2019-02-28: An Outreach to Krosse

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  • Log: An Outreach to Krosse
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Lydia Seren, Noeline, Jacqueline Barber, Erzebet Lefanu
  • Where: Krosse - Sunlight Square
  • Date: February 28, 2019
  • Summary: The Wayside Outreach enters Krosse's Malevolent Domain to provide aid and evacuate the civilians. Along the way they encounter Hellions, royal guardsmen, and an extraordinarily magnificent goose.

========================<* Krosse - Sunlight Square *>========================

Krosse is a walled city, and the killing grounds inside the entry to the castle have been given a much nicer spin than is typical. Known as the Sunlight Square, it is a wide-open plaza with a fenced-off grassy park in the centre. The square occupies the same sort of role as a village green, and residents of the city frequently gather to socialize, work, or even kick off their boots and enjoy a nap in the sun.

Small shops surround the edges of the Sunlight Square, offering a variety of goods and services to travellers. A three-story building in the northwest offers lodging at a reasonable price, and a stone cathedral in the northeast is one of two surviving houses of worship of the Warrior of Light remaining on the continent.

DC: Riesenlied switches forms to Novice Heritor of the Fereshte!
DC: You switch forms to Caravan Leader Jay!
DC: Jacqueline Barber switches forms to Caravan Leader Jay!
DG: A party led by Riesenlied is now entering Streets of Krosse.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - The Beasts are Coming! *>===================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Your adventure into the capital city of Krosse takes you to the streets on    
 the east-central approach. The city's streets are in utter disarray;          
 once-beautiful buildings bear scars of battle and fire, and others have       
 their entrances barred with planks and crates and whatever the fearful        
 refugees can find.                                                            
                                                                               
 A bell tolls from a high tower in the distance.                               
                                                                               
 It is in the midst of this chaos that you spot several refugees running up    
 the hill to a closing iron gate. A mother clutching her child screams, "The   
 beasts are coming! Hurry, hurry!" They duck underneath the gate as the        
 sounds of snarling beasts linger around the alleys and shadows.               
                                                                               
 You could quickly duck underneath the gate into the town, or otherwise go on  
 the hunt in the darkness... but either method will require agility from your  
 part -- the gate's not stopping for anyone, and neither are the beasts!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
Prissa (P) pages Jacqueline Barber and Fei Fong Wong: anyway pull me in whenever
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        The Fereshte (reference - https://i.imgur.com/jfCDgyw.jpg ) has landed in the hours since the initial conflict in Krosse's gates. Medics and other members of the Wayside Outreach have started their efforts in setting up a line of tents and other essential supporting structures with their usual modus operandi -- searching, identifying, and rescuing any citizens that require aid from potential dangers, entrapments and risks.

        It's in the midst of this that Riesenlied, with Noeline's very likely help, is resting against a stack of crates as she lightly--

        --oozes with gossamer trails of the Ley evaporating from her body; the vestiges of the purification arcana. She gasps, strains and tries to regain her senses.

        Nearby, the purified Captain of the Guard is receiving aid from some Outreach medics underneath the awning of a tent; he needs critical attention and sustenance, after undergoing the shocking and awe-inspiring process of Venomisation, something Riesenlied had never seen a Hellion do.

        "Sorry... I really overdid it," she whispers to Noeline and other people nearby, as she reaches for what looks like the last of Jacqueline's medicines that she stocked up and shakily quaffs from it.

        It's the main reason she's able to stand and engage right now, wounded long-term and unused to the misshapen form of her legs as she is.

        But their task isn't over--

        As a bell tolls from a high tower, far in the distance.

        "Help! The Beasts are coming!" shouts a resident as a mother clutching her child is seen running; several more refugees are filtering in from the west end of the square they're in, and the visage of Werewolf-type Hellions can be seen dashing underneath them.

        Riesenlied's eyes widen. "We'll be right--" she falters on her step, gasping further. A number of the Wayside responders are hurrying, but they'll need aid if they're going to have to face the Hellions!

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia has been bouncing around the Fereshte like Cid-4 to make sure everything was in tip top shape! Luckily since it's actually been a while since the place had a rocket launched through it, Lydia has managed to more or less keep the ship stable and in prime condition, though strangely this doesn't prevent it from looking somewhat ramshackle anyway.

At the very least, she seems to have healed and is bouncing around apparently uninjured despite losing like 60 percent of her body earlier.

"What else is now!" She teases Riese before reaching for her--

--nonexistant portal pistols. She frowns and activates her skates instead, making her way for the gate that is trying to close down on everyone before throwing out her hands and--

--catching the gates with both hands, fully intent on helping it stay open for her friends and any wayward civilians to get in. It's like Sabin except Lydia's eyes are bulging out like woah.

"Wagggh---hurry hurry!"

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Radical Skates toward her party's challenge, The Beasts are Coming!.
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

        Noeline's not used to feeling such a cocktail of emotions - but she has to admit it's gotten a whole lot more frequent nowadays, as she gets closer to Riesenlied and closer to the Fereshte and closer to the Wayside Outreach. Shared pride and relief mix with concern and fear as she helps keep Riesenlied steady. Part of her would dearly prefer to just yank the dragon clear into her arms, but this isn't exactly the time, so instead she's there to help guide potion bottles to her partner's lips.

        "As always," she teases, but lightly and with an obvious smile as she shakes her head and draws a little of Riesenlied's hair out of her face. "Just rest for a moment. We'll--"

        Whatever she was about to say is cut off; she glances to one side sharply as she hears the cry for help go up. She stiffens, but when it comes down to it both she and the other members of the Outreach are old hands at this sort of thing, some of them already springing to the task.

        "--we'll get them clear," she promises with a quiet smile, reaching up to place a kiss on Riesenlied's forehead - and then she's slipped away at speed.

        Not wanting to take Krosse lightly, Noeline has armored up for the occasion, and while it still might be a little showy in places, the black and silver plate looks a lot more solid and functional than anything else she's worn recently. Still, it doesn't stand a chance of significantly slowing her down - and protects her as she rams into the other gate shoulder-first, putting her strength behind it to help Lydia before slipping straight through.

        "Retreat to the airship! We have medicine and space!" she calls as she slips through the line of fleeing refugees. A tug deep within her indicates that her connection to her Medium feels unusual and slippery in the midst of the Malevolent domain - but she can still feel enough of its power to clench her fist around it, then swing her arm out wide. In its wake, a wall of disorienting fog and smoke seeks to ward off the pursuers.

DG: Noeline has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Beasts are Coming!.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Ordinarily, Jacqueline would be charging into the castle with the rest of the Drifters, seeking to quell the evil that had taken up residence within. Today, however, that was not the case. This time, she felt her talents were better used providing medical aid along with the others, and supplying potions to those who were venturing into the city itself.

That was the original plan, at least until the initial attempt met with heavy resistance in the form of a machine she had only heard tales of and the captain of Krosse's Royal Guard, and left some injured as well as an exhausted Riesenlied.

"It's alright...but be careful, okay? It'll be a while before I can whip up any more of the stronger batch. Try to pace yourself, if you can help it." Jacqueline gently lectures, standing near Riesenlied's side along with the others.

Unfortunately, soon a bell sounds from a high tower, and sounds of refugees can be heard. Jacqueline exhales.

"Right. I'm moving in to provide support!" Jacqueline says, moving to join the others in assisting the refugees. She takes her position near the gate and casts her left hand out. Tendrils of earth emerge from the ground around her, rushing forward to grab and restrain some of the Hellions so that the civilians can escape without worry.

She still has some potions on her, though, so if anyone seems to be faltering she pass a potion over to them. Her biggest concern, however, is ensuring that the Hellions can't hurt anyone.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Rapid Remedy toward her party's challenge, The Beasts are Coming!.
<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
"Ooogh... I'm really overdoing it... I feel so cold, and clammy, and like I really want to eat a bunch of rich red meat... but why don't I want to collapse," says Erzebet Mara Lefanu, who has fastened up her coat and is shivering in it as if it were twenty degrees colder than it is. "It's like someone replaced my blood tonic with that patented stuff, with the Meria Boule marching powder in it..."

                        'the beasts are coming!'

Erzebet turns her head. Her glasses glint.

"Well," she says, "time to see if I can run in heels."

She can. It's actually kind of impressive. She snatches a potion out of Jay's proffering hands and rips it open, guzzling it down with a curious sort of snarl, but after this horrible expression she tells her, "Thank you~!" and seems, at least, more perked up.

"Miss! Miss! I need a blood tonic! I'm having a real anemic crash!" she calls to Noeline, waving a hand. ("tnx" she tells Lydia in passing, mostly because she actually is in a hurry.)

DG: Erzebet Lefanu has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Beasts are Coming!.
DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Beasts are Coming!.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
===================<* CHALLENGE - The Beasts are Coming! *>===================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Your adventure into the capital city of Krosse takes you to the streets on    
 the east-central approach. The city's streets are in utter disarray;          
 once-beautiful buildings bear scars of battle and fire, and others have       
 their entrances barred with planks and crates and whatever the fearful        
 refugees can find.                                                            
                                                                               
 A bell tolls from a high tower in the distance.                               
                                                                               
 It is in the midst of this chaos that you spot several refugees running up    
 the hill to a closing iron gate. A mother clutching her child screams, "The   
 beasts are coming! Hurry, hurry!" They duck underneath the gate as the        
 sounds of snarling beasts linger around the alleys and shadows.               
                                                                               
 You could quickly duck underneath the gate into the town, or otherwise go on  
 the hunt in the darkness... but either method will require agility from your  
 part -- the gate's not stopping for anyone, and neither are the beasts!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
======================<* Streets of Krosse - Round 1 *>=======================
=====================< Results - The Beasts are Coming! >=====================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rapid Remedy                        1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Radical Skates                      3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Erzebet Lefanu                      0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(2)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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.

"Did you just say you needed a blood tonic you're welcome." Lydia says to Erzebet.

<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
Erzebet turns her head to answer Lydia and immediately breaks a heel.

WASTED!

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        Riesenlied cups her mouth as she falters, but looks heartened to see Lydia by her side. "Thank you, daughter...!" as she races ahead on some seriously radical skates and--

        Full Cyborg muscles clamp up against the gates and hold it upwards; a concerned mother exclaims, "Thank you, dear!" as she keeps on going, followed by several townsgoers who look gratefully to Noeline suspending the gate as well.

        "An airship... we're saved!" another one cries out. "Here! Take shelter here!" calls a medic, as Jacqueline summons earth to give some of the running refugees help as some take cover and some of the Hellions tumble backwards.

        Erzebet comes in feeling (acting??) really anemic, and requests Noeline for a blood tonic while snatching a potion out of Jay's hands.

        Riesenlied blinks a few times, glancing between the two and--

        P-pouting just a little... even at a time like this?

        Still, they manage to resolve the incident at the gates as the refugees race through; the rest of the Hellions scrape and claw against the iron portcullis ineffectually.

        "Thank you..." Riesenlied sighs, as she reaches for her throat mic. "We have an incoming batch of refugees, seven. Please take them to the rendezvous zone..."

DG: Noeline has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - R.O.U.N.D. *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You arrive at a tavern at the square marked 'The Fattened Goose'; far from a  
 quiet establishment, dozen refugees are currently battening down the          
 hatches, nailing boards and shoving tables and chairs against the doors and   
 windows as several Hellion beasts repeatedly slam against it.                 
                                                                               
 "Hurry! Find anything you can to keep them out!"                              
                                                                               
 There certainly aren't any shortage of heavy objects around, including...     
 including...                                                                  
                                                                               
 A large, /very/ round, heavy goose statue seated beside the counter. Hmmmm.   
=Dungeon Conditions: Wonder===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

        For just a moment, Noeline allows herself a look back, puffing out her cheeks for a second. "I'm afraid I'm rather more in the business of taking blood than supplying it," she huffs with a moment's tiny pride - because let's face it, it's probably the first time she's actually pretended to be a Crimson Noble in any real capacity in months. She does at least catch Riesenlied's pout, then chuckles to herself as she bows her head. "And my services are rather exclusive."

        There's no more time to joke, given the hellions still bearing down upon them; with a noise of effort, she pushes against her wall to send it buffeting the werewolves slowly backwards, and while it doesn't exactly deal with the threat it at least keeps it at bay for the time being. "Hold this gate as best you can!" she calls back to the rest of the Outreach. "We'll be back with as many people as we can recover!"

        With their path of retreat secured and the shifting wall of Duras Drum's power cutting off the street, a quick glance leaves Noeline certain that the easiest route of approach is to go straight through the back of a large tavern; she motions the rest of the group forwards as she puts her shoulder to the door and barges inside--

        --only to have to narrowly dodge a pitchfork aimed at her head, and then stare in open disbelief at the collection of villagers huddled within the bar, staring openly in disbelief back at her.

        Fortunately, her reflexes are better than a bunch of tired humans. "--we're here to get you all out! Barricade that door, then head out behind us! There's an airship on the outskirts that will get you clear!" she commands, sharpening her voice into an urgent yell. It takes her a moment longer to review the state of the defences as they currently stand and then to take in the furniture available, plucking a table off its legs as she strides forwards to unceremoniously throw it in front of the door.

        "--get that bookcase down!" she calls as she reaches for a cabinet on the other side, wincing at the way the door shakes. "And-- and--"

        For a moment she stares at the statue in the middle, the faux-cucco Trouble nestling on top of it as only an anciet mechanical ARM having an identity crisis can. "... are you sure you didn't affect this domain?" she huffs at Riesenlied, then grabs for a handhold on the side to roll it forwards.

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Trouble toward her party's challenge, R.O.U.N.D..
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        "We've got it, Miss Noeline!" calls several of the responders as they hold the line down. Riesenlied catches Noeline's response with a bit of a flush, hurrying along as she wonders to herself how she'd gotten herself so distracted.

        She holds her hand to join with Noeline's wall, another veil of the Ley sparking from her hands as she hurries along with her partner; "I'm right there with you."

        But soon they're inside a tavern, yelping as that pitchfork comes uncomfortably close and she holds her hands up. "We're not here to hurt you... yes, please, before--"

        The thunderous noise of something smashing against the door echoes against them, wincing as Noeline starts moving a table against it.

        ... are you sure you didn't affect this domain?

        Riesenlied has no answer, because she's staring at an object that can only be so described as perfectly R.O.U.N.D. as for a moment--

        Riesenlied floats in the pastel space of the Round Dimension. The goose floats in front of her. A circular (indeed, some may say round) glow surrounds them...

        Ah, what a perfect bird....

        ...and...

        ...as Riesenlied falls into that trance, the goose seems to be rolling easier?

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, R.O.U.N.D..
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"You're welcome!" Jacqueline replies as Erzebet grabs a potion right out of her hand. She's not too taken aback, perhaps used to this by now.

"A blood tonic?" Jacqueline asks, hearing Erzebet make a request of Noeline. Jacqueline begins to rummage through her bags, looking for something appropriate.

In the meantime, they're able to secure the refugees' safety from the Hellions, as well as provide themselves passage into the city. Caught up with the rescue team, Jacqueline figures she might as well lend her assistance.

"Will this suffice?" Jacqueline asks, drawing out a different potion and offering it to Erzebet.

Noeline charts the course through a tavern, but it appears there are refugees there, as well. It seems they've held out here for a long time.

"Yes, we're here to help you!" Jacqueline says, joining the others in the tavern. Lacking the muscle to contribute meaningfully to making a barricade, Jacqueline makes it her goal to aid the tired townsfolk.

"Here, take a few sips and pass it on...it should be enough to get you to the airship. Hang in there, okay?" Jacqueline says, passing out some strenghtening solutions to the refugees. "We'll see to it that as many people make it out as we can."

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Brewte Force toward her party's challenge, R.O.U.N.D..
<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
Erzebet takes her shoes off and puts them in her pockets. She looks upwards at Noeline then as she says "they're going to get them all out." Her eyebrows raise but she doesn't seem to be negative on the possibility, though she does look around for a moment, at the bar.

Her brow knits and she tries to reason out how she got here. She looks at her hands but doesn't seem to find whatever she's looking for there. Her teeth set a little and she sucks in her breath.

At which point she looks at Noeline, saying, "Really? You mean, like, for - I'm sorry, we should focus on the current situation."

Erzebet pauses for a moment as if to gather her thoughts. "Oh thank you," she tells Jay, drinking the fluid again. To herself she mutters, "I feel dryer than the passion of a Kislevi battlemaid," before straightening up and resolving, with an air of QUOTATION, "Well, you can't get anything done without joining the populace in action!"

And thus fortified she throws herself forwards to push

that

GOOSE!

DG: Erzebet Lefanu has used her Tool Selected Quotations from V. Rhadamanthus toward her party's challenge, R.O.U.N.D..
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Eheheh..." Lydia says, looking proud of herself for some reason. Then she offers Erzebet a hand up because woops she didn't intend that. ACCIDENT.

She draws her baseball bat. Woops. This is probably not going to go well. She approaches the goosee oh no... oh no, she's approaching the goose. The round goose.

And then she slides the bat down and slides it between the handles of the door.

"Heh heh heh. That's the power of science!"

She looks between Erzebet and Jay. "Good?"

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, R.O.U.N.D..
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - R.O.U.N.D. *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You arrive at a tavern at the square marked 'The Fattened Goose'; far from a  
 quiet establishment, dozen refugees are currently battening down the          
 hatches, nailing boards and shoving tables and chairs against the doors and   
 windows as several Hellion beasts repeatedly slam against it.                 
                                                                               
 "Hurry! Find anything you can to keep them out!"                              
                                                                               
 There certainly aren't any shortage of heavy objects around, including...     
 including...                                                                  
                                                                               
 A large, /very/ round, heavy goose statue seated beside the counter. Hmmmm.   
=Dungeon Conditions: Wonder===================================================
======================<* Streets of Krosse - Round 2 *>=======================
===========================< Results - R.O.U.N.D. >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          5 --(5)--> 10                  Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Trouble                             2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(5)--> 5                   Fail
Brewte Force                        1   Brute   Effects: Fanfare and Strengthe
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Erzebet Lefanu                      5 --(0)--> 5                   Pass
Selected Quotations from V. Rhadama 2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(1)|Wonder
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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> Noeline has posed.

        Noeline's strength is thankfully not at issue; even if she isn't exactly used to leveraging it to maneuver fat birds around the middle of a Malevolent tavern, she's quick enough at adapting that it's only with the slightest of grumbles that she gets the ball rolling - so to speak. The science behind moving the cucco isn't exactly an exacting one, but helped by the way she occasionally breaks away to help haul more of the tables onto the makeshift barricade.

        Occasionally, her huff of effort becomes a much more fond one whenever the notices Riesenlied slipping into a dreamy state. The wry smile on her face suggests that she knows it isn't exactly the best of times for her partner to do so, but-- well, perhaps it's for the best to offer her a few moments of peace, Noeline thinks. A little rest and recuperation never hurt anyone.

        (Please ignore the fact that thinking about round things made her more exhausted.)

        Jay's potions are undeniably useful, just perhaps not in the right direction. They certainly don't help move the statue - but they do help to ensure that the latest batch of villagers are going to get out safely, the more injured ones patched up enough to find their feet and begin stumbling their way to the airship.

        Erzebet gets an amused and quiet chuckle; somehow, that sort of teasing of a Crimson Noble's properties is very nostalgic, and evokes a kind of humour she hasn't really channeled in months. More to the point, the other woman helps in pushing the enormous goose towards the door, while Lydia is quick to reinforce the bat-tlements in a makeshift but decidedly traditional manner that leaves Noeline chuckling.

        Fortunately, the wood is old and the tavern as a whole sturdy; the door splinters and twists a little bit stays resolutely in its frame, at least until there's a stone goose pinning it shut, rocking slightly with each hit but resolutely rolling back each time.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Triage Tri-Ace *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 A close skirmish with several werewolf-type Hellions brings your team and a   
 small group of refugees into an item shop in central Krosse, the Rare         
 Trinket. It has seen better days; its owner has long fled the area, and       
 stacks upon stacks of blueberries, resurrection bottles and bubble lotion     
 amongst other common sundries litter the floor.                               
                                                                               
 "It hurts... oh..."                                                           
                                                                               
 Several of the refugees are visibly wounded -- now would be a good time to    
 triage and tend to the worst of the wounds, while you have the backing of an  
 item shop's supplies.                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The refugees are herded out of the tavern and into the backstreets of Krosse. Thankfully, it seems largely clear of Hellions, due to them being too large to fit in the close alleyways. In this manner, they'll be able to point the refugees in the direction of the airship, which they'll be able to reach safely.

But their own objective here isn't yet complete. As they pass through the backstreets, the hear the telltale sound of frightened, fleeing people.

Jacqueline slips out of the back alley quickly to assess the situations, where she and the others spot a small group of refugees fleeing from a group of werewolf Hellions. They're wounded, and some of their number are carrying unconscious friends.

"In here, quickly!" Jacqueline urges, gesturing to them. The refugees, not about to ignore perhaps the first unfamiliar but friendly voice they've heard in a while, quickly join them in the alleyway. With a quick gesture, Jacqueline closes it off behind them and darts through a nearby door.

Fortuitously, they appear to have found themselves in an item shop. Jacqueline breathes a sigh of relief.

"We can take a quick break here. Can someone give me an assessment of the wounded?" Jacqueline asks as she goes to assess the store's stock. There might be things here they can use.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Triage Tri-Ace.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        There's a bit of time as Jacqueline starts handing out potions that Riesenlied shakes herself out of her reverie-- again, with the distractions! And helps distribute the rest;

        To the more injured of the tavern-goers, she holds her hand out as she blesses them with healing light from the Ley.

        "Thank you for being here, Miss Jacqueline... I can only hope the citizenry can persist through this."

        As they hurry back towards the streets of Krosse, she looks relieved at the lack of Hellions; it's the sound of frightened people that she hurries towards the item shop along with Jacqueline and nods.

        "Leave the triage to me. It'll be all right, everyone--"

        And to work she goes, as she delves into both the power of the Dragon's Tear--

        "That young woman will need a splint for her leg; but that man's ribs are broken, I'll need to administer emergency treatment."

        And emergency treatment seems to involve immediate channeling of the Ley as she kneels next to the man and lets the power of Life flow through him, easing his breathing and lessening his pain even as she struggles through her own.

        Mid-treatment, Riesenlied does look just the littlest bit flustered at Erzebet for her pout, as she brushes herself for a moment and sighs, then says, "... I am sorry, I never got your name. My name is Riesenlied, of the Wayside Outreach... it's nice to meet you, miss--?"

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Tainted Medium of Life toward her party's challenge, Triage Tri-Ace.
<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

        Noeline is the last to retreat into the item shop; she takes the rear for the sake of guarding the rest of the refugees, her sword appearing in her hand as she sweeps it across the doorway - hitting one werewolf with the flat of the blade hard enough to propel the poor Hellion into its friends. Looking satisfied, she ducks inside--

        --and promptly pulls up short at the sight of Jacqueline and Riesenlied settling in to begin treating the injured. Chuckling softly to herself she nods - and leaves them more or less to it, restricting herself to occasionally passing over a potion or a bottle that's been requested, ferrying things to and fro.

        It isn't without good reason. Medicine and first aid are two of the areas in which she'd admit her knowledge is rather sorely lacking, especially when it comes to treating actual flesh and blood rather than her own repairs. She'd be more than prepared to believe that too many cooks can spoil the broth, and from that it seems a fair bet that too many doctors can reopen a wound.

        Instead, she crosses to the window before long, glancing out at the city around them as she tries to plan a course of action - keeps watch for any sign of other survivors or suspicious-looking buildings that might be housing refugees in need of assistance.

        After a while, she realizes something nagging at the back of her mind. It takes a long glance at Riesenlied's aura and a moment of quiet introspecting and basking in its warmth and hope before she can really identify what's twigging at her - and when she realizes, she lets out a quiet and amused sigh as she crosses to the counter.

        If she feels a little foolish doing some quick sums in her head and setting down sufficient Gella for everything they've taken off the shelf, she does a good job of not showing it.

DG: Noeline has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Triage Tri-Ace.
<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
REFUGEES HAVE RECEIVED A HELP.

"hurray!" Erzebet says at an inappropriate time. "And thank you for your help," she says to Lydia, like, nine minutes after it happened. As she staggers into the item shop, she immediately steps behind the counter and starts rummaging around.

She finds a bottle of Dr. Donner's Patented Blood Tonic. She eyes the label closely as she stands up, undoes the stopper, with effort, and reaches up to futz with one of her earrings.

"Hm? Oh - hold on, that Relief lady is speaking to me. Yes, hello," she says to Riesenlied, a little too loud, and gives her a smile that's really quite courtly, proffering her right hand (the left is still holding the bottle of blood tonic) to give her a quick firm shake. "Oh, is it Wayside Outreach now? Yes - I'm Erzebet Mara Lefanu, I write for the broadsheets... have you ever read my gella novels? I'm very happy with them, though they always tell me, pff," her eyes turn heavensward, "maybe you should EDIT, or check your SPELLING, or focus on the interesting action rather than the lurid fantasies of an over-educated over-stuffed literary hothouse tomato!"

Erzebet takes the stopper out of the bottle. "Yes, I know I've said all of this before," she says to nobody in particular, "and I don't care, I have good signal for once and you're going to have to hear it again. That's just the way it is."

She resumes. "I think that literature and art are all about finding and feeling that passion, that excitement, that fundamental JOY that we all hunger for. Most of us think we don't deserve it and we live in cages of our own torment, but those cages are made of wicker and grass, Miss Riesenlied. We can burn them down so easily if we're only brave enough. But all of us must find our own fire, and so I'm always glad to find out that the things I've written have touched someone's heart, or other organ, and excited them. I think if we could all learn how to shout, and revel, and enjoy ourselves, why, we'd find that we have so much in common."

Erzebet swigs down like two ounces of the blood tonic, which is about 25% alcohol and 1% opium. There's probably Meria Boule highland leaf powder in it too.

She steps forwards to put her arm over Riesenlied's shoulder with a rustle of her coat. "And so often I think that a realistic view of life is that there are certain parts which we just turn over and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER in our head, like it's a joint of meat and we just want to get it so incredibly HOT that all the juice and the connective tissue just DRIPS out, that the heat permeates the BONE, that it cracks, that it PERVADES us, even if we don't really like it. So in the face of that sort of psychological obsession, I say, why shouldn't I spend two entire chapters on the heroine's bodice tearing, and then just two paragraphs on how she got loose from the Aveh patrolmen with her ripping Baskar friend's aid? Hm?? Isn't that how she might well REMEMBER it?"

"And of course," she continues, waving around the bottle, "that ripping Baskar friend - he will remember the endless agony of wondering if she was truly wounded, if that was actually BLOOD pouring out from her -- and he'd forget all about it when he finds out that she had pickled beets for her supper and she was just ill from the drop and the swinging at the end of the signalman's rope! But in that moment, he would live in an infinite telescoping room of horror and pain and pain and horror..."

"So why not bring that to literature, I ask you?" she tells Riesenlied (probably). "I've known people who use subtlety and allusion and subtext in their works, Miss Riesenlied."

Erzebet downs another megadose of the blood topic, and says as she leans forwards to press her forehead against the Hyadaen woman. "Do you want to know what they have in common?"

Her eyes burn. "they're all cowards."

Then she lets go completely, saying towards the ceiling, "IT'S A GOOD LINE, YOU IMPUDENT PRICK! I'll step on your -- sorry, I'm with people, let's talk later. Good chat!"

Erzebet seems to return to the room. "So how are we doing?"

DG: Erzebet Lefanu has used her Tool Call toward her party's challenge, Triage Tri-Ace.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren draws her non-backup metal bat and slings it over her shoulder. OF course she has a spare. It's not like she's gonna be able to get the other one.

Unfortunately, there isn't much that Lydia can do to treat the wounded. She doesn't know much about potions (she knows about chemicals but uh...not the kind that you use to heal people with. Yeah.)

Anyway! What Lydia does have is a cat. A therapy cat. She sets Schrodinger around who approaches the wounded and rubs their body against them and then meows at them and then, sometimes, for the very well behaved....licks them with her cat tongue!!

Actually maybe this makes things worse? Well, anyway, it's happening and Lydia seems content to let it happen. "Awww. Kitty." Lydia says.

She then looks towards Erzebet, then back to Riesenlied. "Oh that's Erzebet." She says. "She's cool. She's Matilda's friend so, you know, that's how you can tell. I mean, it's not the only reason."

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Triage Tri-Ace.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Triage Tri-Ace *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 A close skirmish with several werewolf-type Hellions brings your team and a   
 small group of refugees into an item shop in central Krosse, the Rare         
 Trinket. It has seen better days; its owner has long fled the area, and       
 stacks upon stacks of blueberries, resurrection bottles and bubble lotion     
 amongst other common sundries litter the floor.                               
                                                                               
 "It hurts... oh..."                                                           
                                                                               
 Several of the refugees are visibly wounded -- now would be a good time to    
 triage and tend to the worst of the wounds, while you have the backing of an  
 item shop's supplies.                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
======================<* Streets of Krosse - Round 3 *>=======================
=========================< Results - Triage Tri-Ace >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          10 --(10)--> 20                Pass
Tainted Medium of Life              3   Wits    Effects: Sacrifice and Enlight
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(10)--> 10                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   5 --(10)--> 15                 Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(10)--> 10                 Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Erzebet Lefanu                      5 --(10)--> 15                 Pass
Call                                2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  40 --(20)--> 60                Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)|Wonder
Effects: Enlighten(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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 says that before Erzebet goes into her story.

After she says, "I told you she was cool."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        Riesenlied's eyes are white circles as she kind of droops limply with Erzebet's story, the kind that we can only describe as 'profoundly nepped out'. "F-f-fue....."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren pats Riese on the head.

<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
"She's such a good listener," Erzebet says, reaching up to pat-pat Riesenlied's head and shift one of her horns back into position.

Game> Prissa just +fingered you!

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"I'm just glad to be able to help out." Jacqueline replies with a smile toward Riesenlied...and then a quiet nod. "...I hope so too. They've been exposed to this Domain for so long...it's impressive they've managed to hold out this long."

Once in the item shop itself, Jacqueline nods as Riesenlied takes over triage duty. By dividing the work, things go rather smoothly. Riesenlied relays the state of the refugees and tends to those she can, while Noeline relays supplies back and forth so that Jacqueline and Riesenlied can focus on supplying aid.

Erzebet's speech gives the refugees all something to focus on that isn't the Hellions outside looking to tear them all limb from limb. Some of them don't get it, while some of them do and can be found nodding along in agreement.

Schrodinger, too, is a convenient distraction. The presence of a cat works wonders for their morale, and soon enough, once everything is said and done, they're largely back on their feet.

They're about ready to leave, but...

"Juuust a second." Jacqueline says. She's writing something on a piece of paper. ...It seems to be an IOU for all the supplies they used.

"I don't know if they'll be back, so I'd rather not just leave money lying around..." Jacqueline explains. "This way they can reach me if they ever see it."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

        In comparison, Noeline's face is drawn in a thin line of theatrical glumness - but one with rather more than a little begrudging respect behind it. "... I think you might be aiming just a little raw," she comments after a moment, then lets out a fatigued sigh. "Sounds more like Guild Galad's sensibilities, if you ask me." At least she's quick to give poor Riese a reassuring pat in between the horns.

DG: Erzebet Lefanu has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Krosse Enkounter *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The sound of metal marching upon cobblestone draws your attention, as         
 several afflicted members of the Krosse royal guard march down the street.    
 The faint aura of Malevolence visibly seeps from the gaps of their armour.    
 They scan about, and discover several refugees fleeing from them. "Traitors,  
 traitors to the King Krono, all!"                                             
                                                                               
 The citizenry of Krosse don't stand a chance; you'll need to intervene and    
 defeat this cadre of the Guard.                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
Erzebet looks blankly at Jay as she writes an IOU. When she explains herself, she says, "Hanh?" before finishing the rest of her blood tonic. She is staggering a little when they make it out, but she does seem to be perking up.

"I do have fans in Guild Galad," she tells Noeline as they exit through a side door. "But I don't get any money from them. It's awful... you would think that we could set something up with the Ethos bank but you should see the rates they charge to send money overseas. And I know for a damn fact they do all their accounting by Memory" CLANK

"I said Memory" CLANK

Erzebet trails off.

At the mouth of the side street whereunto everyone has exeunted, a squad of the royal guard, seething faintly with Malevolence, look at them. A couple of screaming refugees pass and one of them says, "TRAITORS!" ("Aye, to the King Krono!" "Kurse them!")

"King Krono of Krosse," Erzebet says. She rubs her chin. "King Krono's Krosse. Hm. It has a certain euphony to it, but I have a bad feeling about it somehow... it's hard to explain..."

The refugees try to speed up. The guards heft their weapons, preparing for a charge.

"I can't use my guns right now," Erzebet explains to the others, "because I don't have any blood left... I've been trying to regrow it but I'm not sure how you can do that. So, for once, I'm going to have to count on you. Though," and here she pitches the glass bottle dead-ass at one of the Guardsmen who was raising up a musket. It hits him in the brim of the helmet and shatters.

He doesn't shoot because he's now screaming. "Heh heh," Erzebet says.

DG: Erzebet Lefanu has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Krosse Enkounter.
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        Everyone's patting Riesenlied on the head. It's too much! Her horns very obviously go from limply drooping in dog-like fashion to building up to release steam--

        But she's obviously retreated back to Noeline as she often does whenever she needs to recharge. Unspoken but equally obvious is the utter redness in her cheeks as she thinks about how she might have read one of E. Lefanu's novels amongst the big pile of them during that time she worked herself up into a jealous tizzy and then moped to Noeline!!

        Uwaaa!! She'll never live this down!!

        She gets something of a reprieve as her eyes widen as she senses danger from the Tear before it arrives--

        "Please, no more of this! Your Captain's already been rescued, and you can too--"

        She yelps loudly as she gets a musket shot coming in a bit close as she's tumbled off to one side, in a daze.

        "I want to purify them, but I'm not sure I can cope with another ritual right now..."

        The ring pulsates with a soft and genteel glow as hers senses Noeline's out; she struggles to get back up to her feet as she holds her hands out and manifests Mistilteinn in a sprinkle of *stars*.

        "Your ARM uses... blood?"

        It's been a long while since she's exercised herself in combat, but with Noeline's guidance, through their rings, she can motion through the basic forms-- step, parry and deflect, twist and disarm, repeat. That her weapon is full of shiny SFX is kind of a benefit?

        "Stop this already!"

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, Krosse Enkounter.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"Ah...I don't want to consider it square just because I left some gella on the counter and leave it at that, no matter what happens to it after..." She tries to explain when Erzebet looks blankly at her.

They exit onto street, only to run into more of Krosse's royal guard seething with Malevolence. She glances at Erzebet questioningly at about the same time as Riesenlied questions her, and thinks it over.

"Unfortunately, except for the potion I gave you, I can't think of any ways to accelerate the process..." She replies, then nods. "Don't worry, we can handle this. Just stay back, okay?"

With that Jacqueline steps up, drawing a book from her bag, flipping through its pages.

"Be careful. Krosse's guardsmen are well trained, and the Malevolence only makes them more dangerous. They don't quite seem to have Hellionized yet, but they're still a threat." Jacqueline says.

"But more importantly...!" Jacqueline says, gesturing with her left hand. This time, the temperature around the Guardsmens' feet drops rapidly, until ice begins to form around them. She seems to be trying to freeze them in place so that they can't pursue anyone else.

"There are no traitors here! These are your own people, and they're innocent! Stay there, and think about what you've done!" Jacqueline scolds, sending the guardsmen a look.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

        As they slip from the item store, Noeline looks like she's about to respond with a bit of a biting comment to the authoress; it's not clear if she actively recognizes the name, but then the Crimson Notble isn't exactly the sort to directly fangirl over anyone, let alone in the midst of a domain that still clashes with those senses that are lent to her by her Medium. While it's easier to move through it than before, it still jangles against her nerves, occasionally making her wince.

        She's about to reply to Erzebet with an amused huff from where she's got one arm around Riesenlied's waist in a bit of a protective and possessive manner: "Unless you are donating only to libraries, I think you need a better publisher--" but the yells for help ahead of them snap her back to the present, and her brow furrows. "Krosse is too large. I doubt there's any way they'd believe that their Captain has been saved - let alone whether they'd even listen in the first place."

        She hangs back as Riesenlied judges how much power she has left: not enough, she deems, and Noeline frowns as she tilts her head into a nod. "I could-- lend you some, perhaps, but--" but she sounds uncertain, not even sure if it's something she could even do. The finer differences between the power of the Ley and the power of the Guardians (that sustain the world, etc) elude her, and she'd admit to a little trepidation if pressed.

        Instead, she curls her fingers around her partner's, feeling for the link between them and nurturing it forwards. Guiding Riesenlied is still a rather new sensation, but she's a quick learner, well aware it's more about encouragement and observation. It's not that Riesenlied can't fight, or doesn't know how. It's more just offering a bit of her own strength to see her partner forwards.

        "--Lydia, we'll cover you!" she calls as she darts forwards, leading the charge; her sword is as massive as ever, and perhaps that's for the best as she pivots it like a moving wall, bashing one of the guards back as if it were a shield and then planting it into the ground as a piece of adjustable cover for either of her family to hide behind.

         Without it - and apparently to ensure she keeps the guards alive - she moves easily around Riesenlied, complementing the other Hyadean's style with a series of quick kicks and at least one instance of simply grabbing a guard to fling into several others.

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, Krosse Enkounter.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "You do?" as Erzebet mentions she has fans. Despite thinking that Erzebet is awesome, she does seem a little more skeptical that she has fans. Lydia is well aware that her own particular tastes are not neccessarily typical and--well to be honest, Lydia doesn't know much about GUild Galad. She's never been!

"What." Lydia says. "Is his name really Krono." It's less a question and more a disbelieving statement.

She is quiet for a moment. "Hahh?" This is probably about the blood. "You're running low on blood? Why are you running low on blood?" Another pause. "...I guess you do use those guns a lot. Uh. Maybe use them less?" There's probably more efficient ways to murder people after all. Or shoot Ashton, even.

Unfortunately there's the Guard and they are Malevolent and Lydia steps away hesitantly as if she's not really up for a fight but Noeline says she's covering FOR her and that means...she has to fight!.

"R...Rigdobrite!" She says.

This cues the giant laser from the sky to come crashing down upon the guards. It's honestly a bit too much.

"Rigdobrite." Lydia says, calmer.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Krosse Enkounter.
DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool The Lifeweaver's Codex toward her party's challenge, Krosse Enkounter.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Krosse Enkounter *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The sound of metal marching upon cobblestone draws your attention, as         
 several afflicted members of the Krosse royal guard march down the street.    
 The faint aura of Malevolence visibly seeps from the gaps of their armour.    
 They scan about, and discover several refugees fleeing from them. "Traitors,  
 traitors to the King Krono, all!"                                             
                                                                               
 The citizenry of Krosse don't stand a chance; you'll need to intervene and    
 defeat this cadre of the Guard.                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
======================<* Streets of Krosse - Round 4 *>=======================
========================< Results - Krosse Enkounter >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          20 --(0)--> 20                 Pass
Rings of Promise                    4   Combat  Effects: Efficient and Fanfare
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             10 --(0)--> 10                 Pass
Rings of Promise                    4   Combat  Effects: Efficient and Rally  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
The Lifeweaver's Codex              2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         10 --(10)--> 20                Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Erzebet Lefanu                      15 --(0)--> 15                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  60 --(20)--> 80                Pass
Conditions: Injure(1)|Wonder|Wound(2)
Effects: Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Riesenlied 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: Riesenlied has drawn a new Challenge.
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
=================<* CHALLENGE - Guardian of the Overbridge *>=================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You arrive at an overbridge connecting central Krosse to the Castle. The      
 Domain's influence is stronger here, the Malevolence palpable as it seeks to  
 cling to whatever it can grasp its metaphorical claws upon.                   
                                                                               
 The silence is suddenly broken as an earth-shattering, ear-ringing CRY        
 shakes the very floor--                                                       
                                                                               
 --and an enormous silver-furred Beast descends upon the bridge in a single    
 bound, descending from atop Krosse Castle's high spires. Bands of             
 Malevolence ooze from its very limbs, as it casts its bloodthirsty eye upon   
 you. It opens its mouth--                                                     
                                                                               
 "Please... make it stop... aaargh!!"                                          
                                                                               
 It lunges, vestiges of its humanity absconding underneath its curse. Prepare  
 yourself!                                                                     
=Dungeon Conditions: Overzealous==============================================
DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, Guardian of the Overbridge.
DG: Noeline has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, Guardian of the Overbridge.
<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
The musketeer is out of the fight because he is staggering and grasping at his head, taking off his helmet even. His eye turns towards Erzebet with fury and anger and anxiety, though the smashed bottle has just put a cut on his forehead. So, there is blood, but you can see all that EYE HATE through his fingers. Erzebet rolls her own, apparently blood-free eyes at him.

Malevolence doesn't make you completely stupid.

Just mostly.

Ice encases feet and someone throws a polearm as if it were an improvised javelin. It falls short, right in front of Jay.

A laser falls on the guards. Several of them scream, but it has enough attenuation that they are merely knocked down - twitching - one in particular sits up, points at Lydia, and says, "I don't believe in the Guardians!!"

Another of her peers groans, "The Guardians are objectively true, they've just ABANDONED US, you IDIOT. Your wife left you too! The same way!"

That guard is momentarily stunned. And then

RESOLUTION! From love eternal.
INITIATIVE! From striking boldly.
EMPATHY! For those who hurt!
SYMPATHY! Same as above!
ENERGY! To keep going when all is suffering...
/
KNOWLEDGE! To keep up the attack!
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE! Circling and subduing!
THAT ALREADY USED E! OUR ACRONYM IS DONE!

                R I E S E / (k)N OE

As the dust settles, the guards are stacked in a corner like cordwood. "My wife," moans the bereft one. "I hope she's alright... oh no... agh... I'm so afraid..." ("me too..." "we're failures as guards..." "ow!" "agh!" "mercy!")

Those last three were from Erzebet giving them a kick in the kidneys. "And stay down," she tells them.

"As for the library, no, they just print copies and give me no money," Erzebet tells Jay.

Lydia proposes a suggestion. Erzebet scratches the bridge of her nose. She considers Lydia's 'less shooting' proposal, and then tells her, "I don't understand. How do you mean?"

 <Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.
<poem>
        "Yes..." Riesenlied answers Lydia, unaware of how goofy a name that might be. She's not very fourth wall-leaning! Rigdobrite's presence does calm her, however, smiling towards her as she says, "Thank you... Rigdobrite."

        One of the guards shouts about how the Guardians abandoned them, and she feels the urge to express, "That isn't true! They're trying just as hard as the rest of us are--"

        Just as Riesenlied thinks she can settle and relax for a while, however--

        Aaaargh!!

        A room-shattering roar prompts her to hold onto her ears for a moment with a gasp; and before she even realises what's happening, a dark shadow has overtaken the light on the streets.

        It's an enormous Hellion, silver-furred and Werewolf-like save for its massive stature; in a single bound, it's leapt down from the Castle's high spires, casting a Malevolence-tinged eye as it swipes--

        And grabs Riesenlied off her feet as she cries aloud. "Ngh..."

        It flinches, as surprisingly it opens its mouth and cries--

        Make it stop... please... make it stop... aargh!!

        The Hyadean grimaces further as she focuses, trying her hardest to soothe its pain as she channels onto its feelings. "Did Timotheus hurt you... as well...?" she whispers with a grimace, gasping further as she struggles through the claw that's holding her.

        The beast lunges for the group with its free claw extended, but even grappled as she is, she's trying to channel more and more of that empathic light to try to slow the beast down.

        "It's okay... it'll be okay..."

        Is it time for the L Y D I A J A Y E R Z E? Someone else make that acronym up i'm tired

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

        Noeline sweeps past as she leads the way down the street and towards the Castle, risking a glance behind her as she does so; in the distance, she can still see the shadowy wall she set up earlier, and though it ebbs and wisps given how far she is away from it and the exertion it requires, it still manages to hold. Quietly, she counts under her breath, gauging how much longer she needs to keep it up before the last of the refugees will have reached the Fereshte.

        Ahead of them, she can feel the domain strengthen, a series of little pinpricks rattling against her senses; she squints, hissing a little under her breath. The way in which she goes down to one knee is not just a defensive measure, but gives her a chance to let the shattering scream wash past her, one eye screwed shut as she glances up at the beast that blocks their path.

        "Riese!" she cries out as it suddenly plucks her partner from her; rising in response out of sheer fear and instinct, she's the one to properly catch the Beast's initial charge, grimacing as she pits a Hyadean's strength against a Hellion's. She's driven back a couple of steps before she can properly dig her heels in - and then grits her teeth as her link to Riesenlied flares with power, pouring her sorcery into it to offer to her partner.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "That's okay! The Guardians don't believe in you either!" To be fair this is probably actually true. Lydia is frankly often unsure that the Guardians believe in HER.

But at least she knows Rigdobrite believes in her. Rigdobrite looks down at Riesenlied and does not give her a thumbs up because he doesn't have thumbs but he does give a little air twirl before vanishing again.

AND THEN there's a giant monster that was actually like a dude or a bunch of dudes?? Or maybe it's a dog turned into a giant dog? She hopes it's not a dog turned into a giant dog but the alternative isn't any better. Uwa!

"I guess... I have no choice but to summon Rigdobrite again...!" Lydia shouts as she reaches for her medium--!!

OUT OF MP

Lydia frowns, looks towards Erzebet and says, "I feel like this illustrates why 'less shooting' is an option."

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Guardian of the Overbridge.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Before anything else can happen, another problem appears in the form of an enormous werewolf, silver-furred and brimming with Malevolence and unleashing an earth-shattering cry.

Jacqueline winces, bracing herself.

"Is that-" Before she can finish it lunges, sweeping up Riesenlied and crying out in pain.

'Make it stop'. Jacqueline freezes in place for a brief moment.

"What did they do...?" She whispers, horrified. She exhales once more and rummages through her bags, drawing out the Codex again.

"Be careful! It might be large, but it's fast, as well! It's size isn't just for show, either - a swipe of those claws or a bite with those fangs is dangerous! It might have other capabilities, too, so stay alert!" She warns, then rummages through her bags. Rather than a spell, she draws out a dark blue potion - a rather potent mixture for invoking sleep in those who drink it.

"We can help by tiring it out!" She says, then takes aim and hurls the bottle right at the Hellion. Would it even be possible for it to be purified in this state, though...?

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool The Lifeweaver's Codex toward her party's challenge, Guardian of the Overbridge.
<Pose Tracker> Erzebet Lefanu has posed.

 
Erzebet is faced with a problem. That problem is that

"I can't shoot my guns... my god, without my guns, what good am I?"

She has no weapons otherwise!

Looking at her hands even as the Hellionized man cries out for relief, for mercy, for aid, she curls her fingers, feeling the dozens of pinprick scars on her fingers cry out. Cry out in pain. Cry out in an arid, elongated agony that only the burn of powerful drugs has kept from consuming her. Cry out from the muscle cramps and the fatigue. Cry out for justice, perhaps, or satiation.

Erzebet does not feel a deep emotional commitment to those she is with, but she doesn't feel nothing either. Useless! she tells herself. Useless useless useless useless useless useless -- why didn't you go for Symbology instead of field hockey!

Erzebet reaches for her head -

And her glasses do that glinty thing again.

"... huh," she says.

"Heyyy! Lydia, wasn't it? Heyyy!" She points forwards, jabbing a finger. "I - uh - hm." Lydia is right there.

She keeps pointing though.

"You see that timber there, for the bridge? My glasses are telling me it's rotten, but if they get the Hellion onto it and it falls... the bridge is so wide and it has that double buttress construction. You can still use it!"

Oh no...
                        mechanics.

DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Riesenlied has successfully explored Streets of Krosse!
===========================<* Streets of Krosse *>============================
====================<* CHALLENGE - The Spirit of Krosse *>====================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 "We're with you, Drifters! We're not letting our city be taken!"              
                                                                               
 With the Silver Beast situation going well, you notice that the citizenry     
 and refugees of Krosse have rallied behind you. Everyone you've rescued       
 along the way are here to support you! Together, with everyone's efforts,     
 you secure passage to ensure an escape route is available and not threatened  
 by the Hellions.                                                              
                                                                               
 The way to Krosse Castle is now open. The inner chamber now awaits you. A     
 greater battle yet awaits within...                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

        The battle is brief, but intense; as Riesenlied continues to push against the grasp the silver-furred Beast has on her, Noeline propels forward in a burst of Hyadean strength as she catches the charge, skids, but bears strength toe to toe with it.

        Lydia seizes on the opportunity to cast the Material summon of Rigdobrite but--

        OUT OF MP

        Oh nooo, it's ok daughter, don't cast from HP like your mom does, it's a bad habit

        Rigdobrite will understand

        Jacqueline consults the Prima-- the Lifeweaver's Codex, advising her allies as she offers a sleeping potion much like the one she granted to Trask.

        The Beast begins to stumble in return-- and haggardly begins to step against a rotten part of the bridge, which Erzebet capitalises on. And it's at that point--

        "We're with you, Drifters!"

        The refugees have all assembled; those with the most able bodies, carrying gunsmoke ARMs, swords and other things they can find; the Beast has a look of recognition for a moment as it steps back--

        A... aaaaargh...!!

        And it drops Riesenlied as it springs back towards the Castle, vanishing into the halls within. The Hyadean gasps as she whispers, "Everyone..."

        It doesn't take long for the rest of the Outreach to help clean up with the refugees; with enough of a foothold into the city, thanks to all their efforts, a serious evacuation effort could now be launched.

        Krosse has hope.

        And it's thanks to all of you.