Memeta teleported to yet another one of the many abandoned rooms in the celestial plane. She didn’t really know what function each of the small 10m x 5m rooms served, whatever they were for didn’t matter anymore. All they were to her was an annoyance. Crypto could be hiding in any one of them. This room was like all the other hundreds of rooms she had searched, it was embedded into a bank of the cloud-like substance that made up a large amount of the celestial plane. A simple gray stone doorframe held a strange metal–Memeta stopped herself there. The majority of these rooms either had no door or an extremely rotted away wooden one. This one had a sturdy looking metal door which had a small opening no larger than her head with metal bars covering said opening.

Stepping up to the door Memeta felt uneasy, it seemed that unlike the rest of these rooms, this one was in use by someone. Smiling to herself she figured that it was likely she had found her Nemesis’ hiding place. Reaching out and trying the door she found it was locked, she was confused as to why for a brief second. Divines could teleport where they liked in the Celestial Plane, and she could have teleported right past the door if she fancied. Deciding that she would rather make more of an entrance, she started conjuring up a basic unlock spell. Within a few moments the locking mechanism for the door opened with a deep “clunk” and she triumphantly swung the door open.

“Alright Crypto, where are you? You scheming little shit! I’m sick and tired of searching for you so you damn well better be here!” Memeta noisily made her entrance, taking a few steps into the room she noticed that it looked strange. Instead of it looking like it was lived in, as you would expect of someone using it as a secret hiding place, it was completely empty. Hearing a sound behind her she spun around.

Leaning on the door was Crypo, he didn’t have any discerning features, but Memeta was sure that he was smiling.

“What do you find so funny then? I wouldn’t have expected you to be in such a jovial mood after getting such a smackdown by everyone's favourite human.” She teased him, placing her hands on her hips for added effect. Crypto didn’t seem to react in any discernible way. Instead he replied in a simple and vague manner that was typical of his character.

“Oh, you can be assured that I am angry… but they say revenge is best served cold.” His voice was deadpan and Memeta struggled to decipher his meaning.

“Well, you’re certainly trying to sound brave and scary today. I know about your little band of followers you are sending after Ethan. Your revenge won’t be served cold, or at all for that matter. Ethan will bring them all to a miserable end, just like with your pet Nephilim.”

“I wasn’t talking about revenge against him, you are right though, I will get my revenge against the damned mortal. But not before I get revenge against YOU!” Before Memeta could react he stepped out of the room and slammed the door closed behind him, the locking mechanism clicked back into a locked position. She almost burst out laughing at his terrible attempt to scare her, but instead she was shocked into silence as she felt her links to the world severed and a strange magical buzzing in the air. Panic rose in her chest and she cast a teleport spell to escape whatever Crypto was about to bring down on her, instead the spell simply “snapped” like a taut string the moment she tried casting it and nothing happened.

Crypto stood outside the door, looking in through the little barred window. Memeta rushed up to the door and banged her hands against it. Crypto didn’t even flinch.

“What have you done! You sick bastard, let me out this instant!” Her face was half panic and half pure rage as she stared out at the being who had somehow been able to trap her in the room.

“No can do. You have been a real big problem to my efforts, so I decided to use one of the enchantments I happen to know and have been extremely careful to keep from your prying eyes. Tell me, have you ever heard of an “anti-magic field”?” His tone couldn’t be described as anything but smug as he spoke. It dawned upon Memeta what he had done.

“You… where did you even learn magic like that! Not even I have heard of anything along those lines!”

“Well, who do you think built all these rooms around the Celestial plane? It wasn’t some divine. No, we weren’t the first ones to inhabit this realm, many came before us.” His smile turned feral, “They happened to leave behind a few powerful secrets that I have the lone pleasure of knowing.” The revelation bounced around inside her head, of course it made sense that they weren’t the first ones to live in the celestial plane, it certainly explained all the random rooms that she had gone looking through.

“The Divine Assembly won’t let your trickery stand! When they find out what you’ve done, and that you have magic that can impede other divines, they will destroy you!” She frantically said. In response to this Crypto simply chuckled to himself.

“It’s amusing when you are completely wrong. The divines in the assembly who do know about what I’m doing are fully supportive, I’m sorry to say that you are very much on the wrong side of history here,” He paused for a moment and seemed to gleefully take in Memetas enraged expression, “Seems I’ve hit a nerve. Well, I need to get going. I have a human to get rid of after all. You best settle down and enjoy your stay, you’re going to be trapped in there for a very long time.” Before Memeta could make a response he popped out of existence as he teleported somewhere else.

Finding that she was utterly out of options, Memeta slumped down with her back against the door and rested her head in her hands. She tentatively tested some more spells and found the same result, they simply didn’t work.

Oh, I’m so fucked… She thought to herself I hope that the plans I set in action work out, it seems that I need Ethan to succeed more than ever now.


Ethan woke up shivering. The fur jacket he was using as a blanket did not cover his entire body, and thusly, without his bedroll, he felt himself freezing. The sun was just starting to peek over the top of the volcano, bringing some warmth with it, but nowhere near enough for his needs.

Standing up, he stretched his tired muscles and shook his arms and legs to get the blood to circulate a little. After shaking off a rough night’s sleep, he set about improving the problem of being too cold.

Without much thought, he cast a basic warming spell, one that Aylin Merza had taught him back at the Krell volcano; he started by using the smallest amount of mana possible and found that the spell worked. Not being a primordial spell it was incredibly inefficient, and would require much more mana in order to provide a decent amount of warmth. Nevertheless, his heart nearly skipped a beat as he felt a small amount of heat tingling his finger tips. Immediately he set about putting some more mana into it. Warmth slowly enveloped his body and he stopped shivering.

That was a piece of good news at least, it meant that he had some mana. Now that the immediate issue of warmth was resolved, Ethan took a look through his UI to see if he had any more system notifications.

Your mana defecit has been repayed. As a penalty for depleting your mana to such a degree, your regeneration rate and mana cap will be half its usual level for one week.

On second thoughts, he probably should have read the event log first. Seeing that he at least had some mana to spend gave Ethan some hope, he would even be able to use his flying spell. Just with the penalty that he could only travel at half the speed that he normally did. Although maybe not, he still had all that SP (Skill Points) to use. Sitting back down in his spot, he opened up the skill store and started pondering what to use the SP for, skill points did not come easily. He had to acquire them by either achieving special feats or waiting for the system to award them based on a criteria he had not yet managed to decipher.

Skill Cost Description Origin
Scribe (Active) 1 SP Allows you to quickly and efficiently copy a schematic/scroll/document. [Harbinger – Science, Level 3]
Study (Basic) 4 SP Allows you to purchase direct knowledge on a specific subject. You will be prompted for which subject upon purchase, after which the knowledge will be transferred to your mind. Can be purchased multiple times. [Harbinger – Science, Level 5]
Improve Schematic (Active) 1 SP It takes an engineer to see through the delusions of a scientist. Practicality allows you to improve on the efficiency of an existing schematic. [Engineer, Level 2]
Chaos Reign 6 SP ??? [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]
Meld 1 SP You shape an object or material to your liking, consuming mana in the process. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]

Chaos Reign was a new skill that immediately caught his attention, it had no description; and if his gaming instincts told him anything, it was that things like this were usually worth it. If the game is fair, that is. He thought.

Meld looks useful too.. He pondered. And it would leave me with exactly 0 SP left.

In the end he chose Chaos Reign and Meld, for a total of 7 SP. He then dumped all his AP (attribute points) into Intellect. While it would not increase his actual intellect, like it seemed to do for everybody else around him, it would increase his mana regeneration.

Meld didn’t look all that useful, he could already do the same with spells, but he had a feeling that it would come in handy. Especially because it did not specify a volume/size restriction. He’d have to test that.

In fact, being able to literally meld buildings from nothing but rock could turn out to be very helpful…. Ethan thought.

He looked at his character sheet one more time, just to be certain everything was in order.

Name Ethan West Species Human
Class (1st) Harbinger – Science (Level 11) Strength (STR) 18
Class (2nd) Magineer – Chaos (Level 11) Vitality (VIT) 17
XP (Deferred) 656 (0) Dexterity (DEX) 23
AP/SP Available 0 AP / 0 SP Agility (AGI) 24
Health 173/173 (+1.7/min) Intelligence (INT) 39
Mana 74/319 (+1.95/min) Wisdom (WIS) 29
Soul type Sapient Will Power (WIL) 122
Title Description
Divine Lawbreaker You have broken a Divine Law and incurred the wrath of the heavens. Beware the consequences.
Runebreaker You have transcended all forms of magic and unlocked the more mystic base elements behind it. You now wield great power over the arcane. Beware lest you err!
Divine Slayer You managed to do what few claimed to do throughout the history of the world: to slay a higher being and live to tell the tale!
Divine Artificer You have created a divine-grade artefact. Guard it dearly, lest it falls into the hands of your enemies!
Affliction Level Description
Mana Deficit 1 (0%) Your mana has regenerated, but the effects linger. Your mana regeneration is halved for one week.
Skill Level Progress Cost Description Origin
Analyse (Active) 9 0.18 5 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) 5 0.22 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) 2 0.27 15 MP You assemble a schematic quickly and efficiently. 10% Less material wasted per level. [Engineer, Level 1]
Adjust Entropy (Sustained) 6 0.78 ~ Adjust the level of entropy in a system or creation. 10% To effectiveness per level. [Chaos Engineer, Level 5]
Stabilise (Active) 2 0.88 ~ 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) 5 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) 3 0.56 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]
Design Schematic (Active) 2 0.43 100 MP Allows you to design a schematic. [Scientist, Level 2]
Chaos Reign (Passive) 1 Chaos reigns! Your mere presence instigates chaos around you. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]
Meld (Sustained) 1 4 MP/sec You shape an object or material to your liking, consuming mana in the process. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]

“Huh, I instigate chaos now? That’s a cool passive skill, I suppose.” He pondered aloud.

Satisfied with his spending he exited his UI. Thanks to the increases in his stats he now had some extra mana available for use, although nothing significant. Now that that was sorted he still had some more issues to resolve, the first being that he was still parched. He really needed to get up and find a water source.

He sighed and did so, shouldering his backpack. The sun was slowly rising on the horizon, and he willed it to rise up faster and warm him up while he walked around looking for water. Looking around his vicinity he only immediate source of water he could think of was the snow visible above him in the mountains, and he was not too thrilled by that idea, especially without a clean pot to boil the snow in.

Carefully watching his footing he continued to walk, luckily moving about on this part of the volcano was made a lot easier due to it being relatively flat. From what he had seen of the volcano so far it was covered in fissures in the rock which meant plenty of caves, and with caves there would be a good chance of finding water due to the way they acted like funnels for any melting snow and rain in the area. Sure enough, after a good 20 minutes of walking he saw what he was looking for, the dark maw of a cave opened up ahead of him, somewhat lower down from his position. Wanting to preserve as much mana as possible Ethan cautiously climbed his way down and was soon standing looking into the darkness. He stood and listened, after a moment he picked up the unmistakable sound of dripping water.

The cave looked eerie though. No, it felt eerie. As if something was lurking within. Ethan tried to shake the feeling, but his thirst by this point was too appalling. He wasn’t sure if his meager amount of mana would be enough to handle any serious dangers within.

So he grabbed the only weapon available to him: his sceptre, at least he could amplify the power of anything he tried to do by using the thing. He cautiously peered in, hoping against all odds that his intuition was wrong. That there was nothing to fear inside the cave.

As he carefully stepped deeper into the cave his enhanced eyesight quickly acclimated to the darkness, and what he saw terrified him. Rows upon rows of giant skeletons stood guard in a formation. Each holding a greatsword, a mighty axe, or a massive warhammer.

He almost reared back from shock at the scene. He pressed himself up against a nearby rock formation expecting to be attacked by the strange skeletal figures at any moment, after a few moments nothing had happened and Ethan emerged from behind the rock to take another look. The skeletons were still completely still… looking closer he saw why. They were made from carved stone. Of course. Now that his sudden moment of blind panic was over he took more steps towards the statues, seeing something glinting on what appeared to be the back wall of the cave.

Was that…? Yes! A goddamn golden door. He would have burst out laughing if he weren’t in such a tense situation. Why would someone put a bunch of stone skeletons and a golden door half way up a damn mountain!

Steeling himself for a moment, he carefully approached it, he nearly recoiled in shock for a second time that day as a prompt popped into his vision:

You have reached the entrance to the [Unintelligible] dungeon of [Unintelligible]. Enter at your own risk.

Holyshit. There are dungeons in this world? He thought in astonishment. This world seemed more like some sort of twisted video game the further he delved into it, although he knew that was far from the truth.

Come to think of it. He’d heard about dungeons in passing, he’d just assumed they were simple places, named so by the people, and not full-on system-acknowledged locations.

I wonder what’s in here… He thought to himself as he gripped the handle. Another thought surfaced in his mind before he opened it How long could I potentially end up stuck in there, I don’t even know if I can face what is within here in my current state. I need to find and help Kothar still as well. I have no idea how he fared against those [Cultists]!

With those thoughts bouncing around inside his head he reluctantly let go of the handle. He could always return later in order to investigate. He instructed his AI to place a marker so that he would be able to find it, it tried using the built-in system that he used for navigation back on earth and was promptly given an error.

Error: Connection to server could not be established, No active GPS connections in range [Error code 3471].

He nearly face-palmed, of course that wouldn’t work. Instead he set about creating a simple enchantment on a nearby chunk on rock in the cave, the enchantment drew on ambient mana to produce a small amount of light and heat, so small as not to be noticable. When he had the time later he would be able to create another spell to look for objects drawing from ambient mana and would be able to find it by simply looking around. By varying how much mana the enchantment drew from the ambient environment by tiny amounts he would be able to create uniquely identifiable markers. Although satisfied with the results of half an hours work, he still frowned as he looked at his mana count again, creating that simple marker system had cost him a surprising amount of mana.

Sighing to himself he trudged around the cave looking for the dripping water, soon he found it and started the arduous process of filling up a stone cylinder he fashioned using magic.


A few hours later Ethan emerged from the cave and squinted his eyes as they adjusted from spending a few hours in almost pitch darkness. The sun was now much higher in the sky. If he were to guess the time he would say it’s the equivalent of 9 -10am.

That's something I need to implement as well, a reliable time keeping method and date system. Seriously, how do these people even function without anything resembling time keeping? Filing away yet another thought for later he checked his mana count, which was now helpfully displayed in the corner of his vision. Sighing at seeing such a painfully low count he limbered up and checked that his backpack was secure.

First things first, he needed a Roc egg. Ethan’s AI had roughly figured out where Kothar should be; which, much to Ethan’s annoyance was on the opposite side of the volcano. That gave him the perfect opportunity to look for an egg as he flew over to him, it would take longer to circle around the volcano’s perimeter instead of taking a direct V-line, Ethan just held onto the hope that Kothar was ok and that the time spent would be worth it.

In a much more swift way than before Ethan shot into the air. Compared to his previous speeds he was moving slow, now just at 25m/s to ensure he wasn’t using more mana than he was generating every second. He was still flying faster than cars would usually drive on highways however. He made a few lazy loops around the small area of the volcano he had just been standing on, letting his AI analyse what he was looking at for an elusive Roc egg that he had been distracted from acquiring for way too long now. He had no idea what one would look like, so instead of directing the AI to look for an egg he instructed it to look for nests. Immediately a few matches were found, but they were all nests for small birds that braved the cold weather at these heights. Filtering out these nests left him with no matches in his immediate area. Slightly annoyed that there wasn’t anything nearby, Ethan started making his way around the perimeter of the Volcano in order to get to Kothar, and search some more.

Making use of his new [Soul Vision] spell in brief bursts to preserve mana had ensured Ethan avoided any nests that currently had Roc in them, it was quite easy to spot these considering Roc glowed quite brightly. It would have been tempting to just simply go and kill one and then take the egg, unfortunately that was not an option considering he hadn’t spent any time making offensive spells nor had the mana to use.

Instead he hoped to find the nest from the Roc that had been accidentally killed during his battle.

Half an hour of flying later, he nearly jumped out his skin.

A ping had popped up into his vision as he passed by yet another boring section of volcano, the AI had located what appeared to be an empty nest. Swinging round Ethan quickly saw the nest highlighted in his vision, highlighted a pulsating red by his AI. Taking a quick look around using [Soul Vision] he couldn’t see any Roc or other abominations of nature nearby that would pose a threat. Suddenly excited, Ethan flew himself over to the nest and carefully landed on the edge of it.

The nest was perched on a small outcropping, overhanging it by half a meter. It was assembled from a combination of sticks, dirt and lots of Roc feathers. Sat right in the center of the nest were three Roc eggs. Ethan didn’t immediately pay attention to this as something else took his attention. The nest absolutely reeked. Upon paying more attention to what the nest was made from Ethan realised why. Intertwined with the more general materials the nest was made from were severed limbs of various creatures, most of the flesh on them decayed to the point of being black. Slightly off-white bones could be seen as well. Flies swarmed angrily around the decaying flesh. Ethan looked on wide eyed, nearly missing the small, and clearly human limb. A full on hand was sticking out from the nest, much too small to be that of an adult. The rest of the arm of this poor child was clearly buried in the rest of the nest. Ethan averted his eyes in disgust and clamped his nose shut using his fingers. He found himself a lot more angry at Rocs. I’ll make it a damn high priority to kill as many of these things as I can during my life.

Forcing himself forward he was careful to keep his eyes averted from the human hand and to keep his nose clamped shut. A few steps later he was standing in front of the three eggs.

The eggs were surprisingly small considering the size of fully grown Roc, probably the size of an ostrich egg. They were a light green in colour and had small flecks of darker green dotted on them. Ethan mentally prepared himself as he let go of his nose and was hit full force by what he now recognised as the smell of decomposing flesh. He gagged at the smell, and to stop himself throwing up he focused instead on picking up the egg. Slinging his backpack from his back he rested it at his feet and quickly picked up an egg, wrapping it carefully in some spare cloth before putting it into one of the more protected pouches. Ethan was just about to button the backpack up again when he took a thoughtful look at the other two eggs.

No harm in taking all three I guess, maybe I could try and hatch them and see if I can get myself a pet Roc… Despite his circumstances Ethan smiled at his non-verbal pun. A pet Roc would be much more useful than the pet rocks people brought each other for christmas as jokes back on earth. His brief smile quickly turned into a grimace as he picked up the other two eggs and stowed them away. Not waiting another second he got out of the nest as quickly as possible, flying himself to another outcropping a couple dozen meters away. There he leant against the cliff face and happily breathed in some non-rancid air.

Ethan took a few minutes to recover his breathing and let the last bit of the smell fade. He then took a look around with and without [Soul Vision] enabled to make sure a Roc wasn’t going to suddenly barge into him in an attempt to make his limbs into nest building material. Undoubtedly sure that he wasn’t about to die a horrific death for stealing eggs from a Roc that was likely dead, he took to the air again to go and find Kothar, a task that he hoped would be a lot less disgusting than finding Roc eggs had turned out to be.


Kothar was feeling surprisingly good considering the injuries he had sustained the night before, having just opened his eyes a moment ago he fought off a few layers of grogginess and took in the environment. Judging by the sun he saw that it was around midday, it could be mistaken for a nice summer's day if it weren’t for it being so cold. He could feel something leaning against him.

Looking over his eyes widened a little as he saw Milandera leaning herself against him in a much too personal manner, smiling in her sleep. He went red a little and carefully started trying to lever her off himself. Kothar was too distracted with his task of carefully maneuvering Milandera so as to not interrupt her sleep that he didn’t notice a quiet “Whumpf” of air nearby.

“Awww, looks like someone's made a friend!” An all too familiar voice said, Kothar jumped in shock, but his face quickly lit up as he saw Ethan walking towards him in a confident manner, before he could get himself up or say anything Ethan was standing in front of him and offering him a hand up. A broad smile plastered his face. Under normal circumstances Kothar wouldn’t have accepted such help. It would have been way too big of a hit to his ego. However, considering his injured state he happily accepted the hand up and was pulled to his feet.

“You’re alive!” Kothar exclaimed “I thought that damn [Wizard] got the better of you. Your battle certainly made a lot of noise. How did you beat him?”

“Well, the basic version of the story is that after being chased by the thing I was visited by a goddess who granted me some cool new knowledge about soul magic, enabling me to beat him.”

“Surely, you jest!” Kothar exclaimed, “Although, your ability to conjure up spells from thin air seems to be your redeeming quality.”

“Well, I sort of cheated. Instead of developing a spell to attack its soul I instead just linked us together, keeping us both in a state of limbo. From my perspective I had to fight him in this weird realm, while from the outside it just looked like one of us suddenly flopped dead out of the sky.”

Kothar shook his head in disbelief.

“I think that you are crazy, what if you had lost this ‘soul battle’?”

“I didn’t really think about that too much, I didn’t intend to lose. Although it was close, it cost me an insane amount of mana to cast and maintain the spell apparently.”

“And what about this ‘goddess’?”

“What about her? She was called Memeta, and they apparently prefer to be called ‘Divines’. From what I gathered she seems to be one of the few divines that support me.”

Kothar still didn’t seem entirely sure that he believed Ethans descriptions of events.

“Well, you damn well better teach me about ‘soul magic’ if you want me to fully believe you. Otherwise, I’m just glad you’re alive. I didn’t fancy freezing to death up here, nor losing a new friend in such a way. You are also very lucky that using too much mana didn’t outright kill you.” Ethan’s smile was renewed at this.

“Oh don’t worry, I’ll teach you and others about the magic I’ve discovered in good time, it's good to hear that you consider me as a friend though… I was bit of a recluse back where I came from, and didn’t have many friends.”

Before they could continue talking Milandera stirred and muttered something unintelligible, before she was jolted from her sleep as she found her previous support no longer there and hit the floor. Blinking rapidly she pulled herself to her feet. Ethan looked on at her with interest, feeling an explanation was needed Kothar started talking.

“This is Milandera, she was taken captive by the [Wizard] and his [Cultists] and dragged along for, surprisingly, something that wasn’t your doing. She's been quite useful, did you know that the continent we live on is called ‘Meerenva’ and that the volcano sits on the borders of 4 different nations, including the Polarii and Odetta Republic? She also gathered some plants from around here and mixed them with some water, turns out that those things are very good at healing.” Kothar showed Ethan one of the gashes from his fight. It was surprisingly well healed considering he gained the injury less than a day ago.

“I was wondering what happened to those [Cultists], where are the bodies though?” Ethan questioned.

“I moved them,” Milandera replied “They were starting to smell really bad. Who are you anyway, are you that ‘Ethan’ Kothar was talking about?”

“Yep, the one and only, at least I hope. I’m not sure ‘Meerenva?’ could handle more people like me breaking the system,” Ethan looked back over at Kothar “Talking of Meerenva, why hasn’t anyone told me about simple things like the name of this place and that the Krell are in the geopolitical position of ‘Absolutely Surrounded’?” Kothar shrugged.

“Well, I never really paid much attention. I figured that it wasn’t important. I’d assume most Krell at least are aware that the continent is called Meerenva, and maybe about what nations we border. You have to remember that we are fairly isolated, both physically and metaphorically. We haven’t had an outside trader visit in a long time, particularly since the Polarii started attacking us. The world beyond the nearby hunting grounds and the volcano is of little interest to us.”

“Well… that explains a lot,” Ethan commented, “I have plans to make a lot of changes once I get this damn ‘Matriarch’ position or whatever they call it.” Kothar let out a burst of laughter, much to Ethan's and Milandera's confusion.

“It would be ‘Patriarch’ for you, unless you aren’t as much of a man as you appear!”

“Of course, makes sense, I guess.” Ethan mumbled. Kothar was giving him a dead serious look.

“Though. If you want that position we still need to get a Roc egg.” Ethan’’s face lit up in a smile again.

“Luckily for us, I’m one step ahead there.” He hefted his backpack off his shoulders and placed it on the floor, opening a flap and gingerly picking out a ball shaped object wrapped in cloth. Kothar simply looked on in shock.

“Not only did you manage to defeat some powerful wizard, you managed to obtain a Roc egg at the same time? You never cease to amaze me,” Kothar’s face morphed from one of shock to concern. “We will need to be really careful climbing down, wouldn’t want to break the egg… and that reminds me,” Kothar pointed at Milandera and himself, “We are parched. Do you have any water left, I used up the last bit of mine.”

Ethan reacted by passing his stone canteen over to Kothar.

“I can happily say that visiting a Roc Nest is something I never want to do again.” Kothar nodded in agreement.

“To answer your other question, don’t worry if an egg breaks. I have three.” Milandera and Kothar both stared at Ethan like he was some kind of lunatic.

“Also, who ever said anything about needing to climb down?”


Shouts of surprise and shock filtered through the Krell onlookers as they saw Ethan touch down outside the large tent that the elders used as their meeting place.

The collection of a couple hundred tents that Ethan had just landed in was probably the closest thing that the Krell had to a capital. Kothar and Milandera also floated down beside him, although their landings weren’t so graceful as whatever invisible force was holding them up seemed to vanish when they were still a meter above the ground, resulting in them landing heavily on their feet.

“Sorry!” Ethan exclaimed as they both recovered from the rough landing. His solution had been quite simple in the end, it took him a few minutes to modify the flying spell so that its effects covered a larger area and could lift more people, or things, if need be. The only downside was that it cost a lot more mana to maintain, and anything else apart from the user being lifted by the spell wouldn’t be as controllable in the way it moved. Ethan was nearly out of mana again after making the flight. Using the spell in this way had made him curious. If needed, it could be used as a horrifically inefficient telekinesis spell. The spell was designed to propel objects in a linear and rough handed way, compared to the precise and controlled manner that a usual telekinesis spell would.

“A warning would have been nice.” Milandera commented as she brushed some dirt from where her knees had hit the ground. Around them a crowd had gathered, muttering among themselves at the wonder they had just seen. Ethan didn’t realise it, but flying magic was a very rare thing to be able to perform. A small group of Krell [Warriors] pushed through the gathering crowd and surrounded the trio, lowering their spears to point inwards.

“Oh, what now?” Ethan muttered to himself.

Silence persisted for a few moments until a Krell [Warrior Chieftain] walked up and past the [Warriors] and stood in front of Ethan. He looked up and down at Ethan before grunting.

“Welcome back. It seems that you have certainly been busy. I hope you have a good explanation to the destruction that your little battle caused. Quite a few people’s homes have been burnt down and one man was even crushed by the charred corpse of a Roc falling from the sky!” He shook his head “Weapons down” He commanded calmly, the [Warriors] surrounding them let their spears down and instead focused on making sure the crowd didn’t get to close.

“It seems that since you left that you have learnt a lot, I hope that the elders are pleased enough with your explanation to let you off. Though, I assume you have returned because you’ve completed the task that the elders asked of you?” He asked. Ethan nodded eagerly.

“That and then some.” He replied. Satisfied with the reply the [Warrior Chieftain] spoke to Ethan again.

“Good, you follow me,” He looked towards Kothar and Milandera, he pointed at her and questioned: “Who is she?”

Kothar quickly explained that Milandera was the hostage of the hostile [Wizard].

“We’ll have to question her later.” The [Chieftain] stated. Kothar stood over Milandera protectively. The man turned to Ethan, “But not now. Let’s go.”

Kothar and Milandera tried following.

“You two are not permitted to come.” They both deflated at this a little, and Ethan looked at them apologetically and shrugged a wordless ‘sorry’ to them. Ethan followed the [Chieftain] as he started walking towards the elder’s tent, the rest of the Krell [Warriors] dispersed back to whatever various duties they were performing.

As Ethan was taken inside the tent, Milandera looked excitedly over at Kothar, who now wore a nervous expression.

“Can we go look through the prisons and see if we can find Normand or any of the others now?” She asked.

“Sure, but stick with me. None of the others know who you are so if you go unaccompanied you’ll struggle to go anywhere without being questioned.”

With that, he gave another glance towards the elder’s tent and just about caught Ethan's black hair as he pushed through the fabric covering the entrance.


“...And that brings me to standing here, in front of you.” Ethan finished up his 15 minute long explanation of what happened to a lot of nodding heads, ensuring that he held one of his Roc eggs in plain view, to back up the story. He made sure that the other two were safely hidden in his backpack, there was no reason for them to know about them. During his explanation he also briefly showed them his sceptre and new ability to fly, both of which amazed them beyond doubt. Ethan stood in front of the Krell council with the [Warrior Chieftain] and some other Krell standing behind him. All 12 members of the council were present as they stared on at him with varying levels of interest in their eyes. Most seemed quite happy that he had come back from completing their test, and also had enjoyed his description of events. Despite some protest Elder Ro had skipped them straight past the discussion about the damage that his actions had caused, upon hearing that it wasn’t even him who was firing the ‘magic missiles’ or lighting bolts. Being one of the twelve members, Eragoth was present, she stared daggers at him the entire time, lucky she was sat at one of the ends to the table so he didn’t have to look her in the eye too much.

“Well, you’ve definitely passed the first stage; the test of brawn. Which means we can step straight into the second stage, the test of intellect.” Ethan visibly deflated upon hearing there was more to be involved, which Elder Ro noticed immediately.

“That’s got you down? You honestly didn’t think the process is as simple as getting a Roc egg, did you? If getting an egg were all that was required to become a Krell leader any random person would be able to do it, at least in theory.”

Well, you gotta deal with things as they come at you. I just need to get on with this process so I can finally get the power I need to bring about some serious change. Ethan thought. Another one of the elders sitting next to Elder Ro started speaking, Elder Oria if he remembered correctly.

“Now then, the second stage is called the test of intellect for a-” Before Elder Oria would get far into her sentence she was interrupted by shouting outside the tent. Moments later a strange figure ran inside and barged past Ethan. He came to a rapid stop once he saw the Krell council was in front of him, looking from end to end of the table he took a few steps back and nearly bumped into Ethan again. The Krell [Warrior Chieftain] was suddenly no longer behind Ethan, instead he had his spear levelled directly at the figure. The guy was clearly human, just fairly short, and was caked in mud and leaves from head to toe. He was panting heavily, having clearly just run a long way. Upon seeing the spear pointed at him he raised his hands. Moments later a dozen Krell [Warriors] also barged into the tent, all panting and seemingly exhausted, they had their spears drawn and surrounded the figure in a rough semi-circle shape.

“Sorry, elders-” huff “-The little bastard is f-” huff “-Fast, he's been muttering something about the Polarii and desperately needing to see you. Upon finding out-” huff “-finding out that you were busy he broke into a run and made it all the way here.” Elder Ro waved the panting [Warrior] a hand. Ethan took the chance to take a few steps to the side, curious to see what this was all about. He set his AI to make a detailed analysis of what he was seeing and hearing.

“Don’t worry, this is Uvak. I know who he is, you should have sent him straight here! He's been instructed only to return if there is a development with the Polarii. Now shoo, we have important matters to discuss.” Surprised at the sudden dismissal the [Warriors] nodded respectively, raising their spears and trudging out of the tent in a much more composed manner than they had entered in.

“So, Uvak. Why is it that you interrupt our meeting?” The small man was still breathing heavily, but he didn’t let this hinder him as he spoke.

“I was conducting my spying mission on the Polarii encampment a few days journey away, as instructed and witnessed a new Polarii [Commander] arrive, Yulra!” Muttering passed between the elders at the name, “He held some sort of celebration upon arrival and using a listening spell I found out…. they plan to amass an army of six decima strong! Which from what I understand is around 300,000 men. Once they assemble this army they plan to march on the volcano immediately… a-and… they don’t plan to leave a single Krell alive!” He seemed to deflate upon saying this, but continued speaking regardless, “We need to get out of here immediately! There is no way we can hold off an army of 300,000 highly trained Polarii with a rag tag army of 10,000 men, even with the Volcano acting as a great natur-” Elder Pa stopped him here.

“That's quite enough, Uvak. We are the ones who will make a decision such as that, not you. Though, this news you bring is troubling, do you have any way of proving that what you’ve said is true?” Uvak responded by making a strange series of muttering before poor quality sound filled the room, Ethan recognised what it was immediately, a magical recording! Ethan and the elders listened in interest to Yulra and his generals discussed their plans, horror grew on the face of the elders as the recording continued, after a minute or two the “recording” stopped and the tent was left in silence. Elder Ro decided to break it.

“Thank you for this troubling information… you may leave now, Uvak. Take a week to relax and then I need you to head straight back out there and report to us any more developments.”

Uvak nodded enthusiastically before turning and leaving the tent almost as abruptly as he entered. The elders quietly murmured to each other for a few moments as soon as he was gone before they all turned to look at Ethan in unison. Elder Oria spoke.

“Well, it seems that circumstances have changed. We need a leader, even if they make the decision to flee the volcano. We need one now. Normally, a member of the council would be elected, but it seems we may have a better candidate. Leave us to discuss this.”

Elder Oria motioned for him to go towards the door, Ethan nodded before following her command and leaving the tent.

Ethan's heart leapt into his throat as soon as he exited the tent. He stood just outside the door and looked up at the Mother of Chaos in front of him, smiling to himself.

This could finally be my chance to matter, while they argue or whatever, I guess I’ll spend the time creating some spells that I may need fairly soon.


Name Ethan West Species Human
Class (1st) Harbinger – Science (Level 11) Strength (STR) 18
Class (2nd) Magineer – Chaos (Level 11) Vitality (VIT) 17
XP (Deferred) 656 (0) Dexterity (DEX) 23
AP/SP Available 0 AP / 0 SP Agility (AGI) 24
Health 173/173 (+1.7/min) Intelligence (INT) 39
Mana 74/319 (+1.95/min) Wisdom (WIS) 29
Soul type Sapient Will Power (WIL) 122
Title Description
Divine Lawbreaker You have broken a Divine Law and incurred the wrath of the heavens. Beware the consequences.
Runebreaker You have transcended all forms of magic and unlocked the more mystic base elements behind it. You now wield great power over the arcane. Beware lest you err!
Divine Slayer You managed to do what few claimed to do throughout the history of the world: to slay a higher being and live to tell the tale!
Divine Artificer You have created a divine-grade artefact. Guard it dearly, lest it falls into the hands of your enemies!
Affliction Level Description
Mana Deficit 1 (0%) Your mana has regenerated, but the effects linger. Your mana regeneration is halved for one week.
Skill Level Progress Cost Description Origin
Analyse (Active) 9 0.18 5 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) 5 0.22 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) 2 0.27 15 MP You assemble a schematic quickly and efficiently. 10% Less material wasted per level. [Engineer, Level 1]
Adjust Entropy (Sustained) 6 0.78 ~ Adjust the level of entropy in a system or creation. 10% To effectiveness per level. [Chaos Engineer, Level 5]
Stabilise (Active) 2 0.88 ~ 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) 5 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) 3 0.56 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]
Design Schematic (Active) 2 0.43 100 MP Allows you to design a schematic. [Scientist, Level 2]
Chaos Reign (Passive) 1 Chaos reigns! Your mere presence instigates chaos around you. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]
Meld (Active) 1 4 MP You shape an object or material to your liking, consuming mana in the process. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]