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Morningstar

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About Morningstar

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    Solo Player

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  1. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    Editing
  2. Morningstar

    [PP-F1] Finding Comfort

    At first, Stephen was a bit worried that NIGHT's attack wouldn't activate. Unexpectedly, she blasted forward and finished off the nepent, leaving behind nothing but blue, crystal-like pixels and and odd looking ball. They had finished the quest. "Good work," the man smiled, following along as she strolled on past him. She complimented him on his damage, which in all honesty, he hadn't anticipated either. Sword Arts were something he still wasn't completely used to. He took a quick look at his sword and then at his armor. "It's seen better days. I'm definitely due for an upgrade," he told her, considering visiting a shop after receiving his quest rewards. His damage may not have been bad, but it couldn't hurt to improve his items. The forest had become even quieter than it was before their fight. No more monsters had spawned yet, although he knew that wouldn't last long. They hiked to the edge of the forest when Stephen felt something wet hit his nose. Suddenly, he felt it again; this time on his cheek. "Looks like it's starting to rain." He ran a hand through his now damp hair and lifted the hood of his cloak over it. The cloak was handy—it kept the rain, wind, and basically everything else off of him, while simultaneously being a fashion statement (if that's what you'd call it). "Do you have anything to keep you dry?" They weren't too far from the safezone, but Stephen thought it would be polite to ask. @NIGHT
  3. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    "I would like that," Stephen replied, continuing to eye the flowing river for any more items that he could bring back to Zackariah. The task was much more challenging than he had originally expected. He wondered how a potion made from leaves and metal would taste. "Walk with me," Elwood began, "you can continue your search for materials while we do so." Stephen nodded and followed Elwood down the riverside. The man's dark cape floated in the soft breeze, much like Stephen's cloak did. They watched as a school of virtual fish swam past them. Elwood began to chuckle. "Sorry. I was just thinking about how things were before all of this," he smiled, gesturing to the scenery around them, "it's interesting how much nostalgia can affect us, isn't it?" His tone had changed from his kingly voice to one that you'd expect out of a normal guy. "What'd you do before SAO?" Stephen inquired. "Me? I worked minimum wage, my friend. I was your everyday burger flipper. I've probably made one of yours!" He laughed. For a moment, Stephen felt bad. He'd had so much while this man had nothing. Of course, now it was almost the other way around. "Don't feel bad. Also, don't think I didn't recognize you when we first met, Stephen Star. I've seen my fair share of movies." "Oh yeah? Which one was your favorite?" He asked with a laugh, a little bit surprised that he'd been found out. He felt happy—or perhaps more accurately, he felt understood. These two men, who had lived polar opposite lives, were bonding together over what could be considered nothing. It was times like these that made things worth it, for him at least.
  4. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    "Good find. Is that all there was?" Elwood asked. Stephen scanned the water for more sparkling areas, but alas; there was nothing else to be found. "Looks like it," he frowned, drying his arm off on his cloak. Part of him wondered what the guildmaster was doing out in the depths of floor one; however, the man seemed to be different than most he had met. He was, one might say, eccentric. At his hip was a magnificent sword, one that Stephen had been meaning to ask about. Before he could, Elwood continued. "It's good to hear that you have something driving you. Don't let anyone tell you to quit. I have hopes that one day we'll meet together as two kings." Stephen chuckled at this comment. "I'm no king, believe me." The very thought of him being considered "royalty" seemed absurd at first, but then he recalled his life before Sword Art Online. He remembered his mother; his father; the people he'd worked with in the acting industry. He remembered his fans, loyal as they were. In one sense, he had already been considered royalty at one time. Things felt different now. He hadn't been recognized since the beginning of Sword Art Online. Then, he'd get the odd player running up to him in the streets, eager to get some sort of autograph or add him to their friends list. "You are no king or you do not wish to become one?" A question that he, for a long time, couldn't answer. The truth was, most people didn't know who he was anymore and... part of him was grateful for it. He could live peacefully. He'd left the spotlight that he had been born into. "We may never meet as kings, but perhaps we'll meet for a drink as friends," Elwood grinned.
  5. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    Stephen searched along main roads, in random holes, in trees, and even in more bushes; however, materials were nowhere to be found. Zackariah must have been mistaken when he said that this was the ideal place to search—or perhaps the brunette was simply unlucky. He sighed, but upon noticing a beautiful river, his mood lit up. These weren't a common find on the first floor, which mostly consisted of forests and seemingly endless fields. Standing at the riverside was a man. Stephen recognized him by his shoulder-length, light brown hair and his set of golden armor. Elwood, possibly hearing Stephen's approach, turned his head with a smile. "I thought we'd meet again. Of course, this is sooner than I expected," the king laughed, "Are you not learning from Zackariah?" "He sent me out here to collect materials. I guess he didn't have enough back at the shop." "Interesting. I don't remember that part of the quest; however, it was a long time ago that I completed it." They stood side by side in silence for quite a while before Elwood began to speak once more. "Do you have a guild?" "I'm not with one right now. Actually," Stephen confessed, "a friend and I wanted to start one ourselves one day." Then, he noticed something shimmering at the bottom of the river. He rolled up his sleeve and reached an arm in, scooping it out of the water. It was a chunk of some sort of golden-looking metal, although he doubted it was true gold.
  6. Morningstar

    [PP-F1] Finding Comfort

    "I can respect that," he replied. He understood the want to live in the moment. NIGHT began to move off of their path. At first, Stephen was confused by this; however, through the green he noticed the red bulb-like object. Underneath it was (you guessed it) a nepent. At first glance, you might have thought, "hey, this thing doesn't seem much different from the other ones." It seemed a little bit stronger though. Stephen, who hadn't put away his sword, strode towards their enemy. Neither NIGHT nor the nepent made a first attack, leaving him with that opportunity. Not that he had anything to prove, but he felt almost as if this was his chance to show the girl that he was no longer going to be another "first floor newbie." An orange glow lit up his blade as he began to active his own Sword Art; a basic one, sure, but it would deal enough to progress the fight. With near perfect form, he gripped his hands around his long sword and lunged towards their opponent, striking right through it. However, before he could step out of the way, the variant swatted at Stephen. The vine where an arm should have been hit the brunette right across the face, nearly knocking him over. "Think you can finish it off here?" he called, moving to a safe distance. @NIGHT
  7. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    It dawned on him that Zackariah had never specifically told Stephen what he was looking for. The words he used were "materials" and "items," which made things a bit more of a challenge. There was a bush sitting right next to the wall of the gigantic town. Stephen slowly moved over to it, not completely sure what he was doing. He knelt down and poked around at it for a moment. Then, he started shifting through the leaves and branches, checking to see if there were any sorts of items that looked like they might belong in a potion. A woman happened to be leaving the Town of Beginnings at the same time as this. She stopped to stare at the man for a moment and he turned his head and stared back awkwardly. In an attempt to release the tension between them, he gave her an uncomfortable smile and a wave. She walked away, pretending she hadn't seen him at all. "Ah, whatever," he muttered, going back to his search. However, there didn't seem to be anything there. He plucked off a leaf, his eyes stuck on it for a moment. The old man could not have been talking about leaves, right? Stephen shook his head and picked a bunch of leaves before taking his search further into the fields of Aincrad.
  8. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    The back room was dimly lit with a cauldron bubbling in the center. Along the walls were shelves stocked heavily with all sorts of odd ingredients. Stephen felt the urge to take a quick peek at them all, but he forced himself to focus on the task at hand. "This is where we'll be creating your first potion. It won't be anything too complicated; a simple health potion should do just fine. Of course, before we get to that, I'll need you to collect the materials for it," Zackariah explained, beginning to setup the cauldron for the upcoming brew. Zackariah then walked Stephen outside. "You know where to go, am I correct? Just outside the walls should be fine. The fields are always filled with the perfect ingredients for this type of potion. When you've collected five of them, come back and we can get started." With the amount of things the alchemist had in storage, you'd think he could pull out some materials for a single health potion. Stephen wondered if this was part of the lesson. Going into the plains and searching for items showed the man's... actually, the brunette wasn't sure what this part of the quest accomplished. It was possible that the NPC simply didn't want to share his materials—which was not unreasonable. It took much less time to find the gate than finding the shop had been originally. Stephen exited the safezone behind the walls, much like he had done a thousand times before. This time, however, his goal was different: he'd be finding loot. He scanned the ground around him, but nothing poked out at him in particular. "Maybe I should look in some bushes or something."
  9. Morningstar

    [PP-F1] Finding Comfort

    Unable to see the variant, Stephen listened as the woman explained a part of her history to him. "Not everyone's gotta have a deep reason for leaving the town. Sometimes you've just gotta get out," he replied, kicking up some leaves as they wandered through the woods. He understood how she felt. In fact, before meeting Lexa, he nearly did the same. Early on, being trapped inside of the video game terrified him. The man felt lost and, at the time, the front lines seemed like the only answer. It was Lexa who had helped him settle down and find himself again. She replaced his broken perspective with a new one; a view on the new world that made surviving worth it. Stephen ditched his old dreams and created new ones with her. He tried to hide the smile that'd grown on his face from recalling old memories. Stephen's eyes tracked the surrounding bushes and trees, watching for any bulbed creatures lurking in the shadows. While he didn't quite see it, he knew they weren't completely alone. Squirrels, birds, and even the odd fox could be found around them. If they hadn't been hunting nepents, the forest may have seemed peaceful. "So," he started, continuing the conversation, "where are you planning to go from here? I've been told most players aim for the boss fights, although I suppose not all of them make it there." +1 Energy 2/2 @NIGHT
  10. After receiving a message from Noctua, Stephen returned to The Ring and Sword to pickup his item. He pushed open the door and stepped inside. Once again, he examined the beautiful jewelry and well-crafted weapons that covered the shop. Then, he made his way to the front desk. "Hey there. I'm here to pickup my item," he explained, sliding one hand into the pocket of his cloak. Upon retrieving the necklace, he smiled, happy with the finished product. Stephen held it by the chain and fixed his eyes on the silver wing attached to it. He knew that Lexa would have liked it, had she been able to see it. Having already paid beforehand, he thanked the artisan and left, eager to return to the fields of the first floor. After exiting the shop, he carefully placed the necklace over his head and around his neck, before tucking it away underneath his cloak. +1 Lexa's Light
  11. Morningstar

    [PP-F3] Golden Hour

    "Sorry pal, wrong choice," Stephen proclaimed, a smirk growing on his face. A tough looking man grunted, dropping a sack of col on top of the table they'd been sitting at. Stephen scooped it up and leaned back in his seat, his gaze fixed on the man who was now stomping out of the building. "Nice doin' business with you," he chuckled. The brunette was dressed in his usual green cloak. Underneath it, he wore dark clothing. As the crowd around him began to grow, Stephen noticed the rowdiness of the tavern. Intrigued players watched as he continuously beat people in a simple game of luck. He listened with a smile as whispers traveled among the spectators. "He must be cheating or something," one said to another. "I don't see any other way for him to be winning this much." By "this much," he meant that Stephen hadn't lost a single round yet. He didn't blame them for being suspicious. Running a hand through his recently-trimmed hair, he stayed silent, as if considering whether or not he was to continue his little game. He fiddled with one of the golden coins that sat in the leather sack next to him, eyeing down the loud people around him. Some looked like they had considered stepping up to the challenge, but reconsidered after watching so many people lose their hard earned col to the cloaked stranger. He flipped the coin into the air, catching it as it fell back down. A man, even bigger in size than the one Stephen had just beaten, moved over to his table with a drink in hand. "If you're going to be doing this in my place, I'll be expecting a cut of the winnings. Don't go losing it all," the bartender warned him. To this, he nodded in agreement and thanked him for the beverage. Then, Stephen picked up three playing cards from the wooden table and reshuffled his deck. "So," he started, "who's next?" @Ceres (-1 Yui's Grace)
  12. Morningstar

    [PP-F1] Finding Comfort

    Stephen watched as the woman showed off her skill with the sword. She cut down three out of the four nepents, leaving him both impressed and glad he hadn't gone alone. While he didn't expect to get the last hit on the monster, he stepped forwards with his sword in hand anyways. Their opponent did a sort of stumble forwards as it began it's attack. Slowly, he moved straight past the brunette until it was nearly in range to attack NIGHT. Then, it pulled down it's leafy arm and slammed it into the ground. The nepent had missed the dark-haired woman by about a foot. While confused, he stood back. "I'll let you take it. After that," he began, "you can tell me what you're aiming for." Stephen stepped off to the side, but made sure to keep close enough to help her out in the event of an emergency. The variant had to have been lurking somewhere nearby; he would need to keep an eye out for it. @NIGHT
  13. Morningstar

    [SP-F1] King

    "I'm looking for Zackariah, the alchemist." "Ah, yes. The quest-giver that most beginners go to. Come, I'll show you where his shop is," the man told Stephen, stepping around him and taking him down a side road. The man in gold said it was a short cut and after he'd saved his life, Stephen didn't feel the need to argue. Minutes later, they stood in front of a wooden storefront, located in a quieter part of town. This late into the game, most people who aimed higher than the first floor had come here long before him. It explained why the area was so empty. "This is it. From here, you're on your own," the man started, "but if you ever find yourself needing a hand, feel free to ask. While the people of my guild call me King, I prefer to go by Elwood." Stephen was grateful for Elwood's help. He held out his hand to meet the king's. "The name's Morningstar. Thank you for everything." "I expect we'll meet again," Elwood told him, smirking as he strode away from Zackariah's shop. Once the guildmaster was out of sight, Stephen turned and entered the wooden structure. He found it quite cozy. The lighting was dim and he heard an odd yet soothing bubbling coming from the back; something being brewed, perhaps. As he approached the counter, an elderly man peaked his head out from a room to the left of Stephen. "Ah! Hello there, young one. I am Zackariah. How can I be of service to you on this fine afternoon?" The NPC was dressed in light blue robes, which were covered in white accents, and his hair was long and grey. In his hand was a flask holding a bright orange potion of some sort. "I've been told you offer a quest catered towards weaker players like myself." "I prefer to think of them as inexperienced rather than weak," the old alchemist smiled, "but yes, I am able to start you on your journey. May I assume you have no experience in the field of alchemy?" "You're correct," Stephen admitted. "That won't be a problem; I wouldn't expect you to be adept at it," Zackariah gave a chuckle before entering the back room. "Come with me, we'll get started right away."
  14. Morningstar

    [PP-F1] Finding Comfort

    Scenery changed as the duo moved from the fields into the thick forest. He gave NIGHT a nod, acknowledging her experience with the quest. "I'll let you know if I see anything." He gave the area a quick scan, but from what he could tell there was nothing in sight. The woman spoke up again. This time, she asked him a question. Stephen stopped for a moment to think over his answer carefully. Having never shared his drive with anyone before, he didn't know what to tell her. The truth, I guess. "I lost a friend a little while back. Her name was Lexa. She had ambitions and I just wanted to make sure they came true," he explained, leaving out a number of details. He wasn't going to pretend he and Lexa only stayed on the first floor. From frozen woodlands to magnificent mountain ranges, the two of them followed rumors, went on adventures, and made their plans for a future in Aincrad. There was a time when he thought it would never end. Until they did. There wasn't a day that passed without these thoughts echoing in his mind. He had to make her dreams a reality. Suddenly, he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. "Ah. Over there," he pointed, "four of them." The nepents were about as ugly in person as they were in the photos. They were tall, much taller than Stephen was, and looked disgusting. He watched as the group of plant creatures moved towards them, hand gripped around the hilt of his long sword. "Ready?" Only moments later, his blade was drawn. When their enemies came in range, Stephen lunged forwards, intending to at least wound one of them. Had he noticed the small spot of mud in front of him, he may have. Instead, he slipped and lost his balance, causing his strike to damage nothing but the ground beneath them. Swiftly, before he was forced to tank hits from all four of the nepents, he regained his balance. Two nepents landed shots that he'd consider lucky, but thankfully he was able to evade the others. ID: 131878 BD: 3 Party: Morningstar: 18/20 | EN: 0/2 | DMG: 3 | MIT: 1 | Hate: 0 NIGHT: 440/440 | EN: 44/44 | DMG: 11 | ACC: 3 | EVA: 3 | Hate: 0 (correct me if any of these are wrong) Enemies: Nepent 1: 7/7 | D: 3 ID: 131879 MD: 5 Nepent 2: 7/7 | D: 3 ID: 131880 MD: 6 Nepent 3: 7/7 | D: 3 ID: 131881 MD: 1 Nepent 4: 7/7 | D: 3 ID: 131882 MD: 8
  15. Morningstar

    [PP-F1] Finding Comfort

    The woman made the variant Nepent sound tougher than he'd originally expected. It was possible he was in over his head. Normally, he'd decline her offer; however, today felt different. Who knows, he thought, maybe I'll make a new friend. He met her hand and returned a smile. "I don't see any harm in that idea. I'd be grateful for the help. I'm Morningstar, but most people just call me Star," Stephen told her. He didn't bother asking why the woman (who was very obviously a higher level than the average newbie) was on the first floor. She had her reasons and he wasn't trying to invade her privacy. Instead, as he began to move once more, he made a different inquiry. "You seem to know a little bit about the quest. I assume you've already taken it?" Realistically, he'd know the answer even if she'd completely ignored him. At her level, she'd probably done it ten times over, if not more. He ran a hand through his well-kept brown hair. Perhaps it was just the weather, but his confidence was at an all time high. After a long time, Stephen felt like he was finally seeing progress. He was nearing his goals.
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