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[F1-PP] The Third Lesson is Just as Free [Completed]


Beat

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<<The Third Lesson, Is Just As Free>>

This quest takes place on Floor 1

This quest is not repeatable and is level restricted.

Cannot be taken by those over level: 15

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Background Information - An old NPC Blacksmith, dubbed Lyle Tealeaf needs a delivery made to a young artisan named Hannah. The Artisan Hannah is currently in a grove of trees inside the city, painting. The parcel you receive from Lyle is a gold band, used for ring making. Hannah explains that that part was only the beginning of what she needed, and require a gemstone located deep in a dark cave. The cave has no natural lighting, and reduces your accuracy by 1 point.

Quest Objective
-Deliver the parcel to Hannah, the Artisan.

-Fetch a jewel suitable enough for her work, deep in a dark cave.

-Defeat the Cave Guardian

-Return the jewel to Hannah.

 

Requirements:

-At least one [1] Pages (21 or more posts)
-Must have completed 'The Second Lesson, Is Also Free' before taking this quest
-Must RP traveling to and from Hannah's grove.
-Must RP exploring the cave to find the jewel
-Defeat the Cave Guardian (appears after grabbing the jewel)
-Maximum Party size of 2.
-Cannot take this quest if your are over level 15

Cave Guardian
HP: 20
Dmg: 50 (on first successful hit only)/ 5(Does not gain bonus damage from crits)

Rewards:

  1. Questers will be rewarded one of the following items
    - 1 Tier one ring with +1 Accuracy or,

    - 1 Tier one Amulet with  +1 Evasion

  2. 2 Additional Skill Points

If a party of players undertakes this quest together, each must succeed on their own task list (e.g. each must gather 2 gems/2 bats)

Recommended Level: 1

Beat walked out of the blacksmith's shop, examining the golden ring and walking towards the city gate in the direction Lyle had told them the grove was. He could not say he hadn't enjoyed the fruits of his labor with the quest line and the wraps that he had gotten from the last one and then appraised by Shield were well worth the effort. He placed the golden rign back into it's parcel sack and returned the item to his inventory, wanting to empty his hands so that he could proceed to throw various hand strikes into the air in front of him. 

"I wonder how bleeding works in this game...Usually bleeding is a damage over time sort of effect, but the trigger is usually a little different between games. In Crossreign you rolled against your opponent's fortitude and if they failed, they would take heavy damage over time if you had speced for bleed damage."

Beat gave his heavily armored friend a swift jab with his elbow as he continued. 

"It was particularly useful when dealing with heavily armored opponents since bleed damage ignored armor of all kinds."

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"On an attack of sufficient skill, the opponent takes twelve times your tier level damage over the next two rounds, unmitigated."

Shield's eyes stayed forward as they walked. He had cooled off considerably since the frustrations and uncertainty of the prior quest. The original quest as intended has been child's play, after all, but when suddenly you're staring down a glitched enemy who was likely removed from the question after beta testing, and likely because of being too high of a difficulty...

"Yes, I remember your fondness of bleed damage. I thought it an appropriate find. Still, don't get cocky. Between my mitigation and my regen, you're going to have a hard time making any of that damage stick."

He allowed himself a little smirk and let his shoulders relax. They were on to a new task, and hopefully one they would have an easier time with. As they moved to the district of the city where the grove resided, they could see the stand of trees begin to rise over the rooftops, and by the time they were lost in the trunks, it felt like a completely different city altogether.

There at the center of the oldest part of the grove sat a young woman with long braided locks of brown hair hanging down behind her shoulders. She was seated on the earth, bent over a canvas which she was currently slaving  over with an apparent labor of love. Shield padded towards her over the soft, moss-covered earth. She heard their approach and looked up, smiling.

"You must be Hannah," Shield said, raising his hand in greeting. "I am Shield. This is Beat."

He gestured towards his comrade who bore the parcel they had agreed to deliver.

"Welcome," she said brightly, standing up from her work and skipping lightly over to them. "Lyle must have sent you. I believe you have something for me?"

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As Shield referred to him, he immediately waved his left hand, pulling open his menu and extracting the small parcel pouch. He smiled at the woman and handed her the parcel per his quest. Hannah excitedly opened the pouch beamed as she retrieved the golden hoop, holding it against the sky, appraising its craftsmanship. A few moments past before she appeared satisfied with the product from the old blacksmith. She looked to the two of them, her cheerful expression somehow more bright than before.

"Thank you for bringing this to me. It will help my work immeasurably."

She began to examine them from where she stood, seemingly evaluating their capabilities, her smile fading somewhat as she bowed humbly.

"If I may ask another favor..."

Beat rolled his eyes quickly before nodding with a lazy smile on his face. 

"Sure, what'cha need?"

She straightened back up, happy that they had agreed so readily. 

"I require a certain gemstone to complete my work. This band was only part of what I needed. Lyle said he would send capable warriors to help me with this endeavor. Will you help?" 

At this point, Beat's head was slightly tilted to the side and he was continuously nodding at this point, his face barely attempting to hide the pain of going through the dialogue. Hannah didn't seem to notice or , if she did notice, care and proceeded to tell them of a cave several miles east of the grove. She warned that it was dark and that she had heard rumors that the gemstones they sought were protected by a guardian of some kind. As soon as she had given them enough information Beat turned and ran towards the quest marker before she would finish.

"Kay bye!"

 

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"I know that I was a little terse with the last one, but being rude to NPC's over long periods might have in-game consequences," Shield warned, jogging alongside Beat as they rushed towards the map marker. "Who knows? They might start refusing to let you advance in quest lines."

They left the city, moving out into the small, scattered NPC cottages that dotted the area outside of the city proper. The paved pathways gave way to worn dirty roads, and as the forks began to separate, they found themselves wandering along little more than wagon ruts. While they had left the grove behind them, the occasional clusters of trees became more plentiful, and then thicker, until finally their path was swallowed by forest altogether.

"This will be the first time we've been anywhere other than out in the open as we've explored, at least not without a carry," Shield thought aloud as he slowed his gait, looking around for signs of their cave. "We need to be cautious. Actually cautious," he warned, looking squarely at Beat with his eyebrows raised.

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ID# 74784 results: BD: 12 (9+3) = Crit! MD: 10 = Total Crit! 

Delayed Sword 4x1: Dmg= (6+1) * 4 = 28 +12 bleed damage for 2 rnds

Wolf Claw dmg = 10 + 2 = 12

Lesser Werewolf [60/100] Bleed 1/2 rounds

Beat [168/180] EP: 14/18

"Haha that would be something, but those dialogue chains are just so boring. Like seriously, I get it, let me be level 100 or whatever already."

Beat laughed off Shield's concerns, but he decided to heed his comrade's warning and instead find other way of having fun with the NPCs, laughing to himself as he considered what would happen if he messed with one and the NPCs were actual people wearing NerveGear. His relaxed attitude diminished somewhat as they began to enter the ever thickening forest. He gave Shield an incredulous look as they walked through the trees. 

"Please, when have I ever gotten us into trouble by not being careful?" 

His challenge would possibly go unreplied to as they would both hear a rustling noise from above. As soon as they looked, a tall, furry humanoid looking creature dropped from the treetops and directly in front of them, eyes gleaming at Beat hungrily. The beast's nameplate read 'lesser werewolf' and it snarled at Beat, it's realism shaking the veteran slightly. Beat's brow furrowed as he stirred his resolve up to shake off any intimidation factor the creature may have had. 

"What are you lookin' at smelly?!" 

Beat leapt in without warning, catching the beast off guard as he landed a succession of three kicks before evading the beast's sight long enough to send a backfist into the back of its neck. The werewolf howled in pain as it stumbled a few steps forward, coughing up blood from what was clearly internal damage. However, before Beat could land, the creature released a loud snarl and spun around, bringing its large, clawed hand across Beat's back. A red streak appeared across Beat's back and he landed, the sensation new and interesting to him. He turned and smiled at his foe, 

"Please sir, may I have another?"

 

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Action: Howl

"Okay, I get that you need to say snappy lines in combat, but... Oliver Twist?" Shield sighed and pulled out his spear, rushing between his companion and the threat.

Shield filled his lungs and bellowed, spraying spit at the newcomer.

"Hey, fur ball! YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE WRONG GUY!"

A wash of air buffeted the werewolf's fur, and its eyes widened and snapped onto Shield. The enemy's new target ducked low behind his shield, and the warrior circled, drawing the eyes of the beast away from the real source of damage.

"Remind me to revisit the conversation of you walking us into trouble at a later time," Shield drawled.

The creature pawed forward, testing out Shield's defenses. He knocked its mitts way with his shield, pushing the flat surface against the creature to create some space. The beast snarled, but he was no more threatening than the dangers they had faced in the past. Except for maybe the boar pups from the previous quest.

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ID# 74795 results: BD: 12 (9+3) = Crit!  MD: 4 = miss

Delayed Sword 4x1 - Dmg: (6+1) * (4) = 28 + 12 bleed for 2 rnds.

Lesser Were Wolf: [20/100] Bleed 1/2 rounds

Beat [HP: 168] [EP: 10/18]

Beat and Shield were really in sync today and it definitely showed. Their recent experience with a glitched monster had certainly gone a long way towards training their combat instincts. The combat system in Sword Art Online wasn't entirely different than Crossreign's, but the differences were significant enough that their experience with the previous game only helped somewhat. The most significant difference between the two combat systems was that the success or failure of a maneuver in Crossreign was determined by numbers more than actual execution and timing. In this game, the Nervegear assisted you by giving you the knowledge of how to use your skills, but it was actually up to you to execute the attack correctly and timing was key to ensure maximum damage. 

"Hm?...Oliver Twist?" 

Beat shrugged as he moved in to attack once again as the werewolf was compelled to turn his back to the larger threat. His feet and hands shone with a blue light as he sank a series of three round houses  directly into the ribs of his target, hearing a couple of snaps that caused the creature to double over as Beat sank an elbow into the back of the aberration's neck. More blood spilled from the creature's jowls as the internal damage Beat was inflicting continued to accumulate. Beat remained focused and he easily dodged the creature's weak attempt to bat him away. A smile spread across Beat's face as he watched the health bar of his target drop another 40%. 

"Nope, try again!"

 

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74805 results: Battle: 1 - Miss [-2 NRG, +1NRG] [19/20]

With the barrage that the aspiring martial artist's limbs had been exacting onto it, the werewolf kept snapping its attention away from Shield. This was something he couldn't abide. With a jab of his spear, the tank attempted to land a blow to pull more of the beast's aggro, but instead, all he managed was to shove his spear between the lupine beast and the real source of damage. It growled and turned its eyes back onto Shield.

Just act like that's what you meant to do...

The apparent damage that the monster had sustained was telling of just how effective the new Bleed aspect of the hands wraps was proving to be. What's more, despite the fact that Shield had recaptured its attention, the creature was struggling to attack with any kind of gusto under the pressure of Beat's damage.

The pathetic swipes by the beasts's claws bounced off of the warrior's chest plate and shield like nothing as their owner pulled back its blood-wet lips and snarled.

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ID# 74814 results: BD: 12 (9+3) = Crit! MD: 3 = Miss

Basic Attack- Dmg: 6 +1 = 7 + 12 bleed for 2/rnds

Lesser Werewolf [1/100] Bleed 1/2 rnds

Beat [168/180] [EP: 10/18]

Beat's pressure continued as he leapt into the air and critically landed a vicious knee blow to the Lupine creature's temple with a thunderous crack. The creature flew several feet before hitting the ground, clearly dazed as its health point bar dropped to its minimum value. Beat scoffed at the creature's fortune, but his smile didn't fade since he knew that the bleed effect he had just reapplied would end the fight for him. 

"Almost like that damn boar, except you're not a glitch and my weapon says you've got one turn left to hit me again...if you can." 

The creature, while it likely unable to understand Beat's words, clearly understood the inflections in the young player's voice as it got to it's feet and snarled as aggressively as it could while its internal injuries made breathing a chore. Beat walked up to the beast and smiled as he stared right into its eyes, their faces only inches apart. The creature quickly gathered what strength it had left to throw one last claw strike. 

"pff, wide AND slow." 

Beat lifted his right arm and swatted the beat's arm away, throwing it off balance as it collapsed back onto the ground, bleeding and gasping for air. 

 

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Combat: No action

Shield held up his defenses, repulsing the continued attempts by the wolf-kin to push past the shining steel barrier. Still, even though the wolf's fatigue was beginning to show, because he could feel Beat's impacts through the shield more than he could the beast's aggravated attempts to land a hit. Its health bar dropped to its absolute minimum, but the foe did not disappear just yet.

"That's it, Beat! All we gotta do is wait it out, and that bleed damage will do the rest for us!"

He shrank further behind his shield arm, going complete turtle-tank, no concern for dealing damage with the werewolf's turns officially numbered.

We're really starting to get the hang of this. Whatever creatures are awaiting us in the cave are going to have a real problem on their hands.

His feet dug into the ground, preparing to weather whatever last-ditch attempts the werewolf would make to fell its would-be prey.

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ID# 74823 results:  BD: 9 (6 +3)= hit LD: 19= loot (16+3) MD: 8= hit, but it is dead before it can swing.

Basic Attack: Dmg = 6  Bleed Damage [2/2 rounds] = 12 

Lesser Werewolf [-17/100] Bleed 2/2 rnds [Dead]

Beat: [168/180] [EP: 10/18]

Loot: 500 col + 2x T1 materials

Beat looked to Shield as he crossed his arms, still within arms reach of the beast, his attention still on the monster in the unlikely event of another attempt at retribution. 

"Yep, no worries, this one is done, aren't'cha big guy?"

The creature gave Beat one final glare of defiance before coughing blood one last time, it's breathing stopping and its body fading to red before shattering. Beat walked over and bent down, retrieving a sack of coin and two mats. He pulled open a menu and spit the sack into equal haves, tossing Shield's share to him along with one of the materials that had dropped. 

"We're getting pretty good at this. I know this is only floor one, but still, we wrecked that baddie." 

He deposited his share of the spoils into his inventory before waiting for Shield to lead the way, a proud grin on his face, satisfied with his current level of power.

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74843 results: Loot: 7+2=9 - No Mats

Note: We are assuming that the text "bats" in the original mission posting was meant to read "mats," meaning each player must find 2 materials before they find the gem. We are inquiring further into the matter.

There was absolutely no reason to rain on anyone's parade as they split up the loot from the combat. While their rhythm in combat was becoming far more polished and their abilities were advancing alongside them, Shield had to remind himself that this was still only Floor 1. While they may have mastered the combat here, there were 99 floors to go, and they had already seen the jump in difficulty even just a few floors above.

The map guided them deeper into the forest, the undergrowth and trees closing in more and more around the path that they walked. Finally, just as the treetops had swallowed the last of the sky, a notification chimed on Shield's navigation screen and he looked up to find the mouth of a large cave, easily wide enough for both of them to walk side-by side with plenty of elbow room. The little light that managed to filter down through the foliage provided very little light, even just into the entrance.

"Here goes nothing," Shield said.

Regripping his shield, he stepped into the dimly lit tunnel. His lether-clad footfalls echoed off of the stone, and the pungent stench of mildew emanated from the wet dungeon walls.

If only we could do something about this darkness...

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ID# 74861 results: LD: 19 (16+3) = 1 T1 Mat found (1 Total)

Beat:  HP [171/180] EP [11/18] Rest 1/3

Beat's eye struggled to adjust to the darkness, but with only some measure of success, the path through the cave gradually became more visible, but only out to a certain distance and even then, it was poorly illuminated. Beat spoke softly, not wanting to unnecessarily spook anything that may live inside the cave. 

"So dark...I wonder if there are items in the game that would solve this problem."

Beat thought on his own inquiry and was certain he had never seen any items like the one he was describing, but it was always possible that it simply couldn't be found on the lower floors. Making environmental obstacles early on prepared players for them later on and allowed the developers to challenge their players without sending a monster that was too strong at them. 

"It would make sense if this was just something to increase difficulty."

They came upon an opening in the cave that was brightly illuminated by florescent flowers and fungi and featured two tunnel openings, forcing the players to choose. Beat glanced to Shield, feeling like they were on the right path. 

"Tank leads."

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74865 results: Loot: 1 - No Materials

Even with the faint illumination, Shield could not make out any clear details down either path. Each one stretched downhill, descending deeper into the earth, and eventually disappeared into blackness. He looked back and forth from one to the other before bringing up his inventory and pulling out his spear.

"Easy way to settle this," he said into the dimness of the cave.

Placing the butt of his weapon on a relatively flat surface, he released the weapon carefully. It balanced for a moment, then teetered and fell slightly to the left, pointing more towards the leftmost path. The clattering of the pole arm resonated down the tunnels, eventually diminishing to nothing. Bending down, he retrieved his weapon.

"Left it is."

His feet continued to clap lightly against the ground with each step. He tried his best to keep his eyes alert and ready, if nothing else just to find extra crafting materials, but in this light, or lack there of, there was no luck to be had.

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ID# 74877 results: LD: 20 (17+3)= 1 T1 mat found (2 total)

Beat: HP[174/180] EP[12/18] Rest 2/3

Beat bent down and picked one of the luminous mushrooms as Shield made his decision. The material seemed to favor the cooking profession, which was certainly interesting considering that he had decided on cooking as his profession. He stashed the material and stood back up, looking to the fallen weapon a smiling as Shield retrieved it and began walking down the tunnel. He chuckled at the simplicity of such a decision making method. 

"I guess that's one way to choose our fate. Just as good as any other, though it does seem rather UN-calculated of you. This game really has changed you." 

Beat was mostly only teasing, but he did wonder how much of that statement was actually true. They had known each other in a limited regard, being rivals in Crossreign. To say that they actually knew each other would have been a stretch back then. That knowledge did certainly help them fight together, however. They could likely predict each other's next three moves before either of them made them. 

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74882 results: Loot: 1 - a pattern I will be very happy to see the end of...

"Not at all," Shield answered back. "We have no map of the underground and there was no detail regarding navigation in the quest. A quick and simple decision making tool will serve us well."

The passage seemed to be widening as they made their way, but that could have just been a trick of the darkness. The darker the walls seemed to be, the further they seemed to be from the eye. Regardless, they were still obviously sloping downward.

Still trying to keep his eyes peeled, Shield could not even see his hand in front of his face and had to resort to using his spear as a cane to feel his way and test the floor ahead of them.

"Besides, I find coin flips and the like to be invaluable," he went on, hissing in the dark. "At the point were your state of indecision is collapsed into a decision, you're faced with the reality of that consequence. It's usually in those moments when you can most clearly see for sure which thing you preferred, or more often than not, which one you did not prefer. It's in those moments where you make your real decisions."

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ID# 74885 results: LD: 12 (9+3) = no mats (2 Total)

Beat: HP[177/180] EP[18/18] Rest 3/3

Beat scratched his chin in contemplation as Shield spoke. Simplicity seemed to make the most sense for decisions where all else was equal. There was no way to place any weight to either decision, so they really did have no choice but to flip a coin. The tunnel had begun to grow wider as they walked and it was looking like another clearing was coming, though it was not nearly as luminescent as the other one. 

"I suppose that makes sense. I usually just go with my gut for things like that." 

The truth was that Beat used his gut for more than just coin flips. He found it best to choose what he felt was the best choice when thinking led to over-thinking or panic. The cave eventually gave way to a large clearing with walls rising at least twenty feet, all covered lightly in the same sort of luminescent plant life they had seen before. In the middle of the room sat two, shimmering gemstones. Beat smirked at the obvious placement of a trap. 

"Okay, if this isn't a trap, I don't know what is."

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 74886 results: Loot: 11 +2 = 13 - No mats

"Most likely," agreed Shield. "The question is whether we're on par with whatever will jump out at us."

Running the scenario from start to present, he turned things over in his head, glancing back and forth between the stones as he did so.

"That werewolf was unrelated to this quest," he concluded. "They're well known to appear in wooded areas on this floor, and it did not seem to have any connection to our objectives. If that is the case, there were no planned encounters before this room."

He looked around again, squinting against the dark to see if there was additional information to process. The tunnel had been uninhabited, there had been no pit traps along the way, and even the journey had not been difficult.

"If that's the case, and especially considering we're only on floor one..." he went on, walking over to the first stone and placing his hand above it, "then we should be well equipped to handle whatever happens. The quest was doubled because there are two participants. Count of three?"

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- Combat -

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ID# 74887 results: BD= 6  MD: 10 & 7 = both hit, one total crit.  

Note: I put the reason for the first roll as mats when this post is starting combat, so it would have been combat and the roll for mob 1. 

Beat: HP[77/180]  EP[12/18]  

Delayed Sword - 4x1: Dmg- 6 * 3 = 18 -6 EP

Ruby Troll: HP[2/20]

Smash!: 50 dmg 

Sapphire Troll:  HP[2/20]

Smash!: 50 dmg

"One...Two...THREE!" 

As the two adventurers each grabbed and lifted their respective stones, the glowing gems lost their glow and appeared to be ordinary gems, albeit very large gems. Each was the size of a bowling ball, one a ruby and the other a sapphire. The first thing the two of them would notice was that they were unable to stash the items into their inventory. Cross scanned the room, looking for signs of the trap. 

"It's gotta be part of the trap. They don't count as lootable items until we clear the trap..."

As if on queue, two humanoids stepped out of the rocky walls of the cavern, shaking themselves off as if they had been merely taking a nap. They each stood about fifteen feet tall and wall extremely muscular with pieces of rock and gemstone jutting from their bodies. One of them was a shade of red while the other was blue and it was obvious that they their coloration was related to the two gemstones. The red one looked at Beat angrily, its slow voice echoing through the cave. 

"Heeeeeey....you doofus try to take shiny? I TAKE YOUR SHOESES!!!"

The other chimed in as they both leaped through the air, aiming their arms to crash down upon the lightly armored Beat.

"No noooo, we makes HIM shoeses!"

Beat quickly back-flipped through the air, releasing a familiar wave of energy that crashed into both of them, depleting their health bars to practically nothing. He grinned as he watched their bars drop, but his celebration was short lived as two crystalline clubs sprang from the cloud of dust and met in the middle, smashing Beat between them. Beat yelled out he absorbed the impact and fell to the ground. 

"GAAAAAH!"

Beat's health meter had dropped into the yellow, below half, but he was certainly not out of the fight. He grit his teeth as he stood up, the lack of pain confusing to his brain still. 

"Okay....that one hurt! Now I'm mad!!!"

 

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