We’ve just come up on a large square, offset so that the road that passes through the gate is on the left side of the courtyard as you face the gate from inside Horn Point. This arrangement is so that the traffic coming into the city can be shunted off for inspection while traffic leaving the city can go without stopping. Interestingly, most outbound traffic has people leaving their wagons in shifts to approach an obsidian arch that looks three stories tall. They pass through it and then return to their wagon. You can’t be one hundred percent sure because there is an opaque veil of some kind that doesn’t let you look through the arch directly. Careful observers can easily track those who are ‘doing business as usual’ – especially if they have something about them that stands out. “The obvious question is, ‘Why is the obelisk an arch?'”

Gilden says, “The greater your population then, the more convenient the obelisk becomes to prevent people standing around – at least if your government can, and will, pay for the change.”

“It’s a good habit to update your status every time you leave the city; most, like me, do it when they enter unless they have a status effect they don’t want to be saved,” said Grumpy. “It’s self-explanatory, Jeb, and if you need something while saving, you can call out for a Bob to assist you.”

“Ok, let’s go. Where do we meet on the other side?”

“I’ll go first, I know I’ll be quick and easy, and then I’ll wait for you on the other side. We’re going to go through the foot gate, so we need to take a tunnel under the road,” said Mason – and then she started smiling. “I understand you’ve never followed the yellow brick road to see the wizard!” And before I could say anything, she ran off to pass through the arch. I chased after her, and the others followed close behind.

  — * ~ * —

I touched the veil and found myself in a 5×5 grey room with mirrors on three walls and an open doorway behind me. A disembodied voice speaks, “Jebediah Walker would you like to save your avatar’s current state or make modifications?”

“What modifications can I make?”

The slightly creepy voice responds, “You may use any scripts in your inventory or upon your person. You may also choose the order in which any tiles you have appear. The first title will show with your name if someone uses the ‘Name Tag’ cantrip. Face the center mirror; it shows you what the ‘Name Tag’ cantrip is currently displaying in addition to your reflection. The mirror on the left will allow you to reorder your titles. The mirror on the right will show you any physical changes that will be made to your avatar if you use the scripts you are holding.”

There’s a little box above my head in the center mirror, and it says:

When I look to the left, I see I have other titles to pick from:

Holy crap, that’s…”Are titles active when not displayed?”

“All titles are active all the time unless they have an option to disable effects in their description,” she replied in that disinterested voice.

“Who can see descriptions?”

“Advanced inspection cantrips will reveal the description of the first title. A tier one or greater magic is required to reveal additional titles and descriptions. You may show your character sheet to reveal titles and descriptions; the share function will allow you to select what will be shared. Sufficiently strong magic or enchantments may be used to block some or all data from being revealed.” I decided she sounded a little like Siri – that’s who she is now!

“Please change the order to 3,1,2.”

Siri stated, “If you choose, you may do this yourself in the future by dragging the items on the mirror.”

“Thank you; please save avatar state now.”

“Please exit to the rear,” said Siri.

  — * ~ * —

“I see I took the longest – did you even look at your titles?”

“No,” replied Mason.

“Yes,” replied Gilden, “I got a new one: Jinglemaster.”

“I got that one too,” said Grumpy. I know a lot of cantrips, so I presume it’s because of what you told us about how they work and then used that knowledge instead of simply memorizing the new ones.

“I just looked at my character sheet, and I got it too – that’s a pretty nice benefit if you are searching for new ones and trying out things,” said Mason. “The real question is if others can learn that title from what we teach them. It won’t appeal to everyone, just those who spend a lot of time trying things out.”

“Seems like I really impressed Nirvana because that’s not all I got. I think when I suggested ‘Taste the Rainbow,’ she granted me another title too; ‘The Candyman Can’ – cantrips and advanced cantrips cost 50% less, round down.”

All three of them exclaimed, “WHAT!?!” Grumpy grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the foot traffic. In a harsh whisper, “Jeb – I’ve never heard of anybody with a mana-reducing title! Nearly every cantrip is now free to you, and nobody but Nirvana can take that from you! People take years to build mana pools just to be able to use cantrips while crafting! Crap, I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t sell their soul to get that title.”

“I don’t think they can. It has a ‘U’ next to it, which I presume means ‘Unique,’ and that’s not all. I have an ‘L,’ which I also presume means ‘Legendary.’ ‘Caught My Eye,’ that one enhances appearance somehow.”

Gilden laughed, “Even if there isn’t a damn thing in the graveyard, there isn’t a Sect that won’t snap you up. You’ve been in Nirvana less than two days and have three titles that are rare or better in quality! God, I hope you’re right about the graveyard; I want to be rich!” Mason was just standing there nodding her head like she was at a rock concert.

Grumpy shakes his head, “Gilden’s right, just having that legendary will get into just about any group – especially if they think they can exploit you in some way. Jeb, you need to stop sharing things with us. When word of some of this gets out, people may target us to see what we know. Your earlier concerns may be making me paranoid, but I am starting to see merit in your point of view. Let’s go see what new wonder you have figured out that has eluded the rest of us and then find a safe place.”

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