2.2 – Of the Lost and the Soul

We were lost. There was nowhere to go, no place to turn. Everything looked the same. I about broke down, but I couldn’t allow myself the luxury. Not when she needed my help just to keep sane. She was already losing it, already starving for lack of food these past fifteen days. My only gratitude was that we did not lack water. The morning dew was plenty to keep us quenched throughout the day as we wandered. Only, it also chilled to the bone, and each day her cough was growing worse. So, I plodded along with her on my back, hoping desperately for some sort of salvation. I thought it a hallucination at first when I stumbled upon the salvation we had been granted. It rested there inconspicuously between the massive boulders of our continued maze, a strange tree of ice.

Tennik Farthen

 

I didn’t even think about moving for a long time–or rather than moving, I just stared at the wall, not even daring to think. I had this weird feeling that if my brain began processing again, that something, that terrifying stare would come back and rip through everything that I am. It was a feeling similar to a child afraid to move out from under the blankets because of the monster under the bed. I knew that something was long gone. I knew it wasn’t coming back, at least not for a long while, but the fear to move out from under the blanket was still there. So, I stayed, staring at the wall, thinking of nothing while my nonexistent heart still pounded in my imaginary throat.

I didn’t come to my senses until I found Niko nudging me, informing me that he and all the other fishes were hungry. It broke me out of my reverie, and the childlike fear drifted away. I sigh and sent half of them down the hole, then turn my attention to my two guests. They were still conked out on the floor. How long had it been? A few hours at least. It was getting close to sunrise. I could feel it.

“Grow towards the sun, huh,” I mumble. And with that thought, [Elemental Manipulation] was brought back to my attention.

The elements are an unusual classification with a set of rules not determined by the laws of the universe, but by the strange manipulations of the System. In short, they are not at all logical. – Althea the Astronomer

Congratulations! Your affinity for the elemental is astounding. Your domain knows no bounds.

 [Elemental Manipulation X]: You now have control over any of the four main elements–Fire, Water, Earth, Air–as well as any of their subsets that you understand for a slight cost of mana. (highest level, 10 cmR/ 1 mana; requires actual element for manipulation)

Current Understanding:

Fire: Main Water: Main, Ice Earth: Main, Plant  Air: Main

Um. This is rather confusing… This is not quite what I thought it was when it said [Elemental Manipulation]. I thought it’d be more like the periodic table, manipulating electrons or protons or the base elements inside of something. Instead I get whatever this is. I feel wronged, somehow. I mean, I wouldn’t really classify plants as earth… And isn’t ice water already? Just in a different state. Isn’t really manipulating one manipulating the other? Why are they classified differently? And fire isn’t really an element at all. It’s just heat… Yeah, feels more like a cop-out.

On another note, looking at this skill makes me feel that I’ve been using [Ice Manipulation] and [Earth Manipulation] wrong, or at least not to their fullest. The word element jogged some memories for me, about atoms. I might be able to do something with that. It looks applicable especially now that I have plant manipulation. Maybe I can help them evolve though manipulation?

Now that I think about it, I really haven’t been using any of my skills to their fullest, or anything else that I have for that matter. Maybe I’ve just been stressed, too worried about surviving. Or maybe it’s this slight feeling I’ve had all along that I’m not supposed to be here, and in the next moment I’ll wake up and it’ll have all been a dream. Either way, my creativity has been stunted, if I had any in the first place. The ordeal a few hours ago washed all that away, though. I’m here now, and it looks like I’m here to stay, so I’m going to make something amazing. With this skill, I finally have the means to do it, something that’s been itching in the back of my mind for a while now, and that itch just exploded with the thought of growing towards the sun.

First things first. Underutilized resource: path points. I can finally go on a spending spree. Look out {valiant}, here I come.

 Being valiant isn’t something a person is born with. It takes work, practice, a willingness to push fear to the side, but most of all, it requires soul.  – Justice Grahm

Congratulations! {Valiant I (100/100)} Path: Complete. (+50 health; +50 mana; +20 health regeneration; +20 mana regeneration; {Valiant II (0/120)} path; |Aura of Souls|)

Luck is a tenuous thing, but if I didn’t have any, I’d be long dead in a ditch. –  Iolian

Congratulations! Your trials have made you stronger. Luck has shown you favor.

[Karma II]: Your luck is unnatural. For every action that results in an extreme amount of good luck, the following action will have an increased chance in resulting in an extreme amount of bad luck. Vice Versa (20% in luck reversal; 10% in luck remaining good; 5% better System rewards)

We didn’t get to where we were by chance. We carved our path from the very stone. – King Julian Vibrants IV

Congratulations! The paths you follow grow increasingly different from those around you.

Level [13]!: You have completed your first rare path. (+8 health; +10 mana; +10 path points; full restore}

I sometimes see it off in the distance. Ya can’t see it anywhere else but in the far north. Natives’d speak of it on cold nights: the River of Souls. – Guardsman Dunal

Congratulations! Your auras grow strange and unique.

Level [14]!: You have obtained your first unique aura. (+8 health; +10 mana; +10 path points; full restore}

 

Yes! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssss! Yesyesyes!!! Finally! [Karma] leveled up and I leveled up twice just from completing the {valiant} path. I knew it was worth it. And I even got a unique aura. I wonder what it does.

 |Aura of Souls|A soul is the source of life. Breathe basic life into objects you manipulate. Transfer a portion of your own soul to objects you manipulate.

 

I don’t know what that means, but it sounds awesome! And crazily over powered. There’s no way I would have ever gotten such an aura without [karma]. I have a hunch that I wouldn’t even have gotten a unique aura from the rare path if it weren’t for that skill.

[Karma]’s been such a pain in my life. As much as I get good stuff because of the skill, my life as basically gone to crap because of it. It almost feels like I’ve gotten more of my share of bad luck than good, but it’s finally starting to pay! I mean not much right now, but it proves that the skill actually gets better as it levels. I was worrying that it’d actually get worse from how my luck’s been. Even though my 20% chance of my luck reversing didn’t change at all, 10% chance of my luck staying good instead of reversing is like a boon out of heaven, and the 5% chance that I’ll get better System rewards just makes it all that much sweeter. I’m going to keep churning out the goods. Heehe.

Let’s do {ingenuity} next! It’s the most expensive after {valiant}.

Ingenuity makes the world turn. – Caoyan’s Musings

Congratulations! {Ingenuity I (50/50)} Path: Complete. (+25 health; +25 mana; +5 health regeneration; + 5 mana regeneration; {Ingenuity II (0/60)} path; [Biome Creation]; [Fluid Floors])

 

Ug, I’m tempted to look and see what the skills do, but no, wait until the end. I wanna spend all my path points on every single one of my paths. Leave figuring out what everything does until the end, that way it’s a surprise. I like surprises. Well… as long as they’re good ones.

Alright, I’m super excited! {Beginner} next!

Take it slow. Don’t rush life. Little steps are how one moves forward. – Petra, Sage of the Wild, to Nattiq Morlo

Congratulations! {Beginner III (12/12)} Path: Complete. (+5 health; +6 mana; +5 health regeneration; +5 mana regeneration; {Beginner IV (0/15)} path; +1 random starter seed)

 

Okay, the starter seed was to be expected. And now, {Defender}.

I sure as heck wasn’t letting those monsters into my home. So, I beat them up, and I beat them up good. – Latell Mitchell 

Congratulations! {Defender I (10/10)} Path: Complete. (+8 health; +10 mana; +10 health regeneration; +10 mana regeneration; {Defender II (0/15)} path; |Aura of Protection|)

I gazed out upon his domain, the one we spent years together building. It was a sight to behold in this wasteland. – Magistar Terret

Congratulations! The way before you is wide and the rewards endless.

Level [15]!: You have completed your first uncommon path. (+8 health; +12 mana; +8 path points; full restore}

 

Cool, another level. And another aura. Let’s complete it again and see what else it gives.

We fought for days, our enemy surrounding us like the sea on all sides, but we held fast. We did not falter. – Curo Llid

Congratulations! {Defender II (15/15)} Path: Complete. (+10 health; +13 mana; +10 health regeneration; +10 mana regeneration; {Defender III (0/20)} path; |Aura of the Lost|)

 

Huh. Another aura. I thought it’d be something different. |Aura of the Lost| sounds kind of ominous… I hope it’s alright. It’s another unique one, surprisingly. [Karma]’s new effects are showing already. I mean, {defender}’s only an uncommon path… Well, with the path points I have left, I can only afford {beginner}.

Every kingdom needs its builders. – A Ruler’s Almanac

Congratulations! {Beginner IV (15/15)} Path: Complete. (+6 health; +8 mana; +5 health regeneration; +5 mana regeneration; {Beginner V (0/20)} path; +1 random starter animal pair (+starter feed); |Trap Schema|)

 

I looked back at all my notifications. This is crazy! Three level ups, and a ton of health and mana, among other cool things just from completing paths. Suddenly, my world isn’t looking so dismal anymore. I rub my imaginary hands together, excited to jump in and see what all this stuff does. First the skills.

In the Palace of the Sun, there exists a most wondrous water garden. It truly is an oasis in this fiery desert. – Chu Guhan

Congratulations! Your domain grows, encompassing all walks of life.

 [Biome Creation]You can now create and sustain various biomes in place of rooms. (1 mana/min per designated biome as upkeep)

Dungeons have floors. This is common knowledge, but this dungeon defied common knowledge. It had spirals and rooms that moved when you weren’t looking. It was impossible not to get lost. – David Hallowy

Congratulations! Your domain is unusual. Where your floors begin and where they end is unknown.

 [Fluid Floors]Floors for you are no longer a concrete concept in your domain. Rooms or biomes can be moved around for the same cost as [Elemenal Manipulation X] (10 cmR/ 1 mana)

 

Woah. Um. Am I classified as a dungeon anymore? I feel like my subtle definition I’ve been getting ever since I first woke up has now been flipped on its head. But really, this is actually perfect! It’ll be much easier to do what I want to now.

If I had to describe the crying fern in one word: it cries. – Kernan Lith

Congratulations! You have received +1 crying fern sprout (creates fresh water through ambient mana, must have soil, can photosynthesize through ambient heat source)

 |Aura of Protection|Protecting is the nature of the soul. Gives things you manipulate protection from the environment (not applicable to physical or magical attacks).
 |Aura of the Lost|A way home is the plea of the lost. Lost ones are more likely to stumble upon your domain. Your domain now stretches into several dimensions, connecting areas where beings tend to lose their way (must first establish way point for full connection).
Pymgy rabbit! It’s so small! I wanna keep it forever and ever and ever! – Nammy Tamage

Congratulations! You have received +2 pygmy rabbit kits (tiny rabbits [male and female], must have sagebrush, can act as a food source for creatures and other animals) and +1 rose sagebrush sprout (silver sagebrush bred with a wild rose, bares rose hips; must have soil, can photosynthesize through ambient heat source)

 |Trap Schema|A packet of information about how to create various traps and constructions.

Open? (y/n)

 

My jaw dropped. Well, if I had one, I’m sure it would be on the floor. I felt it as the |Aura of the Lost| activated on its own. It was a bizarre feeling, like my world was shifting. My domain settled into an in between. It was somehow both here and nowhere, tendrils of it drifting to several places at once.

I felt one… settle, if that was the right word, in a desert, I think. The aura brought back feelings of overwhelming heat that stretched on for miles amid the sand dunes. I felt another settle in a remote valley in the middle of the mountains. Another in the middle of the ocean, and another in a confusing forest. More and more spread out to places that were strange and disconcerting, causing whoever entered to become increasingly lost.

The hub of connections felt weird, but also it caused me to settle. It was the best I had felt in days. It felt right, like I’ve always been meant to gather in these lost ones, to take them under my wing. Yosh! I had a definite purpose now. I’ve got to make a place for them to stay, not to mention beef up my defenses. And oh how I’m liking the look of that |Trap Schema|.

I hit yes. Information filled my head and I couldn’t help but smile. This is going to be fun.

 

Status Menu
Name: Haven [Locked] Race: Legendary Dungeon Level: 15*  Attribute: Green
Health: 294/294* (2/min)* Mana: 316/316* (2/min)* State: Normal
 Biomes: 1* Floors: ?%Ξ]* Named Monsters: 1
 Monsters: 35 Animals: 1* Plants: 4*
[Ξ]
Path Points: 3*
Paths: {Beginner V (0/20)}* {Ingenuity II (0/60)}* {Valiant II (0/120)}* {Defender III (0/20)}*
Skills: [Influence III] [Incorporation III] [Ambient Aura VII] [Plant Growth I] [Green Thumb I] [Tamer II] [Karma II]* [Natural Projectile III] [Core Teleportation] [Epithet] [Elemental Manipulation X] [Biome Creation]* [Fluid Floors]*
Achievements: |Ingenuity!| |Powerful!| |Dauntless!| |Against the Odds!| |Crack Shot!| |Breeder!| |Safe Guard!|

 

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AN- So many blue screens… Ug. Took a week break, sorry about not updating. Next few updates should be more world building. What do you think of the rewards for the paths?

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