Theodora Plays to Win (With Cheat Codes)
Luna dismissed Madame Ginger to go on patrol and ordered Bellamy to stand guard outside, then waved us over to the large, brown leather couch in the center of the office.
Everest took a seat with Opal in her lap. Katya sat next to them and Luna glided after them and took a seat on the couch across from them. Opal seemed a bit too old to be sitting in her sister’s lap, she kind of looked like a ventriloquist dummy with her little suit.
A cup of tea began to make and pour itself on the side table. It wasn’t the first bit of magic Katya had seen but it was by far the most casual. Luna didn’t seem to be expending any focus or energy on the task, it was as if the cup and kettle had been imbued with a life of their own.
“Where to begin… it’s odd having to explain these events to someone. Everyone was affected in some aspect or another, so to find someone completely unaware of the situation, well…” She smiled, she still didn’t seem as though she completely bought into the amnesia but she was fond enough of Everest and Opal that she decided to play along. “I can’t necessarily speak toward every individual’s experience, Everest and Opal face a unique set of trials and tribulations which I’m sure you’ll hear about in due time, so I will attempt to keep this to the objective facts of what happened.”
The cup of tea floated into Luna’s waiting palm. She took a nice long sip then set it down on the coffee table.
“Something I alluded to earlier and which you may or may not be aware, is humanity’s general distaste for anything that isn’t fully human, and you could say that we demi-human and faefolk, in turn, aren’t particularly fond of humans either. There have been a myriad of conflicts throughout recorded history, the largest occurred about 1200 years ago, give or take. That was also the start of what some call the “unified calendar” and others the “human calendar” either way it was the start of a new era, the 4th historical era. Though, that’s probably superfluous information. We lost, as you can infer, or surrendered depending on who is telling the story; overwhelming victory or diplomatic retreat, it’s frankly irrelevant.
In defeat we were offered a piece of the underdeveloped and war trodden southwestern territory. This became known as the Demi-Zone. To say our history is chaotic would be putting it mildly, demi-humans and faefolk are hard headed and the continuous losses against the humans had done nothing but bring our individual spiteful natures to the forefront. The humans left us to our own devices as long as we remained within our border. There were political movements calling for unification and other lofty ideas, but for the most part every person lived for themselves, it was anarchy. Over the course of the next 700 years our society was built and burned countless times before finally a ruler of unquestionable strength and absolute authority came along to bring about something akin to stability. He reined for 320 years before dying of old age, he did not have any heirs. The past 180 years have been tumultuous to say the least, but King Absol, during his time, had managed to quell the more aggressive factions and he established tenuous ties with the unified human government. Our reputation as a whole was the same as it had always been, but officially we were at peace, and we have remained on this razors edge since his passing. That brings us to five years ago with the beginning of The Game.
It was the end of the unified era. Winter had passed us by and though the cold breeze could still be felt blowing from the north, it was just turning spring. At sunset on that day, hundreds of thousands of humans, demis, and Faefolk were forcibly teleported across the continent, seemingly at random. Most of the weakest among us ended up in what would become known as Region One located in a contested zone at the northern most edge of the continent. In a considerate turn children under 10 were transported with their nearest relative for the most part. Region One is cold year round and boast large snow-capped mountains. The humans bordering the area claim the area as theirs and multiple battles between various countries have taken place, It’s mostly unexplored territory and therefore potentially brimming with resources to be exploited. The unified government’s stance has been non-committal as it’s also home to several powerful faefolk tribes and, if rumors are to be believed, formerly extinct monsters. The unified government doesn’t like getting into wars over nothing unlike it’s subordinate countries. The unified government was more ornamental than practically by the end of the era. All of this is to say the area was extremely unstable to begin with.
Everyone who got transported was extremely scared and confused. It happened very suddenly.”
Everest looked down at Opal and hugged her tight, “We ended up at a mining outpost at the southwestern border of the Disputed Zone.”
“Them along with a whole bunch of others. The area, as I understand it, had already been stripped of most of it’s resources due to unregulated mining. On top of that the area was at the base of a mountain with nothing but wastes to the east and an unpassable barrier to the south. The barrier itself is our main source of trouble. It’s magic unlike anything I’ve ever seen, not even the imperial mages of old could have erected such a thing!”
Luna had been fairly monotone so far, as though she was narrating a documentary, but as she talked about the barrier a strange giddy energy seeped into her voice.
“The area where Opal and Everest ended up quickly became overpopulated, and as I said there was little to no food or water to go around. It was only a matter of time before some sociopath decided the population needed culling and began slashing. This was when we realized that we couldn’t die anymore and when someone was killed we would gain experience points and then Level Up. Once the first body dropped something strange happened. All of the sudden, every five-year-old’s eyes began to glow and when they opened their mouths a woman’s voice came out.
She claimed to be a god and speaking through the children she explained the situation to us. The continent had been divided into ten regions. Every living creature had been evaluated and sorted into each region based on their base abilities. At the moment we were transported our very DNA had been rewritten so that we could grow and evolve the more experience points we gained. The growth is measure by level and stats and said growth happens at different rates from person to person.
She went on to say that special skills that weren’t previously possible may be gained through leveling up and unlocking achievements and mutations may occur as well due to the extent to which she’d altered our reality. She also stated that each region is assigned a level range and cap. If you hit the cap then you are immediately sent to the next region and within a certain range you are able to move freely between your current region and the next. She mentioned that we could get more details from the children which she referred to as UI. Finally she explained the objective of The Game.