Chapter 010

Problem At The Mine

            For the next several days at the mine Ren’s mining skill soared up the ranks, each time he continued to come back with a little more ore then the last time and each time this seemed to give a small rise to his affinity among the npcs of the mines. After passing beginner level 6 of mining though his skill gains slowed down considerably, this didn’t stop him from mining still and in a few days time he had the skill teetering at level 7 and 99%
Ren now sat at the cafeteria with Fritz eating the hearty stew and fresh bread roll, though Ren’s ‘being shown the ropes’ time was well and truly over by now, Fritz had never dismissed him or told him to go mine in a different spot, but today he did have a question for Ren. “Why does Ren mine?”
Ren blinked at the unexpected question from the dwarf and set his bowl down to think for a moment. “Hmm, lots of reasons I guess. To start with I was learning smithing from Donan in the city, but I have to supply my own metal to forge with, either by paying for it or collecting it myself. Collecting it sounded like fun so I headed here.”
Fritz’s brow rose curiously. “Donan is teaching you?”
Ren nodded. “Yeah, I had to pass three trials.. no even before that just convincing him to let me try was a bit of a pain. So on my way here I was planning to just head along the mountains till I found a spot and start digging, but the man driving the wagon I got a lift on suggested I come here first and learn a bit about mining before I head off on my own.”
Fritz nodded. “Mmm good suggestion, Would have been hard for you if you didn’t come here first.”
Ren nodded. “Yeah, I realize that now.”
“Your good enough now to head out though, why stay?”
Ren thought for a moment. “There’s always more to learn, I don’t have anything against earning some coin either, but mainly I guess I’ve just gotten caught up in it.” He grins. “When I’m down in the ground with the pick in hand I feel like some kind of treasure hunter or explorer hunting down the treasures left lying below us. Sounds silly I know.” He shrugged.
Fritz grinned though and shook his head. “No, that is part of what drives dwarfs to dig, seeking the unknown, the chance that one strike might find a new never seen metal or stone.” He would lean down and pick up his bag setting it on the table and from it placed five chunks of rock in a row before Ren, one obviously had some iron ore buried partly in the rock but the others looked like normal rock.
“Pick rock with ore.”
Ren tilted his head curiously and pointed to the rock he could see had the ore in it, Fritz nodded and took the rock away. “Pick next one.”
Ren blinked at the sudden quiz he seemed to be getting but slowly he reached out to see if he could pick up the rocks and Fritz nodded, he proceeded to pick up each rock, looking them over and also taking in their weight, Putting them down he then motioned to the rock that was heavier then it should have been, this was likely due to the ore held within.
Fritz nodded and again took the rock away leaving three left. “Close eyes and pick again.”
Before he could speak Fritz cut in. “Close eyes, put hand over rocks, don’t lift or touch, feel, feel the pulse of the rock.”
Ren frowned slightly but did as he was told, closing his eyes and moving his hands over the rocks trying to ‘feel’ something from them, at first there was nothing but as he waved his hands over the tops of the rocks he gradually began to feel something, a pressure against his hands as they moved over the rocks and left them, he pulled one hand back so he could focus on the feeling in one hand better.

He wasn’t sure how long he had been sitting there for, waving his hand over the rocks, his focus on the strange ‘pulse’ of pressure that was gradually getting easier to feel as he passed his hand over the rocks, finally his hand came down to rest upon the rock with the heaviest pulse and opened his eyes slowly to peek at Fritz who had a broad grin on his face and nodded. “Good work."

New Skill!

By befriending Fritz and showing him you have the heart of a miner he has given you a test to teach you a rare mining skill

Metal Detection Level 1 (Beginner 0%)

This skill lets you detect metals nearby
Nearby metals will give off a pulse when you focus
Higher levels will grant longer range of detection


A sudden cheer from around him broke Ren away from the window to look around and notice that he was surrounded by a large group of miners that had ended up watching him take Fritz’s test with great interest.
“Way to go kid!”
“Man who’d have thought Fritz would teach someone that ability of his, I’m so jealous.”
“Damn, he tried to teach me that once but I just couldn’t get the hang of it, what’s the trick to it?”
Ren was overwhelmed by the congratulations and occasional slaps to the back he received from the miners around him. It took about an hour for the merriment to calm down in the cafeteria in all and Ren’s affinity with the mine’s npcs gained a large boost as well.
Ren was eager to head into the mine to test his new skill but on the way out someone rushed past in a hurry to the foreman’s office calling out for Earl the foreman with urgent shouts. “EARL! We’ve got trouble!”
Earl came bursting out of the office at the shouts to confront the man. “Dennis? What’s happened?”
A small crowed had quickly gathered around now to find out what was going on, Ren and Fritz were also present. “There’s been an accident at the forge and Greg’s ended up with severe burns, he’s been taken by the healer already but he won’t be able to work for at least a week.”
Earl seemed to curse under his breath. “Ok, send a messenger to the city, we need someone that can fill in for Greg while he heals.” The man nodded and quickly ran off to get a message ready as Earl turned to face the group of miners that had gathered around. “Men, it seems Greg’s had an accident and won’t be able to fix our equipment for a while, we’ll get someone else in to take his place till he heals up but it’ll still take a couple days for them to arrive, so you’ll have to take it easy on your picks, make sure they don’t break as they won’t be able to be repaired for a few days.”
This announcement caused a small uproar. “What are we supposed to do then!? Dig with our hands!?”
As Earl stood before the onslaught Ren was suddenly dragged out front by Fritz, his eyes wide with surprise as Fritz then nodded to Earl and pointed to Ren. “Donan’s apprentice.”
The crowed quietened at that announcement and Earl looked at Ren wide eyed this time. “Oi oi… is that true?” Earl quickly moved upto Ren and kneeled down to see eye to eye with him.
Ren could feel the eyes of the miners upon his back as he began to break into a light sweat and nodded. “Y..yes, I haven’t learnt much from him yet though, I haven’t actually forged anything, I came here to collect ore to use after all, i.. I did learn how to repair though… but it wouldn’t be a very good job…”
Earl slapped his hands down on Ren’s shoulders. “Ren! If Donan deemed you worthy then I’m sure you’ve a fine talent for smithing, please, until the replacement from the city arrives wont you man the forge, even if it’s not a perfect job if you can keep the men mining until the replacement arrives I’ll be in your debt.” Earl bowed his head deeply as he begged for Ren to help.
“Wha…wah…, don’t grovel like that… i..i’ll do what I can.. but are you sure? I don’t have any hands on practice yet, I only just passed Donan’s trials before coming here to try and gather ore.”
Earl nodded. “I’m sure, Donan is well known here, he made the majority of our equipment after all, and if you’ve passed his tests to become his apprentice then already you’ve got more skill then you probably think.”
“…ok…I’ll try…” Ren nodded and the miners all gave a cheer.

The mine's smith has been crippled and you've been asked to take his place repairing tools until a replacement arrives

Difficulty - ???

Affinity gain with mine NPCS
Boost to Smithing skill
Payment depends on amount of tools repaired

He was quickly escorted to the forge where a small mountain of tools had already piled up in need of repair causing Ren to gulp. “I hope I can do this…” He neatly hung the smith’s tools that were laying around away in their places before taking out his own tool belt, he felt it was only proper that he use his own tools that he’d acquired to take on the task rather than risk damaging the smith’s tools.

Picking up the first pick that needed repair he could see the point on each end was blunt and chipped, he set it on the anvil and took out his smith hammer. Currently he had no real idea how to fix the picks on his own so he relied on the system fully to fix them. “Repair.” As he spoke his hammer glowed faintly before he then tapped the pick with it, small sparks shot out and the pick glowed for a moment, the blunt ends reshaping into nice sharp points and the chips restoring. “Wow…”
Ren quickly examined the pick to find that it had permanently lost some of its durability like his repair skill had said it would, he handed it to the first mining waiting in line. “Here, it’s fixed but it’s not as strong as it used to be I’m afraid.”
The miner just smiled and nodded. “That’s fine, we’ll get new ones eventually anyway, as long as we can keep digging is the main thing.” The miner turned around and showed off the repaired pick to the other who waited and even the foreman was there watching and gave an approving nod.
“Ok! I’ll give it my all then!” Ren grinned and grabbed the next pick.
Needless to say, having a continual influx of picks to repair, his skill rose quickly. By the end of the first day he’d gained a whopping 6 levels to the general repair skill and another 7 to the metal repair sub skill. “If I can reach intermediate tomorrow it might remove the durability penalty.”
He hoped he could pause the quest at the end of the day but before he tried he had one more thing he wanted to try, taking up one of the picks that still needed repair he pulled the head off its handle and set it into the hot coals of the furnace, pumping the bellows to heat the metal of the pick head.
Soon enough the pick head was red hot, he pulled it out with his smith tongs and set it on the anvil and gripped his hammer, the system already detected that he was going to try repairing without the auto assist, a small outline appeared showing the true shape the pick should be and highlighted the areas that were out of place. Bring the hammer down he began to work the blunt pick point back into shape.
At first he wasn’t sure he was doing it right but with each hit the pick gradually regained his point, he pounded the metal, constantly turning it after each strike to keep the heads shape even. In all it took him about an hour to manually repair a single pick but his skills gained another level for his hard work. “Yes! I’ll have to try that again tomorrow before I finish.” He grinned as he inspected his first manually repaired pick, it didn’t look as good as the auto repaired picks but it still had the same amount of restored durability and the same amount lost permanently. Satisfied with his work for the day he paused the quest and logged out.
When he logged in the next day and resumed the quest he found there was almost a full days worth of picks waiting for him. “Damn, even if the quest paused they still had no one to repair the picks while I was away?” He set to work quickly, repair each pick and almost tossing them into the waiting arms of the miners as they lined up to receive one, he didn’t even have time to stop and fill his hunger bar, though thankfully just repairing while having an empty hunger bar didn’t drop his health by that much, and it trained his ‘Staying Power’ skill which he figured could come in handy one day.
Now and then as he worked he could spot Fritz lingering in the area for a little while, watching him before heading back into the mine. It was an hour or two after midday when he finally got two messages popping up before him not long between each other.

Repair Level 1 (Intermediate 0%)
The Repair skill allows you to repair items
Items repaired with Intermediate rank or higher won't lose any durablity

Metal Repair Level 1 (Intermediate 0%)
This sub skill of 'Repair' adds a boost to the repair skill when repairing metal items

Some rare items require this sub skill to be able to be repaired

Once he reached these ranks the exp gain from repairing the picks dropped extremely low. “Damn… even if I did this for another day I’d barely get one level if I’m lucky now. But still reaching this level with repair is awesome, when I get back to the city I can start earning coin by repairing items cheaper than the shops do.”

With his skilled now having reached Intermediate the miners instantly took note of the better repair jobs he was making and finally by mid afternoon on the third day the replacement smith arrived to take over the forge, in the end the task wasn’t that hard it was simply time consuming, he had to repair the picks nonstop almost for three days, only taking a break at night when the miners slept, though even then he had worked part way through the night to try and get all the picks still left with him fixed before logging.
The mine foreman Earl approached him with a big smile. “Ren, you did excellent work at the forge, I can see why Donan took you on.” He grins at Ren. “We would have been in a lot of trouble if you weren’t here, we would have lost several days work and not met our supply quotas.” He passed a small pouch to Ren. “This is payment for your work.”

Quest Complete!
You were able to keep the mine running by ensuring the miners had useable tools until the replacement smith arrived

1G 20S
Large affinity gain with the mine NPCS
Smithing skill boosted to Level 5 (Beginner 0%)

Ren was shocked to see the gold coin as part of his reward. “Isn’t this too much?”

Earl chuckled. “For keeping the mine up and running for three days? Not at all Ren. “I feel it’s not enough actually to tell the truth, if there’s something else I can do for you just let me know.”
Ren had to think for a moment on that. “Mmmm… well… would it be possible for me to borrow one of your horse and carts later on? I want to gather a lot of ore to take back with me to practice my forging with.”
Earl grinned and nodded. “Is that all? Of course Ren, I’ll have a cart set aside for you, just fill it as you wish and let me know when you’re ready to head back to the city.”
Ren grinned up at him. “Thanks!”
Earl chuckled. “Guess you’re going to head along the mountain to find your own spot to mine yes? If you wanted you could keep mining here for the ore you want to take back.”
Ren just smiled and shook his head. “I feel I’ve taken to much from you already with what you’ve given me, aside from that I think it would be a good idea for me to learn to look for ore on my own since one day I’ll be out on adventures without someone guiding me to where to dig.”
Earl just smiled at this and nodded. “Alright then, make sure you talk to Fritz before you head off to, he’s grown rather fond of you I believe.” Earl held his hand out to Ren with a warm smile
Ren smiled and nodded. “I was planning to.” He reached out and shook Earls offered hand before heading to the mine to find Fritz, thankfully he could remember the way to their mining spot and found Fritz digging away at the rocks at his usual pace. “Fritz!” Ren called out over the sound of his digging.
Fritz turned around to Ren and smiled lightly. “All done? Back to mining?”
Ren smiled. “Yup! All done but umm… well I’ll be heading off to find my own ore to take back to the city with me now though.”
Fritz nodded at this. “Mm, thought so.” Fritz set his pick aside and reached up around his neck to pull out a necklace that was hidden under his beard and held it out to Ren. “Take this, Dwarf medallion, shows you are friend of dwarfs.” He nodded
Ren blinked at the gift and held his hand out to take it. “Wow… thank you Fritz… i.. I don’t have anything for you though…”
Fritz just shook his head with a smile and held his hand out which Ren shook with a big smile. “Once I’ve gathered the ore I need I’ll be back here before I take it to the city, we’ll grab something to eat before I go, my treat!”
Fritz smiled and nodded at the suggestion. “I’ll look forward to it.”
Ren grinned and nodded, giving one more handshake before he headed off. He stopped at the cafeteria first and picked up some dried meats and bread rolls that he could eat while he was wandering along the mountain side, buying a dozen of each for a total of 12 silver and 60 copper, the cook also tossed him a couple of apples free of charge and wished him good luck on his ore hunt.
Once he was finally out of the mine’s area Ren followed along the edge of the mountain side, keeping an eye out for any small caves that other miners may have made, it took about an hour’s walk before he came across what looked to be a small man made mine shaft, it wasn’t too deep obviously having been abandoned by the one that started it, Ren stepped in curiously and placed his hand upon the wall of the shaft that only went a few meters in. “Metal detection.” Instantly he could feel several pulses around him from almost every direction, while there didn’t seem to be a vein of ore there was plenty still scattered about around him so he set about digging it up.
Soon enough his inventory was full and he had to lug all the ore back to the mine to dump it into the cart that was waiting for him, thankfully as a crafter class it seems he got a bonus to his carry capacity as its logical that crafters would carry a lot of tools and materials, Ren later learned that some people that had taken crafting and merchant classes even hired themselves out as pack mules on hunts. As he headed back to the mine he pulled up his stat window curiously.
[quart=Name,level]Ren,1[/quart][quart=Gender,Class]Male,Artificer[/quart][quart=Race,Fame/Infamy]Elfling,100 (Neutral)[/quart][quart=Health,Mana]365,165[/quart][quart=Strength,Dexerity]60,46[/quart][quart=Vitality,Agility]37,43[/quart][quart=Endurance,Intelligence]36,17[/quart][quart=Luck,Wisdom]17,16[/quart]

As he’d worked and mined over the last week he’d gotten numerous messages of stat gains, so many that he hadn’t been able to keep track of them but now he had time to look at it properly he worked out that he’d gained a whopping 39 stat points in total from the last time he’d looked at his stats, a couple of the points were even in luck which was a rather rare stat to get an increase in.
“I really need to do something about my lack of intelligence and wisdom though, I need more mana for my skills…” He already had a visit to the city library on his list of things to do, but the more his other stats increased the lack of those two stats became more and more apparent.
With the mine being an hour away he tried to start running on his trips back and forth, this drained his hunger and stamina rather quickly though but he did gain a new skill after the fifth trip.

New SKill!
Your constant running as granted you a new skill!

Running Level 1 (Beginner 0%)
This skill lets you run faster and for longer while draining less of your hunger and stamina

This skill will add bonuses to some movement skills

“Heh, that’s probably a basic skill everyone gets early on, still useful though.” He decided from then on to run everywhere as long as he could.

Each day was more of the same, he dug ore, ran to the mine and dumped the ore into his cart then ran back and dug more, he had no doubt that most would find it such a tedious task that wasn’t worth the effort and just prefer to buy the ore instead but Ren only saw benefits to it.
First he was training his mining skills, though the gains were getting smaller now, he would have to find higher grade ore to get better gains now but it didn’t bother him too much, along with mining he was training his new ‘metal detection’ skill which he knew would be a priceless skill to aid him in finding new ores later on, he was also training his running skill and along with that he still got occasional stat gains from all the work.
After about a week in total he was making his last dig before he would go back to the city, he’d been heading towards something in the small mine shaft that seemed to give off a different pulse to the iron ore and he was nearly there, a few more strikes and the rocks fell away to reveal a strange glowing gem like ore, it held a soft green glow to it and he curiously picked it up and tried to inspect it but didn’t have the right skill to I.d the rock, with a shrug he slipped it into his pack.
As he slipped the strange rock away the ground began to rumble, no not just the ground the entire cave began to rumble, at first he thought the cave was going to collapse on him but then a message window appeared.


You've caught the attention of the 'Spirit Of Earth'

At the back of the small mine a golem of rock pulled itself from the wall and lumbered towards Ren, one arm outstretched as if to grab him….


“Hey are you sure the dungeon is around here?”
“Yeah look there’s a cave just up ahead, that must be it.”
The small party of players headed towards the cave only to pause as a rumbling came from it.
“WHY MEEEEEEEE!!!!” Ren burst from the small cave and sped past the party, ignoring them completely as a large golem of rock lumbered along behind him at his heels, its large arms swishing back and forth as it tried to grab the little elfling.


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