The Legend of Heroes: Tales of the World [IC]
“…all I’m saying is, don’t you think it’d be so much easier if these monsters just, I don’t know, blew up in a puff of smoke and turned into some gald and items?”¯
“Yes, indeed that would. But it’d also be insane, Estelle.”¯
“It’d make doing this job sooooo much easier!”¯
With their footsteps echoing along the cobblestone path, the two individuals walked throughout the streets of Clockwork Town, an old fashioned, Victorian-esque town furnished with giant steam work buildings and industrial factories on the town outskirts. A large clock tower loomed over the rest of the town, situated in the town centre. Currently it was roughly 9pm, with the city falling into darkness and the majority of people already returned home from a long days’ worth of work.
The two individuals were a man and woman both looking to be in their late teens or early twenties. The girl wore a long, flowing red and black silk robe across her entire body, that parted to reveal her midriff and tapered off around her legs to give her ease of movement. Her arms and legs, up to her elbows and knees were covered in lightweight armour gauntlets and greaves, and across her chest she wore a light coating of armour. She had bright, fiery red hair pulled back into a ponytail and a confident, if somewhat weary expression on her face. One of her hands lightly rested on the tip of her sheathed sword’s handle, whilst the other was busy carrying and dragging the disproportionately huge Boarig monster they had exterminated earlier in the day. It was at least twice the size of the girl, whose name was Estelle, and was a very large, bloated looking creature that surely must have weighed quite a deal, but she seemed to carry it effortlessly. Simply from looking at her it was obvious she was a swordswoman.
Her companion on the other hand, looked like the typical, classic mage. With a large, white hooded robe adorning his entire body, he walked with confident poise, one hand on a wooden staff that emanated a dim green glow. Across his white robe were several runic markings that at first looked as if they were simply for fashion, but on closer inspection were glowing an emerald colour, an act that would occur whenever the mage would use his magical abilities. He pushed up the circular glasses further up his nose and used a hand to brush through his messy white hair. He was a wind mage, trained in the use of classical wind manipulation spells.
“You know Marcus, don’t you think it’s not fair that the girl has to carry the giant monster? Don’t you think the man should offer to help?”¯ Estelle asked, addressing her partner. There was nothing malicious in the question, but she HAD been dragging it since all the way from the city outskirts.
“Why my dear Estelle, I AM helping!”¯ Marcus replied, pointing his staff to the underside of the Boarig. There was a small bobbing cloud underneath, supporting the beast’s weight and helping it glide over the uneven path. “Besides Estelle, we both know you’re stronger than me. And we’re almost at our destination anyway.”¯
The two turned a corner and finally came to a stop in front of a large building, whose windows were illuminated by interior lights and the sound of roaring laughter and chatter from within. Estelle and Marcus had arrived “home”; at the Clockwork Town Guild.
The Clockwork Town Guild
The Clockwork Town Guild served as an inn, tavern, and more importantly then all of that, a guild. A place where seasoned and experienced guildsmen and women would undertake the requests and orders placed from people across the kingdom for help. Whether it was something as mundane as finding a missing item, recovering something stolen, to helping build and craft something, or more dangerous requests such as monster extermination or body guarding. The guild was available to pretty much do anything and everything, as long as the client could pay the price for the service, that is.
The majority of the Guild’s ground floor was a giant tavern, with guild members and a couple of locals all perched around long wooden tables drinking and cheering the night away. The stairs in the corner of the room led to the higher second and third floors where bedrooms were available for patrons and guild members to rest for the night. And on the fourth and fifth floors were the Guild’s administrative rooms.
With a loud creak, the Guild’s doors opened and Estelle and Marcus both walked into the guild, with Estelle still carrying the giant Boarig over her shoulder and carrying it across the large tavern floor to the Guild Reception Booth to report their mission’s results.
“Hey kids, not a bad job!”¯ cried out a large, bearded gentleman with glass in hand and a laugh plastered over his face. His size was preposterously huge, nearing 8 ft tall, and he had the muscles to match it. What could be seen of his skin seemed to be coated in scars, each one a memory of one job or another performed throughout the decades. “Keep up the good work and you’ll get out of Rank H eventually!”¯
“Thank you, Largo,”¯ Marcus smiled and waved back, whilst Estelle pouted.
“We’re never going to get out of Rank H if we only ever get useless missions like this! This Boarig was nothing. Just eating some farm crops… ugh. I’ll never reach Rank A like this and make a name for myself as a Swordsmaster!”¯ Estelle sighed. “And this probably won’t have paid well, either.”¯
Marcus laughed. “You could always join the Imperial Army, Estelle. I hear they pay a bit better.”¯ The mage joked.
“Are you kidding, Marcus? Those fascists? No way!”¯
The two eventually reached the Guild Reception, where across them seated on a plush leather stool was a beautiful, slender woman dressed as a businesswoman with long, blonde curls that fell to her waist. She wore fashionable rectangular rimmed glasses that helped to accentuate the appearance of a secretary in charge.
“Estelle! Marcus! You’re both back, and from the looks of it have had a safe journey! How nice to see you both.”¯ She smiled warmly.
“Yeah yeah, this thing was a pain in the ass.”¯ Estelle dumped the Boarig on the floor. “I’ve never seen something so fat run away so quickly before.”¯
“Either way the client should be well pleased to hear about the mission’s success. Congratulations, both of you. Here is your payment.”¯ The secretary handed forth a brown leather purse rattling with gald inside.
“Thank you, Marise.”¯ Marcus nodded.
“Hey, Mari, what about our rank?”¯ Estelle asked bluntly. “Did that go up any?”¯
“Hmm, let me have a quick check, Estelle,”¯ Marise replied. “Ah, you’re just a couple of points from moving on to Rank G.”¯
“Ugh! We’re never going to get anywhere. Can’t you approve us for some higher levelled missions? At this rate we’re going to get be stuck here forever!”¯ Estelle pouted.
“Now now, Estelle, every Guildmember must start from somewhere, and slowly rise up through the ranks. This is a marathon, not a race.”¯ Marcus tried to calm down his partner.
“But we’re better than this! I’m sick and tired of searching for lost cats and dropped jewellery!”¯ Estelle argued. “And this Boarig was nothing! All it took was one hit after chasing it for two hours. We’re better than this, I know we can handle something tougher!”¯
“Estelle, we don’t hand out extremely high levelled rank missions for both the safety of you and the client’s ease of mind, but I can understand your frustration. Let me see if we have something on the Guild Requests not already taken. We're bound to have something what with the current political climate...”¯ Marise tried to comfort.
“Ever since those jerks in the Artar Army assumed control, they’ve been policing everything and taking control of everything! Fighting their wars!”¯ Estelle fumed.
“Well, they are our government…”¯ Marcus tried to both reassure and explain.
“Take a look at the Guild Board, Estelle, Marcus, and see if there’s anything on there suitable. Or talk around to some of the locals. The guild might be willing to allow you on a higher ranked mission if you had more allies with some experience. Or there might be some others here who need a few other people’s help. The Guild’s all about working together, right?” Marise suggested.
“Thank you Marise, we’ll do just that.”¯ Marcus politely nodded.
“Thanks Mari!”¯ Estelle shouted with a cheer, and ran throughout the tavern to look for a new mission and allies, whilst Marcus walked behind her with a low sigh.
The Mission Board located in the centre wall adjacent to the bar front had a number of missions listed upon it, with the equivalent rank located next to it. Further information for individual missions could be obtained from the reception, manned by Marise, an experienced C-Rank Guilder who dealt with most of the Guild's administrative duties. Amongst the listed missions included:
Bandit Trouble in northwestern mining town Tabul: Rank D (A big fat L was scribbled next to the listing)
Monster Infestation in Tabul outskirts: Rank G