I’d like to say I mastered it all in just a few hours, but I actually got bored after a couple dozen times casting the same spell, and decided to sit down on the ground for a bit to relax. Looking over to Terra, I went ahead and asked something that had been on my mind for a bit. “Are there any other energy types, other than magic? I felt something different when I focused earlier.”
I explained to her about the three other energies that seemed to be contained in my body, and she nodded with a satisfied smile. “That’s right, Dale. Right now, your world has four kinds of energy that can be wielded, though that might grow later on depending on how you develop. These are Mana, Ki, Spiritual Energy, and Natural Energy. The first two are internal energies, while the latter are external ones.”
“If we weren’t in the Admin Room, you probably would not be able to feel Spiritual or Natural Energy in yourself, but this is a place where you are meant to be able to test whatever you want. So, I’ll go over them in order. The energy you described as a peaceful ocean was probably your Ki. That is an energy wielded primarily by the Monk class, but other fighting classes will eventually get some access to it.”
Terra then closed her eyes and seemed lost in thought. “Right now, it looks like there are almost twenty monks in your world, but none of them have gone beyond level three in that class. So, they have only really gotten one ability that I can help you learn, and that is the Ki Fist. If you want to try it, simply channel your Ki to your hand, and push it out with a punch.”
I nodded, deciding that I would try that after her explanation was over. “Next, the chaotic energy. That is Natural Energy, which exists everywhere. Druids, Shamans, and other nature-related classes use this to perform their magic, in a different way than the classes that use Mana. They send their will into the Natural Energy around them, and issue commands. If their will is strong enough to tame the energy, then their magic will work. But, the more complicated the command, the more difficult it is to create.”
“I told you that there is one spell available for Druids right now, and that is the ‘Burn’ spell. Unlike the Mage’s Fire spell, Burn directly ignites the target, dealing damage over time. As you can imagine, that is done by connecting with the Natural Energy surrounding the target, and commanding it to burn.”
Finally coming to the last type of energy, Terra took a deep breath. “Really, why did you need to add all of the classes… The last energy, Spiritual Energy, is found wherever the dead are gathered. This energy is built upon the souls of man and beast. By weaving the energy together, you can tame spirits to become your companions, or even create entirely new ones by taking fragmented souls.”
“Nobody has gone past level two for Spirit Tamer yet, so they only have the basic spell to see spirit essence. This is actually done with Mana, not Spiritual Energy. However, it is a raw application of mana, not a diagram. Simply focus the mana in your eyes while concentrating on finding spirits, and it will work. You shouldn’t bother to try it here, because naturally nothing dies in the Admin Room.”
I nodded my head at that. “I see.. So, the spells of the Mage class are actually the hardest to learn and use, huh?” I gave a bitter smile as I realized that.
Terra simply giggled, nodding her head. “That’s right. However, they are also generally the most powerful, with the system you’ve designed. One druid might be able to do five times the variety of magic as a mage, but a single mage can cast magic for twice as long, and at double the strength. That’s due to the diagram system that was put in place. With it, magic spells are more difficult to cast, but use less energy for more power.”
I thought about that, and it did seem like a good balancing mechanic. “Alright… Well, let’s get back to this.” Sighing, I stood up and resumed the practice of the two spells. “I don’t suppose it would be possible to get a spellbook that has these spells for easy reference, would it?” I asked with a wry smile.
Terra grinned, “Yup, you could. But, the people of your world haven’t discovered how to make paper yet, so you won’t be able to take it with you if you descend. You could use it as a study guide, though.” As she spoke, a book appeared in my hand, thick with hundreds of pages. In surprise, I opened it, only to be disappointed that just the first two pages had been filled. “Didn’t think I was allowed to make it that easy for you, did you?” She asked with a small smile.
“I could hope, right?” I shook my head, and got on with the other training. Setting my book down, I once again focused on my internal energies. This time, I concentrated primarily on the flowing Ki, sensing it through my body. I could easily tell that it moved along certain paths, weaving around and through my blood vessels. I guess these are probably meridians or something, then?
Furrowing my brows, I tried to direct the flow of boundless energy into my right hand. This was easier said than done, as it resisted me for several minutes before following my instructions. Once the energy was in my hand, I balled it up into a fist and punched down at the ground. There was a small shockwave, and when I opened my eyes I saw that there was a one-inch deep crater where I had punched. Pretty neat, if I do say so myself.
Next, I decided to go ahead and try the last spell available to me, with the Druid magic system. Again I closed my eyes, focusing on the Natural Energy hidden in my body. From how Terra described it, I would need to move it out into the room before giving it a command, if I didn’t want to set myself on fire again… Surprisingly, that step went by fairly easy, the energy immediately accepting the transfer. Host privileges, I guess? Anyways, after the energy was outside of my body, I focused intently on it. Burn.
I heard a small explosion in front of me, followed by a quick “Hey!” that made me open my eyes. Terra was on her hands and knees about twenty feet away, her tail sticking straight up. “Watch it, okay? That was too close!” She said in an angry pout, and I looked towards where she had been. The air just a few feet from her previous location was literally on fire, burning with no apparent fuel or target.
“Ah… sorry.” I smiled apologetically. From my earlier experiments, I knew that even if there was no real pain, that does not mean fire wasn’t uncomfortably hot. However, she was still pouting after my apology, only relaxing slightly as her tail lowered back down. “Anyways, I think we’re done here for now, ready to go back up?”
She thought about it for a moment, before nodding. “Yeah.. I need a cat nap.”
A moment later, the room around us vanished, and we were back in our bedroom. Thankfully, the book came with us, and was now sitting on my computer desk. “Before you do, anything else I should know?”
Terra simply shrugged noncommittally. “Should be all on the computer.” After saying that, she hopped on the bed, and rolled around a few times before getting comfortable. Guess she’s still annoyed about the fire thing. Not entirely my fault, but understandable. Will see if I can cheer her up later.
Before investigating what was new on the computer, I decided to check on the status of my people. Not surprisingly, the second kingdom had been set up, though it had a rather suspicious name.
Beast Kingdom, Terraria
Glancing back at the bed, I had the feeling that someone wanted to give the beastmen a little boost. The fact that the Felyn were apparently the ruling class of this kingdom only served to reinforce that thought. Not like it really mattered, though. I did give her the right to do stuff like that as the Goddess of Fate, and I could make sure that she wouldn’t take it too far.
Out of curiosity, I checked out the elven kingdom of Gandor, to see how they were doing. According to the timeline, it had only been roughly twenty years since Gandor was founded. From 12,000 elves, it seems that they have begun expanding a bit. Maybe there was some celebration, or festival, or something else, but they now had nearly fifteen thousand total population.
As for the other races… they were still little more than nomadic families. It probably wouldn’t be too much longer before they began setting up their own homelands, but for now they were just doing good not to die from the monsters. Thankfully, the monsters on Earth were set up to follow a fairly simple rule. Monsters would not be born that were more than twice as strong as any one sapient. Though, since I had only bought the basic monster package for now(the others are a bit expensive, so sue me), the monsters will cap out at level 100.
Now, before I go check out other things, let’s see what kind of options are available for culture. Since it seemed like Terra wanted to manage the beastmen for now, I went back to the elves. Naturally, their current culture was set to ‘unaltered’, but there were various options for how I could direct it, if I wanted. And, some of these options were… unique.
Such as ‘Sexual Paradise’, an option that is described as ‘turns the culture more towards physical pleasure, where ecstasy is both a service and a currency.’ Yeah, no way am I selecting that option. I may be a total pervert, but that does not mean that I want to lose the first game I get in because my planet is full of hedonists.
Looking at the other options, I note that there is one that actually does not cost any points. And that is ‘Manual Advice’. According to its description, if I choose this option, I will be able to either have one of my goddesses communicate directly with one of their followers, or speak to someone myself and deliver a message. This message would be transmitted directly into the mind of the target, but the effects are uncertain.
I debated on whether or not to use that option. I mean, if used properly you could guide the entire path of civilization by whispering to the right people. On the other hand, the person might be seen as insane for saying that there was a voice in their head telling them to do things. The trick would be figuring out who to speak with, and deciding what to have the message be.
I’ll get back to that later, still plenty of time. I went ahead and closed the map of the world, seeing if there was anything else on this computer. Terra did say that everything I needed was here, after all. And I could hope that she was telling the truth, and not just pouting because I almost singed her tail.
As it turns out, she was! There was actually a second program on the computer, one that I was very familiar with. Though the name was a bit off, I quickly clicked on the button labeled ‘Keepernet Explorer’, wondering what kinds of things they would have on the inter-world internet.
First, the homepage appeared to be a forum for Keepers, with various topics such as ‘User-Submitted Content’, ‘Known Keeper Worlds’, and ‘Guild Recruitment’. I noticed that I already seemed to be logged in, under the username ‘EarthForceOne’.
Chat request has been received from Alkahest. Do you wish to accept?
Blinking in surprise, I decided to accept the message. I hadn’t been on the Keepernet for more than five minutes, but someone was already trying to contact me?
Alkahest: Hey, man! Long time no see. What happened, you went dark for a while?
I shook my head in resignation when I saw that message. They were probably friends with one of the previous Keepers.
EarthForceOne: Think you have the wrong person. Just started this whole Keeper thing a couple days ago.
Alkahest: Seriously? Damn, though that does explain a few things. Glad to see that Earth wasn’t lost to another keeper or anything, at least. Ah, well, bound to happen sooner or later. Since you’re still new, need any help? Or do you have it taken care of?
I considered that. I mean, I didn’t really have any reason to trust this guy, but at the same time I didn’t have that much reason not to at least hear him out. In the end, I decided to accept his offer.
EarthForceOne: Why not.
Alkahest: That’s the spirit. Now, since you inherited his world, I’ll help you out a bit. First thing you need to keep in mind, try to stay involved. It’s real easy to forget that we were once like the people we’re managing, you know?
EarthForceOne: I… guess? Not really a lot to get involved with at this point, is there?
Alkahest: Ah, that’s where you’re wrong! I don’t know what kind of setting you made this Earth, but there’s always something you can do. Whisper a theory to a talented mind, spawn a treasure for a group to find, or a monster that pushes their limits. Some people even go the Merlin route, and find a strong soul that they stay with for years, in order to make him a grand ruler.
EarthForceOne: That makes sense, I think?
EarthForceOne: Why are you helping me, anyways? Aren’t all Keepers enemies, or something?
Alkahest: Wow, you really are a rookie. I mean, I guess you could look at it like that? But everyone needs some friends. And no matter how real the people planetside are, it’s just not the same when you know that you basically control every aspect of their life. Well, since I got ahold of you, how about you join my guild?
That one didn’t really take much thought. While he did raise some good points, this was still way too early for me to get involved with another group. For all I knew, he was trying to mislead me and none of his advice was really good. And even if it was, he might be using me for some other purpose.
EarthForceOne: Sorry, but don’t think I’m ready for anything like that yet.
Alkahest: No worries, option is there anytime.
With that, I decided to go ahead and search more through the forums. Who knew, maybe there was some other useful information that could be gained from them.