Sometime in the evening, I decided to party. Personally, I felt the party was rather mediocre, with people not knowing what to do, and we only managed some 3k/hr in Kuftal Tunnel. The fact that two other parties came down to join us didn't help, and I was getting decidedly bored. The THF wasn't familiar with the mobs, not that it was his fault since it was his first time here, but our WHM was horrible. He, at level 70, still had to be told what status ailments were on people, and for the most part, it ended up as he just casting Stona while I handled everything else. As BLM, of course. It particularly annoyed me when I was hit by Baleful Gaze, and after we defeated the Cockatrice, I saw him resting. Sheesh.
Anyway, that's not what this entry is about. ^^
Sometime during that party, Erieta sent me a tell informing me of a ZM4 run in the making, and that they lacked only a Black Mage. I sent the leader, Avatarr, a /tell, and he was delighted to have me on board. We only had one lantern in the whole group, but that wasn't too big of a problem. I told him that I'd be finishing up with my party soon (we were, indeed going to end shortly), and I'd join him then. He was even happier when I told him that I already had the paintbrush of souls to get into the Den of Rancor. (Hah! I knew it'd be useful! ^^)
Ten minutes later, we were off. WHM BLM RDM DRK MNK PLD.
Our first stop, as I had mentioned earlier, was to pick up three more lanterns. It was a little annoying since only Tonberry Maledictors drop unlit lanterns, and they have this nasty habit of linking. Somehow, I ended up pulling, since I was the one who was most familiar with where to go and what to do, having done this multiple times in the past. I ended up just pulling all the Tonberries and Bees to clear a path to the Maledictors, and to give the others something to do. That, and it was hard to try and stay Invisible with all the magic-aggro pots around, so clearing everthing in the way was a better option. That, and we got plenty of coffer keys for everybody, although what people would do with them is beyond me. At least...I know what I'm going to do with mine...but that's a tale for another day. ^^
Eventually, we got three more lanterns without too much trouble. Actually, we had a bit of a dry period where we were stuck at three lanterns for a bit, and Maledictor after Maledictor would die with no drop. That only lasted so long, and we were off!
Heading over to the Den of Rancor, I somehow took charge of the group, giving them explicit instructions as to what to do. First rule, stay together.
With that, we all Sneak'ed and Invisible'ed ourselves, and headed over to the Altar of Rancor to get those lanterns lit. There were two bats and two bombs there, so we ended up getting aggro, but they were cleared out without too much problem, them being DC to me. I then asked people to light the lanterns, and then double check, confirming that they had a "Rancor Flame."
The next part was walking down to some portcullis with four large lanterns in front. The four people with the Rancor Flame would have to light the lanterns in order to open the gateway to the Sacrificial Chamber for the BCNM fight. This was where our first rule was broken. We separated. >_<
At least nothing bad happened, and we joined up again after a little bit of map-guessing. After arriving at the big lanterns, we saw it was guarded by Tonberry and Bats. Of course, we could try clearing the room out as some guides suggest, but we preferred not to. And so, we waited for Tonberries to turn around before lighting the lanterns. Unfortunately, one of us timed it wrong, and got aggro. ; ;
Tonberries linked, and soon, we were fighting five mobs at once. Our stealth option certainly wasn't working, and so I ordered people to just light the lanterns and run for it.
Remember what I did earlier: I got them to confirm that they had a Rancor Flame.
So of course, it soon came to our realisation that one person had not lit their lantern. /fume.
And so, we broke Rule #1 yet again. The PLD, RDM and I stayed at the lanterns, exchanging Provokes with Sleepgas while the WHM followed the MNK and DRK back to the Altar of Rancor to get their flame (and also Raise the MNK who died along the way ; ;) It got a little harrowing whenever a Bat happened to fly too close by, since they are Sleep resistant, but the PLD did a good job soloing the bats with our support. The Tonberries were easy to keep slept though.
Eventually, the others returned with the Flame, and quickly lit the last lantern to open the gate to the Sacrificial Chamber.
Hard part was over. Once inside, we briefly went over the battle plan- to Sleepga II everybody, then take them out one by one. The THF Tonberry was reputedly near-impossibly to Sleep, so hed be first, and then after that, wed kill the BLM Tonberry and finally the SMN Tonberry, ignoring its Elemental.
The fight really wasn’t as hard as I had imagined it to be. Maybe it was because we had Level 70+ people in a fight meant for 60+, or maybe we were just that good. (Hah, really...)
Anyways, upon their defeat, one of the Tonberries transformed into its human form, a person of the ancient people, the Kuluu. This is where the Zilart storyline starts to take shape, as he then explained the history behind the Kuluu and the Zilart, how the Kuluu stopped the Zilart's power hungry plans to access the land of the gods and ended up warped into the Tonberry. I shant go into further details since this is something worth seeing for yourself. ^^
But in any case, I was finally done with Zilart Mission 4! /cheer.
That wasn't all that happened though. In fact, at some point during at this, Sanzou sent me a /tell, informing me that he and his group were (finally) getting around to doing the Windurst 9-2 battle at Full Moon Fountain! I obviously said I'd go, letting them know that I was in the middle of ZM4, but after we finished, I literally rushed off to Windurst. Of course, by "rushed off", I mean "take the outpost teleport from Yuhtunga Jungle, which just goes to show how useful the teleports are when you're higher level, although I have to complain that one cannot use the teleports to actually travel for xp, since the teleporters want you above a certain level "for safety reasons." Screw that. >_<
Anyway, from the looks of things, I was going to try to beat 9-2 with mostly people from Unsent. Our group was a little odd-- BLM BLM RDM RDM PLD DRK. Upon meeting up with the others in the Full Moon Fountain, we sat to try and discuss our plan of action for a bit. The Cardian portion of the fight was easy enough to decide- we'd kill the BLM Cardian (Ace of Buttons), Sleepga II the others, then go after the RDM (Ace of Coins), PLD (Ace of Swords), and then finally, the WHM (Ace of Cups). However, we pretty much assumed that one wouldn't be able to sleep the Manticore or the Wyvern that spawned afterwards, and besides, we also had Ajido Marujido to worry about. We decided that we'd take out the Wyvern first, followed by the Manticore.
And so, we entered the arena, and started to fight the cardians. Everything went according to plan as we systematically took then out one by one, until we almost defeated the last one. Then, I cast Sleep II on the last Cardian and we all rested up to full, since there was no time to rest once the last cardian was defeated. Of course, once we were all rested up and raring to go again, we killed it. ^^ Unfortunately, the second part of the battle didn't quite go according to plan. I'm not too sure what happened. I think we underestimated just how much damage the Wyvern and Manticore do, and the next thing I knew, I found myself spamming Cure IIIs on our PLD instead of nukes on the bosses, and eventually, the PLD fell. Sanzou then tried to tank, but as DRK/NIN, he didn't exactly evade much, and after an admirable attempt, he then fell as well.
All this time, our little friend Ajido-Marujido was busy trying to nuke the Manticore into oblivion, and now that both tanks were gone, he soon became the focal point of the Manticore's claws. Ever tried to keep a Tarutaru that spams IV-spells and Ancient Magic alive? He died in two hits, and we were then unceremoniously booted from the arena. >_<
Once outside, we Raised the fallen and then went about to decide what to do this time. We realised that trying to tank both the Wyvern and the Manticore was out of the question, and we all doubted Sanzou's ability to solo tank one while the PLD held the other. It was then we decided to have both RDMs Gravity and kite one of the bosses, while everyone else tried to focus on killing the other as soon as possible. The problem was that if Ajido decided to attack the boss that we were kiting, that'd be the end of him, and so we quickly modified that to include watching to see just what Ajido would go after.
Once again, we killed the Cardians, resting to full before proceeding to finish off the last one. Geared up for the next battle, we set the plan in motion. While we were standing there waiting for something to happen, Ajido beelined straight for the Wyvern. The plan was set into motion. Gravitys went on the Manticore, and the RDMs tried bouncing the Manticore all over the room while we were trying to kill the Wyvern. This time, things were going fine, and while Firiel (RDM) was killed while kiting, we managed to stall the Manticore long enough for us to just about finish off the Wyvern.
Ajido Marujido: You should be thankful. I'll give you a shortaru trip back to the hell you came from!
The nice part about this fight is (well, other than fighting alongside Ajido-Marujido, because Ajido is awesome!) that once one of the bosses are dead, Ajido practically kills the other one for you. If there was any reason to keep RDM and BLM abilities separate, this was it. While I personally didn't see it myself, Firiel assured me that the Manticore went down in very short order thanks to the call that is Chainspell-Flood. Or at least Chainspell-Water IV, or something to that extent. >_<
Rushing back to Windurst, I was then told about what happened. Fenrir was awakened and now stands watch over Windurst. With the Cardians gone and Fenrir watching, the Yagudo are now hesitant to continue their demands upon Windurst. All is well, although summoning the great beast to stand watch had its price. The Star Sybil lost her ability to perform a moon reading, losing the foresight that had guided her in ruling Windurst. However, all was well with the realisation that she did not need the stars and the moon to guide her any longer, instead, letting the people guide her. I think I might have said a bit too much there, but I'm sure there's plenty more I haven't said to those who don't really like spoilers. Like the special ending cutscene. ^^
In any case, I was now the proud recipient of both Rank 10, and my Windurstian Flag! Not only that, but with Rank 10, I was now able to go out and purchase my own Federation Aketon, which I proudly wore around Windurst soon after. Here, take a look:
Of course, what to do next comes to mind...but I guess that can wait. ^^