The first thing that Jason noticed was that it was cold. Excessively cold, a cold that seeped through layers of clothes and onto his skin and into the fibers of his body. The second thing he noticed was that he had materialized directly into the picture of the tundra. Jest beyond the city limits, in the brush and scant grasses, out in the wild, wild world. The third thing he noticed was that he was not in his body. The helmet was gone, a huge weight lifted from his head, and his school clothes must have been swapped for an outfit of medieval looking winter garb.
Astonishment, excitement, you could call it many things, but Jason thought it as shock. He raised his arms, feeling an actual wind tug on his thick sleeves, ruffling them and making the woven cloth rub against his skin softly and pleasantly. Jason traced the shape of his jaw, and found it the same shape as he had chosen, he felt his hair and the short spikes slid and poked into his glove, and lastly, he placed his hands over his ears, and rubbed the pointed ear tips. “My god.” Jason murmured.
“There is no god here.” Jason jumped and looked around for the owner of the voice. Finally he noticed the fourth and last major thing about his surroundings. It was a man, or well, a male elf, but that was essentially a man to the little details did not matter. Jason lifted his hands in a karate type defense pose. The elf stood half a head taller than Jason, and he guessed that it was because his avatar was only a half elf, and therefore had a mix between a human and elf. I wonder if he is my first opponent. Jason thought as he waited for a response. So it should be pretty easy to kill. At Jason’s sudden lurch in attack towards the elf , it slid to the side and raised an eyebrow, making Jason flail his arms in the air for balance, then spin around in another defense pose, this time it was probably kung-fu… Jason was just making things up as he went along.
The elf raised an eyebrow in puzzlement. “What are you doing?” it yawned in a mockingly way. Jason relaxed his pose slightly and strengthened his back up self-consciously. He muttered something under his breath about computers not being able to think or act like that. That, of course, inspired the elf to lift both of his eyebrows now in lifelike surprise. Then the elf chuckled to himself, and it let his hands wander to his side, where it traced something hidden from Jason’s view. Jason eyed his hands warily, ready to spring. He was aware that just because not weapon had materialized with him did not mean that the elf could not have one at the present. Could this all have possibly been a scam? Could it be that all of the commoners failed to finish the first level, and this was all just a mind game and show of dominance by the unified government?
“Ah.” The elf said when Jason failed to do anything more. “So. I am just a computer’s generated character, your first opponent to beat and destroy?”he chuckled again. “Sure. So I am not, in fact, a human being who happens to be playing the game at the same time you are?” Jason relaxed slightly, that did make since to him, and could very well be the case… but why, then, was the elf here talking to him? Should not he be playing or something? To answer his question, the elf continued speaking and finally removed his hand from the hilt of the hidden weapon. He studied Jason’s face, and nodded when he saw the resignation not to fight. “That is what I thought. Now, it seems that you have had some misinformation. My name is GhostNox84337, but most people call me Nox. I have been assigned to be your master for the game.”
Jason hesitated before responding, after all, he did not want to sound stupid even though he was very visibly ignorant to the ways of the game. “My master? Can you explain please, I just thought the game would send me a demonstration or something…” He trailed off as the elf.. Nox’s… face took on a dark and demanding expression.
“You thought wrong.” He nearly barked in a rough voice that indicated impatience and strain from stress. “The game will assign another player to be a master to a newbie… like you. I will teach you how to play the game, the components and tricks, how to survive and what benefits you can gain from dong different things. Until you reach level seven, I will be responsible for how well you do, which quests you complete and whatnot. Since I am teaching you how to do things, if you prosper or suffer it affects me also. The better you do, the more abilities and prizes I gain experience points, or XP points. They same if you do bad, I can lose abilities or XP points.” Jason nodded and the elf sighed, obviously looking forward to the point when he did not have to deal with a stupid “newbie” as he had called Jason. “So, what is your name?”
“Avenged_Thief.” Jason said, straightening up, the name foreign on his tongue but he liked the sound of it, it fit him in ways he did not know.
Nox thought a minute and nodded. “You will be Thief for now on, now come on I will take you to my base to show you around, then we can see about you trying to find something for yourself.” Nox turned around and started to walk to the city. Jason followed dutifully him like a cleaner ‘oid would to its rich owner.
Now that he was not pressed for urgency and defense, Jason found himself studying the world around him. The ground beneath his feet was crisp and frozen, and he stepped over a large patch of snow. In the distance mountains rose in the horizon, the sun shining from behind them and illuminating the sky with streaks of bright yellow. Jason looked around, taking it all in, and then he looked up, just as the snow began to fall gently to the ground.
“Beautiful, is it not it?” Nox spoke back to Jason as he walked. “They call these Game Lands Temphandora. Fits it, do you not think?” He continued to walk, and made no notion that he had said anything at all.
Jason, who was now intent on his ‘master’, began to notice a few things about him. One, he had brown hair. Two, it was cut just above the ears and flopped as he walked. Three, he had very pale skin. Four, he had a certain aura about him, as if he commanded attention, and a stiffness about the way he walked made Jason think that he truly cared about no one. Shit. He wil probably just watch me die first chance he could get. Oh well, I guess I can just teach myself and do the best I can to impress him.
Jason stepped up a bit, and began to move faster until he was in sync with his stride with Nox. He watched the elf out of the corner of his eye, while trying not to gasp at the city too much. The city had suddenly grown larger, as if they had stepped over a barrier that had muffled it from view, but anyway, it was absolutely gigantic. It shone in the light of the sun, glistening as if it were made of glass. Many of the buildings in the center were more than likely made of ice, while many of the smaller, and more common, structures looked like cabins made of wood and ice. Smoke billowed into the air from chimneys, and Jason noticed how cold it actually was. His breath steamed around his face, and his hands had begun to shake long ago.
As Nox brought him past the first little cabin, Jason tucked his hands under his armpits to keep them warm, and he took about to study the buildings. Now that they had approached them, Jason could tell that the tall glossy structures weren’t made of ice, they were trapped beneath it. Long, clear and tinted blue sheets of ice had coated the buildings, and the wind tossed snow down onto them, burying it beneath the tundra’s clutches. This place was not a tundra once. Jason noted, and nearly crashed into Nox as he stopped suddenly.
The wind and snowfall had picked up quite rapidly, and the air was clogging with thick flakes of snow, so it took Jason a few moments of regaining his posture to realize that they were outside one of the more medium huts. It was located a fair distance from the others, but still a decent way inside the city. Nox said something, well, actually whispered it to the door, and it swung open. Nox walked in first, and Jason followed him. The light of the fire on the far wall lit up Nox’s face, which had turned to face Jason once the door closed on its own. “Welcome to my home base.” He said.