Newton - Hey big guy, why so down?
Hardcore - Huh? Oh...who, me?
Newton - Yeah dude, why the long face? We just killed one of the biggest mobs in the area? We took it right from under Guild X's nose to boot! So why are you looking so bent out of shape about it?
Hardcore - Today I spilled innocent blood.
Newton - Innocent? Dude they weren't innocent by far! They were trying to steal our mob!
Hardcore - Our mob that we stole from them you mean?
Newton - They left the area.
Hardcore - So did we.
Newton - They only had two people, we have six!
Hardcore - And was it not so long ago that they had six to our two?
Newton - Right, and on that day THEY took the mob.
Hardcore - Aye, but I spilled innocent blood on that day too... that is why I am not happy. I am not happy with myself.
Newton - Dude, you are more than not happy, you're crazy.
Hardcore - Let me tell you a story. It started a long time ago when I was just a boy. A friend and I had just entered new lands and we were wide eyed and amazed at the sights we did see. As we walked around from place to place, we happened upon one of the denziens of the land and sought to make his acquaintence. I was the first to salutate him, thinking that I was the better speaker of my friend and me. "Greetings!" I said trying to be as friendly as possible. A minute later both my friend and I lay waylaid in the desert as a stinging swarm potion ate the skin from our very bones. Of course we survived the attack, that one and several others that would come that day, but by the end of the day we both vowed that never again would we be mistaken as weak. We set out on a path of destruction that rained fire down from the very gods themselves, who, when we happend upon them, were also slain accordingly.
Newton - Dude that's awesome!
Hardcore - Not so. You see, as we grew in strength and destructive power, so did we meet others who had grown likewise and were more than ready to meet our challenge. One by one as we defeated them we learned their ways, their habits, their exploits, until a time came where there was no one else to challenge us. We reigned supreme. Keep in mind however, this was but a small land, not nearly as big as the one we now inhabit. The after effect of our deeds, however, were no less pronounced.
Newton - And what was that?
Hardcore - Escalation...
Newton - Escalation?
Hardcore - Our way of doing things became the standard. Old and very important magics became lost as those who followed in the wake of our destruction chose only our paths to follow and nothing more. Entire classes of people began to disappear from the land and while all was focused upon attaining our heights, other heights, the heights of the noble men, who's lives had purpose, became obscured. Worse yet, we ourselves had lost the true meaning of life in these realms as it became supplanted with competition, survival, and base ego, the kind that can only be nourished through the absolute dominance of anyone and everyone weaker than ourselves. Not to say that we didn't meet anyone to challenge us along the way. Only to say that none of them, not one of them, wanted what we were going after more than we did. Black arts we did use, duping, plugging, tabbing, coding, cheats, hacks, exploits, the list was long. But by the time we were done the pure essence of adventure had died along with our innocence. We truly were gods of those tiny realms, and our church was the church of the cheating bastage.
Newton - So you are telling me that you are a king somewhere else?
Hardcore - Heh...Not so. Were that we could, we would have probably sat on those thrones forever. Alas, like all good kings go, we were dethroned by the one who wanted what he was going after more than we did. And once the deed had been done, we were punished again and again until, like dogs from the sound of a farmers "Call Lighting" spell, we were forced to retreat from those realms and start anew somewhere else.
Newton - But...why didn't you stay and fight?!? I would have stayed and fought!
Hardcore - Because while we fought, and we did, make no mistake. Our lives became dictated by just that, fighting. I ask you this young Newton, "Who is it that would fight his hardest in a battle which has no spoils?"
Newton - The spoils would be victory!
Hardcore - Victory, at least in these realms, has a cieling like everything else. There is only so much that one can do until they find that secret formula that is equal to the best that they will ever be. Once that secret is found, any fight between men simply becomes the luck of the draw. The configuration of the situation. Who stacked their deck the best today and tomorrow becomes the same loss. In short, it sucked. Life mutated into the same fight day after day, night after night. Victory, Domination all became pointless. All this beauty that you see around you now was reduced to an overblown game of parchment, rock, and shears. And worse yet, because of the wake that we left behind, less and less people even ventured to those realms for fear of being locked in that same game of chance.
So this is why, today, having to train Guild X in order to preserve our kill I am sullen. I am sullen not because they deserved it not, they did indeed. But did not have to do what I did. I have failed you and I have failed myself. I am sullen because rest assured, as sure as I did what I did, they are right now, at this very moment, creating or contacting a person just like me to do the same to others and to us if they get the chanve. I have shown them pandora's box, the true measure of my power when used for evil. And that, my friend, is the beginning of the end.
Newton - Dude, I think you're over-reacting.
Hardcore - In you're understanding, you would.
Dedicated to "Elasher" A guy who wanted it more.