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About Shield

Guild Information

  • Guild Name
    Celestial Ascendants
  • Position
    Tank Sentinel

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  1. Shield's shield hand clasped his leather gauntlet over his mouth. The Manticore Mask was suspended by the sturdy strap that secured it to his arm. His breath caught in his throat. However, even as the distraction of the new add stifled his senses, he was keenly aware of how unusual such things were. His dark eye narrowed at his health bar. I'm a tank. I've been stabbed, sliced, chopped, hacked, impaled, poisoned, burned, partially dismembered, bitten, electrocuted, and hurled across battlefields. This is causing me little more damage than most of those and far less than some of the more brutal. This is the work of Cardinal, just like any other attack, just with extra sensory input via the Nerve Gear. This gaseous assault is no more real than my lungs in this place. He gathered his nerves and let out a choked breath. It was still affected by the status effect, but his mind was much less so. Around the battlefield, a number of players were deep in their own heads, rising to the bait of the taunting Underdarkers, or else following their own personal judgment. Even Hirru, whom Shield had known to be particularly practical in his way of being, had seemingly noticed the dangers of listening, even going so far as to offer his own words as a taunt of sorts. This was Shield's element though. Since long before Sword Art Online had debuted, he had been in the thick of melees in MMO's, taking hits and having to steel his will against panic and personal vendettas. This was his battlefield: numbers. "Lilith!" he managed to choke out, expelling much of the bad air in the process. He needed say no more, as the small serpent's rainbow display of scales poked from his collar, her head whipping around and latching onto his neck with her fangs. His life was restored, now much nearer to full than it had been moments before. With that, the snake familiar's head retracted back into his collar and was gone. Glancing around, he knew who he would target were the decision his to make, but with so many players going rogue, there was no time to second-guess Macradon. Cohesion was what would save them, and cohesion is what they needed. What Mac said, went. He uncovered his mouth and held out his sword arm, light beginning to gather at the tip. However, unlike most prior times, the light was not the neutral, pale hue of 'mana' energy. It was a bright red, now purposed specifically to enhance damage rather than simply enable general abilities. "Beat! You're up, pal!" he called out. The slime and the only remaining elf not under his influence would have to wait just a moment longer. "Keep up the pressure! Stick to the plan, kid!" With that, he flicked his sword and sent the crimson globe he had formed into the shoulder of his adventuring companion. "Show these loud-mouths the fully realized 'Unstoppable Force!'"
  2. Jonathan's words of achievement on the part of the trainees was certainly true. Shield had pushed his recruits hard, and they had shown great promise. They were a little underleveled to reach the next rank, and as such Shield had only brought them along to support their fellow trainees. If the Ascendants were to really live up to their ideals and hold one another as family, then that meant showing support for one another. Ajax had dragged his feet, especially knowing that it was scheduled immediately after a training mission, but Damien had shown no real protest. Shield gave a nod in support of Jonathan's words. He did not have more to add at the moment, and since this was about the most cheerful that the paladin had been in his presence for some time, he did not want to speak up and shatter the fragile peace. In the mean time, there was a different noise that caught his attention. It was nothing out of the ordinary. Metal on metal. In a fantasy RPG, any number of things could cause such a noise. It was the sound afterward that worried him. That's a lot of footfalls... He leaned forward and muttered to his trainees, "Probably nothing, but keep your eyes up, boys." He swiped through his inventories and pulled out a second tier mass heal potion and uncorked it. Ajax and Damien's health bars both crept back up closer to full, the last of their cuts and scrapes melting back into their skin and disappearing.
  3. Shield

    [PP-F06] <Deforestation> Trial by Fire

    The attitude was not an uncommon one among gamers. Still, there were a number of players who would have never taken charge and stepped forward in the real world. Yet here in the context of SAO, they became something more. Shield had no idea of this would be the case for Benjamin, but it was a possibility worth exploring. In the mean time, another reliable alchemist would be incredibly helpful. He nodded, acknowledging the sentiments Benjamin had expressed. "Well, if you continue to work as diligently as you have at your trade, you will definitely make an impact on the efforts of the front lines. We need good, reliable crafters to do what we do." Pushing aside the growth in front of them, it revealed a burnt path of destruction. Charcoal tree trunks littered the otherwise empty swath of bare, scorched earth. Portions of stumps burned as sad monuments of what proud structures had once risen from them, weak flames licking at the air. Shield strode forward into the blackened landscape, listening for the direction of their quarry. Rumbling footsteps sounded through the ground to the right, which told them everything they needed to know. Taking off at a jog, Shield vaulted his way through the debris of the fallen forest. Ahead, the smoke was too thick to see. However, the fiery cat would not be far given the sound of the footsteps. He drew in a lungful of thick, smoky air. In the real world, it would have burnt his lungs, but here where they were free from actual pain, it was merely a little hot to his sensitive lungs. He puffed out his chest and let his voice ring out, the air from his mouth cutting through the smoke like a hurricane and extinguishing the miniature fires in its focused path. "Here, kitty kitty!" he bellowed. There at the end, a great burning beast appeared behind the veil of smoke. Shield's shout ripped past Byakko, the fire emanating from it sputtering and dying down for a moment as a path of clean air parted the smoke that had separated the players from the monster. Its fires roared back to life, and its paw scuffed the ground. With a lurch it rocketed forward, closing the distance to Shield in a few bounds and raking him with its claws. The razored appendage scratched harmlessly across Shield's Manticore Mask, the protective shield that hung on his arm, the attack harming neither of the combatants. "His focus is on me now," he called out to the brush along the edge of the charred ground. "He doesn't have area attacks, so you're safe to strike if you feel like you can."
  4. Shield had to do a lot of hard thinking very quickly. Macradon was pushing the order to focus Rori, which was not entirely a bad notion. However, there were real problems with ignoring the support character. Still, he had thrown his full support behind Macradon before at the meeting, and he had to try to trust that the seasoned player's instincts would prove reliable. In the mean time, it did not impact his own decisions. He could try to buff Baldur, but with Beat being higher DPS, it was a higher priority to delay a moment and time his ability with the moment Ruby's buff wore off. That meant either drawing the focus from Evahira or replenishing someone's energy. We don't know her capabilities, but likely if she does have powerful offensive, it will align with other tanking abilities and punish DPS players who don't target her. That means my attempts to draw her focus will likely do very little in the long run. He had put all of his eggs into one basket. Now was no time to go back on that course of action. Holding out his sword, more a decoration than an actual weapon, he focused his pool of energy, drawing out tendrils of it and moving them down his arm and out to the tip of his sword. A bead of light began to gather there, and it grew to the size of a fist. It was completed. He flicked his arm at the elbow, sending the ball of blue light towards Beat, preparing him for his next strike. "You heard Mac," he growled to his travel companion. "Try and take that guy out. We need to start eliminating targets or things are going to get messy very quickly." Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed his health, watching its replenishing powers drop his health in the wrong direction. Damn that support... I'll need to keep my eye on that.
  5. Shield gave a wry little smirk. "Have you ever known me to take a day off?" It was not a cold response. Despite the oddities of their previous encounters, he had no reason to bear her any ill will. "It's good to see you," he added, not actually turning to look. Lilith, on the other hand, poked her scaly viper head out of his sleeve and flicked her tongue in the direction of Danesh. She slid out of her refuge and invited herself up onto Callie's arm, coiling the folds of her body over like an accordion along the length of her forearm to try to investigate her friend. "Lilith, no, that's-" he sighed, reaching out to retrieve the eager bush viper, only to hesitate as his hand came closer to Callie's arm. She had not seemed talkative at all at any time in recent weeks. He doubted he would be particularly welcome invading her personal space. Instead, he turned his palm face up. "You can give her here if you like. She just missed Danesh." As he reached out, he faced her properly. She did not seem physically closed off, but then again, closing herself off intentionally seemed like something that she would consider petty and beneath her. He had seen her return rudeness with cold words of her own back when they had first met, rebuffing and later challenging a player far higher than her own level. Still, Shield was not actively provoking her or belittling her, so he doubted that she would act as such now regardless of whether or not she actually wanted to be there. Shield knew there was practicality to their adventures, and she definitely had a practical side to her. He contented himself with the thought that she at least found enough value in that to show up this time around, and decided not to worry about the rest. "How have you been? It's been a little bit since we saw each other." It was hard to find ways to say that. In the wrong light, it could very much be accusatory. Still, Shield had always excelled at keeping his expressions under control, so hopefully keeping impassive would keep the words from being misconstrued as such. The wind picked up for a moment and died back down, overall having very little effect on Shield's typically half-tidy hair. If nothing else, it was at least very pleasant outside. However, Shield hoped to god that the conversation would not turn to the weather.
  6. "I wouldn't worry too much," Shield said, pointing ahead of them. He watched as the drake that Baldur had struck seized up and shattered, dissipating in a storm of polygons. As it did so, Shield felt the telltale sensation of needles piercing his neck. The other drake had latched onto his back, sinking its razor sharp fangs into his skin. It screeched, spitting and hissing at Shield as it flapped away, a fresh Envenom icon displayed beside its monster tag. Shield bent down and scraped up a scrap of skin that had been left behind after the other drake's death, banishing it quickly to his inventory. Beyond the sphere of their fight, more wings drew near, their loud flapping creating even further chaos in the echoing mineshaft. "I feel like this is an infinite grind quest. I'm down to push through it to try to grind out some extra experience if you are!"
  7. Shield

    Site Announcements

    Like, I'm following up on your suggestion, and it looks like the last post Cardinal made was back in April. That wouldn't have informed me of the murder mystery event, nor would have keeping up with the blog posts. That's the reason I made the support ticket. There are a lot of resources at our disposal, but still, most people seem to find their news by just being in the right place at the right time, usually in the Discord, which doesn't include a lot of the players on the site. Maybe I have a skewed view of it. I don't know. If nothing else, it might be worth bringing up in the next podcast or putting out a poll or something. I feel like people should have some input about how they receive their news. Having an official source doesn't do staff much good if people wouldn't choose to make use of it.
  8. Shield

    Site Announcements

    Would that give updates for new events and such, or would that have to be posted in a blog or something to register?
  9. The twenty second floor had been quiet for a long time. With the front lines having pushed beyond into the next floor and with the travel boom waning, the fields were no longer dotted with front liners gathering materials and searching for quests. The real fights were to be had higher up, and the safest farming spots were lower. This often found Shield by himself, searching for something of note. It felt like they were missing something, but he couldn't figure out where it might be. He slumped down on a hill beside one of the lesser lakes, leaning back on his hands. Blades of grass tickled his fingers, disturbed by a lazy breeze. "This is not the most exciting of trips," he sighed, feeling for a few blades and pinching them between his thumb and forefinger. He rolled the blades between his fingers and with a sigh, he leaned forward once more. "If I'm going to be up here, I might as well have some company." His fingers released the blades of grass and traced an invisible line downward through the air, sounding the soft chime and summoning his main menu. Navigating through his contacts, he scrolled through them. Towards the top was a name that had been gathering a surprising amount of dust. "Calypso?" He chewed a little on the inside of his cheek. It was not that he did not want to see her. He actually missed spending time guiding her through quests. However, her attitude in recent months had been cold, and at times even spiky. At first, he thought he had imagined it, but soon it became taxing to be around her. His finger continued to scroll, but paused before her name left the screen. He was not happy with the way things were with them, but if they didn't spend time together, it was very likely they would not get past whatever was wrong, and things would only become more distant. Gritting his teeth, he opened a dialogue window. @Calypso
  10. Shield

    Site Announcements

    I spent a little time poking around in the blogs, and I do have a few concerns with that being the primary form of communication to the community. For one, it's further out of the way than the old announcement system and is much less likely to grab the eye. The other thing I'm seeing is that it doesn't cover everything that's been happening, namely the Murder Mystery event that's been running for the last month, nor the Valentine's event, both of which were more recent than the Holiday Raffle which is covered. If the current system is to handle it blog-style and we're not willing to depart from that format, would it be reasonable to actually have them run as threads, where every time there's a hotfix for rules, it'll go into the same thread as the other hotfixes? That way, if players specifically want to keep up on any subject in particular and don't want to risk missing anything important, they can choose to follow that content so they'll get a notification every time it's updated.
  11. Shield

    Site Announcements

    Since not every player received news the same way, and I personally don't tend to check the main page very often since events and updates are pretty few and far between so I just get out of the habit after a while, we need to find a reliable, consistent way to get important updates and news of events to players. My proposal is to send out a site PM to everyone when there are hotfixes, events, publicly announced raid meetings, etc., and that each player have the option to unsubscribe to those notifications if they so choose. Everyone will see their notifications when they log in regardless of whether the go to the main page or not, and it won't rely on just happening to be on the discord when it's mentioned (assuming a player is even on discord, which not all of them are).
  12. Shield strode forward into the room, sizing up each of the council. As the first team to go, it meant leaving the shot caller towards the back of the herd, but this would give Macradon a chance to see the enemies in action before directing other players. In the mean time, that left them acting first without direct instructions. This meant they had a blessing and a curse. They could act freely, without any fear of contradicting orders just yet from Macradon. It also means they were bait. There had been fights in the past where leaving certain targets alone meant they would not target you, or at least not while there were other targets still standing. However, there was no guarantee of this mechanic, and with a whole posse of very alert looking figures before them, that was a risk Shield did not wish to take. There were players present with very low defense relative to his own, and so to risk them taking hits was unconscionable. He may be drawing more fire than was necessary, but nobody ever got fired for doing their job too well. He quickened his pace, holding up his Manticore Mask shield as the prow of a ship as he charged Evahira, filling his lungs with cold, thin mountain air. His shield slammed into hers, and from his vantage point, he hurled his voice out from that point, challenging not her, but all of her comrades at once. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!" he roared, his voice ringing off of the pillars and stone walls of the battle grounds. "Leave tanky alone!" he continued, rallying the first group under some semblance of a battle strategy. "Let's see what happens when you ignore the tank of a boss party! We're at our strongest now, so if it's something we're going to pay for, we'll find out now and save us the agony later" He turned to look over his shoulder, making eye contact with Ruby. "Beat can't miss. Now is our best time for a focused burst of damage. Give him a boost. Everyone else, give them hell!"
  13. "HIk," Shield said, crossing his arms over his barrel of a chest as he walked, "you're asking two different things. Do you want to be a leader or do you want to be a hero?" He kept his eyes forward. Shield had never been the type to lock eyes and stare into someone's soul during such conversations. It felt too invasive. "As leaders go, you sacrificed yourself for your ideals and did everything you could think to do. Even now, you're doing the same, just for a broader group of players." He glanced over and then back at the path ahead. "That is the mark of a leader, particularly a leader rather than a tyrant. Now a hero is messy to define, because it's entirely subjective." Shield held out his hand palm up, miming an example. "To this person, one person might be a hero, and to this person," he lifted his other hand, "they might be a monster. A leader is always a leader. But you are a hero to someone. That's their choice." Their footfalls echoed through the tunnels of the twenty first floor, or rather Shield's did beside the more stealthy player. "Now do I think you have done heroic things? I think anyone who's pushed this far and continues to fight to save and free players has. You're no exception." It was perhaps not the answer Hikoru was looking for, but it was an honest one, and that mattered far more to Shield than egos and feelings.
  14. 1 Item Name: Power Stunner ID: 102931 | 102932 | 102933 Roll: LD:9 | LD:18 | LD:18 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Paralyze I, Damage II Description: A long spear whose tip is long and narrow like an acupuncture needle. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 2 Item Name: Toxic Glaive ID: 102934 | 102935 | 102936 Roll: LD:20 | LD:18 | BD:10, CD:8, LD:1 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Damage II, Paralytic Venom (Offensive) I Description: A heavy bladed polearm whose blade has a black stained smear along its sharpened edge. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 3 Item Name: Vampire's Kiss ID: 102937 | 102938 | 102939 Roll: LD:4 | LD:8 | BD:10, CD:11, LD:20 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Accuracy I, Paralyze I, Life-Steal (Offensive) I Description: A long spear whose head is head is neatly serrated with canine-tooth looking barbs. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 4 Item Name: Jagged Metal ID: 102940 | 102941 | 102942 Roll: LD:11 | LD:4 | LD:19 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Bleed I, Accuracy I, Damage I Description: A spear whose head is shaped like a jagged bolt of lightning. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 5 Item Name: Junk ID: 102943 | 102944 | 102945 Roll: LD:6 | LD:16 | LD:17 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Accuracy I, Damage II Description: Selling 6 Item Name: Junk ID: 102946 | 102947 | 102948 Roll: LD:7 | BD:10, CD:5, LD:11 | LD:6 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Paralyze I, Bleed I, Accuracy I Description: Selling 7 Item Name: Bleeder ID: 102949 | 102950 | 102951 Roll: LD:19 | LD:19 | LD:13 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Damage II, Bleed I Description: A spear whose tip has a number of edges, similar to a Philips-head screwdriver to open more grievous wounds. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 8 Item Name: Bruiser's Glaive ID: 102952 | 102953 | 102954 Roll: LD:10 | LD:19 | LD:2 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Paralyze I, Damage I, Taunt Description: A long spear with ornate tassels under its head to distract and draw the focus of foes. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 9 Item Name: Bruiser's Glaive ID: 102925 | 102926 | 102927 Roll: LD:17 | LD:2 | LD:9 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Damage I, Taunt, Paralyze I Description: A long spear with ornate tassels under its head to distract and draw the focus of foes. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 10 Item Name: Second Chances ID: 102959 | 102960 | 102961 Roll: LD:1 | LD:7 | LD:7 Tier: 3 Type: Heavy Armor Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Regen I, Heavy Momentum II Description: A suit of armor with locking gauntlets to secure and strengthen one's grip on a weapon. On the left breast plate is an engraving of a shield. 11 Item Name: Junk ID: 102955 | 102956 Roll: LD:5 | LD:12 Tier: 3 Type: Heavy Armor Quality: Rare Enhancements: Heavy Momentum I, Thorns I Description: Selling 12 Item Name: Bulwark ID: 102962 | 102963 | 102964 Roll: LD:15 | LD:19 | LD:20 Tier: 3 Type: Heavy Armor Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Damage Mitigation III Description: A suit of dark steel metal plates which are thick and sturdy. On the left breast plate is an engraving of a shield. 13 Item Name: Junk ID: 102912 | 102913 Roll: LD:3 | LD:13 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Rare Enhancements: Accuracy I, Bleed I Description: Selling 14 Item Name: Bleeding Lance ID: 102928 | 102929 | 102930 Roll: LD:13 | LD:15 | LD:14 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Bleed II, Damage I Description: A long pointed weapon whose tip is hollow like a hypodermic needle, only rather than to inject it is designed to siphon. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 15 Item Name: Shelob's Fangs ID: 102916 | 102917 | 102918 Roll: LD:3 | LD:7 | BD:10, CD:13, LD:3 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Accuracy I, Paralyze I, Envenom (Offensive) I Description: A long spear with twin curved tips to mimic the fangs of a deadly spider. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 16 Item Name: Bruiser's Pike ID: 102919 | 102920 | 102921 Roll: LD:14 | LD:4 | LD:2 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Bleed I, Accuracy I, Taunt I Description: A long spear with a jagged tip and long distracting tassels. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 17 Item Name: Spider Bite ID: 102922 | 102923 | 102924 Roll: LD:17 | BD:10, CD:3, LD:10 | LD:11 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Damage I, Paralyze I, Bleed I Description: A long spear with a black handle and red hourglass marking on the head. Just below the head is an engraving of a shield. 18 Item Name: Tough as Nails ID: 102965 | 102966 | 102967 Roll: BD:10, CD:2, LD:18 | LD:9 | LD:20 Tier: 3 Type: Heavy Armor Quality: Perfect Enhancements: Damage Mitigation II, Thorns I Description: A thick suit of plate mail armor with long nails driven outward from the inside to damage attackers. On the left breast plate is an engraving of a shield. 19 Item Name: Junk ID: 102914 | 102915 Roll: LD:8 | LD:6 Tier: 3 Type: 2HAS Quality: Rare Enhancements: Paralyze I, Accuracy I Description: Selling 20 Item Name: Jagged Pykrete ID: 102957 | 102958 Roll: BD:10, CD:8, LD:2 | LD:13 Tier: 3 Type: Heavy Armor Quality: Rare Enhancements: Never Freeze, Thorns II Description: A suit of plate mail covered in a layer of frost with sharpened ridges of ice jutting from each joint. On the left breast plate is an engraving of a shield. Using Essence of Steel > Jagged Pycrete Adding Enhancement: Thorns
  15. Crafting And Junk Sale Shield saw a fresh faced young woman enter the shop. It always upset him a little to be reminded that so many players were forced to play a game far more deadly than imagined, particularly kids who just wanted to try out a new game. He nodded to her, shrugging in response to her question. "I am a merchant who deals to a diverse clientele. Real estate outside of safe zones always comes with its drawbacks, mine being distance. It is relatively safe here though." Shield listened to her offer and nodded his consent. "It's been gathering dust a while now. Help yourself." With that, he returned to his task for the day, namely the identification of part of his hoard. He laid out a number of items, as well as a few potions. He quaffed the first, sharpening his eye and his acumen for his craft. He then proceeded to identify a handful of spears he had set aside. A few were very interesting, and he set them aside for display. As his identification count ran out, he quaffed his second potion, renewing his abilities. He continued going through his piles, finally finding a suit of armor of some interest. "With a little help, this could actually be a good item to have for certain boss fights..." He took out a small item from his private stash of rare items, a small phial of salve - The Essence of Steel. He poured out the single drop that it contained, which brought up a menu, from which he selected the last enhancement slot. "One more slot of thorns, and this will serve as a perfect alternative for my defensive damage piece." He set aside a few other promising mundane items for the racks around his shop and put the rest in the bargain bin. "Someone will buy them eventually."