In the grim cyberpunk world of the 22nd century real life sucks. So people use neural nano-interfaces to escape to the vibrant fantasy worlds of DMMO-RPGs. For years the most popular of these was YGGDRASIL, but it slowly lost momentum and by 2138 is being shut down. Three friends log in to face the last minutes of the game together, completely unaware of what will happen after it ends.
It's fascinating, and Soreiyu focuses intently on analyzing what's being said, what's not being said, since he's there to look like a bored guard, not to do the questioning.
The gods might be a problem, someday. Soreiyu's not going to discount them on the basis of 'historical,' and he knows Takeko, paranoid as she is, won't either.
The Talents could be something to keep an eye on. Nfirea's is interesting - an ally with that Talent would be a boon, given the level of gear they have lying around spare, but an enemy could be a problem, especially if anything ever gets stolen...
They should possibly keep out of sword range of Gazef in future encounters, then.
The artifacts of the greed kings are probably highest concern in terms of actual things that can threaten them. Soreiyu would say it's unlikely for that threat to manifest, but he knows Takeko will want to be prepared as possible.
Well their last party will give them some information on how to find these things. The gods either died or "returned to their higher plane of existence" most from old age, one from trying to 1v8 the greed kings. Gazef is at the capitol, but comes by E-Rantel pretty frequently since its the cornerstone of the kingdoms defense. The flying city moves, and is currently being squatted on by a dragon lord, but the party's bard can show you its usual range on a map. Nfirea runs a potion shop with his grandmother. They saw him in here awhile ago to hire an escort for an ingredient harvesting run in Tob, but should be getting back soon if he isn't already. Either way his grandmother is considered the best potion maker in the kingdom, which they guess is a type of powerful person?
He'll thank them for the stories, at least.
Guild lady lets them know that they'll have to leave for closing time, but will be approximately 1000% more polite now that they are high paying customers instead of randos.
They leave, and after a quick discussion among themselves decide they have enough time tonight to pursue a few more leads. Finding out more about Talents seems fairly quick - and the potions shop is near and still open. Afterwards, they plan to make their way to another tavern.
As the reach shop an old woman runs out, chased by the zombified corpse of Peter from the swords of darkness.
Well that's not good.
They can't afford to reveal their true power, but he doesn't want to just walk away and he is known as an adventurer -
Utility spells are great. He'll cast grease so the now slick ground blocks the entrance, is under the zombie, and is not under the woman.
Zombie falls down.
And with that bit of breathing room, Lizzy is able to pull out some potions and finish the zombie.
"Are there more of those?"
And wasn't that the guy they were talking to last night?
"Yes the entire party."
And the rest of the swords of darkness are now skidding along the ground. It seems zombies are't too bright.
They should be resurrectable if the undead versions are killed. While Kuchinawa backs up, he'll cast minor spells, specialized to do a bit more damage against undead. Try to hold himself back from anything too obviously talented. (He can claim he's specialized in damage over endurance if questioned, say the only reason he won was a lucky utility spell...)
If any of them get out of the greased area he'll spread that, too. Let them keep falling over themselves while he (agonizingly slowly) picks them off.
They actually go down pretty easily. Zombies are fairly weak even by local standards. It should be possible to take them out with one first tier spell a piece if its fire or light based and the zombies are just zombies like you'd find in the newb areas of YGGDRASIL. However, YGGDRASIL zombies are only magically summoned not raised from people's corpses. If the swords of darkness retained their class levels then it would take several times more damage to destroy them and several of them would be capable of ranged attacks. Luckily this didn't happen so Soreiyu only needs to cast three times as many spells as it would take at full power.
Good. He's not sure why you'd bother raising famous adventurers as any sort of undead if you were going to make them the weak kind, not the annoying class level kind, but maybe they triggered some curse or did something else stupid...
"Do you know where they came from?" he asks the woman once it's apparent no more are coming out of the shop.
"They were helping my Nfirea gather herbs from the great forest of tob when they were alive. I only stepped out for a minute. Please find my Nfirea."
"Do you know anything else about the situation?" Tob's possibly the locus of this - and a zombie outbreak in a neighbor would be inconvenient, even if it's really none of their business.
"It looked like they had a pretty good haul when they came back."
"Where're their things?" He's not dumb enough to touch anything, but - "I might be able to figure out what happened from looking at what they had."
She points out a nearly empty cart as having been theirs. And indicates that they had been unloading it into a storage room at the end of the hall.
He'll exchange a glance with Kuchinawa, then leave the other with the woman to go investigate around the cart - not touching anything, and casting a few detect spells.
The cart seems to be completely normal. Its loaded with what herbs and leaves and other things that seem are apparently used for potion making in this world. They seem pretty normal, however all potions and most magic items in YGGRASILL were derived from data crystals rather than plants so Soreiyu doesn't have much of a baseline for comparison.
He'll head into the shop, then.
The shop shows signs of a struggle. Also there is a message written in blood signed "Clementine" saying that Zurrernorn has taken Nferia to the sewers. Or at least thats what Lizzie says it says. She also begs you to save her grandson and offers anything you want in return.
He sighs, promises to do it, and asks for a few moments alone (so he can throw high-level divination magic at this).
Is he in the sewers? Where? Who's this Clementine? Who's Zurrernorn? Can he locate any of them with the blood or a name?