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Chapter 2: Welcome Back
Authors Note:
It took me some time to decide on where to end this. I finally did. I'll have the next one out as soon as I can get my thoughts together.
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Welcome to Royal Road


A flash of light clouds my vision. Suddenly I realize I am standing in the midst of… a forest? Where is the town? THE PEOPLE!

I look around. Carefully just incase this is all a joke. I did say to start me in my old kingdom but apparently something went wrong. Or maybe I am the reason? I look around and see a lake through a few of the trees. I decide to sit beside it to make sense of things. As I walk towards it I hear birds that were just chirping, happily making music, immediately stop and cower silently. Other creatures such as a mother bear and her cub, upon seeing me, run as quickly as possible in the opposite direction. Man I must be one sight to behold. I arrive at the lake and peer down into it.

In front of me is exactly what I asked for. The scariest creature one ever did see looks back at me with curiosity evident in its nightmarish guise. I shudder a bit realizing that maybe that Admin guy did too well a job. Well its time to take a look at my own personal information as I have never been anything other than human and am somewhat curious to see what this ‘Void’ race is like.

As I recall foreigners were always shouting “stat window” when they first appeared in the city. And father always said that if I wanted to see a numerical value for my abilities I should speak these magic words. I never really gave it a try before. Lets give it a go.

“Stat Window!”

[
Stat Window
NameDevantAlignmentDark
TitleNone
ProfessionVoidlingRaceVoid
Level1ReputationFame: 0 Infamy: 0
Health130Mana90
Strength10Agility10
Vitality13Stamina10
Wisdom9Intelligence8
Void0
Magic Resistances
Fire+14%Water+14%
Earth+14%Wind+14%
Dark Magic+14%Void+54%
Divine-75%Holy-75%
Race Characteristics
Void:
+Monstrous being: If killed by player there are no repercussions. Players who kill you will gain triple the rewards as you are an abomination from the Void itself.
-Pker symbol will not appear on your head when you kill another player as a result of being a monster.
-All stats increase by 50% at night or in dungeons.
Gain stat Void
Automatic class: Voidling
Class given to all low Lvl. void beings. Able to be upgraded.
+Can learn any combat skill to intermediate
+Can learn any craft skill to intermediate
+As a member of the void magic is easier to learn
(Cannot Learn magic from Weakness Affinities)
+Voidling can be upgraded in 120 Void Points to Void Scout/ Void Soldier/ Void Caster


Wow I have one interesting constitution. Oh what is this? It reads “Notifications”. Wonder what those are.
Beep! Two windows popped up.

New Stat Gained: Void

New Skills Gained


“Well at least that first one matches my race. Wonder what the description for it is.”

Void
You are of the void and as such gain power from it. Increasing this stat will increase all stats by 0.05 per stat point in it. Points cannot be distributed. Further investigation required.


Interesting. These players seem to have a lot of useful tools. Wonder what skills I got. Well lets see, my father said if I wanted in-depth information on my own abilities I should say “show abilities window.” Some kind of magic he said.

[/tr ]
Skills
Elemental Affinity Beginner: 4 (0%)
Due to void status have generated elemental affinities. As more elements are discovered will be added to overall resistance/affinity makeup. Race affects which elements are more or less resistant Currently known Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Dark, Holy, Divine, Void.
Increases damage with each element by 10% per level
Reduces damage taken with each element by 1% per level
Holy and Divine not affected until intermediate stage.
Passive Skill


Well that was nice. At least I wouldn’t have to worry as much about some mages. Looking at my stat window again I realized I would not be able to gain anything from Priests or clerics. That would be painful.

I closed these windows dejected, as I basically have no idea how to gain these void points it speaks of. So for now I am stuck without a real profession. Not that my own innate skills are useless but I am stuck in the woods and have no actual combat training….

For now It seemed to me, I should at least see what I have on me. So I turned my pockets inside out. Eleven objects fell to the ground. One was a canteen, which I assumed was full of water, and the other ten were the rye bread given to newly arrived foreigners. The Freedmen, as they are also called in celebration of their freedom by the hand of Gaea, were always given ten rye breads and one canteen of water to help them get started. As I recalled this stuff was terrible. And it just so happened that I became hungry seeing this food.

So with great trepidation I bit into the bread. I am sure I lost a tooth this day upon attempting to eat this rock known as rye bread. Immediately I spat out the piece and throw the rest out into the lake. There were a few ducks swimming on it who in spite of their fear of me were delighted when they saw the chunks of bread being thrown into the lake. I turned back to my canteen and drank some water from it while they ate it.

Level up!


What? How did I level up? I look around to see if If something happened when I heard the sound of bubbles popping coming from behind me. I turned around and saw that the entire gaggle of ducks had drowned after eating the rye bread chunks. Note to self: never eat that garbage.

Even though I got rid of the source I was still hungry. Scratch that I was becoming ravenous. The little floating bar above my head had started blinking. The one below it was still mostly full. I noted that next to each bar were the words “Satiety Level” and “Stamina” respectively. I guessed that the bar that was emptying rapidly was my satiety bar. That would explain my ever-increasing hunger. I looked around rapidly hoping to find something edible. There was nothing I could find. I was starting to become delirious with hunger. I have never had this issue before. Three square meals a day and I was ok. Now I guessed I would find out what dying from hunger was like. Not good.

I ran through the woods. I didn’t want to eat the drowned ducks as that would take too long and I didn’t know how deep the lake was. Rushing through the trees I spotted a rabbit nibbling on some leaves. My eyes glued onto it as a wolf hunting would. I slowly crept up to the rabbit. As I neared I carefully removed things from my path so as not to make a sound. There was a Beep sound that I ignored. Getting closer I became impatient to catch it and accidentally stepped on a twig cracking it. The sound was like a crossbow bolt and caused the rabbit to take off running. I would not have this!

I left my hiding spot in pursuit of the rabbit. It was extremely fast but not smart, thus proven by it cornering itself between the recesses of two trees. I crouched down and slowly walked up to it. The fear in its eyes almost caused me to stop in my tracks and turn around, but my hunger pushed me on. I was within arms reach of my prey. It was time to eat. Right when I was to reach out for my meal I was knocked down. I heard a high-pitched squeal and a low thunderous growl emit from the same direction. I lifted my head and saw a mangy wolf crunching down on MY RABBIT!

I jumped up from my low position and tackled the wolf. I would not let him take my food. But wait this wolf would do just as well. Upon thinking this I bit into the neck of the wolf. It yelped and let go of the mangled rabbit. It tried to defend itself but I was now on its back tearing into its neck. By this point I’d lost all reason and was just bent on eating this flea-bitten mongrel that dared to steal my meal. It barrel-rolled and hit my body on the tree beside us. I still didn’t’ let go. It flipped again rolling on the ground trying to use its claws to force me to release. I held even more tightly. Finally after much work the wolf let despair come in and flopped on the ground exhausted. Delighted I tore out its throat with my teeth and proceeded to eat it bit by precious bit. There was a Ding! Sound which I ignored as I was way to busy.

Finally I finished my meal. The wolf carcass was laying in front of me a bloody mess with only the ribs being all that was left of its once large body. I thought for a moment then decided that I had enough. I sat back on my behind supporting myself with my hands. That was satisfying. Nothing beats live prey.

This thought shook me awake and I looked around at the mess everywhere. There were wolf parts all over the place. I had torn this thing to pieces. What in the name of Freya was going on? After this thought I winced in pain, looking to my upper right I noticed the bar that said HP next to it had gone down. I also noticed I had some pending notifications. So I opened them up.

Level Up!
New Skill Gained: Sneak, Devour
Stat Gained: Endurance, Fighting Spirit
Agi +1
Str +1
Vit +1


A new skill huh. Oh and I seemed to have become a bit stronger as well. This was excellent. At least I am seeing some progress.

“Open skill window Sneak, Devour. Open Stat description Endurance, Fighting Spirit.”

Skill Window
Devour Beginner: 1(0%)
Able to feed on enemies to gain a portion of health and mana back
Gain 1% of HP and MP per level per fed upon target.
Minimum healing 10 Hp/MP if % of hp/mp max capacity is lower than minimum heal.
Feed 5% faster per level
Passive skill as a result of Void racial Characteristic
Sneak Beginner: 1(0%)
Enables the usage of stealth and stealth-based actions. Stealth is broken if noticed by enemy units or sound is made.
Decreases sound made per level by 10%
Decreases chance of being seen per level 5%
Cost: 50 mana per second cost reduced by 1 per lvl.
May gain special effects based on actions taken.


Endurance
Reduces physical damage inflicted by the enemy, and even increases the user’s life by a small amount. Decreases stamina usage.
You are prohibited from distributing stat bonus points to this stat, and it rises spontaneously, depending on the avatar’s action.

Fighting Spirit
You can call on superhuman strength temporarily, or bring weaker monsters to their knees with a force in your eyes alone. You are prohibited from distributing stat bonus points to this stat, and it rises spontaneously, depending on the avatar’s action, especially if you fight monsters for a long time, or often confront monsters stronger than your current level.


Interesting. Wait did I not just use that devour skill? It seems to be immensely useful. Although is it not just basically eating something…odd. I decided I would look at this later. Then I noticed a new notification that I had not seen yet.

Void +1

Devour updated



Devour Beginner: 1(0%)
Able to feed on enemies to gain a portion of health and mana back
Gain 1% of HP and MP per level per fed upon target.
Minimum healing 10 Hp/MP if % of hp/mp max capacity is lower than minimum heal.
Feed 5% faster per level
Successful usage increases Void stat by 1
Passive skill as a result of Void racial Characteristic


“O thank you Fr- I mean hurray now I can raise the void stat!” I stopped mid worship as I recalled the damage I took earlier from spouting my former goddesses name. I did not like randomly taking damage like that.
Thinking about what I had gained I felt it would be a good idea to try to find the nearest herd of animals and eat them. Wait that’s not what I was thinking, originally I wanted to head to the nearest town or city. But food comes first. And I’m quickly growing hungry again. So I give in to the now growing need for food and start hunting around the nearby woods for any potential prey. I noted a group of tracks that went around the double trees I had been siting near. As this was the only clue I had pointing towards dinner I followed it. I was not going to run around like a madman like I did before though. This time I would try to be as stealthy as possible so I used the stealth skill whenever I had the mana. Fortunately, it seemed that thanks to my racial characteristic I had slightly heightened mana regeneration and did not have to wait as long as normal. It would be interesting if this characteristic became more pronounced later. By using sneak so much I managed to gain a level in it. Which helped a little bit. Also my agility went up by one as well.

Slowly I followed the tracks until I came across a small clearing. Luckily I was still behind some foliage and had gone unnoticed up to this point. Apparently that increase helped a more than I thought. I had come across a small group of rabbits. I was so happy I almost swore to she-who-must-not-be-named-for-fear-of-lightning. I settled in to watch the rabbit and continually use my stealth skill as the mana became available. This became a tad grueling as I started salivating. I swear I was not like this before when I was human. Must be some instinct of void to always be hungry. I decided I had enough waiting. I slowly closed into the group of rabbits. There were five of them. I would need to initiate carefully and quietly or they would get away. This would not do at all! There was one rabbit that had strayed a bit from the rest and was closer to me than the others. I picked up a few shreds of grass from the ground and crept closer. Just before the rabbit would have noticed me I tossed a piece towards it. It was shaken for a moment. It then nervously looked around making sure there was no danger. As it found nothing to be worried about it crept to the bit of foliage and nibbled on it.

It was so cute. So glad it was as the cuter they are the yummier they are. Where are these thoughts coming from anyways? Meh. Anyways I then tossed another piece just as it finished the former. Still wary it crept towards this piece as well. After once again checking its surroundings it began its new treat. None of the other rabbits had noticed that their brother was leaving the group slowly but surely. I repeated the actions with the grass a few more times until I had to activate stealth as the rabbit was right on me. I knew I only had maybe 2 seconds before it wore off so I swooped in and clutched the rabbit. Right before it could make a sound I broke its neck. Yummy rabbit. I proceeded to enjoy the succulent treat. I knew I still could not make any noise or the others would run. I tried opening my mouth as wide as possible and noticed the more I tried to open it the larger it could go. At some point I had a wide enough opening to drop the rabbit in whole. I ended up crunching it to smooth out the path down. Well done little noise and dinner eaten.

For the rest of the evening I repeated the same steps as earlier to hunt and eat more yummy rabbits. Of course this means I finished the first five in like 20 minutes and went on to find about two hundred more yummy treats. By the time I finished it was morning and I had grown by five levels. My Void stat was at two hundred and five. Apparently this also caused me to have a chance at a class upgrade which I ignored while I was hunting. Now that it was morning I checked this notice and decided that since I did so much sneaking I should be a void scout for now. Upon finishing my stats looked something like this.

[
Stat Window
NameDevantAlignmentDark
TitleNone
ProfessionVoid ScoutRaceVoid
Level7ReputationFame: 0 Infamy: 0
Health525Mana215
Strength30(+11)Agility35(+11)
Vitality20(+11)Endurance20(+11)
Wisdom11(+11)Intelligence10(+11)
Void215
Magic Resistances
Fire+14%Water+14%
Earth+14%Wind+14%
Dark Magic+14%Void+54%
Divine-75%Holy-75%
Race Characteristics
Void:
+Monstrous being: If killed by player there are no repercussions. Players who kill you will gain triple the rewards as you are an abomination from the Void itself.
-Pker symbol will not appear on your head when you kill another player as a result of being a monster.
-All stats increase by 50% at night or in dungeons.
Gain stat Void
Automatic class: Upgrade1: Void Scout
Class given to any Void being showing promise in the arts of stealth.
+Void scout can learn any stealth-based techniques or combat techniques related to class to the level of advanced
+Void Scout can learn Tailoring/Alchemy/Blacksmithing and any sub skills to the level of advanced.
+Can learn any combat skill to intermediate
+Can learn any craft skill to intermediate
+As a member of the void magic is easier to learn
(Cannot Learn Magic from Weakness Affinities)
+Void Scout can be upgraded in 6200 void points to Void Ranger/ Void Hunter/Void Assassin
If unsatisfied one may return to Voidling state at the cost of all current void points and choose another class upon reaching the necessary prerequisite.

Devour has gained a new bonus
Sneak has upgraded to Void Stealth
New Skill Gained: Void Dagger
New Skill Gained: Back Stab


“Open Updated Skills.”

Skill Window
Devour Beginner: 5(4%)
Able to feed on enemies to gain a portion of health and mana back
Gain 1% of HP and MP per level per fed upon target. (+5%)
Minimum healing 10 Hp/MP per level if % of hp/mp max capacity is lower than minimum heal. (+50)

Feed 5% faster per level (+25%SPD)
+Able to feed in silence
based on level of Void Stealth
Passive skill as a result of Void racial Characteristic
May gain special effects based on actions taken.
Void Stealth Beginner: 4(15%)
Enables the usage of stealth and stealth-based actions. Stealth is broken if noticed by enemy units or sound is made.
Decreases sound made per level by 10% (-40%)
Decreases chance of being seen per level 5% (-20%)
Cost: 10 mana per second cost reduced by 1 per 2 lvl. (8)
+Able to pull in the shadows to increase effectiveness of stealth.
+More shadows pulled greater mana cost up to 100 mana per second for full concealment
May gain special effects based on actions taken.
Void Dagger Beginner: 1 (0%)
Able to use void energy to create Daggers
Cost: 10 mana/minute
Decreases by 1 per 5 levels
May gain special effects based on actions taken.
Backstab Beginner: 1 (0%)
Increases damage of attacks from behind by 100%
Damage modifier increases by 10% per level
Damage increased by an additional 50% when used from Stealth
Cost: 200 mana per use
decreases by 1 per level.
May gain special effects based on actions taken.


Interesting. I liked these changes.

I think I should try out some of these abilities. I looked around and on the other side of the glade was an unsuspecting wolf. By morning I had hunted two wolves and felt comfortable fighting them. Casting my new Void Sneak skill I slowly approached the wolf.

Before I got too close I used Void daggers. This caused two small purplish daggers to appear in my hands. They were solid enough and did not evoke a feeling of ethereal magic so I figured they would hold up just fine. I approached the wolf again. It was preoccupied with a fox carcass. Slowly but surely I made my way closer until I was within arms reach of its back.

I whispered “Backstab” as I swung my daggers towards its back. My weapons ended up impaling the creature in the back of its neck.
Critical Hit!


The wolf flinched then fell over dead. I was fairly proud of myself until I noticed my mana bar was getting really low. I quickly exited Void Stealth and enjoyed a nice breakfast.

These new skills were very useful. And it seems by letting go of my Void daggers they just disappear cancelling the spell. So they can be remade anytime I feel they are necessary. This will be helpful in hiding the murder weapon when I finally catch those bastards. My eyes started to go hazy in my awakened fury. Remembering again what happened to me I could not help it. I was burning with hatred as I was lost in my remembrance. Something cold stabbed into my body and helped cool me off. I was not sure what had caused this but felt grateful as I now was back in control of myself.

At this point I felt it would be prudent to try to find my way towards a town. Lucky for me during my bit of madness the night before I managed to find a road that ran through the forest. The road was a normal packed dirt road. It had been used a number of times by wagon caravans and other peddlers judging by the deep ruts on either side of it. I figured if I followed this road I would come across my home kingdom soon.

The weather was nice this time of day. With the sun just coming over the tops of the trees the birds singing beautifully. Apparently they have become used to my presence during my short stay. It must be the animalistic tendencies I have shown. As I walked the path the trees became thinner ahead of me until finally I was in front of a vast plain. And right when I was to step out into this open land I was pulled to the side into a bush. I was surprised but not enough to prevent me from tryin to fight back. It happened that whatever it was holding me was strong enough to ignore my almost childish attacks.

Finally I was let down in a small clearing a small ways from the road. In front of me was a being cloaked in shadows. Literally, as in the shadows from each tree and bush was pulled towards them and covered them up. Like any sane individual I was rather worried.

A voice came from the shadow, “Are you the new Voidling just out of the nether?”
It seemed to cock its head to the side for a moment. Then revealed its face. It was a nightmarish guise similar to mine only more mature. This man seemed to be in his late thirties judging by his face.

I finally managed to spit out a few words “I guess that is me. And who are you?”

He seemed to think for a moment “I was sent by our mutual benefactor to assist you as he figured you would likely make the mistake of walking into a center of humans looking like that.”

“What do you mean like this? Am I not supposed to look like this?”

He chuckled a at this little outburst “Yes well that is the basic appearance of our race. But the problem is that we are a bit too monstrous for humans to stomach our appearance. As such we have a few methods for passing around their cities unnoticed.” He sat down on a fallen tree at the center of the glade.

“This is why I am here. To teach you a suitable method of concealing yourself.”

Suffice it to say this was a godsend as I had not even given it a moments thought about what others besides my targets would think when they saw me.

“I suppose I should have realized this earlier but I was a tad preoccupied.”

The stranger laughed again. “Yes that is a major mark for our race. We have a bit of an appetite. Though since you fed so well you should be fine for a longer length of time than the average human. I do suggest going back out every few days and hunting like that again to prevent yourself from going rabid in human settlements.”

“Thanks for the advice.” I snapped. I had already figured that little bit out, at least the part about controlling myself not really the timing yet.

“Anyways back to the reason I am here,’ He extended his hand towards me, ‘take my hand for now and I will impart the ability necessary to allow you to walk amongst humans and stay hidden.”

What else could I do but comply. So I took his hand and felt a surge of energy course through my arm into the center of my being.

Ding!
New Skill Gained: Shape-Shift
Shap-shift Beginner: 1(0%)

Allows the user to transform into any shape at will. The shape they become determines what armor and weapons they can use and may affect overall statistics.
Cost: 2000 Mana per use.
Because of racial characteristic this skill has alternate payment option:
Cost: 200 mana and 20 void points to use.
May gain special effects based on actions taken.


Oho! Interesting. I would put such a useful technique to good use in my little vendetta.

“Thank you for the skill I will put it to good use.”

The hooded man smiled.
“Just remember that the energy which makes you function is a bit different from what works for the other races. As such some investigation into your new origins would behoove you.”

“Duly noted,” I was about to leave when I realized I had not even shared my name with my new benefactor, “my name is Devant. What is your name?”

“Mine is Tanoz. It is the name I go by while in the human realms at least. Best be on your way Devant, you would not want someone to spot you in this form.” And with that he just disappeared into a cloud of smoke. Talk about cliché. I swear the mages from the Mages Guild loved to do pompous dramatic things like that to anytime they passed by our smithy.

I thought about what form I should take and decided a human form, which held my original appearance, would be beneficial. Then on further thought figured why not gain some of the agility and Mana bonuses that all the elven races seemed to have. And I could be snooty and disdainful without really being noticed since everyone knows elves are very prideful. All right, I’ll do a half elf appearance based on my human form.

“Shape-shift!”

My body began to change. I felt a slight increase in my dormant hunger at the reduction in the so-called void point stat. The new body was rather nice looking. It was me as a human just rather more handsome and pretty. I would need to test this new skill more in the future. For now though, it was time to enter the city.

So I marched across the plains only to be stopped at the gate by guards and arrested because I looked like some random thief they were after. Damn, racist humans. Now that I think about it I am the same way. Crap this dungeon is dank.
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Moridin

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