I’ve been writing today, and as that is a creative art as well, I’m using that as my contraption. It says chapter one, but there’s been a prologue that explains a bit of the background. This should be readable on its own though, and make sense. The setting: a virtual reality massive multiplayer online role playing game that has just gone live.
Chapter 1: Hello, World!
The first thing I noticed upon entering the world was the cool breeze on my skin. Upon opening my eyes I noticed I was dressed in a simple cloth items. I giggled a bit at this, for some reason all the starter equipment in any game always looked like crap. I guess it’s incentive to go out and get better, but really, did it have to be almost falling apart?
Looking up I saw the guildhalls of Threefold. The Arcane Halls, the Fighting Grounds and the Explorers Tower. I had to stifle a grin as I thought of the Explorers Tower. Although explorer was an actual class that could be played, the tower was little more than a coverup for the thieves guild that was hidden inside.
Before I could set out to any of the three guildhalls, a servant approached me. “Eilise, good to see you made it. I have have these for you.”
He hands me a small backpack, and leaves after a quick goodbye. Curiously I look into the backpack. This was new, nothing like this happened in Beta. Opening the backpack I found a few memory-skill crystals. These I did remember from Beta. It was a rather elegant way for the game to teach you new skills without you having to spend hours in a training yard. You held the crystal up against your forehead and the memories, and with it the skills, would be transferred to your character, and as this was virtual reality, to you.
It was a rather ingenious system that was already being used outside of the game as well to imprint actual real life skills on people without having to spend months training them. You’d still need the aptitude in real life to be able to actually use those skills, but inside of the game, that part was handled by your new body.
One by one I held the stones up to my head. A bright flash and the crystal dissolved. I’d obtained my rewards from Beta:
Bonus earned: Pathfinder – You are the most traveled beta player, +25% change to find a path to your destination. Also grants title “Pathfinder”
Bonus earned: Eagle-eye – Hidden achievement – You saved the eagle king despite it not being a quest goal during the burning caves raid and got rewarded with extraordinary sight – spot +10% chance
Bonus earned: Silent trod – Your passage through many an enemy camp unseen has taught you to walk quietly
Bonus earned: Nimble – Your climbing, scampering, jumping and crawling has payed off – +10 to any dexterity related activity
Achievement unlocked: Early access
Achievement unlocked: Hello World!
That was odd. Two achievement rewards without any explanation. Early access could refer to me getting in the game before time, but five minutes wasn’t something to write home about, even it was half an hour in game. Bit odd for a reward. And the Hello World! Achievement made no sense at all. Ah well, I will figure it out later, for now i’d need to get my guild membership to get my first class skills.
Heading towards the explorers tower I took a better look at it. It was a bit different than Beta too. A total of 6 floors. No wait, make that 7. It was a bit hard to spot but there was an extra layer of windows that were harder to spot. Quite ingenious, the windows above and below had been shifted down and up a bit to mask the difference in height between the “visible” floors.
I walked into the tower and walked straight past the explorer stall. Against the back wall of the room was a locked door. They had moved the key to the door since Beta, but it took me only a few seconds to spot the new location. I grabbed the key, unlocked the door and went up the stairs.
Each floor had its own theme. The first, or ground floor had the explorer class, the 2nd floor had the acrobats, the third floor had thieves, the 4th assassins, the 5th nightblades, the 6th ninja’s and the.. Wait, where was the 7th floor? I traced my steps back and was able to notice the difference in the stair lengths, but the 7th floor was not there.
I went back outside to double check my earlier observation. Standing a bit closer now, and knowing what to look for, there was no doubt that there was indeed an extra floor. I circled the tower twice when my eye fell on the ivy that went up to the 2nd floor. Where the ivy stopped a few of the stones tuck out just a bit further. I took a quick look around. This was the back of the tower, there were no nearby buildings or windows on this side that would easily spot me. Also it was still early morning, and the sun was just about to rise. There were enough shadows that I was decently certain I could climb up unseen.
I had no intention of getting caught. This game did actually have jail time, and being caught on your first day ingame and not being able to play for whatever time the sentence would be, was not how I wanted to spend my time here. So looking around to see that there were no witnesses I climbed up the ivy, the stones, over to the camouflaged windows. Looking in I noticed the window had bars and a lock.
I looked around, the front door of the guilds usually had the tools to enter needed nearby. For the mages it was a spell to open the door, for the fighters guild there was an assortment of weapons to challenge the guardian and for the thieves guild you had to find the key to enter. As this was part of the guild tower, a solution had to be nearby.
It wasn’t long before I spotted the solution. Behind the bars was a table, and upon the table, just out of reach there lay a hairpin upon the table. I removed my backpack from my back, squeezed it through the bars, and swung it from the handle. When it was over the hairpin i dropped so it lay upon the table, and dragged it towards me, pin and all.
Now I hadn’t officially gotten the lockpick skill yet, but the game allowed for untrained actions, and I did do a lot of lockpicking in Beta. So after unfolding the hairpin and fumbling a bit with the lock it sprung open. I opened the bars and climbed in the window, ready to explore whatever secret was hidden behind.