2017-09-24: Serpentine Sojourners

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==============================<* Serpent's Coils *>==============================

The Serpent's Coils are named for a ruin dating back past the Day of Collapse, which curls around a rocky outcropping not unlike a serpent. The sands have buried this ruin, but the interior is nonetheless evocative: many inscriptions and murals decorate the walls, while the pillars are carved in intricate forms. Statues of knights, warriors, and other heroes can be found inside. However, wildlife have breached it, and some have evolved into strange forms after being trapped inside of this palace of the damned. Still, the chance for ancient artifacts reward the brave.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD2s1kx8ONQ
DG: Ethius Hesiod has left your party.
DG: A party led by Kourin is now entering Serpent's Coils.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
================================================<* Serpent's Coils *>================================================
===============================<* CHALLENGE - Spamming the Search Button for Hours *>================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
---------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------------------------
 The first step in entering the Serpent's Coils is to find it. This isn't      
 easy, as it sits in a remote part of the Gunsmoke Desert. In fact, it sits    
 in a very remote part, and the nearby cliff faces and mountains have been     
 worn away by sand. It will take attention to detail and ingenuity to find     
 the entrance buried under the shifting sands. Except, of course, it might     
 also takes hours.                                                             
                                                                               
 Literally hours.                                                              
=Dungeon Conditions: Overwhelm================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin and Spirit and several friends, or at least, other Drifters, have arrived at...well, supposedly there's something here to explore. If they can find it. Spirit sniffs around, and Kourin checks against a map, and...

"Okay...does anyone have any idea where this is actually supposed to be?" She sighs.

DG: Kourin has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Spamming the Search Button for Hours.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

This wasn't Jacqueline's first time to the Serpent's Coils. Last time, she had gone with Riesenlied, Noeline, and Matilda. So, theoretically...actually finding the place shouldn't be too difficult, right?

"This place...it looks entirely different than the last time I was here..." Jacqueline murmurs.

Apparently not.

"Alright...we'll have to do what we did last time. Everyone, fan out and start looking for signs of ruins. We want to find architecture that might lead to a road, or something of the sort." She says.

Hopefully it wouldn't take too long...it'd get pretty hot out here pretty quickly, she imagines...

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"I have an idea," says Neriah Parringer, who doesn't qualify as anyone's friend.

Yesterday she'd been shell-shocked by an explosion the size of a town. Today she seems none the worse for the wear. She's ditched her Excavator's uniform and instead wore a sand-coloured cloak over a thightop-length red tunic, high boots, her usual gloves and a pair of shorts, with her pistol belted at her side. Her hat's absent; it'd just get in the way.

Moving past Kourin, Neriah picks her excavator's lens from her belt and flips three or four of its layered lenses into place, crouching down amid the sands at a seemingly random point.

She brushes some of the sand away from the middle of a dune. Brushes a little more. Squints at the exposed rock beneath.

"Okay, well. One of two things," she says as she looks up towards Kourin and her dog - she's fairly sure Spirit will have a bad reaction to her at some point, so she's a little on edge. "This sub-sand rock is the rock from the caverns we want. The entrance is around here, probably at the foot of a dune. So we'd better find it fast."

Neriah crooks her eyebrows. "I mean, unless we want to die of dehydration and feed the vultures."

DG: Neriah Parringer has used her Tool Excavator's Lens toward her party's challenge, Spamming the Search Button for Hours.
DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Spamming the Search Button for Hours.
<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

Seraphita, today, is once again looking for GUARDIAN STATUES.

Problems: she doesn't know where to look, what they look like, how big or small they are, if they're really outdoors, and a slew of other problems.

This hasn't stopped her from trying.

A large shadow is cast over the party for a few moments as something passes in the sky overhead, what looks like a massive winged lion just eclipsing the sun as it flies overhead and then heads down to land somewhere in the desert. Maybe, just maybe, if people paid very very close attention to the Kislev and Aveh warfront during the Guardian Temple's invasion, they might have caught this Gear fighting on Aveh's side.

It's okay though because it never actually comes down for your location, just somewhere nearby, presumably behind a sand dune. What does eventually arrive is a pink-haired, hyperactive young woman wearing an offensively pink cloak in an awful attempt to hide those red and pink clothes she calls a uniform underneath. Also she has bunny ears.

"People! People people people I found people!!"

She gets all up in someone's personal space. It's Neriah's. She grabs one of her hands with both of her gloved ones. She shakes it up or down with extreme enthusiasm. "Hi hi hi! It's nice to meet all of you, I thought there was nothing here!!"

She's not looking, she's following.

DG: Seraphita has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Spamming the Search Button for Hours.
<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Animal shows up at the agreed upon location dragging the top half of a hefty stone pillar behind him, wrapped partially with a rope. Hearing that they are looking for this place, and don't know where it is, he rolls his pillar a few times to turn it, and then takes a seat on it so that he can sit and just look at the cliffs. He just sort of stares and scratches at his head as he tries to make sense of what he is looking at.

Hearing that he should fan out and help look for it, he nods to himself and says, "Okay!" and then walks off to go looking for it.

Whistling while he walks, because he recently learned to whistle, he begins to walk along, keeping a weathered eye open for any signs of any sort of dungeon. "Is that..?" he mutters, gets a better look, shakes his head at himself, and then goes back to walking.

Occasionally, he pokes something with an outstretched finger to see if it is hiding the secret entrance.

It isn't.

DG: Animal has used his Tool Lucky Headband toward his party's challenge, Spamming the Search Button for Hours.
================================================<* Serpent's Coils *>================================================
===============================<* CHALLENGE - Spamming the Search Button for Hours *>================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
---------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------------------------
 The first step in entering the Serpent's Coils is to find it. This isn't      
 easy, as it sits in a remote part of the Gunsmoke Desert. In fact, it sits    
 in a very remote part, and the nearby cliff faces and mountains have been     
 worn away by sand. It will take attention to detail and ingenuity to find     
 the entrance buried under the shifting sands. Except, of course, it might     
 also takes hours.                                                             
                                                                               
 Literally hours.                                                              
=Dungeon Conditions: Overwhelm================================================
===========================================<* Serpent's Coils - Round 1 *>===========================================
=================================< Results - Spamming the Search Button for Hours >==================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              0 --(19)--> 19                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    0 --(17)--> 17                 Pass
Excavator's Lens                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animal                              0 --(22)--> 22                 Fail
Lucky Headband                      2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraphita                           0 --(20)--> 20                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(21)--> 21                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Kourin                      0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Conditions: Overwhelm
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==================================================< Dream Chasers >==================================================
DG: The party led by Kourin has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 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> Kourin has posed.

Hours pass.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah's left hand is totally grabbed. Seraphita doesn't know it, but she just dodged a bullet.

Neriah jumps a couple of inches as Seraphita latches onto her, blushing and widening her eyes. "Uh. Hi," she says awkwardly, a bit too nonplussed to pull her hand away.

DG: Neriah Parringer has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Serpent's Coils *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Jammed Secret Door *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 This long hallway seems to end in a dead-end. Three-fourths of the way along  
 the wall, though, is a secret door. The good news is that it isn't so         
 secret; it is ajar. The bad news is that it is firmly stuck, and will need    
 some work to possibly open.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah's left hand is totally grabbed. Seraphita doesn't know it, but she just dodged a bullet.

Neriah jumps a couple of inches as Seraphita latches onto her, blushing and widening her eyes. "Uh. Hi," she says awkwardly, a bit too nonplussed to pull her hand away. "I'm Neriah... we're looking for a dungeon."

She leaves others to do the welcoming. When she finally does get her hand back, she returns to looking for the dungeon.

Hours pass.

And then - "Hey Miss Barber, I think this is it," says Neriah. Somewhere along the line she'd taken off her cloak and tunic. She has a tank top under there, blessedly. More notable, though, is that she took off her gloves.

Neriah's shovel tinks against crumbling mortar. Bricks give way and fall into the corridor below, particles of sand following. Then Neriah hops down into the dark hallway. Hours of work have left her soaked with sweat, and she pushes a hand through her dampened hair, breathing a bit heavily as she takes stock of the hallway. "...And we're in a dead end," she mutters.

Neriah blinks, then. "--Maybe not. Look, here's a door," she says as she migrates over to that spot on the wall. In fact it's just a rectangular piece of the wall - but it gives itself away by being an inch or so ajar. Neriah leans against it and pushes.

It doesn't budge.

"The mechanism is stuck. Here, help me," she urges as she begins prying her shovel into the doorframe, trying to pry the door open.

DG: Neriah Parringer has used her Tool Trusty Shovel toward her party's challenge, Jammed Secret Door.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin isn't the best at brute force. But she has the ability to create ice. In this case, she tries to create a spike of ice to force the door.

If it doesn't work, at least they're in a desert and it'll melt quick.

It also has the benefit of helping everyone keep cool!

DG: Kourin has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Jammed Secret Door.
<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Animal, who is always wearing just a vest, headband and shorts, scarcely seems to notice the time in the heat and long hours of waiting. He does frequently go over to sit on his pillar and think, however, as if he might see it better from afar. When finally someone finds it, he says, "I said it was there earlier!" and then thinks for a second, "Or was it over there?"

Following down into the hallway, he immediately moves forward and starts pushing with all of his inhuman strengthly power!

His feet skid off the ground a few times with a lack of traction and he says, "Someone wedge their feet under my feet, and just give me something to push against," trying to get someone to help him get better leverage on the panel.

"Push push push!" he tells himself emphatically.

DG: Animal has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Jammed Secret Door.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Fortunately for Seraphite, Jacqueline was far too distracted by other things at that time - like the terrible tragedies of war. She doesn't recognise the shadow, and therefore doesn't make any connection between it and the rather energetic woman emerging from behind a sand dune.

She stares. That woman was...loud, both in her dress and in her actual voice. Her eyes are drawn to the bunny ears for a moment, but looks away quickly enough.

"Ah...but yes, what she said. Are you lost...? If so, you're free to tag along with us." Jacqueline replies, thankful that she wasn't the one the enthusiastic bunny had locked on to.

She turns her attention back to searching, and after a short while, Neriah has found something.

...That something appears to be part of the dungeon, and also, a dead-end...or was it?

"Certainly. Please stand back, everyone..." She says, before invoking her Crest and sending a pillar of earth hurtling toward the door. Hopefully Animal gets out of the way in time!

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Jammed Secret Door.
<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"That's cool!! I might also be looking for a dungeon!!! I'll come along, thank you!!!!" Seraphita exclaims, her enthusiasm only growing which each wave up and down of the hand she's pulling along for a wild ride. Neriah may be able to lift like a real bro after this if she doesn't free herself - hich eventually she does, thankfully. Before her arm has made disproportional gains too.

After some time, they finally find the entrance! Seraphita, despite the bright cloak and several layers of clothing, doesn't seem to mind the heat. Actually, she's thriving in it. And the reason why becomes pretty clear when they hit a door.

"Oh, oh, let me try, let me try!"

Seraphita extends her hands forward and the air suddenly buzzes. While others work on the panel, Seraphita, like Kourin, has a much more direct approach. That is to say: a sudden blast of plasma. A big, wide, red and pink beam of arcing, nasty air brought to such a high temperature there's no comfort to be had in this hall.

Combined with the ice for a sudden temperature shift and the earth promptly becoming a blast of lava against the door, the door may regret its existence.

DG: Seraphita has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Jammed Secret Door.
==============================<* Serpent's Coils *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Jammed Secret Door *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 This long hallway seems to end in a dead-end. Three-fourths of the way along  
 the wall, though, is a secret door. The good news is that it isn't so         
 secret; it is ajar. The bad news is that it is firmly stuck, and will need    
 some work to possibly open.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
=========================<* Serpent's Coils - Round 2 *>=========================
========================< Results - Jammed Secret Door >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              19 --(19)--> 38                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    17 --(8)--> 25                 Pass
Trusty Shovel                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animal                              22 --(8)--> 30                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraphita                           20 --(11)--> 31                Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   21 --(10)--> 31                Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Kourin                      10 --(20)--> 30                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Overwhelm
Effects: Strengthen(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Kourin has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 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's shovel is a sturdy thing; the strong haft strains against the weight of the door, but doesn't come close to breaking. Together with Animal's raw strength and Kourin's ice, the door hinges begin to give way. Then Jacqueline's column of stone smashes into the sturdy masonry; the door groans, hinges screeching in protest as the thing swings open a few more inches.

Then Seraphita sets the door on fire. Stone and ice liquefy instantly. With a yelp, Neriah jerks her shovel out of the way, staring as much of the door simply melts away into a puddle of stinking liquid masonry, oozing across the floor in a viscous mass. Little whisps of flame dance from the sludgey wreckage.

"...Well. I think that takes care of... most of the door," Neriah says delicately as she peers at the flaming hole in the door.

Gingerly, she reaches out with her shovel and flakes away the edges of the hole, ensuring nothing is on fire and the opening is big enough for human people to slip through without injuring themselves.

DG: Seraphita has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================<* Serpent's Coils *>===============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Patterned Braziers *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The next room ends in another sealed stone door. Six braziers are arranged    
 in two lines of three before it. Unfortunately, the stone tablets on the      
 walls have been eroded to nothing, and offer no hints. The door does not      
 budge -- so you must determine the pattern, to push ahead.                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"See, doors are no trouble at all!" Seraphita says, bouncing in place excitedly. Her ears also bounce, up and down, because they're very large and floppy bunny ears.

Stepping through what's left of the door with care not to burn oneself leads the party into a small square room with an ornate rug and murals depicting... oh, not much of anything anymore. A few things can be made out, at least; there's an altar in the back of the room blocking access to a door, and looking too sturdy to move (or melt). There's six braziers around the room, none lit.

And what murals aren't faded imply this room was used to perform some kind of ritual with torches and the braziers. Well, it doesn't take a genius to put together that this is a torch lighting puzzle of some kind.

Seraphita has locked onto something else entirely.

"Guys guys look there's a bunny on the wall!!"

Indeed a faded mural depicts some kind of bunny. Or it might be a monster. It's too blurry to tell.

DG: Seraphita has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Patterned Braziers.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin sighs. "I'd calculate how many possible combinations we'll have to try here...but that won't help," she says. "Our best bet is to...just keep going in a logical progression until we find a combination that works. This...this is going to take hours."

DG: Kourin has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Patterned Braziers.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Granas's cornhole," Neriah sighs as she wipes her forehead with the back of one bare hand, already a bit worn down by Seraphita's vivacious energy. And the hours of scrounging in the desert, of course.

The room beyond leaves her setting her hands at her hips, a little frown creasing her expression. "I'm not sure that's a bunny, Seraphita. It looks more like a gorgon," she muses.

But the bunnygirl's spunk gives her an idea. Creeping towards the wall, Neriah reaches for her lens again. She flicks all of the lenses into place. All of them.

Laying her left hand against the wall, Neriah sets her lens to her right eye, leaning in beside Seraphita and squinting at the faded murals. Her tongue passes along her lower lip as she peers at the faded remnants of the wall. In her vision, she sees the masonry down to the pores.

"There's particulate in here," she murmurs. "Ochre and blue and red, mostly. You can tell where the markings were painted." How she can tell that from a blank wall seems to be anyone's guess. "It's badly degraded, but... try three, four, one...."

DG: Neriah Parringer has used her Tool Excavator's Lens toward her party's challenge, Patterned Braziers.
<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Animal dodges out of the way when others start just assaulting the door, though he is fairly certain he had the door under control and was going to have it open soon, and looks a little dejected at their decision to just act like that. Pushing a hand through his hair, he moves over to walk with them to the next door and stares at it for a long moment, and then watches as Seraphita begins to jump up and down. A look of bewilderment and confusion on his face.

Once he has sufficiently recovered, he looks at the braziers and the doors and has an epiphany.

"We should light the fire things, and I bet it'll open. That's how it worked at one place I was at, but I ended up just punching he door down when it took too long," he says, "Come to think of it, they may have just been fire things, but I thought they were a puzzle."

Listening to Neriah then, he nods sagely, and rubs at his headband, and goes to look more closely.

"Yeah, four, three and one!" he says to everyone. Wanting to be agreeable.

DG: Animal has used his Tool Lucky Headband toward his party's challenge, Patterned Braziers.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

That beam...it was rather intense. Jacqueline edges back a bit, but she can't help but be intrigued by it. Just where was all that power coming from...? Well, whatever the case may be, the way forward was open. Jacqueline carefully steps through the hole, and studies the room beyond.

A series of unlit braziers, with murals indicating this was a part of a ritual...and...

Jacqueline glances toward the mural Seraphita points out. She...wasn't actually entirely sure that was a bunny? But, she seemed so thrilled by it, she doesn't want to be the one to discourage her...

"Indeed it is..." She replies, then turns her attention back to the braziers.

"There's also the possibility that some are intended to remain unlit, so that only those truly faithful can pass..." She murmurs.

"Hm...this place is called the Serpent's Coils, correct? Then perhaps it is intended to light them in a zig-zag pattern, similar to classical depictions of snakes..." She suggests, then glances toward Animal and Seraphita.

"Well, if it comes down to it, we might be able to just force our way through this one, as well..." Not that she was thrilled about it, but if they had the brute strength and firepower at their disposal, they might as well make use of it...

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Patterned Braziers.
==============================<* Serpent's Coils *>===============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Patterned Braziers *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The next room ends in another sealed stone door. Six braziers are arranged    
 in two lines of three before it. Unfortunately, the stone tablets on the      
 walls have been eroded to nothing, and offer no hints. The door does not      
 budge -- so you must determine the pattern, to push ahead.                    
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify==================================================
=========================<* Serpent's Coils - Round 3 *>==========================
=========================< Results - Patterned Braziers >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              38 --(10)--> 48                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    25 --(9)--> 34                 Pass
Excavator's Lens                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animal                              30 --(12)--> 42                Fail
Lucky Headband                      2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraphita                           31 --(12)--> 43                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   31 --(9)--> 40                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Kourin                      30 --(20)--> 50                Pass
Conditions: Overwhelm|Stupify(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: The party led by Kourin has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 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> Seraphita has posed.

Neriah is on to something. While Seraphita won't hear that this ISN'T a rabbit of some nature, she does find clues in the paint, and calls out numbers. Jacqueline isn't on the wrong track either - using Neriah's numbers with Jacqueline's idea, one can lit the braziers in the right order, like a snake oscillating between the six braziers.

The altar clicks, and lowers into the ground. The door opens, leading forward. Seraphita bounces again. "Wow you guys are smart!! I work with someone who's super smart too, it's super handy to have her around to take decisions!" Well, facts.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Serpent's Coils *>=============================
=================<* CHALLENGE - A Slime Already Drew Near *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you walk down this hallway, a pseudopod lashes out -- and a slime that     
 had been hiding in a recess on the wall latches onto one of you! It grips     
 on, burning at you with its acidic body. More bubble out of cracks on the     
 floor, right under your feet! It seems the slimes are already upon you!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Injure===========================================
==============================<* Serpent's Coils *>==============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - A Slime Already Drew Near *>===================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 As you walk down this hallway, a pseudopod lashes out -- and a slime that     
 had been hiding in a recess on the wall latches onto one of you! It grips     
 on, burning at you with its acidic body. More bubble out of cracks on the     
 floor, right under your feet! It seems the slimes are already upon you!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Injure===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline leads the way ahead cautiously. Things seem pretty quiet this far into the ruins - there's no sign of trouble, or even any puzzles or obstructions. It's calm, and for a moment, her attention becomes focused on the murals lining the hallway.

She's allowed herself to become a little distracted, which soon proves in issue as something, reacting to reverberations from the stone around it, lashes out of the walls, wrapping around one of her hands. Her thick gloves protect her from its acidic touch, but it still wasn't particularly pleasant. This immediately grabs her attention and, with a slight grasp, she quickly draws her knife from her pouch and slices at the offender. The slimy pseudopod falls to the ground and begins to melt, but it is far from the only enemy here...the rest of the creature begins to seep from the cracks in the stonework around them.

"Everyone, get back!" Jacqueline warns, backpedaling and reaching into her bags. From one of them she draws forth a bottle full of black, foul-smelling liquid, which is then hurled into the mass of slimes.

While it was normally meant to repel creatures, she had adjusted it to be able to affect slimes, which often proved to be too simplistic to react to the repellant.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Reliable Repellant toward her party's challenge, A Slime Already Drew Near.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Spirit barks a warning as the pseudopod lashes out. This, at least, Kourin feels like she can handle. A blue clay sphere--one of Kourin's rimebombs--is hurled, freezing one of the slimes, while Kourin begins casting an ice storm. These slimes will suffer for being liquidy in the face of Kourin's frigid fury!

Kourin's...cold...counterattack?

They're getting frozen.

I'm having a hard time letting this go.

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Rimebomb toward her party's challenge, A Slime Already Drew Near.
<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

As the party moves forward, Seraphita follows along, prancing rather than walking. She has energy to spend, what can you do? But not all is right. What's that goopy sound?

Oh, slimes.

"Eww! EWW EWW EWW! Don't worry guys, as long as we have courage!! those slimes can't hurt us! The Commander always says to never back down and face problems head on!!!" Seraphita says, as the bright green gemstone on her collar suddenly shines brilliantly. Her words are almost inspiring - but that's just an Ether amplifier of some kind, not a mystical courage rock. Just don't tell her that.

Her hands stretch out fully, and flames literally arc out of her arms, heating up into plasma on their way out of her. If anyone ever wondered what hyper-specialized Fire Ether looks like, by the way... well, it looks like an inferno. A carefully orchestrated, somehow safe for allies, inferno.

Between the rising flames trying to engulf the slimes and the arcs of plasma just bouncing around and vaporizing some of them, Seraphita looks unusually excited and energetic for someone who's in complete control of this mess.

Sometimes the flames even turn into fiery bunnies and hop their way over and probably INTO the slimes, which... is probably pretty explosive. So slime ends up everywhere. Ew.

DG: Seraphita has used her Tool G-Stone toward her party's challenge, A Slime Already Drew Near.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Well. It's just elementary excavator logic," Neriah says as she tucks her lens away. "Paints always leave some evidence behind that soaks into the stone. Erosion can't get rid of all of it."

Slinging her shovel back over her shoulder, Neriah tugs at the neck of her tank top to air herself out a little, then pulls the hem up and knots it under her bust. "Geez, no one warned me the desert would be this hot," she mutters drily as she slips down the corridor, not too far behind Jacqueline.

The merchant woman backpedals. Neriah's not quite fast enough: A slimy tendril wraps itself around her arm. Still more slime begins to ooze out of the stonework. "Whuh," she gasps as slime bubbles up around her legs, then up past her hips. More tendrils ensnare her other arm as she tries to go for her gun. The slime oozes up to begin creeping up her chest and neck. Her eyes widen.

And then the magically sensitive will feel it. A deep, shuddering sensation in the air. Something unwholesome is about to come forth.

The slime around Neriah seems to inflate for a moment - and then it begins to rapidly darken into a pitch-black ooze. The girl's pupils dilate and her breathing quickens as darkness pours out of her like octopus ink, staining the slime that encases most of her. As the darkness spreads, the slime begins to slough off of her in grotesque liquefied streams, pooling in obscene black puddles among the creases in the floor masonry.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Slime Already Drew Near.
<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Even though it huts a bit, Animal has to at least defend himself in order to jump back behind the others who are better equipped to fight things that even Animal is certain he can't eat. He was a bit tempted though, they did look like some sort of sweets, being all green like they were, but even the touch of acid, however quickly regenerated, is still a sting he won't soon forget.

"Get 'em guys!" he cheers everyone on, and hides behind Seraphita who is throwing around lots of fire, and then moves over to get behind others each in turn so that he isn't in the way. Though he does occasionally try to defend any of them who are approached too closely, by interposing himself between them and the upswelling of slime.

"This stuff stings," he grumbles.

DG: Animal has used his Tool Vest of the Turtle toward his party's challenge, A Slime Already Drew Near.
============================<* Serpent's Coils *>=============================
=================<* CHALLENGE - A Slime Already Drew Near *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you walk down this hallway, a pseudopod lashes out -- and a slime that     
 had been hiding in a recess on the wall latches onto one of you! It grips     
 on, burning at you with its acidic body. More bubble out of cracks on the     
 floor, right under your feet! It seems the slimes are already upon you!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Injure===========================================
=======================<* Serpent's Coils - Round 4 *>========================
===================< Results - A Slime Already Drew Near >====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              48 --(0)--> 48                 Pass
Rimebomb                            3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    34 --(0)--> 34                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animal                              42 --(0)--> 42                 Pass
Vest of the Turtle                  2   Combat  Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraphita                           43 --(0)--> 43                 Pass
G-Stone                             2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   40 --(0)--> 40                 Pass
Reliable Repellant                  2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Kourin                      50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Injure(2)|Overwhelm|Stupify(1)
Effects: Embolden(1)|Stalwart(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Kourin has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 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> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The slimes in this area were used to much smaller prey. Various mosses that formed on the stone, maybe small creatures that fled in from the desert heat. They were not prepared for people wielding potions and all kinds of magic.

Jacqueline's potion confuses them long enough for Kourin to flash-freeze them, preventing them from even trying to avoid Seraphita's rather impressive fiery assault which causes many of them to simply evaporate. Animal protects the casters, preventing any of the slimes from interrupting them.

Jacqueline was admittedly curious as to who this 'Commander' Seraphita mentioned was...but before she can open her mouth to speak, an unpleasant sensation hits her.

She turns her head to see what the cause was, and her eyes land directly on Neriah.

Ah. It was this again.

The slime finds the tables turned on it, as it is rapidly consumed by the darkness emerging from her.

"Are you alright, Neriah? Everyone?" Jacqueline asks, returning her knife to her bag and beginning to move ahead once more...this time a bit more cautiously.

DG: Animal has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Serpent's Coils *>==============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Splitting Slime *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Slimes infest this dungeon. They are, in fact, the only thing inside of the   
 Serpent's Coils. When you enter this room, you find only one of them.         
 However, any blow except for magic will cause a problem: the slime            
 immediately splits in two. You will need to fight carefully, unless you want  
 to fight countless smaller slimes!                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Tire==============================================
<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Watching the others fight, Animal says, "I should learn to do magic too. Maybe I can have like, explosion hands!" he declares, thinking that would be the coolest thing ever.

And so the party progresses along, but instead of the ambush tactics, they find themselves facing two massive slimes with an almost ablative level of slime coating them, any magic that hits them will need to be sustained to get through all that slime!

"Go get 'em guys!" he declares with a fist pump to cheer everyone one, and rather than jump forward, simply goes to stand in the back and start making himself a sandwich out of bread from one pocket, cheese from another, berries from a third, and meat from the last. Sitting with sandwich in hand, he eats and watches, cheering everyone on as they fight the two massive slimes.

DG: Animal has used his Tool Vest of the Turtle toward his party's challenge, Splitting Slime.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

More slime. Kourin knows how to handle slime, as demonstrated. Another ice storm follows--she doesn't seem to feel the need for the rimebomb here, given that there's not huge numbers of the things.

Yet.

"Why are there always so many of these?!"

DG: Kourin has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Splitting Slime.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine," Neriah breathes as she touches down in a puddle of once and former slime. Her pupils have dilated down to small, uncomfortable-looking points.

Jacqueline, at least, has never given her grief for the nature of her powers. It makes her one of the people Neriah genuinely does like to dig with... as opposed to virtually everyone else in the November City orbit.

Pushing forward after Animal, Neriah shakes her right hand out a little. A few drops of blood fall from her palm to stain the masonry behind her. She keeps her hand carefully turned to try to hide it, but the blood trickling down her fingers is difficult to miss if you happen to look her way.

Especially as the slimes appear. Wetting her lips, she curls her fingers again - and once more, that dreadful power begins to build. The girl takes a shuddering breath, straining visibly and letting out a low, pained sound that she chokes back after a second.

And then she sweeps her right hand forward. The blood seems to be coming from a series of lines on her palm, but making out what it is is difficult because of the large wave of unlight that explodes from her hand and goes screaming down the corridor in a vibrating, shuddering mass of destructive energy. The sheer force of it could tear the slime to pieces outright.

The pain in Neriah's stance passes. She cocks her head to the right; her eyes are uncomfortably wide and intent.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Splitting Slime.
<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"That was so cool!!!" Seraphita says to Neriah, because she couldn't tell evil darkbad powers apart from normal ones if they hit her in the face. Then to Animal, she says: "Explosion hands would be awesome!! I have a friend who has WATER VISION and another who take can her arm off and there's a COOL CANNON in it!!" The other, by contrast, can just make a sword appear out of thin Ether.

At the sight of more slimes, Seraphita bounces up, down, up, down, and then flips, landing on one hand and making sure to angle herself such that the cloak doesn't fall into her own face THIS TIME. This gives everyone a nice view of her bright red Elements uniform, which might bear a passing similarity to Elly's if anyone's met her.

Except Seraphita has no skirt. Or pants.

Avert your eyes if you mind that.

"Me, I can do this!! Watch!"

She gestures while standing on her hands. Is she dancing? Clearly, she is trying to dance and look like she's entertaining a crowd.

That gemstone on her neck is still glowing though.

The flames, this time, don't come from Seraphita. Magic in the area - in the SLIMES, specifically - is being violently drained from them into the hopping rabbit beastwoman. To onlookers, this looks like spontaneous combustion. Omnomnom MP.

DG: Seraphita has used her Tool G-Stone toward her party's challenge, Splitting Slime.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"You certainly...seem to have interesting friends..." Jacqueline murmurs, with a glance toward Seraphita. Just what kind of people were they...? IF they were anything like Seraphita herself...

Jacqueline cuts that line of thought off abruptly when she sees what's waiting for them next.

After what had happened last time, she wasn't exactly thrilled to see slimes again. She frowns, and reaches in her bag for another bottle of repellant.

"They're incredibly hardy creatures. They can survive in many different environments, and reproduction is an incredibly easy process...especially in a place like here, where there isn't much competition. A single colony of slime can survive for centuries in a place like this." Jacqueline explains, before turning her attention back to the situation at hand.

More slimes. Right.

She hurls the bottle forward into the mass, but as soon as it leaves her hands she reaches into her bags once more, drawing out a Crest.

She invokes it as soon as it is right above the slimes, bringing a bolt of lightning crashing down upon it. This sends a rain of molten glass and flaming liquid onto the slimes, adding another threat on top of the repellant nature of her potion.

Neriah gets another glance, though, as she invokes those powers of hers again. That sounded...really quite painful.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Reliable Repellant toward her party's challenge, Splitting Slime.
=============================<* Serpent's Coils *>==============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Splitting Slime *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Slimes infest this dungeon. They are, in fact, the only thing inside of the   
 Serpent's Coils. When you enter this room, you find only one of them.         
 However, any blow except for magic will cause a problem: the slime            
 immediately splits in two. You will need to fight carefully, unless you want  
 to fight countless smaller slimes!                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Tire==============================================
========================<* Serpent's Coils - Round 5 *>=========================
=========================< Results - Splitting Slime >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              48 --(0)--> 48                 Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    34 --(0)--> 34                 Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animal                              42 --(0)--> 42                 Pass
Vest of the Turtle                  2   Combat  Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraphita                           43 --(0)--> 43                 Pass
G-Stone                             2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   40 --(0)--> 40                 Pass
Reliable Repellant                  2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Kourin                      70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Fright(1)|Injure(1)|Overwhelm|Tire(2)|Wound(2)
Effects: Embolden(1)|Stalwart(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Kourin has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 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> Animal has posed.

While sorcery is sufficient offense, there are a few attacks the group needs to dodge and be saved from by tactical usage of sorcerous energies.

The combined sorceries, because to be honest, that's all that is being used here, save for a few tactical thumps from Animal, are enough to eradicate the forces of slime-kind here. Utterly incinerating the slimes and reducing them to base ash. Frozen, blasted with flame and darkness, and everything else.

The slimes destroyed, they don't regenerate, at least not in a time or manner that necessitates anyone needing to fight them off again.

"Way to go guys, I knew we could do it," Animal says. "Slimes are one of those things you can't eat, they're dumb."

DG: Kourin has drawn a new Challenge.
================================================<* Serpent's Coils *>================================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - Collapsing Catwalks *>========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------------------------
 The lowest chamber is, like some of the rooms here, multi-leveled: this time  
 with three. You enter the room on the highest, on an ancient wooden catwalk.  
 The rails are dusty and the boards dry. After a few steps, the wooden         
 catwalk starts to collapse! It is a long way down -- but a few places look    
 safer, where ledges and more sturdy catwalks might hold your weight.          
 Otherwise, it will be a long, painful way down... and because a pit is along  
 the rim of the room, you may not be able to reach the end of the dungeon.     
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin frowns. "This will be challenging," she suggests. "Fortunately, I have an enchanted rope...Let me lead, and I will lay the trail for it to assist.

Without waiting for a response, Kourin begins to dash and leap agilely, playing out the rope behind her as she goes, from platform to platform.

She's far more confident now than she was early on in the dungeon--this sort of thing is simple for her.

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Trick Rope toward her party's challenge, Collapsing Catwalks.
<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Leaping right after Kourin, Animal says, "I have an enchanted rope too! It makes things cold, but I keep it at my hut," he tells her as he leaps along with ease, leaping high in the air. Landing each time, he reaches into his pocket as he goes, feeling around for a bit of something more to eat, since he'd only barely had time to finish his sandwich earlier.

Finding his water-bag, he drinks from that as he lands on one of the platforms that seems sturdy. Looking back over his shoulder to the others, he tries his best to help them along.

"My hut has all the coolest stuff," he says, "Not just because my rope makes them cool either, but because they're my favorite things."

Leaping on again, he follows after Kourin, doing his best to aim for the same places she did, and slowing down a little after a near accidental fall.

DG: Animal has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Collapsing Catwalks.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah lets out the breath she was holding. "Well. That was fun," she says. Her voice is a little higher now, with a lifted note to it, as though she'd just gotten into Cyre's stash and come out with a stimulant. She doesn't look hurt anymore.

Neriah moves after Kourin at a steady pace, dripping a little more blood behind her. Perhaps realizing it, she closes her right hand into a tight fist, seemingly trying to staunch the bleeding - though her focus is elsewhere, on the array of catwalks and levels ahead of the group. "Oh, this looks precarious," she murmurs with a tilt of her head to the left. Her pupils still haven't returned to normal.

Without waiting for the others, Neriah takes off down the catwalk. She grabs ahold of Kourin's rope to pull her along. As the catwalks give way, she hangs onto the rope with her left hand, pulling herself up as best she can with only the one hand. She doesn't want to get blood all over the rope. That'd just lead to awkward questions.

She lands on the next level of the catwalk with a click of heels. "Phew," she manages before jumping onward.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Collapsing Catwalks.
<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"Oh, I don't have magic rope or a hut... but I'm really good on my feet!" Not good enough that Seraphita shouldn't use that rope, but there she goes, hopping, prancing and making very dangerous maneuvers across the catwalk like this is all a game. She almost falls several times, predictably, but there's at least some truth to her claim she's not too shabby on her feet.

Or perhaps she's just very light, being a rabbit.

"This reminds me of the obstacle courses we do when we train!! Only there's nobody shooting at you here!!!" Clearly whoever trains this rabbit has a very extreme view on what the word training means, or they just like to challenge their troops.

DG: Seraphita has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Collapsing Catwalks.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Ah...this room, I've been here before. Or...one very similar." Jacqueline comments, looking out over the multi-floored chamber. It was possible there were several different copies of this room, scattered throughout the chamber for reasons they wouldn't know.

The going would be tough...but fortunately, Jacqueline always came prepared. She reaches into her bags, drawing out a bottle of pale-green liquid. She takes a drink and begins to descend down the catwalks quickly, her steps faster and lighter.

As she descends, she supplements Kourin's rope with a series of earthen pillars that emerge from the walls to try and catch anyone who seemed to be in danger of falling.

Wait, Seraphita did obstacle courses? While people were shooting at her!? ...Just who exactly was she...?

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Invigoration Elixir toward her party's challenge, Collapsing Catwalks.
================================================<* Serpent's Coils *>================================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - Collapsing Catwalks *>========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------------------------
 The lowest chamber is, like some of the rooms here, multi-leveled: this time  
 with three. You enter the room on the highest, on an ancient wooden catwalk.  
 The rails are dusty and the boards dry. After a few steps, the wooden         
 catwalk starts to collapse! It is a long way down -- but a few places look    
 safer, where ledges and more sturdy catwalks might hold your weight.          
 Otherwise, it will be a long, painful way down... and because a pit is along  
 the rim of the room, you may not be able to reach the end of the dungeon.     
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
===========================================<* Serpent's Coils - Round 6 *>===========================================
==========================================< Results - Collapsing Catwalks >==========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              48 --(0)--> 48                 Pass
Trick Rope                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    34 --(0)--> 34                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animal                              42 --(0)--> 42                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraphita                           43 --(0)--> 43                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   40 --(0)--> 40                 Pass
Invigoration Elixir                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Kourin                      90 --(30)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Overwhelm|Slow(2)|Tire(1)|Wound(1)
Effects: Quicken(1)|Stalwart(1)
==================================================< Dream Chasers >==================================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Kourin has successfully explored Serpent's Coils!
================================================<* Serpent's Coils *>================================================
=======================================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Account Books *>=======================================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
---------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------------------------
 As you proceed from the final room, you find a door that -- mercifully -- is  
 not sealed. It leads into a room filled with shelves, and some have books on  
 them. The room is dry enough to preserve the books -- and opening them        
 reveals them to be accounting ledgers. While not immediately valuable,        
 historians and museums might pay a pretty gella for the information           
 contained within.                                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin sighs with relief. "A door that's just...a door. I never thought I would have grown to hate locked doors with the passion that I have found myself loathing them." Within...lie books.

"Knowledge. I...would not have expected that here. It seems...odd to store such things in a place such as this, though. Why do you suppose such fierce protections would be in place for something so innocuous?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Everyone makes it down safely...more or less and, thankfully, the last door isn't a sealed one! Jacqueline follows Kourin into the room and looks upon the books within in awe. She quickly makes her way over to one of them and very carefully pulls it down from the shelf, and begins to flip through the pages.

"...Ah, oh, I see..." Jacqueline murmurs, then glances toward Kourin.

"These are accounting ledgers...the information within is very important to a merchant - and, potentially, their rivals. I'm not surprised that whoever kept these would protect them so fiercely. They could be ruined if anyone tried to use this information against them." She explains. As a merchant herself, that was something she was well aware.

"Of course, whoever kept these is long gone now, I imagine...but a museum or a historian might have an interest in them. We should gather up as many as we can." She says, inserting the book into one of her bags and glancing around at the others.

"Thank you for your help, everyone. I greatly appreciate it. Neriah, and..." Her eyes fall on Animal and Seraphita.

"...I'm sorry, I'm afraid we haven't been introduced yet. I'm Jay, of the Caravan Kinship." She says with a smile.

<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"Maybe they're super important! But I don't like books unless they have images in them," Seraphita complains, in an answer that's likely far too predictable. Eventually she finds a book filled with graphics, and she makes up a tale in her mind of skiing and sledding on those downward slopes.

"Maybe they spent all their money snowboarding?"

Sure, why not.

It mustn't have been very lucrative in the desert.

"Aww, that's too bad, though, I was hoping there's be one of those fancy statue thingies here! You guys can keep these!! I'm gonna head back to my Gear!" Oh God she knows how to drive. And someone trusts her enough with a Gear.

"It was nice to meet all of yoooooou!!"

Oh no, she departs without introducing herself! Maybe that was intentional, Tolone has been screaming at her that saying 'I'm Not Seraphita' isn't a good enough disguise.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Giving her hand a last shake, Neriah makes it the last of the way up and into the room beyond.

The sight of those bookshelves leaves her blinking a couple of times. "Huh. Some kind of little library?" she guesses. Her eyes are beginning to fade back to normal. Gingerly, she reaches into her pack and comes out with a white cloth, beginning to wipe her right palm.

She moves along behind Jacqueline to take a look at the books. As their contents are revealed, she frowns slightly. "I didn't think they had accountants a billion years ago," she murmurs drily. "Maybe they died of boredom."

Remember, kids: Math sucks.

With a step back, she flashes Jacqueline a faint smile. "Thanks for not being scared of me," she murmurs.

<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Looking at the books stowed within, Animal slowly pulls down one of the books, gives it a sniff, an examining glance, looks through the pages as if trying to make sense of the ledger and reads a few of the works and numbers he understand and then puts it back where it was. Like a sacred object. He doesn't want to have to pay for whatever a book costs later, and he has been learning about the cost of things, so he knows better than to just test them with a chew like he might have a few months ago.

When Jacqueline introduces herself, Animal pats his chest and says, "I'm Animal. What's a caravan king ship? Does that mean it's really big?" he asks of her in utter seriousness.

In his eyes, there is the telltale look of someone who is ready to learn and is prepared to receive information.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

And thus Seraphita departs, leaving more questions in her wake than she did answers, and without a name to attach to the mystery. Jacqueline stares after her for a moment, before sighing and glancing toward Neriah with a smile of her own.

"You're welcome. Are you alright now?" She asks. She proceeds to walk around the room collecting as many of the books as she can. While she does so, she glances back at 'Animal'.

"Ah...no, 'Caravan Kinship'. It's the name of the merchant group I lead. My friends and I travel from place to place, selling food and various supplies to people we meet on the way." She explains, then nods to Kourin.

"Kourin here is one of us, as well."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin bows her head, suddenly shy again.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Yes, I was never in any danger," Neriah answers Jacqueline with a dip of her head and a soft blush. She continues to wipe her hand off before sliding the bloody cloth back into her inventory with the rest of her junk.

With the action over, one can get a clearer look at Neriah's hand now. And it's...

...nothing. Whatever was bleeding seems to be gone now. There's nothing but pristine skin left behind.

Once Seraphita bounces away, Neriah blinks a time or two, eyes clearing. "That was weird. She sure has a ton of energy," she murmurs, then looks towards Jacqueline and her cluster of friends again. "Oh yeah, I'd heard about the CaraKin. I hope you guys are doing okay with it."

Part of her wonders what life would be like if she'd tried talking to Jacqueline months ago. Maybe she would hate Filgaia less. Maybe she'd feel like she had a friend in the world other than K.K.

<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

"That's what I said, caravan king ship," Animal mirrors back to Jacqueline and looks over at Kourin, he nods a little at the introduction and scratches under his headband. Taking a seat on one of the reading tables, he watches the others as they walk around the room, discuss things and such. "Do you guys sell good food? I like food," he says to Jacqueline. In case she didn't know.

Since the issue of food has come up, he pats his pockets but realizes he'd eaten all the food he'd brought with him for the day and looks suddenly rather distraught, his stomach suddenly making a noise at him because it too has realized that he is without ample food supply.

Looking over at Neriah when she talks about Seraphita. He dons his wild child badge of informative explanation. "She's part rabbit, rabbits have lots of energy. That's how they outrun stuff, they're actually slower than like, a wolf, but because they just run and run, and are quick at changing directions, they can get away," he explains.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin looks up at the mention of food. "Oh yes. The Caravan Kinship has excellent food. Both Miss Lunata and Miss Catenna have wonderful food. I admit I prefer Miss Catenna's spicy meals, but Miss Lunata's desserts..." Kourin looks...almost ecstatic about the discussion of food.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"No, no, 'Kinship', it's one word." Jacqueline stresses. Well, technically, it was a compound word. "It means a group of people with shared characteristics...in this case, it's our bond as friends and allies."

Sure, she didn't need to emphasize it, but branding was very important!

Her attention returns to Neriah and she nods.

"Oh, yes, we're doing great, actually...you should come by sometime, perhaps pick up something to eat?" She suggests.

Animal asks about their food, and Kourin is happy to fill in. Jacqueline smiles and nods.

"Oh yes, definitely. Everything on the menu is fantastic." She says, putting the last book into her bags. "Well then, shall we get out of here?"

<Pose Tracker> Animal has posed.

Hearing that, Animal nods to himself, and dons his other hat. The hat of the boy who deals in food. "And how much is all of the books worth? Like, at least ten, right?" he asks, looking at Jacqueline. "So if I get one in five, out of ten, that means I get," he holds up his fingers and then separates his fingers into five distinct groups. "Two."

"Can I get two meals at your Caravan Kin-ship, for my uh.. share, of the books?" he asks of Jacqueline.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"I've never actually met Catenna," Neriah admits as a horde of eels looms just offscreen, ready to prevent alt interaction. "But Lunata's a really good cook."

She folds her arms across her midsection, finally unknotting her tank top and letting it fall back into place. Flashing Jacqueline a quiet smile, she agrees, "I'd like that. It sounds like you have a good group of people."

Then she turns, picking up a few accounting books and shoving them into her pack. "Let's bail."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline ponders Animal's offer.

"Well, I won't actually know how much they're worth until I take them to someone who can appraise them..." Jacqueline replies, folding her arms in front of her. Hm...to accept his offer, or not? She could possibly even haggle the price of the books up a bit higher, and considering the price of a meal at the Kinship...

"Certainly, I think that's fair." Jacqueline replies with a nod and a smile. Everyone agrees that it's time to head out so she starts for the exit, though not before glancing back toward Neriah.

"I look forward to seeing you there sometime, then!" She replies.