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    • Shark

      Donations and Recognition!   12/22/2016

      Hello everyone! We are becoming a huge community and that doesn't come cheap. All staff here are volunteers and do this because they love the site. Right now, everything is paid out of pocket, by Erroneous. We would love for you to donate in order to help out with the site costs (i.e. Forum License, Domain Name, Hosting) so that we can keep Security and Forum Software up to date and possibly add some new features. If you do decide to donate, we have some fun, snazzy gifts of appreciation for you ;) Please message me (Shark) so we can get you the gifts of appreciation! We thank you for your support! Please use this link for more info   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How To Donate Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the donate button.

      NOTABLE DONORS LIST Here is where we honor the donors who go above and beyond the call of Aincrad! Top Tier Donors! Percival Row  Teayre Nezumi Zandra Alice Arc Atzo Baldur Claim Corvo Dominion Genji Ignavus_veneficus Jomei Kaya Lee Lessa Mack Macradon Nocturn Persephone Piera Ruus Sarial Hawke Shi Unyeilding Vale To express our gratitude, here is a picture of the iconic duo for all you wonderful supporters!
    • Shark

      The SAO Staff Team!   02/21/2017

      Hello members of SAO-RPG!

      I'm sure most of you (if not some) have noticed or heard changes were made to the staff team. If you are applying to staff, you may have noticed that the application process has recently changed. This has all happened because of a reformation of the staff team and the way it operates. The staff now has separate teams for development. These teams are: Floor Creation Team [Floors, Quests/Events, Bosses], Systems & Clarifications Team, and Player Support Team.

      "Who is on these teams?" Well the answer to that lies below! Floor Team Systems & Clarifications Team Player Support Team * - Denotes Team Lead

      We also have a team to work on and develop the current systems but that team will search for its members and is not allowed to be applied to.

      Now you may be asking, "Shark, how does one apply to the Staff Team?" And I have but 1 simple answer!
      Go read this thread and it may answer all your questions!

      If you have any more questions, send me a PM and I will answer your questions about staff. (Only the format of teams and/or the application process)
    • Cardinal

      [Live] 2.5.0 Patch Notes   10/02/2017

      <<2.5.0 Patch Notes>> Main Guide: The main rules/tutorial section has been rewritten. Resources: A Resources section has been added. This contains reference material such as the SP/Level chart, Skills list, Enhancement list, individual profession stats, and a new FAQ. General Rule Changes: Word count requirement in Merchants & Shops section has been reduced to 100 from 150. Col logs are no longer required to include in journals. The Banker system will be used to track currency/materials going forward. New characters and Rebirth characters may choose a Starter Package containing a variety of basic equipment, col, materials, and/or potions. NK/KE tags have been removed. The table for SP gain based on the number of players in a thread has been removed. SP gain is now issued at 1 SP per 3 posts, up to the number of completed pages. (e.g. 3 SP for three pages, requires at least 9 posts) A Skill Refunding System has been added. Players may now pay a col cost to remove known skills and receive a refund of the invested SP. Rules on vanity items have been clarified. Health regeneration outside of combat has been adjusted to (10 * Tier) per post. Stealth and Stealth Detection no longer have a base rating for players. Both now use a LD roll plus a Stealth Rating/Stealth Detection modifier. NPCs and monsters still utilize a base rating (10 as a baseline for player-created mobs). 'Using cover' no longer adds to Stealth Rating. Low light or darkness conditions grant a +1 to Stealth Rating, down from +2. Switch has been added as a game mechanic (no longer a skill). Players may call for a Switch when landing a successful attack. If the Switching player also lands an attack, a Switch is performed and the two players may immediately swap hate values. Players are required to post their level, stats, equipment, skills, etc., in their first post in a thread. This should be a snapshot of your character and should not be changed after the initial post. Players are still allowed to declare their characters at a lower level or with fewer items than what they currently have, but may not claim items that have not been approved or were obtained in an unlocked thread. Turn order rules have been modified slightly to reflect the leniency of Boss Raid combat. Players may post in any order so long as each player and the enemy has gotten one action in a single round. Outside of Boss Raids, parties may have a maximum of 4 players. Combat with more than 4 players should follow a Group order similar to boss raids. When fighting multiple enemies, players must now make individual rolls for each mob. This applies to both making attacks against multiple enemies and multiple enemies making attacks. One roll no longer applies to/for all targets. The Running Away mechanic has been updated. Running away from combat now uses a LD roll with a set of situational modifiers. The col/material values and frequency in the loot table have been adjusted. Labyrinth searching rules have been adjusted. The map fragment system has been removed. Bonus rewards for scouting and defeating the field boss have been adjusted. Housing and Guild Halls have been completely revamped. PvP rules have been adjusted. Players must make an initiative roll when engaging in combat with other players. The extended Player Killing rules/restrictions have been removed. Rules on player cursor colors have been expanded. There is now a strike system for criminal infractions that would cause a player's cursor to turn orange. Killing a green player outside of a duel now results in a permanent orange cursor. An NPC Guard mechanic has been added. Orange players may now enter safe zones, but must stealth/run from guards in certain safe zones. NPC guards have a Stealth Detection rating equal to (Floor / 3), rounded down. Added more detail to character death rules. The RGQ system has been removed. Crafting Changes: Fishing as a profession has been removed. It is now a skill. The CD result chart has been adjusted across all professions (except Merchant). Good and Bad quality items have been removed from the CD result chart. Salvage chances have been adjusted. Alchemists now have a chance to salvage one or both materials when attempting to craft crystals. Crafting Die tools no longer have an effect. Consumables, familiars, housing, and some items still provide EXP and Crafting Attempt bonuses. The process of crafting Feasts has changed slightly. Cooks may now take 3 identical food items and spend two materials to combine them into a Feast. A Feast can be used in a thread to provide that enhancement to up to six players. Artisan craftable item types have been modified (Trinkets, Jewelry, Sculptures). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Alchemist craftable item types have been modified (Salves, Potions, Crystals). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Skill Changes: Extended Weight Limit Removed Ranks - 15 SP cost Now adds +3 Battle Ready Inventory slots Adjusted Mod: Large Pockets Now has 3 Ranks Cost set to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3) Now increases single Battle Ready Inventory slots to 7/10/15 Removed 'Larger Pockets' and 'Largest Pockets' mods New Skill: Fishing Cost: 10 SP Effect: Use a dice roll to fish something up based on a natural CD result: Gatherer Now has a chance to yield 1-3 bonus materials based on a natural CD result Sneak & Hide Renamed to 'Hiding' Now grants +1 Stealth Rating per rank New Rank 3 Mod: Untraceable Cost: 9 SP Effect: Negates the effect of the Tracking skill against the user. New Rank 3 Mod: Blindside Cost: 9 SP Effect: Gain +2 Stealth Rating. Natural BD rolls of 9-10 reduce the target's accuracy by 1 for one turn when attacking from stealth. New Rank 5 Mod: Vanish Cost: 12 SP Cooldown: 5 Turns Effect: Allows the use of a post action to re-enter stealth while in combat. Getting a killing blow on an enemy allows Vanish to activate without using a post action. Search & Detect Renamed to 'Searching' Now also grants +1 Stealth Detection per rank Mod: Night Vision Now requires Rank 1, down from Rank 3 Cost reduced to 5 SP, from 9 Mod: Reveal Now also grants +2 LD when searching for Labyrinths and allows Labyrinth searches at 15 posts. Mod: Tracking Now requires Rank 3, down from Rank 5 Cost reduced to 12 SP, from 15 Tracking requirements for monsters, players, and NPCs have been clarified. Mod: Detect Cost reduced to 9 SP, from 15 No longer uses or affects Tracking. Now Grants +2 Stealth Detection. Grants +1 LD when searching for sub-dungeons and labyrinths Battle Healing Now recovers 1% of max HP per rank, instead of (Rank * 5 * Tier) Mod: Emergency Recovery Cost reduced to 10 SP, from 15 Now recovers 10% of max HP, down from 25% Block MIT gained is now set per rank: 5/8/12/18/25, down from 1 MIT per SP invested. New Rank 3 Mod: Shield Bash Cost: 10 SP Cooldown: 2 Turns Energy Cost: 10 Energy Effect: Make an attack with an equipped shield. On a hit, deals (Base * 10) damage, stuns the enemy for one turn, and applies paralyze/thorns/flame thorns enhancements present on the shield. Note: When calculating Base Damage for Shield Bash, Weapon Skills do not apply. Mod: Safe Guard Reworked into 'Rampart' Added a 5 turn cooldown Added energy cost of 8 Now uses a post action to reduce final damage that would be dealt to you by 25% (rounded down). Effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn. Energist Removed Ranks - 12 SP cost Now adds (5 * Tier) to total energy, instead of (Rank * 2) Howl Added energy cost of 10 Mod: Focused Howl Added energy cost of 8 Parry Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 1 turn cooldown Energy cost has been fixed at 5, instead of (2 * enemies parried) 50% damage reduction has been specified to apply to the final damage (after mitigation). Effect applies to the next attack against the user, and cannot reduce damage from multiple enemies at once. Mod: Vengeful Riposte Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 3 turn cooldown Damage reflected is now 50% of raw damage, up from 25% of damage taken. This damage can still be mitigated. Switch Skill has been removed. Two-Handed Weapons The +2 DMG bonus for 2H weapons has been clarified in the first rank of 2H weapon skills. All Weapons The Ferocity and Finesse mods have been condensed into a single description. You must still specify the weapon type when acquiring the mod(s). Mod: Ferocity Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now increases base damage of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by 1. Mod: Finesse Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now has 3 Ranks Cost adjusted to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3), down from 15 at Rank 5 Now reduces energy cost of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by an amount equal to its rank. Mod: Quick Change Cooldown reduced to 3 turns, down from 5 Now allows the user to swap, equip, or unequip a weapon in their Battle Ready Inventory. Mod: Stamina Now reduces the energy cost of all attacks by 1. Heavy Armor Increased the amount of MIT gained to 8>12>18>25>35, up from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health increased to (15 * Tier), up from 15 Mod: Stonewall Bonus health has been adjusted to (15 * Tier), instead of equal to mitigation from other skills. Now also grants 10 MIT when wearing heavy armor Now also reduces damage taken from damage over time effects by 25% (rounded down) when wearing heavy armor. Light Armor Adjusted the amount of MIT gained to 5>8>12>18>25, down from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health adjusted to (10 * Tier), from 15 Familiar Mastery 'Accurate' now has 3 ranks. 'Assistant' now provides bonus EXP (crafting attempts at max profession rank) instead of CD. Meditation Removed Ranks - 8 SP cost Added a 5 turn cooldown Now recovers (3 * Tier) energy. Getting hit by an attack before the beginning of your next turn reduces the energy recovered to (2 * Tier). Survival Added 3 SP cost Increases out of combat health regeneration to (15 * Tier), instead of 20. Enhancement Changes: Life Steal has been renamed to Vampiric. The Crafting Die enhancement has been removed. Alchemist and Artisan item types for enhancements have been modified. Sword Art Changes: Multipliers have been simplified to a single number (x6) from the two-part formula (2x3). Several descriptions have been updated. Quest Changes: The 'Redemption' quest has been revamped. The level and repeatable restrictions have been adjusted to affect only the bonus SP rewards: The First Few Lessons Are Free The Second Lesson is Also Free The Third Lesson is Just As Free The Fourth Lesson is Actually Free The Venemous Warg Repeating the 'Earning a Living' quest now allows a player to change their profession. Changing professions will reset experience to 0. Repeat completions of the Earning a Living quest will only award bonus materials if the quest-taker is changing their profession. The following quests have been removed: «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.M.H & S.B.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.L.C.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures «The Falling of Tagas» Housing Changes: The cost and size of Player Housing is now determined by a 'plot size'. The plot size dictates how many room slots, yard slots, and stories a house can have as well as the initial cost when purchasing. Purchasing a PK-accessible home (outside of a safe zone) has an additional cost. Buffs from Guild Halls/Player Housing now comes from the type of room, rather than furniture. Certain rooms for Player Housing have upgrades. Player Housing buffs must be assigned to a player. Home owners may use the Housing Evaluation topic to re-assign a room's player(s) once every 30 days. New/Rebirth Character Changes: Players who have submitted a new or rebirth character journal for approval in the past 30 days are eligible to add one of the starting bundles. <<2.5 Update Survival Guide>> Skills: If you spent more than 15 SP on the Extended Weight Limit skill, refund any SP over 15. If you have spent less than 15 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 12 SP on the Energist skill, refund any SP over 12. If you have spent less than 12 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. If you spent more than 8 SP on the Meditation skill, refund any SP over 8. If you have spent less than 8 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 8 is invested. If you have the Parry skill, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you have the Survival skill, you must spend 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 3 is invested. If you had the Switch skill, remove it and refund 10 SP. Mods: If you have the Detect mod, keep it and refund 6 SP. If you have the Tracking mod, keep it and refund 3 SP. If you have the Emergency Recovery mod, keep it and refund 5 SP. If you had Rank 1 or 2 of the Ferocity mod, lose it and receive a refund of the SP spent. If you had Rank 3 or 4 of the Ferocity mod, you must spend 6 or 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 10 SP on the Finesse mod, refund any SP over 10. If you have the Large Pockets mod, you must spend 1 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 10 is invested. If you had the Larger Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 2 SP. If you had the Largest Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 5 SP. If you have the Night Vision mod, keep it and refund 4 SP. If you have the Vengeful Riposte mod, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. Professions: If you had the Fishing profession, all EXP may be transferred to any other profession. If you had a Tool with the 'Crafting Die' enhancement, you may post it for re-evaluation with the Ambition or Crafting Attempt enhancement (item name/description may not change). If you retake the Earning a Living quest in order to change professions, your EXP resets to 0 for the new profession. Edit your existing shop thread with your new profession information. Housing: Existing Guild Halls and Player Housing have been removed. They may be repurchased through the Housing Evaluation template. Players who previously bought a home or hall have been reimbursed for the total col cost in their original housing application. If a guild had shared col lost due to the removal of a guild hall, PM the details to @Teion for review/reimbursement.
    • Aereth

      2.5.2 New Mechanic: Thread Invasion/Protected Threads   11/08/2017

      Hello Players,
      Once again your feedback is needed, so head over to the thread and tell us what you think. LINK  


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About Lessa

  • Birthday 05/28/1992

Guild Information

  • Guild Name
    The Vanguard
  • Position
    Guild Master

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  • Gender
  • Location
    The Mitten State
  • Skype

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  1. Assuming I’m understanding everything correctly, I really like the new proposal. Scaring for story element only provides for that surprise factor, but no real damage is done. Very well done, staff!
  2. I couldn’t disagree more. If you’re a new member of the site, and your character is PKed before you can even get a few threads done, you’re going to leave. Finding and keeping new members is a huge issue. Sweeping it aside like this is very dangerous.
  3. [OP - F10] Trick or Treat~!

    Her first instinct was to drift toward the food, and pick at whatever sweets were most readily accessible. Back in the real world, Alyssa Butler had been known to do the same, demonstrating that some things really never changed. She was just reaching for a cookie, silently wondering if she could get fat in Aincrad, when a voice from behind startled her. She yanked her hand back as if she had been caught in the midst of a crime, then turned to face a familiar black-haired boy in jeans and a t-shirt. The character name came first, as who could forget L? He'd been a little out there for her tastes, but one of her brothers had been obsessed for the longest time, quoting L whenever possible, and even sitting like him at the dinner table (until Mom and Dad swatted him). It took a moment longer for Lessa to locate the player's name, considering it had been month since they had stood face-to-face. "Itzal," Lessa greeted, inclining her head. "It's good to see you. Been a minute, hasn't it? You look good." Her smile was easy, genuine, and not at all as strained as it had once been when she found old acquaintances. For the longest time, the girl had been uncomfortable around those who knew her as she had been; somehow, it was a throw-back to the past that she did not care to acknowledge. Now, she was far more comfortable. Much of that, she decided, could be attributed to her new generation of friends. Speaking of old friends, another familiar voice pulled her attention away. She turned, her long braid sliding over her shoulder with the fluid motion. The sight of Jomei produced a smile only her partner in crime could inspire. Surviving a haunted castle, it seemed, forged a special bond between two people. "Hey Jomei," she said, then paused to look him up and down. "Or, I suppose there's a captain in there somewhere, huh?" Laughing, she amended, "hey Captain Jomei." When the redhead turned to his companion, a pretty doe-eyed blonde in a Sailor Scout uniform, Lessa instinctively ripped the hat from her head. Even in Michigan, her father's Wyoming manners had been beaten into her. While the "never wear a hat indoors" rule could be bent for a costume party, the "never make a new acquaintance in a hat" rule had to be adhered to. She pressed the fedora to her chest with her left hand, and extended her right to the woman. "It's a pleasure," she stated, and meant it. @Telrenya @Jomei @Itzal
  4. [SP - F7] Magic Mountain

    Though Liza did not resort to a full-fledged scowl, as she was far too mature for such things, her gaze did narrow as she eyed me. I imagined red, fiery daggers shooting from those green slits. Or maybe obnoxious laser beams, complete with Star Wars sound effects. "What more do you need?" Liza demanded. "I have no idea where he is, and that is the truth. I am not keeping anything from you." "Except why he is not on your friends list." From past experiences, I knew that players disappearing from friends lists could mean two things - either they were removed, or the player was killed. When I had mistakenly thought the latter when the former was true, I had had a near breakdown. Now, I tried to understand how Liza's friend no longer showed up, which kept us from being able to track him. The dark-haired beauty insisted their missing player was still alive, but her refusal to expand on the matter baffled me. I turned away from her to continue searching for mats, letting her stew in her own frustration. "That's sort of important." I glanced back up to see the girl's jaw work, her eyes narrowing even further, before she finally growled her answer. "Because I removed him."
  5. [PP - F7] Going to Temple

    She heard his declaration, cutting through the scuff of boots on dirt, and heavy breathing of combat. Part of her longed to shout her own encouragement, but she found herself wondering if his words were meant for her at all. So instead she merely smiled, drew Hell Rose, and thundered toward the spider. She had played defense for the goblin, standing her ground until the stocky mob drew nearer. This time, fueled by adrenaline, her good mood, and the previous victory, Lessa leapt into combat without a second thought. Might as well use her most powerful sword art! Unfortunately, such recklessness led to missteps and stupid mistakes. She misjudged the distance between herself and the spider, partially due to her eagerness, and partially due to its speed. The fuzzy creature seemed to gallop closer, all eight legs moving in a sort of tantalizing wave as it met her head on. No, she thought immediately, I won't be able to- Then her chest warmed, a sharp stab of heat straight through her collar bone. Lessa let fly a sharp yelp of surprise, only realizing what was happening as her sword suddenly moved with a mind of its own. Where her normal swing would have missed, her body seemed to adjust its course, and her blade forged an entirely new arc. She left an impressive gash in the spider's side. "Damn accuracy mod," she muttered, the awe and relief in her tone impossible to miss. It was not often that she needed the help, but when she did, she was incredibly thankful. Lessa: 700/700 HP // 53/70 E (-13, +1) (4 H) (Galaxy Destroyer activated) Genji: 180/180 HP // 17/18 E (1 H) BFS: 261/450 HP (443 - (14*13=182) = 261)
  6. [SP - F7] Magic Mountain

    Liza appeared startled by my tone. The first crack in her stony facade was charged by first surprise, and then anger. Though she hurried to school her face back into an apathetic expression, there were traces of the emotion in her tone. "As I have said, I have told you all there is to tell about my friend. I know nothing more." The girl had tilted her head back, allowing her to gaze down down her nose at me despite being a few inches shorter. The look, and the edge to her tone, were both too condescending for my taste. "You know," I started, allowing ample amounts of sass to flow into my own voice, "I just don't buy that. I don't believe that you would care this much for someone who was not on your friends list." I glanced around for more materials, knowing that the action would only work to infuriate her. "I don't know why you would charge, half-cocked, into a situation that is far out of your control, for someone who just didn't matter to you." That managed to get a rise out of her. "I never said he doesn't matter to me," she shot back, emerald eyes flashing in the dying sunlight. "When did I ever say that?" "You didn't," I answered simply. "And now I know that he does. Now I have to wonder why you're not willing to divulge more information, considering he's someone you care about. It isn't like you don't know more about him that you've let on, considering he matters to you."
  7. [PP - F11] Hallowed Halls

    It was hot down here, far hotter than seemed possible, or realistic. Where in the world were they, the boiler room? For a moment, Lessa felt compelled to blame the torches that flickered and leapt from the stone walls. It was a narrow passageway, so perhaps the fire was enough to warm the space? But it was a damp heat, like the warm breath from some slumbering giant. The vision of a sleeping beast brought chills to Lessa's spine. Considering all they had played witness to that afternoon, she scarcely doubted that a massive monster might be next. Nothing can be ruled out at this point, she thought with no shortage of fear. Somehow, the dim lighting and steady drip of water from somewhere far off sent her pulse racing again. "Hey, Jomei," she began, "I'm getting that feeling again. I feel like we're being watched." There was a slight tremor in her voice, and the way that she heard her own words echoing back to her in the tapered chamber only made things worse. "Do you feel it too?" Even as she waited for his reply, she sucked in a sharp breath at the faded outline of a woman, hovering further down the gloomy hallway. "That explains it," she declared, turning back the direction they had come. The thought of climbing all those stairs again, especially after just descending them, was not pleasant. Furthermore, she was not eager to visit the supernatural kitchen again. But she would take inverted cooking utensils and physical exertion if it meant distance between herself and the ghost. Why did it have to be ghosts? But then she turned, and came face to face with a solid brick wall. Her trembling hands extended, and damp palms pressed against the slick stone, which had not been there mere seconds before. "I guess that's the house's way of saying we need to keep moving." It was meant to come out as a joke, but her humor reserves were bone-dry at the moment. Fortunately, when she turned back, the hallway was abandoned. Thank god for small miracles. So she led her friend deeper down the hallway, which widened into a room straight out of a horror novel. "Is this-" she began, gulping so loudly that that too seemed to echo. "Is this a torture chamber?" What else could it be, given the massive stretching rack that was featured proudly in the middle of the room? Rows of weapons were displayed along the walls, ranging in size, shape, and level of nastiness. Chains and cages dangled from the ceiling, swinging from side to side despite the complete lack of airflow. The creak of their hinges reminded Lessa of some animal's dying cries.
  8. [OP - F10] Trick or Treat~!

    Lessa sang the Indiana Jones theme song to herself as she strode toward the Halloween event. It was only fitting, considering the costume that she had chosen for the evening. Tan trousers, based loosely off the WWII style, hung from a tightly cinched brown belt. The belt matched the oversized leather flight jacket, styled to look well-worn, despite being brand new. Beneath the jacket, she wore a long-sleeved button-up shirt, only a few shades lighter than her pants. The top buttons were undone to provide comfort, but not far enough to reveal anything scandalous. While she could imagine how easy it would be for her college classmates to construct a sexy Indiana Jones, Lessa would have none of it. She opted for realism, from the coiled bullwhip on her right hip to the satchel draped across her body. Even her sturdy boots and fedora were as accurate as possible, though she was unwilling to chop off her hair to complete the look; a tight braid down the middle of her back sufficed. Overall, the ensemble nearly drained her savings. But if you were to ask Lessa, it was so worth it. She wondered if she would ever take the outfit off. "What a nice costume! It is great to see you here at this event. Here's your item for showing and I hope you enjoy yourself." Grinning up at the NPC, Lessa summoned her best Indy drawl. "Thanks a lot!" She accepted the offered consumable, nodding again as Jack moved on to another guest. With one final look around, drinking in the orange glow and spectacular decorations, she slipped through the massive doors and into the mansion.
  9. [SP - F7] Magic Mountain

    We trudged in silence for what felt like hours. While we were fortunate enough to avoid further run-ins with mobs, I actually found myself wishing for combat. That, at least, would provide a break in the monotony. I cast sideways glances toward Liza every few minutes, both to assure myself she was still with me, and to evaluate her mental state. Every time, there was very little to be gleaned. She should be a lawyer, I thought, considering how her face was etched in unmovable stone. Or a professional poker player. I let my mind wander through the possibilities as I scooped up another material, considering just what might happen were a person to declare "card player" as their profession. What sort of mats would they require? Would the only need to interact with NPCs? Could they count cards? I mean, why the hell not? There was nothing else to think about while Liza continued her suffocating quiet. Finally, I could not wait any longer. The sun was nearing completion of its final march toward the horizon, and I knew darkness would fall if we waited much longer. The probability of our finding her friend and returning before total nightfall was almost nil. "Look," I began, slowing to a stop to emphasize my words. "I need more information. I know what you said before, and I respect that, but it's going to be dark soon. If there is ANYTHING else you can tell me, you need to do so. Now."
  10. Housing Evaluation

    Guild Name: The Vanguard Guild Owner: Lessa Guild Hall Name: The Grotto Location: Floor 21. Located on the outskirts of Tomoika, built into a network of caves. Description: The Grotto is a mixture of both man-made and natural occurrence. Built into preexisting cave systems, the hall's size is largely obscured by the giant stalactites that house it. Accessible by a simple door, with rooms separated by standard walls, much of the building looks like a structure one might find anywhere else. However, the mushroom lighting and occasional exposed stone walls give the place a unique charm. A second entrance can be found behind a waterfall in the rear of the hall. The sound of rushing water, from the falls, and distant underground springs, can always faintly be heard. Type of Guild: Leveling Guild Rooms: Storage Vault, Guild Bank, Training Room, Treasury Total Cost: 160,000 col
  11. [PP - F11] Memories

    Though already sitting straight-backed in the chair, Lessa grew more tense, strung as tightly as a guitar string. "Lowenthal?" she repeated, lips turning downward into a frown. Not Zelrius? "Your butler gave the impression that-" She stopped suddenly, shaking her head, and deciding it was pointless to argue the deeds of an NPC. Rather, she would play along until it was revealed she was no help at all to this player. Then, she would be asked to leave, and that was just as well. "I hardly knew Lowenthal," she explained, smoothing her palms along her slacks. "Furthermore, I only belonged to the Azure Brigade for a very short time. I joined to be closer to my friend, Zelrius. When he was killed, I saw no need to remain a member any longer. I never felt much like a part of the guild either." Perhaps the last sentence was unnecessary, and the bitterness in her tone only added insult to injury. Still, she might as well share all she had to. "Ssendom was kind enough to give me a sword, though I've since passed it along to someone else." What was the point of it all? "So I wonder if maybe I'm not the right person to ask about all of this."
  12. [PP - F7] Going to Temple

    Lessa snorted, as unladylike a sound as she had ever made before. Then she scrunched her face, lips pursing as if she had sucked on a lemon. "Damn it, Genji," she drawled. "If you don't stop putting visuals of your 'delivery' in my head, I may just go tumbling over this ledge after all. And not by accident!" Then her face loosened into a grin, teeth flashing in the bright sunlight. It was a gesture meant to express that she had no real qualms with thinking such things - he was a good enough looking guy - but she was not his friend if she did not give him a hard time about it. So she nodded, giving her hips a small shake, and adding, "these big girl pants really do make my butt look great." She was still smiling when her companion noted the change in scenery. "Sure," she answered, moving up alongside him. "Looking out for large birds. And large lizards." Then she moved in front of Genji, a simple action that spoke volumes when one paused to consider it. On the surface, it made sense, considering she was the higher level, and the player holding the tank role. But Lessa had made a habit of stepping between players and threats, both literally and figuratively. It brought her some comfort, knowing she would be the first to meet any dangers that lurked just out of reach, and worked to calm the incessant nagging that she might lose yet another friend. It had grown softer, locked away in some distant part of her, but it was always there. Most likely, it always would be. "Oh good!" she called out, when beady eyes peered back at her. The black, furry creature scurried from the darkness, charging into the light at an alarming speed. "Hope you don't mind spiders!" Color burst from Lessa as she activated <<Howl>>. At her side, Riker crouched, not at all perturbed by the fact the eight-legged creature matched him in size. <<Howl>> activated. Lessa: 700/700 HP //65/70 E (3 H) Genji: 180/180 HP // 18/18 E Big Freaking Spider: 450/450 HP
  13. [PP - F7] Going to Temple

    "See? SEE?" Lessa jabbed her pointer finger toward Genji, blue eyes flashing as her face transformed from placid to smug. She could always be counted on to set the perfect trap, and Genji was as dependable as the sunrise when it came to walking right into them. "You're just proving my point, Mister Lord of the Rings expert." She clicked her tongue, shook her head, and added, "I'm willing to bet you even read the books." Then, devilishly, "I bet you even read them more than once." The exchange had removed much of the heaviness from her, plucking the weight from her chest before it had ample time to settle. Good, the woman thought to herself. She could always depend on Genji for that too. She paused while he bowed, and despite her feelings on the matter, inclined her head in thanks. "I appreciate the sentiment, Genji," she told him, and meant it. "But I've had a lot of time to miss them. They were good people, and didn't deserve what happened to them. At the same time, none of us deserve this, and it doesn't do well to keep dwelling on it too much." Lessa gazed out across the landscape, and for a while, said nothing. She was content to watch the long-winged hawk glide lazy figure-eights across the blue, cloudless sky. Finally, she said, "They wouldn't want us moping about it either, most likely. Just makes us miserable, and there's enough out there to do that for us." "So," she concluded, "that's how I've started living life. I still miss them, like hell, every single day. But only for a minute or two, when I first wake up. Then I put on my big girl pants and keep fighting the good fight." When she turned back to him, there was no trace of the aforementioned sadness - only the light, easy expression Lessa wore most every day now. "It's probably those big girl pants that help me make friends. I could loan them to you, if you want. I'll warn you, they're leggings, but I bet you could make that look good."
  14. [PP - F7] Going to Temple

    "Those stupid eagles," Lessa replied tartly, shaking her blonde head. "Do you have any idea how much easier life would have been for Frodo and Sam if those eagles had just flown them there in the first place?" Before Genji could say anything, she held up her hand, and added, "I'm sure there's some very compelling and complex reason that any true Tolkien fan should know. And it wouldn't make for a very good movie otherwise. But man, for a basic movie fan like me, it was pretty annoying." On the matter of mounts, Lessa felt that there was more that needed saying, considering it was a topic she felt strongly about. "Truthfully, though, I just want a horse. Seriously. Like I miss my family, and my house, and all those other things. But I haven't ridden a horse in years, and that's killing me." Her fingers itched to hold a pair of reins again, and because the feeling was nearly palpable, she balled her hands into fists at her sides. “Horses were my stress reliever. More expensive than a membership to a yoga studio, and a lot more work, but I can't stop thinking about how much I want to ride again." She glanced at him with a smile that did not reach her eyes. "Maybe somewhere on the next few floors." When he asked her about her friends, the smile faded completely. "There were a few of them," she answered. "I met them all afterward, as I didn't make the jump with anyone. Alkor was the first player I met here, and we did the grind together for the first fifteen levels or so. Kiluia and I worked together for a while too. He was more experienced than I was, so he showed me the ropes. I tried running my own guild, and that's how I met Ariel, who I still talk with from time to time. I ran with a guy named Daeron for a bit. Later, I met Jomei, Baldur, Icarus, and a few others." Though the smile did not return, she spoke with surprising clarity and control when she added, "Some of them are still around, and some of them aren't."
  15. [PP - F7] Going to Temple

    Silence fell as Lessa mulled over his question. She let her gaze wander skyward, lips making soft kissing noises while she thought. Finally, "I'd capture it. Gain its trust. Train it. Make it my mount." When she turned to look at him, a goofy grin plastered across her face, she added, "I mean, why the hell not? We're bound to find mounts at some point. I think mine should be a freaking dragon." The pair carefully navigated their way around the wrecked path, sticking close until they were again on solid footing. Once they were further along, Lessa let a bit more distance come between them, and answered his question. "I wasn't a fighter before SAO," she admitted truthfully. "Literally, or figuratively. I mean, I was competitive and stuff, but I've changed a lot since then. I'd do stuff now that I never would have before." Realizing she was veering off course, she gave a small wave of her hand. "But actual fighting, no. I was in decent shape when I joined up, from riding horses, and track and field a few years ago in high school. So that probably helped. But I'd never really held a sword until Aincrad." At the mention of her prized weapon, she let her hand drift to it's rose-bud hilt. "I practiced a lot. Trial and error, mostly. Learned alongside some friends, who were also around my level. I know the people who joined with experience in martial arts and swordplay had an edge, but I managed to close the gap after a while."