Update 5: Stoneborn

Something I skipped over last update: Genetta's post-Big Adventure dialogue. It's about honey.
Welcome back, all! Thanks you so much for helping me out back there! Because of your efforts, Miss Genetta can make all the honey toast she desires! ...I may have already ate it all, though. Oh, but that reminds me! If I hang up this beehive we brought back in our front yard, maybe--whoa, dang sweet idea here--maybe new bees will appear and become settlers of this colony! So it's like a long-term investment...of honey! As investors in my capital ventures, I'll give you a share of any honey I get, even! Please to look forward to it!
Now, whenever Genetta gives us eggs from Labyrinth Chickens, she'll give us Labyrinth Honey, too.

Saying "sigh" out loud while staring wistfully out the window. I had no clue you were such a fan of theatrics.
No, really, who says "cough, cough" out loud? I cannot get over that.
Oh, be quiet and leave me be.
That's quite difficult, considering we're sharing a room. Are you really going to spend all of your spare time moping about the death of someone you've never even met, much less loved?
Lanzon, please, can you and your ghosts just...go get breakfast?
Alright then. Before I depart, however, I have one thing to say: Marina.
What does that have to do with anything?
If you want to find out, maybe you should come have breakfast with Gram and I~
...Very well.

We begin today by taking care of that quest that wants us to kill a Crawling Venomous Bug.

Crawling Venomous Bug
HP: 2027
STR: 42
INT: 34
VIT: 29
WIS: 28
AGI: 23
LUC: 32

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

Disable Resistances:
50% 10% 50% 100% 50% 50% 100%
10% 50%
100% 50% 50%
Crawlers are somewhat better dealt with using a dodgetank Fencer rather than a Dragoon, since the thing can only ever hit one party member at a time. The increased base accuracy on Poison Fang makes just blindly using Predict silghtly dodgy, but a good blind should take care of that.

Standard initial actions: Predict, Armor Penetrate, Prayer: Eradication, Dark Smoke. (Lanzon's not doing anything until Smoke Rot's applied.)

Ick, now my sword's got giant bug bits all over it.

These larger monsters being resistant to my compounds is...intensely annoying.
Your words betray your "intensely" red face~

Was that a light breeze?

(Mist Slice.)
Okay, killing the Crawler shouldn't take too long.

(Smoke Rot.)
And now it's time for Lanzon to spam Fire Bomb.

Now that's the kind of damage I wanna see.

And now it's effectively impossible for the Crawler to hit anyone.

A couple turns of more of the same later, and I'm concerned about the blind running out soon, so I do the obvious thing: try to inflict poison! Which the Crawler has 25% resistance to!

...Sometimes the wild swings of effectiveness work out in my favor.
excuse me what
It's like, 1/4 odds, Ragnar. It's not that bad. It's first grade!
I've told you plenty of times how amazingly shitty my luck is, a 25% chance should effectively be 0%.

Well, that's a decent amount of extra damage per turn.

We're not doing too badly, honestly. Just have to make sure Alexis doesn't run out of TP too early.

Maybe I should reconsider my style...when fighting poisonous bugs...
(Lanzon has been poisoned.)

Hm...hm... A comforting sensation...

And I am out of Nectars. Fantastic planning, Ragnar H. Homsar.

(Received 1 Iron Caterpillar Horn.)
Add "bug exterminators" to our Guild Card, I suppose.
Nothing bad happened after that, thankfully.

Welcome back. I'm just glad you're back in one piece. It's no exaggeration to say that being able to handle jobs like this is what separates you from the rookies. In other words, you're fully fledged explorers now. Congratulations, everyone. But don't let this get to your head. I may not look like it, but I was really worried about you guys. I'm glad it went well this time, but you never know what's going to happen in the Labyrinth. ...Well, that's enough nagging for now. Here's your reward.

(Obtained Amrita.)
Ohoho, Ragnar like. Amritas restore 50 TP to one party member. This early on, that's almost all of most characters' TP pools, and at least half of everyone else's.

Mio puts a point into Organizational Skills because lord knows we can use a bigger backpack with the Drop Cameo on. Organizational Skills gives a small passive VIT bonus and, more importantly, increases your inventory's max capacity by 5 for every party member that knows it. If you have a party that all knows Organizational Skills, your inventory would have a capacity of 85 items, compared to the normal 60.
It took them five games to do this?

(Floor subtitle: "The embryo of truth, that is the barrier")

...Yeah, uh, neither Clarste, alcharagia or I know what the fuck that's supposed to mean.
I had ideas at some point but I forgot them all before this update happened.
Obviously it means the embryo of truth is the barrier.

There's a campfire spot here.

And the rotating golem statues make a return for this floor. They're quite a bit more involved this time around, but, again, 1st Stratum puzzles. Not too hard overall.

That rabbit's...not very cute.

Man-Eating Rabbit
HP: 250
STR: 36
INT: 25
VIT: 30
WIS: 24
AGI: 29
LUC: 22

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 150% 100% 150% 100% 100%
100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
Man-Eating Rabbits don't have much to them. They can hit one party member really hard. That's it.

Does it look cuter when it's sleeping?
...A little.

I, personally, think it looks cuter while it's dead.

(Received 1 Steel Rabbit Tooth and 1 Branched Tusk.)

Jana learns Attack Heal, a Union skill that requires 3 people. When used, all party members recover 30% of any damage dealt the participants deal that turn.

(Received 1 Coiled Vine naturally, and 1 Coiled Vine from Alexis.)
5F, D3 Chop Point
  • Ivy Covered Bark: 42% chance. Sells for 20 en.
  • (+14 DEF, +6 MDEF).
  • Bent Wood: 15% chance. Sells for 100 en.
  • Ambush Chance: 12%

  • An encounter with a solo Giganto Roper gives Magda enough EXP to level up.

    She puts a point into Bestow Mana, which increases the damage of Jar items by 30%. I don't care about that, what I care about is the passive LUC bonus.

    If only we had that brutish-looking Cestus.
    What makes you say that?
    He's..."ripped," I guess is the term. Couldn't he just shove these annoyances out of the way?
    Here, we've got two Crayfish alternatively patrolling an area that overlaps with how we need to progress. How do we get past this?

    Getting into a random battle and getting two level ups is not the answer, but do you see the golem statue just to the right of us? We have to rotate that so we can walk past the crayfishes.

    Alexis's skill point goes into Tri-Shield. Tri-Shield requires 3 people to use, and nullifies the first 3 instances of damage on any party member for one turn. This is ludicrously powerful early on, but starts falling off later in the game. By that point, its only advantage is that it only costs 3 peoples' Union gauges to use.

    Poison Bomb now has 75 base poison damage.

    Note that I mapped the statue incorrectly earlier--there's no wall separating it from us.

    And now we're free to proceed.

    Next obstacle: this Crawler is patrolling the one-tile-wide walkway we need to progress, and that pillar is making it so that the Crawler turns around too early for us to safely get in front of it. Obvious solution here: move the pillar.

    There's also another Other Guild event I forgot about a bit ago.
    As you continue through the rays of sunlight, you come across a single smiling explorer. When they notice you, they cheerfully ask if you're explorers too.
    Uh, y-yes. I believe our guilds have met before? We're Guild Nameless.
    When you introduce yourselves as Nameless, they nod and smile before identifying themselves as a member of TFKrew.

    Furthermore, they're known as Sapph the Genji.
    ...Interesting occupation. You wear the garb of Masuraos, though.
    uh, I can explain

    just give me a stratum or so, it'll all make sense then
    In response, you give your own introductions. With introductions down on both side, Sapph proposes an exchange. Apparently they've collected a lot of ingredients, but there's not enough variety for their tastes. If you like, you could trade your ingredients for theirs.

    There's a lot of really good ingredient trades here. In order, we can trade:
    Olives and Animal Meats are good, so I toss 2 Eggs and 2 Moon Apples towards Guild TFKrew's way, and get 10 Olives and 10 Animal Meats in return.

    Note that you can only do this once, though! After you end the conversation here, the other guild leaves.
    As they leave with a wave, you say your thanks to Sapph and return to exploring.

    Anyway, yes, move this statue. We'll be back here in a bit, though, because I forgot something about this puzzle.

    You reach the end of the path. Ahead of you is a thicket too dense to pass through. You shrug in resignation and begin to turn around when you notice a large tree that you could rest under. You can either rest here for a while or return to exploring.
    It looks safe...enough. I'm kinda tired, too.
    You should try being a ghost. Never becoming tired is a nice perk.
    Comments from the peanut gallery aside, I'm feeling beat, too.
    A rest it is, then.
    You feel you've looked around enough and lean back against the tree to rest your weary bodies for a bit.

    You end your break and return to exploring.

    Underneath the tree

    Pushed to your limits by the Labyrinth, a break underneath a large tree offers a brief respite.

    Going back to this thing, there's a treasure chest we can only reach by rotating the statue so that it blocks the Crawler's upward patrol.

    (Obtained Kotegiri!)
    That was not worth it. Another disabling weapon: +10 ATK/MATK, 20% base chance to bind arms with normal attacks.
    Why do these exist? I've never used one in any EO game I've played and they're still not useful here.

    Moving on, we have a big empty room, and the only way further is by rotating this golem.

    oh fuck

    Good thing that simple-aggressive FOEs can be easily kited around a 3x3 area with an impassable tile in the middle.

    (Received 1 Ripe Lotus Fruit naturally, and 1 Ripe Lotus Fruit from Alexis.)
    5F, B2 Take Point
    You come to a stop when you hear the breathing of several beasts on the path ahead. Taking care to hide your presence, you creep forward and spy a group of ferocious animals. You have two options now: you could quietly sneak away before they notice you, or get the drop on them yourselves. You'll need to carefully determine which is the best way for your party.
    No-one in our party knows Acrobatics, and doing the "sneak by" option without knowing that results in bad things. We have to just attack the monsters here.
    Thinking that it would be too dangerous to try to sneak away only to get caught, you decide to take the initiative yourselves! However, the monsters hear you as you approach and begin coming for you with murder in their eyes! While you've lost the advantage, it's not like you're at a disadvantage either. Now, don't falter and prepare for battle!

    Nothing we can't handle by this point.

    After the battle, you return to exploring.

    Watch your step

    You took on the beasts head on and gained some valuable experience from the battle.

    Back to town to heal up and sell off stuff.
    Crawler Knuckle (+39 ATK, +27 MATK, Poison Fang, Silver x3) is made from 1 Iron Caterpillar Horn and 1 Massive Mushroom Cap (Myconid).

    Kodachi (+40 ATK, +25 MATK, VIT Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Steel Rabbit Tooth.

    Bunny Sickle (+30 ATK, +30 MATK, TP Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Steel Rabbit Tooth and 1 Bent Claw (Forest Monkey).

    Caterpillar Scythe (+36 ATK, +25 MATK, Rare Breed Up, Silver x3) is made from 1 Iron Caterpillar Horn.

    Strength Ring (+10 HP, +8 STR) is made from 3 Steel Rabbit Teeth.

    Intelligence Ring (+15 TP, +8 INT) is made from 3 Steel Rabbit Teeth.

    Vitality Jewel (+10 HP, +12 WIS) is made from 3 Steel Rabbit Teeth.

    I buy a Strength Ring for Jana, since having a few less points of DEF/MDEF don't mean a lot when we're using a dodgetank.

    I also upgrade her to a Kodachi.

    And some forging. The important part is that Mio's Ice Bat Fang is now +5, which means Cold Wave now deals 110% INT-based damage, at the cost of now costing 4 TP per cast.

    We're a little over the halfway point for 5F. This time, we have a more involved pillar puzzle.

    You stop at a large boulder covered with moss on one side. Cautious, you decide to get away from it as quickly as possible.
    If someone in our party knew Sense Magic, we'd see ancient text, and unlock an event earlier in the floor. For now, though, we have to ignore it.

    Firstly, we rotate this statue this way.

    Then rotate the upper statue so the other pillar is out of our way, rotate the other one back...

    And boom, door.

    Here's the last major puzzle of the floor.

    Don't rotate this statue downwards yet, it's just gonna block your way later.

    What you actually need to do is rotate this golem to face east.

    Then we need to rotate this golem to face north. We'll be rotating it back later.

    Rotating the previous golem opened up the path for us to rotate this one. We can just leave it like this.

    Rotate this one back so we don't block the way forward...

    Grab this chest, which has 800 en...

    And rotate this golem this way, which lets us go to the door.

    Maybe I overstated how involved these puzzles are...

    An otherwise-unremarkable random encounter gave Jana and Mio level ups.

    I decided to bump Mist Slice up to level 5 in preparation for the boss. Its damage is still 190%, but it now costs 11 TP, and has a 60% base chance to inflict sleep (up from 40%), and a 70% speed modifier (down from 120%).

    Still getting the elemental Prayers up to 3 for Oracle: Dance.

    I still have one bit of the floor to explore and one quest to do, but I wanted to get to the boss room and open the shortcut before going back to town.
    As you pass through the trees, you come across a door that that gives off a powerful presence. Surely there's an enemy on the other side of it that is far more terrible than anything you've met before! If you're prepared for anything, then open it without hesitation!
    Well, might as well see what this big bad boss looks like.
    Kaelin's been talking about those "games" you've let him play. Might as well use some of the terminology~

    ...What? There's nothing here.
    As you enter, the room opens up into a vast hall. However, you don't detect anything to which that intimidating presence could have belonged to. Only a gentle breeze.
    Well then. Shall we be go--
    You slowly take a breath, and right as you let it out, a swarm of tiny statues appears!

    W-well then.
    Awwwww, that's adorable!
    ...I'm not going to argue that, but please focus on the large, aggravated monster that's now blocking our path.
    The swarm gathers into one and become a giant golem. This giant golem is surely the keystone to the Lunarian barrier. If you are still prepared to face this mighty opponent, then grab your weapons and advance.
    I think it goes without saying, but we are wholly unprepared to fight this thing.
    im prepared to hug it though

    Nothing new at the shop, but I forged the hell out of Jana's Kodachi.

    Well, while we're here, might as well take care of Vermin extermination.
    You arrive at the indicated location of the monster nest. Peering into the brush, you indeed see a rough framework of lumber, covered in leaves to block the wind and rain.
    Impressive effort for a bunch of monsters without brains.
    This must be the nest you've been contracted to destroy. If you're ready, you might as well begin immediately.
    ...What was the first thing that Melina wanted us to do again?
    We...need to take out the meat, I think. Yeah.
    You take out the meat you got earlier, to be used as bait. If you place this as instructed, you should be able to sneak into the nest while the monsters are engrossed.
    ...Now what?
    Allow me. "Place it slightly away from the nest," I think is what the instructions were...
    Remembering what you were told, you place it a little ways away from the nest, and hide yourselves... Almost immediately after you hide yourselves, the monsters notice the meat and come out of the nest in droves. They cheerfully fling themselves at it and lose sight of their surroundings. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, you sneak into the nest. Success! Just in case, you glance around the interior, but there are no monsters to be found. Now, the problem is what comes next. As you recall, it was something about setting fire to a pillar supporting the nest. But you need to remember exactly where to set fire to it.
    Oh, yeah, the middle one, I remember that!
    You're pretty sure you needed to light it from right in the middle, so you bring a flame up to it... When you do so, the surface of the wood begins to split with an audible crack. As you recall, you were supposed to do something with a bomb next.
    PUT THE BOMB DOWN! We're not setting it yet.
    ...Oh, right. My mistake.
    You're pretty sure it's too early to set up the bomb, and continue heating the wood. The cracks widen, and before long pieces begin to fall off in chunks! Maybe this is the time to set up the bomb.
    Okay, now set the bomb.
    You determine that this is the correct time to set up the bomb, so you stick it into the pillar and light the fuse. Not wanting to get caught in the explosion, you get away from it as fast as you can. As soon as you exit the nest, you hear a loud explosion from behind you. When the dust settles, the monster nest is no more! You've completed the request! Perhaps out of fear of the explosion, the monsters who had been eating the bait scatter before you. Problem solved. All that's left is to report your success at the bar.
    I would like to take a moment to thank Clarste, who idiot-proofed this quest by marking which choices are correct in the text archive.
    You're welcome.
    It goes without saying, but pretty much all of the wrong options result in a fight and lower reward.

    Let's take care of The house of Griffon, too.
    As you walk through the Labyrinth, you notice a helmet sitting by the waterside. It has a symbol of a griffon engraved on it, and is coated in blood and dirt, as if from the result of a fierce battle. It hangs off of a sword, like a grave marker.
    You remember the request from the monocled gentleman. He wanted you to find his missing daughter. ...It seems whoever this helmet belonged to lost their life here.
    As much as I'd hoped otherwise, death is ever-present in this tree of life.
    I'm loathe to disturb a marker of remembrance, but...
    You offer them a silent prayer, and begin to reach for the helmet to take back as proof...when suddenly, you're attacked from behind!

    Whatever. Blindside doesn't matter too much.

    Magda got a level up from it.

    With the monsters dispatched, you once again grab for the helmet. With this, you can complete the request.

    (Obtained Engraven Helmet!)

    Good work. Sounds like everything went perfectly. Having a job go smoothly is really a big help. It's so relaxing not to have to watch over you and worry all the time. So can I count on you to handle things like this in the future? I have high expectations, you know. Oh, and here's your reward.

    (Obtained 2 Bronze Ingots!)
    Not too shabby for just selecting some dialogue options.

    Let's speak to the monocled man again.
    Gentleman: Oh, you're back. Wait...that helmet...could it be? Can I take a look at it?
    Of course.
    Gentleman: ...So it's really true. If you're coming back with just her helmet, then she must be... I... My daughter is dead...
    It's okay, you can cry. We understand...
    I think Alexis isn't far off from crying himself.
    Gentleman: ...But still, the 5th floor is quite high up, isn't it?
    For most people, yeah. I think Edgar said over half of the guilds he's seen quit by this point.
    Gentleman: She was amazing, wasn't she? Maybe if I'd supported her in becoming an explorer, she'd still be... No, it's too late for this. Much too late... Thank you for finding a momento of my daughter.
    You're very welcome...

    ...So you've finished his request. I'm sure this wasn't a pleasant job for you. Not everyone who becomes an explorer is going to reach the top. I've said this over and over again, so I'm sure you already know, but that's just the sort of place this is. Let your guard down for a moment, and it's over. That's how cruel and unforgiving it is. Coming home alive day after day is truly the greatest miracle you could ask for. I should know, since I used to be an explorer too... I'm sure you don't need to hear the details of that sob story. I'd expect you want the payment for your labor. Here you go. Good work. Sorry for making you go through all that. Why not take a little break?
    That'd be nice...

    (Obtained Soma.)

    Sylphid counterattacks now deal 67% damage, and Sylphid has a 115% base chance to activate.

    Lanzon learns Sense Magic.

    Poison Smoke now has 80 base poison damage and increases poison infliction chances by 25%.

    Now that we've learned Sense Magic, the text for the rock changes.
    Apparently, this is no ordinary boulder. Lanzon can sense magic coming from it.
    Allow me to read this.
    As you brush away the moss with your hands, you find ancient writing carved into the stone. This seems to be some kind of monument.
    The stone monument is inscribed with ancient writing. Lanzon, who has the deepest knowledge of matters of magic, thinks they can read it. They stand before the stone and run their finger over its rough letters while reading aloud.
    "Take heed, o explorers of the future. Facing the downward stairs, sunken in the deep blue, thou might find that which would aid you."
    This seems to have been left behind by your forebears, who went out of their way to help out new explorers. If you have an idea of where it's talking about, it might be a good idea to go check it out. Or you could just give priority to exploring.
    Mmmmmmaybe it's talking about the water near the stairs?
    It's as good a guess as any, I suppose.

    A message from your forebears

    You use the power to perceive magic to find a hidden message from your forebears."

    You stop before a small pond filled with springwater. This must be where the monument pointed you to. According to the message, you should be able to find something to aid you in the water here. Careful not to loose your footing, you peer into the water and strain your eyes to find something. You notice what appears to be a glimmering golden box beneath the water.
    Ooh. Looks like a prop we've used in shows...
    You drag it up and try opening it.

    (Obtained 5 Lunarian Silver Coins.)

    (Obtained Scramasax.)

    (Obtained Volt Jar.)
    Well now. How generous of those before us.
    I have to wonder how long that box was sitting there...
    An interesting question that I doubt we'll ever know the answer to.

    A gift from your forebears

    You use the power to perceive magic to find a hidden gift from your forebears.

    I almost forgot about this chest on 4F.
    (Obtained Seal Break!)
    +20 ATK, +35 MATK, and a skill that cures one bind on one target, with a 50% speed modifier. Thanks, I guess?

    You reach a spot where a gentle breeze blows through, which there aren't many of in the Labyrinth. A you stop and enjoy it, you hear a the sound of metal crunching over grass behind you.

    Telop says "Lazy-sounding man."
    Isn't it just great here? Man, I love this place.
    Um, sorry, but...
    Oh my bad, did I interrupt something? Don't you worry about me, I'm nobody special. I'm just the #1 Aeolis Breaktime Enthusiast, 4 years running.

    And now the telop says "Breaktime Enthusiast."
    Oh, lemme tell you something great. So not only is this a fine, fine place for a nap, it's also a great place to air-dry some fish. Now, fish here taste great raw or roasted, but they're definitely best when they're dried. Really...concentrates the flavor, if you get my meaning. Wanna take a break and see how an enthusiast does it? ...Wait, but you don't have any fish. Need fish to make fish, y'know.
    ...Crap, he's right.
    We'll have to come back later.

    And by later I mean in another update, because we're done for now. Next time: Golem.
    Truly, Alola is a wide and varied place if it can make a Golem look like this.
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