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A.D. 2059

The latest and greatest virtual reality MMORPG has finally come out. You've been waiting months to get into beta testing. You fire up the VR pod. You log in, create your character, and then... you've realized you can't log out. FATE/Online's gamemasters offer every player a way out — find the mythical Holy Grail, and you'll be able to exit. If you don't reach the Endgame, you'll be trapped here forever. Are you ready to win to exit?




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 What looks like a duck may well still be a chicken, Ryuuko/Lavender
PLAYED BY BigMood fable
In games, judging by appearances is really the last thing one should do. There was, of course, the obvious: Fable was definitely not a blonde, baby-faced cutie in real life. The dreary realization that no one was really as they appeared was kind of a downer in a VRMMO, when a player got to experience the cuteness of others' avatars up close and personal.

But of course, there was more to it. Glamoured armors, though they certainly wouldn't show up quite so early, could make a person's gear look so much more or less imposing than it actually was. Fate/Online seemed to offer a great deal of customization, enough to lower the immediate desire to spruce oneself up. However, this achieved the same effect in a different way: that tank wearing flashy full-bodied armor could very well be quite a bit less defensive than that other tank wearing internally-reinforced robes or some other nonsense like that. It was nice that the game allowed such a degree of manipulation, but, Fable thought, a little misleading at times.

And then, of course, there was the matter of Fable herself. With her sword and shield, most could reasonably mistake her for a tank, or perhaps a Saber-classed DPSer. In fact, she was an Archer, and a DPSer at that, and so the girl had already racked up a small number of party-arrangement misunderstandings before finding her way to the Adventurer's Guild.

Once there, Fable hit another roadblock: a lack of cultivated social skills. And so she did what any reasonable person would do in such a situation: she stood around and looked for someone else who also looked like they were looking to party up but didn't really know anyone around. Surely there would be others like that around, right?
PLAYED BY ren ryuuko
It still had to sink in the red haired rider that she really was stuck in the game. Everyone was going to help finding the grail, and she couldn't just sit back and let them do all the work. They were in this together. So she went out to look for someone too team up with.

She patted Tama on her shoulder before mounting her. As always, Tama refused to be saddled. She really felt like a unicorn. Then again the fact she didn't refuse to enter town was a whole relief. Riding would be faster when searching for someone and she could get used to the strange position of riding a horse without a saddle. Surely there were others left in the city she could party up with? If there was even one other person surely they could grind outside the city to grow stronger? These doubts started to cloud her mind, but she quickly shook them off. Can't think that badly before she even tried! She gave her mount a soft kick with both her feet to signal she should start to move. Time to scout the city for other adventurers.

Most seemed to have already left, or maybe they're just busy with their day to day schedule. The thought made her jealous. Why didn't she have a day to day schedule? Then in the distance she saw a sword wielding blond woman. That seemed to be another player! She gave Tama the sign to go over to a trot, making her cross their distance somewhat faster. After all, she had to confirm it before the swordsman could move away. Luckily, Tama's hooves made a lot of noise on the streets of the city.

"Hail swordsman, are you free by chance? I was trying to find other players, but most seem to have left the city already." Ryuuko asks the sword wielding beauty once she came closer. Now she was close she could see her a little better. She thought the woman must be a saber, since she didn't seemed lightly armored enough for an assassin nor didn't give of any berserker vibes. Of course, Tama made Ryuuko's class not too hard to guess.
PLAYED BY wil. lavender
"They don't stick around."

The voice was cool. Cold, even. And it came from someone nearby, who held herself - arms folded, face lowered - in a way that didn't really call attention to her presence. Yet she had the kind of appearance that made it hard to ignore once you noticed that she was there.

A good portion of it might be the massive sword on her back.

Lavender, for most parts, was fairly open to being judged for what she looked like. Her appearance here was entirely of her choosing, after all, and she had not gone out of her way to arrange it so that it hid any part of her that she considered significant. Ultimately it was subjective, but she would say that except for one or two or three key elements she was a perfect representation of who she really was.

And then there was her class - Saber - clearly marked by the aforementioned massive iron blade strapped to her back, that looked like it would be catastrophic to any passing children, small animals, or infirmed if it came loose and fell over.

She straightened up from the wall that she was leaning against. A hand brushed back, lifting long hair off of her shoulder. Her eyes went from one head to another. And she briefly wondered if them three, standing here, was the beginning of some kind of joke.

A blonde, a redhead, and a silver-haired chick walk into a bar...

"Is there something that you need?" She asked, like someone asking for the time rather than someone actually offering to help, and her question was followed by a very long, very slow blink.
PLAYED BY BigMood fable
To have ones wish granted in an unexpected way was a staple of fantasy stories. Trickster Djinni, monkey's paws, and the like all prevented protagonists from arriving at easy endings. For Fable's modest request, there was a suitably modest complication: the person who finally drew her gaze was atop a large mount. It wasn't the most uncommon thing, of course, as the game was not particularly stingy with mounts so long as the player elected to be a Rider. However, owing to a degree of relative personal weakness, Riders were not that populous.

And so Fable felt the mild social discomfort one naturally got when meeting an old friend for lunch who had become a movie star of note in the meantime. She shook off her own self-conscious thought with a forceful smile and nod. "I'm free, yup! Been hoping a gallant prince on a white horse would come and sweep me off my feet, but this definitely works," she joked.

The frantic heat on her cheeks from the self-assumed awkward scenario was quickly chilled by her fellow sword bearer, who received the faintest twitch of a grin from Fable when she noticed the other woman had been leaning against the wall like some sort of cool bystander-type. However, despite the lone wolf-seeming aesthetic, she sure did move the conversation along skillfully.

"Actually," Fable answered, "I've just been hoping to get out and do anything. Didn't come with any friends, and I'm not a tank or someone super fast so I don't really want to just wing it." She turned to the Rider again. "If you've got something in mind, do take me. I'll can lay down a good amount of ranged damage...though we would need a tank," she added, looking towards the other swordswoman again hopefully.
PLAYED BY ren ryuuko
"Hahaha... That could be arranged, except... Tama here doesn't like strangers very much. Especially not on her back. Ryuuko continued the joke, trying to ignore the uneasiness between the two girls as much as possible. Tama reinforced Ryuuko's statement by blowing some wind through her nose.

"Hey now, don't be rude!" Ryuuko talked looking down to Tama. Who just quietly looked at the side. Straight in the eyes of the other girl. Ryuuko would follow her gaze and greet the other swordsman as well.

"Hey there, you looking for a group too?" She would gaze over the other swordsman as well. She started to think that every person aside from her started to play as a sword wielding beauty.

"I eh... didn't really have any plans... but... I'am sure we could find something if we search around town. Or we could just go out in the wilds and find something cool there?" She started thinking up loud her ideas the the two swordsmen. Still with a sword, at range? Seemed a bit weird, could she fire like sword beams or something?

"Oh but don't worry. I'am a tank, I can take care of that!" She'd announce boldly. She could easily take enemy attention together with Tama.

"So, what do you think?" She asked the other girls. There was a chance they wouldn't join. Which would make her sad. Though she'd probably go look for other party members. Still maybe they'd go? It seemed the ranged swordsman at least was looking for a party so Ryuuko didn't think she would be rejected by her at least. The other swordsman had been rather quiet till now, so Ryuuko didn't knew what she was going to do.
PLAYED BY wil. lavender
"Hey there, you looking for a group too?"

"Mhm," She said. "You don't need to worry too much about roles starting out, but if I have a tank with me, I can move on to bigger things faster."

She spoke not impolitely, but without any particular attempt to be nice, either. Unlike the other two, who were offering, explaining, laying out what they could be good at bringing to this team-up, Lavender just didn't seem that invested in the idea.

She seemed, in fact, like she would have easily walked off without another word, until she sidled up to the side of the unicorn that had followed the presence of the rider. She lifted a hand, hovered it over the creature's snout, and waited for a moment as if for permission, before making gentle contact.

Her eyes went to the face of the red-head, then to the smaller, blonde sword-wielding archer.

"I'm Lavender. You can call me Lav if you like." Her head tilted slightly, shaking look a few strands of her pale fringe, and the shades cast by their subtle movements on her face made it look like she had almost cracked the softest of smiles.

"Let's set out, if you have no complaints."

tags: @ryuuko, @fable
notes: kinda excited.
PLAYED BY BigMood fable
"I'm always worried!" Fable declared with mystifying pride. "Oh, and my handle's Fable," she added, as though that were a vastly less important topic. She did stare briefly at Lavender, perhaps wondering if that was the girl's real name or her screen name. "Although, I don't know if it would make sense to call me Fab."

While waiting for the Rider to give an introduction (or not), Fable looked at the town around them with a small frown. Seeing all the people around, she looked back to the uni-equestrian with a shake of her head. "I don't know if anything interesting will come of searching around town. We might have been a little late on the draw for that." The glass girl made a few hand motions indicative of someone surfing through their HUD. "Let's get partied," she said, sending out some invites. "Then we can see our levels and pick a destination from there."

After some thoroughly immersion-breaking party-requesting, Fable seemed to think of something and made the dramatic fist-in-palm hand gesture which was more or less universal sign language for "I've thought of something." "By the by," she said, now taking closer note of the other twos' equipment, "if either of you have damaged glasswear, let me know. I have a repair skill that's pretty useful, but I haven't found anyone else with glass equipment yet to make more use of it." She tilted her head as though a lack of people wielding glass weaponry and glass armor was somehow an unusual state of affairs.
PLAYED BY ren ryuuko
She could feel a heavy breath leave the unicorns nose when the white haired girl came closer. As she waited the horned horse stepped away from her. "Ah, sorry. She's a little shy. Don't worry about it, she's like that with everyone." Since it also moved her Ryuuko noticed it immediately as well.

"Haha, That's nothing to boast about, Fable. But I don't know... It sounds cute! Right, Fab from now it is!" She started serious especially since the l in fable sounded more like an r, but turned into a joke right after. She didn't have to worry about that pesky l anymore as well. She honestly didn't care if they used their ingame name or not, what mattered was how they wanted to be addressed and the fact the other girl said it made her think she might like it.

"Pleased to meet you, Lev, Fab. My name is Ryuuko. She could have asked to call them Ryuu or something, but that didn't sound cute or feminine at all! Maybe she should have put more thought in thinking up her own name... but then again she was kind of in a hurry to play and thought she could probably make another avatar if this one didn't suit her.

"Well, better late than never!" Ryuuko said while accepting the party invite.

"Oh eh... that sounds like a great skill!" She said even though her tone should give away that she didn't really think so and she was just being polite. She still wondered why an adventurer needed glass, aside for the mirrors in a player home maybe.

"Anyway, let's be off. Where do we go?" She asked the rest of the party.
PLAYED BY wil. lavender
The invitations came on - translucent, futuristic panels springing up over the rustic setting that made it, for a second, impossible to not think of where they were. Lavender dispelled them with a few quick taps, her attention turning to her new companions after another glance at the unicorn, whose rejection had left her with the most fleeting of a surprisingly childish pout.

"I have a suggestion," she said, cooly.

They were outside of Keterburg, just far enough that the town was now a bunch of shapes on the horizon, all finer distinctions between each block and building lost. Lavender had brought them, first to an outpost where an NPC, in a great deal more number of words, told them of his dire need for help, much help, from a party of no less than three(3) players, eliminating an infestation of imps and their enchanted armours at a nearby wood. Then she had led the way as they deepened towards their first quest as a party, on a fairly beaten path northbound that suggested it was the first outings of many new parties like themselves.

Lavender hadn't said much along the way, limiting her attempts at conversation to mostly single-syllable utterances and the occasional contemplative 'hm'.

Which is not to say that she wasn't listening to the other two as they spoke. It was simply the case that Fable and Ryuuko were a great deal more talkative than she was - and for most parts, that was how she liked it.

tags: @ryuuko, @fable
notes: adventure!
PLAYED BY BigMood fable
Fable was, for the most part, having fun laying waste to the fourth wall. Perhaps it was just a defense mechanism of sorts, an attempt to get away from the reality of things. "So, when we get further away from town," she had been saying as they made their way into the wood, "do you think our game client just lowers the resolution on faraway stuff to save computing power? Like, if I had 20/15 vision, would I be able to use it, you think?" With a quick look at their weaponry, she shrugged. "Not like any of us have longbows or rifles, anyway."

As they walked and talked, the Archer kept herself somewhat behind the unicorn, preparing to distance herself from the front line if anything jumped out at them. As the forest began to thicken subtly, though their path through was still well-marked in the manner of games, she retrieved a small rag and began to polish her sword. "I figured that, since I would almost certainly get a nervous tic from something traumatizing like being stuck in a game, I might as well decide on something for myself that wasn't too debilitating," she explained in a casual tone.

"I do hope this will be easy in the way that most MMO starting tasks are, though. With a situation like this, I can't honestly say I'm looking forward to a big challenge." Having suddenly realized that she had said one of those 'things you should never say because you might jinx yourself', Fable immediately looked about with darting eyes.

The suddenly sound of shifting shrubbery shook the swordswoman, who lashed out blindly only to get her sword embedded in a nearby tree. "Whoops, false alarm..." However, even as she attempted to pry it out without damaging it unduly, the movement in the foliage persisted, and it seemed as though the jinx would bear fruit in the end.
PLAYED BY ren ryuuko
""Oh, I wonder if we can find any weird bugs or glitches that way? You know, like in those new and unpatched games if you move weirdly you can see inside walls or such?" Ryuuko added to the conversation. She wasn't sure how much testing this game had actually undergone, but since it was announced as a beta she wouldn't be surprised they might find stuff like that, why maybe even abuse that?

"Eh? Forest.. It's hard to maneuver well in a forest...Oh don't worry. I'll be fine!" She said once they entered the woods. Still she was a rider, she would be able to do it! Luckily the trees weren't standing too close too each other. She'll be able to steer Tama between them. Of course, this was before the forest grew ticker and ticker. It would be hard to charge in here, and thus she wouldn't be able to generate aggro that well.

"Well, it can't be helped. I hope so too. I don't think I will be able to generated aggro well in this forest. We mainly charge together, Tama and I, but looks like I'll have to dismount soon." She mumbled the first sentence in japanese, but spoke normally for the rest. As the swordsman struck the tree, Ryuuko immediately looked behind and jump of Tama.

"Here, let me help!" She said as she tried helping the swordsman pull her sword back out. She couldn't imagine how she should feel if her spear got stuck in a tree here. Still there was that little problem of that creature in the bushes she completely ignored.
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