Ae

Name: Ae
Word of the Day: fey
Environment: While ae have no specific locale, they are incredibly dangerous and are therefore sealed in places that are incredibly hard to get to.  This ranges from places you might expect such as dungeons, caves, or ruins to places that might seem more unlikely such as deep in the wilderness, atop isolated mountains, etc.
Organization: Solitary
Attacks: Shredding your soul
Defenses: Nullifying spheres, phasing gaze
Weaknesses: Fast attacks or abilities that hit multiple times

Background: Ae are ancient beings that are chained to the ground for the safety of others.  Though their levitating eye orbs look to be separate from their body, they are in fact part of the same monster and as such the restraining chain is almost always pierced into one or more of its eyes.  In ancient times ae were spirits of judgment, gauging the worth of one’s soul, but as people began to fear the judgment of their own corrupted soul, the monsters were bound to ground, feared, avoided, and eventually forgotten.  Bitter from their imprisonment, with judgment decayed with time, most living things are considered guilty in an ae’s eyes.

Tactics: When an enemy is spotted by an ae from an incredibly long distance away, the monster focuses all of its six eyes on them, gazing through their mortal form and pulling their soul out in a stream of sand which it promptly devours.  With the soul severed from the body, its target is significantly weakened while the sand slowly spills from the ae onto the ground, counting down towards the victim’s death.  Once all of the sand has spilled, the victim’s life ends, and the ae prepares to pick a second target.

Ae are difficult to fight because they start the fight by creating a frustratingly short time frame, and then proceed to exclusively stall until their opponent’s soul has passed the test of time.  Each of its unchained eyes nullify all incoming damage in a small area around them, and the ae can focus two of its unchained eyes on a single enemy to phase them out of existence, turning them into a blurry projection that can’t physically interact with its surroundings.  This makes an entirely unchained ae incredibly difficult to fight, as it can entirely nullify three opponent while effectively nullifying a fourth.

As instruments of death, ae are not ideal to fight, but if you find yourself struggling for your soul, there are a couple of strategies that’ll keep your soul from being torn to shreds.  Before you fight an ae, it is incredibly important that you figure out how strong of an ae it is by how many of its eyes are chained and whether or not you can win the fight.  For example, if an ae has four unchained eyes, you will never be able to defeat it with two people, since it can use two eyes per person to phase you out of existence entirely.  Also keep in mind that the party member whose soul is being judged will be incredibly sluggish and weak, making them difficult to rely on.  Once you’ve sized up the ae, your best bet is to attack it fast and often or using a spell or ability that hits multiple times, as each of its eyes nullifies an entire attack, no matter how strong, before getting knocked back a ways away from the eye.  If you try and use slow, powerful attacks, the eyes knocked back will return before you have any time to harm the exposed body.  Thankfully, knocking back eyes breaks their phasing gaze, making pummeling the ae constantly your best option to staying in the fight.  As an act of desperation, you can manually scoop the sand back into the ae’s mouth to give you more time.

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