Today is Day 9 of NaNoWriMo! It's Monday, a day of work and balancing writing. I'm surprised how well I've been doing with this writing event. It's been stressful, but rewarding. I have noticed it's been wearing me out, so I'm trying to work in more me time without sacrificing word count. We'll see how well that works.
My total for day 8 of NaNoWriMo was 2,145 words! Made up for what I failed to do yesterday. I was also able to overcome that patchy spot too. This next installment will proably be boring, just like the last one, because it was such a struggle, but I'm sure the next installment I do will be far better and will hopefully make up for these past few "meh" installements.
All passages were in order from yesterday's post, so here's what I wrote:
Rinneth looked at us questionably when she spotted us. "You guys didn't need to follow me."
I shrugged. "We figured it couldn't hurt."
She chuckled. "Fair enough. I'm now ready."
I queued us up for a battleground and it didn't take long for a match to be found.
Rinneth dodged Rial's spell and sent her Calacour in for the kill. Rial, out of defensive moves, was unable to keep the Calacour off him, and Rinneth was declared the victor. She helped him up when his life regenerated and the two walked over to Thuldren, Vamir, and me.
The battleground hadn't gone so well. We managed to win, but our part of the team hadn't done so well with contributing, mostly thanks to me. I struggled to figure out who needed my help more, resulting in more deaths than necessary. It hadn't helped that I found it hard to focus. Well, focus on anything but our new teammate. Having her on this team was going to be far harder than I expected it would be.
This prompted Vamir to suggest some team building exercises by learning our strengths and weaknesses as a team. Rinneth seconded the idea with the reasoning it would help us find weak point as individuals as well and we could learn how to cover those up. Rial and I thought it would be best to get Rinneth better gear, but Thuldren sided with Vamir and Rinneth pointing out better gear wouldn't matter if we couldn't work as a team.
"So, what did we learn today," Rinneth teased Rial.
He sighed. "Don't blow all my defensive cooldowns all at once."
Rinneth had gotten in the habit of teasing us when we didn't fare well against her, which was far more often than we expected. Even with the gear discrepancies, she had proven to be quite the formidable opponent. If course, lack of knowledge on her class was the major factor in all that, and she knew how to use that to her advantage.
Rinneth looked at me. "You're turn, Captain."
I nodded, though I wanted to pawn the turn off to someone else. I had been dreading this the entire time. Fighting a female, yeah, that was a big universal never do in your life. If I had ever gone against a female in a battleground or arena match, they had done well to hide that, because it was one crippling weakness I had in this game. And with Rinneth being… This is really bad… Why couldn't I just learn how to keep her safe like a tank is supposed to do?
Rinneth beckoned me to follow and I reluctantly complied. Better to get this over with as soon as possible. When we were in position Vamir started the match and the two of us went at it. Unfortunately I was doing worse than I thought I would. I couldn't make myself want to harm her in any ways, making my attacks weak and easily avoidable. To top it off, I couldn't focus on the battle, just her. The way she moved to attack. The way her facial features changed with each thought. My brain kept locking up. This is bad… I was falling hard for a female I didn't even know. Did this happen to all male Dragons, or was I just pathetic?
Rinneth pushed away my arm and grabbed me by cuirass and spoke low. "What is your problem, Vesser? You're not even trying."
"Finding the will to hit you, is a little harder than I thought it would be," I admitted.
"This isn't real," she pointed out. "It's okay to fight me here."
"I know, it's ju--"
"If you can beat me, you can figure out how to protect me."
She let me go and gave me a chance to think. I had to admit, she had a good point. Wait, that was my point when I was trying to convince her I wanted her on the team. Cheeky female.
I took a deep breath to get myself to focus. This was all fake and she wasn't going to hurt me for not going easy on her when we left the game. She'd more than likely hurt me for going easy on her. I had to do this. To learn what she couldn't handle and be able to make sure she wouldn't have to handle it as much as possible.
I readied my sword and then went on the offensive. Rinneth dodged my attacks, but not as easily this time and soon had to bring in her Calacour for help. He made things a bit difficult, but after activating a few abilities, even he wasn't a problem.
Rinneth tried to switch up her tactic and get through my tight defenses but I moved too quick and sent her flying. She laughed, confusing me, and then summoned another Calacour. Great. Vamir and Rial hadn't been tough enough on her to need another pet, but Thuldren had, and I wasn't sure if that was a compliment or not.
I struggled against the two beasts, and really hated how she stood back to observe. Made me feel weak and inadequate. By the light, I won't be allowed to feel that way! I mustered up my stores of holy energy and infused my armor and shield with light, forcing the creatures back and ultimately blinding them. I use the time to dispose of them and set my sights on Rinneth, who only looked amused with the situation.
Repositioning myself I lunged but she moved away quickly, in a way that was far too distracting for my linking. I needed to stay focused and figure out her weak point, but as I tried to attack her, I couldn't land any hits, nor did she take the time to summon or revive another pet.
I slashed and charged, and even activated several of my stat enhancing abilities, but she still continued to evade me. I grinned with realization. "Rinneth, what new talent do you have?"
She giggled. "Someone finally used his head."
Just put some space between us, but it worked out in my favor, as it allowed me to activate a few of my skills from the dps side of my class I had talented in. My sword glowed with power and then threw light in many directions, creating walls. This took her by surprise and allowed me to get the upper hand until my sword sliced into her abdomen.
She choked up blood onto my sword. "Well, this feels wonderful."
I quickly withdrew my sword, feeling terrible for doing that to her, and she collapsed to her knees, her health depleting to zero. Her body remained still until the game brought her back. I jumped when she began coughing up blood.
"Well, that was different," she said once her coughing fit was over. "Not a bad strategy. Wasn't expecting that."
I helped her up. "Thanks. What skill did you use before I surprised you?"
"Lone wolf," she said. "When activated it gives me extra stat boosts when I don't have pets out. The more pets that die in battle for me prior to its activation, the stronger the ability."
"Very helpful," Rial said. "Have you taken on any new skills since you started PvPing with us?"
She nodded. "One other one. It's a taunt. Figured it may come in handy some day."
"A taunt on a leather and mail wearing class?" Vamir questioned. "That's different."
"Well, if you think about it, it allows me to take focus away from my pets, allowing them to take out my enemies," Rinneth explained. "And in a PvP setting, it could save someone's low health ass or keep a player distracted long enough for someone else to take him out. Plus, this taunt isn't like you usual ones. I can get an opponent to drop their weapon, or I can get them to follow me. It all depends on how I use it."
"Quite the taunt." Thuldren nodded. "Good thinking, lass."
Rinneth looked at her menu. "Hey, I have to bail for a bit. I promised I'd do a few things with Erin."
"When will you be available again?" I asked.
"Couple hours. I won't be leaving the lounge, just doing some PvE stuff."
"I think we could all use a break," Vamir said. "Give us time to digest what we did and come back with ways to help each other get better as a team."
I nodded. "Good idea."
"Great. I'll let you guys know when I'm done with my PvE," Rinneth said. She left the group and disappeared from the arena.
We all looked at each other.
"I'm going to go look into the next best set for her," Rial said. "We're going to need to work on that sooner rather than later, and I want to see if we can skip a few tiers to get this going quicker."
Vamir nodded. "I like that plan. We're going to need to do at least one ranked match by the end of the week if we want to keep our position."
"I'll be working on my professions," Thuldren said. "Need to keep up with that and maybe I'll be able to make something for the lass."
"I don't have any plans so I'll just wander until I figure something out," I said.
"I'll join you," Vamir said.
I was hoping he wouldn't opt to do that since I knew he wanted to talk to me about my behavior today, but it'd look suspicious if I declined, so I nodded with acceptance. "Then it's settled. Once Rinneth is ready to PvP again we'll group back up."
Rial and Thuldren left group and disappeared from the arena and I left the area before Vamir could pick up conversation right there. I was teleported to the harbor and began walking.
"Meet me at Hog Head Pub," Vamir instructed.
The town was unusually busy so it took me a little longer than I liked to meet up with Vamir. We entered the pub and sat down at a table. A barmaid NPC took our order of drinks and food and the moment she left, Vamir went to talking.
"Want to explain to me what's up with you today?"
I shook my head. "Not really."
"Because I'll get over it."
Vamir sighed. "So it is about Rinneth then."
"Yeah," I replied reluctantly.
"So it really is her then?"
"I'm pretty sure."
"The tournament isn't until Autumn. How are you going to deal with all this?"
"Just am. I don't have a choice. Once I get used to her being here, it'll be a lot easier. I just need time to adjust."
"Does that include your horrendous PvP display?"
I chuckled. "I hope so."
We thanks the barmaid when she delivered our drinks and food.
"What are you going to do?" Vamir asked. "You can't keep ignoring it forever. You told me it's not possible."
"Retirement sounds nice," I said with a mouthful of food. "And I hear PvE is good to us old males."
"Old, right. If you're old, then I'm ancient."
The two of us laughed but it was cut short when Ramos showed up at our table.
"Where can I find Rinneth?" he asked without any friendly greeting. "She has her location turned off to keep requests at bay, but I noticed you two were here in this establishment."
I shrugged. "I'm not hundred percent sure. She said she had plans with Erin."
He sighed. "Figures. Well thanks."
He walked off and Vamir looked at me questionably. "Why wouldn't he be with her?"
I shrugged again. "Not sure. Maybe because she promised Erin it'd be the two of them. She did tell Erin earlier Ramos wasn't really a friend of hers."
"Yeah. I've still yet to figure out the dynamics of their relationship but I'd suspect it's close to the truth. Or at least, for some reason she doesn't think they are."
"That's sad." He took a swig from his mug of ale. "So, what do you want to do?"
"You mean after I eat?"
Vamir chuckled. "Yes."
I opened my mouth to speak but loud warning bells began ringing through the street. The pub grew quiet and we heard the town criers.
"We're under attack! We're under attack! An enemy faction has mounted an attack against us."
Our menus pinged with a defense request. Faction invasions were a bit different than the raid we did with Rinneth. Where raids were NPC enemies, invasions were PvP players. One of the balances the Evenstar creators put in to appease both PvP and PvE players.
I looked at Vamir. "We could mount a defense against this invasion."
He nodded. "Sounds good to me."
We both accepted the quest and headed out of the pub for battle.
Next day's installment