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[OP - F1][MM] The First Meeting

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Welcome to the Mysterious Murders event! The goal here is to tell a good story, explore existing lore, and uncover some new elements of Aincrad. This is the place where heroes and villains will be born.

  • All threads associated with this event will have [MM] in their title.
  • No user can be killed or die in these event threads unless the owner of the character contacts the Plot Master beforehand
  • All threads and events associated with the Plot Development team will become part of the site canon.
  • This event will run for much of the summer, with various stages and prompts. 
  • You will not need to partake in every aspect of this event - simply post when you are able.
  • All combat will be RP - this means that your stats/equipment mean very little! (Though still make sure to post your current stats at the start of the thread for balanced RP combat)
  • You will receive additional rewards for participating in this event.

For this cycle, you will need to sign up for one of two search parties. Be sure to include option one, or option two, at the bottom of your post. Be advised, if too many sign up for one team, we may need to make adjustments. Sign up early for your best chance at the team of your choice.

  1. Option One - A team, led by Lessa, will travel to Wyson's last known location. While it is unlikely he will still be there, perhaps there will be clues left behind.
  2. Option Two - A team, led by Aereth, will investigate the places frequented by the twenty seven victims. They will conduct interviews with known friends and associates, and try to piece together just what these deceased players had in common.

Everything spoken in RED: @Lessa
Everything spoken in BLUE: @Aereth

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Sunlight poured through the countless windows, soft beams that hung in silence before splashing across the iron floor. Even despite the warm pillars of light, the interior of the grand building remained a full ten degrees colder than the outside. This was a place of mourning, of memory, of stillness, of quiet.

Or, it had been, before the small crowd had begun to gather. Players of all level and walk of life milled about, confused as to why they had been asked to come to such a holy place. That much was evident from the question in their tone, and though many made an effort to keep their voices low, the edge of suspicion was blatantly obvious. Once, they had all been grouped just outside this same building, to hear that their lives would be forever changed by one madman's experiment. No doubt, some players were remembering that nightmarish day as they glanced about nervously.

But it was not Akihiko Kayaba who stepped forward to address the waiting men and women. Rather, it was a player in heavy armor, her blonde hair tied back in a tight braid, her massive claymore strapped to her back. Determination, anger, and a sliver of fear burned in her sharp blue eyes as she surveyed the group. After a beat, she stepped up onto the base of the monument. Perhaps there was something disrespectful in the gesture, but she figured the spirits of the deceased players would appreciate what she had to say.

After raising her hand for quiet, Lessa began, her strong teacher voice carrying in the massive room. "Thank you all so much for coming today. I'm Lessa, and this is Aereth." Her hand now motioned toward another player, whose blue and gold armor burned with white flame against the darkness. While both of them generally preferred to keep their flashy armor hidden, they had decided displaying it might help demonstrate the severity of the issue. "We do not wish to waste your valuable time, so let us get right to the point. If you have taken a look at the monument lately, you may have noticed the addition of twenty seven new names, all killed by the same player. Nearly thirty players have been slaughtered in less than a week, by someone named Wyson."

She paused, letting the information sink in, before continuing. "We all know player killers are nothing new, but this rate of murder is too alarming to ignore, especially given the low-level of many of the victims. A group of concerned players came together to discuss the issue, and a bit of digging revealed that Wyson is a suspected member of the Laughing Coffin player killer group." Her tone took on a new, lethal edge as she concluded. "We've reached the point where we can't stand by and allow this to keep happening. The Laughing Coffin needs to be brought to justice. Aereth and I have both volunteered to lead search parties to learn more about Wyson, and the players he is targeting. If you are interested in helping, please let one of us know. I will be heading to Wyson's last known location, while Aereth gathers information on the players who were killed. Just sign up with one of us, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask."

While the brunette player for now decided to leave the talking to Lessa, it was finally time for him also to add some parts. "Before we start I still need to clarify some things. This is a highly risky task. While my partner and I have volunteered to lead the investigations due to both of us having frontline experience, nothing in this world is for free so the person who asked us for help has supplied us with a considerable amount of Col that we will equally share with every participant." With smooth steps, Aereth stepped forward. "So to everybody who doesn't want to join the hunt just to bring this player to justice, to all the mercenaries and bounty hunters in this group. This whole case might turn out to be highly lucrative for every participant."

Without waiting for the room to burst into conversation, Lessa stepped down from the monument, and walked over to stand beside Aereth.

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I look towards the monument of life. The symbol and reminder of the good things in this game being turned into morbid signs of what this game use to be. What use to be a simple spawning room turned into a reminder of everyone who has died because of one thing or another. Greed, arrogance, revenge, hate. I gaze towards the speakers recognizing one of them and the other being an entirely new person that i haven't ever seen before. I look towards the woman as she speaks introducing herself as lessa as i just nod my head and takes out a small notebook and writes that name down on its own page. 'I wonder who she is and what she is like.' I think to myself with some idle curiosity before i put my notebook away for the time being as i hear the reasoning for what has occurred. 'Someone who has killed more then Aereth, and targeting innocent lower leveled players. Either the calm before the storm has broke, or just some wannabe needing to be put down before LC decides now is the perfect time to strike.' I think to myself with ever so slightly concern that player killers could be encouraged and braved up if they hear such news of a killer going on a rampage and not getting punished for it.

I gaze towards the woman as she says where she plans to go as i nod my head knowing right away which team i am going to be with. I walk on over towards Lessa and gives a nod towards the girl. Myself wearing a simple black T-shirt and grey shorts. The name is Hestia. The support tank of the Holy Dragon Alliance. I wish to join you to hopefully put this guy to justice as soon as we would be able to do so without any needless death. I say towards the girl in a rather serious tone. Having at my side my familiar which is that of a lion with wings as black as the night and fur as pure as the snow.

-signup for Lessa's group-

Current Stats:
 

Spoiler

 

Level 70 Hestia:  1445/1445 HP  140/140 Energy.  16 DMG   151 MIT   Thorns: 54  BH: 72  Regen: 45   Rec: 3 on CD:6+

Harpe: 9 DMG (3 slots of damage T3)

Prometheus' Blessing: 3 slots regen (15 HP per slot when hit)

Aegis Shield: 2x thorns, 1x recovery

Skills:

Rank 5 First Aid  MOD: Field Medic

Howl MOD: Focused Howl

Rank 5 heavy Armor  MOD: Stonewall

Rank 5 Block

Parry MOD: Vengeful Riposte

Energize

Battle healing Rank 5

Rank 5 Curved Sword MOD: ferocity

Rank 3 familiar

Survival

 

 

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-Signs up for team @Lessa

Baldur walks up to Lessa, just as Hestia was finishing introducing herself. It would never have occured to the blue eyed samurai that someone didn't know who Lessa was. But on a whim, he decided to have a bit of fun at Hestia's expense.

"And I am Baldur, Solo."

He smiled to Lessa, the full warmth of it diminished by gravity of the situation, but something about his eternal optimism peaking through. He may have lost some of that innocent optimism that Hestia still had, but his own jaded optimism had weathered many fights. It was beat and tarnish, but enduring.

"Did you know any of the victims? It seems rather strange to see you heading something like this, giving the circumstances, unless you knew one of them."

His steel blue eyes softed, worried that one of her kids was the subject of this madman's murder spree. He rested his left hand casually on the katana at his side, not as if to draw, but as if it were merely an arm-rest and not a tool of death.

"Whatever is going on, you know I'll help."

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Fae    0

Fae had been on the run for a bit of time now, after a few bad choices in a row, she found herself in between a rock and a hard place. Fae was mostly scared of being caught, but perhaps hiding with the good guys would make things easier for Fae to get by. Plus, it could make for some good intel if things go well. Fae wasn't exactly invited to the crowd at the monument, but seeing a few familiar faces just caught her interest in what was going on. Pulling her hood over her head to conceal most of her face, Fae went into the crowd and listened to the speech from the two players. Getting a small smile on her face as she listened. This Wyson guy sounded pretty cool, not getting caught for 27 murders. Fae planned to top that someday, but for now she had to help out here. Who knows, maybe she could even pick up on some of his tricks. Fae noticed and tried to keep her distance, not wanting a repeat of what happened last time they met. Although seeing as how if Fae wanted to have the best chance of meeting Wyson, she would have to go with Lessa. Hestia had headed for Lessa's group as well, so Fae sighed as just followed behind her and weaved her way through the crowd. Before Fae could get a word in, another guy showed up (Baldur) and also signed up for Lessa's group. After listening to how Hestia and the other guy greeted Lessa, Fae stepped up and tried to go for that same tone. Tugging at her arm to get her attention, since Fae was half her height, Fae then began her greeting. "Fae is Fae, the main DPS of... Fae's friends, not really in a guild yet. Fae wants to join you so we can lock this meanie up!" Fae greeted as she raised one fost up. This could either go great or horribly wrong depending on who else showed up.

-Signs up for team @Lessa, but really team Wyson-

Current Stats:

Spoiler

Level 10 Fae:  200/200 HP  20/20 Energy.  4 DMG   1 MIT  1 EVA  1 Light Momentum

Divine Dragon's Cloak: 1 EVA, 1 MIT, 1 LM

Skills:

Rank 3 1H Dagger

 

Edited by Fae

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Though she fought to conceal it, worry churned in the pit of Lessa's stomach. What if there was no one willing to help? What if every person in this room simply thought about it, and decided that they had better things to do? She had begged that they operate based on their own morality, and Aereth had offered a bit of coin, but would that be enough? 

As such, she nearly deflated with relief as the first player approached the spot where she and her companion stood. The dark haired young woman tugged at Lessa's memory, but she had no name to put with the face. So she merely offered a smile that did not quite reach her eyes. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Hestia. I know we'll definitely benefit from having a healing tank on board." After a quick glance, she also added, "And whatever guidance you can provide, given your experience." This was a frontliner, that much she could recall.

When she turned to the next player, her entire demeanor softened. "Baldur," she replied, the word as breathless as a prayer. There was something impossibly comforting in seeing her best friend during such a tense time. Her smile warmed, but then slipped away as her blue eyes hardened. "Not someone I knew, well, no. But I had spoken to her a few times, when I had run into her in my friend's book shop. She was a close friend of Regina's." Her jaw clenched instinctively at the memory of Regina's distraught sobs. Loss was to be expected within the floating castle, but nothing dulled the horror of witnessing a friend's fresh grief.

Finally, she looked to the tiny player with the moss-colored hair. The eagerness in her round face softened Lessa's expression once more. "Hello, Fae," she answered. "It's a pleasure to meet you, and I appreciate your willingness to help."

@Hestia @Baldur @Fae

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Outlander stood among the crowd, the speech was appealing and all, but he was in a crime guild himself, though he didn’t care. When the player who said her name was “Lessa” announced that all mercenaries and bounty hunters should help, he figured they were desprate. A wicked grin formed upon Outlanders face. After the speech, he walked up to the quickly forming group of players, many of which he recognized, specifically, one of the players involved in attacking his perfect recruiting station. Along with Fae and Vigilon, oh no, Vigilon. He approached the speaker. “You said Mercenary, correct?” He said, adjusting his longsword on his back. “I happened to be just that. Also, self entitled a-hole. Outlander at your service.” He said with a bow, his longsword almost slipping from its holster on his back. He casually walked over to Fae. “Well well well, fancy meeting you here.” He said with a humorous tone. “So, Laughing coffin? Sounds like someone didn’t have a creative outlook on life. I mean, out of context, they sounds like a low-budget morgue.”

#Im on Aereth's Team
 

Edited by Outlander

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[Signs up for @Lessa's group]

Vigilon was going to leave for his usual weekly visit to the Monument of Life. It was kind of creepy, especially since he had a name on this thing as well. Hopefully it wouldn't be crossed off. He didn't expect to be called to the place, however. He usually went to the monument to check up and see what had been happening, and see if something was getting out of hand, or even making sure a name on his watchlist didn't cross off any names. "Why was I called to come here?" He thought. Vigilon saw two players ahead of the crowd, and they began to speak of the matter at hand. Twenty-seven murders, all by someone going by Wyson. Twenty-seven. Vigilon's fist clenched when he managed to grasp the situation. This senseless killing caused Vigilon's blood to boil. He couldn't stand around and let this happen. Something had to be done. After some thought, he decided to work with Lessa. When he came up to the group, he saw three players that were ready to join Lessa as well. There was Hestia, there was a brown haired player, and there was...a player on his watchlist. Of course...there just had to be a player on his watchlist here. He had seen her as suspicious during the party that got crashed which Vigilon had intended to investigate. It wouldn't do for the truth to be revealed here and now, for either player, since it might cause a commotion, so the words Vigilon had for this player would have to be said via messenger. So he pulled up his messenger.

Quote

To: @Fae         

I know who you are, and who you're associated with. However, I'm fine with working alongside you for the time being, in hopes of possible...rehabilitation. However, do know that I check the monument weekly. If I find that you've crossed a name off the monument via murder, I will seek you out and put a stop to your actions. So I recommend that you keep your hands clean, think before you act, and be mindful of your actions.

-Vigilon

Once that message was sent, he walked up to Lessa. "Hello, I'm Vigilon, future leader of The Rising Dragons. Well, hopefully. For the longest time, I've only found one who is willing to join my cause. Anyway, I am eager to end this unbroken streak of murders and bring this 'Wyson' guy to justice. I've only reached Tier two recently, but I'll do what I can." Soon after he had said that, a familiar voice was heard... "Great, he just HAD to show up..." He turned towards the player. "I honestly didn't expect you to show up, Outlander..." It was all he could to remain silent, for he would just be contradicting himself(regarding one of his earlier choices of action) if he spoke any further, for he was intending to keep things calm, and not start any other commotions for the time being...if at all possible.

@Hestia @Baldur @Outlander (OOC: How did you know I was posting, Outlander?)

 

Current Stats:

Spoiler

Level:  26
HP:  520
EN:  62(Base[52], Energist[10])

Damage: 9(Martial Arts Rank 3[+5], Veriost[+3])

MIT: 18(Swift Endurance)

ACC: 1(Karri's Fang)

EVA: 1(Swift Endurance)

Recovery: 3(Swift Endurance[+2], Karri's Fang[+1])

Equipment:

Berserker Gloves(1 Taunt, 1 Bleed, 1 Paralyze) [T1]

Swift Endurance(1 Mitigation, 1 Evasion, 1 Recovery) [T2]

Karri's Fang(1 Recovery, 1 Accuracy, +1 LD) [T1]

 

Skills:

One handed straight sword Rank 2

Energist

Martial Arts Rank 3

Familiar Mastery: Fighter Rank 3

 

Edited by Vigilon

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Tsu has never really visited the monument before, mostly since she never found a need to. But when she was called down to the first floor for something, she accepted and left Ragdoll in charge of McFroppy's while she was gone. After everything was secure, she headed down to the first floor, making her way to the monument where a big crowd was gathered. Tsu listened to the speech about a player killer by the name of Wyson that had already killed 27 people and it came as no surprise. It sounded horrible, but at the same time very believable for laughing coffin. Looking at how the two groups were forming, the majority of people seemed to be heading towards Lessa's group, so Tsu naturally decided it would be better to go for Aereth's group to even things out. Walking up to the man, Tsu did a small wave before introducing herself. "Hello, ribbit. Call me Tsu. I'm a pure healer, so I hope I can be of some use to deal with this Wyson figure, rrrrrrribbit.Tsu said, before walking a few feet away and waiting for further instruction. She didn't really know how to act around strong players, so she tried to show as much respect as she could.

-Signs up for Team @Aereth-

Frop's Stats:

Spoiler

Level:  11
HP:  220
EN:  22

Damage: 1

MIT: 1

Equipment:

Tadpole Rapier: +1 Bleed

Tadpole Helmet: +1 MIT

Skills:

First Aid Rank 4

 

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[OOC: You’re predictable. Also, I saw you viewing this thread earlier, I knew you couldn’t resist.]
“Great, he just had to show up…” The voice behind him said. He immediately recognized the voice. “Oh god d***it…” He muttered then turned around. “I honestly didn’t expect you to show up, Outlander…” Vigilon said. “Well, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Unfortunately, life never gave me lemons, instead it has given me anger issues, anxiety, and a love for alcoholic beverages. Also, I’m in the mood to stab someone, so don’t tempt me. ” Outlander said, gesturing towards the longsword slung across his back. He pulled out a croissant and began chowing down, as if what he said was completely normal to say to someone. “I know you absolutely despise me, but, can we put this aside for later? I have way better things to do, like eating this croissant for example.” He continued.
@Vigilon

Edited by Outlander

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-Signed up for Lessa's team

Krysta was going about her usual business on the first floor, preparing to head out, and she was called to come to the Monument of Life. She came, all right, she just did so reluctantly. She listened to what was going on. Twenty-seven murders. Wyson. Laughing Coffin. That's all she had to hear, and her blood boiled with anguish. Justice had to be done! It must be done! She had no hesitation before she started moving towards Lessa, for Krysta would be joining her in the mission to seek out the foul fiend. Once she had reached the group, the first thing she did was walk up to Lessa. "Hello, I am Krysta. I am more than just willing to seek out this dastardly murderer and bring him to justice! I consider myself fairly good in terms of potential damage and healing, so I should be capable enough for the task." She then turned around to see her teammates. Vigilon, Hestia, a brown haired player...and two others she wasn't exactly excited to see. One of them, she used to trust, the other, she had distrusted for quite a while. She tried to focus on the positives first. "Hello again, Alex! So we'll be working together on this task. How wonderful!" She then turned towards Hestia. "Hello again, Hestia! It's nice to see you again!" She then turned towards the brown haired player. "Hello, I am Krysta. Nice to meet you!" After she had finished the introduction...then came the hesitation to continue speaking with each teammate. She slowly turned towards Fae, her smile fading. In a softer voice, she said, "Fae...I used to trust you...Vigilon told me all that he knew." As for the last teammate, she didn't exactly have any need to be soft in her voice... "You know, I am truly curious as to why a miscreant such as yourself would be willing to bring someone to justice, Outlander..." The player just so happened  to have spoken a threat to Vigilon, as well as some rude words and behavior. "You don't ever think before you speak, do you?" She said to Outlander as she crossed her arms.

@Lessa @Vigilon @Hestia @Baldur @Fae @Outlander

 

Current Stats:

Spoiler

Level:  18
HP:  360
EN:  36
DMG:  7(OHR Rank 3[+3], Star Saber[+3], Yolviinsil[+2])

MIT: 18(Guardian Vest)

 

Equipment:

Star Saber(+3 DMG)

Guardian Vest(Mitigation[2])

Andvari's Blessing(3 LD)

 

Skills:

One handed Rapier Rank 3

First Aid Rank 2

Familiar Mastery: Fighter rank 2(does not apply, due to an enhancement cap)

 

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Dazia, at first, had no idea why she was being asked to come to a virtual graveyard with a single mass tombstone in the middle of a black iron building. She would only get the knowledge of it all once the players spoke of the matter at hand. A player known as Wyson, believed to possibly be a member of the Laughing Coffin, was on a killing spree, and had murdered twenty-seven players so far. The two players spoke of bringing this player to justice. "So they couldn't just rely on the frontliners to handle this?" Of course, the task was said to be lucrative, and that got Dazia to consider changing her mind on that. "Oh? Well, in that case, I hope they're telling the truth here. I'd rather not risk my life if it's for nothing. There better be a d*** good reward for this." Dazia walked up to the two players until she could see the groups forming. Players were amassing towards Lessa, but Aereth seemed to not have so many volunteers. Not only that, but she saw that Princess had rushed to join Lessa's group. She knew who she would be working with. She pulled the hood of her light armor, Ombra del Corvo, over her head, so that if Princess was to spot Dazia, there would be hardly any recognition...hopefully. She walked up to Aereth. "I'll be working with your group...for several reasons, one of them personal." She said, glancing over to where Krysta was for a second. She soon heard a familiar voice, one that was getting a bit louder as Dazia heard it. "Hey! Dazia! Dazia!" Dazia sighed. "Here comes the noise again..." She thought, almost muttered, as Yinangi made her way towards Dazia. "There you are! I've been looking for you in the crowd! Doesn't matter to me what team you're on, I'm coming with you!" She and Yinangi may be friends, but she didn't always appreciate her company. It did help sometimes, however, whether she admitted it or not.

-Signing up for @Aereth's team

Current Stats:

Spoiler

Level:  11
HP:  220
EN:  22
DMG:  5(One Handed Rapier Rank 2[+2], Rapier of Wrath[+2])

MIT: 23(Ombra del Corvo, Light Armor Rank 1)

ACC: 1(Rapier of Wrath)

EVA: 1(Ombra del Corvo)

 

Equipment:

Rapier of Wrath(2 DMG, 1 ACC)

Ombra del Corvo(2 MIT, 1 EVA)

 

Skills:

One handed Rapier Rank 2

Light Armor Rank 1(+5 Mitigation)

 

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'A guy just died, now why the hell do I feel nothing these days.' Sharr thought as he tried to blend in the group of players who were participating in the hunt. 'Must be because I am part of a guild that is almost similar to Laughing Coffin, almost...' "-except we are just a bunch of wannabe's" He continued out loud. Seeing as there were already a lot of players flocking in the girl that introduced herself as Lessa, he decided to join the other, which consisted of three girls, one that gave off a dark vibe, a child which had the opposite aura, and a Frog. He approached them and introduced himself. "Aereth I presume! The name's Sharr! Glad to be with you all-" He then faced the three girls and thought of what friendly names he could call them. "Kermit, Gender blended Sasuke, and-oh God... another child. You have a long life ahead of you kid, better not spend it trying to catch a murderer." 

Current Stats:

Spoiler

Sharr | Lvl. 2 (6 SPJournal

   HP: 40/40 | EN: 4/4

DMG: 3 | MIT: 0 | ACC: 1 | EVA: 0 

Loot Die +1 | Stealth Detection +1

Equipped Items:

Battle Ready Inventory:

Skills and Mods: (Used: 5/5)

@Aereth @Froppy @Dazia

Edited by Sharr

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Slowly but surely the rather big group of players began to form the two groups around Lessa and Aereth. While there were almost instantly about five people around Lessa, maybe because of her 'female attributes' maybe because of his orange cursor he didn't know why, players first seemed reluctant to come up to him. That was until three (assuming Dazias friend also is a female) female players made their way over to him. The first one introduced herself as Tsu a pure healer, the second being Dazia which he had already run in a long time ago and the third one seemingly being a friend of Dazia. 

Aereth nodded towards the frog girl while mentally noting that the girl was a healer. From the last time he met her he knew that she had been a DPS unit but that could have changed up until now.  "It's... um... Great to have all of you here. This whole affair has reached dimensions where we, the player base cannot continue to simply stand by and watch without doing something." The brunette said in a serious voice. It was new for him to work together with a larger group of players, but his past encounters with player killers, especially with the Laughing Coffin had shown him that he couldn't do much without the help of others. He sighed and glanced over to Lessa. She was one of the main reasons they had brought this topic to the public. Stubborn girl. But more than capable in a fight and a reliable comrade.

He then opened his menu to type a short message to a player he had expected to come but obviously wasn't here yet....

Quote

To: @Hikoru

Subject: Aincrad needs you.

Text: I don't know if the info brokers in your network became lazy, or if you have other important things to do, but we have a rather big and dangerous issue where I could need your help. If you've got time please come to meet me at the Monument. 

PS: Some reinforcements would also be nice, so just bring anybody that can hold a blade...

Just after he pressed the send button another player joined his search party. He was having white hair and his greeting was followed by an immediate warning. The brunette PKKer rose an eyebrow at that statement before answering. "Appearances can be deceiving. Even the smallest and cutest girl could be monster of an opponent if she would have the numbers. Bit still nice to meet you." In this game numbers were everything. He knew that at least Dazia knew as much. "I'm just going to wait for some more time before I'm going to explain everything to all of you. But keep in mind that this is a dangerous task. We will be heading to very dangerous areas so we all have to work as a unit in order to bring that player to justice. I don't want to have any casualties because somebody thought that they need to play hero..."

Aereth's team: @Dazia @Froppy @Sharr

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I nod my head with a smile at lessa's words with a small nervous chuckle as i rub the back of my neck. It's nothing at all really @Lessa, and i may be a frontliner though i don't consider myself experienced. However, i will do my very best to throw in the talents that i can provide to help out as much as possible. I say towards the leader of this group with a nod of my head and a smile. I then glance on over towards the people who arrive and finds myself surprised by the ones who show up. 'so we have two crime guild people, Baldur, and then Vigilon and Krysta. Huh..color me surprised.' I think to myself as i just give a kind smile towards the samurai @Baldur and a rather cold stare to both @Fae and @Outlander wishing to give the two a non verbal warning before they could think of doing anything. I then turn to Krysta and smiles at her words and rather upbeat personality from what i am able to observe. It's nice to see you again @Krysta it has been a rather long time really. How about after this we hangout and catch up on things that have happened since last we talked. I'm certain there is quite a bit each of us could tell. I say in a cheerful tone of voice towards the girl while looking towards Vigilon and giving a nod towards the player. And nice to see you to @Vigilon. Still aiming for guild leader i see. Good it shows that you got perseverance, and can be stubborn about what you want to do even though there is a easier way out. Keep persevering and you'll reach your goal eventually. I say towards the player with a nod of my head and a thumbs up. My familiar just laying by my feet to wait for when they are meant to be going out and heading to there destination.

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Baldur watched as a small child who spoke of herself in the third person trotted up to Lessa and offered to join. It both bothered, and reassured Baldur. He didn't like bringing along someone who didn't appear to be able to take care of herself, but at the same time, people standing up to help make things right was what this was all about. Then Lessa turned to him, and he forgot about Fae. He was relieved, that she was happy to see him. She had to know he would come, but perhaps she still had some doubts. He told her the story of her friend's friend, and he felt his heart sink. He had been fortunate to not know many people, personally, who had died, but he had helped many people deal with their grief, and the fallout of it. He hated to see Lessa in the same spot, though she was doing a much better job about doing something about it.

Then two more men showed up, introducing themself as Outlander and Vigilon. They seemed to carry themselves as if they could handle themselves, which was good. Even if they couldn't you could avoid a lot of fights if you at least looked like you could. You couldn't see anyone else's level in SAO, even if they were in the same guild as you. That meant that these guys could be dangerous. Baldur had been out of the loop for too long to pretend like he knew everyone who was at the level. He gave them both a nod that was also a very slight bow.

"I'm Baldur."

It was then that he noticed that they seemed to be familiar with each other, but not in the good way. He wasn't sure what was going on between them, but Hestia didn't seemed to be pleased either, based on what he could read from her face.

Then a bubbly blonde showed up and introduced herself as a healer and dps. The way she spoke was... well, who was Baldur to talk about someone's esoteric use of language.

"Nice to meet you, Krysta." Hestia and she seemed to be familiar with one another, which made Baldur feel more at ease with the blond. It was an interesting collection of people Lessa was gathering.

Baldur simply took up position next to Lessa, his face calm and impassive. He was just waiting for whatever further info Lessa had to say while the others interacted with one another. He was observing, for the most part, without looking like he was, just passively listening to the conversations going on. His blue and white montsuki haori hung down to his thighs, and was held almost closed with a burnished orange tie connecting the lapels. The hems of the haori were styled with flames that seemed to move whenever rustled by a breeze, and his ever present katana was held at his side in its dark, lacquered saya, with only the image of a heron on the tsuba visible, but which matched the symbol on the back of his jacket. He was, as always, dressed for war, but made it look casual.

Edited by Baldur

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Hikoru worked at his desk diligently, the thought he had at the Boss Meeting still bothering him. He had been trying to work on different things and quests that had popped up again, and he was growing tired of finding nothing but dead ends. He was at the point of ripping his hair out, when he got a ping from his Message box. He opened it up, and his eyes widened as he read. A string of murders? How hadn't he heard about this? He was about to stand, when he saw the meeting area... The Monument of Life. A place he hadn't dared to go since Lowenthal had died, and where he knew names there that he would never forget. He felt his body shaking from fear of going, as he didn't know what else he would find, how many names he would know... He had promised he would never go, and leave the dead where they laid, but he knew he needed to help them...

And maybe, it was time for him to try and pay the respects of his fallen brothers.

He put on his coat quietly. Aru, his apprentice, looked up at him from the couch. His eyebrow was raised, and Hikoru sighed. "We are needed, at the Monument of Life. I need you to gather Carx, Lief, Boric, and Jim." Aru's eyes widened. "The S Team? Why them?" He asked in shock, scrambling off the couch to try and get to his cloak by the door. "Apparently, there has been a string of murders, all by one player i'm assuming, either that or Laughing Coffin. Either way an old friend needs our help, and he asked me to bring reinforcements. That's exactly what I plan to do." Aru nodded in understanding. "Right, i'll make sure they're ready. I'll meet you there." He said, then equipped his cloak and made his way out the door. Hikoru took a moment and mentally braced himself, before walking out the door, and made his way to the teleporter.

He soon appeared on Floor 1, and he saw the monument in the distance, and a feeling of dread overcame him. He didn't want to go, he wanted to try and bury his past. But, he knew that he needed to go, that it was time. He slowly made his way, players filing around him as he slowly made his way. He soon saw the Monument a few feet away, and he gulped. He saw a small group of players, and Aereth standing as the leader. He made his way in, not even using stealth, and held up a finger to say 'one moment.' He went to the monument, and saw the names Lowenthal, Beatbox, and Azide. He held back the tears, but the painful memories still lingered. He fell to one knee, kneeling at the stone and opening his inventory, grabbing the black cloth he had held at the meeting for comfort, and laid it down at the stone beneath the pillar. He touched it softly, before pulling away.

"Forgive me for not coming sooner, but I guess I let my fear overtake me..." He said with a small chuckle. a single tear fell onto the small piece of cloth, and he smiled. "I'm sure you'd be giving me a long lecture about this, Lowe.... Azide, you'd probably judge me from afar, then tell me when i'm at my lowest how to fix my problem..." and then he chuckled. "And Beatbox, you would do your best to cheer me up, after hitting me a few times for being stupid..." He wiped away another tear. "I'm sorry, and i'll do my best to be better..." He heard a group of footsteps approach, and he wiped away his face, enveloping his face with shadows to hide his emotions from them. Sure enough, it was Aru and the S Team, ready to serve. He nodded at a Worried-looking Aru, and he just pat his shoulder, and came to Aereth.

"You've got me and my team on your side." He said, almost stoicly, a feeling of dread lifting off his shoulders, as he finally did what he needed to do.

Joining Aereth's team, along with some NPC Info Brokers

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Sunova was very sad to hear that so many players were killed just by one player. As the announcers that stood down, she would see how many people already went to the two players to sign up for the different teams. However, Sunova was still a bit shocked but she wanted to join in and help out as much as she could. She looked at the people who already joined a group, She knew just one person but instead of joining him, she went to the other group that was smaller The group of Aereth.  "Uhm... Hello all, Name is Sunova. Support and Trusty user of A Katana and Curved Sword" The Small girl said as she stood next to the rest of the people standing there. She was thinking a bit and then she opened her menu to send someone a message.

Spoiler

To: @Neopolitan

Subject: Helping out all of Aincrad

Hey Neo, I was at this meeting and I heard there was this murder going on, and many people have already fallen by this one player. I just wanted to ask if you want to join and help me and all the players here to find this murderer and lock him up for good. I know it could be dangerous but there are many other players here to help as well, So this can be or change to help and show Aincrad how good we can be as a team.

 

She pressed send and then looked up at the group she was with. "Nice to meet you all, So what is the plan in finding this guy. I won't allow this PKer to walk around freely, so let's do this. OKAY" She said looking very serious look on her face, Even if she looked small she still was a capable person to handle things like this, It was something she wanted to do. To stop this murderer was her goal, no more innocent lives needed to fall because of this player called Wyson.

-Signing up for @Aereth's team

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Fae    0

Fae smiled and nodded her head when Lessa thanked her for her eagerness to help. More people were coming to sign up though, so Fae took a few steps back to see who else was on her team. Although just a little bit later she received a message from @Vigilon, saying that he knew everything and then threatened to take action if she crossed out a name through murder. Fae wanted to send something witty back, like 'Too Late', but Fae found it easier to just walk right up to the group of players and say hi. Even though pretty much all three of them seemed to hate her, Fae walked up to them with a smile on her face. "Hi guys! Fae is so glad to see you again!" Fae greeted as she first hugged @Krysta and then hugged @Hestia. Looking up at the three with excitement, she tried to catch up on what they were talking about. "Oh wow! You're starting a guild mister Vigilon? That's great! Fae would love to join you, but Fae is already kinda stuck in a guild." Fae said, clappong her hands a few times. Noticing the cold stare from Hestia that had also went to Outlander, Fae tilted her head in confusion. "What's the matter miss Hestia? Why the mean stare? Fae just wanted to say hi." Fae said before going back to smiling.

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What was she doing here? Teion stood among the rest of players that had gathered in the Black Iron Palace, one hand nervously curled around the other arm as she felt the intensity of her discomfort, loitering in silence beside the intimidating number of strangers. Her mind exaggerated, trying to compare the last time she'd found herself in any kind of similar situation being The Announcement that Kayaba himself had made when he gathered every person who'd been stuck in the game so long ago.

The violette wrenched her eyes shut, giving a small shake of her head. No, she was here because she needed to start doing something, she told herself. She was done--needed to be done--sitting around in her smithy day in and day out, waiting for the rest of the players in their isolated world to get them out of this place. Thankfully, before her mind had the chance to find another rabbit hole to jump into that would spike her anxiety further, a voice projected out over the crowd to effectively silence the idle chatter that buzzed among the bodies. Before she could focus on the reason they had been asked to gather, or any of the details of the missions they would surely be asked to help carry out, the woman who introduced herself as Lessa gave another name that was the last she had expected to hear. Teion's head snapped to attention as she finally looked to the pedestal that housed the Monument of Life, shifting to one side to peer past other heads and shoulders in order to see the owner of the voice that carried over the crowd.

Teion felt the ball of guilt, anxiety, and panic forming in her throat immediately. She was staring, not at the woman still speaking, but at the brunette player beside her whose face she recognized all too well. If she hadn't considered turning around and walking away before, now that was the only thought left in her mind. 'I can't be here.' She told herself. And yet, the soles of her boots remained rooted to the dark marbled ground, refusing to carry her elsewhere.

After the players had been addressed, and the request was made for everyone to split into teams in order to distribute the work that would go into tracking this serial murderer down, Teion's heart pounded as she tried to figure out what to do. Her eyes stole glances around her, seeing several players who were no longer interested in these mystery murders, despite the potential rewards dangled in front of them, turning and leaving back through the long hallway leading to the rest of the first floor. She could follow suit, and leave. But then she would just be a coward again, no? What would she do, go back to the fifth floor and occupy the rest of the day's time by sitting around, getting frustrated each time a sketch didn't turn out the right way as she tried and failed to take her mind off of everything? Cobalt eyes drifted to the woman who had kicked off the impromptu meeting: the blonde named Lessa. She could join her team, separating her from Aereth and allowing her to keep her pride mostly intact.

After minutes of just standing in the rapidly-thinning crowd, Teion tried to swallow against the ever-present lump resting uncomfortably in her throat. Her sights landed on the brunette once again, and she came to what she hoped wasn't the stupidest decision she had made since the last time she had run away from him. After forcing her legs to carry her forward, she approached Aereth and held herself still until the man had finished addressing other players that had gathered around to follow his lead. She tried not to flinch when their eyes would meet, but she couldn't have told how successful an attempt it had been. In fact, she was only able to force herself to maintain eye contact for a couple of precious seconds before her chin would drop, along with her gaze, to the floor. Without thinking, she gnawed on her bottom lip. Surely, if the skin of her avatar had been allowed to break and bleed like her body in the real world, she would have caused a nasty tear by the time she opened her mouth to speak. In just a loud enough volume so that the man might be able to hear her across from him, Teion spoke up while her head continued to hang. "I'd, like to join your team."

Joining @Aereth's team

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Jomei Lvl 68 | 17 DMG | 4 ACC | 4 EVA | 52 MIT | 2 Savvy | 70 B. Healing

The Town of Beginnings, it never seemed to change any time Jomei visited it. Though, the sudden influx of players heading towards the Black Iron Palace was definitely out of the ordinary. So being the curious man Jomei was, he decided to follow. He overheard some of the others talking about two players holding a meeting to investigate a certain string of player killings. The thought of this many people wanting to possibly join such an investigation sent a chill down his spine, but also brought an excitement along with it. Players finally wanted to do something about these player killers, and Jomei was not determined to be a part of it. Climbing up the stairs of the palace, Jomei stepped into the usually empty hall of the Monument of Life, to see it packed with players, both recognizable and unfamiliar. 

From the crowd, Lessa rose up atop the monument himself and addressed the crowd. Jomei's eyes widened in shock, Lessa was taking charge of the investigation? That did not seem like something of her to do.. Exploring, investigating interesting structures.. Lessa always come off as the adventuring, Indiana Jones type of girl. Why the change of heart? Her counterpart in this was a bit less shocking, though the name left a bad taste in his mouth. The last Jomei had seen Aereth, his rapier had been lodged through his chest, thinking he was trying to hurt Telrenya. After that day, Jomei had not heard of the man reappearing, though Teion's story of the man left him with another story. Despite, Jomei knew that the man's intentions were true, despite his checkered past. 

Once the two's plan had been addressed to the masses, Jomei made his way through the crown to where the armored blonde stood, assessing those that had already joined her team. "Never did I think I'd find you on the hunt for a player killer." the man said with a playful smirk. "It's good to see you again Lessa." The ginger turned to look over his shoulder at the other man who stood there, "You too Aereth." Turning back to Lessa, his smile returned, "Well, you'll have me on board for this, and for helping out your team if you'll have me." 

-Jomei signed up for team Lessa-

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