Chapter 6: Mistakes Were Made, and Fixed!

In the Plains of Beginning, a red-haired felyn was currently instructing other people of various beastkin races. Their goals were obvious, as they carried large logs from one point to another. They were making homes, actual wooden shelters. Ardra Firebrand, the leader of this community, led her people according to the instructions which had been whispered to her. It had taken her many seasons to contact all of the families and have them move here, but it was worth it.

The beastkin were not incredibly adept at using the strange power which would occasionally appear, a power she herself had faintly grasped. After gathering the various families, she received her ‘reward’. This reward appeared to strengthen her body and mind, allowing her to have thoughts and ideas that were previously unknown. And with that intelligence, she became something called a Mage, though she had yet to delve into what that meant.

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What she did know, was that she now had the power to lead her people. Yes, her people. Because once the families had gathered, one of the more brutish leaders of the ursa attempted to take control through force. However, Ardra had been able to deal with this using her newfound strength. She almost felt unstoppable as she clutched the ursa’s throat in her claws, making him beg her to spare his life.

And she did. Not because she felt he deserved to live, but because that same voice which had given her so much had told her to. Let him live, child. Show me that I chose correctly.

Although the words carried no threat, no mention of punishment, Ardra had still felt a chill run down her spine at the thought of offending her Goddess. This Goddess which whispered to her, gave her the power to stand at the top of the beastkin races and unify them, and gave her the wisdom to lead them. In her mind, she apologized for what she had almost done, but there was no response.

At first, Ardra thought that her Goddess was displeased that she had not obeyed sooner, but she quickly discovered that the rest of the beastkin were looking at her with gazes of shock and awe. The ursa was the most physically powerful of the beast clans, and the felyn were the fastest. They thought she would fight him in speed to make him submit, but instead she completely overpowered him. That truly cemented her position in their minds, and they were willing to join her.

Still, Ardra worried for the lack of contact with her Goddess for hours, before she was given another message. She nearly cried tears of joy when the gentle voice again spoke to her, telling her how to have her people cut down the great trees of the nearby forests and stack them in such a way as to provide shelter. She knew that she had not been abandoned by her Goddess at that point, and again swore to herself to do whatever she could for this mysterious being.

Glancing at the screen, I was curious regarding the level of the current leader of Terraria, the one called Ardra Firebrand. “Hey, Terra, what’s going on with this?” I called out to the catgirl who was on her way to lounging on the bed again.

“Hmm? What’s wrong?” She asked lazily, not bothering to turn around.

“This felyn, isn’t she a bit too abnormal? She’s five levels higher than the next strongest person in the world right now.” I glanced again at the information, and sure enough, she was listed as being level 15, with the next highest being a level 10 human.

“Ah, Ardra you mean? She did a pretty big quest, and that was the reward that the system gave for it.” Terra shrugged her shoulders as she laid down on the bed. “I sent her to unify the beast clans, and that was a quest that affected her entire race’s fate. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she got a special title or class from that.” Suddenly, she furrowed her brows as if thinking of something.

“Though, this will make stronger monsters start appearing ahead of schedule. They should still be limited to the same general area as Ardra, so it won’t be too much of a disaster. Moreso because she’ll probably die in a few years from getting sick or something. I figure, there will probably be a new beast king by the time you stop the next fast forward cycle.” She shrugged indifferently as she said that, as if it didn’t really matter to her.

That kind of attitude made me frown for some reason. I thought back to what Alkahest said, about being involved as much as possible. I knew that there was no way around the felyn dying at the end of their lifespan, because they didn’t have any kind of longevity. Still, talking about death so casually was disturbing. And, even if I wanted to interfere, the world was still too primitive for me to really affect it yet.

Still, I wanted to help out somehow, so I pulled up the menu for the system. Maybe there was something I could give them, so that they would have an easier time? I still had 212 points, so it’s not like I had no options. It was at this point that I noticed a rather large problem, something I overlooked when I was creating the races.

This is totally unbalanced! I slapped my forehead as I noticed the mistake. Out of all the races, only the elves had a real advantage, and that was their increased magical affinity. As for the other races, they were just given tweaked stats to balance things out so that they wouldn’t cost anything extra.

Shaking my head, I looked at the options, and began assigning them different perks to balance things out, make life a bit easier for those that didn’t have such buffs. Since the elves had the second level of Magical Affinity for 20 points, I set that number as my goal for the other seven races. 140 points in total, this will put a big dent in my wallet…

For the beast races, there was one easy option to pick, ‘Enhanced Senses’ for five points. For the wolf tribe, I even gave them the second level of it for an extra 10 points. These were obvious things that the races should have had from the start, but I just didn’t consider them. I mean, it’s common sense that a beastman has enhanced senses, so why even think about it normally?

After I was done with the beast races, I went to the others and gave them similarly obvious traits. For instance, giving the dwarves a ‘Craft Affinity’, or the halflings ‘Stealth Affinity’. With humans… I wasn’t really sure what I could give them without breaking the ‘normal human’ mold… in the end, I assigned them two levels of ‘Weapon Affinity’.

72 points left.. I should save them for now, in case I need something later. I nodded my head, before looking back to Terra again. “How long will it take for these changes to kick in? I imagine it won’t happen overnight, right?”

She smiled lightly from the bed, without opening her eyes much. “It’ll take a few generations, depending on the amount changed. Most of them might not even notice the changes ever happened. I mean, dwarves aren’t really crafting anything yet, and the humans aren’t using any weapons aside from sticks and stones.”

I nodded slightly at that, understanding what she meant. “Makes sense. Could potentially change a race entirely like that, and wouldn’t be good for the entire race to mutate all at once.”

Terra nodded her head in response to that, agreeing. “Right, right. So, what now? Fish?” As she asked that last part, her ears perked up, tail raising slightly to show her interest.

I could only laugh at that. “Fine, we can have fish now.” I got up and moved towards the kitchen, with Terra prancing happily behind me. It did feel a bit weird eating now, because I wasn’t actually hungry, but I did enjoy the taste of fish. Apparently, since Terra still had the records of the previous Earth, she could create whatever delicacies she wanted. When I asked why she didn’t do this without me needing to suggest it, she just pouted cutely and said that it was more fun to eat together.

There really wasn’t any reason to argue that, so we just ate together for a bit, before heading back to the room. This time, I decided to let Terra enjoy her nap while I took another look at the forums. I was looking for things that would prove helpful to my developing world. In short, I wanted a strategy guide. And… there were a surprising amount.

’How to use the Monster Mayhem’ tactic, ‘Breeding a better creature race’, ‘Cheap alternatives for big benefit’, and even ‘Merlin’s Rulebook’… These were all thread names in the ‘Guides’ section of the forums, and when I looked through them I saw that they were left just vague enough to make the Keepers work on their own. 

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For example, the Monster Mayhem tactic simply suggested sending powerful monsters as your invasion force in the games, instead of a group of heroes, but did not suggest what kind of monsters. Likewise, ‘Breeding a better creature race’ suggested a starting creature with the ‘Adaptive Breeder’ perk and how it worked, but did not specify any suggested powers to give to it through the breeding process.

By the way, Adaptive Breeder was just as it sounded. It made it so that a creature could mate with any other kind of creature, and the offspring would have traits of both parents. That was obviously a way to build a master race if used right, but at the same time weaknesses could also be inherited.

The thread I was interested in was ‘Merlin’s Rulebook’. This was a simple strategy guide on how to run the ‘Merlin strategy’, which was basically the story of King Arthur.

This strategy consists of a few important steps. First, there is you, the Keeper. Now, naturally there won’t be any single individual in your world that can stand up to you, but you shouldn’t let them know that. If they do, then it would be them trying to put you in charge of the kingdom, not the other way around.

Next, is the talented individual. As a Keeper, if you focus on any specific being in your world, you will be able to roughly gauge their innate talent. This talent does not consider gender, location, or social status, and merely suggests how far that person can go with their own effort. In almost every world, people with high innate talents are rare, so you will need to find one in a suitable position. The time period for this should be no earlier than roughly 50 million world inhabitants, and they should have a fairly stable culture.

Now, once you have the individual, you should prepare multiple dangerous quests for them. The best option is to create relics ahead of time, and make sure that they are lost, ensuring that there is a record of what the quest is about in the culture’s history. 

The purpose of the Merlin strategy is to make this young hero fight these quests to the most of his ability, forcing out his latent talent and building his fame. In the meantime, you will stay in the background, and only interfere if he is about to die. The less impact you have on his quests, the greater the results will be.

This was a fairly short guide, but I felt like it had a great amount of information in it. For instance, the bit about measuring talent, I had never observed one of the inhabitants of my world closely enough to notice. Pulling up the map, I zoomed in on Ardra again. This time, I squinted my eyes in focus while concentrating on her. Sure enough, a hazy green cloud appeared around her, stretching out nearly ten feet.

When I did the same thing with another felyn passing by carrying a wooden log, the cloud appeared again, but was much smaller. This felyn’s cloud extended out maybe one foot, and had a hazy red color to it. Great… now I just need to learn what these mean… I’ll ask Terra about that when she wakes up.

Out of curiosity, I went to the elven kingdom and focused on the current queen. Her aura extended out about eight feet, but was golden in color. Really wish I knew what that meant! On the bright side… I had a message notification pop up at the corner of the screen.

You have sold 2 units of World Host, earning 6 points.

Good start… now sell a few thousand more, and I’ll be happy.

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