6 Chapter 6 Location
"All right, here we are. The cartographer is normally used only by the king or merchants who have to travel often. It helps to add new routes for other merchants to use and to see if routes have been added that might save time traveling."
"Ah, Master William! It's good to see you again! Care to see the most current map? I just finished one that encompasses the entire three human kingdoms, plus a little."
The man standing before them, as they entered the small room, was very short, and stooped. His hair had all but fallen out and he wore a pair of spectacles on the tip of his nose. Behind him a large hand drawn map hung on the wall of the current kingdom. Joseph had never seen a map so large before, only small ones in his lesson books.
"That sounds wonderful, Hugh! I brought my son, Joseph with me. He just turned seven and is traveling with me until he decides what he wants to do with his life."
Joseph looked at the small man, wondering why his dad had told him so much. He hadn't told anyone else, which had made them think that he was apprenticed to his father, as was customary for well-to-do families.
"So, this is the young boy I keep hearing about? Well, he looks to be a spitting image of you, not at all like that beautiful woman you married and brought around years ago."
"You mentioned that you had a new map?"
Joseph could tell from the expression on his father's face that the topic of his mother was still uncomfortable, and saw a stab of pain on Hugh's face in response.
"I remembered that you had mentioned your travels across the three kingdoms, so I spent a considerable amount of money to acquire information about them. Then I drew this beauty up, specifically for you."
The pride in his voice drew everyone away from the awkward topic of his mother, and Joseph watched with his dad as the old man pulled out a rolled tapestry from the corner. After pulling down a table from the wall, and setting it firmly on sturdy legs, he began to unroll the tapestry upon it. The detail was so much better then any drawing Joseph had ever seen in his current life. The only thing that rivaled it, were maps he remembered from his previous lives.
The three kingdoms lay next to each other from west to east. The far western kingdom, the Oxalium Empire, extended from the coast to the west, to a mountain range that stretched from the top of the map to the bottom, on the east. Just east of the mountain range was the middle kingdom, where he grew up till this point, the Sedonia Sovereignty, and it shared a river as it's eastern border with the eastern kingdom, the Rathwold Kingdom. The Rathwold Kingdom stretched to a large forest that was simply marked, 'Elven Forest'.
The northern border for all three kingdoms were the same mountains, that were more scattered, and less of a line, and the area north of the mountains were marked, 'Frozen Tundra'. The southern border was what looked like a brown blob. It was marked, 'Wastelands'.
"I travel through this mountain pass here," his father pointed at an opening in the mountains between the eastern kingdom and the middle kingdom. "And there's a bridge here, that I cross to the Rathwold Kingdom."
Joseph saw the bridge drawn in, and marveled at how skillful this man must be.
"Have you been to the frozen tundra?" asked Joseph, looking at the cold white color on the thick material.
"No, but I have heard that barbarians live up there with monsters incredibly fierce. They wear furs to stay warm and have to travel constantly to find food since it is too cold to grow any type of crop."
"What about the wastelands?" The brown intrigued him. It wasn't a desert, and all of his memories that were associated with the word wastes, brought to mind events that caused a wasteland, not a place of waste. He couldn't imagine how an event from his memory could be done here and causing such a large area to be decimated. The wasteland was just as large as all three kingdoms put together!
"No one really knows much about the wastelands," his father said, rubbing his chin.
"It's said, that elves remember a time before it was wasteland," said Hugh, excitedly.
"Now, Hugh, when was the last time you saw an elf, much less talked to one?" asked his father.
Hugh chuckled and shook his head, "You're right, I've never seen, much less talked to an elf in my life. But the stories I've heard about the wasteland says that all who travel there never return. No one knows why. Even great magicians and experienced travelers, loaded down with supplies never return."
Joseph gazed at the brown blob on the map. It was perfect. If he could get powerful enough with the system's help, that wasteland could be his kingdom, and none of the other kingdoms could oppose him. He had thought about trying to form a small kingdom on the edges of one of the others, but that was just asking for trouble. They would oppose him trying to take their land. But if he went to a place that no one claimed, a place of death, and brought it back to life with magic, then no one could say he took it from them.
In fact, as he thought about it, if he didn't tell anyone that he had brought it back to life, and kept it a secret, he could get his kingdom built up and fortified before anyone knew it was even there. That way, when they did finally find out, he would be able to protect his kingdom from those who would want to come and take it from him. It seemed perfect.
(LOCATION OF FUTURE KINGDOM – WASTELANDS)
(MISSION – CHOOSE LOCATION OF FUTURE KINGDOM)
(REWARD – 5 LIFE POINTS)
(SEE LIST OF AVAILABLE ADVANTAGES?)
'Yes,' Joseph thought, and a list quickly appeared before him. As he started looking through the list, he could hear his father talking to Hugh about how much it must have cost him to make the map, and if he could make a smaller one for him to take.
CHARISMA (5 POINTS) - +1 TO IMPRESS AND LEAD OTHERS (MAY BE BOUGHT MULTIPLE TIMES)
EMPATHY SENSITIVITY (5 POINTS) - +1 TO ANALYZE A SENTIENT SUBJECT FOR TRUTHFULNESS
FEARLESSNESS (2 POINTS/LEVEL) - +1 VERSUS INSTANCES OF FEAR AND INTIMIDATION
FIT (5 POINTS) – REGAIN FATIGUE LOST TO EXERTION TWICE AS FAST
FLEXIBLE (5 POINTS) - +3 ON SKILLS THAT REQUIRE MORE FLEXIBILITY
LESS SLEEP (2 POINTS/LEVEL) – 1 HOUR LESS SLEEP PER LEVEL (UP TO 4 MAX AT CURRENT STATS)
LIGHTENING CALCULATOR (2 POINTS) – SIMPLE MATH CAN BE DONE INSTANTLY
MAGERY 0 (5 POINTS) – GAIN THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND MAGIC
NIGHT VISION (1 POINT/LEVEL) – ADAPT RAPIDLY TO DARKNESS (MAX 9 LEVELS)
PLANT EMPATHY (5 POINTS) – DETERMINE GENERAL HEALTH AND DETERMINE NATURAL OR SUPERNATURAL ORIGIN OF PLANTS, +1 RELATIONS WITH SENTIENT PLANTS
REDUCED CONSUMPTION (2 POINTS/LEVEL) – FIRST LEVEL REDUCES CONSUMPTION NEEDS TO 2 MEALS A DAY, SECOND LEVEL REDUCES NEEDS TO 1 MEAL A DAY
VERSATILE (5 POINTS) - +1 CREATIVITY
Joseph was stunned. There were so many good options to choose from, and he could see each of them being helpful in his goal. How many other options would he unlock by saving his points? However, he noticed magery was available, and his pulse picked up. This was his chance to gain it and be able to learn magic!
'I want magery!' he all but cried in his head.
(UNABLE TO COMPLY, YOU HAVE NEVER WITNESSED MAGIC IN ACTION)
(MISSION – WITNESS MAGIC TO BE ABLE TO GAIN THE ADVANTAGE MAGERY 0)
(REWARD – 5 LIFE POINTS)