Winds of Change

Chapter One: Winds of Change

Opening: Harbinger-Danny Cocke

Eliendra looked around as she loaded into the game. She took her time to look at her menu screen. She had chosen Rogue as her class. For her race, she had chosen Human. Humans had the ability to increase their skills faster and could put 2 extra points per level into a stat of their choice. She had chosen Strength as her main stat. Sure Rogues usually required Dodge but she was planning on going into Berserker at level 45. She reached up to see if she could feel the headgear on her physical head and couldn't. She messed with her interface to set it up. After changing a few things, she was ready to begin.

She looked around at her surroundings. The graphics were awesome for a game. It seemed almost realistic. The developers of Winds of Change had promised a fully immersive MMO experience that left you breathless and would seem entirely realistic. So far, they had delivered.

She looked around at the starting area. She was on a ranch with horses and cows around. Several NPCs wandered around nearby. If she had started as an Elf, she would have started in a village in the forest. As a dwarf, it would've been caves in the mountains. She wasn't much of a fan of dwarves, and elves were best with Rogues, casting, and ranged classes, but she had decided Human would be best for cross classing later. She had done quite a bit of research into Winds of Change, its classes and races, before installing. She chose what she wanted to solo with carefully. Sure Dwarves were better at soloing but she had decided against it.

She ran up to the nearest NPC, a farmer, that had a yellow exclamation point over his head. Now how did the manual say she could interact with NPCs again? She remembered and waved her hand at the NPC.

He turned and looked at her. "Hello, Eliendra. About time you came out to work for the day. We're having a bit of a problem. Some of our pigs got out to pasture. Can you round up 5 of them and bring them back to their pen?"

She nodded her head to accept the quest. Then a yellow marker appeared over the woman's head that was standing next to the farmer. She waved at her.

"Ah, Eliendra. I heard some howling a bit ago from out in the pasture. I think wolves might be stalking the pigs. Can you slay 10 of them while you're rounding up the pigs for Cletus? Maybe the rest will get the message and leave."

She nodded and headed past them out towards the pasture. She stopped short as a message box appeared in front of her. Sherianne of Warlords of Kandor has invited you to join their guild. Do you accept? At the same time, she heard a ping and then a voice in her head. I'm Sherianne. I'd like to invite you to our guild Warlords of Kandor. We will help you level and gear straight to 100. We have helpful, friendly, and mature members.

She sighed. She had heard about this in her research. People liked to use macros to invite you to join their guild with a whisper and throw an invite up in your face. She clicked on NO.

She heard another ping. What's wrong? We not good enough for you?

I just don't feel like joining a guild.

You suck, asswipe.

Yeah. That sounds like a mature guild.

Fuck you.

Are you the GM?

Yes, I am. What's it to you?

If you're the GM, I'd hate to see the rest of the guild.

Eat shit.

Whatever.

She broke the connection and continued out to the pasture.

She approached a pig and touched it. It disappeared and she checked her inventory to see that it was in there. She touched 4 others and killed off the 10 wolves needed and headed back for the ranch. She turned in both quests. There was a chime and a DING! along with a message that said Congratulations! You have reached Level 2!

She did a few more quests around the area until she hit level 5. Then the quest directed her to a mount master. The mount master had a quest for her that led into Grimmon City. From her research, Grimmon City was the major city in the game. She accepted and went to take the ride when everything went black and a message popped up saying You have died.

Her vision brightened and she found herself behind the ranch house. She ran back towards the mount master but pulled up short. In front of her were Sherianne and 4 other level 100 characters that had Warlords of Kandor over their heads. Sherianne was an Elf that had a two-handed greatsword propped on her shoulder.

"You thought it'd be fun to insult me?" Sherianne asked. "For that, I'm going to kill your ass until you have no choice but to log."

She opened her mouth to speak, but Sherianne swung her sword, and her vision went dark again and she reappeared behind the ranch house.

A pool of shadow appeared in the air in front of her, and one of Sherianne's guild mates appeared from it, slicing her, and darkening her vision again.

No one saw a feminine shadow up on a nearby ridge. She raised her hand to her head and sent out one message: SOS!

This went on for about ten minutes. She'd try to run, only to get cut down in one attack by each member of Sherianne's guild.

Eliendra ran out from behind the house. She heard the mocking laughs behind her. "Run, lowbie!" they mocked.

She turned around to see a dwarf with an axe running at her. "DIE!" She braced herself for the attack. She looked up startled as she heard him grunt in pain. She looked up to see him disintegrate.

She turned around to see a woman with long blonde hair and white leather standing there, a glowing bow in her hand. Above her head was the name Adrielle and below that was VIGILANCE.

"Does it really take five level 100s to take out one level five? Such cowards!"

"She insulted my guild," Sherianne spat back. "Why would you even be here anyways? She's not in your guild."

"I happened to be in the area collecting mats to craft some equipment for a lower level guildie when I came upon a bunch of hundreds camping a little level five."

"Be careful, Sherianne," a player called Dirk called. "She's an Arcane Hunter. They can use Death Arrow. It's an instant kill."

"There's only one of her," Sherianne snarled. "And five of us."

"Wrong!" came another voice from behind them. There were fifteen other players standing back a little ways. They all had VIGILANCE over their heads. The guy who spoke had fiery red hair and wore dark armor. "There's sixteen of her and only five of you."

"We're not scared," Sherianne called. "This is the same group that five-manned Zerok's Temple. It usually takes ten players to clear it."

"Five of you?" Adrielle laughed. "Apparently you don't have much skill. Me and Zarius here have two-manned it," she said, pointing at the dark armored guy.

"Impossible," Sherianne spat out. "Our gear is all purple. Plus, each one of us intimately knows our classes."

"The two of us are fully equipped in orange," Zarius countered. "On top of that, we've been here since launch. We've played every class and have produced the best players in the game. Or haven't you heard of VIGILANCE? Check your world achievements and see who holds the current Realm's First on each dungeon and raid."

Sherianne hesitated. She brought up her achievement box and looked. She blanched as she looked over it. "This isn't over," she said, glaring at Eliendra. "Let's go." They each glowed blue as they disappeared one by one.

"They...disappeared?"

"It's called a portalstone. It takes you to the portal that you bind it to," Adrielle said, as she walked over. "Are you okay?"

"I'm a little shaken. But not bad."

"You're lucky Adrielle happened to be in the area," Zarius said. "What happened?"

"They invited me to join their guild and I turned them down. Then they got rude about it. Next thing I know, I'm being killed."

"You could always join us," Adrielle said. "I assume this is your first character."

"Yes, it is. Not to be rude, but exactly who are you?"

"My name is Adrielle. I am the GM of VIGILANCE."

"GM?"

"Guild Master," Zarius chimed in.

"Do you wish to join? We will help you gear, fully learn your class, and we can guarantee that you won't ever have to be afraid of those guys ever again."

"What are you going for?" Zarius asked. "It's unusual for someone to choose Human and Rogue and put your stats in Strength."

"I want to eventually become a Slayer."

"Best DPS in the game if you know what you're doing," Adrielle said. "We can help."

"No offense, but I'm a bit of a loner. I'd rather play by myself."

"I can respect that." Adrielle pulled up her friend box and entered Eliendra's name.

Adrielle has sent you a friend request. Do you accept?

"Just in case you ever need anything."

"Sure," Eliendra said, pressing YES. "I can do that."

The other members began disappearing in flashes of blue until Adrielle was the only one left. "You take care. Since you're putting your stats into Strength, I'd suggest you get gear that helps Dodge, Multi-Attack, Critical Strike, and Critical Damage in that order." She activated an item and a giant blue dragon appeared under her. "Until next time." With that, she lifted off and headed for the nearby mountains.

Eliendra stared off after her for a moment and then started back towards the mount master and the great city of Grimmon.

Ending: Winds of Change-Wild Whirled Music