Duty Session 589: Threat to the Harvest
During the Harvest Festival, there are many who take to the fields to bring in the summer crops. However, there are also those who would like to claim those bountiful harvests for themselves. The Hunter's Guild has hired Adventurers to protect those Landers who have been tasked with working the fields. It sounds like a boring, simple task, but they wouldn't spend the money hiring defenders if there weren't real dangers looming.
OOC: This quest is only available during the Harvest Festival. This quest is largely 'Combat'-concept based.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: None
It was for this reason Luna was here today, working on marshalling some security around the fields. She was always a bit more serious when there were lives on the line, a change for her ofter hyper personality. Thankfully there had been no monster sightings yet, but there was something foul on the air.. And she was relieved as she saw the group assemble.
Harvest time is probably Fuka's favourite time of the year, largely due to the harvest festivals where you eat a lot of good stuff and end up making yourself sick with excess. She can do without the pumpkin spice added to everything, but that's not really a thing in Yamato so she can't lose in that regard either. So long as someone else is doing the cooking, she's a happy glutton.
That of course requires there to BE a harvest, so Fuka's of course perfectly willing to do the appropriate work for adventurers. If that means beating up monsters, so much the better! She waves and grins at Luna, hefting her rather ludicrously large sword on her shoulder ronin-style and standing ready to defend the fields. Only, of course, it's not just monsters that are a threat.
She looks around to take in the scene, eying the distance warily as things close in seem okay for the moment. "But with three of us here, things should go well enough," she says. "But these harvest events do attract monsters....."
Glad to have the companions with her, Luna dipped her head in a proper greeting. "Yeah, we should be fine. I think we'll be able to handle any mon.. sters.." Her eyes growing wide as she spotted the whole flock of birds, and quickly jumped into trying to scare them off. She knew how to deal with this at least, not that she expected her animal training to come in handy here. Even if it amounted to shouting, "Shoo!"
A former bird parent, Fuka is rather reluctant to stop crows from being crows. They're cute after all, and smart, and they deserve to eat too! It's not like they're monsters. But the harvest must go on, and when the farmers point out the crows are damaging the ripened crops that are being harvested, Fuka reluctantly goes into action, drawing upon her experience with animals to devise a solution that should keep the birds from becoming too comfortable and settling in to do excessive damage.
"They're called scarecrows." Fuka offers, presenting a shirt stuffed with straw tied to a loose framework that waves in the wind in an entirely unconvincing emulation of a person. The landers, well familiar with the concept, try hard not to roll their eyes at the little Sylph, but it can't hurt to keep the crows somewhat off their eating game. Besides, the outfits she uses to host the stuffing are kind of fancy, with plenty of eye-catching goodies for the crows to desire. So if the crows end up raiding her scarecrows for shinies rather than settling down to eat that's a win, right?
She looks around spots the birds swooping down on the harvest. She leaps into action, swords flashing left and right, slashing the birds when they come close enough to snack on the Landers' harvest. She strikes and slashes, and the individual birds are not tough, but there are so many. It's like a whirlwind of blades.
"Nice work! I think we got them.. But doesn't look like it's over yet, get ready!" Lunaris yelled over the utter cacophony of noise, raising her arm as her cards sprang to life, arching out into the air. "Looks like we've got a fight incoming!"
Fuka looks utterly aghast at Goldenblade's solution to the remaining bird problem, given her animal-lover nature. She can't fault its effectiveness exactly. Crows are smart, and very *very* quickly decide to leave the area when it's no longer safe, but surely there's a better way! "Ugh. Murderer of crows." the blonde mutters in distaste and reflexive punnery.
Suddenly she points. "Hey, better target for murdering!" she observes, flashing an appreciative smile Luna's way for the warning. Putting her sylphy senses to good work, Fuka seeks out the would-be raiders. Given her general lack of height she isn't particularly inclined to seeking out the raiders through the concealment, instead using instinct and terrain to figure out where best to rush to try to flush them out. And yes, the little Sylph is swift indeed! As a Messenger with a physical specialization, she's used to being on the move.
Despite her attempt to dissuade the bandits with a bolt of energy tearing from one of her suspended cards, the blast went wide. And was little deterrence as the rougher bandits emerged. Thankful that everyone else helped against the first wave. "Much better targets! Get ready!" Still she couldn't help but give a small smile to the pun, morbid as it might be.
When she's managed to flush out some of the bandits, Fuka takes a moment to evaluate the tactical situation. They're coming out in force now, though their overall threat level seems pretty low. Remarkably low in fact, enough to not really be a threat to her or the other adventurers. To the farmers, sure, but that's a tactical consideration that demands a certain degree of flair to solve. And yes, bandits are people too and deserve to eat, but Fuka's much more willing to run bandits off than crows. Bandits, after all, choose to take rather than do hard work for themselves, and Fuka will happily oppose such an ethic.
The sylph charges in at the bandit group, putting herself between them and their would-be prey, using her magic to surround herself in a protective shell of earth and just outright daring them to hit her. Which they do, naturally. No bandit could resist an opportunity to make an open attack against someone charging through the middle of them. Which is of course Fuka's plan, as she's not just carting around a powerful defensive shield. It's explosive reactive armor, which is the best sort of armor. Every time the earthen shell is struck it cracks, and Fuka's powerful air magic drives shards of brittle earth into the faces of the attackers, leaving them howling in pain and torment. Thanks to the strength of her specialized defensive artes, they can hardly do more damage to her than they do to themselves, and that's got to be quite the hit to their morale as well as their faces!
That's when the group started to feel a vibration, it felt like an earthquake thrumming up from the ground and Luna grimaced, "Uh, what now? What is it with this place and not letting up?" She grumbled. Then she saw the fleeing animals flooding from the forests, her eyes opening in panic and shouting out, "STAMPEDE!" Moments before the hoards burst through the forest line.
"Seriously?" Fuka complains, though she seems to be only mildly frustrated. Almost laughing, in fact, since the idea of event-themed confrontation is just *so* much a MMO staple. Yes it's frustrating that the enemies don't let up, but it's also totally tropey for the genre, and Fuka's a gamer to the core. How could she be truly upset by being fed something so traditional?
She's a little low on mana, particularly earth mana, thanks to her recent efforts with the shielding. So instead of magic, Fuka decides to deal with the stampede by taking it head-on. Yelling and screaming her head off, she charges at the stampede, trying to make the running creatures divert around her - and hopefully to divert around the fields in turn. It's not a GREAT idea, but it's better than doing nothing! The only problem is if she gets herself trampled. Oh well! Time to try to slip through the charging horde of dire animals!
Then, what comes next was petrifying and stunning in equal measure, a grunty but ballooned out of all proportion, like it had been inflated with air. A titan of a beast, with the tiniest of farmer's hats on it's head that somehow managed to stay on there even as it made huge sweeping motions, going to grab a whole wagon of wheat. The Landers terrified. The group needed to bring down the massive beast, quickly, and before they helped themselves to the whole harvest!
In fact, she won't be found at all. But that's a normal part of the Goldenblade modus operandi, she's part ninja. That ninja part involves her reappearing behind that monstrous grunty and slamming her blade deep into it. The blade doesn't do a lot of damage, but she follows up immediately, and it becomes clear that this thing is just plain hard to hurt much, and her surprise strike -did- do a considerable amount of damage, compared to the pinpricks that her normal attacks inflict.
Fuka's having fun, which is pretty common for any sort of questing she does. Complaining is just a thing between adventurers. If you're not grumbling about how lame the quest is, are you truly an adventurer? Fuka loves talking, loves questing, and loves grumbling insincerely about questing.
They're doing good though, all considered. Which is surely to be expected, given the group composition. But the sudden appearance of a boss-level grunty, as expected as it is nonetheless sudden, is pretty attention-grabbing. Especially when it devours a patch of crops in a single bite.
"What a giant pig!" Fuka complains, readying her mighty lightning blade. Only one good answer to this. "This is such a lot of bull!" she grumbles loudly, charging forth once again to do battle. She doesn't rely on single hits or, for that matter, a massive flurry of blows. No, her battle strategy is something in the middle. A series of heavy blows, none of which are partigularly devastating, but each of which carve off a chunk of boss health, sometimes quite literally!
The giant beast left with a sliver of it's health remaining, even after the joint assault let out a horrifying roar, and retreated back towards the forest. The landers began to cheer, the crop had been saved and Harvest Time would once again be a success. They even went as far as to invite the three adventurers to a festival, promising food and drink galore, and perhaps a bit of dancing. If that was there thing. Lunaris on the other hand was panting, wiping her brow. She didn't quite have Fuka's excitable energy, or Golden's stamina. But still she let out a happy whoop, "Nicely done. Thanks for the hand!" Before collapsing herself into the fields with a quiet laugh.
Having dealt with the monstrous bullpig thingy one way or another, Fuka has no particular desire to continue fighting, instead putting her blade away after first shaking it vigorously. Maybe nothing's clinging to it after all that fighting - this IS a game-inspired world after all - but she enjoys cleanliness. And will need a long hot bath after fighting this boss!
The quest to save the harvest now officially over, Fuka flashes a cheerful grin, some of her boundless energy tapped or at least partially sated. "Any time, Luna." she says, always happy to adventure with someone who knows how to have fun! Fun is the best!
She claims her reward, hmmming over it as she imagines what it might be used for. Yeeees, this should come in quite handy indeed! Fun AND profit! Good times, good times!
With the panic and worry settling into a more joyous mood over the area, the Cait Sith simply offers a wave to the other two, "Go, enjoy. I'll catch up when my legs decide to cooperate!" And with that, the duty came to an end. The adventurers standing.. Or laying.. Victorious!