2018-09-23: Merch Digger Locus

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<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

There was a CaraKin meeting last week! Carina had to skip it, sadly, to go spend time with her family back in November. She can probably be excused, what with having been missing for months now. For those keeping score at home, this would be the second Drifter daughter the Wynnes went without news of for so long. Their relief must have been immense.

But that was then, and it's now time to go back to work. The caravan is currently parked outside the city, waiting for Ignas' favorite armorer to return. Ah, the Badlands. A place that stands in stark contrast to Lunar in about every way, with its dry, arid heat, bizarre customs and rampant ARMs proliferation.

But wait, what's this, in the distance, kicking up a dust cloud? Is it a storm? Is it a typhoon?! No, it's...

"LET'S GO, CYCLONE!" Carina calls out, holding the reins of a galloping white horse. She seems like she's having fun, as she approaches the caravan. She said she would be bringing back some merchandise and supplies, but doesn't seem to be carrying any more than a single backpack. Did she... Did she forget?

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline was understanding, of course. Fortunately for her, her family was in the vicinity of Adlehyde. Carina's, however, was all the way on the other side of the continent. An extended absence was more than understandable.

But Carina was ready to come back, so Jacqueline had set out to meet her. And now, Jacqueline waits outside the Carakin, sitting in a chair and watching for signs of Carina. In the distance, she sees a rather large dust cloud approaching them. Jacqueline stands up quickly, looking to the others.

Was it...a storm? Should they head inside? Before she can worry too much, though, it gets close enough that she can spot a familiar silhouette and hear a familiar voice.

Jacqueline can't help but smile. She waves to the approaching armorer as she makes her way toward them.

"Carina! How was your visit?" She called out. She doesn't ask about the backpack yet. She's sure there's a reason for it.


<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

It's never a wynne when Carina misses a meeting. In Catenna's eyes she's a little ray of sunshine.

She could use some lately. The Owlet is inside; it's all tucked in nice and snug in the little basket she's prepared for it, out of sight and out of mind. As for Catenna, she's outside, in a tunic and a pair of loose slacks, idly going through a few light exercises with the sword Cyre got for her. She doesn't often need to fight hand-to-hand, but she's not about to let the skill atrophy on her.

As those dust clouds gallop closer, Catenna pauses in her routine, shielding her eyes from the low sun with one hand as she looks towards both the sight and the sound. Realizing that the voice ringing out is Carina's, she smiles mutedly, then lifts her hand to wave towards the arriving girl.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin is outside as well. Spirit is playing with the puppies, as Kourin acts as a training partner for Catenna's swordplay practice. She's happy to help!

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel is a new member around the Caravan. She doesn't know Carina, and contrariwise Carina doesn't know her.

So it may surprise her to see someone new sitting near the caravan itself. Mariel has found the single tree near where the Caravan is parked, though it's a scrubby thing that doesn't seem to be doing super well, and is sitting with her back up against it. She appears to be doing some sewing, turning some dried herbs and flowers from her satchel (also next to her) into little satchets.

She does look up at the sound and sight of a dust cloud, but Mariel can tell it's not a storm coming up without looking; the air doesn't feel right (wrong) for that. Mariel does not address the oncoming person, but finishes the satchet she's working on, closing it up with the herbs inside and turning it into a puffy three-inch-across square.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

      Arleph is seated outside of the parked caravan, reading, apparently, a book. It's a pretty slim book by all accounts, seeming more like a magazine of some kind. In his other hand, he's blindly trying to weave something, his gloved hands trying to tie two length of wool together into a pattern. When carina calls out, the Symbologist perks up, blinking.
      "Hey!" He calls out, lifting up his magazine-holding book.

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"Hey, there, boy, easy, easy..." Carina's horse slows down to a more reasonable pace, and already the rider has reached the caravan. "Heeey, Miss Jay!" Carina waves as she rides past. "Catenna! Kourin! Arleph! Person whose name I don't know!" That's Mariel.

The animal comes to a stop. Carina hops off, giving Cyclone an affectionate pat on the muzzle. She then walks towards Jacqueline, still waving with a wide grin.

"Heeeey! We shouldn't take off just yet, Dad's still coming with a cart fulla stuff. But I just wanted to ride ahead, y'know? Been a while since I got to do that. Gang, meet Cyclone! M'trusty partner." She gestures towards the white horse, then walks over to tie it up in the caravan's shade.

"How've y'all been? Did I miss anything staggerably important while I was gone? I know you were planning to chat about some stuff."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren is returning from her visit with Granny Halle in the Baskar Colonies. For those that haven't seen her before, or haven't seen her in a while, Lydia is a beastman lady with ram-like horns, curly green hair, silver eyes, and similarly colored strange metallic beads under her eyes that look less like piercings and more like growths pushing out from behind her skin.

She is bringing her cart along behind her. It's a larger cart, since she was making deliveries rather than taking it into a dig but now she's coming to NOvember City in order to fill up on supplies. It's been ages since she broke windows here so they probably forgot all about it, she reasons.

"Ahoy there!" Lydia waves with an arm as she approaches the caravan. Her eyes glance towards Mariel and she grins widely at her, showing off...many...many sharp fangs. Whether or not it comes across as a side of aggression, Lydia is really just trying to be friendly.

"The great Lydia Seren has just made it back from the Baskar Colony!" Lydia says happily. "Hip hip and hoorah!"

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"Oh, hey, Lydia!" Carina greets, waving not one but TWO arms. "Nice timing there!"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna might've said hello to Mariel, largely because Catenna will gravitate anywhere that plants and herbs might grow.

"Hello, Carina. Welcome back," Catenna greets the arriving armourer, sheathing her sword at her hip and moving forward with hands gently clasped. As Carina introduces her horse, the Moon Shaman can't help smiling a little and inclining her head. "Hello, Cyclone." As if a horse could understand her.

But then, y'know. Zortroa.

When Carina starts asking about things, Catenna glances towards Jacqueline, leaving it to the bespectacled alchemist to ask about things. For her part, she moves over on light feet to try and get a closer glimpse of what herbs Mariel is putting into that sachet.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel finishes sewing up her sachet. What herbs are in it aren't a secret; Mariel picked a selection of aromatic herbs, including lavender, which means it's the kind that goes in your bed linens or dresser to make it smell better and repel moths, or under your pillow to help you sleep.

This isn't the first one she's made. People like them. They sell (and she uses them herself).

Mariel is a little surprised by all the attention, though. Her ears shift as she sits straighter, putting the needle in a soft pincushion, then the pincushion into a small sewing kit she had with her. The teeth and horns on Lydia don't distress her, but she does look a little too long at her face before looking away. Maybe she's just shy.

"Um, hello," she says, as she stands up, bringing her satchel with her as well as the sewing kit. She tucks the sewing kit to get it out of the way, though she keeps the sachet in hand.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin nods in greeting to Carina, setting down her own practice blade and beginning to stretch.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline watches as Carina slows to a stop near the Carakin. She offers her a smile, and then a smile for Cyclone as well.

"Ah, I see...well, there's nothing wrong with standing around and chatting while we wait!" Jacqueline replies with a nod, then glances toward Mariel.

"Ah, this is Carina, the person we came here to meet..." She says, just in case Mariel hadn't figured that out already.

It's around this time that Lydia, too, arrives. Jacqueline offers her a friendly wave and a greeting as well.

"Ah, welcome back, Lydia! How was your visit?" She asks, before returning her attention to Carina. She nods.

"There were a few things, yes." She starts, then gestures toward Mariel. "Miss Mariel joined our Kinship, so she'll be traveling with us from now on. I do hope you'll get along."

And then, of course, there was the big matter. The big meeting that Carina had missed.

"Besides that...we spoke about what we'll do from here. We decided that we'll be heading to Northern Elru to confront Mother. We intend to make some preparations before we do, though, so we still have a little time...I was actually hoping you might be able to make us some cold weather clothing for the trip. I feel that we may need it." Jacqueline explained.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

      "That's right." Arleph adds in, looking back up as he sits on his folded chair. He lifts the bundle of wool in one hand. "Let's just say that current efforts at making some nice, warm clothing have been hitting a few snags."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Went great! Granny liked my gift and, well, she even gave me a mission." She looks over to Mariel and waves a hand at her, "Yo! Having fun?" She looks back to Jay. "I hope you're ready to go back to the 'Seven Sages' ruins, because we're goin' back there." She pauses. "But don't tell me what we're looking for or anything, we'll know when we find it." She rubs at her arm, looking awkward at the mention of 'Mother' though she doesn't explain why exactly. She was one of the people who was gung ho for going after her, but right now she just 'silvers' faintly along her cheeks. "I'm still a little nervous but it'll work out, ha ha..."

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

Cyclone's nostrils flare in greeting(?) in answer to Catenna.

"Neat sword!" Carina comments. Jay then introduces her to Mariel, which merits the beastwoman(?) another wave. "Hey they, Mariel! Name's Carina Wynne! I'm an armorer, but also the superhero Metal Digger Locus!" W-What?? "I transform using a weird old belt!" she explains, not missing a beat. "But don't tell Ethius, he gets real weird about this sorta thing, y'know?"

She shakes her head. "But if you want clothing, for protection or just lookin' cute, I gotcha covered!" Wait, what was that part about her being a superhero??

Jay explains further. Carina cups her chin, taking it in with what she hopes is the appropriate amount of gravity. "Oh, dang, Elru? That's a big trip... But the people there need all the help they can get, I'm sure, so count me in!" She strikes a we-can-do-this pose, before relaxing to glance at Catenna. This'll be a homecoming for her, won't it?

Arleph's plight gets a chuckle. Carina wipes the bottom of her nose with a finger. "Hehehe... Sounds like a job for everybody's big sis! Don't worry, I'll give you all the hot tips you need to make some hot shirts. Take it for me! Carina Wynne! Competent Knitter!"

"Oh yeeeah, Seven Sages... That was a troublesome kinda place..." Carina recalls, looking at Lydia. "There's also a place I wanna hit up before we go, though it's not, like... important important. I just wanna show you guys! There's this circus touring again after this hella long hiatus, right? And I thought it could be neat to go see them together. They're really cool!"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"Mister Ethius prefers to keep secrets and values his privacy," Kourin offers quietly. "I will of course be happy to accompany any dangerous expeditions...I must become stronger."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna nods her approval. She likes Mariel simply based on her interests, even not having had much chance to sit down her. When the smaller woman seems taken aback by the attention, though, Catenna eases away and moves her attention elsewhere with a brief, apologetic tilt of her head.

When Carina compliments her sword, Catenna inclines her head and folds her hands neatly together. "Cyre found it in a dungeon somewhere... after I lost mine in the fight with Berserk, he gave me this one as a replacement. One of the many ways in which he is a very nice man."

When talk turns to Elru, Catenna's expression doesn't change, though she doesn't quite meet Carina's eyes. She finds something less incriminating to look at. Like Mariel's sachet again. Lovely, lovely, lavender sachet.

"I hope I do not have to pull everyone into orbit again," she says on the topic of Seven Sages.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel is already clearly prepared for cold weather, as she brought her mittens. (Actually, she's not wearing them right now - it's hard to sew with them on - but she's certainly been seen with them plenty.)

"Yes, I have been fine," she says to Lydia, which isn't quite what was asked but is close enough that it might pass. She pulls her satchel in front of her and tucks the sachet in it, revealing some more packets of flowery goodness - herbs in bundles, bottles, other supplies of an herbalist - while she gets things arranged.

Mariel lets it swing on her shoulder once she's gotten everything back in the satchel, tugging the shoulder strap straight so that the satchel sits at her hip, embroidered flower facing outward. Everyone seems so determined to go to Elru and do something... it's so different from her that she isn't sure what to say about it.

Maybe it's different for humans, she thinks to herself. Or maybe Carina doesn't understand. "Is this really the time for the circus...?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline doesn't laugh or look embarrassed when Carina introduces herself as the superhero - Metal Digger Locus. There's just a familiar smile. ...Does that mean this was for real??

"I knew I could count on you, Carina." Jacqueline says with a nod as Carina comments on their trip and on helping them get some cold weather equipment going.

And Lydia, as it turns out, has a request.

"Seven Sages? I see...well, if you think it's important, I'll of course be willing to go there. I just hope those professors aren't causing trouble again..." She mutters that last bit, then shakes her head and looks toward Carina.

"Ah, a circus? Hm..." Jacqueline thinks it over. She'd never been to a circus before, herself...after a while, though, she nods and smiles.

"...I think we could arrange that. It might be fun." She says, then glances toward Mariel. She had a good question - was this really the time?

"...I think...this is exactly the time. It's important, particularly before something large and intimidating, to be able to relax. It might help to relieve some tension and soothe uneasiness." Jacqueline replies. She doesn't specifically call out Lydia, but one wouldn't be wrong for assuming she'd noticed.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Yeah?" Lydia says. "Well, Granny said it might help me strengthen my connection with Rigdobrite." She gestures forward with one hand. "Since we're having trouble hearing them now, I figured it was worth a shot. Better than twiddling my thumbs the whole time." She blinks at Carina. "The circus...?" She frowns. "We should...probably focus on Mother, though, right?" She glances over to Mariel for a moment. "Have you been to the circus before?" She looks back to Jacqueline. "Mmm....well, I don't know if they're causing trouble, but maybe we don't even need to see them." Still, a circus though. Has Lydia been to a circus? She supposes she hasn't but the idea makes her a little uneasy. She has heard stories about circuses.

"Well, we should probably do something fun before we leave...it might be the last time...right? Haha..."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"With all due respect," Catenna puts in, her voice quiet, "and while I respect your opinion, Jay... it would not be appropriate for me to go to the circus. There is too much at stake for me to be idle." She clasps her hands together, straightening her posture slightly, before nodding slowly when Lydia lets her opinion be known.

"All that matters to me at this moment is stopping Mother, restoring the Owlet to health, and discovering the Lost Sanctuary of the Guardian Lords. The longer we delay in Ignas, the more time the Metal Demons have to bring their plans to fruition."

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"Cyre's cool!" is all Carina has to add to Catenna's comment. Well, it's true.

"Maybe not," Carina admits to Mariel, with a grin and a nervous laugh. "But I figured it'd be good to have some good times together before we get to the heavy stuff, right? 'Sides, this one's a bit special! It's the kinda circus you see to load up on fightin' spirit! My sister and I were NUTS about it when we were kids!"

This may explain a large part of why Carina is so... Carina.

"Not sure when they'll be in town, but they said to give it at least three weeks." Do they HAVE three weeks? It's fine. This is a jRPG. Backtracking is almost always allowed. Jay explains why this should be a good time for a trip to the circus. "Yeah, exactly!" Carina nods, brightly.

"Though, I mean... I'm not gonna force anyone to go, of course." She scratches her ear, a little awkwardly.

Then, after a pause, she remembers something. "Oh right! There was something I wanted to show you! I made a neat thing we could maybe sell!" She takes off her backpack and rifles through her, her tongue halfway sticking out.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

"...Not recently," Mariel says, which is somewhat of an understatement.

Actually, has she ever been? She can't remember if she has, which is probably about the same, effectively, as never having been at all. If she has, it was a very long time ago indeed.

"Maybe, if you think it will bring your spirits up... but I wouldn't wait for it. Mother is - " Mariel cuts off, because she can't very well say what she wants to. She fusses with the edge of her satchel instead, twisting the fabric left and right before letting go of it.

"...well, if you all travel that way, or if we end up near it while looking for the Lost Sanctuary... still, I don't think it's as important as everything else." Mariel looks at the ground rather than meeting anyone's eyes. Then back up, mostly to see what Carina is digging out.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

      "That is," Arleph pipes up, sitting back into his seat to shove the wool into his pockets. "That there is another reason why we should check this circus out, then?" He asks, tilting his head to one side. "Is there?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Strenghtening your connection with Rigdobrite...yes, that might be a good idea." Jacqueline agrees. "I would definitely be glad to lend you my assistance, then."

Catenna offers her own input on the 'circus' situation, and Jacqueline nods. Carina has something of her own to say on the matter, though, and Jacqueline listens in.

"A...'fighting spirit' circus? I can't say I've heard of one like that. Sounds fascinating." Jacqueline comments with a chuckle. It'd probably be interesting to watch, at the very least.

And Mariel has her own concerns on the matter.

"I understand. Trust me, I wouldn't agree to it if I thought it would significantly impact our schedule. There's plenty of time for it in between all of the preparations we need to make, though." Jacqueline replied, then looks on with interest as Carina removes her backpack and begins to look through it.

...And at the same time, Arleph brings up something she hadn't considered. Interesting...

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Lowering her gaze, Catenna presses her lips gently together, turning over a few ideas in her head. They are ideas she does not want to turn over.

"We may not have three weeks. Remember that Elder Halle said the seals we placed upon the Statues would last only four hundred and forty-four days from the day our trial began," Catenna points out quietly as she looks up again. "We lost time on Lunar; it has been more than a year now since we began this task. We are running out of days in that four hundred and forty-four day window."

The Moon Shaman brushes a lock of hair away from her cheek. "If you must go to the circus, then do so. But we are running out of time."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Huh--" Lydia looks over to Mariel. The way she's talking seems a little strange for a 12 year old beastman. "...Oh!" Her eyes widen. "Are you a shaman, Mariel?"

Sometimes in JRPGs you get sidequests that seem pretty inappropriate considering the situation and take so long you have tow onder how there's still a planet after you're done with it, but by the same token--you somehow always have just enough time to do everything you want like that. "Well... I guess in three weeks I'll be as prepared as I'm likely to be. If the ships aren't ready by then, there's not so much I can do so maybe I'll go after all."

She looks to Jay, smiling. "Cool. I'll put up a note up." She glances towards Mariel again but doesn't make another commente. Maybe she noticed the weird look.

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"Not really," Carina tells Arleph, her head tilted. "I'm sure it'd be a totally normal circus visit." It's a shame they're on a bit of a schedule, because really, all she wants is for her friends to see this cool thing! "But... we'll have to see if we can fit it in, haha... Anyway..."

Anyway, though! She finds what she was searching for in her bags and fishes out...

"Ta-da!" Carina is holding up some sort of metallic, red-painted statuette. It has large, bug eyes and a blonde ponytail. Hold on, is that...

"It's like a Locus figure, but more action-based! I'm calling it a Locus figurine doll! Look, it can move its arms around with a Locus kung-fu grip!" She demonstrates. This technology is crude because Bandai hasn't been invented yet on this planet, but as a proof of concept it works well enough. Carina looks to Lydia, the fellow metal-worker she knows best here. "Pretty cool, right?"

"I mean..." She scratches her ear again, looking away. "I know there's no time for toys, no time for food, no time to be in a good mood, BUT we still gotta finance our travels, right? And I figure if we're gonna sell toys, it'd be good to remind people that there's folks like us fightin' for their smiles."

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel isn't sure the four hundred forty-four days matter much anymore, now that Mother is loose - they didn't stop it, after all - but she's not sure it doesn't, as she's never used that kind of binding. She's just anxious. She would be anxious even if she knew for a fact nothing was time-sensitive at all.

"Am I a shaman? No. I don't speak to the Guardians," Mariel replies to Lydia. "I don't have a Medium, either. But... Filgaia isn't well, and I can tell that much."

Mariel looks at Carina's... "An action figure?" she asks. "You sell them? I thought you made armour, more than toys." She was introduced as an armourer, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh, huh." Lydia says to Mariel. "Yeah I guess that's fair." She scratches lightly at her cheek with a fingernail. Her eyes become dollar signs as she considers the action figure. Like, it really is a $.$ here.

"We could make shitloads of cash with an idea like this! Carina, you're a genius! Kids everywhere will want their own Locus figurine and then we can expand to everybody in the Caravan. Rogue Alchemist Jaqueline Barber, Owl Priestess Catenna, Cyre the Hurricane...! And if we beat Mother, that's even more bank!"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Catenna brings up a good point. Jacqueline frowns slightly, doing some mental math. She doesn't speak up with her answer, but she does keep it in mind going forward. She does think the seal is a factor - if it hadn't been broken completely when Mother awakened, then there was a chance it was still keeping her in check.

Jacqueline nods toward Lydia when she says she'll put a note up, then looks toward Carina. She says it's a totally normal circus visit. Jacqueline nods, taking her at her word.

At this point, Carina produces the thing she's been hoping to show them - a figure of Locus. Jacqueline stares at it, in surprise.

"Is that...?" Jacqueline says. Carina confirms it for her before she even finishes the sentence. "...Wow. It's...well-made."

She manages to recover from her surprise and offers Carina a smile.

"...Well, I don't see why not. Boosting peoples' morale could only help." Jacqueline says. "Helping make the world a better place, one sale at a time, has always been one of our founding goals."

Jacqueline thinks it over.

"...How about a Locus mask, too?" She suggests, then looks toward Lydia. "I-I don't know if I want to be called a 'Rogue Alchemist..."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"A circus...I admit, I have never been to one..."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"A circus...I admit, I have never been to one..." Kourin muses.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel suddenly has a vision of the future. She doesn't like it.

"I don't want one," she says, hastily, when Lydia brings up making models of other Caravan people.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Sometimes Catenna forgets she's traveling with a bunch of merchants.

The Moon Shaman looks at Carina's doll with her lips slightly apart. A million things she wants to say hang at the very tip of her tongue. "It is..."

Catenna, a little voice in her mind reminds her, Carina Wynne is a fluffy muffin. You will not rain on her sunny day.

"...very cool," Catenna says with a small smile, dipping her head and closing her eyes.

It's both to muse on the cuteness of this, and to consider what Mariel said. She looks up towards the smaller woman with a curious glance, tilting her head a couple of degrees.

'Owl Priestes Catenna'

Catenna blushes intensely. "Please don't."

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 The Symbologist blinks, non-plused by the declaration that the circus is, in fact, VERY NORMAL. "Sure. I'm sure there's going to be nothing wroing waiting for us there. That'd be a change of pace."
 Arleph lets out a low whistle, peering over the figurine by leaning on the edge of his seat. He gives it a good look over, adjusting his spectacles while he peers upon it closer. "Oh my. That is impressive craftsmanship. It does look pretty good -- do you have the means to make more at this level of quality, then?"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"I...do not think anyone would want a doll of me," Kourin muses thoughtfully. "I am not..."cool", and I do not believe I would be popular."

Spirit barks.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Kourin you're very cool!" Lydia says. "You're the coolest person I know!"

But then Mariel says she doesn't want one. Lydia adopts a :thinking: pose and nods a few times. "Well I wouldn't make anybody... even if it's a shame because Mariel figures like that would fly off the shelves."

She claps her hands once together. "Well let's scratch that then. We'll just have to make a lot of different versions of Locus all with different attachments and outfits that you may or may not actually find in your actual journey. I think that's a good middle ground."

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"I dunno, Filgaia doesn't look that much different to me," Carina says after Mariel, looking up in the sky, probably looking for some sort of floating skull to indicate impending doom.

"Action figure!" she repeats. "That's a snappier name, I like it. And well! Armor takes a lotta different skills. Toys ain't my specialty, but at least I knew enough to cobble this together with a lil' help from my parents."

People seem to enjoy it! Even Catenna says it's cool, and Lydia has Gella in her eyes. "Hey, that's not a bad idea!" A few of them already opt out, which is... fair. "We should ask Shalune if we could do Big Shal, too!" N-No Shalune action figure? Harsh... "I mean, she'd probably be a big help putting these together. She's waaaay better than I am at stuff with fiddly parts."

Surely putting action figure production in her hands would end well.

"Oh, oh! A Locus mask would be great!" Carina says, balling her fists up with enthusiasm as Jay makes the suggestion. "Actually, we could probably put little Locus faces on some other stuff! Locus handkerchiefs! Locus pajamas! Locus fruit pies!" It's possible Carina is suggesting this mainly just because she wants to eat fruit pies.

Lydia goes on, suggesting Locus variants. Carina crosses her arms and cups her chin, seeming to take this with surprising seriousness. "Well, there's all the marbles, and the Locusaber and such, but I probably wanna wait 'til I unlock a special form before we start sellin' those. Don't wanna do no false advertisement."

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

"Don't you feel it? Even before Mother awoke..." Mariel sometimes forgets how unobservant many people are - and, indeed, that nobody here has been alive long enough to remember how Filgaia felt even as recently as thirty or forty years ago. She's spent too long on her own, only interacting with people lightly, when she came to do what she could as a doctor or a florist...

Instead, she digs her foot into the rocky badlands and lifts up a little bit of the red-brown dirt on her boot. "With the desert," she says. "But it's worse now." It's so quiet.

She has absolutely no idea what Carina means by a 'special form', or why Lydia is so keen to sell bits of Locus merch. She looks at Catenna as if hoping for an explanation, since she seems level-headed enough. Then back. "Do you want to sell everything...?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Hmm... that's true." Lydia says. "Customer satisfaction is key. They might not like to know you don't accidentally carry the uh..." She trails off for a moment. "The Scissor Blade or whatever." She looks to Mariel. "I lived in the desert my whole life. I've been to Lunar, so I know how different it is, but I don't really want to think about how doomed our planet is all the time." She looks over to Mariel. "And I guess... I don't really have a green thumb or anything like you do. I notice stuff, sure, but...you know, working hard is important but feeling good is important too."

She quirks her head curiously. "Sorry, I guess I came on a little hard," She manages a more awkward smile. "But I wanted to make a good impression and uh..."

She blushes silver again before turning back to Carina, "I guess...moderation....is fine, too...?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"Carina... Filgaia is not well," Catenna explains in a patient, slightly sad tone. "It was obvious enough, comparing here and how Lunar was... but even without ever going there, you can feel it in the Earth itself...." She trails off, glancing at Mariel as the tinier woman makes similar observations. She's not nearly as old as that, but Catenna does live in the forest. She's pretty well-positioned to be in tune with the lifeblood of the world.

She looks down towards the soil beneath her. "...The sickness on Filgaia is more than Mother, I think."

When she looks up again, Catenna flicks a few curls of hair back with the backs of her fingers. She catches the look. "Metal Digger Locus is very... adaptable, in the techniques and styles she uses while fighting. She is also very...."

don't say dorky don't say dorky don't say "dramatic."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Dorky," Lydia says simultaneously. "But like a cool dorky."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"You're plenty cool, Kourin! I can't think of anyone who does a better job of weaving sorcery and swordplay together. I'm sure if people got to know you they'd agree!" Jacqueline says, joining in with Lydia.

Everyone else agrees that it looks great, though...even if they don't want to be involved with the actual figure process. Jacqueline herself...isn't too enthusiastic about having figures of herself, either.

"Shalune would probably be glad to, but, ah...you might want to watch that she doesn't implement a rocket punch feature...using actual rockets..." Jacqueline suggests with a hint of (probably legitimate) worry. She smiles, then, as Carina approves of her suggestion...and then carries it even further.

"Producing this stuff might be difficult...but if we can get it to catch on, I think it could work. And I must admit, I do love a good fruit pie..." Jacqueline says. ...That's probably her sweet tooth talking. As for the idea of various tools and abilities... "...Hm, I agree...it'd be a better idea to keep the lore straight."

She looks toward Mariel as she speaks about Filgaia's current state. While it was true that Jacqueline had not been alive that long, it was easy to tell that something was wrong just by comparing Filgaia and Lunar...not to mention the stories she's heard about the past.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin lets out a slow sigh. "I...thank you, my friends. I suppose...I just do not understand what "cool" means in this context. I guess that makes me...dorky?"

Spirit covers his eyes with his paws, like a dog in a movie.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel confirms with Catenna, "It is," though why a beastwoman who looks maybe fourteen can confirm that is a good question.

"But you are thinking about it. You want to go to Elru," Mariel says, looking at Lydia more intently. She saw that silver, and she takes a half step back despite already being some distance away - which means she's back up against the scrubby tree she'd been leaning against before.

"...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have kept bringing it up. But..." Well, she still feels it's important, but she's going to have to get used to living with other people again, and that means acting differently. "...maybe we can spend one afternoon at the circus."

She elects to not comment on dorkiness or lack thereof.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna really does not want to go to the circus.

She puts it off by simply not saying anything at this point, letting her silence hang there for others to hang assumed agreement or disagreement on. Internally she's calculating whether she could purchase a fishing boat on her own, or steal one, or manage to get out of here without Cyre, or succeed in defeating Mother by herself.

This would be easier if I had more offensive magic, she reflects inwardly.

As Mariel accedes, Catenna simply smiles a muted smile, folding her hands together. The mystery of the tiny woman's age is left unspoken; it'd be rude to ask. But it's filed away in her mind as something worthy of observation.

"However we achieve it, Filgaia is counting on us," is all she says.

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"I'm not super observant," Carina admits, though coming out of her, it sounds like she's boasting. "I mean... I know Lunar is way better-off grass-wise 'n such, but I thought that was how Filgaia's always been, right? I'm no good at feelin' the Earth or anything, either, that's more your thing."

"Hey, it's all good!" she tells Lydia with a wave of her hand. She nods along with Catenna explains Locus' fighting style. Then Lydia says... dorky!! "heeeeeeeey..." Carina lets out, like air escaping from a balloon, but Lydia goes on. Cool dorky? She can work with that. She perks up.

"Oh yeah, that sounds hecka cool but it might not be safe for child," Carina says, regarding rocket punches. "Maybe the circus could teach you what it means to be cool, too," she tells Kourin, as an aside. What even IS that circus about? Jeez.

Mariel brings it up again, too. Carina nods a few times. "Yessssss~!"

But wait, what's that in the distance? It's... a cart, being pulled leisurely by a horse. Nothing like Carina's dramatic arrival. "Oh hey, looks like Dad's here!" Carina points out. "Looks like we'll be able to load up on stuff and be on our way!"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"I do not know how it would teach me that," Kourin says, not realizing what a dis that is to the circus.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline doesn't comment further on dorkiness vs. coolness herself, either. She...probably feels she might fall more in the former than the latter, but she doesn't seem too upset about that, either.

Mariel eventually agrees that they could spend one afternoon, and Jacqueline offers her a smile.

"...Thank you. And...I know, Catenna. I promise, once that's done we'll focus our efforts on Mother. I just...I don't want anyone to be going into this with any lingering regrets." She says. "Trust me when I say I know how important this is."

They'd only have the one shot, after all. They had to make it count.

Jacqueline offers Lydia a smile too, but soon enough her attention is distracted by Carina pointing something out in the distance.

"Ah, excellent! I should offer him an apology while he's here, too..." She says, a bit sheepishly. She never expected to be teleported to another planet - she couldn't imagine how worried Carina's parents might have been.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Yeah, like... in the way where like at first you're like 'this lady's passions are weird' but then before you know it because the lady is fun to hang around so you are like 'wow i actually like this too'. That sorta thing."

She glances to Mariel. "Yeah, but there's like being consumed by it and just kinda knowing it in the back of your head while also working on other things that are also important." But then she is frowning thoughtfully. She's getting a lot of looks there and then it takes her a moment before she realizes, "Oh! Right. My face."

She taps the metal beads. "It's a bit of a story there, but I'm not a Hyadean or anything." She lowers her hand. "Just looks similar."

There is another pause before she adds, "I think."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"She speaks the truth," Kourin says, vouching for Lydia.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel seems slightly uncertain, but she tries to smile back. She doesn't feel wrong, Mariel thinks to herself.

It almost works.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna's lost in thought again. She looks out towards the horizon, once again making calculations in her head that she wouldn't dare say out loud.


<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren gives Mariel a big cheesy thumbsup.

Inside her heart, though, she's sobbing over the new beastman girl thinking she's a monster.

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"Awwwwwww," Carina says, scratching the HECK out of her ear as her cheeks darken as Lydia clarifies what she means. "My passions are weird~" she repeats, as if that were the complimenting part. "And yeah, Lydia's cool!" she says, while on the topic of vouching for people's coolness.

"I don't think he needs apologizin'," she tells Jay, as they watch Mister Wynne's cart approach. "They were worried sick, sure, but they get it wasn't really anybody's fault. I, huuuh, I told 'em about Locus." She tilts her head. "It was a whole thing. BUT. I don't think he'd say no to stayin' over for dinner, though!"

"Haha! You'll see!" Carina then tells Kourin, ominously(?)

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Well, if you're sure, but I do still feel bad about it..." Jacqueline comments toward Carina, massaging the back of her neck. She does smile and nod, though.

"That's good. I think they deserve to know that much, at least." She replies...and then chuckles. "...Well, I think we could arrange that much. It would be a shame for him to come all the way out here without getting to have any of our food as thanks."

Truly, it would be a tragedy - a betrayal, even!

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

      Arleph have been quite for most of this, listening to what they are saying. Some of these are new things he havent heard and... certainly, some are troubling on some levels that he's probably the only one to be aware of. This does prove it. Again with that advanced civilization that is doing... things to the populace of this world. Not related to the various alien species that took up residence there.
      He leans back on his chair, rubbing the budding dark red beard he's been cultivating since the latter days of their trips to Lunar, lost in his thoughts. Just for how long have they been keeping a loose mastery of this world like this, being rumor and keeping it in the dark and into the ground? He's pretty sure what she have are cybernetic augmentations of some kind.
      Still, he remains silent, frowning and furrowing his brows.