“Greetings Traveler! Care to peruse my wares? Only the finest concoctions this side of the grand citadel!”
The Gnomish shopkeeper leaned forward expectantly, a wide smile on his face.
On the other side of him stood The Adventurer, who threw a handful of gold onto the counter before grabbing a vial full of a thick, luminescent green, the only one of its kind on the shelf.
“Fuck off Garnarth.”
He exited the shop, making his way out into the sun.
He closed his eyes and counted to thirty, spitting the numbers out with contempt.
His belly button itched, but his Elven mail was too tight to get his fingers under.
He stopped counting and went to grab his Dagger of Malicious Infliction, hoping to slide it under the armour and scratch.
But, as his hand went to dagger, he froze; an otherworldly force had clenched his wrist in a phantom vice.
A voice rang out, as if a God was reciting a decree into the world of mortals.
“You cannot equip weapons in a town or city.”
The Adventurer swore.
His navel would simply have to continue itching until he was no longer in the village of Daffodillia.
Thankfully his leg amour was less restrictive, so he didn’t have to worry about digging around there with his dagger, and accidentally inflicting a curse on his balls.
“Greetings Traveler! Care to peruse my wares? Only the finest concoctions this side of the grand citadel!” Garnarth recited the exact same phrase the Adventurer had heard fifteen times in the past half hour.
The Adventurer threw some gold on counter and grabbed the same single green vial as before.
He lingered just a bit longer than usual, making room in his satchel, and a glow manifested, as gold-leaf words floated like sunspots in front of his eyes.
“-Tell Garnarth you found his missing Wife at Daggerdrift Fort.”
He laughed out loud.
He’d only get seven silver pieces for completing the quest, and more time-consuming dialogue every time he entered.
Garnarth could stew in his loneliness, the little bitch.
The Adventurer walked out, and, closed his eyes, and counted.
Only 13 more vials to concoct the ‘Elixir of constant Night’ and complete this current quest.
Fifteen minutes that felt like an endless eternity later and he was done; 30 vials in his satchel and a barrage of insults thrown at a Gnomish shopkeeper.
Now to travel to the Tower Of Mages.
He pulled out his map, found an illustration of the tower, and then jabbed it with his finger.
The Adventurer was thrown into a deep, expansive world of obsidian.
A realm beyond the tangible and known.
Only one thing existed in this space; Ice white monoliths that stood against the cosmic black. Sculpted monuments that were in fact individual letters, spelling out a single word.
The words began to vanish as a new world bled into the black.
He found himself in front of the Tower of Mages.
The sanctuary of top magicians, and workshop of the greatest minds in the realm.
The end of this quest.
But crucially, not a town.
He grabbed the Dagger of Malicious Infliction and slid it under his armour, ridding his belly button of the burning itch.
At the top of the tower was his own personal workshop; obtained when he became Archmage after about five quests.
One involved clearing some rats out a shed.
The Adventurer approached the magical chemistry equipment in the middle of the room; some floating beakers, and a bunsen burner powered by pyromancy (which functioned exactly like a conventional bunsen burner.)
He grabbed a piece of parchment lying next to the equipment, some prominent words were in the middle.
Craft the Elixir of Constant Night. (30/30 vials required)
He stood at the chemistry equipment, doing absolutely nothing for a few seconds. The vials then disappeared, replaced by only one; The Elixir Of Constant Night.
It looked like the other vials, but was a bit greener.
The instructions on the parchment suddenly become crossed out by a ghost writer, and some words danced in front of The Adventurer’s eyes.
“Craft The Elixir of Constant Night complete! You can see slightly better in the dark!”
The Adventurer could now traverse caves and tombs without stubbing his toe as much.
He’d also gained fifty experience. Four thousand more and he could unlock ‘scorch’, making his fireballs a bit ‘meltier’.
More black writing was birthed onto the parchment; the next quest for The Adventurer to plunge himself into with courage and valiant resolve.
He grabbed the parchment and scanned to his new heroic undertaking.
Craft the Elixir of even more Constant Night. (0/50 vials required)
His belly button began to itch.
Pete Smith graduated Lancaster university with a degree in English, creative writing and practise, and immediately put it to zero use. He writes short horror stories, and has worked freelance for sites such as cracked.com and https://thenewsdump.co.uk/. He once got paid by the BBC for a joke about putting your finger up your bum.