Mr. Familiar

by

EO Tenkey

Quest 39: Mr. Familiar Tries and Tries Again

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We respawned back at the forest shrine.

"Scribble!" said Lucy with feeling. "We had that! But I don't think I can avoid getting hit when there's two of them, and that second monster is just too nearby."

It was a conundrum, all right. I didn't see what we could do about that particular pair of monsters given her current level. Now that I knew to watch out for it, I could probably delay the second one momentarily, but I suspected it wouldn't be long enough to make a difference. It was probably time to try exploring somewhere—

"Okay, come on Mr. Familiar, we're going to give that another shot. I'll bet if we pull the first monster away a bit before kicking its butt we'll be fine."


We respawned back at the forest shrine.

"Jeez, that thing is way too fast! I wish Icy Grip had frozen it a bit, but I think I could have dodged that swipe if it had."


We respawned back at the forest shrine.

"Aaargh, what the heck, that just isn't fair! We were so close, and then that stupid second monster made it all the way around and came at us from the other side?! Did we really take that long?"


We respawned back at the forest shrine.

"Flick, what was that, anyway?! They can spit acid?! What is with that?!"


We respawned back at the forest shrine.

Fast as I could, I flipped myself into the air, flew up right in front of Lucy's face, and stared her down. Cheep. Cheep.

Lucy sighed. "Yeah, I guess you're right, Fluff-kins. This isn't working. I should probably take a break."


Lucy faded into existence, I gave her my customary "welcome back" hug, and while she was messing around with her interface I checked the date. Well. That was concerning. It had been five days since her last session. That was a little longer than normal; she'd played roughly every other day since getting back into the game.

Although given that her last session ended with a bunch of fruitless respawns, maybe that was to be expected.

And hey, if we were lucky, this event would be over by now and we could get on with life.

"Alright, Fluff-kins, let's go take a shot at those monsters, and if that doesn't work out we'll do a bit of exploring."


We respawned at the forest shrine. Guess the quest was ongoing.

"Nuts, I really thought I had that first monster dead to rights that time! Oh, well, we can see about dealing with them later. Let's go see what else is nearby!"

It turned out that what was nearby was a whole lot of forest, and a ton of different Gloaming creatures.

Thankfully none of them were as big and nasty as the first pair we'd found, but they still tended to kill Lucy pretty quickly after we discovered them.

In the direction the forest shrine was facing—roughly due sough—there was a pack of some sort of hyena-like creature that moved around the forest all in a clump. Lucy could do pretty serious damage to them with a properly-placed Icy Grip, but the injured monsters would quickly retreat while the healthy ones flanked her, and their bite attack was vicious.

To the south-west, there wasn't much that seemed threatening until we came across a tree that was absolutely covered in tiny little Gloaming bug monsters of some sort. Lucy took one look at the shifting mass, and immediately fled. Given the number of bones scattered around the tree completely stripped of flesh, I couldn't exactly blame her.

Though I did wish I'd had a chance to try pecking them. Those spiderkin were sooooo good.

To the south-east, a pack of Gloaming goat-like things were lurking. They were surprisingly fast, and hopped around like manic, evil rabbits. Or mountain-goats, I supposed, though the ground was largely flat. Unlike goats, they had a pair of pointed horns, which they used to gore anything that came close. Including Lucy.

To the east, we didn't find much of anything at all, which was strange. That was the area between he goat-things, and the pair of monsters we'd initially spotted from the tree. We pressed fairly deep into the forest before something unseen killed Lucy in a single hit.

I got a glimpse of it as I was fading out for the respawn, though; pretty sure it was some sort of Gloaming big cat. A predator, in any case.

Northward there were more of those hyena-things.

North-west we didn't find any Gloaming monsters, but there was a section of the forest filled with what by all appearance appeared to be Gloaming plants. It freaked Lucy out a little too much, though, so we didn't get close enough to see if the foliage was actually afflicted by the Gloaming or not.

West we caught sight of another patrolling monster similar to the first two, but it was much deeper into the woods. Like the ones nearer the shrine, it seemed to be patrolling a set path, so Lucy and I poked around a bit more. When we saw a second, third, and fourth of the monsters, we high-tailed it out of there. Two was bad enough, thank you very much.

She logged out soon after that.


"Well, this is a pickle," said Lucy. She was sitting on the ground cross-legged with me in her lap, playing with my fluff after logging back in. First she'd swipe a hand across me to make it go all one direction, the poof me from the sides to make it fluff back out, then swipe a hand across me to make it go a different direction.

I was bearing with it because she'd been out of the game for four days, and I was hoping a little floofing might remind her of the benefits of my company.

"Those bugs are a no-go, and I have a bad feeling about the plant-life, too. We have to try and kill something, though, because I don't think I'm going to have a chance at those two big monsters without a few levels. Blocadoc says that her friend isn't able to meet us here, either, and apparently Blocadoc went around the other side, so she doesn't have any places she can teleport in the area. I don't think we can expect help anytime soon."

Lucy flattened my fluff again, then started drawing some sort of design in it. Hey, that tickled!

"I could try for the goats, maybe, but the darn things were so fast I don't think we'd have much luck there. Ugh. I suppose we'll have to try for one of those creepy dog-things. I really don't like the noises they make, though."

Uh, Lucy? They were all horrifying, corrupted monsters. Their noises were the least of our worries.

I did agree that the hyena-things were the ones she was most likely going to be able to defeat, though I wasn't sure how long she'd live after taking one down. Their little portion of the forest was also one of the easiest to get to from our spawn point, so it was possible we might be able to winnow the pack over time before they respawned, as long as we kept at it.

Lucy ran her fingers through my fluff to get it to stand back up. Okay, seriously, enough was enough. I hopped out of her lap, waddled a few steps, and turned back to give her a look.

She laughed. "Okay, fine, we can go."

We headed south.

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A note from EO Tenkey

If at first you don't succeed...


About the author

EO Tenkey

Bio: Read all the things. Write all the things. Sleep? What's that? Does it taste good with chips?

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