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Beta Journal - The Tale of Astad

Richard Cox Posted:
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EverQuest II Beta Journal
The Tale of Astad

Due to SOE recently loosening the restraints on what us beta testers can and cannot say I was recently allowed to write up a Beta Journal describing my adventures from level 1-9. Basically this first part is to give you an idea of what you can expect to find in the ship tutorial and on the Island of Refuge; or the Newbie Island as most people have taken to calling it. This is where you'll spend your first 6 or so levels. You can leave as early as level 4 or 5, but if you complete all the quests and everything you should easily be level 6 when you leave. So, this is my first-person account of the adventures of Astad, a Half-Elf Mage, during his time on the tutorial ship and on the Isle of Refuge. I hope you enjoy it! Part two will follow shortly detailing my early adventures in Freeport; levels 7-9.

"Day 1", Evening:

I say "Day 1" because I don't know exactly what day it is. I also don't know who I am or where I am. I found this empty journal though while digging around in the cargo hold of this ship I'm on, so I figured as long as I'm stuck here and trying to regain my memory I might as well keep an ongoing Journal of the experience. I'm starting it with "Day 1" because well, as far as my memory is concerned this IS the first day. Oh well, this will give me something to do to pass the time on this floating bit of wooden hell.

Day 2, Morning:

Morning... The sun streaming through the round window tells me that another morning has come. The fact that the window is still round reminds me I'm still on this god-forsaken ship. I don't know how much more of this incessant rocking back and forth I can take. Captain Varlos says I'll get used to it, that I'll "get my sea legs" as he calls it, but the only thing I'm getting so far is sick over the side of the ship, and quite often at that! I swear the first speck of land we stop at, I'm off this heap! And if we don't stop soon, I'll jump overboard and swim, I can't take this anymore! Of course it might help if I remember WHY I was on this damn ship in the first place. Or even if I remembered where I was going or who I was, any of it, I might not be in such a foul mood. All I know is that Captain Varlos and his crew found me floating in the ocean on some debris. They were kind enough to pull me aboard their ship. I couldn't remember who I was or where I had come from. Captain Varlos and the crew took to calling me Astad. It seems that along with my memories of who I was and what I did; I seem to have lost even some of the most common bits of knowledge. The crew has been working with me, helping me to relearn everyday skills like walking around, holding a conversation with someone, even the basics on swinging a weapon. As much as I complain about this blasted ship, I don't know where I'd be without Captain Varlos and his crew, even if he is a bit demanding at times. He's already bellowing for me from the deck. Probably has some more "lessons" for me to go over. Funny how the "lessons" he and his crew use to help me relearn things always seem to be centered around something he needs done on the ship... Oh well, let's see what he wants me to do today.

Day 2, Afternoon

Honestly, I'm beginning to think Captain Varlos is using me for his own personal entertainment! I think he's just making me do all kinds of silly things so he and the crew can laugh at me. Look up! Look left! Look right! Look down! Take a step to the left! Take a step to the right! Walk forward! Walk backward! Sidestep left! Sidestep right! I can obviously manage to get around just fine by now; they just like to see me dancing around on the deck like some great buffoon. And to top it all off that fool of a first mate has lost his blasted hat again and I've been ordered to find it. Too much more of this and I'll take my chances in the water, I swear I will!

Day 2, Evening

Imagine that, I found his hat in the boxes he was taking inventory from yesterday. It's a wonder this ship gets anywhere with someone so forgetful as First mate. I'm quite shocked he hasn't forgotten something important like the maps! Oh well, he has his "lucky hat" again, at least until he forgets that it's on his head or something and claims it's lost. I think tomorrow I'll go to the other end of the ship for a while, take a break from Varlos and his fool of a first mate. Besides, Ingrid is over there, maybe she'll have something for me to do. She's definitely one beautiful woman! She's actually grateful when I do something for her, and to top it off, when she does ask me to do something, it's something she needs done, not just something she can laugh at me about! If we weren't trapped on this blasted floating chunk of hell I would definitely be interested in spending some quality time with Ingrid. Oh well, I'm beat, time to hit the sack, I'll see if there's anything I can do for her tomorrow...

Day 3, Morning

Oh, how sweet, she had her eye set on some shard of Luclin that Vim the Merchant was trying to sell for some outrageous price. Apparently Vim had her busting her butt working for it though! Quick to realize this was my chance to make a real, lasting impression on Ingrid, I went to see Vim! If I could find a way to get the shard and give it to her as a gift... Good thing I spent the other day foraging through the cargo hold of the ship, not only did I find this handy Journal, I also found some funky looking Mariner's Charm. It's of little use to me so I sold it to Vim and used the coin to buy the shard of the moon for Ingrid, and I even made 6 copper in profit! And Ingrid was so very grateful; she even gave me the copper she was saving up to buy it! I think we have a real future!

Day 3, Afternoon

Great! That oaf Captain Varlos is yelling for me again, he must have seen me talking to Ingrid, he must be jealous of our closeness... I'll need to watch out for him, a jealous man can be dangerous... Oh, great, more "combat training". Which roughly translates to "I'll use you for my own benefit; go kill the rats on my ship so you can get better at swinging a weapon." Maybe if he gave me a real weapon to practice with I could see this as being beneficial, but swinging around this splintered stick he calls a "Club" isn't getting me anything but sore hands. Oh well, let me stop wasting time writing about how much I hate it and go get it over with.

Day 3, Evening

RAWR! Fear me! For I am the great Astad! Rat-Killer extraordinaire! Please god, get me out of here! What I wouldn't give to look off towards the horizon and see land. I would be swimming for it before Varlos could blink say...

Day 3, Night

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse! This blasted ship is... well, blasted, by some flying scaly beast Varlos called a Drakota! I don't know what it was, or if I ever did, I don't remember now, all I know is it was enormous! And it breathed fire, blasting the ship in one pass. I'm surprised we're all not reduced to nothing more than large piles of ash after that huge gout of fire the beast breathed at us hit. The ship was on fire, the Goblin prisoner was loose and causing havoc everywhere, and silly me thinking it couldn't have gotten any worse. It was chaos everywhere; crewmembers running around like they didn't have the sense God gave a sea turtle. I think in all the confusion a couple of them even fell overboard! I am so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open, I'll write about the rest of the chaos in the morning.

Day 4, Morning

According to Varlos I'm a Hero now, well, me and Ingrid are. We managed to kill that foul stinking beast of a Goblin. And to top it off he's dropping anchor at some place called the Isle of Refuge as I write this! Not the most hospitable sounding place in the world, but definitely sounds better than this floating heap! Especially if we're going to be target practice for huge fire-breathing beasts with nothing better to do! I better go get all my meager belongings packed up and ready to go, we'll be on solid land soon!

Day 4, Afternoon

Well this place doesn't seem too bad. It's a little small and cramped, I don't know what kind of catastrophe has happened lately, but apparently I'm, by far, not the only person who has been found floating in the ocean with no memory. The Isle is packed with people just like me; of all races and classes, all sorts of people all over the place. Which, considering that I hate people in general, isn't a great thing, but at least I'm off that damned ship! Upon leaving the ship I was greeted by a fellow named Garven whose sole purpose seems to be helping people decide what they want to do with their lives. When presented with four options: fighter, mage, priest or scout, I decided upon Mage. I can't say why but I seemed to have some affinity for the magical arts. After many days spent bashing rat skulls with a club on the ship I knew that the martial arts weren't for me. Considering I really don't like people much, and am much more of a loner, the priestly arts didn't appeal to me either. That left Scout or Mage. I've never considered myself particularly sneaky or conniving, I consider myself upfront and in your face, so I didn't think being a Scout would be fitting for me. And like I said, I felt some strange affinity for the mystical arts, maybe that's what I did back before I lost my memory, either way, I'm a "Mage" now, and Garven gave me some stuff to help me on my way; a couple spells and a dagger. Considering the lateness of the day I decided to go find a place to set up camp and come back in the morning to finish exploring the beach and see what else Garven had to say.

Day 4, Night

On the way back to my campsite I overheard such a ruckus coming from the tower, so decided to see what was going on. Assistant Dreak was throwing quite a fit about something so I figured I might as well investigate. Apparently a potion he was working on in the workshop had gone horribly wrong; leaving the workshop in quite the mess. Since Dreak is supposed to be welcoming refugees to the tower he can't exactly spend the time needed down in the workshop cleaning it up; so he asked me for help. In exchange for cleaning up the workshop he has offered to give me a couple crafting lessons and free unlimited access to the workshop to craft whenever I want. It sounded like a decent deal so I accepted. Dreak handed me a list of instructions and I made my way down into the cellar. It was indeed quite a mess, I almost regretted accepting the deal, but after a bit of time I managed to get it all cleaned up. Upon returning back upstairs to inform Dreak that the task was complete, he informed me that my first lesson in crafting would be to create a new lock for the cellar door. Apparently the old lock was destroyed in the explosion. He gave me the materials I would need. So I made my way back down into the cellar and started work on the lock. First, according to my instructions from Dreak, I needed to refine the tin cluster into a tin bar. Seemed simple enough. Using some of the coal he gave me to fuel the forge, I created a tin bar from the tin cluster and a tempering agent. From there I added more fuel to the forge to keep the heat up and forged the tin bar into a tin spike using more tempering agent. This crafting thing isn't all that hard, maybe I'll take it up to help pass the time down the road. When I got back upstairs and gave the spike to Dreak he was quite pleased. As payment he gave me a note listing the various places I could continue my crafting training once I got to Freeport and a bracelet. When he noticed me inspecting the bracelet further he explained that it had the magical property to attune itself to me in particular. If I chose to attune it then it would give me great magical benefits, but would forever be unusable by anyone else. Seemed like a good deal to me!

Day 5, Morning

While wandering around the beach I noticed a bunch of rather large crabs all over the beach, mostly just standing around staring at me threateningly. Well, what better to test my new spells and dagger on right? That may be the most fun I've ever had, going up and down the beach blasting crabs with huge bolts of lightning from the sky! And even more fun is hitting them with this wicked Static Pulse spell which just kinda sends small shocks through their body over and over. It's really evil to do, but soooo much fun to watch them twitch over and over! During my crab genocide expedition I noticed something. There are several different types of shells lying around the beach. Some of them are quite beautiful. I've decided I'd like to collect one of each. You never know, they may come in handy one day. As much fun as exterminating the crab population on the beach and collecting shells is, it's time to move on and explore the rest of the island.

Day 5, Afternoon

It seems that the small encampment on the isle is under constant assault from invading goblins and Garven would like my help in the matter. There is a constant flood of goblin invaders throwing themselves at the barricades outside of the western gates. Sounds like it could be a fun chance to try my lightening bolts on something a little more challenging than a bunch of crabs, so off I went! Much as I imagined, the goblins have no organization or plan of attack. They're simply charging the armed guards and other people like me who are securely defended behind large spiked barricades. There are so many of them that with proper leadership and organization they could march over this encampment in no time. Unfortunately they don't have the intelligence to recognize this simple fact, and I don't have the patience to lead a bunch of stupid beasts even if they would follow me. So, I just put them out of their misery by raining lightening down upon them. After killing a couple I decide to make my way back to Garven and see what else he has for me to do.

Day 5, Evening

Garven seemed quite pleased with my work dispatching several of the goblin invaders. He was rather busy dealing with a new batch of refugees who had just arrived on a ship so he sent me off to meet Mizan, who is in charge of organizing the Mages on the island to help with the defense. Why is it that Magely types always seem to live at the top of these god-awfully tall towers? Talk about lack of logic! The least physical group of people live in these huge gaudy towers with fifty million flights of stairs they have to climb up and down all the time... Well after climbing up all the steps I finally found Mizan. He seemed like a nice enough chap. As soon as he spotted me, he called me over because he needed my help with something. Apparently the time had come to take the offensive against the goblin hordes. A lot of the other refugees were being mustered to assault the goblins themselves, while we Mages were to make an attack on their supply crates. It sounded like a good, well thought out plan, we blast up a bunch of crates while the big burly types keep the goblin guards and supply runners distracted. So off we went; making our way through the front lines of the battle, dropping a couple goblin invaders along the way, we eventually arrived at the goblin supply camps. Taking my position I sighted in on my target; five supply crates which I was responsible for taking out. Once the signal was given, insane amounts of lightening rained down from the sky; shattering supply crate and goblin bones alike. During the process I was unfortunate enough to attract the attention of the Supply Captain. It was a very close battle, but in the end I was lucky enough to slip my dagger into his lightening charred side, killing him. During a brief search of his body I discovered a couple of interesting items. One of the items was a smudged note which seemed to contain some form of attack plans. This definitely seemed like something I would want to examine further when I had more time; some great potential for profit here. The second item was a nice satchel. It reeked due to the ungodly items the goblin must have been keeping in it, but it did seem much roomier than the standard issue bags I had on me. Gathering up my new found items and other belongings I made my way back to my camp, I could report in to Mizan in the morning.

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Richard Cox