Update 22: Explorers' Abattoir

Well now. Genetta makes quite a good breakfast, doesn't she?
Someone's cranky.
I have had it up to here with skeletons, I have had it up to here with skeptics, and I have had it up to here with Mio's incessant prattle about senpais. I demand that one of you two cheer me up somehow.
Ooh, you know what always cheers me up? A song! Gram, get my harmonica!
Hold. You play the harmonica?
Sure do! Pride of my family!
...He has skills?
Well, of course he does. Dosen's a dear, but he sure didn't get here on his business sense!
It's been a while since we last saw Cecil and Dosen. Let's remedy that!

Cecil put a few points into racial passives, and maxed out Arm Break.

Dosen dropped quite a few points into Herb Boost, and leveled up Resurrection Herb to 8.

Anyway, let's actually talk to the bar patron for The young explorers' wall now.

Energetic swordsman:
Headscarf: Ah! Hello there! You need something?!
Yup. You're the one that posted that request, right?
Headscarf: Request...? Oh! Right, the request! So you took our request then! Thank you so much! So that means you're all explorers!
That we are. Quite experienced ones by this point, I might add.
Headscarf: We're explorers too, but, like, we just got started! Oh, and I'm the leader! Anyway, so we're pushing the fifth now, but aren't there supposed to be shortcuts in this place?! That's what we heard anyway! So we spent a week searching the 2nd floor for a shortcut to the 3rd floor, and there it was! So convenient! But then we realized that wasting a week looking for a shortcut isn't really a great use of our time! I mean, yeah, it's convenient, but that's a week of our lives gone forever! But knowing a shortcut is still great, right?! So that's where you come in! Could you tell us where the shortcut from the 4th floor to the 5th is?!
Oh, yeah, of course.
Headscarf: Thanks! So, where is it?!

Thereabouts. 4th floor really isn't that big.
Headscarf: I see, I see, so that's where it is! Wait right there, okay?!

Lazy late know-nothings.
Oh. Hello there, Kaelin.
Why are you so cranky and above-it-all all the time, Smugman? Look at you! You're living! You'll have all the time in the world to be overly self-confident when you're dead! Need proof? I present to you, A!
Put me down right now, or I'm going to give you such a ghost-thrashing.
...Ghosts can touch each other? Physically? ...Meta-physically, I guess?
Correct, Sasha dear. The best explanation I can offer is that the stuff souls are made out of is solid to other souls, but not to us.
That kinda reminds me of something my mom--

Headscarf: You were right! The shortcut was right there! Thanks again! You're really well-traveled! But we'll catch up to you before you know it! We'll be exploring this Labyrinth at top speed! You can get your reward from the lady at the bar! Later!

Good work, everyone. I can tell you've completed the request, or rather, that kid was yelling loud enough for the whole bar to hear. Being enthusiastic isn't a bad thing, but he worries me a bit. Did they really spend an entire week on the same floor looking for something? I wonder if they're going to be all right.
Those bizarre eccentrics in Guild TFKrew apparently got their start by studying "whatever skills looked fun." Passion goes a long way towards developing expertise.
I suppose that's one way to look at it. As long as they keep moving, huh? Even if you're just inching forward bit by bit. Just the sort of thing I'd expect to hear from an experienced explorer. Relatively, anyway. *chuckle* Anyway, here's your reward.

Obtained 5 Nectars.
I have been all out of Nectars for quite some time now, so this is very much appreciated.

With that out of the way, let's get to exploring the actual floor.

(Floor subtitle: The king of the dead, who transcends life and death)

When you arrive on the new floor, you immediately find a clearing with a small camp set up. Large stones suitable for sitting on have been arranged around the remains of a campfire. Firewood and other survival necessities having also been gathered nearby. Lastly, a sheet of parchment has been pinned underneath one of the stones, so as to prevent it from flying away in the wind. You pick it up and read it.
Nameless. Figured you'd find this, so listen up. The 15th floor's more complicated and dangerous than anything else in this tree. You're gonna need all the help you can get. If you're feeling dulled out, use this campsite. Haven't found Lily yet, so I'm going further in.
The message is signed "Soleil". Seems she did all this to help you. Looking closely, you find a bag by the campfire filled with all sorts of ingredients.

Obtained 2 Mandratatoes!
Obtained 2 Moon Apples!
Obtained 2 Animal Meats!
Obtained 2 Labyrinth Berries!
How kind.
I don't use the campfire now, so let's just move on.
when I'm writing her dialogue tbh I always forget what Soleil looks like and I just see Tlachtga in my head

...Ahem. My apologies.
And yet, it's still preferable to Kaelin's angsty-as-of-late outbursts.

Horned Skull

HP: 529
STR: 66
INT: 45
VIT: 59
WIS: 64
AGI: 86
LUC: 46

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 50% 100% 50% 50% 50% 100%
100% 100%
150% 50% 50%
Remember all those enemies with really irritating disables, such as those Zombie Dogs in the front row? Horned Skulls are here to make their jobs easier, and your life more miserable!

...And, erm, I'll have to actually show them off later. Because I ran away from this one because I forgot to actually summon the ghosts beforehand. WHOOPS.

Obtained 1 Skullwood naturally, and 1 Creeping Vine plus 1 Quality Sapling from Sasha.
i know that feel bro
15F, E5 Chop Point
Oh yeah, I don't have Kaelin anymore. No more Levitation. At least I have Dosen to patch everyone up after stepping over damage tiles.

Let's try this again.

Zombie Dogs thwart me at every turn.

Seeing the skull just crack and fall apart is kinda sad.

Received 2 Rotting Dog Ribs and 1 Black Skull Horn.

I chose to max out Poison Bomb because Lanzon has the TP to handle it.


Demon's Coffin

HP: 1221
STR: 79
INT: 69
VIT: 65
WIS: 69
AGI: 65
LUC: 61

Damage Resistances:
50% 50% 50%
150% 150% 150%

Disable Resistances:
50% 50% 50% 100% 200% 50% 150%
100% 100%
100% 150% 100%
Demon's Coffins are gigantic fucking assholes and it makes sense that the game saved them for the last floor of the stratum. Not only do they hurt like hell, and have access to three incredibly annoying ailments, but they're also annoying as shit to kill, between 1221 HP and 50% resistance to all physical damage.


(Corpse March canceled by leg bind.)
Thank god.
The basic strategy here is to pray for a leg bind.

You got all of the mummies inside that coffin, right, B?
I'll take that as a yes, dear.

Poison Bomb ticks for a lot of damage now, by the way.

May you stay sealed for all eternity.
Still not excited by the monsters here?
That was just a collection of assorted mummies popping out of a coffin. So, no.

Received 1 Tough Tailbone and 1 Empty Casket.

As you enter the room, you find it full of human bones, weapons, and armor scattered about on the floor.

This room is dangerous! The moment Lanzon sets foot it in, a wave of malicious mana washes over them.
Okay, "Lord of the Dead," there's no need to be sneaky. I know what's going on.
Shortly after, a familiar yet inhuman voice reverberates in your minds!

The cold voice ends there. Apparently, the Lord of the Dead has hidden assassins in this room. You can now avoid them safely.
Okay, I need to explain something. As you might've inferred, that was a Sense Mana check just now. If we failed that check, we'd get...a decidedly different event.
I would like to note that this alternate event cuts the music out completely.
You try entering the room filled with an unnerving presence. Suddenly the room is filled with a brilliant light!

...When you can see again, you find three beautiful, smiling women in front of you. Their dresses remind you of nobility, and each surrounded is by a halo of light and carrying an elaborate goblet. They move towards you as if gliding, and soon they're surrounding you. In front is a woman with long golden hair, offering you a golden liquid. To the right is a girl with a large flower in her hair, presenting a milky-white liquid. To you left is a beauty with pale white hair and dress, getting close to you with a gentle expression and a blue liquid.
All of the drinks have the same result. Note that we have the option to refuse, which I'll come back to.
You take the cup from their hands and gently bring it to your mouth. It's abnormally bitter, and from just a sip your body breaks out into an unpleasant sweat. Nonetheless, the women surrounding you continue to smile and seem to be encouraging you to keep drinking.
We can either continue drinking, or knock the cups away and get the same result as refusing. If we continue to drink...
In for a penny, in for a pound. You decide to empty the entire glass. When you do so, the women watching you undergo a transformation, their flesh rotting until they're nothing but skeletons! They make a strange clacking noise as they point and laugh at you. Looking down, you see that your own bodies have turned into skeletons as well! You're surprised, but the other other skeletons keep laughing. Clack clack clack. Eventually, you start laughing with them. Clack clack clack. Clack clack clack...
...Perhaps I'm just an easily-scared baby, but that event is unnerving in a way that EO games pretty much never go towards. I think it's the "clack clack clack."

Anyway, after that, your party blacks out, and everyone loses 140 FUCKING TP.
...When you come to, you're all piled up in the center of the room. That must have been an illusion, since you're back to your normal bodies. However, it's too early to feel relief, as you're surrounded by skeletons on all sides! You draw your weapons and prepare for the inevitable battle!
After that, you're thrown into a battle with two Bone Archers, a Horned Skull, and a Cracked Skull. For some reason, that's not a blindside--probably because a blindside on top of being drained of TP would be near impossible for almost all possible parties to win. If you somehow survive that after your party's been drained of 140 TP each, the event ends.

If you toss the cup...
You toss the cup, splashing the suspicious drink onto the floor! The moment they see this, the women surrounding you let out an unearthly shriek! You ignore them as best you can and hurry out of the room!
The event ends there.

Call of the dead

When you entered a room filled with human bones, you sensed a malicious mana forewarning you of the dangers within.

This food point gives Mandratatoes.

This lower area is just a lot of corridors and damage tiles. Not the most exciting thing.

Oh, hello there. Been a while since we last found a sealed door.

Obtained All Mist.
Increases all party members' resistance to fire, ice, and volt by 20% for 6 turns. Blech.

Here's what I meant by corridors and damage tiles, by the way.

I went back to town to rest up, since the real parts of the floor are coming up.
Castet (+72 ATK, +40 MATK, STR Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Black Skull Horn (Horned Skull normal). Costs 5850 en, sells for 2340 en.

Skull Staff (+52 ATK, +78 MATK, WIS Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Black Skull Horn (Horned Skull normal) and 1 Large Black Tail (Gran Noir normal). Costs 8750 en, sells for 3500 en.

Curse Scepter (+48 ATK, +84 MATK, Cursed Flame, Silver x3) is made from 1 Bound Magic Stone (Flare Lady conditional).

Cursed Flame: Uses the arms. Deals ranged INT-based fire damage to one row of enemies. Attempts to inflict curse on hit targets. Has an 80% speed modifier and 100% base accuracy.

Cursed Flame's main use, in my eyes, is providing a fire-element skill that has a better multi-target type than splash damage, and costs less TP than Explosion. I might buy and forge a Curse Scepter for Kaelin if he's voted in for the boss, due to...reasons.

Zarkyact (+68 ATK, +68 MATK, HP Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Empty Casket (Demon's Coffin normal). Costs 7450 en, sells for 2980 en.

Coffin Armor (+43 DEF, +26 MDEF) is made from 1 Empty Casket (Demon's Coffin normal).

Skull Helm (+21 DEF, +17 MDEF) is made from 1 Black Skull Horn (Horned Skull normal) and 1 Vampire Crown (Flare Lady normal). Costs 2780 en, sells for 1112 en.

You stop at a dead end.

Lanzon can sense mana emanating from below the ground. It seems likely that some sort of magical item is buried here. You can try to dig it up if you like.
Why wouldn't we dig it up?
You begin poking at the soft soil with whatever's at hand; survival knives, nearby stones, pointy sticks, etc. ...After a few minutes of this, you come across a small stone sarcophagus, far too small to hold a person. You can open it up if you like.
Well, I don't sense anything. Shall we?
You dig up the box completely and trying opening its lid. The moment you move the lid, you're enveloped by a brilliant light coming from inside it.

Woah. Strong medicine.
No benefits for us? Shame.
Next, you can feel your bodies' stamina and willpower being restored! Thinking this is odd, you check the inside of the box to find ancient writing. "Here is sealed the light that heals wounded soldiers." Apparently, this was some sort of healing magic used during the ancient war. Giving your thanks to the ancients, you return to exploring.

End of the raging battle

You sensed mana from underground, dug up a small box, and found a healing spell sealed inside.

Chain Plus will be a lot more worth it once I have a chance to fight an FOE or boss with it, trust me.

Obtained 4000 en.


Flicker and Arm Break are both maxed out now. I might max out Hoo-Ha, but I'm not entirely sure.

Obtained 1 Zombie Birch naturally, and 2 Bamboo Flowers from Cecil.
15F, B2 Take Point
Look at how much of the floor is left to go, by the way.


it just ran away on the first turn

never mind

This room has a Wandering Flame-Phantom and a Decapitating Executioner (obscured by that tombstone).

Here's what the room looks like. F3 is the Executioner, and F2 is the Phantom's spawn point. The Phantom patrols a line between its spawn point and the right wall of the room.

Here's how I solve it. Aggro the Executioner here.

Give it the loop-de-loop around that pillar so that it gets stuck there.


As you proceed carefully through the Labyrinth, you come across a set of footprints and stop.

Iseria leans down to look more closely before standing up and pointing into the depths of the Labyrinth. Apparently, these are the footprints of a large wild boar.
A...boar? Weren't those on the 1st Stratum?
How the heck did it get up here?
...As much as I would like to provide some explanation about the hidden nimbleness and energy of boars, I can't. It'd be a blatant falsehood.
It must have gotten lost here while looking for food. If you like, you can hunt it down for meat.
I'm reasonably certain this is a Hunting check, by the way.
You follow Iseria as they track the boar.

Eventually, you reach a dead end, where you find a terrifyingly huge boar, baring its tusks and growling at you menacingly.
However, Iseria manages to keep calm and quickly steps forward to slit its throat before it can react.
With my apologies.
It seems you'll be able to get a lot of meat out of it.
Obtained 5 Animal Meats!

Lost boar

While exploring the Labyrinth, you came across a set of footprints, which you successfully followed to a wild boar.

At this point, I questioned why I leveled up Resurrection Herb beyond 5, and put Dosen's skill point into Line Herb.

The fishing point here gives Skeletal Fishes.


oh never mind there's light tiles here

There's also a Wandering Flame-Phantom here.

To get past it, just run up and to the right when the Wandering Flame-Phantom is there.

I'd call this a secret shortcut, but...well, we'll see after the boss.

Obtained Ariadne Thread.

A Decapitating Executioner and two Heretic Sword-Corpses blocking my way forward. Hm.

Bleh, I fucked this up a bit.

Whatever, I can just start a fight and then run away.

What's the count on me fucking up an FOE puzzle and just bumbling my way out now?

As you pass through the door, you hear a pair of familiar voices. Turning to face them, you see Lily shouting hysterically, and Soleil trying to calm her down. The argument continues in front of you, but before long Lily shouts something and runs further into the Labyrinth! Panicked, Soleil begins to go after her when suddenly you notice a swarm of monsters approaching her from behind! She's too distracted by Lily to notice them!
Soleil, dear!
You rush forward to intercept the monsters on their way towards Soleil! When she sees you, she notices the monsters as well and readies her scythe to back you up!

Ooh, neato. Soleil participates as a guest here.

Too bad she's stuck in the row that cuts her damage.

And too bad I have Poison Bomb to just kind of end things.

...You're catching your breath after the fight when an otherworldly voice fills your minds.

Is it Lord of the Dead, or Undead King? Pick one--or, preferably, pick neither, you conceited blowhard.
Someone's touchy.
I worked hard for this mastery of the dead, Dosen, dear. Said conceited blowhard, on the other hand, simply picked up a magic ring and gained immense power from it.

What the hell is this bastard's fascination with his stupid title?!
I can't believe this dumbass is the source of all of Lily's pain.
As she voices her irritations, she begins to run after Lily. You should head after them too.

Obtained 1 Obsidian naturally, and 1 Obsidian from Cecil.
15F, C7 Mine Point
You catch up to Soleil and Lily.

I would like to note that the "serious" event music is a remix (rearrangement?) of Cold Justice from EO3. Give it a listen!
See? You're all banged up... That's why I- I had to do this alone, nobody else should have to suffer for my mission.
Lily looks all over Soleil's bloodied body, and tears well up in her eyes as she continues.
When I heard his voice, I knew I had to go on alone because I couldn't let you get hurt any more than you'd already...
At this point, Lily is interrupted by her own sobbing.
Soleil begins to reach towards her, but suddenly stops, as if afraid of being rejected. Since she seems unwilling to say anything more, you could speak up in her place.
...Listen, Lily. Self-reliance is important. However, there's certain things you can't just go about on your own. And that's what guildmates--or, rather, friends--are for.
But... But... Isn't it my fault that Soleil got hurt? And I even got you all wrapped up in this...
No good. As she hangs her head in shame, you tell her that you're here at the request of the townsfolk.
Lily, love, the town is worried sick about you and Soleil!
You inform the perplexed Lily that you're here at the request of the townsfolk.
Remus even made it an official mission for us to come and help, that's how much everyone was worried.
As Lily expresses confusion, Soleil sighs at her and begins to speak.
You really don't know?

She gives Lily a gentle look.
Gods, but you can be dense sometimes. Why do you think? It's the same reason you do what you do. When someone's in trouble, your altruistic ass always goes running off to lend your support. I mean, look, your mark's not pulling his punches, and maybe we couldn't have beat him on our own. But when you can't do it on your own, you team up with someone else, and if two people don't cut it, then you work with everyone you've got, right? Just let people help you for once.
Just tell them what you want. What you want.
At Soleil's words, Lily turns to face you. Timidly, she begins to speak.
Um... Well... Uh...
Come now, Lily. Please, just...don't hold anything back. Smile.
As gently as possible, you tell her to smile like she always does and lock eyes with her as she continues.
If this Undead King is my target, then I need to defeat him and recover the missing ring. But I don't think Soleil and I can beat him on our own... So, it may be a bother, but...please, help me defeat him!
She nervously extends a hand towards you. You're free to either accept her request or not.
I could put it up to a vote as to whether or not we let Lily take part in the Undead King fight... But I know everyone would just vote yes anyways, so...
Soleil's reaction for you refusing her is hilarious though.
You tell Lily that she shouldn't leave the exhausted Soleil all alone, and order her to wait here.
The hell?! Try to read the mood, assholes! You're obviously supposed to help her out here!
Soleil had been surprisingly reserved until now, but your unexpected comment seems to have enraged her. However, her partner standing beside you looks over at Soleil before nodding at you.
Okay. I understand. I'll wait here with Soleil.
Hey! Lily! What the hell?!
It's all right, Soleil. This is the conclusion everyone from Nameless came to, and it's not like it doesn't make sense. Of course I want to see my family's mission through to the end myself, but I don't want to be a burden on them.
Fine, fine, I get it. But! If you change your mind right before you fight this guy, take Lily with you!
I aim to please.
Allow me.
When you take her hand, her whole face lights up and she nods happily.
I owe you... Nameless. Take care of Lily for me. I'll hold the rear and take care of those guys.
Lily seems confused before she notices the countless undead coming down the hallway.
But there are so many...
In response, Soleil just gives her a smile.
What? This is nothing. I can't die until you come back after killing that bastard.
With those words, the Reaper flourishes her enormous scythe, filling the room with the sound of the blade cutting through through the wind. After a moment of hesitation, Lily seems to realize that she can't afford to waste time and shouts back.
Soleil! I'll be right back! I'm coming back for you as soon as I can!
The Necromancer then nods her head at you and joins your formation.

Lily has joined the party.
Well, that scene was a bit more touching than usual for EO.
it's more touching than my entire life when i kill a rare breed foe

...Ahem. Anyway. Lily. Pretty standard equipment for the end of the stratum, although she's also quite a bit higher level than our party is. She's also a Spirit-Summoning Necromancer.

Her build's also kind of all over the goddamn place. Infuriatingly, she has 5 points in Curse Transfer, and 5 points in Soul Trade, two skills I loathe.
Sadly, guests generally aren't all that good, skill-wise. At the very least though, she can be a back-up healer with Price of Life, I guess.
hi my names wiglaf

Oh, yeah, if you go back to town, Lily leaves your party. Same mechanics as guests in EO4.

Welp, that sure was a floor. Next time: the Undead King!
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