1096: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Five, Part One

Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Author: Stone-Man85
Media: Movie
Topic: Princess Mononoke
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Chapter 5
Critiqued by SC, Captain Weiss Baldory and the Ace Team

Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and in the last chapter, Alex got his ass kissed for no good reason, was given shitty camping supplies and was booted westward-bound.

We now come to chapter five, entitled, “The Power Unleashed; Terrified of Yourself”. Stone-Man85 continues to be bad at naming chapters.

Also, I’ve lost my two riffing buddies! Simon got yanked by the war back to the Bellamay Sanctuary, and Paulo had to duck out temporarily because the wife called.

*sigh* All I want is a consistent, stable riffing buddy. I ask so little.

Well, it’s not a complete bust, though. For some reason, my OC from my Etrian Odyssey 4 pair of fics (fic 2 isn’t started yet), Captain Baldory, managed to ENJOY his previous riffing experience, and was interested in coming back for a second round.

Why do you hate yourself so?

Baldory: Honestly, between the three of us talking amongst ourselves, it took a good amount of the pain out of it.

Oh. Well that makes sense.

Captain Baldory also decided to go and yap about the experience to his guild, and so has come bringing one of his squads with him. By his own admission, these guys are privately known by him as “The Ace Team”, because they’re the strongest five out of thirty people total in Guild Bernoryn. It’s also kind of a sarcastic name, because they’re all kind of morons in their own ways.

This is gonna be a long introduction people, so bear with me.

The Ace Team consists of one Landsknecht-

Fun fact: Landsknecht is the German word for Mercenary.

Fun fact: Landsknecht is the German word for Mercenary.

– one Nightseeker –

A.K.A. BDSM stripper-assassins

A.K.A. BDSM stripper-assassins

– one Fortress –

“Why are they called Fortresses?” “OH TAKE A FUCKING GUESS.”

– one Medic –

Anybody familiar with Trauma Center should notice a familiar face in this lineup.

Anybody familiar with Trauma Center should notice a familiar face in this lineup.

– and one Runemaster.

I love how one is super intense-looking, and the rest just seem bored.

I love how one is super intense-looking, and the rest just seem bored.

(I’ve always wondered what cold-ass mountain Runemasters live on, that they have to dress like that.)

Armelas is the Landsknecht of the group. She was the first to join Guild Bernoryn, and ends up developing the closest relationship with Captain Baldory, to the point that when the Ace Team parts ways with Guild Bernoryn to find their own adventures, Armelas leads them to Baldory’s homeland of Elthesia so that they can be close by to their old captain. Armelas is as strong as an ox, but as with many strong individuals, suffers in the brain department as a result. At a certain point, Armelas decides to subclass as a Dancer in order to be more like Wiglaf, who she sees as a cool big sister of sorts.

And that is a bandana YOU DON'T MESS WITH.

And that is a bandana YOU DON’T MESS WITH.

Nachtdol is the Nightseeker of the team. He’s also one of only three Nightseekers in the entire guild, because Captain Baldory considered them too creepy for his liking. Contrary to his fellow Nightseekers being expert assassins and perversely obsessed with death, and possibly BDSM by the looks of their outfits, Nachtdol is a sarcastic wise-cracker who is better at pinpointing weak spots and attacking quickly than he is at sneaking around and quietly taking targets out. This tends to end badly for him, because he’s the easiest person to kill on the group. Many a revival spell has been wasted on his tomfoolery… Eventually, Nachtdol subclasses as a Landsknecht, and gets a much-needed boost to his survivability as a result of it. However, he’s still very easy to kill.

But dat cloak, though.

But dat cloak, though.

Schiverta is the Fortress of the group. By Baldory’s own description, she’s a “veritable titan of a woman”, standing well over a foot taller than most of her teammates. She’s incredibly strong – not quite as strong as Armelas, but strong enough to heft a gigantic tower shield with one arm and a war hammer with the other – and she’s as sturdy as, well, a fortress. The tradeoff, however, is that she tends to be rather blunt, even if she doesn’t mean to be, and it’s often off-putting for people who don’t understand her as well as her teammates do. Schiverta ends up subclassing as a Medic in order to show other people that it is, in fact, possible for her to be gentle as well as tough when she needs to be. Unfortunately, her medical skills are far below the grade.

"What up, nerds."

“What up, nerds.”

Heilarzt is the team’s Medic. He’s something of a child prodigy, being the second-youngest Medic in the guild at only nineteen years old, and being able to keep up with aged professionals with healing skills that usually take a long-ass time to master. Don’t let his age fool you, the kid’s as rough-and-tumble as they come. He’s got a mouth like a sour lemon and an attitude to match, never knew to have anything nice to say about his peers, and always berating them for getting hurt in the first place. After a while, Heilarzt gets sick of having to hide behind Schiverta because of his frail Medic body being so easy to fuck up in a fair fight, and subclasses as a Sniper – he still can’t really take a punch, but he can fill your skull with enough arrows to make up for it now, and heal the arrow wounds shut with the projectiles still in there if he’s feeling especially nasty.

This guy. You're trusting him to heal you. Mind the hurt feelings.

This guy. You’re trusting him to heal you. Mind the hurt feelings.

Nordauber is the team’s Runemaster. By their very definition, Runemasters are akin to wizards, calling forth the elements to do their bidding, and Nordauber stands among the most proficient in this particular skill, being the only one in the guild so far to obtain the power of elemental runes once outlawed for being too powerful. Unfortunately, Nordauber suffers from a condition wherein he has almost zero emotional output whatsoever, and so always comes off as chilly as whatever snow-covered mountain he lived on before joining Bernoryn. After seeing the benefits of being able to weaken an enemy significantly before unloading his runes on them, Nordauber decided to subclass as an Arcanist, now able to doable enemies with magic Circles and wipe the earth under their feet clean of their existence with his elemental runes.

You cannot comprehend how uninterested Nordauber is in your bullshit, all the time.

You cannot comprehend how uninterested Nordauber is in your bullshit, all the time.

*SC sighs heavily*

So how’d I do?

Heilarzt: I’ve got a pretty big issue with how you described me, asshole.

I don’t see why, you’ve immediately lived up to what I said.

Nachtdol: If anything, he was being a bit too nice about you.

Heilarzt: Screw off.

Baldory: Behave, gentlemen.

Schiverta: I could say the same for you, he was being too nice about the part where you suck at staying alive.

*After struggling to find the words to reply, Schiverta eventually just resorts to laughing into Armelas’ shoulder*

And don’t you ever forget it.

Now then, we should really get going with this riff. But, maybe not today. How about:

A Few Days Later

Schiverta: …Nah, we should probably do this today.

Oh, fine. Can’t let me have anything, I swear…

Armelas: Wouldn’t want you to get spoiled, now!

Grumble mutter…

Alex continued to hike along the grassy hill, along the lands of ancient Japan.

Nordauber: “Along the hill” and “along the lands of Japan” constitute the same meaning.

Why, on your first fucking day, would you incur the wrath of the DRD on me?

*Alarms Blare*

Nordauber: …Because I was not informed of any DRD wrath.

Well, you are now!

Schiverta: You should go deal with that.

Nordauber: You are within closer proximity to the door.

Schiverta: He who dealt it deals with it.

*Nordauber sighs and rises to his feet; The DRD only just kick the door open when he points his staff at them, and an ominous red light fills the room; in the very next second, that red light becomes a force of nature which detonates upon the DRD agents in the form of a shockwave, blasting them to pieces*

Holy shit, I think that might have been overkill.

Nachtdol: Was the Origin Rune really necessary? Wasn’t that shit one of those previously-outlawed, super powerful runes?

Nordauber: Depending on who you ask, it still is.

Baldory: After having seen you resort to using the Origin Rune multiple times against some of the hardier opponents we’ve ever faced, I’d forgotten that it was so powerful.

He was currently hiking towards the top of the grassy hill near a mountainous terrain. For three days now, he followed the trail of the Demon God had left behind. It wasn’t hard for him to track the trail down; it left its trail everywhere it had went.

Heilarzt: Can we find another word than “trail,” please?

It left the usual trench of death trail;

Heilarzt: Apparently fucking not.

Welcome to the riffing life: you almost never get what you want if you’re the riffer.

Armelas: We usually don’t get what we want anyhow, so we’re used to it.

What, Baldory doesn’t spoil you guys any?

Armelas: He makes us buy our own gear, but his is custom made for him.

Baldory: Nobility privileges. Deal with it.

Nachtdol: Cap, if you’re gonna bullshit us, you could try a bit harder than that. You just don’t want to spend your own money.

Baldory: That’s one aspect of nobility I don’t mind abusing, not having to spend my own money for my equipment. Some of the prices in Tharsis for simple amenities get ridiculous.

a brown death amongst the grass and plants, as well as the trees it tore down that got in its path.

Schiverta: Someone had the shits really bad.

Ace Team (except Nordauber): Augh!

*SC offers his hand for a high five, which Schiverta replies to in kind*

However, when it had led him to the river, he had lost it.

Heilarzt: His virginity?

Nachtdol: That’s putting far too much faith in his ability to pick up girls.

Now he was just going west, following the dirt trails to wherever the forests or the manmade trails took him. If he ran into any wanderers, travelers, or merchants, he’d ask them about any rumors of a Demon God rampaging its way towards the East.

Nordauber: Why? Is he involved with it somehow?

Well, he killed it and got hit by a crazy curse.

Nachtdol: A giant pig is better at laying curses successfully than I am. That’s beyond depressing.

To be fair, this pig was a god.

Nachtdol: That’s slightly less depressing.

Along the way he had traversed the lands, and for a while as he did this, he was captivated by the beauty this ancient and young age of Japan had to offer.

Schiverta: It’s just trees. They’re not that impressive.

Well, Alex comes from a time where Japan is steel and concrete more than tree and dirt.

Schiverta: What, and I’m supposed to change my mind because of that?

Nah, just thought I’d clarify some details.

The first day he saw the beauty of the hills the first daybreak he left the Amishi Village.

Baldory: That sentence is a mess.

Armelas: I don’t read books half as often as Cap does, and I agree with him.

Nordauber: Some cases are easy enough to judge without needing proficiency in the topic at hand.


The way the clouds nearly touched the green hills, and the river running through them.

What kind of fucked up river is that? If that’s how you describe the sky, you should probably just stick to the basics, pal.

It was beautiful to him; it was like looking at a painting in a museum. The colors and lighting were lovely; it gave the art life and captivated those who looked at it with such a warm feeling in their hearts.

Oh look, now he’s trying to be artsy.

Nordauber: You say this as though this isn’t his first time attempting to look sophisticated.

It’s not. You should have been here when he was fucking up history left and right. Hell, you might even catch some of that here.

Nachtdol: Fun fun.


Later On

Schiverta: Sheesh, time goes by faster in this fic than it does in Tharsis. And there have been times where we’ve been working for three whole days without even noticing it.

Baldory: I sure notice.

Heilarzt: You work until you fall down, of course you notice.

Baldory: Thank you for your criticisms, I’ll be sure to keep them in mind.

Schiverta: No you won’t. You day that every time and you never do.

Baldory: It’s weird, I could have sworn my title was “captain,” and yet the amount of respect I don’t get is amazing.

Nachtdol: Oh no no no, don’t get the wrong idea, Cap. We respect the hell out of you – we just think you’re an idiot.

“Alex,” the young teenaged boy grumbled to himself as he shielded his face from the morning winds. “Sometimes you can be the biggest lunk-head of the 21st century.”

You’re not in the twenty-first century, so that makes you even more of a lunk-head. But good that you have the humility enough to admit it.

Nordauber: The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one, after all.

he continued to hike through the grasslands he was currently traversing through the land.

*Alarms Blare*

Nordauber: It wasn’t me. Schiverta can do it herself this time.

Schiverta: Well, you heard ’em, girly, get to work.

Armelas: What?! No, he said you have to do it!

Schiverta: Do you see all this armor and how heavy this shield is? I don’t know that I’d make it over there in time.

…It’s like six steps.

Schiverta: I don’t know that I’d make it over there in time.

Baldory: One of you just get up and go deal with that, please.

Armelas: Ugh, fine.

*Armelas draws her sword and walks over to the door, grumbling all the while; a second later, sounds of a swordfight echo back into the room, before all goes silent; Armelas returns covered in blood*

Armelas: Anybody got a towel? I think I have dead on me.


*SC underhands a rag into Armelas’ face*

Armelas: Thnnk mm.

I’m a helper! :D

Though he enjoyed seeing the beauty of the lands and forests, the boy was now beginning to fully realized the severity of the situation.

You’ve spent like three chapters realizing the severity of your situation, how do you still not understand what’s going on yet?

He stopped for a moment and crossed his arms, “My uncle’s an ex-Marine who taught me basic survival and camping skills. That, and three years of martial arts training,” he grumbled and shook his head, “What the heck was I thinking?” with a heavy sigh, Alex continued on his way.

Baldory: My entire family lineage has done time in the Stahl-Schild Order, so what?

Schiverta: Except your sister.

Baldory: No, Hilda is now the fifth and final Baldory child out of five to join the Order.

Schiverta: Oh. Well when the hell did that happen?

Baldory: Some time after we met the Sentinels, actually. By then, the Baldory name had gotten back in good enough standing with Elthesia that the Stahl-Schild Order could admit to supporting our family name again without risking a riot from our people. Now my brothers and I have to reconfigure our favorite saying from, “Nobody stops the Baldory sons” to, “Nobody stops the Baldory children.”

What makes this funny is that on the fic’s wiki, Stone-Man85 screwed the information up and said that Alex’s uncle is actually an ex-Green Beret.

Nachtdol: Nice.

“And finding a way back home?” he shook his head as he contemplated on the dilemma, “It’s not like I can find H.G. Wells and ask him to build a Time Machine; that’s in the 1700 or 1800s. And I know for sure that Dr. Emmet Brown’s not gonna come driving here in his supped up Delorean or his Choo-choo Train.”

Here’s an easy way to tell when the author is trying to show off how smart he thinks he is:

He starts listing off the names of well-known individuals, fictional or otherwise, and makes mention of exactly one or two things they were known for as if it proves anything.

Herbert George Wells, known better by his penname H. G. Wells, was an author who lived from the late 1800’s to the mid-1900’s, and one of the fiction books he published was The Time Machine. I don’t know where Alex got the 1700’s from.

As for Dr. Emmet Brown – come on. You can’t honestly tell me you’ve never heard of Back to the Future. Time-traveling DeLorean? Powered by plutonium, gets hit by lightning at eighty-eight miles per hour and goes back in time in a fiery blaze? And in the third movie of the main BttF trilogy, Doc Brown builds another time machine in a steam locomotive.

But, you see, trying to look smart loses substance when all you’re doing is showing off that you know this stuff. Like, even in the context of Alex wishing that he had a DeLorean to go back to his time with, there wasn’t any point in him mentioning H. G. Wells OR the time-traveling train. He could have just said “DeLorean,” and the whole audience would have gotten it.

And it loses even MORE substance when all anybody has to do to learn that and more is LOOK TO WIKIPEDIA FOR THE INFORMATION.

Nordauber: An old colleague of mine once said, “don’t try and boast about how smart you are – anybody can learn it, and many people know more.”

And there you go, ladies and gentlemen.

However, he forgot his troubles once again as he reached the end of the grasslands and made his way on top of the hills.

Heilarzt: I feel like we’re entering a vicious cycle.

He stood there, motionless, gazing out at the vast miles of grassy planes and sparkling lakes that lay behind and ahead of him. Beyond all that and his troubles, stood what looked like an endless range of green mountains that towered over the land like great monuments. The incredible sight was like a scene from a painting or something in a beautiful dream, and Alex couldn’t help but feel both touched and miniscule before the whole thing.

Armelas: He’s not gonna spend the whole time talking about how pretty the scenery is, is he?

Normally, is be fine with letting him go on with scenery porn, but this really is starting to drag. Pick up the pace, Stone-Man85.

“But I guess it’s true with what my dad says at times like this: whatever happens now, happens for a reason,” he said laughing at his dad’s little philosophy, and started down the hilled side, towards the green plains and mountains.

I hate how the author writes. Alex talks like an idiot in the sentence, and then immediately following that:

“Man, I’ve really gotta stop talking to myself. I’m starting to act crazy here.”

Like a totally normal human being. And here I thought MrAwesomeMatty was bad. I still do, mind, but Stone-Man85 seems worse.

Oh, and hey guys, guess how long this riff is gonna go on for?

The Next Few Days

Schiverta: It had better damn well not.

Nachtdol: I might actually kill myself.

Heilarzt: And make me waste a Nectar on you for self-induced suicide? Fuck off, you try and kill yourself and I’ll just leave you dead.

The next few days passed like a very slow dream. Each felt like forever as Alex continued to make his way westward, across the Japanese landscapes. In that time, he had seen forests, rivers and lakes, waterfalls, mountain ranges and many other sights that had literally taken his breath away. As an extra bonus for him, the surroundings proved to make for good resting grounds, for whenever Alex got the chance, he would just sit and camp for the night, taking sight at the night skies. When it turned night, the skies would light up with countless tiny stars that glittered like diamonds on a blackened table cloth left on the display. And the moon, or rather called God’s Eye his mom would sometimes call, was what made it even more lovelier, all of it untouched by the technology of Man’s light fixtures. It’s true he missed the use of electricity, but the sight of the stars and moon clear in the night sky was worth it sometimes.

Baldory: I feel disgusting for having read that.

Laying it on real thick there, Alex.

Armelas: Why did all those words make me feel so icky?

Nachtdol: I think I just read a really crappy porn.

Heilarzt: Hey, if you’re still up for killing yourself, give me one of your knives. We’ll go down together so we won’t have to read this shit anymore.

Schiverta: I don’t know what you all are whining about. This isn’t even the really dirty stuff.

Nordauber: I am going to refrain from asking you to elaborate.

Though living alone in the wilderness and outdoors did prove to be quite a challenge to him at times. Even though he had been taught by his uncle Levy on camping alone,

According to the wiki, his uncle’s name is Jaye.

Of course, I’m not surprised that he got his own character’s name wrong – he’s gotten everything else wrong so far, too.

he seemed to find himself falling victim to nature.

Heilarzt: “When Trees Attack!”

Armelas: We have actually had trees attack us. They turned me to stone. Don’t even joke about that.

Heilarzt: You got better, quit whining.

His uncle taught him everything; building tents out of what the terrain could offer if you didn’t pack a tent, surviving off what the land could give you in the way of food, and mostly, how to use the terrain to your advantage if you ever get in a fight.

You had to be taught all of this? Jesus Christ, kid, that would come to me like common sense if I needed it at any point.

Baldory: I know of exactly nobody who wouldn’t find shelter, hide from predators in a bush, or hunt for their own food if they needed to. Even the snobbiest noble could make a fine survivalist if he had no other options.

Though he wasn’t prepared when it came obstacles to which he wasn’t trained for.

Ace Team: Duh.

Like expecting the rainstorms that occur without warning, and the very hot climate of the days.

Ugh, for shit’s sake…

Rainstorms never occur without warning, moron. If you learn how to read it, you can tell when one is likely to occur.

Like, where I live, the air is usually pretty moist because of the proximity to nearby mountains. So, as a result of that natural moisture, when rains gets to coming, the air gets really humid. Like, it almost feels like heavy sludge that you just can’t lighten the load of. Even on chilly days, you’ll probably be sweating. That, and it starts to smell like something damp. When that happens, look up – odds are, there’ll be nothing but clouds over your head.

And warm climates are only as bad as you make them. Is there shade on the ground and water nearby? If yes, then you’ll be fine, dumbass. Stick to the shade, keep hydrated. Boom, problem solved. Might be exhausted and a little overheated, but that’ll likely be the worst of it.

And I’m just talking Nor-Cal weather, here. Back when I was living down in Modesto, in the Central Valley, the air was dry as shit because the entire area was flatlands. When rain came, you would suddenly notice that the air seemed unusually refreshing. And then boom, fucking torrent from the sky. And the hot weather was actually almost better than up north, because it was a dry heat, so it didn’t weigh on you like it does up north. It just hurt.

So, really Alex, quit bitching. You’re better off than you could be.

But the real problems came about when the time came for him to eat. Since he was without matches or a lighter he had no way of starting a fire which meant of course, he had to eat his rice raw.


Armelas, Schiverta and Nachtdol: Wooow.

Heilarzt: You’re fucking kidding me, right?

*Nordauber lays his head into his hands*

Baldory: Oooh, I feel a migraine coming on…

How fucking hard is it to rub two sticks together over a dry leaf pile?! Honestly?!

And you’re trying to tell me that your ex-military uncle taught you how to survive in the wild, but never fucking bothered with the FIRST GOD DAMNED LESSON?!


You could pick up a rock and strike the sword against it, and that’d give you your fire!

Alex, why are you so pathetic?!

Heilarzt: I never realized it was humanly possible to feel bad for someone and want them to die at the same time, but here we are.

Finding things to light a fire with wasn’t hard for him, it was making sure it stayed lit, that was the problem. He considered himself lucky that he still had a good supply of smoked meat with him.

Oh, so, update on the meat: it’s smoked. Yeah, that’s it. Just smoked. All that does is give it flavor, not much in the way of preserving freshness, but this is Stone-Man85 – it’s foolish to expect much of him at this point that isn’t infuriating.

Like the fire thing.

So Alex is perfectly able to light a fire (thank Christ for that), but doesn’t know how to keep it lit. Well, that’s why you gather wood before you light it, nimrod. And you make sure that the stuff that had been burning previously isn’t smothering the coals so that the next log will light up when you drop it on the pile. And if possible, let the other stuff burn to coals itself so that you’ll have a fresh coal pile for the next log. And because it’s out in the open air, it’s not like a fireplace, where you have to fight tooth and nail to keep the damn thing lot because there just isn’t enough air getting in.

Honestly, keeping it lit is the easy part, Alex must have a bad habit of tossing water on it if he sucks so badly at it.

Schiverta: We just cheat and have Nordauber light it for us. Magic fire doesn’t go out until he tells it to, so that shit stays lit the whole night.

Nordauber: Which causes a steady and noticeable strain on me, though don’t expect any of my teammates to care.

Nachtdol: I mean, if we’re employing a campfire, odds are we’re going to sleep soon anyhow, so we’re just helping you clock out easier.

You guys are such lazy assholes.

Baldory: And try as I might, I simply can not train that out of them.

Armelas: Fight the powah!

Baldory: Sit down.

Armelas: Yes sir.

…You just submit to the powah.

Armelas: He was glaring at me.

Along his journey the only other humans he had encountered were a few ox drivers guiding their oxen along the dusty roads, and a traveling merchant who had tried to sell him a bamboo flute. Though he declined, saying he wasn’t very good a musician; his singing wasn’t that well either, considering it sounded like an animal that needed to be put out of his misery.

Schiverta: Heilarzt is worse.

Heilarzt: What the hell? I don’t even sing.

Schiverta: Not when you know we’re around, no. Did you know you kind of sound like an out-of-breath pigeon when you hit high notes?

Heilarzt: Listen, there’s a reason I never took up the performing arts. Besides, if my singing is bad, Armelas dances with all the gracefulness of wiggly gelatin.

Armelas: I’m still learning! I’m not as good as Wiglaf yet! Get off my back!

Nachtdol: Speaking of wiggly gelatin, did anybody else know that Armelas is “well-blessed” under her armor?

Armelas: Huh?

Schiverta: I knew that, but why is that important right now?

Nachtdol: It’s not, I just like the face she makes when the topic changes out of nowhere, and I couldn’t think of anything better to bring up.

Armelas: …I mean, I didn’t think it was that noticeable, personally. Wait, you don’t peep on women, do you?

Nachtdol: No, I don’t. but you wear the straps on your front plate loose enough when we’re out traveling long distances that it jumps around more than it otherwise would whenever you’re moving faster than walking speed.

Schiverta: It is pretty obvious, gotta agree.

Armelas: Huh. So, are you implying I have jelly-boobs?

Let’s move on before this gets any weirder. I shouldn’t have even let Nachtdol change the subject in the first place.

*Baldory subconsciously scoots as far away from the Ace Team as the seat on his chair will allow*

Though everyone, whom Alex had encountered, tried their best to act as they normally did in their daily lives, they seemed somewhat disturbed by his presence. Then again, he was probably the first white person, or American, they had ever seen.

Oh, definitely. The first white colonists to settle in America didn’t show up until waaay later. Hell, I don’t even know if America was called that back in the Muromachi period’s timeframe.

Though it was probably his clothing that fueled their uneasiness; they had never seen such garments before.

You know, he keeps going back to the clothes. I really don’t think they’d be so concerned about that, in truth. I mean, canonically, Ashitaka shows up in full Emishi attire in an area that probably only vaguely knows that the Emishi people exist, mainly because they have bigger things on their minds at the time, and nobody bats an eye about that. If you read the manga that was made around the movie, the women are usually too busy talking about how sexy he is to give a shit about his clothes. Maybe Alex might get a few odd looks, but I think they’re more interested in the fact that this pale-ass little kid who speaks funny is wandering around in their land acting like he’s never seen a tree before.

Baldory: When I first arrived in Tharsis, I should have stood out like a sore thumb, but aside from the people who were looking to join my guild and the few businesses I ended up working the closest with afterwards, hardly anybody even noticed that a fully-armored Elthesian knight had just arrived in town. Now, the Vessels and Sentinels, on the other hand…

Nordauber: Not only did they notice, they immediately figured him for our captain. To this day, I’m still not sure how that happened, because unless he went out of his way to put forth the image of being our captain, you couldn’t really tell him from any other guild member.

Probably didn’t help much either because they also didn’t have a clue whenever he used modern language with idioms or slang terms.

Idioms and slang terms were things that existed back then, too. It’s just, they were far different from the ones Alex is using, more than likely.

Of course, after spending years as a social recluse and hardly having the chance to make long-lasting friends, Alex had become used to that sort of treatment from people.

Look, you can tell me that Alex is a social recluse like I am all you want (and I am – if I don’t need to leave the house or talk to people, more often than not I just don’t), I still have no sympathy for him.

Heilarzt: Ironically enough, most of this team are social recluses as well. It’s hard to tell with any of us at first glance, other than Nordauber, but we actually are when you get to know us.

Baldory: Yeah, after they split from the guild and moved to Elthesia, they rented out the most out-of-the-way little shack they could possibly find in town. If Armelas hadn’t physically led me there, I’d never have been able to find them. It’s not like Elthesia’s real estate market is bad or anything, they just chose not to rent out any of the larger houses closer to the main streets.

Seriously? Wow, and here I thought you guys were all social butterflies.

Heilarzt: Nope. Nordauber is damn near emotionless and therefore impossible to get a read on, Schiverta’s bluntness doesn’t sit well with others, Armelas is crowd-shy, Nachtdol’s sense of humor drives people off, and I just flat out don’t like people.

Armelas is crowd-shy?

Armelas: I don’t like it when a lot of people are looking at me.

The things you learn about your own OCs…

A Week Later

No, I learned it two seconds ago!

Kakashi Village

“You rang?”

After six days of traveling, Alex finally came to his first village. Though it was a fairly small one, it was thriving in human activity. Merchants and traders haggled with the passing villagers, attempting to make a good sale, women walked along the dusty streets carrying heavy sacks over their shoulders and atop their heads, and frail looking beggars groveled at the feet of passerby’s for food.

Wait, whoa, hold it. I might be crazy, but since when did women in Japan carry things on their heads?

Schiverta: Personally, I would do it to show off how strong my neck is. Because any excuse to brag is an excuse I gladly take.

[Oh, I LIKE her. -Sports Shades]

Alex even spotted a few samurai sitting around a rice vendor, drinking mouthful after mouthful of sake.


Baldory: Sounds a great deal like the Sentinels.

Can't imagine why...

Can’t imagine why…

As if that couldn’t top them all, he even spotted a few men and women shuffling along with classic wooden shoes on their feet.

Excuse you, the term is geta.

The whole scene looked like something out of one of those Japanese samurai movies he always liked to watch.

“Japanese samurai,” as opposed to all the Celtic ones.

I mean, just LOOK how Samurai this guy is!

I mean, just LOOK how Samurai this guy is!

As he continued to walk along the bustling streets of the village, Alex noticed that he seemed to attract a lot of attention from the people.

You’d think those Samurai would have the presence of mind enough to go and investigate the source of the commotion, but I guess they’re too busy getting cranked on sake to notice. Wait, can you even DO that? How heavy an alcohol IS sake, anyhow?

Baldory: Sake? Don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.

It’s a white wine made from fermented polished rice. My parents have had it before, but I’ve never really worked up the courage to try it for myself. Comes in these lovely little decorated square bottles, too.

Heilarzt: My medical senses are tingling. Why do I get the feeling that there’s some medical connection with sake?

You know, there could be… Aaand there is! One example is Toso, a spiced sake usually had during New Year celebrations, made from a blend of medicinal herbs soaked in either the standard rice alcohol or mirin. Some familiar names on the list are ginger, cinnamon and rhubarb, which are all known as being pretty powerful palette cleansers. So it’ll flush all the bad stuff out of you if you drink it, by God.

Heilarzt: Good to have some of that when you’re down with the flu, then.

Hot, wet rag over your head, bundled up in twenty blankets, drinking that? Oh man, you’ll sweat the Bad out so fast it won’t even be funny.

Schiverta: I think there was a passage about medicinal alcohol in that book you loaned me, now that we’re talking about it.

Heilarzt: Should be several pages, actually. Unless I ripped a couple out for personal study and didn’t think about anybody else needing them.

You rip specific pages out of books? You monster.

Heilarzt: Listen, I love books as much as the next guy – I mean, half my profession is reading up on symptoms and treatments anyhow – but when I’m dealing with a specific case, I can’t really afford to flip through the pages until I get there, alright? Besides, it’s not like I’m the only Bernoryn Medic who’s done that.

Baldory: That’s why man invented bookmarks, Heilar-

*Heilarzt, thoroughly unamused, holds up a thick medical tome with nearly every page marked by bookmarks*

Baldory: …I see. My apologies.

He saw a few young boys gawking and pointing at him and whispering to one another, not their eyes off of his pale white face for a second.

It’s good that the author specified that they’re not whispering to their eyes. That would have been confusing later.

Armelas: Whispering to someone’s eyes would be pretty annoying, I think. What with them being really close and their breath stinking really bad and the hot air right in your eye…

Yeah, and if you’re really unlucky, they have a bad habit of spitting their words.

Nachtdol: Having spat in people’s eyes to get the upper hand in a fight before, I can confirm that it would be awful.

Nordauber: Especially since I know what incident you’re talking about, and you actually drank a small bottle of acid right before it happened. The dosage was small enough that all it did was burn if ingested, and not really harm, but when spat into his opponent’s eyes, the man crumpled from the pain. I’m fairly certain he was rendered blind by that, in fact.


Nachtdol: We Nightseekers don’t believe on playing nice. Or fair. And in my case, I don’t play safely either.

Heilarzt: Yyyeah, so I gathered. And how many times, exactly, have you pulled that acid-spitting stunt?

Nachtdol: Oh relax, it was only the one time. Besides, Nightseeker training has you being repeatedly poisoned, cursed, paralyzed, drugged to sleep and acid burnt by slowly increasing doses so that you build up an immunity to them. I knew I’d be fine.

Armelas: Geez, maybe I should have taken lessons in Nightseeker training.

Nachtdol: No, you were right not to. They’re horrible. Part of the reason Nightseekers are so in love with death is because we’re all some degree of insane due to our training habits.

Baldory: As if I wasn’t already creeped out enough by Nightseekers…

Heilarzt: Is that why you’re so easy to kill all the time?! Because your body is forever riddled with status ailments?!

Nachtdol: And you thought it was just because I was weak as shit.


At first, Alex didn’t really mind the people’s behavior towards him. But now, after what seemed like the eleven-millionth time a group of people had pointed at him as though he were a potted plant,

Eleven million is a bit of a stretch for a small village, methinks.

Schiverta: Personally, I don’t find anything interesting about potted plants. Like… wow, you put a green thing in a jar full of dirt, woohoo. What an I supposed to be impressed by?

Nordauber: And yet she is a better botanist than all of us combined.

Schiverta: Well, you put a plant in a jar! It’s not gonna stay green forever on its own, is it?

the dark haired youth was starting to become fairly annoyed. He shot the boys a sharp glare causing them to scurry away in fear.

Oh come on, he’s not that scary.

You know what is, though?

The Ur-Child.

Madam, would this happen to be UR-CHILD? Ahahahahaha- uh, why are you... why are you looking at me like that?

Madam, would this happen to be UR-CHILD? Ahahahahaha- uh, why are you… why are you looking at me like that?

*The entire Ace Team picks up their chairs and move away from the screen*

Nachtdol: Eesh, could have warned me that I’d be having nightmares tonight.

I’d have thought my announcing of the Ur-Child would have been warning enough.

“Snot-nosed little brats,” Alex grumbled under his breath, “Parents should have taught them manners or something.”


Nachtdol: Look who’s talking, asshole.

Schiverta: Now it smells like irony in here.

Armelas: Well hi there, Mister Kettle! I’m Miss Pot! Have you noticed how dark your complexion has become, recently?

Heilarzt: Shit, even I recognize that I’m probably worse before I go judging people.

*Nordauber shakes his head; Baldory pinches the bridge of his nose*

Suddenly, he heard screaming come from outside the village, and spotted a huge cloud of smoke rising from over the horizon of the village.

But more on that later.

Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! Alex gets involved in shit that doesn’t involve him so that he can have an excuse to show off his crazy new demon powers, because of course he would. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Captain Weiss Baldory and the members of the Ace Team, I’ll see you next time!

…So that was fun. Think I should invite more of your guild to hang out with us? I mean, damn, Paulo said he’d probably be gone for this next week, and who knows when Simon will get free time again.

Baldory: If you do, don’t call on Squad Three. Those poor rookies probably wouldn’t handle this very well.

Armelas: Those kids are so cute. Especially that little Dancer girl, Nixie. Has she got that vertical swing down, yet?

Baldory: She’s only dented my shield about three times from overdoing it, this time.



124 Comments on “1096: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Five, Part One”

  1. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Not related to the snarking, but you guys need to see this


    From the director of Philosopher of Earth, I present to you: “Needlessly Dark Vague Bullshit”!

    Seriously, the guy is actually blaming ME for not READING his story write in the comment. I’m fucking done with this pretentious fuckwit.

  2. "Lyle" says:

    Considering Alex-Stu is from the 21st century and doesn’t have the same immune system as the people back then, I hope he enjoys his giardia since he’s so incompetent as to not be able to make fire with which to boil the water I’m sure he’s slurping from those streams.

    • SC says:

      I did not even think about that.

      Of course, considering what I DID call out, that’s easily forgiveable on my part.

      • "Lyle" says:

        Oh, indeed. You can’t always comment on everything, especially when there is just so much fail around. That’s why we have the comments section! I’ve just been backpacking since I was 7 so there are things that are ingrained in my brain for survival and “do NOT drink the water! (without some sort of treatment via boiling/filtering/iodine)” is one of them.

      • SC says:

        I went camping up in Modoc a couple times for deer season. We had to boil the stream water there. I don’t know how I didn’t remember that.

  3. GhostCat says:

    Oh, so, update on the meat: it’s smoked. Yeah, that’s it. Just smoked. All that does is give it flavor, not much in the way of preserving freshness,

    Actually, smoking meat will preserve it; smoking and curing meats are some of the oldest known methods of food preservation. The long exposure to low, indirect heat essentially dehydrates the meat, and the smoke creates an acidic coating that resists bacteria as well as giving it that yummy flavor. If this meat was smoked for long term storage, it’s going to be hard as a rock; he’ll break a tooth is he tries to take a bite out of it. He needs to soften it by soaking it in water.

  4. GhostCat says:

    In that time, he had seen forests, rivers and lakes, waterfalls, mountain ranges and many other sights that had literally taken his breath away.

    And thanks ever so much for just telling us about them instead of showing them to us. So much better.

  5. GhostCat says:

    Since he was without matches or a lighter he had no way of starting a fire which meant of course, he had to eat his rice raw.

    I don’t think the author has ever eaten rice before and may be under the impression that it is some sort of vegetable.

  6. GhostCat says:

    You know, he keeps going back to the clothes. I really don’t think they’d be so concerned about that, in truth.

    If he’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt the t-shirt might cause a few murmurs, but if he has a button-down shirt or jacket over it then it wouldn’t look too different from traditional Japanese peasant clothing used for field work like hanten, jinbei, or pair of monpei. Not everyone in Japan wore kimono all day long, the long sleeves and long skirts aren’t very practical for hard labor. The cut would be different (we tend to prefer fitted garments that follow our curves these days and most traditional Japanese clothing is looser and made of simple rectangles with belts and tied closures rather than buttons) but not that remarkable. With a few exceptions, like business suits or couture wear, most clothes are constructed in a similar fashion – pants will have two legs, shirts will have two arms, etc… The colors might stand out if he has anything bright on as colored dyes were very expensive – except for indigo, which peasants grew for their own use, so his jeans would fit right in.

    The fact that he’s a round-eyed white boy wandering about would be far more interesting than what he’s wearing.

    • SC says:

      See, that’s how I thought of it, too. Clothing has evolved, yes, but not as much from the way it used to be as the author seems to think it has.

      • GhostCat says:

        The most obvious difference that could be spotted at a distance would be the width of the sleeves and in the shoulders; Western-style clothing has tighter sleeves and curved shoulder seams that follow the natural line of the shoulder, while the shoulder seams for traditional Japanese clothing start around the top of the bicep and are perfectly straight. It makes the arms less defined since your “armpit” is now a few inches down your arm. Japanese clothing was meant to be made with fabric from traditional looms, which is about fourteen inches wide (the back is two panels wide, the front is two panels wide, and the sleeves are one panel long) with minimal cutting involved and since most people don’t have twenty-eight inch wide backs, the excess drapes down the arm.

        And if he’s wearing anything that fastens with buttons, that would be a cause for curiosity; traditional Japanese clothing doesn’t have buttons, only ties and belts.

      • SC says:

        The best comparison I could give you between him and the rest of Feudal Japan would be to pull up his character image from the stupid wiki.


      • GhostCat says:

        He’s carrying a sword so that alone would be reason for all of the peasants to stare but leave him alone. It was a bad idea to mess with anyone who could carry a sword; they would either be high-ranked, or an outlaw.

      • SC says:

        It should also bring alarm to those Samurai hanging out at the bar, now that I think of it. Guy waltzes into town with a sword on his belt, it certainly isn’t a katana, and he ain’t no Samurai by the looks of him? Sound the motherfucking bell, school’s about to be in session!

        • GhostCat says:

          They should have assumed he was a criminal of some kind, since he neither looks nor acts like a samurai and thus isn’t entitled to carry a long blade, and arrested him.

      • SC says:

        Of course, they should also be responding to the imminent threat very nearby, but hey, sake takes precedence, apparently!

  7. GhostCat says:

    Maybe Alex might get a few odd looks, but I think they’re more interested in the fact that this pale-ass little kid who speaks funny is wandering around in their land acting like he’s never seen a tree before.

    That’s right, he only speaks modern Japanese, not classical! Oh, man; he’s screwed.

    • SC says:

      Oh fuck, I forgot that bit. He did claim to have been practicing Japanese for when he moved there from America, didn’t he?

      • GhostCat says:

        I think he learned it on the flight over :eye-twitch: which sounds so realistic.

      • SC says:

        Yeah, that’s how he said it. And I recall being rather put out by the claim.

      • GhostCat says:

        Because that’s fucking bullshit. He might be able to ask where the toilet is, but he’d never be able to attend school or anything. He couldn’t even get around, since signs are typically in kanji and kana, not English or romaji.

      • SC says:

        And good luck getting traffic-directing officers to help you, they probably don’t have the best grasp on English themselves. God bless them, they will certainly try, but I can almost guarantee it will get lost in translation.

        • GhostCat says:

          From what I understand English is taught in many schools, but the odds that some random person on the street would be fluent enough to help Alex would be slim. It would be like walking up to someone and asking them to help you figure the circumference of a circle; they might have learned how to do it in school but that doesn’t mean they would still be able to do it.

      • SC says:

        It’s like me and French: I learned how to speak enough French to help me survive a week in the country, but when I actually ended up being some random American kid IN PARIS, I found it much more difficult to put my knowledge into practice than I had initially thought.

      • TacoMagic says:

        It would be like walking up to someone and asking them to help you figure the circumference of a circle; they might have learned how to do it in school but that doesn’t mean they would still be able to do it.

        *Coughs nervously* Yeah. Haha. Who ever would know how to do that? Heh, losers and their circles amirite?

        Gotta go.

        • GhostCat says:

          You’re a special case, Taco. Most people wouldn’t invent a new form of measurement based on tableware just because they got bored waiting for a meal.

      • SC says:

        Math nerd detected.

  8. GhostCat says:

    women walked along the dusty streets carrying heavy sacks over their shoulders and atop their heads

    That is not a thing. Women carried big baskets on their backs.

    • SC says:

      The on the head part is what gets me. Did women in Japan actually do that, or is Alex talking crap? I mean, I know it’s a thing in Africa and India, but Japan?

      • GhostCat says:

        As far as I know it was back-carry only. I think there was a strap that was sometimes used across the forehead to balance larger loads and keep them from tipping backwards, but I cannot recall ever seeing anything about Japanese people carrying things on their heads like that.

        Balancing something on your head is really only a useful means of transport if you are in flat open terrain with few or no trees where you don’t have to look down at any point; that does not describe Japan. Plus carrying things on your head would make bowing difficult.

      • SC says:

        That’s what I thought. So Alex is very definitely talking crap.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Yeah, Alex is mistaking Japan for India. Because they’re so fucking close.

      • SC says:

        Oh yeah, Japan is totally clustered in the middle of the Mediterranean countries, don’t you know.

      • GhostCat says:

        Dude, where do you think India is?

      • TacoMagic says:

        Apparently it’s over by Egypt now.

        Might want to call Asia and tell them about the move; they’re going to need a billion or so change of address forms.

  9. TacoMagic says:

    Heilarzt: Can we find another word than “trail,” please?

    Hmmm… maybe… hunter?

  10. TacoMagic says:

    In that time, he had seen forests, rivers and lakes, waterfalls, mountain ranges and many other sights that had literally taken his breath away.

    Though sadly not long enough to cause asphyxiation.

  11. TacoMagic says:

    for whenever Alex got the chance, he would just sit and camp for the night, taking sight at the night skies.

    Hey, jerkwad, don’t snipe the stars.

  12. TacoMagic says:

    His uncle taught him everything; building tents out of what the terrain could offer if you

    Also known as a debris hut. It’s not really a tent so much as a shelter made out of sticks, fir branches, large underbrush leaves, and leaf litter. It’s about as fun and comfortable an experience as it sounds. After spending about 2 seconds in one of those, you understand why it’s an absolute last resort. Most survival structures are a lot more intricate and can take several hours to put together, which is why time management is so important. But I wouldn’t call any of those a tent.

    The fact that he so quickly stoops to using one on his trips speaks of how much real experience with the out-doors our city-kid author has.

    His only other option for a makeshift “tent” is to kill something, skin it, and use the hide. Forgive me if I’m dubious that he’d come anywhere close to pulling that off.

    • GhostCat says:

      It’d be return of the Stank-Hole from Life with Raptors.

    • SC says:

      Oh I know it. Hell, I’ve read a Survival For Kids! type of book that had more knowledge about it than he did. And that book suggested cuddling into some little alcove and tossing a tarp over the entrance.

      Me, personally, I don’t have much room to talk because I’ve only ever used a real tent or slept in travel trailers. But if I needed to, I could definitely pull off makeshift better than Alex does.

  13. TacoMagic says:

    You could pick up a rock and strike the sword against it, and that’d give you your fire!

    Sorry, dude, but that’s not really how fire striking works. It requires a very specific subset of rocks that are typically called flint, but many forms of Cryptocystaline Chert and Quartz will actually work (In fact, Japan has little-to-no actual flint, but instead they often used raw quartz or agate). Now agate is pretty common in mountainous and coastal regions of Japan (So, most of Japan), but you still have to know what you’re looking for and that you need to look for it.

    That’s not to say you can’t spark off a wide variety of rocks, but it requires more specific rocks to create sparks that burn hot and long enough to actually ignite tinder.

    • SC says:

      Oh. Well, Alex is nearby enough mountains that he should have stumbled across some by chance, damn it.

      But, failing that, if Kaya’s sword is shiny enough, he could use the sun to heat things up. It would take him for-fucking-EVER, but it night work.

      • TacoMagic says:

        True, but again, given this guy’s level of expertise, likely he’d pick up the wrong kind of rock, strike it, dull the sword, then give up.

        If he knew what he was doing? Yeah, it’d be a simple thing to find a useful striking rock, especially if he found a river. But that requires him to not totally fail at survivaling.

      • SC says:

        After claiming his ex-military uncle taught him, he SHOULD KNOW what he’s doing.

        That he doesn’t speaks levels.

        • GhostCat says:

          We’re all assuming that his “ex-military” uncle knew what he was doing. Being in the armed forces doesn’t necessarily mean the uncle spent a lot of time in survival conditions.

      • GhostCat says:

        I don’t think polished steel of any grade available at the time would be reflective enough to act as a solar heater or produce a concentrated enough beam to set something on fire.

      • TacoMagic says:

        I think it’d be more likely to find a lens of some kind on himself and use that to focus the sun.

        Remember kids, if you wear glasses you’ve already got an A+ in survalizing!

        Actually, if his Swiss Army knife had the magnifying glass on it- oh… right. Smooth move, Alex.

      • SC says:

        I’m assuming his ex-military uncle knew because Alex implied he did, Ghostie. So, going by that alone, either Alex is an idiot, or Jaye wants his nephew dead.

        Oh, glasses are a good heat focus? Gee, too bad Alex doesn’t know me, or anybody in the Specs and Co., and too bad we’re not willing to help his ass, huh?

      • TacoMagic says:

        The very point of eye glasses is to focus light at a specific distance, that makes them very, very good at lighting fires. Not as easy as using a magnifying glass because of the much closer focal distance, but not very hard once you get it down.

        Not that I’ve ever do that as a kid. Nope. No sir. Would not set things on fire with my glasses. Not ever.

      • SC says:

        Totes didn’t light any anthills up with mine when I first got them either.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Yup, just a couple of normal dudes. Doing normal things. And totally not lighting things on fire with our eyeglasses.

      • SC says:

        Nnnope. Never happened once.


      • GhostCat says:

        And I’ve never once lit a cigarette with my glasses. That would be irresponsible.

      • SC says:

        Oh, highly.

        *shifty eyes*

        (No, one never lit a cigarette with my glasses, before anybody starts worrying.)

  14. TacoMagic says:

    Finding things to light a fire with wasn’t hard for him, it was making sure it stayed lit, that was the problem.

    Kid, you suck at fire. Literally the easiest part of fire, and you’re having issues.

    I really, really wish I was surprised.

    Hey, city-kid authors, take your ass outside of the city limits a few times before you try to write something with survival in it, okay? Getting the bare bones of survival knowledge isn’t that hard. Get a book on survival 101, go find a state or federal park, go camping for a few days, and do some practice!

    And I’m not talking trap making here, I’m talking things like tending a fucking fire!

    • GhostCat says:

      Failing that, get a charcoal grill. Or make friends with some rednecks; we love a good bonfire.

      • SC says:

        Or, hell, if you have a fire pit or hearth, prescribe with that. It’s far more contained than a campfire would be, sure, but it’s still as good a teacher as any. I mean, shit, that’s where I learned it.

  15. TacoMagic says:

    “Japanese samurai,” as opposed to all the Celtic ones.

    Well, there was that one Celtic clan…

    The McNinja Clan

  16. TacoMagic says:

    You’d think those Samurai would have the presence of mind enough to go and investigate the source of the commotion, but I guess they’re too busy getting cranked on sake to notice. Wait, can you even DO that? How heavy an alcohol IS sake, anyhow?

    Yes. Yes you can. No follow up questions on why I know that.

  17. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Heilarzt: Can we find another word than “trail,” please?

    Jigsaw’s leftovers?

  18. Herr Wozzeck says:

    a brown death amongst the grass and plants, as well as the trees it tore down that got in its path.

    Welcome to Muddy Heights!

  19. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The first day he saw the beauty of the hills the first daybreak he left the Amishi Village.

    Was Also sprach Zarathustra playing in the background, too?

    Oh, wait, silly me: that piece wouldn’t be written for another 300+ years. Or was it 500+? With the way this fic fucks timeline up, you can never be sure.

  20. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Oh look, now he’s trying to be artsy.

    Hey, he’s not abusing the word “artistic”! There’s hope for him yet!

  21. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Nachtdol: I might actually kill myself.

    Be thankful you’re not watching Ben Affleck and Matt Damon walk around a desert for 90 minutes.

  22. Herr Wozzeck says:

    When it turned night, the skies would light up with countless tiny stars that glittered like diamonds on a blackened table cloth left on the display.

    *has flashbacks to that Star Wars/MLP crossover with the purple prose*

    Eh, whatever.

  23. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Rainstorms never occur without warning, moron. If you learn how to read it, you can tell when one is likely to occur.

    More proof that he’s never set foot in Florida. Growing up in Miami, I’ve gotten very good at looking at the sky to tell if it’s gonna rain just from how dark the clouds are and how much of the sky they cover. He doesn’t need no stinking ex-Marine/Green Beret/Air Force Cadet/Whatever to show him that shit!

    • SC says:

      In California, especially the mountainous areas, literally the air will get heavy and damp-feeling, and you’ll start smelling this almost mildew-sorta smell.

      It’ll also get humid as hell, because all the moisture just goes right down the mountains to you.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        Well, in Miami you learned how to do it without the change in moisture. Which, if Alex were at a place that was near any kind of shore (like, for instance, the lake that surrounds Iron Town), he’d have to rely on cloud cover reading since there’d be no change in humidity to tip him off.

      • SC says:

        Or look at the surface of a small body of water. If it gets disturbingly smooth, that’s probably your cue that rain’s a-coming.

      • GhostCat says:

        literally the air will get heavy and damp-feeling, and you’ll start smelling this almost mildew-sorta smell.

        ‘Round here we call that “normal” for summer. Humidity stays really high, the average humidity is eighty-five percent, and there’s constant thunderstorms this time of year.

        To duplicate the sensation, drench a heavy blanket in hot water and then wrap it around yourself.

      • SC says:

        Exactly, but cold water for NorCal.

  24. Herr Wozzeck says:

    and a traveling merchant who had tried to sell him a bamboo flute. Though he declined, saying he wasn’t very good a musician;

    Not that being a good musician would’ve helped him with that bamboo flute anyway.

    I mean, seriously. Aside from the fact he’d have to use trial and error to figure out the fingerings on a new instrument he’s never seen before, even if he did somehow figure it out he’d basically have to get used to a completely different tuning system. And given that he’s in the 1570’s, he’d have to do that with older instruments anyway: equal temperament (which is the tuning system widely used now) was not a thing in the 1500’s, and it wouldn’t become a thing until way later in the history of music. (Rameau wouldn’t start writing about equal temperament until the 1730’s, and even then it didn’t catch on immediately.)

    But of course, Asia sang its own tune when it came to tuning shit. Yeah, you know all that pentatonic scale stuff they talk about in school? Yeah, that’s just an equal-tempered appropriation of Asian scales. ACTUAL Asian scales are differentiated from how they’re tuned. Now, Japanese music isn’t my specialty since I learned more about Gamelan (which is from the Indonesian islands), but Gamelan demonstrates that perfectly. Observe:

    In fact, China discovered 12 EDO equal temperament before the Western World did, but they discarded it ’cause that tuning system didn’t exactly fit how they conceived music.

    TLDR: even if Alex were a good musician, picking up that flute still would have been a shit idea.

    • SC says:

      That and we really, REALLY didn’t want him trying to music after everything else he’s fucked up so far.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        Oh, come on. You know you would’ve loved the results from how it’d affect me!

      • SC says:

        I’d have enjoyed watching you flip a bitch, yes, but only after I’d flipped a bitch first, and that’s not good for my mood, yo.

  25. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Hell, I don’t even know if America was called that back in the Muromachi period’s timeframe.

    According to Uncle Google, the first known use of “America” to refer to the Americas happened in 1507, so by this point in the Muromachi period, it probably would have been known as America.

    The landmass. They would have yet to associate the term “America” with a particular country that arose out of colonies that Britain would take another 50 or so years to start establishing.

  26. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The whole scene looked like something out of one of those Japanese samurai movies he always liked to watch.

    Funny. I distinctly remember Akira Kurosawa movies lacking samurai drinking around stalls and shit.

  27. Herr Wozzeck says:

    How heavy an alcohol IS sake, anyhow?

    Sake is pretty strong, yeah. But that said, it's not that strong: Bacardi rum is much stronger, so…

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