09 Jul 2023 - As of the 17th of July our emissary NPC Christopher Tibis will again have to return to his duties in the celestial realm. Be aware that the anniversary tokens will also fade away on that day at the time of the server save. Therefore, if you still haven't exchanged your tokens we suggest doing so as soon as possible. Check full changelog...
“C'mon now, Jim. I built this boat myself!” The old man yelled so loudly and vehemently it seemed the thought of returning to the underground mazes of the Fang has made him at least two decades younger.
“And these shoes were made by a certain venorean shoemaker himself, but just like your old dinghy they are mine now because I paid for them,” the young fisherman Jim replied. He seemed completely unruffled, though someone with a good ear might pick up on the slight quaver that suggested a mild annoyance. In his attempts to suppress the rising irritation, he avoided making eye contact, focusing entirely on untying the lumped fishing nets that lay around. To a casual observer, the whole scene might seem like a father scolding his son for an unsuccessful catch.
“You know damn well it's worth twice what you paid me! If it hadn't been for that last cuppa rum, I would've ne'er agreed to that price. Besides, it's not like you're using it anyway. It's just resting there on the shore, being eaten away by woodworms. Please tell me, my good man, when was the last time she saw the water? Prob'ly when it was raining here last week, ey? Ha ha! Y'know, I'd be doing you a favor if I took her out for a little spin.” As the old man regained his composure, the rant turned into cajolery. Apparently, he decided to change tactics. He was hoping to coax Jim into letting him take—or at least borrow—the boat that the young man indeed bought from him when he was too old and feeble to continue fishing in the high seas.
“Now look at that! You show a good heart and pour it to the man only to be rewarded with complaints! Twice as much, my ass! You were the one who convinced me it's worth having a spare boat in case something happens to mine. And, as it happens, I spent the past month replacing those planks eaten away by your old woodworms. And definitely not so that you could go and crash it into rocks!” The young fisherman replied with more confidence now. Apparently he managed to convince himself to his own arguments when he was speaking. As he finally pulled himself together to raise his head from above the nets and give the old man a stern look, he was surprised to notice three brawny figures leaning against the gunnel, looking back at him, clearly discussing something.
“It seems that our new business partner might have overstated how easily he can organize a transport,” one of the three men deduced, slightly disheartened by the young fisherman's unyielding disposition.
“Why, it might be a good sign. I sure hope he laid it on thick about that monster as well,” another replied.
“He better not have done so about the treasures too,” the third concluded with a slight groan of effort as he was tightening the knot on his backpack in the hopes that it will protect its contents in case of an unexpected wave.
For a while now, the three comrades—who no more than few days ago thought that they had come to Aruthang to strike gold with the rythmic swinging of a pickaxe—have been watching the altercation from a distance. But their patience was running low, and it didn't take long before the tallest and the strongest of them decided that the negotiation capability of his knife might prove more effective than the words of their elderly business partner. Steadily and confidently, he approached the arguing fishermen.
“What a mess! Here, let me help,” he said casually, and with a quick short swing he cut the net in the young man's hands. “See? That's better now! I can help with the other nets as well. But first I could help out in a certain dispute concerning that beautiful boat over there, where my friends are waiting impatiently. What do you think?”
Jim jumped back, still cluthing the ropes that used to be a net just a moment ago. The young fisherman quickly glanced around, but there was no one who, having witnessed what just happened, might aid him in these negotiations. It didn't take him long to estimate that this ruffian's so-called help would cost him more than letting them use the old dinghy—which, indeed, he didn't use anyway. Especially that the yobo didn't look like he would stop helping after ‘fixing’ all the nets.
“Th– thank you, I'll manage,” he faltered. “You gentlemen seem to be in a hurry. Better to set sail now when the waves are smaller. Go ahead and take the boat, it's no trouble at all.”
The brawny man grinned broadly, sheathed his knife, and patted his business partner on the shoulder indicating that they've been delayed for too long. Luckily, the beautiful weather and the calm waters helped them make up for the time wasted on obtaining the means of transport. And so, it took but a blink of an eye—or a quick short swing of a knife—before the three comrades and the old man noticed their destination looming on the horizon. One glimpse was enough to realize how truly adequate the name Fang was. As they were approaching the huge spiky rock that seemed to pierce the sky, their awe and respect for it grew. Even at close range the Fang seemed to be a monolith with no visible fissures or cracks, and yet the old fisherman was guiding the boat straight towards it with no hesitation as if he had been travelling this route every day for many years.
“It's alright,” he said to answer the unexpressed yet angst among his passengers that any minute their boat could quite brutally crash into rocks. When they came within oar's reach, they were able to discern giant stones that looked as if they were parting to open their gates before them. The misleading impression of the stones being one even solid surface was just an optical illussion. The old man led the boat inside the hidden cave very carefully. Then, the shimmering light of the lantern on the bow revealed a patch of dry land, big and solid enough to bring the boat ashore and disembark, and just several meters yonder—a passageway that descended underground. Presumably naturally formed, but also giving an unexplicable impression of having been carved purposely a long time ago…
“I can swear it's at least the third time that we've passed this way,” said the brawny man, his voice immediately echoing in the network of numerous corridors wherein they have been wandering for hours now.
“Alright, we need to climb down here.” The old man's voice didn't sound as confident anymore. He didn't even turn to look at the others.
“Hang on, gramps. I heard your story more than once, but I don't remember there being anything about climbing down a vertical wall into total darkness where you can't even see the bottom.” One of the younger men was clearly angry. He added, “We don't even have the proper equipment.”
The old man could already feel his companions' eyes on his back, sending him impatient glances. He broke into a cold sweat. He's been leading them blindly for several hours now because no matter how hard he tried he could not remember the way to the ‘treasure’. He could bet his shirt that the corridor layout was different than when he had been here the last time. But that was not the kind of an excuse that his business partners would accept.
“Yeah, are you pulling our legs here or what? You ate your fill, drank like a fish, reclaimed your boat. And all that for our money. We also paid for all the equipment and weapons against that monster of yours. We have a debt so big that if we come back empty-handed, we'll be stuck on that bloody island forever. All you had to do was to get us through the damn corridors, but I'm starting to think that you either don't know what you're doing or very cleverly pretend that you don't.” When the second man spoke, the word ‘starting’ sounded like a far-fetched euphemism, after all he could hardly hold his temper and was clearly on the verge of giving vent to his irritation.
“Please, gentlemen, be at ease. My memory's not what it used to be, y'know. But I'm sure this is the right way. Besides, you'll find out once you reach the bottom.” As he was saying that, the old man turned his noble countenance to the others, but in his head a thought much less noble began to sprout. Unable to find a way out of this predicament, he decided he would let them climb down first and then make a run for it, leaving them behind. Just like he had left Morris.
“You are the guide. You're going first,” said the third man very calmly, his hand stroking the saber hilt menacingly.
“C'mon now, you see how old and ailing I am… I assure you, this is the right way. There's nothing to fear,” the fisherman replied without much thinking.
“How can you possibly know that if you can't see anything there? Also, this place was supposed to be perilous, which is why we armed ourselves. And now you're saying that ‘there's nothing to fear’? I don't like this. Either way, you're old so please be my guest,” the first man spoke again. Rather unnecessarily though, because hostile looks of his impatient comrades were already quite expressive.
Slowly and reluctantly the old man tied the rope to a stalagmite and began to lower himself unsteadily. Having been a fisherman his whole life, he never had to dabble in climbing, so he lacked both the skill and the experience. No more than few meters lower, he realized that his subsequent life as a barfly did not benefit him either, especially regarding his stamina.
“Pull me up!” he cried out desperatly as his hands, slippery from sweat and faint from exertion, began to fail him and he was losing his grip on the rope.
“You're doing great! There's nothing to fear!” one of the men shouted down, the irony echoing in the chasm with each word.
“You either get down there on your own, or we can lend you a hand and you'll fly down in no time!” The second man smirked causing the others to fleer as well. They couldn't have known how quickly these words might become reality. Although not in the exact manner the retort indicated.
Eventually, out of reason, and perhaps out of mercy, the first man grabbed the rope and pulled with such energy that he immediately landed on his back. He had not expected that the rope would turn out to be lighter by the hundred and fifty pounds that were clutching on to it just a moment ago. When the others pulled the rest of the rope up, their smirks quickly gave way to looks of great worry, for they realized that in this endless abyss that stretched at their feet, they had just lost their only, albeit of questionable competence, guide…
Kay, 09 Feb 2024 15:39:19 CET Comment (4)
Writing these words, it's hard for us to believe that it's already the fourth time we have the opportunity to spend the Holidays together with Tibiantis players! With each passing year, it becomes increasingly more challenging to come up with original wishes for you, but is originality really necessary here?
Exactly a year ago, we wished you Rare loots, lagless hunting, no death from kicks, but most of all - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! and you know what? This year, we wish you exactly the same! Because we believe that a certain constancy, stability, and a pause in time are what brought you here with us!
Speaking of things unchanged - just like in previous years, Santa Claus is visiting each city! So don't forget to approach him with a request for a gift, and if you've been really good, maybe you'll receive something nice from him!
To conclude, once again - Merry Christmas both in the game world and beyond!
Your Tibiantis Online Team
Kay, 24 Dec 2023 13:43:25 CET Comment (2)
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