2018-01-28: Surgical Imprecision

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  • Log: Surgical Imprecision
  • Cast: Ambrosius, Neriah Parringer, Yarobeleedt, Iskandra Grendorre
  • Where: Ash Hare
  • Date: January 28, 2018
  • Summary: A sinister bunch discover the depths of the Ash Hare... but things go awry before one of them can fully discover the secrets it reveals to her.

==============================<* Gunsmoke Desert *>===============================

The Gunsmoke Desert occupies the northwestern portion of Ignas. This desert is different from Aveh's. Instead of rolling dunes of sand, it has dry and cracked ground, and the mountains that rim it also intrude into the interior, forming stunning rock formations that can look as beautiful as they look impossible. The settlements here are hard-pressed to survive, consisting of countless small towns. The lucky few are connected by railways to the Seed Cities scattered about the Gunsmoke. Many are lost to the sands, which cover them and a tremendous concentration of ruins from Filgaia's past. This makes these badlands the heart of Drifter activity in Ignas.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z_CxmE0AkA
DC: Ambrosius switches forms to Avid Anthropologist Ambrosius!
DG: A party led by Ambrosius is now entering Ash Hare.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
================================<* Ash Hare *>================================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Rockslide-Prone Path *>====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 One might think that the first step is getting inside of Ash Hare, but they   
 would be mistaken. The first step is getting to the doors. The huge double    
 doors, composed of a solid grey-blue steel, have opened and have a light      
 teal glow coming from the many panel lines on them. Someone, it seems, has    
 already braved these hallways once.                                           
                                                                               
 Whoever it was left the rocky approach to the ruins in a ghastly state.       
 Explosions have carved huge craters out, making a pockmarked approach that    
 is dangerous in the extreme. The slightest misstep can send rocks tumbling    
 down, and a few boulders bounce down upon your approach, try as you might to  
 be careful.                                                                   
                                                                               
 But, at least, it won't be hard to get inside.                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Tire===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Many were aware of the ruin were referred to as 'Ash Hare'. It was ancient, and if the path up to it didn't turn you away, the rumors of a powerful guardian might instead. However, in recent days, a rumor had begun to spread - someone had successfully opened the doors of Ash Hare, and where one Drifter entered, many were likely to follow.

The rumors of it were of interest to Ambrosius. It sounded like a place of fascinating technology, more advanced than the average human was capable of producing. It was important, then, that he see it for himself, to determine whether or not there is anything of use to the Veruni. And that is why he is here.

He is not alone in this matter, however. With the dangers it was said to hold, going in alone would be foolish. And so, he had put out a request for assistance. Fortunately, his reputation was not yet widely tarnished...he would make use of it for as long as he could.

The first thing one sees on approaching Ash Hare is that they're certainly not the first ones here. Fortunately, however, their rather explosive approach has opened up pathways upward to make the ascent to the proper entrance easier.

That is not to say it is without its difficulties. It is still a difficult, tiring climb. The only thing to do is to get started, which Ambrosius does, however reluctantly.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Rockslide-Prone Path.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah hasn't been wearing her Excavator's outfit much these days. She kept the hat, but has been going with her tank top, shorts and knee-high boots. Even her gloves have stayed behind.

Not like she has much to hide anymore. Everyone knows she's horrible.

All she could do was partner up with others whom everyone hates. And there seemed to be a lot said about the man who had come looking for teammates. Something about Golems...?

The explosive approach lane leaves her pressing her lips together with momentary anxiety. "Seems like someone really did a number on this place, huh," she murmurs as she dances her way carefully through the ruinously pockmarked approach, her heels clicking against solid ground whenever she comes down. She darts around a large stone to avoid displacing it, then skirts the edge of a crater, trying to keep close to Ambrosius even as she ascends the perilous slope.

A few pebbles scatter down towards her. She brushes them aside with a huff. "Frig," she mutters as she gropes for a solid handhold, pulling herself up the next little way.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Rockslide-Prone Path.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Yarobeleedt is running out of places in which to search for a Guardian Statue out in the Badlands. This does not stop him from trying. The more charitable would say that his determined work is doing wonders to narrow down the places they can't be, but that's not good enough for him. He wants to claw ahead of the pack and lord a successful destruction over the others - and he's certainly not about to let ^Long Voweler^ get another one up on him!

A cloaked figure whose secretive clothing does not do that great a job of hiding that they are decidedly not human happens upon the rocky ascent as they slither-crawl-amble-whatever ahead, laying a sleeve on one such foothold.

"I go ahead. You abutt. Fufufu." As if this weren't a transparent attempt to just try and race Ambrosius and the rest up the climb. Reckless. On one hand, this... creature... is in their element. Navigating rough terrain with speed and flexibility is, technically, in their job description as an advance scout.

Then one of the boulders that can't support his weight shifts and rolls, carrying him down a crater with an unpleasant shrieking that might yet endanger everyone else's climb! (Or just lighten their spirits.)

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Rockslide-Prone Path.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Wait, who's a butt?" Neriah asks Yaro with a blink, before covering her mouth with a hand as he goes for a fall.

"Welp," she says.

<Pose Tracker> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

The winged alchemist follows behind alchemist. Poisoner, extortionist, inhuman monster, she's been called all that and worse, so she's perfect company, right? As they approach the doorway, she spreads her wings wide to help give her some additional balance, and gives them a good flap every time she has to leap beyond a gap she can't easily maneuver her way around.

DG: Iskandra Grendorre has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Rockslide-Prone Path.
================================<* Ash Hare *>================================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Rockslide-Prone Path *>====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 One might think that the first step is getting inside of Ash Hare, but they   
 would be mistaken. The first step is getting to the doors. The huge double    
 doors, composed of a solid grey-blue steel, have opened and have a light      
 teal glow coming from the many panel lines on them. Someone, it seems, has    
 already braved these hallways once.                                           
                                                                               
 Whoever it was left the rocky approach to the ruins in a ghastly state.       
 Explosions have carved huge craters out, making a pockmarked approach that    
 is dangerous in the extreme. The slightest misstep can send rocks tumbling    
 down, and a few boulders bounce down upon your approach, try as you might to  
 be careful.                                                                   
                                                                               
 But, at least, it won't be hard to get inside.                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Tire===========================================
===========================<* Ash Hare - Round 1 *>===========================
======================< Results - Rockslide-Prone Path >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           0 --(23)--> 23                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         0 --(18)--> 18                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    0 --(18)--> 18                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iskandra Grendorre                  0 --(23)--> 23                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: 
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has failed this challenge! The party gained 5 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> Ambrosius has posed.

"Iiindeed..." Ambrosius murmurs, taking a slow glance around. They certainly did. He briefly wonders whether or not the interior is in a similar sorry state.

Turns out there's a reason that boulder couldn't support Yarobeleedt's weight. It was already holding up quite a bit of weight...so when that boulder falls, several start falling right along with it. It's practically an avalanche, harrying the party as they climb. Quite a few slam into Ambrosius directly. If he wasn't a Veruni soldier, he probably wouldn't be able to take it...but that does not mean it wasn't an unpleasant experience. Iskandra may also find that she needs to flap a bit harder to get out of range of the rolling rocks.

Miraculously for Yarobeleedt, though, the boulder he's stuck on carries him out of the path of this avalanche, and if Neriah chooses to follow after him she'll find herself similarly safe.

It's a much rougher climb than earlier anticipated, but in the end everyone does make it to the door in one piece, though certainly not unscathed.

DG: Neriah Parringer has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Connecting the Conduit *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The room you enter has a ceiling twice as high as most of the rooms inside    
 of here. Three doors stand on the opposite side of the room, and all are      
 slammed shut. The panel lines, no matter what you try, are all darkened.      
 However, the center of the room has something notable. On the floor, there    
 is a large depression, with three deep holes.                                 
                                                                               
 On the ceiling, there is a massive pylon, which ends in three gold-plated     
 spikes that would fit in the holes. The pylon bobs, slightly, held by some    
 manner of invisible force. Those seem to be projected from glowing teal orbs  
 on the wall. The pylon hovers in midair. If you can connect it, you might be  
 able to restore power to the doors across from you -- and proceed deeper.     
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret, Tire=============================================
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

For all that there's a hill to climb... Neriah lets go of her handhold. Her heels dig in as she slides down the incline and drops carefully into the crater below her. Easing forward, she slips a shoulder under Yarobeleedt.

There's a faint smile on her face. "Hang in there, Mr. Garbles," she murmurs.

Yarobeleedt is rather heavier than Neriah, but she manages nevertheless, groaning with effort as she helps to guide the big Metal Demon up the slope. She can't help Iskandra and Ambrosius while she's got a Metal Demon on her back. Eventually, though, she manages to make it to the top. Exhaling wearily, she pats Yaro gently on the back and smiles up at him, then lets him settle free.

When she does move forward, she blinks at the sight of those three darkened doors ahead of her. Turning towards the three holes in the middle of the room, the girl follows the shadows upwards towards that bobbing pylon --

"Ohhhh, okay," Neriah decides as she takes a look at the pylon hovering up above. "Something is holding that pylon up there. And it looks like 'something' is...." Turning, she gestures to the wall, where a series of teal orbs glow.

"Those things," she says as she unslings the shovel from her back. She starts forward, driving the head of the shovel towards one of the orbs with every intention of smashing it to bits. "Let's break these and see if we can bring the pylon down!"

DG: Neriah Parringer has used her Tool Trusty Shovel toward her party's challenge, Connecting the Conduit.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Mr. Garbles goes completely limp at the friendly touch of the experienced excavator. He's kind of like putty in her hands. Unmoving, cooperative, and simultaneously both hard as metal but soft and pliable as putty if held in the right place.

From over Neriah's shoulder, his usually shade-hidden eyes from under the hood are bulged out just shy of escaping his skull, twitchy and watery as though every friendly touch were a precursor to something more. His eyes meet her gentle smile as she pats him gently with concern, care, and respect.

She is frightening, he thinks. If only he could master such impeccable intimidation techniques against his foes...! His equivalent of a heart (of which it is still a subject of debate if most Metal Demons even have a proper one in the figurative sense) beats so quickly it might give out and rupture as he watches her walk off to help the rest figure out how to get the pylon down into the similarly-shaped depression that implies it needs to go down in there.

When he has controls of his faculties he wastes zero time zipping up the wall and hugging against the very ceiling as he eyes the giant construct with those shiny gold-plated spikes.

A sleeve shoots out as a flash of something metallic - his limb, of course - slaps at the strangely suspended structure.

*ping* *ping* *ping*

He likes the noise it makes, whether or not it's doing anything, so he just keeps doing it to work out his stress and/or pile onto the others. It's a fun noise because he's making it! (The same principle as scratching one's nails on a chalkboard.)

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Connecting the Conduit.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

It's with a rather dustier look to him that Ambrosius steps into the foyer of Ash Hare. It's a rather large room, and the way forward is sealed. The teal lines visible outside are darkened. The reason why becomes readily apparent - they're lacking power. The usual source of that people would be...

Ambrosius looks up. Hm. He's putting it together in his head, but Neriah summarizes it in a succinct manner. With a nod of agreement he walks over to one of the glowing teal orbs. He studies them for a moment, admittedly curious about the force these orbs seemed to be admitting...

...But unfortunately, if they can't move forward, they will be stuck here. He hauls in arm back and then slams it forward, aiming to simply punch one of the offending orbs into dust.

He only gives Yarobeleedt and the bizarre noises he's making a small glance.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Connecting the Conduit.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Connecting the Conduit *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The room you enter has a ceiling twice as high as most of the rooms inside    
 of here. Three doors stand on the opposite side of the room, and all are      
 slammed shut. The panel lines, no matter what you try, are all darkened.      
 However, the center of the room has something notable. On the floor, there    
 is a large depression, with three deep holes.                                 
                                                                               
 On the ceiling, there is a massive pylon, which ends in three gold-plated     
 spikes that would fit in the holes. The pylon bobs, slightly, held by some    
 manner of invisible force. Those seem to be projected from glowing teal orbs  
 on the wall. The pylon hovers in midair. If you can connect it, you might be  
 able to restore power to the doors across from you -- and proceed deeper.     
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret, Tire=============================================
<Pose Tracker> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

Iskandra takes on one of the orbs in the most straightforward way she can, she picks a clay jar from her bags and gently glues it to the wall next to the orb, then rolls back the oily rope to a safe distance. "Take cover." After which, she lights that rope and it quickly hurries towards the clay jar, which explodes as designed.

DG: Iskandra Grendorre has used her Tool Bomb toward her party's challenge, Connecting the Conduit.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Connecting the Conduit *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The room you enter has a ceiling twice as high as most of the rooms inside    
 of here. Three doors stand on the opposite side of the room, and all are      
 slammed shut. The panel lines, no matter what you try, are all darkened.      
 However, the center of the room has something notable. On the floor, there    
 is a large depression, with three deep holes.                                 
                                                                               
 On the ceiling, there is a massive pylon, which ends in three gold-plated     
 spikes that would fit in the holes. The pylon bobs, slightly, held by some    
 manner of invisible force. Those seem to be projected from glowing teal orbs  
 on the wall. The pylon hovers in midair. If you can connect it, you might be  
 able to restore power to the doors across from you -- and proceed deeper.     
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret, Tire=============================================
=============================<* Ash Hare - Round 2 *>=============================
=======================< Results - Connecting the Conduit >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           23 --(8)--> 31                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         18 --(8)--> 26                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    18 --(8)--> 26                 Pass
Trusty Shovel                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iskandra Grendorre                  23 --(8)--> 31                 Pass
Bomb                                3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   5 --(15)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(1)|Secret(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 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.

He seems so scared, Neriah realizes as she watches Yaro for a quiet moment. Even when I'm treating him nice. Is it because he remembers what I did to him that time...?

Between the four of them, there's no way those orbs are going to be able to withstand the force being brought to bear. The pylon descends from the ceiling; once it gets low enough, Neriah reaches out with her shovel to nudge it, then tamps it down a few times to ensure the three golden prongs settle neatly into the holes.

Somewhere in the ceiling, something chimes pleasantly - and all three doors slide open. Neriah blinks and rests her shovel over her shoulder, wiggling her finger as she tries to decide where to go--

"This way," she suggests as she starts through the leftmost door.

DG: Yarobeleedt has drawn a new Challenge.
=====================================================<* Ash Hare *>=====================================================
=======================================<* CHALLENGE - Observation Drone Swarm *>========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 When you step into this long hallway, you hear a loud click. A large panel    
 opens in the wall -- and three dozen basketball-sized drones with dragonfly   
 wings, each made of light, come flying out and soar straight towards you.     
 Although each drone is small and fragile, when there are nearly forty of      
 them in a swarm, there is a real danger of being bashed and broken into       
 pieces. They come in a wave, flying as fast as they can.                      
                                                                               
 The panel that opened, however, may prove a shortcut. However, the swarm      
 will have to be cut through quickly; otherwise, the panel will close before   
 you can reach it.                                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Treasure===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

They go down the left door. There are many doors like it, but that one's on the left. The center and the right are left behind, as each of the four leave until there are none left to consider whether to take the left door, or whatever's left.

How many more jokes in the vein of 'left' are there? None left.

...Right.

Yarobeleedt decides to follow not on the floor, but against the walls that all have teal lines running through them. Maybe they just feel nice and warm to him? Regardless of how one travels the hallway, it all funnels through into one narrow stretch.

There is a click that echoes through the emtpy hallway, repeating several times over as though it were intent on communicating its very importance to those that are there to witness the clicking.

A large panel opens up just under Yarobeleedt, seeing him contract himself and cower on the wall as the air fills full of electrical hums. The room fills up with the light of teal-winged dragonflies, their very flight mechanisms made out of hardened light. There is no shortage of them, if anyone is of the mind to stop to count. One, two, three...

Why would anyone do that?! There's at least forty of them! That's as many as four tens, and that's terrible. They buckle easily under pressure, but there's a lot of them, and they can fracture into shrapnel and other parts that may not be much fun to touch (one would suggest against touching whatver part projects their wings).

Yarobeleedt freaks out and pulls that metallic fabric cocoon around him as his body mass falls upon the open panel. That's... almost helpful? But wait, what if that might be a shortcut to further down in this strange location?! Act quick!!

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Sheet Cocoon toward its party's challenge, Observation Drone Swarm.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Observation Drone Swarm *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 When you step into this long hallway, you hear a loud click. A large panel    
 opens in the wall -- and three dozen basketball-sized drones with dragonfly   
 wings, each made of light, come flying out and soar straight towards you.     
 Although each drone is small and fragile, when there are nearly forty of      
 them in a swarm, there is a real danger of being bashed and broken into       
 pieces. They come in a wave, flying as fast as they can.                      
                                                                               
 The panel that opened, however, may prove a shortcut. However, the swarm      
 will have to be cut through quickly; otherwise, the panel will close before   
 you can reach it.                                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Treasure===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

There are more than enough jokes left over for us all to have a little and still have leftovers.

Neriah watches with quiet amazement as Yaro oozes along the walls, as if he's addicted to teal Tronlines. "That's... that's kind of impressive," she murmurs.

At least, until the drones come trundling into view. Widening her eyes, Neriah whirls back -

And the drones buzz towards her. Spotting the panel behind the swarm, Neriah whips her pistol out and fires a couple of shots, then darts forward, curling her lips as she spots Yaro curling up.

"Hang tight, Mr. Garbles," she growls as she darts towards the coiled Metal Demon. She whips her right hand forward, straining as she focuses her power--

Right. Do this the way Millenia would do it. In control. In control.

It still hurts Neriah to do it consciously. Blood wells in her palm, etching out a dripping symbol. Her muscles strain; she clenches her teeth - and then lets out out with a growl.

Dark power pours down Neriah's arm, erupting out of her in a wave that simply consumes most of the corridor. It swells and screams and blossoms outward insanely until it's flooding from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.

"Come on," Neriah manages, trying to push Yaro along with her knees even as she strains to try and clear the drones out.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Observation Drone Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

In this company, Iskandra feels no need to be restrained. She lets her malevolence flow as she pulls out a bottle of muddy water. Her face clearly monstrous, with black streaks of malevolence and large needle-like teeth, but that's not the clearest sign of what she is. No, the clearest sign is what happens when the bottle of water breaks in between the dragonfly drones.

Malevolence fills the spreading liquid, now befouled, and it seeks to cling to and crush everything that comes within the path of the dark drops, like a strangling acid, it serves only two purposes. To kill and to desecrate.

DG: Iskandra Grendorre has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Observation Drone Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius takes a moment to study Iskandra's explosive. Simple, and yet effective, as always.

The pylon lowers into place, and the room lights up with those teal lines that filled the whole place. Ambrosius gives the doors careful consideration...but then Neriah suggests the left, and so he nods and follows her through.

And then, as they progress...a panel opens, and a whole bunch of dragonfly drones emerge. Neriah and Iskandra both call upon the dark powers within each of them, using them to destroy the opponent before them.

Not being particularly spiritually aware, it's only the former he notices. It's a bit of a distraction...but before long he has a hand extended. Water swirls and converges around his arm, before eventually forming a powerful beam that he sweeps along the corridor, aiming to clear out whatever drones Neriah and Iskandra hadn't already dealt with.

In its wake it leaves a cool, refreshing mist that should hopefully help deal with the party's weariness somewhat.

DG: Ambrosius has used his Tool Deluge toward his party's challenge, Observation Drone Swarm.
=====================================================<* Ash Hare *>=====================================================
=======================================<* CHALLENGE - Observation Drone Swarm *>========================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 When you step into this long hallway, you hear a loud click. A large panel    
 opens in the wall -- and three dozen basketball-sized drones with dragonfly   
 wings, each made of light, come flying out and soar straight towards you.     
 Although each drone is small and fragile, when there are nearly forty of      
 them in a swarm, there is a real danger of being bashed and broken into       
 pieces. They come in a wave, flying as fast as they can.                      
                                                                               
 The panel that opened, however, may prove a shortcut. However, the swarm      
 will have to be cut through quickly; otherwise, the panel will close before   
 you can reach it.                                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Treasure===========================================
================================================<* Ash Hare - Round 3 *>================================================
=========================================< Results - Observation Drone Swarm >==========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           31 --(5)--> 36                 Pass
Deluge                              1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         26 --(10)--> 36                Fail
Sheet Cocoon                        2   Combat  Effects: Cleanse and Liability
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    26 --(5)--> 31                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iskandra Grendorre                  31 --(5)--> 36                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   20 --(30)--> 50                Pass
Conditions: Secret(1)|Slow(2)|Tire(1)|Treasure(1)
Effects: Cleanse
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has passed this challenge! The party gained 30 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> Yarobeleedt has posed.

The drones do not stand a chance, when met with powers they were never meant to be able to observe or comprehend. Many of them malfunction on the spot, met with NaN errors and other computational oddities that the original designers did not, nor could not account for. From there, the end-result is positively gory! A wave of water shorts out exposed circuits, leaving behind a pleasant mist that neatly accents the clouds of Malevolence and a very special segment of eldritch powers brought to everyone by the number Eight.

There is nothing left of the drones to speak of. They were either chemically acid-washed, or... simply removed... from existence.

For Yarobeleedt's part, he has no idea what's going on out there around him, hidden inside his little safe space as his cocoon drags and rolls while Neriah pushes them along.

This passage doesn't seem like it should be a viable pathway to much of anywhere, but before long, there's lights on the other side, leading the group towards...

DG: Iskandra Grendorre has drawn a new Challenge.
=================================<* Ash Hare *>=================================
=================<* CHALLENGE - Gravitational Reorientation *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 When you walk into this room, you find that you are standing on the ceiling   
 -- or is it a wall? This cube-shaped room, composed of the same blue-grey     
 steel as the rest of the place, has complex panel lines woven throughout all  
 of the walls. The same appear on blocks that hang suspended in midair, which  
 you might be able to jump to or push off. There are also silver orbs,         
 however, also suspended in midair throughout the chamber. These emit          
 periodic blasts of electricity.                                               
                                                                               
 The panel lines on the blocks, every fifteen seconds, flash purple. When      
 they do, gravity suddenly shifts orientation to a different side -- and       
 yanks whoever was moving in that direction (and potentially into a shockwave  
 of lightning). Crossing the room requires caution and a careful orientation,  
 because the door to the other side is located flush with the ceiling of the   
 side you entered on.                                                          
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Suffer, Vault======================================
<Pose Tracker> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

If our... brave heroes, ... courageous champions,... plucky adventurers... dastardly intruders were challenged by the entrance to this place, they may have some trouble after entering this room. The very orientation of down defies stability, as becomes clear when they open the door and some stray dust falls sideways instead of down.

It doesn't take long to figure out that gravity changes every regular flash of purple. It als becomes clear a misstep will be surely painful, for the silver orbs that fload in mid-air menacingly crackle with lightning every so often. The good news is that lines and other handholds are a plenty, this is possible, just be sure to keep your grip and be careful.

And don't let the shifting nature of down disorient you, of course.

Iskandra goes in very gingerly, trying to take advantage of her wingspan to have more lines to lean on, and slowly planning out a route towards their destination. "What foul sorcery is this." She mutters as she does so

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

This is an ingenious, dangerous trap guaranteed to be nearly impassible by anyone who has to deal with the regular ways of getting around like 'running and jumping.' With every change in direction, one runs not only the risk of falling into the shocking silver orbs - they might fall and hurt themselves against the newly-defined ground too. There scarce seems to be a way to truly predict which way gravity will go.

Then you have someone who sticks to walls and does not seem to be willing to play ball with the rules of gravity (and in some select special cases, loading boundaries and map seams).

The hooded creature crawls about the nearest ceiling-floor-wall-corner-feature without even pausing to think about how to help bring any of them across. Undeterred (for now) other than the occasional tug suggesting he may want to shift his weight a little, the one and only Mr. Garbles seems intent to just help himself to the door to the opposite ceiling with all the joyful conspiring gibbering he does.

His ability to uniquely access this place, all to himself, seems dependant on whether or not the structural integrity of these various walls yet hold (possible), or him growing a conscience and stopping to help the others (unlikely), or the designers of this place realizing someone might try this and having a failsafe in mind to discourage this (hilarious if true).

Their tongue lolls out the side of their hood-hidden mouth, hungry for the little fantasy of having a statue to smash on the other side of the door that seems within reach...!

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Clutch Harness toward its party's challenge, Gravitational Reorientation.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

The power Iskandra lets fly with tweaks Neriah's senses more than a little. She glances sidelong at the woman, gently biting down to her lower lip. Something throbs through her palm.

No. Don't let it run away with you, she chides herself. Millenia can control the darkness. That means I can too.

As the darkness coils back into Neriah, the girl glances sidelong at Iskandra, then follows her into the next room. With a blink, she frowns as she struggles to orient herself --

"Wait, are we sideways," she asks nobody in particular.

Soon enough, gravity changes. Neriah gasps as she's dragged down to another surface. An arc of electricity nearly hits her; she recoils, landing awkwardly on one knee. Grimacing, the girl looks up towards the exit, after Iskandra. Again the gravity begins to change -

Do it like she does it, she tells herself. I don't have to be angry.

Neriah breathes. Her muscles clench and her heartrate quickens as that familiar dull ache begins to come to the surface - but she pushes through it with a pained hiss. She lets the spell go--

And a globe of eldritch energy swells out around her. It shimmers with horrifyingly complex patterns. No sound permeates it; it simply is. Neriah lets it engulf her as she begins to simply walk past the cubes.

Gravity pulls her into another electric arc. It simply dances over the surface of the Separation field.

DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gravitational Reorientation.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

They descend into the panel and continue along carefully. And at the end of the passage way beyond, they find a rather...interesting room. Interesting to those present for the bizarre gravity-based effects it carried...and interesting to Ambrosius for entirely different reasons.

They even had technology such as this here...? Whoever was responsible for this ruin...they were far more advanced than he had previously given them credit for.

It had, however, been quite some time since he had dealt with technology such as this. They had it back on the ship - a necessity when one was traveling through space - but he had no reason to make use of it since. So, it takes him a little while to readjust...

It's fine, though. He doesn't want to seem too used to it.

He does, however, have something that can help here. Once more, he extends his hand and water swirls converges, and launches outward. They form rings on many of the platforms - rings that, when one of the party draws near, will shoot out in a powerful geyser to help move them in the way they wish to go.

It's not a pleasant trip, and may be quite the surprise the first few times you approach one. Ambrosius is used to it, but the others...

DG: Ambrosius has used his Tool Jet Geyser toward his party's challenge, Gravitational Reorientation.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
==================<* CHALLENGE - Gravitational Reorientation *>===================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 When you walk into this room, you find that you are standing on the ceiling   
 -- or is it a wall? This cube-shaped room, composed of the same blue-grey     
 steel as the rest of the place, has complex panel lines woven throughout all  
 of the walls. The same appear on blocks that hang suspended in midair, which  
 you might be able to jump to or push off. There are also silver orbs,         
 however, also suspended in midair throughout the chamber. These emit          
 periodic blasts of electricity.                                               
                                                                               
 The panel lines on the blocks, every fifteen seconds, flash purple. When      
 they do, gravity suddenly shifts orientation to a different side -- and       
 yanks whoever was moving in that direction (and potentially into a shockwave  
 of lightning). Crossing the room requires caution and a careful orientation,  
 because the door to the other side is located flush with the ceiling of the   
 side you entered on.                                                          
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Suffer, Vault======================================
DG: Iskandra Grendorre has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gravitational Reorientation.
=================================<* Ash Hare *>=================================
=================<* CHALLENGE - Gravitational Reorientation *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 When you walk into this room, you find that you are standing on the ceiling   
 -- or is it a wall? This cube-shaped room, composed of the same blue-grey     
 steel as the rest of the place, has complex panel lines woven throughout all  
 of the walls. The same appear on blocks that hang suspended in midair, which  
 you might be able to jump to or push off. There are also silver orbs,         
 however, also suspended in midair throughout the chamber. These emit          
 periodic blasts of electricity.                                               
                                                                               
 The panel lines on the blocks, every fifteen seconds, flash purple. When      
 they do, gravity suddenly shifts orientation to a different side -- and       
 yanks whoever was moving in that direction (and potentially into a shockwave  
 of lightning). Crossing the room requires caution and a careful orientation,  
 because the door to the other side is located flush with the ceiling of the   
 side you entered on.                                                          
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Suffer, Vault======================================
============================<* Ash Hare - Round 4 *>============================
===================< Results - Gravitational Reorientation >====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           36 --(40)--> 76                Fail
Jet Geyser                          3   Agility Effects: Quicken and Sacrifice
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         36 --(35)--> 71                Pass
Clutch Harness                      3   Agility Effects: Rally                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    31 --(40)--> 71                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iskandra Grendorre                  36 --(40)--> 76                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   50 --(10)--> 60                Fail
Conditions: Slow(2)|Suffer(1)|Vault(1)
Effects: Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius 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> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

Yarobeleedt manages to make his way to the exit without issue. Living exploit that he is, there was never any reason to doubt he could. The others, however are not so lucky. Shocked and thrown about by shifting gravity, things are made worse by the fact that Ambrosius decides it's a good idea to add a bunch of water to a room full of shock traps. Even Yarobeleedt catches a few zaps thanks to that.

They do, eventually, make it. Worse for the wear, they may not be in a state to reach the end, but only time will tell.

DG: Ambrosius has drawn a new Challenge.
================================<* Ash Hare *>================================
====================<* CHALLENGE - The Collapsing Wall *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 When you enter this hallway, the ubiquitous darkened panel lines light up.    
 These ones, however, alight with a angry crimson glow. Then, the wall on the  
 left side of the room shudders. The wall begins to advance forward -- and     
 the hallway is far too long to flee. You need to stop it, somehow, through    
 some manner of brute force, before it crushes you -- or forces an unintended  
 retreat, into one of the darker parts of this labyrinth.                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Treasure=========================================
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
======================<* CHALLENGE - The Collapsing Wall *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 When you enter this hallway, the ubiquitous darkened panel lines light up.    
 These ones, however, alight with a angry crimson glow. Then, the wall on the  
 left side of the room shudders. The wall begins to advance forward -- and     
 the hallway is far too long to flee. You need to stop it, somehow, through    
 some manner of brute force, before it crushes you -- or forces an unintended  
 retreat, into one of the darker parts of this labyrinth.                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Treasure=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Things don't quite go the way he intended. Ambrosius shrugs it off stoically, but even he's starting to get a little tired out at this point. Still, there was no way he could turn back now, after they'd gotten this far.

He starts to move forward...but then, suddenly, one of the panels lining the hallway glows an angry crimson. Something has detected their presence, and it does not want them here.

The panel shifts and then begins to advance forward, attempting to crush them or force them into a detour.

Ambrosius frowns...and once more attempts to deal with the problem by simply punching it away.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Collapsing Wall.
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

A lot of things have to slough off of Neriah's defensive field by the time she joins the others at the end. She's not physically hurt when the field comes down.

She's tired, though. Supporting herself with a hand on the wall, she gasps hoarsely as she struggles to catch her breath. Her pupils have dilated down to small points but are beginning to return to normal.

But I didn't lose control, she reminds herself. I mustn't. I mustn't ever again.

There can't be another Three Cucco Spring.

She doesn't get much of a chance to rest, of course. Not before the wall begins to move. Looking up, Neriah swallows a lump in the back of her throat.

Snarling, the girl pulls her shovel out and lunges at the wall. She taps it a few times with the head of the shovel, then slams it home at the first place she can find a seam.

It takes a few hits, but soon enough cracks are beginning to appear in that part of the wall. Panting with exertion, Neriah hammers at it aggressively, then attempts to wedge her shovel in, hoping to smash an opening in the wall big enough to begin to hide herself and the others in.

Or perhaps it's futile.

DG: Neriah Parringer has used her Tool Trusty Shovel toward her party's challenge, The Collapsing Wall.
<Pose Tracker> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

Iskandra only has one bomb left. She can't justify using it now when they might need it later. She knows, in the back of her mind, that if she doesn't use it now there might not be a later, but she ignores that voice, hopeful of making progress without it. So, instead she simply gets out another bottle of liquid, throws it at the ground in front of the wall, and using a little sorcery tries to get it attached to both the wall and the floor and then dry quickly, hopefully slowing it down if not rooting it in place entirely.

DG: Iskandra Grendorre has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Collapsing Wall.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Yarobeleedt gets shocked by having a clear contact between spraying water and electrical surges. He loses his place across the variable gravity chamber and collapses against the (current definition of) the ground with a squishy 'plop' and a series of high-pitched screeches. From the corner of one of his eyes, he watches Ambrosius stoically move along forward.

He seethes. He did it on purpose, he (ir)rationalizes! He wants the statue that must be here for himself, so they praise him and rally around him and then Mother will--

The nuances of their present situation are lost on him in a moment of pettiness as the angry crimson hues of the world around them accurately reflect his mood as he slinks past the strange winged person-thing, ^That^, and ^Long Voweler^ as the wall moves to shove them back, to squish them or just force them down an alternate path through this strangely-named labyrinth of frustration and secrets!

...

Extra-motivated by his frustration with the ^Long Voweler^ there, his sleeves become a veritable blur hard to catch by the human eye. The metallic 'clangs' and 'screeches' of his weapon-limbs slamming and slicing against the wall are much too easy to catch by the human ear. (It is not fun.)

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, The Collapsing Wall.
================================<* Ash Hare *>================================
====================<* CHALLENGE - The Collapsing Wall *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 When you enter this hallway, the ubiquitous darkened panel lines light up.    
 These ones, however, alight with a angry crimson glow. Then, the wall on the  
 left side of the room shudders. The wall begins to advance forward -- and     
 the hallway is far too long to flee. You need to stop it, somehow, through    
 some manner of brute force, before it crushes you -- or forces an unintended  
 retreat, into one of the darker parts of this labyrinth.                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Treasure=========================================
===========================<* Ash Hare - Round 5 *>===========================
======================< Results - The Collapsing Wall >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           76 --(5)--> 81                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         71 --(10)--> 81                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    71 --(5)--> 76                 Pass
Trusty Shovel                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iskandra Grendorre                  76 --(10)--> 86                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   60 --(25)--> 85                Pass
Conditions: Slow(1)|Treasure(1)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has passed this challenge! The party gained 25 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> Ambrosius has posed.

The wall proves rather stubborn in its approach. Iskandra's liquid does manage to root a part of it to the floor, but this mostly just causes the rest of the wall to push out in an odd, angled fashion. Yarobeleedt's slamming and slicing mostly results in a lot of noise that irritates Ambrosius.

Still, this all does prove fruitful - the wall is delayed long enough that Neriah and Ambrosius can chip away at it in their various methods. Gradually they damage the panel more and more, until it eventually falls apart...revealing a pathway into the inner workings of the facility.

What awaits beyond it...?

DG: Neriah Parringer has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Memory Analysis Spike *>======================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The next door leads into a medical facility. Rows of empty sickbeds can be    
 found here, with cabinets, chairs, and consoles that doctors were meant to    
 use. A large storage closet is located in the back of the room. Robotic       
 arms, containing a variety of medical tools, hang from the ceiling -- likely  
 meant to assist in caring for the patients here. The entire room is spotless  
 and seemingly unused, though eerily clean. Even thousands of years later,     
 this room has stayed sterile.                                                 
                                                                               
 As you enter, though, one of your party is quite unfortunate. A large arm     
 swings down and slams a lengthy syringe directly into one of your necks.      
 Lights on the arm begin to pulse -- and the afflicted person has the strange  
 and terrifying sensation of having their memories activated, bringing to      
 mind particular individuals of import from their background. Lights on the    
 arm flash, and a beeping can be heard from it -- and from a station on the    
 wall.                                                                         
                                                                               
 The arm needs to be removed, quickly but carefully. While the syringe is not  
 lethal, it could be disastrous if the arm is removed carelessly.              
                                                                               
 OOC: It is strongly recommended that the person who is stabbed GM the next    
 card.                                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Injure======================================
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Breathing heavily, Neriah makes her way through the opening in the wall. She shoulder past a few chunks of rubble -

Into the sterile hell of a medical facility. Neriah blinks a couple of times, looking down the rows of empty sickbeds stretching out into eternity. Then she looks up towards the ceiling even as she begins to slowly step forward.

It's all so sterile and empty that Neriah wants to claw her way out of her skin just thinking about it. "Some sort of... surgical place," she murmurs, tensing slightly and turning to examine one of the beds. "It feels like it's been empty forever, and yet it's still so clean...."

So lost is she in her own thoughts that Neriah has no idea that, from up above, a long mechanical arm is unfolding. A dozen hideous medical implements dangle from it, some of them seeming like they're designed more to amputate things than to heal them. A cycling head within the arm's toolhead rotates - and presents a long needle, dripping with something.

Just as Neriah turns to say something to Ambrosius, the arm descends. A vicegrip on the ventral part of it unfolds and grabs her about the skull. She gags a little and widens her eyes as the needle sinks into her neck and immediately hits a vein. Her body goes limp in the grip of the tool arm, that supporting talon holding her upright by the head.

Prying it off will be a nightmare entirely different to the nightmare Neriah is experiencing.

When she opens her eyes again, she is in the streets of Three Cucco Spring. The bodies of the dead are all around her.

Even the dead are screaming and moaning. Like a hideous hymnal. Dead souls singing for something horrific. Neriah lifts her eyes to the heavens.

A familiar face hangs there. Several familiar faces. The centremost, blue and with eight eyes and nine mouths and horns and a shuddering mane. She cannot understand the rumbling, resonant things it screams at her. She can understand them and she can't. She cannot understand them. She can understand them clearly. She has known them all her life.

BOW AND EMBRACE HIM, says Virginia Maxwell as she hovers near one of the other faces in the sky.

BOW AND EMBACE HIM, says Arianny Parringer as she stands astride the horn of the Dark One.

BOW AND EMBRACE HIM, says Ethius Hesiod as he emerges before her, lightning arcing from his hands.

BOW AND EMBRACE HIM, say several bandits, their entrails exposed by grievous wounds as they die at Neriah's feet. BOW AND EMBACE HIM, says Arianny Parringer as she steps up beside Neriah with a light burning in the middle of her forehead. 7. BOW AND EMBACE HIM, says a man with a shining 6. BOW AND EMBRACE HIM, says 5. BOW AND EMBRACE HIM, say 4 and 3 and 2.

THE CHAINS OF ARIUS ARE YOURS TO BREAK, says Number One as he hangs in the air between Neriah and the vast face. BOW AND EMBACE HIM. THE CHAINS OF ARIUS ARE YOURS TO BREAK. BOW AND EMBRACE HIM. THE CHAINS OF ARIUS ARE YOURS TO BRno no no no NO NO NO NO NO SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN THERE CAN BE ONLY SEVEN A HOWLING SCYTHE AND ONE EYE AND THE FACE OF A BASKAR MAN WITH STEADY EYES AND SADNESS IN HIS FACE AND HIS HAND OUTSTRETCHED AND"HELP ME," Neriah shrieks as blood oozes from her hand, her eyes squeezing closed. A horrific shudder rolls through her.

She barely seems aware anyone else is there. A light shines at her forehead, though.

8
DG: Neriah Parringer has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Memory Analysis Spike.
<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

A...medical facility? Ambrosius frowns slightly, looking it over. Hm...there could be useful supplies here, but other than that, he isn't sure. He begins to investigate the area carefully...and as he moves, he gets the sensation of danger. He whirls toward Neriah suddenly...

...but he's too late.

The arm grips her, sticking a needle into his neck. Ambrosius grimaces. For a moment, he was concerned that it might have killed her...but no, she is still very much alive. They will need to remove the arm, then.

An Aqua Cutter...would be far too dangerous and reckless here. Ambrosius is familiar with this variety of technology, but he has never before had to work on it in this kind of situation...

"Hold her steady. Do not allow her to make any sudden movements." He says. It's a firm and steady order - unlike the Ambrosius they may be familiar with.

He reaches into his bags, drawing out some tools. He goes to work on the arm, very carefully trying to dismantle it piece by piece rather than endanger Neriah by attempting to pry it off of her. He'll need a steady hand...but even that may not be enough.

DG: Ambrosius has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Memory Analysis Spike.
<Pose Tracker> Iskandra Grendorre has posed.

Iskandra has seen that 8 before from Neriah, and her response is immediate and as gentle as she can be. She leans over Neriah and forces a hug, a hug that is intended to accomplish roughly three things. First, immobilize Neriah so pulling out the needle is more easily doable. Two, comfort Neriah to try to ensure Neriah doesn't go berserk. Three, ensure she gets plenty advance warning if Neriah does go berserk. "We're here. It'll be okay. Focus on us." She says softly, gently.

DG: Iskandra Grendorre has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Memory Analysis Spike.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Yarobeleedt doesn't even notice for some time that Ambrosius and the rest have found an open bit of paneling in which to keep going. He is so utterly self-absorbed that he comes just shy of being squished before he acknowledges that the rest have gone on and found a way through without him.

He arrives to the blood-curdling, terrified shrieking of a young woman whose very voice at that volume and intensity sends shivers down his... does he have a spine? Let's just say the shivers get tossed around various couriers who try their damndest to deliver these shivers out of professional pride and honor, and will not return them to sender.

He flattens up against a wall, watching as Ambrosius gets to work... and oozes around the perimeter of this room, forever spoiling its sterile cleanliness with the little trails of whatever the hell it is this thing excretes. For a moment, he looks into Neriah's wide, terror-filled eyes.

The hooded figure freezes, locking eyes into hers while the winged Hellion tries to give the trapped Neriah a hug.

...

He darts up suddenly to Ambrosius' side as he gets to work on gentle removal.

"Yes. Yes. Unmove care lots." He... seems to be on the same page?? For once?! Is that even possible? Sleeves go up the large arm, and scraping noises follow in his attempt to gently disassemble it.

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Memory Analysis Spike.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Memory Analysis Spike *>======================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 The next door leads into a medical facility. Rows of empty sickbeds can be    
 found here, with cabinets, chairs, and consoles that doctors were meant to    
 use. A large storage closet is located in the back of the room. Robotic       
 arms, containing a variety of medical tools, hang from the ceiling -- likely  
 meant to assist in caring for the patients here. The entire room is spotless  
 and seemingly unused, though eerily clean. Even thousands of years later,     
 this room has stayed sterile.                                                 
                                                                               
 As you enter, though, one of your party is quite unfortunate. A large arm     
 swings down and slams a lengthy syringe directly into one of your necks.      
 Lights on the arm begin to pulse -- and the afflicted person has the strange  
 and terrifying sensation of having their memories activated, bringing to      
 mind particular individuals of import from their background. Lights on the    
 arm flash, and a beeping can be heard from it -- and from a station on the    
 wall.                                                                         
                                                                               
 The arm needs to be removed, quickly but carefully. While the syringe is not  
 lethal, it could be disastrous if the arm is removed carelessly.              
                                                                               
 OOC: It is strongly recommended that the person who is stabbed GM the next    
 card.                                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Injure======================================
=============================<* Ash Hare - Round 6 *>=============================
=======================< Results - Memory Analysis Spike >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ambrosius                           81 --(25)--> 106               Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yarobeleedt                         81 --(25)--> 106               Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neriah Parringer                    76 --(25)--> 101               Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iskandra Grendorre                  86 --(25)--> 111               Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------
Leader: Ambrosius                   85 --(0)--> 85                 Fail
Conditions: Injure(2)|Overzealous(2)|Weaken(1)
Effects: 
================================< Dream Chasers >=================================
DG: Ambrosius is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Yarobeleedt is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Neriah Parringer is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Iskandra Grendorre is too exhausted to continue!
DG: The party has failed this challenge! All party members are now Exhausted. This attempt is over.
DG: The party led by Ambrosius has been fully Exhausted by Ash Hare!
DG: The party will now draw a conclusion.
==================================<* Ash Hare *>==================================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Medical Evacuation *>=======================
|Type: Landmark    |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
----------------------------< Challenge Information: >----------------------------
 Unfortunately, a number of injuries have been taken -- or, at least, enough   
 exhaustion that one should leave. However, Ash Hare is well-stocked with      
 medical supplies. While some of those are needed by you, and a full haul      
 can't be carried out, before you leave, you can manage to get a few to        
 recoup some of the losses of this venture and perhaps return in the future.   
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

It's hard to tell if Neriah's going to go berserk, or if something else is going on. Iskandra hugging her seems to help. She sucks in a rasping breath, then another, her eyes still wide and dazed. "Bow and embrace him," she repeats, her voice pinched and barely recognizable. "Bow and embrace him. Only. Seven. Bow and embrace him. Ahh-- Iskandra-- can only be---" Her throat tightens up as she struggles to articulate anything more than a hideous, frog-like gurgle.

The cascade of memories pours through her like a river she can't stop. THE CHAINS OF ARIUS ARE YOURS TO BREAK.

Struggling with the arm, even delicately, proves impossible. Reinforcing servos brace the thing; they hold it in place like a vicegrip.

"No... no don't," Neriah babbles suddenly, her eyes flying open with a surge of understanding.

tell me! she says as she approaches the vast face. please, tell me! who are you?! what chains are you talking about?! why do i have this power?!

NUMBER ONE holds his arms wide and laughs a deep, dreadful laugh. OH NO. NO NO NO. NOT YET.

FIRST, DAUGHTER OF ARIUS, YOU MUST BOW AND EMBRACE HIM.

but--

Ambrosius, the technologically-inclined one, finally manages to release a spring. An arm servo relaxes - and the needle retracts, the arm folding back up into the ceiling.

Neriah slouches forward, her eyes rolling back in her head. She hits the floor with a thump, blood oozing from her neck and mouth.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Yarobeleedt keeps a hold of the part of the arm he's working on. There's a soft giggling there that's not too reassuring to anyone as Ambrosius seems to find a way to loosen it from Neriah. It begins to retract and fold back up to the ceiling...

"No! Nononono. Give! Give." He protests, as he is pulled up towards the ceiling. As tends to be the case, Yarobeleedt ends up wedging himself into a gap in the ceiling, where he flails for a while as he continues to fight the mysterious, nefarious device to try and claim it for himself.

It's okay to leave him behind and seek rest and relaxation without him. He'll find his own way out.

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

As Ambrosius works, he can hear Neriah muttering...something. It's hard to make it out, and it doesn't quite...sound like Neriah.

Eventually, however, he manages to make the arm release her, and Neriah falls forward. He moves to try and catch her, though he doesn't quite succeed.

With a frown he kneels down by her side, moving to check her pulse, to ensure that she was still alive. This was...problematic. With Neriah in this condition, it would be unwise to continue forward. They would have to stop here for now...but at the very least they were somewhere with medical supplies they could use.