Update 29: Guild Tenebris vs. The Helmaroc King (Iwaoropenelep)

<Oi> [You've been whining all day. What's the matter?]
[My back's sore, I got up at 6 in the morning to help Rosa haul in some crates with supplies.]
[I'm guessing food and cleaning stuff? Nothing interesting.]
[A bunch of fruit crates, one was just entirely apples. Also one with new sheets, because of Katya and Quixote ruining theirs with that experiment.]
[Still can't get that sound out of my head.]
[That redheaded Sheldon girl apparently came by way earlier than she was supposed to. She was definitely drunk as hell. I'm sad she didn't stick around.]
[Your kinda friend?]
[My kinda friend.]

[...There was this one crate.]

[Totally covered, couldn't see into it. Adressed to Austin. Smelled strongly like...sulfur.]
[...That guy's going to blow this place sky-high one day, I just know it.]
Let's go kill a bird.

Sigrid will sleep bomb with Soul Liberator.

That's the intention, anyway.
The most clever of plans tend to fail the most spectacularly.

Thierry still has his Combat Build. His job is to support Sigrid with the sleep thing, and also try to inflict some paralysis too maybe.

Afon is here principally for Bloody Offense and the Charge combo.

Vince's build is erroenous; before fighting Iwaoropenelep, I shifted some of his DEF Up and En Garde points into Volt Wall.

Katya is the same as ever. I don't have Cocytus Formula 10 because that would drain her of TP way too quickly.
katya is here to ruin any cleverly laid sleep bombs

Oh yeah, everyone has high HP because I took the Max HP Up cordial. Thierry's HP, in particular, is kind of hilarious.

No time like the present, I suppose...

Have the forest folk finally marshaled their forces against you...? As you consider this prospect, the humanoid girl appears once again.

We've done no such thing.
I couldn't live with myself if I killed any of the forest folk.
...I can't speak for the others, but I'm here to challenge every limit put in front of me; to go past what is expected, and discover the unknown. And, as of late, defiance of the Radha. That is my reason.
The girl makes this harsh demand before spreading her arms and crying out.
Your own kind desires your death, and still your onslaught into the forest continues!
Wait, no. Hold on. Gimme one sec. The fffffuck did you just say?
I-- I beg your pardon...?
I've-- I'm-- What?!
Who the hell would want to kill me?!
You are struck by the forest girl's strange words. What does she mean by those that wish for your death...? But before you can ask, the girl points into the forest.
Come! Let us end this once and for all! If thou bests our strongest fighters and our guardian bird, then we shall concede defeat!

You wonder if you should return to town or pursue the girl immediately.
After her!
[I ain't going home until she tells us what the fuck she meant by that!]

Thou hast come, trespassers from the Sealed Lands. Here is where thy lives shall end. Our god shall pass judgement upon thee!
The forest girl then raises her hands to the heavens and begins to chant in a strange tongue. Its sound is similar, yet alien... And as if in response to the chant, a golden light envelops the forest girl... Her face twisted with pain, she speaks to you one last time.
Behold the power granted to the leaders of the forest tribe! Guardian bird Iwaoropenelep! Kupala summons thee!


This can only be the forest folk's guardian bird that the girl summoned with the last of her strength... You grasp your weapon, left with no choice but to fight!

...Charging forward seems like an inordinately bad idea.
Let's explore first...
In the interest of time...

Here's the floor mapped out. On the left, we have patrolling Forest Demons. On the top, Diabolixes. On the right, Forest Ogres. And just in front of us, Cruellas. Getting to Iwaoropenelep without a lot of dangerous FOEs closing in on you is a stealth mission.
You really, really aren't missing out on much here.

For my money, getting into this little crevice accessible from the Forest Ogre section is the easiest and safest place to get to. Because Iwaoropenelep takes up a 3x3 square on the map...

The FOEs won't be able to join in, because Iwaoropenelep will be blocking them.

If we win, then the horrific mission the Radha foisted on everyone can end!
I'm as ready as I'll ever be!
Psyche yourselves up, everyone! Here it comes!
I'll...do the best I can from back here.

Gonna try to set up a sleep bomb with Soul Liberator.

Boosted attack buffs.

Iwaoropenelep always opens with Thunderwing, so Volt Wall is, y'know, a pretty safe bet.
I didn't notice this pattern at first. It sucks when you don't know it!

Thierry's gonna get in on this sleep bomb setup thing.

[...You covered your shield in rubber?]
[Call it a hunch.]

...Um. How did that work? How did that heal me instead? And how did it miss most of us?
I dunno, and frankly? I'm not really up for questioning either of those.
[Also legit.]

Oh well...

Okay, after extensive analysis, I've found this thing's weak point.
Do tell.
Its big, stupid head!

[...Did your tuba get bigger?]
[Any reason you needed it to be bigger?]
[The bigger these things are, the louder they are. I can feel the ground shake with this one!]

I can't say I didn't expect that.

Okay, Boost time.

After Bloody Offense comes Delayed Charge setup.

Thunderwing isn't gonna happen for a few turns, so Front Guard's best for Vince at the moment.

And this is a mistake.

(I shifted everyone around, but their actions remained the same.)

<Get ready, bird.>

[Okay, one question, why me?]
I have no clue why so many of the hits went to Afon, but hey, more power to Iwaoropenelep.

Okay, now--


BOOM! How'dya like that?!
...Be more careful next time, Katya...
What? What'd I do?
Well, that ruined what I was setting up, but on the other hand, it's only a loss of about 600-700 damage compared to what Soul Liberator would've done if Boosted.

Switching these two to paralysis now.

Afon's actually pretty damn fast, so she could do worse than tossing items out during the wait for Delayed Charge.

...Very well then.


Strange, isn't it?!
...What's strange?
I dunno, that just felt like it'd be cool to say.

Uuuugh, Vince's bad resistance score is biting me here. That's the absolute worst thing he could get inflicted with, especially since I didn't think to bring any Theriaca As.

I kinda flailed around mentally before just settling on doing this.

It'll take...more than that...
The amount of damage Thierry can take and live is still surreal to me, honestly. I also got incredibly lucky that Chaosbringer didn't panic either of those two.
Yeah, that would have been disastrous.

I love Recharge.

...Big damage.
Whoa, that's pretty decent for a Protector.

It's time.

With regard to Boosted buffs, remember: if you recast the same buff on someone who still has the Boosted buff, the duration of the Boosted effect will be lengthened, even though the current cast isn't Boosted.


[Nice work, Afon.]
[I try, I try.]

Didn't hurt.
What a waste of Iwaoropenelep's turn.

It worked eventually.

I really should've just used Soul Liberator here. Paralysis isn't worth trying to get a full duration from.
Getting hungry for ailment turns tends to not get along well with ailment detonation strategies.

Bash time.

Upon reflection, this probably would've been Thunderwing, so I...got pretty lucky.

Eh, Thierry doesn't have any buffs right now, whatever.

I'm ready for your--


That's better.

Yeah, I really shouldn't have waited. Oh well.

I'm...being pushed back...!
That stunned Thierry, Afon, and Katya. Dammit.
This is lowkey my least favorite attack in the entire fight. If I die to Iwaro, it's probably because of this dang thing following up from something actually threatening. The action speed is nuts.


Vince, can you...get Katya out of the sand?
No prob!
Now is not the time for that, Katya.

Okay, no problem, we can fix this!
...We can fix this!

Katya, why are you covered in sand...?
Ever heard of "Tanking the Ground?"
Okay basically sometimes I screw up when jumping really high and end up going down head-first.
Doesn't that...hurt?
This lesson in DRG terminology brought to you by Tyty.
It's actually Elusive Jumping off of Titan's arena, I'll have you know. It's quite comfy down there.

Big nope.
I'm...kinda lucky that missed Sigrid, since she wouldn't have had the Volt Wall effect active due to her being dead at its cast time.

I'm so close to victory, I don't want it to be screwed up, it's time for Vince to use Bravery's Gift for the first time.

No-one's gettin' seriously hurt today, except me.

Told ya!
Better Vince than Sigrid or, god forbid, Katya.

...I can't believe that worked.

...I'm dismayed that worked.

That was so painful to watch happen.

[Katya, launch me up!]
[I-- I can't--]
[Do it!]
Okay, time to finish this.




Ahahaha! [It's been so long since I last yelled like that! Even if I can barely hear myself, it felt so good!]
[Well done!]
And there you have it, A Victory over Iwaoropenelep.

You have at last vanquished the forest folk and their guardian bird!
No we didn't. Don't pin this on me, game.
As you rest from your struggle with the powerful guardian, the forest girl appears before you again.

The forest girl's voice as she speaks is barely above a whisper. With her mightiest warriors lost and bereft of her guardian bird, the forest girl has no recourse left.
...Ugh, the adrenaline's wearing off. I feel bad for even just killing that bird, and no-one else...
...We're sorry... We couldn't do anything to stop the other explorers...
We tried reasoning with the Radha, but nothing came of it.
I've got a lotta pieces of mind to give to Quinn and Visil next time I see 'em...
She lifts her sad gaze to you as she continues speaking.
All is lost. 'Tis naught I can do to stop you... If thou should wish to go further into the forest, then go. In a small room on the north of this floor, thou shalt find the stairs that lead below. Thou may only get there by means of a hidden passage on the forest wall.
Having said her piece, the girl begins to walk slowly away.
Farewell, Man. Stripped of my duty and my kinsmen, I have no means left to stop you...

[Blech. There's gotta be a lot of them left if we didn't kill any of them, right? Even if other people were down here, we were still the ones doing most of the work.]
[...Yes, of course.]
They gotta be, like, gettin' ready to leave the Labyrinth, right?
That's...a reasonable theory...
You have completed the mission from Radha Hall. You are free now to search for the small room the forest girl spoke of or to regroup back in Etria.
I feel no joy at having won here, even if, narratively, Guild Tenebris's hands are clean.

Besides Iwaorpenelep.

(A member of the forest folk does make a cameo in EO3, showing that they, canonically, weren't completely wiped out in the events of EO1.)


That's not weird or suspicious at all.
...Perhaps we should go...talk to Quinn first.
I actually have to go back to town. The game won't let me jump down the hole.

Fuck you.
We did no such thing.
The other guilds will find the going easier now that the disruption is no more. You will soon challenge the fifth Stratum, which none before have ever reached. You are on the cusp of the Labyrinth's mysteries. We of the Radha expect much of you. This isn't much, but I've prepared a reward in honor of your distinguished service. Go on, you deserve it.

Keep your blood money.
I did actually erase 30k en from the guild coffers after I finished recording.

Didn't spend the skill points yet.

Fuck you.
The next time I see 'im will be too soon.
You see, the Chieftain has disappeared. A secretary last heard him muttering about heading to the forest depths. Perhaps he wished to see the Labyrinth's secrets for himself...but his absence is making the citizenry anxious. You are soon to begin your investigation of the lower Stratum, yes? If you happen to find the Chieftain, please ask him to return on our behalf. I only hope that he's safe...
I hope he's dead.

I feel awful even at selling the claw...
Kamui Ranketam (+144 ATK, +10 AGI) is made from 1 Steel Claw (Iwaoropenelep normal). Costs 27000 en.
+10 AGI. Sure, why not.

I got these things before heading down.

...Oh my gods...
[What the fuck?]
I can't say I was expecting to find ancient ruins...
Everything's covered in some kinda...crystal?
...Don't look down out of that window. We're, uh, really high up...

The vast underground is strewn with these unknown structures! You look about you in speechless awe. What could these ruins mean? Taking care with every step, you cautiously continue onward.
Welcome to Tokyo--or, well, what remains of a part of it.

By the way, this was meant to be a sudden major reveal in the original game--the fact that EO (well, aside from 5) takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. (The game doesn't outright state that right now, but it's pretty clear anyway.)

This is why I remarked way earlier in the Something Awful thread that I don't like Raquna explicitly being from Ontario--it's a far less impactful method of communicating the same plot point than the mere existence of Lost Shinjuku. EOU Story mode in general severely weakens this reveal, but that in particular disappoints me most.
At this point it's kind of an open spoiler within these circles. It was a heck of a thing back then, though.

Anyways, there's not much to do here for now. They removed the gathering point next to the Pole. Damn you!

Even just these hallways are bigger than most modern buildings...
There's a lot of...what looks like steel...under the crystallization...

[It's all so pretty...]
This upends...everything we knew about history...
Is there anywhere nearby that's safe to have dinner at...

Fun fact: in EO1, the doors in Lost Shinjuku made a unique sound, more akin to a standard door creaking. EOU reuses the same sound from every other door in the game, though.

This room is...littered with tomes...!
[We've, uh... We've made one hell of a discovery, huh?]
[That's one way of putting it.]
Let's...go back to town for now. I'll leave B21F for another update.

They seem to feel that if anyone's going to find the Chieftain, it'll be you. And I have to say, I agree with them. I'm sure you'll be able to find the Chieftain!
Screw off. We're doing no such thing.
And, because we cleared a mission, that means everyone has two things to say.
Who ever would have thought there would be another Stratum... I wonder how far down the Labyrinth goes. Oh... My apologies. I'm wasting your time, aren't I?
[Very much so, Carlos.]
[He looks like a Carlos.]

Alt'ough I feel a little bit lonely, since y'all big, famous explorers now. Hey, tell me true. What did y'come t'Etria for? Money? Fame? Power? Maybe somet'in' else...? Just remember, whatever it is, y'can't take it witcha to t'grave, y'hear? Don't forget it, now.

So if t'ere's no more forest t'challenge, what's gonna happen to us? Tell me t'at.
I can't be certain, unfortunately.

[No shit.]
True, you are all very skilled adventurers, but don't you think you're getting too involved in all this? Is this what you became adventurers for...? I'm sorry, I don't mean to lecture you. Forget I said it.

But I have to explain every single one of my observations before they understand.

...It makes me wonder, why did it have to happen at the same time?
You don't have to be Austin to connect some dots here.

I only arrived here recently, but I didn't expect it to be like this... It is rather shocking, really.

I went for the bar patrons before talking to Valerie.

Odd-clothed mixer:
Are you busy helping the Chieftain, too? I'm an outsider, so maybe I don't get it, but the Chieftain seems to be very important here in Etria. Shilleka's really been depressed recently. It's not good for business. A fresh Stratum means all-new materials, but she's just not herself lately. But if I had some Hex Throat, I could make Curse Gas... Oh, but it's not like I want to use it. I just want it as a curiosity.
Why the fuck would I want to make Curse Gas?

Boy taking notes:
Have you come to hear my observations? ...Unfortunately, there is no information on the unknown Stratum. Despite being a child, I decided to ask all the adventurers I could find. The Pylon Crab doesn't have any outstanding attacks, but it does have quite a peculiar shape, I hear. The Chopper Hare strikes at its target's heads, and can attack an entire line at once. It resembles the Forest Hare, but unlike that species, the Chopper Hare is strictly carnivorous... That's it. I'm only repeating what I hear. This is very disappointing to a researcher such as myself. My parents have told me that I am far too young, but I must consider a career as an adventurer. If this town's government is keeping me from learning, then I shall have to discover things with my own two eyes. That, my friend, is my decision.
This is the last time we hear from this boy. Make of that what you will.

Talkative lady:
Did you hear...? My, my. The Chieftain is gone... What happened? My grandmother is in a bad way over the news. She's just devastated. She's had a crush on Visil ever since she was young...
...To each their own, I suppose.

Puttin' it a bit lightly there.
I wonder if people used to live way underneath our town, a long time ago.
There's no doubt in my mind that's the case.
But why at the bottom of the forest? ...I'm sure you folks are going to be the ones to solve this mystery. Good luck, Tenebris. I know my other customers are looking forward to seeing what you do, too. Oh, but don't get so wrapped up in your discoveries that you forget about the work for you here.

I'm sure the Radha's already asked you to do it, but could you help find the Chieftain, too? He's very important to Etria... I'd hate for us to lose him.

That bottom one is bad news, and I'm not taking it for a while. The top one, though...

Remembrance of a friend:
Decided to take the request, have you? Good, I've been hoping someone would.
Just give us the sad stuff.
Those two adventurers... They were so close. They said they would find the mysteries of the Labyrinth together and retire in happiness...
...I'm sorry. I need to tell you about the job. The client has a dug a grave on B1F, and would like you to make some offerings that the deceased would like. Here is the location of the gravesite.

The common offering here in Etria is a Tiny Petal you can take in the forest, but that may be a bit too ordinary. Why don't you ask people in town what makes for a good offering? They might give you some advice.
Good idea...
So, this is EOU's take on the quest where you have to go around to every NPC in town and talk to them for advice on how to handle something. Except, because this is EO1/EOU, this one's depressing.

This alters every townsperson's dialogue while active, so I temporarily dropped it to get the last two things.

...Oh, it's you guys. Yeah, we've been getting a lot of newcomers lately, so I've been having to say that a lot. Sorry.

I don't care.
Don't have a screenshot of the start of the second one.
These recent events have made me realize how much we have depended on the Chieftain. There are far too many things that cannot be decided without his presence in this town...
Not our problem.

Anyway, the quest.
Well, the usual gift is a Tiny Petal, but how about a Crabapple? You can take them pretty easily down on B2F...
A Crabapple seems like an odd thing to leave at a grave.
I only suggest it because he used to really enjoy meals made out of them.
I rescind my remark.

No! No no no. Gods no.
...Huh? No? Whew, y'scared me! So y'been hired t'get an offerin' for an' adventurer, huh? If it was me, I'd bury t'man wit' his first equipment. In memory of his career, sorta t'ing. I remember t'man, too. He was a protector who was tryin' t'decide whet'er t'get a weapon or a shield. In t'end, he bought a Targe. Said he needed t'protect somet'in'.
I guess... He won't be comin' back to t'shop no more...

Well, guess I'll buy a Targe, then.

I know you're coming to me for advice, but unfortunately this is not my expertise. Ask someone else.
Fine, dickass.
...Wait. Come to think of it, I have something perfect for this.

Smoke reaches to the sky, right? I recall a nation that believes you can use it to send messages to the dead. And if you're going to use smoke, it may as well be something that smells good, right? I don't know if the deceased smoked or not, but... It's a little something. Offer this at the grave.

Well...how about a wreath made from herbs? I just so happen to be in the middle of making some cordials...

Herbs fend off evil, or so my grandmother often used to tell me. I'm sure it will protect both the living and the...resting.
This will make a fine gift. Thank you, Rosa.

It's rare for adventurers to even get graves. I think a flower is fine.
...This is just me thinking aloud, but... He loved liquor, even if he couldn't handle it. He liked sweet ones. I shared my stuff with him a lot. We once split some expensive Sap Wine and he was amazed. He used to say that he wanted to be strong enough to go to the 4th Stratum to get it himself.
...Tch, I said too much. He really was a wuss.
Wuss, no. Dumbass, yes.
Katya, what's gotten into--
One more place.

What the fuck else would we be asking about that for?
I remember him and his lover well. They were both enthusiastic explorers of the Labyrinth. She came here asking for permission to have his grave placed in the forest the other day, so I'd heard about it. As to an offering... How about Hard Shard? I know that similar things were commonly used as building materials in his hometown. Being laid to rest here in Etria, so far from his birthplace... It may help ease his spirit. If I remember correctly, you can mine for it on B17F.
I go off and get a Tiny Petal, a Crabapple, a Sap Wine, and a Hard Shard.

A small bouquet of flowers lies before it.

You place the offerings you collected from town on the grave. The once-lonely grave is now overflowing with outpourings of warmth from other people. You have no doubt more than completed the quest to give offerings. All that remains is to report to the pub. You say a prayer for the man you have never met and silently leave.
...Inconsiderate moron!
Katya, come back--!
I think she's...been reminded of something by this. Maybe we should just...go wait for her at Logjammin?
I'll, uh, go make sure she doesn't break anything.

Perhaps he was lucky to even have a grave. Lots of adventurers who die in the Labyrinth don't get that much... But it's always better to just not die in the first place. I want you all to remember that.
Yeah, thanks for the fucking advice. Just gimme the Unihorns already.

Katya? The heck's gotten into you?

You don't have to tell me if you don't wanna, but I think the other three're really concerned.
...Look, I-- I had a friend who died in pretty much the same way when I first got here. Seth. I'd known him for a long time. Like, since we were both toddlers. I came here with him and his boyfriend. They went off to make a guild by themselves, I waited for other people. Then Seth...that idiot had to go and get himself killed protecting his boyfriend from a deer. Wouldn't have happened if they just...hadn't...
...You need a moment?
Nah, no... I'll... I'll be fine. I just...miss him.
...Let's get back to Logjammin then, 'kay?

She wants to talk to you. Why don't you go see what she has to say?

Oh, um, hello. Thank you, for...accepting the quest.
No problem.
I was surprised to see the offerings. Even I forgot that he was interested in some of those things. You asked about him, huh?
Asked everyone in town.
...So everybody remembers him. He's no longer with us... but there are others, besides me...who remember him and look up to him... I think I'm finally past it. Now I can talk about him with everyone. Thank you for doing this quest. Seeing you do it so thoroughly... It's made me so happy. Will you accept these? They were dear to him... I want you to have them.

Rune Glove (+25 DEF, +3 TEC) is made from 1 Navy Fluid (Pylon Crab rare). Costs 5620 en.

Flame Boot (+20 DEF, +10% fire resistance) is made from 1 Crimson Eye (Hexfrog normal). Costs 4500 en.

Circlet (+31 DEF, +15 TP) is made from 1 Crystal Wall (5th Stratum Mine 2) and 5 Navy Fluids (Pylon Crab rare). Costs 6750 en.
Pretty average 5th Stratum equipment. Still, that glove is nice.
If he knew what you'd done today, I'm sure he'd have handed them over to you with a smile! Thank you so, so much.
...You're welcome.
I think that was the smallest, genuine-ist smile I've ever seen you give.
Ah, shaddup, Vicious Vinny.
That's it for now. Next time: --------------------

Ehehem, may we have your attention, everybody?
This last mission was a stressful one. No-one can deny that. However, now that we're done with it, Emmett and I have decided--
...Aheh, yes, that.
We made sweets and everything, so let's all just get together and have some time off to relax now that we have a chance to. It will do us no good to be so highly strung!
...You absolute angels.

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