Update 1: The Aeon Guild

I wonder how many times I've seen Atlus's logo, just from EO.

Oh, right. Welcome to Etrian Odyssey Nexus. I am Rea, and I will be your primary guide through the game.

Joining me are these fine folks.
hi it's me i'm here again
Hi, my name is Angel, I'm a gay trans woman, and as of writing this I have not yet gotten EON and may not for a few days to a couple of weeks.

C'est la vie.
Hey! I'm Afilitaria, also known as Aurelis, Lev, Levia, local Prince 3 obsessor, Kujura chaser... any's fine, call me whatever!
I've played give or take 4 stratums into EOX (JP). Did I understand a single word of it? Nope!

Difficulties. Yay.

As one might expect from my previous LPs, where I've always selected the highest difficulty, I will be playing on Heroic. Go big or go home when you're LP'ing a game, I always say.

Are you alright, Cason?
Y-Yeah, I'm fine, sis. The thunder just...startled me.

We will be arriving at our destination shortly. All citizens are advised to prepare for landing at a safe location and stand by.
Fuckin' finally.
Sis, I'm 18. How much longer are you gonna keep that up?
As long as it's necessary.
What does that even mean?
You don't need me to tell that to you. Anyway, mind your manners, you never know who we might run into.
...The Flying City of Maginia. As you wander its halls, you find yourself lost in a passage linked to a bridge that extends toward the city. Which way do you go? You continue down the hall until you come across a regal-looking woman staring out one of the ship's windows.
You can't tell me you didn't take us here on purpose.

...Some weather we've got, huh?

From the look of things, you don't seem to be one of ours. Who are you?
The woman asks you sternly. As an adventurer, you're obligated to tell her your guild name. Its name is...
...I didn't think of a guild name yet.
Siiiiiiis. C'mon.
I can hardly be blamed for not being good at coming up with names.
Alright, alright, we're...

The Aeon Guild. Yeah.
Good job, Cason! That's a nice name.
Thanks, sis.
The Aeon Guild...? Are you one of the adventurers we've recruited? The country of Etria to the far east, home to many adventurers... The northern Duchy of High Lagaard, with its beautiful forests and changing seasons... The ocean city of Armoroad in the southern seas, where people gather from all around the world... The remote city of Tharsis, governed by a wise and well-renowned count...
I mean, we're not from any of those places.
I imagine those strange rip-in-space-and-time bubbles your city opened up has attracted people from more than those four cities.
...No matter where you've come from, I thank you for heeding our call.

Due to how I record, sometimes dialogue boxes end up like this. Sorry.
I had heard of the rough seas and thick clouds surrounding the island... But our journey here has truly been something of legend. That said, we're closing in our destination now.


Gods, that's a hell of a vista.

The great tree is our destination, the main stage of your adventure...


You should head that way as well.
...Hm? And who are you?
Ashley Protagonist. The person accompanying me is my brother, Cason.
Otherwise known as the Aeon Guild.
The Aeon Guild... It seems yet another group of adventurers has answered our call.
More adventurers... I see. You too have volunteered for this perilous journey. I am Gunther Mueller, a soldier of this city.
Thousands of adventurers like yourselves have gathered here. No doubt they've been drawn to the lost treasures of an ancient civilization described in legend. Then again, there's no knowing if that can be said of everyone. Some are here out of a sense of duty, while others have come to satiate their lust for adventure... Of course, there's no shortage of those seeking riches either, though some have come simply wishing to see Maginia for themselves. We've even received some vagrant criminals in search of a new home.
Oh, yeah, you've got a serious phantom thief problem, don't you?
Does one phantom thief count as a "problem?"
What is truly the difference between one and one thousand, sister?
You can't just drop into your Dark Hero voice like that, you know. You need to build up to it.
(...Lectured by my sister on how to be a Dark Hero. That's a new low.)
However, now that we've reached our destination, we plan to have the princess provide some inspiration. You should make your way to the town square as well.
There, the princess will inform you of your goal and hopefully arouse further enthusiasm for the task at hand. Well then, we're heading out. Until we meet again, Aeon Guild.

And Iorys!
Yuki, quiet!
But she put a time bubble right next to our home, how can she forget--

Though you are but nameless strangers to one another, you all share the same desire to venture into the unknown. Our goal is the legendary treasures of the lost civilization of Lemuria. It is there you will find what you seek, be it fame, fortune, or merely the thrill of adventure! I am Persephone Maginias, leader of the Maginia Expeditionary Force. The Expedition HQ will be there to guide and assist should you require a helping hand. Brave adventurers! Hold your heads high and proudly go forth!

Hear hear!
Abby, please, not now!

I cannot even fathom who came here merely for thrills.
How in the world did you even determine that...?

Ugh, so many people in this crowd, yet no one here's strong enough.

Before we begin, we will need to measure your strength over at the Explorers Guild. Once we've assessed your capabilities, we can assign you to the appropriate missions. Come to the Explorers Guild when you're ready. There, I will receive you as Guildmaster. Good luck to you.
A t-t-test?
Breathe, Trinity, breathe, it's going to be okay, you're going to pass...
Oh, what I would've given for more time to find a guild before now...
With those final words of encouragement, Mueller leaves the area... The gathered adventurers begin to go their separate ways... In the meantime, you decide it would probably be best to pay visit to Mueller over at the Explorers Guild.

...Cason? Cason.
Bwah! ...Sorry, sis, just kinda...dozed off there. Yeah.
You know that doesn't reflect well on Aeon.
I know.
Hah... Let's just go to the Explorers Guild already.

Gods, that took forever.
We would've arrived here sooner had you not dozed off.
Maybe if you let me use my Dark Speed.
If we were in an open, grassless field? Maybe. In town? You'd light the whole place on fire.
It's not my fault that dark powers involve fire so much.
Hmm... You're Aeon Guild, if I recall correctly.
Indeed. Good to see you again, Mr. Mueller.
Welcome to the Maginian Explorers Guild. I trust your presence means you're hoping to reach Yggdrasil?
That's the gist of it.
Just so that you're aware, there are quite a few adventurers who've already folded their guilds in favor of an easy life in the city.
Fuck that.
Cason. We're in the presence of a Maginian official.
So what?
I'm glad to see you haven't lost your adventurous spirit!
Now then, Aeon Guild. You must register adventurers to your guild, who will then become guild members. I recommend at least five members of different classes to create a balanced party.
Recruiting time?
Recruiting time, I guess. And here I made fun of you for printing all those fliers in advance.

Might as well register before we go.
Heroes are a class introduced in EON, which can fill a mixture of offensive, defensive, and slight healer roles. They also have Afterimage, a pretty unique passive that gives any attacking skills they use a chance to create a duplicate of themselves that repeat that skill.

Good luck, Cason.
I don't need luck.
Good luck, Cason.
Thank you.

Hm. "Sovereign?" Why in the hells would any namby-pamby royal be out exploring instead of--
Excuse me, Sir Knight!
Huh-- Dawuhwuhwuhwuh.
Um, are you alright, Sir Knight? Your face appears to be quite red.
S-Sorry, I've just got a...cold. Yeah. Ahem... What do you want?
Would you happen to know where the Explorers Guild is? I'm seeking a guild to venture towards the Labyrinth with, but I seem to be having the worst luck with finding the Explorers Guild...
Y-You need a gui-- Ahem. Need a guild, huh? What's so special about you?
Oh, what was it... We're referred to as "Sovereigns?" Yes, I believe that's the official designation for us.
...R-real-- No shit, huh?
...Sir-- Ah, pardon me, what's your name?
Cason. Cason Protagonist.
Ah, thank you. Sir Cason, are you sure you're alright? You seem to be tripping over your words quite a lot. Am I imposing?
N-No! I just...get nervous around you royal types.
Quite understandable. My apologies.
Anyway, uh... The Explorers Guild...is right down Persephone Avenue. That way.
Thank you, Sir Cason! I believe I'll be on my--
Hold it! ...Um, we're-- See, my sister and I are starting up our own guild, and we're in need of members. If you wanna just cut out the middleman and join a guild, I've got our forms right here.
Ah, how wonderfully convenient! I'll take you up on that offer.
Yes! ...Uh, anyway, my sis said to send new recruits up to the Lady of the Lake. It's just up Orpheus Street.
I'll head over right away. Thank you, Sir Cason!

By the Amber... This sight is breathtaking...
You sure are slack-jawed.
Ah, good day! Yes, I've been on Maginia for a fortnight, but only now did I think to peer over the edge.
Then you've never seen the world from on high like this?
I have, but not nearly this high. Even atop an Imperial warship, the view of the Cloudy Stronghold was nothing like this.
You sound well-travelled. That would explain your outfit.
I am told that it is rather, ah, unusual.
You've got a weapon with you. Would you happen to be a fighter?
Er... Of a sort.
Go on.
Yes, ah... I travel. I explore. Solo, usually. I plumb whatever dangerous locales my whims ask me to, to find odd sights and live through danger. All so I may find feelings to put into art. But I am just a lone artist. I could not ever stand up to aught like a Ragelope by my lonesome. Thus, my combat skills are... Circuitous. I do not cut and take, so much as cut and run.
Then you've come here to explore the labyrinths?
Indeed. But I'm afraid my skillset may make it difficult to find roost.
I think you should believe in yourself a little harder.
People capable of disabling monsters are in high demand. Anyone who's gone through basic Vessel-style Arcanist training, or learned from the Dark Hunters' guild, usually gets snapped up by the first guild they come across. Do you see yourself as a coward?
...Perhaps a little.
Then cast that aside for now. Go find a guild, settle in. See what they think of your abilities. Then pass judgement on yourself.
Hrmm. ...Yes, you're right. I shall go forth and burn brightly as a gaslamp in the darkness! Thank you, ma'am! You've lit something within me.
Perfect. You're hired.

One more time?
You're hired. Into my guild. If you want to accept, anyways. My name is Ashley Protagonist, and I'm trying to get a guild of explorers together to explore this chimeric Yggdrasil.
...You are an odd person, miss Protagonist.
Please, call me Ashley.

Gods, he was cute. Shouldn't be too hard to find some more adventurers. If I find anyone tough, I'll ask... Hrm, should I leverage my family name? I--
Oh! Goodness, but you're a big tough pup. And look at you, you even have a friend!
C'mere, boy. What do you want? I don't have any foo--
Wh--hey, that's-- What do you want with a guild application form--

You signed it. With a pawprint.
Ruff! Grrrurf!
You want to...join my guild?
...Okay. Fair enough. Let's make this official. What can you bring to the guild that would be valuable to us?
Medical supplies? That explains the bag. Do you know how to use them?
This is the first time I've seen such an expressive... Dog? Wolf? Uh, bark once for dog and twice for wolf.
Ruff, rrrf, mruff.
Now you're messing with me.
Let me take a look at your nametag, then. I'll fill the rest of the application for you... Oh, and I'll jot your friend there down as a "support animal". That okay?
That sounded affirmative. Surprising little bugger. Okay, Heath, you're officially part of the guild. And so is Friedrich!
One down. We're staying at the Lady of the Lake, go ahead and wait for me there while I find more guild members and submit all the applications.



I know you're there, kid.
In the tree.
Whoa, there! You've nearly split your head open with that fall. Thank the Amber I was here!
Erm, th-thank you...
Now, why were you spying on us?
B-because you're part of a guild! Right?!
An' I wanna join a guild! But, when I wanna ask Mueller about how it works, he jus' laughs at me...
You are rather young.
But I'm good at shootin' things, though! A-ah, I, I know survival things... I thought those were things adventurers wanted!
Well, they are.
So I wanted to find out how to join a guild, an' the only way I could think to do that...
...is to follow people who are recruiting and observe them. That's resourceful, actually.
Why do you want to join a guild so badly, uh...
Sharpe! I'm, uh, I wanted to show m-mama that I'm strong enough that I don't need her training anymore!
You don't like mom's training?
A-ah... N-no. She's, uh... Um... sniff
...Alright. Sharpe, take a deep breath.

Okay. If you want to join a guild... I'll recruit you into mine.
Wait, what?!
But, I need you to promise you'll listen to me and do what I say. I believe you when you say you're a good adventurer, but that doesn't mean you can do what you want. Understood?
Now, scoot along. We're staying at the Lady of the Lake inn. It's up this street, it has a cat's scratching post on the porch. You can't miss it. Fill in this form, so you can officially be part of the guild, and I'll collect it when I come by so I can deliver it to the explorers' guild.
Yes, ma'am! Thank you so much! I- I promise I'll make ya proud!

...Was that truly a good idea? Miss Ashley, he is but a child. Pitting him against the horrors of the labyrinth seems... Daft.
He's so dead set on joining a guild, he'd have joined one eventually. Better to recruit him so I can keep an eye on him.
The lesser of two evils, then...
Plus, he had this twinkle in his eye when he saw me and my armor...
Nevermind that. You finished with your form?
...Ah! I'd almost forgotten... One minute, if you please.

Ready, Mar?
Mhm! Let's do it!

Oh shit oh shit oh shit HEY LOOK OUUUUUUUUUUUUT!
Wh--?! OW!
Oh crap oh crap oh crap I couldn't stop! Sorry, sorry, sorry!
What we'd give for the ability to defy gravity...
Sorry, sir. I have some herbs that might be able to mask the bruising and make your face feel less...kicked in.
I'd...appreciate that...

Ehehe, sorry...
It's... It's fine. Long as this won't permanently bruise my face or anything. You're handy with those herbs, though, I can barely even feel it anymore...
It may start hurting again in about half an hour, if it does just rub this on there and you'll be okay.
Here, you dropped these, uh, wait.
Wait, are you recruiting for-
Okay here's the forms just please don't hurt me.
...Uh, sorry, old habits die hard. Okay, fresh start. What's your name?
Cason Protagonist. You two?
Yukiko's the name!
And I'm Maru.
Together, we're:
Yukimaru! Harbinger extraordinaire!

You've practiced that, haven't you.
Hey, it makes an impression.
...Hey, wait: Harbinger extraordinaire? Singular?
We work in tandem. Yukiko handles the scythe, I handle the miasma.
We're as inseparable as two peas in a... Hey, Mar, what do peas usually come in, again?
Points for being unique. Unironically. I have no problem with hiring you, especially if she's halfway as good with a scythe as she is loud.
...Just because it's true doesn't mean you have to say it...
Anyway, I gotta get back to looking for more recruits. We're at the Lady of the Lake Inn, if you wanna go meet some of the others.
'Kay! See ya, Cason!
It was nice to meet you! I look forward to working together!

Damnable architects of Maginia! Why must this town be so confounding?!
I would, if there were any-- Aaaaagh, curse my tendency to think aloud! I must appear mad!
...Excuse me, are you lost?
Oh, thank the gods, someone.
I'm taking that as a yes.
What are you looking for?
The Explorers Guild. I must explore the Yggdrasil Labyrinth.
"Must" in what sense?
In order to perfect the art of combat geometrics, to restore glory to my university and Professor Nov, I must practice in the field--and the Labyrinth is the best field I have available. In a sense.
Well. It just so happens that--
...How did it--
You will have to excuse Magna-Calcula, it has a penchant for predicting things and then telling me its predictions. By the way, yes, I'll take one of those forms.
That explains the "what," but it doesn't explain the "how."
I suspect it was able to analyze the forms in your hand.
That's impressive. You'll have to teach me more about this Magna-Calcula back at the inn... Ah, sorry, I never asked your name.
Nadym Yevodkimov. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss...
...Thank you, Magna-Calcula.
Forgive me for being rude, but can you disable its vocalizations?
I've yet to find that option, sadly.

Hey. You. You're hiring for something, right?
...You could say that. What tipped you off?
The look you're givin' people passing by.
How astute. I'm watching out for fighters and explorers, if that's the kind of work you're looking for.
Okay, how did you know I'm looking for work?
The look you're giving me.
...Clever. How's the pay?
Inconsistent. We're exploring the Labyrinth, so we get whatever we get out of it.
Ugh, Yggdrasil?
You'll probably get a lot of free days to rest, since I'm trying to get enough members that everyone's at peak condition all the time.
Never mind, I'm in.
Perfect. Fill in this guild application form, then.
Give me five minutes...

Alright, you...
...Are a Tadakata.
Hm. A Braveheart, hiring a Tadakata. Strange twists of fate.
Hold up, Braveheart? Don't tell me I'm working for one of those paladin fucks now.
Good news, you're working for two.
Ah, great. Mom's never gonna let me hear the end of it.
Not exactly surprising, considering our history.
I know, I learned all about it. I just don't give a shit.
I was thinking the same thing, actually. Neither of us had anything to do with it, so should this really mean anything?
I'd really appreciate it if it didn't.
Works for me. We're staying at the Lady of the Lake inn, you can head over there at your convenience. We're starting official business this evening.
I'll make sure to be around. See ya, Boss.

Gods...dammit... Shouldn't...have...bought...this...many...!
...Do you need help with...that... What are those...?
Old...world...figurines! Pah, hah, gah, finally, flat ground...
Figurines? Of what?
Characters. From old world media.
...Just at a quick glance, I'm noticing a pattern with them.
Is that pattern "they look good?"
I mean, women aren't exactly my thing, so I dunno what makes them good or bad, but they've got...pretty big breasts, all of them.
Yes, they look good, thank you for noticing.
Each their own aesthetics, I guess.
Yup. A collection theme befitting a fallen angel such as myself.
A what now?

What are those papers you're carrying, by the way? You out advertising for the Bismarck?
Absolutely not. I'm out recruiting for my guild.
A guild?
Gah, personal space! Yes, a guild, why'd you react like that?
I'm, uh... Well, when you're as avid a collector of relics as I am, some extra en never hurts.
You're an explorer, huh.
A Nightseeker, yes.
I'm sure you--
I'm behind you now.
Now I'm over here. Care to see my throwing knives?
No, okay, okay, you've proven your point. Here's a form, uh...
Aina. Aina Mistwalker.
...Gonna just call you Aina, if that's alright.

I'm making good time. I may actually have time to take a breather befo--
--ooore anything happens. Okay, let's go make sure no-one's hurt.

Koff, koff! Did-- Did it work?!
Does it look like it worked?
Dangit. Check the engines, make sure nothing broke.
Fuel's intact... Plating, wires, nothing got hit...
So we're okay?
Oh. Oh no. Oh dunk. Aw beans. I have bad news, and I have bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
The bad news, obviously.
The bad news is, the black flame is out.
Well, we can get more...
But the bad news is... The everlasting ice is now just... Lasting ice. And not for much longer.
Dangit! Is that why the whole thing blew? Are they just not compatible?
And we need both of the things to make this work...
What was that boom? Is anyone hurt?
Eh... Just my pride.
And my throat. I inhaled a lot of smoke. koff
Oh. I ask 'cause that was loud.
Well, the localized weather machine is a bust. We don't have the funds to try again, do we?
Nope. I can't imagine the Expeditionary Force will be particularly happy about it...
You were trying to help the Force?
Yeah, we were trying to make something that could make fake weather, so we could have some control over the climate here on these islands. But we're bankrupt now.
Well, you know what they say... Out of the frying pan, in for a pound.
Erm, if I may interrupt...
Oh, no, by all means.
It sounds like you need shelter, and, well, money. I'm hiring for an exploration guild, so if you have any skills that'd be valuable to us I'd be happy to take you in.
Well that's convenient. And lucky. Name's Sophian, I'm good with machines and something of a crack shot.
Runa. Swordfighter... Adequate with robotics.
That sounds useful. If you could, fill in these forms and meet us at the Lady of the Lake.
Sure, I'll head over there and get it done.
I'll stay behind and salvage this... mess.
Sounds like a plan. I'll see if I can find more people.
See you then!

I'll be keeping this... My sweet little Big Bomber could use these parts...

Okay, Trin, you can do this, you can do this. The recruiter's right there, he doesn't know you, he's not gonna think you're some pretender, it's fine, you can--
...Are you alright, miss?
Woah, woah, I'm sorry, please relax! I'm not a thief.
Hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah... I can't--hah-hah-hah--breathe...
Please, I'm sorry-- Okay, listen, I'm going to count from one to four, I want you to take a deep breath...

I'm... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cause you trouble.
No, I'm the one who should be sorry. You were just minding your own business, and then I startled you. That's on me.
...Oh, he's gone...
That man with the black hair and silver armor. I'm looking to...to join a guild, and he looked like he was recruiting for one...
You know him? Can you please put me in contact with him?!
He's my brother. We're starting a guild together, which is why he was out waving flyers.
...May I please join your guild? My name's Trinity Alivae. I'm... I'm a Zodiac. See? I...I can do astrology!
Well, that fire certainly doesn't lie. Are you sure you're up for this, though? Exploring isn't really a relaxing profession.
I'm... I'm sure! I've spent years studying astrology, I'm ready to get out in the field!
Well, you've got passion. Welcome aboard, Trinity. I'm Ashley Protagonist. It's nice to meet you.

I can't believe I hadn't thought of this. The military quarter should've been my first stop. What was I thinking, checking out the bazaar? Like a cook could help us.

...Whoa, that's one rowdy crowd. All soldiers, too. I want to see... Uh, um, excuse me, coming through...

Hah! See? I told you I'm good! Now how much did I bet, again?
So that was cheatin', right?
Yeah, it was a sword duel. She was using magic.
That means...
U-um, I don't like that look...
GET HER! G-gworgh--
Excuse me, coming through!
Uh, wh-who--
No time to talk, hold on so we can make a break for it!

Huff, puff...
Ugh, I didn't even get my en back...
Why were you fighting guards, anyway?
Oh, one of them made fun of me.
And you just started swinging?
No no no, we made a bet. About whether I could win a duel, specifically.
Well, it looks like they had no intention of honoring that.
Thank you for saving me, mister, but I need to go find some heroic stuff to do!
I have something for you.
You do?!
I just watched you hand an adult twice your weight and thrice your age their own ass, so I want to recruit you for some Yggdrasil exploration.
Yes! Oh, uh, eh-hem, I'll accept.
You don't need to put on a serious face for this!
I'm going to skewer SO MANY MONSTERS!
That's the spirit! Before we start, though, I need you to sign your name here and fill in some information.

...Oh. Something smells... Delicious.
It would be rude to peek in someone's window... But... Gods, that smell is-
...It never comes out right. Dangit. I feel like it never will, not unless I can get in there...

Ah, excuse me?
A-ah! Yes? Why through the window...?
This is a weird question... and a weird circumstance, but, would this happen to be a restaurant? Because I smell something incredible.
Well, it's not, but if you want you can come in and grab a bite!
I haven't had anything to eat all day, so that would be lovely.
Then come on in, sugar! I could use a second opinion, too!

Lilian, this is the best food I've had in my life.
Aww, you're flattering me.
No, seriously. Your beef stew--I don't know what the secret ingredient is, but it's unlike anything I've ever tasted.
I didn't put anything special in it! Just the base ingredients and some spices.
And the apple tart. I never thought of adding cheese, but now that I've had it I wonder why no-one else does it.
It seems natural to me!
And the wine, did you make that yourself?
That takes a lot of dedication. Lilian, your cooking skills are incredible and anybody I know would certainly echo it.
Awww, c'mon Ash, you're gonna make me blush...
So why did you sound so dissatisfied?
...You were listening?
The smell lured me in.

I need the freshest ingredients possible.
Napier's Firm stock doesn't cut it?
Absolutely not. It might sound ridiculous, but even going in right after a group of explorers drop off the food I buy, it still doesn't taste right to me.
And so you intended to go into Yggdrasil...
...to get the freshest ingredients possible and cook them on the spot!
Have you had any luck finding a guild, then?
...No. I'm no good in a battle, so all the guilds laugh me off.
Numbskulls, the lot of them.
They won't survive a week as explorers with fighters and only fighters. Muscle is great, and then your whole party collapses from exhaustion because you had to travel over difficult terrain on an empty stomach, due to a surprise cavein.
...You sound like you're speaking from experience, Ashley.
Point is, I want you in my guild.
Wait, c-can you say that one more time?
I want you.
In my guild.
Oh, that feels so nice... I'm on board! Where do I sign?
Right here.
You're a quickdraw.
I just need to figure out how to convince Cason that a cook is a good addition.

No, no, godsdammit, my ice cream! Man, Ashley's gonna be pissed when she finds out I spent money on ice cream I didn't even get to eat. Why in the hells are these railings not--
Looking for this?
Oh, hey, my ice cream, tha-- Wait.
You just. Grabbed my ice cream. After it fell off the the side of the town. Down into the sky.
...Are you a ninja?
Former ninja! Name's Amatsu. I was told there'd be a circus in town. I figured, y'know, circus in a town that's in a weird time bubble, that's gotta be fun.
You like circuses?
As much as I'd need to like them to want to join them. But what do I find when I get here but the dang circus is permanently closed.
That sucks.

Well, see ya, Amatsu. Hope you find a--
Hold on there, big boy.
Gck--! That's the second time today someone's teleported right next to me, personal space, please!

There we go.
You needed to take, at most, five steps to get out of my bubble. And instead, you chose to...teleport there.
...Anyway, what did you stop me for?
Those flyers. Are you out being the ad man for a job or something?
Kinda? My sis and I are recruiting for a guild.
I'm in.
That was quick.
Food's gonna be provided, right?
Good. I was worried I'd have to steal dinner again tonight.
...That's a problem?
Oh, it's easy to steal it. It's much harder when people that you've stolen from eye you suspiciously in the street.
Fair. Here's one of the forms. You can drop it off at the Lady of the Lake Inn, we'll pick them up later.
'Kay. See ya-- Um. Eheh, what was your name?
Cason Protagonist.
'Kay! See ya, Cason!

You can sure hold your liquor, girl.
No, it's, uh, it's me again...
Abby bailed basically as soon as the nausea set in... Urp...
Goodness, should I take you to an inn?
Right, we're...

Where are we? I, uh, I'm afraid I may have drank one too many. I can't recognize this place...
Y-You might need to hold my hair...

Nope, we're-- we're good. Vis-a-vis stomach contents, at least.
I knew I should have taken that map.
We're not-- Ggh-- We're not finding a guild today, are we...
(This is your fault)
(And you didn't stop me!)
Ah, yes, excuse me?
Hello, can I help-- Whoa, is your friend okay?
I've never been less okay.
I'm afraid his headmate may have put more liquor in their system than he can handle.
Well, that's not good.
Do you know where we might find an inn? We are going to need somewhere to sleep this off... Or an outhouse.
Certainly. Come, follow me.
Oh, thank you, but directions will suffice--
You're all drunk and he's about to pass out, I'm not leaving you unsupervised.
...Fair enough. How fierce...

Here, Lady of the Lake. I'm staying here myself, so I might be able to check in on you later.
Ah, thank you kindly. One more thing... Those papers. Are you recruiting?
Yes, I am. Are you looking for a guild?
I'm s-- Starting to regret it, but-- But yes.
Mm. Any good at fighting?
(Be honest.)
I'm okay-ish with a spear.
(Not that honest!)
And I'm adequate at fencing and magic!
How modest. Looking at both of you, I can tell you're better than you think you are. I'll leave you some forms, and I'll collect them once you're feeling a bit better.
Thank you...
Indeed. Now let's get you to a room...
...I forgot to ask their names.

Phew... Alright, one more recruit for me, then I'm done. Now, which guild-sanctioned job do we not--

Ffffffffffuck's sake, how many people are gonna just drop from the sky into my face today?!
Sorry, just practicing my drop kicks.
Is it really smart to do that in an area where someone could be walking?
Eh, no-one ever really goes through here. 'Sup, by the way. My name's Syrel. You?
Cason Protagonist, the Dark Hero.
Ooh, got some shadow energy coursing through you, huh?
Don't push it.
Heh, sorry. What're all those papers for?
I'm out recruiting for-- Hey, wait. You were practicing drop kicks... You wouldn't happen to be a Pugilist, right?
That's what I'd call myself, yeah. Why?
Are you interested in exploring the Labyrinth? My sis and I are forming a guild; we're almost done, but we don't have a Pugilist yet.
Hell, I'm not gonna pass up this opportunity. Sign me up!
Here's a form, then. Drop it off at the Lady of the Lake, it's where we're staying.

Thank you for not making this incredibly weird, by the way.
You wouldn't believe the day I've had.

Where's my dang...notebook... There it is. Why was it in my back pocket?
Okay, Guild Behemoth was a wash. I can't work with their members, and besides I could barely understand Bjorn. He sounded like what I imagine a moose would sound if it could talk.
So... My last recourse is that mysterious Aeon guild, with the Braveheart siblings. And I saw some sparks flying already... Hee.

Here we are, the Lady of the Lake.
Is this an inn, or a pet shop? That deals exclusively in cats?
Cason said the exact same thing.
...I'll be in after you. I need to run one last errand.

You can come out now.
I don't have enough cash to be worth robbing, if that's what you're after.
Oh, no no no, sorry, I'm here to join your guild! My name's Holly!
Sure. Why were you stalking me? Actually, no, better question, how were you stalking me with all that armor?
Oh, I'm really good.
At stalking?
That was not my-- Can we change the subject?
...Okay. What can you bring to the team, Holly?
Well, I'm clad in heavy armor and lugging around this giant shield, Ashley. Care to take a wild guess?
...How do you know my name?
UM. L-Let's-- No, okay, hold up. I didn't... I'm not stalking you! I want to join a guild, and you're a guild leader, and I've been checking guilds out, trying to find the right one. It just didn't cross my mind how creepy the way I case prospective guilds would come across...
I still don't trust you.
...Let's do this. I'm gonna put you through a test. I'm going to take a swing at you with my sword, and you're going to block it. I'll decide whether I want to take you onboard depending on what happens afterwards.
Works for me! Come on!

...Good. You're in.
F-Fantastic! Hah, hahh...
Fill this form in. Double time, we're meeting up in half an hour and I'll need it then.
Loud and clear!

She feinted. When she did, she stopped putting so much force behind it.
She wasn't trying to test my strength with a shield. She was testing my attentiveness, my dedication. Trying to see if I was a phony.
...Okay, so, nix my original plan. I need to set her up with someone precious, and in need of protection. A cinnamon roll.

But we've been in and out of here multiple times.

I'm Vivian. The lil' guy up here's Mr. Merlin.
"Little." Sure.
Alrighty then. Goodniiiiight...
Good night.
And I thought our cat was fat...

The inn's functions have not changed at all from EO5.

Before we go, Vivian's Talk dialogue. I normally have a screenshot of the first line of dialogue, but I was still in the habit of speeding through the game like I do in my normal runs. My apologies.
Yaaawn... Headin' out for an adventure, eh? Good luuuuck...
...Nice rousing spee--
Th-- Thank you, Vivian!
What the hell, why did it actually rouse everyone?
I think it has something to do with the cat.
Y-Y-- M-Maybe!
...which cat are we talking about, here?

Not so much "profit" as "finely-forged metal," hee.
Hmmm... I'll wager a guess that you've only just formed your guild, am I right? I'd heard from the Explorers Guild that there would be some new adventurers stopping by with a stipend to gear themselves up.
Hee hee hee! In that case, we here at Napier's Firm have all the essentials that you could wish to purchase. It would do you no good to be defeated in the labyrinths with a full purse, correct?
You're quite a shrewd businesswoman, aren't you?

Welcome to Napier's Firm, where we'll be exchanging monster drops and gathered materials for ental, and then spend that ental on equipment and medicine.

All of the menu options there are pretty self-explanatory, I feel.

Napier's talk dialogue:
My shop used to be set up in a different town. Once I saw this flying city, though, I decided to stick around here instead!
You uprooted your entire store and moved here? Why?
Why, you ask?
Isn't it obvious? Any unexplored labyrinths are sure to be full of undiscovered treasure. As if I would pass up such an opportunity!
I reiterate: quite shrewd.

Napier doesn't have many consumables for sale right now, just Medicas (restore 50 HP) and Simple Scopes (show all possible icons on the map for one step). Since I have Heath, and don't need Simple Scopes, I don't grab either of those.

Armor's much more important. Not buying as much armor as you can early on is going to get you killed fast on Expert/Heroic.

Much better.

And I didn't even spend that much money.

I spent the leftover money to boost Cason and Trinity's damage a bit.

Mueller's talk dialogue!

Or, rather, what he said earlier that I snipped out for narrative reasons!
It looks like you've finished gathering your guild members.
That said, you're not ready to be introduced at Headquarters just yet. You aren't...experienced enough. From where I'm standing, you don't have what it takes to handle the missions that HQ assigns.
Fffffffffff... I can't even contest that.
I-I'm sorry...
No, no, Trin, it's not your fault!
Ah, how about this, Aeon Guild? Besides the missions, there are also requests by various townspeople that you can accept here in Maginia. Most refer to them as quests. We have this system in place where citizens report their problems to a tavern...
No, that's not a joke. All Maginians are like family to one another. It's only natural that we lend a helping hand when needed. Now, normally the barkeep only assigns requests to the most capable candidates... But I will order him to prioritize your guild for now. Once you've polished your skills by fulfilling a few requests, I'll introduce you at HQ... Does that sound feasible to you?
Yes, Sir Mueller.
Excellent. Then make your way to Kvasir's Tavern, back in town.

Man, what's with all these decor-- Friedrich!
Don't eat the food we didn't buy. Heath, move him away from there.
Snrk-- Ahahaha! Oh, I can already tell our journey's going to be pleasant.

My name is Kvasir. I'm the barkeep around here. You can call me Kvasie, if you want.
Are you new adventurers? You've got good eyes on you. Bright and hopeful.
What's that? So do I? No, no, my old eyes can barely see much of anything these days! Dahaha!
...Um, no-one said that...
Just so you know, we get lots of requests from the people who visit this tavern. "Get me this," "I want that," "Kill that monster..." Hell, even "Go out on a date with me!"
Dahaha! No, no, I'm just kiddin'!
Anyway, if you complete a request, you'll earn yourself a reward. I'm not joking about that! ...Oh, are you Aeon Guild, by any chance?
I was told to give you priority on all my requests. How about it, then? Wanna jump in and get started?

Again, the menu for Kvasir's Tavern is pretty self-explanatory, and much like every other facility, it's exactly the same as EO5.
I like how his JP name (Kuwashiru) just straight up implies Kvasir is literally just pronounced that; Kuh-va-seer. Without it, I'd have thought it was a silent K.
Also, I can't be the only one making jokes about ordering fried chicken from this place.

Making a return are bar patrons, who you can talk to for advice, and who will often give hints about exploring.

The Fierce-Looking Man is the obligatory tutorial NPC, who we do not need to talk to, so let's talk to the Dejected Adventurer:
*sigh* This sucks! I thought it'd be tough, but not THIS tough! I can't believe nobody invited me to join their guild...
Tough luck.

To progress, we need to complete these two quests.

Watching the Flock:
That request? That one comes from the city's herdsmen. Maginia's herdsmen care for a variety of livestock that provide the city with fresh milk and meat. We've got goats, sheep, cows, horses, all kinds. Since the city's always moving from one place to the next, keeping them cared for isn't easy.
Whenever the city lands, the herdsmen take the livestock out of the city to let them graze on fresh grass. This time, they're in a dangerous, unexplored place. The herdsmen and their animals can't just walk out of the city like they usually do.
That's where this request comes in. They want some adventurers to protect them.
A specially trained soldier will herd the goats. You just have to keep them safe. The goats will eat the grass and plants while you keep watch over them. This request is perfect for brand-new adventurers. They'll be waiting for you right as you leave the city. Good luck!
Are you good at herding livestock, Heath?
Good boy.
The Guardian of the Lake:
That request? That one was submitted by one of the biggest names in the city. Because Maginia sits atop an airship, our water supply is pretty limited. That's why every time the city lands, we have to look for sources of fresh water. The city will secure its own supply, of course, but the civilians will need to find some of their own, too.
A few went out exploring and found a big lake out to the west. The only problem is there's a giant, angry fish living in the lake. If anyone gets close to the water, it jumps out and threatens them with its big, sharp teeth. Nobody can draw any water from the lake. The people of the city are terrified, naturally, and they've started calling it the guardian of the lake.
That's where you come in. Here's a fishing rod and some bait. Go and fish that giant guardian out of the lake!
A fishing rod? To fight off a carnivorous fish?!
We can make it work, I think.
Off we go, then.

You step into the crisp morning air, and note there's not a cloud in the sky. It's as if fate has blessed you on your journey. As you stand in awe of the vast landscape before you, a guard appears.

He turns to you and continues.
It's dangerous up ahead. There's no telling what monsters we'll run into, so make sure you're prepared before we depart. ...You appear ready, but it seems you've taken on two requests simultaneously, is that right? If you'd like to take the goats, then I suggest heading north. There's some lush plains up that way that I'm sure they'll enjoy. I'll be tending to the goats on the trip, so I'd like you to be our escorts. If you're more inclined to seek out the water source, you'll want to head west. I'll leave you to decide what to do first.
I believe they want to go to the lake first.
As good a choice as any...
Fishing it is!

...Right after I do initial skill point allocation. You always start with three skill points in EO games, and then gain another skill point with every level.

I'm trying a bit of a different skill point allocation strategy with EON. Unless I'm actively working towards skill levels that give large boosts to skill effectiveness, I'll try to unlock as many useful skills as I can. Might as well get any useful tools.

For Cason, he starts with 1 point in Afterimage (13% chance to spawn afterimage, 30% current HP), 1 point in Mirage Sword (4 TP, 180% damage, +40% to afterimage spawn chance), and 1 point in Wide Bravery (5 TP, 240% damage).

Holly gets 2 points in Front Guard (4 TP, 30% damage reduction) and 1 point in Taunt (3 TP, 120% speed mod, +3% defense, +25% enmity increase, lasts 4 turns). Front Guard is my exception to my SP investment strategy, since a lot of the Novice Protector skills aren't really that tempting.

Heath gets Healing level 2 (3 TP, 130% healing power), and a value point in Patch Up (45% healing power after battle). I should've maybe put the value point in Revive, as you'll see later.

Edelvale gets two points in Attack Order (4 TP, 125% speed mod, +17% damage, lasts 4 turns), to unlock the Arms, and a point in Royal Veil (restores 5 HP + 6% max HP at the end of the turn when Edel has full HP).

Trinity gets a point in Etheric Gleam (6 TP, 15% elemental attack increase, lasts 4 turns) to unlock the Stars, of which she puts points in Fire Star (8 TP, 100% damage) and Volt Star (8 TP, 80% damage).

You leave Maginia and head west. Eventually, you find yourselves in the wide, open plains. The warm sunlight and the echoing of bird calls are nearly enough to make you forget the dangers that are indigenous to these lands. You begin walking towards the lake.
So, Edel. What brings you to Maginia?
Oh, ah... Well, to put a long story very short, I'm the twelvth-born prince of Niveaulle.
Yes. My full name is Edelvale Ast'rcae Niveaulle. I...fled my wedding, and came to Maginia, in search of a new life, unburdened by a loathsome, irritable husband.
...W-Wait, I'd heard about the princess of Niveaulle fleeing her wedding, but you are, decidedly, a guy.
Indeed. I was publicly raised to be a "princess," but I am a man, and amongst my brothers, I was treated like a prince.
Your brothers sound nice...
They very much are, and I hope I can repay them for helping me escape someday.
...Oh, there's the lake.
After passing through the grassy plains, you reach a small lake, its surface gleaming with sunlight. You can see fish of all shapes and sizes swimming beneath the surface of the crystalline water. You see no sign of a lake guardian. Does one truly live in these waters? You ponder that as you stare at the lake. A duck glides across the calm surface. Suddenly, the bird begins to thrash about as something violently drags it underwater!

You now see why the civilians say this lake is not safe enough to use as a supply of water. You decide you will catch this monstrous fish and ensure the civilians can make use of this lake.

B-- Borp? Is that a noise cats normally make when they jump--

An expert dive, Heath!

But how the hell do you plan to fish with a rod in the water?
They then cast the line into the center of the lake, close to where the bird was swimming before.
...You wait and wait, but nothing bites. It could be the location, the bait, or their lack of fishing skill. You won't catch anything at this rate.
Maybe wriggle the line?
No, just be patient.
Nyurm! Nyurm!
He's saying "throw meat in the water."
Do that.
On it.
Ripples appear in the water as the fish dart towards the offered bait... You wait for the guardian to appear, but the bait remains untouched.
Alright, boy, time to come in...
Despite your efforts, it seems you've failed to catch the guardian of the lake. Exhausted, you begin to reel in the line...

...But something big grabs the bait, tugging on the rod and bending it forward! Heath grabs the rod, but the fish on the line begins to drag them toward the lake! Only one thing could be big enough to pull this hard: the guardian of the lake! Heath regards the submerged guardian with a fierce glare.
Heath strains against the rod, desperately trying to pull the fish closer, but the guardian yanks at the line! As human and fish battle for superiority, the fishing rod begins to strain and creak. Panicking, Heath quickly stops pulling on the rod. ...It doesn't look like you can pull the fish out of the lake like this.
Allow me!
Edelvale readies their weapon and aims it at the giant fish. Then, they throw their weapon at the shadow beneath the water's surface!
The sound of a weapon impact plays.
Edel, that's a stick.

...is anyone going to dive in after that stick? I think he needs it.
Noticing the guardian's movements have ceased, Heath pulls hard on the rod! Heath pulls the fish out of the water. It sports row upon row of sharp teeth, and is easily larger than the tallest man you know. Thanks to your efforts, the guardian will no longer threaten or attack anyone who draws close to the lake. The city's civilians can now safely use this lake as a source of water. You decide to head back to Maginia, taking the fish with you as proof of your success.
Good job, Heath!
Good boy, good boy.

Next one.
Soon, you reach a large open area. The warm sunlight and echoing of bird calls are nearly enough to make you forget the dangers that are indigenous to these lands.

The herd of goats begin to spread out across the area, happily grazing at the grass and plants that hug the fertile ground. The goats you watch over come in all shapes and sizes. The warm air, the pleasant breeze, the rustling trees, the quiet bleating of the goats... The pleasant pastoral scene nearly makes you forget that you're here on an important mission.
So, Sir Cason. Where do you hail from?
Oh, uh. Kinda...nowhere? My moms took my sis and I travelling a lot, we never really stayed anywhere for long.
And, ah, if I might ask... Why is there such a large difference between yours and Ashley's ages?
Some witch's curse on Mama, I think. They were stuck with Ashley for a while, unable to have another kid. Then it wore off, I guess.
A curse that lasted for...16 years?
Yeah, pretty shitty curse. Anyway, then I came along. And here I am now, Cason Protagonist, the Dark Hero.
You don't seem very "dark" to me.
Wait until we get in a fight.
...As the sun begins to set, you decide it is time to head back to Maginia. Before you can start your journey, the soldier rushes up to you.

Aw, dangit, I was having a nice time for once...
The soldier tells you a young, feisty goat named Bighorn has run off. You think of potential directions in which the goat may have gone. He must have headed towards the city, the forest, or the valley.

It's gotta be the forest. That's where the good greens are, I'd bet.
You head off toward the forest in search of the lost goat. You pray he hasn't come this way--it will be difficult to find him in this dense forest. Suddenly, you hear the sharp bleating of a terrified goat in the trees! Fortunately, the bleating leads you in the direction of the lost goat. As you rush through the trees, you spot a goat, cornered in a clearing by a monstrous creature. This must be Bighorn! Draw your weapons and save the poor animal!
Your knights are here, Bighorn!

Welcome to our first battle. If you played EO5, this UI should look very familiar, except the Union gauge has become the Force gauge.

Before I discuss Force, let's talk the other commands.

Okay. Now.

I've-- I've never seen purple flames before...
Force Boosts are three-turn states that give significant power boosts to your characters.

Before I go further, I should take a moment to define two terms:

Cason's Force Boost, Brave Heart, adds 50% to his chance to generate afterimages, and multiplies all damage dealt by afterimages by 2.3x.

Force Boosts, when they run out of duration, set your Force gauge to 0%, and cannot be used again until it's at 100%.

I call to the abyss...and the abyss answers!
It's not funny!
Force Breaks are actions that do not cost any TP, but immediately end the character's Force Boost state, and break the Force Gauge until you exit whatever labyrinth you're exploring, preventing that character from regenerating Force and using either Boosts or Breaks.

Cason's Force Break, Miracle Edge, at his current level, deals a whopping 700% damage to all enemies, and heals the entire party for 75% healing power. Interestingly, it can also overheal party members, being able to heal them up to 1.75x their normal max HP for one turn.

It's worth noting that Force Breaks also go first in the turn order, barring your character's speed being heavily debuffed.

Okay, just dig my feet in...
Holly's Force Boost, Shield Protect, increases the amount of damage reduction that Guard skills provide by 50% for its duration.

Her Force Break, Painless, nullifies most attacks towards all party members for one turn. Note that it does not nullify actions that are purely debuffing/disabling, and certain attacks can bypass Painless, though they are rare.

Arf arf!
Heath's Force Boost, Intensive Care, boosts the amount of healing he does with healing skills and items by 70%, and increases the speed at which he does them by 70%. For healing skills, it also reduces their TP costs by 50%.

His Force Break, Healing Touch, heals all party members for, at his current level, 300% healing power, revives any party members that are dead at full HP, and purges any disables and debuffs. It's a pretty nice panic button, as you might imagine!

This is our first battle--we cannot lose!
Edelvale's Force Boost, Victory Vow, changes the target type of Order skills (note: skills that specifically have Order in their name) from row to party, and reduce their TP costs by 50%.

His Force Break, Proof of Nobility, makes all buffs unpurgeable for one turn, and doubles the effects of buffs that increase the following: attack, defense, disable infliction chance, disable resistance, healing power, accuracy, and evasion. Stack a bunch of attack buffs on your party, pop Proof of Nobility, and watch the numbers go up uP UP.

The stars...predict misfortune for you and I...
Trinity's Force Boost, Divination, increases the damage she deals with Zodiac skills by 40%, and restores 50% of their TP costs after use for the duration.

Her Force Break, Astrosign, deals fire + ice + volt damage to all enemies (300% damage at this level), and reduces all party member TP costs to 0 for one turn. Wanna use all of your most expensive skills for only the cost of breaking your Zodiac's Force? Go right ahead.

That might not've been necessary...but it felt nice, at least!
The text at the top of the screen says Medical Miracle instead of Healing Touch. For those wondering, that's what the Medic's Force Break was called in EO2U.

Someone forgot to swap it out, I guess.

If your body wasn't just hanging limp in the air, while mystical swords flew out of nowhere, I'd almost call that a light attack, not a dark one.

Astrological misfortune hangs heavy.

...Yeah, I forgot to replace Edel's result portrait on this first recording. Sorry!

I'll be sure to tell my superiors what you have done for us! Really, thank you so much! Our work for the day is done. Let's head back to Maginia.
The soldier begins to lead the goats down the path to the flying city, singing praises of your bravery all the while. With your duties complete, you decide to return to Maginia as well.

I heard you found a lost goat. Everyone's talking about it! Aeon Guild, the Goat Grabbers!
Oh, come on, why that of all names?
Maybe we'll start seeing a lot more goat-related requests! In any case, the herdsmen were very pleased. Here's your reward! I hope you'll pick up another request sometime soon!

Nectar (Revives one party member at 20 HP): Made from 1 Culantro (??? Take Point Item 3). Costs 300 en.
Nectars are invaluable consumables, especially if you don't have access to a reliable revive from any of your skillsets. They can be the difference between being able to carry an exploration on, and having to return to town.
This game forced me out of my "I must conserve items at all times" mindset prrretty quickly. Having a Nectar is like having Revive but anyone can use it and it doesn't cost TP. Items are skills. Treat them as such and use them.

Here's the other big draw of quests, beyond the rewards and content they unlock: the EXP.

Whoa, is that the one!? It looks like a tiger fish. Tiger fish are a violent, carnivorous species. Thank goodness you took care of this one!
You should hear the stories people are telling about you. Everyone who saw you carrying it are calling you the Fearless Fishermen!
That's even worse!
Is it, though?
I dunno...
You might not have planned on getting famous for a fish, but in any case, that bigwig is very happy you took care of it. Here's your reward! Thanks again!

Theriaca ß (Removes any ailments from one party member): Made from 1 Small Flower (??? Take Point Item 2). Costs 100 en.
Oh, Atlus USA finally put the alpha and beta in the EN names for the Theriacas. Neato.

Theriaca ßs are useful, though not invaluable like Nectars. Still, never hurts to bring a few with you, even if you have Refresh or Displace or whatever on hand.
Displace is incredibly expensive in the earlygame, I feel; especially with certain monsters in the upcoming dungeon, your War Magus will run out of TP fast. Still, displace when you misplace your Theriacas.
Then again, you don't get any more ß's until a bit, so ß be careful with how you use those three for said first dungeon.

Our first level ups! Yay!

...But this update's really, really long, so I'm gonna end things here. Sorry it was so long, but a cast this big necessitated a lot of introducing, and I had a lot to talk about otherwise.

Next time: we continue with the beginning of the game.

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