Kingdom of Glacier the Alchemist of Dusk

Alchemist of Dusk is the much awaited new Downloadable Content to the massive online role playing game Kingdom of Glacier or KOG for short. Stan, our protagonist, has a younger sister who is stuck in hospital and as a present he introduces her to the game but the once fun game takes a sudden dark turn for the worst.

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1. Chapter 1 New DLC

Stannis the high elf waited at the entrance to Glacier Castle, cloaked and cowled in black all apart from his bow and quiver were on show, the high elf stood head and shoulders above average humans and add his cat like eyes that shone through the shadows of his cowl, he was one intimidating guy. 
Yet all the people that past his way didn't even throw a second glance, even the castle guards who marched in formation in full plate gear just went about their duty. 
The high elf lifted his right hand and swiped the air in front of him vertically and opened his menu. 
Kingdom of Glacier the top MMORPG, sold over one hundred thousand copies the day it was released and five years later the much awaited downloadable content was released, The Alchemist of Dusk.
Using Cognitive Head Gear the player can immerse there entire body into the game in a 3-d dimension, so whilst your body is in a sleep like state your also enjoying an on-line game as if in a dream. 
Which our main character was currently immersed in and was impatiently waiting to play, all the new stuff was happening and he was stuck here, however, there was another thing that he was more important that was at the front of his mind, an event that he just couldn't miss and wished that all his on-line friends were here to see.
"Stannis!", Someone yelled, the High Elf turned to look across the drawbridge and saw a human wearing a dark purple eccentric suite and cravat with a matching but oversized top hat , his dark purple drench coat billowed dramatically behind him and his white eye mask had a sense of mysteriousness about it. 
Such is the Caster Class. 
But to Stannis it was his best friend in real life and his most reliable and go to guy in the game, and he was pretty sure he'd say the same, "Aon!" Stannis smiled and walked up to his Caster pal, the two grasped each others hands and shuck firmly, "What took you so long to log on?" 
"I'm surprised I was even able to log on with this many people on at once, just slow internet I guess, so who are we waiting for?" he leaned in a bit closer, "And whats this surprise you got installed?" 
Stannis held up his hands, "You'll just have to wait and see", he turned around to the spawn point in the castle court yard, there were a lot of players logging in and running off down into the town, he turned back to Aon, "I hope everyone gets here in time, would be a shame to miss this". 
"Up's up's!" said a Childs voice, Stannis turned back around and looked down to find a cute blond haired girl reaching up to him with both arms, "Up's Up's!", she continued.
"I'll give you Up's", Growled a voice a huge armoured hand grabbed the girl from behind and lifted her up as easy as a doll and placed her atop one of his huge shoulders, that was almost like a horse saddle.
"Holo! Mana!" Stannis exclaimed, "You made it!" 
Holo, the Knight class, although human had specked himself out to be the biggest and bulkiest of all the characters in all the game, dressed in full plate gear with a wall of a shield and a sword big enough that it should be registered as a two-handed, he was the one person you wanted at the front, the strange thing about him was he was a man of few words and was often chewing his hair like he was bored, but you couldn't question his skills, he's just turn up to raids and dungeons, never loose aggro, and one complete raid or dungeon later just leave as silently as he came.  
Then there was Mana of the Duchess race, a female only race that didn't age above twelve and were well known for being extremely cute, it was the only thing that was questionable about the game, everything else was hunky-dory, giant lizards, dragons, undead, spore monsters but Duchesses? 
What was going through the designers mind when developing them? 
Stannis didn't know and didn't want to know, Mana, although acted like a chilled was actually an accomplished healer and there was probably no better person to trust your health points to than her. 
As strange as it was however there was always something fishy about her and him, Holo, but Stannis couldn't quite place his finger on it. 
Just subtle hints here and there that didn't quite add up.
But it was forgiven because they were such good friends and great players. 
"Just one more person", Aon announced. 
"Stannis has surprise", Mana sang kicking out.
The knight spoke deeply, "I don't think Scarlets going to be able to come in time". 
"Why not?" Stannis asked. 
"I met her not to long ago at her Alchemist's Emporium, had her hands full with... Crimson Debauchery". 
The four of them together sighed, Crimson Debauchery, the top raiding guild in Kingdom of Glacier, had over four hundred committed players.
Aon sniggered, "Must be terrible being drastically needed by the top guild all the time, if Scarlets not available i'd gladly take her place". 
"I don't know", Stannis said sadly, "Some of the things I've heard them say to her, not very nice, it's horrible that they could be like that, best Alchemist in the game or not no-one deserves that". 
"Stannis like's Scarlet!" Mana giggled. 
The High Elf scowled, "She has a kid you know!" 
Still if the rumours about Scarlet were true, that she had made her in-game Avatar to look as humanly possible to look like herself in the real world, then Stannis might try his luck, kid or no kid. 
Back onto Stannis's surprise it should be about the right time, they'ed just have to go ahead without Scarlet, he turned to the spawn point then back to his friends and addressed them, "Alright everyone, now I know some of you don't know this but I have a younger sister and I've invited her to play". 
Mana hopped off the knight, "Is she cute? Pretty?" 
"She's", Stannis struggled for words, this was exactly what kind of strange vibes Mana gave off, "Well!"
Aon interrupted, "Isn't your younger sister handicapped?"
There was a bit of an awkward silence. 
Handicapped she was indeed, hadn't been able to walk since she was born, although it never seemed to get her down Stannis knew his sister very well and he hated seeing her stuck in that wheelchair all the time and struggling to do everyday tasks everyone else took for granted, "I just", Stannis began, "Want to give to a break so I came up with the idea of buying her Cognitive Gear so she can play with everyone because in here, you can be whatever you want, for a few hours you leave behind the troubles of the real world, I just hope everything works out fine". 
"I'm sure they will", Mana seemed so sure, "Cognitive Gear works via brain-waves so even if your bodies limp as a bone, so long as you got a functioning brain, you can play-"
Stannis and everyone else's eyebrows rose questionable. 
"-up's up's", Mana laughed playfully.
There was that weird vibe again, weird...
"So-" Aon began, "Do you know what kind of person your sisters going to make?" 
"Well I did run through all the races, she said that didn't matter, she was more interested in classes, Knight, Caster, Rouge, Alchemist, Cleric, she had me read all the descriptions and heck, I learned something new about rouge's and I've been playing for Five years". 
"What you learned?" 
"I can equip one-handed Long Swords in my off-hand, I can duel-wield long swords".
"Everybody knows that", Aon said confused, "I just thought all this time you were duel daggers because of the Back Stab bonuses".
"Well Back Stab does sound more practical in PVE extra parry and DPS also has it's advantages in curtain circumstances such as-"
The Knight clenched his eyes together as he listened to the two ramble on and on about different tactics for each circumstances only when they'ed finally come to a conclusion they'ed make a counter solution and the things would just go round and around and around, he mumbled something so faintly it was mist even by High Elf Sensitive hearing, he went back to chewing his hair.
"This could be her now", Stannis said seriously as a new player in the spawn area was being created in millions of light specks from the feet up. 
"No way that's her", Aon dismissed and turned to talk to Mana.
It was a female character, Stannis observed, of the Knight class, she was dressed in the plain grey beginner plate gear and had duel swords and a halberd strapped to her back, her long chocolate brown hair spilled down her shoulders and she had that braid on the right side.
She opened her eyes as if waking for the first time and took in her surrounding but none of that seemed to interest her, she gazed down at her legs as if a foreign object. 
Stannis ebbed forward and read the name above her head, it read, Malisment the Knight.
She took a unsteady single step forwards as if it were the hardest thing to to but after the step her face brightened and the biggest smile crossed her face, "I walked!" 
"Hay! Malisment!" Stannis called. 
She looked up and her eyes glistened with joy, "Stannis!" she yelled and raced over, tears of joy streamed down her face and she threw herself at him with open arms.
One recovery later and awkwardness over with. 
Stannis cleared his throat, "This is my sister and this is my motley gang". 
Malis's eyes glistened, "So your Holo, Stan's told me all about you, can't stop in-fact, feels like I already know you".
Holo blushed and looked away sheepishly scratching his cheek, "...I hope not". 
"Up's Up's!" Sang Mana. 
"And you must be Mana", Malis smiled crouching down, "I bet a super cute avatar like yourself is just as cute in real life". 
Mana giggled, "Keep complimenting me like and I'll throw a heal your way in dungeons every now and then and maybe on rare occasions the Blessing of Light buff". 
"I've heard healing is very important so I'll make sure to butter up to you more", Malisment pattered the girl on the head. 
"Can't wait", it was those strange shadows under her eyes that made her look so cunning all of a sudden, Malisment pulled back a sec, "Up's up's" She sang merrily.                                      
Malis then turned around to face the caster, "I know you your Aon and Stannis's real life friend, I watched you play a few times and some of your moves were so beautifully amazing-", Aon blushed and scratched the back of his head, "-I was thinking of making a caster but I didn't want to rain on your parade", and suddenly he felt as if a dagger went straight into his gut that some new player thought she could do better than him. "So!" Malis said excitedly, "Whats the plan? We going to go kill some NPC? PVP? Quests?"
Stannis thought about it and swiped the air vertically to open his menu, "The Alchemists of Dusk's Awakening event starts at twelve in the main plaza so we've only got an hour and a half-" He pressed the map button and zoomed out from the city map to the island map, "I suggest we go to the Grass Lands Starting area, the mobs there have a low skill parameter, so its a good place to go and learn the basic controllers and test out macro's, If we go to the stables and higher out horses we could make it there in ten minutes".
"Horses!" Malisment blurted, come to think about Malis had always had a thing about horses so her excitement was normal to Stannis and now that he thought about it had he mentioned that there were horses to her earlier she probably would have joined the game five years ago, "We're walking!" she stated suddenly, The high elf chocked, "I've done enough riding around and I know you wouldn't understand the pleasure of walking, besides I want to explore this city a little looks fascinating", and with that she went marching of.
Aon leaned towards Stannis's ear, "I sense a shift in power". 
Stannis buried his head in his hands, "What have I created". 
The walk around Glacier City wasn't all that bad, and for the first time since starting the game Stannis found himself taking in the scenery and actually appreciating the amount of work that had gone into making the city as beautiful as it was. 
Glacier City was located on the very west of the map, where the highest mountains were typically the mountains were called Glacier Mountains, so was the city called. But the city it's self was built on and insides the front of the mountains with a huge waterfall in-between that had four drops, each with their own stunning rainbow and pooled into a reservoir.
The houses were all castle like, so the place had a real military feel wherever you were, the town districted, trade, living, old, new and most obviously the castle district, however the beauty side of it came with the mountain flowers that grew up every wall giving the place a lush wild side.
Stannis couldn't believe it, he'd mist this side of the game-
"Wow look at your uniforms there so dashing!" Malisment squealed excitedly dashing over. 
That black armour with crimson lining, the red tabard with a curled up black fist, there was only one guild it could be. 
The three of them stood together underneath their flag, one knight, a Cleric and a caster all dressed in their appropriate black and crimson colours, Stannis had to admit they were dressed cool and was a little jealous but if he added crimson to his gear, it just wasn't worth the hassle. 
Crimson Debauchery had literally monopolised Crimson and Black as their colours and saw it as copyright infringement if anyone was to copy the pattern and colours. 
"Hay!" the Cleric called with a wave, "You interested in joining Crimson Debauchery, the top raiding guild in Kingdom of Glacier, were currently looking for new devoted players, we can sign you up right here and now if you'ed like?"  
Before Aon could finish his sentence, Should we intervene, Stannis rushed forward and cut in front of his sister, "She doesn't want to join", he said sternly taking hold of his sisters hand and began pulling her in the opposite direction when the Cleric stepped in front of him.
"Excuse me but I was talking to the lady and she looks old enough to make decisions on her own", the Knight and the Caster stepped up behind Stannis. The High Elf sighed, trust his sister to get him into trouble in the first hour of playing the game, "Trust me girl if you want to get the most out of this game your going to want to ditch this Guild-less looser". 
Malis drew her sword suddenly, "Thats my brother your talking about!"
He was touched that his sister stood up for him but, he put his hand on her blade and pushed down, "Don't fight them", Examining their gear these three had completed the raid Horde Landing one of the hardest Raids pre Game, and all three had a skill rating of ninety, so these three were clearly expert players.
But.
That wasn't the reason why Stannis told her to stand down. 
Attacking someone in the city's would course the Guards to attack you and a bounty would be put on your head, something Stannis didn't need that right now considering everyone was in town he'd be open for attack. 
The Cleric snorted, "If we weren't in the city, me and my buddies would totally own you-" 
"-how about a duel?" Mana said appearing suddenly in front of the caster, "We are allowed to do that". 
The Caster looked down his noise at the Duchess with little regard, "I don't have time to be messing around with little girls so why don't you and your guild-less friends make yourselves scarce, your getting in the way of our recruitment".   
Mana huffed.
Malis stepped forward, "Its a wonder you have anyone in your guild with an attitude like that". 
The Caster made a shewing gesture, "Right whatever, just move along". 
"I think we will", Stannis tugged on Malis's arm and pulled her along. 
Mana gazed up at the caster with a cheeky grin, "By the way I'm not sure if you noticed but we have a Caster hidden somewhere ready to put Shadow Thorn Prison on your knight and our own big burly knight behind me was ready to Charge and Shilled Slam your Cleric and as for me I was ready with Divine Intervention to put on you, I believe that would have been check and mate", before the caster could reply she skipped off merrily to catch up with everyone else.
"They didn't have a Caster?" The Caster said confused and turned around to look at the group walking away only as soon as he did there Caster suddenly teleported in the mists of them and walked amongst them, his mouth dropped.                                          

Malis huffed and folded her arms, "What was his problem and what was all that talk about not being in a guild? What does it matter if your not in a guild?" 
"It matters to some people", Stannis explained, "there probably looking for new recruits so they can get more dungeons and raids going and intern get more profit kind of takes the fun out of the game but you don't need a guild to have fun with this game all you need is a good party, or if your feeling adventurous you could always do it yourself". 
"I see", Malis nodded understandingly, she then looked at her brother and then above his head to find his name clearly written in neon blue, she then examined everyone else's to find the same thing and even above her own, but that was just it a name, those three back there had their guild name displayed as well, "So why aren't you in a guild?"
The group fell silent.
Stannis new this would come up sooner or later, pulling down his hood he answered, "We can't find the right guild and besides you don't have to if you don't want to". 
Malis turned to the rest of the group who couldn't make eye contacted, "Lier", she muttered, they hadn't made much of an attempted to hide that they were, "Well I won't pry".

The open fields of Grass Land stretched out before them and the wild boars sniffed and trampled all over it digging for food. 
They found a secluded area in a fenced of field with a burned down barn way to the west of the city.
Stannis went into a crouch and drew his bow and notched an arrow, "As a Rouge I have Energy instead of Fury but the principles are still the same, at a maximum we have four hundred units-" the arrow he notched glowed yellow, "For each second I hold the arrow twenty units are added to the arrow, these units add twenty damage, so if you hold for twenty seconds you can deal an extra four hundred damage plus weapon damage", releasing the arrow it flew straight across the field and stuck into a boar dealing five-hundred and fifty damage killing it instantly, the boar dispersed into pixels as it fell over, Stannis stood up and slung his Bow back over his shoulder, "As a Knight your physical strength is twenty five percent higher than the second strongest class, your swords do a base damage of eighty, so in a single strike without charging you should deal a hundred and ten damage, so swinging both swords one's at anything around here you will be able to take on anything". 
Malis stood there with a blank expression. 
Stannis waved his hand back and two close to her face and got no reaction, "Have you disconnected?" 
Aon was beside him, "I think you overloaded her". 
Stannis was offended, "I think I did a good job of explaining damage out put!" 
She blinked heavily and shock her head, "Sorry I didn't quite catch all that I heard Twenty units of something added then switched off". 
The Elf sighed, how was he supposed to explain this any simpler.
Manna was suddenly between them, "It's simple you want quantity over quality, you and your swords do enough damage so there's no need to take time charging, instead you should only charge your weapon if your going to do a special move and only use the correct amount of units for the move otherwise it's a waste because you won't get the Fury back unless you kill something or are out of combat". 
Malis's head was spinning again. 
"Your making it sound to difficult", Aon showed her to one side, "Here it is as easy as you could get it, since your a Knight you deal a heavy amount of damage every second without charging so it's best to just attack normally instead of charging up attacks because special moves require fury, take the move Knock Down for example, it requires two units of Fury, that's forty points to use-"
Holo spat the hair from his mouth and jumped from the fence he was sat on, grabbed Malis by the shoulder and pointed at a wild boar, "Go! Kill it!"
Malis nodded and sprinted over drawing her swords.
Stannis scratched the back of his head, "Now why didn't I think of that".
The field irrupted into loud squeals as Malis tore through the boars like a whirlwind of blades.
The group huddled together as they watched her slaughter boar after boar and even though it was just a game with no blood, they couldn't help but feel sorry for the boars and a little scared of that psychotic grin on Malis's face, Stannis had never seen her enjoying herself so much. 
A wild boar charged at her, she pivoted put of the way bringing her swords around with her to slice both horizontally across the boars side instantly killing it. 
Stannis was impressed, she was nimble, truly appreciative of her leg movement, a fluid Knight, probably the most dangerous thing on the game, a fast moving fortress with heavy damage, then again what MMORPG didn't have warriors that were overly powered.                              
When all the boars were extinct from the area Malisment sheathed her long swords and skipped back to the group, "That was fun, what now?" 
Checking the time Stannis found they still had quite a bit of time left, "We could find another area with boars in for you to kill?" 
"I'm board of killing boars, I want something that will fight back!" Malis said sternly.
"Looking for a challenge?" Mana said coyly, "I now just what your looking for". 

"No! No! No! Absolutely No!" Stannis protested throwing his arms about, "I forbid this". 
"Whats the problem?" Mana asked casually, "It's just the Bridge Bandit Rip Van Wrinkly". 
"The problem", He began, "Is that Rip Van Wrinkly has the highest skill rating in this area by thirty three and all beginners unfortunate enough to not pay and try to fight him have all wound up back at the cathedral". 
"You just don't want her to beat him because you died when you first played the game", Mana nudged him in the arm with a cheeky grin, "Admit it!" 
Stannis threw his arms up in the air, "Fine whatever I suppose it'll be some good experience", he turned away with a huff, well even if she did defeat him what did it matter apart from getting a good Achievement early in the game, thats right so many people died on their first attempted that it got put as an achievement if you can defeat him with a skill level under ten and unfortunately that was after Stannis hit skill level thirty. 
Holo put a hand on Malis's shoulder, "Just walk up to him and refuse to pay up, after that I want you to only parry and dodge his attacks, he attacks just like any human would so it'll be good experience". 
Malis nodded and strode off drawing her swords. 
Stannis went and sat on the closest fence, Aon came and sat next to him, "Whats your problem?" he asked, "Your being very over protective, it's just a game you know?" 
He bowed his head a little, "I guess so, some habits die hard", he turned and looked down the path way just as metal struck against metal, his sister had just began battling out against Kingdom of Glaciers most iconic bandit, Rip Van Wrinkly, under the watchful eye of the Knight Holo, Mana cheered as loud as a one man band. He watched his sister battle it out back and two across the stone bridge and he found himself being sucked in and enjoying the battle, she seemed to be enjoying herself and then Stannis remembered why he had gone through all the trouble of getting her to play the game in the first place.
Aon nudged him in the arm, "You remember those three back in town", he began, Stannis turned to examine the opposite direction to the bridge, "They brought friends".
The same Caster and knight led the group consisting of an extra Caster, Cleric and an additional Rouge. 
By the fact they were walking in a triangle formation with the Knight at the front and Clerics at the back ment they weren't just passing through the Grass Lands for a leisurely walk they were hunting players, ether that or they were taking there walk very enthusiastically.               
"Mana! Holo!" Stannis called, the two turned and saw instantly, "Code word, Lock Down, you know what to do", hopping of the fence he drew his bow and notched an arrow. 
Aon cracked his knuckles and fell backwards off the fence to disappear into some bushes just as Holo walked in front of him to cut off line of sight. 
"There they are!" The lead Caster announced pointing a dagger like finger, "I knew you'd all be out here somewhere-" 
"Are you really doing this!" Mana laughed. 
"You specially", He shouted, "Your going to be the first to go". 
"I very much doubt that", Stannis's answered back, "We take good care of our healers".  
"Then we'll just kill you all one by one!" he snarled, "Attack!" 
Un-notching his drawn arrow suddenly the knight went down easily with a paralysing enhanced shot. 
At the same time Aon suddenly appeared amongst the group, directly in the centre, "Silence!" a burst of light erupted outwardly from his body in an explosion the wave washed over the group making them unable to cast spells.
Split second later Holo charged past the lead Cleric and Shield Bashed the Rouge knocking him off his feet and sending him rolling over and over-
Aon pointed at the second caster who was unable to do anything under the influence of Silence, "Zombie!" a dark cloud shot from his outstretched hand and hit the Caster turning his flesh rotten but otherwise dealing no damage. 
"Hammer of Light!" Mana yelled throwing her arms into the air as holy magic surged through her body like wild electricity and congregated in her hands to create the most dense hammers of light imaginable, so full of power it hummed deeply and spinning right around on the spot launched them at the Caster. 
The first hammer struck him square in the chest dealing one-thousand damage and the second smashed into his face for and extra one-thousand and before he even hit the floor his body dispersed into pixels of light.
Stannis crouched and notched three arrows.
"Shadow Thorn Prison!" Aon shouted, from the shadows of the Clerics and remaining Caster thorn vines grew up their legs and upper bodies rooting them to the ground. 
Holo Shield Slammed the Rouge again knocked him to the floor and finished him by putting his sword through his back, he turned instantly and rushed over and sliced threw the Shadow vines in a flurry of swings each time the vines exploded dealing five hundred damage each.
Just as the three thought they were free an arrow thudded into each of the at the same time and all they could do was gasp at the number, five hundred and fifty, before the dispersed into pixels. 
The Knight punched the ground in anger, the paralyse effect finally ran out, he jumped to his feet ready for battle only to find himself surrounded on all sides, his shoulders sagged, "Dam", he muttered and held up his hands.
Being good sports the group let him walk away.
"So after that!" Aon announced, "I did zero damage but assisted in the defeat of four, who's the bast caster in the game?"
Teleport: Teleport the user fifty yards forward of their direction. 
Silence: Put a silences de-buff on all players, within thirty yards, not in party coursing all spells to reset cool down for five seconds.
 Zombie: turn your opponents type into Zombie. 
Shadow Thorn Prison: Shadow Thorns arise from your opponents shadows, within thirty yards, entangling them and coursing then unable to move until three vines have been cut, each vine that is cut deal five hundred shadow damage.        

"Wouldn't have been much point if I weren't there", Mana sniggered.
Hammers of Light: Throw two hammers of light at a foe dealing five hundred damage each, if first hammer hits target courses flinch, if used against Zombie, ghost or demon Hammers of Light deals double damage.
"Be a little modest guys, it could have just as easily gone the other way", Holo warned.
Rush: Rush a target within fifty yards at four times the normal speed. 
Shield Slam: Slam a target with your shield coursing five hundred damage and Knock Down effect.
"Holo's right it could have gone the other way so easily-"
Paralysing Shot: Paralyse an enemy for thirty seconds, any battle damage courses the effect to end.
Multi-Shot: Allows the usage of three to four shots at a single time.
"-I think we should head back to town before they come back with even more players". A clash of weapons and a cry court his attention, he suddenly remembered his sister was battling Rip Van Wrinkly, and just as he turned around a figure was pushed of the bridge and hit the water with an almighty splash a bright light flashed under water as the body dispersed into pixels. 
Malisment slapped her hands together, a job well done.
Back in the city the five waited at the top of a building that overlooked the grand plaza were the official start to the Alchemist of Dusk was to begin, over a hundred thousand players were gathered on the plaza, outside the red bricked flooring which had NPC City guards lined up on the outside of the path barring access. 
Looking out over the plaza Stannis could see the flags of hundreds of guilds, a sea of mingled blue names above everyones heads. 
The noise of everyone talking and the fireworks, and that one person on the mega phone announcing each minute that past. 
This sure was an event and in his own little way Stannis was happy to be part of it. 
Mana leaned right over the safety rail squinting, "I wonder if Scarlet is down there somewhere?" 
"Who's Scarlet?" Malis asked. 
"Only the best darn Alchemist in the howl game and best friend to yours truly". 
"She just berly tolerates you", Holo grumbled. 
Mana puffed her checks with a growl. 
"But she is the best Alchemist", Holo finished and turned back to the Plaza, and chewing his hair. 
Stannis continued where Holo left off, "Unfortunately she wasn't able to join up with us but after the event I'm sure we'll find her at her Alchemists Emporium, right now I guess she's probably hanging back and watching the event from afar-" 
"She's the placid cool mysterious kind", Aon interjected, "Imagine her as that glistening glasses person with the shadowed face and colossal presence-"
"I think your going a little overboard", Stannis re-interjected, "I'll admit she's a better player than me-" 
"Whats this!" Aon interrupted, "I didn't know our strategist was so modest". 
"Strategist?" Malisment said confused, "I thought he was a rouge?"
Aon sniggered quietly.
Stannis blushed and pulled down his hood, "It's a little embarrassing".
Mana let loose a hefty laugh, "He is are undisputed leader, whats so embarrassing about that, basically Stannis barks out orders and we follow them".
"And his plans hardly ever fail", Holo added, "And even though it's just a game he's always thinking on how to keep everyone safe-" 
"He's a perfectionist", Mana smirked. 
Stannis's colour reddened, "Alright guys that's enough", he went over to the balcony and leaned his arms against them.
Malisment appeared by his side, "It's nice hearing good things about my big brother". 
"It's a bit of a bother", Stannis said under his breath, "It's just a game at the end of the day, I just add up all the numbers and the one with the highest numbers wins". 
"Really?" Malis said coyly, "I remember you telling me how skill based this game was and judging by the way you took on those six players back at Grass Land it's no wonder there so fond of you and trust you". 
His mouth dropped a little, she knew about that but the fight had only just lasted thirty seconds and she was concentrating on Rip Van Wrinkly, his mind suddenly went into over charge as he thought of possibilities, Malis had seen those six players and defeated a highly Skilled NPC, something of which no other low level player was capable of, the fastest way to beat him would have been to get his life points low enough and chuck him into water, so she beat Rip Van Wrinkly so she could help out...
And just over thirty seconds... 
Malis put a hand on his arm and when he looked at her, into her moist eyes, he could see deep emotion, "You know in this game you can be whatever you want to be, I'm a pretty Knight-" Stannis locked onto the word pretty she was saying that outside the game she wasn't, why would she say that? "-And your a strategist everyone looks up to and you think it's only in this game but it's not, people look up to you outside as well". 
"Like who?" He said bluntly. 
"I do, so it's ok to ravel in the moment a bit". 
He found it hard to believe that anyone could look up to him, and being five-foot five was just the start of it, at collage he was just average, not bad but not good ether, and he himself didn't need to be told that he was just playing MMORPG's just to escape the expectations of life. 
"I look up to you not because of test results or the fact that your my big brother but because of all the times you've been there for me, every doctors appointment and whenever I've needed a hand and those times when you stood back and let me struggle, I've seen you watching to make sure I'm ok and right now you've been brave enough to show me a howl different side of you and introduce me to some of your friends", she brushed the water from her eyes.
Stannis bowed his head to the revolution, his heart suddenly weighed a ton and he got a lump in his throat, "After the Alchemists of Dusk's event I'm going to log off and give you the biggest hug ever".
Malis grinned, "I'd like that very much". 
"So would I", Aon sighed happily. 
Trumpets suddenly sounded drowning out the chatting noise and everyone fell silent as if it were a command, way up the red brick path the grand double door to Castle Glacier opened outwards and a Royal possession of guards marched out in formation and in the middle the King and Queen on horse back followed by the second battalion of Royal Guards. 
Stannis squinted and leaned further over the balcony, something was off about the king, he looked exactly the same but there was just something different, usually all NPC's have there name colour as Green for friendly, yellow for passive and red for aggressive but the Kings name was blue, suggesting he was an actual player. 
Surly he was just imagining it, all the other times he had sneaked into the castle, the kings name was written in green. 
He rubbed his eyes, he couldn't be the only person seeing this. 
The Royal Possession continued, the front half went to the right of the plaza and took up positions insides the red bricked area, the king and queen took up positions on the raised stage as the second half went left. 
As the king ascended the stage to get ready for his speech Stannis activated his Skill, Insight, the skill allowed him to check the status's, inventory's, unfortunately he was unable to take things, and achievement of other players without their knowledge, this skill however when used against NPC's will only come up with inventory so the difference between the two types where very distinguishable. 
And there it was...
Status's, Inventory and Achievements.
He puzzled over why they had chosen a real person to play as king?
"It is with great pleasure", The King's voice projected around the plaza, "That I am enabled to stand here today and give this speech after all the turmoil and losses of the past five years but at last the Orc city has fallen, the Troll Tribes have been scattered, the Dragons slumber once again and the fake god, Alabananza destroyed!" 
A great cheer went out all around.
Stannis relaxed a little, so what if the king was a player, if anything it made this event feel more realistic, no NPC could get a crowed going like a real person. 
"It's all thanks to you people, you dedicated people and the lives that were lost that the Kingdom of Glacier can live on for generations to come and-" he stopped mid sentence as a boom of thunder rippled through the sky.
Grey clouds condensed together to create dense impenetrable black clouds that swirled in a vortex above the entire city.
The thunder rippled and shock the ground.
Lightening lanced across the sky.
Stannis could feel tensions rising and looking at his sister he could see she was a little distressed and put a reassuring hand on top of hers, "It's just a game", he mouthed, she nodded.
"It's all thanks to me!" Thundered a voice, "It's all thanks to my sacrifice that the city still stands, what have you given for this city?" 
From the clouds above white specs floated down over everything, on first examinations snow would have been the first choice but when Stannis held out his hand it turned out to be something very different.
It was like a dandelion head and just as big.
He noticed the moment he touched it a De-buff flashed up under his life bar, with his left hand he opened his menu and selected Status's and found the De-buff, tapping it to enlarge it he read the inscription. 
-You have been touched by a Spore, you are unable to logout for the duration of this de-buff-
A little bit freaky as there was no time limit, but least it didn't hinder his combat abilities, must just be for the duration of the Event.  
Looking up from his menu he heard his friends gasp and they backed away from the balcony railing just as the rose vines shrivelled up, in fact all plant life in the area just died.
From the centra of the swirling vertex a figure appeared dressed in a black drench coat and wide brimmed pointy hat and floated down to land gracefully some meters away from the king, the guards surrounded him instantly, spears all pointing inwards. 
Above his head was written in blue, The Alchemist of Dusk, he was a player too.
He rose his head, his face obscured by a psychotic smiling mask,  What have you given oh! benevolent king?" 
"Who are you?" The king demanded. 
The Alchemist laughed hysterically, throwing his arms up in the air, "It's obvious you wouldn't know who I am even-though it's quite obvious-" obvious to those who have played pre Alchemist of Dusk, "-Remember the Old Alchemists Emporium, the one under attack by the Orc's, the one you denied to aid!" 
"There was nothing I could do, if I sent reinforcements it ment thinning the front lines or leaving the city exposed, I couldn't do that!" 
"You couldn't or you wouldn't, lots of people died that day and there blood and everyone else's blood after that is on your hands, don't you understand if you had sent reinforcements and protected us like you should have we could have finished the creation of the Black-Hole Battle Elixir and ended this war sooner!" 
"Black-Hole Battle Elixir I forbid that Elixir ever to be created, it was too powerful for anyone to use, no one should ever wield that much power-" 
"It could have saved lives!" 
"And it could end them all the same!" 
As Stannis listened he remembered back, to the Dungeon Old Alchemists Emporium, the last boss there was a mad Alchemist called Kimberly Edwards, during the fight he rambled on and on about nearly creating the Black-Hole Battle Elixir, at the end of the fight however you don't kill him but you do destroy the schematics. 
"Well it's too late now", The Alchemist said darkly, "The Damage has been done, my family is never coming back and no amount of Alchemy can change that but if I'm to get any solace from this, as a man with nothing to loose, I will take my revenge, for abandoning my family and Co-Workers and destroying my one chance at getting back at the Orc's, I will destroy this city, you, and everyone in it with my new creations", he clicked his fingers.
Every Guard that the Spore's touched dropped their weapons as vines grew rapidly all over their bodies, the guards pulled at the vines but ultimately failed as the as fungus mushrooms grew on them and turned them all into Blight Undead.Even the king and queen were wrapped up in the vines, that constricted their movements. 
"Your Guards are under the influences of my Spore Toxins and are now in my control and you cannot break those vines-"
Malis turned to Stannis, "Should we help him?" 
"Theres nothing we can do, those Blight infested NPC's have the area blocked off and no ranged move can reach, besides this is just an event", it was strange that the more he said that the more he didn't believe himself. 
The Alchemist of Dusk strode up to the king, slow and patronisingly, his cloak billowing behind him dramatically, "My Spore's prevent you from logging out you cannot escape your fate-" he stood over the King, with his left hand he opened his menu and brought up some interface that Stannis or anyone had never seen, "Tell me what would happen if I put the pain receptors up to ten and made the vines crush you". 
The Kings face turned ashen, "You wouldn't!"
"Why tell them all what would happen!" 
"Don't do this!" 
The Alchemist produced a test tube from the inside of his cloak and uncorked the top and held it over the kings head, "Tell them what would happen!" he let a drip fall out of the tube.
The king shouted in agony as the drip burned his head, he shuck violently. 
"Stannis!" Malis gasped franticly.
He couldn't answer, he didn't understand himself, summoning it up... 
The King was an actual player.
The Alchemist was an Actual Player. 
Pain receptors had been turned up to maximum, and he had read the dangers. 
"Tell them what would happen if I crushed you!" he tipped the tube and let a few droplets out. 
He gritted his teeth, holding back his cry, tears streamed down his cheeks, "Please don't do this-", he began to tip the tube, "-Alright! alright! I tell, it can course psychological trauma to the brain and heart damage, in the worst case canary brain deadness". 
"That's just what I wanted them to hear", Snapping his fingers again the thick vines tightened.
The King went rigged and chocked out pleads.
Stannis grabbed Malis and pulled her close to him so she couldn't see. 
He watched the kings HP drop from green to yellow and from yellow into the red and in one last scream of agony he dispersed into pixels.                      

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