Holy Moly (3-4-18)

Sunday Free Write [Link to post.]

Jake Wilson led two others through the dense forest toward the cave of the Goblin Prince. He wore elegant red and black wizard robes. This was only a guided tutorial for Ms. Carlson‘s benefit. Elle Carlson followed behind Jake wearing tight, dark leather clothes and a black leather trench coat. She had chosen to be a rogue., taking in the fantasy world around them. The trees of the forest were broader than a close family, and stood tall enough that she could not see the top of the forest canopy. All around them she heard unfamiliar sounds, and different colored lights darted through the air away from them. A single green glowing light was slow to move, and Elle caught a glimpse of wings within the glowing ball.

“Are those fairies?” She asked Jake. Jake stopped walking and turned to face her with a smile on his face. 

“Of course. Oren and I put a lot of work into this place. It’s as fantasy as can be. Of course fantasy games aren’t the only thing we can do here.” Jake gestured to the world around them. “But it seemed like a good, easy place to start.” Elle turned behind her to see Oren trailing behind them. The young pale boy with a widow’s peak distracted himself by chasing fairies, instead of keeping up with the two adults. He looked about 9 or 10, and he wore black clothes, though they seemed to be made of fine cloth and not the rough leather that Elle wore around her. 

“How come he’s not wearing his gear? And shouldn’t the Paladin be at the front of the group?” Elle asked. Jake shrugged and turned around to keep walking to the Goblin Prince’s cave. 

“It’s his game too. He can play it however he wants,” Jake said. The rest of the journey to the cave left Elle in awe. The sights, sounds, and smells all felt so real. Along the way she dared to eat her rations. They tasted horrible, but she ate every bite. She savored the gritty texture that fell apart in her mouth, the flavor tasted like a mouthful of pennies. She giggled while thinking of how rich this would make her. 

“Are you sure this is real?” Elle asked Jake once they reached their destination. She looked flustered, and held her hands up in front of her with her palms outward facing Jake. “I mean, I *know* you said it’s just a game, but I don’t mean that part. It’s just so much to take in. Is this really happening to me right now? And you promise my body is safe??” Jake nodded with a smile. 

It’s as safe as can be. Your consciousness is here but your body is safe back on your Earth in the boardroom, along with my body. Eva‘s keeping watch on things over there. C’mon, let’s finish this quest, then you can log out and get back to your body. Jake took a couple of steps towards the mouth of the cave and stopped. He reached his arm out to his side to stop Elle from going any further. 

“Since we’re on a quest for this, there are encounter triggers all over the place. They’re randomized, but I can see them because I’m a GM. There’s one right here.” Jake hefted his heavy wooden staff and used it to point at a blank spot on the ground. 

“I’m going to set it off so you can try combat against a moving target. Remember, you can use your skills just by thinking about them. Just do it the same way you did it with the practice dummies back in town, okay?” Jake asked, and Elle nodded. She ran through her skills mentally, at level 1 she did not have many. She focused on one, then she faded until her body was entirely transparent. Only a thin black outline showed her to other players. When she practiced her camouflage skill in town Jake explained the outline meant she was invisible to NPCs, but her party could still see enough of her to know where she was.

“Ready,” Elle said. She unsheathed an invisible dagger and held it ready. Jake walked around the trapped patch of ground, searching the immediate area around them. He reached the other side and stood facing Elle across it, then gave a slight sigh. 

“It’s going to spawn five goblins. I’ll tank them, and you take them out one by one.” 

“Just us?” Elle asked. She turned behind her to search for Oren, and realized that Jake looked for him too. Jake nodded when Elle’s attention focused on him again. 

“It won’t be hard, I just thought it’d be more fun with him playing too.” Jake snapped his fingers and green flames surrounded his robes. Then he reached his staff forward and touched the ground with it. Immediately five high pitched screams filled the ear as the goblins appeared and charged at Jake. 

He stood in place, looking almost bored, while the goblins began to beat him with clubs. Every time they hit him they took damage from the green fire protecting him. 

“Hey if you don’t do something they’re gonna kill themselves on me,” Jake said to the open air. Elle gripped the dagger tighter and picked out one of the goblins. Once combat began she noticed small green health bars hovering above everyone’s head. She chose the goblin with the most health and took two steps to the side to position herself behind the small brown humanoid with the ragtag equipment. In her mind she focused on the backstab skill.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHCONSECRATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The yell came from above before Elle could make a move on the goblin. She looked up to see Oren falling from the sky wearing a full set of blood red, boy sized, plate armor. Each arm held a round shield, but she saw no sword anywhere on him. 

Oren landed in between Elle and her chosen target. An explosion of golden energy rushed up from the ground and scattered the goblins around them. 

“Told you it’d be more fun with him,” Jake said with a chuckle. 

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