“Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t matter anyways. Anyway having four team members is good, especially with our smith here who can help make sure we have proper equipment.”
Equinox nodded, “Yes, I am happy to help however we will need to gather the ores ourself since I can’t make a profit by reselling my products.”
Norra nodded, “Yes indeed. Equinox here has explained to me that the ores we will need are in the opposite direction. Of the boar king and gathering the ores while training our skills will be of primary importance.”
“My smithing skill is fairly good but without mastering basic smithing any equipment that I would forge would be less effective than that the NPCs here sell. Right now player crafted gear is cheaper than NPC gear but isn’t as good.” Said Equinox.
Norra nodded, “Alright, now what is everybody’s schedule? Evening Wanderer can only play during sleeping hours which I assume everybody is available during. What time is everybody else available?”
“I become available at 8pm.” Said Equinox. “However I do still to practice my smithing so we should probably reserve training to during the sleeping hours. That will give me enough time to keep up with both.”
Gardenia nods, “I can be available at around 8pm too. Although, on day two of the schedule I’m not going to be available until 11pm but for the rest of the time I am available earlier. What about you Norra?”
“Oh, yeah, I’ll be available at those times too. You can contact me when you log in and we can meetup. If I have any extra time then I will try to recruit some extra players.” Norra clapped and said, “Alright then. Break team! Meetup at 08:00 hours.”
“Ummm… it would be 20:00 hours.” Said Gardenia.
“Whatever, you know what I mean.”
And with that the meeting was over.
The days passed but Norra didn’t managed to secure any other players to join their team. The team was able to properly level in the mountainous forests and caves while searching for ore to gather.
Evening Wanderer was a bigger asset then Gardenia has initially guess. She was an excellent archer character that had a bunch of gathering skills. Together with Equinox they had skills to gather anything that they came across. They started out as an unskilled coordination from players unfamiliar with each other.
Their composition was actually quite good however. Equinox tanked while Norra and Eva did DPS. Gardenia was in the back providing a mix of healing and damage when needed. With that teamwork they were able to get deeper and deeper into the mountainous forest. While there wasn’t anything quite as strong as the Boar King they did face a bunch of lesser field bosses.
It was the end of the third day when they gathered once more in the tavern.
“It looks like this will our be our last day of grinding. My reports from the front are telling me that the elites are done training and going to start making attempts at the dungeon boss. Tomorrow is going to be our best shot at beating the Boar King.”
“Do you think we can get anybody else to join us?” Asked Gardenia.
Norra shook her head, “I was too naive. I had thought the teamwork would be easy to meld in but I was wrong. Working in another player or two at this stage is just going to make things difficult. This game is different from the things I had played before and coordinating is much harder than I expected it to me.”
There were nodded all around. It had taken the full three days for them to get in a proper rhythm with each other. Adding another player without that rhythm would certainly be difficult to deal it. While that might make fights easier it might also make them harder.
“Do you think just the three of us can beat the Boar King?” Asked Gardenia.
It was Eve that answered, “In my judgement we can do it. Wouldn’t you agree Norra?” The two of them were basically the experts of the team. Equinox knew a bunch about crafting but it was Norra and Eve which formed the planning backbone of the team.
“Yes.” Said Norra, “But I do think it will be tough. We are walking a tightrope here and I expect several wipes before we managed to beat the Boar King. Equinox, will you be able to get us the proper gear in time?”
Equinox nodded “I am only a couple of hours away from mastering basic smithing. I took tomorrow off work to ensure that I have enough time to finished mastering it and to product all the required equipment.”
Eve looked concerned, “Are you sure that is alright?”
“Do not worry. I properly procured the time off work. I do not often take days off work so there will be no problems. Besides I am salaried and need to spend the vacation time.”
Gardenia shook her head and said, “I unfortunately can’t take time off like that but I can make sure I login at 7pm which is the soonest I can become available.”
Eve sighed and looked distraught, “I am a bit envious. Unfortunately I am still only available during the sleeping hours. I apologize for not being able to join you earlier but it really is impossible for me.”
Norra waved her hand dismissing the issue, “Don’t worry. I expected that from the beginning. We will just make sure to have all the preparations made before you login so that we can immediately head out to the Boar King once you login.”
“Now! Before Eve has to logout, we need to enjoy ourselves. Eat and drink until morning, for tomorrow we might die to the horrible boar king. Cheers!” Norra raised her mug and everybody joined her. They clanged the cups together.
Their skills were as ready as they were ever going to be. Both Gardenia and Norra might not quite have appropriate levels for an expert attempting the dungeon but they weren’t too far behind. Eve and Equinox were behind the other two but they each practiced other trades in the game as well as fighting so it wasn’t too much worse for them. The weakest link was probably Evening Wanderer but she was instrumental in gathering enough funds to purchase the none-smithing gear that the party was going to purchase.
During the day Equinox worked hard on raising his smithing skill so that he could master basic smithing. He took the slower, less expensive way since Eve wouldn’t be available until later. Once it was mastered he was able to purchase the required recipes for the different equipment pieces they would need.
Heavy armor for himself, a pair of daggers for Norra, a light shield for Gardenia and a heavy one for himself. After that he made some arrows for Eve. With those done the rest of his time until Eve logged in was crafting equipment for the elite team going after the dungeon boss.
While Eve was unavailable many of the crafters she was aquatinted with had also mastered their basic crafting skill. Sanderman was able to product a bow and Neverland𝜶 was able to craft leather armor for both Norra and Eve.
With all those purchases their funds were practically dry. Norra was able to acquire a handful of the highest tier potions that could be crafted in the beginner town but it would only be enough for around three attempts at the Boar King. They had expected to be able to purchase more then they did. Potion prices were at an all time high as preparations to face the dungeon boss also needed plenty of consumables.
Finally all of their preparations were complete. Eve had logged in and they were all gathered in the tavern. However this time it was not to eat and drink. Gardenia was then to say a final word to the old man who had given them the quest.
“Mister Avalo, today we are going to slay the master of the forest. Rest assured that it will fall this day.”
The old man nodded, “I see it in your eyes. You possess the will and the power to slay the foul beast. I wish you the best of luck. I will make sure to prepare a reward for when you return.”
“And then the team turned as one and walked out of the tavern, grim determination in their eyes.” Narrated Norra as the team did indeed leave the tavern, although the grim determination was kinda lost at her comment.
The walk through the forest was eerily quite, They were only interrupted by a couple encounters with wolves and evil trees. Soon enough they had arrived deep in the darkest parts of the forest.
“Alright everybody.” Said Norra and they huddled in a circle to listen to her, “I expect to make several attempts against the Boar King. Our biggest limiting factor is the consumables. My estimates put us at three real attempts. So for the first few times let us fight it without consumables, that will give us a good measure of its strength. Only after those two attempts should we spend any real resources.”
There was nodding approvals all around.
Norra continued. “Gardenia, there is a special job for you and Eve since you two are in the back. Keep an eye out on the Boar’s behaviors. Enemies like this commonly change their strategies after losing a certain amount of health. Me and Equinox are going to be in the thick of it so it will be harder for us to notice. If either of you see any changes in the boar yell it out right away. The earlier we are alerted the better.”
Eve also chipped into the strategy, “Also Gardenia, you are the only one with monster identification. The rest of us can’t judge how much health the master has lost. When it reaches half, a quarter, and ten percent health try to call it out. Those are the times when behaviors change, well, at least they were in other games.”
“Alright, I will do my best. I only have a bar that I can see so I can’t be certain about the remaining enemy health but I will do my best.”
Norra nodded, “Alright, now remember we have plenty of attempts without using potions so try to survive as long as possible. AND FIGHT!” She raised her fist. The other three did their best to mimic her.
Then the battle against the master of the forest begun. This they had all expected the first battle ended swiftly in the boar’s victory. Unlike some of the bigger enemies that they had fought before the boar gains and lost aggro incredibly quickly. It only took one mistake from Equinox for the Boar to completely ignore him and kill Norra. After that the team quickly collapsed and they were all sent back to town.
They still hadn’t gotten intermediate skills which couldn’t even be learned in the starter town so there were no death penalties and they were free to make attempts as many times as they wanted.