Tom walks into the Rhimesville adventurer’s guild with a confident gait. His eyes scan his surroundings not wanting to miss any details. There is a lady who looks to be around 50-60 years of age; her hair is brown with some grey. She is currently standing behind a wooden counter talking to a rather depressed looking man. His clothes were visibly torn in many places and small cuts can be seen through them. There were 3 guys and 1 woman sitting at a table to the side of the room; they seemed to be a party of adventurers. There was a map positioned on the table, they appeared to be discussing travel plans. On the other side of the room there was a quest board, it seems a man in plate armour is currently browsing the various requests pinned to it.
Seems quieter than I anticipated, I guess it is a small village. So much for my grand debut…
Tom found himself slightly underwhelmed. The depressed man seems to have finished his conversation with the receptionist. The man takes a seat on the wooden bench just in front and to the side of the counter, he holds his hand together and anxiously looks down towards the floor. The receptionist finishes writing on some parchment then comes out from behind the counter and moves towards the quest board. She pins a request in the urgent section then returns behind the counter. Tom approaches the counter, the receptionist turns towards Tom to greet him.
Receptionist: “Hello I’m Mary, what can I help you with today?”
Tom: “This is my first time coming to an adventurer’s guild; I would like to become an adventurer”
Mary reaches under the counter and brings out an application form; the form is placed on the counter facing tom.
Mary: “This is the application form; the compulsory sections are marked with a star.”
Let’s see name, race, gender, class and blood signature are the compulsory fields. How do I do a blood signature? What are magic users called in this world?
Tom: “Excuse me but what are the different classes?”
Mary: “You don’t know?”
Tom: “Sorry I’m from way out in the sticks.”
Mary: “have you had your status examined before?”
Does that mean most people have to go somewhere to get their stats checked? Why can I just check my status at will then? Well whatever I guess I will find out later.
Tom: “Ah yes, I have.”
Mary goes somewhere out of view and comes back with a sheet. She places the sheet next to the form.
Mary: “This is a list of the various classes and their stat priorities.”
I see so the class is based on the relative proportions of the stats along with the weapon and armour types. For example a warrior is:
Health/10 ≥ Strength ≥ Stamina > Agility ≥ Mana x 10
Weapon type: Heavy-Medium Armour type: Heavy-Medium
It seems I am a wizard:
Mana x 5 > Health/10 ≈ Strength ≈ Agility ≈ Stamina
Weapon type: Light Armour type: Light
Ok that’s all the compulsory fields except blood signature filled. I don’t really have an address and since I’ve got eternal youth I will keep the age unmentioned. I won’t state my level as it might change in the near future.
Tom: “Ok I’ve filled in the form but I’m unsure how to do a blood signature”
Mary: “You just need to prick your thumb and press it against the labelled section, make sure it leaves a clear thumb print.”
I need to prick my thumb so that blood comes out! That sounds painful, but I guess if I’m scared of something like that being an adventurer would be rather crazy. I’m just going to have to grin and bear it.
Tom: “Do you have something I can use to prick my thumb?”
Mary reaches under the counter and puts a box of pins on the table. Tom grabs one and quickly pricks his thumb, he squints his eyes slightly while he does. He then carefully places his thumb firmly on the form and removes after a few seconds. He then licks his thumb to clean the blood. Mary then picks up the form and confirms that all the required fields were filled.
Mary: “You’re a wizard!?”
She seems to be extremely surprised by the fact I’m a wizard. I wonder if they’re rare?
Tom: “Yes, is that odd?”
Mary: “A wizard’s stats need to be heavily biased towards mana; this means their other stats tend to be very low, most don’t become adventurers. Wizards use magic tools to increase their mana capacity so they have enough mana to cast spells. The magic tools don’t increase the mana restoration rate so most can only fight around once per week. These tools and magic potions are very expensive so most cannot afford it. A magic book is often used and an excellent education in the magical arts is required in order to perform spells.”
Tom: “I see…”
Mary: “Wizards always go in a party since they need others to provide them cover while they do the incantation. I very rarely see wizards; they are among the rarest of all the adventurer classes. I hear they can be seen often in Labyrinth Cities. Since certain monsters are only weak to magic they are a necessity for a party to enter a Labyrinth.”
So wizards are really rare I guess. Who would’ve thought? I guess without mana conservation and chant omission I wouldn’t be able to do anything, I’m lucky to have these cheat skills. These Magic tools sound really useful; I should investigate these when I have some free time. At the moment I plan to use magic everyday so magic capacity won’t be too useful, however in the future it could be invaluable. Labyrinths sound damn cool! I should make my way towards one of the labyrinth cities after I stabilise my finances a bit.
Tom: “So I guess I really am odd. Sorry I didn’t know much about wizards other than me.”
Mary: “You must be from really out in the sticks to not know this stuff…”
Tom: “Yeah I’m from a really remote and isolated town so I don’t know much about the world.”
I’m not really being that deceitful. After all you could say Cambridge, being from another world is as remote and isolated as you can get. Though it’s more of a city than a town… Never mind white lies.
Mary: “Anyway, if you’re a Wizard you should be careful and find a party; otherwise you will be inviting death.”
I have chant omission so the incantation time won’t be a problem, but it’s still a good idea to form a party. My health, agility and stamina are really low after all; if I run out of mana I’m as good as dead. Damn that’s a scary thought…
Mary: “Ok wait here while I process your adventurer’s card, it should take around 20 minutes. Feel free to browse the quest board in the meantime.”
Tom: “Will do, thank you very much.”
Mary goes out of view. Tom heads over to the quest board as suggested. While he does, he notices the previously depressed man sitting on the bench has his eyes glued to him. Pretending not to notice Tom takes a look at the quests pinned to the board.
Let’s see, Herb Gathering, Goblin subjugating and even escort quests. It really is like a fantasy world.
Tom continues to look at the various quests in awe. But a certain quest grabs his attention.
This quest says a wizard is required. It’s also in the urgent section. Considering how rare Mary described wizards to be I’m surprised that such a thing was posted. The deadline is today, it’s unlikely a wizard will pick up this quest in time…
Wait isn’t this the quest that Mary posted just a little while ago? Does this mean that guy on the bench is the client? That probably explains why he has been looking at me so eagerly. What could the quest be?
After Tom examines the quest details more he begins to understand why a wizard was required.
A wraith? Isn’t that some kind of ghost? I see physical attacks would have no effect on a being without a physical body. I can imagine such a thing being very hard to deal with.
Tom’s eyes widen more as he reads.
His name is Rain; his daughter got lost when she went out to play and ended up trapped in the corrupted lands. Seems she has a talisman but it won’t last much longer. No wonder he’s depressed! That’s terrible! He tried to save her but failed.
But I don’t have a party so wouldn’t I become the main target? That could be rather dangerous…
Tom looks towards the man who is now standing next to him looking directly into his eyes. He had never seen eyes filled with such determination. It was very clear this man won’t take no as an answer very easily.
Tom: “How much time?”
Rain: “6 hours”
Tom: “How long will the journey be?”
Rain: “2 hours by foot”
Tom walks over to the counter as he sees Mary had arrived back with his card in hand.
Mary: “Here is your card; would you like an introduction to how the card works?”
Tom takes the card and looks at it intently. It seems to have the information he put on the form along with a copy of his thumb print.
Tom: “It would be much appreciated.”
Mary: “This card acts like identification when accepting quests. It can also serve as proof of rank. It starts of as bronze rank. You may have noticed that a lot a quests have rank requests; this is because the quest giver wants a guarantee of the adventurer’s ability. Once you successfully complete 10 bronze class quests in a row without failure you may take an iron class quest, if you complete that quest successfully you will be promoted to iron class. The system is the same for the other classes; it goes bronze-iron-silver-gold-diamond. If you fail 3 quests in a row you will be demoted to the previous class. If you lose your card it will cost 5 copper and take 2 days to replace.”
Tom: “Understood thanks for the explanation.”
Mary gives out a wide smile.
Mary: “No problem.”
Tom puts the card in his pocket and heads towards the exit of the adventurers guild. The Man seeing Tom about to leave gets depressed. He mutters to himself.
Rain: “I thought it would end like this. For a lone wizard my request can be compared to a suicide mission. *sigh*”
Tom Stops while opening the door.
Tom: “Are you coming or not? It may be a 2 hour walk for you but my stamina is pretty low you know? We should head out straight away.”
Rain looks up at Tom’s back silhouetted by the day light. He stands speechless for a couple of seconds then catches up to Tom while wiping the tears falling from his eyes.
Mary: “Good grief, didn’t I just warn him to be careful? He better come back well enough for me to scold him.”
4 hours later…
Two shadowy figures can be seen moving amongst the trees. One of the figures is hunched over and panting heavily.
Tom: “I’m tired I need another rest!”
Rain: “You haven’t even walked 100 meters since your last rest!”
Tom lies down on the ground panting heavily whilst looking towards the sky.
Tom: “I told you I didn’t have a lot of stamina.”
Rain: “I didn’t think you’d have this little…”
Tom: “The last time I exhausted all my stamina I fainted, so I need to be careful.”
Rain looks toward the figure of the man he put all his faith in. He couldn’t help be anxious about how a man that barely moves a muscle without working up a sweat was going to fight a wraith.
Rain: (I seriously hope I haven’t made a mistake in my judgement.)
Rain: “We are almost there, there’s not much left to go now!”
Tom: “didn’t you say that half an hour ago!”
Rain: “It was true then as well.”
Tom grabs his breath and gets back on his feet. He looks towards Rain with a serious expression.
Tom: “How far?”
Rain: “less than 100 meters.”
Tom: “How much less?”
15 minutes later…
They finally come to the end of the forest. The earth on the ground turns black. Decayed plants scour the surface along with the bones of various creatures including humans. A droplet of sweat can be seen to fall down Rains face as he gazes along the cursed land. He spots his daughter and gives a shout at the top of his voice.
Rain: “Alice! I’ve come back with a wizard!”
Tom turns towards where Rain was shouting. He sees a small girl who looks around 8 years old; she has long black hair and is wearing a white one piece and a talisman around her neck. The girl is currently trapped in a small bone cage; it’s likely the wraith used the cage to stop her from escaping. Three wraiths surround her while diving to strike but they get repelled each time by light emitted by the talisman. The talisman had multiple large cracks, it could break any second. When Rain notices the two extra wraiths he falls onto his knees. He could tell her talisman had less than a minute left; there was not enough time for the incantation, He had miscalculated. Last time he saw her there was only one wraith.
Rain: “GOD DAMNIT!!! Where the fuck did the other two wraiths come from!”
Rain starts punching the floor violently as tears flood from his eyes; He knew he was too late. His blows get softer as his strength leaves him.
Tom: “looks like we’re just in time.”
Tom walks past Rain towards the trapped girl. The Talisman breaks and all the wraiths dash towards the girl simultaneously. The girl closes her eyes and screams.
To Alice’s surprise the wraiths never came. She slowly opens her eyes to see the wraiths screaming in agony. All the three were set ablaze by magic fire. They flew wildly in the air before collapsing and turning into ash.
Tom: “Honestly to underestimate my fireballs speed like that, these wraiths…”
A mysterious man is seen walking towards her while muttering about the wraiths incompetence. The man then put his hand on top of the bone cage. The girl is in a state of confusion; the man that just instantly annihilated the three wraiths effortlessly was now sweating buckets while failing to lift up the small bone cage…