of the neck and its brain. The black miasma that had been gathering around its body caused it to twitch once, then faded away...only to condensate above the tunnel's opening just as Asura oozed out. A Ghost Wisp flickered into existence as the slime was dodging the three Poison Spits, then blasted him with its one and only Mana Orb from behind before it too faded. The pain from this magical attack distracted him, and the Zomblin's poisoned javelin struck his Bowhorn Shell head-on. A piece of the orbital socket broke away, taking a fragment of the cranium with it. With a grunt Asura hurled back the javelin he'd taken earlier, spearing the assimilated Pixie just before it could pull itself free of Steve's webbing. The creature screeched as it died--but immediately began to pull the pointed stick out of its own chest as its purple eyes turned black and its muscles twitched unnaturally.

Then Steve used her legs to pull two tiny, barely visible threads. Its Thread Control skill activated, and the Web Spit she had used to trap the now-Zombified Pixie before began to tighten. The Oculus Spider used her other six feet to slowly pull herself back, but even that was barely enough with the arachnid's strength. Still, the pixie's throat, shoulders, and knees began to collapse inward--and with a final jerk and pop, Steve managed to strangle and mangle the body before it collapsed. A pixie's limbs were no more sturdy than those of a human doll, perhaps, given its size, and the spider monster had succeeded in essentially popping all its extremities off.

HP is at 95%. Your Slime Shell's durability is at 40%.
SP is at 10% > You used Throw Item.
Your Stamina is Low! If Stamina is not restored, Overwork will soon begin HP conversion.

Two Zombie Lizards joined the front row of battle now, and one of them lunged at Steve while she was distracted with the Zombie Pixie. The Oculus Spider and the reptile rolled over and over in a tangle, and it was unclear who had the advantage amongst all their hissing and biting. The second tried to engage Momma Slime, only for her to roll faster than something her size should have been able to do. Wheeling around its lunging fangs, she latched onto the creature's tail.

"Dum lee-zard!" she burbled, before her pseudopod began to whip the creature back and forth, slamming it against the ground repeatedly like an angry green giant with a puny god in hand.

The green slime that Trent had cut in half earlier was beginning to flow back together, but the color of its membrane bubbled and darkened in a sickly way. From behind the group, two Ghost Wisps launched Mana Orbs at Asura, and these did not fade away after the first attack. Another Zombie Lizard, this one more decomposed than the others and bearing a pointy stick through its ribs, was scurrying up to engage the group from the rear.

Up front, from the middle and back rows, another spray of Poison Spit from lizards. Another single Mana Orb from a Wisp. And yet another Javelin from that accursed Zomblin, though he couldn't have many left at this point. And more and more monsters were coming...

Meanwhile, Ardur folded his wings and dropped straight down into the pool. The Mana Orbs flew every which way over his head, and he had precious few seconds before they realized he was in the water and began to fire in that direction. In that time he went deeper, hoping the water would hide his figure in the darkness. Undine cut down another Wisp from behind.

"I have enough Mana now for small spells, on the level of your own, but to be of any real help in this fight I must accrue more power!" The sword moved around Ardur like a fish, and the flat of her blade pressed against him to show him the way towards shore. Once he was on his way she turned back to the cloud of Wisps.

One of them dove into the water to try and find Ardur. Undine killed it. Another only skimmed the surface of the water to look for the Hipixie. Undine pointed herself straight up, and killed it. One of them launched a Mana Orb in the direction it thought Ardur had gone, and Undine breached the surface and killed it. Its fellows were already following suit, however, and as the Hipixie surfaced for breath the crackling bolts were peppering the water around him. One of them struck him in the back, knocking him under for the space of a breath as he continued to kick out and swim for his life.

Skill Gain: Faster I (0.9 > 1.0)!
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.


Rat Party

You used Magic Analysis I!
A strange magic is being used in the surrounding area. It feels calming, and within its area of effect seems to be cleansing both physically and spiritually. You think you might have seen something like this before, back in the cave in the aftermath of the goblin fights.

---Soil Manipulation---
You possess this Skill, but its current usage seems much higher in rank. Using magic, one manipulates loose earth. This individual seems to be moving much larger amounts, at greater distances, than you are currently capable of moving yourself. Their mastery seems advanced enough that even larger or denser clumps of soil can still be moved.

The trio of rodents were much better prepared to both see their enemies coming and move to avoid them now. With stealth skills and higher senses, the party moved through the tall grasses of the plains without the Myrminor Scout becoming ever the wiser. Their journey continued until they were almost within the tree line of the forest again, and soon they could see what was on the other side of the hill. [[OOC: Do they go over the hill, around, etc? Describe in post.]]

What Ed had assumed to be a shack was actually an extension of the hill, into a rocky outcrop that could be more accurately called a cliff. It reached up almost above the tree tops, though the forest had cloaked it in greenery over long years. It sharply sloped downward on one side, but another face was relatively flat and cracked. And it looked like someone had been at work on these cracks and crevices, widening them out until a proper cave of sorts--though nowhere near as large as the cave the rats came from--had been created. In this dugout, which seemed to have more than one level on the inside of the cliff, were moving lights and figures...

On the ground, in front of the cliffside's entrance, a campfire burned. Sitting around this fire were three figures. One looked to be another Hobgoblin, wearing black dyed clothing over most of his form. A hood, with holes cut for his ears, covered his head and strips of cloth had been wrapped around his lower face, his arms and legs, and his upper body. Pants held in place with a rough drawstring clothed his legs, and a black cloak that had more holes and torn bits than it did whole ones draped his shoulders. He was sharpening a knife made of stone in the light of the fire. The other two figures were still goblinoid, but bigger, more muscular, and hairier. It was like looking at Rattleskull all over again--Bugbears. They were even armed very similarly to Rattleskull. Planks of wood had been lashed together to form awkward shields, and they were wearing boxy armor that looked to have been made from more planks over their torsos. Woven vines and straw made primitive belts, sandals, and headbands. Each of them had a thick stick of wood in hand, mounted with a sharp wedge of rock.

Further away from the fire, the entire campsite had been fenced in with simple logs and sticks planted in the ground or tied together with vines. It wouldn't keep any livestock in and could be easily climbed over or rooted under, but it seemed the point was just to slow down any attackers before they reached the base.

Within this fence, but to the right side of the trio at the fire, a much sturdier wooden cage had been built. And in this cage was a single occupant, a creature that neither Asteria or Ed had ever seen before.

Its mottled green-gray skin was pale, and while it was a little bit taller than the bugbears it was also lanky, almost emaciated. Its ribs were visible under the skin. Its long arms reached past its knees, and even if the cage hadn't been too small for it, the creature had a hunched, crouching posture. Its fingers were long and tipped with savage looking claws; its feet were broad with rough soles and thick heels. It had long black hair falling down its shoulders, but the mane had obviously never been washed and rarely even brushed. A crusted, blood stained blindfold covered its face. An iron collar was shackled around its neck and chained to the bars of the cage. A big stone had been chained to each of its legs as well, and while they currently dangled freely, there were chains on its wrists as well. The monster was chewing on an old bone, occasionally sniffing in the direction of the fire where the others sat. If it ever made too much noise, one of the other three monsters would spit a curse at it, or throw a coal from the fire. The pale beast would lurch from even a spark of the flame with a snarl and whimper.

Inside the entrance of the cliff, another thin plume of smoke wafted out. There was a smell of something cooking, probably meat. This smoke must have been winding its way inside the cliff's passages as well, as about 15 feet up on the left side of the rocky outcrop another trickle of gray ash wafted up. There was a balcony of some kind built of ramshackle wood here, and a rough-hewn stairway going up onto the cliff's flat top. The rats could just see the edge of something over the plateau, something that looked a bit like a pile of straw.

How many bandits were in this camp? How many were humans and how many were monsters? How well did they work together? What kind of threat did the represent?

And what were the rats going to do about it?

Deep Forest

As Nira cut 3 sizeable pieces of Black Dyed Cloth from the cloak, Femus looked over the corpse of their enemy. Just from what he had seen before with the other Hobgoblin that ruled the tribe--which raised the question of where this one had come from and what its status was in the tribe?--the Wisp could tell that this creature had probably been a bit smarter than the average gobbo. It would have ambushed him, if not for his Alert skill. Most Goblins weren't that sneaky about their hunts, or if they tried to be they often weren't very good at it. It was rather odd, in some way, that the creature was using another goblin's skull and arm as its own weapons or accessories. Now that Femus thought about it, he had never seen any of the skirmishes between the goblins become fatal. They killed other creatures without abandon, but any match between fellow greenskins never went past first blood in the majority of cases. So how had this one even gotten the bones in the first place? Maybe that was why he hadn't seen it in the tribe before now--was it some kind of goblin criminal? Did they even have the concept for such a thing?

You used Monster Analysis I!
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.

You used Plant Analysis I!
This green herb does not thrive on sunlight, but on ambient Mana. With good nutrients and clean water in its surroundings, it will synthesize pure healing energy. Low-grade item.

The herbs that smelled slightly of mint seemed to be the ones that had healing properties, and at first glance it was hard to tell them apart from just any old plain fern or leaf. But there was definitely a subtle difference to them apart from the scent. Drinking dew from the plants finally seemed to quench the Wisp's dry throat, but it still wasn't a prime source of fresh water. And with the day rapidly approaching noon, most of the dew was dried up at this point.

The Blue Yill had not produced any seeds yet, but just how fast could he have pushed its growth with his magic? After all, it often took real crops an entire season to go to seed. But the presence of magic in this world kind of threw a wrench into "regular" common sense. The blue flower had sunlight, good soil, he had boosted it with magic...what hadn't he done yet that might speed up its cultivation?


Skill Gain: Earth Vein I (0.9 > 1.0)!
By remaining still and in contact with the earth by at least two solid points of your body for a short amount of time, you can begin passively drawing Mana from the Earth to refill your MP. Moving other parts of your body can drastically decrease the effectiveness of this skill. This skill cannot be used in conjuction with other Active skills. --Your lack of a physical body drastically reduces the effect of this Skill.

"What's going on, Miiba!?" Mirabelle and Geir came into the back yard, both looking equally out of breath. In Geir's case it was likely because of the struggle he'd had with Jason, while in Mira's it might be chalked down to the fact that the magic user was just not so physically fit as her companion.

"You!" Geir suddenly lunged forward and grabbed Miiba by the scruff of her potato-sack dress, picking her up off the ground. "You said you didn't have any goblin buddies, huh!? Well these two say different!" He held her up until she was practically looking Danny in the eye on top of the chicken coop. "One of you is lying about the goblin raid, and I don't trust either one of ya!"

"Geir, wait!" Mira was fishing in her pouch for a green lense, much like a more refined version of Danny's Source Crystal Shard. "Where's the undead? And you!" She pointed at Danny, and Jason would be able to see her aura intensifying. She seemed a far more accomplished magic user than ol' Crispy had been. "Why did you attack this place? If you're like Miiba, then you should know some kind of human sensibility!"

As always, this situation could rapidly go very badly, very quickly. The magic user seemed to have some method of finding Jason, who was relied on his invisibility for a great deal of his battle advantage. And her spells would likely do much more damage than Geir could swinging an axe. At the same time, the big lug hadn't gone down nearly as easily as most targets Jason tried to soul-fight, and could probably kill Danny in one good shot if it came down to it. This Miiba goblin was like them, a reincarnator, but she seemed incredibly young and despite being allowed to shelter here, obviously wasn't fully trusted.

What would each Reviver do?
PixieSlime Party

"There are too many ranged enemies, magic's my only means of reaching them without breaking our line!" Trent shot back. The boy seemed stressed. He ignored the assimilated pixie flying back and forth above him, and went to help Steve with the green Slime by cutting it completely in half with a swipe of his sword. He glanced back towards the shoreline. "If we fall back towards the water, we'll be going back into the narrow part of the path! Our single file formation will put too much burden on those in front!"

The core-controlled pixie was in the midst of dive bombing the human, and almost reached him before Steve plastered it to the ground with another Web Spit. Asura yelled at Trent to go on the defensive, before transforming himself and Smashing right through the Skeleblin's ribcage. Its sternum and spine came apart in pieces, which also separated its arms and skull from its torso. The various bits of it clattered like a broken xylophone down the rocks, and the black miasma rising from it meant the body couldn't be used by the dungeon's captured souls anymore. As Asura felt his Stamina burning away, he went over to help Momma Slime. The Dire Rat had just popped back out, taking a bite out of her outer membrane, before the red slime filled its hidey hole and sprouted spikes like an angry porcupine. The creature was skewered from multiple directions, and its body jerked before it went still...then, the same black miasma from the Skeleblin seemed to collect around the Dire Rat's fresh corpse...

Momma Slime made to move forward, since the only enemies in view were in that direction. But she pulled up short as two blobs of poison splattered the ground in front of her. Then a Mana Orb struck her, driving her back another roll's worth as she gurgled in a mixture of anger and pain. Trent had stepped up now as well, and blocked another poisonous ball of phlegm with his shield. Its rawhide covering was in tatters now, revealing the sturdy wood and iron bands beneath. Just as Asura was coming out of the rat's hole, there were three more wads of Poison Spit heading his way in a wide spread--as well as another of the Zombie Goblin's accursed javelins.

The Zombie Fanged Lizards chose to advance after unleashing their volley, and they were rapidly closing in on the spaces that were left by the Skeleblin, Slime, and the earlier Wisps.

Further back, the 3 oncoming Zomblins passed their spear-hucking brother, and were continuing to charge up with roars as they dripped black bile. The 4 Wisps near the ceiling passed over the row of long-ranged attackers as well, as if they were racing the zombies to get closer.

Only a single Zombie Pixie and a Fanged Lizard were visible in the distance, but there were still various sounds of monsters getting ever closer. And although Ardur seemed to have led the flock of Wisps away, back towards the rear there were two familiar, eerie green flickering lights getting bigger by the moment.

Over the water, a dozen Wisps followed after Ardur. He barrel rolled this way and that, twisting and swerving wildly through the air. His wings felt sore all the way down to their roots over his shoulders, but he couldn't avoid to stop here. He managed to block one Mana Orb with his bone club, then dodge another, and several of the other shots missed due to the assimilated monster's inaccuracy. But one of them struck him, almost knocking him out of the air. He was so close...

"Incoming." he called to Undine as he recovered control of his flight just before hitting the water. As he zoomed past, the Wisps followed. Their lights crackled and pulsed angrily.

One of them ran right into Undine's blade, apparently unable to see it in the dark. The creature actually cut itself in half solely due to its own momentum. The Wisps that were directly behind and around it stumbled over its now-halved body as it fell out of the air, and with a quick lunge that seemed to take no more effort than riding the ripples of the pond Undine speared another Wisp on her tip.

But now the cloud of angry magic mobs had gotten all the closer to Ardur, and some of them had managed to angle away on his sides. From three directions, a barrage of Mana Orbs flew towards him--!

Deep Forest

Femus dove out of the way of the claw, and it came down like a heavy rake into the earth behind him. As it carved a furrow through the herbs, the Wisp twisted and took aim before firing Shock Round II. The yellow sphere launched at higher speed now, and its movement was more like a zigzag than a lazy loop-de-loop. The Hobgoblin had to pull its arm, or its weapon, out of the ground before it could turn to face Femus again--giving the spell the time it needed to strike. The creature let out a high pitched yelp as electricity surged through its body from the leg upward--and then, as it fell to one knee, all of its muscles seemed to tense at once as its movements locked! That "paralysis" the Skill Update had mentioned must have triggered!

Femus pushed himself out of the way even further with his Lesser Force skill. The Hobgoblin continued to struggle, making grumbling and gurgling noises behind its mask. As the Wisp started the 10 second charge up period for Static Bolt, the creature seemed to be trying to force itself to move...

One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.

The hobgoblin gasped, and managed to clench and unclench its other fist. It clawed at the soil of the ground to try and push itself back up...

Five Mississippi. Six Mississippi.

With a snarl, the monster stood up. It yanked its bony arm out of the ground.

Eight Mississippi. Nine Mississippi.

It turned to Femus and looked at his glowing body. Then it noticed the glowing, crackling static building up in a small circle underneath its own feet. It pushed with both legs to launch away from the groun--


If it hadn't been for the sheer luck of paralysis triggering, there would have been no way Femus could have cast the spell in time. Even with that boon, he barely made it. But the bolt of electricity jumped from the Wisp, straight into the strangely clad Hobgoblin's chest. Its body actually lit up from the inside for a split second, showing a completely normal skeleton holding the arm of another skeleton under all the robes. The monster was knocked away by the blast, but because of Femus's change in position this meant it was actually knocked closer to the Great Kao Tree.

Meanwhile, in the tree, Nira had drank from her own Aqua Sphere. She received a notice from the System that her thirst had been quenched, once she had finished the whole thing. Only then did she look around and notice Femus being attacked near the herb patch. She cast her Shield spell quickly, and the protective glow enveloped her friend's body. But then, as she prepared a Mana Orb between her hands, Femus unleashed that brand new lightning skill he had apparently figured out. She watched as the hobgoblin was blown backwards, its black cloak even more black now that it had fresh burn marks. She had to struggle to hold onto her Mana Orb as she waited for the right moment--it seemed like power was actually building within the spell the longer she tried to hold on.

The hobgoblin hit the ground. Groaning, it began to push itself was dazed, but not defeated. It turned towards Femus, and behind its mask its eyes actually seemed to glow with rage. Once again it snarled and brandished its long, skeletal hand--just as Nira shot it in the back.

The Mana Orb let out a crackling sound not all that dissimilar to the actual electricity spells, and once again drove the hobgoblin into the dirt. This time it was face first, however, knocking off that eerie facemask and revealing a somewhat regular, though scarred and wrinkled, hobgoblin face. And this time the creature did not get back up.

With the monster dead, Femus didn't get to use the next phase of his plan. But at least the threat was gone now...or at least, this particular threat. One could never be too safe out here...
Rat Party

Skill Gain: Breath Control I (0.8 > 1.0)!
Through cardiovascular exercise and breathing techniques, the efficiency of your lungs has increased. You can hold your breath for longer, and breathe more steadily even under great effort or stress. Stamina usage for most physical Skills is reduced for one minute after this Skill is used. If this skill is used after a battle, Stamina restoration is sped up for one minute.

Skill Gain: Mana Strike I (0.7 > 1.0)!
Infuse a physical attack with non-elemental Magic to increase its damage. The attack's physical type of damage is unaffected, but Magic damage is simply added. Thus a creature with Slash Resistance would still take the Magic Damage if this Skill were used with a sword. Like Mana Orb, this technique is malleable and often a starting point for other forms of enchanting skills.

Skill Gain: Point Strike I (0.6 > 1.0)!
With a discerning eye, take aim at an oppenent's weak point and concentrate your own power into a single point of attack. Slightly increase the power of any attack, and gain an increased chance for a Critical Hit. Using this Skill in conjunction with other attack Skills, however, may cause it to lose effectiveness.

Skill Gain: Strengthen I (0.6 > 1.0)!
Using magical energy channeled through your muscles, temporarily increase your base physical strength! Though it consumes more mana than many other beginner spells, its boost is equivalent to the passive skill Stronger I. At this Rank, this skill lasts roughly one minute.

You are experiencing a Fast Rate in Experience Growth.

Skill Gain: Slash I (0.7 > 1.0)!
Expend Stamina to increase the power of a Slashing physical attack.

Skill Gain: Suppress Presence I (0.6 > 1.0)!
Using your magical power, you subtly mask your presence from the senses of others around you. By comparison, it's a similar ability to those shy people who seem to disappear at the corner of the crowd's vision as they hover in the corner.

The rats rested, from mid-afternoon until the evening sun set. At one point, just as the stars were beginning to peek out, the creak of wagon wheels drifted on the air and a distant light appeared from the direction of the lakeside town. Ed lay in the tall grass, the dark robe he had stolen from the dead kobold helping to conceal his body in the shadows. Asteria and Mother Rat were back inside the barrow at this point, but they could see out the entry way.

A black wagon, drawn by a brace of gray mules, stopped along the road. A tall figure, in a coat with long black tails and a deep hood, stood from the driver's seat. From the build, it seemed to be a male. A sword with a broad scabbard and a hilt that looked like it had been made from black, twisted wood, hung from his hip. He pulled on two white, velvet gloves, immaculately clean, then picked up a cane with a red, crystalline sphere atop its head. Hopping down from the cart, he walked over to the side of the road and looked in the ditch, not too far from where Ed lay...

He tapped one of the human bandit's bodies with the butt of his walking stick. A shimmering white mist seemed to roll over the corpses...and suddenly they didn't seem to smell so badly, despite laying out in the sun for most of the day. The hooded figure seemed to be muttering something, one hand held near his head. A prayer? Then he used his cane to gesture at the ground, and mounds of earth rose up beneath the bodies. Moving his strange wand like a conductor's baton, he bade the rolling soil to carry the bodies up out of the ditch, about thirty feet away from the road. Then, holding the stick, he began to gesture with his free hand instead. In moments the ground had swallowed up the bodies, and the earth packed itself down.

Then he turned to the bodies of the remaining hobgoblin and the kobold. These he did not pray over. Instead, he reached down with one hand and grabbed the hobgoblin by the arm. With a grunt, and only that one arm, he tossed the body all the way across the ditch into the back of his cart. One of the mules brayed in irritation as the weight thumped across the wooden floorboards. The hooded figure paid his animal no mind. Off sailed the kobold as well.

There were just a few spots of blood on those immaculate white gloves. The black clad man pulled them off, first one hand and then the other, in such a way that his pale skin never touched the blood and the gloves were rolled into a sort of pouch. He returned them to his pocket. Then he climbed up onto the wagon, clicked his tongue at the mules, and turned back towards Laketown. The orange glow of the little lantern, held on a shepherd's crook fastened to one corner of the cart, tilted this way and that as it slowly disappeared into the night...

By the time the rats re-grouped and planned to put their Bandit Hunting plan into action, Asteria and Mother Rat had eaten some of the hobgoblin meat remaining in the shelter. Asteria had also suckled on the juices of several tall stalks of grass out in the field. If she had been any thirstier, such little sustenance would have been of no help, but it slaked her Dry Throat. And she was now Well Fed, according to the system. Her stamina recovered much faster and was full again sooner than Ed's. He had neglected to eat or seek out anything to drink, in favor of just focusing on his breathing and trying to stretch or massage the soreness out of his muscles. His stamina did eventually recover, and it seemed he had gained several new skills...but his lips were still a little dry, and he felt the slow burn of hunger in his gut.

As they began their journey, with Asteria scouting ahead and using her Beast Senses to try and stay abreast of any threat, the night fell proper with a chill breeze. Asteria soon heard a familiar shuffling and clicking, and the rustle of the grass, quite some distance away. Now knowing what direction to look in, she would be able to see, poking its head up out of the ground, a Myrminor Scout. It didn't seem to have any awareness of the rodent trio's presence, and it was far enough away that even if it found them and tried to pursue them it probably couldn't ever catch them. They could avoid it at their leisure, or attempt to sneak up on it and end the fight quickly...

Over the hill in the distance, as the wind changed direction, the rats could smell a hint of smoke...
Clearing >> Cave >> Elder's Chamber

Seeking Answers
@Dark Light@RC3

His brother missed the shot, as expected. The frog was slow to turn, slow to react. The other goblin was also charging, perhaps mimicking Saito, drawing back his fist. But as the frog croaked yet again--perhaps in preparation for something, they would never find out--Saito's blow crashed into the back of its head. A dangerous weak point for any creature, right where the skull met the spine. His companion followed up a beat afterwards, and they felt cartilage and bone crumple under their knuckles.

The creature slumped over. Saito blinked as he caught his breath, and stepped back from the corpse. He looked at his brother, then put his broad hands on his scrawny hips.

"Well done." He bent down to examine the frog for a moment. "You did most of the work, though it did not fall in your trap. I'll take just a bit, and you can use the innards or leftovers as bait instead. Sound fair?"

Taking one of the beast's Sharp Frog Fangs, Saito worked its point at one of the fat amphibious legs until he had ripped it out of the hip socket. He stood up, bowed his head not quite below eye-level to his brother as a sign of respect, then turned to head back to the cave.

He looked up at the sun, and at the various trees, as he walked and took a bite out of the Dragon Frog's leg. He chewed, working his mind in concert with his jaw.

What was this world? Where were they? What other places might be nearby? The cave was made of rock--was it connected to the base of a mountain? How far did this forest go? There had to be water somewhere. He wanted to find it, since the blood of his prey could only slake his thirst for so long. But, he also wondered what other creatures might be in this forest. Somehow, he got the sense that he might have gotten lucky thus far. What if he ran into something that didn't curl up and sit there like the Shrew, or that was faster and smarter than the frog? If he kept exploring like this, surely he would run into something somewhere that he couldn't handle.

He entered the clearing in front of the cave, and looked around to see what other goblins had returned from their hunts as well as what they had caught. And it was here that he had a realization: the other goblins! That old goblin, the one who had named him, the one who had marked his head just two days ago when he could hardly move his own limbs. Perhaps that goblin could answer his questions...but just where was the fellow?

Saito bit another chunk out of the frog leg. He had gnawed most of it down to the bone now, and he rolled the meat around in his mouth as he debated whether or not he liked the flavor. Once again he entered the cave and headed to his corner near the wall. He examined the ground intently to make sure no other goblins had been messing around with his stash of hunting trophies. He also hid the Sharp Frog Fang the same way, and finished off the last webbed toe on his frog leg before tossing the bone back with the other gristly bits he had collected.

If he used that sharp fang, maybe he could eventually poke some holes in that Shrew's hide...and then maybe thread some vines through it, so that he could use it what? Some form of protection that he could wear, like his loincloth? That would be a project for later. For now, he wanted to find the elder...

As the auburn-haired goblin's amber eyes gazed about the cave, he eventually settled on the dark crevice in the very back. He had never gone back there before. Was there another side to the cave, another exit? If the old goblin wasn't out here...maybe he wasn't out hunting, either. So it followed reasoning, especially now that Saito was well fed and his thoughts were clear, that the elder might also be further inside the cave.

Goblin Saito headed deeper into the darkness, his eyes making out the dim surroundings more easily than he had thought they would.

"Ah...Elder? Are you back here?" he called, his voice echoing back and forth between the narrow walls. He thought it sounded odd, to hear his own voice. "I...I have questions, for you. Things I would know about these lands."

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