I appeared in a dark tunnel.
Indecipherable script crawled across the walls like worms creating strange mind bending symbols. Staring to long made you want to puke.
My monster eyes could see in the dark real well.
The green shit was also a good source of illumination.
Steadily in motion, shadows
Waltzed further ahead of me.
these were the denizens of this dungeon.
I focused on being stealthy, willing myself to blend in with the shadows seemlessly. Well if you looked close enough it rippled like a pool of filthy water when I advanced forth,
A spectral horned turtle blocked the entrance to a larger space.
It's eyes were red demonic, watchful.
I stutter stepped waiting to see if it's eyes were following me. It stared straight through me as I hugged the wall and slithered by
Carapice covered it's top half. It looked tough. I couldn't fight that thing unarmed.
Sneak level up ×3
I mentally dismissed the notification
Hatefully yet grateful
This was definitely not somewhere to just lurk. I had to be clear and consice in my decisions if I wanted to survive and reach freedom.
My first area of the dungeon was filled with four more of the spectral turtles but in the middle of the room a chest sat hauntily inviting me to risk life and limb to Open and receive it's contents
Call it a character flaw but fuck it I was curious.
The training was to inspire a sense of free thinking and vigilance from a young age. Common dungeon sense would assume That even stealthed opening that chest would trigger aggro or aggressive behavior from the monsters now surrounding me as I hovered over the chest in indesicion. Wariness warring with avarice. Pulse thumping so hard the adrenaline was making me high.
My perception of time seemed to be disturting. The monsters seemed more still then just a second ago. It kept receding and progressing till It stuck for a second to long.
SKILL UNLOCKED: slightly altered time perception
In small windows of opportunity your perception of time may be slowed down radically or completely altered
Allowing reactions to be speed up
Performing feat that may seem impossible to the unadvanced eye
Once that flashed acrossed my vision I hurriedly opened the chest. Grabbed the contents with out looking and performed a text book leap-roll and none to soon. Smoke combined with black tar erupted from the bottom of the chest.
It would have destroyed even my cloak. Standard stealth techniques would be foiled completely.
The turtles roared in unison instead of charging and head butting like I assumed they might
The monsters opened up their mouths jointly and let lose a spectral fire in unison scorching and cracking the expanse of dungeon I had just inhabited seconds ago.
Instead of shaking and breathing in relief I beat feet like the bandit I was.
Pushing into the next corridor and around a bend before allowing myself to feel any sense of relief.
I was in another corridor. It appeared empty. I took the moment to take a breather and examine what I had risked my life for.
I willed up the inventory. Which is something only people with classes could use! I stuck my tongue out. I guess I was feeling a little smug.
No one back home believed in me. They thought my highest asperation should be the servant of someone great. Not some one great in my own right.
I would spit in their faces with my achievements if and maybe when I escaped this place.
Only thing occupying my inventory was a simple sword.
Inspected it before retrieving it
It's information popped into my retinal.
Simple double edged long sword-fire enchanted.
STR mod 1.2
Dex mod 2.0
Special damage: fire dmg based on int
A normal sword enchanted standard flame magic, highly effective against undead, ethereal beings, plant life, hell anything not resistant to flames.
After doing everything short of having a battle priest field consecrate it on the spot, I was shorthanded on one of those at the moment. I equipped it.
It naturally appeared in my dominate hand, my left. I had basic combat training. I could defend my well at least half hassardly.
I was a neophyte in blade work.
I gripped the blade with two hands and will it to ignite.
Red flames swallowed the whole blade like a greedy mouth. But instantly I knew something was wrong.
Terribly wrong! enchantments work with either charges or if an active enchantment then off my essence reservoir.
This pulled deeper. I almost felt like it came from so far inside of me that I feared it was feeding on my soul to power this flame.
The flames had shift intensity and color
Turning black as night with no stars and no moon to guide you home. No lamps or lights to shine, flames the very anti-thesis to light. Something vibrated hard. Before a steady thump like a heart beat formed inside of me. I felt pulsation from the sword trying to match the wavelength I was emmiting from deep inside of me. I felt the connection lock in place creating a feed back loop. Energy and information traversing through my body as such extreme speeds I felt myself almost start to break apart.
I wasn't the only one transforming tho
The darkness in the flame had leeched into the blade staining fiery iron to nightmare black. A jewel fit perfectly between hilt and blade. It was once a deep red reminiscent of blood, now it was cracking before my eyes. the red essence of flames started to leak like it might rupture at any time I felt the blade going critical I didn't want to die like this ,
not like this.
I will it to stop. All of this to stop.
I felt something restrain hard against my applied pressure before bursting.
The leaking halted completely then reversed course, the cracks, the welts healed before my eyes but the jewel was forever changed. burnt a true black. Like the crisp on over-cooked meat. Truly a smokey gem. The blade had also morphed to completely jet black. It looked more like a blade of luminese dark crystal. Only thing to survive almost unscathed was the hilt I gripped for dear life. It slightly smoked. moving to put it in the sheath it came with. I noticed an inscription.
Trying to read it made my head hurt!
The script stay illegible
But I was eventually rewarded with a promt.
"Watch out you have release the dark flames of the depths on earth!
This is not a flame natural to this plane of existence.
Because your race has been subjugating this fire for time untold. Stopping it from being released into the inner planes of existence. It is your birth right use it wisely and with great caution!
It's almost sentient and will devour everything! Those you love and care for including yourself! Even a small wisp which is all you have is more than enough to rage with the highest arcane might...Tame this fire if you wish to continue to exist."
Well that wasn't ominous
Flames of the depths-manipulation gained!
A pounding and scattering of loose stone alerted me to danger.
My agonizing screames must have drawn company because one of the ghost turtles was bearing down on me at a gallop.
I've been explaining them as ghost turtles in reality they were bi-hornes monstrosities, that lumbered on four large clawed feet. Armored rigdes cover it top side, only resembling a shell. They were so ferocious that if turtles were the starting point..then these things had evolved to the point of retracting into a shell for protection had become obsolete. They had the glow of non-corporeal or ethereal beings.
Out of reflex I rose into a crouch ready to attack or dodge around the corner. To turn my back completely and expect to flee was to invite death.
I had to at least wound it.
Observing it's body motions I was successful in dodging it's rush
Adrenaline pumping through me
I hadn't felt time slow down but it must have the side step was to crisp the counter attack on point but the result? shocking!
Narrowly avoiding the horns I executed a cross slash across it's face
Slicing into tender eyes and the less tough flesh of it face
Immediately ebony flame flashed across the slashes incinerating the turtles flesh completely.
It died squirming as the flame ate into the brain cavity through the eyeholes and nose.
Before I could sigh in relief or marvel at my new strength or examine the new prompts awaiting. I felt the flame I release into the corpse responding. Seeking to grow and devour. It whispered carnage. I blocked it out of my mind or at least I tried to. I willed it to stop but nothing happened the whispers became screams.
In a panic I held the blade out pleeing for the flame to go whence it came.
With great resistance it fled back into the black blade.
Releasing a pent up sigh, I sheathed the blade with shaky and clammy fingers.
That was scary.
I walked up to the carcass expecting all the surprises to be over, checking for loot as trained. Good loot could save your life or make a excellent profit.
When I got I guess close enough radioactive energy in spectrums visible to the naked eyes crawled all over me leaking into my pours with out my consent, it feels tingly, kind of pleasant
As the transfer completely the body disappeared only leaving behind a single piece of loot.
"Higher level monster subsumed. Empowered State Activated"
I looked at my status under my conditions i had a new one displayed besides healthy. Empowered.
I had to use my mind to navigate my status or shout out loud, something along the lines of "details on empowered state!" Causing another screen to display all the details available.
Experience points double
Drop rates tripled
All Aps doubled
Skill 1.5 magnitudes
Attribute points doubled
Wild elation flushed through my system with only two words to express my feeling: "over powered"
You gain ability points from putting your skills to use, gaining levels from use them.
My attributes had been doubled
It seemed my skills would also deal inflated damage.
I pumped my first forceful at the sky. I, MIGHT STILL HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE