Duty Session 603: Clearing Dragon's Eye
In the center of the Palace Lands is the island of Dragon's Eye. Monsters roam the ruins and the mountains. Adventures are being hailed to clear the beasts out, allowing the Olympus Alliance to begin restoring the strange root city in earnest.
Rec. Party: 3+
Where there are monsters, there shall be adventurers. Where there are adventurers, there shall be a Souji, making sure they feel good about the things they do and are having lots of fun in the process. You add in /combat/ and Souji is like a gamer on a release day. "Clearing monster nests is -great- training!" he hypes up, downright radiating to the point of sparkling at the idea of pressing in through a cave during low tide to rush into a monster's nest and DO MORTAL KOMBAT with the things within.
"Just try not to run ahead of the group," he cautions Soujiro. "I'll do my best to keep you upright."
Asuna is here! Dressed like Rydia from Final Fantasy IV. It's rare that she does this. Not cosplay. That's common. She is REPEATING her cosplay (complete with green eyes and hair!) This speaks of some strange purpose behind her actions. She also is looking over a clay jar.
"And it's great for finding a new pet, too!" she says, agreeing with her fellow samurai. She gets her focus back on the matter at hand. "This place is really different, but it's great fun. I hope we get lucky this time. Worst case, I get some experience. Best case... I get something even better."
She looks to Prophylaxis and waves, "Back for more? How are the meds holding up? Fear not. Should something strange happen to you, I'll snap you right out of it. I'm sure a few good slaps ought to do it!"
Then she beams and bounces a bit at Asuna.
"You are looking grand, Asuna!"
She also look to Larunen for a moment.
"Hello to you as well!"
The party finds themselves in a cavern lined with geometric patterns on the walls and ceilings, all formed by several species of bioluminscent fungus. There is a slight musty smell all around them, and it is evident that this cave is commonly entirely under water, depending on the tide of the waters - meaning that they have limited time to stay here. The low tide washes allows slithering Centicobras (poisonous snakes with centipede legs) to congregate, gorging on trapped fish. These bar the way through the cavern. No matter what time of the day, there always seems to be few at the entrance waiting for the patrol party. The monsters bare their fangs and rush towards the Adventurers as the first in many battles to come.
And what does Souji do, almost immediately? He runs off. Never too far to be out of range for buffs or heals, but the samurai is swift like the wind and strong like the earth. "What are you," he asks as he immediately samurai challenges a cluster with a taunt, "are you a snake? A centipede?" It hisses, chitters, and starts stabbalating at Souji who dodges out of the way in the 'I am so happy go lucky and you cant hit me' fashion. Duck. Sidestep. "Are those your attack patterns? Do you have a special move?" He is so excited. Kid at Christmas when he finds new monsters to fight.
"Thank you, Gwen! Your work is so lovely, and it moves so well. I can't believe how it can be so... form fitting and also so comfortable! A few girls told me it's perfect." And then said other things and she had to excuse herself to go do uhh, heroic things.
The Flash looks over to Lauren, "Hey! Welcome to Dragon's Eye! We're going to have a lot of fun here!"
But first, they are going to have to get past some really gross hybrids. Cobra and centipede. Just... why? Snakes needed to be more creepy? Centipede poison wasn't bad enough?
"And yes, Soujiro, I'm working on summoning next. Ideally, I will show you what I have in mind, if we get the right boss at the end. She's beautiful! And so graceful, too!" She could go on for a while. She's excited. But more likely, they will see a friggin' hydra or some other weirdness!
She does her usual thing, and slips past the gross mobs with a spring in her step. She lacks the flair of Yuuki's intentional slipping, but we can't all be super dodge squirrels! She can't quite keep up with Soujiro, either, but she does make a point of benefiting from all the openings he leaves in his wake.
"We'll have to see what she can summon, ane yes. We need to clear this place out so it can be recliamed. It's about time we did so." Gwen seems to have idea and she's very much in serious mode today. She's got her shield across her back as well. She loosk to be tkaing point and then sees the centicobras and frowns.
"Oh for a Flame thrower."
She has other ideas though and soon she's chanting and launching wind spells at the creatures cutting down anything that gets too close with her sword.
"This is your eviction notice!"
Again the first challenge is weird centipede snake things in the water, and again Prophylaxis has a tried and true answer for them. Centicobras inhabiting the water are, like most things that inhabit water, vulnerable to lightning.
And so, he simply drives a potent electric shock directly into a whole bunch of them. Bzzzap!
The assigned patrol pattern has the party venture towards the western heart of Dragon's eye through the mountain barrier that seperates it from the rest of the land. So far the path is singular and uncomplicated. This simplicity proves to be its weakness as much as its strength as stepping outside serves to make the party a very clear target. A swarm of Kraithornets descend and attack. These unusual mixtures of snake and hornet are of the poisonous type. Generally they seek fish and other aquatic creatures that unwittingly exit the inland end of the cave instead of making their way back to the sea. Today the Kraithornets find no fish. Instead they find a new meal to dine on: all of you. The party will need to push past this choke point before they can hunt and clear the Dragon's Eye area within.
More fun looking creatures! "Are those wasps and snakes? There is a lot of poison in this area. Doc! Don't slack on the poison removal!" he cheerfully calls out as the samurai has yet to draw out either of his katanas. Instead he kicks up a piece of driftwood and smacks down a flying monster like it was a baseball bat. He uses the environment itself creatively to shield and disorient these motley monsters.
"You can't get poisoned if their fangs and stingers can't penetrate your skin!" The doctor shouts, turning then to the gratuitous deployment of fireballs to deal with what beasts he can reach. Which is, as it turns out, quite an abundance of them.
Fireballs are /always/ effective.
"We fight here enough, Gwen, and I'm sure you'll get to see. Setsuna gave me a tip on how to capture it, too. I'm not going to give up until I bring it home. Ohh, Yui is going to be so excited to see it. I can't wait to show her."
Moving on through to the next mess. "Yeah, they are still alive. Friggin' things." Not that they can do anything to her. A few of them divebomb at Asuna. They make.. some kind of awful sound, then smash into a shield made of air. It proves quite harmful to their future endeavors.
"You'll be one of the first to see it, once I get it figured out, Soujiro! I am hoping it can really enhance my approach to battle. I need to have more options and keep my opponents guessing."
"Right keep me aware of what you want to capture so I don't kill it." She grins and now thinks for a moment as she now looks to see the bugs and she'll be moving into fight the bugs while keeping them off everyone else.
After pushing through the breach there is a moment for the party to gather their bearings and pursue a more open pathing. The ruins that scatters across the area are wide. Paths stretch like old broken roads alongside even more broken ruins. Scouting out ahead would be the best option now to determine where the monster nests are in the area and how to start clearing them out without getting overwhelmed. Time for some advanced recon.
Soujiro isn't good at puzzles. He is stupidly blessed with good instincts. "I have a good feeling about this way," he says. No real logic behind it. Feels. Feels and sparkles. Feels, sparkles, and adventure. That way.
The last time he had been in the ruined city that was The Dragon's Eye, it was so badly damaged that navigation was nearly impossible. It seems that nothing at all has changed in the handful of days since then. And just like the last time...
The doctor is high as /hell./
"This way," he says, proceeding down a seemingly random corridor between several different ruined buildings. "I've got a good feeling about this direction."
That is to say, the myriad combination of enhanced senses blasting into his brain are telling him that this is the direction they should all be heading. And maybe he's right again this time! Or maybe he's leading them right into an ambush. Either or.
"I'll give you a hint. If you run into fog, it's going to be time to bust out a jar of.. well hopefully living mist when it's done. And this would be perfect. This is a great group for it!" Asuna had something there, but she lost it. Speaking of which, it is time for her FAVORITE part. "Ohhh, searching and hunting and stuff. I'm great at this. Oh, and maimed? I mean, maybe if we're lucky and meet a REAL DRAGON! Wow, Yuuki would be so jealous if I got my arm bit off by a real dragon." She's kidding. Not about the Yuuki part. The hunting being something she's good at part.
She's wandering around, though, looking for.. something. And then she finds a path. She.. "Oh wow. I.. I hunted and it's.. I think it's kinda like this."
Since she's right by Soujiro, taking advantage of his skill to just sometimes.. know stuff, it helps her actually succeed at this. "I'd love to duel, too. I have a lot to learn. I feel like I let us down, you know?"
"I'm sorry but I hope to keep your skills unused on use today."
She grins and will puh on ahead to the ruins as she too has found some signs that caught her attention in that way. She will also look to Soujiro and nods.
"That we do, just tell me when and what to do when the time comes."
She will restain her damage if she's bale to after all if they need to catch something after all, right? Away they go what could go wrong!
The party finds a herd of Elkwolves walking through the overgrown 'streets' of Dragon's Eye. They may be the output of a nearby nest or simply a wandering feature of Dragon's Eye. Clearing these out and would go far in satisfying the requiresments of the job. These creatures are aggressive and blocking the way to stronger monsters in the area. Break time is over, time to get to work and clear out these monsters! With enough pressure the leader of this particular cell will need to show itself or face its domain being crippled through loss of monster-power.
Wolf. Elk. ELKWOLVES? "Are these a few you want to capture, Asuna," Souji asks as he points to an adorably murderous pack of wolves that are also elks. They are so dang cute. "Fierce puppies too," he says, grabbing one by the antlers and suplexing it. "Little rascals, hahaha." Like a kid playing with a new puppy. That has fangs. And Antlers. His health doesn't even dip at all due to natural regeneration.
Elkwolves appear to cause him further grief. Prophylaxis is absolutely not having it. With a gesture, the Magus conjures a nimbus of roiling arcane energies that soon disgorge a torrential downpour of magic missiles, smashing into wolf after elk after wolf. "...Have you had a chance to chat with Kuroyukihime, Soujiro? I think you two would get on quite well."
With her fingers splayed like a bow, she unleashes volleys ice arrows that shatter upon impact until they fly simply from her palm.
"Yes, there is a Mist Dragon, Soujiro! Well, a mist elemental creature that took on the shape of a dragon, but could you imagine how amazing it would be if I can capture it? I'll have to figure it out from there, but I know if I get it and work hard I can learn to control it. And even summon it!"
Asuna is super excited. She grins at Prophylaxis. "Awww, c'mon, Doc. Don't rain on my parade! I don't mind going one arm for a while if it nets-or jars-me a pet as cool as this one! Besides, it'll grow back. I mean with like, medicine and junk. Not to mention, Soujiro, wasn't there a one armed samurai? There had to be. And with my rapier, fighting with just one arm would be no big deal."
She isn't really paying much attention to the elkwolves. Or wolfelks. Or whatever. She knows they are coming and with familiar ease she summons a dark scythe to her hands. With a few well-aim swipes, the weird weapon extends to ridiculous lengths to rip at her enemies with its power. All while she's safely out of range!
"God this is like stuff out of a game my dad played with I was little!"
The party got the attention of the monster's overlord. The air itself becomes frosty as a draconic creature stomps from around the corner. A head peeks around. Then a second. A third. The blue scaled hydra roars in a chorus as it engages with its many snapping maws. The party has the prize in sight. To win they will need to apply constant pressure and not let those frosty faces multiply. The healers will be stressed by the need to abandon defense while keeping anyone from going down during the fight that would further delay pressure.
The samurai puts his hand on his katanas, finally, as he looks to the Hydra, "You are no mist dragon, but you are still a worthy foe. I am excited to meet you in battle. Let it be a great one, everyone!" There is a blinding light as Kogarasumaru is unsheathed from its saya, humming in Hymmnos a vow as an ethereal spirit fights along Souji as he launches right at the boss monster. He strikes fast, really putting his all into it like a Dark Souls player when they find a new boss to fight.
"Worst case scenario, we get to fight more here, and this is probably the coolest post-Apocalyptic modern city thing in the game," says Asuna. She admits, "I'm... not really a gamer. But a lot of my sorta-friends keep telling me about it. And early we had team cosplay going on. You should dress up as Cecil, Soujiro! I mean, you already sparkle like a Paladin anyway!"
She imagines that Soujiro's friends must be missing him by now. Hopefully they are having fun helping look after Yui, though. The child has a way of charming people.
"Oh, it's the guy with all the heads! This time I'm actually going to hit you! HARD!"
It's a long story. Okay, no it's not. Asuna was just too distracted last time and attacked after the boss already died. Pretty short story.
This time, though, she races in, uncaring about the damage and unleashes the full power of her attack at point blank range, vaulting upwards and raining down a blast of water-powered pain, right down the open maw of four of the creatures heads.
"Eat my vengeance!" she taunts. That's what you get for being a hydra and not a beautiful mist monster!
"Quite the good character yeah, my father made me play it too..."
Shedoesn't seem to have minded at all.
"Slimes for everyone! Wait that's Uta's job..."
Now as they head onwards to the overlord Gwen gets serious and she'll race in holding her shield out.
"WALL OF THE GODDESSES!"
A massive glowing barrier appears infront of her and if one knows their lore in Yamato? The symbols of all three of the main Goddesses appear on the barrier and it will take a hell of a hammering from the monster and when it finally gives way?
It will unleash a massive blast of magical power right back at the Hydra itself!
As long as the stumps are not, for example, coated in molten hot lava.
Which is what the doctor does about these ones, courtesy of a fusillade of cannonball-like rocks filled with oozing magma. "No losing limbs. The last thing I want to have to worry about is regrowing anybody's lost legs or arms or what-have-you while I'm on this many mental accelerants. Focus on cutting off this thing's heads. I'll take care of its regeneration."
Souji /does/ wait til after the battle to get into conversation. He was enjoying that fight way too might to talk and fight at the same time. Thats how you know Souji is really in the zone. Combat zone. "Your words are beyond kind, Asuna. I always looked up to Cecil as a hero and a Paladin, but Cecil may be too stoic and I don't want to dishonor his character." Deep respect for the Paladin. He looks up and considers, "Maybe Cyan from Final Fantasy 6? He was a samurai. But if we are sticking to 4, I could use some suggestions! That had a large cast." Notably Souji is doing this while doing the up-down fistpump fanfare of Final Fantasy. They didn't fight a Mist Dragon, but they can keep the dream alive.
Rubbing his temples with an agonizing groan. "We should... probably get out of here. My skull's pounding. Probably... shouldn't use more of that stuff for a little while. Guh."
Adventuring whilst on a Strange Mood is... painful, it seems.
"I do have something to eat in the invenofyr unless Asuna also has something to share!"
"I suppose you are far too happy and warm to play a stoic role. You would outshine him, and I would hate to make you outshine one of your heroes! Cyan? Final Fantasy.. oh, right. Um, let me check in with my friends and see if they have some ideas. I'm horrible at this."
She's the world's most ignorant cosplayer, honest!
She turns to look at the Doc. "You know, are those.. habit forming? You should probably get back to Tolbana and recover. Or focus on that mood stuff. It won't go away until you satisfy its demands, so its best to bite the bullet. We'll be okay here, honest! I actually have some light magic now, so I can keep us alive in a pinch! And look! No lost limbs." Sadly. There has to be a /real/ dragon around here somewhere, right? I mean it's friggin' Dragon's Eye. If there's no dragon it might as well be called 'False Advertising Island.'
She turns to Gwen, "By the way.. what the /hell/ was that last move? I've never seen anything like it! I could /feel/ it from across the battlefield."