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[PP - F05 - PT] Where Is Home When The Heart Is Lost? <<DHA 5: Of Greed and Avarice>>


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k o g a the elder wolf
Spoiler

notes

  • [PT] All addons taken
    • Stamina | Reduces EN of all attacks by 2
    • Ferocity | +2 DMG when using the weapon of your choice
    • Precision | Gain +2 ACC
    • Focus | Decreases minor critical threshold by 1. Also reduces DoT thresholds by 1.
  • [PT] ST Specialist | For the following Sword Arts, +3 to multipliers and +2 to EN cost; ST-I, ST-II, ST-B. No other Shifts may be taken.
  • [PT] Additional Sword Arts
    • [x12] TECH-D (12 EN) | SHATTER | A single-target sword art that applies [Shatter] to an enemy for 3 turns. [Shatter] is a debuff that can stack up to a cap of 3. Each stack of [Shatter] removes -20 MIT from an enemy, down to 0, if it has MIT. 
      • Unlock Condition: Complete <<The Monkey King>>
    • [x8] TECH-F (8 + 2 * targets EN) | AOE STUN | A sword art that strikes multiple targets at once. All struck targets are stunned for one turn.
      • Unlock Condition: Complete <<Breaking the Unbreakable>>

Koga | HP: 660/660 | DMG: 23 | MIT: 30 | ACC: 6 | EVA: 2 | BRN: 56 | BLT: 32/20 | FALN: 8 | B.HEALING: 33/66


equipped

battle-ready inventory

  • None

skills

Spoiler

| COMBAT

  • Mastery: Damage III | Gain 1 * Tier Damage per rank | 15 SP
  • Battle Healing V | Recover 5% (rounded down) of your maximum HP at the start of your turn | 30 SP
    • Emergency Recovery | When non-fatal damage would leave you with 25% or less of your maximum HP, recover 10% of your maximum HP after the attack resolves. Effect cannot occur more than once per thread.  When activated if the player has lower than 10 energy remaining, simply reduce the player's energy to 0. | 6 SP
      • EN Cost: 10
  • Energist | Increase Base Energy by 5 * Tier | 8 SP
  • Howl | Gain +2 Hate against up to 4 targets | 10 SP
    • EN Cost: 2 EN
    • Cooldown: 2 Posts
    • Focused Howl | Gain +4 Hate against a single target | 5 SP
      • EN Cost: 4 EN
      • Cooldown: 4 Posts

| WEAPON

  • Curved Sword I | +1 DMG when equipped with a Curved Sword | 4 SP
  • Katana V | +7 DMG when equipped with a Katana | 30 SP
    • Stamina | Reduces the energy of all Katana attacks by 2 EN | 4 SP
    • Ferocity | +2 DMG when using Katana Sword Arts | 6 SP

| ARMOR

  • Light Armor V | +30 MIT when equipped with Light Armor | 30 SP
    • Meticulous | +1 DMG when equipped with Light Armor | 4 SP
    • Resolve | +1 ACC and +10 * Tier HP when equipped with Light Armor | 6 SP

| EXTRAS

  • Familiar Master: Rending | You and your familiar attack in tandem, applying Rend [7*tier unmitigatable damage] to the target that lasts for two turns. | 10SP
    • Cooldown: 5 Posts
  • Survival | Increases Healing effects received from all sources by 10%. Grants immunity to all damage dealing environmental attacks/effects.

buffs

Spoiler

 

  • Lv. 5 | Gain additional col equivalent to 10% of EXP earned in that thread.
  • Lv. 10 | +3% EXP Gain.
  • <<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).
  • <<Filling>> | Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 T1 slot.
  • <<Item Stash>> | +1 Battle Ready Inventory Slot
  • <<Relaxed>> | Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
  • <<Advanced Training>> | +2 SP to a thread. Limit one use per month. Must be used on a player's first post in a thread. Cooldown begins counting down when used in a post. (Last Use: Feb. 6)
  • <<Multipurpose>> | Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll.

 

 

koga_stats_100x100.jpg.1c8821e4c31c9b40703f4035fd8135e4.jpg

Another mysterious message. Another quiet wait on Floor 5 for perhaps the only friend Koga knew he could rely on, no matter what. He couldn't help but feel a little guilty. It was a little like he was taking advantage of NIGHT's kindness, but, who else could he turn to? He'd repay her, one day. For now though, he stood in the cool shade of the buildings awaiting her arrival, Okami dozing at his feet, succumbed to the heat of this Floor.

At least this time, it wasn't just help that Koga had. Questions too this time. Namely what in the blistering hell that strange storm had been. From what Koga had heard in the towns, it was a phenomena that had spanned all of Aincrad, so he knew he hadn't dreamt it. Nonetheless, it puzzled him. NIGHT was well informed though, maybe she knew something he didn't.

Then of course, there was the matter of all these system changes. Skills, mechanics, quests, almost everything had changed. It was damn near a different game altogether, and it was taking time getting used to. Koga let out an audible sigh as he leaned his head back and stared up into the bright sky. All in due time.

 

@NIGHT

Edited by Koga
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<<DHA:5>>

The system update turned out to be everyone's little set back. Though NIGHT herself had gotten used to working around cooldowns implemented with a little trick from a construct she knew, it turned out other machinations of the engine were working to rebuild it from the bottom up. At least, that's what it seemed like on the surface.

Changes never stopped nobody before, however. It gave her a bit of reprieve to see that a familiar name had appeared in her inbox, the player taking it as her excuse to leave Bistro's delegations for a moment, shuffling up to the fifth floor for one of many meetings. No doubt this was about their dragon hunt, but it was difficult to tell what was wanted of them, given how much of it had changed.

What mattered more was Koga's reluctance to stop progression, despite his set backs.

Kitted out with necessities, the woman fell out of the teleporter's glow with a few steps, catching the man's presence in the middle of the settlement. Warm heat. NIGHT was kept cool by a white cloak, enough to coat her face in shadows. Her figure mustn't have been easily identifiable, this way; she gave Koga a holler before dusting up the roads to his side. 

"It's good to see you again," she chirped, closing in. "I don't doubt you must've noticed the changes, then. How're you adjusting to them?"

8hmll5P.png
| NIGHT
 | Status: [soft, warm and comfortable. fabric softener worked its magic.]

Notes:
 | [PT] | All add-ons taken. AoE Shift locked in.

Spoiler

NIGHT HP: 840/840 | EN: 122/122 | DMG: 24 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | MIT: 38 | LM: 1 | HLY: 8 | PHASE | LD: 5 | BH: 42 | Stealth Rating: 5


 equipment

  • Orgoth's Legacy
    ACC, PHASE, HOLY (8)
  • Weathered White Duster+4
    MIT (18), LM, HB
  • Silver Crescent Necklace
    ACC II, EVA II

 battle-ready inventory

  • - - -
  • - - -
  • - - -

 skills

Spoiler

mod count: 7/7

  • 2HSS | RANK 5/5
    • ferocity, precision, stamina, focus
    • shift: aoe
  • CLOTH ARMOR | RANK 5/5
    • athletics, nimble
  • COMBAT MASTERY: DMG | RANK 3/3
  • SEARCHING | RANK 3+1/5
    • tracking
  • BATTLE HEALING | RANK 3/5
  • EXTENDED MOD LIMIT
  • ENERGIST
  • FAMILIAR: PROFESSION

extra

  1. SURVIVAL
  2. CONCENTRATION
  3. HIDING
    • blindside, vanish, surprise attack-t
  4. [CS] METAMORPHOSES

 consumed buffs

Spoiler

statue

  • KUMATETSU | +1 DMG

consumables

  1. - - -
  2. - - -

 sword arts

Spoiler

en cost matches multiplier unless stated otherwise. shift underlined.

  • ST | x12 -> x15 | x20
  • AOE | x15 -> x18
  • TECH-A | x12 | STUN | 13EN
  • TECH-B | x12 | DELAY
  • TECH-D | x12 | SHATTER
  • TECH-G | x12 | BURN

misc buffs

Spoiler

housing

  • Dimensional Backpack, Item Stash
    | +2 Battle-Ready Inventory Slots.
  • Well Rested
    | -1 EN for the first three expenditures of each combat. 
  • Relaxed
    | +(5 * Tier) HP per out-of-combat post. Full energy restoration occurs after two turns out of combat.
  • Squeaky Clean
    | -25% DoT damage taken from the first DoT applied to this player in a thread.
  • Skylight: Searching
    | +1 Expertise to declared utility skill. Cooldown of 30 days to reassign.
  • Multipurpose
    | +1 LD/Prosperity/Stealth/Detection to one post per thread. Can be applied after a roll.
  • Filling
    | +1 T1 slot to a food consumed by this player in a thread. Can exceed Cook enhancement caps.
  • Col Deposit
    | +5% col from loot-minimum mobs, +10% col from treasure chests.

paragon

  • Lv. 5 | Gain additional col equivalent to 10% of EXP earned in that thread.
  • Lv. 10 | +3% EXP Gain.

gathering

  • Greenhouse
    | +2 G.EXP, +1 CD&LD to gathering attempts.
  • Familiar: Profession
    | +2 G.EXP
  • Demeter's Cornucopia
    | +1 CD to gathering attempts. 

 

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A voice called to him, above the din of the town's goings. The man turned to towards the source of a voice and saw NIGHT beneath an unfamiliar white cloak. He waved towards the woman and gave her smile. "Hey there," he greeted her, "good to see you too, glad you could make it." The swordsman seemed to be in better spirits than he had been in a long time. No longer downcast, and less eager to take his mind off other problems. Still, something about his visage indicated he wasn't entirely returned to his former self. Perhaps it was a smile that didn't seem quite able to reach his eyes, or a spirited fire that had been reduced to embers. Still, his former warmth had returned, and that was progress.

"Yeah, about those changes...uh, you don't happen to know what in high heaven fucking happened, do you?" Koga replied. "One minute I was drowning in...whatever the fuck that storm was, and the next I woke up in my bed, and everything changed. Any idea what's going on with that?" NIGHT tended to be better informed than Koga anyways.

@NIGHT

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"That seems to be the story with everyone," the player relayed, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. She'd almost winced at the thought of frost on her skin once more. Although, even after hearing Bistro's retelling of the events outside of the boss room, NIGHT still found it difficult to figure how both her experience and Koga's (really, anyone else's) seemed to match up. "Black tides took everything. And we wake up in our beds the next day. Cardinal pushes an update like nothing happens."

NIGHT gestures to the newly formed blade in her hand with a shrug and a raise of her hand, tendrils of light mixing to forge an edge of pure white, glowing. Difficult to make eye contact with, given the already bright rays of the sun on their floor. "And now I have this." A reply coated in something venomous, though the player hadn't meant for that disdain to show through. Her sights bounced back to Koga's figure. "Quests, monsters; as far as I'm aware, everything has changed. For better or worse. You having strange dreams recently, either?" The little icon at the side of her status bar came into her focus as she brought it up.

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"Maybe something got corrupted server-side?" Koga suggested, although he knew that was unlikely, "Cardinal went ahead and hit the reset button, and pushed out an update at the same time?" It didn't quite make sense, however, thinking about it in that manner. It might've explained how all the players woke up, but it still left the update and the event as merely coincidental. And it also raised the question of why would the assumed corruption have manifested itself in the manner that it did. Mysteries that would perhaps never be answered.

The Rogue had to squint as NIGHT drew her new weapon, the light threatening to sear his retinas. Shading his eyes from the blinding light, he did his best to look at NIGHT, only then drawing irony between her name and her weapon. Maybe that was the source of the disdain in her voice. Or it was something else, and Koga would never know. He'd learned she wasn't quite as willing as hew as to spill her secrets and troubles as he was. But, she'd also learned he was one to pry when he saw reason.

At the mention of dreams, however, it was Koga's turn to have a little bit of disdain in his voice. "It's strange enough that I'm having dreams at all," he answered, recalling how the only dreams he'd had for years since even before the game were either dreams of foreboding, or the kind which sought only to torment him. The most recent however, "I'm guessing you had that weird dream about that palace and stuff too then? Plus the other system changes?"

@NIGHT

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"The Palace of Three Stars," she mouthed, as though it was information she'd grown up with, learned its name by heart. Information implemented by Cardinal, sown into the memory banks of the players; dreams were a malleable subject to begin with, after all. It wasn't too difficult to weave them into something the system wanted, if it so chose. NIGHT nodded at his query. "Orion's Blessing must've done it. At least, that's my guess for how operations have been running."

The player sent her blade away. "I doubt things would be corrupted so easily with this game." Despite their perilous circumstances, above all else, she'd learned to root an inch of faith in the system and its integrity. "Though I can imagine both a reset and an update at the same time. Keeping things fresh for the player base, as though we need to be entertained."

Her image was sour mentioning it, but a shake of her head later, and NIGHT would return to business. "So, dragons. What's on the agenda this turn?"

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Koga nodded alongside NIGHT. Whatever it was that Cardinal had done...in the end, he supposed it was to the players' benefit. Though what reasoning behind it, he didn't know. Like NIGHT had said...it wasn't exactly like they needed to be entertained further. A morbid thought leapt to mind at that phrase. How many more player's would die due to being thrust into an unfamiliar system? Maybe this was all for Cardinal's entertainment instead. Koga didn't say as much.

"Right, dragons," Koga nodded, addressing the manner at hand at NIGHT's behest. "Well, from what little I've gathered, we're not just taking the axe to some hatchlings and committing infanticide any more," Koga said, though it was unclear whether or not he was pleased with such a change or not. "Instead, we gotta find mommy or daddy's nest, and kill them instead." Koga crossed his arms and sighed. "Not too different, I suppose. Find a dragon nest, kill whatever we find, grab the gem and get out. Same shit, different day."

The man looked out past the settlements walls towards the gusting winds and torrents of sand that buffeted the players leaving and entering the safety of the town. "I think it might be a good idea to stock up on supplies though," he said, turning back towards NIGHT. "I know we both got the Survival skill, but, tsk, I'd rather play it safe. Don't know what kinda curveballs Cardinal is gonna throw at us this time."

@NIGHT

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Her brow went up at his explanation. "As amazing as it is to not have to slay babies anymore, isn't that worse? Their parents?"

In fact, why did Cardinal have to attach the element of guilt into their dragon-slaying machinations, either? And the thought of leaving multiple babies stranded and alone-- this was in spite of the fact that they were quest creatures. Did the system understand how cruel the thought of such a setup was? The player could only find herself shaking her head at their predicament.

NIGHT took to Koga's suggestion of preparation well; certainly, they would've done so in the past with consumables, and the players were free to continue doing so now. But those aside, the woman was certain her friend was in need of them more than she was. And the uncertainty...

"Then we should head to the markets," NIGHT mentioned, her gaze falling upon the busy streets of Fortazela. Her hand absentmindedly gripped the white robe she was equipped with. "Anything you might be interested in purchasing? If you didn't have a cloak from before, maybe it's a good idea."

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"They're NPCs," Koga reminded NIGHT at her expression of guilt, "bits of code, ones and zeros." Errant thoughts suddenly reminded him of DAY, and Koga realized that perhaps that wasn't the right answer, and suddenly he too felt a measure of guilt. "They're not the same as DAY," he said, voice slightly lower. "They'll respawn..." How had he forgotten about the AI? The discovery itself had given Koga reason enough to toss and turn in bed for nights prior. How had he forgotten so easily?

Koga looked towards the direction NIGHT was looking and nodded at her suggestion. "Yeah. I could use a cloak. We should probably get some food and water too," the man agreed before heading in the direction of the stalls. The wares presented were varied. Weapons, armor, trinkets, food and a myriad other things might one expect were strewn openly across the weathered wood stalls. One stall in particular seemed to cater to those who were intending to brave the endless sands, however. Leather water sacks hung from the posts on one end, and cloaks hung from the other, with some additions laid out across the stall's top. In wicker baskets in front of the stall, strange yellow fruit piled to the brim.

Koga approached the stall and lifted one of the canteens examining it before glancing back towards NIGHT, "Canteens look good. What do you think of the fruit?"

The NPC manning the stall cut in, "Only the finest and freshest, sera!" Koga shot the man an annoyed look, clearly not in the mood to endure the cut and paste lines at the moment.

@NIGHT

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She hadn't even thought about considering them as game pieces, Cardinal's pawns until Koga had mentioned it. Years of living in Aincrad had practically rewritten her reality in the present, and NIGHT was liable to imagining most things as living creatures, sentient, though they might've been otherwise.

The kicker about her least favourite person only lodged a stone in her throat. Then her gaze fell to the sand, expression hardening.

--Would she respawn, too?

When Koga spoke again, so too did she turn to look at the markets. The player followed along, shadow trailing wolf, their gaze shifting between the different stock on display. As soon as her companion stopped at a stall, NIGHT took a place by his side, examining its wear than wares.

She wouldn't need canteens; from her past experience, she could do without. Survival's aid. Instead, her attention was set on the fruit when Koga brought it up. Well, she had drank from spring water in the wild before...

NIGHT picked one up, feeling the item in between her fingers. A soft exterior with a leathery feel; kind of like a mango, though, the fruit itself seemed to be heavy, tough. With green spikes adorned at various points of its surface, she was certain neither of them had seen such a thing before.

"Fresh it may be," she replied, "But how are you supposed to eat it?"

The shop keeper gestured with two fingers for the fruit. NIGHT handed it over, and watched the man pull a saber from his side. That sight was almost enough to move the player to beckon her sword; though, the blade of their provider was only used to slam into the fruit itself, slicing its side part-way through.

A decent slit that blow had made. With fine proficiency, the storekeeper rotated the fruit as he worked the blade, cutting it horizontally, and through the cut made she could spy it, a thick brown seed, the size of which she would only behold once their item had been completely split in two. Keeping one half, the NPC offered to her the other; a hollow shell of its former self, but it exposed a fleshy inside. NIGHT took to peering into the crater, intrigued.

"Then you bite into it," he urged. "Mind the spikes."

The fruit was sharp, soft; the crunchiness of its shell when her teeth broke a piece off the rest of it, the way it would melt at the lightest pressure when the insides were concerned. What drew her attention from the unique experience was the new icon at the side of her status bar instead.

 | -1 EN to sword arts used for one battle.

She shrugged, turning to her friend. "It's something. Doesn't have much flavour in the way Cardinal would be concerned with it, but it's a little sweet."

"Only the finest and freshest," the NPC reiterated, and NIGHT offered Koga her piece as her other hand looked for the respective col for a sale. It only felt right to do so, given the man's kind demonstration. She put a note in such an item in her mind for the future; perhaps it would make for a decent ingredient in cooking.


Purchasing Stamina Fruit for 1,000col. | 

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Koga shrugged at NIGHT's question, unsure of how to answer, being unfamiliar with the fruit himself. Instead the shopkeep had answers. Taking the fruit from NIGHT, he quickly drew his saber to slice open the seed-bearing fruit. Both players twitched at the market owner's sudden movement. Koga's hand, habitually resting on the sheath of his katana, tightening around it and tilting the weapon forward, preparing him to draw it, a small click echoing from within the scabbard. Perhaps the players had spent too much time in battle for everyday affairs.

The stall owner offered NIGHT the first half of the fruit, and Koga let the sword go slack in his grip once more as his partner bit into it. "...it's a little sweet," she reported, before rooting around her person for Col. For once, Koga beat her to the punch. "We'll take two more of these, and this is for the kind demonstration," Koga said, before spilling a number of Col into the merchant's open hand before taking two more of the fruit out of the basket and tossing one to NIGHT. "I'll take one of these canteens, and a cloak too, how much for those?" The shopkeep quickly counted the Col in his hand before looking back to Koga. "Another two thousand Col." Koga transferred the funds into the merchant's hands again and picked up his new toys, throwing the cloak around his shoulders. "How do I look?" he asked NIGHT with a goofy grin.

@NIGHT

Koga spends 4000 Col |

Edited by Koga
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NIGHT tilted her head, wry, when she'd noticed her col to be put to the way side. "You sure you need to be spending on my behalf?" Out of both of them, the woman would guessed she was better made out of money than her friend. Not as though she knew how much was in his coffers, but playing at a high level had its perks. She shook her head, putting aside the thought. "Well, let me know if you ever need anything in return. Favour for favour."

Teeth sank time after time again into the fruit, as Koga whipped the cloak upon his figure. A flood of murky brown; the fabric was thick, similar to NIGHT's own, but the Gemini's was a quality above standard fare, the player could tell even from a glance. "You look suspect," she replied, with a smirk. "But it's not like we'll need to keep up appearances going into the wastes. Is that everything you'll need? A dragon slain shouldn't take too long..."


Devouring Stamina Fruit. |

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Koga audibly scoffed at NIGHT's comment about money. "Look, I'm still trying to pay you back for helping me get my house. Trust me, it's not just 'cause I'm feeling generous today," the man said with a wry smile. Maybe he was feeling a little generous.

"I think this is it," he said with a nod, double-checking that the cloak was secure around his neck, and that thread wasn't going to come loose. "Ready when you are," although judging by the way NIGHT was lazily munching on the fruit, she'd been ready for a while. Koga decided to crack open his own fruit with a hunting knife he spawned, albeit less gracefully than the shop keep. He sucked at the meet within the tough shell and nodded an agreement to NIGHT's earlier assessment of the fruit. "Yeah, not much but hey. Sugar and status effects, right?" he mumbled as they left the settlement.

@NIGHT

Koga eats Stamina Fruit [x1] |
[-1 EN to sword arts used for one battle] |
Koga equips <<Weathered Cloak>> |
[Reduces sandstorm effects by -20. Does not require an equipment slot.] |

Edited by Koga
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So they headed out into the desert, NIGHT gulping the rest of her meal down (minus the spikes), hand pulling the rest of her garb together again once they'd passed the threshold of the city's safe zone. The first thing on their agenda was apparently searching for the dragon's nest -- a task of which NIGHT was completely ready to get over with, given the circumstances of her skill set.

In particular, this dragon's nest was rather difficult to find. Which, she begged the question of why, since they were out in an open field with no traces of shelter from prying eyes. Just as she'd decided to give the wastes another berth with her eyes, that sudden rise of wind gusting about her feet grew stronger, and she'd winced at the sight of drifting particles en masse.

No luck. "Did your informant say anything about which part of the floor it might've been on?" If things continued this way, it would've been a pain to continue looking, the woman suspected.


id196313 | ld17 | a natural ld of what
id196314 | cd9 ld15 | the sandstorm rages. 3 posts. -30hp, -1acc, +1en spent per post until it ends.

NIGHT | HP: 810/840 (-30) | EN: 122/122 | DMG: 24 | ACC: 4 (-1) | EVA: 3 | MIT: 38 | LM: 1 | HLY: 8 | PHASE | LD: 5 | BH: 42 | Stealth Rating: 5

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It wasn't long before the pair were set upon by a sand storm. Their vision quickly obscured, and the light drowned out by the thick clouds of sand that buffeted their skin and clothing. The wind howled in their ears, making it hard to communicate without shouting. They'd have to stay close together if they didn't want to get separated.

NIGHT asked a question, just barely heard about the wind's report. "No, he didn't," Koga shouted back over the din of the storm, "the sandstorm's make it hard to keep track of where anyone is, all the others just stumbled across it!" A fact that, in hind-sight, seemed pretty important to keep in mind. On the bright side, it seemed that even if they did get lost in the sandstorm, they weren't in any real danger of dying. The sandstorm might've blocked the sun's light, but it couldn't block teleportation crystals apparently.

Thankfully, it appeared that neither player would need it today, as Koga quite literally kicked a rock, stumbled and wound up rolling down a dune of sand until he found himself falling through the air, with a loud shout of alarm.

The black-clad swordsman landed facedown in the sand after a couple moments of freefall. "Ow...that hurt..." the man muttered, spitting sand and grain from his mouth. The man brushed the sand from his eyes and blinked them open, and they went wide. "Uh, NIGHT? You might wanna see this."

Spoiler

Koga | HP: 650/660 (660 -10) | DMG: 23 | MIT: 30 | ACC: 6 | EVA: 2 | BRN: 56 | BLT: 32/20 | FALN: 8 | B.HEALING: 33/66
Koga's <<Weathered Cloak>> reduces the sandstorm's damage by 20.

@NIGHT

ID: 196468, LD: 19 |

Edited by Koga
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What? Where did Koga go in the midst of the storm -- his voice seemed to be coming from below her current position. NIGHT struggled peer through the dust, turning downwards; that hazy smear of black in her vision must've been her companion. With a slide, she'd send herself down the sand dune too, more grace than her counterpart, and looked up to where the other player had directed her gaze as she reached him.

A cavern opening. Had that been the only point of interest, perhaps they would've looked over it in silence. Rather, the nest was visibly seen from its entrance, built out of dried sticks and broken rubble from structures long past. In it were a few eggs; round, with striped colours that matched the stone of its subterranean lodging. NIGHT wasn't familiar with the quest and its lack of markers recently, but since it aligned with their lead, it wouldn't bother her to take a closer look.

Koga was still chest-first against the sand, and the woman shot him a look as she picked herself up from the soil, more readied than he was. "Guess I'm heading in," she quipped, before pacing towards their target destination.

For some strange reason, the player thought she'd felt a gaze upon them as she sauntered through the gap between the desert and the dragon's domain. She hadn't had the chance to notify her team mate of the experience -- it might've been nothing -- but what were the chances of it being otherwise?


NIGHT | HP: 810/840 (+40, -30) | EN: 122/122 | DMG: 24 | ACC: 4 (-1) | EVA: 3 | MIT: 38 | LM: 1 | HLY: 8 | PHASE | LD: 5 | BH: 42 | Stealth Rating: 5

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The sound of dust and rock tumbling down the dune behind him was the only indicator that Koga had that NIGHT had heard him. But that was enough, for in the next moment she was stepping past him and right into the cave. Realizing he was being left behind, Koga scrambled to his feet and started to jog after his companion, "Hey, wait u-" the words caught in his throat as the hairs on the back of Koga's neck began to stand upright. The man paused in his tracks, and turned around, his hands on his weapon. Eyes sweeped back and forth across the mouth of the strange cave's entrance, but nothing but the wind outside moved or made a sound. He watched a moment longer before turning around again and chasing after nice, hand still on his sword.

"Hey, NIGHT, something's off," he said as she approached the pitiful nest.

"Not off!" a voice calls from behind them. "In fact, we're right on the trail!"

Koga span around, sword half-drawn as he laid eyes upon an NPC, a boy who looked like he'd barely left his early years as a teen. "Looking for that dragon and it's hoard, ain'tcha?" he asked. Koga's eyes flicked over to NIGHT, she was free to take the lead with dealing with the NPC.

| ID: 197224, CD: 10, LD: 3
A sandstorm appears! It will last for 1 post!

Spoiler

Koga | HP: 640/660 (650 -10) | DMG: 23 | MIT: 30 | ACC: 6 | EVA: 2 | BRN: 56 | BLT: 32/20 | FALN: 8 | B.HEALING: 33/66
Koga's <<Weathered Cloak>> reduces the sandstorm's damage by 20.

 

Edited by Koga
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A clarion voice. NIGHT's head whipped around at the stranger's call; though Koga was prepared for a fight, the woman hadn't been, stance as slack as it had been peering into the nest. In shoddy dark rags there stood a man behind them, furnished with various beads and accessories that tinkled in his wake as he raced close to the players.

"Dragon hunting!" He chuckled, stopping a few feet from them. NIGHT could spy the freckles, mixed with sand on his face. "Never thought there'd be others as daring as myself to take up the job. But better with folk alike than to take on that beast on my own."

The look NIGHT shot her party member was one of confusion, suspicion. Was this intended to be part of--

--Before she could open her mouth to whisper, the man had already leaned forward, performing a regal greeting; one arm extended behind him, the other held to his chest. "My name's Tarek! Bandit, bounty hunter; the one living legend, a myth come to life." He looked up with a proud grin, one the two players weren't certain to match. His feet slid back under him from his bow. "You may have heard of me from previous exploits? Tell me, how frequently do they throw my name around in Fortazela these days?"

NIGHT's narrowed eyes only spoke the truth. "We don't know you."

"Oof," Tarek winced, still smiling. "And here I believed you two were natives, seeing how well prepared you were for the storm." His index waved about between the two players, moreso towards the wolf than the knight. Then, he stopped, head tilted with his eye on Koga's blade. "Or, not? Unusual choice of weaponry, there, sir. T'was hard to spot in the low light, I suppose."

Discussions could've taken all day at this pace, and so the woman turned away, attempting to perform the task she was so rudely interrupted from. Her strides took her towards the nest, a structure that towered over her diminutive form, the player hoping to catch sight of its interior through the gaps. Tarek straightened his back at the sight, look of surprise settling into his expression. Hands clapped together, he turned to Koga with a hop had the man's attention not been lost too. "Right! Back to business. This dragon's going to be a tough beast to slay. What say you two and myself take it on together? I know plenty about it from research I've done in the past. That information could come in handy."

He took a moment to glance away, gaze back on Koga with a self-assured smirk. "Research that -- you know -- you two may not have done beforehand. Since..." His sights then switched over towards NIGHT, who still seemed uninterested in the matter. "... You two hadn't stayed in Fortazela for long, I take it?"


id197225 | cd6 ld18 | haha what sandstorm

NIGHT | HP: 840/840 (+40) | EN: 122/122 | DMG: 24 | ACC: 4 (-1) | EVA: 3 | MIT: 38 | LM: 1 | HLY: 8 | PHASE | LD: 5 | BH: 42 | Stealth Rating: 5

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Within the first three sentences, this Tarek character had taken Koga's already meager trust in him and thrown it to the wayside. Who the hell announced that they were a bandit in the first place? Judging by NIGHT's sidelong glances, she felt the same way about the brigand as Koga did. Good.

As Tarek pointed out Koga's weapon, admittedly the man's pride and joy, NIGHT stepped back to examine the towering nest. Koga stepped in front of Tarek, obscuring his sight of NIGHT. "Whatever gets the job done," he replied dryly, letting the katana sink back into it's scabbard. Koga's hands remained firmly affixed to the weapon though, fangs ready to be bared.

A loud clap echoed through the cave as Tarek continued on with his ramblings. 'Research' he called it. "What's your game?" Koga questioned. "You're a bandit, you said it yourself. I imagine you want treasure, every dragon has a hoard. So, what? We kill this dragon for you, and then you stab us the moment our backs are turned?"

"I wouldn't dream of it!" Tarek says dramatically, throwing his hands into the air in mock despair, "I may have mistaken you as natives before, but your armors and weapons indicate you're foreigners. And experienced ones at that. Now, I may be a bandit, as you so kindly reminded me, but I am no fool. If I tried to betray either of you, I think it'd go rather poorly for my little ol' self. Besides, even if I succeeded in dealing with one of you, the other would...well..." Tarek drew his forefinger across his neck, and let his tongue lull out of his mouth, eyes crossed. "What good would treasure be for a dead man?"

| ID: 197226, CD: 11, LD 19 aklsfjalkfjlka;sdjflkjflk;dsajgaslkdjgal;ksdgjdsag
A sandstorm appears! It will last for 4 posts!

Spoiler

Koga | HP: 630/660 (640 -10) | DMG: 23 | MIT: 30 | ACC: 6 | EVA: 2 | BRN: 56 | BLT: 32/20 | FALN: 8 | B.HEALING: 33/66
Koga's <<Weathered Cloak>> reduces the sandstorm's damage by 20.

 

Edited by Koga
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"So a split then," NIGHT spoke aloud, eyes lost in the mix of differing brown hues. From what she could observe, there was nothing indicating the presence of anything shiny in the scatter of scraps; only a dirtied home, the likes of which could've been blamed on sand. As she turned around to the face the duo, her face was set, stern. "It's not like we're here for the hoard, either. But there's no sign of loot here to be had. Too bad for you."

"Pssh." Tarek waved a hand back at her, grinning. "Anyone could tell you that much."

"Aren't dragons supposed to stash their treasure at home, though...?"

The woman returned to Koga's side, arms crossed.

"That may be so," the hunter continued with a raised index, "But I just so happened to hear that the owner of this nest had been planning a move recently. Tunnel collapse, you see."

"Tunnel collapse...?"

It was almost as though the words themselves had brought upon the bit of sand that trickled from the ceiling, that smidgen landing onto both players' cloaks. NIGHT dusted it off once she'd felt it, annoyed at their prospect -- knowing Cardinal, the event was likely to be real in jest more than a flavour of the environment. She glared at Tarek, slowly coming to terms with their situation. "Then why are you back here, if you're looking for the dragon, yet there's nothing to be found?"

"I thought you might say something like that," he shot back, a golden glimmer of the sun in his eye. "The egg that's left behind. Would make a good meal on the way there."

"In light of a... tunnel collapse."

"That's right."

And NIGHT could only find herself staring in disbelief at the snarky bandit.

Her gaze bounced between Koga and the singular egg behind them, left alone, untouched in the nest. The fact lied between them that there wasn't a lead present for them to follow, with the quest intel provided ushering them towards a dead end. And yet, dealing with the bounty hunter felt like more work in itself than chasing the dragon off rumors. She nodded towards Tarek with a weary look; a question for the man about trust, left unspoken due to the nature of their company.

"And if it's alright with you two," the bandit added, "We would go faster if I had your help carrying the meal. Call that an even split us too alongside the treasure. Whadd'ya say?"


NIGHT | HP: 810/840 (-30) | EN: 122/122 | DMG: 24 | ACC: 4 (-1) | EVA: 3 | MIT: 38 | LM: 1 | HLY: 8 | PHASE | LD: 5 | BH: 42 | Stealth Rating: 5

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