2018-07-25:Grin and Beer It

From Dream Chasers
Jump to: navigation, search

=========================<* Plains of the Goddess *>==========================

The Plains of the Goddess consist of an enormous prairie that occupies the heart of the Meribus continent. It is the breadbasket of the world of Lunar; Althena's blessing lives strong in the soil, and the crops grown here are healthy, hearty, and free of disease. As a result of this bounty, the vast majority of the Plains are uncultivated; farmers have little reason to expand into the untamed wildlands when their larders and storehouses are filled to bursting.

Only a few roads cross the Plains of the Goddess, linking the major cities to each other, with the ruins of Vane at the hub of a wagon wheel. Althena's Guard patrols the highways regularly, making travel (relatively) safe. Anyone heading deeper into the fields does so at their own risk, however.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi_p5wdBrXw
DG: A party led by Seraph Lanval is now entering Sinner's Cellar.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=================================================<* Sinner's Cellar *>==================================================
======================================<* CHALLENGE - Slim And Shady Characters *>=======================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The journey towards this rumored cellar takes your party down a road          
 somewhere between Old Vane and Meribia that does not see much use these       
 days. Wetlands appear poised to reclaim this part of Lunar for itself from    
 lack of maintenance. Because this road is not as commonly used these days,    
 this place sees its fair share of shady characters wanting to do things away  
 from the prying eyes of the Guard - there's so few places on this part of     
 Meribus left for that purpose.                                                
                                                                               
 Your party encounters a number of hooded figures surrounding the burnt-down   
 remains of the Copper Rapier Inn. Cultists? Bandits? It's not clear why       
 they're here, keeping watch, but something about their presence is unnerving  
 no matter how confident one is of their own strength. It seems prudent to     
 avoid drawing their attention as you locate and enter the cellar through its  
 hatch.                                                                        
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Once more, a twist of fate sees a disparate bunch of people go down into the partially submerged roads into what was one of the few truly shady places left on the Meribus continent. A place that has been accurately described as 'a loogie someone spit from East Nota for Meribia, but missed, and then no one bothered to clean it up.' Then the Guard sort of did, a few years ago, by evicting everyone and BURNING IT TO THE GROUND. There shouldn't be anything of value left... but then there's been talks about the basement complex still being there, under the charred ruins.
        Lanval leads this motley crew - even willingly including a member of the Guard - down the swampy roads. This is the not fun part, because these roads have hardly been maintained and the path he wants to take sometimes even goes right off of it.
        "Mmm... shouldn't shee them if we go thish way," he says cryptically. Then, they see them anyway. Hooded figures. Strange ones, going to and fro. Are they a bandit patrol? A bunch of strange people looking for something? Their features can't be seen under their hoods, but there's something about them that doesn't seem right. Uncomfortable.
        "Mmmmph... they're shtill there, huh," Lanval muses. "Okayyyy... better shneak pasht. Don't ya worry 'bout it, I know the way... jusht might hafta take shome detoursh..."
        His way does indeed involve a lot of detours. Fallen trees, busted wagons, at least one dead horse for cover... the skies above are dreary, as though promising to later rain like Pendrago way, way, way down south just took its turn at hawking loogies at Meribia.

DG: Seraph Lanval has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Slim And Shady Characters.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi sighs. Her human disguise is so small. So puny. So itchy! But there's no help for it. She's been here before, and this time she's better-prepared, with empty vessels to retrieve water in. She's seen the skulking, hooded figures before, too -- and slips past them, though not with ease. Stealth is hardly her specialty... She knows enough to communicate with her companions through gestures as they sneak silently to the hatch, where new dangers doubtless await.

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Portable Scanner toward her party's challenge, Slim And Shady Characters.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

What is with this geography and having horrible respiratory diseases? It's not normal! Landscapes should not be ABLE to get sick!

Filgaia exempted, obviously. That's a special and weird case.

Cyre has been needing a small break from the horrors and mind-shattering madness he's experienced back down in the Glenwood. It seemed like going to help Lanval retrieve his hidden booze stash was as good of an idea as any, but then there were bandits, and then there was a swamp, and everything is just awful everywhere.

It's raining, too.

This is just reminding him of that time in Wehaca now.

Cyre takes the opportunity to try and bypass the muck for now, at least. He soars overhead, water wicking down off of his parachute. The weather doesn't make this easy, but it's way better than being down below. Of course, it doesn't help speed the trip up much.

"So uh," Cyre calls down, "Are we there yet?"

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Slim And Shady Characters.
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
Two women have been shuffling in seemingly-identical dark blue cloaks, their ears vaguely visible through side-wise cup-slits in the hoods. Their eyes have remained completely shadowed and they have spoken but little, even as they followed the Seraph. One of these women is much shorter than the other, though a more accurate way to put it is that one is a step below average, and the other is several steps above.

Their cloaks are legally distinct from those of the gathered weirdos.

The taller woman lets out a heroic sigh. "Silf," she says, "we don't have time to deal with this." The taller woman reaches to her hip, and draws out -

A card.

Which she consults before replacing. She does not show it to everyone because that would probably reveal her to be Margaret, which is absolutely not the case despite a generous dosing of her characteristic scented oil in her hair underneath that hood. (It's not a bad smell!)

Silf - the smaller elf - rustles a salute, and then cups her hands in front of her face in a strange way.

'hey,' comes a thrown voice in the distance. 'guys! i found a root cellar over here, towards the ravine!'

The taller cloaked figure turns around after Cyre's question, facing him dead on for several seconds. A couple of raindrops turn into tiny hailstones as they cross what is probably her field of vision - it's hard to tell given how veiled her face is - but then she turns back to face the wreckage of the inn.

DG: Margaret has used her Tool Traveler's Cards toward her party's challenge, Slim And Shady Characters.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren is also on holiday. Most of the work she had planned to do is kind of working itself out right now. She also has a friend with her, a strangely shaped beastman named Tadpole who has a decidedly Froppylike appearance. The two are chatting quietly amongst themselves for the moment.

"So she just left?" Tadpole asks.

"Yeah," Lydia is saying. "I think I depressed her and she gave up which is really the worst way to 'win' a fight, you know?"

They end up arriving with Margaret's contingent though she doesn't end up recognizing her immediately. Instead they come up short before seeing the strange figures.

"Can't even show up here without running into problems." Lydia mumbles before plucking Schrodinger from Tadpole's hands and following the cat's lead.

Schrodinger meows quietly and then heads towards the cellar. Coincidentally.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Slim And Shady Characters.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

For some reason, Lanval wanted Layna to come with him to this rundown, backwater portion of Meribus. Lanval never really asked much(well, excluding alcohol), and Layna didn't really have much to do, so...

...She shrugged, and agreed to tag along.

For the most part she's just kind've been following along, keeping to herself, but as they get closer to their destination, they spot some hooded figures. Who were they? Why were they here, of all places?

Layna frowns. That was...concerning. Was it a coincidence, that they were here right around the same time they had set out? Either way...she doesn't like it. Lanval suggests sneaking, and for once Layna is for that plan.

...Though not before providing some assistance of her own. She focuses on some brush in the distance near these cultists and recites a quick incantation.

Wind begins to stir, causing the brush to rustle as if there was something moving around inside it. If they were lucky, it'd help keep the cultist's attention off of them long enough for them to sneak past.

If they weren't...well, then they might have an opportunity to see what they were capable of.

DG: Layna Manydays has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Slim And Shady Characters.
=================================================<* Sinner's Cellar *>==================================================
======================================<* CHALLENGE - Slim And Shady Characters *>=======================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The journey towards this rumored cellar takes your party down a road          
 somewhere between Old Vane and Meribia that does not see much use these       
 days. Wetlands appear poised to reclaim this part of Lunar for itself from    
 lack of maintenance. Because this road is not as commonly used these days,    
 this place sees its fair share of shady characters wanting to do things away  
 from the prying eyes of the Guard - there's so few places on this part of     
 Meribus left for that purpose.                                                
                                                                               
 Your party encounters a number of hooded figures surrounding the burnt-down   
 remains of the Copper Rapier Inn. Cultists? Bandits? It's not clear why       
 they're here, keeping watch, but something about their presence is unnerving  
 no matter how confident one is of their own strength. It seems prudent to     
 avoid drawing their attention as you locate and enter the cellar through its  
 hatch.                                                                        
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck=================================================
============================================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 1 *>=============================================
========================================< Results - Slim And Shady Characters >=========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret                            0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Traveler's Cards                    3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               0 --(5)--> 5                   Pass
Portable Scanner                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Seraph Lanval               0 --(15)--> 15 
DG: The party led by Seraph Lanval has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.

[
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        No matter the composition of who is here or why, they are the right team for the job. Distractions are provided. The rustling wind by Layna doesn't seem to draw heads (or hoods - are they just hoods?), but Cyre's talking starts to attract attention... as an expert act of ventriloquism converts that all-important 'are we there' question stand-alone into a lead of something that appears to interest them. Many turn away, and start heading in the direction of the thrown voice.
        Malfi makes it through just fine, but the results her scanner gets... makes zero sense. Lots of things about this place makes zero sense to someone like her, so maybe that makes not-zero sense?
        Schrodinger awaits right at the cellar door, as Lanval looks down the open hatch.
        "That'sh the way in..." His voice trails off. As everyone shuffles aside, allies and pets and all, a few hooded figures look his way. Directly. They don't approach. They don't say anything. They don't cast fell spells. They notice he is there, and he hurls himself down in equal parts ACTION DIVE and slapstick tumble.
        The air seems to get heavier - not just from humidity and stench, but those two are contributing factors.

DG: Malfi has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
============================================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 1 *>=============================================
=========<* CHALLENGE - Please Tell Me You Brought Some Illuminite *>=========
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It is dark in here. You might be eaten by something or another. The cellar    
 is usually kept lit by magically animated torches, but it seems this grace    
 is not extended to this part of it. Worse yet, it seems as though the very    
 darkness wants to keep it that way, as something in the air keeps trying to   
 smother out any attempts to put up a light source to ensure you get eaten by  
 something. Or just stub your toe as you trip over detritus, garbage, or       
 maybe even a corpse.                                                          
                                                                               
 One such piece of garbage is an old parchment on fancy paper designed to      
 endure the ravages of time, dated 3618 GY, by a prominent priest of the       
 time. They bid the faithful of a monastery to relocate further south to       
 Glenwood.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Injure=========================================

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

The darkness isn't much of a problem for Malfi, Schrodinger, and possibly Cyre, but the rest of her companions are in a conundrum, in danger of stumbling around in the dark. The very air seems oppressive and supporting darkness. It's more than just the absence of light...the darkness seems to have a presence. It's creepy!
Malfi continues using her scanner, figuring it might offer at least some guidance...

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Portable Scanner toward her party's challenge, Please Tell Me You Brought Some Illuminite.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        One long, painful looking tumble roll down some steps later, Lanval lands perfectly on his feet like he might be confusing himself for Schrodinger. Well, aside from swaying back and forth a bit, steadying himself to look back over his shoulder. Those hooded figures remain a recent memory, at closest... and then he turns back towards where the strange low-Resonance woman just walks forward into the darkness, heedless of how dark it is.
        "...Huhhhhh." The portly water elemental stands slack-jawed as he stares at the better-lit end of the dark tunnel, rubbing at his silvery beard while he opens up his eyes half-lidded. "What'sh goin' on now... mmmm. Hey. Keep yer handsh on the left-hand shide..."
        Paper loudly rustles under someone's foot, and it ends up floating towards his hands. "...Three-thoushand, shix-hundred 'n eighteen..." Lanval mouths the date out loud. Why? He doesn't say anything else as he sets the paper back down, though he exhales loudly as though dejected--
        Then clears his throat. "Don't worry 'bout li'l ol' me," he says as he makes a worrying little journey into the darkness after the strange woman who seems undeterred by it.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
"Awww, kitty," Silf says, as Schrodinger moves past her - or does he?

The presence of the cloaked Lydia and her beastperson friend does not disturb the woman who is absolutely positively not Margaret despite being her height and sounding and smelling exactly like her. "Hm," she says as they descend. Thoughtfully, Margaret (or is it?) fingers her cards.

She draws one.

She looks at it.

As an elf, Margaret has limited infravision, but this means she can make her way through a dark room. You can't read with infravision. "Hn," she says.

"Three six one eight," Silf says to herself. "Three six one eight. Three six one eight." She's committing it, it seems, to memory.

"Here for the loot?" the woman who is totes not Margaret asks Lydia.

DG: Margaret has used her Tool Traveler's Cards toward her party's challenge, Please Tell Me You Brought Some
Illuminite.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Oh god that's a hell of a stare. Cyre feels the chill right down to his bones. Possibly literally! Margaret does magic, after all. He's more than happy enough to get back down to relatively solid ground and into a nice and cozy cellar.

It's dark in here.

This is good, it means he can't be stared at so bad.

"Hey uhhh, Lydia. Are you going to bring your friend along, or--" Maybe it's not the best idea? This whole place is giving him the creeps in a deeply uncomfortable way. The air seems almost as if it were trying to smother all life and all light. What is this, even...?

Well. At least Cyre's got some kind of magical illumination to use, even if Solais Emsu's brilliance is likely muted by the oppressive murk. Having cat eyes will just have to make up for the rest.

Animal-themed superpowers can be pretty useful sometimes, huh...?

"What's three six one eight got to do with things?" Cyre asks in Silf's general direction. "That a password or something?"

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Please Tell Me You Brought Some
Illuminite.
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
"It might be," Silf answers Cyre. "But it's a discovery."

============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
=========<* CHALLENGE - Please Tell Me You Brought Some Illuminite *>=========
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It is dark in here. You might be eaten by something or another. The cellar    
 is usually kept lit by magically animated torches, but it seems this grace    
 is not extended to this part of it. Worse yet, it seems as though the very    
 darkness wants to keep it that way, as something in the air keeps trying to   
 smother out any attempts to put up a light source to ensure you get eaten by  
 something. Or just stub your toe as you trip over detritus, garbage, or       
 maybe even a corpse.                                                          
                                                                               
 One such piece of garbage is an old parchment on fancy paper designed to      
 endure the ravages of time, dated 3618 GY, by a prominent priest of the       
 time. They bid the faithful of a monastery to relocate further south to       
 Glenwood.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Injure=========================================
DG: Seraph Lanval has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Please Tell Me You Brought Some
Illuminite.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval is notably silent as discussions rage about the number. Usually he doesn't stop giggling, laughing, or carrying on when out and about. (Maybe he just got eaten by a grue?)

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna watches with an eyebrow raised as two of their party just waltz without a problem into the darkness of the cellar. Layna would activate bracers and follow after her, but she knows what kind of place this was. There's a very real possibility that the level of heat that would create would end up lighting some sort of lingering booze haze and cause this place to explode with them in it.

No thanks, she's good on that front.

So, with a shrug, she decides to just follow them all down in there anyway...

...Of course, when she does, she finds herself nearly tripping over something.

"...What the hell? What's all down here?" Layna mutters, with a hint of confusion, and then grins. Those who can see it should immediately be worried. "...Well, fine. If it's going to be like this...!"

Layna recites an incantation, gestures forward, and then sends a masive gust forward to sweep as many obstructions as possible out of their path.

This is roughly the equivalent of 'sweeping the mess under the rug and hoping nobody notices', but maybe it'll make things a little easier?

DG: Layna Manydays has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Please Tell Me You Brought Some
Illuminite.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
=========<* CHALLENGE - Please Tell Me You Brought Some Illuminite *>=========
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It is dark in here. You might be eaten by something or another. The cellar    
 is usually kept lit by magically animated torches, but it seems this grace    
 is not extended to this part of it. Worse yet, it seems as though the very    
 darkness wants to keep it that way, as something in the air keeps trying to   
 smother out any attempts to put up a light source to ensure you get eaten by  
 something. Or just stub your toe as you trip over detritus, garbage, or       
 maybe even a corpse.                                                          
                                                                               
 One such piece of garbage is an old parchment on fancy paper designed to      
 endure the ravages of time, dated 3618 GY, by a prominent priest of the       
 time. They bid the faithful of a monastery to relocate further south to       
 Glenwood.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Injure=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Schrodinger is a sweetheart," Lydia tells Silf. "But also he does whatever he wants. I managed to get him to listen to me sometimes by feeding seventeen of him fish." Wait did she just say seventeen of him?

She then puts her hands in both her pockets as Schrodinger paws at the entrance way and then, when its open, continues on further in.

"I just wanted to check it out." Lydia admits. "But you know me." Pause. "Well you don't know me I guess, but I do love me some treasure!" She grins briefly as she picks up Schrodinger now that it's dark, not providing much further assistance down here right now.

"Three six one eight?" She asks.

Tadpole meanwhile looks at the floating piece of paper with interest. And then she promptly picks it back up once its set down. "Found some magic paper."

"That's not magic paper," Lydia says. "Just a Seraph."

"Oh. Well I'm still keeping it," Tadpole says.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Please Tell Me You Brought Some
Illuminite.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
=========<* CHALLENGE - Please Tell Me You Brought Some Illuminite *>=========
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It is dark in here. You might be eaten by something or another. The cellar    
 is usually kept lit by magically animated torches, but it seems this grace    
 is not extended to this part of it. Worse yet, it seems as though the very    
 darkness wants to keep it that way, as something in the air keeps trying to   
 smother out any attempts to put up a light source to ensure you get eaten by  
 something. Or just stub your toe as you trip over detritus, garbage, or       
 maybe even a corpse.                                                          
                                                                               
 One such piece of garbage is an old parchment on fancy paper designed to      
 endure the ravages of time, dated 3618 GY, by a prominent priest of the       
 time. They bid the faithful of a monastery to relocate further south to       
 Glenwood.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Injure=========================================
=======================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 2 *>========================
===========< Results - Please Tell Me You Brought Some Illuminite >===========
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret                            5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Traveler's Cards                    3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               5 --(5)--> 10                  Pass
Portable Scanner                    2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Seraph Lanval               15 --(15)--> 30                Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Injure(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Seraph Lanval has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Malfi takes the lead, and together the company forms a human -- or at least humanoid--train, each person placing hands on the person's shoulders in front of them, as they pick their way to the next room. Cyre's light sputters and gutters but does not go out, and it provides just enough illumination to read the parchment -- if one squints. They waste no time moving on, eager to escape the oppressive, light-and-life-dampening atmosphere. If anyone asks, Malfi will say she has good night vision...

DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
================<* CHALLENGE - No Crying Over Spilled Beer *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This chamber was once used to house casks of beer - these seem to be from     
 3840-3880 GY. You're not sure why there's so much distance between here and   
 the tavern proper, but that's not what's important now. The barrels have      
 ruptured, and its contents have flooded the floor of this chamber. There's    
 sturdy planks floating around that can make for serviceable makeshift         
 platforms, and even if you fall in, it's not that deep.                       
                                                                               
 The scent, however, is overpowering, making everyone light in the head...     
 and some may yet further feel resigned that the best of one's life is behind  
 them. It's best not to stick around, lest one wants to be crying over         
 spilled beer. Spilled beer that doesn't seem like it was ever good.           
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Injure=============================================

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

The group shortly finds that themselves in an ancient chamber. This chamber isn't just sticky, it's downright possible to submerge myself in one isn't careful, with only small and thin planks drifting along allowing one to move along and not end up tumbling into the drink below. Even for individuals that CAN swim, it probably wouldn't be a pleasant experience even if drowning may be difficult.

The worst part is the smell. It hits Lydia hard and she crinkles her nose (Tadpole doesn't seem bothered). Lydia says, "This is gross so--"

SHe fires a portal to the other side of the room and then one nearby, hopping in in an attempt to just avoid the whole problem in the first place. Of course, the powerful odor may make Lydia mistime her shots.

If that happens hopefully she won't wine about it.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Portal Pistols toward her party's challenge, No Crying Over Spilled Beer.

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Whoa, the aroma of old beer is overpowering in here! Malfi doesn't see much choice other than to wade through it, though -- if for no other reason than to find another exit so they won't have to return through the darkness room. "I guess there are worse things to smell like," she mutters, though, naturally, she won't mention what they are. Yuck, it's soaking into her clothes, and her boots were sodden as soon as she set foot in here. "This had better be worth it!" Fortunately her lack of Resonance spares her the hopelessness that this room seems to exude towards those with it.... Now would be a very, very good time for a coffee break. She takes a few swigs from her thermos, hoping that the coffee will mask the boozy smell, even temporarily.

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Blackest Coffee toward her party's challenge, No Crying Over Spilled Beer.
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
The smell of beer reaches them all, washes into their noses. Silf is quiet, seized, perhaps, by nostalgia, by memory, by knowledge. Silf knows she isn't old by the standards of her people, but perhaps -

Margaret claps her hands twice, then throws back her hood.

"What a MISERABLE hole," she says aloud, in a tone of authority.

"I recognize this kind of place. Yes - this must have been a brewery, or the proofing chamber for the beer. Don't give me that look," Margaret continues: "The prohibition's younger than I am, youthful though I am in spirit. Beer would be set down here for cool storage, to keep and to refine... and I suppose that it was abandoned."

Silf pulls her hood back. Silf is an elf notable for having crooked teeth and being much shorter than Margaret, though at the moment she does not look like a child.

"Even so," Margaret says, stalking forwards with a toss of her hair. "This is ancient! This beer should not smell this fresh. These casks, if intact, would have eroded to nothing... the 'Seraph's share' would have concentrated the hops and everything into a rancid oil. Unless this place is somehow bound..."

"I always take you to the worst places," Margaret stage-mutters to Silf, who, hesitantly, laughs in response.

"Come now, all of you," Margaret says, sweeping her arms out - and extending her hands. "If you think you can't splash through, or don't care for the effort, take my hand or get a good grip on my forearm." ("Or mine!" Silf chirps.)

"We'll force our way across this sea of forbidden urine," Margaret concludes.

DG: Margaret has used her Tool Hounds of Hell Represent toward her party's challenge, No Crying Over Spilled Beer.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Tadpole, if she reads it (or shares it), sees that the paper is a letter dated 3618 GY from a prominent priest of the time. It bids the faithful of a monastery relocate to Glenwood. Glenwood, being outside of the Boundary, was always in need of more able-bodied clergy to keep the faith going... it's really nice paper. The priest who wrote it is a notable enough figure in Church history - unnamed as they are for this story - that the parchment alone might fetch some serious silver.
        Lanval doesn't seem to object to it, but he doesn't seem to be doing much of anything he's known for as they come down to a flooded chamber. One half-open eye tracks to one of the barrels on the racks. He gives the cask a gentle pat as if in greeting, and then he looks down...
        Is that a frown? He looks to Layna and Cyre as Malfi treks through the drink, just after Lydia tries to portal through. He shakes his head.
        This is suspicious! Beer being on the ground in a spill hasn't stopped him from lapping it up prior!! What gives?!
        He has no response for Margaret about the commentary regarding the place, as he gets out his own kiseru-style pipe while sitting on the steps just before the new underground lake of foul beer, taking a nice long drag in which to produce huge bubbles that are perfect for getting inside and drifting about on a wing and a prayer that they'll take someone somewhere where they won't be dumped into the drink when it pops.
        At some point he seems to have fallen into one of his own smoked bubbles, where he passively floats along above the yucky muck.

DG: Seraph Lanval has used his Tool Bubble Pipe toward his party's challenge, No Crying Over Spilled Beer.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Fair point. Discoveries are discoveries, so let's keep right on discovering things... Thattaway!" Cyre points boldly into the murk! It just so happens to also be the direction Lydia is taking. A direction that leads them directly into...

Uh.

Hm.

"Who would do such a thing to so much booze?" Cyre bemoans moments before the spoilt, almost vinegar-y stench wafting up from the loose beer hits his nose like a sledgehammer. The cat-man immediately turns a spectacular shade of green and presses a hand to his mouth to hold back the inevitable tide. "Urp. N-nevermind. Let's... Let's just go. Quick as we can. Come on."

Cyre hops right into Lydia's portal, because screwwww this. Cat powers are useful sometimes but THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES.

"Got plenty of places like this back home," Cyre gulps back his disgust long enough to exposit. "This would never happen there though. The locals would have picked it clean long before anything would have a chance to pool like this."

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, No Crying Over Spilled Beer.
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
Margaret also notices Lydia did her portal thing after her inspirational remarks.

Margaret and Silf happen to bracket the portal. They both have this face: c_c

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna is used to boozey scents, but this is a little...much, even for her. It's more than a little overpowering, and causes her to recoil a bit as she steps into the room.

"Thanks for the offer, but I'm good." Layna says with a nod to Margaret and her friend, stepping forward into the room. ...Even so, it isn't pleasant. It's almost like she can feel the spilled beer seeping into her feet with every step.

...Something else begins to seep in, too.

...What happened to her? She used to be a terrifying pirate, respected and feared. ...Now look at her. It had been more than a year since she had last sailed the seas at the helm of her own ship. She was no closer to besting Bladewall than she was when she and her crew first faced him, all those years ago.

...With a frown, Layna draws a bottle from somewhere and takes a deep swig. She knows what this place is trying to do to her. The best thing to do is to just drown it out.

She takes a moment to look down at the bottle in her hand, and smirks slightly.

"If Dahlia were here...she'd be livid at the sight of this place." Layna remarks, laughing to herself and shaking her head. She'd probably smack her for thinking those thoughts earlier, too.

For the time being, she distracts herself by glancing in Lanval's direction. He...looks fine, at least, though he's been unusually quiet...

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Quartermaster's Stash toward her party's challenge, No Crying Over Spilled Beer.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
================<* CHALLENGE - No Crying Over Spilled Beer *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This chamber was once used to house casks of beer - these seem to be from     
 3840-3880 GY. You're not sure why there's so much distance between here and   
 the tavern proper, but that's not what's important now. The barrels have      
 ruptured, and its contents have flooded the floor of this chamber. There's    
 sturdy planks floating around that can make for serviceable makeshift         
 platforms, and even if you fall in, it's not that deep.                       
                                                                               
 The scent, however, is overpowering, making everyone light in the head...     
 and some may yet further feel resigned that the best of one's life is behind  
 them. It's best not to stick around, lest one wants to be crying over         
 spilled beer. Spilled beer that doesn't seem like it was ever good.           
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Injure=============================================
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
================<* CHALLENGE - No Crying Over Spilled Beer *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This chamber was once used to house casks of beer - these seem to be from     
 3840-3880 GY. You're not sure why there's so much distance between here and   
 the tavern proper, but that's not what's important now. The barrels have      
 ruptured, and its contents have flooded the floor of this chamber. There's    
 sturdy planks floating around that can make for serviceable makeshift         
 platforms, and even if you fall in, it's not that deep.                       
                                                                               
 The scent, however, is overpowering, making everyone light in the head...     
 and some may yet further feel resigned that the best of one's life is behind  
 them. It's best not to stick around, lest one wants to be crying over         
 spilled beer. Spilled beer that doesn't seem like it was ever good.           
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Injure=============================================
=======================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 3 *>========================
==================< Results - No Crying Over Spilled Beer >===================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       15 --(5)--> 20                 Pass
Bubble Pipe                         3   Agility Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret                            10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Hounds of Hell Represent            3   Agility Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Portal Pistols                      2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      15 --(5)--> 20                 Pass
Quartermaster's Stash               2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               10 --(5)--> 15                 Pass
Blackest Coffee                     2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Seraph Lanval               30 --(15)--> 45                Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(1)|Injure(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)|Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Seraph Lanval has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Sorry I'm not into forbidden urine." Lydia says from the other side.

Tadpole doesn't read aloud the parchment because it doesn't seem particularly relevant to what's currently going on. Also she understands about discretion and can mention it if it comes up. Plus it can be sold and discretion is the better part of greed.

Luckily nobody really has any issues beyond dealing with the smell and nobody tumbles in, unless they want to. Cyre can SCREW THIS and jump into the portal and just avoid the whole problem and the prouder individuals can make their way from plank to plank and show off.

Or like, float across. That works well too.

Lydia honestly is probably not even gonna wait for folks because THE SMELL IS AWFUL.

============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
================<* CHALLENGE - No Crying Over Spilled Beer *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This chamber was once used to house casks of beer - these seem to be from     
 3840-3880 GY. You're not sure why there's so much distance between here and   
 the tavern proper, but that's not what's important now. The barrels have      
 ruptured, and its contents have flooded the floor of this chamber. There's    
 sturdy planks floating around that can make for serviceable makeshift         
 platforms, and even if you fall in, it's not that deep.                       
                                                                               
 The scent, however, is overpowering, making everyone light in the head...     
 and some may yet further feel resigned that the best of one's life is behind  
 them. It's best not to stick around, lest one wants to be crying over         
 spilled beer. Spilled beer that doesn't seem like it was ever good.           
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Injure=============================================
DG: Layna Manydays has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - A Chalice Half-Empty *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You're not the first to explore these depths. Even now, some feel drawn to    
 just come here, away from society, and seclude themselves with their          
 sorrows. This sad person - financially destitute, advanced age, completely    
 by their lonesome - seems intent to just wallow about in despair in the       
 company of whatever beer or other substance they can find down in the dingy   
 depths. Malevolence flakes off of them in high concentration, if only just    
 shy of becoming a Hellion. They want you to leave them alone. They become     
 insistent, and then violent.                                                  
                                                                               
 In their possession is an ornate-looking goblet once used for religious       
 ceremonies - the knowledgeable would put it around the early 3600s. Whatever  
 its history, it is now home to a beverage of bitter drink and bitter tears    
 this sad individual is nursing.                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Treasure===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Unfortunately, it isn't long after they've escape from the lake of lost lager that they find their path forward blocked off. There's a door there. It is, actually, completely open.

Unfortunately, sitting on the ground and slumped up against the frame of the door is an older fellow. It's impossible to just step around or over him. One of Lydia's portals might work, but there isn't any visible surface beyond that might accept one safely. It'd be a literal shot in the dark.

The scent of Malevolence is strong on this man, followed by alcohol and a dash of despair. Clasped in one hand is a goblet that, compared to the rest of him, looks fairly ornate.

"Damn, how long have you been down here?" Layna says, with a frown. "We need to get through here, lad. Follow us and we'll get you outta here, aye?'

The older man snorts and rolls his head up toward Layna, looking at her and the rest of the party with unfocused eyes.

"...F'r what? Got nothin'...nothin' left fer me out there..." He mutters, his voice slurred. "You get outta here...Just gonna stay right here..."

...Layna folds her arms in front of her.

"...That ain't gonna do, lad. Get up." Layna says, a little more forceful. Unfortunately, this fellow seem seems to be a violent drunk.

"Get up...get up...people're always tellin' me to get up an' get outta their way...'m tired of it...tired of you..." He mutters, growing increasingly agitated. With a lurch he gets to his feet. It looks like he's about to move...but then he suddenly turns, with a lot more agility than one would expect out of a man his situation. He begins to raise an arm, as if about to club Layna over the head with that goblet in his hand.

Layna retaliates by socking him in the teeth.

...Look, she's a pirate. What did you expect?

DG: Layna Manydays has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Chalice Half-Empty.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi watches, appalled, as Layna hits the elderly man right in the teeth. There's no honor in fighting someone so feeble. She cannot sense the Malevolence. "Listen, there's no need to fight," she addresses him. "Just let us pass." She moves forward, hoping to draw his attacks, if any. Native regeneration makes this a somewhat-viable option. She still has her sword ready if the fellow manifests any unusual powers...

DG: Malfi has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Chalice Half-Empty.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval's bubble pops, depositing him with a weightless 'plop' against the rotting wood of the cellar ground. More corporeal folks would have to worry about things like... splinters, and such. Not him, apparently, as he lies on the ground while the rest move to address the old, down-on-their-luck almost-Hellion.
        "...Take it eashy on 'em." Lanval speaks up, eyes closed, as he lies on the ground, still 'smoking' from the kiseru pipe full of bubbles. The ambient Malevolence being put forth by the almost-Hellion is like pin pricks raking about one's person. That overbearing sense of resignation and despair... but there's no stopping the violent urges of that old man, who tries to pick a fight with one of the better bar brawlers there is in Layna, who gets him in the mouth.
        Lanval, at last, gets up with a bit more fluidity and less of the silly rocking back and forth he sometimes does to balance himself, ambling upright over to Layna to try and rest a free hand on her shoulder. "Thish one, ahhh... wouldn't know where ta begi--"
        The violent drunk swings that goblet vaguely in his direction? Or Layna's? With a deft swing of the gourd on the ratty rope he has on his person, it is neatly deflected. Lanval's eyes open half-lidded, to look them head on as they gather themselves for another violent swing.
        "Mmmmph... there'sh no helpin' that any more here," he seems to come to as he staggers back and readies a Seraphic Arte of the element of water, but what comes out is less 'a great crashing wave of water to wash away all that obstructs' and more 'equivalent of throwing a bucket of cold water.'

DG: Seraph Lanval has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Chalice Half-Empty.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Look. Look. Cyre does not want to have anything to do with TERRIBLE STINKS. They make his nose hurt something fierce. If he loses his sense of smell, what then!? That'd just be awful! A travesty! It's fine to take the easy way out once in a while to preserve such a valuable tool!

It's a good thing they don't need to linger too long among the rotting wood and even more rotting beer. But what they find beyond it is... Maybe not so pleasant either?

"This guy's completely out of it," Cyre concludes. You don't todder around down here and use a chalice as a club if there's not something wrong with your head. Or in this case, your everything. The beastman frowns and breathes a long sigh. "I get how you feel, buddy. Really, I do. I remember being in a pretty shitty place too, but this isn't how you deal with it."

Cyre takes a step back and slides his hands into his pockets, apparently content to let the others deal with this guy and NOT dogpile a drunk guy. "You need to take a break, I think. We're cutting you off."

Of course, if Drunk Guy does come after him, Cyre won't hesitate to straight up kick the guy in the chest. That's an if, though.

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, A Chalice Half-Empty.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia doesn't try to beat up an old man because she's not a pirate and because it's an old man who is kind of pathetic and Lydia isn't inclined to clobber a gu like that. She just stays out of the way.

But she does point out, "Excuse me, sir, but even if you should happen to be tired of us, you will not be tired of what I am about to offer you. That goblet you are carrying is considerably valuable, and if you'd like I can quote you a price and help you escape this situation of yours with the ultimate power..."

Lydia raises her head. "Money. You want people to not push you around anymore, well, you'd be surprised how much a respectable amount of funds can help you. Buy new clothes, take a shower and then all you'd have to do is convince a reputable employer to hire your services and then--people will be moving out of the way for YOU!"

She points a finger at the man dramatically.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Chalice Half-Empty.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - A Chalice Half-Empty *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You're not the first to explore these depths. Even now, some feel drawn to    
 just come here, away from society, and seclude themselves with their          
 sorrows. This sad person - financially destitute, advanced age, completely    
 by their lonesome - seems intent to just wallow about in despair in the       
 company of whatever beer or other substance they can find down in the dingy   
 depths. Malevolence flakes off of them in high concentration, if only just    
 shy of becoming a Hellion. They want you to leave them alone. They become     
 insistent, and then violent.                                                  
                                                                               
 In their possession is an ornate-looking goblet once used for religious       
 ceremonies - the knowledgeable would put it around the early 3600s. Whatever  
 its history, it is now home to a beverage of bitter drink and bitter tears    
 this sad individual is nursing.                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Treasure===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
Margaret and Silf, for this moment, supervise.

This brought to you by phone support.

DG: Margaret has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Chalice Half-Empty.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - A Chalice Half-Empty *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You're not the first to explore these depths. Even now, some feel drawn to    
 just come here, away from society, and seclude themselves with their          
 sorrows. This sad person - financially destitute, advanced age, completely    
 by their lonesome - seems intent to just wallow about in despair in the       
 company of whatever beer or other substance they can find down in the dingy   
 depths. Malevolence flakes off of them in high concentration, if only just    
 shy of becoming a Hellion. They want you to leave them alone. They become     
 insistent, and then violent.                                                  
                                                                               
 In their possession is an ornate-looking goblet once used for religious       
 ceremonies - the knowledgeable would put it around the early 3600s. Whatever  
 its history, it is now home to a beverage of bitter drink and bitter tears    
 this sad individual is nursing.                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Treasure===========================================
=======================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 4 *>========================
======================< Results - A Chalice Half-Empty >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       20 --(10)--> 30                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     15 --(5)--> 20                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret                            15 --(10)--> 25                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         15 --(10)--> 25                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      20 --(5)--> 25                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               15 --(5)--> 20                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Seraph Lanval               45 --(25)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Injure(1)|Tire(2)|Treasure(1)
Effects: 
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Seraph Lanval has passed this challenge! The party gained 25 exploration! If anyone needs to use
party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

This fellow is, at least for the moment, an ordinary human. He might be brimming with Malevolence, but it hasn't concentrated enough yet to turn him into a Hellion, even if it is unpleasant to be around him.

He staggers backward in surprise and then swings the goblet at her, bonking Lanval in the head by mistake. He gets splashed by cold water, which...only seems to make him angrier. Too angry to listen to Lydia's well-reasoned argument that would make a certain apothecary proud.

He lunges forward again with a fist this time, which heads in Malfi's direction...but he ends up hurting himself far more than anything he could do to her.

This surprises enough that Cyre's words get through to him. He just kind of...collapses, sobbing. The goblet slips out of his hands and clatters to the floor, where someone could pick it up.

"I just wanted...jus' wanted..." He bawls, somewhat incoherently. Layna grimaces.

"Well, y'got him outta the way, at least. Uh...can one o' you take care of him?" She asks, edging on by. He probably won't be a threat now.

DG: Margaret has drawn a new Challenge.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Charlatan's Web *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Vermin do not ask before they move in to wherever people dwell. If there      
 aren't any people left to begin with, they snap up any vacancy they can get.  
 The spiders have prospered here in this prime piece of real estate, and this  
 chamber of the cellar seems to be in the most demand... in so much that       
 you're not sure where the cobwebs end and the rest of the structure begins.   
 You've no choice but to stick it out through these sticky webs.               
                                                                               
 To the spiritually aware, they hear mournful whispers that come from those    
 flies and other vermin the spiders feast upon. Resignation and despair for    
 their situation, helpless to their fates in life. Oddly, there's a letter     
 dated in 3542 GY stuck to these webs, its author having written about how     
 wonerful a place 'Rylia' is.                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Exhaust=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
"Silf, can you please help this nice man back to the space that isn't distorted by cosmic energies barely within our ken," Margaret tells Silf.

Silf salutes and goes to help the old man outwards. She has had to deal with a lot of really sad old dudes in her time, and he won't be the last.

Margaret claps her hands once. "So," she says, moving forwards. "Good work. Are you going to be keeping that chalice, Lydia? I would like to examine it in case it's laden with evil or finely ground lead paint or something like that, naturally enough." And not even confiscating it! How is she going to keep up an antagonistic agenda at this rate? Some people these days.

Forwards they go. The passageway shifts slightly. Margaret leads the way, possibly because she cannot imagine a world where she does not. A door stands. She grips the iron handfast - "Aha!"

It opens easily! And seems to be a blank white wall. No, wait - no -

Webbing.

Cobwebs. Cobwebs so thick and fine that they look like the room is full of clouds. "Oh for the love of the Goddess," Margaret groans.

She doesn't spot the letter immediately.

DG: Margaret has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Charlatan's Web.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi moves slowly through the webbing. She has no choice, really -- the cobwebs are as sticky as they are ubiquitous. She hopes no spiders make their way into her armor -- and does a most entertaining spiderdance if any happen to. No doubt about it -- she is really eager to make her way out of this room! Never mind that the venom wouldn't affect her. Much.

DG: Malfi has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Charlatan's Web.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Charlatan's Web *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Vermin do not ask before they move in to wherever people dwell. If there      
 aren't any people left to begin with, they snap up any vacancy they can get.  
 The spiders have prospered here in this prime piece of real estate, and this  
 chamber of the cellar seems to be in the most demand... in so much that       
 you're not sure where the cobwebs end and the rest of the structure begins.   
 You've no choice but to stick it out through these sticky webs.               
                                                                               
 To the spiritually aware, they hear mournful whispers that come from those    
 flies and other vermin the spiders feast upon. Resignation and despair for    
 their situation, helpless to their fates in life. Oddly, there's a letter     
 dated in 3542 GY stuck to these webs, its author having written about how     
 wonerful a place 'Rylia' is.                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Exhaust=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"If you need a job, or a second chance and can't find one yourself," Cyre says to the old man before Silf goes takes him away never to be seen again. "Look for a place called the Caravan Kinship. We might not be able to get you one ourselves, but we travel around enough. Might hear of a place that's hiring."

Cyre takes a moment to... pat Lydia's shoulder. He flashes a thumbs up. Good job!!

With that done, the party can move on. Straight into...

Spiderland, apparently.

A spiderland full of... depressing insects and other sundry vermin. Cyre scrunches up his nose and reaches for his trusty censer. In a few moments, its warm glow begins pressing back against the darkness, even as the mixture burning within releases its calming, invigorating aroma. It seems Cyre mixed something else in there, too. A sort of... minty, mentholly scent.

Mint oil! It's an insect repellant!

DG: Cyre H. Lorentz has used his Tool Invigorating Vapors toward his party's challenge, Charlatan's Web.
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval watches as the old fellow is carted off. He's seated on the floor after being clonked in the head by the goblet. Watching's about all he can do... he knows he's sure done a lot of that, over the years. When you're as long-lived as himself, there's a whole lot of watching. This moment's no different.
        Lanval raises his gourd. He mouths something inaudible, then picks himself up as Margaret takes the charge ahead. He weighs very little on the goblet, though Lydia might catch him giving it a look-over with two half-open eyes and a dumb cat-like smile on his face.
        Then, the webbing. It's a dreary place, but there's some sort of beauty - a somber one - to watch droplets of moisture travel about the lengths of silk as they go where they're going to.
        Why must I become dry?
        This is my tomb...
        My wings will never see me free...!
        Also, Lanval has found himself tangled up in some of it again. As he's a water elemental, that's... kind of not surprising. He regards the temporary inconvenience about as well as he's going to, having a hit off of the contents of his gourd as a half-open eye tracks to a letter suspended in this web.
        His smile gets a little more stupid. It's already stupid. It's that much more stupid now. A stupid smile for being caught in a bunch of webs like a stupid moth.
        Her warm, glowing radience I will never again behold...
        Stupid moth.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren picks up the fallen goblet . "Hey..." She says, placing a hand on the man's shoulders. "It's okay. It's okay... I know what it's like to be pushed around." She smiles at someone whom she can't really be sure deserves a smile. No doubt she's thinking of a certain apothecary andd what they might do, or a rogue metal demon and what she might do.

"Listen, clinging to this isn't going to do you any good." Lydia says. "But I'm not so much of a jerk that I'm not going t'pay you somethin' decent for it. And well, a bit on the top besides."

She sets down a pair of money pouches down.

"The first is for the goblet." Lydia explains. "The second is payin' it forward. When I was lost, a kind woman gave me a helping hand so I could get started here."

She reaches forward and places a hand on the man's forehead, sending purifying energy into him. He IS pretty beat up so she might be able to fix him up, but she hopes her words (and cash) help.

"Pick yourself up off your feet and give it another go. It's not too late to earn respect and a good life. And even if you can't reclaim everything you've lost, you can find something new. Don't give up, okay?"

She stands herself up. "Okay I'm done."

Tadpole follows after Lydia as she steps away, pausing only when Margaret asks if she can look at the goblet.

"...Yeah, better make sure it's not cursed." Lydia admits with a wry smile as she offers it to Margaret. "Thank you, I didn't think about that."

And now cobwebs.

Tadpole takes in a deep breath, sticking out her tongue and--

--decides that even she has her limits with regards to heroism.

DG: Seraph Lanval has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Charlatan's Web.
DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Charlatan's Web.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Charlatan's Web *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Vermin do not ask before they move in to wherever people dwell. If there      
 aren't any people left to begin with, they snap up any vacancy they can get.  
 The spiders have prospered here in this prime piece of real estate, and this  
 chamber of the cellar seems to be in the most demand... in so much that       
 you're not sure where the cobwebs end and the rest of the structure begins.   
 You've no choice but to stick it out through these sticky webs.               
                                                                               
 To the spiritually aware, they hear mournful whispers that come from those    
 flies and other vermin the spiders feast upon. Resignation and despair for    
 their situation, helpless to their fates in life. Oddly, there's a letter     
 dated in 3542 GY stuck to these webs, its author having written about how     
 wonerful a place 'Rylia' is.                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Exhaust=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna glances back, raising an eyebrow in Lydia's direction as she speaks to the old man. ...Huh. She wouldn't have expected that from her.

Not that Layna herself would have...but she does feel a bit more respect toward her because of it.

With the old man out of the way, Layna follows Margaret as she leads the way forward into...a room that appears to consist entirely of cobwebs. Layna frowns and then draws out her drill, though she pauses a little to listen to voices.

"...Y'know, I never really thought o' em as the 'eloquent' type." Layna comments with a frown, then glances over toward Lanval with a raised eyebrow.

Lanval, who has somehow gotten himself tangled up in the webs. Layna sighs.

"Hold on, buddy, I'll get you outta there in just a sec. Try not to move too much, aye?" She says with a chuckle, and sets the drill to whirring. She recites a quick incantation, which adds a swirling tornado onto it to increase its drilling power.

With that, Layna gets to work trying to just drill right through the webs. ...Someone will probably want to grab that letter before it gets torn up by the drill, though.

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Arm-Mounted Drill toward her party's challenge, Charlatan's Web.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Charlatan's Web *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Vermin do not ask before they move in to wherever people dwell. If there      
 aren't any people left to begin with, they snap up any vacancy they can get.  
 The spiders have prospered here in this prime piece of real estate, and this  
 chamber of the cellar seems to be in the most demand... in so much that       
 you're not sure where the cobwebs end and the rest of the structure begins.   
 You've no choice but to stick it out through these sticky webs.               
                                                                               
 To the spiritually aware, they hear mournful whispers that come from those    
 flies and other vermin the spiders feast upon. Resignation and despair for    
 their situation, helpless to their fates in life. Oddly, there's a letter     
 dated in 3542 GY stuck to these webs, its author having written about how     
 wonerful a place 'Rylia' is.                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Exhaust=====================================
=======================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 5 *>========================
========================< Results - Charlatan's Web >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       30 --(20)--> 50                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     20 --(5)--> 25                 Pass
Invigorating Vapors                 1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret                            25 --(20)--> 45                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         25 --(20)--> 45                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      25 --(5)--> 30                 Pass
Arm-Mounted Drill                   3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               20 --(20)--> 40                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Seraph Lanval               70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Overzealous(2)|Tire(1)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Seraph Lanval 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> Margaret has posed.

 
Margaret draws out her own pipe, which is not a bubble model as per Lanval. She ignites it with a little red crystal of some kind, probably sorcerous in origin, and takes a lingering, philosophical suck of it. The quality of the material is high at least, and there's that weird moment where you JUST light it and it smells good even if you think it smells like garbage fumes later.

Science has no answer.

Silf doesn't try to hustle the guy out for execution or whatever even if she is In Charge of him. When Margaret's ear flicks, she turns to look at Lydia with an expression of incredulity - a sort of emotional wound - but not a bad one.

She looks away then. Her eyes feel damp.

"Oh for - Seraph! Please, gather yourself, because I'm going to deal with this once this - Layna, has made an opening." She reaches forwards with long fingers to tug loose the lingering letter, which she examines in a cursory way and then sticks down her front for safekeeping.

Once Layna's made a good hole, Margaret takes another hit off her pipe, then slides it into the opening, turns it around, and dumps out the coals into the

webs

oh

                        FWOOSH!

Margaret's fine.

Coughing delicately, she says, "They DO stink, don't they? Ugh. More like Smellevolance, I swear."

Fortunately Cyre is masking the worst of it. "If it wasn't for you," Margaret tells Cyre, somewhat grudgingly, "We'd all be puking our teats out." CAN YOU DO THAT?

DG: Seraph Lanval has drawn a new Challenge.
=================================================<* Sinner's Cellar *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - Drowning By Sorrows *>==========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Your team descends to the deepest length of the basement able to be reached.  
 As this location is not far from marshlands, the idea of there being a        
 basement at all is one of folly. A light in the distance ahead attracts       
 one's eye. One can hear water dropping everywhere, as though a complete       
 collapse of this part of the basement could happen any day now. This part of  
 the basement is already ankle deep in... beer? Yes, beer. This chamber is     
 flooded in beer. Wait... flooded, past tense? No, it's flooding, present      
 tense!                                                                        
                                                                               
 The droplets increase in intensity as everyone further traverses the          
 basement, until they become gushing streams. Higher and higher the beer       
 level climbs. Not only is it hard to move, as the beer grows higher one may   
 be able to detect an upswell of Malevolence. Your team may literally be       
 drowning in liquid sorrows, with fine notes of resignation and full-bodied    
 misery. The guiding light ahead might be your only way out of this... or      
 maybe you can just turn back... unless one desires the tide overtake them.    
 It's hard not to feel resigned to this fate.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

</poem>

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Altogether, the entire team heads down towards the depths. They're mostly uneventful. Strewn garbage. A splatter of long-stale blood, but no dead body nearby. More garbage. Some rats that are more skittish than hostile... well, more sad than skittish. There's also drips of water.
        "Hey," the drunken Seraph speaks up. He's upright. He hasn't been comically flopping down steps lately. The water droplets intensify in frequency and volume. (Both in content of liquid and sound. Volume^2!)
        "Shomethin' bad ish comin'." As if anything good ever happens here, even after the righteous destruction of the Copper Rapier Inn. He takes a look at the lot of them. What's going on here... that's a question worth asking. There's yet to be an answer. Lanval, however, seems to be on top of it as he pulls out the bubble pipe once more. "Lishen ta me, okaaay...?"
        Water starts to gush in-- wait, not water. Beer. Bad, bitter, foul beer. They can't get down to the next floor before it's already ankle deep.
        "Whatever ya do, jusht remember," he puts on that dumb smile again, eyes opening up, "don't give up."
        The beer levels rise. The light ahead is so distant - a light that promises higher elevation, release, escape from the growing floods. They're not goign to get far before it's waist level, and they'll be struck by the brunt of resignation that they can't make it. That it's all over.
        If it gets over their heads, somehow, they can still breathe under it... as something of a cruel joke, as if to say, it will never be better, just stay down here.
        All the while, Lanval is smoking out bubbles as fast as he can to pick people up and carry them through. Worse comes to worse, they might last long enough to see them rise up to the top and out wherever... but it's tough to hold onto hope when the very environs seem ready to give up and collapse altogether.
        "'Caushe you're the only onesh--" He gets cut off as the beer flood deafens one's hearing, to bring the nihilism to an ear-splitting discordant chorus of melancholy.

DG: Seraph Lanval has used his Tool Bubble Pipe toward his party's challenge, Drowning By Sorrows.
<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Before one of Lanval's bubbles materializes around her, Malfi curses and starts wading through the nasty, bitter beer. It's not like her clothing isn't still damp from the earlier stinkydrinky room! She's grateful that her human disguise is realistic when it comes to mass -- her natural form would've sunk like an anchor.
                And then she would've been sunkystunkydrunky!

DG: Malfi has used her Tool Blackest Coffee toward her party's challenge, Drowning By Sorrows.
<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna lets out an appreciative whistle as the spiderwebs just go up completely. It lets them pass through, and it doesn't end up burning the place down! Layna is appreciative of that last part, and with that, they're able to move on.

It's pretty quiet after that. ...Layna doesn't like it. Her fears are confirmed when Lanval speaks, and tells them that something bad is coming. Lanval being who he is, she immediately tenses.

"Whaddaya mean?" She asks. ...She doesn't get an answer, at least not from him. Suddenly, liquid bursts from from their surroundings. Liquid that Layna would recognize anywhere - its beer, and it's trying to drown them. Both in liquid and in negativity.

Layna can feel it trying to encroach on her thoughts. Layna glares at nothing in particular.

"...Bah. I sure as hell ain't planning to die here. You need to work on your bite." Layna says, her words drowned out by the sound of rushing liquid, before drawing out her bottle again and taking another deep swig. She then leaps for one of Lanval's bubbles that he's producing as if his life depends on it. His probably doesn't, but theirs do.

Carefully she recites an incantation, invoking subtle gusts of wind to direct bubbles in the direction of what she hopes is safety.

DG: Layna Manydays has used her Tool Quartermaster's Stash toward her party's challenge, Drowning By Sorrows.
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Yeah it's weird, half the time I run into Malevolence, it seems like it's just... It just smells awful. Like, wow, the first time it was basically a fetid swamp? I don't know what it is, but somehow the stuff just stinks." Cyre flashes Margaret an easy grin in spite of it, the fumes from his censer particularly thick around him. Probably why he's even willing to smile down here. "So I whipped up something real strong to fight it. I'd be willing to provide a free sample if you like--"

Something bad is coming.

"What?" Cyre turns to Lanval moments before he picks up on it too. That flood of Malevolence. Those cloying notions of hopelessness and despair. It's almost impossible to mistake as it all floods around them. If Cyre thought that the last near-trip into the drink was bad, this is just...

It's just...

It's awful. Who would DO such a thing to this much beer!?

More importantly--

They can't give up.

Cyre growls, focusing on one of the mediums within his robe as Lanval ensconces him within a diaphanous bubble. "Lanval! Damnit, hold on--" A bright green glow shines out from within the sphere, conjuring a mighty updraft to drive those bubbles higher, higher, higher, out of the crushing tide. "This isn't enough to finish us. Keep heading up, everyone! Keep your head above the tide!"

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

"Oh it's just like the old room," Tadpole says before squinting downwards. "..." She promptly starts making her way to higher levels, using her tongue like a webslinger occassionally. She'll...she'll manage.

Lydia is oblivious to Margaret's identity of being Margaret otherwise she would probably be friendlier to the mysterious lady! Of course she's not being unfriendly, just being friendly in a more casual way.

Lydia has good leg strength if nothing else. She jumps from platform to platform in an attempt to escape the instant death booze below. Naturally, because she IS Lydia, she does launch portals periodically to skip past some of the more difficult platforming sections.

Of course, since such portals will stick to any hard surface--it may not ALWAYS be that useful.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Portal Pistols toward her party's challenge, Drowning By Sorrows.
============================<* Sinner's Cellar *>=============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - Drowning By Sorrows *>=====================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Your team descends to the deepest length of the basement able to be reached.  
 As this location is not far from marshlands, the idea of there being a        
 basement at all is one of folly. A light in the distance ahead attracts       
 one's eye. One can hear water dropping everywhere, as though a complete       
 collapse of this part of the basement could happen any day now. This part of  
 the basement is already ankle deep in... beer? Yes, beer. This chamber is     
 flooded in beer. Wait... flooded, past tense? No, it's flooding, present      
 tense!                                                                        
                                                                               
 The droplets increase in intensity as everyone further traverses the          
 basement, until they become gushing streams. Higher and higher the beer       
 level climbs. Not only is it hard to move, as the beer grows higher one may   
 be able to detect an upswell of Malevolence. Your team may literally be       
 drowning in liquid sorrows, with fine notes of resignation and full-bodied    
 misery. The guiding light ahead might be your only way out of this... or      
 maybe you can just turn back... unless one desires the tide overtake them.    
 It's hard not to feel resigned to this fate.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
Rylia?

Maybe some old duchy, Margaret thinks, but with uncertainty.

She moves forwards then. Deeper. Stinkier. This is the advantage of the pipe; it makes it so you smell only smoke instead of blood and rot and molds. The Seraph speaks and Margaret's eyes flick to him. He may seem to be acting the part of a sot, but he is a Seraph nonetheless...

Don't give up, he says.

Give up from what?

Oh, Margaret thinks as the flow begins. The horrid, stinking, reeking dregs of despair itself.

From THAT!

Her leaping, vaulting, and backflipping comes soon enough, but even she - though she would be loth to admit it in so many words - is trying to ride Lydia's coat-tails and head for her portals. She says nothing snippy, in this moment, which may be a sign of how grave it really is, from her point of view...

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
... until she reaches a stretch of surface that has few obstacles.

                        "Starlight Express," Margaret breathes into the reeking night.

Lightning crashes at her feet, nebular darkness rising and forming constellations as she crouches down, her boots flooding before the spell truly takes hold. She will hate this later, BUT:

  • zow!*


She may be going fast enough to pull people into her wake. Hopefully not too much of the horrid fluid, too.

DG: Margaret has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Drowning By Sorrows.
=================================================<* Sinner's Cellar *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - Drowning By Sorrows *>==========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Your team descends to the deepest length of the basement able to be reached.  
 As this location is not far from marshlands, the idea of there being a        
 basement at all is one of folly. A light in the distance ahead attracts       
 one's eye. One can hear water dropping everywhere, as though a complete       
 collapse of this part of the basement could happen any day now. This part of  
 the basement is already ankle deep in... beer? Yes, beer. This chamber is     
 flooded in beer. Wait... flooded, past tense? No, it's flooding, present      
 tense!                                                                        
                                                                               
 The droplets increase in intensity as everyone further traverses the          
 basement, until they become gushing streams. Higher and higher the beer       
 level climbs. Not only is it hard to move, as the beer grows higher one may   
 be able to detect an upswell of Malevolence. Your team may literally be       
 drowning in liquid sorrows, with fine notes of resignation and full-bodied    
 misery. The guiding light ahead might be your only way out of this... or      
 maybe you can just turn back... unless one desires the tide overtake them.    
 It's hard not to feel resigned to this fate.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
============================================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 6 *>=============================================
===========================================< Results - Drowning By Sorrows >============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seraph Lanval                       50 --(5)--> 55                 Pass
Bubble Pipe                         3   Agility Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cyre H. Lorentz                     25 --(5)--> 30                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Margaret                            45 --(5)--> 50                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         45 --(5)--> 50                 Pass
Portal Pistols                      2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Layna Manydays                      30 --(5)--> 35                 Pass
Quartermaster's Stash               2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Malfi                               40 --(5)--> 45                 Fail
Blackest Coffee                     2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >-------------------------------------------------------
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Seraph Lanval has successfully explored Sinner's Cellar!
=================================================<* Sinner's Cellar *>==================================================
============================================<* Sinner's Cellar - Round 6 *>=============================================
========================================<* CHALLENGE - Enshrined In A Shrine *>=========================================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 For the most part, the cellar of the Copper Rapier is full of filth, rot,     
 and sin. While one may have encountered a few anomalies along the way, none   
 are a greater anomaly than this chamber. Bereft of the ramshackle, rotting    
 wood that predominantly makes up the cellar's construction, this chamber is   
 made of smooth stone of a light color. Immaculate carvings depicting the      
 Goddess adorn its ceiling and walls, a gentle light illuminating this         
 closed-off chamber with no obvious source. Numerous alcloves line the walls,  
 occupied by undisturbed coffins that have been sealed by powerful sorcery.    
                                                                               
 Of more interest might be a number of ancient tomes distributed about the     
 chamber, well-preserved and detailing records about people who lived between  
 roughly 3515-3620 GY - marriages, births, deaths, and the like. Other tomes,  
 equally as old but much more relevant to profiteering interests, are filled   
 to the brim with scriptures and songs relevant to Goddess worship that both   
 the clergy and scholars alike would be interested in having.                  
                                                                               
 How a place like this could ever exist within the vicinity of a place as      
 foul as the Copper Rapier Inn is one that would go unanswered, but at least   
 here, one can find a reverent calm and peace untouched by the surrounding     
 sin.                                                                          
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        None of them give up. One of them isn't even on the 'give up/soldier on' spectrum - Malfi might be bewildered as to why everyone's acting all dramatic about it, but even with the tumultuous beer floods, she seems to be allowed to go through it at her own pace. The worst that can happen to her is that any of it gets in her mouth. It is disgusting. More coffee will wash that taste out right quick!
        For everyone else, it is a harrowing trial of defeatism against the rising tides. Most simply choose not to engage this space at all, and in dealing with the flood on their terms, they keep their heads held on high and dry throughout. Water and wind work in tandem to guide the bubbles, the former to create, the latter to give direction. It takes the help of two wind adepts to keep any ridden bubbles from bumping into the sharp pointy bits of ruined wooden planks just itchin' to pop them and drop them into the drink, but they manage.
        Lydia, owing to her person, is excellent at navigating narrow ledges as she hops to and fro, cheating with portals with only the occasional vomit-like splashback of rushing beer trying to swallow her. Margaret, once she has an opening, brings forth an electrically charged dash that pulls the bubbles forward. Together, they all advance into the light.
        Their sensory perceptions take leave of them for precious seconds. Minutes? A sense of further travel, if not so much memory of it. Was that chamber so warped as to be irreconcilable with the concept of realistic architecture? That's bad... but then, they are met with a serenity that lies beyond.
        The serenity of what Margaret could immediately identify as an ancient mausoleum of hundreds of years ago, perfectly intact and preserved. They can't even smell the beer now. (This may be because of smoking or lingering mint scents, but no scent of beer.) The seals on the coffins are still intact, and many tomes distributed about contain official records of marraiges, births, deaths... dated between 3515 to 3620 GY. This, among more profiteering-friendly fare like old scriptures and song used in earlier worship of Althena before she declared music to be a bad thing.
        Lanval, placidly, stands upright before all this. There is no errant laughter or drunkenly staggering about. The water elemental quietly regards the chamber, eyes shut closed, a gentle (but still stupid) smile. He offers no commentary about this place, on the onset.
        It's a solemn place, but the fact that such a space exists in an area so damned vulgar beyond belief... and yet, somehow, remains untouched. As though there were some moral boundaries that remained intact, in a part of Lunar where such a concept didn't seem to really exist.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

It's difficult, but they make it through to find...wait, what is this place? Layna stares in surprise. ...This didn't look right.

"...Uh, are we in the same place anymore?" Layna questions, folding her arms in front of her. Not that it's a bad thing. This place is so much more calm and peaceful than the rundown den they were in before.

Layna glances toward Lanval with an eyebrow raised. ...He seems happy enough. He was the one who wanted her to come to the cellar of the Copper Rapier in the first place. Did he know about this?

...It doesn't look like he's about to give an answer, or at least not yet. She shrugs.

"Well, it's better than where we were before, at least..."

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

More coffee, what a wonderful idea! And it's so much easier to breathe without the stench! Malfi gazes about curiously. Just what sort of room is this? She sees books and flips through a few. She's recovered books from ruins before! They seem to be in excellent condition, too. She dumps out the contents of her backpack -- rope, cloth, a pouch of pastries (now, alas stale-beer-logged) and tucks in three or four of the more ornate volumes full of songs and scriptures. Humans and their weird belief systems. Someone should be willing to part with some silver coins for these! Humans and their oddball economic systems...
Now for the hard part...leaving without damaging the books! They'd never stand up to a soak in old beer -- or even water. Maybe there's a clear passage to the surface from this room...

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Suddenly, by Malfi's perception, there is a sweeping wave of water from pretty much nowhere that materializes from where she brazenly dumps her beer-logged items. The rope, the cloth, the pouch of pastries are swept out of the mausoleum with extreme prejudice.
        To the rest, the resonant, they can catch sight of Lanval's eyes being fully open, gleaming aquamarine that fade away underneath his closing eyelids as he holds his gourd aloft in one hand.
        He says nothing. The gesture alone probably says enough.

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Well, that was weird. "Good riddance," Malfi mutters. It wasn't like she wasn't going to have to replace all of that stuff anyway, reeking as it was!

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
Margaret crouches down low, sitting on her heels for a moment as the final vault is reached. The aura of Starlight Express leaves her. Those who are looking closely can see that she looks wrung-out, but some of htat is just, you know, the whole ORDEAL.

When the Seraph acts, Margaret speaks to Malfi, not unkindly. "These are more than treasures," she tells her: "These are relics of another time. I would... be respectful; especially in the presence of a Seraph."

She glances at the Seraph then for a moment, before her attention turns up towards the cellar roof. She seems to be looking for something, but whatever it is, it isn't immediately in evidence.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "This wasn't really all that bad. I expected to be attacked by cultists. Can't believe we weren't attacked by cultists."

Lydia looks around expectantly in the new room. "Attacked... by cultists."

The group isn't attacked by mysterious figures at all! Lydia frowns, a bit nonplussed at her expectations being foiled.

Lydia does look over to Margaret, "Well, I'm sure the Church can offer a finder's fee, but it's not like we gotta be cutthroat about it. Though--" She frowns. "...I gotta wonder what Lunar was like before malevolence was a thing. Must've been a lot nicer, huh?"

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi nods at Margaret. The presence of a what, now? Did she mean the invisible water person? Yes, that would make sense... Best to tread carefully and not offend him. Or her. Or it. Or maybe them. Malfi doesn't realize just how much of a handicap her lack of Resonance is. Particularly on Lunar. It's on par with her race's total lack of magic.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        There is a quiet smile on the Seraph's face when Margaret glances to him. Looking up... huh, there is a hole in the roof. The open sky can be seen. This means this mausoleum was above ground, all along? Probably surrounded by so much overgrown greenery that it would've been near-on impossible to stumble upon this place by accident. That the interior of the mausoleum is not besmirched by the erosion of the weather speaks to the mastery of the craftsmen and sorcerers who made this very place. The people interred here must have meant a lot to someone - or the someones of the times in question - to get such a nice place to rest. Quiet, safe, with a glimpse of the open skies...

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

They did it. Survival. It's never smelled so sweet. Literally! The basement stank like a special kind of hell. Cyre spends a few minutes just... Sucking in a few lungfuls of breath, thankful for the sweet scent of fresh air. It's only once he's caught his breath does h realize... Where he is.

Where THEY are.

"This..." Cyre's ear flicks, only once having been inside an Althenian church. "It looks like a mausoleum. No, more than that. What are these records here--?"

Beat.

"Huh," he murmurs in Lydia's direction, "Leo'd probably appreciate it if we returned this stuff pro bono, you know. Might get us out of a jam down the road. Plus, I kind of feel weird about monetizing something like this, you know?"

Althenians aren't like those damn Granasians, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

 
"I imagine so," Margaret says to Lydia, wearily but not sourly. She smiles at her then, wry as she asks, "Do you think I was there for it? I know I'm ageless but I'm not that ageless, honey."

"I'll put in a good word, yes," she tells Cyre.

Something goes fwish... THWOOM... krash! up above them.

A floorboard cracks slightly loose, having been hit with a level 2 Limit Break.

Silf's face, cute dimples and bad teeth, peeks down. "Hey! We could've just gone this way all along, huh!"

Margaret palms her face.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Nah, I mean," Lydia says, waving her hands into the air. "Just...it'd have been nice, you know?"

And she leaves it at that.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Together, they discuss or act upon plans to take and relocate much of the documents here, and even discuss possibilities of the time before.. Records, scriptures, song - stuff lost to time, now being removed wholesale from the place of their rest. All the while, Lanval watches quietly. It's tough to get much of a read on him, except in instances where any attempt at defacing the place - touching coffins, damaging the masonry, etcetera - is met with decisive watery force.
        The floorboard is summarily removed.
        And yet, the matters of the tomes themselves...
 
        Mortals are going to do what they're going to. Lanval thinks to himself. That's how it is... but maybe it's better this way.
 
        As any of them leave back the way they came, they'll find the passage back out the way they came is... completely different. Not a beer-soaked hell hole. Just a regular hell hole. The basement is structurally unsound, labyrinthian, and utterly rotten. It remains surreal that this mausoleum would even share a space remotely close to what sort of degenerate nonsense that made up the establishment nearby...!
 
        I should tell them. He thinks. I must tell them... but I've only got one chance to do it. I need to be sure... absolutely sure... of what I'm seeing.
 
        As they prepare to cart out the books, Lanval quietly keeps his words to himself.
 
        I can't do this without them.