Advertisement
Remove
Settings

The voices of the bowing Wolfkin echoed off of the mountain. As the sound rolled around Thorn, he could almost feel the expectations, hopes, and ambitions that the greeting contained, further reinforcing the sense of weightiness that had settled on him. To him, this was a game, to the bowing Wolfkin in front of him, this was life.

Shaking his head slightly, as if to get rid of the weight, Thorn gestured for his new subjects to rise. Taking a small step forward, he summoned his armor. Streaks of pale silver covered his body as his armor materialized, the wolf motifs glinting in the moonlight.

“I am Thorn, Lord Greymane, the Moon Wolf, Avatar of Hati, Inheriting Disciple of the Temple of the Moon. Tonight, I will lead you back to Greymane Valley. Back to your home. Together we will rebuild the Temple of the Moon and reestablish the order of the Night Walkers. You have persevered through the generations, holding fast to the ancient laws, serving Hati faithfully. The work will be hard, and we will face many enemies, but under the light of Hati’s eye, we will be victorious.”

Cheering, the crowd shouldered their packs and turned to follow Captain Del’har, who led the way toward the valley. Thorn marched among them, his tall figure sticking out above them. As they moved, Thorn realized that the Wolfkin were well suited to travel. Even the young children could run well, their long legs allowing them to keep up.

Rather than walk, the entire group jogged forward at a distance-eating pace, reminding Thorn of marathon runners. The group accelerated and decelerated as one, spurring one another on. In the middle of the group, Thorn had no trouble matching their tempo, as if an unseen chord bound them all together. At the front, Captain Del’har led the way.

[Pack Travel]

Wolves can travel extraordinary distances with little energy. When you travel with other members of your order, you only spend a tenth of the energy and can travel 50% faster, regardless of the terrain.


A little bit of searching soon revealed the truth. One of the abilities that Thorn had gained from his class granted him faster travel speed while moving with other disciples from the temple. Curious about the other abilities that he had gained, Thorn pulled up his status.

Name: [Thorn]

Race: [Titan]

Health: [100%]

Mana: [100%]

Titles: [Battle Mad], [Wolfsbane], [Lord Greymane, the Moon Wolf], [Friend of the Earth], [Inheritor]

Class: [Disciple]

Mastery: [None]

Allegiance: [Temple of the Moon]

Abilities: [Wolf Lord’s Howl], [Avatar of the Wolf], [Call the Pack], [Blessing of the Moon], [Presence of the Wolf Lord], [Martial Form: Unselected], [Basic Weapons Mastery], [Pack Travel]


On top of the [Inheritor] title that he had earned, the three abilities that his class had granted him were listed. Thorn also noticed that, rather than showing his conditions, his status now showed his class instead. Under his class he also found a line listing his allegiance as [Temple of the Moon]. Making a mental note to ask Velin about how allegiances worked, Thorn turned to his new abilities.

The first ability granted by his new class was [Martial Form]. According to what Elder Havva had said, there were four martial forms taught by the temple. Each form corresponded to one of the four different courts of the temple and focused on a different set of skills. When a disciple first entered the temple, they would be assigned to a court. After gaining proficiency in the skills of that court, disciples would graduate to be Night Walkers and would leave the Temple of the Moon to adventure.

Selecting the ability, Thorn was not surprised to see four windows pop up. He passed the time as they hiked through the mountains by reading through them one at a time. [Disciple] was an interesting class because it did not belong to a single category. Instead, the category of the class changed depending on which Court, and form, the disciple chose. Each form taught a proficiency and an active skill and, upon mastery, led to a Two Category Class.

Dusk Form - Support

Disciples who learn the Dusk Form pursue the path of the scout. Fleet of foot, these disciples scout the enemy, setting ambushes and traps or flanking with deadly showers of razor tipped arrows. Few, enemy or ally, can match the wolves of the Dusk Form.


Abilities gained:
[Ranged Combat Proficiency]

[Wolf’s Speed]


Mastery Path: Dusk Walker


Initially attracted by the [Ranged Combat Proficiency], Thorn could only laugh as he thought of himself setting traps or trying to hide for ambushes. While he really liked the idea of being a highly mobile archer, it did not seem overly practical, considering his size.

Full Moon Form - Combat

Disciples who learn the Full Moon Form pursue the path of the warrior. The main force of the Night Walkers come from the stalwart Full Moon Court. Trained in the use of armor and weapons, these tough as nails warriors drive their enemies before them relentlessly.


Abilities gained:

[Heavy Armor Proficiency]

[Wolf’s Toughness]


Mastery Path: Full Moon Walker


Dismissing the window, Thorn frowned slightly as he scanned the side of the mountain, watching the steady stream of Wolfkin in front of him. Despite the fact that they were currently climbing a steep slope, the group kept up a quick pace, only slightly slower than a jog. The Full Moon Form seemed to fit very well with his current abilities, though Thorn did not feel like he needed more toughness. Between his racial abilities and his size, Thorn felt pretty tough compared to most things.

Plus, as the Avatar of Hati, he already had magical armor that did not require any proficiencies. While he could not deny the appeal of the combat category, Thorn was confident that he did not need a class to be able to stand toe to toe with even the best warriors. Smirking at the memory of his most recent fight, Thorn pulled up the next form.

New Moon Form - Utility

Disciples who learn the New Moon Form pursue the path of the Assassin. Unseen and deadly, the disciples of the New Moon Court ply their deadly work in the darkest shadows. Trained to disrupt and demoralize, these lone wolves combine their excellent senses and stealth training to gather information and deliver fatal strikes to their enemies.


Abilities gained:

[Stealth Proficiency]

[Wolf’s Sense]


Mastery Path: New Moon Walker


The opposite of the direct Full Moon Form, the New Moon form suited Thorn even less. After spending a couple fanciful minutes imagining himself turning invisible and popping out behind people, Thorn closed the window. As cool as it would be to take the path of an assassin, it was not his destiny.

Dawn Form - Leadership

Disciples who learn the Dawn Form pursue the path of the commander. Inspiring their allies with speeches and issuing commands on the battlefield are only two of the many ways that Disciples of the Dawn lead their fellow disciples to victory. Disciples of the Dawn make the best diplomats, leaders, traders, and strategists.


Abilities gained:

[Oration Proficiency]

[Rallying Cry]


Mastery Path: Dawn Walker


The Dawn Form was the form with the greatest appeal to Thorn at the moment. He had been leaning toward finding a leadership class, and this seemed to fit the bill nicely. Bonuses to speech and cognitive buffs would be helpful, not only in leading the Wolfkin, but in his efforts to put together his own team. It had become more and more apparent to Thorn that, if he wanted to leave a lasting impact on the world of Nova Terra, he was going to have to gather others around him, and taking the Leadership path would help with that.

The [Oration Proficiency] intrigued him, so he opened up the description.

[Oration Proficiency]

The tongue has power beyond even the sharpest of swords if applied properly. A single word can calm a turbulent wind or ignite a firestorm. Empires have risen and fallen through the words of their rulers.


You are an orator, a practiced, experienced speaker. You know how to parry the strongest of strikes, to turn aside the most dangerous attacks, to avoid the tightest traps, and to steer through the strongest verbal storms. Others are more likely to take what you say seriously and to agree with you. At the same time, you gain increased resistance to verbal persuasion.

 

[Rallying Cry]

Power and speed are the hallmark of the wolf, yet physical prowess is not the wolf’s greatest asset. The true strength of the wolf lies in its companions.


You gain the ability to rally your allies, granting them increased stamina and health regeneration and allowing for the use of the [Pack Travel] ability in combat. This ability can only be used when at least one ally is present.


Both [Oration Proficiency] and [Rallying Cry] would only strengthen Thorn’s leadership, so he selected the Dawn Form, watching as his ability changed to [Martial Form: Dawn]. With his form selected, Thorn looked at the last ability his [Disciple] class granted him.

[Basic Weapons Mastery]

You gain basic proficiency with the following weapons: Daggers, Short Swords, Long Swords, Staves, Clubs, Axes, and Bows.

 

*status*

Name: [Thorn]

Race: [Titan]

Health: [100%]

Mana: [100%]

Titles: [Battle Mad], [Wolfsbane], [Lord Greymane, the Moon Wolf], [Friend of the Earth], [Inheritor]

Class: [Disciple]

Mastery: [None]

Allegiance: [Temple of the Moon]

Abilities: [Wolf Lord’s Howl], [Avatar of the Wolf], [Call the Pack], [Blessing of the Moon], [Presence of the Wolf Lord], [Martial Form: Dawn], [Basic Weapons Mastery], [Oration Proficiency], [Rallying Cry], [Pack Travel]

 

The trip back to the keep took a bit under three hours due to the [Pack Travel] racial ability that the Wolfkin possessed, an astounding feat considering the number of young and elderly in the crowd. When the spires of the keep came into view above the trees, the jogging Wolfkin broke into cheers, increasing their speed.

Leading them through the gate, Thorn had them set up camp in the courtyard while he went to bed. Velin and Mina had logged out, leaving a message that they would be back in the morning, so Thorn settled in for what was left of the night. Staying up all night was not a problem, but some habits were hard to break.

The sun was shining brightly through the narrow stone window when Thorn woke up the next morning. Yawning, Thorn rose from the floor where he had slept and stretched his body, the yawn changing into a grumble as his arms hit the ceiling. Most of the keep’s ceilings were just over nine feet tall, which annoyed Thorn to no end. Opening up his friends list, Thorn saw that both girls had logged in, so he made his way down to the courtyard.

Velin was chatting quietly with Elder Havva and the captain while Mina stood nearby, entertaining some of the Wolfkin children by creating small creatures with ice. Akira, sitting on Mina’s head, saw Thorn as he walked out of the keep’s double doors. Chirping with excitement, she dashed over, bounding up Thorn’s body and hopping excitedly up and down on his shoulder.

[Master! Master! You’re back! Why’d you leave? Why didn’t you bring me? I don’t want to stay with that older sister! I want to stay with you!]

“Haha. Hi, Akira.” Pleased to see his battle pet, Thorn fished out a pastry from his inventory. Stroking her fur as she chattered at him, Thorn walked over to Velin and the two Wolfkin.

“Greetings, Lord!”

Upon seeing him, the Wolfkin, who were standing around the yard, dropped to one knee, shouting out together with one voice. Slightly taken aback, Thorn grimaced. Somehow, he just could not get used to this. Seeing that the Wolfkin remained kneeling, he frowned.

“Rise.” Nodding to the Elven War Priestess, Thorn greeted Elder Havva and Captain Del’har. “We’ve got plenty to do, so let’s get started. Velin, have you filled everyone in on our situation?”

“No, I was just about to start.” Velin shook her head, her serious eyes fixed on Thorn. “Would you like to?”

“No, go ahead.”

“Alright. As I was saying, we are in a precarious position, though it certainly is not as hopeless as it was. We have ten days until the shrine at Greymane Village is activated as a respawn point. Once that happens, the valley will be announced as a new player location. At the same time, we will see an influx of Wolfkin players. In fact, if trends hold, we will see at least five million Wolfkin players over the next year. Every time Nova Terra releases a new playable race, we see large influxes of people buying race change tokens.

“We have three main considerations. One, holding the valley. We can treat this as two tasks. First, the keep contains a control point. Currently, the throne is set as the control point. If enemies hold the throne, they can forcefully take control of the keep. Second, the shrine in Greymane Village. Controlling the spawn point will grant an advantage to the team that holds it, since they can allow their own forces to spawn while blocking others. This concern has to do with our immediate enemy.

“The guild Ragnarok operates in this area and has been looking for the valley for the last two weeks. It is highly likely that their scouts will find us within the next five days and that their main force will not be far behind. Ragnarok is a fairly large guild, but, thankfully, the group operating in this area is no more than 1500 players and supporting natives.”

“1500? That’s a pretty sizable group,” Thorn muttered, looking at the 200 wolfkin he had.

“Correct. 250 Crimson Snakes, 250 player guards, and approximately 1000 native guards. The force is not a cohesive army, though all of the players have a reasonable level of skill.”

“Alright, continue.”

“Apart from our approaching enemy, we have two other considerations. Infrastructure and population. I mention these together because they are so closely linked. Currently, the valley has been almost entirely reclaimed by the forest. This is to our advantage, as it will prevent mounted troops and heavy siege weapons from being brought in. At the same time, this is a problem for us because we don’t have the infrastructure to set up a profitable territory.

“A profitable territory needs food and money to operate, and the facilities to generate them. However, to build the facilities, we need population. To generate population, we need excess food, money, and time. As you can see, this is an issue for us. Because of our approaching enemy, we do not have the time necessary to build defensive fortifications, and we do not have the population to recruit guards or soldiers.

“This is our basic situation. We lack infrastructure and population and have an approaching enemy. However, we do have a number of things going for us.” Velin paused and looked at Thorn. “First, we have absolute command due to your position as Lord Greymane. That cannot be underestimated. Second, we have about 200 combat ready disciples from the Temple of the Moon, courtesy of Elder Havva.

“Mina did not find the bandits, but according to reports from the village, they’re a group of 100 former soldiers who are operating on the edge of the valley. Since they were once soldiers, we might be able to absorb them and bring them back into our army. We also have almost 50 hunters from Greymane Village. While this combat force is not nearly as large as our enemy’s, it is better than nothing. Third, we have guild backing of our own. If Atlas is willing to inject funds into this territory, then we might be able to squeeze through.”

Advertisement
A note from WildCard

If you've enjoyed what you read and are interested in reading more, please consider supporting me on Patreon where you can read all of Book #2 and advanced chapters from Book #3. Come explore the world of Nova Terra and help me determine where the story goes.

You can find out more about me at sethring.com


Support "Nova Terra: Titan"

About the author

WildCard

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. I post a chapter every Friday around 12 pm EST. To get advanced access to chapters you can support me on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/SethRing.

Achievements
Comments(14)
Log in to comment
Log In