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[F1-OP] To strike at the sea <<raid meeting>>

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With a single heavy cleave, Macradon managed to get down the last phoenix, even though it wasn’t needed. He had no intentions of just leaving a fight unless necessary, extra loot was always something he looked forward to. Standing on the empty battlefield with his cerberus. Both his familiar and the battlefield were engulfed in hellish flames from attacks and self combustion. Stepping out of the flaming clearing, Macradon would find some shade under some rock formation and sit down to relax after the intense fight. He would sigh heavily and try to get his composure and breath back. Looking around his HUD, he noticed that he had received a message from @Hestia. Opening up the message, the time stamp would tell him that it had been there for a while, a few minutes, perhaps a bit longer than just a few. He would read it through and slump down up against the rocks. He would think of a reply while slowly regulating his breathing pattern again to prepare himself for another fight.

Quote

 

Hey Hestia,

As you might remember from the meeting a short while ago, I won’t be joining any fights in the frontlines for a while. Don’t count me in when making teams, that would make planning easier than hoping that I might show up and never do for who knows how many floors.

Hope you guys get through this one, might be tough.

 

Sending away the message, Macradon would pet his cerberus, a bit for every head to sate its hunger for cuddles. “Alright, 5 minutes more and we’re ready to go in a kick som phoenix butt again.” Macradon said with a smile as he would think of a better strategy for the two working together.

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"First of all, it's good to see fresh tanks training to join the lines," Shield said, giving Hazado a nod. "I've heard your name a few times when the subject of up-and-comers was being discussed, so know that we're eager to have you join in. That said," he went on, turning to face the man properly, "this kind of meeting is not new to the front lines. It's usually chaotic, with everyone shouting over one another to have their ideas heard. I'm sorry if that's disappointing to you, but I've many times tried to keep order and keep things on topic, and it does not work. Second of all, Baldur's choice of teams has nothing to do with staying with 'friends.' Yes, he does know those players in his team, but the reason he chooses them is because he trusts them, and he knows they'll listen in the heat of battle and maximize their effectiveness. The last few boss fights have been a mess, and if you can't rely on your teammates to listen, then there's a very real chance you won't have an impact in the fight. You're describing a very general strategy, and of course it has its merits, but don't underestimate what we've faced."

He swiveled in his seat, facing sideways to try to keep both Hestia and Hazado in his field of vision, as well as trying to project his voice towards the largest portion of the players gathered. "The Sahagins we faced in the labyrinth were a beast of an encounter. They were a fully functioning party with heals, support, and one hell of a heavy hitting boss, not to mention mechanics that took away a lot of a tank's ability to control the battlefield. Despite having a tank and two DPS, one of which being the single heaviest AoE hitter, they were at a complete standstill and couldn't keep damage on the boss. It was at full health when we entered the fight, and the they had been there a while from the sound of it."

The conversation had become very broad and very wordy, and Shield knew if it kept going this way, they would likely lose people's attention. Still, he knew the dangers of undercutting the threat they faced. If people walked out of this meeting thinking they were ready for the fight to come, then they would be acting on a dangerous lie. He took a breath, allowing his words a moment to register before continuing. "That boss was designed to hit us where we were weakest - it punished parties for not acting as a unit. If players were there acting on their own interest the entire fight as is typical of the front lines, then nothing would have been accomplished, and let's not pretend that the front lines are anything but precisely that - players acting on their own interest. Many have the best of intentions, but without a common goal, we're just throwing ourselves at a wall, and we will break before it does."

"I'm aware I've been doing a lot of nay-saying, so allow me to extend an olive branch," he said, letting his eyes move to Hestia and Hazado before returning to the crowd. "Having solid teams is important, but knowing what we're up against is going to be essential to making this fight work. I recommend we go in with a small task force and go turtle. Everyone focus on their defense and eschew most of the offense." This was not going to be a popular plan, and he knew that, but he grit his teeth and continued with his proposal. "We still need to deal some damage, as we've seen bosses punish players for timidity. Still, everyone needs to go in there with a tank and a healer on their team, a teleportation crystal in their inventory, a perfect antidote salve already applied and an extra in reserve, and the intent to teleport out as soon as we have enough information. Should things change in the course of the battle and we decide we have everything we need to finish it, then by all means, let's finish it." Even as he said these words, there was warning behind them, conveying his doubt that it would be so simple as that. "But at this point, I think it would be foolish to rule out the possibility that Kayaba is preparing these fights to hit us where we're weak. I don't think we have a good shot without doing the same, which means going in to gather intel and coming back to fight properly once we know what we're up against."

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Jomei simply sat and listened to the others speak. Despite being a "leader" himself, though he did not feel as he was a quality leader anymore as of late, he never had the same input at these meetings as the rest of the front liners. Most of them knew what they were talking about, creating strategies and preparing their gear for any situation the boss would throw at them. Jomei, on the other hand, simply just made sure he could hit as hard as he could and did as he was told. He never saw himself as standing before everyone else running the actual meeting, nor did he ever really plan on it. After a few players spoke up with their own opinions, Hestia revealed her thoughts on the first draft of teams. Initially, he was placed on a "scout/ evasion" team with some familiar faces. However, she mentioned that, in case Macradon would not be attending, he would be switched to the other team. Jomei simply responded with a nod, "Just put me wherever you see fit, I'll make sure my damage output is up to par." 

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I look towards the tank as i grit my teeth as i just do my best to not immediately react with very first moment instinctual words i would want to say towards him. To not just act out and immediately say the very first things that would come to mind. My arms crossed at my chest with my right hand clenching my left arm rather tightly to the point of it shaking ever so slightly from some amount of pressure that is being applied. My eyes narrowing slowly as i just give Shield a slowly forming death glare as i than flick the gaze towards Haz as i listen to what he says. My body slowly relaxing as i close my eyes and starts raising my hands up and than lowering them fifteen times as i take deep breathes in and out just trying to calm myself and keep a somewhat stable head when speaking. 'Just breathe in...stress out.' I think to myself as a small little mantra and after the fifteen times just look towards Shield once more as i wait. Than he starts to speak again as i manage with a good amount of willpower to not just roll my eyes at what he is saying and hold my tongue the entire time and once he has done speaking i just do one nod. I'll apologize towards the new members like zuekin, and Haz, and Neo about the performance but sadly Shield would be correct in his statement that arguing is a rather common thing within these meetings, and usually ends with a bad taste in somebody's mouth due to a decision that was made. I say in a calm tone of voice. Though Shield i'll tell you now plain and simple. I have no care in the world when it comes to putting people with those they trust. I put people with whom i think it might be best to ensure some type of safety among ourselves. While yes having some trust in people is an important aspect when it comes to a fight. However, you shouldn't just trust a small group, but the entirety of other members in the raid to keep you safe. You can say it is for orders and efficiency but it is a raid. If this boss is something like Bialas their is no plan needed just have antidotes/antioxidents and somebody with Purify hopefully. If it is like the dark council than something just slightly more complex in just focusing down a target. We don't know what this is but we'll find out and adapt like we've always done. If you follow Baldur's sentiments and want to leave when you don't get to be with your core team and leave the frontlines weaker because of that. And just threatening to leave the frontlines while you wouldn't be holding it hostage basically because of your team being the determining factor is reminiscent of a guild from the past that had threatened not to show when they were THE strongest around. I say towards Shield not bothering with giving a name to try and let that guild die even as a memory, and also hoping that leaving it unnamed is enough for him to figure it out.The implication of comparing is enough. And now you know we're at something akin to the lowest we could be at the moment in terms of members and i don't know if you share Baldur's sentiments, but that is striking a similar taste to that guild.

If you want people to actually trust each other as an entire whole instead of just as tiny factions than make them work with people that they don't trust. Trust won't just be fabricated out of hot air between people, and certainly respect and likeability won't be spawned from that either. Naturally things will clash at first, but if anything as many stories would like to say you learn to trust a guy a lot when you are fighting to the death alongside them. I say with a small shrug not really knowing if it is true, but at the very least does make sense since you are trusting someone with your entire life to take care of you while within a fight alongside them. Also, small nitpick of your words you mean we don't have a 100% plan when going into a boss fight because that's impossible. Unless whoever cleared the labyrinth went into the boss room immediately for a trial run nobody would know what to expect from the thing when doing the meeting. We have a common goal of beating the game and escaping we don't have a 100% plan. Besides i'll admit that i don't know what has happened in the floor bosses of the past, but lets say that someone does do a scouting run. You would need to define a scouting run because if you just mean one team going in, and than trying to fight a floor boss by themselves. It makes sense tactically i'll admit, but with these teams we have nothing will change about their structure. You can say our strategies will change if we go in with more information yes they very might. Probably not by much though since even if you went in to floor 23 with a scouting unit you would've just confirmed what we talked about beforehand. People playing position roles, with at most you could've told personalities to prepare people for a boss with a personality.  I say towards him as i keep my arms crossed at my chest and just stare him down as i go on this rather long talk. 'If this was the real world i think i would need water by now with how much i've talked.'

In short i think the scouting wouldn't provide much, and if anything you can accomplish the same thing of at least giving a shot at killing the boss with the entire raid there and if things go bad like you're worrying. Than everyone could TP out together easy as that, and with that said if anybody shows up to the raid without a TP crystal i will tell you now to not even bother showing up. We want people to be prepared. As i finish speaking i quickly type out a very quick message towards both neo and Zandra with a crafting order. If you don't know how to get a teleport crystal you can go to my friend Kairi who has a shop on floor 17 she is a merchant and sells the teleport crystal at a 0 col catch for herself the literal cheapest price you could get it for besides asking somebody like Zandra to craft it for you!

Neo
13 rare accuracy
15 rare evasion
13 best quality proteins
15 antioxidents
Zandra
14 damage
15 MIT
16 overhealth

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"Baldur is not abandoning the lines, not even for this fight. he merely stated he would not follow your plan. To whit, you're missing the bigger picture here," Shield said, picking through his sentences carefully. There was no way to way what he was about to say without making it personal, but he was going to do his best. "It isn't people that Baldur and I do not trust. It's you.At this point he leaned forward, his dark eyes trained on the younger player before him. "Baldur and I have been through our share of raids before you ever joined the lines, and we have never had issues trusting our teammates. Hell, we even trusted that snake, DeathAdder, before we knew who he was. However, the weak link in your equation is that it relies on our teammates responding to the trust we give them by being trustworthy." He slowed his speech, trying to keep his cadence even and his features light. He had gotten out what he needed to get out from a cathartic standpoint. Now he needed Hestia to understand. "Your decisions in the last floor boss fight were... questionable, though you were not the only one making such calls, so I can't hold you entirely responsible. At the meeting Baldur called, you thumbed your nose at the words of your seniors - showing a decided lack of trust despite our collective experiences, which would make it hypocritical by anyone's standards to ask for our trust now.

"However, that meeting was meant to be a meeting of equals," Shield added, giving a steady nod of his head to show that he was not particular worried about that as a singular point. "All opinions were welcome, and as frustrating as it was, having a devil's advocate is not without its merits. Then... that last fight-" At this point, he was out of options. Hestia seemed determined to try to make this discussion about power struggles and how unreasonable it was to refuse to trust. There was no sense in holding back information. "You early arrivals screwed up. The second you saw that you couldn't keep up with either the damage or healing requirements of that fight, you should have immediately left. We had not communicated. You didn't know when anyone was coming - or even if they were coming. We could have been exploring in the exact opposite direction. You played with the lives of the players who relied on you, and that is shady dealings for a tank. You don't take those risks in this game.

"But maybe you had the situation in hand better than it looked like," Shield said, shrugging his shoulders. "Who knows? I may be misreading that. I can say it looked bad when we came in, with the boss still at full health, with a full battery of ads still buffing and healing him, and the players half drained of energy and good chunks of health. It looked bad. Maybe I'm wrong. But when a team rolled in that had the numbers. That had a plan. That brought enough players to actually take charge of the situation...

"You didn't trust them."

Shield's tone was cold now. He wanted his point to be unequivocally heard. "You largely ignored us at first. You wasted our time and our efforts and our resources to the point that by the time you fled, we no longer had what we needed to put down that party. We had everything we needed to solo that encounter, but the lot of you did not trust us, and it cost us the opportunity to finish the fight, which is exactly what we warned might happen if you did what you did. It is an insult for you to ask us to trust you now when the only things you have demonstrated trust in as of late are your friends and your pride." He was on his feet now. There was no hatred in his voice, nor in his eyes. He could have shouted. He could have easily unleashed his howling gale of a voice to drive home his point, but he knew nothing would be settled here, so a show of temper would not suit the situation. Later, once cooler heads prevailed, they might be able to make some sense of things. For now, the lines were damaged, and this was all it was going to be with the two of them butting heads. "So, if you insist on taking the reins of this fight, I can't stop you. However, you don't get to tell me who to trust. Even in a game that depends on others trusting one another, it is still possible to prove yourself undeserving of trust, and it would be foolish to ignore those signs until someone has demonstrated they are again trustworthy.

"Until a better plan emerges, I'm with Baldur, both now and in the fight. Any plan that comes from your mouth is now suspect, and I will not be a part of your proposed teams," he concluded. His shoulders slacked, and he settled back into a more neutral stance. "If someone else would like to step forward and propose something, by all means, do so. I don't think it wise to take a hand in that myself, as I have been very deliberately contrary and I recognize that anything I say would sound too much like a conflict of interest or as a result of temper or my own pride."

Shield turned his eyes to the crowd. Calrex was the first player he spotted, but the two of them were friends, and it would not help his case any to single him out. The next leader, and perhaps the actually most accomplished, was one he did not know personally. "@Jomei," he began, taking a seat a little closer to the renowned Irishman. "I know you have been quiet today, and you may very well have your reasons, but I have far less reason to doubt you, and I know you have inspired many to your cause in your own guild." Turning back to the gathering in general. "I recognize that Hestia and I have too much baggage at the moment to be effective in directing this meeting. I recuse myself from trying to take that position, and I recommend," he said, though he did put a hint of sting on the word, "that Hestia do the same. I would motion that we ask Jomei to step in, or if he feels unprepared, I would motion that someone else nominate themselves or a trusted associate."

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Domarus was listening to the conversations, the debates, all of it.  He was still very emotional from when Itzal directed everyone towards him about Adrian, but he was relieved when everyone redirected their attention from him.  Domarus sighed in relief to this, but the debates only worsened.  He was listening to both players speaking, and..  Hestia seemed to be different..  She wasn't the warm person who helped Domarus out of the shadows.  Now she sounded like a dictator.  He switched his attention from one person to the other.  Hestia promised to help him..  But, could she?  In this condition?  If she was kind to him in isolation, but like this in public...  No..  He had enough with hypocrisy.  He recalled the conversation that Mina had with him.  He heard the words Shield spoke about trust.  Experience.  Poor leadership.  He thought about what Itzal was doing.  Saying the truth even though it was hard and could spread fear.  Domarus was silent as he thought.  There was a divide being driven through the front liners...  And he hated to acknowledge it, but he had to choose a side.  The frontlines couldn't break down completely.  So.  Hands shaking, not knowing if this was truly the best thing for him to do.  He spoke.
     
"I......Side with @Shield."  He looked towards the tank.  "There's....  There's something I'll need to talk to you, and the other frontliners about...  Something I can't keep hidden.  I'd rather talk about it, in private though."  He then spoke to the entire group.  "I...  I'm willing to do whatever I am asked in this fight.  I just ask..  For the greatest chance to live...  I can't do nothing to help the frontlines, but there is something I must do in my life as well.  A goal to reach.  That's my only request..."  This would be the first time any of his fears showed on the surface in public.

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Hikoru listened to the fights escalate, and he sat down quietly. He watched things unfold, saw Baldur leave in anger, and Shield and Hestia lash out with harsh words. Shield then called on @Jomei to say that he should lead. Hikoru nodded. It was a bright idea, and he knew Jomei, he was good at leading. Although, Jomei seemed a bit off. He knew something was bothering him. He nudged him a little.

"Hey, if you need me to step in I can, but I'd say go for it if your up." He whispered, then stood and faced @Hestia. "I'm sorry, but I'm with Shield as well. From what I've heard things didn't go well at the fight that you had earlier, and your last fight on the frontlines was... interesting, to say the least. And what Baldur said is correct about me as well. Maybe it would be better for me to go with the less healing part and be moved to a group that may not have the highest damage. If we put all the high-damage dealers in one group, we'll have the same problem as we had in the past, before a lot of you came. We would have the Azure group." He spoke, keeping his cool speaking about them. "And then the rest of us would scrounge to find groups, and we would usually be in complete pain while that group was fine. We should avoid that if possible. If anything, go with teams that we're comfortable with but don't be afraid to branch out with others that you may not know" He looked at @Shield"I understand that trusting your team is important, but if we have a team completely overpowered, it leaves those that may be weaker no one to back them up, and it would be complete mayhem for them. I'd say have one person that you trust, then go with another pair that you may not have fought with before, learn each other's weaknesses and help cover them. Something of the sorts to make us stronger as a whole." He spoke, then crossed his arms. "It's just a suggestion, and coming from my place maybe you don't want to take me seriously. But i've been here for a while, some longer than others, and this is something I've never seen the frontlines do before, and maybe it's the next step we need to take."

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'i think i get why Domarus wanted this format to just burn to the ground now.' I think calmly to myself as i look towards Shield with an apathetic look within my eyes as i open up my menu and than takes out a teleport crystal as i stare him down. You know what. Have fun Ssendom and tell Zelrius that he can have his precious four of the Azure Brigade if it is that much of an issue for you. Though don't expect me to care enough to show up unless their is a tier two squad that actually needs some help staying alive. Cause i sure as hell don't trust you to take care of them Ssendom. Calrex. I do trust you, and if Zandra stays make sure to try and fight for her to help make sure the tier twos stay safe for me if i'm not wanted back. Though Azure Brigade you keep doing you. Keep getting those last hits, and supporting only yourself like you always do. Everything is for your own gain because that is all that matters right? Continue charging people for demonic items that you can't even use, or isn't beneficial for your builds. Increase the death rates for your own gain. I say questioningly towards the tank with a dead look in my eyes as i than say rather swiftly. Teleport, Athenea. With that leaving this floor and awaiting for if i'll get a message from Neo or somebody else to inform me what could go on. Not even looking my former guild leader in the eyes as i say those words, not looking my friends in the eyes, only giving a tank i could once respect a dead and apathetic look within my eyes.

Hestia left the thread.

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Neo sat there and watched as people began to practically yell at each other. Voices were not raised, but they had become quite trite. There was certainly no kindness spared on either side. Though Neo didn't really understand the history of the front lines, as that was rarely spoken about, she did see the conflict in front of her. Starting to type some stuff up, she began to write up some messages to select people to make sure that they could try to get their head in the right space. The cloaked figure hiding their face from earlier had seemed to go silent, and that was probably for the better. Hestia had left and wouldn't likely be coming for the fight. Chaos was beginning to spread to various places and she didn't want to see it completely dismantle the front lines. But as it stood, Hestia was the third tank that they needed. And from what Neo did know, getting someone up to par in order to tank a fight was not something that they could do that easily. Haz was probably the next closest they had to be able to tank. Unless there was the capabilities of someone else that she didn't really know of. But it seemed like there was no one who was well equipped to actually take on these fights. Neo got up so she could snag some line of sight to send messages to the players that she didn't know the usernames for, and then went back to her seat as silently as she always was. For all she knew her movement may be what filled the gap between the awkward silence of Hestia's departure and got her called out for it.

TO: @Shield

Spoiler

I don't know much of the history between the two of you. But I would suggest trying to come to an amicable conclusion if you can after this meeting. From what I do know of Hestia you will likely have to compromise a bit more than you are comfortable with. But with her gone, we may want to consider training up new players, both in level and in etiquette. Take the suggestions of your little T2 raid cook with a grain of salt, but that is what I think is the best course of action at this point.

TO: @Baldur

Spoiler

Sorry I don't really know your name or much of anything about you. But I get the feeling you are quite the mentor type. At the very least, you seem to be one of the more level-headed of the group even after that outburst. Few have the sense to actually walk away when they can if they are getting that angry. In case you didn't hear, there have been some further arguments, something about the Azure Brigade, and Hestia has left to Floor 17 I believe (Athenae) declaring she doesn't wish to return unless there are T2 players that need protecting. I'm suggesting a contingency plan be made so that we can get another tank to the front otherwise there is little hope in being able to run 3 parties in this fight.

TO: @Hestia

Spoiler

I know you're likely mad and still trying to blow off some steam. But I would suggest that you lay your trust issues aside and try to resolve this issue. Without you the raid likely won't happen for quite some time. If you don't wish to come to a compromise than I suggest you start trying to train up a replacement tank as soon as you can. I'll let you know if anything else happens in the raid meeting, but for now let's just say that you certainly did not make the most graceful of exits.

 

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Spoiler

Zandra had been quiet for a long time now. Several players have said their opinions about stuff. Her focused have always been on the current speaker, taking in as many of their words as she was able to. But the biggest argument was between the number one and two tanks. She sent glances to Calrex to see if he would step in. Though he didn’t. She knit her fists as she looked down on her knees, her mind working on overpower. She had to stop what was happening. Specially now that Baldur had rushed off. Her eyes, hidden by the shadow of her hood ws darting back and forth, like they always did when she felt growing panic and fear. She gulped and cleared her troath silently several time. She hadn’t felt this feeling before after entering this world, though many times as the guild leader she was online. Why can it be so easy to lead hundreds of players in a game and in this world, no one would believe or trust her. Or have they done it? Was that just a ghost in her mind. She had been asking Jomei for forgiveness, and he accepted it even though he is the one most affected. She looked at her ex lover for quite some time. He haven’t been talking a lot even though he have been a leader of Velvet room together with herself. That didn’t went out very good though and Zandra let out a small giggle. Though they never abandoned the title if she rembered correctly, they just haven’t done anything guild wise. Trust? That definetly was something Velvet room has. She took her eyes from Jomei. She smacked herself on the cheeks with open palms a few times and took a deep breath before she rose. Hestia was alone on the stage, she to do something for her. The hard thing though was that she agreed with many things he said. He also repeated what Zandra had said on the previous meeting. But that, even if it would be good from her side, she wouldn’t mention it.

Spoiler stuff is for ic progression. What others see: Zandra sitting looking down on her knees with knot fists. One time she looks back on Jomei and let out a small giggle before looking back on her knees.

Zandra looked at @Hikoru ''I dont see how us beeing in same party would be any trouble at all.'' She had understood what he meant. But she had resterted with Jomei, past is the past. Zandra then walked up infront of Hestia and placed a hand on her shoulder. ‘' @Hestia.’’ She said with calm and friendly voice. ‘’You standing on this stage alone but know I will stand by your side if you want or need. Probably not in this boss raid since that wont be the best setup as it sounds like now. Im putting my position in your and Shield’s hands this time. You have already done so much talking back and forth, I haven’t been able to keep up with you.’’ Then she turned around, still her hand on her shoulder. She looked at the crowd, but mostly towards Jomei at first. ‘’Trust have been a big talk today. And I agree that you should trust your battle brothers and sisters. But if you only trust a small group players, that complicates things. I don’t know everyones relationship to eachother. But I think that there should be at least, three players that is willing to follow eachothers and listen to eachothers. Then split them up one or more in each party. And the rest of the group can listen to those. This way, the other fifteen, if gets full parties, only need to be sure to follow those two. As we saw in the last floor boss raid, having one commander wont help since almost no one cared what he said. And thanks to that we lost Macradon.’’ A movent of anger struck her but that was pushed way quickly. ‘’I know Baldur have left and he asked it about Hirru. Of course I welcome him back. But if he or anyone else repeat what he did, I see that person as an enemy and wont hesitate to attack that person.’’ She added ‘’Second, the talk about guilds joining the fight. My co-leader have already said it, but I second it. Velvet room will participate in this fight.’’ She looked at @Jomei with a smile. ‘’Im sure the other members would too if they haven’t gone missing.’’ After that she walked over to the cloaked player( @Itzal), placed a hand on his shoulder. ‘’Also, he may have forgot to introduce himself. But this is Are. Me and him have been adventuring a lot. He isnt as popular as Calrex, Hikoru or me. But he have almost as much experience from boss raids. But his name have sadly become forgotten.’’ She looked at him. ‘’Im happy you decided to come join in again mate. And hopefully we will fight in the same party again.’’

Now her eyes went to the other tank that have been speaking except Hestia. She have been agreeing with him on stuff, but what he said lastely made her angry, so angry. She had been holding it back with her other opinions but now it surfaced. He would probably just replied with calamity and make her look like fool. But she didn’t cared about that now. Same feelings that have been coming on that day was on her. But this time she didn’t even tried to hold them back anymore. With heavy breath and burning eyes she walked over to him with heavy step. ‘’@Shield!’’ she shouted angrily at him. ‘’You are pathetic!’’ she raised an hand and slapped him as hard as she could. Her red face screamed. ‘’You sitting there talking about [censored] and stuff, that your group was going to be able to solo the floor guardian! And blaming us that we was stupid that didn’t left! But what about what you said? Have you suddenly forgot that? You called yourself heroes and us citizens. What a great way to build trust. And you think that people will do what is best after that? You idiot!!’’ She started before she continued. ‘’Then you say that you have been participating in more boss raids then Hestia! If that even matters, I have been talking part in more then double as many raids as you have. Fu***ing newbie!’’ She breathed heavily as she knit her right fist. Instead she gave him quick and hard punch in the stomach. ‘’I HATE YOU!’’ she said before she stormed towards the exit of the arena. ‘’Jävla f**ta. Gå och sug Beats ku* eller nåt.’’ She said in her own language. At the exit she stopped and looked at everyone else. ‘’I have special packs with a discount for boss raids. Just drop by t my shop if you want one. If not, see you all at the raid.’’ She said with a happy voice and smile.

Im sorry if I missed someone interacting or something, was quite alot to read so may have forgot something. Sorry.

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There was a lot of arguing.  A lot of fighting.  Both had points.  Both had fallacies.  Both were being hypocrites at one point or another.  Both made mistakes.  And at the same time:  Both of them were too proud to just acknowledge and admit that and move on.  Itzal sighed under his breath in annoyance.  He wanted to one day reforge his friendship with Hestia but..  Well she seemed to be going through something he couldn't help her with.  He hoped she'd be able to move past this some day.  And Shield..  Well he hoped the man would humble himself for once.  He wasn't planning to say anything originally.  He still didn't.  There wasn't much to really say in the end.  As long as the team he was on remained the same he was fine by that.  Maybe they could form an official party together too.  Go on dungeon raids, train together.  That would be nice.

And then Zandra spoke up.

She spoke to Hestia before she teleported off, but he didn't catch most of what was said.  She gave a speech about trust, and it was rather well said.  Itzal agreed that having a commander would get them nowhere without trust and respect.  Whoever was leading needed to be someone everyone knew and trusted.  If that person wasn't skilled in strategy, they appoint someone to cover said weakness.  But he'd bring this up another time.  He knew Hestia's intentions were good, but how she went about it wasn't going to help anyone.  Shield's assault wasn't helping either.  Both of them were at fault.  He wondered, how well Zandra would be able to help with this situation.  She continued of course, mentioning how she'd welcome Hirru back, but should he make the same choice a second time.  He'd be labeled as an enemy.  Itzal regretfully agreed.  Even if his intentions were good, he was putting the life of a program which could be deleted, rewritten, and even copied, above the lives of the players who only had one chance.  Furthermore, humans had a soul and spirit.  Programs did not.  While it was true a program could be written so as to learn and adapt, but there was only so far it could go.

Then to Itzal's surprise, she walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.  His eyes widened under the hood, which Zandra would be able to see since she was on the white list of players who could see past the shadow.  When she announced who he was and his name, which Itzal knew was a cover up she made for him, he blushed a bit.  This was, an unexpected turn of events...  It really helped him and he appreciated it greatly.  It was just a bit unexpected.  Are?  It wasn't a bad name.  It sounded really close to the Japanese word Aru, which meant 'is there'.  A fitting name he thought.  He smiled and nodded to her as he did so.  Mouthing the words: "thank you" as he did so.

After that hell broke loose.  Zandra must have been holding back her rage because it suddenly let loose on Shield.  Itzal..  Felt like at this point any attempt at a boss raid would be a horrible idea at this point in time.  With players verbally attacking each other left and right, he wouldn't be surprised if an assassination attempt occurred in the raid itself.  Still however, he said nothing.  Just because Zandra told everyone he was from the raids of old didn't give him a golden ticket to respect.  Itzal watched as Zandra punched Shield, the immortal object symbol popping up as they were in a settlement before shouting her hate moved over to the exit to stand beside.  What shocked him the most was how she calmly and nicely offered a discount to the frontlines for all purchases.  He actually blinked in surprise from that one.  Still however, he said nothing.

@Zandra @Shield @Jomei @Hikoru

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This was not how these meetings between friends and comrades were supposed to go. Things quickly turned sour as voices began to raise, mainly between Hestia and Shield, about each other's plans and their trust in fellow players. Both players had valid points to their arguments, though a good amount of Shield's statement was attacking Hestia and her ideas. However, one thing was certain across the board, something that was mentioned very early on and countless statements afterwards only made it more apparent; they were not ready. The last boss battle created a tension between the players, one that ruined the trust between allies. Not only that, but from what the others mentioned of their 'last fight' (be it the Labyrinth guardian or that random event boss, he was unsure) seemed it tore those alliances apart even more. 

In the end, it seemed multiple players were completely against Hestia's plan, and would do their own thing for this boss fight. What caught the man by surprise, however, was when he heard his name called from Shield, who was moving himself closer to where Jomei sat. Believing that both Hestia and himself were unfit to take charge of this meeting, due to their feud and biases, he requested that Jomei take the mantle in helping come up with a plan of action. Olive eyes widened for a moment, blinking at Shied in astonishment. Hikoru, in a soft, friendly voice, agreed with Shield, offering his own assistance if he needed it. Others spoke up, agreeing with Shield's viewpoint, leaving Zandra to approach the stage to speak and stand by Hestia's side. Her mentioned of the Velvet Room joining the fight caught Jomei as amusing, and also worrying. He had failed that guild as the leader, he felt as though he was failing the Holy Dragon Alliance as a leader... would he do the same taking charge of this floor boss? 

Taking a moment, Jomei stared forward towards the stage, though not at anyone in particular as other voices rose up to share some final thoughts. They already had the ground work for some solid ideas.. all they needed were numbers and a bit more trust in each other. That was something Jomei believed he could handle. The man smirked, speaking to @Hikoru who sat beside him, "I think I got this, but I will definitely listen to anything you have to say." Placing his hands on his knees, Jomei rose to his feet, his long, green cloak falling into place behind him. He took slow steps towards the now vacant stage that Hestia had warped away form after hearing so many voices in opposition of her beliefs. "I planned on stepping down from the front lines... multiple times now. I've wanted to live a more peaceful life for a bit.. I'm trying to plan my wedding.. But I keep coming back. Because you are my allies, my friends, and I know that you will fight your hardest to win and keep me alive just as I would keep you all alive. If you are here, fighting with your lives on the front lines for those that are not of a high enough level, or brave enough to do so, then I trust you completely.. even those who I hardly know." his olive eyes trailed over Neo, Hazado, and some of the others whom he barely shared words with. "I know that together , we can come up with a plan to continue into this boss fight and come out victorious. However, I do have to agree with Shield; We are not ready." by now, the man had reached the stage and turned around, his green cape following his motions with just a moment of delay, "Especially after the spectacle I just saw."  His eyes rose to Shield, "I took Hesita into my guild before she was a tank.. long before she could call herself a front liner. I watched her grow into the woman she is today.. and though she may sometimes be tough to work with and can be a bit stubborn.. Everything she does is for the safety and protection of her fellow players. I don't know what the hell happened in that last fight you were talking about, but we should learn from what happened and try to move forward together. We should not be at each others' throats, fighting one another. We are a team put together from Aincrad's finest to clear out the floor bosses and progress farther." 

Jomei took a quick breath after his small rant, looking to the few players who remained. "As I said, we do this together.. So I'm willing to take any other ideas that you may have.. any suggestions for teams. We already have the information on the actual boss area, so now we just need to figure out how we are going to move forward... Being that.. many of the others in attendance have left.. I raise the idea of bringing this meeting to a close. Allow everyone to cool off, collect their thoughts, maybe get in touch with those who either left or never showed. It will allow me to look over the information gathered and come up with a plan of attack myself. Then we could meet briefly once more for a more.. civilized meeting where we can share our ideas and prepare the correct way. What do you guys think?"

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While Baldur's previous outburst had grabbed his attention, as the conversation went on Calrex had begun to think that doing so would have begun to waste his mental energy. It was fairly clear to most people that the discussion was devolving and starting to stray away from objective thoughts on the fight, and more into some kind of internal feud. The Ultramarine Knight didn't know what had happened with the scouting of the floor this last time, but whatever did appeared to have created some bad blood between some of the participants, namely Shield and Hestia. He was fairly sure his own mentor was involved in it as well, but without any knowledge of what was going on the bluenette knew better than to start interjecting.

Looking over at @Zuekin he gave a nod to get his attention, speaking low enough to not interrupt the exchanges happening further away, "Not going to lie this is far from what is usually expected to happen in the meetings. At least something usually gets done at this point. I'm probably gonna take my leave soon, but feel free to stick around if you wish."

It was at this moment that he heard a different voice from the previous participants begin to speak, his eyes moving to lock onto Jomei as the ginger-haired rapier user began to voice his own thoughts. It seemed at this point Shield had stepped down from speaking and let the young man go in his stead. He was suggesting to call the meeting at this point to let everyone take a bit of time to cool off, and have a shorter one for finalizing plans. A small smirk crossed Calrex's lips as he pulled down his menu to summon his messaging center, beginning to type as he got up from where he was sitting. Since it was closer to the back the bluenette figured it wouldn't be as disruptive compared to someone at the front taking their leave.

With that he looked over to Zuekin once again, "With that I'm heading out. I'll catch you around."

As he got out of earshot of the meeting area he pressed the button to send a direct message to @Jomei:

Quote

Nice work and best suggestion for the way the meeting was going. I'll see you at the next one.

 

The message sent he put his hands into his jacket pockets and headed for the teleportation plaza, "In the meantime better get started on my own preparations."

(Calrex Exits the Thread)

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Haz looked around a bit as thing got to the point of exploding, sheesh this was really not what to expect from front liners, They all sounded so greedy now, even Hestia did all of them. Sure the lines here are not perfect, but they were also not good. He looks at @Shield not angry or anything, Just disappointed in the thing he heard about. at the moment what truly was showing was the I and I politic. Caring about yourself before everyone else, the guy that was almost as tall as Haz himself spoke up, he seemed to not care about who was leading and he made a lot of good points for that, Haz spoke up again as it seems thing just needed to end, "I agree with you, @Jomei right... Tho I do not agree with Shield or Hestia, sure Protection is needed, have a good point there, but also true we need trust and prepare, it seems the two of you," he looked over to Shield as the other person he was meaning already left, that person being Hestia, " You two both have good plans here, yet if you go soling things here then please to but share, and true I will not join and I highly advise for any other T2 player here to rethink your options here. Bosses are not one to mess with, and with the no clear stats and attacks of bosses we have to face I say don't risk it, it's your life. Now to what I do agree if, fighting here has not helped us at all, we need someone as a standpoint of raid leader, the face of the raids, now I can see that most of you kind of want to be that face, But that is what is wrong, If you want to have that face, then I will say you one of a greedy hacking yerk," He said taking a small rest from his voice, altho not sounding angry he did sound quite disappointed in his words.

"I don't have anything waiting for me on the other side, but thanks to something here, I can say I have something worth fighting for," He said looking over to @Neopolitan the one he loved the one he was fighting for as he looked to his wedding ring around his finger, "I would give my life for that person, but she would not allow me to do that, I don't want to sit here doing nothing, but you all may be setting the tone for my actions. I have looked up to some of you here, Shield you are a good tank that is true, and Hestia is quite a nice friend, one better I can hardly see before, and so I want to look up at you all, but now I can't do that at all." he paused and rubbed the back of his head a bit, "So more or what I'm trying to say is... Stop acting like spoiled kids and stop being greedy and help each other become stronger, you all don't have to become friends here now, but the only thing I ask if what are you fighting for, is it just for YOU to get out of the game and get back to your loved ones outside, OR it is for you and everyone else and make sure many players see their loved ones again," He said stopping his speech before walking over to Neo and giving her a kiss before standing next to her putting his hand on her shoulder.

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"Unfortunately Haz, that's not what the problem here is." Baldur said with a sad voice this time. As the wanna-be samurai reappeared into the amphitheater after getting Neo's message, and seeing Zandra storm out of the area as well. He didn't know what had happened after Baldur stormed out, but it was clear the wind had been stolen from him. Where before, he had been a furious thundercloud, he was not quiet, shoulders slumped, and reserved. Where normally his face was tightly controlled and showed little emotion, he now appeared sad and tired.

"Neither Shield nor Hestia are being lead by self-interest. Neither Shield, nor Hestia, are in this for fame, or gain, or purely selfish reasons. The problems we have encountered, to be succinct, is the lack of being willing to take direction. I have worked with Shield and Hestia in about equal amounts, perhaps with Hestia more. Hestia was someone I would trust not only with my life, but the lives of others. I care about her greatly, I even told her my true name, which I have only done twice, so someone I have implicitly trusted. However, that means it hurts even more when that trust is betrayed.

"At first, it be began as simple disagreements, I would ask for her to do something, or suggest a tactic, and she would simply ignore or refuse it. Then at the last boss fight, we designated a shot-caller. Someone everyone agreed to follow for direction and coordination, and she knowingly, immediately, broke from that rank and chose to follow her own direction, which is dangerous as a tank, and for your team. She would agree with me that she did that, and feel no remorse. That's why she said what she did about agreeing with Hirru's actions. Actions Hirru has admitted were terrible in their ramifications, and now expresses deep repentance over.

"Then it escalated to the Field Boss battle at the entrance to the boss area. We could have won the battle much earlier, but her team decided they would not cooperate. Perhaps my and Shield's joke was in poor taste, but that does not excuse putting people's lives in danger, nor putting a critical progression battle in jeopardy. She and Zandra, put pride and greed before completing a fight, and actively worked against the success of the battle."

Though Baldur's words could have been charged with emotion, he delivered them with a monotone disappointment.

"I invited Hestia, Shield, and Calrex as the three main tanks of the raid together, to try and discuss our differences and the challenges facing the raid, and instead of trying to contribute, Hestia sought to disagree and argue every step of the way. Not debate, argue."

He turned his normally steel blue eyes to Haz, now a softer, darker ocean blue that seemed to convey that Baldur was sorry things had gotten to this point, and that the gaijin-samurai was hurting as he said these words. He patted the tanks shoulder and then turned to Jomei.

"Perhaps if you had been there, we could have gotten further today. However, as little as we know one another, you have my respect Jomei. We four will be at the raid, and follow whatever strategy you lay out. Should you wish for our input on strategy, I will gladly give it to you. I will also gladly help anyone who is trying to make their way to join the frontlines." He glanced over to Haz, "My last hit drop from the previous boss was special high level dungeon maps that grant a large amount of bonus XP. If someone who is close can put together a group capable of it, I will gladly take you with, and if you are capable of it without me, I will hand it over if I think your chances of coming out alive, but they are level 24 dungeons."

Baldur turned back to Jomei, "Shield and I do intent to form a guild, but we are not intent on controlling the front lines, or accumulating last hits, or power items, or players with unique skills. The stated purpose of our guild is to advance the frontlines, to help supply the frontlines, and to help train anyone, in the guild or not, to gain the levels and equipment and skills needed to join the front. And though the guild has not been realized yet, anyone may take us up on it."

With that, Baldur patted Jomei on the shoulder, and then went to stand off to the side.

@Jomei @Hazado @Shield

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Jomei's eyes lowered to the message that appeared in front of him from Calrex, approving of his methods for the meeting. With a small smirk, his eyes rose to find the bluenette, but saw he must have already taken his leave. His attention then shifted to the newer addition to the meeting who had introduced himself as Hazado. The man spoke words of truth, words that he personally found inspiring, and hoped that some of the others in attendance felt the same way. Opening his mouth to speak, Jomei was cut short by the return of his samurai-like comrade, walking forward with a face that looked quite sad. 

With Baldur's unexpected return, he revealed the true reasons that Shield and he did not trust Hestia any longer. It seemed to have stemmed longer from just the past battle, which now Jomei understood was that of the Scouting parties. From what he could gather from his story, Hesita seemed to not want to take orders from the others, following her own plans and strategies. The man tried to hide a tiny smirk, knowing that definitely did sound a bit like something Hestia would do. However, he knew that Hestia's goal on the battlefield was to always protect those on her team. Perhaps there was more to the story that needed to be said. He trusted Baldur told him everything from his view point, now he just needed to hear why Hestia thought this way, to possibly put her own team and others at stake just to defend her pride and not listen to the orders of another player. One statement stuck out from Baldur's statement; mentioning that Shield was not in this for selfish intent. A quick memory of the fight with Tesseleth flashed in his mind.. an exhausted Jomei, his energy reserves running dry. A voice called out from Shield, who was his party member during the fight, apologizing to Jomei for not focusing his energize on a teammate.. but on Beat instead in hopes that the two would land the last hit and get the item for themselves.. "We're all gamers. I'm a helpful man, but I can't hope to be the number one merchant in Aincrad if I'm not shrewdAs the quote played over in his head, he focused on Shield for a moment before returning his attention to Baldur.

"I.. apologize for not being able to attend the meeting." Jomei said, politely bowing his head and shoulders to Baldur who stood just off to the side. "I won't hide that you caught me on one of my lazy days off" he ended with a bashful chuckle. Jomei turned his attention to those still in attendance, thinking over the teams that Hestia had initially set up once again. "I am going to speak with Hestia to see if I can get her to reconsider... However, if her decision is final then we may need to switch some teams around. Taking only those who attended the meeting into account, it may be best we form just two teams. The first team would consist of Calrex, Zandra, Hikoru, Domarus, Are, and myself.. If Ruby does show up to the fight, she will be part of that team. The second would be Shield, Baldur, Anemone, Neo.. If you are certain Beat and Hirru would be joining as well, then I trust they would do best with your squad as well.Same would go for Stryder if he does show. Thought on this?"

@Itzal@Domarus@Shield@Baldur@Anemone@Neopolitan@Hikoru

((Note: I know we can't have 7 on a team. These proposed teams are merely for role play purposes))

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Itzal held his tongue as nothing could be added in that would make this any better.  There was too much emotion and biased opinions as of late.  That's why Itzal was refusing to say anything to anyone.  He just stood there arms crossed as he listened to the players bicker back and forth.  This was just sad..  They needed to take a break after this next boss fight and simply recharge.  Work on rebuilding burned down bridges and all.  It was true that Itzal didn't trust Shield or Beat, he'd been noticing them working together and receiving most of the final drops as of late.  In addition to that there was in fact their apparent attempt to defeat the boss alone.  However he was hoping things would change in the future.  When Jomei spoke up he sighed.  He hated to do this, but he couldn't be discovered yet.  So he spoke up.  "With all due respect, I will not be fighting alongside anyone other than Calrex, Zandra and Domarus.  I'm sorry, but I have no compromise to this instance."  If they pushed him, he could state that they were people he knew to some extent, trusted, and worked well with.  He wasn't entirely sure of course, but he and Zandra worked well together during the event.  And he wanted to keep an eye on Domarus.  Calrex, well they quested together once with Teayre.  They had a talk or two.  They didn't know each other well, but that could be handled later.

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Zandra stood at the exit and listened to what the other players talked about. Calrex had left and Baldur had returned. And Baldur didn’t looked like his normal self, that talk must have taken pretty hard on him. Zandra looked at him with sadness in her eyes. Her heart got filled with joy as she herd the gingers words though. He would always have a special place in her heart, but now they was friends. She wouldn’t forget the days back then, but neither mention them with anyone except Zita. Zita that had circled high above now sat on a pillar, watching everyone. It felt good to always have a pair of guarding eyes.

She wrinkled her eyebrows as she herd the mentions off a meeting. She hadn’t herd anything about a meeting. Had he mentioned it during their day off? Not what she could rember. Didn’t he knew she wasn’t in a guild or had any connection with any other frontliners? Or maybe she just wasn’t important enough, like who would care about the thoughts of a solo player. ‘’Just you wait.’’ She mumbled quietly to herself before she pulled up her hood, covering her face in a shadow. She whistled and half a second later the kingseagle lifted with a few flaps of her mighty wings. Zandra turned around and left the area. A smile on her face a steady look forward.

Zandra leave the thread.

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There was not much feedback to the teams that he had suggested. Either the other players in attendance did not argue with them, or they still had to consider whether they would suffice or not. Before he could say anything else, the stranger's voice from the back, the boy who Zandra introduced as Are ( @Itzal ) spoke up, stating that he would only fight with a specific group of Zandra, Calrex, himself, and Domarus, and no one else. Jomei felt a tiny twitch of his lower eyelid before letting an audible sigh escape through his nostrils. "If Hestia, or another tank that could take her place, does not show up for the boss fight.. then those teams will have to be what he rely on to survive." His arms crossed, adopting a bit more of a serious look, "Zandra may have put in a good word for you.. but being I have been on the front lines for just as long as her, I cannot say that I have seen you at any of the boss raids.." Jomei said, very suspicious of the man hiding in the shadows. "However, since we need all of the help we can get, I will see if we could get a team of just those players put together." his eyes shifted to Baldur and Shield, "Same goes for the team that you suggested, @Baldur.. of course with the extra DPS players you suggested if they do show." He addressed both of the groups that would not take an ultimatum at the same time, "If you trust one another and know you will work best with each other, then I trust you will make the right decision and be helpful enough in this raid. You are all capable players, so you should all have no problem with that.. I am going to go speak with Hesita to see if I can change her mind to join us.. if so, we can return to having three teams, each with a tank, support, and a decent amount of damage dealers each.. I will send you all a message with the meeting place and time of the secondary meeting where we can get down to business and not attack each other. So if there is nothing else to discuss, I think this meeting is adjourned." 
 


Thread Complete
@Hestia 73 Col 2 SP
@Neopolitan 73 Col 2 SP

@Domarus 72 Col 1 SP
@Itzal 73 Col 2 SP
@Calrex 72 Col 1 SP
@Hazado 72 Col 1 SP
@Jomei 73 Col 2 SP
@Hikoru 73 Col 1 SP
@Zandra 73 Col 1 SP
@Baldur 73 Col 1 SP
@Shield 73 Col 1 SP

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