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The next step in gaming immersion is here. There are just a few bugs to fix first…
Grant Palaski is a low-level bug tester at the world’s largest MMORPG, Kazaran Online.
It was meant to be a starting point to a high-level writing job, but all he has to show for his master’s is a mountain of student loan debt, a grudging addiction to caffeine, and zero respect.
When he is handpicked to lead a group of pro gamers into Kazaran’s new innovation, everyone is shocked.
Even Grant can’t answer that question, but he’s not going to pass up the opportunity of a lifetime.
The mission is to go from a level 1 newbie to a level 50 master. Millions of jealous gamers from all over the globe will watch the adventure, though hopefully, there’s no cameras in the showers.
Plus, he’ll get paid. A lot.
Except he probably should have questioned more about why he was chosen. Someone inside the company doesn’t want him to succeed. When everything goes wrong, Grant and his party have to balance the challenges of the game with uncovering the mystery of who sabotaged their test run.
Can a guy used to losing lead his team to victory? Or will it be game over for good?
The tutorial is over, and the game is done playing around.
Grant and the team have entered Kazaran Online, the world’s first full-immersion online role-playing game. As testers, things were expected to be rough, but they had no idea what they were in for.
Despite ridiculous odds, they survived the first area… barely. Now they’ll have to make it through four more lands to complete the game and get back to the real world.
The second area, the Republic of Ardolin, awaits, with new allies and cunning foes. Grant’s having the time of his life, but forces from inside and outside the game are plotting to make sure he doesn’t survive to tell the tale.
KAZARAN DEATH WALL
Bennah “Whips-N-Chainz” Phelps
Died while giving a handy to an orc for the first time. Though the other ladies of the night had warned her about the velocity of orc “fire power”, she neglected to take their advice. They found her with a rather large dent in her forehead.
Hal “Itosis” Bass
Due to his frustrating social media posts where he only shows pictures of the plates of food he’s eaten after he’d finished eating, a group of soldiers were sent to find and deliver him to the Powers That Be. He was then sliced up and served at dinner party for ogres. No pictures were taken until after all the plates had been cleaned.
Larry “The Tush Man” Tushman
Lost a deadly version of the quiet game in the caverns of silence. He was impaled by razor sharp stalactites that fell from the ceiling as a result of the vibrations of his voice when he loudly exclaimed, “Look, a bunny!” In his defense, his party-members agreed there was indeed a bunny in the cavern.
Mike “Slammed the Hell out of my Ass” Helas
Fell victim to a misdirected charm spell. The spell “Charm animals” was reversed somehow, so that every creature in the tiger forest found him to be irresistible. It turned out being the love slave for a group of tigers wasn’t as much fun as it seemed. At least, judging by the ropy entrails hanging from his colon.
Paul “I’ve heard ’em all” Hathcox
Paul wandered into a goblin camp, half-starved. The goblins were very nice to him, offering him a vegetable oil massage, and a hot-tub, which was full of delicious looking vegetables. Unfortunately, he died of a stroke, just as the goblins voted to make him their new king. You probably thought they were going to eat him, didn’t you? Well, after he died, they decided it would be a shame to let all that meat go to waste, so they did devour him…but you still shouldn’t have assumed that!
Barbara Ann “Tea Bagger” Eades
In her incessant quest for the perfect cup of tea, and having heard a rumor that a master tea bagger named Gerggy had been spotted in the Boneshard Mountains, Barbara went on a pilgrimage that took three years to complete. She battled orcs, ogres, tree monsters, and various other nefarious creatures, nearly losing her life on several occasions. Sadly, when finally reaching the legendary tea bagger, she found that the term was not meant inline with beverages…mostly. Gerggy was a rock troll who had the largest set of boy boulders ever seen in Kazaran. Barbara ended up with severely chipped teeth and finally choked to death a very salty cup of tea.
Phillip “Tailwagger” Reopel
Phillip met his untimely demise at the age of 300. Sure, that’s pretty good for a human, but as an elf, it was a shock. He fell out of a tree, thinking he could fly, but forgot that there was a two minute refresh time on his levitate spell. His last words were “My tail shall protect me!” Too bad he didn’t have one, unless you count his spine shooting out of his back on impact. His friends thought he’d consumed an astonishing amount of what they thought were magical mushrooms before levitating up on to that high tree limb in the first place, but they turned out to just be drugs.