When Randidly awoke, the first thing he felt was panic.
...wait, how long-
Thirty days, came the answer from his Skill, completely oblivious to the danger of laying around even a single extra day.
Randidly’s first instinct was to explode outward in a swift current of power. Although it wasn’t the best, momentum and the element of surprise were good enough weapons in a pinch. And yet just as Randidly gathered his Aether unto himself, more cautious parts of himself prevailed.
I’ve been left in here for this long without anything happening, so it’s not like there is any reason to move forward without a plan…
After shifting himself around to a more comfortable position, Randidly snapped his fingers and created a thin tongue of emerald flame to see by. Then he took a quick mental inventory.
His Class was remade. Randidly could sense the information pressing at him, but he wouldn’t experience it until he left this prison. But to know that he succeeded without any negative side effects was a relief. Ever since he had been infected by the Ashen Image, things had seemed to come with a price in his life. It was good sometimes to be able to just add a tick mark to the win column.
The other task that Randidly wanted to accomplish was reforming his Soulskill, but the threads of karma that he had woven during his brief visits to the Soulskill recent warned him to stay away for now. Although he would much prefer to do the work now, it wasn’t yet time; the Soulskill was still struggling to handle the changes Randidly had introduced with his new images.
After making a mental note to check in with his Soulskill this evening, Randidly scanned the prison. Then he grinned.
Time to leave.
It wasn’t like there were any great preparations to be made; Randidly had laid the groundwork before he had begun work on his Class. Now it was just a matter of using Aether to increase the power of those runes by an order of magnitude. They flashed bright and began to smoke. As the power reached a critical mass, the strange material of the prison shuddered.
As soon as there was the smallest flaw in the exterior, Randidly’s vines and roots from the surrounding area dug their way into the break and ripped it apart. Randidly clenched his left hand into a fist and summoned a neon green Ignition Bolt that he held at the ready. With a flicker, his Crown of Cataclysm and Gloom was hanging over him, sharpening his every sense.
Ridding a wave of charred and ashen plant life, Randidly rose to the surface. It appeared that Randidly was in a sub-basement beneath a series of buildings, and Randidly opened up several Eruption of the Blazing Leylines underneath these buildings. The brilliant green energies hissed outward and began to gleefully consume the structures.
On a whim, Randidly gathered the spreading emerald flames into a long cloak that he called to himself. With the prison broken, notifications began to flood Randidly, but for now he ignored them. With his eyes burning like a chemical fire, Randidly rose from his prison ready to fight.
He was faced with the charred wreckage of the farm he just destroyed and nothing else.
Coughing lightly from the soot, Randidly let several seconds pass by, just in case the bad guy hadn’t gotten his cue. Several more seconds passed. With methodical movements, Randidly’s plants had eviscerated almost all of man-made structures on the farm. Nobody had emerged.
Where was Aiden Darke? Where was the Propagator?
Had they really just… thrown him in prison and intended to leave him there…?
Sighing, Randidly stepped off his plantlife and onto solid ground. But then a grin spread across his face. It was dusk, and the sky was purple red as the boldest of the star crept out to join the night sky. Even if he didn’t get the chance to fight today, Randidly was free. Almost in wonder, Randidly looked down at his hands. His fingers flexed powerfully.
In many ways, his time in the prison had reduced him to a purely mental creature. It was with relish that Randidly twisted and stretched his body without encumbrance. The speed at which Stamina replenish itself made Randidly sigh with pleasure.
Notifications filled his gaze like a sea. Randidly skipped through most of them, regarding his Mana and Stamina Deprivation, and also all the notifications about Skill Levels. Randidly was looking forward to filling up a Path, considering all the PP he seemed to have earned, but that wasn’t what Randidly was looking for. Even if he could intuit the meaning of the Skills he had gained, Randidly had gone unconscious soon after gaining his new Class.
He was looking forward to seeing what it could do.
Congratulations! Due to strange circumstances, you have evolved your Class to a new Level! You now possess the Class "Lord of the Baleful Wood". As the Class was earned mid Level, you shall retain all your prior Skills, yet earn more powerful variations on the Skills you have yet to earn. You may learn 8 additional skills to these and those you already possess. Skills may be forgotten to learn new skills. +36 Health per Level, +40 Mana Per Level, +40 Stamina per level. +8 Vitality, Perception, Resist, Intelligence, or Control per Level. +20 Free stats per Level.
Due to addition detail added to the Class, your Class is now Lord of the Baleful Wood (x5)! Gain an additional 3 to all regenerations per Level.
Randidly’s grin was wide. Almost double his Health, Mana, and Stamina per Level would be something worth having. The extra stats would be rather useful too. Although after his time in the prison, Randidly was beginning to question exactly how valuable Stats were.
Without them, Randidly would lose a lot of his strength, it was true. But after dealing solely in images for a month, Randidly suspected that those sorts of things might be even more important than having high stats. Consider Aemont, who was able to overcome the distance in stats with a powerful image and a creative Skill.
“But of course,” Randidly said slyly. “I have it all, don’t I?”
Very quickly, Randidly skimmed through the rest of his actual notifications. There certainly was something cathartic to see so many affirmations as to his progress in the last month and clean them out so totally. But a few notifications right at the end caught Randidly’s attention.
Continuity interrupted. Resetting life monitor.
Monitor reengaged. Scanning…
Report compiled. Submitted. Continuity established.
Warning! Please avoid losses in continuity. Many Paths forward may be barred to you due to an error-filled repot.
Randidly clicked his tongue thoughtfully. Somehow, the overlay system seemed to sense that he had been beyond its reach for a time. Interesting, and a bit disturbing. What was perhaps more relevant was that it very bluntly threatened Randidly if this ‘continuity’ wasn’t maintained. Paths wouldn’t be available to him…?
That was different. The overlay System clearly didn’t like Heretics, but still, it never went as far as to directly threaten. It would just periodically send Judgements to stop you.
And speaking of judgments…
Randidly checked and breathed a sigh of relief to see his Heretic Path was still at 29.
After glancing around, Randidly leaped toward a small hill a short distance away. When he arrived, he set himself up on top and released some Ignition of the Emerald Essence. Immediately, the plant life on top of the hill reaction. It wove itself together into tall pillars of plant life.
Randidly scratched his head. He had meant to make a shelter, but this was just… he felt like he was standing in a Parthenon without a roof. A part of him wanted to use Grasp of the World Seed to move the plants into a better shape. But another part recognized that this balance he had found wouldn’t be perfect. The lack of control would take some getting used to, but it wasn’t such a bad thing. So he sat and turned his attention inward.
As Randidly counted up the different PPs he had earned, Randidly considered the different Paths available to him.
Heretic XXIX 0/???, Nexus Traveler Cohort 5 0/50, Experimenter I 0/50, System Transgressor 0/1, Steps of the Godling II Path 0/200, Friend to Humanity 0/100, War Leader 0/200, Mantle of the Patron 0/500, Metallurgist 0/300, Advanced Mana Engraving 0/400, Aether Convergence II ???, Perfect Soul Bond 0/1000, the Bell of Doom Tolls 0/600, Growth of Yggdrasil III 0/2000, Fiery Sharpshooter 0/350, The Ashes of Ulaat, Patron of Ash 0/1000, Order Ducis: Font of Guidance ???, Evolution of Self I 0/50, Humanity’s Torch 0/500, Bearing of a Teacher ???, Limitless Will 0/1000
Great Path, Dual-Mage of Inspiration and Ash 0/1400