Monstrous Compendium Ch8 bit – Renegade

Snow fell, white and silent, muffling the sounds of battle behind him. Kirito spared one thought for Fuurinkazan, up against the Divine Dragons – let them win, let them be safe

Closed off his heart, and ran on.

“You seek Nicholas the Renegade,” Vincent’s grim voice rang through memory, as Kirito skidded to a halt in a drift. Fast fingers adjusted his inventory, gearing for the fight. This had to be the right place, he could hear phantom sleigh bells…. “He is a powerful undead.”

Above, two streaks of light through the night. A fur-trimmed red coat fluttered as it fell, giant-sized boots aiming to stomp Kirito even before the event boss landed-

“And he won’t be alone.”

Kirito jumped back and braced himself as Nicholas the Renegade landed, dodging sideways the next instant as a frost-chain scythed through the air where he’d been standing. The undead goblin-spawn one of Caerulus’ tomes had called tomtin hissed through decaying lips, following up with a whirling figure-eight meant to drive him toward the rest of the jangle.

Kirito hurled darkfire with his free hand, shattering unnatural ice. Links gleamed like poisoned diamonds in violet shadow-flames.

The next instant, the undead’s negative energy yanked frost-links back together. But Kirito was already past, one well-aimed Horizontal taking the tomtin through the throat.

Ordinarily, undead didn’t care if they bled out. Which was why he’d aimed precisely.

Spine severed, the tomtin shattered.

Now he was inside Nicholas’ range. That giant ax would kill him if it connected, but the rest of the jangle of tomtin were equally at risk if they got too close. Which meant he might survive the next few seconds. Not much longer, as one sword alone….

Teeth bared at the night, Kirito drew his second sword.

Dual Blades.

He didn’t know when he’d gained the Skill. He didn’t know why. And he definitely didn’t know why the system treated it differently from any regular swordsman trying to wield two swords. It had just been there, weeks ago; and his careful work leveling it up had given him the first threadbare hope that he could actually win this event battle. He hadn’t mastered the Skill, not yet, but two-sword style had been part of Grandfather’s teachings and he had paid attention-

Ice on steel. Steel on steel, ringing sharp in snowy air. Kirito whirled in a storm of darkfire-lit blades, holding off the tomtin while slicing away Nicholas’ HP. The air was cold, colder than any natural winter; the deadly chill of undeath that would suck the life from most players before they even knew they were dying.

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43 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch8 bit – Renegade

      1. Kayaba’s super nice, really a great guy.

        The atmosphere was breathable, not every surface was coated with contact poisons, the bosses didn’t go out with a nuclear bang, and there were barely any byakhee.

        4/10, best GM I ever played with, might consider playing again if my entire extended family were held hostage.

        -Most positive rating SAO received after the launch issue was known. Not counting paid for games journalism.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Worse, they’re almost exclusively divine magic, mostly because of D&D’s prejudices regarding the nature of life. (*grump grump*). No way Beniryuu’s letting that in any time soon.

        You *could* do it with arcane magic, there are ways, but usually they’re firmly in the ‘evil’ boat. Otherwise, closest you’re going to get is sentient undead, which… uh, given the traditional Japanese response to, say, Madoka Magica, would probably get a “pass” even from the people themselves.

        Of course, once they’re out, wish can duplicate *true resurrection* and revive the dead from only the name and intent, and if the player base doesn’t have at least one person who can cast that spell – even if they shouldn’t have the level – I’ll eat my hat. Not even counting, not only Stheno herself, but everyone reachable through a degree of separation of Stheno – because getting Stheno to owe you a favor is totally worth a few resurrection spells. Mass true resurrection, of everyone who died in SAO, would be an epic spell, but not actually all that tough of one as such things go, I don’t believe – the magnitude ratings go up pretty fast relative to the spellcraft DC and the player base are demonstrably very, very good at spellcraft.

        But within the game they’re probably not going to get much until limited wish gets them raise dead, which requires the whole body – and players don’t leave bodies in SAO. Funny, that. *glares at Beniryuu*

        Liked by 3 people

      3. >>You *could* do it with arcane magic, there are ways, but usually they’re firmly in the ‘evil’ boat.

        Point of order: the actual primary high level arcane spell for bringing back the dead – barring Wish, as the direct arcane equivalent to Miracle – is in fact Clone, which does bring back the original soul from the afterlife. Problem is it requires something with a DNA sample to work off of.
        So, not really any more useful here than Raise Dead, but still… I thought it was worth bringing up.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. . . . Fair enough. That… That was a fairly emphatic ‘No’. Is there a story behind that? More precisely, is there a story you’re willing to share?

        Further along, it makes sense that Beniryuu would be carefully editing what’s​ allowed and what isn’t in his game (just like any GM).

        >>Isn’t Clone marked Necromancy (Evil)?

        I… was actually pretty certain it wasn’t aligned? Though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was from the Necromancy school, but in early editions Raise Dead, True Ressurrection, and I’m pretty sure all the Cure songs spells were as well, so that’s not actually all that surprising.
        Besides, the alignment descriptors on several spells are… kind of silly, frankly, and Arcanists couldn’t give less of a rat’s behind about the alignment of what they’re casting if they tried.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Isn’t Clone marked Necromancy ? It’s been a while.

        Regardless, yes, it still requires a flesh sample, so it’s useless to the SAO survivors. They need true resurrection, and the only way to get it other than divine magic is wish.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Of course, for all we know, the downside to this version is that it’ll be some sort of undead-creation spell instead. Or maybe “Reincarnation”, which at least “brings them back” even if it’s not really “them” any more. I don’t remember PF’s “Breath of Life” spell being in d&d, so we can hope it’s actually a real rez spell instead.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. >
      They are a real thing. But do you think Kayaba’s that nice?
      >
      Probably requires a sacrifice from the caster and recipient or is just so high leveled/insane material costs to cast, the spell is practically useless.

      Then there is the classic ‘needs to be used within X seconds of the person dying or it’s useless.’

      There are also likely a bunch of other provisos added in. All the body parts must be present and in good condition, the corpse can’t have had any lasting magical effects active, the person can’t have been petrified etc etc.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. >
        And there’s always canon….
        >
        That’s partially what I was referring to in regards to the time limit (~10 seconds to use the Divine Stone of Returning Soul).

        However here you’ve specially had spells being chanted and some taking time (see Argo’s flame disc). So depending on how many words are involved in the Rez spell (along with various somatic, material, Foci being used etc) the time limit could be longer then canon.

        For example the caster might have to chant for about a minute while having a lit candle made from sacred/blessed materials directly over the subject’s heart, placed on bare skin while waving a gohei (has to be personally made and enchanted by the caster with no help from anyone).

        You know, the sort of spell that needs a 20 page manual to cover all the required details. Because Red Dragon = A**hole who wants to see how many hoops he can make the silly little humans jump through in order to get what they want.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. the magical simulation powered by the players who are slain might change the difficulty of resurrections a bit.

      plus, the fallout of a working resurrection mechanic in a death game on the player base would be interesting. it is one of those things that could make you question the reality of the situation.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. i love how the abridged version did that boss

      it is an great episode you should watch. but that scene captures the WTF-ness of evil zombie santa

      Liked by 2 people

  1. In SAO canon, the “resurrection spell” probably worked by issuing a cancel to the player-kill command before it went active — probably Kayaba had a several second delay built into the game from the beginning, between the “shatter to pixels” moment and the time the NG actually fired its lethal microwave pulse.
    But in this story… if the resurrection spell *doesn’t* have that “use within X seconds of avatar derezzing” limit.. then how would it work? I’m going to *assume* that Aincrad-based spells can’t casually reach across to Earth and rez someone who’s been dead (and possibly buried or cremated, oy!) for an arbitrary length of time. Maybe… “dead” players are actually being held in magical limbo, in Aincrad (and can only resurrect them *in* Aincrad)? I could see KayaBenny doing that, because A$$HOLE. It would also be additional nightmare fuel for the “cache flush” if/when the players clear SAO… Have I mentioned KB=A$$HOLE?
    “Oh, yes, those thousands of dead players? Before you kill me, you get to pick *one* to bring back to life. Aren’t I sooo generous?”

    (I really, really want a scene someday with KB *stapled* to the ground by dozens of player weapons, while the players stand around idly discussing what pieces of gear/luggage they’re going to make from their share of his hide, and watching him *squirm*….)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. >
      (I really, really want a scene someday with KB *stapled* to the ground by dozens of player weapons, while the players stand around idly discussing what pieces of gear/luggage they’re going to make from their share of his hide, and watching him *squirm*….)
      >
      Rule number one when dealing with Dragons:You gloat and discuss how to turn him into luggage AFTER you’re 150% sure he is dead.

      Don’t ever give the lizard the chance to try and figure a way out of the jam he’s in.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. My assumption of how a resurrection spell works would be that it does exactly what it says in the title. It resurrects you…in specifically prepared ‘bodies/clones’ that are situated in Ebberon, ready to be plugged into SAO from that side (as in Vincent etc). What, you thought it would bring you back on Earth? No, your body from Earth has been cremated, or you have been buried. But he made you a shiny new body and everything, what are YOU complaining about? Its even BETTER than your old body, its stronger, faster (aka keeps up with the levels, or is already adapted to any adoption that went on).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. i could see Beniryuu doing this.

        I wonder if when SAO ends Beniryuu is like:

        Beniryuu: you have all been great sports so I’m using what power is left in this thing to resurrect as many players as i can. they will be waiting for you guys in Eberron.

        and we have a vertion of the Fairy Dance Arc

        he would probably be going from highest level to lowest level. lets the useless stay dead while recovering the good ones.

        Liked by 2 people

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