37 Your Boy, Leeroy Jenkins
In a dark dungeon crypt walled in by cold stone and dry bone, where even the air feels brittle and dusty as death, sounds of life can be heard.
Life sounds annoyed.
"What the hell is going on?!"
"No friggin' way!"
"Lialas, what's the count?!"
Lialas pulls up the DPS and Kill Streak report. Since he's playing a support role, but the only person still fighting never seems to need support, he has the leisure time to check. "Shadeslayer 8, Nightfury 14, Kane 15."
"What about HIM?!" Shadeslayer and Nightfury yell in unison, pointing to the streaking blur that is the other D'Raven on their team.
"Erebus...87. Nope, 89."
Two screaming skeleton heads fly toward them, exploding into blue opal dust right before hitting the men.
"What the actual fuck?!" Nightfury screams.
"Fuckin' A," Lialas grins.
"How's he one-hit killing mid-tier mobs?" Kane asks, more confused than anything else.
"How's he even attracting so many damn mobs at once?" Shadeslayer wails.
"LEEROY JENKINS!!" Erebus yells.
It's one of the Skills I used often enough on my Quest of Daring to acquire the Basic Level. In fact, between 'The Natural' title boost (new skills used 10x at 90% SkillPro auto-upgrade) and the taunting trash talk I used against the Boss Oni, my Taunt's MAXed out.
At this level, the game lets you program your own personal Taunt. Some people roar, some people have a catchphrase; this one dude I knew in the beta used a verse from Bohemian Rhapsody. It was honestly pretty sweet hearing:
I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning,
Very, very frightening me
during Boss fights, mostly because a) the dude had some pipes on him, and b) didn't matter how many times we heard that Taunt, every other Player would add the "Galileo (Galileo)"s afterward, and the overall DPS would increase for a hot minute while everybody was high on the good vibes.
As a joke, I went a different route in the beta, and ended up discovering an Easter Egg. Turns out, if you set "Leeroy Jenkins" as your Taunt, you get aggro-pulling bonuses.
Granted, your programmed Taunt is unalterable unless you go on this annoying knight's quest, so it's a bold choice to commit to screaming Leeroy Jenkins like a half-baked moron, but in my opinion, absolutely worth it:
[Taunt (MAX): The trash talk skill. Allows you to immediately draw Aggro from enemies within 15 meters and maintain Aggro for 8 seconds. Cooldown: 2 Minutes
Lee-Roy Jenkins Bonus: Double Range for Aggro Draw, +2 Seconds Aggro Maintain]
Bit of a double-edged sword, since 30 meters is really freaking far in cramped dungeons, and it's easy to grab more mobs than you'd planned. But for a guy like me, who gets bonuses for fighting multiple enemies (Thank you, Aku), it's a dream come true.
As long as I Taunt from the middle of the crypt, I can pull Aggro from almost every mob in the room. Then it's as easy as letting the rest of the party work together to safely kill the outer ring of mobs (since the monsters won't attack them back while I hold the Aggro), while I go fucking ape on the rest of the mobs from the center of the horde.
The monster spawn rate is usually random, but with the winds of Fickle Fortune blowing, I'm fairly certain we've hit 100% possible mobs so far.
And in Nightmare Mode, that's a lot of mobs.
I can't decide if that's supposed to be good or bad luck, but it's great for me, regardless.
As I think it, another warm wind of fortune blows through the dungeon catacombs, carrying the sound of wooden chimes and the scent of black licorice.
"Shit! Something's coming!" Kane warns everyone.
Alarmed, Nightfury swings his oil lamp around, searching for trouble. Every time the glow from the light passes by me, I have to bite my lip to keep a straight face.
Ten kinds of loud and proud, he'd bragged about scoring two jars of long-lasting oil from a heated player auction.
For the low, low price of 18 silvers.
I squeeze the satisfying heft of my coin bag to keep myself from literally rolling on the floor laughing.
"Stay close! Eyes peeled!" Kane orders. The others rush to huddle together, back to back.
They've experienced the strange gusts of Fickle Fortune a couple times now, though they have no idea I'm inadvertently causing it.
The first time, we were in a narrow passageway, and after the breeze blew through, every skeleton in the walls of the catacomb burst forth at the same time. Only the +15% Defense buff Zen's providing my lower-leveled teammates kept them alive long enough to gulp health potions while I Taunted all 20 undead mobs. Since the passage was only wide enough for two mobs to stand abreast, it was cake to kill them all.
The second time, the wind blew the dust off a hidden door. It led to a tomb of Level 12 rotting zombies and a chest filled with 100 silver coins.
Due to the Contribution breakdown and the level suppression the rest of the party suffered under, I walked away with 92 of them.
It should have been 98, but I was feeling generous.
This time, the winds of fortune carry out the ambient dungeon music and leave only heavy, stifling silence.
Fog seeps up through the stone floor, and the temperature drops until the other guys without cold resistance can see their breaths in the air.
Silence hangs in the still air for one long moment. Two. Three.
Then a bone-chilling shriek fills the cavernous space, and the silence is splintered.
My four party members pale and huddle even closer together.
I want to cheer. I mean, yeah, the echoing shriek is totally horrifying, and my heart's pounding, but I couldn't be more jazzed. I know what's coming!
"Erebus, watch out!" Lialas calls.
I'm touched. What a good dude.
"Forget the asshole!" Nightfury growls.
Theeeere's more what I'm used to.
Another horrible scream fills the crypt, and a hunched figure materializes in the dense fog.
"Fuck me!" Nightfury yelps and jolts back. He bumps into Kane, and the oil lamp slips from his fingers.
Flickering light reflects off the shattering glass, illuminating the dumbstruck expression on Nightfury's face, and the matching horror of the other three.
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Then the light's extinguished, leaving only inky blackness and the faint deathly glow of the fog.
I can't help cracking up a little. The four guys' screams perfectly harmonize with the monstrous shrieks reverberating from every direction.
Because Nightfury isn't wrong, and I am in fact an asshole, I feel like I have to recreate this if possible.
Thanks to the creepy fog glow, my Nightvision is more than enough to deal with this gloom. And since the other guys' screaming drew the monster's attention, it's nothing to sneak behind the creature, careful to remain outside its Aggro radius, as it lurches nearer to the huddled group.
They can't hear its near-silent steps over their intermittent yelps and general hyperventilating, so they back up all the way against the wall without realizing how close the monster is.
'Just a little more,' I think, and then the creature takes one final step, opens its mouth to release another hair-raising scream, and I make my move.
I leap in front of the monster, duck low, raise one hand directly under its chin, and think, 'Lux!'
A single beam shoots out of my palm like a flashlight, and illuminates the monster's face with that creepy shadowy glow popular to all kids at summer camp who tell scary stories in the dark.
Long gray-white hair, sunken cheeks, dark pits filled with fog where eyes should be, hooked nose, lips cracked and scabbed, and a black cavernous mouth, open impossibly wide, emitting haunting cries of death.
[BANSHEE - Harbinger of Death]
[Level 14 - HP 25,000/25,000]
"AAAHHHHH!!!" the demihumans yell.
"EEEYAAHHH!!!" the Banshee screams.
"BAHAHAHAHA!" I laugh.