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Lishuu repeated the names introduced to her, then said that she hoped that the players would see more of each other. "I hope so, too." Astralin added with a smile.

Koga led the players to the place he spoke of, the Small Beginnings. It was a nice little place, and it might have been free of the usual scuffles in most taverns, everyone seemed to be positive here, rather than overly boisterous or irritated. This may have only been the surface, but Astralin decided to be positive about this. Lishuu complimented on the place and its homely atmosphere, and Astralin had to agree.

Sketch would grab a few chairs, for himself, and two others, who turned out to be Lishuu and Astralin. Astralin suppressed a smirk. "Playing the gentleman, I see. I wonder if he's doing this out of common courtesy, which kinda became rare in this game, or if he's trying to bring our attention to him...it would kinda seem like..." Astralin snapped back into focus, she didn't want to remember the pain. She was still friends with Leo, back in the real world, but that didn't change the fact that he was stolen by another girl and he went with it. That was not a thing she wanted to remember.

She returned to her positive, hopeful expression and she took her seat, courtesy of Sketch, who chose the end seating at the table.

@Koga @Lishuu @SketchSkirmish

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Koga smiled, happy to hear that everyone approved of the establishment. "Yeah, it's a pretty nice place," Koga said as they all passed by him and entered, Koga following soon after, but not before someone else slipped in with them.

"I don't think they have single malt, but I'm down to try every drink in the place if you are," Koga said to Sketch, unaware of the new presence that had sneaked it's way in with them.

Koga pulled up a chair alongside the others, and seated himself in it on the other side of Sketch. "So, what was it that you wanted to ask me?" Koga asked, as he waved down one of the servers and waited for them to approach. Once the woman arrived, Koga would lean over a little, and order, "Pint of ale for me, please." The man would look over at the others and wait.

Spoiler

ID: 183576
LD: 13

 

Edited by Koga
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The players she'd passed entered the building, and Dazia did what she could to not make a sound. She kept a watchful gaze on the players, and then a male with long hair looked over in her direction somewhat, and with the actions he was taking, he seemed to be aware of something...and that would only mean one thing if it was true.

She'd been found.

She remained still, but a half-grimace formed on her expression as she began to silently worry about what the man intended to do. For the time being, however, she looked at the various players with him. There was the male player with black hair, who opened the door for the group, there was a blue-haired young woman, and then a blonde with familiar apparel...wait, she knew this one. "...Astralin?" She thought. She realized a bit late that one of her limbs shifted somewhat, causing said limb to bump into the table itself. Hopefully everyone was too busy to notice...

This was not a time or place to be discovered, as far as she knew.

ID# 183587 LD: 9

-Dazia is still in stealth and requires a LD roll of 9 or higher to be found.

Edited by Dazia
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If there were something amiss, Lishuu neither noticed or had any interest in noticing. She was preoccupied with the group of people that she was with. Should someone decide to join them, that might be different.

She smiled to Sketch as he brought chairs out for Astralin and herself. "Thank you!" she told the man. Honestly, she could have done it herself, but kindness seemed so rare now that she looked beyond her bold, modern feminist viewpoint and considered the action to be done without chauvinistic intent. It seemed like Aincrad could use more people who didn't get needlessly offended, and she was quite happy to fill that need. "I'll have some root beer!" she told the wait staffer who came to take their orders, scooting herself closer to the table and looking around to the group that had gathered.

It almost felt like she was back in the real world, seated among friends. Like nothing had changed, even though everything had. She was fond of the illusion, however fleeting it may have been.

Koga wasted no time in bringing Sketch's question back to light, and Lish- fully aware that conversations weren't supposed to be split at the table- took an immediate interest. Even if she had no intention of becoming a Blacksmith, there might be something useful in what Koga or Sketch had to contribute. "Oh yes, yes, please," she bid Sketch, "I've not found a profession for myself yet, I'm quite interested to hear how these things work." She looked between the two men eagerly, then glanced to Astralin. "Have you decided on what profession to take?" she asked the other girl.

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Sketch chuckled at the notion of trying every drink. He remembered a time not too long ago where bar hopping and getting one another absolutely plastered was a good time. Alas, SAO lacked the finesse of intoxication, but the taste of a cold drink would still serve just as refreshing and nostalgic.

"I do believe that's the talk of a potential new drinking buddy," Sketch whimsically replied with a grin.

Breaking back to discussion, Koga flagged a server over to take orders. He chose an ale, something light. The server didn't so much as bat an eye and turned to Lishuu to take her order of a root beer. When she turned to Sketch, his brows furrowed in thought.

"Hmm, do you have any stouts?" The sever shook her head.

"What about a hefeweizen?" Another shake of the head.

"Then a pint of ale it is. Oh, and could you do me a small favor?" Sketch gestured that the server get closer. No, a little closer. Yeah, that's it. He inaudibly whispered something  to her and pointed to the table in the corner that may or may not have a temporary tenant dwelling beneath it. With a nod, the server stood upright and turned her attention to Astralin.

Lishuu urged the conversation on with the subject of professions. It wasn't quite the topic the brunette had in mind, but relevant enough. Why not try some small talk first? Sketch redirected his attention to Koga despite the lingering shadow under the table to which he monitored from the corners of his vision.

"So, how long have you been smithing?" Sketch tilted his chair back forward and propped his elbows on the table, arms folded atop one another. "Must be pretty lucrative in a place like Aincrad."

@Koga@Lishuu@Astralin@Dazia

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WAITERRRRR.jpg

The small tavern hadn't had much in terms of service the entire time she had been there. To her delight, a medium-sized group of players found their way in and took a drink. Of course, she was in the back preparation room and wasn't aware until the owner of the tavern called back, "Blue? We got guests!" 

Filled with glee, the pink-haired player called back, "Okay!~" She took a peek out of the preparation room to see exactly how many guests she needed to support. An interesting group of players sure enough. 'Varying opinions should help my food taste even better! Maybe some of them will even want to be my friend!' Her thoughts were almost squealed through her facial expressions. 

She grabbed one of the larger sample platters she had made earlier in the day and composed herself before moving out of the prep room. Avoiding the walking paths of the NPC waitresses she walked up to the table of the few players. 

"Hi!~ My name is Blueberry, but you can just call me 'Blue' or 'Berry' if you want instead! I'm trying to learn how to make the best sweets Aincrad has to offer and I was hoping you guys could sample some?"

She set the large platter of Blueberry Cake down onto the players' table and flashed a smile. Her eyes noticed the dark-haired player's half opaque form as she quietly stood apart from the group. 'Who is she? Is she with this group? If so, why is she hiding?

"You can all try a piece! Even you hiding in the shadows!~ Everyone can try if they want!" Her eyes fell on the hidden player. She wouldn't allow anyone feel left out. She would be a friend to all, even if they were shy. 

 

Passive detection: 10>9(Dazia's Stealth Rating). Dazia spotted!

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He wobbled into the bar just after finishing a quest, visibly grumpy. It would be one thing if the swill in this god-forsaken place actually gave him a buzz, but all he ever got out of the deal was the flavor. He was already let down and he hadn't even sat down yet. With a scowl, he pulled a stool out from under the bar and took a seat, lifting a finger to sign the to barkeep that he wanted a mug. When the drink came, he hammered it back like a thirsty man slogging water. His crimson gaze found the man, startled by the vehemence with which he slammed the alcohol and tapped on the counter. Another drink came ready within several seconds. "Ought to pace yourself," the man warned.

Corvo eyed him. "I am pacing myself," he retorted venomously. The man put his hands up to signal that he meant no harm, and Corvo turned his attention back to the drink. Doesn't even taste decent, he glowered in silence, back still turned to the group of Players that gathered seemingly to celebrate something. 

After a moment, the red haired Player gleaned something about what they were talking about. Friendship. Working together, trusting each other- all the bullshit that made him want to scream. Friends? In this place? He didn't even have the ones who he thought would be there until the end. They were in the world, evidently. They hadn't reached out. Only Mari's word gave him any certainty about that fact, and he did have a reason to believe that the pink haired... no, orange now, wasn't it? Anyway, he didn't think she had any cause to lie to him about that. All the knowledge she had about Alkor couldn't have just been a coincidence.

But if the Captain was here... then he'd abandoned the Brotherhood. He'd abandoned Corvo. 

"Fuck'im anyway," Corvo slurred, polishing off his second drink within a minute. When the next came, he let out a growl. With a click of his tongue, he turned to glare at the group, which only got louder as the other newcomer offered everyone samples of her baking. He stared hard at each member of the group in turn. Newbie... newbie... newbie... a couple of them looked out of place, but most of them looked like the starry-eyed type, the ones who would talk so carefree about friendship and magic like they didn't have a care in the world. He'd have done them the service of a blade to the throat already if the System didn't prevent such actions inside the city.

Nah. On second thought, they weren't worth the trouble, or the effort. When the guy who called himself Sketch mentioned different types of booze and weapons, it occurred to Corvo that he might just have written them off too quickly. Maybe listening to them talk might actually turn out useful. "You want another?" the man behind the counter questioned. Corvo glanced back at him.

"Keep 'em coming," he replied icily. The man rolled his eyes as he turned back to the tap and poured another round.

Corvo 

Level 5 100/100 HP 10/10 Energy | 2DMG

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Koga couldn't help but find amusement in the fact that Lish had ordered 'root beer'. Even funnier that the server didn't even bat and eye and just accepted the order. It made Koga wonder if there was something resembling a kid's menu or something through Aincrad, since he knew for a fact children were in the game. It made sense at least.

Everyone else began to make their orders as well, and then Sketch whispered something to the server. What, Koga didn't quite know, but when the man made a small gesture, Koga did look in the direction the man had indicated, and spotted a dark haired woman, clad in all black, hiding in the corner of the tavern. How odd. Koga made a mental note to keep an eye on her, if only for the sake of ensuring nothing bad befell his party, and carried on with the conversation.

"I've been smithing...I don't know, I think a year now? I am considered a High Mentor now, by the game's ranking system, at least. That much I can tell you for sure though." Not that that really meant much for Koga. His luck was so bad when it came to the crafting system, he may as well have been Rank 1. Or maybe he was just a shit smith. "I dunno about lucrative though, if I'm going to be honest."

Koga summoned a dagger from his inventory as an example for those at the table. It was an impressive looking weapon, with subtly curved blade, and a mahogany hilt and an intricate engraving on it's blade.

"Take something like this, right?" Koga began to explain. "Tier One, Perfect. It's a good weapon for any Tier One player. Doesn't hold up against any weapons with Unique enchants, of course, but it's good." Koga flipped the weapon into the air and caught it by the tip. "I can sell this for whatever the fuck the going rate is these days. Thing is the amount of materials it costs me to make something like this is more than what I could sell it for. Add onto that the fact that you could get this exact item from a quest, why would a player even bother buying it begin with? Why not just grab two of your buddies and go kill the field boss and get this item yourself? Low risk, high reward." Koga went to flip the weapon into the air again, but accidently put too much force into the gesture. The blade slipped from Koga's hand and flew high into the air, arcing across the and burying itself into the counter top, right next to wear a disgruntled looking player was sitting.

Koga winced and sucked air in through his teeth, glad that it had just barely missed the player. "Sorry!" Koga called over to the man, "Uh, you can keep that!"

Koga turned back to the table, "So yeah, at this point I might as well just give the shit away. It's a good way to help out your friends though, I'll admit."

Just as Koga finished speaking, a cute, bubbly, pink haired woman approached them. 'Oh god, I hope she didn't just see that...' the smith thought to himself as she declared her desire for everyone to try her deserts.

The woman placed a blueberry cake onto the table with a smile. At first the dessert put Koga off. Not necessarily because of the blue coloration, which also put him off, but that was psychology, but also because it was cake. Koga just wasn't the biggest fan of cake. But...could he really deny the woman at least a taste?

Shrugging, the man grabbed a fork and piece of the sliced cake, putting it onto his own small dessert platter, before leaning forward and taking a bite. Much to Koga's surprise, he actually liked it. "Hey, that's actually pretty good!" he informed the baker, looking up at her after he'd swallowed.

Then the spark of recognition went off in Koga's brain. "Oh, wait, you're a perfect example!" Koga said, perhaps a little too excitedly. "This girl," Koga said, pointing up at the pink-haired woman, "It took me three freaking days to make her one fucking weapon." Koga turned to the server again, "I'm so sorry about that..."

Searching for Dazia
ID: 183775, 11 > 9
Dazia found

Giving Tier One Perfect Dagger <<Dagger of the Sands>> [Damage // Damage // Bleed] to @Corvo

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The players began placing their orders when the server arrived. Lishuu was able to order a root beer without getting declined, so it looks like they carried this after all. When the server came over to Astralin, she was ready to place her order. "I'll have a root beer as well." With that, the server was ready to attend to another matter.

Lishuu asked Astralin what profession she was seeking, and her eyes lit up. "I pursue a lot of things, and Alchemy is one of them." She said as she pulled out one of her two Alchemical research books. "This is just the smaller one, I'm saving the larger one for when I get myself an alchemy lab or shop. In here I've got notes on several ingredients that can be used for alchemy, but it's not too detailed, for the sake of saving space." She explained. "Of course, that's not all I research..."

Astralin would put away her Alchemical research notes and pull out her Skillbook. If any of the players were to pay any attention to the book's cover, they would see plenty of mystifying symbols, as well as star and galaxy inspired design patterns on it. "I keep my research on different ways to activate skills, as well as my research on vanity effects on equipment, in this. I think it's all coming along so far." She explained.

An adorable pink haired girl approached the players, introduced herself and even offered two potential nicknames. She then explained that she was aiming to make the best sweets in all of Aincrad, then offered some blueberry cake to the players, and flashed a bright smile after placing down the platter. Astralin was willing to try some, and it was...incredible! "Wow...this is the best blueberry cake I've ever tried! That's some talent you've got there!" Astralin complimented to the girl.

The girl proceeded to offer the cake to all in the tavern, including- wait, who was hiding in the shadows? Astralin looked over to where several eyes had turned to the direction of. There seemed to be a figure holed up under the table, but the area was too dark for Astralin to recognize the individual. "You can come on out, you're in a safe zone, what's the reason for hiding?" She asked in the figure's direction. Koga would draw attention back to Blueberry as he was speaking of his profession and how he was trying so hard to make her a weapon.

@Lishuu @Blueberry @Dazia @Koga @SketchSkirmish

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This tavern went from calm and quiet to noisy real quick, and even then, Dazia's slip up wasn't drowned out by the conversations.

Dazia kept her eyes on the players, unsure of what might happen. The one who first saw her whispered something to the server at his table, pointing over in Dazia's direction. That couldn't be good. The other male among those players then managed to see Dazia, looking over where the first had pointed. Soon Astralin pulled a book out of her inventory as she spoke, then she put that one away and pulled out another, and it was an unusual one, what was it? A pink haired player gleefully approached those players and offered them some sweets, but then...

"You can all try a piece! Even you hiding in the shadows!~ Everyone can try if they want!"

Dazia's expression was filled with shock, then it became a scowl. "F***, that naive little sh*t just exposed me to the whole damn tavern!" She thought.

No use hiding anymore, but did she have anything that could conceal her face while also hiding her identity? She hastily checked her inventory, but no, surely anyone who had heard those rumors spread by Princess would recognize her in the only ones she had, the cowls which were part of her two sets of light armor. Astralin had seen Dazia's face, and would be sure to recognize her...

She slowly left her hiding spot and got up. "There, happy?" She said to the players in an irritated tone.

@SketchSkirmish @Blueberry @Koga @Astralin @Lishuu

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From the back of the tavern came a bubbly girl with pink hair and a plate of baked goods. She reached over him to place the sweets on the table and began to introduce herself. He couldn't help but turn a sideways eye at her, then glance down at the blueberry cake she felt so proud to share.

"I'm good," Sketch commented, pulling his elbows off the table and sitting back away from the cake. "Not much of a cake guy. Now, if we were talking pie or a tart..."

She then ousted the little one hiding in the corner. Sketch shook his head.

'So much for subtlety.'

The server came around the corner and set the drinks on the table. She then walked to the girl who now emerged from the corner table and held out the tray to her. On it, a tall glass of root beer glistened with condensation and floating at the top, a scoop of ice cream. Sketch turned toward the recipient and gestured with a two finger, casual salute.

Koga spoke more about his profession and in the process, nearly sunk a dagger into a nearby patron. Sketch rubbed at the bridge of his nose then leaned back and eyeballed the countertop. Only able to see the gent's back and the dagger now embedded into the bartop, he figured two responses: confusion or... anger. Given the man's posture, he bet for the latter. Sketch pulled his head back into the group and turned toward Koga.

"You're all about making friends today, huh?" Sketch joked. "Sounds like you don't quite enjoy the work. Frankly, it sounds like a pain. But... it must be nice to make whatever gear you want within reason."

Lishuu and Astralin continued on their conversation involving alchemy. Interesting idea of medicine and potion making. Sketch rubbed at his chin as he pondered what profession might suit him best. Blacksmithing sounded miserable. Alchemy sounded, well, messy. Per the Player's Handbook, Artificer caught his eye. He did enjoy tinkering and breaking things down just to put them back together again. Some things from his life prior might actually translate over to here well.

"So, you mentioned costs. About how much was that knife trick you just pulled off? Doesn't seem like that one piece had much value." The brunette unfolded an arm from his chest and brought the pint of ale to his lips. He took a few swigs expecting the cool, refreshing taste of a beer in summer. Instead, he was met with the flavor watered down tea with bubbles. Like some kind of organic kombucha. His face soured and he pulled the glass away to stare at it with disgust. Setting it down, he turned to the server standing by Dazia.

"On second thought, I'll take what the ladies are having."

@Koga@Dazia@Lishuu@Astralin@Corvo@Blueberry

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It was a very strong conversation from the beginning, in her opinion; though it was possible the others didn't feel the same. Sketch seemed pretty interested in booze, but he did circle back to the Blacksmithing question that sparked things. When Koga responded, he pulled a weapon and showed it off. He described it as perfect, then went on to explain how the game separated items into different tiers and varying levels of success that dictated their usefulness. It was a strange, even categorical system that went leaps and bounds beyond her understanding; but it seemed simple enough in theory that if she had to figure things out for herself, she might just barely be able to scratch by. Admittedly, she wasn't the type of person who thought in numbers and figures. She liked to think about the relationships between things in a completely different way. 

"Ha.... okay," she muttered, attempting to latch on to any part of the conversation that did make sense. She couldn't join in as things were going right now. When Astralin spoke up, she did so in a way that Lish could definitely relate to. "Right?" the blue haired girl thrust a finger up as if to agree with the other girl's sentiment. "I took a seminar my last semester about note taking and brevity, and how it can save time and optimize what you get out of a lecture. Super interesting stuff!" Lish hesitated for a moment as she related that material back to the conversation at hand. "I imagine it might be difficult for someone else to read, but you know exactly what you're trying to say and it helps you when you're trying to do your crafting?" the girl asked thoughtfully.

When the girl who'd offered them sweets came around, Lish accepted one with a big smile on her face. "Oh, thank you!" she exclaimed as she took a bite out and sampled the flavor, since that was likely what the woman was going for anyway. "They're quite good," she told Blue, "I take it you've had no small amount of practice?"

She tried her best not to react when the strange woman had her outburst. Granted, she was startled by it, but the others had brought her attention to the woman in a way that abated any real surprise. Instead, she attempted to keep the peace by addressing everyone. "The cookies are quite good, right?" When her root beer came, she washed down the confection with the sweet, yet somehow subtly bitter flavor of the drink. With a languid smile on her face, she placed the mug back down on the table. 

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The blade that lodged in the table in front of him immediately triggered Corvo.

As if the day wasn't bad enough, he now had to worry about someone tossing a weapon at him. Ineffectual though it would have been in the safe zone, it was another experience to add to his list of reasons why today was awful. He gripped the hilt of the blade and ripped it free, brandishing it menacingly as he turned to vent his frustrations at the first person he saw. Then, Koga apologized and told him that he could have it. With a priceless expression on his face, the Red-Haired youth glanced back at the weapon and scrutinized it with all the skill of a blade enthusiast.

It appeared to be the top quality of weapon that someone his level could use. From what he knew about the game, getting this thing was like the best possible thing that could happen. Suddenly, he couldn't be quite as mad about it flying into his face and almost cutting a chunk out of his flesh. He was conflicted. "Hell of a way to give something to someone," he settled on that, because it was about as argumentative as he could manage without sounding entirely ungrateful. "You must enjoy throwing random weapons at people." He noted the rest of the group as he took his mug from the counter and swigged off it. The conversation overall sounded pretty boring as he got closer, so he didn't engage about cookies or studying, but the Blacksmithing stuff? Now, that might be something worth hearing.

Corvo spun a chair around near where Sketch and Koga were sitting and reclined with his arms folded on the back of it, legs straddled on either side. He leaned forward, bringing the front legs off the ground so he could get a bit closer to the two men. It almost seemed like a clandestine meeting, and they were discussing some kind of great secret. 

"I'll take what he's having," Corvo crooned, pointing with the tip of his new knife toward the other new Player, Sketch. "I wanna hear more about Blacksmithing."

Corvo equips <Dagger of the Sands>

Updated Stats: 100/100 HP 20/20 EN 4DMG 1 BLD

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Spoiler

Level: 1

HP: 20/20

EN: 2/2

»WILD DANCE - ((RANK 1/5))
Primal Burst - 1x1 - AoE - (2 Energy) - A forward charge which sweeps out both arms outwards, much like a swimming breaststroke.
Organ Pierce - 1x2 - Stun - (5 Energy) - A step which lowers the body height, then delivers a powerful clawed gut punch.
<<INVALID>>

Char booted the front door in with no ceremony whatsoever. The firey red locks of her hair looked all disheveled. Her contrasting aqueous eyes fell upon an unusual sight: people. She ran her hand through her hair and stopped at a frizzled knot halfway through which caused her teeth to grit.

Aye, Clarissa!” She shouted over the incessant dribble. “You know what I want. Nailbiter Special. No rocks double it up!”

Going to need it after today,” she muttered under her breath as she meandered anywhere but where the merry band of idiots gathered. She specifically eyed the girl in the dark clothing, isolated from the rest in the corner. What had become of her usual hovel? This place was great without the randoms ruining her isolation from the rest of Aincrad.

Char sloughed into the usual booth, arms wide along the headrest and her brass knuckles catching the glint of light from the alley facing window. She diverted her attention elsewhere while she waited for the sweet taste of bitter memories from the NPC server. 

 

Edited by Charlotte
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Astralin began pulling out various books. For alchemy, and the other one he'd seen when he'd helped her on the quest for the Hoya. "Oh, is that what that was for?" Koga asked, "I'd been wondering about that before. Haven't seen anything like it in the game before." He didn't really know how useful it was, since the sword art system kind of did most of the work for them anyways, but he supposed they all had their things, and this just happened to be hers.

The woman in the corner stood, and appeared to be very irritated as she did so. But not nearly as irritated as the man who Koga had almost accidently skewered. To be fair, Koga would've been fairly irritated if someone nearly buried a dagger in his head too, but this man seemed like he wanted to just burn down every building in the town for the sake of the act itself. Which made his struggle to not be a total ass and actually accept the dagger he'd just received to be strangely amusing and unsettling at the same time.

And then the guy pulled up a chair and joined the small group of players. Since he seemed so interested in Koga's craft he returned his focus to that, ignoring the calls from the redhead who had just walked in. "Like I said, that blade was from a quest. One on Floor Five, I think?" NIGHT would know better than he. She could actually remember things, he didn't even know what day it was half the time. "But here, think of it this way. A Tier One Material costs 350 Col, right? There's a one in twelve chance that I actually craft something of equal quality. But let's pretend that I manage to do it with only six materials instead, that's what? A bit more than two thousand Col? The best I can charge for that is probably six or seven hundred, and that's pushing it a little." Koga shrugged and picked up his mug that the server had placed in front of him and took a sip. Yup...tasted like root beer still. "I guess sometimes you'll get lucky, but it you don't nail it in one or two tries, you're just losing money."

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An exchange of the top of a countertop, to the barkeeper in his silence. The man doesn't say much, it seems that they had already discussed prior. A little tidbit of info regarding a quest on a much higher floor. His perceptions were absurd, already well beyond capable of overhearing the discussion not happening in a subtly. A pause, and an interest. The group that littered the table were ambitious, but just getting started. A sentiment he could all but appreciate. A few nonchalant steps, a slight sway in crimson that adorned his shoulders. Behind the first on the ring, placing a soft hand gently to the top of a black haired female's head (@Dazia) he adjusts his glasses with his other.

"Keep trying, you never know when it might just pay off." He comments to the most recent statement by Koga. His hand releases his lenses, moving to his right hip. HIs morning's yield that he'd have to make up in time. But he found that was all too good an opportunity to pass up. They might need them more than he did. "Divide them among yourselves." He slides his hand off the back of the girls head, as he drops a bag fat to the brim with every resource imaginable, and as he exits he begins to unfold that small slip of paper.

Left to the group:
Lishnu: 28 T1 Mats
Koga: 28 T1 Mats
Sketch: 28 T1 Mats
Astralin: 28 T1 Mats
Dazia: 28 T1 Mats
Blueberry: 28 T1 Mats
Corvo: 28 T1 Mats

Raidou | HP:1790/1790 | EN:176/176 | DMG:19 | MIT:121 | EVA:4 | ACC:4 | BH:89

Spoiler

Raidou, The Red Wanderer
Level: 88
HP: 1790/1790
EN: 176/176

Stats:
Damage: 19
Mitigation: 121
Evasion: 4
Accuracy: 4
BH:89

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: Auric Sol - Corona [T3/Perfect/2HSS]: Damage 3
Armor: Red Wanderer's Robe [T1/Perfect/L.A] +3 Evasion
Misc: Tactician's Gaze - Ogma [T1/Perfect/Trinket]: +3 Accuracy

Skills:
Gatherer [Obtained]
Two Handed Straight Sword [Rank 5]
Extended Mod Limit R3 [Obtained]
Parry [Obtained]
Howl [Obtained]
Battle Healing [Rank 5]
Fighting Spirit [Obtained]
Light Armor [Rank 5]
Searching [Rank 5]
Charge [Rank 5]
Extended Weight Limit [Obtained]

Extra Skills:
Concentration
Familiar Mastery: Protector
Survival

Active Mods:
Finesse Rank 3
Athletics
Sprint and Acrobatics
Tracking
Ferocity
Bull Rush
Justified Riposte
Precision

Inactive Mods:
Vengeful Riposte
Focused Howl
Emergency Recovery
Detect
Reveal
Stamina

Battle Ready Inventory:
Teleport Crystal*1
Pillar Fragment [Unique/Glowstone]
Eternal Watch - Tenacity [T3/Perfect/Trinket]: Recovery 2, Accuracy 1
Mass Heal Crystal*5
Incarceration [T1/Perfect/Debuff Song] Double DoT*2
Hypnosis 2 [T1/Rare/Debuff Song/Instant] -2 Accuracy*3
Visions of the End - Epiphany [T1/Perfect/Trinket] Accuracy 1, Prosperity 2
Ebon Star - Vanguard Revenant [T2/Perfect/2HSS]: V.O 2, Taunt

Housing Buffs:
Well Rested: -1 energy cost for the first three expenditures of each combat
Squeaky Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 25% (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
Delicious: Turn 3 identical food items (same quality, tier, & enhancements) into a Feast. A Feast contains 6 portions of the food items sacrificed.
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
Advanced Training: +2 SP to a thread. Limit one use per month [0/1]
Multipurpose: Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll
Decor []: This buff affects the player and their choice of up to two party members.

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:
Tanos Statue: +15 Mitigation for a thread.

 

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The first to try a bite was a dark-haired boy who seemed to enjoy it. She flashed him a bright smile. It was good to hear compliments, however it was far more beneficial to receive constructive criticism. That was one thing that Gaius hadn't lacked. He was not one to mince words.

 "Oh, wait, you're a perfect example!"

"Eh?" 

Suddenly she had become the focus of the conversation, something she hadn't intended for. A puzzled look on her face, she would listen to what the boy would have to say about her. As he finished, she offered him up an apologetic smile. "I don't remember any of that or you." It was true. She put enough effort into having fun that time almost flew by for her and little details held no place in her mind. Some might have called this trait of hers inattentive but she was certain it was poor short-term memory. "And I haven't used it once!" She closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue in a teasing gesture. Despite her actual age, she kept to her childhood roots in a way some would believe her to be younger. She simply just wanted to have fun and enjoy good food. 

A second player enjoyed her cake, and a third refused to eat it. 

The fourth asked her a question, a blue-haired female. "I take it you've had no small amount of practice?Blue simply shook her head in response to her question. "I've only been making things for a bit now. I'm just practiced when it comes to eating them. The person who gave me tips on how to craft told me that was important." She giggled at the thought of the man. "His theory is you learn a dish by tasting it. I think he eats his ingredients individually a lot too though." 

She began to eye her own cake, it definitely looked good and there were still many slices left on the platter. She had purposely cut them into small pieces so everyone could have a slice. However, it wouldn't make do if the chef ate in front of their customers. 

Suddenly, a bag was dropped onto the table, next to the cake. Several cooking ingredients were found inside. Her eyes traced to where the owner of these materials stood. A red-coated man adorning a pair of glasses. He was one of the few who hadn't received a taste of her dish. He seemed to be of the perceptive sort. His appearance matched those that some of her high school friends had made fun of. Of course, behind their backs she would befriend them. She was unbiased in every regard. Her eyes widened as he began to make his way towards the exit.

She grabbed a slice of the cake, quickly carrying it over to him. "Thank you for the ingredients! Try this and tell me what you think of it!" She held out the plate to him with a smile. "Pretty soon I'll have a shop to sell them, but for now samples are all I can do." 

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Astralin received her drink, and took a sip. She was actually surprised when she remembered how much she missed some of the simple things from the real world, and she was surprised how this game was able to properly replicate this. It actually reminded her of some good times she had with her real world friends. Sure, most of these were during her teenage years, but she did have some of these good times in the beginning of her adulthood.

Lishuu commented on the fact that Astralin wrote notes on her research in the books she had. She then asked if it helped her in crafting. "Well, that's the idea. It's not only immersive, but it helps me remember various things about alchemy ingredients, what effects they might have, what vanity effects they have, and even where to find them. And to think this used to be just a blank book that players could purchase and write in, the possibilities are endless!" She pulled out her Skillbook, and she would continue. "Same goes for this one, despite that it's more skill-focused. But I got a little help from a local artisan as for the cover's design. Once it was just a blank book, now it's my Spellbook!" She added, even though the book was technically a "Skillbook". Well, that wouldn't stop her from convincing herself, anyway. Koga remarked about Astralin's Skillbook. "Yup. The cover's design change may be thanks to an artisan, but a little writing is all it takes to turn a blank book into any other kind." Astralin noted with a smile on her face.

@Lishuu @Koga

 

The player who was hiding got up, due to the fact that they had been exposed, and it was Dazia. She didn't seem to be in a good mood.

"Oh, hey Dazia! It's been some time since I last saw you." She said to her acquaintance. She didn't want to upset her, as she already seemed a bit irritated. "You've got noting to worry about, you're in a safe place. Care to join us? We're only socializing, but I won't force you if it's not your cup of tea." She reassured. Another player moved his chair over to the small group's table, and joined the conversation on blacksmithing that Koga and Sketch were having.

@Dazia @Corvo @SketchSkirmish

 

A redheaded player burst in, with words and a demeanor that suggested she was a regular around this joint. Well, there always was "that regular" in bars, wasn't there?

@Charlotte

 

One of the players who was already in the tavern before the group arrived decided to be generous, donating materials to the players. "Whoa...thanks!" 

Hopefully any ingredients she knew nothing about that were among what she took could be documented, though she may have to visit an informant for the intel she'd need.

-Accepted the 28 T1 materials from @Raidou

 

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Not long after Dazia was forced to come out of hiding, the server came over to her, bringing her a root beer float. The man who initially first spotted her gave a casual salute. Guess that was one good thing so far. She hesitated before accepting, but she took what was offered to her, nevertheless.

As anticipated, Astralin addressed Dazia by her username. Hopefully none of these players around heard those rumors... The blonde said that this was a safe environment, that she had nothing to worry about. " 'Safe place' my ass, I got chased all over this damn town by a trio of idiots tipped off by Princess's rumors." She retorted. Krysta was always a problem for Dazia since the two first met, but she'd become far more troublesome by now.

A man who was in the tavern since the players arrived...dared to place his hand on Dazia's head. He gave his thoughts on the ongoing conversation of blacksmithing, then he placed a bag of materials on the table, and slid his hand off of Dazia's head. Dazia grabbed the man's wrist, glaring at him with a hint of the infernal wrath deep within her faintly burning in her eyes. "If you f***ing pat my head again, you'll regret it even if you survive." She whispered to the man, with a bit of a growling tone. With the warning done, she released her grip on his wrist, and the man would proceed to leave, though the pinkette who exposed Dazia approached the man, offering him a slice of the cake she offered the others earlier.

Dazia walked over to the table where the others were, as the bag of materials had also been placed there. "Might as well grab my share, you don't need very many artisan materials, do you?" She said as she collected a fair number of the materials from the bag. She then looked over to the cake that was offered to the players present in the tavern, and, well, it was offered to everyone, even her, so she might as well have a piece of this, too. She sat down near the table the others were at, as it looked a bit full at this point, but she was close enough to their table in case they actually were willing to accept her...without any malignant reason as to why. She knew she could trust Astralin, but she didn't know about the others just yet.

-Accepted the 28 T1 Mats offered by @Raidou

@Astralin @SketchSkirmish @Koga @Lishuu @Koga 

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It seemed that everyone enjoyed Blueberry's cake. Sketch simply couldn't. He wasn't much for cake. Just felt like a mouthful of damp, sweet bread. Either way, the budding baker's beautiful blueberry cake received plenty player praise. The ladies all seemed to pool together as they talked about alchemy, baking, cookies, and skills. Meanwhile, the gent who Koga nearly turned into a human sheath for a dagger decided to take his angry scowl and turn it into interest. It seemed that this fellow took great interest in all things pointy and designed for damage. Sketch couldn't tell if it was his body language in general or the casual pointing of a well crafted blade toward his face that indicated the player's love for messing something up.

Sketch's gaze went from the blade's tip to the newcomer with a raised brow. As it almost seemed deemed by fate, the heightened aura of the room escalated as the door slammed open. A redhead with what seemed to be brass knuckles stormed in and started shouting orders. This "nailbiter" sounded like some kind of alcohol. That, or a drink made with a mix of unpleasant ingredients.

The blacksmith elaborated an answer to his original question. Sketch listened intently. The details of crafting costs, attempts to succeed, and overall profit analysis gave plenty of useful information not fully explained in the Player's Handbook. The brunette nodded.

"I see," Sketch confirmed, hand over his chin. "So far less lucrative in terms of cash. Not to mention, if gear like that is dropped as a quest reward, it's like you have to compete with a saturated market. So even if you took custom orders, the risk of loss is higher than the guarantee of profit. Unfortunate."

Almost on cue to the smith's comment of luck, a massive bag of various objects spilled out across the center of the table. Some of which encroached on the baker's remaining cake. Looked like... a bug leg right next to it?

'What would you make with that?! Poison?' Sketch thought. With pause and a squinted glance to the ceiling he nodded. 'Yeah, probably...'

The deliverer of the boon walked from behind Sketch and with a short comment, exited.

"Who was that?"

Before the others could answer his question, the Blueberry girl scooped up a slice of her crowning achievement and rushed it to the stranger in the doorwary. The blonde addressed the girl in the corner and a familiar sounding name took to the air.

'Dazia... Wait. Didn't that girl with the weird accent have something to say about her?' Sketch paused and made firm, direct eye contact with the girl.

"I've heard of you," Sketch commented with a narrowed look. "Yeah, Dazia was it?"

He watched her scrounge up some baubles and minerals from the bag. Her menacing look to the stranger that dropped off the freebies, the comment about a safe place, hiding under the table. Sketch let the corner of his lips pull back into an amused grin. He shook his head. While his expression lightened up, undertone of his steeled gaze conveyed an entirely different message.

"The name's Sketch, pleasure to meet you. Welcome to the conversation. Must be rough getting chased around by thugs. Can't imagine what that would be like. Shame that the guards aren't what they used to be, letting folks like that run rampant."

'I'd love to get some more information out of you later... Ms. Killer,' he thought, all too familiar with the fact real murderer's couldn't enter a safe zone. Or at least that's what the Player's Handbook stated.

After his loaded comment, he looked back to the bag of goods. Sketch wanted to wait until the others had their pick of the lot. Without a profession, he didn't know what was needed. At this point, he'd talk whatever handouts he could get.

"So," he turned back to Koga and nodded his head toward the bag. "Seeing as how there is some fresh materials on the table, let me jump to the point-- I'm looking for some practical starting equipment. I saved up for this little number, but it was all I could afford with my savings from little odd jobs." Sketch tilted his hips forward a bit so he could snag a finger through the end loop of his karambit. With a tug and a twirl, she snapped it into his closed fist in a reverse grip. The blade's hooked talon swept out a good four or so inches from the meat of his palm.

"I went for something that could do a bit of extra damage and a better chance of landing a hit (+1ACC +1DMG)." Sketch eyed it a bit, tossed a glance to other guy with a knife and then laid it on the table between him and Koga.

"You seem to know quite a bit. Any recommendations for a field rookie?"

As he finished, the server arrived and placed the cold root beer in front of Sketch and Corvo. Then, she wandered over to the redhead with whatever a "nailbiter" was.

@Corvo@Charlotte@Koga@Dazia@Blueberry@Lishuu@Astralin@Raidou

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