2017-07-21: The Truest Memories

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  • Log: The Truest Memories
  • Cast: Fei Fong Wong, Xantia, Ethius Hesiod, Avril Vent Fleur, Rudy Roughnight
  • Where: Ruins of Memory
  • Date: July 21st 2017
  • Summary: A small group of Drifters with memory issues (to put it mildly) travel to and investigate the Ruins of Memory in the hope that they might find something related to their pasts within.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei Fong Wong had the bright(?) idea that if he and Avril and Xantia ALL suffer from amnesia, then maybe they might find some sort of solution or answer in the Ruins of Memory. After all--Memory is literally in the name. It seems legit to him anyway. It's not like they called it the ruins of block puzzles or something a bit less spooky.

Of course he told Xantia and Avril about this. Then Xantia, being the talkative one, invited Rudy along because he also has amnesia and it's not fair to single him out as the one amnesia who won't regain all their memories at the end of this adventure. Then Rudy knew someone ELSE who had amnesia and recruited Ethius to the team.

Fei Fong Wong picked a time and told at least Xantia about when he was going to be there so they could dive right in. He is not expecting more than three people.

He is in for a surprise.

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.


That familiar shout from far away can only belong to Xantia. At least it isn't accompanied by a charge and a tackle, this time. It may have something to do with the giant metal hammer strapped to her back. Not too ubiquitous, it's something she only tends to carry while travelling or, like today, going on digs. Because obviously Xantia would consider a thing that helps you break things better the best tool for any job.

Despite narrowly losing a match in the Lacour Tournament of Arms only yesterday, today she looks just fine, the wounds and burns she suffered already gone. Even her clothes look brand new. Because they are. Replicas of Xantia's clothes were made as promotional items for the tournament, so it was easy for her to get replacements. Good thing too, with how much of a beating they took. The only thing she hasn't replaced is her travelling cloak, which was ragged and damaged before she started the tournament, and looks that much worse now after all the fire it got exposed to. Again. Still, like her bracer, she keeps wearing it, all the time. Maybe it has some special significance.

All smiles and cheer as usual, she questions as she approaches Fei, "Oh, am I the first one here? I guess we'll have to wait a bit for the others, then." Others...? Fei told her about Avril, but that would not be others, plural, would it?

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Caught among the feelers thrown out for those who have forgotten, one Ethius Hesiod, whom quietly arrives among the gathered with quarterstaff already drawn to be used as a walking stick. As he comes closer to the Ruins of Memory, he brings a hand to his forehead. Hasn't he been here before...?


It's not like him to be that uncertain about his position and movements over the last year-and-a-half or so. Reserved as he might be to the offer at present - itself uncommon given his known behavior of loitering around ruins for other groups to latch onto - he decides there must be merit to taking part.

The party of people who have forgotten much about themselves and their lives now includes a creepy white-haired guy who seems intent on hiding half his face at all times and also randomly flip out and try to melt legendary Golems, or something along those lines.

He lowers the hand away from his face and just... stares. That must be 'hello,' in Ethius-ese? Maybe he's just shy.

He takes hold of... something under his poncho and takes a quick look at it, facing away from the others. It's hard to tell what it might be. Some kind of stone?

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

It had just been chance, in a way -- she had been heading south for entirely different reasons (involving the name 'Lolithia' and an apparent ruin that was his/her/their/its tomb) when she'd gotten the message and briefly parted from her friends.

Somehow, she had the feeling she had to do this without them. Just a feeling.

Avril is thus on her own when she arrives.

"The Ruins of Memory..."

Lingering outside the door shortly after, Avril gazes up at the entry to the ruins, her expression no less than pensive as it steals the entirity of her attention. A faint wind picks up, catching at her clothes and hair.

"Oh, you must be Xantia. Fei mentioned you to me." She ducks her head, as if in a slight bow. "My name is Avril. I believe we... share a particular problem?" She tilts her head to one side, taking the younger (?) girl in.

And then her gaze drifts towards the ruins again. "I wonder... does the name refer to the memories of anyone in particular? Or, does it refer to something else?" she asks aloud, as if she could find her way to the answer by discussing it.


This is at Ethius, who Avril has not seen before (maybe?), and might not have seen -- as quiet as he is -- if she hadn't turned right then. She blinks, looking him over. "Hello. Have we met before?"

<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

Brown eyes take in the entrance of the Ruin of Memories as it grows closer with every step. The gentle winds blow the blue bangs and red tassels of the young man's bandana. There is a long pause as he looks toward the other members of this group as they begin to assemble.

"I've been through this place before, so hopefully I'll be able to help you guys go through it again. When I went through, I didn't get any memories back, but I really wasn't looking to then." There is a short pause as he considers. "Not really looking too now," he admits with his eyes toward the ground. But his gaze lifts toward the rest of the group. "But I'm willing to see if you guys can get something. Who knows, sometimes going to the same Dig site is a whole different experience." He gives a small smile as he assures the others, his voice gentle but assured. He's a hopeful cuss, that's for sure.

When Avril arrives, Rudy gives a small nod and a warm smile. "Rudy Roughnight, good to meet you." He might not know her, but if she wants to come, he seems to not have a problem with that.

When the introductions are done, the odd Drifter will just start moving toward the entrance of the ruin, cracking his knuckles as he prepares to help these people release their dream of understanding themselves.

DG: A party led by Rudy Roughnight is now entering Ruins of Memory.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
====================<* CHALLENGE - Entering the Depths *>=====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The exterior of the Ruins of Memory has been well-combed. Drifters have
 cleaned out the huge ground level, which is easily moved through. However,
 as you approach the deeper parts, you can find a great hole leading into the
 depths of the ruins. It will require caution to enter the depths in one
 piece, but the rewards may be worth it.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.


Fei reads a message in a strange language he somehow understands. 'If the rumors are true, THE LOLITHIA has remained on Filgaia. If <blank> learns of this facility, <blank> will undoubtedly shut it down...'


Fei has no idea Avril is interested in Lolithia so he doesn't say anything about it. Besides,he's kind of distracted by Xantia, easily the loudest amnesiac on Filgaia. He listens to her with a blank expression on his face since it takes his brain a few moments to catch up with what she's saying. "Others...?" He asks, saying it just like how it was put in Xantia's pose there.

He looks over and first sees Ethius. "Ethius...?" He looks back to Xantia. Ethius set Fei on fire once but since then he has seemed pretty reasonable. "Wait are you saying--" He looks back to Ethius. "You have amnesia too?"

Maybe that's why he set him on fire. Amnesia moments are often like that.

He then sees Avril and smiles with relief. "Hey, you made it. Haha. I guess the group ended up a bit larger than--"

Rudy arrives.

"--expected." He looks to Rudy who seems to know the layout. "Well, I doubt we've seen everything." He pauses and adds, "But uh--appreciate you giving us the tour."

He thinks for a moment and adds, with a bit of a smile, "It's good working with you though." He actually hasn't adventured with Rudy before in the slightest but he just has an intrinsic faith in the guy. Maybe it's his smile being so dang chill. He didn't know Rudy had amnesia either. It's almost like some people don't announce it to everybody they meet, Fei.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

The moment Avril turns her head to Ethius, the thing he's holding just disappears right into his poncho. It's uncanny - it's not 'oh someone is talking to me, let me be polite and look back,' it seems to be at a speed resembling 'this was never here.'

"I do not believe we have." So Ethius says to his recollection to the mysterious white-haired woman, spotty as it might be. This should be where he introduces himself, but as is Ethius' way, he neglects to ment--

Fei does that for him.

"Yes. My memories extend only as far as a year and a half prior." He sounds practiced. "I assure you this will not affect my ability to partake in the expedition."

"I do suppose an apology would be in order, Mister Fei, for" setting you on fire at Adlehyde, "the accidental immolation from the moth's scales at that temple. I had not the foreknowledge it would have burst under the application of heat."

So basically Ethius has set Fei on fire twice, then.

"Your expertise in this matter would be most appreciated, Mister Rudy," he says to him. Ethius forgot he's actually been here within the last half-year and probably would be as swell a guide if he had his head together.

If Xantia were watching matches, she might remember Ethius as the guy who was totally punked in all his fights, save for one he somehow managed to miraculously win by running around and tiring out the guy in the heavy armor. Could he really be relied on? The arena crowd and announcer pegged him as a tricky fraud of little power or ability beyond flashy sorcerous parlor tricks that could insultingly be called 'magic tricks.'

They were shameful performances.

<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

As the talk of the ruins is given, the large hole is displayed. It shows the marring remains of previous adventures, places where rocks were drilled into, and a rim littered with pock marks from grappling hooks. The hole goes deep and doesn't also show the blood stains of those that underestimated the first challenge.

"It goes down awhile, so be careful."

That stated, Rudy moves to the edge and just begins to climb down slowly and methodically. "Let me know if you're about to fall, I'll try and catch people. Getting hurt early on is usually a bad sign," he replies before he moves his way down.

DG: Rudy Roughnight has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Entering the Depths.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Avril's approach leads Xantia to confirm, "Yes, I'm Xantia, spelled with an X!" Because that part is important, apparently. She nods, also confirming perhaps a little too cheerfully, "Seems like we both don't remember our past!" Not actually a thing she's very cheerful about, but it's somehow comforting that this condition isn't as rare as she thought. She's been meeting lots of amnesiacs!

Case in point, "Rudyyyyy, hi! I'm glad you could come!" She hadn't seen him in a while, so an excuse to seek him out and invite him along was welcome. His remarks, however... "Aw, don't be like that! Let's all do our best to recover our memories together!" She almost certainly has the greatest amount of motivation for this, which probably surprises neither Rudy nor Fei, having previous Xantia experience.

Ethius... Xantia doesn't know Ethius. She didn't know Fei knew Ethius, either. Though trying to hide part of his face just makes the red-haired girl curious, going over to specifically try and get a closer look at it. "Hello? So you're Ethius? My name's Xantia! Spelled with an X!" Yes thank you Xantia, you literally just said that less than a minute ago. She only fought matches, too incapable of sitting still long enough to watch them, but she does know the name, at least.

Turning to Fei, she announces, "This'll be great! We can help so many people recover their memories all at once!" Tempered expectations? She may not know what those are, or if she does, she may not be capable of those. Eternal optimism, that's just the way she is.

Oh, and recklessness, plenty of that too. As evidenced that, once it's been established that everyone is friendly and motivated, immediately taking off, saying only, "Okay then, let's go!" And being clearly about to just jump down the convenient hole, before Rudy speaks up. "...right," she agrees surprisingly easily, opting to take the safer route and actually climb down properly instead. She doesn't want Rudy to have to catch her again. That went badly last time.

DG: Xantia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Entering the Depths.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei thinks he may have been in these ruins before too now that he thinks about it. At the very least, he remembers jumping into a ruin carelessly early on in his drifter career and, uh, overestimating how far he could safely land.

He figures this time he'll be more careful even if he's not sure these are the same ruins. Frankly, the fact that he's not entirely keeping track as to which ruins he nearly died in is a bit disquieting.

"Sounds good." Fei says to Rudy, pausing to look at Ethius.

"Oh. Uh." He says. How many times is Ethius going to set him on fire??? "Third time's...the charm?" He seems to figure Ethius can be relied on to not kill them all in the ruins.

Ethius killing Fei himself? Well, Fei is less certain about that, but he supposes so long as the rest survive, he can handle this risk.

He takes his time climbing down, resisting every natural fiber in his body to jump down the hole and see what he can find in one leap.


Fei jumping repeatedly in Lahan's well. A young woman covers her son's eyes and guides him swiftly away.


Fei looks sadly at the giant hole he could jump down into but he plays the safer route this time. This time. (this time).

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Entering the Depths.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius comes along to the giant hole with the rest. As Rudy begins the climb down, Ethius walks about the perimeter of the hole, as if trying to get a gauge of how far down this (rabbit) hole must go. That, or he's afraid of heights? ...His eyes don't look any more scared, or much of anything, for that matter, but he seems content to allow others to judge the integrity of would-be footholds before he attempts his own way down.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Entering the Depths.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

It is, in fact, the very same message that Avril had seen. Between the part where the ruin seemed to be actively rejecting her very existence within its walls, and the fact that something about that name almost, almost felt like she should know it...

But right now there's the ruins standing before her, and the invitation she'd been offered.

Three makes four makes five. She had been surprised to learn she was not alone, but perhaps this is the life that amnesiacs settle into, digging the wastes as they search for clues to their pasts.

Cases in point:

"No, it would seem not," she says to Xantia, managing a slight smile as the girl cheerfully explains her condition. And vows that they'll all regain their memories here. "Hee hee, perhaps so. ...You're quite energetic, aren't you? You remind me of someone I know, Xantia."

To Ethius:"A year and a half... I see." Quite soberly, Avril nods, touching a hand to her chin as she considers it. "I only remember the past few months, myself. It would seem you recall more than I."

And Rudy appears. "Hello. Have we--" Avril pauses, then frowns faintly. "I suppose you also might not know for certain, would you, Rudy? Nevertheless, it is good to meet you." Silence ensues on her part as she listens, intent, as he explains that he's been. "...I see. Is there anything we should be mindful of within?" she says, walking along behind him as he leads on inwards.

Maybe the hole, for starters, as he points out. Avril gazes down into its depths thoughtfully, as if attempting to gauge the distance from here, noting the signs of ruin explorers past in the crumbling rock. "Hmm. Perhaps, some assistance first might be useful?" Reaching into her gown, she pulls out an octagonal device -- obviously technological in origin.

Though what it does isn't quite so technological, as the spiritually aware may notice quickly.

"Here..." Closing her eyes briefly, she focuses, drawing upon the power of the Sea Guardian through the connection the Medium grants, a blessing that passes on in part to everyone present. "Let us proceed carefully."

She tucks it away, and stepping carefully, attempts to climb downwards. At times a little leap of faith, so to speak, might be necessary, too. At least there are probably some handholds.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Sea Medium toward her party's challenge, Entering the Depths.
DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has failed this challenge! The party gained 2 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

While the talk of Ethius setting Fei on fire is noted, as Xantia's lack of amusement for Rudy's disinterest in his own past, Rudy is merely silent and continues to climb down. Fei seems hopefully and excited that Rudy is here however, and that combined with Xantia's usual energy is enough to make him able to keep smiling, even as he continues to climb down.

As the group goes down, there seems to be a shaking in the ruins. A blast from another digging group, some of the monsters that reside inside, or merely something happening with the Metal Demons in a battleground far away... Who knows the real reason, but soon it causes Rudy to lose his grip as the rocks crumble in his hands and he falls to land on back, which may cushion people if they fall or at least provide company if they also meet the ground in a way they didn't plan on. While the party might have had an unpleasant fall, but at least it isn't enough to kill people as hardy as these men and women. After everyone makes their way down one way or another, Rudy states without getting up, "Huh, that coulda gone better."

DG: Xantia has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Distant Switch *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 A large stone door has slid down the entrance at the end of this hallway. To
 make matters worse, the hallway has deep pits between the path to the door
 and the walls. The door may be opened by a switch on the wall, but one of
 those pits blocks easy access to the switch. Some clever thinking may be
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Avril noting that she seems to resemble someone else causes Xantia to reply, "That's closer to recognizing me than most people!" Again, far too much cheer for something that actually saddens her greatly. Her coping mechanism at work, perhaps. Hearing how much she remembers makes her wonder aloud, "I wonder if you remember back further than me, then... or maybe just as far?" Optimism kicking in, she adds, "Maybe we knew each other all along, and we lost our memory at the same time!" These are the sorts of theories that keep her going.

But then the group ventures doing the dreaded Death Hole, and things are off to a rocky start. As in rocks come loose, and people start falling. Xantia sees it happen to Rudy, calls his name and tries to stretch her hand to grab him, but this only causes her to lose her grip as well, and she ends up landing on top of him instead. This is the worst deja vu, she didn't want that to happen again! Back up to her feet as soon as she can manage, she expresses her dismay, "Oh no, Rudy, I'm sorry! Are you hurt?" Her gaze slides down to his knee automatically, because, well. Bad memories.

Once it's been established that everyone is in fact, good enough to continue, the party enters the next hallway, filled with pits. Honestly, holes should give everybody a bad feeling after what just happened, but Xantia remains undaunted, just starting to leap over pits without a second thought. Only to stop halfway to note, "Heeey, there's a door here! Should I smash it?" Because of course that would be her first plan. Somebody else will have to do the clever thinking.

DG: Xantia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Distant Switch.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius is at the bottom of a pile of gravity-damned drifters at hole's floor. He takes some time coming to. Something about that whole scenario seems familiar...


As Xantia waxes poetic about the possibility they all knew one another before, Ethius seems to stir at the thought. It might be enough he throws someone off of his back entirely as he stands up, but offers no spoken accompaniment to this subject.

...Moving on.

"I would be willing to attempt to melt it, as a last resort... but I believe I may be able to reach the switch." How, exactly?

Ethius seems intent to jump down a hole again to certain oblivion?! Oh, no, he's embracing the risk of death by hanging off the edge on one hand as he tries to reach out and poke the switch with his quarterstaff. It's going to be close, if he even can reach it this way...!

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Distant Switch.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei reaches out to try and catch Xantia but Xantia is, like, really strong yo--She just manages to drag Fei down along with him. He lands on his face. but luckily his face is cushioned by a whole bunch of other people.

Eventually he gets himself to standing again, rubbing at his forehead painfully. "Oof." He says and takes a look around this new area. "No kidding."

"There's a switch--it'd probably be better if we didn't break anything we didn't have to." Fei says, resting a hand on Xantia's shoulder briefly.

He then turns towards Ethius and he raises his hands, readying them in case Ethius starts to fall over.

Then again, Ethius did set him on fire twice but Fei is trying not to hold it against him. Still, uh, you know. Sometimes people just hesitate a bit too much because of their subconcious feelings even if they don't really mean it.

"Oh Avril," He says, being conversational. "Dean wanted to be a golem hunter right?"

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Distant Switch.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"You, as well? Hm..." She pauses, as if mulling this over. "I suppose it could be possible that we knew each other before, though I think, from Ethius' account, that we couldn't have lost our memories at the same time." Avril then goes ahead and makes this Better.

"Of course, I've also wondered if perhaps this might be my normal state. Perhaps I have never had any memories to begin with?"

Despite this statement, she seems not at all bothered, as if this were mere intellectual exercise.

Things are off to a great start!

Especially when people lose their grip. The rock in the wall's a bit slippery. All the magical Guardian assistance in the world can't fight the dread force known as gravity. "Ah--" Avril fights for her grip on the rock wall, she's no ace mountaineer. She falls--

And... manages to land on her feet. Somehow (Lucadia's now fading presence is probably why). Though she does briefly stumble when she lands, righting herself after a second or two, so there's that at least. "Oh... Is everyone alright?" Absently, she dusts off her dress, before glancing about. A doorway at least is ahead.

"Be careful," she cautions, as they enter the hallway. "There are more holes in here. We should watch our step. --Ah." A little late for the caution, it seems. "Actually, it seems that there is a switch over there, Xantia. Perhaps if we were to hit it?" She pauses, watching as Ethius takes a different approach to the distant switch. Fei moves to back him up. "Here, Fei, let me assist. Oh? Yes, actually. That's a dream of his. Why do you ask?"

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Distant Switch.
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

"I'm fine," Rudy offers to Xantia, his smile still intact, as it seems the impact was mostly on his gut. While slightly winded, Roughnight is able to get up with a little help and without a blood sacrifice to the Pit Gods, if such things exist. Looking around, Rudy nods with satisfaction to see everyone is ready to move on.

As Ethius does his thing, Rudy merely allows him to try, figuring that perhaps it's wiser to try a work around rather than leaping across. He folds his arms and waits, perhaps trusting in others and only offering his aid when requested. After all, he's not exactly the pro when it comes to this sort of thing. As he waits, the talk between Fei and the new woman gets his attention. "Golem Hunter?" he inquires, his tone concerned at the idea.

DG: Rudy Roughnight has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Distant Switch.
DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has failed this challenge! The party gained 17 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Don't even joke about not having memories, Avril. You're gonna give poor Xantia an existential crisis! The only indication that this might have affected her is that the talkative girl suddenly became awfully quiet after that remark. Can't people just keep telling her what she wants to hear? She'd like that much better.

As for the party's current predicament... "A switch?" Xantia only notices it after Fei and Avril point it out. "Why'd they put it over there? That makes it really hard to hit!" She doesn't seem to consider that this may have been the point. The entire concept of puzzles already puzzles Xantia, never mind thinking about the solution. And speaking of things that puzzle her, "Why would you hunt Golems? You can't eat those!" An extremely important concern.

The switch, however, turns out to be just a bit too far to get a good pushing action going the way Ethius is attempting it. This is taking far too long, so Xantia gets impatient. While everyone else busies themselves with the switch solution, she just goes right up to the door, takes out her hammer, and before anybody can protest, solves things the way that she meant to all along. With a satisfying crash, the door collapses in on itself. "There, see? Much easier." She seems very proud of herself.

Unfortunately, this forces the group to spend even more time and effort clearing away the rubble before they can proceed. Xantia rarely thinks about the consequences of her straightforward solutions to problems.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* CHALLENGE - Gargoyle Statue *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Those who built this place crafted a mighty gargoyle statue to guard over
 this room. Wings spread out, fanged mouth open, and claws held wide, it
 looks fierce indeed. It does not attack, but when you try to walk past... a
 barrier of red light shimmers into existence and keeps you from going
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"Well Xan," Fei says. "If I learned anything, it's that ruins don't like to make things easy." He's been pretty consistent on telling groups this. Hell, he told Siegfried that. He is very confident that this will be no exception. And of course Xantia swings a giant freaking hammer (which she weirdly never seems to use in a fight) and smashes the door into rubble. This results in Fei forgetting to watch out for Ethius because now the room is shaking and everything. Hopefully this doesn't result in something awful happening to the poor guy.

Regardless, once the team clears away the rubble, a room that is familiar to Fei reveals itself. His eyes widen faintly. Yes, he thinks, he HAS been here before.

"Let's see...I think I've seen this gargoyle statue before..." He frowns. "But I uh..."

He lowers his head. "...I don't remember what we did."

He uses this moment to look back towards Rudy and adds, "Yeah he talks about it a lot. Or I assume. Since I've met him once." And he probably heard about it like 4 times in the meanwhile.

"Well," Fei says, checking out the statue. "I found a golem. It was the smallest one I've ever seen but the uh--" He pauses for a moment. "The guy I was with didn't want it, so I was thinking about handing it off to Emma Hetfield but..."

He trails off as he reaches into his artist's toolkit and draws out a paintbrush!

He reaches for the interior of the gargoyle's mouth with it rather than risk a weapon. Or his hand.

"Geeze if I had remembered we'd be able to save time."

DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool Artist's Toolkit toward his party's challenge, Gargoyle Statue.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

The quarterstaff is flung back behind Ethius as the entire room shakes, a necessary measure as he has to get both hands on the ledges to stop himself from falling down into oblivion. His eyes widen, pupils dilating to pinpricks as a few debris from the door sail past him.

He says nothing about the near-death experience. He is at least able to get back up on his own, though he follows from the back into the next place of interest.

"This 'Dean' sounds like an inquisitive sort," Ethius remarks as he gets out out an eyeglass-looking thing from his poncho (presumably it is also used for looking, in addition to looking like an eyeglass).

"I may be able to assist, even if I can only provide an educated guess," he says, as he segues into casting an electrical Symbological spell. A spark jumps from one hand into the other that carries the lens. It casts a soft blue light as he holds it to his eye, observing the connections between mechanisms within the chamber.

If there are any links between devices and traps present with this gargoyle and anything else, he'll point it out.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Gargoyle Statue.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Golem Hunter. It must not be a familiar turn of phrase over this way. Avril nods all the same, then explains, "Yes, Dean is fond of golems." Which is a... nice way of putting it, since it'd would be more accurate to say that he's completely obsessed with golems, but.

Avril finds it charming!

"I believe, oh... how did he explain it?" Whatever Dean had said precisely though may go unquoted. Avril blinks, straightening as Xantia decides to Alexander the Great this Gordian Knot and pulls out a hammer. "Xantia, wait a moment-- Oh. Well, I suppose that did get us through the door..."

It takes a little while to get the rocks out of the way, of course.

In the next room is a gargoyle statue. Avril, after a moment's hesitation -- as if she were expecting it to attack -- presses onwards and soon discovers the barrier. "..." She prods at it with a finger, then takes a step backwards, gazing over at the statue. "So the statue is creating the barrier? Hmm..." She paces in a half-circle arc about the statue, checking for anything at its base. "Fei, see if you can reach for the back of the statue's throat. I don't see anything suspicious down here. There may be some control or switch back there."

Navigational support provided, Avril clasps her hands in front of herself. "A small golem? I see... It makes sense there would also be smaller models. ...As I understand it, golem hunters search for golem parts, or whole golems if they are fortunate enough to locate them. Some appear to collect parts to exchange for money, while for others..." She smiles, as if in memory. "I suppose that some of them enjoy golems for their own sake."

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gargoyle Statue.
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

There is a slight wince as Xantia's might seems to solve the issue, the young outcast arching a brow to the wreckage that remains and soon gets to work with the rest clearing it out. Once that's done, the party moves into the next room. "Well, I think I might have something that might help." Slowly, he takes a knee, pulling out a small device. He seems to be rather protective of it, but considering what it does, there is a reason. With the push of a button, there is a soft ping that occurs, resulting in him soon standing and moving toward one of the walls. He taps it twice, and then proceeds to punch through it, perhaps knowing with the devices help that the wall was much thinner than it appeared. There is a chest on the other side of this hidden alcove, though he doesn't open it himself. Who knows, maybe there is some mechanical piece that will make it all click. "Might be something in there might help with the machine like Ethius is talking about?" he offers as he rubs the back of his head.

"Oh, he's hunting to discover them," Rudy states, softly with understanding. "I thought you were making it like he was looking for them to destory them, but that makes more sense. Not like you find Golems just wandering around the plains or something."

DG: Rudy Roughnight has used his Tool Portable Radar toward his party's challenge, Gargoyle Statue.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Avril shakes her head. "Oh, no. The destruction of golems upsets Dean. He would never do that."

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Considering how it took even Xantia visible effort to swing that hammer, this may explain why she doesn't use it in combat. That thing weighs a ton! A megaton, even.

Once the rubble is cleared, and more progress is made, the next obstacle comes in the form of some kind of light barrier. Xantia's immediate response to running into one of those is, of course, trying to smash it. Giving the hammer a rest, she uses her fists to attempt this, but quickly finds it to be no use. She gives Fei a hopeful look when he mentions having seen it before, only to be disappointed by his response, and genuinely concerned. "Oh no, are you losing even more memories? That's the opposite of what's supposed to happen!" They'd better get through these ruins and get some memories back quick!

Unfortunately, as previously established, puzzles are not her forte, so she isn't taking the lead in finding a solution here, instead remarking on the Golem situation, "Oh, selling them, of course. That makes sense, you can get food for them that way." Is everything about food with her? Yes. Yes it is.

To at least make some kind of contribution, Xantia figures that this may be a job for her trusty manual to all things Drifters should know while adventuring, the hefty tome known as the Guide to Dungeoneering! Containing all the conventional wisdom and trite phrases anybody could ever ask for! And Xantia believes every word, taking all of it as undisputable facts on how to handle problems. This may explain a few things.

Taking said book out from the inside pocket of her travelling cloak, she spends a moment flipping pages to look up something about barriers. It doesn't take long for her to locate an appropriate section, which she proceeds to read aloud.

"Barriers are there for a reason. Not to keep us out, but to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. They're there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. Don't be those people. Show those barriers exactly how badly you want what lies beyond!"

She closes the book, satisfied. "Did that help? If not, I could try smashing the statue." Xantia no, stop

DG: Xantia has used her Tool Guide to Dungeoneering toward her party's challenge, Gargoyle Statue.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

"I would please ask you refrain from wanton acts of unsolicited destruction against mechanisms of uncertain character or operational parameters," Ethius says straight-faced, missing the entire irony in him saying this.

DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has passed this challenge! The party gained 27 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei Fong Wong says, "No I just think--I uh--forgot normally." He pauses. "I mean, I probably didn't think I'd be coming here a second time." Or more accurately he probably didn't want to considering--

--wait, that's what it was.

His eyes narrow. "...The Door..." He murmurs to himself. "That's right, at the end of everything there was this door. Try as we might we couldn't push it down." His fists curl into his fists. He is pretty upset about that door. "...Oh but we have your hammer so," Fei brightens. "If we reach it again we can deal with it." He listens to her advice. "That's one way of doing it."

Fei flinches as Ethius starts casting a spell but it seems to just be symbology and more to the point, he crafts a blue light. With that and Rudy's radar they can find the proper mechanism, right in the back of the throat as Avril suggested.

Fei pokes it and the barriers shut down. "Sweet." He says before remembering what Xantia told him before. "Uh I mean. Good."

He gets to walking and adds, "But we probably should only smash THAT door. I mean, it's pretty heavy to use that hammer on everything." He squints thoughtfully before adding, "Anyway I should show it to Dean before handing it off to Emma, I guess." He doesn't really seem to want to keep hold of it himself.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has drawn a new Challenge.
==========================<* CHALLENGE - Arrow Trap *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 As you enter this room, a few slits on the wall open up. Arrows fire out -
 and though they may be ancient, they are still sharp and fast as ever!
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"A door..." Somewhere, at the end of this place, is a great and terrible barrier.

Soberly, Avril nods. "I see. Then, we shall endeavor to do our best against it."

In the meantime though--

Fei reaches in and with the advice of everyone involved, finds the switch. "I think that the barrier has vanished," Avril says, moments before a test confirms this as fact. "...Oh? You would like to show it to him first? ...I think he would like that, Fei. That's quite kind of you to offer."

Through the next door they go!

It's another hallway. A nondescript hallway. A long, nondescript hallway.

With a floor that suspiciously goes 'click' the moment someone steps on it.

Just a long, nondescript hallway.

That now has a number of slits running down its length?

Somewhere in the guts of this place, ancient machinery clanks to life. Civilizations may come and go, but arrow traps are forever.

Avril's blue eyes widen. She must realize what's coming, if only in her bones. "Everyone, run!" she calls, hiking up her skirt a touch before bolting for the door that's such a long long way away.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Arrow Trap.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

For his part, Ethius, curiously, takes off running ahead of the prompt by Avril. The timing seems to line up a little too well - the very moment the click is starting to happen, he seems to be aware exactly about what's to come. He must have been here before, then...?

The timing alone is the only thing that seems noteworthy. Lacking any special protective items in which to shield himself or others, the most he can do is try and keep low while arrows whiz all around them.

"There is a volley towards the end of the stretch that shoots for knee-level that I can see," how does Ethius say these wordy things under panic and duress, anyway? "Be prepared to take a short leap to avoid them."

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Arrow Trap.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"Then maybe once we're back in Lacuor..." Fei murmurs to Avril.

As they move on and hear that dreadful click, Fei also seems eerily aware of what's going to happen. It's not because of THIS place, however, no--this is the second time he had to deal with arrow traps and the last time it was in a completely different location altogether.

He starts running like heck. "Not again not again not again--!" He says constantly and with increasing speed. He's starting to remember why this place is called the Ruins of Memory. Because you don't want to remember going to this place.

Of course last time this happened Elly distracted at a critical moment and he got shot by arrows. This time, uh, well, he might still get struck by arrows. He's a bit sore from falling into the Ruins of Memory rather than landing in the Ruins of Memory.

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Arrow Trap.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia's smile grows wider as she hears about a door being in the way. "Oh, is that all?" Really, if there's any problem that needs brute strength to handle, Xantia is the first person to call. Using her abnormal physical strength to break things is what she's best at! Thus, discouraging her from doing it needlessly is probably a wise decision. Even if it disappoints her. "Awww. Well, if you say so." She probably would need more convincing from most people, but if Fei says so then it's probably for a good reason. Even if she doesn't really know what that reason could be.

The hallway beyond seems deceptively easy to traverse. It should cause suspicion for that reason alone. Yet a trap like this is one that Xantia would likely just blunder into without forewarning, so it's a good thing Avril provides that. Although she questions, "What, why, what's going on?" she does start running when prompted, finding out the reason in short order.

Her heavy hammer hampers her mobility somewhat, but she's still able to run and judge the trajectory of incoming projectiles pretty well. Hopefully well enough. Upon the mention of arrows aiming for the knees, she can't help but call back in concern, "Watch out for your knees, Rudy!" Wow, that event sure left some trauma, didn't it?

DG: Xantia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Arrow Trap.
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

Soon, another barrier to their goal is defeated and the group moves onward after teamwork makes the dream work. "It's always important to keep moving forward," Roughnight states in the wake of Xantia's words before glancing over between the conversation between Fei and Avril long enough to state "Emma's a good person" before moving on. The fact that he's speaking a lot is surprising, perhaps due to the fact he's somewhat familiar with this place and the people seem rather nice.

Then the arrow trap appears. Rudy frowns in light of this deterrent appearing once more. "Here we go" he offers, taking the rear of the group in order to ensure everyone else gets through. He runs with a much slower pace, getting hit with a few arrows. He doesn't stop or flinch, but perhaps he'll get lucky and not get hit with TOO many of them. Of course, him using his hands to cover his knees at Xantia 's insistence might be the reason why he's moving slower than he should.

DG: Rudy Roughnight has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Arrow Trap.
DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has failed this challenge! The party gained 17 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"I'll let him know. I'm certain he'll be happy to hear it."

Before that blessed event can happen, though, there's still an arrow trap to content with. The only good thing about the trap in the walls is that the arrows spit out at relatively regular intervals. If one times their running right--

'There is a volley at the end of the stretch that shoots for knee-level', Ethius says. "I see it--" Avril gasps, narrowing dodging another set that flings across the hallway. Almost there--

There are indeed slits at knee height.

Click, goes the next tile underfoot.

There are also now arrow slits at chest height. And head height. This will take careful timing to avoid!

Click, goes the third tile underfoot.

...Unless all the slits release their arrows at once. That could also happen.

Or the mechanism could overload and explode from the sudden uptick of stress. That could happen too.

Good news! There isn't an arrow trap anymore!

Bad news! There's additional things to dodge!

Avril has had better days. Picking debris off her clothing and wincing faintly, she shakes her head as if to right herself. "...Let us press on."

DG: Ethius Hesiod has drawn a new Challenge.
============================================<* CHALLENGE - Goblin Raiders *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          |
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Goblins are prone to plunder anywhere they can find. The short,
 green-skinned creatures are as surprised to see you as you are them when one
 of their bombs blows a hole through a wall. They rush out, some with long
 knives and others carrying shortbows.
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

As if that weren't bad enough, the wall to their west blows open in a big shower of large debris and other ruined ancient carvings forever to be lost to brutish methods of finding one's way through.

"Oh Gob damn it," one of the stocky green-hued creatures stomps a foot, "it's one Gob of trouble after another!"

There's about eight of them, as far as they can see. Five of them are carrying blades of highly variable length and states of decay, poorly-maintained and caked in rust which somehow makes them even more dangerous. Two of them ready shortbows, with arrows made of crooked wood and tips made of sharpened flint.

"We'll chew you up like corn on the Gob!" The last one appears to be armed with terrible forced uses of the word 'Gob,' making him the most dangerous of all. "We got the gift of Gob! I'm calling the Gobs on you! Gob to it--"

Ethius responds by tossing a satchel full of dust in their face. He doesn't toss it, he just walks up and smacks them in the face with it nonchalantly, and starts walking away as though he wants little more to do with the situation.

Who would blame him?

"As we were," he says, walking away from further shortbow fire. After taking arrow shots across his upper back, shoulder, and hip from the previous corridor and being lightly scorched by the flames of a mechanism's explosion at the end, Ethius walks off these non-trivial puncture wounds like they are a minor incovenience in the face of being Gobbled up by further bad wordplay.


DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, Goblin Raiders.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.


Fei rushes through the arrow trap. "Haha!" He says, running past the arrows. "I gotch--"

The trap explodes and sends debris slamming into Fei's face. He just keeps running before finally flopping onto his chest. "Ugh..." He says. He raises his head and then lets it drop back into the floor. "...Ugh."

But then he pauses as he sees the goblins. More threats, he thinks. He stands himself up slowly and walks towarsd them, covered in his own blood and miscellaneous debris.

He comes to a stop before a few of them and says, "You guys," He says. "I want to show you something."

His eyes narrow dramatically.

"Have you ever heard of Rock Paper Scissors?"

"Gob Gobber Gobbers???"


DG: Fei Fong Wong has used his Tool RPS Badge toward his party's challenge, Goblin Raiders.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

So much for proceeding. The wall blows up next. "Is the rest of the mechanism--!?" Avril starts to cry out, one hand lifted to chest height in shock as...


Slowly, ever so slowly, she lowers her hand. "Oh, I see..."

And then she reaches down and brings 'it' out from beneath the folds of her gown. It's a strange item, sort of a mix between a the hilt of a sword and the grip and trigger of a gun. "Please be on your way," she informs the goblins, brandishing the object towards them. With a practiced hand, she arcs the device through the air and pulls the trigger. With a hiss and the pungent scent of ozone, the beam whip hisses as it cuts through the air and air alone. For now.

...This might actually be overkill.

"I would rather not hurt you," she says, laser beam whip glowing menacingly.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Beam Whip Mode toward her party's challenge, Goblin Raiders.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

This is shaping up to be a rough adventure. Although she does her best, Xantia isn't able to dodge every single arrow, nor is she able to use her bracer to deflect all that were headed right for her. Aside from all the ones that scraped past her skin, one arrow pierces straight through her left hand, embedding itself there. Right where an icicle pierced through it in her tournament match, the reason why her reaction - after the pained yell - ends up being, "Not again!"

Upon making it past the danger area, Xantia takes the time to pull the stuck projectile free, not about to keep going with arrows sticking out of her. Though she grunts and grimaces, she seems capable of bearing with the pain involved. Those who pay close attention to her injuries after this event may take note of the fact that the bleeding stops awfully quickly, even the particularly serious one in her hand.

While Xantia is busying herself with removing the arrow, the party comes across a band of Goblin plunderers. While it may look like she somehow failed to notice them at all despite all the chattering, she's perfectly aware of their presence. She's just busy with something more important right now, not feeling like just striding through the creatures' midst will present any kind of threat to her.

The reason for this is simple. As soon as one of the Goblins charges her, sword drawn, she simply extends her leg, with enough force to send the critter flying a considerable distance, then calmly continues on her way. "I really don't like arrow traps," she complains, not acknowledging the goblins as an actual threat even now.

DG: Xantia has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Goblin Raiders.
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

Surprisingly, Rudy is about to push on and make his way through the arrow trap. While he's bleeding here and there, he seems rather nonplused by it, merely pulling out some of the arrows as the goblins appear. Fei attempts to use games to stop them while Avril tries to the use of intimation. He decides to follow suit, merely standing behind her and pulling out his ARM, figuring that while it doesn't have the visual impressiveness of the woman in the dress, it might be enough to push the 'don't mess with us' vibe which gets encouraged by Xantia just kicking someone. He doesn't seem to talk for now, merely letting the weapons end the conversation for him.

DG: Rudy Roughnight has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Goblin Raiders.
DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has passed this challenge! The party gained 22 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

With the beam whip drawn as it is by Avril, and Rudy pointing the exotic-looking ARM, the goblins seem to have some presence of mind to not throw their lives away like expendable extras while Xantia and Ethius continue onward. They walk right past the brandished knives, the nocked bows.

Thanks to Fei's quick thinking, the situation at hand can be resolved peacefully through an impromptu Rock Paper Scis-- er, Gob Gobber Gobbers tournament. Fei has go go eight straight rounds without losing in order to pass, and thanks to fortune and not at all thirty reloaded save files across four hours...!

"Gob damn! You're cream of the Gob at Gob Gobber Gobbers!!" The last one bows humbly. "Please accept ths GGG Badge in honor of you reaching the Gob level of play!"

That's that missable sidequest item out of the way.

DG: Xantia has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Sealed Doorway *>=======================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The door at the end of this hall has a great lock on it. Unfortunately, no
 key was ever to be found inside of the ruins to this point. Perhaps it was
 stolen or perhaps it was lost. It is no matter - the door must be broken
 down through other means.
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia is just about to keep going like nothing happens - and indeed, the Goblins remain beneath her notice to the very end - until she notices Avril's laser whip. That does give her pause, commenting excitedly, "Wow, that's a neat weapon! Where'd you get it?"

She catches herself a moment after, realizing, "...sorry, you probably don't remember, do you? I'm guessing it's like this ARM that I have." She presents her bracer, which does have a very Technology vibe to it, and looks like something's supposed to come out of it, but she hasn't actually used for anything except blocking arrows during this adventure. "I've had this for as far back as I can remember, I keep hoping someone will recognize it, but..." She shakes her head. "Anyway, you should show that to everyone you meet, maybe they'll recognize it and be able to tell you something about yourself!" Yes, that's probably not at all a terrible idea, letting everybody know you have an advanced ARM.

At the end of the conversation, and the end of the hallway beyond... there it stands. The dreaded, legendary Door. Xantia doesn't know to be properly intimidated, smiling brightly at this encounter. "Oooh, there it is, that's the door you were talking about, right? Let me at it, I'll have this open one way or another!" By which she means, she'll either get that lock off, or failing that, just get rid of the whole door entirely.

Maybe she doesn't have cause to be intimidated. That absurdly heavy hammer, coupled with her abnormal strength - she's yet to encounter a door that she couldn't break down. She does have a little handicap, in the form of a hole through her hand, but even so, it doesn't really seem to hamper the power of her swings any.

DG: Xantia has used her Tool Megaton Hammer toward her party's challenge, Sealed Doorway.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.


Fei lifts it above his head triumphantly! "Yes!!" He says with more excitement than he's particularly known for showing. Lord knows how many times we reloaded the save to make that happen. This is even better than memories, it's a missable key item!

Fei's good cheer stalls briefly as he sees a ... beam whip. His eyes widen faintly. "That whip..." He rubs at his forehead. It must be some sort of excavated tool, he thinks, it doesn't really match what you normally find. He says, "That's right," to Xantia. "This is the tough part where we have to get past the mightiest obstacle. This door may very well represent what we're missing..."

He pumps his fist excitedly. "...Or it has nothing to do with it! So let's find out which it is...!"

And that's when he runs at the door shoulder first. Last time he was here, this door defeated him.

THIS TIME however he has the GGG badge!!!

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Sealed Doorway.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius gives one of his patented blank stares (or, you know, Ordinary Ethius Stares) following Xantia's mention about just how amazing and exotic some of the equipment they're carrying around is. Xantia's Bracer. Avril's beam whip. Even Rudy's own ARM, over there. He brings a hand to his forehead as he lets them all walk past, as if... contemplating. Which he seems to do a lot of.

"Yes, I do believe I remember... I have been here no longer than half a year ago." That is a fine time to remember it! "I do not profess to recall how my team of the time had managed to make their way through."

Or how this door is still a thing. They did make it through, didn't they? Maybe it's not the same one, but the style of door is unmistakable.

As Xantia brings her might to bear with the hammer, Ethius rolls the shoulder that still has an arrow stuck in there, and raises a hand to prepare the incantations.

"I will attempt to melt the obstruction in question. Please be careful about standing too close." Case in point, he's on the opposite end of the room as he starts the spell - or maybe the series of spells - that will dictate the application of an enormous increase of heat in a specific area.

Some way or another, even at risk of dangerous fumes, being burned from standing so close to it, or what have you, Ethius makes the intent clear with the power afforded to him through Symbology - this is an obsctruction that, in tandem with the other destructive forces those among him have brought to bear, he moves to melt. Link by link, hinge by hinge, mechanism by mechanism, Ethius tries to turn what doesn't fracture or burst into slag they can climb over after it cools.

Unless the chemists and/or metallurgy experts of a time long, long past thought ahead and made sure the melting point of the material in question were so absurdly high that Ethius couldn't do a thing about it.

He, too, has a stake in utterly annihilating the door.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Sealed Doorway.
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

As people talk about their ARMs, badges, and how to defeat doors, the young man known as Rudy Roughnight remains in the back, just looking around with a causal aura about him. One would think that he would be up front as a guide, but maybe it's just his own personal style. Either way, once the group begins to do their work, Rudy just starts pulling out small little black devices and putting them around the door. Bombs. Lots and lots of bombs.

It seems Rudy has his own unique way of handing such problems himself.

Due to his infinate kindness, however, he calmly waits until everyone is done doing their attempts to soften up the door with hammer blows, magic, or the good old shoulder charge. Once everyone has done their part to attempt defeating the door, Roughnight will just start walking away from the door and let the timer for the explosions do the rest.

After all, the grandfather-like wisdom of Zepet tought him one vauable thing: True Diggers never look at the explosions.

DG: Rudy Roughnight has used his Tool Excavation Charges toward his party's challenge, Sealed Doorway.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

For once, diplomacy works!

Shortly after the goblins head off (and the nice checkmark is placed next to the sidequest in the logbook), Avril disengages Absolute Zero's beam whip mode, which dutifully vanishes as if it had never been. "Thank you," she murmurs to Rudy, ducking her head in a shallow bow.

And Xantia asks her where she got it. "Well, it was--"

Xantia corrects herself, which prompts a wan smile from Avril. "...That is correct. It has been on my person since I awoke in the golem's hand. I do not know where it came from, but I feel that it is important."

Wait, what golem?

Continuing on as if she hadn't just said that, Avril leans in a moment, inspecting Xantia's ARM. "I see... this is interesting. That sounds very much like my own situation." She furrows her brow as if attempting to search her psyche for some sort of hint, but...

In the end, she can only shake her head. "I'm sorry. I can't remember anything about this, or if I've even seen it before." She straightens, tucking her own ARM again safely away. "Perhaps we will both discover the truth in time. In the meantime, let us continue onwards."

Ahead lies...

The door of so much legend.

"Beyond here is whatever lies at the heart of this ruin, is it not?" Avril says, taking in the size of it. "All that we need to do is get through, then."

While other people have come equipped with bombs, powerful magecraft, hammers, and sheer martial arts skills, Avril has...


Nevertheless, if she just stood there, that's not helpful. So in those moments before people set their explosives, cast their spells, take a hammer to it, and attempt to run the door down, she walks on up and... pushes at it. With all she's got.

To be fair, she's doing her best here!

(she'll get out of the way before everything else gets thrown at it, this is about to be a bad place to stand)

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Sealed Doorway.
DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has passed this challenge! The party gained 0 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Rudy Roughnight has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* CHALLENGE - Rolling Boulder *>=======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 One massive, final hallway awaits. It may seem deceptively simple, as it
 leads to an open doorway. Through there is a suggestive glitter of something
 -- perhaps treasure, perhaps somehting else - and it might seem that you
 only have to walk to your prize. Until, of course, you hear a click and then
 a thundering crash. A massive round boulder drops down from above you - and
 starts rolling, ready to crush you under it!
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

After what seems like a decent amount of time, the door is finally defeated by the combined efforts of the party. However, the rather loud and direct way has triggered something else. The rumbling from the entryway's destruction seems to only intensify as suddenly a boulder just comes out from above, getting speed far too fast for your average person's liking.

Rudy's answer, oddly, is not to try and outrun the large rolling rock, but instead race toward it, putting his hands up to try and catch it. His gloves protect him somewhat from the abrasive nature of the move, the leather smoking slightly from the fast moving stone rubbing against it. It pushes him forward, but he hopes it will make it easier for everyone else to go forward. He doesn't say anything as he does this, merely letting his actions speak for him.

DG: Rudy Roughnight has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Rolling Boulder.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

"A golem's hand?" Even Xantia has to wonder aloud about that. "I just woke up in a bed." She's not going to win the 'most unusual circumstances' award, that's for sure. She just lets it slide, other than that, agreeing, "Yes, I feel the same way about mine!"

Though allowing Avril to examine for however long she likes, the eventual conclusion is not unexpected, causing a short laugh. "Well of course you wouldn't remember, it'd be really weird if you forgot about everything but this!" She nods eagerly to discovering the truth in the future. She knows she'll never stop trying.

And so, the dreaded Door faces the combined might of unwieldable hammers, unspeakable magic, unflinching martial arts, uncontainable explosions and... shall we say, unyielding resolve? When all put together, even this door of legend cannot remaining standing, shattering to pieces before its lock ever gives way. Doesn't matter how amazing the lock is when the door itself can be broken!

Xantia lets out a breath, feeling the exertion from the surprising amount of swings it took to put a dent in that thing, but filled with cheer at the result. "It's open~", she announces with all due pride. Now, what could await beyond...?

They don't get to figure out before the final trap is set in motion. One which Xantia has had the displeasure of seeing before, in an entirely different set of ruins. With the dismayed yell "Why this again?!" she starts running... only to see Rudy go the other way. "...Rudy?" Seeing this, well, the choice is rather easy. She rushes back to join him, adding her own significant strength to his effort. Good idea or not, this approach suits her better anyway.

DG: Xantia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Rolling Boulder.
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"We..we did it..." Fei says in disbelief. Well okay maybe the EXPLOSION did it.

When the dust clears, he steps into an ominous long hallway. He has never seen such a wondrous sight. The place beyond the door. He can imagine it, he can imagine it so clearly. A metaphorical football at an end of a literal tunnel.

He rushes towards the hallway. "Come on! We just need to--"

The boulder drops. The boulder rushes towards him. His eyes widen as his hope is suddenly snatched from him. "No... Not this time...!"

He keeps running and swings his foot at the last moment, trying to kick at the boulder even as Xantia and Rudy are trying to hold it back with their strength. His body glows with a powerful chi aura as he closes in on it.

All he has to do--is not miss and go flying. That's all he has to do.

How hard could it be?

DG: Fei Fong Wong has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Rolling Boulder.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"I suppose so," Avril says, with a quite transitory giggle. "Nevertheless, I suppose there is always the chance that it could be something I recall. I cannot know unless I try."

Perhaps it really is unyielding resolve that helps her with the door? It's probably not arm strength.

Nevertheless -- the door yields before them. "Shall we press on? I believe from what Fei said that we should--" she starts to say as she passes through the wreckage of the door.

Somewhere, rock grinds on rock. From above, a veritable boulder descends from on high. Her gaze slides upwards. "Oh--"

Fei, Xantia, and Rudy charge the oncoming rock. Out from under her gown Avril once again brings forth the Original Artificial Medium of the Sea. "Please, Lucadia," she calls out, allowing herself only the space of a breath to close her eyes and attempt to call upon the power of the Sea Guardian. The crash behind her as the boulder starts rolling though is proof that she doesn't have time to space. "Help us!"

Any blessings she -- and the others -- receive will have to wick their way outwards as she takes a step backwards. "I'll try to make it to the other side. Please, be careful!"

With that, Avril turns and breaks into a run, the Medium held tight against her chest. Please, please, let that have been enough...

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Sea Medium toward her party's challenge, Rolling Boulder.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

The lot of them have different time periods for just how far back their memories actually go. The likelihood of their lost memories being intertwined at all seems... close to zero. But here they are, working together, unaware of the possibilities that some of them might even be enemies underneath the veil of mental uncertainty.

Ethius follows the lot inside, considering as to whether or not he should chime in with his earliest recollections. His train of thought is interrupted as something heavy starts behind him - being the closest to the back, Ethius has to take off to a run immediately to avoid being flattened, passing by some of the others as they instead choose not to run.

They decide to fight against the Door's parting cheap shot with all their might. Rudy stands to sacrifice himself for the sake of people he may not know so well, without a second thought. Xantia joins in with desperation. Fei channels his chi to rush forward and give it a punt. Avril calls through the power of the Guardian Lucadia to assist as she takes off ahead.

Ethius would like to follow, to where she runs. Thanks to his initial jog, he's already got a decent head start as Avril runs by.

A part of him nags at him. Up ahead, there might be answers at last - answers that have eluded him for well over a year. Internally, he's restless. Conflicted. He hasn't been open to much of anyone, for the most part. Insert himself into groups to maximize chances of success. Just tell them what's necessary for the ongoing operation. Part just as quietly.

He'd rather not get involved. All that matters is that he sees to...


He has already begun to closely associate with Jacqueline Barber and her wide network of friends. That was already... more than enough. Enough of a risk, for his purposes. (A risk to whom?)


He slams the butt of the quarterstaff on the ground. He could try to melt the boulder and hurt its ability to roll. With Rudy's sacrifice, that would be doable. He has three seconds to decide if he's going to do that until it would be beyond his ability to chant the spell fast enough.

Instead, he takes the quarterstaff and takes a breath, closing his eyes.

"Far Point!" He calls, as he lunges with the tip towards the oncoming boulder - if not to destroy it, to disrupt its roll and slow it down so that Rudy can stop it. This is assuming Xantia and Fei don't destroy the boulder outright.

Even with this change of heart, a part of him on the inside asks, what does this change, versus what is being risked?

Does he know what's being risked?

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Rolling Boulder.
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Rudy Roughnight has successfully explored Ruins of Memory!
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Tomes *>========================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Discovery |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Some of the rooms on the deepest levels of the Ruins of Memory are
 libraries. This room is stacked to the ceiling with shelves. While many of
 the books have crumbled to dust, several are yet salvageable. The contents,
 at a glance, are novels and comedies from the Metal Demon Wars era - on
 social issues, rather than history, but they may well find a home with a
 serious scholar.
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

The boulder creaks against Xantia and Rudy, trying to roll over and onto them even as they push against it. Fei continues his run, eyes narrowed in determination. He can do this. He just has to believe in his own strength. He is feeling confident after his dungeon run with Siegfried. Ethis jabs it with his quarterstaff, finally stopping it and providing a kind of jack, the staff lodged right underneath there. It's true, Amnesiacs Anonymous but secretly all be enemies with one another--and nobody here would be able to tell unless they got their memories first.

Avril then summons the power of the sea! It is said that between the mountain and the sea, the sea always wins. A deluge of water blasts past Fei and into the boulder, making it just slippery enough that the combined strength of Xantia and Rudy, using Ethius's quarterstaff as leverage, are able to fling it up through the air and off to the side where it lands heavily.

Fei throws his kick right at this moment and goes flying, missing the boulder entirely.


He is blasted by water in mid air and lands flat on his back.

"I'll get you someday..." Fei manages weakly.


The team moves into the Ruins of Memory's library. It seems that the Ruins of Memory actually do have something to do with memory after all. Records from the past!

But as a drenched and sore Fei starts looking through the books, it becomes apparent to him these aren't anything like historical records.

"...It's literature." He says. "Comedies. Plays. Novels. I don't see anything historical here yet. Do you?"

And yet, Fei realizes with dawning horror.

There is the faintest of tingles in the back of his mind.

"...Maybe we should look through them anyway," He says. "Maybe it'll make us think of something. But even if not...the truest memories...are the ones we made here today."

WOW FEI. He's just trying to be optimistic but WOW.

There are totally metal demon porn mags here though. Fei doesn't check that out though because he's drawn more to metal demon social commentary.

<Pose Tracker> Rudy Roughnight has posed.

Rudy plans on doing this and doing this alone. He won't fail these people. He promised to get them to the other side. The arms begin to yield, his legs quiver even as his feet slide against the ground. Then there is another set of hands pushing against the stone and the burden lessens. The kick is attempted. The power of the sea medium pushes forward soon after the explosion of Ethius' magic.

Rudy is not doing this alone, even without the friends he's accustomed to. It's a deep message for the young man, something that reminds him, no matter what some may claim, he is a human like these people and nothing can take that away from him.

Calmly, the young man moves toward the books that are discovered. As he moves some of them aside, there appears to be something that falls out of them. It appears to be some sort of part, clearly from the Metal Demon War era like these books. It seems to be a cylinder of some sort roughly of the same size and weight of the Hand Cannon's standard ammo cartridge. While it starts to glow when held by Rudy, he merely pockets it to avoid the usual synchronization process from happening hear and now.

"Sorry I couldn't be more help," Rudy admits as he rises slowly. "But we tried and that's the important thing. Better to try your best and fail, then to always wonder what if."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

When Lucadia answers, she apparently sometimes answers in style. Avril had been hoping at best to call forth a burst of speed from the Medium, but it seems that she got something else.

Well, as far as she can tell, considering she's racing for the doorway to the room in the distance. With little she can offer against the boulder other than the use of the Medium, it seems wiser for her to get to safety than put herself in harm's way.

But she hears something behind her as she runs that forces her to skid to a stop and turn, silver hair briefly fanning out behind her as she does. Yes, there's no doubt about it, even if she missed the precise moment of impact. "Oh-- you disarmed the trap! Well done, everyone."

And with that, once everyone's up and mobile, she waits for them to join her before moving on ahead.

"Oh, a library... perhaps we could find something useful in here."

Largely, it seems Fei is right. Literature, social commentary. And so on. "Hmm. I suppose this is why they call it the 'Ruins of Memory'. Stories come from the thoughts of people, and reflect all sorts of concerns and feelings that they have. While it might not be the same as a history textbook, these too are someone's precious memories... even if they aren't our own."

At random, Avril picks up a book, flipping through the pages as she squints at the text, as if attempting to parse it at record speed.

"This one appears to be about Metal Demons. Let's see..."

Avril clears her throat. And begins to read aloud, clinically, as if reciting from a scientific paper and not. Well. What this is.

"'And so she stood there gazing mournfully into the sunset, her longing for her Metal Demon lover all but overwhelming her. Her bosom heaved against her bodice as she sighed a mournful sigh...'" Slowly Avril has begun to frown, skepticism beginning to filter into her expression.

Yet, she soldiers on: "'...When would he return to her? When at last would this terrible battle come to an end? When would she again feel the caress of...'"

In silence, Avril skims the rest of the page. Then the next one over. And she slams the book closed between both hands. "I feel as if this may not be helpful," is her final determination on the matter, as she places the book back where she found it.

"...Let us try a different section."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

In the wake of the heart-pounding deflection of the boulder, Ethius finds himself stopping to kneel. Doing that thrust did no favors for his injured shoulder. While everyone comes to grips with their near-escape from pancake-dom and their unrestricted access to what could possibly lie beyond, Ethius takes up the rear silently. No asking if anyone is all right, no shouting to keep going.

It's kind of like he's content to not be noticed...?

He makes his way to the libraries beyond, his steps only slowed as he considers the possibility of further traps... but as his eyes fall upon the stacks of books...

He remembers.

...That's what he forgot about... here. He's not sure why he would forget such a thing.

It was only half a year ago!

He was here on a team with several other interesting faces - one of which included the famous Nightburn, to his recollection. When he saw what was inside the vault - mere books - at the time he turned away and walked off silently. There was no reason for him to consider any of this relevant to his interests.

His internal nagging, to date, remains about technology. Lost technology? Out of place? Dangerous? Groundbreaking? He seeks it with every fiber of his being. What was he supposed to do with it when he found it? His life transitioned almost entirely between ruin runs, in search of an answer. What lied before them was no such thing then, and it isn't lost technology now.

The circumstances of modern Filgaia being what they are... Ethius lightly taps the butt of the quarterstaff on the ground again.

"Take as much as you can." Ethius states, firmly, as Avril moves to disengage from the ancient smut. Well, no more firmly than the usual tone in which he talks, but the way he abruptly says that in the middle of everyone searching through for hints, for ideas, for... anything.

"We have come to learn that the Metal Demons are an ongoing threat to this day. There may yet be valuable information within that could yet shed light about them." One incident at Old Petra stands out, when his team - an extraordinarily unlikely team, indeed - found the last survivor deep inside. The way they acted before a number of other Metal Demons... it would seem ridiculous to consider their existence before as anything other than ancient lonely flights of fancy.

Yes, Ethius suggests taking the smut wholesale, this suggestion done with as straight a face as he does virtually anything else.

"Romanticized as some of the passages may be, I have cause to believe there may yet be use to the current struggle against them," so Ethius says as he moves to take the book Avril has just hoped to bury back into the bowels of well-organized history.

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia has a lot of trouble dealing with the boulder, mainly because, well, that wasn't the way it was supposed to be handled. Normal, sensible people would run from something big and unstoppable like that. Amnesiacs Anonymous says: forget about what makes sense, follow your heart! This leads to Xantia almost overexerting herself in the effort to help send that boulder flying, but, somehow, they manage to pull it off. Perhaps this is the power of literally not knowing your limits. Undaunted by poor Fei's nemesis besting him once more, she happily exclaims, "Yay, we did it!" and proceeds to skip moreso than walk over to the open doorway at the far end.

"Wow, look at all the books!" Xantia is enthusiastic about this find, at least. One might not think her a fan of books, but she actually does enjoy reading. You can learn a lot from books! Unfortunately, she has a little trouble seperating fact from fiction, so it's questionable to what degree her reading is actually helpful.

Humming to herself, Xantia starts rummaging about. Fei, she encourages with, "Yeah, let's look, it can't hurt!" She pauses a moment to wave hand dismissively towards Rudy. "What are you talking about, you were a great help! We got all the way here, didn't we? I'd say that's pretty good!"

Then Avril starts to read from one. Xantia listens, but it's apparent from her blank expression that what exactly this story is about is something that eludes her entirely. She cants her head at Avril's judgement, wondering aloud, "What was that about?" She shrugs, and goes back to skimming what else she can get her hands on. Ignorance is bliss, indeed.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"You were plenty of help," Fei smiles over to Rudy but the literature. It tingles in the back of his memory. It doesn't remind him of anything, not immediately, but it feels just familiar enough. These works. He closes his eyes, running his hands along the books. Ethius speaks more than he has during the entire rest of the day.

Fei looks over to him. "...They're not really any different from us. Will we go and exterminate them all, in the end? I'm not sure Siegfried understood what I was getting at. We're weaker than the Metal Demons..." He frowns. "But weaker means more pliable. Weaker means we band together. The longer his war against us fails to defeat us..."

He sounds frankly sympathetic to the idea of Siegfried conquering the world. Not agreeing with it, but he seems worried about them if nothing else.

He continues to walk around, not interfering with any book gathering aside from gathering things that he thinks folks like Emma might be able to make use of. It's mostly literature but maybe she'll think of something from it.

"Harthcourt Valeria...The Elw... It wasn't a vision of the future. It was the past. But that's--that's impossible. Unless he was right, and the red spirit somehow..."

He lets his hand drop, shaking his head. "...I don't want to hurt them. Even after everything. They don't have to die do they? I know we have to fight them but..."

He sighs. "...Sorry, I guess this isn't really what we were looking for. I hope it helped at least a little bit..."

He enters the mope zone shortly after, hoping the others got something out of it. All Fei got was confirmation on something he already kind of knew.

He remembers things. He has seen things that he shouldn't be able to see. So far even the answers only bring more questions.