Sounds of the battle echo across the Pond.
Xiaolong and her team are keeping the shadows at bay and so far, they have successfully held steady their positions. But as the fight stretches into the dying light, the shadow’s power intensifies – so do the number of those injured.
Gen had prepared plenty of healing potions before the fight began, but he never anticipated that he would need even more. Gen works his fastest, but herbalism and alchemy are exact arts that require time, care, and patience. And as the injured and weary trickle into the Pond to seek rest from the battle, he fears that his best is not enough.
His joints and muscles begin to ache – he has been making potions for hours, with very little rest. Gen doesn’t realise it, but his fatigue amplifies the doubt he feels and thoughts of inadequacy and insecurity begin to swirl, stew, and curdle.
In his mind, he knows that there are friends, good friends, helping him make the potions, but everyone looks busy and he doesn’t want to bother them.
In his heart, though, he feels the weight of knowing that his friends are depending on him – and it is so very heavy.
What Gen knows but is too afraid to say aloud: he needs help.
You are about to rush by Gen’s station, but seeing his misty eyes gives you pause. You know that the battle is fierce, but a small feeling in your heart is saying that you should check on him.
When you call out to Gen, he startles, his head retreating slightly into his shell.
“Friend,” he mumbles, by way of greeting.
When you ask whether he is okay, he is quiet for a moment. His front legs, however, do not stop moving as he continues to make potions. “I’m – I’m scared.”
You kneel by him, and ask gently what he is scared of.
“I’m scared that—“ Gen pauses, as he takes a shuddering breath, “I’m doing my best, but I am scared that my best is not good enough.” He surveys all the friends that are helping him, making their own potions. “Everyone is doing such a good job, but I’m…”
He trails off. You ask him what he would say if his friends felt the way he did, and what he would say if Xiaolong or Varian or Sprout or Cuddle said they weren’t doing a good job.
“But they are doing such a good job!” he protests. “And they are giving their all to this! Even if something happened, I’d never ever think that—“
He pauses. You give him a sad smile as understanding dawns on him. He is quiet for a little while, and you sit with him in patient and compassionate silence.
“Friend,” he says in a small voice. “I understand if you aren’t able and I know you are needed, but… I need to rest. I’m very tired. And I think I need help. Can you take over for me, just for a little while?”
What is the Pondathon?
- The Pondathon is a co-operative and narrative-driven readathon where you read books and collect points to protect your friends from the encroaching darkness beyond the Pond.
- If you missed out on what the Pondathon is, you can read about when the evil was first discovered and information about the readathon at Pondathon: Prologue – Something’s Wrong…
- You can find the complete schedule for the readathon at Pondathon: Prologue – It’s Time to Fight and Protect.
- You can find information about the teams that you can join at Pondathon: Prologue – We Need You and Your Magic; Choose a Team!
- And you can sign up at Prologue – Join Us In Battle and Armour Up!
You’ve received a quest!
Gen has been overworking himself, pressuring himself to continue out of fear that he would disappoint his friends. But, he’s finally found the courage – and a compassionate friend – to ask for help. While Gen rests, make some healing potions in his stead. Make one or two or ten – either way, Gen will be grateful.
Quest expires on:
8th February 2020, 9:00PM NZT [?] this side quest is now over
- For every 30 pages that you read, you gain 4 points – and you successfully make a healing potion! [Repeatable]
- Bonus: Grab a friend who is also participating in Pondathon, and read a total of 100 pages between the two of you during the duration of this quest (February 4th – February 8th 2020). You and your friend will both earn a quest reward item: Potion of Trust!
- You may form a group of up to five people. Three people in a group = read 150 pages. Four people in a group = 200 pages. Five people in a group = 250 pages.
SAVE OR SUBMIT YOUR PROGRESS!
Note: When completing the bonus objective with a buddy, please make sure everyone submits their progress and list your buddy’s/buddies’ Pondathon names.