2018-10-19: The First Ordeal

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  • Log: The First Ordeal
  • Cast: Talia, Dean Stark, Lily Keil, Rebecca Streisand, Elhaym van Houten, Avril Vent Fleur, Lydia Seren
  • Where: Linaweyul, the First Ordeal
  • Date: October 19th 2018
  • Summary: Talia has learned about a rumored door that appears to lead back to a certain island on Lunar. Hoping it might allow her means to Lunar itself, she recruits a few allies... and meets a few more along the way. While the door to Lunar at large appears to be closed, there is still something waiting for them on that forgotten island...

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Rumors abound regarding mysterious doors, which lead into -- impossibly -- Linaweyul, the First Ordeal. How a door could lead back to Lunar is a question that, perhaps, no one can find the answer to. The truth is that Talia considers this outcome unlikely.

But it is too tantalizing to pass up.

One of the doors is in an alley in the city of Adlehyde, secreted away; if you look closely, you might realize that it should open into the middle of the first floor and basement. Talia stands before it, not having opened it. She has invited a few friends, though. Lydia, she spoke with earlier. Dean, Avril, and Rebecca... well, truth be told, they're the closest thing to friends she has after Amaranth and Lydia.

She turns, to look at them, and she scratches behind the back of her head. "Well! Ah. This place is supposed to be dangerous," she says. "And... apparently, back on Lunar. The truth is, I do not know what might be within. But... if it allows me access, I have a twin brother back there. He was in the same business I was--so, if there is any chance it would let me get out..."

She shakes her head. "I'd like to take it. And if not, well--we can go exploring, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "I'm always up for exploring!" Dean says, smiling brightly as he gives Talia a firm nod. "I remember the place you're talking about--we all went through it before," he adds, this time nodding over at Avril and Rebecca. "We fought that one Hellion..." He sobers for a moment. That poor puppy... He tried so hard to protect his master... Then his gaze regains its determination. "And then the next part opened up! We haven't been back there since, so if this door really does lead there, we'll see for ourselves what's deeper inside!"
    
    And of course there's the matter of Talia's brother. Dean nods to that, too. "That'd be great if we could find your brother and help him get out of... what you were doing before," he says, with somewhat uncommon tact. Hanging out with Ida has caught him many lessons indeed. "But we won't know how it goes until we try, so let's open that door up!"

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

When the intrepid adventurers open the door, the gorgeous beaches of that strange place in the ocean are here; the soft sand, the foilage...

And two women who are already present. One of them is pretty easy to recognize as Lily Keil, dark-haired with one golden eye showing, turning towards the opening door with a lifted eyebrow. Her arms are crossed in a closed sort of posture, and she has an ARM on her hip. ...Still missing her favorite knife, though.

"...I'm going to try one more experiment," Lily asys to the others with her, and lifts her hand, fingers closed. She focuses--

Like a firework, a light shoots up towards the sky, and bursts into brilliant flame... But doesn't escape the area.

"Mm..."

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca doesn't have any really good memories of this place. Other than the brief beach episode beforehand. The puppy...

But then Talia says something that gets her back into the feel of it. "The same business? That's..." Her lips purse a little, "... rough."

It sounds like she's torn given the completely insane danger levels behind this place and... getting someone away from Talia's awful family. But... Lily tests out the barrier, and Rebecca arches an eyebrow. "It took a lot of firepower to get people into this place before... more than we've got now." That isn't an insult to Lily's magic, just an acknowledgement that 'that guy' might have helped just a bit as well as the key that they had.

"Well if you really think we can open a way out..." She's not perhaps too keen on coming back to Lunar frequently - but finding a way to do it more readily might... make life easier. "... looking around wouldn't hurt..."

Her eyes fall onto Dean and perhaps her expression falters a bit at his excitement, "... much?" He then eyes Avril as if trying to give this silent signal that the two of them should try to make certain Dean Stark doesn't get separated from them again.

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly van Houten is here with a leather strap across her chest to carry a satchel at her hip and her battle Rod at the other hip. It is the closest thing to an accessory on 'dungarees, boots, and a peasant tunic in butternut.' "Right," she tells Lily, looking up as the fireworks are launched -

They don't go anywhere.

Elly turns her head to look towards the opening door and she blinks with the slow leisurely energy of a cat smiling, before saying, "Oh! Hello. We've found a tremendous spatial anomaly and we're trying to learn more about it."

Elly sees Talia.

Elly's lips thin so hard her cheeks seem to pooch out. In short: :I

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca doesn't have any really good memories of this place. Other than the brief beach episode beforehand. The puppy...

But then Talia says something that gets her back into the feel of it. "The same business? That's..." Her lips purse a little, "... rough."

Idly she thinks of just breaking out and realizes its just not likely to happen with their current resources. Exploration is their only option.

"Well if you really think we can open a way out..." She's not perhaps too keen on coming back to Lunar frequently - but finding a way to do it more readily might... make life easier. "... looking around wouldn't hurt..."

Her eyes fall onto Dean and perhaps her expression falters a bit at his excitement, "... much?" He then eyes Avril as if trying to give this silent signal that the two of them should try to make certain Dean Stark doesn't get separated from them again.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It hadn't been all that terribly long ago -- though in a place now far away -- that they had ventured the distance towards the island that held the ruin of Uzda Il-jam, and from there had pressed on through the trials towards what lay beyond.

    It had been a cruel but necessary ordeal, but one that Avril had thought behind her.

    But now it sounds as if the way to the depths of that place -- and perhaps Lunar as well? -- are not so tightly sealed to them?

    "I am doing little with my time at present but preparation," Avril had said, when the question had come up. "Thus, I would be happy to assist in this. Furthermore, if we are able to discover a way back to Lunar, that may become an important advantage to us, would it not?"

    And even if they don't...

    She nods, as if in agreement with her friends. "Furthermore, if it is possible to return to that place from here, it would be important to understand what it is. I think we should explore, whether we can reach Lunar or not."

    That said she does share a silent look with Rebecca. And ever so slightly, Avril smiles. Is this agreement...?

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

MYSTERIOUS!!! DOORS!!!!!

Lydia is always up for exploring the great unknown even though the great unknown had to be opened up with dog murder. But on the other hand--Lydia has no idea that happened so it's not really on her mind anyway! And it's okay the dog is with his owner now or something.

Lydia has a new situation regarding her body as is not really uncommon as it happens a few times each season. What is unusual though is that this time, the changes really highlight the artificial nature of her body that is clearly personalized what with all the star imagery on her shoulders. Aside from the robotic frame, she also has a metal bat (not an animal bat, unfortunately, but a metal bat...for now) strapped to her back. She is skating around along the floor via her RADICAL SKATES, shifting her weight onto one leg as she pushes off with the other, spins dramatically and then falls flat on her back, laughing like a maniac.

Talia has probably already seen this honestly but it seems Lydia has found her replacement for her portal pistols now in a certain pigtailed girl's posession. Lydia hops back up to her feet as the door is opening. "Don't worry! I'm getting prett good at it," She tells Talia before looking over to Rebecca for a moment. "Heh hehh well we'll just have to see."

When the door opens, she sees Elly.

She sees her lips forming a :|.

Lydia pops forward in front of Talia, blocking both of their views for a moment, but it's Elly who gets to see the big bright and maybe a little scary fangy smile on Lydia's lips. "Elly!" She says cheerfully as she skates on in. "You made it!" She didn't tell Talia she had invited Elly she just kind of did it off the cuff.

But then she throws herself forward and gives Elly a big hug.

And then she lifts Elly into the air and swings her around for a bit which might be a little unnerving since she's still using skates to move around but she doesn't fall this time at least, laughing energetically before setting her down, this time back into Talia's view.

"Thank you so much for before!" She says, looking back to Talia. "Talia! This is Elly!"

Her smile broadens. "She basically, like, saved my life! I'm so glad you get to meet her!"

DG: A party led by Talia is now entering Linaweyul, the First Ordeal.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Gephyrophobia *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 At times in life, we are presented with seemingly insurmountable gaps with
 only the most threadbare of resources to cross them. And sometimes, this
 metaphor is taken to a much more literal level: vast white-yellow space
 surrounds you as you are transported to this strange, floating golden
 platform of an entryway. The path to completing this challenge lies in a
 doorway on a second platform a good few hundred feet from your own -- with
 only a very long, aging bridge to close the gap for you. Shining yellow
 panels are cracked and crumbling, parts of the bridge are simply missing
 entirely, and many more besides will break apart as you try to traverse it
 -- segments will, in fact, just fall off just before you step on them, as if
 deliberately trying to sabotage you and cast you to the white warmth of the
 void below. but life isn't worth clinging to because it's easy. So go cross
 your figurative-literal barebones bridge.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Tire===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Mm... yes," Talia says, eyes glancing downward. She blinks her eyes a couple of times. "Ah... yes, this is where I met the three of you, really, no? It takes me back."

She looks at Rebecca, then. Her expression falters for a moment; however, she cracks a slight smile at the word 'rough' and nods. She flashes a smile to Dean, Avril, and Rebecca. "Precisely my thoughts on the matter. But... thank you, no? I won't forget it." She opens the door, as Dean requested. When she does, she finds Lily Keil standing on the beach of the island -- which, she would note, is rather confusing. "Lydia!" Her eyes widen slightly as she sees who all her friends came with.

She remembers Lily and Elly both. She once tried to kill them. She opens her mouth, then closes it. Especially when Elly makes that face. "Ah! People I ambushed that one time. Well, this is awkward, no?"

Lydia hugs Elly.

"Still awkward!"

Then, they are teleported with a flash of light. Talia's eyes widen -- as a gentle beach, rolling waves, and the distant sight of the Blue Star (so it was true!) is replaced, again. They stand, now, upon a golden platform. Talia looks down, her crimson eyes widening, and then she looks up. Her eyes peer about, her expression shifting. Slowly, she narrows her eyes at the bridge.

The former assassin takes a couple of steps forward. "I can get one of us across," she says. "I can through Mirage for the posts, and teleport myself. And hold onto someone. But... we have our work cut out for us, now?"

The bridge to the other platform is a sight, though. Even as Talia speaks, a piece of it crumbles -- and collapses into the blue sky below. Her jaw sets, as she looks over the platforms and the gaps in the bridge. She draws her short sword, then, and the blue-steel blade shines oddly in the light.

DG: Talia has used her Tool Mirage toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"Whatever opened it before," Lily says, "It's closed now. I don't know whether we could break through again... But it seems to enclose the area on all sides. Illusion? Magic?" Lily shakes her head.

When the door opens, Lily accepts Elly's explanation of their presence, and looks with some surprise to see Lydia's... form, and enthusiasm, along with the rest of the group. At least she isn't immediately hugged. Lily just waits through the greetings at first.

"...Lily Keil," Lily introduces herself more properly to Talia, with a nod and a look over her. The matter of the ambush gets a shake of Lily's head. "Don't worry about it. What's an ambush between acquaintances?" With one hand lifted, she just waves it off, hand back and looks towards the doors ahead. --And... teleporting. Teleporting, all right.

"Hm. ...I had planned to try to explore this place anyway, but..." She frowns, thoughtful.

"Well, we might find a way to move between Lunar and Filgaia in here." The same lines as someone else is thinking, maybe?

"...I can probably make up some of the difference with ice, but it won't make for easy walking. Nothing for it but--"

Lily starts forward.

DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "Heyy, what's that look supposed to mean?" Dean says to Rebecca, frowning. Well, one calls it a frown, but it's really more like a pout, the way his cheeks puff out. "As long as we're together, it'll be fine!" He pauses, remembering how the strange dungeon had immediately separated them. "...and even if we get separated, we'll find our way back together again for sure!" Firm nod.
    
    Avril breaks down all the reasons why it's a good idea to check out the other side of this mysterious door. Dean's not quite as logical as all that, but he grins in agreement with her. "Yeah, exactly! You never know what you might find on a strange island like that! And aren't you curious what's going on with it?" This, directed at Rebecca. To Talia, he grins and nods. Huh, this *is* where they met her, isn't it? He'd almost forgotten! "No problem! What're friends for?"
    
    Awkward encounters, apparently. When the door opens, and they run into Elly, Lydia, and Lily on the other side, and Elly immediately gives Talia a Look, and Talia says it's because she ambushed them... Dean scratches his head. "Kind of is, yeah," he says to Talia. Then he brightens and adds to Lydia, Lily, and even Elly even though he doesn't really know her that well if at all, "But hey, great to see you guys again!"
    
    Onward the group goes, teleported onto a great yellow bridge. The bridge has seen better days, shall we say. Dean stiffs when he sees all the water lapping underneath--but he also sees the door on the platform on the other end of that crumbling bridge. His resolve and gaze steel, and Twin Fenrir flash into his hands. "I've got the ice covered," he tells Lily, before shooting at the gaps and cracks of the bridge with his Freeze Ray. In an instant, ice coagulates over them--though who knows how long it'll last? "That oughtta steady things up, at least!"

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Freeze Ray toward his party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly possibly taking her extremely low-level catty potshots at Talia are derailed when Lydia pops in and Elly's eyes go wide. She is then given a hug that only one other person in this great blue cosmos could give (that person is Tolone). Squished a little, hoisted and lifted, Elly laughs with a certain amount of anxiety. "Lydia! Oh! You've - changed;"

She is introduced to Talia.

I

"Oh, we've met," she says mildly.

And then, fwash!

"... That would be astonishing," Elly says, at the idea of an easy way to get between Lunar and Filgaia. Then she tells Lily, "Oh, I have the geck material on my boots." She hikes one up to show what looks like a gum sole unless you look *very* closely - like, magnifier closely - and explains, with a slightly rueful tone, "It hasn't gotten even a little weaker. I could walk someone across... be an anchor point for them."

Elly looks round, even as Dean starts with using his Freeze Ray, and holds out her hands. Who will dare to hold the warm hands... of ELEHAYYM *VON* HOUTEN

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Expedition Boots toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "It is, isn't it? Maybe we should call it a reunion exploration," Avril comments.

    It's a puzzling scene that meets them once the door opens, and rest assured, Avril does trade a glance or three back out through the door whence they came and then back in towards the island. It fails to provide any immediate enlightenment.
    She sums up her reaction to this with a slight tilt of the head -- perhaps a shrug of sorts -- before turning towards Elly, Lily, and Lydia. "Lydia, this is unexpected, but not unwelcome, I think. Were you three also investigating...?" She pauses, then asks, "It was Lily, was it not? And, ah... Elly, wasn't it? It is good to see you again as well."

    It isn't long before they are taken -- in a flash of light and with as much fanfare -- to a golden platform, perched here amidst an equally golden infinity.

    The only way across to the far doorway -- their target, as plain as day -- is a single bridge.

    "This bridge does not look very stable," she comments, her forehead crinkled as she takes in the sight of it. "Hmm. Perhaps-- yes, if you were to reinforce sections of it with your bullets, Dean," she says, as her friend gets about to doing precisely that.

    "I think... if we could cross it as quickly as we can, it would be for the best," Avril states, drawing out her Medium and similarly drawing out its power. It shines with an unearthly light.

    "Lucadia... please guide us," she intones, before, borne by a gust of sea-air, she starts forward.
    This may turn into a jumping puzzle yet...

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Sea Medium toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


The promise is sealed with a look. However Rebecca then takes all the blame for it by answering Dean, "What do you think it's supposed to mean Mister 'gets separated from us twice by'-" She holds up one finger, "-giant malevolence lotus-" Then two fingers, "-and giant stone wall?" Before she then nearly snorts at Avril's statement of 'reunion exploration.' Putting her gloved hands over her mouth.

"Lydia!? Lily-? What are..." And then Talia drops the ambush bomb. Rebecca looks at her hard. Then harder. Then she finally says. "... I think you could cut this awkwardness with a knife right now. Don't actually do that though Talia."

Rebecca then wiggles her fingers awkwardly since she's in the company of an assassin, "It's nice to meet you - I'm one of Lydia's friends - thanks for saving her and-"

And then they're teleported. "-where are we?"

Given the stability of the bridge, Rebecca doesn't decide to go for some reckless acrobatics here. She instead waits for Dean to shore it up - and Avril to bless them and Talia to start teleporting people over. "Alright, quickly then." She then starts lightfooting it across rapidly but cautiously, trying to trust more in her ability to react to them with a quick leap or a backstep - using every advantage she can get.

It wouldn't be such bad thing maybe to be rescued again but she doesn't want to make a habit of it in these dangerous situations...

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

Lydia Seren says, "Oh man!" still in a cheery tone. "I'm really glad you didn't kill each other!" Her tone shifts to a more sedate one. "I would've been devastated." And then she smiles, more subdued again. "Yeah, I think it'll work out better for me this way." If nothing else she might be harder to melt, she thinks.

Fwash!

Lydia looks towards Dean for a small moment. "I think I'll take the rear here. I think I've got some good stunt action here."

Is she making things harder for herself just for stunts?? It might be a good idea to watch out for her considering. Nevertheless, she does let go of Elly eventually so she can move across the bridge with Lily because where Lydia is going...nobody should have to hold her hand.

Lydia, rather than trying to run ACROSS the bridge itself, jumps onto the side of the sides of the bridge, where the half missing guardrail is. She hops along the side as such, leaving room for others, while she hops between missing segments and even at one point, skids down along the sides of her skates frankly pretty recklessly.

"Woohoo!!" Lydia shouts. She may not be afraid of falling. "Rebecca this is amaaaazing!" She shouts.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Gephyrophobia *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 At times in life, we are presented with seemingly insurmountable gaps with
 only the most threadbare of resources to cross them. And sometimes, this
 metaphor is taken to a much more literal level: vast white-yellow space
 surrounds you as you are transported to this strange, floating golden
 platform of an entryway. The path to completing this challenge lies in a
 doorway on a second platform a good few hundred feet from your own -- with
 only a very long, aging bridge to close the gap for you. Shining yellow
 panels are cracked and crumbling, parts of the bridge are simply missing
 entirely, and many more besides will break apart as you try to traverse it
 -- segments will, in fact, just fall off just before you step on them, as if
 deliberately trying to sabotage you and cast you to the white warmth of the
 void below. but life isn't worth clinging to because it's easy. So go cross
 your figurative-literal barebones bridge.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Tire===============================================
==================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 1 *>===================
==========================< Results - Gephyrophobia >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Mirage                              3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Freeze Ray                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    0 --(3)--> 3                   Fail
Sea Medium                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Expedition Boots                    2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           0 --(3)--> 3                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   0 --(3)--> 3                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Slow(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Talia 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> Talia has posed.

"Yes," she agrees with Dean. "Still awkward." Her eyes shift towards Rebecca -- and then she grins, a little cackle escaping her lips. She stares right back at Elly, until they are teleported away.

The assassin glances, sidelong, at Lily. "That... is one way to put it," Talia says, with a long and awkward glance in Lily's direction. Her eyebrows knit together, but she nods her head. It seems that they are in agreement, at least, on the subject of moving between Filgaia and Lunar. She swallows, and then she steps forward. Dean's ice ray freezes some of the bridge into place. They all start over, afterward. Avril sails on a gust of seabreeze; Lydia, at the rear, skates down the iced over portion.

Talia throws Mirage. She vanishes, bursting apart in strands of shadowstuff. On and on they go -- with some scrapes, bumps, and a trio of saves for Lydia, Lily, and Avril.

The next platform awaits!

DG: Lily Keil has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Photophobia *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Everything in this place is darkness, a pitch black that is nigh impossible
 to see through but, most importantly, gobbles up anything even remotely like
 light or illumination. All except a single, shining mote of light in the
 distance -- one that reveals itself to be some sort of strange assemblage of
 shining white, floating geometric shapes that will attack you with
 light-based magic the second you approach. It is easily undone, though, and
 upon its defeat, it -explodes- into light -- light that illuminates the
 winding pathways of this area pitch perfect. Light that starts to fade the
 second the path is illuminated. To make your way through this long,
 interminable challenge, you will have to continuously defeat these light
 sprites to guide your way forward; just hope they don't overwhelm you. Or
 you don't run out of them. Either would be pretty bad.
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Overwhelm========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily's jaw twitches a little as she notices Lydia's grandstanding. Girl's talented, but with as un-agile as Lily is... She can see all sorts of ways it would go wrong with her. She takes herself off of that particular doomed track of thought with a look to one of the yellow walls instead.

Lily can at least feel it for herself; someone is feeling awkward, even if she couldn't really say who it is for certain. ...She has to guess like most people do.

"That's right," Lily answers Avril after a moment though. "I noticed the door, and apparently so had Lydia, because Elly showed up. I was testing the limits of the locale... I haven't tried to brute force through the barrier. Even if I got through, we don't have a ship, and there's no guarantee I could get through."

Dean has the ice covered. "Then I'll focus on hanging o--"

Her boot goes straight through a tile that is no longer there. Elly will have to save her...!

But after that happens (and it is presumably stylish), Lily gets back up. "...That's some useful material. It's still good?" Hm.

Once they make through, however; once again, they are teleported. They pass through the door...

And into darkness. Lily stops short, reaching out with other senses with sight suddenly useless to her, quelling the spark of alarm that's natural with sudden sensory deprivation. "...This is--" The light shines, in the distance. As Lily steps towards it... it becomes great shapes of light based magic.

The sorceress lifts both hands, palms out, and catches a burst of light in a cage of shadow, hurling both straight back towards the enemy. "Careful--!"

...The first one? The first one's a freebie. It goes down easy. ...But it shines, again.

"...Dog," Lily says. "I'm counting on you to be our eyes."

When did Dog arrive? She was here with Lily, quiet. ...And she doesn't need to see what she can smell.

Unfortunately the next sprite will be more dangerous...

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Dog toward her party's challenge, Photophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Rumors abound regarding mysterious doors, which lead into -- impossibly -- Linaweyul, the First Ordeal. How a door could lead back to Lunar is a question that, perhaps, no one can find the answer to. The truth is that Talia considers this outcome unlikely.

But it is too tantalizing to pass up.

One of the doors is in an alley in the city of Adlehyde, secreted away; if you look closely, you might realize that it should open into the middle of the first floor and basement. Talia stands before it, not having opened it. She has invited a few friends, though. Lydia, she spoke with earlier. Dean, Avril, and Rebecca... well, truth be told, they're the closest thing to friends she has after Amaranth and Lydia.

She turns, to look at them, and she scratches behind the back of her head. "Well! Ah. This place is supposed to be dangerous," she says. "And... apparently, back on Lunar. The truth is, I do not know what might be within. But... if it allows me access, I have a twin brother back there. He was in the same business I was--so, if there is any chance it would let me get out..."

She shakes her head. "I'd like to take it. And if not, well--we can go exploring, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "I'm always up for exploring!" Dean says, smiling brightly as he gives Talia a firm nod. "I remember the place you're talking about--we all went through it before," he adds, this time nodding over at Avril and Rebecca. "We fought that one Hellion..." He sobers for a moment. That poor puppy... He tried so hard to protect his master... Then his gaze regains its determination. "And then the next part opened up! We haven't been back there since, so if this door really does lead there, we'll see for ourselves what's deeper inside!"
    
    And of course there's the matter of Talia's brother. Dean nods to that, too. "That'd be great if we could find your brother and help him get out of... what you were doing before," he says, with somewhat uncommon tact. Hanging out with Ida has caught him many lessons indeed. "But we won't know how it goes until we try, so let's open that door up!"

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

When the intrepid adventurers open the door, the gorgeous beaches of that strange place in the ocean are here; the soft sand, the foilage...

And three women who are already present. One of them is pretty easy to recognize as Lily Keil, dark-haired with one golden eye showing, turning towards the opening door with a lifted eyebrow. Her arms are crossed in a closed sort of posture, and she has an ARM on her hip. ...Still missing her favorite knife, though.

"...I'm going to try one more experiment," Lily asys to the others with her, and lifts her hand, fingers closed. She focuses--

Like a firework, a light shoots up towards the sky, and bursts into brilliant flame... But doesn't escape the area.

"Mm..."

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca doesn't have any really good memories of this place. Other than the brief beach episode beforehand. The puppy...

But then Talia says something that gets her back into the feel of it. "The same business? That's..." Her lips purse a little, "... rough."

It sounds like she's torn given the completely insane danger levels behind this place and... getting someone away from Talia's awful family. But... Lily tests out the barrier, and Rebecca arches an eyebrow. "It took a lot of firepower to get people into this place before... more than we've got now." That isn't an insult to Lily's magic, just an acknowledgement that 'that guy' might have helped just a bit as well as the key that they had.

"Well if you really think we can open a way out..." She's not perhaps too keen on coming back to Lunar frequently - but finding a way to do it more readily might... make life easier. "... looking around wouldn't hurt..."

Her eyes fall onto Dean and perhaps her expression falters a bit at his excitement, "... much?" He then eyes Avril as if trying to give this silent signal that the two of them should try to make certain Dean Stark doesn't get separated from them again.

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly van Houten is here with a leather strap across her chest to carry a satchel at her hip and her battle Rod at the other hip. It is the closest thing to an accessory on 'dungarees, boots, and a peasant tunic in butternut.' "Right," she tells Lily, looking up as the fireworks are launched -

They don't go anywhere.

Elly turns her head to look towards the opening door and she blinks with the slow leisurely energy of a cat smiling, before saying, "Oh! Hello. We've found a tremendous spatial anomaly and we're trying to learn more about it."

Elly sees Talia.

Elly's lips thin so hard her cheeks seem to pooch out. In short: :I

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca doesn't have any really good memories of this place. Other than the brief beach episode beforehand. The puppy...

But then Talia says something that gets her back into the feel of it. "The same business? That's..." Her lips purse a little, "... rough."

Idly she thinks of just breaking out and realizes its just not likely to happen with their current resources. Exploration is their only option.

"Well if you really think we can open a way out..." She's not perhaps too keen on coming back to Lunar frequently - but finding a way to do it more readily might... make life easier. "... looking around wouldn't hurt..."

Her eyes fall onto Dean and perhaps her expression falters a bit at his excitement, "... much?" He then eyes Avril as if trying to give this silent signal that the two of them should try to make certain Dean Stark doesn't get separated from them again.

[OOC] Lily Keil says, "bluray* lily's pose two women"
[OOC] Rebecca Streisand says, "*blu-ray out my first pose."
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It hadn't been all that terribly long ago -- though in a place now far away -- that they had ventured the distance towards the island that held the ruin of Uzda Il-jam, and from there had pressed on through the trials towards what lay beyond.

    It had been a cruel but necessary ordeal, but one that Avril had thought behind her.

    But now it sounds as if the way to the depths of that place -- and perhaps Lunar as well? -- are not so tightly sealed to them?

    "I am doing little with my time at present but preparation," Avril had said, when the question had come up. "Thus, I would be happy to assist in this. Furthermore, if we are able to discover a way back to Lunar, that may become an important advantage to us, would it not?"

    And even if they don't...

    She nods, as if in agreement with her friends. "Furthermore, if it is possible to return to that place from here, it would be important to understand what it is. I think we should explore, whether we can reach Lunar or not."

    That said she does share a silent look with Rebecca. And ever so slightly, Avril smiles. Is this agreement...?

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

MYSTERIOUS!!! DOORS!!!!!

Lydia is always up for exploring the great unknown even though the great unknown had to be opened up with dog murder. But on the other hand--Lydia has no idea that happened so it's not really on her mind anyway! And it's okay the dog is with his owner now or something.

Lydia has a new situation regarding her body as is not really uncommon as it happens a few times each season. What is unusual though is that this time, the changes really highlight the artificial nature of her body that is clearly personalized what with all the star imagery on her shoulders. Aside from the robotic frame, she also has a metal bat (not an animal bat, unfortunately, but a metal bat...for now) strapped to her back. She is skating around along the floor via her RADICAL SKATES, shifting her weight onto one leg as she pushes off with the other, spins dramatically and then falls flat on her back, laughing like a maniac.

Talia has probably already seen this honestly but it seems Lydia has found her replacement for her portal pistols now in a certain pigtailed girl's posession. Lydia hops back up to her feet as the door is opening. "Don't worry! I'm getting prett good at it," She tells Talia before looking over to Rebecca for a moment. "Heh hehh well we'll just have to see."

When the door opens, she sees Elly.

She sees her lips forming a :|.

Lydia pops forward in front of Talia, blocking both of their views for a moment, but it's Elly who gets to see the big bright and maybe a little scary fangy smile on Lydia's lips. "Elly!" She says cheerfully as she skates on in. "You made it!" She didn't tell Talia she had invited Elly she just kind of did it off the cuff.

But then she throws herself forward and gives Elly a big hug.

And then she lifts Elly into the air and swings her around for a bit which might be a little unnerving since she's still using skates to move around but she doesn't fall this time at least, laughing energetically before setting her down, this time back into Talia's view.

"Thank you so much for before!" She says, looking back to Talia. "Talia! This is Elly!"

Her smile broadens. "She basically, like, saved my life! I'm so glad you get to meet her!"

DG: A party led by Talia is now entering Linaweyul, the First Ordeal.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Gephyrophobia *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 At times in life, we are presented with seemingly insurmountable gaps with
 only the most threadbare of resources to cross them. And sometimes, this
 metaphor is taken to a much more literal level: vast white-yellow space
 surrounds you as you are transported to this strange, floating golden
 platform of an entryway. The path to completing this challenge lies in a
 doorway on a second platform a good few hundred feet from your own -- with
 only a very long, aging bridge to close the gap for you. Shining yellow
 panels are cracked and crumbling, parts of the bridge are simply missing
 entirely, and many more besides will break apart as you try to traverse it
 -- segments will, in fact, just fall off just before you step on them, as if
 deliberately trying to sabotage you and cast you to the white warmth of the
 void below. but life isn't worth clinging to because it's easy. So go cross
 your figurative-literal barebones bridge.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Tire===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Mm... yes," Talia says, eyes glancing downward. She blinks her eyes a couple of times. "Ah... yes, this is where I met the three of you, really, no? It takes me back."

She looks at Rebecca, then. Her expression falters for a moment; however, she cracks a slight smile at the word 'rough' and nods. She flashes a smile to Dean, Avril, and Rebecca. "Precisely my thoughts on the matter. But... thank you, no? I won't forget it." She opens the door, as Dean requested. When she does, she finds Lily Keil standing on the beach of the island -- which, she would note, is rather confusing. "Lydia!" Her eyes widen slightly as she sees who all her friends came with.

She remembers Lily and Elly both. She once tried to kill them. She opens her mouth, then closes it. Especially when Elly makes that face. "Ah! People I ambushed that one time. Well, this is awkward, no?"

Lydia hugs Elly.

"Still awkward!"

Then, they are teleported with a flash of light. Talia's eyes widen -- as a gentle beach, rolling waves, and the distant sight of the Blue Star (so it was true!) is replaced, again. They stand, now, upon a golden platform. Talia looks down, her crimson eyes widening, and then she looks up. Her eyes peer about, her expression shifting. Slowly, she narrows her eyes at the bridge.

The former assassin takes a couple of steps forward. "I can get one of us across," she says. "I can through Mirage for the posts, and teleport myself. And hold onto someone. But... we have our work cut out for us, now?"

The bridge to the other platform is a sight, though. Even as Talia speaks, a piece of it crumbles -- and collapses into the blue sky below. Her jaw sets, as she looks over the platforms and the gaps in the bridge. She draws her short sword, then, and the blue-steel blade shines oddly in the light.

DG: Talia has used her Tool Mirage toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"Whatever opened it before," Lily says, "It's closed now. I don't know whether we could break through again... But it seems to enclose the area on all sides. Illusion? Magic?" Lily shakes her head.

When the door opens, Lily accepts Elly's explanation of their presence, and looks with some surprise to see Lydia's... form, and enthusiasm, along with the rest of the group. At least she isn't immediately hugged. Lily just waits through the greetings at first.

"...Lily Keil," Lily introduces herself more properly to Talia, with a nod and a look over her. The matter of the ambush gets a shake of Lily's head. "Don't worry about it. What's an ambush between acquaintances?" With one hand lifted, she just waves it off, hand back and looks towards the doors ahead. --And... teleporting. Teleporting, all right.

"Hm. ...I had planned to try to explore this place anyway, but..." She frowns, thoughtful.

"Well, we might find a way to move between Lunar and Filgaia in here." The same lines as someone else is thinking, maybe?

"...I can probably make up some of the difference with ice, but it won't make for easy walking. Nothing for it but--"

Lily starts forward.

DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "Heyy, what's that look supposed to mean?" Dean says to Rebecca, frowning. Well, one calls it a frown, but it's really more like a pout, the way his cheeks puff out. "As long as we're together, it'll be fine!" He pauses, remembering how the strange dungeon had immediately separated them. "...and even if we get separated, we'll find our way back together again for sure!" Firm nod.
    
    Avril breaks down all the reasons why it's a good idea to check out the other side of this mysterious door. Dean's not quite as logical as all that, but he grins in agreement with her. "Yeah, exactly! You never know what you might find on a strange island like that! And aren't you curious what's going on with it?" This, directed at Rebecca. To Talia, he grins and nods. Huh, this *is* where they met her, isn't it? He'd almost forgotten! "No problem! What're friends for?"
    
    Awkward encounters, apparently. When the door opens, and they run into Elly, Lydia, and Lily on the other side, and Elly immediately gives Talia a Look, and Talia says it's because she ambushed them... Dean scratches his head. "Kind of is, yeah," he says to Talia. Then he brightens and adds to Lydia, Lily, and even Elly even though he doesn't really know her that well if at all, "But hey, great to see you guys again!"
    
    Onward the group goes, teleported onto a great yellow bridge. The bridge has seen better days, shall we say. Dean stiffs when he sees all the water lapping underneath--but he also sees the door on the platform on the other end of that crumbling bridge. His resolve and gaze steel, and Twin Fenrir flash into his hands. "I've got the ice covered," he tells Lily, before shooting at the gaps and cracks of the bridge with his Freeze Ray. In an instant, ice coagulates over them--though who knows how long it'll last? "That oughtta steady things up, at least!"

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Freeze Ray toward his party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly possibly taking her extremely low-level catty potshots at Talia are derailed when Lydia pops in and Elly's eyes go wide. She is then given a hug that only one other person in this great blue cosmos could give (that person is Tolone). Squished a little, hoisted and lifted, Elly laughs with a certain amount of anxiety. "Lydia! Oh! You've - changed;"

She is introduced to Talia.

I

"Oh, we've met," she says mildly.

And then, fwash!

"... That would be astonishing," Elly says, at the idea of an easy way to get between Lunar and Filgaia. Then she tells Lily, "Oh, I have the geck material on my boots." She hikes one up to show what looks like a gum sole unless you look *very* closely - like, magnifier closely - and explains, with a slightly rueful tone, "It hasn't gotten even a little weaker. I could walk someone across... be an anchor point for them."

Elly looks round, even as Dean starts with using his Freeze Ray, and holds out her hands. Who will dare to hold the warm hands... of ELEHAYYM *VON* HOUTEN

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Expedition Boots toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "It is, isn't it? Maybe we should call it a reunion exploration," Avril comments.

    It's a puzzling scene that meets them once the door opens, and rest assured, Avril does trade a glance or three back out through the door whence they came and then back in towards the island. It fails to provide any immediate enlightenment.
    She sums up her reaction to this with a slight tilt of the head -- perhaps a shrug of sorts -- before turning towards Elly, Lily, and Lydia. "Lydia, this is unexpected, but not unwelcome, I think. Were you three also investigating...?" She pauses, then asks, "It was Lily, was it not? And, ah... Elly, wasn't it? It is good to see you again as well."

    It isn't long before they are taken -- in a flash of light and with as much fanfare -- to a golden platform, perched here amidst an equally golden infinity.

    The only way across to the far doorway -- their target, as plain as day -- is a single bridge.

    "This bridge does not look very stable," she comments, her forehead crinkled as she takes in the sight of it. "Hmm. Perhaps-- yes, if you were to reinforce sections of it with your bullets, Dean," she says, as her friend gets about to doing precisely that.

    "I think... if we could cross it as quickly as we can, it would be for the best," Avril states, drawing out her Medium and similarly drawing out its power. It shines with an unearthly light.

    "Lucadia... please guide us," she intones, before, borne by a gust of sea-air, she starts forward.
    This may turn into a jumping puzzle yet...

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Sea Medium toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


The promise is sealed with a look. However Rebecca then takes all the blame for it by answering Dean, "What do you think it's supposed to mean Mister 'gets separated from us twice by'-" She holds up one finger, "-giant malevolence lotus-" Then two fingers, "-and giant stone wall?" Before she then nearly snorts at Avril's statement of 'reunion exploration.' Putting her gloved hands over her mouth.

"Lydia!? Lily-? What are..." And then Talia drops the ambush bomb. Rebecca looks at her hard. Then harder. Then she finally says. "... I think you could cut this awkwardness with a knife right now. Don't actually do that though Talia."

Rebecca then wiggles her fingers awkwardly since she's in the company of an assassin, "It's nice to meet you - I'm one of Lydia's friends - thanks for saving her and-"

And then they're teleported. "-where are we?"

Given the stability of the bridge, Rebecca doesn't decide to go for some reckless acrobatics here. She instead waits for Dean to shore it up - and Avril to bless them and Talia to start teleporting people over. "Alright, quickly then." She then starts lightfooting it across rapidly but cautiously, trying to trust more in her ability to react to them with a quick leap or a backstep - using every advantage she can get.

It wouldn't be such bad thing maybe to be rescued again but she doesn't want to make a habit of it in these dangerous situations...

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

Lydia Seren says, "Oh man!" still in a cheery tone. "I'm really glad you didn't kill each other!" Her tone shifts to a more sedate one. "I would've been devastated." And then she smiles, more subdued again. "Yeah, I think it'll work out better for me this way." If nothing else she might be harder to melt, she thinks.

Fwash!

Lydia looks towards Dean for a small moment. "I think I'll take the rear here. I think I've got some good stunt action here."

Is she making things harder for herself just for stunts?? It might be a good idea to watch out for her considering. Nevertheless, she does let go of Elly eventually so she can move across the bridge with Lily because where Lydia is going...nobody should have to hold her hand.

Lydia, rather than trying to run ACROSS the bridge itself, jumps onto the side of the sides of the bridge, where the half missing guardrail is. She hops along the side as such, leaving room for others, while she hops between missing segments and even at one point, skids down along the sides of her skates frankly pretty recklessly.

"Woohoo!!" Lydia shouts. She may not be afraid of falling. "Rebecca this is amaaaazing!" She shouts.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, Gephyrophobia.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Gephyrophobia *>=========================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 At times in life, we are presented with seemingly insurmountable gaps with
 only the most threadbare of resources to cross them. And sometimes, this
 metaphor is taken to a much more literal level: vast white-yellow space
 surrounds you as you are transported to this strange, floating golden
 platform of an entryway. The path to completing this challenge lies in a
 doorway on a second platform a good few hundred feet from your own -- with
 only a very long, aging bridge to close the gap for you. Shining yellow
 panels are cracked and crumbling, parts of the bridge are simply missing
 entirely, and many more besides will break apart as you try to traverse it
 -- segments will, in fact, just fall off just before you step on them, as if
 deliberately trying to sabotage you and cast you to the white warmth of the
 void below. but life isn't worth clinging to because it's easy. So go cross
 your figurative-literal barebones bridge.
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Tire===============================================
==================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 1 *>===================
==========================< Results - Gephyrophobia >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Mirage                              3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Freeze Ray                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    0 --(3)--> 3                   Fail
Sea Medium                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Expedition Boots                    2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           0 --(3)--> 3                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   0 --(3)--> 3                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Slow(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Talia 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> Talia has posed.

"Yes," she agrees with Dean. "Still awkward." Her eyes shift towards Rebecca -- and then she grins, a little cackle escaping her lips. She stares right back at Elly, until they are teleported away.

The assassin glances, sidelong, at Lily. "That... is one way to put it," Talia says, with a long and awkward glance in Lily's direction. Her eyebrows knit together, but she nods her head. It seems that they are in agreement, at least, on the subject of moving between Filgaia and Lunar. She swallows, and then she steps forward. Dean's ice ray freezes some of the bridge into place. They all start over, afterward. Avril sails on a gust of seabreeze; Lydia, at the rear, skates down the iced over portion.

Talia throws Mirage. She vanishes, bursting apart in strands of shadowstuff. On and on they go -- with some scrapes, bumps, and a trio of saves for Lydia, Lily, and Avril.

The next platform awaits!

DG: Lily Keil has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Photophobia *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Everything in this place is darkness, a pitch black that is nigh impossible
 to see through but, most importantly, gobbles up anything even remotely like
 light or illumination. All except a single, shining mote of light in the
 distance -- one that reveals itself to be some sort of strange assemblage of
 shining white, floating geometric shapes that will attack you with
 light-based magic the second you approach. It is easily undone, though, and
 upon its defeat, it -explodes- into light -- light that illuminates the
 winding pathways of this area pitch perfect. Light that starts to fade the
 second the path is illuminated. To make your way through this long,
 interminable challenge, you will have to continuously defeat these light
 sprites to guide your way forward; just hope they don't overwhelm you. Or
 you don't run out of them. Either would be pretty bad.
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Overwhelm========================================
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily's jaw twitches a little as she notices Lydia's grandstanding. Girl's talented, but with as un-agile as Lily is... She can see all sorts of ways it would go wrong with her. She takes herself off of that particular doomed track of thought with a look to one of the yellow walls instead.

Lily can at least feel it for herself; someone is feeling awkward, even if she couldn't really say who it is for certain. ...She has to guess like most people do.

"That's right," Lily answers Avril after a moment though. "I noticed the door, and apparently so had Lydia, because Elly showed up. I was testing the limits of the locale... I haven't tried to brute force through the barrier. Even if I got through, we don't have a ship, and there's no guarantee I could get through."

Dean has the ice covered. "Then I'll focus on hanging o--"

Her boot goes straight through a tile that is no longer there. Elly will have to save her...!

But after that happens (and it is presumably stylish), Lily gets back up. "...That's some useful material. It's still good?" Hm.

Once they make through, however; once again, they are teleported. They pass through the door...

And into darkness. Lily stops short, reaching out with other senses with sight suddenly useless to her, quelling the spark of alarm that's natural with sudden sensory deprivation. "...This is--" The light shines, in the distance. As Lily steps towards it... it becomes great shapes of light based magic.

The sorceress lifts both hands, palms out, and catches a burst of light in a cage of shadow, hurling both straight back towards the enemy. "Careful--!"

...The first one? The first one's a freebie. It goes down easy. ...But it shines, again.

"...Dog," Lily says. "I'm counting on you to be our eyes."

When did Dog arrive? She was here with Lily, quiet. ...And she doesn't need to see what she can smell.

Unfortunately the next sprite will be more dangerous...

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Dog toward her party's challenge, Photophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "Hmm." Outside, Avril takes a moment to gaze off at the barrier, as if to consider where they are and the barrier -- once again, from the inside now -- and the means available to them to possibly punch through it.
    ...But as it was, it had been difficult to forge the path to the island. While it had seemed as if the barrier had been then permeable after they had broken it, perhaps it hadn't remained so?
    "...I see," she comments in the end. "Let us inspect these ruins first, and then if we are able, see what we might with the barrier. There may be some path open through the ruins instead."
    Particularly since without a ship even attempting the barrier is a moot point, let alone such things as 'what happens if they get stuck on Lunar again' and so forth.

    And once in, there's a barrier itself in the form of that delapidated bridge.

    Alighting on the other side, Avril turns to glance back and see that the others were also able to cross the gap, and only then proceeds for the shimmering wall at the other end.

    There's a flash.

    Then darkness.

    In the pitchblack of this room, Avril hunches her shoulders before, with determination, takes a step forward.
    I will... keep moving. I am not alone--

    In the darkness, there is light.

    It, too, is not kind.

    A bark alerts her to it; Avril sidesteps a volley of light. For an instant she can see the path forward.

    "I see... so we must follow the light but pay heed to the hurt it may inflict," she utters, as the still darkness settles around like a cloak once again. "...Thank you, Dog."

    No one might see it, but in her hand already is Absolute Zero. "I see another light. Be careful--"

    Then there is a light of her own, once she charges forth for the glittering sprite. Absolute Zero blooms brilliant amidst the darkness; with an overhead swing, she cuts for the flickering light.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Beam Whip Mode toward her party's challenge, Photophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia is neither an acrobat nor particularly athletic for a beastman but her leg strength and speed is still pretty solid. Confidence in goes a long way but she did fall over earlier so maybe she shouldn't be so confident. It works out this time though!

Lydia, notably, isn't afraid of light either. Unfortunately, that might not be too helpful here considering what tools Lydia has at her disposal. Namely, Lydia has a very particular focus in her sorcery and a lot of it involves flashy light. Which...isn't going to be too helpful in the photophobia room.

And honestly while Lydia can be smart she isn't always wise as evidenced by the fact that she tries using laser to fight laser. At least she isn't disrupting Lily's efforts and she gives up quickly on that since it's proven to not help.

So instead she says, "Alright... I'll try something else."

She channels the power of her medium and bends the light around her friends. It won't stop energy blasts, but it does make it harder to be seen.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Photophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Darkness falls over them. Talia stops a little after Lily; she peers over her shoulder, nose wrinkling, as she tries to get a good look at the light in the distance. Then, she ducks underneath the blast of light that explodes out around them.

"Damn--wait--when did a dog get here!?" Talia asks, staring down at Dog. She looks up, grits her teeth, and then glances sideways at Avril. Her head tilts to the side for a moment. She takes this so seriously. Then, she darts forward. As she comes up on one light, she ducks to the side--

A ray of light slams down into the bridge she stood on, sending up stone chips.

--and then slams Mirage into the center of one. It explodes with brilliance, illuminating more of the path ahead of them. Even as it bounces off some of the light that bends about her. "Good work, Lydia!"

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

"Ah!" Elly cries out. She doesn't have time to call out the name before her right arm snaps out and her redheaded right hand clasps at Lily's forearm, clinging tightly as she shifts, grasping, hauling upwards - perhaps it is not as glam as Taliaportation, but it works, and afterwards Elly smiles. "It's too bad we don't have -- um --"

Elly falters. "Just a toy from where I'm from," she concludes, weakly. And having remembered a -Hoverboard-, she turns her gaze ahead, still holding more loosely onto Lily. And then:

Elly walks cautiously across the icy bridge like a *plebian*. Lydia's high speed skate-skids make her grimace in anticipation of having to watch someone perish in obscurity right in front of her but -

it -

doesn't quite happen. She exhales hard.

At the far end, as people move into that nebulous space, just before teleporting, she smiles at Rebecca. "Hello," she says to her: "I don't think we've met. I'm El--"

eleported is what

It's completely dark and Elly goes still, looking around. Until something sparkles - by the time that tiny bit of light appears, Elly has slid her Lunar Rod (now extra appropriate) out, holding it with a slightly bent wrist. She moves forwards -

And pauses to slip Dog a small piece of jerked meat from her hip satchel.

And then she's on her way. How does Elly contribute to the battle? Well there is the one time where she comes out of nowhere to smash a sprite upside the head, and it seems to just sort of... linger, floating closer to the ground, than most of them do. Then she sees herself becoming the target of shining trapezohedrons.

Elly's response to them is a ring of crematory flame! (They are probably not people.) "She's Lily's dog," she editorializes to Talia.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Lunar Rod toward her party's challenge, Photophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"It worked? Oh mean--It worked! I'm awesome!" Lydia says.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

 %r
"Stunt Action?" Rebecca inquires of Lydia and then she sees her on the skates, blinking away her surprise - "Sure-" Cut to Rebecca nearly falling through a part crumbling away, "-AMAZING!" She squeaks as she just barely avoids falling through because she leapt back just far enough onto a piece of ice. Suddenly all blushing and insecure about the fact that she's supposed to be really good at this, she tries to take it more quickly.

After there are introductions, And then they're plunged into darkness after another teleportation. "For a moment she feels cold, wondering if this was going to be like before, so she asks a little anxiously, "... Everyone still here? Elly? I'm Rebecca... Uh - it's nice to meet you too... assuming... you're still nearby." Fortunately its confirmed even before the light sprites come out. Pulling out her revolver, she tries to get a bead on one.

But it's already defeated. And the path is illuminated.

"Oh!"

For just a split second. She nods at Avril's statement. "Well if that's the way it's going to be..." Rebecca pulls out a stone tablet before she kneels down to try to rub dog once between the ears from where she marked its last position. "We're putting ourselves in your care."

And starts spamming her Blast Spell from the Medium. Which leads to a lot of spectacular fireworks since their forward movement takes her from one elemental ley line to another. "Alright - let's light this place up!"

Fire roars, rocks fall, water geysers, wind blasts...

And hopefully sprites die too...! At exactly the right pace they need!

DG: Rebecca Streisand has used her Tool Sky Medium toward her party's challenge, Photophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "Hey, neither of those times were my fault! That could've happened to anybody!" Dean argues right back at Rebecca. He grins at Avril, though, indeed already doing as she suggest--and then laughing as Lydia skates on ahead. "Hey, that looks fun! Wait up!" he calls, chasing after her. And so the group safely makes it across the yellow bridge, through the door... and into darkness.
    
    "Woah," Dean utters, blinking uselessly as he enters the utter and total pitch. He reaches out his hands, trying to feel his way across. "Does anybody have a light? --hey, thanks!" This, he says cheerfully when a light sparks in the near distance--except it turns out it's a monster, shooting beams of light at them.
    
    Twin Fenrir flash into his hands, a process that is pure instinct by now. "Watch out! So they're not gonna make this easy, huh? Bring it on!" he declares, charging towards it. And once it's defeated, there's another, and another, and they have to chase onwards towards the light lest they be plunged back into darkness. "This is kinda fun!" he calls cheerfully. "It's a weird kinda challenge, isn't it? Let's see how many we can chain before we get to the other side! Oh, and nice meeting you too, El! You're a friend of Fei's, right? He's a close friend of mine, too!"
    
    Sounds like someone's not afraid of the dark, if he can carry on a casual conversation while hitting light creatures with metal sticks--assuming, of course, the team can keep up that chain. But at least Dog is there to guide them!!

DG: Dean Stark has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Photophobia.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Photophobia *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Everything in this place is darkness, a pitch black that is nigh impossible
 to see through but, most importantly, gobbles up anything even remotely like
 light or illumination. All except a single, shining mote of light in the
 distance -- one that reveals itself to be some sort of strange assemblage of
 shining white, floating geometric shapes that will attack you with
 light-based magic the second you approach. It is easily undone, though, and
 upon its defeat, it -explodes- into light -- light that illuminates the
 winding pathways of this area pitch perfect. Light that starts to fade the
 second the path is illuminated. To make your way through this long,
 interminable challenge, you will have to continuously defeat these light
 sprites to guide your way forward; just hope they don't overwhelm you. Or
 you don't run out of them. Either would be pretty bad.
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright, Overwhelm========================================
==================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 2 *>===================
===========================< Results - Photophobia >============================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               0 --(8)--> 8                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(8)--> 8                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    3 --(8)--> 11                  Fail
Beam Whip Mode                      3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Lunar Rod                           1   Combat  Effects: Stalwart and Rally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(8)--> 8                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           3 --(3)--> 6                   Pass
Dog                                 2   Combat  Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   3 --(3)--> 6                   Pass
Sky Medium                          3   Combat  Effects: Rally
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Overwhelm|Slow(1)|Tire(1)
Effects:
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Talia has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management
commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Anthrophobia *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Before you is a simple, if intricately-carved, stone wall. There is nothing
 behind you but shining white, and nothing in front of you save that wall. A
 wall that looks almost suspiciously cracked. By this point, you know what to
 do with suspiciously cracked walls, right? You get your gear, get your
 explosives, and you -- wait. Is that wall getting smaller? -- No. No. That
 wall is... running away. Yes, the wall will swiftly start to back away with
 the groan of stone and shifting fall of dust and debris the very second you
 get ready to demolish it, like it was afraid of you. Meaning you're going to
 have to chase after it like you were the villain in a horror movie to smash
 it down if you want to proceed any further. Nothing worse than a genre-savvy
 wall.

 It turns out, humans were the REAL monsters all along...........
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Bad Luck====================================
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"A toy, hm?" Lily asks, shaking her head. "...It's fine." She doesn't ask what it was of Elly. "I appreciate the help." A glance over Talia. "...I need to figure out how someone does that," she mutters. But in the chamber...

Dog, for her part, is warm and friendly, a black-furred dog who is willing to nose people but does not stop to lick hands while she's working. She offers a serious bark of assent to Rebecca when she speaks to her, as if she understands what she's saying about caring for them. ...And she totally noms on the snack from Elly. ...Another little bark of greeting to Talia, a faint whine-growl to answer Avril's thanks. She is... apparently pretty smart.

Lily does not deal with introductions, though when Elly explains, Lily adds--distantly, focusing on the light--"She can help you in combat. I have her trained to carry healing items and intimidate smaller monsters."

The fireworks are impressive; rings of flame; a beautiful blast spell of many colors from the active leylines in this place; the flash of gunfire from Dean. ...It may be fun, in its way.

Less fun is the way that the attacks keep coming; Avril, a source of light herself with Absolute Zero, is among those who take the brunt of the blasts; Dean, Talia, and Lydia next. Lydia's magic does help guard the rest of them from the blasts, though; more of them go wide, can't hit them. ...And Talia's light helps show their way.

The sprites die in the right paces. Avril's intuition about the challenge is correct. In the end, they reach the other side, and there's a flash of light--

...They stand again, in a strange room, a door ahead of them.

"...Sure, she's a friend of Fei's," Lily answers about Elly. Is she teasing?? She might be teasing.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


"You mean friend friend not girlfriend right?"

Rebecca has no idea how much she's courting disaster by giving Lily openings to clarify these things.

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"No."

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly's face reddens, which probably backs things up. She smiles again at Rebecca, if with a little weakness.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Aw, that is cute, no?" Talia teases.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia wonders who this Fei guy is. Sounds like a dork.

Nevertheless, so far their adventure through Linaweyul is going pretty well. Lydia is hesitant to comment on it lest she jinx it because it definitely seems like these challenges are pretty tough and it's hard to know considering how the ruin is set up how far they'll have to go.

Nevertheless, Lydia gives Rebecca a small arm pat once they're done. "Appreciate it," She tells her.

The team steps into the next area revealing...A wall. A stone wall! ............it's just a wall.

"Heh heh..." Lydia says, crossing her arms. "I've seen this before. This is where the wall comes alive and attacks us." She draws out a baseball bat into her hand. "Well not this time I--"

The wall, as if seeing someone draw a weapon, starts backing away suddenly with a faint 'peeeeeeeeeeeew' noise.

"Wha..." Lydia says, blinking in confusion. "Walls can't run away! That's cheating!"

She chases after the wall, summoning her skates once more to give chase, swinging her bat wildly at it.

"Come back!" Lydia shouts. "You're cheating! Walls aren't supposed to run away! We're not scary I just want to break you into smaller pieces!!!"

The wall mysteriously doesn't seem to fall for Lydia's suggestion. That poor wall......it isn't even really fighting back. It just wants to live in peace but Lydia wants it to live in pieces.

She spins around backwards for a moment, skating to look towards Rebecca, then to Elly, and then says, "ooooooooooh," before she turns around and continues the chase. "Super cute metal bat smash!!"

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Bit by bit, measure by measure -- the other side is reached through the darkness... with the help of an assortment of (hostile) sprites and a thorough return gift of the same by Avril and her friends and acquaintances. Once again, shimmering barrier is reached, touched...

    And here they are, face to face with a cracked wall.

    Avril glances about herself, as if to check to see what else might be proving an obstacle.

    There isn't anything else.

    "Oh, I see. So if we are to break this wall, then we might be able to continue forwards?" Avril wonders aloud, only to shoot a glance Lydia's way. "The wall... might attack us? Have you seen such a thing before, Lydia?"

    It should be noted that Avril still has her ARM in her hand.

    In fact, it's possible that a good number of them are still loaded for bear.

    "...Oh, it ran away," Avril comments, with mild surprise. Shading her eyes with one hand, she squints after it, even as it speeds away into the distance, only to herself start and blink. "--I suppose we must catch it. It doesn't seem to be slowing down," she says, glancing meaningfully at her friends. "Allow me."

    The air temperature around Avril takes a sudden dive; bundling about her as the wall continues in its flight. Shooting forth a single hand, she sends out in a wave a rush of the gathering cold, now frost, now snow, now swiftly speeding ice.

    She'll freeze it in its tracks. Or try to.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia frowns sharply when she sees a wall running away. She glances sideways at Lydia, and then back at the wall. "I suppose, if I were a wall," she admits, "I would run away."

She glances over her shoulder, back to Rebecca, and then calls out: "Maybe we could tie it up?"

Then, Talia looks back at it -- and considers that she has little she could do. She holds a hand out, instead. A magical circle swirls off her hand, taking form and shining a brilliant blue. "Something something, cold stuff, freezing, brr, blah blah... Freeze Lancer!"

Air condensates and grows misty, before a large spike of ice forms. Then, it hurtles off, straight towards the fleeing wall.

"I'm afraid I am not half the mage most of you are, no?"

DG: Talia has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca also reddens some. And suddenly mentally shifts Elly from the 'redhead' club to making her 'more mature redhead who has it way more together than her' by virtue of actually having a boyfriend.

"Uh." A little tongue tied now upon having that confirmed, she puts a hand over her mouth, "I bet you two make a really cute couple." She tries to recover a little awkwardly.

And then she suddenly points at the retreating wall - "And h-hey look at that wall go! We shouldn't let it escape, ahaha-"

Rebecca is grateful when she can just start running, though her running after it becomes a quick series of handstands and flips as she tries to catch up to it. "Don't run away! We have to go through you!" Though that statement makes less sense the more she thinks about it because - well... the wall must be moving into empty space right? Wouldn't this just be making their job easier? "Just-" She huffs, as the room feels colder - and she realizes Avril is trying to freeze it, "-there - now just freeze and stay that way!"

Rebecca instead tries to invoke her other medium once she feels she's close enough. "Noua Shax!" Lightning strikes - but her intention isn't to hit the wall, because she figures it might break free and just zip further away.

Instead a thunderclap like shockwave booms out from the point where it hits, smashing into the wall - and hopefully not her own party...

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly gets herself back together after her blushing attack fades. She would never think of Fei as a dork, but fortunately a mysterious force prevents her from knowing Lydia's own thoughts on this guy. She puts her Rod away just as the wall -

Backs away.

Elly squeezes her eyes shut for a moment, takes a deep breath, and says to Talia, "Really, why do you even say the spell at all if you're going to do it like that." She puts a hand on her hip and says to Rebecca, a little shyly, "I like to think so..."

They're all running forwards. Elly tilts her head forwards and breaks into a hair-swirling dash. Other people are already on thunder and on ice. Elly contributes by trying to reshape the base of the wall - reaching out to grasp the static form of stone and twist it so the wall can't run so fast!

This may accomplish nothing. "Lydia! What are those things on your feet?!" she calls.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    So Elly is Fei's... girlfriend... Dean looks abruptly uncomfortable about that revelation, but Rebecca doesn't turn it around to ask him about his opinion on Romance, so he breathes a little easier a moment later. If Fei has a girlfriend, good for him! He hopes he and Elly make each other happy. With the light-creatures defeated, he immediately sets on the next distraction: a wall.
    
    "Why would a wall attack us?" he asks Lydia, even as he prepares for battle, Twin Fenrir in hand. Except--PYEWWWWW. The wall dashes away. Dean blinks. "What the--?" he utters. Then he dismisses his ARMs and pulls his shovel, White Fenrir, out from under his coat. "Yeah, come back here!! If you're not gonna attack us, we just wanna dig through you! Get baaaaaack!!"
    
    Avril attempts to freeze the wall before it runs any further; Talia includes some of her own freezy stuff; Rebecca attempts to hit it with lightning; Elly tries to reform the stone itself. Dean? Dean is just going to wave that shovel around until he can get close enough to dig into it. Even if he has to do it one shovel at a time as it runs away yet again.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool The Trusty Shovel toward his party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Lily Keil hsa been known to troll now and then. It's sometimes rare to spot, of course. ...But she doesn't press too hard at Elly after she reddens. She just moves onto the next challenge, Dog trailing back to follow along at her heels. ...The only addition she makes is, "They are, actually. They're both very good for each other, if you ask me."

The wall is running away. Briefly, Lily considers just letting it run. ..But she wonders. The meaning of this place's name--does it have to do with the nature of this challenge? ...Is the wall in turn truly running from them, afraid?

...Easier just to handle the problem then consider philosophy.

If Avril's magic can hold the wall in place, slow it--then Lily can take advantage of that. ...If Talia's magic can help, all the better. Though the chant--Lily pauses, and turns towards Talia just long to lift a black eyebrow at her. "...That's a spell," she answers, and lifts one of her hands again, this one the one wrapped in chains of strange, cobalt-tinged metals.

Ether, again, from Avril. An unfamiliar magic that is nevertheless not new to her.

Lily's eye opens; her fingers press together, pointing upward--

It is not cold beside her, precisely. It's more that the sensation of warmth or cold begins to fade; everything around her seems... less, less real, leeching away for just a few feet around her as Ether begins to build. Shadows gather about her person, the color draining to black and white around her--and as she spots Elly's magic reshaping the tunnel above, her lips curl into a smirk.

Ice, lightning, earth...

"Ashes to ashes," Lily murmurs, and snaps her fingers. A tiny point of darkness appears before the wall, hangs there for a moment that stretches out--and then Lily's spell explodes, the chain pushing her Ether to uncomfortable degrees as the witch seeks to unmake the cracked wall outright, to leave not even dust of the obstacle in their way.

...Above Dean, though. She's not going to disintegrate the guy doing the brute work here. "Why wouldn't a wall attack?" Lily asks him in return. "Danger can come from any angle. Remember that."

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Rune Chain toward her party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Anthrophobia.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Anthrophobia *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Before you is a simple, if intricately-carved, stone wall. There is nothing
 behind you but shining white, and nothing in front of you save that wall. A
 wall that looks almost suspiciously cracked. By this point, you know what to
 do with suspiciously cracked walls, right? You get your gear, get your
 explosives, and you -- wait. Is that wall getting smaller? -- No. No. That
 wall is... running away. Yes, the wall will swiftly start to back away with
 the groan of stone and shifting fall of dust and debris the very second you
 get ready to demolish it, like it was afraid of you. Meaning you're going to
 have to chase after it like you were the villain in a horror movie to smash
 it down if you want to proceed any further. Nothing worse than a genre-savvy
 wall.

 It turns out, humans were the REAL monsters all along...........
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous, Bad Luck====================================
=================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 3 *>==================
==========================< Results - Anthrophobia >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               8 --(15)--> 23                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          8 --(15)--> 23                 Fail
The Trusty Shovel                   2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    11 --(15)--> 26                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   3 --(15)--> 18                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         8 --(15)--> 23                 Fail
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           6 --(10)--> 16                 Pass
Rune Chain                          1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   6 --(15)--> 21                 Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       40 --(10)--> 50                Fail
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)|Fright(1)|Overwhelm|Overzealous(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Talia has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management
commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Our heroes do our best to catch up but...

Dean and Lydia shout their requests, that doesn't seem to have much effect. Lydia actually gets distracted by Elly's question and spins back around to answer her before she tumbles backwards and flops onto her back. "They're called skates!" She says. "Radical skates! The radical part is important!"

She eventually slows to a stop.

Rebecca unleashes a shockwave but Avril's ice doesn't slow the wall doesn enough and her aim goes off as a result. Talia's LACKLUSTER SPELLCASTING dramatically weakens her spell at the last moment so that even though she hits the wall, it doesn't really do much--even compared to Avril's own ice powers. Or maybe Avril's ice powers are just that strong.

Meanwhile Lily...

BGM INTERRUPT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERKnkHq-6XA

The wall looks up towards Lily as she starts chanting, the latin choir accompanying her as ether power dramatically erupts all around her, out of her hands but really--really everywhere.

And just as she's about to unleash this spell of ultimate destruction...!!

WALL HAS RETREATED

The wall vanishes from view, successfully scared off??? Oh wait that's not what you were supposed to do?

Oops.

DG: Rebecca Streisand has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Chronophobia *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This place you find yourself in is huge. Tall pillars of irregular and
 inconsistent heights dot this yellow-crystalline landscape, like, bony
 natural spires sprouting from the earth. Across the distance from you is a
 massive door, with a simple lock. A lock that cannot be destroyed, a door
 that cannot be forced open. So how do you get free?

 It might be around now that you notice the cucco. Yes, a simple, green
 cucco, helpfully standing out amongst the swath of yellow. Around this
 cuccos neck dangles a key. A simple key for a simple lock. To proceed,
 you'll just have to catch that cucco and take the key from it. Simple.
 Except that whenever it notices someone on the approach, the cucco turns
 red, and time itself seems to slow like molasses for you, for -everything-,
 except that cucco, who proceeds to waddle off at high speeds elsewhere,
 leaving you to have to find it and try to steal its key once more.

 Fun! Cuccos! Tiresome suffering! What more could anyone ask for??
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Suffer=============================================
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


"This is just like that haunted town Dean! That kept running away from us!" However Lily manages to pin it down - starting to cast a massive spell. "You've got it Lily! You can-"

The Wall has Retreated.

Rebecca stares at an empty space.

"Well... it's... not in our way?" She pants.

The next room has pillars of strange architecture, and crystalline heights. And there's a massive door. With an obvious lock. "So we just have to find the key right? I mean where would it be in this wastel-"

Bock-Bock-Bock...

Rebecca's eyes get drawn to the Cucco - with the key around its neck.

"Well that was easy. Here cucco cucco cucco... it's fine... not gonna hurt you... just... come a little bit closer..."

As she tries to sneak up on it, the cucco dully pecks at the ground. And then Rebecca's foot touches down one step too close.

The room suddenly feels like the atmosphere has changed, like everything is thick - as time distends and dilates.

Rebecca feels herself reaching at less than half speed. The Cucco then turns red - and emits a shrill cry.

It flaps its wings and suddenly takes Rebecca full on in the face, smashing into her with a flurry of panicked feathers, before chicken scratching as it strides over her hair, leaping over her - then hitting the ground and zooming off at roadrunner like speeds.

Rebecca straightens up, eye twitching in slow motion. She turns around, there are feathers caught in her hair - and scratch marks on her forehead. Pulling out her revolver, she checks to make certain it's loaded, then speaks, "So... we... all... a-gree... that..."

She snaps the cylinder back into place... "...we're... ne-ver... tell-ing... Ries-en-lied... what... happ-ened... here... to-day."

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Chronophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I say the incantation that way because enjoyment is like milk," Talia says, with a look at Elly. "You have to squeeze it out with both hands before you get kicked in the face, no?"

Life leads Talia to a cucco.

She glances sideways at Rebecca. Her red eyes blink, a couple of times, and then look at the cucco. "This thing? It looks like a chicken, no? It must be--" The green cucco starts scratching at Rebecca's face and smashes her to the ground. She tilts her head to the side. She knows Riesenlied is Lydia's mother.

She glances at Lydia. She considers this.

"Agreed," she says. She looks back at the cucco; her eyes drop down to the key. Then, she pulls out Mirage, and the blade glints. "It's nothing personal, my feathered friend," she says. "But... we need that key! Also, you are a bird, and you don't count."

Mirage goes flying for it. Time dilates as the weapon strikes -- and the strands of shadowstuff actually slow down, moving like molasses for a moment, even before the weapon strikes feather or stone--

DG: Talia has used her Tool Mirage toward her party's challenge, Chronophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "No kidding!" Dean calls back to Rebecca. "Why's this place involve so much running?! Stop running away, wall!!"
    
    The Wall Retreats, quite possibly specifically to spite Dean. He stumbles and slows to a stop, panting a bit to catch his breath; then he makes a face. "What was the point of all that?"
    
    Regardless, the runaway wall has led the group into a new room--pillars and crystals and a huge door with a giant lock. "At least we don't have to run around for *this*!" Dean declares, thus proving the phrase 'hope springs eternal.' "We just have to find the right key, or maybe jigger the lock open, or bust it open, or--huh?" He spots the cucco and perks. "Oh, hey! That *was* easy!"
    
    He trots forward towards the cucco, much less careful about his approach than Rebecca. He is duly punished by, when the cucco freaks out and rams Rebecca in the face, getting to be Roadblock #2 before it Roadrunners away. He spits out a few feathers and sits up, looking dazed. "...What just happened??"
    
    Let's not ever tell Riesenlied about this. "That's... that's a good idea," he agrees, Twin Fenrir flashing into his hands. He'll fire off several shots after that, aimed for the cucco. He'll be lucky if he can get its feet. Maybe someone else, like Talia with her weird shadow teleporty powers, will be able to catch up, though?

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Freeze Ray toward his party's challenge, Chronophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Unlike Talia, no incantation leads Avril's spell. She simply wills it into being, and there in a tearing fury, it now is.

    Ice slows not the wall.
    It in fact busts right on through, speeding off into the far distance no matter what they attempt to levy upon it.

    "It appears to have escaped," Avril observes, once again shading her eyes as if she could somehow see it, fleeing off into the proverbial horizon. "I do not think we will be able to break it now."

    Silence.

    "Shall we continue?"

    They do, reaching the barrier and in a flash...

    "Oh, how odd," Avril comments, gazing about herself. "It rather reminds me of the Pleasing Garden. Don't you think?" she says, before, pointing, she indicates the far door. "There's the door -- but with that lock on it..."

    Rebecca isn't the only one to take in the sight of the lone green cucco.
    Key around its neck.

    Perhaps here she and Rebecca share a glance. She's handled the birds at Wayside before. Surely, it should not be trouble to herd this one and take the key from it...

    ...

    Or, perhaps not so easy. As time resumes its normal crawl, Rebecca and Dean are not the only ones pulling themselves back up onto their feet. Dusting off her gown, Avril gazes after the now again distant cucco.

    Her gaze turns between both of her friends. "Hmm. Perhaps not," she seems to agree, as they collectively go for their guns.

    "Perhaps, the Sea Guardian's power might be able to assist here. It felt as if time slowed to a crawl for a moment. I have heard it said that the sea is truly timeless," she says.

    avril that's not what they mean by that turn of phrase

    "Lucadia," she intones, bringing out the Medium and drawing forth its power in a flicker of light and a plume of seaspray.

    "Now," she says, as gravely as to any obstacle in their path, "let us see if we can catch that cucco."

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Sea Medium toward her party's challenge, Chronophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia feels time slow down. "Trippy." She says as she gestures with a hand even as it kind of moves with a blur effect to designate SLOWNESS. Or possibly speed. In a way, it's all relative.

That's a time joke, Kyle.

Lydia decides to be patient this time. Enigmatically, she does not agree to anything with regards to not telling Riesenlied, though it might not be in her plans anyway. It's an illusionary cucco not a real cucco presumably but even so Lydia sees no reason to be cruel with it.

She skates around towards the door first, examining the lock, then she looks towards the cucco. She thinks this through.

And then she reaches into one of her bags, draws out half piece of bread and starts chucking it along the floor, crouching down nearby it.

"Let's make a trade," Lydia says with a smile. "That's fair, right?"

Weirdly in this particular case, she manages to not be the screaming maniac even in a situation that honestly seems like she'd be her most screaming maniacest.

"You know," She admits. "I honestly thought this was gonna be way worse than it ended up being. Trial of Fear and all that, but it's mostly been trial of annoyances and some of them have even been pretty fun."

She reflects on this philisophically. "But maybe it's because I'm going through these with people I really like so it doesn't really bug me so much."

Of course time is slowed so this wonderful message ends up blurred into nonsense.

Woops.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, Chronophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"Damn," Lily answers as the wall flees. "I was really hoping to test the effects of that spell..."

Ah, well. She lowers her hand and cracks her head, moving forward again. ...Talia explains her incantation and Lily snorts immediately. Was that something resembling a laugh? It might've been.

She shrugs; Rebecca's encouragement was nice, of course, but the wall is gone either way. And now... now it is the time of the cucco. It's... Well.

It happens more than once. Even when Lily doesn't make a sound, the Cucco turns as she gets close. Does it sense a kindred spirit? Does the lingering blood on her hands have an aura that cries out to cucco?? ...do cuccos just hear really, really well? It is a mystery, to be honest. Regardless, Lily does make the attempt, and even the slowing of time doesn't seem to deter her all that much.

The trial of fear, sure. ...But, she wonders, not for the first time--"...Whose fear, exactly?"

"...Keep your eyes open, Lydia. When you get comfortable--that's the perfect time for your enemy to strike. Stay vigilant."

Pause.

"...We're definitely not telling Riesenlied about this."

DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Chronophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Woaaaah," Lydia says to Lily's question in slow motion. "Iiiii diiiiidn't thiiiiink ooooof iiiit lliiiike thaaaat... Spooooooky."

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

"Please don't be lewd," Elly asks Talia at her example.

A town that kept running away from you, Elly thinks. She imagines it, of course, as a sociological horror show. Why? It's not the first time it's happened. (Elly thinking in those terms, that is to say.) But the wall moves too far and too fast.

Elly frowns.

Then she says to Lily, "I could feel that. It was really something... are you sure you'd be alright casting a spell like that?"

And then they're faced with a cucco.

Elly, wisely, does not advance swiftly on the cucco. Instead she considers what to do exactly as other people discover the horrible temporal distortion of a Cultivated Unity Colony Corruption Organism; and her answer is to untie her boots.

What?

She puts something in them as she stands on the floor in her stocking feet. What??

The something is cracked corn. She had a couple of cupfuls for the purposes of, well, Riesenlied is probably involved here, but now that cracked corn is inside of her boots. Tempting. Alluring. And requiring a perch and a peck.

Elly kind of half-tosses one boot forwards. It flops on its side. The other one joins it and lands upright.

"I never thought I'd be doing something like this," Elly muses.

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Expedition Boots toward her party's challenge, Chronophobia.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Chronophobia *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This place you find yourself in is huge. Tall pillars of irregular and
 inconsistent heights dot this yellow-crystalline landscape, like, bony
 natural spires sprouting from the earth. Across the distance from you is a
 massive door, with a simple lock. A lock that cannot be destroyed, a door
 that cannot be forced open. So how do you get free?

 It might be around now that you notice the cucco. Yes, a simple, green
 cucco, helpfully standing out amongst the swath of yellow. Around this
 cuccos neck dangles a key. A simple key for a simple lock. To proceed,
 you'll just have to catch that cucco and take the key from it. Simple.
 Except that whenever it notices someone on the approach, the cucco turns
 red, and time itself seems to slow like molasses for you, for -everything-,
 except that cucco, who proceeds to waddle off at high speeds elsewhere,
 leaving you to have to find it and try to steal its key once more.

 Fun! Cuccos! Tiresome suffering! What more could anyone ask for??
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire, Suffer=============================================
=================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 4 *>==================
==========================< Results - Chronophobia >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               23 --(23)--> 46                Pass
Mirage                              3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          23 --(23)--> 46                Pass
Freeze Ray                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    26 --(28)--> 54                Fail
Sea Medium                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   18 --(23)--> 41                Pass
Expedition Boots                    2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         23 --(23)--> 46                Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           16 --(28)--> 44                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   21 --(23)--> 44                Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       50 --(10)--> 60                Fail
Conditions: Overzealous(1)|Suffer(1)|Tire(2)
Effects: Quicken(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Talia has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management
commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Elhaym van Houten has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Basiphobia *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You find yourself upon a cliffside. Gentle and serene, overlooking a wide
 body of water that looks peaceful, if not a strange, golden hue. Behind you,
 the cliff terminates abruptly, and there is nothing but an endless,
 consuming white, like a piece of art the artist did not bother to finish
 painting. Trying to exit through the white just lands you back where you
 were. There is nothing else, but that steep cliff, perilously difficult if
 not impossible to climb down -- and the water below. One could swear they
 could see a faint glimmer of something beneath the sloshing, golden waves.
 Like a glow. Like an exit.

 But it'd likely take a leap of faith to see if that suspicion panned out to
 anything. Are you ready?
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


It feels like a matrix like bullet time. Everyone is trying to catch - or kill the cucco, which is moving at warp speed to avoid them. Avril's invocation of Lucadia gives them all a subtle enhancement to their speed. Dean and Rebecca just start shooting. And the bullets move, rippling through the air with a doppler effect. The cucco does some Agent Smith like moves - albeit like a cucco in order to dodge them.

Right into the waiting path of Lydia. Whose roller skates had gotten her just enough ahead that she almost manages to scoop it up.

It hops onto her - then flaps wildly up and over.

Then over until - Corn!

Elly's corn attracts it and it zips over, beginning to peck it up wildly, moving from one spot to another peck peck, as it grazes on the corn bounty.

It feels like this is the end - the corn is its undoing!

Talia appears behind it and its the moment of truth! The weapon descends! - and the moment it makes contact -

The cucco explodes into a cloud of feathers.

And the key goes flying as its hurled in a sharp arc towards the horizon. The cucco maddeningly turns out to be okay too. Whether its some panicked reaction or some strange defense mechanism - you decide, it's simply standing away from the group, pecking away blissfully at some more corn.

Cue them then having to locate the key in slow motion.

"On the bright side it didn't summon a horde of its... fellow color-changing time-altering cuccos to peck us to death?"

That's a win, she guesses, as she inserts the key.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Please tell me that can't happen," Talia groans, from where she lay on the floor.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


"... Stick around on Filgaia long enough and you'll find out."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "Okay, that can't happen," Dean says helpfully, if muffled, due to being face-down in the dirt.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"What."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"It totally happens." Lydia says, unhelpfully. "Never underestimate the power of the co--"

Something helpfully interrupts there.

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly reclaims her boots. She answers Talia's statement with a thousand-yard stare and a "..."

She then sneezes viciously at Lydia's statement, or rather, during Lydia's statement.

"Sorry," she says, sniffling. "Sorry."

The door unlocks and the whiteness rises and pushes everyone forwards, a gentrification of location. It's subtle; Elly hardly notices it, though she hears rushing water so she slides her boots into her pouch. Looking around, back where they came, then dead ahead, and then -

"... I feel like we've been here... But..."

There is a void behind them. The sort of clear featureless whitevoid into which you could just vanish, a place where the space between 1 and 2 is normal and the space between 2 and 3 becomes a 358/2, a II:8, a d3. THe cliff looms before them, the water shining with a solar hue downwards.

"Where..."

Elly looks down.

"... Lily," Elly says as she slides out her bootlace and uses it to tie up her hair, "I think there's only one thing to do." The hair-tying is brisk and comprehensive and Elly explains, glancing around, "I'm going to try to buffer everything with an up draft - so you'll have time to maneuver."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMfE2Se4r9w

"But it doesn't seem like we have a choice. Try to spread out a little... and try to relax, too. Hitting the water quickly can really hurt." To Avril she asks, "Do you think you'd be able to appeal to Lucadia for her help...?"

Elly then smiles.

The wind picks up, revealing with abruptness why Elly's been wearing a lot of pants since she can't wear her official sky-jesus one piece pleather minidress. Elly takes two steps forwards - and hops off the side of the cliff!! The updraft is emphatic, supportive, cool but not harsh and thermodynamically improbable.

SECRET PHASE METER: ELLY'S EP |||||||||||||||||||||||:::::

(5 seconds later: ELLY'S EP ||||||||||||||||||||||::::::)

DG: Elhaym van Houten has used her Tool Expedition Boots toward her party's challenge, Basiphobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Surprisingly skates aren't going to help with a freefall jump.

Lydia jumps off about halfway through Elly's explanation of her plan. As she's falling she reaches for her portal pistols. A dotted outline reveals that she no longer has them.

"Huh." Lydia says. "I knew something like this would happen eventually." An updraft slows her down marginally. "Maybe..." She thinks it over further. "If I flap my arms really fast..."

sShe tries it.

Lydia starts falling more quickly.

"Huh." Lydia says, looking up. "Hey Rebecca did you remember to bring the pistols today?? I haven't seen them but maybe--"

"Well... Hmm."

"You know I still didn't really learn how to swim either--" Lydia adds.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Basiphobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"...You think?" Lily asks Elly, turning to look at her thoughtfully--her instinct is to dismiss the concern, but she does remember that Elly and Fei both worry. ...So by way of explanation, she lifts the hand on which the chains are resting. "Maybe it might be a little much. But I'm trying to test my limits. ...We're facing off against something big; we have to be ready." She looks forward, "Besides, these chains are something I picked up in Vane. ...With this, I'm confident I can do it without it taking too much out of me."

Of course, she hasn't tried to cast too high-scale magic since she's come back to Filgaia; she certainly hasn't shifted forms. But she doesn't bring up all those details.

The question of whether all that can happen with cuccos just gets a shake of Lily's head. "Don't mess with these creatures," is all she says. "I don't see what's all that complicated about it."

A beat, "But now that you're on Filgaia--just assume that if something can go wrong here, it will. You'll be safer if you treat everything as if it could kill you."

She does not sneeze, but they are... in a void. A different kind of void, the cliffs below. It feels... strangely peaceful. It feels like the beginning of something, something important. And Lily is quiet, as she turns to look at Elly when she explains. The draft...

"...Yes," Lily answers her. "We'll be counting on you, Elly."

The wind picks up--and Lily steps off of the cliff. She closes her eye, and focuses; the lights at her hands begin to gleam brilliant blue as a shell of blunted ice begins to spread from her feet, picking up wind resistance, offering something to break the water as she makes her way down--

When Lydia mentions that she doesn't know how to swim Lily just reaches out to grab Lydia by one of her straps outright. Good enough.

DG: Lily Keil has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Basiphobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

For some reason, Lily doing this is what gets Lydia to start screaming though it's more of a 'AHHHH ROLLERCOASTER' than 'AHHHH GONNA DIE'. This is still Lydia we're talking about.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It... takes some time to collect the key. But at least, they do eventually reach the door and unlock it.

    "I do not find them all that awful," Avril comments, bringing up the rear on the subject of cuccos.

    What awaits them now is the edge of a cliff. Steep, stark, and with no easy way down save the obvious and potentially terminal one.

    Wind catches her hair in a plume on the edge of the cliff. Avril glances over.

    Her expression doesn't change.

    Buffer with an updraft...? Understanding lights in her eyes as she glances between the two Ether-users.

    "At times, it seems, we must take risks," she opines. Is this a statement of trust in this plan...? "As I have heard it said, fortune favors the bold."

    Says the woman who once jumped off a moving train.

    "I understand, Elly. I shall call upon Lucadia to assist," she agrees, bringing out the Medium and once again calling upon its power. With one hand, she clutches it against her chest.
    With the other, she reaches out to take a hand.

    Whose? Well, whoever needs it.

    "Ready?"

    And without further ado, wind snatching at her dress and whipping at her long silver hair, she leaps over the edge.

    The scent of the sea intensifies perhaps, just a little bit.

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Sea Medium toward her party's challenge, Basiphobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia steps out, a little after Elly. She looks down, for a moment, and her eyes widen a little as she gets a good look. "I don't know--" She hesitates, though, as she gets a good look at where Elly is look down. She swallows, and then she slides Mirage into the sheath at her side. Her eyes peer down at it, and then she turns to look at Elly.

"Are you sure about this? I... well, I think it could rather hurt. But..." She frowns, her finger tapping on the side of her cheek. She sighs, as she watches Elly leap off. Then, she sees Lydia leap off, too. "Lydia!"

She looks sideways at Lily, and she frowns a moment. Then, she steps forward, too, and takes a deep breath. "Well... if there's even a chance that I could find a way to look for Ivan, then..." She sighs, softly.

Talia backs up. She takes a breath, and then she looks over her shoulder -- flashing a grin at Dean, Avril, and Rebecca -- before she runs forward. She takes a leap off, screaming all the while. Her legs kick under her, as she goes diving down.

"THIS SHOULD BE FIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiine..."

zwoosh

"...no~?"

DG: Talia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Basiphobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    The door is unlocked! Dean staggers to his feet. He's in good shape, but this is a lot of running around, even for him. The group heads through, and... there's nothing but a cliffside. "A dead end?" he wonders, looking around--and then down, at the golden waters lapping at the rocky cliff. Elly comes to the conclusion way faster than he does.
    
    "No way. You think we've gotta jump *into* that?" he says, looking over at her in disbelief. "Lydia, what do you--oh." He looks down. Lydia has already jumped. Avril talks about taking risks, and he straightens, nodding firmly, then flashes a grin back at Talia. "Yeah, you're right! And if worst comes to worst--we can always float up on a block of ice! Well then, here goes nothing! GERONIMOOOOOO!"
    
    And so he jumps off with Talia. Is Lydia being held back by Lily still? Who knows? Either way, he summons Twin Fenrir in hand in mid-air, and fires upon the water shortly before landing. Here's hoping that ice-floating plan works. Or that he suddenly learns how to breathe water. Either or.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Freeze Ray toward his party's challenge, Basiphobia.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


"This is absolutely nuts."

Rebecca Streisand finally whispers to herself as she looks down the cliffside. Then they speak a plan.

To Rebecca's eyes it's not a good plan.

"Now wait do you really think that'll... be enough Avril?"

Lydia jumps, "Lydia!?" Rebecca tries to rationalize it away, "Lydia is all like... metal she'll probably be... wait Talia really!?" 'GERONIMOOOO!' "-DEAN WAIT! AVRIL COME ON!"

They're all jumping off.

"This is like every single conversation my mom used to give me on peer pressure. 'If Dean jumped off a cliff would you jump off a cliff?!'" And of course she was always like 'nooooo' and actually meant it.

Holding her hands in her head she tries to work through it, "Now wait... but Lily jumped off too and she actually does her due diligence. On like - height, angle of entry... Elly's magic...Avril's Medium... Dean's freeze ray..." She tries to tally up all the factors in her head.

And instead she hears her mother saying: 'Oh absolutely if Lily Keil jumped off a cliff first then I'd jump off a cliff too.'

All the same as Rebecca jumps off and entrusts herself to all these factors too she shouts. "I FEEL LIKE A LEMMING!"

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Basiphobia.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Basiphobia *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 4          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You find yourself upon a cliffside. Gentle and serene, overlooking a wide
 body of water that looks peaceful, if not a strange, golden hue. Behind you,
 the cliff terminates abruptly, and there is nothing but an endless,
 consuming white, like a piece of art the artist did not bother to finish
 painting. Trying to exit through the white just lands you back where you
 were. There is nothing else, but that steep cliff, perilously difficult if
 not impossible to climb down -- and the water below. One could swear they
 could see a faint glimmer of something beneath the sloshing, golden waves.
 Like a glow. Like an exit.

 But it'd likely take a leap of faith to see if that suspicion panned out to
 anything. Are you ready?
=Dungeon Conditions: Save Point===============================================
=================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 5 *>==================
===========================< Results - Basiphobia >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               46 --(18)--> 64                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          46 --(18)--> 64                Fail
Freeze Ray                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    54 --(18)--> 72                Fail
Sea Medium                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   41 --(13)--> 54                Pass
Expedition Boots                    2   Agility Effects: Stalwart
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         46 --(18)--> 64                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           44 --(18)--> 62                Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   44 --(13)--> 57                Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       60 --(10)--> 70                Fail
Conditions: Save Point(1)|Tire(1)
Effects: Quicken(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Talia has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management
commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Lydia Seren has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Mysophobia *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It is dank here, where the barrier transports you to. A long, branching
 tunnel, the steady sound of dripping moisture fills the stale air here, the
 smell a pungent combination of earth and... something else. Light is
 provided by the pulsing glow of yellow crystals embedded in the earthen
 walls, like a mining tunnel of some kind. Labyrinthine, it is easy to become
 lost here -- but that is not the real problem. The real problem is the
 yellowish mist that fills the air. It all starts with a cough. Or maybe a
 sniffle, or a sneeze. A wheeze. The tell-tale fatigue of illness creeping up
 on you far faster than it should. Soon a sore throat becomes the chills and
 cold sweats and fever the thicker that mist gets, as if it were carrying
 some sort of bacterial disease through the air. The longer you linger here,
 the sicker you will get, until you are completely unable to go on and fail
 the challenge. So. Perhaps it'd be best to get cracking.
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Tire============================================
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEEPosF-tNU

ELLY'S EP ||||||||||||||||||||::::::::

Lydia leaps - and Elly looks up with some concern. Lydia may be surprised to find that in defiance of the laws of gravitation she is falling more quickly than others! But this is not because physics is a lie, but rather because of her greater mass - which means that the countervailing force of Wind Ether isn't buoying her as well as it does people who are less dense.

Elly looks at her with alarm. "You can't?!" she calls.

ELLY'S EP |||||||||||||||||:::::::::::

Lily secures Lydia. Good. Avril is the next one, and she calls upon the Sea Medium. The smell of the water rises, and the waters are atop the waters, and this makes sense, because it made sense in the Bible. The smell that comes up, though, isn't quite that of the fresh and flashing sea - even on Filgaia, where the oceans are suffering, they still have that stirred-up scent. This is more like a tidal pool.

Elly wrinkles her nose in concern.

ELLY'S EP ||||||||||||||||::::::::::::

Talia zweeps downwards using her hellacious magic. "It only hurts at the end," Elly offers to her, stone-faced.

ELLY'S EP ||||||||||||::::::::::::::::

Dean comes down -- and fires a Freeze Ray down into the water below them, past Elly, who has spread out her arms in order to provide some light aerobraking. This slows her down enough to rise up near him and she asks him, shouting over the sound of wind, "That really is amazing. You found it in a ruin, correct? Was it still function-" She sneezes them violently.

The water's rising...

ELLY'S EP ||||||||::::::::::::::::::::

"What's a lemming?!" Elly asks Rebecca.

And then:

ELLY'S EP ||||::::::::::::::::::::::::

s
p
l
a
s
h
!!!

There is no real way out of the yellowish puddle of water - more of a quarry-pool - than the tunnel that leads deeper within. Elly breast-strokes towards it, sneezing twice along the way. This seems to baffle her.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia SPLOOSH.

"Wahahahahaha!" Lydia says as they appear before the next challenge. "That was a rush! Maybe we should take a moment to just catch our breath before moving on."

A moment to catch your breath later, the team finds themselves in a dank tunnel filled with stale hair and irregular dripping moisture.

drip

drip

It's not coming from you. At least everybody can see thanks to glowing yellow crystals nearby (and Lydia who summons an orb of light through the power of her medium.).

"A mining tunnel?" Lydia murmurs. But that's not the real problem. The problem is the yellow mist.

"Okay this one's awful." Lydia admits, advancing forward since they have no other choice. They can't flee. Not when they've come this far.

It's not a real bacteria. Is it? Elly was sneezing earlier. At first it seems that due to Lydia's unique biology she isn't going to have to deal with this problem at all. Not until she pauses for a moment and ducks down. "Schrodinger...find us...the exit..." Schrodinger appears, seemingly unaffected by the mist as he starts scampering ahead. Maybe it's because they are low to the ground, maybe because they're a cat and have dealt with enough of this nonsense when Lydia throws them at these sorts of problems. Lydia then hacks out some silver fluid that sploshes unkindly upon the floor.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LvEj01NBmQ

Lydia stands herself up unsteadily, pushing herself forward too, even as her armor drips away from her. First the exterior armor, the strange...colors flickering in an unstable manner, its energy dimming.

Soon the quicksilver material is dripping freely from Lydia's nose. She has trouble speaking. "I'm not...scared of this...anymore." Lydia manages as her arms gradually disassemble themselves, large sections sloughing off every few steps. It's just an illusion right?

It's just an illusion.

"This one's...no fun." Lydia manages, hacking out another blob of silver.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Mysophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia dives down into the water, and she is mercifully holding her breath when she hits. In the dark tunnel, when she reappears, she does -- indeed! -- drip. Her black hair is clinging to her face and her clothes, and makes her look rather like a drowned rat. She brushes some to the side, before she stands up. She shakes her head a few times, and then she glances sideways at Lydia.

Her nose wrinkles, at the yellow mist. She coughs, then; she realizes, quickly, that something about the mist is getting to her. A chill runs down her spine, and she winces, as she stumbles forward.

"This," she remarks, "isn't good. Even if it is an illusion... it feels too real, no?"

Her hand shakes as she reaches to her belt. She pulls out a well-worn Kislevi field manual. It may be familiar to at least one person here. Talia flips through, idly, fingers moving the pages as she wrinkles her nose. "This has some notes on diseases," she adds. "Maybe it will have something on what this is, if there's a way to ameliorate this."

DG: Talia has used her Tool Lt. Keil's Notebook toward her party's challenge, Mysophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    SPLASH
    
    It's a good thing Dean has a block of ice to bob on, or that pool of water would be bad news for him indeed. As it is, he nearly gulps down more water than is healthy.
    
    They all head into the tunnel with its golden pollen. Elly sneezes; so does Dean, multiple times, as the golden hazes sets in. "Mebbe I'm comi'g down widda cold," he opines, sniffling as his head starts to fog. The air in here is so *thick*... Seriously, give them some space to breathe! Without thinking about it, he draws his ARMs again and opens fire at the walls with his Standard Cartridge. The shots go largely pretty wide, but maybe some of them pierce through to someplace where this haze can dissipate.
    
    This might ventilate the cave. It might attract even worse things in. It's all about the gamble, no?

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Standard Cartridge toward his party's challenge, Mysophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

On the bright side, Lily still has a lot of EP. ...On the downside...

Well, whatever hopeful ending they had in mind doesn't happen. Lily makes it to the water with about as much injury as she expected to get; nothing that won't heal, but some sharp pain for her trouble. The shield of ice prevents her from hitting the water like concrete, and she starts... to sink. The water rises, and rises--

Lily emerges into the tunnel and takes an immediate breath--and then coughs, once, twice, a fit of them until she manages to stop choking on bizarre yellow fog.

"Gh," Lily mutters, shaking her head. She steps forward--hears Talia. As she glances to her...

"Try section three, page eighty-nine. Section on spores."

Wait, what? Lily doesn't stop to explain any further. Instead, she pulls something from her things--a small, handmade, carefully-treated mirror with Lily's name inscribed on a part of it.

She pulls it, and... well, she looks absolutely terrible, frankly. Fever...

Lily holds up the mirror in one hand, and then points her hand towards it; in moments, there is warmth, and suddenly the mirror is reflecting a brilliant beam of light, burning through the mist to help display the path forward.

...Dog is still sneezing. "Hang on, girl," Lily murmurs.

"No time to rest. Move quickly or I'll carry you," she says to the group as a whole.

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Mikaia's Mirror toward her party's challenge, Mysophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    No one takes Avril's hand, but that's quite fine; a moment later she uses it to further clutch the Medium against her chest, before she plummets downwards over the cliff. It's probably for the best, it would be a problem to lose it in the descent.

    Possibly even a terminal problem.

    Against the wind whipping about her, she can hear shouting.
    It's difficult being Rebecca, isn't it. Avril is already over the edge before her friend can so much as get her shout out.

    It's a long fall down.
    And, it seems, between the weakening of the Guardians and their current distance (?) from Filgaia, perhaps the Medium's power is not at its best. Still, at least their fall is slowed.

    Sploooosh.

    Avril breaches the surface moments later, handily treading water. "Yes, as long falls go, that was not at all terrible."
    She does in fact have comparison points for this. Don't ask.

    A flash. And there, in a heartbeat's time, they're standing in the coils of a subterranean tunnel.
    Possibly still dripping wet. Between that and the mist -- and the maze itself -- they have a problem.

    Avril coughs, the dry rasp turning abruptly a touch wet. Her shoulders shake throughout the fit. "Something... appears to be in the air," she says once she can speak again. "We must try not to inhale it. Cover your mouth and nose and try to stay low. Perhaps it might behave like smoke."

    She does so herself.

    "And move quickly, wherever we head. We must not linger."

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Mysophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly, for her part...

Coughs thickly, and she gets out a handkerchief and tries to put it over her mouth and nose, and she moves forwards. Every third or fourth breath she makes another cough; each one sounds marginally, progressively thicker and nastier. Her eyes water.

Beyond this she tries not to complain.

(This is made easier by feeling like her lungs are steadily filling with goo. This has a downside, of course, in that the feeling may not be hallucinatory)

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Mysophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca plunges turns into a half-pike, and dives the rest of the way into the water. Fortunately she can see that the others are alright because Avril breaches the surface, "I guess it could have been much worse."

After the swim, Rebecca hastily opens up her pack, and opens the cloth she has wrapped around her travel diary to make certain it's alright. Thankfully the oilcloth had sealed it against water at least decently well. Flipping through the pages as she lets it dry before stopping on one.

My love cripples me.
Trips me up and I can't breathe.
Reduces me to a thing abed.
Feverish for a kiss on my head.

"Huh... not too bad for my early stuff..."

Rebecca says as she compliments her young self...

At the bottom of the page is a title: -Golemsick.
Because Dean won't keep his fool self in bed when he has a fever and is off digging for Golem Parts!!!

And Rebecca realizes she was in... "... aha..." ...that phase. Yet Dean mentions coming down with something, "Wait you weren't showing any symptoms before?" And the page is a reminder to her that Dean - doesn't usually get sick so fast.

Eyes widening Rebecca hastily uses it as an impromptu cover for her mouth as she starts to cough against it. Others have already started to realize what's going on as she coughs. Flapping the book as an impromptu fan to try to fan it away. "Oh no... Oh no - Oh no..." As she coughs and hastily tries to run along the path.

DG: Rebecca Streisand has used her Tool Rebecca's Travel Diary toward her party's challenge, Mysophobia.
======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>=======================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Mysophobia *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It is dank here, where the barrier transports you to. A long, branching
 tunnel, the steady sound of dripping moisture fills the stale air here, the
 smell a pungent combination of earth and... something else. Light is
 provided by the pulsing glow of yellow crystals embedded in the earthen
 walls, like a mining tunnel of some kind. Labyrinthine, it is easy to become
 lost here -- but that is not the real problem. The real problem is the
 yellowish mist that fills the air. It all starts with a cough. Or maybe a
 sniffle, or a sneeze. A wheeze. The tell-tale fatigue of illness creeping up
 on you far faster than it should. Soon a sore throat becomes the chills and
 cold sweats and fever the thicker that mist gets, as if it were carrying
 some sort of bacterial disease through the air. The longer you linger here,
 the sicker you will get, until you are completely unable to go on and fail
 the challenge. So. Perhaps it'd be best to get cracking.
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Tire============================================
=================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 6 *>==================
===========================< Results - Mysophobia >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               64 --(23)--> 87                Fail
Lt. Keil's Notebook                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          64 --(23)--> 87                Fail
Standard Cartridge                  3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    72 --(23)--> 95                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   54 --(23)--> 77                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         64 --(23)--> 87                Fail
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           62 --(23)--> 85                Fail
Mikaia's Mirror                     1   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   57 --(18)--> 75                Pass
Rebecca's Travel Diary              2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       70 --(10)--> 80                Fail
Conditions: Stupify(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Talia has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management
commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

It gets worse before it gets better. Schrodinger decides to abscond rather than stick around in this mess, Lily's notes don't seem to have a section on fake yellow gas illness and the fact that Lydia seems to be kind of losing cohesion is also not really in a known medical field. Well, not in any known medical field that Talia can read.

It's just an illusion as Lydia's arms melt away and she's reduced to inching forward along the ground. But the feeling is real. The will of an individual and illness often go hand in hand.

Ultimately Rebecca in her scrambling is able to find a safe spot for the team to huddle/crawl to. Progress stops, but at least it doesn't get any worse.

And then the illusion fades, Lydia is back to normal, and it's as if they had never been in there.

....right? Lydia is still coughing faintly. Maybe it's just from a soar throat from all that coughing before? Maybe....maybe it came with you?

"Let's finish this..." Lydia says. "Before I puke."

DG: Talia has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Arachnophobia *>=========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 4          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The final boundary is touched. And in a flash of light... darkness is the
 first thing to greet you. Darkness, and a sticky sensation that clings to
 you, making movement difficult at best. And as light streams in, you will
 see the reason why: you're stuck. In a web. A very, very large spider's web.
 And when there is a very, very large spider's web, it stands to reason that,
 well...

 ... there is a very, very large spider.

 You can hear it, mandibles chattering unseen in the darkness. And the more
 you linger here, the more it becomes visible, from long, spindly, fuzzy legs
 to its multitude of eyes... to dripping, venom-filled fangs. It approaches
 slowly, as if it has all the time in the world -- and it is clear, that if
 you want to overcome this challenge and reach the end of this place, you
 must break out of this web and escape before that spider reaches you. The
 second the spider reaches you, that challenge is failed. So. Best get to
 destroying some webs. If not just for the sake of your sanity.
=Dungeon Conditions: Collapse, Weaken=========================================
DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool The Trusty Shovel toward his party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia hacks and coughs -- but the illusion fades, and she stumbles. She glances at Lydia, in the final room. Her eyes are wide, and watering; the illusion may have passed, but she can't shake the memory of a sting and the feeling of pain. There is one, final flash.

She feels something awful and sticky on her feet. She grits her teeth, looking down. The sensation of something sticky and goopy on her boots sends an immediate spike of familiar fear with her. She looks down, half expecting blood. There is no blood, but she realizes that it is much too sticky to have ever been blood. Then, she hears the click-clack of mandibles.

Her head snaps to the side, and she sees the spider that moves. A huge, hulking thing -- with yellow-brown venom dripping from its mandibles. Eyes meet hers. Talia swallows, her back growing rigid.

She rips Mirage from the sheath. For once, she is silent. She begins to hack through strands of webbing, as fast as she can.

DG: Talia has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Illness is familiar to Lily--but seeing it, not experiencing it. She's never been the sort of person to get sick often. It is... unplesaant, to say the least, but she keeps going regardless, kneeling now and then to ensure Dog is with her. But eventually, they find a safe spot... and the illusion fades. Maybe the cough...

Lily shakes her head, and passes a hand in front of herself--but there's the first problem. She starts to do so... but her hand doesn't move. She feels it affixed, first, and frowns, looking down; she can't see much, but she can feel, and quickly... she sees the gigantic spider.

Lily stares into its eyes, unblinking, as Dog whines, clearly upset. The spider is there; it is clacking... it heads towards them, slowly. Towards these kids... towards Dog...

ily closes her eye, and sets those things out of her mind. She goes to the same place that she goes in combat, to the same place she went with her hands covered in blood and a scalpel slicing through tissue. ...Then she goes farther, beyond it... and there is the smell of smoke. Of something burning.

The air around Lily Keil ignites, a shell of flames around her and around Dog that do not touch either of them but seek to burn away the webs that hold them here. ...And then the feeling of that Ether intensifies abrubtly, and the flames go out in an instant, deprived of air.

Instead of fire, it's now raw destructive force attempting to unmake her bindings. Lily looks, if anyone looks... More angry than anything. And still Dog whines.

DG: Lily Keil has used her Tool Rune Chain toward her party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.


Rebecca trips - falls in the middle of a coughing spell.

Into a web, her immediate struggling getting her more and more wound up.

"What is t- eww!? EW!"

Rebecca may be a rough and tumble girl who spends a lot of time outdoors - but the stickiness is getting to her quickly. It's not that she usually minds creepy crawls - it's just the weird sensation of this all over her.

And that's when she senses the presence of one awful spider. Her hitching breath starts to calm, "Dean... Avril...? I think there's... something..."

There's a sudden whimper as she hears the chittering grow closer, almost in a state of panic as she realizes the size and scale and the fact that she's bound up, she reaches her bound hand to grope for her medium, and upon touching it - invokes it. She doesn't care what ley line she's over. She has to get out.

She has to get out.

Her invocation is a roulette wheel of one of the elements-

She can only hope it's the right one.

DG: Rebecca Streisand has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Shooting the walls, for some reason, does not help with the feeling of being tremendously ill. Dean has been healthy all his life, with only rare occasions of being sick, so he really doesn't know how to handle this sort of feeling--and so he stumbles right into something very solid. Solid and sticky and trembling. With something chattering up above...
    
    Rebecca says she thinks there's something nearby. The fear in her voice is more than enough. "Nod good!!" Dean calls, struggling against the web--and while he doesn't yet break free, he does at least get an arm under his jacket to pull White Fenrir out again, to start digging at the dirt below and spraying it on the web to take up the stickiness, then hacking at it. Here's hoping that's enough.

<Pose Tracker> Elhaym van Houten has posed.

Elly, having lapsed into semi-consciousness wholly unrelated to a complicated technical question in another reality, comes herself together to find sticky strings all over her.

She retch-coughs up a bunch of nothing, looks around -

"Oh" she says.

Her head tilts back a little. And then comes the fire

DG: Elhaym van Houten has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia is stuck to a spider web. This is not a good time but after the last challenge? Lydia will take on a thousand giant spiders quite frankly.

"EXCALIBAT!" Lydia shouts as she raises it up with one arm and then brings it down hard against the web. She may be trying to time this with Dean's shovel strikes. "Excali...bat!!" Lydia tries it again since odds are it's not working the first time.

"Oh my god fire EXCALIBAT COME ON NOW!" Lydia shouts again as she swings it one more time.

And then eventually she just exhales and regardless of the current web situation, just throws it right at the giant spider. "Spider squish!!" Lydia shouts.

Well it's something.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It was no normal haze, Avril realizes, as the mist begins to fade -- and so too does her cough, leaving but echoes of what had been.
    Such as the malaise that clings to her bones, no matter how far clear they have emerged from the spell that had gripped them. "Was that an illusion after all?" she utters aloud, though involuntarily she does shiver.
    She still is rather damp, her hair dripping in a patter across the floor.

    But though they may press on, a nagging unsettling sense settles over her like a shroud.

    "Yes," she answers Rebecca, her gaze growing grim. "There's something else here," she says, as Talia finds with a boot something unpleasantly sticky. "I do not believe it wishes us well."

    And it's here that her gaze lifts, here at the sound something chittering, chirring.

    "Spiders..." she utters, taking a step backwards. "Does that mean we are here walking into their--"
    Backwards, into a span of webbing. "!"

    One hand however is still free. Reaching beneath her wrap, she produces it.
    The button.

    The ground rumbles.

    There is a roar as a good half of a Golem (the right half if we're counting) lurches forward from the earth, eyes glowing in incandescent fury as the last of its power pushes it onwards to try and shred the webs (and possibly even the spiders, if everyone is particularly lucky).

DG: Avril Vent Fleur has used her Tool Remote Golem Override toward her party's challenge, Arachnophobia.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Arachnophobia *>=========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 4          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The final boundary is touched. And in a flash of light... darkness is the
 first thing to greet you. Darkness, and a sticky sensation that clings to
 you, making movement difficult at best. And as light streams in, you will
 see the reason why: you're stuck. In a web. A very, very large spider's web.
 And when there is a very, very large spider's web, it stands to reason that,
 well...

 ... there is a very, very large spider.

 You can hear it, mandibles chattering unseen in the darkness. And the more
 you linger here, the more it becomes visible, from long, spindly, fuzzy legs
 to its multitude of eyes... to dripping, venom-filled fangs. It approaches
 slowly, as if it has all the time in the world -- and it is clear, that if
 you want to overcome this challenge and reach the end of this place, you
 must break out of this web and escape before that spider reaches you. The
 second the spider reaches you, that challenge is failed. So. Best get to
 destroying some webs. If not just for the sake of your sanity.
=Dungeon Conditions: Collapse, Weaken=========================================
==================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal - Round 7 *>===================
==========================< Results - Arachnophobia >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Talia                               87 --(100)--> 187              Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          87 --(100)--> 187              Pass
The Trusty Shovel                   2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avril Vent Fleur                    95 --(100)--> 195              Fail
Remote Golem Override               4   Brute   Effects: None
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elhaym van Houten                   77 --(100)--> 177              Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         87 --(100)--> 187              Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lily Keil                           85 --(100)--> 185              Fail
Rune Chain                          1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Streisand                   75 --(100)--> 175              Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Talia                       80 --(10)--> 90                Fail
Conditions: Collapse|Stupify(1)|Tire(1)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Strengthen(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: Talia is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Dean Stark is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Avril Vent Fleur is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Elhaym van Houten is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Lydia Seren is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Lily Keil is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Rebecca Streisand is too exhausted to continue!
DG: The party has failed this challenge! All party members are now Exhausted. This attempt is over.
DG: The party led by Talia has been fully Exhausted by Linaweyul, the First Ordeal!
DG: The party will now draw a conclusion.
=======================<* Linaweyul, the First Ordeal *>========================
=============<* CHALLENGE - Letters from the Ordeal ~ Discovery *>==============
|Type: Landmark    |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The final challenges of this strange realm prove to be too much. Failure
 results in a bright, streaming light engulfing you and your companions
 before worse can come to pass, transporting you all somewhere far, far away.
 When you come to, you find yourself in a quiet, small chamber, glowing with
 a soft blue light that ebbs like the pulse of a heart. There is a shining
 portal that will lead back to the Room of Doors in Uzda Il-jam -- but before
 one does, words start to slowly etch themselves across the blue crystal
 surface of this chamber. Like a letter meant for someone else, by hand
 unknown, forged into the very memory of this place:

 It is truly remarkable, this place. In all my time, I have never seen
 anything quite like it. When I happened upon this place in search of the
 beast before it could do more harm, it had almost seemed as if this island
 had embraced the creature into itself. The beast looked so at peace I did
 not dare disturb it. Perhaps a more worthy hand than mine can one day give
 it the peace it deserves.

 But this place... it tests the very mettle of me. It would know what I fear,
 and use it against me. Dare to deter me from my path. Linaweyul -- it is a
 fitting name indeed. Is it a prison? A trial? And if it is a trial... for
 what purpose does it try?

 I wish to know more. I must know more. I will press further, and glean the
 secrets of this place. I wish you could see it with your own eyes -- but for
 now, I hope my paltry words shall suffice. I shall write you soon with more.


 The following signature is faded and indistinct.
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

They struggle -- they tear, slash, and call a Golem -- but it seems that for every strand of webbing, two more stand ready to entangle them. At the end, Talia finds her sword-arm covered in the stuff. She turns her head, gasping, as she sees the Golem that tore out of the ground being pulled backward by even more enormous strands of the stuff. She turns, and looks towards the spider. It begins to skitter over it.

"This is--"

There is a brilliant light from above. It engulfs each of them, one after the other. With seven flashes, they appear -- bedraggled and covered in sticky spider web strands, but not further harmed. Talia groans, before she forces herself to her feet. "This place is... something else."

She doubts, suddenly, that she will find her brother here. She turns her head; her eyes widen, though, as she catches the words moving across that blue crystal. "A... trial?"

Her eyes narrow, slowly.

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"...A trial," Lily agrees, and kneels down now that she's on solid ground to rub at Dog's ears, to reassure her with a hand. Her other hand remains curled into a fist, and Dog is all too eager to stay close to Lily at the moment, tail down and ears flat in dismay. "I'm sorry," the sorceress murmurs to her for a moment, shakes her head.

"...A trial," she repeats a second time. "And one that we failed."

Her eye lingers on the text inscribed, though.

"...But I wonder..."

Thoughts, read from within; fears, found, theirs and others'. The canine that was here...

She murmurs something to herself in an unfamiliar language to most here, too quiet to make out fully anyway, and pets Dog thoughtfully.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Ugh KK. Make things a little more fair." Lydia says, lying on the floor and blaming this entirely on the Trial Knight because it keeps talking about trials and who else does that really?

She reads the writing. She gets dog backstory without knowing it's dog backstory (maybe??) but she does say, "Man I bet whoever wrote that is super dead. Or super crazy." She hops to her feet. "But hey, speaking of probably bad ideas, lets do this again sometime. It'll be fun. Except for all the pain and suffering but that's life!"

"Someone should probably write that mysterious message down too."

She scribbles it down.



One minute later Schrodinger reappears and demands food with a bunch of meows.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Light shines, and everyone is dropped into a small chamber. Dean gets up, groaning--and then realizes he no longer feels as sick as a dog. Or sick as Dog. Actually Dog seems pretty healthy? Either way, he felt so sick he couldn't even get excited about that Golem tearing out of the ground, which is pretty bad.
    
    Maybe that's why he failed the trial.
    
    "A trial..." he murmurs, straightening as he reads the blue text. Then he blinks over at Lydia. "K.K.? You mean that Trial Knight or whatever? You think they did this?" He looks back at the written message, wondering briefly who the writer was writing to and if they ever got the letter. He also wonders why Linaweyul is supposed to be an appropriate name. And Lily rightfully observes that they failed the trial therein, if this *is* meant to be a trial. But...
    
    He grins at Lydia. "Yeah, let's give it another go sometime! If this *was* a trial, and we messed it up, we just need to try again until we get it right!" He pumps a fist. "We'll show this stupid cave it can't scare *us* off! Right, guys?"
    
    He looks expectantly at the more reasonable members of the party.