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Celestalia's Challenge - A Maple Journal

Discussion in 'MapleLegends Journeys' started by HouseAuburn, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. HouseAuburn
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    NOTICE: The campaign is planned to resume on Saturday, August 20. Thanks again for your patience.

    Hello friends, and welcome to a special MapleStory campaign. As my first-ever challenge playthrough, I'm very excited to present and document this story for everyone. This will be fairly similar to other journals found here on the forums, but this will also be, however, a unique and possibly extremely tedious scenario.

    Introduction/Backstory
    [​IMG]
    Meet Celestalia. Celestalia is a member of the prestigious House of Vereina, a prominent family living in Henesys. The Vereina family made their modest fortune through agriculture (Vereina carrots are exported all over the world, to the extent that some ramen shops in Zipangu use them), and as such no family member has adventured up to today. In fact, the practice is unofficially banned in the family circle.

    Celestalia, who has adored Athena Pierce from youth, wants more than anything to be like her. She will do anything, up to and including being disowned by her own family, to live up to her dream. This presents a major problem, however, as without any support or influence, Celestalia can hardly even travel around. Even taxis and stores, at least initially, won't allow her their services. The road between Lith Harbor and Henesys is at least somewhat navigable, but to go farther than that, Celestalia must master combat with the monsters around her and be as resourceful as she can to stay in good health.

    Not all is lost, however, as when she was fleeing to Maple Island, Celestalia met another young adventurer who was just starting his own journey: Kaloichi of the House of Auburn. After a month or so of writing back and forth, Celestalia and Kaloichi have struck an important deal. Celestalia will have to take full advantage of this if she is to succeed...

    Rules
    There are quite a few, so I will keep them as brief as I can here. If an exception comes up later I will address it.

    1. Maple Island goes as normal. After we get to Victoria Island, we can go to all the maps on the road between Lith Harbor and Henesys, but nothing beyond. To advance past this, we must collect all the monster card sets for the enemies in these maps. This includes the following 10 mobs: Snail, Blue Snail, Red Snail, Shroom, Stump, Slime, Orange Mushroom, Pig, Ribbon Pig, and Green Mushroom.

    2. After this, maps can only be passed through if all major mobs on those maps have been cleared (got the set for them). So the Axe Stumps at the top left corner of the one map south of Ellinia don't count, because they're only on one platform. Basically, it has to be a primary mob in that map. Once a map has been 'conquered' we can pass through it as normal, and by conquering all maps between two cities, we can travel between them by the taxi as well.

    Clarification to Rule 2. Mobs that inhabit the most direct path of travel from portal to portal are considered major mobs regardless of spawn count, UNLESS their spawn would be restricted by a stronger mob not in the most direct path of travel. The card furthest into the Monster Book will be considered the strongest mob.

    Addendum to Rule 2. If Celestalia is in a guild and is partied with guild members, she is allowed to go past the normal boundaries of play as long as she remains with the group. For example, Celestalia can go to Ludibrium with guild members even if she has not yet unlocked the region. Celestalia cannot acquire monster cards at any time she is outside the boundary.


    Addendum to Rule 2. If Celestalia is making a job advancement, she may travel anywhere in the world provided it is necessary to do so to complete the job advancement. She cannot attack mobs if outside the boundary.

    Hidden Streets are initially unknown to us. They can be discovered once Celestalia learns of them through the Monster Book (if you don't know, getting a full set lets you know where that monster can be found). For example, Celestalia can learn about the Land of Wild Boar by getting the Dark Axe Stump card set. They can also be discovered by learning of them through the actions of other adventurers.

    3. All items (at least initially), Bowman equips, and ammunition must be obtained by drop. This is the main reason why I'm doing this challenge with a female - my Crossbowman (Aescavon) hunts for his equips and so I know where almost all of them are. With some exceptions, this is basically starting from scratch. The MapleLegends Library is off-limits for the extent of this challenge; if we want to know where something drops, we must consult the Monster Book and see if any mobs we've unlocked drop what we're looking for. Additionally, equips can only be worn if I've gotten all of the previous equips in the line.

    4. Gach tickets will be turned over to the Auburn family. In exchange, Celestalia will get a few amenities - including a Blue Potion chair*, free Air Bubbles for Aqua Road, and access to the Auburn family's storage and NX account. (She can't take anything out of their storage, but she can put her own items into the storage.) However, we can only buy one inventory row every five levels, starting at 30.
    *Will not be available immediately

    5. Trading, the Free Market, Leeching, Looting, and any other advantageous services are off-limits for this campaign. I also will not accept any donations whatsoever.

    6. Partying with other adventurers in the field is allowed, however during the time Celestalia is partied, and a party member is in the map and actively fighting, items cannot be picked up. The sole exception to this is equips Celestalia needs to advance; if she did not participate in killing the mob that dropped the equip, Celestalia can retrieve it from her teammate at a cost of 5,000 mesos x the Level of the equip. Said equip cannot be worn until the map has been conquered.

    Addendum to Rule 6. If Celestalia belongs to a guild and is partied with guild members, she can pick up items as usual, but she should make a substantial effort not to acquire items that her teammates have farmed. The teammate equip rule remains in place.

    There are a few other restrictions, but I'll bring them up as they become relevant.

    - Book 1 -

    Journal Entries (1-50)
    I. Maple Island (You are here!)
    II. The Hunt Begins
    III. Let's Conquest!
    IV. Green Avelin vs. Green Mushroom
    V. Back In Action!
    VI. The Plank That Plonked
    VII. 50-Card Pig-up
    VIII. To Hill And Back
    SPECIAL I. From One Bowman To Another
    IX. The Decision Made
    X. Primo Victoria
    XI. The Intercession
    XII. In The BAG
    SPECIAL II. A Beginner Confounded Deeply
    XIII. Sunday Stumpday
    XIV. Monday Greens
    XV. Lost In Time
    XVI. To Drier Ground
    XVII. Perion Ore Bust!
    XVIII. Avelin Avenue
    XIX. Anne of Grey Ables
    XX. Yellow Avelin vs. Green Mushroom
    XXI. Equip Drops Go Rogue
    XXII. The Battle of Southern Forest II
    XXIII. Huntress
    XXIV. The Hunt Begins Again
    SPECIAL III. A Path Less Traveled
    XXV. Blue Friday
    XXVI. Behind the Signpost
    XXVII. The Battle of Blue Mushroom Forest
    XXVIII. Reviewing Our Options
    SPECIAL IV. The Youngest of the Clan
    XXIX. Horn Tale
    XXX. Return To Blue Mushroom Forest
    XXXI. Mano: The Cards of Fate
    XXXII. Look Ma, No Arrows!
    XXXIII. Axes and Allies
    XXXIV. The Sunset City
    XXXV. Let's Conquest! Kerning Subway Edition
    XXXVI. With Kimmy's Blessing
    SPECIAL V. Diros Straits
    XXXVII. The Special Stump
    XXXVIII. Feathers and Firewood
    XXXIX. The Grand Survey
    XL. Wild Card
    XLI. Chestnuts Roasting on a Fire Boar
    XLII. To The Dungeon!
    XLIII. The Last Reckoning?
    XLIV. (Let's Try) Tidying Up the Empire
    SPECIAL VI. Reflections of a Huntress
    XLV. Shovels Not Required
    XLVI. Where We Talk About Food
    XLVII. Lady Blue? More Like Lady Luck!
    XLVIII. Into the Ant Tunnel
    XLIX. Charmed
    L. Stirge and Scourge
    Journal Entries (51-100)
    LI. Digging Deep
    LII. Look Out Ligator!
    SPECIAL VII. The Polar Proposition
    LIII. Celestalia Goes Skiing
    LIV. Card Hunters to the Rescue!
    LV. Queen Huntress and the Jack Boots
    LVI. The Power of Vitamin C
    LVII. The Great Ant Tunnel Equip Run
    LVIII. On Your Marker
    LIX. A Different Kind of Agriculture
    LX. Garnet
    LXI. Unboarable
    LXII. As it Pleadses You
    LXIII. A Pair of Very Brief Expeditions
    LXIV. The Hunt for the Battle Bow
    LXV. The Battle of White Hat Run
    LXVI. Where We Talk About Toys
    SPECIAL VIII. Lost in the Clouds
    LXVII. The Rydenathon
    LXVIII. Celestalia's Wild Ryde
    LXIX. An Archaeological Grind
    LXX. Fire Boar Frenzy
    LXXI. Caution Falling Asleep
    LXXII. Legend of the Red Huntress
    LXXIII. Annoyances
    LXXIV. The Holy Smegaphone
    LXXV. The Battle of the Deep Ant Tunnel
    LXXVI. Let's Conquest! Nihal Desert Edition
    LXXVII. The Battle of Frilled Field
    LXXVIII. Zumogi
    SPECIAL IX. The Flight of Erenell
    LXXIX. Early Huntress Gets the Armor
    LXXX. The Garden of Three Colors
    LXXXI. A Tranquil Evening in Orbis Park
    LXXXII. Rise of the Snack People
    LXXXIII. Planet of the Lupins
    LXXXIV. The Siege of Garden Road
    LXXXV. Crawling With Curse Eye
    LXXXVI. The Long Push North
    LXXXVII. Finding the Dwarven Stronghold
    LXXXVIII. The Battle of Nomadia
    LXXXIX. Early Huntress Runs Out of Title Ideas
    XC. Celestalia in Toyland
    XCI. The Yellow Ribbon Staring Contest
    XCII. A Flash in the Panda
    XCIII. Return to Orbis Tower
    XCIV. Henesys Hat Hunting
    XCV. Huntress With Distinction
    SPECIAL X. From the Vault of Knowledge
    XCVI. The Battle of Elevenia
    XCVII. Where Not Even Bentos Can Save Us
    XCVIII. Terrar's Reckoning
    XCIX. A Tale of Two Leatties
    C. The Speed of Light
    Journal Entries (101-150)
    Journal Entries (151-200)
    CLI. The Siege of the Sleepy Dungeon
    CLII. Minisiege
    SPECIAL XIV. A Party at Henesys
    CLIII. The Super-Duper Golem Marathon
    CLIV. Temple of the Golems
    CLV. The Battle of Golemfourd
    CLVI. The Battle of Dracteal
    CLVII. Lightning Fingers vs. Lightning Horns
    CLVIII. Groovy Grupins
    CLIX. Around the Lake and Back Again
    CLX. Let's Conquest! Asiatic Edition
    CLXI. Castle Mapleskull
    CLXII. Forest of the Ancients
    CLXIII. Ellin (Almost) Joins the Empire
    CLXIV. Boomerang Bowman
    CLXV. The Battle of Mushroom Hill
    CLXVI. The Race to Seventy
    CLXVII. Rangemaiden
    CLXVIII. Mio
    CLXIX. News From Around the Empire
    CLXX. A Ghoulish Grind
    CLXXI. The Mush-O-Lantern Carving Contest
    CLXXII. The Hunt for Red Heartober
    CLXXIII. A Lesson in Mob Throughput
    CLXXIV. Where Someone Else Abuses RNG More
    CLXXV. Celestalia's Weather Forecast
    SPECIAL XV. I've Got a Secret
    CLXXVI. Let's Conquest! Eos Edition
    CLXXVII. An Outside Chance at Progress
    CLXXVIII. Plan C: To the Moon!
    CLXXIX. Lions and Bears Not Included
    CLXXX. Eye of Tortie
    CLXXXI. The Icy Underground
    CLXXXII. Thighbone Thursday, or, Kneecap Recap
    CLXXXIII. Emerald
    CLXXXIV. The Plunge Into Mu Lung
    CLXXXV. Let's Conquest! Mu Lung Edition
    CLXXXVI. Go West, Young Rangemaiden
    CLXXXVII. Tidings of Cards and Joy
    CLXXXVIII. The Mu Lung Pay-ch-wall
    CLXXXIX. The Most Willowful Time of the Year
    SPECIAL XVI. The Sands Have Shifted
    CXC. The March to Magatia
    CXCI. Let's Alchemy!
    CXCII. Racks and Rocks
    CXCIII. A Surprise Assault!
    CXCIV. Total Maplortion
    CXCV. Chaos Reigns
    CXCVI. Chilling and/or Willowing
    SPECIAL XVII. Pathless
    CXCVII. Back on the Path
    CXCVIII. Further Reinforcements
    CXCIX. Not Done Yet!
    CC. Plz
    Journal Entries (201-210)

    Click here to skip to Book 2.

    Alrighty, let's get started! First part of the campaign begins below.

    ~~~

    PART I. Maple Island

    Things started quickly, as while clearing out the Snails for Maria, Celestalia picked up her first card.
    [​IMG]
    This bodes fairly well for the rest of the night. We'll see. Meanwhile, we get an early 30 Blue Potions for answering the shopping questions, and another few potions of various colors while knocking down crates for the Relaxer (including one White!).

    For our hat from Maria, we get the Yellow Headband. Perfect, it matches Celestalia's hair!
    [​IMG]

    Going back to Amherst, Lucas seems to believe we are destined for greatness, and sends us off to kill some more snails as a result. When we do so, the Red Snails have the gall to hit us for three damage. The nerve! But, we also get the second Snail card, plus some Grey Work Gloves for our trouble. No stat bonuses on that guy, I think we will have to replace it soon enough.

    After taking care of the other quests, it was time to go to Mai and get the Razor. We're finally doing respectable damage, but unfortunately we're getting more Crossbow arrows than Bow, which just ain't right! We picked up some good food from this exercise (the 15 Lemons is nice especially) and at last we're headed to Southperry.

    Finally, it was time to face the first boss of the game, the dreaded...Orange Mushroom.
    [​IMG]
    A true test of courage.

    We killed three of them, because reasons.

    In Southperry, we exchange a few Etc. items for a Fruit Knife, and get a few more potions because Shanks needed something to drink. At last, Celestalia is off the island!

    When we arrive in Lith Harbor, a mysterious lightbulb appears. It's from our soon-to-be best friend Rino, keeper of the Monster Book! Without her, this entire challenge wouldn't even exist. So, she's probably worth listening to. Do trust that the ring will be developed far earlier than in most cases...even my other characters!

    Olaf down the road grants us the last experience we need to become Level 10, and with 42 DEX in tow it is time to make the journey towards Henesys. Celestalia had better memorize these maps, because they are the only ones she will be seeing for quite some time.

    Upon reaching Thicket Around the Beach III, Celestalia notices the ground is littered with drops. Wonder why...?

    Anyway, it wasn't long before our heroine arrives back to her hometown. Here too there were drops littered all over the place. Unfortunately, by the rules of the challenge we can't loot from other people.
    [​IMG]

    Nevermind, let's go see Athena! Celestalia gets a bit of stage fright upon spotting the legendary teacher and her role model.
    [​IMG]

    But soon enough she got up the courage to go up the stairs and get her bow.
    [​IMG]
    I think we'll be good on arrows for a while.

    In the next installment of Celestalia's Challenge, we'll see how the young archer fares as she begins her first true hunt.
     
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    PART II. The Hunt Begins

    Celestalia may be home, but she can't exactly go back to her family's estate, and she has nowhere near enough funds to find a place of her own. The Weapon Store will have to do for now.

    [​IMG]
    At least it's cozy.

    As a plus, it's located right next to the Auburn residence. Even with as few friends as she has, at least they're close by. Sadly no one's home at the moment - Kaloichi lives in Kerning, Sirbeg is overnighting in Orbis headed for Ariant, Aescavon is at the Aquarium, and Aescalloss is in Ludi. Oh well, we'll try again later.

    In the meantime, let's arrow some mobs. What better place to start than the fabled Henesys Hunting Ground?
    [​IMG]
    Definitely needs some practice. That is why we're here though, right?

    Celestalia soon scores her first equip drop, a Bronze Coif from Orange Mushroom. That's great, except no store is going to give us the time of day yet. Perhaps if we fought our way to Perion, they'd consider taking it off our hands...but that's a long way away.

    We get to 11 pretty quickly. Priority of skills, by the way, is Eye of Amazon first for the range, Critical Shot, and then Arrow Blow. As much as I want Double Shot, it's just too expensive in terms of mana and arrows to be worth it, even if on average it deals more damage.

    Anyway, Athena gives us a nice 30 Blue Potions and level 12 for 16 Slime. A good trade! 40 more won't hurt either. Now if we could just get a card, that would be really nice.

    We keep fighting on and eventually a Blue Snail grants us a pair of sweat pants, which will sell for a decent amount at some point.

    Back at HQ, Athena gives us another set of potions and elevates us to level 13. One more level and we can start really turning up the heat on these mobs.

    At last, fortune smiles upon us and the first Red Snail card is ours!
    [​IMG]

    That was soon followed by two (!) more.

    At level 14, we finally get one point of Arrow Blow, which means doom time for these mobs.
    [​IMG]

    Shortly after that, we got our first Bowman equip! The Brown Woodsman Boots, which are dropped from Red Snails. Sadly, we can't wear them yet, because we haven't got the level 10 boots yet. Still, we at least don't have to track them down later!
    [​IMG]

    Back in town, Celestalia overhears a deep philosophical conversation about unrequited love, before Athena gives us another set of Potions, no level this time however, and sends us to fight against the dastardly Ribbon Pigs. Upon exiting the HHG, she is ambushed by a pair of them who hit in the 40s. This isn't good. But eventually, she is able to get around them and get some distance. They are no match for the power of Arrow Blow! ...not that regular arrows did much worse, us not having mastery yet and all.

    After dispatching those guys, Celestalia walked past the philosophers again and received even more goodies from Athena, who was impressed enough to award us level 15. We also got 10 Nearest Town scrolls, which is fantastic. They might come in handy down the line, especially since we can't buy more of them until level 40.

    Check of the ammunition says that we still have 5,000 arrows, which is great news - they're not being used nearly as fast as I expected. We should be good through at least level 20, possibly longer.

    With Athena's training being complete, Celestalia decided to turn in for the night, nestled to sleep by the soothing sound of philosophers arguing with smegas.


    In the next installment, Celestalia returns to HHG to collect some more cards, and potentially learn a bit more about the region. Stay tuned!
     
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    PART III. Let's Conquest!

    After a decent night's rest in the aft of the Weapon Store, Celestalia reviews her Monster Book.

    [​IMG]

    I'm honestly not sure if this is good or bad, but it definitely could be worse. Getting 3 Red Snail cards in that quick of a procession was unexpected for sure.

    In terms of funds, we're sitting at a bit under 6,000 mesos and six sellable pieces of equipment. Sam and Karl, who are good friends with the Auburns, have agreed to buy Celestalia's Etc. items. We'll need to be at least level 20 before we can sell them much else. After doing that, we're at 7,784. Time to go back to the HHG and get some cards. Before doing so, Celestalia finally equips the Grey Work Gloves which she forgot to do earlier.

    During this session, Celestalia learned the second best way to preserve arrows, other than spamming everything with Arrow Blow to make them die faster, hitting enemies with her bow at low health.

    [​IMG]
    It's more effective than you think!

    Along the way, another one of those Orange Mushrooms dropped a Bullet. You can't shoot bullets using a bow. So we ignored it. Shortly after that, a Red Snail dropped a Brown Rocky Suit, the level 10 Pirate overall. Someone please kindly inform the mobs that we're not going for Corsair in this challenge.

    Upon reaching level 16, we haven't gotten a single card yet, but we did get to 10k mesos.

    But it wasn't long before deliverance arrived!
    [​IMG]

    Orange Mushroom is one of the more difficult sets to get in this first section of the challenge, so this is a great find. They're also pretty squishy, as Celestalia lands an Arrow Blow on one for 125 damage.

    Right after that, we get a fourth Red Snail card. At last, we have some very crucial information, equipment drops. Let's take a quick look...
    [​IMG]

    Good news here, the Amethyst Earrings will be immediately available if we find them. We've already got the Brown Woodsman Boots.

    Moving right along, we land our first Blue Snail card, as well as our first Shroom card. Business is finally picking up. Then, we get a Spear! That's great, it means we have a decent fallback weapon for if we run out of arrows. That said, it'll be a while before we get even close to running out, if it ever happens.

    Then, an amazing thing happens - a Shroom donates to us the Green Avelin Skirt! A wonderful drop because we can wear it immediately, and we get +7 Weapon Defense.
    [​IMG]
    Okay, so I do take donations...from monsters. But that's it!

    Almost immediately we get a second one, but it only has 8 WDef, while the one we're wearing has 9.

    A few minutes after that, we get another two cards and hit an important milestone - our first complete set!
    [​IMG]

    The other one was the first Slime card.

    Celestalia reviews the locations for Red Snail, and...it seems like there are some locations missing. We put this in the Monster Book error thread before continuing on.

    Feeling lucky, Celestalia decides to take a break from HHG and go back to the place she saw with all the drops littered on the ground - Thicket Around the Beach III - and clear out the Snail card set. She'll do it with the Spear she got earlier, to get some profit going on arrows. Our damage, surprisingly, is respectable.

    [​IMG]

    That was short lived, as it turns out, because a Slime gives us a Leather Purse, which bumps our damage to 25 ~ 53. Also, we attack a bit faster. So, yeah.

    Expectedly, the rest of the set took all of five or so minutes of game time.
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately we didn't find anything useful in the drops, nor in locations, which were missing a few areas once again. We brought that to Kimmy's attention as well, and then got back to hunting. We were really close to level 17, so we killed a few mobs at the Road Split to get there.

    Celestalia decided to return to base and offload her Etc. items again, bringing her to a cool 17,562 mesos. At least she can pay for the essentials, but we might be in trouble if Sam and Karl start charging us rent!

    With that out of the way, it was time to pick a new map. HHG is a bit slow because Green Mushrooms are still too inconvenient for us yet. The perfect candidate is not too far from there:
    [​IMG]

    This is a great map due to the long and straight platforms.

    Success is soon found as we get a Blue Snail card (2/5), but we soon found out that we lacked the Etc. space to handle all the drops for these mobs. Too many ores, and we can't sell any of them yet. So the decision was quickly made to go back to HHG and see what we could do against the Green Mushrooms.

    (The real problem wasn't really the mobs, it was that we had 3 different Omok pieces dropping. Sorry, Forest West, I always wanted to give you a chance, and now that I have I can't really justify grinding at you.)

    In the next installment, the fourth and final platform of HHG1 comes into the game, as do our Blue Potions. What will Celestalia do with this new and exciting dimension of the campaign? Find out shortly.
     
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    This is actually some fantastic writing and storytelling.
     
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    PART IV. Green Avelin vs. Green Mushroom

    Going into this, it was clear that our stock of arrows and potions were going to be thrown into jeopardy. In the name of progress however, we must carry on. It is time to face the top platform of HHG.

    Our current stockpile is about 4,400 arrows, 8 Green Apples (30 MP each), 10 Oranges (50 MP each), 100 beginner Blue Potions (80 MP each), 206 Blue Potions (100 MP each), and 15 Lemons (150 MP each). Taking natural MP regeneration into account, it's looking like we have enough Arrow Blows to go through the entire quiver. No worries there. The bigger worry is for later on, when we start taking on more powerful foes...

    Anyway, let's get to it.

    It didn't start out that bad. Biggest problem, aside from the fact that they hit us in the mid-high 50s, is that Green Mushroom's defenses are fairly strong. We have to get lucky to land a good hit, which means with our poor mastery some of them can take 8-9 hits at times. Thankfully they do drop Blue Potions, so it's not like we're losing out completely.

    The better news is that the Green Mushroom card set isn't actually that tedious to collect.
    [​IMG]
    "Just a flesh wound!"

    Because the headband was getting a little dirty, a Slime decided to gift us a White Bandana. Another +3 WDef, plus it gets the hair out of our eyes for a little while.

    [​IMG]

    Level 18 was had soon enough, a critical level indeed (no pun intended) as now our Critical Shot is starting to get quite good.

    We then land the Amethyst Earrings!
    [​IMG]

    Followed by a second card for both Mushrooms, a third Blue Snail card, and a third Green Mushroom card.

    Things were pretty uneventful for the next twenty or so minutes as Celestalia inched closer to level 19. Then, right as her fingers were going to give out from all the bow-twanging, an Orange Mushroom left this behind!!!
    [​IMG]

    The Brown Hard Leather Boots! This is exactly what we needed, because now we can don the Brown Woodsman Boots!

    But why stop there? Immediately after putting them on, Celestalia obtains the level 15 Grey Able Skirt from Green Mushroom!
    [​IMG]

    These two together gave us +8 WDef and +4 MP. Not bad!

    We also pick up a Gold Surfboard which has 8 more WAtk than the Purse.

    Going into level 19, against all odds we have three equipment slots that are up to date. The situation is not nearly as bad as I anticipated. What's also nice, Sam has agreed to take some of our level 1 stuff off our hands, so we get a few equipment slots back.

    Here's the Monster Book as it stands at the end of the session:
    [​IMG]

    We are in fantastic position to knock out a few sets very quickly, especially Blue Snail and Green Mushroom. That will have to wait for next weekend, however, as the Auburns are itching to do some card hunting of their own. Also, Celestalia's hands really need some time to recover from a hard two days of archery.

    In the next installment, Celestalia begins consolidating her gains and inches ever closer to breaking out of the Lith-Henesys corridor. See you next Friday!

    Thank you so much! I'm really glad you're enjoying it so far.
     
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    9:23 AM
    [​IMG]
    PART V. Back In Action!

    After a long week of relaxation, Celestalia was awakened suddenly by a striking magical figure standing in front of her. Rather than offering sage advice, however, the figure was...doing some scrolling.

    [​IMG]
    Sam always makes sure to keep large piles of earrings in stock for exactly this reason.

    With that escapade over, Celestalia decided to get a snack or two, before eventually heading back to HHG to continue the card chase.

    As a refresher, here's where we stand right now:
    [​IMG]

    So, we've got 20 cards in the book, which means we are...well, not even halfway done. Actually, we're at 40%. That's really not bad for being at level 19. Remember, getting out of the Lith-Henesys corridor requires all ten card sets we can get in the region.

    Enough stalling, let's get into it.

    Back at HHG once again, Celestalia has fairly good command of the map by now. Three-hitting Green Mushrooms is somewhat common, and lesser mobs don't really stand a chance. The first card of the weekend comes swiftly:
    [​IMG]

    The second one wasn't too far behind, and it was a pivotal one indeed - the fourth Green Mushroom card. Now we get another set of equips to look at, and it was an extremely appealing sight:
    [​IMG]

    The Composite Bow! Not only can we equip this immediately when we find it, but it will give us a generous bonus to our fighting ability. We will definitely be on the lookout. Also of note, the Top portion of the Able set (these do tend to be found on the same mob, so I'm not too surprised). We are still looking for the level 10 Top at this point, of course.

    (Also, the Zeco? That's level 40, isn't it? What in the world are you doing dropping that?)

    When Celestalia looked up from her book, there was someone jumping around the map in a vending machine! Now what purpose did that serve? Who knows. But they left behind a few drops, which we had to carefully avoid picking up as we fought our way back up the map.

    Some minutes later, Celestalia was shaken when giant beams of light struck the lower platforms. The creator of these beams came to the top of the map and...awarded Celestalia a Fame. We returned the favor, and we had a nice conversation where he was introduced to the challenge. Turns out, he had just come back from a 3-year hiatus!

    [​IMG]
    "Maple feels like a second home..."

    He stuck around as we continued the grind. Finally, Celestalia felt as if she had a true friend in the world.

    After getting a third Orange Mushroom card, we get a party request from someone else, a Warrior that had come to hunt. I haven't actually given partying any thought in the rules, so I wasn't sure how to respond. We declined for now because I didn't want anyone else helping to get us levels - it would feel disingenuous for the challenge.

    Right after this, a third adventurer came in and starting wrecking everything on the map with throwing stars. So we changed channels.

    Once again alone (the company of the mushrooms and snails notwithstanding), it was back to business as usual. A notable thing happened where a Blue Snail dropped two ores at once. We followed that up with a two-hit Green Mushroom. That was awesome. Celestalia couldn't believe it herself.

    Due to that feat and others, Celestalia qualified to get level 20. An important milestone! How far have we come? Let's take a look:
    [​IMG]

    Things are decent so far, although we'd much prefer a better bow, something more substantial to wear for a top, and an actual hat wouldn't be too bad either. We could also buy a Top Hat from the Cash Shop, but I'm not sure that would help us all that much. All of these things will come in time, of course. Except for the Top Hat, because...well, you get the idea.

    Monster cards are looking decent as well. We're at 23 now, and at that rate we'll get out of the region at...somewhere around level 29. Just in time to go right back into the region to do our 2nd Job Advancement. If that's the case, we might as well just stay and grind the final level! RNG being as fickle as it is, we'll board that ship when we get to the station.

    (Spoiler alert: We probably won't be boarding another ship until deep into the 30s at the earliest...)

    Celestalia quickly got back into action. When she hit the Green Mushroom platform, she picked up this odd hat.
    [​IMG]
    That is, by the way, max INT, max Magic Def, and min Weapon Def. Odd.

    On the next run, we landed the fifth and final card of the set! We're done with Green Mushrooms, folks!
    [​IMG]

    That takes a massive weight off of our shoulders, and allows us to go to other maps for a change. Speaking of, where else are they found?
    [​IMG]

    What's this? The Monster Book has revealed to us some Hidden Street locations, and all of them are available to us immediately! (Actually - Green Mushrooms don't appear in any of these areas. But let's just say that makes up for the ones we missed because of Red Snail being inaccurate. In the meantime, we posted these pages in the error thread.)

    On that note, it is about time for us to depart HHG, and see what the rest of the region has to offer. In the next installment, Celestalia takes her bow across the corridor!
     
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    PART VI. The Plank That Plonked

    Celestalia went back to base to offload her Etc. items, and Karl gave her some good news - he and Sam were now accepting equips of level 15 or less that they carried at the store or were general use-items. This was great news, as she was now able to offload a whopping nine pieces. After doing that, she was now carrying 60k mesos. Very nice, but she still couldn't buy anything. That was problematic, as she was down to her last barrel of arrows. It was still nearly full (at this point we had 1,972 of them), but Celestalia couldn't risk running out. Thankfully, with Green Mushrooms being done, she had quite a few options.

    She decided to head back to Lith Harbor and get some quick card sets from around there. That way, she could use the Gold Surfboard and get ammunition back for her endeavors.

    Along the way, she heard the grumbling of a very old snail. Indeed, it could only be one entity:
    [​IMG]

    Mano was actually somewhat more difficult than usual. Not that he was difficult, the issue was we weren't doing a great amount of damage, even with Arrow Blow. But he went down before long. We got a Mano card from it (didn't screenie this one as I'm not keeping track of them for regional conquest), but not much else.

    Soon Celestalia found herself at Right Around Lith Harbor, and the card cleanup could begin. She was very surprised to learn how lightweight the surfboard actually was, and soon enough she was swinging it around like greased lightning.
    [​IMG]
    It's not gold though...?

    Well anyway, the "Gold" Surfboard was gold in another way: It's a monster card magnet!
    [​IMG]

    Those last two cards were retrieved almost within 2-3 minutes of each other.

    Sadly, Blue Snails don't drop anything useful. The Level 11 Red Striped T-Shirt we technically can use, but I'd prefer to get the level 10 Bowman top instead, for continuity reasons. Still not sure where that is. We also got no new information from the Locations tab, which was missing a pretty large amount of maps. Oh well.

    Celestalia decided to hit up Thicket III again to start hunting Slimes and Stumps, the latter of which has so far not yielded a single card. That was going to change now.

    ...And that took all of about 30 seconds.
    [​IMG]

    The next card took quite a bit longer.

    After landing the second Slime card, Celestalia gets her first Gachapon ticket. Finally, the Auburn family is actually getting something out of this deal. Let's hope it turns into something pretty nice.
    [​IMG]
    Who actually gets to use the ticket...well, not our problem.

    We followed that up with Slime card #3.

    At this point you might be thinking, Isn't using melee weapons a bit outside the spirit of this challenge? Well, yes and no. Yes, in that Celestalia is trying to become a Bowmaster, and she isn't learning anything by plonking everything with a board. This is true. However, the point of the challenge isn't really to master archery, it's to conquer maps and be resourceful. So, if I can do something that doesn't use up resources, like arrows, then so much the better. That said, I'm not going to use melee weapons unless I can get arrows from the mobs - so you won't be seeing much more of this once this region is done with.

    Anyway, we then get Stump #2, followed by two more Gach tickets, and then Slime #4. Nothing useful in the drops for Slime.

    Then, Mano came back. Celestalia thought, Why not? and plonked him with the board until he ragequit.
    [​IMG]
    plonk

    Not even a card that time though.

    We continued plonking until we got level 21, at which point we maxed the currently-not-being-used Critical Shot. Unfortunately, we do not have a Critical Plonk skill, which would have been nice to have in case Mano shows up again. We kept the other two points in reserve as I don't want to have Arrow Blow cost more MP than it needs to at this point.

    After that, Celestalia returned to base and offloaded what she could. She's now nearing 75k, and from a low of about 1900 she's back up to 2,825 arrows. Even better, we're now sitting at 31 cards, with everyone aside from the two Pigs having at least two cards to their name. It might be time to look into the pink menaces, and we have just the map to do it with.

    In the next installment, it's Celestalia versus the Swine Estate! Who will come out on top? Stay tuned!
     
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    PART VII. 50-Card Pig-up

    Henesys was brimming with activity as Celestalia began her walk over to the hillside, where the hog hooligans were waiting for her.
    [​IMG]

    This is a very interesting map for numerous reasons. Although not as flat as the two maps surrounding it, there are still many places to maneuver and tons of good sniping locations. Also, Slimes and Stumps are here, which is great because we might not have to go back to Thicket III at all. I would really prefer not to; one half-session of smacking things with a surfboard was enough.

    Although Ribbon Pigs are still dangerous (hitting in the mid-30s), we have gotten far more dangerous to them.
    [​IMG]
    What's the Bowmanese word for 'plonk'?

    We got our first card drop of the night, but it was a Red Snail card. Then, we got our first Pig equipment, the Brown Skullcap. Celestalia thought this might be a Bowman piece, but soon realized it was only level 5. Too bad, as we could really use a Winter Hat.

    Before too long, the first Ribbon Pig card dropped.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia soon realized that her Etc. pack was full again. Unfortunately, there wasn't much she could do, and the only thing she wasn't getting was Blue Snail Shells. So she ignored it and carried on.

    (The problem was we got a Topaz Ore...we now have thirteen different varieties, and we haven't picked up a Gold Ore yet either. One of those blasted Omok pieces is going to get what's coming to it soon!)

    Next relevant card to drop was the first Pig card, which means we have at least one of each set we need! Another important milestone. Pig is probably the most difficult set of the region due to the lower drop rate, so this was quite nice.

    By the way, if you're curious, the highest hit I've seen up to this point has been 203.

    Aha! The ruse worked!
    [​IMG]

    There is now a decent chance that we won't have to go back to Thicket III. We do still need three Stump cards though.

    Obtaining the last Slime card unlocked another Hidden Street, the Swamp of the Jr. Necki. It will be a long time before we get there though. Anyway, Celestalia took the opportunity to pull out the Relaxer and get back to full health, as she was getting a bit low. We've so far used three of the Beginner Red Potions...that's it. At least one of them because it fell out of Celestalia's pockets and smashed on the ground. Don't worry, the glass despawned.

    It was about twenty minutes before we got our next card, Ribbon Pig #2. They really fought hard to keep it; by the time we picked it up, Celestalia was down to 150 health and got essentially kicked off the platform. Even though individual mobs aren't powerful, large groups of them can deny us the ability to fight back when they move in the right way. I like to call the shooting range a lane. Mobs sometimes really don't want to give us a lane.

    After some more fighting, we landed the third Ribbon Pig card and two more Pig cards! Unbelievable that we're card-for-card with these guys - that is extremely good RNG. Here's hoping to more of that!

    A few minutes later, we hit level 22. Nothing special here, we didn't even bother opening the Skill menu. There were quite a few people coming through the map around this time - one of them was a Priest who slammed a Ribbon Pig so hard it turned into a Monster Card. Not even a Ribbon Pig card, one of those match cards that you play in the little chat windows. Yeah...

    Celestalia took a quick intermission because her equips were full, and returned to base to offload. We now sit at a hair under 100k! Again, not that we can spend it on anything...yet.

    While on break, Celestalia decided to pop next door and visit the Auburns.
    [​IMG]

    Luckily for our heroine, both Sirbeg and Aescavon were in attendance! Celestalia was invited in and explained her unusual situation to the two seasoned adventurers.
    [​IMG]
    For clarification purposes, what I did here was I logged in to each character separately, brought them here, took a screenshot, and pasted in two of them in Paint. I hope that's alright! SlimeSweat2

    Aescavon introduced Celestalia to a crossbow veteran and materials handler, Vicious. Vicious was slightly hesitant at first to assist our aspiring archer, not wanting to draw the ire of the Vereina family, but with Aescavon's endorsement the retired Sniper eventually warmed up to the idea.
    [​IMG]

    Vicious told us that he would allow us to craft up to 2,000 arrows per level, starting at the next level up (23). This was, he was afraid to express, the most he could afford without putting too much attention on what Celestalia was doing. She was happy to take any help she could get at this point, of course. And we'll be in arrow-farming areas until the end of the region, so we aren't in that much trouble.

    With that bonus in hand, Celestalia returned to the Hill West of Henesys to finish the night's mission. In the next installment, we'll find out whether the pigs cooperate with her, or not!
     
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    PART VIII. To Hill And Back

    Celestalia had 1,354 arrows to work with and 86% to obtain. Whether she would finish at least one of the Pig sets was not in doubt; the real question was, could she do it without the aid of the Gold Surfboard? Time to find out. It would take total resolve and everything she had learned since becoming an Archer.

    Throughout the run, Celestalia was very careful not to use more than one or two arrows on a mob, instead choosing to plink them with her bow at close range and risk getting hurt. She had to show the world, and more importantly her family, that she was willing to defend the path she had chosen.
    [​IMG]

    The first act of the run was nabbing the fourth Ribbon Pig card. Here's what they drop for us: absolutely nothing. Well, that's fair, I suppose. Moving on.

    Second was getting a third Stump card, which was huge. That saves an exorbitant amount of time given how inconsistent their drop rate for that is.

    Ya know, don't you hate it when you get two Arrow Blows that hit for 17 and 22, and then hit a regular arrow for 158? Yeah.

    Fortune soon smiled upon us though, as the last Ribbon Pig card landed in front of us.
    [​IMG]

    With this acquisition, we got access to the Pig Beach and the Beach Hunting Ground, the last two Hidden Streets we didn't have yet in this region. While Pig Beach sounds like it could be good for us, there are several reasons why I will not be going there right now - not the least of which is the lithium lifeguard himself, Iron Hook. Actually, the biggest reason is to keep hunting Stumps.

    Around the halfway point from when we started (57%), a quick check of the quiver revealed that we had 777 arrows left. We couldn't ask for a better sign than that. Better yet, we're on track to make it to 23 with some arrows left over. I've never been so thankful for snails.

    A bit later on, we finally used the last of our Beginner Blue Potions. It was time to move on to our 15 Lemons, which, surprisingly, haven't spoiled by this point. Before we could eat one, we snagged the fourth Stump card, another huge pickup. Great news - they ALSO drop the Composite Bow! Maybe we will be going back to Thicket III before long...

    Still, the fighting all around the map was fierce, the top-right platform most of all. In one extraordinary skirmish, Celestalia narrowly escaped with her life.
    [​IMG]
    Red Potions don't taste very good anyway.

    For the latter part of the run, no cards were collected. Everything was pure unadulterated carnage until, finally, Celestalia reached level 23. She had just over 200 arrows left to her name.

    Celestalia took a moment to look upon the wide swaths of destruction she had caused. The beautiful, blooming flowers, the carefree butterflies, and puffy white clouds above didn't reflect the struggle that had just taken place, but in her spirit Celestalia was at once divided. Is this what it meant to be an adventurer?
    [​IMG]

    For the first time since sneaking off over a month prior, Celestalia felt torn. Maybe...maybe it really wasn't in her blood to be doing this. She had been told all her life that the Vereina family was...above this. Were they telling the truth all this time? Trying to sort out her own confusion, Celestalia trudged back to Henesys and climbed up the stockades back to her resting grounds in the aft of the Weapon Store.

    It was going to be a sleepless night for her. Perhaps even a sleepless week, if that were possible. But before next Friday evening, she had to make a decision. Would she abandon all the hardship and go back to the family estate in shame? Or...
     
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    (These posts will be primarily story-driven with maybe one or two references to the challenge itself. They won't be every week, just when I need to clarify something or drive the 'plot' forward a bit. In this case, it's a little of both. I'll put something in bold when it relates to the game.)

    SPECIAL I. From One Bowman To Another

    Celestalia lay on top of her familiar hay bale at the top of the Henesys Weapon Store, staring up at a nondescript ceiling, broken up here and there by cross beams. It had been nearly four whole days since her march into Hill West and the sudden conundrum that had come upon her as a result.

    She wasn't feeling nearly as gloomy as she had been when she first got back in the store. That, however, had gotten her nowhere closer to figuring out what to do next.

    There were plenty of things she missed from no longer being a part of high society in Henesys. She recalled fondly how her father used to place her in a prominent position at the table whenever they were conducting business meetings. To be a member of the bigwigs! Even if she had no clue what they were talking about - something about futures or crop yields or acreage...she wasn't in the least bit concerned.

    Even more alluring, the times when she would get to look in the family vault - seeing the stacks of coins, gold and silver plates, and jewels of all sorts. Not to mention, the instance when she tried to put on one of her family's many heirlooms without anyone looking...it was a pair of Rose Earrings. They seemed to shine with a blue light when she held them close. But her mother snatched them out of her hands the moment she put them to her ear.

    A life of luxury was hers, and she had basically thrown it away.

    Could she go back? Would she even dare to try, even if she could? Celestalia kept weighing the...what seemed like thousands of options.

    It was now Wednesday evening, and she had two days left to commit to just one of them.

    "Miss?"

    She was stunted upwards by the teenage voice that had just rung out in the twilight. Before her stood a familiar face, the young Crossbowman she had just met the previous weekend.

    "Ah-"

    "I apologize. I just wanted to check on you. Are you alright?"

    Celestalia stared at him, losing her sense of pose for a good while. Someone was actually trying to care for her...for once?

    "I-I'm fine...thanks."

    "I regret that I did not properly introduce myself the last time we met. I am Aescavon, son of Aescalo of the House of Auburn. At your service."

    Aescavon removed his Black Maro and bowed, waving his right arm.

    "It is...nice to meet you. I am Celestalia of the House Vereina," she responded almost instinctively before catching herself.

    "...or at least I was."

    "You don't think they've completely abandoned you, do you?"

    "I couldn't dare to find out. But I want to. Badly."

    "So that's what it is..." Aescavon mused, thinking back to what Uncle Sirbeg told him that fateful Sunday morning.

    "Celestalia, you can't even think of quitting your dreams at this point."

    "I'm not..." she began, trying to find words for her inner turmoil. "But...but I didn't think it'd be this hard..."

    "That you have no one on your side? Because that's not true at all...or is it that you don't have a home? That's also not true."

    "So I'm just a bunch of lies, then! That's how it is?!"

    Celestalia's eyes welled up as she turned over on the bale into her makeshift pillow.

    "You do realize our house has room for like, six people. You can live with us."

    She remained silently weeping into the bale.

    "If you're worried about your family, don't be. Uncle Sirbeg is an incredible diplomat and he will make sure to keep the peace, no matter what happens."

    Celestalia picked up her head again and spoke with an unusually deep tone. "Aescavon...you don't understand. You understand nothing..."

    The Crossbowman stood confused at what she meant.

    "I have to do this by myself. If I have any hope of making something out of this...then...then I'll do it without relying on anyone. It's only fair."

    "So," Aescavon replied, "...you've made up your mind. You're going to keep adventuring?"

    Celestalia froze. Maybe it was that easy. "Uhh...I guess I have?"

    "I know you don't...you know, want the knowledge. But can I say one thing?"

    "What is it?"

    "I have a reference book for monster drops, and...well, I was looking through it a bit, but I don't think anything drops the Level 10 Winter Hat. That's a thing you were looking for, right?"

    "Wait, what?"

    "Let me talk to Sam for a second and see if I can convince him to sell you one. It'll be there when you're ready for it."

    "Ahh...okay."

    "As for you, I guess I'll see you around."

    "Thanks, Aescavon...you too."

    Aescavon climbed off the rafters, and towards the counter where Sam was fiddling with the earring display, as usual. Celestalia watched intriguingly as the two discussed her business, but within five minutes the Crossbowman had dropped out of sight and back to his residence next door. For the first time since Sunday, the wayward archer cracked a smile. There were only two days left until her next outing...just enough time to build up her own excitement.
     
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    PART IX. The Decision Made

    Celestalia had certainly seen better weeks. But after a tumultuous period, she was in the end able to regather her constitution and continue on with her adventure. Not only that, she had received a very interesting offer courtesy of Aescavon the Crossbowman.
    [​IMG]

    To summarize the previous post, we have to buy this, because no monster actually drops it. I think we've probably earned it at this point anyway. At last, we get a new hat. I had no idea the Winter Hat gave +1 Avoidability! Hopefully that will come in handy soon.

    To Celestalia's surprise, when she removed the bandana...she found that her hair had grown a bit!
    [​IMG]

    This she deemed acceptable, and it didn't look too bad with the Winter Hat on either:
    [​IMG]

    So, with that taken care of, let's get down to business. First, Sam gave us 1,000 mesos for the bandana, so we still made mesos...until Karl pulled us aside and asked for a favor. Turns out, he had a friend that was running an errand in Kerning City, and wondered if we would pay the cost of the round trip. Since it was only 2,200 mesos, and Celestalia was really in their debt anyway, we agreed.

    After delivering the money to the Cab Driver, we went to Vicious and requisitioned our first batch of 2,000 arrows.
    [​IMG]
    A full barrel of arrows never looked so...beautiful.

    Okay, no more waiting. Let's hop over to Hill West and see if we can get the rest of the cards. Now, why and how would Celestalia want to fight in the same map she had her existential crisis? Well, frankly, there is no better map for the type of mobs we're looking for right now. We need Pig and Stump, and Hill West has the densest area of them. We shouldn't be there long anyway; once we get the final Stump card, we can probably go to Pig Beach for the remainder of the former set. RNG being what it is, though...

    Ah, one more critical thing we forgot to do from last time - move a Gach ticket into the Cash Shop for the Auburns. Yes, we got a fourth one and I don't think I mentioned it, and it's been in her inventory the whole time. So we did that too. Off to the battlegrounds.

    Current Monster Book standing looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    This means we are only eight cards away. Amazing. Also...we can get all eight of them in and around Hill West, for reasons you probably already know if you've done card hunting. Mushroom Garden could be where we will be ending our conquest of the region, if everything goes as planned...which it won't.

    So, we go to Hill West looking for cards...you will not believe what dropped first. Hint: It wasn't a card...
    [​IMG]

    What a sight for tired eyes...the Composite Bow is ours! With it, we gain 5 juicy weapon attack (adding 18 to our max damage, which now sits at 15 ~ 98), along with a huge sense of accomplishment.
    [​IMG]
    I like the grip particularly.

    Within a few minutes, our top hit had soared all the way to 269.

    The other nice thing about getting this bow is we're now more likely to hit a decent number in melee, and that is huge. If we can regularly tap pigs for 4, 5, 6 damage, that should greatly reduce the amount of hits we take while conserving arrows.

    The first card-related event of the night was the final Stump card.
    [​IMG]

    We unlocked a Hidden Street called Over The Wall...which wall, exactly? Who knows. That literally could be anywhere.

    With that, we had a decision to make. We could either 1. Stay here and farm more Pigs...or, we could 2. Take our chances with the Pig Beach. Celestalia decided on option number 3:
    [​IMG]

    This map is 4-5 stars for me for a number of reasons. It is two long, relatively flat platforms, which is awesome. Yes, we do need five cards from here, and that's why we're here. But, there is a huge swath of Red Snails too which will help the Shrooms to keep our arrows ship-shape. I'm suspecting there's a few items we can get here that we haven't been informed about yet...looking at you, Shroom. I know you drop the Level 10 top as well...pay up!

    Before climbing into the small viaduct, Celestalia went back to base to sell her Etc. items. On the way there, someone advertised a pair of sweat pants that had +20 Jump! Now, I'm not sure how sweat pants improve your jumping ability. You'd usually want to wear something lighter, yes?

    Our first drop at Mushroom Garden was an Overall for Dex 10%. Not sure if I want to hold on to this or not. If it worked, it would be a godsend...but we don't get an overall until level 50, and what are the chances...? Maybe the Auburns could use it more.

    A few minutes later, we get the third and fourth Shroom cards back-to-back. Really love when that happens. Now, about that level 10 top...yes?
    [​IMG]

    ...You must be joking.

    Well, they at least gave us a pair of Ice Jeans as compensation. Not going to wear them because I want to stick with Bowman equips. They also gave us another Avelin Skirt. You tease!

    (I had to check at this point to verify if the Avelin tops were dropped by something. Yes, something does drop them. But I made sure I didn't see what it was. Please trust me MapleF17)

    After this fell to us the fourth Orange Mushroom card. The drop table here was slightly more promising:
    [​IMG]
    The Basic Archer Gloves (Level 15) are the first archer gloves and so are available immediately. Actually, I already knew this one.

    Once we got to four cards each, things just sort of stalled. The fifth card of a set is usually the most difficult to get...not sure why. The good news is we still had tons of arrows. Maybe we'll be coming back here in the future if we need to.

    After what seemed like forever, we got the final Shroom card.
    [​IMG]

    ...And we ran out of space in our Equip tab. Back to Henesys to sell some stuff. Sadly, we could only be relieved of two slots (the two equips mentioned above, in fact). Now we had another choice. We could stay in Mushroom Garden and maintain our arrow supply. There is, however, another alternative.

    In the next installment, Celestalia puts the finishing touches on the battle plan for the corridor! Stay tuned.
     
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    PART X. Primo Victoria

    Celestalia now owned 47 of the 50 cards she required to get out of the corridor. The sound of victory was so near now, waiting to echo throughout the plains she had scoured for nearly 14 levels up to this point. It was time for the final push.

    First order of business was to finish up the Orange Mushroom set. Celestalia decided to visit another Hidden Street to get this done: An Empty House. The whole map is filled with the iconic mob, which is interesting because we actually used Green Mushroom to unlock it. MapleF3

    Anyway, our heroine climbed the staircase into the tree and got to arrowing. Quick side note, I was actually not using Arrow Blow at Mushroom Garden since I didn't think we really needed it. The strongest mob being the Orange Mushroom at 80 HP, it probably wasn't worth it when most things could be OHKOd. Here I switched back to Arrow Blow since that wasn't guaranteed. We soon hit our new top hit at 281.

    The card showed up in a surprisingly timely fashion.
    [​IMG]
    We only used 120 arrows on it! That's efficiency.

    After a quick pit stop at base to sell the caps, it was finally time...to storm the beach.
    [​IMG]

    This map really needs no introduction, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, it's basically a series of hills and straightaways. The Pigs are on the bottom and the top-right platform, with snails and a few more pigs the rest of the way to the portal. Of course, I can't talk about the mob spawns without mentioning this guy:
    [​IMG]

    Iron Hook isn't really too bad, just for the love of all that deals Holy damage, do not hit him. He will chase you everywhere and will not de-aggro. As far as I know, anyway. The only good remedy is to change channels. In case you're wondering...at this level we would need 112 accuracy to hit him 100%...we have 63. Not happening.

    Moving on to things we actually can hit, we slowly make our way to the right side of the map, jumping over the metallic menace in the process, and begin setting up camp. The idea will be to alternate between the top right and the bottom right. It'll be a bit slow at times in terms of actual action, but we minimize our encounters with the aforementioned who I won't mention again, hopefully. It's a strategy that worked for me in 2009 when I was training my first perma beginner (In my canon, that was Sirbeg's first campaign...he's on his third now MapleF11), and gosh darn it, it will work here in 2020 too. I'm telling you, this map raised a generation.

    Well, in only a few minutes' time, we got the fourth Pig card. Now, here's a weird quirk. After checking the drops, they don't seem to have anything interesting for us...but the Brown Hard Leather Pants are listed. The Pants don't have a Male or Female qualifier next to the name...but there are Level 20 skirts as well. So, are they Male only? Without knowing the real answer, we decided to check with Discord and see. While waiting for an answer, we continued on. This was it, the final card...it all came down to this. Truly, another titanic battle awaited us.

    Speaking of Discord...I finally did something that I said I hadn't done yet in three months of playing MapleLegends. Discord friends, this entry is dedicated to you.
    [​IMG]
    Thanks also for answering the question so quickly. Turns out the Leather Pants are Male-only.

    With the power of friendship and metal on our side, the final card came quickly.
    [​IMG]

    And with that, the corridor was conquered.

    It's now time to talk about the other part of the challenge, map conquest. Going into this, I figured it was going to be fairly touch-and-go in regards to the rules, since there are a lot of maps with one-off platforms (especially in Vic). So, I'm going to make a quick addendum to the rules in order to make this a bit more interesting. When figuring out what mobs are needed to get through a map, take the quickest possible route from one portal to the other(s). What this will do, in effect, is eliminate mobs that you actually have to make an effort to reach, and include mobs that otherwise wouldn't have counted. So, we can't get through L Forest to get to Kerning City right now due to the Iron Hogs and Lupins. For the same reason, we can't get to Sleepywood via the Henesys path, since Iron Hogs are on that route too. We'll have to fight these in other maps to make the grind for their sets viable. (Pig Park has already been unlocked for us, so don't worry about that.)

    There is however one more corollary, which is that if a mob out of the way occupies a significant number of platforms, it still counts.

    The only route we've got open to us is to head east, towards Ellinia. Here is what the map looks like at the moment:
    [​IMG]

    There is a lot to like about our situation. Note first that there are two mobs between Henesys and Ellinia we don't have the card sets for: Blue Mushroom and Axe Stump. By the rules, however, since both of these mobs are out of the way of travel, we do not need to challenge them (even though we could SlimeGrin). Second, the yellow circle represents our likely next target: Axe Stumps, located in the Forest North of Ellinia. There are 13 of them in the map, so we might as well give it a go. (If we didn't hit them there, it would be in the East Domain of Perion, one map to the left.)

    So, now that we've opened up both Nautilus and Ellinia, will they receive us well? Let's find out.
    [​IMG]
    The seagull doesn't seem to mind, at least.

    Nautilus Harbor was no problem; after all, the residents of the Nautilus are themselves independent rogues, like Celestalia. (Maybe she should have been a Corsair after all? Were the monsters at HHG trying to tell us something...?). As a result, we will be able to sell them any Pirate equipment that is our level or lower. That frees up three slots in our Equip, which was much needed space, and nets us 6k. We also offloaded the Bullet that has been in our inventory for a while.

    Next was Ellinia, and no doubt this was going to be much more difficult. The governor of Ellinia, Grendel the Really Old, has many connections throughout Victoria Island, and to allow us passage would sour his relationship with Athena Pierce. Once again, Celestalia would need an endorsement from someone.

    Before we could leave the Nautilus, however, an explosive magical disruption shook the skies across Victoria Island. Throughout the harbor, and almost certainly the Island, orders were given for everyone to shelter in place while Victoria's administration investigated and shut down the disruption. Celestalia, for now, could not proceed any further.

    In the next installment, we'll see if Celestalia can move Victoria's greatest mage, who will surely test her wits, conviction, and intentions.
     
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    PART XI. The Intercession

    "Father, I called to inform you that an associate of ours may be headed your way. Please make sure she is treated fairly. She's a bit of an...outcast."

    "I understand, Aescalloss. It shall be done."

    "Thank you, father."


    ~~~

    The magical disruption from last night was still being cleared, but the shelter order had been lifted in most areas. By that point Celestalia had already turned in for the night. Refreshed and ready to go, she wasted no time in traveling to the fairy town of Ellinia. Things seemed fairly normal as she made her way to the weapon store.

    As anyone who has done a bit of questing is aware, fairies aren't particularly concerned with the affairs of humans. Therefore, they extend to us the same offer as from the Nautilus - we can sell them Magician items of our level or lower. We had about four Beige Nitties, two Lemons, a wand, and a couple miscellaneous items.

    While Celestalia was selling her items, an elder mage came into the weapon store and addressed her. He was Aescalo, the father of Aescavon the Crossbowman, and who had been an I/L in a previous era. Aescalo told us that he had already discussed the situation with Grendel, who agreed to overlook the situation as long as we 'behaved'. What does that mean, and will we ever find out?

    As a secondary gift, Aescalo convinced the fairies to buy our Green Matty as well, even if it was 12 levels over us. That netted us a cool 24k.

    He invited us over to his home, which was located right next to the Weapon Store.
    [​IMG]
    Why are all these guys living next to weapon stores...?


    We weren't there long as he had nothing really to offer us, just some words of encouragement. Perhaps in the future, he might be of more utility to our adventures.

    Okay, now let's talk about the actual game. Well, we have only two drops from our original corridor to get, both being level 15: the Grey Able Armor (Green Mushroom) and the Basic Archer Gloves (Orange Mushroom). We still don't have an Avelin top yet, so we will ignore the Able Armor for now. So, let's go back to An Empty House and see if we can scrounge up a glove.

    Orange Mushrooms are actually a good mob for us to hunt right now. They are decently squishy when Arrow Blow is being used, and at 30 XP a piece, they can still make good work of levels at this stage.
    [​IMG]

    With that, we have passed 100 DEX. Still not spending skill points though. That will be later once we take on tougher opponents.

    We soon hit a new top of 296, and Celestalia discovered something interesting. She could farm the middle platform without ever leaving! This greatly increased our throughput of kills.
    [​IMG]

    The equips were coming hot and heavy, but no glove was spotted. We then picked up a White Gomushin. Interesting, but not a great shoe. We pocketed it for now. In the meantime, we decided to switch back to basic arrow and let MP recharge naturally. I really don't want to run out of blue potions.

    During the hunt, we saw an Assassin heading into Pig Park. Not sure what he wanted in there, it's just pigs after all. Judging by the statue, pigs with high weapon defense...

    At 50%, we were down to only about 200 arrows. We finished them before heading back to grab our next batch of 2,000 from Vicious. At that point, we were all the way up at 61%!

    Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to offload our Etc. items at base. We had 574 caps and 67 Omok pieces. Also, we had 0 gloves. Definitely needed to fix that soon. Sadly, in this case we are at the mercy of the RNG.

    The plan at this point was to grind to 25, and if we still couldn't get the glove, we'd come back later, and go to Axe Stumps in the meantime. We definitely need to press on with our conquest - the primary reason being that if we don't, we are going to run out of space in the Equip tab of the inventory - and the Auburn storage isn't infinite!

    In the next installment, Celestalia's war with the Orange Mushrooms continues, and she gets in touch with her creative side...
     
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    PART XII. In The BAG

    Fun fact, "bag" is the title of a difficult Dance Dance Revolution song, by RevenG. Well, it was difficult at the time of its release, which was like the early 2000s. That's when most of the good DDR songs were made, in my opinion. The stepcharts kept getting harder over the years though. But, the BAG we're going for is in all uppercase since it's an acronym. Let's do it.

    We start the second half of the night by getting two Bronze Koifs in a row. That's six of them now. I'm not joking, look at this!
    [​IMG]
    Just how much bronze did you guys use to make all these?

    Following that, we got back-to-back Gachapon tickets. We've now earned seven for the Auburn family. None of them so far have actually turned into anything spectacular, so we'll see how these do.

    Celestalia was quickly growing fatigued, and it showed by the high amounts of low numbers she was rolling at times. She was also continuously getting knocked around as she struggled to find lanes. As she climbed into the 90% range, it seemed like the gloves were all but lost.

    Then, at just under 95%, lightning struck.
    [​IMG]

    With the Basic Archer Gloves in our possession, we have every equip we can get from the opening corridor. It is finally time to move on to greener pastures...or greener forests, more accurately. Since we are so close, though, let's just get that last 5% really quick. For this, Celestalia hopped over to HHG and farmed for arrows with the Gold Surfboard. We didn't get too many arrows off of this, but it was pretty fast anyway.

    After getting another 2,000 arrows from Vicious, we finally allocate our skill points to prepare for the Axe Stumps, whose weapon defense would have stifled our progress drastically.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia makes the lengthy but uneventful trip to the northern side of Ellinia. Along the way, we make a quick stop in Nautilus and sell another two Bullets.

    Note that at the map we'll be on, we won't be killing Axe Stumps all the time, because there are Slimes, regular Stumps, and even Snails there. I have a unique plan for dealing with the unique topography of this map...
    [​IMG]
    Each yellow dot represents an Axe Stump we found on the initial trip up the map.

    Yes, so Axe Stumps are only found in the top half of the map. There are, however, a large number of them. Actually, more than the number that I was informed! That's good news for our card prospects. For the entire bottom half of the map, we can just pull out the Gold Surfboard and plonk away. This does three things: First, it saves on Blue Potions, which we have to conserve. Second, it saves on Arrows, which we have to conserve. Third, it makes it so that we don't have to constantly establish a lane, which we have to cons-okay, so lanes aren't actually a Use item. With the rudeness we've been experiencing against these mobs, though, they might as well be!

    Celestalia begins her campaign at the top, where a strange man in magician's gear was standing. He had nothing to offer us, so we'll ignore him for now, and probably for the rest of time.

    The first platform contained a Snail and three Axe Stumps. Celestalia decided to poke at the Snail, hoping it would go away so she could get a clear shot. Instead of hitting the Snail, however, she hit a strange plant that was in the way. She tried it again, and a Red Potion and some mesos popped out!
    [​IMG]

    Cool and all, but it gets us nowhere closer to the Axe Stump card set. When she finally does get a shot on them, it goes...not spectacularly. Due to the high weapon defense, some of our Arrow Blows are doing practically nothing. One in the first contingent hit as low as five. At the same time, we can also two-shot them on the regular. It's this kind of thing that gets me really philosophical about archery. What is an arrow? A miserable little pile of wood fibers...

    Thankfully the first card was soon upon us.
    [​IMG]

    The second one dropped not long after.

    Even though the Axe Stump weapon defense is high, our Arrow Blow being skyrocketed to level 15 is going to dramatically alter the playing field. Against the Axe Stumps, we get our first arrow to hit for over 300 (303). That would be a one-shot if the arrow had hit first, which in this case it did not. But it is possible.

    Celestalia kept going until she was at 15%, and by that time she had grown quite sleepy. So, she decided to go all the way back to base in Henesys rather than try to make camp nearby. It was unlikely she would find much room and board in Ellinia anyway. The town isn't really known for its tourism.

    At the end of the weekend, we've arrived at a sum of 236k mesos and a bit over 3,200 arrows. We're in decent position also, with only three cards left until we can start pressing into Perion! Exciting times lie ahead, but for now it's time to another week of recovery.

    After Celestalia returned to Henesys, Auburn house head Sirbeg received the two Gachapon tickets that had been deposited in the bin. One of them was...a Topwear LUK 30%. A seven-figure scroll.

    In the next installment, we're on the march in northern Ellinia! How far will Celestalia get around the island in the session to come? Find out this Friday!
     
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    This is absolutely marvelous.
     
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    Changing banners as her progress goes toward is impressive. Keep going, brave <3
     
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    SPECIAL II. A Beginner Confounded Deeply

    It was a routine Tuesday afternoon for Celestalia as she got to work planning out next weekend's strategy. Perion was, quite literally, right around the corner, and she knew she was going to have an uphill battle getting through it.

    While formulating her plans, she overheard on Sam's radio something interesting. Sam was tuned in to New Leaf Radio, a Masteria-based broadcasting station, for a unique interview. The interviewee had a very familiar name, purportedly the reason Sam was listening in.

    "...please welcome on to the show, Mr. Sirbeg Antia Auburn."

    Celestalia jumped off of the hay bale and ran over to the counter, intrigued by what the elder statesman had to say.

    "Afternoon," said Sirbeg stoically.

    "Now, from what I'm reading," replied the host, "is that you have never taken a job, is that right?"

    "Yes."

    "And you are the head of household for your family?"

    "That is correct."

    "Okay. And you're on the show today to discuss something really important, I take it?"

    "I would say so, yes."

    "And you ran into a little...incident related to that, again from what I'm hearing."

    "I did."

    "So what happened? Go ahead."

    "Well," began Sirbeg, "so the reason I came here today is to talk about a very pressing issue - it's been an issue for many decades, I think one that most of us don't really pay much attention to. It deals with the people of Showa, who have been living - and I do not say this lightly - for a long time under the rule of organized crime. Their syndicate is responsible for...basically any number of criminal activities you could name, but the one that I was trying to address was that they are curtailing the Maple World's supply of Fury Arrows, which, you know, are commonly considered the most powerful type of arrow."

    "Ah, yes, well, of course here in Masteria we have our own version, the Diamond Arrow, but that is true. Go ahead."

    "Anyway, so my nephew is a Crossbowman, and he needed some more Fury Arrows. At the same time, the administration was distributing some buffs...and I thought, well, why not give it a shot and see if I could extract a few from these guys."

    "Sure."

    "And I was in Zipangu collecting cards anyway, so since it was so close...yes. Well, I head into town and immediately there's a big group of them I run into. So, obviously, we both sort of attack each other, and I'm hitting the one guy quite a bit."

    "Of course."

    "But then, suddenly, what happens, as I've dedicated to a swing, this elder gentleman appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and - well, I have to mention this, there was practically nowhere for me to go - so he grabs his pistol and taps me on the head."

    "Wow..."

    "...and that was that. Clean and simple, and that was it."

    "Gracious. So, so...what did you - when you woke up, I'm presuming in the town - well, first off, are you alright?"

    "Don't you worry about me. I've been in a great deal of these kinds of things in my time, so that's fine. I am very grateful we have the revival system, and I'm sure - well, you have adventured before, haven't you?"

    "Well, yes..."

    "What was your job?"

    "Ah, I was a Page."

    "Okay, well. Anyway, I was quite obviously a bit flustered, and the first question I asked myself, was 'What just happened?'. I had to rest a while, but eventually I did make it back out of town."

    "Did you see the gentleman again as you went past the area?"

    "No, no I did not. I think he was only in the lower section of the street, and to get out of town you take the upper path."

    "Gotcha. Now, did you ever manage to find out anything about this guy, or...?"

    "Yes, I did find out a few things...the first thing that jumped out at me was that the gentleman was level 95."

    "Ninety-five?!"

    "I couldn't believe it myself, but there it was. I have no idea what he was doing just out on the street like that, really no reason for him to be there."

    "No, not possibly any reason."

    "Unless he's there overseeing the common thugs or something...now, I'm sure your curious how much damage he did with that pistol...well, as you might be aware, as a Beginner I'm somewhat lacking in terms of my constitution. So no surprise that he was able to take care of things in one shot. But! The number I came up with...and it's something on the order of five times my vitality."

    "How much?"

    "The number I eventually came up with, was 4,435 points."

    "Four thousand? That is absolutely ridiculous."

    "No, I agree with you. It is..."

    Celestalia became very dizzy after hearing the number, and couldn't hear any more of the conversation. She slowly stumbled back to the hay bale and plopped down, trying to regain her bearings.

    95? It seemed like an eternity away. In three weekends, she hadn't even made the 2nd Job advancement yet. But Celestalia knew she had to avenge Sirbeg in some way. Maybe in the future, the path would become more clear.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you so much! I hope the ride so far has lived up to your expectations.

    Thank you! Celestalia gets braver with each session, and she shall continue to march for a very long time. More progress banners to come!
     
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    PART XIII. Sunday Stumpday

    Celestalia's campaign and magical disruptions. Name a better duo. Thankfully, the interferences had been cleared up and now the archer could finally get going again in her conquest of Victoria.

    Before we got going, it seems someone wanted to tell us something.
    [​IMG]

    It was a guy in a hoodie telling us about his Internet Cafe in Kerning City, which we can't access, and some kind of woman with a pointy hat who lost a bunch of candy. For talking to them, we get 1200 XP.

    Celestalia took a moment to think about which monsters in her budding empire would be most likely to have the candy...but of course! The answer clearly is Axe Stumps! Why? Well, when a woman in a pointy hat loses candy, the candy probably ought to be magical, and where are the Axe Stumps? Right next to the Magician Job Instructor! They could really use Magic Defense, which presumably, the candy provides. Celestalia thus conspired to go over there and get the candy back before they could eat it. Oh, and get the rest of the card set, that's also somewhat important.

    After the long jaunt over to Forest North, Celestalia did what she did best by plonking all the small guys and hitting consistently high numbers on the Axey Bois. She actually did get a one-hit!...but the arrow only hit for 284. That guy must have been injured already, since we only picked up 12 XP for the kill.

    On that first trip up the map, we got the third Axe Stump card.
    [​IMG]

    Coming back down, we nab our very first piece of Candy, which interestingly enough was in the hands of the regular Stumps...
    [​IMG]
    "We need Magic Defense too!" - Stumps, probably

    My sincere apologies to the Axe Stumps for having indicted them so falsely.

    Anyway, we picked up several more pieces of the candy, all from Stumps, then we got a PROPER one-hit on an Axe Stump, hitting it for 302! How sweet the sound...

    Feeling powerful, Celestalia continued up the map and...wait a minute!
    [​IMG]

    You dirty rascals! Turns out the Axe Stumps do have some of the candy after all! It was time for Celestalia to teach them a real good lesson.

    Well, they weren't the only ones either. Turns out pretty much everyone got a slice of th-well, a piece of...how do you measure an amount of candy?

    Anyway, although Axe Stumps are quite strong hitters, they don't hit us very often because Celestalia plain shoots faster than they can charge her in most cases. Even if, we have 677 HP...they would take like 12 hits to kill us. Not really an issue, especially when Recovery is involved.

    Upon reaching the top of the map again, we encounter a strange man holding a teddy bear. He was taking a few minutes to stare into the abyss, which has become one of Celestalia's hobbies during the week when she's not adventuring. He left fairly quickly though.

    After a while, Celestalia started feeling a little queasy. She wasn't sure what exactly was causing it, but as she picked up more candy, the pain in her stomach got worse. She decided to take a breather in the tree tunnel and regain her bearings. There was a little boy there who was gazing intently into a book. He said it belonged to his father, but who or where that is we probably won't find out for a long time.
    [​IMG]
    This might be a long month...

    Ideally, Celestalia will get more tolerant of the candy's effects as time goes on. You know, I was of the notion that candy took effect only when you ate it. Well, I for one am never going to trust candy that belongs to a woman with a pointy hat ever again.

    After the intermission, we'll hopefully get to see the Axe Stump drop table, and perhaps beyond? Stay tuned!

    Editor's Note: The 'intermission' actually went well into Monday. One more entry to come before next Friday.
     
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    PART XIV. Monday Greens

    When we left off, Celestalia was in a bit of discomfort because of the magical candy. She seems to be alright now, probably getting acclimated to the candy's arcane properties. Now we can go get the last two Axe Stump cards...

    Before the break, Celestalia was sitting at a bit over 3,000 arrows and 42%. Looks like our Gold Surfboard strategy is really paying off. On the other hand...the damage. Ugh. Our second Axe Stump gave us, on an Arrow Blow, a roll of TWO DAMAGE. I think it's borderline illegal for our damage to be this inconsistent. Even worse, we can't do anything about it until level 32 at the earliest...and that's if we wanted to forego Bow Mastery for three levels. Is that really a good idea? Well, I guess we can address it later.

    First drop from the Axe Stumps today was a scroll.
    [​IMG]

    It was for One Handed BW, which is disappointing as we sold all of our purses already. Maybe later, we'll go through and see what scrolls are available to us. We've received a few decent ones already (including TWO Shoes for Jump 10%!)

    During this period we also got a new top hit of 340...you are asking how that is possible when Axe Stumps have such high weapon defense...well, on the top-right platform they bunch up at the left side and there are Snails in between. They make quite effective meat shields.

    At 50%, we still had 2,912 arrows, so we're definitely in good shape there. Also, we reached an accumulated six hundred Red Potions. Part of that is all the plants we've been cutting down throughout the map. We still have 95 of our Beginner Red Potions as well. You know what would be real nice? If we could invent a mana potion that was made out of red herbs. Oh well. For now, we still have an open slot in the Use column.

    After a bit more fighting, we encounter a magicianess holding a magical umbrella. Where do people get these kinds of weapons? We also encounter a mage wearing...some sort of rabbit whiskers. Alrighty then. We follow them both up the map for no particular reason. The rabbit mage goes into a tree. Curious! I wonder what could be inside them?

    Back down at the bottom of the map, something finally happens as we land a common Gach. Then, the magicianess reappears...she was headed, once again, to the top of the map.
    [​IMG]
    Nice umbrella though.

    By this point the Axe Stumps had quite enough of our target practice and got a bit frisky. Celestalia had some trouble getting her footing on the top platforms. Even the Snails were getting into it at one point! Speaking of Snails, by the time we cleared those platforms on this run through we had picked up seven Snail cards. Nothing else dropped a card in that timespan.

    As for Ana, she ended up advancing to become an I/L. Great choice!
    [​IMG]
    Somehow, she knew who was running this challenge...impressive! I think she'll go quite far.

    A few minutes later, we fill up the last slot in our Use tab with an Overall for DEF 10%. Since our Etc. item stacks were getting full anyway, we decided to go back to Ellinia and unload. The fairies probably won't mind if we sell them the Etcs. As it turned out, they were okay with that.

    At the storage, we get some good news, as a whopping three of our scrolls had storage slots already. We pay 300 mesos to put our scrolls in with those, giving us three open slots. Very nice!

    A few pixels over, Celestalia spots a famous couple at their usual platform.
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    Hey guys!

    Last thing to do before heading back to Forest North was putting our Gach ticket into the Cash Shop.

    When we get back, there is another person climbing up the map. Popular spot I guess! Well, there's a whole Job advancement at the top, so why not. She also had a Pan Lid, which was neat. Shortly thereafter...
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    Celestalia couldn't believe her eyes. It was a miracle! Now...was the drop table worth the wait? Let's see...3...2...1...
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    Well? I guess it's not terrible. The Blue Robin Hat is level 20, which means we need to get a Feather Hat somewhere first. We don't have access to one yet though.

    While we were looking at the Monster Book, the magician with the Pan Lid became a Cleric. Another good choice.
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    Since we still had 2,700 arrows at this stage, Celestalia decided to just keep her bow out for the rest of the level, just as an experiment. That probably wasn't a great decision, since we ended up using up the whole first quiver and a few more.

    Our Use inventory filled up with scrolls again, but since we had all the scrolls from both Slime and Axe Stump, we stuck around until we hit level 26.
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    Lookie there, an Axe Stump actually drops an Axe for once...

    We put one SP into Arrow Blow to keep it at 12 MP per shot, and kept the other two in reserve. We will probably wait until level 30 to boost it the rest of the way home.

    Speaking of home, it was time to get back to the ol' hay bale in the Henesys Weapon Store. Such a shame that we couldn't close out the card set in this session. We stopped in Ellinia's store to sell some more Nitties (Slimes have given us I believe six so far this campaign) and then in the Nautilus to sell a Knuckle we got.

    On the way out of the vessel, Celestalia accidentally slammed her head against the left post of the entryway, knocking herself out cold. She was retrieved by Kyrin's staff and taken inside for evaluation. Most likely she'll be fine, but it might take a few days for her to recover. This week, the Weapon Store will sit empty.

    Our next installment, which is whenever Celestalia gets back to fighting condition, will see the completion of the Axe Stump set and our first foray into the dry lands of Perion! Stay tuned!
     
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  20. OP
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    HouseAuburn
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    HouseAuburn Mr. Anchor

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    Aug 11, 2020
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    9:23 AM
    [​IMG]
    PART XV. Lost In Time

    "...Where am I?..."

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    The Nautilus, it turned out, was the perfect place for Celestalia to recover. She hadn't slept that well in over two months. Not that she could do much else, of course. But it looks like our heroine is in great shape! After taking a few minutes to properly wake up, Celestalia quickly gathered her equipment and departed...but not before thanking the captain for her hospitality.
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    "You're welcome back any time."

    Coming out of the harbor, Celestalia felt that something was amiss. She carefully made her way forward and saw a terrible scene. A fellow young adventurer had been slain! The cause is not known, but Celestalia surmised that it might have had something to do with that AFK bug that's been going around for a few decades. She took some ribbons and constructed a quick memorial around the fallen.
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    Until we meet again...

    Now it was time to go back to Ellinia and get that last Axe Stump card. She now had two friends to avenge, but this card was going to be tracked down in honor of Suifeng. After selling our Etc. drops, we get back to Forest North and resume the festivities.

    The Axe Stumps really didn't think the same way as we start by getting knocked off the top platforms twice in a row. They weren't exactly willing to just part with that last card either. So, Celestalia pulled out the Gold Surfboard again. We really don't want to be hemorrhaging arrows at this juncture.

    So here's a quick tip about Forest North. This jump is located about one-third of the way up the map, and it can't be done at 100% Jump. I'm not sure what the cutoff is, but the jump is doable at 104%, which is what we have when holding the Gold Surfboard.
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    I think I tried this about five or six times while holding the Composite Bow. Very helpful to know the stats of your equipment, folks.

    After that eureka moment, a weird message comes over the smegaphone. It simply said "soon". Yes, I agree, it will be soon that we pick up this friggin' card! Or else I'm going to have a lot of strongly-worded letters for a few people.

    Some minutes later, we get a Gach ticket.

    We eventually learn that the first serious Pink Bean run is getting underway, courtesy of Eiji and the Beaters guild. The good news is we were able to tune in! While Celestalia was staying on Maple Island (at her distant uncle's house, in Southperry), the uncle gave her a portable radio streaming device. Between platforms, she watched the crew get ready...which took like almost half an hour...

    During that extremely long delay, we picked up the Level 35 Battle Shield.
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    Great pickup when we eventually get to sell it (probably won't be for some time).

    Finally, at 03:16 server time on November 7, they entered the Twilight of Gods. Celestalia got very anxious at how they would do, and her anticipation was through the roof. She ducked inside the Tree Tunnel to watch the action without interruption. Service was spotty in there, but she saw enough.

    The attempt didn't start very well:
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    But overall it looked like they had a handle on things. The statues stood little chance, and only a few deaths were recorded. Apparently a lot of people were overwhelmed by the magical energy. Celestalia even briefly lost consciousness. Clearly, Pink Bean is powerful. No one doubted that. This, however, was unprecedented.

    At 03:55 server time, PB came off his pedestal and the battle was truly on. He hit the team really, really hard. Tons of party members were being slain left and right. Total carnage. Twenty minutes later, he hadn't been hurt much at all.

    Celestalia decided to put the stream in her pocket and kill a few more Axe Stumps. Still, she was wondering how well they were actually doing. So, she eventually decided to pull out the device...
    [​IMG]

    Well, it definitely could have gone worse. The peeps did their homework. Main problems (as expressed in their post-run review) seemed to be confusion in roles and communication, as well as bad timing on the Damage Reflect. Plus, a bunch of adventurers got kicked off the map! Initial analysis: PB is 100% possible with enough issues cleared up. Someone's gonna do it, and very soon.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia decided to clear out the Axe Stumps one last time, and then went back to Ellinia to sell her Etc. items. For yet another post, we have failed to complete the card set.

    These woodcut warriors are staunch foes, but they will one day meet their match when we nab that last piece of cardboard. In the next installment, we will attempt to do just that. Perion is coming! Stay tuned!
     
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