The Devil's Own Luck

I’ve decided to start a new game, since I already have all of the achievements except for the realm level ones in my first file and I don’t feel like getting them just yet. I want to experience a new game with all the changes since 0.0.1 came out more than a month ago.

Of course, I’m going to be doing a challenge!

The rules are simple: I can only use one of each Devil (only applicable after I get my first Twisted Devil). That means I’ll have a 5-creature party until I beat the final boss, and a 1-creature party until I get the Breeding Master. Also, they must all be 0 Gene Strength creatures.

(Thanks to Chumsie for giving me the idea of a Devil team!)

I’ve decided to go with Nature Mage because the Adaptation perk fits my idea of a team of Devils. I’ll try for a more journalish approach this time around.

[size=12pt]Index:[/size]

Day 1 - The Beginning

Day 2 - Hostile Henchman

Day 3 - Home Improvement

Day 4 - Day of the Dead

Days 5 and 6 - A Pleasant Surprise

Day 7 - Phobos’ Grip

Day 8

Day 9 - Light Fades, Shadows Lengthen

Day 10 - Chaos Reigns

Day 11

Day 12 - Tying Up Loose Ends - Aeolian

Day 13 - Tying Up Loose Ends - Azural

Day 14 - Tying Up Loose Ends - Erebyss

Day 15 - Tying Up Loose Ends - Lister

Day 16 - Tying Up Loose Ends - Friden

Day 17 - Tying Up Loose Ends - Surathli

Days 18-25 - Tying Up Loose Ends Abridged

Day 26 - Man Made God

[size=12pt]Day 1 - The Beginning[/size]

[spoiler]I am Umaro, the King of Siralim.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been hearing voices in my head. I could never understand what they were saying, but today was different. Today I suddenly blacked out and found myself in a strange location, talking to a being the likes of whom I’d never seen before.

[glow=blue,2,300]Oh my! Could it really be you? Have I finally found the one I’m looking for? Quickly, human - tell me your name![/glow]

I wasn’t sure what to do, so I told my name to the strange being.

[glow=blue,2,300]Yes, yes… it IS you! Umaro, you have no idea how long I’ve been looking for you - the esteemed King of Siralim![/glow]

Then he (it?) proceeded to ask about my gender and my magical orientation. I responded to all of his questions. I am a Nature Mage, like my father, the previous King of Siralim, was. I’ve never really shared his wanderlust, instead leaving the travelling to my faithful scouts and servants while I walked the halls of Siralim. I still haven’t been able to construct a proper throne (my father didn’t seem to need one), so walking and spending time with my people was the best way to spend my free time.

[glow=blue,2,300]Oh, but where are my manners? My name is Vertraag, God of Time, and the Eternity’s End is where I call home![/glow]

The creature claimed to be a god. He told me that my kingdom was in immediate danger from an evil demigod from the kingdom of Caedo called Misery. The reason he cared about that is the giant Nether Orb atop which Siralim sits. With it, Misery could become a god, and Vertraag was unable to intervene in order to prevent it. Apparently Misery has already killed most of the rulers and I’m the only option left.

I think he noticed I’m not nearly as strong as my father was, because he decided to train me.

I then noticed another, very ugly, creature looking at me from a distance. I recognized it as a Giant, a family of creatures that my father used as bodyguards. I think it may have even been one of his, since it seemed to recognize me.

Vertraag then summoned some creatures that my new Giant easily dispatched. He gave me a Sword and a Gem of Shellbust. I felt much stronger after the training.

He then asked me to tell my advisors about Misery, bolster my army and hone my skills. He would tell me how to breach Misery’s castle and destroy him only when I was ready.

I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.

Upon returning to Siralim, I discussed the situation with my most trusted wards, Damaos and Hebron. They’ve always told me that the voices I heard were that of the gods and now they were proven right. They began the preparations - I would need to be at least as strong as my father was when he disappeared before facing this Misery character that wanted to kill me. They gave me a Core that my scouts had recently found in their travels and asked me to use my father’s old Summoning Brazier to summon it.

It was something I’d never seen before. Katarina the librarian told me it was a Wolpertinger, a Nature creature capable of casting spells even without gems. I found it just as ugly as the Giant, but I would need its strength for the time being. She then gave me some spell gems to help me on my journey. Nothing too fancy, but something told me to keep the Morph:Nature gem she gave me. I would need it.

Damaos then asked me to use the Teleportation Shrine to travel to another realm and get stronger. I knew how to extract cores, but I’d never really been interested in travelling and battling. I had no choice now.

I found myself in a desert called The Barrens. The first creature I encountered was a Skeleton with a sniper rifle. It killed my Wolpertinger in one shot, but its bullets just went through my Sand Giant’s body without harming him. I’d learned from my father how to resurrect and heal creatures shortly after a battle, and I did just that. Then I found a Death Shield in a treasure chest. I’ve always preferred these Shields to other artifacts, so I decided to keep it for the time being.

I then encountered a Manticore, and the same thing happened. This Giant was turning out to be really strong, even if I didn’t like him. I also fought a giant eyeball (Katarina later told me it’s called a Watcher) and dispatched it with ease. I gathered some resources around the area and traded firewood for some more resources with the travelers I met before returning to Siralim. For some reason, some strange emblems were appearing in my pockets every time I did something relevant. I just assumed it had something to do with Vertraag.

Then I returned to Siralim for some well-earned rest.
[/spoiler]

[size=12pt]Day 2 - Hostile Henchman[/size]

[spoiler]Damaos woke me up today with bad news. A monstrous creature was heading towards Siralim, presumably summoned by Misery. It was my job to defeat it and protect my kingdom.

Before departing, I summoned a Coast Watcher, the only creature of which I had a spare core.

It looked as useless as the Wolpertinger, and just as ugly. I didn’t even have any Sorcery spell gems for it. Still, I figured it was better than nothing.

I used the Teleportation Shrine and this time I found myself in a cave full of spider webs. I heard one of those familiar whispers in my head and felt a sense of obligation to seek it out. I quickly found the source.

[glow=purple,2,300]Oh, today is my lucky day. The pleasure is mine… though I’m not opposed to returning the favor. I am Regalis, Goddess of Poison. But there’s no fun in any of this without a bit of teasing first. Therefore, I bid you farewell.[/glow]

I have no words to describe the lecherous being that appeared before me. So I won’t. But I could feel her gratitude whenever I avoided stepping on her “children”, the green spiderlings that were all over this horrible realm. I found and extracted many creatures. They were getting easier to defeat. Amidst the spider webs, I found a treasure chest that was moving. Stupidly, I opened it, only to be attacked by a Mimic. I survived the encounter thanks to my Sand Giant and managed to loot its bountiful corpse.

Eventually, Regalis called me again.

[glow=purple,2,300]Thank you for coming. I want you to come again and again.[/glow]

I cringed as she taught me a spell that would allow me to return to that place whenever I wanted. She also gave me one of her children, a Spitting Arachnalisk, to accompany me.

For some reason, I felt much stronger after this, like she’d lent me a bit of her essence. Perhaps if I kept all of these gods happy I would become as strong as my father quickly enough.

I couldn’t return to Siralim until I had defeated my enemy, so I used the Teleportation Shrine to keep going.

I found myself in a jungle. Instead of a whisper, however, an extremely loud voice greeted me. I proceeded to seek it out.

[glow=brown,2,300]WHAT!? WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU, AND WHY ARE YOU GETTING MY ALTAR DIRTY WITH YOUR PUTRID PEASANT HANDS? DO YOU KNOW WHO THE FUCK I AM? OF COURSE YOU DON’T. I AM TORUN, AND YOU NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW.[/glow]

Why were all of these gods so obnoxious? Still, I needed his strength, so I decided to do what I could to help him before I left this realm.

The first thing I noticed was an increase in the enemy creatures I was facing. There were so many that they attacked me in pairs. Still, they were no match for my Sand Giant and I got some cores out of it.

I found some totems with an angry face. I destroyed some of them and I could tell Torun was starting to appreciate the gesture, even if he didn’t show it. Some annoying Imps asked me for hallucinogenic mushrooms, which I quickly found and gave to them just so they would shut up. I found a Ruh Rune in a treasure chest. I had no use for it, but I decided to keep it for the time being.

When I was about to leave, Torun called me over.

[glow=brown,2,300]YOU’RE EVEN UGLIER UP CLOSE. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN. NOT. WELL, DON’T JUST STAND THERE LIKE A FUCKING INVALID - MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL. TAKE THIS YIPPITY YAPPITY IMP OUT OF MY SIGHT. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO WITH IT. DROWN IT IN A RIVER FOR ALL I CARE. JUST GET IT THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE.[/glow]

I felt that strength surging through me again. He must have been happy despite what he said. He also taught me a spell to return to the Cutthroat Jungle whenever I wanted. I could tell I was about to face the monstrous creature that was heading for Siralim, but I didn’t feel ready. I returned to Siralim, knowing I could go back to that point in an instant, and summoned an Iron Golem to complete my team. Six creatures was all I could handle.

On the way back, I ordered my Iron Golem to extract a Stronghold core, and it suddenly turned into a Granite Golem. An interesting ability, I thought.

Now I felt as ready as I would ever feel to face that horrible creature. I could see it in the distance, a monstrous Pit Worm making its way towards me. When it saw me, it spoke:

How fortuitousss. You’ve saved me a lot of time wandering through the desert wassstelands to reach you, wretched king. I will make a sssavory meal of your creaturesss!

Then it summoned an Iron Golem and a Unicorn Vivifier. I knew the Unicorn was trouble, so I had my Wolpertinger cast Shellbust on it. It fell to my Imp’s attack. Then I saw the Pit Worm was regenerating and creating magical barriers without even casting a spell, so I focused on the Iron Golem. It fell to the rest of my creatures’ attacks. I was starting to feel confident in my abilities! The monstrous Pit Worm put up quite a fight, but it wasn’t enough to beat my numbers and it fell to the ground, disintegrating almost instantly. In its place was a floating, glowing orb.

I could feel a mysterious power calling out to me from inside the orb, but I couldn’t quite understand it.

When I returned to Siralim, Damaos was impressed that I’d actually won against that creature. He called it the Ceaseless Gladiator, and said that he wouldn’t have sent me there if he’d known. I showed him the Nether Orb I found, and he was happy I’d taken it away from that creature. After all, Nether Orbs are the catalysts by which one may ascend to godhood.

That night I was so tired I fell asleep almost instantly.

[/spoiler]

[size=12pt]Day 3 - Home Improvement[/size]

[spoiler]
Today Hebron advised me to recruit a blacksmith. My artifacts could use some reforging, so I agreed. While they were busy selecting the best candidate, I decided to explore a new realm, so I used the Teleportation Shrine.

I found myself in Eternity’s End, Vertraag’s domain. I heard that familiar whisper in my head and looked for Vertraag’s altar.

[glow=blue,2,300]Fancy seeing you again! [/glow]

I decided to explore this realm to see if I could make him happy, like I did Regalis and Torun. The number of enemy creatures kept increasing and now they attacked me in groups of three. I found a strange rift and entered it, curious of where it might lead. A Dragon attacked me, but when I tried to extract its core, I found that I couldn’t. Some creatures were impossible to extract unless I knew exactly how to do it. I defeated it and got lots of resources as a reward for my efforts. Then I found a strange sphere which summoned some creatures for me to fight. Vertraag seemed pleased that I’d overcome the trial. I found a second, purple sphere that seemed to accelerate time around me. Due to that, the blacksmith was probably recruited by now. The third sphere was blue, and it granted my creatures temporary strength. After I’d found all three, Vertraag called me to his side.

He taught me another alteration spell - I would be able to travel to Eternity’s End at will. He also gave me a Pit Wraith creature and I felt that familiar strength surging through me.

Instead of going back to Siralim, I decided to venture further.

This time I appeared underwater! I quickly cast a spell so my creatures and I could breathe and swam towards the origin of the whisper I’d heard.

[glow=brown,2,300]I am Friden, God of the Sea. May the depths of the sea offer you little danger and great fortune, Umaro.[/glow]

A well-mannered god! I was starting to think Vertraag was an exception.

I found a red token in a treasure chest, and got some nice resources after I used it. Channeling the Pandemonium is risky, but this time it paid off.

While opening shells to get some pearls, I found a large, golden key inside one of them. There was a large treasure chest nearby that I unlocked with it. I also found a haunted mask that I exorcised by destroying some ghosts. Friden seemed pleased. I kept finding gold coins on the seafloor, and for some reason Friden enjoyed watching me take them. After a while, he called out to me.

[glow=brown,2,300]I hope these waters have yielded a plentiful bounty for you thus far, Umaro.[/glow]

He taught me his alteration spell and gave me a Forsaken creature.

I had enough strength for one last realm, so I kept going.

This time I found myself in the Swamplands. They were full of enemy creatures, that now attacked me in groups of four. I quickly found this realm’s altar.

[glow=gray,2,300]Ah, hello there! I’m Meraxis. Please, make yourself at home here in my beautiful swamp![/glow]

My first impression of the gods hadn’t been a good one, but the new gods I kept encountering were much more polite than I expected.

I destroyed some obelisks that stood to worship a false god, and cleansed some of Meraxis’s temples of evil creatures that were within. I found a strange egg inside a treasure chest. It looked alive, so I took it with me. However, Meraxis never called me and I had to leave without the alteration spell for the Swamplands.

I needed a break, so I returned to Siralim. Hebron didn’t seem happy with our new blacksmith, so I decided to go talk to him. Ianne was extremely creepy and awkward, but he was the best blacksmith around, or so I’d been told. His assistant Kalzor salvaged my spare artifacts and gave me materials in return. I only kept my Nature, Chaos, Life, and Death Shields in case I ever needed them. I had Ianne reforge my creatures’ artifacts and went back to Hebron. He seemed startled as he told me that King Andrick, the late king of Nex, had been spotted. He should be dead, so I decided to investigate in case some force of evil had a hand in his revival. Before that, though, I gave the order to recruit an Enchanter and a Chef. I would need their services if I was to succeed in this war.

Then I went to bed, as I was extremely tired.[/spoiler]

[size=12pt]That Night[/size]

[spoiler]Someone, or something was calling me. I could feel it even as I slept, even as I realized I’d been awake and walking for quite some time. I didn’t know when I’d entered Eternity’s End, but I was now in front of a Rift in spacetime. I entered it. Some creatures threw themselves at me, just like the last time I’d been there, but something was different this time. One of the creatures stood back and watched me defeat them, then spoke to me.

You’re Umaro, the so-called King of Siralim. I have a… proposition for you. Don’t worry, Vertraag can’t hear us in here.

I was intrigued by this creature, so I listened.

Find my five brothers. Together, we’ll summon our master from the depths of Hell. We’ll be yours to command, as long as you wish it.

“What’s the catch?” I asked.

You’ll have to make a pact with me. You won’t be able to command any creature other than us… and your “gods” will hate you for it if they ever find out.

You’re the only one strong enough to fulfill our plans. What say you?

Something clicked inside me. I HAD to do this. I would never be as strong as my father by following in his footsteps, but I could use this power, as well as the mysterious power I seemed to get by manipulating the gods into liking me, to become even stronger than he ever was. I knew Devils were incapable of lying and breaking promises, and I didn’t really care much about what their “plan” was as long as it didn’t affect my kindgom. I agreed.

I’m glad we were able to reach an agreement.

He smiled as he cut his wrist with his blade, spraying blood all over. He asked me to drink some of it. My creatures left me - I could tell they were disappointed in me. However, my (my father’s?) Sand Giant shook his head at me and attacked the Devil. I quickly cast a spell that scattered the sand in his body all over the room, killing him. The Twisted Devil just laughed as I drank his blood. I could feel its taint all through my body.

Let’s go to your castle. We have some work ahead of us.

He joined me, and together we returned to Siralim.

[/spoiler]

Current Team:

[size=12pt]Day 4 - Day of the Dead[/size]

[spoiler]Today was a very long day. By the time I woke up, the Enchanter and Chef were already in the castle. I went to greet them. Sarea the Enchanter would allow me to enchant and disenchant my artifacts, which would be of great use in my journey. It did cost quite a bit of Essence, but it was worth it. I went to the library on the way back to register my new friend as a citizen.

“Wait, you never told me your name”

I am the first brother, he who commands the Life-destroying powers of Nature that you know so well. You may call me Blood.

I rolled my eyes as I filled the documents. Blood was now a legal citizen of Siralim.

Speaking of citizens, I asked Damaos and Hebron to look for more of them, since the castle was feeling a bit empty.

Bewi, the Chef, was a lousy cook. He had no recipes at all! I showed him how to make a cheese sandwich and he added it to his menu as “Cheesy Bread”. However, I could tell there was some magic at work when I ate it. Perhaps Bewi wasn’t so useless after all.

I, however, did feel a bit useless at the moment. How was I even going to beat my enemies with just one creature at my side?

I asked Blood where to find his brothers. He just said “I’d find them soon enough”, whatever that meant.

I decided to postpone my search for King Andrick so I could train with Blood for a while. I gave him a Sorcery shield so that he received less damage from Sorcery as well as Life and Death creatures, and accessed the Teleportation Shrine.

It spit me out in Eternity’s End, again. I managed to make Vertraag even more happy with me. These gods are so easily manipulated it’s not even funny.

[glow=blue,2,300][b]I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, but every time a god calls you to their altar, it’s probably to tell you that you can buy new things from them in exchange for Exalted Emblems. Don’t let the other gods sugarcoat it. They just want your Exalted Emblems.

The more Emblems we have, the more powerful we become.[/b][/glow]

I felt a big surge of power after this. It seems the happier they become, the more power they grant me. I’ll be sure to milk them dry.

He offered me a new Gem and Core, but I had no use for them, so I left.

The next realm was a dungeon full of torture devices. I seeked out the altar.

[glow=black,2,300]WHY DID YOU COME HERE? YOU SAY I CALL YOU HERE? WRONG. UMARO WANT TO DIE PAINFULLY BY TARTARITH’S HAND? NO? THEN BEGONE.[/glow]

Great. Another one of these lunatics. Blood couldn’t handle two creatures at once, so we left the realm without earning enough favor. We would have to stay on the first floor until our powers grew enough.

The next realm we explored was a cave with walls made of human skulls. I quickly found the altar.

[glow=white,2,300]I am Erebyss, Goddess of Darkness and ruler of the Path of the Damned. It’s a pleasure to meet you. If ever you are lost in my realm, I shall be your eyes. There is nothing to fear in the darkness - embrace it, and it will empower you.[/glow]

This realm was full of piles of skulls haunted by the undead. Erebyss seemed to appreciate it when I “redeemed” their souls. She also liked some purple roses that grew out of the ground in this place.

Soon enough she called me to her side and taught me her alteration spell.

[glow=white,2,300]For some, the darkness is a threat. For others, it’s a comfort.[/glow]

I could feel I was getting close to something. I just didn’t know what.

I went back to Siralim and had Bewi cook me a veggie sandwich. He added it to the menu and called it “Garden Vegetable Bread”. After having lunch, I went back to the Shrine.

This time we were in some kind of desert island. I wonder what god would greet me as I made my way to the altar.

[glow=green,2,300][b]snore

Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there. You’re certainly a new face. I’m Lister. Did you know that the Faraway Enclave is…[/b][/glow]

Then he yawned obnoxiously loud and I couldn’t understand what he said.

[glow=green,2,300]Ah, good. It’s settled then! I’ll see you later on, Umaro.[/glow]

Whatever. I was so close to unlocking new depths of my power I’d have done anything to please the lazy bastard. It turned out that there was a war going on among the imps in this island, so I prevented it… by giving them seashells. Stupid imps. Lister, for some reason, also enjoyed watching me pick up pineapples. I also found a statue dedicated to Lister where I sacrificed some of my resources in order to make him happy. This was enough for him to grant me his alteration spell.

I finally felt it. Now I had enough power to turn even a single creature into a force to be reckoned with.

We ventured into the second floor. Blood could now handle two creatures at once, though he was a bit slow and that caused him to miss many blows. I needed to find a good Chaos spell for him soon.

This realm looked like a library of sorts. It was full of books and spell gems everywhere, so I began my search for both the altar and a good offensive spell.

It took me quite a while to find the altar amid all the mess, but eventually I did.

[glow=white,2,300]Hello, and well met. I am Zonte, God of Wisdom. If you prove your worth to me, I will happily share my knowledge with you.[/glow]

He liked telescopes, so I found some for him. At this point I just didn’t care as long as it gave me power. I also experimented with some potions, something that Zonte seemed to appreciate. He called me to his side and taught me the alteration spell.

[glow=white,2,300]I will summon you again at a later time. For now, focus on your studies and see what you can discover on your own.[/glow]

This realm would be useful in my search for a spell. However, I first went back to Siralim to meet the new citizens.

They turned out to be some creepy mages that asked me for specific creatures I’d never heard of before. I continued looking for a spell for Blood in Zonte’s realm.

After I messed up an experiment, I had to fight a black slime that kept splitting up as I damaged it. However, its attacks weren’t that strong and I managed to defeat it.

Tired of missing attacks, I gave Blood’s Shield two Speed enchantments. It was good enough that instead of missing, he was actually making some critical hits.

I spent most of the day researching spell gems in Zonte’s realm, something that he very much appreciated. He mentioned he was preparing a gift for me, but it wasn’t quite ready yet.

Eventually I found a nice Flamestrike spell gem.

However, I didn’t feel confident with only one creature, especially since Blood could only cast that spell once. I started researching summon spells.

When I used a Pandemonium Token, Torun appeared in my mind and called me to his realm, so I took a break from research and visited him.

[glow=brown,2,300]YOU KNOW WHAT PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF? THE WORD ‘TASTY’. JUST THE OTHER DAY, SOME IMP FUCKING REMARKED HOW ‘TASTY’ HIS PINEAPPLE WAS. YOU KNOW WHAT I DID TO HIM? DO YOU?[/glow]

I saw a decapitated imp’s body clutching a small chunk of pineapple. I couldn’t care less, but clearly Torun isn’t all talk.

When I went back to Siralim, I ordered some new ingredients for my Chef. I taught him how to make “Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese”, “Beef & Baguette” and “Steak Tips & Cheese Sauce”, then I went back to Zonte’s realm.

Eventually, his gift was ready.

[glow=white,2,300]As promised, I have prepared a special gift for you: the Arcane Vault. This powerful relic allows you to transform three of your spell gems into a completely new one. Who knows what sort of rare spells you’ll encounter with this device? I’ve already moved it to your castle. You’ll find it in your spell room. Until next time Umaro![/glow]

With this, I could finally get my hands on some good Chaos spells! I went back to the castle to try it out. But first I added 2 Intelligence enchantments to Blood’s shield.

I put all of my gems inside the machine and spent a great deal of Essence to turn them into new ones. I was lucky enough to get a Summon:Chaos spell!. I decided to find Andrick. After all, I didn’t feel in any danger whatsoever with Blood at my side.

It was nighttime when I finally found his rotten carcass in the middle of casting a spell. Before I could interrupt it, he summoned two creatures and kept chanting his summoning spell. His creatures attacked me, making sure he wouldn’t be harmed until they were all dead, and he kept summoning more of them and resurrecting the ones that fell to Blood’s blade and spells. There was no way a single creature, even a nigh omnipotent one could beat these adversaries on its own. I had Blood use his new spell and engaged in a battle of summons with Andrick. A Cancerous Smog was the first to respond to my call. Then came a Diabolic Menace, who had a powerful Planets spell. So powerful, in fact, that it didn’t have enough Mana to cast it. However, it had the “on hit” and “when hit” properties, so it still helped a lot. A Crimson Manticore appeared next, and killed all the enemies with a Volcano spell, allowing Blood to attack Andrick, who dodged it and resurrected all five creatures. However, his defenses weren’t up yet and he took a big hit from the Volcano’s burn. Blood used the last of his Mana to summon a Cerberus Banelord, while the Diabolic Menace’s Planets activated and killed all of Andrick’s summoned creatures again. The Crimson Manticore lunged at him and destroyed his body. The battle had ended, and all of the summoned creatures disappeared.

I couldn’t believe how hard that battle had been. I noticed another Nether Orb in his now twice-dead body. A black one.

Hebron was still up and waiting for me when I returned to the castle. He had been worried about me. He congratulated me for ending Andrick’s ambition before he could raise an army of undead to unleash on Siralim. Then he seemed very surprised that I’d found another Nether Orb so quickly. The chance of a person finding one of these in their lifetime is slim to none, after all. Could they be another source of power I could draw on in order to defeat Misery? I ordered him to search for more.

I also ordered new materials and an improved forge for Ianne, so that he could craft new types of artifacts.

I finally went to bed, exhausted.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Days 5 and 6 - A Pleasant Surprise[/size]

[spoiler]Damaos had something to tell me this morning. They constructed a new facility: the Hatchery. It should allow me to breed creatures together to produce eggs. Little did they know I had no creatures in the stable… but it’s probably for the better that they don’t know.

Still, I went to introduce myself to Noetherian, the Breeding Master. He was kind of excited about creating the “Ultimate Creature” or something, and before I could dash his hopes he asked me for a favor: a creature had attacked him when he was on the hunt for an extremely rare spell gem. Apparently it was really fast and had spiked arms. He asked me to destroy it.

Well, I wasn’t in any hurry to do that, or anything else for that matter, so I headed to the library, grabbed all of the books on Devil Lore and started my research. I’d promised to find Blood’s brothers after all. Katarina kept looking at me with a worried look in her eyes. I wonder why?

After hours of research (Zonte would be proud… or not) I found out how to summon specific Devils. I needed to perform a (frankly disgusting) ritual that involved sacrificing a specific creature and using its blood as the catalyst for the summoning. I had Blood tell me the subtype of Devil his brothers belonged to and we found four different rituals.

[ul][li]Cinder Devil required sacrifing a creature of fire, either an Efreet or a Firewound Angel would do. I still had a Firewound Angel core from before.[/li]
[li]Skull Devil required sacrifing an undead, like a Skeleton or a Spectre. I had plenty of Skeleton Sniper cores.[/li]
[li]Stone Devil required sacrifing an Imler, a Tremor or a Giant. I had some Sand Giant cores.[/li]
[li]Doom Devil required sacrifing a Mummy or a Doom Fortress. I had Stronghold and Gimp Mummy cores. However, this ritual required the help of a Skull Devil to perform it.[/li][/ul]

Using these rituals would also require the help of Blood, and he would lose much of his power in the process. It would also disrupt my Power Balance for quite a bit, so I wouldn’t be able to perform all of the rituals in the same day. Still, we figured it was worth it and waited for nighttime.

I summoned a Firewound Angel and had Blood restrain it before he could flee. He is strong against Life creatures, so it was no problem for him. We decided to perform the ritual in one of those spacetime rifts of Eternity’s End. We noticed the enemies’ numbers had increased: now they attacked in groups of five. Blood could somehow still deal with them, but we would need his brothers soon. We fought for a while before going into the rift - we didn’t want Vertraag to become suspicious (at least no more suspicious than seeing us drag a tied up Angel all over the realm) and I needed to recharge some Power Balance.

Vertraag called me just as we were going to entered the rift. Scared, I went to him.

[glow=blue,2,300]You know what I said before, about how all the gods want your Exalted Emblems? Well, I happen to have a potion that no other god, human or creature can access. It’s called a Potion of Forgetting, and it will allow you to reset your Deity Points![/glow]

I sighed in relief. These gods couldn’t care less about what I do, they just want my Emblems after all. And what were those Deity Points he mentioned? Could that be the strange power they kept granting me? If so, using this potion would allow me to forget my skill to make a single creature powerful and use that power for more suitable endeavors. I bought one.

Inside the rift, Blood and I performed the ritual with no complications. I won’t describe here what we did to that Angel, but everyhing worked out fine and a Cinder Devil appeared before us.

What is going…? Brother, is that you? Have you finally found the King of Siralim?

Yes. This is Umaro, the King of Siralim, and he’s made a pact with me. Join us, brother.

Pleased to meet you. I am Flame, the second brother. I harness the powers of Sorcery to destroy Nature. Let’s make a pact.

These Devils had some really unoriginal names. In any case, I drank his blood as well. I felt the taint growing stronger inside me, but I didn’t really care. We went back to Siralim to rest for the night.

The following morning, I ordered some better tools for Kalzor as well as the construction of a merchant district. Both seemed like good, affordable ideas.

I used a Pandemonium Token and it set my Power Balance to its maximum. I decided to perform all the other rituals at the same time. So we grabbed a Sand Giant, a Skeleton Sniper and a Stronghold and went to a rift. We sacrificed all three of them and I summoned my new companions. My party was now almost complete.

“Let me guess, you are Stone, Skull and Doom.”

Yup. Me be Skull, hehehehe. Me number four. Me kill Death!

S’up dude. I’m Rock, the third brother. I can channel pure Chaos to destroy Sorcery creatures.

“I’ve been wondering about that. You look like you should have Nature powers, while Blood seems like he should have Chaos powers.”

You are correct. Our powers were swapped due to an… incident. We don’t know if it’s even reversible.

I don’t appreciate your mockery of our names, human. I am called Gloom, the fifth brother. I can destroy Chaos itself.

“Right. So where is your last brother? You were six, right?”

Krampus just does what he pleases. Don’t bother looking for him, he’ll come to us in time.

I drank the blood of my new companions and each time I felt the taint growing stronger. Something was happening to me, but I didn’t mind. Now I had a strong team to challenge Misery with.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 7 - Phobos’ Grip[/size]

[spoiler]By the next morning the merchant district was open. There was a single merchant selling used artifacts, and I found some nice shields for my Devils.

After trying a couple of spells, I even managed to fix the trait-swapping that Blood and Rock had somehow suffered.

I drank my potion. I could feel the power I’d used up before coming back to me. This time I channeled it in a different way.

I did two things. First, I used the powers of my Morph spell gems to permanently transform each Devil into the Class they had an affinity for. That way their innate traits got even stronger. Second, I did the reverse of what I had done before. Now, instead of focusing all of my power on a single creature, I could make my creatures faster and sturdier as long as I had one creature of each class fighting together. Both of my new powers combined to make them much stronger than they’d ever been.

Then I gave Blood a Death Shield, Flame a Chaos Shield, Rock a Sorcery Shield, Skull a Nature Shield and Gloom a Life Shield. That way they could all defend against the Class that was strong against them.

The next thing I did was ordering Hebron to find an Arcanist for the castle. I had collected numerous Sigils during my travels and I wanted to use them now, to get my team in shape for our next battles. Sigils are mysterious items that summon enemy creatures with just enough strength to be a challenge for the user, no matter how strong they are. They would be perfect for training my new team, but that would have to wait.

While Hebron recruited my Arcanist, I decided to find the creature that Noetherian was so scared about. Perhaps I would even find that rare spell gem he’d been loking for, after all.

I decided to start fresh from level 1 since Blood had lost all of his experience by performing those 4 rituals in a row.

The Teleportation Shrine teleported me to the middle of what seemed like an active volcano. I quickly found the realm’s altar and went there to introduce myself to my next victim.

[glow=black,2,300]Welcome to my domain! I am Vulcanar, the Elemental King of the Great Pandemonium! Please make yourself at home. If you’re feeling weary, might I suggest a hot lava bath?[/glow]

Yet another one of these freaks. How many could there be?

I cast a spell to resist the extremely high temperatures in this realm and began exploring. I quickly found out that Vulcanar loved Devil eggs, which put me in an awkward situation. Still, I stole them from their nests, even killing the parents (Devils of every subtype) in some cases, and gave them to Vulcanar. My companions, as I had expected, didn’t seem to care.

“Wait. Is this where Devils come from?” I asked my creatures.

Correct. This is the home realm of all [color=red]Devils[/color], the Great Pandemonium.

We’re born here and we return only when we’re old and tired, to… reproduce.

Do not worry about killing other [color=red]Devils [/color]or eggs, human. Our arrangement takes precedence over everything else.

With that out of the way, we kept exploring. I found a couple of Pandemonium Tokens along the way. There seemed to be plenty of them in this realm. I also found some statues constructed in worship of false gods. Destroying them earned me Vulcanar’s gratitude and he’d soon called me to his side and taught me his alteration spell.

I proceeded to the second floor. Luckily enough, I ended up in Meraxis’s realm, and he soon gave me his alteration spell. Of the ten gods I had met so far, I was only missing Tartarith’s spell.

Nothing else relevant happened until floor number 4, where Regalis once again had something to tell me.

[glow=purple,2,300]You really are insatiable, aren’t you? Most humans are one-time visitors, but you can’t seem to get enough! Very well, I’ll happily oblige.[/glow]

In the fifth floor I found myself in a windy meadow. The altar was right beside me.

[glow=gray,2,300]I have waited far too long to finally meet you, Umaro. You do not know me, but I know you. Humans refer to me as Aeolian, God of Wind.[/glow]

There were some corrupted totems in this realm. I cleansed them with a spell to earn Aeolian’s gratitude. There were also some traveling nomads, and I traded with them: building materials for resources I could use. Finally, I found a golden feather flying around. Every time I tried to catch it, new enemies appeared and prevented me from doing so. Eventually, though, I managed to catch it. When I did, Aeolian called me and taught me his spell. Everything was going well for me.

These gods had no idea what I was doing.

I found a new realm right after this one, too. It looked like the ruins of a castle. I found the altar, as I always do.

[glow=brown,2,300]I am Gonfurian, God of War. You have the look in your eyes of a true warrior! I am a bit busy right now, but I would most definitely fancy a duel with you one day.[/glow]

His words actually made me feel proud for some reason, but I quickly returned to my task. He would most definitely be easy to manipulate.

In this realm, there were some strange bloodstains on the floor. Every time I stepped on one of them, phantasmal enemies appeared and attacked me. Gonfurian was always amused when I won these battles. There were many hostile knights as well, and they commanded creatures in battle, just as I did. I killed them and their creatures with ease, and that, too, pleased Gonfurian. As expected, he was easily manipulated and soon called me to his side to teach me his spell.

[glow=brown,2,300]Did you know that there’s a bounty on your head in several kingdoms right now? Apparently, the kings and queens of other kingdoms do not appreciate you adventuring into their lands, pillaging their property for treasure. Good. I like conflict. You should too. It’ll only make you stronger in the long run.[/glow]

Wait, what? Vertraag said the other kings and queens were all dead! Was he manipulating me, even now? Could I trust anything else he had told me about Misery? I thought about it for a while and decided that I didn’t care. I would see this through no matter what. After all, I was just starting to have fun.

My robes were completely covered in blood when I kept going.

By the time I reached the eight floor, my companions were tired and kept missing attacks. I returned to Siralim for a snack before tackling new territory.

The Arcanist was already here, so I decided to visit them. Before I left, I told Damaos and Hebron to keep recruiting citizens.

It turned out Sarea had recommended her sister Alexandria for the position. I wouldn’t use her services for a while, but it was good to know that I could.

Before returning to the realms, I enchanted my creatures’ shields with some more speed and attack.

The ninth floor was a snowy cavern I’d never seen before. Another god to introduce myself to, then.

There were many igloos where explorers were resting. I offered them firewood in exchange for resources. Then I found the altar.

[glow=white,2,300]I am surprised to see your kind here. My name is Azural, and I rule over the Frostbite Caverns.[/glow]

Azural liked diamonds. Luckily for me, there were many around here and he soon taught me his alteration spell. Now I had 12.

The tenth floor was where things got hard. There were so many enemies around that they attacked me in groups of six, outnumbering my group. Still we managed to kill them all and advance to our destination.

It had been a long day, but I’d finally found the creature. It was unmistakable, its arms made of some sort of spiked blades. Its entire body, in fact, seemed to be one giant weapon of war! While I studied the creature from a safe distance, it noticed me and lunged at me to attack.

It divided itself into three bodies and began performing a dangerous dance of blades. This would certainly be a tough battle. They were Sorcery creatures, so Blood was the first to attack. I had him cut the one on the right, who died in one fell blow of his sword. The one on the right now had several magical protections on it, so I had Skull and Gloom gang up on it while Rock casted a Flamestrike spell. It wasn’t enough to take it out, so I had Flame use his ace in the hole: Rapture. The shield I had bought for him was apparently enchanted with a trait that allowed him to cast this powerful spell, and it finished off both of the remaining bodies quite easily.

It hadn’t been that hard a battle after all. Its head then suddenly turned into a blue Nether Orb!

What is going on? It’s almost like these things are attracted to me.

When I returned, I instructed Hebron to obtain more ingredients for my cook and more tools for Sarea. I was quite pleased with their services and wished to improve their quality.

I then went to tell Noetherian about what I’d just done. He was quite happy. He said he’d actually found the rare spell gem he was looking for and he gave it to me as a reward!

After that, I blacked out. Vertraag spoke to me in my mind.

[glow=blue,2,300][b]It has been a while since we last spoke, my friend, and I am very pleased to see that you’re still in good health and spirit!

…what’s this? You seem to have not one, not two, but THREE Nether Orbs in your possession! Dear Umaro, how did you find such treasures? These relics can be used to grant you the powers of the gods themselves! With these orbs, you may very well stand a chance against Misery!

Umaro, continue to seek out additional Nether Orbs. I will try to help you procure a few of them as well. With a little luck and a ton of dedication, you’ll be ready to take the fight to Misery in no time at all!

I must be going now. Farewell, Umaro, and good luck on your quest to find the Nether Orbs! I’ll speak to you again very soon.[/b][/glow]

There was definitely something wrong here. I knew he wasn’t telling me everything. Still, I didn’t see any other option but to take advantage of these Nether Orbs as Vertraag wanted me to. I went to Damaos and told him what had happened, and he told me a rumor: in an old, abandoned wizard’s tower, legends say there is a Nether Orb that used to belong to a wizard who fell to his own failed experiment. That would be my next target, but first I needed some well-earned rest. Me and my companions retired for the night.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 8 - Unjustified Expectations[/size]

[spoiler]This morning, I received some pleasant news. The new citizens had arrived to the castle! I went to talk to each one. The first new face I found was Eyn, a tailor. He could make some new clothes for me, but I liked mine just fine. Some more of those creepy mages had appeared, and I ignored them all.

A Diamond Paragon was now roaming the halls of Siralim. He was a nice guy and he gave me a couple of runes. There was also an old man in the library. He wanted to see me beat a Minor Sigil, but I wasn’t in the mood just yet.

It was time to continue my journey. I dind’t know what to expect this time around, so I would just have to improvise if anything unexpected came up.

I teleported directly to realm level 12. I found myself in a very strange location. I seemed to be walking on top of clouds! I looked for the altar.

[glow=white,2,300]Greetings, Umaro. I’ve been expecting you. My name is Surathli, and the Azure Dream is my home.[/glow]

She looked at my creatures with a disgusted expression on her face. In order to make her happy, I cleansed some corrupted obelisks. She also liked some golden apples that were lying around the realm. When I inspected a strange floating orb, copies of my creatures appeared before me and attacked!

They were no match for us. After all, they didn’t have a powerful mage like me supporting them.

In the end, however, she never called me. Did she suspect something? On floor 14, Friden called me to his altar.

[glow=brown,2,300]Funny, really. Most humans are terrified of these waters, yet you strut around as if you were born in them. Your genuine bravado is just as refreshing as it is impressive.[/glow]

The power he granted me was just enough for something I had been planning to do: I amplified my creatures’ magical abilities, allowing them to cast spells more easily.

I reached the abandoned wizard’s tower before noon.

I looked around for a bit, but then I saw what can only be described as an abomination. It groaned and revealed an extremely long tongue that flailed around picking up bits of debris as food. Then it attacked me!

It had summoned 5 creatures, so I had Rock use his Flamestrike spell, killing two of them and weakening the others. I had the rest of my Devils attack the enemies that were weak against them and finally had Flame cast a Rapture spell. Now only the slimy creature was left, and it transformed into a different form. It seemed to be immune to spell damage, so my creatures attacked with their weapons. In the end, Blood, thanks to his class and trait, killed it in one blow.

I was extremely lucky: the gelatinous creature had a Nether Orb lodged inside its body!

I went back to tell Damaos the good news. He had another lead! Our scouts had seen a glowing, sphere-like object in the Frostbite Caverns, but they were attacked by a horde of Shades. That would be my next destination, then! I ordered my advisors to further improve Ianne’s forge, to recruit some new merchants and to construct an Altar of Blood. I’d read about such a facility in one of the Devil Lore books and I wanted to try it out.

Before going after the Shades, though, I visited my cook and taught him new recipes: “Nut Bread”, “Roughage”, “Beef Vegetable Soup”, and “Nutty Cheese Soup”.

I finally felt ready to tackle some of those Sigils, so I went to see that old man, Kemikal, that wanted to see me beat a Minor Sigil. I used a Level 1 Minor Sigil of the Wyvern. The creatures that appeared were stronger than anything I’d faced before, but Rock managed to go first and cast his Flamestrike spell. It barely grazed them and Blood took an attack from the Wyvern. He killed a Gorgon in one hit, then kept receiving hits from a Skeleton and a Hound. Skull and Gloom defeated the Skeleton, then Flame cast his Rapture, killing an Autumn Aspect. It was 6 against 3 now, so we easily won that battle. A new Sigil appeared, of a different color, replacing the one I’d just used. Kemikal was really excited after the battle and gave me some more Minor Sigils.

I would become extremely powerful if I managed to beat all of my Sigils, but it didn’t feel necessary at the moment. It hadn’t been a very tough day, but I decided to take a short rest before continuing.[/spoiler]

[size=12pt]Day 8 - Warriors of Winter[/size]

[spoiler]
After having lunch at Bewi’s, my companions and I felt ready to tackle the mysterious Shades. I teleported to realm level 16 and kept going. Nothing relevant happened at all, just a long journey to level 19. When I finally reached the place my scouts had told me about, a Shade spoke to me:

Ha! You’ve come all this way just to steal my treasure? What sort of king are you? One that steals from the downtrodden - that much I know. Engarde, Umaro. On this day, I shall put an end to your tyranny.

Why was my reputation so bad everywhere? I didn’t have time to ponder that as he attacked me.

He cast an extremely rare spell then, but one that I recognized. He summoned three Shades and he would be invulnerable until I killed them all, but there was a trick to it: they had to be killed in a specific, random order before they would stay dead. If I didn’t find the order quickly enough, my team would be too tired to win the battle.

They were all Death creatures, so Skull could kill them in one hit.

Your people distrust you.

I killed them in a left to right order, but that didn’t work. Blood was receiving all of the blows and was starting to get hurt. Then I tried right -> left -> up and it worked!

Your creatures serve you not out of loyalty, but fear.

The main Shade was still tough enough, so I had an idea: I had Skull cast his Morph: Life spell so that all of my creatures had an advantage against it. Then Flame used another one of his artifact spells, Soul Sacrifice, to heal Blood’s wounds before it was too late. He had nothing to do now, and he fell to their blows.

You… must… be… stopped…

As expected, he had a Nether Orb in his possession, a Green one. When I touched it, my appearance began to change. Was I growing antlers?

I returned to the castle immediately. A new merchant had arrived, one that sold materials for crafting artifacts. I would make good use of his wares.

The Altar of Blood had also been constructed in my absence. I could now choose among several “Punishments” that would alter my body. I didn’t know that many yet, so I just activated the “Torment” Punishment. It would allow me to please the gods much faster by having they grant me an additional request each time I entered their realm.

I asked Damaos to recruit a new merchant and to purchase new tools for Kalzor, then went to speak with Hebron. He looked at me with a strange expression and said that my appearance had begun to change. Apparently I was starting to absorb the power of the Nether Orbs! I hoped I wouldn’t be as annoying as the other gods when I finally ascended. He also told me that Furness, the tavern bartender, wanted to see me.

At the tavern, Furness told me his story: he used to be a fisherman, but one rainy, gloomy morning, a “monstrosity of a woman” emerged from the sea and pulled one of his men into the sea with her. He retired after that and became a bartender. He asked me to get revenge for his friend and defeat Deathwalker, as he called the woman.

Well, it’s not like I had anything better to do while Damaos and Hebron looked for more Nether Orbs, so I agreed. It would be good training before I faced Misery.

But it was way too late for more travelling, so I had dinner and went to bed early.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 9 - Light Fades, Shadows Lengthen[/size]

[spoiler]This morning, before I started my journey to where Deathwalker was supposed to be, I went to Sarea and enchanted each shield with a class-crippling enchantment that would further increase the power of my Devils’ traits. It took quite a bit of Granite to reforge them to their maximum potential, but I was satisfied with the result.

Then I teleported to realm level 20. It was time to find that “monstrosity of a woman”.

On level 21, Surathli finally called me and taught me her alteration spell. Looks like I was able to get past her initial distrust. Of the 14 gods I’d met so far, I was only missing Tartarith’s spell.

On level 22, my team started to have a bit of trouble dealing with the enemies. They were getting stronger! I returned to Siralim and reforged my artifacts with what little Granite I had left. I also told Hebron to find more ingredients for Bewi and to look for more citizens for Siralim, since he’d done so well the last time. I asked Cobi, the material vendor, to look for rare Grimoires. With them, I could deal with the main problem I was having: finding enough spell gems for everyone. Hopefully he’d find a couple for me. I also noticed there was a new merchant, Milayou, who sold various random trinkets.

I returned to where I was, and I was quite pleased to find an extremely good Acid Rain spell gem in the middle of a pile of discarded gems in the Unsullied Meadows. It would replace Rock’s Flamestrike.

I eventually found myself in the place where Deathwalker was supposed to be. After casting my waterbreathing spell, I submerged myself and we looked around. She had to be somewhere. We eventually found her in a cove that must have been her home.

Seems 'tis my lucky day. Normally I must venture outside my cove to find food, but it appears that you brought a full course meal to my very abode!

She summoned five creatures and attacked me. I had Rock cast his new Acid Rain spell, killing two of them instantly. Blood destroyed a dangerous Dragon Scout before it could lower my party’s Attack. Gloom had to fight against another Doom Devil, but he handily won. Finally, Skull defeated a Spitting Arachnalisk, that poisoned all of my creatures before dying. Only Deathwalker was left. The first thing I noticed was that she didn’t take damage from anything! This would be a tricky battle. I summoned a creature, and a Wyvern Airslayer appeared. It had a Chaos Channeling spell gem, which caused Deathwalker to start bleeding. I had Gloom use Volcano to burn her. It worked! She was finally taking damage. I had the Wyvern use its spell again, and this time it cursed her. When she attacked Blood, she took the same damage herself due to the curse. That was enough to finish her off.

I was sweating. For a moment I’d thought I was done for. I was about to return when I noticed an abnormally large clam shell out of the corner of my eye. It began to emit a vibrant white light when I approached. I had Blood open it, curious as to what might be hidden within. It was a Nether Orb! Even when I’m not actively looking for them, they seem to find their way into my hands. What is going on?

I went back to tell Furness the good news. A tear ran down his cheek as he saw me. I didn’t need to say anything. He told me that Zenpang, the Stable Master, wanted to see me, so I went to the stables.

He said he knew where a Nether Orb might be located! He told me the location of a reclusive little place on the far end of the Great Pandemonium. A pair of mythical creatures were said to guard the realm’s greatest treasures there. A Nether Orb was sure to be among them! And I have five powerful Devils that can guide me there just fine.

Well, that is my plan for tomorrow. For tonight, I will rest.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 10 - Chaos Reigns[/size]

[spoiler]
This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that Cobi had managed to find of the five Grimoires I had asked for: the Book of the Warlock.

I decided to give it to Skull. It cost quite a bit of Essence, and Sarea would have to keep his shield for a while, so I went to Eternity’s End for a while. Those purple spheres that accelerated time would solve that particular problem.

I also managed to get closer to Vertraag.

[glow=blue,2,300]While I’m pleased to see your devotion toward me, I hope you’ve been serving the other gods just as well. Their power will be instrumental toward your success. One god cannot overcome the evils that loom in the future - it will take the efforts of all of us to ensure that this world does not fall to chaos.[/glow]

The surge of power I felt then was bigger than any of the past ones.

When I returned, the new citizens were already at Siralim. Most of them were more of those creepy mages, but there was also another old guy in the library, Quibit, who wanted to see me defeat a Major Sigil. I felt ready for it, so I used a Level 1 Major Sigil of the Amaranth. A preemptive Acid Rain killed the Amaranth and severely weakened the remaining enemies, who fell to my creatures quite easily. As a reward, he gave me some Major Sigils.

The new ingredients had also arrived, so I taught Bewi two new recipes: “Filet and Lobster Tail” and “White Fish and Vegetables”.

Sarea was done with the shield, so I gave it back to Skull and reforged it with some more Intelligence.

It was time to explore the Great Pandemonium.

Pretty much as soon as I entered floor 24, Vulcanar called me. He didn’t have anything interesting to say, but he did grant me some power.

On floor 26, I appeared in a desert I’d never been to before. Was there yet another god? I looked for the altar.

[glow=blue,2,300]Welcome to the Barrens, Umaro. You can call me Yseros. If you are ever in need of help in my realm, do not hesitate to call upon me.[/glow]

There were strange caches concealed by ancient magic. Yseros helped me remove the illusions and find the treasures hidden within. I thought I’d found an oasis and went to drink from its waters, but it was actually a group of bandits. I drank from another oasis after that, and Yseros was pleased that I’d found a source of water. I traded wood for resources with some travelers. Then I fell into the quicksands, cast a spell to teleport myself out of them and appeared in a strange location. I dealt with some enemies that attacked me and found two treasure chests full of resources. Eventually Yseros taught me her alteration spell.

After that detour, my companions showed me the way to the Great Pandemonium’s treasure room. And sure enough, the mythical creatures were waiting for me. A revenant grinned grimly as a massive, multi-headed creature sprang out of the lava behind it, loosing a ferocious roar as it slammed into the ground before me. The duo lunged forth to attack!

They summoned four more creatures. They didn’t seem too tough and Rock was faster than all of them, so I had him cast Acid Rain. It killed the massive multi-headed Apocalypse and three other creatures. As expected, they weren’t very tough. Flame cast Rapture and finished off the remaining creatures. So much for myths.

Inside of one of the Apocalypse’s mouths, I found a Nether Orb!

When I returned, I told Damaos and Hebron to look for another merchant, to buy better tools for Sarea and to get an even better forge for Ianne, who has become vital to my success.

I headed to the stables to thank Zenpang for his clue, and, yet again, I blacked out.

I knew Vertraag was rambling excitedly about Nether Orbs, but I could only hear barely coherent whispers.

[glow=blue,2,300][b]… and you can find it in the Faraway Enclave, but watch out because it’s guarded by this really weird, otherworldy type of guy not much unlike myself! And then…

… which is in the Azure Dream! But we all know who or what is in the Azure Dream, now don’t we? Yes - don’t say it - it’s Judgment and Mercy! Be careful of their…[/b][/glow]

Then I woke up. Well, that was weird. I wonder what happened? In any case, now I had the locations of not only one, but two Nether Orbs!

But I was too tired to continue. I decided to call it a day.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 11 - Hate, and Other Triumphs[/size]

[spoiler]It was time to find the Nether Orbs Vertraag had told me about. I teleported directly to Realm Depth 28. It was the Swamplands, and Meraxis called me to his altar.

[glow=gray,2,300]Hello and greetings, Umaro. I suppose you’re wondering why I called you here today! The truth is, I’m just really bored and wanted to say hello. I wish I had some other way to pass the time…[/glow]

I rolled my eyes at his words. However, the power he granted me was enough for me to actually use it! Once again, I focused on my companions’ spellcasting. This time, I made it so that they could equip even more spell gems. A creature can normally only equip three, but thanks to my powers they would be able to equip six of them now.

On Depth 29, I finally appeared in Tartarith’s realm again. The enemies were much faster than my party now, but I could still somehow survive. I found some cores inside iron maidens. I guess Tartarith really enjoyed killing creatures with torture devices. I released some creatures from their cages (after asking for a reward, of course). Tartarith didn’t seem to mind. I found some more remains of creatures that Tartarith had tortured to death. I cast a spell to prevent their ghosts from haunting the place, but they attacked me! Tartarith liked that I’d revived them just to kill them again, so I did the same thing every time I found a corpse, and soon he taught me his alteration spell. Now I had all of them!

On Depth 30, Torun called me. He had something to say.

[glow=brown,2,300][b]DO YOU SERIOUSLY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH YOUR TIME THAN PESTER ME?

OH WELL… AT LEAST LOOK AT ALL THE ANNOYING LITTLE CREATURES YOU’VE GOTTEN RID OF FOR ME!

THAT WASN’T A FUCKING COMPLIMENT, SO DON’T TAKE IT AS ONE.[/b][/glow]

Aww… the shouty guy was starting to appreciate me.

Eventually I found the first reported location of a Nether Orb. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I’d just have to improvise. I found an Amaranth guarding a couple of treasure chests. It actually spoke to me!

Your future is bleak. Though you may win this battle here and now, soon the true war shall begin within your very own kingdom - you against your people. And on that day, your worst nightmare will come to life.

Then it summoned five creatures and attacked me!

Its trait was really problematic. It locked my creatures in place, so they couldn’t attack the enemies, only defend themselves as best as they could. This would have to be a spellcasting battle. After taking some hits, Rock was burned, Flame was confused and Gloom was asleep. I asked Rock to cast its Acid Rain spell. That took out two of the enemies and weakened the others. Blood cast Implosion on an Asura that had two buffs, splattering its entrails all over the sand. Flame then finished off the rest of the enemies with a Rapture cast.

You know not what you seek. Take the orb, but heed my warning: it will ultimately lead to your demise.

Its words gave me pause. Were Damaos and Hebron in league with Vertraag? But maybe it was just one of Misery’s henchmen trying to make me doubt my own people. I decided to ignore it.

I actually told Hebron about what it had said, and he dismissed it as utter nonsense. He told me the exact location of the second orb, protected by the archangels Judgment and Mercy. They were supposedly guardians of humanity, but they could attack me if I tried to take their treasure.

The new merchant had arrived, and she sold spell gems. I asked Damaos and Hebron to recruit more citizens while I was gone. Then I had lunch at Bewi’s to prepare myself for the next challenge.[/spoiler]

[size=12pt]Day 11 - Judgment and Mercy[/size]

[spoiler]

Before going, I spent most of my Granite on reforging my artifacts. I need to keep up with the increasing enemy strength, after all. Cobi had found the second of the five Grimoires I’d asked him to find, the Book of the Lost, so I gave it to Rock and disenchanted it from Flame’s shield.

I decided to spend some time in Vertraag’s realm while Sarea finished her enchantment. After a while, Vertraag called me once again.

[glow=blue,2,300]This probably doesn’t mean much to you considering I’m the God of Time and everything, but truly, it feels like just yesterday that we met. When I first found you, you were but a weak excuse for a mage - you didn’t even know how to summon a creature! But you’ve grown so much since then. Umaro, you are a worthy, noble and just king. Your people are lucky to have you.[/glow]

Then I felt an amazing surge of power! I’d never gained so much in one go. I will have to get all of the other gods to this point eventually… Vertraag was now selling an item called Vertraag’s Timepiece. Blood spoke to me.

Buy one of those! You don’t know how lucky you are, that’s one of the items we need to summon our master!

So I did. When I went back to Siralim, the new citizens had arrived. I then ordered Damaos and Hebron to look for even more ingredients for Bewi. Other than more creepy mages, a third old man, Newton, was in the library. He wanted me to defeat a Primal Sigil. I used a Level 1 Primal Sigil of the Apis. Rapture + Annihilate destroyed the enemies. Newton was satisfied and gave me some more Primal Sigils.

After getting back Rock’s shield, I started my journey towards Judgment and Mercy from Realm Depth 32.

The creatures were now so strong that I was actually having trouble! I needed to find the sixth brother soon. I had a few close calls due to the enemies’ speed and my party’s low defense, but my offense was still enough to defeat them. I went back to Siralim and added some more speed to my party’s shields.

Gonfurian called me at Depth 33.

[glow=brown,2,300]What took you so long? The bounty on your head grows larger with each passing day - you can’t afford to move so slowly! Ah, I have an idea: I will cast an enchantment on you to allow you to move more efficiently around your castle. You’ll be able to manage your kingdom much more efficiently that way. Give them hell! Or at least a good fight.[/glow]

Gonfurian was now my favorite god. I almost felt bad for manipulating him… almost.

Erebyss called me as well and granted me the ability to see farther into the darkness. Then Azural called me, but he had nothing interesting to say.

We were exhausted when we finally reached our destination, a secluded part of Azure Dream where the archangels guarded a Nether Orb.

It is as we expected… Umaro has come to claim the Nether Orb. Look into his eyes brother! His mind is tainted, rife with corruption!

They could feel it, sense the taint inside my body.

[b]Indeed - this situation is far worse than I had ever thought possible. Umaro, turn back now. There is no need for blood to be shed here on this day.

Talk is of no use, brother! It is as Misery foresaw. He seeks to become a god - to strike down all we’ve achieved over milleniums past.

Umaro, I shall give you one final chance to turn back. Return to your kingdom where you belong, or we shall take matters into our own hands.
[/b]
I decided to take advantage of Mercy’s mercy, his greatest weakness, and attack them before they could react. I had to eliminate them before they could tell the gods about what I’d done. Judgment reacted in time, however.

Look out, brother! He attacks!

He summoned four creatures to aid them in battle and cast a spell that weakened my companions considerably. They weren’t fast enough to deal with the enemies, so I was forced to retreat to Siralim. However, I had to return quickly or my plans would be in danger!

The ingredients for Bewi had arrived. I asked Damaos and Hebron to further improve Ianne’s forge and to improve the creature stables.

Then I went to Bewi’s and taught him “Fruitcake”, “Apple Slices & Melted Swiss”, “Fish and Fruit Salsa”, “Beef Brisket & Dried Fruit”, “Pineapple and Peppers” and “Walnuts & Cranberries”. I had dinner while I thought of a plan. I went to Sarea and exchanged most of my artifacts’ enchantments for Speed ones, then reforged them to high levels. Would that be enough? I used some Sigils to train my creatures and obtain the necessary essence for Sarea’s enchantments. Then I went back.

This time, all of my creatures were faster. However, Judgment’s reflexes were legendary and he managed to cast the spell that massively hurt all of my companions. I had two options: win before the enemies had a chance to act or die. Judgment killed Flame and it was my turn to retaliate. I had Rock cast Acid Rain to lower everyone’s Defense. It killed Judgment! Apparently he was all Speed and nothing else. Then Blood and Gloom cast their Volcano gems, burning all of the enemies and killing Mercy and a summoned creature. Only three remained! Skull cast Annihilate. Two creatures died, but a lone Seraph was still standing, and it killed Gloom. Rock attacked, but the Seraph survived and a magical Shell appeared arount it thanks to its artifact. Thankfully, Blood’s on-hit Cloud of Embers spell gem activated before the Shell was fully formed, killing the Seraph.

That had been a close call. I wondered what I’d do if Misery was even stronger.

With the archangels defeated, I plucked the Nether Orb from a gilded cloud that rested where my adversaries once stood.

Exhausted, I revived my fallen creatures and went back to Siralim. There, Damaos informed me that they’d finally managed to locate Misery’s kingdom of Caedo. The next battle would decide the fate of my kingdom, and potentially that of the entire world. Would my nine Nether Orbs be enough to defeat him? I doubted it. I decided to obtain as much power as I could from every single god before the battle to come.

But that would have to wait, since my creatures were too tired to even walk. We retired for the day.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 12 - Tying Up Loose Ends: Aeolian[/size]

[spoiler]
After the fight with Judgment and Mercy, I knew I could take a risk like that ever again. Now that I knew where Misery was, I would prepare for battle, as much as I could. I wanted both my castle and my creatures to be as strong as they could be.

I decided to tackle the gods one by one, starting with Aeolian. So I headed to the Unsullied Meadows. The first thing I noticed was that my creatures were now fast enough to deal with most enemies, though some really defensive ones still gave me trouble unless I cast Acid Rain to lower their Defense.

[glow=gray,2,300]Welcome back to the Unsullied Meadows, Umaro. It is good to see that you’re growing stronger with each passing day. Soon, you will be ready to harness the power of the winds just as I do.[/glow]

After that, I went back to Siralim. The improved forge and stables were ready, and I ordered new tools for Kalzor and Sarea.

On Depth 39 my party’s Speed started to fall behind once again. I was about to return to Siralim when Aeolian called me again.

[glow=gray,2,300][b]The time has come, Umaro! I believe you are finally ready to control the winds for yourself. Close your eyes, and pay attention only to the wind blowing through your hair. It’s much stronger than normal, is it not?

Very good. I predict you’ll master the wind with little effort.[/b][/glow]

Now I could move faster than ever! This would make it easier to explore realms.

At Siralim, the new tools had arrived. Thanks to the wind powers Aeolian had granted me, I was able to activate a new Punishment for the Altar of Blood, Nervousness. That way I could move faster in realms at the cost of some stress to my body. Time was of the essence. I had Damaos and Hebron recruit a Warlord and went back to the Meadows.

[glow=gray,2,300]The winds blow in your favor on this fine day, Umaro. As such, I’ve decided to share more of my power with you. Can you feel my power coursing through your body? There is still more for me to share with you, but now is not the time. Go. Grow stronger, and return here when your power is at its peak.[/glow]

Just a little more then. I returned to Siralim for a while. Ianne’s forge was the best it could be now, and I decided to switch from Class Shields to Class Lances. But before I could do that, I would need more copies of the Grimoires I’d already used… I told Cobi I would need another Book of the Lost and another Book of the Warlock. I would also need a lot of Essence, so this would be a long-term plan.

I went back to the Unsullied Meadows to try to get the last power Aeolian could give me. Eventually, I had to return to Siralim to have dinner.

My new Warlord, Marcus, was already there. He could send creatures on missions to get various rewards. I would make use of him in time. Cobi had found two of the Grimoires, the Book of the Dead and the Book of the Heretic. Unfortunately, after checking out their spells, I decided they were useless for my party. I had to decide on two new traits for Blood and Gloom. For now though, I ordered Hebron to find more citizens for Siralim, and went back to the Meadows.

I wasn’t long until Aeolian called me for the last time.

[glow=gray,2,300]The time has come, Umaro, for me to share my final gift with you. I have nothing left to give, but I trust that you will continue to keep watch over the Unsullied Meadows with me. This is not goodbye - this is only the beginning![/glow]

I felt a huge surge of power, just like when Vertraag gave me his last gift. All the hard work had been worth it. Now I just had to do it thirteen more times…

Back at Siralim, the new citizens had arrived. They were just more of those creepy mages. I decided not to look for citizens any more. Instead, I ordered the construction of an Arena and went to bed.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 13 - Tying Up Loose Ends: Azural
[/size]
[spoiler]I decided to befriend Azural next, so I headed to the Frostbite Caverns.

[glow=gray,2,300]Good day, noble king. Today, I have something of great importance to give you: a share of my very own power. With this power, your body will be able to endure more simultaneous rituals than before. I hope you’ll find this gift useful to your cause.[/glow]

The gift wasn’t all that useful, but the power he granted me was there as expected. Just a bit more…

I went back and the Arena was ready. Lord Musgrave and Vashtine were managing it. I was interested in some of the prizes, so I fought some battles, but I only had one invitation, so I had to leave for the time being. I returned to the Frostbite Caverns.

[glow=gray,2,300]I am glad to see you’re growing more comfortable with the harsh conditions of this realm. Remember to make great use of my Yetis - they know how to survive in this climate better than any other creature or human.[/glow]

Yetis… right. At least that proved the gods couldn’t sense the taint in my body like those archangels had.

I still needed the last bit of power from Azural, so I kept at it for a while.

After I used a Pandemonium Token, however, Vulcanar called me, so I went to the Great Pandemonium to see what he wanted.

[glow=black,2,300]My, how you’ve grown! Who’s a big king? Umaro is a big king. Hey, seriously, though, it’s an HONOR to know you. Your presence HONORS me. You’re a most HONORABLE individual. Run along now. I’ll let you know when to come back again. Don’t call me; I’ll call you.[/glow]

Is he… going senile? I’d found another Arena Invitation, so I went back to use it. After winning, I had enough points to purchase a special Rune. I wasn’t really interested in any of them, but I bought one to add it to the library.

The rest of the day was spent collecting diamonds for Azural in the cold of the Frostbite Caverns. It wasn’t my idea of a nice evening, but eventually Azural called me to his altar for the last time.

[glow=gray,2,300]Noble king, it seems like it was only yesterday when we first met. You approached my altar, shivering in the cold winds with snow clinging to your robes. And now, here you stand, an all-powerful mage that inspires envy from even the gods themselves. I have one last gift for you, noble king. From now on, you are one with the gods.[/glow]

So the gods themselves are starting to acknowledge my power. Soon I will become one of them.

But for tonight, I’ll rest. Twelve gods remain.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 14 - Tying Up Loose Ends: Erebyss[/size]

[spoiler]Erebyss, Goddess of Darkness was up next. I wondered what kind of gifts she would bestow upon me.

In another time, spending a whole day in a cavern made of human bones may have affected me, but right now I only cared about the power I needed to defeat Misery. Oh, who am I kidding? I just want to become a god.

[glow=white,2,300]The shadows smile in your favor, noble king. The power within you grows stronger in the aftermath of every battle fought. If you’re interested, I have a powerful rune to offer you in exchange for your Exalted Emblems. I hope it serves you well. Farewell, for now.[/glow]

It was a powerful rune, indeed, one that would make Rapture even better, making the few enemies that survived it unable to dodge. I bought it, even if I didn’t plan to use Rapture for much longer.

I returned to Siralim and fought in the Arena after that. I managed to obtain the second of the five exclusive runes they sold. Then I went back to the Path of the Damned.

The “Kisses of Death”, those purple roses Erebyss liked so much, kept piercing my hands until they were a bloody mess. Still I kept collecting them, waiting for her to call me.

[glow=white,2,300]My shades have reported your progress to me, and I am quite pleased. You fight with uninhibited awareness of your surroundings even when they’re obscured, and that is a telling sign of an unrivaled fighter. We’re approaching the end of what I can teach you, but there’s still yet more to come. I will summon you when the time is right. For now, good luck in your training.[/glow]

I needed a rest after that. I went back to Siralim, bandaged my hands, relaxed in the Arena for a while, then went back to Erebyss’s realm. I was almost done with her. I kept fighting ghosts, picking flowers, hating my life, telling myself it would be worth it, until she called me for the final time.

[glow=white,2,300]It is this very moment that I’ve longed for since you first happened upon my altar, Umaro. At long last, you have mastered the darkness and accepted the shadows as your guide. There is nothing more that I can teach you now. You’ve grown both in body and mind since we first met, and I am confident that you will lead your kingdom toward everlasting prosperity. Do not stray from the darkness, for your bond with it is now at its peak. What you choose to do with this power is for you to decide. I will continue to watch with an inquisitive eye.[/glow]

Did she know about my darkness? Well, if she didn’t care, I didn’t care. We returned and had dinner at Bewi’s.

“Today was tough.”

No kidding. Man, my hands are killing me.

But we’re getting much stronger, and it’s thanks to you, Umaro.

And we don’t even have our new weapons yet!

I have to admit you’re an adequate leader… for a human.

ME LOVE UMARO!

“Okay guys, I think we deserve a vacation. Let’s do the Faraway Enclave next. We can pick up seashells, relax for a while… paint the sand red with the blood of our enemies.”

Sounds like a plan.

“I hope this Krampus fellow decides to appear soon…”

Then we went to bed, exhausted.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 15: Tying Up Loose Ends: Lister[/size]

[spoiler]
Today was a relaxing day on the beach at Faraway Enclave. We gave seashells to imps, left resources at moais, collected sea pineapples, killed some enemy creatures and talked to Lister all day.

[glow=green,2,300][b]snore… !!!

Oh, hello, King Umaro! Have you seen my friend? His name is Mister Siren Oracle. No? That’s too bad. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll turn up soon… snooze[/b][/glow]

We didn’t really know what he was talking about, but we continued. Compared to yesterday, this wasn’t even work.

[glow=green,2,300][b]yawn… if there’s one thing I like more than sleeping, it’s… yawn… cooking! No, actually, I like sleeping more. But cooking is in second place. And by cooking, I mean having others cook for me. Let’s make a deal. I’ll teach you how to cook with some new ingredients, and you can cook my meals for me… yawn

Do we have a deal? Good then. Back to sleep I go…

snore[/b][/glow]

That was a nice reward. I went back to Bewi and taught him some new recipes: “Cinnamon Apples & Honey”, “Bread Pudding”, “Sticky Granola Bar”, “Chestnut Honey & Alpine Cheese”, “Fish Filet and Honey-Lemon Sauce”, “Extra Sweet Corn”, “Fish Sammich”, “Spicy Beef Jerky”, “Sweet & Smoky Beef Jerky”, “Almond-Crusted Fish” and “Lobster Mac & Cheese”.

He was so happy that he gave me a chef suit and made me his assistant. We went back to the Faraway Enclave after that.

Lister called us again, but when we went to see him he was asleep, so we walked away. Oddly enough, that still granted me power.

Soon enough, he called me again.

[glow=green,2,300][b]YOU HAVE AWAKENED ME FOR THE LAST TIME!

I’m serious, this is getting to be a bit too much. Every time I close my eyes, you suddenly appear and start knocking at my altar. Let’s make a deal: I’ll give you some of my power, and in return, you can only bother me once per day.

Deal? Deal.[/b][/glow]

Works for me. It wasn’t even nighttime yet, so I worked on the new artifacts for a while. I didn’t have nearly enough Essence, but for now every Lance looked like this:

I still needed to find some good legendary materials for them…[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 16: Tying Up Loose Ends: Friden[/size]

[spoiler]
“Good morning, guys. Back to work! Who should we do next?”

May I suggest Regalis?

“No. No, you may not.”

Today we decided to go visit Lister in his underwater realm. It wasn’t that hard as long as I managed to maintain my waterbreathing spell. We just needed to find gold coins and destroy some ghosts. Eventually Friden called us to his altar.

[glow=brown,2,300][b]You know, it’s actually kind of ridiculous how many ships have managed to sink in this realm. I could understand seeing a few, sure, but there are thousands upon thousands here!

Oh well - that just means there’s more treasure to go around![/b][/glow]

Whatever. We kept doing the same thing for a couple hours before he called us again.

[glow=brown,2,300][b]Have you ever been to an Artifact Realm?

No? Really? You’re missing out.

Fortunately, I happen to know of a wayward channeler who might be willing to live in your castle. He’ll be able to tell you all about Artifact Realms, and assist you with entering one.[/b][/glow]

Now that was interesting. If there was a way to make my artifacts even stronger, I would use it before facing Misery.

But I still didn’t have all the power Friden could grant me. We spent the rest of the day underwater, until our skin was wrinkly and we couldn’t take it anymore. Fortunately, Friden called me for the last time.

[glow=brown,2,300]My, what a journey it’s been for you. We’ve known each other for a long time now, Umaro. While it might, at times, seem like danger is always an arm’s length away, it’s important to sometimes stop and reflect on just how far you’ve come.[/glow]

I finally felt the last rush of power. I was done in that realm.

Back at Siralim, I spoke to my new channeler. He had the same name as me! My namesake explained that every artifact has an Artifact Realm within it. I would have to traverse all 100 floors of them to power up my new Lances, so a total of 500 floors. However, I didn’t have any Portal Keys, an item that was required to enter an artifact. I decided to look for some.

I had some Essence and new legendary materials, so I showed them to my companions. Skull chose the Silver Crest, the material for the Celestial Fortitude trait, so I had Sarea add that to his Death Lance.

We were really exhausted and dripping wet, so we went to bed for the day.
[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 17: Tying Up Loose Ends: Surathli[/size]

[spoiler]
We decided to do Surathli next, since I was running out of Exalted Emblems after buying everything I could from all the Gods and the Azure Dream has Exalted Emblems everywhere.

After picking up some apples and cleansing some obelisks, she called me to her altar.

[glow=white,2,300][b]I welcome your return, Umaro. I’ve called you here because I have a special gift for you. The Divination Candle allows you to offer a Core in exchange for a Charm. Charms allow you to pull specific creatures from another dimension into the realm you’re in.

I’ve already placed it in your castle for you. Use it well.[/b][/glow]

Great, that will come in handy someday. It should allow me to obtain specific Cards by killing hordes of the same creature.

We kept going, doing the same things over and over again, just like the last few days, until she called us again.

[glow=white,2,300][b]I hope you’ve been putting the Divination Candle to good use.

From now on, I can offer you a holy rune in exchange for your Exalted Emblems. I trust that it will keep you and your creatures safe.

I look forward to seeing you again Umaro.[/b][/glow]

Just as Vertraag had said, even the sanctimonious Surathli just wanted my Exalted Emblems. If all these gods are using me to obtains power, why shouldn’t I do the same to them?

Just a few more hours and we’d be done. We were starting to get tired by the next time she called.

[glow=white,2,300][b]Have my seraphs been of use to you thus far, Umaro? I have decided to name one of my children after your kingdom: it is called the Siralim Seraph.

Your devotion to me has not gone unnoticed. When next we meet, I will imbue your soul with a great power.[/b][/glow]

We were finally getting somewhere.

During my battles in this realm, I came upon the rarest of treasures:

Then we kept doing her stupid chores for hours until she finally decided it was enough.

[glow=white,2,300][b]At long last, Umaro, I can bestow my final gifts upon you. I hope that this is not our final meeting; indeed, there is still much we can learn from each other.

Never stray from the light, Umaro.[/b][/glow]

But I already have.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Days 18-25: Tying Up Loose Ends Abridged[/size]

[spoiler]
This has been a busy week. I obtained the power from the remaining eight gods.

Regalis gave me a new citizen for my castle: a Runemaster that can turn runes into treasure.

Meraxis gave me a powerful Nether Goblet. The fool didn’t know what it was and he was using it to drink wine. Blood told me I would need such a Goblet to summon his master.

Tartarith gave me some more punishments for the Altar of Blood.

Torun taught my Warlord new missions.

Vulcanar increased my maximum Power Balance.

The others just gave me power.

I am now as ready as I’ll ever be to become a god. I finished my companion’s artifacts and even went through their artifact realms.

This is how my team looks like right now. Every Lance has the Immune to Silence and Start Battles with Protect properties, as well as increased maximum mana, an artifact trait and the rest in Speed.

Blood (Twisted Devil)
Trait: Dragon’s Undoing
Artifact: Sorcery Lance
A. Trait: Diligence
Flame (Cinder Devil)
Trait: Giant’s Destruction
Artifact: Nature Lance
A. Trait: Stifle
Rock (Stone Devil)
Trait: Angel’s Horror
Artifact: Life Lance
A. Trait: Swiftcasting
Skull (Skull Devil)
Trait: Revenant’s Toll
Artifact: Death Lance
A. Trait: Exalted Detriment
Gloom (Doom Devil)
Trait: Devil’s Deceit
Artifact: Chaos Lance
A. Trait: Through the Gloom

Tomorrow we face Misery. I expect it will be quite an easy battle.[/spoiler]

Current team:

[size=12pt]Day 26: Man Made God[/size]

[spoiler]
Today was… eventful. We used the Teleportation Shrine to reach the Kingdom of Caedo. It was in ruins, and Misery was waiting for us. He looked undead, almost like a Wight. We finally confronted him.

[b]So, you’ve finally come.

What is the purpose of this incessant violence, Umaro? Why do you bring naught but suffering in your wake? Is there motive to your tyranny?[/b]

“At first, it was to protect my kindgom from you after a warning from the God of Time. Now I just want your Nether Orb.”

[b]Hmm, as I thought. T’was your so-called gods that sent you here. Then, I implore you to heed my words:

There is nothing to be found above or below. And your gods? They exist naught but in your mind.
[/b]
“You fool. I have felt their power and I am about to become one myself, one that surpasses even them.”

Unconvinced? If like a fool you still wish to stand against me, I’m left with no choice but to end your life alongside the ruthless suffering you and your kingdom have wrought upon this world.

“I should remind you, you wouldn’t be in this situation had you thought better of attacking my kindgom!”

[b]What? Do you truly believe it is you who is just, and I evil? You are gravely mistaken. But, though you are blind to this truth, I care not. You stand as the final impediment to the revolution this world so sorely needs, and I will not tolerate your interruption any longer.

Prepare thyself, King Umaro.[/b]

Mysery lunged himself at me and my companions. With a wave of his hand, he disarmed my party of their new weapons, cast a spell to nullify their traits, accelerated his movements threefold and protected himself with a barrier. Clearly this was a contingency spell that he’d been saving for such an occasion.

I still had the power granted to my by the gods. And the hard work we’d endure to scam those fools had strengthened our bodies and minds. Even with such a handicap, we couldn’t lose.

My whole party but Skull reacted faster than he did. Blood cast Summon Chaos and a Harpy Torturer appeared. Rock cast his Acid Rain spell to lower Misery’s defenses, then Flame cast a Chaos Bolt spell that pierced what little of his barrier remained. Gloom cast a Volcano spell to burn Misery, then it was his turn. He attacked Blood, Rock and Skull, triggering anothe cast of Acid Rain and Chaos Bolt. Skull cast a powerful Planets spell and the Harpy a Fireball. Blood cast Chaos Channeling, which blinded Misery and made him Bleed. Then, even weaponless, they striked at him physically until he fell. But…

PREPARE THYSELF!

[glow=black,2,300]I… AM… ASCENDED.[/glow]

He was now Misery, God of Revolution. I felt a presence behind me.

[glow=blue,2,300]And on this day, you too shall ascend, dear king.[/glow]

Vertraag was holding a gigantic Nether Orb. It started to glow, enveloping me and my creatures in a vibrant white light. I felt Misery’s spell being dispelled.

[glow=blue,2,300]It is time, Umaro! The gods are with you - finish Misery off once and for all![/glow]

Misery cast a powerful Animate Dead spell that summoned 5 Death creatures to his side. Meanwhile, my companions grabbed their weapons. I felt another presence.

[glow=gray,2,300]The winds blow in your favor.[/glow]

Aeolian cast a spell that increased my creatures’ speed. What were these fools doing? I didn’t need their, or anyone’s help!

Skull cast his Planets spell again, but it didn’t do as much damage as I was expecting. Misery still had some sort of protection.

[glow=blue,2,300]It is time! Strike now![/glow]

Vertraag slowed time around Misery, allowing my creatures to attack him. The Harpy cast another Fireball at Misery.

[glow=white,2,300]It is time to even the odds.[/glow]

Azural lowered the enemies’ Attack with a spell.

Everyone was out of Mana, so they attacked with their weapons. Misery’s barrier still held strong.

[glow=gray,2,300]There is room for only one god![/glow]

Meraxis’s words seemed off, but I had no time to think about that. He cast a spell on the enemies that lowered their Intelligence.

[glow=purple,2,300]Give in to temptation.[/glow]

Regalis lowered their Speed.

[glow=white,2,300]Grow bolder, embrace darkness.[/glow]

Erebyss raised my party’s Defense with her darkness.

[glow=white,2,300]Be bathed in the arcane![/glow]

Zonte raised my party’s Intelligence. But, without Mana, I was in trouble!

[glow=green,2,300]Do we have time for a quick nap?[/glow]

Lister strengthened Vertraag’s spell, allowing my party to attack again.

[glow=brown,2,300]HERE I FUCKING AM![/glow]

Torun increased my party’s Attack. Maybe now they would be able to pierce the enemy defenses.

[glow=black,2,300]KILL.[/glow]

Tartarith cast a massively powerful spell on the enemies, the likes of which I’d never seen before, but they were only lightly damaged. I was starting to get worried.

[glow=brown,2,300]Do not falter.[/glow]

Friden gave my creatures Multicast, but it was useless without Mana.

[glow=blue,2,300]Your pain is merely an illusion.[/glow]

She healed my creatures, but that was unnecessary. Could none of these fools heal their lost mana?

[glow=brown,2,300]Strike fast and true; let none challenge your sovereignty.[/glow]

Gonfurian gave my creatures Multistrike, but they weren’t doing enough damage.

[glow=black,2,300]I’ll soften them up for you. You can thank me later.[/glow]

Vulcanar lowered the enemies’ Defense.

Misery cast a Curse on my creatures. Now they received damage when they dealt it. Surviving that wouldn’t be a problem, but without spells, this was going to be a very long battle. Still, Misery was slowly dying thanks to the Burn and Bleed effects I’d managed to place on him before, so I just needed a bit more time.

Skull was the only one who could deal enough damage. He grabbed his scythe and dealt two critical blows to Misery. It was obvious he was mortally wounded, but he kept fighting. Then he striked again, and he fell, dying in a pool of his own blood. However, the summoned creatures didn’t disappear. I had to take care of them one by one, but, without Misery’s protection, they were easy prey.

It was done. Vertraag gave me the Nether Orb he carried.

The tenth Nether Orb, a shrunken version of the gigantic one that Siralim is built upon, had power exceeding even the gods.

Back at Siralim, Damaos thanked me and Vertraag spoke to me again.

[glow=blue,2,300][b]You’ve done well, friend. As much as it shames me to admit, in truth, I was not certain that you’d be able to stand toe-to-toe against Misery. I am most pleased to be proven wrong. You’ve saved not only your beloved kingdom, not only the world, but also preserved the sanctity of the gods themselves.

We have much to thank you for, Umaro, and we shall be forever indebted to you and your kingdom.[/b][/glow]

He would soon be proven wrong once again. I would defile the sanctity of the gods myself.

I used the ten Nether Orbs I had collected, trying to ascend, to become a god. But something in my body rejected their power. What was going on? Could it be the taint of the Devils?

Then I had a surprising visit.

Hi there.

“You must be Krampus. We could have used your help back there.”

Heh. You did just fine though, didn’t you? I think I finally figured out how to summon our master. Let’s go to your Nether Goblet.

At the Goblet, Krampus asked me for Vertraag’s Timepiece. I gave it to him and he started some sort of ritual. In the end, he had a potion in his hand.

This should be enough. One of us has to drink it and forfeit his life so that our master can have a body once again. Since I haven’t been much help so far, I’ll do the honors. See you guys.

He drank the potion. He looked surprised, then disappointed.

Heh. It failed. I’ve become a Nether Creature, but our master didn’t come back. There must be something missing… Oh well, I might as well join you while we look for it.

I drank his blood like I had his brothers’, then something happened to me. Some sort of entity spoke to my mind, thanking me for my efforts to bring it back to life. Just hearing its words was enough to make me want to die, but then, all of a sudden, I didn’t mind them at all. When it stopped, the Nether Orbs were floating around me, empowering me.

I hadn’t become a God however, but something entirely different.

It was surprisingly easy to convince my citizens that this was just the form I’d assumed as a new God. But I knew better. And the gods would now know everything. I would probably never be able to speak to them again.

But this was enough for me. I’d finally become an immortal being, the most powerful of all. All that was left was to look for a way to fulfill my promise. But now I had all the time in the world.

It is done.

[/spoiler]