88 Shangri

    A few hours later, four ships from the Inferno fleet headed west for the continent of Jhabi. Nix was aboard the Phoenix along with the officers from Inferno and a few others. Captain Delphi stood at the helm, her face still wearing a smile.  Although she had gone down in defeat, the Phoenix had taken entire fleets with her.  Delphi and her crew had been promoted to elites because of their efforts.  An elite crew would fight harder and perform their individual jobs better.

    Pon, Wind, Sharl. Mina, Nix, Jun Li, Semmi and Ronnie relaxed at the rail near the bow of the ship.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: A few governing items need to be addressed.  Let's start first with town security. Crime isn't a problem yet, but as our population grows we are going to have to offer some sort of deterrent against crime. Suggestions?

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: We do have a lot of Colonial Knights on Glory, could they handle the task?

    /Guildchat: Nix: I'd prefer to keep them as part of our military.

    /Guildchat: Pon: We could hire our own private security force.

    /Guildchat: Wind: You mean like mercenaries?

    /Guildchat: Semmi: That might work short term, but I think we'd do better thinking ahead.

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: There are two hundred acolytes at the Scorched Earth Temple... Surely they don't need all of them.

    /Guildchat: Sharl: Please stop talking now.  People would be freaked out by them.

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: I think they're cute.

    /Guildchat: Nix: We could open a Provost Marshals Office.  I know just the guy to head it up.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: That's a great long term solution, but there's a lot involved in bringing them to Glory.

    /Guildchat: Nix: No worries, I have close ties to the Provost Office.  Oh... did you check out the build menu for new constructions in Glory?

    /Guildchat: Semmi: No.  Has something changed?

    /Guildchat: Nix: The Golden Expansion bonus is permanent.  All new constructions will come with the bonus.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Damn... that's really going to bring in new businesses.  Let's shelf security for now.  The Artesian Guild wants to build a headquarters in Glory.

    /Guildchat: Nix: I'm not familiar with them.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: It's a guild made up of expert crafters.  They try to regulate prices so that prices in one town don't significantly rise or fall when compared to other places.

    /Guildchat: Sharl: I hate that idea.  Have you seen the gear that our crafters make? I'm okay with being overpriced.

    /Guildchat: Pon: Letting someone else regulate our economy seems like a horrible idea.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: I agree but we do need some sort of Economic Advisor.  The last thing on our agenda is land sales.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: There have been inquiries regarding the purchases of land plots on Glory, both in and outside of town.  Our town policy is lease only.

    /Guildchat: Nix: We've worked hard for every acre of Glory Island.  Let's keep it in our possession.

    /Guildchat: Wind: I agree.  If we offer land plots to outsiders, it can only hurt our security.

    /Guildchat: Pon: It also prevents future expansion of the Town.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Okay... Let's Vote on bringing in the Provost Marshals Office.  Aye or Nay.  I say Aye.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Aye

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Aye

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: Aye

    /Guildchat: Sharl: Aye

    /Guildchat: Wind: Aye

    /GuildChat: Pon: Aye

    /Guildchat: Mina: Aye

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Next vote.  Inviting the Artesian Guild to Glory.  Nay.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Nay

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Nay

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: Nay

    /Guildchat: Sharl: Nay

    /Guildchat: Wind: Nay

    /GuildChat: Pon: Nay

    /Guildchat: Mina: Nay

    /Guildchat: Semmi: And finally selling land plots in Glory.  Nay.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Nay

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Nay

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: Nay

    /Guildchat: Sharl: Nay

    /Guildchat: Wind: Nay

    /GuildChat: Pon: Nay

    /Guildchat: Mina: Nay

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Nice and painless when everyone agrees.  Will you get the Provost Office started Nix?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Yep.

    After the meeting ending Nix moved to the Starboard Rail where Fajii, Nansu, and Chael were standing.

    Fajii offered him a smile.  "If you are looking for your Inn Keeper friend, I saw her board the Crane with Sila, Nez, and Kyla."

    "I was looking for some herb advice actually.  I figure the two guild alchemists might point me in the right direction."

    Nansu's pretty face broke into a smile.  She normally wore her short black hair slicked back, but today it was spiked.  "We are at your service Mr. Nix."

    "I'm looking for the Colonial version of ghost peppers."

    Nansu nodded, "many herbs and plants from our world are here in Colonial Nix.  You are looking for Bhut jolokia, it's the actual name for ghost peppers."

    "I have a contact in Jenzi, I'll pick you up some, or even get you the seeds if you want to plant your own."

    "Thank you Nansu.  I'll take both."  He grabbed Fajii's hand and pulled her away from the pair.  He stopped when they were near the Phoenix figurehead.  "How is everything Fajii?"

    "Things are changing fast for me."  Fajii tightened her grip on his hand and took a seat on the edge of the anchor.

    "I can see how it might be difficult."

    Fajii shook her head, "It's the opposite, I feel like I'm becoming part of something."

    Min had told him that Fajii had never really fit in with her own kind, the Aquarion alchemist was always by herself.  "What are the Lamia like?"

    "Sori is very nice and talks to me often."  Fajii realized Nix didn't know the Lamia by name, "she's the High Acolyte."

    Nix nodded, "I remember, she's quite fierce too.  Hey, did the Earth Temple expand also?"

    "Yes, our bonus floor appeared below our main level.  The Fire Palace added a second story."

    "You needed the extra space, two hundred acolytes is a lot," Nix recalled that the Fire Palace Acolytes didn't have anywhere near those numbers, but then they had a Nemesis protecting the Temple.

    "Remember your words Nix.  You said we'd hunt together."  Her brown eyes watched him, even with the verticle irises, her gaze seemed warm. She had decided to wear her light brown hair down for the trip, the red streaks stood out like tiger stripes.

    "I wouldn't forget, although Milat seems to be interested in spending some time with you." Nix noticed that the Aquarion was watching them from mid-ship and seemed to want to approach.

    Fajii caught the Aquarion's eye and waved politely  "He's known me for years, but has never looked in my direction. Suddenly he sees me, I'm not sure what to think."

    Nix shrugged, "it's hard not to see you Fajii."

    "You don't have to worry about me when we hunt Nix.  If the worse happens and I'm slain, I will revive at the Scorched Earth Temple."

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    Nix breathed a sigh of relief. "That does make me feel better."  He understood that the reason she was a top-five contributor in the faction event was due to her buffing everyone.  As an alchemist, her fighting experience was limited.


    The Inferno fleet arrived at Jhabi a few hours later.  They were given directions to take the Jhabi river directly into the mountains from the bay.  Everyone stood at the rails as the river narrowed and the mountains quickly rose up on either side of them.  The mountains were covered in a blue leafed tree that filled the air with vibrations when the wind blew them.  The river itself seemed to have been carved directly into the rock, the sheer walls rising up several hundred feet.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Morgan Bolo will be waiting for us a few miles upstream.  He's waiting at the entrance.

    A few minutes later the river widened and the mountains retracted to form a cozy valley.  A large dock with several berths waited for them.

    Nix waited until the Phoenix was tied up and then glanced at Delphi who gave him the thumbs up before walking down the gangplank.  A large white-haired man dressed in gold robes was waiting for them.

    Although the man was quite large, he did not appear soft, he bowed slightly.  "Greetings Travelers, I am Morgan Bolo."

    Nix politely returned his bow.  "It's nice to meet you, sir, I am Nix."

    After introductions, they moved quickly away from the dock so that the rest of Inferno could disembark.  Morgan Bolo led them down a narrow path to the entrance of a second valley.  He stepped up on a large boulder and raised his voice so everyone who followed could hear.  "We have invited the Inferno Guild here for one very simple reason.  The Sea-Farer Faction feels that the awards given to you were insufficient.  Although you are a mid-tier guild, we feel that as you continue to rise, our faction will rise also.  We are bound by faction rules and can only do so much.  In front of you is the entrance to Shangri.  Before you enter you will have to choose the area you wish to explore.  Travel between areas is possible, but also highly dangerous and time-consuming. Please choose from the following."

    Nix studied the menu that popped up in front of him, everyone seemed to be experiencing a similar thing.

    [Shangri Exploration Areas] Disclaimer: There are no guarantees that you will come away with anything. The benefits you discover here will depend on your fate and ingenuity. If you die in Shangri, you will respawn at the entrance and be unable to re-enter.

    1) Area One is the place to look for rare skills.  Main path skills and support skills of all rarities can be found here.  This is the most dangerous area of all.  Non-combat personnel should not enter.

    2) Area Two is the home of a legendary gambling hall.  Depending on your luck, you may win weapons, armor or even rare spells.  You are only allowed to win three items.  This is a non-combat area. Good Luck.

    3) Area Three is where the greatest library in all of Colonial exists.  The crafting section of this library holds long-forgotten techniques and many rare treasures. You will have to be good at riddles to come away with anything.  This is a non-combat area.

    4) Area Four is where you will find many different creatures.  Looking for a flying mount?

    Or perhaps a companion that can heal?  Then your mission is clear.  Find the one you want and convince them to follow you. This is a combat area, it is recommended that you travel in groups.

    5) Area Five covers many special treasures.  Want a world seed? Or your own set of wings?  Many strange and wondrous things exist in Area five. This is a combat area and you must enter alone.

    Morgan's voice could be heard as all of Inferno read the choices.  "How you earn these items is going to vary greatly.  Some may require a quest, or rare knowledge, while in others you might have to slay a powerful adversary or win a game of chance.  As long as you stay alive, you may continue to try your luck.  You have eight hours from the moment you enter."

    [Whisper: Nix to Hyai]  Where are you heading?

    [Whisper: Hyai to Nix] To the library section in area three.  And you?

    [Whisper: Nix to Hyai]  Not sure yet, one of the combat areas.  Good luck.

    [Whisper: Hyai to Nix] Thanks hun, you too.

    Fajii pulled on his arm, "Mina says that she is going to Area One with Milat."

    "Hmm..." Nix stared at the choices, "Area four is my preference."

    Fajii nodded in agreement.  "Let's go there then."
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