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Required Input in: Subway Safety

So there i was, standing in a darkened passageway that had found on a previous journey into the mines, waiting for the rest of my fellowship to show up, so we could secure the subway for ourselves. I had kindled a small fire to heat up some hyssop tea, and was absent-mindedly poking at the embers with a strange-looking stick, that i had retrieved from the body of the passageways previous inhabitant - a prowling drudge.

Footsteps.

Rising quickly, and grasping my magic wand, i faded into the shadows. My visitor was shrouded in the whiteness of NPK, but i did not let my guard down... these white dots too often turn out to be spies for other PK's, so i was yet unsure of my footing.

"Hello", i said in a calm, non-threatening voice.

She looked quite young, barely into her teens, i would guess, yet she wore battlescars that had obviously been earned by risking life and limb in the wilds of Dereth. Experience belies age. Her sword was forged from magical fire and was held in a careful grip, while her shield remained slung accross her back. After she got over her momentary surprise, she responded in kind,

"Hiyas. Kinda little to be a PK aren't you?", she inquired in an almost motherly voice.

Now, i don't like to give out too much information, since knowledge of your enemy is a powerful weapon. i decided to err on the side of caution.

"Why do you say that?" i asked in my best dumb-guy voice.

"Well there are many,many very powerful PK's about, especially in this place", with a wave of her arm, she indicated that she meant the Abandoned Mines as a whole - the hub of activity in this part of the world. She leaned in a bit and lowered her voice, "and when i say powerful, i mean VERY powerful. i am not saying that you wouldn't have a chance against them, but... you wouldn't have a chance against them."

With that she ran off and around the corner, leaving me to chuckle inside my head. She did not know how long i had travelled the length and breadth of the land in my previous corporeal forms, or the nature of the mission that had brought me into this one. I was, of course, well aware of the perils of PK nooberness - it was the greatness of the challenge that had drawn my to this way of life.

"RARRAWRWRAAGHGHWRRCKKW!!!!!"

i was snapped out of my introspection by blood-curdling screams, and i rushed to investigate. i rounded the corner and was met with the site of my visitor standing over the corpses of 3 banderlings, calmly picking trinkets from their fallen bodies.

"Wow, you killed them pretty quick", i said, meaning it.

"Hmm? oh, yes, i suppose", she seemed unimpressed with her own destructive power and returned to the fire pit, with me close behind. i was busy organizing my packs and communicating with my fellows, while watching her with one eye. It seemed obvious to me, by now, that she was not a spy, as she employed neither the demeanour, nor the stall tactics so often associated with such individuals, and she presented herself with honesty. In fact she was currently busying herself with carefree pursuits of fun. She had produced a second sword, this one manufactured from frost, and was alternately extinguishing, and relighting the fire.

"Heheheh, neat trick", sez i, "by the way, my name is Required Input". i felt it was time for proper introductions.

"I know who you are"

??? wow! i was taken slightly aback. i had not realized that tales of my deeds had bestowed this great notoriety upon me. i began to swell with pride.

"You have your name printed on your underwear, and the tag is showing"

Deflated.

"Hehheh, ya, i had that put their after i lost too much underwear at parties", i responded, somewhat bashfully.

She raised and eyebrow, and then,"Well, i am known as Hilali Swonoh. Pleased to meet you"

We talked for a while, and it became apparent that we were going to be friends. Just then, Shameless gave me the word,"We have arrived. Commence raiding"

i asked my new found friend if she would like to see a badass in action, and she informed me she would.

"c'mon", i said, as i threw a quick Armor Self 1 spell on myself to reduce any damage i might take from physical attacks (gotta protect those 30 health points), and ran to join the fray.

Your fellow The Lord Vengence has died!
Your fellow Shameless has died!

Hmmm, and i wasn't even out of the hallway yet. No matter, i kept on, into the main trading area. A quick glance around revealed no red dots, so i hit the exit portal.

"Not too many around today", commented Hilali, a bit disappointed (i think she was looking forward to seeing my sexay leetness in action).

Just as my vision was clearing from the unsettling journey through portal space, i saw red haze. Every muscle involuntarily clenched, and i tasted bile. The calm of battle followed immediately. As i readied myself to cast, i quickly assesed my fellow PKer to ascertain whether he was friend or foe. He did not wear the Shameless tag, and he was another one of those damned level ???'s. I was starting to think that my assessing skills were not quite up to snuff. Time to think later, this was war. I threw a lightning vuln at my enemy, and he managed to shake it off, but it had a traumatic pyschological effect on him.

"Guys, don't kill me!" shouted Hobo Bob

i looked over my shoulder... this guy was obviously insane from fear as i was the only other red dot in the crowd of subway-goers, perhaps a cold sweat was making him see double. i decided to forget about the vulns for now, since time was of the essence, and quite frankly, i dont have much mana. I let off a flurry of Lighning Bolt 1's, but all they found were trees, as my target was running back towards town. i gave chase, with warnings from Hilali, as she had been able to see through the deceptive power and assess him.

"Careful! he's high level"

i didn't bother to point out, that when you are a level 6PK on a white dot server, pretty much EVERYone is high level, by comparison. i was having a hard time keeping up to him either because of my run skill of 15, or the fact that i was tripping over the bodies of my fallen comrades... either way he quickly outdistanced me. The rush was great, though, and i revelled in it, laughing maniacally.

For a minute.

Someone had taken the time to inform Bob of the fact that he might have a good chance against me, and he decided to come back. Things kinda turned a bit sour for me then, and i was suddenly staring into cool blueness.

"Hello lifestone, my old friend", i sang, in my best Paul Simon voice.

Back to the subway. i arrived outside, and noticed a familiar face around those parts... a fellow named Kakle. i took note of his position, and headed back into the sub, to wait out my unPK period.

Bael'Zharons magic flows through you. You are a player-killer once more.

Into the portal i went. i was feeling a bit bloodthirsty, and as i waited the few seconds to rematerialize, i screamed a war-cry,"KAKLE I'M COMING FOR YO--------"

Hmmm. The portal must have not been functioning properly, as i found myself actually materializing at my lifestone, with the distinct taste of acid in my mouth. Not the really groovy kinda acid either... this was more like drinking from a car-battery.(if there was such a thing as cars, or batteries).

Back to the subway. Kakle had left the area, but there was another guy there, by the name of Abuka. He didn't look too tough for vitae-ridden me, so i decided to make him my next mark. This time, though, i readied myself in spellmode, targetted the poor, unsuspecting fucker, and waited for PKosity to flow back into me. This guy was in some serious trouble.

Bael'Zharons magic flows through you. You are a player-killer once more.

WHOOOOSH! With a gruesome sizzling sound, i unloaded an acid bolt - the most powerful of all war spells (due to spell economy), point-blank into Abuka's waiting face. To this day, i am unsure how he resisted it, i was under the impression that most people had no defence for an impressive 67 war skill. But, there it was... he shook off the spell, and returned fire. Quickly side-stepping behind a column of rock, i dodged what would have surely been my end. Shooting back at me, huh? Now he was really in for it! i decided to flaunt my madskillz at the Vitae Gods, and broke out the level 2 spells. i could feel myself going crazy from the power i was wielding as i prepared to lay waste to Abuka's soul.

But alas! it was not to be. He reached into his bag of tricks and brought out something called Heart Rend and used it on me. i heard somewhere that is a higher version of Harm6, but, in retrospect, i think it was some sort of "portal sending" spell, because i found myself at the lifestone once again.

Back to the Subway.

By this time, Shameless and Vengence had made there way back with a few more from our crew and we decided to meet up, have a pow-wow, and regroup. My new friend had to go, but she assured me that she was quite impressed with my prowess. i lead the unholy army of death back to my little hidey-hole, and we all took up positions around the fire, as i poured out some tea for everyone. We were busily discussing plans for upcoming raids and such, when another white dot wandered into our portion of the world. Something felt wrong about this guy, but he struck up a conversation, and we were all a bit groggy from bumping our heads on the lifestone so much. It only took a few minutes before this worms true intentions showed through and another ??? PKer, level showed up, brandishing one of Lord Atlans fearsome looking frost staffs.

THWACK!THWACK!THWACK! was all he had to say to us, and we were all dead.

Back to the Subway.

Now, i don't normally go back to loot my corpses, but this time i had dropped my favorite health potion, plus i was morbidly curious to see if our bodies had made a perfect circle around the firepit... Jerk-nuts the killer (or whoever he was) was still there, but i ignored him. This was probably not the best thing to do, but, hey! once you get to maximum vitae, there is very little else that you can lose. Apparently this guy was the sporting sort, because when i turned red again, he put away his staff and proceeded to beat me about the head with his bare fists.

i didn't mind though.... i needed a ride back to Rithwic anyways. i did a quick check on my death count, and decided 63 at level 6 was pretty good. It was time to call it a night. i made plans with the group for the next night, found a quiet place down by the river, and went to sleep.


Don't miss the next exciting chapter in the Input Saga, wherein war is declared on the Shameless monarchy in: at war wit' Chu


 

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