Monstrous Compendium Ch1 bit – Reasons

Buddha, what a mess. Argo shared some rations with Kirito as they mulled over Stheno’s story. The background info before Sword Art Online had started said humans and youkai were enemies. Some of the game fluff had given reasons why. But this was different.

It’s like talking to someone who was actually there. Who saw everyone they loved… die.

Someone who’d had the power to take one night of terrifying vengeance. Stheno hadn’t tried to gloss over how she’d infiltrated the heart of each army’s arcane corps, armed with an enchantment of look at me and her own terrible gaze.

And special squads of stealthy, strong youkai to follow her. Armed with sledgehammers.

“That’s why you hide as just another monster, isn’t it?” Argo asked, after Stheno fell silent. “The Five Nations are still looking for you.”

“They were always looking for me,” the medusa said quietly. “That is half the reason my mortal kin were slain, in hopes that death would slay me, too…. You truly must be from another world. I am Stheno the Fierce, yes. But I am also Stheno of the True Sight.”

Kirito looked up from the blissful hen in his lap, fingers still scratching through glossy feathers. “You’re a seer.”

The medusa inclined her head.

Kirito drew a deliberate breath. “Then how-?”

“I do not See every possible future,” Stheno said levelly. “Who could? I See what I know to ask of. And even then, I see not a future, but – paths. Options, taken and untaken. The Karrnathi wizards have ways to cloud divination. And they were clever. They did not cast a curse. Instead, they twisted the malevolence already clinging to the mountains’ bones. Amplified it. And struck.” Obsidian lenses glinted as she shook her head. “Now only the minotaurs dare dwell in the Swiftwater Pass, where the bones of my mortal children lie. The Walls of Storm are abandoned, save for those youkai who can resist the venom within the very earth.”

“Which means the Alliance can’t cross them, either,” Argo pointed out.

“They cannot settle them,” Stheno corrected her. “But adventurers and armies have recourse to the power of their gods, who can bring forth clean water from the very air. The Five Nations of Galifar can attack us, if they choose.” Her voice sank. “And sooner or later, they will.”

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10 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch1 bit – Reasons

  1. >The background info before Sword Art Online had started said humans and youkai were enemies. >
    That’s the ‘fun’ thing about to warring groups. It’s never so simple as the sides being good and evil.

    >where the bones of my mortal children lie.>
    Ow. I have to wonder how many medusa are actually left.

    I mean they’re never portrayed as the most common or rapidly reproducing creatures and from the sounds of it, that stunt wiped out a large portion of their population.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. >And there are very few medusas left. Which is one of the reasons dealing with a dragon even got considered. Maybe not the best idea….>
        In more ways then one, particularly if he delivers by increasing their population via ‘adopted’ medusa (from ALO or SAO).

        Because while I can’t find a lot, it is shown that Medusa have their own beliefs and long-standing culture in Eberron canon (http://eberron.wikia.com/wiki/Medusa). Here, I suspect that said culture has been fleshed out a lot more since they aren’t just XP sacks for the player to whack.

        And ‘very few medusa left’ in the Early Modern/Renaissance era that Eberron is set in, is probably thousands to maybe a million at most. The devastation has probably left their culture on uneven footing already since most of the historians, scholars, priests etc (the people that would help maintain it) are dead.

        And with Beniryuu’s plan, there may be hundreds to thousands (depending on how many get adopted/number of ALOers choosing the race and getting warped here) of new medusa popping up who have grown up with a completely different culture.

        So they have the bodies, great. Now the problem is managing to retain what it means to be a medusa instead of being a scaly human with snake hair and a stone gaze.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. >After all, to dragons, all humanoids are a lot alike….>
        Also dragons don’t tend to really have communal societies like most sentient beings.

        You have the dragon in his lair who maybe chats every now and again with the dragon the next two mountains over but nothing more. The only time they’re really part of a greater community is when they interact with humanoids.

        They wouldn’t really get the whole notion of cultural dilution/extinction. From what I understand in D&D, the cultures most/all dragons have is innate. They know it from birth.

        Ergo the notion that somebody would have to learn their own culture would be an OCP to them.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Something just occurred to me. As this is set in Eberron, the Warforged are a thing at least in canon.

    And depending on the era/year, various human nations/houses could be fielding armies of the automatons. Though I have to wonder how the Youkai would consider the sentient versions of these living constructs. Because you can’t consider them golems considering their capabilities.

    Liked by 2 people

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