52 Dunhams Cove

    Nix waited patiently, he could sense someone closing on them, but they had stealthed.  "Going to show yourself?"

    [Meteor Storm]

    Nix placed the AE spell a few yards in front of them, Instantly a handful of fighters appeared, each of them screaming in pain while they tried to put out the flames.  Ronnie had her speargun pointing at them.

    The group looked frazzled when the effect finally wore off.  They all wore the same light blue uniforms.  "What is the mean of this?"  The only archer in the group gripped his bow while staring down an arrow at Nix.

    "You approached us in stealth when we asked you to show yourselves; our words were ignored.  What should we have done in that situation?  Wait for an unknown group to attack us?"  Nix felt his patience fading fast.  Why were there always idiots?

    The man sneered at them.  "Disarm yourselves and follow me for questioning. Safarza isn't a place where riffraff like you can wander around."

    Nix raised his hand, and eight strands of emerald fire shot out,  four men of the men were instantly immobilized, their screams filling the air.

    Wind appeared behind the speaker, his dagger at the leader's throat. Wind nodded, and the strands were released.

    "Please wait."  A voice spoke from the distance; she stepped carefully down the rocky slope. The woman had long silver hair and eyes that were nearly the same color. She wore green robes and was holding a plain wood staff.  "Please release the militia captain; he's completely harmless other than being a moron."

    Nix nodded in agreement, and Wind stepped away from him and lowered his blade. "We aren't here to cause trouble. I'm Nix, the leader of Inferno."

    The woman's face seemed to pale. "Colonel Nix! I'm Captain Wylie Solm, You've saved me the trip to Glory Island.  I've been assigned to you, sir." She stepped closer and handed him a scroll.

    Nix glanced at the scroll and then handed back, "It says you have fifty men."

    "Yes sir, we were previously attached to the Safarza militia to supplement the trade city of Garwiq."

    "I see. And now you were reassigned to me?" Nix eyed her garb; she looked more like an acolyte than a knight.  "Aren't knights suppose to be armored?"

    Wylie glanced at his green leather armor; she had never seen anything so intricate. "I have been lucky to walk the path of the Nature healer.  Too many of my abilities are inactivate if I don't wear cloth robes."

    "I see...Why would you be assigned to me?  I'm not undertaking any missions on behalf of the Order."

    "All officers above the rank of Commander are required to have a protection detail assigned to them."

    Nix stared hard,  like Hyai, he wasn't sure if she was an NPC or a player.  Some players chose to become ordinary workers or butlers in a castle.  Not everyone came to Colonial with the intent of adventure and danger.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Hey Juni, was a barracks one of the new build options for Inferno after we were promoted?

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Yes, but it's a waste of resources until we hire some troops.

    /Guildchat: Nix: I've been assigned fifty men by the Knight of Colonial.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: I'll use the Guild menu to build one next to the Temple.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Ok, but not too close.

    "Fine captain, we are in the process of building a barracks on Glory Island, your people will have to put up a tent city until that happens."

    "Sounds good sir." Wylie glared at the militia captain, "get back to the city."

    Nix's hud buzzed at him a moment later, he opened it to see both Semmi and Jun Li watching him.  "What's up, guys?"

    Jun Li smiled at him. "We've been reviewing the documents left behind in the Onion quest. There was the mention of a Dunham several times.  We assumed it was a person, but now we believe it to be a place."

    Wylie had been close enough to hear their conversation, "there's a Dunham Cove on the Northside of Safarza."

    Jun Li's face lit up, "that could be worth checking out Nix!"

    Nix brought up his map and let Wylie mark the spot where the cove was located.  "We'll check it out Juni."

    "I would like to come also. I'll contact my men and have them continue onward to Glory."  Wylie smiled at Nix while he considered her words.

    Nix nodded, "that's fine.  Juni, have Min prep the Phoenix for immediate departure."


    Nix returned with his group to Glory Island, by the time they arrived Mina had the Phoenix ready to depart with her Aquarion assault team on deck.

    Ronnie, Wylie, and Wind were talking near the stern while Nix sat comfortably with the Aquarions. The north coast of Safarza was just as unapproachable as the rest of it.  However, lost in those caves and hidden nooks, lay all sorts of smuggler caves and stashes.  Wylie had told them to expect three or four small pirate ships, but nothing big enough to threaten them.

    "Man the cannons, prepare for action."  Captain Delphi received the brief from Nix, but she decided to be ready.

    Mina summoned a half dozen of her Vilas, "I didn't give the Ricoli artifact to Fajii, you were right in your assessment.  She's a valuable alchemist and we can't risk losing her."

    Nix kept his face expressionless, Fajii was someone who visited him often.  She had taught him a great deal about the Aquarion culture.  "Can you wear this Min?"  He handed her the Kraken armor that had dropped from the legendary beast.

    Mina touched it with one hand and then slipped in on.  On her it turned a shimmering blue, she gasped in surprise at the effect.

    Kraken Armor [Water Mage only]

    Description: This thick but surprising light

    armor grants its wearer the boon of the sea.

    +100 to Water abilities.  Immunity to range damage.

    All damage is reduced by thirty percent.

    Nix nodded in satisfaction.  The armor fit her perfectly, there was a definite sense that her power had increased.  "Looks good on you Min."

    Mina smiled at him, "This armor is amazing Nix."  She was checking out her abilities. "The number of Sea-Beasts that I can train has doubled."

    "I was hoping that would happen."  Nix walked to the rail and watched the coastline.  "I feel better now that you are wearing it."

    "Coming around the point, all hands prepare." Delphi was standing at the rudder, she had her first mate standing at the bow.

    "Contact Captain!  Three ships!"  Louie was the first to see them, "all three are Galleons!"

    The range was less than a hundred meters, all three ships were coming at them. Captain Delphi made an instant decision.  "Hard left, top cannons fire!"

    The Phoenix turned sharply, it took a few moments for the ships to notice them.  The middle ship took heavy damage.  The two outside ships both turned toward shore.

    "Hard Right, bring us about!"  Captain Delphi chose a sharp turn in the opposite direction, a moment later the near ship fired.

    "Clean Miss Captain!"  Louie shouted out while drawing his cutlass.

    "Bottom cannons fire!"  Captain Delphi waited until the barrage was complete, then he turned directly into the third ship.  The second ship had been hit hard at the water-line by a half salvo, she was in danger of going down.

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    "Incoming!  Get Down!"  Louie shouted again and dived to the deck as the forward assist mast was destroyed.  Two rounds blasted into mainsail while a third bounced off the deck and into the captain's cabin.

    Nix moved toward the bow and kept low.  "Prepare to board them!"  Nix summoned his Manta along with the Aquarions and instantly they were flying toward the third Galleon.

    [Meteor Storm]

    He targeted the ship and green fire rained down on their deck and sails, ignited everything. Something impacted his shoulder and knocked him from his mount.  He slammed face-first into the deck.  He rolled over climbed to his feet, just as the assault team joined him.


    Nix healed himself and looked for a target.  Ronnie moved beside him a moment later, a group of five charged toward them.

    [Whirlwind Shot]

    She raised her speargun and opened fire, all five sailors were scattered, two of them going over the rail.  "Nice!"  She continued to fire while Wind jumped into melee to help the Aquarions.

    Nix dodged through the oncoming fighters, using his strands to drag them and hold them down while his companions chopped them like firewood.  He spotted the Captain, trying to fight off two of Mina's Vilas.

    [Comet Strike]

    A three-round burst of green fire struck him full in the chest and knocked him to the deck.  He was instantly torn apart by the beasts.  Within a minute of the captain dying, the entire crew surrendered.  The other two ships had waited for the results of the boarding before they ran up the white flags.

    The two surviving Captains were onboard the Phoenix.  Delphi was watching them angrily, she was very unhappy that they had damaged her ship.  "What do you want me to do with them Nix?"

    "Those Galleons are nice, put the crews ashore and keep the captains for questioning."  Nix waited patiently while Wylie insured he was unharmed.  "We'll try to use the Manta to find Dunham's cove. Start making repairs on all ships. "


    An hour later, Nix and the assault team arrived at Dunham's cove.  Wylie was riding with him since she didn't have her own Manta.

    "You're a CC class Nix?"  Wylie sat comfortably next to him while they flew a few hundred feet off the water.

    "Fire Mage actually, but I do have some CC abilities."  He had noticed during the melee that she was quite vicious with her staff.  "Is that it?"  He pointed to a small lagoon lined with steep rocks.

    Wylie nodded, "I've never been there myself, nor is it mapped since it isn't an official name."

    The group landed on the shore near the entrance to the cove.  Wylie was the only one who wasn't equipped with Aquatic gear, so everyone waited while Nix made her one.  He summoned Soup and waded into the water.

    They explored the cove for half an hour before one of the Aquarions located a small entrance hidden in near the ocean floor.  Surprisingly the cave ended up being quite long, it took nearly an hour of swimming before they surfaced in a dark underground cavern.  As soon as they surfaced, the entire area lit up.

    Colonial System Message: You have entered the Rite of Passage.  Here you will undertake an individual combat trial, there are great rewards for those that do well.
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