Monstrous Compendium Online – SAO/Eberron

Planning to have Waking to Another Sky chapter 5 up tonight. For now….


A/N: This started as a fantasy AU idea, then effectively became an Eberron crossover AU with Droaam replaced by… heh. SAO and Eberron, definitely not mine.

——–

“So you’ve returned, human.” A dark chuckle, barely louder than the rustle of green silk skirts. “You’re either brave, or foolish.” She halted, almost within reach. “What’s this?”

Gaze carefully on the floor so he just saw the toes of Stheno’s black leather sandals, Kirito offered the obsidian sunglasses in an upturned hand. “You said, whatever gaze you hold turns to stone.” He smiled, though he could almost feel his heart thudding in his chest. “But these hold any gaze. And they’re already stone.”

Delicate as a butterfly’s pricking feet, clawed fingers touched his palm.

This is it. Either I’ve guessed right, or

Stheno took the dark glasses.

<<The Lonely Gorgon: Quest Complete.>>

His avatar didn’t really breathe. But Kirito felt like gasping anyway. Level gained, experience – he’d look at it later. Stheno wasn’t an enemy, and she was apparently very, very difficult to aggro. She’d still left scores of careless players paralyzed or poisoned, and had carried out at least one TPK on a group that had deliberately attacked her rather than consider her quest.

Given the monsters that roamed the floors of Aincrad, even momentary paralysis was terrifying.

I haven’t been turned, Kirito told himself, as he had every day since the game had become their world. I’m not going to be turned.

I’ll die before I’m turned.

A sobering thought, and not one he planned to share. With anyone. Fuurinkazan, Argo, Asuna – they could decide for themselves what they could bear. He – couldn’t.

The monsters can kill me, but I won’t lose to this world!

“You may look at me.”

Startled, Kirito glanced up. Tensed, waiting for the status effect to strike-

She’s beautiful.

Not human, obviously; scales speckling her face like tiny emerald freckles, cobras in the same verdant hues curling out of long, dark red hair. But that was a friendly face behind dark glasses, and if the smile hinted at fangs in it… well, he’d seen worse.

Sometimes, much worse.

“We don’t see that many humans this far inside Aincrad,” Stheno mused. “What brings you here?”

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34 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Online – SAO/Eberron

  1. Well, this looks entertaining. By ‘turned’, I’m guessing Kitito’s referring to becoming a different race? What kind of in-game consequences does that have? Judging by how much Kirito seems to hate the idea, i kind of think it might mess with more than appearance and abilities. (Like, was Kirito almost turned into a vampire, or something else that preys on humans, and barely managed to reverse the transformation in time?) I can’t help but wonder if/how *that* carries over to the real world…

    This looks fascinating. (Grabs popcorn)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. > This was partly inspired by some odd science articles on how flexible the brain can be on dealing with extra “limbs” and senses – artificial whiskers are possible!>
        The problem would be the individual learning to interpret and properly use said limbs and senses.

        For example imagine a player becoming a naga or drider like entity. They’d need to relearn balance and movement from the ground up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. >Not planning on those, thank goodness. Too overpowered!>
        True but even something ‘minor’ like different leg and/or foot structure or even a tail would probably cause merry hell with a person’s balance until they relearned everything.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Too little information to really tell what the larger world is like at the moment but several things come to mind.

    1. In previous discussions about this bunny it was hinted that the Nervegear would be magic based in this story.

    2. >Eberron crossover AU with Droaam replaced> For those who don’t know, Droaam is an Eberron nation comprised of various ‘monster’ species (Orcs, harpies, goblins, gnolls, shifters, ogres etc). Considering previous stories I doubt Vathara just randomly dropped said name.

    3. Kirito specifically mentions various IRL gamer terms (and they are apparently trapped inside a game) so presumably the premise of SAO remains the same with him and the players potentially being from a ‘mundane’ Earth. Because for the Nervegear to be based on magic and unhackable, the people IRL would have to not be able to break the magic. Considering the amount of magi-tech used in many Eberron societies, that would be hard to justify.

    4. The mention of ‘turning’ is a little disturbing because it indicates that the players can be turned into other species, sometimes against their will. The problem is aside from werebeasts and vampires, no real examples of ‘turning’ in D&D come to mind. And the bit of >they could decide for themselves what they could bear> seems to imply that the players can choose how much they can change. That isn’t something one encounters with ‘infectious’ monsters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My thought was that perhaps the Kirigayas were a monster hunting family with some garbled records of planar transferees. Ideological, not physical.

      I get silly sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. >Kayaba is a disturbing entity. *Nod* >
        When is he not?

        >Recall that one of the things intrinsic to the Eberron setting is planes-crossing magic. *EG*>
        So are they in a magic-induced VR game that is like Eberron or have their minds travelled to Eberron (with bodies crafted to match their true forms) where magic makes it seem like it is a game for them?

        *Cue the Inception music*
        “We need to go deeper.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. >(And if you’ve read Eberron sourcebooks, you know that means things are about to get worse.)>
        It’s a D&D ‘verse, things always get worse.

        The adventuring party starts out dealing with a minor dire rat/kobald/zombie etc problem and ends up fighting the crazy epic-level Gnomish inventor that is about to activate a machine that will destroy the laws of reality for the entire plane.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen a lesser variant on the loophole many times before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it this way. Normally, either the monster is blindfolded entirely, or the hero is the one to wear the sunglasses. Having the monster wear the sunglasses is a new one to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There was a movie, where exactly that happened- medusa got special glasses made for her-from the shards of a crystal that reflects truth, a ‘true sight’ crystal.
    i don’t remember the name, except that it was american production of the late ninties, early after 2000. said movie had a family -widower and his children, transported from our world to a fantasy one, one of the girls get stuck with a minotaur in a labyrinth-there is a part where sh sees a cute lamb and tries to protect it from the minotaur, who says, that he understands her reluctance to harm the cute animal, but they have to eat…

    they are also travel on a ship with elves… for the ultimate goal of awakening a dragon from its skull, so that it may banish the trolls that conquer everything and enslave everyone-i really don’t remember the name of it. 😦

    is it an advanced AI controlled npc, or one of the ‘players get magically transported into the world of the game setting in their character avatars’ thing?

    the conversion could be a ‘monsters of a certain type no longer hostile to you, but you gain certain nonhuman instincts, habits…maybe with some monsters actively recruiting/converting rather then killing.

    If there are monsters outside the game in this version, and kazuto is from a Hunter family, it could be interesting too-especially with other players of hunter and nonhuman descend… A kazuto forcefully changed could be very touching tragic scene-or dramatic one….

    an i think i would like Stheno to accompany him from here, like an npc ally in combat, or be often visiting/visited by him… would be interesting dynamic development, i think. may later taking the role of an older sister to the daughter role of Yui in cannon?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like the TV film the Voyage of the Unicorn, it fits the description on the IMDB page anyway. Of which I have only the faintest of memories of watching, and now feel the need to find so that I can watch again.

      Like

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