A new field had opened up in his status. Thorn still had no class, but his abilities were now listed. If what Hati had said was correct, then Thorn would not be able to take a multi-category class, but he could still get a single category class and work on mastering it.
Curious, he looked over his new combined title and the abilities it gave him.
Title: Lord Greymane, the Moon Wolf
Chosen of Hati, the Moon Wolf, you have earned the title of Lord Greymane, rightful ruler of Greymane Keep and the Lord of the Wolfkin. To take the first step in being recognized as the rightful ruler of the Fang Forest, you must take Greymane Keep back from the corrupted wolfkin who inhabit it.
Ability: Wolf Lord's Howl
The call of the wolf represents fear and danger. Your battlecry contains a stunning effect.
Ability: Avatar of the Wolf
Because you carry the essence of the Moon Wolf, you have gained the form of the wolf. As you grow, you can adopt features of the Moon Wolf Form.
Wolf Claws: You gain the Claws of the Moon Wolf
Wolf Hide [locked]
Wolf Helm [locked]
Wolf’s Fury [locked]
Wolf Form [locked]
Ability: Call the Pack
The strength of the wolf lies in its unbreakable link to its pack. Dangerous alone, wolves become deadly together. As the Lord of Greymane, you can call upon your pack, granting them increased speed, strength, and healing.
Ability: Blessing of the Moon
Ruler of the night, Hati, the Moon Wolf, has blessed you as you walk under the moon. While under the light of the moon, you gain the following abilities: the longer you spend under the moon, the more abilities you will awaken.
Night Vision: The darkness of night cannot block your sight
Shadow Walk [locked]
Glory of the Moon [locked]
Ability: Presence of the Wolf Lord
As the chosen of Hati, you carry the essence of a god, granting you the bearing of an alpha wolf. Your interactions with monsters of the wolf type and races with ties to wolves will become easier because of your powerful presence. Friendly wolfkin will treat you as a member of their race.
All of the abilities that he had gained were powerful and still contained room to grow. Sitting on the stone floor of the temple, Thorn could not help but shake his head. The last 24 hours had been an absolute emotional rollercoaster, between having such high hopes for playing with Ouroboros and the others to being stabbed in the back and having his ability to take multi-category classes taken away. Then fighting against the corruption of Karrandaras and gaining the favor of Hati by purifying the altar.
With so much to think about, Thorn knew that he was not going to be able to process it in a short amount of time, so he pushed it all out of his head and opened up his inventory, pulling out some food. Once his health had gone up a bit, he pushed himself to his feet and made his way out of the top floor of the temple. The monsters that they had killed on the way up had spawned again, though in fewer numbers. Thorn did not mind one bit.
Feeling quite aggressive, he pulled out his Tetsubo and charged as soon as he saw the first group of skeletons, smashing them beyond recognition with a few swings. None of the bosses had reappeared, so Thorn bashed his way through the mobs without a pause. On the second and first floor, where the party had encountered the black-robed wolfkin, Thorn only found more skeletons, which suited him fine.
The city lay as silent as before, but this time Thorn found himself able to read the signs, making it much easier to navigate. That reminded him of the book that he had tossed into his inventory, so he stopped, sitting on the steps of a house along the road, and pulled the book out.
[Twelve Major Climates of the Angoril Continent]
Flipping through it, Thorn made his way back to the library and started tossing books into his bottomless inventory. Rather than leave the books for the next people to come, Thorn figured he might as well take what he could. Not bothering to organize the books, Thorn swept the library clean within half an hour.
After that, he decided to check out some of the other buildings and made his way back to the main square. The majority of the buildings in the city seemed to be homes but, after peeking in a couple of them, it was obvious that they had been cleaned out. The only buildings that might have anything worthwhile were the buildings that were still locked.
It was a day later that Thorn finally struck the jackpot. A merchant shop off of the main square had yielded nothing of note until Thorn squeezed down into the basement and found a large safe door. Hidden behind a shelf of old empty jars, Thorn only discovered it by accident when, out of frustration, he kicked a lantern that had been lying on the ground. His kick sent the lantern rocketing through the air and into the side of the bookshelf, which collapsed with a thunderous sound, revealing the large metal door.
Without a key, Thorn could only resort to brute force to open the safe, but he had plenty of that. The safe was set against the wall and, from what Thorn could see, the hinges were internal to prevent someone from cutting them off. That proved a barrier for Thorn until he remembered his Form of the Moon Wolf and summoned his claws.
Almost immediately sharp, pointed claws grew from his fingers. He had tested the ability earlier, discovering that they worked whether he was wearing gauntlets or not. Sliding his claws into the bricks on either side of the safe, Thorn grabbed the edges of the door and pulled the whole thing out of the wall. After brushing off the crumbled brick, he pried the door open at the top corner and managed to stick his fingers inside.
From there it was as simple as rolling the door back, opening the entire front of the large metal safe. Full of anticipation, Thorn peered inside and was not disappointed. Piles of glittering gold bars met his gaze, as well as a small tray of precious stones and three books written in Wolfkin.
At first, Thorn was at a loss regarding the gold bars, but when he finally put one in his inventory, he noticed that it had been converted to gold coins. Each bar was worth 200 gold and, with 27 bars, Thorn felt as rich as a king. The precious stones were not quite as convenient, so Thorn could only plan on going to an appraiser when he got back to town. Once he had put the gems away, Thorn looked over the books.
[The Complete Alchemist]
[101 Poisons and Their Applications]
[The Code of the Wolf]
The first book looked to be a primer for becoming an alchemist while the second was filled with 101 different types of alchemical poisons. Not having much interest, Thorn tossed them into his inventory to deal with later. The last book, however, caught his attention.
[The Code of the Wolf] was a book of law, laying out the rules of the wolfkin from the first era. In pristine condition from being locked away in a safe for so many years, Thorn enjoyed reading through it. According to the book, wolfkin society was divided into three different strata: the Lord, the Warrior, and the Worker. A complicated hierarchy existed between them with each having control over a part of society. As far as he could figure it out, the society was equal parts democracy, monarchy, and military state, depending on what part of society you belonged to.
Putting the book away, Thorn decided to leave. It had been a couple of days, and he was confident that Ouroboros and the others had moved on by now. While part of him wanted to see them again so that he could crush them into the dirt, Thorn recognized that he was not a match for the team, so it would be better for him to avoid them if at all possible.
Limping along with low health, Thorn made his way back toward town. Due to his wounds and running into a few kobold patrols, it took him almost the whole night to get back to town. His [Night Vision] ability worked like a charm, so he had no problem finding his way back in the dark.
The sun had just risen when he made it back to the gates, where the guards greeted him with curious looks. Over the course of the night, his wounds had continued to heal, leaving him with a bit more than 50% of his health. Health recovered slowly, and only sleep or a blessing from the temple could restore him to 100%.
Despite all he had been through, Thorn felt no need for sleep. He was puzzled at first but then remembered that time was passing in the game seven times faster than normal, which meant that he would only need to sleep once a week or so. He had experienced that before, but because of his natural clock, he had been going to bed each night anyway.
Since it was morning, he hobbled his way into the town's Temple and made a donation of a silver, instantly feeling rejuvenated as the on-duty priest blessed him. As he was about to leave, one of the priests stopped him with a winning smile.
"Excuse me, traveler, I could not help but notice the air of piousness about you. I can tell that you are one who is devout. A true believer. Have you considered becoming a priest?"
Startled, Thorn looked at the notification that popped up.
By pledging yourself to the service of a god, you can gain the power to defend your faith. The type of abilities granted by this class are variable depending on the god you pledge yourself to. You are being offered a class change by an NPC Priest that serves the human god Mayordi.
"What is involved in becoming a priest?" asked Thorn. One of his goals was to gain a class, so he figured that there was no harm in asking.
"For a simple donation of silver, I can grant you the status of a believer, and from there you have to go through a bit of training."
"Wait, you mean I have to buy the class?"
"No, no, nothing so corporal. The silver is a testament to your faith, and once your faith has been proven, you gain the privilege of serving Mayordi."
A bit more inquiry revealed that, for a larger donation, higher ranked classes were available, and with a large enough donation, he could even gain multi-category classes. Shocked at the mercenary nature of the priest, it wasn't until he was outside that he realized Mayordi was the God of Merchants.
Having turned down the class change, Thorn reviewed his goals. He had come into this game a blank slate, his only goal to experience freedom and adventure. Well, so far he had plenty of both. Not only the freedom of making his own choices, doing what he wanted, when he wanted, but also the freedom of others making their own choices, most recently to his detriment. While it had sort of worked out for him in the end, the experience had been a sobering reminder that he was not the center of this world.
As Xavier Lee, Thorn was, arguably, the center of the world. One of the richest people on earth, certainly the richest kid, with people to take care of his every need and to fulfill his every command. He had come to Nova Terra with the idea of escaping that gilded cage and had succeeded with flying colors.
The difficult truth of it was, however, that escaping that cage meant leaving the protection of people who cared about him. Freedom and protection seemed to be mutually exclusive. His right to happiness went only as far as his ability to act. Once someone stronger or more powerful came along, he was tossed to the side after being used for their purposes.
The adventure had been good, though. Rather painful, all things considered. Thorn was not averse to a bit of pain, provided that it allowed him to achieve his goals. But the question became, what next?
Without question, Thorn wanted to gain a class and start working toward establishing himself in the world of Nova Terra. While he had made some connections, Thorn had spent most of his time following others around, trying to learn about the game. Considering his experiences over the last couple days, Thorn felt that he had learned more than enough and was ready to strike out on his own. A class would be instrumental in that.
As far as classes went, Thorn had been putting a lot of thought into what sort of class he wanted to have. While his size, speed, and strength lent themselves to some sort of combat class, there was something about focusing so much on fighting that turned him off. Even if he chose a different category of class, his fighting ability would not evaporate. That left Utility, Support, Production, and Leadership classes as possibilities.
Utility Classes were pretty much out, since they focused too much on combat for Thorn's liking, as was Production, since Thorn had no desire to be chained to one location doing the same thing over and over. Support was an interesting idea to Thorn, but as he mulled over it, he rejected it for the simple fact that Supports worked best in parties, and he had no desire to play with others anymore.
The only category of classes left was Leadership, which Thorn had never imagined himself moving toward. However, the more he thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense to him. His titles were focused that way, and the abilities tied to them gave bonuses when interacting with wolfkin. A Leadership class would suit him.
Second, the new title that Thorn had received [Lord Greymane, the Moon Wolf] seemed to indicate that, in order for it to be realized, he had to take back Greymane Keep from the corrupted wolfkin. Thinking back on it, Thorn seemed to remember that Gargish was a corrupted wolfkin. Chances were Thorn would be fighting more werewolves soon. Having become the avatar of the Moon Wolf, Hati, Thorn seemed tied to the wolfkin species. He could only imagine that his future would be full of meetings with them.
Apart from getting a class and exploring what was going on with Greymane Keep, Thorn was also interested in continuing his study under the trainers at the Training Hall. Dovon, Janus, Hamm, and Master Sun had helped him in getting used to this world, and Thorn believed that there was much more for him to learn. His power lent itself to fighting, and Thorn was very interested in seeing if he could incorporate his existing training with practical combat in Nova Terra.
Sitting down on the steps to the temple, Thorn took a moment to breathe and organize his thoughts. Too much had happened in the last couple days, from being jumped by Gargish to meeting and being betrayed by Mina, Ouroboros, Velin, and Jorge. Despite the ups and downs, one thing was for sure. Thorn’s adventures were only beginning.
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Bio: My name is Seth Ring and I am a writer. I create worlds and tell the stories of those who inhabit them. I love exploring these new worlds with other people. To get advanced access to chapters you can support me on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/SethRing.