2017-07-24: Chasing A Name

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========================<* CHALLENGE - Out of Service *>========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The descent into Lolithia's Tomb would be a challenging one in most
 circumstances. And this looks like it's going to be one of those days. The
 elevator cards that would take workers down into the dig seem to be out of
 order, leaving only the cables as a route down into the darkness below.
 Those bold enough to use the cables to descend need to be careful to not
 pick up too much speed on the way down, or a rough landing awaits.
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Deep in the heart of the Temple of Rejection, one name had been mentioned in a plaque on the wall:

"If the rumors are true, THE LOLITHIA has remained on Filgaia. If <blank> learns of this facility, <blank> will undoubtedly shut it down. We have thus equipped the facility with an advanced security system. For the sake of our planet, we must protect it at all costs..."

Those who have seen the proverbial writing on the wall may have one reason to be here. Those who remember the name of the golem robbed from Adlehyde might have another.

And then there's good old curiosity.

Whatever the reason, circumstances can make very odd bedfellows indeed.

A LITTLE WHILE AGO

"Dean, Rebecca, perhaps we should investigate separately," Avril had said to her friends, as the expanse of the excavation site proved quite formidable, branching off into separate tunnels and entryways. With some reluctance, her friends had agreed, leaving her with the other people they had traveled to the site with. She, at least, was here to attempt to investigate the mystery of the name 'Lolithia' and why it seemed vaguely familiar to her, a feeling she had voiced aloud.

"...I will be alright," she said, clasping her hands before her and watching her friends as they depart.

A SHORT WHILE LATER

"...Oh," the silver-haired young woman says, peering deep into the elevator shaft. "It appears the lift is no longer here." Blue eyes flicker off in the direction her friends went, but the young woman ultimately shakes her head.

"I... feel this is the way we must go, even if it proves dangerous." With due solemnity, she draws the odd octagonal object from under her gown and closes her eyes, reaching out for the presence of Lucadia, beckoning a measure of the Guardian's natural dexterity to herself and her allies.

"Perhaps, this should suffice. Let us go. I would like to learn more about 'Lolithia'."

With that, she grabs the rope and begins to climb down.

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

Ethius comes along at urging of Cyre. Inwardly, he does recall mention about 'Lolithia' up at that temple that seemed apt to directly try and kill him in the two times he's been there. There still may yet be merits to returning to the locale at least one more time, then, though something troubled him at Lacour. Something that felt... urgent, but Cyre's stronger personality wins out. (This time.)

There's little different to note about Ethius' disposition and way of handling things. Still quiet, reluctant to say his name, and more apt to stand on the outside of the group's formation.

A glance is passed towards Neriah, but he says nothing.

He follows Avril's lead without much added commentary, though that gaze sweeps about the gathered as he grips the rope to help himself down into the shaft.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Out of Service.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

TWO WEEKS AGO.

"If the rumors are true, THE LOLITHIA has remained on Filgaia. If learns of this facility, will undoubtedly shut it down. We have thus equipped the facility with an advanced security system. For the sake of our planet, we must protect it at all costs..."

'Huh,' thought Cyre. 'Should probably look into that.'

NOW.

"Ahhh, it's not so bad," Cyre says to the MYSTERIOUS SILVER-HAIRED WAIF who he'd run into along the road and then accompanied to this bombed out ruin not far from fellow bombed out ruin, Adlehyde City. "You just have to take a deep breath and go with it."

And with that, Cyre...

...Backs up.

And unfurls what looks like a huge leather sheet.

"Let's---" he yells, then LEAPS--! "GOOOOOOOO!"

A moment later, and the strange hooded man has utterly disappeared into the darkness below.

Well, almost.

It looks like he packed a parachute.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Reverse Parachute toward his party's challenge, Out of Service.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

After Fei's disastrous fight yesterday and her own jumping into the arena to confront Seis Thurule, Neriah skipped Lahan one jump ahead of the city guard. Something about tying up Fastred Furlong in a basement and stealing tickets to the competitors' section. Something else about crashing the arena floor without actually being Fastred Furlong. She figured it'd be a good idea to keep her head down and do a few things outside the city walls.

On the plus side, in her haste to steal a different outfit than the one she was wearing yesterday, she happened upon a really nice skirt. It goes well with her vest, gloves and high boots.

"So this is where the Lolithia was?" she asks Avril, leaning forward with a little frown as she peers down the elevator shaft. "Or... where the elevator was, at least."

She can tell Ethius is looking at her. She does not look back at him. As Avril casts that Guardian's blessing, Neriah--

Neriah clenches her shoulders as something in her chest starts to hurt. She has to visibly push a breath out in order to relax herself. "Alright. Let's go learn," she says as she takes ahold of one of the elevator cables and begins to slide herself down with utmost care, hoping her gloves will protect her from cable burn.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Out of Service.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

To Neriah, Avril nods. "I believe so, if what I heard is correct. Perhaps something may still be left down here that will tell us more about 'the Lolithia'."

"Take a deep breath..." Avril murmurs, creasing her brow in response to Cyre's urging. As if so instructed, she does exactly that. "Ah, I see. Thank you, I feel a little calmer now."

Indeed, her expression is placid as he takes a leap into the unknown--!

"...Oh, he jumped." She glances at the others and even manages a smile -- gaze lingering a moment long on Ethius -- before: "Well, shall we?"

<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Kahm Yugh had been en route back from Lacour when he'd picked up the trail of Ethius, deciding to take a detour from his intended route to further supplement the information Lieutenant Voss had already gathered. Unsurprisingly, following the enigmatic figure led him to yet another ruin of supposedly lost technology. Shadows were no longer the best place to operate, and as the beginnings of a rough group of drifters began to coalesce he introduces himself under the alias of Marcus Rider, an agent of the Smith & Luio Company sent to investigate the area on behalf of a client.

After spending weeks as Seis Thurule, slippling back into his old identity was less unpleasant than he'd thought. Like slipping on a pair of old shoes.

He'll meet the elevator shaft with little hesitation, watching in turn as each member of the group takes their own solution to the issue-some more boldly than others-before applying his own by gripping a cable and cautiously rapelling his way down the shaft.

DG: Kahm Yugh has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Out of Service.
<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.


"Here we are again..." Morgan murmurs amusedly to himself. "And this time the elevator ain't workin. Imagine that." The Fox murmurs as he glances down the deep hole just as others from this little team simply made their various ways down. The man limbers up his arm a moment.

"Gimme a sec, I'll give ya bit of a hand on the way down." He adds as his energy larriot unfolds and he anchors it up top before letting it unspool down into the darkness. "I know its a funny looking rope, but trust me, it works just fine." He adds wryly as he glances around at the group.

"...though..." He adds as he takes hold of the rope and starts down into the abyss. "Seems to me, if ya want to find out about this place and what was in it. Might want to talk ta Emma Heartfield. She's the one that opened her up the first time."

DG: Morgan Newkirk has used his Tool Force Lash toward his party's challenge, Out of Service.
DG: The party led by Avril Vent Fleur 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> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Emma Hetfield... I've heard that name before." Avril pauses, then looks somewhat skeptical of that fact, as if she's attempting to remember whether or not she left the oven on. "I think."

Amnesia can be a problem.

Between various tactics -- some of them cautious, some of them less so -- the makeshift group manages to make its way down the closed off elevator shaft with startling ease. Extra rope certainly doesn't hurt, and just maybe the blessing of the Sea Guardian is upon them. This time.

DG: Neriah Parringer has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Stone Door *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 What is this? Could it be? Who would expect a large, heavy stone door to be
 in a ruin like this? In this case however, there is an intricate lock that
 involves turning a number of different stone knobs in order to unlock the
 door. Trial and error may take a while, but surely such a door will lead to
 good things?
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Keeping ahold of her cables, Neriah is able to glide down to the bottom of the shaft with little incident. The tall boots she's wearing help, too; she crosses her calves around one of the cables to steady herself and just glides down steadily. Leather heats up a little in protest but it's nothing she can't handle, and soon enough she's dropping down at the bottom of the shaft with a click of heels, clearing to the side to make room for the others. She'd gone down first, of course. She's got a skirt on, after all.

For a moment, she looks up, squinting at Kahm a moment. He's one she's never seen before.

Shrugging, she moves on. She turns on a heel --

THUUUUUUUD

"Ow," Neriah manages a second after walking square into a gigantic stone door set at the foot of the elevator shaft.

She peels herself off the door, cringing and pressing a hand to her cheek. "Shittttt. Who puts a big stone door there," she curses as she glares at the thing. Soon enough, though, she's laying a hand on the rocky face, biting her lower lip and squinting at the mechanism. The pain in her face throbs but she tries to push it out of her mind. She's been hurt worse before, ater all.

"So I think if we... kind of diddle with those knobs until we get the right combination," she suggests, as she proceeds to turn one of the knobs in question.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ancient Stone Door.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius stands alert at the 'thud' and the 'ow,' but he doesn't rush forward to Neriah's side when she recoils from having walked into the door. As she brings to attention the knobs, Ethius nods slowly.

Ethius withdraws an eyeglass from under the poncho. Some Symbological spellcasting later, he taps some electrical power into it from his finger, and holds it to his eye as a soft glow forms from it. The mysterious white-haired Symbologist paces about the chamber. He draws invisible lines with his finger between the knobs and the door... as many times as there are knobs, except one.

"This one is not linked." Ethius points to one of the knobs, as the Spectral Lens is put away. "We can safely eliminate its participation in the way forward." Which helps, but doesn't bring them any closer to what to do with the ones that are connected...

It's really weird. Ethius looks like a ruffian, and those tattoos on his forearms could very well be markings of a more primitive tribe... but yet, he speaks in an overly verbose manner as though in defiance of what one might assume of his appearance.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Ancient Stone Door.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Hey, it's not dangerous! Cyre's basejumped off this very precipice at least once before! He lands gracefully and without issue, tidily folding his personal parachute up and stuffing it right back into its usual pouch. "You know," he says to Neriah as he comes up to the door, "And I'm definitely not complaining, but why is it that whenever I run into you, you're both exploring monster-infested ruins and also rocking a pair of heels?"

"I mean, it's not like heels are exactly the most practical kind of footware to bring in here," Cyre astutely observes as he also begins astutely observing the door and its surrounding environs. "Again, not that I'm complaining."

He bends ever so slightly to pick something up off the floor, "Like, not at all. If they can do it, more ladies should be heeling it up in these kinds of places."

He's found... Some kind of weird, metallic claw-shaped thing? Cyre frowns and turns it over, and finds... A combination of symbols!? "Hey," he calls over, then, lifting the little trinket for the others to see, "Are any of these on there? Might be someone left the password just lying around."

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Ancient Stone Door.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Kahm -- or Marcus Rider as he had introduced himself -- is a new face for Avril, too. But it appears to be the way of Drifters to meet and depart once a job is finished -- she's learned that much. So while she trades a few glances the man's way, they're of a more inquisitive cast than anything suspicious at all.

The same goes for Neriah -- much as 'Marcus' she is a mystery, but one that Avril has treated for now as a curiosity. She seems to be used to these places...

It's Neriah who leads the way towards (or rather, into) the stone door. "Please, be careful, Neriah," Avril cautions, before reaching out to run a gloved hand along the stone. "..." Blue eyes shift towards the stone knobs, scattered across the door. "...I see, so if we can discover the correct combination, we can open this door," she murmurs, resting a hand on her chin.

"...Ah, not that one?" Ethius indicates one of them just won't work. Glancing back over her shoulder, Avril regards Cyre for a moment as he says he might have found something. "What does it say?" She pauses, glancing at the symbols. "Perhaps, if we're eliminating that one, and if we assume that the combination would read the same from leftmost to rightmost... Ah, Neriah, would you do the honors?"

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ancient Stone Door.
<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Kahm's feet touch the stone floor without much incident, which is more than he can say for how other digs have gone thus far. He's not unfamiliar with all the players in this little sojourn so far: Morgan receives a professional nod from their past association, and Ethius was a known quantity. Neriah he at least had some vague sense of having seen at the tournament the other day, and remained perfectly casual while she took a longer look at him, to no apparent recognition. Cyre was not familiar to him, though demi-humans were a dime a dozen on the surface, and Avril was a quandry-by what mechanism had she invoked the favors of the air? He didn't suspect it was the Solarian way, but it was some way...

He'll come up on Avril's side while Ethius works his unique brand of magic, observing for a time before speaking, "If I might ask, Miss Fleur, what interests brought you here? Explore enough ruins and you begin to see the same familiar faces, but yours is new."

The incongruity between Ethius's appearance and his personality was not unknown, but Kahm continues to observe and listen carefully as the man proceeds against the stone door's defenses. "There is a likely chance an incorrect combination will trigger a trap of some sort. Best be on your feet." He said, stepping forward to man one of the knobs, "I'll operate one, and Neriah another."

DG: Kahm Yugh has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Ancient Stone Door.
<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.

"I'm pretty sure you don't ever complain about legs that look like that, my friend." Morgan angles towards Cyre as he alights from his own climb. He'll wait for others to get to the bottom before dismissing the energy rope of his and glancing back toward sthe lastest challenge.

The door.

The man sighs slowly. "A door, its always a door." He mutters with a shake of his head. "At least its not a jammed door. Right Marcus?" He angles this comment towards the other Digger with a flash of a grin.

He's met him only once or twice, but no reason to not be friendly like.

A glance at the door again as he tilts his head. "Count it down, places like this sometimes make you both activate at the same time. So try to get the timing right." He adds towards the group as a whole.

"And if ya like, I can see if I can introudce you ta miss Hetfield." This towards Avril as he stands back from the door, his eyes curiously watching Ethius work.

DG: Morgan Newkirk has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Ancient Stone Door.
DG: The party led by Avril Vent Fleur has passed this challenge! The party gained 32 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> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Be honest," Neriah says as she completely stops what she's doing and turns to face Cyre and Morgan, fixing them with a look. "Would you really remember anything about me if I showed up one day wearing flats?"

She shrugs and turns back to the door. "Besides, they're useful for when I need to thrust-kick something in the face. Or convince a brooding horror not to chop off the parts of my body below the torso. Which happens more often than you might think."

Rubbing at her face, the girl casts a rueful smile back towards Avril, her cheeks colouring. "I've been hurt worse!" she says, before heeding Ethius's advice for now. Nodding, she moves her hands over the knob in question, fiddling with it as Avril indicates that she should, in fact, do the honours. Marcus steps up to tangle with the other. "Alright. Let's figure this one out."

Guided by the others, Neriah and Marcus turn the dials as Morgan counts down - and as they hit that symbol, something inside the door goes click. Stone grinds against stone and steel as the door pulls away to the right and slides back into the wall, revealing the corridor beyond.

Smirking, Neriah dusts off her hands, chin coming up. "I for one credit this triumph to teamwork and my awesome footwear."

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has drawn a new Challenge.
===================<* CHALLENGE - Gregarious Gomoratoads *>===================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Unusually large and unfriendly monsters, the Gomoratoad generally is willing
 to eat just about everything that it comes across. This includes unruly
 adventurers who have wandered into their underground territory. Looking like
 giant red toads except with evil little wings on their back, they also cast
 water spells to make things interesting. Because giant man eating toads were
 not bad enough on their own.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre shares a long look with Morgan, and then his eyes swivel right back to Neriah. "Nope. Without a decent pair of legs to look at, I completely fail to remember anyone I meet. Like, this guy," he gestures at Morgan. "Or this one," and then at Ethius. "Who are these people even?"

He's

Probably??

Kidding.

Regardless! The proper combination is entered into the door, and the path forward is opened! Cyre stuffs the mysterious claw artifact into his pack. Maybe he can sell it! It might be worth something. "Hey Ethius," Cyre says, immediately confirming that he can indeed remember people beyond the shapeliness and subjective quality of their lower extremities. "Does any of this architecture look familiar? Like that one pl--"

Suddenly there's a jet of water.

CYRE DODGES IT BY A HAIR.

"Oh what even the--" Something big and lumpy hops out of the darkness. It ribbits. Two more big and lumpy things hop out after it. They, too, ribbit. "Oh damnit," Cyre groans, "Frogs again."

He gestures. Suddenly the wind picks up, collects into thin lances of pressurized air, and launch as a dense cluster into the croaking beasts. But they don't just sit there and take it! The two in the back open their gaping maws and unleash veritable torrents of foul-smelling water as the one up front bounds forward to try and GOBBLE UP WHATEVER IT CAN REACH.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Gregarious Gomoratoads.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Neriah insists that she's been hurt worse. This only prompts Avril to inspect her carefully, gaze traveling the length of the girl's form as if to make sure of this. But in the end, Avril nods. "Yes, you do seem to be fine, Neriah." She pauses, as if weighing the situation. "Let us carry on, shall we?"

She regards Kahm in silence for a good ten seconds before responding, blue eyes traveling the features of his face as if searching for... something.

And then: "Does the name 'Lolithia' sound at all familiar to you, Marcus?"

He might use her surname, but she for some reason appears to address even new acquaintances by their first names, as if she were already familiar with them.

"It is... familiar to me, somehow," she explains, frowning faintly, as if bothered by something. "...I felt that if I came here, I might be able to understand why." And then once again she turns that questioning gaze onto him. "...This may sound odd, but have we met...?"

This isn't the first time she's gone on an expedition with Morgan; he might even remember a few odd comments she made from the last time they encountered one another. And indeed: he's even been so kind as to offer to introduce her to Professor Hetfield, a name that Avril recalls -- and not just from the foggy world of half-remembered things. "I would like that. Thank you, Morgan."

Fortunately, that bit of educated guesswork appears to do the trick, on top of everyone else's tricks. "Yes, this was well done," Avril agrees, briefly clasping her hands together.

Trailing in not far behind Cyre, Avril doesn't even have the chance to shout a warning as a jet of water gushes out from the darkness. "--Watch out!" she cautions, far too late, stepping to the side of the Shaman as he invokes the wind's wrath. Narrowly dodging another jet -- matched by a brief wince as some of the water splashes onto her cheek -- she surges towards the front lines of the battle. Unarmed?

It appears the strange disc she used before wasn't her only trick. Avril draws from beneath her gown what looks like a strange merger of the handle of a gun and the hilt of a sword.

Trigger included.

"I apologize in advance," she informs the toads before her, possibly to Cyre's annoyance. "However, we must go past you!" The mysterious maiden takes a practiced step forward and arcing the hand bearing the device forward, overhead, pulls the trigger.

It's a whip. It's a goddamn laser whip.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Beam Whip Mode toward her party's challenge, Gregarious Gomoratoads.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah huffs and waves a hand towards Cyre, flashing him a thin smirk. "I'll test that next time by wearing my dowdiest pair of baggy pants. Maybe even a few sizes too big."

Sliding along with the catman, Neriah ducks through the corridor - and the jet of water comes hurtling towards her. The girl reacts instantly and throws her right hand out -

The water jet collides with something. A field of shimmering unlight thrums to life with a rumble of unsound, a vibration that rumbles just below the frequency ranges human hearing can pick up normally. It's unsettling enough to raise hackles - and it seems to cut off all other sound coming from Neriah. The girl lurches back a little and winces.

But she raises her head nevertheless. Her eyes are steadier now. Ethius has seen this before. Last time, Neriah seemed to be at the point of death just calling this field up.

This time, the eldritch shield collapses away, and the girl strides forward, breathing heavily and in pain, but scowling forward. Her eyes blaze with intent as she pulls the sleek silver pistol from her belt and snaps off a couple of shots with a hiss of steam, aiming to peg one of the Gomoratoads right between the eyes.

In a corner of her mind, there's pain. Her muscles burn just from that invocation. Her heart beats faster. But it's more of a sad, scant thing, now - a shadow of what it was.

(Ginny,) she reflects as a surge of something incredibly euphoric builds from within her. (Is this your gift...?)

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gregarious Gomoratoads.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"I told you before!" Cyre shouts over the roar of the wind. "Don't need to apologize to the things trying to eat you! These guys are jerks too! Like bugbears, except gross and warty! Just hit them until they run away or stop moving!"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

"I'm just another traveler." Ethius seems to take Cyre's joking straight?? (Honestly, who would believe that from him by now?)

Ethius, too, crouches underneath the jet of water that just barely misses Cyre, as he already moves to grab one of the two satchels at his belt. There's another bit of Symbology casting with no immediate visual effect - but maybe it has something to do with the satchel he's hold--

As he tosses it into the pair of Gomorratoads, the satchel explodes into a great big cloud of dust that obscures their vision of the team and whatever it is they're doing, as they are bombarded by amphibious bulk and aquatic blasts.

"Move through." Ethius says to the rest, allowing them to pass through the dust cloud with intent to keep moving, rather than stand and fight.

A few glances seem to be passed between Kah-- Marcus and Morgan as he dashes through the low visibility haze towards the other side of the chamber.

There is a pause as the unlight forms paradoxically through the haze, somehow cutting through even the light of the beam whip. He puts himself at risk of being bellyslammed by a toad anyway as his eyes attempt to track the fell construction of sorcery that envelopes the young girl - for once, he seems paralyzed by indecision and also a number gnawing at his brain. (A number?)

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, Gregarious Gomoratoads.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"It feels impolite," Avril demures, as she lays into the monsters before her with the energy weapon. She has good form, as if she's handled a potentially dangerous-to-self weapon like this for countless years, rather than the few months she's capable of recalling.

The only thing that breaks her stride is the sudden pulse of 'unlight', an entirely unwholesome pulse of magic (?) scratching obscenely across her senses. Avril pulls back a step, one hand falling to the place where Lucadia's Original Artificial Medium rests. One eye squints shut. "What was... that?"

<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Kahm did not yield any apparent recognition of the word 'Lolithia', but a glimmer in his eyes might be enough to tell Avril that he knew something of what she spoke. Still, he had remained silent until she asked him that question, prompting a pause, then resolute shake of his head. "I can't say that I've seen you before, ma'am." And yet...

Why would she ask him such a question?

The stone door slides open to reveal hostile creatures. "So, the trap was behind the door." Kahm mused, ducking low and darting out from one side of Cyre as a high-pressure water jet fired from one of those amphibians mays. His steps are quick, measured, and deadly between opponents, a blade flashing savagely as he angled his way among them, leaving a prize in his wake: An armed sonic grenade, which erupted with shrill, disrupting noised aimed to scatter and disrupt their senses.

His path puts him by Ethius, whom he'll shoulder-check clear of the descending toadbeast, turning around and dispatching it with several shots from his revolved. "Take care." He advised, his eyes only now turning on the strange phenomenon evoked by Neriah, eyes narrowing suspiciously, "We walk among the savage and brutal."

DG: Kahm Yugh has used his Tool Sonic Grenade toward his party's challenge, Gregarious Gomoratoads.
<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.

There is a laugh from the fox, eyes dancing. "Me? I'm no one of importance." He replies towards Cyre. "At least compared to a fine set of stilts."

Any other comment is intrupted by the jet of water as it goes blasting past the party. Morgan just stands to one side, calmly pulling pistol out of his holster as his Gauntlet lights up with its strange energy. "What I don't even know is what these things eat ta get this big down here? I mean its not like there is a lot ta eat beyond Diggers that come down here. But these things are as big as damn horses." The man asks as he swinngs around the corner and starts snapping shots off at the frogs. "Does somethin' just stick them down here for fun?"

A pause.

"This is somethin I complain about almost every time I'm down here, so y'all will just have ta deal with it."

He nods though towards Avrial in-between shots. "Be my pleasure, miss."

Then a smile curves up his lips. "And darlin," This time towards Neriah. "Its too late. We already know how they look now. Just accept it." More shots ring out as he angles the shields spun of blue light to catch errant blasts of water.

There is a chuckle as he sights down the barrel of his six-gun before he asides towards Marcus. "How is that different from any other day, pardner?"

Savage and Brutal seem to be the namesakes of a Digger.

DG: Morgan Newkirk has used his Tool Shield Gauntlet toward his party's challenge, Gregarious Gomoratoads.
DG: The party led by Avril Vent Fleur has passed this challenge! The party gained 16 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> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah doesn't answer right away. The mechanism in her pistol again barks with a metallic crack and a hiss of escaping steam. She's standing straighter than she was a few minutes ago; her shoulders seem somehow more stiff and her chin raised more proudly as she glances sidelong at Avril. "It's a type of symbolism," she lies without batting an eyelash. It's the same fib she always tells when someone gets suspicious of her magic.

There aren't too many places she could hide symbols. Her legs don't seem to have any - and when Loren checked her out, there were no symbols on her arms, either. But then, Neriah has no way of knowing that Thomas the medical student was actually Loren Voss of Gebler.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius gets shoulder-checked to safety (it's him on the receiving end, for once), tumbling across the wet dungeon floor as that toad splats themselves against the ground. A narrow save, indeed, but there's that pounding headache as the number repeats itself. He frowns, bringing a hand to his forehead - he's not quite of the mind to thank Kah-- sorry, Marcus for the save, as Neriah brushes off the queries. Mere Symbology.

He's a Symbologist, and he's not certain he can confirm or deny that - or come up with any rational yes or no or seven answer. (Seven answer?)

Wordlessly, he trudges on with the rest.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Politeness won't matter if you're on the inside of a toad's--" Suddenly, Neriah does... that again. Cyre staggers into a wall, his magic waning briefly in the face of... Of whatever that just was. For his trouble, he gets socked right in the chest by a big, fleshy tongue. His eyes flash at the impact- his hand rakes through the air, and the appendage is suddenly a bloody mess of shredded flesh. "Khhh... That again...? Damnit--" his hands twist back into position, the wind picks right back up. "Warn us next time!"

"It..." Cyre growls as the toads are subjected to all manner of horrible things. Laser whips, sonic grenades, swords, bullets and more tear into their ranks, leaving them bloodied, battered, and on the run. A six-shooter round finds one in someplace vital, and the hopping beast abruptly misses its landing, tumbling lifelessly into a nearby wall. The impact knocks something loose, and reveals... A new path forward.

"...Neriah, I'm not going to ask what that is--" He groans, scrubbing furiously at his hood. "No, I'm DEFINITELY asking what that is. What is that!? That's the second time now. It's REALLY throwing bad vibes, you know? Look!" Cyre gestures at Ethius. "Look at his face! He's terrified!"

It's Ethius, so he probably just looks like he always does.

Despite the imaginary numbers almost assuredly dancing in his head.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"I mean, if it's symbolism, where's... The symbol?" Cyre asks with a critical eye. "Someplace people shouldn't see? Is this what happens when a symbologist inscribes their runes in IMPOLITE PLACES!?"

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"I'm sorry it feels bad, Mr, Cyre. It's a special form of symbol. I guess that's just a side effect." Neriah closes her eyes and bows her head shallowly, though there's a subtle difference in the way she carries herself.

When she opens her eyes again, it's to fix Cyre with a look. "I am not letting you search me for symbols!" she huffs, planting her hands at her hips. "Some symbols are in places that aren't meant for you to oogle at!"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius inwardly wonders. He's certain he's heard something of that before... an infamous story about someone having their symbological tattoos in an embarrassing place. Who was it, where did he hear it...?

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"So you have heard the name before?"

Avril, it seems, is nothing if not blunt in spite of her polite speech.

That he doesn't recall having met her before itself provokes her to frown slightly in consternation. Again...

Meanwhile, it's in the midst of battle that Avril -- in the space between when the aftershock of Neriah's spell washes over her and the point where she sweeps the beam whip towards another questing toad in an arc -- receives affirmation that Morgan will definitely set up a meeting. In spite of the incongruity of the timing, she accepts it without so much as batting an eye: "Very well. I believe Dean and Rebecca would also like to meet her."

It's only when the battle ends -- and the whip's charge expends itself -- that Avril turns her head to stare over at Neriah. "A type of Symbolism?" she echoes, glancing sidelong at Ethius. Her gaze lingers on him, as if on the tattoos he bears, before returning to Neriah. "That did not..." But she frowns, lifting her free hand to her chin.

Something's not right here. But there's a gap between the point where she feels like something's wrong -- the 'what' that is wrong is entirely missing. Her gaze instead lingers on Neriah as it had on Kahm much earlier, if composed of a much more critical nature than before.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre stares at Neriah.

At the way she places her hands on her hips.

And then he slowly nods. "Ah. It's as I thought."

"Butt symbols."

DG: Kahm Yugh has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* CHALLENGE - Do You Even Lift? *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 A large shaft descends deeper into the tomb, but there seems to be no way to
 descend at first, as a large lift completely blocks the passage down. The
 motor is broken, which means that the party is going to have to take hold of
 the counter-weight rope and lower themselves down. ...along with the very
 large cargo elevator, which probably weighs more than the entire party
 combined.
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

"Who said I was talking about the monsters?" Kahm offers in response to Morgan, deeming it appropriate for Marcus Rider to display the occasional flair for humor. Occasional.

Neriah's attempts to explain her powers away as symbology seemed...suspect to him, but it didn't seem like something that had been categorized elsewhere. He'd have to consult Liutenant Voss's report again later.

Likewise, Avril's unique weapon was worthy of note...possibly something found on a dig, but a priceless find indeed. "Don't see weapons like that too often." He says to the young woman as their combined attacks either slay their foes or convince them to seek easier pray. Kahm will step over the body of the one that smashed open their next logical path, signalling for the others to come through.

They arrive at yet another shaft, with something of the opposite problem impeding their way. "It looks like the motor won't be taking us anywhere." He says and, finding the prospect of manually pulling the car to the bottom of it's destination needlessly arduous. "Hold on a moment." He says, reaching up through the top of the lift and placing a discrete amount of plastic explosive top-enough that the explosive force should merely assist in their task rather than blow them all up.

No really, it's fine. He didn't carry nearly enough on him to do that.

Then again, if Cyre keeps talking about butt symbols, he might just conjure a little extra power into the mix.

DG: Kahm Yugh has used his Tool Plastic Explosive toward his party's challenge, Do You Even Lift?.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"That is not where they are," Neriah huffs at Cyre as she continues on.

As she moves forward, she nods back to Avril simply, then flashes her a warm smile. "Don't worry too much about it! I'm here to help you! I promise nobody's going to jump out and suck your soul out through your eyes or anything." Her smile broadens and broadens to an almost unnaturally wide arc.

The sight of the lift, though, sees that smile reverse into a deep frown. "Well, this isn't fun. How're we supposed to get down?" she asks nobody in particular.

As Marcus makes with the explosions, Neriah unslings the shovel from the loop on her back, thumping the blade of it against the palm of her left hand. Her right one aches but the pain is bearable. She deals with it. Pushing forward, she begins to pry her shovel into the mechanisms holding the lift in place, scooping cruft and rubble out of the shaft. "This should make it a little easier," she calls back with a look over her shoulder. "Someone strong has gotta push on that weight as we go!"

DG: Neriah Parringer has used her Tool Trusty Shovel toward her party's challenge, Do You Even Lift?.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Hmmm, not the butt. Somewhere else then? Hmmmmmmmm." Oh no he's thinking about it now. Neriah look what you've done. WHAT YOU'VE DONE WITH YOUR LIIIIES.

But then, an elevator shaft.

Cyre takes one look at the rickety old thing, then another at the explosives being liberally strung up over top of it. His lips draw into a tight line as he starts rummaging around for...

MORE EXPLOSIVES!?

No, just a brass censer decorated with imagery extolling the strength and virtue of the Guardian of the Winds. He lights it up and begins swinging it about, filling the air with delightfully refreshing, invigorating smoke. "Someone strong is not me. So instead, just breathe deep! It's a special Baskar recipe, guaranteed to soothe the ache of both body and soul!"

It might also be a mild hallucinogen.

Probably not though.

But maybe...!

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Invigorating Vapors toward his party's challenge, Do You Even Lift?.
<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.

"You know, you're only encouraging him." Morgan says with a grin in Neriah's direction. "Remember what he did to the priestess lady?" He's much amused by it all, but doesn't seem to be near as intrested as other at the source of Neriah's powers.

He's a pragmatic sort. They work, they havn't turned against him, so right now he's not worried. Later? Later there migth be some serious curiousity flung in her direction, but not right now.

Right now there are things to get out of the way.

Taking a deep breath of Cyre's censor. He lets it out slowly before settling himself as he moves to take a look at the problem.

"...if anyone actually has any more explosives...there are a couple points that might be weak enough to shake loose without bringing the cave down..."

DG: Morgan Newkirk has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Do You Even Lift?.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

The searching look lingers a moment or two more. And then, Avril nods, as if reluctantly setting this conundrum aside. "...Yes, of course. Though, it does seem somewhat ominous when you phrase it that way, Neriah."

She looks Kahm's way. "Not too often? Have you seen one like it before?" Avril asks 'Marcus'. She in the meantime returns the weapon from whence it came, some pocket hidden in the folds of her gown.

The current topic of conversation -- Symbology, and the placement of tattoos -- meanwhile earns Cyre an utterly nonplussed look from Avril.

Some things, perhaps, are not worth words.

In the meantime, there's the way forward. Picking her way carefully over a fallen toad, she approaches the elevator shaft only to discover, as Kahm does, that...

"Hmm. This appears to be a problem," the woman in green comments, tilting her head to one side as she takes in the situation. "Perhaps if we were to use this rope?" She sounds somewhat dubious, though, even as she takes it in hand. "...A little extra force would not be amiss," she adds, soon after, as Kahm plants explosives. As if rethinking her own options, she lets go of the rope. "Please, do be careful."

And crouches to instead help Neriah move rock. "Here, let me take the smaller ones..."

The smell is invigorating, just like the last time.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Do You Even Lift?.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius ceases to contribute much to the conversation about Neriah and her troubling sorcery as he comes upright and follows the rest towards the stuck lift.

This is a normal Ethius moment. Stand there, contribute little vocally, oftentimes seem a superfluous extra to the action other than being an extra pair of hands that's just... there.

His eyes track where Marcus goes, taking a few steps closer as he tilts his head imperceptibly to the left. This allows most the others to go forth and contribute their own ideas ahead of him as they take their place. Cyre's fervent attempts to ferret out the tattoo locations wash by him as unheeded noise.

Ethius coughs as some of the scent from the brass censer wafts past his bandanna around the lower half of his face. Stepping inside, he once again looks up to the top of their elevator. His eyes narrow slightly. He looks over to Marcus in brief, then to the rest as to wait and ensure they are all present.

Wordlessly, he gets casting a spell. What is he doing? A few gestures later, he points a finger up towards the ceiling of the elevator car.

He sends a jolt of electricity through to...

...detonate the charges?! He... he didn't even see them get placed directly...!

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Do You Even Lift?.
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Avril Vent Fleur has successfully explored Lolithia's Tomb!
======================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Armaments *>=======================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Discovery |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The party comes across a metal container that is clearly suffering from the
 effects of age. The hinges creak, rust flaking away as they open the
 container to discover an old ARM of some sort, badly suffering from the
 effects of age. While it is no longer in working order, the Ethos or
 Adventures Guild will pay a good fee for the historical artifact.
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Kahm watched wordlessly as Ethius went about his next actions, each seemingly orchestrated with deliberate care. Although it was evoked of differ school of sorcery than the one he employed, the disguised Solarian sensed the latent traces of ionization and electrical charged induced by the man's spell, seeing well his aimed.

Crude...but effective. Kahm had planned to do something similar and yet....how had Ethius espied the purpose and mechanism of the explosive with such accuracy? Lieutenant Voss's report seemed to corroborate this as well...intelligence hidden behind a veil of simplicity.

For now though, there was the fact that he had just induced the explosives Kahm had placed to...well, explode. The car shakes and trembles for a moment, but it's integrity holds, the impact from the blast making their descent considerably easier if slightly accelerated, further assisted by the work of Neriah and Avril in clearing rocks and debris.

The scents of Cyre's censor still wafted in Kahm's nostrils by the time they managed a rough descent, spilling out into an alcove that contained a copse of weathered, but notable weapons. Enough to fetch a good price for that sort of thing.

Kahm stepped forward first, taking a long-handled ARM up that seemed (at his glance) like it might have been Solarian at one point. Best claim that one first.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah glances at Morgan and cants her head - then looks back and dips her lashes at Cyre. "Maybe you'll find out there they are someday," she says. As for Avril, she just flicks one hand in a little wave. "Hey, we're all friends here!"

Most of us, she decides. She doesn't look in any particular direction. She does, however, draw in a breath.

She swallows the impulse to tell Avril she smells nice.

The elevator finally gets moving. As the car shudders, Neriah takes ahold of one of the rungs within, blinking and looking up towards the ceiling. "I'm not sure I like this. This rickety old thing," she mutters as the card descends - and then they're below, and Neriah widens her eyes as she realizes what's within.

"Oh wow! Old ARMs!" she gasps, darting over to pick up what looks like it used to be a rifle of some kind.

Kahm Yugh just looked at you.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Mm," Avril murmurs, reaching into the gap to grab for some of the rocks. "...Yes, I suppose so," comes the answer to Neriah's question.

Moving the bits and pieces of rock -- loosened by Neriah -- is somewhat difficult for Avril, but she manages to do the best she can. Brute strength, it appears, may not be the young woman's forte.

The elevator begins its descent soon after and, grabbing onto whatever she can as the lift plummets, Avril bows her head but does not cry out or voice any protest.

It comes to rest at last near an alcove. Once, this must have been a cache -- but for who?

With trepidation, she steps inside, only to linger, as if uncomfortable, on the veritable doorstep.

"This isn't... what I was looking for," she says, simply.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius doesn't just walk out of the car after it finishes its rough but serviceable descent - he outright leaps from there, as if something about this very cache were something akin to a threat. He throws his left hand out, palm facing forward, as though he were pointing a Symbological gun at an unseen enemy or threat.

His hand lowers soon after. He stares blankly among the assorted old ARM weapons, and brings a hand to his forehead - a curious gesture he oft seems to repeat. His body language is oft nearly nonexistent, aside from the bare minimum required to be a living being or do whatever it is he's doing.

"...Do any of the assorted items bear any familiarity to you?" He asks of... who? Someone in specific? All of them?

<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.

"It ain't a bad find though, even if its not quite what ya were looking for. Thats the beauty of a Dig, darlin. Never quite sure what ya might come up with." Morgan replies with a grin towards Avril as his words are angled towards the leader of this little dig. "Maybe the Professer might be able ta tell ya more about what this place is about." He adds cheerfully as he steps though the gap made by the various methods of combustion.

Crouching down next to the ruined ARM he looks close at it. "...longarm of some kind. I'm guessing energy weapon, or it used to be. No breach for a projectile." Morgan replies as he peers at it. "The Guild might pay a pretty penny for it, if'n y'all are lookin ta make some quick cash. I can set up a trade."

Ethius' reactino though causes him to look up in some suprise. "Easy there, none of its dangerous from what I can tell. At least it hasn't been in a long time." A longer pause. "You alright there, friend. You look like you could do with a bit of a sitdown." He adds towards the odd Symbologist.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Haaaah, we'll see I guess~" Cyre sing-songs over the slow puffing of his censer's smoke. "It's good being alive. So many things to look forward to."

Like BRILLIANT DISCOVERIES that will CHANGE THE FACE OF FILGAIA FOR--

Oh. No. Those are just guns.

"Ehhhh," Cyre sighs, going over to start picking at the assembly of ARMs. "Not... Exactly my style, unfortunately. I think I'd prefer to just get a payday out of these than anything else. Looks like I'll have to pick through this place a little more extensively later, then."

Cyre glances towards Ethius, then. "So uh. Like I said, does this place seem at all anything like that tower, Eth? I'm not too great at this ancient architecture thing, but if the Lolithias are linked, then there should be a connection, right?"

<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

"My client is a fond collector of such items as this." Kahm had an immediate response available to Ethius's inquiry, though he's not entirely sure it was directed at him. The way the man leapt with alarm from their carriage, too, suggested a deeper motive...almost as if he had hoped to beat them to the punch to something, but did not find it among the cache.

At least he doesn't seem to be aware of our activities. The man thinks, recalling again the Lieutenant's report, how the strange man seemed to have known he was being watched.

His next words are for Avril, who seems off-put by the results of their delve. "If you were hoping to find Lolithia, it's no longer here." He explains, watching her reactions carefully, "Adlehyde dug removed it to showcase in their little historical exhibition, only for the metal demons to steal it." He said, shoulders shrugging, "It's not recent news. Where was it you hail from, Miss Fleur...?"

<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Also shoots a glance at Cyre when he mentions Lolithias, plural. That was new.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"I don't know... I never have too many expectations. What I find is what I find." Smiling, Neriah runs her fingers over the damaged ARM. "I mean, this one probably won't work anymore, but I could get a decent return for it, maybe. Or even some parts!"

She turns, glancing towards Ethius again. She watched him for a few seconds, then nods towards Avril, eyes seeming to search the woman with the Medium. "There must be information on the Lolithia in here somewhere Maybe if we double back we can take a different route and see we can find some sort of library or something."

The woman in the newsboy hat turns to lean back against a section of the cave wall, tucking one long leg up to plant her heel against the stony surface. Quiet eyes drift to Cyre, the Morgan. She winks at him, once, then turns to watch Kahm with quiet interest and a slight bite to her lower lip. "Yeah. I remember them doing that... stealing it, I mean."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Perhaps there's another route, just as Neriah says. Perhaps her friends are having better luck with unearthing the secrets of this place.

Avril, though, just looks like she's walked over her own grave.

"No, I..." Avril starts, only to trail out into silence as Morgan addresses her and explains that this is just the nature of things. "I was not..." As Kahm says that the Lolithia wouldn't be here anymore. She turns her head to one side, almost as if cringing away from something unseen. One hand rests on the rock making up the support along the inside of the doorway.

"Familiar..." she very nearly echoes Ethius. As if forcing herself, she stares into the alcove, that tiny, dark, enclosed little space, her gaze unfocused.

"It feels... lonely," she murmurs. "I don't want..." Shaking her head, she takes a step backwards, away from the entrance, before clasping her hands in front of herself. "..."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius looks back over his shoulder as Morgan gives a (just) inquiry as to how the man feels. There's that stare again - the same stare as always, but when that stare comes following a sudden, forceful movement... it's hard to imagine it could be anything other than something ready to pounce.

"To wit, Mister Cyre, I don't see much resemblance between this chamber and the other location," so says Ethius. He notably doesn't go and have a look at any of the leftover loot - could it be, like Avril, he did not quite find what he was looking for, either?

What is it is he looking for? This is lost technology, right in front of them. He seems... nonplussed. Just in time to watch Avril begin to stammer, to...what?

"Miss Avril?" He asks, though he doesn't move from his spot.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Ugh, so it's a no-go? Man, and we came all that way from Lacour too," Cyre sighs, rubbing mildly at the crook of his neck. "Ah well. We can keep looking, but... I don't know, maybe we should just ask Emma."

Beat.

Avril is...

Avril is...!

ACTING WEIRD...!!!

"You don't want..." Cyre narrows his eyes, he winnows his gaze. He comes right up behind her and... Clasps her shoulder!? "To stop apologizing to monsters when you fight them?" Cyre nods, "That's very kind of you. I know someone who'd really appreciate that, but you really have to start putting your survival first, you know?"

MYSTERY SOLVED!?

<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Kahm was intrigued to learn just where Ethius and Cyre had been before-that could be useful. But Avril's strange reaction diverts his attention.

"Miss Fleur...?" He asks, taking a cautious step forward. They had let their guard down-she could be experiencing a paranormal event, anything ranging from a class 4 possession to...

Oh, well then Cyre comes and slaps a hand down on her shoulder trying to complete her sentence for her in a way that didn't seem very suspicious. Kahm, non-plussed, will watch and wait anyways.

<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.


"Yup," Morgan raises from the grouch. "Demons made off with that one, Gebler with a second, and some unknown group with the third." A glance towards Ethius with a smirk curling up one corner of his mouth. "Though I heard that last one was more than half melted. Wonder who managed that one."

Before he can say more though their leader for this little trek suddenly has a moment. Not a good moment either.

"...Avril, you look like ya need ta have a bit of a rest too. Need to sit dow--" And then there is a sudden Cyre intrupt and Morgan just stops, fighting a laughter. "...thats...a mighty nice sentiment there, Cyre. Ain't sure thats whats got her all wobbly, but its good ya cleared that up."

Cyre. Always trying to help.

His gaze flicks between Ethius and Avril, trying to keep an eye on the both of them. What is it with this place.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

At first Neriah doesn't notice things are getting weird.

Cramming her own pistol back into her belt, Neriah tucks the damaged ARM into her inventory; it gets crammed in there beside a stash of Heal Berries and a few more outfits.

Focuses shift quickly. The girl frowns, moving off the wall and stepping up towards Morgan, her eyes on Avril. "Hey," she asks, holding out one hand as though to try and help. "Is she-- Miss Avril, what's wrong, are you okay? Are you hurt or something?" Worry creases her brow.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Perhaps transfixed, or caught might better describe the look on her face. Avril does not seem to be having a good time, whatever is going on.

She might have stayed standing like that, too, if a hand hadn't suddenly planted on her shoulder. Avril nearly jumps out of her skin, a gasp escaping her lips as she turns to stare up at Cyre. "O-oh? I..."

A beat trails out, wherein she blinks, slowly.

"...Apologizing to my opponents," she hazards at last, still gazing up at him. "Does it trouble you? If that is the case, I am truly sorry."

In the silence that follows, she glances from person to person. Everyone's looking at her so strangely. "...Perhaps so, Morgan. I... just had this strange feeling. --No, I'm not hurt, Neriah. I..." She pauses again, frowning. "Was it a memory of mine? Or..." She shakes her head. "It's no use, I can't recall anything but that feeling." Her gaze flits off, sidelong. "I am very sorry to have worried everyone."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Up-up-up!!" Cyre INTERCEPTS THE APOLOGY by poking a thickly gloved finger right up to Avril's lips. "Nope. I'm not offended! Nothing to apologize for. Unless you're about to slap me with that whip of yours, anyway. Anyway, whatever that was, if you can't remember it, it's probably not too important! We found a bunch of treasure that's worth a decent penny on the market and none of us had even a single ceiling collapse on our heads. Today was nothing but a good and profitable day, and there's nothing about it that should be apologized for."

Cyre grins under his hood and... Ruffles at her hair!? "So don't worry! Be happy. You've got cash, and more gella is almost never a bad thing. Unless that gella is ill-gotten, or ends with you being chased into the horizon by a bunch of lawmen. Then it's a problem."

"But unless Morgan is some kind of shady black marketeer, we should be fine."

Cyre peers suspiciously over in Morgan's direction.

"Right?"

RIGHT!?

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius' stare doesn't falter in the face of Morgan's smirk. His eyes seem to narrow a little more with impeccable timing to Cyre's playful question. That, or it's about that half-melted Diablo. Either or. As Ethius keeps the lower half of his face hidden under a bandanna, it's hard to put any further context to that stare. A lack of other facial cues makes it difficult to read him further.

He doesn't move where he stands. It allows him view of each of them within his field of vision.

"I believe it would be in our best interests to take our leave for the time being," Ethius states, "rather than push our apparent good fortune too much further into the unknown."

<Pose Tracker> Kahm Yugh has posed.

Cyre's ploy seems to have it's intended effect, snapping Avril out of whatever fugue state she had entered. Kahm looked around at the environs-could it have been something in the room that had triggered such behavior?

Her talk of memories, however, has him scratching another tally in his mind. "I'd take nothing for granted where Mister Newkirk is concerned." He adds off-handedly, offering his agreement with Ethius, "A wise suggestion. Staying longer than necessary in such ruins tends to invite peril. We don't know when those monsters we faced will regroup, for one."

Avril, however, gets another lingering, inquisitive look. "Miss Fleur." He inquires, borrowing some of the boldness she'd shown him earlier, "You wouldn't happen to be searching for your...memories, would you?"

If she was, there was a cognac back in his office that might bear opening.

<Pose Tracker> Morgan Newkirk has posed.

"Well," Morgan seems to think Cyre's question over. "I'm defintally not shady." The teasing though is obvious, even as he seems to relax as Avirl comes back from whevever she went.

"Ethius is right though, we should get goin before some more of them frogs happen along. Or something worse than that." It seems like things are returning to what passes for normal around here. Anyway, like Cyre said no need to apologize, no harm no foul. I'm just glad everyone came though this alright."

Then there is a laugh. "You cut me ta the quick, Marcus! But...I'll take that as a compliment."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Avril draws up straight as Cyre puts a finger to her very lips, cutting her off mid-apology. Her eyes widen briefly, and she shifts, as if about to step back or move a hand, but ultimately stays put and stock-still as before. "...I understand. I suppose you are right, Cyre. If I can't remember it properly..." She purses her lips, though; expressions often betray what lingers on someone's mind. "I think... my friends will be happy to learn about this. I hope they didn't run into any trouble."

SNAP CUT TO: Dean and Rebecca attempting to outrun an oncoming boulder.

And when he ruffles her hair, she really does step away, reaching up a moment later to attempt to straighten whatever he might have mussed. Even typical serenity has its limits. "...Yes, we'll need money for our journey. I suppose if we speak to Professor Hetfield, she might be able to assist." Avril pauses. "Cyre... if I could speak to you in private, another day... I spoke to a girl named Lunata, and I may have something to discuss with you." For now, it seems, she isn't elaborating further.

Nothing about the room itself seems -- or feels -- odd, even to those with senses beyond the usual five. Perhaps it merely reminded her of something in her past?

Far be it from Avril to evade a direct question herself. The young woman inclines her head in a nod when Kahm cuts to the quick. "Yes, that's right. ...I was searching for a man named 'Johnny Appleseed'. It's the only other thing I can remember."

But all they had found was an apple wine.

Kahm might need that drink.

And at last, she turns to Ethius. "...You are right, we should not overstay our welcome." Drawing in a breath, she makes as if to steel herself and finally, finally steps into the alcove, as if to face whatever had risen up to strike at her face-on.