172 Slippery Slopes
Dave went through the Red Fortress's teleportation gate after inserting the code for the Western Kingdom's capital city. He appeared in the open plaza with Orn and Gale in tow. The three undead attracted a lot of attention from players, but no one dared to attack them.
Lone's cheerful voice rang out from behind them.
"Hey there Mr. Skelly. Hello Orn, hello Gale."
"Elfess," the two Doom Knight bodyguards chorused.
She joined the trio, handing Dave a teleportation scroll to the Northern Kingdom.
"Do you have more? for Orn and Gale?"
"Yeah." Lone handed the two Doom Knights their scrolls.
Dave, Orn and Gale tore their scrolls and appeared near another teleportation gate. This windblown gate platform was in the center of a small town in an icy mountainous area.
A blanket of snow covered the streets and the roofs of the buildings. The freezing strong winds had driven the inhabitants inside, but lights flickered through the windows of the houses and businesses, the smithy's forge fires could be seen through open doors. Some players were queued up to buy potions at an alchemist shop and Dave heard music and raucous voices coming from the tavern.
Light gathered, coalescing into a human shape Lone appeared.
"Give me a moment, Skelly," she said.
"Where are you going?" He asked.
"I need to get something from the alchemist shop, I'll be right back."
Lone scurried off toward the alchemist storefront service window.
When she came back, she was drinking a purple potion.
"What's that?" Dave asked.
"It' a Frost-Halting potion. It increases my stamina regen-rate to compensate for the colds. I brought a few extra for you," she said.
"Thanks but we don't need them. The undead have unlimited stamina.
"So, what's about your quest? What do we do now?" Dave asked.
"Let's get out of town first," Lone said as she moved toward the town's exit. Dave, Orn, and Gale followed behind her.
Players that spotted the two Doom Knights moved away afraid of triggering a fight they will not win.
Their mere presence cowed any player from trying something foolish, say attacking the undead for exp.
"It's a basic fetch quest. I need to bring an item to someone deep in the mountains. There are yetis in the area and it's hard for me to fight them on my own.
"I tried to dash through them one time but the yetis started an avalanche and killed me. I even asked some friends for help, but we never made it past the yetis. "
"What're the yetis' levels?"
"They range from level 250 to 300. It won't be too tough, right?" Lone asked.
"With me helping you it shouldn't be much of a problem, but we should still be careful."
When the they reached the edge of town Gale spoke.
"Lord Kis, we cannot follow you any further."
"Thanks, guys," Dave nodded and waved them off.
The Doom Knights saluted Dave, nodded to Lone and turned back to town to use the teleportation gate. Orn and Gale were tasked to protect Dave from players only while he was inside cities. They would be effective deterrents until he reached a higher level and was better able to protect himself.
"Too bad they can't help us, or else this would have been a breeze."
"But having two levels 550 Doom Knights babysit us would break the game balance," Dave said facetiously.
"But having Drahma walk us through the Underworld didn't?" Lone said jokingly.
"Drahma was an exception," Dave coughed in embarrassment.
Lone and Dave climbed up into the mountains, soon losing sight of the town and the valley it was in.
The two negotiated narrow, high pathways and scaled steep cliffs on their trek. Lone's Agility granted her uncanny control over her avatar, enabling her to grab protrusions and climb rapidly and dexterously.
Dave on the other hand, had to slowly make his way up. His agility and dexterity was far less than Lone's but his strength compensated, enabling him to use handholds that weaker characters could not. At one point, a protrusion he was grabbing on broke, but Dave caught on with one hand and pulled himself back up, cursing whenever he looked down.
"Heh. You don't like heights, I remember you screaming like a girl in the Threaded Dungeon," Lone teased.
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Ha!" Lone laughed.
Lone was the first to reach the mountain peak. She waited for Dave to come up.
Dave pulled himself up the peak and looked out over the icy mountains.
"Alright, we made it!" Lone said.
"What? Where? All I see is snow and ice."
"Look down," Lone pointed.
On the cliffside a frozen stream meandered down the side of the mountain.
"What's that?" asked Dave.
"Haven't you ever been to Waterworld?" asked Lone.
"Then this will be a good experience for you!" Lone said as she shoved Dave over the edge.
Dave screamed as he fell.
When Dave hit the ice his body bounced and hit again, then slid face first down the frozen stream like a toboggan.
Lone giggled and jumped after Dave, she had god down frozen stream before so she caught up to Dave and surpassed him.
Dave was awkwardly trying to balance himself, cursing under his breath.
Suddenly, he had an idea. He pushed his hands and feet against the ice, thrusting his body up into the air and equipping his Tower Shield. He planted both legs on the tower-shield and was surprised to find he was easily able to balance and he was going even faster now.
You have gained a new title
Your shield can now be used for something other than blocking.
You have increased stability when using a shield to slide over slippery terrain.
Congratulations on finding something a shield can do other than [Blocking]
"Ha!" Dave was quite happy with the new title. It wouldn't be much help in a fight but it was a nice title.
"Waaah! Not fair! I wanna ride too!" Lone said looking back as Dave edged closer to her.
"Hop on." He gave Lone a hand, pulling her onto the make-shift snowboard.
With Lone on the tower shield their speed increased.
"This is much better than normal sliding."
"I think we have a little problem," Dave said.
"I can't steer this thing! How are we going to stop?!"
"Don't worry, there's lots of snow at the bottom, it will cushion our stop when we hit it. No need to panic."
"I see where the ice river ends and there is no cushion!"
"That wall wasn't there the last time! Alright let's panic!" Lone started screaming in Dave's ear...