Who am I?


I gasped in a breath of air and opened my eyes as life and consciousness bloomed, seeing only blue sky. I was flat on my back, and the ground felt soft beneath me. A musical chime sounded, and words faded into view, floating just overhead.

Welcome, player! You have entered into the game world of Archipelago as a level zero Pilgrim. Every player begins as a Pilgrim, and must travel to the distant Temple of All Gods to become a Paladin. Heed this warning, only one God will appear to you in that temple, and the choices you make on your pilgrimage will have a direct impact on which God deigns to accept your service.

As soon as I finished reading the words, they rippled, vanished, and were replaced by more.

Heed this warning, you are a level zero player. You cannot progress to Level One until your pilgrimage is over. Level zero players cannot gain EXP. Level zero players cannot advance skills beyond level one (the lowest skill level). Level zero players have no formalised stats, stats will be formalised according to game play during the pilgrimage. Level zero players cannot engage or be engaged in combat by other player characters or NPCs, but can be attacked and must defend themselves against monsters and animals.

These words rippled and vanished and more appeared.

You are a Rakkshi. Your choice of race affects your pilgrimage in definitive ways. Rakkshi are often feared and mistreated. Until your Renown grows, you will find travel difficult. People will not trust you or treat you well. You will often be an outcast. Remember, outcasts stick together. You will find friends amongst the downtrodden and the deprived.

More ripples, more words. How much more was I expected to read?

You have survived a shipwreck. You have survived the worst storm the wild sea can form. You have gained the skill: Survival: At Sea. Level One. You will no longer panic in stormy waters. You know what to do in the worst of storms, and you can weather them. As your skill increases, you will be able to survive for longer periods of time adrift on makeshift rafts and, eventually, in the open water. Combined with the skill: Sailing, you will be able to cross any outer sea.

Those words faded, and were replaced once more. This was getting ridiculous.

You received a head wound during the storm. You now have no memory of your past before waking on this beach. You must choose a new name for yourself.

The words didn’t waver when I finished reading them. They just floated before me, waiting on a reply.

“Gemmell,” I said.

The words changed at that, rippling and being replaced.

You have chosen the name Gemmell. Do you wish to keep this name?


The words rippled, faded, and weren’t replaced. I lay there for a moment, staring up at the perfectly blue, cloudless sky above me, just marveling at the game. I could feel my body, this body here on the beach. It felt like the only one I had. There was no apparent connection to the real world.

I thought about the game menu, and it appeared, offering me options:

Log Out
Transfer Cash Into Game
Transfer Cash Out of Game
Share GamePlay
Find Friends

I moved to the next menu. My stats were greyed out, and most of them were set at zero, though Agility was at 3 and Charisma was -2. The natural ability and penalty of the Rakkshi, my chosen race.

Next up, my inventory. All I had was the rags I wore, and a small, dull grey globe. I selected the globe, and it appeared floating in front of me. It was about the size of one of those mini-footballs, and had cost as much as an IRL house. In game, only I could see or interact with mine, and there was no easy way to tell who else had one.

It was also the only piece of equipment people were allowed to pre-buy, and the most important thing I would ever own in game. What was it? A floating personal camera, the best way Archipelago had to share gameplay.

I went back into the original menu, and found that Share Gameplay could be selected now. I sat up, picked it, and now I was live streaming from the game.

“Hey there, I’m Chris Gemmell, and I’m live streaming from inside Archipelago. There’s very few Arch live streams yet, probably due to the cost of the camera, and I want to say a special thank you to everyone who helped me crowdfund mine. I’ve just started the game – as you can see from my ears and the slight fuzz of fur on my skin, I decided to play as a Rakkshi. A female Rakkshi.

Everything about Arch is still pretty new. People aren’t buying it in as large a number as I’m sure the developers had originally hoped. The full immersion virtual reality equipment required to do this is ridiculously expensive. I’m sure that price will fall, and more people will come online, but until then it is a barrier. I can say that I’ve never felt as fully immersed in a game as I do right now. Previous full immersion VRs seem to have only been about a quarter immersion, compared to what I’m experiencing here.

The Pilgrimage system is a secondary barrier. People are unhappy at the idea of playing level zero for an extended time. There’s been a lot of negativity online, most from people who haven’t played the game. It seems an interesting and novel approach to me, but I’m open-minded, and if I decide this is the biggest game fuck up I’ve ever come across, I’ll definitely say so.

The third barrier to the game is racism. You cannot play as a white or black human in Arch. The islands flora, fauna, weather and temperature are based off the Philippines, well, the non-magical parts are, and the only humans, either as PCs or NPCs, are Asian. This has seriously upset a lot of people, and I’m sure you know that already. In addition, the playable non-human characters are all new races. There are rumours that dwarves and elves do exist, but can’t be played.

I chose a Rakkshi, a race of cat people, well, essentially, Panther People. We have a natural affinity to agility and a penalty to charisma. I’ll let you know more about playing Rakkshi as I learn it. I can say that whilst most of my level zero stats are set at zero, my agility is at 3 and my charisma is at minus two. Should make my interactions with NPCs interesting, at least. Oh, and the full immersion? I already mentioned how amazing it is. There’s one weird thing, though, and that’s having a tail. I can feel it, but I can’t control it like an arm or something. It’s just floating behind me. I can feel it move. 

Just a few more things before I set off to explore my starting area. There were a lot of system messages that came in as soon as I started here. It explained the level zero concept in more depth, and the Pilgrimage. I am at least a hundred miles from the temple of All Gods, where I will be accepted into the service of a God, gain my first level, and become a Paladin.

The choices I make on my pilgrimage will apparently decide which God I get. I know there’s been some complaining about that, what if you are forced into the service of an evil god but want to play good? If your choices are good, you will get a good god, and vice versa. I’m fairly certain you can also use this to pick a class. If you want to play as a rogue, then steal shit and the God of Thieves should appear. Prefer to be a warrior? Fight things. I have no set goal, and there is very little out game information on the variety of the Gods. The developers have stated that not all available Gods have appeared in game yet. So one of the first things I want to try and do is determine if there is in game information on the available Gods.

My starting location is on a beach. Apparently, I survived a storm at sea. I even gained the skill survival at sea in response to my backstory, so that part was pretty cool. Lastly, I apparently suffered a head injury during my shipwreck that has left me with no memory, and resulted in me having to choose a name. As always in games, I chose the name Gemmell. I like the amnesia, it explains why an adult character with no skills or experience or history can suddenly appear in the world. But if they give it to every player, half the world’s going to have amnesia. Also, I’m wondering if I have a discoverable back story. That would be interesting.

Okay, I’m going to explore my surroundings. I’ll be setting the camera to continue live streaming for the next two hours. It will follow discreetly behind me, so you’ll get to see everything I see and do for that period. After that, it will record but not broadcast.

When I finish playing today, I’ll make a video of my first days thoughts, and showing the highlights.

Gemmell, a Rakkshi Pilgrim in Archipelago, out for now.”


Divine Knowledge


“Neither,” she smiled enigmatically. “Death takes everyone in the end. Death cares not for mortal affairs. Death comes for all, and none can escape. Death is one of the few truly neutral gods.”

I digested that information for a moment. Nothing I’d heard before now had even hinted at the existence of neutral gods. The game was based around the idea that the pantheons of good and evil were gathering their paladins and preparing for war.

But neutrality was interesting. That might mean I could be apart from the fighting, stand back and toast marshmallows as the other players made the world burn. Then again, that would get boring really quickly.

“What’s a Faith point?” I asked, deciding to set the issue of neutrality aside for now.

“The pantheons have tiers. Amongst the lower levels there are many, less powerful gods and goddesses. Amongst the higher levels, there are few divinities, but each is vastly more powerful. The more Faith points you have, the more powerful a divine you will attract. The neutral gods and goddesses are as powerful as the divines in the pantheon’s top tiers.”

“I should aim for a lot of faith points then?”

“Twenty will attract the most powerful of divine beings.”

Twenty. If they were going to be given out at a rate of one per quest, that was twenty quests I had to complete. At least the first quest was something I needed to do anyway. If that was true for everyone, then we’d all have at least one faith point. It wasn’t a guarantee that the other quests would be something I had to do, though. I might even have to go out of my way to find the quests.

I still needed more information on the gods though. “How many gods are there?” I asked.

“That’s a difficult question, because we’re not entirely sure. Theologians argue over it constantly, and the gods refuse to comment. One of the most common theories is that there are fifty in total. Each pantheon is led by a Holy Trinity. Six intermediary gods and goddesses are ranked below them. Eleven lesser divines below that. And then there are ten independent gods, not aligned to either pantheon.”

“Seems pretty straight forward to me.”

“Because I gave you the simplified version. But tell me, is Dagakapal, God of the Life-giving Sea and one third of the Holy Trinity of the pantheon of Light, the same being, just a different aspect, as Dorgakapal, God of the Deadly Depths, and one third of the Holy Trinity of the pantheon of Night, or are they entirely different divinities. And Dagakapal/Dorgakapal is not the only one who might be the same god or goddess worshipped in different ways. Almost every member of the pantheon of Light has an alternate in the pantheon of Night.”

You have gained the skill: Knowledge: Divinities. Level One. You have learned more of the gods than the average person ever does. Expand this skill to learn more of each individual god and goddess, and you may eventually be able to spot and exploit flaws in other paladins, paladin-candidates, and pilgrims.

I swallowed. If that was true, then the coming war might be the gods fighting different parts of their own personalities. That couldn’t possibly be good for the world, and surely if it was true then it meant no side could win. Or maybe that was why they needed player paladins, to give one side the edge.

“I have told you all I can,” the old woman said. “Death is calling me home. Simi Matsu will arrange transport for you to Jukai Khanh, the nearest fair-sized town. Under this bed is a large, bound chest. Pull it out.”

I did so.  She handed me an old iron key. “I have no use for what is in the chest. May it serve you as well as it served me.”

Key: large, iron. It appears to be the key to the chest owned by the dying paladin of Death, Kawa Kiko. 

I used the key in the chest and it opened. I reached in and pulled out a suit of black armour. Below this was leather armour, scuffed, but of a very high quality. Below the leather armour I found a sword, a bow, several arrows, a sharp knife, and an unmarked potion.

Death Paladin Shadow Armour: medium creature sized. Usage: skilled. Restriction: death paladin only. Medium sized creature only. Cost: 200 TGP. Other information restricted. 

Traveller’s Light Leather Armour: medium creature sized. Usage: skilled. Restriction: medium sized creatures only. Class: masterwork. Cost 200 GP. Condition: good. Durability: 20/30.
Withstands 4hp of attack. Can withstand an additional 2HP per 1 durability point, up to a total of half damage sustained. Each 2HP will use up 1 durability point.
Example one: a hit for 3hp will be completely absorbed by the armour at no cost.
Example two: a hit for 6hp will completely absorb the first 4hp. Half of the remaining hit points will be absorbed at a cost of 2hp per 1 durability point. The armour will absorb 5hp in total, and will lose 1 durability point.  

Unadorned steel sword: medium. Usage: skilled. Type: weapon. Class: journeyman. Cost: 150 GC. Condition: good. Durability: 20/30.
Deals 5 HP (+ 1HP per 3 points of strength) of damage on a successful attack.
eg Swordsman has 5 points of strength. Successful attack does 5 HP (a 1HP per three points of strength) so 6 HP of damage. (3 goes into 5 one time).
Swordmaster has 12 points of strength. Successful attack does 5HP plus 4 HP (3 goes into 12 four times) for 9 HP in damage. 

Simple wood bow: medium. Usage: skilled. Type: tool. Class: journeyman. Cost: 80 silver coins.

Arrows, iron: medium. Usage: skilled. Type: tool. Class: apprentice. Cost: 5 SP each. Condition: poor. Durability: 1/5.
10 poorly made wooden arrows with iron heads, will do 4HP of damage each. Will be destroyed after use.

Arrows, iron: medium. Usage: skilled. Type: tool. Class: apprentice. Cost: 5 SP each. Condition: poor. Durability: 2/5.
6 poorly made wooden arrows with iron heads, will do 4HP of damage each. Look strong enough to be retrieved and reused. 

Knife: medium. Usage: unskilled. Type: tool. Class: journeyman. Cost: 30 SP. 


Onokuchi Found


A few hours later, I reached the edge of the forest, and stared across the grassy meadow at the broken tower. A quick check showed I’d been in game for just under 4 hours, so I still had half my day to go. If it had been closer to the end point I’d have logged out early again, and made my way to the village tomorrow.

But four hours was long enough to make a start on what I had to do. Which was either convince the locals to give me a boat, or steal one, and I was hoping for the first one because I really needed directions, too.

Plus, honestly, I had no idea how to drive a boat. I know its sail, but that’s only sail boats, right? I mean, those look like canoes or something. You don’t sail a canoe, and you don’t fly a canoe, so that leaves driving. Right?


I shrugged, and started walking across the meadow towards the distant tower. The grass was almost knee high, and hid several small bumps and dips. I stumbled a few times, but remained upright.

That’s what a natural +3 to agility gives you, the ability to not take a pratfall and look like an ass.

I reached the first mound and moved around, passing between another two, then rounding the tower. Villagers stopped what they were doing to stare at me. They must not be used to strangers appearing from inland wearing only their underwear.

As I neared the village, one of them approached me. He bowed, and spoke as he straightened up. “Welcome to Onokuchi. I’m Simi Matsu, village headman and priest of Dagakapal, God of the life-giving Sea. Kawa Kiko spoke of your imminent arrival. She awaits you in her home.”

“She knew I was coming?” She probably had some kind of ability that let her see things at a distance, then.

You have found the village of Onokuchi, the spiritual beginning of your pilgrimage. The village of Onokuchi is now you’re resurrection point. To change your resurrection point, visit any shrine. 

“Kawa Kiko will answer your questions.” He started to walk away and I followed after him. I needed someone to answer my questions.

He led me to the fourth shack along and stood by the door, motioning me to enter. I walked in and the old priest wandered away.

I turned my attention to the one roomed building I was in. Were there no toilets? Then again, I hadn’t needed to go at all whilst logged in, and the equipment I was using had a really uncomfortable plumbing system so I wouldn’t need to log out to go… in fact, I could be peeing right now and I’d never even know that I was.

Other than the lack of a toilet, the room seemed to lack most things. It wasn’t so much a poverty ridden building as a Spartan one. This was the home of someone who didn’t need much in the way of material possessions.

“Traveller,” a raspy voice came from the far corner. “Come closer, let me see you.”

I walked further into the darkened room, my eyes adjusting to the gloom until I could see the ancient, wizened woman lying in the bed. She gazed up at me with bright eyes, and laughed.

“A Rakkshi, huh? Can’t say that would have been my first choice.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I’m too old and far too nearly dead to play games with you, so I’ll tell you what I can and you can save questions for after I’m dead. I know that there are travellers in the archipelagos who have come from another world… or plane… or wherever. I know you got to choose your race and you entered this world with all the skills of a new baby, but as adults. I know you are on a pilgrimage to the temple of All Gods.

“What you don’t know, traveller, is that each of you is given a guide to help you in your journey. I’m meant to be your guide, which is a pity, because I’m dying. But before I die, I will give you the knowledge you need.”

She held her hand out towards me, and it glowed blue.

Map Update! Temple of All Gods location has been marked upon your map. As you have not yet visited this location, you cannot fast travel there. 

Map Update! Slaughterbone Temple location has been marked upon your map. As you have not yet visited this location, you cannot fast travel there. 

Map Update! Temple of Peace location has been marked upon your map. As you have not yet visited this location, you cannot fast travel there. 

“First, visit the Slaughterbone Temple and avoid the Temple of Peace on your pilgrimage to ensure you are chosen by an evil deity, or do the reverse to ensure you are chosen by a god or goddess of good. Whichever you choose, you will need to pray at their altar. It’s the easiest way to control which pantheon you will end up belonging to. Understand?”

I moved closer to the bed. “Slaughterbone guarantees an evil deity and Peace Temple a good one. How? What if I visit both? Or neither? What if I destroy the one I visit? Why does no one else destroy one of those temples? Who are you, anyway?”

The old woman in the bed coughed. “I’m not hanging onto life to be snapped at by you, but I can appreciate this is a difficult time for you. No one knows how the Divines judge the pilgrimage, but I imagine it’s some kind of points based system. You gain or lose points according to your actions. Praying at either temple carrries so many points that you can’t really ever undo your action. Visiting both should have the same effect as visiting neither, I’d imagine, with maybe a slight advantage to the one you visited first. Either way, it comes down to what else you do. Hatred, jealousy, kindness, generosity. Murder, thievery, altruism, whatever. And no one destroys either temple because that would be blasphemy and the gods would destroy the blasphemer.”

I must have looked dubious, because she laughed and continued on. “It might help to realise the evil gods are not, in fact, actually evil. The gods we consider to be good, the pantheon of Light, represent the benefits of civilisation: law, justice, family, farming, the life giving sea. The gods of the pantheon of Night more correctly represent savagery than evil: war, revenge, the untamed sea, the darkness in the heart of men, chaos. Both sides are vital.” She smiled widely. “And I should know. I am Kawa Kiko, hero of Onokuchi, paladin of Death.”

“Is Death in the Pantheon of Light, or Night?” I asked her.


Travel Plans


I reappeared at the same place in the forest, but the dead tiger wolf was gone.

“Game customization menu,” I said. A menu appeared in front of me.

  • Social Media Interfacing
  • Immersion
  • Combat
  • NPC Interaction
  • Spells and Miracles
  • Divine Interactions
  • World

I picked the combat option, disabled notifications during combat, then changed my social media interfacing – any comments on my videos or Twitter could be directly accessed in game now.

Lastly, I dialled the pain (and pleasure) down to 51%.

Now I was ready for anything.

I spent a while attending to the live stream, explaining to my viewers what changes I’d made and why they were necessary.

“There’s two more things to say before I head out today,” I finished up. “First, there was no video yesterday. I finished playing about ten minutes before my live stream was up. Now my settings are fixed, nothing should stop me putting in a solid 8 hours a day. I’ve decided to live stream the first two hours to my usual streaming channel on Youtube. A secondary channel has been set up which will receive eight hours of footage a day, shown with a one hour delay between what happens and the footage. I will also be posting a video with my thoughts and the highlights each night.

“And finally, the grundalug. It seems that eating a grundalug heart in the Temple of All Gods gives you a second God choice. If you don’t fancy the first one that turns up, eat the heart and you get a Wild Hunt God instead. So I probably should have found a way to keep it. Then again, I’m fairly certain that the things we don’t choose are just as important as the things we do. Or, to put it another way, I’ve essentially chosen to take the original God and not have that safety net of another option. This, I think, might be the first real choice I’ve made that impacts what happens in the Temple.

“Okay, now I’m going to continue along the animal track, and see what I can find in this island. Remember if you’re watching this live, it lasts two hours on my main channel and then you have the option to keep watching on the second channel or wait til the video comes out tonight.”

With that, I turned from the sphere and continued along the animal track. It thinned and eventually disappeared entirely, and then I was just walking through the forest, skirting trees, no idea if I was even going in the same direction or if I’d been turned around entirely.

The land seemed to rise as I walked, and the trees thinned out and then, as the slope abruptly steepened, died away completely. I scrambled up the slope on hands and feet as loose dirt and pebbles bounced down beneath me.

At the top, I stood on a plateau taller than the trees in the forest behind me. I could see over them to the sea beyond, dotted with islands.

I turned towards my sphere. “I can see pretty far from here, out to sea. There’s at least eight islands out there that I can make out clearly, more that are just distant blobs of black or brown or green. And it’s just occurred to me that even though I know I’m at least a hundred miles from the Temple of All Gods, I have absolutely no idea what direction it is in. I’m going to travel round this plateau, try to get a good look over the island. I need to find some kind of civilisation, because as it currently stands I have no way to travel beyond this island. I need to change that.”

Then I did as I said I would, wandering around the plateau and looking out over what I could see. To the left of where I’d come up was more of what I’d left behind, trees, sea, islands. In front of me, in the direction I guessed was north (if the sun followed earthly rules here and rose in the east) was more of the same, but also something different. A huge silver arch crossed the sky, starting at the eastern horizon and ending at the western one, like an enormous metal rainbow, and it took me a long moment before I realised what it must be.

This world had a ring round it, just like Saturn, and this was what it must look like to be standing on the surface of a ringed planet.

But as interesting as a ring was, I didn’t see any signs of civilisation on the northern side of this island, and that was what I really needed. I was beginning to lose hope when I walked to the right and saw the town and the tower.

There were trees between here and there, but they stopped halfway down to the beach and the broken tower rose to the sky a few hundred metres beyond. It ended in jagged edged wall, and large, moss covered mounds around the towers base showed where pieces of the upper section had fallen.

The village was beyond the tower, closer to the sea. Village? It was a hamlet, really, maybe twenty or thirty little buildings and a wooden jetty, with a few small fishing boats bobbing up and down out in the sea.

Those boats were my way off this island, my way to continue on my journey.

Quest: You have self-initiated the quest First Steps. Find a way off the island and continue on your pilgrimage.
Every journey begins with a first step, and you can’t finish your journey if you don’t begin it.
Reward: 1 Faith Point.  




Game Zone

   VR Gaming

        Paladins of Arch

             Game Play: Tips, tricks, questions and answers

                        What The Actual Fucking Fuck?
Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:26 GMT

What the actual fucking fuck? Playing PalArch for the first time, some stripey tiger-thing attacked me, and it really fucking hurt. I mean, my God did it really fucking hurt. I never felt pain like that IRL and now I’m feeling it in a game? That tentacle tongue burned my fucking hand. I logged out and my hand still hurts and cramps. What kind of sick mind devises something like that? Are the injuries we sustain in game permanent? What happens if I die? What happens if someone cuts off a limb? Or my fucking head, what if that gets lopped off? Not logging back in until I have some answers.

pAladdin (member since 07.10.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:32 GMT

Dude, how high is the pain dial on yours? You know it’s changeable, right? You do know about the game customization menu, don’t you? Shit, if you don’t, you won’t have been able to turn off notifications during combat, or redirect your Twitter feed so you can send & receive tweets in game.
You need to use the customization menu man, it’s the key to the whole thing

Grimark The Slayer (member since 26.02.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:33 GMT

HAHAHAHA PUSSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PalArch Support #70763
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:35 GMT

The pain part of the game system was a necessary development as it is directly linked to the pleasure part. It was discovered that with full immersion you could not have one without the other. It is of course possible to dial the pain down, but going under 50% on pain will have adverse effects on the rest of the game, particularly the areas that give pleasure. 51% pain is the recommended minimum.
To answer your other questions. Your hand hurts and is cramping because the pain is real. The part of your brain that interprets nerves was directly stimulated, and a fake message of pain was sent to your brain. Since your brain’s interpretation of events is what you perceive as reality, to you the pain was real. Hence, it persists outside the game. With the pain dialled down to 51% you should experience no more than 100 seconds of post logout pain.
The injuries you sustain in game are not permanent. They do last longer the further up your pain is dialled, but at no point can your pain ever be dialled up high enough to make an injury permanent. At the very highest setting, you would be in post logout pain for a maximum of 24 hours.
If you die in game, and logout during death, there is no post logout pain. If you die in game, respawn, and then log out, there is still no post logout pain directly related to your character death. However, if you die in game, respawn, and are then injured, you may experience the pain from that injury post logout.
If you are injured in game and wait until the pain has passed before you logout, there will be no post logout pain.
If you have a limb removed, and then logout, you will experience numbness in the removed area instead of pain. This will last as long as post logout pain. In the case of your head being cutoff, there is neither numbness or post logout pain. Head injuries won’t receive pain but will make you dizzy and blur your vision.
I hope you can revise your decision not to play now and experience many wonderful hours in game.

Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:40 GMT

@pAladdin Thanks, dude. How do I use the customization menu. I swear this thing needs a proper instruction book.

Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:42 GMT

@Grimark The Fucking Limp Noodle Dick

Fuck you you fucking fuck.

Posted by H4r5hM155tr355 (member since 03.04.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:42 GMT

Dude, that stripey thing was a grundalug. Tell me you kept the heart!!!!!!

Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:43 GMT

@Support Are you shitting me? Why would you even design the game’s pain dial to go up so high? That’s insane.

Grimark The Slayer (member since 26.02.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:46 GMT

Yo, you a faggot, Gemmell? You a fucking little gay boy? Hahahaha you fucking faggot pussy!!!!!!!

Lost_Lozenge (member since 09.11.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:51 GMT

Dude, seriously? Gemmell is one of the most famous game Youtubers ever. And she’s freaking gorgeous. How do you not know who she is? What kind of fake are you?

Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:55 GMT

@HarshMistress Why would I want the tentacle wolf’s heart?

@Grimark shouldn’t you be in bed for school, little boy?

@Lost_Lozenge Thank you, sweetie. You got me blushful here.

PalArch Support #70763
Wednesday 23.04.77
18:59 GMT

The pain dial and pleasure dial are directly linked. Dialling one up or down causes the other to rise or fall along with it. Pain can rise so high because some user’s want pleasure that high.

Imagine finishing your pilgrimage, your God appearing and choosing you, and then the most intense full body orgasm you have ever had consumes you as the pleasure centre of your brains is overloaded.

And then you get a further, smaller orgasm every time you talk to your God, or advance his plans, or see him, or gain a level. You should be rewarded when you do well, right?

ArmchairPsychologist (member since 23.04.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
19:24 GMT

That seems kind of Pavlovian to me. Seems fucked up to do that to paying customers.

Posted by H4r5hM155tr355 (member since 03.04.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
19:45 GMT

According to some guy calling himself The1TrueHero, he had a grundalug heart in his inventory when he finished his pilgrimage and got some kinda lame crafting god, so he whipped the heart out and ate it raw, blood dripping on the altar and everything. The god left, apparently looking disgusted, and he wasn’t chosen.

So there he was with nothing to do, no way to finish his pilgrimage. He was gonna leave the temple and logout, when a second god appears to him, right?

This one all dressed in furs in shit. And stinks a bit, like maybe he’s the god of hobos or something. But then he says he is the god of the Wild Hunt, and all of a sudden true hero is some kind of unique paladin, the Wilderness Hunter, some such thing.

Well, that’s what he said here on this post. I linked to it.

Grundalug’s are super rare, and their hearts give you a second option if you get a crappy God, and the auctions would go made over it.

Grimark The Slayer (member since 26.02.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
19:46 GMT

Hey, Lozenge, suck my fat hairy dick.

Gemmell, he was right, you are kinda cute. You can suck it too if you want.

Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
20:05 GMT

I’d rather die.

Grimark The Slayer (member since 26.02.77)
Wednesday 23.04.77
20:11 GMT

Well, fucking die then. Not like girls are any use at games anyhow.

Lost_Lozenge (member since 09.11.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
20:39 GMT

He’s actually a genuine neanderthal. I don’t believe it. Dude, Gemmell won Battlesim last year. The past ten years, 8 of the winners have been female. Your anti-femgamer crap is wrong and out-dated. Get a grip.

pAladdin (member since 07.10.76)
Wednesday 23.04.77
22:12 GMT

Okay bro, the next time you log in, the very first thing you do is say the magic words “Access customization menu” out loud. It will bring up a menu that lets you customize your gameplay. There will be a shit load of grayed out options – things like spell customizations that you can only use once you finish your pilgrimage. You’ll want to go into the combat section and disable combat notifications. And Immersion settings to change how immersed in the world you are – basically dial down your pain. Other than that, set things up as you want them.

Posted by Gemmell (member since 13.12.76)
Wednesday 24.04.77
10:48 GMT

Thanks man, I’ll do that now. Feel free to come check out my live stream some time.


Danger Sense


I checked my map as I walked. It showed the beach I’d woken up on, and the short distance I’d come into the forest. Nothing else.

My long tail twitched behind me as I moved. It was an unconscious thing, I couldn’t control my tail like I could my arms or legs.

A notification appeared and I paused to read it.

You have unlocked your Rakkshi danger sense. You know something is about to attack-

The words disappeared as something cannoned into me, and we tumbled to the forest floor together. I pushed my attacker away and stumbled to my feet, gripping my rusty dagger in one hand.

A small creature, similar in size to a labrador, shook itself and turned to face me. It had a dog-like body, but was striped like a tiger. Instead of a tongue, slender tentacles dangled from it’s open mouth, and saliva bubbled between them as they writhed.

Analyze. Analyze failed. You see a stripey creature about the size of a medium dog. 

Seriously? I can see that it’s a stripey creature about the size of a medium – it lunged through the words, snapping its teeth at me. I pushed out in reflex, and buried my knife in its side. It pulled away, and the knife snapped, leaving me holding the handle and a tiny  piece of broken blade.

You have struck the grundalug for 2 HP of damage. It has been poisoned for 5 HP of damage. Poison effect is ongoing. 

You have gained the skill: Blades: small. Level One. You may now use daggers and other small blades. As your skill increases, other skill options will be unlocked and your accuracy and damage will increase.

I glanced down at the broken dagger hilt I held. There was about a centimetre of blade attached. Useful. I tossed it at the tentacle tongued wolf.

You have struck the grundalug for 0 HP of damage. 

It attacked through the words again, and I grabbed it and tried to hold it’s salivating mouth away from me. It’s snapping teeth were trying to get to my throat, and it was inching closer with every movement.

You have learned the skill: Unarmed Combat: Grappling. Level One. Now you can wrestle with the best, and can pin your enemies to the ground. As your skill increases, other skill options will be unlocked and you will be able to pin larger opponents for longer periods of time.

It’s tongue tentacles latched onto my hand and the skin burned where they touched. I screamed.

“That fucking hurts! Why does that fucking hurt!? This is a fucking game!” I hammered my free fist into it’s head with every exclamation, and finally the beast slumped to the ground, dead.

You have struck the grundalug for 1 HP of damage. 

You have struck the grundalug for 1 HP of damage. 

You have struck the grundalug for 1 HP of damage. 

You have learned the skill: Unarmed Combat: Boxing. Level One. Put your dukes up, and follow the Marquess of Queensberry rules in this most gentlemanly of sports. As your skill increases, other skill options will be unlocked, and you will be able to hit harder and faster. Increase your strength and constitution to stop being such a featherweight. 

I slumped down, my back against the tree. It’s tongue tentacles had loosened in death, and fell away from my hand. Now I could see raised welts across my skin, like stripes burned into the flesh.

And it still fucking hurt.

I looked over at the floating sphere. “Okay, pain here, it really hurts. It must be dialled up to 100, maybe even 150%. I don’t know, but that was the most excruciating thing I’ve ever went through. Damn. Actually, I’m done for today. I’m gonna log out, read some forums or something, see if I can get more info on stuff. Chill out, take a bath, eat some pizza. I’ll be back here tomorrow, watch my live stream then.”


Where am I?


I was on a beach, a calm sea lapping gently at the white sand. Stretching off in either direction as far as I could see was what must have been the remains of the ship; broken wood, sodden cloth, even the occasional barrel. The beach rose up in dunes I couldn’t see over, so I had no idea what delights or horrors awaited me, further inland.

The sun was a quarter of the way between noon and night; I’d have to find some kind of shelter soon, unless I intended to sleep on the beach. And fresh water and food were fast becoming priorities. I was going to have to head inland.

Not yet, I decided, looking back at the flotsam. The inner island would have its time. First I’d see if there was anything I could salvage on the beach, something I could use as weapon or clothing, before the sea reclaimed it.

I picked a direction at random and started walking, humming the newest Twisted Sister song as I went. There was a lot of wood, too large for me to move, too broken to be of any use. The sunlight glinted off something mostly buried in the wet sand. I bent down and worked it free, then held up a small knife.

A notification appeared in my vision.

Dagger: small, rusty. Usage: skilled. Type: weapon. Class: common. Cost: worthless, cannot be sold. Condition: very poor. Durability: 2/10.
Deals 2 HP of damage on a successful attack.
This dagger is so rusty that it has a 25% chance of inflicting Blood Poisoning at a rate of 5 HP per minute until cured or death.
This dagger is so rusty that it has a 50% chance of breaking on any successful hit, and a 75% chance of breaking when used against an armoured opponent.

You are now armed. Level zero players cannot be engaged in combat by Player characters or NPCs. You will have to defend yourself against the monsters and animals you encounter in the wild.

You are armed with a dagger but have no small blade skill. Your chance of successfully striking an opponent is lowered by 75% percent. 

It was a mostly useless weapon, but I felt better for having it in my hand.

I continued walking along the beach, but there was nothing else to be found, other than broken bits of ship I didn’t want. I’d been walking for a while – when I looked back my footsteps receded into the horizon, as far as I could see – and yet I hadn’t gotten anywhere. It was time to head inland, and try and find out more about this island.

I walked to the top of the first dune, and saw a forest stretching along the length of the beach. The trees ranged from ten to thirty metres tall, and were covered in hundreds of bright orange-red flowers.

No signs of civilisation yet, not even in the form of paths, but what looked like an animal track led into the forest not far from me.

I decided to follow it.