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Thread: Dolphin oSo Haters

  1. #21
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    The Night after the Siege

    The city is asleep, deep in its post siege slumber. Only a lonely shadow moves in the stillness of the night, tiptoeing across the rooftops of the castle walls. It climbs effortlessly up a brick wall high above the ground, reaching a tower with an outstretched hand and pulling itself against the edge. It presses its hands against the stone frame and with a swift motion slides down the wall.



    She knew that others considered her something of a nerd. Not that she really needed to be, she supposed. Her mother and friends had often told her how beautiful she’d look if only she’d spend a little time working at it but ... well ... intimate relations had always frightened her. So unknown, so uncontrollable—why go through all the trouble?
    Men were so unpredictable... so clumsy and thick headed, and... well... they made her feel so strange and tingly! She just didn’t like to be out of control and men, as much as it felt silly to acknowledge... they made her feel that way. Maybe someday, after she was firmly established, maybe then she’d meet the right guy and things would be different.
    But men were really beside the point. Regardless of how she felt about them and about her personal appearance, there was that annoying box that needed to be checked if she wanted to achieve her ultimate goals.

    oSo had amassed great riches during his time on Salphira, but had neither specific items or rules on its treasures, so oSo's fortune should still be in someones inventory. Gold coins, shiny jewels and various other trinkets awaited her inside their pockets. Her lust for gold wouldn’t allow her to pass such a lucrative occasion.

    She fixes his attention back on the room. This one is much more orderly than the study, but the sense of abandonment is still here. The red paint on the wall is starting to peel, revealing the yellowish plaster covering the brickwork of the building. Fine, chairs from mirage isle are gathered around a marble fireplace with blackened-from-the-smoke delicate designs. A Harani girl pillow is thrown in the corner of the room, next to a mahogany dresser. She walks towards that corner, where the faintest idea of a foul odor seems to emanate. Getting closer, a strong sulfuric stench fills her nostrils. Upon investigating the wall, she finds a large hole behind the dresser, broad enough for a small person to creep through, leading to the next room. Slowly, she kneels down to inspect further. She had found the Kings weakness.
    To the naked eye, the thief did not appear imposing. With a petite feminine shape formed to perfection, she was the embodiment of lust incarnate. Her raven black hair, snow white skin and coal colored eyes were the essence of temptation. Even the self-righteous officers who had inadvertently summoned her had been unable to control their pitiful minds in her presence.
    Now they, along with the King’s own guards, lay scattered across the palace sanctuary like so many broken dolls sleeping with smiles on their faces. If she allowed any of them to expose her, never again would they mistake her strength and power.
    But it was not the males that were her concern. The male of the Harani had never held much interest for the stunning thief—mere bags of flesh, trifling nuisances to be retained or disposed of as met her need. Indeed, she found these confrontations annoying. Such matters were best left to thelesser Firrans.



    Her eyes danced with excitement as she knelt in front of the King. She bowed her head but reverted her eyes back to him sheepishly. The King moved closer and put his hands to her head and smiled. Her body heaved with anticipation. She could tell by his perspiration that the King was ready to submit. She put one hand on his and the King closed his eyes, mouth parting. She pressed the trade button and sighed happily....

    How fortunate and gracious it was, if unintentional, that the good king had provided her such an excellent tribute of items to ease her transition to this new castle. She could already taste the coming pleasure as she corrupted these vessels of their treasures.

  2. #22
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    Golden Ruins

    A journal was found in the man's home...perhaps it would explain his disappearance. Most of the chapters were calm and collected that described a man you could call your typical Nuian; tough, headstrong and practical. The last chapter was a little different.

    Golden Ruins:

    Day 1:

    I got a couple of scars here and there. Working on my obsidian gear. Been hunting in Golden ruins recently... and its been getting weird. I was killing turtles as usual, hanging out with a couple of my friends. We were showing off to the new soldiers our gear and how we smashed through these turtles.

    I saw a man across the river behind me, nothing to worry about I reassured myself, probably another soldier heading to farm some monsters. To reassure myself I took another glance this time I noticed something odd about him. He wasn’t moving. He just stood there. I couldn’t make out any of his features from this distance. His stance was also strange; his arms were hanging to either side and his legs were spread quite far apart.



    The turtle leaped forward to bite, and I blocked it with my shield. “You're mine now...” sliced it in the head and its eyes went dark.

    I looked behind me and to my horror the guy was closer. Much closer, on my side of the river now. He still wasn’t moving, he was still in that strange stance. That’s when I noticed something else strange about him. I couldn’t make out any of his features. It was as if he was drenched in shadow, but there was nothing to cast a shadow on him. We stood there in silence for a moment, I couldn’t see his eyes, hell I didn’t even know if he had eyes but I could feel him staring right at me. I definitely consider myself a rational guy and I have no doubt this guy was human but his presence made me horribly uneasy. I finally broke the silence, ‘You alright man?’ I managed to stutter. Nothing.

    ‘Hello!’ I said, waving my hand at him this time trying to get his attention. He began walking towards me, and I don’t mean a leisurely stroll, this guy was striding towards me as fast as he could. I’d like to say this is where I stood my ground and fended the guy off, I’m a pretty big guy, I’m not physically intimidated by many people, but something about him made me feel like a helpless little kid, I bolted as fast as I could. I didn’t stop running until I got to the safety of the nearby statue. I mustered the courage to look behind me but there was nobody there.

    I honestly don’t know how to process what happened to me, there was something so strange about that man. What was he doing in such a secluded place at that time of night? Why was he just standing there like a statue? Why couldn’t I make out any of his features? How did he reach me so quickly? And if he could move that quickly, how did I get away? I’ve been trying to rationalize it since I got back, maybe it was just a prank, maybe the guy was trying to mug me, maybe it was just a scout doing CTRL rounds. It was only when these thoughts were rushing through my mind, that I realized something even stranger. He seemed very familiar.

    Fine someone wants to mess with me? Lets have some fun... within a few minutes I had 15 people with me... he didn't come back that day.

    Day 2.

    We were killing turtles again and there he was... staring right at me. What was he going to do? There were 15 of us , we knew to hunt in packs when oSo was around. This CTRL though... he comes rushing in to our group like a bat from hell while firing arrows and he is followed by … a healer, a mage, and a dark swords-woman from the same family. All from the same guild. I looked around and my fears were soon realized as our men... our brave men were fighting turtles... I fell before I could do anything. I looked up and saw that man looking down at me and he was playing a song... a dreary song that made my heart turn. He had a ghostly grim reaver beside him. It wasn't in this plane of existence. Something told me it was only a matter of time before it had manifested itself.



    Day 3.

    Today we decided to hunt trees and starfish. Today we would have scouts at each entrance to our area. Everything was going well we got into our grove and started killing monsters. There he was... his trio of soldiers nearby. How did he find us so quickly??? Why did our scouts not spot him... bodies started to fall again.... he stood again above me …. that song, that wretched song... I go back to the capital and call it a day. Someone in my guild must be telling him... there is no way he can keep showing up like this. Someone in my guild...

    Day 4:

    I am getting quite frustrated now... I know if we were prepared and faced them on even ground things would be different. Its not right attacking like this. Why here... wasting my loot potions... and dead again. That song in my head playing over and over as I head to bed....

    I’m still trying to comprehend what just happened to me, my hands are shaking as I write this. I was going to wait until the morning to write this up but I thought it best to do so while it was still fresh in my memory. Apologies if this isn’t written very eloquently, I’m incredibly tired and my mind is still racing a mile a minute but I’ll try and recount what happened as best I can.

    I was just on my bed regaining my labor for the day. I heard something... sounded like someone stealthed. I was alone and no one had followed me, I had used my ember stone so no portal to follow. I could hear that song in my head again; how he had annoyed me. When I got stronger I would end him! That song in my head grew and grew until it filled the whole room. Something felt wrong... I sat up covered in sweat. He was there playing that song on my piano... I quickly grabbed my sword and turned to face him... but he was gone. I am not going mad... He was there... they don't believe me... they think I am going nuts... but he was there. If only you heard the song. You know I kind of feel the urge to play that song now... I can see the grim reaver now. It stands beside the red knight, a strange archer who is one with the void.


  3. #23
    Senior Member Singty's Avatar
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    This storyline... i do not understand one thing about it but i just cant stop following this thread
    Delfitus ~ Salphira

  4. #24
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    Pirate Island




    Captain of the exploration team, traveling nearby pirate island in search for hidden treasures. The weather has been bad... We had sailed around Auroria picking up our crew, some of the bravest warriors. They say that many had left the east and west and formed a new group on Growlgate...



    As we neared pirate island the weather went from bad to worse. On deck, the night was unnaturally clear and cold, and the bright of the stars burned in the frosty air. Around us in every direction, just a few hundred yards away, the fog and clouds whorled, as if held at bay by our presence. The Captain was at the railing, leaning over along with the men on watch. I approached him, suddenly desperate and panicked to know what was happening, when I saw it, the light flooding up from ahead.



    The sea was flat, like the surface of a mirror. The water was black, reflecting the pale pinpricks of the stars, but beneath the surface, something glowed with a cold light. Pulsating shapes of violet, green, and deep cobalt blue shone from beneath. It appeared that we were nearing several abandoned fishing vessels all with pirate flags. So strange to see all those fishing vessels abandoned.

    The fishing ship's crew was nowhere to be found, except for one lone fisherman, unburned and floating at the far end of the debris field. He had been shot in the forehead with an arrow. When we fished his pale blue corpse from the frigid water, he was still clutching a fishing rod in one clamped hand. What we were able to piece together from the fragmented and confounding evidence was that for reasons unknown, the crew had been in conflict, resulting in the murder of the of at least one sailor, and the eventual sabotage and destruction of the ship.

    The crew was already visibly shaken by the discovery; the grim dread of the fog, and lone smoldering pieces of the fishing ship that collided with our hull unsettled even the most seasoned of us. We had expected an easy cruise, and the simple retrieval of a dozen thankful fisherman.

    There was nothing initially remarkable about the spot, a circle of fishing vessels... around 15 boats. I was on my ship, just settling down when the call sounded from the Captain, offering little information, just a stern order to meet him on deck.

    Dressing quickly, I emerged from my cabin into a cloud of palpable unease and fear. The men, and the officers were coursing through the ship towards the deck, like panicked rats. No one made eye contact, or spoke. There was none of the usual gallows humor, or camaraderie, that bubbles up in situations of limited information, just a grim inertia that pulled us out into the arctic night. The mages on board had already cast insulating lens to protect themselves.

    The first death was that afternoon. The sounds of screaming brought me to and into a thick heavy fog. High in the gloom, I could see a ship approaching. One of the crew members was talking with the pirates. My stomach turned; a ship with a pirate flag was approaching. I burned with an unfamiliar and foreign rage, and rushed through the fog to the foredeck with hatred in my blood and my fists clamped tight.



    The pirate conspirator had a crazy look on his face as he stood at the anchor next to a dead body. We stared for a long moment at each other, our eyes locked as he panted heavily, his face lightly spattered with blood. The only sound was the wet gurgling exhale of the anchor man's death a bubble of blood forming on his ruined face. The pirate conspirator laughed madly and jumped off the ship into the dark depths.




    The pirate ship's darkness was oppressive and thick as my heart rose in my chest. It had been sacked, and our cannons were missing, given to the crazy pirate conspirator earlier.
    I felt the distinct and irrational desire to run on deck and leap overboard, to swim away from the boat into the unknown sea. I gripped a sword and held it out ahead of me, less like a weapon and more like a talisman, and began to pace slowly across the deck.
    A few of the men still moved, twitching slightly. I watched in frozen terror as one man, his face a mask of blood and rage, turned up his head to regard me, and with a weak cry of rage, began to drag himself with his arms, trailing a broken and shattered leg, towards me.
    From the shadows, another form pounced on him, a boot digging into the wounded man's back with a wet cracking sound. I recognized the attacker's face in the moonlight, a quiet and bookish young man. Like the Captain, this was not the man I knew, this was a beast that wore his skin.



    He reached down and grabbed the wounded man's jaw, thumb slipping into his mouth. The wounded man growled, a feral mindless sound, and tried to bite down, but his attacker gripped tight, and pulled.
    The jaw came off with the sound of tearing tendons and a ululating shriek that vanished into the air.
    I was no longer breathing, holding silently at the entrance, but the attacker snapped his head up to see me, nostrils flaring. The jawbone hit the floor with a meaty sound, and he lunged toward me with silent animal grace. I looked up at the creatures who boarded our vessel. Valhalla... & We Few beasts...

    If you happen upon this letter know that we have fled to the island to try to escape. Those of us still on the vessel cannot be saved. Please, send our ship into the deep, tell no one you found us, and never return. There are things and primal desires older than man, and forces beyond the grasp of our simple minds; and they dwell here, at pirate island.

  5. #25
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    Dreams



    I swam to pirate island, drenched and cold I entered the house where another was standing... his eyes looked sleepless. His face looked warped... he closed the door behind him. It was this or face the pirates. It looked like the sleepless man had also sought refuge on this island. He offered his guest a drink and sat down with him.



    “Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, paralyzed by something holding you down, Frozen in fear? You can’t move. You can barely breathe and all you hear is what reminds you of that ringing in your ear that gets louder and louder and screeches and takes over your fear that makes you tremble in your paralyzed state. That noise that blocks out everything else in your mind except for your heartbeat, and it terrifies you. That feeling of helplessness. Knowing that whatever happens to you, whatever fate you have is in his hands. I know that feeling all too well. It terrifies me. It haunts me. But yet…. It’s become a part of me.”

    I heard the sounds of the pirates running around the island and the man continued to tell his story while I sipped the soothing liquid...

    “Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat? Not knowing if what you just felt was a hallucination, a dream, a nightmare. Some horrendous joke, or if it really happened? That feeling of relief and terror. All at the same time. That uneasy feeling of insecurity. Being afraid of the night, of sleep, of dreaming. The unexplainable pain in your heart in your spirit. That you know it happened but you don’t want to believe it. How can you believe it? It was a stupid dream right? Right? RIGHT?”

    My vision began to blur and began to feel tired, my eyes became heavy and I couldn't keep them open. Instead I just listened to my host...

    “It’s taking over my mind, my life. I don’t feel safe anywhere. No matter where I go, where I stay, he’s there. In my head, outside my door, that creaking, those shadow, the ones outside your line of sight, he’s there. He’s watching. The minute you look in his direction he won’t be there, but believe me, he’s watching. That uneasy feeling you get, the feeling of being watched, it’s him. I KNOW it’s him. He’ll always be there, laughing. Laughing at your pain, at your trembling, agony, and crying.”



    The sound woke me up.. It was a common noise, something that normally wouldn’t have shocked me. As I lay in the still blackness of the bedroom, I heard a key scratch at my front door followed by the creak of ancient unoiled hinges.



    That is, it was a common noise, back when my father was still alive.

    The noise continued, heavy footed steps in the hallway, stumbling as though drunk from a night on the town. They reached the stairs, getting louder with each thud. I began to shake as the familiar shriek of a body using the hand rail for support made its way through the once empty house.

    The footsteps were closer now, right outside my bedroom door. Just a thin wooden panel separated me from whatever was standing outside. I could hear heavy breathing, as something began to scratch at the door. The paint seemed to be peeling off as claws grasped at the wood, eager to get in.

    As I lay, paralyzed in my bed, eyes wide open, staring across the room. The door crashed to the ground and it, he, cast a dark, menacing shadow into the room.




    I woke up.




    I never made it... I died on that ship... I rose and tried to find my body. Probably lying mangled underneath the ship wreck. Dying pinned under a ship is definitely the worse way to go.
    “So! Had a nice life?” asked a voice behind me. I turned around to find a woman smiling in the water. Since she could see me I was pretty sure she was like me. She giggled, “You are taking it pretty well.”
    I spoke evenly,” What happens now?”
    She laughed louder.
    Before I could say something I heard a commotion from far off.
    She shouted,” COME ON!” And she ran.
    She turned and yelled,” Have you been good?”
    I stood there dumbfounded
    “Have you done any good while you lived?”
    Totally confused, I spluttered,” I…I donated obsidian armor to my guild...”
    As we reached the source of noise I was dumbstruck to find hundreds of people ripping each other apart in front of the capital city....
    That is when the hand reached up and grabbed me.




    I woke up.



    I woke up sweating. It feels so real, like I can hear the voices clearly, feel the contact with my skin. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s real or not.

    I hear a quiet humming that wakes me up out of a dead sleep. The humming gets louder, and then quiet again. I leave my house and close the door. I get a weird feeling, like somebody is watching me. I stop and look around me, but I can’t see anything. I can’t even see my hand in front of my face. The humming sound seems to be coming from my left so I turn and start walking that way.

    After what seems like hours or following the noise I notice that the fog has cleared some, enough for me to realize where I am. I find myself in a cemetery that’s just down the street from my home. I’m surrounded by tons of old head stones that are crumbling and cracked, covered in cobwebs. The humming appears to have stopped.

    Out of the corner of my eye I see something crawling across the ground moving fast, faster than anything I’ve ever seen before. I turn to see if I can tell what it is, but it’s gone. I slowly walk over to where I saw it. I look down and see a small head stone; it’s really dusty so I try to clear it off. A strange orb bursts through the ground. The source of the humming it begins to hum again. It spins and a shadowy figure appears in the orb. The orb began to make a soothing song as it span and the glowing pulsed in rhythm with the song.


    I felt my mind opening and the world seemed to fade away. But not before I saw something in the distance. A woman with dark lipstick , long black hair with a few white streaks.
    I woke up.


    I woke up again and again in different places. Each dream becoming more and more unnatural. I feel as though I am in a bed within the orb now. The Orb is lifting off of a pillow... I see the woman's face. From inside the orb I hear whispers... voices maybe... the voice becomes clear, unified, and singular, a dozen voices speaking as one. The orb is spinning faster and faster... as the orb span she jotted down notes.

    “Your fears were still so easy to exploit. I know how much you hate losing your packs; here is a nightmare about that. I know that your enemies gear score is stressing you out as well, here’s a dream about that too.”

    Kraken... the body rises from the depths, and tentacles wrap around crushing the skull

    “You must think that you are so strong, that you can take on the world. Your parents say that the world is yours and that you have all that it takes to be whatever you want. All I see is just another sack of meat that fears the unknown. I know because I am the unknown.”

    Anthelon... the body floats to his shores, and the exposed mind is manipulated.

    “You may find yourself to have a night in which you are reminded of my ultimate and my infinite power; the power that you will never fully understand, the power that you will never reach. You will find yourself waking up from horrifying nightmares of my own creation and you will look around your room. I will still be watching, staring at you, waiting to finally meet you.”

    Red Dragon... the mind controlled to the red dragon and filled with fire, it moves on its own as it burns

    “You may fall asleep again, I creep closer, bringing the darkness and the shadow closer with me. I will start at your feet.”

    Leviathan... into its mouth and to the depths the creature takes you.

    “You wake up again and I crouch underneath the bed. You may feel that the room has gotten darker and more enclosed, don’t mind that, just go back to sleep.”

    Kraken, Anthelon, Red Dragon, Leviathan!

    “As you fall to sleep again, I resume by going underneath the blankets that you call to protect you. The protection that you normally feel from wrapping yourself in those sheets will soon become your everlasting prison.”



    “I creep closer and closer as you start to toss and turn from yet another nightmare that I have manufactured from the years of my research. However, I have made sure that you will not wake up, not quite yet.”



    Then I woke up. What were the dreams trying to tell me?

  6. #26
    Senior Member beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rightous View Post
    Her eyes danced with excitement as she knelt in front of the King. She bowed her head but reverted her eyes back to him sheepishly. The King moved closer and put his hands to her head and smiled. Her body heaved with anticipation. She could tell by his perspiration that the King was ready to submit. She put one hand on his and the King closed his eyes, mouth parting. She pressed the trade button and sighed happily....
    More of this pls
    Fatality

  7. #27
    Senior Member SavannahLynn's Avatar
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    WTB Next section pls, kthnx.

    *tosses potatoes*
    Savannalynn
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  8. #28
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    Gas Lamp Garb




    Gadgets excite me. Perhaps that is why I took so readily into machining. The rush of creation and experimentation that I felt the day I made my first has never been matched, but my experiments are getting closer to recapturing that glory.

    The issue of any machine is that it is always in the process of becoming outdated. There are always limits on what machining can achieve. This is why my work is so important, I figured out that the best way to make a machine that didn’t need to be upgraded, that had few limits, was to harness the processing power of the living human mind. In particular, I harnessed yours.


  9. #29
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    Regrading

    I looked down from the ominous sign ahead of me about costumes and sighed. The ranger in front of me was wearing that costume.. he didn't say too much.

    At some point everyone asks themselves how different their life would be if they had been given a second chance. It could come in any form you like. You could have been one step away from that mythic weapon. Maybe you’re one of those people who wondered what would have happened if you didn't try to regrade that celestial item. Whatever it is, at some point you think about those things and you notice people who were given those opportunities and it seemed to work out all right for them, on the outside anyway.

    Take it from me; I used to be like that. I used to kick myself all the time for letting myself miss out on some opportunities I was too dumb at the time to follow through with. Then I started loathing the people I saw who were better off than me, and sometimes... I think now that things all really come down to luck, and our choice as to what to do about it. At least I hope we have a choice when it comes to our own lives, that luck doesn’t rule that too. What I more importantly learned is that sometimes you are better off doing the best with with the gear you get dealt, and not trying to change your equipment.

    The day that I learned this left me looking over my shoulder ever since. Sometimes at night I can catch a glimpse of a faint glow of eyes watching me. They are never there when I turn around. Whenever I find gold in coin purses, or lose a pack to some random bandit I can feel those eyes staring at me. I was in a guild a week ago, a paliden ran out in front of me and told everyone I was useless for the guild, getting me booted out. As I got out I could swear this chilling giggling in my mind. The sound was all too familiar to me now. I know it is waiting for me. It’s waiting for one more shot at me, toying with me as time passes. It toys with you too. With everyone.
    It all started for me one night at a house in Diamond shores, public armory house on the north east corner of diamond shores.

    What were the regrade rates again? I thought to myself as I stared down at my gear and regrade charms. Was it 15% or 20%? I regraded my celestial and I was so thrilled to upgrade it to divine that I didn’t see the great successes the guy to the left of me was dealt... two epics in a row.
    I’m here again tonight. The last time I came in I won some decent gold. Not really enough gold to do anything meaningful with, but enough to make me want to come back. This time I came prepared with a chart that showed each of the regrade success rates. This system is supposed to improve my odds at winning in the long run, but I guess that’s why the call them odds and not surety.

    For a moment I look up and stare at the other regraders. There are some people around regrading accessories, the usual with no regrade charms, and the other regraders. I look announcements of the divine and up weapon regraders and imagine men and women in suites and nice dresses throwing money around like it was a game of monopoly. This resentment builds up in my gut so I look away. I was really just pissed at myself.

    There was a time when I could have been like that. If I had realized how events affect the market costs. I could have done something meaningful. I guess I still can, I’m still fairly young. The issue with that was I kept busy with my daily events. My father used to help me out financially while I was leveling up. He was a high end gear score player doing questionable work for people who hoped those unlucky enough to get in drama with the wrong guild. Needless to say he did very well. We had a huge fight when I told him I wanted to be a Darkrunner. My mother was killed from Darkrunners when I was thirteen so I didn’t have her to run to. He said I gave up too easy. I won’t admit it to him, but I know he was right.

    I guess I don’t really hate those rich people over in the divine and up announcement area. I’m just angry that I couldn’t cut it to make it like they did. I hate myself for giving up, and blowing what I had away. I saw gambling as an easy fix for how I felt, and maybe, just maybe I could eventually get good enough to turn it around just enough to go back leveling and try a different class again.
    I glance back at my gear to my left slightly and count the amount of arcane and celestial items. Statistically at this point I should get a success. I stare at the divine item and charm...I hit the regrade button. There is a voice in my head somewhere that goes “Are you kidding me?” Great failure

    “Sorry about that” The ranger in gasgarb next to me says in that flat rehearsed voice
    “It’s alright, not like I was about to break even or anything” I try to be cool about it.
    “Tough break” goes the voice in my head.



    “Tough break” I hear somebody say behind me. Almost in unison with the thought I had. I turn my head to the side as this small sinking feeling hit my lungs. It was the kind of jarring feeling you get at weird coincidences like that. To my right was a woman who looked to be in her early thirty’s wearing a expensive looking nurses uniform. A moment ago the seat on my right side was empty. She was looking at me with these giant eyes. It was a strange look she was giving me, almost like she was noticing something nobody else could see. Sometimes you hear people use the term piercing gaze, that didn’t even begin to describe the vibe I was getting from her. Then she smiles at me, slowly, revealing every white tooth at her own pace. The lips hover over her canines slightly and for a moment I almost expected to see a pair of vampire fangs.

    “I’m not that pretty” She laughs slightly. I turn my head slightly back to the table. I must have looked stupid staring back at her like that. Normally I would have blushed staring at a woman like that but for some reason I wasn’t getting the blood to my face fast enough. Instead there was this drained feeling.

    “Sorry, didn’t see you come in was all” I tried to brush it off.
    “I forgive you….for now…” Out of the corner of my eye I see her smile that vampire’s smile again.

    The ranger interrupts her and asks what she was going to regrade her item with. She tells him normal scrolls, and no charms.

    “Ma’am, it is an ayanad item are you sure you don’t want any charms?”
    “normal scrolls will be just fine”

    I have 10 heroics total in my inventory. I realize I had completely forgotten the running count I was keeping of success and failures. The moment that thought crosses my mind the woman turns her head towards me and says “It all comes down to luck anyway” in a quiet voice. I’m not sure anyone else heard that.

    Still she had my attention as we regraded. I have never said this about anyone else I have ever met but she was eerily fascinating to watch. She was pretty of course, but not the kind of pretty you would see on television or in a fashion magazine, more real to life features, she wasn’t thin (not by today’s standards anyway), but I would not call her fat either. She wasn’t tanned at all but not really pale either. What drew my attention the most was how she regraded.

    It was like watching a child playing a game of go fish. She was just kind of doing things, regrading, picking different items, regrading, not really looking like she was considering anything. I would have thought she was just another dumb girl except she was succeeding…every regrade. At first I just blew it off as dumb luck, then after about five regrades I started getting angry. I was playing to basic strategy, modifying my regrades and my timing as I thought the count of failures was going, and I was slowly losing. In contrast the woman sitting next to me seemingly without a care in the world never losing her smile, making ridiculous regrades and having them pay off.

    By the tenth regrade I was just awestruck. This woman had a epic ayanad and she picks up her items and places them by her regrade window without a charm and says “YOLO”. The ranger was staring at her incredulously, as was I, and asked her if she was sure. She only giggled at him and nodded her head. She had this look on her face almost made me want to swear she was drunk, but she didn’t have a drink, didn’t even smell of booze. The ranger sighed a bit . The guy to my left roars with disbelief and the ranger laughs. I just keep staring, not even caring about my losing streak. She didn’t seem surprised, or happy, just this look of drunken contentment. Calmly she stands up. The ranger asks her what she doing. She says “Item broke, Easy come, easy go”.
    She turns over to me and says “Hungry? I was just about to go over to the diner if you are interested.”

    I was dumbstruck at the sudden offer. The only thing I managed to say was “Sure”. I didn’t even really think about it. As I was cashing out selling items in the auction house of what little I had left I had a short conversation with myself. Maybe she was an elite regrader who got kicks out of impressing new players; she did catch me counting regrades…didn’t she?

    I caught up with her as she entered the farmhouse adjacent. She placed a small handbag on the table and motioned for me to sit at the chair opposite her. It was a nice looking place.



    “Normally I’m the one who has to ask somebody out” I joked. She only stared at me with those eyes of hers as we sat down, her smile no longer present. She reached over the table offering me a handshake. I clasp her hand. The woman’s eyes slowly close and she gave a contentious smile as the intoxicated look returned to her face.

    “Miss, are you okay?”
    “I’m wonderful” she giggles a bit as her eyes open again. I admit this woman made me a bit uneasy, but I was too drawn in by everything I had seen to just walk away now.
    “Do you work here at diamond shores?”
    “Today I am. Why don’t you ask me what you really want to ask me?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “When I was regrading. You want to know how I did what I did”

    “How did you do that? It was like you knew what was coming next” at that time I thought she might be one of those people you see on the news sometimes who have superhuman guessing powers. I thought she might have kept track of where all the regrades would suceed. It was a far-fetched explanation I know, but I was at a loss for anything else rational.

    “I didn’t know. It was luck”
    “Luck…” She must be playing with me.
    “So why did you regrade to epic ayanad if you weren’t going to keep it”
    “I didn’t win anything I just moved some gold around a bit is all. It was fun”
    “Moved it?”
    “Do you keep everything you have ever gotten? Every gold you earn, does it sit in a bank somewhere or do you send it elsewhere?”
    “Well everyone spends their money, but I don’t see how that has to do with your regrading”
    “So it’s not really yours then?”
    “Are you talking philosophically? I guess in that sense nobody really owns anything”
    “Why do you say that?”
    “Well, ultimately you can’t really keep anything”

    “And that is my job.” She smiles that drunken vampire smile of hers again as she closes her eyes and rolls her head.

    “I’m still not getting it…is something wrong?” She ignores me, seemingly lost in something I can’t quite grasp.

    “Somebody here just lost 12,000 gold regrading” After I hear her say that, I can hear aggravated yelling in the distance. She has to be putting me on, I thought to myself. Whatever this woman was on she was really feeling it now. It was like waves of euphoria were washing over her as her body quaked slightly. Her giggling turned to laughter. I felt uncomfortable like people were starting to stare at us. Her laughing died down a bit as she tilted her head down towards her lap. She still had that smile on her face with she slowly brought her head back in my direction. Those eyes opened as her tongue came out and licked her lips.

    If this were any other woman I would have thought I was being hit on. This woman however made me feel like I was a deer staring a wolf in the face. A sudden instinct kicked in somewhere inside me, to run. I wanted to be far away from this woman as possible. I think the only thing that kept me from doing that right then and there was the fact we were in a public place. I would look stupid running away from a pretty girl in front of everyone. I always thought there was some irony about mankind being at the top of the food chain for our intellect and yet so stupid to be able to ignore those kinds of voices.

    “So tell me, what is it that you would want if you could have anything” She came to instantly and stared at me with that gaze. I didn’t like it, I wanted to look away from her eyes but I found that I couldn’t. This feeling entered my throat that worked its way down into my chest. At once I found myself talking without meaning to. I told her about how I wanted to have better gear. I was gearing up to be like my dad. I gave up because the gear for that class was too hard. I saw it as years of my life spent on something that may or may not work out. My dad was helping me with the gold and when I gave up he cut off financial support completely. I told her all of this, every personal detail I wouldn’t tell anyone. I told her about how bad I felt letting my dad down, about how he tried to raise me on his own after my mother died.

    “I guess if I could have anything, it would be the money gear like my dad”
    “So what you want is a second chance?”
    “You could say that” I admitted. My control returned and I found I was breathing a bit heavier than normal. I didn’t want to sit here with this woman anymore. I tried to tell her I had a movie date with my girlfriend and I started to get up from the chair. What I heard next made me sit back down.
    “You don’t have a girlfriend sir”
    I never told her. She was right though, I didn’t have a girlfriend.
    “How did you…” She interrupts me
    “I’m going to make you an offer, I can give you that second chance you want”
    “What do you mean?” I hate to admit it, but I was curious.

  10. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    365

    20,000 gold

    She told me I would learn how soon enough... how I wish i hadn't spoken with her.

    Both red and green peasants wee looking for work at the castle. They were staring at the farms anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get their lord's coins. Men and women from opposite factions glanced at each other waiting to see who would make the next move. I noticed a friend of mine from Diamond shores gathered here waiting for farm. I haven't seen him in a while.

    Let me start by saying that my friend in Diamond shore was crazy.
    We were friends in Austeria and continued to be after I got level 55. Notice that I said "I". He stopped leveling after level 50 and just hung out mostly doing CR every once and a while. After I moved out of the Silent Forest and into a small home in Austeria, I didn't see my friend as much. We would talk every now and then. There was a period where he was gone for about five weeks straight. I wasn't worried. He was a pretty notorious flake and had an addictive personality, so I assumed he just stopped caring. Before I could initiate a conversation, he said.
    "Man, we need to talk."



    That was when he told me about the 'Archeage - DiamondShores SubGame'. No one had ever reached the final exit. The rules were pretty simple and cliche: reach the final level and you win 20,000 gold. There were ten levels in all. The starting point for the sub-game was a house was located North East of diamond shores. Apparently my friend had tried and failed. He was an addict, so I figured his additions got the best of him and he wigged out at a mob or something. He told me it would be too much for anyone. That it was unnatural.

    I didn't believe him. I told him I would check it out the next night and no matter how hard he tried to convince me otherwise, 20,000 sounded too good to be true. I had to go. I set out the following night.

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