his is the ongoing story of our hero Tibicus. Follow the links below to read up on the previous episodes!
Tibicus had been on the continent of Zao for several days now. He was lucky though, only a few other Tibians had made it to the yielothax, allowing him to roam through the big ancient caves all by himself. However, there were times when he would have preferred a little support. Those devastating spider mutations turned out to be tough opponents and his beautiful armour was already pockmarked with numerous scratches and dents.
It was not the case that Tibicus was unable to fight these monsters by himself. However, because he had to run up and down countless stairs several times a day to sell his loot to Yasir and get back to the Dimensional Portal, he was aching in the places where he used to play. Of course, Yasir, that lazy excuse for a trader, had decided to show up in Liberty Bay. As if Tibicus was not already running out of time.
It was only when he had been ambushed by several yielothax, which had thrown themselves at him to drill their razor-sharp teeth into his flesh, that it dawned on Tibicus that these monsters were not to be played with. A yielothax had grabbed his backpack from his shoulder which now lay tattered next to Tibicus, slowly soaking up his blood. He was extremely lucky that a small mana potion had fallen out of his backpack in the heat of battle and had rolled in his direction. Even as the yielothaxs' fangs sank deeper and deeper into his flesh, Tibicus reached for the potion with the last of his strength. On the brink of consciousness, he gulped the purple liquid down just in time. Another yielothax jumped on his chest, painfully pushing the air out of his lungs so that he had barely been able to finish his spell: "utevo gran res eq!"
Immediately a cold breeze filled the dungeon. Skullfrost rose from his frozen realm of the dead and announced his arrival with a bloodcurdling, shrilling scream. All at once, the greedy cries of the yielothax silenced and they turned their attention to the terrifying summon. Tibicus felt the jaws loosen. He freed himself from their painful grasp and not a second too soon. He managed to roll to safety just as a huge ice explosion shook the dungeon and buried the yielothax under a gigantic wave of snow and ice.
He had had several such near-death experiences in the last couple of days but because the yielothax were sucking out his mana resources he could not afford to summon Skullfrost all the time, especially as death elemental attacks did not really seem to have a great impact on the creatures.
Nevertheless, Tibicus could not really complain, the oversized spiders had very good loot with them and Yasir's eyes grew bigger and bigger every time he showed up. However, the amount of gold was clearly not enough. He knew that it was simply unrealistic to earn so much gold in such a short time. Tibicus noticed how the hunt had already drained his stamina but he could not give up. This hat meant too much to him, all the good memories he associated with it... No! The hat was too important to even remotely consider not following the blackmailer's letter.
However, it was becoming increasingly difficult to suppress the feeling of impending failure. Just as he thought his situation could not get any more hopeless, he heard the crackling sound of static coming from the other end of the dungeon. "Oh, no, somebody's coming through the Dimensional Portal," he thought. "Just my luck! If that guy hunts here, I'll get even less gold together." Tibicus mentally prepared himself for a verbal and, if push came to shove, physical confrontation. He withdrew strategically behind a corner. "If this is one of Beefo's goons, I can forget about this spawn."
To his surprise, however, it was a familiar face that stepped out of the portal and looked around, a little disoriented. "Fridolin, my friend, you're here at last, I've been trying to reach you for days, I thought you vanished off the face of Tibia! Where in Zathroth's name have you been?!" Tibicus asked as he stepped out from his hiding place and happily approached his old companion.
"Oh, Tibicus. It's you..." Fridolin replied unenthusiastically. "What brings you here?" The Paladin walked slowly through the dungeon, looking around. "Are you here alone?"
"Yes, fortunately! You wouldn't believe how much has been going on! It's so good that you finally showed up. Fridolin, I need your help!" Tibicus had followed the paladin into the depths of the cave.
"Of course you do. You know what?" Fridolin span around and jabbed Tibicus in the chest. "It's getting frustrating! Every time you screw up, I'm the one who has to pick up the pieces!" Tibicus was taken aback. "What's wrong with you? Seems like you got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Listen, somebody has stolen my hat - THE HAT - and left a ransom letter demanding 400kk gold to get it back."
"Let me guess Tibicus, you'd been out drinking at Frodo's when it happened, right?" the paladin scoffed. "Well... Yes... I guess so... But I..." stammered Tibicus. Fridolin cut him short: "Please don't resort to excuses. I've heard them all. 400kk gold, no way will you be able to raise such an amount of gold. What are you going to do now?"
Tibicus knew his friend was right. "To be honest, I don't know... I asked around and borrowed some money, I sold as many items as I could but the market is flooded at the moment. Yasir is my best bet right now."
"How much have you made so far?" Fridolin asked.
"Just 75 million?! Tibicus are you serious? That's not even a quarter of the ransom."
"Thanks for pointing that out, Captain Obvious, I know that too." Tibicus was now in a bad temper as well. "If you'd shown up earlier, we'd have been able to hunt in more profitable places together."
"So it's my fault now that you messed up?" Fridolin snapped at him.
Tibicus was lost for words. "Look, I am sorry, but you know how much that hat means to me. Can you please help me out? You surely have some money on the side that I could borrow, haven't you?" "No, Tibicus, that's not how this is going to work. Your mess, your responsibility. I am not going to give you any gold!"
Tibicus did not recognize his old friend. Something must have happened to make Fridolin so cold-hearted all of a sudden. Fridolin was right, no doubt about it, but he had expected much more understanding and help from him. However, he could not spend more time thinking about it since the deadline was getting closer and closer.
"Could you at least join me so that we can cover a greater area in this dungeon?" he tried to diffuse the tension. While they had been arguing, many yielothax had crawled out of their holes and were already dangerously close to them. Fridolin just nodded and the yielothax slaughtering began.
While Tibicus covered the narrow corridors near the dimensional portal, Fridolin decided to hunt downstairs where he had at least a bit more space for his ranged attacks. He was making good progress and the death cries coming from below sounded like Fridolin was doing a fine job as well. Motivated by the unexpected help, Tibicus roamed through the dungeon as if he had downed ten berserk potions at once. While he was waiting for more yielothax to appear, he decided to pay his friend a visit.
He put on a stealth ring and sneaked down the stairs, as he wanted to surprise him. It did not take too long and he spotted the paladin kneeling over a pile of dead yielthax. He saw that Fridolin had already prepared some loot bags and decided to take a look at them. To his surprise, the loot bags were quite empty compared to the amount of loot he had made upstairs and just as he was about to take off the ring to reveal himself, he saw that Fridolin was keeping the most valuable loot to himself.
"What's going on here?" he confronted the paladin. Fridolin turned around, surprised. "Why are you keeping the good loot? We have to bring it to Yasir so that I can pay the ransom." Tibicus continued. "Great idea, I'm running out of capacity anyways. Time to pay Yasir a visit." Fridolin said. "I have prepared some loot bags for you, you can sell what's in them, I'll just take my share."
"Your share? You were supposed to help me out! I asked you to hunt with me so that I can gain more profit. If you take all valuable items, I might as well have been here on my own!"
"Don't be such a drama queen, Tibicus, it's barely enough to cover my waste." Fridolin replied.
"Don't lie to me Fridolin, I've seen what you've taken." Tibicus felt betrayed.
As the paladin proceeded to the exit, not showing the slightest inclination to hand over the loot, Tibicus blocked the passage. "Let me through!" the Paladin hissed.
"No, give back the loot or you shall not pass."
The paladin clenched his fists. "One last time, Tibicus, let me through or else... utevo gran res sac!"
A blazing tail of fire enlightened the dungeon and Emberwing appeared behind Fridolin. "You asked for it, Tibicus! Now step aside!"
"Are you out of your mind?" Tibicus was thunderstruck. They had been friends for a long time now and not even in his worst nightmares would he have imagined that they would find themselves in such a situation. Before he could spare another thought, however, a gigantic fireball had already flung him off his feet.
He smashed into the wall with such force, the breath was knocked from his body. He looked up at Fridolin. Tibicus felt the anger explode within him. Before he could think about what he was doing or what it meant, he shouted... "Utevo gran res eq"