Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old School

First, I have to make a very public apology to Arcarsenal. I reported that he had died during our Mimirion encounter and it was incorrect, as he so wonderfully informed me earlier. ("Your blog is wrong Nem!") So, everyone, the RET PALADIN LIVES! *cough* In all fairness, he is one of the best DPS paladins on our server. He's consistent, skilled and clever. I adore him, but that's between us, hm? I wouldn't want him feeling special and thinking I was going to be nice or anything. :)

Aside from that, there's really nothing to report from the world. Our raid week doesn't really kick off until tonight, so there are no new attempts at anything. We foray into Ulduar 25 tonight, however, so there should be quite a few new stories to pass along come tomorrow.

As I promised in the beginning, most of my writing has been about the World and all the things we do in it. However, there are many other types of games I've enjoyed over my lifetime and some of them have been hilarious. Considering this, I've decided to dig deep into my memory of games past and dredge up a story to tide you over. Enjoy. :)


It had been a grueling three week long dungeon crawl. Every Tuesday and Thursday for years, a group of us would meet at the local comic shop, load up on mountain dew and honey buns and geek out hard core playing table top Dungeons and Dragons. (D&D, people. Oh yeah.) For anyone not familiar with the system, think Warcraft without the automation or the built in faction conflict. All of the storylines and conflicts came from the imagination of the Dungeon Master, or DM. You had to act out your characters part in the story and test your luck with real dice.

This particular campaign had been incredibly intense. Killman Knightbridge, King of the Dragons, had charged us with a quest to locate all of the forgotten Dragon Orbs. These ancient relics were used to summon the dragons back from the nether to which they had been banished during the Great conflict that split our world in two. Killman himself was no longer allowed within our realm, only able to speak with us through a hazy avatar and cryptic notes. I was a young, half-elven acolyte within a secret order of wizards, sorcerers and priests who had dedicated themselves to serving the Dragon King and awaiting his return. I was devout. I was steadfast.

A group of haggard adventurers found our sanctuary. Two dwarves, a cleric and a warrior; an elven bard and a human Paladin were among them. They bore a note scrawled on parchemnt that simply stated they were to find my master and get a map. They claimed Killman had sent them. However, my master was very ill and lie dying on a pallet when they arrived. It was up to me. I chose to trust them.

We set out with the map in hand to locate the first of the orbs. The battles were fierce; many times we came exceptionally close to losing one of our party. (Unlike Warcraft, death was far more permanent. Resurrection was expensive and cost experience as well as ability points. You took permanent rez sickness and had to start over.) The land was harsh and all the inhabitants were hostile. You couldn't trust anyone. In the course of our adventure, we came across a band of goblin pirates with the second piece of our map and a flying ship. We needed both, in order to access a secret coven of wizards that could lead us further. They wanted to trade. They needed an alchemist to make some explosives. It was a mission. We were going to find an alchemist.

For three more weeks (real time, two nights per week), we searched. During the course of our questing, we amassed enough experience to level up our characters. As the five of us sat around with player handbooks opened, assigning skill points, we discussed what we could try next. The struggle had been really tough, trying to find what we needed. Apparently, alchemists with a skill level high enough to create the powders needed just didn't exist.

We had hit level 12 (about the World equivalent of 60) which meant we got an extra ability point. Being a wizard, I decided to spend my point in intelligence. It meant a I got an extra boost to my skill points as well. Listening to the discussion of my friends ebb around me, I started doling out the points and leveling up. About midway down the list, I noticed one that stuck out and made a decision that has followed me for years.

My head snapped up, eyes wide. Everyone at the table focused on me. "Oh damn, guys. I have a +18 in alchemy. I'm an alchemist."

You can imagine their faces. O.o

Don't worry! I'm an alchemist. *sage nod*

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