Seanzilla

Surreality United's Medieval Castle

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Valandra raised her Frost Longsword+1, giving it a hard downward swing as the air around her began to sizzle against her skin, which seemed like it was turning red hot from her Magma Manifestation. "For those of you who would follow me," she declared, her eyes blazing with the same fury as the rest of her body, "I will be your bastion and your fortress! The Swordmage class is a Defender, but no foe shall stand before my blade for long."

 

She abruptly thrust her blade towards Dayereth, the tip stopping in front of his nose. Valandra stared at him for a moment, then smirked and sheathed her sword. "I will be more than sufficient to protect your team, if you wished for a front-liner. I will come with you and the guildmaster."

 

---

 

Quarius chuckled at the other players having a good time bantering about forming teams. He waved his hand at Korrelia, flashing her a grin as he pointed into the hallway. "I'll volunteer to sit this one out, then," he said. "I'm going to create a map of the castle, and probably do some planning on the optimal placement of our rooms and facilities... probably start my collection of books at the same time. And I need to decide on the optimal spots to place my Explosive Runes. You guys have fun without me."

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"Oh yes, and as for myself," said Korrelia, turning to grin at Dayereth, his pale face staring the tip of Valandra's sword. "I'm Korrelia, and I'm a Bard. That makes me the Leader role. I'm afraid I can't do direct healing, but I do have Powers that allow people to gain health when they deal damage to enemies. My forte, though, is in rearranging both allies and foes, with the help of my instruments, the flute and the harp. If you ever need a good vantage point from which to strike multiple enemies at once, I can help you get there. I also help in debilitating foes, such as the Power mentioned earlier, and also my newest Encounter Power, Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade, where the target takes a -4 to all defences against the attacker if the attacker misses, as an immediate interrupt."

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The armored figure rumbled, slamming one gauntlet-clad fist into its palm. <DECLARATION: I am Sanger, and I am Warforged. I am a Fighter, and of the Defender role. I have but one role -- destroying those who stand before me with a hail of mighty blows, for there is nothing that my blade cannot cut! My skills are based on striking, striking more and striking even harder. Tactics are a crutch for those lacking in strength.>

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Startled, Dayereth stepped back from the pointy metal pointing where it shouldn't be pointing. It would be just his luck to spend hours on character customization only to have it ruined so easily, and not even in a battle, either. Well, that wasn't to say he was against scars that would give him a nice charm point... but he'd prefer them not to be on his face.

 

He frowned slightly, contemplating the implications of having a woman--even a strong, scary-as-hell woman--protecting him. But then he shrugged, grinning at Valandra. "Sounds good to me, 'landra. You look like you could do more than the braindead, muscle-bound bull over there, anyways. If you don't mind me asking, what are you exactly? I can't say I'm familiar with your race."

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"What am I?" Valandra flashed her teeth at him in a grin. "I am the earth that supports your castle. I am the wind that carries your flag. I am the fire that burns your foes. I am Genasi." She paused, examining Dayereth's confused face, then shook her own head in dismay. "Did you not read the character race helpfiles? The Genasi are a race of elementals, each one with our own element - fire, water, wind, earth and so on. As for me, I am not any one of the lesser elements. I am a Magmasoul, the living embodiment of the most destructive force in nature."

 

As she declared this, the heat aura around Valandra intensified as the ground she was standing on began to sizzle. But before the heat became too unbearable, it abruptly died down again, and the Genasi concluded her explanation with a nod. "Nobody will be able to stand next to me for long in battle."

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"Hey, if Korrelia and Dayereth are on the same team, I'm going there too! Between my Thunderwave, Korrelia's Jinx Shot and Dayereth's Curse of the Dark Dreams pushing melee foes back to our front line, Val and, say, Dei's swords should see plenty of action. So Val can stand far, far away from us; it's so warm with her around..."

 

He looked around at the room.

 

"Sanger, Amroth, Nam and Iris should do perfectly fine since they seem to have high damage output from Amroth, Nam and Sanger, with far-reaching range from Amroth's bow and sustainability from a specialized Cleric."

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"What helpfiles?" Dayereth blinked at Valandra. "You mean there was stuff to read besides the race names and deciding which picture was the most appealing?"

 

Bachy soon volunteered to join them as well, which was fine with Dayereth. He was used to the wizard now, and he thought that they made a pretty good team. It was a pity that Aramachus was sitting this one out, but Valandra looked like she was ready to take up his part. As long as she didn't keep waving her sword around at him.

 

"Let's take Nam instead of Dei," Dayereth suggested. "From what I've seen, Nam's got a logical head and doesn't get involved in silly, philosophical debates. I don't know what Dei's like, but is he a Genasi too? Seems kinda dangerous to drag two natural disasters around. What if they explode when they come in contact with each other?"

 

And then we'd have three girls on our team. That's pretty nice.

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Dei blinked at Dayereth's words. "I think we can safely disregard his opinion given the only natural disaster here is his intellect. How can you conclude whether someone has a logical head or not when you yourself don't. I'm a Windsoul. That means air - the stuff you're breathing right now. If you think that's dangerous, I suppose that explains things - you must be actively depriving your brain of oxygen in some sort of misguided attempt to defend against the air. Moreover you're a Warlock, you can just stand back safely and let us melee combatants cause as much destruction possible; unless of course you don't realize Strikers are meant to deal massive damage."

 

Dei's complexion and the glowing lines patterning his skin gradually turned from silver to a pale green. "I'm also a Causticsoul, so I'm more than capable of dishing out burns." he concluded.

 

"Anyway aside from that, I'm a Ranger. The dual-sword variety" he clarified, nodding towards the other Ranger in the room, who evidently went with a bow instead. "I basically am able to take many attacks per turn, up to 3 actually, without using any AP. I'd suggest I be in the Bard's group because positioning will be crucial toward me being able to use that many attacks, as well as my ability to damage groups of enemies. Additionally, the newest ability she boasts of is absolutely a perfect match to me - if I miss my first attack, she could drastically increase my hit chance on my remaining 2 or more attacks."

 

"So we could consider such group mechanics when deciding, or we could listen to the guy who's afraid of air." he finished. He wouldn't normally bother with such arguments, but he realized he needed to be somewhat assertive to gain recognition within the guild. Plus of course, it was a strange sensation playing as a Genasi in this game, compared to playing a human like ones own IRL body, and he'd developed a certain racial pride which he felt the need to defend.

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Amroth nodded, and looked at Sanger, Nam and his long time team-mate Iris. "Sure, we can do this, but that makes us a team of four while you guys are five... Which is fine as long as you guys cook dinner tonight." He said grinning. "Well then, when do we get started?"

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"Four's good enough," The cleric finally piped up. Real estate and interior designing has never been her forte, and she has decided to just go along with the flow of things as they worked themselves out. Now that the time for adventure's nearing again, she could also feel her spirits soar back to an excitable level. She raised her voice a little higher than usual,  hoping the ever elusive Gamemaster picked up her feedback. "We'll probably get better loot, since we'll be journeying with a slight handicap. Prooobably."

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"Well, you've clearly never been in a typhoon. Or a hurricane. Or a tornado. Air can definitely be dangerous," Dayereth replied mildly, shrugging. "Though I guess your response means you're not that powerful, and we wouldn't have anything to worry about."

 

But all this was beginning to bore him, and he sighed. "If we've figured this out, can we get going already?"

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“If you’re done wasting time and forming parties it is time for us to go. Follow me.†Sierra led the members of Surreality United up to the northwestern part of Adventurer’s Island, to a train station where the tracks diverged into two separate directions. “I think the correct term for our train is a monorail, it always moves clockwise. Sadly we only have 2 locomotives, one that moves around the entire city and the second follows a track that goes through Central Avalon.â€

“Due to the… special circumstances today, travel between districts has been prohibited unless you specifically receive permission from the government. Since this is an Imperial job, you kids are allowed to move wherever you’d like. Just take the train here and hop out whenever you feel like it. Have fun.â€

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Bachydios snapped his spell book shut.

 

"Let's agree that Team B will take the central monorail to H first, then cover areas A, B and perhaps C. Meanwhile Team A will take the circular monorail route and cover D, E, F and possibly G, although that last one looks like farmlands to me. Check about cargo entering and leaving the city if you come by them. Last thing we'd is people smuggling in weapons and such."

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"Sounds like a plan."

 

Valandra withdrew her swirling cloak from her inventory, the piece of equipment appearing in a flourish of pixels in her grip as she wrapped it around herself and raised the hood. She was very recognizable as a Genasi by the look of her skin, but if she were shrouded in this, enemies would have a harder time determining her race. She didn't believe in giving the enemy any advantages at all, if she could help it. "I'm ready. Let's move out."

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MEANWHILE...

Quarius returned from his little adventure in the city, slightly disappointed that his attempt to obtain an invisibility cloak didn't go exactly as planned. Nevertheless, he still had a chance at it - and the Crimson Blades possibly held magic items of their own as well.

He retreated to his room, gathering pieces of parchment and writing materials as he prepared to write the quest details for the rest of his guild members when they got back.

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ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: “The Crimson Vindicator†Completed!
Reward: Vanity item; the Crimson Cloak!
Useable once per day and turns the user's clothing into the Crimson Vindicator's costume for 15 minutes. 

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"Hello? Is anyone here?" a voice called out. A figure that looked more like a walking tree than a human was striding up the path to the guild, her green-and-brown dappled skin seeming to shift in the sunlight. "We are Tellorda, and stories of this guild have begun to spread. We would join you, if you would have us."

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Aramachus stood at the closed gate and looked out at the newcomer. "Us? I see but one of you. Nevertheless, welcome." he opened the gate to allow her admittance. "The guild leader is away on a quest currently, but you are welcome to make yourself at home here until she returns to process your application. I am Aramachus, serving as guard while most of the guild is out."

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"We are one, yet many," Tellorda replied patiently, yet with the air of one who has had to explain herself many times before. "We thank you for your hospitality, Aramachus."

She entered the guild, settling herself down to wait for the leader's return.

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"Watch your step... don't read any signs without first knowing what they mean... You might trigger an Explosive Rune..."

 

Quarius shambled out of one of the corridors, carrying a large stack of paperwork in his hands as he marched over to the chair where Tellorda had seated herself. He had heard the news of a new guild member joining Surreality United, and since most of the registration forms were located within the room that was meant to be the library, he figured he'd bring it over for her. He dumped the entire stack onto the table, wiping a bead of sweat off his head as he faced the new member. "Welcome. I'm Quarius, the best Wizard in Surreality United. While you're waiting for our guildmaster to return, please fill up Forms 1 through 15. You should be able to fill in most of the standard details, such as name, age, gender, hair colour, bust size, weight and so on, but you might have to think a little bit for some of the later questions ("When faced with an Orc Warmaster in a narrow dungeon of 5 squares width with two exits of 20 squares behind the Orc and 50 squares behind you, which god should you pray to before your imminent death?")."

 

He flashed a smile at her. "Good luck!"

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"We are honored to meet you, Quarius. And we thank you for your assistance," Tellorda replied graciously, picking up the pen next to the forms to begin to fill them out. There were many, but she had nothing but time right now. At the very least, it would give her something to do while she awaited the return of the guild leader.

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As soon as both groups had entered the Guild House, Sierra came walking in with a thick book under and a book stand under her other. “Enjoy your day?†She while she placed the book on the stand on a random table. “Good, good to hear.†She swung open the book and it landed on a page displaying the names of all the people present when the Guild was created. “This is the Guild Ledger. Your depth should be listed here somewhere, you’ll have to look for yourself. Either way! In the future if someone wants to join the Guild, they have to sign their name here.â€

Sierra moved her finger along the names displayed on the first page and stopped at Dayereth’s. “If their names are struck through, like his, it means they are dead.†Sierra shook her head. “He didn’t take the danger very seriously. It is such a shame, but I fear we have no time to rest; I have been ordered to send you on your first Campaign.â€

“Quick explanation, a Campaign is basically a mission that’ll require quite some time before you actually complete it! It’ll probably last 3 or 4 levels, but you’ll see for yourself! The most important part is that due to the events that transpired today you, as a Guild, have unlocked the Anti-Imperialist, Gambling Gangsters and Invisible Vigilante (thanks to Quarius) Campaigns. Sadly you can only choose one of them, so choose wisely!â€

 

[Everyone reaches level 4. Everyone can pick 1 Enchantment of level 4 or lower for any item that they currently posses. Everyone receives 270GP.]

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"Dayereth? Dead? But how? That guy's too slippery to be killed! No way!" Bachydios stammered with shock. 

 

He strode over to look at the book himself, then rubbed at the strike-through vigorously. However, no matter how hard he tried to erase the line, it remained stubbornly solid. Dayereth's entire existence reduced to mere lines of text. It was unjust, simply unjust. Bachydios gritted his teeth angrily.

 

"If only I had tripped him on his way out, he might still be alive! Damnit! Arrrrrgh, fuck!" Bachydios shouted, as he slapped the book shut.

 

The Tiefling went to the doorway leading to Dayereth's room and slumped before it, punching at the door weakly. 

 

"Idiot. Now we'll never be able to get a Perfect Clear file for this game."

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Dei took a while to process the news of Dayereth's apparent death. He turned away and buried his face in his hands for a long time, lost for words.

 

Aramachus too was impacted, having adventured with Dayereth previously. He had even cursed the man for being careless with his life back then, and was now deeply saddened it had proven to be an evidently correct assessment. "Alack! Alack! He was too innocent to die! I used to warn him to be careful and take the stakes seriously..." Aramachus said, "But one could not fault a person for underestimating this world; we are none of us used to the idea that this is more dire than just a game. Perhaps now, we will be. His death will not have been in vain, as long as we always remember and heed it."

 

By the time Aramachus finished his little speech, Dei had settled on an emotion: anger. "Ellis. That's the name of the bastard Dayereth was last with. There's no way that weasel beat Dayereth one on one. Either they both were killed by the guards, - unlikely because Dayereth could surely outwit mere guards - or Ellis took him back to more of his allies and they killed him. Let's go find Ellis, and make him talk. We need to know what happened and who to kill to avenge him. Dayereth called me a natural disaster - I'll show those bastards why!"

 

 

Meanwhile, Solitude, who had never particularly known Dayereth and had himself seen players die before, wasn't particularly emotional at the news. He sidled up to Sierra and asked her quietly, so as not to interrupt the others with their grief, "Can you tell us anything about each of the campaigns?"

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“Yeah,†Sierra sighed, “I guess you would like to know that. Either way, the Campaigns are Guild undertakings wherein you deal with whatever issue you’ve chosen that plagues this city. The first group had an encounter with a gambling ring that extorted the impoverished; this campaign will task you with dismantling their operations and taking down the gang.â€

 

“The second campaign revolves around the anti-Imperialist Terrorists that bombed Central Avalon and flooded it with a horde of skeletons, killing dozens upon dozens of civilians and a few players. This campaign will have you join in the war against these terrorists.â€

“The third one was unlocked by Quarius’s brief stint as Detective. A hooded vigilante has been killing gang members in the Southern Avalon Slums. We don’t particularly care for what you choose to do. You can choose to take down the vigilante or take down the gangs, either way criminals get sent to the other dimension.â€

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