Today is Day 5 of NaNoWriMo!
Another busy day, but it won't get in the way of my writing!
Yesterday life tried to get in my way, but I wasn't going to be beaten and made it over my minimum word count. My total for day 4 of NaNoWriMo was 2,034 words! I'm going to try to get more done today. Wish me luck :)
All passages were in order from yesterday's post, so here's what I wrote:
“She’ll show up, Vesser,” Vamir said.
“Rinneth. That’s who you’re looking for.”
“I’m actually not.” I had honestly forgotten she had accepted. I really didn’t think I’d be able to pull that off.
Vamir looked at me as if he didn’t believe me, but chose to leave it at that. The two of us looked at Thulren and Rial when the approached.
"So what do you think?" Vamir asked.
Rial snorted. "We would have been better off making this a private invite only. I only spotted a handful of players who I know off hand that have actual PvP skill level."
"Fantastic," I muttered. I had really hoped an open tournament would bring out some ace PvPers, ones we didn't have private contact to. As much I hoped Rinneth deserved to be on this team as much as we deserved a skilled player like her, I had to be realistic and keep an eye out for the best players. "At least the preliminaries will weed most of them out."
"I doubt even half of these players will get past the screening phase."
"You set it up so those with private invites were exempt from that, yes?"
"Of course. They're also exempt from the preliminaries and all who pass that part will receive the special tournament potion."
Thuldren nudged me and then nodded his head. "Looks like the lass finally showed.
The three of us looked in the direction he was and easily spotted her thanks to her striped Calacour. She walked close to her Dragon friend running a holy knight spec, and some kid running what looked to be a rogue spec. I had seen him with her after the battle at the town of Ravenward and I suspected he was either a friend or just someone she ran with a lot.
"She looked nervous," Vamir observed.
"Well I would be too if I was the only woman in the vicinity of tournament participants," Rial said. "Let's hope her nerves don't get the better of her."
"Lad, she be a raider. Da lass got nerves o' steel," Thuldren said. "She be fine once da tournament gets under way after the preliminaries."
"Those should be starting soon, right?" I asked.
Rial checked his menu. "In five minutes. We should go to the board to watch how many are rejected by the screening."
Vamir shrugged. "Might as well."
The crimson knight crashed into the ring wall and struggled to fight off Rinneth's Calacour as it went for his throat. She had successfully disarmed the knight and managed to tear into vital pieces of armor before sicing the beast on her opponent. She really wanted to teach this one a lesson for the rude comment he made. Her prior opponents had been rather accepting of her place in the tournament up until now and I suspected it had to do with the fact word was spreading fast about her win against Tyden. I had even over heard a few people wishing her luck, a far cry from what usually happened. I didn't know what it was about this female, but she really knew how to command respect, even if she had to beat it out of you like with this male.
The knight managed to throw her Calacour away and rushed for her in what I assumed was desperation, since everyone knew crimson knights were essentially useless without a weapon. To my surprise, this knight had something up his sleeve.
His hand glowed red and then a beam of red light shot out towards Rinneth. This too took her by surprise and she barely managed to get away, but not without taking some damage. It looked like this crimson knight had snuck in a mage ability into his build. Unfortunately for him, Rinneth wasn't his only opponent, and while his back was turned, her Calacour came up and tackled him. The knight's armor was too bulky for him to be able to grab onto the cat-like beast and the creature bit down into the male's neck, killing him.
Rinneth stood up, holding her arm where the beam had grazed her and she ordered her Calacour to not eat her dead opponent. This ritual happened every time she defeated a player and I found it amusing as the Calacour really didn't want to listen. I had heard that a difficult part of the beast tamer class was balancing the beasts. Each beast type ran differently, like an alternate specialization, and Calacours were notoriously ravenous after a battle. Most of the time, if you lost to a beast tamer with a Calacour, you could kiss your body good-bye and you'd have to pay the resurrection angel a fee to get a new one. Even with the way this player had treated her, she still showed good sportsmanship by allowing him to be resurrected per the tournament rules and not have to go and pay for a new body.
The male came to and slowly sat up. Rinneth's Calacour licked it's chops but Rinneth pushed him away and extended her hand to help him stand. To my surprise he accepted the gesture and then complimented her.
"Da lass knows how to win 'em over," Thuldren said as he relaxed in his chair. "She be a good sport unless pushed over da edge. More players ought to be like her."
"You have no idea," someone said.
We looked to our left to find her rogue friend casually leaning against the railing next to us.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
He held up a bag. "Pick pocketing."
I chuckled. He had spunk. "Gain anything of worth?"
"A few things," he said. "I'll see if Rinneth wants them before I figure out if I can use them or can pawn them off."
"You'd do that?" Rial asked.
The kid nodded. "Yeah. She turned this loser player into someone worth grouping with. I owe her too much not to see if she'd be interested."
That explained a bit about his affiliation with her, and shed some light on her as a person. Very seldom did players of her caliber have time to teach other players, but it looked like she made that time. I liked that. Helping other players built the community, and built circles of people you could depend on.
Her friend disappeared and I had to force myself not to blink to see if he'd come back. Rogues had a habit of activating their stealth ability without warning. Thuldren was a bad culprit of it.
With him gone I was able to focus on the tournament again. Rinneth was just making it back to her place of waiting and fed her Calacour. Now she had to wait for the final round. The Evenstar tournament roster system seated her pretty well. She had only needed to win four times in order to make it to the last round. It also helped that less than half of the players who wanted in on the tournament didn't pass the screening to be able to qualify for the preliminaries. And the preliminaries knocked out quite a few players as well; some who I thought would have made it to the full tournament.
The next few rounds flew by quickly, and before I knew it, Rinneth was making her way back into the ring to face off against the other finalist playing a risen knight. Like Rinneth's beast tamer class, risen knights were a heroic class. Heroic classes were some of the hardest to play properly, but once you could, there wasn't much stopping you.
I had watched this player with great interest. His sportsmanship was on par with what we were looking for, and his skill level was right up there with other ranked players. Rinneth wouldn't have it easy with him.
Thuldren squirmed in his seat. "Not every day ye get to see two heroic classes duke it out."
"It'll be quite the spectacle," Vamir agreed.
I noticed Rinneth's Dragon friend making his way over, his eyes glued to the two contestants squaring off. "Hey, what do you think of this match up?"
"It'll be interesting," he replied. "She's never fought a risen knight before, but she's got several tricks up her sleeves."
"She doesn't have sleeves," someone joked above me.
The new voice startled me and I quickly swiveled my body to find her rogue friend perched on the top of our chairs.
"How long have you been there?" I asked.
"About five minutes," he said casually. "And no, I wasn't stealthed."
"Da lass teach you that move?" Thuldren asked.
"She taught me everything."
Thudlren whistled low. "I need to be on dat special Rinneth training plan."
The group of us laughed and then focused on the fight. The risen knight used his tournament potion immediately and charged at her. I watched as his tournament score be negatively impacted. I shook my head. The tournament rules made it so health and resources didn't regenerate after each battle. It forced strategy on the players. Participants also couldn't use their own potions to replenish those attributes so they relied on the one tournament potion we provided. A onetime use, they restored all health and resource bars, or in the case of rage, filled the bar. They also gave a brief, several second stat boost. But if a player didn't use the potion at the correct time, it would negatively impact their score.
We had score based on two factors, skill and strategy. Someone who had average skill but excellent strategy and was knocked out early in the main tournament could out score someone who made it to the final round and be a more optimal choice for selection as ranked matches worked on more than just skill. But no one had used these potions properly so far. Some hadn't even used them before being disqualified, and those who did, tended to use them at the beginning or end of their fight. Rinneth hadn't actually used hers yet and it didn't look like she planned to, even with her health at half and her will rather low too.
She dodged the knight's swords as he swung them at her, and she sent her Calacour in to keep him at back. The knight threw the beast to the side easily and charged for Rinneth, but she was ready and evaded him and then slashed his legs with her fist weapon claws. To most, it would seem like a pointless move, but I knew the spot she was aiming for wasn't as protected as many would think, and she managed to not only draw blood, but rip off some of his leg armor.
The knight cried out in pain and slashed at her with a sword while also slicing at her Calacour who was attempting to blindside him. His sword missed the big cat creature but contacted with Rinneth's shoulder as she tried to move away, slicing through the unprotected skin. She snarled at him and I had to suppress a laugh.
The knight hit her Calacour in the head with the pommel of his sword, dazing the beast, and then focused on Rinneth, but he was too late to stop her from summoning more Calacour. The risen knight now had four more Calacour to deal with.
"Damn, how many of those does she have?" Rial asked.
"Currently, eight rotated in," Rinneth's Dragon friend said. "She has seven more in breeding."
Breeding. I forgot beast tamers could do that now. In order to get the best tamed beasts, the creators of Evenstar added this feature in, along with being able to breed mounts.
Rinneth ordered her pets to attack, and the risen knight looked done for, but then activated a plague ability and managed to inflict two of the Calacour while also managing to kill one more outright and throw away the last two.
"Not good," Rinneth's rogue friend murmured to himself.
He was right. The major drawback to the beast tamer class was how heavily it relied on the tamed beasts in battle, and now she lost one right after summoning it and was about to lose two more. Or so I thought.