Novel Olympus Online

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by Silver Snake, Jun 2, 2019.

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  1. Silver Snake

    Silver Snake Well-Known Member

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    Aloha, friends. Thought I'd try a different greeting from the usual. I hoped it worked in capturing your interest. But if it hasn't then I'll explain further.

    This story is set in a VRMMO. The protagonist has no foreknowledge from a past life or past career of the game. Though he has played other MMOs and other such games before. Though in this story, this is the very first VRMMO to come out, so there are no guides or sure things; the limits are not clearly defined. Isn't that one of the most boring things about dungeons in modern MMOs? Everyone knows what to do so they just run through it. And all the new players can't experience it because they're rushed by the old players. And everything's more fun when they're new, when they're undiscovered.

    Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps MMOs aren't supposed to be fun in the fashion that I imagine. They don't require skill or thought, they only require for you to get enough people together at a specific time. The requirements to win must be lowered so that we all may win. That's the feeling I get from MMOs. Or at least WOW-like MMOs.

    Think of this VRMMO as more like Monster Hunter where your weapons are your classes and combos activate skills, as more like Dark Souls where you can switch weapons mid combat and enemies are few but hit hard.

    There is nothing special about my MC. He has no secret class or unique skills. The only thing that makes him different is himself. I don't know why I want to write this story. There is no deep meaning behind it. I just want to have fun. And I think writing about the perfect game would be more fun than playing an imperfect game, for a time at least.

    I'll be releasing chapters here in batches of five since releasing them one by one is a pain. You can find the newest chapters here: https://www.scribblehub.com/series/24094/olympus-online/

    Synopsis:
    VRMMO, the acronym itself incites the burning desire of every man and woman in the world. At least that's what I think. I've been looking for (waiting for) a great MMO for as long as I can remember. And who hasn't dreamt of the day where they could drop their consciousness into a game world? Today is the day. Olympus Online just released. The first MMORPG of its kind.

    Genre:
    Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, LitRPG, Slice of Life

    Table of Contents:
    1. Character Creation
    2. Start of Tutorial
    3. End of Tutorial
    4. Martha's Apothecary
    5. Dungeon Dive
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  2. Silver Snake

    Silver Snake Well-Known Member

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    VRMMO, the acronym itself incites the burning desire of every man and woman in the world. At least that's what I think. I've been looking for (waiting for) a great MMO for as long as I can remember. And who hasn't dreamt of the day where they could drop their consciousness into a game world? Today is the day. Olympus Online just released. The first MMORPG of its kind. I waited in line for hours to get the never before sold headset required to interface with the game world. And I made sure to start the predownload yesterday.

    I slid on the helmet, laid down on my bed, and turned the thing on.

    What I saw in my vision was a UI with a table of apps and a clock on the upper right corner. How am I supposed to click on anything?

    I looked around and found that there was a cursor following my eye movements. Okay, let's look for - there it is! I stared at the icon that said Olympus Online and blinked twice.

    My vision went black. Ugh, did something break already? It wasn't unheard of for new games to have bugs that made the game unplayable.

    The next thing I knew a cinematic was playing. Something about the fate of the world and ascending to Mount Olympus. Eh, whatever. I blinked twice to see if that would skip it. Nope. Then I tried looking around to find that I could, in fact, look around. Then I looked down at my hands, at hands that were not my own, at white manikin hands. I waved them around. I jumped around! I did a cartwheel! I was in the world! I turned around to find an unending darkness behind me. It made me feel as if I was the sole spectator in an empty theater.

    I turned back to the cinematic to find that it was over. Before me now was what looked to be a character creation screen with an avatar at its center, and things like gender, hairstyle, and eye color on the side. And when I looked down there was a floating screen the size of a tablet with buttons and sliders that corresponded with the giant character creation screen.

    Hm, I never got why some guys chose female avatars or why some girls chose male avatars. Sure, I heard guys wanted to look at something pretty while grinding away for hours and girls wanted to roleplay, but I would rather feel cool than pretty and I wouldn't want to be anybody but me.

    I tapped on the match feature that made the avatar look exactly like me. Now to change something. Let's give me red eyes! I can see it now. Me wiping a bunch of players with a demonic smile and red eyes that create light lines as I look around, swinging my sword or dagger or whatever. It'll be so cool!

    CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. Yes, I'm sure I'm done. Ugh, a name. The worst part of all MMO character creators. But, wait, this is the first hour of launch day. Surely there can't be that many names that are already taken, right? Okay, I can most likely choose any name I want. Oh god, I can choose any name I want. How am I supposed to know what a good name is!? John, James, Jack, Jerry? No way I can use real names. Where's the fantasy, the sense of adventure in that!? Chorus, forest, lorus, chorust. Now I'm just rhyming! What sounds cool, but doesn't sound like I'm trying too hard to sound cool? Blood Bath, Pyscho Killah, Maestro of Murder? No, no, no, those sound far too... violent. Screw it! I'll just pick something simple, something catchy, something liiike [Frost Rain].

    CLICK. Yes, I'm sure that's the name I want.

    The two screens disappear and I am again met with a black emptiness. Sadly, I was unable to soak it in since in the next moment the floor beneath me opened up and I began falling. The empty blackness became the stars and space. And then I fell through some clouds. What I saw below me was a planet much like and completely unlike earth. There was a green ground and blue oceans, but the forests stood as high as skyscrapers, and there was one tree wider and taller than the rest, that reached above the clouds. And in the north where winter would normally reign, there was a volcanic land of spewing magma and canyons of crumbly black lava. There were floating islands that held castles and cities. And a giant moon about 10 times the size of earth's.

    I continued to fall and wondered, am I going to die? Am I even alive in the first place?

    As I continued to fall I saw a green grass plain, in the center of it a wide white stone circular platform surrounded by similar-looking columns. And in front of it but not inside it stood an old man in a long robe and pointy hat, supporting himself on a staff.

    Just as I was about to make an impact with the platform I stopped falling and instead I sat on the platform, as if I was never falling in the first place. I looked around, left and right. Up close, everything looked so different, so real. I could see the very grain of the stone beneath me. I looked down at my hands, not the unidentifiable hands of a manikin but my hands, and touched them to see if they were really there. I jumped up in joy and declared, "I'm here in this world!"
     
  3. Silver Snake

    Silver Snake Well-Known Member

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    "Welcome brave adventurer!" said the wizard who was below the stairs that lead to the platform.

    I walked down to greet him and saw that beside him was a table with a sword, shield, dagger, bow, quiver, and a staff on it.

    "I am Ruffletuff the all-knowing, and I will be your guide for your first steps in the world of Olympus Online." He gestured toward the table. "Here are your weapons of choice. Unlike in other games, there are no classes or player levels, instead, you obtain active and passive skills from your equipment, from books, or from NPCs. The skills that you choose define your role. You don't gain experience from killing mobs or completing quests, no, you gain experience the more proficient you become with your equipment, in other words, to level up your archery or swordsmanship you must fire an arrow or swing a sword. And please don't think you absolutely must pick one weapon and stick with it. I encourage you to try them all out and mix and match the skills to find what you like most, and discover some truly wonderful combinations."

    "So I can grab all of them?"
    "By all means!"
    I grabbed all of them. Though I could hardly use even one of them since I was carrying the pile of weapons with both my arms. Suddenly a semitransparent floating screen the size of a tablet appeared in front of me. Written on it and said in a professional female voice was: [In order to equip equipment simply put it on or use the in-game inventory interface. In order to put things into your inventory tap them twice onto the right or left side of your belt or use the in-game inventory interface. To open the in-game inventory interface simply say "open inventory" or use the escape function by flicking your hand in a downward motion where an assortment of other in-game interfaces will be available or tap twice on it with your hand. To select anything in an interface simply press on the interface of the floating screen as if it were a tablet. You may change the controls for the UI binds in the settings interface whenever you wish.]

    On the bottom of the screen, there was a checkbox next to the words that said disable all future tutorial messages.
    Hm, normally I would, but this game feels like it'd become daunting without them. I clicked the X at the top right of the screen and it disappeared. I'll have to disable that voice function for the tutorial messages at some point. It's bound to get annoying.

    I flicked my hand down and clicked on the inventory button. Saying it out loud somehow feels embarrassing, even though no one would be around to see it. Yup, I have no armor, just a white linen shirt, brown wool pants, a string for a belt, and boots. I clicked on the little image of me holding the weapons and dragged the weapons into my inventory. This is pretty monotonous. I'll be sure to tap whatever I find against my belt in the future. For now, I'll only use the sword.

    "Right then, you seem prepared." Ruffletuff the all-knowing pointed in the direction opposite of where I walked down from and said, "To the north is the village Eaglethorn. To the south is Death Valley. To the east is Goblin Mountain. And to the west is the sea of Poseidon. Currently, we are closest to Eaglthorn, and surrounding this plain is Geeley forest. Be careful, once you enter the forest, beasts may appear. And be sure not to stay out overnight. That's when the real monsters show up. The tutorial will end when you reach Eaglethorn. When you finish the tutorial you will enter the real game where you can interact with other players and the rest of the world. Oh, and remember, you only have 10 arrows."

    "Oh, uh, okay, thanks."

    I walked off north in the direction of Eaglethorn. What did he mean by I only have 10 arrows? Surely it was nothing important, surely.

    As I walked through the forest I noticed the occasional herb, picked it up, and tapped it against my belt twice. I didn't know what it was or what it did, but I knew it would do something, eventually.

    Around a couple of minutes through the forest, I heard the rustle of leaves and the crack of twigs. Next was the huffing and puffing of a boar that was half my height sprinting full speed toward me. Oh, crap, crap, crap! What do I do!? What do I do!? Uhhh, uhhh, sword! Sword!

    I held my sword back preparing for a swing. Just as the boar was about to collide with me I bravely dodged out of the way! Yes, I could have hit it with my sword and destroyed in one fell swoop. But then I thought, what if the boar hits me and I am destroyed in one fell swoop? Weighing the options in that briefest of moments I decided the best option was to get out of the way of the nice boar who was probably just on his way to his job or family.

    Who am I kidding!? His job is to kill me for his family! Wait, isn't this a game world? I shouldn't be in any actual danger, right?

    That was when the boar tackled me and sent now in great pain body flying.

    I sat up and shook my head to focus my vision. Okay, so there is simulated pain and confusion; good to know.

    That was when another tutorial message popped up in front of me. Obviously, I had no time to read it since I was in the middle of a life or death battle, so I tapped on the top bar and slid it to the side of my vision. At the top left, I could see a health bar, stamina bar, and mana bar. My health bar was yellow and half full!

    I stood back up and held my sword back once again. This time, oh-ho-ho-ho, this time for sure!

    Of course, the tutorial was still being read off by the professional female voice during this. I knew it would get annoying. As I readied myself for the boar's next attack, the voice said, "Congratulations on entering combat for the first time. You can attack, dodge, and defend as you normally do, or you can use the much more effective skills that each and every weapon grant."

    The what now?

    "In order to use these skills simply say the name of the skill and there will appear in your vision an ethereal version of you moving their limbs or hands in a certain way. Simply copy this movement precisely and the skill will activate."

    How do I freakin' get the name of the skill!?

    "To see the name of a skill simply tap twice on the weapon." The message continued on but I didn't care to listen.

    I tapped twice on the crossguard of the sword and another window opened up. In there was a flashy icon. I clicked on it and saw the name [Lightning Slash].

    The boar was nearly in ramming distance of me.

    I shouted, "[Lightning Slash]!"

    In front of me appeared an ethereal version of me. He stood straight, his blade was down to his right side held with both hands, and in one fluid motion he brought the sword up high above his head and swung it down.

    I copied it perfectly. At the end of the motion, my sword sparked and crackled as electricity flowed around it and exactly when my sword came in contact with the boar a massive force shook the ground and created a wind that blew everything back.

    I looked at the pile of ground meat that was once a boar.

    Huh, maybe I should keep the voice feature on.
     
  4. Silver Snake

    Silver Snake Well-Known Member

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    Looking up to the top left of my view I saw that my stamina bar was a little over half full. Skills are powerful, but it looks like I'll have to learn to manage without them if I really want to progress in this game.

    Looking back at the pile of ground meat I wondered if I could store it in my inventory. I ended up poking it with a stick and leaving it.

    Which way was north again? I opened the menu and clicked on the map button. Most of it was blank except for the places that I've walked past. On the center of it was an arrow pointing northeast. And on the sides of the screen were the four cardinal directions. I reorientated myself and as I walked I tapped the sword to my side and opened my inventory, switching weapons out as I checked the skills of each. Not being in combat, I was able to read the descriptions of each skill.


    Bronze Sword:
    Attack+1
    Skills: [Lightning Slash] Active, 40 Stamina, imbues a slash with a lightning bolt.

    Bronze Shield:
    Defense+1
    Skills: [Dash Bash] Active, 20 Stamina, dash forward 10 feet and deliver a bash that can disrupt skill casting. Does little damage.

    Bronze Dagger:
    Sneaking+1
    Skills: [Sneak Attack] Passive, multiplies damage by 2 on attacks done to unaware targets.

    Oak Shortbow:
    Skills: [Sure Shot] Active, 30 Stamina, multiplies damage by 2 on next attack done to a weak spot.

    Willow Staff:
    Magic Attack+1
    Skills: [Fireball] Active, 60 Mana, shoots a ball of fire that on impact will explode covering a diameter of 10 feet.
    [Heal] Active, 30 Mana, heal another player (scaled with magic attack.


    If I get the chance I should begin a battle with the dagger or bow and then finish it off with sword and shield. And if I encounter a group of monsters I should aggro them into a clump and use [Fireball]. Heal is basically useless to me since it looks like I can't heal myself. I looked up at my bars. They're regenerating, but only slightly. I have no potions so I'll have to be wise about how I spend my skills.

    Looking around the inventory some more I found that I could pair one-handed weapons into a set, and that I could put weapons in a quick switch feature, where I could select weapons that I could switch to in combat with a gesture. If I flicked my left hand to the right then I would equip the next weapon stored in quick switch order, and if I flicked my hand to the left I would equip the last weapon in the quick switch order.

    Before I knew it, it became night. The looming large moon allowed me to still see.

    How long have I been walking? I opened the menu and saw that the time was 8:30 PM. Though I didn't check when I started so I couldn't tell. Does time work differently in-game? In normal MMOs time moved much faster than IRL. And it would be inconvenient to have to wait actual hours for NPCs to open shop or for boats to show up on harbor.

    That was when the ground shook. It ended in the next second. Then it started again. And ended again. It was happening in a pattern and getting more and more intense. Looking in the direction of the sound of the steps I saw a 12 foot tall giant with skin the color and consistency of cobblestone. Its sole garment was a cloth hanging around its waste and it was lugging a giant club. It had a bald head and stubby, pointy ears. And in the center of its face, instead of two eyes, there was one big, bulging eye.

    I guess I'll check later.

    I hid behind a tree, thinking it didn't notice me.

    I switched to my bow, grabbed an arrow from the quiver on my back, loaded it on the bowstring and pulled back.

    Weak spots. What are the weak spots? I scanned the Cyclops up and down. The eye! So that's what Ruffletuff meant. I aimed and fired.

    It missed, whizzing past his head. The Cyclops didn't seem to notice it.

    Of course it missed. I've never used a bow in my life. I can't risk a shot hitting, but missing his eye and making it aggro onto me. Need a plan B. [Sneak Attack]ing its foot probably wouldn't do much damage... Maybe I could... Yeah, that could work. I gotta test it out.

    I switched to shield and dagger, sneaked behind the lumbering Cyclops, and whispered, "[Dash Bash]."

    An ethereal version of myself appeared in front of me. He held his shield up in front of him and moved his shield in a circular clockwise motion.

    I copied it and the moment after I finished casting I angled my shield upwards.

    My body launched itself upward. At the end of the rising arc, I landed on the back of the Cyclop's neck. It worked! It actually freakin' worked!

    "Hehehe."

    I climbed up the neck and readied my dagger for a stab. Sure, I couldn't sneak attack him anymore. But that doesn't mean I couldn't climb onto its head and stab its eye to death!

    "Please don't hurt me!"

    Shut up. Just because you can talk doesn't mean - Wait. "You can talk!?"

    "Of course I can!" shouted the deep-voiced, quivering Cyclops.

    I climbed down from the Cyclops and said, "Sorry about that. I, I thought you were going to attack and/or try to eat me."
    "Why would I do that?!"
    I shrugged and said, "Well, you're a cyclops. I mean, you're very intimidating."
    "It's not my fault for being a Cyclops!"
    "No, I guess it isn't. Really, I'm sorry."

    I bowed my head.

    "It's alright. At least you didn't try to kill me. Or at least you stopped trying to kill me before you started to. Here, you can have this."
    The Cyclops reached his hand up, plucked his eye out of its socket, and held it out in front of me.

    "What?"
    "Here."

    The Cyclops pushed his hand holding the eye forward, gesturing for me to take it.

    "But it's your eye."
    "Yeah."
    "Don't you need it?"
    "Feh, I can barely see out of the old thing. What I wouldn't do for two eyes. Don't worry. It'll regenerate."

    "Oh, uh, okay."

    I took the eye that was the size of a golf ball.

    "Thanks!"

    "Be seeing you."

    And with that, the Cyclops lumbered away.

    Huh, I probably wouldn't have gotten an intact eye if I tried attacking the Cyclops head on. And that must mean... this is a rare find! My first rare loot! I danced around while embracing the eye as if I were its mother and it my newborn baby.

    I tapped on the eye to open its status.

    [Cyclops Eye]
    Rare
    Alchemy, Enchanting
    Eye of a cyclops. Perfectly undamaged since it was plucked by the cyclops himself.

    And then tapped it against my side.

    I can't wait to see what it can do!

    Oh, yeah, I didn't see anything to loot from the boar, what with it being in the state it was. I should try and skin a boar one of these days.
     
  5. Silver Snake

    Silver Snake Well-Known Member

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    A few minutes after my encounter with the Cyclops I found Eaglethorn village.

    A circular row of tall pillar-like wood spikes surrounded the perimeter. There was no front gate, only a simple opening large enough to fit the span of two wagons; enough for one to leave and another to enter simultaneously. On each side of the opening and with their backs to the wall of pillars was a guard. As I walked in a popup appeared congratulating me for finishing the tutorial. I also saw that my health and stamina bars were back to full.

    An ocean of people streamed through the small city. The sides of the main road passing through the village were lined with vendors cheek to cheek.

    As I was walking around I overheard some player chatter.

    "The boar was so hard to kill. Did you see how fast it was?"
    "Are you crazy? It was a piece of cake! It basically kept on charging in a straight line. So predictable!"

    "How did you get that leather armor?"
    "I asked the blacksmith to use the leather I got from the boar to make it."

    "I died twice trying to kill that Cyclops. That sweep he does with his club covers way too much ground. Definitely OP."
    "Wait for him to raise his club high. That's when you know it's coming. If you're fast enough you can get between his legs. Or you can get out of its range. Or find some trees for cover."

    After walking around in a full circle I realized I wasn't sure where I was supposed to go.

    My Cyclops Eye! I gotta see what it does. But how am I supposed to figure out where the alchemist or enchanter is?

    I opened the map and saw an overhead sketch of the village, each building with its own name written on it. Names like Smith and Son, Martha's Apothecary, and Cafe Coco were among others. Looking up I noticed that most of the buildings had a signboard hanging on a post that showed images like an anvil or a pile of coins. I headed to Martha's Apothecary.

    Outside, there was a herb garden. Inside, the shelves were lined with herbs and potions. And behind the counter was a human (What was I expecting? A goblin, elf, or orc? Well, yes, I mean, most games have the conventional fantasy races, but not this one, I guess. Yeah, it's not like there was race selection at character creation.) woman who, surprisingly, looked normal (Every woman usually looks outrageously eye-catching in video games (not that I'm complaining)). She had long bushy, curly brown hair, bony fingers, and thick circular glasses. Martha was hunched over the front desk tinkering with some potions. She poured the purple contents of one vial into another with yellow liquid. As the two mixed a puff of smoke erupted from the originally yellow vial. Purple polka dots then appeared throughout the vial. She had a face that screamed she did it yet didn't know what exactly it was.

    As I walked up she put the vials on a rack, turned her attention to me and said, "Welcome, dear customer, how may I help you?"

    "Uh, " I wasn't sure what to say. Originally I wanted to learn alchemy, but after seeing what she did, something new piqued my interest, "What was that?"
    "This?" She picked up and showed off the yellow potion with purple polka dots.

    I nodded.

    "This is... This is! I'm not sure, to be honest. Would you like to test it out for me?"
    I took a cautious step back and held my hands up haltingly.
    Incredulous, I said, "You're not sure. But you want me to test it out? That doesn't exactly sound safe."

    "Safe? Oh, hush, what in this world is safe? Monsters roam around and nearly everyone is carrying around a sharp or explosive object. All I'm asking is for you to drink this itsy bitsy potion. It's not like you'll die or anything, " she whispered a quick and quite, "probably, " in hopes that I wouldn't hear it.

    What am I worrying about? It's not like I've got anything to lose. I was fresh from the tutorial.

    "Alright."

    Her eyes beamed with delight as she held the potion out for me. I took it and gulped the sour and spicy beverage down. Yup, that's exactly what I imagined polka dots to taste like. Oh, I can taste stuff!

    I waited for a moment but nothing happened.

    "Nothing - "

    "Wait! It might take a second or two"
    I waited again. And, again, nothing happened.

    "Maybe it was a dud?"
    "Impossible. I'm sure I saw a reaction."

    She crossed her arms in thought.

    "Uh, can I learn alchemy?"
    "What? Alchemy? Yes, of course!"

    I gave her back the vial, and she put it back on the rack. All the while, she stared thoughtfully at the vial. But as soon as she turned back to me her eyes became lively and jubilant.

    "Alchemy is the transformation of matter. We use ingredients found in the environment like a moon rose and monster materials like - "

    "A cyclops eye?"

    "Yes, indeed, to create potions with all manner of uses. You could make some that explode on impact! Some turn people invisible! Some coat blades with deadly poison. Or you could do the boring thing and use them to recover your health, mana, and/or stamina."

    "So, how do I actually make a potion?"

    "You get to an alchemy station like this one, " she gestured to the front desk that had a cash register on the right side and on the left side, a rack of potions and a mortar and pestle. She stood on the left side. "grind up the material, and mix 'em together."

    "That's it?"
    "That's it."

    "Where do I get one of those alchemy stations?"
    "You could craft one of your own, but I suggest buying one from me since it'll be a lot cheaper. At least a starter one will be."

    How much money do I have? I looked in my inventory and in the lower right side it showed: G:00 S:00 C: 99.

    "How much?"
    "50 copper."

    With my inventory still open I clicked on the 99 number. Another popup appeared with a number pad under an empty bar. On both sides of the bars were arrows; one pointing right on the right side, and one pointing left on the left side. I clicked on the arrow pointing right and a 1 appeared in the empty bar.

    I typed 50 and pressed enter. 2 rolls of 25 copper appeared in mid-air in front of me. Luckily, I was able to snatch them before they fell to the floor.

    I held out the two rolls and asked, "Is this enough?"

    She took them in hand, said, "Yup, " and placed them in the cash register.

    "How do I get the Alchemy station in my inventory?"

    "It should already be there."
    I checked and sure enough, it was.

    I took out my cyclops eye and showed it to her. "Do you know what this can make?"

    She peered at the eye and said, "Oh my, you could make a potion of fire resistance or a potion that increases the chance of crafting high-quality gear. You see, the first cyclopes were created by Hephaestus, the god of fire and the forge. And of course potions affects are temporary."

    Fire resistance would definitely be good against something like a dragon, but the idea of crafting high-quality gear is too good to pass up.

    "How would I make one of those crafting potions?"

    "You sure are asking a lot of questions! The best part of alchemy is the discovery of what makes what. Normally I wouldn't share my recipes, but since this is your first foray into alchemy I'll tell you one recipe, so be sure of which you want."
    "I want the recipe for the potion that increases the chance of crafting a high-quality gear."

    A window popped up asking: Are you sure?

    I clicked on the yes option.

    "Great! You'll just need to grind up a fire lily and cyclops eye, and mix them together in a vial. Most potions only take the synthesis of a plant and monster material. And the more advanced potions require the synthesis of two potions."

    "And where can I find these fire lilies?"

    "If you continue east you'll eventually find a volcano. They grow near the top of it."

    Right, of course, fire lilies would grow on a volcano.

    "Alright."

    After leaving Martha's Apothecary I headed to Cafe Coco.

    On the left side of the counter stood a cash register and on the other were an assortment of pastries behind a glass display. Beside the counter there was folding floor chalkboard that had the day's specials. The wall opposite to the counter was a line of booths and in between the two were circular tables surrounded by chairs. The place was nearly packed with other players. I was sitting in front of one of the circular tables. Some were packing the food down as if their life depended on it and some weren't eating much of anything, mostly chatting.

    A waitress came up to me and asked for my order. I browsed the menu for the various buffs given and not the actual names of the items.

    "I'll have the steak and potatoes."

    "How would you like the steak done?"
    "Medium rare."

    "That'll be 15 copper."
    After I handed her the copper the steaming dish appeared in front of me.

    The steak was a bit small, but its doneness was perfect and it was well salted. And the potato wedges were well-seasoned with fresh-tasting ground pepper and a hint of cayenne and garlic.

    As soon as I finished the meal a pop up appeared saying: +10% experience. 12 hours.

    I looked up to my bars and saw that there was an icon below them indicating the buff.

    I could probably make better food if I made it myself. But I don't have much coin left. I'll figure out how to make some later.

    I left the village and went east.
    If anyone is wondering why the apothecary was empty of people but the cafe was crowded (I doubt very much that anyone is but I'll say why anyway) it's because places like the apothecary and smithies are instanced since that way there are no lines of people trying to buy crafting supplies/talk to the master crafters (they aren't actually master crafters but I don't know what else to call them). And cooking establishments allow more crowded instances because they have more staff/tables.

    Also, please comment! It nourishes my life force!
     
  6. Silver Snake

    Silver Snake Well-Known Member

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    The village near the base of the volcano was smaller than the beginner village. They had no wall of any sort surrounding the perimeter, only an archway at the entrance, painted yellow and decorated with flags of various symbols and colors across the arch. The buildings weren't of brick but wood, and the roofs were thatched, not tiled.

    Almost immediately after I entered the village, a disheveled man came up to me and shouted, "The end is nigh! Today the volcano will explode, raining down upon us our oblivion, encasing us in an ash prison that not even our screams may pierce, melting the flesh off our bones like snow in spring!"

    Another man kicked the backside of the announcer and shouted, "Knock it off, Bill! This is why no one comes here!"

    Bill propped his upper body up with his elbows, and started a weak shout of, "Stay awa -"

    The guard continued kicking Bill until he was unable to talk. Then he changed his face from genuine disgust to one of kind welcome, straightened his uniform and hair, turned toward me, and said, "Please don't mind him. He's not quite right in the head. I assure you the volcano is dormant and will cause no harm whatsoever to you or any of your friends who may visit our fine village."

    As if on cue a tremor shook the earth beneath us. Not exactly strong enough to knock items off a shelf, but strong enough to notice and stop moving.

    After the quake passed, the guard said with a wry smile, "But we do have the occasional quake, but I promise that there have not been any eruptions for the past 100 years." He pounded his right fist to his chest. "You have my word as a member of the town watch."

    I nodded and said, "Alright," and continued into the town. I looked back to see the guard doing a fist pump.

    At the base of the volcano were three people, three players. I could tell from the clothes they wore - it was identical to mine - and the way they behaved. Most of the NPCs seemed to have a daily routine, but they seemed to be standing/sitting around, waiting for something. One was a tall muscly guy who stood slouched. Another was a guy sitting on the ground with his arms propping himself up from behind his back. The third was a girl who was checking something in her interface. Beside them was a giant stone slab of twin doors. Carved in the center of the two doors was a tree, its roots covering the lower third of the slab and it's branches covering the top third.

    The other players started to wave once they saw me. I walked up to them and said, "Yo. What's up?"

    The tall guy said, "We need a fourth to enter the dungeon, " he made a thumbs up sign and pointed to the slab behind him with it, "you in?"
    A dungeon, huh? There are normally a bunch of traps and monsters in dungeons. They're meant to test the strength of not only a player but the party as a whole. Diving into one with a bunch of people I just met is probably suicide... Perfect!

    "Sure, I'll join. I'm Frost Rain, but you can call me Frost or Rain."

    "Cool, I'm Reynar Everore."

    The guy who was sitting stood up and said, "Name's 360 Noscope. Yeah, I know, call me Scope."

    The girl closed her menu and introduced herself as Priscilla.

    Reynar opened his interface, clicked some buttons, and a popup showed asking if I'd accept or decline the invitation to join Reynar's party. I clicked accept and on the top right side of my vision I could see a smaller version of their names and bars. Reynar's name had a crown beside it, showing that he was the party leader.

    I asked, "What weapons do you guys use?"

    "In other MMOs I tank, so I'm using the sword and shield." said Reynar.
    "I use the bow since I practice archery IRL." said Scope

    "Up close fights are a bit intense for me, and my accuracy with a bow was abysmal so I use the staff." said Priscilla.

    They all looked at me, as if asking what I use.

    "I haven't decided what to use yet. And haven't really tried out all the weapons either. I think I'll use the sword and shield for now since it seems easy to use and provides good defense."

    They all nodded their heads, turned around, and walked to the front of the Dungeon entrance. Wait, we're going? What about the formation? Is Priscilla going to heal? Who gets what loot? I have so many questions!

    The others stood in front of the door expecting it to open for them. When it didn't they looked around, then at me curiously.

    I jogged up to them and the twin slab doors opened inward.

    The inside of the dungeon was what looked to be a natural cave system. Veins of lava flowed in the walls and floor, lighting the area. Under the ceiling hung stalagmites. The entrance opened up to a narrow path.

    As we walked through I asked, "what's our formation?"
    "Our what?" asked Reynar.
    "Our defensive position. How we hold our ground when we encounter enemies."
    "Do we really need that in this type of game? In other MMOs the tanks just need to hold aggro."
    "I don't know, man, do you know how aggro works in this game?" It's true that in most MMOs all the (damage) dealer and healer had to worry about, when it came to mobs (enemies), was if the tank was keeping their aggro (attention). If they were then they could damage and heal without a worry. Though if the tanks didn't then they were as good as dead. But this game felt different. I learned about holding a defensive position from playing competitive FPS games, where if everyone wasn't holding a choke point the round was basically lost. The tanks protecting the dealer and the healer should probably still be a good rule, right?
    "Good point."
    "I'll protect the flank while you guard the front. Scope, Priscilla, you okay with sandwiching between us?"
    "Yeah."
    "Sure."

    We turned into another narrow path.

    I called "Priscilla."
    "Yes?"

    A geyser of lava spewed out from the ground a few feet in front of us.

    "The hell was that?!" said Scope.

    I said, "Lava."

    "Well, duh. But how are we supposed to, you know, not get melted?"
    The three of us thought about an answer to Scope's question. Since we were all so silent the bubbly building up of lava beneath was easy to hear. The more intense the sound got the more - and another geyser of lava erupted from the ground a couple feet in front of the first.

    "That's how, " said Priscilla.

    And so we continued through the dungeon, carefully listening for the next geyser, and stopping when we saw one coming.

    At the end of the path, there was a large, round cavern. It was completely empty except for a pool of lava on each side. Directly on the opposite side of the cavern from us was another narrow cave.

    Once we got to the center of the cavern, mounds of lava rose from the pools of lava on each side of us. As they stepped out of the pool the lava covering them fell off, showing faceless humanoids that looked to be made of stone.

    I went to the right side and held sword and shield up.

    Reynar went to the left side and did the same.

    Scope said, "[Sure Shot], " bent his knee down, pulled an arrow from his quiver, drew his string back - a gust of wind gathered and swirled around Scope - and fired at one of the golems on the right, causing the golem's head to explode in a confetti of loose rocks and pebbles.

    Priscilla said, "[Fireball], " drew a glyph in the air with her hand that wasn't holding her staff, and from the staff's tip a flame flickered. That flame grew into a ball. In the next moment it streaked out at one of the golems on the left. On impact the ball of fire blossomed into an explosion of flame covering a diameter of 10 feet. A cloud of dust erupted from the explosion. The golem ambled out of it without a scratch.

    "Of course fire doesn't work on them! We did just see them literally walk out of fucking lava!" said Scope.

    "Shut up, it was worth a try!" said Priscilla.

    "Oh, great comeback!" said Scope.

    "Guys, we kind of have bigger problems right now!" said Reynar.

    The golems were upon us, standing 8 feet tall. Only three emerged from the lava, not counting the one that froze as soon as its head was destroyed. One swung an arm at me. I probably could have dodged it, but that would have put Scope and Priscilla in its path. So I held my shield up and braced myself. I maintained my stance, but my legs were pushed back and dug into the ground, my arm was trembling from the impact. I looked up at my health bar, about 20% of it went down. Right when I was bringing my attention down from the health bar and back into the fight another golem who was not in front of me but beside me slammed down on my left side with a right hook, throwing my body a few yards away from the party. Pain spread out through my entire left side, radiating from where I was hit. I was on the ground, my vision blurry.

    Not good. We might not be able to survive this.

    I need to... I need to...

    "Get up, Frost! Get up!" shouted Reynar who was pushing back another golem with all his force.

    Oh, right.

    I shook my head, clearing my vision. That's better. And said, "[Dash Bash], " I copied the motion and my body was propelled forward. My shield slammed into a golem that was in mid swing. It didn't topple over or anything, but it did seem dazed.

    I ran up to the golem that threw me and kept on pushing it back with my shield, holding it at bay like Reynar and shouted, "Switch to the sword!"

    "Right here?!" asked Scope.
    "Yes!"

    Scope and Priscilla opened their menus, put their weapons back in their inventory, and equipped the sword.

    "What now?!"

    "Use Lightning Slash!"

    "What about you!?"
    "I'll get out of the way!"

    Scope stood in front of the golem I was holding back, shouted, "[Lighting Slash], " brought his sword up high with both his hands; electricity sparked and crackled as it surrounded the sword. I dodged out of the way, allowing Scope to bring down his sword. It ripped open a gash that spread diagonally across its chest. The golem was still moving! I threw my shield aside and said, "[Lightning Slash]!" The golem crumbled into a pile of rubble after I brought my sword down on it.

    Reynar and Priscilla saw what we did and copied it, slaying another golem and leaving only one left.

    All of us looked at each other, agreement in our eyes. We all jumped on the golem, our swords hacking away well after it became a pile of pebbles.

    We flopped down, gasping for breathe. Huh, so you can get tired in this game.

    I looked at my bars. My stamina was a little less than half. But my health bar - geeze - it was only a sliver.

    I said, "Priscilla."
    "Yeah?"
    "Could you-could you [heal] me?"

    She looked up at her bars and said, "Sure."

    She switched to her staff, said, "[Heal], " and drew a glyph with her free hand. The tip of her staff began to glow green. The glow grew into a ball that looked like a white dandelion. It detached from the staff and drifted toward me. Once it touched my forehead it exploded like a firework. As the remnants rained down upon me I felt more and more invigorated.

    In a matter of seconds my health bar reached back up to about 3 quarters.

    I jumped up to my feet and said, "Thanks."
    "No problem."

    In each pile of rubble I found a crystal. I couldn't reach the one that was still waist high in lava.

    "Hey, could one of you come here?"

    Reynar walked over.
    "Try and look around for loot in that." I pointed to a pile.

    He sifted through and reached from within another crystal.

    "Well, how about that."
    "What?"
    "We all get loot! Hey, how's your health, man?"

    "It's about half. I could probably use a [heal]."

    "Wait, let me try something."

    I opened my inventory, clicked on my alchemy station and brought it out. A desk with a mortar and pestle, and a rack of test tubes stood in front of me. I browsed my inventory for the herbs I gathered during the tutorial. Ah, 3 [Momilach] and 3 [Seanich]. I ground 1 of each flower and ground 2 of the crystals, and mixed them, producing two potions. I tapped twice on each. The status screen for one said [Healing Potion], the other said [Poison Potion]. The [Healing Potion] was red and the [Poison Potion] was dark green.

    I held the [Healing Potion] out and said, "try this out."

    Reynar backed away a bit and asked "What is it?"
    "A [Healing Potion]!"

    "Oh, okay."
    He took the potion and drank it.

    "How is it? Are you back to full?"

    He looked up to his bars, glee covered his face, and said, "I am!"

    "Cool."

    "You guys done with your thing?" asked Scope.
    "Yup. Hey, Scope, Priscilla, you two okay on health?"
    "I'm full health, " said Scope.

    "Me too, " said Priscilla.

    "Cool, what's our mana and stamina situation? Oh, wait, I can see it. "
    I looked up and saw my party's bars. I had a little under half stamina and full mana. Reynar had a little over half stamina and full mana. Scope had about a third Stamina and full mana. And Priscilla had a little over half stamina and a sliver of mana. I thought it was hard to tell how full their bars were only from looking so I looked in the settings and added numbers to the bars in my HUD. I had 40/100 stamina. Reynar had 60/100. Scope had 30/100. And Priscilla had 60/100 stamina and 10/100 mana left.

    "Hey why'd it take you two so long to switch weapons?"
    "What do you mean?" asked Priscilla.

    "Well, you know, you can do this." I used the quick switch function to switch from my sword and shield to the bow. The shield that I threw aside to the ground disappeared.

    "How'd you do that, " asked Scope.

    "There's a quick switch feature in the equipment menu beside the inventory menu that let's you switch between weapon sets with a flick of the finger."

    "Oh my god, you're right. Did you know about this Reynar?"

    "The quick switch? Yeah, I played a game before that had the same feature. That's how I found out about it."
    I said, "me too."

    We continued through the dungeon after Scope and Priscilla finished setting up quick switch.