Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gaia's Navel Here I Come!

Today was a rather trying day as I made my way to Gaia's Navel as directed by Jema and Luka. To begin with I was ambushed by a couple of goblins who felt certain that I would make a superb main course for their feast...assholes. They caught me off guard, so it wasn't difficult for them to overpower me. Adding insult to injury they knocked me out cold. I didn't even have a fighting chance.

When I awoke I found myself inside a rather large pot that was heating up quickly. The goblins who were charged with guarding me thought that there was no way that I could possibly get free, and I admit I was certain that they were right. When they went to join the festivities I sat and wondered how the hell I had gotten myself into this mess. I hadn't even started my adventure yet, and now I was going to die before I even had a chance to begin this stupid quest. Needless to say I was a little pissed off at my plight.

Somehow, and for some out of character reason, Fate must have found a place of pity for me in her cruel heart because as the goblins danced and celebrated over Goddess knows what festival, a stranger happened upon me. She snuck up behind me and quickly pulled me out of the boiling pot. She freed me of the binds that held me in place, and together we sprinted out of the goblins' village. When we were far enough away from the village my beautiful stranger explained that she thought I was her fiance when she first saw me in the cauldron back at the goblins' village. She didn't say much after that and was apparently desperate to find her fiance for she quickly ran off to continue her search without even so much as sharing her name...or she was so hot.


I didn't have time to linger over my beautiful savior. I got back on track making my way towards Gaia's Navel, and let me tell you, that bitch needed a serious piercing. Every where I turned there was some monster wanting to pick a fight. And they didn't want to go down quietly. No. These stubborn monsters attacked in packs. Rabites, Mushbooms, Lullabuds, and now Buzz Bees. Let me tell you, those Buzz Bees pack quite the sting. None the less I didn't back down. I just didn't have to mental capacity to back down in that moment.

Call me paranoid, but I think those monsters were just trying to ruin my day. It was like running a gauntlet of death where everything wanted to either eat you or just kill you for entering its territory. I really didn't have time for games...but I played anyway.

Okay, okay, I admit it. I went a little crazy. I hunted down every last one of these buggers. Even when they had enough and retreated I would corner them and finish them off. Purely self defense I assure you. Besides to add insult to injury these monsters would drop treasure chests after their deaths, and nine times out of ten when I went to open the discarded treasure chest it was usually filled with a trap; spring triggered boxing gloves, poison needles, and even a time bomb or two. Who the hell gave these monsters access to artillery like this? I guess you can't feel too bad for the monsters. They started the fight, I just happened to finish it.

Monster slaying can take a lot out of you, and after a while I was in desperate need of a good rest, and a resupply. Luckily for me, I happened upon Kippo Village. Thank Goddess. The people in Kippo were rather friendly. They had a sufficient inn and item shop so I was able to rest and restock before heading back out into the wilderness. My rest however was short lived, for as soon as I left the village I was confronted by my favorite entourage of monsters.

It took me long enough, but I was able to fight my way to Gaia's Navel -which was also swarming with monsters. I was starting to sense a theme here. Something did not want me to see the Dwarves.

Deep in the caverns within Gaia's Navel I was confronted by Blats, Green Drops, and Goblins. (Good...I need to dish out a little payback for the warm reception the goblins gave me back at the Water palace.)

The monsters in the caverns played dirty...I respect that. The Green Drops multiplied, the Blats immobilized me through the use of magic balloons, and the Mushbooms would temporarily knock me unconscious with a blast of highly toxic spores. At least the Goblins were Lazy. I usually found them sleeping at their post allowing me to catch them by surprise.

I have to say, it was such a relief to finally make it to the village of the Dwarves. The day had been long enough and I really needed a break. I needed to recharge and (once again) restock my supplies before I went any further. I made it to the village in one piece (mostly) and hopefully I will be able to find someone (anyone) who can help me restore the Sword of Mana, and maybe improve this pathetic Spear.

But before I do that...I need a good night's rest.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Put Aside Your Fears...

I made my way to the Water Palace. The Path was treacherous. I found myself facing down even more rabites than before, but the rabites were not my only problem. I came across Mushbooms and poisonous Lullabuds as well; creatures I believed only existed very far away from my home. These creatures seemed drawn to me. Even as I tried to avoid them, they somehow knew I was near and attacked viciously. Luckily I am becoming more and more comfortable with this strange rusted Sword and was able to fend them off.

I made a short stop at a nearby shop/inn run by a cat-like merchant named Neko. I rested for a while before continuing my journey. I don't know why, but I feel like I will be running into Neko more than once on this adventure.

I followed the trail to the Water Palace where just before the palace I discovered a small regiment of soldiers preparing for some sort of covert operation. They seem unimpressed with my presence and marched off in a tight formation. With my curiosity getting the better of me I followed after them only to discover that they had disappeared. The only thing in sight was an arrangement of three stone totems. I felt it best not to investigate the matter further and continued towards the Water Palace.

Jema was outside waiting for me at the palace entrance. He welcomed me warmly and escorted me inside. Once inside he was silent and moved with purpose. When I caught up to him in the central room of the palace I saw that we were not alone. A beautiful young girl was tending to what looked to be a shrine which held a grand seed. My excitement getting the better of me, I called out to the girl asking for the location of Luka. I was a little more than surprised when Jema chastised me for speaking to Luka in such a manner.

Time had certainly treated Luka well. For being 200 years old, she didn't look to be a year older than twenty.

After the awkward introduction Jema and Luka got straight to business. Somehow Luka had already known that I had pulled the Sword from its place. She shared with us that the moment I freed the Sword the balance of Mana shifted and revived many dormant and evil monsters. These beasts sought out the Sword which I carried hoping to steal away its remaining power for themselves. Some of these beasts already had retained some power of Mana which they retained in magical orbs like the one I had found with the Mantis Ant. She believed that if I could find someone who could forge the power of the orbs back into the Mana Sword I would be able to restore the Sword to its original glory.

Luka continued on warning Jema of the Empire and its plans to revive the Mana Fortress. I was dumb struck. "The Fortress that destroyed the world in that old fairytale?" I asked. Jema interjected that it was indeed no fairytale. The Mana Fortress was very real and there were those who sought to steal the Mana Seeds in order to awaken the lost fortress. According to legend the Fortress nearly destroyed the world as Men tried to control Mana once and for all. The legendary Sword of Mana was the only thing that stood in its way.

Luka instructed Jema to head towards Pandora to seek out the king's aid, and then instructed me to head towards Gaia's Navel where the dwarves resided. The dwarves were renowned for their weapon crafting, and she felt that perhaps someone there would be able to forge the orbs back into the Sword.

This was all too much. I was being swept into something greater than I, and I didn't know if I was capable of doing what they were asking me to do. Luka asked what it was that I feared. To be honest...everything. I was an outcast, an orphan, a no one, and they wanted me to somehow restore this great and magnificent Sword? Yet the only words I could utter were "The Sword."

Luka reassuringly informed me that the Sword was a bane to all evil. The Empire itself feared the Sword. And for what ever unknown reasons the Sword chose me. Then Luka charged me with the greatest challenge that has ever been impressed upon me:

"Put aside your fears and doubts. You must become a hero who is worthy of the Sword!"

The Sword.

This Sword.

This Sword saved the world once, and it desired to save it again. The Sword chose me according to its own purpose. I don't know why I have been called out, but who am I to place myself before everyone else. If the Fortress was to be revived then life as we know it would end. I had to accept this call of Fate.

"I'll do it, Luka. I'll restore the Sword of Mana."

Luka led me up to the shrine and asked for me to hold the Sword up to the Mana Seed (so that is the Mana Seed they spoke of.). For a moment the Sword and the Seed embraced one another and joined as one. A bright light shone throughout the palace in that moment as the Seed was sealed and its energies were attuned solely to the sacred Sword which was now my burden to bear.

Luka charged me with going to Gaia's Navel once more, and then charged me with finding the eight palaces which contained like Seeds. She told me to seal up the Seeds so that only the Sword of Mana could channel their power.

Before I left she gave me a spear. She told me that the spear once belonged to the Mana Guardians and there were bound to be similar artifacts throughout the world. I was to find them for they would aid me on my journey.

Refresh and renewed I parted ways with Luka heading towards Gaia's Navel. May the Mana Goddess be with me.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Bad Day...How it all Began

Somehow I knew that fateful day was going to be a bad day. One of those days where something goes so horribly wrong that it leaves you forever affected. Reflecting on it now I realize that that I should have made some better choices.

It started off when I decided to follow Timothy and Elliot out to the forest. We knew that we weren't supposed to be out playing by the waterfalls. There had been reports that the area was haunted, but we didn't care. We were more interested in the treasure that was supposedly hidden in the forest.

We made our way up the mountain and as we crossed the fallen tree that bridged the divide high above the water fall I lost my footing and plummeted to the earth. I was certain that my short life was coming to an end. Sure enough, my speedy decent was met with a sudden halt; that was when everything went black.

I awoke a few hours later in the shallow creek that rested at the base of the waterfall. To my surprise I was alive and without broken bone. However I was sore, cut up, bruised, and felt as if I had just fallen from an unimaginable height and somehow survived. Looking around I knew generally where I was at and I wanted to get home as soon as possible. Hopefully I would cut Elliot and Timothy off before they were able to tell the Elder what happened. No sense in all of us getting into trouble if I was okay.

As I oriented myself to my surroundings I heard someone call my name. I called back, but there was no response. I was certain that Timothy and Elliot were still somewhere near and I hoped that I would run into them.

I walked for some time before I finally found a path back to the village. The path looked to have been abandoned for years for it was blocked off by an impossible to navigate thicket of thorn bushes and weeds. There was no way that I would have been able to wade my way through the tangle, so I went in search for something -anything- that would help me cut my way through.

I searched the area until I came to a large stone with a rusty sword protruding out of it in the center of the shallow creek. Something struck me as odd about the whole situation. I stood and considered my plight when a voice interupted my thoughts. A voice which called my name asking me to pull the sword. I called back, but no answer. Then in that moment I recalled the countless stories that testified of the forest being haunted. Enough was enough, and I was getting out of there.

I pulled with all my might until the sword broke free. I lost my balance and ended up on my back in the water...again. I sat up and the voice called out to me once more. This time it was not just a disembodied voice, but the spirit of a knight that stood before me calling my name.

"Mike...Mike...It is I who called upon you...the sword..."

He sounded desperate but faded away before he could say anymore. The only response I could offer was,

"This sword?"

As soon as I uttered those words a blinding light exploded from the sword and the stone, and again I found myself on my back and in the water. I scrambled to my feet and ran off towards the path. The sooner I could get home, the better.

The sword was rusty, but effective. I cut my way through and headed towards my home in Potos. Sure enough my adventure wasn't over. As I made my way through the thicket I came face to face with a rabite. I had heard of these rabites, even saw drawings, but they were said to exist far from my home. The thing attacked and I had no choice but to fight back. I continued on my way fighting rabite after rabite. There many of them, but soon I had a handle on the sword and they were cowering before me. I could not figure out for the life of me how these rabites had gotten so near my village.

I made my way to the village and was greeted by a several villagers telling me that the Elder was furious and had been looking for me. I figured I better face the music and ran to his home. There he was screaming at Elliot and Timothy, who were selling me out and blaming me for the whole outing. (Bastards!) The Elder saw me coming up and broke his screaming long enough to inspect my cuts and bruises. Then he continued yelling about how we knew better and how there were now a wave of monsters that had appeared from no where attacking the village, and then he stopped mid scream staring at was in my hand. His stair was accompanied by Timothy and Elliot. The Elder then stated that I had the Mana Sword.

Elliot lost it. His fat ass was on me like white on rice. He screamed incoherently and swung wildly until the earth gave a violent shake and swallowed us whole. Again, on my back, but this time in mud. I stood and saw Elliot cower in the corner and a great Mantis Ant screaming before me.

I believe Elliot's words were: "You have a sword, use it!"

What was I supposed to do? I used it.

I swung wildly as a stranger kept barking out instructions from the opening of the underground cavern I had found myself in. The only reason I tolerated his help was due to the fact that he kept casting some sort of strange healing magic upon me. Finally I had wore the beast down. I made my final strike...and the damn thing exploded...leaving a strange orb behind.

I picked up the orb and the stranger helped Elliot and I out of the cavern. He said his name was Jema and explained that he had come to free the sword, but he was dismayed to find that I had beaten him to it. I eagerly offered him the sword, however he rejected it explaining that only the one who freed the sword could restore its legendary power. He left the village asking me to meet him and a Sage Luka at the famous Water Palace where they both would be ablt to enlighten me as to the unfortunate event that I had fallen into.

I wanted just to rest, but no. I was summoned before the Elder and a mob of angry villagers demanding my banning from the village. I was having a bad day.

The Elder, regretfully, informed me that I would need to pack my things and find a new home. I took his 50gp (Gold Pieces) gift packed my things, slept, and left at first light.

So here I am; 82gp in my pockets, a few supplies, banned from my home, and for what? A bad idea and poor judgement. I don't know where this road will lead me. Somewhere far from here I suppose. At any rate, I think I am going to track down this Jema character and see what light he can shed on my...situation.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Power of Life

My friends, I come to you today to tell you what you must know to fulfill your quest and save our world. I have little time. Long age, when the ancient ones grew powerful and used the energy of Mana to threaten the gods, they were struck down in violence and terror. A great hero weilded the mighty Sword of Mana to destroy the civilization of the ancient ones. After that, peace returned to our troubled world, and the Mana energy that gives life to us all was again in balance.

The Sword of Mana was buried in a rock and placed in a stream to guard a nearby village. There, it patiently rested until the day it was pulled free by you, young man. You are the one being who can release the Sword's power and restore the Mana to our once more endangered world. You have been born to seek out our enemies, who threaten the eight Seeds of Mana. If they succeed in breaking the seals that guard those Seeds, they will bend the power of Mana to evil and ravage our world. It is Mana that fills us and surrounds us, nourishing all life, balancing the good and evil forces of nature. If it should be twisted and overwhelmed by dark forces, most of our world would be annihilated. Whatever survived would be hideously warped beyond recognition.

A vision has shown me that you are the ancient hero of our land, returned to us again in our great time of need.

Seek out the eight Palaces of our world. Long ago, one Mana Seed was set in each Palace and its power used to seal the Palace off from all danger. But now the forces of evil beseige the Palaces and are breaking down the seals to steals the Seeds. You must find the eight Seeds and seal their power so you can use it. When you touch a Mana Seed, its Orb transfers to you, and you become stronger. Only then will you be able to wipe away the smear of evil that darkens our world. Do not despair, and never give up hope. Combine sword skill and magic arts. Return the Energy Orbs to the Tree of Mana and restore balance to our world.

You must succeed, Or we are surely lost..