Slice of Life: Dauntless

My team of four warriors stormed off in separate directions. The forested cliffs of the floating island rose ahead of us in jagged formations. Goats meandered in a nearby meadow. I could never figure out how the goats ended up on these floating islands, but I had the feeling that they were simply placeholder assets, stuck there to give the nearly-vacant island some life.

Apart from myself, the three other hunters, and the goats, there was only one other thing alive on this island: our target, a Shrike.

Shrikes are a type of Behemoth that are tornado-making birds of prey. But instead of hunting field mice and other rodents, Shrikes hunt humans. Our mission was to hunt down the Shrike that was spotted in the area and kill it. Beyond the faux satisfaction of saving countless lives from being consumed by the beast, slaying the Shrike would provide us hunters with valuable Shrike-based resources that we could use to craft better gear.

In silence, the three other hunters vanished into the woods. I stopped to harvest some plants that I had no idea what to do with, but they looked valuable so I snagged them just to be safe.

Out to the east I heard a dull boom, and then I heard the very iconic shriek of a Shrike. One of the hunters had already stumbled across the beast. Because there is no map in Dauntless, players can signal one another across the island by shooting flares into the air to indicate their location and/or the location of the Behemoth.

I bolted in the direction of the slowly-fading flare. More shrieks echoed off of the cliffs. After a minute-long mad dash, I came to a clearing where two of the hunters were already engaged with the Shrike. I paused to marvel at the sight.

The Shrike was stalking the two hunters who had their weapons drawn and were waiting for the Behemoth to make the next move. The beast shrieked and with surprising agility, corkscrewed up into the air and then body slammed into the ground where the hunters stood just seconds earlier. The two hunters quickly recovered from the attack and were already running to attack the Shrike before it could recover from the dizzying attack.

I unsheathed my chain blades and ran in to join them.

By the time I got within range of the Shrike, it had fully recovered from the body-slam attack and with a gust from its mighty wings it put some distance between where I now stood between the two hunters and the beast itself. There was another brief pause in combat while the Shrike eyed us from across the field.

The fourth warrior ran out from the treeline, between us and the Shrike. The Shrike instantly turned its attention to the single warrior as she sprinted to try to get to the rest of us. The Shrike charged at her on all fours. Unaware of the incoming attack, the warrior was hit hard and her body flew forward through the air.

Simultaneously the rest of us ran in to aid the warrior.

I initiated my special ability as soon as I was close enough to the Shrike. My chain blades flew out infront of me, latched onto the Shrike, and pulled me within melee range of the beast. I promptly began a flurry of quick attacks against the flank of the Shrike. The downed warrior quickly recovered from her fall and swung a giant hammer alongside me. The other two warriors attacked the Shrike from the other side.

With a mighty swooping gesture, the Shrike knocked us all down and then it flew a short distance away. Wasting no time, the Shrike generated a tornado and whirled it in our direction. Before the tornado had even passed by us, the Shrike was flying back across the field at us, wings spread out, talons at the ready, as if we were field mice about to be swooped away for a quick Shrike snack.

We all were able to dodge both the tornado and the Shrike. The Shrike, clearly exhausted from the battle, missed its landing and crashed into the ground. I quickly closed the distance and started my assault against the Shrike.

The battle went on for a bit longer, but it was clear that the Shrike didn’t stand a chance. We eventually slayed the beast after it tried to escape to another part of the island. The other warriors and myself all took some serious damage during the fight, but we came prepared and equipped with healing potions that negated most of the injuries we sustained. With the Behemoth slain, we were awarded with a handful of Shrike-based resources and ushered back to the capital city.

While I didn’t get the exact resources I was hoping for, the good thing about Dauntless is that the behemoths never go extinct. Somewhere out there on another floating island is another Shrike just waiting to be slain.

Dauntless is currently in closed beta. Upon release, Dauntless will be a free-to-play game, but access to the Closed beta is currently restricted to players who pay for access. Phoenix Labs provided Epic Brew with Closed Beta access.



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