271 Heart of Winter part two

    Nix never made it to his old room. By the end of the night, his Taxidermy skill has climbed to 402 and he was left with 17 Ashobel Revenants.  He had managed critical crafting twice more, without which he wouldn't have had the numbers he needed.

    Nix covered a yawn.  He'd been sleeping on and off while the queues cooked.  "Let's do it Raka!"

    Nix placed the 8 Revenant Ashobel in the queue.

    [Queue 1 Emperor Ashobel?]

    "Yes."  Nix looked at the timer and the success rate.  "Better than I hoped, nearly 40 percent.  It should take ten minutes, usually, failures happen before the halfway point."

    Raka was perched on Nix's shoulder, carefully watching the progress bar.  Five minutes slowly passed.  "Hey Nix, the percentage is increasing."

    Nix nodded.  "As it progresses, the chance of success slowly increases.  Don't get too caught up.  I've had fails in the last minute before when the percentage was in the high 90s."

    Raka turned on Nix's shoulder so he couldn't see the progress bar.  "I can't watch."

    "I'll keep an eye on it." Nix turned his head to look at the perched bird. "These Ashobel have been exposed to your Ice Artifact?"

    "I suspect so, the feel of it permeates from the pelts."

    "Let's assume you're right.  Take a guess as to how it played out."

    The Ice Sparrow hopped onto the table and faced him.  "Neptiphago stole my artifact, however, she would have been greatly weakened."

    "According to the Cabal, the Dragon City Aquarius is somewhere the eastern part of Everspire. Could Neptiphago has moved it before it landed?"

    "If the Ice Artifact here, then Neptiphago and her City are here also."  Raka shook his little bird head in frustration.  "Some version of her anyway.  She was greatly depleted when her city began to fall."

    "Let's assume she made some sort of plan.  What would she be looking to do?"

    [Critical Crafting Feat: 1 Ashobel Emperor]

    Nix clapped his hands together in jumped to his feet in excitement.  "F*ck Yeah!"

    Ashobel: Emperor [Platinum Rated]

    [Name your creation?]

    "Tharaka."  Nix ignored the bird's stare when he said his name aloud.

    Tharaka: Emperor

    1) Self-Destruct

    2) Dominate (Up to 1000 Ashobel)

    3) Stealth

    4) Ice Halberd

    Immune to Ice Damage.

    "Ice Halberd."  The Ice Sparrow hopped up on Nix's shoulder while he inspected the Ashobel-doll. "That's a skill given by the Artifact!  It can't be a coincidence, they've been exposed to it."

    Nix nodded in agreement.  "Does that mean you can wield a Halberd?"

    "Of course, it was my artifact after all."

    "Let's do it then.  Prey waits."  Nix started setting up the last queue.  He was going to attempt to use his Tailoring skill to enhance the Ashobel-doll.  "If I tried this with the Colonial crafting interface, I'd probably blow up the entire Icecap."

    "That won't happen with the new interface?"

    Nix shrugged.  "Probably not."

    "What should I do?"

    Nix held out his hand and waited while Raka hopped on before placing him with the other items. "I have to place you with the rest of the materials."

    Raka looked at the other items in the bin. "You been killing dragons Nix?"

    Nix laughed. "Only the ones that attack me."

    [Ashobel: Emperor] [Ice Sparrow: Embibed with Ice Dragon Soul] [Ice Dragon Leather] [Dragon Blood] [Dragon Scale] [Enhanced Camouflage Clothe]

    [You are attempting a new Animating procedure that combines Tailoring and Taxidermy.  Do you wish to proceed?]


    [All costs are waived. Loss of two mythical items and an infinity soul will occur in the event of failure.]

    Nix glanced at the message, his eyes watching the select icon.  "Small problem Raka."

    "I'll die if this fails?'

    Nix nodded. "Fraid so.  I don't have a percentage either.  It could be 2 percent for all I know."

    "Or it could be 100 percent.  Do it Nix."

    "Yep.  Let's go."  Nix selected the craft icon.

    All of the items disappeared at once. A sinking feeling in Nix stomach.  "Mother..."  A moment later the mouth of the Ashobel doll opened as he took his first breath.  "Holy Crap."

    Tharaka: Emperor

    Race: Ashobel

    Level 100

    Strength 188

    Endurance 155

    Intelligence 81

    Dexterity 30

    Perception 115

    Mana 48900/48900

    Weapon Skills: Halberd

    Primary: Pole Arms

    Secondary: Path of the Ice Dragon


    Dominate (Up to 1000 Ashobel)


    Ice Flame Aura

    Ice Halberd

    Magic Skills: [Unavailable:Level Restriction]

    New Title Unlocked: Animator

    Nix whistled softly as Raka sat up, his huge furry hands touched his chest and then his head.  Unexpectedly he threw back his head and howled loudly.

    "Nix!!  I am back again!"

    "Looks that way. You dragon days are over I'm afraid."

    The Ashobel swung his feet over the side of the bench and then stood up.  He stood a bit over seven feet and was heavily muscled.  "My magic is locked.  It makes sense since my level is so low."

    Nix nodded in agreement.  Dragons were from Everspire, the level cap there was 150.  "Don't forget about the Ice Flame skill you're going to teach me."

    Raka's huge toothy maw split into a wide smile. "It will have to wait until I level up since I can't do magic yet."

    [Ice Halberd]

    A long sharp looking Ice Halberd appeared in Raka's hand.

    "Very nice.  With this, I can at least defend myself."  He waved his hand and it disappeared.

    "Take it easy until you get used to things.  Remember you aren't a dragon anymore."

    "What about your Ice Sparrow?  And the other items?"

    [Ice Sparrow]

    Nix's Ice Sparrow appeared on his hand.  He nodded in satisfaction and then put it away.

    "No worries.  Stealth out of here and I'll meet you at the Ice heart where the Ashobel was buried in four hours."

    "You mean Nix's heart." Raka placed a giant hand on Nix's shoulder.  "I won't forget this."

    "Find something to hunt and get used to your form.  We'll catch up to you later today."  Nix left the crafting room and walked directly to his old room.  The couch had been made up nicely with linens, blankets, and a pillow.  Without another thought, he laid down and went to sleep.

    The message woke him up three hours later.

    [Whisper Fabri to Nix] Fire Palace Champion, we need your help.

    [Whisper Nix to Fabri] Who is this?

    [Whisper Fabri to Nix] Fire Palace Champion, please help us, I take you to Heart of Winter.

    New Quest Available: [Heart of Winter]

    Quest: Heart of Winter

    Requirement: Group Quest

    A powerful Ice Mage has requested

    your assistance. Go to the Icewind Wall

    and find Fabri.

    Nix dressed and walked down to the common area where he found Chiba, Locas, and Floyd having breakfast with a handful of Acolytes.  Neither Cyan or Shi was present.  "Gear up, we're going to hunt up some trouble."

    /Gemini: Chiba: Bout time.

    [Direct Contact: Zinu]

    A moment later a holo of the mud-covered cleric popped up. Her grimy face showed obvious surprise.  "Breach Commander Nix."

    "I have need of a cleric.  Be ready in one hour, dress for extreme cold." Nix cut comm without speaking further.


    "This place reminds me of home." Locas followed closely behind Nix who was leading them single file across the Ice fields.

    "We're meeting Tharaka in a few minutes.  He's an Ashobel ally, don't underestimate him." Nix decided he'd let Raka decide his own backstory.

    Chiba had tried to pass Locas several times while they were walking so she could talk to Nix, but each time the Ranger captain had stopped her.  "You have a lot of secret allies Nix.  Where do you find the time?"

    Nix shrugged his shoulders. "You tell me and we'll both know."  He brought up his hud and shared the quest with them.

    Quest: Heart of Winter

    Requirement: Group Quest

    A powerful Ice Mage has requested

    your assistance. Go to the Icewind Wall

    and find Fabri.

    /Gemini: Floyd: This why we are here Nix?

    /Gemini: Nix: I'm guessing they are related.  The Heart of Winter was an artifact belonging to the City Master of Icaraphet.  It was stolen by Netiphago, the City Master of Aquarius.

    /Gemini: Chiba: Great... More dragons.

    /Gemini: Locas: I've never heard of either of those cities.

    /Gemini: Nix: This Neptiphago may have done something that increased the strength of both the Aquarions and the Ashobel.

    /Gemini: Floyd: A few hundred years ago, the Earth Temple was ruled by a Naga King. They were strong and held quite a bit of territory.

    /Gemini: Nix: How do you know that?

    /Gemini: Floyd: Racial memories of the Naga.

    /Gemini: Chiba: Wait... Are you a King?

    /Gemini: Floyd: Only one Naga exists at any time, we are always Kings. A Naga egg won't hatch until the previous one dies.

    /Gemini: Chiba: So you are!  Do you like older women?

    /Gemini: Floyd: I like Sorli, she is older.  I find you unpleasant.

    /Gemini: Chiba: What?  You don't know what your missing, I'm absolutely beautiful.

    /Gemini: Floyd: I know.  I was referring to your **ty personality.

    /Gemini: Nix: What about the Naga?

    /Gemini: Floyd: The Temple was taken by the Aquarions, the Naga king was slain, and his people were enslaved.

    /Gemini: Nix: Could be related.  Were the Aquarions strong back then?

    /Gemini: Floyd: The only reference I have is that my predecessor thought them weak and primitive.

    /Gemini: Nix: A hard lesson learned about underestimating your enemy.  We taught the Aquarions that same thing on the 12th floor of Mermaid City.

    /Gemini: Floyd: I won't forget Nix.
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