Saturday, April 21, 2012
Adventure 2: Infiltrate and Recover
Episode 1: My Transformation
I was notified of my friend's plight via special courier in a note which read,
"Stranded on the Elevation island, Epic cluster. Use this map to familiarize yourself with the archipelago and journey to the home island of ******* and construct a small boat. At your own discretion, infiltrate Elevation from the *****. Light a lantern when you get close to the ***** shore. We will await your signal and make our way to the shore at coordinates **,**. There, you can pick us up and return us to the ******* island. There, we three can work our skills and fortify a deed. Please make haste. We do not know how long we can remain undetected. If we are slain, all of the gear we have obtained may be stolen. There are enemies everywhere. And be careful! - Eyesgood and Theophilus."
What was I to make of this?! I mean, I remember Eyesgood talking about his journey to the Epic cluster. He said it was a real thrill to start over with no skills in an untamed land fraught with battles between rival kingdoms. So exciting it was that Theophilus, our noble Vynora priest, followed him to those lands. But something must have gone horribly wrong! I haven't heard from them until now, so I can only guess that the dangers were too great for them to safely train their skills against the dangers of the central island in the Epic cluster. Surely they joined a village? I mean, I am used to living by myself, but perhaps even Surviverman would be challenged to survive there with enemies lurking over every hill and behind every tree.
There was no question about my decision. I would go and rescue my friends; of that I was certain! But what would it be like to have to deal with enemies as well as the environment? I would soon find out. I made my way to the Freedom Market on Independence and found the portal that would transport me to Epic. All of my past labors would avail me nothing once I passed through. I could take no tools with me. I wondered what would happen to my current set of tools I so lovingly created during my first journey. But then I remembered that everything would return as it was if I ever came back to this place. however, I knew I would arrive in the Epic cluster more naked that when I had arrived at Independence when at first I completed the tutorial. This is because all my skills would be reset! In some respects, this would be a great challenge. In others, a dangerous journey!
Choosing the ******* map forced me to choose my allegiance to an Epic kingdom. I knew it had to be the same kingdom that Eyesgood and Theophilus had chosen, or else my very nature would have turned hostile towards my friends. But then, I remember hearing that some intentionally do that and become spies for enemy kingdoms! I had to be careful to choose my allies wisely. Surely, everyone is suspected of being a spy when entering the Epic lands for the first time.
I was transformed and arrived at the starter village on *******. I checked my skills. Yep, all reset! But I was happy to see that I received a complete compliment of starter tools. This was at least more than I had in my first journey, but I reasoned that I would definitely need them in this hostile land. Looking around I took in the scenery and gained my bearing from the token sundial.
I decided to immediately broadcast my arrival in hopes that perhaps my reputation had preceded me. To my wonder and delight, a citizen recognized me and was elated to greet me. Blushing, I accepted his offer to welcome me into his village while I trained for my mission. But I was somewhat humbled that he took his own life to spawn back at the starter deed to lead me to his home.
We walked for what seemed like forever. Tried as I could, I failed to maintain my bearings and felt completely lost when we arrived at the home of my new friend. I asked him where we were and he was not familiar enough with the island to give me my bearings. Perhaps I even knew more than he because Eyesgood had told me of his early visits to this island in vivid details which I would draw from on my journey. I knew that I had to find the ****** shore so that I could sail with straight course to the island where my friends were hiding. But this would come in time. I needed to skill up on some core competencies and obtain the additional tools I would need to construct a small boat. This would take me many days to accomplish, but my mind was hastened by the plight of my friends.
Two days I labored in that place, foraging for food and digging and mining to build my strength. I also managed to make a small cart to carry my supplies. I felt safe from invaders because the kingdom chat would flutter with activity should any enemies be spotted lurking about. My immediate dangers were starvation and the huge bears and spiders that lurked about. The neighbors were very friendly and I was able to train my fighting skills by leading the bears and spiders to the local guards where I would jump into the fray with them to gain some small experience in fighting. Every day I remembered my friends and my mission. I had to get that boat constructed as quickly as possible.
On the third day I awoke to find no one in my local area. I decided it was time to gain my bearings. I studied the map given to me and the surrounding mountains and lake. Carefully, I followed the shoreline of the lake to something that caught my attention on the far end of the shore. It was an old abandoned village with a standing guard tower and a few guards milling around and standing watch over the ruins. There were items and structures scattered about in various stages of decay. I found an opening in the tall stone walls that surrounded the central courtyard and cautiously stepped through.
The village had long been abandoned. I wondered at the sheer volume of work that must have went in to creating such a place and why it had been abandoned. It was actually well fortified and strategically placed. Along the side of the mountain I found a cave and upon entering, I had the strange feeling that I recognized it. And then I remembered a fire-side chat I had with Eyesgood one night and how he talked of his acceptance into a village on this island. I instinctively looked to my right. There it was, a Vynora altar. Further on there was a stone forge with a coffin situated on the wall beside it. Moving inward I counted the halls of tunnels running every three tiles horizontally along the cave. I rounded a corner of the second hall and sure enough, there were two forges, a large barrel, a stone coffin, and a colored large chest. I had found it! I had found the village Eyesgood had been a member of so long ago. A part of me was thrilled because from his tales I had gained my bearings. I knew exactly where I was and how to get to the shore where I would cross over to pluck my friends from danger. But another part of me was sad that the once great ******** village had died. Not even the token remained.
The feelings of sadness left me as I realized I would be able to tell Eyesgood and Theophilus that I had found his old village and used it as a temporary home while I constructed the life boat. I knew he would probably say that he knew I would find it because I was Surviverman! But I knew who to thank, that young Surviverman fan who had unwittingly settled near the place I really needed to be.