Ash and Blood
Treyu felt groggy and seriously disoriented as he came to. He was assaulted by fast, throbbing pains shooting through his cranium originating from the back of his head.
Carefully he rubbed the spot with his right hand. There was no wound from what he could feel but that was definitely dry blood he was picking out of his hair.
As panic gripped hold of his heart he hurriedly checked the rest of his body. There was nothing to be found though.
'Ah, that's right. I'm in Pantheon now, so that means this is probably the noob tutorial area.', he thought.
Staring at the mist-like clouds floating across the crimson dotted purplish sky, he thought about how his life had come to this. Virtual World games had become the largest economic and political force on Earth. Most people refused to work believing themselves to be entitled to benefits without any sort of repayment. The world government finally had enough of distributing their resources to provide for people like Treyu and so brought into effect the Artificial Life NPC Law.
This law allowed the developers behind the Virtual Worlds to conscript the unemployed into their world as living NPC's. Unfortunately for him he was among the first batch chosen for the new world of Pantheon. He didn't quite understand how it worked but basically his "real" body had been discarded and only his consciousness existed now in this world.
He had to admit this was pretty clever of the people in charge. Solves the issues with the worlds resources and basically gets rid of the waste population. This made him feel very bitter about his ordeal.
Looking around he realised he was on the slope of a desolate volcano, sparsely populated with the smoking, blackened bark of trees growing on it.
'May as well get on with it I guess. Let's see then. I guess that way will do.', he energetically thought while choosing a random direction.
As his feet trampled over the ash covered ground he furrowed his brows. Displeased with the feeling of his feet being covered in the ash through the worn, leather sandals he was wearing.
Not that his shirt, maybe tunic is a better word, was much better. Made of a very thin, itchy material it reached down to his knees. It was a nasty faded brown colour with a weathered hide belt wrapped around his waist.
The wind was warm although it felt like it was crawling over his skin. He gathered his thoughts trying to remember what he was told about this world before being unceremoniously dumped here for the rest of his life.
So Pantheon is a next generation Virtual World where everything is real. All five of a persons senses are realistically and accurately conveyed to the player.
Everything you would do in real life had to be done in this world as well. Oh except for the need to relieve yourself. However basic hygiene had to be kept up or your character would develop a disease.
So needless to say eating, drinking and sleeping all had a role to play. For "players" their sleep occurred when they would log out. As in their character would still exist in the game when they left it would just be laying down "sleeping" wherever they were when they left the game.
The world of Pantheon was a fantasy VRMMORPG. Real people made up every sentient race, whether they were actors paid in real life to play the npc role or people like Treyu who had been forced into it.
This was one of the reasons this game was unique. The second being that every character had a lifetime in game. Depending on how one looked after their virtual body this could be extended or shortened.
As far as any intel on this went it said that once you died whether through combat or reaching the end of your lifetime that would be the end of your character causing it to be automatically deleted.
For Treyu this was not good news. If he died here then it was the real end of him. His new virtual life would also be deleted.
The third was currently this was the only game you could transfer into and actually live your life. Many were excited about this prospect for obvious reasons. The main one though was the reason the game was named Pantheon.
Not just monsters and strange races existed. There were also Gods. Yeah that's right! Fucking actual Gods! The company behind the world released a press statement saying that it was possible to ascend to become one. Removing the lifetime limit on a person. Essential making them immortal. Apart from the fact that Gods could still be killed like anything else in the game.
Treyu had fantasies about becoming one. Though it was likely a pipe dream. After all there was no information on how to become one. After all the game had just come out the "Mythic" era. Where only employees were allowed access. No amount of money could even buy anyone a slot.
Those like Treyu who were entering the game now as "NPC's" had a one month lead on the general community opening of the world. Which translated to one year for those who would not live in the world.
'FUCK!', he screamed in his mind. He just remembered that everyone's game lifetime was automatically set to sixty years for the human race in the game. Minus there actual age would give them however many years in the real world that they would live. With him being eighteen years old already this left him with only fours years and two months.
In other words he would definitely die in 42 years in the game unless he found a way to extend his life.
'Status!', he thought as a screen filled his vision.
'That's right, humans are totally balanced and most adaptable in this game but also don't excel in anything at all.', he thought getting a bit depressed.
He was so caught up in his thought he had not even realised that a village had come into his view at the foot of this volcano.
Sighing heavily he thought to himself, 'I guess this is where my life begins...'
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