Monstrous Compendium Ch2 bit – Advice

“I left the clearers. I couldn’t look at them…. The Black Cats didn’t know what I’d done. They just needed another swordsman.”

“Another – they didn’t know you were a sorcerer?” Stheno demanded, aghast. “Why? How could you even hide it?” A true sorcerer might keep spells uncast, if need required it. A warlock, whose power welled up from elsewhere – no. Never. She could not go a day without calling light and fire to her hands. The pressure within would be unbearable. A warlock Kirito’s age, powers just arising within him? He should be throwing sparks at the slightest stress.

Which is how Galifar kills them.

“I went out nights to practice. Who needs sleep? I….” His voice sank. “I killed them.”

“If your magic had burst your will’s bonds from sheer stupidity, you might have,” the medusa said acidly. Harsh, too harsh; but she could hear the crumble of stone statues in his voice. The wail of the maimed and dying. The dry rattle of her kin’s bones in Swiftwater Pass.

I should have known.

“You lived alone, survived alone, for months before you met them,” Stheno bore on, snakes coiling in true anger. “The first day you trusted another player to fight beside you, he left you to be slain by monsters. Do not deny it!” she hissed, as Kirito sat up in alarm. “I scryed your past when first you visited me; I know it is true. You trusted, and it nearly cost your life. You trusted Diabel to lead you against Illfang, and that nearly had you slain by Kibaou’s words. You have acted to spread lore amongst your fellow warriors, and seen that flame gutter out as others hoard their secrets to be heroes. So you held back secrets from your comrades? I have kept them even from my own sister! There is always a dark night, when your enemies are upon you and there is no help. Only a fool discards the last knife from his sleeve.”

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23 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch2 bit – Advice

  1. -Stheno giving honest advice-
    You know this suddenly gave me a flash of a later conversation (based on some of the hints Vathara has been tossing out)

    Midori: “Thank you, for helping my son.”
    Stheno: “You thank me? I and the other lords where the reason for such events in the first place.”

    Because having a place he can go to and somebody (even if it’s just an ‘AI’ he’s meeting) to talk to, which fear of reprisal towards them, should have Kirito in a much better mental state then canon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wonder at your version of the Christmas event boss with the Resurrection item.

    Will Klein go to his friend list to contact Stheno after seeing his friend post black cats?
    maybe Stheno will show initiative and contact him, or argo at the behalf of Kirito?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Kirito’s too grief-stricken to notice too much right now. Once the wounds left behind by whatever happened to the black cats heal on the other hand… well, then he might figure some things out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do wonder what Kirito will do if he learns that there is a resurrection spell in Eberron and he has time to prepare. Would he try and get the ‘Cats back? And yes, this reaction will help Kirito to think about Stheno, once he had time to go over the conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see a lot of people asking about resurrection spells, but if I recall correctly, there just aren’t that many casters in Eberron that are capable of raising the dead. Off the top of my head, I can think of *one*.

    And yeah, Stheno’s great. I am also waiting for post-reveal lid flipping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So few level 5 or higher clerics exist? Or just gods don’t permit those spells? Don’t know much about Eberron outside of DDO. And several PC clerics will be around those levels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure how, but the design intent of Eberron is for that stuff to be fairly rare.

        There are some explicit assumptions about NPCs not leveling at PC rates. Which justifies fewer numbers of high level NPCs.

        Clerical magic works differently in Eberron, so a lot of NPCs might not have levels in the standard Cleric class. (People in Eberron have much less evidence of Clerical patrons than is assumed in other settings, and a Cleric can have magic without the patron existing.)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The Beater hate honestly still doesn’t make much sense to me…

    I can understand creating scapegoats, it happens when people are suffering and there is no one to blame.

    But that isn’t SAO, Kayaba put everyone together and explained that he did to them. Basically, turning himself into the collective hate-sink of Aincrad.

    SAO would develop scapegoats, so Kayaba made sure he was the first and biggest one.

    Liked by 1 person

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