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Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

[PP-F02] Venomous Warg - The Nth lesson might as well be free

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Waiting in dim light by the bar at a familiar tavern in Urbus, Freyd's uncowled face watched Gatsly closely while he waited to see who responded to his invitation.  He was also busy crafting and organizing all of the documents he would require to track field reports and team progress for the various divisions of FIrm Anima in his new role as captain of the Operations & Intelligence team.  The promotion was unexpected, which he considered to be a strike against his candidacy for the role, but he appreciated the guild's faith in being trusted with such a critical position.  He'd already established connections with a dozen information brokers across different floors and now busied himself on how best to convey their findings his colleagues for their benefit.  Paying their fees would be another problem to be dealt with at a later time.

Persi - ever the opportunist - was busy finishing off any unfinished or unattended meals in the vicinity.  Her sleek shadowy form slinking from bench to bench and stool to stool in search of easy grub.  Freyd wondered why Raidou hadn't just given her the job, since she was already so naturally disposed towards its function.  "Maybe I should send you to work for Kiluia in Provisions?  Oh, wait, no.  That would mean you couldn't actually devour all of the stock of goodies meant for everyone else!"

Whether or not it was part of his official duties, Freyd felt it was essential to any officer's duties to provide training sessions for up and coming members, or to evaluate the abilities of new guild prospects.  He paused to sip at his second cup of coffee for the morning, curious to see who he'd be working with today.

Spoiler

Name: Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows
Level: 37
HP: 760/760
EN: 74/74

Stats:
Damage: 15
Mitigation: 48
Evasion: 1
Accuracy: 4
KEEN:1
HLY:2
BLD:12

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: Forgiven Disobedience (T1-2HSS, ACC 1, HOLY 1, BLD 1)
Armor: Skirmisher's Garb (T2-LA, MIT 2, EVA 1)
Misc: Assassin's Cowl (T2-Trinket, ACC 2, KEEN 1)

Skills:
2H Straight Sword [Rank 5]
Light Armor [Rank 3]

Extra Skills:
Disguise
Familiar Mastery: Fighter 3
Survival

Mods:
Precision
Finesse - Rank 3
LA Athletics

Battle Ready Inventory:
Starter Healing Potion (50 hp)*3
Teleport Crystals*2
Turkish March *2
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik*5
Super-Duper Snake Sauce*2

Housing Buffs:
Rested: -1 energy cost for the first two expenditures of each combat
Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 20% (rounded down)
Hard Working: +2 EXP per crafting attempt and +1 crafting attempt per day
Filling: Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 T1 slot.
Item Stash: +1 Battle Ready Inventory Slot
Relaxed: Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Col Stash: +5% bonus col from monster kills and treasure chests
Multipurpose: Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll

Guild Hall Buffs:
Lucrative: Reduce LD needed for Salvage by 5 (10+ for Alchemist crystals, 6+ for everything else). +2 EXP per craft. Rank 9 crafters receive +1 crafting attempt per day. Rank 10 crafters receive +2 crafting attempts per day.
Col Deposit: +5% bonus col from last-hit monster kills and +10% bonus col from treasure chests.

Scents of the Wild: n/a

Wedding Ring: n/a

 

Edited by Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

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44117059_295579427711906_7421138072223350784_n.png.4eedb95a26e22d825edfe7e17fa11d97.pngThe door to the saloon swung open and crashed against the wall beside it. "HELL--" It immediately ricocheted back, slamming into Elora's face.

She fell back and hit the wooden planks of the establishment's deck with a loud thud. "Ugggh...", she groaned, rubbing her nose to regain sensation in it as blood trickled out onto her hand. F*ck, this is embarrassing, she thought as dozens of eyes suddenly shifted to regard her. Just gotta play it off like I meant for it to happen. "Guess I just did a round on myself when I was supposed to be doing a round of shots! Am'I right, ladies?" Elora could only hope she would get a few sympathetic chuckles before the patrons turned their attention back to whatever it was they were doing. Still feigning confidence, she sauntered over to the countertop and began to swindle the bartender. "It wouldn't happen to be happy hour right now, would it?" If there was any way she could get a discount, she would take it. After all, it probably wasn't wise to spend so much of her money on drinking when she should be saving up to move out of the inn, or when it hardly served as a means to inebriate herself.

 

 

Spoiler

LEVEL - 14

HP 280

EN - 28

DMG - 6 

ACC - 1

 

SKILLS

Non-combat:

Passive:

Combat:

Weapon Skills: 2H Assault Spear R1 (+4 base damage)

     Blast (2 Energy +2 per target hit) - A pair of horizontal sweeping strokes that hits multiple targets.

     Straight (2 Energy) - Begins with the player bending their knees before thrusting forward with a singular powerful strike covering the gap between you and your opponent.

 

INVENTORY

Weapons: [Equipped] 2H Assault Spear (Rare)

   Damage - Gain +(1 * Tier) base damage per slot

   Accuracy - Gain +(1 per slot) to the BD when attacking. Cannot be used to cause a critical hit

 

Rank 1:

        [x1 AoE] Sonic Charge (1 Energy +2 per target hit) - A forward thrust which explodes energy at the end of the move.

        [x2 Stun] Twin Thrust (5 Energy) - A pair of quick thrusts aimed at the user's knees to immobilize them.

        [x2] Heft (2 Energy) - Lift the heavy end of the spear diagonally across your opponent from the ground, cutting their torso with the tip.

Rank 2:

        [x3] Fatal Thrust (3 Energy) - A single powerful thrust.

        [x4 AoE] Hellish Twice (4 Energy +2 per target hit) - A pair of alternating sweeping motions which damages multiple targets.

        [x4] Mighty Charge (4 Energy) - Charge your opponent fiercely and impale them with your spearhead. Your opponent is then lifted up before being slammed into 

        the ground from the momentum of your maneuver.

Rank 3:

        [x5] Revolve Arts (5 Energy) - Two roundhouse kicks followed by two sweeping strokes, concluded with one final thrust.

        [x6] Dancing Spear (6 Energy) - An acrobatic combo involving sweeps, pole vaulting with kicks and a concluding thrust.

        [x6 AoE] Trip Expand (6 Energy +2 per target hit) - An attack with several 360 spinning attacks that cover a wide area.

 

Equipment:

[EQUIPPED] "Justicar’s Vambraces" (T1 Rare trinket: KEEN 1 | ACC 1)
Acquisition ID: #152309 | Identification ID: #152736 & #152737
A pair of hardened steel vambraces each engraved in minute script with the first one hundred names on the Monument of Life.

[EQUIPPED] "Auspicious Gi" (T1 Rare Light Armor: Light Momentum 2)
Acquisition ID: #152782 | Identification ID: #153315, 153316
Commonly worn by novices during the initial stages of martial arts training, this particular garment is made in the Japanese cut using fine white cotton reinforced with heavier than normal thread, enabling its user to exert greater force without the risk of embarrassing fashion failures.

T1 amulet (EVA 1)

"Selective Deflection" (Vanity Light Armor) 

Items: x8 T1 Healing Potions (heals 50 HP), x1 Uncommon DMG Potion (+1 DMG), x1 T1 Overhealth Potion (+50 Overhealth]), 1 Fish with +1 ACC snack (+1 BD for one Thread), 15 Tier 1 Materials 

 

<<Antidote>>

Item Type: Potion

Tier: 1
Quality: Uncommon
Enhancements: Reduces the duration of a single Poison, Bleed, or Paralysis effect by one turn. If used out of combat, reduces the duration of the next Poison, Bleed, or Paralysis effect that would affect you by one turn.
Description: An alchemic concoction of herbs designed to reduce the duration of damaging or impairing status effects.

Edited by Elora

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His chin resting casually on his curled fist, Freyd simply watched with amusement.  He'd become accustomed to these sorts of things, as they seemed to happen to him all the time.   It was mildly refreshing to watch it happen to someone else for a change.  He wouldn't interfere, and he wouldn't mock her for it later.  

"Gatsly," he began, gesturing to get the merchant's attention, "This is Elora.  She's here to help you with your current dilemma, though her price may have gone up by a drink and a hanky."

"Oh...erm... you've come for the bill I posted?"  The merchant rambled through his standard spiel. "I don't have much, but if you could slay the beast, I would pay you."

Freyd sipped his coffee as he waited for him to finish, pointing to a spot in the air just in front of Elora.  An instant later, the quest acceptance window appeared.

"I'm glad to see that you were able to make it."  Rising from his stool, he closed and collected all of his other notes.  His dark leather travelling clothes looked more worn and weathered, as if he'd somehow aged in the short time since they had last seen each other.  "I guess this is exam day.  When you finish this quest, all of Aincrad is at your disposal.  Any questions, while I finish off my drink?"   He glanced casually at the bartender who nodded and provided one for her as well.

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"Oh, hey Freyd!", she greeted him casually, "You're drinking coffee at a bar? That seems a bit...well, I guess it's fitting for you" She took up a seat next to him and the old man, taking advantage of the position to inspect whether or not he'd added creamer to the hot bean drink. He seemed like someone who would probably drink it black, when it was bitter and tasted like tar. 

"Oh...erm... you've come for the bill I posted? I don't have much, but if you could slay the beast, I would pay you."

"Sure have. Freyd mentioned something about this quest, so now I'm obliged to accompany him" She lifted a gloved hand to select the "Accept" button for the objective. It made a satisfying chime in response to the action. Elora took notice of his change in attire, but didn't read into it beyond that. Players changed their looks all of the time here, especially as they acquired stronger and flashier gear that they could flaunt to everyone else. At least this one is holy in a different way. It looks much better than the gown he was waring before, and makes him seem less like a cult leader. 

"I guess this is exam day.  When you finish this quest, all of Aincrad is at your disposal."

"I'll take a Guinness please!", she interjected to the woman standing behind the counter. It wasn't in her interest to wait passively until the bartender served her what Freyd was having. She wouldn't force herself to down that burnt-tasting acid. 

Gatsly proceeded to explain the details surrounding the quest, more specifically, what kind of monsters they would be fighting. "Any questions, while I finish off my drink?", asked Freyd once the exposition had ended. "Don't think so. I guess just if completing this quests means it'll be easier for me to see the other floors. You made it sound like it would."

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Freyd furrowed his brow.  Wasn't that what he'd just said?

"Erm... yes.  This is the last of your level-capped quests.  There will be plenty more options after this, and many of them will be on higher floors."  He spared a moment  to take a long sip, but also catch her gaze.  "Elora, please don't make the mistake of thinking the every quest on the low floors is easy.  Some are as challenging as those found on the highest levels."  His voice was calm, but carried an undertone of concern that bore extra attention.  Freyd rarely used it.  

"You've come a long way, but no one can afford to be reckless or cavalier out there."  He seemed about to add something more, but drew his mug to his face instead, finishing it off with one last, long draught.  Smiling to lighten the mood, and changing the subject, he asked whether there was a particular place she had been looking forward to visiting.

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Elora hadn't managed to pick up on the implication, so Freyd's careful response and additional warning only felt unwarranted to her. She carefully touched beneath her nose and winced a little. There was still blood dripping from it. Sh*t. Lifting her forearm, she wiped some of it off against the back of her hand. No wonder he doesn't take me seriously. If I can get one-shot by a door, then it probably doesn't seem like I could handle fighting anything else. A waitress came to where they were sitting and handed Elora a beverage along with a handful of napkins. "Thanks...", she sighed, still embarrassed by her entrance.

goblin4d.jpg.5325328bdc1029e2125c73a0f0580739.jpg

Shifting her sights to lock with his in return, her complexion appeared to harden. With a trace of contention in her eyes and a similar, but more arrogant smirk across her face, she insisted, "I'll be fiiine. You saw how well I was able to fight out there. You don't need to worry about my survival" She took a deep swing of the stout before leaning back in her seat "Besides, you're not gonna be around for all of the things I'll be doing" I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last time I saw himcame a fleeting jab from her subconscious. "If I'm on my own, then it's unrealistic for you to burden yourself with concern" Geez, he's acting like my mom. At least Dad knew that if he didn't intervene I would be able figure things out.

Well, she probably owed him a response on the last question he asked, even if she felt inclined to say more on the piece. "I haven't really put any thought into that. I mean, I doubt I'll make it past Floor 5 before we get out of the game, so why should I even bother fantasizing about what I might be able to see? Elora had learned early on that 'setting goals' was only a waste of time and a guarantee that your expectations wouldn't be met. She took another sip of her beer before one location came to mind. "I did want to go see your shop when I had the chance. Wasn't it at...?"Elora seemed to struggle to remember the name, "Uh...it started with a...the letter 'A'? I know it was on Floor 13..."

Edited by Elora

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"Freyd Edges on the thirteenth floor, in Angel Point... in the Liminal Blind."  He'd never even spoken its name out loud before.  Why would he so foolishly speak it now?  He winced at his own admission.  Hopefully, Elora wouldn't take it the wrong way.  "It will be there when you reach it."  He'd outright dismissed her self-inflicted limitations, but they triggered his colder, survivalist side.

"You're right," he admitted, leaning back, his fitted travelling leathers creaking softly beneath his cloak as he did so.  The soft sole of his boots grit like sandpaper against the crossbar on the stool as he shifted his weight and a few stray strands of hair fell over his eyes.  His own expression hardened too, and his town was less indulgent.  "I won't always be around.  But I've helped you along this far and I finish what I start.  So show me what you've got, or crawl back to the Town of Beginnings and let your dreams die."  Too harsh, but also necessary.  "You're capable, Elora, but you need to believe in yourself.  Firm Anima doesn't accept those who don't accept themselves."

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68747470733a2f2f73332e616d617a6f6e6177732e636f6d2f776174747061642d6d656469612d736572766963652f53746f-9336664383034383738363565313638343732343032303431332e706e67.png.f089af2bfad88049be1d199502d5f75e.pngThe Liminal Blind, hopefully I can remember that. It's gonna be a long time before I can get there...

Elora's posture and expression grew more stiff as he continued to mentor her. The remark about her crawling back to where she started seemed to trigger a flash of hurt behind her fixed eyes. Her intense complexion, however, remained unwavering, like a suit of armor that she wore to protect herself from showing vulnerability in battles of this nature. I'm not your pet project, Freyd. You may have helped me work up some courage , but you don't get to dictate what I do from here like I'm sort of experiment of your's, is what she wanted to yell in retaliation. 

Instead, she began to breath more heavily but remained silent. Doing so had always been the best method for enduring ridicule, lest the person dealing with her transitioned from being angry to furious. 

smirk.jpg.78b5445f3a9bb743fb38e549a5bdd254.jpg

"Firm Anima?", she cracked with a snide tone, "Is that some sort of cult?" She was interested in confirming her suspicion that he was a part of one and that it was the reason he formerly wore the priest's cassock. It was odd that he had mentioned an organization, as if he thought that she wanted to conform to fit in with the culture of an arbitrary group. 

She exhaled, causing her shoulders to visibly release most of the tension that they had been holding. Looking down at her beverage that she hadn't consumed for a few minutes, she absently began to swirl the glass, utilizing it like a tool to process what she wanted to say next. 

 

"I don't have anything to prove to you, but if you want to see what I'm made of, then you're going to have to trust me."

Edited by Elora

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"Your assumptions are all wrong," he countered swiftly and bluntly. 

"I don't expect you to prove yourself to anyone except yourself, but that may be your biggest challenge."  He had no interest in a pity party or pointless petulance.  Life wasn't kind to that sort of thing, especially here in Aincrad.  Maybe she was just younger than he'd assumed.  Maybe some trauma lingered from her past.  Maybe it was just her nature.  Please don't let this hurt more than it needs to, but she needs to hear it.

"I do trust you," he added, folding his arms across his chest, like a barrier between them.  "And you have no idea how rare a thing that is."

"Out there," he nodded towards the door, "are people who will kill you for no more reason than the momentary thrill that it might give them."  He knew the truth of it, all too well.  "You need people you can trust, and who will trust you.  Firm Anima are a guild - one that I have recently joined.  They are as close a thing to family as you can find in this mind trap.  They can watch your back as you watch theirs."

He sighed, closing his eyes, feeling weary with age he hadn't earned.

"I'm not trying or pretending to be your guardian or master, Elora.  But you strike me as someone who might want a friend.  Whether you do is entirely up to you., but acting like a stubborn child does you no service.  You're better than that."

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44039953_295579701045212_1357276082910265344_n.jpg.ddca4f41ece1f83a4ae20fd148201a60.jpgThe words seemed to break through her calm facade like rocks being thrown through a window. She suddenly stood up and pushed her hands into the table that separated them, nearly toppling over her stool in the process. "I'm acting like a child?! I've bin holdin' mie tongue up til' this point becouse I've learnt' how to hieve some restraint!Her face was growing more red by the second. "Do yew know why I was on the 1st Floor for soo long?", she yelled as her voice began to crack, "It was because I was sciered, just like everybody else! But every tiem that I tried to mieke friends or to join groups te help me fight, no won would stay behiend to help me!" Elora's eyes were beginning to tear up and her voice grew even shakier as an emotional unraveling of her deeply held insecurities seemed to be boiling over during the explosive scene. By this point, patrons of the bar, which were mostly NPCS, had begun to stare at her and whisper among themselves. "Everywon has already made their own decisions and their own cliques...", she looked down, causing a few tears to fall and disintegrate before hitting the table, "I wasn't good enough to keep anyone around, and now it's too late..." A great weight appeared to descend upon her as she slumped forward and buried her face into her hands. What have I just done..?

"At least if I die out there alone, then no one will be able to mock me for screwing up"

By now, the establishment had already returned to its usually hum of conversations and camaraderie. The sound of a stool scraping against the floorboards could be heard beside them as Gastly, the NPC from the quest, made an effort to excuse himself from the situation. It was clear to the calculations of his preprogrammed mind that he had probably overstayed his welcome. "I think, I uh...better go...and get another drink, or maybe three. Just, uh, let me know when you kill those monsters" He grabbed Freyd's shoulder briefly as if to say 'good luck' before departing.

Edited by Elora

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Freyd's brow furrowed, which might as first have been taken as a sign of rising anger.  Actually, it was only confusion.

"Wait... you're afraid of being left behind... which I get... but your solution is to push away anyone still willing to help you?"  He squinted his right eye, as if it might help process the convoluted logic, but without success.  "Nope... just tried, but I can't figure that out.  If it were really too late, would we be sitting here having this conversation?  Would I be trying to hook you up with more friends, no strings attached?  Would I have bothered to help you with any of these quests?"  He uncrossed his arms and tapped the bar twice, pointing to one of stouter bottles behind the bar.  The one with the heaviest layer of dust.  This was going to require another, more potent, drink - possibly several.

"If you have baggage, so be it.  I'm dragging along my own share too.  But stop knocking yourself down and getting in your own way.  The door's open, Elora.  It's right in front of you.  So when I say you're acting like a child, it because you're being too stubborn to actually accept the very thing you seem to want most!"  He took a long swig of something dark brown and vaguely translucent, the light passing through his glass shining across his face.  "I just can't figure out what's stopping you."

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"No! I just...", she leaned forward more until she was sitting with her head rested against the table and her arms folded like a shield around her, "I want to be good enough for them to accept me so that they don't have a reason to abandon me when they realize that I'm useless..." Elora had adopted a frustrated, and somewhat whiney tone to her words, as if she was trying to stress why they should make sense to Freyd. In response to his next series of questions she added, "I thought you were just helping me because you felt bad for me..." The admission was fairly muffled by the soundproofing of all the materials blocking her mouth. "But then I started to get stronger and I thought maybe I was able to impress you by learning so quickly" She lifted her head out to rest atop one of the metal gauntlets that he had given her. "You're the only person who's complimented me on accomplishing something since...well, in a long time, I guess."

Slowly sitting up in her seat, she began to take small sips of her remaining drink. How long had they even been here, talking about all of this? She remained silent as he mentioned that she seemed to be stopping herself from taking the opportunity. She wished she knew what the issue was, why she acted this way, and the reason she was so afraid of failing. Joining the guild isn't going to solve this for me..., but he's right in suggesting it as a possible first step. Maybe finding some security among other players will help me feel more confident with moving on. Or at least, with feeling like I belong somewhere, if only temporarily. 

"Will you take me there?", she asked coyly before adding, "I mean, when we're done with this quest of course..." Elora only asked the question because she was sure that he'd agree to help her with introductions. Without someone familiar to guide her along, she would feel too worried to see what she was getting herself into, let alone, meet the other members.

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"You impressed me by not giving up, despite your lack of faith in yourself.  You need to start impressing yourself by doing it more often."  He downed the rest of his drink in a single swallow.  "As to why I'm helping you..." He wavered.  "I guess I see a lot of my own past in you.  I haven't actually been out here all that much longer than you, and got where I am because others helped me.  You were willing to try.  That was reason enough."

He paused, as if considering his options.  Was she just playing more games?  He'd know soon enough.  

"Let's go kill some wargs and build that strength up a bit higher.  Show me that you can believe in yourself and then I will take you to the guild hall and make introductions."  Placing his glass silently back on the bar, he hopped off of his stool and started walking towards the exit, hoping that he wasn't making a mistake.

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 ~ A Hopeful New Beginning ~ 

Elora wasn't entirely sure how to make sense of his reasoning. Wait, he's impressed by me...only trying to be good at something? Why would that matter? It should take him witnessing me accomplishing something to do that. She remained sitting for a time after he had walked away while her mind tried to deconstruct everything he had just told her. Unless...attempting to start something is actually an accomplishment in and of itself. That's just the easy part though, isn't it?

She looked after him as he exited the bar, That's right. It is. That's what he's been trying to warn me about. The more I try to get better at something, the riskier it'll become. Sh*t...I've never gotten this far before. Usually by now I've already moved onto figuring out the next thing. I think I'm running out of options to run away to...

Her knees quickly locked in place as she rose to accompany Freyd. I need to stop worrying, at least for now. He's with me for this quest, so I'll be fine for a little while longer. 

And if I join Firm Anima, it'll buy me even more time.

Edited by Elora

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Freyd wasted no time and led them by the swiftest possible route to the same area where he had encountered the wolves and venom snapper when he first ran this quest.  All four beasts were right where he'd expected them to be.  Good.  Elora had already caught up, but their journey had been a silent one.  

"Attack whenever you're ready.  This quest is all about coordinating attacks between multiple foes.  Take the lead and I will follow it."  He switched the party leader role to her, just to reinforce his point.  She was in charge now.  Extending an hand before him, his eyes neutral and inscrutable, he waited in silence for her to act.

Before them, the three smaller wolves had mottled grey and brown pelts.  They were mangy-looking, at best, a made to look more so next to the venom snapper.  Their alpha was a considerably more daunting creature, half again their size and with greenish drool pooling at the corners of its yellow-fanged maw.  Freyd watched Elora's posture and form intently, wondering whether his speech had made things better or worse.  It was time to find out.

Spoiler

Players:

[0,0,0,0] Elora | HP: 280/280 | EN: 28/28 | DMG: 6 | ACC: 1

[0,0,0,0] Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:760/760 | EN:74/74 | DMG:15 | MIT:48 | EVA:1 | ACC:4 | KEEN:1 | HLY:2 | BLD:12

Enemies:

Wolf #1 | HP: 40/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #2 | HP: 40/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #3 | HP: 40/40 | DMG 25
Venom Snapper | HP: 150/150 | DMG 35 (Crit 50) | EVA: 1

Feral Strike: Every time a <<Wolf>> is slain, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next attack becomes AoE. This ability can stack (if 2 wolves die at the same time, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next 2 attacks become AoE). “Venomous Bite” can still trigger on AoE attacks.
 

 

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Elora readied herself for the battle by undertaking an unusually heroic stance. In contrast to her earlier positions, this one appeared to be more strategic rather than ambitiously reckless. With broad shoulders and a sturdy grip on her spear, she appeared ready to fearlessly attack every monster on the battlefield. The sight was a bit awkward looking when juxtaposed with her fitted corset and brown booty shorts. Regardless, she was excited to finally have the opportunity to battle alongside someone else, especially in a role of leadership. Part of her wanted to doubt whether or not she was qualified to in this instance while another remembered that this was supposed to be an exercise in boosting her self-confidence. 

With quick affirmation to herself, she lunged into the fray, carrying her spear like a partner that was ushering her forward in a graceful dance. Wolves sprang to their feet and charged at her as she approached them. Their claws swiped at the lower edges of her figure, peeling off sections of flesh along her legs in a bloody spray. Luckily, she was able to land a few slashes in return. Elora sliced into the legs of two of the dogs, who whimpered as they tumbled into the dirt. Before long, the pack leader had rushed to Elora's side and was preparing to paralyze her with its noxious maws. The third wolf had already completely circled around her. She spotted the creature and prepared to defend against it before tripping over the bodies of the others. Her spear somehow managed to impale the Venom Snapper instead of her own chest. A cloud of debris puffed into the air as the five of them struggled to regain their footing on the field. 

 

Spoiler

Elora Attacks with "Hellish Twice"  

 [x4 AoE] Hellish Twice (4 Energy +2 per target hit) - A pair of alternating sweeping motions which damages multiple targets.

Elora: ID#: 162388 BD9 + 1ACC = 10 Critical Hit >> Wolf #1 (40HP - 28HP = 12HP)

Elora: ID#: 162389 BD6 + 1ACC = 7 Hit >> Wolf #2 (40HP - 24HP = 16HP)

Elora: ID#: 162390 BD1 + 1ACC = 2  Critical Fail >> Wolf #3 (40HP - 0HP = 40HP)

Elora: ID#: 162391 BD7 + 1ACC - 1EVA = 7  Hit >> Venom Snapper (150HP - 24HP = 126HP)

 

Players:

[0,0,0,0] Elora | HP: 280/280 | EN: 18/28 | DMG: 6 | ACC: 1

[0,0,0,0] Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:760/760 | EN:74/74 | DMG:15 | MIT:48 | EVA:1 | ACC:4 | KEEN:1 | HLY:2 | BLD:12

Enemies:

Wolf #1 | HP: 12/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #2 | HP: 16/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #3 | HP: 40/40 | DMG 25
Venom Snapper | HP: 126/150 | DMG 35 (Crit 50) | EVA: 1

Feral Strike: Every time a <<Wolf>> is slain, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next attack becomes AoE. This ability can stack (if 2 wolves die at the same time, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next 2 attacks become AoE). “Venomous Bite” can still trigger on AoE attacks.

Edited by Elora

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Freyd watched silently as Elora moved into her combat stance and made her first series of attacks.  His eyes read the battlefield, noting every details and posture, capturing the thrusts and parries of her assault spear and she waded into her foes.  Good.  Be as relentless as the tides.  The only real threat here was the snapper.  Its mechanics were marginally enhanced if the wolves died first, and so his contribution would be to remove it from the overall equation and let Elora mop up the rest of the wolves as target practice.

A small trickle, too small to even be considered a creek, ran through the clearing where they were fighting.  Freyd thought nothing of it as he strode over it, until the rock he'd stepped on turned out to be a rather irate snapping turtle.  It shifted under his foot throwing him off balance and splashing into the muddy water and banks.  Ignoring any potential embarrassment, he watched as they entire pack swarmed he and scrambled to recover his footing.  Why does this always happen when it is most absolutely inconvenient?!

"Hold them off, Elora!  I'm coming!"

Spoiler

image.png.51899785b7459f662c04d2292ef6318c.png

Players:

[2,2,0,2] Elora | HP: 195/280 (-85) | EN: 18/28 | DMG: 6 | ACC: 1

[0,0,0,0] Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:760/760 | EN:73/74 (-1) | DMG:15 | MIT:48 | EVA:1 | ACC:4 | KEEN:1 | HLY:2 | BLD:12 - Rested

BD: 1 (miss).  Freyd misses Venom Snapper.

image.png.e3f90c0e827706055e7680bce8eb1c0b.png

image.png.33b04e89efb4e3093c66f822767f254e.png

BD: 4 (miss).  Wolf #1 misses Elora.
BD: 6 (hit).  Wolf #2 deals 25  points of damage to Elora.
BD: 6 (hit).  Wolf #3 deals 25  points of damage to Elora.
BD: 7 (hit).  Venom Snapper deals 35  points of damage to Elora.

Enemies:

Wolf #1 | HP: 12/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #2 | HP: 16/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #3 | HP: 40/40 | DMG 25
Venom Snapper | HP: 126/150 | DMG 35 (Crit 50) | EVA: 1

Feral Strike: Every time a <<Wolf>> is slain, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next attack becomes AoE. This ability can stack (if 2 wolves die at the same time, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next 2 attacks become AoE). “Venomous Bite” can still trigger on AoE attacks.

 

Edited by Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

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The Venom Snapper quickly retaliated, biting down on one of Elora's arms. A nauseating "CRUNCH" resounded in the air as the monster's jagged jaws dug into her skin, causing a thick ooze of poison to trickle down toward her wounds. Her face grew pale with shock while her muscles tensed from a sharp, stinging sensation that came in response to her first experience of great pain. With her mind racing and her focus scattered, she secured her grasp on the weapon in her opposite hand, then swung it violently into the head of the mutated hound. In a panicked frenzy, she bludgeoned it with the shaft of the spear over and over again, until it finally dropped her from its grip. Stumbling to the ground, Elora watched in horror as the wolves she'd damaged earlier lurched forward in an attempt to maul her. "AHHH!", she screamed, swinging her spear across her to bar them from biting her face. Miraculously, its point penetrated the throats of both dogs, practically shish-kebabing them as they descended from above. 

Meanwhile, the third wolf had set it's eyes on Freyd, prepared to obtain a meal of its very own from his body. It rushed towards him, snarling ferociously and barring it's teeth.

 

Spoiler

Elora Attacks with "Hellish Twice"  

 [x4 AoE] Hellish Twice (4 Energy +2 per target hit) - A pair of alternating sweeping motions which damages multiple targets.

Elora: ID#: 162605 BD8 + 1ACC = 9 Hit >> Wolf #1 (12HP - 24 = KO)

Elora: ID#: 162606 BD5 + 1ACC = 6 Hit >> Wolf #2 (16HP - 24 = KO)

Elora: ID#: 162607 BD2 + 1ACC = 3 Miss >> Wolf #3 (40HP - 0 = 40HP)

Elora: ID#: 162608 BD8 + 1ACC - 1EVA = 9 Hit >> Venom Snapper (126HP - 24 = 102HP)

 

Players:

[4,4,0,4] Elora | HP: 195/280 (-85) | EN: 8/28 | DMG: 6 | ACC: 1

[0,0,0,0] Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:760/760 | EN:73/74 (-1) | DMG:15 | MIT:48 | EVA:1 | ACC:4 | KEEN:1 | HLY:2 | BLD:12 - Rested

Enemies:

Wolf #1 | HP: 0/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #2 | HP: 0/40 | DMG 25

Wolf #3 | HP: 40/40 | DMG 25
Venom Snapper | HP: 102/150 | DMG 35 (Crit 50) | EVA: 1

Feral Strike: Every time a <<Wolf>> is slain, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next attack becomes AoE. This ability can stack (if 2 wolves die at the same time, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next 2 attacks become AoE). “Venomous Bite” can still trigger on AoE attacks.

Edited by Elora

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Relax, man, she's got this.  As accurate as the statement was, Freyd felt responsible for bungling his initial strike and placing Elora at unnecessary risk.  She's not your kid, your sister or your wife.  This is combat practice, and that includes getting used to the pain that goes with it.  Besides, she's in no real danger.  The sound of her scream the moment the venom snapper closed its jaws around her arm immediately ended Freyd's internal debate.

The last remaining wolf literally exploded as he cut it in half from open maw to wagging tail, motes of de-resolving light enveloping him in a halo of white as he pressed forward.  It was as if it were a mere speed bump on the way to his true target.  Another white flash followed, unleashing a blast of wind that blew Elora's hair back like a gale, exposing her pointed ears.  Freyd skidded to a stop beside her as the snapper's teeth caught on her sleeve and bodice, while its body collapsed to the ground with a heavy 'thud.'

He slowly looked up at her, his eyes wide, and realized that he had been holding his breath.  

"Sorry about that...I, uh... slipped?"

Spoiler

image.png.3cf3ddf48b5569d627b1eedfd7311e09.png

image.png.5d1cde86c9d04d7f2de90a9b059e0d04.png

Players:

[4,4,0,4] Elora | HP: 195/280 | EN: 8/28 | DMG: 6 | ACC: 1

[0,0,2,2] Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:760/760 | EN:61/74 (-12) | DMG:15 | MIT:48 | EVA:1 | ACC:4 | KEEN:1 | HLY:2 | BLD:12 - (Rested, Finesse 3)

BD: 5 + 4 = 9 (hit).  Freyd deals 180 damage to Wolf #3.  Killed.

BD: 6 + 4 -1 = 9 (hit) Freyd deals 180 damage to Venom Snapper.  Killed

Enemies:

Wolf #1 | HP: 0/40 | DMG 25
Wolf #2 | HP: 0/40 | DMG 25

Wolf #3 | HP: 0/40 | DMG 25
Venom Snapper | HP: 0/150 | DMG 35 (Crit 50) | EVA: 1

Feral Strike: Every time a <<Wolf>> is slain, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next attack becomes AoE. This ability can stack (if 2 wolves die at the same time, <<Venom Snapper>>’s next 2 attacks become AoE). “Venomous Bite” can still trigger on AoE attacks.

 

Edited by Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

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Elora looked up at Freyd with watery eyes and pale knuckles, which continued to clench the end of her spear. A handful of seconds passed after Freyd had killed the monsters before she finally realized the battle was over. With hands trembling, she released the weapon, causing it to clatter against her knees before rolling off a short ways. She wanted to bury her face in her hands to hide her embarrassment, just like before, but she knew that that wasn't what Freyd expected of her. "D-did I do o-okay?", she struggled to ask through rattling teeth. I probably look like such a coward, she couldn't help herself from thinking. No matter what she did, or how much she tried to convince herself, the reminders of her failures never went away. They resonated within her like a lesson she was force-fed for years, until one day, they finally became thoughts of her own.

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