2.70 Entourage Selection – Test 2
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While Aidan had informed Flora about the last days' events, Mia's test progressed to the next stage. Now, the candidates were allowed to use skills.

The characteristic explosion of light from Bless and Condemn emanated from Deriga's box and a fiery but transparent cloud from Babra's. Vatten chanted non-stop, but no overt visual effects appeared.

Although Nomizo was still struggling in the Treadmill Tunnel next to Flora's, waiting for her chat, Flora was more interested in unfamiliar classes' skills.

"Aidan, show me what Field Chaplains, Elemental Monks, and Divine Shields can bring to the table."

Class:

Field Chaplain

Branch:

Divine

Passive:

+ 1 Training efficiency modifier when in a party with 10+ members

Active:

Reduces the Metal Handicap induced by allied war machines

STA:

War Prayer of Strength:

Increases the highest attribute of the target. CD: 1 min. Duration: 10 sec

AoE:

War Prayer of Encouragement:

Increases the Regeneration of all friendlies. CD: 1 min; Duration: 10 sec

DEF:

War Prayer of Protection:

Increases the Defense attributes of the target. CD: 1 min

MOV:

War Prayer of Marching:

(Channeled) Increases the group's Agility up to the value of its highest member and the Stamina consumption down to the value of its lowest member. Double effect and no CD out of combat. CD: 1 min

SIG:

War Prayer of Revival:

Revives a defeated target with temporary HP. CD: 5 min; Duration: 25 sec

"Very nice. I love the Prayer of Marching. The Divine Branch's movement skills like Levitate, Meditative Walk, and Protect the Weak don't help with speed. This skill could compensate for that. If the Entourage task involves some running around, we will profit immensely. Prayer of Encouragement sounds a lot like War Cry or Refresh. Do they share a cooldown?"

"Yes, Milady."

"Oh, well. Still, it would be great to have one more person able to cast it. I don't understand Prayer of Revival. Don't you go to the loser's corner when you are defeated?"

"In zones where the defeat condition is 'Death', you will lie where you have fallen for one minute. If your allies heal you for double your HP amount, you will rise again. Of course, Natives don't have the loser's corner. With this spell, they can not only escape out of area effects, but it also resets the timer, so you have additional time to heal them up."

"Wow, Vatten's skills are too good to miss out. I hope Robby's teammate, what's her name, will get the class."

"Olivandra Cascade, Milady."

Flowing Flowers to RadGlory Flow: "How's it going, sweety? Have you found out how to get the Field Chaplain? I just looked at the skills, they're superb!"

RadGlory Flow to Flowing Flowers: "This war is delicious! We are gobbling up XP like crazy. Yes, Olivia has enlisted and is doing a way too long quest chain, but she's on it. Vatten Muskler has a great reputation here. He's a keeper, Ma. We're working hard to live up to his hype."

Flowing Flowers to RadGlory Flow: "We'll see. By the way, when did you intend to tell me about Birgit joining the Riverstones?"

RadGlory Flow to Flowing Flowers: "I have to go, Ma! Byebye!"

Flowing Flowers to RadGlory Flow: "Robert Fluss!"

RadGlory Flow to Flowing Flowers: "Just kidding. I hadn't thought it was necessary. Auntie Birgit isn't exactly stealthy."

Flora snorted.

Flowing Flowers to RadGlory Flow: "You have a point there."

After they said goodbye, Flora cast Rekindle at Nomizo, and Aidan displayed the next class.

Class:

[Elemental] Monk

Branch:

Divine/Magic

Passive:

+ 1 Training efficiency modifier when Divine [Elemental] Enhancement is active

Active:

All divine skills that have a Faith secondary effect have an additional weak [elemental] secondary effect when Divine [Elemental] Enhancement is active.

STA:

[Elemental] Mendicate:

Health Transfer from Target to Caster. CD: 1 min

AoE:

[Elemental] Mantra:

(Channeled) Replenishes pool values. CD: none

DEF:

[Elemental] Firm Belief:

Blocks intent and elemental damage to the caster. CD: 1 min

MOV:

[Elemental] Kinhin:

(Channeled) High difficulty for being targeted by skills. CD: 1 min

SIG:

Divine [Elemental] Enhancement

(Boost) Adds extra [elemental] and Faith secondary effects to your physical attacks

Flora salivated, inspecting the active bonus. Bless and Condemn with an elemental secondary effect meant buffing all allies and debuffing all enemies. She wanted it!

"Where can I get this class?"

"In the Elemental Forrest in Zauberberg, Milady. Today we were only 800m away from the Elemental Retreat. Usually, one would need a recommendation letter from one's church and complete a 48 hours apprenticeship. However, while you are the Champion, you are freed from these restrictions, and you can learn it from diagrams."

"Oh. I have wondered why I didn't have to complete the quests for Radiant Practitioner. Was it due to the Champion class?"

"Yes, Milady. You can learn any Divine class without further requirements."

Flora felt silly. At that time, she hadn't asked because she had feared that the Administrator would visit. Now that she knew it wasn't a bug, she should milk it for all it was worth. Of course, she thought she would win the Champion competition, but better to be safe than sorry and get a few more divine classes in the next few days. 'Resist, Flora! Learn to use well what you have! Just the Elemental Monk. It synergizes too excellently, and what if we can make it work for the golems? Maybe the Field Chaplain. The Divine Shield might be good, as well. Argh!'

Flora sighed. "Please show the last class, dear."

Class:

Divine Shield

Branch:

Divine

Passive:

+ 1 Training efficiency modifier when Divine Shield is active

Active:

Reduces the Metal Handicap of shields

STA:

Divine Shield Bash:

High aggro and chance to interrupt casting. CD: 25 sec

AoE:

Grand Holy Protection:

Increases the Magical and Physical Defense of all friendlies. CD: 1 min

DEF:

Increase Protection:

Increases the power of the target's Defensive Skills and Buffs. CD: 1 min

MOV:

Divine Battering Ram:

Charge with your shield at your enemy. CD: 25 sec

SIG:

Divine Shield:

(Link)Conjures a shield that protects from STA and White Dmg.

Flora didn't dare to look too closely, but she had a positive impression of the class. She already had Warrior versions of most of the prayers, but Increase Protection was new and could be a lifesaver.

"Champion… can … we … [mumble]… chat?" Nomizo gasp between each word.

<Rekindle>

"Sure, sure." Flora asked the Bishop her standard question about the church's current state.

"We are all very pleased by the increase in the Earthlings' interest. However, it is a lot of work. Bishop Zander and I shared it in the last week, but it might be prudent to assign a person full-time to it, especially if she becomes the new pope."

"Who do you recommend?" Flora checked her "Grow the Church" quest. 321 new members!

"I'm not familiar with the lower levels of the clergy. Zander would know. I don't want to do it any longer. In the Cradle, I feel stifled due to losing access to my favorite skills because of the level-suppression. I want to go back to traveling."

"I see your point," Flora said as neutrally as possible. She still hoped that the council would organize themselves. "Would you support Ceart for the pope position?"

"Well, paladins don't become the leader of a church because they are frontline fighters, which is unfitting for a pope." While the content of her sentence was rational, Nomizo's voice screamed. "Not Ceart! Anybody but Ceart! Oh, the horror!"

"I'm sure we can work around that. A solid character and dedication to the church should be more important." Flora said and was proud of how sneaky she was acting. She didn't see Ceart in the position any more than Nomizo but was unsure why.

"Ceart thrives in opposition. He isn't a leader but useful keeping leaders on their toes." Nomizo snorted derisively. "I'll admit, he was right in supporting you from the start and doubting the old pope. However, I don't trust his motives."

"How do you like Irden as a pope?" Flora found the conversation with Nomizo much more enlightening than she would have expected.

"Evailyn save us all! You can't be serious!"

Flora laughed, and Nomizo joined in, albeit more wheezing than chuckling. The bishop wasn't jogging anymore but still moving in a brisk walk.

"Any advice for the competition?"

"I changed my opinion about the candidates. You convinced me to give the opportunity to the younger generation. I wish you well."

Flora had hoped for something more concrete but was grateful that the Bishop seemed opening up.

Flowing Flowers to Mia MyMio: "How is it going, dear?"

Mia MyMio to Flowing Flowers: "Very well. I feel confident with my recommendation even without testing team compositions."

Flowing Flowers to Mia MyMio: "Are Deriga and Babra included, and do you want to present them to all the candidates?"

Mia MyMio: "Yes, I've included them in the analytics, and I recommend both. Sure. Would you lend me Aidan's console to display tables?"

Flowing Flowers to Mia MyMio: "Yay, tables!"

Flora, Mia, Nomizo, Irden, and the candidates gathered.

"Thank you very much for your engagement. I appreciate your hard work. Please forgive me that I'm unfamiliar with church titles, so I will use your full name when speaking about the scores." Mia began.

The audience nodded. All seemed to be satisfied and confident, except for Konstantin. He was wide-eyed and nervous.

"First, I analyzed your damage, defenses, and HP. I assigned up to 10 points.

Deriga Ticet produced the most damage because she used both hands to attack."

Nomizo gasped. "Duelwielding scepters just isn't done!"

Deriga blushed and looked at Flora.

"Uhm, why not use both hands if your lucky enough to have them? The paladins use a sword and a shield, too." Flora said.

Nomizo shook her head, looking scandalized.

Mia MyMio to Flowing Flowers: "It's an NPC thing. They do only one thing at a time. Babra paused from hitting the dummy with her staff while channeling Mantra. Oh, and NPCs channel only up to six seconds."

"Do you really channel for only six seconds?" Flora asked, bewildered.

"You corrupted poor Deriga enough! Don't introduce any more bad Earthling habits!" Nomizo exclaimed.

The other NPCs looked uncomfortable. Ceart nodded, and Irden spotted a wry smile. Deriga's usually black face glowed red like molten iron.

"Nonsense, I will corrupt, I mean enlighten, the entire entourage! No, the whole church! I demand from my people that they channel as long as it is necessary and with all the extremities they can!" Flora proclaimed. "We'll start with you!"

"Miep!" Konstantin looked behind himself in the off chance Flora meant someone different.

"When your reputation is ruined, you can live free and without shame. That's an old German proverb. You have nothing to lose. Please channel that attention-seeking prayer until your mana runs out."

Konstantin looked at Babra, but the monk only helplessly shrugged.

Mia MyMio to Flowing Flowers: "I'll keep your secret, Auntie! If the other players beat you up because you raised the difficulty of the game, they won't know it from me!"

"Center of Attention," Konstantin said with his voice shaking. A soft glow surrounded his form.

Nomizo shook herself as if she was locked up in a house haunted by possessed kitchen utensils. When the sixth second arrived, Konstantin shivered but held on.

"This is unnatural!" Irden whispered with a big grin. "I like it."

"Old pervert, we have to stop them!" Nomizo exclaimed but stood rooted on the spot.

Konstantin crashed to the floor, his body spasming.

"Holy toaster, lad!" Flora heaped healing spells on him. "You did great! That was at least eight seconds. Excellent job on the first attempt!"

Muffled noises came from Konstantin. First, Flora thought he was choking, but then she identified it as laughter. It grew louder and louder until the paladin showed his face. Tears streamed out of his eyes while he laughed as if he won the free-lifelong-toasts-lottery.

Babra kicked him. "I worried about you!"

"Well, he'll soon get the chance to return the favor. Mantra is too important." Flora said, intending to console but only earned a panicked look from Babra. "Nevermind, let's hear more about Mia's results."

Mia nodded, and the audience settled down−no doubt, hoping that Flora would forget about it.

"All paladins have very high scores in the White category because they have plenty of hit points and solid protection.

Tomos Ceart led the field. Especially since his health pool is unbelievably huge with nearly 40k."

"Wow, 40 000 at level 1. That's impressive." Flora mumbled while Ceart nodded.

"The ranking in the White category is: Tomos Ceart, Ursula Yl, then Konstantin Kuvetli and Deriga Ticet, followed by Vatten Muskler, and Babra Pikame."

White

DPS

Damage
negated

Health

Total

Babra

4

7

2

13

Deriga

10

6

1

17

Ceart

8

10

10

28

Konstantin

7

8

3

18

Ursula

9

9

8

26

Vatten

6

6

2

14

3