Monstrous Compendium Ch3 bit – Jade

“Even for a human?”

Issin flinched. Sighed, and leaned back against Klein, worried and warm. “Kirito’s got a right to be scared,” the bakeneko admitted. “I wake up in the morning and listen to everything. I keep my claws padded when I wash my face. I don’t even think about it anymore. This is me. If I woke up and I wasn’t furry – I think I’d freak out.”

“Yeah,” Klein said quietly. “Okay. But we’re all human here, Issin. We’ve got to remember that.”

The bakeneko looked away. “Humans chased you out of Tinctoria to die, Klein. Or worse.”

“NPCs,” Klein started.

Snow Springs NPCs came to help,” Issin said firmly. “We’re all players, Klein. We can hang onto that. But right now, for us – the most dangerous monster in this game is a human with a magic weapon who hates youkai.”

Damn. That’s going to be messy when we get back. Klein tried not to growl in frustration. Priorities. First we get back. Then we worry about freaking the mundanes. “Well, I know one sword we don’t have to worry about.” He eyed black hair. “So how do we get him to stick around? Besides playing the I’m a hyperactive kitten, help, card. He’s never going to buy that.”

Issin stifled a snicker. “Oh, he might. But if you want a serious idea… did you see those knives?”

“Kind of a little closer than I wanted to, yeah,” Klein said warily.

“Did you see the green one?”

“Fancy, jade, sure,” Klein shrugged. Though fancy didn’t begin to cover it. It was beautiful. Willow-green, leaf-shaped blade, with a coiled dragon as the hilt. A perfect throwing knife. “It’s a MMORPG. Everybody’s got some bling.”

“Everybody?” Issin glanced pointedly at the Black Swordsman.

Klein opened his mouth… and closed it again. Thought about that. “Damn.”

“So.” Issin gave him a crooked grin. “What’s out there, on levels we plan to run quests in, that you need jade to kill?”

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54 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch3 bit – Jade

  1. If this had any Legend of the Five Rings influence, then that would be easy to understand. But to my knowledge, Jade is not needed for any normal monster. Unless it is not simple jade, and you need a holy weapon or something with similar influences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhhh, problem. How many players are going to be like Isshin, aware the freak out from Lack of Fuzzy that awaits out of the game? And if they end up staying in Aincard, end up there IRL, how many of them are going to have a guilty feeling of relief that they don’t have to have that happpen?

    Yes, save that freak out for later.

    And sneaky kitties! If a game becomes real and a netoriously utilitarian character shows up with bling weapons, pounce and pump for information. The fact that it gives him a place to rest among friends is incidental, really.

    Are you alright by the way? I was worried when there wasn’t a post last night.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There will be plenty of freaking out no matter what happens, yes.

      Yep. You know Kirito has stuff he can use, so….

      Eh, is at least day two of really lousy air quality down here, and if you have allergies already, breathing becomes a little harder than normal. It just kind of catches in your lungs.

      Add that to intense focus on trying to do a bit of a mob scene in Seeds. It is, to say the least, not going easily. Mobs are scary!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If it’s your breathing that you’re having trouble with, I have always had good results with mint. If you’re working on something more or less sedentary, then a mint herbal tea (hot) works best – the steam from it makes breathing much easier – and if you’re moving around more, then those starlight mints are just as good as an inhaler if you set them behind your teeth and draw air past them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Steamed leaf juice? There are some nice minty ones you can make up hot and then chill. I only drink the herbals myself. Most of my respiratory problems happen in winter. I had a horrible tendency to take a cold through bronchitis to pneumonia in a week, for twenty years running.

        Vicks used to make these awesome shower pucks that really helped open up the lungs. I loved those and o don’t know why they stopped making them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I like the flavor combination, but I mostly use that for when my throat is getting ripped up by coughing. There’s a good tea we have around here called Throat Coat, tastes pretty good actually, that is amazing for when the throat is just raw. Only thing is, don’t drink too many cups too close together on account of it does raise blood pressure. So, don’t drink four cups in four hours. As a, hypothetical, example.

        The headache wouldn’t be worth it. Hypothetically.

        Other then that, my dad advocates a hot shower, sometimes full blast, sometimes just a thin stream. Me? I’ll dump Epsom Salt into a tub, get it hot as I can stand, get a pitcher and cup full of ice water, and settle in to read a good book. Dunno if it does anything but placebo, but epsom salt is magnesium which is involved in over 300 functions in the body. Does great things for sore muscles, bruises, and sprained ankle, but does normal salty things to open cuts. I spray it on my chest and rub it in when things get really bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm. I’m not super familiar with Rokugan, but you’ve been doing lots of RL research into various spookies for Seeds of Blood; so even if I was that might not help. Now I’m curious what beastie needs Jade to kill.

    Aside from that… *wince* Issin has a very good point on humans with a beef against Yokai being the most dangerous things out there. And when the players find out how much of MCO is real, that they’re​ being recruited and who they’re being recruited by? That’s definitely going to extend to human PCs as well. (In a few cases, it already might. All you need is someone with an attitude not dissimilar from Kirito’s and a lot more xenophobia, which given the way the world is probably wouldn’t be too hard to find. Even among MCO’s relatively small player base.)

    Hell. Once that bomb drops (I feel like I should apologize for poor phrasing, but the only alternative I could think of was ‘cat’s out of the bag’ which in-Kirito-context might somehow be worse) I could easily see Laughing Coffin fracturing, as some players who see all Yokai – NPC, Lord, and Player – as monsters decide ‘it’s not killing if it’s Yokai’ and form a guild dedicated to wiping Yokai out so they can return to Earth. Suddenly you have two Laughing Coffin-esque guilds. One we know and loathe, and another that may have the tacit support – or at least sympathetic non-interference – of part of the remaining human player base.

    *Shakes head* This? This could get real bloody. Even for SAO.

    Further than that, there’s some fun wordplay I see up above. Issin, who’s been non-human longer, thinks of it as ‘us’ and ‘humans’ (a mindset Kayaba… probably designed things to encourage), where as Klein initially says ‘were all human’ before othering non-Yokai into ‘mundanes’. That’s not as bad, but what’s important is that it actually shows what Klein’s really trying to get at – and another reason that bastard earns his place as Paladin later. Klein says ‘human’. Klein means people. That’s important, not just as an individual, not just for himself as someone newly-turned, not just for a member of Kirito’s support network, and not even just amongst the MCO players. That’ll be important afterwards, in Eberron. Amongst the Yokai Lords, to the Church of the Silver Flame, and even to the Five Nations… if Klein can get there. Because that’s what Eberron really needs.

    Stheno reflected that the way of the world is war, and that’s fair enough. But if a lasting peace in which Aincrad can flourish and the Daelkyr may be held back is to happen, then people who think like Klein are gonna be important.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What makes it scarier is that these are all Japanese people, and Japanese people are, historically some of the most racist and xenophobic peoples in the world. I know, I know broad sweeping generalizations are bad, but it’s ingrained into their culture to regard outsiders with suspicion. This is the same culture that has things like “Karoshi” as a /common/ problem.

      I seriously doubt that you won’t have a /lot/ of very upset players regardless of whether they’re Yokai now or still human if the reveal isn’t handled properly.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Eh… I thought of that, but I didn’t want to make the sweeping generalization of a fictional near-future Japan’s culture. ‘Sides, the West birthed plenty of Xenophobic and Fascist regimes and groups, and you know what they say about stones and glass houses.

        Plus: what’s Karoshi got to do with xenophobia? I looked up the definition, and I could not see a connection.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Klein definitely gets his paladin start here. *G* And if he has to drag everybody else back into realizing they’re all people, he will.

      He’s going to start small, though. First work on a certain Black Swordsman to realize he’s one of the group no matter what. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I look forward to the look on Kayaba’s face when Klein does that… Of course, that’s only if Kayaba realizes just how important Klein’s actions are. You’ve already mentioned that on certain levels Kayaba just does not get people. (Kayaba thinks he does, but that is very different as Kayaba will learn.)

        I know one particularly nasty possibility is Kayaba seeing Klein’s actions as detrimental to the end goals of MCO, and doing his best to work around Tetsutora and… ‘solve’ the problem that is Klein.

        …Also, does all this make Klein the polar opposite of Kibaou? (Because part of me likes the idea of Kibaou as one of those Antipaladins who is super absolute that No, it is Everyone Else who is Evil. He is the good guy and doing what needs to be done.)

        Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s actually the most common (so still worth its weight in gold) of the Magical Materials in Exalted. It’s also the most easily worked (this is fitting given that the main Exalt type attuned to and associated with it are the Dragon-Blooded, and they were designed as the footsoldiers of Exalted armies and so are the most common Exalts, generally the weakest, and the Exalt type most focused on teamwork).

      Jade isn’t just a required material for certain artifacts, it’s the single most frequently used magical material in setting.

      Still, here Legend of the 5 Rings and Rokugan are both brought up because this is explicitly an Eberron cross, and both of those systems/settings are more closely related to DnD, while modeling the types of myths you’re more likely to see Jade as a significant material cropping up. There are other possible sources, they’re just less likely.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. *always thumbs up for nWoD*

        I know I’ve mentioned the fun that is Changeling: the Lost previously, but honestly Geist is my favorite. ‘A Storytelling Game of Second Chances’… heh, it’s a hard tagline to resist. (Be nice if they did some errata for Geist though. Some things need rebalancing, some need new explanations, and some things need to be streamlined)

        I don’t know if you’ve looked at it at all, but while parts of it I very genuinely want to not put aside lightly, but throw (With great force), but much of Beast: the Primordial… I helped Kickstart it and got a hardcover delivered to my front door (now if only the mailman hadn’t left it in the pouring rain). I backed Beast for a reason and have a lot
        to say about it. Some of what I want to say about Beast is me reading plot and themes into Beast that it can contain, but doesn’t have to. But I think other people can probably see Beast for what I do too.

        I think anyone who’s been scared, who knows what it is to not belong, to not fit, to be seen as an outsider… anyone who’s held bitterness and resentment for others deep in their chest and close to their hearts… I think anyone who’s been ‘othered’ and felt angry or scared because of it, or scared of themselves and their own anger at being rejected by others… I think anyone who understands any of the above can find something that will resonate with them in Beast: the Primordial.

        Changeling tells you it’s about Beautiful Madness, and questions what that truly means. Geist gives you Second Chances and asks what those cost – because there’s always a cost. Beast says it’s a Storytelling Game of Endless Hunger, and then leaves it up to the players and storyteller what they’re hungry for, and even more, what they’re willing to do to feed that hunger.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I saw that song reference. *starts whistling Waltzing Mathilda *
    On another note I’m really liking how much Klein and company seem to be involved this time and the determination to keep Kirito around. Good he needs people keeping an eye on him. Ooh best part about the jade isn’t what does the jade kill it’s how can we keep the loner around longer in such a way that he’s helping us and has a solid reason not to leave ^^

    (For anyone baffled look up Freaking the Mundanes on you tube)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Though there is one big anti-gribble material that I’m surprised isn’t included considering Kirito shelled out for a jade dagger like that (that material isn’t exactly cheap).

    Namely salt.

    Salt has often been used in folklore against malicious entities and to ward off danger. Granted I don’t remember it being used much in D&D fluff but still.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. True, but iirc, salt is *mostly* used as a warding measure, not a weaponized substance (unless you’re dealing with certain folklore re: ghosts/spirits/the incorporeal). Given just about all of the monsters we’ve seen so far don’t fall under that heading, I can believe that it would land lower on the list of priorities given the weight/accessibility of other known banes Kirito has to carry.

      Or he might keep it in Inventory; all of the stuff Fuurinkazan had to wrestle off of him was probably *on him* because he needs to be able to pull it out on a moment’s notice in case of combat/ambush. Messing with inventory screens in a fight where there’s no pause button seems like a fast way to die…

      Now I kinda wonder if anyone *did* die because of that in the early days of MCO.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I just reread chapter one and had a thought…

    Is Kirito’s jade knife made from <>? Because if it is, that opens up some interesting thoughts (especially as I don’t know Eberron and therefore don’t know what’s precluded by the setting). Namely, since Stheno’s Jade Vine had bloodstones growing(?) along it, and those are how consenting youkai adoptions go down, would a weapon made from the plant-that-grew-bloodstones have, effectively, the power to *cut* that connection?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It might not be the jade itself though. It could just as easily be that the blade has an enchantment that either needed to be on jade, or that the maker put an enchantment on a decorated jade knife because that is what the rich commissioner wanted.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. In addition to being made of jade, that coiled dragon on the hilt might be a clue.

    Don’t have much experience with gaming and such, but it was my understanding that in the well-designed ones, stuff like that isn’t always (or is seldom) just decorative – it’s a clue. Like how in MCO you need to pay attention to the . . . what’s it called . . . flavor text? lore? . . . if you want to live. Failure to do so will bite you in the behind later. Hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Depends on the game. WoW? Yes, a lot of the higher tier gear is meant to be cool looking, and having a jade dagger with a dragon on the hilt may just be a design. I’d expect to see it out of the Pandaria area, but only because of a cultural thing.

      In a game from Kayaba? Yes, expect it to be important.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ah but there’s an extra wrinkle here: this isn’t just a game designed by Kayaba, nor is it just any VRMMO. This is MCO and ties into a place where Eberron is real.

        In DnD magic items usually do have clues for how they work, their purpose, and similar things in their decorations. Not always, it’s actually one of the aspects that’s rolled for randomly generated items, and custom creations may intentionally be made in such a way as to provide no clues, but some design elements are required for certain magic items, and with Detect Magic all one needs is a high enough Spellcraft skill to parse what an item does purely from it’s auras.

        Liked by 2 people

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