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Callisto

Necromancy with spunk.

0 · 634 views · located in Mäu Vazería-The Edge of the World 

a character in “End Saga: Guildless”, as played by Kestrel

Description

USERNAME: Callisto
NICKNAMES/TITLES: That instance-hog, moonlighter, not-my-mom
RACE: Fae; a race that disguises itself as young and beautiful humans to blend in with society. Fae are temperamental creatures and upon taking damage and there is a chance they may become particularly vengeful; reducing the casting time of the next spell and adding a curse debuff to it that prevents healing and puts a DoT (200% INT over 10s) on the target.
CHARACTER CLASS: Warlock/Charmer
TYPE: Tank
ImagePRO's:
  • Good Crowd Control, great at impairing single targets.
  • High survivability with good defence and dodging ability.
  • Powerful aggro-management, especially single target.
CON's:
  • Mediocre damage output.
  • Limited in resource management mechanic.
  • No blocking or convenient form of damage migation; evasion-reliant.
GRADING SCALE:
  • Strength: 0 (F)
  • Agility: 150 (B)
  • Intellect: 100 (C)
  • Endurance: 150 (B)
CHARACTER PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

CHARACTER PERSONALITY:

  • Energetic
  • Rowdy
  • Competetive
  • Dependable
  • Caring
  • Imaginative
  • Sociable

WEAPON:

Magic Lamp; A weapon that summons a genie's arms to attack at melee range dealing bludgeoning damage based on the intellect stat. It's attack speed is medium, it's range is similar to a spear's.

WEAPON NAME: Isaiah's Relevation,

ATTACKS/ABILITIES:
Warlock
  • Magic Burst: a close ranged AoE with a little start-up that does decent damage (120% Magic,) but has a high flinch/knockdown rate making it a powerful tool to disrupt attacks or escape tight situations.
  • Blink: A short-ranged but instant teleport, traveling 4 meters max.
  • Hands of the Abyss: An AoE immobilising skill and/or slow debuff. Summons a shadowy pit from hell from which eight hands attempt to grab and hold all those caught in it. Each hand will have a value of 0.3*Endurance of the caster (so a maximum of 240% END,) which is weighed against the Strength value of the opponent. If the total END of the hands is at least 80% of the target's STR, it will lock them down. At 80% the immobilisation lasts 3 seconds, going up 1s for every 20% up to a max of 15s. Each hand can only latch onto one target and how many hands can affect a target depends on it's size. A human would only be susceptible to a max of three hands, a housecat to only one. Immobilised targets can still act, just not move from their position (also disabling movement-based skills.) Everything will receive a 30% AGI penalty for 5s after release.
  • Rupture: A single target skill that can be charged up; it deals damage and has a chance to inflict silence. The longer it is charged, the more powerful it becomes and the higher the chance of silencing a target becomes. A silenced target cannot use spells or shouts. At instant release Rupture deals weak damage (80% MAG) and has a 15% chance to inflict silence, but it can be charged up to 5 seconds, with every tick increasing the damage by 25% and silence chance 15% (max: 205% MAG, 90% Silence rate.) Charges can be stored and don't have to be fired immediately, but during the charge animation the caster cannot move.
  • Viral Spread: Casts a debuff on a target that will give it a 50% chance to spread all it's other debuffs to other enemies within 2m with a 3s interval per spread attempt. Debuff lasts 15s.
Charmer
  • Call Spirit: Summons a spirit. Skill can be held to summon multiple spirits (1 per 0.3s,) but renders the caster immobile. The skill has a 2s CD. Up to 12 spirits can be summoned at a given time. Each increases aggro generated by attacks 20% for a total of 240% extra generated aggro. Additionally they add a drain effect for every successful hit of 2% per spirit (capping at 24%) of the damage dealt. Spirits are fuel for Charmer skills and the two passives only applies before use.
  • Haunt: Causes spirits to distract an enemy and pull aggro. On average it takes 2 haunting spirits to keep up with a single dedicated DPS class in terms of aggro. Each spirit that haunts also reduces the target's END by 2%
REAL LIFE:
Outside of the gaming world, Callisto is Susan; a young woman employed as a kindergarten teacher and a frequent volunteer for the red cross. She lives in a small apartment in Toronto, filled to the brim with paint stains and noodles. Her hobbies include gaming, astronomy, painting and (to her own distaste) watching reality-tv. She has a small, but tight-knit group of friends, a father who is an army-veteran and now makes a living as a motivational speaker and team-builder, a mother who Susan has only known as a stay-at-home mom and two older brothers. As for her social status, Susan is currently single, but habours a hate/love relationship with her cat. Her current goals in life are to have her painting on exposition in an upcoming local art display, save up money for her summer vacation-plans, and beat the new End Saga content.

IN GAME LIFE/REPUTATION:
Ever since every max level could solo even end-game content, the character Callisto was made with the sole goal to solo every dungeon at an as low as possible level. As it turned out; with the right preparation and lot of patience; that was completely possible. As impressive as this might have sounded however, the live-streams were far less exciting. Picking off enemies, kiting with CC, employing hours of hit-and-run, and the occasional slip-up made the whole thing start all over again. Callisto namely, was a warlock, with all her skills in CC and mobility. She would hold up an instance-qq for hours, where a decent party would plow through in twenty minutes. While she might have gotten some props here and there, the majority of the game did not appreciate her solo-ventures.

That wasn't to say Callisto was a bad person, not at all. She was part of a social guild by the name of Gooses. The guild would often invite new players and their friends to show them the ropes and help them through difficult patches of the game. She also had a knack for trying to solve in-game disagreements, whether welcome or not. Callisto had a character named Ganymede, a male Warlock with a DPS rotation whom she used during the earlier scene of the game. However, when it became apparent everything was solo-able at max-level, she quickly became bored with Ganymede (although he was still occasionally used to help out guild members.) Ganymede's reputation wasn't stellar, but he was a capable warlock amongst the first players to challenge end-game content. Nowadays, his name is mostly seen on the market as a silent, but efficient merchant (you have to get your money somewhere if you decide to do low-level challenges.)

During the latest holidays, Callisto was leveled to max, partly out of boredom, partly in preparation for the upcoming patch. What Callisto hadn't expected however, was that this patch would be more than she bargained for...

So begins...

Callisto's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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Welcome to the Edge of the World


Two weeks ago The excitement for the innovative and renown MMORPG End Saga Online's brand new game expansion was mounting for the role playing games's end content players who had been nearly a year for the "Edge of The World" content release loaded with a nearly endless amount of new systems and functions to experience as well as additional subclasses, races and the long awaited unveiling of the treacherously impossible continent of Mäu Vazería, which is accessible solely by players who have reached the games previous level cap.

At 12:00 a.m. midnight on November 21st, 20XX over one hundred thousand players logged on and immediately dove in to explore the horizons of Mäu Vazería-Literally. A few years ago End Saga was infamously known as the "Accursed Game" due to an enigmatic incident which resulted in the hospitalization of a handful of it's product users as well as a rumored death and yet that somehow added to it's popularity amongst risk seeking hardcore gamers.

When those hundreds of thousands of players first logged into the game they wee posed a question:


Do you feel that you were born into the wrong world?
Would you like to be reborn anew?


A chance to use the game's newly developed "rebirth" function, which would normally cost money to access, for free. Those who accepted the free rebirth had unknowingly signed their souls away to a malicious experiment that would throw these innocent people into a merciless death trap.

"Rabbits"


That is what the Emissaries, game admins who observe; track and collect data analysis of each players stress levels, refer to the players locked within the experiment. They present the rabbits with a two choices: Live out the rest of Eternity within the world of End Saga or beat the game.

"Unbelievable, Impossible, Unsoloable!" Mäu Vazería proves to be just that. With their task in mind the players set out to do just that "Beat the game.", but too many of their efforts prove to be for naught. The artificial intelligence for the monsters area aggressively advanced, not to mention the massive amounts of damage they are able to inflict. It's so difficult to take on that some players never make it to the towns and the ones that do never leave.

Although there a a few players who have realized that they cannot take on life on this new map alone. They've banded together to form guilds who swallow their fears and bravely challenge "The Edge of the World".

This is the story of one of those guilds.


Image

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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Raava the Red Phantom


The dry ground beneath his toes crunched with every step that Raava took as he trudged his way through the maze of earthen pillars with his guildmates in tow. Perhaps as Guild Master he should have been more of a shining example exuberating enthusiasm and bursting with energy and professionalism to keep the spirits of his companions up, but in truth he didn't want to be on his feet. The warlock didn't want to be on his feet at all. Raava glanced behind him to check on how his team were doing then returned his eyes ahead, closed them then attempted to wish himself back in bed at the inn south of this valley with Nora, the large breasted barmaid NPC, serving him breakfast in bed again. Raava's tongue began to salivate, he wiped his mouth discreetly then gestured in the air to open his menu screen which appeared as a translucent box with a various number of tabs and options. He couldn't outwardly complain though. Leaving the Inn early to get a head start on the journey to the Dungeon was his idea after all. Players rarely roamed outside of safe zones during the night and he didn't want to risk running into any more hostiles than necessary. Raava tapped the middle tab to open up a voice chat with Sikes. Sikes had gone on ahead to scout for MOBs of wandering monsters nearby or possible gankers camping the area for unsuspecting player.

Gankers are like the bandits of the online game world. Gankers aren't to be confused with PKers-Player Killers. While PKers hunt and kill other players purely for the fun of it, Gankers typically stalk a party of players who are on a quest and swoop in once they're weakened to slaughter them and take the prize. Gankers...Pkers, which is worse was just a matter of opinion, but Raava wasn't about to take a chance on either.

"Sikes! haven't heard from you in a while. Starting to think you might have slipped off a cliff and fell into a pit full of hungry quigs."

A whistling chill wind blew by, though he was half the invisible layer of his magical armor shielded him from the elements. It was till dark in the early morn and the moon was slowly flying away to make room for the sun to rise in about an hour. Watching the moon took him back to his first days in this world. to the first days he spent with the people who would become his guildmates in this ugly yet beautiful world.


***



Raava was falling from the sky at an ear deafening speed. He dropped through puffs of clouds, a flock of dives and continued spiraling downward like a meteor to a sea of trees stretched as far as the could register. The moment of the actual landing was a blank in his memory but the next thing he knew he was standing in dense forest void of light save for the few slivers that squeezed through gaps between the leaves on a few trees. He wandered around for a few moments scrolling through his when he stumbled across a still pristine like reflecting the sunlight. It was in also in the reflection of that lake that he was able to see the mirrored image of his new form. Velvet black wavy hair, brown evenly toed skin golden eyes tattoos that appeared as perfectly executed brush strokes which ran from his pelvis to his chest, down his back and twisted their way down both of his arms. A tattered crimson headband was wrapped around his skull, a matching piece of cloth was wrapped around his waist, draping a bit past his knees. The warlock's palms and feet were bound with black strips of cloth as well.

Satisfied with his new Appearance he turned to fin some monster to try out his new skill set on and came face to face with a pair of the biggest, most vicious scarlet eyes he's ever seen in his life. It's massive body swiped at him, tore through the invisible layer of his magical armor, ripping through his flesh flinging him through the forest where he crashed into a sturdy tree that shook as it halted his flight in a splinter of searing pain. He fell to his knees screaming. The simulation of the pain was just too real! He was terrified and could hear the creature dragging it's mountainous body through the the forest tearing down trees to his location.

Raava's fear was mounting by the millisecond. The amount of pain he was experiencing, the realness of every sensation and the looking down at the long and wide scratches that now ran along his torso to give him nightmares. Exasperated he struggle to stand on his feet. Raava's health health bar blared before him, depleted of all but one percent of his total.. As the pain subsided he resolved to to fight the the beast and began charging a spell, but as soon as the creature's gigantic eyes locked on his once more, the spell wouldn't cast. Did it just silence debuff him with a glare!? The beast was closing in quick. He'd had enough, he summoned his menu window and searched for the log out option, but it was nowhere to be found. "This can't be right!" he blurted. "It was just there!" The creature was only a yard away then suddenly it was just a few feet!. It's muzzle parted to reveal twin rows of sharp yellow teeth and a moist, wide, pink tongue. I can't believe this. It's going to swallow me whole....I'm going to die...why am afraid to die? It's only a game right?


"This can't be happening be happening! No! No! Where is the log out button!"He was now staring down the creature's throat, tears had begun to form in his eyes when an unexpected thing happened. The creature rolled back in pain unleashing a wail so incredibly loud that shook t every tree for 20 miles.

What had happened?

Raava spotted what seemed to be a stick jutting out from it's eye ball, blood gushed and spilled from it.. Where did that come from? His eyes swiftly scanned the area until he spotted a girl with a curtain of blue hair loading an arrow into her bow atop of a nearby branch who had come to his rescue. The monster turned it's attention to her. It's mouth parted again and sprayed a powerful jet of foul smelling liquid in her direction. Raava reacted before he could, sprinting toward the girl when in the blink of an eye he was in the tree and had scooped her into his arms. He jumped down just as the fluid was about to hit them and next thing he knew he was another few feet away and out of range of the monster's acidic spray that had reduced the tree they were just on into nothing.

The archer in his arms fired another attack, but the monster spat another acidic jet which dissolved the arrow to nothing. Raava sat the girl down then then sent a barrage of lightening flying from his finger tips which surged across the monsters body. ineffective. Raava and the archer cursed simultaneously.

"I don't think this is a fight we can win." He finally admitted. The archer was in agreement and so he swooped her back into his arms and the pair fled as fast as they could, dashing through the passageway of trees past maximum speed with the beast hot in pursuit.

"Over here!" Someone yelled in the distance. A person was waving their them over then disappeared behind a wall of trees. With nothing to lose Raava headed in that way. As soon as he made it past that wall of trees both he and his companion found themselves falling into a hole in the ground.

They were now in now in a cave lit with a few torches. Inside were a handful of other people, players, who had also sought refuge.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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#, as written by Rarikou
Aura, The Arrow of Destiny


She was loving the new patch so far. She had pressed the button for the free rebirth almost immediately- usually when the game offered you something like that, it meant big things for those who pressed yes, and she had been well rewarded. The option to pick an entirely new class was amazing, and she had spent a load of time in the appearance changer. Her blonde hair from earlier was too bright for her liking, so she was more than happy to change that to a light, lovely blue.

Then came the falling. That wasn't any fun at all, though Aura did enjoy a view of the new land from up top. She vowed this to herself if she could, she would try and find some sort off flying mount. She had always wanted to fly in the air. But, lo and behold, she didn't have that amazing ability. What she was worried about was damage from falling- would it apply to cause the game forced you into? She was about to find out.

She hit the ground with enough force to cause the surrounding area to crack. Instinctively, Aura rolled to reduce the amount of damage done... if it had done anything at all. Turns out, that caused her no damage at all. It made her feel a bit silly, but it was better safe than sorry.

She had landed in a forest, and she couldn't have been happier about that. Rangers like herself were at home in the forest: Plenty of places to hide and ambush your enemy, and an excellent source of herbs and the like. With Aura's Gathering rank maxed, she was bound to find some useful goodies lying around if she really wanted to. For now, she decided she would be better of looking around, getting some data for her new map.

She checked her menu, looking at her knew skills, memorizing their use. The only one that seemed useful right now was the skill that let her null out an attack. She would be sure to try that one out later. Her equipment was still in the right place, and nothing else had really changed. There was, however, one button missing...

'No Logout button?' She thought to herself. She checked the other menus again: no sign of it. 'A glitch?' She thought to herself. That was the only thing she could come up with- the developers had screwed up big time. Doubtless, they would be logged out with a major apology later on. After all, people still had jobs and the like, and would doubtlessly get royally pissed.

The thought then occurred to her: 'What would happen if you died while this glitch was in effect?' That thought in mind, she took to the tress- she would rather avoid conflict until she could find an answer, preferably from someone else. She began hopping from tree to tree, simply exploring the area.

That's when she came across the black haired man, who had just bumped into one incredibly huge monster that reduced him to shred an about one second flat. What freaked her out most was how the man was writhing in pain- either he was a weakling, or the pain meter was set incredibly high for him to be feeling that... and if he just felt his life reduced to almost nothing... that was a ton of pain. Aura also noticed the lack of his log out button... the poor guy must be trembling right about now.

From her treetop, Aura readied an arrow. At this distance, she couldn't miss, especially with her passive buff kicking in as she aimed at the monster's eye. As much as she ddn't want to, her female instincts were kicking in, desiring that person to be freed from pain. Usually, she would just shoot an arrow through his back and be done with it but... no one deserved to die while in that much pain.

The best way for an Archer to hit their intended target is to already know that the arrow is going to hit. Another trick is to keep as calm as possible- Arrows fly straighter under a calm heartbeat. That was the reason why Aura was a rarity among ranger's- she was one of the few who could remain calm in the heat of battle. So, when the arrow nailed the... thing in his eye, Aura wasn't surprised.

It wasn't dead though. Indeed, it looked kind of pissed... if the fact that she was now the target was anything to go by. The monster reared back firing some sort of sludge at her with it's mouth. As Aura was readying her back-flip skill, the man that she had helped appeared next to her, grabbed her, and jumped out of the way.

Needless to say, Aura was embraced, having never been held in this matter. “Hey, I was going to get out of the way, you didn't need to do that!”

As the monster was pursuing her, Aura began providing suppressive fire on the monster as she ran. She was no stranger to shooting while running... but shooting while running while being carried in someone's arms was new. She managed to shoot the thing with her tracking shot. Once they got out of sight, it would become easier for them to escape.

She was let down as the man attempted a lightning spell, which did next to nothing to it. This was most likely a field boss or something- it should have been well past dead by now... and defiantly out of Aura's league for now

As she was pondering what to do, she was called out to by a fellow player, and followed the player down a hole, landing in a cave with next to no problems. There were other people here, but that wasn't her concern right now. She pulled open her minimap, expanding it to keep track of the monster she had hit with her skill. So far, it was hanging right outside the hole... but there was no way that thing could follow. Satisfied, she looked up to watch the proceedings.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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#, as written by Kestrel
“Do you feel that you were born into the wrong world? Would you like to be reborn anew?”


That message must have been the gate to the new patch content, Callisto thought, already brimming with excitement and energy. It was midnight and she was shaking like she had an overdose of coffee (which was coincidentally entirely true.) Callisto asked her guild Gooses if anyone else had received that message; they hadn't. She checked her guild list and to her surprise almost nobody was online. Just a few self-muted newbies. Perhaps the notice was only for max level players, players who had signed up before a certain date, players who beat the final dungeon? Or maybe because the guild had dwindled down to a bare bones three players to have been online in the past months. Well, so much for the patch being a hope for guild activity. Callisto didn't think for long though and as her curiousity got the better of her and put her undivided attention to her newest pop-up. Did she want to be born anew? Yes, was the answer. Yes and bring it on!

The moment Callisto accepted, the environment around her warped into a pitch-black darkness. Weren't it for her senses being in the game, she could have sworn it was a monitor turn-off. Callisto experienced the sensation of falling, a rapidly increasing velocity spiraled around her entire body. Messages began popping up around her, too many for Callisto to read all at once.

“Welcome to the continent of Mäu Vazería.”
“Thank you for opening your free rebirth. We hope you-”
“PATCH NOTES November 21st, 20XX; new content, general bug fixes-


The experience was overwhelming. Too much to feel. Too much to read. The devs sure had rolled their sleeves up for this one; everything was so dazzling! Menu's popped up before Callisto; prodding her to change her appearance, character race and choose a subclass. There were so many options listed, how could she choose between all of it now? Racing through all the options her mind feasted upon all the possibilities and before she knew it; the darkness evaporated and from bird's view a forest she'd never seen before dawned before Callisto's eyes.

She could only be amazed by what she thought to be a graphics update for mere seconds before Callisto was forced to discover the physics and sensation engines also top-notch. Her body smacked into branch after branch; scratching her skin and the fabric of her armour (dark cloth that at first sight made her look more like a belly dancer than a powerful warlock and spirit charmer) before Callisto's body smacked into the forest floor. Callisto groaned; this hurt far more than she remembered to experience playing End Saga before. Yet; her HP-bar remained at a full hundred.

Still dazed by the fall, Callisto took a deep breath, but was instantly startled by the sensation and let out a shriek. It was as if she had two voices! Her eyes darted over her UI; spotting her racial trait had been activated. Callisto's skin tingled, and she noticed that in her hand she held an old oil lamp. That was an odd choice of arms, nothing like the wand she had wielded before. The lamp was so finely polished Callisto could see her own reflection; but she could've sworn she hadn't chosen a mod that made her eyes glow! Bewildered, confused and excited, she let out little yelps of excitement; summoning her menu's and swiping through them to see all the toys she'd get to play with!

A few of her warlock abilities had been cut from her skill list, but in return she had gained a new subset of her new class; the charmer. Her stats had been re-allocated too, courtesy of her new sub-class, probably. Callisto looked at her reflection in the lamp again; admiring her new look (the job had gotten that part right.) Her racial trait had worn off too, and Callisto's voice became one again, the tingling subsided and her eyes lost their glow. Thrilled to try her new skills, Callisto used the new ability 'Call Spirit' and watched gleefully as small ghosts began rising from the ground one after another. She could summon twelve in total, and they circled around her character like transparent dark clouds drifting on a slow whirlwind. Their bodies were shapeless; adjusting with their direction and momentum, but each of them had two small round eyes that emitted a dim, white light. Callisto hopped from one leg onto the other and flapped her arms like a bird to see how the spirits danced around her. It was eerie and serene at the same time, and while the spirits their movement was nothing but an aesthetic effect, they had painted a big grin Callisto's face.

After having played around with her new undead friends, Callisto's attention shifted back to her menu. There were two disturbing notions; one was the the log-out button was missing and the other that she was no longer in her own guild. Callisto opened her guild window and friends list in hope it was just some kind of visual bug. Both were empty. She attempted to whisper the two newbies that had been online earlier; but the system replied both were offline.

This was... Weird, at best, Callisto thought. Probably a mistake on the devs their part. They would fix it soon enough, she shrugged. For now Callisto would do what she'd come to do in the first place; play the game.

It wasn't long until Callisto happened upon her first monster; it was a large monster; sticking it's muzzle down crack in the earth trying to reach for something. Players? Food? It didn't matter. Something devious sparkled in Callisto's eyes; as she began charging up one of her old skills that had remained in her set (rupture.) Callisto had read her second new skill lowered a target's endurance, and once Rupture had reached a full charge; she commanded all twelve of her spirits to haunt the beast with a snap of her finger, which they promptly did.

Within a split second; the beast tore it's face from the ground and turned to face Callisto, who before the beast could respond had slung her Rupture spell. A direct hit! Yet, only a fraction of the monster's health had been depleted. Even at three quarters endurance, the strongest ability in her current arsenal had done next to nothing (where had her DPS spells gone at a moment like this!) What Callisto had gotten however, was the beast's undivided attention. The two stared each other down, like a good old-fashioned western stand-off.

Up to the challenge, Callisto started to cast Hands of the Abyss, smirking the beast as she prepared to pin it down... But her spell didn't come out! That stare-down had inflicted a silence-debuff! The beast spit a projectile of acid at Callisto, who barely managed to blink out of it's trajectory. Having dodged the attack at a hair's length, Callisto felt her heart pounding. This was fun! This was End Saga like never before! She dashed forward using her teleport's momentum, preparing to strike the monster in the recovery of it's attack animation. From the old oil lamp sprung a pseudo-transparent, ghastly dark purple arm. It's fist connected with the beast's jaw; doing some, but again minimal damage. It was just like her low level challenges; a true challenge!

Yet the beast wouldn't allow itself to be a mere punching bag; before Callisto could get out of the way it rammed it's shoulder into her; sending Callisto flying! She crashed down into a tree; hurting like a word she couldn't say in front of children. Her body felt bruised and battered; a sensation that shook her off balance. An alarm went off in Callisto's head; this was no longer a game! The monster propelled itself at full force through the trees with eyes that betrayed it's merciless bloodlust, not even paying the slightest attention to the players down in the cave it had stalked before.

The raging monster that tore the forest apart to find her. It swept with it's mighty arms to both cleave the tree it had knocked Callisto into, and tossing the warlock's body around like a rag doll. Callisto could only compare the pain she experienced to her ribs breaking; pushing against her lungs making it difficult to breathe.

Callisto's second short-lived flight ended with her sliding through the mud decelerating her momentum to an eventual standstill. Struggling against all her wounds, Callisto tried to get up before the monster caught onto her again. She could clearly see the red-eyed monster ravaging it's way through the forest and closing in at high speed; her spirits were still stalking it. That must have been why it was so highly aggressive; her haunt-ability had caused the beast to ignore anything but her! And while she'd struggled to do any damage, the monster had already depleted two fifths of Callisto's health bar...

“Someone help!” She blurted out, drenched in sweat and a terror she'd never felt before, as Callisto started to run out of the one-beast stampede's way. “Looking for group! Anyone!”

***


As far as shining examples of exuberating enthusiasm and bursting energy went, Callisto was brimming with both. After her first, less than pleasant experience, she had gained new courage and confidence after joining up with a party. Although Callisto had had it difficult with the prospect of being locked up in the game for the first few days, she'd come to accept her situation. The game was fresh again and even though she'd not dared admit it to herself just yet, she enjoyed venturing through the new content without real life-interruption.

None of the players were quite at a first-name basis yet, but Callisto had introduced herself to all of them over the past two weeks and made sure to learn everyone's names. Most of the she'd at least heard of before, as almost all of them had made names for their selves in the game. Even so, the party was quite quiet, spare Callisto who was humming to herself. The only ones talking were their leader Raava, a warlock primary like herself who evidently was not the biggest fan of mornings, and Sikes, their scout who had ran on ahead.

Callisto, growing bored by the lack of conversation, fell back in line to walk next to Everina, the cleric of the party. “Hey Evey!” Callisto greeted Everina cheerfully, “Are you excited about our first big quest as well?” She asked and smiled at the cleric. “I heard your sub-class is tamer. Have you caught any yet? There's bound to be interesting pets available with the latest patch!”

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Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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“Do you feel that you were born into the wrong world? Would you like to be reborn anew?”


Those were the words that appeared on the noticed, when she logged into the game for the day. Everina, or Evie as and most of the gaming community liked to call her, jumped gleefully after reading the message. She had been waiting for this content for the longest time. The developers had kept the update under lock and key, so now that the it was finally out she couldn't hold herself back from instantly clicking the rebirth button.

Everything went black as a the sensation off falling overtook her. She giggled loving the rush until it all ended with her landing gracefully in front of a monitor. On the display were many options ranging from hair color to breast size. There were so many things to change it took her while, but in the end she only to end up making her hair longer and giving it some highlights to make it stand out more. In the real world she had always wanted to have highlights in her hair, but with all of the chemo she had no hair to speak of.

After her appearance was altered, next was her class. Evie looked at each class carefully and read every little bit of information she could. All of the different classes looked great, but only one stood out. She quickly made her choice and after a confirmation the sensation of falling graced her once again. She looked around her taking in her surroundings then did a little flip before using a the branches of trees to slow down her momentum. Once she was comfortable with the speed she fell at Evie curled into a ball and rolled to a stop.

She stood up and dusted off he kimono like attire, then looked at the surrounding foliage. It was so lifelike. Shaking her head she opened her menu and decided to look at her skills. She still had a good amount of them, but a few of them were missing. This didn't surprise her at all. She then moved on to her new skills. Most of them were grayed out, but two were currently available. Tame was one of them. That skill was pretty self explanatory, she could tame creatures then call them to fight for her. Her second skill was a passive. She decided to turn it on and see what she could find.

Oddly enough, she couldn't find anything for quite awhile. That is until she heard a cry for help. Everina ran as fast as she could, summoning her default pet quickly. A small silver fox ran next to her as she came upon the scene of girl running for her life. The creature she ran from, according to her analysis skill, was a Minotaur. It took awhile as profile became clearer over time, but some of his abilities began to reveal themselves. He could silence on eye contact, and that was all she needed to know.

"I'm coming!" she called to the other player, turning off her passive to cast antibody spell. Once the girl had been cleansed, Evie sent the small fox to distract the monster as she cast a healing spell. As the little orbs floated around her she sent them at the girl to heal her. The fox ripped and scratched at the monsters legs and did very little, but it did catch the attention of the Minotaur just enough for it to swat the animal away. It yelped as it was hit, but it twirled in the air to push off the tree. The little kit then jumped up to the creatures face and scratched at its eyes.

As this happened Evie ran to the girl and helped her up. "Come on we have to get you out of here." She lifted her fellow players arm over her shoulder then began slowly walking. Just then another yelp was heard and the fox that had been distracting the Minotaur desummoned from lack of health. "Uh oh...."

-------------------


Two weeks later, Evie had joined a group and they now took on the game together. It took her awhile to accept the fact that she could not log out, considering the fact it took some convincing to tell her that she couldn't log out in the first place. After taking it all to heart, she was actually pretty happy. She could do more here than she could in the real world. She could use magic and call animals to protect her. That was way better than sitting in the hospital eating three meals a day, watching the same show at the same time every single day. This was nearly a god sent, maybe even better.

Currently Evie was following the new party she had joined. They were on their way to their first major quest. She walked behind the group silently wondering what this adventure would bring. As she thought to herself Callisto, the local fairy, joined her.

"Hey Evie! Are you excited about our first big quest as well?" The warlock/charmer smiled at her. “I heard your sub-class is tamer. Have you caught any yet? There's bound to be interesting pets available with the latest patch!”

"I am pretty excited to see what hurdles they put up for us to jump over, but I am still pretty nervous. There is a lot of pressure one me since I'm the cleric ya know?" Evie had never actually voiced those thoughts to anyone, but that really kept her up at night. One slip up and she could have a death on her hands. Evie shook her head and gave the best smile she could muster. "But I'm sure it will turn out fine" she said in her normally bubbly tone. "And for your question about my pets no I haven't caught any yet. All I have right now is little Ritsu here" she said nodding her head to the little fox the trotted on the other side of her. "I do hope I can find some other pets, like a wildcat or maybe bird! That would be so cool!" she gushed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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As Raava spoke to him through the open voice chat, a deep annoyed sigh responded to his words.

"Don't you understand the concept of scouting? It's looking ahead without detection. Now how would I do a good job at that if I were to talk to you in response to every little detail I come across?" Sikes replies to him with his typical annoyed response. He had joined the guild with the rest of them about two weeks ago, but wasn't all that much of a team player. He had been a lone player in the game for so long so it was going to take some getting used to for him. For the time being, he stuck with semi-solo tasks within the guild like scouting and such. After letting off some slight steam at Raava through the chat, he went right to giving his report.

"So far I haven't seen any threats along the way, but that doesn't mean the cost is clear. Make sure you all keep your eyes peeled. As leader your responsible for what happens to the rest of the guild." He reminds Raava of his position, already knowing him enough to make it a habit of trying to make sure their "leader" wasn't slacking off. "Any other questions?" His annoyed tone of voice clear to notice through the chat.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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"Maya, dinner's ready!" A matured and feminine voice called from outside the high school girl's room. The girl with glasses was still in her chair and typing controls into the computer, not responding and instead playing silently with the game on her computer. She liked to play solo anyways.

"I'm coming." She finally responded, taking her glasses off and going out for dinner, but the dinner was short. She could have eaten everything and anything she wanted, but after finding that game, she became incredibly addicted. The addiction slowly dragged her away from reality, especially since the high schooler felt no attachments to her reality in the beginning. It was a way for her to escape the horrible world she wanted to disappear from.

'Yeah," The girl thought to herself as she began to log in again. Something popped up on the game's screen. It looks like the agreement and terms article that people always put in the beginning of pretty much everything, so she just hit accept without reading through it all, 'If I could leave this reality, so somewhere are amazing, beautiful, and wonderful as the one there... that'd be nice.' She thought to herself as she began to log in. Except, this time, her game turned out to have made a few changes.

• • •

Something flew past her ear. A bird maybe? Naia, now, didn't open her eyes to check. She simply in took the sound, and whatever was going on around her, she didn't bother to try and take a glance at. Along the way down, wherever she was falling, she did take a peek at the high white clouds above her, and suddenly, all noise halted for a minute.

Naia felt something soft brush her cheek and when she turned, it was the green grass of the ground. She frowned. Grass? How did she feel it? Something wasn't right. Naia kept her composure and didn't freak out just yet. Calmness was the key to any horrible situation. That she knew, at the very least.

A forest was surrounding her, and the trees that were above her nearly caved in, only leaving a small open ray of sunlight while the rest were a little darker than the area she landed in, "It's like Snow White..." She thought out loud, referring to the scenery of the dark and bright forest.

While observing her atmosphere, taking in everything and anything as quick as possible, she realized she looked a little different. White hair? A black outfit? Where did the crosses come from? Well, whatever had happened, she didn't mind her new appearance. That was really the least of her concerns, but really. She did look sort of cool.

Suddenly, a movement was heard near the trees and Naia immediately reached for the sword at her waist. Of course she had played games before, but nothing seemed... this realistic. In some manner, it scared her, and she was at least going to act the part.

Nothing came out of the bushes for a very long time, though Naia still kept her one handed sword held up in a battle-looking stance while, with her other hand, she opened the menu, "Log out..." She whispered desperately, now wanting to go back to her 'dull and horrible world,' "Log out... Where... Where!" Naia found herself trembling as the noises in the bushed began to approach her.

The noise had attracted a two-headed white wolf. She remembered in the game they were a very low level, and some sort of confidence came back to her as she smirked and raised her sword, "Come on. Try me..." She said shakily, with much more courage than she felt.

Her words, somehow, aggravated the wolf as it charged forwards. The sound of it's growl scared her and she immediately yelled as she brought her sword down. It had made a large wound in it's fur, but the wound wasn't an instant kill, and to Naia's surprised, it continued it's sprinting in her direction and snatched right onto her arm.

A sudden bolt of pain ran through her whole body as she let out a reckless and terrified scream. That wasn't right, 'I-I'm not supposed to be feeling this! This isn't real!' She wanted to scream as she held in the pain by biting hard onto her lip. It was only when she got enough energy, once the wolf released its grip, as it began to grow tired from its injury, that Naia was able to draw up the light sword and run it straight through the double headed wolf. After pulling back, the creature fell onto its side and laid there, lifelessly.

• • •

Within the following week, she got used to the fact of trying to survive the game. She never really understood what happened, the whole situation of now living inside a game. Naia wasn't really a fan of it, but she didn't exactly hate it either. Real life wasn't the reality she had in mind, yet neither was the game.

She sighed, "This is frustrating..." She murmured to herself.

The people in her new 'guild' were strange to her. They all seemed to be in the same situation, not being able to log out and being legit players. Most of them seemed ok, though Naia, both in game and in real life, wasn't one to work with others. Still, in a world with survival, that didn't matter much anymore.

A moment later, Naia opened a chat to Sikes and started to talk, meanwhile cutting down a monster to size. She had to do something to keep herself from being bored, "You don't have to lecture our leader on what he's doing." She said harshly, as usual, "He knows what he's doing. Besides, we'd appreciate it more if you could join the fight." She said, finally killing off the beast in front of her as her exp bar went up slightly, but not enough to satisfy her, "Or, is being a small dps holding you back from getting any action?" She teased, yet her voice and words were cold and degrading as always.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Callisto Character Portrait: Raava the Red Phantom Character Portrait: Aura Character Portrait: Everina Character Portrait: Naia Character Portrait: Sikes
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Raava the Red Phantom


The longer Raava spent in this cramped cave with these other players, these strangers the more tension between them rose. The people were snarky to say the least, sarcasm was obviously a weapon here- shot and quickly reloaded. It was obvious that the hostility was born out of pure frustration, but it was becoming nauseating to say the least. Raava hated conflict and usually avoided it at all cost, but this time he had nowhere to go. He tried to interject a couple of times,but someone would swiftly shut him down, or his opinion would go completely unnoticed. He'd all, but given up and eventually everyone had found their own little corners in the cave and they sat in silence for what felt like hours. The bit of sunlight he cold see towards the cave opening was disappearing. Were they just going to stay in this cave forever? He felt pathetic for admitting it, but a part of him was content with doing just that. A habit his younger brother hated him for. But all he could think about was the pain he underwent when he was attacked by that monster. His wounds were all healed, his health bar refilled after a few minutes had gone by, just as it normally would...but the fear of experiencing those strikes again was paralyzing.

Statements and scoldings he imagined his younger brother would be dishing out at him for doing nothing started flooding his brain in silence. One particular quote came to mind and a chuckle slipped from his mouth. Even though no one was looking at him, he knew the others around him had heard it. The first time anything, but a shout or insult was uttered. He suddenly felt the need to speak, something he often did when he went too long without hearing his own voice. "Y'know if my brother was here...and saw me like this he'd probably kick my ass..." He started grinning. "I've always been different than him even though I'm the older brother he's always been so much better at life than I am. He's better with people, problems...taking action, but me...I'm the polar opposite. Even when I'm around people I have always felt a sort of disconnect from them. Like I didn't belong or something. Like I was just different and no matter how hard I tried to assimilate I couldn't. Not because I didn't want to, but just because I was a puzzle piece shoving myself into the wrong puzzle.

Eventually, I think subconsciously I realized this and stopped caring about being a part of their world and started living in my own. I became in different to everything, except gaming. Naturally everyone I considered myself close to...drifted away or maybe I pushed them away. I don't know. I don't even know what I'm talking about." His head sunk and he scratched his head feeling as if he'd just made a fool of himself, but unknowingly his words resonated with a truth that rung within everyone around him.

They were complete strangers, but they were kindred spirits.

You whine so much, shut up and do something. You're boring me, Raava slapped himself with both hands and jumped up.

"I've had enough! I can't stay down here anymore!" He shouted. Everyone probably thought he was losing his mind, maybe he was. "We can't stay in here. Those monsters are strong, but there is six of us. This might sound dumb to you, but it isn't and you all know it. I thought the log out option disappearing was just a glitch and that all we had to do was wait for it to get fixed, but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. There's something going on and we're not going to find out what it is sitting in this black little hubble. We have to work together. We have to."

At some point everyone was finally in agreement. Admins nor mods were responding to their messages. They hadn't even sent out any announcements.

One by one they climbed out of the cave and their escape from the Twilight Forest began. They fought as one unit, moving like a rushing river ever forward.

"Remember you have to treat the person next to you as if you depend on them. No one here is expendable. You need her and she needs you. We'll all die if someone only cares about saving their own ass!" He'd tell them constantly.

They encountered more and more monsters the deeper they traversed and finally after three long days and many close call they reached the edge of the forest and came upon an extravagant city with ivory ivory towers and busy streets. There were other players wandering the city. They apparently arrived just in time as everyone was assembling in the city square. Where there seemed to be a group of Masked characters standing waiti to give a speech.

They called themselves the Emissaries, a guild of admins who then informed them of their fate. All the players, here in Mau Vezeria had signed their lives over to End Saga. This was their new life. Their new reality. Unless they could clear the expansion.

Chaos broke out immediately and Emissaries showed no mercy slaughtering anyone who threatened them.

Raava's group of new companions slowly disintegrated until he was left standing alone. He left the square with a lot to think about.

He then opened his menu and sent his former cave companions all an invitation.

A guild invite.

***
Two weeks later


It was now towering over them. A enormous black spire reaching into the clouds stood before the six of them. They finished off the straggling mobs and entered what was rumored to be the "Final Dungeon". The guild that completes it would gain their freedom from End Saga and return to reality.

"Ready or not: Let's do this."