Monstrous Compendium Ch 11 Ficbit – Displacer’s Shadow

Heathcliff charged, the cross-shaped shield vanishing into mist. Steel sang.

Sword Skill. Asuna tensed, listening to the pitch of it. But no impact

And then there was, fast and furious and definitely not Heathcliff’s greatsword.

Red armor staggered out the other side of the mist, trailing violet wisps and at least three new wounds, a truly outraged look thinning the fighter’s lips.

Kirito… wasn’t in the center? Asuna almost groaned. Argo. Had to be something he got from Argo.

That or Kirito had hacked the invocation himself. Her husband just wasn’t happy unless he had at least three tricks up his sleeve.

And you didn’t think you’d miss, did you, Commander? Dragons have blindsense. And that made Asuna’s vision go red with pure fury, because it was yet another puzzle piece falling into place of how Heathcliff had come untouched through so many boss battles….

“We stand against those who would corrupt and twist the world,” Klein breathed, fingers gripping silver. “Which would be a little easier if we could, y’know, stand. Not fair Kirito’s facing a freaking floor boss on his own. If even one of us could give him a hand….”

Even one, Asuna agreed silently. Please, if I could just fight with him!

Her ears brought her a bare, familiar whisper through the fog; of night, and the dark beyond all night.

Moonsword. Asuna almost bared her teeth. We have ways to handle blinds!

Mist surged over Heathcliff, and steel rang on steel.

Red armor pulled free, a fighter’s maai blasting the invocation to misty shreds. Heathcliff swerved to face his revealed foe, sword slashing across and down like an avalanche through black leather-

Through a wavering image of black leather, that took the blow with not a trace of gleaming red injury.

A/N: Okay, whoof, I just got past a snarly Gordian knot of plotting a crazy conversation – in part by figuring out how to avoid it entirely….

ATM it looks like MCO will be 12 chapters plus a short chapter of epilogue. 12 is roughed, now I need to figure out how to do the finishing scenes. *Knocks on wood!*

28 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 11 Ficbit – Displacer’s Shadow

  1. -“We stand against those who would corrupt and twist the world,” Klein breathed, fingers gripping silver. “Which would be a little easier if we could, y’know, stand. Not fair Kirito’s facing a freaking floor boss on his own. If even one of us could give him a hand….”

    Even one, Asuna agreed silently. Please, if I could just fight with him!-
    Ehile these sorts of requests/prayers can and will get replies from various entities (divine and otherwise) in the D&D verses, I imagine Beniryuu has locked down SAO enough that even the Silver Flame can’t directly help its chosen right now.

    And Kirito is spamming the illusion/misdirection spells. Best move he can make but it’s now a race to see what depleats first: Kirito’s mana pool or Beniryuu’s HP.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think that Vathara is re-framing divine spells as miracles that you pray for from a god, so this is basically Klein casting Remove Paralysis using prayer.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I got to use that with my “daughter of Sarenrae” character, in a later campaign that the GM had be help out with as a cameo/psuedo-npc (my character was coming in significantly higher level than the others, to help out with something before moving on). I’d taken the mythic stuff to be able to give worshippers magic as part of my character working towards ascension in her own right (aiming for a focus on “the fire of hope in the darkness”, that is, the more proactive personal heroism where hope is in risk of failing or there’s no one else to save them, rather than the more general types of heroic/good/fight-evil that focuses on the big picture), and had been reading the fluff parts of the details of that ability and of the cleric class and divine casting in PF, so it was all fresh in my mind when things happened.

        My character had been explicitly in-character sent to the city the main party was in, on a mission from Sarenrae to deal with something in the region, and while there my character got to be friends with one of the characters in the main party (who was a follower of Sarenrae). When the party went off on another quest, at one point they were stuck in a magical evil darkness, up against a corrupted major fey and demon lord, trying to save a dryad that was dying (and had already been tortured), and finding their only plan was unlikely to succeed. Almost perfectly set up to trigger the portfolio that I was aiming for my character to have.

        So I pointed out the bits of fluff and GM advice about divine magic, that notes that _technically_ the spell list for clerics is actually a “default common list” but individual gods may be able to give different spells. Also, technically, while the cleric asks for spells, it’s up to the god to choose which spells to give (whether to give the ones asked, or to give others, which it’s noted in the fluff is _specifically_ something gods do to suggest alternate courses of action, or because they know what’s coming). Also, _technically_ the god can give spells whenever it chooses, not just when the cleric prepares spells. Also, _technically_ there’s no hard rule prohibiting multiple gods from giving a cleric spells, it’s just noted to not normally be done.

        As such, the GM agreed that with it being a near textbook perfect case of the portfolio my character was aiming for, the party character having befriended mine, my character being in the region on a mission from the party character’s god (and that god’s daughter), and my character having a spell available that would do what the party needed at the time (not a standard cleric spell, but I’d paid the cost to get it added to my spell-list), that I could be allowed to provide it for their use at that time. That session was a fun bit of roleplay, especially because normally people treat clerics as essentially no different than wizards in-setting-mechanics, not just in-game mechanics, despite the fluff stating the exact opposite.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. -Pretty much. I liked the Curse of the Azure Bonds Forgotten Realms book; paladin’s spells are indeed prayers!-
        Of course the question is if the Silver Flame can break through whatever Beniryuu is using to pin the players without accidentally frying it’s new paladin. Because I doubt the lizard just used a bog-standard AoE paralysis spell. Particularly since he’d know that divine powers were starting to worm their way into his program.

        -And heh. Yep, dragon versus human, who falls over first?-
        Depends on how many poisons/toxins Kirito has coated his blades with. Because while an ancient dragon might laugh off his augmented cockatrice venom, Beniryuu currently isn’t in said form.

        And as a ranger he’d be able to convince a good number of the ‘natural’ gribbles on the higher floors he meets to let him harvest some venom in exchange for food r whatever.

        -ATM it looks like MCO will be 12 chapters plus a short chapter of epilogue.-
        Personal guesses:
        Chapter 11 involves the death of Beniryuu and the immediate fallout/reactions in both worlds as SAO goes kablooy.

        Chapter 12 shows whats been happening on earth with ALO prepping for the great ISOT event and the Kirigaya planning a family trip.
        Midori: “I’m not letting either of my children get spirited away to another realm without parental supervision.”

        Meanwhile the epilogue has various players and family members meeting the inhabitants of Aincrad IRL which includes Kathy Mills explaining to Gwynn that her husband is very much off limits. Said Sawnmay then reorientes onto Recon who proceeds to try and hide behind Suguha.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Intangibility on command is a ridiculously hax skill in any setting where physical fights are a big thing.

    Good to see Kirito’s been studying up on his game breaking skills XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s odd that Displacer beasts are referenced here, since their ability is based on bending light, rather than being in multiple places or something like that. The details of the ability even note it doesn’t work if the enemy “can locate the beast by some means other than sight”, and notes that “true seeing” is one thing that negates the effect, tho “see invisibility” doesn’t (because it’s not invisible, just has its image displaced). And “blindsight” is usually fluffed as being sound/vibration based, or occasionally as an exotic spatial sense, so one would think it would bypass a Displacer’s glamer. Unless maybe there’s a sound/vibration illusion added in, to counteract the blindsight?

      The more reasonable alternative would be Blink (going ethereal momentarily), because that at least wouldn’t be countered by blindsight… but Blink Dogs and Displacers are enemies, so the namedrop makes this odd. And, at this point, means of negating its benefit should be fairly common, especially for people like Kayaba (if Kayaba can both see and strike ethereal targets, then Blink has no benefit against him).

      Which kinda makes your suggestion the only halfway-reasonable option left. And as you say, it’s a powerful ability to have access to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not Displacer beasts, Displacer’s Shadow.

        It’s a spell-slash-ability… and given that this is not the first time it’s shown up in this fic (go back and re-read Chapter 2), it’s also one hell of a Chekhov’s Gun.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I was taking that to just be flowery description (as many other things are not given in strict “terms you find in the rulebook” form, because a lot of things were fluffed instead of using the rulebook names for them, and because I haven’t seen a spell with that particular name. Of course, I’ve not read anywhere close to all the splatbooks, so it’s entirely possible I’ve just not read the right one, and that it just happens to be one that I can’t find any mention of when searching on d&d sites and with google. That’s why I did the analysis above, because I couldn’t find any “displacer’s shadow” spell or magic item, but did find several related things (blink and displacement chief among them).

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Well, that explains things. I was looking first for “this is actually in a splatbook somewhere” first, instead of homebrew. Tho the homebrew spell you describe is one I’d want access to if I had it. In Pathfinder, I really liked the Decoy Ring for similar reason, tho it wasn’t as good. (spend one turn taking the “withdraw” action, which means “make a move action, and do not make an attack action this turn (tho there’s a loophole for non-“attack action” attack spells), and you get Invisibility for a few rounds, as well as three “decoy” illusions of you, that are sufficiently tangible to interact with stuff, but not attack, and can be directed independently as distractions)

        Liked by 2 people

  3. *tilts head*

    Wait a sec… that sounds very, very similar to Nura’s fear from Nura, Rise of the Yokai Clan…

    For those people who don’t know what that is… Nura is a kind of youkai that goes into people’s houses and drinks their tea when they aren’t looking (yes, he’s the reason your coffee cup never has as much coffee in it as you think it should). In combat this translates to him not being wherever his opponents see him being. And he’s one of the most feared youkai in Tokyo even though he’s not a type of youkai people associate with battles…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. XD.

        The anime isn’t half-bad either, even though it only goes halfway through Kyoto and skips a whole bunch of background development.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It occurs to me that a world that’s less … mechanized, than D&D; in a real world that can create narrow, focused geniuses like Ramanujan or Einstein or von Neumann, there’s a lot of things the rules don’t normally permit that could exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It occurs to me that a world that’s less … mechanized, than D&D; in a real world that can create narrow, focused geniuses like Ramanujan or Einstein or von Neumann, there’s a lot of things the rules don’t normally permit that could exist.

    I mention this because what Argo and Kirito and all the other casters did, in turning Beniryuu’s curse back on him in that poetic way, very much reads to me as an act of epic spellcasting; and that as a DM I’d totally allow it, because they are master programmers far in excess of their “level”, and Beniryuu has been foolish enough to create a path for them to follow, between the concepts they’re used to and the magic they’ve learned.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s