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A note from karami92

Author's Corner: Thank you to Blair Emburgh and Tomislav Fistrić!

Now that I had gotten a glimpse into the relationship between the elves, beastkin, and the dwarves, I was ready to begin another spree of fast forwarding. There was still a long ways left to go before the world was ready to be connected to the others, and not all that much to do until then.

Yes, I could put an end to the war between the humans and the beastkin, but that would involve either divine intervention or one side gaining a super soldier that decimated the enemy forces. Neither of those options are something that I wanted at this point. In terms of inventions, I didn’t know myself how to make most of the items that were left to invent to help them progress!

My only real options here were to either stall for time to gain royalties, fast forward to earn advancement points, or do both. Given the sheer amount of points that I needed to complete the project to connect all three worlds, I really had no choice but to go with ‘both’. I set the world to progress again, this time with a limit of one thousand years, or until the next alarm went off, before stepping away from the computer.

As soon as we had ascended, Leowynn had already left my body to go play with the others, so I was still alone with nothing much to do. Out of curiosity, I decided to move towards Tubrock’s ‘forge’. Though, when I arrived I realized that it was now more apt to call it a factory.

Tubrock’s area had been widened considerably, and was now filled with crude stone golems. Each one had a metal tool attached to its wrist, and was performing a specific task along an assembly line. Some had hammers and were striking hot metal. Others had chisels and were engraving. There was even an gigantic one in the back using two massive cleavers to cut large chunks of stone.

Tubrock himself was fast at work as well. In one corner of the room, I could still make out his old forge, where a large pile of metal ores were appearing next to him as he hammered away. His goggles were down over his face, protecting his eyes from the bright sparks flying off the long cylinder he was working on.

I debated about whether or not I should disturb him, when suddenly he seemed to glance up at me. He gave a small laugh as he noticed my presence, and released both the metal shaft and the hammer he was working with. Though, surprisingly they continued to operate normally even as he walked towards me.

“Oi, Dale!” Tubrock called out, a small grin hidden beneath his thick facial hair. “Bout time ye came by! Had a few things I been meanin’ to show ya!”

I was about to complain about it being too hard to hear him properly over the sound of clanging metal from the area around us, when suddenly the sound stopped. A brief glance told me that the activity was still continuing, but the sound itself was blocked from reaching us. “Thanks. So, what have you got for me this time?”

Tubrock gave a small nod, and led me to a nearby wall. As we approached it, a doorway appeared along the wall and we stepped through. Inside was a collection of various different artifacts of all sorts of shapes and sizes. “Well, I been doin’ my best to stay ahead of ‘da curve. Ryone’s doin’ a fine job helpin’ me with the enchantin’ side of things, bless her soul, but I still gotta handle a lot myself. Still, I think I be doin’ pretty well. The people down there still haven’t made any golems yet, so that’s a win in my book!”

I nodded as I listened to him, a bit surprised that he was able to get all of this done. Most likely, he borrowed Ryone’s methods of setting up a forge in the mortal world and using that to take advantage of the accelerated time. “Anyways.” He cleared his throat, moving over to a table. “I got a few things ta show ya.”

On the table were several small figurines. One of a gate, one of a cannon, then a wall, and one that even looked like a small castle. “For obvious reasons, we’re usin’ these. Givin’ ya a tour of the larger places would take patience I doubt ya have.”

I did my very best to not take that the wrong way, because I also knew that I wasn’t the most patient. So, Tubrock picked up the first of the figurines, the cannon. “This is the improved version of the ki cannon that is being circulated around right now. I figure it’ll take at least another hundred years or so before they iron out the production method for this. Instead of simply propelling a projectile with ki, it fires a pure ki blast.”

“Next up is this little beaut.” Setting down the cannon, he motioned towards the gate. “The heroc nearly beat me to making this, but I got them by a couple months. Ye can think of this as a small scale Fairy Gate. It only works in the same world, and the distance is limited, but any druid can connect to it and select any ‘address’ that the gate is linked to, even if they’ve never been their themselves.”

“Been working on ways to distribute this around, but it’s not the best fit for a dungeon. Maybe I can have it included as a means of traveling to different rooms, or between floors, and trust people to notice and reverse engineer.” Saying that much, Tubrock shook his head before moving on. “Ye with me so far?”

I gave another nod, earning a gruff laugh from the dwarf. “Alright. This next one is something that they still haven’t figured out down there. I call it a selective wall.” He pointed to the figurine of a wall. “To most people, it’s yer typical wall, reinforced to take a beating. But if you put the right magic formula into it, the wall opens up to let ye through.”

Well, that was certainly impressive. “How difficult is it to decipher the password to open the wall?”

Tubrock’s face grew pensive at that, seeming to contemplate the question. “Aye, the password had to be included with the creation of the wall, so it is possible. But it’s damn hard. If ye bring along someone skilled in cracking enchantments, could be anywhere between an hour and a day. Course, that suggests that nobody is defendin’ the wall and that the enchanter can work undisturbed.”

Seeing that I was satisfied with his answer, he moved on to the last item, the little castle. “Now this, this be my pride and joy. Took me thirteen lifetimes to finish, laid every last brick myself. Had the lass help me with the complicated enchantments, but now it’s finally done. Say hello to the Sky Citadel.”

Suddenly, the area around us changed, and we were suddenly standing in a dark cavern hidden within an empty mountain. I knew the mountain was empty because of the massive castle standing in front of us, which was easily as big as a normal mountain. “As ye may have guessed by the name, this baby can fly. It also has my upgraded ki cannons installed along the battlements, reinforced walls, a mana barrier, and enough space to house a small army.”

“Only problem is the power source.” Tubrock shook his head. “I thought about stealing Alkazar’s monster core to use as a power source, but that thing would be depleted eventually. Right now, the only reliable power source would be you when you are at yer best.”

“And this citadel is a hobby of yours?” I asked curiously, still eyeing the giant construction before us.

“Nah, I thought about using this as a seat of power once the world knows about ye. Something you can just have flying around, outside the reach of normal mortals. And when the games come, it can be a good defensive structure! I can upgrade the power sources and defenses as new ones are invented, so by the time we’re ready it should be a proper force to be reckoned with!”

I could only nod once again, impressed by the foresight. I had considered having Tubrock create a large scale defensive measure such as this, but so far I hadn’t come up with anything that could be made using our current resources. “How far away is it from civilization?” I glanced towards the dwarven god as I asked that.

“Ah, no need to fret there. I had the little lass bring me to an island far away from anyone in order to take care of the building. We’re not on the dwarven continent at all, so there should be no worries about anyone finding this place. Was thinkin’ bout asking Bihena if she could make sure nobody sails too close to the island though, just to be safe.”

“Probably a good idea.” I agreed, glancing around. “Anything else you wanted to show me?”

Tubrock’s eyes opened wide, and suddenly we were back in his display room. “Ah! Right, sorry, got a bit sidetracked there. Anyways, that’s enough for the Sky Citadel. I’ll run you through the different passwords for its secret passages when it’s time to unveil it.”

My ears perked up slightly as I heard about secret passages. Who in their right mind wouldn’t like to own a castle with secret passages? Still, I held in the small burst of excitement while Tubrock led me to a wall of weapons. “These are the current forms of the godly weapons. Not that I ever expect them to be used, but for each their own.”

Along the wall were a dozen ‘weapons’. There was a large hammer, a trident, a staff, two books, a clawed gauntlet, a pen, a pair of boots, a bow, a greatsword, a chakram, and a shield. However, the number of weapons made me take a quick count in my head, making sure I hadn’t forgotten anyone. “Tubrock… their are only eleven gods.”

“Well, you’ll be needing your own weapon once the time comes, won’t ye?” He asked with a playful expression, pointing towards the chakram. “I call it the Circle of Life and Death. Built it on the idea of your martial art, and it has the ability to create semi-real clones of itself through the application of ki.”

“Most of these items are pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll just cover the questionable ones.” Before I could say anything about the intricately carved golden chakram, he already moved on. “The books are for Ryone and Udona. Ryone gets the Grimoire, which she is personally inscribing every single spell component in. Udona gets the Book of Swords, which she wants to use as a medium to create an armory of weapons and items with her Summoner skills.”

“The pen goes to Irena, known as the Quill of Souls. Don’t let its size fool you, the body of the pen is like a bag of holding, and the tip is used both to suck up spiritual energy and fire it out. Theoretically, she could use this pen to capture one of those big Chimera Souls that used to give her a headache, grind it into spiritual dust, then fire the energy out to kill its friends without having to waste a drop of divine energy.”

“Last up for the ‘unusuals’, you’ve got the little lass’s boots. As she told me, these boots were made for walkin’, and that’s just what they do. They can walk over any terrain, even open air without harm. Put in a bit of natural energy, and they can even cross space to serve as a druid portal.”

“They seem a bit big for her, don’t they?” I questioned, glancing towards the boots which were obviously not sized for a halfling. However, Tubrock only responded with a roaring laugh.

“I made each of these items able to resize themselves to fit their wielder. Special perk of being the god of crafting. Can’t have one of them going down as a giant to awe their people, and make them carry a toothpick, can we?”

I gave a brief nod, since his words did make sense. “Alright… anything else?”

“Hmm…” A thoughtful look was on his face. “Not that I can think of right off. Ah! The tributes just ended, so looks like someone hit one of yer goals.”

“Uhm… tributes?”

Seeing the questioning look on my face, Tubrock let out a laugh. “Ah, nothing to worry about. Something my kin set up way back. Every year, they offer me a portion of their mining harvests. Just leave them in the temples and offer me a prayer to take them. If I don’t, they’ll just leave more next year, so I got into a habit of collecting them. Only way I can build all this stuff without sucking a few ore veins dry.”

“Makes sense.” I spoke quietly. “Anyways, thanks for this. I’m sure that the citadel and the weapons will really come in handy later on.” After giving my thanks, we departed and I moved back towards my room to see what had changed.

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A note from karami92

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