2018-06-29: Teamwork!

From Dream Chasers
Jump to: navigation, search
  • Log: Teamwork!
  • Cast: Loren Voss, Elhaym van Houten (NPCing Bergenholm, Van Buskirk, and MacDougall), Kaguya
  • Where: Burwich Village
  • Date: June 29th 2018
  • Summary: A small group of Gebler soldiers investigates things to the south of Lastonbell and Kaguya invites herself into the proceedings. Much ~quality~ teamwork ensues. Kaguya talks botany. Loren copes with slander. MacDougall is done with this. Bergenholm asks a favor. Van Buskirk lends a hand.

DG: A party led by Loren Voss is now entering Burwich Village.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - The Dangerous Road *>======================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The road to Burwich Village is really more of a trail. A treacherous
 footpath leads through switchbacks along tall cliff faces and steep hills,
 until it reaches a high elevation pine forest. The air here is much cooler
 than the desert valley below.

 It also is quite dangerous. As you step into those woods, you hear a
 deafening roar. Then, a trio of cats comes charging for you: mountain lions,
 but their bodies ripple and pulse with Malevolence. As they rush in, their
 jaws open -- and terrible, shadowy tendrils extend from their flanks to
 strike!

 However, you can make your destination out ahead: a quaint village, with
 tall peaked roofs, and a wall of stone around it. It seems untouched,
 despite the Malevolent presence here.

 Welcome to Burwich Village!
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Bad Luck==========================================
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    In the end, they were following up on a mere rumor. That was how Loren saw this assignment at least.

    Rumor had spoken of something happening in Lastonbell, but whatever the story was, it had been hushed, something even he couldn't manage to listen in on. Which in turn meant it was something for the higher-ups to chew on... and that it would eventually likely be his problem.
    Not that he has the chance to think about it much now, as they pick their way up across the trail across the steep pathway across hills and along cliffs. Elevation does a number on the body, even if he's long since gotten used to walking greater distances and braving harsher environments.
    It's one reason he's ended up lagging behind the rest of the group, pack heavy on his shoulders.

    Maybe I shouldn't have pressed the issue with the supplies, he thinks, wearing the expression of someone decidedly tuning out the complaints of the body.
    He's not going to be the one to ask for a rest first, though. ...He decided that one hours ago, and has been regretting that decision ever since.

    So that's essentially the stage as they step into the heavily-wooded forest: a set of operatives on a fact-finding expedition, possibly all a little worn out at least, and most definitely in the throes of the monotony of the hike.

    There's a snarl from deeper in the trees.

    When the pair of lions leap out, they leap out swinging.

    And to Loren's eyes at least, bearing horrible shadowy tendrils that whip about without mercy.

    "--They're-- look out for the tentacles!" Loren blurts out, never mind that his companions might not be able to see what he can see.

    He drops his pack, pulling his kit free from within. "Is anyone hurt? Those things could be toxic!"

    ...Still not doing his sanity case much good here.

DG: Loren Voss has used his Tool Solarian Medical Kit toward his party's challenge, The Dangerous Road.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Ugh! I hate tentacles!" declares "Lucky" Bergenholm, whose weapon of choice in this environment is apparently a wrist catapult. Why? Because he's a gunner type and because using an ARM would be pretty bad form, while this dumb wrist catapult only has a strip of elastic that is probably way more deniable. Also, it's silent, and that has its own advantages.

What doesn't have an advantage is when he pulls it back and it goes "thwip!" and accomplishes nothing.

Van Buskirk, a big and beefsome man, has already caught one yowling claw on the handle of his battle axe. Yes, it's an axe. Great for boarding actions - not that those happen often. Also, it lets him leverage his big ol' muscularity.

It's a lot harder for him to accomplish nothing. He twists around to try and throw a cat on the ground. WHERE IT BELONGS

Klarissa MacDougall says with a scowl as she so often has, "I don't see any tentacles. Are you seeing something else, Voss?" She hasn't used a weapon yet. Hers is the power of -- something else, probably.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Dangerous Road.
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

There's an unfortuate truth of lagging behind the group: the ones ahead only need to outrun you if trouble comes along. And it does... Or at least, a headache. A big headache in a small package: a girl with short blonde hair walks up behind the group as they stop to find the lions leaping out. Tentacles. Of course tentacles.

"Hmm."

She's... quiet, distant, like she's not all here at the moment. Tentacles. "Yeah those are tentacles all right," the small Veruni adds. Her clothes are baggy, and she carries two broad-bladed knives--that she pulls out. "Here!" She chirps cheerfully her greeting and walks on ahead to where Van is throwing a cat down and--

Well, she abrubtly flashes into motion to stab the thing outright with a rapid, untelegraphed movement.

"It's nice to see you! I see you survived!" Beat, "And you others too. Uh... Your name was... Mittens?"

DG: Kaguya has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Dangerous Road.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - The Dangerous Road *>======================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The road to Burwich Village is really more of a trail. A treacherous
 footpath leads through switchbacks along tall cliff faces and steep hills,
 until it reaches a high elevation pine forest. The air here is much cooler
 than the desert valley below.

 It also is quite dangerous. As you step into those woods, you hear a
 deafening roar. Then, a trio of cats comes charging for you: mountain lions,
 but their bodies ripple and pulse with Malevolence. As they rush in, their
 jaws open -- and terrible, shadowy tendrils extend from their flanks to
 strike!

 However, you can make your destination out ahead: a quaint village, with
 tall peaked roofs, and a wall of stone around it. It seems untouched,
 despite the Malevolent presence here.

 Welcome to Burwich Village!
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Bad Luck==========================================
========================<* Burwich Village - Round 1 *>=========================
========================< Results - The Dangerous Road >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Solarian Medical Kit                1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaguya                              0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Wound(2)
Effects: Cleanse
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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> Loren Voss has posed.

    "I'm not seeing things!" Loren protests, in the seconds before one of the foul beasts leaps right on past Bergenholm (...leaving him untouched...) and springs right for the medic.

    The good news is: it doesn't maul him.
    The bad news is: it instead swipes at him with a horrible tendril, before the sudden appearance of a deceptively petite blonde causes a slight change of attack plans.

    "You!" shouts Loren upon sighting Kaguya, before he staggers, grabbing where the beast swatted him.

    Guess what! As it turns out, when Malevolence takes hold, it's entirely possible to have venemous mountain lions.
    With tentacles.

    "...Ugh," he utters, as if at the injustice of the universe at large that allows for this to be happening.
    The good news is: he already had one of the multipurpose antivenins out.

    Also good news, van Buskirk hurling the lion he's tangling with to the ground and cleaving it in twain. Its tentacles twitch feebly but can't quite reach; before long even those go limp.

    And another round of good news: Kaguya introducing her knife to the tainted creature's heart. It spasms and falls, similarly definitely dead and gone.

    Which is where the chaos of battle leaves everyone: Kaguya cheerfully greeting the post-combat group, while Loren just gives her a look that might suggest a wish for suffering if his attention weren't also split between her and finding a vein.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Burwich Village *>=============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Putting Up a Fence *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The wall around Burwich Village seems to keep out the terrors. While the
 forest surrounding the town is rife with Malevolence, the village itself has
 only a smattering. Fences and walls help keep it out, and a farmhouse on the
 very edge of the village is in the processing of building a new, tall fence
 to extend off the wall.

 As you get close, a farmer's daughter waves her hand eagerly. A silver
 locket sways across her neck, as she leaps up and down with her excitement.
 "Hey, hey!" she says. "We need some help over here! This fence is hard for
 my Da to get up on his lonesome, and we need to clear some rocks! You look
 pretty strong! Um, stronger than me, at least... could you help?"
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure, Overzealous======================================
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Who are you exactly?" Klarissa says to Kaguya, flipping her short-cut red hair with one hand. It's a more vicious red than Elly's, and dense too. "Voss, do you know this person?"

"Thanks!" Van Buskirk says to Kaguya; he is more genial.

Bergenholm steps forwards to occlude Kaguya's view of Loren injecting drugs into his circulatory system. "Hey!" he says to her, extending a hand as he pockets his wrist catapult. "We're a group of humble travellers, and if you're from around here we'd love to hear your stories!" Bergenholm is a tall blonde guy with a great smile.

He does not actually care about the stories, but they might have key words.

SOON, and possibly six different glares from Klarissa later, the wall is reached. Mostly the wall. Someone waves, and Bergenholm is the one who calls out first, "Hey!"

The girl explains as they get closer.

Klarissa rolls her eyes and mimes abrupt death as if she is immensely over this.

Van Buskirk muses as he rubs his beardy chin, "Sounds legit to me."

Bergenholm looks to the other two. "What do you think?" he says, grinning.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Crash Kit toward her party's challenge, Putting Up a Fence.
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

"Me!" Kaguya replies brightly to Loren, waving casually. ...Blood splatters along her forearm as her knife sinks home, and she twists it and removes it with a flick of her wrist. "Nice needlework. Not bad." She laughs to Klarissa, after that. "I'm a friend of your buddy's, obviously. Can't you tell?"

She waves her hand again, dismissively, "So it's fine. You're totally welcome, super-welcome."

...But now there's a big guy in the way and she looks up, sheathing her knives and grinning up at him. She reaches out her hand and shakes his, too. ...She has a pretty good grip, in fact.

"Oh, I got tons of stories, but I'm sure not from around here. I'm a botanist. And a mercenary. ...A lot of things."

But soon...

They get close, and Kaguya considers this offer of moving rocks. ...So, of course, she looks to Loren and then to the big men involved. "So, you're gonna do it, right?"

THAT'S NOT HELPING she might supervise

DG: Kaguya has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Putting Up a Fence.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    "I don't know her!" he blurts out to Macdougall.

    "--and I'm not your friend!" Loren replies a little hotly, particularly for someone currently injecting antivenin into his forearm. But Kaguya's right on the money on this one -- his hand remains steady even in spite of current circumstances; he's unlikely to keel over from the toxin now. Capping the needle and shoving the sharp back into the kit, he straightens and steps out from behind Bergenholm.

    Of course, by now, Bergenholm has already intervened and made nice...
    Great, he thinks, distantly.

    And he can see signs of village life, off in the distance and through the woods now that he looks. Great, now it's mission versus his own satisfaction, yet again.

    Shooting Kaguya a look that might as well read 'I'm watching you', he hefts his pack once again and soldiers on.

    He'll figure out a way to tell them later.

    AND SO

    Loren stares down at the girl. He stares over at the rock pile. "Why are we doing this?" Which is punctuated by a sigh. "...Fine. I suppose it might help smoothe things over."
    Which is followed by a pause as he sort of gets the general drift of the plan that's wordlessly forming. "Really? That?" Another pause, wherein he considers the merits of said plan. "Then again, it would be fastest and I don't want to waste time on this." Spoken like a nineteen-year-old. "I'll contain it." He takes a breath, reaching out with his will to dredge up the shield he'll need for something like 'that'.

DG: Loren Voss has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Putting Up a Fence.
============================<* Burwich Village *>=============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Putting Up a Fence *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The wall around Burwich Village seems to keep out the terrors. While the
 forest surrounding the town is rife with Malevolence, the village itself has
 only a smattering. Fences and walls help keep it out, and a farmhouse on the
 very edge of the village is in the processing of building a new, tall fence
 to extend off the wall.

 As you get close, a farmer's daughter waves her hand eagerly. A silver
 locket sways across her neck, as she leaps up and down with her excitement.
 "Hey, hey!" she says. "We need some help over here! This fence is hard for
 my Da to get up on his lonesome, and we need to clear some rocks! You look
 pretty strong! Um, stronger than me, at least... could you help?"
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure, Overzealous======================================
=======================<* Burwich Village - Round 2 *>========================
=======================< Results - Putting Up a Fence >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          5 --(20)--> 25                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaguya                              5 --(20)--> 25                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   10 --(15)--> 25                Pass
Crash Kit                           1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  20 --(10)--> 30                Fail
Conditions: Injure(2)|Overzealous(2)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Ha ha! I'm pretty flexible myself," Bergenholm says to Kaguya on the way. MacDougall kicks him in the ankle.

Van Buskirk takes off his leather jerkin and hands it to Mac, who drops it like a dead rat once he's striding forward far enough to not deal with it directly. "Sure," he says. "Just show me the way, young lady!"

SOON

"Maybe we should help," Bergenholm muses.

"I'd hate to interfere," MacDougall says, frigidly. "He'll shout if he needs anything."

There are no bombs involved. Van Buskirk is using his raw strength, which is considerable and sweaty. His space-axe helps at times too.

Bergenholm leans over to remark to Loren, "I forgot to bring the bombs. You won't hold it against me, right, Voss? There's no need to put this in the -" His eyes flick towards Kaguya, "stories we tell. Say, though, doesn't she have a sweet necklace?" he observes.

NOT MUCH SOONER

"Phew!" Van Buskirk says as he comes back. MacDougall nudges his jerkin back towards him but he just throws it over his shoulder, opting to air dry. "Good workout... but it did take a while, huh? Heh heh! I don't blame you skinnies for not getting into it. But Bergenholm you could've -"

"Clavicle," he answers van Buskirk immediately.

DG: Kaguya has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - After School Special *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 One of the buildings you come across provides a sharp contrast to the
 dangers faced while traveling here. A one-room schoolhouse serves the needs
 of every child in Burwich Village, and the children come rushing out of it
 on a recess. When they see you, they approach; a few tuck their silver
 amulets inside their shirts, but others leave them dangling free.

 They beam up at you, and one little girl calls out: "Tell us the history of
 Rolance!"

 "Tell us about how to solve math problems!"

 "We need help with our spelling homework!"

 "What does it mean when people say you can find roots between your toes!"

 Do you know the answers?
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Tire===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

"He's just shy 'cause we're really good friends," Kaguya says helpfully when Loren denies knowing her. She smiles at him when he steps free. The village, of course, is ahead, and when Loren gives her that look, she just smiles wider, looking downright innocent. ...Except, of course, for the sharp canines. "Yeah, flexible! That's a nice way to put it. C'mon, right over here!" Does she know the way? No. But she'll pretend. And soon--

"Looks like we're doing this," Kaguya answers, and proceeds to Not Help Even a Little. Raw strength happens, and the sweatiness is pretty impressive. Kaguya looks on with approval. The matter of the necklace gets her to tilt her head. "...Hmmm. Yeah, kinda does." She smiles at Bergenholm after he finishes talking to Loren for the moment.

"Clavicle," Kaguya agrees. But as they keep going--

The children come closer, and they rush out of it on recess, asking their questions beaming at Loren and the three, until one of them suddenly adds--"Hey, shouldn't you be in school too?" to Kaguya.

She frowns. "Uhhhhhhh."

She frowns harder, and then pulls something out of her belongings, a strange slap of what might be plastic--Geblerites recognize tablets when they see them, most likely. "Grumble grumple not that short..." She taps away at the device a little bit and then displays... a picture of poison ivy.

"Did you know that this plant is really awesome to keep in a pot by your front door?"

Kaguya no.

DG: Kaguya has used her Tool Radi-74 Tablet toward her party's challenge, After School Special.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

All three of the others look at Loren with a sort of distaste when Kaguya says they're real good friends.

MacDougall's lip curls. Her disgust is real and pure.

Van Buskirk seems vaguely pleased.

Bergenholm tips Loren a wink and a low-key thumbs up.

And then they all look at the slapped-down tablet as it displays visual imagery and is obviously electronic. All three of them look at Loren again from behind Kaguya's back, and this time the frowning is more general.

MacDougall takes point.

"Math problems?" she says. "Listen up, you little shits," she tells them then. "I'm going to explain to you the concept of algebra. Do you know what that is? Your benighted orb might not have invented it, but it's so trivial that I'm going to bless you with it. Chalk me! Slate, now!"

SOON ENOUGH

"So let me get this straight, you little afterbirth," the pale and scowling woman tells the freestyling child. "Your feeling is that 'don't be all like X is five, is five is what you mean; if five is what is on your mind, then baby just come clean.' Am I to understand that you are in fact some kind of approximation of a human being, and not -"

Bergenholm half-shouts, "Ha ha! She's like an insult comic! Big thing where we're from! It's kind of local humor, reeeeeeeal hard to translate. (mac stop helping please)"

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, After School Special.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    He, regretfully, knows the look on Kaguya's face when their gazes meet. This is going to be intolerable, isn't it.

    'I forgot to bring the bombs,' Bergenholm tells Loren conspiratorially.

    Loren drops his shielding work midstream, the gathered ether dissipating. "...How do you forget to bring the bombs," he asks in a forceful whisper, incredulity spreading across his face.
    And yet, he still doesn't go off to give van Buskirk a hand in any way, shape, or form.

    Or, for that matter, mention it when the man returns. ...What's even the point.

    Teamwork: acing it.

    From there, once they make their exit, it just so happens that they cross a schoolyard at exactly the right time.

    Which is also, as it happens, the right time for Kaguya to state that he and she are really good friends. They each imply their opinions on this. Horror dawns; he chokes. "She's not--"

    The children descend.

    Loren notes first the necklaces hanging around the necks of the children -- just like the girl with the fencing problem. And then his gaze slides over to the obvious tablet computer that Kaguya produces. Lifts to meet the interrogative stares of his teammates, protest once again rising in his own expression.

    Which is naturally -- as a lesson in botany and mathematics ensue -- the point where a small girl tugs at his pantleg and asks him plaintively, "Hey mister? Why is blood red?"
    The bandage on one of her cheeks makes this more of an innocent and less of a creepy question to hear from someone who is maybe six or seven at best.

    "Because it has iron in--"
    He can already see he's losing the kid. So he looks over at Kaguya, looks down at the kid, then extracts the medical computer from his pocket and boots it up.
    It doesn't do this very quickly.

    THUS

    "...Would you focus? Just look at the diagram on the screen," he says, jabbing a finger at the molecular structure of hemoglobin, once it loads up. "Come on! Oh, for -- why can't you even sit still?! Look, just tell me about the heme group. Just one thing."

DG: Loren Voss has used his Tool MediScan v7 toward his party's challenge, After School Special.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - After School Special *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 One of the buildings you come across provides a sharp contrast to the
 dangers faced while traveling here. A one-room schoolhouse serves the needs
 of every child in Burwich Village, and the children come rushing out of it
 on a recess. When they see you, they approach; a few tuck their silver
 amulets inside their shirts, but others leave them dangling free.

 They beam up at you, and one little girl calls out: "Tell us the history of
 Rolance!"

 "Tell us about how to solve math problems!"

 "We need help with our spelling homework!"

 "What does it mean when people say you can find roots between your toes!"

 Do you know the answers?
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless, Tire===========================================
========================<* Burwich Village - Round 3 *>=========================
=======================< Results - After School Special >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          25 --(18)--> 43                Pass
MediScan v7                         3   Wits    Effects: Enlighten and Sacrifi
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaguya                              25 --(18)--> 43                Pass
Radi-74 Tablet                      2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   25 --(23)--> 48                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  30 --(20)--> 50                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(1)|Reckless(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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> Kaguya has posed.

...It takes a few moments after Kaguya displays the tablet to realize what MacDougall's expression was implying. ....What Bergenholm's wink--

"Ewwwwwww," she says, looking back to them. "Ew. Come on, really? Really? Come on."

She shakes her head, frowns. ...And now of course, the children are all asking their bright questions, answering ahead, and... well, it happens like this:

MacDougall receives a reply from a smart-nosed little girl. "Is the reason you know so much about math because you're so old?"

Kaguya, for her part, keeps showing off the screen... and it works. It works, and Loren actually manages to keep track of the kids decently. They say:

"Ummm... it means blood??"

...Close enough. It'll do.

DG: Loren Voss has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Stubborn as a Mule *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The beasts outside of Burwich Village are vicious, cruel things. The beasts
 inside are far more mundane. In this case, a stablehand at the Hat and Tack
 Inn is trying to shove a mule back into the stable. He grunts, a gleam of
 silver chain from around his neck, as he pushes back. "C'mon, now, Bessie!
 Just... go... in!"

 He, clearly, could use some help. But be sure that you don't get kicked for
 pushing Bessie in (or, perhaps, coaxing her in another way).
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    'It means blood??'

    Loren, briefly, stares out into the middle distance.

    "Fine," he allows ultimately. "That's close enough." He knows when he's trying to get the blood out of a stone, so to speak.

    Mercifully for everyone involved, this is the point where the teacher finally makes his appearance. "Hey! What are you kids doing out there? Recess is over!" A collective groan makes its known from the crowd of children, but they file their way back on into the schoolhouse anyway.

    It's a good time to get going before they get pressed into giving another lesson.

    Though it won't be long before there's a man with a definite problem in their path: a mule that refuses to budge, and the sun hanging ever lower in the sky. Surely he has better things to do, and yet, the mule must be stabled--

    Which is why, the moment he spots the group passing by, he flags them down. "Hey! You're at just the right time! Help me get this stubborn old beast in, and I'll put in a good word for you!"

    With... who.

    Loren, meanwhile, freezes where he stands, his mind tracking back towards a certain... horrible equine, as it were.
    "Oh, no. I'm not doing this again," he utters aloud, before glancing up at van Buskirk. "Hey-- isn't this the sort of thing you're good at?"

    He makes no other visible move to assist, though it is worth noting that he very well may be the only one of the Solarians who knows how to ride a horse (or horse analogue).

DG: Loren Voss has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Stubborn as a Mule.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

MacDougall glares at the small child with withering intent. She raises a hand - but the actual teacher appears soon enough, and so blows are prevented. But she had no hesitation about striking a child.

SOON ENOUGH:

"Why are you looking at me? I don't handle these animals," van Buskirk tells Loren. "I don't even like eating meat, and you want me to move this animal?"

Bergenholm laughs and shrugs in a charismatic way that insists he is going to do absolutely nothing to help.

"Get me a match," MacDougall says, narrowing her eyes coldly. "I know what will motivate this miserable creature."

Kaguya may want to interfere with a better solution than 'animal cruelty' which is absolutely MacDougall's plan.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Crash Kit toward her party's challenge, Stubborn as a Mule.
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

It's for the best that no one has to find out whether anyone but the teacher would've stopped MacDougall.

Meanwhile, Kaguya puts away her tablet--with a grin to van Buskirk as she does--and then walks along. The sun hangs lower, and lower... "A good word with who??" Kaguya asks. ...Then, she spots Loren's.. difficulty. His fear, perhaps? His trauma. And--

"I'm a vegetarian," Kaguya answers, and then she peers between the others as--

"Oh, come on," she says. "Ugh, you're so barbaric. Seriously? You're going to hurt it? Come on."

Kaguya steps forward, shoving past the others, rolling her eyes. "I bet it's smarter than most humans," she says, and walks up, looking at... the mule. "Come on," she says soothingly, "It's okay. All you have to do is--"

Kaguya gets kicked. ...This doesn't particularly deter her, however. Mostly because she walks forward in an attempt to just deadlift the mule and put it in the stable herself.

DG: Kaguya has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Stubborn as a Mule.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Stubborn as a Mule *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The beasts outside of Burwich Village are vicious, cruel things. The beasts
 inside are far more mundane. In this case, a stablehand at the Hat and Tack
 Inn is trying to shove a mule back into the stable. He grunts, a gleam of
 silver chain from around his neck, as he pushes back. "C'mon, now, Bessie!
 Just... go... in!"

 He, clearly, could use some help. But be sure that you don't get kicked for
 pushing Bessie in (or, perhaps, coaxing her in another way).
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
========================<* Burwich Village - Round 4 *>=========================
========================< Results - Stubborn as a Mule >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          43 --(5)--> 48                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaguya                              43 --(5)--> 48                 Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   48 --(5)--> 53                 Pass
Crash Kit                           1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Reckless(1)|Tire(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Cleanse
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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> Loren Voss has posed.

    "I'm not asking you to eat it, I'm asking you to move it," Loren says to van Buskirk, as if attempting to explain to (yet another) small child. "It shouldn't take much force to move it."

    He at no point makes any attempt to try, himself. The trauma of the maleficent steed is not so easily forgotten.

    Bergenholm similarly doesn't provide much aid.

    MacDougall, on the other hand...

    "...That seems excessive," runs Loren's own comment on the matter.

    The stablehand blanches. "Now hold on there--"

    Which is the point where Kaguya walks up to the mule, gets kicked, then goes on and hefts it over her shoulders and carries it into its stall.
    The mule seems a little stunned by these proceedings. It certainly doesn't struggle or protest.
    The stablehand also seems a little stunned.

    "That's kinda... unorthodox, but, sure. That got 'er in for the night! Don't know how I can thank you enough, miss...?"

    Loren meanwhile asides to his teammates: "Before you ask, she's not human."

DG: Elhaym van Houten has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Burwich Village *>=============================
==================<* CHALLENGE - Practicing Your Rotation *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 On the eastern edge of the wall, you find a trio of wooden practice dummies.
 It seems the Hunters and the townspeople who practice arms use these. Their
 wooden shields and swords are built to turn, upon each impact. A little
 practice never hurt anyone, did it? And, afterward, you can enjoy a nice
 rest under the shade. Here, safe from the things that lurk beyond the wall,
 a long-traveled Drifter can find their rest.
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

MacDougall is spared the indignity of trying to light the hind end of a mule. That was her plan. Well, it wasn't the plan she had in mind but it was what would have happened.

Anyway.

"Well, obviously," Bergenholm says to Loren.

"Do you think we're dumb?" van Buskirk tells Loren. "I mean I ain't gone to medical school and I didn't pass my advanced math, sir, but I know the signs here."

"You aren't mating with it, are you," MacDougall says, flatly.

SOON ENOUGH, THO

"Hey, trainers! What a great thing to do, and practice with," Bergenholm says, glancing at the others.

"Eyop," van Buskirk says. It comes out at a weird angle. He hitches up his trousers and raises his axe, advancing forwards and rendering several brutal chops, exactly 2.3 seconds apart, into the thing's dense, durable road.

Bergenholm takes his turn next, though he gets a lot less actual... impact on the wood, since he's shooting highly polished stones. "Eh," he says.

MacDougall goes to sit down. She crosses her legs at the ankles, then at the shins. She looks at a training dummy.

Fifteen separate pocket bursts of Ether induced fire smash down into one of the dummies, setting it merrily ablaze.

MacDougall leans back against the shady tree.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Practicing Your Rotation.
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

"If you mention him and me mating again," Kaguya says cheerfully, "I'll hit you with a wall." ...It's very cheerful. It's also not really said as a joke.

In the meantime, she dusts her hands as she walks out of the stall. "Sometimes you gotta take the direct approach," Kaguya says with a smile. Then, "As for thanks I prefer cash. Trade goods are also acceptable." Beam.

She walks along with the others and--well well, there's trainers. Kaguya watches the three get to work on practicing, tilts her head considers. One, two...

Kaguya taps her feet a moment as she sees the one set ablaze, and then walks forward, stands on tiptoes, and--

Moves to rip a dummy's head clean off. She smiles at Loren the whole time. Makes eye contact, even. "Friends~"

DG: Kaguya has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Practicing Your Rotation.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    Loren's shoulders sag. His gaze meanwhile lifts somewhere vaguely heavenwards, as if to invoke the intercession of some kindly deity.

    Instead MacDougall makes a comment about his personal life. "--Don't be ridiculous! Of course not," he answers sharply, lip curling in disgust.

    BUT IT'S UNLIKELY TO REALLY CHANGE ANYONE'S MIND ABOUT THIS, AND SO

    "Training, huh..."

    He glances this way and that, as if to both check for the presence of any villagers at the grounds and do a spot-assessment of his teammates as they step up to the plate.

    "..."

    He kneels, digging out a length of bandaging from the depths of his kit and wrapping it around his hands. Unorthodox use, sure, but better safe than sorry.
    Which is then the point where Loren starts to draw the blade holstered at his hip, considers it, then slides it back into its sheathe.
    No. He doesn't really know how to use it, and the last thing he wants is to look like an idiot (more of an idiot) in front of them.

    So instead he fishes out another strip of bandages, re-wraps his left hand and approaches the trainer.

    Then takes a breath and lets swing with the left at the center of the training dummy, focusing in on a singular point.
    It's just basic self-defense-style fighting, but, still. He ought to stay in practice--

    Which is the point where his gaze lifts just in time to see Kaguya rip a dummy's head off, all sweetness and light.

    "...Charming," he comments, flatly. "I meant that you should get a sociable hobby, you know."

DG: Loren Voss has used his Tool Solarian Medical Kit toward his party's challenge, Practicing Your Rotation.
============================<* Burwich Village *>=============================
==================<* CHALLENGE - Practicing Your Rotation *>==================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 On the eastern edge of the wall, you find a trio of wooden practice dummies.
 It seems the Hunters and the townspeople who practice arms use these. Their
 wooden shields and swords are built to turn, upon each impact. A little
 practice never hurt anyone, did it? And, afterward, you can enjoy a nice
 rest under the shade. Here, safe from the things that lurk beyond the wall,
 a long-traveled Drifter can find their rest.
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
=======================<* Burwich Village - Round 5 *>========================
====================< Results - Practicing Your Rotation >====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          48 --(5)--> 53                 Pass
Solarian Medical Kit                1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaguya                              48 --(10)--> 58                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   53 --(5)--> 58                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Save Point(1)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Loren Voss 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> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

All three of these goobers look at Kaguya and say "..."

(Van Buskirk actually says "... :meat_on_bone:" but that's not supported.)

"So that's been a good break! Now let's see, Voss, we were trying to get a good idea of what's going on in this quaint country town, right?"

DG: Kaguya has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
================<* CHALLENGE - Meeting with the Burgermeister *>================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 It seems that your helpfulness has earned the attention of the man who is
 responsible for governing the village: Silas Dee, a younger man with a
 short-trimmed black beard. The Burgermeister's home is the only three-story
 house in the village, and you are escorted within. He looks up at you -- and
 smiles, perhaps unknowingly about your involvement with some of his kin.

 "Welcome, outlanders," he says. "I appreciate the help you have done. I do,
 however, ask of you one more thing: what news of the outside world? We've
 been worried, of late, and have little contact. Most of our Hunters have
 been worried about Josiah, and... we've not made the rounds."

 OOC: The goal of this challenge is to impress the Burgermeister with your
 knowledge. You can also, optionally, give him information to influence him
 towards one group or another on Lunar -- for instance, to make him wary or
 trusting of Althena's Guard. The end results will influence how the third
 Dig in this trilogy goes. Please note your results here, including the title
 of the Discovery received (if any; no Landmarks or Escapes, please):

 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PLHycl8XSs9MO-jKurg-Vb5snrijoLwzWCIx
 IJx2Wjk/edit?usp=sharing
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

Kaguya looks back to the others and smiles pleasantly, once again. She thinks they have an understanding, here. ...Meanwhile, of course, she gets ahead and then looks to Loren's comment. "I mean, I also grow flowers. Arrange them nicely, too. But I don't have a ton of my equipment here..." She sighs, dramatically--

"Ow!" she exclaims, suddenly sucking on her finger. ...The head's pointy, splintered neck is probably the culprit. "...Come onnn," she mutters disconsolately.

As they keep walking she finds it... itchy. She does, of course, follow along when they're done with the break, obviously, and so they come to...

A pair of young men who show up to scort them to the Burgermeister's home; it is a very nice home, and he smiles at them. He offers his greeting, makes his request, and... Well..

He sure does look like Voss rings a bell for him. He looks thoughtful at that. ...For her part, of course, Kaguya:

"Well, you've got some lovely blooms going in the next valley over, a real great set. Here," she says, and starts to pull out her tablet again, poking through until she gets to some pictures. "That's the good news! The bad news is that after some very good-looking people arrived in Lastonbell, things got pretty rough. You know, war. Except, worse, because there was a big evil dragon! It was super bad." She pauses.

"On which note the Oasis Free Company is currently hiring security for people concerned about looters in these dark times!"

DG: Kaguya has used her Tool Radi-74 Tablet toward her party's challenge, Meeting with the Burgermeister.
<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    "Well, would you look at that," he says, completely deadpan. "You're almost part of the way there to being a well-adjusted member of society."
    Pause. "...Please tell me you don't plant the flowers in skulls."

    "That was the idea. See what's going on here, and where we might come in--"

    Speak of the devil, perhaps, when the young men arrive to ask the lot of them come along to visit the Burgermeister's home.
    He's apparently been asking after them. It would seem their passage through the town has not gone unnoticed.

    The Burgermeister looks at Loren a little funny, like he recognizes him from somewhere or something. Loren furrows his brow, squinting back at the older man, as if to silently inquire after the source.
    Maybe he's mistaken him for someone he knows?

    This, though, is a matter that's neither here nor there. This is an opportunity: the people in this village want to know about the outside world, and that's a commodity they can provide. He hestitates initially, but as Kaguya pulls out her computer, he does similarly.

    Though there is that moment's pause as she dishes out the details on her end. A... dragon?

    "That's not much in the way of good news, is it?" he asks, fidgeting with his glasses with his free hand. "Though I suppose she has about the right of it. It's been war to the north, and I doubt it will leave this place untouched." He pauses, then continues. "Then there's the animals out in the forest, made aggressive by the spreading corruption. I'm certain that's why this Josiah of yours hasn't returned -- the beasts could have easily made short work of him."
    They, naturally, had made short work of the beasts because of their training. ...And whatever horrific powers Kaguya's Veruni heritage have given her. But normal surface-dwelling humans?
    He pauses, continuing to scroll through the directory of the medical indexing in the slow-moving machine in his hands, skimming the text in a hurry. Only a good eye will note the language setting is a little different.
    (this is because the user interface is set to Solarian)

    "...Though, I'm curious. I noticed a number of your people wearing silver pendants. Is that a local belief?" He's stopped on an entry for silver, which opens after a few more agonizing seconds of waiting. "I'm familiar with silver nitrate as a caustic treatment, of course, but I'm not as familiar with traditions around here."

    Silver, silver. There are a number of treatments that use silver in part, but nothing he can find even in the database here about wearing it.

DG: Loren Voss has used his Tool MediScan v7 toward his party's challenge, Meeting with the Burgermeister.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Ugh. Is that your little gang," MacDougall mutters as she side-eyes Kaguya, making one of her Faces as she does. She settles down nonetheless, accepting whatever is served.

Van Buskirk mostly settles down. Bergenholm gets in after Loren speaks. His hands clap a little. "Yeah! They're real striking," Bergenholm tells the village chief (he thinks of him as such, naturally) "Do you trade them, by any chance?"

"Bone meal is good for plants," van Buskirk says, a little hesitantly. "But that's ground up."

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Meeting with the Burgermeister.
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
================<* CHALLENGE - Meeting with the Burgermeister *>================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 It seems that your helpfulness has earned the attention of the man who is
 responsible for governing the village: Silas Dee, a younger man with a
 short-trimmed black beard. The Burgermeister's home is the only three-story
 house in the village, and you are escorted within. He looks up at you -- and
 smiles, perhaps unknowingly about your involvement with some of his kin.

 "Welcome, outlanders," he says. "I appreciate the help you have done. I do,
 however, ask of you one more thing: what news of the outside world? We've
 been worried, of late, and have little contact. Most of our Hunters have
 been worried about Josiah, and... we've not made the rounds."

 OOC: The goal of this challenge is to impress the Burgermeister with your
 knowledge. You can also, optionally, give him information to influence him
 towards one group or another on Lunar -- for instance, to make him wary or
 trusting of Althena's Guard. The end results will influence how the third
 Dig in this trilogy goes. Please note your results here, including the title
 of the Discovery received (if any; no Landmarks or Escapes, please):

 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PLHycl8XSs9MO-jKurg-Vb5snrijoLwzWCIx
 IJx2Wjk/edit?usp=sharing
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret===================================================
========================<* Burwich Village - Round 6 *>=========================
==================< Results - Meeting with the Burgermeister >==================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loren Voss                          53 --(15)--> 68                Pass
MediScan v7                         3   Wits    Effects: Enlighten and Sacrifi
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaguya                              58 --(15)--> 73                Pass
Radi-74 Tablet                      2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   58 --(20)--> 78                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Loren Voss                  90 --(30)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Secret(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Loren Voss has successfully explored Burwich Village!
=============================<* Burwich Village *>==============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - A Faded Poster *>========================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 After leaving the Burgermeister's home, you find your way back to the Hat
 and Tack. There, you happen to catch something on the wall: a long faded
 poster. It depicts the likeness of a young man, sketched out. He looks to be
 a teenager, with well-kept hair. The text under the sketch reads:
 "Heathbridge Dee, Age 16. Missing." The date indicates he went missing three
 months ago.
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Kaguya has posed.

"Like you'd know anything about society," Kaguya answers Loren with a roll of her eyes. ...Then she frowns. "Ew, come on. How morbid is that? I plant them in planters, where they can be transported. Or in the ground. Duh."

She turns to peer at MacDougall, and apparently heard that.

"Man, way to be bleak. 'Your missing person probably died', right? It's OK he's just a downer. He's probably fine!"

Kaguya leans close to van Buskirk, and whispers, "he's probably not fine."

She pauses. "Anyway yeah bone meal is good for plants but that's creepy and weird and ugh. Nevermind."

What does the man say to their information? He does not offer any answers about the pendants. He simply listens, thoughtfully, dignified, and--

Our action picks up again as the group is leaving, returning away, and... seeing... a poster.

How mysterious. Who is Heathbridge Dee?