Thomas followed Selena as she led the way to the guild building. Reykhoten was her home city so she knew where just about everything was. When they arrived at the building, Thomas was surprised to see it filled with so many people. The air was filled with the buzz of many conversations happening at once as players and NPC's came together to pick up quests for the day. Looking around at all the unfamiliar faces, he was still unable to tell the NPCs from the players, yet the NPCs always seemed to notice he was an otherworlder. He'd been curious about that fact but had always just assumed it was a game mechanic. Now he was wondering otherwise.
He turned to Selena and asked, "I'm curious, how is it that you native residents of this world can always tell who is an otherworlder on sight?"
Selena looked at him slightly confused, "It's rather obvious. All of you are granted a spark of divinity when you're summoned. It's what gives you all your special abilities when you arrive. It's very easy to sense it."
She looks around and then points to a random woman in the crowd, "She's an otherworlder. Focus on her and try to feel the difference between her and the man next to her. He's from this world so he should feel different."
He nodded and started to focus on the woman. One of the biggest pitfalls in his gaming career, and even in his real life, was his tendency to get so focused on something that he would become oblivious to everything else. It sometimes made him out to be a bumbling idiot. He didn't mind though, it was simply who he was and it also had a nice benefit as it allowed him to focus solely on his work and make great items. He focused on the woman and did his best to follow Selena's rather vague advice.
He studied the female player and male local as he tried to feel the difference between the two of them. It took some time but he eventually began to notice that the woman gave off a slight aura. It was extremely hard to define the feeling but he could tell that the man wasn't giving off anything similar. As he focused on the feeling the difference between the two became clearer until it was obvious.
Once he could feel the difference between the two he started to focus on himself and Selena. He was convinced she was a local but now he had a way to tell for certain. As he was still new to detecting the aura given off by players it still took him a few moments to detect the aura coming off of himself. Selena lacked that aura and it confirmed to him that she was a local for sure.
|System Notice: You have detected your own Spark of Divinity. Unlocking the Spark of Divinity Innate Ability. This ability is granted to all players. It has no known effect or rank and cannot gain experience.|
Thomas looked over the system notice before he dismissed it. It seemed like it was just a hidden innate that let players and locals tell the difference between each other. Though, given the lead designer's tastes, it could have some effect that could only be discovered in time. After all the game was titled as 'Age of Gods' and there had to be a reason for that.
Thomas addressed Selena as he turned to head for the quest board, "Thanks for the advice. Now I'll have an easier time telling the difference between otherworlders and locals."
They arrived at the quest board and went to the section with quests related to the dungeon. It was the most crowded area of the quest board so they were forced to squeeze between other people to get a better look at the offered quests. He hadn't bothered to think much about the monsters in the dungeon previously, but now he could gather some information on it rather easily.
The quests were broken into three groups. The first group for the first five floors, the next group for the next five floors, and the last group for the last five floors. The dungeon was evenly split between three types of monsters. The first group related to kobolds. Generally rather weak monsters in most games and the reason why just the two of them could explore the top five floors as a pair. The second group of floors was occupied by Lizardmen. The notices warned about their thick scales and higher speed when running on all four limbs. This made them a significantly tougher opponent than a kobold. The final group of floors was occupied by orcs, large pig-like creatures that worked in groups and used weapons. Though slow and lumbering they boasted a large amount of power behind their attacks making them a rather perilous threat.
Thomas ignored the quests for Lizardmen and Orcs for now and started pulling down quests for the kobolds. Each quest had stacks of fliers nailed to the quest board so that adventurers could pull down a copy to take to the counter and register the quest. Thomas grabbed all four quests related to kobolds and squeezed his way back out of the crowd to wait in the registration line with Selena.
Selena glanced at him as they waited in line before she spoke, "When we get to the counter we also need to register as a party so that the experience from monster kills can be shared between us."
He glanced at her and remarked, "So that's how the party system works. I'd wondered about that when I first arrived." He thought for a moment before he asked, "Are there any other benefits to joining as a party?"
She shook her head as she said, "No. We just share our experience. It's evenly split between all party members and if there is any leftover experience after the split the party leader gets it. Since you're weaker than me we'll make you the party leader."
Thomas frowned at that. He was sure that at least his Power attribute was higher than hers. Though it was also an undeniable fact that her Magic attribute was higher than his own. As for the other two attributes, he had no idea. Somehow it felt rude to ask, so he didn't.
After spending far too long waiting in line they finally made their way to the counter in front of one of the guild workers. The man behind the desk looked a little haggard from having to deal with so many people so early in the day. He looked up at Thomas and Selena as he asked in a flat tone, "How can I help you?"
Thomas placed the four quest sheets on the counter as he said, "We want to accept these requests and register as a party."
The man nodded and held his hand out, "Guild cards please."
The two of them pulled out their guild cards to hand them over. The receptionist looked them over and asked, "Do you have a party name?"
Thomas glanced at Selena, she thought for a moment before replying, "Since it's just temporary put 'Study Group'."
The receptionist nodded and went about his work updating their guild cards. It took him a few minutes to add the four quests and the party name. Once his did he handed their guild cards back to them and Thomas received the system notices for the four quests.
|System Notice: New Quest, Repeatable Quest!|
|Head into the Reykhoten City Dungeon and defeat the Kobolds within! Collect 10 of their mana crystals and turn them in at the Adventurer's Guild.
Rewards: 300 Experience and 100 gold for each batch of 10 mana crystals turned in
|System Notice: New Quest, Repeatable Quest!|
|Head into the Reykhoten City Dungeon and defeat the Elite Kobolds within! Collect 10 of their mana crystals and turn them in at the Adventurer's Guild.
Rewards: 350 Experience and 125 gold for each batch of 10 mana crystals turned in
|System Notice: New Quest, Repeatable Quest!|
|Head into the Reykhoten City Dungeon to defeat Kobolds, Elite Kobolds and the Kobold Chief within! Collect 5 of their dropped hides and turn them in at the Adventurer's Guild. Be warned, all kobolds rarely drop their hides on death!
Rewards: 500 Experience, 1,000 Gold for each batch of five hides turned in
|System Notice: New Quest!|
|Head into the Reykhoten City Dungeon and defeat the Kobold Chief within! Collect his head and turn it and his mana crystal in at the Adventurer's Guild.
Rewards: 2,000 Experience and 500 gold
Thomas looked over the notices and nodded in approval. The first two quests were very similar to the ones he'd gotten back in Ulstad, almost the same really. They just offered better rewards since the kobolds were supposed to be a bit stronger than the goblins had been. He was a little saddened though. He had been hoping to fight new monsters he'd never heard of before. He'd heard of a few, namely the Ground Dragon and the Brutal Assassin Serpent but he'd not seen them yet.
The most curious one was the quest for kobold hides. In his mind, kobolds were little dog-like or lizard-like creatures with barely any mass to them. Why was their hide worth two-hundred gold coins? Was it because of the rarity or was there some special use for them? He would have to find out when his first one dropped. With the quests accepted and added to their guild cards as well as their party name registered, the two of them left the adventurer's guild and made their way towards the dungeon.
Selena led them through the bustling city once again as they made their way towards the western district. The dungeon was a bit of a walk from the adventurer's guild as the guild was located in a more central area to make it about equidistant from every entrance to the city. They walked in silence as they made their way to the dungeon. When the arrived, Thomas noticed that the dungeon entrance looked almost identical to the one back in Ulvstad. The only real difference was the size of the entrance, the entrance in Reykhoten was at least double the size of the entrance back in Ulvstad.
Other than their size everything else looked the same. There was the teleportation circle inscribed in the ground, guards guarding the entrance, and a bureaucrat sitting at a table to register people who enter and exit the dungeon. Together they made their way over to the table and added their names and their party name to the list. Once they finished it was finally time for them to enter the dungeon.
Selena looked over at Thomas as she asked, "Did you use the dungeon in Ulvstad?"
Thomas nodded since he had. She also gave a nod and said in reply, "Then I won't need to explain how it works to you."
she looked him over before asking, "Are you capable of acting as a front line fighter? I hate to admit it but I'm really only good at magic and firing spells from the backline for now."
Thomas spent a moment thinking before he replied, "We should just use the strategy I used when I was alone in the Ulstad dungeon. I would pick off weaker looking targets from a distance and continue to shoot them with my crossbow until they got too close. Using magic I should be able to pick off a few more leaving only stragglers to close in. I can fight them in melee while you hit them with spells. Sound good?"
Selena thought about it before she agreed. Thomas had been able to take on groups of five or six goblins all by himself. Though the kobolds would be stronger, he was also a lot stronger now than he had been then. Together they made their way into the entrance of the dungeon and started heading down the stairs. As they descended the stairs, Selena pulled the two-handed crossbow off of her back and activated an enchantment that drew the bowstring for her. It was apparently very similar to his wrist crossbow, but larger and more powerful. She loaded a bolt into it to have it at the ready for their first encounter.
Thomas followed her example and cocked then loaded his wrist-mounted crossbow. Even with his current magic attribute, he would only be capable of casting a few spells before he would be low on mana. It was best to have something that could be used instead, at least until after he'd grown stronger and had a larger mana pool to play with. Together they stepped off of the stairs and entered the first room of the dungeon.