magic

4.2 – The Ikwir

Luyo lxats’ben won diri so Ikwir. While not as dangerous as the Rhew in terms of the environment’s ability to kill, I assure you, the Ikwir is no less deadly. The cold doesn’t dampen hunger there, and no one seems to know why the things in the north grow so big. I did try traveling through the place to see if I could discover the original city of Automaton. You know, Dig and I found on our Yat’al’ that we can hold our own in a fight against almost everything we come across, at least long enough to run away, which is more than most can say. But the wolves there… I’m not to keen on ever meeting them again. That was  too close a call, huh, Dig? I wouldn’t want to run into a Fenrir there.

—  A Yat at his ariyaqori festival

 

[Ambient Aura VIII] –> [Ambient Aura IX]: You’re ability to use auras has almost reached its highest level. You are beginning to realize the truth of auras. Partings do not last forever. Every soul is connected. (Due to the strength of your longing, due to your pain and your loss, you have found a way to connect to the River of Souls using your combined auras to form |Aura of Rebirth|)

 

This… What is this? No, I’m serious. What is this? I can feel it. My hands are starting to tremble. Is this…? Can I really? Is this what I think it is? Will I be able to…?

I take a deep breath and hold it, letting my mind go blank. I sit like that for several seconds, then I let it all out in a massive puff of air. Alright. Let’s try. It can’t hurt, can it? I trigger |aura of rebirth|.

I jolt as the world suddenly goes black.

No, not black. It’s more like I’ve been cut off from the outside world and completely confined within my core. I can’t see anything, but instinctively I know not to panic. It feels different from the time I spent all my mana. That was an overwhelming, suffocating darkness where I couldn’t see, hear, or feel anything. While I can’t see or hear anything, this time I feel… a flow. A current. It moves and swirls around me in a similar way that mana does, only more subtle. If mana was a river, this would be a breath of wind, constantly moving in swirling eddies around me almost like it wasn’t there in the first place.

I reach out and touch an eddy next to me with a tendril of thought. It dodges my tendril and swirls a bit away and then closer again, brushing up slightly against my core before racing out again. I laugh a little. It feels strange, alive, maybe even a bit mischievous. I chase after it with my tendril. It swirls in loops, always dodging my tendril by just a hair. I laugh again.

Then, the eddy stops. I slow my tendril in confusion. I feel it turn and swirl in spot once before slipping next to my tendril. It reaches out and takes a hold of my tendril like it was grabbing my hand, then launches off towards the sky. It moves so fast that my tendril stretches and thins to the point of snapping. I know it. I know it to the bottom of my core that that’s bad. It’s a very, very bad idea to let it break. I can’t let that happen.

Hurriedly, I feed more of my thought into my tendril so that it’s no longer threatening to snap like an overstretched rubber band. But, now I feel myself thinning as I’m drawn out of my core by the eddy. It’s almost to the point where I can barely hold a grip to my core. I’m starting to panic a bit now. I don’t know where this eddy is dragging me, and it’s grip on my tendril is too strong for me to let go, but if this keeps on much longer, I’m going to slip right out of my core. I don’t know what’s going to happen if I do. Am I going to die?

Right about when I feel my grip slip, the eddy stops, and I’m left gasping and heaving. Too close. I’m stretched so taunt that it’s like the last rope holding up a breaking bridge. It feels like any breath of wind will break me now.

I feel something else now though, something moving fast. Both the eddy and my tendril are buffeted by the current. My stretched out thought-body strains. Ow ow ow. Am I a kite string now? The eddy begins moving against the current, more carefully now, so as not to break me. It touches me to something that feels almost solid amidst the flow, like a rock or a pillar. My tendril sinks into it, and almost instantly the tension on my body dissipates. My drawn out body starts to dissolve in the middle, slipping back into both my core and the pillar. Suddenly, it’s like my body is in two different places at once. Like it’s overlapping in two different dimensions. Or maybe it was actually my soul…

That was something to ponder later. I give a shake as I open Dial’s eyes. I can see the world again through the statue. But now, I can also feel the current buffering around me. It feels right almost like it’s always been there. A screen pops up.

 |Aura of Rebirth| has been activated. You have successfully formed a connection with the River of Souls. You have earned the achievement – |River Keeper!| – As a caretaker of the River of Souls, you are the first. You know this river. You know its currents and its bends. You know when it is healthy, and when it is sick. ({Aegis (0/5000)} path; [Forewarn III] -> [Forewarn IV] – feel the state of the world through the River of Souls; +basic understanding of the thoughts and feelings of souls; due to karma, you’ve gained a special reward: +100 aegis points – you can choose to spend them this once or wait (the more points, the bigger the soul you can reincarnate; the skill –[Rebirth]–  is a locked skill under {Aegis (0/5000)} and can only be used once due to the effects of karma))

 

Before I can even have the chance to really read the screen, another screen pops up.

You have detected a soul that has refused to leave your side. In doing so, it has resisted the pull of the River of Souls. It’s overwhelming need to protect you has caused it to begin degrading over time. It will eventually revert to its original state. Warning, this will reduce the soul to pre-reincarnation status. It will no longer have intelligence if allowed to continue.

 

I whirl around me, searching for the soul.

“Oroesi? Oroesi! Why are you still here?!” I see him now, faint, flickering like a dying candle in the breeze. “No! You can’t do that! You need to go! You need to leave right now!” I yell at him. He shakes his head and slips inside Dial to pat my core.

“Stop. Why would you do this? You’ll stop being you.” My understanding of this world’s reincarnations process was still limited, but I knew that if he kept being here, he would lose everything that defined him. He would be something else, the basest form of soul with no thought or feeling.

He grins, then mimics a sobbing face and pats my core again. His body flickers again. He’s fainter than before. Urgency fills me. He doesn’t have much time. My eyes dart around, desperately searching for a solution. A line on the first screen catches my eye – soul you can reincarnate. The words feel like they lodge in my throat. I look at Oroesi and without hesitation:

You have chosen to spend 99 Aegis points to reincarnate: Oroesi»|. Please wait…

 

A flash of light surrounds Oroesi. He looks at his immaterial arms in confusion before he’s flung out of Dial and into a whirling mass of ice and snow, which begins to condense around him.

My core lodges in Dial’s throat. Anxiousness assails me. If this doesn’t work… If I’m doing this wrong, and it’s actually going to hurt him… The sharp stone nails lining Dial’s fingertips dig into his palm. I’m clenching it so hard, the claws are starting to puncture through to the other side of his hand. With a bit of conscious effort, I relax the giant hand, then look up at the whirlwind surrounding Oroesi.

The wind has picked up now. I have use Dial’s hand to shield Rosehip–the poor, confused little snowdrop dragon–from being pulled into the icy tornado. Most of the snowdrop flowers and a good portions of the rose-bush rooted on Dial’s head tear off and fly into the cyclone. I look down at the Devin golem down by hiding behind Dial’s feet. She’s trying the best her semi-autonomous mind can allow her to not to get sucked in as well.

Then, as sudden as it began, the wind stops and the snow flutters to the ground, revealing something within the eye of the once whirling cyclone. The tiny thing in the center begins to fall a beat after the drifting snowflakes. I reach out and gently catch it in Dial’s hand.

Oroesi»| has been reincarnated as a [Winter Axolotl] (infant)

 

“Oroesi, you’re…” I stare.

So tiny. He’s about the size of a kitten. He’s pale, very pale, so white he could blend in with the snow, with wide set black eyes above a dorky, grinning guppy mouth. Three tendrils fan out like palm fronds on either side of his face and he has a tail like a tad pole’s.

“Rrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeppp!” He chirps at me as he slaps one of his front feet a couple of times from where he rests on Dial’s palm. Of course, I don’t feel a thing, but it’s cute to see, nonetheless. He puffs out his fronds like he’s proud of himself. I give a laugh. That’s my Oroesi. Always trying to prove he’s a tough guy.

I lower him to the ground, then transfer my conscious back over Devin just so I can hug him. My core is still in Dial, just my mind is back in my old golem.

“I’m glad you’re back,” I say, squeezing him a little more that I should. He gives a dissatisfied grunt, but bares with it. I feel like a huge rock has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve lost a lot of my family, but at least Oroesi’s back. Albeit in a much different form… Though, this one makes me want to cuddle with him always.

I snuggle with him for several minutes more before I sigh and push some mana into him. I’m careful. I haven’t tried this before, because I was too nervous. It felt kind of wrong to directly interfere with another creature, and I was really scared that I would make a mistake and ruin them forever, but now I think it’s worth the chance. I don’t want to lose him again, so this time, I’ll make him stronger.

Shakily, I guide the mana into his body. He shifts uncomfortably in my arms, but otherwise stays still. I close my eyes and feel how his body breathes and pulses. It feels me with a sense of wonder and joy that I spend several minutes more just watching him. He’s alive!

I give a grin, and wander a little deeper. I can feel his hidden talents, there buried underneath the beating of his heart, but for now, I leave them be. I focus on his bones first, and there I discover something that makes me extremely happy.

Mana is stranger than I thought. I’ve always been using it more as a third hand. Well, actually as my only hand if you only look at my core… I create and shape things like I would on a pottery wheel, slowly working it until I have a decent vase or whatever. Either that, or the effects trigger automatically in a mana fueled skill without me really understanding how it works.

Maybe it was because Oroesi’s mine, because my mana helped recreate him, or maybe that he’s been with me for a long time now, but working the mana felt different inside him. I thought I’d have to reshape his bones, maybe even reinforce them with diamond, which I honestly don’t know if that would be a good thing or not. He might have collapsed under the weight, now that I think about it.

The mana falls like snow on his bones, melting into them. As I feed in more, sprouts emerge from the mana and bone. They grow as more mana is added. I twirl them around and around and thread them through the cells of the bone. The mana seeps in even deeper, carving out slight groves to allow the mana to flow through the bones easier. It looked almost as if someone had decorated his bones in with carved vines.

[Oroesi]’s bones have become Mana Strengthened. (+2 to strength and defense, +20 health, 10% more mass)
Ever wonder why dungeons only seem to have one type of monster? – Ifanc, explorer of oldCongratulations! Late bloomers and the most beautiful.

[Dungeon Evolution]: With the amount of time it took for you to learn this, you would be the runt of the litter if there was one. (Allows for dungeons to evolve their creatures in the direction they wish. No technical knowledge required.)

 

Wait for it.

Wait for it…

I facepalm. I stand there for several seconds, then groan, rubbing my hand over my face. I tilt my head back and stare at the sky.

“You could have told me earlier!” I yell. “You could have told me so many things earlier! It would have made everything soooo much easier!!! Thanks SOOOOO much for that! All this time, here I was taking the freaking slow route! Through Natural Evolution!!”

You’re Welcome

 

“Ha! You think you’re so funny!” I say with a frustrated, suppressed sort of half scream. [Dungeon Evolution]. [Dungeon evolution]. That implies it’s a skill for dungeons. What am I? A level 32 dungeon that has just learned freaking [dungeon evolution]. Sound familiar? [Mana absorption] ring a bell? Anyone? Anyone??? I grind my teeth.

My thoughts flash back to what little I remember before I came a core. That one instant, single point in time that I couldn’t even tell if it was real, where a mass amount of strange feelings came pouring into my being. I fought, raged, against them, pushing most of it out again. The little bits that were left were the strange instincts of a newly born dungeon.

That meant the rest of those life saving instincts had flow out the window. Including all the stupid skills like [dungeon evolution] and [mana absorption] that I know for a fact I was supposed to have learned long ago. All out the window. You know. OUt tHe FreAKINg WinDOW! I almost died several times, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Oroesi rubs his head against my cheek as I stew. He’s definitely gotten bigger since I strengthened his bones. Now he’s more of a small house cat, maybe little dog sized. The type that bark incessantly.

“I’m glad you didn’t turn into one of those,” I say, looking down at him, before returning to my glowering at the screen mocking me with “You’re Welcome.” Oroesi gives a giiiiiiiirrrrup sound, kind of like he’s gurgling and blowing spit bubbles at the same time. It’s a weird sound, but kinda cute. He rubs his head again, and his frills tickle my cheek.

“Don’t worry, I’m not sulking,” I say. “But, just so you know, if I ever somehow meet whoever is behind these screens, know that I WILL beat him, or her, to an inch of their life. It’s just a tiny bit of payback, nothing harmful.” I smile sweetly at Oroesi. He cocks his head up at me.

Please don’t.

 

I sigh and look to the sun that’s just starting to peek over the horizon.

“You seem to be talking more.” I look back at the blue screens. “Hey, are you an actual person?” I get no response.

“Figures. Alright, Oroesi. Let’s leave this place. It’s been attacked way too often for my liking.” I carry him over to Dial, and we ride his hand up to the top of his head like an elevator. I carve out a bit of Dial’s stone helm to look a bit like a crest, which also functions as a nice reclining chair. I sit down on it with Oroesi on my lap. Rosehip flies over and curls up for a nap on my shoulder. I pat her head. She’s had a rough day. Or couple of days, now that I think about it.

“Alright, Oroesi, which way to you think we should go?” He gurgles as he pats my left hand.

“West it is.” I start directing Dial to walk. Already the sun is starting to climb low over the horizon to the south. In the next few hours, it’ll be dark again.

“Should we head a bit south? It’d be nice to have more sunlight?” I rub my chin. “Or I guess we could just wait until summer. The sun’s up all the time then. I don’t know how long away that is though. Hm… Welp I miss the sun. And green things. Heading a bit south shouldn’t hurt. I’d be attacked by those worms no matter where I go, anyway.” I shift Dial a bit more towards the south.

We sit in silence as we travel. I hesitate a bit as we reach the furthest point where my domain has ever spread. The feeling assaults me that the first time in my life I’m going to be moving outside  my domain. The thought scares me, and for a moment, I want to run back to the place Harbor once stood, the place I opened my eyes for the first time, the place where I had live all my life so far. It’s only been a few measly months, a half a year at most, but the place has always been my home. I look longingly back, and even though there’s nothing there but ice, I feel like I can almost see the mountains that once rose up.

Oroesi crawls up onto my shoulder and rests his head on mine, looking out over what was once my domain with me, then he pats my eyebrow comfortingly. I sigh and pat him back.

“Yeah, I know. We should go.” I start Dial walking once again, holding my breath as we cross the nonexistent barrier at the edge of what was once my domain. For a second there, I had a feeling, a fear and a hope all mixed together in one, that I wouldn’t be able to cross that line, much like long ago, I wasn’t able to leave that first igloo I made.

I look back at the invisible line receding behind us and marvel at how much I’ve changed since then. I scrunch up my face then turn back around again, moving Dial to quicken his pace.

“And off we go.” Oroesi gives an agreeing blleeek and crawls back into my lap. I lean back and return to pushing mana into the axolotl, this time, threading it through his muscles like a shuttle through a loom, humming as I go. He, on the other hand, starts to practice blowing spit bubbles. I smile and shake my head a bit.

Watching him, however, I notice that his bubbles are getting larger and more opaque as he blows, until eventually, they detach and began to float away like true soap bubbles and pop. He keeps at it until they last longer and longer before popping and soon we’re surrounded by floating bubbles. They trail after us like a gossamer shawl floating in the wind. He gleeks in delight.

I reach up and pop one of the bubbles with a finger. A light mist from the bubble coats my finger. I stare, shocked when my finger begins to stiffen. I try to move it, when abruptly, my finger snaps off, bouncing off Dial and falling to the snow behind us. My mouth hangs open at the missing finger on my hand. Oroesi stares too, his eyes wide in horror at what his bubbles had done. He hurries over and begins to lick the stump like he’s trying to make the finger come back.

“Oroesi,” I say, “Your bubbles are freaking scary. That’s some freezing power they have, somehow insta-freezing even ice… You know, I’m not even going to question how that’s possible. I don’t even know anymore.” I shake my head and reform Devin’s finger out of mana, then turn back to working mana into Oroesi. While doing so, I subtly push a bit of air around us to make the bubbles avoid us.

Oroesi licks my finger in apology.

“Don’t worry about it.” I pat him. “Actually, keep practicing. It’ll keep you safer in the future.” I grin down at him and finish feeding the last bit of mana in to his muscles.

[Oroesi]’s muscles have become Mana Strengthened. (+2 to strength, +3 to endurance, +20 health, 10% more mass)

 

I smile as Oroesi grows a bit bigger. Oroesi gleeks and shakes his legs a bit to get used to the new size. I look around a notice the sun about to set. I have been at it longer than I thought.

The landscape has changed too. It’s still very icy, but bits of rock are beginning to poke up out of the ice. The wind blows through the land differently as well, carving out strange ice formations as it swirls from further north. Curling arches and hanging cliffs appear as we head south. I stare jealously at ices caves with mouths lined with sharp icicles. If only I had been born in one of those instead.

Something else catches my eye. It’s small and stunted and shriveled looking, but that’s definitely a tree. I know that Dial has massive strides, and that we’ve traveled quite far in the last few hours, but I still wasn’t expecting to find one so soon.

I start as a blue screen pops up.

You have left the Rhew and entered the region known as the Ikwir, or the Northern Border. Life flourishes. Take care to watch for increased traffic in monsters.

 

“Okay…then,” I murmur. I stare as we slowly pass the tree by. I look up to my right, up on top of a rising bluff carved out of snow. I squint against the setting sun and can almost make out something standing there. Light ripples of the snow, and whatever it was is gone.

I give a shudder. If I wasn’t just seeing things, that thing was massive. Oroesi bleeks at the bluff.

“You saw that too? We should be fine. Even if it’s huge, we have something just as big.” I pat Dial on its massive head. “Let’s keep going.”

The landscape gets stranger as we go along. We pass under icy overhangs that creek and groan, straining under the weight of snow piled on top. We pass by thick pillars of ice carved by wind into shapes that vaguely resemble growing creatures or buildings of a far distant age. Hillocks, smooth and covered in blankets of snow remind me of sleeping giants or monsters like up on the bluff.

Snow slips off as we pass another of these hillocks resting off a ways in the distance, and for a second, I swear I saw an eye starting at me from underneath. I stop and stare at it as the last ray of sunlight disappears from the horizon, some time after even, until some sort of bird hoots in the distance.

“We should keep going,” I say while turning away. I start us moving again. I’ve never had problems with the dark, usually surrounded by various glowing things, ut now I’m hesitant to light anything up. Things are beginning to move in the dark. This wasn’t something I had thought would happen considering the extreme cold. Every little sound makes me start. Even Dial’s slow crunching through the snow brings no comfort. I have to fight the urge to stop Dial every time I hear something.

A few paces later, and my breathing is even heavier. Oroesi crawls back up to my shoulders to stand as lookout. He croons and pats my head worriedly. Rosehip has continued to sleep through it all.

A few more steps, and I’m feeling woozy. White spots flicker in my vision, and non-existant bile rises in my throat. The feeling rises straight from my core. Both the sentinel and the golem are affected. Devin slumps where she’s sitting as Dial’s steps begin to falter. He can barely support his own weight anymore.

Oroesi gives a surprised graaaaaak as the next step sends us crashing down into the snow.

“I think, maybe we should stop for the night,” I say, wiping off a face full of snow. The sick feeling settles a bit now that we;re not moving. We all freeze when we hear a wolf howl from very, very close.

“And that settles it. How much are you willing to bet those wolves are much nastier than I think they are?” My voice cracks. I scramble up, only to crash back over into a pile of snow.

Warning: Domain Sick – you have gone too long without the support of a domain. Time spent outside an established domain will result in Mana Degradation.

 

My head swims as I try to read the words on the screen that just appeared. I’m distracted as another howl sounds, this time even closer.

“Dial!” I yell, “Dig!” I struggle to point to the snow bank in front of us. At this point, I’m barely even thinking clearly, much less controlling the sentinel. This results in  dishing out a series of increasingly slurred commands. as my head pounds like a drum.

“Ooroeesi,” I twist over to look at him shaking off the snow, “Where iss Rosehhip? Finnnd Rosehipp.” He looks over at me with a gleek, and then bounds off looking for the tiny dragon. She’s going to be hard to find. I grimace, and try to flip myself over.

A few attempts later, and I successfully roll myself out of the snow drift I landed in. Oroesi snuffles in the snow, digging awkwardly. He pauses every few seconds to stare into the darkened distance, before returning to digging with renewed vigor. Dial digs behind me, sending large handfuls, or more like boatfuls, of snow and ice flying yards away.

I sway woozily, watching as it flies through the air, before turning to stare off into the dark. I squint. Those are… eyes? Yellow eyes p-popping up one after another, growing brighter as it gets even darker. If it weren’t for the eyes, I don’t think I’d be able to see them. They blend into the snow so easily, that you couldn’t even tell they were there even when they moved. I am staring at, easily, over thirty wolves the size of grizzly bears. I shiver as they slowly circle closer. Oroesi digs even faster.

“Diiiiaaaaaaaaaaall!” I yell. “Dial, Wooollvvvves!” He spins around from the bank just as the wolves launch themselves forward. Oroesi bleeks in shock, digs as fast as he can for a second longer, then lunges to grab the freshly uncovered Rosehip out of the snow.

Dial drops down onto all fours as Oroesi makes a mad dash back towards me. Dial roars. The wolves flinch at the sound, giving Oroesi the second he needs to make it back. he drops Rosehip in my lap before scuttling back to make an aggressive stance in front of me.

I wince as Dial makes clumsy swings at the wolves. I;m going to have to teach him how to fight later. I launch long magma projectiles at the wolves, nailing a couple of them. The rest, however, nimbly dodge the spears. They hiss and sizzle in the snow, but provide a dim, glowing barrier between us and the wolves. They hesitantly circle around it.

I send more projectiles out as Oroesi begins blowing a large amount of bubbles. The wolves dodge my projectiles while ignoring the bubble drifting towards them. Or at least, they did until one of the bubbles pops against a wolf’s head. It promptly freezes everything the bubble’s mist touches, a good half the head, which then crumbles to pieces when the wolf tries to move. It then keels over. Everything but Dial freezes at the sight. I don’t think even Oroesi was expecting that kind of power from the bubbles.

Dial manages to bring a palm swinging down and smashes five wolves during that time period. The wolves launch themselves at the sentinel, clawing and smashing chunks out of its skin. And, Dial just stands there. This isn’t working. I stare nauseous at the scene as Oroesi blows out more bubbles. A few wolves detach themselves and send blades of light from their claws, popping swathes of bubbles. I try to launch more projectiles, but motion sickness overwhelms me. I didn’t know dungeon cores could get motion sick. I think manipulating mana makes me more sick.

Alright, trying different approach, since Dial doesn’t know how to fight properly. I concentrate, trying my best to ignore the dizziness, and shift my consciousness back over to Dial. I takes me a second, but I manage to slip in. I swallow down the need to faint and open my eyes.

It hurts! I can feel the stupid wolves biting me! But, this is good, good. It’s waking me up. I grit my teeth and howl at the wolves. I unfurl Dials tail and send it swinging at the wolves slowly getting closer to Oroesi through the field of bubbles. They squeal oddly as they are launched into the air towards me. I smack them down into the snow. They sit there twitching. One was even buried up to his neck in snow.

A bite on my thigh brings me back to the ones swarming me. I rip one off my arm and send it flying into the bubble field. Several bubbles burst, and the wolf practically disintegrates into chunks of ice. I rip another two off and send them flying as far as I can. They disappear into the night, leaving only faint yelps from when they land seconds later.

Annoyed, I glare at the wolves below me, smacking a few of them as they came in from different angles. They slam hard into the icy side of the bluff, hard enough to stick. Then, I jump. The movement shakes wolves off my legs and chest, and one was unlucky enough to be directly below me when I fell back down. I avoid looking at the squished pile of wolf.

At this point, I’m starting to run out of steam. The pain is no longer enough to keep me from almost keeling over, but I hold steady as best I can. There are just less than half the wolves left, but they are clearly less enthusiastic about attacking. We form a impasse, each side staring at the other, warily waiting for the other to move. Before they can start gathering their courage for another attack, I lean forward slightly and roar in their faces.

The wolves yelp and scatter into the dark. Moments later, so does my consciousness.

Status Menu
Name: Haven [Locked]–Dial Race: Legendary Dungeon Level: 32 Attribute: Green
Health: 583/852 (13/min) Mana: 87/1136 (15/min) State: Dungeon Sick; Mana Degradation – Severe nausea, confusion, motion sickness; difficulty directing mana, stored mana dissipates*
Biomes: 3 Floors: ?%Ξ] Named Monsters: 3
Monsters: 0 Animals: 0* Plants: 0*
[Ξ]
Path Points: 13; Aegis Points: 1*
Paths: {Beginner VI (0/30)} {Ingenuity V (0/130)} {Valiant III (0/200)} {Defender VI (0/100)} {Architect III (0/150)} {Strategist III (30/95)} {Survivor II (30/50)} {Destroyer I (55/100)} {Failure III (14/30)} {Aegis (0/5000)}*
Skills:  [Ambient Aura IX] [Gardener VI] [Karma IV] [Natural Projectile VII] [Core Teleportation] [Epithet] [Elemental Manipulation X] [Biome Creation] [Fluid Floors] [Golem Creation] [Loyalty] [Tranquility] [Warding V] [Forewarn IV]* [Mana Absorption] [Standstill III] [Cooking II] [Purity] [Create] [Bravery] [Dungeon Evolution]*
Achievements: |Ingenuity!| |Powerful!| |Dauntless!| |Against the Odds!| |Crack Shot!| |Breeder!| |Safe Guard!| |Creator of Wonders!| |Leader!| |Besieged!| |Bloody!| |Fall of a Domain!| |River Keeper!|*
Causes:  Against the World»| — 5
[Ξ]
Auras: |Aura of Light| |Aura of Warmth| |Aura of Fury| |Aura of Souls| |Aura of Protection| |Aura of the Lost| |Calming Aura| |Aura of the Seed| |Aura of Rebirth|
Fire: Main, Magma, Lightening Water: Main, Ice, Acid, Liquid Nitrogen Earth: Main, Plants, Minerals, Metal, Wax, Chalk, Jade, Diamond, Amber Gold Air: Main, Toxic Gas

 

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3.1 – Forewarning

To us, there was no forewarning. Or maybe there was, we just weren’t able to recognize it for what it was. First came a monster swarm. Every monster in the ocean for miles climbed up the beach and headed for higher ground. Watersfront was directly in their path. We fought them off. They weren’t concentrating on us. Most just passed on by. We heaved sighs of relief. Next, the air grew stifling. Nothing moved. It was deafeningly quiet. I noticed the ocean slowly receding, leaving foam in its wake. The horizon was hazy. By that time, it was too late. A wall of water had crept up behind that haze, towering above our heads, growing closer and closer, and then… it fell. 

–Jacob Fletcher, survivor of the Tragedy of Watersfront

 

Roaring. So much roaring. My head pounds. Everything feels distant.

“Haven. HAVEN!” Nattiq shakes me. I can’t feel it.

“No,” I whisper. “You’re wrong.”

“Haven! What’s wrong? Are you alright? What happened. Devin, please. Talk to me.” The roaring continues, drowning out his words.

“I’m not ready. Not ready. I’m not. It can’t be happening.” Nattiq shakes again. His worried face appears in front of me.

“I still have time. I don’t. I do. Please don’t come.” My vision fades in and out. My hands shake. No, its my whole body that’s shaking. A panicked light flickers from my core.

“But it is. Something’s coming. It’s there. It’s getting closer. Closer. Closer. No, don’t come.” My breath catches in my throat. No, that’s wrong. I’m breathing too fast. My mana is fluctuating out of control. The whole tree shakes with me, and sliver fish swim around me, agitated. Whatever’s out there, it’s chasing me. I could feel it. I ignored it. Nattiq brought it to light.

“I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.” It was one thing to have things suddenly attack me. It was a whole other thing, something on a completely differently level, to know something was slowly making its way towards me. Its aura…it was palpable. I could feel it even from this distance. The moment it stepped on the Rhew.

Cold. So cold. Colder than the ice around me. Bloodthirsty. Hungry. It wanted to eat. A horrible grin flashes through my mind. One that wanted to swallow me whole. I’m drowning in it. It moved too fast to see. It whispered horrors in my ear. It’s tongue slipped across my skin. Blood comes pouring out in its path. Unconsciously, I latch on to Nattiq’s sleeve with a death grip. (more…)

2.6 – The Legends of the Hynafol

What happened to the Hynafol?
Why, they disappeared.
Why did the Hynafol go?
They had something they feared.
What scared the Hynafol?
The eyes up in the sky.
What did it do to the Hynafol?
It made everyone die.

– Song the Gorsydd Ruins morgen sings

“How’s Ah’m?”

“He should be fine in a few days or so. He’s got a quick health regeneration rate. It’s the only reason he’s been alive as long as he has. Normally he’d be up and about in a few hours, but he got hit pretty bad, stabbed right through the stomach.”

“Oh. Where’s he now?”

“I put him in the room we came in, the one kinda like up here with all the pillows. Looked the comfiest.”

“Will he be safe there?”

“Should be fine for now. Nothing really lives down there. Not for miles, anyway. You were just unlucky with the naitaka. What are you going to do with him?” Nattiq nods towards Oroesi.

“Ah, he’s a guardian now, I guess. That reminds me.” I pull the owl cat from my space and put it on a pillow. “I have another.”

“Woah, is that an owl cat? How’s you do that? It popped out of nowhere.”

“You could call it sleight of hand.” I grin. Oroesi takes one look at the griffin and bares his teeth.

“Girl or boy?”

“Timp’s a girl. I also have these.” I pull out the pigmy bunnies as well.

“No really. How are you doing that? You can’t call it sleight of hand. You don’t have any hands.”

“Just something I can do, I guess. Ah, Oroesi, don’t eat the poor bunny! I only have two. At least wait until they mate or something.” I quickly make a new room below this treetop patio and pull the bunnies into it so that they’re out of Oroesi’s reach. It’s a good thing I did, ’cause Timp also looked ready to pounce. I call up some sliver fish with a pot of soil and carpet the bunnies’ floor.

“I think I’ll have to do some redecorating. My room arrangement is not the most logical at the moment,” I say, mentally dusting off my hands and settling into the pillows. I watch as Timp takes a swipe at Oroesi.

“You can move your rooms around?”

(more…)

Chapter 4 – Page 3

Seven’s face paled. Murderer, a voice echoed in his head. He shivered.

“Perk up, kid. No need to be scared. No one there’d mess with Hime. He’s got connections,” Sven said as he slapped Seven on the back. “Here let me help you up.” He grabbed hold of Seven’s wrist and pulled hard. Seven was launched a couple of feet, and he stumbled to regain his balance.

“Connections?” Seven said.

“Ever heard of Ahmed Mubai?” Josem asked. Seven shook his head. “Major crime lord. King of the Camellia House Mafia Group. Owes Hime here a favor.”

“And I was hoping I wouldn’t have to use it. The man’s mad. Never know how breathe around him. More trouble than he’s worth. Ug, I’ve been avoiding India for years simply because of him. Let’s move. We still have to get to our launch point by dark. Here kid, put these on. It’s going to be a long walk.” He threw over a heavy coat and a pair of thick boots before marching off. The people around him began to move.

(more…)

Chapter 4 – Page 2

Seven stood in a large field. Wind flowed past him, making the long grasses sway like waves. It was quiet except for the wind. He briefly thought it strange. His whole life there had always been something buzzing in the background. He tried to pull up his blue screen, but nothing happened. 

“&%$*#:@,” a sweet voice called out. It was a name, he realized. His own name. Not a number, a real name. If only he could have heard it clearly. He turned towards the voice and saw Alicia standing a ways behind him. Suddenly, he was very little. He cried in delight and ran towards her. 

“Mama!” he laughed as he wrapped his short arms around her leg. She chuckled and ruffled his hair before planting a kiss on his head. 

“How are you, my little imp? Did you have a good day?”

“It was scary, but Mama’s here, so it’s okay now,” he showed her a toothy grin.  (more…)

Chapter 4 – Page 1

Director Nero stood in his office, fuming at the aftermath of the sneak attack. The man in front of him stood as still as possible without making any sound in hopes that Nero’s wrath would not be directed upon him. It was a pointless hope.

“Second Officer, where is your commanding officer?”

“Dead, sir.”

“And the First Officer.”

“Dead as well, sir.”

“So, the chain of command falls to you then?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Tell me why you and your men are so incompetent.”

(more…)

Chapter 3 – Page 6

“That’s great! I’m only in this for the fun,” Mevin said.

“Shut up, you roat.”

“Do you need me?”

“Stay where you are. It’d suck trite if they got organized. We’ll rendezvous where we entered.”

“Alrighty, Hime. Will do.” Lex rolled his eyes and waved his men forward.

“Lead on, Hime!” Sven, a man in his group said. “I need some gezic after this is all over.”

(more…)

Map of the World in WWV

Here’s a rough map of what the world would have looked like during World War V if anyone was curious. There Are three major powers shown here. There’s The Confederate of North America in blue, The United Soviet-Communist Union in tan/gold, and the Coalition of New Poland, in green. The Darker green represents the actual country of New Poland.

 

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Made the map using http://edit.freemap.jp/en/trial_version/edit/world

Come Sevenfall Toc

Chapter 3 – Page 5

The Cakemen had been waiting outside the complex for four days. They were waiting for the right timing, but the longer they waited, the more Lex’s men were growing anxious. It was a delicate operation. The compound has a complex system of heavily armed guards. There was no apparent gap in their rotation. A watch tower lorded over the area.

Those four days were grueling. The weather was terrible. Snow fell for hours on end, but they couldn’t move about freely to keep warm else they be spotted by the watch tower. In the end, they kept to their small snow dugouts, trying their best not to freeze to death.

Lex sat on watch, keeping track of the movements of the guards through the telescope and infrared feature of his military grade meta-link. He was glad that he had invested in heat cloaking material for his men’s equipment to prevent the guards from doing the same. It was expensive and hard to get a hold of, but after all the stealth missions they had undertaken, it proved well worth it.

(more…)

Chapter 3 – Page 4

Andan admired his handiwork. Julia was still alive, barely. Her limbs were twisted and mangled and several fingers had been ripped off. Thin scratches from his knife covered her body. Her neck had a large gash from which her life blood slowly drained and puddled around her body. It was beautiful. Her breath came in slow, ragged gasps, and she struggled to say something. It made her seem even more lovely. He leaned over and placed a finger on her lips.

“Hush, it will be alright,” he said. “I’m here. You don’t have to worry about a thing.” A bit of life returned to her eyes, and she shied away from him. The action caused her to make a pained noise as blood rushed out quicker. Andan smirked.

Then, he heard a sound from above him. He turned and looked up. Something fell. As it passed by, it clipped his forehead, and his knife slipped out of his hands. The skin split open, and blood rushed down, flooding his dominate eye. He growled at the stinging pain and attempted wipe the blood away to no avail. Andan searched for what had hit him. He found Seven staring back at him in horror.

(more…)