Eterna was fuming. That despicable creature – Zalgo, The God of Chaos and All Things Fleeting – was having his way with her Wheel!
As the Goddess of Order and All Things Eternal – and more importantly, his nemesis – she was the only entity in existence who knew his true name and title. If anyone else tried to pronounce them, they came out random every time.
One more thing to infuriate her about him.
She could only grind her teeth as she heard his mad cackling from here.
In fact, he recently made it a point to make it so that only she was able to hear it, at all times.
A Mother Of Chaos had just been grown on a mortal plane, all by the hand of that stupid mortal that was behind everything that irked her as of late.
Her standing with Science and Innocence was in ruin, and she had just become the laughing stock of the Celestial Plane after Zalgo leaked information about her Eternal Eye Of Judgement losing in a battle to the death with a low levelled mortal.
That boy was the source of her misfortune, and she had to act.
She watched on from the viewpoint of an old human woman as he sat in a tent, he was surrounded by elderly ladies and was staring into space.
He had to pay, consequences be damned. She would do it.
She closed her eyes and put a finger to her temples, and every Paladin and Priest of Order in her Church of The Eternal on that mortal plane heard a new holy decree.
A blasphemer had to die.
The city-state of Grania was in uproar.
A group of miners had just come running from the Krashi mountain range to the south, bearing outrageous news.
They swore on their mothers’ graves that the ground shook and that the dormant volcano had erupted, and instead of magma, it had spewed forth a gigantic multi-hued tree with large glowing fruits.
Only those versed in the subtleties of history could tell what kind of tree it was from the vague description, and not all of them chose to act on the information.
Of those who chose to investigate, however, was one famous Gnome called Sparkettle McSprockerfizzlet who also happened to be the head of the local Cartographers Guild.
Once he’d heard about this, he quickly put out a big bounty on any certifiable information regarding the matter. Those who would bring a fruit from the tree would get its weight in gold.
It was a large sum. Enough to dazzle the eyes of any adventurer. That was mainly because the mountains were controlled by the savage Krell tribes, who were constantly at war and forbade everyone entry without special dispensation. The miners only happened to be there because of a treaty negotiated by the city’s council, where the city provided the Krell with goods in exchange for the right to mine the ore-rich veins closest to the city.
That was not to mention the kinds of monsters that lived up there. Those were dangers no sane adventurer wanted to partake in.
But to everyone, gold was gold, and avarice was the mover of nations.
And so, in the matter of hours, hundreds of daring adventuring parties left the bustling city on a race to visit the Krashi mountains and procure a fruit from The Mother Of Chaos.
Ethan West was huddled around a fire inside The Matriarch’s tent and reviewing his logs. The elders wouldn’t stop fussing about him, but he was consumed by what he was reading.
Congratulations, ‘Adjust Entropy’ has reached level 6. +200 XP … Congratulations, ‘Stabilise’ has reached level 2. +20 XP … You have created a Legendary Spell: ‘Seed of Chaos’ +1200 XP (Deferred) Feat of Magic performed, +2 INT, +2 WIS. … New class obtained: [Chaos Mage]. You already possess 2 classes. Class change available: [Chaos Mage], would you like to exchange an existing class for [Chaos Mage]? [Y/N] 22:18:12…
He decided to hold on that choice when he heard a loud commotion outside.
Then The Matriarch stormed in, ordered everyone out, and confronted him.
“You! How dare you?” She seethed.
He felt tired and drained, and was not in the mood for her haughtiness.
“How dare I what? Save your people?” He immediately shot back.
She pointed outside the tent and accused, “how dare you bring that thing into my home?”
“It’s a big tree. Do you hate trees?” He asked.
“Then why are you so upset?”
“Because that thing is a celestial tree! It’s a Mother Of Chaos!” She exclaimed.
He looked interested when she mentioned the name.
“Is it harmful?” He asked.
“No. Not really.”
“Then I fail to see a reason why its presence here would upset you. Why is it so bad to have this tree here?”
“Because now, every powerful race, nation, and individual in existence will want it. There will be no end to fools on crusades to harvest the Fruit of Chaos.”
“Does it taste that good?” He was curious.
“No, you idiot! The fruit has a random effect on people. It could grant you great power, make your skin orange, turn you into a frog, or outright kill you.”
“So why would people want to risk dying or turning into frogs so much?”
She sighed in exasperation.
“Because an [Alchemist] can isolate the effects and brew legendary potions from the fruit!”
“So why not sell the fruit? Or better yet, hire your own [Alchemists] to brew the potions and sell them yourself?” He asked in puzzlement.
She looked thoughtful, then shook her head.
“We are Krell, we’re no traders or craftspeople.” She finally said.
“Maybe that’s the problem. Perhaps this is why the Krell are losing the war. Every great empire from my world was driven by commerce and craftsmanship.“
She looked hesitant, but she was not stupid. Anything that could give her a clear advantage was probably on her list of priorities.
“What are you suggesting?” She asked after a pause.
“Would you like to hear some of the history of my world?” Ethan asked with renewed interest.
A few hours later, she left the tent with a fire burning in her eyes.
You instruct Eragoth in History (Earth) (5) +50 XP You instruct Eragoth in Business Logic. (3) +30 XP You instruct Eragoth in Economics. (2) +20 XP Congratulations, ‘Lecture’ as reached level 4. +900 XP Congratulations, you are now a level 7 [Harbinger – Science].
That was nice. Now he knew he could level up by teaching people things, and he did not lack in knowledge on practically any subject with the petabytes of documentaries and information stored in his implants.
Now that he was alone once more, he looked at the prompt and the countdown that was still flashing on his HUD.
Class change available: [Chaos Mage], would you like to exchange an existing class for [Chaos Mage]? [Y/N] 19:12:24…
He was tempted… but it wasn’t worth it. He sighed and pressed ‘no’ for the second time.
You have been touched by the flows of chaos. (+1 SP) Congratulations, you become a [Magineer – Chaos]. Distributing 1200 deferred XP. Congratulations, you are now a level 8 [Magineer – Chaos]. New skill acquired: Mana Manipulation. +10 XP New skill acquired: Rune Mastery. +10 XP New skills are now available in the skill store.
He face-palmed. This system made no sense! Who in hell made this? What kind of system was this?
Was someone fucking with him on purpose?
A party of five was travelling to the south from the city-state of Grania. They had opted to travel light and thus were able to make good speed, albeit at the risk of diminishing their supplies quickly.
To them, this was the ‘get rich or get killed’ kind of venture.
But they were truly desperate, and the promise of gold was too tempting to ignore.
They were moving along at a brisk pace when Adrian – their [Paladin] – paused and closed his eyes.
“Yes, Goddess. I hear and obey.” He solemnly intoned.
“What was that?” Asked Giran, the beautiful Half-Elf [Ranger] who was also his lover.
“A decree from Eterna herself!” He looked ashen.
This was the first direct decree from Eterna in as long a time as a thousand years.
Every [Priest] and [Paladin] of order in the world had just heard her command, and they would obey.
“We must hurry!” He told them eagerly.
“Why?” They asked him.
“I must kill a blasphemous man, and fell a blasphemous tree.” His eyes were shining with fanatical fervour.
“Don’t tell me it’s the same tree we’re supposed to harvest…” Jormun said sagely. He was their Polarii [Wizard].
“That doesn’t sound good!” Exclaimed the twins at the same time. They were the last two members of their party: Normand and Milandera.
Normand was a [Rogue] and specialised in dealing with traps and poisons, while Milandera was a [Duelist] that was agile and fast in combat.
Adrian had a dreamy look in his eyes, and could only nod in confirmation.
“Fuck!” Came the collective cry of dismay.
Aylin Merza was dozing in her cage when she was rudely awakened by some guards and a strange woman wearing black garb.
“You! Do you know any Alchemy?” The woman asked impatiently.
“I do. Although I am no a professional [Alchemist].” Aylin stated truthfully as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes and yawned.
“Bring her.” The woman commanded the tribesmen.
They opened her cage and hauled her out. Then they brought her along to a large tent.
Inside the tent was a man she was very eager to meet.
“Hello again, Aylin.” Ethan smiled.
“Hello! Did you stop the volcano from erupting? Are you the one who planted The Mother of Chaos? I heard you casting a spell! You must tell me everything!” She bombarded him.
“Silence!” The Krell woman shut her down and a spear jabbed her in the back.
A group of shamans entered the tent. She knew some of them – some were the ones who tortured her previously – and stood in deference to the commanding woman.
She pointed at the shamans and looked at Aylin.
“From today onwards. Your life’s goal will be to teach them Alchemy. If you do well, I will let you live. If you do not, you will wish for a quick death. Am I clear?” She gave no quarter.
“Yes!” Aylin said meekly. Deep down she was imagining all the different ways she would extract that woman’s soul and torture it for eternity.
The woman turned to Ethan.
“Ethan West, you shall also learn from her.” He looked stricken. “You will learn her magic as well as her Alchemy.” She commanded with finality.
Frankly, Aylin liked this turn of events. Any chance to be close to Ethan West would allow her to subtly interrogate him.
By teaching him magic, she would have a great excuse to get him to share information about his classes, skills and spells.
Besides, she still had that invisible amulet around her neck. She could escape easily if things went south.
“Yes, Matriarch.” Ethan responded politely.
Aha! So this was the Krell Matriarch. Aylin now realised. She was shocked though, she had assumed The Matriarch would be much older. Maybe she had been elevated to this station recently?
She kept her thoughts private. She would certainly get to the bottom of this later.
“When shall we start?” Aylin asked with a calculated smile.
|Class (1st)||Harbinger – Science (Level 7)||Strength (STR)||18|
|Class (2nd)||Magineer – Chaos (Level 8)||Vitality (VIT)||12|
|XP (Deferred)||156 (0)||Dexterity (DEX)||19|
|AP/SP Available||0 AP / 1 SP||Agility (AGI)||24|
|Health||123/123 (+1.2/min)||Intelligence (INT)||24|
|Mana||258/258 (+2.4/min)||Wisdom (WIS)||25|
|Divine Lawbreaker||You have broken a Divine Law and incurred the wrath of the heavens. Beware the consequences.|
|Analyse (Active)||1 (0%)||4 MP||You analyse any object or living being, obtaining information about it. More details will be revealed as the level of this skill rises.||[Scientist, Level 1]|
|Lecture (Passive)||4 (12%)||—||You instruct another character on a subject. The level of knowledge conveyed and the success rate are limited by the level of this skill.||[Harbinger – Science, Level 5]|
|Assemble Schematic (Active)||1 (0%)||15 MP||You assemble a schematic quickly and efficiently. 10% Less material wasted per level.||[Engineer, Level 1]|
|Adjust Entropy (Sustained)||6 (78%)||~||Adjust the level of entropy in a system or creation. 10% To effectiveness per level.||[Chaos Engineer, Level 5]|
|Stabilise (Active)||2 (56%)||~||Allows you to stabilise any chaotic reaction, quickly bringing down the energy of an unstable system, chemical reaction, spell, or machine.||[Chaos Engineer, Level 5]|
|Mana Manipulation (Passive)||1 (0%)||—||The ability to manipulate mana is at the core of spell-casting. This skill governs how much mana your body can channel. 2% bonus to maximum mana per level.||[Magineer – Chaos, Level 8]|
|Rune Mastery (Passive)||1 (0%)||—||The ability to construct and maintain spell models in one’s mind is what governs Rune Magic. Your mastery over runes will increase with the level of this skill. Can control +2 extra runes per spell model per level of this skill.||[Magineer – Chaos, Level 8]|