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A note from Mighty Moushie

Slightly shorter chapter than normal, sorry about that.  Had a bit of writers block going on.

Chatroom:  The Gauntlet has been thrown!

Current members:  Likes2lurk, WarriorPrincess, TheUnrustable, HolyDungeonDiver, RycranSeacrest, FirestarterOzai, First_of_his_kind, JimboJonsies, ThePatman, GrumbleGnumbleMonster, Lilak’n’Lillies, WhatsUpChuck, and 16 anonymous people.

TheUnrustable:  So, First.  Decided that you needed to do your own commercial?

First_of_his_kind:  The company tried, but it was just . . . lackluster.  Something had to be done.

ThePatman:  I’ll say.  Love the challenge and how you threw it down, but are you gonna be ready for the world of hurt the guilds are gonna rain down upon you?

First_of_his_kind:  I’ll be fine.  The Needlers are gonna have to be at the top of their game if they want to lead the way to victory.

HolyDungeonDiver:  The forces of light will prevail!

TheUnrustable:  Not this guy again.

First_of_his_kind:  Pelor is toast.

HolyDungeonDiver:  We will have our vengeance for your cowardly attack!

ThePatman:  Says the group that launched their ‘assault’ by killing an innkeeper.

HolyDungeonDiver:  Lies!

First_of_his_kind:  Not gonna work this time.  These aren’t mindless followers of your in game god.

TheUnrustable:  Besides, I’ve seen the video of Khaliss’ last stand.  You don’t do something like that without a very good reason.

ThePatman:  I’ve heard the church of Pelor is hurtin pretty bad after that raid.

First_of_his_kind:  They lost quite a bit of stuff.  No more pontiff, no main church, and no vault of hidden legendary items to pay for everything.

JimboJonsies:  Vault you say?

RycranSeacrest:  First there’s a raid, now mention of a vault of legendary items on the same day that the system announces forbidden spells.

FirestarterOzai:  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT!

ThePatman:  How did you learn of the vault?

First_of_his_kind:  Lolth is very adept at learning secrets.

HolyDungeonDiver:  He admits it!  He consorts with the dark pantheon!

First_of_his_kind:  We have a working relationship.  But all the adventurers who have met me outside of the dungeon can attest that I am firmly aligned with Thanatos.

HolyDungeonDiver:  Human sacrifice!  We must destroy him!

Hidden_Admin:  Due to several complaints, HolyDungeonDiver has been silenced for five minutes.  Please try and be civil in chat, and avoid calling for interference in others gameplay.

TheUnrustable:  Nice.  So, what all might have been in this vault?

First_of_his_kind:  Well, I suppose I could tell you what we liberated.  I mean, what the drow took as their share.

First_of_his_kind:  A legendary sword, Durandal, that can only be wielded by a lawful good character.  Three of the forbidden spells.  A legendary tiara with a map of the planes.  And a handful of scrolls.

ThePatman:  I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

TheUnrustable:  ?

ThePatman:  *shakes head* You guys need to watch the classic movies.

JimboJonsies:  If I may?  Paging Admiral Akbar!

JimboJonsies:  IT’S A TRAP!

ThePatman:  Thank you Jimbo.

JimboJonsies:  Anytime.

TheUnrustable:  Moving on then.  So the drow have all these lovely new toys, and you think it’s a trap to try and get them back.

ThePatman:  You are dealing with Drow.  Everything’s a trap. 

JimboJonsies:  That innocent chest?  Trap.  Avoiding the chest?  Trap.  Going back the way you came?  Trap.

First_of_his_kind:  Sounds like someone has dealt with the drow before.

JimboJonsies:  Never again!

*GnomesRule has entered the chat*

GnomesRule:  GNOMES RULE!

*GnomesRule has left the chat*

First_of_his_kind:  Thanks for the info.

First_of_his_kind:  Oh drat, he’s already gone.

Likes2Lurk:  He’s a speedy one.  Sign in, ctrl + v, enter, sign out.

WarriorPrincess:  Rumor has it there was a draconian walking openly with a simian king over in the new desert areas.  Are those going to be your new stomping grounds?

First_of_his_kind:  Sadly no.  Everything in the desert avoids me now.  Well, I could probably challenge The Maw, but that’s about it.

WarriorPrincess:  What’s The Maw?  And how did you get immunity to stuff in the desert?

First_of_his_kind:  The Maw is a legendary sand shark.  And immunity is trade secret.

RycranSeacrest:  Any hints about this dungeon that you’re putting together?

First_of_his_kind:  It’ll be deadly.

ThePatman:  Heh.  I’m looking forward to see what you can throw together.

TheUnrustable:  Please.  No gloryholes.  Or holes of glory.  Or any combination of the words glory and hole.

First_of_his_kind:  lol but they worked so well.

First_of_his_kind:  Sorry all, but I gotta go.  There are shenanigans to plot.

Likes2Lurk:  Later

RycranSeacrest:  Later

WarriorPrincess:  Ciao.

*First_of_his_kind has left the chat*

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *            

Marty’s POV, Oblivion Café

“Sorry about that guys.  Was distracted by a chatroom.”

“No worries.”  Phoebe answered.  “How are things?”

“Not too bad actually.  There’s a lot of people upset with Pelor, and they aren’t letting up.”

“Bastard deserves it.”  Derrick mumbled around a mouthful of pancakes.  “Can you hand me the maple syrup?”

“Seriously Derrick, how are you eating that?”  Phoebe asked.  “You’ve got strawberry jam, butter, and maple syrup on those.  I can hear your teeth rotting from here.”

“Jealous?”

“Absolutely!”  She said as she started tapping through menus to order her own.

“Hey Jon, while they are feasting on pancakes, do you mind telling me how you are controlling your tail?”

“It’s weird.  Right now everyone has a basic program that monitors the tail for us.  It does things that any tailed creature would do by instinct, so basically it helps us balance.  Since my evolution should have the most adaptable tail, I get to beta test their newest toy.  Instead of limiting it to instinctual actions, I have to train my tail.  The better I am at visualizing what I want it to do, the quicker it will respond.  Right now I can have it pick up medium sized objects.”

“So what does the training accomplish?”  Phoebe asked.

“Training increases the speed of the response.  Eventually they want it to start associating certain actions with words.  If I do it enough, all I have to do is think ‘helping left’ and the tail should grab what is in my left hand to steady it.”

“How’s it going so far?”  Derrick asked, pancakes forgotten.

“Slow.  It takes almost a minute of visualization to pick something up, and I can’t do it with my eyes open.”

“So what’s the endgame of the training?  Are we all going to get the same thing?”  I asked.

“No.  Phoebe might, because of her shapeshifting.  Your tail is too thick for the fine motor control that I need to develop.  Hopefully I can train mine up to be an extra arm in combat, calling out skills.”

“That sucks.  Mine would be a great clubbing weapon, especially if I could get it to disrupt backstab attempts.”

“Ask Emily some time.  They might give you a few command skills that you could work with.”

“Not a bad idea.”  I started.  “Speaking of working with things, I was hoping you would agree to be minibosses in the final dungeon.  That means you would have a month to reach the level cap.”

“I’m in.  Always wanted to test myself against a group of adventurers.”  Derrick replied immediately.

“How are you going to use us?”  Jon asked.

“Derrick by himself in one room.  I was thinking of having you and Phoebe be the first actual monsters the players run into.  You work well together already, and if we enchant the room to boost Phoebe it won’t affect you.”

"Enchant the room?”  Phoebe perked up.  “And what else will be in the dungeon?”

“Traps.  I want the entire dungeon to be traps, with us as the only monsters.”

“Oh, that’ll be fun.  You going to have more of those non damaging traps that won’t set off trap detect skills?”  Jon asked.

“Yep.  If you guys have any ideas for traps, I’m all for it too.  Can never have too many traps.”

“Hold on, back up a second.  How are you going to enchant the room?”

“Well, you get bonuses based on the phase of the moon, right?  What if we enchanted the room to give off the light of the full moon?  You would always be at maximum power.”

“Oh that’s devious.  I like that!”  Phoebe chuckled.  “Count me in.  Jon too.”

“What do you think for my room?”  Derrick asked.

“Do you have a favorite spell?  Any type of terrain that would give you an advantage?”

“Not particularly.  I can always use my field spells to change up the landscape.  I GOT IT!  The field spells, they basically swap planes for a bit.  What if we did something to loosen space?  It might make it easier to activate field spells.”

“I like it!”  Jon chuckled.  “See if there’s a way to limit it to Derrick only though, otherwise someone will try and counter it.”

“Good point.”  Derrick said.  “I can’t wait for this to be finished.”

“We have a long way to go first.”  I reminded them.  “We all need to hit max level, and I’m going to need your guys’ help with something else as well.”

“Go on.”  Derrick said.

“I am going to need phase crystals.  A lot of phase crystals.”

“I’m gonna hate myself for this.”  Phoebe said, shaking her head.  “But just how many is ‘a lot’ of phase crystals?”

"At least a hundred perfect crystals for my final plan.  Derrick’s room will probably take ten perfect ones, but I would double check with the Drul’kaath enchanters to be sure.”  Everyone stared at me for a full five seconds after my statement.

Derrick was the first to break the uncomfortable silence.  “A hundred perfect phase crystals.  Please say that we don’t need to acquire all of them through combat.”

“Not at all, I don’t care how you get them.  I am just going to need them.”

“Ok, that makes things a little easier.”  Jon chuckled.  “Still, what are you up to that you need a hundred phase crystals?”

“Sorry, can’t let you guys know the plan.”  I answered.  “If we win, you will get to see with everyone what happens.  If we fail, the update gets scrapped.  They made me promise not to tell.”

“So.  Just to recap.”  Phoebe said, staring at me.  “We need to reach max level and obtain over a hundred perfect phase crystals for a plan that you can’t tell us about, in just under a month.  I’m assuming we also should perfect our battle tactics with four entirely new races with skill combinations never seen before.”

“Sounds about right.”

“God I love a challenge.  Let’s do it!”  Derrick shouted.

“Any restrictions on how we go about it?”  Jon asked.

“None.”

“I’m in, as long as you let me start a guild.”  He nodded. 

“Fine by me, just as long as you don’t expect me to join.”

“No worries.  Hopefully you can come to me in game and make the phase crystals thing an actual quest.”

“I never thought of that, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t wooooork.”  I answered with a yawn.  “Sorry guys.”

“Heh, don’t apologize.  We should all probably go to bed.  It’s going to be a rough month.”  Jon said, standing and holding a hand out to Phoebe.  We all stood up and said or goodbyes before heading back to our apartments.

An hour later, and I was frustrated and unable to go to bed.  For some reason, I just couldn’t stop thinking about inane things, and it was driving me mad.  Could we finish what we needed before the month ended?  Would I be strong enough?  Speaking of strong, I pulled up my email client and sent Emily a message.

Emily,

Having trouble sleeping and got to thinking about the bonuses of my new race.  With how it is set up, I currently resist 80% of shadow and light magic.  Seventy-five percent from straight shadow or light resist, plus the 20% of the remainder from physical and magical resist.  This seems like something that isn’t going to go over well when I fight the raid group.  Can you have someone take a look at it?  Does that resistance count towards my maximum resistances?

Also, tails.  Is there any way I can get my tail to do basic attacks?  Even just a simple swipe side to side would work so long as I had an armored club or something on it.

Thanks,

Marty

I sighed as I sent the email.  Hopefully they would get back to me before I went with the drow, as balancing resistances while fighting in the Underdark just didn’t seem like a great idea.  Rolling onto my side, I tried once again to get back to sleep.  Eventually I managed it, but when I woke up the next morning it didn’t seem like I got a lot of restful sleep.  Feeling like I needed a pick me up, I decided to order cinnamon rolls with orange icing, one of my favorite breakfasts when I was a kid.  I savored it, trying to relax and let out a lot of the tension I had been carrying before walking over and logging in for the day.

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About the author

Mighty Moushie

Bio: I'm a chemist that gave writing a try, and loved the results. Everything is mostly for fun right now, though I might try and get some things published eventually. Certain traits of my daughter have made it into bits of my stories, and she sometimes keeps me company when we both have trouble sleeping.

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