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Snippet #2614249

located in Bale Forest (Levels 1-8), a part of Daertalmos Online, one of the many universes on RPG.

Bale Forest (Levels 1-8)

The entrance of the Bale Forest, full of low level monsters for newbie players. There are many paths and signs to help players find their way.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aoife Character Portrait: Licht
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The First Day ~ Kemonomimi Kerfuffle

|| Location âœĻ Daertalmos Online - Bale Forest ||
|| State of Mind ✧ Surprised ||


The shouts and cries of the now-damned amongst Daertalmos Online's unfortunate playerbase faded into the distance as the soldier in blue exited the city's west gate. The by-now-familiar clinking of her plated faulds as she marched briskly into the wild was the only sound that now met her ears. It was strange, seeing the road so empty when just half an hour previously you couldn't have taken a step without tripping over some new player emerging from the shadows. It suited Aoife just fine, though. Even if there had been somebody to talk to, she wouldn't have known what to say to comfort them. Besides, she herself was worried enough as it was. The last thing she needed was somebody reminding her of all she now stood to lose. Leaving the city while everyone else was still getting their bearings was thus in her best interests.

That aside, there were also more practical reasons for her departure. For one thing, it probably wouldn't take long for tensions to rise in the city. Players, afraid of monsters, would band into guilds. Taking strength in numbers as their maxim, they would make quick grabs for power and authority. There was no telling how far and how fast things would escalate, but regardless, on her own, it would quickly become difficult to secure lodgings in an inn, monsters to kill to level up, items to use to protect herself, or maybe even food to eat. The only way to get those things would be to get them first, which meant time was of the essence. Therefore, she couldn't afford to tarry, even for a second. Her first priority would be to find some monsters to kill so as to get a feel for combat. After that, though, she'd need to find quests so that she could rapidly level up and-

"Excuse me!" Called out a voice from a short distance behind her. Turning around, she saw a man dressed in full platemail approaching her. For a moment, she thought it was another player, but upon closer inspection, realized that the individual speaking to her didn't have a nameplate displayed over his head. An NPC? He appeared to be some unnamed city guard. He must have been keeping watch over the gate. Was he programmed to seek out players leaving Faclarebal? Aoife stopped, allowing the man to catch up to her. "Sorry to trouble you, traveler. It's just that the road has been dangerous of late. My captain has instructed me to give anyone who attempts to enter the forest fair warning." Aoife opened her mouth to reply, but hesitated for a moment. It was an odd bit of sentimentality, but she couldn't help but wonder... How would Aoife, the noble paladin of her creation, upon whom she'd based her new image, respond to being addressed in such a manner? After all, if she was now bound to this world, she was little different from one of its inhabitants. It couldn't hurt to act like one.

"Do not be concerned. You are not troubling me in the least," She said politely, shaking her head. "Although, I assure you, I am aware of the forest and its dangers. They will not pose a threat to me," She added, lowering her spear from her shoulder and planting its haft firmly in the dirt for emphasis. The guardsman gave a nod, seeming relieved by her response. Yet, he also seemed somehow nervous, as though he had something more to say. Aoife cocked her head slightly to the side, prompting him to continue.

"Indeed, you certainly seem like you can handle yourself," He said, giving a slight, uneasy laugh. "But other wanderers like yourself may not be so well-equipped. There have been quite a few monsters sighted in the woods as of late. We've mounted operations to drive them back, but as of yet, have had little success... That being said, if you're going into the forest anyway, maybe you could help us?" Aoife gave a single, firm nod, accepting what was clearly a quest without a second thought.

"If it makes both your job and the road safer, I will do whatever I can. What is it that you require?" She said eloquently, falling into her newfound role with gusto.

"Well... recently, our supply caravans have been plagued by slimes. It's been a nightmare trying to get through to our outpost in the woods. If you could kill a few on your way to the forest and recover any items they've stolen, then report in to Captain Aken there, I'm sure he could arrange to requisition you some equipment as compensation."

"I understand," She said, placing a fist over her heart in a sort of salute. "Rest assured that your slime problem will be dealt with."

"Whew. That's a load off my shoulders. Thank you. You're a real lifesaver, miss. I wish you the best of luck."

"Don't mention it," Aoife replied, glancing back over her shoulder as she turned to go. "I'm more than happy to do whatever I can." With that, she once again shouldered her glaive, and continued walking down the road, giving a slight wave to the NPC as she went. Opening her character window again, she examined the quest that had now appeared there. It seemed she had to kill a total of 10 slimes, and recover 5 boxes of lost supplies. That didn't sound like it would be too difficult. Checking her map, she surveyed the area. The forest was right up ahead, so she supposed she'd probably be encountering her first monsters soon. But, before any such creatures could appear, she was accosted by an enemy of a different sort.

Once again, somebody called out to her from behind. This time, though, the speaker's words made it more than obvious that he was another player. "Hey! You!" Shouted a young man, prompting Aoife to once again turn about to see who was calling to her. This time, it was a fairly tall young man with golden-blonde hair sticking out from beneath a pointed green cap. Equally pointed were his ears, which, coupled with his fair hair and complexion and bright blue eyes, suggested an Elven heritage. His face didn't really match up with the usual appearance one would expect from an Elf, though, no matter how much his forest-green clothing screamed "Keebler." His facial features seemed a little too rounded and well formed, given how sharply defined most Elves' countenances were. Regardless, given the nameplate over his head, displaying the username "Licht," he was clearly another player.

Like she needed any more evidence of that after the next thing that came out of his mouth.

"Does the phrase 'Not Enough Cat-ears/10' ring any bells?" He asked, giving a cheeky grin. Aoife raised an eyebrow. Saying the odd phrase was familiar to her would be an understatement, as she still remembered all too well that particularly unfounded and baseless criticism of her armor design. She had addressed that particular "argument" - if it could be called one - already, and saw no point in discussing it further.

"Cat ear accessories are aesthetically inappropriate to my armor's design," She said dismissively, giving a slight, supercilious wave in the man's general direction. "Even were that not the case, such things would be utterly superfluous when you could just have cat ears to begin-" Just then, Aoife did a double-take, stopping mid-sentence to give a confused stare at her unwanted conversational partner. Why would anybody accost her about her armor's lack of cat ears, of all things, right after the announcement that the game they were stuck in could and would kill them? Didn't this person have better things to do? Come to think of it, why had that topic ever even come up in context, let alone here and now?

"...Hey, wait a minute, who even..." She began, but once again trailed off, too confused to think straight. Would an ordinary player really even remember that specific comment that just one online reviewer turned honorary contest judge had made about her gear? No, that matter aside, who would even think that it was even a legitimate criticism? "How did you...?!" She asked, her disbelief mounting as all evidence pointed to one conceivable answer.

"You!" She exclaimed bluntly, her eyes widening in surprise as she raised an accusatory finger at the unexpected individual standing before her. "You... you... you're that incredibly rude cat-ear-person...! How is it that you are in a place like this?! And... and how did you find me? Were you following me?" Now that she thought about it, those weren't even the strangest things about this situation. No, that honor would have to go to her last and most pressing question.

"And why are you so insistent upon my wearing cat ears? Are you ill? Surely, you are not a well person!"