Advertisement
Remove
Settings

Training Overview

 

General Experience Earned

Stamina Use: 70

Mana Use: 1276

[Level Up]

 

Skill Experience Earned

Refrigerate: 90

Extend Aura: 97

Purify: 913 [Rank Up]

Winter: 23

Amplify Aura: 153

Intrinsic Clarity: 1276 [Rank Up]

 

 

 

Attributes

Richmond Rain Stroudwater

Level 6

Experience: 1009/2626

Dynamo

 

Health

200

Stamina

200

Mana

200

 

Strength

10

Recovery

10

Endurance

10

Vigor

10

Focus

10

Clarity

80

 

Free Points

0

 

 

 

 

Statistics

 

 

Total

Base

Modifier

Health

200

200

0 | 0%

H.Regen

100/day

100/day

0 | 0%

Stamina

200

200

0 | 0%

S.Regen

100/day

100/day

0 | 0%

Mana

200

200

0 | 0%

M.Regen

244/hr

220/hr

-2 | 13%

 

Movement Speed

10

Vision

10

 

Resistances

Heat

Cold

Light

Dark

1 | 0%

1 | 0%

1 | 0%

1 | 0%

Force

Arcane

Mental

Chemical

1 | 0%

1 | 0%

1 | 0%

1 | 0%

 

 

 

Skills

 

Refrigerate (3/10) Exp: 194/400

22-25 cold (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Sufficient damage causes slow

Range: 3 meters

Cost: 15 mp/s

 

Extend Aura (2/10) Exp: 188/200

Extend aura range by 2 meters

Multiply aura mana cost by 140%

 

Purify (5/10) Exp: 852/1100

Purify poison, corruption, and contamination

Range: 5 meters

Cost: 50 mp/min

 

Winter (1/10) Exp: 70/100

Multiply M.Regen by 110% for all entities

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 1 mp/hr

 

Intrinsic Clarity (6/10) Exp: 510/1600

Multiply base mana regeneration by 220%

 

Amplify Aura (2/10) Exp: 179/200

Multiply aura intensity by 120%

Multiply aura mana cost by 140%

 

Free Skill Points: 1

 

 

Rain sat, trying to decide what to do with his skill point. He had invested his stat points into clarity, honoring his promise to himself to get the stat to 100 before considering spending points elsewhere. The faster experience gain from his mana regeneration was just too good to pass up. He looked through his aura trees but didn't see anything that was really calling to him. Briefly, he considered taking a spell like firebolt to give himself a more efficient way of dealing damage at range. He decided against it fairly quickly, however. His two aura metamagic skills would do nothing for it and he didn’t know if there was some limit on the number of skill points he could earn. It felt like a waste of a point to him, given that refrigerate with extend aura had decent enough range now.

 

 

Furthermore, he was sure that there would be more boosts to auras in the higher skill tiers and he was pretty invested in them at this point. Curious about what Tier 1 might hold, he spent the 100 experience required to unlock the next level of spells for the offensive auras tree.

 

 

Offensive Auras

 

Tier 0

 

Immolate (0/10) (+)

7-8 heat (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Sufficient damage causes ignition

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 5 mp/s

 

Refrigerate (3/10) Exp: 194/400

22-25 cold (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Sufficient damage causes slow

Range: 3 meters

Cost: 15 mp/s

 

Tier 1

 

Shroud (0/10)

7-8 dark (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Darkens environment (fcs)

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 5 mp/s

Requires 5 ranks in refrigerate

 

Radiance (0/10)

7-8 light (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Brightens environment (fcs)

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 5 mp/s

Requires 5 ranks in immolate

 

Shear (0/10)

7-8 force (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Not occluded by mundane materials

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 10 mp/s

Requires 15 ranks in offensive auras

 

Huh, they have prerequisites. I can't take any of these. Shroud I could get to with a bit of work. Shear sounds like it would be quite unpleasant to experience, and it goes through walls if I am reading that right. Ouch. Taking that one for sure once I can. I really should work on refrigerate more so I can unlock the others.

 

Setting the offensive tree aside, Rain proceeded to unlock tier 1 for both utility auras and aura metamagic. He didn't bother with defensive auras, figuring he wouldn't meet any of the prerequisites. He could revisit it later if he didn't see anything he liked in utility.

 

 

Utility Auras

 

Tier 0

 

Purify (5/10) Exp: 852/1100

Purify poison, corruption, and contamination

Range: 5 meters

Cost: 50 mp/min

 

Spring (0/10) (+)

Multiply S.Regen by 110% for all entities

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 1 mp/hr

 

Summer (0/10) (+)

Multiply H.Regen by 110% for all entities

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 1 mp/hr

 

Winter (1/10) Exp: 70/100

Multiply M.Regen by 110% for all entities

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 1 mp/hr

 

Tier 1

 

Detection (0/10) (+)

Sense selected items of interest

Not occluded by mundane materials

Resolution: 1.0 meters

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 1 mp/s

Requires 5 ranks in utility auras

 

Velocity (0/10) (+)

10% boost to speed for all entities

Range: 1 meter

Cost: 1 mp/s

Requires 5 ranks in utility auras

 

Life Well (0/10)

Convert mana to health and transfer to all entities within range, including user

Transfer Rate: 1 hp/s

Efficiency: 20%

Range: 1 meter

Requires 5 ranks in summer

 

Energy Well (0/10)

Convert mana to stamina and transfer to all entities within range, including user

Transfer Rate: 1 sp/s

Efficiency: 20%

Range: 1 meter

Requires 5 ranks in spring

 

Essence Well (0/10)

Transfer mana to all entities within range, including user

Transfer Rate: 1 mp/s

Efficiency: 20%

Requires 5 ranks in winter

 

 

Detection sounds useful, like a radar or something. I wonder how it works? If it is anything like purify it is probably broken as shit. Velocity sounds nice too. Is that 10% speed to just allies, or everything? That is the difference between a travel aura and one I can use in combat.

 

The others I won't be getting any time soon thanks to how slowly the seasonal auras level. They look really good though. The life well one would let me be a healer. I’m going to need some survivability if I am serious about this adventurer thing, and being able to heal would go a long way towards that.

 

Humm, I'll check metamagic before I make my choice but I think detection is the winner. Once I get the range up, I can use it to scan for hidden treasure or monsters. Not sure about the resolution, but even if that doesn't get better it will at least tell me what direction something is in.

 

 

Aura Metamagic

 

Tier 0

 

Extend Aura (2/10) Exp: 188/200

Extend aura range by 2 meters

Multiply aura mana cost by 140%

 

Amplify Aura (2/10) Exp: 179/200

Multiply aura intensity by 120%

Multiply aura mana cost by 140%

 

 

Tier 1

 

Aura Focus (0/10)

Focus on an aura to boost its output

Multiply aura intensity by 120%

Multiply aura range by 120%

Multiply aura mana cost by 120%

User loses all external senses while focusing

Requires 5 ranks in amplify aura

Requires 5 ranks in extend aura

 

Aura Synergy (0/10)

Increase all aura output by 0.1% for each rank in any aura

Requires 1 rank in 5 different auras

 

 

Humm, aura focus. That must have been what Ameliah was using to boost purify like that. I guess that is what it takes to dissolve a musk wolf. Synergy looks pretty weak, but... damn, that could be really strong eventually. No point bothering with defensive auras, I wouldn't meet the prerequisites, so that just leaves velocity and detection. Yeah, detection it is.

 

Rain’s finger hovered over the (+) next to the skill.

 

Oh, wait, I could save the point and use it to get shroud once I level up refrigerate. Hummm.

 

Nah, instant gratification it is.

 

Rain selected detection, adding his point and hitting apply, then closed out of all his menus to give it a test drive.

 

Detection

 

Winter deactivated and a little radar icon appeared.

 

Hah, called it. Now, let's see, how do I...

 

Rain concentrated, watching his mana start to tick down. He didn't sense anything different, however.

 

Humm, specified items of interest, it says, so how about a tel.

 

Focusing on the image of a tel, Rain activated the aura, then freaked out at the sensation invading his brain. He could FEEL the tel in his pocket in a way that was completely unlike anything he had ever experienced before. It was as if he simply knew them to be there but not by sight, smell, touch, or any other sense. It wasn't even like memory or intuition. The sense was something... else. Rain didn't have the words to describe it.

 

I can feel them, they are close, but... damn. It’s fuzzy. This must be the resolution thing. Humm, how specific can I be with this?

 

Rain stopped thinking about tel and concentrated on the image of a stick. He got up and walked around the campsite, feeling sticks entering and leaving his sphere of perception. The fuzziness meant that he couldn't tell exactly where they were, or anything about them, really, just that they were there. He switched his focus several times, trying different objects. It seemed he could be pretty specific with the item he chose but there were some limitations. For example, 'hat' was a searchable item but 'Jamus's hat' was not. General terms worked as well. ‘Clothes’, for example, left him with the feeling of each of his various articles of clothing in his mind, each slightly different but still hazy and non-localized. There was a limit to the number of objects he could keep track of but that was more to do with his brain feeling like it was trying to escape his skull than anything about the skill itself.

 

Rain's mana ran out and he felt like his gray matter was leaking out of his ears but he was smiling to himself. He was satisfied with his choice and already thinking of ways to abuse his new-found power.

 

 

The group continued up the dirt track all morning, stopping briefly for lunch. Rain had been periodically using purify, not wanting to get off the cart to use refrigerate. Carten had kept watch again last night but was walking along as if he had gotten a full night's sleep. He hadn't commandeered the cart this time but the lack of sleep didn’t seem to be bothering him. A few hours into the afternoon, the path came to an end at the entrance of a mine cut into the side of one of the rocky hills.

 

The door of the mine was wooden and a bar was lowered over it, looking as if it had been added after the fact. Somebody clearly hadn't wanted whatever was in the mine to get out. Lavarro brought them to a halt and unhitched the horse, tying its lead to a tree with sufficient slack for it to graze. She then turned to the group.

 

“This is Vekuavak Mine. We are here to get <something> and bring them back to the city. Questions?”

 

Finally! Now she explains? Not the hundred other times I have asked her? Why was she keeping us in the dark? She didn't even tell the others; all Jamus knew was that we were going to a mine.

 

<Something>? Rain asked, inquiring as to the identity of the MacGuffins they had been sent to retrieve.

 

“Not you. Any other questions?” Lavarro shut Rain down hard. In response, Rain flipped her off, smiling a deliberately fake smile and doubting she would understand the gesture.

 

Jamus gave Rain an apologetic look. “How many?” he asked.

 

“Fifteen.”

 

“Monsters?” chimed in Carten.

 

“Unknown.”

 

“Treasure?” Mahria asked.

 

“Unknown.”

 

“Why didn't the miners take the <somethings>?” Jamus asked, Rain guessing the word ‘miner’ from context and the fact that it shared a root with 'mine'.

 

“Because they are dead.”

 

Rain gulped.

 

“Drink these. Five minutes, then we go in. Rest. No magic.” Lavarro fished out a number of small vials from her pack and handed one to each of the party, hesitating before she grudgingly handed Rain his, then downed one herself and squatted down to wait.

 

Rain looked at the vial curiously. It contained a dark green liquid flecked with blue. Seeing that the others didn't seem concerned, he shrugged, pulled the cork, and drank it down. The taste was...not great.

 

Better than raw sewage at least. Fuck do I wish I didn't have the experience to make that comparison.

 

Rain was distracted from the taste by an unfamiliar sound. There was the crashing of a gong accompanied a new addition to his log. He brought up the message dialog, revealing a message type he hadn't seen before.

 

 

Chemical Effect Activated

 

Minor Traveler's Aid

+400 sp/hr, 4hr duration

+400 mp/hr, 4hr duration

 

 

Wow, that is pretty good. I need to buy some of these.

 

“Jamus.” Rain motioned to the man.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“This...drink. How many tel?”

 

“Humm? 30, 40 maybe. Lavarro made them, so I don't know the <something> price.”

 

Rain's eyes bulged slightly, then he gulped, still fighting the nasty taste in his mouth. He didn't want to use purify at risk of Lavarro's wrath. ‘No magic’, she had said.

 

Well, guess I'm not going to be drinking a lot of these any time soon, it just isn't worth it. Man, how much is this job paying if she is willing to dole out 5 of them?

 

Belatedly, Rain realized that his winter aura was still on, so he shut it down to comply with Lavarro’s command. It felt odd to be without it after leaving it on almost constantly for so long. As he canceled the skill, Lavarro turned her head suddenly to look at him, her sharp green eyes freezing him in place.

 

“No, keep that on. Only that. Nothing else.”

 

Rain quickly reactivated the skill. Lavarro narrowed her eyes, then nodded and went back to ignoring him.

 

Wow, I didn’t think any of them other than Jamus had noticed. I guess I’m worth something to them, even if the boost is tiny.

 

Turning to Jamus, Rain asked him to explain what they were retrieving, but he didn't get what the man was trying to mime before Lavarro rose to her feet and called them all over.

 

She lit a torch, then motioned to Carten to take the lead into the mine. She followed him closely, holding the light up high. Rain and Mahria followed at Jamus's urging, the older mage taking up the rear. The mine was dark, and Rain couldn't see much from his position in the middle of the group. They traveled downward for about 5 minutes before coming to a large, open cavern. There were various bits of mining equipment lying around, and several tunnels off of the chamber. Rain was disappointed that there were no mine-carts or tracks, just hewn stone and timber framing.

 

Lavarro gestured Rain over to a wall, where there was a rack holding three miner's picks. “Take the <somethings>.”

 

Ah, so that is what that flailing motion Jamus was making meant. Picks. We are here to get the miner's picks. But... why? There must be something special about them.

 

Rain examined one of the picks as he took it down off the wall, struggling with the weight. It was much heavier than it looked. As he examined it, he noticed that the metal of the pick head was glowing slightly.

 

Magic?

 

“Hurry up,” Lavarro hissed at him in a whisper, not taking her eyes away from the side tunnels leading off of the room.

 

Grabbing the other two picks, Rain balanced them precariously in his arms, walking back to the group.

 

“Mahria, help him. Bring them up, then <something>. Quietly.”

 

Mahria lit a torch from Lavarro's, then took one of the picks from Rain. The two of them headed back up, depositing them in the cart before returning to the cavern.

 

Lavarro led them down the first of the side passages. The passage had a low ceiling and continued for only 20 meters or so before coming to a dead end. There was rubble strewn about, as well as another pick lying on the ground as if the miner who had been working here had dropped it in haste. Lavarro picked it up, then, seeing nothing else of interest, led them back to the main room.

 

She sent Rain and Mahria up with the pick again, and they returned to repeat the procedure, checking two more tunnels but not finding another pick. There was only one tunnel left, and it was the largest, sloping down sharply. They proceeded down it slowly, huddling within the perceived safety of the torchlight. Looking at the walls, Rain could see veins of coal running through them, with an occasional glint of something shiny lodged in the stone. It looked like iron, or maybe impure silver. Eventually, the tunnel opened up into another chamber, much like the first, except that this one was filled with corpses.

 

Rain counted five bodies that looked like they had been human as well as one that clearly hadn't been. Jamus walked over to the form of the dog-like creature, grabbing the pick that was embedded in its skull and wrenching it free.

 

“Dark <something>, very dead,” he said, walking over to Rain and handing him the pick, which was stained by the creature's blood. Rain took it gingerly, searching the dark tunnels leading from the room with no small amount of apprehension. Jamus also looked a bit unsettled, but Carten and Lavarro didn't seem too concerned. Mahria was smiling, which almost concerned Rain more than the body of the twisted dog thing.

 

“We continue. Quiet,” Lavarro said, leading them towards the first side passage.

 

The next two passages were also dead ends, one literally. The passage ended in a small chamber containing two more miners, their bodies having been torn apart. All of the corpses Rain had seen in the mine were mostly decayed, which was all that was keeping him mostly in control of himself. He wasn't used to death; he hadn't seen a dead body outside of movies and shows before today. The decayed state of the bodies helped him distance himself from thinking about how they had been real, living, breathing people once. Nonetheless, these last two had given him some significant trouble, as he got stuck thinking about how the shredded corpses had gotten that way, being torn limb from limb by some terrible monster in the dark.

 

Rain was brought back by fingers snapping in his face. He let out a strangled yelp, and a hand pressed against his mouth, silencing him. Lavarro then slapped him, her eyes glaring at him in anger.

 

“Quiet, I said. Now come.”

 

She turned, moving towards the others who Rain now saw were looking on with concern. Mahria had two more picks with her that she had collected while Rain had been staring at the bodies. Lavarro didn’t wait, leading the others back up the tunnel. Rain scrambled to follow, terrified at the prospect of being left alone in the dark. When they reached the lower cavern again, Lavarro sent Mahria and Jamus back up with the picks. Rain figured that she thought he wouldn't come back if she sent him. That was probably justified. He fought down his fear and resisted the urge to make a break for the surface. He wasn't going to go off alone and die like some idiot in a horror movie.

 

The others returned, but before the group could start down another tunnel, Carten raised a hand, halting them. He was looking towards one of the tunnels, listening. Then, Rain heard it too, a faint clicking, like the nails of a dog walking on asphalt.

 

“Ready!” Carten shouted, all pretense of stealth falling away. He clanged his shields together and placed himself between the opening of the tunnel and the rest of the group. The sound rang out like a wave, echoing off the walls of the chamber. His shields were glowing slightly, streams of whitish light flowing down them like water and evaporating as they hit the floor.

 

Mahria pointed her staff and looked at the tunnel with anticipation, trying to get an angle past the huge form of Carten. Lavarro and Jamus threw their torches to the sides of the room, the lights still burning and lighting the area though it left them slightly in shadow. Jamus chanted a few short sentences, then shouted, summoning two translucent whips which he held at the ready. Blue light shone from the whips and they crackled with intermittent bolts of electricity. Lavarro stood watching the tunnel intently but showing no other sign of preparing herself for battle. Her face was cool and focused.

 

I... I can't do anything.

 

Rain came to this realization as the first monster trotted out of the tunnel. Dark Hound, Level 5, Rain noted, as two more followed it, fanning out to surround the group. Rain could hear howling coming from deeper in the mine, and he stepped back, looking for something he could use as a weapon. He drew his belt knife, holding it in one hand and hoping that he wouldn't need it. If one of those things got close enough for him to use the knife, he was sure that he would be as good as dead.

 

Refrigerate is useless here, I’d just hit my allies.

 

Mahria didn't wait for any more of the beasts to appear. Seeing a clear shot, she took it, launching a bolt of ice at the leftmost dark hound, striking it in the flank and causing it to let out a pained yelp from its twisted maw. The enraged hound staggered, then lunged for her. Carten moved faster than Rain would have believed possible, smashing into the beast with a shield and sending it flying across the room where it slammed into a wall with a terrible crunching sound. This left the right side open, but before the two dark hounds could take advantage of it, Jamus lashed out with his whips, snaring each of them around the neck and then shouting a word. There was a terrible crack and two bolts of lightning shot along the whips, following the blue energy straight to the hounds and frying them instantly. Rain opened his eyes after slamming them shut against the brightness of the flash. He saw that all three dark hounds were down, one crushed and broken against the wall and the other two burned, blackened, and smoking. Jamus was chanting again, his whips apparently consumed by the spell.

 

The howls were drawing closer, and soon more dark hounds started pouring into the room from the tunnels, quickly surrounding them. Jamus lashed out with his re-summoned whips, leaving charred gouges where the whips struck but not entangling the creatures as before. He was doing much less damage this way but he was successful at keeping the hounds back in a fairly wide area.

 

Carten was holding the front, an impassible wall of muscle and steel, sending any hound foolish enough to get close flying but doing little to thin the pack. He was holding himself back to protect Mahria. She had her eyes closed and her hands pressed to the ground, staff propped against her neck. There was a look of immense concentration on her face as she muttered something Rain couldn’t make out.

 

Rain clutched his dagger desperately as one of the hounds suddenly charged straight for him. Lavarro stepped calmly to meet it, and the hound suddenly collapsed to the ground, its neck twisted grotesquely. Another hound followed the first, but it too fell as Lavarro simply looked at it, making no move that could have explained what had happened. This time, though, Rain heard the sickening crack as the hound's neck snapped.

 

Rain hadn't even had time to process this before he was startled by a shout from Mahria which was suddenly followed by a blast of cold wind. The torchlight from the left of the cavern was suddenly cut off as a massive wall of ice erupted from the ground, slamming into the ceiling with a glacial grinding noise and blocking off the hounds on that side. Mahria collapsed, panting, as the three others took up protective positions, shielding Rain and Mahria in the center with the wall of ice protecting their backs.

 

Freed from the need to cover the channeling mage, Carten started putting more force behind his strikes, many of the hounds he sent flying not getting back up, their health bars winking out as they crumpled to the ground. One of the hounds managed to make it past his guard and latched on to his armored leg, teeth screeching against his armor and locking down his movement. Carten swore and slammed his shield down on the beast's back, shattering its spine with a terrible crunch and sending a splatter of dark blood flying into the air.

 

Jamus was having better luck on his side. His whips were starting to take their toll on the creatures, who were too slow to avoid the blinding blue trails of energy as he laid into them. They didn't relent though, their pain only building their frenzy as they rushed in even more heedlessly of their own lives.

 

One slipped inside one of his strikes and went straight for him, causing him to drop one of his whips and point at the hound with his finger. He sent a blue bolt of energy straight through its chest moments before its teeth latched on to his face. The monster's corpse bowled him over, but before more could rush in, Mahria stepped up. Seemingly recovered, she started blasting shards of ice at the hounds from the tip of her staff, not even bothering to properly aim. It was surprisingly effective, allowing Jamus to get back to his feet and join her assault with more bolts of blue energy.

 

Carten roared and abandoned all pretense of defense, rushing into the thinning pack of hounds, smashing them with his shields and ignoring their attempts to penetrate his armor. He sent one flying with a kick, launching it directly into one of its fellows and sending both down in a pile. Mahria slumped down, exhausted, but Jamus was now blasting away with both hands, each shot finding its target and taking down hound after hound. He no longer needed to keep the hounds at bay with his whips due to their reduced numbers.

 

The last hound died with a crunch, its skull crushed by Carten's stomping boot as he roared in triumph. He was panting and covered in blood. Most of it was the blackish blood of the hounds but there was some red in there as well, showing that at least one of the hounds had made it past his armor. Mahria looked like she was about to pass out and Jamus was swaying on his feet, looking little better.

 

Rain looked for Lavarro, then did a double take. She hadn't moved, yet there was a veritable wall of dead dark hounds before her, their bodies twisted unnaturally. There was no blood, and she didn't look the slightest bit strained from the effort.

 

Well that is fucking terrifying. Glad she is on our side.

 

Advertisement

Support "Delve"

About the author

SenescentSoul

Bio:

Achievements
Comments(41)
Log in to comment
Log In

furude @furude ago

Thanks for the chapter.

Velocity (0/10) (+)

10% boot to speed for all entities within 1 meter -boost

That must been what Ameliah was using to boost purify like that. I guess that is what it takes to dissolve a musk wolf. -wasn't Amelia?

I think Aura Synergy (0/10) is much better than Focus but I still would buy both. It is long term investment.

AnthonyL @AnthonyL ago

Blue light shown -shone-

Thanks for the chapter.

I hope aura metamagic has a skill that assigns one ally per rank, allowing him to contribute in a group, otherwise he's gonna have to invest heavily in support and defense to be active in a fight.

Or maybe the system has a party function for this that he just hasn't found yet, though I doubt Lavarro would neglect to invite him if that was the case unless parties have a 4 member limit.

Dwwolf @Dwwolf ago

Essence well....mages will love him.

FirstDragon @FirstDragon ago

I hope he learned his lesson. He should just be an aura mage unless he can control auras to shape them instead of them being standard circles.

Given how he just decided he wants to live here btw, I was surprised by his lack of impulse control in choosing detect. Not saying I think he needs more shitty auras. He needs actual defense and attack spells and some basic attributes. Because lots of mana doesn’t help if like in this fight you can’t do shit. Seriously. I’m annoyed by the MC at this stage. He’s not stupid. He has to understand the limitations of aura and yet he does pretty much nothing to try and compensate for them.

    Premium
    Author

    SenescentSoul @SenescentSoul ago

    I want Rain’s decisions to feel like they are coming from his character, and his motivation for picking the skills that he does is something that I have tried to set up in the story. I’m not going to defend the specific motivation for his choices in a comment thread, as future readers shouldn’t need to read the comments to know what is going on. Let’s reframe this in those terms.

     

     

    Is your argument that Rain’s choice here isn’t believable based upon what he has said and thought about his skills so far? Do I need to do some more to explain why he doesn’t want to pick up something like firebolt? There is a little bit early on about how he wants to leverage the overlap of the aura trees. Do I need to have him think something here like “I don’t want to waste a point in [x] because of  [y]”? Where would be a good spot to insert this without slowing down the chapter too much?

     

     

    Opinions will vary on what is a good or a bad choice when it comes to a build. My main goal is for it to feel like what Rain chooses is in line with his character. What Rain might think of as a wasted point might be different from what others would. You might not a agree with Rain’s reasoning, and that is fine, but I do want to make sure that it is believeable for the character.

     

     

    What do others think? Do Rain’s choices make sense given his character, or does it feel like I (the invisible author making the puppets dance for my amusement) am deciding for him?

      AnthonyL @AnthonyL ago

      I said it in an earlier chapter that I would have been tempted to takes a bolt, heal and shield spell if I were in Rain's shoes, but aura synergy alone is enough reason to keep focusing on auras despite being shown in this chapter the biggest weakness of auras, friendly fire.

      Not there's no logic to picking up some different spells but it makes sense based on Rain's personality that he's going all in for the sake of a longterm payoff.

      FirstDragon @FirstDragon ago

      That’s a very fair and thoughtful response. So I’ll do my current best to reply.

      on some level it is somewhat believable right up to this point. He decided to build himself very narrowly and seemed willing to accept the consequences of that. I didn’t agree with his choices early on based on even just the selection of options seen by me via what you presented, which is only a fraction of what I assume are the total options. And the reason I disagreed is this chapter. Or rather the battle that happened in this chapter. Cause he wanted to be a party contributor as a supporter. And clearly he couldn’t do that despite a whole bunch of levels and pretty good auras. As a rational thinking person trying to place myself In rain’s shoes, I felt he would worry about what might happen if he was in a party and faced this type of battle way in advance. And indeed what happened was realistic and showed his comparative uselessness at the moment as a party member. Other commenters have argued that he’d specced out himself this way as he would essentially level up enough via this focus so he could do other stuff later. Given how the story planned out that ended up being at least partially true (he leveled up very quickly without much slime fighting). However the problem for the novel is that I’m pretty sure his character never stated that this approach or method was his plan, directly or indirectly. Haven’t reread but that’s one pretty easy to make edit that would make a difference in believability...if my memory is even serving me correctly (I read dozens of stories simultaneously so I don’t always remember everything...sorry). But regardless now is the time to diversify

      Anyway in this context, Detect feels quasi believable. Because it might be useful at the current moment and I assume he really wants to be useful after what just happened...perhaps...it’s not explicitly stated. it certainly fits his aura build. But it also start pushing boundaries of believability because of this chapters combat and how he felt rejected by the party afterwards.

      I feel he would start to diversify his skills from this point forward Because now he’s seen the serious limitation of auras in a real battle with real consequences with a real party. He literally couldn’t do anything to help. His rated contribution was 1% and that has to include his regen for others. ( True His regen aura is good and will grow to be very good but it’s not clear if mathematically it is enough to help in short or perhaps even medium length battles as most others don’t have nearly enough invested in clarity or regen skills to give them the extra multiplier effects that the MC experiences - which allow him to cast a bunch more powerful spells more often)

      so getting and leveling one attack and/or one self / other defense spell Seems reasonable...now more than ever. He has the core of his aura stuff, it works for many situations. Now he needs a few things for other situations too. Then he can go back to more aura stuff with his other risks covered. That’s my view. My view of rain. Of course it is skewed by what I think a rational person with a gamer background would do when confronting the terrifying reality of having to actually live in a fantasy world. I’d want a shield like spell pretty early on and some direct attack spell with range...because I think those are critical to basic survival. And also useful for team combat. If I believed I could safely level up with all this aura stuff first and then without much risk to myself branch out a bit afterwards...maybe I’d do what rain did and defer such skills by using some half substitutes and waiting. But as a reader I just never felt that rain was clear that he choices would work out that way as he didn’t know what skills were available or would be available. If his gaming the system was really clear cut then I’d bow to that optimization choice and it’s associated risks.

      AnthonyL @AnthonyL ago

       

      A single target spell could have maybe killed one or two dogs before he ran out of mana for the fight and that's if he didn't miss which is a problem for even the more experienced mage Mahria. And while he could have cast a healing touch on Carten he was just fine without it, recovering faster than either of the mages. Meaning he would have been near useless no matter what, which isn't weird considering he's a total newbie joining a very experienced party with who we now know

      Spoiler: Spoiler

       , which was probably the reason Lavarro refused ahead of time to share the reward, there was zero expectation of him to be useful in battle and he wasn't.

      The first time he got general experience Rain mentioned it was good he could level without killing and there is one part that was clearly going to be efficient from the start, winter aura.

      While I'm still crossing my fingers that aura metamagic will have something to disable friendly fire (or buffs for unfriendlies) and enabling multiple auras at once, one thing was pretty obvious and that is metamagic would buff winter which would drastically increase mana regen which would lead to more levels and more metamagic to boost winter. And with the reveal of aura synergy it becomes clear that his focus on auras will in fact lead to amazing abilities, not only that as long as he keeps buying auras he will not slow down in his leveling, he could even reach his goal of keeping auras always on within a year.

      So I don't see his choice to stick to auras as irrational but I see it as ambitious and patient.

      You say it's dangerous but the most danger he's been in is that one slime and frankly he wasn't even close to death, and joining an experienced team isn't exactly irrationally reckless either.

      I think it's just a difference of personalities, Rain choice isn't the one you would have made, doesn't make it the wrong one or an irrational one, and even if he had gone your route he still would have been near useless in this fight simply because he's much lower level than the rest of the group.

      So while he's marginally more useless right now focused on auras, this build has a massive guaranteed payoff even with just the tiers he has unlocked.

       

       

      Premium
      Author

      SenescentSoul @SenescentSoul ago

      I think you both make very good points. I did set up his decision to focus on auras, but I never actually had him explicitly state why he was reluctant to use a point on a non-aura attack spell. I looked back through and found a few places where he is thinking about his build, but the first place I could stick in some new thoughts about it without breaking the flow was in this chapter. Changes and reference passages shown below.

       

       

       

      Reference: Chapter 2

       

      Reference: Chapter 3

       

      Reference: Chapter 6

       

       

      Changes: Chapter 15

       

       

       

       

      Koinzell @Koinzell ago

      I am actually surprised there isn't yet a metamagic to disable FF and enemy buffing, as well as multi auras

      Olivebirdy @Olivebirdy ago

      Anthony, FirstDragon, could I request that you spoiler all references to events, emotions, and skills that haven't occurred or appeared yet to first-time readers who have only read this far?

      Graestra @Graestra ago

      I second this, didn’t expect to be spoilers.

Zethuron @Zethuron ago

Good fight, and Lavarro is really scary with that unknown power of hers. Thankfully for him he wasnt interested in her daughter, that could have ended badly otherwise.

AnthonyL @AnthonyL ago

Radiance no longer requires 5 points in immolate and both shroud and radiance lost their alternative cost when not affecting entities, not sure how much of that is intentionally changed but at least the point requirement seems like it got lost in edits.

If the non combat costs are intentionally removed then maybe this line should go too since radiance would be far too costly to serve as torch.
"Radiance would have been nice in the sewers, better than immolate anyway."

Rain's clutched his dagger desperately -Rain clutched-

A T @A T ago

Thanks for the chapter!

Euclaid Galieane @Euclaid Galieane ago

Force spells then? Telekinetic hand variant?

Flammenwerfer @Flammenwerfer ago

Hmmm, I know that he didn't really do much here, but I'm still a bit surprised that he didn't activate and jack-up Winter when the fight came.

He also could've helped contribute before with using 'detect' on the pickaxes, but the 'no magic' thing was too strict I guess

Olivebirdy @Olivebirdy ago

There's Spring, Winter, and Summer auras, I'm peeved there's no Fall/Autumn. I guess them's the breaks, there's no fourth category of energy bar. Actually, might be worth asking if there's an unlockable pair of stats.

I wonder if it might be an offensive drain aura.

thanks to how slow the seasonal auras level.

slowly

He got up and walked around the campsite, feeling it as sticks entered and left his sphere of perception.

Remove 'it'

already thinking of ways for how to abuse his new found power.

-'ways for how to' doesn't sound right. Is it a normal idiom?

“<something>”? Rain asked, inquiring as to the identity of

Unitalicize the question mark, capitalize the something.

I... I can't do anything.

Why not use Winter? It's a good mood you've set up, feeling completely useless among these ultrapowerful people, but he could at least add ten percent to their Mana Regeneration. Won't help, really, but it'll be more than nothing.

but before more could rush in Mahria, recovered, stepped up and started

before more could rush in, Mahria, recovered, stepped up...

Jamus was now blasting away with both hands, each shot finding its target and taking down hound after hound.

Nice. He didn't do this earlier because area denial was better than killing? This seems much faster than his whips.

    Premium
    Author

    SenescentSoul @SenescentSoul ago

    All fixed. Winter is already on. He uses it constantly.

      Olivebirdy @Olivebirdy ago

      I'm not the only one who didn't think it was on.

      Problem is, I can't see a good spot for him to flick it on. The mood is too tight, moving from one cool team member to another, then Rain realizing he's useless. Him activating it the moment magic was allowed would put his name in someone else's paragraph, and talking about Winter would be hard in the 'I'm useless' paragraph.

      Premium
      Author

      SenescentSoul @SenescentSoul ago

      Yeah, that's why I'm in favor of leaving it out. It isn't worth breaking the action.

      Olivebirdy @Olivebirdy ago

       

      Spoiler: Very Minor Spoiler of Next Chapter

       

      There should be a counterpart to aura extension or aura channel, something he can use to make his ranges shorter. Healing enemies bad. Only hurting close enemies good. (I kept getting my pyromancer in Guild Wars killed because I loved going right up to enemy groups and spamming immediate range AoE DoT attacks. Worth it.)

      Premium
      Author

      SenescentSoul @SenescentSoul ago

      Added this line to the next chapter:

      Spoiler: Spoiler

      Olivebirdy @Olivebirdy ago

      Good! Means it's still on, it's self-pitying but not whiny. Perfectly understated.