2019-04-12: Birds Of a Roc's Feather Kind Of Have To Be Duct Taped Together

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  • Log: 2019-04-12: Birds Of a Roc's Feather Kind Of Have To Be Duct Taped Together
  • Cast: Ratatoskr, Dean Stark, Chime Isa, Xantia, Dash Caskett, Tetra
  • Where: Luca - Blitzball Stadium
  • Date: April 12, 2019
  • Summary: When crisis strikes Luca unexpectedly by the appearance of Fiends, an unlikely assortment find themselves coming together to run to safety. Whatever gets them all out of harm's way, right? For some, the situation is far more distressing than it seems like it ought to be...

=============================================<* Luca - Blitzball Stadium *>=============================================

Where the Holy City of Bevelle is the spiritual centre of Spira, the blitzball stadium is its beating heart. The stadium is an enormous, open-air construction capable of holding several thousand spectators; as a result of its size, in addition to games, it has often been used by Maesters of Yevon to deliver particularly important speeches or sermons.

The stadium itself is an ancient blend of machina and sorcery, capable of holding a suspended sphere of water in place for hours at a time. Tournaments The stadium is one of the only machina formally sanctioned by the Grand Maester of Yevon, and countless Crusaders have sacrificed their lives over the centuries to turn Sin away from the city. The reason for this is simple - Blitzball lifts the heart of all who live in Spira, and even the smallest joys must be cherished.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-QpnYvldmo
DG: A party led by Ratatoskr is now entering Fiend Assault on Luca.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
==============================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===============================================
==========================================<* CHALLENGE - An Animated Scene *>===========================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 It begins suddenly. The air about the people here is energized and excited.   
 The match between the Besaid Aurochs (astoundingly) and the Luca Goers is     
 underway, in the huge sphere of water that acts as the court. Barkers in the  
 stands offered shrimp tempura on sticks, while people supporting both teams   
 cheer loudly.                                                                 
                                                                               
 At first, one might not notice when the fiends appear. The first shriek of a  
 bird blends into the crowds... until a swirl of pyreflies coalesces into a    
 huge, swooping fiend. A Garuda -- a bird with massive wings and a terrible    
 maw, rather than a beak -- swoops down from the sky. It crashes into the      
 crowd a distance away, and people fly: both literally, as some ejected into   
 the air come crashing down at you, and figuratively as they begin running     
 away. The bird-like fiend lifts off, before a gout of flame from the other    
 side of the stadium's stands blasts it apart. However, raining debris,        
 fleeing people, and a few unfortunate people falling down for the tops fo     
 your head makes it necessary to get out of the stadium's stands as quickly    
 as possible.                                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Injure, Tire=======================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    For long-time Blitzball fans - almost everyone in the region - yesterday's game of the Besaid Aurochs vs. the Al Bhed Psyches took an unheard of turn. The Besaid Aurochs... actually won, and advanced. (Something weird happened about the docks, but, that's another story.)
     Now the stands are extra packed and that's saying something! Anyone and everyone who would consider themselves a fan of the Luca Goers is out in full force, as though out of fear that some fundamental force of the universe were about to be upended. A primal fear thought unthinkable - that the best team in the league might lose. To the Aurochs.
     "Hyahaha--!" Ratatoskr, who has somehow coasted by on being called a Ronso despite only having the physical similarity of having a horn and nothing else, is one of the scant few Aurochs fans thanks to a grave misconception of what the Besaid Aurochs represent. He's here with (EDITOR'S NOTE: local authorities have requested this individual be only referred to as 'Besaid Man'). They are both insufferable in their cheering over a bunch of people throwing a ball between one another in the water.
     The air is celebratory, filled with the tension of a championship at stake. Colorful lights fill the air as if to fit the mood, coalescing into the form of a shrieking razor-bird who gets so into it that they divebomb right into the stands. Everyone's having fun!!
     ...Wait.
     Some stream of flame, or some power akin to it, streaks from the opposite side of the stadium, casting a most imposing figure, but that's not so important right now because STANDS ARE EXPLODING PEOPLE ARE FLYING also probably dying.
     "What's this? What's this!" Ratatoskr asks his... friend... who is no longer there, because even Besaid Man has the sense (and only just the bare minimum amount of sense) to get the hell out of dodge as a heavy-set man falls upon one of the last survivors of the Hyadean people.
     "Are we all fighting now?!" Ratatoskr asks, gravely misunderstanding the situation. He assumes his friend, a proud Besaid Auroch (read: a sad man with the distinction of not even making that team), is searching for the perfect vantage point to join the fight. In a clawed hand, a crystalline-like thing-or-another shines, and Ratatoskr warps out of view and goes--
     Well enough about him, for he's not the only one caught up in this crisis.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Teleporter Fragment toward his party's challenge, An Animated Scene.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

Dean knows approximately jack squat about blitzball. That doesn't mean he can't enjoy it anyway! It blows his mind that there are people so good at swimming that they can hold their breath seemingly forever underwater, all while kicking around balls and passing and scoring and goaling and all this other really cool stuff! He's super gotten into the energy of the game, and he's cheering on the Aurochs when he gets a sniff of shrimp-on-a-stick and gets a sudden case of the rumblies.
    
    "Oh man, that smells so good...!" he says, already drooling. "I'll be right back. I'll get some for you guys too!"
    
    Presumably he is talking to Rebeecca and Avril, whom he was totally watching the game with, but they already did the dig on their own and he wasn't there so whoops.
    
    In any case, Dean separates from whomever he was watching the game with and jogs on over to one of the shrimp stands. He promptly buys two fistfuls of shrimp-on-a-stick, one for Rebecca, one for Avril, and the rest for him because he's *starving*. His blue eyes shine as he licks his lips, and he's about to chomp down on one already before even trying to get back to where his friends are when...
    
    SCREEEECH
    
    "Huh?!" he utters, whirling around to see--a giant bird?! Is that a mascot or something? Wait no it's attacking people!! People who're promptly panicking and running away! In an instant, before Dean could even try to get back to his friends, there's a stampede of bodies, and Avril and Rebecca are lost in the crowd. Or, you know, they probably are. Shh. Dean whips his head back and forth, panicking for an instant; then he promptly devours every single shrimp he's got, throws the sticks aside, and hurries towards the worst of the falling debris. Ethius had impressed upon him not to use his Superior Technology, but... this is an emergency, right?!
    
    And so, with a flash, Dean calls Twin Fenrir to hand. He looks around furtively--absolutely no one is paying attention to him right now--and then shouts, "Blizzara!" before shooting some of that debris with the Freeze Ray, hopefully locking it in place before it falls on and hurts or kills anyone. Then he'll get running too, though he'll probably promptly get lost in the throng.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Freeze Ray toward his party's challenge, An Animated Scene.
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime isn't a fan, but she's always a curious drifter! So of course she's in the stands to watch the unusual and interesting game. She's found a spot to watch from one of the many corridors leading in and out of the staduim which is interesting in and of itself for size and design. She's not cheering for either team, but she's certainly watching with enthusiasm.

    Or was. Trying to watch everything at once, she's among those to notice the gathering flies, but having never seen a fiend form she doesn't realize what she's seeing till it's to late. It had looked liek a strange magick firework right up till the fiend coalesced! "Hey now, that's probably not supposed to happen mmn.".

    The corridor quickly turns into a stampede of people trying to flee the stadium, and the pint sized ARMs meister begins to slip her way upstream through the crowd to get to the landing circling the gaint ball of water the place had made for the blitzball game. She could probably get clean shots from there, assuming she doesn't get carried away by the crush of the crowd or worse trampled.

DG: Chime Isa has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, An Animated Scene.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia's feelings about sports are much the same as her feelings about fighting. Probably gonna be fun to do, but who wants to just sit there and watch it happen without participating? Not her, that's for sure. The red-haired 'Crusader', as many of the locals have mistaken her for because of the armor she wears these days, was at the docks the other day, where something more like her idea of fun was happening. Today, too, she hadn't planning to be present at the big game.

She changes her mind about this when a huge freaking bird monster of some sort appears right out of nowhere, and starts attacking the stadium. As usual, whenever there's trouble, where many with common sense would run in the opposite direction, Xantia goes off directly towards instead. Let's see how tough that creature is when it's forced to pick on someone its own size!

Yeah, she knows she isn't anywhere near its size, that's beside the point.

Before she can actually get there though, the huge bird-thing suddenly explodes, prompting her to slow down, then halt her approach. "Oh... too late, someone's already got it." She sighs, perhaps the only one to see that happen and feeling nothing but dismay.

And then a flood of people pours out of the Stadium, not paying her any mind as they run for their lives, threatening to bowl her right over. "Hey, hey, wait a--" She doesn't get any further than that before being forced to start dodging, and then attempt to start pushing through. She doesn't want to go the other way, she wants to go towards where things are exploding, darnit!

DG: Xantia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, An Animated Scene.
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

Well, at least during the games, there aren't enough people around to start problems. THis provided Dash ample opportunity to actually get another good look around.

With all the cheer roaring from that sportsball stadium, it sounded like a really fun time! But showing up in there might be a bad idea. Instead, the young man looks for a map or something to purchase, also banking on the hopes that they would accept ancient fragments of crystallized energy as currency.

This has not gone well thusfar. But at least the guard isn't being called again!

Data, of course, is in the stadium, and despite the dubbed 'machina' aspect of him, everyone eats him up! He even has his own seat someone got him! Look at him, he's so happy.

With no lock acquiring what he was looking for as of yet, the two toned armor wearer strolls his way toward one of the entrances, watching from outside. It looks quite the sport! If he didn't know any better, one of the participants looked like someone from the boat incident...?

Then the screams happen. Flashes of light and loud wing beats are heard for only a few seconds before the screams of the crowd drow nthem out. Dash is suddenly beset upon by hundreds of people (who for a split second thought they were coming for him, this place makes him paranoid) attempting to escape! "Uh man!" he says, talking one, two steps back as the onrush approaches. To avoid being absolutely crushed underfoot, he has to jump up and grasp the entryway railing above the entrance and clumb his way up!

"...well, now I am stuck in here," he comments, climbing up. And there are some kind of enemies all around! He has seen similar out on the highroad. He even sees one flying through the air-- wait no, that one looks different. He also sees someone with guns nearby shooting ice! Might be best to team up with them!

"Heeeeey!" He calls out to Dean. "What's going on?! Why are there monsters here?" They probably don't know, but the only dumb question is one unasked!

And yet more people pour down the ramp toward the entryway. Gonna have to do some dodging, it seems!

DG: Dash Caskett has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, An Animated Scene.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

Tetra... is not in Luca because of Blitzball. That Blitzball is happening is a convenient cover for the thing she actually wants to do, which is steal a boat. This has been slow going, because, frankly, the city is too abuzz with activity for her to actually get away with much of anything.

And then it becomes abuzz with activity for an entirely *different* reason: fiends! Despite having never seen an actual fiend before, Tetra knows monsters when she sees them, and draws her pistol, taking a second to fiddle with the hammer. It's got to be just right or the magic won't --

The bird-like fiend lets loose a gout of fire, and Tetra turns her gaze up toward it. Okay, maybe it *doesn't* have to be just right. She pulls the trigger, and everything clicks into place, the Symbological weapon discharging a gout of water. From there, she palms a feather in her pocket, and begins to jump -- large, floaty bounds that take her over many of the retreating people.

Maybe if she makes her way past them, she can snag some abandoned treasure...!

DG: Tetra has used its Tool Roc's Feather toward its party's challenge, An Animated Scene.
==============================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===============================================
==========================================<* CHALLENGE - An Animated Scene *>===========================================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 It begins suddenly. The air about the people here is energized and excited.   
 The match between the Besaid Aurochs (astoundingly) and the Luca Goers is     
 underway, in the huge sphere of water that acts as the court. Barkers in the  
 stands offered shrimp tempura on sticks, while people supporting both teams   
 cheer loudly.                                                                 
                                                                               
 At first, one might not notice when the fiends appear. The first shriek of a  
 bird blends into the crowds... until a swirl of pyreflies coalesces into a    
 huge, swooping fiend. A Garuda -- a bird with massive wings and a terrible    
 maw, rather than a beak -- swoops down from the sky. It crashes into the      
 crowd a distance away, and people fly: both literally, as some ejected into   
 the air come crashing down at you, and figuratively as they begin running     
 away. The bird-like fiend lifts off, before a gout of flame from the other    
 side of the stadium's stands blasts it apart. However, raining debris,        
 fleeing people, and a few unfortunate people falling down for the tops fo     
 your head makes it necessary to get out of the stadium's stands as quickly    
 as possible.                                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Injure, Tire=======================================
=========================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 1 *>==========================================
============================================< Results - An Animated Scene >=============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Teleporter Fragment                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Freeze Ray                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               0 --(0)--> 0                   Fail
Roc's Feather                       1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   0 -
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr 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> Ratatoskr has posed.

    It is pure bedlam down there, up there, all around. The gathered might be strangers to the exact circumstances that appear to be involved. Every so often, monstrous creatures appear in a puff of colorful lights coming together, and then dissipate to a looming figure's powerful bursts of energy. This does help clear the way (some), but it takes the reflex, ingenuity, and gumption of one's own abilities to get out of there unharmed.
     Xantia starts to force her way. Not even the burliest Ronso can stop her when her mind is set (and indeed in one stand-out situation she does end up shoving a huge eight foot tall cat-person like they were a pillow), but her warpath will be interrupted by the sound and sight of exploding colorful lights at ground level... in the direction people are running? It's technically closer!
     Chime can make her way up there, thanks to her diminutive size, and can help clear the way with her shots... except it seems there's a scary, looming, chained-up figure who seems to be blasting the baddies(?) with eye beams, but it gives her a clear shot to find an opening to get going too.
     Dean, who is totally an amazing Black Ice Wizard with the coolest (pun totally intended) handheld hook-wands ever (totally not lies, at all, ever), suspends rubble in mid-air, saving no small amount of lives in the process and giving him a possible opportunity to go rejoin his traveling companions... maybe!
     Dash moves to link up with Dean towards the end of his heroic play to freeze the debris in mid-air, and will find himself being a possible landing spot for the high-jumping Tetra as she assists in shooting down another Garuda with a blast of water (which coincides with some of Chime's cover fire). Their meeting may be awkward, but it gets them together.
     Ratatoskr just appears out of nowhere at the tail-end of a teleport with the rest of them. "Everyone's fighting...!" He says with an excitement that is really not appropriate for how horrific and upsetting this scene is, but all six of them will have a clear shot out of the stadium and out into Luca proper.
     The squirrel-like Hyadean's assessment turns out to be on-point - it's a battlefield out there! Those who were there for the Metal Demon attack on Adlehyde might find this familiar in a not at all wholesome way.

DG: Dean Stark has drawn a new Challenge.
================<* CHALLENGE - Getting the Drop on a Garauda *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Bridges are not uncommon in Luca. Because so much of the city is built        
 behind massive stone seawalls, the city has to go up sometimes. You find      
 yourself moving up a bridge now, which places you -- strangely enough --      
 /over/ one of those huge, swooping birds. A Garuda is careening down the      
 street below you, swooping at level with it, to get people.                   
                                                                               
 And it is about to fly under the bridge.                                      
                                                                               
 If you collapse the bridge -- or maybe some of the nearby facades or statues  
 -- at the right time (and quickly!), you could crush the Garuda before it     
 sweeps down onto innocents.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Injure, Tire=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Whew, the Freeze R--Blizzara totally worked. Dean sighs a breath of relief as people scramble to safety away from the would-be falling rumble, now frozen in a block of ice. He looks around for his companions--but he can't see them in the crowds at all.
    
    But then someone's shouting at him? He looks around and spots the source. "I dunno, but it can't be any reason good!" Dean calls back to Dash. He doesn't know him, but that's absolutely never stopped Dean before. "We gotta get people out of here safe before things get even worse!"
    
    Though not everyone seems to be running away. Some are running towards the commotion and monsters! Some like... "Xantia?!" he calls, spotting the head of bright red hair. Oh, and there's Tetra too, visibly despite her shortness thanks to her enormous bounding leaps. He doesn't call her name, though, blanking on it, on account of only having met her once before.
    
    Then he brightens, thinking he understands what's going on in their heads. "Good thinking! If we defeat those monsters, people can get away safely!" he calls. "C'mon, guy!" With an inviting sweep of the arm towards Dash, Dean starts swimming through the crowd towards the invading fiends--and likely converging with Ratatoskr and Chime as well. With Tetra possibly landing on Dash's head. You know.
    
    Out of the stadium and into the city--and onto a stone bridge, as another, similar giant bird swoops underneath towards the underside of the arch. Why it's doing so is clear; several more screaming civilians are trying to run away from it, and in fact have just passed under the arch to the other side. However, they're nowhere near fast enough to outrun the garuda, and if someone doesn't do something fast, they're going to be fiend food.
    
    Hey, are those stone statues looking a little crumbly?
    
    "C'mon, guys! We gotta stop that monster! Follow my lead!" Dean calls to everyone who's come along with him, trading ARMs for his trusty shovel and swinging it around towards a statue. It teeters, then begins to fall towards the garuda's left wing as it sails for the underside of the bridge...!

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool The Trusty Shovel toward his party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime reaches the bridge, and then without hestiating jumps up onto the rail and looks around with a hand over her eyes. "My my, Not often a good chance like this appears." she comments almost idly as she surveys the statues to either side. Dean acts first, but Chime agrees with the idea.

    One hand disappears into the exquiste leather toolbox on the back of her belt pulling out a round object with a fuse line running from it. The other draws one of her crossbows. Bomb in the right hand, crossbow in the right hand, mix them together aaannndddd, Bomb Bolt!

    The elven drifter takes aim at one of the statues on the opposite side from Dean so as not catch him in the blast and the loud thwump of her bolt firing is followed by the hissing sound of the fuse she takes her shot to try and dislodge and knock a statue over onto the Garuda as it passes by under them.

    And failing that, she's already adjusting her position and aim to fire straight at the monsterous bird if nothing else works.

DG: Chime Isa has used her Tool Path Maker toward her party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Ratatoskr's eyes light up to all these colors and shapes he scarce understands, and in the distance he's intoxicated by the sight of the Crusaders taking to battle. Sure, to the casual eye, it's just 'they take hand-to-hand weapons not entirely unlike those from elsewhere and fight,' but to him, it is one of the most awe-inspiring dances he's ever seen. He didn't even know Spira existed. His disappointment at not being present for Odessa's big huge international melee of virtually every power in Filgaia at once has been replaced, wholesale, with glee and awe for this history and these warriors and...
     He's not paying great attention to the plan, because he sees one of those big nasty Garuda fiends flying under the bridge. The squirrel-like Hyadean takes off on all fours with blinding speed, leaping under the bridge. A failure to have his claws grip against the structure sees him use a weird gun-blade device of unknown (and largely insignificant) origins to hook into it a he just hurls himself at the Garuda bodily.
     Lives are on the line - Dean has the right of it - but Ratatoskr seems less keen about having these stone sculptures of Spira's figures being destroyed. That, or he's just enjoying the prospect of fighting something like a Garuda.
     ...Probably both.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Derelict Relic toward his party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

Tetra *just barely* manages not to land on Dash's head, but stopping herself from doing so requires her to skid against the wall a little, hitting the ground. Unfortunately, this means now she has to give up on the idea of stealing abandoned property from fleeing eventgoers *in addition* to giving up on stealing a boat!

Once she pulls herself back up off the ground, she takes a moment to orient herself -- and sees Dean, who she actually recognizes as having a brain, from their... one... meeting. She moves toward *him* instead, slipping past Dash at a -- well -- dash.

As Dean moves to stop the monster by whacking away at a statue, Tetra... feels the corners of her lips turn up in an easy grin. "Hey, great idea!" she calls, pulling out...

... a shovel of her own! She mirrors Dean's movements, but targeting a separate statue; the effect, of course, is entirely the same, sending the statue falling toward the bridge.

DG: Tetra has used its Tool Trusty Shovel toward its party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia manages to work her way through the crowd, having to employ perhaps a bit more force than the fleeing sports fans would have liked, but it's fine, they'll be fine. They'll no longer have anything to run from if she takes care of whatever problems may still be going on, right? As long as it's a problem that can be solved by punching, she's sure she can handle it.

And just when she gets through, explosions start happening behind her. In fact, when she looks around at this point, just about everywhere is now a mess. It doesn't alarm her as much as it probably should, but it does cause her to stand around for a moment of indecisiveness. Where should she go now?

Thank everything for a familiar voice she hears calling her name, letting her find some focus in all the chaos. "Oh, Dean, hi!" Why are you just standing there waving, Xantia? And then after a moment of thought, doing the Yevon prayer gestures too, what is that even good for!?

Well never mind, soon that stops mattering, since the group of people that includes Dean is heading her way, making it easy for her to follow along instead of having to figure out what to do on her own. She's totally on board with taking the fight to the monsters!

That being the case, she doesn't have to be told twice to stop a particular one, nodding to Dean and approaching a statue of her own. This one is nice and circular, giving her an immediate idea on how to handle this. She reaches for the hammer on her back... only to realize that it isn't there. Shoot, that's right, it's still on Filgaia. Well, in that case she'll just have to improvise.

So improvise she does, by gathering lightning in her hands, and shaping it into a facsimile of her physical hammer - a Megavolt Hammer rather than Megaton Hammer. It gets the job done, even if it's only good for this one swing, the hammer forcefully exploding as it impacts the statue, sending it flying towards the Garuda itself rather than the bridge. It's a bit as if she were playing Golf. With a massive stone ball. And a lightning hammer for a club. And a monster instead of a hole. Okay, maybe not a whole lot like Golf, but she's pretty sure all these differences only make it better.

DG: Xantia has used her Tool Megaton Hammer toward her party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

People... people everywhere! It takes some expert evasion to weave through the oncoming tide of screams and native folk. But with a little effort, Dash breaks through the crowd and reaches the fellow with the guns! Figure that someone using them could be one of the people in a similar situation on Spira.

As guns seem taboo. Or anything related.

"He-- whoah!" Ratatoskr's sudden appearance throws the boy off. He actually raises his arm and braces it with his hand, the pointed arm is suddenly missing a hand and instead sports some kind of barrel! "Wait... you talk? Huh. Thought you were one of those creatures. Sorry!" Hopefully the guy doesn't take offense!

"O-Oh, good idea!" Dash comments with a nod. The still-formed hand puts an indigo colored mask over his face, attaching to his helmet. Only his green eyes can be seen now. Seems like he is ready to tussle with some monsters! ...but first has to avoid being landed on buy someone. "Ah!" he says, flinching a bit! "Hey uh, you okay?" he asks, seeing the connect with the wall.

The young man looks between those assembled. "Best if we stuck together! Listen to him, he sounds like he knows what he is doing!" Dash comments on behalf of Dean.

The situation grows dire as the party approaches an evacuation route. Civilians are fleeing as the winged beats chases them at a much faster clip. "Good idea!" says Dash, prying a massive drill off his back and socketing it onto the free hand. A ka-chink and powering up noise can be heard as the hand retracts into the forearm as well. Does this guy actually not have human hands?

"Let me help!" he offers, spinning that drill up as the high pitched sound kicks in, aimed at the base of the statue.

Dash of course dodges out of the way of that bomb. Or at least tries to. The Drill Arm makes dodging... difficult.

DG: Dash Caskett has used his Tool Drill Arm toward his party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.
=========================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 1 *>==========================================
================<* CHALLENGE - Getting the Drop on a Garauda *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Bridges are not uncommon in Luca. Because so much of the city is built        
 behind massive stone seawalls, the city has to go up sometimes. You find      
 yourself moving up a bridge now, which places you -- strangely enough --      
 /over/ one of those huge, swooping birds. A Garuda is careening down the      
 street below you, swooping at level with it, to get people.                   
                                                                               
 And it is about to fly under the bridge.                                      
                                                                               
 If you collapse the bridge -- or maybe some of the nearby facades or statues  
 -- at the right time (and quickly!), you could crush the Garuda before it     
 sweeps down onto innocents.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Injure, Tire=====================================
=====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 2 *>======================
=========================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 1 *>==========================================
==================< Results - Getting the Drop on a Garauda >===================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Derelict Relic                      2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Megaton Hammer                      3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Drill Arm                           2   Brute   Effects: Resilient            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
The Trusty Shovel                   2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               0 --(0)--> 0                   Fail
Trusty Shovel                       1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Path Maker                          4   Brute   Effects: Liability, Efficient,
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   20 --(15)--> 35                Pass
Conditions: Injure(2)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Resilient(1)|Strengthen(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr 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> Dean Stark has posed.

    That's right, Tetra! Dean has the BIGGEST and BEEFIEST and MIGHTIEST of brains. You can totally rest assured of that from your... one... meeting. He does legitimately have a good idea, though, and it's one that's simple and easily conveyed with a quick, simple action. Maybe that's why it works so well, at least in terms of coordinating amongst the ragtag Drifters who happen to have come together during this escape.
    
    Dean waves back at Xantia, so really, is it so bad that she waves too? When Dash tells folks to listen to him because he sounds like he knows what he's doing, Dean gives him a sheepish grin--but it's a pleased one, too. Funnily enough, he doesn't bat an eyelash at Dash's drill-hands, in the same way he doesn't bat an eyelash at Ratatoskr's acrobatics. He just... well... assumes they're both Hyadeans. H-he's half-right!
    
    And so Dean and Tetra use the awesome might of the Double Shovel (Dean *lights up* and grins at Tetra when he sees her using the same, and calls back, "Thanks!"); Chime moves a healthy distance away and sends another statue on a bomb voyage; Xantia SMASHES IT WITH A HAMMER; Ratatoskr decides that if you want something done right, i.e. impacting a giant bird with an intense weight, you'd better do it yourself; and Dash impacts another statue on the other side with a drill, making short work of the base.
    
    Which all comes together with a mighty, heavy CRASH.
    
    That sound--that terrible, screechy, agonized sound--is the sound of the garuda wailing in agony as half a ton of stone and living metal break its back and pin it to the ground. A moment later, it bursts apart into pyreflies and vanishes.
    
    "Woah," Dean utters, wide-eyed, as he stares over the bridge's railing at it. Fortunately, Chime didn't blow the whole thing up, so this bridge will be repairable later... unless some other fiends and/or Drifters blow it up later. The civilians have gotten away safely too, and that's also important, but since they *are* safe, he's free to wonder, "What the heck was that?"
    
    There won't be time to wonder long, though, when all of a sudden...!

DG: Xantia has drawn a new Challenge.
=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - To Quell the Panicked *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The people of Luca are panicking in the streets. While the Warrior Monks and  
 Crusaders are helping where they can, they cannot be everywhere. As you run   
 into this next street, you find that people have amassed around a gate        
 ahead. It has been closed, and they shout and call out to each other -- and   
 generally look quite agitated.                                                
                                                                               
 "We're trapped in here!"                                                      
 "We need to make for the port!"                                               
 "No, you fool! For the Highroad!"                                             
                                                                               
 Perhaps some diplomacy -- or maybe some quick thinking -- can either get you  
 around the crowd blocking the way, or get the crowd to move along.            
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Tire, Weaken====================================
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

A non-physical hammer that explodes has the advantage of not needing to put it away before you can dust your hands after a job well done. Not that this is at all important for anything, but anyway, Xantia is pleased with the results of their teamwork, grinning ear to ear. "Alright, way to go! If we keep this up, we'll have this situation under control in no time!"

Actually, if they keep this up at this level of intensity, they might end up doing more damage than the monsters. Xantia certainly won't be paying much attention to the amount of collateral damage. As long as it takes care of the problem!

Drawn to the sounds of shouting, the group ends up heading further down the road back in the direction Xantia originally came from. Even moving at a fast pace, she finds time to address Dash, remembering seeing him at yesterday's incident. "Oh hey, it's..." She never actually caught his name, whoops. "...you, from the docks! You have a pretty neat armor, it sure can do a lot of stuff!" Obviously all the things he does are part of the armor, right? Makes sense to her.

That's when they arrive at the gate. Xantia passed through there on her way here, it was open then. Why'd they close it? Doesn't make much sense to her, closing things down in case of emergency. Wouldn't you want everything to be open?

The squabble of the people gathered at the gate dies down when they spot the approaching assembly of Drifters, one of them pointing directly at Xantia. "Oh! Miss Crusader!"

Before Xantia can even go 'huh?', she's surrounded by agitated citizenry, all talking over one another.

"Can you open the gate for us?"
"We need to get to the Highroad, will you escort us?"
"Please! The road to the port is blocked, we need someone to clear it!"

Xantia never expected there might be a down side to helping so many people in town - now everybody is expecting her to help with their respective wishes, when she has important monster-punching business to get to! She looks... very unsure of herself, having absolutely no idea what to do about this. Welp, when all else fails... say something suitably heroic, stolen from something she read.

"Please, calm down! When there's an emergency, a true hero would never think with their legs!"

Why would these people even care about being heroes? The answer is they wouldn't, and Xantia desperately needs some help here.

DG: Xantia has used her Tool Hero's Phrasebook toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Ratatoskr's tail stands on end, segmented metal plates flaring out as the Garuda he is currently trying to best is bested unexpectedly, fresh quicksilver leaking from a few scrapes as tends to be the risk when trying to bodily wrestle a giant serrated bird-fiend. The sudden loss of physical thing catches him by surprise and he scrambles down low into a crouch as the pyreflies erupt all around him.
     He looks longingly into the unrecognizeable rubble of a statue.
     "Who was this...?" Ratatoskr asks, his tail drooping. He gets out a Hyadean datapad. There is no reason to assume he will find a match, but a part of him becomes increasingly desperate to catalogue and identify the figure in question. "Who was this!"
     His words become frantic, his breath accelerating to mania as clawed fingers (surprisingly) delicately handle the screen of the advanced information-holding thing. He's stuck in his own little world while frightened people nearby at a gate are arguing over which way to go. Desperately, he tries to keep the crumbling parts of a statue's face whole in one hand, knowing if he shifts his grip in any way inedelicate, he'll lose the visage of it forever.
     "...Who was this?" Ratatoskr asks, the youthful, boastful energy that tends to characterize his voice slipping away as he slowly rises, turning towards the panicking crowds.
     Ratatoskr is a crimson-armored individual with a prominent horn, solid yellow eyes that don't express themselves in any way beyond brightening or dimming, sharp teeth, digitigrade feet, claws, as 'bushy' a tail as his unique metallic physiology can muster, and a penchant for looming in a bent-forward, feral posture. He turns towards these panicking people as he cradles the crumbling head of a destroyed statue.
     "Don't you know?! Who was this!" He shouts.
     His brand of 'helping' may well just be 'they'll be too frightened to run his way,' narrowing down the candidates significantly!

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Corrupted Records toward his party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

The Drill Arm does what it says on the tin! It drills most effectively! But other people have super cool stuff! Tetra and Dean have shovels! Strong ones! "Wow, cool! Shovels are awesome! I always thought a cool shovel might match my armor well. What do you think?" he asks them both.

Chime has explosives, which are awesome as well. Xantia has a big ol' hammer, and Ratatoskr literally jsut flies at the fiend! "That guy likes to fight!" he says, watching him go! "Good thing he is on our side! Are you folks from around here, out of curiosity?"

The statue topples down, down, down, laying into the creature and helping the civilians flee. "Yeah! We did it!" he cheers. "Hey there!" he greets Xantia kindly. "It's Dash. Nice to meet you! Yeah, cool right? Was found in a ruin where I was--" Uh. "--Born!"

She seems nice enough! Couldn't hurt to tell her his name. He's still a little iffy on that nickname Data told him he should use.

"I-I bet we could ask folks when everyone is safe!" he assurse Ratatoskr. "Okay everyone! Just keep orderly!" he helps try to calm the folks down. "Don't panic, it will cause more problems!" A-Actually... aren't you supposed to not tell people to not panic?

Hum.

DG: Dash Caskett has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward his party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime hums softly at the results of shovels, force, hammers, and explosions. Probably overkill. Oh well. But it did the job soooo good enough. "Well it worked~".

    Chime then follows along the group reholstering the lone crossbow she had drawn for use. What awaits ahead a group of panicked persons. Chime makes a slight face, but her cheerful smile returns in the blink of an eye as she glances over the crowd to trying to make out what's being yelled at Xantia.

    Then short elf is looking at the gate past the crowd but she can't make out which way it opens from where she is and says "Why not just have everyone press up on the gate. If it opens outward, enough force will break anything holding it closed." to Xantia since the people have pegged her for an authority figure and Chime doesn't want to argue she's not a child to a bunch of people to make them try her suggestion.

DG: Chime Isa has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    As usual, Xantia puts an easy-to-understand spin on things. No one else has anything to say about those weird multicolored lights, and Dean will find out what they are in a few days anyway, so he grins at Xantia and nods. "Right! Let's keep this up!" To Tetra, he offers an enthusiastic thumbs-up. "Great shovel work!"
    
    Then, as the group hurries on, Dash also joins in on the Shovel Fan Club. "Shovels *are* awesome! They're so useful--they can do so much!" he gushes to Dash. "It'd definitely go great with your armor!" Huh, this guy's pretty friendly for a Hyadean! Unlike that squirrel guy, who seems to be... f-freaking out about the statues?! "H-hey, worry about the statue later!" he calls to Ratatosk, trying to get in between him and the frightened crowd. "I know it's sad we had to break it, but it's better than letting people get hurt and killed, right?"
    
    Actually, he reflects, as a Hyadean, Ratatoskr might well've been happy to let those humans die--
    
    "H-hey, check out what I've got!!" Dean adds in a hurried whisper to Ratatoskr, Twin Fenrir appearing in his hands in a flash as he holds them up between the two of them. Hopefully facing *away* from the crowd of Spirans will keep any of them from seeing he just summoned a pair of machina, and hopefully Ratatoskr is as easily distracted as the animal he looks like.
    
    H-he sure hopes Tetra and Chime have the mental wherewithal to follow Xantia's absurd statement up in a helpful way!! At least Dash is trying to keep the crowd under control?

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Standard Cartridge toward his party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

Putting her shovel back away (where is away? ... don't worry about it), Tetra crosses her arms and gives Dean an easy grin, despite the fact that her shovel mostly just made her hands hurt. She's still super cool, see? She nods, as if answering this very question for herself.

Tetra looks to Dash as he comments on their shovels, having to take a moment and think. "Hmmm... you do seem like a Digger, but the drill kinda fits you better," she answers, eventually. It's just an intuition she has, and she doesn't go too far in backing it up.

Not that she has time to, anyway. She needs to think of a way to get these *people* who are suddenly *swarming* them to part. She looks over to Ratatoskr, and decides this is... *not* the plan. Instead, she says, "All right, you lot! Here's the plan -- head to the port! Nothing's getting in or out through this gate -- if nothin' else, you'll have the help of the dockworkers, hear?"

If she can get them to at least *agree* on a plan, maybe they'll disperse...?

DG: Tetra has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.
=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - To Quell the Panicked *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The people of Luca are panicking in the streets. While the Warrior Monks and  
 Crusaders are helping where they can, they cannot be everywhere. As you run   
 into this next street, you find that people have amassed around a gate        
 ahead. It has been closed, and they shout and call out to each other -- and   
 generally look quite agitated.                                                
                                                                               
 "We're trapped in here!"                                                      
 "We need to make for the port!"                                               
 "No, you fool! For the Highroad!"                                             
                                                                               
 Perhaps some diplomacy -- or maybe some quick thinking -- can either get you  
 around the crowd blocking the way, or get the crowd to move along.            
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Tire, Weaken====================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 3 *>=====================
=====================< Results - To Quell the Panicked >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           0 --(2)--> 2                   Pass
Corrupted Records                   2   Wits    Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Hero's Phrasebook                   1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Standard Cartridge                  3   Wits    Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           0 --(7)--> 7                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   35 --(10)--> 45                Fail
Conditions: Stupify(2)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

"I'm Xantia! Not from around here, but people think I am!" Xantia's answer to Dash's introduction leads right into her karmic punishment for not correcting that perception. The people who have her surrounded only pause for a short moment when she speaks, but since it doesn't directly address their current predicament, they simply continue to all speak over one another again in short order. All Xantia can do is look around, her eyes saying 'help'.

The others certainly try to help, but there's always somebody in the small mob who has a retort to what's being said.

To Dash: "Whaddaya mean, don't panic?! We're perfectly calm right now!!"

To Chime: "We've already tried that, the thing won't budge!"

Tetra just causes the argument to start up again. "See? That's what I've been saying?" "Yeah, and it's still a dumb idea! The Highroad is the way to go, I'm telling you!" "That's way too far, we'll never make it!"

Just when it seems like it's impossible to make these people come to a consensus, Ratatoskr shows up, shouting demands that they don't understand. But they're also not about to question the angry, imposing pseudo-Ronso. Whether or not Dean's distraction works, by then the crowd has fallen silent, until one of them points behind, where the party originally came from.

"Maybe we'll have better luck on that side..."
"Past the Stadium? But that's... huh, actually things do look safer over there now."
"Safer than they do here," a third mumbles, as they shuffle off in that direction.

Xantia lets out a sigh of relief, finding this sort of ordeal a lot more exhausting than any fight could possibly be. More out of curiosity than anything else, she raises her voice towards Ratatoskr, asking, "Who is who, what are you talking about? You should calm down a little, you're scaring people."

Then she steps towards the gate and casually smashes it open with a single punch. Because sudden acts of random violence won't scare anybody, right?

Regardless, the way forward is clear... that is, until the next obstacle reveals itself.

DG: Chime Isa has drawn a new Challenge.
=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Sahuagin Swarm *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The fish-like, scaled humanoid fiends known as Sahuagin are not individually  
 dangerous. Their claws are sharp and fangs capable of biting; they can also   
 summon water spells at a whim, crashing down gouts of water on someone's      
 head. The danger, really, is in the numbers.                                  
                                                                               
 As you run through Luca's streets, whether to escape or help, there are       
 several gutteral screeches -- and then no less than a dozen Sahuagin leap     
 down into your midst, slashing with claws and screeching all the while!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Fright, Tire=====================================
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.


    Chime shrugs slightly as the mob continues to be unruly. And when they shuffle off back the way they'd clear she comments "Weeelll~ At least they're not in the way anymore. Little victories." with a chuckle.
    By the time she finishes, Xantia's smashed the gate with a single punch. "Oh my." but doesn't protest or say anything else as she walks through it and into the city of Luca. They won't get very far through, as the fiends are all over the city too. The Sahuagin have the run of the streets, chasing people every which way.

    "That's a problem~" Chime chimes as she draws not her crossbows, but a handful of canisters! An in-fight meal for anyone that wants one! Todays meal in a small handheld can is... three large rice balls that noone knows how they fitted into the can! "Here~ These should help recover your energy real quick~" as she offers them out to the others.

    It's also about this time that a group of the aquatic fiends notice new victims! A dozen or so appear lunging for the group ready to fight.

DG: Chime Isa has used her Tool In-Fight Meal toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Dean, kind soul that he is - the kindest, maybe - kneels down to try and cheer up Ratatoskr the only way he might know how, as the Hyadean gently shifts his fingers to stop the pile of rubble in his hands from eroding any further.
     "No one's ever seen this place..." The squirrel-like warrior speaks. "Its warriors... its heroes... I want to keep them..." His yellow eyes dim to the dimmest some may have seen, but that near-permanent grin of his doesn't seem to be capable of going down any lower than 'a threatening smile.' This figure might not even be of anyone of import. That statue that had to be smashed so that a Garuda could be stopped might just have been a mere generic idea of what that statue depicts, but this one doesn't seem like he'll have any of that. This one, no matter how small, holds that much meaning to him.
     Before long, it is too much, and the forces of gravity ensure the visage depicted is lost as it dissolves. He's among the last ones who will catch up with the others. "I want to keep them..."
     His gaze sweeps back out towards a more distant battle, and his grin widens ever more.
     "...I want to fight them..."
     The Hyadean bloodlust, instilled from many centuries of indoctrination and precise genetic experimentation, surfaces as the aquatic fiends come marching down. That statue's face now only exists in memory, a memory that Ratatoskr will keep as he closes a fist.
     "...Come onnnn!!" He cries out as he just bolts into the dozen of pyrefly-bodies, a veritable swarm of violence from Muay Thai like strikes - elbows and knees as much as fists and feet - and the occasional pops of compressed air from these contact points to bolster it.

DG: Ratatoskr has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

Dash can see it now. With Dean's help, he will have a mightly shovel! To dish out justice in spades! Hahah, get it? Spade? Well, he thought it was clever. Maybe he can get Roll to invent a Shovel Arm?!

Maybe just a standalone shovel would work better.

ANYWAY.

Tetra thinks the Drill Arm is better! After all, it kinda digs too, right? "I am! Have my license and everything!" he says happily. "Wait, are you from around Aquvy?" he asks curiously. The Digger's Guild is only in that region... as far as he knows.

"I have that same problem, Miss Xantia," Dash says with a nod through his mask. "Everyone is yelling at me for something called Machina, which I assuem they mean my armor and weapons, but I can't really-- I dunno, separate with some of them?

The crowd seems nonplussed with their efforts sadly. They become quiet, then find their own way elsewhere. "Hope they don't run into any more... whatever those things are!"

Fish-like creatures, waddling strangely through the area, spot them. They seem out of place out the water, but that does not stop their advance. They look monstrous. "It'll be okay!" Dash assures Rata. "I bet there's books on people like that. Gotta be pretty special to have a statue made of them!"

Chime offers treats to help have energy for the fight! "I'll... get mine later!" the boy says, his left hand disappearing into his forearm again, A barrel at the ready. Truth be told, he won't... but that is because he doesn't eat. He does like the smell of food and cooking for others, though!

Volleys of golden plasma fly out from the Mega Buster, right at the fiends ahead! "Gotta keep them away from people who can't fight!"

...And then a little monkey waltzes into view behind the fiends.

It cheeps and cheeps, happy to see the party!
"Mega Man, there are more enemies ahead! You should--"

"Data! Okay I haven't fully agreed to your code name yet! I need to test it out yet, don't get to attached to it!" Is he talking to the monkey robot? Yeah, looks like it.

"Eeee ee eep!"
"Mega Man, try to disable their fins!"

"You really are dead-set on that now, aren't you..."

Data viciously nods his wittle head. Aw!

And then one of the fiends turns toward Data! "Look out!" Dash shouts, running and diving for the little robot pal as the Sahuagin moves to attack!

A vicious trade of claw and Mega Buster fire ensues.

DG: Dash Caskett has used his Tool Helpful Bit of Data toward his party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

Tetra grimaces momentarily as she sets off another round of peas-and-carrots from the crowd, then breathes a sigh of relief as the crowd starts to shuffle enough to --

-- yikes!!

Tetra grimaces wider. It's a pretty ridiculous-looking face, all told. She keeps pulling it for several seconds, even as she starts to follow Xantia's... stunning example, and move forward. Unfortunately, she gets to take about five steps before the group is joined by some... fishy friends.

"Wh -- don't you know me?" Tetra asks, puffing her cheeks out a little as she draws her cutlass. "I'm *Tetra!* Scourge of the Deku Isles! Extremely successful pirate!" She's not actually kidding.

As if to emphasize her point, when she draws her sword and points at the Sahuagins, three extremely burly men about half again her height emerge from the crowd, *also* carrying cutlasses and telescopes. They promptly set to work on the creatures.

Tetra, for her part, folds her arms and nods again at how cool she looks.

DG: Tetra has used her Tool Lads With Swords toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    "Hey, that's not true," Dean tells Ratatoskr with gentle encouragement, letting his ARMs flash away since it seems they were ineffective. "The locals have seen this place! When things have calmed down and everyone's safe, you can come back and ask the people who live here whose statue that was. Maybe they've even got books and stuff about it around that they can show you!" Probably spheres rather than books, but, you know. "But we gotta get outta here first, and more importantly, we've gotta make sure the locals don't get hurt, okay?"
    
    And so onward they go. Dean gives Ratatoskr a nervous kind of smile when he makes it clear he wants to know these heroes so he can FIGHT THEM, but. Like. Hyadean. He kinda already knew this was a racial trait. It's no big. Especially since the group soon gets jumped by a bunch of fish men. What's the deal with that, anyway!!
    
    Fortunately, with the mob having moved in the opposite direction that they're going, this area is clear and thus Dean can summon his ARMs and fight without worrying about freaking anyone out. "Hyeahhh!!" he roars as he spins his combat rods around into a couple of sahaguin, smashing hard into their fishy faces. He pauses when he sees Tetra summon three burly men to fight on her behalf. How did she--? For a moment, Dean stares, confused as to whether he should be impressed or weirded out.
    
    Then Dash pulls out a monkey robot and talks to it like he understands what it's saying, and Dean decides it's best just to Roll with it.
    
    (spades was a good joke ok)

DG: Dean Stark has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Dash says he has the same problem as Xantia, but after hearing it, she visibly doesn't quite understand. Even after what just happened, she wouldn't even really say she has had much of a problem in Spira so far. Though she does know about what he's talking about, which she comments on with a helpless shrug. "Yeah, people here don't seem to like technology very much? I don't really get it."

Xantia hears only part of Ratatoskr's explanation for his actions, but she can 100 percent identify with the wish to fight strong opponents. So she suggests, "Well, if you ever want a good fight, I won't say no!" After a pause she adds, "Not right now though, right now we've got to fight the monsters instead."

And wouldn't you know it, just up ahead there's a fight waiting for them right now! Xantia sure won't be complaining about that, now she's feeling more in her element. She grins in anticipation as soon as she sees the aquatic monsters. She doesn't foresee any problems with this situation, this roadblock shouldn't be one for very long.

Chime once again proves how well-prepared she is by being able to provide food in any appropriate situation - even at those times when you're already dealing with other food! This is not one of those very specific times, but Xantia is all too happy to accept either way, making the rice balls vanish in short order. A little food is the most it ever takes to make herself feel invincible. Enough so to direct a taunt towards the Sahuagin. "Alright! One at a time, or all at once? Pick one - it's not going to matter!"

Aaand Ratatoskr is already off to go take them on all at once. "Hey, wait for me!"

Xantia dashes in directly after, not wishing to risk none being left for her. With a hum, the bracer on her right arm activates, emitting a red energy blade, which she uses liberally in dealing with those fiends foolish enough to end up in her general vicinity.

Her head periodically pops out of the dust cloud that follows to comment things such as "Oooh, another pirate!" and "Is that a monkey?" Is she even paying attention to the fight?!

DG: Xantia has used her Tool ARM Blade toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    "*THE* Tetra?!" Ratatoskr stops mid-violence - no ha ha there is no stopping mid-violence - shoving a palm down atop one of the Sahuagin as his yellow eyes light up. The brush with sorrow and frustration seems to evaporate immediately. "And I didn't notice? And I didn't notice...!"
     eta five seconds before he rattles off any number of her feats of piracy

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Sahuagin Swarm *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The fish-like, scaled humanoid fiends known as Sahuagin are not individually  
 dangerous. Their claws are sharp and fangs capable of biting; they can also   
 summon water spells at a whim, crashing down gouts of water on someone's      
 head. The danger, really, is in the numbers.                                  
                                                                               
 As you run through Luca's streets, whether to escape or help, there are       
 several gutteral screeches -- and then no less than a dozen Sahuagin leap     
 down into your midst, slashing with claws and screeching all the while!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Fright, Tire=====================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 4 *>=====================
=========================< Results - Sahuagin Swarm >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           2 --(0)--> 2                   Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              7 --(0)--> 7                   Pass
ARM Blade                           2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        7 --(0)--> 7                   Pass
Helpful Bit of Data                 2   Combat  Effects: Cleanse and Liability
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          7 --(5)--> 12                  Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               7 --(0)--> 7                   Pass
Lads With Swords                    3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           7 --(0)--> 7                   Pass
In-Fight Meal                       2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   45 --(15)--> 60                Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr 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> Chime Isa has posed.

    A group of Sahuagin went fishing for a fight. Instead they wound up taking bait they should've ignored as they found out they were the little big fish of a small pond in a much bigger world now. Chime's rice balls are exceptionally filling and invigorating for those that eat them, giving them an excess of power and energy. More than enough to take on the dozen or so Sahaguin charging them all.

    Ratatoskr and Xantia have no issue as they charge into their frays sending Sahaguin flying. Tetra's crew has no issues either using their numbers and sharp blades to win their fights. Dash's weapon gets a surprised look from Chime, Data as well, but the ARMs Meister only says "At least you've the good sense not to use it around the locals." with a shrug. Dean is the only one left gaping like a fish, his chance to shine lost as the other four take out all the Sahugain and teach them how to sleep with the fishies.

DG: Tetra has drawn a new Challenge.
==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
================<* CHALLENGE - The Broken Spire Comes to You *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The same huge, bird-like fiends seen in the stadium are found occasionally    
 swooping through Luca's skies. One of them careens through the air, twisting  
 over itself after a line of Warrior Monks shoot into its flank with their     
 machina rifles. Trailing pyreflies, it slams into one of the tall towers of   
 Luca...                                                                       
                                                                               
 ...and there is a deafening /crack/. The Garuda's body bursts into            
 pyreflies, before the tower it struck leans. Cracks run up through the        
 stone, and then it crumbles down -- a massive stone spire falling free and    
 hurtling straight for the top of your heads.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Hesitate, Overwhelm================================
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

A grin splits Tetra's face as she gets recognized. "Yep! That's me! Infamous pirate!" With an easy grin, she says, "Okay -- everyone still alive? Then let's get going! Keep an eye out, stranger -- you're going to get a chance to see Tetra and her crew in action!"

It's hard to doubt Tetra's seriousness about being a pirate, now...

... especially as fate conspires to give her a chance to show off the sort of agility you need to get comfortable on a ship. With a dull yet all-too-loud thud, one of the Garudas attacking Luca smashes into a spire; a moment later, a piece of masonry hits the ground before Tetra.

There's only one thing left to do:

"Scatter!" the pirate calls, once again fingering that feather in the pocket of her vest. She goes into another leap -- this one lower and flatter, as she jumps to safety. She gives a glance back to the slightly gobsmacked Dean, calling, "Come on -- over here!"

DG: Tetra has used her Tool Roc's Feather toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    Isn't that just the way? The moment Dean goes :o, everyone hurries up and defeats all the monsters. There's more of those garuda birds around, though, and one hits a tower before exploding into pyreflies. Dean peers up at them, and the tower begins to crumble...
    
    'Come on, over here!' Tetra calls, and Dean snaps his head in her directly. "Oh right, right!" he calls back, breaking into a run. Still, he looks over his shoulder at the tower, already coming apart... It's worked before so--why not? He calls Twin Fenrir to hand and shoots a Freeze Ray at the tower's weakest point, aiming to freeze it together long enough for it to not fall on everyone's head.
    %R And, of course, Dean does so while shouting, "Blizzara!" Yup. Totally a Spiran native, here.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool Freeze Ray toward his party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Ratatoskr is straight-up awestruck, and the 'ETA' is off by two seconds, he rattles off some of her feats/accused crimes like he were introducing her to a PPV audience. (The conversations that will happen once Odessa agents are able to reach out and tell Ratatoskr that, yes, they're operating here, yes, you are totally going to get fights, and yes, you should report any people of some specific features immediately will be... very interesting, indeed.)
     Then there's a great shadow cast over him, with the tower starting to fall upon them. In his hand is that barely functional piece of teleporter thing or another, and with a flash, he disappears. It's not clear which way it's going to take him. It could take him back underneath it.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Teleporter Fragment toward his party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime looks up at the sound of the impact, and then arches an eyebrow as the tower cracks... tilts... And begins to fall. Of course right at the general area the group is in. Of course. She shakes her head slightly at the mild absurdity of the timing and chances.

    "Mmmm, unfortunate.
Chime Isa says, "is the comment the short elf finally makes as she skips to the side, and then up the side wall with some effort to vacate the apparent landing area of the tower and put something between it and her as she considers jumping down or moving to the top of a nearby building."

DG: Chime Isa has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia looks pretty happy about the result of their collective rampage, her energy blade dissolving into motes much like the monsters here always seem to do. "See, told you it wouldn't matter!" It's not like there's any enemies left to notice her being smug, but this doesn't seem to deter her in any way.

She next listens in on some of Ratatoskr's factoids, once again only catching some of that, but enough to comment, "Sounds like you're pretty good at pirating, Tetra! But don't do any of the bad pirating, okay? I'm training to be a hero, so I'd have to fight you if you did that." Whatever 'the bad pirating' may be, she doesn't clarify.

Another Garuda shows up then to distract her, and she calls out, "There's another one!" But for the second time today, somebody else blows it up well before it gets in her range, prompting a dismayed, "Aw, not again!"

She was watching the fiend more than the thing it crashed into. Even after the instruction to scatter, she stands there for an uncomfortably long time before she finally notices the mass of stone coming down where they were all standing just now. She leaps away once she does, of course, adding in some acrobatics when she feels it'll help her get away faster. But will she still be in time?

DG: Xantia has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

Dash emerges from the brawl with Data clinging to his back relatively unscathed, though rather expended. "Th... Thanks!" he says toward Chime. "They already yell at me for my armor, and had to hide my other weapon. Didn't want to get yelled at even more!"

Data just watches everyone from his perch.

3

"Oh, pirate huh?" Dash muses toward Tetra. I be Professor Caskett has heard of you! I'm in the ground a lot more than around water might be why. But with those fellas, I believe you!" he says, gesturing toward the Lads.

"Oh, you have cool guns too!" Dash comments toward Dean. Looks like they have some sort of telescoping melee feature! "The guys with goggles seem to like technology, but I can't speak their language sadly." A scan for any more fishy enemies. "Yeah! This is Data! I've had him since as long as I can remember!"

Data waves a little spherical palm at Xantia. Seems like it understands people at least!

There is a deafening snapping noise. The sound when ancient stone gives way. A look up and to the side reveals one of those massive bird creatures collides with spire and then explodes into light! Data shrinks a bit behind Dash's shoulder as the spire begins to tumble.

"Run... Run!" he shouts, and takes off to get out from under that shadow as fast as his funny-sounding feet will take him!

DG: Dash Caskett has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.
==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
================<* CHALLENGE - The Broken Spire Comes to You *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The same huge, bird-like fiends seen in the stadium are found occasionally    
 swooping through Luca's skies. One of them careens through the air, twisting  
 over itself after a line of Warrior Monks shoot into its flank with their     
 machina rifles. Trailing pyreflies, it slams into one of the tall towers of   
 Luca...                                                                       
                                                                               
 ...and there is a deafening /crack/. The Garuda's body bursts into            
 pyreflies, before the tower it struck leans. Cracks run up through the        
 stone, and then it crumbles down -- a massive stone spire falling free and    
 hurtling straight for the top of your heads.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Hesitate, Overwhelm================================
=====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 5 *>======================
==================< Results - The Broken Spire Comes to You >===================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           2 --(15)--> 17                 Fail
Teleporter Fragment                 2   Agility Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              7 --(15)--> 22                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        7 --(15)--> 22                 Fail
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          12 --(15)--> 27                Fail
Freeze Ray                          2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               7 --(15)--> 22                 Fail
Roc's Feather                       1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           7 --(10)--> 17                 Pass
Rush                                0   Agility Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   60 --(10)--> 70                Fail
Conditions: Fright(1)|Hesitate(2)|Overwhelm|Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party
management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

The good news is that everyone, technically, gets out of the main splash zone -- or, well, in this instance one would suppose that 'squish zone' would be more appropriate. Dean's quick thinking keeps it from falling for a split second... which is *particularly* nice for Ratatoskr, who needs that split second to get back out of the way.

The bad news is that the impact is pretty intense; the ground quakes, and everyone gets blasted with debris from the epicentre of the impact.

Tetra, for her part, sits there with swirly eyes for a few moments, as the shockwave plants her squarely on her butt.

DG: Dash Caskett has drawn a new Challenge.
=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
==============<* CHALLENGE - Gates That Should Not Be Barred *>===============
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Flood control in a city like Luca is a must. Even city streets can turn into  
 canals when floodwaters rise, and the city's ancient architects built         
 knowing this. It seems, however, that some overzealous city residents have    
 blocked the street ahead off by closing the floodgates... and the mechanism   
 to open them is on the other side.                                            
                                                                               
 The snarl of Sahuagin is not far behind -- which means the way forward is     
 barred, unless you wish to put brute force to it (or circle back to find      
 another way).                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Overzealous, Wound==============================
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

That tower comes groaning down, debris and masonry scattering about before the massive impact. Dash makes a dive for cover while clinging to his little robot pal as the shockwave sends him scraping and tumbling along the floor. When only dust remains, Dash stands up, gravel falling off his form. "That was... rough. Least you are okay!"

"How is everyone else?"

The tower's fall cut off most other avenues of escape, and the group is on the least inviting side. The only path available to them is around the lip of the blitzball arena and down a ramp t oaccess the underside of the spherical arena. A draining subsystem is set up for once matches are over, the water that comprises the arena can be safely dropped into the lower section, and then harmlessly dispersed back into the surrounding waters of Luca. Some of the water is already accrued in the channel from the disrupted arena.

A thin pathway leads to a floodgate that relegates this flow through a channel that cuts under a bridge in the markets. Signs of a scuffle are present on the path, ones that look like the locals didn't fare too well. Ahead, those strong wrought gates are shut. No mechanism to operate it can be seen.

And there are sounds of sickly shuffling behind. Guttural, wet growls. Staying here may be a poor idea.

"Gotta break through!" Dash says hurriedly. The Drill arm is pulled off the left side of his back and attached to his right arm. He begins to drill through this stone slab.

DG: Dash Caskett has used his Tool Drill Arm toward his party's challenge, Gates That Should Not Be Barred.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Ratatoskr is blasted and thrown aside from being this shy of being squished. He's Hyadean, and probably would survive a direct squishing... but he does seem a fair bit lankier than many of their number. Well, 'many of their number' including the vast number of those who are now dead, as Ratatoskr climbs up over the collapse with all the expected agility of the wildlife creature he closely resembles.
     He stops and looks to make sure everyone is there and not deadsquishedsome combination thereof before proceeding forward down the floodgates. He grows more agitated (...excited?) watching the scuffs formed on the walls. He knows there was a fight here, from the looks of it, when they get to the other end they'll surely find...!
     ...
     Ah. He goes over to those locals who have fallen, studying them and anything they might have been carrying as his mind races with all sorts of scenarios for how a fight might have played out. He doesn't want to forget them, even if all he has are just projected fancies of strength and prominence that are ultimately wishful thinking rather than the reality.
     ...
     Somewhere in all of this, eventually, the blade of the gun-blade ARM thing he likes to tote around is being used to stab into any cracks, as if to try and saw something open. There is a softer time limit at play - if he starts hearing the Sahuagin closing in he's going to bolt back and fight them because of course he's going to, the last time he did they all exploded into lights he can't catch and he's not sure why they do that.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Derelict Relic toward his party's challenge, Gates That Should Not Be Barred.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia backflipping her way to safety would probably have looked a lot more impressive if it hadn't ended with the heavy impact causing her to lose her balance and end up flat on her back by the end of it. "Ow..." is her simple complaint. Not exactly the end result she had in mind, but in the end all it is is a few bruises. Could've ended a whole lot worse. And so her response to Dash is a slightly strained "I'm okay," as she slowly gets back to her feet.

That event seems to have lessened her enthusiasm a little, but it's back in short order when two of her favorite things happen with very little time between them. Coming across an obstacle that requires physical strength, and hearing the sounds of monsters nearby. She for one isn't worried about the latter at all, suggesting, "Can't we wait until they catch up?" Sure, she'll punch monsters forever, why not?

When this 'plan' inevitably doesn't get the majority vote, the counter-offer is also acceptable. Break through, huh? Xantia briefly looks over the gate, deducing easily enough that this one, being meant to hold back more than just people, won't be quite as easy to punch through as the last one. But she's more than ready to give it a shot, naturally. Slamming a fist into the opposite palm, she declares confidently, "Okay, hang on, this shouldn't take long."

Stone is clearly not enough to stop Xantia from slamming her bare knuckles against it, nor is it immune to her ridiculous level of physical prowess. If this ends up taking a while, she might try something a bit more involved like trying to wedge her fingers into cracks and pulling outwards, but on the whole, she's pretty ready to just keep punching a thing until it crumbles. Tends to be only a matter of time, in her experience.

DG: Xantia has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gates That Should Not Be Barred.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

Hearing those gurgles is all it really takes for Tetra to kick her brain back into gear. She staggers behind Dash, noting, "I'm fine! Totally fine!" Being able to take care of herself in a situation like this... it's important to her, for, some mysterious reason.

They come to a blockage in the floodgates -- and Tetra takes a deep breath, pulling out her shovel again. Xantia steps up first, though -- and Tetra sighs that breath out as relief. "... Well, if that doesn't work out, I'm ready to take a crack at it!" she says, brightly.

She squares up, shovel at the ready, waiting to see how this turns out.

DG: Tetra has used her Tool Trusty Shovel toward her party's challenge, Gates That Should Not Be Barred.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    When you have a floodgate in front of you and a Shuagin behind, there's just one thing you can do!
    
    What? Not have a boss fight? Are you sure? *Fine*.
    
    "This is better than a boss fight anyway," Dean says cheerfully to no one in particular, digging under the floodgate, and possibly up if there's a chance they can use leverage to open this sucker up.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool The Trusty Shovel toward his party's challenge, Gates That Should Not Be Barred.
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    Chime blinks as the tower comes crashing down. But her height helps keep her out of the worst of it, and her nimbleness lets her stay standing. She jumps off her safety spot and clasps her hands behind her head asking "Everyone okay?"

    As the group regathers and moves forward, they find the closed off floodgate. Chime tilts her head examining the gate curiously, saying "Well I could blow up a part of it... But I'd rather not do that to the people here." with a little shake of her head as she continues to examine the gate for a possible alternate way to help open it.

DG: Chime Isa has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Gates That Should Not Be Barred.
==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
===============<* CHALLENGE - Gates That Should Not Be Barred *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Flood control in a city like Luca is a must. Even city streets can turn into  
 canals when floodwaters rise, and the city's ancient architects built         
 knowing this. It seems, however, that some overzealous city residents have    
 blocked the street ahead off by closing the floodgates... and the mechanism   
 to open them is on the other side.                                            
                                                                               
 The snarl of Sahuagin is not far behind -- which means the way forward is     
 barred, unless you wish to put brute force to it (or circle back to find      
 another way).                                                                 
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust, Overzealous, Wound==============================
=====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 6 *>======================
=================< Results - Gates That Should Not Be Barred >==================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           17 --(0)--> 17                 Pass
Derelict Relic                      2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              22 --(10)--> 32                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        22 --(0)--> 22                 Pass
Drill Arm                           2   Brute   Effects: Resilient            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          27 --(0)--> 27                 Pass
The Trusty Shovel                   2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               22 --(10)--> 32                Fail
Trusty Shovel                       1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           17 --(10)--> 27                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Hesitate(1)|Overzealous(2)|Wound(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Resilient(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr 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: Ratatoskr has drawn a new Challenge.
==============================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===============================================
==========================================<* CHALLENGE - Nothing Is Sacred *>===========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 You have finally arrived at safety: the Crusader chapterhouse. Crusaders are  
 gathered outside it -- and you manage to cross the perimeter, and a massive   
 statue of the recent High Summoner, Lord Braska. There, a young man with      
 black hair and a bandana greets you. "Hurry inside! We're tending to the      
 wounded there. Luzzu is out there, but--"                                     
                                                                               
 There is a deafening screech. A Garuda sweeps over your heads, but seems      
 intent on going for someone else... but it slams into the statue of Lord      
 Braska. It crashes over, slamming down before the entrance to the             
 chapterhouse. The citizens fleeing draw to a stop.                            
                                                                               
 And roars echo -- as a trio of the huge, armored things known as Vouivres     
 leap down, flame dancing over their mouths. The young Crusader steps          
 forward, along with several of his comrades. He looks to you.                 
                                                                               
 "I hate to say it... but break that statue of Lord Braska apart, and get      
 everyone inside!" he calls out, before running towards the lizards. "We'll    
 hold them off!"                                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Overzealous======================================
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

THe Sahuagin clontinue their fishy march down the catacombs, the shadows playing on the walls at the edge of sight.

However, the stone of the floodgate is no match for teamwork! The object is a singular piece of massive stone, dropped into place by three massive metal formed chains anchored well in. While thick, it seems to be made of a more brittle stone than expected. Perhaps a type of dense soapstone. Stone made to possibly break on its own in an emergency. Ironic considering it is a floodgate, though the aters of the ocean or almost right on the other side. Perhaps being so intended made more sense than not?

Shovels and drills, fists and blades hack at the stone, and the bit of teamwork offered by spare hands can help mvoe the shed segments into the rivulet made for the water.

For some this is exhaustive work, and the small area of footing make teamwork harder than with the statue, but everyone is successful in helping somehow!

A path is opened in time before the group is found by the fiends, which exits out onto a large walkway on the outer segments of the stadium and market proper. "Close one!" Dash says to everyone. Gnashing of teeth from behind give the excellent heads up that continuing to move is keen.

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Ratatoskr takes the lead by happenstance, and this is one of the rare opportunities that his particular interests intersect with the best of interests - he has decided he really wants to see the Crusaders up close, and oh look, the way to their chapterhouse is clear. Everyone can be happy enough with this turn of events. Mighty as any of their number here are, they can't possibly fight off an entire invasion of... whatever these things are... by themselves.
     Another Garuda appears. Being flying bodies of hatred for the living, it's kind of weird that the one that just passes overhead instead crashes into a statue of Lord Braska, who is not presently a living thing. It falls over and collapses before the way into the chapterhouse, halting the advance of so many.
     A young man with black hair and a bandana looks away from whoever else he was talking to - there sure are a lot of disparate Drifter parties here! - to the sound of incoming roars and three huge, armored shadows who have flames dripping out of their maws.
     "I hate to say it... but break that statue of Lord Braska apart, and get everyone inside!" They call out, before bravely running forth to confront the lizards. "We'll hold them off!"
     "...Lord Braska," Ratatoskr repeats the name with some reverence. "So I hear that one a lot... a 'High Summoner...'" It's nice that he knows this bit of common lore but OH MY GOSH THEY ARE GOING TO BE KILLED IF THEY DON'T GET INSIDE
     He stands contemplatively before the ruin. There are many Drifters already here, going about it the way they usually might. Between everyone here, there is nothing that will stop them from saving all the people who are crowded around trying to get inside. Against someone attempting to apply an explosive directly around head-level...
     "Hyahaha--!" Ratatoskr slams down the edge of the gun-blade ARM of older make into the neck of the great statue, discharging a forcefield at an opportune time as to prevent that particular chunk of it from being obliterated. He's going to admire it for a while and think about how strong this Lord Braska was.
     Something something something about ten years ago, maybe he's still around so they can fight, he thinks.

DG: Ratatoskr has used his Tool Derelict Relic toward his party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.
<Pose Tracker> Tetra has posed.

Tetra is helping! Technically.

 As the statue tumbles down to the ground before them, Tetra squares up with her shovel again. This has historically worked out so poorly -- but sometimes, you're just stuck with the tools you have.

Tetra should really have robbed that bomb merchant before setting off for Elru. Now she can't...

So she's stuck with the plan she's approached all the statue-breaking and door-smashing thus far with: swing a shovel at an object really hard and hope for the best. After a few attempts, though, she has a genius idea:

Use the shovel as a shovel! She turns the point forward, and attempts to dig forward. Really, she should've been doing this the whole time. As she switches tactics, she looks at Ratatoskr like... well, like he's Ratatoskr. "... ooookay," she offers, before redoubling her efforts. She has resolved not to ask.

DG: Tetra has used her Tool Trusty Shovel toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.
<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    They've gotten past the floodgate, and now the Crusader quarterhouse is in sight! Except now there's even more humongous monsters, and a garuda's knocked over a statue. Dean shoots Ratatoskr a look of alarm, but it seems like knowing who this statue is of is enough to satisfy him. Actually, he's heard of this Braska guy too--had to make up some stories about him back in the marketplace! Those High Summoner guys sure get a lot of respect, huh?
    
    ...sort of. considering they're about to break the statue and/or dig around it and all.
    
    Tetra has the brilliant idea of using her shovel *as an actual shovel*. "Why didn't I think of that?!" Dean says without an ounce of irony, and joins her in this. In all fairness, he's quite fast at actually-shoveling. Must be all that experience digging for Golem parts. That he has accepted Ratatoskr's weirdness with absurd rapidity probably reinforces Tetra's decision to let that particular sleeping dog (squirrel?) lie.

DG: Dean Stark has used his Tool The Trusty Shovel toward his party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.
<Pose Tracker> Chime Isa has posed.

    The group makes it out of the flood channel and past the gate. And out into the open..ish. They make their way through the market to the Crusader Quarterhouse but too late as the fiends knock over the statue of Braska. "That's unfortunate too..." Chime says softly.

    Then a call is out to wreck the statue to clear the way into the quarterhouse. Chime's eyebrow arches slightly, but she nods accepting that's probably the best couse as she produces a second blackpowder bomb from her toolbox at the back of her belt.

    She watches where the others are working, and says "Mind your heads. And ears~" as she steps up the statue and nimbly jumps up onto of it, lighting the fuse and stuffing the bomb into a large crack before jumping away and making distance.

DG: Chime Isa has used her Tool Path Maker toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.
<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

In retrospect, perhaps trying to break down a stone door with her bare hands was the most effective way to go about this. It worked, but it wasn't particularly quick, and it sure made Xantia's knuckles hurt after a while. She really needs a better way to do this sort of thing. If only she had her hammer - the real one, the one that won't explode after one swing.

Not long after, the party finds themselves at the Crusader chapterhouse. Upon arrival, one of the Crusaders frowns as he looks Xantia over, starting, "Aren't you..." One of his fellows stops him, shaking their head. There's some mixed feelings here about what some consider 'the fake Crusader'. It would stand to reason that the real Crusaders wouldn't be happy about this impersonation, but then again... some are willing to turn a blind eye, given that what Xantia's been doing has only helped their reputation among the inhabitants of Luca. Xantia herself has, of course, put exactly zero thought into any of this.

Either way, this is hardly the time for that, as fiends are bearing down on the chapterhouse, right when the door is inconveniently blocked by the fallen statue of someone Xantia doesn't know. And, as always when someone requests to break something...

"Okay!" Xantia chirps cheerfully, and having learned her lesson, forms the lightning-crafted facsimile of her physical hammer again, rather than trying to do this with her hands. A single, powerful swing later, she is once again bare-handed, and moves to lift one of the larger chunks of the statue out of the way. She encourages the others, "Keep going! I'll help with the monsters!"

Which she does by chucking that huge hunk of rock at one of the Vouivres, of course.

DG: Xantia has used her Tool Megaton Hammer toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.
<Pose Tracker> Dash Caskett has posed.

Passing through the streets, Data holds on for dear life as they run and jump and avoid more fiends, following the large creature. He seems nice, though not a fan of property being demolished. Possibly a little eccentric.

Another statue topples in front of a safehouse of sorts, this one of a regal looking man in robes. Lord Braska, the man calls him. "Will do!" Dash assures, readying the Drill Arm again. "Maybe he can get another statue put up after everything is said and done!" Maybe it would be nicer than the last as well.

"I'll help break it apart! You guys move the rubble!" he says, forming a team-plan with Dean and Tetra.

Those shovels are pretty cool. "If you like statues, maybe you can take a piece of it with you as a souvenir or something!" he suggests toward Ratatoskr. Only half-joking. Doubtful they need statue fragments when all is said and done.

Unless there were gemstones embedded in it or something. Taking those might be a bad idea.

And that nice lady with explosives lit another one. "Ohhh I am backing away from that!" he says, drilling what he can and movign for cover! "Be careful!" he calls toward Xantia, bravely facing the creatures threatening the Crusdars!

DG: Dash Caskett has used his Tool Drill Arm toward his party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.
==============================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===============================================
==========================================<* CHALLENGE - Nothing Is Sacred *>===========================================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 You have finally arrived at safety: the Crusader chapterhouse. Crusaders are  
 gathered outside it -- and you manage to cross the perimeter, and a massive   
 statue of the recent High Summoner, Lord Braska. There, a young man with      
 black hair and a bandana greets you. "Hurry inside! We're tending to the      
 wounded there. Luzzu is out there, but--"                                     
                                                                               
 There is a deafening screech. A Garuda sweeps over your heads, but seems      
 intent on going for someone else... but it slams into the statue of Lord      
 Braska. It crashes over, slamming down before the entrance to the             
 chapterhouse. The citizens fleeing draw to a stop.                            
                                                                               
 And roars echo -- as a trio of the huge, armored things known as Vouivres     
 leap down, flame dancing over their mouths. The young Crusader steps          
 forward, along with several of his comrades. He looks to you.                 
                                                                               
 "I hate to say it... but break that statue of Lord Braska apart, and get      
 everyone inside!" he calls out, before running towards the lizards. "We'll    
 hold them off!"                                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Overzealous======================================
=========================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 7 *>==========================================
============================================< Results - Nothing Is Sacred >=============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ratatoskr                           17 --(0)--> 17                 Pass
Derelict Relic                      2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xantia                              32 --(0)--> 32                 Pass
Megaton Hammer                      3   Brute   Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dash Caskett                        22 --(0)--> 22                 Pass
Drill Arm                           2   Brute   Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dean Stark                          27 --(0)--> 27                 Pass
The Trusty Shovel                   2   Brute   Effects: Stalwart             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tetra                               32 --(0)--> 32                 Fail
Trusty Shovel                       1   Brute   Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chime Isa                           27 --(0)--> 27                 Pass
Path Maker                          4   Brute   Effects: Liability, Efficient,
-------------------------------------------------------< Party >--------------------------------------------------------
Leader: Ratatoskr                   9
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Ratatoskr has successfully explored Fiend Assault on Luca!
==============================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===============================================
=========================================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 7 *>==========================================
==================================<* CHALLENGE - O'aka Donation - War Profiteering! *>==================================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 With the Garudas and the shattered statue of Lord Braska cleared, you are     
 ushered into the Crusaders' chapterhouse. There, you find a red-haired        
 merchant. He looks at you for a moment. "Need a potion? It's--" He starts to  
 say the standard price of 75 gil. And then, O'aka has a dawning realization,  
 and a slow, capitalistic smile spreads across his face. "...200 gil."         
                                                                               
 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hj3U18FHgQ                              
                                                                               
 Please visit the following wiki page and update the current... er...          
 donation...?                                                                  
  https://dreamchasers.space/O7aka_Support_Fund                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    The six of them go about the work as part of a greater whole. Tetra and Dean work in tandem, as legendary pirate and overeager young man go about helping dig a way across (Dean gets a bit too overzealous and ends up doing more of the work than he needs to), Xantia just up and hurls pieces of statue to help deal with the front lines, Dash drills apart the bigger pieces into smaller ones, and Chime goes on ahead and blows stuff up.
     The way is clear, and everyone gets inside the chapterhouse for sheltering. There's a lot of Drifter types here tending to their own wounds and others, and there is also a red-haired merchant who is looking especially haggard after a few pointed arguments with some others.
     "...So, then! I am O'aka, and I do have me some potions. If you need one, it's--"
     He looks around, a wry smile on his face. These ones won't hoodwink him, he's sure. "...200 gil."

<Pose Tracker> Xantia has posed.

Xantia always has mixed feelings at the end of something like this. She's glad things all worked out for the best, and could use a bit of rest... but on the other hand, it was really exciting and it's always a bit sad when these things are over. Either way, she doesn't make any fuss, following the others into the chapterhouse in short order.

Judgment is still out on what to do about this Crusader impersonator, but it seems to have been postponed for now. The Crusaders have a lot on their minds for the moment, and well, Xantia has been quite helpful today. In the mean time, the martial artist has drifted towards a shady merchant, who of course doesn't look particularly shady to her. Uh-oh.

"I don't need any potions, but... do you have any weapons? I need something to break down big rocks without hurting my hands." An awfully specific request, but it prompts a wide smile from the shopkeeper. Oh, he has something in mind, alright. And if Xantia's lucky, it'll only be three times the regular market price.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

    The group, and many innocent folks in need of shelter and protection, make it inside safely! There's a red-headed merchant there. Dean makes a face at the ridiculous price of the potion, but when Xantia asks for something besides potions, that gives him an idea, too.
    
    "Yeah, d'you have any other items?" he wonders. "I could use some new stuff, so if I could see your whole selection, that'd be great!"
    
    He'll pay ridiculous prices for it, but he'll at least have it, dangit.