James found the Bisonbogs exactly where his map said they would be - part way up one of the mountains that surrounded the savanna. He was relatively sure that he had seen Bisonboggs before when he first entered the game and skinned that pile of dead animals inside Frey’s tent, but he had no idea that they would live in the mountains. Even more surprising was the fact that they didn’t seem to be good at it. James recalled seeing mountain goats on the National Geographic channel that could seemingly walk up vertical cliffs with ease, and figured that that was a quality all mountain dwelling animals should have. But no, the Bisonbogs were clumsy. They climbed the mountain with a determination that even James struggled to match in search of some sort of flower. When they found it, or even when they didn’t and just stepped the wrong way, they would tumble down the mountain, bouncing off of rocks and other Bisonbogs on the way down.
This is ridiculous, James thought as he did his best to swipe at a falling Bisonbog with his legendary short sword and not lose his own balance in the process. A large Bisonbog grunted to the left of James as its large hoofs struggled to find purchase on the steep mountain. James considered climbing over to it but ended up opting to watch it instead. Its would stop periodically and its large snout would quiver and snort, apparently trying to sniff out the best route to the top of the mountain or something. Then it would put its snout back to the dirt or rock below it, and begin to climb again, all while not even looking at where it was going.
“It's no wonder you guys fall all the time,” James said out loud. The Bisonbogs ears perked up, followed by its snout, which was followed by its temper. The Bisonbog grunted and lunged at James, only to slip and tumble down the mountain.
Idiot, James thought, Maybe I can just wait near the bottom and try to kill the falling ones? It's not as steep down there. So I would be able to move easier…
A squeal of delight interrupted James's plotting. He looked up the mountain and discovered another of the Bisonbogs tumbling down the mountain. This time though, the animal was heading right for him.
Jump strike? he asked himself in a fraction of a second, but opted against it. Instead, he opted to do nothing. At least he until the last possible moment. When that moment came, James gave into his intuition and let his body react, independent of his brain. As he let go of the purchase his feet and right hand had found, he swung to the left. The Bisonbog happily smacked against the rock where his body had been just moments before. As the animal continued its rocky decent and James swung back into his perch, he got a glimpse of something in the Bisonbogs mouth.
“Horned Moya Fruit?” he said, “The fruit that makes cider? The same fruit that I have tons of in my bag? Damnit.”
James slipped. Instead of reaching out for something to slow his descent he unsheathed both of his swords and activated his new Flame Whirlwind ability. His short swords jumped from his hands and began to swirl around him. Soon enough, he was floating down the rocky mountain cliff on a breeze of air and fire.
“Hey Torunn,” James said as walked up to the Chieftain in the center of the village. He was inspecting the various herbs and flowers that grew in the raised area in the center of the main road. “I completed your Bisonbog quest just now.”
Special Quest Objective Completed! Additional experience and Town Standing points received!
James mentally waved away the intrusive interface prompt and mentally added figuring out what the hell Town Standing points were to his to-do list.
“Great news Brother!” Torunn growled excitedly, “I will remove the quest from the board right away.”
“Why did we have to kill them anyway?” James asked as he followed Torunn the short distance to the Quest Board.
“They attack things on sight, but apart from their extremely durable skin, they are usually easy to defend against...”
James nodded knowingly. He had found out first hand just how tough the Bisonbogs skin was. They easily survived multiple falls down mountains that would have killed a normal person. If that wasn’t enough, only James’s Legendary Short Sword was able to do any meaningful damage to them. And to top it all off, James skinned all five of the beasts, but only walked away with a single pelt.
“That is until they become overpopulated,” Torunn continued, “Once that happens food becomes scarce and they start climbing mountains, causing extreme erosion...”
Torunn continued to verbally express his knowledge and passion for the Great Savanna’s ecosystem, but James got distracted. What is on the other side of the mountains? He thought, What if we can use the Bisonbogs to erode part of the mountain for easy travel?
“...that is why controlling their population is so important, James. Thank you,” Torunn finished.
“Your welcome,” James said before bidding farewell to his game brother and rushing off. He hit level thirty when he turned in the quest and was anxious to see what new classes he would be offered. Although eroding part of a mountain range was an interesting idea, James wasn’t, in fact, in a rush to destroy the Martyr’s, and his own, homeland.
He got back to the cabin and habitually grabbed all the torches from their sconches and took them outside. He held them up to the mountain and cast a firebolt to light them, then brought them back inside and hung them up. It wasn’t dark yet, but it would be soon and he didn’t want to get lost in training and have to interrupt himself to light them. James sat down at a circle table separate from the bar and pulled up his notifications.
Congratulations! Your constitution has surpassed level 10. You are now more resilient to health stealing abilities and spells.
Hmm, when did that happen? he pondered. After a moment of though he concluded that it must have been a leftover notification from the last time he spent stat points. I really need to get better at checking out my notifications, he thought with a slow shake of his head, and how in the world do find health stealing spells!?
Your Leatherworking skill has reached its max level. Choose a crafting class if you would like to grow further in this skill.
Congratulations! You have surpassed level 30! You can now choose to pick a class.
Class 1 - Leatherworker, allows you to progress this crafting skill past level ten and unlocks specializations and sub-skills.
Class 2 - Warrior, unlocks energy regen skills and increases damage done by weapons.
Delay Choosing - Choosing to delay your class will award you 20 stat points at the risk of permanently losing the option to choose the above two classes. Upon reaching level 40 you will be given another option to choose between two classes or subclasses depending on your actions and skills.
“Damnit,” James said as he realized that if he would have delayed choosing at level twenty his stat bonus this go-around would have been thirty points.
Are there people out there that never pick a class, James wondered, they must be pretty powerful… Well, at least I got the option to pick warrior again just in case. That is good news.
James chose the Leatherworker class and was overcome with ideas of all the new things he could craft. It wasn’t enough to let him know exactly what he could craft and how, but it was enough to let him know that getting that guard to apprentice under Alex was a good call. James was pretty sure that as soon as the guard learned enough to be able to unlock the leatherworking specialization, he would be able to make studded leather armor. He wasn’t sure how exactly, but he was confident that he could figure it out.
Feeling accomplished, he leaned back in his chair and pulled up his statistics.
James – Level 30 (1 levels gained since last open)
Constitution, Level 20 – Controls how much health you have and the rate at which you regain health.
Strength, Level 30 – Affects your ability to use weapons, lift objects, and your size.
Endurance, Level 11 - Controls how much energy you have and the rate your endurance regains.
Agility, Level 11 - Controls your movement abilities in battle, dodge, critical strikes, and unarmed combat damage and your ability to resist character controlling abilities.
Will, Level 12 – Affects your ability to tap into health, endurance, and mana reserves.
Intelligence, Level 34 – Controls the data you can gather from your interface, the world, and how much mana you have.
Wisdom, Level 35 – Controls the rate at which you gain all types of experience, your crafting speed, and more.
2 statistic points ready to distribute.
“Interesting,” he said as he mentally added his two free stat points into Intelligence. The fact that his wisdom description updated to tell him that the stat affects his crafting speed was almost enough to get him to put his points into that, but at the end of the day, James needed to be a strong mage. His strongest asset when it came to defeating Ogrim was his fire spell. If he had to risk turning into some sort of flaming monster in order to save some prisoners, then that was just what he had to do.
But what about that life stealing spell… James thought again, daydreaming aboutcasting lifeforce stealing spells like some sort of vampire wizard. It was a pretty impressive idea, and his daydreams were creative enough that he got lost in them. Just as he was about to drift off into real dreams, a loud horn sounded and jolted him from his chair. It was the horn that signified trouble for the village.