Walking past both statues of Ariel and Fortuna, I start my descent into the canyon. Noticing my steps, Howard looks up and waves at me.
"Ian, are you ready?"
I smile back and hurry my steps.
"Ready. Is everyone else ready?"
The team I got together for the battle consisted of Howard, David, Kingston, 3 more humans, 3 demi-humans and 5 goblins. Our strategy was simple. Howard, David and Kingston were the main damage dealers, while in front of them was a scutum shield formation using the combination of humans and demi-humans. The goblins were going to be both archers and assassins since they are able to see in the dark as well as counter-attack anything that might get through our front-line.
I will be in charge of orchestrating the fight as well as light. Prepared for me were 30 arrows with the black glue mixture on the tip, as well as 10 extra torches. I would light up one at the start and continuously fire arrows into the cave for vision while the goblins make sure nothing is out of the ordinary in the dark. Luckily for me, Robin was a good teacher and while I won't be the best archer, I can at least fire an arrow.
The frontline is equipped with the scutum shield, an extra smaller circular shield, two stone knives, and either a short spear or an ax. In addition, they are wearing wooden chest plates, helmet, arm and leg guards. With the help of Lime's ingenuity and Lucina's weaving skills, we were able to create belts and small holders from vines. This made holding onto multiple weapons a lot easier, as well as fixating them on the body for easy access.
Howard is currently holding onto the Hobgoblin's Club, as well as an additional stone ax and two stone knives. Fitted with a stone chest plate and wooden helmets, arm and leg guards, he was the most stacked NPC I had.
Next to him was David. While still somewhat cowardly, his attitude has changed and his confidence has been boosted. It might have been from experiencing the golem fight which changed him, or it could have been through the many fights with Howard and Kingston which made him feel safe knowing that there were reliable people around him. He has chosen to wield a stone spear to add to the variety of attacks as well as provide some mid-range damage, while also holding onto 2 knives in case his weapon breaks in the cave. His armor is the same as Howard, only slightly bigger, since his stature was larger than Howard's.
Kingston, the other player in HavenFall was more relaxed and calm about the whole expedition. He had told me he was very excited to participate and since everyone was nice, and friendly, he has gotten along with the NPCs. Dual wielding stone axes as well as carrying two short spears and two knives, he looked like an anime character ready to fight a boss. Of course, he was also equipped with the same armor, and he was busy talking to the demi-humans.
The goblins wore lighter armor, using wooden chest plates and helmets as their main defense. They carried two quivers each holding 30 arrows, as well as a single goblin knife and bow. While they might look weak, these 5 goblins have been hard at work under Gobi and have proven to almost best some human warriors in a spar.
Then there was me. I made sure to put on everything needed in order to keep myself safe, as well as carefully tie the quiver and torch basket to my body, so nothing would fall out. Strange enough when I look at my stats and look under equipped only the quiver shows as an equipment and not the basket of torches.
Faith: 516/10,000 ( Reach 10,000 to pick a Religion )
Happiness: 10 ( Happy )
Health Points (HP): 10/10
Mana Points (MP): 0/0
Equipment: Lucky Goblin Totem Necklace, Improved Stone Spear, Stone Chest Plate, Wooden Helmet, Wooden Arm Guards, Wooden Leg Guards, Stone Knife, 30x Flammable Arrows, Wooden Bow
[ Wooden Helmet
A simple helmet shaped like a bowl. It helps protect the head and is tied below the chin by a small piece of vine.
Made by Hus and Lime ]
[ Wooden Arm Guards
A carved out log with vines tied tougher around the fore arm. Basic, but it works.
Made by Hus and Lime ]
[ Wooden Leg Guards
A carved out log with vines tied tougher around the lower leg. Basic, but it works.
Made by Hus and Lime ]
"Okay, since we are all ready, let's go. I had Celine tell Luna to go first and scout the area towards the cave. There will be wolf cubs along the way to signal the one in front that we are coming."
I sigh to myself, ever since the goblins called me leader Ian, everyone else have picked it up and started to call me leader. Except for Kingston and the first few NPCs, everyone else including Howard and Noah have adopted the new trend.
We venture off following the river and at the first bend resting her head between her paws was the first cub. There were now 4 cubs in HavenFall with one reaching adulthood, but this one was the youngest, only came out of the den today. Noticing our presence, she stands up and howls to the sky, before running towards us and rubbing her head against my leg.
I signal for the group to move onwards. There was no second howl, which meant the coast was clear for now.
As we proceed towards the second cub, Kingston slows down until he is walking next to me.
"Ian, what do you expect to see at the cave."
"A golem army. However, with how small the cave is, at most we would be fighting them two at a time. If we are careful and slowly progress deeper into the cave, then we should be able to fight them off."
"I understand that, but I am worried about our stamina."
"What do you mean Kingston?"
"Fighting constantly will drain our stamina, obviously. But when you are fighting in an enclosed space where there is no escape, then your mental strength depletes faster than your physical strength. It's like being bullied constantly, but the bullies do not hurt you."
"Then how do you suggest we fight them?"
"Are we able to fight, then back off?"
"Not from how they are programmed. The first time I met them, I was only able to escape by running fast enough and getting out of their vision."
"Which means it will be an endless stream of golems. Shit man, what did I sign up for?"
"It's fine Kingston. Believe in us. You have seen them fight first hand with the stray golems. We got this."
"Whatever you say, man. I got nothing to lose, right."
After finishing his comment, Kingston jogs up and claps David on the back, proceeding to make conversations to lighten up the mood. Although, what he said has weighed in the back of my mind. I knew the battle will be relentless, but going off the information on the forum about Kronos then I think there will be fewer golems. Most likely, they have taken most of the copper and maybe even the gold and left behind some golems to defend the place in case Kronos needed more resources. However, I find it unlikely that a monster greedy by nature would bother with an already raided resource.
I can only hope that there is enough copper in order to create more bronze weaponry and armor. Potentially even use the copper for other projects like electricity. However, that's for another day's thought.
Reaching the second cub, he howls to the sky, signally our arrival as well as our journey to the third. It didn't take us long before we reached the third and then the fourth. Looking at all the cubs side by side, you can see their growth period, with the first cub being the smallest and youngest and the fourth cub being the largest. Well, he might even be called a teenager in wolf years.
The fourth wolf signals Luna of our departure from that section, and we proceed onwards towards the cave. Everyone is currently in high spirits, joking about with each other and having some fun and happy conversations. I even joined in with the banter at the front, as well as the banter with the goblins.
With high morale and less tension in the air, we finally saw Luna waiting patiently in front of the cave. She was resting on top of a small boulder, placed directly in front of the cave. Facing towards the cave, she waited for us. Her ears perked up as we went around the bend and a small howl was used to greet us. The cubs respond with their own howl and dashed towards her.
Using this opportunity, I stopped everyone for one last pep talk.
"Everyone, it is finally time. Luna will have our backs, so everyone only needs to focus on the front. Everyone here is a talented individual, and together we are a strong team. Nothing will get past our front line, and we will push forward like kings. Let's reclaim what should have been ours. FOR HAVENFALL!"