Welcome back to The Chronicles of One Telaran. This is the fifth installment of my column, and if you’ve stuck with me this far, all I can say is, I thank you. I also salute you, because it’s clear you have excellent taste.
Now, onto this week's adventure. It seems that the forest of Silverwood is being invaded by the followers of Maelforge, one of the Blood Storm. Rifts are popping up all over the place, spewing out fire goblins and big, scary ogre-type things. The Guardians want me to stop Maelforge’s followers from communicating with him and save the sacred forest of Silverwood.
Sure thing. I’ll get right on that. Seems pretty important. I’ll make it my number one priority—
A second later a dolorous bell echoes out of my speakers. Hmm. That's different. And slightly worrying. What's going on?
Then I find out. An invasion? ZOMG! For those of you who may be stumbling on to these articles for the first time, an invasion occurs when another plane of existence intersects with the magical Ward that protects Telara. This Ward is now crumbling, so when these intersection happen openings between our world and this invading plane occur, gateways, if you will. Doors? Bridges? Oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Tip of my tongue.
Ah, yes. Rifts. There we go.
Anyway, rifts from the Plane of Fire are popping up everywhere, and assorted creatures are jumping out to destroy wardstones, and it’s vitally important I stop them! I'll admit that I dithered a bit here. Is it really vitally important? Or is it the same "vitally important" information you were always told as a kid. Like, don't swim on a full stomach. Or don’t stare into the sun. I mean, I’ve just been told I have to stop Maelforge from his attempt to create a massive rift in Silverwood. Which is it? The wardstones or Silverwood?
Then a message pops up on my screen. One of the wardstones has fallen! And all due to my indecision!
I realize I really should deal with it. Who knows who might need my help? I check my map. The closest Ward Stone is 900 meters away. Without another thought, I start running through the countryside, pausing only to deal with any goblins I surprise along the way.
It’s a long run. The surroundings are rather pretty, but I heroically resist the urge to pause and take a look around. I keep getting messages about wardstones falling, and I’m worried I’ll be too late.
I eventually arrive at Quicksilver College. Oh. Wasn’t expecting this. A nice little gaming area. Lots of people, scholars, etc. handing out quests. I'll explore a bit later on. Right now, my mighty prowess is needed and I sprint over to the wardstone, only to find…
The invasion has already been defeated by some other players. Damn. Oh well. Good job guys. I suppose. All that running for nothing. On the plus side, it seems that Maelforge and his followers haven’t destroyed Silverwood yet, so obviously that can wait. I take a stroll around Quicksilver, taking on a few quests as I go.
I also decide to take on a craft. There are a lot of craftsmen and women around Quicksilver. I talk to a few to decide which I will take on. I briefly consider Outfitting, but then I realised all the other warriors will laugh at me. I’ll be sitting there sewing robes together while they’re forging Apocalyptic Swords Of Doom. I cave into my imaginary peer pressure and take on Weaponsmithing Instead. Cool. Now I can create a weapon that will cut my enemies in twain with a mighty sweep of my magical blade.
Not quite. I now have the ability to craft simple daggers and things like that. But first I have to gather up the materials. It’s an interesting little side-project to make some extra money, but I can’t continue my weaponsmithing lessons right now, because the dolorous bell once against rings through the game.
Invasion! The Ward Stone is once again under attack. I check my map and see rather a lot of red dots on the perimeter of Quicksilver. I sprint off, ready to lend my assistance to defeat the evil scallywags.
As I get close a box pops up to ask if I would like to join a public group, presumably so we can join forces to defeat the Fire Beasts that are attacking. I say "yes!", and then realize I have to click on the OK button and do that instead. Three character portraits pop up on my screen. One of them is level twenty four, and he has a string of buffs beneath his avatar that makes me feel incredibly inadequate. It’s the MMO equivalent of someone with PH.D, BSc, BA, MSc, MA, M.D, after their names.
He’s squaring off against a pretty huge fire monster, so I decide to give him a hand. As does a third person in our group. We attack. The Fire Monster turns its attention on me. Time to show everyone what I’m made of. I imagine the other players watching me with awe as I swing my weapons in a blurred whirlwind of speed and death.
“Hahah!” I say. “Prepare to meet your maker, foul beast.”
About three seconds later I’m dead.
Crap. That wasn’t how it was meant to go. I respawn and hurry back to my new companions, ready to lend my assistance once again. This time, I focus on the smaller creatures on the periphery, while Ability-Man takes down the bigger monster. This time I hold my own and we defeat the invasion. Awesome! I turn to my new companions for a high five, but they’ve already run off.
Oh. Be like that then. But still, my first group event, and it all went without a hitch. No worries about finding a group of the same level, no stresses about being stuck with this group once I'd joined. (As my new found friends demonstrated. It was a wham, bam, see you later dwarf.) I was free to come and go as I pleased. I didn't even have to see the battle through to the end. If I thought I was outmatched, I could respectfully turn and run my little backside off. Which I did. Once or twice. But only to regain some health.
I've walk around Quicksilver College for a bit longer, then decide I should head back and sort out those pesky followers of Regulos. Which turned out to be a bit easier than I'd initially thought.
Next week: We'll talk a bit about the Gods of the Vigil as I make my way through the Silverwood quests.