Story Time with Pearz

So here is premise of my story writing. Needed a short story for The great guild event for Allods. Problem is I didn't have the full time to write, only roughly 4 days. Main problem I had was time constraint and length. After the first couple paragraphs, I realized even for such a short story premise (pretty much all the important points here) the length would be much larger then antipated. Its more noticeable as story progresses, I get less inner thoughts to talk about lolz. It was a way to cut down content and I guess cut to the chase without losing much of the story. Also 2 of my characters didn't really have mcuh personality to them. Didn't think I could convey it well enough so I chose to leave them bland then to half bake it.

Still feel like the stories general point wasn't conveyed as strongly as I had hoped due to less build up. So without Further ado my short story: (split in 3 sections with buttons so it doesn't eat as much page space):

Only A Detour

Chapter 1:
It was pitch black outside. Nightfall had come and they were still grounded at the Novograd port.

Figures it would take longer than expected for the repairs to the ArchAngel. Those Gibberlings are too tiny to do anything properly. Should just purge them from the League – after all, only Kanians are barely good enough to live with our presence. Oh well. Might as well head to the inn for the night and hope they finish repairs by tomorrow.

The ArchAngel had just, hours ago, been attacking the enemy – the Empire. They had expected to suffer a few scratches and perhaps some extra ventilation holes, but it was far from the suicidal raid it almost ended up being. It was a wonder they had even made it back to Novograd.

The crew had taken a wrong wormhole and ended up facing, of all things, Nezebgrad. Seeing the opportunity of having completely breached the outer defence lines of the Empire, Pearz saw it as a chance to deal damage to the heart of the enemy nation. She intended to use that same wormhole again to launch a full scale attack on Nezebgrad.

The crew of Elves floated towards the Inn, looking for some rest before the final hour approached. The Tavern on the first floor was nearly flooded with League soldiers. It was late but most of them didn't seem to care, simply adding to the loudness. Much of people present in the Tavern belonged to Valiance, welcoming the crew with familiarity that was only skin deep. Pearz harboured distaste for most of the other members, feeling quite superior in every way to them.

Rozetri firmly put her hand on Pearz' shoulder, waiting for the glance and then signalling her to head to the room. She knew all too well how things usually got ugly in the mix of drunken guildmates and Pearz' hot temper.

"How about we head up and plan out our attack in detail where it is quieter?" Rozetri had channelled the Leader Persona, trying to keep Pearz focused on the matter at hand.
Blah, I'll deal with these people later. Can't compromise such a good opportunity. Still…so like her to ruin all my fun.

Pearz knew, though, that it was only Rozetri’s job to keep the peace between the members and so she decided to oblige her leader’s request. Before leaving, however, Rozetri couldn’t stop her from scoffing at the drunken guildmates; she could keep her disdain at bay for only so long. Walking into the neighbouring room, the rest of the small team was already present, debating various courses of action.

“We attack from here. The Imps won’t be able to react before we dock and take out Yaskar,” explained Ejac.

“Don’t you think it’d be faster if we spearhead their weak defences here first? I don’t think the lazy guards will be fast enough to stop us,” Muxy countered.

“I prefer Ejac's plan,” Rozetri informed. “It's safer and lets us take advantage of our stealth. It’s about getting in and getting out, not Leroying in. We all know that things didn’t turn out well enough for that guy.”

Always playing it safe. If it were up to me, things would be so much different. She held her tongue, knowing full well that it wasn’t up to her. She didn’t want to bother Rozetri with more than the leader already had on her plate.

“So, we will go with this plan,” Rozetri commanded. “We’ll leave in 6 hours. Get some rest and prepare well for departure.” As Ejac and Muxy left, Rozetri patted them on the back in solidarity. When it was the only the two of them left, she quietly looked at Pearz for a moment before leaving. It was only Pearz left, her gaze turning into a distorted glare.

If only I didn't owe her my life… I would take these matters into my own hands.

Sighing softly, Pearz decided to get sleep; she knew things had a way of turning out strangely despite plans.
Chapter 2:
The sun had begun to inch up beyond the edge of the allod when the ship was ready to set sail. The rest of the group was already ahead of Pearz; she had a tendency to sleep into late hours with nothing being an exception.

“Get in here already, Pearz! We need to get there early, before the guards switch!” Rozetri anxiously called, standing at the edge of the ship.

Hearing her, Pearz glided faster; there was no need to cause bad blood by being difficult. She noted that the ship looked as good as new. Despite the time that the Gibberlings had taken, they had done a splendid job – perhaps matching Pearz’ expectations, although she didn’t acknowledge it.

The ArchAngel began its flight towards Nezebgrad, following the path that it had taken the day prior. The secret wormhole in the Arsenic Sector led to only 10,000 yards away from the Empire allod; it was really the perfect way to strike hard at the nation’s core. The path mapped out was long and it would have been much faster to take the more direct, more well-known path to Nezebgrad – but those known wormholes were littered with minefields and large lines of defence set up by the Empire soldiers to arduously protect their home. Even though it felt like eternity, it was the better way. Pearz was lofting around the deck when the cry jolted her out of her mindless movement.

“Watch out!”

One sector away from Arsenic, from the wormhole, what she had only instinctively been feeling finally hit – the Astral Storm. It was the bane of all ships, the ArchAngel clearly no exception.

As Pearz flew towards the helm, she saw Rozetri desperately trying to fly the ship away – but they both knew it; the pull was too strong. They watched in agony as the ship was caught in the gravitational lure, slowly nearing the murky clouds and the lightning threatened to blind them all. Pearz collapsed before she could see much else; the magnetic fields of the storm wilted her wings into submission.

Chapter 3:
God, my head hurts. What happened?

Pearz felt sore all over, barely managing to open her eyes to the lush green grass surrounding her. Sprawled around her were the rest of the crew – and the half-torn ship that was clearly in no shape for work. She forced herself to get up, wanting to check on the rest of the crew.

Shocking Grasp should do it.

Every single one woke up in only a few seconds – much faster than Pearz had expected – followed with a look of disapproval over the awakening method. None said anything, as Rozetri was the one first to recover and was already in Reconnaissance Mode. They followed her closer to the remnants of the ship, aiding in her assessment.

“Okay, everyone spread out and search this allod. We might be able to come across some crystals for our destroyed reactor. Meet back here in one hour,” was the official command.

Always quick to assess the situation and get things moving forward. Guess she’s not all useless – at least she does have an affinity for leading.

The group separated, taking different paths further into the forest, to search for the items that would allow them to leave the allod. Pearz walked a few steps before blinking away into the forest, trying to get more ground covered within the time limit. After only 25 minutes of fruitless searching, however, she knew she had to head back in order to return on schedule.

Only a couple more yards…then I'll head back.

In the distance, Pearz saw a clearing. She floated only a few steps before blinking forward; the clearing was closer than before. The sun shone so intensely on the lake that, from her distance, it seemed to be made of glass, reflecting clearly without a single ripple. Rozetri was already there, gazing so intently at the rare sight that Pearz almost didn’t interrupt her.

Rozetri already knew about her presence, though. “Pearz, let’s head back. Muxy and Ejac are waiting. Don’t worry; I found what we need to get off this allod.”

Pearz’ eagerness was probably clearly written on her face – or was Rozetri that good at reading her after so long? – that the response came before the question had been formed.

“Let’s wait until we meet up with Ejac and Muxy. It will be easier to explain only once, when we are together.” Pearz only nodded, not liking the lack of preferential treatment. The two ran back to the meeting point; Ejac and Muxy were both timely, as always, but looked depressed. It was clear that, other than Rozetri, no one had found anything.

Rozetri was still short of breath when she began to speak. “I think I found what we need. There is a pocket of crystals that I saw in the distance, but I couldn't reach it alone.”

“Why?” Ejac interrupted, far more eager than Pearz had been earlier.

“Let me speak, Ejac,” Rozetri gently reprimanded. “Essentially, it's on a cliff. I can't reach it alone – it’s so far away that I only saw a glimpse of it. The height alone is not the problem, actually. The real problem lies within the lake, which divides us from the cliff. I dived in earlier, before you arrived, Pearz. The reason the lake was so calm is because there is only one creature in there – a beast of a fish, at the very centre of the bottom. Even the small waves I made had it rolling in its slumber. I'm sure if we try to cross this lake, we will wake it up.”

The solution seemed painfully simple to Pearz. Take out the fish, problem solved.

“This is the plan. I will go in to lure it away, while you three head straight for the crystals. Get in and out fast.” Pearz resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Always walking the path of peace, Tri. Like an overgrown fish can stop us. It’s better to just gut it and go.

Ejac and Muxy agreed to the plan readily, knowing how Rozetri could tank anything. They didn’t look to Pearz with suspicion – they weren’t used to the idea that she usually implemented her own solutions. Rozetri was too weary to think that far; her trusting nature allowed her to accept Pearz’ silence as consent.

Following Rozetri back to the lake, all three had the same reaction to what the leader pointed to. The giant fish, clearly visible through the pristine water when they stood at the edge, was absolutely ugly. It had horns and spikes positioned amongst its scales, as if it had evolved to fight and dominate its waters. It awoke immediately once Rozetri dove into the water with all her might; she signalled for the others to quickly swim through.

The sky shook with the lightning bolt that pressed through the waters, hitting the fish as if on target. That caused the monster to charge towards the cause – Pearz. Like a well-oiled machine, Muxy immediately began attacking while Ejac began healing – both mindlessly, falling back on instincts that had been honed through many disasters. Rozetri tried to catch up, trying to take the attention so that she could be solely hit by the creature, but the water pressure coupled with her heavy armour slowed her down. The fight continued as lightning rained from the sky, meteors crashed upon the waters, and a poisonous plume of smoke surrounded the fish.

The moment Rozetri was in range, never losing sight of her priorities, she raised her sword in a silent battle cry and charged the fish. It barely phased the creature, but the attack did its intended job of turning it towards her. A purple bolt of electricity took over the water, shooting towards the fish with intensity – with a strange groaning noise, the fish stopped twitching and stopped moving. It floated towards the surface, revealing a small chest falling from the clutches of its fin.

Pearz laughed loudly, boasting, “There was no need for such a wussy strategy, Tri. We could have just took it out and moved on. Even some treasure along the way-” Rozetri’s angry punch interrupted her triumphs.

“Do you know you did, Pearz? You put us all in danger for your own selfish needs! You must see the big picture – taking out Yaskar! That is our top priority! It can end in war and bloodshed if we’re not careful at every step of the way!”

Pearz’ anger threatened to boil over – and the usual restraint when she was about to yell at a guildmate, Rozetri’s trusting words, was not there. She glared angrily, ready to start the fight. Ejac and Muxy inched away slowly, knowing better than to get in the middle of the argument – misfire didn’t discriminate targets.

“Maybe I should word it better, Pearz,” Rozetri continued, her voice calmer than before. “Once we get off this allod, there will be many, many Imps for you to deal with. Save your strength for that. Save your mana for that. This is only a detour.” Her words made Pearz back off slightly, to only think about it.

I guess I can deal with her later. Once we get back to Novograd, I'll just have to take her out of the picture permanently. How much longer will she continue to stand in my way?

Rozetri’s words worked as well as she knew they would; the times when the two of them had only been friends, without the weight of guild leadership to meddle, were not times to be easily forgotten. Pearz wordlessly headed towards the other side of the lake, towards the crystals – her silence this time did mean consent. The remainder of the group followed, Rozetri silently assuming leadership as usual. The gathering didn’t take long and the four headed back towards the ship in the same bout of silence.

Tensions were high, so high that all four hesitated to speak up for different reasons. Even without talking, however, they were synchronized enough to take the ship back on course, eventually poised in front of the wormhole that they knew to take them to Nezebgrad. But something needed to be said, and Rozetri was not one to back away.

“Pearz, I know we have our differences in opinion…but I hope that you can understand,” she said softly, glancing at the Elven mage who wouldn’t look her way. “We have been fighting together for far too long for it to mean nothing. We came together in hardship, and we strengthened our bonds by fighting back.” She paused for a moment, wringing her hands together purposefully as she struggled to find the right words to reach out to her long-time comrade. Pearz saw, but chose to say nothing.

“In the end, you know that I will be there to watch your back,” the Elven paladin finally continued, “and I trust you to watch mine. These small quarrels can only help us grow stronger, as soldiers, as guildmates…as friends. Things worked out this time – but that can’t always be true. I hope you can speak your mind next time so that we can talk it over instead of just springing it on us at the decisive moment. That is all I feel I can ask of you.”

Pearz stared at the hand that was reached out towards her and then found Rozetri staring at her intently. She stared back for some moments, beginning to enjoy what she knew must have been excruciating for the other Elf.

Hmph. Always only interested in keeping the peace. Guess I can let it slide this time. She pressed her hand against Rozetri’s for a brief handshake, looking away mere seconds later and floating away.

Seeing that things seemed to be smoothed out, Rozetri signalled the others to steer the ship into the wormhole. The gaping hole in space that sucked the ship in left the crew far more anxious than wormholes tended to; thoughts of the fight waiting on the other side predominated even the instincts to pilot the ship. They readied their weapons instead, waiting to see the other side.

There was a blaze of fire awaiting them. The large allod, the Empire city clearly visible, was almost blinding, each burst of flames indiscernible from the next. The mighty Tower of Yaskar, which had once pierced the sky, was a pile of rubble. Pearz, standing at the edge of the ship already, tensed when she began to see the fleet of astral ships, each one flying the Valiance flag. She whirled around to see Rozetri and her rather large grin of triumph.

“You knew they would all be here already, didn't you?” Pearz asked, unable to mask her disappointment into anything else.

“I told them about it while you were sleeping last night, so we could coordinate the strike. They were supposed to come in during our raid to start the real fight and take out the rest of the city during the panic of Yaskar having died. But…we took a bit longer than expected, so I suppose they began without us,” Rozetri explained. She laughed softly, “and ended it too.”

“You owe me ‘many, many Imps to deal with’. How are you going to repay that?” Pearz asked, incredulous at having being duped.

“Simply, Pearz, simply,” Rozetri said, floating closer to pat Pearz’ shoulder. “You’re now the commander in charge of finishing off the stragglers left on this allod. I trust that might sooth your bloodthirst.”

“Only a little,” Pearz said carefully, not willing to admit defeat to her adversary. “Nothing can make up for missing the final blow on Yaskar. I’ll settle that score later, Tri. I have an allod to cleanse.”

She looked away, flying off to the tip of the ArchAngel to signal the fleet. They closed in on what was left of Nezebgrad, and Pearz couldn’t hide her grin.

So hope you enjoyed it. Tried my hand at creating a more plot based story but had trouble giving personalities to all the characters. Guess I am just better at writing more humor based stuff. Can criticizes all you want want in comments.

Side note: Aaro edited it, nothing fancy. If anything, made it worse.