Looking over the quest, Thomas couldn't help but sigh. He would only be getting 50 experience and 10 gold per armor for four hours worth of work on each armor. That was slave wages! Shrugging his shoulders, Thomas immediately got to work on making the second leather armor. Since he had experience from making the first one he was able to move a little faster while making the second one. Thinking about the quest, while Hyde had said he wanted one more today and three tomorrow, the quest only said he had to turn in four completed pieces by tomorrow. Should he go by the words Hyde spoke or by the description in the quest?
Thomas went with his instincts and did the work his way, which happened to match the quest description. He grabbed four pieces of leather and started to trace out the various pieces of the pattern onto each of them. He spent a good twenty minutes just drawing on the leather before he managed to trace out all four sets. Once each piece had been traced completely, Thomas began to cut out the parts and wrote a number on the back of each part. He didn't want to mix up which pieces went to which set of armor so he wrote the numbers one through four onto the back of the pieces to keep them in proper sets.
After cutting out each piece, Thomas trimmed and cleaned the edges until they were buttery smooth. Hyde really did make some excellent leather! With each piece cut and cleaned, Thomas only had enough time left in the day to arrange the pieces together to mock up the final look of the armors. Stepping back to examine his work, Thomas nodded in self-approval. Hyde walked over and examined his progress before giving his own nod of approval, "Rock was right, you do think differently."
After saying goodbye to Hyde and the adorable little Teena, Thomas made his way to The Swans Nest. After enjoying his dinner he paid Martha another 162 gold to pay for the rest of the week. After dishing out the majority of his money, Thomas couldn't help but sigh at the sight of the twelve gold left in his possession. However, he knew that by the time these next six days were up he would be getting his first payment from Rock for the sales of the pseudo-magical items he and the other blacksmiths had spent the last week producing. Even if they sold them at a 'cheap' price of just 100 gold each, Thomas would still rake in 25 gold from each sale. The sales would also continue for a good while too, after all, it had been less than four real-world days since AoG had launched and more new players were still coming into the game. He was one hundred percent certain that each of them would save up to buy one of Rock's weapons when the news got out. In fact...
Darren lifted the lid to his gaming pod and moved over to his computer. He didn't plan to stay out for very long, just long enough to leave a message on the game's forums. After logging in he typed up a very simple message.
ThomasDarkrose: Breaking news! Anyone in the city of Ulvstad should find Rock's Armory! I just went in there to get some gear and you wouldn't believe what I found! They were actually selling MAGICAL weapons and armor! He didn't have a huge selection but said more would be coming. Anyone in the city and looking for an upgrade should get there before he sells out!
SwordMaster: Bullshit! No store sells magical items!
Darkest_Mage: @SwordMaster is right, I've never seen any store selling magical items. I call bullshit!
VenerableSpiritWarrior: @ThomasDarkrose, you serious? I'm in Ulvstad. I'll check it out next time I log in. But if you're lying I will hunt you down...
Darren closed the website and grinned to himself. Advertising inside of AoG would have to be by word of mouth but stepping out of the game for a few minutes to post something on the forums would just take a little time and effort while costing him nothing and spreading the news globally. All it would take would be a single person to believe him and it would snowball from there! Laughing at his own genius, Thomas went back into his pod and logged back into AoG to get some sleep before he needed to be back at Hyde's the next day.
Thomas stood before the piles of leather pieces and smiled to himself. He was feeling particularly clever this morning thanks to his stunt last night. With confidence, and perhaps a bit of cockiness, Thomas got to work. He used the glue provided by Hyde and started to glue the first layer onto each of the four pieces of armor. He was acting like a one-man assembly line as he moved from armor to armor and glued on one piece at a time. By doing so he worked at a much swifter pace than yesterday since he didn't need to wait for the bottom layer of each armor to set a bit before he could add the next layer.
He spent the day working on all four pieces of armor in tandem, building the layers up to get the somewhat modern looking armor built completely. With only an hour left in the day, Thomas glued the last piece of leather onto one of the armors to complete it.
|System Notice: You have completed a Normal layered leather armor. Quality: Above Average. You have gained 125 Leatherworking experience.|
Once that was done it didn't take Thomas very long at all to complete the last three leather armors. He gained an additional 375 leatherworking experience. Unfortunately, all of them came out with a quality rating of above average. If he'd had more time to work with it might have been possible to push them to excellent or even perfect quality. Unlike a simple set of clothes, higher quality weapons and armor were always worth the extra effort!
Looking at his character sheet, Thomas noticed that his Leatherworking skill had already skyrocketed to rank nine. It felt like gaining ranks in the professions was becoming easier and easier. He looked at his rank fifteen 'Quick Learner' innate ability and wondered if it was responsible for his increasing growth speed. He knew it was giving him some sort of bonus, he just wasn't entirely sure what anymore. He'd previously thought that it might be giving him two percent bonus experience per rank, but he was no longer sure that was correct. Frankly, he was stumped on its effect.
Thomas turned to call out to Hyde, "All done!"
Hyde looked up from his own work, an exquisite and delicate chest armor clearly designed for a woman, and moved over to Thomas to examine his work. The glue holding the armor together hadn't completely set yet, but it was set enough that it wouldn't fall apart just from being handled. Hyde took his sweet time looking over each piece of armor before nodding in satisfaction, "Not bad. Really, not bad at all." Hyde turned to look at Thomas, "Do you have experience working with leather from your world?"
Thomas smiled and nodded, "A little bit."
It wasn't like Thomas could tell him about the time he played a game and specialized in leather goods, making leather armor that was tougher than steel armor. If he was given the right tools and materials, Thomas could make a leather armor that would serve a low powered player, like himself, for at least a good two years before it needed to be replaced. Of course in a starter city, he only had access to starter materials so it's not like he could actually do that. Plus, he had a suspicion that working with certain materials would require certain ranks in the appropriate profession.
Hyde nodded and walked over to his lockbox to retrieve 40 gold before handing it over to Thomas.
|System Notice: Quest Complete!|
|Hyde has requested that you make four more leather armors by the end of the day tomorrow.
Rewards: 200 Exp, 40 gold
Time Limit: 1 day, 4 hours
Bonus: Requirements for bonus not met.
|System Notice: You have gained 200 experience.|
Thomas pocketed the 40 gold and gave Hyde a broad grin, "So what's on the agenda for tomorrow?"
After working at Rock's and Zella's, Thomas had come up with a theory. Aside from 'Quick Learner' possibly accelerating his skill growth, Thomas also believed that following quests from his trainers would allow him to rank up his skills faster. By doing what Zella asked, Thomas had managed to rank Tailoring up to 25 with a whole day to spare. He intended to use his work with Hyde to judge if following the given quests or doing free-form work would give better progress.
Hyde rubbed his chin for a moment before coming to a decision, "With the influx of you otherworlders stuff has been selling pretty quick. Especially containers like bags and quivers. So, tomorrow I want you to spend the entire day making backpacks for me."
|System Notice: New Quest!|
|Hyde has requested that you make him as many backpacks as you are able.
Rewards: 50 Exp and 10 gold per backpack
Time Limit: 1 day
With his quest accepted, Thomas made his way to The Swans Nest for his usual after-work activities. In his excitement to promote Rock's shop last night he'd forgotten to spend time grinding 'All Seeing Eyes' before going to sleep, he planned to not let that happen tonight.
As Thomas was enjoying a delicious orc chop, Rock came barging into The Swans Nest and charged over to the table Thomas was sitting at. Rock glared at Thomas with an almost fervent light in his eyes, "What did you do?!"
Thomas finished chewing a tasty bit of orc before addressing Rock, "What are you talking about?"
Rock pulled out one of the empty chairs at the table and collapsed into it, "I know you did something! Yesterday was a normal day, though we had one or two otherworlder customers who were very excited by the pseudo-magical items were started to sell. But today... Today was INSANE! Before we even opened there were a dozen otherworlders lined up outside the door to the shop! And that was only the start of the day! They kept coming! We sold out of everything we made last week. Every. Last. Piece."
Rock turned to look Thomas dead in the eyes, "So again, What did you do?"
After listening to Rock's 'rant', Thomas couldn't keep his lips from curling into a somewhat wicked grin, "Well, I may have dropped a little message to otherworlders letting them know about your store. Though I honestly didn't expect the news to travel so fast!" (Yes he did!)
Rock groaned and slumped in his chair like all the energy had just drained from his body, "This is insane. My shop has never had so many sales in a single day! There is no way we can keep up with this kind of demand! Some of them even wanted to place custom orders." Rock looked at Thomas accusingly, "If this keeps up I'm going to have to expand my workshop and hire more blacksmiths, then get your permission to teach them the proper techniques."
Thomas shook his head, "No, Don't do that. Keep working at whatever pace you can reasonably manage. Demand is high for now, but it will likely only stay that way for a few months at most. Once the other otherworlders grow too strong for this area they will move on to other places sales will drop. After that, it will only be new otherworlders that have only just arrived that will be your customers. My suggestion is to increase the prices on the items, have the other blacksmiths work on the standard gear, and work on the custom orders yourself. You should also charge a premium on the custom orders so that you get just enough to keep busy without overworking yourself. Just do your best and enjoy the influx of income while it lasts, because it won't last long. Just don't gouge the customers, I'm sure you know how badly that could go."
Rock listened to Thomas and nodded along at his various points, even scowling at the end, "I would never overcharge." Rock let out a sigh and flagged down Martha to order himself something to eat. Rock was very clearly exhausted after a long day and treated himself to a nice meal and a few mugs of mead. Thomas, meanwhile, was laughing like a madman on the inside. He didn't expect the news to travel quite so fast, but this was still the outcome he had been hoping for. With the message on the forums pointing every player with any amount of money to Rock's, he had turned Rock's into the number one armory store in Ulvstad!
After enjoying a dinner filled with Rock's 'complaints' about how he'd sold out of his stock, Thomas retired to his room for the night. He did his usual things of staring at the ceiling with 'All Seeing Eyes' and drifting off to sleep using 'Serenity'. Tomorrow was going to be a long and probably tedious day.
Spoiler: Character Sheet
|Name: Thomas Darkrose|
|Experience Gained: 8,223||Experience Spent: 7,990||Experience Remaining: 233|
|Power: 20||(+) 210 Exp|
|Endurance: 20||(+) 210 Exp|
|Agility: 20||(+) 210 Exp|
|Magic: 20||(+) 210 Exp|
|Name: Thomas Darkrose
Rank: 2 // 0/30 Pts.