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A: Dungeon Master Online E1

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In a swift turn of events, Cha'ac had decimated both the Cutter and the Sharpshooter that were within his reach, turning the tables almost instantly. Following up on the Warforged's assault, Solitude ran swiftly towards another Goblin Warrior, dispatching him with two quick shurikens to the chest in succession. Enemies fell one after another, and Quarius felt his heartbeat quicken as the excitement began to build up once more. Turning back to the Blackblade that was within his reach, he raised his wand and decided to throw out one of his more powerful spells this time.

 

"Burning Hands!"

 

Out of the tip of his wand streamed waves of deadly fire, engulfing a vast area in front of Quarius. He almost jumped back from surprise; the heat and the intensity of the flames were as realistic as they could get. But they were his flames, and they wouldn't hurt him. The unfortunate Blackblade cried out in anguish as the fire engulfed its body, throwing out a 13+1 damage number as the enemy exploded into a shower of pixels. He briefly wondered where that +1 had come from, but he supposed it was some sort of divine intervention to make this encounter finish sooner.

 

Turning to Amroth, he shouted, "It's all up to you now!"

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His heart was beating faster when both Solitude and Quarius shouted at him, it was all in his hands now, one chance, one shot. Taking a deep breath he nodded at Quarius and dashed around the corner, past the location where the rogue had stood, along the length of the wall. He realized he wouldn't be able to run far enough, so he activated his power, allowing him to dash just a bit further. Running straight in the direction of the statue he jumped up and got an arrow out of his quiver, in the air he nocked it and he could just barely see the goblin around the corner ahead.

 

As he landed on the ground he slid forward, towards the statue, he drew the arrow backwards and took a split second to get his aim right, his senses heightened by the thrill of the moment. He let go of the arrow and held his breath, everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, the arrow flew dangerously close to the corner of the wall that the goblin was trying to hide behind, and it struck the beast straight between the shoulder blades. The goblin fell down dramatically, face first, as a '17' appeared above it's head. For a second Amroth stood there staring, his heart beating hard in the top of his chest, his eyes wide in surprise.

 

He looked at the others, realizing they were staring expectingly at him. For a second he didn't understood why they looked at him like that, then he realized it must be because the wall blocked their vision. A huge smile appeared on his face. "I've got him, he's dead!' He shouted and he threw his fist up in celebration, still not believing he had actually made the shot and hit the target.

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Iris let out a low whistle, joining in Amroth's celebration. With the adrenaline fading from her body, she shuffled up to Solitude, activating her Healing word another two times and letting the warm light wash over them. 9 and 8 hitpoints added themselves to Solitude and Iris' health bar respectively, restoring some of the damage they have taken.

 

"That's all I can do for now," Iris muttered, scrolling through her skill list and highlighting her Healing Word skill, reading the description attached to it. "I'll need another 5 minutes before the Healing words replenish."

 

Now that the room is somewhat safe, the elf took a moment to observe her surroundings once again, this time making sure to digest the details properly. Besides the open door and the two braziers positioned in front of it, there's another two sources of light filtering through two hallways located towards the back of the mine. A quick check above her reveals a walkway leading right up to the other side of the room. Solitude and Amroth were eyeing that space too, most likely concocting some kind of plan in their minds.

 

"Oh well." She chirped, using her sandals in an attempt to scrape off some traces of gold lining the dark floor. "No point doing nothing while waiting for our skills to refresh. Think we can scrape these off and sell them?"

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After a short celebration they check their spoils, and find a total of 30GP. "Let's divide it in the town, someone keep it safe until now." Amroth tells them as he picks arrows from the targets he hit. He finds one of the arrows he missed, it's shaft broken and the point dull. He throws it away as they decide on their next action. "There is a room up north, we can go there by pushing open the door, but let's clear out the room to the right first." They nod, together they decide that he and Solitude will move up the walkways to sneak in and stealthy check their surroundings.

 

Solitude moves across the bridge between the walk ways to the other side and Amroth gives him a small nod as he moves forward around the corner. To his surprise he stands eye to eye with a fierce looking goblin warrior. The beast notices him immediately but Amroth has taken it by surprise. In a quick motion he draws two arrows and looses them on a near point-blank range. The first hits the goblin in the chest while the other hits it in it's neck, a perfect hit. The total damage is 15 and although the creature seems bloodied, it still stands.

 

Amroth growls a the goblin, knowing that whatever will happen next, it'll hurt.

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Solitude was glad the group seemed competent so far. Particularly since this game seemed more difficult than other MMOs. They hadn't found any boring easy fetch quests, but been thrown into a dangerous encounter right away. No doubt the programmer wanted things to be dangerous, to make the most of the threat of death.

He retrieved his shurikens from the fallen goblins, and he did the same as Amroth, climbing up onto he walkway overhead, on the opposite side of the main ground path into the next room, and he too ran into a goblin immediately. He had at least caught the goblin off-guard, and performed a distracting flourish as he threw his shuriken, which struck the goblin for a hefty 26 damage, bloodying it. He saw Amroth had fared almost as well. However, the goblins struck back with their respective javelins, striking light 7-damage hits against Amroth and Solitude, before leaping off the walkways and beginning to flee.

The high vantage point let Solitude see a few other goblins hiding behind minecarts in the room. "There's 3 more goblins hiding!" He called out to the group, gesturing at the relevant minecarts.

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Cha'ac waits patiently as the sneaky types do their business. Sure, being the noisest person in the group had it's drawbacks sometimes, but when it means you're a sufficient distraction for the quieter ones to do some damage, that's a fine trade off indeed. Hearing the goblins scream and run away is the sound he takes as his cue, and he starts to walk forward, calmly and patiently, looking for targets. The nearest one is a Blackblade, slightly hidden by the minecart he's behind. In the distance, he can also see the bloodied warrior. That's good enough. Bracing himself, the warforged puts up his shield as he charges forward and brings the hammer down in an overhead smash on the unlucky enemy. And the RNG seemed to favor him, as a full 15 damage blinks brightly into existence.

 

The goblin cringes and cries out, whimpering under the mighty blow, but Cha'ac doesn't give him a second glance. He's already looking for the other possible enemies, directly ahead of him. The bloodied blackblade won't go anywhere, his mark saw to that, but the others were more of a threat. If he couldn't stop them in time they could do some damage.

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Amroth cringed as the warrior threw it's javalin at him, scraping his thigh and causing a total damage of 7. From the corner of his eye he saw Cha'ac charging the goblin blackblade on the ground, dealing a massive amount of damage. He looked back at Solitude when he saw that the two Goblin Warriors were trying to escape. He once again nocked two arrows, first he shot at the warrior furthest away from him, across the room. The arrow whizzed through the air and struck home at it's lower back. The creature fell down, dead and Amroth quickly aimed at the other warrior and loosed his arrow before taking good aim. The arrow missed the warrior profoundly and the sound of the shaft breaking echoed through the room.

 

Amroth grunted annoyed and looked at the blackblade Cha'ac was fighting. He pointed towards the creature. "I'll get you!" He shouted as he marked the beast and moved backwards a bit to prevent more damage being done to him.

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With the advantage their team had obtained by having Solitude and Amroth stealth their way into the next encounter, things seemed to be going much more smoothly for the little adventuring gang this time. The goblin pack's primitive ambush had been turned neatly against them, and Cha'ac had placed himself rather nicely in the center of all the chaos. When it came to Quarius's turn to dish out some pain, the Wizard stepped forwards confidently as sparkles of ice gathered around his wand. "Freezing Burst!"

 

As he spoke the words, a large frozen projectile fired from his wand, smashing straight into the ground where the Goblin Blackblade stood. Instantly, the entire area around him turned into ice, striking both him and the Warrior unfortunate enough to be next to him with 11 damage each. Quarius smiled at the pseudo-crit, and watched as they slid helplessly closer towards Cha'ac and his hammer.

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Amroth's arrow finished off the wounded enemy fleeing from Solitude, and he watched as Cha'ac charged into the rest of the goblins and dealt a massive blow to one of them. Two of the goblins tried to fight back, but both of their attacks missed, leaving Cha'ac in a commanding position. However, there was one goblin not now with Cha'ac, and that one chose instead to run up the rope stairs and onto the platform with Solitude. Iris had not acted yet, and so Solitude figured he could use his Positioning Strike to force the goblin off the rather high platform and to within reach of her, to perhaps finish it off. He took a few steps forward, produced his dagger for maximum accuracy, and struck... but missed.

 

This left Solitude somewhat at the mercy of the goblin. He'd just have to try to dodge its inevitable attack as well.

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A little chime sounded off in Iris' GUI as her turn came. Taking her chance to move, she ran up the fastest she could and activated Sacred Flame, firing off another intense beam of light at the goblin warrior standing right beside Cha'ac. The attack struck but didn't kill, instead leaving the goblin with a Bloodied status as he attempted to scramble to safety. Puffing her cheeks in slight annoyance, Iris waved the remaining strands of light towards Cha'ac, granting him another 2 points' worth of THP.

 

An attempt to move after that display was then met with another chime from her GUI, signifying the end of her turn. "Seriously?" She muttered, stranded in her square of space again. Looks like only Amroth or Quarius can be able to take care of the fleeing warrior now.

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Cha'ac frowned as the wounded goblin ran off. He could run after him to try and mow him down, but the two Blackblades next to him were a bigger threat - and it was his job to keep them from hurting the others. So he wound up a big swing on his hammer, power crackling to life before the head of it crashes into the nearest one, stepping into it to give his blow extra momentum. The goblin's head almost comes straight off the neck as the creature crumbles to the ground, and the thunderous boom slams into its partner next to him. The 9 and 3 fade away and only one of them is left standing, but the warforged points his hammer at the running warrior. "Amroth! Get him!"

 

Two arrows fly past almost immediately, but they sail wide and miss the goblin entirely. For a moment, it seems like the creature might escape with its last sliver of life, but then two more arrows flash by, one of them hitting the goblin square in the neck. It falls down without a scream, and the threat is contained. "Good work!" Cha'ac calls back, then braces himself for the goblin's turn.

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Before the goblin could take another swing at Cha'ac, however, Quarius deftly marched forwards, brandishing his implement like a conductor's baton as he brought it swiftly down towards the bloodied foe. "Arc Lightning!" With a crackle and a flash of lightning, the goblin went down in slow motion, pausing in mid-air long enough for the Wizard to revel in his kill before exploding into the regular death animation. With his first target down, he turned to face the goblin which had been giving Solitude trouble, and raised his wand towards that creature as well.

 

A second bolt of lightning struck him in the chest, dealing full damage from the spell. Quarius whistled; the dice roller AI must really be on his side in this quest. "Finish him off!" He yelled to his comrade, grinning madly as he did.

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As the goblins again toppled one by one, Solitude found himself faced with the last of the lot. A crackle of lightning from the wizard had hit the goblin before him for 11 damage, but, typically, it was not good enough to take him down. "Sure, I'll finish your work for you." he grunted in reply to Quarius.

 

The goblin shifted to the side and struck, its blade sinking into Solitude's stomach, eliciting a growl of pain. His vision gained a red tinge, letting him know he was now Bloodied and close to dying. The blade was withdrawn and Solitude clutched the wound - he wondered how accurately the feeling of being stabbed had been programmed, all he knew was that it was agony, although not as much as expected. In real life, being impaled in such manner would cripple a person, but his HP left him standing, so he was able to keep fighting anyway.

 

And fight he did. He let his Tiefling fury build within him, he felt as if his blood was boiling. He struck with his dagger with improved accuracy, this time he did not miss despite a tricky flourish of the weapon. The dagger sank into the neck of the goblin, dealing an ample 14 damage. The goblin sank to the ground, lifeless, and Solitude heaved a sigh of relief, noticing how much he was bleeding now.

 

The group gathered, all still alive once again. Iris got to work healing himself and Amroth back to full HP, while Quarius searched the room in vain for some arcane secrets. Amroth had better luck employing his dungeon expertise, managing to find the group a Potion of Healing and 10 gold. After a brief vote, they decided not to follow the minecart tracks into the next area, but instead to head back and explore through a large stone door they had seen in the previous room.

 

Things were going well so far. Maybe this "teamwork" thing wasn't so overrated after all.

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After making quick work of the second group of goblins the self-proclaimed ‘Awesome Group’ decided to backtrack to the first room and enter a door that they were interested in earlier. The stone door bore a resemblance to the mines’ entrance, but as soon as the Warforge started pushing it the noticed that it was surprisingly light and quiet.

This silence turned out to be a great boon to the party, as the room they had just entered turned out to be the Goblins’ sleeping quarters. Two Cutters, two Warriors and 2 Sharpshooters were still fast asleep, not having noticed the door opening.

The purple words “SURPRISE ROUND†flashed in front of everyone, revealing that after Initiative was determined they would get one free turn to take down their enemies.

 


 

The sound of approaching enemies slowly woke up the Goblins from their slumber, but without a second to waste the heroes did what they could during the surprise round. Cha’ac charged the nearest enemy and smashed its head in with all its might, dealing as much damage with one blow as was possible, while Quarius used his Arc Lightning to strike the two Cutters situated a bit further back, successfully killing only one of them.

Iris decided that there was nothing for here to do from her current position and rushed a bit further into the middle of the room in preparation for her next turn, but Solitude chose a more sneaky approach and hid behind a table to achieve hidden status. Amroth, who was lagging behind the bit, finally decided to shoot two arrows with his Twin Strike at the Goblin Sharpshooter in the back, effectively hitting the Sharpshooter with both.

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Solitude had remained successfully hidden behind the table, and was planning where best to strike, when suddenly two more goblins came into the room from a side passage. They ended up right in front of him, but he was able to remain undiscovered behind the table. He decided to engage this new threat. He emerged from cover and caused the goblin to lose his footing, before stabbing his dagger into him and pushing him hard off of the blade - this resulted in the gobling stumbling into the corner, where he fell into the fire brazier.

 

The damage from the strike, as Solitude saw pop up as usual, was already enough to kill the goblin by far - landing in the fire was spicy icing on the death cake. The overload of damage caused the goblin to explode, his fiery entrails and limbs flying across the room before despawning into nothingness. Solitude looked at his dagger and nodded. Many would find the dagger, with its modest damage and size, a puny and useless weapon. But with results like this, Solitude knew he'd made a good choice playing Rogue.

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The Surprise Round had been pretty useful, allowing them to get a definite advantage on the sleeping goblins in the room. But now that was over, and it was back to normal combat. Quarius quickly shuffled into the room, taking up a position behind the wooden tables to act as cover in case the sharpshooters on the far end tried to snipe him. Aiming at the Cutter he had failed to kill the last round, Quarius unleashed another Arc Lightning, this time making sure to incinerate it for good.

 

His secondary attack went wide, as usual. It seems like he wasn't particularly good at multitasking at all. Something else caught him by surprise, however. A large portion of the east wall, which had been shrouded by a mysterious dark cloud earlier, phased into view and revealed an opening into the next room. A Goblin Blackblade and Warrior were standing in that very entrance, flanking them where they hadn't expected it. Gosh, what was up with the DM of this game?

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Amroth had weakened one of the Sharpshooters, but it wasn’t enough to finish him off. He moved a few feet forwards and readied two more shots. The first arrow hit the Goblin clean in its neck and the words Critical Hit popped up above him. The second arrow hit the Goblin in its chest and dealt enough damage to make the Sharpshooter explode into pixels as it died.

After the death of its companion the second Sharpshooter retaliated by attacking Cha’ac. The crossbow bolt flew across the room, but it did not manage to pierce through the Warden’s defenses and fell flat on the ground.

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Cha'ac grunted as the arrow plinked off his armor. There were more goblins coming in, and he had to be on the front line, not waste any more time on his current opponent. So to prepare himself for a better position in the rest of the fight, the warden stepped out of the way, but lashedout at the Warrior still. Though the blow went wide, green spectral lines lashed out at the creature and wrapped it in thorny vines of light, pulling it along with him. But despite his efforts and the decent 8 damage he did, the goblin remained standing. Not great. But somebody else would have to take care of him - Cha'ac had set his sights on the goblins' reinforcements.

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With a twirl of her hand, a dazzling lance made up from particles of light formed in Iris' fist, which she then promptly hurled towards the Cutter. A hiss not unlike the sounds that emitted from her previous few opponents filled the room, as the lance lodged itself firmly in his abdomen. Another shower of pixels erupted from him as he despawned. One goblin down. 

 

The remaining light particles floated back to the cleric again, awaiting more instructions from her. She glanced at her teammates and jiggled her ball of light towards them, but no one seemed to care too much for the buff. With a shrug, Iris tossed the +2Power bonus towards Quarius, watching as the ball of light disappeared into the wizard.

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It was finally time for the Goblin Warriors to attack. Both of them readied their javelins aiming for the Warforged and the Ranger, but it was unclear what caused them to throw their javelins so badly. Neither of the Warriors got even close to hitting their and both their enemies completely unscathed. Meanwhile a third Goblin Warrior stepped out of the shadows into the hallways connecting the sleeping area with another area.

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Quarius took a good look around the room and the situation at hand. Currently, all of them were in positions where they'd easily be attacked by the Warrior or the Sharpshooter, and there weren't any convenient walls to hide behind. Under such a scenario, Quarius decided to improvise a little bit, and make his own cover. But first things first. As usual, he flicked his wand and cast another bolt of Arc Lightning, aimed at the already bloodied Warrior and the Sharpshooter which Amroth had damaged earlier.

 

With a crackle and a boom, the words Critical Hit: 11 floated up from the Warrior, disintegrating it into pixellated smithereens. His gaze turned to the Sharpshooter, where his attack roll seemed to have missed. A thought popped into Quarius's head, however, and with a gesture of his wand, he activated his once-per-Encounter ability: Wand of Accuracy, causing his implement to glow a dim blue as the bolt of lightning streaked back onto track, burning the Sharpshooter for a total of 9 damage.

 

The brazen Wizard then proceeded to run and cower behind his Warden comrade. Teamwork ho!

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Amroth released a sigh as the javelin from the warrior missed him. Although he knew that pain could easily be healed, it still damn hurt if you got hit. He stood against the wall and ran diagonally through the room, nodding at Iris as he passed her, he looked at the Goblin Sharpshooter that stood near the beds. "I'll put some holes in you!" He shouted at the creature, marking it.

 

He readied his bow and took two more arrows, he loosed them and knew he struck home the moment he felt them leave his bow. He smiled as he saw the goblin get hit, but his smile faded when the first arrow barely scraped the beast and the other struck it's lower arm. Combined with the extra damage he did by marking the creature he did 6 damage. He grumbled, he would get the bastard later.

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The abuse he received from the Elven Ranger had bloodied the Sharpshooter. Severely wounded he contemplated running away but decided against it when it dawned upon him that his enemies covered every exit. As a last stand he took a few steps back to create as much distance as possible between him and his enemies and shot a bolt straight at the archer… but he missed.

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Now that the nearest threat was dealth with, the warforged was free to move up and quickly did so, striding past his allies to the forefront and making a taunting gesture at the newly arrived Blackblade and Warrior. Unfortunately, they were still out of reach for him, so instead of attacking them, he lashed out at the Warrior further to the north of the room, pulling it closer with another, brutal thorn strike that dealt a solid 11 damage. More importantly, it prevented the creature from attacking anybody else - so now Cha'ac was a prime target for both his struck enemy and the reinforcements, just as he should be.

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Iris locked on to the goblin who's still hanging around his bed, sending a blast of light towards him. A bold, red 7 appeared above him before fading away, putting him under the bloodied status. With another twirl of her finger, she placed the +2 THP on Cha'ac,  padding his health bar a little more.

 

"How many more rooms before I run out of descriptive words to decorate my actions with...?" The cleric muttered to herself, as she prepared for next turn's attack.

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