Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About Arc

  • Birthday 05/31/1988

Profile Information

  • Gender

Profile Fields

  • Skill Points

Recent Profile Visitors

8,707 profile views
  1. The bleak reflection stared back at him, and Tobias recognized the tired look despite every attempt the game made to distort the truth. Like everyone else, he was pixelated, perfected, and free from the myriad weaknesses real life might have afflicted. There was something in every player's eyes that revealed the truth, however. His helmet rested on the countertop beside him as he looked inside himself, at memories of the time before Sword Art Online. Memories that reminded him he was still alive, and not just a character on a server like his mind gradually came to believe he was. The hour had grown late, though. Others who frequented taverns and drank their fill at night would crawl in soon, and his face might be recognized. Messy blue hair and dark blue eyes slowly disappeared behind his helmet as he stepped back out into public and donned the guise of Vanguard. The simulacra of deep crimson dyed his world bloody, and the other players he could see appeared only as cursors, not names. But he remembered the face of Domarus. The two spoke, one more Green than the other for sure. Something about drinks. Vanguard was here primarily to restock consumables, but also, to rest. He took a seat not far from the bar, and rested his arms on the table.
  2. Arc

    [F09] «Guardian of Fire»

    Gonna take this one.
  3. Alright, took the weekend to catch up on some much needed rest.

    Now, to write. Well. Increase frequency.

  4. Arc

    [SP-F11] Before the Fall.

    "When she died, we were still getting used to the game," Jiro explained. He looked cold, like heat had drained from his bones and could not get back in. Arc noticed him shiver. "It was the second floor, a minor quest involving killing mobs and collecting their drop items. We didn't think anything of it, and we were almost done..." The second floor had been a learning curve for many players, Arc recalled. Straightforward algorithms like the ones on the first floor became increasingly rare as time elapsed, and as the players learned the game, the game in turn learned them. If someone wasn't smart enough to recognize that, then... Well, Annabelle. "They swarmed us, spawns quicker than before, and far more numerous. We made a break for Urbus, but there were too many. I started to run back, to buy her more time." "But she was already gone, huh?" Jiro nodded faintly. "You accepted a long time ago that you couldn't have her back." Arc's words were flat, but contemplative. Jiro winced at the direct man, but he still smiled. "So, when you heard about this rumor, you wanted to believe it, and you started getting yourself excited?" "No," Jiro said quietly. "I... probably should have left this one alone. But I spoke up about it, and that person started talking. The rumor started- well, I guess it started with me. I heard it first." Arc blinked. "From where?" he asked. It suddenly sounded shadier than it had first let on.
  5. Arc

    [SP-F11] Before the Fall.

    "We're going to meet at the far edge of the floor, just after the sun sets for the last time today." If you weren't in Taft, Arc realized, it was easier to make that distinction about the sunset. Where the clock tower was involved, all affairs of time lost their sensibility. He quirked a brow as he listened to Jiro. "The others are off checking out rumors on higher floors," he explained. "I picked you to help me here, Arc, because I wanted to ask you a few things." "Sure." The blue haired player shrugged a bit. He had nothing to hide, so he thought. "What about?" "How can you make yourself do this?" Jiro asked. The skepticism in his voice slammed into Arc like a wall that came up out of nowhere. "You seem so certain that it's not real, it's almost like you just convinced yourself to sign on just in case you were wrong. I feel like no part of you actually thinks there's anything to this rumor." "It's not like that," he explained as they walked along the dirt path. "I want to believe it. Like the rest of you, this game has beaten me down, left me all but broken, and thrashed all of my beliefs. I want to believe, genuinely, that there's something I can take back from it. At the same time, I'm a practical man. If it's not an error on the system, even if it's not the life of my best friend, I'd settle for knowing the truth." "So you're a cautious hopeful?" Jiro raised a brow. "More like a jaded cynic," Arc made a gesture with his hand to indicate that it was neither here nor there. "You sound like you're not entirely convinced, either. Yet here you are, leading the charge." The spearman glanced sidelong at his companion. "Care to explain that?"
  6. Arc

    [SP-F11] Before the Fall.

    He kept the group alive, but what Jiro didn't tell them was that he struggled with his own smile. The blonde confided in me later that day that he took up the search because he lost his lover, Annabelle to Sword Art early on. The toughest tales are the ones without hope, and Jiro went a very long time believing that there was none. He told me that he sometimes stared over the edge of the first floor, and once even thought to jump. This world has stolen the will to live from many of us. There was even a time when I wasn't sure it was worth the fight. I wouldn't admit it, not to anyone who asked, but when I found out about... I guess I should start at the beginning. My whole reason for all of this. The reason I left for the fringes, chasing a rumor that might well be baseless. On the ninth floor, during the boss raid, my best friend Thom was killed. Whether by a careless error on his part, or a failure on the part of his party, the player known as Alkor ceased to exist inside of Aincrad. We all know what's supposed to happen when a player dies. I was fully ready to accept it, too. Then, I heard the rumor. Hope is dangerous. I say this knowing full well the devastation I will feel if it turns out to be false. That I even believe it is foolish, and my willingness to take up the cause makes me feel outright stupid. But if there is a chance- Thom lived, for the most part, alone. We went to school together for years, and I visited with him during weekends and when he wasn't working. For the past few years, right up until the release of the game, he moved in with his grandmother to take care of her when she took ill. Dementia is a terrible disease. Watching her fall apart cracked something inside Thom. He hardly wanted to go places anymore, or to do anything. We played games. It was his only outlet. His grandmother meant the world to him. Other than me, she was the only person in the world who he had any connection with. But we both logged into SAO. God only knows what happened after that. Did his mother take up the duty? Did anyone? Did they come home to find her dead, and him trapped inside a game? And even now, is he dead? There are some questions that only beating this game will answer, and I will focus on those when the time comes. I just want to see my friend back to his grandmother, if I can. But Jiro... I'm not sure how together that kid really has it.
  7. Arc

    [SP-F11] Before the Fall.

    The first thing Arc noticed about Jiro was his enthusiasm. Where the blue haired youth was reserved and stoic, the blonde was outgoing, passionate, and constantly radiating positive vibes. He was a good ringleader for the ragtag group, because their entire mission hinged on blind faith. It helped that he constantly prattled on about what he would do when he saw his girlfriend again, though the thought made Arc somewhat sad that he had left his behind. Jiro never let the mood sour for more than a few moments though, and when he saw the darkened expression creep onto the other boy's face, he brilliantly changed the subject. "We're all here because Aincrad took something from us," he declared. All eyes fell on him at the bizarre statement, waiting for his point. Arc hoped he would be impressed. "A friend, a loved one, or maybe just the first person you met in a game where you felt all alone?" A murmur rippled through the group. Several heads nodded. Jiro clenched his fist tightly. "So, what I've heard is that there is an item that allows a player to return to life after dying." Everyone collectively sucked in a breath. "Some stories say it's an event item," the boy held up a single finger, "and others say it's a reward for clearing a dungeon. The problem is, there's not a single broker that has all the information, and what brokers have most are holding out for the highest bidder." Of course. "But don't lose hope just yet!" Jiro yelled out, intent on silencing the dissension. "We're going to split up into teams, and we're going to find that recovery item. Where there's one, there's bound to be more, aren't there?" "Yeah!!!!!"
  8. Arc

    [SP-F11] Before the Fall.

    The blue haired man stepped out into the forest, and no sound at all greeted him. Taft was notoriously surrounded by a colony of massive ants, all of which were intent on taking the eleventh floor for their queen. Despite the fall of the floor boss, none of the creatures seemed any less enthusiastic about their toils. Large nests that burrowed deep underground and formed dungeons constituted the dangers of the floor. Despite that, none of those dangers interested Arc. He set out beyond the furthest of the hives, trekking past the fringes of the forest to the outermost reaches of the floor. When he saw the others gathered, he raised a hand to greet them. "Hey there," the smiling face of a quirky young man stepped forward to meet him. "Glad to have you on board again. We lose people every day, so-" "It's understandable," Arc waved him off. "Most people don't believe it's possible. I'm not even sure I do. I just can't ignore the possibility." "And that's exactly it," the other man sighed. "What if it's real, and we miss the chance? Sure, Akihiko laid it all out in the beginning- but there's always something he might not have said. You know?" Arc just shrugged. "What did the broker have for us?" A taller man asked, arms folded. Arc glanced over. Did he know this one? Maybe.
  9. Arc

    [SP-F11] Before the Fall.

    The following is an excerpt from the journal of Tobias Palmer, stored in the memory banks of his NerveGear in the event that he did not make it out of Sword Art Online alive. Or, to be kept as a reminder if he did. What does it mean, 'to do the right thing?' Not to be existential, but our parents tell us from the time we're very small that we should always "do the right thing," and they remain notoriously bleak on what they expect of us. At times, examples are given situationally, to not lie, or not to steal. Killing others is also traditionally accepted as "wrong." But once you cross over from childhood into adult life, there are not handicaps. Gone are the advantageous context clues about what is allowed and what is frowned upon, and we are left to decide for ourselves what qualifies as "right." So, in this world where everything is stacked against us, and those trapped alongside us are slowly slipping into madness, do the rules change? Is the right thing firm and absolute, or does it become fluid like humanity and adapt to it's circumstances? Many of the others argue that survival far outweighs the standard to which we once strived, and that to adhere to a single notion of "the right thing" is a fool's errand. A shortcut to a shallow grave, so to speak. I contend that Sword Art Online, and Kayaba himself have defeated those people. Maybe that's a bit ridiculous, coming from me. Still, to further address the question, we have to ask innately, "what do you believe is right," and utilize that answer as our standard. For me, I was raised to believe that no matter what happens, and without question, it is the responsibility of a human being to do good to his fellow man under all circumstances. You don't need a reason to help someone, and you should be willing whether or not you are fond of them. I struggled with this as a boy, and well into adulthood. I was never a talkative man, and despite my desire to help people, I found difficulty relating to them. There were bullies and people I just didn't get along with who, at times, I even bickered and fought with. So, maybe I didn't always do the "right" thing, looking back. Now, I have been faced with a decision between two things, and I am not sure which of them is "right." So I have deferred to my feelings, against my better judgement.
  10. This segment takes place chronologically before Arc disappears without telling anyone. Taft was the place where Arc went to think. He often stopped there and remembered the happiness he had found within the game, something so few people found the time or ability to do. When seated by the water's edge, the blue haired player would stare off for hours and watch the sun shift from one direction to the other, at the beckoned call of the clock tower in the town center. Taft was like nowhere else in Aincrad. He glanced over his unread messages, noting many names and browsing past them until he found the only one that interested him. Often, he'd read over her words and even send her messages to let her know he was well, and safe. Arc had gone mad with zeal when he heard the info broker say it. "There's a possibility that dead players can be revived." Unlike most of the players in Aincrad, except maybe a few, SAO had taken something from Tobias. The very idea that his best friend might live again was more than enough reason to try. And he felt like he was getting closer. Dear Ava, his message read. When you get this, I'll just be leaving Taft. I came to buy some items and repair my gear. I promised I would be careful- He chuckled to himself. You remember, I know. I just... I'm writing this because I've never been good at apologies. I just... If there's any chance at all that my best friend can see his family again, I have an obligation to try. He hesitated for a moment, finger hovering over the send command. Tobias opted to add more. I just don't want you to think I don't value your opinion. I do. I care a lot. The spearman heaved a sigh. So, please, forgive me for being hard headed. Love, Tobias.
  11. Anyone who's interested, I'm going to run a (completely not sanctioned) raid battle just for kicks. I'll scale it so that anyone can join including low level characters, and try to keep it interesting for all you fine frontliners.

    Since there's no sanctions, the only loot I can guarantee is what's rolled for, and that'll just go to the person who gets the last hit in. (In keeping with SAO tradition.)

    It's gonna be a good time, if it gets off the ground.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Arc
    3. Calrex


      I can probably lend a hand if you need, but it might make scaling kind of weird XD

    4. Arc


      I definitely don't mind! More people are welcome, and I think you'll enjoy what I have in mind!

  12. Arc

    Face-Claim Thread

    Also relevant, Arc- no armor Ike, Fire Emblem
  13. He tilted his head slightly as the other man spoke, and something vaugely familiar crept up on the armored player. There was a time when he knew this player- probably. He might have been wrong. Still, Vanguard did not know him, and that was all that mattered. "Sorry," he said simply. "You've got the look. Honest mistake." He was prepared to leave it at that when the player decided to oblige him anyway, and Vanguard folded his arms intently. "I'm following up some leads about the increased difficulty of certain mobs appearing on lower floors, as they've been linked to the fatalities of weaker players. The brokers might have information that could save lives, and I was going to pay them to make it public." Since his appearance was distorted by the armor, @Aereth likely would not notice Vanguard studying his features, despite the distortion of his mask. It appeared neither of them wanted to be known. He would not press the issue. "Thank you for the information," he added after a moment's pause. "You have been more than helpful."
  14. He stared blankly at the two hooded players for a moment as they finished their business. It wasn't that he heard anything they said, but on the frontlines, anyone who looked conspicuous most likely was. Vanguard had no reason to question it- what people did in their free time was of no consequence to him. Brokers dealt in shadows as much as orange guilds. Because of that, he decided to approach once they we're finished to inquire about some of the newer quests, and the increased difficulty of older, pre-existing ones. The second hooded figure disappeared just before the armored player approached. "I'm looking to buy some information," he told the man, who he did not recognize as @Aereth- a player he knew, once. Likewise, he would also be unrecognizable. "About the changes that have been happening since the front liners pushed into the twenty first floor. I'll pay well."
  15. Super excited about the new heroes from Sacred Stones they're adding in FE Heroes. Tana looks dope a f.

    And Valter is my boyyyy.

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. Fae
    3. Shizua


      Just got Valter... his GHB was really easy.

    4. Arc


      He's a really crafty piece of work. His Cursed Lance is arguably one of the best lances in the game, Panic Ploy is dirty, and I gave him Cancel Affinity 3 just to be even more cute.