137 Traveling to Oasis
Delphi set course for Glory and hoisted full-sail. She was surprised that no one had ported back. Each of them found quiet spots at the rail and watched the ocean as the Phoenix headed toward home.
Pon was the first one to approach him, the old mage didn't look pissed off for once. "You're the one who killed the Chaos Mage?"
Nix nodded, "not before he put a serious mind f*ck on me."
"Aye... that was just about the shittiest thing ever." Pon lay a hand on his shoulder, "I'd never hurt you boy. You know that, right?"
"An old geezer like you? Completely harmless."
Slowly the group reformed. Wylie grabbed Pon and held him close for a long time before releasing him. No one asked questions, but there were quite a few hugs passed around.
By the time the Phoenix made port, spirits had risen to the point where they started to joke with each other.
/Inferno: Nix: Meet me at the Guild Office Sem. Pon, Wind, and Fajii, give us 30 minutes and then join us at the Guild Office.
/Inferno: Semmi: I'd rather not...
/Inferno: Nix: Humor me.
/Inferno: Semmi: Fine.
/Inferno: Jun Li: A free Stat? What's that even mean?
/Inferno: Semmi: Be very careful with this one. Don't jump on it too fast and make a regrettable decision.
Nix entered the Parliament Guild Office a few minutes later, Semmi was hard at work at her desk. She offered Nix a smile when she saw him. "I heard from Wind that this was a tough quest."
"It was." Nix had given it some thought on the trip back. What would have happened to them if he hadn't broken the spell?
"I'll probably become a rogue when we start on Oasis content." Semmi brought up the rogue class on her hud.
Nix leaned closer. "Oasis isn't open skills like Colonial? There are set classes?"
"Yes and no."
Nix pulled a chair closer and took a seat. "Explain."
Semmi displayed her stats for Nix to read. "For explanation purposes, I'll say that there are five levels of Classes. Take me for instance, Level 50 and I dual-wield daggers with a stealth support skill. That combination of talents is loosely called Scout in Colonial."
Nix nodded. "So that's level 1?"
"Correct. When I advance to level 100 and continue increasing the effectiveness of my skills I will be considered a Level 2 class."
Nix watched as she put the Rogue class back on her hud. "How does the Rogue class figure in?"
"Rogue is a level 3 Special class, upgradeable to level 4. If I went to Oasis and stayed as a Scout, that would be upgraded to level 3, but it would stop there."
Nix leaned back in his chair, considering the class dilemma. "All of the players that came to Oasis will eventually either have to change classes or be content with a level 3 class."
Semmi nodded. "Exactly right... Well mostly. These level 3 Special classes have skill requirements. Look at Rogue."
Agility 40 or higher
Perception 30 or higher
Nix whistled softly. "Any workarounds?"
"Thankfully yes, you can wear stat-boosting gear to bring up yourself up. As long as you meet the requirement for initial training, you qualify."
"Let's discuss this later Sem. We should anchor the Oasis World Seed." Nix accessed his inventory and removed the seed. It looked exactly like a black marble.
[Do you wish to anchor the Oasis World Seed?]
[Please choose from the list of qualified Anchors.]
1) Inferno Guild Office: Parliament
"Not a lot of choices." Nix selected the Inferno Guild Office.
[The Oasis World Seed is now anchored to the Inferno Guild Office: Parliament]
[Please set Permission for Oasis World Seed]
1) Inferno Officers
2) Inferno Members
3) Individual Selection
"Individual Selection." Nix opened the menu and added himself, Semmi, Pon, Wind, and Fajii. A new icon displayed itself on his hud. [Oasis: World Seed]
Semmi let out a long breath. "Okay, that worked. That icon will only be active while in the Guild Office. The rest of the time it will be grayed out."
A few minutes later, Pon, Wind, and Fajii arrived at the Guild Office. Nix had already briefed them on the trip to Mystery Island. Each of them understood that it was potentially a one-way ride. Without saying anything further, he activated the icon.
Nix stepped off the large portal and onto the long grass of a small meadow. The area was heavily forested and the time of day was getting close to dusk. He continued walking to avoid being run into by his group.
[Do you wish to set your binding point to Oasis Seed World: Inferno Guild Office?]
Nix waited until the entire group had changed their binding point. "Say what you want, this is one impressive Seed World."
Semmi was shielding her eyes from the setting sun with one hand while she peered into the distance. "Forest as far as you can see. Amazing right?"
Wind whistled softly. "How big is this place?"
"Big enough for all of us to use our homestead tokens." Pon's face was relaxed and smiling. "Forests are pretty and all, but I need some lands for pasture if I'm going to start a ranch."
Semmi gave him a surprised look. "Horses or cattle?"
"Cattle and maybe some sheep."
"Time to go." Nix stepped back onto the platform and was immediately sent to the Guild Office.
The group was silent as they exited Parliament through the 70th floor and left the Embassy. They took the dock's portal to Jhabi and then summoned their mounts. It was nearly an hour ride to the Escalade Bridge, the sun had just dipped below the horizon by the time they arrived.
The Guardian was a Dhassi. He wore heavy plate armor that glowed with power. A sword was strapped over one shoulder and he held a large kite shield in one hand. "Go back now. No one is allowed to pass."
His voice was deep and radiated pure strength. His helm covered his hair and ears but Nix guessed from his face that he was probably a Fir'Dhassi. Nix took a moment to admire the craftsmanship of the gear. The Guardian wore white plated armor with intricate gold patterns inlaid, definitely the work of a master.
Nix held up the Escalade Token. "We have these for passage, Guardian."
The Guard extended a plated glove and Nix placed the token in his hand. "These will get you across. Let me warn you, once you leave you will not be able to find this bridge again."
Nix nodded. "We are prepared."
The Guardian stepped to one side. "You may pass."
As agreed beforehand, they linked arms and walked together. No wanted to risk being separated from the group.
An instant later they stepped into soft sands of a rapidly cooling desert. Before them was the gated entrance to a city. Impressive stone walls made from adobe brick extended 20 feet into the night air. The entire gate area was lit with numerous torches.
"You stand before the Su'Dhassi City of Phai. Enter or go away." The voice of a guardsman caused the group to look upward. Three Dhassi were standing over the wall and another two were on either side of the entrance.
"Thank you, Guardsman." Nix led the group into the city.
/Inferno: Semmi: The map I studied says this street runs directly into the market. That's where the Phai City Portal is.
/Inferno: Nix: No need to dally. We'll go directly to the portal and take that to the Oasis World Seed. I'll go last.
It was only two blocks to the market area. Unlike the paved stone of Colonial cities, the streets of Phai were packed sand. Market Square was easily five times bigger than the one Nix has seen in Jenzi. All the vendor booths were closed for the night and the square was empty.
Nix waited while his group members stepped onto the portal and disappeared, then he pulled out Deep Blue. He deleted the Cyphix City nav-point.
[Save Phai City to Slot 4?]
'Yes." Nix stepped onto the platform a moment later and selected his binding point.
/Inferno: Pon: Why you dragging your feet boy?
They were standing together just off the platform when Nix arrived. "We won't see that city again for at least a year, maybe two. I wanted to take it all in."
Since Nix was already standing on the Platform he activated it again, one choice came up, Inferno Guild Office: Parliament. Nix waved at his friends and selected the Guild Office.
An hour later, the Officers held a meeting on the back of Nix's houseboat in the Sea-World.
/Inferno: Jun Li: It worked? So we can come back.
/Inferno: Semmi: It was scary not knowing. It's confirmed, we can return.
/Inferno: Pon: Can we use our homestead tokens now?
/Inferno: Nix: Can anyone think of a reason to wait? The Oasis World is ours and it's anchored to our Guild Office.
/Inferno: Semmi: I can't think of anything. The sooner we let people explore it, the sooner it will be mapped out.
/Inferno: Jun Li: How about we restrict the usage of homestead tokens but encourage exploration.
/Inferno: Nix: Good idea. After we have a working map, we can open up it up to settlement.
/Inferno: Semmi: It's only a superficial change, but I vote for a name change. Oasis Seed World doesn't sound like home.
/Inferno: Nix: Fine with me. Suggestions?
After a few minutes of discussion, the name of the Oasis Seed World was changed to Haven, a name that Ronnie suggested.
/Inferno: Nix: We have anything else?
/Inferno: Jun Li: Our Lifestyle players aren't represented at these meetings. I would like to make Nansu an Officer.
/Inferno: Nix: Nansu would make a good officer.
A few minutes later, Nix was walking through Shae's world. He found her sitting next to her garden, watching the birds chase each other through the trees.
"When did you add birds Shae?" Nix took a seat on the soft ground next to her.
She was wearing a green dress that stopped at her knees. Her hands played with the end of her long red braid. "Rhy helped me bring them in. I like her."
Nix smiled. "Hmm... I like you." He sat down next to her, his smile fading a bit as he thought about the Onion Quest.
Shae smiled happily. "I like you too Nix." She slid an arm through his and waited. She was good at reading people.
Eventually, Nix broke the silence and told her the details of the Onion's last layer; How'd he'd been forced to destroy his family over and over.
"You're very strong Nix. None of the others were able to break out of the illusion." Shae pulled him toward her until his head rested on her chest. "That must have been very hard for you."
"The first two were bad... but the last one felt like my soul was ripping apart." He closed his eyes, trying to shut out the memory.
Soft lips kissed his eyelids and warm hands caressed his face. They stayed like that for several minutes.
Nix pulled out the object he'd received from the Quest and placed it in her hands.
Archon: Class V
Description: Changes the class
of the user to Archon.
[Racial Requirement: Salamander]