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Celestalia's Challenge - A Maple Journal

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

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    PART CCXXIV. Reawakening the Tiger (and the Bear)

    Welcome back! It's been a longer delay than I generally anticipated, but things happen sometimes. And while, to Celestalia's dismay, there are no Ice Boxes for this event, there are plenty of other things to look forward to.

    So a quick recap of events that happened between the previous entry and today. First!
    [​IMG]

    Rombot was taken out mid-last week when Celestalia was expecting to be able to go to Korean Folk Town that weekend, but the maintenance prevented that. It was funny because the first five runs (all channels) had one card, and the next four were obtained in the next three. Special thanks to Glackum for getting the ball rolling on that SlimeGrin

    So come Monday, and the Rangemaiden was heading for KFT, when all of a sudden the power went out on the Helios elevator! Because the doors are electronically operated, she was stuck in there for over an entire day. Although the electricity came back on eventually, her generals informed her that the campaign couldn't resume until today due to 'an omen', whatever that's meant to mean.

    In the meantime though, her administrators in Victoria Island were able to farm Summer Coins. So she went over there to assist them, and eventually came up with this beautiful accessory:
    [​IMG]

    The reason she went with this one first is for the Speed and Jump, mostly. 2 Weapon Attack wasn't going to make much of a difference, and Elixirs still get a decent boost even compared to the Earring.

    Although there is one other thing...remember that one rope in Around the Pond that she couldn't quite reach with the Colorful Tube? That rope is now attainable! And that's really good, because the Book's recommended map for Hogul, the Area of Wild Hog, is a quest map and can't be accessed.

    So, Celestalia has to settle for:
    [​IMG]

    Which is better than Tiger Ridge in any case. But this map is still flippin' annoying. For one thing, Hodori. First off they like to laugh off Strafe like no one's business, and then proceed to block the lane! Not even talking about them spawning right in front of Celestalia, which is not at all exclusive to them, but it's been a while since that was an issue. And if those weren't enough, there are these little tufts of grass that get in the way of every skill that isn't named Arrow Rain.

    But she is profiting in Elixirs, at least.

    Because Celestalia is using a lot of AoE skills, Summer Coins are slow to come in, but progress is being made which is the important thing. If only I could say that about Hogul MapleF3

    So four hours later, after a few breaks, some miscellaneous equip drops, and a Glove ATT 60%...
    [​IMG]
    You may notice the new Farmer Sandals! Celestalia picked them up in Victoria during the coin grind.

    Yeah. And only two Hodori cards dropped in that timeframe.

    So that didn't work, but at least Celestalia got three more points in Strafe for her time. By the way, that's it for Strafe - next level increases the cost to 32 MP, meaning the time has come to focus on other things. I have a few ideas, but I think Puppet is the best course of action. It will be absolutely invaluable against the Tauros, and throughout things like Deep Ludi, Deep Aqua Road, and potentially others. So, the earlier Celestalia can get it to a decent level, the better.

    Speaking of Deep Ludi, I wonder what they're up to...
    [​IMG]

    Well presumably a bit more than Hogul! The festivities start with a Black Polyfeather Hat from Master Soul Teddy.
    [​IMG]

    And...a card!!
    [​IMG]

    Oh, what a sight for tired eyes.

    So a bit of scoop about things. First, in general, Soul Teddy is taking two Strafes, Master Soul Teddy three. Given the overall mob density (fairly low), this is acceptable. The damage in general is not terrible, but Celestalia is prone to cutting it quite close in these things. Again, good thing the mob density is low. The two transfer portals are helping quite a bit in getting her around the map. Midway on the left side there's a platform which she seemingly can't get back to, regardless of her Jump value, without using the portal.

    Anyway, within not too great a time Celestalia got the second Soul Teddy card.

    Following that, another really good equip that bode well for the region:
    [​IMG]

    Brown Nightfox, 70 Thief Hat!

    Accompanying it:
    [​IMG]

    Violet Platina Pants, 70 Warrior Bottom (F). Both of these were from the REGULAR Soul Teddy...aka the weaker one.

    Then the third card for them dropped...and Celestalia began wondering why Master Soul Teddy had no input on this. And then the unthinkable happened!...they dropped the fourth card FoxXD

    You want to talk about unthinkable though, LOOK AT THIS TABLE.
    [​IMG]

    Dark Garner. ELF SHOES. TWO EARRINGS!! The possibilities are NEAR LIMITLESS!! However the next to drop was the Mithril Crusader Helm.

    No matter, because finally Master Soul Teddy got on the board!
    [​IMG]

    Huh, almost forgot that Celestalia hit a new decade. Well, here's Level 70 (pre-advancement to Rangemaiden):
    [​IMG]

    Level 80:
    [​IMG]

    It's fair to say that everything has improved. Notably, the Monster Book ring went up two stages with a third seemingly around the corner. And if the stats look a bit wonky, it's because the Ring of Melodies expired in the interim. When Celestalia gets the MMF Earring, that will be put right back up where it belongs.

    Despite not having finished the card set, Celestalia already decided she wasn't going anywhere and so realized it didn't matter. She quickly made camp in the Path of Time alongside the vendors there to prepare for tomorrow's fighting. In the next installment, at long last, a banner change is imminent! Stay tuned.
     
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    PART CCXXV. The Battle of Forgattia

    [​IMG]

    The hype is real. That's all there is to it. On to the fighting!

    Today's activities start with a Brown China Pants.
    [​IMG]

    Only a few minutes later, the Blood Camel Boots (Level 60 Warrior)
    [​IMG]

    Finally on the third drop (seventh overall), the Rangemaiden landed one!
    [​IMG]

    The Pink-Flowered Earrings are the perfect equip to start off with! It's only two more Magic Defense, but at least she doesn't have to skip any this time...would it have been so difficult for Soul Teddy to drop a Justice Cape instead of...that one?

    A while later, Celestalia receives a second Brown China Pants, at which point she learns that she also picked up a Brown Lapiz Sandals at some previous stage.

    Moments later, Master Soul Teddy dropped the second card.
    [​IMG]
    Emotes decided to take the day off.

    Then a weird scroll got picked up...Helmet DEX 70? It'd be mighty useful, that's for sure, but Celestalia isn't taking the chance on her prized Beige Patriot.

    Fast forwarding a bit (~2 hours into the session), Celestalia finds a Dark Identity along with MST #3!
    [​IMG]

    Soul Teddy finished up right after this.
    [​IMG]

    Once Celestalia hit 30%, she took a break just to unwind. Elixir total was 1165, which is an acceptable decline all things considered. After taking a few minutes to gain another percentage point, she sat down to dinner. As she was about to start, a courier arrived at the Path of Time with a letter addressed to her inn at the surface. In short, there was a discrepancy with Shanghai which needed to be cleared up, but now that it has been, Zipangu is finally open. See the full letter at the bottom of this entry.

    After dinner, Celestalia lands the fourth Master Soul Teddy card. Nothing new on this drop table, although they share Gold Drop Earrings and the Green Elf Shoes with their thinner brethren.

    Not too long later, she finds herself once again at 100 Summer Coins. She ported back immediately to grab the second accessory. But which one to go with? 2 Weapon Attack is great, but not strictly necessary right now given how she's doing against the Soul Teddies. So...
    [​IMG]

    Groovy! So Celestalia gets all of that ON TOP of 37 Magic Defense. And what's more, the next installment should be a coin haven! Don't worry, the Soul Teddies will be dealt with soon enough. Stay tuned as Celestalia heads towards the Rising Sun...
    SPINEL'S WORLD TOUR ENTERPRISES, LLC
    1030 Sunset Sky Avenue, Kerning City, VI
    "Ms. Vereina,

    Firstly, we would like to apologize for the delay in issuing this correspondence. We have recognized your completion of the Shanghai region and have been prepared for some time to update your status in regards to our services. Before we could approve that update, however, we received a protest from the Shanghai government involving some type of business which you had left unfinished. The quest was related to the Giant Centipede and the retrieval of a certain item belonging to them.

    While we were investigating this matter, we were contacted by one of your associates who claimed that such retrieval was deemed impossible, and thus irrelevant to 'the directives of the Celestial Empire', as the gentleman put it.

    Our investigation has determined that this item indeed is irretrievable, and therefore there is no unresolved business left to complete in Shanghai.

    We would recommend, to demonstrate proof to the Shanghai government that Giant Centipede has been properly contained, to complete the card set associated with this monster.

    In the meantime, we are pleased to announce the partial opening of our second region, Zipangu, to you. The initial package of this area contains the Mushroom Shrine and Showa Town regions. We will inform you if this package is altered in any fashion in the future.

    We wish you the best of luck, and we hope you will continue to enjoy using our services."

    ~~~

    "Complete the card set?!" Celestalia exclaimed. "Ridiculous. I'm going to Zipangu."
     
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    PART CCXXVI. Seresuteiria no Chousen

    こんにちは!It is a fantastic day for some easy card sets, and no better place to do that than the one that has just been unlocked.

    Admittedly the title of this entry ("Celestalia's Challenge" in Japanese) is a bit ironic because of that. Only a bit though; per calculations, if Master Soul Teddy, the two Buffies, and all...seven?ish card sets from Mushroom Shrine are combined, it will be just enough to qualify for Tier 6. That is assuming the forward scouts were correct in that. The region won't be properly surveyed for a while to come.

    The reason Mushroom Shrine is singled out in particular is that there is one specific enemy in the region that Celestalia has been looking to for a long time...since the beginning of the campaign, as a matter of fact. Which is why the analysts were really hard at work determining whether sticking to Mushroom Shrine would be enough for Tier 6. They don't want to wrangle with the Showa mob, not just yet anyway.

    After selling her equips, Celestalia meets some friends on the boat to Orbis. One of them is a relative of the famous perma beginner Permanovice, and was looking to start a guild for his party-questing venture. He recruited the Rangemaiden and a mustache-adorned individual to fill the necessary starting slots.
    [​IMG]

    And so for the second time in two years, Celestalia helped found a guild.

    Celestalia wasn't sure she was entirely comfortable with the name, but she had to admit that it fit her story almost perfectly. And this time, she was able to donate a million mesos towards the emblem fund!

    With risk of sounding too biased, there is a certain guild she's had her eye on for a while. Something she thinks fits not her history, but where she's going and what her ambition is.

    But she quickly put that plan aside for the time being, after she convinced Battlesage to award her this role title:
    [​IMG]
    "Kull: is that a sheep | illadvised: it's an old smiling person ahahaha" - about the Emblem

    In a way, the Celestial Empire is finally starting to take shape MapleF17

    Incidentally, I like the look of the MMF Earrings on Celestalia. They're like little golden winglets. The Pink-Flowered Earrings don't really fit her as well.

    Okay then, it's time to head to Zipangu!

    [​IMG]
    Youkoso!

    Mushroom Shrine (Kinoko Jinja) is a unique center of cultural heritage nestled deep within the sakura forests. For centuries, it has stood as the gateway to Zipangu. Among the cherry blossoms are contained many fauna, such as mushrooms, crows, foxes, and other magical creatures.

    But of course the region is not just known for the shrine itself, but also for a lot of delicacies. Among them being the world-famous Kinoko Ramen, Takoyaki, Dango, and Shoe Jump 30%s.
    [​IMG]

    Speaking of Dango, Celestalia was picking up a few! These tasty treats restore 200 of both HP and MP. Also, Mana Elixirs. And on top of that, another food item:
    [​IMG]

    Fish cake skewers are slightly worse than Mana Elixirs, but still hefty - 250 MP a pop. Oishii sou!

    Only 1 damage being taken, not a lot of MP usage, pretty casual fighting, and probably quick cards.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia could get used to this.

    By the time she had the second card, she had as many 'Green Umbrella's...which are Level 8, technically a sword, but also a wand, and require 10 LUK, which Celestalia actually has factoring in the earrings.
    [​IMG]
    Kasa

    The rest of the drop table (Shoe Jump 30 notwithstanding) isn't too exciting, other than a Pan Lid perhaps, but who is going to farm that here when you could go to Green Mushroom...

    So moving on.
    [​IMG]

    Now from this map Celestalia had two ways to go: Up, or right. Up took her to more Crows, and then eventually to a spooky area. She decided to leave that for later. To the left of that map was foxes with cloud tails...which circled back to the Shrine.

    So she decided to take a snack break before heading back out, and went to the final unvisited map in the 'light' area:
    [​IMG]

    Which has both foxes and raccoons, so that will do.

    Cloud Fox drops more fish skewers, which is great. Fire Raccoon drops salted Ramen, which is also neat, except it heals 500 HP. So slightly less useful.

    The food doesn't stop there though! Also dropping here: Takoyaki, a whole plate of Octopus balls, which gives eight points of attack (who needed that darn MMF Ring anyway!!) for 5 minutes;
    [​IMG]

    And, of course, sushi:
    [​IMG]

    Which does the same thing as the salted Ramen. That seems to be Roe sushi (salmon eggs), which I absolutely would not touch in real life, so better to just pretend that it's the actual salmon FoxXD

    The second card for both animals was obtained, along with a Summer Coin, in the same Arrow Rain.

    Right after that, the Pariah guild joins Suboptimal! A great alliance which contains the likes of Flow, Oddjobs, Viclock, and Ossyria Lite Lock! At this point Celestalia was determined to stay with Pariah as long as possible. Unfortunately, her 'Empress' title didn't last because the guild changed hands in the interim. Still, she was in fantastic company.

    The next two Fire Raccoon cards dropped on the same platform. Their drop table may be as eccentric as Crow...two shovels? A mop...not even the maroon one. And Tri-colored Dango, which Celestalia finally got shortly after these cards, which is equal to two regular Dango (400 each).

    Then Celestalia got the third Cloud Fox card, and shortly after completed Fire Raccoon.
    [​IMG]

    So to finish Cloud Fox, she went to the map right next to the Shrine, the Mountain of Cloud Fox. This map was a bit annoying because there are two top platforms Celestalia couldn't figure out how to get to...but then she got the fourth card and decided it was unnecessary.

    Ultimately she was right, although it did take a bit more effort to land the last card.
    [​IMG]

    Now only one question remained...what was behind the portal at the top right of Forest of Animals?...
    [​IMG]

    ...It's the mob.

    Celestalia decided to fell a few members out of spite and rushed out of there. But in the process she managed to snag a card!
    [​IMG]
    It's behind the transformer.

    And that was the end of Celestalia's first day in Japan.

    In the next installment, night descends upon Mushroom Shrine. Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CCXXVII. Kowai! (Scary!)

    Celestalia has been staring at the map of Mushroom Shrine for several days and is having a lot of trouble putting together what's actually going on here.
    [​IMG]

    The location marked on the map is Mushroom Forest, the first map east of the shrine itself. Crow Forest, seemingly the only path out of this one, is to the left. But Crow Forest 2, which is accessible from there, is all the way on the other side of the map, on the right path! And Forest of Animals, which technically is right next to Crow Forest, is on the eastern side, with Mushroom Forest BETWEEN them!

    But between the two Crow Forests, on the top path, is another map Celestalia hasn't heard of before. "Hall of Mushroom". Hmm. She must have missed something along the line, otherwise she should have at least seen what was in that map.

    Well, the only mushroom-related thing of note she's found so far is this statue in Mushroom Forest:
    [​IMG]

    Which behind it is just some random path leading into the bush. So surely Hall of Mushroom isn't behind here...right?

    Even if it was, Celestalia got a bad feeling about going in there, and decided to stick with the normal plan for today:
    [​IMG]

    This is a completely flat map and the mobs are just weak enough that Strafe one-shots everything. So this should go well. The biggest problem is finding a place to set down so that the journal can be updated!

    Anyway. The first to get on the board is Big Cloud Fox, which is just a beefed-up Cloud Fox with no attacks.
    [​IMG]

    Paper Lantern Ghost does this:
    [​IMG]
    What. A. View.

    Which still does less than Big Cloud Fox's touch damage...sometimes?

    But again, this isn't going to be that difficult.
    [​IMG]

    And look here!
    [​IMG]

    Steel Arrow for Bow! Effectively +2 attack when not using Soul Arrow. Will she be using it much...probably not. But it's there.

    Anyway, shortly after pasting all of those shots into the entry, Celestalia picked up the second Big Cloud Fox card. Then the third one. The Monster Book says that this fox is actually undead. Why that allows it to hit the Rangemaiden for 100 damage instead of 1 is anyone's guess.

    Celestalia was briefly recalled to the Shrine to address some kind of dispatch from elsewhere in the Empire. Apparently, reconnaisance came into some information that was propagated by someone within Suboptimal. The information concerns, at least they believe, the two Buffies in Deep Ludi. But Celestalia is going there soon anyway, so she didn't pay it much mind. Point being that there may be an equip or two coming up from them.

    After returning to the action, she meets up with an I/L Wizard named Cissp, who was hunting for the purple foxtails.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia helps her out a bit, and after she leaves, picks up the second Paper Lantern Ghost card, followed by the fourth BCF card. The drop table is bad. Like, really bad.

    Luckily, she then promptly gets the third PLG card. Not too long after that, they did end up tying it at 4. Their table is only a bit more impressive than BCF, but not much of use to Celestalia.

    Right after landing that last card, the weekly maintenance was at hand, forcing Celestalia to retreat back to Ludibrium for the moment.

    Three hours later, she left the inn again and started healing up, and was approached by a different individual, this time a Spearman.
    [​IMG]

    He was probably heading for the music festival. Speaking of! Celestalia is just 40 coins away from her third and final accessory.

    But she won't get them at this battle site, because both of the final cards dropped...like two character lengths away from each other.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With BCF taken, Celestalia learns about a map called 'A Desolate Cemetary', but it's inaccessible due to being hidden behind another map.

    But as she was heading back to go to the map after the just-conquered, there was another landmark, this one in Crow Forest, she was mulling over:
    [​IMG]

    The sign reads Abunai! Which means 'Dangerous!' and she didn't think Crow to be all that dangerous. And why are there steps going up to this sign, when they could have just had it be like the sign right to the left?

    Then she looked at the map and realized that there is a map next to here called 'Road to Cemetery'. And she thought this might be the way to get there...but it seemed weird. So for now, she decided to go for:
    [​IMG]

    Vanished Village is even more eerie than A Night in the Forest. This seems to be an abandoned fishing colony. And on the right side is a giant, foreboding bamboo forest. You can see it here with the first Water Goblin card.
    [​IMG]

    But! Samiho, the Tri-Tailed Fox, is also here. So Celestalia doesn't even need to find the Cemetery. These two, then Master Soul Teddy, then the Buffies, means Tier 6. So on she went.

    Water Goblin attacks by hitting a ball of energy like a baseball, and Samiho is a more traditional magic attack. Both of these are unavoidable, but the kappas die to two Strafes (usually).

    The other thing Samiho likes to do is curse, which reduces XP gain back to the normal 1x. But that won't save them.
    [​IMG]

    The second Samiho card was obtained right after that. Then the administration found a major rip in the magic network, and that put an immediate end to the fighting. The Kassamiho and Imperial forces called a truce while that was being sorted out, allowing Celestalia to remain in the map for the time being. She decided to make a temporary camp for the meantime, and would have been there overnight, except the breach was cleared quickly and she was able to resume.

    The final siege of Zipangu Part 1 picks up again in the next installment! Stay tuned.
     
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    PART CCXXVIII. Gates of the Bamboo Palace

    [​IMG]

    The ruins of a nondescript wall litter the far right side of the Vanished Village. Again, what lay inside was not going to be pleasant by any means. Celestalia didn't have to see what was in there...but her curiosity was bound to get the better of her.

    The first notable thing to happen was the second Water Goblin card. Besides Rombot, 7100 HP is the highest Celestalia has seen so far in the Green tier. These guys are a force to be reckoned with, for sure.

    She was also landing quite a few equips, almost all of them Level 60, and all of them either Thief or Warrior. She had five (six total) by the time she got the third Water Goblin card.

    Following this, Samiho tied it at 3. And this is when Celestalia learns...

    The Tri-Tailed Fox is native to Korean Folk Town.
    [​IMG]

    As such their drop table also was unimpressive.

    Strangely, Water Goblin has quite a few equips in common with Samiho, including: White Anakarune, Holy Spear, and Blue Shouldermail. They also both drop a Mantis top, but different colors.

    The last card for Kappa then dropped.
    [​IMG]

    Now the kicker: With just a single Samiho card left to obtain, Celestalia had six Summer Coins left for the final accessory. Which set would she complete first...?

    Well, it was darn close. But at 99 coins...
    [​IMG]

    That was really something. Celestalia ended up getting the 100th coin from Cloud Fox. And while she never did see what was behind the wall, she did gain a +2 Weapon Attack ring for all her troubles.
    [​IMG]

    Of course the festivities don't end there, because the Summer Raffle is a thing, and - wait, you can't just buy Raffle tickets this time around. Right. Well, since she was there, she decided to check out what Brawns had in store for her to dispatch.
    [​IMG]

    He said the following:
    [​IMG]

    ...How convenient! Celestalia has only three cards from them! Also, boo! Celestalia has to take six different transportation routes to get there and back. Well, no problem, she had nothing else remaining on the to-do list for today anyway.

    So after a bit of time actually getting there, Celestalia reconnects with old friends at 201.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia for one is very pleased that there are safe platforms again. So she had a nice time fighting (combat hasn't really changed much even with the increased levels simply because these folks do have so much health), and then at the tail end of the quest, LOOK WHAT DROPPED!!
    [​IMG]

    A CARD?!?

    Okay then, bonus drop table!
    [​IMG]

    Okay, admittedly, not much. But I like the sound of those Earrings! These are the Metal Silver Earrings, Level 70. Notable that Homun drops the Gold Drop Earrings (65, next tier) as well. But, so do both Soul Teddies, which is where Celestalia is heading next.

    Holy crap though, Red Ades? Has Celestalia even encountered a Level 90 drop in the book yet? Well, she checked, and the answer is no. This is the very first one. Unreal.

    So with that settled (well, almost - one card to go for next time she comes here), what does Brawns hold in store? Well as it turns out, the result wasn't too bad at all :cool:
    [​IMG]

    25 of these! They are pretty much Power Elixirs, but have a beautiful sky blue tinge to them. Celestalia is excited to taste one, but she has to save them for when it's really needed.

    Hopefully she'll keep having to save them.

    The combat at Forgattia continues next time. Until then!
     
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    PART CCXXIX. Sapphire

    Well. Brawns apparently thought Site was too easy, and now it was time to see what Celestalia was truly made of.
    [​IMG]

    To be honest, she's been curious for a while how she was going to do against the devil cats. Luckily it's only 100 of them. It shouldn't be that bad...right?

    As always, there was only one way to find out...or, wait. Where is everyone?
    [​IMG]

    So they're all down at the bottom?...this isn't going to end well.

    At least there aren't a great number of them.
    [​IMG]

    Lucida's attack is very similar to the big cats with just shooting unavoidable energy. Except Lucida's hits for ~750 damage. That's around what I was expecting. As you can see Strafe is a four-hit. That's the bad part. So Arrow Bomb needs to come in clutch if Celestalia has any chance of coming out of here alive.

    Thankfully, that's exactly what it was doing.
    [​IMG]

    As long as Celestalia was patient enough, she could wait for an opening at the bottom floor and somewhat wreck havoc, that is unless someone spawns in the middle of the lane which, well you've heard that story.

    That orange-capped bottle in the middle is an 'All Cure Potion' which presumably is a glorified Eyedrop. They're not dropping terribly often, but then again she's not killing very many Lucida. She ended up with 4, and by the time she got the hang of things she wasn't taking too much damage...but the cost was still noticeable.

    Her reward for this experiment was a Mysterious Coin Pouch 1. Not bad!

    So overall, what to make of this. Well, Puppet I think is the real answer to making this area efficient pot-wise. So, give it about 3-4 levels and everything should be right as Arrow Rain.

    Okay, now to the main event: the three final card sets before Tier 6! Starting with, of course:
    [​IMG]

    That operation took all of ten minutes.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, popping over to the other side of the aisle:
    [​IMG]

    Strafe, not around on her first visit, really shines here. Both Buffies can, not necessarily will, but can, be taken down in two casts. And in general they do considerably less damage. Why didn't she come here first...? Well, obviously: They just don't want to drop cards! She was going to eat dinner soon anyway, so decided to just take a few hours and work out how she was going to convince them to surrender to the Empire.

    The long break seemed to have finally done the trick.
    [​IMG]
    "I'll take some CARDS this time, fellas!"

    She also got her first equip drop, a Red Mystique Shoes.

    Soon Lazy Buffy had a second card.

    Next was a Skull Earrings, which is neat, but they're only Level 50. Pass.

    And then, while a bit delayed, regular Buffy got in on the action too.
    [​IMG]

    Then they tied it.

    The Rangemaiden soon received a third drop in...Umber Shouldermail Pants? Okay, as much as recon hyped up this place, it wasn't looking very promising at all. A few positions might be opening up shortly!

    She inched closer to figuring out the truth with the third Lazy Buffy card. But she didn't have to wait for much longer; Card #4 was right on its heels.

    Door #2 opens to...
    [​IMG]

    Ack...well that sucks. I mean, I'd rather get Metal Silver Earrings here than at Site. But it's not much of a revelation.

    It all comes down to Buffy.

    First order of business though, apparently, was to finish off the purple perps.
    [​IMG]

    And yes, this is the MALE Overall (Linnex), not the female one.
    [​IMG]

    Eventually Buffy got back on track. Then Celestalia got a second Linnex, because of course Buffy drops them too. (The Blue Choro is also shared...yeah...)

    Anyway, with two cards left until Tier 6...
    [​IMG]

    And this guy can finally join the party!
    [​IMG]

    He's so cute! And look at how little damage he takes. A few more levels and he'll be a regular.

    The problem is that Celestalia doesn't really know how to use him. She assumed that the Buffies would attack him with their spells, but that was not happening. So she put it away for now and kept pushing forward. After another 15 minutes or so, the fourth Buffy card landed.

    Could this be what she was waiting for???

    [​IMG]

    OnionSilent

    This will be revisited later.

    For now, there's a ring to upgrade.
    [​IMG]

    Take it away, Rino!
    [​IMG]
    Haha, all for the glory of the Celestial Empire!

    Rino seems to think that he and Celestalia are in a race with other adventurers to unlock the secrets of the Monster Book. I don't know where he got that idea, since...for instance, Soblet got Tier 10 at Level 10. To be fair, she had help from a senior mage belonging to her family. But that doesn't change the fact that Rino seems to be living in his own little sliver of reality.

    Not that he looked any worse for wear. And neither did Celestalia's ring!
    [​IMG]

    Besides the usual +1 to all stats, Celestalia receives an extra 100 HP and 50 MP. Both of those will go a long way. For now, she'll take shelter in the Nautilus and figure out what she should do next. Even though she should go back to get all of those equips (including the RED HINKEL!!!) there are plenty of other options should she not feel like doing that.

    That will be a discussion for the next entry. Until then!
     
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    [​IMG]

    PART CCXXX. The Tauro Terror


    The Celestial general staff held meeting after meeting trying to determine the best course of action. They were pretty evenly split between going to the Omega Sector and gathering up the giant list of equips from Deep Ludi.

    The Rangemaiden herself, however, had an entirely different idea in mind. Since they happened to be at Vic...and with Puppet not being of much utility as she had hoped, the door was open, potentially, to try an assault on the Cursed Sanctuary.

    Everyone thought she was out of her mind. But time would tell for certain whether that was the case.

    Upon taxiing to the Ant Tunnel, Celestalia encounters a guildmate, a young Magician named Saint Trina.
    [​IMG]

    They traded Fame and went in opposite directions - Trina up to turn in a quest, Celestalia down to begin her own.

    And was it going to be an odyssey.
    [​IMG]

    So there's actually an interesting quirk about this map. Now in the final entrance map (IV), both Tauros spawn with at least some regularity. Not so here; the respawn timer is 2 minutes. Honestly, that works in Celestalia's favor; it means there are less of them to deal with overall, and that means less overall danger to her and her potion stacks. What makes it even more controllable is that Cold Eye spawns in between the Tauro spawns actually prevent them from spawning in again until some of Eyes are killed. So Celestalia can take as much time as she wants to heal, then pop down and take out the next set of Tauros. And with Arrow Bomb working for her, she gets hit on average once per round with the lightning bolt attack.

    This is a luxury she may not have against Taurospear, but at least here she is able to take her time. Of course, anyone who has fought Tauromacis before knows the obvious downside: This is probably a single worst card grind in all of Victoria Island. But...she doesn't know that.

    Yet.

    With all that said though, this didn't take as long as I expected!
    [​IMG]

    After that small victory, she decided to grab dinner. And summarily, nabbed the second card just three passes in to Round 2. That was deemed so lucky that she took another big break in the FM. Didn't want to press her luck much. While she was on her break, she had one last look across the Monster Book...just to make sure she didn't miss the Justice Cape somewhere...she didn't.

    I HAD to see for myself whether they actually do drop somewhere...by my count, the Red Justice Cape and the White Justice Cape are each dropped by one mob. Celestalia just needs to find one of them, and hope they have a card set attached.

    And so it was back to the action. She had the third card within half an hour. Then, Tauromacis started dropping quite a few Elixirs. Well, that ought to have calmed a few nerves inside Celestalia. But soon the big oxen realized that they were quickly losing the battle and decided to turn things around rapidly.

    Soon Celestalia was down to just a third of a stack in her Ice Cream Pops (the 2000 HP ones).

    But maybe that won't be as much of a problem as she imagined...because...
    [​IMG]

    ...Could it be?! The legendary Power Elixir! It probably needs no introduction, restores all HP/MP, yada yada yada. The important thing is, what does it taste like?? That...well, will be answered at a later time.

    Suddenly she found a very, very shiny helmet.
    [​IMG]

    Actually that's just the Mithril Planet, level 70. It just looked pretty fancy, maybe a tier higher than it actually is.

    So that clearly begs the question, what else are they hiding...?

    [​IMG]

    Hmm. Honestly don't know what to say about this. Well, Celestalia has seen the Red Hinkel (Buffy) and the Wing Boots (Commander Skeleton) before, and while the Green Lineros would be a slight upgrade, it also destroys the stunning color coordination she's been rocking for half a year.

    Which leaves the Seraph Cape (Level 75)...which is completely useless at this point as you saw above.

    So moving on!! FoxXD
    [​IMG]
    Most difficult card set in Victoria Island?? Hah!

    She wasn't sure she'd ever see the day, but here it is: the final card set in Victoria Island.
    [​IMG]

    Pictured above is a sniping location. The bottom area has no such, of course, but there are less mobs in general there than across all of Entrance I. Taurospear is divided into both areas equally.

    Taurospear has two attacks. It can slash overhead with a thunder slash, or do a thunder stab. Both of these do in the 1000~1200 range. Only Athena had attacks more powerful.
    [​IMG]

    For some reason though, Celestalia was undeterred.
    [​IMG]

    The second card dropped about 10 minutes later.

    Once she got the hang of it, she was (sometimes) using more MP pots than HP. But she has a limited supply of those too. Yet, Taurospear had a limited supply of cards.

    Still, it was some of the heaviest fighting she had ever seen. Blows being traded back and forth, and some sniping of course, eventually got her to 13 Ice Cream Pops and four cards.

    Sadly, the drop table is not worth sharing. Here's what they have: Red Seraph Cape instead of Blue, Dark Elf Shoes, Golden Hinkel, and the Beige Lineros. Huge disappointment at the very tail end of Victoria Island. But Celestalia did get a Beia Crash (Level 70 Knuckle) which promised to be huge money.

    Well, tell you what - those 13 pops were STILL in place when the last card fell.
    [​IMG]

    Thus concludes Celestalia's conquest of Victoria Island.

    But to make it super, super official, she had to go right to the bottom of the world: The Sanctuary itself.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia debated waiting around for the man himself, Jr. Balrog, but quickly decided she wasn't in the mood to die at the moment and scrolled back to Sleepywood.

    Well. Honestly, I think that's worth giving her the day off tomorrow. Granted I keep saying there is no more schedule anymore, but that wasn't entirely true - precedence reasons, you know.

    Actually, it might be some time until the next part. But again, she's earned it!

    So, see you on the flip side, I suppose. In the next installment, it's back to Ludus Lake - and the generals can figure out where the bloody heck the campaign turns next from there. Farewell!
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXXXI. Put Your Soul Into It! (Or Don't)

    At the conclusion of the sanctuary siege, Celestalia ordained a three-week leave for the army as well as the entire general staff. They spent it well (mostly) and now everyone is back ready to resume one of the most important engagements of this segment. But before she did that, Celestalia was listening in on an important deal involving the Ossyrians guild. It seems that one of its members stumbled upon a Pink Gaia Cape and they were figuring out what exactly to do with it. She was talking with one of the senior guildies during that discussion, who gave her a bit of a hint about a mob that has been a bit of trouble recently: Hogul.

    The individual, Yello, told her that the field she was looking for lay behind a broken-down horse carriage. She hadn't seen one around KFT though, but if she could spot it, her ability might allow her to make it there even if the map is considered a Hidden Street.

    Well, that will be a discussion for a later time. For now, let the battle resume!
    [​IMG]

    Today's strategy was to use an excess of caution while the Rangemaiden re-acquired the best route through the map and got back up to speed. It was working, at least somewhat, because after 45 minutes she was net -2 Elixirs. Although she was also using a few Sundaes, of which she began with 81. Those won't last forever, and what happens after they get used up is anyone's guess.

    Of course she also did not receive a single equip in that time. But they did give her an Earring HP 70%...which is bloody worthless MapleF3

    So a quick recap of what she's looking for.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia already has the Pink-Flowered Earrings. So there are three things to collect here: the Dark Garner (60), the Gold Drop Earrings (65), and the Green Elf Shoes (70), with the aforementioned understanding that the Dark Garner immediately turns into the Gold Eyes (70). The other side of the hall has the Red Hinkel (70) and the Metal Silver Earrings (70).

    It was at 1:10 in that she finally found something. Something. ANYTHING.

    ...And it's also bloody worthless.
    [​IMG]

    Sorry Lorin, I really like your line of gloves, but would it kill ANYONE to drop a single Garner?!?!

    Maybe she should go back to Mummydog after all...

    Okay. So Celestalia read the crystal clear writing on the wall and pulled out of the fight once again. Step 2 then: Now she could try out the tip Yello gave her earlier in the day.

    Thankfully, she didn't have to go far!
    [​IMG]

    This cart is in Tiger Ridge, which is on the imperial boundary, so no special ability even needed to get here. Well, it is needed to get into the map, but ya know.
    [​IMG]

    So this is going to be hecking fun. Although Celestalia does have to shoot a bit gingerly, because of the namesake adorable little fellows that roam each platform:
    [​IMG]

    They're very much ornamental as they can't be hit, and they also don't do anything to Celestalia. But if they are targeted, they 'aggro' and basically follow her around. That's also really cute, but they get in the firing line all the darn time. So that's not something she wants. AoE skills are thus limited a bit. Honestly that's fine, since Strafe has a good chance of OHKO anyway.

    Of course she gets an equip within the first ten minutes, and then gets back to her starting Elixir count. No harm done there! The problem being she...got no cards.

    Nearly three hours of game time and absolutely nothing accomplished.

    I was imagining this type of futility wasn't going to take place until a lot later on, after Celestalia had already gotten everything and was just fine-tuning her equipment. But alas, a cruel game this is. Maybe she came back a week too early. Who knows.

    So Step 3: Cancel tomorrow's outing, and then next week go to the Omega Sector. It's a drastic measure, but something has to be done to keep the morale of the imperial forces on course.

    See you in the next installment.
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXXXII. C.V. The Extra-Celestial

    [​IMG]

    Celestalia had a lot of work cut out for her. If she had any chance of whipping her army back into shape, it was here with fairly easy enemies and not a great deal of troublesome card sets. Getting down here wasn't too bad either; she only had to get to the 55th Floor of Eos. And once she's done, she's done - no need to return except maybe to clear out the area bosses if that's something she will ever pick up as a side project.

    Her journey begins with these little octopi in space helmets.
    [​IMG]
    Yes, that is a giant crashed ship in the background. Maybe its technology could prove useful to the Imperial forces...if only.

    How they are stronger than the big ones around Kerning City, eh, your call really.

    The first card of these tiny warriors, known as Mateon, fell in the first pass of the map.
    [​IMG]

    Although it is a very long map.
    [​IMG]

    Still, it's progress!

    After a quick dinner, the Rangemaiden picked up the second and third cards pretty quickly, before things stalled for half an hour or so. Aaarrgh! Even here?!

    Celestalia took a few minutes to compose herself, and then promptly put together the last two cards.
    [​IMG]

    OKAY! Crisis averted.

    Before proceeding to the fork in the road, Celestalia popped in to the big Silo and sold her Mateon tentacles to Dr. Pepper. Heck of a place to set up shop, don't you think?
    [​IMG]

    Upon taking the higher road, Celestalia came to Boswell Field, which has more of the octopus guys. She was satisfied with this and began hunting down the second of their forces, the melee-attacking Plateon.
    [​IMG]

    Melee in that they sacrifice having an attack for a bit of speed to ram into you. And Celestalia was surprised to learn that they drop Elixir! She was totally not expecting that to happen this early on in the region.

    After testing out the map a bit, she went away to take a medium break. And decided she should instead try the better map, Boswell II.

    She ended up not going there.

    In the meantime she was struggling mightily with her Use inventory overfilling, and in one instance she got what would normally be a magnificent pickup - a Glove ATT 60 - but she basically had to use it immediately or sacrifice another scroll. This happened:
    [​IMG]

    And then this happened!
    [​IMG]

    Things were quiet for a bit, with Celestalia staying about at par with Elixirs, until the second card dropped (with a Red Matty to boot :cool:). The floodgates practically opened at that point, and within half an hour she had four cards, plus another Glove ATT 60%...although it failed, so eh.

    Anyway, mission success there.
    [​IMG]

    Since she still had a bit of time to spare, she figured she might as well check out the next foe, which is...in her opinion kind of derpy.
    [​IMG]

    That might be the worst mech suit she's ever seen. But maybe she doesn't want to go up against proper mech enemies...not until 4th Job anyway MapleF13

    After almost laughing her sides out, she decided to turn around after all and come back tomorrow. Either that, or try the other side of the fork. She'd get decent results no matter what, so the order of cards is kind of irrelevant.

    In the next installment, Celestalia attempts to build upon a great start to the region. Stay tuned!
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXXXIII. Close Encounters of the Third Job

    So in the interest of that it was closer to the base than Boswell Field SIX, which is where the Farming Guide puts her for Mecateon, Celestalia decided to take the southern route into Kulan Field, where the more traditional alien-looking guys awaited.
    [​IMG]

    These are called Barnard Gray and have a moderately-powerful, unavoidable magic beam attack. Not a huge deal. That antenna thing is probably for communication purposes, but Celestalia's devices weren't able to pick up any signal. Too bad.

    The first card was, for all intents and purposes, dropped before the fighting even started.
    [​IMG]
    Still unavoidable.

    Ditto for the second card. And the third. Not so much the fourth, but it was still really fast.

    All told she was there for around 10 minutes.
    [​IMG]

    ...Yeah, I don't remember that being the case for Aescalloss, but he was here for the Orange Calas, which obviously is going to take some more time to drop than cards. In most cases.

    Alright, next up! A flying Gray...with a cape.
    [​IMG]

    They also have a magic attack but this one can be dodged. Now bigger question: Do they have a cape? Specifically one that's Level 55...

    Well no matter. Another very fast card to start, although noticeably less fast than Barnard Gray.
    [​IMG]

    ...Still it's progress?? (How many times am I going to say that in this region?)

    Oh by the way. Apparently the Monster Book says these guys are attempting a world conquest of their own, or at least that was their original plan. Sorry friends, Celestalia is just a bit ahead of you...try again next time.

    Zeta #3 was the longest wait yet, but Celestalia had only been actively fighting for half an hour at that point. Less than an hour into the sesh.

    I said they were flying with a cape, but it turns out they are probably flying because of a cape. That's a bit of technology the Rangemaiden could use. But naturally, they don't drop any sort of cape. And as if that kind of trolling wasn't enough, they almost made Celestalia doze off from not getting the last card in a timely manner! An outrageous trick, but it ended up not working.
    [​IMG]

    Another crisis possibly averted.

    So at this point Celestalia's inventory was almost filled up, and she debated going all the way back to Victoria to sell things. But she needed a pretty big nap, and decided to wait until tomorrow to do that if it was happening at all. If anything is happening at all tomorrow.

    In the next indeterminate installment, the fight goes deep behind alien lines - possibly both lines! Stay tuned.
     
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    [​IMG]

    PART CCXXXIV. Rangerpendence Day

    Expectedly the decision wasn't too hard. Considering how much of a time crunch she's put on all of the Celestial forces, it made sense not to waste time earning what honestly wasn't going to be a great deal of mesos in the long term.

    And so, with the Farming Guide as a...*ahem* guide, Celestalia heads to...
    [​IMG]

    Which is the last map on this branch. Funny though, she didn't really see a whole lot of aliens initially. This was the only guy on screen.

    But then she got to the larger platform tree and they were all over the place.

    These 'Ultra Gray' characters have a medium range slam that does ~150 damage. A bit annoying when moving around platforms, otherwise not bad. Not that they got a whole lot of chances to attack, because Celestalia just spammed Strafe most of the time.

    To decent effect, it would seem.
    [​IMG]

    To make things even better, the very top platform spawns absolutely nothing.

    Now, the big question was how come there were so many meteor fragments lodged around the map. It's not like Ultra Gray themselves dropped anything useful. You'd think maybe they'd be able to scrape together some type of refinery and get good metals out of these things. Or a Justice Cape.

    But they don't, absolutely useless region!! At least these card sets are only taking like 15-20 minutes.

    So...moving on.
    [​IMG]

    Well, while Celestalia was in the map, she felled a few of the aliens that had mustaches. These ought to have been the most powerful ones, but there were so few of them. Thankfully, through the Book she had discovered quite a few Hidden Streets where most of them seemed to reside. Well, two to be exact. This was one of them.
    [​IMG]

    This strange map is literally just behind a random meteor in Kulan Field III, and she was eventually able to coax three of them out of hiding. The other map is a bit easier, it's accessible from the only large rock in Kulan IV. There were two more of the Chiefs waiting for her there, but none of the five total dropped a card.
    [​IMG]

    The good news is, once they're gone, the top platform is a free healing spot.

    Celestalia decided to grab a time reading of how long it would take them to come back. One was back within 10 minutes; the other took a tad longer. But something was off. It turns out that Chief Gray also spawns in Kulan IV itself...one on the ground floor. So as a matter of fact, this map is off-limits. Which means that Celestalia's ability to bypass maps does not help in the slightest! First time I've said that in this Book. Hopefully it will also be the last.

    So with Kulan IV not having any safe spots, Celestalia figured she might as well just stay in Barnard Field most of the time. And, well, it seemed to present the best chance at making progress.
    [​IMG]

    Obviously this was going to take most of the day.

    After obtaining that card, and healing, Celestalia popped in to the FM to grab dinner. She was in there for a good two hours almost, partially because she was talking to a few peeps, and partially because it was difficult to eat on top of the pole at the corner of the market with two other people also on the very same pole.

    Anyway, she obtained the second card around the time the chat bar displayed the 3-hour mark. All told that was pretty good. But, even though she started very early, she would need some more luck to finish on time, or at least close to it. And with that, 3 soon turned into 4...and then 5...and at nearly 6 hours, Celestalia received the third card.

    Not that she was being idle through any of this. There is always lots to do on her devices.

    But then...just two passes later, the fourth card dropped. As you are welcome to expect by now...actually, there was a cape. A MAGIC Cape. AGAIN. OnionGloomy

    Although. There was something else slightly more interesting.
    [​IMG]

    This strange boulder isn't Chief Gray's usual Etc. drop. It appears to be an ore of some kind, or maybe a refined something. Celestalia suspected it carried some importance, but she wasn't sure she was either going to get it, or whether she really needed it. Still, it was mystical to look at on paper. Making a mental note of it, she closed the Book again and got back to whatever video she was watching.

    ...And after that finished up, she started on the pass which occurred at roughly the 7-hour mark, and nailed it on the first one.
    [​IMG]

    I mean, what to say. It took a long time, but it wasn't a very high-intensity grind either. So I'm okay with this! Tomorrow, the Rangemaiden will face a similar situation with the octopi. Her alliance mates suggest that their chief mob will require even longer of an effort! Time will tell whether they are right. Stay tuned!
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXXXV. A New Bowpe

    I have terrific news. It would appear that MT-09 is counted by the system as a Boss mob. Which means it is optional! And so Celestalia can walk right out of this region with the conquest of Mecateon.

    So no time wasted, off to it.
    [​IMG]

    And no Celestalia totally didn't lose over half of her HP just GETTING to Boswell VI. It was more like two thirds. But I digress.

    Without question, aside from Chief Gray this was the slowest start to any card set here. But it still didn't take a great deal of time.
    [​IMG]

    And at this point Celestalia realized that she had been very stupid. The thing is, after getting to Level 81 and putting the three points into Puppet, and finding out that it was not working in the way she had hoped, she forgot all about those points. Only now did she realize they could be put to somewhat better use:
    [​IMG]

    Combined with Mecateon's +2 Speed bonus from the card, the Rangemaiden felt the difference. The second card was seemingly just a tad faster to drop. And the third one only took a few minutes.

    So Celestalia quietly put away the rest of the card set, total time a bit under an hour. But for the first time in campaign history, a photo featuring six cards?! Yeah, these two dropped basically on top of each other. SlimeXD
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia figured she might as well try to see how many cards she could get from MT-09. To get to their map though is a bit convoluted. It's up here:
    [​IMG]

    Which is accessible from the sole rock on the left side.

    And other than the purple death missiles, Celestalia still wasn't impressed by these mechanical foes (Global population: 3)
    [​IMG]

    How big do the mechs have to be before she starts appreciating her opponent? ...Does D. Roy count as a mech?

    Anyway. It took until Channel 4 to find a card, on kill #11. Which is actually pretty darn good all things considered.
    [​IMG]

    The second card dropped on Channel 6, kill #18. And just two more later, she had the third.

    She took a break for about 25 minutes or so on Channel 1, and by that time everyone had returned. But once again, she got no cards on the first three channels.

    But she did get this...
    [​IMG]

    It's a Moon Rock, which presumably is the counterpart to the Star Rock. What that means exactly, she has no idea. She ended up getting a second one only two channels later, despite 4, 5, and 6 only having four that respawned combined. However the fourth one (#37) did drop the fourth card. Four.

    No drops to note from MT-09 but they do have Celestalia's current earrings. That's about as close as this region will get to relevance.

    So how long did it take to acquire the final card? ...It didn't. It was the very next machine.
    [​IMG]

    And not only did she conquer the Omega Sector in two weeks, it was while beating every possible expection of the rest of Suboptimal :cool:

    After the long trek up half of Eos Tower and the subsequent jaunt to Victoria, Celestalia still made almost two million mesos, albeit a lot of it was off of forging manuals and stimulators.

    What might be even more critical though is that Celestalia picked up over half a stack of Elixirs from the region as a whole.

    At that note, it looks like a map update is in order. Aqua Road, Mu Lung, and Ossyria haven't had any changes, but...
    [​IMG]

    Full green here! Well, Jr. Balrog probably has something to say about that. But there's always time for that particular duel later.

    [​IMG]

    Hot off the presses with the conquest of the Omega Sector, but Hogul remains as stubborn as ever. Soon, friends. Soon you will be conquered just like your opposites across the main.

    [​IMG]

    Down this way, some green has shown up. There is plenty of work left to do, of course, which will surely be scattered across most of the 3rd Job. If not beyond. Regardless, Celestalia will not advance here until the myriad equips from both sides have been obtained. That's coming shortly.

    [​IMG]

    The last thing that happened here was Celestalia receiving the fourth Site card (in entry #228 above). The last remaining red room in Alcadno belongs, of course, to D. Roy, of which she has just a single piece of cardboard. Homunculus and the dreaded Level 80 Homunscullo lurk elsewhere. Celestalia can probably brute force her way through all of these, but there are things of more import to do first.

    I didn't happen to acquire a map for Zipangu yet, but the next time Celestalia gets there that will be published. The blockers, of paths Celestalia so far has discovered, are the Showa mob and...yeah. Hime. Celestalia is not planning to touch that map until she becomes a Bowmistress.

    Next time on Celestalia's Challenge, one more attempt gets thrown at Hogul...stay tuned?
     
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    PART CCXXXVI. The Siege of Jiyeog Moon

    This is the third attempt the Celestial Empire has thrown at the dastardly Hogul, which at least in terms of cards has presented the most serious obstacle of the entire campaign. They can't get more efficient than what is being done here. In this instance, it really does come down to pure RNG - which time and time again has reared its head hard against the goals of this challenge.

    But Celestalia was determined to put this thing away once and for all.
    [​IMG]
    "Right here. Right now."

    Would you believe...after all this time...the first card drops within five minutes of the start of the siege.
    [​IMG]

    So finally the Rangemaiden was on the board, but would it continue?

    Apparently so, because she managed to snag another two in the next 15 minutes.

    After a little bit more combat, Celestalia was content enough to sit down and have dinner, which didn't take too long anyway. Gonna be honest, this situation really has the vibes of the Battle of Elevenia. Of course back then the potion situation wasn't nearly as solid as it is today. I keep worrying about what will happen when Celestalia runs out of Sundaes.

    [Editor's Note: ...even though I really shouldn't.]

    So coming back, she gets a Brown Moon, and then the fourth card almost immediately after that, all within five minutes yet again. And before anyone asks, no, their drop table has nothing. It's actually worse than anything Celestalia has seen in KFT up to this point.

    Say it with me everyone...SO MOVING ON!
    [​IMG]

    What in the world was this?! It's been an hour and a half since the game was turned on and this is already done. Unbelievable.

    Well. So the adjacent maps all had Samiho in them, which was done already, and so there is just one mob remaining here...or, is it two...?
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia felled the blocky one, and then attacked the blue flame.
    [​IMG]

    After it died, it...
    [​IMG]

    Oh. Okay then.

    So the good news is that while the transformation happens, Celestalia can shoot through the transforming mob to hit another one behind it. So she can shoot two Strafes and get two Morphed Blins easily enough. Arrow Bomb doesn't work that well though because there is so much going on within the group.

    But she was still making decent time.
    [​IMG]

    It might also be worth mentioning that they give 660 XP a pop.
    [​IMG]

    Oh by the way, you might have noticed there are level indicators for mobs now. Changes absolutely nothing, but it's still kind of cool I guess.

    Celestalia ran out of steam shortly after leveling and took a long break in the Free Market (there is a safe spot in this map as well, at the very top right at the big tree), before coming back to get smacked around a ton by the Blin's...uh...whatever this is...
    [​IMG]

    Smoke...dust attack I guess?? Yeah. And having little success with getting additional cards just decided to screw that business for a bit more and grab a snack.

    Eventually she did find the third card lodged inside the portal, and the fourth card didn't take forever to get either. Now here's a weird thing. The drop table for Blin (which has another Magic Cape MapleF7) has three 60% scrolls, but Celestalia got a Shield MAtt 10% in one instance. A quick check of the Lib reveals that that is the only missing piece of the table. I should be honored?

    Eh, whatever.
    [​IMG]

    After a five-hour stint (including breaks), Celestalia has another two card sets and is done with KFT! Everything she doesn't have a card set for is considered a Boss. Yes, that actually includes the Scholar Ghost, which she didn't see anyway. Sweet!

    It has been a very successful time conquering recently, but tomorrow the attention turns back to equipment. In the next installment, a marathon of fighting Soul Teddies promises great rewards...or great shame. Which one will be earned?! Stay tuned.
     
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    PART CCXXXVII. The Great Deep Ludi Equip Run

    I have the feeling this will not be the last such equip run. But that all depends on how cooperative mobs are down the line. No guarantee they will be as stubborn as Soul Teddy has been up to this point.

    Celestalia was very, very confident that she'd get at least something today. And even if she didn't...well, it was only a matter of time anyway you'd slice it.

    On to the battle!
    [​IMG]

    The battle began at 16:15 server time, or thereabouts. Pretty immediately, she got in the first strike, with a Tamus (Level 60 1H Mace)
    [​IMG]

    15 minutes later, a Brown China Pants, which again is just too common around this game.
    [​IMG]

    After another ten minutes, Celestalia obtains the third drop with the Dark Calas.
    [​IMG]

    So the drop quality was definitely getting worse, but it is overall a much better situation than last time when the Rangemaiden threw over an hour at the place and all she got for her troubles was a Blue Lorin.

    Forward ANOTHER ten minutes, and that trend got stopped dead in its tracks.
    [​IMG]

    This is the Abyss Shooter, the Level 70 Gun. Really nice, but a Bowman equip would be awesome to have too at some point.

    Unbelievably, the time pattern held yet again as at 17:00, she gets a Steel Pow.
    [​IMG]

    Master Soul Teddy decided to make a token contribution with the Green Seraphis.
    [​IMG]

    A little bit shy of 17:30, a really nice drop happened:
    [​IMG]

    The Evil Tale, which is absolutely huge money considering how much the Cromi is. Or even the Crystal Wand.

    Celestalia decided to take a small break after this. The stats up to this point had been very promising. She was only down 4 Elixirs and a few summer treats, and had gained 10% experience.

    Jumping to 18:30 and there is a Blood Camel Boots.
    [​IMG]

    Suddenly, Celestalia receives a communication from someone who had popped into the map for a brief moment earlier. She was invited to join him in the next map! Seeing as she has access to it, it was no problem heading down there.

    It was somehow even stranger than this one.
    [​IMG]

    First, what in the world is the goop all over the blocks here...and second, clocks?! Okay, well, they're named Klock with a K.

    Them, and their ornate older brothers, do in the range of 750-950 damage with their magical blast.

    The Chief Bandit was doing slightly more though.
    [​IMG]

    And - Celestalia figured out that they couldn't really fire that far, and so was able to snipe a lot of 'em with Arrow Bomb before they could get anything on her. Still, it was a harrowing experience.

    Celestalia was also surprised to learn that they drop a very special MP-restoring item - Sunrise Dew! Each of these restore a whopping 4000 MP! Celestalia will have to keep this area in mind for later on. She got four of them in the short time she was there.

    With that said, she did manage to get a card.
    [​IMG]

    Only shortly after getting her feet wet, Celestalia was summoned back to Path of Time to handle some administrative business and said her goodbyes to Ultra Dragon. And so it was back to break time.

    In the next installment, the equip circus - hopefully - continues! Stay tuned.

    [Editor's Note: The second half of the fighting was cut significantly short. See the next entry for details...]
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXXXVIII. The Eyes Have It!

    I had a Midweek Special written up, but I couldn't find the heart to post it. It was on a subject that has been debated more and more among Celestalia and her general staff. The thing is - and something everyone has known for a while - the current world Empress, Cygnus, is practically nonexistent at this point. At least some of her generals are arguing that, if they're doing a world conquest anyway, then Celestalia might as well claim the title for herself. It's a cultural icon and carries no political power behind it, so there's no reason not to at least stake the claim.

    So far Celestalia has been pretty adamant that she doesn't want to do that as they are obviously nowhere near close enough. Could it be an idea in the far future? Maybe. If she gets Level 200. Or something.

    But this is a decent start.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia got the Dark Garner late Saturday, and was going to make a second entry for the day, but cancelled it after this thing landed. And she nearly missed it too! The usual 'ping' she feels when an equip drops wasn't there that time.

    Here is the glove gallery:
    [​IMG]

    The Gold Eyes matches so well, but there's a problem. With the Red Willow having +2 Weapon Attack, it's far and away the best of the three. So the Rangemaiden really wants to keep it on until she can get another Glove ATT 60% somewhere...

    [​IMG]

    ...Well, how convenient!

    And what do you suppose the first thing to drop was...?
    [​IMG]

    Amazing. But, does it pass?
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, it wasn't going to be that easy. Heads up players!

    Very shortly after that she got a second scroll, except this one was a Gun ATT 10%, so good day to it. Then a THIRD scroll dropped from the Master ones, Cape for LUK 60.

    And that was it after 40 or so minutes of fighting, as Celestalia went back to the main hall to grab lunch.

    With the total session time already at 2 hours, Celestalia at last got a piece of equipment. The Brown Nightfox.
    [​IMG]

    At that point, she called off the battle for the moment and would go ahead and return later on. The break actually ended up being only an hour and a half, which gave her basically another two hours to get something done.

    It was around 25 minutes into this second outing that Celestalia was on the board again, with...
    [​IMG]

    Actually that worked out, because this pair improves on the old one by a whopping seven points of Magic Defense.

    Another 25 minutes later and a second set of these:
    [​IMG]

    Which was paired with a new drop! The Red Orientican (Level 60 Male Warrior Top).
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia then realized that she had reached 50%, and chose to call it early. She figured she needed at least half an hour to sell things at Victoria and then come back. But there was still a tough decision to be made: Should she sell the Willow? If she went with the Eyes now, she would essentially be trading 2 Attack and 9 MP for 3 points of Defense and 2 Avoid. That was definitely not favorable.

    She ultimately decided that it was not worth getting rid of - primarily because the Christmas Sock was expiring next week. So that would free up a slot - and she was not sure she still wanted to hold on to either her Choro or the +8 Avoid Steel-Tip Boots. The Boots were neat, but who would want them? 3 DEX 8 Avoid isn't a really big deal.

    In the end she sold none of them, and she even kept the Abyss Shooter for Erenell whenever she could manage to free up a slot in the Auburns' storage.

    But she didn't return to Ludibrium after the sell-off...where else could she have gone? Stay tuned!
     
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    [​IMG]

    PART CCXXXIX. Deer oh Deer


    So some splendid news, Celestalia was able to get the Auburns to clean some things out, which means her Use inventory now has eleven free slots! Hopefully, she won't forget that she added 6 Power Elixirs on to the existing pile. No knowing whether they'll come in handy down the line.

    Anyway. With two fairly non-essential equips left to obtain from Soul Teddy, and looking like they needed to restock their drops in general, Celestalia instead decided to tackle a long-standing obstacle.
    [​IMG]

    Yeahhhh, these guys! It's been some time since the first real go at this map, and apparently Celestalia left because she got bored. Okay! I was thinking this whole time it was because Reindeer were being extremely obstinant. Which they might be, but Celestalia has two new aces up her sleeve: The special ability, which can take her to Peach Farm 2, and much stronger Elixirs. She did stay at Farm 1 for about 15 minutes, but the Peach Monkeys are still ultra-annoying.

    So...
    [​IMG]

    Here the mobs are far more spread out, and every platform can be attacked from a safe spot. And platforms can be moved between in a safe fashion.
    [​IMG]
    Mostly.

    Of course it's also a sort of a jump quest lite.

    Nevertheless, the change of scenery finally did the trick.
    [​IMG]

    The second Reindeer card arrived about an hour into the session, shortly after which the Rangemaiden grabbed a small break. She was losing Elixirs pretty quickly, but she was also picking up MP pots again. That is no small consideration. I've been thinking a bit about where the best place to farm Elixirs would be, and I still think Drake Hunting Ground is the obvious choice. They are fairly weak and Celestalia also gets to acquire Attack and Defense bonus items.

    Celestalia also happened upon a ripe peach, yes an actual one in-game, that fell off one of the trees. It restored somewhere south of 100 HP and MP, but it was nice and juicy anyway. Mu Lung peaches have grown increasingly popular with food manufacturers with improvements to travel efficiency. For large producers, it can take less than a day to ship a decent load from Mu Lung to Victoria, for instance. They are also used in a number of Asian dishes, to unsurprisingly delicious results.

    My personal favorite anecdote is that there is a candy company in Singapore that makes gummies in the shape of all the enemies in the region. They use Mu Lung peach extract for the Tippo Red gummies MapleF2

    Well, Celestalia decided to cut the session at 75% experience, which was achieved right about 3 hours in. A bit before she got there, though, she discovered the first confirmed equip drop from Reindeer.

    Unsurprisingly, it was a meme drop:
    [​IMG]

    And if you don't know why this is a meme, please refer to parts 124 through 156, during which time Celestalia acquired nearly 8 levels, got the Tier 3 ring, was killed once, and greatly expanded just about every border the Empire had at that point.

    So in total, ~30 Elixirs spent for two cards and a quarter of a level, which is...neither good nor bad. Honestly, Celestalia wasn't sure whether she even wanted to start this today. So to have two down here is about as much as she could have hoped for.

    Next week, the battle for the Peach Forest truly begins. Stay tuned and have a good one!
     
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    PART CCXL. Final Assault on Antler Bastion

    As promised, today Celestalia had to say goodbye to a friend she hardly knew:
    [​IMG]

    She's still fine until the end of the year, since with the Reindeer (heh) Hat she gets exactly 20 INT. Which means this meant absolutely nothing other than she gets a free equip slot back.

    Alright, enough stalling! The Rangemaiden has had just about up to here with the holdup on the icy beasts in the Peach Farm. Today, they were going down.
    [​IMG]

    Reindeer #3 dropped in about ten minutes of fighting.
    [​IMG]

    Supposedly a reindeer horn in perfect condition can help you overcome worldly passions. Celestalia would argue that she left them the minute she fled the Vereina estate. She's just here for cards.

    Anyway, you'd think the quick drop would be a good sign. But before Celestalia could determine whether or not it was a fluke, something else appeared on the horizon: Dinner.

    That didn't last terribly long though, and while there were no immediate cards coming back, Reindeer dropped something odd.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia's current boots? Now this new pair happened to be identical, except for...+2 DEX! A small bonus at this stage, but hey.

    Peach Monkey then gave up a White Anakarune and a very weak Olympus.

    And then...well, I don't even know how to explain this one.
    [​IMG]

    Bow ATT 30%?! What in the world is Reindeer doing with this! Well, ironically, Celestalia immediately had an idea where she wanted to use it - the Red Hinkel! Given that it would almost certainly be worse than the BMD upon acquisition. And as far as the rules go, Celestalia does not need to have the previous equip on her possession when the next one drops...just that she picked it up at some point. So inevitably when it booms, no harm no foul.

    She then got another Green Gore Boots, although this one was worse than the original pair.

    At 90% experience, Celestalia finally got card #4. Well interesting that this is another location for Glove ATT 60%, but nothing else of note on the drop table.

    It was only another 3.5% before the set was concluded.
    [​IMG]

    Splendid! Now Celestalia can finally round the corner to head for Herb Town - but there is one more path available within the Peach Farm. As always, decisions decisions. Find out which one she tries first in the next installment!
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXLI. Forest Beyond the Cavern

    So at the top right of Peach Farm 1 is this place:
    [​IMG]

    Which Celestalia vaguely remembers seeing someone go into before, but the path is actually present on the map, and Reindeer also would have unlocked it if not otherwise. So, it was time to see what lay beyond.

    The answer wasn't too frightening:
    [​IMG]

    Book Ghost has the ability to increase the Weapon Attack of its friends, but it's hard to do that when you're dying in one hit most times to Strafe.

    So all in all, this won't take long.
    [​IMG]

    Aaaand it did not. About 3%, to be precise.
    [​IMG]

    Despite being the same level as the Justice Cape, (how many more times am I going to mention that thing??) the Book Ghost instead drops the Asianic Bow. Like crap was I going to wait all the way to get here for that one.

    The next map, Virtuous Forest, contains a couple of these sophisticated felines.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see this is not Virtuous Forest, it is instead the following map. Because the way VF is set up, there are two platforms on both sides with just The Book Ghost, and the cats only spawn at the bottom, and in very few numbers.

    Sage Cat, which is Level 66 and the strongest mob faced thus far in the region, attacks with a short range claw move.
    [​IMG]

    I guess it's magical since their schtick is to boost Magic Attack. But thanks to The Book Ghost they can have both boosted at the same time.

    Although that probably won't save them from very favorable RNG.
    [​IMG]

    And to make things even worse for the opponent...this!
    [​IMG]

    After getting her extra DEX and Speed, Celestalia went down the map one more time and then grabbed a snack. But she quickly concluded that she was unlikely to grind for much longer after that and just returned to town.

    In the next installment, this branch finishes up, and then the attention will turn entirely to Herb Town. Exciting times await! Stay tuned.
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CCXLII. Where Are the Goblins Anyway?

    Yeah. The map south of Ellinia is called 'The Forest of Wisdom' because you need to figure out which trees take you where. The Sleepywood JQ is called 'The Deep Forest of Patience' because it induces rage so easily. This is called the Goblin Forest because...........?......................................................................................???????????

    There probably isn't going to be an answer, sadly. So back to it.
    [​IMG]

    That card was the first drop today, by the way. :confused:

    Within forty minutes she was up to four cards, but it really wasn't all cheese and crackers, for Sage Cat has what I think so far is the EMPTIEST DROP TABLE outside of Ellin Forest:
    [​IMG]

    Six equips, and that's including the China set which is notorious for being one of the most common things period. In fact the only drop of serious substance here is that dagger, the Level 70 Golden River.

    Although the Steel Ancient Shield also looks decent.
    [​IMG]

    This particular one was one Defense off on each from max stats.

    And along the way, because it's almost never easy to get the last card from something, Celestalia also got a Brown China Pants and an Earring INT 60%.

    In total the final card was approaching 45 minutes to drop. But there was still time to spare for the session, and that's what counts!
    [​IMG]

    Turns out that yes, there indeed is a Goblin Forest 2. And I think the 'Goblin' has been found:
    [​IMG]

    The Rangemaiden applied a few buffs, and then went to engage it.
    [​IMG]

    King Sage Cat's main attack is a wind gust for somewhere north of 900 damage, which also sends Celestalia rocketing towards the other end of the map. And it also has Weapon Cancel, screw that ability. But those weren't nearly enough. Through tactical use of the upper platforms and the classic technique of 'lol just outrange it', she eventually emerged victorious.

    The loot...well, whether this pile really counts as loot is debatable, but:
    [​IMG]

    Those reindeer-looking ones are called "Pill of Intelligence" and increases the ever-useless Magic Attack. They're neat, but there are inventory slots to save.

    That seems like as good a place as any to cap off the weekend. Only three card sets this time around, but the way is now open to Herb Town, and a bevy of card sets lay in store. See you next time as Celestalia rounds the corner! Have a good week.
     
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    PART CCXLIII. The Swamp of Hope

    With the Mu Lung half of the region completely under Imperial control, it was finally time to head into the marshlands of Herb Town. After cleaning the inventories, of course. And in doing so Erenell received a huge payout:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see Erenell is once again without a guild. There must have been a big shake-up in the leadership of GangGang, because he distinctly remembers being told that inactive members didn't get expelled. He's hopeful that that was the reason and there wasn't just a huge misunderstanding. The reason he, as well as Aescavon and Sirbeg, joined GG in the first place was so that what happened to Sirbeg with Eafre wouldn't come around again. So this is very unfortunate.

    Celestalia, meanwhile, did some expelling of her own, and finally parted ways with the Choro and Steel-Tip Boots. She also hit a massive milestone: Nine-figure mesos. It almost feels like she's at last hit the big leagues. But, as she said to one of her generals once, there is still so much work left to be done.

    So it was on to Herb Town. Introducing the first opponent!
    [​IMG]

    Mr. Alli has two attacks, the first one does...uh, this.
    [​IMG]

    The second is a puff of air that hits for a decent chunk and also stuns.

    But because Mr. Alli is such a huge target, Arrow Rain ruins their day even from other platforms. With that said, Mr. Alli has the capability to target platforms above them as well. That's how close together they are here. The stun is quite dangerous if she gets caught in the wrong location, but as long as Celestalia keeps control of the flow of battle, she will be fine.

    If there is any good news, it's that if the target dies prior to her getting hit by the puff, the stun is nullified. Oh and there's also the fact that she can corral almost the entire bottom platform into one location.

    Before she even got there though, Celestalia ran into her first equip, a Level 70 Dark Studded Pants.
    [​IMG]

    And then, the first...two cards, which came from the same group!
    [​IMG]

    About the time Celestalia got her third card (which was still within 15 minutes), a Fighter named Omokka came in briefly to try his luck against the semi-powerful reptiles, and a trade of Fame was the result. He ended up leaving pretty quickly though. After that, it was about time for dinner, but Celestalia sort of ate it on the fly, preferring to keep up the good card momentum. It didn't last anyway, as she didn't get card #4 until nearly an hour after the previous one. No new drops of note, but both DEX Lineros overalls are here should Celestalia wish to move her stats around a bit.

    It would be another half an hour of gameplay before the set concluded.
    [​IMG]

    Not the greatest result but it also was pretty painless. Celestalia also got a couple Elixirs for her trouble.

    The map after this had more alligators, so the Rangemaiden proceeded to Bellflower Valley.
    [​IMG]

    The elderly vegetables dominate this map, although from the early card results you wouldn't think that:
    [​IMG]

    Bellflower Root was at 2 cards before Celestalia was fully settled in. And that would quickly be boosted to 3 cards...and only then did the seniors decide to join in the frenzy.
    [​IMG]

    Though to be fair, the entire card set only took 15 minutes.
    [​IMG]

    Which was very fortunate because Bellflower Root only spawns in the path of travel between the two portals. Although Sr. Bellflower Root has the potential to block its spawn completely, which implies that Celestalia could advance anyway once their card set was cleared.

    Actually the rules don't say anything about what happens if the 'stronger mob' does in fact appear in the path of travel. Precedence however states that it's fine to pass if they've been conquered already. At least, that's what Ellin Forest has to say on the matter. But since Bellflower Root is in fact done, none of this matters in the slightest.

    As for the grandpas, the cards came in slowly but steadily. After 40 minutes on the map, Celestalia had three cards.

    Then...well, as the saying goes, old equips die hard. Look who's back!
    [​IMG]

    Anyway that was it in terms of things being notable, Celestalia did get two Calafs but nothing good on either drop table. Sr. surrendered after just over an hour in this map.
    [​IMG]

    This might be the first time a Magic Rock has shown up in a card gallery. Always something new around here, isn't there.

    So Celestalia has what I think to be two mobs remaining before she reaches Herb Town. In the next installment, she goes full Link on some pottery! And...pirates?! Stay tuned.
     
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