Monstrous Compendium Ch5 bit – Bystanders

Agil hacked the wings off an incautious psiwasp, and wished he had time to gawk. He’d kept up with the other clearers; he’d seen Klein in action plenty of times. But the samurai was outdoing himself today, slicing almost as fast as Asuna could stab. And as for Kirito-

One-hand no-shield style. Plain longsword. Anybody else would have dumped steel for something special by now.

Except Kirito didn’t need enchanted weapons. Darkfire limned his hands and blade, sparking and burning with every strike.

Asuna’s blows carried ice and lightning. One Moonsword Agil had heard about in the Valiant Blades guild had red flames, and Yulier in the Army was said to have moonlit rainbows. As far as Agil had been able to winkle out of Argo, the special effects didn’t matter. The power was always the same. Wild magic, pulled straight from the fabric of the universe, eager to heal or kill. Magic that didn’t run out.

Moonswords? Are damn scary.

But scary as Kirito was, those two were still in trouble. Though they might not be able to see it yet. Agil was back here out of the main fight for a reason.

We’re whittling the nest down. But it’s still spawning warriors every minute, even though it’s on fire. As long as we’re fighting to keep the warriors from killing the captives, we can’t get in and help them. And those two are good, but they can’t take a field boss all on their own. Pollista doesn’t hit them much, but she hits harder than they can hit her, and her warriors keep soaking up everyone else’s distance attacks. They can’t kill her fast enough. We’re going to run out of healing magic


Scruffy wolf, was Agil’s first startled thought, taking in the guy in dark blue and leather armor who’d just sauntered up to him, while the other two in his small party hung back with Lady Stheno. Wild spiky black hair, violet eyes, a lazy grin that had just a hint of sharp teeth in it….


39 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch5 bit – Bystanders

  1. Hi Zack! And there’s no way that Cloud is not one of his party members. Vincent is probably hanging around ready to snipe something… and if they need more healing magic, Aerith’s probably somewhere…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I actually asked about that in a previous snippet when Zack was first referenced. If Sephiroth exists, he’s probably got something to do with the Inspired and the Path of Inspiration… Or was that Hojo who has something to do with them…? Either way, point is that if Hojo and/or Sephie are running around in this version of Eberron they’re elsewhere right now, and may end up having not much to do with this specific story.

      I more think it’d be funny if Rufus and Shinra are still things (which I think CrossOverCreativeChaos​ said Shinra fit pretty well as part of one of the existing Dragonmarked Houses) because Square Enix made it official a few years back that Rufus and the Shinra family are descendants of Shinra, one of the minor villains from FFX-2 and that they named their company in honor of him… Y’know, after humanity somehow got off Spira and migrated to the planet that the events of FF7 take place on.

      …Now I have to wonder if Cloud is a descendant of the Al Bhed…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ack! Did some double checking and I misremembered. Shinra in FFX-2 wasn’t an antagonist, he was a background member of the heroes who stayed on the airship headquarters. He did however at one point attempt and fail to draw power from the Farplane (afterlife). Stories of this inspired his descendants and they created and named the Shinra company in honor of him… not that I think he would’ve much appreciated the ‘honor’.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. >>Why not give him a mind seed?

        I dunno… As mentioned before I’ve never actually played FF7 or its spin-offs (really want to tho’, given it’s rerelease as Digital Download on PS3 and the increasing availability of emulators hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I get my chance). Still I… may have spent the last 2 hours diving fandom wiki links – I have a problem, I am aware of this – looking up tidbits about the various villains for FF7’s ‘verse. The Mind Seed thing honestly sounds less Sephiroth and more applicable to Genesis.

        In which case Zack up there’s already had to deal with one power crazed genetics expiriment gone wrong pull those shenanigans.

        Actually… Following that and previous logic and what I read on the various wikis Sephiroth is probably some sort of Super Inspired with Jenova replaced by il-Lashtavar.

        Hmm. Following this… My understanding is that in FF7 Sephiroth was an at least moderately heroic individual who ended up going crazy and deciding he was the inheritor of Jenova’s will, and so he should basically rinse and repeat her actions by absorbing the Lifestream she’d fed on and then destroying Planet to go seeking another world to start everything over anew. What that would mean – whether he would create a new species to populate this planet or if he’d just devour that planet’s Lifestream before moving on to the next like a white-haired Japanese Galactus – was never really made clear.

        I think.

        Anyways, translating that, if Sephiroth is some kind of Super Inspired he must’ve come to the Inspired party a bit late in life – if you really want to create an equivalent backstory. It’s entirely possible that – since by the end of things he’s also broken with Shinra’s goals to pursue his own world ending ones – he’s either broken with the Dragonmarked Houses in favor of the Path of Inspiration, or he’s going to break from the Path of Inspiration’s inner circle.

        If breaking from the Dragonmarked Houses is the limit of his betrayals, then his equivalent to landing a meteor on the planet would probably be some crazy gambit to throw open the Gates to Dal Quor. That’d probably bring Eberron and Dal Quor back into convergence for the first time since the ancient Quori warred with the Giants of Xen’drik, and leave the Quori free to prey on Eberron as they pleased.

        If he ends up breaking from the Path of Inspiration, then he probably has deluded himself (unless he’s right, which: maybe?) into believing he’s become the Host of il-Lashtavar. Since this would mean il-Lashtavar has figured out through Sephiroth the trick that the Kalashtar pulled off to free themselves of the mass extinction of Dal Quor that follows the Turning of the Ages, to Sephie the most obvious next step is ensuring the end of this age before he and il-Lashtavar can possibly be unbound and il-Lashtavar made potentially mortal again. Therefore *cue Meteor summoning spell* Nothing ensures the turning of an age like mass extinctions, genocide, and the remaking of the planet’s crust!

        …Anyone who knows FF7 and Eberron better ‘n me up for writing a module?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As a module I’d lean more towards the ‘Throw open the gates to Dal Quor’ ending, since that can be handled sort of shadow war style without changing the Status Quo (is God) of Eberron itself too much. The other goal for Sephiroth would be better used in major Adventure where the GM didn’t care about maintain said Status Quo.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Eberron wiki was unhelpful, so I am asking you: does the Path of Inspiration trick humans into letting the quori possess them? How independent is the host?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well. Things just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Zack, and at least Vincent. Wonder what these crazy idjits are gonna make of Kirito and Argo’s achievements.

    And is this a sign of Stheno actively starting to work against Beniryuu, I wonder?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, as unexpected arrivals go, you do worse than Zack and whoever else he dragged along (one of them is most likely Cloud. Because those two? Peanut butter and jelly. Or at least that’s the impression I’ve got from various fan fic) . . . a lot worse.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmmm. For the FF7 …not quite illiterate… let’s say ‘for those of us lacking in exact FF7 lore’ why a Tiefling?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay, that makes perfect sense. Especially since Kingdom Hearts was how I first came to FF7 and FF8 myself. Shocked the heck out of me when I first saw Cloud’s ‘normal’ look and found out that in Kingdom Hearts it was originally going to be Vincent running around in Hercules’ Coliseum. ‘S why Cloud in Kingdom Hearts looks like he stole Vincent’s outfit for a Halloween gag.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Extensive research reveals that there are only two possibilities for the remaining members of Zack’s party. Lucrecia Crescent or the female Turk who uses shurikens. Genesis or (obnoxious political joke).

    For the answer to this exciting question, stay tuned.


    1. Okay. I spent two hours looking up who Genesis is in FF7. What’s the obnoxious political joke? Because for the life of me I can’t figure out what you’re referencing. Unless you were equating Genesis’ love (no pun intended) of the in-universe play/poem Loveless to the current popularity of the play Hamilton?

      … That’s, that’s really all I can think of.


      1. Sorry, that part was deliberately unfinished because none of what came to mind would have been funny to the full audience. (I’ve actually spent some time recently trying to tune political jokes for specific audiences. Narrow groups are easier. Were general audiences always this hard?) I also should have put in a smiley, because Poe’s law.

        In all seriousness, the problem the players have would be mitigated by a cleric to free up the prisoners, and someone to give extra crowd control. Aeris is a good bet for cleric, and I dunno for the other. Anyone a good match for a wizard wizard, or a high level sorcerer?

        Re: Hamilton, ever notice how few of the Hamilton fanboys are proponents of actual Hamiltonian foreign policy?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Aerith is a good choice for Cleric, amusingly I imagine she’s one of those lesser-seen-but-often-mentioned Clerics who doesn’t​ have a patron diety, but instead has dedicated herself to a goal, code of behaviors, or Alignment.

        No idea on a good caster though. I’m pretty sure all the other party members were more physical combat focused, or a mix of physical and magic.

        Re: Hamilton
        That’s because they less approach it from the classic politics contained therein than from the play’s narrative meaning, story arc, and lyrical construction.

        Liked by 1 person

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