Monstrous Compendium Ch6 bit – Dragon’s Pride

“You unmitigated idiot.”

Lips curled back from a dragon’s fangs. “Tread carefully, Lady of Shattered Stone. Your interference has already-”

“My interference?” Stheno hissed at the image in her watery globe. “I scryed the nest’s beginning. You set it off after they cleared the level!”

“Danger can appear in the most unexpected places.” Beniryuu smirked at her, steam rising from red nostrils. “We should not teach them to assume they have found all the perils of a land-”

“They have no clerics!

Massive eyes blinked. “Surely you would not wish to draw the gods’ attention to this little game.” Ivory glinted in a wicked smile. “Euryale would never let you put Aincrad’s seer at such risk.”

So it is still a game to him. Stheno quelled the chill in her heart, and smirked right back. “Your game is out of balance, Kayaba. You know full well, no adventurers of Aincrad would assault a psiwasp nest without clerics and druids standing fast with them; to heal, to fight, to drive the undead and the abominations back into darkness. But you have given the players none of that strength. Instead, you’ve made healing magic rare and expensive. And the Moonswords whose magic claws back the darkness, rarer still.” She shrugged, deliberately casual. “It’s your game. Yours is the will that shapes the rules of this world. But without divine healing, without the power of the wild to help our warriors grow and survive… it is not truly Aincrad.”

If there was one flaw dragons had, it was pride.

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28 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch6 bit – Dragon’s Pride

  1. Yeah, now that you mention it, don’t dragons cast of charisma? What effect would casting from charisma have on someone’s personality if that was a major influence during their formative years?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. to quote an in character fanfic resposne over on Spacebattles:
        “Damn it! I’m a spontaneous spellcaster! Ham flows in my veins like blood!”

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Well there is a reason that people say that Sorcerers are ‘descendants of dragons’. Pride is their big thing…which kind of makes sense since in most DnD worlds they sit near the apex with very few people approaching or succeeding their power. There are codified ways for Dragons to slowly start transitioning into minor deities after all, and that’s not an unusual thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Is Stheno trying to trick Beniryuu into putting more healing magic into the game by appealing to his vanity and his desire for things to be perfect? I really hope this works!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Huh, what’s the difference between a shaman’s healing capabilities versus that of a druid or cleric? I was under the impression all three could dole out the HP as needed.

    As for pride and charisma/force of will, they can quite easily drown out one’s accumulated wisdom/common sense pointing out that ‘Yes there is a problem here’.

    So even though Stheno is 100% correct on this, it’s not going to be easy for her to actually convince Beniryuu he is actually in the wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. With Clerics it depends on how your DM likes to dole out the divine magic.

      Most, I expect, just give your cleric what you said they prayed for at the beginning of the in-game day or the max number of spells the cleric can cast, without actually specifying what those spells are. (Like you do in video games but with spell slots rather than MP as the limiting factor)

      Others might decide to roll from a table or assign spells to a cleric, i.e. “Your god grants you these spells today, don’t spend them all in one place.” … which idea I would suggest to my DM, just for the amusement factor, but he won’t even make use of the fact that there’s a Favored Soul in the party…

      Like

    2. Expanding on CrossOverCreativeChaos’ response: Druids don’t learn all the really good healing magic Clerics do, and when Druids do learn it they tend to learn it later. The real advantage Cleric’s get as healers in Rules as Written DnD is this though: both Druids and Clerics are prepared casters, they have to meditate and every morning assign which spells (of the many they have access to) they can cast that day and how many times they can cast them. But they have spontaneous options. Druid’s and Clerics can choose to spontaneously cast one specific spell of each level like they were a Sorcerer, converting their choice of whichever spell they have yet to cast of that level over to their singular spontaneous option. Specifically a Druid can spontaneously cast any level from I to IX of Summon Nature’s Ally. Which… is useful, but Clerics pick at level 1 based off their Alignment and God whether they channel healing Positive Energy or destructive Negative Energy, depending on their choice that Cleric can also spontaneously cast either the various Cure X Wounds spells or the Inflict X Wounds spells.
      So Clerics get better healing spells, faster than anyone else, that they can spontaneous cast.

      What FeatherBlade brings up… is technically accurate. Divine magic is technically – in most settings – granted by an outside source. For Clerics and Paladins that source is whatever they worship – usually a god, but the core books make it clear that worship of more esoteric concepts like the alignments such as ‘Good’ or ‘Chaos’ are also acceptable sources – so GM fiat means that the GM can assign which spells the Cleric gets each day as they see fit. Some players may enjoy that.
      It is not however Rules as Written. According to DnD’s RaW the choice of who/what you worship determines what your Paladin, Cleric, or similar Divine class can learn to cast, but the character (or at least player) chooses what of that greater list their spells are each day. This is actually pretty important to clarify, because the latter is considered the default and how Divine casters are presented in most books or media based on DnD, and further their are many DnD players who will flip out if they feel that the GM is a) violating the rules, and especially b) taking control of their character away from them… Which FeatherBlade’s suggestion could really easily fall under.

      I got distracted partway through that; FeatherBlade’s explanation also only holds water for some Divine Casters. Clerics and Paladins gain their spells/class abilities through worship. Druids and Rangers can gain their spells through worship of Nature, and Druids are often represented as doing so by default, but Druids and Rangers actually gain their spells through a spiritual connection and being especially in-tune with Nature/the word around them.

      Of course, all of this is moot in a baseline Eberron setting. In Eberron the gods can grant spells (probably. Doesn’t say anywhere that they can’t) but the setting creator – as part of the setting’s ambiguity and absentee gods – specifically stated that Divine casters draw their magic from within themselves, just like Arcane casters. It’s got different rules because it’s based on faith, not raw magic, force or will, or knowledge of the universe and how it works, but the caster is still the source.

      Really no idea what’s up with the Shaman though. I don’t recognize the Shaman as any class from 3.x, and while it sounds kind of like Pathfinder’s Witch or Shaman classes, both of those get a bit more healing ‘oomph’ than CrossOverCreativeChaos has ascribed to their Shamans in-fic (even if Pathfinder’s Shaman and Witch still get less healing than the Cleric).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bravo for the clarification and expansion, sightlessraiton. Much appreciated.

        Yes, of the divine spell casters, I’ve never played a Druid, and my ranger isn’t yet high enough level for spells, so I haven’t bothered with the rules for either of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. *Points above* All of this.

        And I have to admit, I’m not exactly sure what my plotbunnies are basing youkai shamans on besides “every edge-of-cleric class/ witch doctor we’ve read about, since Beniryuu was avoiding Divine as much as possible”.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One could argue that you were somehow basing the Shaman on the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Shaman. 🙂

        I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case. Sometimes I go pretty far for the sake of a joke.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooooo, critical hit! The dragon’s pride has been hit, roll again for buffs! 😀 Stheno definitely has a point, and Beniryuu/Kayaba needs a swift kick in his scaly behind – adding something after the dungeon is cleared is not cool!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. On the other hand, well yeah its not perfect but the Dragon kind of has a point. This is a cruel but carefully controlled experiment…drawing the Gods attention towards it might not be the best idea, as the entire thing might go seriously off the rails.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *Snicker* Thank-You Stheno! For giving voice to what several of us have been thinking at this point.

    “You unmitigated idiot.”

    That felt lovely to read.
    Now I’m really hoping Kirito and/or Asuna get a chance to tell the lizard the same to his face before breaking down his stupid in detail.
    Because we’ve talked about and seen in-fic where the Dragon could’ve taken less sadistic options to impart the same lessons without bloodshed. The fact that he chooses to kill to emphasize his points… Sure. The deaths emphasize his lessons, but from a purely cold logic kind of view the deaths are just a waste of resources. The only real thing they add by actually happening that other methods don’t grant is to Beniryuu’s amusement. I wonder if anyone gets the chance to point out that Beniryuu introduced flaws and unnecessary risks into a risky, unique, doubtlessly resources intensive undertaking like this purely for his own amusement. Even at his most Evil interpretations the king of Karrnath isn’t that dumb. I wonder how much it’ll still Beniryuu’s Draconic Pride when he realizes the Mortals have been proving themselves smarter than him. He may flambe whoever points it out in a fit of rage… but he’ll still remember that insult for the rest of his existence. Further, to quote someone else: ‘Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.’

    Man. I think I may have more respect for canon Kayaba than for Beniryuu at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

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