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F03/SP Last Minute Cramming <<DHA3>

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The Opal Hatchling

TW: It got dark.


Oscar - Lvl 68
1390 HP
136 Energy
7 Accuracy (+1 Mod, +3 Gear +1 Abs. Acc +2 Food )
3 Evasion (+1 Mod, +2 Gear)
25 Base Damage - (1 Base +7 Skill +1 Ferocity +9 Familiar +1 Athletics)
121 Mitigation 
Abs Acc

Tesseleth’s Fury [Tier 3 Demonic Two-Handed Battleaxe] | Fallen, Fallen, Burn, Burn
Money Shot [Tier 3 Perfect Two-Handed Battleaxe] | Abs. ACC, ACC, Bleed
Tactical Outfitting Mk.III [Tier 3 Demonic Light Armor] | Vampiric (Defensive), Para Immune, Rec, Rec
Mythril Greaves [Tier 3 Perfect Heavy Armor] |  +81 MIT
Gloves of Caerus [Tier 1 Perfect Light Armor] | +3 Loot Die
Ivory Gold Leaf Ring [Tier 1 Demonic Trinket] | ACC, ACC, EVA, EVA

Leeroy & Jenkins - Familiar: +9 DMG

Battle Ready Inventory
Teleportation Crystal
Empty Inventory Slot |
Empty Inventory Slot |
Empty Inventory Slot |
Empty Inventory Slot |
Empty Inventory Slot |

Well-Rested: -1 energy cost for the first three expenditures of each combat.
Filling: Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 slot.
Relaxed: Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Skylight: Expertise - Rank 5 Searching
Squeaky Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 25%

2HBA - Rank 5: +8 Damage
Light Armor - Rank 5: +25 Damage Mitigation
Battle Healing - Rank 5: Recover 5% of Max HP every round while in combat
Searching - Rank 5: +5 LD, +5 Stealth Detection
Concentration: +1 to your BD (3 turn cooldown)
Survival: Heal 15*Tier HP when out of battle
Parry: 2-turn CD, 5 EN Half damage of next attack and remove Stun/Paralysis effects
First Aid: Rank 3: Restore 12% of target’s max health [Cost: 4% of healing done]
Fishing - Use a Post Action to attempt to Fish, results determined by CD roll.

Skill Mods
Ferocity: +1 Base Damage
Athletics: +1 Base Damage, Max HP by 10*tier
Precision: +1 ACC
Justified Riposte:  Successful Parries Stun Opponent, 3 Turn CD
Finesse Rank 3: -3 EN on 2HBA Sword Arts
Sprint & Acrobatics: +1 EVA

Consumable Buffs
Kumatetsu Statue | +1 DMG
Imagine if Azrael Was a Hot Dog | +2 DMG, -30 MIT
Focused Dog | +2 ACC
Azrael's Sports Drink | +3 DMG
Diamond-Infused Hot Dog | +45 MIT

The Floor 25 Boss Raid was imminent. Everyone was making their preparations. Oscar had long-since prepared a selection of buffs for the occasion, but he had still had some self preparation to take care of. He didn't really know what had possessed him to put it off till the last possible moment, but here he was - in the eleventh hour - scrambling to get it all done. Perhaps one of the more rewards quests was, in fact, the quest chain. Dragon Hunter Anthology was intimidating in that it was a 9-part series by all accounts. Of course, for Oscar, that merely meant that it was a 9-part excuse to get some grinding done. If he wasn't a millionaire by the time he finished the quest chain, he would be damn close. But first things first. He needed to buff up and take out the dragon. After that, it would be a simple matter of heading up to Floor 21 and getting his grind on. 

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Oscar HP: 1390/1390 | EN: 120/136 | DMG: 25 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | MIT: 121 | ABS.ACC | 36 BLD [9-10] | -3 EN Cost [Finesse] | -1 EN Cost [Rested 1/3]

Explode Catapult[x14]: -16 EN

Ghidorah, the Opal Hatchling HP: 0/215 | DMG: 70 | ACC: 1 | EVA: 1 | MIT: 40 | THN: 14 | ID: 168551 | BD: 3+7-1, Ghidorah is Defeated
Elven Cultist1 HP: 0/50 | DMG: 35 | MIT: 25 | THN: 14 | ID: 168552 | BD: 5+7, Cultist is Defeated
Elven Cultist2 HP: 0/50 | DMG: 35 | MIT: 25 | THN: 14 | ID: 168553 | BD: 7+7, Cultist is Defeated

The quest seemed simple enough. By all rights, it should have been. It was tailored for super low-leveled players anyway. Oscar didn't expect any outstanding issues. He headed down to Floor 3 and made his way to the quest location. He had mixed feelings, honestly, about killing a hatchling. It just didn't seem epic enough to him. There wasn't anything fun about carving through a mob that had no way of defending itself. As much as Oscar needed fast and easy levels, he still couldn't shake the fact that he wasn't going to be challenged in the process. But, he supposed it came with the territory. He was a high level cleaning up lower-leveled quests. Of course he wouldn't have that much of an issue out of it. He stepped into the location and the dragon engaged. It cried out in a foreign tongue and two robed elves appeared from the forest to aid it. In one fell swoop, they were all laid low.

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"Of course," Oscar said with a defeated sigh. "Couldn't even give the little guy a change to bite me." Was there nothing challenging to fight anymore? While he was busy bemoaning the fact that he had to figure out something to do with the rest of the day, he didn't hear the footsteps behind him. He felt the tap on his shoulder through. Startled, Oscar swung around, bringing his axe around with him. A familiar face caught his eye. Oscar managed to stop his swing just before he cleaved the man's head clean off. "Jason?" Oscar hadn't seen the man in quite some time. Last time they'd spoken, he was trying to stay alive in the safe zone.

"Hey Oscar! I thought I saw you teleport in," Jason said with a smile. "Thanks for not taking my head off with that thing, by the way. Woulda sucked to spend all that time leveling just for your buddy to drop you."

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“No problem,” Oscar said, embarrassed. With an apologetic expression, Oscar pulled his weapon back. He swiped his right hand, quickly navigating through his inventory and unequipping the weapon. In a flash of light, it winked out of existence. Oscar’s face contorted in thought for a moment before tapping on Tesseleth’s Fury. The weapon was equipped, but did not manifest. Even though he was with a friend, Oscar was still outside of a safe zone. It wouldn’t be a good idea to be completely unarmed. “I wasn’t expecting anyone to get the drop on me. Guess I might be slipping or something,” he added.

Jason laughed and shook his head. “It’s alright. I should’ve said something. What brings you down here anyway?”

Oscar shrugged. “Some missing quests. Frontliners are prepping for the Raid on Floor 25. Last minute grinding,” he responded.“Oh, you’re with the Frontliners now? I thought you hated those guys,” Jason said, cocking one eyebrow.

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“I still do. Our goals are aligned. There’s a lot of people counting on them - us - to get everyone home,” Oscar said.

Jason’s gaze softened, a mournful expression on his face. That’s right. Jason just wanted to get home to his wife. Oscar gave the man a warm smile and put his hand on his shoulder. “I haven’t forgotten my promise, Jason. Either of them. I’ve spread myself a bit thin lately. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been able to get down here to see you for a while.”

Jason quickly stepped back, holding his hands up and shaking his head. “I get it, you’re a busy man. I’m just glad you’re doing well.”

An awkward silence passed between them. The wind whipped up, causing Oscar to instinctively pull his coat closer. Perhaps if they were going to be having a conversation, doing it indoors would be a better idea.

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“You still staying in the same place, Jason? I could whip us up a meal so we can catch up,” Oscar said.

“Uh, no. I’m staying in a cabin not far from here. I’m level 30 now. Town was a little too loud and it’s still a little nerve-wracking to fight monsters. I needed something quieter. Follow me,” Jason said. 

“Lead the way,” Oscar replied. Jason walked past Oscar and led the two of them deeper into the forest. He was rather quiet the entire time. Oscar couldn’t figure out why. The last time they had spoken, Jason had been so thankful for company that he wouldn’t stop talking. He couldn’t say that he knew the man that well, but he was getting a weird feeling about this. Their whole interaction had been awkward. Perhaps it was merely his paranoia being stoked. Between Tyson and Sundered Spire, Oscar had been seeing conspiracy in everything. It would be good then, that Oscar would be able to relax over a meal and nice conversation. He really needed to loosen up.

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“So,” Oscar began. “What made you finally decide to start getting some levels? Level 30 isn’t anything to sneeze at.”

“Oh, the boredom just got too much for me. I bought some strong starting equipment and noticed how easy the Tutorial quests had been. Fear was all in my head, y’know?” Jason replied.

“Can’t fault you for that one. I was the same way. There were only a few quests that pushed me low. Most of them were a breeze.”

“Tell me about it. Frontliner though. I just can’t get over it. I’ve busted my ass to get to level 30. I can’t imagine being on your level.”

Oscar laughed. “You’d be surprised. I’ve never really gone out of my way to grind heavy. I’m about middle of the pack compared to those guys. A couple in particular are scary strong.” Macradon immediately came to mind. You wouldn’t think it when you saw him in his shop, but the dude could carve a boss seven different ways from Sunday. His explosive strikes against Skalaugh were a testament to that.

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“Still, I don’t think I’d be able to touch you even if there were five of me,” Jason retorted. “You’re just on a different level.”

“I think it would be closer than you think. I don’t imagine that there’s a lot of level 40’s that would risk swinging into a Frontliner. If they’re not immediately dropped, the group’s pretty tight-knit. Reprisal would come rather quickly,” Oscar said. “That is, if prior experience is worth anything. There’s only one Player-killer I could think of that would be able to threaten a Frontliner anyway. And that guy’s lost his taste for blood.”

“I hope you’re right,” Jason said quietly.

Oscar tilted his head, throwing a sidelong glance at Jason’s back. Despite his attempts to push it down, his instincts were screaming at him to come up with some excuse and dip. He couldn’t really justify it as being hyper-aware of any strange happenings going on around him anymore. Jason was definitely acting strange.

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Alright, let’s entertain this. Assuming Jason’s trying to pull something. What? Even he was put-out with me for disappearing for so long, that alone isn’t reason enough to try and stab me in the back. Something else is going on. But what? Think!

Oscar wasn’t going to be able to figure this out without more information. But he couldn’t risk tipping his hand. If there was one thing that Oscar was good at, it was misdirection. After all, Bahr and Cordelia hadn’t even the foggiest idea of his own issues until he’d told them outright. The difficulty was in maintaining his current demeanor. Any sudden spikes one way or another would further complicate the situation.

“So you mentioned that you got some starter equipment,” Oscar began. “Macradon kit you out?” Most of the crafters were members of his old Guild. They would have mentioned running into an associate of his. And if it had been Macradon, it was likely that - if Oscar had been name dropped - the man would have messaged him to confirm.

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“Uh, yeah,” Jason responded.

So he’s lying. Apparently, I’m not being crazy. Which begs the question, why am I still following him into the woods?

Everything was screaming at Oscar to dip, but he needed to know exactly what was going on. Even so, he couldn’t imagine this going well for him. If Jason was setting him up for something, that something might actually have eyes on him. This far away from the safe zone, Oscar had already fallen into their trap. If he bolted, chances were good that they’d catch him anyway.

“Hey Oscar, something’s been bugging me,” Jason began. “I’ve been here so long that I’ve been trying to remember this name for a couple days now. What was the name of that chicken company back in the real world? It’s been on the tip of my tongue. They made those dinosaur nuggets. My little brother loved them.”

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Tyson! He’s trying to tip me off! Oh this is really bad.

Oscar wasn’t so much concerned over his own safety as he was Jason’s. But it was best to play along for now. He was certain an opportunity to get him out would present itself. If it didn’t, Oscar would just have to make one. He chuckled, keeping up the pretext in case there were any ears upon them. Never had he been so glad most of the players in Aincrad were Japanese and thus wouldn’t be able to recall an American company right off.

“I know the company you’re talking about, but I can’t remember the name. I remember those nuggets too. My adoptive father could twist my arm into doing anything if those were on the table. They were really persuasive,” Oscar replied.

“I know the feeling,” Jason began. “I think they could get anyone to do just about anything.”

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“You’re telling me,” Oscar said. “I remember them being scary persuasive.”

Oscar had to be careful here. If it appeared like they were passing coded messages to one another, they might wind up both being caught up in whatever Oscar was “blundering” into. Even so, the message had been received loud and clear. They walked a bit further. The brush had grown thick. It was impeding their progress, slowing them down tremendously. 

“Hey if you have anything with Para Immune on it, you might wanna put it on. Some of these plants like to sting you. They don’t do a ton of damage, but it’s annoying after a while.”

“Gotcha,” Oscar responded.

He opened his menu, removing his ring and putting on his Tactical Outfitting. His armor was obfuscated by vanity gear, so he didn’t appear any different. It would blow their cover otherwise. The flash of his equipment change was hidden by the brush. Even if they’d been trailed this whole time, they wouldn’t be able to see the change.

Ivory Gold Leaf Ring unequipped. [-2 ACC, -2 EVA]
Tactical Outfitting Mk. III equipped [Vamp-Def, Para Immune, Rec, Rec]

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“It’s right up ahead,” Jason said.

Just as he said, the brush cleared to reveal a clearing. Jason hung back as Oscar stepped forward. The moment he stepped into the clearing, he felt something dig into his back.

“You won’t be moving now, asshole!” Jason yelled. “Come get him!”

Oscar fell forward, prone and motionless. Best to play along until he saw what he was dealing with. Four people stepped out from behind some trees. Orange players, all. Everything was coming together now. Tyson had twisted Jason’s arm into luring Oscar into a trap. For whatever reason, however, Jason lost his nerve and tipped Oscar off. Fighting the temptation to hop up and rush them, Oscar just lied there. Unmoving, unblinking. Jason moved in front of Oscar. He had to fight to avoid scowling.

Don’t get in the way damn it. You’re not helping! I can’t rush them down if you’re in between us!

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“Move,” one of the people ordered.

“No way. He’s still my friend. I ain’t movin’ until I get your word you’re done with me,” Jason said.

One of them, a large man by the name of Megin-Fi, stepped forward. He was easily every bit as tall as Oscar. He glowered down at Jason. To his credit, Jason didn’t shrink a bit. They must have seriously harassed him in order to get the man to turn on Oscar. Oscar had to strain his eyes just to make out the man’s face. The moment they fell upon the malicious grin upon his face, Oscar’s eyes went wide.

“That was a poor word choice,” he said. “But yeah, we’re done with you.”

A blade shimmered into existence in the air to Jason’s right. Just inside his blind spot. Oscar wasn’t able to react fast enough before it was thrust through Jason’s neck. The blade’s owner quickly appeared as well, a lithe woman holding the weapon backwards in her hand. She turned around, removing the weapon as she did. In one fluid motion, the sword went from being embedded in Jason’s neck to slicing through it. His avatar shimmered for a moment and then shattered. An unceremonious end.

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Oscar was too stunned to move. The callousness of it all. They used him up and then destroyed him. Jason had a wife. A newborn daughter. A family he would never see again. He felt something shift in his chest, breaking. And, as it broke, it created a spark. That spark ignited every facet of his being that Oscar had fought for so long to keep down. His brutality. His cruelty. All of it created an explosion that instantly swallowed up all of his light. Everything good in him - gone in a flash. Ravenously devoured by the darkness until only his basest urges were left. Jason had been a human being. More than that, he had been a friend. A friend who, up until his last moment, did everything in his power to help Oscar. Oscar would make damn sure that he hadn’t died for nothing. Jason might not never see his family again, but his death would ensure that no one else would suffer the same fate.

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The group numbered five. Oscar recalled Jason’s prior words. How he seemed relieved that Oscar could handle them. At this point, he’d do more than merely “handle” them. He wagered that it wouldn’t take more than a couple hits to kill the lot of them. They supposed their numbers gave them the advantage. Megin-Fi stalked over to him, flanked by the rogue who had just bloodied her blade on Oscar’s friend.

“That was easier than I thought,” the giant said. “Boss’s plan was right on the money. Let’s finish the job before that idiot’s paralysis wears off.”


Megin-Fi drew his weapon, stepping closer to Oscar. The others stalked towards him as well. Just a little closer now. There were too many to kill with his AoE. He’d need to blitz one. An his money was on the ringleader. Oscar watched the man’s footfalls intently. Two more steps and he was done. It was taking all of his willpower not to descend on them full of wrath and fury, but he needed the element of surprise.

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One step. Then another. Oscar’s hand shot out, grabbing Megin-Fi by the ankle. He pulled hard, jerking the man’s leg out from under him. As he fell hard on his back, Oscar was on his feet. He rushed forward, Tesseleth’s Fury manifesting in his hand. He slammed the axe down into the man’s chest, burying the blade deep. An explosion of black fire ripped out through the wound, blasting the rest of the ambushers away and utterly destroying Oscar’s target. The Fury of the Tyrant tore through the clearing, searing away the brush and vaporizing the trees. When the flames faded, Oscar had risen to his full height. The blade of Tesseleth’s Fury was buried in the scorch mark that used to be Megin-Fi. The rest of the group looked on in horror as Oscar collected their names from above their heads.



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Oscar let out a sigh. “Now that I know who you are, this makes things easier,” he said.

One of them started to turn like they were going to flee. Oscar was upon them in the blink of an eye, looping Tesseleth’s Fury around their leg and pulled it out from under them. “DON’T YOU FUCKING MOVE!” His roar echoed through the blasted landscape. His sudden command confused their fight or flight response and the rest of the group stood stark still. Perhaps if they did, Oscar wouldn’t feel compelled to end them as he’d done to their leader.

Fat chance, but he’d let them have their hope for now.

“That idiot had a wife and a newborn daughter. All he wanted was to get out of here so he could see them again. That’s it. I think it’s pretty reasonable. But you guys just had to get at me. But what I don’t get is why you had to kill him.”

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“Really. It’s just bad tactics. All you had to do was let him go. If you’d done that, maybe I wouldn’t kill all of you. I certainly wouldn’t have killed your friend.” Oscar thought for a moment, or at least made an exaggerated showing of it, all the while digging the blade of his axe into Asketil and gradually lowering his health bar in the process. Finally, realization spread over his face and he snapped his fingers. “I’ve got it! Tyson must have fed you some story about how I’m a ‘good man’ and ‘too nice for my own good.’ Those were his go-to lines in the real world. Problem is, Tyson doesn’t know me. In fact, you guys have gotten a look behind the curtain and know me better than him now.” The constant damage dropped Asketil’s health bar to zero. His screams caught in his throat as he shattered into a thousand pieces. Two down.

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“So here’s what’s going to happen,” Oscar said, shouldering his weapon. “I’m going to be more sporting than you guys were to Jason. We’re gonna play a little game. Whoever manages to outrun me and make it back to the safe zone gets to live another day. Now I need you to understand. I’m gonna be personally scratching your names off the Monument one way or another. But a little more time to get your affairs in order doesn’t seem unreasonable, right? It’s more mercy than you gave my friend. It’s way more than you deserve. But I’d feel bad if I didn’t at least give you a chance.”

A lie. He didn’t want to give them a chance. It was their fear he was after. He wanted to own them, mind and soul, before he rid the world of their blight. He would live rent-free in their heads until the moment he saw fit to remove it from their shoulders. Even if they escaped, what they witnessed here would have them looking over their shoulders until Oscar hunted them down like the dogs they were. It wasn’t a mercy. It was only prolonging their torture.

“Well? I’d start running if were you.”

And so they did.

Thread Summary
3 SP [1 bonus, 1 quest, 1 thread]
1,050 Col [400 thread, 650 quest]
<<Ghidorah's Opal>>

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