This is nothing to LOL about!
Daniel Williamson of USA, Age 23, Level 8 One-Handed Swordsman
Daniel has dark brown skin and jet black hair that comes down just above his thin eyebrows. His eyes are wide and dark brown, and his skin is rather smooth. He stands at about 5'11, but he's only about 130 pounds. In combat, he wears Gray Light Chainmail Armor concealed by a somewhat expensive tan coat that fortifies speed, as well as a pair of black leather pants. Outside of combat his attire varies, but he can often be seen wearing a black short-sleeved T-shirt and the closest things to dark jeans he could find to cover his thin yet rather well built character. He carries his equipped sword at the left side of his waist and at his right he carries two satchels, one carrying bait and the other carrying stones (to preform ranged Arts with). Granted, the latter two could be accessed from the menu, but he gains faster access to them when they are equipped to his person.
Prior to SAO, Daniel was a well-rounded character that had something of a dull atmosphere around him, as if he were tired of life and wanted it known. Granted, he was quite lively around friends, but he was never truly sure whether the "him" that he was around his friend was his true self or simply someone created for the sake of making friends, a persona born from the fear of being alone. He was also quite the philosopher, which was truly the driving force between his interest in developing games. Philosophy shaped his morals, his social patterns, his decisions, and his interests; philosophy was Daniel's life. Coincidentally, it was gaming that brought on his interest in philosophy. While Daniel wasn't exactly a somber individual, he wasn't much of a socialite, and most of his friends were people he knew from school growing up. He's always been an ambitious individual, but he's always needed some sort of motivation or inspiration to truly be dedicated to a task, otherwise he became paradoxically unproductive.
Upon entering Sword Art Online, his personality didn't so much change as it did renew. He no longer needed to worry about taxes or work or finding a job, he was presented a new life with new problems. He became far more lively and exuberant, eager to take on the new world that he had been thrust into. He was enticed by the vast number of skills, and quickly set out to create a character that was well rounded in terms of them. He likes to fight, but the constant threat of death always made him a little reluctant to go to the higher floors (initially, at least). Still, he theorized that death in SAO wasn't the end and he actually firmly believes that death in the game would not result in death in real life. Unfortunately, due to his tendency to overthink things, he still can't shake the possibility that he will die, and usually proceeds with caution. In SAO, Daniel is far more sociable than he was in real life, reason being that the interesting nature of most people could be seen aesthetically, rather than being hidden until they were in the right social or recreational setting (though, that's not to say that Daniel is one to judge a book by it's cover; in fact, he's rather against the quick judgement of something based on insufficient details).
Even in life, Daniel had an interest in Cooking. He knew he would never be good enough to cook professionally, but it didn't matter to him as he simply liked to cook, so naturally he took quickly to learning the skill in SAO. He loved having the ability to actually go out, hunt his own food, and create food with a rather realistic system. He liked it so much that he actually used it as a second-hand way of making money, which was pretty effective. His real aim was to gain a house with a kitchen so that he could cook with quality appliances rather than having to use Flint and Tinder, but he knew that would be quite a ways away. Still, Daniel enjoyed going to restaurants and food shops, especially if they were player run (as they had the most unique food, as well as food you could find in real life).
Alchemy is a field that Daniel has always been interested in, so much so that he actually studied various ways of preforming the art in real life. Granted, he was of course aware that real alchemy was not preformed like it was in a certain popular anime he watched when he was younger (though that's not to say that there was no truth in the show), he was interested in it nonetheless. The idea of creating something out of various materials that make up that object, a structured fusion of sorts,
always excited him. Thus it was no surprise that he took quickly to it in SAO. Alchemy was a rather standard MMO feature, but again, it was done quite well in SAO. Though, the real reason he took to it in SAO was not so much out of his interest as it is a makeshift way to make various potions and other items in the field were he to run out. Still, leveling that does make it quite convenient for when he has extra materials and wants to experiment or doesn't want to spend money.
Taming is something that Daniel actually wasn't a fan of in life. He never really cared for or even supported the domestication of animals, and thus, he would do most of his capturing in Monster Taming games (which he was a fan of). Daniel, at first, was really interested in taming, but he was so caught up in training his other skills that he never actually caught anything. He knew how, and technically, he did have a monster for a few moments thanks to an introductory quest. It was a boar, but he wanted a stronger, more reliable partner for his first.
Life before SAO
A silent observer, Daniel has never exactly been thrilled with life. Sure, there was always philosophy and psychology there to keep interested in the way the world worked, but that never stopped him from wanting for more. This would sum up his early life, just like many other teens. Television wasn't interesting to him, anymore, so the only portal he had to a more interesting world was video games. Books were an option, but he always found something interesting about a definitive objective aestheticism that books often didn't have. The characters in the games were not Daniel, and he knew this. He would often do things to stretch the theoretical nature of "what if", and it was really the diversity of these games and the contrast to real life that essentially made them so interesting to him. Daniel's interest in gaming inevitably grew to the point where he pursued a career in them right out of college, he started working for a small time indie game company called Developers Inc. For a time, it was nice. The designers were creative and their ideas were fantastic, yet in not even half a year's time Daniel again became grounded in reality when they were given an ultimatum by a monopolizing publisher and were forced to declare bankruptcy. Thus, Daniel was jobless. His days thereafter were filled with searching for jobs, filling out job applications, and watching crappy shows that he didn't care for.
Then, one day, while searching the internet, a colorful ad appeared at the top of his browser. It read "Sword Art Online, a fantastic Virtual Reality Adventure awaits you!". Daniel was never quick to open MMO ads, but he was so depressed that he seem to give himself a choice in the matter. He clicked the ad and was thrust into a colorful webpage which had the URL "http://www.SwordArtOnline.com". The presentation was quite nice, and he looked over various tabs and videos detailing exactly what the game was. Lucky enough, he was able to find a copy of the game at his local retailer; it was a lone copy, it most likely wasn't sold since it lay on the floor, unnoticed. Upon returning home, Daniel quickly set the game up and placed himself into the world that is Sword Art Online.
Summary of First Month in Aincrad
Though the thought of his decaying body rested in his mind, Daniel didn't panic at the thought of being stuck inside of SAO. In fact, he was quite ecstatic, it was a chance at a new life, and everything about it was a mystery. Once the Shadowy Figure left, he did the same. As he walked through the streets and alleys of Starter City, he decided to check out some shops. As he was browsing, he noticed something strange in one of the windows, something off...and then shock overcame him. The person he put so much effort into was gone...and in its place was him. It was almost as if he were gaining a second chance at life in an entirely new and surreal world.
Time passed and Daniel leveled...slowly. He was more interested in dabbling with two particular skills he hadn't specialized in, Speed and Alchemy. Granted, he was well aware of the stats he did specialize in (Cooking and Taming), he realized that there'd be no sense in pursuing either if his soloing skills were unsatisfactory. Thus, he hasn't actually done too much fighting; not yet, at least. He decided to play it safe for a while before truly taking on any challenges. He remained on the first floor, homeless, mostly renting rooms with money he made selling food and alchemical resources. After the first month was up, Daniel decided that he'd it was about time that he tamed his first creature.
As his character materialized, Daniel's anxiety heightened. He's played many MMOs in the past, but VRMMOs were almost unheard of, and it was certainly his first time playing one (if any others even existed). His first instinct, as it was with many MMOs, was to go find quests. It was a simple task, he went to a local bakery and talked to the chef NPC who required 5 Boar Meats. Boars were weak, and thus, it didn't take long for him to get used to the game as he quickly killed the boar and acquired 5 Boar Meats in about 15 minutes. He returned to the store and received his reward: a single cooking skill point. This quest was clearly a part of a chain of quests designed to ease beginners into the game and feed them a few easy levels and skill points. He was quite impressed with the cooking system SAO had to offer, it was the most intuitive of the field that he'd seen in an MMO, or really any video game. With that, he decided to spend the next few days doing other introductory missions and exploring the other non-combat related skills and activities, which there were quite a few of.
On the fourth day, he made his first friend, Alistair. Alistair, at that point, was a level 8 who level-ground against dungeon bosses using a unique skill that allowed him to revive once per day. It was broken, but it was an essential skill in helping advance to higher floors. Alistair noticed the level 4 Daniel and decided to take Daniel to one of the higher floors to boost his level so he would be able to not only survive dire situations, but to also allow him to gain more materials from the wild safely. It was dangerous, but Alistair gave him plenty of healing items and swore that he'd protect him, so Daniel reluctantly agreed to go along. The two created a party and set forth towards a level ten dungeon which, oddly, was devoid of any monsters at all. The path they walked was narrow and long, with seemingly no end in sight. Then, a loud whistling sound could be heard in the distance. Noting this, Alistair motioned for Daniel to be quiet and to stop moving. Daniel complied, and the two simple stood in motionless silence for a few moments, until finally a gigantic anchor fell from the ceiling and destroyed one side of the path, and another anchor promptly dropped from the opposite side, leaving the two isolated on a synthetic path. Then, from above came a wyrm. The wyrm swooped down and clawed at Alistair, nearly killing him and almost causing him to fall off of the edge of the island. Daniel made quick to heal him, and then quickly made to teleport out of the dungeon. Much to his disappointment, however, teleportation items did not seem to work. The wyrm started towards Daniel as if to claw him, but Alistair parried and cut off one of the toes of the beast. The wyrm screeched in pain, and when it made its round it opened its great jaws to dismember and digest the chivalrous knight, but he wouldn't have that. After toying with his menu for a split-second, Alistair pulled out a rather ornamented Great Hammer, and just as the wyrm came close, he brought down the hammer with a mighty force unto the wyrm's head. However, being in its direct path, he was unable to stop it completely, and he clung the the wyrm's head as the two went hurdling into the deep chasm below.
Daniel called out to Alistair in desperation, but there was no response. He unsure what to make of the situation, but he felt a great grief at the thought that Alistair may have died. He peered over the edge, but could see nothing in the vast darkness that lay below. He quickly opened his menu and then went to the "Friends" subcategory, promptly clicking Alistair's name. However, in place of a mapped location was the phrase "Area Unknown", and Daniel didn't know what to make of that in terms of life or death, especially in terms of a character with a unique ability such as Alistair's. Hundreds of thoughts raced through his mind, each one ranging from hopeful to dark to realistic. The word "Congratulations!" appeared in front of him, giving off a rather cheery vibe that conflicted with the grim atmosphere. A door appeared in front of Daniel; it was a wooden door with a bright light oozing out from the open crevices. He sighed and turned the handle to reveal a white room containing a treasure chest. In the treasure chest he found a tan coat called "The Dusty Rabbit". He looked at the coat with a grim expression, and then after a few moments he put it on. Upon doing so, the chest disappeared, and the room he was in transformed into Central Starter City, but Daniel was unable to move, pondering and mourning for the friend that he may have lost.