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Ch 11: Blood River and The Virus

Jamal releases each person from their cocoon prisons. Each cocoon reveals an Amule who quickly groups together several meters away from Jamal. The 7 Amules are smaller than Jamal with pointy ears and tiny swords. 6 of the Amules cower behind the tallest Amule who is clearly the leader of the group.

The leader of the Amules stands with his small sword pointed at Jamal. The young Amule warrior asks, "What do you want from us human?" Jamal raises his hands in peace, but this scares the Amules even more.

Jamal kneels down and extends his hand. "I'm not going to hurt you. If I wanted to do that then I could have left you in there." Jamal inches his hand closer to the Amules, but the leader pokes Jamal in the finger. "Ouch!" Jamal says as he pulls his finger back to suck on the blood.

One of the frightened Amules hiding in the back says, "How do we know we can trust you human?"

Jamal thinks for a second on how he can convince the NPC Amules that he is trustworthy. Jamal's eyes widen and the warrior smiles. "I have an idea." Jamal concentrates and says, "Power Move!" The notification screen appears and asks Jamal where he would like to delegate his points.

Jamal places all his experience points into his charisma category. Jamal clicks accept and is instantly surrounded by red electricity. Instead of frightening the Amules away, the surge of power around Jamal makes the Amules' eyes widen and jaws drop. As The red electricity disappears, Jamal emerges with smaller muscles. His hair is combed back and his clothes seem ironed. Jamal appears to be a bit more handsome than before and speaks to the Amules with a relaxed, smooth voice.

Jamal asks, "Now then, is this better?"

The Amules look at each other and smile. The leader slowly walks forward towards Jamal. Jamal and the Amule warrior smile as they get closer. Jamal sticks out his hand for a handshake. The Amules warrior smiles at Jamal right before hitting Jamal in the head with his small club.

Jamal falls to the floor unconscious and the Amules drag him away.

[Some sort of intro]

[Flash to the Vridia Kingdom]

In town, rumors are spreading of countless giant beasts ravaging the eastern forests that cover the border of the Vridia Kingdom. Players post on storyboards about how they are interrupted in the middle of their quests by giant beasts covered in electricity. Flyers have been posted all over to warn players of the elevated difficulty that now inhabits the training grounds for low level players.

In the middle of town, a messenger rides his horse into the castle to speak with the King. After a few minutes, the messenger arrives with information about the beasts. "My King, the beast's have grown in number and in strength. Reports from scouts say they average between 2 and 7 meters tall. The beasts are cloaked in red electricity and are 10 times stronger than any normal beast. It seems that if one beast is infected with whatever is making them grow then that beast can infect another beast and cause them to also change.
The beasts have completely taken over the eastern forests and were last seen headed North towards the Wepia Dynasty."

The king listens to all the news and thinks intensely for a minute. He unfolds his arms and stands up. The King says, "Get Captain Gladius."

[Flash to the Southern Forest]

A couple hours later, Jamal begins to wake up. He is tied up against a tree with some rope. The Amules sit around a camp fire while a beast that was caught by the group roasts on the flame. Jamal waking up alerts the Amules and the group scoots away from Jamal.

From behind, a voice calls out to Jamal. "So how long have you been infected?" A small sword plants into the ground and the leader of the group of Amules sits down in front of Jamal. Jamal tries to look around and assess the situation, but the warrior smacks Jamal on the head to get his attention. "Hey! I asked you how long have you been infected?"

Jamal asks, "infected with what? I'm not sick! Who are you people and why am I tied up?"

The leader looks back at the rest of the group to see if he should trust Jamal. Thanks to Jamal's charisma boost, the group of Amules urge their leader to trust Jamal. The leader looks back at Jamal and sighs. "My name is Pelleas Lialynn and we are Amules. Now I've answered your question, so how long have you been infected with the Virus?"

Jamal looks at Pelleas with a confused expression. "My name is Jamal. What virus? I told you I'm not sick!"

"Oh, you are sick Jamal." Pelleas looks closer at Jamal's eyes, pulls out Jamal's tongue, and checks Jamal's temperature on his forehead. "How else can you explain the same red power that covers the beasts also covering you?"

Jamal's eyes widened . "Wait a minute! Are you saying you know what this strange power is?"

The rest of the Amules move behind Pelleas as the Amule warrior hangs his head and rubs his eyes.

[Fade to a visual explanation with Pelleas narrating]

Long ago, our people were nomads that lived off the earth. We never claimed any area as our territory because the world was our home. However, one day the humans set up borders and forced us out of what the humans called the Vridia Kingdom. Most of the best resources that our people have lived in for years was now located in the Vridia Kingdom.

The humans conducted a series of forced relocations of approximately 60,000 Amules from their ancestral homelands to areas to the west of the Tomightes River that had been designated as Amules Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities. The amount of Amules that died crossing that river still haunts my people. We call that place the Cursed River or the Blood River. The relocated Amules suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and approximately 4,000 men, women and children died before reaching their destinations or shortly after from disease.

Our healers worked tirelessly to save as many of our people as they could, but with no food there was little they could do. Our people were not only sick, but starving too! The elders were some of the worst amongst us so it fell on the younger generation to protect everyone. They sent out groups across the land to find food for our people. Every group returned back one by one with nothing to report. All the food around had died. It was almost like the earth's life force was being drained.

While looking for food, one Amule discovered a hidden cave which had a lot of vines and vegetation growing out of it. He entered the cave, but it was dark. Legend says he didn't have a torch, but the vines became covered with a red electric power that lit up the cave. The Amule followed the vines deep into the cave. It was dangerous and the story tells of many traps that were inside the cave, but the Amule avoided everything. Us Amules are small, but extremely quick. We can use the power of nature to help us avoid danger.

At the heart of the cave the ancestor found a seed with a heartbeat just like anyone living creature. This seed was the source of all the vines that filled the cave and attached to the vines closest to the seed was hundreds of fruits! The ancestor took a bite of the giant fruit and it was the best food he had eaten in years! Inside the fruit was a pit with a new seed pulsing with the same heartbeat. The ancestor took the seed and several fruits back to our people.

Excited to find food, many Amules went to the cave in order to recover more fruits. However, this resulted in many deaths because of the traps. It became clear that no one should enter the cave so it was sealed off and never opened again. However, the Amules still had the seeds brought back by the one who discovered it. They worked together to plant the seed and nurtured it like it was a baby.

Almost overnight, the fruit sprung from the ground and saved all the Amules. Everyone celebrated having food and with full bellies the sick were able to recover. Stories do scribe the party as a symbol of pure happiness for the Amules.

However, because the Amules moved into a single territory to live, they displaced all the beasts that lived there too. Over the years, Amules dominated over any beasts in the area until the Amules were able to carve out an area they could call home and free of beasts. The village of Amules grew into a city, and then a country because of the fruit that saved my people's lives. However, the animals grew resentful of the Amules.

Each day, the animals were pushed farther and farther out of their own homes and forced to find new food sources. The fruit from the seed grew everywhere so beasts were often forced to eat the fruit. This is where everything changed for my people.

Normally when a beast eats the fruit, nothing will happen. This was the case for centuries, but one day the beasts began to show aggression and resentment towards the Amules. The link that my people shared with nature seems to be separated by some outside force. The animals that lost their territory no longer listened to the Amules.

The fruit thrives on negative emotions. If the beast feels resentment, anger, or frustration before eating the fruit then they will be infected by a virus that changes them into giant beasts covered in the same red power that covers the vines of the fruit. My people spent years fighting off the beasts and many Amules died protecting our lands.

Jamal asks how the Amules were able to drive the beasts away, but Pelleas shakes his head.

We never successfully drove them away. The beasts were few in number, but extremely powerful. The Amules community was growing smaller and smaller until D day.

"What's D Day?" Jamal asks as he tries to readjust his arms from the rope burn.

D Day, or also known as Doomsday, was one of the greatest mistakes of Amule history. The Amules lost so much to the humans and now even the beasts were trying to destroy us. We knew the beasts drew their power from the fruit which ultimately came from the original seed that was planted. We were confident in our modern technology and we urged our scientists to experiment on the seed. If we could draw out the power of the seed without being corrupted, then maybe we could use it's power to fight the beasts, the humans, and the Wepia Dynasty that now threatens our lands.

At first this seemed impossible, but one day our scientists saw huge success! They placed the seed in a container designed to promote the development of the seed. The heartbeat from the seed made us think that this was not just a plant seed. It is an egg. After forcing the seed to grow rapidly, the heartbeat got louder. When the seed finally fully split open, black smoke and electricity poured out of it. The smoke filled the container until it burst open. The smoke gushed out of the cracks in the container and took a humanoid shape.

At first we tried to be allies with the smoky being because we essentially created him. However, the smoke never saw the Amules as an ally. The smoke is the essence of the virus and it's only goal is to infect more and more living creatures. The virus escaped the lab and began infecting more beasts. The virus and the beasts traveled east towards the Vridia Kingdom. Our group of doctors, scientists and herbalists are tracking down the beasts hoping to destroy the beasts and the smoke before they infect everything in every country.

[Fade to Jamal ties to the tree speaking with the Amules]

Pelleas asks, "the electricity that flows through the fruits, the beasts, and the virus is the same power that flowed through you. So I will ask you one more time, human. How long have you been infected?"

Jamal is speechless after hearing the tragic story of the Amules. Jamal can't believe the human players would drive out the NPC Amules from their homelands and cause so much death. Jamal tells Pelleas and the rest of the Amules everything that happened to him. Jamal explains everything to the Amules. He tells them about his mission and how badly he was treated, his first encounter with the giant rat, the giant cat, and the pit where he met the virus.

"Interesting", one of the scientists hiding behind Pelleas says. "It sounds like the virus directly bonded with your body. Normally if you are infected then it will directly attack your physical body and cause you to grow uncontrollably. Before, the virus could only infect beasts, but it must have mutated to affect other things now. Not only can it infect humans, but it can change other things besides your height."

The scientist begins to inspect Jamal's body and the other 5 Amules behind Pelleas rush over to join in the inspection. Jamal is poker and pulled from many directions before Pelleas screams. "Hey! I'm the warrior sent to protect you. How can I do that if you go right up to the human?"

"Oh get off it!" A female Amule says while she shines a light in Jamal's eyes. "It's clear that this human means us no harm. The threads from the cocoons weren't strong enough to hold him back so do you really think this rope is doing anything right now?"

Pelleas is speechless while the rest of the group continue to get to know Jamal. Pelleas finally agrees with the group and cuts Jamal free.

.......................

Jamal's stats

Level 8

HP: 650/650
MP: 80/80

Equipped:
Nini's Favor: (+10 speed to the user whenever in danger)

Right on Target: (+5 accuracy to the user when wearing this item on the right hand)

Painfully Aware: (A bracelet that detects any aggression towards you. The range of this device depends on the user's level.)

Up Up and Away Boots: (The user of these boots is given the ability to jump a second time mid-air.)

Double Bit Axe: (+5 attack)


Strength: 0
Speed: 0
Accuracy: 0
Intelligence: 0
Wisdom: 0
Agility: 0
Charisma: 523 (Right on Target +5%) (Nini's Favor +10%)

EXP: 0

Abilities:

Ground Breaker: (Ground breaker. Send a shockwave of attack energy through the ground and into any opponent in your way. Not effective on flying opponents. The attack strength of this ability depends on the MP of the player. Current MP level is too low to activate special ability.)

Power Move: A very rare ability to move your experience points into any other category.
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