2018-04-01: Seeds of Hope

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===============================<* East Nota *>================================

Once two towns on opposite banks of a large river, East and West Nota are now a single city bound by a large bridge spanning both banks. Both halves of the city are laid out on sprawling terraces carved out of a large hill (some suggest by the Goddess herself). Stone stairs link the terraces to each other; the average Notan spends a good deal of her day climbing.

East Nota marks the border separating the heart of the Meribus continent from the more lawless lands to the east. It serves as a large commercial hub where residents of the eastlands can still experience a taste of what some would call civilization.

Althena's Guard maintains a significant detachment here, ostensibly to discourage banditry, but local rumours suggest the Goddess is preparing to extend her reach and call her recalcitrant children home.
DG: A party led by Jacqueline Barber is now entering Flooded Cavern.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Ride the Rapids *>=======================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The entrance to the Flooded Cavern has crumbled away from the wall of this    
 river valley, erosion opening up an irregular fissure in the rock face that   
 opens up into the cave. However, scaling the sheer cliff to descend to the    
 opening is impossible. The only way to approach it is from the small town a   
 ways upriver, by boat - and that means braving a series of rapids in this     
 river canyon. The water gutters and gushes across submerged and               
 semi-submerged rocks, making passage to the cavern perilous - but beyond the  
 rapids, the cave mouth lies. Can you navigate your boats through the rapids   
 to reach the cave?                                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Word had reached Jacqueline's ears of a cave network that had been recently uncovered. Part of the stone encasing it had been eroded away by the river that flowed into it, creating entrance. Ordinarily this would be interesting, but not particularly worth investigation. However, there were rumors of manmade structures within the cavern - structures that were not found in any recordings.

That was enough to attract Jacqueline's attention.

Rumors of a vicious 'Cave Dragon' were alarming...but Jacqueline was confident that they could deal with it. Besides, a creature like that...it should probably be investigated.

And so, Jacqueline put out requests for assistance - primarily within her own circle, but she had put a few feelers out in various towns to see if there was anyone else interested in this adventure.

And thus, that brings us to the present. The only way to the ruin was by boat. Jacqueline had obtained three of them, two people for each boat. The rapids are a little treacherous, with stones near-hidden throughout the way, but with luck it should be too difficult a journey.

"Be careful, everyone...if you need help, let Kourin or myself know immediately. We may be able to freeze the water..." Jacqueline says. Kourin was probably better at it than she was, especially considered Jacqueline only had the one Crest.

For Jacqueline's part, she tries to concentrate. She has a closeness with earth, and tries to somewhat feel outmentally where they may be rocks lying in wait for them to steer around.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Rapid Remedy toward her party's challenge, Ride the Rapids.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius sure has been busy lately. Not long ago he went along down to Glenwood to answer one of Matilda's calls for helping hands to investigate a place. What he saw, what he found... probably only makes sense to him, other than leaving confusion and unease in his wake. (This is sort of an everyday happening with him, isn't it?)
        Ethius is in one of the three rented boats. He already has the Hot Air Sack deployed as he grips tightly onto the boat to help with stability as they all navigate the rapids. This means the hand doing the gesticulations for the spell in question is inside the sack proper, which is a little dangerous if it turns out he needs to keep casting the motions over and over, rapidfire, for any hard corrections in course.
        Otherwise, he says little. (He has an excuse, Symbology requires chanting too.)

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Hot Air Sack toward his party's challenge, Ride the Rapids.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
Rebecca being neither famous nor infamous on Filgaia on account of not hitting it big yet isn't even using a different name for her cover on Lunar. But that doesn't mean if people ask her where she's from she won't hedge her bets and say 'a small town far from here.'
 
If people recognize her as the girl that hangs around Dean and Avril, she'll shrug and look sheepish, not the type to deny it.
 
Her ARM is concealed a little better though, her holster worn beneath her vest.
 
Rebecca whistles as if impressed by the river and it's rapids. "Wow. Never seen a river this fierce back home." Flourishing her oar dramatically before dropping it down, she grins to the others, "But if we're careful with our rowing shouldn't be a problem right?"
 
And since Dean isn't here - she's not worried about people being careful. Because the average Adventurer/Drifter isn't like Dean at all. They do things carefully and methodically to avoid death.
 
Alighting into her boat, she began to row until it got especially fierce. Thanks to her naturally instinct when it comes to moving her body though, she's getting the hang of the oars fairly quickly in how it comes to braving the rapids. Shifting her oar around tirelessly around to try to put them where they need to go.
 
Still though - she gets a little panicked upon hearing the plan. "Whoa! Hey wait wouldn't that cause us to crash into the ice?!" She calls out to the expedition leader sounding a little panicked, focusing harder than ever on steering her boat to make certain it never gets into that kind of trouble.
 

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ride the Rapids.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin's been busy lately too. She, too, travelled to Glenwood, though in her case to get a new rapier forged, finer than the worn blade she'd been using till now. She is crouched in the boat she rides in, the glove that she has taken to wearing on her left hand removed for the moment as she dips the fingers of her icy hand into the water, apparently curious to the sensation. She is ready to assist should it become necessary for anyone, and her right hand is on the tiller of the little boat as she steers deftly.

Spirit is a good dog and is sitting in the middle of the boat, staying still and not rocking it.

DG: Kourin has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ride the Rapids.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

        When Cyre heard that they'd be going into some kind of horrible underground cave system, he decided to let his parachute rest back at home for some of his repairwork to have a chance to set. This, Cyre now knows, was probably a mistake. Sure, it could be worse. They could be navigating the ravine from above rather than from below but...

Well.

There are certain stereotypes about cats and water, aren't there?

"You don't have to tell me twice," Cyre calls back at Jay. He grunts, ramming an oar down into the raging rapids to try and turn his kayak to and fro. This isn't the first time he's been on a boat like this, but it's not exactly his prefered means of travel. "Keep your eyes out for white water. That's where the rocks are closest to the surface. The water's faster where it's clearer, but it's safer too. Stay sharp, everyone!"

He squints over at Ethius briefly.

Damnit. Regrets!

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Ride the Rapids.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren is hanging around in Rebecca's boat. She is neither famous nor infamous though she spends a lot of time with avril and dean which is kind of infamous in its own regard. She sits in Rebecca's boat and looks at her. She seems to be trying to be creepy but since she lost her rock head, she is only able to look adorable. A great sacrifice was paid the day she lost her Asteroid Head.

"Heh heh heh..." Lydia tells Rebecca as she starts to worry. "Don't you worry about it. Because I..." She draws out her portal pistols. "Have a plan!"

Oh no.

She fires a portal out in front of the boat they're in and then walks up to the head of the boat, aiming it for where the entrance of the cavern is. She then fires a portal THERE so that they can skip most of this nonsense.

Or at least that's the plan. With a smirk, Lydia snaps her pistols back to her side, holstering them. "Easy peasy," She tells Rebecca before squinting at the first portal. "Huh."

She squints more. "...It seems the portal actually went underneath the water and now the water is sinking in and..." Her eyes widen and she quickly lays down on her belly and grabs a firm hold of the side of the boat.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Portal Pistols toward her party's challenge, Ride the Rapids.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Ride the Rapids *>=======================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The entrance to the Flooded Cavern has crumbled away from the wall of this    
 river valley, erosion opening up an irregular fissure in the rock face that   
 opens up into the cave. However, scaling the sheer cliff to descend to the    
 opening is impossible. The only way to approach it is from the small town a   
 ways upriver, by boat - and that means braving a series of rapids in this     
 river canyon. The water gutters and gushes across submerged and               
 semi-submerged rocks, making passage to the cavern perilous - but beyond the  
 rapids, the cave mouth lies. Can you navigate your boats through the rapids   
 to reach the cave?                                                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
========================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 1 *>========================
========================< Results - Ride the Rapids >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Rapid Remedy                        1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  0 --(15)--> 15                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(15)--> 15                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Hot Air Sack                        2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Portal Pistols                      2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber 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.

Jacqueline certainly recognizes Rebecca, but she doesn't question her on it. She assumes that if she's on her own, there must be a reason for it. She does send her an apologetic smile when she starts to panic a little, though.

"Potentially, yes, but don't worry. It's only in case of emergencies - just in case something does happen and we need an alternate plan." She replies.

Fortunately, they have experienced kayakers with them. She glances toward Cyre and nods, taking his information into consideration. With Jacqueline rowing, Kourin steering, and Spirit being a Good Boy, their craft manages to make it to the other side without any difficulties.

The other two aren't quite so lucky.

Cyre takes his attention off of the water for just a liiittle too long. By this time, Lydia has decided to enact her Plan. A portal is sent into her boat, and toward the entrance of the cavern...

Thereby accidentally starting to flood the former. On the plus side, this does lower the water level just a bit - just enough to make some of the stones more visible. But it also makes the boat a little harder to control, and they may or may not end up bumping into the boat containing Cyre and Ethius.

There may be a Mishap, but both boats do end up making it to the entrance to the caverns in one piece.

"Oh dear...is everyone alright? Here, hold on, I've got a few potions to warm you all back up..." Jacqueline says, quickly passing out a few bottles to everyone.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================================<* Flooded Cavern *>==================================================
=============================================<* CHALLENGE - Water Wisps *>==============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The sound of quiet sighs and groans echoes across the roof and walls of this  
 cavern, waist-deep with rushing water. As you wade through it, the surface    
 of the water breaks. Whispy haze streams from below, coalescing into          
 rippling balls of ectoplasm easily as wide around as a man. Amidst the        
 phantom flames, leering mouths and empty eyes take shape, and the sighing     
 sounds give way to wicked shrieks and echoing cackles as the entities close   
 in with plasmic fangs and bolts of ghostly energy!                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        The rapids had a few... interesting situations happen. That is not quite yet the end of it.
        The waters grow calmer as all three boats approach. Ethius lets the sorcery-powered heat dissipate naturally as the Hot Air Sack deflates, to be stashed away for a later use as the boats drift closer to somewhere they can dock. There are several stalagmites that can work perfectly as something to tie said boats to, once they get there.
        The visibility grows dimmer as they approach. There is a 'whooshing' noise that sees Ethius turn his head. He may not be alone in that response.
        The 'whoosh' becomes more of a 'wailing' that echoes across the walls, and the stalactite-filled ceiling. Could that be someone crying for help, further inside? Some may be compelled to move immediately to their aid. Ethius doesn't seem to be one of these people.
        He sharply recoils when the water below them ripples, waves bending into unnatural shapes as a whispy smoke emerges and forms into spherical ectoplasm about as large as any of them - three spheres' worth, in fact.
        They ignite, casting a ghastly cyan hue across the darkened mouth of the cavern, maws drawing open as they drip (bleed?) unsightly cyan energy. Two slits that make up awful parodies of eyes bear down on all three boats.
        "Move." Comes Ethius' directions as he fills the cavern with a smaller, dimmer light from the geometrical patterns cast from the activation of Symbology. Those familiar know why - this one's a spell to activate a smoke bomb from one of the satchels at his belt, to strike at the fire-water-sphere-ghost-things as an opening for the rest to do what they will.
        They have yet to leave their boats.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, Water Wisps.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin leads off with a rimebomb, one of the blue clay spheres she imbues with ice magic--the same thing that scarred her hand. Hurling it at the spirits, she does not draw her sword--this is not the time for it. Instead, she follows up with more ice magic, casting frost and rime at the water sprites!

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Rimebomb toward her party's challenge, Water Wisps.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
"Oh no we're gonna-"
 
PORTAL
 
"-Holy-"
 
Rebecca's Travel Diary later: So who wouldn't have thought that ARMs like that existed that can take someone from one place to another? I mean I've been in all sorts of crazy ruins where that's happened - but firing it out of a gun? Amazing! I wonder if I could incorporate guns like that in my act. Hmmm.
 
        I close my eyes
        as I climb my way
        through a portal.
 
        A leap of faith
        to the magic place
        this maiden seeks.
 
        What will I find
        on the other side
        if not you my prince...
 
Back to now - "Ohmigosh. We're already - we made it through... I don't believe it... we could have... and you..."
 
Rebecca sinks down into the bottom of the boat, clutching a hand against herself and exhaling her relief. Soon enough she's smiling again.
 
As she leaps out of the boat and sets down her oar, she asks Lydia, "Say what'd you say your name was again? I'm Rebecca by the way. Thanks for... well, saving my bacon there."
 
She makes it a habit to get to know reliable people, before rubbing the nape of her neck, and smiling at Jay, "Think I'm alright - so save mine for someone else. Didn't think I'd be for a while there." She points a thumb Lydia's way as if pointing out again she's responsible.
 
Into the caverns though, her boots splashing through the water, weaving around stalactites - the wispy haze may have phantom flames - but it sure came out of water. "Yeah you don't need to tell me twice that we need to find a better spot to deal with these..."
 
She's a little wary of Ethius but... right now the advice is sound. She makes a running break for it. It might even seem like she's going to run right on by - and then she turns around, surreptitiously pulling her medium.
 
"Let's light a fire in your hearts."
 
Even a flooded place like this still has fire ley points, marked by shallower places. And even though they're lit by phantom fire - they came from the water right? There's logic to why she picked this strategy.
 
And that's why she suddenly just blasted all of the wisps with the invoked medium - causing a small localized blast of fire right where they are.
 

DG: Rebecca Streisand has used her Tool Sky Medium toward her party's challenge, Water Wisps.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre lands in the mouth of the cavern almost soaked entirely through. Numerous jokes could be made about his present state, but none will. This is a classy roleplaying establishment.

More importantly.

THIS IS ALL LYDIA'S FAULT.

"Uuugh," Cyre groans, rubbing at the side of his head as he gathers his bearings... Only to find that he's staring down a trio of strange, blazing spheres of watery essence. This is... Familiar. How, though...? "The thing under Wayside...?" Cyre murmurs, then shakes his head. "NO, that's not quite right. Okay! Here we go--"

Rebecca... Does what Cyre had already planned!

Damnit.

"Well, whatever," Cyre gestures forth. An array of arcane circles assemble all around him before disgorging a continuous volley of prismatic energy. "Solais Emsu," he growls, "Grant me the power I need. Cleanse this corruption!"

                              CELESTIAL LORE!

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Water Wisps.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"If you insist..." Jacqueline replies with a nod toward Rebecca, stowing the potion away once more and handing one over to Lydia instead. Before they have much time to get their bearings in this place, however, a wailing gets Jacqueline's attention.

Spirits emerge from the water, and they're clearly aggressive. Fortunately, a Powder Grenade erupts around them, giving everyone an opportunity to act. Jacqueline reaches into her coat and brandishes one of her Crest Graphs.

Rubble and loose stone, infused with energy, pries itself away and goes flying toward the spirit, looking to damage and disrupt their incorporeal forms.

Ordinarily she would use lightning for creatures like this, but...

...Well, she gets the feeling that may not be the wisest idea, considering their current location.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Water Wisps.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Yaaahhh---!" Lydia screams as the boat tips through the portal like a Disney Land ride before it washes ashore shortly thereafter. Lydia continues holding her body close to the boat for a few moments before she blinks, looks up, and hten laughs awkwardly. "Haha...yeah...yeah... that was...what I expected would happen. Ha ha ha...ha..."

Lydia's Science Diary Later: UWAAAAAAAAAAH! I thought we were going to die! I was so scaaaaaared!! I'm never doing that again!!!

"Lydia Seren. Nice to uh, meet you properly Becca!" Lydia manages. She glances back down to the pistols and then back to Rebecca but whatever she's thinking of is unspoken for the moment.

"I'm uh. I'm okay." Lydia manages. She's not being entirely honest but she feels awkward taking Rebecca's kindness so readily after that episode. She feels like she cheated. Then again, the portal DID help if in a slightly more exciting way than Lydia expected.

She jumps back a bit as phantom flames appear. Her eyes widen and she thinks, "I don't know if I can..." She ducks under a bolt of ghostergy. "Gah! I guess I'll try--"

She uses MYSTIC on Rebecca hoping to heal her up a bit but she just ends up extending the duration of Rebecca's buffs.

Should've read the patch notes Lydia!!

She does get a good view of Rebecca being awesome though. "W-woah...! I didn't know you could do that!" She thought rebecca was mostly skilled at solving puzzles in the background while Avril and Dean did the fighting!!

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Water Wisps.
==================================================<* Flooded Cavern *>==================================================
=============================================<* CHALLENGE - Water Wisps *>==============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The sound of quiet sighs and groans echoes across the roof and walls of this  
 cavern, waist-deep with rushing water. As you wade through it, the surface    
 of the water breaks. Whispy haze streams from below, coalescing into          
 rippling balls of ectoplasm easily as wide around as a man. Amidst the        
 phantom flames, leering mouths and empty eyes take shape, and the sighing     
 sounds give way to wicked shrieks and echoing cackles as the entities close   
 in with plasmic fangs and bolts of ghostly energy!                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright===================================================
=============================================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 2 *>=============================================
===============================================< Results - Water Wisps >================================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Rimebomb                            3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  15 --(5)--> 20                 Pass
Sky Medium                          3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     15 --(5)--> 20                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Powder Grenade                      3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         5 --(5)--> 10                  Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >----------------------------------------------
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber 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.
[OOC] Lydia Seren says, "lydia is an anxious wreck BECAUSE rebecca thinks lydia's cool"
[OOC] Rebecca Streisand says, "Hahaha"
[OOC] Cyre H. Lorentz says, "Lydia, afeared"
[OOC] Rebecca Streisand says, "'You fucked up a perfectly good shaman Rebecca. Look at her, she's got anxiety.'"
[OOC] Jacqueline Barber says, "Aw, poor Lydia..."
[OOC] Lydia Seren says, "she always had! its just when people are jerks her 'screw you' switch gets activated"
[OOC] Lydia Seren says, "(or she's eventually chilled out but i digress)"
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Whatever strong feelings these phantoms harbor to keep themselves tethered here, they could not possibly have been prepared for what they face.
        Through the smoke clouds, Kourin throws down a rime bomb that not only freezes them to the core - it sticks more of the ambient dust particles to them. From there, the rest of the team gets to work in dismantling this disabled threat. Rebecca and Cyre both find fire ley points to work with, borrowing power from Solais Emsu - the Guardian of the Sky - and utterly annihilate one in tandem. Jay's contribution is a bit less overkill but no less effective for it, shattering another into tiny pieces. Soon enough, everyone will have disembarked the boats to reposition in case there's more.
        There isn't.
        One of them remains frozen, a perfect rollable sphere, their otherworldy sneer now some kind of permanent rictus grin. So thoroughly frozen, it can no longer hurt anyone. It can also be pushed around and ahead, suggesting it may be an important puzzle piece in the near future!
        ...Or maybe it should be smashed while it's still frozen, just to be safe.
        Either way it rolls in vicinity of where Lydia's feet will be, so she can feel free to kick it around for amusement as Ethius tends to tying the boat he came on to one of the stalagmites.
[OOC] Ethius Hesiod says, "who's got next?"

DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=============================================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 2 *>=============================================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Swept Away *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The rush of river water into this cavern comes fast and violent, the water    
 flowing at incredible speed towards a steep falloff at the far end of the     
 cavern - an enormous waterfall plunging into the cave depths. However,        
 working your way across the few footholds here is precarious. Inevitably,     
 someone's going to slip - but it comes with help, as a dog-sized Cave Shark   
 pops up out of the water and knocks one of your party members into the        
 raging current!                                                               
                                                                               
 The powerful surge of the water makes swimming a challenge. It's bound to     
 sweep your party member towards that waterfall. With slick footing for those  
 on land to contend with and that waterfall drawing ever closer, can you save  
 your party member from going over the edge?                                   
                                                                               
 Choose a party member to be swept along with the current! If you fail this    
 challenge, you may choose to honour the spirit of the card by having that     
 party member wash up for the next challenge, but unable to use a Tool for     
 that round.                                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Overwhelm, Treasure================================
[OOC] Rebecca Streisand says, "AND THEN AN AGILITY FOUR"
[OOC] Jacqueline Barber says, "Oh no!!"
[OOC] Lydia Seren says, "daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn"
[OOC] Cyre H. Lorentz sob
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia does start playing hacky sack with the frozen will o wisp but eventually just holds it because it's kinda hard to walk in this cavern while knocking a ball of ice about with your feet. She wasn't too great in a fight but, to be honest, while she has held her own against Metal Demons, she isn't really a fighter by nature. Periodically she glances over towards Rebecca, looking down with slight redness in her cheeks.

Unfortunately, the frozen will of wisp is way too cool for Lydia to just...abandon so she stuffs it in her pack while it becomes apparent she'll need both hands as the sound of powerful rushing water is heard well before you acutally see it.

Indeed, as the team starts crawling along the side of the wall, using handholds, Lydia strains to reach the next hand hold with her arms before--

--a shark leaps out of the water and tailslaps her into the water.

"Uwaaa!!" Lydia fires portals randomly in a panic as she tries to stay afloat.

Which is hard.

...because Lydia doesn't know how to swim. Soon, she's sinking into the water and not getting out of it, though one can see the occassional hand here and there poking out and being swept further along towards a scary looking waterfall!

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Portal Pistols toward her party's challenge, Swept Away.
(New BB Message (2/47) posted to 'Announcements' by Sheriff Star: +vote changes)
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is fortunately prepared for such emergencies! She has a trick rope! It's magical! It coils out at her command and begins snaking towards Lydia, so she can grab hold of it and be rescued!

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Trick Rope toward her party's challenge, Swept Away.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre will have to have a chat with that other Solais Emsu summoner. It seems like there's a surfeit of skylaser conjurers amongst the Drifter community. Maybe it's just because of the allure of the bright, blue, open sky towards those who naturally find themselves drawn to this line of work? Or maybe sky lasers are just really, really cool.

Truly, of the Guardians, Solais Emsu understands best... That ultimately, humanity's greatest flaw is... That it has a criminally short attention span and is easily attracted to sources of bright shiny lights and superior firepower.

A rush of water. Cyre can mull over those mysteries later.

Something is happening.

"Lydia!" Cyre yells, leaping suddenly out of his boat and only too late realizes that he has no parachute. Damnit. Doesn't matter. The shaman whispers a prayer to the Guardian of the Wind a moment before he hits the water. Fengalon answers.

But not in the way one might expect.

Torrents of wind explode from the palms of the shaman's hands and the soles of his feet. A plume of cavitating bubbles surrounds him, blasting water out of his way as he goes rocketing after the struggling beastwoman. "Hold on, I'm coming!" Cyre yells.

Unfortunately, he's underwater.

So it really just sounds like 'Hrmblblblblblilmlbmclmbbmmble'

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Swept Away.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
"Hey it's a real pleasure- Lydia." She'd said to Lydia.
 
Rebecca makes a gesture like she's tipping some phantom hat in the aftermath to Cyre - since she doesn't have her hat on for spelunking.
 
But then as they start crawling into the water...
 
"What the!? SHARK-"
 
And it tail slaps - Lydia!
 
Now. Rebecca had reflexes born from Acrobatics and refined from trying to prevent Dean from doing stupid things or saving him in the aftermath of doing stupid things a thousand times over.
 
Now granted this isn't someone doing something dumb, this is an entirely unpredictable hazard but it soon becomes obvious by Lydia's flailing
 
"Hang on! Try to- wait don't tell me you don't know how to swim!?"
 
Not knowing how to swim and adventuring in flooded caverns definitely qualifies.
 
But right now she's not thinking about that.
 
"Here hold this for me -" She says as she thrusts her pack at Jay, "-thanks!" Then she dives right in alongside Cyre - swimming frantically with the current to try and catch up to her.
 
Ordinarily she's not quite that selfless but she owes her one, and that makes her feel like it's her responsibility to do so.
 
She's a strong swimmer...
 
But that doesn't mean she isn't equally likely to get swept away. "STUPID-STUPID-STUPID!"
 
She says every so often - when she manages to catch a breath. You may think she's talking to Lydia - it sure sounds like it. But the reality is she's calling herself that.
 

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Swept Away.
(New BB Message (2/48) posted to 'Announcements' by Sheriff Star: April Fools!)
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius gets the harness of the Hot Air Sack on one of his hands before even attempting to sidle across the wall just in case anyone falls into the water. The relative peacefulness of their attempt to carefully navigate across narrow ledges is met with a crisis right out of the blue - literally, in the form of a Cave Shark takes a leap for Lydia and sends her into the drink.
        Ethius doesn't shout her name. That wastes precious seconds better spent casting the necessary Symbological incantation and gesticulation combination - once again having to use the hand inside the Hot Air Sack - to leap off and hover into action.
        This, alone, circumvents the core issue of the present crisis, which instead becomes a completely different problem as it relates to Ethius - his floating isn't very fast. It is reliable, but it is not fast. He keeps his legs curled up to minimize his odds of getting dragged in by another passing Cave Shark.
        "Miss Lydia," he tries to call as he hovers forward, if maybe not quite ahead of anyone else, "remain calm." That sounds like that should have an exclamation mark at the end, but...
        He reaches down with a hand as he sees others jump into the water. He can't discount the possibility they will need extraction, but he may be putting a bit too much faith into his own situation. What if he hits a stalactite?

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Hot Air Sack toward his party's challenge, Swept Away.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"L-Lydia..." Jacqueline says, as her friend just kind of...starts playing around with the frozen ghost. That seems...a little dangerous? What if it thaws? And then she puts it into her pack...

Jacqueline just sighs, and doesn't say anything. They'll deal with it later, if it becomes a problem. And so they continue on, with the path ahead becoming slippery and dangerous. Just as Jacqueline is about to suggest they find another way around...something pops out of the water and smacks Lydia into it.

"L-Lydia!" Jacqueline cries out in concern. Before she can do anything, she finds Rebecca thrusting her pack into her hands and leaping into the water after her, alongside Cyre.

"E-everyone..." Jacqueline murmurs. They didn't even hesitate to jump in to save her. They were loyal friends...but a little reckless. She finds herself desperately wishing she had access to her Earth Pillars right about now, but she had yet to continue her training with Cyre...

So, instead, she carefully shifts Rebecca's pack into one arm before drawing out a Crest and invoking it. It isn't much, but she attempts to replicate the effects of her Earth Pillars by freezing water solid, with hopes of creating something for them to grab onto.

It won't hold quite as effectively as earth would, though...

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Rapid Remedy toward her party's challenge, Swept Away.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=============================================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 2 *>=============================================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Swept Away *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The rush of river water into this cavern comes fast and violent, the water    
 flowing at incredible speed towards a steep falloff at the far end of the     
 cavern - an enormous waterfall plunging into the cave depths. However,        
 working your way across the few footholds here is precarious. Inevitably,     
 someone's going to slip - but it comes with help, as a dog-sized Cave Shark   
 pops up out of the water and knocks one of your party members into the        
 raging current!                                                               
                                                                               
 The powerful surge of the water makes swimming a challenge. It's bound to     
 sweep your party member towards that waterfall. With slick footing for those  
 on land to contend with and that waterfall drawing ever closer, can you save  
 your party member from going over the edge?                                   
                                                                               
 Choose a party member to be swept along with the current! If you fail this    
 challenge, you may choose to honour the spirit of the card by having that     
 party member wash up for the next challenge, but unable to use a Tool for     
 that round.                                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Overwhelm, Treasure================================
========================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 3 *>========================
=============================================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 2 *>=============================================
===========================< Results - Swept Away >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   10 --(15)--> 25                Fail
Rapid Remedy                        1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              10 --(10)--> 20                Pass
Trick Rope                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  20 --(15)--> 35                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     20 --(10)--> 30                Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       10 --(15)--> 25                Fail
Hot Air Sack                        2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         10 --(15)--> 25                Fail
Portal Pistols                      2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           40 --(10)--> 50                Fail
Conditions: Fright(1)|Overwhelm|Slow(2)|Treasure(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)|Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber 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> Lydia Seren has posed.

Don't worry. Lydia does dumb things too sometimes.

Ethius tells Lydia to stay calm and it seems like she's listening! Or drowning. Listening or drowning. Either way she isn't screaming anymore or thrashing wildly anymore. Ethius does manage to get Lydia by the hand but she's being pulled by rapids and he just ends up joining the drink WITH her.

Jay provides frozen pillars helpfully! Or at least it should be helpful but the frozen pillars are slippery so instead Lydia just bonks around the frozen pillars like a ping pong ball. Ethius might be joining Lydia in this fate.

Rebecca jumps into the water and learns that even if Lydia did know how to swim, swimming in freezing waters (now colder thanks to Jay) is actually not that easy. She is able to avoid being a ping pong ball but she isn't able to catch up to Lydia (and possibly Ethius).

Cyre jumps into the water too and realizes he doesn't have a parachute midjump. Woops. He successfully manages to catch up to the duo but unfortunately he manages to catch up at the waterfall. Kourin is able to catch Cyre and prevent him from tumbling off to the next challenge with everybody else.

Now off the edge we go!

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Fallen Column *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Peeking out from the natural cave walls, dusty and decaying masonry,          
 seemingly thousands of years old, presents itself. A few columns rear out of  
 the rocky, dirty ground here. One of them, however, has fallen at an angle    
 across the pathway ahead, blocking progress into the next cavern. You'll      
 simply have to manhandle it out of the way if you're going to move on!        
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

For a moment Jacqueline experiences despair as Lydia goes over the edge...but she takes a moment to steel herself. They couldn't give up just yet. This wasn't over.

"I know Lydia...she won't give up that easily." P-probably... "Let's keep going, we might be able to catch up to her if we hurry..."

Jacqueline says. With adrenaline behind her she clears the rest of the way and begins to move...but hurrying is more easily said than done, as they soon find a fallen column blocking their path. She hisses to herself and rummages in her bag before drawing out a few potions and passing them around to everyone.

"Here, this should help give you a bit of a boost...we need to take care of this quickly." She urges, then draws out a Crest. She invokes it, sending a burst of concussive force right at the obstruction.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Brewte Force toward her party's challenge, Fallen Column.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is...distressed. "Miss Lydia may not give up, but I still worry about her. She is...a strange companion, but one I have come to call friend..."

That is an admission and a half from Kourin, the girl who didn't have any friends at all a year ago!

She's not much for brute force musclyness, but she's also not the noodle-armed girl she was a year ago--sword training does get one into better shape, after all. It's just that Kourin's more about knowing how to get results by precision application of force, not through overpowering things.

In this case, it means she looks for the right spot to get the best leverage.

DG: Kourin has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Fallen Column.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Never Give Up Lydia.

She washes up into the next cavern, eyes closed, skin blue. She is just laying like that for a long moment before she suddenly starts coughing rapidly. She rolls around on her hands and knees, mouth wide, and she keeps coughing until she spits out a surprisingly large fish out of her mouth. It flops around on the ground for a bit before splashing back into the waters.

Lydia pants for breath for several moments before grasping at her body wondering why she decided to show off her midriff today. "Naggh..."

She shakes in place for the moment, unable to do much assistance though she does, after a long moment of frustration, throw a rock at the column, slowly managing to stand up when--

THE SHARK FROM BEFORE bursts back out of the water, mouth open wide with many sharp teeth of its own.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Fallen Column.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
Rebecca loses her momentum along the way to the ever-shifting rip currents that lash her against one of the rocks. Thankfully not knocking her out, but instead still smacking her good. That's the only time she takes a hit but - eventually she has to make her way for Kourin's lasso, shaking her head sadly.
 
As she pulls herself out in exhaustion.
 
The others are giving words of encouragement, but she's a pessimist- or a realist as she'd say. The idea that Lydia will just show back up...
 
Well the stories she loved worked out that way, but not real life.
 
She's quiet for a while, just rubbing herself for warmth looking a little upset.
 
When they get up to the column, Rebecca mills around towards the back of the group - examining the situation. It's heavy, but there are a few points where she thinks the right kind of impact might shift it.
 
Pulling the Pizzicato pistol, she aims the revolver at a stalacite overhead and squeezes off an expertly aimed shot in an attempt to make it fall. Which is when Lydia washes up.
 
"Lydia!?"
 
She says in surprise in the whiff of gunsmoke that follows, "You're alright! I thought for sure you were a-"
 
SHARK!
 
"-WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING!?"
 

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Fallen Column.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        ...Only for blood to spray out of its mouth as something spears through its head. The lower tip, covered in blood, scarce has enough lighting to give much more shape, form, or character to whatever it is that just impaled it.
        One just needs to look up instead, to see a soaking wet hooded ruffian(?) staring down upon the shark with the same lack of heightened emotion that often seems to characterize them most.
        They step off the shark, smoothly drawing their weapon - just a quarterstaff, but damn that looked more like something one would do with a spear - freeing one hand to flutter fingers as the syllables to some heat spell are barely heard through the bandanna around the lower half of their face. He steps ahead, back turned to the shark.
        They can hear smoldering. There is a faint light cast around and behind the Symbologist. It may be for the best that he is standing in the way of a clear view of what this man is doing to that creature.
        "It will no longer bring harm to any of you." So coldly states Ethius. He was dragged through the same journey right out of their eyes - he may well have been lost as much as Lydia might. (Evidently they never had reason to worry about him, er, in this specific capacity.)
        "Miss Lydia. Are you all right?" He doesn't look much better, what with blood soaking the sleeve around his left forearm and around his right hip. He must be in excruciating pain, logistically speaking. Apparently that is not the first thing on his mind.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Fallen Column.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre does not know how to swim. He does, however, know how to turn himself into a torpedo and careen off the side of a waterfall instead of being rescued ~at the last moment.~ This, as it turns out, is entirely according to plan.

The shaman slows his own fall with a burst of turbulent air. Cyre's lips draw up into a fierce snarl as things continuously get worse. Not just because Lydia looks like she has just caught a serious case of the drownings, but also because that damn shark just does not know when to quit.

Well.

One thing at a time.

"Lydia!" Cyre yells her name yet again, charging down on a jet of pressurized air to snatch her from the jaws of DEATH IN FISHY FORM. "You leave her alone, you waste of perfectly good fish meat!" Cyre turns and... Holds aloft a burning (!?!) censer full of pungent incense! It turns out that lasers will still light up preserved herbs just fine.

This might just be enough to distract the shark-- or maybe even drive it away with the stink.

Except then Ethius just straight up murders it.

"Damnit Ethius," Cyre sighs. "Don't get yourself killed too."

At least the vapors smell nice and make the body feel less... beat to crap!?

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Invigorating Vapors toward his party's challenge, Fallen Column.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Fallen Column *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Peeking out from the natural cave walls, dusty and decaying masonry,          
 seemingly thousands of years old, presents itself. A few columns rear out of  
 the rocky, dirty ground here. One of them, however, has fallen at an angle    
 across the pathway ahead, blocking progress into the next cavern. You'll      
 simply have to manhandle it out of the way if you're going to move on!        
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
========================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 4 *>========================
=========================< Results - Fallen Column >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   25 --(5)--> 30                 Pass
Brewte Force                        1   Brute   Effects: Fanfare and Strengthe
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              20 --(5)--> 25                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  35 --(5)--> 40                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     30 --(5)--> 35                 Pass
Invigorating Vapors                 1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       25 --(5)--> 30                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         25 --(5)--> 30                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Tire(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber 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.
DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Mucky Descent *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 There are far more hazards down here than rushing water, even in this area    
 where the water has slowed to a trickle. The caverns descend here to another  
 chamber far below. However, even the seepage in this area has reduced the     
 slope you'll need to traverse to a mucky, treacherous mess. A few slick       
 rocks jut out of the sloppy mud, a gruesome substance formed of river slime   
 and the dust of countless aeons. To step in it is to risk slipping down the   
 slope and tumbling down the hidden rocks below until you hit bottom.          
                                                                               
 Hope you brought a rope.                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia's face gradually looks more and more freaked out through the course of this exchange. When her head isn't a rock, it's a lot easier to read her emotions and it doesn't take a therapist to know she's had a very bad time. The shark, sure, but the drowning was probably even more pertanent. She really doesn't know how to swim. She lived in the desert. She never had the chance to learn how to swim.

Her body jerks as Ethius kills the heck out of that shark and her body starts shaking. She doesn't get any coherent words out to Ethius as she tries to answer him.

But after a few moments she does manage, "I'm...I'm okay." She looks over to Rebecca, and then down at the floor. She rubs at her eyes with her hand before saying, "'m okay."

She doesn't look back at Rebecca, staring down at the floor as she moves up to catch up with Jay.

"I'm okay," She repeats over and over. "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay." She is still shivering and still practically frozen, but sheknows they can't just dally around. She avoids looking directly at Rebecca. Why is it?

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

In the hopes of meeting back up with their lost companion, the party brings everything they have against the fallen column. Truth be told, the column itself isn't much of a problem. Jacqueline's sorcery crashes into it, creating a fissure in it. Rebecca fires off a bullet at a stalactite above the column, bringing it down on top of it. It doesn't quite split the thing in two, but it does damage it enough that Kourin can find the right leverage to move it out of the way.

And that's when they see Lydia just beyond the column, being attack with another shark. Cyre moves in to try to drive it off with his incense...but that isn't necessary.

Ethius, who had also disappeared over the waterfall, very thoroughly deals with the problem. Ordinarily Jacqueline would be a little disturbed by this level of violence, but in this situation, she doesn't comment on it.

Instead she rushes over to Lydia's side.

"Oh, Lydia...!" Jacqueline murmurs, worry and concern evident in her voice. After drawing out some key potions she removes her coat and hands it over to Lydia alongside one of the warming potions she might recognize from Zulan.

"Here, take this. And as for you..." She turns to Ethius and draws out a potion, offering it to him. "...Thank you."

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
Rebecca turns her revolver on it soon enough - but it's already taken care of. She casts a look at Ethius, then at the thing again.
 
Then holsters her ARM roughly. Taking her pack back from Jay she takes out a fur shawl she'd had up in Mount Zulan draping it over her shoulders as she notices her shivering.
 
"Hey here. You can borrow this until you're warm again. And drink whatever she gives you." She knew Jay's reputation at least. But she's pretty gentle when she mothers her. "Don't scare us like that alright?"
 
After all, Lydia is not Dean. So until she starts seeing a pattern of this behavior she's not about to harangue her...
 
It's not long after that she's looking at Ethius again... speculatively.
 

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Lydia... Lydia is not in good shape. The fact that she's still pale, shivering, and looking vaguely like she might be going into the early stages of hypothermia is not helping. He nods gratefully at Rebecca for her aid, but... There's something else they can do, isn't there? "Jay," Cyre calls over to the Team Leader and apothecary. "She's looking like she's kind of in a bad way. You got anything in there that can help?"

Cyre glances up at the cascade surging down from where they had just came through. Ain't no way they were going to be getting back up that thing, so...

The only way out... Is forward.

"Let's keep moving. Sooner we can get out of here, the better." Unfortunately, past the collapsed column is... A water-slicked, muddy slope. Not just slippery, but sticky in spots too; it would be trivial to get your boot stuck in a patch of thick mud and end up tumbling painfully all the way down.

...But fortunately, they have a rope, don't they!?

Cyre frowns, gradually easing his way down the slope. Man, of all the times to leave the parachute behind...

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Mucky Descent.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia quaffs the warming potion pretty quickly. So quickly in ffact she nearly chokes on it. After coughing a few times she finishes off the rest of it and seems considerably better. "Thanks." She tells Jay. Naturally, she returns the hug. She can't help it. Jayh as mompowers, you know.

She doesn'ts eem to be in much shape to try using those pistols again. She keeps them firmly at her side and gets pampered instead. She does finally look back to Rebecca when she places the fur shawl over her body. She exhales once and says, "I'm sorry." to her. "I'm really...not that..."

She can't finish that so she instead adds, "There wasn't any water for me to swim in." to Rebecca. "...I don't want it to hold me back..." She takes another swig of the warming potion. "But you're pretty good at it. Can you. um."

She can't finish that either.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"I am glad you are okay, Miss Lydia. I worried. You are...a friend, after all." Kourin inclines her head to the shaken Lydia, acknowledging her. Then she nods to Ethius as well, silently thanking him for his part. She trusts he knows her well enough by now that the wordless communication will be understood.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Mucky Descent.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Lydia, still very clearly in shock, would see Ethius move after her as she goes to Jay.
        He can't go far before the wound to his hip reminds him that it was not a trivial wound he suffered. He comes shy of falling flat on his face only through the grace of having a quarterstaff for balance. Jay comes with the timely assist with some medicine, as others move in to see to the Star Shaman's well-being. He is wordless towards her thanks. Indeed, Kourin is full aware of how he is willing to communicate things wordlessly - the two seem to have a semblance of understanding there.
        "Mister Cyre," Ethius remarks a little too calmly for his present situation of a harrowing near-death experience and a smoldering shark corpse behind him probably stinking up this cavern to high heaven, "the situation has been handled." Nothing, at all, looked 'handled' about how he got pulled under the water and off the waterfall with her, but that stare of his remains.
        Wrapping his elbow around the vertically oriented quarterstaff, Ethius gets open Jay's potion, and struggles to roll up the sleeve of the injured arm in which to apply portions of said potion. When Rebecca peeks, she can see the variety of Symbological tattoos running up what's visible of his arm under the blood - and also his return stare back towards her. His stare is less speculative. It is not a very inviting stare. It's the same look of a man who just got done coldly murdering a Cave Shark with an efficiency and confidence that seems to be a step beyond the idea of acceptance that some monsters have to meet untimely ends for everyone's sake. Its blood still coats the part of the quarterstaff balanced against the ground.
        He'll be a short while dressing his wounds with Jacqueline's potions... and also because he needs to wring the water out of the Hot Air Sack and give it a good shake-up before he dares consider utilizing it once more.
        He's not too confident in the results. He gets the harness on around his wrist just in case, but otherwise doesn't deploy it as he sizes up the next drop. He has to move slow through the muddy slope. His qaurterstaff could catch him from the absolute worst case scenario of slipping, if not painlessly, as he makes his way at his own pace.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Mucky Descent.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline stays by Lydia's side until she's certain she'll be alright, and offers her a warm smile. Especially when she returns that hug. And Rebecca, for her assistance, gets a smile and a nod.

"Thank you, Miss Rebecca." She says appreciatively.

This would normally be the place where she decides it's time to take a break and recover after their ideal...but as the recent incident just proved, they weren't exactly safe here. If they wanted to rest, they would need to move on and try to find a safer place to do so.

The way forward is a rather slippery descent, slicked with mud and water both in ways that combine to make things even worse. Fortunately, they do in fact have a rope.

When Jacqueline makes her way down, it's slowly, but sure-of-foot. She may not necessarily be the quickest, but if there was one thing she was confident in, it was her stability. ...Usually.

She also has potions on hand, just in case anyone does end up slipping.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Rapid Remedy toward her party's challenge, Mucky Descent.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

As they proceed, Kourin plays out her rope, as a safeguard for the others to catch hold of if they slip. She herself and Spirit are confident as they move, sure of their footing as any fencer must be. Also doggo. Fencer and doggo, not doggo fencer. Though that would be adorable.

Anyway Kourin's helping.

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Trick Rope toward her party's challenge, Mucky Descent.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
Lydia mumbles like a kid that knows they've been caught doing wrong, and Rebecca just lets her talk, unprompting. It's pretty endearing, quirking an eyebrow as she says that - "Can I?" But as Lydia says there wasn't any water back home - "Oh..." she gives her a look of understanding. "-Oh!"
 
She lived near a small town where there was enough water at least - just not raging rapids. And after a moment she leans in and murmurs, "Well of course I can give you basic lessons." She says as she holds up a finger, "And I wouldn't mind helping you practice any time. Proper prevention is important when you're doing this kind of thing."
 
Rebecca is an acrobat. She's not dumb though.
 
She definitely takes the rope, and starts to rappell down pretty lightly, using some quick leaps to reposition herself whenever she can.
 

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Mucky Descent.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Mucky Descent *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 There are far more hazards down here than rushing water, even in this area    
 where the water has slowed to a trickle. The caverns descend here to another  
 chamber far below. However, even the seepage in this area has reduced the     
 slope you'll need to traverse to a mucky, treacherous mess. A few slick       
 rocks jut out of the sloppy mud, a gruesome substance formed of river slime   
 and the dust of countless aeons. To step in it is to risk slipping down the   
 slope and tumbling down the hidden rocks below until you hit bottom.          
                                                                               
 Hope you brought a rope.                                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
========================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 5 *>========================
=========================< Results - Mucky Descent >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   30 --(5)--> 35                 Pass
Rapid Remedy                        1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              25 --(5)--> 30                 Pass
Trick Rope                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  40 --(5)--> 45                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     35 --(5)--> 40                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       30 --(10)--> 40                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         30 --(10)--> 40                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber 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> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"'Situation's been handled my ass,'" Cyre sighs Ethius-ward. "Well, whatever. Shark's dead at least. If we had the time, I'd suggest taking some of the meat back with us, but..."

Cyre gestures at Lydia. Then the slope ahead.

Time is not a luxury they have in great quantities, it seems.

The good news is that everyone manages to make it down in one piece. Hooray!

The bad news is that 'one piece' does not necessarily mean 'whole and hearty.' Heaping misery upon misery, Lydia gets her ankle caught in a patch of thicker mud and ends up falling face-first into the muck. It gets positively everywhere-- and the chill, damp earth does not do much of anything to help her stay warm.

Meanwhile, Ethius manages to have a spill of his own. He's able to use his quarterstaff to arrest a potentially dangerous slip down the slick slope, but not to stop him from falling right onto his backside. Chances are good that he might need to re-dress those wounds, for sanitation's sake.

But! The rest of the party is able to get down just fine. So, that's good!

DG: Rebecca Streisand has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Dragon of the Deep *>=====================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Water has collected in the deepest part of the cavern, a vast gallery into    
 which several waterfalls stream into a deep pool that seems to go down        
 forever. Several little rocky islets poke out of the water. At the far end    
 of the cavern, a ledge can be seen with a couple of ancient, crumbling        
 pillars framing a doorway.                                                    
                                                                               
 However, you're not alone - as you cross, a massive creature hurtles out of   
 the water and attempts to close its immense, komodo dragon-like jaws around   
 you! The creature is at least ten times as long as a man is tall, with a      
 body structure like some sort of vast reptilian whale, but with vicious hook  
 teeth capable of tearing you asunder, and it swats at you with its broad      
 tail, kicking up waves and striking with its body and fins to try and knock   
 you into the water - where it has every advantage.                            
                                                                               
 The Cave Dragon - let's be honest, it's a mosasaur - isn't about to let a     
 delicious meal get away. That means you.                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Stupify===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia smiles briefly at Kourin. She knows it's a lot for Kourin to say that much. She's quiet like Ethius usually.

She promptly trips and lands right in the mud.

"Just leave me to die here." Lydia says to nobody in particular before eventually forcing herself up to keep moving. She will remember this, Cyreplayer, she will remembe this.

Regardless, Lydia does seem cheered by Rebecca accepting her request. Or more accurately the request she didn't make. She smiles at Rebecca. "Oh--uh--cool, cool. There's a lot more places to swim around here. I'll go get us swimsuits when we get back into town."

She pauses for a moment before adding, "What kinda swimsuit do you like?"

"Wait...I'd have to wear a swimsuit too..." Lydia says to herself. "Agh that means...."

She looks back to Ethius, who still seems wounded. She steps over to support him though juudging by the next card, this isn't going to last very long.

"Sorry." She tells him. "Everybody was fussin' over me."

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
"Wow really? You'd foot the bill? I'd appreciate that because I've had to be a little thrifty lately... but we could consider it payment for the lessons."
 
But that question - "Mmm?" Rebecca isn't really the bashful sort. And they're both girls, so she answers pretty much straight off. "Two piece."
 
But then Lydia says that and Rebecca tries to say reassuringly, "Hey- I'm sure you'd really cute in a swim-"
 
And then the moment they get down something leaps out like it's another shark -
 
And let's be honest, it probably leaps right at Lydia, because that's how this works. "-suit."
 
But given that it's GIGANTIC - it doesn't matter who it's aiming at.
 
Rebecca almost manages to shriek.
 
It's thrashing leap is an immediate hazard, crushing the cavern walls and raining rocks down upon them.
 
It splashes down in the water - and starts coming around again -
 
Teeth leading - tail smashing back and forth defensively.
 
Instead she hits the water - time to think fast.
 
She has a lightning medium - but that'd be stupid to call on Noua Shax! She'd fry everyone!
 
Her ARM is fairly useless underwater.
 
So instead to the side of a wall, touching the stone. Pulling out her Medium she invokes it.
 
And the wall sprouts impaling stalagmites as it's blasted by the power of Solais Emsu from the Earth Leypoint coursing through the walls.
 
And then she tries to swim straight for Lydia while it's distracted because SHE CAN'T SWIM AFTER ALL RIGHT?
 

DG: Rebecca Streisand has used her Tool Sky Medium toward her party's challenge, Dragon of the Deep.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin's gonna swordfight a cave dragon.

I mean, she rimebombs, of course, but the thrill of a challenging martial contest soon overtakes her and her face is almost ecstatic as she tests herself against a deadly foe! It's something those who haven't seen the young woman fight (or eat, or a couple of other things) may be surprised by, but Kourin gives herself over to such things wholly, almost as though it's a spiritual experience. (It is, as she has explained in the past.)

DG: Kourin has used her Tool Rimebomb toward her party's challenge, Dragon of the Deep.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Unfortunately, it looks like things aren't getting any easier for them. Right after they manage to make it down the incline - with some incidents - another shark appears. This one is much larger than the one last ones they'd seen. It's huge, and even just being near it is a threat.

This must be the rumored Cave Dragon they heard about.

She'll have to think quickly, but like Rebecca, she's finding herself in a situation where one of her capabilities is only going to cause trouble.

Jacqueline moves quickly, attempting to make it to the other side. As she does so, however, she brings out two of the potions she had taken from her coat before handing it over to Lydia. She quickly mixes the two of them together, until she has one bottle that's emitting a bright red glow.

She waits for the right moment, and then as soon as she sees an opening(literally, she's aiming for the creature's mouth) tosses the bottle in...

...At which point it will explode.

It won't be a pleasant experience for the Cave Dragon, though Jacqueline doubts it'll actually kill it.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Dragon of the Deep.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Damnit Lydia, what is with you and attracting all the random encounters? Did Schrodinger have an accident with a paint can? Have you been crossed by a probabilistically infinite number of black cats!? Bad luck can only go so far!

"What," Cyre says in regards to the enormous cave dragon thing. "The heck is that thing?"

Some kind of super ultra double-plus crocodile!?

He grits his teeth, racing toward the enormous beast even as the others move in to go make sure Lydia doesn't drown again. He yells, which transforms rapidly into a deafening roar as his arms suddenly surge with bestial growth. The arms of the White Tiger blaze with emerald energies as the stale cave air is suddenly stirred into a screaming frenzy.

"Get back," Cyre orders, moving to pin the beast's jaws shut with his enormous claws, "To whatever murky pit you crawled out of! Or stay and fight. I don't particularly care! I'll just have gigacroc stew tonight!"

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Gale Claw toward his party's challenge, Dragon of the Deep.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius slips, and there is an actual - brief, but real! - cry of pain as he hits his backside. He damn near twists an arm trying to keep his grip on the quarterstaff and stop himself from slipping to death or retirement from injury. It takes him some doing to get himself up and follow the rope that Kourin laid out to make it all the way down... and only manages this with Lydia's help, when she comes back for him.
        It takes him a moment to speak.
        "It is quite all right." He says in that even, almost scripted, tone of voice of his - but it seems like it took more than a conscious effort to manage that as he heads all the way down as the discussion goes towards more mundane things between regular person friends that Lydia is making, and then--
        Chaos. Ethius surrenders his superior positioning to swat a falling piece of debris with his quarterstaff. His tumble down to the bottom of the slope is short enough he's willing to take the ache from rolling down into a crouch. His hip detests this thought immediately. He pushes the quarterstaff against the ground to force himself up to a stand and move, even if it's more of an unsteady stagger.
        He's at least on dry ground, but there's a new complication - since he's soaking wet from earlier, so is the remaining Powder Grenade. It cannot be used in its current state. There is no time to dry, as he has to go low and duck underneath a swinging tail. His palm falls onto...
        Dry, fine sediment. Very fine, like sand. He clutches it tightly in his fist. He has lost sight of where everyone is and what they're doing in the process. He closes his eyes momentarily. He has to remain calm. No one here would willingly allow Lydia to be met with a watery grave.
        He stands back up, letting the quarterstaff fall to the wayside since he has no extra hands to hold it (and no opportunity to fasten it back). With his injured hip, this is a dangerous prospect. His steps are slow and measured, even as the ground shakes underneath every incredible blow inflicted by the thrashing Dragon of the Deep.
        Cyre, having transformed, moves to pin the beast's jaws shut after Jay throws in something dangerous. Ethius approaches, clutching the hand full of sand-like gravel ever tighter. He does not hesitate towards the great difference in size. Once he gets close...
        With his free hand, he does the same set of gesticulations needed to activate a Powder Grenade.
        In place of a satchel, the particulate matter in his other hand.
        He palms it up as high as he can, trying to go for the Dragon's eyes, as a stinging pain races through the hand holding the sand as it explodes into that familiar cloud of dust he is known to bring forth in high-stress combat situations throughout exploration missions.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, Dragon of the Deep.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia blushes. "Y...yeah? Well I--"

Lydia is not going to fight a Cave Dragon.

Let's be honest, the moment that Lydia is swiped into the water again, Lydia promptly starts flailing her arms wildly again. She doesn't fire her portal gun, though, she mostly just starts sinking again, if more gradually this time because it's not rapids here.

And then she stops. Because the area she is in is actually kind of shallow level and her feet hit the floor.

"......"

She looks down.

"......"

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Dragon of the Deep.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Dragon of the Deep *>=====================
|Type: Climax      |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 4          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Water has collected in the deepest part of the cavern, a vast gallery into    
 which several waterfalls stream into a deep pool that seems to go down        
 forever. Several little rocky islets poke out of the water. At the far end    
 of the cavern, a ledge can be seen with a couple of ancient, crumbling        
 pillars framing a doorway.                                                    
                                                                               
 However, you're not alone - as you cross, a massive creature hurtles out of   
 the water and attempts to close its immense, komodo dragon-like jaws around   
 you! The creature is at least ten times as long as a man is tall, with a      
 body structure like some sort of vast reptilian whale, but with vicious hook  
 teeth capable of tearing you asunder, and it swats at you with its broad      
 tail, kicking up waves and striking with its body and fins to try and knock   
 you into the water - where it has every advantage.                            
                                                                               
 The Cave Dragon - let's be honest, it's a mosasaur - isn't about to let a     
 delicious meal get away. That means you.                                      
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Stupify===========================================
========================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 6 *>========================
=======================< Results - Dragon of the Deep >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   35 --(20)--> 55                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              30 --(15)--> 45                Pass
Rimebomb                            3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  45 --(20)--> 65                Fail
Sky Medium                          3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     40 --(15)--> 55                Pass
Gale Claw                           4   Combat  Effects: Efficient and Rally  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       40 --(15)--> 55                Pass
Powder Grenade                      3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         40 --(20)--> 60                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           90 --(0)--> 90                 Fail
Conditions: Stupify(2)|Wound(2)
Effects: 
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has failed this challenge! The party gained 0 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Door of Songs *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 At the far end of the Cave Dragon's cavern, the natural rock gives way to     
 something else: Walls of ancient, weathered masonry, with the remains of      
 angled buttresses pushing out of the wall face. Between two of those          
 buttresses, the masonry forms an arch, framing a stone slab - a door. A       
 crystal centres the door, three dark arrows around it pointing left, right    
 and up; the crystal itself is set in an ancient gold frame. It's dark right   
 now.                                                                          
                                                                               
 When touched, the gem lights up to a pale blue hue and produces a soft        
 sequence of notes - a short, uplifting song, brief, yet with a little spark   
 of something reverent clinging to those faint, crystalline sounds from a      
 time long past. When the music ends, the gem remains lit up for a short       
 time, as if waiting for you to do something.                                  
                                                                               
 Perhaps it's expecting you to sing along... to a song you don't know the      
 words to. Or do the words matter?                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Vault, Suffer==================================
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
The Dragon breaks through the stalactites like they aren't even there. As if they're made of tissue paper.
 
Jay valiantly tosses the bottle in - and it almost doesn't make it. Until Cyre transforms, and swipes it in, pinning it's jaws shut.
 
It thrashes and thrashes and - the potion explodes.
 
The creature seems momentarily stunned. Then even more angry.
 
Which is when Ethius' grenade strikes its eyes. That it definitely felt
 
Kourin's swordwork causes it to rear back, while it's rime bomb freezes over its fins holding it briefly in place.
 
... ... ... And then it breaks free, thrashing in a total blind rage which shakes the entirety of the caverns as it's tail smashes back and forth against the rock.
 
This is the part where 'rocks fall, everybody dies.' Game Over.
 
Except we go to cutscene.
 
When a section of the wall smashes - a current seizes hold of everyone, sending them careening through the depths at uncontrolled speed.
 
Until it pops out into the cave version of a cistern - well. It was empty before now it's a cistern given the huge amount of water that's currently draining in it.
 
Rebecca dog paddles on the surface, and grabs Lydia as she shoulders her one-armed and heads towards the edge coughing as she chats up the others. "... So w-who's for getting out of here before we find out if that thing can fit through that passage?"
 
She doesn't expect to hear any no votes.
 

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ieGla_7BZA

Lydia says, "That's a good idea!"

She finally seems to be regaining some of her color here. If the Cave Dragon owned everybody she doesn't have to feel bad about it. Of course, in this new area, there seems to be treasure! Or at least,--a crystal embedded in a stone frame, blocking a door. Lydia, and Schrodinger who just appeared out of nowhere, walk to the door and Lydia picks up Schrodinger and places his paw on the door.

It lights up! Was that the solution to the puzzle? Nope! It just provides a long sequence of musical notes and then lights up afterwards.

And then the light fades.

"I see... what we must do." She places Schrodinger's palm on the gem again before she starts singing!

Or more accurately, the japanese idol singer they are bringing in specifically for this insert starts singing because you know Lydia's singing voice isn't this good but this is Lunar so this is a legit strategy!

"We're alright! We're alright!" Lydia sings. Don't worry there's still Engrish. "Warratte asu ga hikatte janpu shite mina tobidase~!"

But she obviously can't keep up with the singing on her own. It seems like...she's going to need help from YOUR japanese idol singers jumping in to cover for you if you have any hope of passing this challenge!!!

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Door of Songs.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The insides of the Cave Dragon prove to be a lot hardier than she anticipated. Jacqueline puts the failure on herself. She had undershot the necessary amounts, not wanting to...splatter everyone. She resolves to do better next time, if there is a next time.

"Agreed..." Jacqueline says. It's...probably for the best.

As they progress, they encounter a rather curious door. Jacqueline studies it with interest, wondering exactly what it means... The gem remains lit up after it emits a series of tones.

Hm.

She then looks toward Lydia as she begins singing.

"W-wait, what...!?" Jacqueline...had not anticipated there being any singing involved here...! She's...not much of a singer, in her opinion. She looks around nervously before beginning to sing something quietly, hoping there's no one paying too much attention...

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Door of Songs.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Meow meow meow! nya nya nya!" Schrodinger joins in. Oh no Jay are you going to be outdone by a cat???

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre... Actually looks half-ready to go and pursue that big, scaly jerkface all on his own. If rumors of that thing have spread to the outside, then it must be a danger to the surrounding towns, right!? But... Cooler heads prevail, it seems. The shaman dispels his partial transformation in a rush of wind. "Tch," he clicks his tongue against his teeth, "Fine by me. Let's go."

Go...

...

What.

The hell is this?

Cyre looks from the crystal to Lydia, then back to the crystal. He huffs softly, tugging his hood back off of his head. "Singing, huh? Alright. It's been a while, and this really isn't my genre, but..." He clears his throat, and--

...Begins stirring the wind in a musical accompaniment to Jay and Lydia's singing.

"S-sorry," Cyre chuckles sheepishly, "I really... Really don't think my ego could recover from singing to this particular number. I'll join in later if it seems more my thing though."

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
Rebecca is in the middle of checking her pack to make certain it's as water tight as she hoped. Thankfully, she's breathing in relief soon enough. It's alright. And she finds herself smiling.
 
Which is when she notices what everyone is looking at. The crystal. The way it lights up when Schrodinger touches it - Rebecca looks awed, "It's so pretty..."
 
But then she's looking at Lydia. What must they do!?
 
And then - Lydia starts to sing, and Rebecca's eyes bulge a little. Singing in front of everyone? That's embarrassing.
 
But... she knows, if she's going to be a Circus performer one day, she has to be able to do these kind of things in front of people.
 
Clearing her throat awkwardly, she hums along with Lydia at first. But then taking inspiration from things she had written in her journal, and knew by heart.
 
And then-
 
"Climbing up to our rooftop~we gaze upon the deep blue sky."
 
She starts out slow, but gains momentum really quickly. And not only that she has a natural talent for it.
 
Why?
 
Because she's voiced by Nana Mizuki in the Japanese Version. That's why.
 
"So smile as tomorrow sparkles~" She then abruptly leaps in an acrobatic flip - landing lightly on her feet without missing a beat in the song, "Take a jump and dive right in! If we're together we can accomplish anything! All we have to do is join hands as we go! As my world grows - I discover more of my youth!"
 
Putting up a hand she swings at the hips and waves a finger back and forth as she sings right alongside Lydia, "We're alright~ We're alright~ So run and jump over in one go! Tag the next in line and we'll overcome it all! No matter how embarrassing it is - we'll get through it all together!"
 

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Door of Songs.
DG: Rebecca Streisand has used her Tool Rebecca's Travel Diary toward her party's challenge, Door of Songs.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        There is a nasty tumble. Ethius isn't too aware of what exactly transpires in the process - only that he's still alive when he comes to. He brings his hand to his forehead, which... does not appear to have suffered wounds. Huh. (That's a good thing!) The rest of him... he winces audibly again as he tries to stand.
        His quarterstaff washes up nearby, just barely missing bonking him in the head. (That's a good thing!) With it, he stands up and follows the rest into this next part of the cavern - to a place that looks more touched by ancient society. With it, eye-catching crystals.
        "You do, Miss Lydia?" Ethius is curious about why she'd know what to do-- and then she sings. Something about the words... they make him uneasy, like they mean something above and beyond being mere words. His gaze falls upon Kourin momentarily... but nothing further comes from that.
        He wipes off the eyeglass thing to make sure it's as good and dry as it's going to be. One of his gloves comes off to reveal the dryer hand underneath (at least by comparison). One Symbological spell later, a small spark of electricity jumps into the eyeglass where it gives off a soft glow. He brings it up to one of his eyes...
        And lowers it, as though startled. He looks at it again, while stepping backwards.
        His free hand points to his throat, then all the way towards the crystal... then to the crystal, back over to Lydia. Ethius doesn't say it aloud, but the way his finger traces the air, it may be easy to guess - it does seem one's voice is connected to the mechanism, and that it is recommended that one follow Lydia's (and Schrodinger's) lead.
        He continues to try and build distance between himself and the crystal as the lens fades. Something about this scenario seems, and feels, deeply uncomfortable. HE can't put it to words. Something tells him even if he could, he can't.
        There is only one thing he can do.
        There is only one thing he must do.
        Laboriously, he uses his quarterstaff for support as he limps along over to Kourin's side. The shy icy fencer who may or may not be feeling overwhelmed by this sudden demand by the powers that be to be an extravert and... sing, sing, sing. Surely, Jay could use some encouragement too? Or Cyre himself, even...
        "Miss Kourin." Ethius speaks. "I feel it is imperative your lead is followed in this matter." But why? Ethius closes his eyes and lowers his head, hand to his forehead.
        "The situation as it is unfolding would not sit well with me otherwise. I require you to take the lead before I may contribute." He might not know what song Kourin would or could sing, if she opts to - but he can't (won't?) without her doing it first.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Door of Songs.
<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin hums and does backup.

She doesn't know the words! Songs are forbidden! (she only knows hymns to Althena anyway)

Then Ethius comes out and--and does that.

Kourin's voice turns out to be strong and clear, and while the lyrics are not transcribed here it is because the song she sang was so good and pure that everyone who heard it immediately forgot the words and recognized only the spirit and soul of the one singing.

Also Spirit howls along.

(He doesn't, really, because he is a Good Dog.)

DG: Kourin has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Door of Songs.
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Door of Songs *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 At the far end of the Cave Dragon's cavern, the natural rock gives way to     
 something else: Walls of ancient, weathered masonry, with the remains of      
 angled buttresses pushing out of the wall face. Between two of those          
 buttresses, the masonry forms an arch, framing a stone slab - a door. A       
 crystal centres the door, three dark arrows around it pointing left, right    
 and up; the crystal itself is set in an ancient gold frame. It's dark right   
 now.                                                                          
                                                                               
 When touched, the gem lights up to a pale blue hue and produces a soft        
 sequence of notes - a short, uplifting song, brief, yet with a little spark   
 of something reverent clinging to those faint, crystalline sounds from a      
 time long past. When the music ends, the gem remains lit up for a short       
 time, as if waiting for you to do something.                                  
                                                                               
 Perhaps it's expecting you to sing along... to a song you don't know the      
 words to. Or do the words matter?                                             
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Vault, Suffer==================================
========================<* Flooded Cavern - Round 7 *>========================
=========================< Results - Door of Songs >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   55 --(15)--> 70                Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kourin                              45 --(15)--> 60                Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                  65 --(15)--> 80                Pass
Rebecca's Travel Diary              2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     55 --(20)--> 75                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       55 --(15)--> 70                Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         60 --(15)--> 75                Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           90 --(35)--> 125               Pass
Conditions: Reckless(2)|Stupify(1)|Suffer(1)|Vault(1)|Wound(1)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has successfully explored Flooded Cavern!
=============================<* Flooded Cavern *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Seed Depository *>=======================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The door opens up into a hallway that's cut off halfway in, a cave-in simply  
 denying you access to most of the ruin beyond. But one door does interrupt    
 the time-worn stone of heavens know how many years past. To open the rusted   
 metal door is to find a small room with a couple treasure chests inside.      
 When opened, the chests reveal...                                             
                                                                               
 ...packets of seeds. The packaging is somehow still intact after countless    
 aeons, and several seeds still linger inside each.                            
                                                                               
 Those who know a thing or two about plants, however, will realize something   
 all the more unusual: All of the plant species are species native to          
 Filgaia. Even a few Heal Berry seeds are included in the small collection.    
 It is likely that no examples of these plants exist on Lunar, if they ever    
 existed on Lunar. A couple of seeds, meanwhile, are completely                
 unrecognizable. All of the packets are labeled in some unknown language, so   
 that's no help.                                                               
                                                                               
 Perhaps some of the seeds are still viable, even after untold aeons.          
                                                                               
 (You should send a +request about this discovery!)                            
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

And it turns out that everybody's alright, they're alright, even Jay is alright, even Ethius (if he joins in after Kourin) is alright.

But not Cyre. Cyre doesn't join in. He doesn't get to sing. He doesn't have a japanese voice actor to sing his lines which probably means he has gotten a welsh voice actor now, xenoblade style. Poor Cyre.

(Actually I like Nia's VA okay leave the poor grouchcat alone!!)

Anyway, the song goes pretty great, even with Schrodinger joining in, Lydia beams up at her new friend, since that seems to have just happened between them saving each other's lives every six seconds.

"You're a natural performer, Becca! You even did flips, that's crazy! And dancing too..!"

Lydia ended up just trying to follow along dance-movement wise with Rebecca. She wasn't able to do flips at all. Her acrobatics are purely freefall nonsense.

"Man...! Now to find the treasure!" She gives Rebecca a quick hug, seemingly already rebounded from her previous depression. Even if she tumbles into that kind of mindset, she seems able to quickly recover.

She rushes on ahead (she is 8 agility when she smells treasure) and finds ... treasure chests!

"Sweet!" Lydia likes money too. But then she opens it up and it's ... plants.

She isn't a pharmacist like Jay and Matilda might be, but she already has a feeling of what Ethius might do. She squints at the unknown languages too. She sneaks a packet into a pocket, knowing that Ethius might get fire happy before looking back to Jay to call her over.

"I think this is your kinda thing, don'tcha think Jay?" She asks.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline can't really compete with those kinds of acrobatics, so she doesn't try. She just stands there, singing quietly while a little red in the face. But it's enough - eventually, the door opens.

"G-good work, everyone! That was...really nice." She says with a sheepish smile, the follows Lydia through the door. If she was moving that quickly chances were there was something beyond it, and sure enough, it pays off.

These objects...these are definitely seed packets. Jacqueline picks one up, studying it carefully. She does not immediately realize that she is holding what may be one of the very few samples of Heal Berries in seed form on Lunar, but once she does...

"This is...!" She gasps in surprise. This...was something very rare, and very useful. And the rest of these seeds...

"These...could potentially still be viable." Jacqueline says. There's someone she'll definitely have to discuss this with. Maybe two someones.

A few of the packets, however, she doesn't recognize. And the language...it doesn't prove to be any help, either. If she wants to figure out what they are, that will probably need to be their first order of business.

"We'll need to see if anyone can identify these... I must admit, I'm curious." She says.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        There was singing to be had. Ethius follows Kourin's tone pretty well, turns out - but he doesn't quite match the words. That may be to be expected. Nonetheless, that Kourin proves willing to try and take point and sing her heart out in full seems to bring him some sort of ease. Which is really freakin' weird, why would he want her to take the lead? Lydia was doing perfectly fine in that regard.
        ...Who knows, with him.
        When the way opens up and Lydia hurls herself wholeheartedly forward, he can barely work out a 'Miss Lydia' with an outstretched hand before she's gonezo to the lootzo, yo. He can't catch up as fast - he's hurt, and really should stop and re-dress up his wounds. There's no telling what's ahead...
        'I think this is your kinda thing, don'tcha think Jay?'
        Ethius finds a second (third?) wind to work from 'limp' to 'slow jog' over to the treasure in question. He won't beat Jay there, or anyone else. There will be ample chance to try and stash things away from Ethius' prying eyes. What those eyes pry, though... to take in the rust of the door, to take in the very character of the treasure chests, to small packets of seeds and the text on them...
        "..."
        It doesn't sound like he's chanting up a heat spell, though, so maybe they're in the clear? Just maybe...?

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren relaxes faintly, but feels a little guilty. Maybe she misunderstood how Ethius was likely to react here. It's not as if he sets things on fire ALL the time. Sometimes he adds things to his trash collection, for example, though to be honest that would be a cruel thing to do with these seeds.

Still, she can't help but feel she isn't really managing to fulfill her promise to Ethius too well but it turns out that this promise turned out a lot harder to fulfill than she expected. But these seeds were stored for the future. Even she can tell that much. She can't crush that hope for the future or take that kind of risk.

After all, no matter how hard or how painful, whomever protected these seeds never gave up. Even if it was pointless, there was a world they tried to save.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 
Rebecca is rubbing her chin with a finger, looked pleased with herself as she's praised, "You really thought it was good? ... Singing isn't really even my thing... I'm more an acrobat..."
 
But... if she liked that when singing isn't even what she's best at. Just what she's got some talent at...
 
Maybe she'd like her acrobatic shooting routine.
 
The door opens though, and as the others rush in - "Hey wait! Be careful! You don't wanna run headlong right into a trap or something!"
 
But her resistance breaks down and soon she's tearing into the room too. Acting like a kid who's about to see something wonderful, "Ooo - ooo... lemme see... lemme see..."
 
But plants?
 
"Huh. Back home we could have used these but..."
 
It doesn't seem like a real treasure here on the Moon.
 
But as Jay gasps - she steps out of the way. Letting the Alchemist nerd out with a smile. "You think? Well so long as they're useful to someone... sure!" She was hoping for something else after all that effort - but... something like that isn't too bad right?
 
She finds herself watching Ethius though.
 
And then after a while she leans over to Lydia to ask, "That guy always has this kinda... weird vibe. You know? You ever feel that kinda thing from him?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline was...well, 'nerding out' was definitely the phrase for it. She was excited by the prospects these tiny seeds held. There was so much they might be able to learn from them, and so much potential held within them...

"Definitely!" She says wiith a smile of her own. The packets are stored safely and carefully away - either stored by Jacqueline or ferreted away by Lydia, just in case.

"I'll let you know what comes of these...and if anything useful grows out of them, you and your friends are certainly entitled to some." She says with a nod toward Rebecca. They wouldn't have gotten this far without her help, after all.