Monstrous Compendium – Further Along

Hands tied behind him. Feet tied together. Half his guild ready to grab him and pin him by main force. Katana out of his gear and winking tantalizingly on Kunimittz’s bedroll, halfway across the safe zone clearing, well out of reach. And those were the good points of the evening. “Didn’t know you were into shibari, Issin,” Klein panted, sweat rolling down his face.

“Funny,” the shaman muttered behind him, slathering herbal paste on Klein’s bitten wrist. “Keep talking. Keep fighting it. Harry?”

“Added some Bluegum to take down the toxicity a little.” Their dashing would-be pirate and herbalist gently shook bits of blue, green, and lurid yellow together in a potion vial. “I don’t like this, Leader. This isn’t tame stuff like Shaman’s Fingerprints, or even Kanzeon’s Looking-glass. We’re going to poison you, and hope it kills the infection before it kills you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Klein grumped. “Cancer patients do it all the time.” Though damn, he wished they could use some of the nicer stuff. But one, Moonswords were still damn rare, despite Argo spreading the news around about how anybody with Sorcery could start picking up the build. Asuna was a good one, but she mostly handled KoB problems. Two, they’d been hit with the sheer bad luck of a random encounter with mini-chimeras just as they’d reached the climactic final battle of the <<Rogue Weretiger of Tinctoria>> quest. Mini-dragon breaths of lightning, fire, and choking chlorine. Screaming were-cats and villagers everywhere. He’d barely noticed the bite in the sheer mess of not getting his people chewed to bits, set on fire, or electrocuted. And three….

Argo’s latest shout had been dead on the mark. The higher the level, the worse lycanthropy got.

If I’d come up here as a first-level, I’d have been toast as fast as that NPC on Opening Day.

None of which made Klein feel any better about what he was going to do. Wolfsbane was a poison. Finite. End of discussion.

But if you were lucky, if you were very very lucky, and just taking the dose didn’t kill you… then you might slip out from under the curse. Maybe.

Please let me be lucky, Klein prayed. Not for me; though damn it, I don’t want to die. But for them.

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27 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium – Further Along

    1. Makes sense. I think speed may be one of the warlock things, or at least movement, and one of the rules of adapting Asuna’s first build is that she should at least be competitive in raw speed.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Paging the Black Cat, Black Cat is needed in Grass! The ‘Black Cat Lucky’ jokes are never going to stop. And now I have this image that the Furinkaazan give Kirito little lucky cat figurines from now on.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Interesting… *does Gendo Ikari pose* Much more interesting then my psych homework. Ugh, this semester I’m totally the embodiment of SJ Tuckers D&D song. And it just started. My cousin’s D&D group needed a fifth, and he got me to sign up for Skype to join in cross the country. Got two d20s and a roller app now, but the first session I played was done as I tried to get through a quiz.

        Also, I can’t imagine Klein as anything other then a Han Solo type smuggler since I read Change of Fate. Being a paladin? He’s going to be so Chaotic. Is there any example of a god/goddess that has a chaotic alignment that allows for Good?

        Liked by 3 people

  2. And that final line, right there, Klein. That’s why the Silver Flame picks you.

    Though a Weretiger (or whatever Klein should be considered after coming through this) Silver Flame Paladin may very well be the height of awkward…

    Any chances he’ll put levels into that one completely broken prestige class I remember from… somewhere in the Eberron books (I think? It was definitely 3.5) that Lycanthropes and Shifters both qualify for? The wossname, Warshaper maybe?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *Cackles* He should, he really should!

      And the whole irony and awkwardness is part of the point. Whatever the rest of the Five Nations think about Aincrad, Klein is a good guy. Who has every intention of hunting down evil lycanthropes wherever they might try to run to.

      Kirito will help. And give the look of “You are a moron” to anyone who wonders out loud when Klein is going to bite somebody.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Y’know… I suddenly have this weird thought, apropos of basically nothing:

        Lycanthropy get DR/Silver (because tradition and folklore. I am fine with this), but Klein the Weretiger is getting picked up by the Silver Flame.

        I cannot for the life of me remember if the ‘Silver’ bit is just association by worshippers/clergy, or if the Divine entity actually has major embodiment of ‘Silver’ as part of its portfolio.

        If the ‘Silver’ Flame is more than just a moniker, does Klein the Weretiger Paladin – who was specifically chosen by direct Divine Interference of the Silver Flame, something that is not just rare, but is practically unheard of in Eberron – get special exemption that Silver does not get through his DR? Or is Klein more like a Rakshasa, where now his Lycanthrope DR is DR/Silver-and-Evil and it needs to be both the right material and specifically aligned against the Silver Flame?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh! And I had a chance to double check, I was getting confused about prestige classes earlier. I thought I was thinking of one class, I was actually combining two prestige classes.

        One was the Warshaper. The other is Eberron-specific because it’s Shifter Only: the Weretouched Master.

        Depending on how you do things, Klein might be closer to just being a Weretiger and not need the prestige class, because it’s whole point as a Prestige Class is ‘you wanna play a Lycanthrope? Pick Shifter and take 5 levels of this and you’re a Lycanthrope.’ If Klein doesn’t get all the advantages of being a Weretiger with none of the drawbacks, then he might be close enough to ‘Shifter’ to qualify.

        Of course, I don’t know that Klein’s actually the type to take these. After all, Klein wouldn’t be looking at this as a player designing a character, and unless he gets a mentor from Aincrad or Eberron he wouldn’t even know that focusing on training his shapeshifting ability (if he even can figure out how to train such an ability without a teacher) would grant him these powers.

        Getting these prestige classes in SAO without a teacher would require someone with the mindset of ‘This is what I now am. How much can I actively control? What other things can I learn to do with this?’ Klein’s a great guy and one of my favorite characters, and there are reasons – as mentioned elsewhere – that he did so well as both a Clearer and as a Guild Leader. But as a gamer… I don’t think he’s a bad gamer, but I do suspect that in SAO he’s the type to rely on focusing on the simple and reliable skills that he knows can help him put bad guys down faster and keep his buddies alive. More weird or esoteric stuff? He’d go for it if he thought it was effective – or just plain cool – but he’d probably need to be shown the direction first, I doubt he’d put Warshaper or Weretouched together without outside influence.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wait a sec… Kanzeon’s Looking-Glass? Don’t tell me the Eberron Saiyuki gang got caught up in this mess… At least Kanzeon is the kind of person who would want in on a set those dragon-hide boots… Sanzo vs Kayaba would be… amusing to watch…

    I did not need that mental image…

    Liked by 1 person

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