Monstrous Compendium Ch7 bit – Curses

So far, Kirito hadn’t stumbled across any way to derail Kayaba’s plan. It was possible there wasn’t a way; not from inside the game Kayaba himself had designed.

But that wouldn’t be fair. And outside of messes like Pollista, SAO is fair.

In fact, if what Vincent had told him was true, the Psiwasp Nest might have been fair. He’d had the chance to follow up on Tae’s comment about rangers. He’d avoided it. If he’d paid attention – if he’d had his head in Aincrad, instead of insisting he was only a swordsman – then he might have felt the psiwasps coming. And if he’d accepted that he did have the wild’s magic, instead of mentally sticking his fingers in his ears because he didn’t think that was human….

Then they wouldn’t have dazed me, and we’d have fought them off. Kirito grimaced. We could have taken the nest on our own terms. It wouldn’t have been an easy fight. We still might have lost people. But that’s a risk we take in every boss fight. It could have been fair.

And Kirito was beginning to suspect SAO had to be fair. Whether Kayaba liked it or not. The laws of magic demanded it.

He’s trying to transform humans into youkai and yank us all into their world, Kirito thought. It doesn’t matter how he’s justifying it. People don’t know what they’re getting into; they didn’t when we came into the game, and they don’t now that they’re being adopted. That makes SAO – all of it – malevolent magic.

Not like a lightning bolt, or a fireball; those were harmful magic, yes, but no more evil than a dragon’s claws. This was deceptive magic. Magic you couldn’t dodge and couldn’t fight. Magic meant to warp your free will, and never let you have a chance to know something was wrong until it was too late. In layman’s terms, a curse.

And since no sane being wanted to be cursed, malevolent magic cost its user. It cost a lot. Because you were working against the innate magic of life itself….

I know how to tell Asuna.

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35 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch7 bit – Curses

      1. I wonder if Stheno’s made the same realization as Kirito. And if she hasn’t I want to see her reaction when he brings it up.

        …actually scratch that I want to see her reaction anyway.

        Liked by 4 people

  1. Good that Kirito realizes that he was holding himself back, and that caused issues. And a curse is oddly fitting to the situation, not that it means it is easy to dispel. I do wonder if there will be any feedback in Eberron due to the curse and people realizing that it is a curse.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Of course, the fact that it’s a curse means they may be able to hack it. One optional rule on curses is they can be more powerful if there is an escape clause.

      Which means anything they do will have to be considered very, very carefully – because inserting an escape clause will make it more powerful….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I was mainly thinking that if you don’t know there is a curse, you might not even fight it, while if you know there is one, you might be able to make it harder for the caster just by fighting the curse.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. That’s why I was worried about the player deaths being a sacrifice to power the magic. Not something deliberately sought for but if the deaths are happening anyway, well. Waste not want not! And it would take some of the onus of the curse off of Kayaba, allowing him to play Heathcliff easier. Also, death magics are really difficult and tricky to dispel.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Not a whole lot. Something that was sort of side-stepped in the novels (and in the anime too IIRC) is that Kazuto and Kirito…aren’t really all that different. The major differences in the two come about not from an internal difference in who either are, but in the environment in which they exist. It could be said that Kirito is Kazuto in an environment where the normal rules of the society in which Kazuto grew up are no longer in effect and Kazuto is Kirito in an environment where the laws of the world are completely different from those in Aincrad.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. i think its a bit more- not just products of the environments they started at, but each also belonging the his own environment-him holding back and trying to ignore the ranger skill, to keep what he saw of his humanity-that was kazuto part of him.

    and the Kirito would be out of place and feel like a stranger in japan.

    each side is more at home at its environment-and the important question is if he will choose his family back in japan-as kazuto, or his friends and allies in aincrad, as kirito. not only which one he will decide to got to at the end (should he have actual choice), but also which one he would have preferred. which one he would want to live in at the end.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good analysis, Kirito.

    And good on you for being self-aware AND honest enough with yourself to realize that ignoring that you are a ranger was a mistake, one that did back-fire horribly and could do so again.

    Through part of me thinks that it is only fair from a certain point of view. Because while a ranger might have realized there was a psiwasp nest, just how many player-rangers are there, hmm? How many people even realize that it is possible? Not many. Kinda of like how a Moonsword could do certain handy things but they don’t have many of them.

    Through I suppose if Argo gets out the word about rangers and maybe how one becomes one, they might get more rangers . . . .

    Or as Stheno pointed out, no band of adventurers in the real place would have gone after THAT without clerics. Which the players don’t have. Probably because at least some of the gods would have words about this venture. Of course, some of them would just sit back and applaud the red dragon for his cunning plan and be totally supportive (with maybe a few tweaks because reasons).

    Still the tricky part will be figuring out to break or even mitigate this curse. And getting the information out there without starting a massive panic and/or riot and/or second wave of suicides. And yes, I do realize they are going to lose some people to those regardless of how they do it . . . still . . .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tricky indeed. Though Argo has been doing some groundwork to hopefully ease the realization.

      And as for clerics… well, no matter what Beniryuu planned, at some point a critical mass of people praying to anything that might help might have effects….

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Oh dear. You aren’t planning to deify Asuna are you? Or even worse Kirito?

        …what? It’s danced around in canon but it’s clear that Asuna was a /very/ popular person. To the point that it might not be out of the realm of possibility for certain people to have started a cult to her. I mean what’s his face – Kuradeel the Skeevy – was obsessed with her and it’s heavily implied that he wasn’t the only one, just the one that managed to get closest. In a setting like /this/ Aincrad coupled with her new wings it’s entirely possible she might end up with genuine worshipers.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. >
        at some point a critical mass of people praying to anything that might help might have effects….
        >
        And then there is the question of who might answer. Eberron might end up getting a few new gods.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. My bunnies had the horrible, awful thought that everyone better hope that one of the deities who chooses to involve themselves in this isn’t a certain merciful goddess.

        Not saying that help from said deity wouldn’t be useful and it would get the job done . . . but there is a reason a certain cranky priest’s recommendation would be “Be careful. Asking for that one for help tends to get you stuck with monkeys and other idiots.”

        Of course, knowing that one, one of hir solutions would probably be to stick said cranky priest with the task of helping.

        I told them this story already has enough crossover elements without adding more. They just shrugged and said there is always other stories . . .

        Liked by 2 people

      4. *Makes mad ward-off gestures.*

        …Hopefully the Merciful Goddess is too busy giggling on the floor at how badly Beniryuu has underestimated the human capability to throw Spanners in the Works to actually, y’know, get involved.

        Because eeeep…..

        Liked by 2 people

      5. >
        “New” might depend on where you’re standing. Kuan Yin and Susanowoo would argue they’re quite old, thank you….
        >
        Well they are new to Eberron at the very least.
        -double checks-
        Huh. I normally see those two spelled as Guan Yin and Susanoo. Learn something new every day.

        Though speaking of said Storm god I have to wonder if his sister is going to poke her head in. I mean these are her children calling out for aid.

        Amaterasu: “Hmm, how to appear before my would-be Miko? There’s always the argument for the more traditional look but these are children of a new age and best to use different tactics then the locals. Come to think of it, there was that delightful little game
        starring me a few years ago. That will do nicely.”

        Liked by 2 people

      6. >
        Given werewolves, shapeshifters, and cute monster girls, that seems very appropriate. 🙂
        >
        Cue some of the local gods grumbling about bloody claim jumpers when the new-comers start making in-roads with the natives. The Shinto gods then point out that that the Eberron gods never did the proverbial writing in stone that XYZ factions/peoples/groups/races etc weren’t allowed to worship different gods.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Didn’t Stheno poke at Benryuu’s pride about the entire ‘no clerics’ issue being unrealisitc? (Such insult!)

      If all that prayer doesn’t get through, his scaly red magnificance will probably make an opening himself. Which could get interesting… either you have whatever is powerful enough to force it’s way through, or an opening anything can exploit if they’re sneaky enough.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. You could just have clerics worshipping concepts or the elements.
    Those are allowed by the rules in general and unlike FR Eberron doesn’t have a restriction against it iirc.

    Of course players first have to know that’s possible. It’s not exactly something you just stumble on.

    Like

  5. is it just me or is your spellwork being a curse like your movie getting a R rating?

    this is actually an interesting complication. it forces the antagonist to hold back and be fair while giving a hint of hope.

    Liked by 2 people

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