Martyrs: Legends of the Great Savanna

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Chapter 16 - Souls

James was quickly torn apart by the tentacle creature, but unlike dying in the Great Savanna, he didn’t black out. This time, he felt every excruciating second, and every single lost hit point. It was as if every one of his nerve endings was slowly burned away by an evil deity, with a matchstick and no concept of time. And then, finally, he was back.

‘What happened?’ Lilly pleaded into the party’s telepathic chat. ‘Is James okay?’

‘A creature came out from the undead side of the forest,’ Torunn answered in between grunts. ‘It paralyzed him.’

‘I am fine.’ James joined the chat, his past life rushing back to him as his mind remembered the strange green creature in front of him. ‘I respawned back at our base. I am stuck in the alcove next to Noma right now, but I can’t move. I think there is a respawn timer.’

You cannot chat with your party while you are waiting to respawn.

“Damn, they didn’t hear me,” James said to himself as he struggled to move his body.

‘Oh crap. There are more creatures than the one that killed James!’ Patrick cried into the party chat.

James watched as the redhead's body materialized next to his.

‘Shit, do we have a creature as well?’ Alex asked.

‘Probably hunting you from the forest, waiting for an opportunity to attack,’ Torunn answered.

James’s timer ended, and he let out a sigh of relief as he regained control of his body. He let the party know he was okay and that dying transported your body to the alcove where you could not move or talk until an unknown period passed. Then he turned to Noma and asked him about the enemy creatures. The spirit never mentioned that the undead side would have champions like theirs did. It would have been a good thing to know, and James's frustration showed through his words to the odd soul merchant.

“We did not know about them,” Noma replied while waving his hands in a motion meant to disarm James. The soul merchant seemed to shrink under James’s fury. “They were never here before. The Lich must have summoned them in response to your arrival.” Noma hiccupped and began to pat his body as he struggled to remember something. “Oh! Do you have any souls for Noma?”

“I have two,” James answered reluctantly, the anger still audible in his voice. “I would have had more if I hadn’t died.”

“Give them! Give them to Noma!” The soul merchant pleaded with his hands outstretched. “I need them!”

“What will you trade me?”

“Ahhh, trade, yes. Here take a look!” Noma said as he fidgeted in place.

A menu appeared and covered James’s vision. Inside it were various items; weapons, armor pieces, necklaces, and gems.

“I have all of that to trade!” Noma said proudly. “The soul cost of each item is listed.”

“I can only afford two teleport scrolls or a small sword!” James growled while turning his gaze back to the merchant.

Noma flinched.

“Hardly worth two actual souls, don’t you think?” James seethed.

“No, no, no. Soul items are great creations and their power builds upon each other!" Noma cried out to save himself. “See here! If you get the small sword, you will do ten more damage. And if you get this necklace and this gem at a later point, they will all combine into the Longsword of Draining!”

James found the Longsword of Draining in the soul item interface and confirmed the items needed to make it.

Longsword of Draining - Burns enemy’s mana (10% of weapon damage) every strike, plus 20 damage, plus 5 mana regen per second. Required Items - Small Sword, Necklace of Clarity, Gem of Mana Regen

“I don’t have any longsword abilities. Are there any short swords?” James asked. He wanted the ability to burn mana with physical strikes but didn’t want to lose his Jump Strike ability. Noma scrunched up his face and looked up at James.

Then the soul merchant let out a hiccup as realization dawned on him. “Oh, silly human. You are not strong enough to wield soul weapons.” The merchant tisked as he slowly shook his head. “You just keep them in your inventory, and you receive the effects. So, if you bought this small sword, you would do ten more damage with your current weapon. You see, the soul items augment how you are now. It augments your soul!”

“So, I can’t use any of these items?”

“You can use their effects, but you cannot wield them,” the merchant said with a subtle roll of his eyes.

James’s thoughts on the usefulness of the items were interrupted as Patrick’s frozen body came back to life.

“Ahhh, finally!” Patrick said as he began to sprint to the center path and back to battle. James called out to him as he went, causing the redhead to pause. James briefed the party on the soul item system he just learned about. Patrick nodded and spent a few seconds looking through all of Noma’s items before disappearing into a cloud of magical wisps.

“He used a teleportation scroll. They can instantly transport you to any of our towers,” Noma explained, answering the question on James's face as he watched his friend disappear.

James checked his mini-map and confirmed that Patrick had teleported to the middle path. Turning back to the soul item interface, he traded his only two souls in for two scrolls of teleportation. He activated one with a thought and found himself standing next to the third crystal tower on the top path. James remarked that there was no physical sickness from teleportation, yet he did feel sick, mentally. The sudden change in location shocked all of his senses, causing him to feel what he could only describe as nausea of the brain.

J. Lincoln

#85 in Science fiction
#17 in LitRPG
#469 in Fantasy
#66 in Epic fantasy

Story about: town building, moba, custom game system

Edited: 08.04.2019

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