Adjustment 2.17

Adj 2.16               Adj 2.18

Finishing off my gator meat skewer I stare at the fort which has at this point started to crumble. The heat must have been too much when combined with the rampaging of the treasure rabbit and several holes are now visible.

Walking up to the building I start ripping it apart where it seems weak, but after just a few minutes I’m both winded and unsure if it’s going to be enough. Instead of breaking the building down I instead create a room inside of it so that I could safely enter.

I use much less mana then previously as I carve the sigils in my soul. The point of this was finesse, not blunt useless power and as such the resulting walls are thinner, and actually denser, then the walls above. Given enough time an earth mage could make wondrous buildings and labrynths like this, including, the iconic wizards tower. No normal material would be able to take the abuse of an accident.

It was never the roomiest building before, as it was constructed in haste, for very rudimentary protection. But now with the extra walls it’s only possible to describe it as cramped. I can barely move underneath, and as a result end up crawling mostly. Near the opposite side of the fort is a charred corpse, obviously the treasure rabbit die to both its size, and the unharmed jewel in the center of its forehead. Taking my knife I attempt to pry the gem lose, and after a few attempts I succeed.

In the palm of my hand now is an ice blue sapphire ring. It’s surprisingly cool to the touch and I attempt to identify it. It succeeds on the first try and I am shocked at the irony of it. A Ring of Cold Absorption is a relatively obscure accessory, most would gloss over it in favor of a Ring of Cold Protection with nary a second thought. It doesn’t absorb cold magic so much as lessen the entire spectrum of cold as a sense.

For example with a ring of cold absorption on one could walk around in shorts in the snow and not even notice. It’s a survival tool because along with the dulling of the senses, your body too is strengthened against it. The effect in combat is negligible however.

Putting it on I smile in satisfaction, certain that it will prove useful later.

With castellum in tow behind me I attempt to approach the ironwood trees once again. I feel trepidation in my heart as we we once again sneak past the scorpion made of bugs. Heart still aflutter we pass where the ambush gorilla attacked us. We do not encounter the ambush gorilla this time as we approach the tree.

It’s thin and imposing, supporting a great plume of branches and leaves spanning over a hundred feet in height from a small trunk just barely a foot in diameter. It’s strength must really be like metal to support that kind of monstrous weight.Despite this I still hear the rhythmic thunk of something trying to eat it, like a woodpecker. Laughing out loud I finish approaching the tree and look up to see what had the audacity to try and eat an ironwood.

Sitting in the branches is a girl.

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Adjustment 2.16

Adj 2.15         Adj 2.17
I reinforced the entire fort twice. The first time I took care of support pillars, making sure that the structure could withstand the added pressure I was about to place on it. The second layer I used more than doubled its weight as I just added extra sections of rock onto the already built structure. It was a crude method, but it should work to keep the monster contained.

Using all of my concentration I quickly summoned my bag and sorted things by whether or not they were flammable. Throwing everything flammable inside I also spread lamp oil over it all, leaving a sheen on all the furs and hides.

I stop for a moment to gather firewood and throw it inside as well. As I’m in the midst  of preparing a second load I see the treasure rabbit catch up, forcing me to accelerate matters. I quickly turn toward my makeshift oven and stand in the doorway. Castellum is far enough away I hope that he’ll survive the encounter.

As the rabbit charges me I use wind magic to lower the air resistance on my body and dodge out of the way. Slightly quicker. It’s easier said than done though as it still catches me with the tips of its claws, shearing straight through my armor and shirt like they weren’t even there. Long red gashes run down the side of my chest, soaking me in my own blood, but it took the bait and is now inside the trap.

Casting fireball I catch the entire room on fire as I close and lock the door with stone barriers. I hear furious shouts and screams coming from inside as the building shifts under the rabbit’s assault.

Dropping to my knees I attempt to gather enough strength for a single stone spear. I keep it at the ready,   should the rabbit break through.

Gradually the screams abate, right around the same time that my vision starts to blur. My last sight before I fall unconcious are several notifications appearing….

Stirring awake I shiver. It’s cold out here. Looking at myself in confusion I wonder what happened just as the fog around my memory begins go part and it all starts to come back to me. Patting my stomach I see that I’ve already healed, despite my precarious position outside without any real protection.

I pick myself up as I hear something approach. It’s Castellum, larger than I remember and with a small croc in his mouth.

Caatellum must have fended off the monsters while I slept. Coming to that conclusion I scratch his ears thoroughly, giving him all the loving I can. “Whose a good boy. Whose a good boy!” I coo. I wish I still had my treat bag on me, but that was something my real life body has.

I dismantle the young croc, putting the results into my inventory except the meat. That I begin to cook over a spell. We earned a good meal.

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Adjustment 2.15

Adj 2.14        Adj 2.16

The wall I create shudders but doesn’t break, and I hear a great hiss coming from behind it. I recklessly use teleport to try and gain some distance between us and notice the glimmer of metal in the corner of my eyes.

Turning my head I see that the sun was just starting to ebb and it’s changing angle revealed a spear, partially embedded in the ground.

I don’t change my direction, I lack trust in myself to be able to pick up pace fast enough again. Instead I modify teleport to change my facing by 90 degrees. I feel wind pass my back as I finish teleporting and a cold sweat breaks out on my back. This thing was seriously fast. I repeat the trick with the wall, creating another one directly behind me as I reach out to pick up the spear. There’s a slight resistance bit with my momentum it yanks free. I change my direction again, this time making me head toward the spike traps I left behind.

Every few seconds I use teleport to try and shake the monster, either changing my direction, or just my position by a few feet. It takes my entire concentration to make the modifications and I almost trip a few times. As I near the traps I almost die.

In the place where I had just been there was a large rabbit with a jewel on it’s forehead. It was a goddamn treasure rabbit. I curse my luck.

Treasure rabbits are one of the few creatures in Fuzion where the level isn’t set. They can appear anywhere that there are monsters and they’re extremely aggressive. It’s usually a death sentence as they are very quick and have insanely high attack power. The only reason it didn’t destroy my wall was probably because it didn’t need to, using it as a jumping board instead. I wonder what it’s level is I lament, telepirting over the first spike trap and jumping over the second. I hear two quick crashes and I know that instead of giving me a chance to escape, they may have very well damned me.
Instead of teleporting over the next wall I crash through it, spears piecing my body and cracking as I force my way through. I instead use my teleport to dodge his next attack.

I lost barely 10% of my health from that maneuver but I know I would have lost substantially more if I had been hit by him. I see the snake to the right bit I ignore it and it’s dangers, as I have bigger trouble following me.

Another unique trait of treasure rabbits is that they will never stop chasing an opponent, so my only real hope is to kill it… somehow. For now I just need to get back to Castellum and pray that his wounds have healed. I’ll need to use every trick in the book of I hope to survive today.

Pushing myself to the limit I  continue this game of cat and mouse. I stop using teleport however, and instead create a bog around me to try and confuse the rabbit. Sliding on the mud from my momentum I continue teleporting, and manage to escape. I see the monster stuck in the mud for now, but I really only bought myself some time. With a renewed vigor I continue on my way until I come to the fort I built.

Whimpering can be heard from inside, it has a strange echoing effect because of the holes pierced in the roof. It increases in volume as I begin to pull the rock out of the doorway, cutting myself on it’s rough edges as a result of my haste. Ultimately that didn’t matter. What did mattwr was whether I could make a deadly enough trap…

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Adjustment 2.14

Christmas bonus chapter
(Expect the next chapter in a few hours)

Adj 2.13         Adj 2.15
I move Castellum, who whimpers painfully, into the fort. After laying him down in the center I pull the stone behind us, sealing us in complete darkness.

I roll onto my back and gather mana into the sigils for a water beam, however I add piercing and compact to the mix and let it loose above me.  I feel the air chill around me as a side effect, the only sensation i can feel until the water hits the roof. The resulting hole is quite small, barely an inch in diameter, but the light seemingly floods inside, allowing a partial sight in the murky darkness, no longer complete and absolute. The drain on my mana is significant with each shot, but this method allows me to be as precise as posssible, maintaining structural integrity as well as allowing air and light through. After two dozen or so shots, with rests inbetween to regenerate mana I relax and crawl toward Castellum. I hold him while he sleeps and look at my handiwork. The roof looks a bit like a chinese checkers board, the holes are fairly well aligned, however there are quite a few mistakes from a minor mishap or just mistaken aim. It’s quite difficult to be accurate  with something like this.

Smiling in satisfaction I turn around and push the stone that’s acting as a door out, crawling behind it.

I replace the stone 70% of the way in
And start to head back toward where we were ambushed.

I move much slower this time, almost creeping through the dense woods. If I was caught again there would be no escape. I hear a loud chuttering to my left, and in the distance I can clearly see a large snake, easily 12 feet in length.

I stop and inspect it; unwilling to take another big risk when I’m on edge already, attempting to enter the territory of a monster far beyond my caliber at the present time.

I see quite clearly that its even more dangerous than the gorilla. The snake is actually a host of insects and bugs, clinging to each other in the hope of tricking unwary prey. It’s level is clearly marked in red, showing that it is far beyond me.

Unfortunately I simply can’t leave my spear behind. The remaining ones at the village were of much worse quality and would never be able to withstand my magic.

Slowly creeping away I head deeper into the forest, looking every which, still confident that id be able to reach there unmolested.

Still with a sense of caution nagging me in the back of my head I lay the spike traps down from when I fought the antlions behind me as I advance.

After I cross sevèral dozen more yards the warning bells in my head start blaring. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something dangerous nearby I intuitively know. I steel my will and burst into a full on sprint. Whatever it is probably knows I’m here. I never trained myself in stealth on this incarnation.

I might as well be holding a floodlight above my head. If I can keep my distance like with the snake that’s one thing but… I’m certain that’s not the case here.

I pass something low in the bushes and tracking activates alerting me to its presence. Without breaking stride I throw an earth wall down between us, hoping to buy time.

I wont go down easy. I seethe inwardly at the prospect of falling to something I could have avoided.

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Adjustment 2.13

Adj 2.12                Adj 2.14

I teleported as far away as I could, at this time a prodigous 4 feet.

With the sudden movement on my part the gorilla approaching from behind lost all trace of stealth and roared in challenge. I felt every hair on my body stand up as I was frozen stiff. Stunned.

The gorilla races toward me, raising both of it’s large fists above his head in a hammerblow and smashes at me.

Just as fear starts to overpower my reason and knowledge that this wasn’t strong enough to one shot me I was tackled by Castellum, pushing me clear of the attack.

I hear a sharp crack and a yelp from my wolf as the gorilla’s attack finds a different target.

Castellum’s health dives down, it’s already in the red close to death and the gorilla is attempting to smash again.

Roaring I charged at the ape, throwing my spear as I activate several sigils, resulting in it being imbued with a lightning spell.

It barely scratches him, mostly bouncing off his thick hide, however it is enough of a delay for me to be able to rapidly close the distance, teleport in to grab Castellum, and teleport away. I start sprinting away, lavishly using teleport to add distance between us.

If I was alone I probably would have escaped, but I had Castellum, and I couldnt banish him while his wounds were so deep or he would never survive the trip. Instead eith my speed I manage to make it to a particularly large tree which I climb. Because Castellum is in my arms I have to rapidly teleport as Im falling and attempting to slow my descent, making it look like I’m jumping up the tree.

As I reach the top of the tree I start casting a large scale spell, I’ve never done this before , but at this point I don’t have a choice if I hope for us to both survive. Closing my eyes I concentrate as I put together a series of sigils, filling them with copious magic just in case, so as to stabilize them. Debilitating, Forceful, Massive, Swift, Reckless, fire, sphere, velocity. 8 sigils was enough to drain nearly my entire mp bar, so I down an emergency mana potion, and pray it’s enough.

Letting loose the spell I can see that the gorilla is nearly on me, being as it was a much more proficient tree climber.

The fireball erupts from my hand, nailing the gorilla in its eye. Screeching I see it start to fall to the ground and I attempt to finish it off. I create a spike pit underneath it made of stone. I could have made them of harder materials but unfortunately I suffered from a lack of mana and couldn’t afford the mp cost.

The gorilla hits the stone spike pit, shattering it and crushing my hopes as it struggles to get up. That spell I cast at least showed an effect, taking an eye from it.

Just as I’m about to start running again I see the gorilla no longer wishes to fight, retreating back the way we came. I finally take a moment to identify it as it stumbles away. Ambush Gorilla Lv 18. I shudder, dropping to the ground with Castellum. My arms are on fire bit I set him down slowly and make a fire.

After several hours Castellum starts to heal, it looks as if the Gorilla nearly broke his spine in that first attack, instead it merely shattered several of his ribs.

I occasionally have to fend off monsters, but none are above level 15 and I can skillfully handle them with my magic alone. It would have been easier with my spear but unfortunately I can’t afford to risk leaving to get it. At least not until Castellum is fully healed. Inbetween assaults I create a small fort out of stone, and using clever design and placement of support beams I can pull a small stone cube about two feet across into place, sealing it off from the outside world.

It’s not perfect, it’s not even particularly fast, but it’s something in case the gorilla comes back.

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Adjustment 2.12

Adj 2.11                Adj 2.13

Hunting the white wolves proved far less easy for Castellum than I had expected.  It was such smooth sailing at this point that I just thought it would continue.  The white wolves were level 9. Even with my support it was an awfully dangerous task for Castellum.  Every time we killed one he was extremely close to dying himself.

Unfortunately healing was a separate school of magic,  it laid in the realm of the divine which I had no idea how to learn of.  For now I have Castellum retreat when low and I hold him off until Castellum can finish him off. It’s less efficient,  however the majority of experience goes toward him which is what I really need. So we wait and we kill,  we wait and we kill.  Time swiftly passes as we get into this trance of healing in between fights.

A week passes like this and both me and my wolf grow in strength.  We reach lv 13, having successfully hunted the wolves and  stags in this bottom forest to near extinction.  There is a broad stretch of land where I have set up a new camp,  at a certain point in my expeditions I decided it would be easier to just set up camp here and  just to head back for repairs and to sell off my loot. In the meantime I crafted myself a cloak and new set of armor with the fur of the white wolves and the leather of a small alligator that begins appearing in the area past another river.

Every day I climbed up the hill to load the cart with materials and to hunt the antlions to the point where climbing the cliff here was almost automatic.  So much easier than the first time,  where I had nearly died. Since that second message I haven’t been contacted by the Admins again,  so I just have to assume all is going as they planned.

Eating some fruit with the deer meat on my fire I prepare to head out.  Castellum has grown substantially at this point,  he is now up to my waist and lithe with power. I whistle and Castellum races to me,  a dead wolf in his mouth.  Chuckling I toss it into my inventory,  pleased that we had grown so much in such a short period of time.

This time we penetrate deep into the forest. A mist covers the area where we are now traversing, causing me to slow down, or risk falling to certain doom. Here is where my magic truly shines, as I am able to fend off monsters before they can approach our precarious position between pits and poisonous snakes. My spell usage has slowed as I’ve leveled, mostly due to the more mana intensive spells I use. Larger more penetrating spells like lightning took precedence over my previously rapid fireballs.

With my swift mama regen as long as I keep a slow pace I can keep these spells going for nearly an hour.

A large poisonous frog jumps out of a pit and aims at me. I teleport backward then fire a lightning spell stunning it as Castellum returns to savage it. I put it in my inventory and continue pressing forward in search of the ironwood trees. They shouldn’t be far from where I am now. [Danger Sense],A skill I created at lv 10 from [Animal Knowledge] which I had relearned, and [Tracking], activated alerting me to a new threat. A large Gorilla, easily twelve feet in height was sneaking up on me from behind.

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Adjustment 2.11

Adj 2.10       Adj 2.12

My room feels more cramped than I remember after my long day. I flop down onto the bed, ignoring the rumble in my stomach and just try to sleep.

Before long I nod off into oblivion.

I wake up with a weight on my chest and notifications in my window. Opening my eyes I see that they’re alerting me to the fact that I need to name my new companion, who, somehow has been summoned right on top of me. The wolf is fast asleep on my chest and I quite like it. I name him Castellum which is latin for castle.

With training and some time hopefully he will make the difference between life and death for me. Shifting Castellum off me I head out, with him right behind me.

I sell off the loot, keeping the first white wolf pelt for myself, and the small jewel. I then take care of my repairs and grab a new, much sturdier knife, as well as some more rope. This time I’ll take the safer route and just climb down the cliff.

On the way toward the cliff I let Castellum take care of the usual monsters, using my magic to support him with fireballs and placement. Knocking enemies away or leaving them vulnerable to his bite. It’s surprisingly easy as Castellum  is already a level  higher than the other wolves,  proving his experience in battle. Soon  enough he leaves his brothers further behind,  as he quickly levels with my guidance and support. In no time at all we reach the antimony.  I leave my traps in my inventory,  instead choosing a different strategy.  I erect a pedestal for me to stand on over ten feet high with magic,  and have Castellum trigger them.  As they erupt from the ground the any closest to me is pierced by a stone Lance,  pinning it to the ground.  Castellum finishes it off,  severing it’s head from its body in a furious series of vicious bites.

Fireballs erupt near him,  in an attempt to ward off the other seven. It works for now,  and Castellum pounces on an antlion I trip with earth magic,  savaging it.  I attempt to restrain the monsters again,  but it seemingly fails,  as one takes the fire to the face in an attempt to attack my companion.  Leaping from my pedestal I pierce the antlion with my spear,  pinning it in the fire.  It’s  a little hot for comfort,  but I’ll survive as my own flames are intrinsically less dangerous  to me.

With Castellum at my back,  surrounded by fire,  we duel the antlions,  forcing them into submission.  I don’t forget to extract their acid glands.  They’ll  be useful to the village later. Those that attempt to flee are promptly transfixed to the ground with an earthen spear then finished off. I grin in satisfaction as my wolf lays down on the ground,  with an antlion head between his paws.

I’m finally starting to feel like an adventurer again.

We repeat this fight with the antlions multiple times,  eventually getting enough sacks to fulfill the request while simultaneously leveling Castellum.  He seems to grow bigger with each level,  at first his shoulders were barely two feet from the ground,  but now they’re several inches higher. I think  he’ll  match the white wolves in size when he matches them in level. Stat wise it looks like Castellum is almost exclusively gaining strength and agility.  Despite my intentions he’s  looking to be far closer to a weapon than to a castle.

Now that I have magic the trents are barely worth mentioning, we ripped through them in no time. Finally seeing the cliff in front of me I begin to erect walls around where I intend to descend from. Leaving me in what is essentially a man made cave. The view from here was quite impressive,  it makes me wish the earth still had sights like these left. Tying down my rope and leaving my cart behind I begin to rappel down the cliff side after banishing Castellum.  Nearly everything of value  I had was in that cart right now and while I could let him guard it,  I’ll  really need him down here.

The descent  is far quicker than one might expect,  in part I blame that on my magic,  the other half I blame on experience and teleportation.  I create footholds where I need them,  and teleport to those I can’t get footholds for.

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