Update 16: Dad Was Proud, He Didn't Care How

...Heheheh, that one was good. Ahem, give me a second... "Darkness, death, blood: my tools of the-- Is that a caterpillar?!"
Pfft... Gonna guess Raven on that one, yeah?
I have the perfect one... "I'm ~Lanzon~, look at my ~muscles~ while I ~sit around being useless~"
Ah, precisely the perfect intonation. Is that smug voice perhaps hereditary for all Lunarians?
~I don't know~
Bahahahaha! Oh, oh, I've got a good one for Sasha...
This isn't actually the party I'm going to use for 11F, it's just the first frame of footage I had upon loading the game.

Also, manage your expectations: this isn't the 11F update. It's just taking care of loose ends from the 2nd Stratum. This update was split off from the 11F bits, because it was going way over SA's wordcount.

Ba-BOOM! BANG! ...Pow.
Anyway, let's assign our first specializations that weren't pre-determined.

Sasha will start out as a Gunpowder Dragoon. Sasha's custom spec name was a four-way tie, but I arbitrarily went with Panzer (submitted by Level Seven) because it sounded the coolest. I'm aware of the fact that it's 100% a reference to Panzer Dragoon--I've just never played Panzer Dragoon or have any idea what kind of game it is. Panzer just sounded cool.
It's kinda like Star Fox.

At last, my quest for a self-playing orchestra made of monster parts can begin in earnest.
Cecil starts out as a Combo Boxer, and holds the unique honor of having both the most votes for any specialization, and also the least votes for any opposition--Combo Boxer got 13 votes, while Devastating Fistfighter got 0. BEAR BREAKER (submitted by Sparda219) won by one vote.

...Y'know, I think those guys from Guild TFKrew were making fun of me when I called myself this...
Raven starts out as a Death-Bringing Reaper, with the name Edgelord (submitted by Dr. Fetus).

All shall bow before my newfound mastery of all of the forces of nature.
Kaelin's gonna start as a Master of the Six Ways, with the name Ruler of Heaven (original "Heaven's Emperor" submitted by Omobono, "Heaven's Ruler" shortening submitted by GeneralYeti, "Ruler of Heaven" version submitted by AweStriker).

Wait, what was that first name?
No need to trouble yourself, dear.
Lanzon becomes a Spirit-Destroying Necromancer to start, with the name Morbid Model (submitted by Sparda219).

Mio n' those kids at the bar were especially insistent on me shouting "FALCON PUNCH!" Can't say no to that many of 'em, heh.
Gram becomes a Falcon-Accompanied Hound, with the incredibly-obvious-in-retrospect custom name Captain Falcon (submitted by AweStriker).

死ね, 死ね, 死ね! ...Yeah, that sounded cool.
Jana becomes a Four Heavens as One Masurao because of course that one was gonna win, with the name Death Blossom (submitted by Sparda219).

Oh, are you volunteering? Thanks, Mio, I needed someone to man the shipping stations!
Wait, but... I... That's not what that...
Lastly, Mio becomes a Heaven's Love Shaman, which feels oddly appropriate, with the very much normally appropriate name On-Deck Shipper (submitted by alcharagia).

This is the party we're actually going with. Before we set out, though, there's some things I have to take care of.

Such as level ups. Much like subclassing in EO3 and EO4, assigning a specialization to a character gives them five free skill points.

For everyone, not just Sasha, one point immediately goes in their "The X's Favor" skill, which is the Grace of skills, but it activates on Master skills instead of Basic skills.

Sasha wastes three points in Barrage Wall to unlock Rapid Cannon, Curse Cannon, and Sleep Cannon. She then puts a sole point in Sleep Cannon.

Cecil doesn't put any points in Master skills, he just levels up One-Two to 9, and Flicker to 8, since I want the One-Two-related skills as powerful as possible before I start putting points in Corkscrew and Lead Blow.

Raven puts three points into Death's Judgement, which unlocks Fresh Blood Slash and Great Scythe of Cold Ash. He then puts a point into Great Scythe of Cold Ash.

A couple of skills I want for Lanzon are locked behind Merciless Wall, which I hadn't unlocked yet, so I did so, which involved putting his four usable points into Moaning Spirits and Soul Food.

Magda puts her four points into Smoke Boost because I value speed above almost all else on disablers.

Also, I have some final business to take care of in the 2nd Stratum--the first of which is the Labyrinth Cormorant stuff. The dialogue for this is the same as it was when we last saw this guy on 6F, and it repeats on 8F, 9F, and 10F.

Before that, though, cow. I put Dosen in my party here so I'd have someone that knows Animal Husbandry.
You arrive at where the guard told you you could find a cow. In an area enclosed by cliffs, you find a cow calmly walking along. It seems to live a relaxed life, eating what little greenery there is. However, you heard that you'll need someone who knows Animal Husbandry to approach it. Do you have someone who does? If so, then there's no problem, but if not you should come again once you do.
I've...never handled something as big as a cow before...
Dosen slowly approaches the cow... After gently brushing its head, the cow happily allows Dosen to get close! It then starts following them! You've successfully captured the cow!
Oh, something went better than expected for once!
All that's left is to find someone to take care of it. The girl at the inn seems like a good choice. You can either return to town now or continue exploring with a cow following you around.

Labyrinth Cow

You found a cow in a place enclosed by cliffs and successfully tamed it.

Sasha puts a point into Defensive Position because, in addition to the offensive Cannon skills, I'm also interested in Pillbox.

Going back to town, I also finally went back to the shop and got the intro dialogue for Peddler Ceric.
Great-o, you're here just on time! You took the request from the bar, right?
Getting right down to business! Oh yeah, that's what I like! Okay, so here's the deal: I want you to take me into the Labyrinth. I've been taking a number of requests from guards and explorers, so I've got appointments in there to make deliveries. Ordinarily, I'd do this on my own, but on my most recent delivery tip I nearly got swallowed whole by a baboon! So, logic dictates that I need protection this time, IE, you guys. Just wait for me on the 9th floor, and I'll be there ASAP!
Perfect. Exactly the kind of job we--and by "we" I mean me--are suited for!

You arrive on the 9th floor, and begin the wait for your client... A short while later, the young peddler shows up carrying numerous bags.

...Curse me and my tendency to scroll through textboxes too fast.
Howdy there, sorry for the wait. Let's cut to the chase- I need to go here, here, and...here.

Oh right, and don't expect me to go up and whack a monster with an abacus or anything, I'll be sitting safely on the sidelines, thank you very much! So, when you're ready.
Well, the left spot seems closest. How about we hit up there first?

Arriving at the spot Ceric indicated, you come across an explorer in the process of skinning an animal. They must be the young peddler's customer.

Thanks for shopping with Ceric! Just to confirm I have the right person, name, guild name, Aeolian postal code?

This particular other guild event brought to you by Tyty's Guild Card.
In response, the explorer identifies themselves as Layla from Guild Awesome.
Great, everything checks out. Here you go!
They accept the package from the peddler and thank him for it.
Okay, all that's left is the payment and we'll be on our way. Be careful out here!

Arriving at the spot Ceric indicated, you come across an exhausted looking guard resting on a stump. He must be the young peddler's customer.
Thank you kindly for shopping with Ceric, and heeere's your order!

You're a lifesaver! I just ran out of medicine. Here's the money.
One, two, three...yup, it's all here. And thanks, I hope you'll buy from us again!
Only one spot left to go!
Good. Playing escort for a Brownie that refuses to fight isn't my idea of a fun time.

Arriving at the spot Ceric indicated, you come across a guard sitting down to rest. He must be the young peddler's customer.
Thanks for shopping with Ceric! Here's your order!

Thanks. I was just starting to get worried that it wouldn't get here in time. Here's your payment.
One, two, three...yup, it's all here. And thanks, I hope you'll buy from us again!

Welp, that's everyone. Thanks kindly, Nameless! That's all I need, so you can pick up your reward at the bar. I'll be heading back to my show, so don't get hurt while I can't see you now!
Well, that was easy enough.

Oh my, you finished Ceric's request? Good work. But still, making deliveries all the way to the Labyrinth? He sure is a hard worker.
Is it really being a "hard worker" if the customer pays extra for in-Labyrinth delivery?
You should follow his lead and do more requests. *chuckle* Okay, here's your reward. I want another request done after a five minute break, okay? ...Just kidding. Take your time. Getting enough rest is important.

(Obtained 1800 en.)

Still haven't swapped out Dosen. Whoops.

Cecil levels up Flicker to 9.

(Skipping repeat dialogue.)
As you offer the fish, the bird shows a look of great surprise before joyfully swallowing it whole! Unlike the previous times though, it doesn't fly away but continues to stare at you. Confused, you begin to walk away only for it to maintain the same distance behind you! It seems to have gotten quite attached to you! You could probably have it follow you back to the inn and have it taken care of there.

I also finished the last Labyrinth Cormorant event, which means the bird's coming with us now. How about we stop by the inn?
The fact that this guild continues to amass an ever-increasing pile of animal buddies is one of my favorite things about EO5.

Whoa-ho-ho, that's one humongous heifer! I count at least a dozen steaks on this beauty! How bout you just leave her here, yeah? Yeah. Yeah.
If you're going to turn this wonderful animal into a few servings of food, no.
...I'm- I'm KIDDING! I'm not going to eat her! "Yo man, it's a joke / you know you would do it too / it was the right time!" I was just hoping for a little fresh milk! Of course, she is your cow, I wouldn't dream of taking your share.
Just please promise not to hurt Number Two...
Number Two?
Sh-she's the second cow I've ever been able to take care of...
Is that perhaps the best--
That's adooooooorable! I'm all for keeping that name!
Roger Dodger! I'll give you a nice helping of dairy liquid when you stay over! Now, Venerable Lady Number Two, allow Miss Genetta to show you to your room! Moo.
In Japanese she calls the animals X-san, like Cow-san or Chicken-san. Which is a really strangely polite way to refer to them. Well, she does give nicknames to the cats, so Ragnar chose a nickname for her to give this one too.

Bird now.
Huh...bird... what's up with that bird...
We fed it a considerable amount of fish, and it decided to travel with us.
I'd...rather not have a squawking, untrained avian bothering us during exploration, though. Can we just drop it off here?
I shall be taking legal custody of this bird, with all the duties and responsibilities such a statement entails! By the way, think he's edible?
Aha! Ahahahahahaha! That was just a jape, my buds! I don't fry any old bird I can get my hands on. Now get over here, Crispy!
Why are you naming him Crispy?!
...What do you mean, "did you name him Crispy?" What? No! No way! I was just thinking about frying fish, is all. Fish. Don't you worry, Crispy's in great hands. I'll make sure he grows up plump and juicy!
Do you only care about taking care of cats?! Is everything else just food to you?!
And that does it for this very brief loose ends update. Next time: we actually do the 3rd Stratum.
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