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A note from Cliff Hanger

Get sundayed.

Davy Jones has been around a while. Not as long as the gods, or even some of the elves, but he’s carved his name into a few legends. He’s certainly been around long enough to have mastered many of the skills that aren’t true Skills: aura control, skill tricks, the hidden abilities of mana manipulation… and a few others.

So, as he floats above his students and underlings, he knows that whatever bastard dared to suss out his status is dangerous; yet not the one he must watch for. That thing was disappointingly weak for its level. The system gives monsters and autonomous constructs levels based on their maximum threat ability at the time of their creation, and not whether such ability can be effectively used. Take for example the golem: Extremely resilient, with high mana regeneration and mana pool. In theory, it could out-magic him in a head to head, mana to mana trade in spells.

But, spell variability and understanding is where so many of these sentient creations lack. It was simple to restrict the golems movements, block its mana regeneration, and then disrupt any and all spells it attempted to form, all until it ran out of mana and he was then able to forcefully shut it down. Simple, elegant, and effective.

He stares past his quiet members, past his instructors, even past the man with the bird on his hat waving his middle fingers in the air. His gaze stops on an unknown woman's bracelet that sets off all of the warning bells in his head. He can feel something inhuman waiting in a dimension just left of reality anchored to her wristband, an ominous being far superior to the sleeping golem he just defeated.

That thing may well drown this island with everyone trapped within.

“Oi! Over here!” the man he’d dismissed steps in front of the girl and obstructs his vision with his body. He continues waving both of his hands in the air, middle fingers still extended.

“Quasi, be nice,” the woman pushes the man’s hands down. “You don't have to go out of your way to piss off everyone you come by.”

“But he called me a whore!” he counters.

The woman rolls her eyes. “And how is he wrong?”

The man opens his mouth, pauses for a second, and then sulks in defeat.

Cautious, Davy Jones activates [True Sight], revealing the woman's class of [Abbess], her connection to the goddess Eir, her skills, abilities, and her stats. As for the man, [True Sight] does not take hold at all, as though the man doesn't even exist. Such a thing should be impossible, unless…

[Sense Divinity]

His senses expand, tracing the warp and weft of fate and the crisscrossing of powers. He senses a potent connection between the woman and Eir, held together by a vow of celibacy. But the man is different. Where he stands, the man does not exist, but the fates of seven intermingle in his place. He senses Coyote, Anansi, Hermes, Kumiho, Laverna, Hades and one unknown, all mixing their fates with this singular individual.

Davy feels a skull-ache coming on. First, a mobile dungeon core crashes half his island, then an [Abbess] of Eir (how long has it been since Eir’s had one of those?) shows up toting a monster, and a man with an unreasonable number of blessings, probably a [Hero] for all he acts the [Fool], arrives with the [Abbess] seemingly just to flip him the bird. He mulls the possibility that everything wrong with today is their fault. Davy would bet his left femur on the [Fool]. He just has that look of someone who’d destroy half an island for shits and giggles.

“You!” Davy calls to the man, his skull glowing with magic, “Did you bring the golem here? To my island?”

“No.” “Yes.” the duo answers in unison.

“Damnit Jess!” the man shouts, “I didn’t cause the stupid golem meteor thing!”

“But you predicted it,” she counters with a smug grin.

“That's not the same! Also, it was a completely random guess that I was somehow correct about.”

Davy floats and watches the two argue with each other, completely ignoring him. Him, an [Archlich], one of the oldest and most powerful beings in all of Orbis, is just being ignored as though he doesn't even matter. Normally, mortals would be completely focused on him, trembling in their boots, but these two couldn’t care less. It's very confusing.

He looks over at the [Guild Instructors] watching the show.

“Who are they?” he asks them.

“They were brought here by [Deathsea Captain] Jenah,” [Instructor] Shanice points to one of his [Captains] whose face is red with shame as she stares away from everyone, avoiding eye contact.

“Doesn't matter why he’s here. He’d be a great replacement for Bradely,” Beggad Jones exclaims. Davy takes a second to digest the [Admiral]’s words.

“Explain,” he orders.

Osber Jones rubs his beard and smiles. He points at the man's arm, and the item held in its crook.

“Take a look at that cane.”

_______

“Drink you fuckers, DRINK!” Davy Jones raises his mug and roars to the entirety of the guild while a bony arm wraps around Quasi’s shoulder.

Every member of the Necromancers Guild and all of Quasi’s [Maids] roar to the sky in reply and down their own mugs. At the same time, undead [Cooks] rush out of the underground kitchens with dishes of food and place them on the bone tables that Davy had created when he found out that the eatery was a part of the guild that was in need of repair. Regardless, that hadn’t put even a small dent in the [Archlich]’s good mood.

Quasi watches, confused as the undead [Archlich] quaffs a glowing, foggy red drink down his half-spectral throat… which just seems to disappear into nothingness.

“I didn't know undead could drink.”

Davy burps, which just adds to Quasi’s confusion. “There are skills for everything, kid. Every, fucking, thing.” He burps again and holds out his mug, which one of the undead runs over and refills. “But skills for killing [Demigods], that's something I've never seen before.”

“And I’m telling you, I didn't kill Mimir. I found his corpse and used it to make a cane.”

“Ha. Just like you didn’t send that stupid golem to my island.”

“Goddammit you old fart, it’s the truth! And I didn’t yeet a golem at your island.”

“Bah, no need to lie. You’ve killed that fucker Mimir, and for that, your transgressions are fully forgiven.” He takes a sip of his refilled drink. “By the way, how’d you throw that golem so fast? I couldn't even react before it crashed into my island. Only person who’d ever been able to throw something at my island that I couldn’t react to fast enough was Hercules, though that fucker threw a mountain instead of a tiny golem.” He sips again, bony arm still wrapped around Quasi, preventing the [Hero] from trying to weasel away.

Quasi looks at the other members of his group, finding them enjoying themselves and partaking in the party, even Barglesmash, who is currently ripping apart a steak with beak and talon. Yes, a celebratory party to celebrate the death of Mimir. Apparently, the deceased god had really rubbed the immortal community in a bad way over the millenia.

“Ah, your nonexistent ears must have gotten moldy. Let me try again.” Quasi leans over to put his mouth up to Davy’s specral ear. “I DIDN’T DO SHIT WITH THE GOLEM!” He shouts.”

The glinting lights within the [Archlich]’s skull roll as though they were eyes.

Must be a skill for that, Quasi concludes.

“Fine, we’ll act like the golem wasn’t your fault, even though it was. Instead, let's talk about you joining the family. That's the reason why you came, right?”

“Family?” Quasi asks.

“Well, my Necromancers’ Guild. Lot’s of [Dark Mages] have a rough time before they make it here, so I give them a warm welcome” Davy explains. “I even offer the members my last name, even let some of them call me grandpa like little Jenah used to do. I adopted that young’un when she was just a twelve year old [Pickpocket]. She tried to lift my pocket watch and when I caught her, she tried to sell it back to me. A born [Pirate], that girl.”

“Well, maybe I’ll join the guild, but I’m already a Voice of the Thieves’ Guild.” I pause. “Or was it a Voice of Laverna?” He considers and shrugs. “I don't remember. I just know I wasn’t a member one moment and then a leader of the guild the next.”

“Sounds complicated.” Davy says, while taking a sip.

“Complicated? Pffft, that's nothing. I’m also an [Emperor] with a gods-given quest to impregnate over ten thousand women, and destroy the world.”

Davy waves his skeletal arm, “Bah, so long as it's only for an offspring and nothing else. Never, ever sign a contract for anything more than a child… actually, never sign a contract with any women, especially an [Empress].”

“Uhhhhh…”

Davy Jones stares at Quasi’s guilty look, and somehow sighs.

“You fucked Cleopatra, didn’t you?”

Quasi nods.

“She used her skill.”

He nods again.

“And now you are contracted to die.”

He nods once more.

Davy Jones shakes his head. “Well, if it makes you feel better, I’ve also fallen for that woman's charms. Damn [Empress] tricked me into turning her into an [Archlich]. Bound her soul to her goddam crystal city and everything.”

Quasi perks up. “Oh, so you were the one who made her immortal… And I’m guessing you bound your own soul to your ship?”

“I did, and a painful experience that was. I don’t recommend it. You have to shift your soul to match the vessel you put it in, which is another way to say, you have to mutilate your soul on a fundamental level until it fits what you want.”

His gaze loses focus for a moment. “And you can’t be sure you’re the same person that started,” he whispers.

Quasi nods to the man who may very well be the oldest immortal in all of Orbis, older even than Quasi in combined years, but not in the wisdom of true death. One’s soul grows fastest when the end arrives. It’s why Quasi’s soul is so potent even though he’s only lived a bit over nine thousand years in total. You die, sometimes brutally, 28 times, you’re gonna grow a bit from facing down death that much.

Quasi tilts his head. “That's good to know if I ever want to become immortal, but that decision can wait for now. At the moment, I’m actually in need of more mundane assistance, specifically the military kind.”

“I'm listening.”

“I’ve been tasked with rescuing the [Pirate Queen]’s kid from [Grand Admiral] Aegir. I don’t suppose you’d be able to help?”

“That’s a noble task, and I normally would help, especially since you killed Mimir and all, but it's too dangerous right now since that idiot's declaration.”

“Declaration? Idiot? Which idiot declared what?”

Davy tilts his mug and allows the fog to fall into his open skull mouth before slamming the mug on the table. “That idiot Testudo just declared war on Aegir. Apparently the crazy, bean obsessed moron believes that the [Grand Admiral] is suppressing coffee or something,” Davy shakes his head, “I can never understand that man. He builds an entire mobile island, amasses riches, and then spends dozens of fortunes on turning that damn bean growing island into a fucking fortress. The man’s a complete nutjob, and will now be a dead one when his mercenary fleet starts fighting the combined forces of Aegir, Teuta, and Molucca. I doubt Testudo could handle any one of them in a direct fight, but all three are a death sentence.”

“Shit. I thought Teuta was busy stopping trade?”

“She was, until the idiot formally declared war and Aegir called Teuta back from the blockade and even asked Molucca for added defense. If he’d had kept his mouth shut, he could have had a chance of defeating Aegir, but now he is heading to his death.”

Quasi quickly stands up, pushing Davy Jones’ hand away. “Ahhh, fuck. Couldn’t fucking wait, could he? Goddamit,” he looks at Davy Jones, “how long until the battle starts?”

Davy Jones shrugs, “Could be hours, could be days.”

“Fucking damnit,” Quasi curses. “Of all the idiots, why does it have to be a fellow coffee lover? I should just let them die. I should. I really, really, really really should just–” sit down and keep drinking, is what he wants to say.

Quasi releases a heavy breath. “Davy Jones, I won't ask for you to fight, but can you get me to that battle as soon as possible? I can't let such a great man die.”

Davy looks up at Quasi. He doesn’t understand the young man’s reasons, but he does admire his resolution. He stands up and hands Quasi his beer.

“I’ll prepare my ship.”

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A note from Cliff Hanger

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About the author

Cliff Hanger

  • Dreamland.
  • Heroooooooooooooooooo

Bio: I consume chapters, smoke world building, and inject some of that character progression.

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