Update 17: Agitating Skeletons

...And, furthermore--
That's...great, Dosen, but no matter how many words you say, you aren't going to hurt a skeleton by healing it.
Are you sure?
I'm very sure. Undead things don't suddenly develop an adverse reaction to being healed. Whoever told you that is an idiot.
I wouldn't say that about my mom, if I were you. She might hear it.
One time, I stole a cookie from a cookie jar when I was miles away, and she knew about it, and came running.
...I'm...going to go to the Explorers Guild now...

Anyway, yes, let's actually get on with the game.

(Floor subtitle: Implore the light to repel the dead.)

Hmm. Quite a lot of gravestones here. I wonder how long it took to put all these down?
A-are you sure they were put down by people? ...C-could ghosts put them down?
Huh? No, of course n--
Shut it, you coddler. Of course ghosts put them down!
A, please don't try to scare Raven any more than he already is.

Coming up from the stairs, you find yourselves greeted by a gloomy forest filled with an eerie atmosphere. Looking around, you find what appear to be enormous animal bones, crumbling structures from a bygone era, and numerous gravestones from who-knows-when. As you proceed through this dark and melancholy place, you are suddenly greeted by a familiar cheerful voice.

Hey, long time no see, Nameless! We call this place the Vanguard's Mortuary. It's so noxious even the ground is poisonous, and there's undead everywhere, so it's really not the safest place.
Putting it a bit lightly there, are you not?
As see says this, a familiar Lunarian girl comes into view. Despite her words, she seems to be enjoying this.
If you've passed the Mastery exam, I'm sure you're ready to handle it, but...
She goes on to tell you to be careful anyway, with an earnest tone. The girl next to her then makes a noise and gestures forward. Lily confirms this with a nod before turning back to you with a smile.
Are you ever going to treat us with anything but contempt?
You seem annoyed, as though you're looking into a mirror.
Shut up. I don't need to hear monastic gobbledeygook from a rampaging bear.
I'd love to stay and chat, but she'll give me that glower if we don't hurry. Good luck until we meet again!
After this exchange, the Reaper steps forward and glares at you.
If you go west from here, you'll find one of our base camps. It's a bit dangerous here, so we've taken the liberty of setting up camps here and there with some emergency supplies.
...Don't look at me like that. It's common courtesy. Use it if you get tired.
With that, the two of them disappear into the dim forest. You should get going too.
There is actually a campfire to our left, but I don't go there yet, because my EO exploration habits can best be described as "inconsistent depth-first search."

I say inconsistent because if I were traversing 11F with DFS, I would've taken the campfire branch.

I'm getting an eerie sensation that this joke never made sense in the first place.

Also, note how I'm marking tiles that are lit by the sun with different floor colors. There's a good reason for this! ...Which won't show up until a bit from now.

A monster made of a viscous substance, but still has a solid form? ...Bizarre.

Mini Noir

HP: 420
STR: 58
INT: 41
VIT: 51
WIS: 51
AGI: 50
LUC: 36

Damage Resistances:
100% 50% 100%
150% 100% 10%

Disable Resistances:
100% 150% 100% 50% 100% 100% 100%
100% 50%
100% 100% 100%
Mini Noirs are a nuisance. Not much else to them. I'd say "beware of Mutate" but Gran Noirs aren't that threatening either.
s u d d e n m u t a t i o n

Y'know, I've been wondering: how do you poison something that doesn't have blood?
Those who do not possess blood are not within the Dinogator's sphere of influence, and die of neglect.
Should we bring up Poison Bomb?
No, love.

Th-there's gooey stuff covering my eyes! Ick, ack, get it off, eugh!

To be quite frank, I do not want to know what I was punching--all I'm certain of is that it's not a monster.

'Tis not the Dinogator's malice that killed you, but its indifference.
Is this Dinogator a star sign or a deity? My word.

(Obtained 2 Squishy Feet.)

(Obtained 1 Decaying Metal Plate naturally, 1 Decaying Metal Plate and 1 Obsidian from Sasha, and 1 Decaying Metal Plate and 1 Obsidian from Cecil.)
11F, C5 Mine Point
Well, that's two of the three mine materials for this Stratum. Just need a Pyrolighter to finish that quest!

A run-in with another set of Mini Noirs gives Raven a level.

As much as I loathe curse, I need points in Scythe of Exorcism for some Death-Bringing Reaper skills.

You find a patch of strong sunlight in the unnerving Labyrinth and decide that it's a good place to rest.

After you've recovered your stamina, you're about to leave when you notice something. There's a patch of green grass growing here. Thinking back, this is the only place on the floor where you've seen any grass. Perhaps plants grow well here due to the abundant sunlight? That said, there's not much you can do with this information right now, so you return to exploring.
I don't think you need me to tell you that this'll be important for a quest later.

You can investigate this tile at night, incidentally, but you don't get the heal.

This food point gives Mandratatoes.

That...thing, by all accounts, shouldn't be moving.
...Nope, don't see any puppeteers controlling it.


HP: 972
STR: 50
INT: 60
VIT: 56
WIS: 38
AGI: 51
LUC: 50


Damage Resistances:
50% 100% 100%
10% 150% 50%

Disable Resistances:
50% 100% 100% 0% 100% 150% 50%
150% 100%
100% 100% 150%
Deadwheels can take a lot of hits and can fuck up two or more party members at once with Blazing Revolution. Sound like fun to you? It does to me.

At least a solo Deadwheel means that just spamming Material Guard'll help.

...Again, I gotta question--
I already explained it.

...Not quite what I wanted, One-Two.

Raven...dear... Please don't scratch those things again...
I don't have ears, and even I realize that noise was unholy...

(Blazing Revolution.)

Please note that both Cecil and Raven hit this thing and it took a tick of poison damage. Deadwheels don't die easily.

...Corrosion instead of poison. Interesting.
Deadwheels do tend to die after eating two ticks of poison, though!

(Received 1 Sharp Wheel Rim.)

Aha! Don't worry, loves, the dead are my area of expertise! We have nothing to-- M-Magda, what are you doing?
I'll show him AND his mom that you don't heal skeletons...
A-ah, pardon, dear?
You HEEL skeletons.
...Uuuggghhhhh oh god get it out of my mouth I hate myself uuuuuuuugh.

Bone Archer

HP: 630
STR: 54
INT: 36
VIT: 41
WIS: 45
AGI: 54
LUC: 42


Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
150% 100% 150%

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 150% 100% 100% 50% 100%
50% 100%
100% 50% 100%

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, Bone Archers are indeed skeletons, and they are unironically agitating. Powerful Arrow can and almost always will one-shot anyone in the back row, usually even from full HP. What's the solution, you might ask? Line Guard can cover you in almost every situation is the big one. Beware of using it on the back row in every battle with a Bone Archer, though, since that means you're leaving your front row unguarded, which can be bad news when other monsters start showing up. When the Bone Archer's only accompaniment is a Mini Noir, though, it's perfectly safe.
I had a dodge tank and made the squishier back row person guard every single turn as long as one of these guys was alive and unbound. Not pleasant.

I...had that one coming...
...Case...in...point. To be fair, Magda was at low HP.

(Received 1 Squishy Feet and 1 Worn Quiver.)

As you proceed through the Labyrinth, you come to a stop as you find yourselves overcome with an inexplicable yet unpleasant sensation. The formerly damp and clammy atmosphere now feels as cold as a winter morning, and chills run up your spines. While nothing appears to have changed in your surroundings, you can't help but feel that something ominous has occurred out of sight. You can either continue to investigate this phenomenon, or ignore it and continue on.
This is an event that changes if someone in your party knows Sense Magic.

Thinking this ominous atosphere is suspicious, Lanzon steels their resolve and steps forward. Hoping to feel out any traces of mana, they close their eyes and wave their hands through the air... However, a moment later they reopen their eyes and shake the head. Apparently nothing in the area is giving off any mana.
Whatever that menacing feeling is, it's not magic...

Then, Raven, who had been wondering if this was all just their imagination, suddenly lets out a scream! As everyone else watches on in confusion, it becomes clear that something cold had touched them in the back.
It's...cold...and slimy...and it's writhing.
Lanzon rushes over to them, removes their jacket, and checks their back to find a large black slug!
...What jacket?
Lanzon's jacket.
It must have fallen from the ceiling and coincidentally wriggled its way into their clothes.
Eurgh. Away with you~
After Lanzon grabs the slug and tosses it away, you return to exploring.
If no-one in the party knows Sense Magic, the target of the event loses TP.

Mystery and slug

After being attacked by a slug in the middle of a mysterious phenomenon, you feel like you've learned something.
...No I don't. What the hell could that have taught me?
Like I'd fall for something like this, slugs don't 'exist', I won't accept it...! Something like this shouldn't 'exist', because this is a human world! You think I could accept something that's not human?! I definitely won't accept it!!

There's no way that door...thing is natural.
Credit where credit's due: whoever put it there knows how to play to this stratum's ambience.

...Is it too late to, um, go ask another guild if they can trailblaze for us?
Not included in that webm: the noise that 3rd Stratum doors make, which sounds like scratching metal.

You come across what appear to be a small room. Upon inspection, there appear to be a large collection of stones lined up like grave markers. It seems many victims were mourned here. Not wanting to be dispectful, you lower your heads slightly to offer a silent prayer, when something shiny catches your eye from one of the gravestones near the back. You can either try going around to get a closer look, or ignore it and continue on.
Y-you can't seriously be thinking of...
Look, that thing might not even belong to anyone buried here!
I find myself agreeing with Sasha. Let's retrieve the-- Wagh!
As you step towards it to investigate, you suddenly find your feet missing the ground and fall forward. Apparently one of the graves had been left open. In trying to step over it, you literally put one foot in the grave and are sent flying towards the abyss. You fall into the implausibly deep hole, perhaps meant for a giant, and lose consciousness from the impact.
You dodge the hole if someone in the party knows Acrobatics. Guess what we don't have!

Eventually, you begin the arduous task of climbing out of the hole. Reminded to watch your step in the future, you return to exploring.
Disturb burial sites at your own risk. Those on the verge of death tend to hold extreme malice for those who still live--even moreso than moaning spirits.
...Where did that come from?
Something an old professor of mine said.

A hole for corpses

You came across and inadvertently fell into a deep, abyss-like hole, where you lost consciousness.

That...is a giant skull poking out of the ground.
Surrounded by other skulls.
The dead are experts at making bad omens instantly recognizable, no?
It's the one thing I can pride myself on, in this miserable state...
...Infants, all of you. That spot is perfectly--

(Magda's line intentionally left blank.)

Meet the Heretic Sword-Corpse. It's probably the easiest FOE in the game to avoid, and I'm including Crawling Venomous Bugs in that list.

I say this mostly because they take a step for every two steps we take. There's an added condition to this that we'll see with the next one, but this puzzle is incredibly easy to solve.

Just keep walking back and forth until the skeleton walks into the light. Light tiles instantly kill skeletons. This is why I've been painting them yellow on the map.

This one is just as easy to avoid.

Lure it down...

And to the left.

This one isn't quite as easy to solve.

Note how this prop from The Nightmare Before Christmas is impassable, but not technically a wall--notably, we can see over it.

Skeletons can see over it too, and will walk towards us if they see us through these.


As you come to the edge of the marshy area, you find a small cavelike opening. It's probably the den of some kind of animal, as while you can't see anything you can feel a large number of eyes on you.
What harm could possibly come from peeking inside?
Thinking that there might be something valuable inside, you decide to investigate. However, it's too dark for you to tell what's inside without sticking your head in.
From here, the event branches depending on whether or not we have someone that knows Night Vision. For the record, we do not.

Cecil timidly sticks their head inside the cave, only to be greeted by a strange screech and a flurry of motion as its residents notice you! A bat flies out and scratches Cecil in the face.

Wretched flying rats...
Apparently this was a nest of bats. After verifying that they've all fled, you stick an arm inside the investigate.
Having Night Vision means we can skip someone taking 10 damage. Whoopie.
Inside, you find a pile of medicine, still properly sealed in their bottles.

(Obtained 2 Somas.)
Hard to refuse free Somas.
Medicine in hand, you return to exploring.

What lurks in caves

You discovered a cave in the marsh, and accidentally got a faceful of bat.

A random battle a few steps later gives Sasha a level.

Still working towards Pillbox.

(Received 1 Obsidian naturally, 2 Obsidians from Sasha, and 1 Decaying Metal Plate and 1 Obsidian from Raven.)
11F, E1 Mine Point

...After much deliberation, my friends, I have concluded: I have no possible use for these things.

Cracked Skull

HP: 432
STR: 56
INT: 38
VIT: 47
WIS: 43
AGI: 77
LUC: 31

Damage Resistances:
100% 150% 100%
25% 150% 100%

Disable Resistances:
100% !POION 50% 100% 50% 50% 50% 100%
100% 150%
150% 50% 50%
...Shit, what's the Lost Soul equivalent of AGITATING SKELETON?

Ah, forget it. Cracked Skulls are mere nuisances here. Magic Eyes of the Dead could theoretically make, like, Bone Archers far worse to deal with...

Yes, the game does put in Cracked Skulls with Bone Archers starting on 12F.

Can you tell that I'm a big fan of using poison to get through annoying encounters?

It is.

(Received 2 Squishy Feet and 2 Floating Skullbones.)

You come across a crumbling monument, seemingly from an ancient era. It has some sort of message carved into it, but due to its age you can't make heads or tails of it. Thinking there might be something else worth noting nearby, you look around a bit and discover something behind the monument. It's a beautiful drinking vessel, intricately carved from the horn of a goat and inlaid with gold. You get an unsettling feeling from looking at it, as it shows no signs of wear or dirt from age. You can either reach out to pick it up, or trust your gut and leave it alone.
Deugh... How...how about we just leave this thing and never look back?
The heck is your problem? It's just a standard evil cup.
As much as I loathe agreeing with the ghosts... I agree with A. This kind of object seems perfectly within your domain.
L-let's just say goat horns and I...don't get along very well...
Surely you mean "goats," not just "goat horns."
No no, I can handle goats perfectly fine. It's...goat horns that I can't stand.
I'm...gonna go ahead and just grab--
As you reach for the cup, you feel a strange compulsion, as if someone is whispering an order in the back of your mind. It tells you to grab to cup put it in your bag. You do so and return to exploring.

(Obtained Goat Horn!)

The mysterious bone cup

You found a golden bone cup hidden behind a monument, and took it with you.
Nothing could possibly go wrong from this.


At least the floor's over.

Back to town.

BIG SUCCESS!!! Look at this little sausage, I found her hanging out outside the inn!

Kitten: Meow.
No momma cats or cat owners or crazy cat ladies in the area have passed my razor-sharp vigil, so I adopted her. Behold- Our family is that much larger for it!
A-another cat?
Lots of other cats staying at the inn too, y'know. They don't got no families, so my heart ached for their loneliness...soooo, if I can reduce their loneliness even just a smidge, I'll work myself into a frothy foam!
I can't say I know what that means.
...Well, I maaay be used to supporting someone who's a much greater challenge than cats...

The 12th floor, huh? Just what I'd expect from my best customers! So how'd it go, were you able to gather anything?
We, uh, haven't done anything yet.
I'm just itching to get my hands on some new merchandise! Don't tease me, c'mon, if you've got anything just sell it to me already!

Gotta love what happens when I do a floor entirely in one go.
Cutlass (+57 ATK, +53 MATK, TP Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 2 Obsidians (3rd Stratum Mine 2). Costs 4150 en, sells for 1660 en.

Kashagiri (+69 ATK, +43 MATK, VIT Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 2 Sharp Wheel Rims (Deadwheel normal). Costs 6000 en, sells for 2400 en.

Harpy (+56 ATK, +56 MATK, LUC Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Decaying Metal Plate (3rd Stratum Mine 1). Costs 3750 en, sells for 1500 en.

Kingdom Crumbler (+54 ATK, +47 MATK, WIS Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Worn Quiver (Bone Archer normal). Costs 5700 en, sells for 2280 en.

Float Coffin (+48 ATK, +67 MATK, TP Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 2 Floating Skullbones (Cracked Skull normal). Costs 4550 en, sells for 1820 en.

Fusskampf (+30 DEF, +30 MDEF) is made from 2 Decaying Metal Plates (3rd Stratum Mine 1) and 1 Worn Quiver (Bone Archer normal). Costs 3000 en, sells for 1200 en.

Dodue (+23 DEF, +35 MDEF) is made from 3 Squishy Feet (Mini Noir normal). Costs 2400 en, sells for 960 en.

Obsidian Mask (+18 DEF, +14 MDEF) is made from 1 Obsidian (3rd Stratum Mine 2). Costs 1650 en, sells for 660 en.

Wheel Glove (+15 DEF, +18 MDEF) is made from 1 Sharp Wheel Rim (Deadwheel normal). Costs 1350 en, sells for 540 en.

Little Fairy Ring (Immunity to blind) is made from 3 Squishy Feet (Mini Noir normal). Costs 800 en, sells for 320 en.

Fire Charm (+30% fire resistance) is made from 1 Sharp Wheel Rim (Deadwheel normal). Costs 1000 en, sells for 400 en.

Guard Sole (Reduces damage taken from damage tiles) is made from 1 Floating Skullbone. Costs 300 en, sells for 120 en.

Blind Gas (60% base chance to inflict blind on all enemies) is amde from 1 Squishy Feet. Costs 250 en, sells for 100 en.

I buy a Harpy for Raven since it's not a reduction to his ATK, and LUC Up is nice.

I did some forging for a shot bit.

I also replace Lanzon's Megalith 5006 with a Float Coffin.

Then I recycled the Megalith 5006, which nets us 4 Silver Ingot Scraps.

I immediately went for the quests upon entering the bar.

#1: A favor for Ceric II:
That one's from Ceric. Sounds like he needs materials for some equipment again. You'll have to ask him yourselves for the details. Good luck.
#2: Unidentified seed:
You're taking that one? Thanks. It's from a Brownie florist in town. It's a pretty well established place, actually: the current owner is the fourth generation. And apparently when cleaning up the cellar, he came across a kind of seed he'd never seen before. But no matter what he tried, he hasn't managed to get them to sprout. So he put up the request thinking that maybe they can only grow somewhere in the Labyrinth. Although he has no idea where that could be, so you're on your own with that. If I were you, I'd look for a place where plants can grow easily. Well, if even the experts don't know then I guess you might as well just try out whatever you can.
Remember the event spot from earlier? That's what its purpose is.

This bar patron is special. What he lets us do is immediately level up someone who is below level 20 to level 20, a maximum of five times. Why level 20, you might ask? Because that's the minimum level to assign a specialization.

Anyway, bar patrons.

#1 is Hansuke again.

#2: Man with royal guard shield skills:
Protector: Oh, hey, you're the guys who just passed the Mastery test. It was, uh... Nameless, right? I wish I has something to give you to celebrate your promotion with, but as someone who's been around the 3rd Stratum before, how about I tell you something useful instead?
Sure, why not?
Protector: Ha ha, good answer! The 3rd Stratum has two special features, poisonous marshes and sunlight. The poisonous swamps only appear during the day, and hurt like hell to wade through. You can avoid them by traveling at night though. For whatever reason they lose potency at night. As for sunlight, obviously it only appears during the day. And the tougher monsters in the stratum are weak to it, so you can use that to avoid them. You'll have to use your own judgement to determine when it's best to travel in different areas. But either way, I hope we can get along as fellow explorers.
#3: Clear-eyed woman with single katana:
Ronin: You there. Have you encountered any Heretic-Sword Corpses yet? If you like, I could share what I know of them.
We're plenty familiar with them already.
Ronin: My apologies, I got carried away in the excitement of having more fellow Masters to speak to. Come talk to me again if you ever need to.

She just gives us a tutorial on Heretic Sword-Corpses. I don't know why, given that we've already seen them.
#4: Youthful guild with cheery voices:
Guild Leader: So the 3rd Stratum used to be a battlefield, right? So, the weapons and armor of the soldiers should just be lying around, right? Well, not that this matters to us at all! We're still too weak to be recognized as Masters! Ha ha ha!

By the way, have any of you noticed yet? The 3rd Stratum changes appearance drastically between night and day. When the sun is out, even when being pursued by monsters you can always find an out. Since they're weak against the sunlight. In exchange though, you need to be careful because the sunlight also causes the poisonous swamp to well up. On the other side of the coin, you don't have to worry about the poisonous swamp at night, but can't count on the sunlight to protect you from the monsters. So think about it carefully. Consider which is easier to deal with for your team, and plan your trips around those hours.

12th floor, huh? Battles tough yet?
Mighty timid of you to say. Here I figured you were better than that... Well, if it's too tough for you, could always pack up and go home. Nobody's making you climb Yggdrasil. Just give up, and you'll be that much easier off just like that.
How about no? Battles being tough doesn't mean we want to give up.
But... If you've still got any of the ambition you started off with still burning in your blood, then keep pressing on. That's how you carve your own roads.

So, using fresh Milk as the base for the soup, add the Mandratatoes...
Are we intruding?
Hm? Oh, it's you guys. Good, then I don't need to hide--I've been cooking again. I heard that the third stratum has a number of peculiar vegetables, so I bought some Mandratatoes to experiment with. A strange ingredient indeed, more commonly associated with alchemy, or witchcraft, than cooking. I've heard it called the "Devil's food." But, according to a number of traveling Brownies, distant countries do in fact use them in cuisine! Skin, remove sprouts, chop them into a medium dice, season to taste, add fresh Milk, and you've got...well, this stew here! It's only ever served abroad, so as a result it's picked up the moniker, "Traveler's Stew." I only just tried it for the first time, but would you taste it for me?
Couldn't hurt!
Thank you. I don't usually get the opportunity to have other people eat the food I make, so I really appreciate it...
...I... This stew... I-I... It's so good... I can see dead people!
...Well, yes. They're...essentially always here.
Please just end this already.
Really?! I'm glad I made it then! Since all you need for Traveller's Stew are some peeled Mandratatoes, fresh Milk, and a small pot, it's simple enough to cook even outdoors. You should try making it in the Labyrinth some time if you like it.

(Obtained Council-Branded Pot!)

The heart of this town is a hilltop fortress, built back in the days of the old war. Even back then, I'm sure the then-reigning Earthrun king intended this city to be the epicenter of the exploration of Yggdrasil. ...And here we stand, just as planned, though a touch behind schedule. So, I suppose that means we're now at the next phase of his plan. In order to prevent any fearsome tyrants from arising like the Mad King, we'll need to put the legend of Yggdrasil to rest for eternity. That is the duty we of the Council have been entrusted with.
That may be your goal, and it may be some of my guildmates' goals, but I'm here for one reason only: to finally figure out how to heal people.
Um... Why not just stick to what you're good at?
SHUT UP. I hate that I'm good at this, I don't WANT to be good at this!
And that does it for now. Next time: 12F. I have but one question: do you like damage tiles?
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