Monstrous Compendium Ch1 bit – Yelling

Rising, Stheno stalked downstream, around a willow-draped bend that with a little magic would block all sound from Kirito’s hearing. Even yelling. She rather thought there would be yelling.

A whisper to set the ward of silence, and she raised her hands over the stream. Water flowed up to clawed fingertips, gathering into a shimmering sphere. Sunlight glowed, caught in the lens of water, brighter and brighter-

Cleared, into the massive head of a red dragon. “Lady Stheno,” the dragon chuckled. “To what do I owe this pleasure?”

“Lord Beniryuu.” Stheno’s lips thinned. “Tell me why I shouldn’t advise Euryale to rip out your beating heart.” Or ask Vincent to plot routes into your lair….

No. That was a threat best left unspoken. In case she ever needed it to be not a threat, but a promise.

Besides. If she knew Valentine, the ranger had already scouted every lair Beniryuu claimed, and several more the dragon was sure no one knew of.

“Charming as ever.” A rumbling laugh. “What have you Seen, to make you so testy?”

“You’ve brought children into Aincrad!”

“Of course I have.”

Damn all smug dragons and their thrice-damned Prophecies. “The youkai lords bargained with you for warriors, not children! Willing souls, who would choose to join our land and our cause-”

“And they will.” A thread of smoke rose from red-scaled nostrils. “I’ve watched humans for many centuries, dear lady. They will adapt. Especially the children.”

“Not if they’re afraid they’ll become monsters!” Stheno sank claws into rippling water. “You show them a human being infected by a lycan, and never tell them there’s a way to fight the infection? To keep their own minds – their own souls! – and survive?”

“I thought I would leave that to the clan lords in the game. Some of the bakeneko and kamitachi have already adopted their first players.” The dragon smirked. “Before this level, none of the players would have had enough magic in their veins to survive casting a purification.”

Stheno saw red, and knew she needed the lenses. Even through scrying water, her gaze would have petrified any lesser creature. “This world is a simulation! They don’t have to cast the spells-”

“But they will have to, once we bring them to our world. They will have to know exactly what they can do… and how frail an infected human is.” The dragon’s breath hissed. “We are at war, dear lady. The elves breed thin and slow, yes – but the rest of the nations of Galifar multiply like rabbits, compared to our kind. In the time it takes one dragon to hatch and grow to leave the nest…. Hah. Not even half that long. In the decades we need to raise one true-born lycan to master the shift, the humans can train a score of simple spearmen and two mage-wrights to arm them all with silversteel potions. We have no time for half measures!”


A/N: Yes, I borrowed a few FF7 characters for youkai lords. Who doesn’t want to see Vincent as a wand-casting ranger….

And yep, the whole “humans pushing out other races” is a canon problem in Eberron – just ask the orcs. Who were actually good guys, in that history. And without their kinds of magic to hold back the daelkyr… things get bad.

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33 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch1 bit – Yelling

    1. Er, that’s not what happened. The Five Nations are already after Droaam in Eberron canon; that applies here, too. Granted, some idiot lycanthropes did go and wreak havoc, but the ensuing carnage that came back the other way 1) totally missed the guilty parties and 2) inflicted enough damage that the lords in charge of Aincrad decided to risk dealing with a dragon.

      …Maybe not a good choice….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. On the one hand, squee! Vincent Valentine! On the other hand — oh snap. The players are stuck in a Thirty Xanatos Pileup. And at lease one instigator of said pileup is damn good at Xanatos Speed Chess.

    Question: What’s Susano going to do when she finds out those kids she killed in the simulation //actually died// in real life?

    Let’s see… Magic nullifying bunker, check. Popcorn, check. *sits back to watch pretty explosions from a distance*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooo yes. Stheno’s going to want to kill a dragon a lot.

      One of the interesting things about the Eberron setting is that it’s already a Thirty Xanatos Pileup, with each of the Five Nations just waiting for the right opportunity to invade/convert/destroy the others, and various other powers (daelkyr, Quori, elves, the gnomes of Zilargo) messing with the already-boiling pot. Droaam’s only survived this long because of the individual power of the hags ruling it – in this AU with Aincrad, it was 3 medusa sisters. And one of them is already dead. So… the Seer went looking for an out of context solution.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …frag it, I think I just figured out why the players *have* to die in this ‘verse. If they were spared, they’d alert the proper authorities what’s going on. Which, if they do and the authorities have access to legit magic, could put a massive wrench in certain draconic plans.

        But. Why didn’t Kaiyaba put “dead” players into a coma instead? Outside of “For the lulz/authenticity.” He would have gotten the same effect with 20% less murder. Those who had their helmets removed would still be dead, no way around that… But still!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. >Damn all smug dragons and their thrice-damned Prophecies. >
    He’s a dragon. I’m fairly sure smug is the natural state of his being.

    >“The youkai lords bargained with you for warriors, not children! Willing souls, who would choose to join our land and our cause-”>
    Wait a minute, the players were intentionally brought here and apparently the youkai bargained with a dragon to get them willing warriors. But Kayaba was the one that trapped everyone in MCO…..
    Vathara: Kayaba’s not fay, though. Fay might be easier to deal with. 😉
    Guys, I think we just saw Kayaba in his real form as Lord Beniryuu.

    > “Before this level, none of the players would have had enough magic in their veins to survive casting a purification.”>
    They are intentionally making the players more magical while in the ‘simulation’. It’s for the purpose of swelling the Youkai’s ranks with battle-hardened and trained kin to help stand against human expansions.

    Anyone that ‘turns’ likely won’t be going home to Earth. Hell considering the “magic in their veins” comment, probably even the ones that remain ‘human’ won’t be able to go back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. >I think the Red Dragon is probably just the contact on that side Kayaba trusts the most.>
      I’m going to wait and see on the subject but I am skeptical on this idea. Dragons don’t tend to be team players and this guy is talking as if he’s the mastermind behind everything here.

      Also this bit:
      “You show them a human being infected by a lycan, and never tell them there’s a way to fight the infection?”

      Kirito would have explained what Kayaba did and said ‘tutorial’ included wererats infecting NPCs. Here Stheno is talking about said incident as if it is the dragon’s fault. It wasn’t ‘your buddy set this up, what is wrong with him?’ and more ‘why did you do this?’

      >(I have a way to get in the Sleeping Knights eventually, I just need to figure out how to write it….)>
      Ah yes, Konno Yuuki. I freely admit I choked up towards the end of Mother’s Rosario.

      Well assuming that in this AU they weren’t brought into the initial MCO beta etc (easy way out), there is nothing saying Kayaba can’t ‘import’ some new players into the game. He just needs to get them to say the magic words ‘we accept’.

      Whether they have any clue to what they are really agreeing to is not his problem. Not his fault they assume it’s simply a hidden quest in ALO and didn’t read the fine print on the prompt (which was in Draconic, written in invisible ink and in 0.5 size type).

      Stheno: “You are a Bastard.”
      Kayaba/Beniryuu: “Magnificent Bastard, thank you very much.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >I actually have a chapter on how SAO and ALO are linked.>
        If Kayaba/Beniryuu abducts Suguha (as Leafa or as a human) into this mess because he thinks she’s a perfect fit (and/or he’s got a side deal with the elves/sidhe/fae to replenish their numbers similar to Droaam/Aincrad’s deal), come hell or high water Kirito is going to have a pair of Red Dragon-skin boots made from a very specific source.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. LOL, I usually like dragons, but in this case I think Sstheno has the right idea – turn that lizard into an oversized lawn ornament! Chaotic Smug Evil needs to be punched in the snout, because this was Not Okay. The players likely won’t be happy about being coerced/stolen/kidnapped into an even more dangerous world than Aincrad, which in the long run will cause more problems than it’ll solve because the stolen players might decide to ‘get even’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yah, if you’re going to make a lot of, well, elite warriors/agents for lack of a better term, it’s generally a bad idea to also give them a reason to have big grudges against you or what you are trying to do.

      As is, I’m hoping we’ve just found a new raid boss…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >Yah, if you’re going to make a lot of, well, elite warriors/agents for lack of a better term, it’s generally a bad idea to also give them a reason to have big grudges against you or what you are trying to do.

        As is, I’m hoping we’ve just found a new raid boss…>
        Thing is, I suspect that said dragon intended it to go down like this:
        >Damn all smug dragons and their thrice-damned Prophecies.>

        Beniryuu is working off a prophecy. In fact considering this is Eberron, I bet it’s part of The Draconic Prophecy (http://eberron.wikia.com/wiki/Draconic_Prophecy)

        Which means he’s running in “The Ends justify the Means” mode where he is perfectly willing to sacrifice his own life along with thousands of others because the result will be What Is To Be.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. >They tend not to worry about adventurer-sized problems….>
        And that arrogance is part of the reason they keep getting turned into ingredients and armor/weapon components.

        They never seem to figure out that “Yes” those little hairless monkeys can be a hazard to one’s health.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. … So was part of the reason you made this character a dragon specifically for the extra level of pun in him being a *Smug Snake*?

        Liked by 1 person

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