This is an incomplete story I had begun in 2002 of my adventures in Everquest. I have edited it slightly for spelling and grammar before posting it here.
It’s a Big Bad World
As Belwit emerged from his home in Ak’Anon he felt a sense of awe. He had been in the city before, but never on his own. He had spent most of his life with his family, his father teaching him everything he needed to know for the day he would be out in the world on his own. He had spent most of his training mastering basic magic, but was very adept with only a couple of spells, these were Burst of Flame, and Minor Shielding. However, being a young gnome, out in the world on his own the first time, he wasn’t yet ready to fight his way to the top. He lacked experience with his weapons, and had never actually burst anything into flames except for the inanimate targets his father provided.
His first task, once he set out into the city, was to find the magician trainer in the Library Mechanamagica. His father had given him a note to pass on to the man, this would allow him entrance into the guild, and get him a robe depicting his status. Unfortunately, Belwit had never been out in the city alone, and didn’t know where to go, but he did know about the inhabitants and headed over to the nearest clockwork guide. “Hello, can you show me where the Library Mechanamagica is located?” asked Bwlwit.
“Please follow me and I will show you,” clicked the guide.
The guide then set off, further into the underground city, passing by sites so wonderous that Belwit almost forgot to follow. Then, abruptly, the guide stopped and up the hill in front of it was a brightly colored building with odd noises emanating forth. Up the hill he trudged, until he reached the top and stood before the grand building. Belwit turned around and looked back, and saw the the clockwork guide has turned and was heading back to its post. “Well, time to go in,” Belwit said to himself with a sigh.
Upon opening the door, all of Belwits senses were ablaze. Wondrous lights played across the floor, enchanting sounds catching his attention, a light warm breeze blowing across his skin, the smell of brimstone and sulfur. Belwit knew he was in the right place. After asking merchant by the door, Belwit headed to the magician trainer. He was met with a strong handshake and a warm smile. “My father sent me here, because he feels I am more adept with magician spells, and he gave this to me,” he said as he handed the man the note.
“Ah yes, your father is a good man, here take this robe, it will help you on your journeys,” said the man, while pulling out a robe for Belwit. “Would you be interested in getting some more training?” he asked.
“Certainly, I’m not too adept with this dagger my father gave me, and I would like to learn more languages, so I can talk to all different sorts of people,” Belwit stated.
Soon, they got down to the business of training, Belwit learned how to use his dagger better, and learned to speak the Human tongue a little more fluently, but he knew he would have to work on both these skills for a long time.
“There now, I think you should go practice your skills some more out in Steamfount for a while, there are some rats out there you can practice on,” suggested the trainer.
Belwit smiled and thanked the trainer and headed back to the bank, that was the only place he knew where to find a guide. “Hello guide, I need to know how to get to Steamfount Mountain,” he said.
The guide took off like last time, and Belwit followed. This time it took him out to some smaller caves within the underground mountain, Belwit had never been here before, but he felt he could remember where he was because he had always been a quick study. “Continue down that passage and you will be outside,” stated the guide, pointing down the passage.
Belwit turned and walked down the passage, following its twists and turns until he saw daylight coming from the end. He had been outside the cavernous city before, but only rarely, and never alone. The area surrounding the entrance to Ak’Anon was beautiful, trees everywhere, fountains of steam pouring out of the ground at certain spots, and a few large rats running around. Belwit sat down and began studying the spells he had, he could only effectively keep a certain number of spells memorized at any given time, and he hadn’t spent the time to do it recently.
After he had both his spells memorized, he cast Minor Shielding on himself. He then chose a rat that was running around and cast Burst of Flame at it, its fur singed as the spell ignited. Belwit was ecstatic, but the rat was running straight towards him. He cast Burst of Flame again, and the rat squeaked as more of its fur singed. But the rat was upon him now, so Belwit drew his dagger and tried to stab it but missed. Finally after a few minutes, and a few scratches from the rat, Belwit had killed it.
He felt stronger already, he knew he would make it. Belwit bent down and cut off the rat’s ear and stripped its pelt off, then pulled out a couple of its teeth; these items would sell for a few copper pieces each to the local merchants. He knew he’d have to start saving his money to buy more spells to learn.
After sitting down and resting some from the last battle, Belwit felt he was ready for another rat, so he stood up and cast Burst of Flame upon his newly chosen target. The rat’s fur went up in flame as it ran towards him. Belwit began to stab the beast, and soon the battle was over. Belwit then went about stripping usable parts off the rat’s body. This continued on a few more times until Belwit was loaded down, and he then headed over to the closest merchant to sell his goods.
At the merchant he sold the rat pelts, teeth, ears and meat and earned many silver and copper pieces, but he knew that wouldn’t be enough to buy new spells, so he asked the merchant, “How can I earn more money?”
“Well, the Kobold runts usually have some money on them that you can get from them, of course, you’d have to kill them for it, and some of the decaying Gnome skeletons that walk the night carry weapons that I would gladly give you at least a gold piece for,” said the merchant.
So Belwit set out to kill some Kobold runts. He found one loping around, and cast Burst of Flame on it, and watched as it’s fur singed. It came running at him and he swung at it with his dagger. He wasn’t sure if he was just getting better with it, or it the Kobolds were an easier target, but he scored a few good hits and took it down easily. Upon the corpse of the runt he not only found a few silver pieces, but a bag he could use to hold more stuff before selling it.
Night began to fall while Belwit was resting and as he sat there, he watched a few small skeletons push their way up from the ground. He spotted one that was carrying a rusted mace, and decided to take a chance and attack it. He stood up and began casting, and could hear the brittle bones of the skeleton crackle and the flame singed it. The skeleton came staggering towards him, before it came close enough to attack with his dagger, Belwit was able to cast again. This time though, the skeleton hit him before the spell was complete, the blow hurt and he was unable to finish the spell, so started to attack it with his dagger. After taking much damage, Belwit was finally able to dispatch the undead beast, and grabbed the rusty mace and some bone chips, he knew they might come in handy some time in the future.
After some much needed rest, Belwit spotted another skeleton carrying a weapon, but this was a rusty scythe, he knew he could get some money for that! He began to cast and his target was singed, but this time, not only did his target come after him, but a couple of other nearby skeletons began to attack him. Belwit was worried at this point, so he began to run toward the guards, the skeletons chasing him and hitting him in the back along the way. Finally he made it to the guards and they quickly demolished the skeletons. Belwit thanked them and walked back to the merchant to sell the one rusty mace he had. The merchant paid him a fair price of one gold piece and a few silver for it. Belwit was happy about that, he now had enough money to buy a couple more spells to learn.
He headed back into Ak’Anon and headed towards the magician’s guild again. This time he didn’t need the assistance of the guides. Once there, he talked to the trainer and practiced some more skills, he decided that he should learn how to fish, because he knew that skill would come in handy. He then proceeded to buy a fishing rod, and some bait, as well as a couple of summoning spells, for food and water.
He then went out to the big underground lake in Ak’Anon and cast his line. He then began to scribe the spells into his spellbook, all while waiting for a bite on his line. A couple of times, he thought he had something, but he came up with a nasty sandal, and some fish scales. But after some trying, he finally caught a fish, it was a clockwork Koi. He was happy with that and began to set camp to cook his food and rest after his long ordeal.
While breaking down his camp, Belwit began to think of the previous day’s events. He thought with pride about how well he handled his weapon, and how his mastery of spells has improved. He thought about all the loot he had garnered from his slayings and how little progress he had made in preparing for the new spells he would soon have to buy. He decided, by the time his camp was cleaned and his stuff was packed, that he would need to increase his carrying capacity. He was having to run back to a merchant too often between fights to unload.
He walked over to a nearby merchant to check out it’s wares. The merchant had some fine bags and backpacks. Belwit decided to purchase a nice backpack as well as a belt pouch, and paid the merchant the few gold he had. Belwit summoned up some more food and water and placed them carefully in his new belt pouch, then began the journey back out of the city.
Upon stepping out of the tunnel entrance of Ak’Anon, Belwit felt a rush of excitement. He was out on his own, for the second day, and was doing well. The bright sunlight warmed him and the fresh air made his heart soar. Nearby, he saw a spiderling wandering around and he began casting. The spiders flesh burned as the spell hit, and it rushed towards Belwit angrily. Belwit began to stab at the spider, but had a hard time connecting. Then the spider landed a bite on his arm. Belwit frantically stabbed at the spider, and soon it was dead.
He ripped out some of the spider’s legs and placed them into his backpack, then popped out its one undamaged eye and placed that carefully in his other bag. On the body too was some spider’s silk, Belwit took this, and used it to bind the wound on his arm, then sat down to rest some more.
As he sat there, recovering, Belwit saw, off in the distance, a Kobold runt running around. He got up, and began to cast his spell. When he was complete, he heard the runt yip in pain, then growl and start barking as it ran towards him. Belwit charged at the runt, dagger forward. He swung at the runt as it got close enough but missed. He then swung his dagger again, this time cutting a deep gash in the animals chest. It fell over dead, pawing the ground with it’s last breath. Belwit bent over and grabbed the few silver pieces it had and walked away, towards where the runt had come from.
This was new area to Belwit, he hadn’t traveled in this direction from his city the day before. Running around, he some not-so-tough looking clockwork scrubbers. These weren’t the kind they had in Ak’Anon though, these were malfunctioning. He decided he would attack one, to collect the reward for returning the broken machine so that it could be recycled.
He chose one, and began chanting. As his spell singed the clockwork he was targeting, two others in the area rushed him and began clawing at him. He knew he could have easily defeated just one of these scrubber, but not three at once! He turned quickly around and began running back to the guards near the entrance of the city. As he got there, scrubber hot on his tail, the guards rushed out and quickly crushed the scrubber to a pile of metal scraps. Belwit knew he would never get the rewards for those three.
He decided at that point, he wouldn’t venture in that area until he was better with his weapon and his spells. He went back to where he had been hunting the day before and found a couple more runts running around. He quickly dispatched both of them and collected their meager coins. One of them had on it an ale that Belwit stowed away to save for another time.
He quickly got back to killing a few more of the large rats that were running around and collected from them what he could sell. He knew this wouldn’t bring him enough money to buy more spells, but he had no way of making money otherwise so he continued killing rats and spiders.
Then nightfall came and the undead were quickly rising from the ground again. He spotted one carrying a nice long staff. He knew that staff would do some good damage, but being wielded by a skeleton, he could probably avoid it easily. He began chanting and then the skeleton was rushing towards him, its bones still hot from the spell. He quickly ground the bones to dust, easily taking one or two blows during the fight. The staff he picked up from the pile was a nice one, he would have to heft it with two hands, but knew it could do more damage than his little dagger.
He sheathed his dagger and put it into his belt pouch and found another nearby skeleton and began to beat it with his new weapon. Being less proficient in using this staff than his dagger, it took Belwit longer than he anticipated to defeat his newest foe, but did eventually destroy the undead beast. He grabbed some bone chips from the body and placed them into his bag with the rest.
He then spotted another skeleton, this one was also carrying a staff and he knew he could get some decent gold if he got it and sold it. He took out his dagger and threw it at the skeleton, then concentrated on chanting his spell to burn his target while it shuffled its way towards him. His skill with the staff was improving and he dispatched this skeleton faster than the last. From the pile of decayed bones he lifted the new staff and noticed that it was a bit shorter, it seemed like he would be able to attack with this new staff using only one hand.
Belwit was becoming tired and at this point, he went back to the city of Ak’Anon. Inside, he found a near merchant and sold the longer of the two staves as well as the rat whiskers, meat, and paws he had gotten during his days hunting. He then sat down by the lake again and setup camp. He decided tonight was as good a night as any, so he pulled out the ale and popped it open. As he sat there, fishing for dinner, he drank his ale and felt a sense of accomplishment. After finishing his dinner and ale, he quickly went off to sleep, dreaming of the past day’s adventure.
After breaking down his camp, Belwit headed back out of the city into the wilderness beyond. On the way to his hunting grounds, he stopped off at a merchant, and purchased a large sewing kit, and a book about tailoring. He quickly flipped through the book to get a basic understanding of how it worked. He noticed that it would be fairly easy to get his skill somewhat increased by combining two spiderling’s silk into a silk cord, so he pulled out a couple of the silks he had been holding onto, and followed the directions. Combining the two pieces of silk did produce the silk cord he was hoping for, and he stowed it away to use later in a more complex sewing project.
He then left the merchant’s hut, and walked to the nearest lone spiderling and began attacking it. He looted some more silk and stowed it into one of his bags to deal with later, when he had his camp setup. He spotted another spiderling and singed it with his magic. It squealed as it ran towards him, but behind it followed another spiderling. Belwit fought frantically to dispatch both and eventually overcame them. He was hurt, but would survive. He looted their corpses and soon set about killing a few more kobold runts. After that, he found a decaying gnome skeleton walking around with a large rusty spear and attacked it. After exhausting his mind, and crushing the foul undead, he grabbed the spear and ran back to the merchant and sold it.
The reward for the weapon was greater than he expected, and he now had enough money to buy a few more spells. He quickly ran back into the city to the Library Mechanamagica and purchased the scrolls for a more damaging fire spell called Burn, as well as a fire elementalkin summoning spell. He also decided to purchase the scrolls for dagger summoning, bandage summoning and Gate, a spell that will magically transport him back to whatever point he is bound to. Currently, that was outside the city and he wouldn’t be able to change that until his magic skills increased. He then walked over the a nearby jeweler and purchased a small stack of malachite, it was the one component he needed to summon an elementalkin.
He walked back out of the city, happy with his new spells and sat down under the shade of a nice big tree. He began by scribing the elementalkin summoning spell into his spellbook. This was a much more powerful spell than he had ever used, and took longer than some of the easier ones. After the scribing was complete, he began the arduous process of memorizing the spell. After he was done memorizing it, he went through the process of scribing and memorizing his new spell Burn, in place of Burst of Flame. Once that was complete, he finished scribing and memorizing the rest of the new spells he bought.
He summoned forth some bandages that he could use to bind his wounds if necessary. He then began to concentrate on the casting of the pet summoning spell. The process took longer than his other spells, but once it was complete, he had standing before his a nice, powerful fire elementalkin. He quickly summoned a dagger and handed it to the pet. He set his pet about killing rats and skeletons as he sat down and meditated, relieving the stress put on his mind from all the casting.
When his mind had sufficiently rested, he looked up from his book and stood up. Upon the hill ahead of him was a large kobold, this one was definitely not a runt. It sat in isolation, looking like a man-dog crossbreed. Fur covered it’s body, and it sat on its haunches. As it looked at Belwit, it began to growl and its ear flicked back. “Pet, kill that Kobold!”
The elementalkin swiftly moved towards the Kobold, throwing a ball of flame as it approached. The Kobold’s fur burned and it charged toward Belwit, but was met halfway by the pet. Belwit began chanting and the Kobold doubled over in pain as the spell burned it. He was pleased, his new spell, Burn, was much more powerful than Burst of Flame. The Kobold swung a paw out and scratched the elementalkin. The beast yelped in pain as the fire of the pet burned it; but the pet looked damaged too, Belwit was hopeful it would heal quickly. Soon, the Kobold was dead, its body smoldering. He leaned over and scavenged a couple coins from the body and moved on.
Belwit liked his new pet. He knew it couldn’t be killed, but if it took too much damage, it would have to go back to where he summoned it from to recover. It was an almost instantaneous thing, but it would always take Belwit a while to complete the summoning spell. He decided his pet needed a name, he would call it Laboder.
After sitting down and meditating some more to recover his magical energy, Belwit noticed a Kobold scout running around nearby. This one didn’t seem as tough as the last Kobold, but it did still seem to be a slight challenge. Belwit quickly sent Laboder after the scout and then began casting Burn. The scout was quickly killed Belwit got a few silver pieces off the body. Belwit was very happy he could spend his time ridding this forest of the Kobold scourge. They defiled the land were very aggressive. As he was sitting down meditating again, another gnome, a little younger than him came up, he had his own pet too, only this one was a water elementalkin. “Hello, I am Luxticron, and I see you have been helping rid the forest of the Kobold menace. I have seen a small Kobold village nearby and was wondering if you would like to destroy it?”
“I would gladly team up with you to take on such a challenge,” replied Belwit.
They set out quickly, pets following them obediently, to where Luxticron said the village would be. Sure enough, there was a small village comprised of four or five teepee huts around a central fire. Near the fire stood a lone Kobold and the decided to start with that one. Both Belwit and Luxticron began chanting and the Kobold lit up in flames. It quickly ran towards them, but both pets were bashing it before it could come close to the two spellcasters. After the Kobold was nothing more than a smoking pile, a couple more poked their heads out of the huts. Seeing what was going on, they quickly jumped out and began to attack the two pets. Belwit concentrated on burning the one attacking Laboder, while Luxticron was quickly burning the other Kobold. These two Kobolds were quickly killed, and seemed to be not much of a challenge.
Both spellcasters sat and began meditating to regain mental balance and energy. During this time, they set their pets upon the local animals, mostly larger spiderling and some few rats that were running around. Once they were finished regaining their magical energy, they both went and began looting what they could from the bodies laying around. Belwit was able to get an ale from one of the Kobold bodies, while Luxticron picked up a bead necklace that he put on.
But, during this time, a couple more Kobolds came running back to the village. Belwit discerned that these two must have been on a scouting mission while they attacked the village. The pets went forward to meet the Kobolds halfway, and Belwit began to burn them again. Once these two were dead, Luxticron and Belwit looted the bodies, gaining a few coins each, then set upon the huts with their magic. Once the village was burned, Luxticron spoke. “Thank you for your assistance, these Kobolds will never bother us again, but there is more I must do. I hope to adventure with you again.”
“Yes, I did enjoy this, and am glad to have destroyed that foul village. Thank you,” Belwit said as he held out his hand.
Luxticron shook it, then cast a spell and both him and his pet were gone. At this point, it was getting dark, and Belwit was unsure of exactly how to get back to the city. He then began to chant, and soon was gated back to his bind point. Belwit released Laboder back to his realm and then began to setup camp. His day had been adventure-filled and he was once again ready for sleep. He drank the ale while casting his line, thinking about the day.