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Entering the city of Botshofn was a simple affair. The city guards performed an inspection of the wagons to make sure there was no contraband then charged Volcrag a bit of tax. None of the guards or drivers had to pay an entry fee to get inside of the city. If they did then trying to transport anything a good distance would cost more than the merchant would make. Who would choose to do a guard job or drive a wagon if all of their pay ended up just becoming taxes for doing their job?

Once everyone was inside of the city the caravan was led to a section of the city filled with various inns. Since there were so many people in the group, Volcrag had booked all the rooms inside of several inns. Thomas was asked to share a room with another man but decided to get his own room in a different inn. He needed privacy and wanted to keep Snowlily away from other people, for the time being. There was also one more reason.

Due to Volcrag renting out the entirety of several of the cheaper inns within the city, Thomas was forced to rent a room in a rather expensive inn for fifty gold. The price wasn't much of an issue given his financial means but it was still twice as much as he was used to paying for a nights stay. The real thing he had an issue with was that a 'high class' inn only served regular animal meat with their meals. His dinner ended up being a thick-cut steak from a regular cow with some vegetable sides. That's not to say that the meal wasn't well seasoned and flavorful, it just lacked that extra deliciousness that came from monster meat.

Snowlily didn't really seem like she had noticed anything different about the meal. As long as it was meat and had a good flavor she would happily devour it. When their dinner was over they retired to their room for the evening. The room was slightly larger than he was used too and the bed was surprisingly soft. If the higher class inns server monster meat he would have happily stayed in them to enjoy the more comfortable beds. Once they were settled in for the night he logged out of the game.


Back in the real world, Darren opened the lid to his gaming pod and stretched while groaning. The pod took great care of his body but it always felt so good stretching right after he logged out. Once his muscles all felt loose and warm he climbed out of the pod and made his way over to his terminal. He had a couple of things he wanted to do and only about two hours to do them. He had to be back in the game to leave with the caravan in the morning. Even if he was skipping out on a night of sleep he could take a nap while floating down the river.

Once his terminal was up and running he opened a chatting program and checked his friend's list. Tamara, his friend obsessed with game lore, was not online. She was either working or logged in, either way, he couldn't talk to her in person so he decided to send her an email.

Hey Tammy,
Got something lore related I think you might be interested in. If you get the chance look into a long lost race called the Garou. They were wolf shapeshifters that the humans in AoG exterminated. Or at least, made go deep into hiding. I'm not sure on the whole race, only about one group that was for sure wiped out near a city called Ulvstad in the Rheykhoten country. I'm really interested in if there's any information on when they can shapeshift into a human form. If you do find anything out let me know and I'll give you your usual payment.

Thomas

After sending the email over to her he went onto the forums for AoG to poke around. The first thing he saw was the current hottest topic and it surprised and worried him. The title was "The first gun in AoG! Killed three people in one shot each!". Naturally, the post was about the night he'd been attacked and defended himself from the four people that tried to assault him. It looked like one of them, or maybe all of them, wanted to stir up some trouble for him. Fortunately, they didn't seem to know his name and could only give a general description of his appearance. Unfortunately, he had a very distinguishing feature that made him easy to identify, Snowlily.

Darren sat back with his arms crossed over his chest and pondered for a moment. Reading through the topic had shown a lot of diverging opinions. Some people said that weapons like a gun couldn't exist in the game. Others said it would probably have skill restrictions and such. No one could seem to agree on anything about it and there were many many arguments and even some name-calling. In general, it didn't seem like too many people thought the gun could exist and without proof, they wouldn't believe. Thankfully AoG didn't have a built-in video recording function so there was no evidence of the gun existing but the word of a couple of people. With that in mind, Darren decided to put his own reply on the thread.

Thomas Darkrose: It is my professional opinion that in a game with as much freedom as AoG provides the players, it is entirely possible to create something like the revolver described by the original poster. HOWEVER! If someone could make such an item I am certain it would have many requirements and drawbacks. It would likely require a specific skill or profession to create and use it. It would likely also possibly be an item that is 'Soulbound' to the creator. And before anyone asks, yes items can be soulbound, I actually made a soulbound item myself so I know it's possible.
But even if an item such as that has no requirements and isn't soulbound there's one thing it seems a lot of you are forgetting. Ammunition! Even if you can kill that guy and take his gun away where are you going to get ammunition to keep using it? It's not like you can go to any general goods store and buy bullets! Does anyone even have a clue how he made the bullets? Can they be reverse engineered?
There are also other things to keep in mind. AoG is still pretty new and we players are just going to continue to get stronger. How long would something like a gun remain viable as our Endurance attributes continue to rise? When will the bullets become ineffective? 100, 200, 300 Endurance? As a professional, I view the concept of a revolver as nothing more than an interesting weapon that is only viable in the short term. When bullets start to harmlessly pancake on targets what good would it be then?

tldr; only a good weapon for now, where will you get bullets, is it even possible for anyone else to use?

Darren looked over his post and smiled to himself. He disliked lying and did his best to not lie to people. He double and triple checked his post to make sure he hadn't told any actual lies in it. He'd only told the truth and had laid out his legitimate concerns over the revolvers limitations as a viable weapon. Hell, it had already been ineffective on the demon bear. The concerns over ammunition were valid too. Making bullets was a real pain in the ass and mass producing them was simply too hard at the moment. His Peace Maker really was simply a novelty weapon and just a step on the path to making to true gun worthy of being used within AoG.

To that end, he closed the forums and started browsing around the internet to look at various guns. He wanted to get some inspiration for the real gun he wanted to design. One that didn't fire chunks of metal at high speed but used the limitlessly growing power of magic instead. Darren spent over an hour browsing the internet and looking at pictures, theories, and ideas for various firearms. He focused mostly on rifles this time. The revolver was good for closer range fighting but he really wanted to make something like a rifle or sniper rifle. He also studied up on the various mechanisms that allowed for semi-automatic and automatic firing. If he kept this up he would become a real gunsmith at some point!

When he felt like he'd researched enough over an hour had passed. He moved over to the capsule to do the maintenance on it and make sure everything would be good for running for another real-world week. Though, once he was done with the caravan quest he felt he should take a day off and do the things that made him feel human. Shower, shave, food, work out, those kinds of things. He climbed back into the pod and closed the lid to log back into AoG.


Thomas opened his eyes and found himself wide awake in the darkness of his room. Snowlily was happily snoring next to him as she dreamed whatever it is Garou dreamed. He smiled warmly at her and gave her little head a gentle stroke. She seemed to have gotten a little bit bigger with the increases to her attributes. Maybe all he really needed to do was get her more experience and she would naturally learn how to shapeshift. That was just a blind guess though. Once he got his fill of her soft fur he activated his 'All Seeing Eyes' and opened the blueprint program for Magitech Engineering. He had several thoughts and ideas that he wanted to get down before they faded away.

For the remainder of the night, he worked on several different potential designs for various weapons that he may, or may not, make in the future. Whether he made them or not it was good to have the notes and information so he could reference them in the future. Slowly but surely he would build up a library of things that he could reference that would help him make more impressive weapons in the future. By the time it was dawn he'd gotten a lot of information recorded and felt like he hadn't wasted the whole night.

After breakfast, he met up with the workers of the caravan and helped load the wagons onto the barges. Because there were so many wagons in the caravan several barges had to be hired for the transport down the river. Seeing all of the logistics involved in the movement of the caravan showed him why Volcrag had been so desperate to keep him from quitting the quest. If he had Volcrag may have been late and lost a lot of money on deposits and other things. Of course, it's not like Volcrag lost anything by making that promise to introduce Thomas to his friend. It was free of charge and it would be up to Thomas to make the most of the opportunity.

Thomas was looking forward to meeting Volcrag's friend though. He hadn't been inside of a smithy in quite a while and he wanted to make some new gear and equipment. He needed to get his Magictech Engineering skill up to a much higher rank and gain the ability to work with higher quality materials. Until then he would be on this journey and 'enjoying' the company of Lexiana.

Speaking of the wolf-woman, she was standing not too far away from him and Snowlily as all three of them watched their wagon rolling onto the barge that would be shipping it down the river. Once their wagon was loaded, Thomas joined it on the barge. He'd not gotten any sleep last night and was feeling a little tired and sluggish. Together with Snowlily he hopped onto the top of the covered wagon and lay down to relax. Sleeping under the bright sun on top of the wagon while the barge lazily floated down the river seemed like an excellent way to spend the day to him!

Lexiana observed Thomas and Snowlily as they both relaxed on top of the wagon. She was a little annoyed by his actions. Even if they were on the river and unlikely to be targeted by any monsters or bandits he still should have been on guard and not lazily relaxing on top of the wagon. She watched the pair with her golden eyes for a time before deciding to leave them alone. She sat down on the driver's seat of the wagon and kept watch while the other two acted so lazily. Someone in their team had to be a professional!

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thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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