Update 3: Eventualities

Ah, finally, a chance to exit town, and bask in the glory of the-- Yeek!
Whoops! Sorry!
Ahem, Jana... Could you please avoid scarring me? A few large scars can be beautiful. Many small ones? Not so much.
I can see that, yeah. Those're the risks of performing as a team, though!
I don't think I could live with myself if I hit one of you, even accidentally.
Ah... They're both so wonderful. How could I ever choose?
By not choosing. If you swoon over those two in the middle of a fight, you're just gonna get the rest of us killed.
H-hey! ...A-at least I don't carry around deadly poisons in my bag!
...Firstly, they're compounds. Secondly, if the scent of the compounds ever wafts towards us, it's not my fault.
Well, we're not quite ready to go yet. Everyone here is level 1, which is...less than ideal for 3F. How can we remedy this?

DLC grinding quests to the rescue.

The text for the quest is pretty inconsequential--it basically can be summed up as "a wizard gave you a magic ring."

Fuckin wizards, how do they work?

(Obtained Gross Badge!)
To finish the quest, we have to finish a battle with this thing equipped. What does it do, you might ask? Oh, not much, it gives the wearer +20 WIS, that's pretty nice, oh it also just TRIPLES ALL EXP GAIN FOR YOUR ENTIRE PARTY WHILE SOMEONE'S WEARING IT. That's a pretty neat effect.
what the fuck
In all seriousness, the Gross Badge is an absolute godsend for me, and a really easy way to completely break the game if you just leave it equipped normally. Notice how I specifically said "all EXP gain" there, because this thing applies to Adventure Episode, quest, and mission EXP too.
why is this real
That's not all, though. Skipping over fighting three acorns with it equipped...

Wait a minute HOW MUCH EXP IS THAT

So you not only get the Gross Badge for this quest, but turning it in also gives a giant lump of EXP that scales up based on what stratum you're in. It's an LP author's dream come true!

You also get a Holy Gift consumable for it, which multiplies all EXP gain for one battle by 1.5x. Yawn.

There's also a money equivalent, Explorer fortune program, which is fantastic, because I need to get new equipment for the new party.

(Obtained Drop Cameo!)
Same deal as the EXP one--just fight a battle with this thing on. The Drop Cameo, though, is something I actually will keep on someone for normal exploration. Firstly, it gives 20 LUC--a great boost for disabler characters. Secondly, it forces all drop rates to be 100%. It's not a permanent Formaldehyde, mind you--it doesn't auto-fulfill conditional drop flags, although it does force a 100% drop rate for any conditional drops that are less than 100%. Basically it takes a lot of the frustration out of grinding for certain drops, and I'm leaving this thing on Magda for now.
?!?!??!?!?! !?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!!?!?!?

Turning in Explorer fortune program also gives you a big lump of money.

Anyway, initial skill builds for our new party. I'll preface this by saying that...uh, okay, this is embarrassing, but I forgot to put any points into race/Union skills. Across the entire update. WHOOPS!

Alexis puts four points into Predict. Predict is basically a one-turn Provoke/Taunt/Dragon's Roar (whatever you want to call it). On top of drawing enemy aggro, it also gives a massive evasion bonus. There's downsides, though! Each time the user dodges an attack, their evasion and chance to be targeted go down. On top of this, it also makes the user take an extra 250% damage on top of any damage they receive if they fail to dodge an attack. For all intents and purposes, Predict is the bread-and-butter skill for dodge-tank Fencers, which is what I'm building Alexis to be.

He also puts one point in Vision Thrust, which deals melee stab damage to one enemy, and attempts to inflict blind. At level 1, it costs 5 TP, deals 150% damage, and has a 50% base blind chance. It's something for Alexis to do if he doesn't need to use Predict, and it can combo decently well with Dark Smoke.

Lastly, he tosses 3 points into Sylphid. Sylphid is a passive, and gives Alexis a chance to counter-attack enemies whenever he dodges attacks. At level 3, Sylphid deals 56% damage, has a 70% base chance to activate, and can activate a maximum of two times per turn.

Jana's build is quite a bit simpler.

She puts 5 points into Armor Penetrate, which deals melee stab damage to one enemy, and reduces their physical defense for a set amount of turns. At level 5, it deals 152% damage, reduces defense by 25%, and lasts for 4 turns.

She also puts 3 points into Mist Slice, which deals melee cut damage to one enemy, and attempts to inflict sleep on them. At level 3, it deals 180% damage, has a 40% base sleep chance, and has a 120% speed modifier. The speed modifier goes down at levels 5 and 10, which is actually beneficial when dealing with sleep.

Lanzon puts 2 points into Ghost Summoning, which eats 15% of his current HP to summon a ghost, with an HP bonus. At level 2, it costs 5 TP, and gives ghosts an extra 8% max HP.

He also tosses one point into The Price of Life, which destroys one ghost, and restores all party members' HP. At level 1, it costs 12 TP, and has 130% healing power. You'll notice that high TP costs are a pretty big thing with Necromancers!

He also puts three points into Gravekeeping Knowledge, which, at level 3, gives him a 12% chance to summon a ghost if he doesn't take damage for one turn.

1 point also goes into Ghost Reincarnation, which gives a 15% chance to summon a ghost when one is destroyed (maybe killed, too?) in battle.

Lastly, to give him something to do besides summoning ghosts and healing, he puts one point into Fire Bomb, which destroys one ghost, and deals 120% ranged INT-based fire damage to all enemies. How much does this skill cost, you might ask? Oh, not much, only 15 TP. Upon reflection, I should've gone for Poison Bomb (above Fire Bomb), which could've comboed decently with Poison Smoke.

Mio puts a whopping 5 points into Prayer Mastery. Those of you who were here for EO2U, remember Song Mastery on Troubadours? Same thing here. Prayer Mastery increases the speed modifiers for and reduces the TP cost of Prayer skills. At level 5, it multiplies speed by 1.15x, has a base subtraction of 2 TP, and a TP cost multiplier of 0.9x.

She also puts 1 point into Prayer: Eradication, which buffs all party members' attack. At level 1, it costs 10 TP (7 with her current Prayer Mastery level), and buffs attack by 21%. I'm comfortable leaving it at level 1 for a while, honestly, since it only goes up by 6% to 27% at levels 4/5, and a further 8% to 35% at levels 9/10.

Lastly, she puts two points into Prayer: Blaze, which increases all party members' resistance to fire, as well as adding a fire element to their normal attacks, for a few turns. At level 2, it increases resistance by 28%, lasts 4 turns, and costs 15 TP (11 with her current Prayer Mastery level). I don't think much of the elemental Prayers on their own, but I'm putting points into them to get Oracle: Dance.

Lastly, Magda. She tosses one point into Cure Herb and Refresh Herb, for emergencies. Similarly, she'll eventually learn Resurrection Herb for emergencies.

Besides that, she also puts two points into Poison Smoke. At level 2, Poison Smoke costs 6 TP, and has a 40% base chance to inflict poison on one row of enemies, with 60 base poison damage. It multiplies the chance of further poison inflictions by 1.22x.

Dark Smoke does the same thing, but with blind. At level 4, it costs 6 TP, has a 35% base chance to inflict blind, and multiplies the chance of further blind inflictions by 1.28x.

Everyone's initial equipment isn't too interesting, aside from me forging an Ice Bat Sword on Mio--yes, Mio, not Alexis (Shamans can equip swords)--which gives her access to level 1 Cold Wave, which deals 70% INT-based ice damage to one enemy. It also costs a measly 1 TP, so, hey, it gives her something to do after she casts Prayer: Eradication.

(Floor subtitle: "Beasts prowl in the depths of the woods")
Ah, so this is the foul Labyrinth that took my loved one's life. My revenge for her death begins now!
Oooooohh! You're here to avenge someone you loved?! What was her name?! What was she like?!
...Truthfully, I do not know! We were merely betrothed, without any say in the matter. But! Even still, that will not dissuade me from avenging her!
...A-ah. I...see...
I don't think I've ever seen a young woman's dreams dashed that quickly before. Bravo, Alexis.
I see someone's fancy language tutors never taught them the first principle of both telling stories and being a performer--don't reveal your act's secrets!
...Mio, your eyes are watering...
I-is it that obvious?
...That wouldn't happen to be my compounds causing that, would it?

If we come back here at night, we'll get the Moonstone.

We were introduced to the illusionary walls on the last floor, and they're the primary gimmick of this floor.

Well, uh, good thing Cecil's not here...
Dare I ask why?
You didn't hear him pounding on his wooden block in the dead of night, while screaming about "that damned turtle?"
...I've signed up with quite the cast of characters, huh?
Um... Maybe reflect on the power contained within your bag before calling us characters...

Red Forest Turtle
HP: 142
STR: 27
INT: 21
VIT: 28
WIS: 19
AGI: 13
LUC: 15

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 150% 100% 100% 100% 150% 100%
100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
Red Forest Turtles serve only to be an annoyance. Just kill whatever enemies are also in the battle first, since you'll kill them way before you kill the turtle.

(Prayer: Eradication.)
Give me strength, Mikazuki!
A very...um...beautiful? God. You can kinda think of him as a katana spirit?
Sounds like my kinda spirit!
I could show you some art when we get back!

(Ghost Summoning.)
Hmhmhm. Come forth, my gorgeous ghostly servants.
Waaah! I-is that a real ghost?!
Huh. I thought those coffins were just for show.
Have none of you ever seen a Necromancer before?
If you're going to toy with me after death, at least bring those two, too. And what's with these three girls?!
All in due time, love.
You say "time" as if it matters.

(Dark Smoke.)
Did, uh... Did you just melt that turtle's eyeballs?
Yes? Do you have any better ideas for blinding it?
I suppose that explains why Raven nearly fainted after getting a whiff of your bag.
I can see parts of the mushroom's eyeholes, I suppose, sloughing off, too.
Note that even if a Smoke skill inflicts its ailment, it still applies the debuff portion as well.

Oh, you scared the poor thing...

(Gravekeeping Knowledge.)
Hm? What? ...Oh, gods, why did you bring me back?
I need all the support I can get, love.
Bet you really regret crossing me in life, huh?!
That was over a millennium ago, A!

(Cold Wave.)
Okay, I think I just swing it like this... Wah!
I mentioned this earlier, but Cold Wave is the equipment skill attached to Mio's Ice Bat Fang. At level 1, it deals 70% INT-based ice damage for 1 TP. 70% INT-based damage at her current INT means that, when not hitting a turtle, Mio deals about the same damage that Alexis does with a normal attack.

Oh, right, almost forgot to mention: much like panic, petrification completely disables evasion.

(Lanzon used Fire Bomb with Ghost B.)
Make yourself useful, B!
I didn't know incorporeal spirits could just inflate like balloons.
...Was that fire, or ghost blood?

Die, uncouth vermin!
Ghosts will either do nothing or attack at the end of each turn. Their attacks deal absolutely pitiful bash damage (100% ranged STR-based bash damage; the pitiful part comes from their STR), and attempt to inflict paralysis, with a whopping fucking 1% base chance. A maxed out Ghost Mastery boosts that up to an amazing 6%.



You might have noticed that battle took 6 turns. Yeah, uh, it kinda turns out that this party takes forever to kill things.

Aww, it's kinda cute.
It kinda looks like it's just glaring at us.
That mouth unnerves me. It resembles the Night Stalker from those stories my parents told me...

And "whump" it goes.
Please don't steal my onomatopoeia.

Hey, look, that wall's gone.

You come across a filthy sign with a warning written on it. You can't read all of it because of dirt, but apparently there's a hunter's trap nearby!
Stay alert, everyone.
How wonderful it is to be free of the dangers of walking.

You stop at a wide stream. It seems this is the end of the path. Sensing danger, you begin to head back when you hear a whistling noise followed by Mio screaming!

Turning around in suprise, you see that Mio has a dart stuck in their arm. It seems there really were animal traps here, as the sign said. Unpleasantly reminded of the perils of the Labyrinth, you return to exploring.
Ow ow ow...
Hrm... Hang on, I know I took a handkerchief with me... Ah, here we are. Let me just remove that dart...
Owwwww, it hurts even more than when it hit...
Give me a second to wrap this... And there, that should staunch the bleeding for now. It's a small wound, it should heal quickly.
Th-thank you.
The event changes based on if the target of the event or someone else in the party knows Acrobatics, a race skill that both Therians and Brownies can learn. If the target knows Acrobatics, they dodge the dart. If someone else knows Acrobatics, they'll pull the target out of the way.

What the forest hides

Despite being warned ahead of time, you were unable to deal with the trap.

Well, you can't say the Puppeteers weren't thorough...

(Obtained: 1 Coiled Vine naturally.)
3F, C2 Chop Point
Chop items usually make equipment. Nothing too spectacular here.

Pretty sure this is the door Cecil said he couldn't punch in.
A, be a dear and--
Nope, sorry, can't do. That doesn't look like any ghost's mark I've seen before.

As you explore the Labyrinth, you feel a strange sensation that's unlike the magic you're used to. It feels warm yet strong, like the sun. You remember the request from the Thaddeus in the bar, who wanted a Sunstone. There doesn't seem to be anything nearby, but you have no doubt that whatever is emitting that mysterious power must be the Sunstone!
Hmm... Ah, it's over here. Alexis, Jana, if you please?
Not to whine, but why us?
For me, I may be fit, but I'm in no condition to dig.
L-lemme help...
You diligently search the area, and uncover an orange gem hidden among the pebbles. When you pick it up, it gives you that familiar warm sensation. This must be the Sunstone!

(Obtained Sunstone!)
Thaddeus requested two different stones. All that's left is the Moonstone, which is supposed to give off a mysterious power when the moon is out. You return to exploring, in hopes of finding the Moonstone.
We'll need to come back during the night to get the Moonstone.

...What's that noise?
It sounds a little like... A dignified owl's "hoot," mixed with the terrible roar of a bear.

As you open the door, you see a monster more bloodthirsty than any you've seen before! With the head of an owl and the body of a bear, you can only call it "grotesque", but it makes no effort to hide its desire to kill you. Based on the feeling it gives off, it must be even more powerful than the caterpillars on the previous floor, something you find difficult to imagine. You have to deal with this monster one way or another--you can either find a way around it or take it on despite knowing full well how dangerous it is.
As fun as it would be to see how my compounds work against something that large, how about we avoid an untimely death?
No, please, we could always use more company.
Rampaging Owlbeasts (henceforth Owlbears) are our first aggressive FOEs. Their pattern is incredibly simple: they just chase you down, and take the shortest path to you from where they are.

Circling around areas like this one is the easiest way to get around simple-aggressive FOEs.

You stop as you hear a loud noise, like something crashing into something else. You don't know where it came from, but it can tell it was large by the sound. If you want to know for sure what it was, you can investigate the area.
We can't do this event yet--we need someone that knows Woodland Searching Skills.

(Obtained 1 Ivy Covered Bark naturally.)
3F, F5 Chop Point

This is a...pretty roundabout way of making a shortcut.

There is a new announcement from the Council to all explorers! Today, the Arcadian Council is assigning a new mission! The goal is to explore the 1st Stratum! All guilds confident in their skills should report to the Council.
Can't get much more direct than that.

Oh, it's the members of Nameless. I had a feeling you'd come. The Council, this time, would like you to clear through the 1st Stratum and secure a path to the 2nd Stratum. If you're ready, you can accept the mission and begin exploring.
We were doing that already, so why not?

Dispel the Lunarians' glamour!

A group of golems is blocking the way past the 1st Stratum. This must have something to do with the Lunarian glamour. In order to open the way forward, we'd like you to dispel this magic.
Thank you, Nameless. We'd like you to clear a path past the 1st Stratum and into the second. You've explored for some time now, so you're probably already aware, but the Guardian Forest is protected by a sort of barrier. This "barrier" is fueled by the golems; statues created by the ancient Lunarians.
The cute things scattered everywhere in the forest?
I guess that explains why toppling the bigger ones over makes the walls vanish.
In truth, it is a sort of glamour, which causes those with insufficient strength or skill to be led astray into the depths of the Labyrinth, to often...disastrous results. However, we periodically give out missions to more experienced adventurers as a chance to challenge themselves to new heights. Therefore, we now give you this mission. I believe you can pierce the golems' glamour. Just stay cautious, and take the Labyrinth on.
Pretty standard "beat the first boss" mission.

We also have now reported 10 different types of monsters, and got 3 Nectars for our trouble.

Not much from this trip to the shop.
Tortoise Armor (+22 DEF, +15 MDEF) is made from 4 Chipped Tortoise Shells.

Tortoise Shell Gauntlet (+7 DEF, +8 MDEF) is made from 1 Chipped Tortoise Shell.

I upgraded Jana's starting heavy armor to Tortoise Armor. I want her and Alexis as durable as possible, since we don't have Sasha with us and Alexis can only use Predict so many times.

I also forge the hell out of Magda's Lactarius Staff. Can't forge Mio's sword, unfortunately, because I don't want to use Bronze Ingots on it and I don't have any more Pierced Fangs.

Am I imagining things, or do those Ropers seem to be oddly coordinated?
Oh, come now, what makes you say th--

What a ghastly shade of purple.

Giganto Roper
HP: 432
STR: 37
INT: 23
VIT: 28
WIS: 26
AGI: 24
LUC: 28

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 150% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
This is where the 1st Stratum starts throwing really damn mean encounters at you. Giganto Ropers can take a hell of a beating, with 432 HP, and they're very much capable of screwing up over half of your party with Great Tangle and Cut Away. If there's a Ghost Acorn in the battle, too, your best bet is honestly to just run away, since Toss will wipe out your front line and potentially most of your back line.

Having two turtles in the encounter makes things really annoying, since they take forever to kill.

(Vision Thrust.)
I-I blame this rusty decorative sword.
Oh, oh, y-you can take mine!
No need, I shan't take someone else's only method of self-defense.
An impressive display of chivalry. Couldn't it have waited until a large, sentient purple tree isn't trying to murder you all, though?
Why are you worried about them?
We could have far crueler masters than Lanzon.

(Cut Away.)
Ha! Are you even trying?

(Sylphid activated two times.)
Allow me to show you how to cut!
Trying to slash something with a rapier seems like a bad idea, but what do I know?

(Poison Smoke on the back row.)
Curses. You'd think a tree, of all things, would be most susceptible to toxic corrosion...

Oh, great, you two. And four other annoyances, too.
If you hadn't wanted to end up in this situation, perhaps you should have reconsidered teaching A the necromantic arts.
Great victim blaming. How was I supposed to know she'd lose it and bind all of us together in death?
Lanzon, please tell me you don't have any more bickering ghosts to call upon.

Oho, finally, something that's scared of me!
There's that paralysis I mentioned earlier.

(Mist Slice.)
Rock-a-bye tree, in the...tree...tops...

Having your Smoke Herbalist know the basic healing skills is useful for bad situations.


(Gravekeeping Knowledge.)
Don't worry, you'll be right back.
Does this torment never end...?
Perhaps you shouldn't toy with womens' hearts in your next life!
Will we ever get a shot at a "next life," though?

I really hope this thing doesn't bind too many legs.

(Great Tangle.)
Insert the inverse of "byeah" here.

Incidentally, here's how hard Mio hits when not hitting a monster that's weak to ice.

(Cut Away.)


Well, fuck, we're in pretty bad shape now.

And this thing's just barely below 50% HP.

Oh, sweet merciful gods, it just tried to use Great Tangle again.

Get up, we're not done yet.

(The Price of Life with Ghost A.)
The dead give the gift of life.

Okay, we're in fighting condition again. The Price of Life is really useful for emergencies like that, especially early on, where Herbalists are limited to Line Herb at most, and Somas are in short supply.

But I wasn't even...restrained...
Goddammit, leave it to me to have someone get hit by Cut Away while not bound.

Just gonna clean-cut those arms real quick.

(Received 2 Chipped Tortoise Shells, 1 Thick Vine, and 1 Bound Vine.)
My beautiful sycned EXP bars, ruined by annoying random encounters...
If playing an EO game ever has taught me anything, synced EXP bars are a myth, which will only hurt you to believe in. I'm gonna raise my kids to believe in EXP Claus instead of Santa, and they'll have to be good lest their progress to more Skill Points get out of whack.
In any case, yeah, if you needed proof that this party kinda sucks at actually killing things, there you go.

You arrive at a nice open space surrounded by streams. At the center sits a familiar girl, holding a simple iron plate over a campfire.

Mwuh?! Who's there? ...Oh, well if it isn't my favorite customers! Now what in the world are you doing here of all places?
Doing our job.
A better question would be "what's my favorite innkeeper doing on the 3rd floor?"
...Your "favorite" innkeeper?
What? Whaddayamean "what in the world are you doing here of all places?" I'm baking bread!
As she says this, she puffs out her chest with pride. Instinctively, you blurt out the obvious question.

Our choices are "So what happened to the inn?" and "Are you starting a bakery now?" Exactly one line of dialogue changes from this.
Uh, what happened to the inn?
It's open to rave reviews!
...Yeah, but-- Oh, never mind.
So around this time of day, I leave running the inn to my sisters, and I come here so I can bake! The water's real great around here, so I reckon if I can make bread with the great water, the great bread will become the inn's selling point! It was mindblowing when I came up with this, sometimes I even surprise myself with these great ideas!
Ahh, I've always wanted to try that toast-in-mouth thing... Who to bump into, though...
Beg your pardon?
U-um, nothing.
So yeah I come to the Labyrinth to do my research. I'm so in tune with nature I can hear the voices of the yeast! ...Actually making bread is still pretty far off, though. But hey, that's where you come in! Wouldn't you just love to help me out here? Bring me some ingredients and I pinky swear I'll bake you something!
Talking to Genetta again lets us actually have her bake something.

We can either give her Labyrinth Wheat, or Labyrinth Wheat plus Labyrinth Berries. Let's opt for the latter.

Just toss in as many as I can.
Wheat AND berries?! This must be the meaning behind "the nail that sticks up gets hammered down!"
...Absolutely no clue what you just said.
So, I'd better get started on making something with those ingredients you gave me!
The girl immediately gets to work grinding the wheat with a mortar and pestle... When she's done, she starts kneading the fresh flour into batter...
There we go! All that's left is to bake it!
She gently pours the batter onto an iron plate suspended over a fire like a lid. After a short while, the batter is fully cooked by the hot plate!
Slather on some sliced fruit and fresh cream and... Voila! Berry Crepes! The ultimate sweet! Bread and fruit have collided in a long-awaited typhoon!

(Obtained 5 Berry Crepes!)
Doesn't look like any bread I've ever heard of, but damn I just want to eat all of these things!
They smell...ludicrously good...
Ladies, please, let's provision these. They'll taste better if we wait~
This whole sequence is a pun that I didn't bother to translate well. Basically, she spends all this time talking about bread ("pan" in Japanese, by way of Portuguese) and yeast and all that, so you assume she's talking about actual bread, and then when you actually give her the ingredients she makes PANcakes. Or crepes, but basically she thought that since pancakes have PAN in their name, they must be bread. Apparently this misconception isn't unheard of in Japan, since the Japanese wikipedia page on pancakes spends some time discussing it.
I didn't do it here, but you can ask Genetta if she needs anything.
What? Do I need anything? Hmm, that's a tough one...
The girl rests her chin on her hand as she thinks.
The thing I want most right now is a Labyricanth, but it'd be pretty hard to get your hands on that. Other than that...uh... Oh, so when I'm baking bread here, I always wind up just eating a bunch of bread. Gets boring! I wanna try something else! So you should bring me something and then we can trade!
From there, we can give her either Animal Meats or Labyricanths.
Meat! Dig that meat! Gonna eat that meat. Love meat!

Fish! Big fan, you know. Of fish. Ms. Genetta Loves Fish, it's my autobiography!

Wow! I can't believe you gave me something so fantastic! You guys are the best customers a girl could hope for! I'd better give you something nice in return then!
She gives us a Whitebread (what we'd get if we only gave her Wheats) for every Animal Meat, and a Berry Crepe for every Labyricanth.

Inside this room is an Owlbear we can't get around yet.

Oh fuck off. This encounter's goddamn mean and this party doesn't make it any better.

(Jana attempts to escape!)
Not really feeling it today! Buh-bye!
Escaping got massively buffed in EO5 after taking huge nerfs in EO4 and the Untolds. You can fairly reliably escape--having the entire party fail to run is a really big anomaly in EO5.
Call me when you've escaped 10 times without taking at least two deaths in the process and I may believe you.

A situation like that necessitates a trip back to town.
Creeper Fist (+33 ATK, +24 MATK, HP Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Thick Vine.

Shell Tanto (+34 ATK, +23 MATK, Vital Blow, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Baked Shell.

Vine Armor (+15 DEF, +15 MDEF) is made from 1 Coiled Vine and 1 Thick Vine.

Woven Vine Cap (+11 DEF, +9 MDEF) is made from 1 Thick Vine.

I upgrade Jana's starting katana to a Shell Tanto.

I also toss a Vine Armor on Alexis.

Anyway, let's go grab the Moonstone.

The text is basically the same as the Sunstone.

(Obtained Moonstone!)
With this, you've gathered both stones. All that's left is to return to the requester in the bar and complete it.

It was at this point that I remembered to take care of Rare breed hunter!, too.

You've arrived at the point where you're supposed to find the target of the request you've taken. But you can't see or feel anything unusual about the area. Just when you're wondering if the intel was mistaken, Jana lets out a shout like they've found something. When you check out what they found, you all see the remains of various half-eaten things. In other words, this must be the spot. You may be able to find the rare breed by walking around in the area. You should probably look for it on this floor.
The next fight we start is forced to this encounter group:

Rare breeds make a return from EO4 and the Untolds. Rare breeds gain a massive speed bonus compared to normal monsters (although not priority--you can outspeed them with sufficiently fast characters), and a...I want to say around 1.5x damage bonus. They're significantly more dangerous than normal random encounters, and some normally-slow monsters can seriously ruin your day if rare breeds of them spawn, but...

They also quintuple the EXP that the enemy does normally. Balloon Flying Squirrels normally give out 50 EXP each, so the rare breed one gave us 150 EXP.

And, yes, before you ask, FOEs can be rare breeds, too. Fighting them is almost always a bad idea unless you're way above where you should be to take them on normally.
That sounds like an extremely excellent idea that cool people should do, actually? Aren't you cool, Ragnar?
"No" feels like too canned of a response, but I'm having trouble coming up with anything else.

Sylphid counterattacks now deal 59% damage, and Sylphid itself has a 75% base chance to activate.

I opt for more Fire Bomb levels because combining Poison Bomb with Poison Smoke hadn't occurred to me. Fire Bomb gains 7% extra damage at level 2.

Prayer: Blaze gives 3% extra resistance at level 3, 31% from 28%. Woooooo.

Let's turn in those two quests. To finish Sunstone, Moonstone, we need to talk to Thaddeus.
Thaddeus: Welcome back. I'm very glad to see you unharmed. Any luck finding the Sunstone and Moonstone?
If you'll give me a second... Here they are.

(Handed over Sunstone and Moonstone.)
Thaddeus: So, these are them... Truly beautiful. I can almost feel this "eternal happiness" they're reported to grant.
Eternal happiness?!
Thaddeus: Oh, excuse me. The truth is, they say there's something special about these stones. "A pair of wedding rings made from a Sunstone and a Moonstone will ensure your eternal happiness." ...My apologies for being personal, but, my wedding is coming up soon, so I put up that request thinking I'd put some stock in that old legend.
...Can we go back and look for another set after we're done here?
Thaddeus: Thank you so much. Now I just need to find an engraver to make the rings themselves. I am in your collective debt. If you'd like, you may consider this an open invitation to the wedding. I'll be off now.

So it was a homemade wedding ring? How romantic.
I knooooooow!
I wonder if I should give making my own accessories a try too.
You look like you already have plenty, though.
...That doesn't mean I don't want more. Moving on, I'd better give you your reward. You did good work this time. Keep it up, but don't push yourselves too hard.

(Obtained 3 Medica IIs.)
Hey, I'll take it.

Welcome back. So you killed the rare breed then? I'll let the Council know. I'm sure they'll rate you more highly after this. And me too; I think they'll be more willing to dispatch requests through me now. I sure hope none of them are too crazy. Well, here's your reward. Good work, and thank you, as always.

(Obtained 600 en.)
Decent amount of money for early on, even with the DLC money quest at my disposal.

Sylphid now has a 100% base chance to activate, and can counter a maximum of 3 times per turn.
For the record, counterattacks count as normal attacks, so they'll receive the benefits of the Shaman elemental buffs. So at least that does something.

Armor Penetrate now deals 164% damage and reduces physical defense by 25%, in exchange for costing 8 TP.

Fire Bomb now deals 134% damage, an extra 7% from level 2.

Mio starts tossing points into Prayer: Cold Rain, which is identical to Prayer: Blaze, except for being ice instead of fire.

Magda puts two points into Smoke Rot. Smoke Rot reduces one row of enemies' elemental defense--it only reduces it by a pitiful amount if they don't have a Smoke debuff, though. At level 2, it reduces defense by a measly 5% if the target has no Smoke debuff, and 22% if they do.

Anyway, back to it. We can't get past this Owlbear when we enter this room from this direction.

Incidentally, I forgot to show off a fairly big feature of both Ghost Summoning and Dog/Hawk Whistle: you can use them out of battle.

Our only way forward is through here.

Hey, look, another one of these things. This one'll de-wall the other door into that room we were just in.

As you proceed through the now-familiar greenery, you see an old explorer's bag caught on a branch. Someone tall might barely be able to reach it, but place where the cord is stuck is hidden behind branches and leaves. You can try reaching into the unknown to shake it loose, or simply give up on it.
Lemme handle thi-- EEK!
You decide to get the bag. Jana, who happened to be nearby, nods and approaches the tree. When they push past the leaves and branch and reach out, they almost immediately let out a scream and pull their hand back!

What in the... Oh, come on. How did no-one see this coming?
Magda takes a look at the branch now that the leaves have been moved aside and sees it covered in green larvae. It seems to be the larvae of a species of labyrinth moth, known to be extremely venomous. It seems this is the reason no one's tried to recover the bag. You comfort Jana as they blow on their swollen hand, and then push past the larvae to get the bag. You find an old silver coin inside!

(Obtained Lunarian Silver Coin.)
You gloomily put your spoils in your bag and continue exploring.

Nonchalant danger

You ran into trouble with moth larvae when investigating an abandoned bag. You are once again reminded of the danger of the Labyrinth.

This one's going in the folder.

Quick stop in town after a bad encounter.
Hakenbuchse (+25 ATK, +23 MATK, VIT Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Chipped Tortoise Shell and 2 Branched Fangs (Charging Boar).

Wooden Shoes (+4 DEF, +10 MDEF) are made from Ivy Covered Barks.

Also did one level of forging on Jana's Shell Tanto because why not.

Anyway, yeah, we can get in this room without the Owlbear blocking our way now.

(Obtained Soma.)

That door is our ticket for going forward.

This golem statue'll unblock the wall directly below us.

Which means we can use this area to juke the Owlbear and get to the next statue.

This isn't the "next" statue, but it does unlock the treasure room all the way back at the start.

THIS is the "next" statue.

Which leads us to this statue, which'll unlock the door to the small unmapped area on the left.

These two got level ups from a boring encounter.

Fire Bomb now deals 141% damage. I'm gonna leave it there for a while, since 15 TP is bad enough as is. 22 would drain Lanzon dry in just a few casts.

Slowly chipping towards Oracle: Dance.

(Obtained Volt Jar.)
Deals ranged INT-based volt damage to one enemy. Not interested...for now.

(Obtained Memory Soundshell!)
Okay, now this is interesting. Remember Combat Study from EO3, that generic passive that gave a percentage of any EXP gained to anyone that knew it, even if they weren't in the party? This is an item version of that, except massively buffed--while any character in the party is wearing this, all inactive guild members gain 10% of whatever EXP any active party member gains. 10% might not sound like much, but remember that party members already only get 20% of any battle EXP.

Not that useful for me, since I have super easy grinding methods, but c'est la vie.

And here's the last golem we need to move forward.

You notice that there are more bugs flying around than there were elsewhere in the forest. Curious, you look around and discover a large beehive at the top of a tree. Such a large beehive would surely have a lot of Labyrinth Honey. However, the bees would probably be displeased by any attempts to approach it. You won't be able to get any honey here as long as it's covered in bees. You have no choice but to give up on the Labyrinth Honey and return to exploring.
No, Woodland Searching Skills won't help here. We'll come back here for a quest later.

Boom, we're done with 3F.

Back to town we go.

I hear there's a monster on the 4th floor called a Forest Monkey that imitates other monsters. They can even imitate Ropers and combine into a Giganto Roper! How crazy is that?
Crazy enough that I'm, frankly, already dreading it...
They can do anything! I wonder if I could pull it off too, if I tried hard enough. I mean, become an acorn. C'mon, aren't they cute!? Yummy too!
...Um, sure, yeah. Become an acorn. That sounds...plausible.

Geez, never been so insulted in my life... Huh? Oh, you wanna hear about what happened? Now look, take a look at this, some explorers were trying to pass this weed off as a valuable medicinal herb!
...They look the same to me.
Why, I never! Can you believe the nerve, trying to cheat a Brownie about herbs, how stupid can you possibly get?!
I take it you baby-looking people know a lot about herbs.
You kidding me? Of course I do! Brownies travel through plains, mostly, so having knowhow on herbs is essential. We're taught about medicinal and poisonous plants from childhood. By our parents. You'll always need an herbalist in the family when you're traveling the plains. It used to be that when you grow up men would leave the plains to become merchants, while women stay and become herbalists, but nowadays it seems like more and more people just do what they want, regardless of gender. Personally, I'm fine with that.
For whatever reason, Ceric pretty much only talks about Brownies in these floor conversations. I guess he's proud of his culture?

We also got this thing.
Bash Charm (+30% bash resistance) is made from 5 Chipped Tortoise Shells.

Forge up!

Now that we have a fully forged weapon, I can also show the Recycle function. Basically, you can take any +5 forged weapon and have Ceric break it down, which'll delete the weapon and give you Ingot Scraps for a certain type. 10 Ingot Scraps of one type create one Ingot. What type of Ingot Scraps you get is hardcoded per-weapon, but they generally follow a pattern:

Quest time.

#1: Proof of your growth:
This request comes straight from the Council, so it might be a bit dangerous... You know that monsters called Crawling Venomous Bugs? They're vicious bug monsters that prowl the first stratum like they own the place. They're pretty much the first patch of trouble you run into after you're given a map and sent off to explore Yggdrasil. So the request is meant to weed out the explorers who can't even defeat one of those. Just make sure you're prepared before you fight it.
It's as simple as it sounds, really. Slightly less annoying than the EO2U equivalent, where you had to get the first FOE's conditional drop. This party could actually probably take a Crawler on, once they get a few more levels.

#2: The elusive Giganto Roper:
Are you familiar with the monsters in the first stratum called Ropers? This request concerns them. You see, every so often people claim to have seen Ropers of unusual size. We call them Giganto Ropers. So the request this time is from someone who's spotted one, and he wants you to bring back a Thick Vine, as proof that they exist. One should be more than sufficient. Good luck.

Patrons. Note that when I use numbers, they correspond to new patrons.

#1: Dark-skinned male Dragoon:
*scoff* So you're the ones saying they got to the 4th floor so easily...? What's with those damn monkeys?! No one told me that they'd be pulling their little monkey-see monkey-do routine on the Roper too! Little sons of- Next time, I'm killing the Roper first, let's see them deal with that! Can't copy the dead!
#2: Purple-haired lady Fencer:
Fencer: Oh, if it isn't Nameless! I caught sight of a gigantic snake-like lobster on the 4th floor! I wonder if it was protecting its territory? It was able to freely enter the water, but only ever spun in circles in the same area. It didn't seem to pay us any mind at all, but we certainly needed to keep track of its movements to advance. But such a large lobster... Doesn't it just make you want to see how it tastes?
#3: Frowning Brownie:
Brownie: Those damn Earthrun are terrible, always making a fool outta me. There I was, hoppin' like a bunny to pick some berries, and you know what happened? Some Earthrun comes up and snatches 'em, just like that. And hands them to me! With a frickin' smile! And the worst part is, I reflexively thanked them for it! Bastards! Always lookin' down on me... If you sympathize at all, then lend me some of your height!
And, before we go, Melina's dialogue.
I wonder, have you met the Raging Owlbeast already?
That depends on your definition of "met." Have we faced it in combat? No. Have we evaded and duped them? Very yes!
That's what I was talking about when I was discussing monsters you can't possibly defeat yet. If you ever see one, just run away. That's the secret to surviving in the Labyrinth.

So I blink, and now you're at the 4th floor? Most explorers crack under the pressure, so only the strong remain.
Well, thank--
That's not a compliment, that's just the way of things...so here's some advice. You know monsters have attributes, yeah? Well, they've got weaknesses too. Hit a weakness, and your attack will really sting. Memorize your enemy's attributes, and memorize your own, while you're at it. As you get deeper into the Labyrinth, just smacking 'em's not gonna work so well for you. So remember this; it takes more than strength to really grasp victory.

Remus starts talking as soon as we enter.
...! Oh, whew, it's just you.
D-did we catch you at a bad time?
What's all the kitchenware for? What are you doing?
What am I doing? To tell the truth, the sisters at the inn taught me how to make toast. I thought I'd use these ingredients to attempt making some myself. There were many failures along the way, but I finally managed to make this Eggs on Toast. The egg is cooked sunny-side up and placed on top of the toast, so you should be able eat it with your hands without getting them dirty. I tasted it and it wasn't awful, so...would you care to try it?
Hey, I'm always down for something good. Bottoms up!
Isn't that something one says when toasting a drink...?
*chuckle* You make it look so delicious! Seeing you enjoy it so much makes it all worth it. It was made with wheat from the Labyrinth and a fresh egg. The recipe is simple enough, so why don't I teach you? That way, you can have some whenever you want, even in the Labyrinth.

(Obtained Toast Recipe!)

Oh, there's more.
Oh; by any chance, you wouldn't happen to have found a Moon Apple or a Labyrinth Berry in your travels?
We've gotten quite a few berries, yes.
In truth, the guards have made a habit out of giving me fruits that they discover. I've made a number of experiments as a result, and am in the middle of one now, which promises to be quite delicious...are you interested?
After the toast stuff? Yeah, gimme!
Oh, that's good to hear. A moment of your time, then, please, while I make it. ...So if I chop up the Moon Apple, garnish it with a Labyrinth Berry, and then put Labyrinth Honey on top... Et voila! The use of preserved foods in the Labyrinth is obvious, but its real appeal is how sweet it is. The guard I tested it on exclaimed, "by the gods, this concoction you've created is so unbelievably saccharine it could raise the dead!" Would you care to have a taste?
Like I said before, gimme!
Oh right, even if you know the recipe, that won't do you any good without one of these. Think of it as a gift.

(Obtained Preservation Bottle!)
He's not lying, by the way, this really does revive the dead. The preserved berries are an out-of-battle revival item, which is the main reason I like to stock up on berries when I can.
Lastly, Remus's normal 4F dialogue.
Oh, hello, everyone. Would you like to hear about that old legend we discussed earlier?
Nah, everyone else already filled us in.
Well, then how about a tip for exploring the Labyrinth? While you're exploring, chances are good you'll run into other explorers. You should be sure to listen to their advice. You're all in the same boat, so I'm sure they'll have something useful to tell you.

At this point, I swapped out the party so I could get Skunk Cabbage to complete an earlier quest.

So have you gotten the Skunk Cabbage? Let me confirm it. Yup, this is it. I'll be delivering it to the pharmacist myself. This request may not have been a dangerous one, but it's still the Labyrinth. You can't ever let your guard down. That's just how dangerous the place is. I know that all too well. Anyway, why don't I give you your reward? Here you go. Good work. Thanks for always working so diligently. I look forward to working with you in the future.

(Obtained 3 Nectars.)

Sylphid counterattacks now deal 63% damage, and it has a 105% base chance to activate.

Armor Penetrate now hits for 176% damage.

Lastly, Smoke Rot now reduces magic defense by 6% if the enemy has no Smoke debuff, and 31% if they do.

That'll do for now. Next time: 4F.
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