After a very pleasant xp party down by the Altepa Outpost (which, by the way, is my favourite xp spot for 39-40), My Red Mage finally got out of Level 40 and took the first step into being something greater.
Yep. I dinged Level 41, and, after taking a break stop to set up my lemonade stall, took out a little scroll I had brought along with me for the ride. Yep. I can now cast Refresh. :D
Of course, my party members took this rather lightly, saying things like "hehe, your fun days of RDM are over," or "oh no, we have a Refresh whore now" but secretly, I think they're just envious. ^^
Or not, as the case may be. Then again, as I put it, “Refresh is bittersweet.” :P
It took me a little while to get used to keeping a Refresh cycle, with four people to Refresh (might as well get used to it, rightaru?) but I noticed that our party's efficiency took a huge spike up with Refresh thrown into the works. Kitsume (on PLD-mode) could hold hate a lot better with the extra MP to work with, and as a result, Zangetsu (BLM) could afford to be a lot more liberal with his nukes, thanks to an increased ability to hold hate by Kitsume, and more mana to expend because of Refresh.
My only regret with Refresh is that I ended up missing a few Magic Bursts because the melee decided to start their skillchain just as I started casting a Refresh on somebody. That spell takes...quite a while to cast. >_<
Of course, we were xp'ing off Goblins, so I don't know how I will cope with Dispel duties thrown in the mix, but judging from how things have been so far, looks like I'll be quite busy. ^^ When we disbanded, I had dinged again, putting me at a very nice Level 42. ^^
Anyway, with my new level, it was time to start thinking about getting AF out of the way. And so, I headed down to San d'Oria to meet with the Elvaan Red Mage, Sharzalion to start the quest, The Crimson Trial. My task was to retrieve some Orcish Dry Food from Davoi. For what reasons, I declined to ask. ^^
I had actually helped a friend of mine, Faeyth, with this quest before, so I actually knew what was involved for the first half. The good thing was that because this was a quest, I could switch over to my Black Mage and complete the quest as a BLM75, as opposed to a RDM42.
The first part of the quest involves defeating an NM Black Mage Orc, by the name of Purpleflash Brukdok. He is roughly BLM45, which, as predicted, was no match for my BLM75. :D
Well, that's not quite true. Purpleflash has a lot of HP, at least, enough so that I had to make a decent effort at conserving my MP. Fortunately, he is a Black Mage, so I could always leech his MP via Aspir every now and then. Furthermore, he was about thirty levels below me, so suffice to say, he (and the Orc that linked) had quite some trouble trying to land a hit on me. ^^
Even then, by the time the last Thunder IV fell, I was rather out of my own MP, so that gives you an idea of how much HP he has.
Anyway, he drops a Davoi Storage Key, which I needed to complete the second part of the quest- finding a Storage Hole.
This, is the more painful part of the quest. Basically, somewhere in Davoi, is a Storage Hole that the key unlocks. The bad news is that there are quite a lot of spawn points, and they are really spread out all over Davoi, as opposed to clustered like say, a Treasure Coffer. In addition to that, possible Storage Holes are also up in the Davoi "Island", where the mobs aggro to even a Level 75.
I ended up Warping out of Davoi three times because of aggro while hunting all over Davoi for the Storage Hole. To make matters worse, I couldn't find a map of where all the Storage Hole positions, and in addition, Sharzalion's description suggested that the position even changes after a certain time period. Allakhazam had the locations of a few spawn points, but I couldn't find a real map with all the positions marked.
The good news is that you can see what a possible spawn point is because of some pattern on the ground if you adjust your camera to a top-down view, so if you need to do this quest at some point, and am in Davoi for some reason, marking the points down as you walk past would be a good idea.
I should probably explore Davoi sometime myself, to at least get a map out there for other people to refer to.
Anyway, after a frustrating hour or so, I eventually stumbled across it on my way to the Monastic Cavern, so luckily, I didn't have to go up to the island. After trading my key and grabbing the dried food, I Warped, airshipped down to Sandy, and after hearing Sharzalion's little ghost story (the details, I shall spare), he thanked me for bringing him the food, and gave me a little sword as a reward.
Ta-dah! A Fencing Degen! (One of the few half-decent AF1s, too :P)
Too bad this is something that will take up another shot in Storage- the stats don't quite appeal to me, especially after I had picked up a new sword for myself, a Buzzard Tuck. Sold my Republic Sword for it, too. The Republic Sword sold for 100k, the Buzzard Tuck was bought for 40k...sounds like a good deal to me. ^^
It doesn't have the +Accuracy of the Republic Sword, but it does have higher base damage, with the same delay as the Republic Sword, and the Tuck also has two attributes that interest me: Sword Enhancement spell damage +2, and Sword Enhancement spell duration +5. Can you say, "Enspell"? ^^