Chapter 8 – New horizons
A few days has passed since we cleared the previous Graveyard. We tried to go back and enter it again, but we exceeded the level limit, so there’s no way of knowing whether the dungeon resets itself, a pity because that dungeon had really high quality materials for crafting. As for what happened during the few days that passed, we were basically experimenting and crafting with the materials from the dungeon.
Nic has gone ahead and made himself some really potent potions from the sample collected off of the needle used to poke Sloth, they inflict a level 5 ‘confused’ debuff when ingested or inhaled. He hasn’t thought of an effective way to use the fumes, but for now he’s just storing them as cards in his binder. His Scribing profession also came in really handy when he tried to map out the surrounding area of the Kingdom. There were maps sold by NPCs, but they were crude and weren’t to scale, Nic used that as a starting point and began refining the map. Eventually he managed to craft a [Magic Map], he suspects that it’s due to the ink he’s been using, the ink was made from plants collected from the dungeon. [Magic Map] automatically updates its contents as the user explores the world and has a zoom in/out feature, pretty damn high tech if I do say so myself. His Scribing profession also allows him to copy documents, he has a grand plan to make copies of his [Magic Map] and sell them once he’s explored a large portion of the world.
Dan cooked up the rest of the deer meat and stored the product as cards, since they’re cards, they never go bad, plus the +10 STR buff is always useful in combat. He’s tried experimenting with other herbs added to the meat, but they always gave STR buffs. Dan suspects that the buff provided depends on the type of meat used, rather than the accompanying ingredients, although the accompanying ingredients do work together to provide a stronger buff. Due to Dan’s acquisition of a bow, he’s been training his aim to provide ranged support instead of melee damage. He has a low hp and relies heavily on his high AGI to evade and dodge attacks, which is extremely risky in high level or magic fights, thus he’s changed his playstyle to be an archer instead. Contrary to popular belief, AGI did not increase his ranged damage, it just increases his fire rate, which is now an impressive 2 shots per second at full draw. His max speed is 4 shots per second, but the damage is weak due to a quick draw instead of a full draw.
Me? I used the normal ore I found in the dungeon to make a [Pickaxe] and started chipping away at the wedge of cave wall that I cut out. Turns out it contains an ore called [Quezacoatl Scale], I had enough in that wedge to craft new items for everyone, but the priority was Nic’s shield > my sword > Dan’s knives. Here are the new items I made –
Req. Lv: 40
Req. STR: 60
Req. STA: 230
M. Defense: 245
Inscription: None shall pass. (Reduces knockback effects by 50%)
Effects: – Steel Body III (All damage received reduced by 6%)
– Reflect II (Blocked spells have a 20% chance to be reflected)
Made by: Foxxie
Req. Lv: 40
Req. STR: 270
Damage: 173 – 191
Inscription: No fun allowed. (5% chance to inflict Berserk II debuff on enemy)
Effects: – Sharpness III (Damage output increased by 9%)
– Magic Coat (Grants ability to parry magic)
Made by: Foxxie
Req. Lv: 40
Req. STR: 135
Damage: 100 – 109
Inscription: Stabby stabby poke poke. (Armor penetration +38)
Effects: – Weakness II (10% chance to reduce target’s defenses by 20%)
– Quickness II (Attack speed +10%)
Made by: Foxxie
As you can see, my tempering skills has improved and the [Quezacoatl Scale] seems to have strong magic resistant properties. The weapons are definitely upgrades to our current set, but we’re just a little short of the required level. The number of effects has increased, I’m not too sure if this is due to the ore being used or my smithing skills improving, but either way it’s definitely a good sign. I haven’t been too witty with the inscriptions and have absolutely no idea how they work, but I’m gonna try inscriptions in other languages the next time I craft to see if language affects the effect. Experiments await.
I learned a new passive skill Death Grip which allowed me to wield 2H weapons with one hand, however I lacked the STA to equip shields of appropriate levels, so I decided to go ham by dual-wielding greatswords indeed. Currently I don’t have 2 greatswords to wield, but once I hit level 40 I’ll be able to equip both my [Iron Greatsword] and [Quezacoatl’s Grandblade]. According to Daniroh, I should aim for 200 AGI so that I can get the dual-wield related skills Ambidextrous and Dual Wield Novice upgrades. I’m personally not too happy about sacrificing STA for AGI just for damage. Maybe I should take it slow? Damage penalty doesn’t bother me that much currently since my mainhand is a lv 40 weapon while my offhand is a lv 15, they’re already quite different in terms of damage output.
Our main goal for today is to swap out our current set of weapons to the new ones, hence, we’re off completing quests again. Due to our acquisition of the [Inventory] key item, we no longer have to frequently return to town, so we spent the last few days crafting up our raw materials and preparing for our exploration. We were told that we could turn in our quests at other branches of the Adventurer’s guild as long as we had our cards with us, thus, our plan was to pick up as many quests that were along the way as possible and go far out away from the Kingdom to explore the game world.
Once our preparations were complete, we set off south of the Kingdom. We took on a few quests that required us to clean up ruins, reduce the numbers of some giant scorpions and deliver some cargo to a town some distance away. Naturally, we also took whatever material collection type quests that were available since we can abuse the binder-card item system to full effect, but the guild only allowed us to take on 10 quests at a time. Our first destination was the ruins some distance southwest from where we cleared the Graveyard, there were supposed to be some ruins spawning minor undead. The undead die off during the day due to exposure to sunlight, so they can’t wander too far from shelter, but if left unchecked, greater undead could spawn with resistance against sunlight and cause trouble in the Kingdom.
“Hey Dan, got any more of dem meat left?” (Nic)
“What? NO! I’m not gonna give you anymore, you’ve already had 3 servings despite the STR buff not stacking.” (Dan)
“But it TASTES. SO. GOOOOOOOOOD.”
“Hey, if you want it so bad, you should have gone hunting to bring back more materials so I could cook your own personal stock. The ones I have right now are for buff purposes only, no eating more than required.”
“Hey Dan, is it possible to cook without a stove like we did when we first grilled the crabs?” (Me)
“Yea it is, but those items don’t give buffs, they restore a small portion of health instead. Nic’s already got hp recovery down with his potions, so I don’t have any of those.” (Dan)
“Yea, but if it satisfies Nic’s snacking urges I think it’s good enough. What say you Nic?”
“Naw it’s gotta be those stir-fried lambchops, the taste is just.. MMMM mmmmm!” Nic smacks his lips.
“I guess it’s more about the quality rather than the quantity huh? O well, you just gotta resist I guess.” (Me)
The ruins were about four in-game days’ distance away, rental mounts were possible, but we weren’t planning to go back to the Kingdom, so there was no way of returning them, hence we our remaining option was to walk. The road leading to the ruins weren’t meant for carriages, so they were uneven and tiring to walk on, but we made it anyway. According to the quest details, these ruins were from a time before the Kingdom was established. It was a monastery away from civilization where the monks could train and pass down their knowledge to the next generation of monks. Due to the not-so-glamorous lifestyle of monks, not many disciples joined and eventually there were no more monks left. It was tradition to bury the monks in the graveyard beside the monastery, so all that was left were the graves and with no one to scatter the malevolent magic, it congregated and started to spawn undeads. Which leads to us being here now to fix the problem.
No windows appeared as we approached the ruins, so this isn’t a dungeon.
“Oh man, a cave is called a Graveyard, but a graveyard isn’t a Graveyard, this game’s naming sense man.” (Nic)
“Hey, don’t question the game. As long as we refer to them in terms we understand, it’s good enough.” (Me)
Zombie groans were echoing off the crumbled stone walls of the monastery but none of them were in sight. It’s hard to tell when we might be attacked so we had our weapons out while walking cautiously towards the building. The first thing to do in any ruin exploration is to roam the various rooms in the ruins in search of treasure. Towards the end of the monastery’s service there were no longer any monks to pass their secrets to, so they’ll definitely record them down and hope that someone of good character finds them and continues the heritage. Unfortunately for the monks, we are out here for fun, fame and fortune. Nope, no noble callings here. All secrets will be used to generate maximum enjoyment. Why do the monks care, they’re already dead right?
Inside the monastery the groans grow louder, and now we hear their shambling footsteps.
“No splitting up I guess, we’ll explore each of the rooms together for safety.” (Me)
“Okay.” They agreed.
The monastery had three floors, we start at the first floor and we enter room after room. Occasionally there would be some zombies in the room, but they were easy to deal with. The rooms were mostly empty aside from some wooden tables and chairs that have already rotted to uselessness, it appears the first floor was mainly for studies and crafting. However, there was one room which caught our interest. This room had large wooden barrels and kegs lined up along the many shelves. Upon further inspection they seem to contain some kind of liquid.
“Are these.. potions?” (Dan)
“Hmm.. Lemme check.” (Nic)
We take one barrel off the shelves and carefully broke the top. Nic scoops a small amount with his vial and tries to identify it.
[Crème de cassis]
Drink to increase SPR by 10 for 30 minutes.
Without telling us what it is, Nic drank his vial up.
“OH MY GAWD WHAT DID YOU JUST DO” (Me)
“I figured you’d have learned from my exampled of drinking weird liquids, but you’re pretty rash.” (Dan)
“Chill guys, I successfully identified it. It says here that it’s uhh.. Creeem di kahsees.”
“Crème de cassis? If I remember correctly that’s an alcoholic beverage right? I think I’ve seen it before when I worked in some fancy restaurants.” (Dan)
“Yep, which is why I drank it. It also gives a buff of +10 SPR for 30 minutes, you guys should drink too!”
Everyone drank a small vial from the barrel, Nic tries to turn another barrel off the shelf into a card for storage, but nothing happened. Nobody knows why, so Nic uses some of his vials to keep a stock from the barrel we broke.
“Hey, if I remember correctly, some monasteries in the real world brew pretty good alcohol, maybe it’s the same in game?” (Dan)
“That could be true, if so, they might have hidden their techniques somewhere in the library or a secret room somewhere. Judging by Nic’s ability to identify the drink, I’d say this falls under the Alchemy profession, it could be useful if we had the recipe for Nic.” (Me)
“Hell yeah I get to brew my own liquor! Get drunk e’rryday!” (Nic)
“Not with that STA you aren’t. You’re pretty much immune to most low level debuffs already.” (Me)
We move onto the second floor, this time, the rooms were mostly bedroom types. They were all equipped with a bed, a small table, a chair and a closet. We searched all that could be searched, but only random scraps of papers turned up, so we hastily moved onto the third floor.
The third floor was more interesting, it had few rooms, but the rooms were big. The first room we went into was a kitchen, rusty pots and pans hung off the wall and rusty utensils were in the drawer. I picked up and stored one of the woks so that Daniroh could cook as we were moving, but I’ll have to scrub off the rust and repair it first. We searched the kitchen for any special recipes, but there was nothing of interest. The second room we explored was the dining room, it had a large central table with 50 chairs packed closely, side by side. There were probably more monks than this at the peak population, but to pack the seats so closely together meant that they were at least flourishing at some point in time.
Room after room, there were offices, meditation rooms, potted plant gardens? There was this room where many pots of dirt lined up neatly in rows, Dan said they might have been potted plants that were cultivated, perhaps for the brewing of the alcohol. The room’s roof was special, it was made of wood and could open upwards to allow sunlight in. The roof had rotted away though, so sunlight was streaming in despite them being closed.
Finally, we entered the library. The musty smell of yellowed paper and molding leather bindings fill the air, if there was a place to store secret information, this would have to be the place. We split up the library into three sections and began our search.