2018-12-12: Knock It Off With That Ship

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  • Log: 2018-12-12: Knock It Off With That Ship
  • Cast: Ethius Hesiod, Jacqueline Barber, Lydia Seren, Prissa
  • Where: Ships' Graveyard
  • Date: December 12th, 2018
  • Summary: (Takes place before November 30th, ICly.) After Shalune and Lunata install a railgun they found on Lunata's Gear, Ethius feels an urgent need to go to where they claim to have found it - the Ships' Graveyard. This is not the first time he has been possessive or controlling about one's activities as they involve haunted ships. A concerned Jay, a plucky Lydia, an enterprising Prissa, and a TRAITOR CAT give pursuit.

=================================================<* Ships' Graveyard *>=================================================

Over the past two years, ships headed toward the Elru continent through the Narrow Sea have died - without exception and without mercy. The wrecks of the vessels have drifted with the tides and slowly merged over time, forming an unstable artificial reef some distance off Elru's coastline.

Desperate Drifters and other Adventurers can attempt to plumb the graveyard in search of the ships' cargoes, but the environment itself is dangerously unstable...and some sailors say that the unhallowed dead still sail the ships they died upon.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pih88NDEw1M
DG: A party led by Ethius Hesiod is now entering Ship Graveyard.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
==================================================<* Ship Graveyard *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - A Dangerous Approach *>=========================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The edge of the graveyard is a patchwork quilt of ruined, rotting vessels.    
 Most of them are wooden, but a handful are shod with metal, indicating more   
 recent--or, perhaps, more ancient--construction. Finding a place to           
 disembark will be difficult. Setting anchor is one option, but if the         
 graveyard drifts, then it might just drift away from your ship. Docking is    
 another option, but which of these wrecks is sturdy enough to do the job?     
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

AND NOW, A BRIEF JAUNT BACK INTO THE PAST - BEFORE NOVEMBER 30th...

Generally speaking, a good reaction to Shalune and Lunata being able to salvage a useful - if mysterious - weapon like a railgun to the Rephaim prior to the assault on the Photosphere is 'awesome, we might stand a chance.'

A weird one is 'I'm going to charter a ship to the Ship Graveyard.' Unless the intent is to maybe see if there's more of them to salvage for the final push, which might be both reasonable and a useful expenditure of what little time the planet has left before Mother consumes it.

This is Ethius, who seems to like setting any number of things on fire while speaking awkwardly-chosen verbose words at impractical sentence lengths. There is every reason to assume this might end in problems. On the other hand, ships are still coming and going and there's always the off-chance that maybe, just maybe, there might be trouble brewing that could jeopardize Elru operations.

One never knows. They can make some highly educated guesses. Maybe even guesses that'll earn a bachelor's degree. That's how educated.

SLIGHTLY LATER IN THIS BRIEF JAUNT BACK INTO THE PAST - WELL BEFORE NOVEMBER 30th...

The most telling thing about this latest episode is that Ethius appears to have planned - at first - to check the wreckage by his lonesome. This is a death sentence for just about any Drifter, even those worth more than their weight in salt. Straight-faced foolishness. The souring waters of Filgaia are home to all sorts of starving sealife whose numbers dwindle by the very day. There's enough debris from these sunken ships that the possibility of there being a live weapon waiting to explode on them is more than non-zero - it's fast approaching 1 in 1. There he is, anyway, having since already disembarked from whatever ship he first chartered to just help himself to the first overturned ship that will serve as a temporary foothold.

A faint blue-ish light is cast from that eyeglass he holds, the Spectral Lens, which he observes from for... something or another. Something, through all of this dreary fog. Something, through all of this salty decay. Something, through all of this splintered wood and rusted metal.

What the hell even is it that he won't even tell the Caravan Kinship in specific? Either way he has chosen a very difficult and inconvenient place to stand. Much more reasonable sorts may be harder pressed to find a better place to set anchor, the faint light cast by the Spectral Lens providing just enough illumination in which to locate his silhouette.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, A Dangerous Approach.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline's been trying to power through...well, everything, as best she could, but there was a lot to deal with. Riesenlied's kidnapping, for starters, but then Ethius just so happened to walk into a conversation between herself, Lunata, and Shalune, where he overheard talk of a Ship Graveyard somewhere in the seas west of Elru.

A part of Jacqueline was content to just let him go there, but the more reasonable part of her made it clear that she should probably follow him and make sure he didn't get himself(or anything/anything) hurt.

Fortunately, with the Carakin upgraded for sea travel, Jacqueline doesn't have to wait for an available ship to make its way into harbor before heading off after him.

The primary problem is finding a place to dock where she'll be able to reach the vehicle again. It's not too much of a problem - there's probably someone staying behind who'd be able to pick her up if the graveyard drifts away from it, but it'd be a hassle she'd prefer to avoid. And, another problem on the table is...

"Help me keep an eye out for him...he could be anywhere in this wreck by now..." Jacqueline mutters, to whoever happens to be hanging out within or near enough to the Carakin's driving area in the front to hear her.

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

Lydia Seren is wearing her thinking cat today and also a cool trenchcoat. Otherwise you can assume she's her cool sigh borg self today. What's a sigh borg? Hard to know for sure, it hasn't been a coined term yet.

"We need some sort of box," Lydia is telling Jay. "An Ethius box. That we can put Ethius into. With little airholes in it but also, like, bars or something so he can't get out."

Lydia nods once to Jay, frowning deeply. She is running low on patience for Ethius shenanigans.

"Thanks for coming, Pris." Lydia says. "It's good to know a voice of reason is here to keep me from doing anything rash."

Also Prissa is here too, it seems. Lydia may have invited her here because Prissa can hold her breath indefinitely and Lydia, notably, has very low swimming ability.

Meanwhile a Schrodinger appears on Ethius's head, BETRAYAL!!!

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, A Dangerous Approach.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

Prissa does not have her cool fremen jacket on because she expects to have to get in the water. She is not really happy about this since this is Arctica but life is what it is. She has slathered herself with walrus grease - harvested, of course, from the wild walruses that some brave hunter is harvesting.

"My tits are going to fall off, from the cold," is Prissa's serene comment on this situation. The walrus grease is not much help on the surface.

Scanning the horizon, she says, "This place is a death trap. The light is bad, the water is cold. It is not impossible he has already died. I am sorry to say it but I feel I must -" She squints at a twinkle of light.

Then she cracks a brief grin at Lydia. "It is fine."

Then she looks at Jay. "So do I get bounty rights for first sighting?" She adjusts the strap holding her javelins and their associated ropes. Or, in this environment, they may mysteriously be HARPOONS. ETHIUS-SEIZING ONES. "Tell me, though. Are you worried about him? He is full of mysteries and still I do not fully -"

She looks back to Lydia. "Where did your cat go?"

DG: Prissa has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, A Dangerous Approach.
==================================================<* Ship Graveyard *>==================================================
=========================================<* CHALLENGE - A Dangerous Approach *>=========================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 The edge of the graveyard is a patchwork quilt of ruined, rotting vessels.    
 Most of them are wooden, but a handful are shod with metal, indicating more   
 recent--or, perhaps, more ancient--construction. Finding a place to           
 disembark will be difficult. Setting anchor is one option, but if the         
 graveyard drifts, then it might just drift away from your ship. Docking is    
 another option, but which of these wrecks is sturdy enough to do the job?     
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck=================================================
=============================================<* Ship Graveyard - Round 1 *>=============================================
===========================================< Results - A Dangerous Approach >===========================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ethius Hesiod               0 --(15)--> 15                 Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ethius Hesiod has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

He might already be in a personalized Ethius-box, provided post-humously by any of the rotted sea vessels or cargo that seem content enough to continue to house whatever's in there, because what else are they going to do with their time. The whole of them have themselves a breakthrough when they hear a tell-tale sound, in the distance.

A meow.

Ethius clasps his fingers around the Spectral Lens to snuff out the light when he feels the tell-tale weight of a Shcrodinger on his head. By then, it is too late. It just so happens that Ethius is already standing on a solid place in which to dock the CaraKin against, and all they have to do to find the place is to follow the sound of the mewing Schrodinger. (If they are unconfident about what to use to keep it tethered, Prissa does have a fine set of javelins.)

On the reunion, he does not look amused. He has never really looked any quantity of 'mused,' ever. There are no apologies, no questions. He might seem resigned, in so much that he turns away and doesn't bark any commands.

"There is something ahead." He remarks cryptically. (It is probably an explosive.) Luckily, there is a mast that serves as a lovely enough bridge to go between here and the next piece of reasonably stable wreckage.

Schrodinger has not been removed from his head.

He knows better than to try.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Swab The Deck *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The remains of several small frigates have been mashed together by the wind   
 and waves, forming a single, coral-covered mass. The remains of the ships'    
 masts and rigging have long since toppled over, and now form a barrier to     
 anyone trying to cross. If nothing else, the wood and rope are in very poor   
 condition, but so is the platform you need to cross! Be careful.              
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Mm, the problem is making a box he wouldn't be able to break out of..." Jacqueline replies with a wry smile in Lydia's direction. She fully understands why Lydia's patience would be strained for Ethius, but she appreciates that she's here anyway.

Prissa's question, however, is a little more difficult to answer. Jacqueline frowns, thinking it over.

"...Worried about him. I guess that's a good way to put it. I'm worried that he's going to do something rash and get himself hurt or killed in the process. It wouldn't be the first time." She says. She still remembers that Ghost Ship they visited, and what happened there. "Just try not to rough him up too much."

Eventually, they spot him. Jacqueline pulls the Carakin into a convenient and then disembarks from the vehicle, affixing Ethius with a frown.

"You know, if you had just asked, I would've gladly brought you here myself." She comments. He remarks that there's something ahead, and Jacqueline frowns.

"...Let's take it carefully, then. I know we're not going to be able to convince you to come back with us." She proceeds across the bridge, which terminates at a mass of small frigates that have been made into a single structure over time. Unfortunately, the masts and rigging have fallen over into each other, essentially forming a wall that prevents anything resembling progress further into the Ship Graveyard.

Jacqueline sighs.

"We're going to have to break through this...but be careful, the ground feels a little unsteady here." She warns, drawing out some bottles and passing them around. They should help keep everyone warm through the cold ocean air, while giving them all just a bit more 'oomph'.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Brewte Force toward her party's challenge, Swab The Deck.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh Schro teleported to Ethius." Lydia says who honestly isn't too worried about Ethius getting himself killed because she worried about him getting himself killed the other ten thousand times and at this point she just figures it's part of the care and training of your Ethius that they are outdoor pets and sometimes they'll just go wandering and you'll have to go fetch them.

Lydia's cheeks silver faintly at the comment of tits falling off but it's gone quickly because she's also freezing.

"I'm worried he's gonna get someone else hurt or killed in the process," Lydia mutters cynically. "But I'm almost like 80 percent sure he's a good guy even if I will break his fingers if he doesn't apologize to mom!" She beams widely. "When we save her!" She beams less widely because that hasn't happened yet! Curse the past!

Lydia gives Ethius a deadpan gaze at his words.

"Meow." Schrodinger repeats. They don't remove themselves from Ethius's head. They're happy there.

"So breaking stuff. Okay. Good. I can do that." Lydia says before drawing out her metal baseball bat and starts clobbering at the barrier. Hopefully her work in building homes means she's less likely to drown everybody.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Swab The Deck.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

"I will return once I am satisfied with my investigations." Hopefully Ethius will be satisfied with how much coral, rigging, and wood have kind of tangled together into a huge pile of No Trespassing Allowed. Taking things apart by hand is difficult because the coral is sharp. Setting it on fire is a bad idea because everything is flammable. Striking it down might be a bad idea because any shifting weight might cause some of this to collapse.

They do have to break through, according to Jay's observations. Lydia goes at it with her bat - that has its risks, but she is a very determined young woman.

Ethius, in spite of the first point about how sharp the coral mass is, and it could damned well be extremely venomous, grasps onto this tangled mess of sea junk with his gloved hands...

...And just tries to climb over it. He's taking a different approach for a reason, as he suspects if Schrodinger decides to jump off that's going to be his sign to know this isn't the way he should go. He can't see his breath in the frigid air because of how he hides the lower half of his face, but he's never been too bothered by extremes in temperature. They've seen him endure intense heat in the name of stopping an Alhazred horror from destroying a refugee caravan. So, too, will they see him endure tits-lopping cold on his single-minded drive to drive everyone further crazy (another educated guess).

What did he see, that makes him want to continue this way?

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Swab The Deck.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

The catte is there, safe. Prissa squints at this feline treachery. She also hurls a javelin and affixes it to the tie-up-thingy on the prow area of the Carakin, before she moves towards the exitway. "At least this time only he gets killed," Prissa answers Jay, still sour, it seems, about all of that.

But not too sour. She's gone from vinegar to yogurt.

She picks her way forwards. "What is teleport?" she asks Lydia, because the word isn't familiar to her. She raises her voice to Ethius, "Hey!" as she begins to shove wreckage out of the way. "What are you investigating, you guy? You're going to carve yourself off. How do you think coral eats? It's not a plant, you know! Watch it closely sometime, you'll see!"

She explains to Lydia and Jay, "It is actually a little animal. Like lichen, but in water, and also eats tiny bits of animal."

DG: Prissa has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Swab The Deck.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Swab The Deck *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The remains of several small frigates have been mashed together by the wind   
 and waves, forming a single, coral-covered mass. The remains of the ships'    
 masts and rigging have long since toppled over, and now form a barrier to     
 anyone trying to cross. If nothing else, the wood and rope are in very poor   
 condition, but so is the platform you need to cross! Be careful.              
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
========================<* Ship Graveyard - Round 2 *>========================
=========================< Results - Swab The Deck >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Brewte Force                        1   Brute   Effects: Fanfare and Strengthe
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ethius Hesiod               15 --(15)--> 30                Pass
Conditions: Bad Luck(1)|Reckless(2)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ethius Hesiod has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline stays quiet about that. She can't deny that's also a complete possibility.

"...Yes, I fully intend to ensure he apologizes to her." She agrees. Little did she know she would have even more reason to be upset with him, but that hadn't happened yet. As for Prissa...

"Hopefully this time, no one will..." Jacqueline says. That was the best-case scenario, at least.

And then, the coral wall. Ethius makes it clear that he will return once he is satisfied. There's no telling how long that might take, so for all she knows they could be here for a while.

Lydia starts taking her bat to the wall, while Ethius...tries to climb over it? Well, at least he wasn't trying to burn it, but...

"Ah, Ethius, be careful! That could be dangerous..." Jacqueline warns. Prissa explains further, about what exactly it is - which also reiterates that it's probably not something anyone should be climbing over.

"Oh, interesting..." Jacqueline remarks, somewhat fascinated. It wasn't something she had much cause to study before!

Between the two of them, Lydia and Prissa manage to make good headway on the blockage. What Lydia's bat doesn't take care of Prissa can easily shove out of the way, while Jacqueline mainly focuses on hanging back and staying out of the way.

Ethius, meanwhile, is covered up enough that he can climb over it entirely with little difficulty. But the way is clear now, so it's time to get at least one step closer to whatever it is that has drawn Ethius's gaze.

DG: Prissa has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Drop Anchor *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The remains of this great galleon lie perilously low to the waterline, and    
 list to one side. The ship's anchor dangles from its rust-coated windlass,    
 and it appears to be what's weighing the ship down. With a little care and a  
 lot of elbow grease, you might be able to get the rusty windlass working      
 again--and if you drop anchor, the ship should bob up a bit, allowing you to  
 continue.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous==============================================
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

Prissa shoves aside chunks of coral that have been adequately pulverized by Lydia's bat. Did you know that micropulverization of live coral is actually an amazing way to increase its propagation? It's true. It's being done in other worlds to help restore things by increasing the numbers of the survivors by hundredsfold, so that they can CLIMB OUT OF THE SEA AND --

Anyway.

As they push aside, Prissa narrows her eyes as she looks at the greatly tilted galleon ahead of them. The decks, of course, are awash. Her eyes turn towards the rusty capstan and the coral overgrowth on the anchor, and at this she sighs and unstraps her gear, handing it towards Lydia.

She takes out a chisel from her array of tools. "I think for this, that big anchor there, you see? It's attracted all the coral, probably from the metals. I will chip it loose and the rest of you get this thing working."

As she walks towards the side of the water, she tells Ethius, "I am asking them later if you pushed!" and then she jumps into the freezing water.

RIP Prissa.

Distant faint tink-tink-tinks become apparent. She will, walrus grease or not, certainly need a refreshing beverage after that one.

DG: Prissa has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Drop Anchor.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"'Kay." Lydia says to Ethius.

And then she quiets down for a while before saying, "Hey Ethius," to him. "You're going to apologize to Riesenlied, right? When we get her back?"

Schrodinger continues to lie on Ethius's head. Did they fall asleep??? They're making a faint purring noise, completely ignoring Lydia's emotional state. Dang it, cat.

"Wait so when I'm hitting coral I'm actually doing mass killings? That's kinda terrifying. But I guess it makes more of them?"

She quietly puts her bat away, looking a little pale.

"Animals, even....."

Naturally she is a little more careful with the bat in case RUST turns out to be a living creature too when it comes to the next problem. She takes a few swings to try and help clobber it in position though she pauses when Prissa jumps into the water.

"Uh." Lydia says. "Did Prissa just kill herself? I am pretty sure she didn't do that right? Right??"

tinktinktink.

"Holy shit." Lydia says.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Drop Anchor.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

'You're going to apologize to Riesenlied, right? When we get her back?'

He blinks once. It's a long blink. They can see the long blink because he's misgauging where Lydia's standing relative to himself and so she can see him taking a big, long blink. Is there something he wants to say to any of that? Does he ever really show any remorse for what he's said/done?

...Maybe once, maybe.

"It would be better to wait until such an opportunity presents itself." The line feels scripted as he speaks. The way he speaks usually sounds scripted. At least he's saying something, acknowledging something - but still far less than a simple 'yes.' If that's even a 'yes.' That's a lot of words being spoken for what might be nothing.

He rests a hand on the crank. It has more give than it looks like it ought to. He fiddles with it for a while, experimentally, like a child might discovering this weird spinning handle thing for the first time.

He recalls Prissa's promise that she'll check to make sure he's helped, at all. Is playing with the crank like that helping?

"...Recent use." He murmurs. How recent? He doesn't react strongly either way to Prissa deciding to jump into frigid waters. He probably should. Friends - if he is one - should show concern for other friends, like how Jay ultimately has for him despite his seeming attempts to push others away when he finds their presence inconvenient.

"I cannot confirm one way or another," he says with that same detachment and noncommittal as he takes his hand off the crank. He gets his quarterstaff in hand in his left, running his right across the chain as if to check its tensile strength and integrity. Once satisfied - or perhaps not - he goes back to the crank and decides he's done playing with what apparent range of motion it has if one doesn't try to push too far past the rust, by trying to push it that far against the rust. Once the chain has slack and the anchor dislodges, if all holds together...

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

Ethius gets a bit of a Look and a frown at his response to Lydia's question, but she doesn't press the issue further at the moment. Well, they're all through! That's the important thing. Unfortunately, that proves to not be the end of their troubles.

Jacqueline frowns pensively and folds her arms in front of her as she stares at the ship ahead of them. How were they going to deal with that...?

Prissa, apparently, has an idea...which involves jumping into the icy-cold water below??

"A-ah, Miss Prissa, wait...!" Jacqueline yelps, startled...but it's too late. She sighs, and makes sure she has one of her warming potions set aside for her. She's not sure how much headway it'll have against the the deathly chill of the sea, but at the very least it's a warm drink with a pleasant peppermint flavor.

"I-I'm...I'm sure she's fine." Jacqueline says to Lydia, and begins rummaging through her bags. She draws out a different sort of potion this time - something that she begins applying to the rusted chain to try and loosen it up a bit and make it a little more amenable to movement.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Brewte Force toward her party's challenge, Drop Anchor.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Drop Anchor *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The remains of this great galleon lie perilously low to the waterline, and    
 list to one side. The ship's anchor dangles from its rust-coated windlass,    
 and it appears to be what's weighing the ship down. With a little care and a  
 lot of elbow grease, you might be able to get the rusty windlass working      
 again--and if you drop anchor, the ship should bob up a bit, allowing you to  
 continue.                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous==============================================
========================<* Ship Graveyard - Round 3 *>========================
==========================< Results - Drop Anchor >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Brewte Force                        1   Brute   Effects: Fanfare and Strengthe
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ethius Hesiod               30 --(20)--> 50                Pass
Conditions: Overzealous(2)|Reckless(1)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ethius Hesiod 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.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Flooded Maze *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This galleon rests on its side, capsized but barely afloat. A tilted          
 stairwell leads belowdecks, but what you find there is a dark, murky maze,    
 full of floating debris. You'll need to swim through it to get to the other   
 side, but air pockets are few and far between. Get lost, and you'll run out   
 of air.                                                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Exhaust=========================================
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

tink tink tink

It may hearten Lydia to think that that steady metallic tap-tap-tapping means her friend and business partner is still fine. The bat is struck against the spinning thing, and Ethius approaches it, examining it, and then gets out his staff to prod against it. Jay doctors the chain. The rust...

Fizzes, bubbles... something vile smelling drips down onto the wood, staining it. If this were a normal ship you would no doubt be in deep doo-doo with the cap'm, but fortunately this ship is dead. The chain creaks and begins to turn slowly, then faster, then faster yet as the anchor falls free. There is a great creak -

Some snaps -

And with a sudden lurch the galleon partially rights itself! The midships deck is now a clearish path - you'll have to waddle through some water, but it's pouring out of the gunwales, which are mostly clear. It will be 'unpleasant,' not 'harrowing'.

But what of Prissa?

Time passes... and then she suddenly lurches out from beneath the ocean, her face pale as she looks down and declares with great horror, "MY ARMS!!!" For they are both, it seems, gone below the elbow and deathly pale. Prissa screams --

And then unfolds them from where she'd tucked them up like cucco wings, pointing dead on at Lydia and cackling for a moment. She shakes them out, rising up, and as she adjusts her top, says: "It was a near thing, but they stayed on. I lost the chisel, though! Oh well, Ethius will replace it for me later, eh, buddy?"

As she walks closer, dripping, she asks Jay more quietly, "I need something warming please, if you have. I will get you back. I think I lost half the walrus grease."

She was down there seven and a half minutes.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Oh okay cool cool, I mean, you know, when the time is alright I getcha I getcha. Iffen you don't though? I'm not really the threat-y type but you'll lose m'respect, that's all." Whew! Hardly a price to pay right Ethius? ???

But she doesn't comment for a while, pacing back and forth with increasing panic as each minute passes. Luckily, she knows Prissa can hold her breath for a while, HOW long? She's not sure but even seven minutes seems to be stretching it.

  1. 308ydia is already a nervous wreck by the time Prissa surfaces again.

MY ARMS!

Lydia's eyes widen. "Prissa!!" She shouts.

And then she reveals she still has her arms.

Lydia stares at Prissa.

She takes in a sharp intake of breath.

And then she rushes over to her sobbing and hugging her tightly and also punching her in a not so gentle manner.

"Wagggggghhhh don't do that to me ever agaaaaaaaaaiiin..." She wails.

ANYWAY

Moments later the group comes to a galleon. It's on its side but afloat, at least. Somehow it's easier to go through than over.

Schrodinger .... hops off Ethius's head, climbs up the side and goes over.

"Great. Thanks for the help, cat." Lydia mutters as she gets a-movin'.

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

Gradually they seem to figure out something that works, and eventually they get the anchor to fall free. Jacqueline shields herself as the galleon lurches, but thankfully there's nothing disastrous. But, where's Prissa?

Thankfully, there is eventually an answer. Jacqueline turns quickly as Prissa emerges, and, briefly, goes pale. Fortunately, it's revealed to be just a trick and Jacqueline exhales, relieved.

"Don't worry, I have just the thing." She replies, drawing out a bottle of bright red liquid that's warm to the touch and handing it over to Prissa.

With that obstruction dealt with, they can move on...but soon enough, there's an obstruction they can't deal with using brute force.

Jacqueline frowns, looking it over.

"Hm...I don't really recognize its make...I couldn't tell you anything about its interior..." She mutters, feeling a little dissatisfied. She'll have to use her instinct to get through this one - and what's worse, they were going to have to wade through it.

With a wide frown Jacqueline proceeds, but she's not happy about it.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Flooded Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius remains remarkably stone-faced when Lydia hangs on the subject. Riesenlied is a good friend - a great friend - to very many. What he said about her (and later, after all this, seemed to try to do to her) is something... not nice.

When Prissa screams, Ethius runs right to her -

- past her -

And already has an open palm pointed towards the freezing waters. It doesn't cross him that the lack of blood is unusual. (Just like how certain issues of 'how long she was down there' do not appear to cross him either.)

He turns his head slowly as she goes cackling and having a good time of it. His palm is still pointed at the icy drink, like he might reach out and strangle the entire ocean. Somehow.

"Yes. A chisel." His attention seems divided. He might have been in the position to say 'yes, a million gil' or something, but whatever has his attention about the water never comes to pass.

Moving along.

Schrodinger leaves his head. He starts thinking it a sign that maybe they shouldn't go that way, but then Lydia and Jay decide to take their chances within the darkness.

"Wait." They won't. Ethius takes a hand to his forehead, only for a moment, before he draws the Spectral Lens and does the usual spellcasting rituals to activate it with uncommon fluidity between motions. Like he's in a hurry.

Its primary benefit is that it casts a soft light. It's not the best as a pure light, but it does mean they can see him a little better as he's trying to look for something else. "You do not know what is down there."

Does he? The usual reservation to his movements is, decidedly, missing, and he chances a dip in the deadly icy depths after them. A few times, he shoots glances to various features within the walls of the overturned, flooded galleon but it's not clear what about them is so interesting. Unless he likes ships.

He did try to come here alone, after all. Maybe he really, really, really, really likes ships and doesn't want to share them, and the cloth around the lower half of his face is supposed to hide the biggest freakin' grin there is.

...Or not.

"Do not run ahead." Says the man who started this whole venture doing just that.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Flooded Maze.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

"Heh heh heh oof heh heh," Prissa says as Lydia embraces her. "Alright, alrigh - oof - quit that, I have to keep walk - uff! Alright alright." One more firm hug and she disengages to approach Jay, accepting the drink with a thank you and immediately downing it.

Her face flushes. "shhhhhfffffeewwww," she says, looking towards Ethius then and complaining immediately, "Give us a reason to do this! Where did you learn to talk to people? Didn't you ever hear of - uh - hm," Prissa says, losing momentum visibly.

Forwards they go. "At least if it was flooded in salt water, there should not be much mold," she says to the others. This seems to be a hopeful thought, at least from her perspective.

DG: Prissa has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Flooded Maze.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
========================<* CHALLENGE - Flooded Maze *>========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This galleon rests on its side, capsized but barely afloat. A tilted          
 stairwell leads belowdecks, but what you find there is a dark, murky maze,    
 full of floating debris. You'll need to swim through it to get to the other   
 side, but air pockets are few and far between. Get lost, and you'll run out   
 of air.                                                                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Exhaust=========================================
========================<* Ship Graveyard - Round 4 *>========================
==========================< Results - Flooded Maze >==========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              0 --(15)--> 15                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ethius Hesiod               50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Overzealous(1)|Stupify(2)
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ethius Hesiod 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> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia calms down eventually, but now her face has a heavy silver sheen to it and she is pouting. But she seems to be otherwise letting Prissa live.

FOR NOW.

Luckily for Ethius, Prissa's japery has distracted Lydia from the topic she was trying to stick to just long enough that she feels awkward trying to press on it. Maybe it's a fool's errand to think Ethius would make a simple apology but if that's a simple errand, Lydia has to reflect, then what else is a fool's errand as pertains to him? Looking after him? Going on these adventures just to make sure he doesn't get himself killed?

Lydia looks away. She hopes they find something Ethius will find worthless. Like jewels or something.

Regardless, mostly submerged is not submerged enough to cause Lydia trouble. The crew is able to make it through without major incident.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has drawn a new Challenge.
==================================================<* Ship Graveyard *>==================================================
===========================================<* CHALLENGE - Rotting Rigging *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Something has broken through the deck of this ship, leaving a ragged hole     
 behind. The deck beyond looks resaonably intact, but the only way to get      
 across--other than a flying leap--is by climbing some ancient-looking         
 rigging. It's covered with algae, and it creaks ominously whenever weight is  
 placed on it. Trust your weight to the wrong rope, and you could take a       
 nasty tumble.                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Ethius is the only thing eventful about wading through all of that. There's something of a jumpscare as he stows away the Spectral Lens unannounced, and a loud 'SWISH, SPLASH' and a 'THUNK' as he presses something to the galleon with help of his quarterstaff.

...it's just a piece of driftwood. It's a piece of driftwood that's a slightly different color than the surrounding carpentry. Something of a blue-gray rather than a reddish-brown. But it's just driftwood.

He lets it continue to do its driftwood thing within the flooded hold.

"I do not recall." Is his matter-of-fact response to Prissa. It's technically true, he doesn't remember anything (...coherent) before he awoke in Lacour's mountain range. "I would prefer we go over your familiarity with Uhhumm at a later time."

Here's a good 'later' time, as they cross a bow from this half-sunk galleon to a more upright ship. A more upright ship whose deck has collapsed under the weight of another, smaller ship that seems to be chilling there and going sup, welcome to my crypt.' It's a nice crypt, except there's a lot of open air, so that cuts down the resale value of this crypt immensely. VTV wouldn't air this episode about celebrity cry-- where is this metaphor even going.

Ethius steps ahead, one hand on the rigging of the ancient ship. He looms near the edge of where this hole begins. "The ship inside the deck is a recent addition." He remarks. Is that good? Is that bad? A hand to his forehead, again.

Does that mean anything to him? Yeah, forget him, the rigging does lend a way to go up and over... except it's gross and covered with alage, and the ship looks especially old. Old enough that it might've been in one of Jay's parents' books when she was a child as something highlighted as 'old.' The whole thing creaks ominously as the waters stir a little more loudly.

Ethius doesn't engage the ropes. He gets out the harness for the repurposed bandit loot sack and, with Symbology, fills it with enough hot air that he might be able to drift across the gap - over the so-called 'recent-looking ship.'

He's not completely wrong, that smaller ship does look vaguely familiar from when they defended the seaport from the Metal Demons.

Not everyone survived the trip to Elru. But, how did that even get inside that ship?

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

Jacqueline gives Ethius a brief incredulous look. If it wasn't...well, Ethius, she could've sworn he just made a joke.

It's unpleasant but they get through, even if there's a scare or two. Jacqueline has to take a potion for herself after it's all over. Fortunately, nothing too important happens before she has time to warn back up. Not long after that, though, they come across another ship.

This ship, incidentally, happens to be a good way across from the one they're currently standing on now. Ethius calls it recent, and Jacqueline gives him a flat look.

"By...whose estimation?" She asks, with a hint of confusion. But by this point he's already floating off with his Hot Air Sack, leaving her to handle things the hard way.

"I'm glad these gauntlets don't stain..." Jacqueline mutters, flexing her fingers a bit before slowly and carefully trying to climb her way across the rigging.

Unfortunately, due to its age, she has to test each rope carefully so that she doesn't end up causing them to snap and drop her(and whoever is traveling behind her) into the water below.

In other words, she might be here for a while.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Rapid Remedy toward her party's challenge, Rotting Rigging.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

"Now the mystery man gets a little bass in his voice," Prissa counters to Ethius, even as she looks up at the rigging. "... so a newer ship? I can't tell for sure," she says as she unrolls another spool of rope.

"Jay, don't put yourself at risk so much so fast," she tells her, before backing up a couple of paces, jogging forwards and HURLING the javelin up to where it sinks worryingly deep into the mast. A few tugs later, and Prissa walks back to tie it off to a piece of ship that is somewhat less garbage-looking than the average.

At which point she starts climbing up along it. Wow, rude. Well, she does beat up metal until it becomes suitable for murder all day: she has significant upper body strength.

DG: Prissa has used her Tool Zipline Javelin toward her party's challenge, Rotting Rigging.
DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, Rotting Rigging.
==================================================<* Ship Graveyard *>==================================================
===========================================<* CHALLENGE - Rotting Rigging *>============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Something has broken through the deck of this ship, leaving a ragged hole     
 behind. The deck beyond looks resaonably intact, but the only way to get      
 across--other than a flying leap--is by climbing some ancient-looking         
 rigging. It's covered with algae, and it creaks ominously whenever weight is  
 placed on it. Trust your weight to the wrong rope, and you could take a       
 nasty tumble.                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow=====================================================
=============================================<* Ship Graveyard - Round 5 *>=============================================
=============================================< Results - Rotting Rigging >==============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Hot Air Sack                        2   Agility Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   5 --(0)--> 5                   Fail
Rapid Remedy                        1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
Zipline Javelin                     2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ethius Hesiod               70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Slow(2)|Stupify(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Resilient(1)
===================================================< Dream Chasers >====================================================
DG: The party led by Ethius Hesiod 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> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Jay probably has good reason to worry about the alage staining her gauntlets. This alage manages to go above and beyond in the art of Being Gross. It is Being Very Gross. She can watch it drip more dark green color up against the decayed rigging, which may well unnerve anyone.

Prissa creates herself a zipline through a mast that looks ready to topple over, and Lydia does some REALLY SICK TRICKS LIKE YOU WOULDN'T EVER KNOW, it's way too cool to ever commit to written word. Her tricks are so freaking sick that she can put herself right in Ethius' way as he touches down from his floaty drifting.

Turns out there's a much healthier, newer-looking rope just laying there on the other side to throw back to Jay if she's still too worried about stains or the weight. It can be tied to the same thing one of the ends of the javelin-made zipline is stuck through.

Ethius provides no further context to this newer ship that has decided to get all cozy inside the deck of this bigger, older ship. Maybe it's nothing, after all...?

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - The Kraken *>=========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The wreck you're standing on shudders violently beneath you, and starts to    
 sink beneath the waves--as though something had grabbed hold of it, and is    
 slowly pulling it under. Massive tentacles erupt from the water, groping and  
 thrashing. A moment later, even more of the beast breaks the surface. It's    
 /massive/. Those tentacles are merely feeding tendrils, and they surround a   
 mouth full of grinding, crushing bone. The rest of its body is covered by     
 shell-like armor plates. Drive it off before it drags you under!              
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Exhaust===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline looks toward Prissa as she addresses her and offers an alternative solution. With impressive armstrength, a javelin is hurled to the ship on the other side.

"...Oh. Well, that seems much less worrying. Thank you!" Jacqueline says. She has to kind of shimmy over carefully, but eventually she manages to grab hold of the rope and use it to make her way across without having to risk falling through the rigging or further stains.

They all make it over to the other ship. If it weren't for its current state of disrepair, it might make a fine vessel, really. It's fast, sleek, could probably store a lot of goods, and has massive tendrils smashing through it trying to grab them.

...Wait, what?

Indeed, they're not alone. Jacqueline yelps and leaps back as one crashes upward nearby.

"Again with this...! This happened last time, too! Are you sure you don't attract these?" Jacqueline asks, sending Ethius a pointed frown. She quickly reaches for the book at her side, flipping to the appropriate page.

"Anyway...! This is a Kraken! Needless to say, keep moving and don't let it grab you! It's durable scales will turn away most physical weapons but the flesh underneath is soft, so if you can make an opening your attacks will be incredibly effective!" She explains. She then stows away the book, and gestures with her right hand, sending lightning crashing down toward its open mouth.

"...And like most big beasts, it's weaker on the inside than out." She concludes.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool The Lifeweaver's Codex toward her party's challenge, The Kraken.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia wonders what Uhhumm is. She hasn't heard of that before, as far as she recalls, but she is trying not to dwell on Ethius matters.

Instead she unleashes the power of radical skates and skates along fairly quietly. Naturally, she chooses the 'flying leap' option here which, to be fair, she is well suited for with her general setup here. Her running start with those things is way faster than most folks' running starts. Naturally, she swings her feet up to the side to unleash SICK TRICK power as well.

Naturally, being cool or not, she doesn't feel especially cool right now. She has even been bamboozled, today no less, into thinking she lost someone else who was dear to her.

It didn't even make sense for her to feel that way, she reflects bitterly, because she knew Prissa could stay down there. She was even making noise! And she still freaked out!!!

Lydia stares blankly at the Kraken about halfway through her self-beratement.

Lydia takes in a deep breath and starts chain-casting summons and running out all her FP in like two rounds.

"Well everyone... looks like it's time to get kraken...!"

LYdia feels a little better about herself after saying that.

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

The tactiturn man continues along towards the next wreck looking no more pleased for the progress. It's been uneventful for the most part, Prissa's hilarious practical joke aside. No hungry dead, no crazed wildlife, the majority of their movements have been completely under their control. It could be that Ethius is indeed playing about in a series of wrecked ships over absolutely nothing. They've seen nothing but... ship stuff. What is he expecting to find, that he'd rather be out here by his lonesome?

Huge tentacles appear, and Ethius takes a few measured steps back to avoid the emergence of another slimy tentacle.

Jay does bring up an important point: this happened 'last time' too, over in Ignas. "I cannot confirm nor deny at this time," is the best he can muster. It's quite a 'best' to 'muster' because he has to duck his head from another wiggling giant kraken tentacle between 'deny' and 'at' and he doesn't miss a beat as he swats at it a few times with the staff to keep it from bending too far inward towards him.

He casts a brief look over to Lydia as she calls upon the Guardian whom has chosen her as their champion, who continues with full faith and sincerity.

He casts a look over to Prissa, whom has accustomed readily, quickly, and enthusiastically to life upon Filgaia and its wondrous grasp of the concept of indoor plumbing.

All the while, he grips one of the satchels at his belt and goes through the usual casting motions to activate its contents through Symbology, and hurls the simple smoke bomb to make life a lot less simple for the kraken's ability to see, smell, or breathe as he starts to prep some electrical Symbology spells to follow it up.

...Like the really awful one that keeps visiting a current over and over and over which is more apt for 'causing prolongd pain' rather than 'zap, dead, done, move on.'

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, The Kraken.
<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

Prissa lands on their new ship, looks around for a moment, and then says, "LAST TIME?!???" abruptly at Jay, wheeling to face her as she gets out her book. "Right," Prissa answers Jay before a tentacle lashes out and grabs her by the waist and leg.

She seems pretty relaxed about this. "Avenge me, Lydia!" Prissa declares, before she is whipped into the water with a majestic splash. When the tentacle that has grappled her comes up for air she is hugging onto it, and she calls to Lydia, "I heard that," before she is splashed again.

After this the beast raises her towards its horrid maw AND that is when Prissa seems to erupt in vicious iron spikes. These are also known as knives, and she has a fistful in each hand (throwing dirks) and a long heavier blade (xiphos left, shamshir right) in the others as she says to the thing, "HA! Now who is dinner?!"

The beak closes on Prissa, ripping her in h - no! Her blade pricks the creature's horrid tongue enough to make it try to spit her out! Will this be more than a merely distasteful morsel, or will Prissa get swallowed - only to cut her way back out!?

How many times has she been eaten by octopus royalty??

DG: Prissa has used her Tool A Disturbingly Large Quantity of Knives toward her party's challenge, The Kraken.
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - The Kraken *>=========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The wreck you're standing on shudders violently beneath you, and starts to    
 sink beneath the waves--as though something had grabbed hold of it, and is    
 slowly pulling it under. Massive tentacles erupt from the water, groping and  
 thrashing. A moment later, even more of the beast breaks the surface. It's    
 /massive/. Those tentacles are merely feeding tendrils, and they surround a   
 mouth full of grinding, crushing bone. The rest of its body is covered by     
 shell-like armor plates. Drive it off before it drags you under!              
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound, Exhaust===========================================
========================<* Ship Graveyard - Round 6 *>========================
===========================< Results - The Kraken >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Powder Grenade                      3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
The Lifeweaver's Codex              2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prissa                              15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
A Disturbingly Large Quantity of Kn 2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ethius Hesiod               90 --(30)--> 120               Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Ethius Hesiod has successfully explored Ship Graveyard!
=============================<* Ship Graveyard *>=============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Stolen Treasure *>=======================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 This wooden-hulled ship is mostly intact. Its ensign has long since rotted    
 away, but it has the general look of a sleek, fast commerce raider--perhaps   
 it was once crewed by privateers or pirates. A trip belowdecks reveals that   
 its hold is unlocked, and largely unlooted. Silver coins have spilled from    
 their rotten sacks, forming a carpet across the hold. They don't match the    
 minting used by any extant nation, but that just means that they're worth     
 that much more to collectors and historians. Lucky you!                       
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline assaults the Kraken from afar with lightning sorcery, while Lydia chain-casts Material summons. It takes a lot of effort for Jacqueline to keep her pace up after Lydia makes her joke, though, but you can be sure that she's internally groaning.

Ethius's smokebomb keeps the Kraken distracted, making it more difficult for it to sense where they are. ...For the most part. Prissa, however, ends up getting caught by the Kraken and dragged in.

Unfortunately for it, however, she ends up having a far higher iron content than it's diet allows as a frankly ludicrous amount of knives are sent flying toward its soft, vulnerable mouth. It still tries to close its jaws around her, but this is where Ethius's Symbology comes into play. Rather than attempting to kill it outright, the Kraken is overtaken by an electrical charge that causes severe, prolonged pain. This gives Prissa more than enough time to give its tongue a solid poke, which elicits a cry of annoyance as it spits it out.

Deciding that the party is much too difficult a prey it begins to swim away at high speeds, its wake pushing one of the Ship Graveyard's vessels closer.

The ship that they're brought to is a sleek, wooden vessel whose insignia has long since rotted away, giving no sign as to what nation it once belonged to. It's even mostly intact - if one was of a mind to, they might be able to restore it.

The real treasure, however, lies within its hold - the door is unlocked, revealing a room practically flooded with silver coins.

Jacqueline frowns, picking one up and studying it.

"I don't...recognize this one. Whatever nation is responsible for this probably isn't around anymore..." She murmurs, looking it over. ...It was a little sad to think about. Just who were these people? Where were they headed...?

Of course, Jacqueline doesn't realize they were likely pirates, but it's hard to tell how much it would affect her thoughts.

<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

Prissa squints into the gloom and then -

ting!

Jay raises a coin.

"Is that MONEY?" Prissa says, in astonishment.

She speaks aloud with slowly rising awe. "It is not some trap? It is not a component of some greater plan? It is not some piece of trash infested with evil? It is not a journal, a document, some hidden machina? It is... money?"

She turns her head. "Lydia," she tells her, "it's money."

Prissa lunges inwards, grabs a double handful of silver coins, and throws them in the air, cackling again! ("uf" she says as one lands on the bridge of her nose)

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

EARLIER TODAY

'Boy I hope it's something Ethius doesn't care about.' Lydia thinks to herself. 'Like jewels'.

NOW

Well they're not jewels...but close enough.

"Is that money??" Lydia says simultaneously, less astonished perhaps due to her greater dig experience, but kind of shocked she was pretty close to her hope after all.

Lydia follows Prissa in. "Maybe the money is cursed?" Lydia picks one of the coins up. Nothing happens. "No it just seems to be money."

There is a pause. "Man, I don't remember the last time I just found money. Maybe it was in the desert?" She takes another look at the coin. Not one she recognizes but that just increases the value. She knows that much thanks to her MERCHANT class skill and her GREED character flaw.

She exchanges a look to Prissa. Prissa reinforms her that it's money. "It's money." She agrees.

And then picks up an armful and just slathers them all her face. "Wa ha ha ha ha!" She cackles before flopping into the coins and spreading her arms making a money angel.

"Wa ha ha ha ha!! Thanks Ethius! I guess I misjudged ya today!!"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

There is the thundering sound of the butt of a staff hitting the ship. That startling, attention-grabbing 'oh no Ethius is angry and-or deciding he wants to make a lot of noise.'

This is followed by a gloved hand slamming down - less noisily - upon a table in which more coins continue to jingle and clink and fall over. One thing is for certain to any of their eyes - it's silver. Coins are made of silver. A lot of it is tarnished in the way silver tarnishes. It's money that's been here a while.

"You do not recognize them." Ethius echoes Jacqueline's sentiments. "Put them down." Why put down the money!! It's money! If Mother doesn't kill them all this is going to finance maybe at least two or three far-fetched new amazing ideas by the merchant team, but there is absolutely nothing joyous about the look on Ethius' face.

Something about this clicks. He's not sure... why.

...A DIFFERENT TIME?

Someone drops to the ground, dead. This is of no surprise nor shock to him. The 'ground' appears to be made of derelict, rotted wood. The inside of... a ship? Ships float on water. Something of a strange orange-green hue shifts, liquid-like, underneath where wood parts and breaks. It should shoot up and flood the place. It does no such thing.

A moment later, he reaches down and grabs this dead body by their face, and hoists them back. If this one were alive, this would be a kind gesture in which to prevent them from falling in and... drowning? As it is, it is a strange gesture. They're already dead, whoever they are. Who would care as to whether they fall into that or not?

More pains are taken to take them to a different part of the... structure? Behind him, there are three others, all wearing face-concealing white cloth masks. Their builds differ greatly. At least one could be identified as some sort of ox-like Beastman. One doesn't even have any arms.

That does look like an ARM, though, peeking out from under the ox-like Beastman. A former ARM - Zeboim-era? - its barrel is covered in soot, as though someone clogged it.

He lets this 'rescued' corpse come to rest by their... kind? What are they? Who are they?

He looks back to before. The floor starts to dip again, as more of the strangely-colored liquid sloshes. He runs his hand against the walls until he hears an eerie, electrical hum. The carpentry is split open by his own hand punching against it. His view - his eyes, then - narrow at what he sees. The shape is indistinct, but there is a bright light.

His gaze turns towards several unassuming crates. They look old, rugged, well-overused. Just as he rests a hand on the top to slide off the cover, one of its walls gives out, and it spills shining silvery-blue pieces of... something... everywhere.

A sense of shock. He kneels down as the contents seem poised to spill towards the hole.

RIGHT NOW (but still technically in the past)

Ethius has his hand on his forehead. That's something he does all the time so that's not significa--

"Clear the ship." He's got that glare going. "Now."

But, but, but, all the moneeeeeeyyyy! And there's boxes and bags here that has who knows what on there! Priceless old seafaring maps, maybe some books, possibly some old documents as to who or what this money comes from--

"It's dangerous." It's... money, though.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Prissa and Lydia are...excited, to say the least. Jacqueline doesn't blame them, this is a lot of money. Before she can say anything further, there is the familiar sound of Ethius putting his foot - or, rather, his staff - down.

Ah, there it is.

Jacqueline turns to look at him, her arms folded in front of her. This could be trouble...she knew how Ethius could potentially react. Particularly after the Ghost Ship.

"I agree that we shouldn't linger here, lest that Kraken return, but it really isn't that much of a problem..." Jacqueline says, trying to defuse the situation. "I can't detect any sorcerous fluctuations, and my gauntlets aren't reacting at all."

Jacqueline holds one of the coins out to him, to let him examine it for himself.

"It's just really old currency. A historian or an archaeologist would be able to place it."

<Pose Tracker> Prissa has posed.

Prissa is in the process of getting out a bag when Ethius speaks.

She pauses.

She turns her head.

"We come this way," Prissa says.

"I dive in the freezing cold water. We fight a squid. Lydia comes out here and if Lydia should fall in the water she dies on the sea bed," Prissa continues.

"We come this way because to help you," she continues, her tone getting stonier even as she starts losing some grammar. "We bring the entire ship, to this graveyard, for ships. All of this we do, to help you. And you give to us, these orders."

Prissa shifts herself round to face Ethius. Her eyes are hard to read.

"Is it funny? Do you laugh, to play the maester? Is this a thing that amuses you, to watch us feel joy and then say, no! Does it satisfy you? Are you having fun yet? No SHIT," And at this point Prissa spikes the few coins in her hand towards Ethius's feet, if not quite AT them, "I do not recognize these coins because I am not from this star at all! Are you my father to give me these orders? Did I sign up for this to be your handmaiden? I am the blade dreamer, my weapons are immaculate, I do not need your leave to live my life!"

She tosses her braids with one hand. The beads rattle. "If reason you have, other than the fiend, give it now. This is the custom of your people, isn't it? For Drifters to take such things from wreck and ruin?" Now she's looking at Lydia! "Is the custom so different if it is a ruin at sea?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Kraken." Lydia says from her position on the floor. "That's like an ULTRA squid."

She sits herself up and she looks towards Jacqueline. Maybe Prissa getting angry helps keep Lydia sedate or by flying off the handle. Maybe part of Lydia, as much as she loves money, is too worried about Riesenlied to really express her frustration properly here.

At least, maybe she is too worried to express her frustration on not getting to take home a bunch of cash to sell to museums and maybe fund, yes, several amazing ventures.

"That's what drifters do," Lydia admits. "And I don't know if it bein' different at sea. If anybody was gonna miss it they'd have come looking for it by now."

Lydia is quiet for a long moment before adding, "You know, some of the last things mom said to me before she got kidnapped so she could be experimented on by an awful awful person who doesn't care much how it hurts or what it does to her longterm... was how she was worrying about being a liability. Wondering if she even deserved to be there. Feeling like all she was doing was encouraging suspicion in others."

She looks over to Ethius. "I guess I just don't understand why you can be so kind to me, when it came to that, and why you've gotta be such a dick to her. She was born on this world, same as me. She didn't ask to be made and even though she was raised in the Photosphere. No, in the shithole of the Photosphere...it'd be real understandable if all she cared about was hurting others. But instead she gave this world all the blessings she could, all the kindness she could spare and more. I may never see her again."

That's not about money at all, but it is about treasure.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

That is money. This shouldn't even be debate. Jay, a merchant, knows that's money, she handles so much of it. Lydia knows that's money, her nanites probably know the 'taste' of silver and all the 'flavors' of tarnish that comes with it. Prissa's not even from here and she can say with certainty that is money, but then again there is that crazy coincidence where the Lunarian silver and Filgaian gella coins are made of the same basic material. It's money!! It's a freakin' fat motherlode of money!!

This is even worse than the time Ethius decided the round red fruits at the Meribian markets weren't apples in spite of their identical shapes, weights, colors, tastes, and textures. A hard, fine point on whatever sort of madness seems to grip this man at times.

The fog clears up somewhat from the time they board the old ship. The remaining daylight peaks through the damage. Ethius stands taller than the rest of them, but the daylight seems to cast longer shadows on the three young women as they offer their retorts of logic, irritation, and scolding.

"There's no need for--" a historian or an archaeologist, Ethius is about to remark as Prissa speaks over him. 'We come this way--' The words continue. Coins spill at his feet, in all their money-ness. THEY SOUND LIKE MONEY. They are money.

"The matter of custom is not in debate. It is indeed not my pl--" 'You know, some of the last things mom said to me--' Lydia manages to speak up over him. Her voice is technically quieter than his (as though Ethius were actually about to raise his voice) between what he's trying to say and what she does say - that's a feat that she manages to go over him in spite of that. There is a specific set of words that crops up that gets a blink.

Liability. His gaze tries to shift back over to Jay, but Lydia speaks up again. That look grabs those eyes of his back. His eyes take and never really seem to give back. This time his gaze gets taken.

The man has been nothing short of awful to maybe the kindest woman of her time, or any time, who continues to go through undue suffering. This is the same man who seemed to withhold his knowledge of something that could have been easily confirmed by her or her beloved, to what end? What is this man's endgame?

He blinks again. Why won't he say anything? Can he say anything? Will he say anything?

The waters are fairly calm. There's no sense of impending kraken resurfacing. He hardly moves. There's no breathing to watch, no nervous twitch of the fingers. Sometimes, the idea they're looking at less a person and some sort of clothed statue - sometimes a thing that just stands in the way.

Jay cannot detect anything wrong with the means at her disposal. By their measures, they can't see anything wrong. A part of him internally recognizes the argument but hits a pothole after that - like some track of logic should be there for him, but is not. (Maybe there never was. That's why there's a pothole.)

"..."

...

There may not be a defense.

There is a noted lack of a concession.

Ethius is also standing in the wrong part of the hold if he were to stand in the way of them leaving.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Prissa's cold fury is frightening to behold, but Jacqueline doesn't blame her at all for standing up for herself. And Lydia...Jacqueline feels awful for Lydia.

She stares at Ethius, watching him as he attempts to retort and then falls into silence - practically unmoving except for the occasional blink. What drove him to be so adamant about this? Why was it so important that they leave the coins here? He said it was dangerous, but didn't elaborate - not even when asked by Prissa.

Jacqueline watches him, quietly for a moment, before looking back toward Lydia and Prissa.

"...Let's clean this up quickly and get out of here." Jacqueline says quietly, then returns her attention to Ethius. "That is my final say on the matter. Please don't make me stress it further."